How to Cheat Royal Caribbean Drink Package

Disclaimer: I have never tried to cheat the Royal Caribbean drink package and am in no way encouraging you to do it. We know the drink package is expensive and people are searching for this information and are simply providing it. Getting caught will get your drink package canceled or can result in denied boarding or fines.

Even at it’s cost, a Royal Caribbean drink package is a great way to save money on booze while on a Royal Caribbean cruise if you are going to be drinking a lot.

In addition to the Royal Caribbean drink package being on the pricier side, there are other reasons why passengers may not want to purchase one. For example, you can’t pick and choose the days you want to use the drink package. So instead, passengers are forced to purchase the drink package every day they sail or not use it at all.

Large cruise ship docked with mountains in the background.

The other drawback is that if one person in a cabin buys a deluxe drink package (one that includes alcohol), any other adult of legal drinking age in the same cabin has to buy it as well. This can be annoying for couples who have different drinking habits.

Lastly, you have to drink a lot in order to get your money’s worth, which you may not want to do every day.

But what if we told you there are ways to cheat the Royal Caribbean drink package? Keep reading as we tell you how to cheat Royal Caribbean drink package and discuss potential drawbacks to doing this.

Person holding a yellow cocktail with a pink umbrella, pineapple wedge, and a cherry.

How to Cheat Royal Caribbean Drink Package

Since Royal Caribbean cruises aren’t all-inclusive per se, passengers will need to choose from one of the four drink packages (water, classic soda, refreshment, and deluxe). Only the deluxe beverage package includes alcohol.

Depending on the cruise and the itinerary, the Royal Caribbean drink package cost can be $65-$90 per person per day. The price can vary depending on when you book, rates are subject to change without notice, and gratuities may be added to some packages depending on the itinerary.

Here are some of the top ways to “cheat” Royal Caribbean drinking packages.

Silhouette of a couple looking at each other with a red and purple sunset in the background.

Pack Your Own Wine

First is one way is one Royal Caribbean allows which is bringing your own wine onboard the ship. If you want to drink your wine in public areas, you will need to pay a $15 corkage fee. But if you drink your bottle of wine in your cabin, then you won’t be charged.

Sneak Alcohol Onto the Cruise

The next suggestion for how to cheat the Royal Caribbean drink package would be to sneak liquor onboard. There are many ways to do this, and we have a guide for that here.

If you go this route, then you can buy the classic soda or refreshment drink package and add your alcohol. This is a great way to save money and have your favorite cocktail while on vacation.

However, sneaking alcohol on a cruise is risky business and should be done with caution. If you get caught doing this, you could get your drink package revoked without a refund. In worst-case scenarios, you may not be allowed on the ship, which would be a disaster.

View of the deck of a large cruise ship filled with people, pools, and hot tubs.

Ask for Top-Shelf Liquor

To maximize your Royal Caribbean drink package and get the best bang for your buck, ask for top-shelf liquors in every drink. If you don’t specify which type you want, you will usually get the well-brand liquor, as all cruise lines do their best to save money. Prices for top-shelf drinks are much higher than those with well-brand liquor.

Since you can order as many drinks as you’d like and top-shelf liquors are included in your Royal Caribbean deluxe drink package, you might as well enjoy them. If you do this every day, you are more likely to get your money’s worth.

Glass of a dark carbonated beverage with ice and a lime wedge.

Enjoy the Non-Alcoholic Drinks

While the main highlight of the deluxe drink package is the alcohol, there are lots of non-alcoholic drinks worth having on the cruise.

Order your fill of fountain sodas, Coca-Cola Freestyle beverages, mocktails, sparkling water, premium coffees, teas, and fresh-squeezed juices. If you add up how much these non-alcoholic drinks would cost without your package, you may find that you save money just on these alone.

And another way to cheat Royal Caribbean drinking package if you have kids is to get the deluxe package for yourself, then share all the non-alcoholic drinks with them. That way, you don’t have to purchase a separate soda package. However, as with sharing alcoholic drinks, you must be careful not to get caught or there could be negative consequences.

View of the back of a large cruise ship on the ocean.

Try to Share the Drink Package

This is the riskiest way to cheat the Royal Caribbean drink package. If caught you drink package is quickly going to be canceled and other consequences could follow.

Now, if one person chooses a deluxe Royal Caribbean drinking package, then every adult in the same cabin must purchase the same package. You’ll notice that upon checkout Royal Caribbean automatically adds the drink package to both passengers, which can be frustrating.

You can try calling Royal Caribbean to explain that one of the passengers can’t drink alcohol due to a medical condition. You will likely need to back up this claim, but it’s worth a try.

Another option is to call Royal Caribbean and ask for one person to have the refreshments package instead of the deluxe drink package.

If you are traveling with friends or family in a separate cabin (and under a separate reservation number), you can always try sharing your drink package. Can you get away with sharing a drink package on Royal Caribbean? It depends. As long as you aren’t obvious about it, you can usually hand drinks off to another adult (of legal drinking age) in your group. However, you will need to be careful.

