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Looking for the best beverage package deals


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We've cruised NCL several times and have usually gotten the ultimate beverage package included.  We're looking for an Alaskan cruise and considering trying a different cruise line this time, however, we won't consider one if we can't get a reasonably priced (or 'free') beverage package as well.  Instead of researching all cruise lines individually, I thought I would throw this out here for help.  Thoughts on who else has a package that compares to NCL?  We drink mostly beer and not too expensive wines, with an occasional martini thrown in.

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NCL charges what, $90 pp/pd as the retail price for their package? Carnival and Royal are in the $50 pp/pd range (and Royal often uses dynamic pricing so it's possible to get the package for less). We look for the cruise/itinerary with the lowest price and don't worry about the cost of the beverage package. We've only purchased it once and we're unlikely to do it again since it's less for us to pay by the drink.

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On 1/10/2020 at 2:21 PM, brockwell said:

We've cruised NCL several times and have usually gotten the ultimate beverage package included.  We're looking for an Alaskan cruise and considering trying a different cruise line this time, however, we won't consider one if we can't get a reasonably priced (or 'free') beverage package as well.  Instead of researching all cruise lines individually, I thought I would throw this out here for help.  Thoughts on who else has a package that compares to NCL?  We drink mostly beer and not too expensive wines, with an occasional martini thrown in.

 

Since you are looking at Alaska, keep in mind this is often a port intensive itinerary.  Even if you will be on the ship enough hours to drink, you might not want to drink much with long days followed by early mornings.

 

Many lines allow a bottle of wine per passenger, so this can minimize some of your costs.  Even on the included NCL package you would have paid gratuities (probably close to $20 per day), so you were still paying for drinks.  Some lines have happy hours or bucket specials for beer (Carnival has $2 off 4 beers) so that is another option.

 

I would compare total cost per day (cruise fare, gratuities, drinks - package or a la carte estimate) rather than insisting on a package but likely spending more overall. 

 

Princess will sometimes have beverages included (at likely higher cruise fares) and are one of the leaders in Alaska, so if you still feel the need for a package they might be a line to watch for sales.

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