Two cocktails on the beach.

Are MSC Cruise Drink Packages Worth It? 4 Things to Ask Yourself

Are MSC cruise drink packages worth it or not? This is a HUGE conversation starter on cruise ships. 

Even after people have purchased their drink packages or have chosen not to buy one, cruisers still talk about this while enjoying their cocktails by the pool. Why?  Because it’s often a toss-up and everyone has a different opinion. And, I think vacationers still wonder if they made the right decision.

In this post, you will find out what questions you should ask yourself when considering taking a drink package. It also includes the different drink packages MSC offers and other useful information.

Are MSC Cruise Drink Packages Worth It? 4 Things to Consider

The bar on the BSC cruises.
Photo Credit: MSC Cruises

When I was researching this topic for this blog, I came across these pieces of advice:

“The short answer is that it depends.”
“Unlimited drink packages on cruises are not always a great deal.”

“Buying a drink package is breathtakingly expensive.”
“It was worth every penny.”

As you can see, the information online is all over the page. I think the best place to start is to answer a few questions.

>> Read: 5 Benefits of the MSC Yacht Club: What I Love the Most

1. How many days will you be in port?

First, think about how many days you’ll be on the cruise and how many of those days you’re planning excursions to be off the ship. You will not be on the ship for at least five to seven hours on those particular days. In contrast, if you’re on a transatlantic cruise with many days at sea, you may enjoy a drink package.

2. Are you a big soda drinker or do you drink a lot of bottled water?

If so, you may definitely want to splurge on a drink package because you may find ease in this. Sodas and water bottles are pretty expensive onboard and you can easily rack up a big bill each day.

3. Do you get stressed out seeing your bill go up from buying a la carte drinks?

There is a huge convenience factor if you don’t want to worry about paying as you go. If you’re this type of traveler who wants to totally relax, then a drink package will make your vacation delightful. 

4. How much do you typically drink?

I know this is an obvious thing to ask, but I believe if you estimate this number, it will guide you to make your decision. However, because you’re on vacation, you probably will drink a little more.

Once you ponder these questions, I believe MSC Cruises markets its drink packages in a straightforward way. They offer three alcoholic drink packages and two non-alcoholic ones. Here’s the breakdown.

Different types of cocktail drinks.
Photo credit: FreePik

Types of Drink Packages on MSC Cruises

Package #1: Easy Package

Cost if booked before sailing: $49 per person, per day

MSC’s Easy Package includes alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages including classic or international cocktails; non-alcoholic cocktails and mixed drinks; one brand of each type of spirit such as whisky, vodka, gin, rum, tequila, brandy; house wines (red, white, sparkling, rosè); draft beer Heineken and bottled beer Heineken; soft drinks from the fountain, canned soft drinks, fruit juices by the glass and bottled; bottled mineral water; classic hot drinks (espresso, cappuccino, caffèlatte, hot tea, hot chocolate). 

Beverage gratuities are included with this package. This package is valid in all onboard bars, as well as the buffet and main restaurants, but not in speciality restaurants or signature venues.

Package #2: Easy Plus Package

Cost if booked before sailing: $64 per person, per day

This package covers all beverages up to $10 and allows you to utilize the package at the bars, buffet, main restaurants, specialty restaurants, and private islands.

It covers an assortment of frozen and classic cocktails; fresh fruit cocktails and protein shakes; well spirits, liqueurs, and cordials; a variety of draught and bottled beers; non-alcoholic cocktails and all non-alcoholic drinks; bottled mineral water; a wide range of hot drinks; plus 10% discount on bottles of wine purchased on board; and a selection of wines by the glass.

Beverage gratuities are included with this package. 

Package #3 Premium Extra Package

Cost if booked before sailing: $88 per person, per day

If you like to indulge in premium liquors, this package is for you.

It covers all beverages up to $16 and includes a wide array of premium and international cocktails; non-alcoholic cocktails and all non-alcoholic drinks; fresh fruit and protein cocktails, premium brand spirits, liqueurs, and cordials; a wide selection of fine wine by the glass; champagne by the glass, a wide variety of draft and bottled beer; bottled mineral water; a wide selection of classic and specialty hot drinks; and a 25% discount on purchased bottled wine and champagne. 

All beverage gratuities are included. This package can be enjoyed in the MSC bars, buffet, main restaurants, and specialty restaurants as well as on private islands, but does not cover the signature venues.

Two glasses of champagne on board a cruise ship.

Package #4 Alcohol-Free Package

Cost if booked before sailing: $30 per person, per day

No non-boozers, it’s wonderful to consider a package that includes non-alcoholic cocktails; fresh fruit and protein cocktails; energy drinks; sodas, flavored water, a wide variety of hot drinks; and soft serve ice cream. 

All beverage gratuities are included. This package can be used in MSC bars, self-service buffets, main restaurants, and on private islands, but not in specialty restaurants and signature venues. 

Package #5 Minors Package

Cost if Booked Before Sailing: $21 per person, per day

This offer covers a variety of non-alcoholic drinks including non-alcoholic cocktails; fresh fruit and protein cocktails, energy drinks; flavored water; soda by glass and bottle; a wide range of hot drinks; and soft serve ice cream.

Beverage gratuities are included. This package can be used in MSC bars, self-service buffets, main restaurants, and on private islands, but not in specialty restaurants and signature venues.

Two glasses of wine in a bar.
Photo credit: FreePik

What Drinks are Complimentary Without a Beverage Package?

Like many cruise ships, you can get water, coffee, tea, iced tea, juices, and milk with MSC. However, I’ve always found the fruit juices and iced tea to be subpar because they are lackluster in flavor and seem diluted.

Is There a Limit on the Number of Drinks I Can Get? 

Some cruise ships do have limits, but MSC does not limit the number. 

However, your bartender does have the right to refuse to serve passengers who are over-served.

How Do I Get a Drink Package with MSC?

If you are interested in an all-inclusive package, the best time to get the least expensive price is when you book the cruise through your travel advisor. 

When your advisor researches prices for your cruise, there are often drink packages available that will offer you the best value. I recently saw a deal with MSC where you could receive exclusive shipboard credits of up to $150 per cabin on select sailings plus get free drinks and free Wi-Fi on select sailings. 

According to MSC, all the drink packages purchased in advance of your cruise are about 15% lower than what you’ll pay on the ship. If you’re not sure about drink packages when you book your cruise, it’s okay to make the decision later and you can always add a drink package before your embarkation date.

>> Check MSC cruise deals here

Bottles of wine on a shelf.
Photo credit: FreePik

Are MSC Cruise Drink Packages Worth It? Final Thoughts

Deciding whether an MSC cruise drink package is worth it is pretty subjective and depends on your personal drinking habits.

Let’s be real – alcoholic beverages on a cruise ship are pretty expensive. So if you’re the type who likes to have a few drinks per day, a package deal could potentially save you some cash.

But if you’re more of a casual drinker, you might be better off just paying for drinks individually. Think about the types of drinks you typically enjoy – are they generally pricey cocktails or more budget-friendly beers and wines? That can help you figure out if the package cost will be worth it for your preferences.

At the end of the day, it’s all about crunching the numbers to see what works best for your cruise drinking style.

Jenny Lynn on a Journey Travel Blog contains affiliate links and is a member of the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and other affiliate marketing programs. If you make a purchase using one of these links, I may receive compensation at no extra cost to you.

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