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Beverage Brainstorm with me, please?


Kaia
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Hello! I am going the 14-day cruise (Caribbean Princess-- Nov 6 Caribbean Circle Cruise) and this will be the longest cruise I've taken by 2x. I am also going solo, but I'm super social and want to hang out and meet people. I am trying to justify a bev pkg bill for myself at almost $1000. 

  • Since I last cruised, I no longer drink pop, smoothies or milkshakes because carbs that I'd rather save for good desserts and adult beverages.
  • I am super picky about coffee quality and don't do lattes & such anymore, so I won't be ordering any specialty coffees. 
  • That said, I do enjoy drinking and socializing with a craft beer, good wine and well-mixed cocktails. However, I question whether I CAN/SHOULD drink $70+ worth each day for 14 days when there are a lot of port days. What's that? 5 drinks a day to keep up if I go with $12? Unless I get premium?  
  • I can say bottled water will make up for it, but can't I just add free water to my personal waterbottle to avoid waste from plastic bottles & cost? I forget if the drinking water on board was horrid? I can't do our regular thing when I go with others where we bring a case or two of water onboard since I'll be coming from the airport on a transfer. 


Can anyone with experience and similar beverage style give me their input? Will I regret it if I don't pay for the package? Those drinks to add up quick outside of package, but whoa, I'd have to make sure I drink a lot every day!

Thanks for any advice!




 

Edited by Kaia
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I’d order the bottled water for your room.  Less than $8 for 12 bottles- you must prepurchase and  can buy more than 1.  Then, I’d probably get the coffee card for unlimited brewed coffee.  I am not a big drinker so I would do pay as you go for drinks.  

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8 minutes ago, CynCyn said:

I’d order the bottled water for your room.  Less than $8 for 12 bottles- you must prepurchase and  can buy more than 1.  Then, I’d probably get the coffee card for unlimited brewed coffee.  I am not a big drinker so I would do pay as you go for drinks.  

I agree...we get the packaged bottled water delivered. If there are a lot of ports it’s hard to drink your money’s worth on port days, other days not so much. Therefore the drink package might not be cost effective. I have filled my water bottle onboard. I didn’t think the water was so bad but the bottled water is nice to take on excursions. 

Edited by terrysko2000
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Do you really think you will spend more than $1000 on beverages if you pay as you go?  If the answer is yes then you probably should buy the package, but if the answer is no, then why no just buy beverages when your in the mood?  I think the whole idea of having to drink enough to get your money's worth is crazy.  I recently bought a coffee card for a 10 night cruise and found myself drinking lattes when I really did't want one just because I had the card and I ended up with 2 left at the end of the cruise.  For any beverage I'd just rather buy what I want and when rather than feeling I have to drink something because I already paid for it.

Edited by mek
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I have only had the PBP package through the S'n'S sale.  I have found that as the cruise continues, I want to drink less so I would never buy the PBP package.  It is awful convenient and sometimes too convenient.  I pre-purchase the bottled water to take ashore since once it is consumed I can just throw away the bottle and not have to bring it back to the ship.  Unless you just want the convenience, I would not recommend buying the PBP.

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9 hours ago, Kaia said:

Hello! I am going the 14-day cruise (Caribbean Princess-- Nov 6 Caribbean Circle Cruise) and this will be the longest cruise I've taken by 2x. I am also going solo, but I'm super social and want to hang out and meet people. I am trying to justify a bev pkg bill for myself at almost $1000. 

  • Since I last cruised, I no longer drink pop, smoothies or milkshakes because carbs that I'd rather save for good desserts and adult beverages.
  • I am super picky about coffee quality and don't do lattes & such anymore, so I won't be ordering any specialty coffees. 
  • That said, I do enjoy drinking and socializing with a craft beer, good wine and well-mixed cocktails. However, I question whether I CAN/SHOULD drink $70+ worth each day for 14 days when there are a lot of port days. What's that? 5 drinks a day to keep up if I go with $12? Unless I get premium?  
  • I can say bottled water will make up for it, but can't I just add free water to my personal waterbottle to avoid waste from plastic bottles & cost? I forget if the drinking water on board was horrid? I can't do our regular thing when I go with others where we bring a case or two of water onboard since I'll be coming from the airport on a transfer. 


Can anyone with experience and similar beverage style give me their input? Will I regret it if I don't pay for the package? Those drinks to add up quick outside of package, but whoa, I'd have to make sure I drink a lot every day!

Thanks for any advice!

Basic answer, if you don't plan on drinking more than 6 to 7 alcoholic drinks per day every day it's best to just pay as you go.

Most straight drinks are menu priced around $8. Cocktails around $10. Beers around $6 to $8, wines are around $10 to $12. Good quality wines are higher than $12 and not included in the Premium Beverage Package (PBP). All beverages have an automatic 18% gratuity added to the menu price. The PBP price includes the gratuity, nothing more added when ordering a drink. The $12 limit refers to the menu price, not the menu price plus gratuity. It takes around 6 to 7 alcoholic drinks a day, every day to break even. I assume the phrase "Unless I get premium" refers to drinks that are menu priced higher than $12. As mentioned some good quality wines are more than $12/glass. There are also some single malt whiskeys which are higher, but overall about 95% of all drinks offered on board are $12 or under. You are charged full price for any drink menu priced over $12.

