The Prestige Select Beverage Package

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#1
Stamford, CT, USA
6,101 Posts
Joined Feb 2002
The Good, The Bad, The Sake

Stan and I took the Prestige Beverage Package on our recent Riviera Cruise, and I must say that it more than met our expectations.

A good overview would be that virtually all alcoholic drinks, throughout the ship, were covered. This includes top shelf pours, doubles, triples, as well as frozen and specialty cocktails of every description.

Macallan and Highland Park Scotch are included, for those who enjoy Whiskey, as are all manner of Brandy, Cognac, Schnapps and various liqueurs and digestife (it was a nightcap paradise, I can tell you).

Exceptions to that rule were some very high end Cognacs (Louis XIII anyone?) and.....inexplicably, some very low quality Sake in Red Ginger (this was such a glaring error that I am sure that the Sommelier was mistaken), and wines by the bottle.

All of the wines that Oceania serves by the glass in any venue are included (there are about twenty on the list), and each day there was a different "suggested" red and white wine" printed on the grand dining room menu, which are also included in the package.

On one memorable evening, when we were in the Grand Dining Room with Hondorner and his wife Betsy, Oceania was pouring a Pahlmeyer Chardonnay and a Chateau De Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-pape.

Naturally, not all of the wines are of that caliber, but they can (and do) soar to those heights. I've long said that Oceania has the best Cellar-Masters at Sea, and the selection of wines that were offered through the Package were really top drawer. I was shocked that they were able to do it at this price point.

Throughout the ship, cocktail service was exemplary, particularly in Martinis where bartender Michael Tapia could not have been more accommodating if I had adopted him.
We have sailed with Michael twice before, and it has been a pleasure to watch him mature into the seasoned professional that he is today.

Knowledge that we had "booked the package" (which presumably changes the 18% tipping structure) did not effect the service that we received by one iota, in fact it was better than ever.

One area where I did run into trouble was in the Specialty Restaurants, where the Sommelier need more training as to how the Package works. One particularly recalcitrant fellow in Jacques insisted that a Sauternes that I'd enjoyed the night before in the GDR was not included, although I knew that it was.

Not wishing to make an issue of it at the table, I let it go, but I feel strongly that a printed wine menu, specific to the Beverage Package Client, should be provided in every restaurant, if only to forestall this type of confusion.
In fact, it would be a very nice touch if the restaurants had one on the table when "Prestige Clients" arrive at their table

And now, I'd like to propose a toast.....

Our World, Our Way
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#3
Okeechobee, Florida
5,760 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
Originally posted by JimandStan
...One particularly recalcitrant fellow in Jacques insisted that a Sauternes that I'd enjoyed the night before in the GDR was not included, although I knew that it was.

Not wishing to make an issue of it at the table...
I think we had the same fellow when we dined in Jacques with Cenia and Glen. He never brought around the wine list, and, since we were next to the stack, Glen grabbed a couple of the wine lists himself. Once we had them and he finally came to our table, he first proposed premium wines, the first time that's happened to me on Oceania. Then, he insisted Glen would like a certain white wine. When Glen insisted on red, the fellow still tried to push the white. I don't know if it was a language problem or what...I do know we saw him up at the Terrace a subsequent night, I think as a waiter -- he had apparently been demoted.

The department heads do watch, do know what's going on, and take action.
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#4
Vancouver
9 Posts
Joined Mar 2012
Thanks JimandStan love your posts and great insight.My fiancé and I will be honeymooning on The Riviera September 14th -24th.The Prestige Select Beverage Package seems like great value for premium spirits and a very fair offer from Oceania.I like the fact that higher end single malts are included.Thanks again for all of your keen observations.
#5
Louisiana
270 Posts
Joined Apr 2011
JimandStan....thanks for the post. We have purchased The Prestige Select Beverage Package for our TA cruise on the Regatta departing next Monday. We look forward not having to search around Miami for alcohol to bring on board and fully expect to take advantage of the fact that we have paid for the package and do not have to worry about the alcohol bill at the end of the cruise. A bummer about the lack of Reisling available as part of the package, but I intend to make it up in some other fashion.
#6
Columbus
391 Posts
Joined Jul 2008
Is the prestige beverage select package information listed anywhere or do you get information/purchase it via Oceania, like Carnival's Bon Voyage program?

