What’s Included In Royal Caribbean Cruise Fare? (& What’s EXTRA)

The first time I booked a Royal Caribbean cruise, I was beyond confused with their cruise fare and what was and wasn’t included.

Figuring out what your cruise ship includes is one of the most common (and important!) questions when booking a vacation.

Unless you have unlimited funds (must be nice,) budgeting and costs are a major factor when booking your next trip, so let’s break down cruise costs and what you can expect to get out of your royal caribbean cruise…

What’s Included In Your Royal Caribbean Cruise Fare?

Your Royal Caribbean cruise fare includes a variety of amenities and activities. Food is covered, with complimentary restaurants like the Windjammer buffet and the Main Dining Room offering a range of dining options. Basic beverages like water, lemonade, coffee, and tea are free of charge.

Onboard activities such as rock climbing, ice skating, and main theater shows are also included, providing ample entertainment at no extra cost.

The fitness center and most public spaces on the ship are also accessible without any additional fees, though gratuities and certain other amenities are extra.

Royal Caribbean Pool on Majesty Of The Seas

What ISN’T Included On A Royal Caribbean Cruise?

When planning your Royal Caribbean cruise, it’s just as important to know what isn’t included as what is.

Here’s a quick rundown of typical services and amenities that usually come at an additional cost.

  • Internet Access: While some packages might offer limited free Wi-Fi, generally internet access is not included and comes at an extra charge.
  • Specialty Dining: While your cruise includes meals in the main dining room, buffet, and some casual eateries, specialty restaurants usually require an additional fee.
  • Spa and Salon Services: Massages, facials, and hair and beauty treatments are not included in your cruise fare.
  • Excursions and Tours: Onshore activities usually come at an additional cost unless otherwise stated in your cruise package.
  • Bottled Water and Specialty Beverages: As mentioned before, only select drinks are included. Bottled water, alcohol, and specialty drinks usually cost extra.
  • Fitness Classes: Access to the fitness center is typically included, but specialized classes like yoga or spinning often come with a fee.
  • Photography and Artwork: Any professional photos taken by the ship’s photographers or artwork from the gallery will be additional costs.
  • Casino Gaming: If you’re feeling lucky, be prepared to spend as the casino is not included.
  • Gift Shop and Shopping: Any onboard shopping will be extra.
  • Gratuities: Some cruise packages might include them, but generally, tips for the staff are extra and may be automatically added to your onboard account.
  • Medical Services: Basic first aid is available, but more intensive care or medications will cost extra.
  • Childcare Services: While kids’ clubs might be part of your package, specialized childcare or babysitting usually incurs an additional fee.

What Drinks Are Included On Royal Caribbean Cruises?

Your Royal Caribbean cruise fare includes tap water, iced tea, lemonade, regular coffee, and hot chocolate as complimentary drink options. Fruit juice is also available, but only during breakfast hours in the main dining area.

If you’re craving something more specific like soda, specialty coffees, or alcoholic beverages, those come at an additional cost.

Wine enthusiasts can bring up to two bottles per stateroom, subject to a corkage fee if opened in public spaces.

Drink and Food on Royal Caribbean Cruise

How Much Do Drinks Cost On Royal Caribbean Cruises?

Drink costs on Royal Caribbean cruises can vary but generally fall within these ranges: beers cost between $7 and $8.25, while a glass of wine can range from $9 to $20.

Cocktails are priced from $8 to $14. Non-alcoholic options like soft drinks and bottled water are around $3, and fancier coffee drinks cost about $4.

Keep in mind, these prices don’t include an additional 18% gratuity. The Deluxe Beverage Package, offering unlimited select drinks, is available for $63–$70 per guest per day.

This package also covers non-alcoholic beverages like coffee and tea.

The Royal Caribbean drink packages are as follows:

  • Beer: $7 – $8.25
  • Glass of Wine: $9 – $20
  • Cocktails: $8 – $14
  • Soft Drinks: $3 – $3.50
  • Fancy Coffee: $4
  • Bottle of Water: $3
  • Spirit and Mixer: $9 – $11+
  • Additional 18% Gratuity: Not included in the above prices
  • Deluxe Beverage Package: $63 – $70 per guest per day (covers unlimited select alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks)

How Much Is The Royal Caribbean Drinks Package?

The cost of the Royal Caribbean drinks package varies and can depend on various factors such as the cruise ship, itinerary, and when you purchase the package. Below are the typical rates:

  • Deluxe Beverage Package: $55 to $95 per person per day
  • Royal Refreshment Package: $29 per person per day
  • Soda Package: $12.99 per person per day
  • Water Package: 12 bottles for $39; 24 bottles for $69
  • Coffee Card: $31 per card

All these prices include an 18% gratuity. The drink package benefits are loaded onto the guest’s SeaPass card, making it convenient to order drinks throughout the cruise.

