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crispy23

Drinks Package

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We had the Silver package on our recent cruise and found it to be worthwhile. I think it was roughly $25 per day, each. As a value, probably broke even - somedays we may have went over😏, and somedays 👼 not so much. I should add that the daily included pours of wine and beer, in some cases, were as good as the "premium" wine selections. The beer, I believe, was Carlsberg on tap and it was pretty good. A good selection of "premium" beers was, of course, available. Viking also provided a variety of cocktails at special events, like brunch and the Brazilian party.

I did note the generally tight selection of wines by-the-glass and lack of sparkling wine (only two, a private label Viking quaff and a Prosecco) on a questionnaire early in the cruise and the Bar Manager immediately called me to discuss. To that end, we appreciated the immediate reaction of staff to any issue. We had a nice conversation and the gentleman said he would pass the comments along at the next management meeting. 

As other posters have noted, only two single-malts were available - one a bit too smoky for my taste, and the other, Glenfiddich, a bit too generic. I actually found the Jameson's or Chivas Regal better alternatives after a while.

As to the wines, a very nice wine list was limited to the $25 bottles only as by-the-glass option (all listed at $6 per glass) on the Silver program, while a perfectly acceptable Drappier champagne was tantalizingly just out of reach at a, frankly insulting, $16 a glass - $1 over the Silver limit (which is not a pay-the-difference system). If $6 per glass for a $25 bottle are available, then why aren't other wines up to $60 ($15 per glass for example) per bottle?

To mitigate this for wine lovers, bring your own - Viking will take care of your wine (no charge) if you show up at dinner with your own bottle(s). We brought a couple of Vueve Cliquots aboard to satisfy our Champagne cravings, and purchased some nice Uruguayan and Argentinian wines along the way.

I urge Viking to broaden accessibility to their very nice wine selection onboard by revisiting the Silver program options and cost - perhaps allowing for a wine package by the bottle as an additional option.

Not a complaint, but an observation and suggestion. We did thoroughly enjoy our cruise.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by loge23
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Is there no dry sparkling available on the package? For me, that's a serious omission. I knew that Champagne was excluded but was hoping for a reasonable (dry) substitute.

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Is there no dry sparkling available on the package? For me, that's a serious omission. I knew that Champagne was excluded but was hoping for a reasonable (dry) substitute.

On the Orion NYE cruise, there was a sparkling wine (Romer), the Viking sparkling wine, a spumante and a prosecco all included in the plan, by the glass.  Not all of these were available at every bar, but at least two of the four were.  I thought the Prosecco was average and the Romer, while not Drappier or Vueve, was plenty good.

 

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Thank you for the information. I thought there may be a decent cava, but I shall certainly look out for the Romer & probably try to buy Veuve ashore. An indirect flight from the UK limits our options.

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If you are boarding in San Juan—easy to find Champagne.  

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2 hours ago, PRH said:

If you are boarding in San Juan—easy to find Champagne.  

Yes, we are! Very reassuring to know. It's a birthday cruise & decent bubbles are non-negotiable. Thank you.

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SuperMax (including old San Juan) probably has best selection although Walgreens and CVS—near the port, may also carry it.  The wine store had not reopened the last time we were there but you might do a little sleuthing.

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There is a small liquor store inside the terminal but I can’t remember if they had any.  They had basic liquor and a few liqueurs.

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I am in the clan where having to buy for both in the cabin is not good policy.

 

I am allergic to alcohol. That include aged balsamic vinegar, vanilla extract with alcohol (it's ok in cooked desert as the alcohol cooks off).

 

We usually are on celebrity, with free drinking package, and we just upgrade my husband.

 

So, in this case, I have to pay for something that makes me sick? It makes no sense to me.  Because of course my husband still wants to get it since he wants fancy wines and cocktails (*sigh*)

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39 minutes ago, angelhelly said:

I am in the clan where having to buy for both in the cabin is not good policy.

 

I am allergic to alcohol. That include aged balsamic vinegar, vanilla extract with alcohol (it's ok in cooked desert as the alcohol cooks off).

 

We usually are on celebrity, with free drinking package, and we just upgrade my husband.

 

So, in this case, I have to pay for something that makes me sick? It makes no sense to me.  Because of course my husband still wants to get it since he wants fancy wines and cocktails (*sigh*)

You also need to factor in the relative costs. The Celebrity package for drinks up to $15 costs $69 per day. The Viking equivalent is $20 per day. I believe that Celebrity charge an additional 18% tips on top of the daily fee, while with Viking, tips are included in bar & package prices.

 

Therefore it costs considerably less for 2 people on Viking and you can still bring unlimited bottles on board with no corkage fees.

Edited by Heidi13

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2 minutes ago, Heidi13 said:

You also need to factor in the relative costs. The Celebrity package for drinks up to $15 costs $69 per day. The Viking equivalent is $20 per day.

