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steelers36

**NEW** Wine (by the bottle) Pricing List and Market Comparisons

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Two years ago, I first shared the attached spreadsheet here on CC. The idea was to catalog all bottled wine prices and compare with general retail pricing in USA so I could make informed purchases of wine for taking on board. Buying wine on Princess involves a 15% up-charge for gratuities. Taking on your own wine generally involves a $15 corkage fee. For pricing comparisons, I ignore the two free bottles allowed for most staterooms (2 cruisers of drinking age).

 

One of the annoyances with Princess is they don't bother to list vintages for any wines, so it can make some pricing comparisons a challenge. They are probably trying to save the bother of re-printing as one vintage runs out of stock and the next is begun. One thing that ameliorates this situation is that far too many of the wines offered are grocery store level every day stuff that a particular vintage doesn't really matter much. Still, for the very expensive high-end wines, of which they carry a few, the vintage can be a very important and significant impact on pricing. I assume a more recent vintage, although one could argue with low sales volumes on these wines, they just might be older than we think.

 

My base reference is Total Wine because they are a large scale retailer with many locations across various states, including a store within hailing distance of Terminal 2 at Port Everglades, which is Princess' primary pier in South Florida and my typical launch point, along with thousands of others. Total doesn't carry all of the wines on the list - some would be easier found at a grocery store and others are a little more obscure. In these cases I used average retail pricing as might be found on a website like wine-searcher.com.

 

SOURCES

This updated listing is based on wine menus aboard Crown Princess as of Nov 8-13. Menus were dated June or July, 2017. I don't have anything from Vines, but do have Crown Grill and Sabatini's. Only one wine appeared on their lists that was not also on the DR main list and is identified as such.

 

PRICING

I did not record prices for "wines by the glass", although I did make them red color in the listings. Generally, these wines are included in the AIBP or whatever you want to call it now. This spreadsheet is not the AIBP or Premium Beverage Pkg analysis - that is another thing altogether and you can find that worksheet posted here on the Princess board. Note that purchasers of the drink package can buy full bottles for 25% off the Princess price. So that may figure into your own calculations.

 

Princess' menu price is shown, plus total cost with the 15% gratuity added. The typical retail price is shown, plus a sales tax of 6%, plus a $15 corkage fee per bottle. Then, the net savings for each bottle is shown. In every case but XX, there is some net savings over buying from Princess. Note that for those longer trips where you would buy a case or more, you might expect to pay less at retail because of a volume purchase discount.

 

Note that you can change the sales tax rate in cell 1M. I used the rate for the Fort Lauderdale store. If buying elsewhere, a different rate may apply.

 

WINE PACKAGES

Some posters have asked or suggested that the attached Excel file be modified to compare or analyze against wine packages. I submit that will be difficult because there are two levels of packages and then three quantity groups in each package. Also, it is regularly reported on CC that the packages are not offered nor available on all cruises, particularly shorter length ones. If you download the wine file, you can play with it in Excel and sort them by price and group the wines that would qualify or fit into the Silver packages (max $29) versus the ones that would fit into the Gold packages (max $45). As for how much can be saved, the per bottle price varies depending on whether buying a 7, 10, or 12 bottle package.

 

If I were buying a wine package I would buy the Gold one, which can result in pricing as low as $28/bottle if buying 12 (I would personally need a longer cruise than a week or 10 days to get that much). NOTE: I have no package prices from the Crown and IDK if recent prices posted here on CC are accurate, especially since Princess has increased prices this year at least.

 

 

 

CHANGES SINCE 2013

Unfortunately, very little has changed for the good, and much has changed for the bad. First, almost no changes in inventory of wines offered - just a very few less than before and what has been lost are some more unusual wines. Princess has raised prices on almost 100% of the wines, with $3 seeming the most popular (most wines in the +/- $30 range). And then as I researched current retail prices, I found wine after wine either the same price as two years ago, or even less in some cases. Therefore, the situation is even more compelling to buy your own wine and pay the corkage.

 

Personally, I have no plans to buy the exact same wines as Princess offers to save money - many of them I would not be interested in ever buying. But I can tell if I select good value wines, I can get a nice selection on board for similar bottom line price that Princess offers up grocery store plonk.

