Norwegian Cruise Line Beverage Packages: What’s Included and is it Worth it?

norwegian cruise line drink packages - the ultimate guide

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Planning a cruise on Norwegian Cruise Line? You’ll definitely want to check out Norwegian’s beverage package options before you go.

NCL has several drink package options to choose from, and being honest, some of what’s included (and not included) in each can be a bit confusing.

In this post, I’ll share the details of the most popular beverage packages on Norwegian and answer some frequently asked questions. We’ll look at which packages offer the best value, and which drink packages will be “worth it” for you. I’ve sailed with NCL both with a beverage package, and without, and I definitely have an opinion.

Please note, even if you have the drink package included with Norwegian’s Free at Sea, you’ll need this information.

Norwegian Free at Sea Beverage Package “Free Perk” 

Norwegian mojito
Norwegian bartenders make amazing drinks!

Norwegian has been running a very popular promotion for years. The Free at Sea program offers include a choice of free open bar, a free specialty dining package, a free wi-fi package, free shore excursions credits, and kids sail free (on certain sailings).

For your own reference, the open bar package which is included with NCL’s Free at Sea promotion is the Premium Beverage Package. If you have the Free at Sea drink package perk, you can upgrade to Premium Plus for $29 per day, per person.

More information about Free at Sea, including the details and pros and cons can be found in this post: NCL’s Free at Sea Explained.

Norwegian’s Alcoholic Beverage Packages

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NCL Premium Beverage Package

Cost: $99 per person, per day (plus 20% gratuity)

Norwegian’s most popular adult beverage package option is the Premium Beverage Package. If you have the Free at Sea perk, this is the drink package that’s included.

Norwegian’s premium drink package includes: Soft drinks, beer, frozen drinks, cocktails, spirits and liqueurs and wines by the glass up to $15 per drink.

What’s not included: It’s important to note that unlike the drink packages on Celebrity and Princess Cruises, Norwegian’s premium beverage package does not include bottled water or specialty coffee and tea.

According to Norwegian’s website, everyone in the cabin, as well as those who are traveling together in an adjoining cabin or additional cabin must purchase the drink package.

If passengers are under 21, they’ll be required to purchase the soda package (Pop Program).

NCL Premium Plus Beverage Package 

NCL beverage package Norwegian Pineapple mojito

Cost: $128 per person, per day (plus 20% gratuity)

What’s included in the Premium Plus Package?

With Norwegian’s Premium Plus Beverage Package, you’ll get all the drinks included in the Premium Package, plus premium brand liqueurs and spirits, and wines by the glass. In addition, you’ll enjoy specialty coffee, sparkling water, bottled water and energy drinks. 

If you’d enjoy a glass (or two) of Veuve Clicquot BRUT “Yellow Label” champagne at Sailaway, this and other popular favorites are available with Premium Plus.

Norwegian Premium Plus Beverage Package champagne

Here’s the full list of drinks that are included: NCL Premium Plus Drink List

Like the other beverage packages, everyone in the cabin, as well as those who are traveling together in an adjoining cabin or additional cabin must purchase the drink package.

If passengers are under 21, they’ll be required to purchase the soda package (Pop Program).

Corks and Caps Wine and Beer Package

Norwegian cruise line beverage package wine

Cost: $65 per person, per day (plus 20% gratuity)

Norwegian’s wine, beer and soda package is a good drink package if you don’t drink liqueurs and cocktails. It includes draft and bottled beer, wine by the glass up to $15. In addition it includes unlimited fountain soda: Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Sierra Mist, Mt. Dew, Ginger Ale, Tonic water, Club Soda.

Like the other alcoholic drink packages, all guests in the party need to purchase the package.

Hawaii Beverage Package for Pride of America Cruises (only)

Cost: $99 per guest, per day (plus 20% gratuity)

If you’ve opted for the Free at Sea perk on your Pride of America cruise, this is the drink package you’ll receive.

The Hawaii beverage package includes a nice selection of beverages up to $15 a glass. It includes fountain soft drinks, freshly squeezed juice, bottled water (flat and sparkling), non-alcoholic beer, and specialty coffee (in dining rooms only).

The Hawaii Beverage Package does not include specialty coffee outside of the restaurants, room service, mini bar purchases, or vending machines. For any drinks over $15, guests will be charged the difference. 

Norwegian Non Alcoholic and Soda Packages

Norwegian cruise line drinks

There are 2 soda packages available on a Norwegian Cruise Lines, one for children 12 and under, and one for adults and kids 13 and over. The pop package includes these fountain sodas: Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Sierra Mist, Mt. Dew, Ginger Ale, Tonic water, Club Pop.

If you’re likely to drink 2 sodas a day or more, this is 100% worth the money. A glass of soda or pop is over $4 per drink.

Adult and Teen Pop Program (13+)

Cost: $7.95 per person, per day (plus 20% gratuity)

Children’s Pop Program (12 & under)

Cost: $5.95 per person, per day (plus 20% gratuity)

Water Packages

Water packages are available on Norwegian and can be pre-ordered and delivered to your cabin. Norwegian has replaced all single use plastic water bottles, however single serving plant based carton bottles are used instead. This is better for the environment, refillable and recyclable.

6 litre package – $16.95

12 litre package – $29.95

24 litre package – $44.95

NCL Drink Package – Frequently Asked Questions

Norwegian Escape

Is there drink limit with Norwegian’s beverage package?

