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New "fee" of $14/day on Perks Drink Package to be added?


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31 minutes ago, Iamcruzin said:

Cruising used to be a luxury vacation with food and entertainment. My first cruise on Carnival in 1986 while not white glove it was still a better all around experience in terms of food and accommodations than some experiences today. There was a time that I could choose any line and know what to expect. All had good service and good food. Now it’s a mass produced experience with ships getting bigger and bigger and promotions that require a consult with a financial advisor and an Attorney instead of a travel agent in order to fill the ships.  Some will argue that cruising is less expensive now that what it was 30 years ago. It’s certainly not the same experience and for some reason it was easier to afford then, than it is now.

When they start removing furniture or replacing it with that of form and no function they have hit rock bottom in terms of caring about that customer.

 

 

Agree, our first cruise was on Carnival in 1988.  The little things included made it so special.  We remember our drink bill at the end of the week being less than $100 and no we didn't skimp on drinks, as a matter if fact still have glasses, made from real glass, not plastic, that came with some of those drinks.

 

10 hours ago, wpgcycler said:

Dunno if this has already been mentioned but, doesn't anyone else find it amusing when people go on about X marketing to a younger demographic that they seem to forget they were once a member of that very same demographic X is targeting?

 

The difference to me is that when I was that younger demographic cruising was very different than it is today.  Most of those the cruise lines are now targeting would not have liked the old style of cruising which many of the long time Celebrity cruisers did.  Even though we have been cruising for many years, we are in between the 2 groups.  We used to sail Royal as our kids enjoyed what they had to offer.  Now that the kids don't sail with us most if the time we had moved over to Celebrity to get back some if that old cruising feel.  Unfortunately it's going away there as well.  As I said earlier in this thread our next cruise is most likely our last for a while, looking at other vacations as cruising just doesn't bring the same excitement it used to.

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16 hours ago, JonnyCT81 said:

Keep in mind that this doesn't effect purchasing the packages onboard, you can still do that without paying an increased fare.

As someone who loves the X brand and is mostly what I sell, I am not happy about it, but overall I don't think that the increase in fare will hurt their customer base, as it still does remain a good value IMHO.

 

I hope this helps clear the air a little, time will tell how this works out for the brand, and customer base.

 

A slightly different question. We’re already booked with the classic beverage package as a perk. What happens when I upgrade to premium, do I have to pay this $14 in addition to the difference between the two packages? If yes I’ll upgrade right away using my OBC. If not would rather wait till we’re onboard, we usually upgrade with our sommelier. 

 

Your expert advice and comments please...😊

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I think is extremely misleading to call it a "free" perk if it actually costs nearly $100 per person for a one week cruise. They should just list this perk as "deeply discounted beverage package."  Is the next step for Celebrity to charge an "internet service fee" for the free internet package perk?

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13 minutes ago, akcruz said:

 

The difference to me is that when I was that younger demographic cruising was very different than it is today.  Most of those the cruise lines are now targeting would not have liked the old style of cruising which many of the long time Celebrity cruisers did.  Even though we have been cruising for many years, we are in between the 2 groups.  We used to sail Royal as our kids enjoyed what they had to offer.  Now that the kids don't sail with us most if the time we had moved over to Celebrity to get back some if that old cruising feel.  Unfortunately it's going away there as well.  As I said earlier in this thread our next cruise is most likely our last for a while, looking at other vacations as cruising just doesn't bring the same excitement it used to.

 

Couple of things... First, you're right! I have no doubt cruising is "different" in 1988 than it is today. Further, I'm a living, breathing example of someone who "would not have liked the old style of cruising" - I swore I would never be caught dead on a cruise ship until I learned that things had indeed changed and that I could dine whenever I wanted, with whom I chose to dine without having to wear my "work clothes", drink in a bar without fussing over the cost, have my own balcony, hear "relatively" modern music etc. etc. 

