Princess Premier Vs Princess Plus

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When you book a cruise with Princess Cruises, you’ll have a choice of the standard fare, the Princess Plus Package or the Princess Premier Package.

So, what exactly is included in each of these three deals? And which one should you go for?

It is a little confusing, but don’t worry. In this guide, I’ll explain it all and do the maths for you…

Princess Cruises drinks

The 3 Princes Cruises Packages

Let’s take a look at exactly what’s included in a Princess cruise with each of the packages.

Princess Standard

This is the standard cruise fare that you see advertised and if you don’t want any extras, it’s the cheapest way to cruise.

The standard Princes Cruises fare includes accommodation, dining and entertainment.

Every cruise comes with a wearable Ocean Medallion. This coin-sized device is a replacement for the traditional cruise card It also allows you to find your family on the ship and have things delivered right to you via the mobile app.

Princess Plus

Cost = $50 (or £40) per person, per day

The Princess Plus package includes everything from the standard fare, plus:

  • Plus Beverage Package: All drinks up to $12 each
  • Wifi: For 1 device per person
  • Tips: Worth $14.50 – $16.50 per person, per day

Princess Princess Premier

Cost = $75 (or £60) per person, per day

The new Princess Premier package includes everything from the standard fare, plus:

  • Premier Beverage Package: All drinks up to $18 each
  • Wifi: For up to 4 devices per person
  • Tips: Worth $14.50 – $16.50 per person, per day
  • Speciality dining: 2 meals per guest
  • Photo package: Unlimited digital photos + 2 prints
  • Princess Prizes: Chance to win prizes from $5 to $100,000

Are Princess Plus and Princess Premier worth it?

According to Princess Cruises, Princess Plus has a total value of $95 per day for a $50 per day cost and Princess Premier has a total value of $156 per day for a $75 per day cost.

So, at first glance, it seems like these packages offer great value, right?

Well yes, they do, but only if the extras are things that you want and would have purchased anyway.

So, with that in mind, let’s break down exactly what’s included in each package and how much those extras usually cost. Then, you can decide which package to go for.

To keep things simple, we’ll use the US dollar pricing throughout this article. Bear in mind though, that if you live in the UK you can expect to pay for both your cruise and the package in pounds sterling.

Is Princess Plus worth it?

Princess Plus costs $50 per person, per day. (Before May 2022 it cost $40). It includes drinks, tips and wifi to the value of $95 per day. For most people who drink alcohol, the package is worth it, but it’s not for everyone.

So, let’s take a closer look at each component of the Princess Plus package…

How much are tips?

On a Princess cruise, everyone must pay tips, which the cruise line calls ‘crew appreciation’, to recognise the efforts of the crew members. This is automatically added to your onboard account.

While you can change the amount at the guest services desk if you have a bad experience, this isn’t recommended as the crew members work very hard and rely on these tips as part of their income.

The price of tips on Princess Cruises is $14.50 per person, per day for guests staying in Interior, Oceanview and Balcony rooms. If you stay in a Mini-Suite it will be $15.50 and in a Suite, it will be $16.50.

As everyone has to pay tips, let’s deduct $14.50, $15.50 or $16.50 from the Princess Plus fare. That leaves us with a price of between $33.50 and $35.50 for the cost of the drinks package and wifi.

crew appreciation

How much is wifi?

Princess Cruises wifi costs $9.99 per day for the one-device package.

Wifi can be handy if you want to use your mobile phone to access the internet while at sea. Depending on your phone contract and the destination, you may be able to use 4G or 5G data while the ship is in port at no extra cost.

Many people prefer not to buy wifi on a cruise and instead only use their phone in a port. Be sure to read my guide to avoiding cruise roaming charges to make sure that you don’t get caught out.

If you generally buy the wifi package, then we can deduct that value from the standard Princess Fare. The leaves the drinks part of the package with a value of $23.50 to $25.50 per day – around half of the $50 you’ll pay.

If you don’t plan to use wifi at all, then you’ll essentially be paying $33.50 to $35.50 for the drinks portion of the Princess Plus Package.

