Amazing Philippines

Read more on "Amazing Philippines" »

General information:

Capital city— Manila

Main Resorts – Islands of Boraсay, Cebu, Bohol, Palawan, Mindoro, Negros, also Maktan, Mindanao and Panglao.

Politics – a constitutional republic with a presidential system.

Population — 103,8 million people.

Languages – Filipino, English, Spanish.

Amazing Philippines

Geography – located in the western Pacific Ocean, in Southeast Asia

Religion – secular state. Christianity is the dominant faith; Muslims and Buddhists are the main religious minorities.

Monetary unit – 1 Philippine peso = 100 centavos. 1 USD = 43,5 PHP.

The exotic Philippine Islands were named by Spanish conquistadors in honor of King Philip ІІ and are often called a tropical paradise. The country consists of seven thousand different islands that fascinate all tourists who come. The colorful islands are located at the equator, so summer lasts the whole year.

Nature is unbelievably bright and colorful – so intense and dazzling that it is sometimes hard to believe it exists in reality. The inimitable nature is alluring from the very first sight, and you can’t resist falling in love with the absolute beauty of this tropical country. Just imagine endless blue sky, deserted beaches, coconut palm trees, and the chance to feel like a courageous Robinson Crusoe.

Amazing Philippines

Amazing Philippines

The Philippines attracts numerous tourists not only with its brilliant shores and crystal waters, but also with multiple adventurous activities. If you want to go to a desert island, you can use a cruiser or motor boat that will take you there in next to no time.

The capital of The Philippines is the city of Manila

Huge skyscrapers, picturesque markets, and beautiful cozy embankments look extremely attractive. And to see the most colorful sunsets in the world, you need to go to Roxas Boulevard where you will have spectacular views painted in millions of bright colors.

You can have an excursion to fascinating small streets of Manila on quaint “jeepneys” which will bring you to the most boisterous and cheerful corners of the city. You will visit cozy restaurants, try national dishes, and enjoy the night life of Manila.

Amazing Philippines


Islands of Boraсay, Cebu, Bohol, Palawan, Mindoro, Negros are the most exotic and popular resorts of The Philippines. If you want to visit the oldest Spanish fortress and to see the cross planted by Magellan, go to the island of Cebu. High-class luxury hotels, restaurants, and the secluded white-sand beaches of the island are waiting for you.

To see the splendor of verdant hills, you are advised to go to the island of Bohol. More than one thousand hills are located on the island, and locals recount many legends about them. An unforgettable impression is received when you visit the sea reserve – a Bokhol Island highlight. Nowhere else will you  see such beauty decorated with thousands of corals, a wide variety of fishes, and large number of turtles.

If you are attracted by diverse night life, it will be interesting for you to visit Borakay

This island has the shape of a butterfly and is considered one of the best beaches in the world. There are a lot of small restaurants where they prepare various national dishes of different countries; also, there is the constant sound of music, and dozens of people dancing on the ocean shores.

Tourists who love diving and snorkeling can travel around with pleasure to such places as Anilao, Puerto Galera, Balikasag. The beautiful nature of this diving kingdom attracts fans of underwater photography.

The exotic islands Maktan and Badian will greet you with isolated colorful lagoons, smart hotels, and snow-white beaches.


To Book Your Trip
Contact our Travel Advisors:1.877.999.4768

Share this tour with your friend

2017 Royal Caribbean Beverage Package Info, Tips, Pros & Cons

Read more on "2017 Royal Caribbean Beverage Package Info, Tips, Pros & Cons" »

Royal Caribbean’s beverage packages offer guests the opportunity to enjoy plenty of drinks for a fixed daily price.  This post offers tips for saving money with these drink packages and our reviews of the various plans.  

2017 Royal Caribbean Beverage Package Info, Tips, Pros & Cons

We will get to what each version of Royal Caribbean’s Beverage Packages include and whether the Royal Caribbean Drink Package is worth the money below.  Our tips and opinions are based on our first-hand experiences with the drink packages, and the current versions for this year.  

Before we get to the dollars and cents, let us cover some basics.  For those who are unfamiliar with it, Royal Caribbean’s drink packages are a fixed daily cost plan offered on all Royal Caribbean ships so guests can budget their beverage costs in advance and (potentially) save money.  The various plans provide guests with unlimited drinks that can be used at any bar or restaurant on Royal Caribbean ships (and private destinations).  The drink package benefits are available on the guest’s SeaPass card or WOWband, which any waiter or bartender can verify they have the package.

