How to Get Around the Drink Package Rule on Royal Caribbean Cruises

Imagine setting sail on a luxurious Royal Caribbean cruise, ready to embark on a journey filled with relaxation, entertainment, and endless indulgence. As you eagerly board the ship, you’re suddenly confronted with a seemingly unfair rule: the drink package policy. But fear not, intrepid traveler, for there is a way to navigate this rule and enjoy your favorite libations without breaking the bank. In this comprehensive article, we will unveil the secrets to getting around the drink package rule on Royal Caribbean cruises, empowering you to make the most of your vacation and quench your thirst for adventure.

With expert insights and insider tips, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of bypassing this seemingly daunting obstacle. From clever loopholes to strategic tactics, you’ll discover how to maneuver the system and unlock a world of refreshing beverages that will keep you happily hydrated throughout your voyage. So grab a drink (or not, we’ll get to that), buckle up, and get ready to embark on a journey that will forever change the way you sail with Royal Caribbean. Cheers to smooth sailing and clever endeavors!

How to Get Around the Drink Package Rule on Royal Caribbean Cruises

If you’re planning a cruise with Royal Caribbean and you and your cabinmate have different preferences when it comes to alcohol consumption, you may be wondering how to navigate the drink package rule. Royal Caribbean has a policy that requires all guests in a cabin who are 21 years or older to purchase the same drink package. However, there is a way to work around this rule and ensure that both you and your non-drinking cabinmate can have an enjoyable and affordable vacation. In this article, we will discuss the considerations for purchasing a drink package, understand the drink package rule, explore Royal Caribbean’s Refreshment Package, and provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to get around the rule.

Considerations for Purchasing a Drink Package

Before diving into the details of getting around the drink package rule, it’s important to weigh the considerations of purchasing a drink package in the first place. Here are a few factors to keep in mind:

  1. Cost of Drink Packages: Drink packages can vary in price depending on the cruise line and the level of package you choose. It’s essential to evaluate your budget and determine if a drink package is a worthwhile investment for you.

  2. Benefits of Drink Packages: Drink packages often come with unlimited alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, including specialty coffees, bottled water, and soft drinks. If you are a frequent drinker, a drink package can provide convenience and significant savings.

  3. Assessing Drinking Habits: It’s crucial to assess your drinking habits and determine if a drink package aligns with your consumption patterns. If you don’t drink alcohol frequently or have dietary restrictions, it may be more cost-effective to purchase beverages individually.

  4. Group Dynamics: If you are traveling with a group, it’s essential to consider the preferences and needs of your cabinmates. Engage in open communication to ensure everyone is comfortable with the decision regarding the drink package.

Understanding these considerations will help you make an informed choice about whether or not to purchase a drink package.

Understanding the Drink Package Rule

Royal Caribbean has implemented a drink package rule as a way to ensure fairness and prevent abuse of their package offerings. According to this policy, all guests in a cabin who are of legal drinking age (21 years or older) are required to purchase the same drink package. While initially restrictive, there is a workaround that will allow non-drinking cabinmates to enjoy their vacation without the financial burden of purchasing a full drink package.

How the Rule Affects Cabinmates

The drink package rule can present challenges for non-drinking cabinmates. As the rule dictates that everyone in the cabin must have the same package, this means that if one person opts for a more expensive package, everyone else in the cabin must also purchase that same package. This can result in non-drinking cabinmates paying more than they need to for their beverages.

The financial burden of the drink package rule can be alleviated through the use of Royal Caribbean’s Refreshment Package.

Royal Caribbean’s Refreshment Package

The Refreshment Package offered by Royal Caribbean is specifically designed for non-drinking cabinmates or those who prefer non-alcoholic beverages. With the Refreshment Package, you can enjoy unlimited non-alcoholic beverages throughout your cruise, including premium coffees, teas, bottled water, and soft drinks.

Inclusions and Exclusions

While the Refreshment Package provides a wide variety of non-alcoholic beverages, it is important to note that it does not include alcoholic beverages. If you or your cabinmate are interested in alcoholic beverages, you will need to explore other options or purchase drinks à la carte.


The pricing for the Refreshment Package is generally more affordable than the alcohol-inclusive drink packages. It is priced per person, per day, and the cost can vary depending on the length of your cruise. It’s always a good idea to check the Royal Caribbean website or contact customer service for the most up-to-date pricing information.

Savings with the Refreshment Package

One of the main advantages of the Refreshment Package is the potential for significant savings compared to purchasing drinks individually. Let’s take a closer look at the cost analysis and potential savings:

Comparison of Drink Package Prices

When comparing the cost of the Refreshment Package to the alcohol-inclusive drink packages, you’ll generally find a considerable difference in pricing. Alcohol-inclusive packages can range from $50 to $100 per person per day. In contrast, the Refreshment Package is typically priced around $20 to $30 per person per day.

Cost Analysis

Let’s consider a scenario where one person in a cabin chooses a Deluxe Beverage Package priced at $65 per day, while the non-drinking cabinmate opts for the Refreshment Package priced at $25 per day. If a 7-day cruise is taken as an example, the drinker would spend $455 on their package, while the non-drinker would spend only $175 on their Refreshment Package. This cost difference between the two packages showcases the potential savings for non-drinking cabinmates.

