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My experience with all inclusive beverage package


seafoy
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My husband and I were on the June28th-July5th Caribbean Princess cruise. Finally getting around to posting our experience with the all inclusive beverage package in hopes that it might help others in their decision. I really struggled prior to the cruise in deciding whether to purchase, as I am naturally a pretty "thrifty" person, and the package was going to cost close to $800 for the both of us. We are late 40's and not big drinkers, but on vacation, leaving the teenagers at home, and ready to cut loose a little! We also hadn't planned any excursions other than some snorkeling in the Grand Cayman. I ultimately reasoned that if we each consumed approximately $10-12 in non-alcoholic beverages and 4 specialty drinks/wine a day we would at least break even and not have to worry about our tab while on the ship.

 

What we discovered, was we had no problem consuming 4 drinks a piece on day 1 and 2, but by day 3 really needed to dry out! The next couple of days were tough to drink more than 2 drinks. I really didn't imagine this to be a problem...thought it was going to be easy peasy...NOT:eek:!! We were able to pick back up towards the end of the week, however:D! Unless you are used to having a couple of drinks/wine daily, you may over estimate your ability to consume like we did!

 

There were definitely benefits to having the package, however. We did notice discrepancies with bartenders around the ship. Sometimes you would get a great drink, but there were some occasions that it was just undrinkable. It was nice to be able to just "abandon" the drink and go to another bartender, rather than go back and complain or suffer thru the drink because you just laid out $10! Personally, we found that we just didn't care for the mixers that they used in their specialty drinks...either way too sweet or tart for our tastes, but we were able to get the bartenders to alter them to our taste by using sprite or club soda without a problem. Because the drinks were a little inconsistent, we tended to drink more beer and wine. The Toasted Almond and Key lime martini's were fabulous, however!

 

We definitely used the non-alcoholic part of the package. I always got a couple of specialty coffees every morning and my husband got tea and fresh squeezed OJ at every breakfast. I wasn't aware that you could get cans of soda on the package until most of the way thru the cruise...wish I had known sooner, as we had been getting fountain soda when we could have had cans. They do not have Coke Zero, only diet coke. We also got bottled water every day, and an occasional milkshake.

 

In the end, I'm glad we tried the package. I think we either came close to or broke even. I do think that I drank a bit more than I naturally would have. I don't know that I would get it again, unless I was on a shorter cruise. I personally found that it was difficult to sustain that level of spending for 7 days....despite my best efforts! I now know, that I could order whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted and my final tab would not exceed the beverage package price.

 

sidenote: This was our first time cruising with Princess and we LOVED the wine bar. Have not experienced this type of venue on other ships we have been on. The bartenders were absolutely fabulous at the wine bar. We also found out that if you tip on your bill it goes into the general tip fund. If you want to tip individual bartenders, you have to leave them an envelope with their name on it.

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Thank you! I did wonder about the drink package!

 

I didn't think about the drink package was a great idea for DH & I.. BUT if we could get a glass or two of wine in Vines...hhhhmmm... might not be too bad... The package did work in Vines right? I understood you correctly?

Thanks for the post.

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Thank you so much for posting your personal experience with this new beverage option on Princess. Having detailed information of how you used the package and with different drinks onboard is very helpful. i appreciate the recommendation for the martinis as well.

 

:)

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Thanks for posting your thoughts. I decided the new beverage package did not make sense for us either. We generally have a couple of glasses of wine a night and maybe one or two cocktails.

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Thank you for sharing your experience.

 

We had a similar experience on RC's Diamond Lounge with free drinks for 3 1/2 hours every evening. At first we were like pigs at the trough, but by Day 4 were starting to feel the effects and by the end of a 7-day cruise had had enough alcohol to last us awhile (and our bodies were rebelling, too). I guess it's human nature, when something is free or pre-paid and unlimited, to want to enjoy it as much as possible, but we found it to be unsustainable for very long.

 

Oh to be 25 again!

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Thanks for the post, seafoy. My conclusions had been we just couldn't drink enough to make it worth while. Like you, we would have had to "dry out" after a day or two. A bottle of wine might last the two of us at least two evenings, if not three, in the dining room. And I learned a while ago that trying to drink my way through the martini menu at Crooner's in alphabetical order was a very bad idea for me.:eek:

If we ever use up all the coffee cards we have - well then it might make sense! Thanks again!

