$12 Drinks? No thanks!

#1
Grand Ledge, Michigan
228 Posts
Joined Aug 2003
Got off the ship yesterday. My only real lasting memory – a breathtaking $12 + tips for a drink. I was in a group of 14 people on this cruise (4 children though), and 8 of them said they'd never cruise RC again due to the drink prices. TWELVE DOLLARS for basically a Slurpee with a shot of rum? Insane. We were on a port intensive itinerary, so the drink packages didn't make any sense since we weren't back onboard until after 5pm. One couple in our group ordered a first round of drinks before dinner on day one - the tab was over $26, and that wound up being their last drink onboard.

The pool bar was rarely busy, even though it was spring break week and the ship was packed. There was rarely 3-4 people there, even at the height of the day. Not the lines 2-3 rows deep you see on other cruises.

We were planning on taking advantage of the onboard booking incentives for one of the longer Serenade cruises this November but cancelled those plans after being hit with these crazy drink prices. For the first time in 15 years and 12 cruises I'm now considering other cruise lines. A couple - my closest friend and his wife - went with us on this cruise and called me this morning to let us know that they booked another line for this November instead. We may follow their lead.

This was my most disappointing cruise ever.
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#2
Fredericksburg, va. USA
85,762 Posts
Joined May 2001
That's insane. The prices are rivaling Sports venues, where a beer is $10.50! Nuts! You're not driving, so you want to be able to "cut loose" a bit! The prices are prohibitive. $3 for a beer and $5-6 for a cocktail is reasonable. What they're doing is price gouging, pure and simple.
#3
snow :)
10,238 Posts
Joined Oct 2007
Frustrated but there is no option for us if we want to have 3-5 drinks during the day.
Now if I try something I do not like, I will get something else when I can.

I will probably not benefit, but I will keep a tally of what I drink daily.
This way when I cruise again, I will decide to get the package or not.

Later
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#4
Edgewater, FL
6,516 Posts
Joined Apr 2001
The prices shot up and the free pours are no longer. Just got off the Enchantment this week and every bartender on the pool deck was pouring exact shots. Nothing extra.
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#5
326 Posts
Joined Oct 2007
I found this on liberty in march. I drank less. So royal actually made less money on me. I think they're trying to push people to the package. About 4 of those $14 martinis including tax a day would make the package worth it. I'm not sure if I'll have that many on my 9 day cruise to warrant a $500 drink package.
#6
2,512 Posts
Joined May 2014
Agreed prices are shocking!!! Not just Jewel, Fleetwide I would imagine.
Only way to go



Happy Days!
Wonder why I never pay for drinks, crazy prices
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Graham ♥️♣️♦️♠️
Former CR VIP Member


(2002 Splendour JS) (2003 Rhapsody GS) (2004 Grandeur JS)
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#7
Arkansas
143 Posts
Joined Jan 2002
We were on the Jewel a few weeks ago and I concur - most disappointing cruise ever. I was also shocked by the drink prices. But equally as disappointed in the 45m wait we had for our appetizers in Portofinos.

We had one night in the MDR where the food was actually inedible. Now mind you - we're not picky people. But the MDR crab cake was a tiny fried puck of nothing but mush minced crab something. My husband's chicken cordon bleu was stuffed with a cheese goo with tiny minced ham. His Caesar salad was dripping in water and so soggy he didn't even eat it (which for him to not eat food says a lot). Several tables complained and the Head waiter came and apologized to each of us.

We did get the coke package for the freestyle machine and after the first day they were out of Coke Zero and never refilled it (the main reason we got it) and several times it was empty of any diet drink.

We have two more cruises booked - but we too will be looking at other lines.
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Dana

NCL Starward - 3/87
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#8
181 Posts
Joined Jul 2013
How are the wine prices and drink of the day prices? I don't drink mixed drinks other than one DOTD. The previous $8 wines were fine, are they still $8? What about beer.
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#9
Ft. Myers, FL
86 Posts
Joined Mar 2011
On our recent cruise on Vision of the Seas my husband had a drink package and I did not. I don't drink a lot of alcohol and am happy with lots of water. But when I did drink I would either choose the drink of the day ($7.50 + tip) or a bar special (buy 1 get one free of second half off). I also took advantage of the champagne at the C & L Welcome and the Art Auction. I can see how someone who only drinks between 3-5 drinks everyday wouldn't want a drink package, but if you include bottled water to take before getting off the ship it might work out.

