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Symphony OTS alcohol package policy

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Sailing with 2 other couples.  3 separate rooms.  2 couples will be getting the deluxe package.  Question is for 3rd couple:  Since one of them will have only 1 to 2 drinks per day, can the other cabin person still buy the deluxe package and have their spouse just pay as they go?

I know this had been a variable over time and seemingly by ship and need to know current policy for Symphony.

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Royal's current policy is that all guests 21 and over in the same stateroom must purchase the alcoholic drink package if one of them purchases it.

 

However if you call to order, they usually let the ones who don't want the alcoholic package purchase the Refreshment package instead.

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57 minutes ago, Host Clarea said:

However if you call to order, they usually let the ones who don't want the alcoholic package purchase the Refreshment package instead.

We just did this.  My wife doesn’t drink and would prefer the soda package but I was told we must purchase the refreshment package at least for her.

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43 minutes ago, iahawkfan21 said:

We just did this.  My wife doesn’t drink and would prefer the soda package but I was told we must purchase the refreshment package at least for her.

That's what I want to hear.  I can talk DW into a couple of drinks the entire cruise, but she'd prefer the coffee and such.  Especially the water when debarking.

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Thanks all - the other person will call and arrange. This seems a reasonable compromise by RCL to keep the peace and make everyone happy.

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I'm sure it depends but one time we were told if my husband purchases the deluxe package, I must purchase the normal refreshment package - however , if I were purchase even one single alcoholic drink with my card, then I would automatically be charged for the deluxe package at the going rate. It wasn't worth taking the risk if I bought one single glass of wine, so we just did the deluxe package for both of us and I drank normally.

 

It was sort of all or nothing. Either I didn't drink once, or I had to have the deluxe if my husband had the deluxe.

Edited by SherieW321

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1 hour ago, SherieW321 said:

however , if I were purchase even one single alcoholic drink with my card, then I would automatically be charged for the deluxe package at the going rate.

I assume you misunderstood and whomever you spoke with meant you would be charged for that drink, not the entire package. Imagine if everyone who bought a drink would be charged the entire package - even as shady as some RCI practices are, even they would not stoop that low.

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27 minutes ago, Biker19 said:

I assume you misunderstood and whomever you spoke with meant you would be charged for that drink, not the entire package. Imagine if everyone who bought a drink would be charged the entire package - even as shady as some RCI practices are, even they would not stoop that low.

I thought it sounded crazy but because my husband purchased the deluxe beverage package, there was no way for me to "pay as you go". If I were to purchase one alcoholic beverage, I would charged for the deluxe package. 

I understand the theory - too many people could just use their spouses "deluxe" package and skirt the cost. This way, if my card gets scanned for a drink, I'm obviously drinking, and I would be charged the deluxe package cost.  

If no one in your cabin purchased the deluxe, of course you can pay as you go. 

 

I emailed my go-to RCI planner for clarification and I will let you know what he says. 

Edited by SherieW321

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Okay this is from my official RCI planner:

 
I emailed him this:
"If one person over the age of 21 purchases a deluxe drink package, then ALL people over 21 have to purchase it, as well - correct? (If my husband buys it, I have to buy it)
Now, if I say, I NEVER drink, he can purchase the deluxe package and I can purchase just the normal refreshment package, correct?
However,  if he gets the deluxe and I purchase just the refreshment package but I want to order one glass of wine at dinner....I can not pay as I go. I was under the assumption that I would then be automatically charged for the deluxe package - is that correct?"
 
His response:
"You are 100% correct. We can do the lesser package for you BUT the way we can do that is by saying you do not drink at all. There are a few work arounds on that:
-  Each room is allowed to bring on 2 bottles of wine or champagne for the cruise so you do have that available.
- Through the Royal Gifts and Gear tab on the website you can have bottles of hard alcohol delivered to your cabin.
- Of course you can always just have drinks while out in the port"

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21 minutes ago, SherieW321 said:

His response:
"You are 100% correct. We can do the lesser package for you BUT the way we can do that is by saying you do not drink at all. There are a few work arounds on that:
-  Each room is allowed to bring on 2 bottles of wine or champagne for the cruise so you do have that available.
- Through the Royal Gifts and Gear tab on the website you can have bottles of hard alcohol delivered to your cabin.
- Of course you can always just have drinks while out in the port"

Your planner is wrong.

