Many first time cruisers often ask us about the value of cruise ship beverage packages. After coming back from our latest cruises on Celebrity Eclipse we put together this breakdown of the Celebrity Cruises Premium Beverage Package. Hopefully, this analysis will help fellow cruisers decide if this package is worth the additional charges.
Analysis of Celebrity Cruises Premium Beverage Package
The Basics of the Celebrity Cruises Beverage Packages
There are a few general basics you need to know about the Celebrity Cruises Beverage Packages before weighing the costs and value of the Premium package. We won’t go into too much detail as the linked post gives you some of the general parameters of the program.
For starters, all beverage packages are priced as per day, flat fee charge. When electing to purchase the package, you have to pay for every single night of the cruise.
The good thing is the package works at all bars and lounges on the ship. It is also honored in the complimentary dining venues. These include the main dining room and the Oceanview Cafe, and Cafe al Bacio. Also, the package works in the specialty dining venues, like Tuscan Grill, Qsine, and Murano.
Currently, the Celebrity Cruises Premium Beverage Package is priced at $69 a day, plus the 18% service charge. So, that adds up to $81.45 day, per person. Therefore, on a typical seven-night cruise if you purchased the package outright it would be a total cost of $569.94 a person.
When getting the beverage package, each adult in the room is required to get one. As you would expect, there is no sharing of the package. In addition, you are not allowed to using your package to order drinks for other cruisers.
In addition, the drink package entitles you to an unlimited number of beverages each day. Of course, the bar servers can refuse to serve you if you are obviously intoxicated or acting inappropriately.
What is Included in the Celebrity Cruises Premium Beverage Package
Currently, the per drink allotment for the Premium Beverage package is $15. Over that, you will need to pay the difference, plus the 18% service charge. Celebrity Cruises has the following list of drinks currently covered in the Premium Package. You can also download the list as this PDF.
Within this $15 allotment, many popular mid-tier and top-tier spirits and liquors are covered in this package. This dollar amount will cover virtually every signature cocktail and beer on the ship.
On our previous cruise, the allotment was $13, which meant there were a total of three cocktails not covered in the package. You can take a look at our bar guide to Celebrity Eclipse to get a better understanding the beverage costs for your preferred beverages.
Often, the cruise line offers promotions with a free the Classic Beverage package, that covers many well drinks and simple mixed drinks (see a list here). However, the Classic Beverage package t does not cover the specialty cocktails at popular venues like the Martini Bar or the World Class Bar.
When it comes to the wine’s by the glass, there is a good mix of wines covered in the Premium Beverage package. Labels and varietals vary on the ship, so there is no guarantee that a specific type of wine from a particular winemaker will be covered in the package.
You will also notice that several upgraded non-alcoholic beverages are included with the Premium package. These include fresh and squeezed juices, energy drinks and Vitamin Water, as well as premium bottled water, including sparkling waters such as San Pellegrino.
For us the real value comes in the one liter Evian bottles of water. On those hot days or long days ashore, grabbing several of these bottles is a huge relief. In addition, we also regularly enjoy the premium coffees and coffee-based alcoholic beverages at Cafe al Bacio.
Assessing the Value of the Celebrity Cruises Beverage Package
Often cruisers ask us about the “value” of a beverage package. Essentially, the question is whether the individual will consume enough beverages to make the purchase “worth it”. Below are the (average) costs of the different beverages within each category.
Depending on your beverage selections, there are various ways in which you could “break-even” on any given day. For instance, here is a look at one of our port days from our Ireland and Iceland 10 night cruise.
|Breakfast||1 Evian||$5.00||1 Evian||$5.00|
|1 Latte||$5.00||1 Latte||$5.00|
|Afternoon||Coffee Cocktail||$10.00||1 Latte||$5.00|
|Pre-Dinner||1 Beer||$7.00||1 Wine||$10.00|
|Dinner||2 Wines||$20.00||1 Martini||$12.00|
|Show||1 Cocktail||$8.00||1 Martini||$12.00|
|Aftershow||1 Martini||$12.00||1 Martini||$12.00|
|Totals||10 Drinks||$67.00||8 Drinks||$66.00|
At first, when you say we had 10 drinks and 8 drinks, respectively, it might sound like a lot. But, if you look at the breakdown throughout the day, you can see how the drinks were spaced out throughout our activities. We were having fun on vacation and enjoying our cruise!
Running the Numbers on the Celebrity Cruises Premium Beverage Package
With this breakdown, we are a few dollars below the per-day charge of $69.
So far, we have sailed on two Celebrity Cruises on which we had the Premium Beverage package. On our first seven-night cruise, we consumed a total of 141 drinks for a bar tab of $1,101. To purchase the package for two adults would have been $966. So, we saved $135, or roughly 12%.
On the second ten-night cruise, we ran up a total $1,265 after throwing back 154 drinks. For this trip, purchasing the package would have run us $1,380. So, based on these calculations we actually lost $115, going with the package.
However, we did not pay for the drink package on either trip!
Final Thoughts on The Premium Beverage Package
On the surface, getting the Premium Beverage package might seem like a steep investment if you are paying out of pocket for the package. But, if you plan appropriately, you may only have to spend a few dollars more to upgrade to the package that provides with so many more options and top-tier beverages.
Often times, you can get a complimentary Classic Beverage package when booking a balcony with Celebrity Cruises. When compared to an inside room, this category jump can cost you anywhere between $250 to $600 a person. Having a good travel agent and planning accordingly here are essential to get the best value and deal.
That is what we did on our two cruises.
For our Alaskan cruise, the Cruise Line was running a promotion that if you booked a balcony room they would give you a free Classic Beverage package. Our preferred travel agent was running an additional promotion that upgraded our drink package to the Premium Beverage package and gave us free gratuities.
This veranda cabin cost an extra $700 (in total) more than the inside cabin we would normally book. With those extra costs, we got the $168 in gratuities and the premium beverage package which was worth a total of $1,101 (based on our consumption), which means we scored a savings of 40%.
For the second cruise, we opted for the cruise line’s Go Best promotion. This promotion is an upgrade of $900 for the two of us and gave us four additional perks.
First we each received $150 of onboard credit plus free gratuities (totaling $270) for each of us. Then, we each received a free WiFi package ($598) and we were upgraded from the Classic Beverage Package to the Premium Beverage Package. This has a total costs of $330.40.
For us, the internet and drink package was essential, so this plan worked out perfect and saved us a considerable amount of money.
Or, if you time things right you can take advantage of your travel agents promotions or the cruise line’s promotions for a free Classic Package. After booking your cruise, you can simply upgrade to the Premium Beverage package for the difference of $14 a day.
As you can see, having access to specialty cocktails, more expansive wine list, premium water, and additionally included beverages is certainly worth it the added daily costs.
Either way, we have another Celebrity Cruise coming up next year. Following the cruise line’s sales we again went with the Go Best option when booking are trip. We will make sure to keep of our experience on that sailing, and update the breakdown here to see if we made out by booking this promotion.
Do you get the Celebrity Cruises Premium Beverage Package when you cruise? Drop us an anchor to let us know your experiences with cruise drink packages.