Is it against the rules to ask what the cost was? We're thinking of the Sydney-Papeete sailing next March and it would be great to pre-purchase rather than pack up a few wine bottles in our luggage for an around the world flight...

Thank you,
Elaine
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#7
Columbus
391 Posts
Joined Jul 2008
Originally posted by E Heffa
Is the prestige beverage select package information listed anywhere or do you get information/purchase it via Oceania, like Carnival's Bon Voyage program?

Is it against the rules to ask what the cost was? We're thinking of the Sydney-Papeete sailing next March and it would be great to pre-purchase rather than pack up a few wine bottles in our luggage for an around the world flight...

Thank you,
Elaine
Disregard. I found the answers on another thread...
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Fantasy Cruises - Western Caribbean - July 1994
Carnival Paradise - Exotic Western Caribbean - August 2003
Carnival Liberty - Exotic Western Caribbean (thanks Ike!) - September 2008
Carnival Liberty - Exotic Eastern Caribbean (Bravo Bravo does not mean Bueno Bueno!) - July 2010
RCCL Majesty of the Seas - The 19 year High School Reunion! - June 2011
Carnival Splendor - The Heffas Take Mexico! - February 2012
Carnival Liberty - Crazy Cruzer Reunion! - September 2012
Carnival Valor - Southern Caribbean - September 2013
Carnival Sunshine - 5 Chicks & A Rooster - September 2014
Carnival Conquest - Southern Caribbean - Rally Girls! - September 2015
Carnival Pride - Bermuda Baby! - April 2016
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Carnival Glory - Rally Girls! - September 2016 <-- Platinum Cruise!
Norwegian Spirit - Bucket List Cruise - June 2017
#9
Salem, SC
387 Posts
Joined Aug 2005
Originally posted by ZZROX
If we only have one day at sea, is the package worth getting?
Only you can really answer that question. We had the package on the Marina transatlantic but did not purchase it on the Riviera maiden voyage. Part of the rationale was the number of sea days on the transatlantic vs on the maiden voyage and the fact that we were participating in La Reserve twice on the maiden voyage as well as having a special dinner in Privee another night (that took care of 3 of 10 nights). Would I purchase it again, yes but would look at the total cruise experience before making the decision. Remember that you may purchase it at anytime once on board but once you do purchase it you must purchase it for the remaining days on board. We had thought we might purchase it later in the maiden voyage but after buying native wines in every port we just enjoyed them pre dinner on our veranda two evenings and discussed with friends which countries wine was better.
#10
Pacific Northwest
3,621 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
Initially we were considering the House Select Package for wine with lunch and dinner. But you've made a compelling case for the Prestige Select Package. Shouldn't be much of a challenge to break-even on the Riviera "maiden" TA with all those glorious sea days, now should it? LOL.
#11
Sarasota & Connecticut
2,433 Posts
Joined Jun 2006
I should know this but can't remember...
Are there any wines-by-the-glass that are specific to a particular specialty restaurant? Or are the wines-by-the-glass the same as in the GDR in each restaurant?
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#12
Stamford, CT, USA
6,101 Posts
Joined Feb 2002
I should know this but can't remember...
Are there any wines-by-the-glass that are specific to a particular specialty restaurant?
No, Except for that Sake in Red Ginger.
Or are the wines-by-the-glass the same as in the GDR in each restaurant?
The same.
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#13
Sarasota & Connecticut
2,433 Posts
Joined Jun 2006
Thank you. We're going to be on for 4 B2B's this summer but I think we will only do the PrestigePackage for the first one. If I take the package for all 4 cruises, I will come home as pickled as Admiral Nelson was when he was brought home in a barrel of brandy from Trafalgar.
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Sailed: Oceania - 13 cruises on Riviera (4), Insignia (4), Regatta (3), Nautica (2)
Holland America - 19 cruises on Zuiderdam, Veendam, Prinsendam, Ryndam (4), Eurodam, Nieuw Amsterdam (2), Volendam, Maasdam (3), Westerdam, Zaandam, Rotterdam, Statendam (2)
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#14
GTA, Ontario, Canada
34,610 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Originally posted by Aruba
Thank you. We're going to be on for 4 B2B's this summer but I think we will only do the PrestigePackage for the first one. If I take the package for all 4 cruises, I will come home as pickled as Admiral Nelson was when he was brought home in a barrel of brandy from Trafalgar.
OMG!!! Randy I can see you both rolling off the ship

