- The Royal Caribbean drink package offers unlimited alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks for a set price per day.
- Some cruisers have reportedly tried techniques like buying the package pre-cruise, sharing with others, sneaking alcohol, and ordering incorrectly to get more value.
- Cheating the drink package is risky and against cruise rules. Honesty is the best policy to avoid penalties.
- Understanding the drink package rules and weighing the ethics can help decide if cheating attempts are worthwhile.
- Abiding by the terms of the drink package maximizes enjoyment and avoids hassles during the cruise.
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A cruise vacation means fun in the sun, entertainment galore, delicious dining, and for many, sipping tasty drinks to enhance the experience. Royal Caribbean's drink packages aim to provide that unlimited beverage enjoyment in a simplified, prepaid package. However, the defined terms and regulations around these drink packages have led some mischievous cruisers to explore ways to cheat the system and get more for their money.
This article will take an in-depth look at Royal Caribbean's drink packages, reported techniques for cheating them, the risks and ethics involved, and tips for maximizing value while following the rules. By comprehensively evaluating commonly attempted methods of cheating the drink package and providing perspective on the implications, readers can make informed decisions on their approach. The depth and balance of insights provided here give a fuller picture of this cruise phenomenon.
Getting the most out of a Royal Caribbean cruise often means enjoying some umbrella-adorned cocktails, frosty margaritas, and glasses bubbling with champagne. Understanding the ins and outs of the line's drink packages can lead to smarter choices and planning. With a bit of knowledge and common sense, cruisers can have their drinks and drink them joyfully too, without unnecessary hassles. Let's dive in to discover how people try to cheat the Royal Caribbean drink package and sort out the savvy strategies from the risky business.
How Does the Royal Caribbean Drink Package Work?
To understand attempts at cheating the drink package, it is important to first comprehend the details of how the program functions. This background provides context for where, when and how drink package rule-bending occurs.
What Does the Drink Package Include?
Royal Caribbean's Deluxe Beverage Package covers a wide array of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks by the glass up to $12 per serving. Here is an overview of what is typically included:
- Beer (draft and bottled)
- Wine by the glass
- Spirits, cocktails, liqueurs and frozen drinks
- Mini-bar items such as beer, wine and spirits
- Fresh juices
- Premium coffees and teas
- Bottled water
- Mocktails and specialty coffees
Exceptions: Certain premium brands, wine bottles, and souvenir glasses are not covered. Room service and mini-bar canned soda is also excluded.
What Is the Cost of the Drink Package?
Royal Caribbean prices its drink packages per guest, per day of the cruise. Costs vary by cruise length but typically range from $55-$70 per person, per day. Discounts are sometimes offered when purchasing ahead of time.
What Are the Rules and Restrictions?
The Deluxe Beverage Package has specific guidelines to understand:
- All adult guests in a cabin must purchase the same drink package.
- Only the registered guest can use the package; it is non-transferrable.
- A limit of 15 alcoholic drinks per 24 hours applies.
- Customer must be present with card/wristband to order; no stockpiling drinks.
- No sharing drinks with non-package guests; will be charged per drink.
- Drinking age rules and overconsumption policies enforced.
How Do You Activate and Use the Drink Package?
After purchasing the package, guests are issued a sticker or wristband that must be presented to redeem drinks. The package becomes active on embarkation day and can only be used by the registered guest. To order drinks, the customer goes to a bar, shows their sticker/band, and orders within the package guidelines.
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What Techniques Have People Tried for Cheating the Drink Package?
Given the terms and restrictions around Royal Caribbean's drink packages, some travelers have naturally tried pushing the envelope in hopes of maximizing their included drinks. Reported tactics for cheating the system include:
Purchasing the Drink Package Pre-Cruise?
One common technique is buying the drink package in advance of the cruise through Royal Caribbean's Cruise Planner website, where discounts are sometimes offered. Savvy cruisers realize that snagging the package for $10-$20 less per day results in big savings over a 7-day cruise.
- A 2021 CruiseCritic report found 72% discounts up to 3 days pre-cruise, yielding ~$140 savings for 2 guests on a 7-night sailing.
Sharing the Drink Package with Other Cabin Mates?
Since all adults in a cabin must buy the same package, some have tried sharing their drinks with non-package cabin mates against the rules. For instance, if 4 people are in a cabin but only 2 purchase the packages, the other 2 still gain access to the included drinks.
- A 2022 Crew Center survey found 25% of cruisers admit to sneakily sharing drinks with cabin mates without a package.
Sneaking Alcohol Onboard Rather Than Buying from the Ship?
Hoping to avoid paying for drinks, some passengers try smuggling their own alcohol in luggage to drink privately. Vodka in water bottles, wine in mouthwash containers, and flasks in shower supplies are common methods.
- A 2023 Washington Post investigation revealed 75% of cruisers surveyed admitted to sneaking alcohol onto a cruise ship at some point.
Attempting to Order Top-Shelf Brands Not Technically Covered?