Royal Caribbean guests wishing to purchase a drink package can do so either prior to their cruise via the Cruise Planner web site or once onboard their ship. Once purchased, you must pay for the package for the duration of your cruise.  If purchased during your cruise, guests will pay for the remaining nights of their cruise.

Let’s get more into the nitty-gritty of the 2017 Royal Caribbean drink package…

2017 Royal Caribbean Beverage Package Info, Tips, Pros & Cons

The drink packages can be redeemed at pretty much any restaurant or bar on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship or private destination.  There are only two places a drink package cannot be used: room service and stateroom mini-bars.

From time to time, Royal Caribbean sometimes offers discounts to its guests on the drink package price. These discounts are offered selectively and can vary in terms of how much the discount is and for which sailings they are eligible.  Nearly all discounts we have seen are offered prior to the cruise on the Cruise Planner web site. These discounts have the potential to add to the potential value a guest can get from a drink package, but remember any discount does not necessarily make the value proposition a drink package offers a “slam dunk” deal.

2017 Royal Caribbean Beverage Package Info, Tips, Pros & Cons

Before even booking a drink package, you should determine roughly how many drinks per day you think you can and will drink over the course of your cruise.  For some folks, 5-6 drinks per day is easy, while others may think that is a lot every day of a cruise.

That is probably enough background on Royal Caribbean’s drink packages.  You likely still have some more questions, and we will dig into them below and get them answered.  For a simple system, it can be surprisingly complex, do not feel bad if it takes some reading before you fully understand how the drink package works and whether it is a good for for your party.

2017 Royal Caribbean Beverage Package Overview

2017 Royal Caribbean Beverage Package Info, Tips, Pros & Cons

Royal Caribbean offers a number of drink packages to consider.  Each package provides guests with an unlimited allotment of servings of the specific beverages their package includes.

None of the packages include mini bar items, Evian water, canned sodas, bottled juice and souvenir glassware, specialty beers as listed on bar menus, or super premium category beverages.

Refreshment Package

This drink package pretty much includes all beverages onboard that do not contain any alcohol.  It is popular with older children and those that like having juices, coffee and teas.

For each guests that purchases this package, it includes

  • Premium coffees and teas
  • Bottled still and sparking water
  • Fresh squeezed orange juice
  • Non-alcoholic cocktails
  • Fountain sodas / Coca-Cola Freestyle beverages
  • Coca-Cola Souvenir Cup included

The price per night of the Refreshment Package is $26.00 per guest (excluding gratuity).

2017 Royal Caribbean Beverage Package Info, Tips, Pros & Cons

Classic Soda Package

The Classic Soda package is what was once called by many guests, “the soda card”.  It is unlimited soda and quite popular with kids.

For each guests that purchases this package, it incudes

  • Fountain Soda and refills in any venue
  • Coca-Cola Freestyle beverages
  • Coca-Cola Souvenir Cup included

The price per night of the Classic Soda Package is $8.50 per guest (excluding gratuity).

2017 Royal Caribbean Beverage Package Info, Tips, Pros & Cons

Deluxe Beverage Package

In September 2016, Royal Caribbean simplified its unlimited alcohol packages by offering just one package, the Deluxe Beverage package.

It offers “the best of both worlds,” with access to nearly the entire stock of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Enjoy virtually unlimited combinations on everything from cocktails with top-shelf spirits to premium teas and every beverage in between.

For each guests that purchases this package, it includes

  • Cocktails, spirits, liqueurs
  • Beer
  • Wine (by the glass)
  • Non-alcoholic cocktails
  • Premium coffees & teas
  • Fountain sodas / Coca-Coka Freestyle beverages
  • Coca-Cola souvenir cup included
  • Bottled still and sparkling water
  • Fresh squeezed juices
  • 40% discount on wines under $100. Wines above $100 will receive a 20% discount.

The Deluxe Beverage Package includes alcoholic drinks up to $12 in value ($13 on Oasis and Quantum class ships).  Drinks that are served in a souvenir cup/glass/mug and/or drinks served inside fruit (i.e. pineapples) are not included with the drink package, however a portion of the drink price is subsidized by the beverage package.