How many drinks a day can you have at Royal Caribbean? With the Royal Caribbean deluxe drinking package, you can have unlimited drinks each day.

Is it really worth the hassle? I don’t think so personally, but that’s for you to decide.

Table with two wine glasses and a plate of multi-colored grapes.

Is It Worth Getting the Drink Package on Royal Caribbean?

Depending on how much you and your loved one drink, the Royal Caribbean drink package can be worth it. If it’s a special occasion like a honeymoon cruise, or if you just want to be able to drink whatever you feel like without keeping track of expense, then it may be worth it.

But if you don’t drink much or have young children you have to keep up with, then it may be difficult to justify the daily cost. Weigh the pros and cons of a Royal Caribbean drink package before deciding. You can always add it later if you change your mind. (You can add a Royal Caribbean drink package up to 72 hours before departure, or on the first day of your cruise.)

Arial view of a docked cruise ship in port filled with slides, pools, and colorful umbrellas over lounge chairs.

How Do I Get the Best Deal on a Royal Caribbean Drink Package?

Like flights, the Royal Caribbean drink package cost will fluctuate until your departure date. Therefore, it’s best to wait as long as you can to buy the drink package.

After you have locked in your departure date, keep an eye on the drink package prices. Sometimes, you can save 10%-30% off the normal price.

If the price drops after you already bought your drink package, you can cancel it and rebook the package at the discounted price (up to your departure date).

Deck of a cruise ship with a colorful splash pad in the foreground and full glass windows in the background.

What Happens If I Don’t Buy a Drink Package on Royal Caribbean?

If you decide not to buy a Royal Caribbean drink package, then you will buy drinks individually. Plus, each time you order a drink, there will be an 18% gratuity on the bill.

This can make drinks pricey, but it might be a better option than buying the deluxe package if you don’t drink much.

Person reading a magazine at a table with two wine glasses.

How to Cheat Royal Caribbean Drink Package (Is It Worth the Risk?)

Overall, cheating the Royal Caribbean drink package isn’t an easy mission. Royal Caribbean does a good job of ensuring passengers abide by the rules.

Plus, it may not be worth the risk of having your drink package revoked and not getting a refund, or getting kicked off the ship if they find you sneaking liquor onboard. Instead, it may be best to stick to ordering top-shelf liquors and bringing wine onboard to save money, or avoiding the drink package altogether if you don’t drink much.

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9 thoughts on “How to Cheat Royal Caribbean Drink Package”

  1. Really is a shame that ALL cruise lines a try to wring every last dollar from us. Unless it is in a promotion, we will forgo the drink package and buy what we want a’la carte. SCREW THEM! You would have to be in the bag every day of your cruise in order to make the package worthwhile. You can’t use it on the private islands and, you can’t use it ashore anywhere. And who wants to get a buzz on after a long shore excursion? So there is usually about half the days are sea days and they know that passengers won’t be drinking much while we are ashore. This nickel and dime crap is getting on my nerves and the cruise lines better start giving us the values we deserve! Where else do you have to pay the full cost 2-3 months before you even get on the ship? And where does that money go for 2-3 months?

  2. Some people already know how to “beat the system” should they choose to do so. What sucks is people like yourself who post it all out there and risk spoiling it for those who may want to chance it.

    You don’t have to post everything, go back to your honeymoon.

  3. If I am traveling with non drinkers I will do the bottle of liquor and soda combo that can be delivered to your stateroom when you board. Yes it may cost about anywhere from $60-$85 dollars but when you’re only wanting a drink or 2 a day it saves money. I’m plus you can you use fruit and fruit juices from the buffet area to make a fruity mixed drink!

  4. If both don’t drink that much alcohol and one has to have soda, get one refreshments package and hand the souvenir cup to your partner. One of the deluxe packages is for all drinks besides alcohol. My wife enjoyed all the Starbucks and freshly squeezed juices, while I took advantage of the souvenir cup for colas.

  5. I just finished a 10 day cruise and opted not to take the drinks package. So my wife and I just drank moderately a couple of wines with dinner a few beers during the day a couple of cocktails or spirits during the show etc. The prices are in US dollars so that can be a trap but after 10 days our drinks bill was $us500 or about $ aus$750. Otherwise the drinks packages for 2 people would have been more than $2000 aus..

  6. If one person in the cabin does not drink, just call Royal and they will let the other person buy the package.

    • @Bianca Gabel, my husband doesn’t drink much at all and I bought ” refreshment” package for him. Can he just pay per drink also then if he DOES want a beer occasionally

    • @Bianca Gabel, I did call they said I had to buy the beverage premium drink option if my daughter was to purchase the alcohol package.

  7. I just spent 2 weeks on a cruise and my drinks ran me $450.00 for 2 weeks. I don’t drink 10 drinks per day so the package is not worth it unless you are a drunk


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