Celebrity Cruises is known for offering a premium cruising experience at an affordable rate. From stunning entertainment to cuisine crafted by Michelin-star chefs, a Celebrity Cruise is sure to leave you wowed from the minute you step onboard.
Although most cruise lines don't have a completely all-inclusive experience, your cruise fare already includes so much. Similar to most cruise lines, your basic cruise fare on Celebrity Cruises includes your accommodations onboard, daily housekeeping, meals in the main dining room and buffet, daily entertainment, activities onboard and transportation to and from all ports of call. For most cruises, this is fairly standard for what you have included in your cruise fare.
Typically, you have the option to add on drink, internet and specialty dining packages to your cruise fare to enhance your onboard cruise experience even before you get on the ship. This can be done in Celebrity's Cruise Planner portal before your sailing departs. You can purchase these amenities onboard your cruise as well, although the prices will likely be higher.
Lucky for Celebrity Cruise passengers, the cruise line has taken it a step further to create an even more all-inclusive approach to its cruise fares so you don’t have to pay more to receive more amenities. You might be pleasantly surprised to find that Celebrity Cruises includes more in their basic cruise fare than you’ll find with other cruise lines.
Your cruise fare might not be all-inclusive, but you will have more amenities included thanks to Celebrity’s new pricing model called Always Included.
What is ‘Always Included’?
Always Included is Celebrity’s approach to creating an all-inclusive style environment onboard by including a Celebrity Cruise drink package, internet package and gratuities for the duration of your cruise.
As its name suggests, Always Included is automatically applied to virtually every cruise fare for Celebrity Cruises. This new pricing model was launched in 2020 to create a more convenient and effortless onboard cruise experience. Regardless of which stateroom, sailing or cruise ship you book, you’ll have these amenities included through Always Included.
Of note, Celebrity’s expedition sailings to the Galapagos Islands have a different pricing structure, so be sure to confirm what you have included in those cruise fares before booking.
Upgrading to Elevate or Indulge Packages
Even with Always Included, you might want to enhance your onboard experience to be even more inclusive. As such, Celebrity Cruises offers two packages that guests can opt to upgrade to: Elevate Package and Indulge Package.
The Elevate Package includes the Premium Drink Package, Basic Internet Package, $200 shore excursion credit per person and included gratuities. For guests that are booked in Aqua Class, this shore excursion credit is replaced with a credit for the spa.
The Indulge Package is Celebrity’s top-of-the-line amenity package that includes the Premium Drink Package, Premium Wi-Fi, up to $200 shore excursion credit, up to $200 onboard spending credit (to be used towards speciality dining, spa experience, etc) and included gratuities.
The shore excursion credit and onboard credit varies based on length of sailing. Guests on sailings 10 days or longer will receive the full $200 for each passengers. Sailings with 1-5 nights will provide $100 per person and sailings between 6-9 nights will provide $150 per person.
Celebrity Cruises will allocate each indulge credit as an onboard credit; up to $400 of total onboard credit can be used however each guest wishes.
Any unused credit is considered nonrefundable, although guests have reported having luck converting onboard credit to cash at the casino (despite the fine print on Celebrity’s website).
The cost to upgrade to the Elevate Package is $30 per person per day. Guests looking to upgrade to the Indulge Package will be charged $60 per person per day.
Before upgrading, be sure you know that all guests in the stateroom must be booked on the same package. If guests decide to upgrade their package after the booking is made, Celebrity states the reservation will be converted to the prevailing Always Included price on the day the package is added.
Always Included means every passenger receives a Classic Beverage Package throughout their cruise vacation. This package includes soda, juice, tea, premium coffees, beer, wine and cocktails - up to $9 in value for each.
Cocktails include a large variety of liquor, but exclude top-shelf brands. Juices include apple, cranberry, orange, lemon, grapefruit juice onboard.
Drinks through room service, in-stateroom purchases, souvenir cups and mini bar purchases are not included.
Upgrade to Deluxe Beverage Package
If you are looking to have an entirely all-inclusive drinking experience, Celebrity Cruises gives guests the option to upgrade from the Classic Beverage Package to the Deluxe Beverage Package.
The Deluxe Beverage Package includes everything within the Classic Package and also expands to include carbonated drinks, premium bottled water, freshly squeezed and bottled/canned juices, Red Bull, Vitamin Water, Honest Iced Teas, and San Pellegrino. Additionally, the Premium Package includes beer, wine, spirits and cocktails up to $15 each.
Guests are able to upgrade their drink package in the Cruise Planner once their cruise is within the final payment period. Additionally, upgrading your drink package can be done once onboard the cruise.
