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gmbhardy

Not Happy with Liquor Up Charges

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On 2/18/2019 at 10:34 AM, Norwegian Cruise Line said:

We strive to provide our guests with exceptional experiences and added value whenever possible. As recent changes to our beverage program caused some disappointment, we have made adjustments which we hope demonstrate our deep commitment to guest satisfaction. Customer favorites including Grey Goose and Grand Marnier have been reintroduced into the Ultimate Beverage Package, which provides guests with unlimited beverages up to $15 per glass during the entirety of their cruise.  For additional information about our offerings, please click here - https://www.ncl.com/onboard-packages.

good to see the additions. 

 

Edited by NeurosurgeryNP

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3 minutes ago, RedwingHockeyFan said:

I believe earlier posts showed Patron Silver was but Anejo was not.

Thanks. Just saw the upgraded list!  

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12 minutes ago, NeurosurgeryNP said:

Does anyone know if this up charge is now implemented on the Bliss?   We are sailing on her in 2 weeks. 

 

Yes the price change has been implemented on all ships, that I'm aware of. It's just new package that hasn't been rolled out to every ship. Kind of like what they did with straws. Got rid of the plastic ones before they had paper ones. Welcome to NCL. LOL

 

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On 1/20/2019 at 10:39 PM, pitz0005 said:

I couldn't agree more with the OP.  I just got off the Getaway today.   This is not what I was "given" as a perk when I booked this past cruise and three future cruises all with 10 or more people.  It feels like a bit of a bait and switch.  The first day, I ordered a Grey Goose and was told it was no longer included.  I was told my Vodka choices were Kettle One, Tito's, Stoli, and Absolut.  While I was not pleased, I thought I could deal with it.  That was until throughout the cruise you would go to a bar and ask for Kettle One or Tito's and was told sorry we are out of that. 

 

The reality is that it is not a free perk to begin with.  At $20 per day service charge they are still making money.  I do not believe that all of the service charge actually goes to the bartenders.   Comparing the final prices of similar cabins on NCL with the "free" UBP  to the RCCL big ships and purchasing their beverage package ends up about the same.  Or for an even better value, similar cabins on Celebrity with their free beverage package and OBC seems to be a bit cheaper.  In addition, with Celebrity I can get decent coffee and a bottle of water if I want. 

 

I can't remember the last change on NCL that actually made the cruise experience better.  Every change made is to increase the bottom line.  I understand that is the purpose of a business, but I wonder at what point the bottom line will drop from people "jumping ship".  Maybe the masses don't care or don't know any better.  Time will tell. 

We're sailing the Breakaway March 31. This is really disappointing to hear they've done this again. Absolutely true the 'free' UBP is not free. And you are correct, none of the 'gratuity' collected is given to the bartenders. To go deeper into this topic, I hope everyone knows that the 'forced gratuities' are also not given to the workers as they are all on a negotiated salary. The cruise lines charge the gratuities separately as a way to avoid taxes on fares. The workers contracts are made up of certain percentages of salary and gratuity for the same reason. So I never understood this concept of charging an extra gratuity on drinks. The bartenders don't make any more money if I have 1 or 10 drinks. This is all just more profit.

I think what's also happening is more and more people are asking for a refund of their gratuities (as they should), and this is their way of recouping that lost revenue. I'd prefer to tip the worker I feel did an excellent job myself. 

In the end, you just have to figure if what you're paying for the 'free' drinks is worth it. 150.00 per person isn't bad for 7 days, even if just mid-level booze. That's about 10 drinks at regular prices. 

This is the reality of the cruise industry today. Expect to be 'nickle and dimmed' for everything. 

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On 2/11/2019 at 1:57 AM, Aesop081 said:

They don't have it on menu.  Don Julio Reposado is 29.95  14.95 up charge plus 3 dollar sc if you have the package.  Basically an expensive bar price.  36 bucks if you don't have the package.  Where on this PLANET would you pay that price.

Nowhere, lol. The ONLY bourbon under $15 is Jim Beam!!! Really??? Woodford $23, right! That deserves a big ol' *****

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On 2/20/2019 at 10:31 PM, kenns said:

so based on this list, Makers Mark and Buffalo Trace are not included in the Ultimate Beverage Package? In other words, they are above $15?

 

Also - your typical beers are listed as being included - what about the craft beers in the District Brew House - are they included?

I didn't see any bourbon sub $15 but lonely ol Jim Beam.. MM would be nice, I didn't see it anywhere

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On 2/14/2019 at 2:29 PM, mickismith said:

When we were on the Getaway in October, a bartender told us the UBP "value" was being raised from 89/pp/pd to 99/pp/pd which I figured was to just collect an additional gratuity/service charge, but he also said he thought it would come with more drinks available on the UBP like Hendrick's Gin, which went from $14.95 2 years ago to $16.95 last year to now $19.95. We got on the Bliss in December to see more upcharges, not less.  

