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Beverage Package Question


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Haha, TAD2005....that Wang Wang sounds like a doozie!

All of this info is so helpful and impressive! Our last cruise was a Viking river cruise and the beverages were all included, so this is new for us.

We are mostly wine drinkers and I think we are doing the 6 bottle wine package and adding the bottled water package and maybe adding a couple of beverage cards for afternoon coffees or occasional soda. Is the beverage card an actual physical card that you produce each time you order? I saw it on the HAL site but I haven't heard much about that one.

And lastly do you all recommend ordering this ahead of time online before your cruise? Or it is better to do it when you embark? TIA!

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The more I read about the beverage package I am so bummed that we had it and lost it when we had to change our cruise to a week later :(

You can still purchase it. If it's not included for your cruise, then your cruise price is usually lower. But either way we always get it. 4-6 drinks a day of water, specialty coffees, San Pellegrino or alcoholic or non alcoholic beverages breaks even. No receipts. No tracing down wrong drink charges. No having to share a bottle of wine when you'd like a different type. No perusing your bill at the end of the cruise trying to figure out if you REALLY did get all those mimosas.

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Haha, TAD2005....that Wang Wang sounds like a doozie!

All of this info is so helpful and impressive! Our last cruise was a Viking river cruise and the beverages were all included, so this is new for us.

We are mostly wine drinkers and I think we are doing the 6 bottle wine package and adding the bottled water package and maybe adding a couple of beverage cards for afternoon coffees or occasional soda. Is the beverage card an actual physical card that you produce each time you order? I saw it on the HAL site but I haven't heard much about that one.

And lastly do you all recommend ordering this ahead of time online before your cruise? Or it is better to do it when you embark? TIA!

 

The beverage card is an actual physical card that you produce each time you order. They give you a slip showing the balance of your card after the order.

 

No difference in the price if you order it before or on board. But, if you order it ahead of time on line, the card will have your name on it. Very handy to make sure the right card is returned to you ;)

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The website says it’s 44.95 a day if ordered before and 49.95 if purchased on board I believe. But you found it to be the same cost?

 

Yeah, they give you a bit of a discount if purchased before the cruise. I think the 15% service charge also gets added to the cost.

 

We've found the price to be worth it. So if you're sure you want to get it, buy it ahead of time. If you wait until you are on the ship you'll pay a bit more AND and drinks purchased before buying the card onboard are not counted as having the package. So say you get onboard and decide to get that beer by poolside and then after a while decide to get the package, you will pay full price plus service charge for that beer.

 

So as the Crusader in the Indiana Jones movie said "choose wisely".

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The website says it’s 44.95 a day if ordered before and 49.95 if purchased on board I believe. But you found it to be the same cost?

 

If you are referencing my post where I said same cost, I was answering a question on the beverage card.

 

This is different than the beverage package.

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Do you receive the Mariner Onboard Spending Bonus if you purchase the beverage package in advance, or is it better to wait until after boarding?

 

You will receive the mariner credit for all on line purchases (except on board credit - since you get credit when you spend it on board).

 

So buy it in advance or on board - you will get the credit. ;)

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What is the Mariner Onboard Spending Bonus ?

 

You get a point for every $300 spent. The points count towards your next Mariner status aka stars.

 

There are 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5* Mariners. Different perks (some minorr depending on one's viewpoint) apply to each level ;)

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You get a point for every $300 spent. The points count towards your next Mariner status aka stars.

 

There are 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5* Mariners. Different perks (some minorr depending on one's viewpoint) apply to each level ;)

Oh I get it now!

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The website says it’s 44.95 a day if ordered before and 49.95 if purchased on board I believe. But you found it to be the same cost?

 

Kazu is talking about the beverage CARD and dogo88 is talking about the beverage PACKAGE. Two different things. The card is used to buy non-alcoholic or alcoholic drinks and the price is deducted from the card instead of being charged to your cabin. The main convenience for the card is not having lots of receipts to keep track of if you like to keep a running total of your drink purchases. There is no discount for buying the CARD pre- or during the cruise.

