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

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12 minutes ago, Iamcruzin said:

I agree but that’s only because the drinks A la carte are so expensive to begin with. I purchased the refreshment package on Royal Caribbean for $18 a day. $8.25 for fresh OJ and blended coffee $4.50. That was  $12.75 just at breakfast.

Your coffee & OJ probably cost them less than 50 cents.  Their costs for you all day could come out to maybe $3-4 a day, if that much, in refreshments.  Don't tell me they are not making big bucks on these beverage packages, whether alcoholic or non-alcoholic.  🍷

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51 minutes ago, Iamcruzin said:

I agree but that’s only because the drinks A la carte are so expensive to begin with. I purchased the refreshment package on Royal Caribbean for $18 a day. $8.25 for fresh OJ and blended coffee $4.50. That was  $12.75 just at breakfast.

Yes, that's certainly a large part of it.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Wine-O said:

Your coffee & OJ probably cost them less than 50 cents.  Their costs for you all day could come out to maybe $3-4 a day, if that much, in refreshments.  Don't tell me they are not making big bucks on these beverage packages, whether alcoholic or non-alcoholic.  🍷

Hell.... I would never say that. I was just saying that it didn't take much to spend $18 and I would be spending way more if I purchased them a la carte.  I had serval sparkling waters and other beverages through out the day. It was a 9 day cruise with 5 sea days and a stop at a Labadee where the drink package could be used.

Edited by Iamcruzin

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Enough is enough. celebrity can increase prices or add extra fees anytime. You can accept it or not.  Instead of complaining about the price increases and cutbacks, go shopping for a different cruise or vacation that meets your needs at a price that works for you. 

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9 minutes ago, Redtravel said:

Enough is enough. celebrity can increase prices or add extra fees anytime. You can accept it or not.  Instead of complaining about the price increases and cutbacks, go shopping for a different cruise or vacation that meets your needs at a price that works for you. 

All due respect...absolutely not. Sitting back and accepting change is not what got free movies back. If you don’t like the thread feel free to go shopping for a different topic. 

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5 hours ago, MightyMike said:

No measurement is perfect, and everyone is entitled to placing their own value on each perk, but for a 7-day cruise in a standard stateroom, here are the prices one would pay to purchase each perk on their own:

 

$150 per person to spend onboard For Two      $300.00

Prepaid Tips For Two                                          $203.00

Unlimited Internet For Two                                 $358.00

Classic Beverage Package For Two                   $991.20

 

Even after taking into account higher markups for alcohol, one of those options really sticks out. I don't like the price increase, but I do understand it.

Now I understand why Celebrity has discontinued their 14 night southern Caribbean cruises.

Since the perk for Tips, is the same if it is a 4 night or 14 night cruise, we always chose the $150/person perk when less than 10 days, and the Tips, when greater than 10.

So, what's next, charging an additional $14 /person if tips perk is chosen for cruises greater than 10 days?

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2 hours ago, rakes5 said:

So, what's next, charging an additional $14 /person if tips perk is chosen for cruises greater than 10 days?

 

 

Wait for it!

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Let me preface this with the fact that I'm a travel agent, who attended a webinar for travel agents last week, where Celebrity introduced this new pricing policy, for bookings where the passenger chooses the Classic Beverage Package as one of their "free perks".  It does go into effect starting 10/10/19.  Current bookings and those made prior to 10/10/19 are exempt from the $14 pp/pd cruise fare increase. (this added cost for the drink package does NOT apply for suites) The following how I've been presenting "free perks" to my clients the past few years, and my take on why Celebrity is taking the approach they are.

 

Up until this point, a potential passenger wanting to purchase their cruise at the lowest price point could have done so by selecting a "no perks" cruise fare.  Also, if available on a sailing, qualifying for a senior or state discount, or an exciting deal, would get you a lower cruise fare...but these to were "perk-less".

 

Your other options were to purchase your cruise with 2 to 4 free perks.  But, the cruise fare for purchasing the cruise with these free perks was higher, than the cruise fare without the free perks.  And, the more perks you opted for, the higher the cruise fare was.

 

So, every time one of my clients wanted a price quotation for a stateroom I would provide them with 3 or 4 prices.

