Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
dx052

Premium Beverage Package vs PAYG

Recommended Posts

I am very keen to sail with Princess on a Caribbean cruise and the only thing that's really held me back is the cost of the Premium beverage package. Do most people on Princess pay as they go or just buy a Soda or premium coffee packages? I think I worked out that a Premium beverage package for two on a 7 night cruise would be nearly $1000 give or take & I don't think we would reach that limit of drinks spending over a 7 night cruise with 2 sea days. I am just curious to know what others do or would do if they liked to have a view drinks and not feel to restricted. We normally sail with Celebrity and get a classic drinks package thrown in but I like some of the itineraries that Princess have in the Caribbean.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It depends on how much you would drink. Our bar tab on the 16-day cruise we just finished was under $100 for the two of us. That included corkage fee ($15 per bottle) for a few bottles of wine and five drinks. We had a few bottles of wine in our cabin as well. And I also took advantage of free drinks whenever they were offered: martini demonstrations, champagne waterfall, Captain's Circle party, and captain's farewell party. We had a coffee package on my account. I used it for the premium hot tea and to buy DH cappuccinos in the dining room. If you're the type of person who drinks seven or eight drinks a day, having the package might be less expensive. But if you would drink no more than three or four drinks, it would be better to just pay as you go. Your liver will thank you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From what I have seen most people pay as they go for alcoholic beverages. It takes 6 to 7 alcoholic beverages per day every day to break even.

The New Grounds Coffee Package is popular @$36.58. It includes 15 specialty coffee drinks plus unlimited brewed coffee, hot chocolate and specialty teas. The specialty coffees can be shared. The unlimited drinks are not to be shared.

The Premier Coffee & Soda package at $23.59/pp/day is a more recent addition to the offerings. This package can not be shared. It is individual.

Notes:

You are permitted to bring on as much soda or other non-alcoholic beverage as you like. These beverages can be used anywhere on the ship. No restrictions.

Each adult 21 and over can carry on 1 x 750ml bottle of wine without charge. This bottle is for use in your cabin. Additional bottles can be carried on and are subject to a $15/bottle corkage. These bottles are marked and can be used anywhere on the ship.

If you are a Royal class ship, Royal, Regal, the free coffee in the buffet, available all day and evening, is prepared from grounds. It's pretty good. There is also free hot chocolate. Assume the new Sky and Enchanted will have the same. On other ships the free coffee is prepared from liquid concentrate. Not the best, but drinkable. Think vending machine coffee. No free hot chocolate on these ships.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@skynight has provided an excellent, detailed summary of beverage options.  I'd like to add one thing - that free bottle of wine allowed per person in the cabin - there is no restriction that it has to be consumed in the cabin.  You could take it to dinner and expect to be assessed a corkage fee.  You could also take it half-empty to dinner - to finish it off, for example - and not pay a corkage fee (waitstaff do not charge for partially-consumed bottles).

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, dx052 said:

Premium beverage package for two on a 7 night cruise would be nearly $1000 give or take & I don't think we would reach that limit of drinks spending over a 7 night cruise with 2 sea days. I am just curious to know what others do or would do if they liked to have a view drinks and not feel to restricted.

 

We are in the "not feel restricted" category.  We spend more time on the ship than off it in the Caribbean.  But - If we were to do a port intensive cruise where we would be off the ship a lot more then we would not get the package.  (Or if we were doing extended trips we would not either.  ) 

So if you intend to spend most of your port time off ship then that matters too. 

 

Can we stick to "included" and be ok?  Plain coffee (we don't mind the syrup on Grand class - its ground coffee on Royal class ships), lemonade, iced tea, water are all fine.    Yes we could do that (with occasional others bought) - but as our annual relax vacation we think of it like an all inclusive resort and budget the cost into our overall trip cost - we don't indulge in fancy drinks at home so they are part of the treat of the trip.

 

The Premium package gets us a couple Lattes in the morning, a couple frou frou drinks by the pool, plus sodas and bottled water. Then a pre dinner drink, a glass of wine with dinner plus a soda, an after dinner cappucino, then a couple drinks / water watching the shows.  Its not a lot of drinking overall but given the coffees are $3.50, drinkies are $9-10, fancier can be $12 (package covers all up to $12 - most drinks are covered), bottled sparking water is $2-3 and the sodas are $2-3  it adds up to $59 per day pretty quickly.   

(These prices are all before tip. The 18% tip goes on the package and also onto the pay as you go prices.  ).   We find the prices are not that different from restaurants at home - we don't find the Princess drink prices to be overly high.   I've read online that drink prices are higher on other lines.  

