**NEW** Wine (by the bottle) Pricing List and Market Comparisons

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#1
Oakville, ON
2,262 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
Two years ago, I first shared the attached spreadsheet here on CC. The idea was to catalog all bottled wine prices and compare with general retail pricing in USA so I could make informed purchases of wine for taking on board. Buying wine on Princess involves a 15% up-charge for gratuities. Taking on your own wine generally involves a $15 corkage fee. For pricing comparisons, I ignore the two free bottles allowed for most staterooms (2 cruisers of drinking age).

One of the annoyances with Princess is they don't bother to list vintages for any wines, so it can make some pricing comparisons a challenge. They are probably trying to save the bother of re-printing as one vintage runs out of stock and the next is begun. One thing that ameliorates this situation is that far too many of the wines offered are grocery store level every day stuff that a particular vintage doesn't really matter much. Still, for the very expensive high-end wines, of which they carry a few, the vintage can be a very important and significant impact on pricing. I assume a more recent vintage, although one could argue with low sales volumes on these wines, they just might be older than we think.

My base reference is Total Wine because they are a large scale retailer with many locations across various states, including a store within hailing distance of Terminal 2 at Port Everglades, which is Princess' primary pier in South Florida and my typical launch point, along with thousands of others. Total doesn't carry all of the wines on the list - some would be easier found at a grocery store and others are a little more obscure. In these cases I used average retail pricing as might be found on a website like wine-searcher.com.

SOURCES
This updated listing is based on wine menus aboard Crown Princess as of Nov 8-13. Menus were dated June or July, 2017. I don't have anything from Vines, but do have Crown Grill and Sabatini's. Only one wine appeared on their lists that was not also on the DR main list and is identified as such.

PRICING
I did not record prices for "wines by the glass", although I did make them red color in the listings. Generally, these wines are included in the AIBP or whatever you want to call it now. This spreadsheet is not the AIBP or Premium Beverage Pkg analysis - that is another thing altogether and you can find that worksheet posted here on the Princess board. Note that purchasers of the drink package can buy full bottles for 25% off the Princess price. So that may figure into your own calculations.

Princess' menu price is shown, plus total cost with the 15% gratuity added. The typical retail price is shown, plus a sales tax of 6%, plus a $15 corkage fee per bottle. Then, the net savings for each bottle is shown. In every case but XX, there is some net savings over buying from Princess. Note that for those longer trips where you would buy a case or more, you might expect to pay less at retail because of a volume purchase discount.

Note that you can change the sales tax rate in cell 1M. I used the rate for the Fort Lauderdale store. If buying elsewhere, a different rate may apply.

WINE PACKAGES
Some posters have asked or suggested that the attached Excel file be modified to compare or analyze against wine packages. I submit that will be difficult because there are two levels of packages and then three quantity groups in each package. Also, it is regularly reported on CC that the packages are not offered nor available on all cruises, particularly shorter length ones. If you download the wine file, you can play with it in Excel and sort them by price and group the wines that would qualify or fit into the Silver packages (max $29) versus the ones that would fit into the Gold packages (max $45). As for how much can be saved, the per bottle price varies depending on whether buying a 7, 10, or 12 bottle package.

If I were buying a wine package I would buy the Gold one, which can result in pricing as low as $28/bottle if buying 12 (I would personally need a longer cruise than a week or 10 days to get that much). NOTE: I have no package prices from the Crown and IDK if recent prices posted here on CC are accurate, especially since Princess has increased prices this year at least.



CHANGES SINCE 2013
Unfortunately, very little has changed for the good, and much has changed for the bad. First, almost no changes in inventory of wines offered - just a very few less than before and what has been lost are some more unusual wines. Princess has raised prices on almost 100% of the wines, with $3 seeming the most popular (most wines in the +/- $30 range). And then as I researched current retail prices, I found wine after wine either the same price as two years ago, or even less in some cases. Therefore, the situation is even more compelling to buy your own wine and pay the corkage.

Personally, I have no plans to buy the exact same wines as Princess offers to save money - many of them I would not be interested in ever buying. But I can tell if I select good value wines, I can get a nice selection on board for similar bottom line price that Princess offers up grocery store plonk.

I have included the original data in the second tab of the spreadsheet if you want to compare the data. It will make you want to pour a glass and take a good swallow.


RESULTS
Note that Princess has some new 1/2 bottle offerings - which makes NO SENSE to me since anyone can have a partially-consumed bottle held for free and it will be out for you the following evening - or take it back to your room and bring it back yourself. I left them in the listing for completeness, but it also makes NO SENSE to pay $15 corkage on a 1/2 btl. If we ignore the 1/2 bottle offerings, then almost 100% of the remainder can be purchased at retail and brought on board and consumed for less money than Princess charges.

