Speciality coffee on MSC Cruises
28
May
2017

Everything You Need to Know About MSC Cruises’ Drinks Packages

Beverages keep on flowing when you buy a drinks package on your cruise holiday.

But those seemingly unlimited drinks from the bars and restaurants come with a hefty initial cost.

One of the big dilemmas I faced when I booked my cruise on MSC Preziosa was whether to book the MSC Cruises Drinks Package or not. I thought I would share my decision-making process in case it helps you assess the ins and outs of the all-inclusive drinks package.

MSC Cruises Drinks Package Prices

Here are the prices of the various packages available, if pre-booked online.

RegionPackageAdult Price (pre-book)Child Price (pre-book)Adult Price (onboard)Child Price (onboard)
Mediterranean / Arabian Gulf / Northern Europe / Caribbean departing Cuba or BarbadosAll-Inclusive Restaurant & Bar Drinks Package£20 / day£9 / day€30 ( £27) / day€14 ( £13) / day
Mediterranean / Arabian Gulf / Northern Europe / Caribbean departing Cuba or BarbadosAll-Inclusive Deluxe Drinks Package£39 / day£16 / day€51 ( £45) / day€25 ( £22) / day
Caribbean departing Dubai / South America / Grand Voyages departing MiamiAll-Inclusive Restaurant & Bar Drinks Package£34 / day£16 / day
Caribbean departing Dubai / South America / Grand Voyages departing MiamiAll-Inclusive Deluxe Drinks Package£19 / day£16 / day
Caribbean departing MiamiAll-Inclusive Classic Drink Package$45 ( £34) / day$23 ( £18) / day
Caribbean departing MiamiAll-Inclusive Deluxe Drink Package$61 ( £46) / day$31 ( £24) / day

* Prices onboard were those I found on MSC Preziosa. Prices are charged onboard in Euros and include a 15% service charge.
Source: MSC Cruises Press Office; MSC Cruises USA website; onboard MSC Preziosa

Help me fill in the blanks. If you have current prices for any option above, contact me, and I will update this guide to continue helping others.

Cocktail

In 2017, MSC Cruises renamed the drinks packages. The Allegrissimo package became the All-Inclusive Restaurant & Bar Drink Package, and the Allegrissimo Premium package became the All-Inclusive Deluxe Drink Package. The More-For-Less package became the All-Inclusive Classic Drink Package, and the More-For-Less Premium package became the All-Inclusive Deluxe Drink Package.

All-Inclusive Restaurant & Bar Drink Package

The Classic All-Inclusive Restaurant & Bar Drink Package turns your full board cruise with MSC Cruises into an all-inclusive cruise. For a daily fee, you can order unlimited beverages from any bar, the buffet, or the main restaurants at no additional cost.

Adult Package includes:

  • Wine by the glass (choice of two white, a rosé, two red, one dry sparkling, and one sweet sparkling)
  • Draught beer
  • Soft drinks
  • Hot drinks
  • Mineral water
  • A selection of drinks and cocktails from the bar
  • Take-away ice-cream (gelato) in a cone or cup

Child Package includes:

  • Soft drinks
  • Fruit juices
  • Hot drinks
  • Mineral water
  • Virgin cocktails
  • Smoothies
  • Milkshakes
  • Take-away ice-cream in a cone or cup

Your itinerary length determines the package price. You cannot order a package on a day-by-day basis. So for example, if you are on a seven-day cruise the pre-booked adult package would work out as 7 days × £20 per day = £140 per person for the entire voyage. You cannot, for example, go all-inclusive on day two and day five.

Importantly, everyone occupying the same cabin, or travelling together and dining at the same table, must each buy the same drinks package, including children aged three years old or above.

If two adults and two kids are sharing a cabin, two adult and two child drinks packages need purchasing - even if only one adult would make full use of the drinks package. The maths to calculate this is (2 adults × (7 days × £20 per day)) + (2 children × (7 days × £9 per day)) = £406 for the family of four for the entire duration of the voyage.

Wine glass

Buying on board

You do not need to pre-book this drinks package online before you travel on holiday but purchasing the package onboard makes it liable for a 15% bar service charge.

All-Inclusive Deluxe Drink Package

The All-Inclusive Deluxe Drink Package offers perks over and above the standard All-Inclusive Restaurant & Bar Drink Package. It is more inclusive and includes premium brands. It also includes drinks from the in-cabin mini bar.

Adult Package includes:

  • Unlimited wine (from the "by the glass" menu)
  • Draught and bottled beer
  • Soft drinks,
  • Mineral water
  • All drinks from the bar including champagne cocktails, single malt whiskies, superior brandies and other premium spirits
  • Drinks from your mini-bar and mineral water in your cabin
  • All items from the 'Gelateria' menu, Chocolate Bar and Pastry Shop
  • Food from the Room Service menu

Child Package includes:

  • Unlimited soft drinks from the bar including energizers, fruit juices, mineral water, hot drinks, virgin cocktails, smoothies and milkshakes
  • Non-alcoholic drinks and snacks from the in-cabin mini-bar and mineral water in your cabin
  • All items from the 'Gelateria' menu, Chocolate Bar and Pastry Shop
  • Food from the Room Service menu

Cocktail

Free all-inclusive drinks

Did you know that Aurea experience passengers get a free classic all-inclusive drinks package included in their cruise fare? Yacht Club guests get unlimited drinks in all MSC Yacht Club areas, plus all-inclusive mealtime drinks. Find out more about the MSC experience levels here.

Mealtime Drinks Package

  • 2018 update: Rumour has it that this package may no longer be available. I will try to find out the facts, but if you have recently sailed with MSC Cruises and can help, please get in touch.

If you are more likely to drink more with lunch and dinner, you may want to consider the Mealtime Restaurant Drinks Package. A slimline version of the Drinks Packages above, this package includes unlimited wine (a choice of two white, two red and one rosé house brands), mineral water, draught beer, sodas, and fruit juices during lunch and dinner each day for adults. Children get unlimited soft drinks and mineral water during lunch and dinner.

This package excludes drinks with breakfast. Drinks can only be ordered and consumed in the main restaurants and the self-service buffet.

PackageAdult Price (pre-book)Child Price (pre-book)Adult Price (onboard)Child Price (onboard)
Mealtime Restaurant Drinks Package£13 / day£7 / day€19 ( £17) / day€11 ( £10) / day

* Prices onboard were those I found on MSC Preziosa. Prices are charged onboard in Euros and include a 15% service charge.
Source: MSC Cruises Press Office; onboard MSC Preziosa

Upgrading onboard

You can upgrade your pre-paid drinks packages onboard for a supplement. The costs of doing so on my sailing aboard MSC Preziosa were:

UpgradeAdult PriceChild Price
From: Mealtime Drinks Package:
To: All-Inclusive Restaurant & Bar Drink Package
€11 ( £10) / day€4 ( £4) / day
From: Mealtime Drinks Package
To: All-Inclusive Deluxe Drink Package
€32 ( £29) / day€14 ( £13) / day
From: All-Inclusive Restaurant & Bar Drink Package
To: All-Inclusive Deluxe Drink Package
€21 ( £19) / day€11 ( £10) / day

* Prices onboard were those I found on MSC Preziosa. Prices are charged onboard in Euros and include a 15% service charge.
Source: Onboard MSC Preziosa

MSC Drinks Vouchers

If you choose to pay as you go, you may want to consider buying a booklet of vouchers. Prepay for a block of drinks and pay a little less than if you pay as you go along.

Vouchers are valid for the duration of your cruise, so you need not drink 15 drinks in one sitting!

All options below vary by region. You can pre-book some packages for a slight cost saving.

An MSC Cruises spokesperson advised me that everyone sharing the same cabin can use these vouchers. Unlike the All-Inclusive Drinks Packages where everyone in the cabin needs to buy the same package, drinks vouchers can be purchased by one person and shared amongst individuals sharing the same cabin. For example, you could purchase a booklet and share vouchers with your partner and children.

  • 2018 update: Rumour has it that these pre-paid vouchers may no longer be available. I will try to find out the facts, but if you have recently sailed with MSC Cruises and can help, please get in touch.

