Princess Cruises Drink Packages: The Ultimate Guide (2021)

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When booking a Princess cruise, you’ll need to decide whether to get a drinks package or pay for your drinks individually.

With Princess Cruises, the decision isn’t as straightforward as “Is the Princess drink package worth it?” This is because Princess Cruises offers three different drinks packages, as well as a special fare which entitles you to free drinks.

This guide will help you make the right decision about whether to buy a Princess Cruises drink package or upgrade to the Princess Plus fare which comes with free all-inclusive drinks.

Photo credit: Princess Cruises

Are drinks included on Princess Cruises?

Drinks aren’t included as standard with Princess Cruises. However, Princess Cruises offers a special fare called ‘Princess Plus’ which includes drinks, wifi and gratuities for an extra cost of $40 (or £30) per person, per day. Drinks packages are also available to purchase.

What’s best – Princess Plus, a drink package or paying for drinks?

The quickest and easiest way to decide whether the Princess drink package is good value for your individual circumstances is to use my drink package calculator. You’ll enter how many of each drink you expect to have and it will do the sums for you.

Just pop your details in the form below and it will be sent straight to your inbox…

Princess Cruises drink packages 2021

Princess Cruises offers three drinks packages – one with alcohol, one for non-alcoholic drinks only, and one for soda.

Here’s an overview of what’s included in each and the prices…

1. Premier Beverage Package – $59.99

The Premier Beverage Package includes all drinks priced up to $12 each:

  • Beers
  • Wines (by the glass)
  • Spirits
  • Cocktails
  • Bottled water
  • Fountain sodas and Coke Freestyle machines
  • Fresh juices
  • Speciality teas and coffees
  • Bubble teas at the Gong Cha Cafe
  • Frappés at Coffee & Cones
  • Milkshakes
  • Red Bull energy drinks

The Premier Beverage Package doesn’t include:

  • Bottles of wine or spirits
  • Buckets of beer
  • One litre bottles of water (except when dining at speciality restaurants)
  • Cans of soda
  • Bottled juices
  • Room service
  • Mini bar
  • Self-service or vending machines

The Premier Beverage Package will get you a 25% discount on: Bottles of wine, one-litre bottles of water, cans of soda and bottles of juice.

The Premier Beverage Package includes most cocktails
Photo credit: Princess Cruises

2. Premier Coffee & Soda Package – $19.99

The Premier Coffee & Soda Package includes:

  • Fountain sodas and Coke Freestyle machines
  • Fresh juices
  • Mocktails
  • Smoothies
  • Speciality teas and coffees
  • Hot chocolate
  • Bubble teas at the Gong Cha Cafe
  • Frappés at Coffee & Cones
  • Milkshakes
  • Red Bull energy drinks

The Premier Beverage package doesn’t include:

  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Bottles of water (of any size)
  • Cans of soda
  • Bottled juices
  • Room service
  • Mini bar
  • Self-service or vending machines

The Premier Coffee & Soda Package will get you a 25% discount on: Bottles of water, cans of soda and bottles of juice.

This package comes with a souvenir tumbler that’s yours to keep.

Princess Cruises Gong Cha
Gong Cha drinks are included in the Premier Coffee & Soda package
Photo credit: Princess Cruises

3. Classic Soda Package

The Classic Soda Package includes:

  • Fountain sodas and Coke Freestyle machines
  • Fresh juices
  • Mocktails
  • Smoothies

This package comes with a souvenir tumbler that’s yours to keep.

How much is a drinks package on Princess Cruises?

The three drinks packages on Princess Cruises each come with an 18% service charge on top. However, in Australia, the pricing is different and it includes the service charge (see below for details).

The Princess drink package cost inclusive of the 18% service charge is:

  • Alcohol package: $70.79 per day
  • Non-alcoholic package: $23.59 per day
  • Soda package: $11.79 per day

Premier Beverage Package Cost

The Princess Cruises Premier Beverage Package costs $59.99 USD per person, per day, plus an 18% service charge. The total cost of the drink package is $70.79 USD per day for all cruises except for Australian itineraries.

