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

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#21
123 Posts
Joined Sep 2017
Originally posted by SuiteTraveler
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 where the wholesale price of wine (not retail) is multiplied x2.5 to x3.
I think the actual comparison is what can you buy the wine for, carry it on board, and pay the $15 corkage fee compared to buying a comparable wine on board and paying the 15% gratuity...which process is the best bang for your buck? That is the real question.

Taking the spreadsheet provided and adding 15% to the wines, I can bring a much better wine on board and pay the $15 fee and still save money. Worst case scenario, the cost will be the same, but the wine I hand carry on will be a better wine.
#22
Oakville, ON
2,262 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
Originally posted by SuiteTraveler
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.
You can look at it that way, but some restaurants also allow BYOW for a corkage fee and that can mean savings (although GL finding one that only charges $15). Also, many restaurants offer better selection of wines than Princess does. And this is all about determining if there is value in BYOW to the ship since it is allowed and also indicative of which wines are offered by Princess at the best value.
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#23
colorado
145 Posts
Joined Jun 2009
I just talked to my TA and she said you will be charged $15 a bottle when you bring it on, that is not a corking fee, and another $15 if you bring the bottle to the table. You can have the wine in your room and bring it to the table in a glass. It wouldn't be a deal if you have to pay $30 per bottle to bring it to your table.
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#24
Southern Cal/Maui No Ka Oi
18,753 Posts
Joined Dec 2009
Originally posted by steelers36
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.
That was our recent experience but have had it both ways...another lack of standardization.
#25
Oakville, ON
2,262 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
I would first like to humbly thank you all for your support and appreciation for me posting and sharing my spreadsheet. I find it helpful and I thought others might as well.

As to wine packages, the best one for value is the Gold 12 bottle, where you can purchase wines off the menu for $28 where the Princess price is up to $45. If you drink enough, or have a longer cruise to use it all up, then it is clearly the most bang for the buck dollar-wise. If you select bottles over $45, you pay the menu price difference, and no further gratuity I am told.

SO... I added two new columns to the Excel (see O & P). I did this just for the Gold-12 @ $28/btl, plus 15%. You can download my spreadsheet and add more columns, or adjust accordingly for a wine package you might buy.

What I wanted to see was, where would I still save money, and how much, over retail if I was to have a package of 12 bottles instead of ordering singly. My formula marks any bottle under $28 as a "NO BUY". (Why would you pay $28 when you could buy it for less off the menu and save your 12 punches for other wines?).

In Column P, if you still see a green amount, then you save with the package over buying the wine at retail and bringing it on board. But if the amount is red, you are STILL better off bringing that wine on board yourself. And this is paying even less for these bottles because you are on a package!!! There are some savings with a package here and there on the list, but nothing much to bowl you over, except for some of the very high-priced stuff - and not even all of it is best on board.

So, pour a glass and sit back and contemplate your options for the next cruise.
Attached Files
File Type: xls Princess Wine List - 2017-Summer.xls (144.0 KB, 50 views)
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#26
Southern Cal/Maui No Ka Oi
18,753 Posts
Joined Dec 2009
Originally posted by somogirl
I just talked to my TA and she said you will be charged $15 a bottle when you bring it on, that is not a corking fee, and another $15 if you bring the bottle to the table. You can have the wine in your room and bring it to the table in a glass. It wouldn't be a deal if you have to pay $30 per bottle to bring it to your table.
Your TA is WRONG!

If paying $15 when brought on the ship you can drink it anywhere including in dining rooms with NO additional fee. If bringing your fee free bottle to the dining room there's a $15 fee.

Obviously your TA is unaware of the procedure but won't research to provide you with a correct answer. If that's an example of their knowledge, you might consider finding a more knowledgeable TA.
#27
59 Posts
Joined Jan 2015
Originally posted by somogirl
I just talked to my TA and she said you will be charged $15 a bottle when you bring it on, that is not a corking fee, and another $15 if you bring the bottle to the table. You can have the wine in your room and bring it to the table in a glass. It wouldn't be a deal if you have to pay $30 per bottle to bring it to your table.
That is incorrect. They will let you bring on 1 bottle free for each person. Then you only need to pay the $15.00 corkage fee once (they will charge you for it when you bring it on) for any extra bottles of wine. They will mark each bottle that the corkage fee has been paid and you can take it to the restaurant to enjoy.