PackageDrinks IncludedRegionPrice (pre-book)Price (onboard)
Allegro Tropical4 one-litre bottles of mineral water plus 7 vouchers for P'tit Punch or beer€37 ( £33)
Beer Package21 beers (draught, bottle or can) selected from the Bar or Wine ListSouth America
Beer & Water Package14 large draught beers and 7 one-litre bottles of mineral water£54
Bottled Beer Package14 bottles of beer€59 ( £52)
Cocktail Package12 cocktails (excludes premium cocktails)€67 ( £59)
Coffee Package (Coffee Cuddle)15 non-alcoholic coffee-based drinks (hot or cold), hot chocolate, and hot tea£19€23 ( £21)
Dinner Wine Package (7)7 bottles of wine for consumption at dinner
Dinner Wine Package (10)10 bottles of wine for consumption at dinner
Doremi Package10 soft drinks and a souvenir glass€30 ( £27)
Draught Beer Package14 draught beers (40cl)£46€58 ( £51)
Eataly Vino Libero Package6 bottles of wine
More-For-Less Escape Pass18 drinksCaribbean / Cuba / Antilles / South America
More-For-Less Escape Pass18 drinksSouth Africa£41
More-For-Less Zero Proof Pass18 non-alcoholic drinksCaribbean / Cuba / Antilles / South America / South Africa
Premium Beer Package14 premium brand beers or ciders
Soda Package15 soda drinks
Soda & Ice Cream Package10 soda drinks or ice creams £12
Soft Drink Package14 canned sodas or fruit juices£27€34 ( £30)
Superior Wine Package7 bottles of wine and 7 one-litre bottles of mineral waterSouth America
Water Package14 one-litre bottles of mineral waterMediterranean / South Africa / Caribbean / Cuba / Antilles / Arabian Gulf£21€27 ( £24)
Water Package21 one-litre bottles of mineral waterSouth America
Wine Package Classic6 bottles of wine, 1 bottle of prosecco, and 7 one-litre bottles of waterMediterranean / Caribbean / Cuba / Antilles / Arabian Gulf
Wine Package Classic4 bottles of wine and 7 one-litre bottles of waterSouth Africa£46
Wine Package Select2 bottles of wine, 1 bottle of champagne, and 7 one-litre bottles of water
Wine Package Superior7 bottles of wine and 7 one-litre bottles of water£74
Wine Package Choice (7)Your choice of 7 bottles of wine
Wine Package Choice (10)Your choice of 10 bottles of wine
Wine & Water Package4 bottles of wine and 7 one-litre bottles of mineral water
Zero Proof Package12 soft drinks £21

* Prices onboard exclude a 15% service charge.
Source: MSC Cruises UK website; passenger photos

Help me fill in the blanks. If you have current prices for any option above, contact me, and I will update this guide to continue helping others.

Check the terms carefully before you buy one of these packages. Each packages will be restricted to consumption in the restaurants only, bars only, or bars and restaurants.

Drinks Prices on MSC Cruises

If you are thinking about paying as you go, these are typical prices I found in the bars on my sailing on MSC Preziosa:

DrinkEurope Prices fromUSA Prices from
Alcoholic cocktails€6.70 ( £6)$6.25 ( £5)
Bottled beer and cider€4.70 ( £5) (33cl)$5 ( £4) (12 - 16oz)
Café latte or cappuccino€2.20 ( £2)$3 ( £3)
Espresso€1.40 ( £2)$2.25 ( £2)
Draught beer€4.50 ( £4) (35cl)$2.75 ( £3) (7 oz)
$5.25 ( £4) (14 oz)
Fruit juice€2.50 ( £3) (20cl glass)$2 ( £2) (7oz glass)
Mineral water (bottle)€2.60 ( £3) (1 litre)$1.75 ( £2) (17 oz)
$3.25 ( £3) (34 oz)
Mocktails and kids' cocktails€4.20 ( £4)$4.25 ( £4)
Soda (can)€2.80 ( £3) (33cl)$2.50 ( £2) (12oz)
Wine (per glass)€4.50 ( £4)$5.50 ( £5)
One scoop of gelato (cone or cup)€2.80 ( £3)$4 ( £3)

Bear in mind there is an automatic 15% service charge to add to bar prices.
Source: Passenger photos; Cruising with Gambee; One Modern Couple.

Should I buy a drinks package?

To calculate if a drinks package is worthwhile for your cruise:

  1. Calculate the total cost of the package for your entire group. For example, the maths to calculate the cost of an All-Inclusive Restaurant & Bar Drink Package for a family of four is (2 adults × (7 days × £20 per day)) + (2 children × (7 days × £9 per day)) = £406.
  2. Take this figure and divide it by the number of people in your group. In our example, that is £406 ÷ 4 = £101.50.
  3. Take this figure and divide it by the number of nights your cruise lasts. In our example, that is £101.50 ÷ 7 = £14.50.
  4. Take this figure and divide it by 2.5 (£2.50 or the approximate price of a soft drink). In our example, that is £14.50 ÷ 2.5 = 5.8.
  5. Round this up. In our example, that is 6.

In this crude example, the family of four would need to consume at least six soft drinks each per day to make this package worthwhile.

As a rough guide, each adult needs to typically drink the equivalent of six beers or ten sodas every day to get value from the standard package, or at least ten beers or 16 sodas each day on the Premium package.

Sun

These quantities may sound a lot but you will be in holiday mode and may drink more beverages than you would at home. You might enjoy a couple of coffees throughout the day, a couple of beers with lunch, some wine with dinner, and a nightcap or two. Factor in hot sunny weather and the drinks may quickly - and easily - rack up.

Remember that MSC Cruises excludes drinks from the standard cruise fare (the buffet is the only exception where self-service water is available). If you like a drink with your lunch or dinner (even just a glass of water), you will need to pay for this. If you buy a drinks package, you can enjoy mealtime drinks without worrying about the cost.

Are the drinks packages good value for money?

Only you can answer this. If everyone in your party will each drink more than the value of the daily price of the Drinks Package, it would be worthwhile as it will save you money.

If you are likely to drink less than the value of the daily price of the Drinks Package, you would be better off paying as you go. The voucher booklets might be worth a look too.

If you are travelling with children, then consider they might get thirsty more quickly in the heat. An all-inclusive drinks package would allow kids to drink as much as they wanted to without you having to worry about racking up a massive bill onboard.

Factor in the peace of mind too. With the Drinks Packages, you know what the end price is. If you opt to pay as you go, you could accrue a bar tab far more, or far less, than the price of a Drinks Package, depending upon how much, or how little, you drink.

Reasons to book a drinks package

  • If you enjoy drinking a few alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks each day of your holiday, then a Drinks Package could save you a lot of money. In Genoa airport, I talked to a couple who said they kept their receipts and would have racked up more than €600 ( £527) in bar bills had they not have booked the Drinks Package at £308. Their friends, who opted not to buy the package, awoke on the final day of the cruise to a bar bill of nearly €1,000 ( £878). They would have been better off with the All-Inclusive Restaurant & Bar Drink Package at £308 or even the All-Inclusive Deluxe Drink Package at £518.
  • Do not think the Drinks Packages are just for those who drink alcohol. Teetotallers will enjoy a variety of non-alcoholic beverages onboard. If you are likely to succumb to the temptation of smooth Italian coffee or authentic Italian gelato, these are part of the Drinks Package.
  • Some people plan to drink a lot from the outset. If this describes you, book the package to save money in the long run.
  • If you intend to stay onboard at many of the ports of call, you are likely to drink more onboard, so a drinks package might be worthwhile.
  • If you are travelling with kids, the Drinks Packages will stop the cries of "I'm thirsty" and the associated escalating bar tab. It can also make kids feel grown-up as they can order drinks as they please, including fancy non-alcoholic cocktails ("mocktails").