On Princess cruises from Australia and New Zealand, the Premier Beverage Package costs $86.99 AUD per day, inclusive of the service charge.

Premier Coffee & Soda Package Cost

The Princess Cruises Coffee & Soda Package costs $19.99 USD per person, per day, plus an 18% service charge. The total cost of the package is $23.59 USD per day for all cruises except for Australian itineraries.

On Princess cruises from Australia and New Zealand, the Premier Coffee & Soda Package costs $29.99 AUD per day, inclusive of the service charge. A tax may be added for certain itineraries.

Classic Soda Package Cost

The Princess Cruises Coffee & Soda Package costs $9.99 USD per person, per day, plus an 18% service charge. The total cost of the package is $11.79 USD per day for all cruises except for Australian itineraries.

On Princess cruises from Australia and New Zealand, the Classic Soda Package costs $15.33 AUD per day, inclusive of the service charge. A tax may be added for certain itineraries.

The all-inclusive Princess Plus fare

If you’re considering buying the alcoholic drinks package on your cruise, then you’re almost certainly better off by getting the Princess Plus fare.

What is the Princess Plus package?

Princess Cruises offers two fares – Princess Fare (known as Princess Savers in the US) and Princess Plus.

  • Princess Fare (or Princess Savers): The standard ‘no frills’ fare
  • Princess Plus Fare: Includes drinks, wifi and gratuities.

When you book your cruise, you’ll be able to choose whether you want the standard fare or the Princess Plus Fare.

Tip: You can choose the Princess Plus for adults and the Princess Fare for children. This means that the adults can benefit from the drinks package and the wifi that might be wasted on kids. You can’t do this online, but you can if you book over the phone or with a travel agent.

How much is Princess Plus?

For UK residents, the Princess Plus Fare is an extra £30 per person, per day. It used to be £35, and even that was good value, but in 2021 it was reduced.

For US residents, the Princess Plus Fare isn’t published, but cruisers have reported that it costs an extra $40 per person, per day.

Can you add on Princess Plus after booking?

UK residents can upgrade their cruise to Princess Plus after booking. To do that, you can call the travel agent that you booked with, or if you booked directly with Princess Cruises you can call them on 0344 338 8663.

If you live elsewhere in the world, you may not be able to upgrade to Princess Plus after booking, but it’s certainly worth asking.

Is the drink package worth it on Princess Cruises?

Whether or not the Princess Cruises drinks package is worth it depends on how many drinks you plan to drink each day.

The easiest way to calculate whether you should buy a drinks package or choose the Princess Plus fare is to use my drinks package calculator tool. But, if you’d rather work it out for yourself, read on for the drinks prices…

It’s important to consider that there are some drinks which are free of charge for everyone, whether you have a Princess drinks package or not.

You can also bring some drinks on to the ship in your luggage. This may reduce the overall amount that you spend on drinks during your cruise.

What drinks are free on Princess Cruises?

Free drinks on Princess Cruises ships include:

  • Glasses of iced water
  • Lemonade
  • Iced tea
  • Hot tea
  • Brewed coffee
  • Fruit juice (with breakfast)

What kind of drinks does Princess Cruises allow you to take on board?

Princess Cruises allows each adult to bring one 750ml bottle of wine or champagne on board to drink in your stateroom.

You’re welcome to bring additional wine and champagne, but each bottle will have a $15 corkage fee. If you’ve paid the corkage fee, you can drink your wine anywhere on the ship, including in restaurants and bars.

Guests cruising with Princess Cruises can also bring an unlimited amount of soft drinks and water in cans, bottles or cartons.

Can you sneak alcohol on a Princess cruise?

Sneaking alcohol on to a cruise ship is not a good idea. Your luggage will be scanned and if you’re caught then the drinks will be discarded.

