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cruzin4us

Another Option instead of Purchasing Beverage Packages

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Sometimes I overthink things and this is one of them.   I have purchased the Signature Beverage Pkg and the Elite Beverage Pkg. on prior cruises.  Neither time did we come close to making them worth the value (and we can drink with the best of them).

 

Reason for purchasing:  Strictly for convenience and I don't want the "shell shock" on my final bill.  I would rather order a cocktail when the mode arises, rather that thinking I bet my bill is going to be huge at the end of the cruise (this takes away the pleasure of cruising especially when you are on a longer cruise). 

 

Problem with the packages:   As many of you know, it takes about 6 drinks a day to break even.  On port days, I probably will have a cocktail before dinner, a couple glasses of wine with dinner and maybe a cocktail after (maybe).  This puts me in the negative by 2 drinks.   On sea days, I may have a cocktail by the pool, one before dinner and 2 glasses of wine during dinner.   This puts me in the negative by 1.   Just maybe I will meet my "quota" on the first day at sea, but rarely after.  And on embarkation day, we don't get rolling until 5:00 p.m. so I'll never meet my quota on this day.    And remember, you have to buy 2 pkgs if you are sharing a room.   SBP = $722.60 and EBP = $884.66 for a 7 day cruise (remember too, it's really a 6.5 day cruise, not 7 days).....That's a lot of drinks!   I doubt few if any people get their monies worth from the packages.    Somethings to consider:  What if you get seasick or get a cold/flu?  You won't get a refund for that day.  Also, if you order a bottle of wine (or bring your own) these won't be covered. What if you are in port until 8:00 pm...you probably won't be drinking 6 drinks that day either.  If I think about what I do at home, I would never drink 6 drinks a day for 7 days.   Granted I'm on the vacay, but after 2-3 days of this you tend to slow down, at least we do!!

 

What's my point?:   For those of you thinking to yourself "this has been hashed over a gazillion times already", I think it would be better to just purchase OBC's in the amount of the beverage package.   At the end of the cruise you can get your money back for any unused portion.   With the beverage pkgs, you either use it or lose it.   This way we can order a drinks when we feel like it and not feel like we have to make our quotas.

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Do you not drink soft drinks or bottles of water? Those help "balance" our drink packages, as we each drink at 2 or 3 soft drinks per day, and a couple bottles of water.

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Instead of purchasing OBC, we purchase beverage cards, yes, it's an extra card to carry, but it's no big deal.  We like the cards instead of OBC because if we have drinks charged to Cabin, then your statement will show allllll those charges.  With the cards, it reduces that statement quite a bit.  And if you don't use it all, you get refunded on your cc within a day or two.

We did have the SBP as part of a cruise one time, but to buy it, it's just not worth it to us.

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36 minutes ago, CruiserBruce said:

Do you not drink soft drinks or bottles of water? Those help "balance" our drink packages, as we each drink at 2 or 3 soft drinks per day, and a couple bottles of water.

 

You are correct about this part.  We aren't soda drinkers and we bring a case of water on board with us....It's under $4 a case and you can get this in most ports.   I think a smarter value is the Quench Beverage Pkg....especially if you are a coffee/soda lover!

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4 minutes ago, cruzin4us said:

   I think a smarter value is the Quench Beverage Pkg....especially if you are a coffee/soda lover!

 

If you don't mind drinking fountain soda you can pre-purchase a $50 card for $25. Add a bottle of spirits for your stateroom for under $50 and you're good to go.

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We buy the Beverage Cards as they can also be used to buy bottles of wine.

 

Depending on how much ship board credit we have, depends on if buy the cards before the cruise or once we are on the ship.

 

For us -- the drink packages are not worth.  We don't drink 6 cocktails a day.  Also we do not drink sodas and buy only 1 bottle each person of water and keep refilling it from the bathroom tap.

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43 minutes ago, Krazy Kruizers said:

We buy the Beverage Cards as they can also be used to buy bottles of wine.

 

Depending on how much ship board credit we have, depends on if buy the cards before the cruise or once we are on the ship.

 

For us -- the drink packages are not worth.  We don't drink 6 cocktails a day.  Also we do not drink sodas and buy only 1 bottle each person of water and keep refilling it from the bathroom tap.

 

Please explain the main purpose for purchasing Beverage Cards rather than just purchasing OBC.  It seems more of a hassle to me to carry around another card??   Is the main purpose just to keep all the alcohol purchases off your main invoice/bill?   

