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Cost of drinks on Cunard line ships

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i am new to Cruisecritic but my wife and I have cruised several times. Overall I like Cunard ships and the general ambience is great. However we do have a complaint about the cost of drinks on board. To pay around $40 + 15% service for bottles of mediocre wine and excessive prices in the bars is extortionate. We never book as early savers and so do not usually qualify for on board spend. We feel that we are subsidising those with on board spend by paying these prices.

No wonder the bars are nearly empty after dinner. We would usually have a bottle of wine between us for dinner but cut down to a half on Cunard. It has put us off taking a Christmas cruise with the line this year.

End of rant!

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We're not wine connoisseurs, but like a glass or two with a meal. We're going to take a few bottles from our cellar (which looks like a cupboard in the kitchen) and pay the $20 corkage on the bottles we take to the dining room. Should save a few £/$! And going down one deck from our cabin to the Promenade Deck with a glass should be nice on warm evenings.

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Or cruise was Dubai - Southampton last year. We did find that Cunard were pretty lenient about taking bottles of alcohol onboard after port stops. Not sure how they feel about drinking your own in public areas. Good luck and enjoy your cruise.

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And going down one deck from our cabin to the Promenade Deck with a glass should be nice on warm evenings.

 

Das ist verboten.

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Wines by the bottle are over prized enough on Cunard, but you get scammed when you order wine by the glass! They sell you wine at 150 ml (one fifth of a bottle) and 250 ml (one third of a bottle). Anywhere else, when you order 250 ml, you get a small carafe or a wine glass indicating the measurement. Not on Cunard, you just have to trust them..., but when you see the amount of wine in your glass, it sure does not look like one third of a bottle.

 

At Cunard, all alcoholic drinks are outrageously over prized! It must be Cunard's British heritage, to sell expensive drinks, carefully measured in tiny measurement cups. They sell you martinis in tiny glasses that are still less than half full unless you pay for a double shot. Anywhere else you get a reasonable amount of liquor poured into your glass. Cunard is being cheap when it comes to alcohol.

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Wines by the bottle are over prized enough on Cunard, but you get scammed when you order wine by the glass! They sell you wine at 150 ml (one fifth of a bottle) and 250 ml (one third of a bottle). Anywhere else, when you order 250 ml, you get a small carafe or a wine glass indicating the measurement. Not on Cunard, you just have to trust them..., but when you see the amount of wine in your glass, it sure does not look like one third of a bottle.

 

At Cunard, all alcoholic drinks are outrageously over prized! It must be Cunard's British heritage, to sell expensive drinks, carefully measured in tiny measurement cups. They sell you martinis in tiny glasses that are still less than half full unless you pay for a double shot. Anywhere else you get a reasonable amount of liquor poured into your glass. Cunard is being cheap when it comes to alcohol.

 

Nothing to do with British heritage because Cunard spirit sizes are not what is served by law in the UK and drinks prices in general around the UK are cheaper than onboard Cunard ships and in the US.

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Wines by the bottle are over prized enough on Cunard, but you get scammed when you order wine by the glass! They sell you wine at 150 ml (one fifth of a bottle) and 250 ml (one third of a bottle). Anywhere else, when you order 250 ml, you get a small carafe or a wine glass indicating the measurement. Not on Cunard, you just have to trust them..., but when you see the amount of wine in your glass, it sure does not look like one third of a bottle.

 

At Cunard, all alcoholic drinks are outrageously over prized! It must be Cunard's British heritage, to sell expensive drinks, carefully measured in tiny measurement cups. They sell you martinis in tiny glasses that are still less than half full unless you pay for a double shot. Anywhere else you get a reasonable amount of liquor poured into your glass. Cunard is being cheap when it comes to alcohol.

In the UK, 250 ml is a common large glass served in a glass not a carafe and often unmarked. A measure is used when pouring instead. Edited by Host Hattie

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Hatie. I think the point here is that we are trying to bring to Cunard’s attention cients objections to overpriced slcoholic drinks on their liners not the finite way they measure them. I believe rightly or wrongly they are losing clients and onboard business by their charges. Maybe they could provide an answer and not a cc moderator telling us what we already know.