I also don't remember any make bartender pouring exact drinks. There was one female in the Schooner Bar that did, and that was all I saw. I also had a few times when the bartender would take my husband's card to "give me a drink on them." lol We never asked for it, but didn't hesitate to take advantage of those offering.
#10
Edgewater, FL
6,516 Posts
Joined Apr 2001
Originally posted by janrey1234
How are the wine prices and drink of the day prices? I don't drink mixed drinks other than one DOTD. The previous $8 wines were fine, are they still $8? What about beer.
I don't drink wine except for what I bring onboard but by reading posts on here wine seems to be in the 10-12 dollar range. The DOD varies from 8-10 dollars.

Beer was like $6.00

Plus 18% added to all prices.
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Royal Caribbean (76)
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#12
dover de 19901
656 Posts
Joined Mar 2007
I just got off Quantum. $12 and a limited bar menu. not the usual RCL drinks. also tried to get a Banana Daiquiri, "Sorry no bananas". what bar on a cruise ship doesn't have bananas? Bars on Quantum that's who. finally went to windjammer and took a banana to the bar.
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Woody

#13
77 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
Crazy! We never thought we would be Carnival cruisers, but after trying them, we were pleasantly surprised at drinks prices. They really do a great job of having a super variety with great menus, low prices, and better beers than we have found on other lines. I have to say we were impressed. We are sailing Royal soon and because of the price increases will be the first time we are doing the drink package. We will see how it goes..... :-)
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Carnival Victory, 4 night Western-2013
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Grand Princess, 7 night Alaska-2014
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#14
Birdsboro, PA
118 Posts
Joined Apr 2012
I just got off Indy April 5th and was also amazed at the 12$ cocktails that are over 14$ when they add the 18% auto gratuity. We don't drink enough to make the drink package pay, but do drink enough to run up a few hundred dollars in inflated bar bills. We turned Diamond during this cruise after sailing multiple RCCL cruises a year the last few years. We want to experience what cruising Diamond is like, so we are sailing Oasis in June. But after that, I can't any longer say I'm Loyal to Royal. We had another RCCL cruise scheduled (Brilliance in December), but after the drink prices on Indy we cancelled Brilliace and booked two cruises on Celebrity. Both come with free classic drink packages. And they didn't jack the cruise price up to cover the cost of the package.
I have to say the drink prices are not the only reason for my change of heart. But they are the straw that broke the camels back.
Since Royal cut the Diamond Plus benefits there is little incentive to stay loyal and spend all of my cruise dollars with them. I will now be looking for the best value for my cruise dollar instead of just accumulating points at any cost for little benefit.
OK, my little rant is over.
I will now go back to being a happy cruiser!
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#15
Roswell
15 Posts
Joined Mar 2015
I am just learning of the outrageous drink prices Royal Caribbean has imposed. I am flabbergasted. The way I look at it, I am a person who drinks 4-5 drinks per day, and by trying to squeeze a few more bucks out of me, they have lost out completely. I will refuse to buy drinks at those prices plus additional gratuity.