What’s Included?

  • Deluxe Beverage Package: Cocktails, spirits, liqueurs, beer, wine, mocktails, premium coffees & teas, fountain sodas, bottled still and sparkling water, fresh squeezed juices.
  • Royal Refreshment Package: Premium coffees and teas, bottled still and sparkling water, fresh squeezed orange juice, mocktails, fountain sodas.
  • Soda Package: Fountain sodas and Coca-Cola Freestyle beverages.
  • Water Package: One-liter bottles of water.
  • Coffee Card: Good for 15 specialty coffees.

Is It Worth It?

The value of a drinks package depends on your drinking habits. The Deluxe Beverage Package typically breaks even at 6-7 drinks per day, while the Royal Refreshment and Soda Packages have a lower break-even point of around 4-5 drinks per day.


  • No limit on the number of drinks per day, but only one drink per order.
  • All adult passengers in the same cabin are required to purchase the Deluxe Beverage Package if at least one person has one, though exceptions can sometimes be made.

Special Tips

  • Packages can be purchased prior to the cruise via the Cruise Planner website or onboard.
  • Occasionally, Royal Caribbean offers discounts on these packages, usually before the cruise.


  • Is there a limit on the number of drinks?: No daily limit, but only one drink per order.
  • Can I share my package?: Generally, no. But the Coffee Card can be shared.
  • Where can I use it?: Any bar or restaurant on the cruise, except for room service and mini-bars.
Wine at Sea: Featured In Royal Caribbean Ships: What's Included

Is The Royal Caribbean Drinks Package Worth It?

Determining whether the Royal Caribbean drinks package is worth it really boils down to a combination of your personal consumption habits, financial considerations, and the convenience factor.

If you’re someone who enjoys multiple drinks throughout the day — be it alcoholic beverages like cocktails and wines, or non-alcoholic options like specialty coffees, bottled water, and sodas — the package can offer good value.

For instance, with the Deluxe Beverage Package, you might need to consume around 6-7 alcoholic beverages a day to “break even.”

However, if you also consume non-alcoholic beverages, you could easily reach that break-even point with a lower number of alcoholic drinks.

Financially, one of the key advantages of the package is the predictability it brings to your vacation expenses. When you’ve pre-paid for a package, you’re not constantly evaluating whether or not to order another drink based on its cost.

This can make for a more relaxing and potentially indulgent holiday. Some people find that this convenience alone makes the package worth the cost.

Also, Royal Caribbean often offers discounts on these packages, so a well-timed purchase could tip the scales in favor of the package being a good deal.

However, there are situations where the package might not be worth it.

If your cruise has multiple port days when you’ll be away from the ship, your opportunities to take advantage of the package may be limited.

Also, if you’re cruising with a group and not everyone drinks as much, the requirement that all adults in a room purchase the package (in most cases) could make it less cost-effective.

Is Food Included On Royal Caribbean Cruises?

Food is indeed included on Royal Caribbean cruises, making it quite convenient for travelers. Your cruise fare covers meals and snacks at a variety of dining venues on the ship, which include the Main Dining Room, the Windjammer buffet, and at least two more free dining venues.

This offers ample opportunity to enjoy breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks without having to reach for your wallet every time. Some ships even offer free pizza at certain locations and soft-serve ice cream near the pool deck, letting you indulge a bit without any additional costs.

It’s entirely possible to go an entire cruise by eating solely at these included venues, and given the quality of food Royal Caribbean offers, you won’t feel like you’re missing out.

However, for those interested in a more diverse culinary experience, Royal Caribbean does offer specialty restaurants that come at an extra cost. These range from steakhouses and Italian restaurants to Japanese teppanyaki and sushi spots.

These specialty venues are not just about the food, but also offer a distinct ambiance for a more intimate or unique dining experience.

They could be an excellent option for celebrating special occasions or simply breaking the routine of your cruise dining.

Specialty restaurants do require additional spending, but the prices are generally not exorbitant compared to similar dining experiences on land.

On Royal Caribbean cruises, a variety of dining venues are available at no extra charge, including:

  • The Main Dining Room, a formal dining setting
  • Windjammer, a more laid-back restaurant
  • Mini Bites, offering snacks near the pool area
  • Dog House, a hot dog stand
  • Cafe Promenade, providing cafe-style fare
  • Sorrento’s, serving pizza by the slice
  • Noodle Bar, offering quick-service noodle dishes
  • Vitality Cafe, focusing on healthy breakfast and lunch options
  • Cafe @ Two70, another venue for cafe-style food
  • El Loco Fresh, a casual Mexican eatery
  • Splashaway Cafe, featuring poolside snacks for children
  • Coastal Kitchen, exclusive to suite guests and Pinnacle Club members
  • Room Service, where only continental breakfast items are complimentary

While the availability of these venues may vary depending on the ship, you’ll always have multiple options, and the menus are updated daily.

