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geomagot

Lets try to sort out the (complicated) ai drinks issues

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All soft drinks by the glass including irn brew/sprite/coca cola are free on ai, if you want a can there will be a supplement 95p :(

 

Soft drinks by the glass are served from cans

 

mixers/splashes served from cans are and free with a short

 

Spirits are a bigger measure than an ordinary pub measure....but its intermittent...there is no discernable measure made...... its just tipped in straight from the bottle

 

if you are not on ai you get a tall glass of G&T/barcardi & coke etc, if on ai you get a tumbler

 

Glasses (half litres) of iced water (poured from a bottle) are free from the bars there is a supplement for bottled water actually in a bottle, just order a glass and pour it into your bottle....sorted

 

Glasses of water in the mdr are poured from bottles for free (not from the tap)

 

there are water and ice dispensers in the buffets....I guess this is tap water?

 

water is left in the cabin (in a lidded jug) by the steward daily for the kettle... not sure if it is bottled or tap? Tastes OK

I would just point out here that on occasional days the water comes out of the tap brown?? no explanation for this? but was assured it was safe to drink/wash in??....not convinced imo

 

quite a few branded spirits and loads of cocktails (no more umbrellas and plastic swords?) are free on the ai so is cider (wasn’t before) although they ran out of draught cider so were serving bottles of Bulmer's instead and charging the supplement! untill there was an uprising...then they stopped charging the supplement to people on ai.....after that beer went out of fashion and everyone was drinking bottles of bulmers

 

ran out of quite a few other things also...fruit juices for instance...was left with a choice of grapefruit only one day

 

premium coffees (cappuccinos) are free on the ai (wasn’t before) and they are nice (much better than the tar served from the urns...no change there)

 

House wine (free on ai) white red rose (Piat D'or I think? or something equally horrible) non ai bottle of house about £13 a decent bottle of wine non ai priced upwards from about £17, huge 5 or 6 page wine list to choose from and occasional specials available, more on this later

 

cans are no cheaper in town than the ai supplement of 95p (Barbados 1 ltr bottle coke $7....Antigua can on the beach $3)

 

Linda, Wine list is coming, just as soon as I avert the computer V camera crisis I am currently enduring

 

ditto the platinum upgrade pics

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Seems like they've made this AI rather complicated. You wonder if they've done it on purpose so that people might think they're getting a good AI package but when you actually work it out, you're not. :rolleyes:

 

Think the bottled water and soft drinks thing is ridiculous. If they're giving bottled water and cans in a glass for free on AI but not in its original packaging is stupid IMO. :eek: Does that mean when the bar staff bring the trolley around on the outside decks selling cans, you have to pay for them on AI, or do they put it in a glass for free?

 

Also, there's been a discussion on here about ordering a Vodka and Orange, and that as Orange Juice isn't now a mixer, it counts as two drinks, thus you can't order them on AI as you can only order one drink. Do you know if this has been resolved?

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TBO I dont know about the vodka and orange? Maybe someone will know?

 

we both drink barcardi & coke in the evenings and bloody marys in the daytime (untill they ran out of tomato juice....on day 2)

 

the fruit juice's are from a carton

 

its free with breakfast, from a carton not packet as before, but they are constantly running out of juices?

 

the drinks situation is (lets say) not consistent?...to me they seemed short staffed...the waiters don’t come around with the trays half as often as they used to, often at busy times you have to go to the bar and it can take an age

 

and at the pool bars the waiters are often not there because they only have cans and beer behind the bars/on the trolleys, so they have to go to other bars to get cocktails/ice....I never saw more than 2 of them working the whole sun deck

 

sometimes you would get a large glass (short and mixer) sometimes a tumbler? depending on how rushed they were

 

they are very fussy about changing anything on the menu...one day we ordered a coco loco served in a half coconut but didn’t want the rum as it was 10am, they refused to do it....after a discussion they agreed that we could have a virgin coco loco but would have to take the rum in a separate glass....so we ended up with 2 virgin loco's and 2 glasses of neat rum?? Despite my protestations that all they had to do was just not add the rum??

 

its not just the bar waiters that seem short staffed either, only one cabin steward (before there were 2) if you are the end of his corridor it routinely takes till about 2pm before your room is made up and often 9.30 at night before the turndown service is done, the poor guy just didn’t seem to have enough time to do all that he had to do each day, we often told him to not bother with the turndown and just replace the towels for us and we tidied up ourselves

 

quite a few of the waiters in the buffets are working from midday till 6 the next morning with only a couple of hours off in the afternoon....7 days a week!!

 

sometimes (just a little) you can feel the unhappy atmosphere.....this is not a great way for thoms to be going imo:(

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Hi, welcome back.

 

The premium coffees and cider WERE both free on AI before.

