Ultra Beverage Program is a Ripoff

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
All times are GMT -4.
The time now is 01:35 PM.
#21
419 Posts
Joined Mar 2016
Originally posted by Doug R.
When I made my reservation, I would have paid the same rate without the "freebies" as if I had taken them. I believe that OP is in part comparing the Sailaway Rate with the rate you get when you pick your own cabin. Apples and oranges comparison. I want my cabin in a certain location and not leave it up to NCL, if "freebies" are included, all the better!
I get it...but my point (I guess off topic) is that the premium is just to pick the cabin. If you choose to pay that price...then yes...other things are freebies. But I don't think most people "pay the price" solely for the luxury of picking their location.


However, as a value shopper and gambler....I pay the least, and if the assignment is bad (happened once) I have the option to upgrade myself.
#22
Mid-South U.S.A.
586 Posts
Joined Jun 2009
Originally posted by April42749
What OP is trying to point out is that this "freebie" is not free at all. The service charges added are probably more than he would spend on drinks/day!

Considering that you pay a premium rate to get "the freebies" it truly is a rip-off.

IMHO the rate charged is more for the benefit of being able to pick your cabin than anything else.
When they started charging the gratuities for the drink package they made it optional. I looked at the cost of
the gratuities on the package and decided not to get it as I drink 2 soft drinks and one mixed drink (maybe) per day. This is in the US.
#24
N/A
895 Posts
Joined Sep 2009
Moderation is the key:

How much does one drink at home? Certainly not nearly $100.00 a day? (at least not in our house)

The prices charged on board ship for individual drinks without a package, are quite steep which may inadvertently lead passengers into believing that a drink package is to their benefit. (perhaps for some passengers it is)

A nearly $100.00 (approximately) a day drinking package (per passenger per day in the same stateroom), equals to about 6 or more alcoholic drinks a day for each of us. (that's quite a bit)

We understand one is on a cruise/holiday but why would anyone want to add an additional X number of $$$ to an already (mostly all inclusive cruise/holiday) ?

"Moderation is the key"
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Sailed:
NCL:
Norwegian Gem
Norwegian Dawn,
SS Norway (Memories)
RCI:
Vision of the Seas,
Grandeur of the Seas,
Legend of the Seas,
Song of America
Carnival:
Legend,
Sensation
Cunard:
Queen Elizabeth II, (Transatlantic)
HAL:
Maasdam, (Transatlantic)
Rijndam, (Transatlantic)
Sun/Air Tours (UK)
Carousel (Previously known as RCI Nordic Prince)
Mediterranean -
#25
Fort Lauderdale, FL
705 Posts
Joined May 2004
I do NOT want to even be CLOSE to anybody who actually goes on a 7-night cruise and actually drinks 15 drinks every single day. I rather doubt the majority of people who either get the UBP as a perk or pay for it completely actually drink that much. They'll come here and swear they are getting their money's worth because they "like the specialty colored water" (aka coffee) and I'm sure the company loves them.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
More cruises than I can remember; not nearly as many as everyone else
#26
67 Posts
Joined Jan 2015
I still wish they would just charge the gratuities for the drinks you actually consumed instead of 20% of whatever amount they decide the package is worth. That way even if you only drank 1 drink a day it would still be a worthwhile perk to take and nobody could complain that it’s “not really free”. There would definitely still be people complaining that there’s automatic tips added to their drinks though.
#27
Georgia
2,115 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Originally posted by oldguysandgalls
Moderation is the key:

How much does one drink at home? Certainly not nearly $100.00 a day? (at least not in our house)


I'm not at home.
#28
South Carolina, USA
2,271 Posts
Joined Mar 2014
When I'm home, I usually drink 1 or 2 beers per day. However, when on a cruise, I drink cocktails, mixed drinks, and beer. Do I drink 12 or 15? No, but I'm on a cruise, and not driving. I want to enjoy myself without worrying about my final bill.At around $200.00 for 2 people, I believe that the package perk price is more than fair.As for drink prices, I live in Florida, and if you are in a decent restaurant, the prices are very comparable to cruise ship prices.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Carnival Fantasy
SS Norway
Carnival Triumph
Majesty of the Seas
Grandeur of the Seas
Sovereign of the Seas
Mariner of the Seas
Majesty of the Seas
Jewel of the Seas
Carnival Dream
Oasis of the Seas
Serenade of the Seas(12/15)
MSC Divina (05/16)
NCL Jewel (05/17)
NCL Escape (12/17)
MSC Seaside (12/18)
Symphony of the Seas (03/19)
Princess Regal (12/17) last minute.
Celebrity Equinox (12/19)
Mariner of the Seas (04/20)
#29
Arkansas
31,082 Posts
Joined Feb 2002
Originally posted by lcpagejr
They talk about throwing in dining, beverages, internet, excursion, etc as a freebie or a choice of several.

