With service charge, is UBP worth it?

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#21
272 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
When I have the drink package, I like to try different drinks each day. It is nice to be able to taste various drinks that I probably wouldn't pay for. I also enjoy a late morning bellini. They are delicious!
#22
432 Posts
Joined Jun 2010
I understand your dilemma, OP, because if we don't have a drinks package, we don't drink much either. Having said that, we now pretty much only cruise with a drinks package. We found having one just makes the cruise experience itself more free and fun. It's vacation enhancing. We don't get drunk, but we do end up trying different drinks, order different wines at dinner, etc. It's lovely to have a pina colada on a hot day, especially after a shore excursion. Overall, it's just not having to think about a bar bill that we love I think -- the benefit is probably more psychological for us than anything else, but it definitely does add to the experience.
#24
1,280 Posts
Joined May 2011
Originally posted by billslowsky
Agree, don't forget the high price for soda.


Looking at the demographics of ncl...there are a whole lot of pax that ain't watching their sugar intake and probably live on sugary soda lol and ncl knows they will pay whatever for it

I drink the unsweetened ice tea and it's perfect and free

I never understood the pax that eat and drink all day every day...and trust me I'm no twig...I just don't gorge myself nor drink like a slob on a cruise




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#25
Boston
4,508 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Originally posted by maggie cruises
Looking at the demographics of ncl...there are a whole lot of pax that ain't watching their sugar intake and probably live on sugary soda lol and ncl knows they will pay whatever for it

I drink the unsweetened ice tea and it's perfect and free

I never understood the pax that eat and drink all day every day...and trust me I'm no twig...I just don't gorge myself nor drink like a slob on a cruise


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You may not be a twig but you're certainly not afraid to label other people who make different choices!

I don't gorge myself nor do I "drink like a slob" however I always take the UBP. I hope I don't run into you when we cruise. It could get ugly!
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#26
Georgia
2,588 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Originally posted by maggie cruises
Looking at the demographics of ncl...there are a whole lot of pax that ain't watching their sugar intake and probably live on sugary soda lol and ncl knows they will pay whatever for it

I drink the unsweetened ice tea and it's perfect and free

I never understood the pax that eat and drink all day every day...and trust me I'm no twig...I just don't gorge myself nor drink like a slob on a cruise

LOL....Are you looking for an award or something?
#27
1,658 Posts
Joined Jul 2012
you mention coffee. basic coffee is free in buffet adn restaurants. fancy specialty coffee is not free with the UBP nor is bottled water. just keep that in mind.
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#28
North Carolina
448 Posts
Joined May 2015
Originally posted by BostonGal35
you mention coffee. basic coffee is free in buffet adn restaurants. fancy specialty coffee is not free with the UBP nor is bottled water. just keep that in mind.


Last cruise I was on was in 2015 and after dinner I would get a cappuccino. I believe those were free with UBP. Am I wrong on that?
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#29
Barnsley, UK
1,459 Posts
Joined Nov 2011
Originally posted by Banana15
Last cruise I was on was in 2015 and after dinner I would get a cappuccino. I believe those were free with UBP. Am I wrong on that?
yes, this is not included, unless you are cruising on the UK premium all inclusive fare. You can get a standard coffee though.
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#30
18,989 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
Originally posted by Banana15
Hey everyone,

So I know this is probably going to be more of a "Well, how much do you drink?" response. But I am trying to figure out if the package is really worth it.
The last cruise we took was 5 days in the Bahamas and we had the free UBP There were no at sea days, and we had our whole family (including our son) with us, so I don't know if that may change on this next cruise, but we barely drank on that cruise. I think I had about 2 glasses of wine, a pina colada, a mojto, and 2 cappuccinos. My husband probably had 2 drinks at most. When I calculate that, it's at the most $100 total. So, if we are taking a 10 day cruise, we could double, even triple that ($300) and it still comes out less than the service fees on the UBP. I know UBP is "free" but $178/person for service charges seems like a lot of money when we aren't really taking advantage of it.
What do you guys think? Are we better off paying out of pocket for the drinks or given we will be childless and have 4 at sea days, will we potentially use it more than we think?
The answer to your question is different for everyone. It amounts to a simple math exercise.


If you believe that you will spend more on alcohol on your cruise than the cost of the gratuities that you have to pay on the UBP when given as a perk, or more than you would pay if you have to actually pay for the UBP, then it is worth it. If you are going to pay less then it i not worth it.

It's not a hard concept to grasp, though I do realize that it is a word problem and people often don't understand those activities.
#31
261 Posts
Joined Feb 2016
I always have a package because it's one less thing to think about. For NCL, I have one brief thought about the Service Charge, pay it, then have a care free, all inclusive cruise.
If you have to worry about getting you money's worth or think you're getting scammed, it's not for you, don't buy it.
Same reason I avoid the Dining Package, if there are better options, because the stress of burning 4 credits, especially on a 7 day cruise, it way too much.
#32
Wisconsin
322 Posts
Joined Jan 2016
I think its pretty easy to have 7,8,9 drinks a day without getting drunk too. Start on sea days at the pool around 11:30-4, easily could have 3 frozen drinks without being drunk, especially with a lunch in there. Then maybe a pre-dinner cocktail, a couple drinks after dinner and depending how late you stay up. Or even throw in a couple of soda's in there. To me it would worth. Plus I don't need the wifi perk, or the excursion perk.
#33
Ontario, Canada
431 Posts
Joined Sep 2010
Originally posted by chars
When I have the drink package, I like to try different drinks each day. It is nice to be able to taste various drinks that I probably wouldn't pay for. I also enjoy a late morning bellini. They are delicious!