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4 minutes ago, Ourusualbeach said:

Your planner is wrong.

 

Okay, that is fine - that is the information I have received from Royal Caribbean multiple times now.

If my husband purchases the deluxe and I only purchase the refreshment, but I order one drink using my card, I will be charged for the whole deluxe package. There is not a way to "pay as you go" if the other person in your cabin has the deluxe. 

This particular guy is not a travel agent, he works for RCI. Until I hear otherwise from another RCI agent, I won't take the chance. 

Edited by SherieW321

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2 minutes ago, SherieW321 said:

 

Okay, that is fine - that is the information I have received from Royal Caribbean multiple times now.

If my husband purchases the deluxe and I only purchase the refreshment, but I order one drink using my card, I will be charged for the whole deluxe package. There is not a way to "pay as you go" if the other person in your cabin has the deluxe. 

This particular guy is not a travel agent, he works for RCI. Until I hear otherwise from another RCI agent, I won't take the chance. 

I realize that he works for Royal however Royals agents and planners don’t have a great track record for accuracy.

 

There  have been numerous posts on here stating just the opposite and I cannot recall one person ever saying that what your planner said was accurate.

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Trust me, I would love for them to be wrong. I don't drink enough to make the deluxe package worth it for me but my husband does, so each time we have to go with deluxe for both of us. If you find me an agent that says otherwise, I would love to talk with them. Who wouldn't want to save $400 if I only want to have a couple drinks throughout the whole cruise? I just haven't wanted to take the chance and then pay a premium price of the on board deluxe package price if that happens to be the case.  

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5 hours ago, crewsweeper said:

That's what I want to hear.  I can talk DW into a couple of drinks the entire cruise, but she'd prefer the coffee and such.  Especially the water when debarking.

My wife does get the occasional Frappucino type drink from coffee places and certainly will utilize the bottled water (she brings the flavor packets too).  Once I told her she had the refreshment she was more than ok with having something besides soda.  I'm sure she'll also get some of the mocktails as well as the cruise goes on.

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The whole point is that Royal's policy is everyone in the cabin over 21 has to get the package.  If you call to override this it can only be for reasons that you don't drink at all, not that you don't drink enough to justify the package.  

 

I don't see how enforcing something like that works as you could be buying a drink for someone else who does.  If you're really worried about it then have your husband buy that glass of wine on his card for you.  If you have the drink package you CAN still tell them you want to pay for a drink for someone else.  They don't have to know who that person is.

Edited by AshleyDillo

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5 minutes ago, AshleyDillo said:

  If you're really worried about it then have your husband buy that glass of wine on his card for you.  If you have the drink package you CAN still tell them you want to pay for a drink for someone else.  They don't have to know who that person is.

Great thinking.

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ok, as an avid cruiser, i do abide by the rules but when they brought back everyone has to pay, i was unhappy, as my DW hardly has a sip. Since then I have bought the refreshment package and just upgraded it on board, at any bar. They have not once asked about my DW. I have never inquired if this was illegal or not but until i'm told, on board, otherwise then I will continue this practice. I don't share the package with her and she has bought drinks on board with no consequence.

 

take this for what it's worth.

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Sherie, I'm sure you must have thought of this, but just in case....

 

Does your husband drink enough to make 2 packages worthwhile?  Seems like if you both just paid-as-you-go, it would have to come out less than $800 by the end of the week.  We've contemplated this scenario, but in the reverse.  I drink cocktails while the hubs sticks to soda.  Been a few years since we've sailed with RC and now I learn, much to my disdain, about the new policy.  Although I understand the reasoning, it still stinks!  I barely drank enough to make 1 pkg worthwhile but sure had fun trying.... definitely don't drink enough to justify the cost of 2.  So until something changes, I'll no longer buy the deluxe pkg.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it!  🍹 Cheers!

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2 hours ago, AshleyDillo said:

If you have the drink package you CAN still tell them you want to pay for a drink for someone else.  They don't have to know who that person is.

Ditto -- great thinking!  Why didn't the rest of us come up with this?

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