 

Not loving the sound of the new look Thomson. As I have said before, I think Fred Olsen is going to have a bumper year with disgruntled ex Thomson customers.

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if you are not on ai you get a tall glass of G&T/barcardi & coke etc, if on ai you get a tumbler

 

Pint tumbler?That`ll do for me :D

 

cans are no cheaper in town than the ai supplement of 95p (Barbados 1 ltr bottle coke $7....Antigua can on the beach $3)

 

Much depends where you are I suppose

 

ts not just the bar waiters that seem short staffed either, only one cabin steward (before there were 2)

 

We`ve always just had the one cabin steward

 

As Grez said the premium coffees and cider WERE both free on AI before.

Edited by Jim The Scot

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I think people are making the mistake of calling it All Inclusive when in effect, it really is a Drinks Package.

I'm just back from the Red Sea Magic on celebrity, and I still can't get my head around the fact that if you're on the drinks package, you can get a pint of draught Strongbow for "free", yet a bottle of Strongbow sets you back a small supplement. Why anyone would pay a supplement for a small bottle when they can have a pint of draught for "free" is beyond me.

Someone said about the "glass" of Coke being included but not the can, yet the glassof Coke is poured from a can. If you watch closely, you'll see that a glass full of ice only holds half a can, so a can does 2 drinks on the drinks package, whereby if you pay cash for a can, they must give you a can.

There's also the issue of cocktail decorations. It's no secret that when hotels/ships go down the AI or Drinks Package route, service standards drop. Be prepared for the time when everyone has their drinks included, and you'll need to go to the bar to get them yourself, as they'll cut back on the waiting staff.

Edited by thebooler

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you can get a pint of draught Strongbow for "free", yet a bottle of Strongbow sets you back a small supplement. Why anyone would pay a supplement for a small bottle when they can have a pint of draught for "free" is beyond me.

 

because on the dream they routinely/conveniently run out of draught! leaving only bottles left complete with supplement

 

 

Someone said about the "glass" of Coke being included but not the can, yet the glassof Coke is poured from a can. If you watch closely, you'll see that a glass full of ice only holds half a can, so a can does 2 drinks on the drinks package, whereby if you pay cash for a can, they must give you a can

 

its virtually impossible to buy a 'glass' of coke if you are not on the ai, they routinely/conveniently give you/and charge you for a can....then apologise for the error after

 

There's also the issue of cocktail decorations. It's no secret that when hotels/ships go down the AI or Drinks Package route, service standards drop. Be prepared for the time when everyone has their drinks included, and you'll need to go to the bar to get them yourself, as they'll cut back on the waiting staff.

 

me suspects this is already happening on dream:(

Edited by geomagot

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For folk on the AI, I can understand a supplement for premium drinks. Single malts, VS cognac etc.

 

But I don't understand the logic of all 30 cocktails being priced at £4.60, but a random 7 of those £4.60 cocktails being subject to a £1.20 supplement.:confused:

Or all 11 liqueurs priced at £3.90, but for whatever reason 8 of them subject to that £1.20 supplement.:confused:

 

If Strongbow is £3.70 but no supplement, then Bulmers at £4.20 should carry a supplement of 50p. Yet the supplement is £2.10??? :confused:

 

The pricing defies logic, and will surely create grief amongst those who pay full price (now over £200 pppw) expecting an AI.

No problem on Celebration last week, never met anyone who'd paid more than about £67 pppw on a special deal & at that price its good value despite the limitations.

 

Seems to me Thomson's "AI" is now more like a rail card. Entitles you to a discount.

 

I was never tempted by their AI unless free or half-price, so I'll certainly not be tempted by these much less-generous terms.

I'm happy to pay as I go - another bottle of the house red please, Alex.

£11.95

 

JB :)

Edited by John Bull

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Can you buy a bottle of wine, rather than a glass, in the bars? I know you can buy a bottle in the dining room, when there are 2 of you drinking it makes more sense . :D

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John Bull - totally agree with that, it is random and complicated but also good value on a promotion price. I do very much have a problem with the way the AI has gone especially on cruises (ie caribbean) where the only option of the package is to pay full price!!!

 

I too will be doing my own thing so Thomson have just shot themselves in the foot to the tune of £995 :rolleyes:

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Can you buy a bottle of wine, rather than a glass, in the bars? I know you can buy a bottle in the dining room, when there are 2 of you drinking it makes more sense . :D

 

Yep. And its another difficult pricing policy to fathom.

Bottle of house red is £11.95.

We bought bottles in bars around the ship (Celebration) as well as MDR, all at that same price.

And took it with us when we switched bars - including to the MDR & to our cabin.

 

A glass of wine is 150ml, an unusual size, it works out at 5 glasses to the bottle.

Priced at £3.90, that equates to £19.50 per bottle.