This is my plan too. I drink very little but I expect to get my money's worth out of the gratuity cost. I would never actually but the package at full price. I am looking forward to trying new drinks. I rarely ever have cocktails and I will be trying out new ones this trip.

I will also be drinking virgin cocktails.


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#34
Bradenton, FL
63 Posts
Joined Sep 2017
Originally posted by Two Wheels Only
The feeling of knowing that the drinks are paid vs. dealing with "...how much are we drinking/spending each day on drinks?..." makes the UBP promo worth it for me. If I want to drink more on Tuesday than on Thursday or vice versa, I will. Setting an amount and making sure that I don't go over it is not how I want to spend my vacation.
Exactly.
#35
45 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
OP, my DH and I were on the Getaway last month with our 2 boys. We are not drinkers, but still feel we got our money's worth (note that we had the UBP so I'm only accounting for the gratuities for the two of us for the week).

We regularly got non-alcoholic smoothies at the pool bars, as well as a few sodas per day. DH and I would have a glass of wine with dinner. And then we had lots of club soda + cranberry juice. I usually would get a mojito as well, and sometimes we would visit Margaritaville and get a drink there. It was nice to not have to worry about paying for drinks.

And it was also nice not to have to go back to our room to get a can of something we brought on, as we did on Carnival. Thirsty? No problem. There's a bar nearby.
#36
tucson
87 Posts
Joined May 2014
With free perks I will drink so much more then normal. But then again on vacation everyone drinks more, so my final answer is u can’t go wrong with the drink package
#37
In A House
4,398 Posts
Joined Mar 2017
Originally posted by Banana15
Hey everyone,

So I know this is probably going to be more of a "Well, how much do you drink?" response. But I am trying to figure out if the package is really worth it.
The last cruise we took was 5 days in the Bahamas and we had the free UBP There were no at sea days, and we had our whole family (including our son) with us, so I don't know if that may change on this next cruise, but we barely drank on that cruise. I think I had about 2 glasses of wine, a pina colada, a mojto, and 2 cappuccinos. My husband probably had 2 drinks at most. When I calculate that, it's at the most $100 total. So, if we are taking a 10 day cruise, we could double, even triple that ($300) and it still comes out less than the service fees on the UBP. I know UBP is "free" but $178/person for service charges seems like a lot of money when we aren't really taking advantage of it.
What do you guys think? Are we better off paying out of pocket for the drinks or given we will be childless and have 4 at sea days, will we potentially use it more than we think?
Define "worth it"... This is a question only you can answer for yourself.
#38
880 Posts
Joined Jan 2013
Here’s what happened with us. First cruise we didn’t take it and spent about $150 in alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks for us and our daughter. This was being conservative, we hardly drink. One drink I had with an expensive vodka ended up being $20 with tip. Wow! Second cruise we got the UBP and definitely drank more then the cost of the gratuities. It was nice trying new drinks and even getting 2 if the drink was weaker. I say go for it!


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#39
Arkansas
31,999 Posts
Joined Feb 2002
Originally posted by Banana15
Hey everyone,

So I know this is probably going to be more of a "Well, how much do you drink?" response. But I am trying to figure out if the package is really worth it.
The last cruise we took was 5 days in the Bahamas and we had the free UBP There were no at sea days, and we had our whole family (including our son) with us, so I don't know if that may change on this next cruise, but we barely drank on that cruise. I think I had about 2 glasses of wine, a pina colada, a mojto, and 2 cappuccinos. My husband probably had 2 drinks at most. When I calculate that, it's at the most $100 total. So, if we are taking a 10 day cruise, we could double, even triple that ($300) and it still comes out less than the service fees on the UBP. I know UBP is "free" but $178/person for service charges seems like a lot of money when we aren't really taking advantage of it.
What do you guys think? Are we better off paying out of pocket for the drinks or given we will be childless and have 4 at sea days, will we potentially use it more than we think?
This seems to be a question that comes up every few weeks or so. No one can tell you if it is a good deal. Yes, it depends on how much you drink, there is no other answer.
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#40
Cincinnati
3,722 Posts
Joined Jun 2012
As you said, no one here knows how much you’ll use it. I found that I used it more than I thought I would, though. Typically on a cruise I don’t drink much, due to the high prices. But with the UBP, we had a pre-dinner martini and at least 1 glass of wine with dinner every night; so broke even just with that. Add in the fact that I could grab a soda whenever I wanted and had some extra drinks by the pool - for me it was worthwhile. But if you don’t expect to have a drink every day, it may not be worthwhile to you.


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