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How much did you drink and how much did you spend?


danak13
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So I have always gotten drink packages on cruises-I swear by them.  However, this is my first time on Carnival traveling with my mom who does not drink and, as tempting as it is, I cannot afford two drink packages. So I want to save up some money to put in my onboard account so I don't have to worry about buying drinks onboard but not sure how much I should budget for.  Just wondering if you did not have the CHEERS package, how much you spent in drinks and how much you generally drank. 

 

Thanks 

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Our alcohol tab has never been more than $200, but we only have a drink or two a day.  If I were you, I would add up what you usually drink per day on a cruise and then add that money to your onboard account.  That is the most accurate thing to do since some people only have a few drinks and others can top out at 15.  I think there's a spreadsheet somewhere with the drink prices, including specialty coffee and other drinks that are included on the package.

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I'm not sure if this will work for Carnival, but on RCCL this worked and works for each cruise they take.  My friend does not drink, but her husband does.  Her doctor gave her a letter stating that due to medication interactions she can't drink alcohol, and RCCL allowed just her husband to purchase the package.  It may be worth a try to see if your mom's doctor would write a similar note, if you would rather try for the package?  

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2 hours ago, danak13 said:

So I have always gotten drink packages on cruises-I swear by them.  However, this is my first time on Carnival traveling with my mom who does not drink and, as tempting as it is, I cannot afford two drink packages. So I want to save up some money to put in my onboard account so I don't have to worry about buying drinks onboard but not sure how much I should budget for.  Just wondering if you did not have the CHEERS package, how much you spent in drinks and how much you generally drank. 

 

Thanks 

You should definitely use the spreadsheet and do the math before you decide you don't want Cheers. I typically drink nicer cocktails (Alchemy / other non-frozen-specials) and wine. At that pricepoint, the break even per person is ~5/day or slightly less. 10/day isn't a ton if you're a "swear by the drink package" person, imo. Not to mention, your mom doesn't drink alcohol, but does she like coffee? soda? bottled vs tap water? All of her non-alcoholic beverages will be included with Cheers, vs having to budget for them separately.

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5 minutes ago, sredish said:

I'm not sure if this will work for Carnival, but on RCCL this worked and works for each cruise they take.  My friend does not drink, but her husband does.  Her doctor gave her a letter stating that due to medication interactions she can't drink alcohol, and RCCL allowed just her husband to purchase the package.  It may be worth a try to see if your mom's doctor would write a similar note, if you would rather try for the package?  

Carnival doesn't make exceptions on this, including for doctors' notes. I think I have heard of ONE exception, total, being made in the last several years. As opposed to dozens of anecdotes of being declined. 

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We only get the drink packages when they are part of a promo or Casino  rate.  When we get the drink package we take advantage of it and drink much more than we do with out it.  When we do not get the drink package DH and I our alcohol bill is normally between $50-$100.  We bring our allotted bottles of champagne to make Mimosas.  We visit Red Frog Pub during happy hour.  We use our free drink coupon on the last night.  Another money saving devise is to purchase discounted Carnival Gift Cards and use them on board by applying them to your S&S card.  I get them from either AARP or our local Meijers when they give you $5 mperks for every $50 in Gift Card Purchases.   I put a $500 card on our account last month when we were on the Magic.  On the last night I check my balance (in this case it was a credit), I down loaded my credit amount into my players bank in the casino at a slot machine and cashed it out.  I just looked at my receipt and my total drink spend was $46.97 for DH and myself for 8 nights.  But our drinking is not your drinking so take what you think your need.  It may be helpful for you to get the gift card in the amount or more than you think need so you can cash out and bring home what you don't use.

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My husband drinks A LOT! He mostly gets buckets of beer. Me, just a few fruity drinks.  

7 day cruise, 2 sea days at the beginning (plus embarkation day), 3 port days and then 1 sea day at the end. 

Here is our breakdown

Day one (embarkation day)  $164.08

Day two (sea day) $136.35

Day three (sea day) $39.58

Day four (port day) $14.40

Day five (port day) $43.89

Day six (port day) $ 116.12

Day seven (sea day) $ 99.58

Total $614

Cheers cost would have been $ 858.20

The above also includes coffee from the coffee shop and a few sodas. We also had family traveling with us and I know a time or two my sister and I went to get a drink and I just had them scan my card and pay for both drinks. 

Our experience was just how I figured it would be when we decided not to get Cheers. We would drink a bunch the first couple days, not so much on the nights before port days and then quite a bit on the last few days. 

 

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We kick around getting it every cruise.  Our bar bills have been around $500 to $700, depending on whether we're on a 7 or 8 day.   We drink all we want.  The main temptation for me is the specialty coffees and water.  We drink a bottle of San Pelegrino every night at dinner.  I think I would have a latte or two everyday,  also.  But, we're still resisting. 