And yes, it's the same stuff.

 

So when there are one of you drinking it makes sense too.;)

 

JB :)

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Just wondering if happy hour or 2 for 1 deals are still happening?

Nothing last week on Celebration. I doubt these would happen now with the Drinks packages being available.

As I've said above, and others have mentioned, when ships/hotels go All Inclusive, the service standards drop. This cuts back on the amount of drinks the passengers/guests are able to consume. It also cuts back on staff wages to compensate for the loss of cash sales income.

 

One example I can give from my cruise last week...........................on my 1st night in the Buffet Restaurant, I had no sooner taken my seat when I was offered a drink. This never happened again throughout my cruise. Not once. I always had to go find a waiter and ask for a drink. They were quick to pour me a glass of water each time I sat down though.

 

I'm going to be doing a review of my cruise over the next couple of days, and I'll be including a few small issues I have with these Drinks Packages, which I don't totally disagree with, provided one is prepared to accept a drop in service standards, which usually means a drop in the standard of guests, which is fine by me. But the cost of the cruise would need to reflect in the standards offered, or many will just change to other companies, even if it costs a couple of hundred pounds more per person.

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One example I can give from my cruise last week...........................on my 1st night in the Buffet Restaurant, I had no sooner taken my seat when I was offered a drink. This never happened again throughout my cruise. Not once. I always had to go find a waiter and ask for a drink. They were quick to pour me a glass of water each time I sat down though.

 

 

Same as That! on The Dream:(

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Nothing last week on Celebration. I doubt these would happen now with the Drinks packages being available.

As I've said above, and others have mentioned, when ships/hotels go All Inclusive, the service standards drop. This cuts back on the amount of drinks the passengers/guests are able to consume. It also cuts back on staff wages to compensate for the loss of cash sales income.

 

You do realise tha the AI on Thomson ships is not a new thing, and has been around for many many years?

 

So I do not buy into your "when they go AI standards drop", as it never happened WHEN they went AI, and I am sure there are many here that would agree with that statement, standards may have dropped now, but that is nothing to do with going AI, as they went AI a long time ago.

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You do realise tha the AI on Thomson ships is not a new thing, and has been around for many many years?

 

So I do not buy into your "when they go AI standards drop", as it never happened WHEN they went AI, and I am sure there are many here that would agree with that statement, standards may have dropped now, but that is nothing to do with going AI, as they went AI a long time ago.

I agree with you,having the AI makes no difference to the standard of service as Thomson have had the AI available for many years. It has no bearing on the type of passenger either, at least as far as Thomson is concerned. The price of the AI is already factored into the fares and I see no good reason why Thomson would want to deliberately slow down the rate of drinking. Imagine if everyone started marking down the cruises because of slow service and the platinum ships failed to reach the required 90%

 

in my experience getting a drink in the buffet was easy. I eat at the same time at a table in the same area and once the wine waiter knew i had a glass of wine they were waiting for my order when i arrived. In fact on Celebration the lovely Rain used to sneak up on me with glasses of Merlot :D

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You do realise tha the AI on Thomson ships is not a new thing, and has been around for many many years?

 

So I do not buy into your "when they go AI standards drop", as it never happened WHEN they went AI, and I am sure there are many here that would agree with that statement, standards may have dropped now, but that is nothing to do with going AI, as they went AI a long time ago.

 

Agreed.

Speed & standards of service do seem to vary a lot between AI land resorts, excellent at quality resorts but sloppy & deliberately slow at the cheapskate ones, presumably to keep costs down.

But on Thomson ships I've never seen or experienced any difference in service between those who are on AI & those who aren't.

Very occasionally I've had slow service despite being on PAYG, cos of course sometimes staff are over-busy or inefficient. Same as on other cruise lines.

 

JB :)

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Geomagot - with the house wine on AI was there only one choice (i.e one red and one white)? That seems to be what you are saying but Thomson have said on this forum that wouldn't be the case and you can still choose from 2 or 3 different wines.

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quote

 

"But on Thomson ships I've never seen or experienced any difference in service between those who are on AI & those who aren't.

Very occasionally I've had slow service despite being on PAYG, cos of course sometimes staff are over-busy or inefficient. Same as on other cruise lines."

 

agreed, they all count as drink sales for comission purposes so if anything AI customers are usually well looked after as they are the ones most likely to give frequent orders.

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You do realise tha the AI on Thomson ships is not a new thing, and has been around for many many years?

 

So I do not buy into your "when they go AI standards drop", as it never happened WHEN they went AI, and I am sure there are many here that would agree with that statement, standards may have dropped now, but that is nothing to do with going AI, as they went AI a long time ago.

