Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
welshy74

'EASY' drinks package review - not as easy as you think

Recommended Posts

I have just got off the Grandiosa, which is a stunning ship.  As we are not cocktail drinkers we chose the Easy drinks package which is applicable for all drinks up to €6.  Seems straight forward.. well not really. 

 

First issue - Both Heineken and Heineken Lite are available in the British Bar at €6 a pint..  So I ordered 3 pints of Heineken Lite and got charged €21 (inc 15% service).  When I questioned this I was told Heineken Lite is not included in the package.. despite being €6!!   After much discussion they took off the charge but could not explain why Heineken Lite is not included. 

 

Seccond Issue - Most beers are priced at €6.50 and although I was happy with Heineken I fancied an IPA.  I presumed that I would just pay the difference.  Makes sense, right?  Wrong, I would need to pay the full €6.50.  On RCCL you just pay the difference!!  

 

Third Issue - Easy package is not accepted in any of the speciality restaurants even though they serve the same drinks.  This put us off booking the speciality restaurants during our cruise. 

 

Forth Issue - OK.. this does relate to the above but L'Atellier Bistrot has a lounge and cafe facing onto the Galleria, as well as the restaurant.   We decided to have a tea in the lounge which is exactly the same tea as you get for free in the buffet and also under €6..  no problem?  WRONG..  you have to pay for this!!  So we went over to the chocolate shop and cafe.. same problem! 

 

Its not all bad, the Easy Package worked out well for us, despite the 'restrictions' above.   The wine included in the package was surprisingly good and much better than the acid they serve on RCCL or NCL.   Cocktails are not included but there was nothing to stop you ordering a virgin cocktail then a shot of rum/vodka/gin etc.   So if you fancy a Mojito you can have one.  Bit of a loop hole which made up for the rest of the restrictions.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Italians and MSC in particular Don't do things the Easy way!

By adding a few Euros to the cost of the Easy package they could include the €6.50 drinks but no they want people to spend more and buy the Premium package which many won't do.

Edited by sidari

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We did the Hamburg to Southampton leg, withe easy package and wish we had upgraded to premium.

 

On the first night we wanted a drink after dinner, Sky Lounge was closed for a private function, champagne bar empty but only serves said drink, no seats free in the other bars, and a dance class in the Grandiosa Bar and Lounge.

 

AS you say L'Atellier Bistrot has a lounge and cafe facing the promenade, it was empty and they would not allow us to use our Easy package here, next day they had a Premium Package Welcome here notice on the menu board.

 

On a positive note we had our Diamond meal in the Butchers Cut, best ever and they did provide wine, "free" based on our Easy package.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, jerseyfresh72 said:

Being new to MSC does Yacht Club include the Easy or Premium package? Or will these have to be purchased ?

YC comes with Premium Plus, therefore not an issue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
39 minutes ago, jerseyfresh72 said:

Being new to MSC does Yacht Club include the Easy or Premium package? Or will these have to be purchased ?

YC come with a hybrid of Premium and Premium Plus. In the uc lounge, it's closer to PP. Out of YC, it's Premium, any drinks $12 and under (or whatever the Euro equivalent I on Euro ships). 

Edited by reedprincess

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The original poster points out two things I personally find annoying: 1. Charging full price instead of the difference, and 2. Having a separate cafe that appears not to be a speciality restaurant but essentially is, due to food/drink not being included in the cruise fare. We had a similar experience at the French-style cafe on the Seaside, which appeared to be empty most of the time (and I think I know why). I don't know what their angle is. Why would people pay a la carte when they can simply go to one of the included restaurants or the buffet? I will say that we found MSC's drink prices lower than RCCL's, so I can kind of see why they want you to pay the full amount rather than the difference over the Easy package allotment. We're in YC for our upcoming cruise and elected to pay the extra $$ to get Premium+. I just don't want to have to deal with this sort of issue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have always been very satisfied with the “Easy Package” except for the fact that it cannot be used in Specialty Restaurants. On the Armonia in September we ended up paying for a large bottle of water but as we were eating we saw several people order their food and then get up and go out and bring back their beverages. So on the Meraviglia last week we took in our own water and red wine which we got at a bar ahead of time. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While I understand the need for the companies to make some money out of rented space in the ships; at least at the non alcoholic side of the pound; and even at the alcoholic one; I also understand some frustration from many of us. That is just because once the ship is sailing the high seas, all of us are part of the same ship. It is sometimes difficult for us to notice whenever such a place is a ship or otherwise a rented venue... At the end of the day we are there just to have some wonderful holiday time. Not to notice business businesses alongside the main one!...

 

TBHH and once as non drinkers ourselves due to medical reasons, what fancies us the most are those wonderful coffee and chocolate concoctions alongside the wonderful smoothies that currently we can only get at those rented venues, we will probably to just pay a la carte for everything else. Meanwhile this is what I envision as being the perfect drinks packages offerings suitable for MSC with its business model, covering almost all needs aboard for almost everyone:

 

ZERO - This package contains all the non alcoholic drinks (including smoothies and freshly squeezed juices) and at least some gelato flavours sold anywhere aboard the ship, except for the items that by EU regulations cannot to be sold on packages like nutritional supplements (proteins, etc.) and soon to be, as far as I can know, as it is being planned by the EU parliament and authorities: energy drinks.

