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MSC Drink Package Upgrade - Easy to Premium

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My Wife and I and our 2 kids 10 & 13 will be sailing on the Seaside in July with an Aurea Balcony Package.  What is the difference between the easy package for kids and the premium package?  Only for the kids I am asking I know the difference for the adults and do the kids have to upgrade as well.  It seems like the only difference between the packages are the alcohol.  So my question is do all 4 of us need to upgrade or just my wife and I.  I think its a bargain at 378 from easy to Premium for wife and I  but it makes no sense if its going to be 756 with two kids and they get no extra benefits.

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So question,  if I'm booked with the Easy All-In package.  And I want a beer that is not Heineken or Miller Lite, but is like say $1 more.  I get charged the full amount of the beer, not just the difference?  Not talking about top shelf liquor.  Talking about a beer that is a different brand and only a $1 difference 

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4 minutes ago, MrMike45 said:

So question,  if I'm booked with the Easy All-In package.  And I want a beer that is not Heineken or Miller Lite, but is like say $1 more.  I get charged the full amount of the beer, not just the difference?  Not talking about top shelf liquor.  Talking about a beer that is a different brand and only a $1 difference 

correct plus the 15%

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So if i upgrade to he Premium Plus Package - we will not have to pay anything additional for any drinks except bottles of wine? 

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I've been on the Seaside the last two Februarys.  Booked this year's trip after the major gutting of the drink packages and made the mistake of not realizing the Aurea experience now only includes the Easy drinks.

 

I was debating whether to upgrade to Premium or to Premium Plus.  We ended up upgrading to Premium (not Plus) before boarding, for $189 each, and saved the service fees on the upgrade by handling it before boarding.

 

Premium covers all drinks up to $12.  I was concerned that most of what I wanted might be priced at $12.01 but it wasn't.  I was able to have any beer, Woodford Reserve bourbon --- trying to think of more examples of things I drank.  Suffice it to say that anything I ordered was included.

 

There was one small hiccup in the Venchi bar (they serve gelato and a number of chocolate-based beverages).  There's an electronic display when you walk into the Venchi bar advertising several of their drinks.  One of them is called Bubbles and Chocolate, which is champagne and some very tasty chocolate sprinkles.  It's advertised on the display as costing $10.95.  When the wait staff enters it into the iPad-like devices they use for room charges, it comes up as $12.95.  That's more than $12, so it seems like it won't be covered under the Premium package.

 

I had this drink a few times.  Each time, they worked some magic and zeroed it out.  One bartender tried to charge me the full price but I motioned over to one of the bar servers who had zeroed it out before, told him she had made it work, and he made it work, too.  (By the way, the Venchi bar staff is awesome.)

 

Couple more things:

 

> gelato is no longer included in any package, even Premium Plus

 

> the Coca-Cola self-serve fountain wasn't included with Premium.  I could have had a thousand cans of Coke, but ended up paying about $2 when I dispensed some from the fountain in the buffet.  I assume the self-service beer is also excluded, but I didn't try it.

 

> premium coffee and bottled water (Acqua Panna or Nestle) are included even in the Easy package.  I honestly drank more bottled water than anything else, and appreciate that MSC includes bottled water, unlike so many of their competitors.

 

I think Premium is the sweet spot.  Sticking with Easy would have been pretty frustrating.  If I'd upgraded to Premium Plus, I would have dramatically overpaid.  I can't think of anything I would have had to drink that would have justified Plus, since there was genuinely never a time when I tried to order something and was told "sorry - that's not on your package."

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As we booked last August,  we have the 'All Inclusive Restaurant & Bar' (Europe cruise)

 

Does anyone know how much it would be to upgrade to the Premium package? Or even if this is possible?

 

 

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16 minutes ago, Weby72 said:

As we booked last August,  we have the 'All Inclusive Restaurant & Bar' (Europe cruise)

 

Does anyone know how much it would be to upgrade to the Premium package? Or even if this is possible?

 

 

It is possible, but not advisable.  As long as MSC continues to honor the old packages your European version of the Classic remains comparable to the Premium package, some argue it's better as it includes snacks such as gelato.  The only thing I've seen is on some European sailings MSC was limiting the beers available by the bottle versus what was previously offered.  Caribbean sailings from the US still offer a good variety of beers by the bottle. After a quick search I only found the upgrade list in USD, but it's an easy conversion.  You would be from Classic to Premium at $15pp/day.

 

 

Upgrade List Nov 2018.JPG

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17 hours ago, mack36 said:

I've been on the Seaside the last two Februarys.  Booked this year's trip after the major gutting of the drink packages and made the mistake of not realizing the Aurea experience now only includes the Easy drinks.

 

I was debating whether to upgrade to Premium or to Premium Plus.  We ended up upgrading to Premium (not Plus) before boarding, for $189 each, and saved the service fees on the upgrade by handling it before boarding.

