Norwegian Cruise Line’s Ultimate Beverage (Drinks) Package: Is it worth it?

Norwegian Cruise Line offers the Ultimate Beverage Package (aka Drinks Package) for $79 per person per day. The Ultimate Beverage Package includes soft drinks, beers, spirits, cocktails, wines by the glass and bottled or draft beer up to and including $15 during your entire cruise. This means that, you can enjoy any drinks below the cost of $15 on the menu. Typically, beers cost $6.95 and cocktails $7.95 and up. Some cocktails that have Mcallan can go from $14.95 and up.

But the big question is: Is it worth it to get the Norwegian Cruise Line’s Ultimate Beverage Package?

What does Norwegian Cruise Line’s Ultimate Beverage Package include?

As mentioned, the Ultimate Drinks Package by Norwegian Cruise Line, includes all soft drinks, beers, spirits, cocktails and wines that are below $15 in value on the menu. Here are (just some) of the drinks that we had during our recent cruise with Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL)…

Norwegian Cruise Line Ultimate Drinks Package
Norwegian Cruise Line Ultimate Beverage Package
Norwegian Cruise Line Ultimate Beverage Package (UBP)
Norwegian Cruise Line Ultimate Drinks Package
Norwegian Cruise Line Ultimate Beverage Package (UBP)
Norwegian Cruise Line Ultimate Beverage Package
Norwegian Cruise Line Ultimate Drinks Package
Norwegian Cruise Line Ultimate Beverage Package
Norwegian Cruise Line Ultimate Beverage Package (UBP)
Norwegian Cruise Line Ultimate Drinks Package
Norwegian Cruise Line Ultimate Beverage Package
Norwegian Cruise Line Ultimate Beverage Package (UBP)
Norwegian Cruise Line Ultimate Drinks Package
Norwegian Cruise Line Ultimate Beverage Package
Norwegian Cruise Line Ultimate Beverage Package (UBP)
Norwegian Cruise Line Ultimate Drinks Package
Norwegian Cruise Line Ultimate Beverage Package
Norwegian Cruise Line Ultimate Beverage Package (UBP)

On a typical sea day, we would start off with mimosas (orange plus champagne) for breakfast. Each time we have our meals, we would have one (or two) drinks to complement the food (ie red wines for red meats etc.). When we chill out at the pool or catch shows for a day, drinks would accompany as well. Typically , we would have about 7 drinks a day. As you can see from our pictures, we tried everything from beers to whiskeys, sangrias to wines. But the best part about the Ultimate Beverage Package? The cocktails! We don’t think we ever had the opportunity to try this many cocktails ever. Without the UBP, it would be unlikely that we’d try so many amazing looking and delicious cocktails. Tom wouldn’t have discovered that his favourite cocktail is Mr Worldwide (a cocktail topped off with champagne!). Mojito (pronounced as mo-hee-toh) is the other drink we’d usually have if there’s no preference. This is because the lime and mint are freshly crushed each and every time!

Is Norwegian Cruise Line’s Ultimate Beverage Package worth it?

For the Ultimate Beverage Package, the Ultimate Question remains. Is the Ultimate Drinks Package really worth it? For us, it was definitely worth it! As one of our friends from the cruise said it so succinctly (when asked about Norwegian Cruise Line’s Ultimate Beverage Package),

“There’s no other way to cruise!”

Monetary wise, if you drank 8 cocktails that costs $14.95 each, you’d be able to beat the $79 per day for the package, easy. Along with it, the freedom to order whichever drinks you’d like for that day.

HOWEVER, if you are a light drinker who has a drink per meal for lunch and dinner and perhaps one more while chilling at the pool, you’d be better off without the drinks package. Yup, the UBP is really for those who enjoy their alcoholic drinks!

Tips for Norwegian Cruise Line’s Ultimate Beverage Package

There are a few things that we’d recommend you do if you are on the Ultimate Beverage Package…

1. Tip your server/bartender. Although it is not required, we realised that tipping your server and/or bartender really does improve service (and liquor) for your drinks. For instance, there was once when Tom was walking towards the bar, the bartender noticed him and stopped his conversation with another bartender almost immediately to take the order. This was in contrast to the long wait that we had to “endure” before we were asked about the drinks the day before. On many other occasions, we realised that our alcohol content were higher with our cocktails as well. To put it simply, if you’re enjoying your drink (and vacation), tip the jolly good fellow!

2. Know your bars and lounges. Not all bars serve cocktails and not all drinks stations serve alcoholic drinks. The whiskey bar has the most expensive cocktails (at $14.95 and up) but do remember to watch for what you order. One of our friends missed out that the section he was ordering from was actually a premium drink and he had to pay the difference plus taxes on the shot of whiskey But if $3 for a shot of good whiskey is not much to you, by all means, go ahead and enjoy. As the cruise director Joel Dizon would say “You’re on vacation!”

3. Taxes.Once you step onboard the cruise ship, you can actually start using your Ultimate Beverage Package! However, do note that, if the ship is still in the port of departure and/or still in US waters, the drinks are still subjected to tax. Sometimes, it takes between 2 to 4 hours to leave US waters. Which is why some cruisers choose their port of departure “after careful consideration”. So for instance, if the drink is $10 on the menu and the tax rate is 8%, you’ll just have to pay $0.80 for your drink if the ship is still within US waters. A small price to pay for a great start to a cruise right?

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Now that you know more about the Ultimate Beverage Package (Drinks Package) by Norwegian Cruise Line, would you have it during your next cruise? Tell us in the comments section below!

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