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kqcallahan

Another Beverage Package question (Sorry)

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I'm sure the answer is here but after reading over a dozen I feel I need someone to just say what they know :)

 

My friend and her husband. Hoping to do first cruise together. Her husband just wants a beer (so easy signature package for him). I'm guessing for her to go to elite he has to too huh?

 

Thanks everyone!!

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We just got off a 2 week cruise on Koningsdam using no bev. package. My wife and I drink heavy moderately. I did the math and we came out better off paying by the drink. A beer is about $7. Coctails are in the $7.25 to $8.00 range.

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15 drink a day limit. Is this alcohol based drinks? Or all? Does holland cut you off if you drink mostly water and pop?

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15 is 15 so choose your 15 with the ' limit' in mind. :)

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15 is 15 so choose your 15 with the ' limit' in mind. :)

 

Thanks, as I'm looking at drink packages some lines say 15 alcoholic. Was hoping this would be so for Holland as well. But helps me in my decision.

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15 drink a day limit. Is this alcohol based drinks? Or all? Does holland cut you off if you drink mostly water and pop?

They won't cut you off, but will start charging you for any drink over the 15.

 

If you drink mostly water and pop, look at the Quench package.

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One needs alcohol other person doesn't. But both have to be in the same package. BAH

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Depending on how much you guys might drink and if you won't drink the 15 drinks per day - perhaps look into just a regular beverage card say $250 - that way it eliminates all the separate charges on your bill. Perhaps buy a couple bottles of liquor (HAL has pretty good pricing comparably) for the stateroom (tip - have them delivered while at sea - not in port). Beer is a pretty good deal by the bucket - hubby could drink a few and and bring a couple back to the room each time...you can bring up to 12 cans of soda on board per person for mixers...plus don't forget the bottle of wine or champagne allowed per person...and the wine packages are pretty reasonable as well. Hubby and I had the signature package last time and it was a waste for us....we honestly just didn't have the time to drink that many drinks each day (due to port stops off ship) so it wasn't worth it for us...but I will say I tried some different drinks with it....Have fun!

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If you think that you might be extra thirsty, tell your servers you want to pay for water and soda. Save your SBC drinks for the more expensive choices.

 

FWIW, we've never hit the 15 drink limit and we usually get 2 bottles of water each.

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If your friends are looking at a cruise that is now available with the Explore-4. (signature drink package and Pinnacle Grill). help them to do the math...

We did this, and the cost of booking with the package was half the cost of purchasing these things. So, even if one isn't a real drinker, it could be reasonable. You have to look at the fares and get out the calculator!!! The value can vary widely, depending on the cruise booking.

 

I do not know, at all... But, I hear the real advantage to the Elite package comes with the wines.

For us, we would bring a couple bottles of good wine that we like onboard.. And would def. take advantage of the signature package for all other drinks and cocktails, and coffees. I believe that the cocktails and spirits under the regular drink package are okay. Not just super cheap stuff????

 

If your friend is a wine drinker, or wants the fancy really more top-shelf stuff covered by Elite, then yes, that could be a factor.

 

15 is okay with me, that is a water, coffee, cocktail, etc... each hour....

But, yes, their 15-TOTAL policy needs to get with the program and change to be in line with Princess and others!!!!

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My Dh and I sailed very often, always had a drik before dinner, ofgten one ager dinner, and glassess of iced water all day but never bough t a drink package. We alwa ys paid for our dirnks as we got them and never flelt 'over-billed'

DH liked top shelf scotch and I drink wine and sometimes iquers after dinner.

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Doing the math, the break even point is about 8 alcoholic drinks per day. Don’t waste your 15 drink limit on cheap stuff like soda.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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Better deal is to get one of the prepaid drink cards and use it to pay per drink.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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If you think that you might be extra thirsty, tell your servers you want to pay for water and soda. Save your SBC drinks for the more expensive choices.

 

FWIW, we've never hit the 15 drink limit and we usually get 2 bottles of water each.

 

We had Explore4 for the first time for the 1st segment of our cruise which was a TA and primarily sea days.

 

We also got water with our package and never hit the 15 drink limit. We normally got 2 bottles of water each as well.

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The break-even point is 5.6 drinks per day, based on a $7.95 drink plus 15% service charge. Do the math. A $7.95 cocktail plus 15% is $9.14 if you don't have the package and pay as you go. The SBP costs $44.95 per day plus 15%, or $51.70 per day. Divide $51.70 by $9.14 and you get 5.6 drinks. Round that up to 6 drinks and after that, you are drinking free. If you don't think you are going to drink 5 or 6 cocktails, or the equivalent in beer or wine, then the package is not for you.

