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elapel01

Cost of drinks without Open Bar free for sail

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I am thinking of booking 10 night Med cruise on Getaway.  With a busy itinerary I thought maybe we don’t need to pay the $396 grats for the Open Bar since we might not get our money’s worth.  Then I started to think what if my DH and I had 2 drinks a day...how much would that end up costing?  So can someone please give me a rough idea of cost of a bottled beer, glass of wine, mixed cocktail?   I think bottled water is not included?  Thanks.

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Prices vary quite a bit by drink.  As a rule of thumb, two drinks/person/day is roughly a wash between cash and promo package.  Three drinks or more tips the scales toward the package.  

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Posted (edited)

You can select the beverage package as a perk or you can select another perk instead so you need to consider the value of the other perk too. By that I mean you could take the dining package instead of the drink package so you need to include the value of that perk plus the cost of the drink package gratuities.

 

The dining package is four nights on a ten day cruise and costs $112.80 plus gratuities to purchase. If the dining package were something you would do anyway you will need to buy $508 worth of drinks to break even. The package covers drinks up to $15, you pay the difference for drinks which exceed that cost. Unless you are sure you will drink at least two drinks each every day you are better off passing on the drink package.

Edited by Paul Bogle

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I have found when I cruise without a drink package, I think more before ordering that glass of wine (or two) with dinner or the drink during the evening show. Sitting on deck on an At Sea day, I think of the added cost before I choose not to get a coco mojito.

When I’ve had the beverage package, I didn’t think twice when I wanted to try something new because of I didn’t like it, no problem- get something else as it’s already included. I want to enjoy myself while vacationing, not count how much more I will owe when the vacation is over.

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40 bucks a day would be easy to hit...I would pay the grats and enjoy not worrying about costs...

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Med cruise long days ahore and early nights to rest up for the next day  It might not be worth it

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3 hours ago, Paul Bogle said:

You can select the beverage package as a perk or you can select another perk instead so you need to consider the value of the other perk too. By that I mean you could take the dining package instead of the drink package so you need to include the value of that perk plus the cost of the drink package gratuities.

 

The dining package is four nights on a ten day cruise and costs $112.80 plus gratuities to purchase. If the dining package were something you would do anyway you will need to buy $508 worth of drinks to break even. The package covers drinks up to $15, you pay the difference for drinks which exceed that cost. Unless you are sure you will drink at least two drinks each every day you are better off passing on the drink package.

When I picked the dining package on the website it only add $50.30 to the invoice and that was Canadian money.  So I thought it was around $38 USD to pick the dining option???  I wondered why so low.  Yet when I picked Open Bar it added $530 CAD ($396 USD).  Where can I see the prices that you quoted on NCL website?  Thanks. 

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When you pick the dining package as a free at sea offer you get the package for free ($112.80 to purchase) but you pay 20% gratuity which is about $22.56 each or $45.12 totaL USA money. 

 

When you pick the beverage package you get the package for free (not sure of the cost) but you pay the 20% gratuity on it. For our next seven day cruise the drink package gratuity charge is $154.40 each for a total of $308.80 US money.

 

The prices I'm quoting are what I see in my booking as available for purchase on my sailing. Once you book you will see them also but must do the currency conversion.

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24 minutes ago, Paul Bogle said:

When you pick the dining package as a free at sea offer you get the package for free ($112.80 to purchase) but you pay 20% gratuity which is about $22.56 each or $45.12 totaL USA money. 

 

When you pick the beverage package you get the package for free (not sure of the cost) but you pay the 20% gratuity on it. For our next seven day cruise the drink package gratuity charge is $154.40 each for a total of $308.80 US money.

 

The prices I'm quoting are what I see in my booking as available for purchase on my sailing. Once you book you will see them also but must do the currency conversion.

Ok, thanks.  That explains a lot.  I am seeing $50.34 Canadian money which would be the $45.12 USD total plus exchange.  I will probably be choosing the beverage package and dining package.  

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Beverage pkg retails for $99/day/person and fake gratuity (aka “beverage service charge & gratuity”) is $20/day/person (all USD).  My personal opinion is an average of 2 drinks/day covers the cost, but agree with others to weigh what perk you would get INSTEAD of UBP, and whether you are going to pay out of pocket for the perk you are passing up as “free”.

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2 hours ago, Sauer-kraut said:

Med cruise long days ahore and early nights to rest up for the next day  It might not be worth it

Very true, I would skip out on the package and forego the pay as you go drinks while on board. With a Med cruise, you are probably cruising to see some amazing places. We did a port intensive British Isles cruise last year without the beverage package. Never even missed not having it, and we saw some wonderful places. 

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Unless you know for sure you are going to drink more than 4 drinks a day/couple (and that's really for cocktails and wine; if you're drinking beer, it will be more drinks/day to meet it), I would not bother with the package. You will find yourself looking for a drink just to meet your quota. As someone else said - you are off the ship so much that you likely would be buying drinks in port anyway. Also, google - free or cheap ways to drink on a cruise and there are several articles giving tips for ways to cut the costs of your drinks.

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Here's another thought for those trying to cruise on a budget.  First, I am no longer a 1stTIMECRUZER, but only cruise once a year or every other year so am not an expert as many of you are.  The last two cruises we've had the "FREE AT SEA" with the beverage and dining plan.  As a recent early retiree, I'm more budget conscious and am looking for ways to continue to cruise at a lesser cost.  I didn't notice this when booking our last couple cruises (maybe there was no Sail Away rate available??)...but, there is a huge difference (huge for us) with the Sail Away rate and the rate that includes the "FREE AT SEA".  For us, the rate difference was about $450 each so $900 and that did not include gratuities that would have been tacked on as well for the beverage or specialty dining plan.  Wow, that's big when you are trying to budget.  We do appreciate a balcony cabin but went with the Sail Away balcony rate.  We appreciate the specialty dining options but can certainly work with the complimentary options.  We like a beverage here and there but I'm certain there were days when we were in port that we didn't have two drinks on board.  I do understand that with the Sail Away rate we can't pick our cabin and there are "risks" associated with that which we were willing to take.  FREE AT SEA is not really free.  Weigh the difference and make sure you get what you pay for.

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