 

Second, there seems to be a widespread lack of acceptance that, just as cruising may change, WE change too. "That old cruising feel" is made up of at least 3 components 1. What the cruise operator brings to the table  2. What we, the cruiser, bring to the table and 3. The context in which that cruise is made - i.e. EVERYTHING is different in 2019 than it was in 1988. Not one of these 3 components is static and to place the blame for the perceived decline in the enjoyment of the cruise solely on the cruise operator is grossly unfair by any reasonable measure.

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29 minutes ago, wpgcycler said:

 

Couple of things... First, you're right! I have no doubt cruising is "different" in 1988 than it is today. Further, I'm a living, breathing example of someone who "would not have liked the old style of cruising" - I swore I would never be caught dead on a cruise ship until I learned that things had indeed changed and that I could dine whenever I wanted, with whom I chose to dine without having to wear my "work clothes", drink in a bar without fussing over the cost, have my own balcony, hear "relatively" modern music etc. etc. 

 

Second, there seems to be a widespread lack of acceptance that, just as cruising may change, WE change too. "That old cruising feel" is made up of at least 3 components 1. What the cruise operator brings to the table  2. What we, the cruiser, bring to the table and 3. The context in which that cruise is made - i.e. EVERYTHING is different in 2019 than it was in 1988. Not one of these 3 components is static and to place the blame for the perceived decline in the enjoyment of the cruise solely on the cruise operator is grossly unfair by any reasonable measure.

BTW very well said. 

 

Many, not all, are very against any type of change little or big.  From working in the Hospitality industry to now doing IT I have seen it and see it every day.  I started in early 2000's cruising.  Yes it has changed, but it is all based on the markets.  With ships getting bigger and bigger, having more berths to fill it is hard the lines need to expand to a broader audience, yes there are still the smaller ships that do offer the luxury feel, Seaborne Crystal, but your paying a premium on those.  Also I saw someone mention why don't they just add the drink package into the cost of the cruise, this also would not make a lot happy because there are the many who don't drink at all and then would grumble about the costs.  It is a no win situation.  Ill wait and see what they costs do to the overall price of the cruise.  It all comes down to the math for me and celebrity still offers me the best product with ships and type of cruise I enjoy.   Ill probably watch my next 2 cruises booked and see how much I do actually drink on them.  As much as the drink package is great, I also remember cruising with out them before they were offered, and still had just as much fun.  Am I happy about the price increase , of course not but its still not a deal breaker and at this point I still don't feel the need to go with the more premium lines.  I am looking, always searching for a good deal but cost wise just not worth it to me. 

 

 

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17 hours ago, JonnyCT81 said:

From what I understand in talking with my contacts at X, all of the beverage packages were starting to eat into their costs, so they were faced with a dilemma: do they charge a "fee" (like NCL, which usually is 10% of the gross cruise fare), raise fares across the board, or raise rates on those with the beverage package. They clearly chose to go with the third option - this allowed them to keep rates the same for those who didn't use it, while raising rates slightly for those that do.   

 

Interesting.  I wouldn't call a $200 increase (on a 7-day cruise) a "slight" raise.  I still think it would be preferable to just spread it out over all passengers because it would be pretty imperceptible that way.  This just invites controversy and over-complicates the booking process.

 

I started cruising on X right around the time they started bundling this stuff in with the fares.  Lots of longer-term posters predicted exactly this scenario you describe.  In essence, the cruise line has put themselves over a barrel because now people expect the packages to be part of the rate before they'll book but X has already had to raise their rates so high that people are fleeing to the competition.  Doesn't bode well for the future, especially when the next economic downturn hits.

Edited by bEwAbG
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51 minutes ago, OceanCruise said:

I think is extremely misleading to call it a "free" perk if it actually costs nearly $100 per person for a one week cruise. They should just list this perk as "deeply discounted beverage package."  Is the next step for Celebrity to charge an "internet service fee" for the free internet package perk?

 

I don't think they call it a free perk anywhere. After room selection, the user is prompted to select 2 perks, 4 perks, or check a "No, thanks" checkbox below. If you choose the "No, thanks" option, then the user sees an additional discount labeled "PRICE RATE" on the pricing summary that appears next. 

 

They hide this by calling it a discount rather than an upcharge, but the end result is you are presented three different prices depending if you select 0 perks, 2 perks, or 4 perks.