I'll be putting some floppy flasks in my suitcases for sea days and will be drinking off the in port. I hope people are making an uproar over this and they reconsider their prices.
#16
Edgewater, FL
6,516 Posts
Joined Apr 2001
Originally posted by buck7
I just got off Indy April 5th and was also amazed at the 12$ cocktails that are over 14$ when they add the 18% auto gratuity. We don't drink enough to make the drink package pay, but do drink enough to run up a few hundred dollars in inflated bar bills. We turned Diamond during this cruise after sailing multiple RCCL cruises a year the last few years. We want to experience what cruising Diamond is like, so we are sailing Oasis in June. But after that, I can't any longer say I'm Loyal to Royal. We had another RCCL cruise scheduled (Brilliance in December), but after the drink prices on Indy we cancelled Brilliace and booked two cruises on Celebrity. Both come with free classic drink packages. And they didn't jack the cruise price up to cover the cost of the package.
I have to say the drink prices are not the only reason for my change of heart. But they are the straw that broke the camels back.
Since Royal cut the Diamond Plus benefits there is little incentive to stay loyal and spend all of my cruise dollars with them. I will now be looking for the best value for my cruise dollar instead of just accumulating points at any cost for little benefit.
OK, my little rant is over.
I will now go back to being a happy cruiser!
By being Diamond on RCI you are now Elite on Celebrity. Switching over would be a good thing.
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Carnival (3)
Fantasy (2), Jubilee (1)

Royal Caribbean (76)
Brilliance (1), Empress (2), Enchantment (13), Freedom (8), Independence (1), Majesty (30), Mariner (2), Monarch (7), Navigator (2), Oasis (5), Rhapsody (3), Serenade (1), Sovereign (1)
#17
Harpswell, ME
1,790 Posts
Joined Oct 2012
Originally posted by Retired LEO
By being Diamond on RCI you are now Elite on Celebrity. Switching over would be a good thing.
I, too, was horrified at the drink prices and the lack of variety on the drink menus on my recent cruise on the Quantum. I am taking one more Royal cruise so DH and I can become Diamond. After that we will take cruises based on price and perks, whether it be Royal or Celebrity.
#18
2,512 Posts
Joined May 2014
Originally posted by LSSaqua
I am just learning of the outrageous drink prices Royal Caribbean has imposed. I am flabbergasted. The way I look at it, I am a person who drinks 4-5 drinks per day, and by trying to squeeze a few more bucks out of me, they have lost out completely. I will refuse to buy drinks at those prices plus additional gratuity.

I'll be putting some floppy flasks in my suitcases for sea days and will be drinking off the in port. I hope people are making an uproar over this and they reconsider their prices.
Here is a solution
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Graham ♥️♣️♦️♠️
Former CR VIP Member


(2002 Splendour JS) (2003 Rhapsody GS) (2004 Grandeur JS)
(2005 Monarch GS) (2006 Sovereign RS) (2006 Brilliance JS)
(2007 Splendour GS) (2007 Jewel JS) (2008 Freedom GS)
(NCL 2008 Norwegian Dream)
(2009 Serenade GS) (2012 Mariner GS) (2013 Majesty JS)
(2014 Navigator JS) (2014 Jewel JS) (2015 Jewel RS)
(2016 Allure OS) (2016 Liberty GS) (2017 Freedom GS)
(2017 Navigator JS) (2017 Vision RS)

Upcoming Cruises
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Adventure 2018 (RS)

MSC Seaside 2019 (Yacht Club RS)
Celebrity EDGE 2020
#19
362 Posts
Joined Feb 2003
Just got off the Oasis and I definitely spent less than normal on drinks. I utilized the Suite Lounge some nights, but in general, just drank less. I think I bought 5 drinks total on the ship. I love the fruity foo foo drinks that they don't serve in the lounges, but I survived just fine.
#20
181 Posts
Joined Jul 2013
I don't drink enough to justify a package. I would have to consume 5 glasses of wine a day. When in port last cruise we had no trouble bringing back a large water partially drunk and I expect the same. Since there are 3 of us we also plan on trying to get 4 bottles of wine through on boarding. Worst that can happen is they take 2 and return them at the end and since we will be overnighting before our flight back we can polish those off no sweat. Since our cruise is a two city departure (Barcelona snd Rome) we might attempt to get two bottles on board in Rome if the 4 get through in Barcelona. That should cover a lot. I wish they still had the wine packages that saved a few dollars on the drinks. Can't complain much because we got several price reductions.
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9/2013 RCL Navigator of the Seas - Eastern Mediterranean
9.2015 RCL Allure of the Seas - Western Mediterranean
10/2016 Carnival Victory - Nassau