Reasons not to book a drinks package

  • Nobody likes overpaying, and to make the package worthwhile, you will need to drink a certain amount each day just to break even. This 'target' can take out some of the enjoyment of your holiday if you are the type of person who gets bogged down in the numbers.
  • If you plan to get off the ship at every port of call for as long as you can, you might not drink as much as you expect onboard.
  • Bar prices are reasonable compared to other cruise lines and hotels (see above for examples). If you only ever have an occasional drink, an all-inclusive package is probably not for you.
  • If you are a super savvy saver and head straight to the buffet for a glass of water or a cup of tea or coffee and loathe paying for drinks, the package might not be for you.
  • If you are travelling on a budget, the expense of drinks packages for everyone in your group might simply be too high.

Disclaimer: This guide is simply that - a guide. While the information was correct at the time of writing, prices or package details may have since changed. I source all prices from first-hand experience, fellow travellers, online information, and cruise line data. I have rounded up package prices to the nearest Pound, Euro, or Dollar for simplicity. I try to keep this article up-to-date, but if you spot something that has changed, please let me know.

Have you decided to buy or avoid a drinks package on your next cruise? Let me know your reasoning in the comments below.

Upcoming mini cruises

See full mini cruise calendar

161 comments

  1. Can anyone please tell me what brands of beer and spirits on the Mac Fantasia restaurant and bar drinks package cheers

    • I believe brands vary from region to region, but it’s normally the most familiar brands on offer (Bud, Heineken, Coors, Beck’s, Bacardi, Absolut, etc.). For top-end brands, you’d need the Premium package.

  2. I’m diabetic so I don’t drink alcoholic beverages and can’t enjoy sweet , sugary drinks so I really only drink plain old NYC tap water, lots and lots of it, plus unsweetened coffee and tea. Have never supported the bottled water industry so I’m wondering if tea and coffee are available at meal times or poolside (and at what charge) and if there are water fountains or dispensers available or does water only come packaged in bottles for sale, both in the dining room or on deck?

    • On MSC, drinks are charged for in the dining room, including water (which is bottled water), as well as tea and coffee (see rough pricing here). The exception is the buffet, which has tea, coffee, and water on tap free of charge.

      I’ve heard that on some cruises from Miami, the service and policy is slightly different with iced water freely available at mealtimes. I can’t be sure though as I’ve yet to sail with MSC from Miami.

  3. My two sisters & I are cruising the MCS Seaside this May & we are confused as to why we each have to purchase the same drink package just because we are sharing the same room? One of us does not drink any kind of alcohol.

    • While it’s a pain having to choose the same package, the reasoning behind it is to prevent some passengers trying to cheat the system by sharing a drinks package. Assuming both of you drink alcohol but only one buys the package, there’s nothing to prevent you from sharing drinks. That way you’d pay for one package but two of you consume drinks from it – in the cruise line’s eyes, they’re out of pocket to the tune of one package.

      Where this disadvantages guests is in your instance where one person drinks alcohol and the other does not. In such a case, you both need to buy the same package, even though one of you will get substantially less value from it. It’s in these cases where it is wise to do the maths beforehand, as you might be better off paying as you go along, depending on how much alcohol is likely to be consumed.

  4. I am doing 2 x 7 day Europe cruises in May 2018 on MSC and I’m thinking of buying the Classic Drinks Package can anyone tell me what the white wines are in this package please? I like to drink New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc does anyone know if I can expect this kind of wine in the Classic Package? As I’m sharing a cabin with a spirit drinker and I’m a wine drinkers I think it really bad that the cruise line makes you both have the same drinks package….its just not fair at all

    • MSC’s classic package includes a range of Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Riesling, plus some Mediterranean White Wines from Italy. There’s also a selection of rosé wines, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Shiraz, Zinfandel, Malbec, Chianti, and Prosecco. Premium brands are included in the premium package but there’s plenty of variety on most wines under the classic package.

      While it’s a pain having to choose the same package, the reasoning behind it is to prevent some passengers trying to cheat the system by sharing a drinks package. If one person in a cabin of four booked a drinks package but the other’s didn’t need to, there’s nothing to stop that one person sharing their all-inclusive drinks with the other three. The cruise lines would lose money so would either need to ramp up the drinks prices, or ramp up the package prices to unaffordable levels. The system of making everyone in the same cabin buy the same package closes the loophole in the most part, albeit by penalising those that don’t drink a lot or who don’t drink premium branded beverages. That’s why it’s important to do the maths before you travel as an all-inclusive package isn’t always the cheapest option (although it offers peace of mind and surety over the end price).

      • Thanks David for listing the types of wines in the Classis package looks like their are a few wines that I can choose from.

    • Hello David

      I am going on the Lirica June 2018 & prefer to drink prosecco as I’m allergic to most wines, can you advise me if the All Inclusive Bar & Restaurant package has prosecco included as its not clear it only says dry sparkling white ??

      Many Thanks

      • Looking at my photos of the menus, Martini & Rossi Prosecco is listed as included in the package. The exact brand might vary but I’m sure that they’d have at least one brand of Prosecco onboard.

  5. David, firstly many thanks for the effort you have put into this. I read this as I am looking at a MSC cruise. For the benefit of other readers, we have recently returned from a Celebrtiy X cruise, where my partner had the standard drinks package, and I upgraded to Premium for about US$150. I calculated that on one day we both had consumed $100 each in water, soda, speciality drinks and alcoholic drinks. Package was good value. I upgraded to premium for a much better choice of beers. Our previous cruise was with Princess. I agonised over the package as it was adding over GB £1,000 to the cost. People need to remember that a $8 drink is really $10 when the tip is added. So a pre dinner champagne, two small glasses of wine with dinner, and two after dinner drinks…and the package is paid for. Thanks again.

    • Thanks for sharing details of your experience – it really does pay to do the maths before heading on a cruise. Adding a significant upfront cost can be off-putting but can work out much better value overall, depending on how much you actually drink. I had an all inclusive package on my last trip and one of the perks really was peace of mind. I didn’t need to worry about how expensive my onboard account was getting.

  6. Hi David,
    Could you please advise if when purchasing the Adult All-Inclusive Restaurant & Bar Drinks Package; are we permitted to order items from the Child All-Inclusive Restaurant & Bar Drinks Package (Fruit juices, Virgin cocktails, Smoothies, Milkshakes)?

    • Tried and tested 😉 MSC has a great range of drinks for teetotalers, those who don’t drink much alcohol, or those looking for a respite after perhaps drinking a few too many the night before.

      When I was last on an MSC cruise, adults could order fruit juices, virgin cocktails (‘mocktails’), milkshakes, and smoothies as part of the adults package. The caveat is that some drinks are only available in the bars and not the restaurants, regardless of package. Soda, water, fruit juice, and coffee is about the limit for the main restaurants. The speciality restaurants may have a better selection on offer as they are normally located near bars.

  7. Hi we had the meals drinks package on our last cruise by the end of the cruise I was totally off wine and my husband gave up on the beer as only Heinikan was available. I only drink cheap wine but don’t ask me where they found this stuff it was worse than the 60c a litre from the supermarket.

  8. Hi,
    I have just booked an Aurea suite on the Preziosa for the Jewels of the Caribbean cruise next February (2019) for the wife’s 50th. This includes the AI drinks package (booked through CruiseClubUK – now offering AI drinks on all cabins, so may be worth booking the ‘lesser’ cabins if you don’t want the extras that Aurea etc include).
    This is out first cruise on a big ship (we have only done one before – last year on Thomson Dream).
    Does the AI package include cider and do they even have cider on board?

    • That sounds like a great celebration and an Aurea suite is perfect for a memorable landmark birthday – a perfect excuse to take up the free spa massage! I cannot see cider on my menus although I believe the stock varies depending upon the region sailed and customer demand.

  9. Great information I will be purchasing the drinks package on the MERAVIGLIA sailing January it looks great value thanks again for great page

  10. Hi – I have a query on a review I read about someone with the premium MSC package drinking €45 bottles of wine with their meals. Are bottles of wine included in this package?
    It does seem odd that if glasses of wine are included (and the premium package meaning pretty much all wines), then why not a bottle?
    I have read your review and comments with interest but am still struggling with the decision to upgrade having already got the standard package FOC! As you say, it is down to the individual and I think we could get value for this, especially with glasses of champagne, premium spirits/cocktails and bottled beers…..not to mention the free mini-bar and room service menu, but it is still a big jump (around £280 for two for a week) to go from free drink to free drink plus!
    Incidentally, do you know what is on the room service drinks menu – is it just whatever is served in the bars during bar opening times? Are there bottles of wine in mini-bar/room service?