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1 hour ago, wpgcycler said:

Second, there seems to be a widespread lack of acceptance that, just as cruising may change, WE change too. "That old cruising feel" is made up of at least 3 components 1. What the cruise operator brings to the table  2. What we, the cruiser, bring to the table and 3. The context in which that cruise is made - i.e. EVERYTHING is different in 2019 than it was in 1988. Not one of these 3 components is static and to place the blame for the perceived decline in the enjoyment of the cruise solely on the cruise operator is grossly unfair by any reasonable measure.

 

I actually do agree with your statement, however it does somewhat support what some of us have been saying.  The world today is different and the younger generation only has that perspective.  The cruise lines know if they want to keep growing and attracting business this is who they need to market to.  As consumers we need to decide if the new model is one we want to sail with or not.  Personally while we most likely will cruise again, and maybe with Celebrity, it definitely won't be as often as it was in the past.  The current product just doesn't warrant it for us and if that puts us in the minority that's fine.  Just trying to explain why I feel some are not happy with the direction cruising is going, not saying it shouldn't.  

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I am not happy and maybe I am in the minority.  In the last 8 years Celebrity fares have increased dramatically as well as the beverage package upgrades, etc.  I hate feeling nickel and dimed.  We get the beverage package and definitely don't drink near the cost they charge and I'll bet the majority of people don't drink that much either.  I'm ok with paying but I'm not ok with increased fares and increased cost of the package since they just increased it in 2018.  For many, they are ok with it - for myself, I am not.  I will just pick a different type of vacation - whether it be all inclusive, or just back to basics vacationing in the states- I'm ok with switching it up.  I work in tourism and I see things change and evolve, etc but Celebrity (to me) is just trying to pay off their new ships a little too quickly i guess.

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13 minutes ago, vermonter16 said:

We get the beverage package and definitely don't drink near the cost they charge and I'll bet the majority of people don't drink that much either.

I'm curious as to why you would purchase a BP, or choose one as a perk, if you know that you won't get anywhere close to your money's worth. DW and I have a pretty good feel for how much we drink (all types of beverages) on a sea day or on a port day, so we can arrive at a fairly accurate estimate of the cost based on the itinerary. When booking, we see what a BP would cost us and would never get one if it was going to cost us more than the cost of the drinks.

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24 minutes ago, vermonter16 said:

I work in tourism and I see things change and evolve, etc but Celebrity (to me) is just trying to pay off their new ships a little too quickly i guess.

Funny you should mention that.  I travel solo and for quite awhile, I've noticed that all the European Edge Exciting Deals have a 150% single supplement.  All the other ships are 200% solo, except for the Silhouette Northern TA.  I can't recall ever seeing a 150% on ANY European itinerary for as long as I've been cruising - only occasional TAs.  Just a hunch that the Edge isn't attracting quite as many "demographics" as they'd hoped.  It isn't attracting me, but I do have 5 cruises on S-class booked (for now).

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1 hour ago, bEwAbG said:

 

Interesting.  I wouldn't call a $200 increase (on a 7-day cruise) a "slight" raise.  I still think it would be preferable to just spread it out over all passengers because it would be pretty imperceptible that way.  This just invites controversy and over-complicates the booking process.

 

.

I would disagree with this part to have it spread out over to everyone.  For people who choose to purchase the perk of the drink package it should be there choice if they want to pay the extra fees. Spreading it out sets a dangerous The main thing its not a free perk and really shouldn't be adv that way, a discounted maybe or something

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48 minutes ago, Fouremco said:

I'm curious as to why you would purchase a BP, or choose one as a perk, if you know that you won't get anywhere close to your money's worth. DW and I have a pretty good feel for how much we drink (all types of beverages) on a sea day or on a port day, so we can arrive at a fairly accurate estimate of the cost based on the itinerary. When booking, we see what a BP would cost us and would never get one if it was going to cost us more than the cost of the drinks.

I believe my point is that what the cruise line is charging - no one could drink that much booze a day - so they are making a profit even at the old rates.  Now they are making even more of a profit.  Booze hasnt been increasing in cost.