 

I have included the original data in the second tab of the spreadsheet if you want to compare the data. It will make you want to pour a glass and take a good swallow.

 

 

RESULTS

Note that Princess has some new 1/2 bottle offerings - which makes NO SENSE to me since anyone can have a partially-consumed bottle held for free and it will be out for you the following evening - or take it back to your room and bring it back yourself. I left them in the listing for completeness, but it also makes NO SENSE to pay $15 corkage on a 1/2 btl. If we ignore the 1/2 bottle offerings, then almost 100% of the remainder can be purchased at retail and brought on board and consumed for less money than Princess charges.

 

I could not find reliable pricing for some of the obscure wines. Also, I am suspicious of some pricing as I may have found a price for a better level of same wine, or Princess got a lot of an unknown vintage at a good price. It's just when the Princess price is better or very close, it seems suspicious since most situations result in good savings.

 

 

Average savings (ignoring 1/2 btl lines and lines without valid retail price) is almost $15 per wine. Depending what you want to buy, implied savings could be more or less.

 

The Katnook Estate Shiraz remains the best value wine on the Princess list. If you like that and can drink it all the time pretty much, go for it.

 

For buying your own wine, I think plenty of decent value wines in the +/- $20 range which puts you in mid-30's on board with the corkage and you can beat up Princess all over - except for the Katnook.

 

 

NEXT STEPS

I will be on the ISLAND on Dec 6 for a BVE and will get around and take snaps of all the wine lists there and see if there are any updates.

 

 

I hope you enjoy having the attached file and find it useful in your decisions over cruising with wine.

Princess Wine List - 2017-Summer.xls

Edited by steelers36

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Very cool! Good job. It looks like the first listed Shiraz may be the best deal. Now it would get complicated if Princess offers a wine package, as Celebrity does.

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Steelers36...awesome job. I was planning to do a comparison of some sort, but could not find a new price list anywhere. We are on the Crown 9-17 December and were planning to bring 8 bottles on board (1 Champagne for mimosa's one morning and 7 sipping or dinner wines). I was not sure if paying the corkage fee would work in our favor. Actually, because of the quality of the wines we plan to bring, based on your spreadsheet, we will make out very well carrying them on instead of purchasing on the ship. Thanks so much for your hard work!!!

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Thank you so much for this update. Came just in the nick of time for us -- heading out tomorrow for Italy and boarding the Pacific Princess on 11/23 for 29 days.

 

Now if someone could update the status of the wine packages, we would be all set! Cheers :champagne-toast::wine-glass:

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Wow!! Thanks for sharing. The spreadsheet really highlights the fact that they are making a lot of money with the wine. I remember the good old days when ordering wine on a Princess cruise was reasonably priced. Those days are gone.

 

It’s such a hassle to carry on wine but I like that you just pointed out that it’s worth it

 

Thank you

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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Thank you so much for this update. Came just in the nick of time for us -- heading out tomorrow for Italy and boarding the Pacific Princess on 11/23 for 29 days.

 

Now if someone could update the status of the wine packages, we would be all set! Cheers :champagne-toast::wine-glass:

 

Sailed the Royal Princess from 10/21-11/5 and nothing has changed.

 

Note: A 15% gratuity is added to all package prices (like any other bar purchase).

 

Silver Package (wines up to $29 per bottle list price)

 

7 bottles -- $161 (average of $23 per bottle)

 

10 bottles -- $210 (average of $21 per bottle)

 

12 bottles -- $240 (average of $20 per bottle)

 

 

Gold Package (wines up to $45 per bottle list price)

 

7 bottles -- $217 (average of $31 per bottle)

 

10 bottles -- $290 (average of $29 per bottle)

 

12 bottles -- $336 (average of $28 per bottle)

 

You get a punch card which can be used at any of the dining locations.

 

 

Steelers36...thanks for the updated comparisons & I took photos of the wine list & later today will compare it to your list & post any changes for you. Some prices increased by $1 for lower priced wine up to $5 for more expensive wine. For example, Giordano Barolo increased from $45 to $48.

Edited by Astro Flyer

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Sailed the Royal Princess from 10/21-11/5 and nothing has changed.

 

Note: A 15% gratuity is added to all package prices (like any other bar purchase).