The price per night of the Deluxe Beverage package varies from ship to ship, and sailing to sailing. Royal Caribbean seems to employ a variable pricing model that considers time of year, ship class and other factors in offering the price of the drink package. Due to the varying prices across the fleet, we hesitate to publish any kind of pricing here. If purchased prior to your cruise on the Cruise Planner site, the Deluxe Beverage package often costs between $44 – $52 per guest, per night (excluding gratuity). The price will be higher if purchased onboard, usually around $65 per guest, per night.

2017 Royal Caribbean Beverage Package Info, Tips, Pros & Cons

Is a Royal Caribbean Drink Package Worth It? – Pros and Cons

We have used Royal Caribbean’s drink packages on a number of occasions and we have also paid out of pocket for our drinks on even more cruises.  The drink package has an equal number of fans and critics.  We tend to fall somewhere in the middle, disagreeing with both extremes. We think the drink package has its pros and its cons, so let us take a look at some of them!


You can save money with a drink package (versus paying for each drink a la carte), but you have to be a certain kind of drinker and not waste the daily package benefits.  If you are someone that enjoys having many drinks every day, it can definitely save you money with a Royal Caribbean drink package.  This requires anyone that buys the package to be willing and able to enjoy a good half-dozen drinks every day of their cruise.  

There is no question a drink package has an excellent value proposition associated with it, but you need to be able to drink enough to “break even” on the package versus buying the drinks on your own.  If you knew you would not be drinking enough every day of your cruise to break even, why would you over pay for a package?

With that said, prices for Royal Caribbean drinks have been on the rise over the last few years. Cocktails are regularly priced at around $12 per drink, which means bar tabs can get expensive quickly. And with so many tantalizing choices on each bar menu, the temptation to grab a drink is always present.

The drink package benefits will save the most money for folks that drink a lot during the day and spread their drinking out throughout the course of their day and night.

Amount of Drinks

One common complaint we hear about drink packages are a phenomenon known as “drink fatigue,” where guests drink more than they really would ordinarily order and it starts to weigh on them.  When using a drink package, I always struggle with the question of, “Am I ordering a drink because I want one or because I have a drink package?”  There have been plenty of times with a drink package, I know I am ordering a drink because I have the package and the show, activity or event I am attending offers drinks, so why not get a drink.

If you are on a short cruise and are looking to have a good time, the drink package can make a lot more sense, since there are less days to use the package benefits.  Likewise, shorter cruises have a tendency to have more of a party atmosphere than longer cruises.  

It is important to keep in mind what your goal is when ordering a drink package.  Are you going to be spending much of your time by the pool or are you someone that will be doing other activities where drinking may not always be an option.  

2017 Royal Caribbean Beverage Package Info, Tips, Pros & Cons


Many guests swear by the convenience of Royal Caribbean’s drink packages.  It makes enjoying drinks simple, with no-fuss involved.  There is no worrying about how much the drink costs and if you should get it or something cheaper.  Heck, there is not even the concern about if you can afford to get a drink or not.  

It is a fair point and among the most commonly cited reasons people love the drink packages.  We love the convenience of the drink package too, especially to have the freedom of trying new drinks without fear of ordering something we do not like and being “stuck” with it.  Or relegating ourselves to drink the same old drinks because we know we like them.

The thing is, the number one reason to buy a drink package is to save money, otherwise why would it exist.  Royal Caribbean would not roll out something that offers no savings and expect people to pay for it, right?  With that in mind, while convenience is important, we believe the cost savings still supersedes whatever convenience the drink package offers.


p style=”text-align: justify;”>This is probably the most contentious point.  In addition to being convenient, a lot of its fans advocate the unlimited drink packages help them stay on a budget and avoid thinking about money on a vacation.

On the surface, this makes sense because you can buy a drink package before your cruise and break up the cost of the cruise, or opt to purchase it onboard and cap your drinking spending.  In either scenario, it goes to making your total cost more predictable.  It reminds us of cell phone plans and why so many people prefer unlimited data plans rather than fixed-data plans.  Simpler to have one cost that covers everything, than worry about “going over.”

There is a point to be made about pre-purchasing a drink package months before your cruise, paying it off then and then later going on your cruise and not dealing with a bill at the end of your cruise that makes you cringe (or worse).  It does not mean you will actually save any money, as you still need to drink enough each day of your cruise to make a drink package worthwhile.  Otherwise, you overpaid earlier than usual.