    • Wine by the glass is included in the premium package, but if you’re a group and all order the same glass of wine, there’s a chance it’ll come as a bottle with dinner. Similarly, if you’re likely to order a few glasses of wine during dinner, again, this may be served as a bottle to save time. The dining room waiters have ice buckets ready for bottles of wine.

      When I was on Meraviglia, my mini bar contained 33cl bottles of Heineken and Beck’s beer, 5cl bottles of gin, vodka, and whisky; fruit juice and cans of soda; and bottles of still and sparkling water.

  11. Hi,
    We are booked on a northern Caribbean cruise on Meraviglia in April. We booked the Fantastica experience, which comes with 12 vouchers each fit drinks. We are considering getting the classic drink package. My question is do the 12 vouchers include even the premium drinks? So basically would the vouchers cover what the classic does not.
    Thanks for your help.

  12. We are travelling as a family of 11 (6 adults 5 children) on MSC Meraviglia July 2018Northern Europe. We have purchased the All inclusive Classic packages for all . Can you advise if bottled beers are available. Looking on line it only appears that Draught Heinekan is available. Also do you know where we can find Drink Menus that have been posted online? Your comments are extremely informative. Did you enjoy Meraviglia. Some very negative comments on Cruise Critic especially with regards to food. Best wishes from Scotland

    • Bottled beer is available in the Premium package. You can pay for drinks not included in the all-inclusive package, so if you fancy an occasional bottle, doing this would be more economical than upgrading the package for everyone.

      I loved my time onboard Meraviglia, no-doubt helped by my swanky pad for the week (a real gem of a find – I was lucky to pay for that one before anyone else could). The ship offers the best of MSC Cruises right now and is very family-friendly. If you go in with an open mind, you’ll find plenty to love. Many of the negative comments benchmark MSC Cruises against other cruise lines but ‘value for money’ is barely considered. I’d be the first to say MSC don’t hit the mark in every aspect of the cruise experience, but I believe they offer real value for money when all things are considered. That’s why I’m a repeat customer. No, not everything is perfect and no, not everything is as good as other cruise lines, but the fare reflects this, and that’s a compromise I’m very happy to make.

      I found food service to be infinitely better than it was on MSC Preziosa, thanks to the new computerised systems that help to speed up ordering and delivery (so food is still hot when it arrives). The trick to food success on the ship is to eat like an Italian – the pasta/rice/seafood/pizza dishes are all usually outstanding. Meats and other dishes tend to be hit or miss.

      Please do let me know what you think of MSC Cruises and Meraviglia when you return.

  13. We are booked, as a couple, on an MSC cruise in Europe in June 2018 and have booked the AI Deluxe package at £308 per person.

    Obviously cost is an issue, but from experience with a 15% service charge you do not need to be drinking excessively to rack up quite a bill on holiday, and after all that is what we are on.

    Do we want to be continually checking our account, no. It just removes the stress, if it means we have overpaid by £50, in the grand scheme of things, so what, the chances are we will be in credit, since it allows you to have a better choice of drink, champagne before dinner rather than a sparkling wine, a few glasses of nice wine rather than a few glasses of average wine, to sit in your cabin, maybe on the balcony if you have one, with a few drinks from the mini bar, soft or alcoholic and unlimited bottled water.

    We all work hard to enjoy our free time and in reality, we are all going to have a bill at the end of the cruise, so we are only concerned with the difference, at least this way you know what it is and you have paid for it beforehand and you may have been able to enjoy certain premium drinks that you would not buy if they were not included, basically, it has enhanced your holiday on-board which should be the aim, for in the main, a modest extra cost for most people.

    • I can agree with this. Having had an all-inclusive package on my last MSC cruise, it was great not having to watch the onboard account like a hawk to avoid an unwelcome surprise at the end of the cruise.

      • Back from a great cruise on the MSC Poesia.

        The AI Deluxe package was brilliant, though I think the Classic package would have been just as good as the choice of drinks is fine and it is considerably cheaper, our table guests had no issues with the wines available with this package and the standard Heineken beer is fine for me. We left the ship with only a bill for the daily on-board staff gratuities having enjoyed a wide selection of beers, wines, champagne, coffees, brandies, bottled water and use of the cabin mini bar. I did calculate 1 day, that with the 15% service charge added, which you don’t pay when these AI packages are purchased in advance, we would have run up a bill of Euro 180.

        For us, it was money well spent many months before we travelled, which means with all the extra expense that comes with a trip abroad, it was something we did not have to budget for.

        • Thanks for sharing your experience. The all-inclusive package is great for a worry-free trip, and it’s great ordering a drink without fretting what damage it will do to the onboard bill.

  14. Hi
    I am booked on a number of 2-3 night mini cruises on Msc Magnifica and Msc Meraviglia and wondered if they still allow you to purchase the all inc drinks packages onboard.

    I have done this in past but not sure if they have changed their policy.

    Thanks

      • Just to confirm we did eventually purchase the AI package onboard magnifica as we were boarding but it had to be approved by senior staff, allegedly, as our cruise was less than 4 nights.

        Will see what happens on meraviglia in two weeks.

  15. Hi Great tips here, well done.
    We are sailing on the MSC Seaside from Miami in Feb 2018 and we have unlimited beer and wine during meals package included (734PRW17 – Unlimited consumption of bottled wine (white, red and rosé), mineral water, draft beer and soft drinks during lunch and dinner. The drinks included in this package are for consumption in the main restaurants and the self-service buffet, but not in the Specialty restaurants)
    Can this be upgraded to premium drinks package?
    If so how much?
    Thanks

    • Unless there’s some terms attached to the package, it should be upgradable. It would be worth speaking to MSC or your travel agent to see if you can do this prior to your sailing. Failing that, when you check-in at Miami, you might be able to do it then.

  16. Hi We are booked on the MSC Magnifica for later on this year (2018). I have just started looking at the drink packages and have found your post very helpful thankyou! The bit I am confused about is when I look on my booking site it lists ‘All-inclusive Restaurant and Bar package’ – which I assume is the one you have mentioned then the Premium package (at this stage I am following along 🙂 ) and then it lists an All inclusive classic drink package which is priced in between the two. I see that the selection of drinks available are slightly different but am not sure how much. The All-inclusive package states it has a dedicated bar list – does this mean that it is a completely seperate menu than the ones I am able to see online and if so does anyone know how limited it is? I was really exited by the variety of cocktails shown when I searched for bar menus – much more extensive than on past local cruises – but now am not sure which option they would be included in. Hope this all makes sense.

    • Different packages are available on different sailings in different regions of the world, which just complicates issues. The “All-inclusive Restaurant and Bar package” (formerly the “Allegrissimo drinks package”) is the standard all-inclusive drinks package. It’s strange that a second, mid-priced all-inclusive classic drink package is also displaying. Now you mention it, I vaguely remember seeing something similar in my booking area on my last MSC cruise.

      My understanding is the All-inclusive Restaurant and Bar package and the All inclusive classic drink package is one and the same. The Premium or Deluxe package will include either of those words in it, and will include premium brand drinks.