(whoops, kazu beat me to the comment in post #81!)

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Thank you for the clarification...see, these are the things that are confusing to those of us who are new to cruising. Should we buy this or not, which excursions should we book, what should we pack, etc. This is why these forums are so helpful to us newbies

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The Signature Beverage Package (SBP) used to be $44.95 per day (plus 15% service charge, or $51.70 per day) no matter if you purchased it in advance online or onboard. That was the rule until Jan 2017. Too many people were using their onboard credit from HAL to buy the SBP. There is a much greater markup on the Spa, EXC tours and other onboard purchases than beverages. So HAL decided to discourage guests from using HAL provided OBC to purchase the SBP, and they want you to buy it online, ahead of the cruise with their own cash. They did this by adding a $5 per day penalty (some call it a discount) if you buy the SBP onboard. Strangely, that same penalty is not applied to the Elite Beverage Package, which is $54.95 per day, plus 15% SC, online or onboard.

 

Yes, the various beverage cards are just like gift cards. For $100, you get $100 in drinks, and the 15% service charge is included in each drink charge. You can use them for any beverage, even bottles of wine, which can't be purchased with the SBP or EBP. The only beverage card that offers a discount is a soda card. For $25, you get $50 worth of sodas.

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Yes, PSR, I knew he was talking about the beverage card, and I think that will be a good way to go for us. Thank you Kazu.

 

Can we talk about that rule of bringing 2 bottles of wine onboard at embarkation? I really love a good Sauvignon Blanc from NZ and the choices were limited on the list provided on the website. If we bring 2 bottles on in Amsterdam, can we bring another bottle onboard in a different port a few days later or do they collect all wines/liquor at the door when you reboard the ship?

 

I also am hoping they have the water package available in the cabin at embarkation as well. Or do you know how that works?

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Yes, PSR, I knew he was talking about the beverage card, and I think that will be a good way to go for us. Thank you Kazu.

 

Can we talk about that rule of bringing 2 bottles of wine onboard at embarkation? I really love a good Sauvignon Blanc from NZ and the choices were limited on the list provided on the website. If we bring 2 bottles on in Amsterdam, can we bring another bottle onboard in a different port a few days later or do they collect all wines/liquor at the door when you reboard the ship?

 

I also am hoping they have the water package available in the cabin at embarkation as well. Or do you know how that works?

 

You can bring all the wine you want on board at embarkation or any port.

 

BUT, only the 1st bottle per person is free (assuming there are two of you in the cabin) and those 2 bottles MUST be brought on for embarkation day. Anything extra has a $18 corkage fee.

 

You can bring on in the ports subject to the corkage fee or they will store it for you until the end of the cruise.

 

any other alcoholic liquor is seized and held until the end of the cruise.

 

You can bring all the non alcoholic drinks you want on board - water, soda, mixes, whatever on embarkation day or in any port as long as it is carried on.

 

Most any beverage backage can be bought once onboard or in advance on line. Hope this helps a bit :)

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Hi everyone! We are crusing for the first time ever in June and we are super excited!! One of my main questions is this - when I click on the Signature Beverage Package, the following message is displayed:

 

If a Signature Beverage Package or Elite Beverage Package is purchased before your cruise, each guest over 21 years of age who is booked in the same stateroom must also purchase the same package. If this package is not purchased for each guest prior to the cruise, the stateroom account will be charged for the guests who have not purchased the package\

My dilemma is that while I know that I will definitely take advantage of this package, I really don't think that my boyfriend will as he does not drink as much I do (I like my vodka seltzers and wine, what can I say!). He really only drinks beer and water, and was planning to bring a case of water on board. So, even if he didn't want the drink package, we would both have to pay $361.18, a total of $782.86 for the drink package?? Or am I understanding it wrong?

