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chadcf

Is the non alcoholic drink package worth it?

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It seems like the MSC soda package is WAY more expensive than other cruise lines at $29 per night. I'm traveling with 4 kids and on a 7 night cruise that's a whopping $812 for soda! And I assume that doesn't even include gratuity. I'm contemplating spending the $90 on the "Fantastica" experience to get 12 drink tickets and then just paying for them after that, seems like it would have to be cheaper than $812. Am I missing something? It says it includes specialty coffees and "soft ice cream" (is that gelato? or just soft serve?), but I'm not sure that makes up for the price. 

 

It seems hard to imagine than a kid could consume $203 worth of drinks on a cruise unless they charge $10 a soda or something. 

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What ship/itinerary are you looking at and where are you booking from?

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8 minutes ago, Até said:

What ship/itinerary are you looking at and where are you booking from?

 

I haven't booked yet but I was planning to book with MSC for a carribean in August 2020 on the seaside, they've got it for half price at the moment plus another $200 off with the 10% off code. 

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FWIW- the non-alcoholic package has two prices, one for kids 3-11 and one for kids 12-17..  the one for younger kids is cheaper ($17 versus $29). Same inclusions. Not knowing the age of your kids, don't know if that makes a difference. 

And it's not just soda - it virtually all non-alcoholic drinks available onboard - soda (and MSC has a decent selection, you get cans and fountain drinks), mocktails, the hot chocolate delights, energy drinks, bottled water, juices, specialty coffee and teas, etc.   It's pretty extensive.  

Of course, only you know whether what's covered is worth the price for your family.

The drink tickets are being discontinued, sometime this month, if memory serves (or at least sometime this year)  - those wouldn't be available in 2020.. 

There's currently a promo giving the Easy package for adults/ non-alcoholic package for kids when booking Fantastica..  that may be more worth the higher price -  better deal than the 12 drink vouchers were.  Worth checking out.. 

Edited by reedprincess

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33 minutes ago, reedprincess said:

There's currently a promo giving the Easy package for adults/ non-alcoholic package for kids when booking Fantastica.. 

August 2020 Seaside Caribbean sailings are not currently under the "All In" promotion where a drink package is included. 

 

Chadcf, the 2 for 1 is actually MSC's basic rate as I don't believe anyone pays Brochure Rate.  I suggest waiting as these itineraries are new and more than likely MSC will add promotions, check out the 2019 sailings to see what is usually available for US Caribbean sailings.  The All In promotion which gives a basic drink package and internet adds an average of $100pp for the first two people to the basic 2 for 1 rate on Bella and Fantastica level cabins.  Everyone in the cabin gets the drinks package, under 21 get the non alcoholic package.

 

ETA:  The 12 drink vouchers for Fantastica cabins end this month, see the fine print.  Also, if the drinks package is given as a promotion the gratuities on it are included.  If you purchase a package there is a 15% gratuity added to the purchase.  The 10% coupon is nice, but in my opinion even with it this itinerary is not currently a good deal.

Edited by Até

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18 minutes ago, Até said:

August 2020 Seaside Caribbean sailings are not currently under the "All In" promotion where a drink package is included. 

 

Chadcf, the 2 for 1 is actually MSC's basic rate as I don't believe anyone pays Brochure Rate.  I suggest waiting as these itineraries are new and more than likely MSC will add promotions, check out the 2019 sailings to see what is usually available for US Caribbean sailings.

 

Hmmm really? It seemed like a suspiciously good deal, right now they're showing $779 for a balcony stateroom sailing August 29 2020.  Which seems really cheap because royal caribbean is like $1300 for an ocean view balcony around that time. And after the 10% off coupon that's down to around $709.

 

$709 for a balcony seems really good, is it not? Last cruise I waited too late to book and paid a lot more than that...

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I wrote a long four paragraph response, but scrapped it.

 

Yes, MSC has some pretty good prices compared to other lines.  Lots of cruisers from other lines are now looking at MSC and they know this.   Many regular MSC cruisers feel these most recent Summer 2020 & Winter 2021 offerings are not comparable deals to what has been previously offered.  My opinion is with this latest itinerary release MSC threw out some crappy deals and will see what sticks.  Higher prices are particularly true with the Aurea and Yacht Club cabins, but also things like not offering the All-In promotion on the newest sailings after April, 2020.  Perhaps the good old days of really good deals are gone, I don't know.  I assume you're booking in the US, so the good part is if you think it's a deal you can put down a minimal deposit and hold it until deposit loss/final payment date and cancel/re-book if something better comes along.  You've got a lot of time to research what rates/promotions are common and decide if MSC is offering what you want.

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I made a spreadsheet to see if I could get value out of the non-alcohol package ($580 for my 20 day cruise). These are per/day calculations. 

 

Drink Menu Price how many TL with 15%
Esspresso $2.25 4 $10.35
capp / latte $3.00 2 $6.90
mineral wtr $4.75 0 $0.00
mocktail $4.25 2 $9.78
smoothie $4.25 0 $0.00
redbull $4.75 2 $10.93
soda $2.50 0 $0.00
       
      $37.95

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