Money Saving Tips for Snagging the Best Deal on a Royal Caribbean Drink Package

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If you’re considering whether to buy a Royal Caribbean drinks package, it’s good to know when is the best time to buy, as you might be able to save some money. Making the most of your holiday budget is a priority for some, and the cost of drinks on board can quickly add up. In this article, I’ll walk you through some handy, money-saving tips to help get a drinks package at the best price.

Before I start, you might like to read my article “Is it worth buying a Royal Caribbean Drinks Package”, which gives you all the information you need on the cost of the drinks, what’s included and whether it’s right for you. However, if you want to find out the best time to buy a drinks package, read on.

A cheerful couple holding champagne flutes in a Royal Caribbean stateroom, standing by the balcony door, embodying a relaxed cruise atmosphere.
Enjoying drinks on our Royal Caribbean Cruise

1. Why Timing is Everything

The first thing you’ll want to know is that timing really is everything when it comes to buying a Royal Caribbean drinks package. Prices can vary quite a bit, swinging from one end of the spectrum to the other. This fluctuation isn’t just season by season; it can even happen week by week or day by day.

To make the most of your hard-earned money, it’s wise to keep a close eye on prices in the run-up to your cruise. By monitoring the rates, you’re more likely to snag a package at a price that makes you happy. Remember, the prices for these packages aren’t static, so being vigilant pays off.

So, how do you keep track? Royal Caribbean’s online Cruise Planner is a fantastic tool for this. Log in regularly and jot down the package prices you see. Doing this will give you a solid understanding of how prices are trending, helping you to strike when the iron is hot.

2. Pre-Booking vs Onboard Purchasing

Let’s talk about where you make that all-important purchase: onboard the ship or before you even set sail. I can’t stress this enough; buying your drinks package in advance is generally more cost-effective. Once you’re on board, you’re likely to find that the prices are significantly higher.

You might think you can game the system by waiting for those tempting ‘Buy One Get One Free’ offers that sometimes pop up on the first day of the cruise. However, don’t be too quick to pat yourself on the back. These deals are usually based on the inflated onboard prices, so they’re often not as good as they seem.

Using Royal Caribbean’s online Cruise Planner to pre-book your drinks package is the way to go. Not only will you usually get a better rate, but you also have the advantage of spacing out your holiday expenses. 

While it may be tempting to hold off until you’re in the holiday spirit, floating on the ocean, I’d recommend sealing the deal before you leave dry land. You’re almost certainly going to save money, and who doesn’t love starting their holiday with a win?

Close-up of a person's hands holding a mason jar filled with a vibrant red cocktail garnished with fresh mint and blackberries, offering a refreshing moment aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise.

3. Special Promotions and Sales

Now, let’s get into the nitty-gritty: special promotions. Royal Caribbean often has sales on their drinks packages, and these are golden opportunities to save some cash. You’ll find these discounts ranging anywhere from 10% to 30%, and sometimes even up to 40% off the onboard pricing.

I’ve found that sales are most likely to start on Wednesdays, so that’s a good day to log into your Cruise Planner and check for deals. And don’t forget about big sale events like Black Friday; they usually offer some of the best deals you’ll find all year. However, don’t always be swayed simply by the percentage discounts advertised; these can be misleading.

Why misleading, you ask? Well, because the base price of the drinks package can fluctuate so much, a larger percentage discount doesn’t always mean more savings. Instead, focus on the daily rate, as that’s a more accurate indicator of whether you’re getting a good deal. Make it a habit to note down the regular prices so you can easily spot a genuine bargain when a sale comes along.

Recommended reading: How to Cheat Royal Caribbean Drink Package.

An array of alcoholic beverages displayed under the title "Alcoholic Beverage Packages," featuring a variety of spirits and cocktails, accompanied by pricing information for a Deluxe Beverage Package on a Royal Caribbean cruise. Below are non-alcoholic options with a selection of drinks and pricing for a Refreshment Package and Classic Soda Package, highlighted with pre-cruise savings offers.

4. The Price Drop Hack: Cancel and Rebook

You might be wondering, “What if I’ve already bought a drinks package, and then a better offer comes along?” Luckily, Royal Caribbean has a pretty flexible cancellation policy for pre-booked packages. This means that if you see a price drop, you can cancel your existing package, claim a full refund, and then rebook at the lower rate.

However, this strategy does require you to keep an eye on the Cruise Planner, even after you’ve made your initial purchase. While it may seem like a bit of work, the savings can be significant. For example, if a Black Friday sale offers a substantial discount, you could find yourself sipping cocktails at a fraction of the cost you initially thought you’d pay.

5. Currency and Local Pricing

Now, let’s talk currency. The price of your drinks package will be displayed in dollars on the Cruise Planner. However, be aware that exchange rates and transaction fees could impact the actual amount you end up paying if you’re purchasing with a different currency.

Monitoring the Cruise Planner regularly is particularly useful, as you’ll not only see fluctuations due to promotions and sales, but you might also benefit from favourable exchange rate changes. It’s an extra layer of vigilance, but it can be worth it. Just be sure to factor in any foreign transaction fees if your credit card charges them.

Bartender with colorful tattoos preparing a cocktail at Royal Caribbean's Bamboo Room, twisting orange peel over a classic drink garnished with a cherry.

Additional Costs and Final Thoughts

Purchasing your drinks package in advance allows you to spread the cost of your holiday over a longer period, making it less daunting. This way, you won’t be hit with a hefty bill at the end of your trip for all those Mojitos and Margaritas, which can often come as an unpleasant surprise if you’re not prepared.

Furthermore, buying in advance means you’re less likely to make impulse purchases onboard, which can quickly inflate your overall spending. Knowing you have a pre-paid package allows you to relax and enjoy your cruise without constantly worrying about mounting costs. It offers not just financial savings but also peace of mind.

While finding the best time to buy a Royal Caribbean drinks package involves a bit of legwork and strategic timing, the benefits are twofold: you save money and avoid unexpected expenses.

Taking a proactive, informed approach ensures that you not only get the best deal but also that you can sip your drinks blissfully, knowing they’re already accounted for in your budget. However, you could just opt for the free drinks available onboard?

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I'm Hannah and I've been cruising for as long as I can remember.

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