Unlike Carnival and Princess Cruises, there is no daily drink limit with any of Norwegian’s drink packages. However, you are limited to ordering 2 drinks at a time.

Drink package rules to know

There is no sharing of drink packages. As well, all passengers in a cabin or travel party, must purchase a package.

Can you use the drink package at Norwegian’s private islands?

Yes and no. You can use your beverage package in Great Stirrup Cay, however it isn’t applicable at Harvest Caye in Belize.

What drinks are free or included on Norwegian cruise ships?

Like most other cruise lines, there are a lot of drinks included on your cruise. If you don’t drink alcohol or soft drinks often, this will help keep your extra costs on your cruise low.

On a Norwegian cruise, you’ll find unsweetened iced tea, lemonade, select juice, water, drip coffee and tea, and filtered water (no bottled) included with your cruise. Most of these drinks are available free of charge in the buffet and in the dining rooms and restaurants.

Random Cruise Tip: Make unsweetened ice tea taste better by adding a slice of lemon and a package of artificial sweetener like Splenda. As we learned in our years of cruising, when my husband would add 3 packages of sugar and still tell me his ice tea wasn’t sweet, sugar doesn’t dissolve in cold or icy water. You’ll need artificial sweetener to do this. 

Did you think you’d learn science on a cruise blog? LOL 🙂

NCL Drink Package - Is it worth it?
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How much are drinks on Norwegian Cruise Line?

Knowing the cost of individual drinks onboard is a good way to calculate if a beverage package is worth it, and if so, which one is best for you.

On average, frozen cocktails and drinks on Norwegian cost about $9-13 a glass. Mojitos and martinis will be a bit higher at about $13-15 a glass. Drinks with premium liqueurs will be $18 and more.

Wine by the glass is about $9-10, while beer is $6-9. Specialty coffee is $3-4, as are soft drinks. Energy drinks and bottled water are $5-6 each.

Can you bring wine on a Norwegian cruise?

You’re allowed to bring bottles of wine and champagne on a Norwegian cruise, however you’ll be charged a corkage fee upon boarding. The cost is $15 per bottle of wine and $30 per magnum of champagne. This might still be worth it for you, as you can drink this in your cabin as well as in the lounges and restaurants on board.

Make sure to pack them in your carry on bag and as you board on embarkation day. Other alcohol is prohibited from being brought onto the ship and will likely be confiscated.

Read: 10 Things NOT to Pack for a Cruise 

Norwegian Premium Beverage Package Patron

Is there a coffee package on Norwegian?

Unfortunately, there isn’t a separate coffee package that you can buy on a Norwegian Cruise. If you do want to have specialty coffee included, consider the Premium Plus package, which includes premium liqueurs and wine, unlimited soda, and Lavazza coffee.

Is bottled water included in NCL beverage package?

Bottled water isn’t included with Norwegian’s Premium Beverage Package, the once which comes included as a Free at Sea perk. However, you can purchase or upgrade to the Premium Plus drink package, where bottled water is included. 

Is there a price discount onboard?

It’s important to note that there is no discount on any of Norwegian’s drink packages when you purchase it onboard. It’s definitely better to purchase this online before you cruise.

Which Norwegian Cruise Ships have Starbucks?

Starbucks is now available on several Norwegian cruise ships including, the Norwegian Joy, Norwegian Bliss, Norwegian Encore, Norwegian Getaway, and Norwegian Sky. The onboard Starbucks has a full menu and you can even use Starbucks gift cards or the app to pay onboard. Starbucks is not included with the Norwegian’s beverage packages. 

Norwegian Drink Packages
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Is the drink package worth it on NCL?

Whether or not Norwegian’s drink package is worth it, depends on 2 things. How much you drink and if an all-inclusive vacation feel is important to you. There’s also one extra thing – if you have the premium beverage free at sea perk.

While you will have to pay the gratuity charge on the value of the package ($19.80 per day, per person), this is clearly worth it if you have a couple drinks a day. It’s important to keep in mind that the “free” perk includes alcoholic drinks up to $15 each, and soda. However, it doesn’t include specialty coffee or water bottles.

Cost breakdown

Without the Free at Sea drink package perk, the premium beverage package will cost you $99 per day, plus $19.80 (20% gratuity). The total cost is $118.80 per person for each day of your cruise. Also, both guests in the cabin must purchase.

As an example, a couple will pay $1663.20 for a 7 day cruise. A 10 day cruise will cost $2376 per cabin.

*Pricing throughout this post is in US dollars

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Final Thoughts: Norwegian’s Beverage Package – Is it worth it?

Even though I love to cruise with drinks included, I normally would not spend this much on drinks on a cruise. As well, I love a fancy coffee on occasion, and to get coffee included, I’d need to upgrade to the Premium Plus package at an extra $29 per person, per day.

Verdict – For me, unless it’s the Free at Sea perk, NCL’s adult beverage packages are not worth it. As a suggestion, bring along a 3 or 4 bottles of wine and pay a corkage fee of $15 each.

Of course, this is me, and you’re you. So I hope I’ve given you enough information and tips about Norwegian’s Drink packages for you to make a decision based on your preferences.

Please let me know in the comments what you think? Have you ever had a Norwegian beverage package and was it worth it for you? Please share any additional tips below.

Happy cruising!

Ilana

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