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Please feel free to point me to a wiki. Just wondering what costs extra, how can I learn about any drink packages on Holland America. My TA gave me a quote but it says nothing about optional packages we can pre-pay for.

 

EDIT: I did a google search and did find some information about some of the beverage packages. Newest one is something like $55/day per person. Doesn't that seem crazy? Wouldn't it be cheaper to pay as you go?

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It all depends on how much you feel you'll drink on a cruise vacation. I don't usually drink much so the packages aren't useful for me. My DW and I each bring on the allowed 750ml bottle of wine, and then just buy-as-we-go for any more we want.

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Some folks really get into that all you can drink package. That is not for us.

We might have a couple of cocktails before dinner, but we're not into those next-to-the-Lido-pool drinks that are available from early in the day onward.

There are also wine packages that you should be able to find with a decent search. 3, 5 or 7 bottles with an OK selection.

 

Jim

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The $55 per day drink package you mentioned is the Elite package for folks who must have that VSOP brandy & cognac or the best wines. There is the regular package at $44.95 per day (plus 15% service charge). It all comes down to how much you expect to drink, and that 's not just adult beverages. Regular coffee and tea (iced or hot), tap water, and juices at breakfast are included in your cruise fare. Anything else wet that you drink will cost you.. The average mixed drink is around $7.95 plus 15%. Based on that price, paying as you go, your break even point is about 5-1/2 drinks with the package. After that you are drinking free. You can get specialty coffees in the morning, sodas, all beers and cocktails all day, limited wines, and after dinner drinks. Plus bottles of water. If you have a very port intensive cruise, and you will be off the ship most days, then the package may not be for you. If you have lots of sea days, then it may work out for you, do the math based on your normal beverage consumption when on vacation. Hey, you're on vacation, you're not driving, so enjoy yourself.

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Iced Tea and Cranberry juice and water in the pitcher and/or machine are free on board.

 

Unless you are on a Trransatlantic where you are going to be on the ship 24/7 for a number of days or a heavy drinker (water, specialty coffees/alooholic/whatever) I find a beverage card does the trick and is more economical (when you do the math).

 

You can buy those on HAL's website and skip the additional charges on your final bill and double checking.

 

But, if you do prefer the beverage packages,I believe you save around $5 per day if you book online versus booking onboard.

 

Hope this helps and have a great cruise.

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We have been enjoying the wine packages where you can buy 3, 5, or 7 bottles from either the basic selection (Navigator) or better(?) selections (Admiral). Bottles of wine are not eligible on the Signature Beverage Packages; in-room mini-bar beverages are not included on the SBP; and drinks priced over $9 are excluded from the basic SBP, but included in the Elite SBP.

m--

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Other extra-cost items (besides alcohol):

 

Daily hotel service charge

Meals in specialty venues (Pinnacle Grill, Canaletto, Tamarind)

Beverages from the Explorations Cafe

Shore excursions

Bingo

 

 

Don't consider that an exhaustive, all inclusive list, but it is some of the extra cost stuff onboard.

 

We buy a bunch of onboard credit to cover our extra expenses starting a few months before the cruise. For us, that reduces the pain ;)

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The problem for me is that everyone in the cabin has to have the same package.

 

The person I will be cruising with doesn't really drink much and when he does it would be a glass of beer. I drink wine and the occasional cocktail. We will just have to pay as we go.

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The problem for me is that everyone in the cabin has to have the same package.

 

The person I will be cruising with doesn't really drink much and when he does it would be a glass of beer. I drink wine and the occasional cocktail. We will just have to pay as we go.

 

 

You will come out ahead this way. We are considering purchasing a beverage card, different from a beverage package. It's a preload card with an amount(50-100..etc) used to purchase well..beverages. It doesn't save any money but it makes the final bill less cumbersome.

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How do you pay on a cruise ship? Charge to your room then sign the receipt?

Pretty much, yes. Sometimes when you order a drink, there isn't even a receipt to sign.

If you care to leave an additional tip in a specialty restaurant, then it can be left in cash, but otherwise, it's a cashless place everywhere aboard.

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We aren't big drinkers so would never buy the beverage package. Even at all inclusive resorts we never have more than a couple of cocktails the whole vacation. If you like to drink, you may save buying however. We have always bought the 3-5 bottles of wine package to have with dinner, but have never finished them. This time when we cruise in November, we're just going to order wine with dinner as we need it. Also have always bought the soda beverage card ($25 gets you $50), but have never used it up, so we're just going to buy as we need this time.