 

Premium covers all drinks up to $12.  I was concerned that most of what I wanted might be priced at $12.01 but it wasn't.  I was able to have any beer, Woodford Reserve bourbon --- trying to think of more examples of things I drank.  Suffice it to say that anything I ordered was included.

 

There was one small hiccup in the Venchi bar (they serve gelato and a number of chocolate-based beverages).  There's an electronic display when you walk into the Venchi bar advertising several of their drinks.  One of them is called Bubbles and Chocolate, which is champagne and some very tasty chocolate sprinkles.  It's advertised on the display as costing $10.95.  When the wait staff enters it into the iPad-like devices they use for room charges, it comes up as $12.95.  That's more than $12, so it seems like it won't be covered under the Premium package.

 

I had this drink a few times.  Each time, they worked some magic and zeroed it out.  One bartender tried to charge me the full price but I motioned over to one of the bar servers who had zeroed it out before, told him she had made it work, and he made it work, too.  (By the way, the Venchi bar staff is awesome.)

 

Couple more things:

 

> gelato is no longer included in any package, even Premium Plus

 

> the Coca-Cola self-serve fountain wasn't included with Premium.  I could have had a thousand cans of Coke, but ended up paying about $2 when I dispensed some from the fountain in the buffet.  I assume the self-service beer is also excluded, but I didn't try it.

 

> premium coffee and bottled water (Acqua Panna or Nestle) are included even in the Easy package.  I honestly drank more bottled water than anything else, and appreciate that MSC includes bottled water, unlike so many of their competitors.

 

I think Premium is the sweet spot.  Sticking with Easy would have been pretty frustrating.  If I'd upgraded to Premium Plus, I would have dramatically overpaid.  I can't think of anything I would have had to drink that would have justified Plus, since there was genuinely never a time when I tried to order something and was told "sorry - that's not on your package."

Thanks for these comments, sailing in April with Easy...been thinking Premium is my sweet spot...for the Bride and I, sounds perfect...now to call and upgrade...

Edited by PTC DAWG

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7 hours ago, Até said:

It is possible, but not advisable.  As long as MSC continues to honor the old packages your European version of the Classic remains comparable to the Premium package, some argue it's better as it includes snacks such as gelato.  The only thing I've seen is on some European sailings MSC was limiting the beers available by the bottle versus what was previously offered.  Caribbean sailings from the US still offer a good variety of beers by the bottle. After a quick search I only found the upgrade list in USD, but it's an easy conversion.  You would be from Classic to Premium at $15pp/day.

 

 

Upgrade List Nov 2018.JPG

 

Ate ... those prices only relate to US-based sailings.  They will not apply for a cruise in the Med (which is where the poster who posed the question is sailing).

 

It's also not quite true that the "European version of the Classic remains comparable to the Premium package" as the old Classic package (for US sailings) was more inclusive than the Med's Restaurant & Bar package (which was a lot cheaper than Classic and had a more limited offering).

 

This is the problem with MSC having different prices for their packages in different regions.

Edited by Beamafar

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We are sailing in July - -out of Miami, 

Im sad that Gelato is excluded.  

we are thinking on doing Premium Plus - -so besides gelato - -what else does the PP exclude? Does anyone have the breakdown?

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3 minutes ago, blueeyes_two1 said:

We are sailing in July - -out of Miami, 

Im sad that Gelato is excluded.  

we are thinking on doing Premium Plus - -so besides gelato - -what else does the PP exclude? Does anyone have the breakdown?

Lots of info here

 

https://www.msccruisesusa.com/en-us/Manage-Your-Booking/All-Inclusive-Packages.aspx

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6 minutes ago, blueeyes_two1 said:

We are sailing in July - -out of Miami, 

Im sad that Gelato is excluded.  

we are thinking on doing Premium Plus - -so besides gelato - -what else does the PP exclude? Does anyone have the breakdown?

 

Better to focus on what it does include (the new drinks packages are just that - DRINKS, which is why gelato is now not included).  However, with PP you get the items from the room service menu (which the old Deluxe package also included):

 

PREMIUM PLUS

 

Unlimited consumption of all drinks by the glass, with no price limit! Enjoy the finest beverages available, and the freedom to quench your thirst however, whenever and wherever you like! Drinks and food from the minibar and the room service menu and drinks from theme bar menus are all included as well. This offer also entitles you to a 30% discount on bottles of wine and champagne from our wine lists. You can order your drinks in all onboard bars, as well as the self-service buffet and restaurants, including the speciality restaurants.

TERMS & CONDITIONS: This package is for personal use only and valid for one booking at a time. The ID card issued with the package is non-transferrable. Abusing the terms of the package may result in the service being withdrawn and the remaining days not being refunded. The price of the package applies to each day of the cruise except for the day of disembarkation; the package cannot be purchased on a daily basis. Once activated on board, the package cannot be terminated and refunded. The package must be booked by all guests occupying the same cabin, or travelling together and wishing to eat at the same table, including minors who must book the Child version of the package. The package is not obligatory for infants under 3 years old (i.e. who have not yet reached their 3rd birthday). The following items are not included in the package: tobacco, souvenir glasses, ice cream menu and retail items.