How much are drinks on Princess Cruises?

The bar prices on Princess Cruises ships are in line with most other cruise lines such as Royal Caribbean and P&O Cruises.

Princess Cruises drinks prices:

  • Cocktail: $7.50 to $10
  • Mocktail: $5.50
  • Beer: $6.25 to $6.75
  • Glass of wine: $8 to $12
  • Soft drinks: $2
  • Bottle of water (500ml): $2

Does Princess Cruises offer free drink packages?

From time to time, Princess Cruises offer free drinks packages as a booking incentive. The last time this was offered was in 2019, when the ‘Sip + Sail’ promotion offered a free alcoholic drinks package to guests booking a balcony stateroom or suite, and a free non-alcoholic drinks package to guests booking an inside or oceanview stateroom.

As the Princess Plus Fare has now become permanent, it seems unlikely that free drinks packages will be offered on cruises in the foreseeable future.

Does Princess Cruises ever offer discounted drink packages?

While some cruise lines like Royal Caribbean have fluid drinks package pricing that goes up and down over time, on Princess cruises, the price is fixed.

The best way to get a discount on your Princess Cruises package is to opt for the Princess Plus Fare which includes free drinks, free wifi and free pre-paid gratuities.

Is Princess Plus worth it?

The Princess Plus fare costs £30 ( or $40) per person per day. It includes:

  • Premier Beverage Package – Valued at $70.79
  • Unlimited wifi – Valued at $9.99
  • Gratuities – Valued at $14.50

The total value of the Princess Plus Fare is $95.28 per day, yet it costs only $40 per day.

Gratuities are not optional – they must be paid by every guest. Even if you don’t want the wifi, with the Princess Plus Fare, you’re essentially paying £18.50 ($25.50) for the drinks package.

For most people, £18.50 per day for drinks and wifi is a great deal. With the Princess Plus fare, you can break even with just two drinks per day!

Even if you don’t drink alcohol, the Princess Fare could still be worth it. The Princess Fare cost around $2 per day more than buying the Coffee & Soda Package and pre-paid gratuities. So if the wifi is worth $2 per day to you, it’s worth it.

Princess Cruises drinks FAQs

On Princess cruises, does every person need to get the same package?

Most cruise lines require that if one person has a drink package, then everybody in the cabin must have one. However, on Princess Cruises that is not the case. You may buy a drink package for only one person if you wish.

Can you share a drinks package on Princess cruises?

Sharing of drinks packages is forbidden on Princess cruises. If you are caught giving drinks to another passenger, your drinks package may be cancelled without a refund.

How do you buy a drink package on Princess cruises?

Princess Cruises allow you to purchase your drinks package up to four days before your cruise using the Cruise Personalizer, by telephone or via your travel agent. You can also buy it onboard the ship on embarkation day.

French martini cosmo
Photo credit: Princess Cruises

Are drinks package available on all Princess cruises?

Princess Cruises’ drinks packages are not available on Australian cruises of six nights or less and are not available on any one- or two-night cruises.

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

With Princess Cruises’ Premier Beverage Package, you can have 15 alcoholic drinks per day. The next day begins at 6am. After your 15 free drinks, you may be able to order more drinks, but this is at the discretion of the bartenders and you will be charged for them.

There is no limit to the number of non-alcoholic drinks that you can have per day.

Can you order two drinks at a time?

With Princess Cruises’ drink packages, you can only order one drink at a time for each person. There is no set time limit between ordering drinks, but a discretionary time interval may apply. So you probably can’t order one drink and then immediately order another.

What happens if you order a drink that costs more than $12?

The Princess Cruises’ Premier Beverage Package includes drinks priced at up to $12. If you order a drink that costs more than this, you will be charged the full price for that drink. So, if you order a $13 drink, you will be charged the full $13, not just the extra $1.

Paradise Punch
Photo credit: Princess Cruises

Can you buy a drinks package for only some days on a Princess cruise?