As I said earlier, there's a big difference between AI and a Drinks Package. I think you'll find they started the Drinks Packages a while ago, and not AI. All Inclusive means you pay a set price for the holiday and all drinks and food are included (barring some premium brands) whereas a Drinks Package is purchased by choice, and not everyone purchases it. AI generally encompasses all passengers whereas the Drinks package does not, which makes a huge difference.

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As I said earlier, there's a big difference between AI and a Drinks Package. I think you'll find they started the Drinks Packages a while ago, and not AI. All Inclusive means you pay a set price for the holiday and all drinks and food are included (barring some premium brands) whereas a Drinks Package is purchased by choice, and not everyone purchases it. AI generally encompasses all passengers whereas the Drinks package does not, which makes a huge difference.

Comprehensive drinks packages have always been known as AI on Thomson. They may well have included all drinks many years ago but not now. Thomson ships are not AI, Island Escape is. This is really an argument about nothing!

 

I have a 'free' AI on my next Majesty cruise. I will get

free beer and lager

free bombay Sapphire gin with free tonic

free tomato juice

free cocktails

free glasses of wine

free speciality coffees

 

AI enough for me :D

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As I said earlier, there's a big difference between AI and a Drinks Package. I think you'll find they started the Drinks Packages a while ago, and not AI. All Inclusive means you pay a set price for the holiday and all drinks and food are included (barring some premium brands) whereas a Drinks Package is purchased by choice, and not everyone purchases it. AI generally encompasses all passengers whereas the Drinks package does not, which makes a huge difference.

 

 

This isn't the case except on Island Escape which is now AI as standard.

 

On the other Thomson ships there are a number of possibilities.

 

(AI here taken to mean drinks/cocktails/coffees etc but some premium brands have a surcharge.)

 

1. AI offered free often with an early booking and then withdrawn - so some passengers will have it - others not. But it's not necessarily available on all ships for example it's never offered as a freebie on ex-UK sailings.

 

2. Once the free offer has gone, AI can be purchased as an extra to the holiday price (used to be before departure only - is it possible to buy on board now? Not sure whether this has changed more recently). The cost for this varies. Sometimes it's a promotion at £69 p.p./p.w. or a slightly less good deal at £98 - but both very good value or full price which is something like £200 p.p./p.w. So some people may be on board with a free AI (booked early), some may have AI having paid different prices for it depending on promotions and some may not have it at all and are PAYG.

 

3. Drinks packages separate to the AI and variations as above can be purchased on board Majesty and Spirit although apparently not Dream and Celebration. These are purchased on board and offer packages with set amounts of beer/wine/spirits/soft drinks or coffees & hot chocolates which are bought at a preferential price. Clearly those on AI wouldn't buy such a drinks package but those who didn't get free AI or hadn't chosen to buy it as an extra to their cruise may find this a useful offer.

Edited by kruzseeka

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Comprehensive drinks packages have always been known as AI on Thomson. They may well have included all drinks many years ago but not now. Thomson ships are not AI, Island Escape is. This is really an argument about nothing!

 

I have a 'free' AI on my next Majesty cruise. I will get

free beer and lager

free bombay Sapphire gin with free tonic

free tomato juice

free cocktails

free glasses of wine

free speciality coffees

 

AI enough for me :D

Glad you agree that Thomson ships don't do AI, except, as you rightly state, Island Escape. The Drinks Package was enough for me also, but the points I was making were more to do with the standards of service whena ship or hotel go AI. :cool:

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[/b]

 

 

This isn't the case except on Island Escape which is now AI as standard.

 

On the other Thomson ships there are a number of possibilities.

 

(AI here taken to mean drinks/cocktails/coffees etc but some premium brands have a surcharge.)

 

1. AI offered free often with an early booking and then withdrawn - so some passengers will have it - others not. But it's not necessarily available on all ships for example it's never offered as a freebie on ex-UK sailings.

 

2. Once the free offer has gone, AI can be purchased as an extra to the holiday price (used to be before departure only - is it possible to buy on board now? Not sure whether this has changed more recently). The cost for this varies. Sometimes it's a promotion at £69 p.p./p.w. or a slightly less good deal at £98 - but both very good value or full price which is something like £200 p.p./p.w. So some people may be on board with a free AI (booked early), some may have AI having paid different prices for it depending on promotions and some may not have it at all and are PAYG.

 

3. Drinks packages separate to the AI and variations as above can be purchased on board Majesty and Spirit although apparently not Dream and Celebration. These are purchased on board and offer packages with set amounts of beer/wine/spirits/soft drinks or coffees & hot chocolates which are bought at a preferential price. Clearly those on AI wouldn't buy such a drinks package but those who didn't get free AI or hadn't chosen to buy it as an extra to their cruise may find this a useful offer.

 

In other words.......................Thomson ships, other than Island Escape, are not AI.

Edited by thebooler

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