  17. My wife and I are not big drinkers, but for us pre-purchasing the classic all inclusive drinks package online is a no-brainer. Why ?
    Because doing so avoids the 15% gratuity surcharge, so you can immediately bank a 15% discount.
    That means £17.40 per person per day, or about 15.80 Euro (at 1.10 exchange rate)
    One morning juice or coffee with breakfast (E2.20-E2.50),
    One fizzy drink or juice with lunch (E2.50-E2.80),
    One specialty coffee, usually mid morning or mid afternoon (E2.20)
    One cocktail, usually up on deck sailing out of port (E6.70)
    One glass of wine with dinner (E4.50)
    One litre of water per day, minimum, more if hot weather, and we both like to have a bottle of H2O on our bedside table at night (E2.60)
    One night-cap in a quiet bar, either decaff coffee or non-alcoholic cocktail, sometimes alcoholic cocktail or liqueur like Drambuie, all covered by the all-inclusive package (E2.20-E6.70)
    The above consumption is by no means excessive when on a seven-night holiday, and it comes to a total cost of E22.90 – E28.00 per day, well in excess of the E15.80 per day effective cost.
    And that excludes the odd day when we might indulge in two (not one) sunset cocktail up on deck, or fancy some take-away ice-cream of a warm afternoon.
    Our experience on MSC is that having the all-inclusive package on your card enhances the way bar and waitering staff treat you, probably because it just makes their life easier. Unlimited bottles of water on request, having to ask them to stop topping up your wine glass at dinner, and being offered a well chosen naughty but nice liqueur on the side with your end of meal dessert coffee, always well paired, e.g. amaretto with a cannelloni … all of the above come with a courteous smile.
    Like I said, no brainer for us.

  18. Hi David
    We are going on our cruise on the MSC meraviglia in January, the mediterranean cruise departing from Spain, its a 7 night cruise. I’m battling to decide on the drinks package, so when I look at your pre booked packages is that about the same costing on the Meraviglia?
    Warm Regards
    Rene

    • I’ve just come back from a week on MSC Meraviglia– the ship is beautiful. The drinks package prices apply to all applicable MSC sailings. If you log into their website with your booking details, you should see a list of optional beverage packages to choose from.

  19. Thank you for posting this! We’re booked to go on MSC Seaside for its maiden voyage in 1 month. Our travel agent said the average cost of a cocktail (non-premium) or glass of wine is $15 USD, but your costs are much lower at ~$6. Is our travel agent just inflating the price on us or do you think this really could be a realistic cost?

    • The cost of wine varies between varieties, and the cost of cocktails is based on the content, but as a guide, I’d expect to pay $6 to $8 (plus 15% gratuity) per non-premium glass. I’m just back from a cruise on MSC Meraviglia and the prices on there are likely to be highly similar to those on MSC Seaside.

  20. Hi David ,So from what I read , on the Carb cruises a person can wait until they get on board and buy a 18 ticket package? I have called MSC a couple times hoping someone would have more info for me but they stick to the “This is what I see on the web site” answer and only ever talking about the big price packages , Which if we were on board everyday ALL DAY only I can them being worth it , our cruise tho has 6 ports @ 10hrs per port and one is until 11pm one night , so we’d be buying drinks anywhere we went on shore anyways and figured it is not a benefit to buy a full all-in package. So again , are these only offered on board when you choose to buy a more-for-less escape package of tickets?

    • I actually got it answered by MSC , as of Dec 31/2017 they will no longer offer those , so we are missing it by 3 days , I express a great displeasure on their drink package offers how limited they are and the lack of choice , hope I see a new package come Jan 1/18 , Thanks

      • Thanks for the heads up. I know that packages and booklets vary by region and some come and go. With so many new ships on the horizon, there’s a real opportunity for the cruise line to slim down and refine the various packages available.

        MSC Cruises USA still lists the voucher packages on their website with no mention (yet) of them being axed. I hadn’t heard about this latest round of changes so will do some digging.

        • This is really odd then , I have had to talk to supervisors a couple times while dealing with these admittedly , and I never seen the link you posted so I figured it was true still , I personally cannot see them getting rid of it because people would not be happy if the only choices were pay a lot , or pay even more , I will let you know in a bit over a month tho after our cruise HA ,
          Thanks David

          • There’s a mix of packages on that page. Underneath the title of each, you’ll find something like “(Available to book for Caribbean Cruises)”. Some are for Med cruises, South American, or for Caribbean cruises (as not every package is available everywhere, just to confuse matters!).

            The Water Package, Soda Package, and Doremi Package (kids) are available in the Caribbean. As for alcohol packages, the 7/10 Bottle Dinner Wine Package, and Classic Wine Package are available on Caribbean cruises.

      • Hi there Barry,
        Could you retro-feed your expierence on board? I´ll be sailingto Cuba from Cozumel in Feb, and considered the vouchers as well, actually only for bottled beer.
        1)Are the still an option for 2018?
        2)I´ve heard that, even they say the vouchers will cover anything up to $8, they won´t work for premiums (i.e. black label, gray goose) …. even If they are under $8.
        3)If you want a mixed liqour, say a vodka and soda… will they take one voucher for each?
        4)It seems tha there are juicies, cofee , tea and water on the buffees, so, If you don´t drink soda at all…. will you make it?
        5)The vouchers work for 1Lt bottle of wather, or just the little ones?

        Thanks in advanced!!!

  21. Incredibly informative article, thanks for putting it togethet! Are spirits/shorts like Vodka/Whiskey/Brandy included in the All inclusive bar & restaurant package?

    • Thank you for your kind words. Spirits (Scotch, bourbon, blended whiskey, rum, tequila, vodka, and gin) are included although the top brands of Scotch, single malt, bourbon, blended whiskey, cognac, armagnac, rum, tequila, vodka, gin, Italian grappa, and brandy are reserved for Premium package holders (although they can be purchased at normal bar prices on the standard all-inclusive package should you fancy the occasional treat).

  22. Thank you for a great article. Is it allowed (or possible) to fill a bottle with water in MSC Divina buffet? I hate to have a new plastic bottle every time and also it costs because we decided not to have a drinking package this time (I’m still breastfeeding our baby)

  23. Hi, David,
    May I know if there is a 15% service charge added to the bill if I prepay the drinks package before cruising? I am also interested in the COCKTAIL & CIRQUE DU SOLEIL AT SEA SONOR EXPERIENCE and will there be a 15% service charge if I prepay?
    Thanks.
    Maria

    • As far as I can see, there’s no service charge if you pre-book, which effectively acts as a 15% discount. That’s the incentive to pre-book. Once you step onboard, the drinks and speciality meals incur the service charge.

  24. How do I purchase drink vouchers? I’m going on MSC Orchestra with my family in Feb ( it’s my very first cruise)
    Also how much Euro is coffee , beer etc
    And any pros or con s regarding this cruise
    Thanks Deanna

    • You can purchase drinks vouchers on the MSC Cruises website (under My Bookings > Customise My Cruise). They’re also available onboard. Guide prices for drinks is shown above.

  25. GREAT article! thanks for the analysis on the drinks …. after reading this, it’s an easy decision for us (2 adults and a will be 6 yr old) to NOT buy the package …..

    • Thank you for your kind comments. It’s definitely not for everyone. On my most recent cruise, I had an all-inclusive package for two adults and a three-year-old as part of the Aurea package. We struggled to drink half of it’s cost had we have paid for it.

  26. Wow this is what I call detailed advice backed up with figures. I did almost the same breakdown when I decided not to buy a drink package. Sailing MSC Meraviglia in november, will most likely get some coffee/tea and soda vouchers.
    We plan on spending maximum time onshore so I definitely can not drink more than 1-2 beverages after an intensive sightseeing day. As you said the onboard prices are not so bad after all.
    Thanks once again, I head up to your other articles for MSC as we are first time cruisers.

    • Thank you for your kind comments. For some people the package is definitely worthwhile, especially if they’re planning to spend most of their time on the ship, and enjoy a steady flow of drinks throughout. For others, it’s poor value. On MSC Preziosa I saved hundreds of Euros not buying the package and being careful with my onboard spending. On a future sailing I’d probably opt for the voucher booklets. That said, my Aurea grade cabin on my next cruise on MSC Meraviglia includes a drinks package, so it’ll be interesting to see how that affects my drinking habits. I plan to report back with my findings on my return.

  27. Thanks for your information David it has helped a lot filling in the details of brands etc, although I’m still unsure what our drinks package will be on the MSC Orchestra with the Aurea stateroom cruising the Western Mediterranean out of Barcelona. The MSC site said the package varies depending on the cruise destination. We are first time cruisers with MSC.

  28. HI

    We travel on Meraviglia in January and considering the classic all inclusive drink package.
    Can you tell me which white wines are included- eg Sav blanc, Chardonnay? I only like Pina Colada and Mojito cocktains and shiraz and merlot red so would they will included in this package?