Edited by vermonter16
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16 minutes ago, vermonter16 said:

I believe my point is that what the cruise line is charging - no one could drink that much booze a day - so they are making a profit even at the old rates.

So I ask again, why would you buy one if you know you can't get your money's worth?

 

BTW, your contention that no-one could drink that much booze a day is far from factual. If you factor in the specialty coffees, water, juice, soft drinks, dinner wine, etc., it's very easy for even a reasonable drinker to exceed the daily cost of the package.

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4 minutes ago, Fouremco said:

So I ask again, why would you buy one if you know you can't get your money's worth?

 

BTW, your contention that no-one could drink that much booze a day is far from factual. If you factor in the specialty coffees, water, juice, soft drinks, dinner wine, etc., it's very easy for even a reasonable drinker to exceed the daily cost of the package.

I guess you're missing my point.  Sorry.

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20 hours ago, JonnyCT81 said:

Hello all,

 

TA here - thought I would help clear the air regarding the new Bev Pkgs. 

I actually saw a similar post in late august regarding this, and at the time hadn't heard anything about what was going on. I found out about this information last week that it was going to start on 10/2, but it later got pushed back to 10/10.

Here are a few pieces of information, hopefully this well help - keep in mind I don't have all the answers, just what's been put out to us.

 

On 10/10 there will be four new rates:

- Cruise Only (No perks)
- 2 Perks
- 2 Perks w/ Beverage Package
- 4 Perks

 

If you choose the Bev Pkg or 4 PERKS, the rate will increase $14/pp/pd (this is for both classic & non-alcoholic for those guests under 21).  THIS WILL NOT AFFECT SUITES, their pricing does not have the fare increase.

 

These rates are only for new bookings made on 10/10 or later, if you have a booking made before 10/10, you will not pay the increased fare.

 

From what I understand in talking with my contacts at X, all of the beverage packages were starting to eat into their costs, so they were faced with a dilemma: do they charge a "fee" (like NCL, which usually is 10% of the gross cruise fare), raise fares across the board, or raise rates on those with the beverage package. They clearly chose to go with the third option - this allowed them to keep rates the same for those who didn't use it, while raising rates slightly for those that do.   

 

Keep in mind that this doesn't effect purchasing the packages onboard, you can still do that without paying an increased fare.

As someone who loves the X brand and is mostly what I sell, I am not happy about it, but overall I don't think that the increase in fare will hurt their customer base, as it still does remain a good value IMHO.

 

I hope this helps clear the air a little, time will tell how this works out for the brand, and customer base.

 

Are you certain change also impacts the non-alcoholic package?  Classic n/a only costs $18/night and premium $22.

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40 minutes ago, Fouremco said:

So I ask again, why would you buy one if you know you can't get your money's worth?

 

BTW, your contention that no-one could drink that much booze a day is far from factual. If you factor in the specialty coffees, water, juice, soft drinks, dinner wine, etc., it's very easy for even a reasonable drinker to exceed the daily cost of the package.

Can you drink $70 worth of booze, coffee, water, juice, soft drinks, wine, etc. each and every day at home?  I would say, probably not.  If you were to drink $70-$100 worth of "stuff" on a cruise ship at the price they charge, the cruise ship's actual cost probably wouldn't be anywhere close to $10 a day.  This is a pure money maker for Celebrity -- that's why they are pushing it.  🍷

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2 hours ago, bEwAbG said:

In essence, the cruise line has put themselves over a barrel because now people expect the packages to be part of the rate before they'll book but X has already had to raise their rates so high that people are fleeing to the competition.  Doesn't bode well for the future, especially when the next economic downturn hits.

What statistics do you have to backup “people are fleeing to the competition”?

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Bottom line for me is that if I want to go and pay the extra $14 pp per day then I will.  If I choose to go elsewhere, someone else will pay the $14 and be happy with it.

 

When you fly now, if you want the legroom that you use to have you have to pay extra for what we all use to get in a normal plane ticket cost that wes included in the price.  Most people grumble about it, which is fine, but we still fly, and people will still cruise, but might choose to not pay extra.

