Drink packages on Norwegian Cruise Line are some of the most straightforward & generous drink package options across all major cruise lines. Now, with the Premium Beverage Package as part of the Free At Sea promotions, it sets NCL apart from other cruise lines when it comes to adult beverage packages.
Over the past few years, NCL Drink Packages have been simplified and some options were removed like “Corks & Caps” which was mainly for beer drinkers.
Norwegian Drink Packages Explained
There are two alcohol beverage packages offered by Norwegian Cruise Line – the NCL Unlimited Open Bar package which is also called the Premium Beverage Package and is still commonly referred to as the Premium Package by cruisers and travel professionals. Additionally, there is the upgraded Premium Plus Beverage Package.
There are coffee and soda packages available for non-drinkers.
NCL drink packages are truly unlimited. They do not put a limit on how many beverages you can order during your cruise or per day like other cruise lines do. The only real limit is a guest can order only 2 drinks at a time (Or a Double).
NCL Drink Package Prices
Package prices listed on the Norwegian website do not show the required 20% gratuity, keep that in mind while booking.
|Package||Price Per Day||Gratuities||Total Per Day|
|Unlimited Open Bar (Free at Sea Promo)||$0||$21.80||$21.80|
|Premium Beverage Package||$109||$21.80||$130.80|
|Premium Plus Beverage Package||$138||$27.60||$159.79|
|Starbucks Coffee Package||$12.95||$2.59||$15.54|
Upgrading from the NCL Unlimited Open Bar is simple and can be done online or while onboard. Just pay the difference in the Premium and Premium Plus package + gratuities.
NCL Premium Beverage Package / Unlimited Open Bar
The Premium Beverage Package on NCL (aka Unlimited Open Bar) allows you to order any drink up to $15. The Unlimited Open Bar includes wine, beer, most basic spirits, and frozen drinks like Margaritas, Mudslides, Pina Coladas, and Daiquiris!
Unfortunately, what is NOT included with the Premium Beverage Package is bottled water and specialty (Starbucks) coffee drinks. These are included in the Premium Plus Beverage Package (or in a package for just soda and coffee, as explained below). Souvenir cups sold with drinks are also excluded.
Other items NOT included in the NCL Premium Beverage Package include room service, the mini-bar, and wine from the vending machines throughout the ship.
Other advantages of the Premium Drink package are small perks like 20% off of bottles of wine, discounts on tasting experiences, and discounted flights.
NCL Premium Beverage Package Cost
The Premium Package is “nearly free” when selected as a perk from the Free At Sea promotion, but there’s a catch! (Nothing is really free in life, right?) 🙂
This package is an amazing value as it is normally included in the “Free at Sea” promotion offered when booking. For travelers who book the “Free at Sea” promotion which includes the Unlimited Open Bar / Premium Beverage Package, the cost is nearly free. If for some reason the package is not included in a promotion, it’s an eyewatering $109 / day PLUS Gratuity of 20% making the package about $131 / day.
So why wouldn’t someone choose the Unlimited Open Bar as a promotion? Because while the package is “free” with the promotion, you still pay the 20% gratuity on the VALUE of the drink package. This means that the package still costs each passenger $21.80 per day. So if you only like an occasional beer or a glass of wine with dinner, then you’ll not even get value for the $21.80 gratuities per day that you will be required to pay.
It’s worth noting, however, that even for soda drinkers, the promotion may be worth it!
So this is why we say this drink package is “nearly free” because, for a typical 7-day cruise, each passenger will still be charged more than $150 for the required gratuities.
Norwegian Premium Beverage Package List
Most drinks you’ll find on any Norwegian Cruise Line ship will be included with the Premium Beverage Package (Unlimited Open Bar) with the exception of a few higher-end spirits and wines.
What Does the NCL Premium Beverage Package include?
