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Princess Cruises Drink Packages: The Ultimate Guide for 2022

Princess Cruises Drink Packages: The Ultimate Guide for 2022

On a Princess cruise, you can buy a beverage package or pay for your drinks individually. Are Princess Cruises drink packages worth it?

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When you’re cruising with Princess, there’s a very limited selection of complimentary drinks included with your cruise fare. If you’d like to enjoy your favorite sodas, specialty coffees, or adult beverages, it’ll cost you extra.

Some cruisers opt to pay as they go, but there’s also the option of buying a drinks package that covers your drinks for the entire cruise. You’re probably wondering if it’s smarter to pay for your drinks individually or to spring for one of the Princess beverage packages.

Here’s everything you need to know about Princess Cruises drink packages to help you make that decision.

What Princess Cruises drink packages are available for 2022?

For 2022, Princess Cruises offers four beverage package options at various price points. You can choose from an all-inclusive package that covers almost anything you’d like to drink, or one of three non-alcoholic options that will cover soft drinks, specialty coffees and teas, or a combo of the two.

Let’s start with the most comprehensive (and most expensive) drinks package and work our way down to the cheapest.

Along the way, I’ll do some calculations to let you know how much each of the Princess drink packages will cost you in total for the average seven-day cruise.

Premier Beverage Package

The most inclusive of Princess’ drinks packages, the Premier Beverage Package includes any of the following drinks with a menu price of up to $12 USD ($16 AUD for Australia and NZ cruises) each:

  • Spirits
  • Cocktails
  • Wine by the glass
  • Beer
  • Fountain soda
  • Specialty coffees
  • Fresh juices
  • Bottled water (500ml only)
  • Teas
  • Frappés at Coffee & Cones
  • Hot chocolate
  • Milkshakes
  • Red Bull energy drinks
  • “Zero-proof” mocktails

Note: If a drink costs more than the menu price limit of $12 USD / $16 AUD, you’ll just be charged the difference.

This package also provides a 25% discount on all bottles of wine, one-liter bottles of water, canned soda, and bottled juices.

At meals in the for-a-fee specialty dining venues on board, the package covers one large bottle (1L) of still or sparkling water.

The package also includes one reusable tumbler (based on availability and while supplies last).

The Premier Beverage Package is not available for voyages of two nights or less, or for voyages under seven nights for Australian-based itineraries.

Premier Beverage Package Exclusions

The following drinks are excluded from the Premier Beverage Package on all Princess sailings:

  • Bottled wine or spirits in the retail shops onboard
  • Stateroom mini-bar items
  • Drinks sold in souvenir glassware (passengers may use the package for the drink itself and pay an additional charge for the glass only)
  • Beverages offered via self-service or vending machines
  • Wine tastings, buckets of beer, or BOGO drink offers
  • Drinks ordered for room service

How much does the Premier Beverage Package cost?

For most sailings, the Premier Beverage Package costs $59.99 USD per person, per day. A service charge of 18% is included when booking, bringing the cost to $70.79 per day.

Cost for a seven-day cruise per person: $495.53 USD

For all Australian-based ships, the package is $86.99 AUD per day, which includes a service charge. The Premier Beverage Package is not available for pre-purchase for voyages from Australia and New Zealand.

Cost for a seven-day cruise per person: $608.93 AUD

Premier Coffee & Soda Package

Princess’ most inclusive non-alcoholic drink package, the Premier Coffee & Soda Package includes:

  • Premium and specialty coffees and teas
  • Fountain sodas
  • Fresh fruit juices
  • Hot chocolate
  • “Zero-proof” mocktails
  • Frappes at Coffee & Cones
  • Smoothies
  • Red Bull energy drinks
  • Milkshakes

The package also includes one reusable tumbler (based on availability and while supplies last).

