How Norwegian Cruise Line’s Drink Packages Work

Last Updated on July 29, 2022

For new or inexperienced cruisers, understanding how drink packages work, and if they’re worth it, is a big challenge. Cruisers on Norwegian Cruise Lines have the added challenge that these cruises are marketed as having “Open bar at sea” Or “Unlimited Drink Package Included.” But is it really free? And what are the limits? We take a look at Norwegian Cruise Line’s four basic drink packages to help you better understand the differences and costs.

You’ll find a full breakdown of the details below, but we also created this handy chart to quickly help you see the difference between the packages.

norwegian cruise line drink package differences Jul 22

tequila sunrise drink

Norwegian Premium Beverage Package

The Premium Beverage Package is Norwegian’s most popular drink package. This is their base unlimited drink package that you get when you select the Unlimited Drink Package as part of a “Free at Sea” offer. It gives you access to a large selection of cocktails, wine, and beer at most venues on the cruise ship. Just be aware, Norwegian offers some “sail away” cabins for lower prices, but they will not include any “Free at Sea” offers. So be sure to read the forms carefully when booking. For people who don’t drink, the “sail away” rates are a great way to save some cash.

What’s Included in the Premium Beverage Package

Norwegian’s Premium Beverage Package includes a variety of spirits and cocktails, wines by the glass, and bottled or draft beer up to $15. It also includes fountain soda, juice, and non-alcoholic beer. Below is a list of included beverages.

Norwegian Cruise Line Premium Beverage Package Drink List

What’s Not Included in the Premium Beverage Package

  • Drinks over $15 (you’ll pay the difference)
  • Bottles of water
  • Ice bars
  • Starbucks
  • Flights, tastings, or liquor experiences*
  • Room service
  • Bottled wine*
  • Mini bar purchases
  • Fresh squeezed juices
  • Wine dispenser
  • Energy drinks
  • Vending machines
  • Specialty coffee

*A 20% discount will be given on bottles of wine (champagne and sparkling included), Wine and Spirit Experiences, tastings or Flights purchased on board.

See full terms and conditions

What Does Norwegian’s Premium Beverage Package Cost?

The cost of the package is typically $99 per person per day plus 20% gratuity. If you choose this perk as part of your cruise fare, you’ll still have to pay the gratuities or $19.80 per person per day. You are able to opt out of this “free” offer when booking if you’re not a big drinker.

7 Days10 Days14 Days
Free at Sea (gratuities only)$139$198$277
Full Cost$832$1,188$1,663
Estimated cost per person (includes automatic 20% gratuity on package price)

Is Norwegian’s Premium Beverage Package Worth It?

If your getting the Premium Beverage Package as part of a “Free at Sea” promotion, each guest in the cabin would need roughly 2 – 3 alcoholic drinks a day to break even. However, if you’re paying full price for the drink package, it’s closer to 8 – 14 drinks a day per person to get your money’s worth. Our Drink Package Calculator will run the numbers for you based on what and how much you drink. 


Norwegian daydreamer daiquiri picture

Premium Plus Beverage Package

The Premium Plus Beverage Package is an upgraded version of Norwegian’s unlimited drink package. It includes everything in the standard package, plus a few extras. The most notable differences with this package are the inclusion of bottled water, specialty coffees, bottles of wine, and higher-end liquor.

What’s Included in the Premium Plus Beverage Package

This package includes everything above plus the following:

  • Freshly squeezed juices
  • Bottled water
  • Energy drinks
  • Wine dispensers
  • Specialty coffee
  • Select bottles of wine*
  • Flights, tastings, or liquor experiences*
    • *Non-select bottles of wine, flights, tastings, and liquor experiences will receive 40% discount

What’s Not Included in the Premium Plus Beverage Package

  • Room service
  • Mini bar purchases
  • Vending machines
Norwegian Cruise Line Premium Plus Beverage Package Drink List

What Does Norwegian’s Premium Plus Beverage Package Cost?

The cost of the package is typically $128 per person per day (plus 20% gratuity). If you already have the standard Premium Beverage Package already as part of a “Free at Sea” promotion, you can upgrade to the Premium Plus package for $29 per person per day (plus 20% gratuity).

