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Explore 4 beverage package question


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We have the explore 4 beverage package on our upcoming 14 day Alaskan cruise. I already know it excludes mini bar and room service but I'm unsure if you can use it in all venues. Specifically can you order drinks while having dinner at the pinnacle grill for instance or is it just in the MDR? Also my daughter will only be 20 but she also has the beverage package, can she order all sorts of non alcoholic cocktails as long as they are under the $8 limit?

Thanks

 

 

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I am curious if people really have 15 drinks a day? How the heck can anyone drink that much without being fall down drunk.

 

Why would HAL have a package with that many drinks? Not being critical but just trying to understand how that package seems to appeal to so many folks?

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I am curious if people really have 15 drinks a day? How the heck can anyone drink that much without being fall down drunk.

 

Why would HAL have a package with that many drinks? Not being critical but just trying to understand how that package seems to appeal to so many folks?

 

 

With HAL the 15 drinks per day include both alcoholic and non alcoholic, so specialty coffee's, bottled water, sodas, etc all count in the tally. It's actually quite easy to reach the limit on HAL's package, especially if you drink a lot of soda or bottled water in addition to the occasional alcoholic beverage.

 

Even if one did have 15 alcoholic drinks it's spread out over the course of the day, say 15/18hrs. There are people who could consume that amount and be buzzed but not sloppy drunk.

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I am curious if people really have 15 drinks a day? How the heck can anyone drink that much without being fall down drunk.

 

Why would HAL have a package with that many drinks? Not being critical but just trying to understand how that package seems to appeal to so many folks?

 

I have never had the package but it's not too hard to imagine how it could be used (and you don't HAVE to have 15 drinks).

 

For example, a couple cappucinos (or type of coffee of choice in the morning), a couple of bottles of water during the day, a soda or two during the day, cappucino after dinner, a glass of wine or two at dinner, maybe a drink at happy hour. Perhaps an after dinner drink, liqueur, whatever. That's 13 drinks already and not many are alcoholic ;)

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Exactly. One doesn't have to be a "drunk" to reach those numbers. Esp when small bottles of water and pop, eat up the quantity count. Add specialty coffees and...... Bingo :) half way there.

Each person is their own Liquor Control Board, (or so the add says)....blood alcohol levels can read the same, but not everyone with those same numbers is falling down drunk. Some of us are light weights, and others, esp with poundage can "handle" it better. 15 seems quite generous to me, and not overly high. And I who am NOT a drinker, is willing to give it the test :):) I'll report back........

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Thanks for the replies. This is our first Hal cruise. We have had beverage packages on Celebrity, just wanting to make sure we understand all the rules. We will have no problem going through the 15 day limit when you include bottles of water, special coffee and soda. We really will only consume a few glasses of wine at dinner and maybe a happy hour cocktail a day. It is nice having the package and makes the journey worry free when you're not constantly adding up your bar tab over 14 days! Many don't think it's worth it but in our case the price of our cruise dropped $60.00 per person when our TA added explore 4 to our booking. We are looking forward to this cruise as we are celebrating our 25th anniversary and renewing our vows on board. Counting down the days!! Thank for your help.

 

 

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It is so much more than alcoholic beverages. Think of it this way. On the way to breakfast you grab a bottle of water and order a cappuccino. After breakfast you head out to enjoy the view and grab another specialty coffee. At lunch a glass of wine or a beer with your meal, after all you are on holidays and you are not driving anywhere!! Mid afternoon another bottle of water. You then meet some friends for a before dinner cocktail and then enjoy two classes of wine with your meal. After dinner you have a glass of port with dessert with cappuccino to round things off. During the evening entertainment you have another cocktail before grabbing another bottle of water before heading to bed. That's 12 beverages and 6 of those are nonalcoholic. Many people choose to drink the water on the ship and I always drink tap water when I am at home but I really like the convenience of bottled water when on vacation. I'm not a big soda drinker (unless of course there is rum in it). We see the value and convenience in having the package, especial when it is offered as a perk and in our case it actually lowered the price of our cruise by $60.00 per person. It is not always about how much alcohol you are consuming, we are not big drinkers but we do really enjoy a glass of wine with dinner.

 

 

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But you can definitely pick up water on the ship, using the beverage package, before you get on the tender/ferry to HMC.

Yes, but grab your waters at a bar or the Lido. They can't always do Explore 4 on the gangway as you leave the ship.

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Everybody keeps hammering on the 15 drink limit. Forget that. As others have said, it's not all alcoholic beverages. But, think of the package this way. The break-even point is 6-1/2 drinks at $8 each. After that, everything you consume, water, soda, specialty coffees, and yes, even more booze, is all free !!! We have had the package 4 times now, twice with Explore-4 and twice by purchasing it. We have never hit the 15 drink limit, but we have come close, especially with bottles of water and coffees in the Explorer's Lounge. We have done totals of our consumption, based on the actual beverage prices plus the 15% service charge, and we have saved money all 4 times. These cruises were all long ones, over 21 days, and had many sea days where your lunch beverages come into play. We feel it's well worth the cost, even if you purchase it.

Note: If you do purchase the beverage package, HAL has recently raised the price of purchasing it on board. The price is $44.95 per day purchased online, and $49.95 purchased on board, both prices plus 15% service charge. I don't know why this penalty for onboard purchase, they don't do this for other packages. Has anyone experienced this increase recently ?

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Note: If you do purchase the beverage package, HAL has recently raised the price of purchasing it on board. The price is $44.95 per day purchased online, and $49.95 purchased on board, both prices plus 15% service charge. I don't know why this penalty for onboard purchase, they don't do this for other packages. Has anyone experienced this increase recently ?