Premier Coffee & Soda Package Exclusions

The following drinks are excluded from the Premier Coffee & Soda Package on all Princess sailings:

  • All alcoholic beverages
  • Bottled water and juice or canned sodas
  • Beverages offered in shops on board
  • Stateroom mini-bar items
  • Beverages offered via vending machines (except Coke Freestyle machines where available)
  • Drinks ordered for room service

However, this package gives you a 25% discount on the following excluded items: bottles of water of any size, canned soda, and bottled juices.

How much does the Premier Coffee & Soda Package cost?

For most sailings, the Premier Coffee & Soda Package costs $19.99 USD per person, per day. An 18% service charge is included when booking, bringing the daily cost to $23.59.

Cost for a seven-day cruise per person: $165.13 USD

For all Australian-based vessels, the package is $29.99 AUD per day, which includes a service charge.

Cost for a seven-day cruise per person: $209.93 AUD

Classic Soda Package

If you’re looking for unlimited soft drinks (but you don’t also need specialty coffees), Princess’ Classic Soda Package might be the right choice for you.

This package includes:

  • Fountain sodas
  • Fresh fruit juices
  • “Zero-proof” mocktails
  • Smoothies

The Classic Soda Package also includes one reusable tumbler (based on availability and while supplies last).

Classic Soda Package Exclusions

The following drinks are excluded from the Classic Soda Package on all Princess sailings:

  • All alcoholic beverages
  • Specialty or premium coffees and teas
  • Hot chocolate
  • Ice cream-based drinks
  • Bottled water and juice or canned sodas
  • Beverages offered in shops on board
  • Stateroom mini-bar items
  • Beverages offered via vending machines (except Coke Freestyle machines where available)
  • Drinks ordered for room service

How much does the Classic Soda Package cost?

For most sailings, the Classic Soda Package costs $9.99 USD per person, per day. An 18% service charge is included when booking, bringing the daily cost to $11.79.

Cost for a seven-day cruise per person: $82.53 USD

For all Australian-based vessels, the package is $15.33 AUD per day, which includes a service charge.

Cost for a seven-day cruise per person: $107.31 AUD

New Grounds Coffee Package

With the New Grounds Coffee Package, passengers pre-purchase a package of 15 espresso-based specialty coffees. During the entire sailing, guests who purchase this package will also enjoy unlimited brewed coffee, tea, and hot chocolate.

Pre-purchased specialty coffee drinks may be shared with other passengers. However, the complimentary brewed coffee, teas, and hot chocolate can only be consumed by the purchaser.

Any pre-purchased coffee drinks left over at the end of the sailing will be forfeited.

New Grounds Coffee Package Exclusions

The following drinks are excluded from the New Grounds Coffee Package on all Princess sailings:

  • Coffee drinks including alcohol
  • Ice cream-based drinks
  • Bottled or canned coffee drinks
  • Beverages offered in shops on board
  • Stateroom mini-bar items
  • Beverages offered via vending machines
  • Drinks ordered for room service

How much does the New Grounds Coffee Package cost?

The New Grounds Coffee Package with 15 specialty coffees costs $36.58 USD. At $2.44 per coffee drink (plus unlimited brewed coffee, tea, and hot chocolate), it can be a big money-saver for a coffee fanatic on a longer cruise, or for a family wanting to share on a shorter sailing.

Tip: If you’re planning to share the New Grounds Coffee Package with family or friends, assign the package to the person most likely to drink brewed coffee, tea, or hot chocolate—those can’t be shared.

Princess Cruises drink packages FAQ

If you have questions about drink packages for your upcoming Princess cruise, you’ve probably been scouring Princess’ website looking for answers. I know I did before my very first cruise with Princess!

I’ll answer the most common questions about Princess Cruises drink packages below—it’s a combination of the questions I spent hours looking for answers to before my first Princess cruise, and questions from readers.

Hopefully I’ll save you some time with my Princess Cruises drink package FAQ. If I don’t have the answer to your question, pop it in the comments at the end of this post. I respond to every comment!

How do you buy a Princess Cruises drink package?