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1 hour ago, CM1984 said:

Instead of purchasing OBC, we purchase beverage cards, yes, it's an extra card to carry, but it's no big deal.  We like the cards instead of OBC because if we have drinks charged to Cabin, then your statement will show allllll those charges.  With the cards, it reduces that statement quite a bit.  And if you don't use it all, you get refunded on your cc within a day or two.

 

I have long used the prepaid beverage cards as well and always found them to be convenient for the same reasons as you state.  Trying to buy one on Nieuw Statendam in January, they were not available.  (More than one bartender told me that they had been discontinued to encourage guests to purchase the beverage packages.)  Whether this was true just for Nieuw Statendam or for the whole fleet, I don't know. 

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14 minutes ago, rkacruiser said:

 

I have long used the prepaid beverage cards as well and always found them to be convenient for the same reasons as you state.  Trying to buy one on Nieuw Statendam in January, they were not available.  (More than one bartender told me that they had been discontinued to encourage guests to purchase the beverage packages.)  Whether this was true just for Nieuw Statendam or for the whole fleet, I don't know. 

 

I sure hope they continue the beverage cards, there are way too many people that just would, it buy the bev pkgs, I believe.  We will be on the Rotterdam on April 7 and I have already purchased a Bev Card and a Soda Fountain card.

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1 hour ago, cruzin4us said:

Is the main purpose just to keep all the alcohol purchases off your main invoice/bill?   

Yes. You have one purchase to proof at the end of the cruise---the one for the card---instead of all the individual drinks. When you use up a $250 beverage card, that can save a lot of work on the last morning.

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1 hour ago, CM1984 said:

 

I sure hope they continue the beverage cards, there are way too many people that just would, it buy the bev pkgs, I believe.  We will be on the Rotterdam on April 7 and I have already purchased a Bev Card and a Soda Fountain card.

I am traveling on NS on June 2nd and I am able to purchase the beverage card in advance. 

Screen Shot 2019-03-27 at 2.46.23 PM.png

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17 minutes ago, qoap24 said:

I am traveling on NS on June 2nd and I am able to purchase the beverage card in advance. 

Screen Shot 2019-03-27 at 2.46.23 PM.png

 

I pre-purchased beverage cards for our cruise as well.  

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I guess my thought of buying the OBC was this.   If I loaded up on the OBC with the approx amount of the beverage pkg then I could keep track of it daily (have to have something to do when I wake up at 2 a.m. :classic_blink:).   Then if I could gauge if I will have a credit balance.  If I do, then I could hit the casino, spa, or duty free shop.  If I purchase the Beverage card, I would have to wait until I get home to be refunded....right?   I'm probably on more of a Top Ramen Budget than most of you, and I'd rather not wait for the refund if that makes sense.   

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3 minutes ago, cruzin4us said:

I guess my thought of buying the OBC was this.   If I loaded up on the OBC with the approx amount of the beverage pkg then I could keep track of it daily (have to have something to do when I wake up at 2 a.m. :classic_blink:).   Then if I could gauge if I will have a credit balance.  If I do, then I could hit the casino, spa, or duty free shop.  If I purchase the Beverage card, I would have to wait until I get home to be refunded....right?   I'm probably on more of a Top Ramen Budget than most of you, and I'd rather not wait for the refund if that makes sense.   

 

Beverage card is refunded the last night of your cruise.

 

So, since you always know your balance you can still hit the casino, spa or duty free shop since the credit from it will offset your spending you choose to do with the surprlus.

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Our strategy is to buy bottles for the cabin. We start with 2 and add to that, if we need to, depending on the itinerary. Then we attend the happy hours, usually a couple of times a day where you get a drink and the 2nd is $2. Maybe one day we buy a bottle of wine with dinner. 

 

We bring on our mixers at embarkation and order limes from room service or go to a bar and ask for them.

 

We also buy Coffees and the amount is included in the figure below.

 

With that said, our expenditure is around $70/day for the 2 of us, on average.  We think the happy hours are key to the success, though, and it may or may not fit into your schedule.

 

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1 hour ago, kazu said:

I pre-purchased beverage cards for our cruise as well.

 

I never had to do this before because I wanted to use the OBC already posted to my account as a result of CCL stock ownership, a booking perk, and/or a OBC given by my travel agent.