Room service offers complimentary continental breakfast options, but a $7.95 cover charge applies to all other orders.

Although the food at no extra charge is of excellent quality, those looking for a more special culinary experience may opt for one of Royal Caribbean’s specialty dining options, which come at an additional cost.

Royal Caribbean Specialty Restaurants

Giovanni's Table: Featured In Royal Caribbean Ships: What's Included

Beyond the included meals, Royal Caribbean boasts a diverse roster of specialty restaurants, each with its unique pricing structure, either via a cover charge or à la carte.

These are not included in your cruise fare but can be purchased through a dining package for an additional cost.

Here are some of the distinctive specialty dining venues across the Royal Caribbean fleet:

  • Johnny Rockets: A throwback to classic American diners with burgers and shakes.
  • Chops Grille: Royal Caribbean’s renowned steakhouse.
  • Giovanni’s Table: Offers the warmth and flavors of traditional Italian dining.
  • Sabor: Dive into Mexican fare with customizable tacos and a tequila bar.
  • Izumi Hibachi & Sushi: A fusion of Japanese teppanyaki and sushi delights.
  • Jamie’s Italian: A contemporary twist on Italian favorites.
  • Samba Grill: A Brazilian-style eatery where grilled meats are the stars.
  • Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen: A fresh take on Italian with a focus on pizzas and pastas.
  • Wonderland: An avant-garde dining concept inspired by “Alice in Wonderland.”
  • Portside BBQ: A tribute to classic barbeque dishes.
  • Chef’s Table: A curated 6-course meal, each paired with wine.
  • 150 Central Park: A sophisticated dining venue spotlighting fresh ingredients.
  • Hooked Seafood: A haven for seafood aficionados.
  • Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade: A casual spot with bar favorites.
  • The Mason Jar: Delve into southern flavors with distinct brunch and dinner options.

These specialty venues bring to the table not only diverse cuisines but also a particular ambiance that can elevate your dining experience.

While the standard dining options are undoubtedly commendable, these specialty locations offer guests the chance to enjoy a unique culinary journey.

For those seeking added culinary variety, consider securing a specialty dining package online before setting sail.

This package can provide access to extra-charge restaurants, but at a more favorable rate, letting you savor the specialty offerings without stretching your budget.

Does Royal Caribbean Cruise Fares Include WiFi?

Royal Caribbean doesn’t include WiFi in your cruise fare. However, there are other options to stay connected. The Royal Caribbean app offers a chat feature at a nominal fee of $1.99 per day.

For broader internet access, Royal Caribbean provides two primary packages. The ‘Surf’ package ranges from $12.99 to $15.99 per device per day, offering basic browsing capabilities. Meanwhile, the more advanced ‘Surf & Stream’ package, priced between $17.99 and $19.99 per device daily, provides faster speeds suitable for video streaming and uploads. These rates are most economical when purchased for the entire cruise duration.

A practical approach to cost savings is pre-booking Wi-Fi before boarding. While Royal Caribbean’s Wi-Fi comes at a price, some competitors like Viking and Celebrity Cruises offer complimentary internet.

Are Tips Included In Your Royal Caribbean Cruise Fare?

Royal Caribbean has implemented a structured system for gratuities, ensuring that guests don’t need to distribute cash tips individually to staff. The cruise fare for Royal Caribbean includes gratuities. The amount set for tipping is determined by the stateroom category.

For those staying in non-suite staterooms, a fee of $16 per person, per day is charged, whereas guests in Grand Suites and above are charged $18.50 per person, per day.

These gratuities are automatically added to a guest’s onboard account, which the cruise line then uses to distribute to crew members.

In addition to the daily gratuities, any onboard purchases or services, such as drinks, spa treatments, or dining at specialty restaurants, come with an added 18% gratuity.

This charge is automatically applied at the time of the transaction. The breakdown of this charge can be reviewed on the purchase receipt.

Is Babysitting Included On A Royal Caribbean Cruise?

Royal Caribbean Daycare

Royal Caribbean does not provide traditional babysitting services on its ships. However, they offer a nursery for children aged six months to 36 months, where trained professionals ensure their care and safety. The nursery service comes with its own set of fees, which differ based on the time of day.

For families with older kids, the Kids Club is a popular option. This facility is free during the day, operating at no cost from its opening time until 10 pm.

Beyond that, from 10 pm to 2 am, there’s a group sitting service available, which comes with a fee of $7/hour per child.

