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My experiences with the Elite Beverage Package


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This year we booked a New Years eve cruise with the Koningsdam. My man wanted to buy the EBP. I did my math: on our last cruises we drink ice water at diner, do happy hours and buy bottles of wine with mariner discount: the average cost on our previous cruises: $35 per person per day. Please note: al the amounts are excluding the service charge or tax.

 

So a $54,95 per person per day EBP wouldn’t fit our needs. But, we both knew: IF we buy thepackage, we would ‘drink the bank’. We would drink more than $54,95 pppd. So,this being a holiday cruise (wrong excuse) and it was the 3rd cruise he wanted to buy the package (good excuse), so we bought the package.

 

Day 1: Ft. Lauderdale

We started with some real French Champagne ($12.50) during the welcome back lunch. We had some cocktails, some Perrier and 2 glasses of $14,75 white wine in the MDR: 10 drinks total and with a value of $97, I defeated the system. I’m Dutch,… so I always want to defeat the system :halo:.

 

Day 2: Halfmoon Cay

No drinks at the Island; that’s not included. But, the Coca Cola Freestyle Machine is included in the EBP. With the special cup, you get unlimited refills from the machine. So we filled our cup and went on the Island with our coke.

 

The weather was not so good today; rainy. Back on the ship, we had some cocktails. Dinner at Sel de Mer, with San Pellegrino, expensive wines (but under the EBP maxof $15) and a cognac to close the night.

Todays total: 11 drinks, value: $114,50.

 

Day 3: at see

A lot of refills of the Coca Cola cup today, some cocktails and wine in the MDR:

Todays total: 10 drinks, value $97,75.

 

Day 4: Grand Cayman

We did the Stingray tour. Had some cocktails after that. Tonight we had diner at ‘De Librije’ in the Pinnacle Grill. We chose the pairing wines ($40 pp), so no drinks from the EDP. Only 7 drinks this day, value $62,70.

 

Day 4: Cozumel and NYE!

After the Dune Buggy tour, it was time for Champagne all day and night (and some prediner cocktails0. At this day, it was hard to get drinks: busy in the MDR and at the bars at night.

Total drinks: 10, value $109.50.

 

Day 5: damn free and cheap Holland America Champagne at midnight: hello hangover… nevertheless, I had some $10 cocktails, champagne and Perrier. Just to defeat the system (me =cheapy dutchy). Total drinks: 6, value $61,45.

 

Day 6: Key West, last day for the EBP

Due the bad weather, our tour was cancelled. So we went in town for the Key Lime Pie, and back to the ship for frozen standard margarita’s ($10 each), some $14,75 wine in the MDR and to close the night and the cruise: the notorious Long Island Iced Tea.

Total drinks: 15 (YEAY!), value $144.25.

 

So in 7 days, I paid $ 384.65 for the EBP. Drank $686,15 worth of drinks. So I beat the system by $301,50.

 

Did I get value for money: yes.

Would I buy the EBD (or SBP) again: no. I felt the urge of nog getting ripped off by HAL. And that feeling was not nice. I wouldn’t drink too much espresso, because they are too cheap and count to the 15 drinks a day.

 

Next time: I’ll stay with happy hour and bottles of wine with the Mariner discount.

 

And to reassure you: the next 40 days, I’ll stay sober ;p.

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Must have been a tough job beating the system! I guess some feels the same way with the package.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

 

It was a tough job, but someone had to do it :D. all in the name of cruise science

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Glad you enjoyed your holiday cruise beating the system.

We had the Signature Beverage Card via the Explore4 program. I kept track of the drinks we had each day and didn't come close to the total any day. We are not big drinkers and definitely would not buy any package.

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Interesting experiment and thank you for your research and beating the system! Well done, lol.

 

Since my husband doesn't drink at all we've never had the package. If only I could purchase it I would be tempted to make sure I beat the system and would certainly suffer after. I do enjoy the odd happy hour drinks and used to like their flaming coffees in the past when they were allowed to flame them.

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We did not get it because of the requirements that everyone over 21 in the room has to get it. But, the dollar cost average kicks in well before 15 drinks, especially if you like to start the day off with pop instead of coffee.

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We didn't do it because of the requirement that everyone in the cabin gets it. But it has been posted here before that the cost benefit kicks in well before 15 drinks. To me the bigger thing to consider is how much time will you be spending in ports, because on those days it would be a challenge to "beat" the system.

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With the regular, Signature Beverage Package (SBP) the break-even point is 5-1/2 drinks, based on a typical $7.95 cocktail and the 15% service charge. For the Elite Beverage Package (EBP) the break-even point is 7 drinks. The EBP has the advantage of a higher per-drink limit of $15 for those higher priced liquors and wines you can get under the SBP..

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bastmr, thanks for your report, and your sacrifices to get the data :D

 

We would never get value from one of those packages, but it is good to hear both sides. You did great research (y) :D

 

:) All in the name of research

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Wife doesn't drink so with HAL's rule that both had to buy the package, what sense is that. At least on Celebrity the package is not mandatory for the cabin. Guess we'll go with a la carte drinks. .

 

We are in the same situation. It can't possibly pay off so on HAL and Carnival I just pay as I drink and do my Liver a favor. On Celebrity I CRUSHED the Premium beverage package, as it had no limits. Started in the early AM with cappuccino ended in the evening with a large bottle of water, and many Bombay Sapphire & Tonics and Newcastle Brown Ales in between.

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