But the beverage fee at $89/day, which they calculate service charges on, is a absolute joke. Well over $30/day more than what Carnival and Princess charge per day. plus they add 20% gratuity (other line add 18%) as a service charge. So in essence you pay $60/pp extra in gratuity/service fees for the bloated beverage per diem price. Sad thing is the program is no where near as inclusive as Carnivals.... As I've learned...nothing comes for free. Another example of Norwegian finding away to nickle/dime and over price their so called freebies!!
just a couple of comments on your post: 1-it is $89 if it isn't part of the perks you are offered or promo whatever you call it. Yes it is free except for the gratuities And second you talk about one being more inclusive: Carnival might offer other things like coffee and water but they also have a limit of 15 drinks a day. That is a big difference when NCL and other lines have no limit. I do agree, it makes no sense NCL does not include specialty coffe. As for the free drinks, I can guarantee you since the UBP became a perk I final statement on disembakation day has dropped by about 75% and we are not heavy drinkers.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Commodore 1984, Costa 1985, RCL 1987, Chandris 1989, NCL 1989, Commodore, 1991, NCL 1997, Carnival 1997, Carnival 1998,NCL 1998, NCL 1999, RCL 2000, RCL 2000,HAL 2001, NCL 2002,NCL 2003, Celebrity 2003, NCL 2004, NCL 2005, Celebrity 2005.NCL 2006, Celebrity 2006, HAL 2006, NCL 2007.Princess, 2008. NCL 2008, RCI 2008,Princess 2009, NCL 2009. NCL 2010, NCL 2011, Princess 2011, NCL 2012, NCL 2013, NCL again 2013, Princess 2014, NCL 2014, again 2014, 2015; about 2 do another NCL.
#30
Arkansas
31,082 Posts
Joined Feb 2002
Originally posted by swedish weave
Many forgot to mention that you must pay a higher booking rate to qualify for the "FREEBIES".
that is true, but that is where the choice comes in; do you want an all inclusive cruise or do you want to pay each item separately?

Oh and for those who, like the OP are saying the service charge or gratuity, whatever is 20% on NCL,don't kid yourself the other lines will raise theirs any day now.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Commodore 1984, Costa 1985, RCL 1987, Chandris 1989, NCL 1989, Commodore, 1991, NCL 1997, Carnival 1997, Carnival 1998,NCL 1998, NCL 1999, RCL 2000, RCL 2000,HAL 2001, NCL 2002,NCL 2003, Celebrity 2003, NCL 2004, NCL 2005, Celebrity 2005.NCL 2006, Celebrity 2006, HAL 2006, NCL 2007.Princess, 2008. NCL 2008, RCI 2008,Princess 2009, NCL 2009. NCL 2010, NCL 2011, Princess 2011, NCL 2012, NCL 2013, NCL again 2013, Princess 2014, NCL 2014, again 2014, 2015; about 2 do another NCL.
#31
N/A
895 Posts
Joined Sep 2009
Originally posted by ray98
I'm not at home.
We'd rather be at home planning our next cruise with the money we saved by NOT buying the drink package on our previous cruise .
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Sailed:
NCL:
Norwegian Gem
Norwegian Dawn,
SS Norway (Memories)
RCI:
Vision of the Seas,
Grandeur of the Seas,
Legend of the Seas,
Song of America
Carnival:
Legend,
Sensation
Cunard:
Queen Elizabeth II, (Transatlantic)
HAL:
Maasdam, (Transatlantic)
Rijndam, (Transatlantic)
Sun/Air Tours (UK)
Carousel (Previously known as RCI Nordic Prince)
Mediterranean -
#32
Georgia
2,115 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Originally posted by oldguysandgalls
We'd rather be at home planning our next cruise with the money we saved by NOT buying the drink package on our previous cruise .