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We've been reading the threads on the drink package with interest. I think it would be a bit of a challenge to drink enough to make it worth while, but I think we could :). The thing the turns me off the most is all the extra calories we would consume for the week trying to get our monies worth. Bad enough I over indulge with food for the week, if I added alot of specialty drinks, I'd probably double my calorie intake for the week.

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Thanks for your comments.

 

I find I am waterlogged by the 2nd or third day of any cruise, especially at dinner.

With all the glasses on the table, water,ice tea,soda,wine,asti,cocktails. :eek:

Don't think I could drink that much with the package either. :(

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The package is not for us. I don't drink sugared soft drinks or juices because of the extra calories with little benefit and stick to fresh fruit. I also stay away from artificial sweeteners. The same with milkshakes, hot chocolate, smoothies and such. We will drink one bottle of wine over two days for dinner and use our carry on wine in our cabin. We trade our mini-bar alcohol for 10 beers that we have at lunch several days and we trade the soft drinks for bottled water for off the ship. We will also have the drink of the day at the Elite lounge 2-3 days per week. Add the cost of a coffee card ($33.35) for DW (I make my hot and iced tea from complementary bags in the HC) to four bottles of wine ($150) and six drinks ($35) and we spend less than $210/week versus almost $790 for the package. Even if you add about $80 for the value of the mini-bar to increase our cost to $290/week, we still spend $500/week less than the package.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums mobile app

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Thanks for telling us your experience.

We also were quite happy with the All Inclusive Beverage Package.:D

Vines always seems to have good bartenders and so does Crooner's. When we want to tip them extra from time to time, we do it in cash.

LuLu

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I'm reading this while drinking a large glass of red wine, for all my American CC readers it's 8:30 in the evening UK time.

 

Even though I enjoy a drink (or2) I'm not sure it would do me any good having the drinks package. I have problems with my balance when I'm sober so dread to think how I'd be after an 11 night drinks package :eek:

 

I think I will buy the coffee cards and the extra non alcoholic package as I also enjoy sodas.

 

Thanks for your views, it has made me realise the unlimited package is not for me.

 

Pj

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Thank you for sharing your experience. I have been thinking abou the drink package but I really don't dring more than one or two alcholic drinks in a day. I think I will just buy the coffee card which I do use and I feel is worth the money for me.

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My husband and I were on the June28th-July5th Caribbean Princess cruise. Finally getting around to posting our experience with the all inclusive beverage package in hopes that it might help others in their decision. I really struggled prior to the cruise in deciding whether to purchase, as I am naturally a pretty "thrifty" person, and the package was going to cost close to $800 for the both of us. We are late 40's and not big drinkers, but on vacation, leaving the teenagers at home, and ready to cut loose a little! We also hadn't planned any excursions other than some snorkeling in the Grand Cayman. I ultimately reasoned that if we each consumed approximately $10-12 in non-alcoholic beverages and 4 specialty drinks/wine a day we would at least break even and not have to worry about our tab while on the ship.

 

What we discovered, was we had no problem consuming 4 drinks a piece on day 1 and 2, but by day 3 really needed to dry out! The next couple of days were tough to drink more than 2 drinks. I really didn't imagine this to be a problem...thought it was going to be easy peasy...NOT:eek:!! We were able to pick back up towards the end of the week, however:D! Unless you are used to having a couple of drinks/wine daily, you may over estimate your ability to consume like we did!

 

There were definitely benefits to having the package, however. We did notice discrepancies with bartenders around the ship. Sometimes you would get a great drink, but there were some occasions that it was just undrinkable. It was nice to be able to just "abandon" the drink and go to another bartender, rather than go back and complain or suffer thru the drink because you just laid out $10! Personally, we found that we just didn't care for the mixers that they used in their specialty drinks...either way too sweet or tart for our tastes, but we were able to get the bartenders to alter them to our taste by using sprite or club soda without a problem. Because the drinks were a little inconsistent, we tended to drink more beer and wine. The Toasted Almond and Key lime martini's were fabulous, however!

