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gmbhardy

Not Happy with Liquor Up Charges

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3 minutes ago, KateQ22003 said:

I guess you are right. Certainly not a deal breaker, but something to think about when looking at cruise options. Everyone has his/her traditions when they cruise; mine is having a snifter of Grand Marnier after dinner when watching the shows.

I enjoy the best tequila I can get that the package covers when I have a margarita.  On my first cruise in 2016 on the Escape, Patron Silver was not covered, but it was covered on my 2017 Escape cruise and now it looks like I will be without it in two weeks on the Bliss.  There is never any consistency with NCL.  Even back in 2016 when Patron was not covered in the majority of bars on board, it was covered in Food Republic in their Toro Toro drink.  It'll be interesting to find out in two weeks whether it's still covered, or the tequila was replaced by a cheaper variety.

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We have only had the UBP as a promotion, paying 20% of the $99/pp per day, or $19.80 per day.

The new premium package shows the price as $128, so at 20% that would cost $25.60/pp per day, or an additional $5.80/pp per day.

 

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17 hours ago, gmbhardy said:

 

You are absolutely right. But the cruise lines do monitor these boards and mabe I’m naive, but I think if enough people were to launch a tidal wave of complaints, it might influence future decisions. 

 

 

That will never happen.  The only thing that influences future decisions in the cruise industry is profit.  If there were a mass boycott of the UBP and per drink alcohol purchases and it affected their bottom line, it might result in a change in policy.  

 

But we all know that cruises and alcohol go hand-in-hand.  Alcohol prices have steadily risen and cruisers continue to pay it (and then endeavor to get their "money's worth" consuming whatever the number of drinks per day it takes to "stick it to the man" for charging an insane amount for alcohol that you can get for a fraction of the price on land).  There is absolutely no incentive for the NCL and other cruise lines to do anything but increase prices - and they know that alcohol is something they can regularly manipulate, and people will continue to pay the increase.

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17 minutes ago, Sea saw 56 said:

We have only had the UBP as a promotion, paying 20% of the $99/pp per day, or $19.80 per day.

The new premium package shows the price as $128, so at 20% that would cost $25.60/pp per day, or an additional $5.80/pp per day.

 

You're not looking at it right.  The UBP covers 99.00 per day and the 20% is 19.80.  If you want to upgrade, you pay the extra 29.00, plus 5.80.  So you're paying 19.80, plus 29.00 for the upgraded package plus the 5.80 grat on the upgrade. 54.60 total.  On Celebrity, who has a two tiered package, the difference is only 10.00 plus grat.

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22 minutes ago, Sea saw 56 said:

We have only had the UBP as a promotion, paying 20% of the $99/pp per day, or $19.80 per day.

The new premium package shows the price as $128, so at 20% that would cost $25.60/pp per day, or an additional $5.80/pp per day.

 

What are you talking about? It's $29 per person per day plus gratuities if you have the UBP as a perk. It's right there on the menu. It's $129 per person if you don't have any drink package including the UBP at all. Where are you getting your math? 

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21 hours ago, david_sobe said:

Hello.  Its just not alcohol.  Apparently there was another round at NCL headquarters "what can we cut, what can we increase"

To some its trivial.  Personally I could never taste the difference in a drink made of Tito's vodka or Grey Goose vodka.  But maybe the headache the next day could shed some light :classic_tongue:

 

There have been other things people have reported on that I feel are more significant.  The beverage package with NCL was always the worst of any cruise line so making it a bit worse is funny IMHO.

 

Someone reported Margaritaville is no longer free for suite guests on embarkation day

Someone reported the Platinum dinner had been reduced by $3

Someone reported sailing in an owners suite for 5 nights they were not given 3 bottles of alcohol

Is Food Republic still 50% for suite guests the first night?

 

BTW, to put the drink prices in perspective.  The cost of the beer and most of the drinks is what you would pay for in a restaurant in Miami.  There was a time NCL undersold their drinks.  I was like, wow the drinks are less at sea than what I would pay for in Miami.  Go figure.

 

don't always agree with you, but do this time. Again, the only saving grace is: what one line does, another will follow or do something similar. As for not tasting the difference in one brand over the other: when my husband was in college he worked for a guy who ran a liquor store: the guy told hubby, when it come to vodka, there is no difference in taste if you are mixing it with something. I don't know if this is true, but I do know, at home we drink whatever vodka we have when mixing it. 

