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HAL Beverage Packages

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28 minutes ago, teacherman said:

We paid extra for the Explore 4 package.  It was my understanding that it was drinks priced $9.00 or less AND the 15% service charge was INCLUDED with the package.  Is that the way it works?

Exactly. Just look at the menu price. $9 or less and you're not golden. 

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2 hours ago, teacherman said:

We paid extra for the Explore 4 package.  It was my understanding that it was drinks priced $9.00 or less AND the 15% service charge was INCLUDED with the package.  Is that the way it works?

Yes, you got it.   The only price you have to concern yourself with is the menu price for the drink.  The 15% service charge is covered by the SBP which is included in Explore-4.   If you actually purchase the SBP outright for $44.95 per day plus 15% SC, your total daily out-of-pocket is $51.70.   A typical cocktail, wine, beer is $7.50 plus 15%, or $8.66 if you pay as you go.  Divide $51.70 by $8.66 and you get 6 drinks.  The break-even point for the SBP is 6 beverages priced at $7.50.   After that, you are drinking free.   Even though HAL says that specialty coffees, soda and bottled water are included in your 15 drink daily limit, many posts on CC say that is not true.   Only alcoholic beverages count towards your 15 daily limit. 

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2 hours ago, POA1 said:

Exactly. Just look at the menu price. $9 or less and you're not golden. 

Sorry. That should have said "and you're golden." Not "not golden." I blame the tiny post box on the phone version of CC, combined with my sausage fingers and the phone keyboard's predictive typing.

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do they scan your card or something to keep track of the 15 drinks?

 

we purchased the SBP backage for our Dec 23 sailing.  that was our xmas present to each other  I need to start working up my tolerance  haha

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8 hours ago, POA1 said:

 

I'll test this for you in 10 days. I drink Maker's Mark on the rocks. They always offer me a double because a single jigger of whiskey in a glass of ice is just like sadness. It needs a friend.

Maker’s Mark is my poison as well. It took a few days and finding the right palm to grease before I could get doubles on Oosterdam in ANY bar with my EBP. Either HAL has changed their policy or it really is up to the Beverage Mgr du jour. “Sorry Mum Kris no doubles, 3 minute wait between pours”. I’ll be very interested in your test results!

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27 minutes ago, KrissyCruises said:

Maker’s Mark is my poison as well. It took a few days and finding the right palm to grease before I could get doubles on Oosterdam in ANY bar with my EBP. Either HAL has changed their policy or it really is up to the Beverage Mgr du jour. “Sorry Mum Kris no doubles, 3 minute wait between pours”. I’ll be very interested in your test results!

 

Excellent choice of whiskey! One of our first reconnaissance missions is finding the bartenders with the best pours. We usually get them identified before dinner on day one. Since most usually work at a couple of bars throughout the day, we try to learn their schedules. We always try to be friendly, say "Please" and "Thank you," and of course, show our appreciation. Once we've ID'd our bartenders, we can usually move from the bar to a table, since the bartenders know our order and can steer good servers our way. (This time-tested method works equally well on land.) 

Edited by POA1
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12 hours ago, teacherman said:

We paid extra for the Explore 4 package.  It was my understanding that it was drinks priced $9.00 or less AND the 15% service charge was INCLUDED with the package.  Is that the way it works?

 

Yes it is.

 

As long as your drink is $9 or less it is included in the package.  The service charge is taken care of with the package.

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When you upgrade from the SBP (via Explore 4) to the EBP do you pay the difference of the pre-cruise purchase price of $44.95  or the on-board selling price of $49.95?  I do understand there will also be 15% gratuity added to this upgrade cost.

 

 

 

 

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13 minutes ago, kb4683 said:

When you upgrade from the SBP (via Explore 4) to the EBP do you pay the difference of the pre-cruise purchase price of $44.95  or the on-board selling price of $49.95?  I do understand there will also be 15% gratuity added to this upgrade cost.

 

 

 

 

It depends on what you paid originally.  I'm interested in seeing how they treat Explore 4, because the selling literature and website valued the SBP at the higher rate. If they were being honest, the Explore 4 SBP to EBP upgrade should be $11.50/pp/day.

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6 minutes ago, POA1 said:

It depends on what you paid originally.  I'm interested in seeing how they treat Explore 4, because the selling literature and website valued the SBP at the higher rate. If they were being honest, the Explore 4 SBP to EBP upgrade should be $11.50/pp/day.

 

Thanks.  I agree with $11.50, but one can always  hope it will be the other way at $5.75 😜.

 

Either way, we are planning to do it just for the better selection of wines.  Of course, our cruise isn't until April and with the rumors of the wine list changing, we will just have to wait and see.