 

Silver Package (wines up to $29 per bottle list price)

 

7 bottles -- $161 (average of $23 per bottle)

 

10 bottles -- $210 (average of $21 per bottle)

 

12 bottles -- $240 (average of $20 per bottle)

 

 

Gold Package (wines up to $45 per bottle list price)

 

7 bottles -- $217 (average of $31 per bottle)

 

10 bottles -- $290 (average of $29 per bottle)

 

12 bottles -- $336 (average of $28 per bottle)

 

You get a punch card which can be used at any of the dining locations.

 

 

Steelers36...thanks for the updated comparisons & I took photos of the wine list & later today will compare it to your list & post any changes for you. Some prices increased by $1 for lower priced wine up to $5 for more expensive wine. For example, Giordano Barolo increased from $45 to $48.

 

Thanks, Astro! Thought they might have upped the cost and the "up to" price based on bottle increases and the new beverage package plan.

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Steelers36, you have put much effort into gathering and crunching the numbers for us. Thank you for doing this and for sharing it.

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Sailed the Royal Princess from 10/21-11/5 and nothing has changed.

 

Note: A 15% gratuity is added to all package prices (like any other bar purchase).

 

Silver Package (wines up to $29 per bottle list price)

 

7 bottles -- $161 (average of $23 per bottle)

 

10 bottles -- $210 (average of $21 per bottle)

 

12 bottles -- $240 (average of $20 per bottle)

 

 

Gold Package (wines up to $45 per bottle list price)

 

7 bottles -- $217 (average of $31 per bottle)

 

10 bottles -- $290 (average of $29 per bottle)

 

12 bottles -- $336 (average of $28 per bottle)

 

You get a punch card which can be used at any of the dining locations.

 

 

Steelers36...thanks for the updated comparisons & I took photos of the wine list & later today will compare it to your list & post any changes for you. Some prices increased by $1 for lower priced wine up to $5 for more expensive wine. For example, Giordano Barolo increased from $45 to $48.

 

Hey Astro, great information...please just clarify one thing...are the prices listed (i.e. 10 bottles for $290) before the 15% is added? I'm guessing that is what you were inferring, but want to make sure. Thanks.

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Thank you!!! You did a comparison of our wine and it's half the price if we bring it on and pay corking fee. We live in Florida and will drive to port so it will be easier for us.

So do they keep this wine in a special place for us?

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Hey Astro, great information...please just clarify one thing...are the prices listed (i.e. 10 bottles for $290) before the 15% is added? I'm guessing that is what you were inferring, but want to make sure. Thanks.

 

Like any drink you add a 15% gratuity to the listed price. For example the $336 Gold package would cost $386.40 after adding the $50.40 tip.

 

You can get wine that exceeds the limits by paying the difference...a $48 bottle would have that amount charged to your account & eventually would be offset by a $45 credit.

 

A previous post said the prices are increasing but they're still cheaper than my most recent RCCL cruise. I had to get a RCCL wine package to reduce the price to the Princess basic non-package prices.

Edited by Astro Flyer

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Thanks so much for your efforts. I'm a Riesling fanatic, and love the German vintages which requires some shopping around.;p

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Steelers and Astro,

Thank you for all the work you do to keep us updated on Princess wine prices.

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Like any drink you add a 15% gratuity to the listed price. For example the $336 Gold package would cost $386.40 after adding the $50.40 tip.

 

You can get wine that exceeds the limits by paying the difference...a $48 bottle would have that amount charged to your account & eventually would be offset by a $45 credit.

 

A previous post said the prices are increasing but they're still cheaper than my most recent RCCL cruise. I had to get a RCCL wine package to reduce the price to the Princess basic non-package prices.

 

I believe I have read that when you purchase a bottle that is above the package limit (say a $50 bottle with the Gold limit of $45) that you are only charged the price difference and not more service charge on that - in other words, no 15% tip on the difference.

 

I am working up an additional couple of columns and will re-post a revised spreadsheet soon.

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What my husband and I noticed on our recent Regal Princess cruise was that the wine prices were considerably lower than in restaurants in our area and, imo, that is what you should actually be comparing the Princess Wine prices to - an upscale restaurant, not a liquor store. Compare the price to a restaurant where the wholesale price of wine (not retail) is multiplied x2.5 to x3.