7 Days10 Days14 Days
Upgrade from “Free at Sea”$382$546$764
Full Cost$1,075$1,536$2,150
Estimated cost per person (includes automatic 20% gratuity on package price)

For the “upgrade” prices above, we also included the $19.80 per day you had to pay to get the package in the first place. This most accurately reflects the true cost of the package.

Is Norwegian’s Premium Plus Beverage Package Worth It?

If you’re a big fan of specialty coffees, bottles of water, energy drinks, or bottles of wine, this upgrade may be worth it for you. That being said, if you’re just doing it for the non-alcoholic benefits, it still may be cheaper to pay per drink. It’d take about 4 – 5 of these extra drinks per day per person to break even. If you’re going for bottles of wine and high-end liquor, though, it pays for itself much more quickly. 


beer glasses

Corks & Caps Beer and Wine Package

The Corks & Caps beverage package is made specifically for people who stick to wine and beer. If you have a cabin that qualifies for a “Free at Sea” promotion, the standard Premium Beverage Package is a better deal. If you’re in a sail-away cabin or one that does not include a drink package, this package is a good option if you rarely touch hard liquor or cocktails. 

Program terms and conditions

What Does the Corks & Caps Beverage Package Cost?

The cost of the package is $65 per person per day (plus 20% gratuity).

7 Days10 Days14 Days
Full Cost$546$780$1,092
Estimated cost per person (includes automatic 20% gratuity on package price)

Is Norwegian’s Corks & Caps Beverage Package Worth It?

You’ll need to drink between 6 – 9 glasses of wine or beer per day to make this package worth it. However, since soda is also included in this package, if you’re a big soda drinker, you’ll get more bang for your buck.


Pepsi family of products in cans

Norwegian Cruise Line’s Soda Package

For guests who don’t drink alcohol or guests under the age of 21, Norwegian has a soda package available. With this package, guests can have unlimited sodas around the ship. These used to be two different packages (one for adults and one for children), but in mid-2022 Norwegian combined them into one package.

What does Norwegian’s Soda Package Cover?

Norwegian is a Pepsi vendor, so you’ll be able to enjoy Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Sierra Mist, Mt. Dew, Ginger Ale, Tonic Water, and Club Soda. 

What doesn’t Norwegian’s Soda Package Cover?

The package excludes basically everything but soda. This will not include juices, milkshakes, bottles of water, etc. 

What Does the Norwegian’s Soda Package Cost?

Guests who get the package will pay $9.95 per person per day plus 20% gratuity.

7 Days10 Days14 Days
Full Cost$83$119$167
Estimated cost per person (includes automatic 20% gratuity on package price)

starbucks frappuccino on a norwegian cruise ship

Norwegian Cruise Line’s Unlimited Starbucks Package

Norwegian’s Unlimited Starbucks package was introduced in mid-2022 and was specially made for coffee lovers.

What doesn’t Norwegian’s Unlimited Starbucks Package Cover?

The Unlimited Starbucks Package includes all the made-to-order drinks you can get from a Starbucks, including classic coffees, teas, and Frappuccinos.

What Does the Norwegian’s Unlimited Starbucks Package Cost?

The Unlimited Starbucks Package does not include canned or bottled drinks, food, and merchandise. This package works at any Starbucks on a Norwegian ship as well as on Great Stirrup Cay.

7 Days10 Days14 Days
Full Cost$109$155$216
Estimated cost per person (includes automatic 20% gratuity on package price)

Restrictions on Norwegian’s Drink Packages

All of the packages above have similar restrictions. The biggest restriction is that the package must be purchased for all guests staying within the same stateroom. That means if it’s two adults in a cabin, both will need the package. Likewise, if you’re going to be getting the soda package for children, all the children in the cabin must get the package.

Sharing of the packages with other guests is prohibited. That being said, guests are allowed to get two beverages per person per transaction. 

Where Can the Norwegian Drink Packages Be Used?

The Norwegian drink packages can be used in the ship based restaurants, bars, and lounges. They can also be used while on Great Stirrup Cay, Norwegian’s private island. However, they cannot be used at Harvest Caye bars, restaurants, or venues.

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Randy Young

Randy Young has been in marketing for 18 years and has been cruising for just as long. He founded Cruise Spotlight in 2020 to merge his passions and to help people better understand all aspects of a cruise vacation.