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Hatie. I think the point here is that we are trying to bring to Cunard’s attention cients objections to overpriced slcoholic drinks on their liners not the finite way they measure them. I believe rightly or wrongly they are losing clients and onboard business by their charges. Maybe they could provide an answer and not a cc moderator telling us what we already know.
In that case you will need to contact Cunard directly, they don't post on this board.

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In the UK, 250 ml is a common large glass served in a glass not a carafe and often unmarked. A measure is used when pouring instead.

 

Indeed. In fact, I've never eaten in a smart restaurant on land where measures are used - the sommelier normally pours from a bottle at the table. It would look tacky in my view if Cunard moved to using measures for wine.

 

I also know this has been said before, but as someone who is lucky enough to stay at some fairly nice hotels around the world for work, Cunard drinks prices really aren't that bad. Yes they are more expensive than my local pub, but they are cheaper than a lot of high-end restaurants and hotels.

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Indeed. In fact, I've never eaten in a smart restaurant on land where measures are used - the sommelier normally pours from a bottle at the table. It would look tacky in my view if Cunard moved to using measures for wine.

 

I also know this has been said before, but as someone who is lucky enough to stay at some fairly nice hotels around the world for work, Cunard drinks prices really aren't that bad. Yes they are more expensive than my local pub, but they are cheaper than a lot of high-end restaurants and hotels.

We held my 65th in a 4star hotel in the South of England last year and the prices were roughly the same as Cunard.The difference is we don't drink in a 4star hotel every night for a fortnight.

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Curious. We have parallel and ongoing threads on the Cunard Board 1) extolling formal wear aboard ships in the evening and 2) complaining about the cost of drinks aboard the same ships and that one can buy the same wine or spirits cheaper at your local or at your supermarket. Which begs one to ask the last time you wore formal dress and ambled down the road to your pub for a pint or two.

 

The reality is that Cunard drink prices are on the high side for ships yet entirely in keeping with the prices charged say at a Chewton Glen or Victoria Hotel or any top end London or New York hotel. Indeed, cheaper than the later two examples in most cases. In the U.S., you'll pay $17.95 for a martini in most top end big city hotels.

 

Reading these threads one conjures up the incongruous image of tuxedoed and gowned passengers in their cabins at cocktail hour drinking their £6.95 cava from Tesco.

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It's interesting that the defenders of the pricing are the ones that don't pay anyway with their barrowloads of OBC.To clarify,on our recent 19 day QE cruise I actually paid £50 every night out of my own pocket for our drinks.Zilch OBC for us.

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Curious. We have parallel and ongoing threads on the Cunard Board 1) extolling formal wear aboard ships in the evening and 2) complaining about the cost of drinks aboard the same ships and that one can buy the same wine or spirits cheaper at your local or at your supermarket. Which begs one to ask the last time you wore formal dress and ambled down the road to your pub for a pint or two.

 

The reality is that Cunard drink prices are on the high side for ships yet entirely in keeping with the prices charged say at a Chewton Glen or Victoria Hotel or any top end London or New York hotel. Indeed, cheaper than the later two examples in most cases. In the U.S., you'll pay $17.95 for a martini in most top end big city hotels.

 

Reading these threads one conjures up the incongruous image of tuxedoed and gowned passengers in their cabins at cocktail hour drinking their £6.95 cava from Tesco.

 

Thank you! Very well said! :)

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those very expensive prices on Cunard started when Cunard was purchased by Carnival

years ago the drinks and wines were even cheap -

if you do not take a package Oceania is even more expensive

the time of real duty free drinks and wines on cruise ships is gone ...

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The reality is that Cunard drink prices are on the high side for ships yet entirely in keeping with the prices charged say at a Chewton Glen or Victoria Hotel or any top end London or New York hotel. Indeed, cheaper than the later two examples in most cases. In the U.S., you'll pay $17.95 for a martini in most top end big city hotels.

 

Reading these threads one conjures up the incongruous image of tuxedoed and gowned passengers in their cabins at cocktail hour drinking their £6.95 cava from Tesco.