This will cost $18 per person per day to upgrade to the Premium Beverage Package. Before upgrading your package, be sure to calculate how much you need to drink onboard each day to make the extra cost worthwhile.
Upgrading Internet Package
Similar to the beverage package, guests can opt to upgrade their Basic Internet Package to the Premium Internet Package.
The Premium Internet Package allows guests to message and video chat on messenger services, browse the web, send emails and post on social media, video chat lives and watch your favorite videos, movies, music and shows. On the other hand, the Basic Internet Packages gives access to basic web functions, including text messenger service, email and web browsing.
Guests who wish to upgrade their internet package can do so in the Cruise Planner platform once their booking is within the final payment timeframe
The cost will be $20 per person per day to upgrade and guests are not able to upgrade until final payment is made. Guests can also choose to upgrade once onboard the ship.
Included with your Celebrity Cruise fare is one of our favorite amenities - room service! This is complimentary throughout your cruise, excluding delivery between the hours of 11pm and 6am, in which a $4.95 fee is charged.
Having room service delivered directly to your stateroom is a great way to start your morning onboard a Celebrity Cruise. If you wish to have breakfast delivered in the morning, just place your order on the room service card provided in your stateroom and place on the door handle by 2am.
Suite guests have access to complimentary room service 24 hours a day and will not be charged the late-night fee.
What's not included?
With your cruise fare already including so much, you might be wondering what's not included in your Celebrity Cruises fare. This is important to understand so you can budget for your cruise appropriately.
You can expect to be charged for transportation to and from the cruise ship, shore excursions, specialty dining, spa treatments, fitness classes, arcade games, gambling, mini bar, late-night room service, private childcare services, behind the scenes tours, laundry and dry cleaning, professional photos, wine tasting and dinner theaters.
For those sailing as solo cruisers, unfortunately these passengers will be charged double the per day amount for Elevate or Indulge packages. There is no option to remove the retail value of Always Included from the double occupancy stateroom fare either.
According to Celebrity’s website, solo guests will receive double the amount of corresponding onboard credits when sailing in a double occupancy stateroom. However, the Beverage and Wi-Fi packages will not be doubled since these amenities are provided per person. No refunds will be issued for unused packages.
What if you don’t drink alcohol?
There’s no doubt that the most expensive cost of the Always Included pricing comes from the inclusion of alcoholic drinks. This can be frustrating for passengers who do not drink alcohol and for guests who are under the legal drinking age.
Regardless, Celebrity’s website states that there will not be exceptions made for guests who do not drink alcohol. Per the company’s website, the beverage package includes a wide variety of both alcoholic and non-alcoholic options, such as soda, coffee, tea, bottled water, sports drinks and juices. Guests can choose to have alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks with the package.
Because of this, guests are not eligible to remove the Always Included pricing and guests under the legal drinking age at the time of sailing will not be eligible for alcoholic beverages.
Retail Value of Amenities
You might be wondering how much value you’re receiving from Celebrity Cruises' Always Included pricing model.
According to Celebrity’s website, the daily retail value for a 7-night Veranda stateroom is approximately $89.50 per person per day, which includes Internet, drinks and tips. The Elevate Package, including Internet, drinks, tips and OBC comes to $120.90 per person per day while the Indulge Package has a retail value of $140.90.
Is Always Included worth it?
As with any major pricing change, Celebrity’s Always Included rollout was received with mixed responses from Celebrity cruisers.
This is unsurprising, as guests are now forced to purchase a cruise fare that includes drinks, internet and tips regardless of whether they would take advantage of these amenities without the Always Included pricing. Essentially, guests no longer have an option to sail with no frills.
Also, guests who received loyalty benefits have complained that their status with Celebrity appears to be negated by the new pricing structure. What was once free for guests onboard is now being charged through Always Included cruise fares.
Solo guests are particularly upset that there is no offset fee for paying double for the Always Included pricing on staterooms. While paying double occupancy is standard for cruising, this now puts solo cruisers in a particularly difficult position to pay double.
Other Celebrity Guests are pleased with the new change, as they are now receiving perks that they would have paid for regardless. Most guests state that they always purchased Internet and Beverage Packages, so the new pricing structure was a welcomed change.
Cruisers looking to have the most convenient, carefree onboard experience are also happy with the pricing change. The Always Included cruise fares truly create one of the most all-inclusive experiences offered at sea.
At the end of the day, changes within a cruise line will always please some and upset others. If you’re looking to have an all-inclusive experience on a premium cruise ship, Celebrity Cruises can provide an excellent opportunity for you to have a wonderful vacation.