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hmk012

Drink package...yes or no?

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My husband and I are trying to decide on the Drink Package. This is our 1st RCCL cruise, we are used to NCL. We aren't huge drinkers, but we do have a couple glasses of wine each with dinner normally. When we are cruising we normally have a couple drinks each during the day. Besides that, we drink tons of bottled, sparkling water and tea, not soda drinkers. My drink of choice is Tito's and he's a bourbon guy. Anyone with experience on drink prices with insight would be appreciated. We do like the idea of not having to worry about how much we are spending, but we want to make sure we are going to get our moneys worth by doing the package. From what I can tell we need to be drinking 4-6 drinks a day, correct? Thank you all in advance!!

 

 

 

 

 

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Correct. Depending on the price of the package, as it will fluctuate, determines the break even point. Most mixed drinks around around $10 dollars, frozen drinks are anywhere from 9-14, beer is around 9. The package will include bottled water as well. Wine varies but would average about $10

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It sounds that my husband and I have similar drinking preferences as you...I love Moscow Mules...my favorite!  With that being said, we enjoy the freedom that the drink package has to offer, without ever worrying about a large amount owed at the end of the cruise!  We always try to "win" or ensure that we are breaking even with what we are spending and we LOVE trying new drinks without feeling guilty if we don't end up loving them (and not finishing them).  Here is how we plan our days.

*Fresh squeezed orange juice in the mornings--sometimes two

*Cappachino or specialty coffee (or two) after breakfast

*Several bottles of water during the day--we would stockpile our rooms with waters so that we had them on hand!

*2-3 frozen drinks while pool-side (sometimes non-alcoholic...they're included, too!)

*Cocktail or two before dinner

*One-Two glasses of wine with dinner

*Sometimes a night-cap while watching a show

 

We plan a cruise vacation 1 time per year, and we do our best to enjoy it (without breaking the bank or feeling rough the next day).  Sometimes we "win" and exceed or break even and some days we lose!  I hope this is helpful in your decision making, but regardless of your choice, you will have so much FUN on your cruise!  Cheers!

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Even at the current discounted drink package price of $44/day/person its going to run you $616 for a 7 day cruise.

 

When we don't get the drink package we usually take 2 bottles or wine on board (allowed), sometimes we inadvertently take another bottle of two. They rarely check if you carry it on board in two separate bags.

 

Typically we will have a glass of wine before dinner and/or take/carry a glass to dinner with us. Sometimes we will have a scotch/bourbon before dinner but rarely drink during the day or after dinner. Maybe an occasional beer.   Our bar bill usually runs us at the most around $400, though we've done it for as little as $200.

 

I've heard of people taking those little airline bottles of booze on board for an occasional drink since they are undetectable or something called rum runners but I don't really know anything about that.

 

While we enjoy specialty coffee,  we can get by with the regular stuff for a week and orange and other juices is available in Windjammer  just about all the time. I don't drink sweet drinks at all anyway so pop and juice are nothing to me. In fact we have a couple of unopened mugs/cups from our last cruise where we got the drink package. It was an anniversary cruise so we splurged and bought the package.  We have another cruise coming up in April where we are not buying the package.

 

I will say that if you do get the drink package you will drink a lot more than you usually do. It's easy to overdo it.

Edited by mac66

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Once you purchase if the drink package goes down in price for your cruise cancel and rebook at the lower price.

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I don't look at it in terms of 5-6 alcohol drinks a day.  If you were going to get the refreshment package anyway, what is that difference if you were then going to purchase drinks on top? My deluxe package is only $24 more than the refreshment.  That's 2 drinks.  I can easily drink an average of 2-3 drinks a day and have it be worth my piece of mind and budget to know I don't have to track or worry about the bill at the end. 

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My only advice on a drink package is to remember you will be charged for every night of the cruise, whether you are in port or not. If you are off the ship all day, you may have trouble meeting the per day breakeven. YMMV. Enjoy your cruise!!