Edited by Beamafar

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10 hours ago, Até said:

It is possible, but not advisable.  As long as MSC continues to honor the old packages your European version of the Classic remains comparable to the Premium package, some argue it's better as it includes snacks such as gelato.  The only thing I've seen is on some European sailings MSC was limiting the beers available by the bottle versus what was previously offered.  Caribbean sailings from the US still offer a good variety of beers by the bottle. After a quick search I only found the upgrade list in USD, but it's an easy conversion.  You would be from Classic to Premium at $15pp/day.

 

 

Upgrade List Nov 2018.JPG

 

 

Thanks for your reply & info

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2 hours ago, Beamafar said:

 

Ate ... those prices only relate to US-based sailings.  They will not apply for a cruise in the Med (which is where the poster who posed the question is sailing).

 

It's also not quite true that the "European version of the Classic remains comparable to the Premium package" as the old Classic package (for US sailings) was more inclusive than the Med's Restaurant & Bar package (which was a lot cheaper than Classic and had a more limited offering).

 

This is the problem with MSC having different prices for their packages in different regions.

I probably should have said more clearly that the upgrade list was for US sailings, I've seen one for European sailings but I wasn't willing to spend tons of time to find it.  Regardless, the upgrade cost from the "All inclusive" package to Premium package is fairly close to the $15pp/day example I posted.  I think the main point I tried to relate was that most people will agree the upgrade in question is not worth the cost for what additional drinks are included, and some actually would consider it a downgrade.  If you try to compare what they will get with the old old package they currently have to any of the new packages to which they are now forced to upgrade, it still compares most closely to the Premium, which almost equates to upgrading to your existing package.  Yes there are differences that become too difficult to explain to someone new to Cruise Critic.  How do you describe a package(s) that MSC kept intentionally ambiguous?

 

Perhaps with the new packages there will be uniformity in whats covered no matter where the sailing, but I have a feeling there will still be significant variation. 

 

 

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10 hours ago, Até said:

I probably should have said more clearly that the upgrade list was for US sailings, I've seen one for European sailings but I wasn't willing to spend tons of time to find it. 

 

 

 

This was posted in another thread:

 

image.png.006b83e70240ca9bca38130bef5213

 

It's the bottled beer I was after, as I like to pick and choose from a variety (and saw Erdinger in a pic of the Master of the Seas pub!!). 

 

But you're right, it's not worth the upgrade cost just for that (and we lose free gelato - assuming MSC honour this). An exclusive diet of Heineken it is for a week, then.🤔

 

 

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3 hours ago, Weby72 said:

This was posted in another thread:

 

It's the bottled beer I was after, as I like to pick and choose from a variety (and saw Erdinger in a pic of the Master of the Seas pub!!). 

 

But you're right, it's not worth the upgrade cost just for that (and we lose free gelato - assuming MSC honour this). An exclusive diet of Heineken it is for a week, then.

I did have that image saved, I should have posted that as it explains better what I was trying to say.  That chart is from Preziosa this January.  It pretty well shows the difference between the All Inclusive 431 and Premium 472, which is not a lot.  But as mentioned the biggest difference is the bottled beer choices.  However, since it appears you are sailing on Bellissima I would expect a much larger selection of draught beers that should be available to you under the All Inclusive.

Edited by Até

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It's not about what beers are on tap, the Easy package only includes Heineken and Miller Light.

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On 3/21/2019 at 6:28 AM, Weby72 said:

As we booked last August,  we have the 'All Inclusive Restaurant & Bar' (Europe cruise)

 

Does anyone know how much it would be to upgrade to the Premium package? Or even if this is possible?

 

 

AIR&B was the best value IMHO,

But it all depends on what you drink. I personally like a bottled beers as well, then I go for Whisky.

In AIR&B I use to have a couple of Heinekens then go for Red Label (decent), now on "easy" they serve up to "Bell´s"... So I had to upgrade to Premium, and will get to choose bottled beers and Black Label.

My advise is if you are just for the bottled beers, Do not Upgrade and have as many as you like, it will still be cheaper than upgrading. The gelato is always a plus.

Edited by JP Medina
orthography, lol

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1 hour ago, deliver42 said:

It's not about what beers are on tap, the Easy package only includes Heineken and Miller Light.

Weby72 has the All Inclusive 431 package.

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Am I right in thinking that, unlike other lines, you cannot upgrade part way through a cruise but have to do it for the whole cruise? 

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Thinking of trying MSC for the first time. These drink packages are confusing to me.

 

What brands of rum and gin are included in the Easy (under $12) package?  Bacardi Silver? Bombay Sapphire? 

 

I saw the Premium menu posted above. That is the Premium Plus menu, correct? 

 

Thanks for your help!

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