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What my husband and I noticed on our recent Regal Princess cruise was that the wine prices were considerably lower than in restaurants in our area and, imo, that is what you should actually be comparing the Princess Wine prices to - an upscale restaurant, not a liquor store where the wholesale price of wine (not retail) is multiplied x2.5 to x3.

 

I think the actual comparison is what can you buy the wine for, carry it on board, and pay the $15 corkage fee compared to buying a comparable wine on board and paying the 15% gratuity...which process is the best bang for your buck? That is the real question.

 

Taking the spreadsheet provided and adding 15% to the wines, I can bring a much better wine on board and pay the $15 fee and still save money. Worst case scenario, the cost will be the same, but the wine I hand carry on will be a better wine.

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What my husband and I noticed on our recent Regal Princess cruise was that the wine prices were considerably lower than in restaurants in our area and, imo, that is what you should actually be comparing the Princess Wine prices to - an upscale restaurant, not a liquor store. Compare the price to a restaurant where the wholesale price of wine (not retail) is multiplied x2.5 to x3.

 

You can look at it that way, but some restaurants also allow BYOW for a corkage fee and that can mean savings (although GL finding one that only charges $15). Also, many restaurants offer better selection of wines than Princess does. And this is all about determining if there is value in BYOW to the ship since it is allowed and also indicative of which wines are offered by Princess at the best value.

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I just talked to my TA and she said you will be charged $15 a bottle when you bring it on, that is not a corking fee, and another $15 if you bring the bottle to the table. You can have the wine in your room and bring it to the table in a glass. It wouldn't be a deal if you have to pay $30 per bottle to bring it to your table.

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I believe I have read that when you purchase a bottle that is above the package limit (say a $50 bottle with the Gold limit of $45) that you are only charged the price difference and not more service charge on that - in other words, no 15% tip on the difference.

 

I am working up an additional couple of columns and will re-post a revised spreadsheet soon.

 

That was our recent experience but have had it both ways...another lack of standardization.

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I would first like to humbly thank you all for your support and appreciation for me posting and sharing my spreadsheet. I find it helpful and I thought others might as well.

 

As to wine packages, the best one for value is the Gold 12 bottle, where you can purchase wines off the menu for $28 where the Princess price is up to $45. If you drink enough, or have a longer cruise to use it all up, then it is clearly the most bang for the buck dollar-wise. If you select bottles over $45, you pay the menu price difference, and no further gratuity I am told.

 

SO... I added two new columns to the Excel (see O & P). I did this just for the Gold-12 @ $28/btl, plus 15%. You can download my spreadsheet and add more columns, or adjust accordingly for a wine package you might buy.

 

What I wanted to see was, where would I still save money, and how much, over retail if I was to have a package of 12 bottles instead of ordering singly. My formula marks any bottle under $28 as a "NO BUY". (Why would you pay $28 when you could buy it for less off the menu and save your 12 punches for other wines?).

 

In Column P, if you still see a green amount, then you save with the package over buying the wine at retail and bringing it on board. But if the amount is red, you are STILL better off bringing that wine on board yourself. And this is paying even less for these bottles because you are on a package!!! There are some savings with a package here and there on the list, but nothing much to bowl you over, except for some of the very high-priced stuff - and not even all of it is best on board.

 

So, pour a glass and sit back and contemplate your options for the next cruise.

Princess Wine List - 2017-Summer.xls

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I just talked to my TA and she said you will be charged $15 a bottle when you bring it on, that is not a corking fee, and another $15 if you bring the bottle to the table. You can have the wine in your room and bring it to the table in a glass. It wouldn't be a deal if you have to pay $30 per bottle to bring it to your table.

 

Your TA is WRONG!

 

If paying $15 when brought on the ship you can drink it anywhere including in dining rooms with NO additional fee. If bringing your fee free bottle to the dining room there's a $15 fee.

 

Obviously your TA is unaware of the procedure but won't research to provide you with a correct answer. If that's an example of their knowledge, you might consider finding a more knowledgeable TA.

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I just talked to my TA and she said you will be charged $15 a bottle when you bring it on, that is not a corking fee, and another $15 if you bring the bottle to the table. You can have the wine in your room and bring it to the table in a glass. It wouldn't be a deal if you have to pay $30 per bottle to bring it to your table.