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2 minutes ago, kb4683 said:

 

Thanks.  I agree with $11.50, but one can always  hope it will be the other way at $5.75 😜.

 

Either way, we are planning to do it just for the better selection of wines.  Of course, our cruise isn't until April and with the rumors of the wine list changing, we will just have to wait and see.

 

If things have changed by the 16th, I'll cover them in my thread from the Zuiderdam. Either way, I'll cover the current situation with respect to the wines and drink packages.

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48 minutes ago, POA1 said:

It depends on what you paid originally.  I'm interested in seeing how they treat Explore 4, because the selling literature and website valued the SBP at the higher rate. If they were being honest, the Explore 4 SBP to EBP upgrade should be $11.50/pp/day.

 

I'll be interested to see how they treat Explore4 too.  

We have it and plan to go to Elite for the wines 🙂 

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20 minutes ago, kazu said:

 

I'll be interested to see how they treat Explore4 too.  

We have it and plan to go to Elite for the wines 🙂 

 

Excellent! Hopefully you'll get to benefit from our pioneering Explore 4 2018 SBP Research Project.  It took us several attempts to get them to sell us the us the upgrade in 2016, but I'm much more hopeful this year.

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1 hour ago, POA1 said:

 

Excellent! Hopefully you'll get to benefit from our pioneering Explore 4 2018 SBP Research Project.  It took us several attempts to get them to sell us the us the upgrade in 2016, but I'm much more hopeful this year.

 

 

I remember your experience well from last scientific live report 😉 

I've always found your pioneering research helpful 😄 

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I hope this hasn't already been asked and answered, but does HAL offer a discount for purchasing the Elite Beverage Package ("EBP") prior to the cruise? Just yesterday, a HAL representative told me over the phone that there's a $5.00 a day (per person) discount for buying the Signature Beverage Package ("SBP") prior to the cruise, but no discount for purchasing the EBP in advance. That seems odd to me; was she correct? We're taking a 30-night Volendam cruise beginning February 2, 2019, so if we could save $10.00 per day (for two people) that would be nice. We've had the SBP in the past, but feel that the EBP offers a much better wine-by-the-glass selection.

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23 minutes ago, jimdee3636 said:

but does HAL offer a discount for purchasing the Elite Beverage Package ("EBP") prior to the cruise?

 

Sadly, no. Only the SBP has the pre-cruise discount. 

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Well, while discussing this topic with a friend (better known as The Grinch) she asked, "How do you know the wine you are served is really the wine you ordered when ordering by the glass in the MDR?"  I have to admit, this question made me stop and think.

 

Inquiring minds.........

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On ‎12‎/‎7‎/‎2018 at 6:56 AM, kb4683 said:

 

Thanks.  I agree with $11.50, but one can always  hope it will be the other way at $5.75 😜.

 

Either way, we are planning to do it just for the better selection of wines.  Of course, our cruise isn't until April and with the rumors of the wine list changing, we will just have to wait and see.

Even at $11.50 that is not a bad upgrade price, drink one glass of $15 wine and you are ahead each day. After reading this thread we are going to try and upgrade for the better wines too. This upgrade would cost less than purchasing any wine package since we already have the  X4 SBP.

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7 minutes ago, kb4683 said:

Well, while discussing this topic with a friend (better known as The Grinch) she asked, "How do you know the wine you are served is really the wine you ordered when ordering by the glass in the MDR?"  I have to admit, this question made me stop and think.

 

Inquiring minds......…

I wonder if you can ask to have the wine poured at your table in front of you?

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10 minutes ago, kb4683 said:

Well, while discussing this topic with a friend (better known as The Grinch) she asked, "How do you know the wine you are served is really the wine you ordered when ordering by the glass in the MDR?"  I have to admit, this question made me stop and think.

 

Inquiring minds.........

 

Trust me, you can tell the difference between the wine that is $9 and under and the more expensive choices.

I might not be a Sommelier but I can tell if I am drinking Zonin or Ruffino.  And, I certainly know the taste of Nobilo 😉 

 

Actually, the same question can be asked in any restaurant where they offer different house wines 😉 

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13 minutes ago, kazu said:

 

Actually, the same question can be asked in any restaurant where they offer different house wines 😉 

 

Very good point!  Yessss to Nobilo!

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we have had X4 drink package in the past. I just order doubles and only once had a problem in the Sea Bar.  All the other bars poured up to 3 shots at a time per card. A tip early in the cruise usually covers any requests you make. I didn't like Nobilio. Ordered Drylands  SB  from the cellar 3 package. Much better.

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