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Buying Beverage Packages half way through Cruise

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Does HAL let you purchase the beverage package half way through a cruise like other lines do? Doing 18 days Vancouver-Hawaii-Vancouver and don't really want to purchase the full package and would prefer to have it on the way back with all the sea days. We're on the Zaandam in April. Tx

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If you're talking about the Signature Beverage Package, no, you cannot buy it midway through the cruise. That package is offered pre-cruise and during the first two days of the cruise.

 

You can buy beverage cards in increments of $50, $100 or $250 at any time during the cruise. There is no benefit to buying in advance.

 

Wine packages can be purchased at any time during the cruise, too.

 

I'm on the same cruise; I hope you will join our roll call: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2254828

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I have always heard that the SBP must be purchased online before boarding or within the first day of the cruise and for the total duration of your cruise. We are on a B2B 21 day cruise with a turnaround in Tampa. I wonder if you can buy a SBP for the first 14 days, and then go ala-carte for the last 7 ??

Edited by TAD2005

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I have always heard that the SBP must be purchased online before boarding or within the first day of the cruise and for the total duration of your cruise. We are on a B2B 21 day cruise with a turnaround in Tampa. I wonder if you can buy a SBP for the first 14 days, and then go ala-carte for the last 7 ??

 

I guess I'm thinking you could do that as long as the two legs of the B2B are separate bookings. Are they (separate reservations)?

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Is there any benefit to purchasing these beverage cards as opposed to just purchasing each drink separately?

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Is there any benefit to purchasing these beverage cards as opposed to just purchasing each drink separately?

 

Not really, although some prefer buying the beverage card so they only have one slip to check against their onboard account. If one buys each drink separately, one would have many slips to check against their account. Just ease of accounting.

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The beverage cards are simply a dollar for dollar way to purchase alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. You pay $100, you get $100 worth of drinks, and the 15% service charge is added to the drink cost and subtracted from your card total. It's an easy way to keep track of your drink purchases, and you can get a bottle of wine with it. It's just like cash.

 

The Signature Beverage Package is a completely different animal. You get it either as part of the Explore-4 promotion, or you purchase it online, or on the the first day of your cruise. If it's not a freebie, then it costs $44.95 per day/per person plus 15% service charge. Both passengers in a cabin must purchase it (prevents sharing). Each person can get up to 15 drinks per day for the entire cruise. These drinks include specialty coffees, beers, wines (fair selection), cocktails, sodas and bottles of water. I've heard people say there's no way they could drink 15 a day. Believe me, it's very easy to come close. A couple of specialty coffees in the morning at Explorations, 2 or 3 beers with lunch, a pre-dinner cocktail, a couple of glasses of wine with dinner, and an after dinner drink in the casino, show room, or bar, and a bottle of water taken back to the room. That's 10 drinks right there.

We had the package on a 26 day trans-Atlantic last fall, and it was well worth it. The break-even point is around 7 drinks, after that, you're saving money. I had ordered doubles many times, and there was no problem. When you have the SBP, it is encoded onto your cabin card, there is no separate card.

The only places it doesn't work is on HMC and the mini-bar in your cabin. But we ask the room steward to empty the fridge, and then we load it up with water and sodas that we get with the SBP.

 

It may seem expensive (SBP), but it works for us, and there's no big shock at the last day when you get your final bill.

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I guess I'm thinking you could do that as long as the two legs of the B2B are separate bookings. Are they (separate reservations)?

 

I think you're right. Our B2B is all one booking, with a single booking number. On HAL's website, under "indulgences", the SBP is offered, but only for the full 21 days. There is no option to split it up. You may be able to talk to someone at the front desk on boarding day and buy only the first leg. They would code your room key for the SBP to expire on the last day of the first leg. I don't know if that is possible. Either way, the SBP has proven to be well worth the expense on our past HAL cruises of all lengths.

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Does HAL let you purchase the beverage package half way through a cruise like other lines do? Doing 18 days Vancouver-Hawaii-Vancouver and don't really want to purchase the full package and would prefer to have it on the way back with all the sea days. We're on the Zaandam in April. Tx

 

We've done the math and have decided that we're better off paying as we go. The SBP is kind of like insurance - they don't sell it to lose money. We do tend to knock back a few, but I don't think we average more than $50/day each over the course of a cruise.

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We had the equivalent on X (no 15?limit) and easily broke through that "even" barrier. As said above a few "real" coffees, bottled still and sparkling water, vitamin water (for hangover), glass of wine with lunch, couple of beers by pool, pre dinner cocktail, 3 glasses of wine with dinner and a couple of drinks at show late night bar. Phew. No wonder I put on so much weight

 

 

Sent from my iPod touch using Tapatalk

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We've done the math and have decided that we're better off paying as we go. The SBP is kind of like insurance - they don't sell it to lose money. We do tend to knock back a few, but I don't think we average more than $50/day each over the course of a cruise.

 

That's what we thought. But each drink is $7.50 + 15% = $8.62 per drink. Beers are a bit cheaper and specialty coffee is around $4. Just a coffee in the morning, a couple of drinks at lunch, and drinks before, wine during and drinks after dinner, plus a bottle of water for bedtime in the cabin, you are way over $50. You save money over 6 or 7 drinks per day. It really adds up on cruises with lots of sea days. The SBP has saved us hundreds of $$$ on every cruise we take. And we are not hard core drinkers, at 68 & 69 years, we can't throw them back like we could 20 years ago. Of course, we choose cruises with lots of sea days. Short, 7 day cruises with only 1 or 2 sea days, would eliminate the lunch beers/drinks and save you some.

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