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1 hour ago, SNJCruisers said:

I enjoy the best tequila I can get that the package covers when I have a margarita.  On my first cruise in 2016 on the Escape, Patron Silver was not covered, but it was covered on my 2017 Escape cruise and now it looks like I will be without it in two weeks on the Bliss.  There is never any consistency with NCL.  Even back in 2016 when Patron was not covered in the majority of bars on board, it was covered in Food Republic in their Toro Toro drink.  It'll be interesting to find out in two weeks whether it's still covered, or the tequila was replaced by a cheaper variety.

Believe me, I get it. Keep us posted on what happens! for me, I'm not real picky about alcohols that are going to be mixed with juices or blended, but something like a Grand Marnier or a Courvoisier stand on their own, and really cannot be replaced with something else.

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19 hours ago, Outerdog said:

 

Honestly, the only time I can think of that NCL received enough blowback to reverse a policy change was the bit about bringing food back to your stateroom from the buffet.

 

They've been chipping away at the UBP for years -- moving the goalposts constantly, as I said earlier. All the complaining didn't change a damn thing. 

 

FDR is trying to see how he can get an extra $5 a day from your wife. That's the MO and has been for some time.

That is all I recall being reversed as well.  No money involved in that one.

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Before anyone decides to jump down my throat, I’m posting what I was just told about increase and additional pkgs.  This was not don’t wilily nilly, they had a test market on Sun and Sky, it went over on those cruises the decision was made to take fleet wide!  Not defending their decision or supporting the increase but trying to inform.  IMHO

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Absolutely agree that this is just another money grab by NCL. They already have the highest price for the beverage program at sea and after years of people asking to include water they are going to upcharge certain alcohols that were included and call them super premium? I can just see someone in a back room somewhere, hmm let's see, more people asked for grey goose, so we will make it more expensive so they have to pay a premium to get it...cut to diabolical laughter...I wouldn't pay the $4.95 if the only other vodka was stolis! 

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My Wife and I will be taking a TA in April, our first NCL cruise in 9 years. During the booking process I was shocked that the “FREE” drink package wasn’t free after all, but continued on because we couldn’t resist the itinerary. Now I have to stop and wonder if I need to reconsider and future NCL cruises.

 

Last year we boarded two Celebrity Cruise (17 days) with their free drink package including gratuities. My bar bill for both cruises after upcharges for drinks over their limit was $18.00. Now I am old enough to realize nothing in life is free, and Celebrity builds the price of the drink package into their fare. 

 

Both cruise lines are in business to make money everyone understands that, but bait and switch or nickel and dime what ever you call it I think NCL’s business plan is flawed. 

 

My advice NCL, adjust your fares and stop these ridiculous pricing games.

 

My advice to loyal NCL customers, continue to complain and if NCL doesn’t pay attention, there are other lines that would love your business.

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19 minutes ago, cheersforbeers said:

Before anyone decides to jump down my throat, I’m posting what I was just told about increase and additional pkgs.  This was not don’t wilily nilly, they had a test market on Sun and Sky, it went over on those cruises the decision was made to take fleet wide!  Not defending their decision or supporting the increase but trying to inform.  IMHO

So you're saying that the ridiculous beverage upcharge fee was a success on those sailings? Who told you this, NCL? If that's the case I wouldn't buy that for a second. No way anyone with any sense would pay that ridiculous upcharge price! 

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For those of us who drink the more expensive spirits, the "free" drink package is now a non factor in deciding what line to choose. It's just as expensive to cruise NCL as some other lines, and buy their drink packages.  I just checked two other lines. We've been talking about trying another new one for while. Being platinum plus, we were reluctant.  But as others have said even the latitudes perks decline when they raise prices in the specialty restaurants. We are already 3 star with Holland America, but we do like a more active environment. Maybe we'll try Royal. It's hard to keep supporting NCL with what they're doing.     

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12 minutes ago, tallnthensome said:

So you're saying that the ridiculous beverage upcharge fee was a success on those sailings? Who told you this, NCL? If that's the case I wouldn't buy that for a second. No way anyone with any sense would pay that ridiculous upcharge price! 

And that’s your opinion.  I’m not saying a DAMN thing, I just posted what I had gathered and it’s none of your business who told what.  Have a great day.

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Have not been online for awhile...just saw this thread..will be following for sure!  