Potential Savings

By selecting the Refreshment Package, non-drinking cabinmates can save significantly compared to purchasing the same beverage package as their drinking counterparts. These savings can be used for other onboard activities, excursions, or even as a contribution to future vacations!

Step-by-Step Guide to Getting Around the Rule

Now that we understand the basics of the Refreshment Package and the potential savings, let’s walk through a step-by-step guide on how to get around the drink package rule:

1. Contacting Royal Caribbean

Before your cruise, take the time to contact Royal Caribbean’s customer service to discuss your situation and any questions you may have. It’s always beneficial to have clarity on policies and options before making any reservations.

2. Speaking with Customer Service

When you reach out to Royal Caribbean’s customer service, express your desire to have the Refreshment Package for your non-drinking cabinmate(s). The representative will guide you through the process and provide you with the necessary information.

3. Explaining the Situation

Clearly explain to the customer service representative that you have a non-drinking cabinmate and that it would be more appropriate and cost-effective for them to have the Refreshment Package. Emphasize that purchasing an alcohol-inclusive package would result in unnecessary expenses for the non-drinker.

4. Requesting the Refreshment Package

Request the Refreshment Package specifically for your non-drinking cabinmate. Ensure that the representative understands your preference and makes the necessary arrangements.

5. Providing Necessary Information

Be prepared to provide the necessary information, including the name and booking details of the non-drinking cabinmate, for the customer service representative to process the request accurately.

6. Payment Process

Follow the instructions provided by the customer service representative to complete the payment for the Refreshment Package. This may involve providing credit card details or following an online payment process.

7. Confirmation of Arrangements

Upon successful payment, confirm that the arrangements for the Refreshment Package have been made for your non-drinking cabinmate. It’s a good idea to double-check the details, including dates and durations, to avoid any misunderstandings.

Calling Royal Caribbean Customer Service

When calling Royal Caribbean’s customer service, it’s essential to be prepared and make the most of your conversation. Here are a few tips to ensure a smooth and efficient interaction:

1. Preparation

Before calling, gather all the necessary information, including your booking number, the name of the non-drinking cabinmate, and any questions or concerns you want to address. Being prepared will help you navigate the conversation more effectively.

2. Contact Information

Have your contact information handy so the customer service representative can reach you if there are any issues or follow-up actions required.

3. Best Time to Call

Consider calling during off-peak hours to avoid long wait times. Early mornings or late afternoons are often less busy, providing a better chance of a quick response.

Explaining the Situation

When communicating with Royal Caribbean customer service, it’s important to be honest, clear, and emphasize the non-drinking cabinmate’s preferences. Here are a few tips for explaining the situation:

  1. Being Honest and Clear: Clearly communicate that you have a non-drinking cabinmate and that it would be more appropriate and cost-effective for them to have the Refreshment Package.

  2. Mentioning the Drink Package Rule: Acknowledge that you are aware of the drink package rule and understand the reasoning behind it. However, emphasize that the non-drinking cabinmate should not have to pay for something they will not utilize.

  3. Emphasizing Non-Drinking Cabinmate: Highlight the fact that the non-drinking cabinmate has specific wants and needs, and that the Refreshment Package is a suitable option for them. Remind the customer service representative that accommodating their preferences can result in a better overall experience for everyone involved.

By effectively explaining the situation, you increase the likelihood of a positive outcome and a smooth resolution with Royal Caribbean.

Frequently Asked Questions

To address any additional questions or concerns that may arise, let’s delve into some frequently asked questions regarding the drink package rule on Royal Caribbean cruises:

Can the non-drinking cabinmate upgrade their package later? No, the non-drinking cabinmate cannot upgrade their package to an alcohol-inclusive package once onboard. It is important to carefully choose the appropriate package before embarking on your cruise.

Are there any restrictions on the Refreshment Package? The Refreshment Package provides unlimited non-alcoholic beverages but does not include alcoholic drinks. Additionally, there may be restrictions on beverage selection, such as specialty coffees, bottled water, and non-alcoholic mixed drinks. It’s always best to review the specific inclusions and exclusions with Royal Caribbean customer service to ensure clarity.

Can the non-drinking cabinmate purchase individual drinks? Yes, the non-drinking cabinmate can purchase individual non-alcoholic drinks such as soft drinks, bottled water, or specialty coffees if they do not wish to purchase the Refreshment Package. This allows them to have a la carte options while keeping costs under control.

What if the non-drinking cabinmate changes their mind? If the non-drinking cabinmate decides they want to upgrade to an alcohol-inclusive package, they will need to contact Royal Caribbean customer service to discuss their options. It’s important to note that changes may be subject to availability and additional charges.

Can the non-drinking cabinmate share drinks with others? No, the drink package rule prohibits sharing of beverages between cabinmates. Each person who wishes to consume beverages must have their own package or purchase drinks individually.


Navigating the drink package rule on Royal Caribbean cruises doesn’t have to be a challenge. By understanding the Refreshment Package, its benefits, and the necessary steps to get around the rule, you can ensure that both you and your non-drinking cabinmate have a fantastic and affordable vacation. Remember to contact Royal Caribbean customer service, explain the situation clearly, request the Refreshment Package, provide the necessary information, complete the payment process, and confirm the arrangements. With the Refreshment Package, you can enjoy unlimited non-alcoholic beverages and save significantly compared to purchasing an alcohol-inclusive package. Cheers to a memorable cruise experience for everyone in the cabin!