Gin & Vodka lovers, you’ll be pleased with the selection included with the Premium Beverage Package on Norwegian! Some relatively “top shelf” options are included in the Premium Beverage drink package including:
• Belvedere Vodka
• Grey Goose Vodka
• Good Boy Vodka
• Ketel One Vodka
• Prairie Organic Vodka
• Wheatley Craft Distilled Vodka
• Bombay Dry Gin
• Beefeater London Dry Gin
• Bombay Sapphire Gin
• Tanqueray Special Gin
• Tito’s Handmade Vodka
• Avorza Ultra Premium Organic Vodka • Absolut Vodka
Whiskey and Brandy aficionados will appreciate the selection on NCL ships, but those with really discerning preferences will likely be happier with the Premium Plus package. Otherwise, the basics are all easy to find for the Unlimited Open Bar. Here’s the whiskey, scotch, and brandy included in the Premium Beverage drink package:
• Bulleit Frontier Bourbon
• Wild Turkey 101
• Jack Daniel’s Black
• Jack Daniel’s Gentleman Jack
• Jack Daniel’s Rye
• 1792 Small Batch Bourbon
• St Remy VSOP French Brandy
• Grappa Botegga Sandro
• Hidalgo Reserva 12-Year-Old Spanish brandy
• Pisco Tabernero
• Godet VS Cognac
- House of Steward Scotch
- Chivas Regal
- Johnnie Walker Black Label
- Dewar’s 12 The Ancestor Blended Scotch
- Canadian Mist
- Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon
- Fireball Cinnamon
- Ten High Bourbon
- Seagrams 83 American
- Irish Jameson’s
- Crown Royal Blended Canadian Whiskey
Rum and Tequila drinkers will have plenty to choose from on the Unlimited Open Bar menu, but there are a few seriously good rums on the next package. Here’s the rum that’s included in the Premium Beverage drink package:
- Bacardi Superior Rum
- Bacardi 8 Rum
- Brugal Añejo Rum
- Captain Morgan Spiced Rum
- Cachaça 51 Rum
- Flor de Caña 4 Years Old
- Flor de Caña 12 Years Old
- Gosling’s Black Seal Rum
- Malibu Coconut Rum
- Los Corrales Silver 100% Agave Tequila
- 1800 Reposado Tequila
- JAJA “HaHa” Blanco Tequila
- Patrón Silver Tequila
Other Liqueurs and Cordials included in the Premium Beverage / Unlimited Open Bar Package include:
• Amarula Cream
• Aperol Apéritif
• Chinola Passion Fruit Liqueur
• Disaronno Amaretto
• Limoncello Bottega
• Licor 43
• Maloney’s Irish Cream • Pernod
• Pimm’s No. 1
• Southern Comfort
• Sambuca Di Romana
Beer and Wine included in the Premium Beverage Package / Unlimited Open Bar package includes relatively basic wines, but generally, there is something for everyone. People who really enjoy wine or champagne should consider the next package (Premium Plus). For beer lovers, it’ll be good to know that everything is included in the Premium Beverage Package!
- Angry Orchard Cider
- Blue Moon
- Budweiser Light and Regular
- Coors Light
- Corona Extra
- Brok Premium
- Heineken & Heineken 0.0
- Pilsner Urquell
- Sam Adams
- Stella Artois
- Truly Hard Seltzer
On ships with a beer bar or pub like the NCL Encore, there will be quite a few more craft beer choices!
NCL says the following about the wine included in the Unlimited Open Bar
A large selection of wines by the glass from around the world, including the most recognized grape varieties such as chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, pinot grigio, cabernet, pinot noir, merlot, shiraz, tempranillo, port, non-alcohol wine by the glass, etc.Norwegian Cruise Line
The reality with the wine selections is that they’re mediocre, but there are the basics and usually something for everyone. Real wine lovers will appreciate the choices on the Premium Plus Package
What if a drink costs more than $15 with the Premium Beverage Package?
What’s even better about how Norwegian does their drink packages is that for any drink ordered over the $15 limit, you just pay the difference + 20% gratuity ON THE DIFFERENCE. An example: A glass of wine that costs $17 will be covered up to $15 on the base beverage package. The guest will be charged the $3 difference + 20% of $3, making the total out-of-pocket $3.60.
Non-alcoholic drinks are included in the Unlimited Open Bar / Premium Beverage Package
Sodas, Tonics, Juices (from the bar soda gun, not freshly squeezed), and coffee/tea from the Buffet.
It’s important to reiterate that specialty coffees and bottled water are NOT included in this package.
NCL Premium Plus Beverage Package
For an additional $29/day + 20% gratuity, you can get nearly everything by the glass shown on the menus and even some bottles of wine (Except Louis XIII).
What makes the NCL Premium Plus Drink Package worth it for many passengers is the fact that it includes premium bottled water, specialty coffee, energy drinks & freshly squeezed juices!
What is the cost of the Premium Plus Beverage Package on NCL?
The package without any promotion is $138 per person per day plus 20% gratuities (YIKES!). That’s $165 per day PER PERSON to essentially get any beverage you want with some included bottles of wine.
But the REAL deal is when the Unlimited Open Bar is included as a promotion, you can upgrade to the Premium Plus Beverage Package for only $29 per day +20% gratuities making it about $35/day… a much more reasonable cost especially if you love champagne! A single glass can cost $30 or more, so you can see how having the beverage package can quickly pay for itself for a guest who really enjoys Champagne and a few of the finer spirits available.
Norwegian Premium Plus Beverage Package List
In addition to the included alcohol in the Premium Beverage package, here’s a list of the alcohol included in the Premium Plus Package
What Does the NCL Premium Beverage Package include?
Nearly everything on the ship by the glass!
Gin & Vodka
- Hendrick’s Gin
- Monkey 47 Gin
- ‘66 by Norwegian Gin
- Absolut Elyx Vodka
- Chopin Potato Vodka
Rum & Tequila
- Patron Añejo Tequila
- Avión Silver Tequila
- Cazadores Añejo Tequila
- Gracias A Dios ESPADIN Mezcal
- Flor de Caña Eco 15 Year Rum
- Zacapa 23 Rum
Liqueurs & Cordials
- Bailey’s Irish Cream
- Benedictine D.O.M.