(1) Cruise fare with no perks

(2) Cruise fare with 2 perks

(3) Cruise fare with 4 perks

(4) And, on some sailings there was also a Cruise fare with 3 perks option.

 

I would then provide them the "value" of each of the 4 possible perks they could choose from, based on the length of their sailing.  This gave them all the information, on which they could determine which of the 3 or 4 cruise fares provided them the "best value", depending on which perks they would choose, and the extent to which they would be using those perks. 

 

The point to remember is that the cruise fare with the perks, was always higher than without any perks.  So even though they were "advertised" as free perks, you were still actually paying for them.  The trick was to only go with the "free perks" if their "useable value" by the client was greater than the increased cruise fare (compared to the perk-less cruise fare).

 

Norwegian Cruise Line also offers "free perks" and if you select a "free perk beverage package" a $19.80 per person per day "service charge" is automatically added onto the booking, and is payable along with the cost of the cruise.  An additional "service charge" is also automatically added onto the booking if you select a "free perk dining package".  These service charges appear as additional line items on the cruise invoice labeled as "service charges".

 

More often than not, when I book an Norwegian Cruise sailing for someone who hasn't sailed on them before, and inform them about the significant mandatory service charge on the "free perk beverage package", they are unhappy and don't understand why they have pay $19.80 pp/pd for what is supposed to be a "free perk".  I too wouldn't be happy if someone advertises a free gift with a purchase, and then at the time of payment, slaps on a additional charge for the free gift.  I'm sure they get a lot of blow-back from passengers because of these added service charges.

 

My guess, is that Celebrity doesn't want to make it so blatantly obvious that the "free" beverage package perk isn't as "free" as it used to be.  And, having unhappy passengers because of it.  So, by rolling in the additional cost of the "free" beverage package, into the cruise fare, the majority of passengers won't be aware of it, unless they read the fine print at the bottom of the advertisement; or the sales clerk at the cruise line points it out, or their travel agent calls it to their attention.  Most potential passengers won't recognize the change, because it won't be a separate line item on the cruise invoice, like it is on Norwegian's.  Ignorance is bliss.

 

For the well informed, it's still up to you to compare the different cruise fares (i.e., perk-less, or with multiple perks) in order to determine which total cruise fare is the best value for your particular situation.

 

Hope this helps!

 

One last IMPORTANT note.  If you already have a booking with a beverage package package perk, or if you make a booking prior to the change going into effect on 10/10/19.  Be VERY CAREFUL if you have ANY changes made to that booking after 10/10/19.  The webinar presenter commented that any change to the booking could cause the "grandfathered-in" beverage package to drop off, and be replaced with the new beverage package (with the $14 pp/pd charge) added onto your booking.  Also, if at some point you ask for a re-faring because of a price drop, that involves a "rebooking" procedure, and you will no longer be eligible for the "grandfathered-in" beverage package...and the newer beverage package will go on along with the additional $14 pp/pd charge to your new cruise fare. 

 

 

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49 minutes ago, cruisedoctor said:

One last IMPORTANT note.  If you already have a booking with a beverage package package perk, or if you make a booking prior to the change going into effect on 10/10/19.  Be VERY CAREFUL if you have ANY changes made to that booking after 10/10/19.  The webinar presenter commented that any change to the booking could cause the "grandfathered-in" beverage package to drop off, and be replaced with the new beverage package (with the $14 pp/pd charge) added onto your booking.  Also, if at some point you ask for a re-faring because of a price drop, that involves a "rebooking" procedure, and you will no longer be eligible for the "grandfathered-in" beverage package...and the newer beverage package will go on along with the additional $14 pp/pd charge to your new cruise fare. 

 

 

I wonder if accepting a Move Up offer would constitute rebooking. This might make a difference to how much I'm prepared to bid.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, cruisedoctor said:

One last IMPORTANT note.  If you already have a booking with a beverage package package perk, or if you make a booking prior to the change going into effect on 10/10/19.  Be VERY CAREFUL if you have ANY changes made to that booking after 10/10/19.  The webinar presenter commented that any change to the booking could cause the "grandfathered-in" beverage package to drop off, and be replaced with the new beverage package (with the $14 pp/pd charge) added onto your booking.  Also, if at some point you ask for a re-faring because of a price drop, that involves a "rebooking" procedure, and you will no longer be eligible for the "grandfathered-in" beverage package...and the newer beverage package will go on along with the additional $14 pp/pd charge to your new cruise fare. 