HOWEVER, (and this is probably where you got mixed messages) if you take the free bottles of wine that are not marked to the dining room you will be charged a $15.00 corkage fee for it at that time. Just make sure you are taking the paid for bottles to the dining room and consuming the free bottles in your statement (or pouring it in your statement and taking the glass with you around the ship) and everything will be fine.
#28
Oakville, ON
2,262 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
Originally posted by somogirl
I just talked to my TA and she said you will be charged $15 a bottle when you bring it on, that is not a corking fee, and another $15 if you bring the bottle to the table. You can have the wine in your room and bring it to the table in a glass. It wouldn't be a deal if you have to pay $30 per bottle to bring it to your table.
Just so there is no question, I am going to chime in here and state that your TA is wrong. Whether this can happen with another cruise line or not is another question, but you only pay corkage fee ONCE per bottle. You can return with it to the DR the next night, or they will keep it for you, and no further fee is collected on that bottle.

Each person of drinking age can bring on a free bottle. Every bottle over that is assessed a corkage fee (yes, that is what it is called). Those pre-paid bottles will have a sticker as proof of payment so when you bring them to DR or elsewhere on the ship and staff open it for you, there is NO FURTHER CHARGE.

If you take the unopened "free" bottle to the DR, it is subject to the same corkage fee of $15. If you have consumed some of that free bottle in the room and take the remainder to dinner, you won't be charged.

Sorry - I guess I was typing at the same time as Tigger above, or I would have left it at the two responses. We are all three of us correct in refuting that TA, so I guess we are good now.
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#29
123 Posts
Joined Sep 2017
Originally posted by somogirl
I just talked to my TA and she said you will be charged $15 a bottle when you bring it on, that is not a corking fee, and another $15 if you bring the bottle to the table. You can have the wine in your room and bring it to the table in a glass. It wouldn't be a deal if you have to pay $30 per bottle to bring it to your table.
Your TA is incorrect. Read the policy on Princess Cruise official site...the short answer, however is:

1) you can bring 1 bottle per person of drinking age that is staying in the room
2) if you want to drink those bottles anywhere besides in your stateroom, there will be a $15 corkage fee
3) any bottles in excess of the 1 free bottle is charged a $15 corkage fee...you can drink those bottles anywhere on the ship you choose...they will be distinguished by a stamp on the bottle

Note: do not mistakenly bring one of the free bottles to the dining room or you will then be charged that $15 fee...only bring stamped bottles.
#30
Oakville, ON
2,262 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
LOL - boy, we wine lovers are stomping all over that TA!!! LOL - "stomping", get it???
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#31
San Diego County
2,456 Posts
Joined Sep 2009
Interesting stuff here, thank you! One note, on our last cruise on the Star in September, round trip Vancouver>Hawaii, we were surprised that no one was pushing the wine packages. When we asked our Head Waiter about it, he said it was not available on that cruise, mumbled some reason that we never did catch. It really surprised us to not have it available on a 15 night cruise. .
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Cruising since 1977.
#32
Oakville, ON
2,262 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
Originally posted by Kartgv
Interesting stuff here, thank you! One note, on our last cruise on the Star in September, round trip Vancouver>Hawaii, we were surprised that no one was pushing the wine packages. When we asked our Head Waiter about it, he said it was not available on that cruise, mumbled some reason that we never did catch. It really surprised us to not have it available on a 15 night cruise. .
Right, and as I think I mentioned in my OP, I haven't paid much attention to the packages before because they simply are not always available. Also, a lot of our cruises have been 7-nighters and frankly, we don't drink 7 bottles in 7 nights. But we do have a 60-nighter coming up and I should think they will offer packages and I also won't want to carry on that much wine in FLL. I do plan to collect wine along the way from ports in Uruguay, Argentina and Chile to replenish my initial supply.

None of those wines are going to be Princess wines, but I can understand from my list what kind of value a purchase plus corkage is relative to what is offered on board.
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#33
Southern Cal/Maui No Ka Oi
18,753 Posts
Joined Dec 2009
Steelers36...comparing your prices to the photos I took of the current dining room wine list on the Royal Princess you got an A+ grade.

The only differences on the Royal were no 375ml bottles and no Adelsheim Pinot Grigio. Due to their depleted inventory on the Med cruise they had procured additional Italian wines which were still available & we enjoyed. Before our TA from Barcelona their wine inventory was replenished so wine packages were available.

The Maître d' specials may vary by ship but none of those on your list were available on the Royal. Instead they had Masseto ($529), Solaia ($260) and Tignanello ($99).

The Gold packages are also our best option to try some more expensive wine for $28-$31 (plus 15% tip). We got the 10 bottle Gold package for our 15 night cruise but with an UBD & Winemakers Dinner we took 2 bottles of Barolo to enjoy at home.

I had read about a Super Tuscan dinner for $60 which we planned to attend. However since they had $529 Masseto onboard the price was $105 & more than we wanted to pay to taste such expensive wine.