For most sailings, passengers can buy any of Princess’ beverage packages online via your Cruise Personalizer. For most cruise beverage packages, you’ll have the option to buy online up to four days before your cruise sails.

If you haven’t bought a drink package before embarkation day, you still have the option to do so—but on that day only.

For Australia and New Zealand cruises, the drinks packages are only sold on board on embarkation day.

Another option is to upgrade to Princess Plus. This is a more expensive fare, but it includes the Premium Beverage Package, unlimited WiFi, and crew gratuities.

Do you need to tip for drinks purchased with Princess’ beverage packages?

When you purchase a beverage package on Princess, you’ll pre-pay your gratuities (18% of the package total).

Once on board, there’s no need to tip your server or bartender extra each time you receive a drink. But if you’d like to add an extra tip for great service, you absolutely can.

You may also like: Tipping on a Cruise Ship: What You Need to Know About Cruise Gratuities

Do you need to pay tax on your drinks?

When you’re sailing in international waters, there’s no tax on your drink purchases (whether you have a beverage package or not). But if you’re in a jurisdiction that taxes drinks, you’ll see a small charge for tax on your onboard account. This typically happens on embarkation day, in ports, and when you’re leaving port but haven’t yet reached international waters.

Tip: If you’re not sure if you’re in international waters yet, check to see if the onboard shops are open. They’ll only be open when you’re in a tax-free zone.

Can you buy a drink package for certain days of the cruise?

Princess doesn’t allow passengers to buy a drink package only for certain days of a cruise. Although it would be nice to pay for the package just when you’ll use it most (like on sea days), if you buy a drink package it needs to be for every day of the voyage.

Are you charged for your Princess drink package for disembarkation day? Does the package work that day?

When buying the Premier Beverage Package, Premier Coffee & Soda Package, or Classic Soda Package, you won’t be charged for disembarkation day.

Although I’ve never seen any official policy stating that drinks packages still work on disembarkation day, I always get my specialty coffee on disembarkation morning and I’ve never been charged!

Can you share your Princess beverage package with another guest?

The only Princess drink package that allows sharing is the New Grounds Coffee Package. With that package, you can share only the pre-paid specialty coffees (and not the unlimited brewed coffee, tea, and hot chocolate).

Do Princess Cruises drink packages work on their private islands?

On Princess Cays, the cruise line’s private island in the Bahamas, Princess cruisers can use their drink package at any of the bars, just as you would on the ship.

You may also like: Ultimate Guide to Princess Cays

Do Princess drink packages work with room service?

None of Princess’ drink packages work when you’re ordering room service. However, you can order any of the complimentary beverages with your room service order.

How old do you have to be to buy a beverage package on a Princess cruise?

There’s no age requirement to order any of the non-alcoholic drinks packages on Princess (Premier Coffee & Soda Package, Classic Soda Package, or New Grounds Coffee Package).

To purchase the Premier Beverage Package, guests must be age 21 or over. On sailings in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, China, and Singapore, the drinking age on board is 18, and in Japan it’s 20. However, on these cruises, guests under 21 can’t purchase a Premier Beverage Package even if they’re allowed to buy alcohol on a per-drink basis.

Is there a limit to how many drinks you can order per day with a Princess beverage package?

Princess limits alcoholic drinks to 15 beverages per person in a 24-hour period, beginning at 6 AM each day. The cruise line says that “alcoholic drinks requested above the daily limits are at the discretion of the shipboard management and crew and charged at regular menu prices.”

However, since Princess introduced the daily drink limit a few years ago, I’ve never seen a bartender allow anyone more than 15 drinks.

Tip: Ordering a “double” counts as two drinks toward the daily limit. But ordering a single drink that has more alcohol in it (such as a martini or a Beverly Hills Iced Tea) only counts as one drink.

Non-alcoholic drinks are unlimited with Princess’ beverage packages, and they don’t count toward the 15 drink daily limit.

What do you do if you have a Princess drink package, but your onboard account was charged for an included drink?