 

That is incorrect. They will let you bring on 1 bottle free for each person. Then you only need to pay the $15.00 corkage fee once (they will charge you for it when you bring it on) for any extra bottles of wine. They will mark each bottle that the corkage fee has been paid and you can take it to the restaurant to enjoy.

 

HOWEVER, (and this is probably where you got mixed messages) if you take the free bottles of wine that are not marked to the dining room you will be charged a $15.00 corkage fee for it at that time. Just make sure you are taking the paid for bottles to the dining room and consuming the free bottles in your statement (or pouring it in your statement and taking the glass with you around the ship) and everything will be fine. :)

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I just talked to my TA and she said you will be charged $15 a bottle when you bring it on, that is not a corking fee, and another $15 if you bring the bottle to the table. You can have the wine in your room and bring it to the table in a glass. It wouldn't be a deal if you have to pay $30 per bottle to bring it to your table.

 

Just so there is no question, I am going to chime in here and state that your TA is wrong. Whether this can happen with another cruise line or not is another question, but you only pay corkage fee ONCE per bottle. You can return with it to the DR the next night, or they will keep it for you, and no further fee is collected on that bottle.

 

Each person of drinking age can bring on a free bottle. Every bottle over that is assessed a corkage fee (yes, that is what it is called). Those pre-paid bottles will have a sticker as proof of payment so when you bring them to DR or elsewhere on the ship and staff open it for you, there is NO FURTHER CHARGE.

 

If you take the unopened "free" bottle to the DR, it is subject to the same corkage fee of $15. If you have consumed some of that free bottle in the room and take the remainder to dinner, you won't be charged.

 

Sorry - I guess I was typing at the same time as Tigger above, or I would have left it at the two responses. We are all three of us correct in refuting that TA, so I guess we are good now.

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I just talked to my TA and she said you will be charged $15 a bottle when you bring it on, that is not a corking fee, and another $15 if you bring the bottle to the table. You can have the wine in your room and bring it to the table in a glass. It wouldn't be a deal if you have to pay $30 per bottle to bring it to your table.

 

Your TA is incorrect. Read the policy on Princess Cruise official site...the short answer, however is:

 

1) you can bring 1 bottle per person of drinking age that is staying in the room

2) if you want to drink those bottles anywhere besides in your stateroom, there will be a $15 corkage fee

3) any bottles in excess of the 1 free bottle is charged a $15 corkage fee...you can drink those bottles anywhere on the ship you choose...they will be distinguished by a stamp on the bottle

 

Note: do not mistakenly bring one of the free bottles to the dining room or you will then be charged that $15 fee...only bring stamped bottles.

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Interesting stuff here, thank you! One note, on our last cruise on the Star in September, round trip Vancouver>Hawaii, we were surprised that no one was pushing the wine packages. When we asked our Head Waiter about it, he said it was not available on that cruise, mumbled some reason that we never did catch. It really surprised us to not have it available on a 15 night cruise. .

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Interesting stuff here, thank you! One note, on our last cruise on the Star in September, round trip Vancouver>Hawaii, we were surprised that no one was pushing the wine packages. When we asked our Head Waiter about it, he said it was not available on that cruise, mumbled some reason that we never did catch. It really surprised us to not have it available on a 15 night cruise. .

 

Right, and as I think I mentioned in my OP, I haven't paid much attention to the packages before because they simply are not always available. Also, a lot of our cruises have been 7-nighters and frankly, we don't drink 7 bottles in 7 nights. But we do have a 60-nighter coming up and I should think they will offer packages and I also won't want to carry on that much wine in FLL. I do plan to collect wine along the way from ports in Uruguay, Argentina and Chile to replenish my initial supply.

 

None of those wines are going to be Princess wines, but I can understand from my list what kind of value a purchase plus corkage is relative to what is offered on board.

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Steelers36...comparing your prices to the photos I took of the current dining room wine list on the Royal Princess you got an A+ grade. :D

 

The only differences on the Royal were no 375ml bottles and no Adelsheim Pinot Grigio. Due to their depleted inventory on the Med cruise they had procured additional Italian wines which were still available & we enjoyed. Before our TA from Barcelona their wine inventory was replenished so wine packages were available.

