The Only Drinks That Are Included On A Royal Caribbean Cruise

Setting sail on a cruise adventure is equal parts exciting and relaxing. Because whether you're embarking on a romantic couples getaway at sea or looking for a kid-friendly family vacation that everyone can enjoy, cruises are the perfect way to explore multiple destinations and create unforgettable memories — all while enjoying top-notch amenities and unparalleled service back onboard.

One of the most popular cruise lines — per Statista, roughly 5.5 million passengers traveled aboard one of their ships in 2022 — Royal Caribbean provides all that and more. With a 28-ship fleet , the brand has been operating for more than 50 years, taking travelers along for the ride of a lifetime on everything from Caribbean getaways to Alaskan adventures, transpacific voyages, and even an epic, nearly year-long world cruise. Plus, selected as Travel Weekly's "Best Cruise Line Overall" in their 2023 Readers' Choice Awards — and every year before that for 21 consecutive years — it's safe to say that Royal Caribbean knows how to deliver.

However, as with any all-inclusive vacation, the do's and don'ts of navigating a cruise's drinking and dining options can get a little fuzzy. When it comes to drinks, what exactly are you free to enjoy without extra cost aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise? It's simple: All ice water, coffee/tea, fruit juices, and lemonades are included in your fare and available at the ship's self-serve machines. Soda, bottled drinks, and booze? That's a different story.

How much do additional drinks cost?

Watching the waves crash below your feet with a good book and frozen daiquiri in hand sounds like a dream, right? Well, for $14 — including an 18% gratuity fee that's automatically added on to every drink order — you can easily make it a reality. Along with cocktails, wine is also available aboard Royal Caribbean cruises and can be purchased by the glass or bottle — in case you're in a festive mood — for anywhere between $8 to $16 (glass) and $28 to $65 (bottle). Beer drinkers will also be spoiled for choice: While classic American brews will set you back around $7.50, imported beers cost roughly $8.

As for non-alcoholic beverages, most Royal Caribbean cruises have a set price of $3.50 for soft drinks — including Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Sprite, Fanta, and Ginger Ale — and around $5 for energy drinks like Red Bull. In addition to this, poolside mocktails are available onboard for $7 a pop. Lastly, when it comes to specialty coffees, you'll also have to pay an additional fee that ranges anywhere from $1.50 for an espresso shot to $5 for a caramel macchiato.

Purchasing a Royal Caribbean drink package

If you'd like to avoid any unexpected fees — and ensure your family or travel partner gets the most of the experience — Royal Caribbean offers three different onboard drink and beverage packages that can be purchased before or during your trip (with at least four days remaining).

First, the "Classic Soda Package" includes soda-only options as well as a Coca-Cola souvenir cup. A second option is the "Refreshment Package," which covers sodas along with mocktails, milkshakes, premium coffee/tea, juice, and bottled or sparkling water. Lastly, the all-inclusive "Deluxe Beverage Package" adds cocktails, spirits, and wines by the glass to your list of beverage options.

Thinking of bringing your own booze to cut back costs? It's probably best if you reconsider. Per Royal Caribbean rules, guests are strictly prohibited from bringing any alcoholic beverages onboard, and any found bottles will be confiscated upon boarding and returned at the end of your trip — that is, if they don't ask you to disembark for good. The only exception to this rule is that guests may bring a single 750 ml bottle of wine on embarkation day, or one bottle for each day of consecutive sailing. In case of the latter scenario, the ship will store all additional bottles and deliver one a day to your room. Keep in mind, however, that there's an additional $15 corkage fee for any outside bottles consumed in public areas.