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This Cruise Lines Soda Package is Better Than All The Rest – Here’s Why!

I have recently returned from a lovely trip on Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas. We sailed from Southampton and visited the Norwegian Fjords.

Before the cruise, I thought about the drinks I would be buying onboard, and I didn’t hesitate to buy a Royal Caribbean Soda package.

I usually prefer a “Pay as you go” option when it comes to drinks, but Royal Caribbean’s soda package does offer good value for me for lots of different reasons.

We look at these reasons in this article.

#1 Price

This is the first thing I always look at!

Often drinks packages don’t offer good value for me, particularly packages that include alcohol. I really don’t drink enough to make the cost worth my while, so it is far better for me to add the drinks costs to my onboard account and pay for them at the end of the cruise.

Royal Caribbean often offer you a discount on your drinks package, if you purchase them online via the App prior to your sailing.

The price of drinks packages on Royal Caribbean can vary, but a Soda Package at the time of writing costs around $12.99/£10.25 a day.

I was able to get a discount on this by buying my package in advance on the App, and paid £9.75/$12.40 per person per day – making the drinks costs for my week’s cruise a very reasonable £68.25/$86.50 per person.

I would only need to have a couple of drinks a day to make my soda package pay for itself, and I was sure I could easily do that!

#2 Variety Of Drinks Included

It’s not unusual when you buy a soda package onboard to find yourself drinking lots of fountain Coke because there are few other included options available.

If you sail with P&O for example, you really only get the choice of fountain soda, lemonade, or orange, apple, or pineapple juice in their soda package.

Much as I like a proper Pepsi Max or a Coke Zero, pints of fountain soda can soon become boring, and often doesn’t taste that great.

Pints of fountain soda on P&O’s Arvia

If you sail with Royal Caribbean, there are loads of soda options to choose from. You can also get juices, tea, coffee, and water for free in the buffet or international cafe, so I didn’t feel I needed a more expensive drinks package.

#3 Soda Machines

There are soda machines around the ship, and you can just help yourself to a variety of sodas – or mix them up and make your own flavour.

Lots of these sodas come in normal and low-sugar varieties, which is great to see.

Whilst I tended to drink Coke Zero or the many other flavours, Cherry Coke, Mango Coke, etc, my Mum and Brother preferred the traditional lemonade or other fruit drink options.

When you first embark, you can go to a bar and pick up a Coca-Cola souvenir cup. You can use this at any of the drinks machines at any time of day or night.

The souvenir cup has a clever microchip in the bottom, so it will allow you to help yourself to soda for the duration of your cruise – but once your cruise is over, although you can keep your cup, the soda machines won’t work for that cup ever again.

My Souvenir cup on Anthem of the Seas – Flam, Norway

I can only guess that they have had people bringing their cups back from previous cruises and trying to use them in the soda machines to get free drinks!

Coca-Cola® freestyle machines are currently available on the following ships:

Adventure of the Seas® 
Allure of the Seas® 
Anthem of the Seas® 
Enchantment of the Seas® 
Explorer of the Seas® 
Freedom of the Seas® 
Grandeur of the Seas® 
Harmony of the Seas® 
Independence of the Seas® 
Jewel of the Seas® 
Mariner of the Seas® 
Navigator of the Seas® 
Oasis of the Seas® 
Quantum of the Seas® 
Ovation of the Seas® 
Rhapsody of the Seas® 
Symphony of the Seas® 

Royal Caribbean International

#4 It’s Not Always Fountain Soda

I soon learnt on my Anthem cruise which bars would serve proper Coke Zero, poured from cans.

I would head up to the pool deck for a drink, rather than going to some of the other bars onboard, where the fountain soda was nowhere near as nice!

#5 No Need to Sign

On other ships that I have sailed on, I have continually had to sign for any drinks I order in the bar – even if they are included in my drinks package.

On Royal Caribbean ships, there is no need to do this. You just show your card, and receive your drink – there is no extra faffing about with pens and bits of paper!

I signed for my drinks on Celebrity Infinity

#6 Gratuities Are Included In The Cost Of The Package

The costs I have mentioned above include all service charges for drinks. If you have a soda package, the only additional service charges you will pay are the daily gratuities added to your onboard account.

Find out more about daily gratuities on cruise ships here:

Cruise Gratuities: A Simple Step by Step Guide For First Time Cruisers

When I sailed on Celebrity Edge ( which is also part of the Royal Caribbean Group) I decided against buying any sort of drinks package. They didn’t offer a “soda package” as such, just a “Zero Proof ” package starting at around $30/£24 a day. This package included teas, coffees and Mocktails, not just soda.

Every can of Coke Zero I bought was $4 + $1.20 gratuity – so $5.20/£4.10 in total for a can. (They charge an additional 20% service charge on any drinks bought if you “Pay As You Go” on some cruise lines – so you need to factor that in.)

You need to consider all service charges involved when you decide whether you want to “Pay As You Go” for your drinks, or buy the drinks package.

The Celebrity Edge is an amazing ship. Find out about my cruise on her here:

Before You Go

Find out why I rarely buy a drinks package here:

Drinks Packages Aren’t Worth it For Me – Here’s How I Decide (Price Lists & More)

Find out why you can’t share a drinks package when you cruise here:

You Can’t Share a Drinks Package on a Cruise – Here’s Why

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