 

 

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2 hours ago, cruzin4us said:

I guess my thought of buying the OBC was this.   If I loaded up on the OBC with the approx amount of the beverage pkg then I could keep track of it daily (have to have something to do when I wake up at 2 a.m. :classic_blink:).   Then if I could gauge if I will have a credit balance.  If I do, then I could hit the casino, spa, or duty free shop.  If I purchase the Beverage card, I would have to wait until I get home to be refunded....right?   I'm probably on more of a Top Ramen Budget than most of you, and I'd rather not wait for the refund if that makes sense.   

The last evening of the cruise you can go to the front desk and get cash if you still have obc left.

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OP you make a good point about how much you have to drink to get your valve back for the cost of the SBP. We have the Explore 4 promo for our Alaska cruise in July which includes the SBP, 2 dinners in the PG and $200 OBC. The price of our SS cabin with the X4 is about $200pp more than what the same cabin would cost now without the X4, so with all the X4 addons we are only paying $130 more for both of us to have the SBP. We will upgrade to the Elite BP on board for about $140 total just to have better wines by the glass ($15 vs $9) with meals, so in our case we are way ahead of the game because 10 glasses of $15 wine pays for the extra cost.

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Nice to have some alternatives.  Thanks to all for explanations.

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1 hour ago, terrydtx said:

OP you make a good point about how much you have to drink to get your valve back for the cost of the SBP. We have the Explore 4 promo for our Alaska cruise in July which includes the SBP, 2 dinners in the PG and $200 OBC. The price of our SS cabin with the X4 is about $200pp more than what the same cabin would cost now without the X4, so with all the X4 addons we are only paying $130 more for both of us to have the SBP. We will upgrade to the Elite BP on board for about $140 total just to have better wines by the glass ($15 vs $9) with meals, so in our case we are way ahead of the game because 10 glasses of $15 wine pays for the extra cost.

 

That makes perfect sense on upgrading.  I would do that too if I had the X4, but unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you look at it) I received a free cruise from a casino offer so I'm on my own when it comes to drinks....lol

 

I've come to the confusion that we will bring our own wine and pay the corkage.  I'll then throw some money ontomy  OBC and not worry about my "extra" drinks which should be relatively few (maybe 1 a day).  We bought the Quench Beverage Pkg so I can get my coffees/energy drinks/sodas/water.   Also bought a bottle of Bailey's for the room to add to my coffee.

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We typically cruise Celebrity with a beverage package.  We like our cocktails, and I am not looking forward to our bill on our 51 day cruise this Fall.

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I didn't know about the beverage cards...just checked and they are available for our cruise.  The $25 soda fountain for $50 worth of soda is a good deal.    One less thing for us to bring onboard 🙂  Thanks!!

 

 

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 I just received a small tax return, yah for me.  So I’ve done the drink cards  before and struggled using them up.  I am not a soda or specialty coffee drinker or even water for that matter. I added up what I thought I’d spend on drinks, bingo,  daily hotel service charge and the spa and I just added that amount to  onboard credit.  I like knowing that most everything is paid for in advance and I don’t have to keep track of my charges per say.  I’ll just check it occasionally to make sure I’m not going to crazy  😂😂😂

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21 minutes ago, magictam said:

 I just received a small tax return, yah for me.  So I’ve done the drink cards  before and struggled using them up.  I am not a soda or specialty coffee drinker or even water for that matter. I added up what I thought I’d spend on drinks, bingo,  daily hotel service charge and the spa and I just added that amount to  onboard credit.  I like knowing that most everything is paid for in advance and I don’t have to keep track of my charges per say.  I’ll just check it occasionally to make sure I’m not going to crazy  😂😂😂

 

That's kind of how I roll too :classic_biggrin:  I'd rather pay up front.....cash as I go sort of speak.  I dread putting things on my cc which I have to pay off later.     I love that you don't drink water.....(me either😎).....now coffee on the other hand is a whole other subject.

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I cannot help but think I must be missing something here.  What is the advantage of pre-paying for drinks rather than just paying as you go and settling your on board account at the end of the cruise (as all passengers must do anyway)?  We have determined that the beverage packages are not an advantage for us because we are reluctant to have our choices limited to what is included in the plan, and most days we would not drink enough to hit the breakeven point.  If there were a discount attached to the pre-purchased drink cards I could understand the value of buying those as opposed to buying individual drinks.  Since that is not the case I don't see their advantage. Likewise I do not understand the advantage of buying OBC in advance to cover drink costs when I can simply pay at the end.  If I want to limit my drink budget to a particular amount I can monitor my purchases just as easily without pre-paying anything.  What am I missing?

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