 

The whole bottle is $35.  There is a serious issue when a bottle of $35 gin is considered super premium and raised $5 in a year, and the UBP raised as well. When we started cruising in 2016, we paid about $200 for the service charges on the UBP.  It is now up to about $275 with a smaller selection. We still get it because my husband likes his beverages on a cruise, but the constant upcharges and ridiculous pricing on some liquor brands makes us less likely to book with NCL in the future if they continue raising their pricing.  We love the vibe of NCL but when you know they are gouging you on pricing, it makes it less enjoyable. If we chose not to do the UBP, the individual cost of a lot of the drinks is ridiculous! 

you really can't make a great martini without Hendrick's gin... so I guess those are out of the question, grrr

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2 minutes ago, kenny said:

you really can't make a great martini without Hendrick's gin... so I guess those are out of the question, grrr

Cruise on Carnival or Celebrity, where Hendrick's is included.

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As the OP, I guess I should comment on the announced liquor price roll back on some of the brands Thanks to NCL for reversing a very unpopular decision. It’s indeed refreshing to see a big corporation listen to its customers. Two thumbs up. There is however one outstanding issue that effects cruisers who sailed on NCL ships between Jan.12/2019 (when the increase was first implemented) and Feb 10/2019 (when the prices were rolled back). Those customers either paid the up charge or substituted another less expensive brand that was below the $15 threshold. Either way the UBP was devalued for those people during that three week period. I believe NCL should compensate those cruisers in the form of an OBC (even if it were a token amount) on a future cruise.

 

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My Bliss cruise would fall into that window and I certainly will not be holding my breath for any retroactive OBC.  In the meantime, I will enjoy my upcoming cruises booked over the next two years on the newly built Horizon, Edge and Mardi Gras and the refurbished Oasis when she sails out of Bayonne for the first time. I'll also be enjoying more included drink packages than what NCL currently offers.

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20 hours ago, gmbhardy said:

As the OP, I guess I should comment on the announced liquor price roll back on some of the brands Thanks to NCL for reversing a very unpopular decision. It’s indeed refreshing to see a big corporation listen to its customers. Two thumbs up. There is however one outstanding issue that effects cruisers who sailed on NCL ships between Jan.12/2019 (when the increase was first implemented) and Feb 10/2019 (when the prices were rolled back). Those customers either paid the up charge or substituted another less expensive brand that was below the $15 threshold. Either way the UBP was devalued for those people during that three week period. I believe NCL should compensate those cruisers in the form of an OBC (even if it were a token amount) on a future cruise.

 

I haven't been on here in awhile, where can I find information about  NCL liquor price roll back? Thank you!

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11 minutes ago, Gershep said:

I haven't been on here in awhile, where can I find information about  NCL liquor price roll back? Thank you!

On this thread.

 

you will probably have to go back a few pages though.

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26 minutes ago, Gershep said:

I haven't been on here in awhile, where can I find information about  NCL liquor price roll back? Thank you!

 

14 minutes ago, KeithJenner said:

On this thread.

 

you will probably have to go back a few pages though.

Post #877

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On 2/22/2019 at 12:31 PM, kenny said:

Nowhere, lol. The ONLY bourbon under $15 is Jim Beam!!! Really??? Woodford $23, right! That deserves a big ol' *****

Somewhere on some review  which I cannot remember who posted this but-----they said Maltings Bar has whiskeys and bourbons included in UBP  that are not included at other bars

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Hi All -

 

There has been a lot of confusion and back and forth on here, so want to make sure I have this correct.

 

So currently, with the "free" beverage package incentive in its current form, it's being valued at $99 per day. NCL is paying for this $99 daily charge, but the passenger is responsible for the 20% gratuity which is $19.80 per day (total including the 20% gratuity is $118.80 per day). A 7 day cruise equals out to $138.60 per person for this "free" perk. This package covers drinks up to $15 per day.

 

The soon to be implemented "Premium-Plus Package" will cost $153.60 per day, including the 20% gratuity, according to the link above. So with some simple math, this means that the new daily value is $128 ($128 X 1.2 = $153.60). So, does this mean that the customer will be responsible for the daily gratuity of $25.60? For a 7 day cruise, that would be $179.20. This package has no limit and includes basically all beverages (coffees, etc.)

 

Premium Package Customer Cost = $179.20 

Current Package Customer Cost  =   $138.60

Increase in Customer Cost =              $40.60

 

A $40.60 increase seems very minor to me, so I think I am doing something wrong?

