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Beverage Package a win for us


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Fyi.

Being the first time we purchased a beverage package, we saved every receipt we possibly could.

 

Bought the beverage package for 4 of us since we were in one room, one of which is our youngest... a recent 21 yr old who drank mainly mocktails or pop. Total receipt tally: $1971.22. Some of our receipts blew away, got wet, or we forgot to save them. It would have been an even better deal if we had just purchased it with the two of us parents in a room since we drink more than our sons.

 

Mainly we drank grey goose vodka sodas, beer, 1.5 L bottles of water, bloody marys or specialty coffees. Had a pina colada with rum floater now and then for a treat. We are drinkers, and went along as we normally would on any all inclusive vacation.

 

We were on the Rotterdam with 4 port days.

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At home, my wife and I each have a martini or Manhattan every night before dinner, plus a glass or two of wine with dinner. We never have wine with lunch when we're home.

 

We have a Nespresso machine at home, and we each have a double espresso each morning. As gym enthusiasts, we also go through a lot of bottled water. (I mention espresso and bottled water because, without a beverage card, you're charged by HAL for these items).

 

On cruises, though, we'll usually have two pre-dinner drinks each. And on sea days---when an early-afternoon nap is a nice option, we'll each have a glass or two of wine with lunch.

 

At that level of "cruise consumption" we come out ahead by having the package. But the package would be worth it for us even if we didn't break even. When you have the package, you don't have to think about whether a second martini is worth $9.00 plus tip, or whether a bottled water is worth $2.49 plus tip. If you want it, you get it. And on the last day of the cruise, you don't have to sort our dozens of small receipts to make sure your onboard account is accurate.

 

For us, the package is a no-brainer.

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Totally agree with the above posts. When you are on a cruise, you are away from work, the captain's driving, and it's time to enjoy yourself. We have had the SBP for all of our past cruises and have always been on the plus side of the break-even point. Naturally, if you only have a glass or two of wine at dinner, no beverage package will make sense for you. Many people find value in it, others don't. It's a personal decision.

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I ordered ours yesterday. We had X4 on all our cruises last year and it was great. Just came back from our first Seabourn cruise and the drinks incl. made me think that we need the drink package. Lat cruise on HAL we were able to get doubles for all pour drinks since their pour isn't great. Don't know if we will drink 15 per day but with water bottles and coffes we will make up for it.Our OBCs will cover cabin tips and ship purchases. as we will have a lot and then get refunds for pre booked dining as 4*.

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At home, my wife and I each have a martini or Manhattan every night before dinner, plus a glass or two of wine with dinner. We never have wine with lunch when we're home.

 

We have a Nespresso machine at home, and we each have a double espresso each morning. As gym enthusiasts, we also go through a lot of bottled water. (I mention espresso and bottled water because, without a beverage card, you're charged by HAL for these items).

 

On cruises, though, we'll usually have two pre-dinner drinks each. And on sea days---when an early-afternoon nap is a nice option, we'll each have a glass or two of wine with lunch.

 

At that level of "cruise consumption" we come out ahead by having the package. But the package would be worth it for us even if we didn't break even. When you have the package, you don't have to think about whether a second martini is worth $9.00 plus tip, or whether a bottled water is worth $2.49 plus tip. If you want it, you get it. And on the last day of the cruise, you don't have to sort our dozens of small receipts to make sure your onboard account is accurate.

 

For us, the package is a no-brainer.

 

Sounds exactly like us. We had no regrets and enjoyed every moment immensely because there were no worries. I will admit the up front money was harsh, but I wouldn't have done it any other way!

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Totally agree with the above posts. When you are on a cruise, you are away from work, the captain's driving, and it's time to enjoy yourself. We have had the SBP for all of our past cruises and have always been on the plus side of the break-even point. Naturally, if you only have a glass or two of wine at dinner, no beverage package will make sense for you. Many people find value in it, others don't. It's a personal decision.

 

It will definitely be a factor for us in future bookings. I took a picture of our pile of receipts. Wish there was a way to post it! Could have a nice bonfire with them!

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On another thread (Rotterdam review) a person says they spent $1447 for the SBP for 4 adults, for a 7 day cruise. They kept their drink receipts, and their total beverage bill for the week was around $2000. They made out like bandits !!!

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Thank you for this report. We have been on the fence about whether to spend the money for the signature package for the 4 of us. My 2 kids and husband would easily get their money's worth for the non-alcoholic package with all the specialty coffees, juice and sodas that they drink...add on a few servings of alcohol and it's worth it to upgrade to signature. I don't drink juice or soda, but I do like my cocktails and wine with dinner....

 

I posted a poll a while back and around 76% said DON'T buy the package...but I'm still leaning towards going for it. We are on vacation and don't have to hesitate or worry about the cost of that extra mojito!

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On another thread (Rotterdam review) a person says they spent $1447 for the SBP for 4 adults, for a 7 day cruise. They kept their drink receipts, and their total beverage bill for the week was around $2000. They made out like bandits !!!

That's us!

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Nothing against the beverage packages - they are certainly convenient!

 

But when you do your cost/benefit analysis, keep in mind that 3* get 25% off minibar and wine packages and 4* get 50% off the same (the minibar selection is not all that great, I do not know if you can request different items). There are also happy hours at 4 and 10 PM where your second drink is $2 (must be the same drink but there is no price limit for the original drink). And there are $4 glasses of wine in the Pinnacle Bar at 5 PM on many nights (Sip & Savor) and $4 martini samplings at 6 PM (Gallery Bar on our recent Hawaii cruise, they are a bit smaller than the regular martini pour). The Lido bar was also selling Alaskan beer at 50% off - I have no idea why. Since I enjoy the happy hours and such and bargain hunting is a bit of a hobby for me, I doubt I would ever buy the beverage package outright. If it came as a perk or at a reduced price, then Whoo-Hoo count me in!

 

This post is not an attempt to sway anyone to a particular point of view; just wanted everyone to have pertinent information.

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