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livinginyellow

Want to learn more about a Drinks/Beverage Package?

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For first time cruisers, I wanted to share a blog post I wrote that hopefully helps new cruisers break down the cost, value and rules of a beverage/drinks package: https://www.anyadventurewithyou.com/cruise-drinks-package-should-you-buy-one/

 

When I was a first-time cruiser, I struggled heavily with 1. Understanding the exact value and rules of a beverage package (and why I would want one) and then 2. Understanding the math and pricing behind one. Hopefully this helps demystify the process and helps you make your decision. Please let me know if you have any questions - either here or on my blog. I am happy to help explain anything you need to know! 

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Nicely done article 🙂 One thing I didn't notice being mentioned was that typically all adults in a cabin must purchase, which can be a factor.  Something I suggest people consider who are on the fence when one is a heavy drinker but the other isn't is if combined the package makes sense.  

Examples:

Person A drinks 10 drinks per day while person 2 only averages 1 or 2 = it still usually makes sense.

Person X drinks 5 drinks per day while person 2 only averages 2 = probably doesn't make sense.

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17 hours ago, pacruise804 said:

Nicely done article 🙂 One thing I didn't notice being mentioned was that typically all adults in a cabin must purchase, which can be a factor.  Something I suggest people consider who are on the fence when one is a heavy drinker but the other isn't is if combined the package makes sense.  

Examples:

Person A drinks 10 drinks per day while person 2 only averages 1 or 2 = it still usually makes sense.

Person X drinks 5 drinks per day while person 2 only averages 2 = probably doesn't make sense.

Good point!! However, I do have that listed under "the fine print" towards the end of the blog post. I get your reasoning, but I can't predict math for every single scenario - this blog post would be a mile long! That's why I do list the "mix" though - everyone's got a different drinking style and hopefully if you find you drink less than your cabin roommate, you can see in the mix that it may be worth it for the two of you to pay out of pocket (or vice versa). Thanks for taking time to give feedback.

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One thing to keep in mind, too, is that sometimes the alcoholic drink packages include a lot more than the non-alcoholic drink packages. For instance on Carnival, the Bubbles (NA) package includes soda and everything that is usually included on the cruise (coffee, tea, juice and milk), while the Cheers package (A) includes all of the above, plus alcoholic drinks AND drinks from the coffee bar. Even if you aren't a big drinker (like us), the alcohol package is still worth it because of the multiple trips we make to the coffee bar for iced lattes and milkshakes on top of the wine at dinner and cocktails during the day, or sodas with lunch. Checking the fine print to see what each package includes is a must. 

We might only have 2-3 alcoholic drinks a day while on a cruise, but we more than get our money's worth with everything else we drink that is included in the package that we'd otherwise be racking up on our cruise tab lol

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51 minutes ago, amwarner78 said:

One thing to keep in mind, too, is that sometimes the alcoholic drink packages include a lot more than the non-alcoholic drink packages. For instance on Carnival, the Bubbles (NA) package includes soda and everything that is usually included on the cruise (coffee, tea, juice and milk), while the Cheers package (A) includes all of the above, plus alcoholic drinks AND drinks from the coffee bar. Even if you aren't a big drinker (like us), the alcohol package is still worth it because of the multiple trips we make to the coffee bar for iced lattes and milkshakes on top of the wine at dinner and cocktails during the day, or sodas with lunch. Checking the fine print to see what each package includes is a must. 

We might only have 2-3 alcoholic drinks a day while on a cruise, but we more than get our money's worth with everything else we drink that is included in the package that we'd otherwise be racking up on our cruise tab lol

Another good point! I definitely encourage people to do the research on what each package includes. Thanks for sharing.

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With NCL running the Free at Sea it doesn't take but about 2.5 drinks a day per person to pay the required gratuity. If you are going to have even a cuple of glasses of wwine at dinner it is almost always the NCL perk to get.

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5 minutes ago, zqvol said:

With NCL running the Free at Sea it doesn't take but about 2.5 drinks a day per person to pay the required gratuity. If you are going to have even a cuple of glasses of wwine at dinner it is almost always the NCL perk to get.

I both agree and disagree with this, especially if you liked mixed drinks.

 

I got married on the Norwegian Breakaway last year and took 40 people with me - every one of them got the drinks package and every one of them agreed that none of the mixed drinks were very strong. (My dad literally said at one point, "it's impossible to get drunk on this ship!")

 

Our suspicion was that because everyone onboard had free drinks, they either 1) were overworked (which was definitely the case - we oftentimes waited a long time for a drink, especially by the pool) and therefore were just making weak drinks to get drinks out or because they were just working too fast 2) they were trying to save a bit of money and make drinks a little weaker (which is just a theory - I can't prove this). 

 

I agree that wine and beer can be worth it, since it's hard to cheat on those, but one of the big reasons why I won't sail on Norwegian again is their bad drinks service. I'd rather pay. 

Edited by livinginyellow

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1 minute ago, livinginyellow said:

I both agree and disagree with this. I got married on the Norwegian Breakaway last year and took 40 people with me - every one of them got the drinks package and everyone of them agreed that none of the mixed drinks were very strong. Our suspicion was that because everyone had free drinks, they either 1) were overworked (which was definitely the case - we oftentimes waited a long time for a drink, especially by the pool) and therefore were just making weak drinks to get drinks out 2) they were trying to save a bit of money and make drinks a little weaker (which is just a theory). I agree that wine and beer can be worth it, since it's hard to cheat on those, but one of the big reasons why I won't sail on Norwegian again is their bad drinks service. I'd rather pay lol

 

While your logic could be correct, the issue here is not if the drinks are weak (I don't think the ones on NCL are any weaker than they are on Regent, Silversea or Sea Dream), the issue is if you are going to drink is it better to buy the package or not. On NCL as long as the package is a perk, you are almost 99.9% guaranteed to come out better with the package than without.

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1 minute ago, zqvol said:

 

While your logic could be correct, the issue here is not if the drinks are weak (I don't think the ones on NCL are any weaker than they are on Regent, Silversea or Sea Dream), the issue is if you are going to drink is it better to buy the package or not. On NCL as long as the package is a perk, you are almost 99.9% guaranteed to come out better with the package than without.

True. I was more saying that it wasn't a perk to me, which is part of why I listed it out in my tables. But this might be a good thing to note in my post. Thanks!

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I disagree with your 5 drinks minimum to make it worthwhile.

 

On RCI, I have gotten the package as low as $42 a day.  With frozen drinks being $12, 3.5 drinks is the break even point.

 

Yes, at $60 per day, it would take 5 drinks.
 

But as has been mentioned, there are other things.  Fresh squeezed OJ at breakfast.  Specialty coffees (lattes, espresso, etc).  Also, soda is not free, unless you have a package.  So someone who drinks several sodas a day and only 1 or 2 alcoholic drinks may be ahead the package.

 

 

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You need to work out what’s best for you, it varies by what you drink, at what times you drink (Port day’s), how adventurous you are, do you want to try something new at no risk to the budget, will paying individually mean you skip having one at times, so many factors to take into consideration.

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My wife and I have a long way to go before it is not a good deal to get the drink package, even with the increase of fees. Yep, we drinks a bit. 😜

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I gave up drinking a few years back, but could give value a fair shake just on non alcoholic stuff, but lucky for me there are non alcohol packages that I hammer, normally at break even point a third of the way into my cruise.

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