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Norwegian Cruise Line Drinks Package Now the Priciest at Sea | Frommer's Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Cruise Line Drinks Package Now the Priciest at Sea

Norwegian Cruise Line has raised the price of its Ultimate Beverage package, covering all alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks that a passenger consumes while on board the ship (except drinks priced higher than $15, which have to be purchased separately).  

Up from a previous fee of $79 per day—and, as recently as 2014, $54 per day—the package now costs $89 per passenger, per day. 

But with a "service charge" and 18% gratuity tacked on, you'll actually end up paying $104.48 for drinks each day of your cruise. 

According to Travel Weekly, this is a new high for the cruise industry and the first time on any line that the daily amount of a beverage plan has surpassed $100. In many instances, that's a higher per-day cost than a cabin.

By way of comparison, equivalent drink packages from Royal Caribbean and Carnival Cruise Line are both around $50 per day, before service charges—though who knows how long they'll stay that way before those companies follow Norwegian's lead. 

If it makes sense for you to opt for a booze plan on a Norwegian ship—if you're a teetotaler, no problem—it might be smarter to select the more affordable Corks and Caps package. For $59 per day (plus 18% gratuity and service charge), you'll be covered for wine, beer, and soft drinks. Then if you want to sip a margarita a time or two during your trip, you can always buy those a la carte.