Congrats I guess. I am planning my next cruise and I enjoyed the drink package on the last cruise and will on the next.
#33
N/A
895 Posts
Joined Sep 2009
Originally posted by ray98
Congrats I guess. I am planning my next cruise and I enjoyed the drink package on the last cruise and will on the next.
We wish you many, many happy cruises.
Ship Ahoy!
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Sailed:
NCL:
Norwegian Gem
Norwegian Dawn,
SS Norway (Memories)
RCI:
Vision of the Seas,
Grandeur of the Seas,
Legend of the Seas,
Song of America
Carnival:
Legend,
Sensation
Cunard:
Queen Elizabeth II, (Transatlantic)
HAL:
Maasdam, (Transatlantic)
Rijndam, (Transatlantic)
Sun/Air Tours (UK)
Carousel (Previously known as RCI Nordic Prince)
Mediterranean -
#34
419 Posts
Joined Mar 2016
Originally posted by adam_s_allen
I still wish they would just charge the gratuities for the drinks you actually consumed instead of 20% of whatever amount they decide the package is worth. That way even if you only drank 1 drink a day it would still be a worthwhile perk to take and nobody could complain that it’s “not really free”. There would definitely still be people complaining that there’s automatic tips added to their drinks though.
Now THIS makes sense....even to a light drinker like me. However, the current promo is just a revenue maker.
#35
KY
1,063 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
Originally posted by adam_s_allen
I still wish they would just charge the gratuities for the drinks you actually consumed instead of 20% of whatever amount they decide the package is worth. That way even if you only drank 1 drink a day it would still be a worthwhile perk to take and nobody could complain that it’s “not really free”. There would definitely still be people complaining that there’s automatic tips added to their drinks though.
There will always be complainers - I wish people would not select the beverage package -- they do offer other options so you don't have to select the beverage package. You can certainly order, pay the drink price and the gratuity for it as you go as you would on land. I don't understand why people balk at this -- the normal tip for servers on land is currently 20%. NCL also runs specials for free gratuities. We happen to like it and use it. I do think it should include at least water though.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Gail
_________________________________________
Next: NCL Escape Jan 18, Carnival Breeze Nov 18, Celebrity Edge Jan 19

Past Cruises:
RCI: Independence x3, Freedom x 2, Liberty, Explorer x 2, Oasis, Allure x 2, Majesty
NCL: Jade, Escape
Carnival: Pride, Conquest, Legend, Vista, Mardi Gras
Princess: Grand Princess, Star Princess
Cunard: QE2
Renaissance: IV


#36
10,720 Posts
Joined Apr 2008
Something people need to realize. We know that many people take it as a free promo. Which means that NCL gets to write it off on taxes as marketing expenses. More the package costs? More writeoffs. Plus they can still increase the fare to boost revenue AND sell some for cash.

But its not a rip-off. The terms and conditions are clear and its not required.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Just Land trips booked for now.... I KNOW!
#37
Central FL
3,489 Posts
Joined Mar 2015
Originally posted by adam_s_allen
I still wish they would just charge the gratuities for the drinks you actually consumed instead of 20% of whatever amount they decide the package is worth. That way even if you only drank 1 drink a day it would still be a worthwhile perk to take and nobody could complain that it’s “not really free”. There would definitely still be people complaining that there’s automatic tips added to their drinks though.
If NCL did it that way, people would complain about the actual nickels and dimes being removed from their on-board account daily. Imagine seeing "-$1.99, -$2.39..." for every drink that you consume every day.

It's better to just pay the $124.60 before you board and not have to worry about anything being deducted from your account...unless you order something more than $15 or have to pay tax while in port.
#38
67 Posts
Joined Jan 2015
Originally posted by Two Wheels Only

It's better to just pay the $124.60 before you board and not have to worry about anything being deducted from your account...unless you order something more than $15 or have to pay tax while in port.
It’s easier to just pay the 124.60 and not have to worry. It’s definitely not better for the people that don’t drink 90 dollars a day worth cost wise. I personally don’t care how they do it as long as I feel the overall value is worth it. I still think it makes more sense to pay the gratuities based on the services you actually use though.
#39
364 Posts
Joined Oct 2010
Originally posted by swedish weave
Many forgot to mention that you must pay a higher booking rate to qualify for the "FREEBIES".
Sometimes, it really depends on the ship. I'm on Epic next month and am spending a grand total of $141 dollars a day for unlimited food, beverages, entertainment, transportation, taxes, and gratuities. To me that is an amazing deal.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
NCL Jewel Review Aug 13
#40
Westerville, OH USA
1,995 Posts
Joined Jan 2002
As a person who has perhaps one glass of wine a month, the UDP is not worthwhile and especially costly to me as I usually only go on longer cruises (14 days+).I did the math for our next spring TA cruise and we decided to NOT take all of the freebies and just go with a GTY oceanview. The room was assigned within a few days and is a nice full window room in a good location and worth more than two times our GTY cost.

As a Platinum member, I get two free specialty dinners and a bottle of wine and a bottle of sparkling wine. So, I can have an occasional glass of wine if I want. A win-win for those of us who don't drink much.

Just do the math and know thyself.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Donna and Mark
OH

NCL Sky July, 2005
NCL Sun July 1, 2006
RCCL Majesty of the Seas 2008
NCL Pearl to Alaska 2009
NCL Sky 2010
RCCL Mariner of the Seas TA Fall 2012
HAL Westerdam Alaska 2013
NCL Star TA 2014
NCL Jewel Panama Canal 19 Nights April, 2015
Carnival Eastern Caribbean Nov, 2015
NCL Getaway Jan, 2016
RCL Vision of the Seas TA April 2016
RCL Majesty of the Seas Jan 2017
NCL Jewel Mexican Riviera March 2017
RCL Explorer of the Seas 22 Nights Transpacific Oct 2107