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I have a real problem with some CC posts classifying anyone who buys the Signature Beverage Package as a "heavy drinker". Please do not label people based on your own adult beverage consumption standards. I enjoy a hot chocolate or two first thing in the morning at the Explorations Cafe. Then, most of my shore excursions are half days, so I enjoy a few (2 or 3) beers with my Dive-In burger for lunch, then a pre dinner cocktail in the Oceans Bar, then a glass of wine with dinner, and maybe an aperitif in the BB-King or Billboard Onboard. Then I get a few bottles of water or ginger ale to take back to the room. I have easily exceeded the $44.95 daily rate, so many of my drinks are free. I am never inebriated and I am on vacation, so I enjoy a few adult beverages. The SBP has always worked out to our advantage, and not all of our cruises are Trans-Atlantic. To each his own. Let people decide on their own how much they usually consume when on vacation. Don't classify anyone who purchases the SBP as "heavy drinkers" based on your personal habits.

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I agree with the last post. We'll be buying the drink package before we board. Not sure we'll drink the necessary 6 drinks each to break evening on days we dock but will probably drink more on sea days. Usually we think about the cost before we have a drink, this way I can have that fancy coffee, hot chocolate, or cocktail I might hesitate about having. Usually drink wine with dinner and I'm okay with what ever wine is covered by the package as I'm not a wine snob. 6 drinks is not a lot on sea days especially as it isn't all liquor and it's our vacation to enjoy without being judged.

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I have a real problem with some CC posts classifying anyone who buys the Signature Beverage Package as a "heavy drinker". Please do not label people based on your own adult beverage consumption standards. I enjoy a hot chocolate or two first thing in the morning at the Explorations Cafe. Then, most of my shore excursions are half days, so I enjoy a few (2 or 3) beers with my Dive-In burger for lunch, then a pre dinner cocktail in the Oceans Bar, then a glass of wine with dinner, and maybe an aperitif in the BB-King or Billboard Onboard. Then I get a few bottles of water or ginger ale to take back to the room. I have easily exceeded the $44.95 daily rate, so many of my drinks are free. I am never inebriated and I am on vacation, so I enjoy a few adult beverages. The SBP has always worked out to our advantage, and not all of our cruises are Trans-Atlantic. To each his own. Let people decide on their own how much they usually consume when on vacation. Don't classify anyone who purchases the SBP as "heavy drinkers" based on your personal habits.

 

I understand your concern.

 

buying the package doesn't mean you are a "heavy drinker".

 

It is easy to go through some $ between bottled water / soda/ mocktail / specialty coffees /teas, and regular drinks.

 

It really depends upon what a person does. We don't hit that $ per day but that is because we buy wine packages (discount for us) so a beverage card usually does the trick for us because we rarely need to order the house wine.

 

As long as you are getting your value out of your package that is the main thing ;). Different things work for different people ;)

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I usually buy a beverage card (or two) and use this. As someone else said, you've paid for it early and sometimes that helps take the sting out of the end of cruise bill. We found the happy hours were bargains and last year the Silk Den on the Neiuw Amsterdam had drink specials every night. Much less cost than a package. Enjoy your Trip!

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Here is what could cost extra, depending on any package you may have that may include some of the "extras".

 

Daily Service Charge - flat rate, automatically added to your bill unless you adjust either up or down. This is the "tip" for several workers.

 

Drinks - the only ones on my HAL 2016 that were no cost were lido lemonade, breakfast juices, water, and teas/hot chocolate/iced tea. All others were paid. You can bring on non-alcoholic drinks at the start and at each port. I did this with soda. Glasses and ice provided in my stateroom.

 

Salon, spa, thermal suite (saunas)- some ships have a free dry small Diana near the lido pool. The thermal suites cost and have a few aroma therapy wet saunas.

 

Photos (they will take them for free, to buy them costs). They also offer pro photo sessions and that costs too to have them taken.

 

Casino play and bingo

 

Excursions

 

Some room service items. Most are included. They upcharge now for some hot breakfast items unless you are in a Neptune or higher. They also have some cost for items from the specialty restaurants. All other room service food (24 hrs a day, changing menu based off time of day) is included.

 

There are some "behind the scene" ship tours that are included and some that have a cost. It will say if they charge and usually have a minimum number of ppl who have to sign up for those.

 

Entertainment is all included.

 

Internet - price varries depending on minutes.

 

Specialty dining- ships usually offer the main dining room, the lido buffet and a few extra counter type places like the dive in burger place, a pizza place, or taco bar. Food/snacks at exploration cafe is no charge.

 

Cabanas are extra- some ships have shaded tents with perks and furniture that are near the pools that require a reservation and as of now you can't book online, only through ship services or on board.

 

I think that's it from memory. Just ask if you have any follow up questions!

 

Please feel free to point me to a wiki. Just wondering what costs extra, how can I learn about any drink packages on Holland America. My TA gave me a quote but it says nothing about optional packages we can pre-pay for.

 

EDIT: I did a google search and did find some information about some of the beverage packages. Newest one is something like $55/day per person. Doesn't that seem crazy? Wouldn't it be cheaper to pay as you go?

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