Thanks! Very good to keep in mind. Any time I change I have my original booking in hand and compare the bottom lines (got burned once for not being vigilant) - sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't and rebooking still may be a better deal in some cases.

 

I also have started to look at this as a $50 PP increase to book the beverage package as a perk (in this offer anyway there is $50 more PP OBC, of which we almost always use every penny). If the bottom line still falls within our price point, it will be okay. This is a one month offer, so will see how it goes. They will likely play around with it until they get the revenue they need with the least squawks from cruisers. As said above, most will likely be oblivious.

 

I can think of another way they could recoup $$ for the beverage package - it is surprising to me that they didn't go that route (less messy), but will not lay that out here for fear that would be next. 🙂

 

Oh, one other question, cruisedoctor:  it may have already been said here, but I am working long hours this week and haven't had time to read all posts - if we choose the 4 perks (with Premium Package), do you know if they will be figuring a similar surcharge in the 4 perks price? I am assuming that it will just be built into the price? Thanks!

 

 

Edited by vtcruising

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Posted (edited)

Thank you to Cruisedoctor....This nicely summarized the new program.  Also thanks to Mighty Mike and Vt cruiser, and others

 

Ques;

Does it make any sense to take a no perk fare and pre  buy the Classic at the going rate or when one boards ?  (whatever that is per day) Or is it still cheaper to take the package as a perk (even with the added daily upcharge)? What is the break even point for consumption...a few drinks,  juices, waters, etc?

 

How much does X add to the 2 perk fare when you pick alcohol  and another perk.  Is it the $900 that the Classic costs? Or just an amount they set?

 

Is there a spreadsheet format available to figure this out?  Will X booking reps do this for us?

 

How does Refundable and non Refundable fit into this?  We always pick Refundable with 2 perks...up til now the Classic and either tips ( for AQ class)  or OBC....?

 

What are most folks going to do?  

 

Very confusing to someone who just wants to cruise care free!

 

Edited by hcat

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"IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT:

Effective October 10, 2019, Celebrity's Beverage Package cost
increases by $14 pp per day and will be added to your price.
Book by October 9th to secure your Beverage Package with all
costs included!"

 

I don't read this as a one month trial... this is permanent. 

 

We've bought a classic bev package outright once since X started offering them. It was a family cruise and my husband and I didn't want to be part of the "I'll get this round, you get the next" game. I have had beverage packages as a perk, though. And cruised with no beverage package or perks at all. So long as the cost of having the perk and paying the $14 per day is less than buying the package outright, I will do that... when and if I choose to have a bev package. 

 

I think the added cost for a BP perk is not unreasonable considering the value of it. I bet they aren't selling many beverage packages these days that are not a chosen perk! If you want a BP, buying it as a perk is a good deal. I also think it's fair because it only impacts people who CHOOSE it. They could have raised the cost of adding all the perks to everyone to cover the added value of the bev package, but they didn't. They could have raised the cruise fares across the board for everyone, but they didn't. Only the people who choose to have it will pay extra for it. Which is a common comment on these boards... make the people who use something pay for it.

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It is probably best to do some mock bookings and see for yourself.

 

For my particular cruise, taking no perks would get me a $420 discount. The Classic Beverage Package would cost $991.20. So it doesn't make sense to forego the perks and purchase that specific beverage package separately--even after the price increase.

 

Taking all four perks would cost me an additional $490. Since I don't want Internet access, taking all four perks is not for me.

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8 hours ago, Cruise Junky said:

All due respect...absolutely not. Sitting back and accepting change is not what got free movies back. If you don’t like the thread feel free to go shopping for a different topic. 

Free movies coming back is really not the issue.  While you may enjoy “free movies” for now, the larger issue is that Celebrity cruises is changing.  Each change, cutback or additional fee, sends a message. The message that I see is that Celebrity is either cutting back to maintain fares or increasing fares to cover increasing operating costs. Cutting movies did annoy some guests.  Getting them back may seem like a victory. However, as a result, expect another change.  The cuts keep coming.  Each time that you introduce a change, it will upset some guests. Every guest has the right to complain if they want, accept the changes or higher costs, or take their business away.  As an elite plus who has traveled on Celebrity for many years, it is sad that the present experience is nothing like my first Celebrity cruise.  