 

Therefore it costs considerably less for 2 people on Viking and you can still bring unlimited bottles on board with no corkage fees.

We usually only pay $11.80 a day to upgrade my husband (we get the drinking package as a perk) so $118 for the equivalent 10 day cruise.

 

I consider both cruise have the "basic" package built in.

 

The main thing is we will have to pay $400 to upgrade since we have to upgrade both of us instead of $200 if we had to just upgrade my husband. I am essentially paying $200 for something that I would want to avoid at all cost since it makes me sick. 

 

This is honestly a reason we will not cruise on RCL anymore as well, or any cruise line that requires both people in stateroom to buy drinking package.

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, angelhelly said:

 

 

I am allergic to alcohol. That include aged balsamic vinegar, vanilla extract with alcohol (it's ok in cooked desert as the alcohol cooks off).

 

 

 

I have heard of cases where the both must purchase policy has been waived. You could contact Viking via TellUs@vikingcruises.com and discuss it with them. Don't call the number on the website; it is a general number and it gets you general information.

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1 hour ago, Peregrina651 said:

 

I have heard of cases where the both must purchase policy has been waived. You could contact Viking via TellUs@vikingcruises.com and discuss it with them. Don't call the number on the website; it is a general number and it gets you general information.

 

I tried. They told me no. I contacted them to both add the alergy to my file and to ask if this could be waived.

They told me they took allergies seriously and it would be mentioned, and to make sure to mention it when I board. (which I appreciate as alcohol is not always mentioned, especially on deserts).

 

But that for the package, nothing could be done.

 

Thank you for the suggestion tho!

 

 

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The money you “save” by not buying the package will allow your husband great freedom in what he wants to drink.  Don’t pay for two packages.  You will spend less by pay as you drink—unless he thinks he will drink more than $40 per day! 

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7 hours ago, angelhelly said:

I am in the clan where having to buy for both in the cabin is not good policy.

 

I am allergic to alcohol. That include aged balsamic vinegar, vanilla extract with alcohol (it's ok in cooked desert as the alcohol cooks off).

 

We usually are on celebrity, with free drinking package, and we just upgrade my husband.

 

So, in this case, I have to pay for something that makes me sick? It makes no sense to me.  Because of course my husband still wants to get it since he wants fancy wines and cocktails (*sigh*)

Simply put, let Hubby pay as he goes.  Order what you want, when he wants.  Viking's prices are very reasonable.  Problem solved.... You can thank me later...🍸

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7 hours ago, angelhelly said:

 

I tried. They told me no. I contacted them to both add the alergy to my file and to ask if this could be waived.

They told me they took allergies seriously and it would be mentioned, and to make sure to mention it when I board. (which I appreciate as alcohol is not always mentioned, especially on deserts).

 

But that for the package, nothing could be done.

 

Thank you for the suggestion tho!

 

 

 

Try again when you board. It can't hurt and you have nothing to lose.

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Just say no to purchasing the package!  Your husband can still drink what he wants on a pay per drink and it will most likely be quite a bit less than the total cost of the package. Is there a reason you might still want it even if you don’t drink alcohol?  Just trying to understand.

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2 hours ago, PRH said:

Just say no to purchasing the package!  Your husband can still drink what he wants on a pay per drink and it will most likely be quite a bit less than the total cost of the package. Is there a reason you might still want it even if you don’t drink alcohol?  Just trying to understand.

I don't want the package on viking. I have it on celebrity as a perk, I would get the classic unalcoholic since I do drink coffee and virgin cocktails. 

 

But thank you for the advice guys. Might go for pay as you go for my husband. Thinking of it, he would have to drink $400 of booze to make it worth it, which can be a lot of an port intensive cruise... Especially since we can bring booze on board. 

 

 

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15 minutes ago, angelhelly said:

But thank you for the advice guys. Might go for pay as you go for my husband. Thinking of it, he would have to drink $400 of booze to make it worth it, which can be a lot of an port intensive cruise... Especially since we can bring booze on board. 

Not a bad decision, unless he drinks expensive single malt scotch, almost all drinks and shots are under $9. Also wine and beer is included with all dinners and lunches free.

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On ‎1‎/‎31‎/‎2019 at 9:02 PM, PRH said:

SuperMax (including old San Juan) probably has best selection although Walgreens and CVS—near the port, may also carry it.  The wine store had not reopened the last time we were there but you might do a little sleuthing.

 

Thank you for the information. I won't cancel the cruise!

This will be our first Viking cruise & I don't really understand why they exclude champagne. There are reasonable champagnes available for that price per pour. Just asking. It is, after all, the drink associated with celebration & good times.

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Viking does have their own “champagne.”  But they also have several sparkling wines, including Proseccos.  If you buy what you want, you are definitely going to enjoy it!  Have a great cruise.

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