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Another Option instead of Purchasing Beverage Packages

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21 hours ago, daisy-mae said:

 

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.

How many sodas do you get for  $50?

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6 minutes ago, Robnor said:

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?

 

Exchange rates for one thing 😉.  If I wait until I am on board then I am subject to the period of time when the bill goes through to pay for my US dollar bill.

 

Considering where the Canadian dollar sits now compared to when I purchased OBC and beverage cards, I am definitely ahead of the game, exchange rate wise 😉 

 

Each to their own - I usually end up with a 10 page bill - with beverage cards, I avoid an additional bunch of pages to check and confirm 😉 

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39 minutes ago, Robnor said:

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?

 

For me it is about making sure I have enough money to cover everything without having to put anything on my cc.  I'm on a "barely can afford this cruise" so it's a saving's plan in a sense to purchase OBC before the cruise when ever I can scrape some money together.   Unless I get a terrific deal on a drink pkg, I no longer purchase them as I've experienced I never reach the break even point.   

 

I don't want the hassle of buying beverage cards and having to wait (and calculate) to get any unused portion returned.  If I buy OBC, I can withdraw the unused portion in the casino and be done with it.   

 

I guess it boils down to whatever works due to finances and convenience.  

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Thanks Kazu, it takes a fellow Canadian to point out a challenge we face in paying on board cruise costs in US $.  A little currency hedging is not a bad idea.  

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1 minute ago, Robnor said:

Thanks Kazu, it takes a fellow Canadian to point out a challenge we face in paying on board cruise costs in US $.  A little currency hedging is not a bad idea.  

 

It’s really paid off for me a few times.  At the very least, I’m dollar cost averaging my risk 😉 

 

 

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1 hour ago, cruzin4us said:

 

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.

 I runoff of coffee from the time I wake up till about 1130 or noon and then I switch over to Ice-T.   I plan on stopping on the way to the port to pick up a six pack or so a unsweet iced tea.  I know they have an on the ship but the flavor is in that great and I don’t want to have to keep bringing it back from the Lido deck.

10 more days😀 

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Posted (edited)

We always pay as we go.  Neither of drinks soft drinks, only one of us drinks alcoholic beverages and very little at that.

 

As a Canadian, we take notice of currency.   Two years ago we did two cruises from Australia within a few weeks of each other.  One on Princess, one on RCI.  Princess on board currency was AUD, almost the same as ours.   RCI on board currency was USD, thirty plus percent more expensive.  The  RCI charges were higher on most bar and wine items.   The $10. drink turned in just shy of $14 when exchange as sc was taken into account!  Adjusted for currency, the on board charges on RCI worked out to be 30 percent higher. sometimes even higher, than the same charges on Princess.

Edited by iancal

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1 hour ago, cruzin4us said:

 

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.

 

Thats funny, we roll a whole different way. We don't purchase any additional OBC and just charge what we want. Since I don't imbibe alcohol and the DW might have a pre-dinner drink every few days, our bar purchases are quite low, which I'm sure the ship just loves! So a drink package is never anything we even consider. When ever we book our cruise, I always ask for the price without X4 if offered, as the PP price increase is never worth it for us. 

 

Our main expenditures are internet, bingo, minor shop purchases, Shore Excursions, PG Dinner or 2, and HSC. We will pick up some 1.5/2 Litre Sodas & Waters in ports and use them for during the cruise. Depending on how many Ship Excursions we take, our OBC (TA, promotion, stock) generally takes cares of all our charges. But hey if there is a balance due at the end, then onto the CC it goes and I'll take care of at the next billing. 

 

It will be interesting to manage on our next cruise, as we got 2 $25 Beverage Cards as part of our promotion (along with HSC paid for). We've got private tours scheduled for almost all the ports and since none of our OBC is refundable, may have to get creative in insuring we spend it all.  

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10 minutes ago, magictam said:

 I runoff of coffee from the time I wake up till about 1130 or noon and then I switch over to Ice-T.   I plan on stopping on the way to the port to pick up a six pack or so a unsweet iced tea.  I know they have an on the ship but the flavor is in that great and I don’t want to have to keep bringing it back from the Lido deck.