The requirement of both people in a cabin buying the same package is to prevent sharing. If people were honest and didn't try to scam the system by sharing, then we wouldn't be having this discussion. You have one passenger with the regular package and the other has the elite package in the same cabin. The passenger with the regular package wants a higher priced drink. The person with the elite package buys a higher priced drink for their cabin-mate, slides that drink to their friend, and then orders the same for themselves a few minutes later. Sometimes they get away with it, sometimes not. When the bartenders and waiters catch this happening, the result is not very pretty, and very expensive to the offending passenger. To prevent this type of confrontation and embarrassment, HAL requires both passengers to have the same type of package. It's the same as two friends on a plane, one in first class, the other in economy. After takeoff, the guy in first has a few free drinks, and then they both go to the bathroom. When they come back to their seats, they swap cabins, and the coach guy orders a couple of free drinks. If the flight attendants are not paying attention, they get away with this scam. If they are alert, both are in deep trouble.

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Hmm, now I'm having doubts about having ordered the drink package. My cruise leaves in a couple of weeks. Can I still cancel?

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Hmm, now I'm having doubts about having ordered the drink package. My cruise leaves in a couple of weeks. Can I still cancel?
You should be able to cancel it. Their system treats it like an excursion.

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Perhaps buy a couple bottles of liquor (HAL has pretty good pricing comparably) for the stateroom (tip - have them delivered while at sea - not in port).

 

Can you expand on this point a bit? Not sure I understand the advantage.

 

Thanks...

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Just booked a cruise with the Explore 4 package via *************.com (ask to price both ways). Granted, we have a past passenger discount and with the Explore 4 package it only added $400 to the cost of the cabin ($200 each). It really does pay to shop around for the best rate and compare the packages.

 

Last HAL cruise my two boys had the drink package, Merry Christmas fellas. Water and beer during the day, cocktail hour, wine at dinner, the wine Stewart suggested dessert shots, drinks at the casino at night. To my surprise, those two collage kids exceeded the package 2 times by 1 or 2 drinks. However, those were the at sea days. On port days, I really don't see how your going to exceed the limit. In hind site, they should have gotten a couple of beers on port days and stored them in the mini bar. But boys will be boys. Anyway, so my wife really does not drink at all. Not worth the drink package for two if only one drinks (I do like how other cruise lines will let you buy for one). At the start we hauled in bottle water, diet soda and a couple of bottles of wine which HAL lets you do. A pain but worth the $'s saved. I purchased the special bucket of beers at a discount and stored in my cabin mini fridge. I had the $250 drink card but only really used about $125. The rest was refunded at the end of the trip. I have to say on those port days, we found the local bars to have better beer and mixed drinks than the ship. You will want to sample the local beers as most are very good. Keep that in mind when deciding on the package.

 

My pet peeve if you do get the drink package, HAL will not let you know when you exceed. The kicker is, if you get a few bottles of $3 water in the morning, then at night you have a $8 beer, you are charged for the $8 beer. So much for customer friendly.

 

I do like having the drink package though even if I wind up paying more over all. Often I find I want one of those delicious looking things the other guy has. If I have the drink package, no problem give it a try. If I don't have the package, I get caught up in the "gee I wonder how much it costs and does it fit in the budget, gosh what if I don't like it." And, I hate that when I'm on vacation.

 

Cheers to all and have a great cruise!

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Perhaps buy a couple bottles of liquor (HAL has pretty good pricing comparably) for the stateroom (tip - have them delivered while at sea - not in port).

 

Can you expand on this point a bit? Not sure I understand the advantage.

 

Thanks...

 

For example - went on a horrifying (never again) Carnival Cruise last year and purchased a $75 bottle of Sky Vodka for the cabin

 

HAL prices much better - this is from 2017 but should be pretty close...

 

http://www.rogerjett-photography.com/here/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Spirits-and-Beer-for-Stateroom.pdf

 

http://www.***********/info/carnival-cruise-lines/alcohol-prices-selections.php

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For example - went on a horrifying (never again) Carnival Cruise last year and purchased a $75 bottle of Sky Vodka for the cabin

 

HAL prices much better - this is from 2017 but should be pretty close...

 

http://www.rogerjett-photography.com/here/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Spirits-and-Beer-for-Stateroom.pdf

 

http://www.***********/info/carnival-cruise-lines/alcohol-prices-selections.php

 

We had the same experience with Celebrity last winter; where once a bottle of Rye Whiskey was under $45, the cost this time around would have been closer to $80 (we declined). Fast forward to HAL a month ago and we were able to purchase the same bottle online pre-cruise for $40; coupled with a $25 soda card that gave us $50 worth of cola and we had enough to provide a pre-dinner cocktail every evening.

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Perhaps buy a couple bottles of liquor (HAL has pretty good pricing comparably) for the stateroom (tip - have them delivered while at sea - not in port).

 

Can you expand on this point a bit? Not sure I understand the advantage.

 

Thanks...

 

The reply you are asking about refers to pre-ordering before you cruise. If you are ordering on board be sure you have read or When and Where as it normally says if taxes will be charged on drinks until you are in International Waters or ask if you are unsure.