 

HAPPY - This package includes all the ZERO products plus house wines and house beers by the glass and a 50% discount on any other drink from the PREMIUM package selection.

 

HAPPY GROUP - This package has the same terms and conditions of the the HAPPY package but it is encouraged to be sold at a discount for large partnered groups travelling on the ship with some TA's. This package cannot to be downgraded nor upgraded aboard.

 

PREMIUM - This package includes all the products from the ZERO package, plus all the drinks sold aboard, except for extra premium trademarks.

 

CONNOISSEUR - It would be the top drinks package offering, including pretty much everything sold aboard by the glass.

 

YC EXPERIENCE - This package includes a premium version of the HAPPY package with better house wines and beers, plus a 50% discount on the PREMIUM and CONNOISSEUR package. (I know this one might not to be very popular on these boards; but try to see what Viking Cruises is doing at this market level experience and you'll may have an idea. No need for everyone to subsidize anyone spirits consumption, me thinks...). Base prices should to be recalculated in accordance from the current YC price tag.

 

Obviously bottles and souvenir items should to be sold apart as they are now. Also obviously minors should purchase the ZEROou package kids version. Obviously all pax in the same cabin should have the  same drinks package.

 

Have a nice day!... 🙂

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, cellfree said:

We have always been very satisfied with the “Easy Package” except for the fact that it cannot be used in Specialty Restaurants. On the Armonia in September we ended up paying for a large bottle of water but as we were eating we saw several people order their food and then get up and go out and bring back their beverages. So on the Meraviglia last week we took in our own water and red wine which we got at a bar ahead of time. 

 

I did wonder this..  could I have just got a drink from a normal bar and took it to the lounge in the L’Atelier Bistrot??  Would they ask me to leave??  

I see the point that these are franchise units, like Jamie’s on RCCL, but when you have so many on one ship, and in one area, it’s a bit frustrating.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Nunagoras said:

While I understand the need for the companies to make some money out of rented space in the ships; at least at the non alcoholic side of the pound; and even at the alcoholic one; I also understand some frustration from many of us. That is just because once the ship is sailing the high seas, all of us are part of the same ship. It is sometimes difficult for us to notice whenever such a place is a ship or otherwise a rented venue... At the end of the day we are there just to have some wonderful holiday time. Not to notice business businesses alongside the main one!...

 

TBHH and once as non drinkers ourselves due to medical reasons, what fancies us the most are those wonderful coffee and chocolate concoctions alongside the wonderful smoothies that currently we can only get at those rented venues, we will probably to just pay a la carte for everything else. Meanwhile this is what I envision as being the perfect drinks packages offerings suitable for MSC with its business model, covering almost all needs aboard for almost everyone:

 

ZERO - This package contains all the non alcoholic drinks (including smoothies and freshly squeezed juices) and at least some gelato flavours sold anywhere aboard the ship, except for the items that by EU regulations cannot to be sold on packages like nutritional supplements (proteins, etc.) and soon to be, as far as I can know, as it is being planned by the EU parliament and authorities: energy drinks.

 

HAPPY - This package includes all the ZERO products plus house wines and house beers by the glass and a 50% discount on any other drink from the PREMIUM package selection.

 

HAPPY GROUP - This package has the same terms and conditions of the the HAPPY package but it is encouraged to be sold at a discount for large partnered groups travelling on the ship with some TA's. This package cannot to be downgraded nor upgraded aboard.

 

PREMIUM - This package includes all the products from the ZERO package, plus all the drinks sold aboard, except for extra premium trademarks.

 

CONNOISSEUR - It would be the top drinks package offering, including pretty much everything sold aboard by the glass.

 

YC EXPERIENCE - This package includes a premium version of the HAPPY package with better house wines and beers, plus a 50% discount on the PREMIUM and CONNOISSEUR package. (I know this one might not to be very popular on these boards; but try to see what Viking Cruises is doing at this market level experience and you'll may have an idea. No need for everyone to subsidize anyone spirits consumption, me thinks...). Base prices should to be recalculated in accordance from the current YC price tag.

 

Obviously bottles and souvenir items should to be sold apart as they are now. Also obviously minors should purchase the ZEROou package kids version. Obviously all pax in the same cabin should have the  same drinks package.

 

Have a nice day!... 🙂

 

 

Please apply for the position of Marketing Director. 

 

 

Share this post


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

Please apply for the position of Marketing Director. 

 

 

Not really in this world, sir!... Many thanks to the preference!... 🙂 Surely I will instead to apply for just some more happy MSC cruises!... 🙂 Maybe, one day we might join together for a coffee somewhere in the high seas!... 🙂 Have a nice day!... 🙂

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/22/2019 at 4:10 PM, Haworth said:

YC comes with Premium Plus, therefore not an issue.

 

Sorry I have to disagree its not Premium Plus it is classed as Premium and you have to pay to upgrade to Prem Plus

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...