10 more days😀 

I live on the Ice-Tea on the ship. I have a few 32oz Gatorade bottles with the sports tops that I bring along. I'll fill them up and put some away in the mini-fridge for the evening in the cabin. Otherwise I'm always dragging one around and sipping out of it all day. Even have some small collapsible funnels that I carry around to make filling them easier from either a pitcher or glasses.  

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Some people find the SBP (or EBP) to be a big money saver and definitely worth the expense.  Others don't.  It all really depends on your beverage consumption when you are on vacation, which can be quite different than what you consume at home in a daily routine.   Also affecting the value of the SBP is the type of cruise you are on.   A very port-intensive cruise ("If it's Tuesday, this must be Barbados"), you have less time to consume beverages.   

Another consideration is the recent policy change of HAL concerning non-alcoholic beverages.   They are NOT counted in your daily 15 drink limit, but are covered with the SBP and EBP.   When you have the SBP or EBP, you effectively also have the "Quench Beverage Package" thrown in for no charge.   Only your alcoholic beverages are counted in the 15 drink daily limit.  Bottles of water, sodas, coffees, teas, hot chocolate are all included, but not totaled each day.   

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3 hours ago, Robnor said:

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)?

 

3 hours ago, Robnor said:

Likewise I do not understand the advantage of buying OBC in advance to cover drink costs when I can simply pay at the end.

It's a matter of budgeting for some people. By paying something in advance periodically it's easier than getting hit with a big credit card charge at the end.
Not all people budget the same way.

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10 hours 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.

You are able to upgrade the package onboard to the Elite package?  When I called and asked I was told no. 

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32 minutes ago, lindaco said:

You are able to upgrade the package onboard to the Elite package?  When I called and asked I was told no. 

 

Call Seattle three times and you will get 3 different answers.  Most of them have never been on a ship and don't know how the ships work (and the ships aren't consistent).

 

Did you buy the package or have Explore4?  There has been a lot of success reported for those that have Explore4. In the last couple of years.  Prior to that, it was tought and took perserverance.

 

Why wouldn't HAL want more $ in their pocket 😉 😄 Most reports have been favourable as of late - in fact, on some ships it is encouraged 😉 

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16 minutes ago, kazu said:

 

Call Seattle three times and you will get 3 different answers.  Most of them have never been on a ship and don't know how the ships work (and the ships aren't consistent).

 

Did you buy the package or have Explore4?  There has been a lot of success reported for those that have Explore4. In the last couple of years.  Prior to that, it was tought and took perserverance.

 

Why wouldn't HAL want more $ in their pocket 😉 😄 Most reports have been favourable as of late - in fact, on some ships it is encouraged 😉 

We have Explore4, so will try to upgrade it onboard.  Mostly for the better wines.  

Celebrity has always let us upgrade the package so I was surprised when I was told no.

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1 minute ago, lindaco said:

We have Explore4, so will try to upgrade it onboard.  Mostly for the better wines.  

Celebrity has always let us upgrade the package so I was surprised when I was told no.

 

I totally understand.  Everything that has been posted as of late was staff were suggesting it.

 

It was offered to us last cruise.

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On 3/27/2019 at 11:13 AM, cruzin4us said:

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.

Totaly agree.,   Your right after  a few days you slow down on booze and food as well.   The cruise lines calculate this  The know that the majority of passengers can not sustain a heavy consumption schedule.    Thats why they offer it package.... they know that they will make more over time.     With the beverage package   one is always  trying to get his money worth....     With you pace your self and drink or eat when you feel like it which  in my experience is far less than buying a package.      Now  your talking about 7 days...   but how about 14... or 21  0r 28  days.  !!!!   HALsells  people those packages.... and loves it all the way to the bank.   

 

If  the package caused HAL to loose money, why would they offer it ?????     Thinking of you....Right !!!

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I like to compare the beverage packages to an extended warranty.  You know you probably won't have as enough repairs to break even on the cost.  Still, you also know that you won't ever spend more on repairs than the warranty costs.  It's an insurance package.  And, no, we don't buy the packages or the warranties.