    Many thanks

    • MSC’s classic package includes a range of Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Riesling, plus some Mediterranean White Wines from Italy. There’s also a selection of rosé wines, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Shiraz, Zinfandel, Malbec, Chianti, and Prosecco. Premium brands are included in the premium package but there’s plenty of variety on most wines under the classic package.

  29. I require a bit of advice about purchasing a drinks package. I am booked on the MSC Preziosa sailing to South America, but have not yet purchased a drinks package. I already think that my partner will probably not be travelling with me owing to illness. I do not want to cancel his booking yet but should he not be with me and I wish to purchase a drinks package on board, would I be charged one for my absent partner?

    • I am so sorry to hear that. This would be a question for MSC directly as the answer depends on their level of compassion. You might be better waiting until you get onboard and buying the package as you embark. You’ll pay a smidge more than if you pre-book as the bar gratuities are levied on the purchase, but if you are sailing solo in the cabin – and the ship’s system reflect this – you should only need to buy one package.

      • Thank you for your helpful reply, I have now been looking at buying the vouchers, although they seem to be complicated – i.e. I would not use a drink voucher to purchase an espresso coffee, therefore I would buy a set of coffee vouchers also. For comparison could you tell me if one buys an all-inclusive package on board and the 15% service charge is added, would it be on the full cost of the package or would it be each time an actual drink is ordered, i.e. 15% of the cost of the drink? On an NCL cruise I took last year, the service charge was per drink ordered on a free drinks package.

        • That’s a good question. I can’t see anything in the terms and conditions that discusses service charges. My understanding is that if you prepay for the package, it’s priced without the 15% service charge. If you buy the package onboard, it attracts the 15% service charge on the package price. I don’t believe there’s an additional fee per drink ordered. I’m about to sail with MSC with an all-inclusive package so will report back with my findings.

  30. Hi David. We are going on the MSC Poesia in October. We have a free drinks package with our booking ( mealtime drinks). Can we upgrade when we board to all inclusive package? Do they have Savanna stocked in the bar and on what package will it be free.

  31. My wife is diabetic and carries a bottle of Lucozade at all times in case her blood/sugar level dips suddenly. Will there be a problem bringing this on board each day after excursions?

    • There shouldn’t be. You might want a note from a doctor to prove she’s diabetic for peace of mind, but I doubt there would be any issue with a small bottle of soft drink. Some cruise lines ban all drinks being brought back onto a ship, but I’ve not heard of MSC doing the same (except for alcohol which all cruise lines forbid).

  32. Hello we are going on meraviglua in 2weeks
    We have the all inclusive drinks package
    My question is can we take drinks back to our room I.e tea or a nightcap

  33. Thanks David
    Thanks you for this information.
    We will do a cruise next year.
    But where can I purchase a booklet for the drinks,

    regards

    • Your travel agent should be able to help. Alternatively, if you register an account on the MSC Cruises website, you should be able to import your booking and bolt on such additions before you sail.

  34. Hello, we are going mext year with the new MSC Seaside. What is the price for a softdrink like Cola? So we can chose for vouchers maybee. Thanks!

  35. David thank you foe the useful info. I bought a drinks and coffee pakage online for our upcomming (first) cruise on Perziosa.
    Will the coffee package be all for coffee and tea available to us or are there complementary coffee and tea available in the restaurats?

    • You’ll find complimentary tea/coffee in the buffet but not in the restaurants. The paid-for coffee is infinitely tastier than the free stuff in the buffet though and is well worth the investment!

  36. Hi I am going on a cruise in October this year 2017 on MSC magnifica, And would like to know if I can purchase a drinks package on line . On MSC web site , Thankyou Wendy

    • Head over to the MSC website and register/log into your account. Pop in your booking details and you’ll see a list of available options to pre-purchase. Typically these are shore excursions, drinks packages, restaurant packages, spa treatments, Internet packages, and on-board credit packages.

  37. Hi there. We’re going on our first MSC cruise soon and we’ve found this information to be really helpful with our ‘do we, don’t we’ decision on the drinks packages, so thank you! We’ve had a thought: ours is a 7-night, 8 day cruise, with the ship arriving back in Southampton at 8.00am on the final day. If our experience with other cruise lines is anything to go by, disembarkation is usually a pretty swift affair and people generally don’t sit around and use the bars etc as they would during a normal ‘cruise day’ – and that’s if the bars (and restaurants!) are even open beyond breakfast! Yet with the all-inclusive drinks packages, MSC charges disembarking passengers the full wack for this day – together with embarking passengers also. So, for two days of every single cruise, they get ‘double whammy’ when disembarking passengers really don’t have the opportunity to use this fully. If our thoughts on this are correct, it seems very cheeky!! Perhaps this fact needs to be built into the decision making calculator also???

    • Thanks. I’m glad it’s useful – the system isn’t the easiest to master and making a simple calculation on which option is best isn’t always clear cut. That’s a very good point, although the embarkation and disembarkation days would effectively count as one full day when combined (albeit less a few hours, so like a port day where you’d get off and explore a port of call). On a seven-night cruise, you’d have half a day on embarkation, six full days, plus up to half a day on disembarkation, totalling seven days. The aspects that would eat into the two half days are the time you board and the time you disembark. In an ideal world you’d need to board as early as you could and leave as late as you could to maximise the value. This isn’t always possible though. Based on this, perhaps it’s worthwhile using six days as a calculation, and then consider drinks on embarkation and disembarkation days a bonus?

    • Vouchers can be exchanged for drinks on a 1:1 basis. I believe they have a maximum value limit, so it you order premium options or mixers, you may need to pay the difference. But otherwise they should cover the cost of drinks.

      As an example, a 15 voucher Coffee Package (Coffee Cuddle) package has 15 separate vouchers and each can be redeemed for 15 non-alcoholic coffee-based drinks (hot or cold), hot chocolates, and hot teas during the cruise. The vouchers can be used by anyone in your cabin according to MSC.

  38. Hi
    Very useful information. Just about to book my first cruise, I just drink beer and my wife takes a vodka, cannot see which package would include vodka?
    Cheers
    Paul

    • The standard package includes vodka and vodka mixer drinks. Brands typically include Absolut, Three Olives, Stolichnaya, and Smirnoff. Premium brands (e.g. Grey Goose, Belvedere, and Ketel One) are available in the premium package. Brands are purely indicative as these can vary based on the region the ship sails in.

  39. We are cruising for the first time ever on MSC in the fall of 2018. It is an 11 day cruise out of Warnemunde Germany. We are travelling with another couple and are not big drinkers We will likely get a wine package for dinner however my question is this. I am reading about these “drink vouchers” mostly 18 however they are not for sale online (pre cruise). Can you tell me if these are available onboard on every MSC cruise

    • I’ve just logged into my upcoming booking and beneath the usual array of all-inclusive packages I can see the voucher booklets. They are confusingly called packages on my screen, but the description explains how many drinks are included in each one. E.g. the Water Package has the description “Drops of refreshment every moment of your day! 14 bottles of mineral water 1L, for consumption in bars, restaurants and self-service buffet.”

      It might be that it’s too early to book such additions for an Autumn 2018 cruise. If you try early next year there should be options if not already. Alternatively, you should be able to buy these onboard when you board at Warnemunde.

  40. Hi, this October will be my first cruise in Europe.I am a non drinker. No alcohol, no soft drinks nor coffee. Should I buy the mineral water package? If not, does that mean we will not get any drinking water at all during dinner time? Can I get water from the buffet if I bring my own bottle? Or can I buy water from the each port and bring back to the ship?
    Thank you very much!

    • Where are you travelling from? Water is available from dispensers in the buffet free of charge. However, water is not usually supplied free of charge in the dining rooms (although some passengers (particularly, but not exclusively, Americans) seem to get free bottles while others do not).

  41. Hi I was wondering if you could help. I have just returned from a MSC Cruise on Davina from Miami to Caribbean. We purchased the 18 voucher booklets, we were a party of six and purchased two books per person. However, some of us were quite ill on the cruise and therefore did not end up using the drinks vouchers, we have come home with three unused drinks vouchers booklets. Do you know if we would be entitled to a refund for these?