Princess Cruises wifi

How much are drinks?

The Princess Plus Drinks Package costs $59.99 per day plus 18% service charge (totalling $70.79 per day). This is more than the Princess Plus package at $50.

So, if you drink a lot of alcohol and usually get a drink package, then the Princess Plus fare is a no brainer. It’s well worth it!

Of course, you may want to pay for your drinks individually, in which case you’ll want to check the prices of the drinks on the menu.

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 drink: $2
  • Bottle of water (500ml): $2

What if you don’t drink much?

Perhaps you just like a glass of wine with dinner or maybe the occasional beer in the afternoon. Is the Princess Plus still worth it?

Let’s work that out for you…

So after you’ve paid for tips and wifi (assuming that you want it), then the drinks part of Princess Plus is worth $23.50 to $25.50 per day.

If you don’t need the wifi, the drinks component is worth $33.50 to $35.50 per day

I’ve made a drink package calculator tool that will work out exactly how much your drinks bill will be without a package. Just pop your email address below and it will be sent straight to your inbox.

Depending on how much you drink, it could still be worth getting the Princess Plus package as you could break even with just the wifi and a few drinks per day, depending on what drinks you like.

What if you don’t drink alcohol?

If you don’t drink alcohol, then the Princess Plus package is simply not worth it.

Instead, you can buy the non-alcohol drink package for $19.99 per day plus 18% service charge (totalling $23.59 per day).

Add to this the tips at $14.50, $15.50 or $16.50 per day (depending on your room type) and that comes to $38.09 to $40.09 per day.

Once you add on the wifi (if you need that), then your total spend will be $48.09 to $50.09 per day.

So, the only way that non-drinkers can break even with the Princess Plus fare is if you want wifi and you’re staying in a Suite. And even then, you’ll only spend 9 cents more by getting the add-ons separately!

Remember that you don’t need to buy a Princess Plus Package for your kids. As they don’t drink alcohol, it’s not worth it for them, so just get it for the adults.

So, now you know whether the Princess Plus is worth it for you, let’s take a look at whether you might get an even better deal with Princess Premier…

Is Princess Premier worth it?

Princess Premier costs $75 per day. It includes drinks, tips, wifi, speciality dining, prize draw entries and photos to the value of $156 per day. But, whether it’s worth it depends on whether you would normally pay for these things and how long your cruise is.

So, let’s take a closer look at each component of the Princess Plus package…

How much are tips?

As we’ve already worked out, tips (also known as gratuities or crew appreciation) cost between $14.50 and $16.50 per day, depending on what type of room you book. Those staying in a balcony or below – that’s most people – will pay $14.50.

How much is the four-device wifi?

Princess Cruises’ four-device wifi package costs $14.99 per day. My guess is that most people definitely don’t need four devices per person on a cruise. But for those who need to do some work on a laptop and also want to use wifi on their phone by the pool it could be handy.

For most people, the $9.99 one-device wifi package that you get with Princess Plus is enough, so this Princess Premier perk isn’t worth any extra.

How much are premium drinks?

The Princess Plus Drinks Package costs $79.99 per day plus 18% service charge (totalling $94.39 per day). This in itself is more than the Princess Premier package at $75.

The Premier Beverage Package includes drinks priced up to $18, so you can get all of the top-shelf spirits, premier wines and high-end crafted cocktails that would be over the $12 value of the Plus Beverage Package.

So, if you like fancy drinks and good wines and usually go for a premium drinks package on a cruise, then the Princess Plus package is worth it.

But, what if you just want the occasional premium tipple?

Well, if you have the Plus drinks package, and you order a drink that costs $13, then you’ll only be charged the $1 difference. So you can still order the drinks you want without upgrading the Premier Package.

Premier drinks

How much is specialty dining?

Princess Cruises speciality dining costs from $18 per person for a meal at The Salty Dog Gastropub to $29 for dinner at one of the steakhouses such as the Crown Grill. So the total value of two meals is a maximum of $58 per person.

