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Explore 4 beverage package question


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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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  • 3 months later...
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........

......reporting back.............. Glad I did it, was lovely to just swipe a card, used it on absolutely everything bar/water/coffee related......... HANDS DOWN...... will NEVER purchase again. While we are not big drinkers, we did try, and had fun, but between the two of us, we would have spent exactly half of cost of package on "liquids".

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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.

 

The question has been answered, fairly often. We upgraded in December. It took us several tries, but we were able to. A bunch of people, going back to 2016 Alaska season, reported that HAL was actively selling the upgrades. I also recall a few posts from the last two or three weeks talking about how the upgrade was available.

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What is the procedure for ordering beverages? Do they just swipe the card and the "slip" has a zero total? Do you still have to sign to acknowledge receipt? Even if gratuity is included is there a way to tip a little extra if service is speedy and attentive?

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......reporting back.............. Glad I did it, was lovely to just swipe a card, used it on absolutely everything bar/water/coffee related......... HANDS DOWN...... will NEVER purchase again. While we are not big drinkers, we did try, and had fun, but between the two of us, we would have spent exactly half of cost of package on "liquids".

 

These beverage packages are fairly similar to the extended warranties you can purchase.

 

You get guarantee your costs will not exceed a certain amount but since the package seller prices the package to ensure they will make a profit, it is highly unlikely that your will come out on top of the deal.

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What is the procedure for ordering beverages? Do they just swipe the card and the "slip" has a zero total? Do you still have to sign to acknowledge receipt? Even if gratuity is included is there a way to tip a little extra if service is speedy and attentive?

We didn't get slips. You can tip extra if you want, but it'll have to be cash.

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We didn't get slips. You can tip extra if you want, but it'll have to be cash.

 

On a recent Oosterdam cruise in December, we had the SBP, and any beverage you order, you will receive a charge slip from your waiter showing each charge. You can throw away the slip, because the charge will be debited on your room account, and immediately credited back. As long as you don't exceed your 15 beverage limit, you will see no charges. However, if you would go over the 15 beverage limit (very easy to do if you drink doubles), HAL will not say a word and happily serve you whatever you order, but you will see the full drink amount, plus 15% on your room tab.

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On a recent Oosterdam cruise in December, we had the SBP, and any beverage you order, you will receive a charge slip from your waiter showing each charge. You can throw away the slip, because the charge will be debited on your room account, and immediately credited back. As long as you don't exceed your 15 beverage limit, you will see no charges. However, if you would go over the 15 beverage limit (very easy to do if you drink doubles), HAL will not say a word and happily serve you whatever you order, but you will see the full drink amount, plus 15% on your room tab.

Interesting. We didn't get paper slips, which is fine with me. We also never wound up going over, even with three glasses of wine at dinner. However, we never really drank during the day - with the occasional Bloody Mary or Pina Colada being the exception.

 

We could, however, see the drinks on the interactive TV account page. Only just sort of. They had our account set up weird with charges going under my wife's account and the TV looking at my account.

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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.

 

 

I wondered about drinks over the $8.00 limit.....it's too bad they don't let you pay the difference the way they do on Royal and Celebrity. When looking at the wine list under $8.00 it's absolutely miniscule..... it would be worth it for us to upgrade to the "Elite Package" hopefully we can do that, we also have the Explore-4 program.

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Thanks - exactly why I wanted to know. I'll be sure to bring a bunch of "ones".

Exactly! Bring some 5s if you want to make it rain on occasion.

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I think a lot of it depends on when you purchase and the price you get the Explorer 4, for. We purchased ours for our cruise next week the first time the offered it. It cost us less to buy it than it would have for the "hotel charges" that the package covered, plus we get the drinks, wifi and Pinnacle Grill free night. We actually ended up saving A LOT compared to what we would have paid for the other things mentioned.

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Thanks - exactly why I wanted to know. I'll be sure to bring a bunch of "ones".

 

 

Don't bring a lot of ones and fives from home. They are bulky.

Get change at the front desk -- that is what we do. We bring hundreds and get change there for extra tips and items ashore and tips ashore as well.

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I wondered about drinks over the $8.00 limit.....it's too bad they don't let you pay the difference the way they do on Royal and Celebrity. When looking at the wine list under $8.00 it's absolutely miniscule..... it would be worth it for us to upgrade to the "Elite Package" hopefully we can do that, we also have the Explore-4 program.

 

Recently on CC, a lot of members have been saying that they can upgrade an Explore-4 SBP to the Elite package by just paying the $10 per day/per person increase. You may have to argue with several bartenders, but eventually you will find one who will be happy to take your money.

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Recently on CC, a lot of members have been saying that they can upgrade an Explore-4 SBP to the Elite package by just paying the $10 per day/per person increase. You may have to argue with several bartenders, but eventually you will find one who will be happy to take your money.

 

 

I called HAL in hopes I could upgrade ahead of time but they said we would have to do so when we board...hopefully we can set it up at check in, if not I guess we will go to guest services and do so once on board.

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I called HAL in hopes I could upgrade ahead of time but they said we would have to do so when we board...hopefully we can set it up at check in, if not I guess we will go to guest services and do so once on board.

You won't be able to do it at check in. You'll have to do it on board, and it's done at a bar. They may have to get a beverage manager to do the upgrade. That's what happened to us. So grab a drink and hang out while they do it (from the under SBP limit, unless you want to spend extra time worrying about an adjustment later.)

 

There are any POS terminals at check in, so it's a non-starter there.

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On our recent Zuiderdam (April/May '17) TransAtlantic we received an information card about our Explorer 4/Signature Beverage Package. It indicated a limit of NINE DOLLARS! per drink and that was, in fact, the limit. The one dollar increase offered a much better selection of wine by the glass, as well as the inclusion of a number of "specialty" drinks. For those that look on the "half empty" side of what HAL offers, NO, they did not increase the price of drinks on the Beverage menu. So, it truly was an unexpected and happy benefit.

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Gracie115, I hope we can meet onboard!

 

Hope so too!!! Am sure at some point after the Muster drill we'll be up in the Crows Nest for sailaway!! We are so excited about this trip and after watching all the wonderful pictures that "scubacruisers" have been posting about their Eurodam cruise two weeks ago I just can't wait for it to start!!!

 

6 more days of work and then a long long long day in airports and we'll be there!!

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Just love how people decide what makes sense for others. Don't purchase the package if you don't want it - Duh -- I love the package when it comes with a cruise -- no thoughts about water, pop or anything I drink. Dinner in the pinnacle -- Love the promotion -- take it if I can --

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Are specialty tea drinks available like a chai latte on the packages? Also on the site it says everyone in the room must purchase the package. Could I purchase the regular and my husband purchase the Elite. Or do they have to be the same?Thanks:)

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Are specialty tea drinks available like a chai latte on the packages? Also on the site it says everyone in the room must purchase the package. Could I purchase the regular and my husband purchase the Elite. Or do they have to be the same?Thanks:)

 

The HAL website says that both (all) guests in a cabin must purchase the beverage package and it must be the same level of package. So, both must be regular or elite. I have heard here on CC that if you produce a doctor's note that one of your party cannot drink alcohol, you are excused from that rule that both must purchase.

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