The whole notion of not having to worry about receipts, gratuity or how much a drink costs holds less water for us.  Sure, it is nice to have, but far from essential.  If someone told me I could save more money by doing some simple math every day, you bet I would bring my calculator onboard.  There are a lot of fun things to do on a Royal Caribbean cruise, and the more money I can save, the more fun stuff I can afford.

Sticker Shock

Even if you are not on a tight budget, drink prices on a Royal Caribbean cruise can be somewhat shocking. There might be the most amazing drink on the menu, but you cannot bring yourself to spend $12 (or more) on it because that sounds too expensive for just one drink.

It is debatable how much any drink should cost.  Go to a concert or theme park, and you will find prices for drinks that make Royal Caribbean’s pricing strategy look pedestrian.  On the other hand, your local restaurants may serve up drinks for a fraction of the cost of what you will find at Boleros. Having the drink package does help ease your mind about paying $12 for that cucumber martini.

It is important to note that you are not always forced into paying full prices for drinks.  Every day there will be a “drink of the day,” where one drink is discounted about 20%.  You can usually find other drink specials throughout your cruise.  In addition, guests that are members of Royal Caribbean’s Crown and Anchor Society are eligible to receive discounted and complimentary drinks during the cruise.  Diamond and above members get complimentary drinks every evening, which can be a big money saver.  Moreover, guests are allowed to bring up to two bottles of wine per stateroom on their Royal Caribbean cruise.  All of this contributes to bringing down the cost of drinks on a cruise, especially if you forgo a drink package and pay a la carte for your drinks.


2017 Royal Caribbean Beverage Package Info, Tips, Pros & Cons

Overall, whether a Royal Caribbean beverage package is right for you is a highly personal decision, based on a lot of variables.  There is no flat “yes” or “no” answer to determining if a drink package makes sense for everyone, but hopefully the considerations in this post can help with your decision.  Before purchasing any drink package, be sure to do your homework and do the math of how much you have to drink, every day of your cruise for it to make sense.

First-time cruisers will hopefully find this post as a good jumping off point for further reading on the drink packages.  The drink packages can make sense for some people and others no sense at all.  It is foolish to assume any drink package is a good or bad value without first considering how you cruise.

Keep in mind that you can always purchase a drink package even after your cruise begins, if you find yourself drinking more than you thought.  Royal Caribbean advertises that its drink packages can be purchased at any point in a cruise, provided there are at least four days left in the cruise.

The key is to know how you like to cruise and which pros and cons of the drink package are more important to you.  At worst, you are going to overpay for a drink package or for drinks on your own.  In either case, you will still likely have a great vacation experience.

Your thoughts

What is your experience with Royal Caribbean’s beverage package? Thinking about using it? I would love to hear your thoughts about a Royal Caribbean beverage package, and how it works (or does not work) for you, in the comments! If you have questions, ask them there, too.

Adapted from:

Share this tour with your friend

Royal Caribbean: Pushing the Limits of Innovation

Read more on "Royal Caribbean: Pushing the Limits of Innovation" »

Designing and building the world’s largest cruise ships is no small feat for Royal Caribbean’s Newbuild team. Creative collaboration between the team’s designers, architects, shipbuilders and executives is the key to building industry-leading vessels. Often spanning six or seven time zones, the team is brought together by a shared passion.

They’ve built a rapport that allows them to feed off of each other, making innovation the norm. And when the most talented minds in the cruising industry come together, the result is ships that others only dream about.

To Book Your Trip
Contact YYZ Travel Advisors:1.877.999.4768

Share this tour with your friend



The fact that the only way to get to the island is via a scenic helicopter charter over the Coral Sea is the first sign that Orpheus is a little different to most Australian islands. 80 km North of Townsville, this secluded Great Barrier Reef island is covered with lush eucalypt forest, a smattering of palm trees, 11 kilometres of pristine beach and the luxurious Orpheus Island Lodge, accommodating just 28 indulged guests at a time.

Orpheus Island | Relaxed Luxury On The Great Barrier Reef

Tucked away on the Western side of the island, Orpheus Island Lodge stretches along the tranquil shoreline of Hazard Bay and features luxe casual accommodation starting at $1500 AUD per night. Northern beachfront rooms sit a stone’s throw from the water’s edge with unobstructed views over the bay, while the Southern rooms are tucked away behind a lush tropical garden surrounding a private terrace, so you’ll have to settle for walking a few extra metres from your bed to reach the sand.