Four B2B's... you better stick to the spa menu or you will be in the gym all day

Have a great summer
Hi to Jeff

Lyn
#15
Sarasota & Connecticut
2,433 Posts
Joined Jun 2006
I can see myself rolling off the ship too. That's why I think we'll only take the package on the first leg which is 12 days.
Hi to you both!
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Sailed: Oceania - 13 cruises on Riviera (4), Insignia (4), Regatta (3), Nautica (2)
Holland America - 19 cruises on Zuiderdam, Veendam, Prinsendam, Ryndam (4), Eurodam, Nieuw Amsterdam (2), Volendam, Maasdam (3), Westerdam, Zaandam, Rotterdam, Statendam (2)
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#17
Toronto, Ottawa Valley ON, and Dunedin FL
14,356 Posts
Joined May 2001
Here's a question--if you purchase the Prestige package in advance, does that include the first and last days? The last day, you get off the ship in the early morning, so hopefully this is not included. The first day? If so, then I'd wait until day 2 and then buy the package.
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#18
GTA, Ontario, Canada
34,610 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Originally posted by Wendy The Wanderer
Here's a question--if you purchase the Prestige package in advance, does that include the first and last days? The last day, you get off the ship in the early morning, so hopefully this is not included. The first day? If so, then I'd wait until day 2 and then buy the package.
I do not think the bars are open on the last day before you disembark


Some may want to enjoy a few bevies when they board .... so buying on day 1 may work for them
You could get your monies worth if you board at noon
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#19
Toronto, Ottawa Valley ON, and Dunedin FL
14,356 Posts
Joined May 2001
Originally posted by LHT28

Some may want to enjoy a few bevies when they board .... so buying on day 1 may work for them
You could get your monies worth if you board at noon
My point was that if you buy in advance, do you pay for that first day? (Oh, and come to think of it, what time do PH's board?)
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⚓ Upcoming Cruises:
Paul Gaugin Cook Islands & Society Islands, October 2017

Seabourn Quest Canada, September 2018
⚓Past Cruises:

Seven Seas Mariner, Miami-Lima, January 2017
Azamara Journey, Rome-Rome, September 2016
Uniworld Egypt, River Tosca, October 2015
Paul Gauguin 2000, 2003, 2005, 2008, 2014
Oceania Riviera, Nov. 2013
Seven Seas Navigator, Dec. 2006, Alaska May 2012
Radisson Diamond June, Black Sea 2004
Regent Voyager, June '06, Dec. '07, Dec. '09, Dec. 2010
#20
Stamford, CT, USA
6,101 Posts
Joined Feb 2002
Originally posted by Wendy The Wanderer
My point was that if you buy in advance, do you pay for that first day? (Oh, and come to think of it, what time do PH's board?)
I believe that when purchasing the Package on Day Two, the passenger is given the option of backdating the package to day One.

The last day is NOT included, unless the ship is landing in the late afternoon or evening, which is a very infrequent occurrence.
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