 

Carnival and several other lines give a $5 discount for prepaying the drink package. I assume that Holland America is just following suit.

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TAD2005, that is exactly how we feel as well. We are going to Alaska in May and those specialty coffees might come in handy on chilly glacier days!! We like to have wine with dinner but it's the other things like bottled water, specialty coffees and soda that make the package worthwhile. While we have not sailed on Hal yet we have had a beverage package on Celebrity 3 times and we feel as if we have gotten our money's worth each time. We are looking forward to having a beverage package thanks to explore 4 on our upcoming trip on the Amsterdam in May. It is most certainly not about drinking 15 alcoholic beverages each day, but the convenience of being able to try different beverages that enhance your experience without worrying about your bill at the end. There is defiantly value in the package. We easily get our money's worth each day even on busy port days.

 

 

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RCCL was the first to start this and most lines are going this direction - one price for pre-purchase, a higher one for onboard. CCL and Celebrity also do it. Not sure on NCL or Princess. Some lines also charge more for dining reservations/packages and shore excursions if you wait to book onboard.

 

The goal is to pre-sell as much as possible to guarantee the revenue to the cruise line in cash rather than so many who use onboard credit to cover purchases, which results in lost revenue as it's basically just a comp.

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Besides the bottled water-which I easily drink 5-6 a day I also enjoy trying a drink that s new and don't feel as if I'm wasting money f I don't like it. I might hesitate in an on land bar to order say a martini because I would waste 15 bucks if I didn't like it but here I can experiment a bit

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I had the Explore 4 promo last year on the Zuiderdam, 11 day Panama Canal Cruise. It was great! Had all the drinks I wanted, never even came close to the limit. And remember, the 15% gratuity is included in the price of the drink! I am not a heavy drinker, but I had a glass of wine every evening in the MDR, a Cappucino after dinner, a specialty coffee in the evening, a Margarita lounging by the pool in the afternoon, or a gin and tonic. Picked up a large bottle of water at one of the bars every day, to drink in the cabin or to take along to HMC or on a shore excursion. I suppose if you order a more expensive wine, or a pricy brand of liquor, you might go over the limit, but I'm not picky. The alcohol I consumed on that cruise was quite enough for me! I didn't buy any sodas, don't drink them. The mini bar is not included, I had the cabin steward empty it out and used the fridge to keep my water cold, and oh yeah.....my white wine that I brought on board (forgot to mention that! balcony drinks!) Like somone wrote, no need to drive anywhere and you are on vacation! Enjoy your cruise, and the Explore 4 Promo!:D

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We are not what you would call big drinkers but we have purchased Explore 4 in the past and have done so for our two upcoming cruises.

When we considered the package also includes prepaid hotel service charges, a $200 internet credit and a Pinnacle Grill dinner for each of us, we decided it was a saving. We know what we usually spend for drinks each day and when we did the math it worked for us.

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I apologize if this I saw a repeat but I posted and it did not appear so I will try again.

 

We are not what you would call big drinkers but we have used Explore 4 in the past and have purchased it for our two upcoming cruises.

When we considered that it included prepaid hotel service charge of $13.50 pp per day, a $200 internet credit and a Pinnacle Grill dinner for each of us, we did the math and it added up to a saving.

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No. Not at HMC.

 

 

I had a feeling that would be the answer. I know the gangway table doesn't have a computer, which makes tracking drinks impossible. I vaguely recalled HMC was the same issue. And that's why the minibar isn't included, and IIRC, the Neptune Lounge honor bar isn't included either.

 

So much for a "beach drink" on HMC. (Yes, I know I can buy a drink, but with the bev package it just seems so wrong to do that) I'm planning to go back to the ship for lunch, so I'll have a nice quiet lunch and drink by the pool.

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I suppose if you order a more expensive wine, or a pricy brand of liquor, you might go over the limit, but I'm not picky. !:D

 

The selection of wines available under the $8 limit is limited. That item has been the biggest shortcoming of the regular Signature Beverage Package. So, to satisfy the people asking for higher limits, HAL has come out with the "Elite Beverage Package". That costs $54.95 per day, (a $10 increase) plus 15% service charge, and it increases the per-drink limit to $15. That would cover most wines by the glass, and a lot of even the most top-shelf liquors.

 

Strange though.... on the website, HAL does describe the $5 per day increase if you purchase the regular SBP onboard. But there's no mention of a bump in price for the Elite package, purchased on board.

Note, that with both packages, you cannot "pay the difference" if you order a drink that is above your $8 or $15 limit. You pay the whole thing, plus 15% SC on your room account, as if your beverage package didn't exist.

The question has been asked on CC, but no one has given an answer yet, if you can upgrade an Explore-4 provided bevarage package to the Elite level by paying the extra $10 per day.

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I suppose if you order a more expensive wine, or a pricy brand of liquor, you might go over the limit, but I'm not picky. !:D

 

The selection of wines available under the $8 limit is limited. That item has been the biggest shortcoming of the regular Signature Beverage Package. So, to satisfy the people asking for higher limits, HAL has come out with the "Elite Beverage Package". That costs $54.95 per day, (a $10 increase) plus 15% service charge, and it increases the per-drink limit to $15. That would cover most wines by the glass, and a lot of even the most top-shelf liquors.

Strange though.... on the website, HAL does describe the $5 per day increase if you purchase the regular SBP onboard. But there's no mention of a bump in price for the Elite package, purchased on board.

Note, that with both packages, you cannot "pay the difference" if you order a drink that is above your $8 or $15 limit. You pay the whole thing, plus 15% SC on your room account, as if your beverage package didn't exist.

The question has been asked on CC, but no one has given an answer yet, if you can upgrade an Explore-4 provided bevarage package to the Elite level by paying the extra $10 per day.

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