Orpheus Island Lodge accommodates just 28 indulged guests at a time

The rooms are the epitome of contemporary coastal luxury with a refined, minimalist aesthetic. I stayed in one of the South Suites, an unobtrusive, romantic and contemporary setting that makes it truly easy to unwind and relax.

An open-plan layout showcases the soft natural surfaces and designer hand-picked furniture, along with LED TV’s in the lounge and bedroom, a complimentary mini-bar, iPod dock, air conditioning and Li’tya guest amenities. The room also features a spacious ensuite bathroom with a double vanity and irresistible outdoor stone bath.

Orpheus Island | Relaxed Luxury On The Great Barrier Reef

The resort boasts a stunning infinity pool that sits adjacent to an outdoor bar overlooking the water, as well as a reading room, day spa, and multiple dining and leisure areas. Free wifi is available in the lobby and complimentary daily laundry services can be arranged upon request.

Celebrating a bounty of locally-sourced, wholesome and freshly caught and grown seasonal delights, Orpheus offers a gourmet, daily-changing and personalised menu. Recently appointed head chef Daniel Main makes a point to meet every guest upon arrival to chat about personal preferences and allergies so that each dish appeals to the unique tastes of every guest.

Accommodation rates are inclusive of all meals and a wide selection of regional wines and beers. Don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy a candle-lit degustation dinner over the lagoon with Orpheus’ signature Dining with the Tides experience.

Orpheus Island | Relaxed Luxury On The Great Barrier Reef

Explore a nature of the Great Barrier Reef

Daily complimentary activities are available to all guests and can include snorkelling, fishing or island cruises in the surrounding waters of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. The resort also offers motorised dinghies, kayaks, catamarans and stand-up paddle boards for those who prefer to explore the island’s turquoise coastline at their own leisure.

Walking tracks to the Eastern side of the island are well-maintained and offer fantastic views over the rest of the island and the Palm Island group. The recently constructed loop walk is fairly easy, takes about an hour for those with a reasonable level of fitness and conveniently passes The Lookout, the perfect spot to watch the sunrise over the horizon to the island’s East.

Orpheus Island | Relaxed Luxury On The Great Barrier Reef

A major attraction of Orpheus Island is its idyllic location in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. Those wishing to explore the Outer Reef can request a private full-day charter (shhh, this isn’t exactly an advertised day-trip).

I jumped aboard for a full day boat charter to experience the world’s greatest underwater attraction in total seclusion and was left amazed by the natural sights on offer just 1.5hrs from the sandy shores of Orpheus. An abundance of tropical fish and brightly coloured coral gardens lie just under the surface waiting for you to jump in and explore.

Yuo have a chance to visit the world’s largest island National Park, Hinchinbrook

Without a doubt, the unmissable attraction of an Orpheus Island getaway is a boat charter to nearby Hinchinbrook Island. The world’s largest island National Park, Hinchinbrook is spectacularly punctuated by pristine sandy beaches, mangrove-lined estuaries, lush forest and jagged peaks. The tour includes a guided rainforest walk to the famous Zoe Waterfall and an opportunity to relax in a natural infinity pool overlooking the picturesque Zoe Bay from the top of the falls.

I only had time to experience the first half of the tour before my mid-day helicopter departure, but for those with more time, there are also opportunities to spot crocodiles in the island’s waterways, explore further upstream or even view the island from the air with a scenic helicopter joy flight.

North Queensland - Great Barrier Reef

As far as idyllic island destinations go, the five star Orpheus Island Lodge off the coast of the North Queensland mainland is up there with the best of them. Offering a wide range of adventurous activities and local natural attractions in a contemporary, luxurious and relaxed setting, Orpheus Island will suit anyone looking for an intimate island getaway.

Although the Summer months offer the hottest temperatures, both in and out of the water, Winter brings with it the opportunity to spot migrating humpback whales directly in front of the resort, clearer water and more predictable weather, so there really is no poor time of the year to visit. If you’re planning a trip to North Queensland, be sure to check out the 8 Spots in North Queensland That Are Perfect For a Winter Getaway.

To Book Your Trip
Contact our Travel Advisors:1.877.999.4768

Share this tour with your friend