Alaskan cruises with Royal Caribbean include dining, entertainment, activities and transportation to some of the most beautiful ports in the world, but are they all-inclusive?
The idea of an all-inclusive Alaska cruise is enticing, but Royal Caribbean cruises are Not all inclusive. Additional charges may apply that are not included in your base cruise fare.
Royal Caribbean’s approach is to offer a lower cruise entry price, allowing guests to pay for add-ons as they please.
Because of this, it’s possible to travel to Alaska with Royal Caribbean without spending a little extra onboard. There’s more than enough free food, drink, activities, and entertainment to keep passengers occupied throughout the journey.
However, if you’re looking for an all-inclusive Alaskan cruise experience, there are a few purchases you can make before you leave nearly all included once you board your Royal Caribbean ship.
Let’s take a look at all-inclusive Alaska cruise options and how you can create an all-inclusive experience on Royal Caribbean.
Which cruise lines offer all-inclusive cruises in Alaska?
None of the mass-market cruise lines (Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Norwegian, etc.) offer an all-inclusive Alaskan cruise experience in their base fare. However, some allow you to purchase additional packages aimed at providing a more complete experience.
For example, Holland America offers the Have It All package, which includes a $100 shore excursion credit, beverage package, specialty dining night, and WiFi package for $50 per person per day.
However, this is still not the case Completely All inclusive as it only includes one night at a specialty restaurant and a limited dollar amount for shore excursions.
Truly all-inclusive Alaska cruises are hard to come by, only found on luxury or expedition cruise lines like Seabourn and Regent Seven Seas. And even then, you still have to pay extra for things like spa services and shore excursions.
The good news is that while a Royal Caribbean cruise isn’t completely all-inclusive, you can transform a standard cruise experience into all-inclusive sailing by purchasing just a few add-ons.
What’s included on a Royal Caribbean Alaska cruise?
As with any Royal Caribbean cruise, it’s important to know what’s included in your cruise fare when planning a vacation to Alaska.
Here’s what’s included in your base Royal Caribbean cruise fare:
- Accommodations (your cruise cabin)
- Gratuities (Paid in advance at $16 per person per day)
- Meals and snacks (except specialty restaurants)
- Beverages (water, tea, coffee, lemonade, iced tea, milk, juices and hot chocolate)
- Adventure Ocean kids programming
- activities and entertainment
- Pool and sundecks
Related: What’s included in your Royal Caribbean cruise fare?
While much is included, there are some add-ons that are not included in the cruise fare. Specialty restaurants, Internet, alcoholic beverages, specialty coffees and shore excursions are just a few of the additional expenses you may incur on an Alaskan cruise.
Related: Top 30 Extra Cruise Expenses Not Included
A step-by-step guide to creating an all-inclusive Alaska cruise with Royal Caribbean
There are a few key add-ons that you must purchase prior to your Alaskan cruise in order to have an all-inclusive onboard experience.
If you purchase these in advance on Royal Caribbean’s cruise planner website, you’ll incur minimal (if any) additional costs aboard your ship.
Step One: Buy a drink package
To keep cruise fares lower for all guests, Royal Caribbean does not include alcoholic beverages, specialty coffees, sodas, and mocktails in its base fare. Therefore, to put together your all-inclusive Alaska cruise, consider purchasing a drinks package.
There are three main beverage packages available at Royal Caribbean:
- Deluxe Beverage Package (alcoholic & non-alcoholic drinks)
- $67 to $79 per person per night
- Royal Refreshment Pack (soft drinks)
- $28 to 38 per person per night
- Classic soda package (Coca-Cola Freestyle Drinks)
- $9 to $14 per person per night
Beverage package prices may change from day to day. As with any pre-cruise purchase on Royal Caribbean’s cruise planner, you may cancel and rebook any add-on if you see a drop in price.
Related: The Ultimate Guide to the Royal Caribbean Cruise Planner Website
We therefore recommend booking drinks packages as early as possible. If the price goes down, you can cancel and rebook the package free of charge. On the other hand, if you wait to book and the price goes up, you will have to pay the higher price.
Step 2: Buy a specialty restaurant package
Though there’s more than enough free dining included on an Alaskan cruise, if you really want an all-inclusive experience with Royal Caribbean, consider booking a meal package.
The Unlimited Dining Package is the best choice for those planning an all-inclusive Alaska cruise. This package allows guests unlimited dining at specialty restaurants throughout the cruise for a set price.
Related: The Ultimate Guide to Royal Caribbean’s Unlimited Dining Package
Specialty restaurants on Royal Caribbean offer cooking styles and cuisines not found anywhere else onboard, and they offer a more intimate atmosphere than the main dining room or the Tall Ship Buffet.
You can expect to pay around $225 per guest (plus 18% tip) for an unlimited dining package on a 7-day Alaskan cruise.
Step Three: Book an internet package in advance
Internet isn’t included on a Royal Caribbean cruise, and if you want to create an all-inclusive vacation while staying connected with friends and family back home, consider purchasing an Internet package.
The best option for an Internet package from Royal Caribbean is the VOOM Surf & Stream package. This package includes both web browsing and streaming, so you can surf the web, watch YouTube videos, and Facetime your loved ones at home.
For a 7-night Alaskan cruise, a VOOM Surf & Stream internet package costs around $100 $17 per device per day.
The total cost of an “all-inclusive” cruise to Alaska with Royal Caribbean
Expect to spend some money when you purchase a deluxe beverage package, unlimited dining package, and internet package before your Alaskan cruise $920 per person on a 7 night cruise.
What about shore excursions on an Alaskan cruise?
Shore excursions are not included in the price of a Royal Caribbean cruise to Alaska, but are highly sought after. From whale watching tours to kayaking, be sure to book an excursion for your Alaskan cruise.
Related: Cruise Excursions in Alaska
Royal Caribbean Alaska cruise excursions must be booked individually; There is no Unlimited Shore Excursion package available. Prices for shore excursions in Alaska range from $30 for a basic hiking tour to $500 for helicopter landings on glaciers.
It is not necessary to book shore excursions on an Alaskan cruise. In fact, many of Alaska’s cruise ports offer plenty to do without breaking the bank. However, shore excursions are an important additional expense to plan for on a Royal Caribbean cruise to Alaska.
Another alternative: book a Star Class suite for an all-inclusive Alaska cruise
Star Class is the highest tier of Royal Caribbean’s Royal Suite Class. It’s the closest thing to an all-inclusive Alaska cruise on the cruise line and is only available on Quantum-class ships sailing to Alaska.
Star Class on Royal Caribbean includes priority boarding, access to the Coastal Kitchen restaurant, luxurious cabin amenities, complimentary VOOM WiFi for every guest, concierge service, suite sundeck access, laundry facilities, a Royal Genie, gratuities, specialty restaurants and a deluxe drink package.
Related: A Beginner’s Guide to Sailing the Star Class
Essentially, Star Class offers the all-inclusive experience you can find on a Royal Caribbean cruise. Some of the only addons Not Retail and spa services are included in Star Class.
The caveat? Star Class doesn’t come cheap, and these cabins typically cost in the tens of thousands on an Alaskan cruise. However, if you have some cash to spend—and you have the budget—be sure to book a Star Class room on an all-inclusive Alaska cruise.
If you don’t have $15,000 to spend on a vacation, you’d better book the deluxe beverage package, unlimited dining package and internet package on top of your cruise fare in a regular cabin. This offers an “all inclusive” experience at a lower price for any Alaskan cruise.