Beverage Packages Seldom Save Money

1 min read

With cocktails and wines about $12 a glass, does a $50/night Beverage Package on a cruise make sense? It's usually a sucker bet.

In Favor of Beverage Packages

If your cruising regiman includes a Bloody Mary during Team Trivia at 10 AM, a glass of wine at lunch, a drink at the pool, a cocktail before going into dinner,  2 glasses of wine with dinner, and a drink before bedtime in a late-night lounge, you'll be ahead with the $50/night beverage package if the 7 drinks cost you $84 a la carte. This savings of $34 multiplied by the 14-nights of, ends up saving you $476 over the course of the cruise. Correct?

The Catch

Wrong! On port days, your drinking time will be from about 6 pm to midnight. If you have 4 drinks ($48) during those days you'll be slightly behind the $50 fee. Assuming that you'll have rock n' rolling seas for a few of the seadays, this may cut back your drinks by half ($24), and the ship will make money on your beverage package. This is why beverage packages seldom work in your favor.

Other Info

Practically everyone but the resort ships and mass market cruise lines now offers free wine during lunch and dinner, and free cocktails during ship events such as parties and games. Sure, the wine won't include rare vintages, but they're better than you probably get at home and you don't have to pay and tip on them!

You're better off buying your drinks a la carte unless you have a serious drinking problem. That being said, always choose a Beverage Package when you're offered free amenities, because they're so convenient. Or better yet, sail on luxury cruise lines where drinks are always free -- even in your cabin!

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