 

 

Why should Cunard drink prices be judged alongside top end big city hotels? Cunard is not a top end cruise line and is not in the same calibre as a top end luxury hotel in a big city like NY. Cunard drink prices should be compared among its cruise line peers, in which case Cunard is quite a bit more expensive for lower quality drinks. It's also the only line I've sailed where the mixer is charged seperately from the alcohol, which is nothing more than a back ended way of charging more for the drink. Again I don't care if this is the way some hotels or pubs in the UK do things, or even P&O for that matter which I understand is the case. It's not industry standard. If Cunard really wants to do things the British way, then change over the onboard currency to pounds instead of US dollars. Never understood that one, but funny I never see people complain about it.

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Our complaints over drinks prices on Cunard are since the change in measure sizes for spirits and the additional cost of the mixer, making the cost increase significantly in one go. The cost of the wine is also very high compared to the other Carnival owned ships that we have been on.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

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Our complaints over drinks prices on Cunard are since the change in measure sizes for spirits and the additional cost of the mixer, making the cost increase significantly in one go. The cost of the wine is also very high compared to the other Carnival owned ships that we have been on.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

 

 

 

Exactly. Same with me. I think this change occurred around the same time QM2 came out of her major refit. I never had issues with drinks on Cunard before that.

 

I sail on most cruise lines, and not a single one charges separately for a mixer. It’s also nice to see some American style free pouring on many lines, even Princess a sister line to Cunard and also with ships registered in Bermuda. Not so on Cunard. It’s an exact pour.

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Exactly. Same with me. I think this change occurred around the same time QM2 came out of her major refit. I never had issues with drinks on Cunard before that.

 

I sail on most cruise lines, and not a single one charges separately for a mixer. It’s also nice to see some American style free pouring on many lines, even Princess a sister line to Cunard and also with ships registered in Bermuda. Not so on Cunard. It’s an exact pour.

I hate to disagree as we're fighting the same corner,but after 10 Princess cruises we've always had liquor poured via measuring thimbles (seems like a good name for them,lol).Cheers,Brian.

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I hate to disagree as we're fighting the same corner,but after 10 Princess cruises we've always had liquor poured via measuring thimbles (seems like a good name for them,lol).Cheers,Brian.

 

 

 

I was just on ROYAL PRINCESS a couple months ago and I’m Elite status with them so I’ve sailed them often. Most of my bartenders would pour the alcohol in a standard measure then pour a little more from the bottle into the glass as they poured the alcohol from the measure into the glass. Of course I could only see this if I was sitting at the bar chatting with them. But even when I ordered a drink in a lounge it was stronger than what I get on Cunard. I’m guessing the American standard pour is larger than that of Cunard.

 

Sorry you didn’t have the same experience.

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It does pay to be a teetotaler on cruises and no mistake. I don't think Cunard is alone in making the passage fare more of an entry fee at the gate of an amusement park and everything inside costs... extra. Nickel and dimeing.. except it's not that cheap. Oceania's drink prices are... high. But so is their $60 pp per day drinks package. Indeed, I am convinced they make it high to encourage folks to buy the package. We found we could drink pretty well and often on QE last year (we bought the best wine package as well) and SAVE money compared to the Oceania drinks package.

 

The pressure to have fares more inclusive (as Viking and Azamara do) is clearly out there but Cunard is catering to a more diverse market than they are and, of course, non drinkers would object for all good reason.

 

But yes, the days of the $3.00 bottle of Soviet sparkling wine and those huge brown bottles of Polish beer for .65 cents on STEFAN BATORY are gone for good. Then again, so is STEFAN BATORY.

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We held my 65th in a 4star hotel in the South of England last year and the prices were roughly the same as Cunard.The difference is we don't drink in a 4star hotel every night for a fortnight.

 

The other difference is that the hotel was paying very high duty and VAT on all the alcohol it sold.

 

e.g around 50p duty and 20% VAT on a pint of beer; £2.16 + 20% VAT on a bottle of wine.

 

Cunard, and all the other cruise lines, don't do that.

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those very expensive prices on Cunard started when Cunard was purchased by Carnival

years ago the drinks and wines were even cheap -

if you do not take a package Oceania is even more expensive

the time of real duty free drinks and wines on cruise ships is gone ...

 

Cunard was purchased by Carnival in 1998 and we cruised before that and drinks and wine were always expensive and drinks in bars and wine in restaurants have never been duty free.

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