 

 

Edited by kenns

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On 1/30/2019 at 1:23 PM, ksmcdonald said:

 

Let me try to clear things up for you.

 

NCL - free perk of the drink package for 7 days = $138.60 (pkg plus gratuities)per person

NCL - upgraded premium drink package $29pp/pd  + $5.80 (gratuities) = $243.60 per person for 7 day cruise

 

If you add $138.60 +  $243.60 = $382.20 for one person to have the Top Shelf Premium drink package for 7 days.  This comes out to $54.60 a day for a customer to purchase the free drink package that is equivalent to Carnivals.  Why don't they just say it will cost you $55 a day to get the top shelf liquor, bottle water and energy drinks, speciality coffee etc.

 

Not sure what you are confused about.   NCL would be getting the same $55 whether they want to spin it as free drinks plus buying an upgraded package (which equals $54.60) OR just tell their customers they need to pay $55 a day like Carnivals does.  NCL doesn't need to make it so difficult.  I don't understand why they need to increase their prices of drinks to outrageous amounts.  All they are doing is using  smoke and mirrors as a Marketing ploy and it is actually ticking people off!  Be honest and upfront!  

 

 

Bottom line, NCL is making $55 a day per person on their new upgraded drink package.  Just say that.  PERIOD!

ahhh - so they are offering the "Premium Package" to those with the beverage perk, for $29 per day + a 20% gratuity on that $29? Your math looks right to me, comes out to $54.60 per person, per day...Carnival's is $51.95 plus 18% gratuity which is really $61.30 per day ($429 in total)...so all-in-all the "free beverage perk" is a savings of $6.70 per day compared to Carnival's...at the end of the day, they are using the marketing gimmick of it being a "free beverage package" when clearly it's essentially the same as Carnivals - I completely agree ksmcdonald

 

The RCCL package is as high as $70 per day with 18% gratuity, so $82.60 per day or $578.20 for a 7 day cruise. So, in this case, the NCL premium package is much cheaper...

Edited by kenns

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On 2/18/2019 at 12:23 PM, kcwiak said:

 

Yes it answers the question about grey goose (which I don’t drink) but what about my other questions?? I’m seriously interested to know....

I didn't read through all the pages, but if no one answered your question and if this helps...the bar vodka on Pearl last month (if you don't specify a brand name) was Krakow

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On 1/29/2019 at 12:52 PM, amyaacc said:

we opted for the free at sea upgrade for our trip to Cuba coming up in April on the Sky.  Does this mean we now get bottled water and coffee drinks?  Are there other significant upgrades?  (I like a nice martini but not fussy about brands)  I have been trying to figure out if using our free at sea perk might be better served for Internet if most of the booze is already included??

 

If you picked the beverage package as a free at sea perk, you will be upgraded to the Premium Plus package. Bottled water, coffee in the restaurants, any alcoholic drink by the glass, as well as certain bottles of wine in restaurants are the upgrades from the included free package on the cruise.

 I am also going to Cuba on the Sky and spoke to an NCL rep to make sure.

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On ‎2‎/‎28‎/‎2019 at 6:05 PM, tumblew467 said:

Somewhere on some review  which I cannot remember who posted this but-----they said Maltings Bar has whiskeys and bourbons included in UBP  that are not included at other bars

I am very interested to know if this is true. I am a huge whiskey guy and that would make me feel much better. Anyone confirm? Thanks!

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Jembeccatoo said:

If you picked the beverage package as a free at sea perk, you will be upgraded to the Premium Plus package. Bottled water, coffee in the restaurants, any alcoholic drink by the glass, as well as certain bottles of wine in restaurants are the upgrades from the included free package on the cruise.

 I am also going to Cuba on the Sky and spoke to an NCL rep to make sure.

Whilst I haven’t been following this all closely, my understanding is that the promo UBP is still the basic package, and people need to pay extra for the premium package. I’m sure someone will correct me if I am wrong.

 

Unfortunately, calling an NCL rep to ask these things is certainly not a way to make sure. They have some sort of random answer machine that they use in situations like this.

Edited by KeithJenner

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On 2/18/2019 at 6:49 AM, fsls40 said:

Agree 100% and ask for Belvedere vodka to be re-instated please!!!!

Just got off of Getaway and Belvedere was re-instated at $14.95 !! I enjoyed 40 of them with soda and lime !!

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On 2/12/2019 at 5:18 PM, teamflames said:

Which super premiums are now in?

i know my preference of Belvedere vodka which used to be in is still out

Getaway last week had Belvedere for $14.95 !!

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