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Seems like you are hovering around the "break-even" point. My vote is YES for the convenience of drinking what your want, when you want, where you want. Plus, if you are going to Labadee or Coco Cay, the drink package is good on those islands too. 

 

If you have a port-intensive cruise,  you might lose a bit but as bottled water is included (normally $2-$3), the hit might not be too bad., IMHO.

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We bought our package at $46 for our upcoming Anthem cruise. I can easily do 2 specialty coffees a day, that's around $10 right there. That leaves $36 out of the package to account for and that's 3 frozen cocktails as near as I can tell about the pricing. I wouldn't have a problem doing that even on a port day (and one of the port days is Coco Cay). 

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1 hour ago, mac66 said:

Even at the current discounted drink package price of $44/day/person its going to run you $616 for a 7 day cruise.

 

When we don't get the drink package we usually take 2 bottles or wine on board (allowed), sometimes we inadvertently take another bottle of two. They rarely check if you carry it on board in two separate bags.

 

Typically we will have a glass of wine before dinner and/or take/carry a glass to dinner with us. Sometimes we will have a scotch/bourbon before dinner but rarely drink during the day or after dinner. Maybe an occasional beer.   Our bar bill usually runs us at the most around $400, though we've done it for as little as $200.

 

I've heard of people taking those little airline bottles of booze on board for an occasional drink since they are undetectable or something called rum runners but I don't really know anything about that.

 

While we enjoy specialty coffee,  we can get by with the regular stuff for a week and orange and other juices is available in Windjammer  just about all the time. I don't drink sweet drinks at all anyway so pop and juice are nothing to me. In fact we have a couple of unopened mugs/cups from our last cruise where we got the drink package. It was an anniversary cruise so we splurged and bought the package.  We have another cruise coming up in April where we are not buying the package.

 

I will say that if you do get the drink package you will drink a lot more than you usually do. It's easy to overdo it.

Those rum runners get great reviews. You might want to look into them.:classic_wink:

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It's all a matter of personal preference but as far as I'm concerned next time it will be a no. We've done 2 cruises with RCL and purchased the package both times. On Freedom last september a 42$ package set us back 915$ CAD for 7 days after tips and exchange rate.

 

We can drink quite heavily while on vacation but after a few beers and overly sweet cocktails we felt like we didn't get our money's worth. We also like to have a some wine for dinner but what's included in the package is sub par and didn't feel like paying extra for a decent glass of wine.

 

In the future we will bring our own 2 bottles and purchase any extra wine by the glass.

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I'm not a huge drinker so I got the refreshment package this time around and I'm loving it.  I've gone to Vitality Cafe every day and gotten 2 specialty juice mixes, sometimes a smoothie as well - those are $8.95 each right there.  I haven't actually ordered any liquor at all yet this trip, will be having a farewell drink tonight though.

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We are torn on this also. Looking into going on the Allure in September.  We also cruise NCL and have had the "free drink package" as a perk. (I know we are paying for it somewhere).  But their prices are still lower than RCCL even with the drink package.  So fee like paying out an additional close to $700-$900 for a cruise is a little stinginig .  There are 3 port days however, and we will most likely not get off at one of them.

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6 hours ago, hmk012 said:

My husband and I are trying to decide on the Drink Package. This is our 1st RCCL cruise, we are used to NCL. We aren't huge drinkers, but we do have a couple glasses of wine each with dinner normally. When we are cruising we normally have a couple drinks each during the day. Besides that, we drink tons of bottled, sparkling water and tea, not soda drinkers. My drink of choice is Tito's and he's a bourbon guy. Anyone with experience on drink prices with insight would be appreciated. We do like the idea of not having to worry about how much we are spending, but we want to make sure we are going to get our moneys worth by doing the package. From what I can tell we need to be drinking 4-6 drinks a day, correct? Thank you all in advance!!

 

 

 

 

 

It's a no from me.

1 Both people have to buy it.

2 It only covers drinks up to $12- $13.

Drinks priced more than this you pay the difference plus 18% gratuity.

3 it doesn't cover bottles of wine.

You get 30 or 40% discount off the price of bottles of wine.