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Posted (edited)
46 minutes ago, MEcruzr said:

"IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT:

Effective October 10, 2019, Celebrity's Beverage Package cost
increases by $14 pp per day and will be added to your price.
Book by October 9th to secure your Beverage Package with all
costs included!"

 

I don't read this as a one month trial... this is permanent. 

 

 

It looks like this particular offer is until Oct 31st. They may extend it or modify it (I assume it’s likely).

 

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Edited by vtcruising

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12 minutes ago, Redtravel said:

As an elite plus who has traveled on Celebrity for many years, it is sad that the present experience is nothing like my first Celebrity cruise.  

 

That can sadly be said for every cruise line and land resort.  I question what cruise line or resort actually has a better experience now than 20-30 years ago.  As in an actual resort chain or main stream cruise and not just hotels as I feel hotels have actually improved.  How have the luxury cruise lines fared?  I do not monitor their boards or onboard experiences.

 

Disney hasn’t upped their game.  Just more expense for less as well.

 

Any examples that people have?  Just curious as I’d like to check them out.

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The travel industry has substantively reduced the quality of their product over the past years - and particularly in the past 10 years. 

 

The roll out of the segregation of "classes" has been an effective screen used by the travel industry to hide downgrades. Items that used to be available, for all, were migrated to the upper classes only. The significant jump in price to access these former common attributes is well above the rate of inflation. 

 

Another trend is the use of industrialized food preparation, watch for the Sysco trucks at shore side. A higher than ever % of food stuffs are made a shore, the notion of everything made on board is not valid. This reduces the quality of the product, and the food experience, but saves money for the travel industry.

 

Evidence of the travel industry's success in their migration and cheapening strategy is in their share price.

 

What is interesting that cruising 20 years ago on Celebrity was an event, the MDR was outstanding, the level of service premium. Celebrity still made money, enough to commence the S class segment. The customer won and the cruise line.

 

Fast forward to 2019, cheap is the word and price increases routine on Celebrity. Cruise posters on CC, across all lines, note something has been taken away or cheapened.  It was not always this way.

 

Don't think going up the cruise food chain will help, check out the recent Oceania reviews and threads, a significant decline in Oceania product and service let alone their reputation for missing ports. 

 

Our family has significantly reduced our travel budget due to the above. Trips are much less frequent and significant analysis is undertaken to determine value for money.

 

We are not accepting of the travel industry's overall downgrade.

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54 minutes ago, Redtravel said:

Free movies coming back is really not the issue.  While you may enjoy “free movies” for now, the larger issue is that Celebrity cruises is changing.  Each change, cutback or additional fee, sends a message. The message that I see is that Celebrity is either cutting back to maintain fares or increasing fares to cover increasing operating costs. Cutting movies did annoy some guests.  Getting them back may seem like a victory. However, as a result, expect another change.  The cuts keep coming.  Each time that you introduce a change, it will upset some guests. Every guest has the right to complain if they want, accept the changes or higher costs, or take their business away.  As an elite plus who has traveled on Celebrity for many years, it is sad that the present experience is nothing like my first Celebrity cruise.  

I, as many others here, understand your and similar dis-appointments with X (and other transportation companies) for their changes.

 

I remember when I started to fly 'regularly' and went first class, there was an expectation of a certain level of service, attention, passenger attitude and presentation... with no thought as to fare, it was what it was and you knew what you were getting for that, First Class service.

 

Over the years, it has unfortunately 'deteriorated' in itself through how people dress, act, entitled to and etc... yet many do not think about it yet accept it as a given rather we get it through FF miles or other types of upgrades.

 

The object, for many travelers is 'cheapest' price and when we get the cheapest price then we wax memories of 'how it use to be'. We often forget that 'how it use to be' was when it was not 'Mass Market' with 'Mass Expectations' and relatively pricier than as is currently.

 

Most experiences will only be like your first if one does not participate in it for long periods of time, unfortunately.
 

This does not excuse the fact that the experiences are different from the first time, but they just are and can be dis-appointing for many.

