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Another Beverage Package question (Sorry)


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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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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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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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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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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..

 

Good to know. Dh and I enjoy beer on the balcony on warm sea days. Would be nice to get a couple each with the beverage package and just keep 2 closed and on ice until we get done with the first.

 

Also, since you enjoy Grolsch you might know, is Grolsch available for purchase on HMC? I can not remember which beers HAL specifically offers there.. I know we have had Heineken. (and no worries, I know the beverage packages don't work on HMC, just curious for Dh's sake).

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