Royal Caribbean hikes price for drink packages

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The cost of quenching your thirst on Royal Caribbean International is going up in 2019, at least if you buy a bundled package of beverages in one of three plans.

The Deluxe Beverage Package, which includes alcoholic drinks as well as most types of nonalcoholic beverages, is rising to $63-70 a day, up from the 2018 rate of $57-63. The cost varies from ship to ship and sailing to sailing.

The Premium Refreshment Package charge will be $29 a day, up from $26-29 currently. The packages include premium coffees and teas, bottled still and sparkling water, fresh squeezed orange juice, non-alcoholic cocktails and fountain sodas, as well as Coca-Cola Freestyle beverages.

The Soda Package will cost $12.99 a day, up from $8.50-9.50.

Raising the prices amounts to an 11% increase on average for the Deluxe package, an 11.5% maximum increase for the Premium package and a 44% increase on average for the Soda Package.

Inflation in the overall economy in September was reported at an annual rate of 2.3%.

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Carnival raises price of beverage package

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Carnival Cruise Line has increased the cost of its Cheers! beverage package effective Jan. 1.

The pre-cruise purchase cost will go from $49.95 per person, per day to $51.95, a 4% increase.

On the ship, the package will sell for $56.95, up from $54.95. The prices do not include the 15% gratuity.

The package includes spirits, beer, and wine and champagne by the glass with a menu price of $50 and below, plus speciality coffees, sodas, juices, non-alcoholic cocktails, milkshakes, energy drinks and bottled water.

Norwegian add-on package bundles several extras

By Tom Stieghorst

Norwegian Cruise Line will offer an add-on package that can be pre-purchased and includes a kitchen sink of items that cost extra on a cruise.

The package, priced at $899 per passenger for a seven-day cruise, bundles Norwegian’s prepaid dining and beverage packages with a $200-per-person shore excursion credit, 250 minutes of Internet access, prepaid gratuities, 20 photos of any size, a bottle of wine, six bottles of water, one bingo session and chocolate-covered strawberries.

Apart from service charges and gratuities, the package is fully commissionable to travel agents at the agent’s contracted rate, a Norwegian spokeswoman said.

Norwegian’s dining package offers complimentary access to a specialty restaurant each night of the cruise; its beverage package includes cocktails, beer and wine up to $10 a glass and unlimited fountain sodas and juices.

The package is for sale Aug. 4 to 29 and applies to all 2015 cruises of three to 14 days, except those on Pride of America. Pricing is by length of cruise. Shore excursion credits on shorter cruises are $100 per person instead of $200.

Norwegian said adding the package to select cruises will reduce the fare by 10%.

Norwegian said the package is the first of its kind in the cruise industry.