Brewed coffee is available at the International Cafe, large is around $2 including grat.

Yes, you can fill your water bottle in your cabin or at the buffet. There is ice both in your cabin and at the buffet.

 

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I get the package ... my wife does pay as you go

 

I constantly have a beverage in my hand or close by ... sometimes alcoholic, sometimes not ...

 

I enjoy both staying lubed up and hydrated up while cruising unless it is my night to be on call in case something happens to the Captain and I am called to the helm ...

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13 hours ago, Kaia said:

Hello! I am going the 14-day cruise (Caribbean Princess-- Nov 6 Caribbean Circle Cruise) and this will be the longest cruise I've taken by 2x. I am also going solo, but I'm super social and want to hang out and meet people. I am trying to justify a bev pkg bill for myself at almost $1000. 

  • Since I last cruised, I no longer drink pop, smoothies or milkshakes because carbs that I'd rather save for good desserts and adult beverages.
  • I am super picky about coffee quality and don't do lattes & such anymore, so I won't be ordering any specialty coffees. 
  • That said, I do enjoy drinking and socializing with a craft beer, good wine and well-mixed cocktails. However, I question whether I CAN/SHOULD drink $70+ worth each day for 14 days when there are a lot of port days. What's that? 5 drinks a day to keep up if I go with $12? Unless I get premium?  
  • I can say bottled water will make up for it, but can't I just add free water to my personal waterbottle to avoid waste from plastic bottles & cost? I forget if the drinking water on board was horrid? I can't do our regular thing when I go with others where we bring a case or two of water onboard since I'll be coming from the airport on a transfer. 


Can anyone with experience and similar beverage style give me their input? Will I regret it if I don't pay for the package? Those drinks to add up quick outside of package, but whoa, I'd have to make sure I drink a lot every day!

Thanks for any advice!




 

Brinf a reusable water bottle and you're all set there. Fill a glass with ice water and too up whenever you want/need, take ashore, etc.

Pay as you go for your drinks. From what you describe as your drinking habits, combined with what sounds like a fairly port intensive cruise - you'll come out much better paying as you go 

If you're "concerned" an costs, gift yourself OBC in the amount of the drink package, then drink as you like. No restrictions on what you can drink that way (cans of soda, although you say you don't drink it, anything over $12, etc) and if you drink more than you've gifted, you have a much smaller bill; if you drink less than the OBC - you get s refund, unlike I'd you bought the package.  

Bring a couple bottles of wine with you if you enjoy specific brands/types - one has no corkage if you enjoy in cabin or take glass elsewhere, any additional at $15 corkage, significantly less than buying bottles aboard (or even glasses of the good stuff - most glasses are $9-12, good stuff up to $15 and up. ).

 

Pay as you go seems like the best strategy for you in this instance.  

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13 hours ago, Kaia said:

Hello! I am going the 14-day cruise (Caribbean Princess-- Nov 6 Caribbean Circle Cruise) and this will be the longest cruise I've taken by 2x. I am also going solo, but I'm super social and want to hang out and meet people. I am trying to justify a bev pkg bill for myself at almost $1000. 

  • Since I last cruised, I no longer drink pop, smoothies or milkshakes because carbs that I'd rather save for good desserts and adult beverages.
  • I am super picky about coffee quality and don't do lattes & such anymore, so I won't be ordering any specialty coffees. 
  • That said, I do enjoy drinking and socializing with a craft beer, good wine and well-mixed cocktails. However, I question whether I CAN/SHOULD drink $70+ worth each day for 14 days when there are a lot of port days. What's that? 5 drinks a day to keep up if I go with $12? Unless I get premium?  
  • I can say bottled water will make up for it, but can't I just add free water to my personal waterbottle to avoid waste from plastic bottles & cost? I forget if the drinking water on board was horrid? I can't do our regular thing when I go with others where we bring a case or two of water onboard since I'll be coming from the airport on a transfer. 


Can anyone with experience and similar beverage style give me their input? Will I regret it if I don't pay for the package? Those drinks to add up quick outside of package, but whoa, I'd have to make sure I drink a lot every day!

Thanks for any advice!




 

It's a personal choice.  If you think you are going to drink more than 9 glasses of wine or 9 alcohol drinks per day, then the bag package may work for you. Also remember the package limits you to 15 alcohol drinks per day, midnight to midnight.

Don't forget, you Can bring two bottles of wine on board with you.  Also we buy the water package for our room, 12 bottles for about $8.

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Never buy bottled water.  Its a scam made worse by the high prices onboard.  Dasani is Coca Cola's bottled water and is filled from the local city tap.  Same for Pepsi's Aquafina.  Some companies claim "spring" water, but they fill out of reservoirs.  Save you $$$ and fill from the ship's water supply which goes through a rigid purification process.

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Bring wine on board. Pay the corkage fees, cheaper in the long run....I used to hate the idea of paying corkage but cruising Australia and NZ changed my mind. Beyond that, pay as you go. 14 days is a long time to keep up a 5 drink a day pace. Also, you ca!n either preorder the water package or get a case at local store and tape on a luggage tag, leave with porters when you give them your other luggage. 