I’ve never been on a cruise where I had a drink package and I wasn’t accidentally charged the menu price for an included drink at least once. This doesn’t only happen on Princess!

Smart cruisers always check their onboard accounts periodically for mistakes, and definitely before the morning of disembarkation. If you thought that the line at Guest Services was insane on embarkation day, just wait until the morning that you get off the ship!

The best course of action is to go to Guest Services when you notice a mistake and there’s not a huge line. Don’t wait until you’re home from your cruise! The representatives onboard are far more likely to help when you’re standing right in front of them.

Tip: If you want to be 100% sure that no one accidentally drinks something in your room that has a fee attached, ask your room steward when they introduce themself if they can remove the drinks altogether. This includes mini-bar items as well as any bottles of water provided for your convenience.

Is it worth it to get a drink package on a Princess cruise?

If you’re thinking about buying a drink package for your upcoming Princess cruise, it’s important to have a few factors at the top of your mind. Beverage packages aren’t cheap, and you’ll want to consider:

  1. Will you mainly drink the beverages that are free with your cruise fare?
  2. Can you get any free alcoholic drinks on your Princess cruise?
  3. Are there any allowed drinks you’d like to bring from home on your cruise vacation?
  4. How much do the drinks you like cost on Princess if you buy them individually?
  5. Will you drink enough to make buying a package worth the money?

In this section, I’ll help you answer all of these questions so you can decide if it’s worth it to get a drink package on a Princess cruise.

What drinks are free on Princess Cruises?

When you’re considering purchasing a drinks package on Princess, it’s good to know which drinks are already included with your cruise fare. If you’re OK with just drinking these beverages during your cruise, you won’t need to buy a package (or purchase individual drinks) at all!

Free drinks on Princess Cruises include:

  • Ice water
  • Lemonade
  • Iced tea
  • Hot tea (except at International Café)
  • Brewed coffee (except at International Café)
  • Fruit juice (at breakfast only)

Tip: Ask for extra fruit juice at breakfast and you can store it in your stateroom mini-fridge to enjoy throughout the day!

Can you ever get free alcoholic drinks on a Princess cruise?

There are a few times during your cruise that you’ll be offered a free alcoholic drink. However, 99% of the time it’ll just be a small glass of sparkling wine.

That said, here’s where you can enjoy a free glass of bubbly on your Princess cruise:

  • Art raffle
  • Captain’s Welcome Aboard Party
  • Captain’s Circle (past passenger) Party
  • Art Auction
  • Events at the Effy store (Morning Mimosas, Pink Party)
  • Lightning Fast Art Auction

You may also like: 21 Princess Cruise Tips You Need to Know

Can you bring your own drinks on a Princess Cruise?

Princess permits passengers to carry on one 750 ml bottle of wine per guest. The cruise line charges a $15 corkage fee if you drink the wine in a bar or restaurant. They permit additional bottles, but will charge the $15 fee regardless of where guests drink that wine, including in your stateroom.

Princess doesn’t restrict carrying on non-alcoholic beverages, but they do restrict the size of any cooler used to transport beverages to a maximum of 12″x 12″x 12″.

For all other beverage packages, Princess’ terms and conditions specifically prohibit sharing with another guest. If you’re caught sharing, they could terminate your beverage package for the rest of the cruise, without any refund.

However, some cruisers get away with discreetly sharing a drink or two—but you do run the risk of losing your expensive beverage package if you’re caught by the crew.

How much are drinks on a Princess cruise if you buy them individually?

These prices are based on the most recent (2022) menus and include the most common drinks that cruisers purchase. Of course (especially if you’re ordering premium alcohol) prices can skew higher.

But here’s a general price range of typical drink prices on Princess in 2022:

  • Beers: $6.25 – $10
  • Wine (by the glass): $7.75 – $17.50+
  • Cocktails and standard spirits: $5.50 – $10
  • Sodas: $2.50
  • Bottled Water (500 ml): $2.65
  • Mocktails: $5.50
  • Espresso drinks: $1.75 – $3.50

You may also like: Are Cruise Drink Packages Worth It?