 

To each his/her own.  Figure it out with the bev pkg included and the $14 pp and without and then add the Bev pkg and it will still cost you more than if included with the $14.

 

Just my opinion

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2 minutes ago, Wine-O said:

Can you drink $70 worth of booze, coffee, water, juice, soft drinks, wine, etc. each and every day at home?  I would say, probably not.  If you were to drink $70-$100 worth of "stuff" on a cruise ship at the price they charge, the cruise ship's actual cost probably wouldn't be anywhere close to $10 a day.  This is a pure money maker for Celebrity -- that's why they are pushing it.  🍷

Our discussion was on the current pricing, not future, and I agree that the additional price grab puts the BP beyond our level of consumption. We simply won't be getting one if Celebrity continues this way. If you look at post #135, you'll see that even with the old pricing, we didn't always get the BP as is wasn't worthwhile; on a port-intensive itinerary, for example.

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18 minutes ago, Baron Barracuda said:

 

Are you certain change also impacts the non-alcoholic package?  Classic n/a only costs $18/night and premium $22.

But you can't elect the non alc package as an included perk if over drinking age...???? 

 

The Classic is convenient to get nicer  tea, water, and a few drinks here and there  but the price is already built into that perk fare structure and this is now a  plus factor.  We'll see how it goes!

Edited by hcat
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54 minutes ago, vermonter16 said:

I guess you're missing my point.  Sorry.

I see that you edited your post after I had responded. If your point was the added text that Celebrity was already making a profit from the BP and will now be making an even greater one, I agree with you wholeheartedly.

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4 hours ago, wpgcycler said:

 

Couple of things... First, you're right! I have no doubt cruising is "different" in 1988 than it is today. Further, I'm a living, breathing example of someone who "would not have liked the old style of cruising" - I swore I would never be caught dead on a cruise ship until I learned that things had indeed changed and that I could dine whenever I wanted, with whom I chose to dine without having to wear my "work clothes", drink in a bar without fussing over the cost, have my own balcony, hear "relatively" modern music etc. etc. 

 

Second, there seems to be a widespread lack of acceptance that, just as cruising may change, WE change too. "That old cruising feel" is made up of at least 3 components 1. What the cruise operator brings to the table  2. What we, the cruiser, bring to the table and 3. The context in which that cruise is made - i.e. EVERYTHING is different in 2019 than it was in 1988. Not one of these 3 components is static and to place the blame for the perceived decline in the enjoyment of the cruise solely on the cruise operator is grossly unfair by any reasonable measure.

I don’t know about that. It’s been 33 years since my first cruise and yet I still enjoy a quality meal and a comfortable place to  sit. If that’s too much to ask than cruising may no longer be for me. 

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1 hour ago, Fouremco said:

So I ask again, why would you buy one if you know you can't get your money's worth?

 

BTW, your contention that no-one could drink that much booze a day is far from factual. If you factor in the specialty coffees, water, juice, soft drinks, dinner wine, etc., it's very easy for even a reasonable drinker to exceed the daily cost of the package.

 

The question isn't if you could the question should be would you? If you, normally drink the alcohol, coffees, sodas, etc, then it makes sense. If you increase your consumption just to get your "monies worth", then you are the target demographic. If you do get your "monies worth", based on even the price I could buy it for, they are still make a nice profit. I drink mostly beer and soda. My cost is $.23 per can of soda taxes included, and $.59 per can of beer taxes included. These are brand names, not generic.

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30 minutes ago, Oville said:

What statistics do you have to backup “people are fleeing to the competition”?

I only have my own personal experience. I booked Royal Caribbean because even with purchasing the deluxe drink package it was still dramatically less expensive than booking a similar itinerary with Celebrity with the included drink package which was my first choice. To add insult to injury a few days after I made final payment to Royal I received an email with a reduction and a 2nd perk added to the original itinerary I wanted on Celebrity. Had I not been past final payment with Royal I would have switched to Celebrity. Apparently I wasn’t the only one who didn’t book that itinerary.

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