Alcohol with Sail Away ?

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3 Posts
Joined Oct 2017
My friend and I booked a NCL vacation. We booked the sail away option because it was cheaper but then realized it was actually better to do the other option of picking a room because you get free drinks package...if we went to now get the drink package it's is 700$ for the entire vacation per person-- that is crazy!! And that doesn't make sense since we both don't drink a lot just want to maybe have a drink a day But now it is too late to get the regular room option because it is sold out. Any tips on how to get drinks/cheaper drinks while on the cruise! Do they make like "drink cards" or something or some sort of coupon to get drinks on NCL? Or some sort of coupon code we can use to get a drink package.
21 Posts
Joined Aug 2017
You can just pay for drinks A La Carte if you don't drink that much. With the drink back you need to pay 18% per day pp if you get that perk. which is about 18$ pp. If you plan to drink more I would call NCL and see if they can do something because the rooms might be sold out but you already have one. If you are not 90 days away I would guess they would be able to help you out. I'd call and see.
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6,175 Posts
Joined Aug 2006
It wouldn't hurt to call about an upgrade, but if the entire category is sold out, I'm afraid they won't be able to quote a price, or it'll be sky high. And in general they tend to be unhelpful when people ask to upgrade from GTY.

There are a couple of ways to get slightly cheaper drinks on board: drink of the day, beer buckets, Viva Vino wine packages, buying full bottles of liquor.
Amsterdam, Europe
4,804 Posts
Joined Jun 2012
A drink a day is best to do a la carte/on the spot, no drink package on NCL that could beat that..
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Canton, MA
800 Posts
Joined Feb 2009
Also, they have drink specials each day. There will be specific drinks that are offered at a reduced rate, and will be highlighted in your Dailies.

Additionally, specific bars will often run specials at slow times to drum up business, so keep an eye out for those.

Another way to score free alcohol is to sit through the art auctions/presentations, they usually give out at least flutes of the house sparkling wine.
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260 Posts
Joined Oct 2007
Originally posted by hawkeyetlse
There are a couple of ways to get slightly cheaper drinks on board: drink of the day, beer buckets, Viva Vino wine packages, buying full bottles of liquor.
I agree.

Also - once in a while there are NCL sponsored get-togethers that have free drinks available! Watch the daily's...
South Carolina
3,444 Posts
Joined Dec 2005
If you are going to have only drink per day why would you want the drink package at all? Just pay as you go and watch out for specials while on board. You will probably come out paying less that way than if you tried to change your room and get the package included.
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Central FL
4,905 Posts
Joined Mar 2015
Originally posted by Sunshine5205
...both don't drink a lot just want to maybe have a drink a day
Even if you were given the UBP promo right now, it would be cheaper to pay for "a drink a day" without the UBP. If taking the UBP promo, you are paying $16.02 per day. If drinking a drink a day, the a la carte price is less than that for most drinks.
8 Posts
Joined Mar 2011
Also, depending on your drink of choice, you are allowed to bring your own wine onboard for a $15/bottle corkage fee. Keep in mind any room that offers perks is going to be more expensive than the sail away rate, so depending on the room type you are in, your breakeven for getting the beverage package and upgrading to a room category that includes it is probably at least 4-5 drinks a day. If you are legitimately a 1-2 drink/day person, you won't find a cheaper rate than paying as you go with a sailaway stateroom.
Frozen Tundra
9,233 Posts
Joined Jan 2014
If you just want a drink per day, then buy a drink per day. That's a no-brainer.

If you plan to drink much soda while on board, then buy a soda package once you are on the ship.
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63 Posts
Joined Sep 2017
For people like me that do a drink a day. It's simply not worth paying a few hundred dollars more to upgrade from Guarantee to pick-a-room rate assuming you don't care about the location of your room. You also need to pay 18% gratitude which itself is already more than the cost of one drink.

I got the GTY rate and is going to bid for a balcony upgrade. I also bought specialty dining package. This is the most rewarding formula at the lowest cost for me.
Ottawa, ON
338 Posts
Joined Jan 2015
Even with the "free" drinking package you're still responsible for the 18% gratuity, which is $16 per day on the $89/day UBP. If you're having one drink a day, unless you're getting top shelf stuff, you'll easily spend less than $16.

Put it this way: if your final on-board bar tab for the two of you comes below $224 (assuming this is a 7-day cruise), you'll have saved money from buying the "free" UBP.
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19,738 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
If you only drink one or two drinks a day it is always better to go with a la carte pricing, and select a different perk.
6,175 Posts
Joined Aug 2006
Reading between the lines it seems very unlikely to me that the OP truly only wants "maybe one drink a day". Which I am not judging at all. It just seems clear that they now regret not booking with the UBP when they had the chance.
343 Posts
Joined Oct 2015
The Op Choice:

1.) Call NCL to upgrade cabin to get the beverage perk
2. ) Pay drinks as a la carte price
3.) Look out for free drinks on the cruise - from the casino besides the one that they give out to only their players, at the art auction, etc.
4.) Drink own wine - there would be a cork fee.
Fredericksburg, va. USA
88,800 Posts
Joined May 2001
If you only drink 1 or 2 drinks a day, just pay as you'll come out ahead. You have to drink A LOT to make a package of ANY kind pay for itself.
3,890 Posts
Joined Jun 2012
1. Drink in port - way cheaper and many tours include free drinks.
2. Every day there is a drink of the day that is $8.
3. Look out for the 'tastings', think they run $20; but give you 4 decent sized tasting drinks. Good value for the money.
4. If you want wine with dinner you are better off bringing your own on at $15 per bottle corkage fee.

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