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I remember my first cruise, my boyfriend now husband took me on in 1995 on the Fantasy.  We were younger then 😀 and very excited.  At the end of the cruise, my BF/DH got that long print out bill, It was at least 5 pages long LOL, and around $1,000 +.  Remember, we were younger, excited, going to the Mexican Riviera.  We had such a good time, great memories.  We are sailing the Panorama for our 22nd Anniversary, I doubt we will do that much damage on the bar drinks now LOL.  

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We historically have always bought the Cheers package, but decided not to on our last cruise.  Instead, I purchased $500 in Bar Cash and $500 in Cruise Cash.  I purchased $1000 in Carnival Gift cards for $900 with AARP rewards.  So basically for a few dollars more than the drink package would have cost for the both of us.   

 

I thought for sure we would spend the entire Bar Cash portion (it is use it or lose it), and then dip into the Cruise Cash for any remainder bar tab balance, but we ended up not using about $50 of the Bar Cash, which we did not get refunded.  It was a good lesson for us and I doubt that we would ever purchase the Cheers package again.  

 

FYI - There was no concern of not using the Cruise cash as I knew I could download it int he casino and cash out if I needed to.

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2 hours ago, MT_Sea_Cruisers said:

We historically have always bought the Cheers package, but decided not to on our last cruise.  Instead, I purchased $500 in Bar Cash and $500 in Cruise Cash.  I purchased $1000 in Carnival Gift cards for $900 with AARP rewards.  So basically for a few dollars more than the drink package would have cost for the both of us.   

 

I thought for sure we would spend the entire Bar Cash portion (it is use it or lose it), and then dip into the Cruise Cash for any remainder bar tab balance, but we ended up not using about $50 of the Bar Cash, which we did not get refunded.  It was a good lesson for us and I doubt that we would ever purchase the Cheers package again.  

 

FYI - There was no concern of not using the Cruise cash as I knew I could download it int he casino and cash out if I needed to.

Can I ask why you took the extra step of purchasing the Bar and Cruise Cash?  On my cruise last month I just put my Carnival Gift Card on my S&S account.  I cashed out the credit I had left at the end of the cruise by downloading it onto my Players Bank and cashing it out in the Casino.  No need to worry about using it or losing it and did not need to take the extra step of purchasing Bar and Cruise Cash.

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Our bar tab for 2 people for 7 days was $185.04.  We had some buckets of beer, alchemy drinks, lounge drinks and a few cokes.  The older we get, the less we drink.  Even in our younger days, though, we never had a bar bill reach $400.  I would definitely use the spreadsheet to see if it is worth it.  Remember you may not be on the ship much on port days.  

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Without the FREE package, here is what I do. I get the soda package. Now, my drink in most cases is Rum & Coke. Also Gin, orange juice and gingerale. The all sodas and juices are included in your soda package. So if I want a mixed drink. Let's say a Rum & Coke. I get the Coke and then buy a 2oz  shot. Usually $5.00 on the average. Sometimes they have specials during the cruise. Get the idea! Not bad. I would never drink more than 2 or 3 a day tops. So purchasing a drink package is a waste of money for me. Considering me and my wife would need to purchase it. Not required for the soda package. Only one. They do not like sharing. But who is counting?

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1 hour ago, Warm Breezes said:

Can I ask why you took the extra step of purchasing the Bar and Cruise Cash?  On my cruise last month I just put my Carnival Gift Card on my S&S account.  I cashed out the credit I had left at the end of the cruise by downloading it onto my Players Bank and cashing it out in the Casino.  No need to worry about using it or losing it and did not need to take the extra step of purchasing Bar and Cruise Cash.

We had planned this cruise for over a year.  I has purchased  the gift cards throughout the year (each time I earned enough AARP rewards) and added the bar/cruise cash as I did this.   Before I knew it I had hit the maximum ($500 each).    I could have held on to them and put them on our S&S Account, but the guest services desk never seems to have a short line when it is  convenient for me,

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On 6/4/2019 at 8:33 AM, danak13 said:

So I have always gotten drink packages on cruises-I swear by them.  However, this is my first time on Carnival traveling with my mom who does not drink and, as tempting as it is, I cannot afford two drink packages. So I want to save up some money to put in my onboard account so I don't have to worry about buying drinks onboard but not sure how much I should budget for.  Just wondering if you did not have the CHEERS package, how much you spent in drinks and how much you generally drank. 

 

Thanks 

When I was first thinking about the Cheers package, I did my own accounting.  I drank what I wanted, when I wanted, like I would have done with the drink package.  I spent slightly more than i would have if I'd gotten Cheers.  I like trying more expensive wines that I would normally buy for myself at home, so those add up.  I love the Alchemy cocktails, the fruity drinks, will have a couple of soft drinks per day, and generally get a couple of bottles of water per day.