If you buy a Princess Cruises drink package, you must buy it for every day of your cruise. You cannot buy it for only part of your cruise.

How old do you have to be to drink alcohol on Princess cruises?

On Princess cruises, guests must be 18, 20 or 21 years old, depending on the itinerary. For cruises between Australia/New Zealand, China, Europe and Singapore ports, the drinking age is 18. For cruises between Japanese ports, the drinking age is 20. Everywhere else, it is 21.

Does the Princess Cruises drinks package include the mini-bar?

Princess Cruises drink packages do not include drinks from your in-room mini-bar. These will have an extra charge,

Does the Princess Cruises drinks package include room service?

The Princess Cruises drink packages do not include drinks ordered via room service. Room service has an extra charge.

Does the drinks package include drinks in souvenir glasses?

On Princess cruises, if you order a drink in a souvenir glass and you have a drinks package, you will be charged only for the glass. The drink itself will be included in your package.

Does the Princess drinks package work on private islands?

The Princess Cruises drink package can be used on Princess Cruises’ private island, Princess Cays, which is located in the Bahamas.

Do Princess Cruises drinks packages include service charges?

When you buy a Princess Cruises drink packages you will also pay a service charge of 18% of the cost of the package. This means that no extra tips are required at the bars on-board.

Can I get a refund on my Princess Cruises drinks package?

If you buy a Princess Cruises drinks package and then change your mind for any reason, you can request a refund up to four days before your cruise departs. After that point, the package becomes non-refundable.

Princess Cruises Premier Beverage Package
Photo credit: Princess Cruises

Get the best price when you book your Princess cruise

The price you pay for your cruise will be different depending on who you book it with, even though what you get will be exactly the same.

It’s generally always cheaper to use a specialist cruise travel agent that can access discounted rates.

Click here to see who’s offering discounted rates on Princess Cruises.

Of course, not all travel agents are equal in terms of the service that they provide. If you’d like to get a quote from a trusted travel agent that I’ve used to book multiple cruises myself, click here to get a quote.

The bottom line

If you’re considering getting a drink package for your Princess Cruise, then you should see if you can instead get the Princess Plus Fare.

The Princess Plus Fare has a lower daily cost than the Premier drink package, yet it includes a Premier drink package, gratuities (worth $14.50 per day) and unlimited wifi (worth $9.99 per day).

With the Princess Plus Fare, you can break even with as little as two drinks, making it a no-brainer for most cruisers.

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8 thoughts on “Princess Cruises Drink Packages: The Ultimate Guide (2021)”

  1. Great info, thanks very much. Just as a side question, When does the drinks package run out on debark day? Is it 6am as advertised, or 12am midnight? I don’t want to incur charges on the last evening unwittingly.

    Thanks as always for your information. Great site

    • Hi Bruce, great question! I’m pretty sure it runs until you get off the ship on the last the morning. I’ve never heard of anyone being charged for drinks on disembarkation day. Jenni

  2. Thanks but what do you think is the best option to take when we are taking grandkids of 14 & 15 with us for a week we have 2 cabins 1 adult & 1 teenager in each so we seem to have to pay$30 each? even though kids won’t be drinking alcohol?

    • Hi Pauline. You don’t need to buy a drink package for the kids on Princess cruises. You can just buy drinks as you go. Or there’s a soda package that may be good for teenagers. Jenni

  3. Very informative thank you . In the last paragraph you say if you are thinking about a drinks package you should ask for the princess fare . I think you mean the princess plus fare? It may confuse some who don’t realise it’s a typo .

    • Ah yes, thanks so much for spotting that! I’ve corrected it now. Thank you! Jenni

  4. Thanks for the article very useful. The picture provided by princess for the premium drinks package is wrong/misleading though as it shows a can of coke and cans of soda are not included from your description.

    • Thank you. And you’re right, that’s a very good spot! Jenni

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