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36 minutes ago, cruisegal40 said:

We are torn on this also. Looking into going on the Allure in September.  We also cruise NCL and have had the "free drink package" as a perk. (I know we are paying for it somewhere).  But their prices are still lower than RCCL even with the drink package.  So fee like paying out an additional close to $700-$900 for a cruise is a little stinginig .  There are 3 port days however, and we will most likely not get off at one of them.

I wouldn't make the blanket statement that NCL is always lower than RCCL even with the drink package because there are a lot of variables at play. When we booked our upcoming Anthem cruise (about 10 months ago) we priced CCL, RCCL and NCL, all sailings out of the northeast leaving around the same time (and all for mid-ship balcony cabin). RCCL came in at $1880, CCL came it at $2200 and NCL came in at $3600. Add in what I paid for the DBP and our Royal cruise is still $1000 less than NCL.

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Buy it... think of it this way.... Average drink price is 8.95/9.95....  5 drinks a day and you meet your daily drink fee. And this is without adding in the specialty coffee, shakes, water, etc.... which add value to your daily fee.  5 drinks don't take long...2-3 during day (including frozen drinks)...1-2 before dinner....1 or 2 during dinner.... night cap??   Plus add in a glass or wine...your easily over the breakeven point. Plus its great to get a bill at end of cruise with literally no money showing being charged to your CC

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7 hours ago, mac66 said:

Even at the current discounted drink package price of $44/day/person its going to run you $616 for a 7 day cruise.

 

When we don't get the drink package we usually take 2 bottles or wine on board (allowed), sometimes we inadvertently take another bottle of two. They rarely check if you carry it on board in two separate bags.

 

Typically we will have a glass of wine before dinner and/or take/carry a glass to dinner with us. Sometimes we will have a scotch/bourbon before dinner but rarely drink during the day or after dinner. Maybe an occasional beer.   Our bar bill usually runs us at the most around $400, though we've done it for as little as $200.

 

I've heard of people taking those little airline bottles of booze on board for an occasional drink since they are undetectable or something called rum runners but I don't really know anything about that.

 

While we enjoy specialty coffee,  we can get by with the regular stuff for a week and orange and other juices is available in Windjammer  just about all the time. I don't drink sweet drinks at all anyway so pop and juice are nothing to me. In fact we have a couple of unopened mugs/cups from our last cruise where we got the drink package. It was an anniversary cruise so we splurged and bought the package.  We have another cruise coming up in April where we are not buying the package.

 

I will say that if you do get the drink package you will drink a lot more than you usually do. It's easy to overdo it.

You said exactly what I was going to say! Yes, carry in your wine! If traveling with friends who plan to buy the package you can always get them to carry a bottle each in for you too. I’m exactly like you....not one for the fruity drinks except in the beginning🙄. They bloat me up too much with all that sugar and I feel really sluggish. I honestly don’t like soda at all. Water, probably purchasing that water package and restocking in ports. I don’t like sugary coffee drinks. Just plain coffee with “artificial creamer” (yes! Because half and half gives me the same feeling as all those sweet drinks!). 

 

Here’s what I AM doing: bringing on my Chardonnay, as much as I can, and I’m pre-paying as much on board credit as possible! (I’m already at almost $500 in OBC and cruise isn’t until June!😜) Plus we are saving on the side for overage.. This is my solution to not trying to “get my money’s worth” for the almost $900 we’d have to spend, and yet not having to sweat any extra “after dinner sipping drink” or occasional beer in the daytime. I know, it’s mostly a mental game but I know how my mind works and my husband too!!

ONE MORE THING TO CONSIDER....how many port days you have and excursions...will they include open bar?

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An option to consider- some of the dining packages come with a wine by the bottle discount (if you were planning specialty dining anyway). I plan to carry on 2 bottles of wine, and then purchase a bottle (or 2) per night. Because of the discount, that will still be cheaper than the beverage package unless the beverage package falls below $40 pp per day. 