How many drinks will you consume each day on your cruise?

Most people tend to drink a little more on vacation, whether that’s soda, alcohol, or specialty coffees. Think back to your last vacation and consider how many servings of your favorite drinks you had each day.

Here’s how many servings of some popular drinks you’ll need to consume each day to break even with a Princess drink package:

Premier Beverage Package – $59.99 per day

Strawberry Daiquiri (menu price $8.75): 7 per day to break even

Heineken (menu price $6.25): 10 per day to break even

Glass of house Sauvignon blanc (menu price $10.00): 6 per day to break even

Premier Coffee & Soda Package – $19.99 per day

Fountain soda (menu price $2.50): 8 per day to break even

Café Mocha (menu price $3.25) – 7 per day to break even

Classic Soda Package – $9.99 per day

Fountain soda (menu price $2.50): 4 per day to break even

Mocktail (menu price $5.50): 2 per day to break even

New Grounds Coffee Package – $36.58 total

You’ll essentially pay $2.44 for each of 15 specialty coffees. As long as you (or your group) will consume 15 coffee drinks during your cruise, you’ll end up saving money. The only exception would be if you order single espresso shots, which are priced at only $1.75.

Don’t forget to check out these resources before your Princess cruise:

Resources for your Princess cruise

Book your cruise:

Want to check the current lowest fares for your next Princess cruise? I recommend CruiseDirect. They guarantee the lowest prices and don’t charge a booking fee.

Book your airfare:

If you’re flying to your cruise port, you’ll want to save money on your airline tickets, right? I use both Skyscanner and the Hopper app (mobile only) to find the best deals on airfare.

Book your shore excursions:

To save money on shore excursions, I like booking tours and experiences in port through GetYourGuide or Viator.

Don’t forget travel insurance!

World Nomads is my go-to travel insurance provider for all my travel adventures. Not sure you need travel insurance for your cruise? Read my post Do You Really Need Cruise Travel Insurance to decide for yourself.

If you’ve ever bought one of Princess Cruises’ drink packages, did you think it was worth the price? Or do you have more questions about the beverage packages I haven’t answered? Let me know in the comments below!


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Patricia Blackmore

Tuesday 10th of May 2022

Can you bring carry on lager in your cooler. Size 12x12x12?

Carrie Ann

Tuesday 10th of May 2022

Hi Patricia, the only alcoholic beverage that Princess allows guests to carry on is wine (one 750 ml bottle per person). You can carry on non-alcoholic drinks, but not lager or any other beer. Thanks for the question!

Moira

Wednesday 4th of May 2022

I am a diet controlled diabetic, so I like to have sugar free drinks. We are on Princess Plus on next cruise, what sugar free sodas are available and can you have sugar free tonic with your gin? Is the ‘fresh’ juice actually that or a sugar added equivalent? Are the smoothies made with fresh fruit. I cannot find this information and my email to Princess the answer was evasive or ignored completely. Is the iced tea unsweetened? Thanks

Carrie Ann

Thursday 5th of May 2022

Hi Moira, Princess has Diet Coke available on their ships, and may have other sugar-free Coca-Cola products (availability can vary by sailing). I've never noticed sugar-free tonic water on any of my Princess cruises. However, if you know you'll want it for your gin & tonics, you can carry on cans of your preferred brand (they just limit your carry on beverage cooler to 12″x 12″x 12"). The fresh juices might not be available on all ships, but just an FYI - the juices they serve at breakfast aren't fresh and I'm sure they have added sugar. If your ship does also serve fresh juices, I'd be surprised if they add sugar. The smoothies are made with fresh fruit, but I'm not sure of the sugar content of the other ingredients they might add. As for iced tea (in my experience) it's always been unsweetened and on the strong side. You can get unsweetened brewed iced tea at the International Café - it tastes much better, and it's open 24/7. Hope this helps!