 

As to ordering in advance:

 

If you ask it to be delivered on embarkation day in your cabin in port, there can be taxes charged.

 

If you ask it to be delivered at sea, it's usually in your cabin before you sail anyways and there is no tax.

 

Not all embarkation ports have tax attached. One thing I've noticed when I pre-order on line. If I ask for it to be delivered on embarkation day and there is no "at sea" option, there are no taxes in that port.

 

If there is an option to choose your cabin or "at sea", there are usually taxes in that port. My rule of thumb - if "at sea" is an option, it's best to do that.

 

Hope this helps.

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I just checked our invoice - we pre-ordered a bottle of Seagrams V.O. to be delivered to our stateroom at embarkation in Montreal. We were charged $40 (US), no taxes added.

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I just checked our invoice - we pre-ordered a bottle of Seagrams V.O. to be delivered to our stateroom at embarkation in Montreal. We were charged $40 (US), no taxes added.
That seems reasonable for a full liter.

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That seems reasonable for a full liter.

As Canadian pricing on liquor is generally quite a bit higher than in the US, HAL's prices aren't far off what we we pay at our local liquor store. In fact, when currency exchange rates were better, I've paid less for a HAL bottle than at home.

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Post 21 " I purchased the special bucket of beers at a discount and stored in my cabin mini fridge."

 

 

Good idea, but you will not have a cold beer to drink, as the fridge is only cool, not cold....I like my beer cold.

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Hmm. don't recall the beer not being cold out of the mini fridge. Do have the cabin Stewart unstock it at the beginning of the trip to maximize cooling efficiency. However, If you want it colder, you can request a bucket of ice from the cabin Stewart early in the day. But for that much trouble, just order and pay the additional $'s. Then again, 30% of the time your beer is going to be luke warm from the bar, they don't necessarily keep it ice cold either. Alas, these are the things you have to do when you are on a budget! Back to my point that having the drink package which may cost more but is worth the convenience of being able to get a "cold one" if you stepped away from your beer can for a minute in the Caribbean heat.

 

All this talk, I'm getting thirsty.

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Any bottles of liquor you purchase from HAL must be consumed in your cabin. So, depending on the liquor, you will need ice, and possibly some mixers and fruit. If you have a huge suite, and like to hang out in the cabin, then that will work. But the beverage package (or paying as you go) is the only option when you are out and about the ship. We have always found the SBP to pay for itself, but that all depends on your particular level of drinking. And don't base it on what you do at home. You're on vacation, the captain is driving, and people tend to loosen up a bit when on vacation. Six drinks a day is the break-even point. If you think you will not hit that level, that pay as you go. But remember, specialty coffees are included, sodas, bottles of water, all beers, almost every cocktail you could imagine (even a Wang-Wang, which has 6 different types of alcohol is included). The only place the SBP falls a little short is wines. If you must have your favorite wine, and that is all you drink, then the SBP is not for you. You may consider the Elite package, which ups the price to $15 per drink, and that covers most wines. It costs $10 per day extra above the $44.95 rate.

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Depending on how much you guys might drink and if you won't drink the 15 drinks per day - perhaps look into just a regular beverage card say $250 - that way it eliminates all the separate charges on your bill. Perhaps buy a couple bottles of liquor (HAL has pretty good pricing comparably) for the stateroom (tip - have them delivered while at sea - not in port). Beer is a pretty good deal by the bucket - hubby could drink a few and and bring a couple back to the room each time...you can bring up to 12 cans of soda on board per person for mixers...plus don't forget the bottle of wine or champagne allowed per person...and the wine packages are pretty reasonable as well. Hubby and I had the signature package last time and it was a waste for us....we honestly just didn't have the time to drink that many drinks each day (due to port stops off ship) so it wasn't worth it for us...but I will say I tried some different drinks with it....Have fun!

There are 3 happy hours. Buy one drink, get the another for $2 .

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One needs alcohol other person doesn't. But both have to be in the same package. BAH

 

If the person who does not consume alcohol has a note from their doctor stating they must abstain for medical reasons then they do not have to both be on the same package.

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Thanks for the helpful info. We have never bought the drink package because our limit is maybe 3 drinks a day each.

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Here's a little question add-on: If you buy an Elite drinks package before boarding, do you avoid the 15% gratuity addition?

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Here's a little question add-on: If you buy an Elite drinks package before boarding, do you avoid the 15% gratuity addition?

 

No, you have to pay the 15%

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No, you have to pay the 15%

 

Thanks for the information.

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There are 3 happy hours. Buy one drink, get the another for $2 .

Can you take two beers away unopened at happy hour? I rarely drink at those hours, but wouldn’t mind having them in my cabin, early evening.

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Some cruise lines require all beers to be opened when served, to reduce the possibility of sharing. I have not had that problem on HAL. I ask for a couple of Grolsch beers (bottles) unopened, and they are always happy to accommodate me. And these purchases were with the SBP..

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