 

Think about what your drinking habits are, then look at the packages Princess offers.  There are a few different packages now.  They also have buckets of beer, and you can pre-order small bottles of booze and pop for your cabin, and bring on pop and wine as others have mentioned.  The packages are all listed for purchase in your online Personalizer.  

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Princess average drink prices range now from $8 to $12 bucks per......so if you would get over five or six any given day (and that would include coffees) it would be cost effective.  Remember on port days usually don't drink on board so much.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I get the package, my wife does not ... and as long as Princess still allows that ...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We get the package and find it a great deal on Caribbean cruises where we do not spend a lot of time on shore.  A Bloody Mary in the morning, a couple of beers at lunch, a frozen cocktail in the afternoon a couple of glasses of wine with dinner and drink or 2 later in the evening.  Plus specialty coffee and bottled water.  Both plain and fizzy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For me it's piece of mind. If I don't like a drink I can put it aside and get another, if a beer gets warm I can get another, I can experiment with things I've never had before.  I could never do that if I paid for each drink.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We like drink packages. We currently have the free one from Sip and Sail and won't be letting go of it unless our cruise price drops dramatically. It's just mentally easier to not have to worry about the bar bill at the end of the cruise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love the beverage package - when it's included. I'd still love it but won't pay that much for drinks. When we get the package as a perk we love having it but when we don't get it as a perk we just pay as we go. The Chairman of the Board and the 24k Gold Margarita are the two "mixed drinks" I most commonly order. With the 18% auto gratuity they end up at $11.51 each which can add up quickly.

 

If we were actually going to pay for a package it would just be for me. I think the max my wife ever hit in a day when we had the package was 5 drinks. That was above the norm for her. I, on the other hand...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with Thrak. 

In our situation on our next cruise, we have enough OBC to cover our occasional cocktail or bottle of wine.  

We plan on bringing on board some soda and a couple bottle of wine that the hubby prefers. My palate is a bit more accepting than his when it comes to wine. 🙄

I do not think we would ever buy the bigger drink packages. We usually just get a coffee card for me and he gets a soda package and that does it for us.

Bottom line, if you do not consume a lot ( 7 -10 alcoholic beverages) a day then its most likely not worth it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We just book during the sip & sail promo when we can.  Also, there is a big travel company that offers sip & sail like promo prior to the actual princess promo that also includes free gratuities in addition to the beverage package, obc, etc.  We just book with whoever has the best price and promos combined.    

 

Also, remember that the beverage package includes bottled water, all coffees, teas, shakes, etc. as well.

Edited by Coffeeluvr05

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, Coffeeluvr05 said:

We just book during the sip & sail promo when we can.  Also, there is a big travel company that offers sip & sail like promo prior to the actual princess promo that also includes free gratuities in addition to the beverage package, obc, etc.  We just book with whoever has the best price and promos combined.    

 

Also, remember that the beverage package includes bottled water, all coffees, teas, shakes, etc. as well.

 

We booked with them for next fall. B2B2B - 6days, 13 days, and 14 days - Australia and New Zealand. They gave us free gratuities (if you book Australia in the US you do have to pay the gratuities), OBC, and free beverage package. Princess doesn't even offer the beverage package for the first of those cruises as it's only 6 days but our personalizer clearly shows that we have the package on all three cruises.  With FCD OBC, Shareholder OBC, and the TA OBC it looks like we have $1,450 AUD in OBC. With no gratuities or bar bill to pay that should definitely be plenty of OBC!

 

We have a 12 day and a 14 day coming up very soon. We didn't get them under a Sip and Sail promo so will be paying for our own drinks. We do have coffee packages so that part is covered. We pre-paid the gratuities just before the price went up so that's also covered. We have something like $750 OBC on the 12 day and $800 OBC on the 14 day. That should cover the bar bills. (At least one would hope so!)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, greenie082756 said:

 

Bottom line, if you do not consume a lot ( 7 -10 alcoholic beverages) a day then its most likely not worth it.

 

This is not true in my opinion.  Alcoholic Drinks are $8-12 each.  Package is $59.99 per day. 

 

60/8 = 7.5 of the cheapest drinks only. 

60/12= 5 of the most expensive. 

 

So between 5-8 drinks per day depending on price gets you to the cost of the package (break even) WITHOUT sodas, waters, coffees etc.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, cruisintoddler said:

 

This is not true in my opinion.  Alcoholic Drinks are $8-12 each.  Package is $59.99 per day

 

60/8 = 7.5 of the cheapest drinks only. 

60/12= 5 of the most expensive. 

 

So between 5-8 drinks per day depending on price gets you to the cost of the package (break even) WITHOUT sodas, waters, coffees etc.   