  42. Hello, confused.com here.
    MSC Going to the Caribbean from Barbados.
    We drink on average a bottle of wine each evening with lemonade, and maybe two cups of coffee during the day, plus about two litres a day of water.
    If we don’t finish the wine that evening can it be kept for the next evening?
    We not drink alcohol at all during the day.

    Would be better going for a drinks package if so which one? or which voucher pack? Or pay as you go ? New at cruising so at bit naïve about the cost of drinks etc! many many thanks

    • Expect to pay upwards of $29 for a bottle of wine, $2.50 for a soda, $3 for a coffee, and $3.25 for a one litre (34 oz in the US) bottle of mineral water. Vouchers may make better financial sense than the all-inclusive package but bear in mind the hot Caribbean weather. You’ll likely drink more, so factor in some wiggle room in the budget there.

      Currently the all-inclusive package is around $45 per person per day. If you each had a couple of glasses of wine (let’s assume you opt for the $6.50 glasses), one lemonade, two coffees, and a bottle of water, this would total around $24.75 plus gratuities if you pay as you go. The vouchers work out slightly better value than paying cash, so long as you know you will use all of them. Your travel agent should be able to pre-book packages/vouchers. I tend to add my bookings to my MSC account so I can add extras like this directly.

  43. Hi David, we have booked the meraviglia for August my husband and I and our 2 children. We are planning to purchase the all inclusive restaurant and bar drink packages. Would they let us take drinks in the room or even take them with us to excursions? Thanks.

    • The packages are for consumption in the restaurants, bars, and public areas. I’m sure a certain number of glasses make their way to cabins though. You’ll not be able to take them off the ship though. Enjoy your time on Meraviglia!

  44. About to go on our first cruise having booked the drinks package and feeling justified reading your article – really interesting and useful calculations and points
    Thanks !

  45. Hello,
    In December this year, we are going on a 17 night cruise departing from Genoa & ending in Dubai. We usually buy the all inclusive drinks packages, this time the Classic with alcohol, went on the website today, went into my account, it is very confusing, it says:-

    ALL INCLUSIVE DELUXE DRINK PACKAGE A Adult £527
    ALL INCLUSIVE DELUXE DRINK PACKAGE A Adult £663

    ALL INCLUSIVE RESTAURANT & BAR DRINK PACKAGE A Adult £272
    ALL INCLUSIVE RESTAURANT & BAR DRINK PACKAGE A Adult £340

    Which package is available for our Cruise please, i Cannot see any difference between Deluxe & restaurant packages, each one is classic or premium? Thank you, Andrea

    • I think this may be a bug with the website. My booking was showing identical products for different prices recently. My guess is the £340 option is the classic drinks package and the £663 option is the deluxe package. I’m not sure what the lower prices relate to. A quick class to MSC or your travel agent might be worthwhile to avoid unintentionally booking the wrong package.

      • I am a travel agent in the US and the lower price is for non premium brands a per glass limit while the higher price is to include premium brands with no per drink limit. At least that is what it is for our sailings in the Caribbean.

  46. Hi my wife and I are booked on the Magnifica next year and we have the drinks package. Just a few questions is anyone can clarify please.
    1/It tells me premium drinks not included. I can’t seem to get a list of what premiums drinks are. Can I get a Baileys or a drambuie for example?
    2/Can I get a cider with the package?
    3/It says with the kids package you can get milkshakes. Is milkshakes included with the adult package?
    Thanks

    • 1) I’ve scoured my copies of the menus and from what I understand, Baileys and Drambuie look like they are included on the standard package. Imported beers, the more expensive wines, Champagne, drinks in souvenir glasses, premium spirits, and premium branded mixed drinks are generally excluded from the classic package.

      2) Interesting I cannot see cider on my menus. Plenty of beers. Plenty of wines. No cider. That may well change depending upon the region and customer demand.

      3) Yes. Other non-alcoholic drinks besides milkshakes include smoothies, slush drinks, fruit juice, soda, non-alcoholic beer, mocktails (virgin cocktails), frozen coffee drinks, water, and the usual range of hot drinks.

      Menus can change without notice so you will only know for sure on board, but hopefully this helps in some way. Drinks may be venue specific too. Enjoy your holiday!

  47. Hello David I want to say HI from Italy 😀 and thank you very much for this post that is a HUGE help for me. We are a family of 5 and we will sail for the first time on MSC Divina departing from Miami for Carribean next august. I’m not really happy to invest too money on drink packages I prefer spend on escursions or things to do, so I’m here to ask you if we will find iced water at restaurants and if kids can drink whenever they want from dispensers.
    Thank you
    have a great day

    • A quirk of MSC is that they don’t supply free water in the restaurants. They do in the buffet though. Caribbean cruises may be different though as I’ve heard of some American passengers getting free mealtime water in the restaurants as is customary on most other cruise lines departing Miami. Contact MSC or your travel agent to see whether this applies to your cruise and plan accordingly. Try and get something in writing in case the shipboard staff disagree with what you have been told.

      • Mealtime water is provided in a carafe on the table and is also at the Tea & Lemonade stations in the Buffet areas with fresh brewed (American) coffee & hot tea – all provided at no additional charge around the buffet areas in the Caribbean.

        • I’ve heard free mealtime water in the restaurants is only available for American clientele on Caribbean sailings. It’s chargeable on European sailings (although I have heard some Brits and Americans get it for free while others do not). As for the buffet, I’ve found water, tea, and coffee available freely throughout the day on European sailings.

        • In Feb2017 on the poesia sailing Bridgetown to Bridgetown there was no jugs of water in the MDR. The waiter almost had a fit when we asked for tapwater and we had to buy bottled water. I believe jugs might be provided on the Divina sailing from US mainland only.

  48. We have been told by cruise agent we can’t book all inclusive restaurant and bar package as we are on a 3 night cruise.We can book restaurant only package at the cost of £39.if we did this do you think we can upgrade for £10.00 per night once we are on board.

    Do you know if you can buy drinks package once on board. MSC won’t let us buy an all inclusive package as our cruise is for 3 nights.We can have the restaurant one so would only cover drinks at meal times. Any advise please. Thanks

    • Have you tried logging onto the MSC website to see if you can add the package to your booking there? It might be worth a go. I know first-hand that MSC are only too happy to upgrade your package once onboard, although it is slightly costlier to do this than to pre-book it.

      • Hi David only option on line s the restaurant package.We may take the chance and book this one and then ask to upgrade once on board. Thanks for all your info on this page .

  49. What age does a child change from being a child to an adult for purposes of these packages? Are teens (13-17) classed as children still for purposes of these packages as they can’t consume any of the alcoholic drinks? Thanks!

    • I’ve just checked and found the age of 3 to 17 stipulated on the child packages (3 to 20 for some regions), for that very reason – alcohol is only served to passengers aged 18+/21+ (depending on the region).

  50. Hi David!!
    We are traveling on Msc orchestra from 17 th till the 24 th May in balcony room..Me and my wife are very confused about whether to take the all inclusive drink package costing €182 for both of us as per rules of the cruise as my wife doesn’t drink alcohol.Is it possible to take drinks package for me and water package for her. Also what are the benefits of a balcony room over inside room?

    • The terms of the all-inclusive package is that everyone in the cabin must have the same one. The question would be whether between you, you would drink enough alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks to warrant the package. The benefit of the package for non-drinkers is that soft drinks, virgin cocktails, and water is included in it, plus ice cream. Instead of the package, you could get voucher booklets (see above) so you can enjoy reduced cost alcoholic drinks and she can enjoy water or soft drinks.

      On MSC, the benefits are based on experience booked (Bella, Fantastica, Aurea, and Yacht Club) rather than the grade of cabin booked (inside, outside, balcony, suite).

  51. Just a pity they do not offer the Allegrisimo on South African cruises….. Also … no Aurea experience for South Africans either, as this would include the all inclusive drinks package…..

    • I was chatting to another reader about that. It seems to be a conscious business decision by MSC Cruises to remove the drinks packages on South African voyages.