 

I trust you will be able to recoup those experiences and feelings when cruising soon, as we all deserve.

 

bon voyage

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Honestly for us we look at the product as it now is and if it does not meet our needs to don’t pay for it. We are having a wonderful cruise just now which we feel is still good value, we will look again at the product before we book another cruise and if it no longer meets our needs look elsewhere. We are big believers that you can’t turn back the clock in life in general, airlines won’t go back to the way they were either, chocolate bars won’t increase in size again, and we won’t go back to the food standards in the MDR on our preferred cruise line, just the way it is.

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Cruisedoctor, thanks for clearly explaining Celebrity’s new program. During your Webinar did the question of upgrading the beverage package on sn existing booking come up, will we have to pay an upcharge on this? Thanks again 

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5 hours ago, cruisedoctor said:

Let me preface this with the fact that I'm a travel agent, who attended a webinar for travel agents last week, where Celebrity introduced this new pricing policy, for bookings where the passenger chooses the Classic Beverage Package as one of their "free perks".  It does go into effect starting 10/10/19.  Current bookings and those made prior to 10/10/19 are exempt from the $14 pp/pd cruise fare increase. (this added cost for the drink package does NOT apply for suites) The following how I've been presenting "free perks" to my clients the past few years, and my take on why Celebrity is taking the approach they are.

 

Up until this point, a potential passenger wanting to purchase their cruise at the lowest price point could have done so by selecting a "no perks" cruise fare.  Also, if available on a sailing, qualifying for a senior or state discount, or an exciting deal, would get you a lower cruise fare...but these to were "perk-less".

 

Your other options were to purchase your cruise with 2 to 4 free perks.  But, the cruise fare for purchasing the cruise with these free perks was higher, than the cruise fare without the free perks.  And, the more perks you opted for, the higher the cruise fare was.

 

So, every time one of my clients wanted a price quotation for a stateroom I would provide them with 3 or 4 prices.

(1) Cruise fare with no perks

(2) Cruise fare with 2 perks

(3) Cruise fare with 4 perks

(4) And, on some sailings there was also a Cruise fare with 3 perks option.

 

I would then provide them the "value" of each of the 4 possible perks they could choose from, based on the length of their sailing.  This gave them all the information, on which they could determine which of the 3 or 4 cruise fares provided them the "best value", depending on which perks they would choose, and the extent to which they would be using those perks. 

 

The point to remember is that the cruise fare with the perks, was always higher than without any perks.  So even though they were "advertised" as free perks, you were still actually paying for them.  The trick was to only go with the "free perks" if their "useable value" by the client was greater than the increased cruise fare (compared to the perk-less cruise fare).

 

Norwegian Cruise Line also offers "free perks" and if you select a "free perk beverage package" a $19.80 per person per day "service charge" is automatically added onto the booking, and is payable along with the cost of the cruise.  An additional "service charge" is also automatically added onto the booking if you select a "free perk dining package".  These service charges appear as additional line items on the cruise invoice labeled as "service charges".

 

More often than not, when I book an Norwegian Cruise sailing for someone who hasn't sailed on them before, and inform them about the significant mandatory service charge on the "free perk beverage package", they are unhappy and don't understand why they have pay $19.80 pp/pd for what is supposed to be a "free perk".  I too wouldn't be happy if someone advertises a free gift with a purchase, and then at the time of payment, slaps on a additional charge for the free gift.  I'm sure they get a lot of blow-back from passengers because of these added service charges.

 

My guess, is that Celebrity doesn't want to make it so blatantly obvious that the "free" beverage package perk isn't as "free" as it used to be.  And, having unhappy passengers because of it.  So, by rolling in the additional cost of the "free" beverage package, into the cruise fare, the majority of passengers won't be aware of it, unless they read the fine print at the bottom of the advertisement; or the sales clerk at the cruise line points it out, or their travel agent calls it to their attention.  Most potential passengers won't recognize the change, because it won't be a separate line item on the cruise invoice, like it is on Norwegian's.  Ignorance is bliss.

 

For the well informed, it's still up to you to compare the different cruise fares (i.e., perk-less, or with multiple perks) in order to determine which total cruise fare is the best value for your particular situation.

 

Hope this helps!