I could not find reliable pricing for some of the obscure wines. Also, I am suspicious of some pricing as I may have found a price for a better level of same wine, or Princess got a lot of an unknown vintage at a good price. It's just when the Princess price is better or very close, it seems suspicious since most situations result in good savings.


Average savings (ignoring 1/2 btl lines and lines without valid retail price) is almost $15 per wine. Depending what you want to buy, implied savings could be more or less.

The Katnook Estate Shiraz remains the best value wine on the Princess list. If you like that and can drink it all the time pretty much, go for it.

For buying your own wine, I think plenty of decent value wines in the +/- $20 range which puts you in mid-30's on board with the corkage and you can beat up Princess all over - except for the Katnook.


NEXT STEPS
I will be on the ISLAND on Dec 6 for a BVE and will get around and take snaps of all the wine lists there and see if there are any updates.


I hope you enjoy having the attached file and find it useful in your decisions over cruising with wine.
Attached Files
File Type: xls Princess Wine List - 2017-Summer.xls (98.0 KB, 592 views)
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#2
Brickell, Miami FL & Naples, FL
7,136 Posts
Joined Apr 2003
Thanks for all the hard work. It sure is interesting reading.
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#3
Long Beach, CA
1,955 Posts
Joined May 2006
Very cool! Good job. It looks like the first listed Shiraz may be the best deal. Now it would get complicated if Princess offers a wine package, as Celebrity does.
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#5
123 Posts
Joined Sep 2017
Steelers36...awesome job. I was planning to do a comparison of some sort, but could not find a new price list anywhere. We are on the Crown 9-17 December and were planning to bring 8 bottles on board (1 Champagne for mimosa's one morning and 7 sipping or dinner wines). I was not sure if paying the corkage fee would work in our favor. Actually, because of the quality of the wines we plan to bring, based on your spreadsheet, we will make out very well carrying them on instead of purchasing on the ship. Thanks so much for your hard work!!!
#8
Central Florida
1,039 Posts
Joined Oct 2001
Thank you so much for this update. Came just in the nick of time for us -- heading out tomorrow for Italy and boarding the Pacific Princess on 11/23 for 29 days.

Now if someone could update the status of the wine packages, we would be all set! Cheers
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#9
Northern California
1,822 Posts
Joined Oct 2010
Wow!! Thanks for sharing. The spreadsheet really highlights the fact that they are making a lot of money with the wine. I remember the good old days when ordering wine on a Princess cruise was reasonably priced. Those days are gone.

It’s such a hassle to carry on wine but I like that you just pointed out that it’s worth it

Thank you


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#10
Southern Cal/Maui No Ka Oi
18,753 Posts
Joined Dec 2009
Originally posted by kb4683
Thank you so much for this update. Came just in the nick of time for us -- heading out tomorrow for Italy and boarding the Pacific Princess on 11/23 for 29 days.

Now if someone could update the status of the wine packages, we would be all set! Cheers
Sailed the Royal Princess from 10/21-11/5 and nothing has changed.

Note: A 15% gratuity is added to all package prices (like any other bar purchase).

Silver Package (wines up to $29 per bottle list price)

7 bottles -- $161 (average of $23 per bottle)

10 bottles -- $210 (average of $21 per bottle)

12 bottles -- $240 (average of $20 per bottle)


Gold Package (wines up to $45 per bottle list price)

7 bottles -- $217 (average of $31 per bottle)

10 bottles -- $290 (average of $29 per bottle)

12 bottles -- $336 (average of $28 per bottle)

You get a punch card which can be used at any of the dining locations.


Steelers36...thanks for the updated comparisons & I took photos of the wine list & later today will compare it to your list & post any changes for you. Some prices increased by $1 for lower priced wine up to $5 for more expensive wine. For example, Giordano Barolo increased from $45 to $48.
#11
Central Florida
1,039 Posts
Joined Oct 2001
Originally posted by Astro Flyer
Sailed the Royal Princess from 10/21-11/5 and nothing has changed.

Note: A 15% gratuity is added to all package prices (like any other bar purchase).

Silver Package (wines up to $29 per bottle list price)

7 bottles -- $161 (average of $23 per bottle)

10 bottles -- $210 (average of $21 per bottle)

12 bottles -- $240 (average of $20 per bottle)


Gold Package (wines up to $45 per bottle list price)

7 bottles -- $217 (average of $31 per bottle)

10 bottles -- $290 (average of $29 per bottle)

12 bottles -- $336 (average of $28 per bottle)

You get a punch card which can be used at any of the dining locations.


