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Premium Beverage Package vs PAYG

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17 minutes 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.

 

We keep a small bottle opener in our travel bag.  It's meant to fit on a key chain so it's about 2 inches -- very portable.  Never had a problem asking bartender to leave the caps on.

Edited by Paula_MacFan

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I think it's worth it, not just for the cocktails but the other items included. I guess it really depends on what you like, I like that bottled water and speciality coffees are included on top of the drinks. Someone mentioned buckets of beer, we haven't cruised with Princess before, but on Carnival they would get us a bucket and bring back beers when they time limit was up and we would take a full bucket back to our cabin for times when we just wanted to hang out on the balcony. 

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1 minute ago, Paula_MacFan said:

 

We keep a small bottle opener in our travel bag.  It's meant to fit on a key chain so it's about 2 inches -- very portable.  Never had a problem asking bartender to leave the caps on.

I have gotten bottle openers from the steward in the past.  Depending on the shape of the opener you might not make it past security with it.

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1 minute ago, TakeMeAway1001 said:

I think it's worth it, not just for the cocktails but the other items included. I guess it really depends on what you like, I like that bottled water and speciality coffees are included on top of the drinks. Someone mentioned buckets of beer, we haven't cruised with Princess before, but on Carnival they would get us a bucket and bring back beers when they time limit was up and we would take a full bucket back to our cabin for times when we just wanted to hang out on the balcony. 

Beer buckets are not included in PBP.

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2 minutes ago, Daniel A said:

I have gotten bottle openers from the steward in the past.  Depending on the shape of the opener you might not make it past security with it.

 

We've been cruising with the same small metal key-chain bottle opener for 15+ years, so not really concerned about that!

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I've done the alcohol pkgs, and I have found that after the first couple of days you don't tend to drink enough to make it worth the price.  Especially when you have a port days.   What I have found to be a better value is to buy the Premier Coffee & Soda Package and then buy your favorite liquor to have in your room.   Mocktails are included in this package so I just tote some of my rum around and add it to my mocktail.  If I don't drink all my liquor, I just tote it home.  

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2 hours 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 ...

 

I also snag unopened splits of champagne. Great for that in-room Mimosa or pulling them out of the room fridge to take to the  disembarkation lounge where I use the provided juice to make a Mimosa (or two) while waiting to disembark.

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1 hour 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.

 

We've gotten many unopened bottles of beer for the cabin. We just asked. Same with the champagne.

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12 hours ago, Daniel A said:

Beer buckets are not included in PBP.

Yes, I realize that, I was referring to the experiences I have had on Carnival. The servers would bring us a bucket with two beers and bring us two more when they passed by again. I never ran into an issue with them leaving the caps on, I mentioned it might not be that way on Princess, but it can't hurt to request it. 

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30 minutes ago, TakeMeAway1001 said:

Yes, I realize that, I was referring to the experiences I have had on Carnival. The servers would bring us a bucket with two beers and bring us two more when they passed by again. I never ran into an issue with them leaving the caps on, I mentioned it might not be that way on Princess, but it can't hurt to request it. 

You may have misunderstood the purpose of my post.  I wasn't so much posting to you, but I didn't want the OP to be confused into thinking Beer Buckets were part of the PBP.  I must have missed seeing a caveat from you in your post that "it might not be that way on Princess."  So I thought I would just clear the air for the OP or anyone else who might read your post and think they were included.  When you do eventually cruise on Princess for the first time, I hope you really enjoy the experience and come back for more.  It is special!

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We have sailed both ways. Had the free package for a 10 day and we really TRIED to use it, but we surely could have gone without. Trying new drinks or the guys in Crooners making something special for fun, was a way to pass time. 😉 We can surely go without it and buy as we need. We did not even use our wine we brought on board... so knowing that for our next round, we will probably just pay for a few extra bottles and be good. Instead of bringing a glass to dinner, we can pregame on our balcony. hahahahaha 

It also depends on how you are with your port days. We did not drink a lot when we had early mornings. Our busy drinking nights were with a sea day the next day. We did use the coffee part A LOT with it being cooler in Alaska, but I probably would not miss that in Mexico 😉 

 

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I have never had any problem getting a un-opened beer with or without a tip.  I just have to remember to ask before he opens it.

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16 hours ago, Paula_MacFan said:

 

We've been cruising with the same small metal key-chain bottle opener for 15+ years, so not really concerned about that!

It never hurts to be prepared!

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14 minutes ago, Daniel A said:

It never hurts to be prepared!

got one on my backpack...so we always have at least one both on and off the ship ...

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6 minutes ago, voljeep said:

got one on my backpack...so we always have at least one both on and off the ship ...

Actually I have a mostly plastic one with a small metal tab on my key ring right next to my P-38.

