Undoubtedly, one of the most recurring topics when choosing and customizing our cruise is taking into account what is included or not. This is a guide to know how the drinks and packages work on Costa Cruises:
Bar menu - list and pricing
As with any cruise, the menu consists of all types of beverages such as water, juices, coffees, alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails, and a wide variety of wines and beers. Something to keep in mind is that on Costa Cruises, no drinks are included. You only have access to machine water, juices, and coffee at the buffet and during breakfast (both buffet and à la carte). The ship does not have water fountains nor does it provide water in restaurants outside of breakfast. If you want a glass of bottled water, you will have to pay for it. Knowing this, here is the general drink menu in PDF format:
As you can see, the menu is divided into sections and the price of each beverage is listed next to it. However, there are several things to keep in mind. The first is that, as mentioned in the previous video, a 15% service charge is added to the price of the products. So, if you order a bottle of water for €3.50, you will be charged €4.03 after the service charge is added. This is important to note when calculating the cost of purchasing drinks separately.
You will also notice that some drinks (especially wine bottles) are marked with a discount for C|Club members. This applies to all members, meaning that you can access these types of discounts just by registering for the club for free before the cruise through the Costa website.
Finally, remember that the prices on the menu have increased in recent months. This is especially important for those who had calculated their beverage expenses on past cruises, as it will now be higher. For example, the price of water has increased from €2.90 to €3.40, coffee from €1.70 to €2.20, and a tropical cocktail from €8.20 to €9.30.
The menu I provided is the general drink menu. What I mean by this is that there are bars on certain ships that have different menus. For example, pool bars usually do not have all the beverages available. Similarly, there are ships like the Costa Toscana that have exclusive bars such as the Campari Bar, Heineken Brewery, or Ferrari Bar. These spaces offer exclusive drinks from the location, some of which are also included in the beverage packages that we will discuss below. I don't have the updated menus right now, but I will try to share them as soon as I get them.
Like almost all cruise lines, Costa offers a range of unlimited beverage packages that we can book before boarding or once on board. If you book with an all-inclusive rate, you will have the My Drinks package (formerly known as Più Gusto). It is the most popular package and includes a wide variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. These are the ones you will find on the menu marked with a yellow dot. Something to keep in mind is that this package includes drinks served in a glass, meaning you can order all the glasses of water you want but not all the bottles you want. In fact, it includes one 0.5l bottle per person per night. This means that if you take a 7-night cruise, you will have 7 small bottles to pick up at any bar, ideal for your room or excursions.
If you travel in a suite or decide to upgrade the package, you have My Drinks Plus (previously known as Intenditore). This selection is much more extensive and includes specialty coffees, premium alcoholic brands, and unlimited water bottles. You will find all the drinks on the menu marked with a dark red dot.
You will also find the Brindiamo package (blue), which includes a shorter selection of alcohol, mainly excluding cocktails with alcohol; and the My Soft Drinks package, which exclusively includes non-alcoholic beverages (red).
The prices of the packages may vary, so check with Costa or your agency to get a price according to the number of nights you will be on board. As a reference, the My Drinks package on the Costa Toscana for 7 nights cost me around 250€.
If you feel like having something outside of your drink package once on board, you can request an upgrade or you can also choose to pay for drinks not included in the package. Additionally, in some bars, you can purchase certain drinks from the My Drinks Plus package by paying only a supplement if you already have the My Drinks package.
Drink packages cannot be shared and it is mandatory to contract them for all passengers in the same cabin. If you are traveling with children, they will have the non-alcoholic package.
You may be thinking that a package might be too much for you, and paying for drinks one by one may not seem like the best option. This is quite common among travelers who have a very specific selection of drinks or who consider paying, for example, 500€ for a couple in the same cabin excessive for what they are going to consume. In that case, there are packages known as limited.
These packages offer you a closed selection of drinks and a limited number of them, so you will pay a fixed price for, for example, 20 bottles of water, 40 coffees, or 30 beers. To learn more details, you can access myCosta.com with your booking number and see what each one offers. Something interesting is that these packages can be shared, and can be purchased by a single guest in the cabin. However, it will be charged to the card of the person who hires it.
I have contracted it on one occasion, where I took a package of 20 non-alcoholic cocktails for myself and my companion, which adapted to what we thought we would consume during the cruise.
Remember that traveling with the all-inclusive fare refers to daily tips and the drinks package. Nothing more. None of the drinks packages include ice cream, pizzas, or any other specialty restaurant. In fact, they inform that drinks packages cannot be used in specialty restaurants, although so far I have not found myself in a situation where I have been charged for water when eating in them.
So... is it worth it?
It's time to decide. Should I get a drinks package or not? The answer to this is completely personal and depends solely on each person's preferences. With this article, you can make an approximate calculation of what you will consume and compare the prices offered by the packages with those on the menu taking into account everything important. In my case, I have traveled with a package, without a package, and with a limited package as I mentioned before. On some occasions, the all-inclusive rate was better for me, and on others, I chose not to take it. I believe that if you have a package, you will end up taking advantage of it since you have no limits, just as if you travel without it, you will possibly restrain yourself more.
Extra: my favorites
Finally, I want to share my favorite selection of drinks if you are traveling with Costa, especially for those who are traveling for the first time and are all included in My Drinks:
Non-alcoholic cocktails: Pink Panther / Squok / Cosmopolitan
Alcoholic cocktails: Strawberry Daiquiri / Piña Colada / Margarita
Coffees: Macchiato / Cappuccino / Macchiato with Bailey's and ice
Specialty bar: Ferrari and its sparkling and strawberry or passion fruit cocktails
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