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59 minutes ago, Kaia said:

Thanks so much for all the replies! I think my liver will be happier if I just pay as I go. 😉

 

Kala:  We pre-order the 12-pack of water and can refill these bottles as needed. We bring on the two bottles of wine that is permitted when embarking.  We are on the same cruise as you.  So we'll see you in 3 weeks.  Carol & Roy

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I don't drink alcohol at all (for a variety of reasons, mostly because I am always the designated driver and I don't hold my alcohol very well), but when we are cruising, I get a couple of drinks a day. Mostly during the happy hours (buy one, get one for $1). I hear the happy hour is now cancelled :(.

So, as social as I am, I wouldn't be getting a package, because it wouldn't be worth the money.

We are, however, considering a soft drink package for the kiddo. Or DH. But only because we have $300 OBC.

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6 hours ago, retrembl said:

It's a personal choice.  If you think you are going to drink more than 9 glasses of wine or 9 alcohol drinks per day, then the bag package may work for you. Also remember the package limits you to 15 alcohol drinks per day, midnight to midnight.

Don't forget, you Can bring two bottles of wine on board with you.  Also we buy the water package for our room, 12 bottles for about $8.

The 15 alcoholic drinks per day is actually measured 6AM to 6AM. 

 

I’ve yet to line up at a bar at 5:59AM waiting on the meter to reset! 😉

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11 minutes ago, polmcs said:

The 15 alcoholic drinks per day is actually measured 6AM to 6AM. 

 

I’ve yet to line up at a bar at 5:59AM waiting on the meter to reset! 😉

That's not what I've heard!!

 

Seriously, for the OP, pay as you go seems far better for you.  On a port intensive cruise, you might have "only" two or three drinks on port days.  To compensate for those "low" alcohol days, you will find yourself pushing the limit on the at-sea days to make sure you get your money's worth.  Not good!  Pay as you go and make better drink decisions without any pressure to "get your money's worth."

 

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18 minutes ago, Mike45LC said:

That's not what I've heard!!

It's 6am to 6am.

Terms and Conditions

  • Alcoholic drinks are limited to 15 beverages per 24-hour period (6 a.m. to 6 a.m.). Alcoholic drinks requested above the daily limits are at the discretion of the shipboard management and crew and charged at regular menu prices.
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I've been on 17 Princess cruises, and I can count on zero hands the number of days I've ordered 7-8 alcoholic drinks. It's not that I don't like to have a few drinks. I do, but sea day or port day, there's a lot of stuff to do, and I don't want to spend the day zoned out in our cabin.

 

So we'll book the occasional Sip & Sail promo for the fun and convenience of not having to think about the bill, but buying the beverage package for 70-some dollars a day just makes no sense to us.

 

P.S.: Side note to OP. I note that you say you're picky about coffee. Probably the best you can do on board is the brewed coffee at the International Cafe, but even that won't compare with the stuff you can make at home. We got off the Regal on Saturday. I got up on Sunday and just could not believe what a great pot of coffee I'd made with bulk beans from Winco (discount grocery store on the West Coast).

 

Jim

Edited by jasbo49
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9 minutes ago, skynight said:

It's 6am to 6am.

Terms and Conditions

  • Alcoholic drinks are limited to 15 beverages per 24-hour period (6 a.m. to 6 a.m.). Alcoholic drinks requested above the daily limits are at the discretion of the shipboard management and crew and charged at regular menu prices.

 

Sky, you missed my "joke."  I was not disputing that the 15 drink limit runs from 6 a.m. to 6 a.m.  

 

Polmcs had said "’I've yet to line up at a bar at 5:59AM waiting on the meter to reset! "  That was what I was responding to, teasing him.

 

Never  mind, if I have to explain a joke, it isn't worth it.

 

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21 hours ago, jasbo49 said:

I've been on 17 Princess cruises, and I can count on zero hands the number of days I've ordered 7-8 alcoholic drinks. It's not that I don't like to have a few drinks. I do, but sea day or port day, there's a lot of stuff to do, and I don't want to spend the day zoned out in our cabin.

 

So we'll book the occasional Sip & Sail promo for the fun and convenience of not having to think about the bill, but buying the beverage package for 70-some dollars a day just makes no sense to us.

 

P.S.: Side note to OP. I note that you say you're picky about coffee. Probably the best you can do on board is the brewed coffee at the International Cafe, but even that won't compare with the stuff you can make at home. We got off the Regal on Saturday. I got up on Sunday and just could not believe what a great pot of coffee I'd made with bulk beans from Winco (discount grocery store on the West Coast).

 

Jim

I think i'm bringing a travel pour over setup with my hand grinder and a bag of really good local roaster beans (I did this while hiking the Appalachian Trail too...ha).

*me running up to the Horizon Court to fill my little kettle with hot water and back down to my room to make coffee*

I realized my flight gets in at 12:43 AM so I'll be getting a hotel room near Publix and I'll get my two bottles of wine, too. I'll probably do a Port for both. 

 

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