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Many of My Vacation Lady’s clients like the idea of all inclusive resorts.  Your meals, drinks, entertainment and non motorized water sports are included. Tipping is usually not expected so you can, pretty much, put your wallet in the safe and keep it there all week.

Compare that to the typical cruise vacation aboard the popular cruise lines like Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Princess, Holland America, Norwegian and Carnival.  Your meals are included, except if you want to go to one of their specialty restaurants.  Alcohol is not included, nor is soda.  So for many of My Vacation Lady’s clients, a cruise vacation can end with a pretty large tab at the end of the cruise, if they drink a good amount during the cruise.

Slowly but surely, some of the popular cruise lines have been testing, and implementing, liquor and other beverage packages aboard their cruise ships to enhance their passenger’s experiences, and in part, to try to compete with all inclusive resorts.

Royal Caribbean is now the latest to introduce their beverage package.  According to Theresa Norton Masek of Travelpulse.com (online travel news magazine)

Royal Caribbean International has introduced two new beverage packages, joining other lines that offer similar inclusive deals. The Classic Beverage Package costs $45 per guest, per day, for beer, house wines by the glass, non-alcoholic cocktails, fountain soda and juices. The Premium Beverage Package costs $55 per guest, per day, and includes the afore-mentioned, as well as frozen drinks and all cocktails including premium brands. Both package prices include service charges.

Beverage packages are available for purchase on all seven-night or longer sailings and must be purchased on the first day. Guests choosing either package also must purchase the package for guests 21 years old or older sailing in the same stateroom. Packages are currently available on 13 ships and will be available on the remaining ships with seven-night or longer itineraries by early 2013.

The move follows similar programs offered by Carnival Cruise Lines and Norwegian Cruise Line. Carnival launched the program as a test but has rapidly expanded it to eight ships. The “Cheers!” all-inclusive beverage package is now available on Carnival Splendor, Carnival Breeze, Carnival Dream, Carnival Victory, Carnival Valor, Carnival Liberty, Carnival Conquest and Carnival Legend. The program, which costs $42.95 per person, per day, plus a 15 percent gratuity, includes a variety of wine, beer and spirits, along with sodas and non-alcoholic frozen cocktails throughout the voyage. All wines by the glass, beer and individual cocktails priced $10 and lower are available within the program.

Norwegian is testing an all-inclusive drink package on Norwegian Sun, Norwegian Gem and Norwegian Jade. The package costs $49 per person per day, plus gratuity.

Celebrity Cruise Lines introduced a number of beverage packages a couple of years ago and, according to My Vacation Lady’s clients, it’s a great enhancement.  The major difference with Celebrity’s packages, not everyone in the cabin must purchase the package.

Let me ask you, will this entice you to cruise instead of going to an all inclusive resort, knowing that you can purchase these beverage packages?