- Grand Marnier
For the cruisers who love their Whiskey, Brandy & Scotch – there are quite a few nice options with the Premium Plus Beverage Package!
- Talisker 10 Scotch
- The Glenlivet Founders Reserve Scotch
- Galveston 12-Year-Old Spanish Single Malt
- Paul John Brilliance Indian Single Malt
- The Macallan “Quest” Single Malt Whiskey
- The Macallan “Enigma” Single Malt Scotch Whiskey◆
- Johnnie Walker Blue Label◆◆
- Old Forester 1910◆
- Old Forester 1920 Prohibition Style◆
- Old Forester 1870 Original Batch Bourbon◆
- Skrewball Peanut Whiskey
- Irish Jameson Caskmates
- Blanton’s Small Batch Single Barrel Whiskey
- EH Taylor Small Batch◆
- Woodford Reserve
- Whistle Pig Rye
- 1792 Full Proof Bourbon◆
- Journeyman Featherbone Bourbon◆
- Hennessy XO
- Hennessy VS
- Remy Martin VSOP
◆◆ In Haven Bars only
◆ In Select Whiskey Bars (Varies by ship)
For wine & Champagne lovers, the Premium Plus Beverage Package starts to make sense! For example, for guests who enjoy nice champagne by the glass (i.e. Moet or Veuve), it doesn’t take much to make the cost of the package worth it.
Pommery Rose and Veuve Clicquot “Yellow Label”. (Veuve is only available in some specialty restaurants now)
- White Wines:
Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio, Chateau Ste. Michelle & Dr. Loosen “Eroica” Riesling, Il Borro by Salvatore Ferragamo Chardonnay, La Crema Chardonnay,
Terrazas de los Andes “Reserva” Chardonnay
+Non-Alcohol Wine by the Bottle
- Red Wines:
Argyle Pinot Noir, Louis Jadot Pinot Noir, Doglioti Barolo, Duckhorn Vineyards Merlot, Terrazas de los Andes “Reserva” Malbec, Buglioni Il Bugiardo Ripasso Valpolicella, Cellier Des Princes Ch Du Pape, Leonardo Davinci Brunello di Montalcino,
Il Borro by Salvatore Ferragamo Pian Di Nova, Celeste Crianza Ribera Del Duero Tempranillo, Silverado Vineyards, Decoy Cabernet Sauvignon, and Dow’s “Quinta do Bomfim”Porto
What makes the Premium Plus package even better is the fact it includes bottled water (Aqua Panna, Evian, Pellegrino, etc) and specialty coffee (Starbucks), Fresh Juices, and all the Red Bull you can fit in your body.
Other perks of the Premium Plus Beverage Package with NCL are a 40% discount on wine & spirit experiences, tastings, and flights, Connoisseur Collection beverages, and all other wines by the bottle.
Included wines by the bottle at meals with the NCL Premium Plus Beverage Package
For a wine lover, this is a great benefit to this package, until you realize that it includes a limited selection of wines. The wines will also vary greatly based on which ship you’re on, as ships that lack a real wine bar will have a more limited selection. For Example, on the Norwegian Dawn, where there is a Mondavi wine cellar, there were more options for Premium Plus Beverage Package customers to choose from whereas, on a ship like the NCL Sun or Epic, the choices were limited due to lack of a wine bar on the ship.
Is every drink included with the Premium Plus Beverage Package?
With the Premium Plus Beverage Package, everything sold by the glass on the entire ship is included (with the exception of the Louis XIII. Just order away, and you get what you want! Some bottles of wine are included at meal times (See the menu on this page)
Here is an example of a wine list where included bottles are marked by PREMIUM PLUS. Those wines are available WITH MEALS as a part of the drink package.
** Prices can vary slightly by ship or itinerary. This is representative of a wine list from the Norwegian Dawn which included a Mondavi wine cellar (2023)
Nonalcoholic packages are available
Norwegian has a few other drink package options including:
Unlimited Starbucks for $12.95/day + 20% gratuity
Unlimited Soda / soft drink package for $9.95 per day + 20% gratuity (FYI, NCL now serves COKE branded products)
Water Package which ranges from $19.95 to $49.95 for 6 liters to 24 liters of water.
If you purchase the Premium Plus beverage package, all of this is included, so these packages only make sense for non-drinkers and children.
These are PER PERSON prices and every person must have a package when staying in the same cabin.
Do you have an experience with NCL Beverage Packages?
Did we miss something? Did we get something wrong? Please let us know! We’ll correct it right away.
NCL Premium Beverage Package vs Premium Plus
NCL maintains a page regarding their beverage packages (and other packages) with up-to-date information. It’s always best to confirm what drinks are included and the prices of the drink packages.
The most notable difference in the two drink packages is that the Premium Plus Beverage Package on NCL includes all alcohol types available in addition to premium coffees (unlimited Starbucks), bottled water, and fresh squeezed juices.
With this current list, you can compare what’s included with the Premium Beverage Package vs Premium Plus package:
NCL Premium Beverage Package 2023 PDF