Steelers36...thanks for the updated comparisons & I took photos of the wine list & later today will compare it to your list & post any changes for you. Some prices increased by $1 for lower priced wine up to $5 for more expensive wine. For example, Giordano Barolo increased from $45 to $48.
Thanks, Astro! Thought they might have upped the cost and the "up to" price based on bottle increases and the new beverage package plan.
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Regal Princess - 4/17(TA)

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Oosterdam - 11/16(TA)

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Quark Sea Spirit - 11/14 (Antarctica)
Carib Princess - 10/14(W.Carib)
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Ruby Princess - 4/14(B2B TA/British Isles)
Pacific Princess - 1/14(Amazon)
Golden Princess - 12/13(LA to Rio)
Emerald Princess - 10/13(Canada/New England)
Star Princess - 3/13(Hawaii/S.Pacific)
Constellation - 11/12(B2B Immersive Wine Cruise/TA)
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Grand Princess - 1/12(S.Carib)
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Grand Princess - 9/10(TA via Norway & Iceland)
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Monarch - 10/09(Bahamas)
Monarch - 9/09(Bahamas)
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Mercury - 2/09(Hawaii)
Century - 12/08(W.Carib)
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Century - 12/07(TA)
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Summit - 6/02(AK Cruisetour)
Millennium - 11/01(E.Carib)

#12
Williamsburg, VA
3,972 Posts
Joined Jul 2005
Steelers36, you have put much effort into gathering and crunching the numbers for us. Thank you for doing this and for sharing it.
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#13
123 Posts
Joined Sep 2017
Originally posted by Astro Flyer
Sailed the Royal Princess from 10/21-11/5 and nothing has changed.

Note: A 15% gratuity is added to all package prices (like any other bar purchase).

Silver Package (wines up to $29 per bottle list price)

7 bottles -- $161 (average of $23 per bottle)

10 bottles -- $210 (average of $21 per bottle)

12 bottles -- $240 (average of $20 per bottle)


Gold Package (wines up to $45 per bottle list price)

7 bottles -- $217 (average of $31 per bottle)

10 bottles -- $290 (average of $29 per bottle)

12 bottles -- $336 (average of $28 per bottle)

You get a punch card which can be used at any of the dining locations.


Steelers36...thanks for the updated comparisons & I took photos of the wine list & later today will compare it to your list & post any changes for you. Some prices increased by $1 for lower priced wine up to $5 for more expensive wine. For example, Giordano Barolo increased from $45 to $48.
Hey Astro, great information...please just clarify one thing...are the prices listed (i.e. 10 bottles for $290) before the 15% is added? I'm guessing that is what you were inferring, but want to make sure. Thanks.
#14
colorado
145 Posts
Joined Jun 2009
Thank you!!! You did a comparison of our wine and it's half the price if we bring it on and pay corking fee. We live in Florida and will drive to port so it will be easier for us.
So do they keep this wine in a special place for us?
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#15
Southern Cal/Maui No Ka Oi
18,753 Posts
Joined Dec 2009
Originally posted by USCcruisecrazy
Hey Astro, great information...please just clarify one thing...are the prices listed (i.e. 10 bottles for $290) before the 15% is added? I'm guessing that is what you were inferring, but want to make sure. Thanks.
Like any drink you add a 15% gratuity to the listed price. For example the $336 Gold package would cost $386.40 after adding the $50.40 tip.

You can get wine that exceeds the limits by paying the difference...a $48 bottle would have that amount charged to your account & eventually would be offset by a $45 credit.

A previous post said the prices are increasing but they're still cheaper than my most recent RCCL cruise. I had to get a RCCL wine package to reduce the price to the Princess basic non-package prices.
#16
Granger, Indiana USA
4,215 Posts
Joined Jan 2000
Thanks so much for your efforts. I'm a Riesling fanatic, and love the German vintages which requires some shopping around.
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#17
KS, USA
440 Posts
Joined Jul 2002
Steelers and Astro,
Thank you for all the work you do to keep us updated on Princess wine prices.
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#18
Arizona
1,178 Posts
Joined Sep 2012
Thank you so much for continuing your wine cost information. That is a lot of work and it is appreciated!!
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Teresa
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#19
Oakville, ON
2,262 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
Originally posted by Astro Flyer
Like any drink you add a 15% gratuity to the listed price. For example the $336 Gold package would cost $386.40 after adding the $50.40 tip.

You can get wine that exceeds the limits by paying the difference...a $48 bottle would have that amount charged to your account & eventually would be offset by a $45 credit.

A previous post said the prices are increasing but they're still cheaper than my most recent RCCL cruise. I had to get a RCCL wine package to reduce the price to the Princess basic non-package prices.
I believe I have read that when you purchase a bottle that is above the package limit (say a $50 bottle with the Gold limit of $45) that you are only charged the price difference and not more service charge on that - in other words, no 15% tip on the difference.

I am working up an additional couple of columns and will re-post a revised spreadsheet soon.
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#20
Washington
6,062 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
What my husband and I noticed on our recent Regal Princess cruise was that the wine prices were considerably lower than in restaurants in our area and, imo, that is what you should actually be comparing the Princess Wine prices to - an upscale restaurant, not a liquor store. Compare the price to a restaurant where the wholesale price of wine (not retail) is multiplied x2.5 to x3.