 

One last IMPORTANT note.  If you already have a booking with a beverage package package perk, or if you make a booking prior to the change going into effect on 10/10/19.  Be VERY CAREFUL if you have ANY changes made to that booking after 10/10/19.  The webinar presenter commented that any change to the booking could cause the "grandfathered-in" beverage package to drop off, and be replaced with the new beverage package (with the $14 pp/pd charge) added onto your booking.  Also, if at some point you ask for a re-faring because of a price drop, that involves a "rebooking" procedure, and you will no longer be eligible for the "grandfathered-in" beverage package...and the newer beverage package will go on along with the additional $14 pp/pd charge to your new cruise fare. 

 

 

Thank you.  I would be happy to use a travel agent like you that lays out all of the costs and options for their customers.  

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7 hours ago, villauk said:

 

 

Wait for it!

 

The IT dept will never be able to cope! (But then, never say never...)

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6 hours ago, vtcruising said:

Oh, one other question, cruisedoctor:  it may have already been said here, but I am working long hours this week and haven't had time to read all posts - if we choose the 4 perks (with Premium Package), do you know if they will be figuring a similar surcharge in the 4 perks price? I am assuming that it will just be built into the price? Thanks!

 

 

A copy of the webinar was just posted for agents to replay if they wanted to see again, or for the first time if they missed the live presentation.  I watched it again looking for answers to questions posed in this topic.  During the Q&A portion of the webinar there were several questions that the presenters didn't have an exact answer for.  My guess is that the cruise line is using the Q&A to see what situations they hadn't thought of, and will come up with the answer before the program goes live on 10/10/19.  Based on MY INTERPRETATION of one of the slides shown during the presentation it looks like the $14 pp/pd price increase for a beverage package will be applied whether the beverage package is Classic or Premium.  With the bottom line price for the 4-perk option being more because the premium package in the 4-perk even now costs more.  However, my medical degree doesn't give me the insight of a law degree necessary to evaluate and understand the fine print of any promotion or pricing program.

1 hour ago, prish said:

Cruisedoctor, thanks for clearly explaining Celebrity’s new program. During your Webinar did the question of upgrading the beverage package on sn existing booking come up, will we have to pay an upcharge on this? Thanks again 

If you book a cruise after 10/10/19, and choose the 2-perk option, where one of the 2 perks is a Classic Beverage package, you of course will pay the $14 pp/pd price increase for selecting that perk.  Then if you want to upgrade to a Premium Beverage package, you can do so for $10 pp/pd additional (just as it has been in the past).

 

Now, if you have an existing booking which already has a classic beverage package on it. And, if you call and have it upgraded to the premium package prior to 10/10/19, it still will only cost you an additional $10 pp/pd.

 

But, I'm betting your question is really asking what happens if you want to upgrade that Classic to a Premium on your existing booking AFTER 10/10/19.  That wasn't in the presentation, and because I didn't want to disappoint you, I called Celebrity.  After a long period of consultation between supervisors, and the supervisor's supervisors, they came back with the following response: "most likely you would only be charged the $10 pp/pd additional upgrade charge".  My recommendation is, if you currently have a Classic package and you are considering upgrading to a Premium, that you do it prior to 10/10/19 just to be on the safe side. 

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10 minutes ago, cruisedoctor said:

But, I'm betting your question is really asking what happens if you want to upgrade that Classic to a Premium on your existing booking AFTER 10/10/19.  That wasn't in the presentation, and because I didn't want to disappoint you, I called Celebrity.  After a long period of consultation between supervisors, and the supervisor's supervisors, they came back with the following response: "most likely you would only be charged the $10 pp/pd additional upgrade charge".  My recommendation is, if you currently have a Classic package and you are considering upgrading to a Premium, that you do it prior to 10/10/19 just to be on the safe side. 

 

First, a big thank you for your well-written and clear explanation in your earlier post about the new pricing. (And I agree that NCL is much more transparent about what they are doing.). And thanks for taking the time to seek and give answers to posters’ questions. LOL at Celebrity’s “most likely” reply. Nothing anyone can count on from X there! 

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All of the explanations above make it even more clear that they should have just made everyone pay $5 more rather than coming up with this odd funding scheme.  It is possible for there to be too many choices.  And what is next to be "unbundled?"  Up-charge for silverware?

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