Budget Travel: Royal Caribbean is selling unlimited alcoholic beverage packages starting at $29 a day.
Before you envision a crazy party-hearty Spring Break-like scene all over the Caribbean and North America, hold your horses. Royal Caribbean announced this week that it was introducing new "all you can drink" packages solely on three ships, none of which cater primarily to the U.S. market. The ships are:
Independence of the Seas (based in the UK)
Legend of the Seas (based in Asia)
Grandeur of the Seas (based in Panama and the Mediterranean)
As for the pricing and package particulars, there are three options. As reported by USA Today and ConsumerTraveler among others, the cruise line's least expensive option costs $29 per day. That price covers all the beers and house wines (by the glass) a passenger wants to drink. Additionally, anyone buying this Beer and Wine Package gets 25 percent off other wines and liquors.
One step up is the Classic Package, which costs $39 daily and includes all the beer, house wine, liquors and cocktails (excluding certain premium brands) you can imbibe. Finally, there's the $49 daily Premium Package, which gets you everything in the Classic Package, as well as premium liquor brands and glasses of wine up to $10 a pop.
In a statement announcing the new drink packages, Jo Rzymowska, a Royal Caribbean executive based in the UK, offered these words: "Royal Caribbean International has developed these new packages to enable our guests to make their holiday more relaxing and enjoyable by paying one set price for a wide variety of drink choices."
Is this an option you would opt for? Do you hope this is a trend that catches on and spreads? Or do you think it could ruin the cruise experience, what with passengers trying to get their money's worth and going off the deep end, so to speak?