    • I have asked the same question why don’t we as loyal SA customers​ enjoy the same benefits as the rest of the customers from around the world…MSC is yet to give me a exceptable answer

      • I’ve heard rumours on why the package isn’t available on South African cruises but I haven’t been able to get this information verified. My guess is that a company would only ever not supply a service it does elsewhere if it were unprofitable, there were legal implications, or there were safety implications.

  52. We are going on the MSC cruise departing from Venice and looking at the drink vouchers. Does the beer vouchers include ciders or does the cocktail vouchers include beers? My spouse and I would share the 14 beers or the 12 cocktails as we have the mealtime drink package. Thanks for any advice before we set sail on our first European cruise!

    • The vouchers will be specific, so you’d need one of each. If you don’t plan to drink much outside of mealtimes, you may be better paying as you go.

    • The best value option will be to pre-book online via the MSC Cruises website. Failing that, you can book this just after you check-in at the port. Look out for a desk with the various packages and upgrades on offer.

  53. Hi David!
    Thank you for helping all of us with these questions. I was wondering if you know if it is possible to purchase a bottle of alcohol in the room from the room service menu? We found that this was an affordable option on our previous sailing with another cruise line.
    Thanks,
    Jen

    • Good question. As beers, wines, soft drinks, hot beverages, speciality drinks, and vintage wines from the main bars can all be ordered through room service, I would guess this should be possible.

    • Yes, beers, wines, soft drinks, hot beverages, speciality drinks, and vintage wines available from the main bars can all be ordered through room service. Standard bar prices would apply, and a room service delivery charge may also apply.

  54. Hi we are due to go on a cruise in two weeks on Splendida. We have young twins so won’t be getting tipsy and my husband would prefer not to buy any drinks packages but I think we should even if only the soft drinks or water. I was wondering are juices, water, basic tea and coffee included at all meals as if so we could survive on that with just a few drinks to pay for in between? Sorry if a stupid question but we’ve never cruised before.

    • Welcome to the world of cruising! On MSC Cruises, no drinks are included at mealtimes at the restaurants, not even water. In the buffet you can choose water, tea, and coffee is available throughout the day. Juice from the self-serve machines is available at breakfast. If you are not planning on buying a drinks package, you may want to look into the voucher booklets available onboard. By prepaying for a book of just over a dozen soft drinks vouchers you can save based on the pay-as-you-go rates. Packages for water, soda, beer, coffee or cocktails are available at the cruise line reckons savings of up to 25% compared to bar prices can be achieved.

      When I took my infant son aboard I paid as I went along for the very same reasons. We spent a lot of time in the buffet, opting for bar drinks as much deserved treats. The paid-for coffee is delicious as is the Italian gelato (as paid for). Overall, I spent considerably less than it would have cost to go all-inclusive. When he’s a little older, and in your case when the twins are older, the value of the all inclusive package would really come into its own, especially in the Mediterranean heat.

  55. As I’m a non drinker I have booked a soft drink package on the fantasia I am travelling on 5th to the 12th of February 2017 around dubai what drinks does this include and what bar’s and restaurant are they available in

    • The Soda package consists of 15 vouchers for canned soft drinks (or, upon request, draft soda or fruit juice). The vouchers can be used in the restaurants, the buffet, and the bars.

  56. We are part of a group sailing on MSC Divina in July 2017. MSC is telling us and our travel agent that the whole group of over 40 people has to get the unlimited drink package or no one can get it. Less than half our group are drinkers so it would be a waste of money for most. I fully understand everyone in each cabin but the the whole group is crazy. Are they holding out to see how many will upgrade to the Aurea package (which includes the unlimited drink package) and cost an extra $600 per person or will they stick to no one being able to purchase the unlimited package. I hope the cruise is a lot better than the booking has been. LOL. Any advise will help.

    • The rules state that everyone sharing a cabin must book the same package. Forcing an entire group to book the same package is concerning, and may well be a confusion in the rules. Contact MSC Cruises directly to get their official take on it. If you don’t pre-book the package, you should be able to sign up as soon as you get onboard. When I last sailed with MSC, there were leaflets in every bar encouraging the uptake of the offer.

      As for the upcoming changes, as far as I understand, the change is limited to the package names to harmonise the names and make the packages easier to differentiate. From summer 2017, the Allegrissimo package will be renamed “All-Inclusive Restaurant & Bar Drink Package” and the Allegrissimo Premium package will be renamed “All-Inclusive Deluxe Drink Package”. The More-For-Less package will be renamed “All-Inclusive Classic Drink Package” and the More-For-Less Premium package will be renamed “All-Inclusive Deluxe Drink Package”.

      • I also have a group of 30 sailing this weekend and was told the same thing. All inclusive has to be for everyone in the group. I am a travel agent and they explained it being the same as both people in the same cabin having to take it, they have no control as to who in the group know each other and would be sharing with them.

  57. Hi David

    My wife does not drink alchohol, if I got her the allegrissimo package would that include “canned” soft drinks, as she only drinks Soda and Lime or Diet Lemonade, which I think is only sold in Cans on board.

    Can I purchase a Soft Drinks package for her, if so would it include soda and lime.

    This will be our first cruise with MSC, previously with Costa, Soda and Lime cost $5.60

    Regards
    James

    • The Drinks Package includes soft drinks, but the information I have doesn’t stipulate whether this is canned or draught varieties. My guess would be it is the latter. If you purchase a drinks package then she must also purchase one as per the rules (assuming you are sharing a cabin).

      If you opt to pay as you go, she may be interested in the Soda Package, which is a booklet of 15 vouchers sold onboard that can be redeemed for canned soft drinks, to be consumed in the restaurants, self-service buffet, or bars. It’ll save a little over the standard bar prices.

  58. Hi David,
    Does the standard “Allegrissimo Package” include any bottle beers and spirits (i.e. vodka & gin including the mixers) or is this extra?
    Nick

    • That’s a great question. The standard package includes mineral water, a selected range of drinks and cocktails from the bar menu, wines by the glass, draught beer, sodas, fruit juices, and classic hot beverages (coffee espresso, cappuccino, etc.), plus takeaway ice cream in a cone or cup.

      The Premium package includes all the above, with a wider range of cocktails (including champagne cocktails), premium wines by the glass, draught and bottled beer, speciality coffees, chocolate-based specialities, premium spirits, drinks from your in-cabin mini-bar, plus treats from the Gelateria and Pastry Shop.

      So to answer your question, no, the Standard package does not appear to include neat spirits and bottle beers, but the Premium package does.

      • Thank you David, your answer has saved me some embarrassment and possibly some money.
        I think I shall only go for; “Taste the World” Premium Beer Package (14 bottle beers) and maybe the odd spirit/mix off the menu.

      • I’m sure a gin and tonic or vodka and coke etc is included in the package.. It’s under the guise of “selected drinks an cocktails from the bar menu” if I can’t have a g& t before dinner I won’t be buying this package?

        • I looked through my photos and found one of the menu. You are right: ‘Rum & Cola’, ‘Gin & Tonic’, ‘Vodka & Lemon’, and ‘Whisky & Cola’ appear to be part of the standard drinks package under the guise of ‘Mixed Drinks’. For drinks made with specific brands then these incur an extra charge. Neat spirits only appear in the Premium package, along with bottled beer.

    • Alcohol purchased in ports of call will normally be confiscated at the security scanner, labelled, and returned on the last evening. This policy is similar to most cruise lines, which are keen to protect onboard bar sales.

  59. Hi I have the Aligrissimo package as part of our cruise deal , on Celebrity I can up grade to premium is the same possible on MSC. EUAN

    • I know on other cruise lines this is possible, and I’d like to think it would be with MSC Cruises. However, they aren’t known for their flexibility. Your travel agent or MSC Customer Services would be able to say whether it is possible, although it would be the ship staff who would handle the upgrade if permitted. If possible, I’d try to get something from your travel agent or MSC Customer Services in writing that you can take with you.

Leave a Reply

🔒 Privacy
Once approved, your name and comment will be displayed publicly on this website. Your email address is used to contact you regarding your comment. Full details of how your data is processed can be found in my privacy policy.