 

The Maître d' specials may vary by ship but none of those on your list were available on the Royal. Instead they had Masseto ($529), Solaia ($260) and Tignanello ($99).

 

The Gold packages are also our best option to try some more expensive wine for $28-$31 (plus 15% tip). We got the 10 bottle Gold package for our 15 night cruise but with an UBD & Winemakers Dinner we took 2 bottles of Barolo to enjoy at home.

 

I had read about a Super Tuscan dinner for $60 which we planned to attend. However since they had $529 Masseto onboard the price was $105 & more than we wanted to pay to taste such expensive wine. ;)

 

Yes...got the stomping reference :wine-glass: :p but it's amazing how some TAs will give incorrect answers. :eek:

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Steelers, this is excellent work. Thank you. I also must add that just your expository OP represented a lot of work. Again, thank you for your thoroughness.

 

I am a data geek, and I love spreadsheets. For anybody who is not interested in bringing their own wine aboard--and there are numerous perfectly understandable reasons for that--this spreadsheet does give some good insights on strategizing wine list decisions.

 

I added a calculation in an available column of the Princess wine list markups. I don't think anything suprised me, but to share some of my findings:

 

  • On average Pincess wines are marked up 122% over the retail price. So, on average the Princess price is more than twice the "street price." In my experience this is a bit more than the average markup in a shore-based restaurant. In a shore-based restaurant, I expect wine list prices to be about twice "street price." So, 100% markup. Also, I know there is a lot of variation. The wine list markups in Las Vegas strip restaurants start at 200%.
  • The least markups on the Princess price are for the more expensive wines. For the most part, if a diner is willing to look at a wine that is more than $100 on the wine list. The markup for those wines is not bad. The two best "deals" are the Ornellaia Super Tuscan and the Overture Napa Valley blend. The markup on both of those is less than 8%. The least attractive over-$100 wine on the list is the Opus One with a markup of 98% (still, slightly less than double "street price").
  • The flip side, of course, is that there is a HUGE g-factor on the lower-priced wines. Those Robert Mondavi Private Selections and the Woodbridges have markups between 350 and 500%. Other winners (or, if you prefer, losers) are the Rex Goliath Moscato at 442% and the Clos du Bois Chardonnay at 402%.

So, here's the funny thing. If you order a bottle of, say Robert Mondavi Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon for $140 in one of the Princess dining rooms or restaurants, the waiter and the headwaiter will fuss over you and give you a lot of attention for the rest of the evening. However, the corporate financial guys are much more excited about the orders for the $28 Woodbridge Zins. They are making an absolute killing on that one.

 

Also, consider wines by the glass. Most restaurants, and Princess, serve five glasses of wine per bottle. So, if they are charging $8 for a glass of that White Zin, the per bottle revenue goes from $28 to $40. Sweet.

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What my husband and I noticed on our recent Regal Princess cruise was that the wine prices were considerably lower than in restaurants in our area and, imo, that is what you should actually be comparing the Princess Wine prices to - an upscale restaurant, not a liquor store. Compare the price to a restaurant where the wholesale price of wine (not retail) is multiplied x2.5 to x3.

 

Your post actually made me burst out laughing! Why? Consider a Princess MDR being on land and marketed as an "upscale" (to use your term) restaurant serving the same menu (including hamburgers at dinner), portions, and quality! We suspect that "upscale" restaurant would not survive a week! We have cruised on 14 cruise lines (including some luxury lines) and have only dined in 2 on board restaurants that we would have visited if it was on land...and both of those were alternative restaurants (not on Princess) with pretty high prices.

 

Cruise line food and MDRs do not compare to anything ashore. One could arguably compare it to restaurants in all-inclusive resorts, but even that is a stretch.

 

Hank

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Steelers36,

 

Thanks for your work. If you buy 4 Korbel Brut splits at the bar during Happy Hour, you will save $18.40 instead of $13.50. Also, they will not open them if you ask them. Each bottle is perfect for 2 mimosas!!! Ever think of adding a Happy Hour savings column?

 

;p

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We always bring our own wine on board. Why limit yourself to what's on the ship's wine list?

Edited by CineGraphic

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