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...My dilemma is that while I know that I will definitely take advantage of this package, I really don't think that my boyfriend will as he does not drink as much I do (I like my vodka seltzers and wine, what can I say!). He really only drinks beer and water, and was planning to bring a case of water on board. So, even if he didn't want the drink package, we would both have to pay $361.18, a total of $782.86 for the drink package?? Or am I understanding it wrong?

You are reading it correctly. Every adult (age 21 or older) in the cabin must purchase the package if anyone purchases it.

 

However, if he is not going to drink that much, it will save money overall not to purchase. Or, if you are going to drink enough for the both of you (it takes less than half the 15 drinks per day to break even), then it would still be a good deal to purchase for both.

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Beautyandtheblanc.....you are reading it correctly! Do you typically drink 15 drinks/day on vacay? We are doing the beverage cards and a wine package and I think we will be fine. I think we will have everything we both want for less than $750 and not feel denied. Our cruise only has 2 days at sea and those would be the days I think we could take advantage of it the most, but even then, we won't drink 30 drinks together....I would be face down drunk.....but the real reason we are not getting the package is that the wine I like is listed at $9.75/glass and it would not be eligible for the beverage package anyway....and that would really irritate me!

I think it depends on what you enjoy doing while on your cruise.

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we won't drink 30 drinks together....I would be face down drunk.....

 

Just be aware of the common misconception that the beverage packages (Signature/Elite) are for alcoholic drinks only because they are not. they also include just about any beverage that incurs a cost, such as specialty coffee drinks, sodas, bottled water, etc.

 

 

When you consider this, the 15 drinks per day can add up rather quickly..

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Just be aware of the common misconception that the beverage packages (Signature/Elite) are for alcoholic drinks only because they are not. they also include just about any beverage that incurs a cost, such as specialty coffee drinks, sodas, bottled water, etc.

 

 

When you consider this, the 15 drinks per day can add up rather quickly..

 

Ohhh, yes, I agree and I also think just the convenience of knowing that you don't have to find your card, etc everytime you want something is part of the lure of the SBP for sure too.

 

Do you happen to know the pricing for specialty coffees, waters, & sodas? So, when you are in the Lido, if you have a fountain drink for lunch, they charge you for that? Is that correct? And regular coffee/tea/water is available. Now, I remember why Viking was so easy!

 

Theoretically speaking here because I am really trying to figure this out, haha.....

7 a.m. breakfast- specialty coffee/mimosa

10 a.m. water

12 noon lunch bloody mary/diet coke/water

2:00 snack/hot tea

5:00 cocktail

7:00 dinner 3!!! glasses of wine

9:00 show cocktail

 

That's 12 drinks for me...and I seriously would be facedowndrunk on day 1. ;p;p.

So, truth of the matter....I'm a lightweight at the bar....No way I could sustain that schedule and make it all week. But, again, the good NZ Sauvignon Blanc is 9.75/glass, so I would have to upgrade to the Elite package? Is that correct? Now, if my choice of wine could be included....and I didn't incur the upcharge...that might be a different story. But to pay 750+ and not have the wine of choice is not gonna happen over here. And of course, my husband prefers red! Ha!

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.but the real reason we are not getting the package is that the wine I like is listed at $9.75/glass and it would not be eligible for the beverage package anyway....and that would really irritate me!

I think it depends on what you enjoy doing while on your cruise.

 

That is my dilemma as well. I will need to purchase the elite package if I buy a package so I can drink wine up to $15/glass. The wines $9 and under are plonk and the pricing on all HAL wine is very arbitrary. The Ruffino pinot grigio is listed on RogerJett's online menu for $11/glass but it's under $9/bottle at our local Total - and it's just OK.

 

I would stick to drinking alcohol during Happy Hour, but the Happy Hour bars don't seem to have a very robust wine list, and on our last HAL cruise they were very crowded during Happy Hour.

 

The elite package does include glasses of true (French) Champagne ($12.50) which is why I'm still undecided.

 

Cheers!

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