The cost is actually US$70.79/day which is US$59.99 + 18% gratuity. But the break even is still somewhere between 5 and 8 alcoholic drinks per day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, skynight said:

The cost is actually US$70.79/day which is US$59.99 + 18% gratuity. But the break even is still somewhere between 5 and 8 alcoholic drinks per day.

But you also pay that gratuity for individual drinks so the math stands.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I recently had Sip n Sail but it doesn't cover beer buckets or drinks brought by room service.  DW & I like to enjoy cocktails in the cabin or on the balcony so I was paying for the beer that I had in my cabin.  On some occasions I went to a bar and got a bottle of beer to bring back to the cabin.  I would have been worn out shuttling back an forth to fill a beer bucket under the PBP.  We are fortunate in that we don't add up our expenses as we go along and viewing the portfolio on the last day has always been much less than our expectations.  I would take the package if it is free but even when it is free I think the cost of the PBP is just worked into the fare anyway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Daniel A said:

I recently had Sip n Sail but it doesn't cover beer buckets or drinks brought by room service.  DW & I like to enjoy cocktails in the cabin or on the balcony so I was paying for the beer that I had in my cabin.  On some occasions I went to a bar and got a bottle of beer to bring back to the cabin.  I would have been worn out shuttling back an forth to fill a beer bucket under the PBP.  We are fortunate in that we don't add up our expenses as we go along and viewing the portfolio on the last day has always been much less than our expectations.  I would take the package if it is free but even when it is free I think the cost of the PBP is just worked into the fare anyway.

You'd love me. I do all of the drink runs since my husband does all of the money earning. I also completely research and plan the vacations. He just shows up. Today I harassed Princess for 3 hours trying to get them to honor a price glitch in EZ Air that would have saved us 2 grand. They didn't honor it but I got free specialty dining for 3 and a 300 dollar (maybe 600 won't be sure until we get on board) OBC.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, skynight said:

The cost is actually US$70.79/day which is US$59.99 + 18% gratuity. But the break even is still somewhere between 5 and 8 alcoholic drinks per day.

 

I was quoting prices all before gratuity.  The drinks are individually priced at $8-12 before gratuity.  The package covers drinks up to $12 before gratuity.  

Apples to apples.  

 

Yes we pay 18% gratuity on top of both the package and individual drinks.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

depending on the beer you are drinking ... not that hard to pass by a bar and get a beer to go to take back to your cabin ... and also for me fuzzy waters ...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, voljeep said:

depending on the beer you are drinking ... not that hard to pass by a bar and get a beer to go to take back to your cabin ... and also for me fuzzy waters ...

We were in the aft minisuite on Coral.  It was not a short trip to the nearest bar.  If I wanted to spend a few hours on the balcony I ended up just ordering a bucket of beer from room service rather than take 5 trips back and forth.  However, you are correct.  Each time I passed a bar on my way back to the cabin I would stop and get an unopened beer to bring back.  I'll get the fuzzy waters for you on my next trip.  :classic_tongue:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Daniel A said:

I recently had Sip n Sail but it doesn't cover beer buckets or drinks brought by room service.  DW & I like to enjoy cocktails in the cabin or on the balcony so I was paying for the beer that I had in my cabin.  On some occasions I went to a bar and got a bottle of beer to bring back to the cabin.  I would have been worn out shuttling back an forth to fill a beer bucket under the PBP.  We are fortunate in that we don't add up our expenses as we go along and viewing the portfolio on the last day has always been much less than our expectations.  I would take the package if it is free but even when it is free I think the cost of the PBP is just worked into the fare anyway.

 

We try to book under the Sip and Sail promo and would not typically pay for the drink package.  We grab bottles of beer and bottles of water while we're out walking around the ship during the day, and put them in our fridge.  That way we always have some cold beers for balcony sail-away, and bottles of water to take ashore or to consume during the evening.  I personally would never buy a bucket of beer or any other drink if I had the drink package.  We've never had trouble taking drinks back to our cabin to consume later, and having the fridge in the room makes it easy.  

Edited by Paula_MacFan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Daniel A said:

We were in the aft minisuite on Coral.  It was not a short trip to the nearest bar.  If I wanted to spend a few hours on the balcony I ended up just ordering a bucket of beer from room service rather than take 5 trips back and forth.  However, you are correct.  Each time I passed a bar on my way back to the cabin I would stop and get an unopened beer to bring back.  I'll get the fuzzy waters for you on my next trip.  :classic_tongue:

 

I thought they had too open the bottle? 

Only way I got unopened was going to a bartender that I knew and had tipped well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, scott4020 said:

 

I thought they had too open the bottle? 

Only way I got unopened was going to a bartender that I knew and had tipped well.

:classic_wink:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...