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I think logic tends to go out the window when there's "unlimited alcohol". I'm not sure why there's always such a push to "break even". A package that costs anywhere from $600-$800 is a far bigger bar bill than most people are going to rack up. All of these drinking schedules just aren't realistic to the average person. Just wake up, have a drink. Come back from port, have 1-2 drinks. Have 1-2 drinks with dinner. Have 1-2 drinks at night. Sounds easy, right? Now both of you do it. Every day. Drink even if you don't want it because it's of "value". Hope you don't want anything while in port either.

 

I consider myself a heavy drinker, the girlfriend doesn't drink much. I thought I was going to want unlimited drinks on vacation. I quickly found that to not be the truth. With all of the ports, food, and sun, the package would have been a colossal waste for us each time. We pay as we go, and have never broken $300. There is no need to worry about your charges if you know how much you're generally going to drink.

 

Let's say you bring your own wine. Is the rest really worth that much? There are other options to compare other than these packages.

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37 minutes ago, Joebucks said:

I think logic tends to go out the window when there's "unlimited alcohol". I'm not sure why there's always such a push to "break even". A package that costs anywhere from $600-$800 is a far bigger bar bill than most people are going to rack up. All of these drinking schedules just aren't realistic to the average person. Just wake up, have a drink. Come back from port, have 1-2 drinks. Have 1-2 drinks with dinner. Have 1-2 drinks at night. Sounds easy, right? Now both of you do it. Every day. Drink even if you don't want it because it's of "value". Hope you don't want anything while in port either.

 

I consider myself a heavy drinker, the girlfriend doesn't drink much. I thought I was going to want unlimited drinks on vacation. I quickly found that to not be the truth. With all of the ports, food, and sun, the package would have been a colossal waste for us each time. We pay as we go, and have never broken $300. There is no need to worry about your charges if you know how much you're generally going to drink.

 

Let's say you bring your own wine. Is the rest really worth that much? There are other options to compare other than these packages.

That's fine if all you are considering is the alcohol but since non-alcoholic drinks are included in the package that has to be factored in also. As I pointed out above I'm good for two specialty coffees a day which is (as I understand it) about $10, so that doesn't leave me having to drink that much just to break even. I am also looking at the fact that I have 4 days to use the package throughout the day (3 sea days and Coco Cay). On our last cruise we had a total bar bill of around $750 and we didn't skimp and $750 is what we are paying for the DBP. Wanting to break even is applying logic to the purchase because if one isn't going to break even then it doesn't make sense to purchase it.

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For us it's a resounding YES, especially if we can find the DBP priced at $50 or less. We LIKE to have a pre-dinner cocktail, at least 2 glasses of wine with dinner (not sophisticated enough to care too much about wine selection, we can usually find at least one in each color category that suits us), plus some sparkling water or soda, maybe a cordial with dessert, and then another cocktail at the late show. And that's just the drinks we have on PORT days. On at sea days, add in the mimosa or bloody mary with breakfast, various pool-side drinks, etc. And don't forget all the fresh-squeezed orange juice, bottled water, specialty coffees we have in the morning, whether we stay on the ship or not. The best value for us is to not have to think about what we're ordering. We would definitely save money if we didn't buy the package, because we would be conscious about it and order less. And for us, enjoy less. YMMV.

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12 minutes ago, sparks1093 said:

That's fine if all you are considering is the alcohol but since non-alcoholic drinks are included in the package that has to be factored in also. As I pointed out above I'm good for two specialty coffees a day which is (as I understand it) about $10, so that doesn't leave me having to drink that much just to break even. I am also looking at the fact that I have 4 days to use the package throughout the day (3 sea days and Coco Cay). On our last cruise we had a total bar bill of around $750 and we didn't skimp and $750 is what we are paying for the DBP. Wanting to break even is applying logic to the purchase because if one isn't going to break even then it doesn't make sense to purchase it.

 

If you're going to spend near that amount anyways, I say get it. 

 

I still think too many people base their vacation too much around drinks. Worrying if individual charges are too high. Worrying they're not getting enough use of their package. Somehow I manage to have a good time without worrying about alcohol.

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