The Chef’s Table Lumiere is classed as fine dining, so it’s not included in the Princess Premier speciality dining credits.

The Princess Premier terms and conditions state that you get two meals per person, regardless of the duration of the cruise. This is important, as the Premier Package is priced per day.

So, on a short three-night cruise, you’ll get much more value from the package than you would on a 14-night or longer voyage. Then again, on a short cruise, you might be happy with the main dining room and less likely to spend extra on speciality dining.

Crown Grill

How much is the photo package?

At the time of writing, Princess Cruises doesn’t offer the package with two prints and unlimited digital photos that you get with the Princess Premier Package. The nearest is the 5-photo package which costs £64.08 (around $83).

The unlimited digital photo package is a strong offer, and I would estimate this to be worth around $100. While this has slightly more value on a longer cruise because you’ll have more opportunities to pose for photos, this is definitely outweighed by the fact that the Princess Premier Package is charged on a daily basis.

How much are Princess Prizes worth?

Princess prizes is a new concept that’s really exciting. If you get lucky, you could win the ultimate grand prize of $100,000 cash. There are also free cruises to be won as well as onboard spending money worth $5 to $250, meals at Chef’s Table Lumiere and wine tastings.

Here’s how it works…

Outside your stateroom door, there’s a portal. Every time you open your stateroom door, you can watch it spin to see if you’ve won a prize. One in five tries wins a prize! You’ll get unlimited spins per day.

Princes Cruises door portal

Due to gaming laws, the prize portal is only activated when the ship is in international waters. And kids can’t play.

You don’t have to purchase the Princess Premier Package to play Princess Prizes. (Wow, that was a mouthful!) Instead, you can pay a fee of $20 per stateroom per day to play.

So, what’s the total value of Princess Premier…

Let’s add up everything that’s included:

  • Premier Beverage Package: $94.39 per person, per day
  • Wi-Fi : $14.99 per person, per day
  • Tips : $14.50 – $16.50 per person, per day
  • Speciality dining: $58 per person, per cruise
  • Photo package: Approx $100 total
  • Princess Prizes: $20 per stateroom, per day

Princess Cruises states that the value is $156 per day. And yes, that is true.

But, let’s say that you only order drinks worth under $12 (that’s still a great choice) and you only have one device using wifi. This is the case for most people. And remember that everyone has to cover the tips regardless.

In that case, for the dining, the photos and the prize draw entries that come with the Princess Premier Package, you are paying an extra $25 per person, per day, on top of the Princess Plus Package.

Is that worth it? Well…

Entry into Princess Prizes is worth $20 per stateroom per day, so let’s call that $10 each,

That leaves $15 per person, per day for the photos and the two speciality dining meals.

  • Over a 4-night cruise, that’s $60
  • Over a 7-night cruise, that’s $105
  • Over a 10-night cruise, that’s $150
  • Over a 14-night cruise, that’s $210

As we calculated, the two meals are worth up to $58.

So, on a 4-night cruise, you’re getting the photos for $2. But on a 14-night cruise, it would be costing you $152!

For most people, it’s incredibly hard to break even with the Princess Premier Package.

The only way it would be worth it is if you take a short cruise and drink a lot of the premium wines and spirits. But, bear in mind, that there aren’t that many drinks that cost between $12 and $18 on the menu. And even if you do want to order an expensive drink with the cheaper Princess Plus drink package, you’ll only have to pay the price difference.

The Verdict

After this thorough analysis, I can conclude that the Princess Plus package is worth it for anyone who drinks more than a couple of alcoholic drinks per day. Even though the price has increased by 25% in 2022, it’s still a great deal for most people.

If you’re not sure of the value of your drinks, be sure to grab a copy of the drink package calculator.

When it comes to upgrading to the Princess Premier package, that’s just not worth it for most people.

Instead, I’d recommend that you get the Princess Plus package. If you want the Princess Prizes, extra wifi, speciality dining and photos, then add those on separately. It will work out cheaper in most cases.

For more information about Princess Cruises’ drink packages, you can refer to my guide: Princess Cruises Drink Packages Guide.

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