Is a Holland America Line Drink Package Worth It?

We breakdown whether getting the Holland America Line drink package for a 7-day cruise was worth it and saved us in money in this post!

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While Holland America Line’s cruise fare includes a lot, not everything is covered in that rate. Among the onboard purchases that are not included are alcoholic beverages. So, some cruisers might be wondering if purchasing a Holland America Line drink package is worth it. Well, we have just returned from a 7-night cruise on Nieuw Statendam. On that cruise, we purchased the Signature Drink package. So, we share all the details to see if the drink package saved us money.

Is a Holland America Line Drink Package Worth It?

Drinks Included on Holland America Line

Before looking at the drink packages, you need to know what is covered in the HAL cruise fare. Of course, a majority of the food is included. Dining in the main dining room and casual spots are part of the cruise fare.

When it comes to beverages, only a few select drinks are complimentary. Cruisers can get a variety of juices, coffee, and a selection of tea throughout day. In the cruise ship’s Lido Market, beverage stations also include flavored water, lemonade, and iced tea. Of course, there are also water stations in the buffet for non-bottled water.

At lunch and dinner, drinks likes iced tea and lemonade are also included in the main dining room.

Holland America Nieuw Statendam Restaurants

However, these are the only beverages that will not cost you anything on a Holland America Line ship. Essentially, any other drink you would want, whether alcoholic or non-alcoholic, is an upcharge.

So, that is why Holland America Line offers several different drink packages. Most likely, you are interested in the line’s drink packages that include spirts, beer, and wine. Although, keep in mind that there are non-alcoholic beverage packages as well which include bottled water, soft drinks, mocktails, and specialty coffees and lattes.

To determine if the drink package on Holland America Line is worth it, we are going to focus on the Signature Drink package. This is the baseline alcohol package on Holland America ships. It is also the drink package you will receive as part of the Have It All Package.

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All the Details of Holland America Line’s Signature Drink Package

The Signature Drink Package has a retail price of $54.95 a per person, per day. However, if you purchase pre-cruise, there is often a $10 discount.

No matter when you purchase the package, there is an additional 18% service charge added at check out.

Further, the drink package must be purchased for the entire length of the cruise.

Are Holland America Line Drink Packages Worth it

When purchasing the package, both members of the stateroom must have the same package. If you are traveling with minors, they must have the Quench Drink package.

The Signature Drink package entitles guests to up to 15 drinks a day costing up to $11.  

Now, this means the package includes most premium non-alcoholic drinks. Espresso based coffees, cans of water (not bottles), sparkling water, soft drinks, and zero-proof cocktails are covered.

When it comes to adult beverages, the drinks on Holland America Line are modestly priced. Almost all beers are $7.50. Further, most mixed drinks are around $9.50. The specialty cocktails in the lounges are closer to $11.

Examining the Holland America Bar menus, only a few select tequilas, cognacs, and single malt scotches would cost you more than $11. Further, only 3 of the Holland America Line “Popular Wines” would be out of this package.

Holland America Line Drink Packages Save Money

Keep in mind the 15-drink maximum for the Signature Beverage package includes both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. So, if you grab a few specialty coffees, cans of water, and soda during the day, that will detract from your total allotment.

Also, you can’t carry over drinks. So, if you consume only 10 drinks one day, the 5 unused drinks can not be applied to another day.

If you do purchase a drink that is more than the $11 allotment, you now only need to pay the difference plus gratuity. This policy has been recently updated as you used to have to pay for the entire drink if it was over the $11 allotment.

Holland America Line Drink Package Analysis

For our last Holland America cruise, we purchased the Signature Beverage pre-cruise. Thus, we received an additional $10/day discount.

So, the total with gratuity was $371.28 per person, or a total of $742.56 for the cabin.

Generally, we prefer cocktails and wine in the evenings. Further, we both drink a lot of specialty coffee and cans of water. 

For this Holland America Line Drink Package analysis, we tracked all of our beverages for the 7-day cruise. Below is a table that breaks down everything we drank during the weeklong cruise.

In total, the two of us combined consumed 135 beverages over the 7 days, which was just under 10 beverages a day. Of those beverages, about 42% of them were alcoholic beverages. 

If we had purchased the beverages a la carte, we would have paid $1019.52 (with the 18% service charge). So, purchasing the drink package, pre-cruise, saved us $276, or slightly more than 25%.

Bottled Water$3.5049

Given the port intensive itinerary, we actually consumed fewer beverages than typical in warmer regions like the Caribbean and Bahamas. Still though, it does take a lot to reach that 15 drink limit.

Thus, cruisers should consider the itinerary, their preferred spirits, and the cruise length when evaluating whether the Holland America Line Drink package is worth it.

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A Word on the Holland America Have It All Package

In 2021, Holland America Line rolled out its Have It All Package.

While the terms of the package may fluctuate based on your specific sailing, this more inclusive offering typically includes 4 add-ons- shore excursion credit, a beverage package, WiFi, and specialty dining.

Have It All includes the Surf Internet package which costs around $15 a day. Also, this upgrade gives each passenger shore excursion credit up to $100 (6-9 day cruises). It also includes one specialty dinner and a Signature Beverage Package.

When examining the added benefits/value of the program, cruisers need to know that the upgraded package fee fluctuates. The list price is $99 per person, per day. However, with promotions, cruisers can typically upgrade to Have It All for a 40 to 50% discount.

Holland America Line Cocktails at BB Kings Blues Club+

So, if you are already considering a Signature Beverage package, you might want to consider this upgrade. Essentially, you would be getting the internet, shore excursion credit, and a specialty dinner for a few dollars more a day.

Depending on the current promotion, upgrading to the Have it All Package may include additional add-ons such as crew appreciation or onboard credit. This would make upgrading an even better value, even if you don’t think you would necessarily break even on a drink package.

Thus, be sure to read the fine print and consider your own habits before upgrading to ensure you are getting the best value.


Have you purchased a Holland America Line Drink Package? Do you think it is a good value? Drop us an anchor below with your feedback using this cruise add-on.

Don Bucolo, or “DB”, loves everything about cruising- the ocean, the food, and the atmosphere. While he may be obsessed with doing extensive amounts of research on ships and all elements of a cruise, Don enjoys sharing his new found knowledge with fellow cruisers. When he is not sailing the high seas, he does whatever his wife tells him to do-it only took 10 years to realize this.
Don Bucolo
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Is a Holland America Line Drink Package Worth It?

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