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When should I purchase a drink package?


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Hi All,

 

First time on a cruise and trying to take it all in. I sail in early Jan on the brilliance of the sea and I just booked the trip and looking over the dining and beverage options I wanted to get an idea of when is the best time to buy? I've heard it is very common to get 20% off the price online but right now on my cruise it is full price. If I waited until we boarded is there a chance that the cost could be cheaper? I'm mostly concerned that I don't want to board and the cost is higher than $55 a day.

 

Thanks!

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Since this is your first cruise I would first do some research to make sure it makes sense for you to purchase a drink package. For a lot of people it is more cost effective to just purchase drinks and not get a package.

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Thanks for the replies everyone... I definitely will need the drink package for myself but doing the math it would be best to not get it for my spouse since she doesn't drink that much. Since I can cancel at anytime if I purchase at $55 per day now which I'm assuming is the highest price available when I get on board if the price is lower can I cancel and rebook then?

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have a friend who's done several RCCL's in the last 2 years and they told me that $55 is the best price they've seen and that I should take it as waiting 'til on board the price is more ..... (they made the mistake once)

 

I'd note that for our upcoming OASIS in November trip you can get the booze package and 1 VOOM (internet + stream) for $59 ... iow internet at $4 a day ....

 

(note if you didn't read the fine print the $55 (or 59) is PLUS 18% ..... that's the tips .....)

 

(not sure if these deals are unique to C&A members)

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Since it is not on sale now, I would wait, and keep checking your cruise planner. Most cruises see some sort of discount, with many seeing one over black friday weekend. You can purchase up to 2 days before the cruise I believe. At any point, if you buy it, you can cancel and reorder if the price goes down.

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It won't be cheaper on board. $55 is about the average highest price pre-cruise that I have seen or heard of. Our October Oasis for 7-8 months had been $46 until mid-summer then jumped to $55 and has been there ever since. Some people have reported sailings where it's $38 - $39. But I wouldn't get my hopes up for that price. Best thing is you can buy it and cancel it very easily if it goes down.

 

The other thing I might be worried about is if RCCL changes the policy and makes both of you buy the package. Then if you wait you would have to buy for both. It seems they are exploring the change in policy.

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Mine was always 20 percent off a few months ago went to 30 for a brief time then back to 20, bought it at 20, 44 a day before tip, last week went to 25 percent off 41 a day so canceled the 44 a day and booked 41, this week its back to 44 a day this is Navigator for November

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Thanks everyone. Looks like it's all over the board regarding when and if they provide a discount. I'll just wait it out and purchase before the deadline if it doesn't go on sale.

 

There is one other risk on that. Right now, they are testing out on a few select sailings that if one person in the room buys the package, then all people over 21 in the room will also need to buy the package. If you have others in the room that may not want it, and they make that universal, you may be forced to buy them for both if you wait.

 

I am in the same position for our cruise in March, as so far, there have been no discounts, and I know my wife wants it, but I am up in the air at this point. Still waiting it out at this point.

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There is one other risk on that. Right now, they are testing out on a few select sailings that if one person in the room buys the package, then all people over 21 in the room will also need to buy the package. If you have others in the room that may not want it, and they make that universal, you may be forced to buy them for both if you wait.

 

I am in the same position for our cruise in March, as so far, there have been no discounts, and I know my wife wants it, but I am up in the air at this point. Still waiting it out at this point.

 

Now that would truly suck if they impose that rule on people after they have booked and confirmed reservations this close to sailing. Hope that's not the case on my cruise.

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Now that would truly suck if they impose that rule on people after they have booked and confirmed reservations this close to sailing. Hope that's not the case on my cruise.

 

So far, on those cruises, if you bought for one before the change was implemented, I think you are good, so in this case, you could purchase now, and just wait. That would ensure the worse thing would be you keep it for one at $55. If it goes on sale and the policy does not change, you could cancel and reorder. If they decide to go fleet wide, you should also be good to just keep what you have I would hope.

 

So far, have not seen a lot of sales for next year, so my fear is if the current test goes well, they policy may go into effect 1.1.18. I have no inside info if this will or won't happen, just could see it happening. In my case, I will still wait, as I may end up buying the package for myself anyways, since it is really nice to not worry about ordering a drink you may not like, and tossing if it does not work to get something else.

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Wow, that's the highest price I've seen reported.

 

That's pushing it for me.

 

I think a lot has to do with online sales. Each ship has a goal in the amount of alcohol packages they need to sell. If they reach that goal the prices are stable. If the goal is not reached the prices increase.

In the case of last weeks Majesty cruise it was shortened by 1 day resulting in 5-6 hundred cancelations. Their online sales probably were not met resulting in higher prices onboard. That's why prices are all over the place and so unpredictable.

Good sales = stable prices. Poor sales = increased prices.

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I think a lot has to do with online sales. Each ship has a goal in the amount of alcohol packages they need to sell. If they reach that goal the prices are stable. If the goal is not reached the prices increase.

In the case of last weeks Majesty cruise it was shortened by 1 day resulting in 5-6 hundred cancelations. Their online sales probably were not met resulting in higher prices onboard. That's why prices are all over the place and so unpredictable.

Good sales = stable prices. Poor sales = increased prices.

That's a funny way to market. lol. I would think that if the sales were poor and they needed to make up the losses they should offer at a discount. I mean really how much upcharge are they making on these alcohol packages? I don't think it's possible someone could drink so much that they wouldn't still make a profit.

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I think a lot has to do with online sales. Each ship has a goal in the amount of alcohol packages they need to sell. If they reach that goal the prices are stable. If the goal is not reached the prices increase.

In the case of last weeks Majesty cruise it was shortened by 1 day resulting in 5-6 hundred cancelations. Their online sales probably were not met resulting in higher prices onboard. That's why prices are all over the place and so unpredictable.

Good sales = stable prices. Poor sales = increased prices.

I would think it would be the opposite.

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That's a funny way to market. lol. I would think that if the sales were poor and they needed to make up the losses they should offer at a discount. I mean really how much upcharge are they making on these alcohol packages? I don't think it's possible someone could drink so much that they wouldn't still make a profit.

 

I think what he is getting at is if there aren't enough sales pre-cruise, then prices on board are higher, because they figure many will still buy when they get there. I am pretty sure if sales are lackluster pre-cruise, they will do some sales pre-cruise.

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