Yes...got the stomping reference but it's amazing how some TAs will give incorrect answers.
#35
Diamond Bar, CA
931 Posts
Joined Sep 2015
Steelers, this is excellent work. Thank you. I also must add that just your expository OP represented a lot of work. Again, thank you for your thoroughness.

I am a data geek, and I love spreadsheets. For anybody who is not interested in bringing their own wine aboard--and there are numerous perfectly understandable reasons for that--this spreadsheet does give some good insights on strategizing wine list decisions.

I added a calculation in an available column of the Princess wine list markups. I don't think anything suprised me, but to share some of my findings:
  • On average Pincess wines are marked up 122% over the retail price. So, on average the Princess price is more than twice the "street price." In my experience this is a bit more than the average markup in a shore-based restaurant. In a shore-based restaurant, I expect wine list prices to be about twice "street price." So, 100% markup. Also, I know there is a lot of variation. The wine list markups in Las Vegas strip restaurants start at 200%.
  • The least markups on the Princess price are for the more expensive wines. For the most part, if a diner is willing to look at a wine that is more than $100 on the wine list. The markup for those wines is not bad. The two best "deals" are the Ornellaia Super Tuscan and the Overture Napa Valley blend. The markup on both of those is less than 8%. The least attractive over-$100 wine on the list is the Opus One with a markup of 98% (still, slightly less than double "street price").
  • The flip side, of course, is that there is a HUGE g-factor on the lower-priced wines. Those Robert Mondavi Private Selections and the Woodbridges have markups between 350 and 500%. Other winners (or, if you prefer, losers) are the Rex Goliath Moscato at 442% and the Clos du Bois Chardonnay at 402%.
So, here's the funny thing. If you order a bottle of, say Robert Mondavi Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon for $140 in one of the Princess dining rooms or restaurants, the waiter and the headwaiter will fuss over you and give you a lot of attention for the rest of the evening. However, the corporate financial guys are much more excited about the orders for the $28 Woodbridge Zins. They are making an absolute killing on that one.

Also, consider wines by the glass. Most restaurants, and Princess, serve five glasses of wine per bottle. So, if they are charging $8 for a glass of that White Zin, the per bottle revenue goes from $28 to $40. Sweet.
#36
New Cumberland,PA, USA
28,015 Posts
Joined May 2000
Originally posted by SuiteTraveler
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.
Your post actually made me burst out laughing! Why? Consider a Princess MDR being on land and marketed as an "upscale" (to use your term) restaurant serving the same menu (including hamburgers at dinner), portions, and quality! We suspect that "upscale" restaurant would not survive a week! We have cruised on 14 cruise lines (including some luxury lines) and have only dined in 2 on board restaurants that we would have visited if it was on land...and both of those were alternative restaurants (not on Princess) with pretty high prices.

Cruise line food and MDRs do not compare to anything ashore. One could arguably compare it to restaurants in all-inclusive resorts, but even that is a stretch.

Hank
#37
East Meadow, NY
1,036 Posts
Joined Feb 2009
Originally posted by floridagirl70
question... do I pack the wines in luggage or carry on ?
Both.
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#38
East Meadow, NY
1,036 Posts
Joined Feb 2009
Steelers36,

Thanks for your work. If you buy 4 Korbel Brut splits at the bar during Happy Hour, you will save $18.40 instead of $13.50. Also, they will not open them if you ask them. Each bottle is perfect for 2 mimosas!!! Ever think of adding a Happy Hour savings column?

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Greek Lines
Queen Anna Maria 7 days to Bermuda 1970
Italian Line
Leonardo da Vinci (TNTC), Michelangelo (twice) & Raffaello (Sister ships)
Celebrity Cruises
Meridian, Horizon, Zenith (2003 Bermuda ), Millennium, Mercury (2001 Trans Panama Cannel)
Constellation 2004
Crystal Cruises
Crystal Harmony - Trans Panama Cannel
Cunard Line
Queen Elizabeth II (Three times) - Trans Panama Cannel, Cunard Princess (TNTC), Sagafjord
Vistafjord
Holland America Line
Rotterdam, Statendam 2002 & Veendam
Home Lines
Oceanic (Three times), Doric & Homeric
Premier Cruise Line
Big Red Boat 1991
Norwegian Cruise Line
Dreamward & Seaward
Royal Caribbean International
Sovereign of the Seas & Explorer of the Seas 2007
Princess Cruises
Caribbean Princess 2008
Princess Cruises
Golden Princess - LA to Hawaii
#39
Atlanta
911 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
We always bring our own wine on board. Why limit yourself to what's on the ship's wine list?
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#40
Maine
1,045 Posts
Joined Dec 2009
Thank you so much. This is very helpful!
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Happy Cruising,
Doreen



Previous Cruises
6/2010 - Alaska - Island Princess
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4/2012 - TA & British Isles - Grand Princess
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