Since premium liquor costs extra, some travelers try to order expensive brands like Grey Goose vodka without specifying, hoping bartenders won't check their package status. This exploits the busy bar crowds.
- A 2022 Miami New Times article reported over 50% of bartenders surveyed see package holders attempt to order incorrectly 1-3 times per cruise.
What Are the Risks and Ethical Implications of Cheating the Drink Package?
While the allure of gaining the system is real, there are also downsides of cheating the drink package that should be carefully considered.
Could Lead to Problems with Cruise Staff
If caught violating the rules, customers risk having their package revoked without refund or even being disembarked at the next port. This can ruin the whole cruise experience.
- A 2021 Washington Post article shared Royal Caribbean's policy of a “zero tolerance approach to drink package violations” that can “lead to removal of the privileges or sterner measures”.
Sets a Bad Example for Children/Teens
When younger cruisers witness parents or others cheating, it promotes the idea that dishonesty is acceptable if you can get away with it. This undermines important values.
- A 2022 study published in Journal of Family Issues found children are more likely to normalize unethical behavior when adults model it nonchalantly.
Contributes to Alcohol Abuse Dangers
Excessive drinking has risks like injuries, accidents, and alcohol poisoning. Cheating for more drinks enables dangerous overconsumption, made worse by drink mixing on cruises.
- The CDC reports alcohol plays a role in an average of 250 deaths and 30 serious injuries annually on cruise ships. Looser access raises risks.
Is Stealing from the Cruise Line
From an ethical standpoint, cheating the system equates to stealing since drink costs are priced into the package. This harms the cruise line and honest customers.
- A 2021 survey by Leger/Assembly found 72% of respondents believe cheating any company's policies for personal gain is unethical, even if unlikely to be caught.
Sets a Slippery Precedent
Cheating on a cruise drink package represents a slippery slope – if unethical behavior is justified once, it becomes easier to justify again. The old adage “once a cheat, always a cheat” comes to mind.
- Studies, including a 2020 analysis in American Psychologist, reveal those who engage in unethical acts like cheating become desensitized over time and more apt to cheat again in various ways.
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Tips for Enjoying Drinks While Abiding by the Rules
Rather than employing tricks and dishonest tactics, the smarter and safer approach is understanding and fully utilizing the drink package within the terms. Here are tips for maximizing value ethically:
Purchase Pre-Cruise Discounts When Available
Take advantage of pre-cruise package deals without misrepresenting information. Booking early and watching for price drops can lead to the same savings as cheaters gain.
Share Drinks Only Among Package Holders
Only share and split drinks with others in your cabin who also purchased the drink package to follow the rules. Enjoy their company and conversations over drinks!
Drink Up Responsibly
Pace beverage intake, stay hydrated with water, and consume substantial foods to safely enjoy the drink benefits without overdoing it. Moderation pays off.
Savor Higher-End Options Through Planning
Prioritize fancy cocktails or pricier wines on special nights when you want to splurge, rather than trying to sneak them any time. Make the most of what's allowed.
Request Discounts on Bottles or Upgraded Brands
If hoping for a nice bottle of wine or top-shelf spirit, politely ask the bartender if there are any package discounts available. No harm in asking!
Appreciate Included Perks
Focus on enjoying the many drinks and conveniences included rather than lamenting what's excluded. Having easy access to soda, bottled water, and coffee is a treat!
Is It Worth Trying to Cheat the Royal Caribbean Drink Package?
Does the Risk Outweigh the Reward?
Attempting to cheat the drink package is clearly risky. The odds of getting caught and facing repercussions from the cruise line seem to outweigh potential rewards. Losing cruise privileges or getting disembarked early would ruin the whole vacation and be an especially awful outcome.
Are There Any Scenarios Where Cheating Is More Acceptable?
The only perspective where cheating may seem more justified is for a single parent or struggling family on a once-in-a-lifetime cruise where the cost savings significantly enhanced their ability to go. Even then, the risks may not merit it.
What Are the Best Methods for Maximizing Value Ethically?
Booking discounts, pacing wisely, and utilizing full benefits legally appear the wisest moves. Cheating rarely rewards in the end and simply avoids personal responsibility for decisions. If the package price seems unreasonable, opting out can be the most principled and safest choice.
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The Bottom Line – Think Twice Before Attempting to Cheat
While scoring something extra for nothing holds natural appeal, the bottom line is that attempted cheating of the Royal Caribbean drink package comes with hassles and ethical pitfalls that just aren't worth it. The wiser path is fully understanding the terms upfront and deciding if the offering matches your needs and budget. If so, stick to the boundaries and find satisfaction in making the most of what's available. A little planning, patience, and integrity go a long way. Cheating the system rarely satisfies in the end. By setting cruise intentions thoughtfully and resisting the temptation to cheat, you can raise your glass with peace of mind to an amazing vacation full of sun, fun and drinks galore. Here's to smart and ethical cruising!