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I would consider us above average drinkers starting off in the morning with Bloody Mary’s. On other lines were the package is either incorporated in the price or if it’s no more than $50 a day we will get the package. The price per day on Princess does not entice us and we will purchase as we go unless we hit upon Sip and Sail. 

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45 minutes ago, franktown said:

I have never had any problem getting a un-opened beer with or without a tip.  I just have to remember to ask before he opens it.

There is a very simple solution to that problem.  If you ask for a bottle of beer and forget to ask for unopened, drink that one right away and get another which is unopened...:classic_biggrin:

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We used to get the package all the time when it first came out, years ago.  Then they starting making changes/reductions and increasing the price.  Since it's been $70.79 per day it has not been something I've purchased. I don't mind the 15 drink limitation, but the decrease in discounts on wine bottles priced at $100 or less from 40% to 25% off was a big reason I stopped getting it. Aside from that, I've also seen a decline in wine options.  So many times the wines you want are not available. I still remember when Princess wine prices were just as good as on land and it felt like we were just charged the corkage fee. Those days are long gone. I've started to bring my own wine and champagne, pay corkage and buy drinks that I want on board. This works best if we drive to port.  

I suppose sea days vs port days will also be a consideration for the drink package.  I will drink more on sea days , port days I'll be off ship exploring (depending on where).  I hate having to think about it though. Which is why I loved the drink package previously. 

 

I think someone said it before.  If you drink 4-5 drinks per day the package is worthwhile. Plus all the bottled water and sparkling water you want and specialty coffee. So, it all depends... There will be days you drink more or less, and on average what do you think you will drink. 

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From a contrarian view, I would not book under S&S - let alone purchase it.  We would be well far ahead to take the lower fare during S&S that has no promo perk with it.  I try to bring my own wine as much as possible.  Package discount of 25% (even 40%) would not make it worthwhile.  We start with a Personalizer water package and then re-fill bottles with ship's water.  (I may even cancel that out now with concerns over plastic bottles). 

 

Only wife drinks coffee and I may have occasional hot chocolate.  Enjoy the odd drink during a cruise (usually rum-based).  We are not at all the ideal cruise customer to rack up a large bar tab.  I get why these packages exist, but just not economical at all for us.  I can order a 5-beer package for the cabin and then either drink it there or take one with me.

 

And I didn't even mention port days where it is fun to try some local food and beverage while ashore.  I miss the alternative OBC that Princess used to give, but we usually find better deal under other promotions for our cruises.

 

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2 hours ago, Daniel A said:

There is a very simple solution to that problem.  If you ask for a bottle of beer and forget to ask for unopened, drink that one right away and get another which is unopened...:classic_biggrin:

Thanks for the solution.  Usually just drink it on my way to my cabin. Than I have nothing to drink in the cabin.

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23 minutes ago, franktown said:

Thanks for the solution.  Usually just drink it on my way to my cabin. Than I have nothing to drink in the cabin.

That's where the second, unopened bottle comes in.  I have to wait until I get to the cabin to use a bottle opener to drink the second.  My teeth are too expensive to replace...

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When alcoholic beverage packages were first available for sale, we did the math on what it would cost us for an upcoming cruise. Then we looked at what our onboard spending was for a previous similar length cruise. The cost of the package was more than all of our previous onboard spending so we figured it wasn't worth it. When there is an opportunity to get it as a perk, we often do. For our upcoming transatlantic, we booked with PBP and there has not been a better price available since. For next summer, we booked with PBP but switched to Three for Free because it was a much better deal for us. It's convenient having the total package but, since we always have to give them our cards anyway, it's not a big deal. We know what drinks we like so experimenting is not an interest. If I don't have a drink package, I'll probably buy the bottled water package and a coffee package.

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I would recommend the drinks package if you will drink at least five alcoholic drinks (apart from wine), plus a bottle of water (for when you are playing sports, go ashore, or in the gym), and perhaps a few cups of coffee (or any more drinks than that), per day.

   

I would not however recommend a drinks package if you intend on drinking good quality wine. 

I would instead say to pay as you go for wine, and encourage you to bring on board some good quality wines for mealtimes and pay the gratuity, and supplement what you bring onboard yourself, with some of the onboard ship wine as required.

 

We find the onboard ship wine that is included in the drinks package to be of relatively low quality, or is at least really over priced for what it is, and compared to the regular retail price.  We have also found that it can be a bit 'hit and miss' as to what wines will actually be available on board at any point in time, depending on when the ship was last restocked.

 

And also, if you choose to buy a more expensive glass or bottle of wine (for whatever reason), one that is priced above the drinks package allowance.  You will pay full price for the glass or bottle of wine, not the difference between the actual onboard cost per glass (or with no discount per bottle) and the drinks package allowance, like some other cruise lines.

 

So yes, as 'reasonable quality' wine drinkers, we buy a drinks package on some other cruise lines, but we bring onboard at least half out own wines with princess, and pay the gratuity for each bottle.

 

cheers

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