PS...I am not surprised by now at anything NCL does..👎:classic_ohmy:

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23 hours ago, Meekofigaro said:

I just got off the Pearl sailing this past week and it was the first ship to offer the Premium package / upgrade... I am posting the sign for it. 

  • Upgraded package versus Ultimate Beverage Package includes:
    • All beverages by the glass (no beverage price cap)
    • Bottled water (flat and sparkling)
    • Energy drinks and specialty coffee
    • Select wines by the bottle when dining
    • 40% discount on all other bottles of wine, wine and spirit experiences, tastings or flights purchased on board
    • also includes fresh juice 

A1E5CFB3-3924-4CBD-B460-EB67B75EF272.jpeg

Since it was offered on the Pearl, do we have any intel on if/when it will be fleetwide (assuming that's the plan)?  We are on the Jade in April...just curious if it may be an option then.  I will have to prepare myself to do some math...as well as look at some menus to see what the options are.  My husband DOES tend to order premium tequila so it may or may not be worth it depending on what is available. 

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17 minutes ago, kfnesq said:

Since it was offered on the Pearl, do we have any intel on if/when it will be fleetwide (assuming that's the plan)?  We are on the Jade in April...just curious if it may be an option then.  I will have to prepare myself to do some math...as well as look at some menus to see what the options are.  My husband DOES tend to order premium tequila so it may or may not be worth it depending on what is available. 

 

It is March 1st on the Jade. We got to see the dates on the behind the scene tour. 

 

Kerry 

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There is nothing wrong with increasing prices, things go up and that cost has to be passed on.

What is wrong is increasing prices without increasing the allowance pro rata, if this was done right it would be seamless to customers.

It does not matter if it's a small amount or a large amount, if you have paid for something, you should get it! as it stands, many premium drinks have now been removed post cruise purchase, this is a rip off!

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It is March 1st on the Jade. We got to see the dates on the behind the scene tour. 

 

Kerry 

Thank you!  I guess I WILL have to do some math then.....  🙂

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I sail on the Bliss March 2nd. I am sure the new upgrade package will most likely be in affect.

From reading this post there are a few points that I agree with.

1. raising prices on drinks that were normally included just to have a upgrade package is horrible.

2. I understand if you want to include a package with water, coffee and what should be a premium drink like Johnny walker blue or expensive campaign to be a extra cost. This is exceptable.

 

3. I am already paying over a $1000  more the last 2 years with food quality being cut back. A different type of vacation or cruise line will be considered on my next vacation. The NCL value of what you get for your money is defiantly maxed out.

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And that’s your opinion.  I’m not saying a DAMN thing, I just posted what I had gathered and it’s none of your business who told what.  Have a great day.

What are you getting all crabby about?  I'm not blaming you for anything as I'm sure we are all curious how you know it went over on the sky or what the source was because to most of us this is news . 

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What are you getting all crabby about?  I'm not blaming you for anything as I'm sure we are all curious how you know it went over on the sky or what the source was because to most of us this is news . 

Not crabby at all, but thanks for asking.  For me it’s pretty easy to come to that conclusion, they had a test market, it went good, don’t know how they determined that, and they made the decision to enact it.  It’s not commencing at the same timE on all ships from what I gather.  IMHO

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And that’s your opinion.  I’m not saying a DAMN thing, I just posted what I had gathered and it’s none of your business who told what.  Have a great day.

What are you getting all crabby about?  I'm not blaming you for anything as I'm sure we are all curious how you know it went over on the sky or what the source was because to most of us this is news . 

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As a wine drinker, I am curious to eventually hear from anyone taking advantage of this, specifically what bottles are already  included.  And 40% off any bottle isn't terrible, honestly, unless all the bottles are awful....

 

"Select wines by the bottle when dining

40% discount on all other bottles of wine, wine and spirit experiences, tastings or flights purchased on board"

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I'm confused.

 

The NCL site says that the UBP is that any drinks under $15 is free and anything over $15 is charged at the net difference.  Obviously, I would hate and loathe being nickle and dimed, but the initial comments made it seem like they were still being charged $19 for some of these drinks instead of the $4 it should have been.  Can anyone confirm?

 

At the end of the day, even if I still have to pay the extra couple dollars here or there, there is no way I would come out as bad off as I did on the Freedom of the Seas a couple years ago when the drink plan itself cost nearly $1k, and didn't include coffee or water.

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