 

The last time I cruised with someone else in the same cabin, she didn't drink at all.  Like you, it was really not worth paying for two drink packages.  (I'll break even or come out ahead with one package, but probably wouldn't have, buying two.)  I prepaid for a bottle of vanilla vodka to be delivered to my cabin instead of getting Cheers.  Took advantage of being able to carry on a 12 pack of canned Cokes and the allowable limit of wine, and kindly asked the steward keep  ice in my cabin.  Boom: vanilla cokes for the week and wine for dinner.  I also took advantage of the discounted AARP Carnival gift cards and applied those to my S&S card in case I wanted to indulge for the occasional Alchemy cocktail or something other than what I had in my cabin.

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For a 7 day cruise with 4 port days about $200 for the 2 of us.  8-10 drinks each.  We also had our allotted 2 bottles of wine and had a few cocktails in port a couple of days.  I expected to spend more but we didn't drink near as much as I thought we would.

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17 hours ago, k.davis817 said:

When I was first thinking about the Cheers package, I did my own accounting.  I drank what I wanted, when I wanted, like I would have done with the drink package.  I spent slightly more than i would have if I'd gotten Cheers.  I like trying more expensive wines that I would normally buy for myself at home, so those add up.  I love the Alchemy cocktails, the fruity drinks, will have a couple of soft drinks per day, and generally get a couple of bottles of water per day.

 

The last time I cruised with someone else in the same cabin, she didn't drink at all.  Like you, it was really not worth paying for two drink packages.  (I'll break even or come out ahead with one package, but probably wouldn't have, buying two.)  I prepaid for a bottle of vanilla vodka to be delivered to my cabin instead of getting Cheers.  Took advantage of being able to carry on a 12 pack of canned Cokes and the allowable limit of wine, and kindly asked the steward keep  ice in my cabin.  Boom: vanilla cokes for the week and wine for dinner.  I also took advantage of the discounted AARP Carnival gift cards and applied those to my S&S card in case I wanted to indulge for the occasional Alchemy cocktail or something other than what I had in my cabin.

Tell me how the AARP card works. What is the discount you receive and how does it add up. I do not belong at this time.

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24 minutes ago, twodaywonder said:

Tell me how the AARP card works. What is the discount you receive and how does it add up. I do not belong at this time.

You sign up and do these for points

https://www.aarp.org/rewards-for-good/

Then you go to here and reap the rewards 🙂 10%.

https://rewards.aarp.org/#/giftcards/80?_k=3knqwn

 

I purchased $2700 worth this morning to pay off my Sept cruise for $2430 + $4.00 shipping I think it was,

I purchase another $500.00 ( for $450.00) before sailing and apply to S&S card.

 

+ I get OBC $100.00 for owning CCL stock as well.

 

Repeat the cycle.

 

And if you join AARP for whatever the cost is per year  $16.00, You get 50% additional points plus saving elsewhere hotels etc..

 

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18 minutes ago, thesmiths said:

You sign up and do these for points

https://www.aarp.org/rewards-for-good/

Then you go to here and reap the rewards 🙂 10%.

https://rewards.aarp.org/#/giftcards/80?_k=3knqwn

 

I purchased $2700 worth this morning to pay off my Sept cruise for $2430 + $4.00 shipping I think it was,

I purchase another $500.00 ( for $450.00) before sailing and apply to S&S card.

 

+ I get OBC $100.00 for owning CCL stock as well.

 

Repeat the cycle.

 

And if you join AARP for whatever the cost is per year  $16.00, You get 50% additional points plus saving elsewhere hotels etc..

 

So it looks like about 10% savings. We sail a lot. Is that just for Carnival? We also have the stock.

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On 6/5/2019 at 1:02 PM, dmdiver said:

  Remember you may not be on the ship much on port days.  

That is an excuse that holds zero water.  If you like to indulge on vacation and you have 1 drink every hour and a half once you're back on the ship (500-630-800-930-1100), you have paid for Cheers. 

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SNJ that is true for some people. I have several friends who can easily get their money’s worth with cheers. I also have many friends that would not be able to on port days. I also consider taking a break on sea days if I am going to use the water slides, sky cycle or ropes course. I’m not sure why you say that is an excuse. It’s simply something to consider when doing your analysis. Everyone’s will be different depending on their drinking patterns. Because some people like the more expensive cocktails while others just want a beer, break even points will vary. 

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If your actually contemplating buying 2 packages, I’m going to assume you are are someone who likes to indulge (much like myself 😂) because drink packages are not cheap. I went on a cruise with family where I didn’t get the package and I spent like $350 for a 5 day cruise. I would say that I certainly had my fare share of drinks, but that amount was me being conscious about it. I drank less since I was with family as opposed to, say with a group of friends. 

 

When end I go with a group of friends, the drink package is not optional 🤷🏼‍♀️😂🛳

 

 

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