Posted April 17th, 2018, 10:30 AM
Well it wouldn't be so bad if you just had to pay the $249 gratuities to get the beverage package for the two of you for a week but that is not the total cost of the package.
I just priced the cruise I am going on and I can get a "sail and sign cabin" $600 cheaper than another oceanview cabin. With the "sail and sign" cabin you don't get any "free" perks like the beverage package and you get a guarantee cabin. With the regular cabin you get the beverage package and get to pick your cabin but you have to pay $600 more plus $249 more for gratuities making it $849 for the beverages and getting to pick your cabin out of only 9 cabins that are unsold in that class and are all pretty much the same.
Now we do like to drink and have been on many cruises but there is no way that we are going to drink $849 worth of drinks in a week when we are in port most of the time.
Getting to pick your cabin out of only 9 unsold cabins in that class that are close to each other and identical is of absolutely no value and the guarantee cabin is even more valuable because you may get upgraded to a better cabin.
With the $849 I save by not getting the beverage package we are then able to get specialty coffee, water, ultra premium liquors, items from the minibar, sports drinks, Irish Coffee and many other drinks and still have hundreds left over.
Right now on the Escape for next March, the "Sail Away" (not Sail and Sign) price is only $200 more than picking your own balcony location and receiving perks. I think your example is for a cruise very near sailing. That difference does go up closer to the sailing date. If you book way in advance, there is not much of a price difference between the Sali Away price and Picking Your Own Cabin price. Every cruise line offers a cheaper price for their "guarantee" cabins, including NCL. What the other cruise lines don't offer is a drink package if you choose to book and select your own cabin.
I just book the Carnival Horizon, lowest balcony price available, for June 2018 and the price for two people was $3,248.80. I then had to pay $836 for our drink package! Over $4000 for cruise for two with drink package.
Compare to NCL Escape, lowest balcony price available, for March 2019 and the price for two people is $2,774. This includes the drink package, and three nights in specialty dining, and Promotion service Charge or $138.40 per person.
Only difference is Horizon is an 8 day and Escape is a 7 day. But regardless, $1300 cheaper. I feel that drink package is free on NCL compared to the price for cruise plus drink package on Carnival. That is not even factoring in the value of the three nights specialty dining on NCL. If we add the amount of three nights in specialty dining on Carnival, we can add another $120 or so to the $4000.
- NCL, Sunward II, 1978 - 3 day
- NCL, Sunward II, 1980 - 3 day
- RCL, Song of America, 1982 - 7 night
- Emerald Seas, 1987 - 5 night
- CCL, Holiday, 1988 - 7 day
- CCL, Miracle, 2004 - 5 day
- CCL, Glory, 2005 - 7 day
- RCI, Mariner of the Seas, 2006 - 7 day
- CCL, Glory, 2007 - 7 days
- RCI, Mariner of the Seas, 2008 - 7 day
- CCL, Glory, 2011 - 5 day
- CCL, Splendor, 2014 - 8 day
- RCI, Independence of the Seas, March 2016 - 5 day
- NCL, Breakaway, June 5, 2016 - 7 day
- NCL Breakaway, March 26, 2017 - 7 day
- CCL Vista, June 2017 - 8 day
- NCL Breakaway, March 2018
- CCL, Horizon, June 2018
Booked: NCL, Escape, March 2019
Booked: CCL, Sunrise, May 2019