For those seeking daycare services, Royal Caribbean charges $6 per hour, per child from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm. Post 6:00 pm, the rate becomes $8 per hour per child. These charges are conveniently billed to your onboard spending account.

Are Activities and Shows Included On A Royal Caribbean Cruise?

There are SO many entertainment options on a Royal Caribbean cruise, the majority of which are included in the cruise fare. At the heart of these are the breathtaking performances in the Royal Theater, featuring renowned Broadway musicals like Grease, Hairspray, and Mamma Mia!.

Guests can also revel in the spectacular dive shows at the AquaTheater, multimedia showcases in Two70®, and thrilling ice shows in Studio B. These are not just limited to nighttime spectacles; additional performances grace the stage on sea days.

Not just limited to the theater, the cruise also offers an array of other activities and shows at no extra cost. Live music, spanning various genres, is a frequent treat, available throughout the day at several locations onboard.

Furthermore, comedy acts, magic performances, and audience participation shows add to the mirth and merriment.

The daily Cruise Compass or the Royal Caribbean app provides a comprehensive schedule of the activities onboard.

While a majority come without any charge, guests can indulge in pool games, movies, trivia sessions, dance classes, and even scavenger hunts.

However, it’s essential to note that while many activities are included, there are certain ones that come with an added fee.

This might encompass specific fitness classes, bingo sessions, casino activities, drink seminars, spa services, and more. Always refer to the daily schedule or app for details regarding any additional charges.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Is Water Included On Royal Caribbean Cruise Ships?

Yes, tap water is provided and safe to drink on all Royal Caribbean cruise ships. Guests can also enjoy complimentary drinks like iced tea, lemonade, regular and decaf coffee, hot and iced tea, flavored waters, and milk during meals.

For those who prefer bottled water, packages are available for purchase, with prices starting at $39 for 12 bottles.

Water dispensers are conveniently located throughout the ship, including in the Windjammer Marketplace and the pool deck.

Is Ben and Jerry’s Included On Royal Caribbean?

Ben & Jerry’s ice cream is not complimentary with the cost of a Royal Caribbean cruise. While it does come with an extra charge for most guests, those staying in the Ben & Jerry’s Sweet suite on certain ships are given a voucher for free ice cream.

Note that some other dining options on the cruise might be included, but specific places like Ben & Jerry’s and certain coffee shops have additional costs.

Is Room Service Included On A Royal Caribbean Cruise?

Room service is available 24/7 on Royal Caribbean cruises. While continental breakfast is offered for free, there is a $7.95 service charge for other orders, regardless of the number of items. An additional 18% gratuity is automatically added.

However, guests in a Royal Suite or other select suites (excluding Junior Suites) enjoy complimentary room service.

Additionally, passengers with “The Key” program benefit from free room service throughout their cruise. The updated menu includes premium options like Wagyu Beef Hamburger and Grilled Salmon.

What Is Included In Star Class On Royal Caribbean?

Star Class suites, exclusive to Oasis and Quantum class ships, offer a luxurious stay with numerous perks. Guests enjoy priority boarding, free VOOM wifi, all-inclusive specialty restaurants, and deluxe drink packages.

They also have special access to the suite lounge and Coastal Kitchen for every meal, free laundry services, and included standard gratuities (though extra gratuities, like for the Royal Genie, are optional).

Speaking of which, a highlight of Star Class is the dedicated services of the Royal Genie.

Is Starbucks Coffee Included On A Royal Caribbean Drink Plan?

Starbucks coffee is not part of any Royal Caribbean drink package. While there are standalone Starbucks stores on some ships, their offerings are categorized as specialty dining and aren’t covered in the cruise fare.

However, specialty coffees available at places like Cafe Promenade, which utilize Starbucks coffee beans, are included.

Drink packages can be redeemed at most onboard venues, except for room service, minibar, or standalone Starbucks locations.

Is The Zip Line Included On Royal Caribbean Ships?

Yes, the zip line is complimentary on Royal Caribbean’s Oasis Class ships such as Harmony of the Seas, Wonder of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas, and Allure of the Seas.

Participants must be at least 52″ tall, weigh between 75 and 275 pounds, and sign a waiver.

Located on Deck 16 of the Wonder of the Seas, the zip line spans across ten decks, offering a thrilling experience above the Boardwalk®. No reservations are required.

Is Sugar Beach Included On Royal Caribbean?

No, Sugar Beach is not included in any Royal Caribbean package. It operates on an à la carte basis. Whether you’re purchasing treats or visiting multiple times, you’ll need to pay separately.

Other places like Starbucks and certain paid ice cream venues are also not covered by any package.

Related: How To Cheat Royal Caribbean Drink Package

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