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1 hour ago, RocketMan275 said:

I like to compare the beverage packages to an extended warranty.  You know you probably won't have as enough repairs to break even on the cost.  Still, you also know that you won't ever spend more on repairs than the warranty costs.  It's an insurance package.  And, no, we don't buy the packages or the warranties.

 

I think you are right on this one.  People would rather know they CAN drink up to 15 cocktails a day but in reality, most probably don't consume more than 5-6.   Sure, there are the exceptions, but on the average I bet HAL just laughs all the way to the bank.   

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7 hours ago, RuthC said:

 

It's a matter of budgeting for some people. By paying something in advance periodically it's easier than getting hit with a big credit card charge at the end.
Not all people budget the same way.

Exactly.  For us, a family of 4 cruising, it's been nice to pre-purchase drink packages, shore excursions and onboard credits over the past 3-4 months upfront so that when we are on the ship we will have minimal charges, just bingo, spa, shopping and gratuities.  This way we don't come home to a huge credit card bill the next month. 

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I've always wondered about people who pay for the packages and if they actually work to their advantage. Beverage packages just don't work for me - first, I'm not that heavy of a drinker (usually a glass of wine during dinner and then maybe a mixed drink). Second, my husband doesn't drink alcohol at all...so, for the most part, I plan on taking the two bottles of wine on the ship with us and that will take care of most of my alcohol wishes. I enjoy doing the happy hour drink offer every once in a while. But, the ship definitely isn't making their money off of our alcohol consumption! I'm a big hot tea drinker and anticipate drinking a good bit of that on the cruise again. I bring along my own reusable bottle to have a nice large cup of tea with me.

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On 3/28/2019 at 9:27 AM, mauimacho said:

How many sodas do you get for  $50?

Well that depends... on how much a six pack ashore costs !    Paying $1.25 a pop on the ship is less than good.

You can get a liter of Pepsi for $0.79  ashore

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15 hours ago, kaiiak said:

Exactly.  For us, a family of 4 cruising, it's been nice to pre-purchase drink packages, shore excursions and onboard credits over the past 3-4 months upfront so that when we are on the ship we will have minimal charges, just bingo, spa, shopping and gratuities.  This way we don't come home to a huge credit card bill the next month. 

But it sounds like you have a huge credit card bill before the cruise... and are paying interest too to avoid paying after with  the same money  but NO interest !!!.    HAL loves you  Your credit card must love you.

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19 hours ago, cruzin4us said:

 

I think you are right on this one.  People would rather know they CAN drink up to 15 cocktails a day but in reality, most probably don't consume more than 5-6.   Sure, there are the exceptions, but on the average I bet HAL just laughs all the way to the bank.   

You sir see the forest for the trees.... maybe 15-20 % make out on the packages   the other 80-85%  make HAL rich.

Hey, HAL  dosent offer the packages to save you...they pffer them because they know of the huge profit they will make with people who's eyes are larger than their stomach , so to speak.     Ask  why does HAL offer the package...at all .  ??? And don't say to help you save..................

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11 minutes ago, Hawaiidan said:

But it sounds like you have a huge credit card bill before the cruise... and are paying interest too to avoid paying after with  the same money  but NO interest !!!.    HAL loves you  Your credit card must love you.

 

Maybe not....I use my debit card to purchase some OBC every payday.   I don't charge any of my OBC to my cc as that defeats the purpose 😀

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7 hours ago, Hawaiidan said:

But it sounds like you have a huge credit card bill before the cruise... and are paying interest too to avoid paying after with  the same money  but NO interest !!!.    HAL loves you  Your credit card must love you.

No each time I make a purchase on the HAL website I use my VISA debit card and it comes out of my checking account.  I try to purchase a few things each month so it is in more affordable increments.  I guess it is sort of like a forced savings plan in a way.  I'm sure people who are great with their money can sock it away each month or people who have lots to spare don't have issues  I am not the best so this makes it easier and I feel more relaxed knowing when I am on vacation if things are prepaid. 

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