 

We definitely used the non-alcoholic part of the package. I always got a couple of specialty coffees every morning and my husband got tea and fresh squeezed OJ at every breakfast. I wasn't aware that you could get cans of soda on the package until most of the way thru the cruise...wish I had known sooner, as we had been getting fountain soda when we could have had cans. They do not have Coke Zero, only diet coke. We also got bottled water every day, and an occasional milkshake.

 

In the end, I'm glad we tried the package. I think we either came close to or broke even. I do think that I drank a bit more than I naturally would have. I don't know that I would get it again, unless I was on a shorter cruise. I personally found that it was difficult to sustain that level of spending for 7 days....despite my best efforts! I now know, that I could order whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted and my final tab would not exceed the beverage package price.

 

sidenote: This was our first time cruising with Princess and we LOVED the wine bar. Have not experienced this type of venue on other ships we have been on. The bartenders were absolutely fabulous at the wine bar. We also found out that if you tip on your bill it goes into the general tip fund. If you want to tip individual bartenders, you have to leave them an envelope with their name on it.

 

I have read recently that prices went up. Was that the case on your cruise?

Drinks at 7.95 are now 8.95 , with 15% added on for grads, that makes each 10.29.

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I believe that as you have bought the package that this will include the gratuity so you still can order the drinks at the new price. If anyone knows different please say so.

 

 

That is correct. The packages do include grads.

Edited by janetz
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We've been reading the threads on the drink package with interest. I think it would be a bit of a challenge to drink enough to make it worth while, but I think we could :). The thing the turns me off the most is all the extra calories we would consume for the week trying to get our monies worth. Bad enough I over indulge with food for the week, if I added alot of specialty drinks, I'd probably double my calorie intake for the week.

 

You are so correct...Even though I curbed the eating, I still managed to gain 1lb per day with all those adult beverages..:eek:YIKES!!! Spent one week putting on, and am spending the next month taking off!! But, it was fun:D!

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I have read recently that prices went up. Was that the case on your cruise?

Drinks at 7.95 are now 8.95 , with 15% added on for grads, that makes each 10.29.

 

This was our first Princess cruise, so I am unaware of past drink prices. However, any type of specialty drink was $8.95 plus tip. They did have some $7.95 drinks as well. I think the basic drinks were around $6.95, but don't quote me on this. The wine I really enjoyed was $9 plus tip a glass. Only 1 or 2 wines on the entire Vines list that were over $10 glass. Most were in the $8-10 range. Hope that helps!

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This was our first Princess cruise, so I am unaware of past drink prices. However, any type of specialty drink was $8.95 plus tip. They did have some $7.95 drinks as well. I think the basic drinks were around $6.95, but don't quote me on this. The wine I really enjoyed was $9 plus tip a glass. Only 1 or 2 wines on the entire Vines list that were over $10 glass. Most were in the $8-10 range. Hope that helps!

 

Yes, sounds like they did go up. Over 10 with tip. Thank you.

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Thank you for posting your thoughts on the drink package. I never even thought it would be something I would do as I thought it was for alcoholic beverages only. Am I reading this thread correct in that it also includes coffee, water, soda, and milkshakes?

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Thank you for posting your thoughts on the drink package. I never even thought it would be something I would do as I thought it was for alcoholic beverages only. Am I reading this thread correct in that it also includes coffee, water, soda, and milkshakes?

 

Yes, it does include those things. My DD and I bought the package on our Emerald Princess cruise completed 06/28/14. I did not keep track of our purchases because once we did it that was dollars spent to my mind. I can tell you that based on my previous cruises shipboard account balances versus this one, I think we about broke even. We ordered cappuccinos whenever we liked. My daughter had some vanilla lattes. We had a few glasses of wine with dinner (some we got at Vines and brought them with us to the dining room). We got bottles of water as we disembarked in ports. We had after dinner liqueurs some nights. My daughter doesn't have a particular drink she likes and a few times she ordered something off the cocktail menu which she didn't like. She was immediately able to replace it with something more to her liking. We didn't drink more because we had the package but we did feel, for lack of a better word, liberated and able to try different things. I understand that not everyone would think it was worth it. We would probably do it again.

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