We have friends sailing on an upcoming NCL cruise. They asked us what we knew about Norwegian’s Ultimate Beverage Package.
We have first hand experience with the Premium Beverage Package on Royal Caribbean cruises, as well as the All-Inclusive Beverage Package on Princess Cruises. On Holland America Line, we’ve purchased the Signature Beverage Package, and we’ve also recently enjoyed it as a free perk since we bought the cruise during the line’s Explore 4 promotion.
Our conclusion: the drink packages are fun but expensive if you buy them, but are really nice when they are an included perk with your cruise fare.
Norwegian’s Ultimate Beverage Package includes a variety of spirits, cocktails, wines by the glass and bottled or draft beer that costs $11 or less per drink. The package also includes unlimited fountain soda and juices at all bars, lounges, restaurants and the Great Stirrup Cay. Guests with the Ultimate Beverage Package also receive a 20 percent discount on all bottles of wine that they purchase on board.
If you want to purchase the Ultimate Beverage Package for an NCL cruise, you should purchase it online at least a week in advance of your cruise.
NCL offfers a $5 per day discount on the Ultimate Beverage Package if you purchase online in advance, with a cost of $54 per person per the # of cruise days, plus an 18 percent gratuity. If you wait to purchase on your cruise, the cost goes up to $59 per person per the # of cruise days, plus an 18 percent gratuity.
Here is the “fine print” regarding the NCL Ultimate Beverage Package:
- The Ultimate Beverage Package does not include room service, package sales, ship specific promotions or beer buckets, designated Super Premium brands, bottled wine, mini bar purchases, bottled water, fresh squeezed juices, select Lavazza coffee beverages, energy drinks, vending machines, wine stations or any spirits, cocktails, beer or wine by the glass over $11.
- Each guest can only order one beverage per person per transaction.
- The Package can be used in all restaurants, lounges, bars and while on Great Stirrup Cay.
- A 18% gratuity will be added to all package purchases at the time of purchase; your check may reflect applicable VAT for certain ports or itineraries.
- Packages must be purchased by all qualifying individuals residing in the stateroom or additional staterooms under the same method of payment for the entire length of the cruise. This means if you pay for your kids and grandkids’ cabin, you have to buy everyone in your party over age 2 a drink package or soda package. (We find this ridiculous!)
- Packages may not be shared and are non-transferable and non-refundable. You must be at least 21 years of age to purchase any alcoholic package and to consume alcohol.
- This package is not available for purchase on charters, sailings that are two (2) days or less and Pride of America.
NCL also offers the Corks and Caps Wine and Beer Package
Norwegian’s Corks and Caps Package includes a variety of draft beer, bottled beer and glasses of wine up to $11 and unlimited fountain soda and juices at all bars, lounges, restaurants and the Great Stirrup Cay. A 20% discount will be applied to all bottles of wine purchased on board.
So if you drink beer and wine, but don’t need cocktails, you can save $10 per person per day.
The NCL Unlimited Fountain Soda Package for Teenagers and Adults
This package includes Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Sierra Mist, Mt. Dew, Ginger Ale, Tonic water, and Club Soda, and cost $6.50 per person per cruise day when prepaid online prior to the cruise.
- The entire cruise must be purchased. Non-Refundable.
- 18% gratuity and applicable taxes is added to the lump sum.
- A Souvenir Thermal mug included in the purchase of the program
- For children 12 and under, the cost is $4.50 per child per day, plus 18 percent gratuity.
Some notes from NCL cruisers who have tried the package shared on a recent thread on Cruise Critic:
- Most drinks on the ship are included in the package except for high-end wines and spirits.
- You sign for each drink, and the auto-tip amount is shown; but these drink charges are zeroed out each night off of your bill. (Although you may want to check closely.)
- NCL does allow you to pay the difference for drinks that cost more than $11 each.
If the NCL Ultimate Beverage Package sounds like something you’d enjoy on your next cruise, book your next NCL cruise to Europe, Asian or the Caribbean by April 30 in an Oceanview cabin or higher, and you can score the drink package free with your cruise fare.
Have you tried the Ultimate Beverage Package on Norwegian Cruise Line? What did you think? Please share your thoughts in comments below.
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