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How Norwegian Cruise Line’s Drink Packages Work

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.

tequila sunrise drink

Norwegian Unlimited Open Bar Package

The Unlimited Open Bar Package, previously called 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 Norwegian’s Unlimited Open Bar Package?

Norwegian’s Unlimited Open Bar 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 ultimate open bar package alcohol list

What’s Not Included in the Unlimited Open Bar 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 Unlimited Open Bar Package Cost?

The cost of the package is typically $109 per person per day plus 20% gratuity. The price increased from $99 per day for all sailings after January 1, 2023. If you choose this perk as part of your cruise fare, you’ll still have to pay the gratuities or $21.80 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)$153$218$305
Full Cost$916$1,308$1,831
Estimated cost per person (includes automatic 20% gratuity on package price)

Is Norwegian’s Unlimited Open Bar Package Worth It?

If you’re getting the Unlimited Open Bar 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 (including Starbucks)
  • 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 deluxe beverage package alcohol list

What Does Norwegian’s Premium Plus Beverage Package Cost?

The cost of the package is typically $138 per person per day (plus 20% gratuity). If you already have the standard Unlimited e 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”$244$248$487
Full Cost$1,159$1,656$2,318
Estimated cost per person (includes automatic 20% gratuity on package price)

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. 

coke and diet coke 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?

In September 2022, Norwegian announced it is switching to Coke products from Pepsi. The transition will be completed by the end of 2022. The soda package will include Cola, Diet Cola, Lemon Lime Soda, Ginger Ale, Tonic Water, Orange Soda & Soda Water.

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$84$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 costs $12.95 per person per day (plus 20% gratuity). 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$218
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 is the founder and editor-in-chief at Cruise Spotlight. He has been in marketing for 19 years and has been cruising for just as long. Over the years, he's worked with products like TVs, copiers, light bulbs, and EV chargers, but cruising has always been his passion. There's nothing Randy likes more than the first couple of hours on a ship, exploring every nook and cranny and seeing how it's different from everything else out there. He's known for providing detailed and analytical coverage of cruising to help cruisers get a comprehensive picture of a ship's offerings.