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Where’s my free booze?!?!


Mommyof9
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We have the NCL Adult Beverage Package.  Where do we get the drinks from?  I see a multitude of bars, but we don’t want to get charged for drinks that are supposed to be free.  The last thing we need is to go home with a monster bar tab!  The more info that you can give me the better, folks!  

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Your card will have UBP (or something similar) printed on it. The bartenders will scan it through the system, but you won’t get charged for the drink.  However, while in US ports (or at least New York), you get charged taxes until you are so far out at sea.  I don’t think it’s more than $1 per drink, probably a lot less.  This is only the first day (I think). 

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14 minutes ago, Mommyof9 said:

We have the NCL Adult Beverage Package.  Where do we get the drinks from?  I see a multitude of bars, but we don’t want to get charged for drinks that are supposed to be free.  The last thing we need is to go home with a monster bar tab!  The more info that you can give me the better, folks!  

The beverage package will cover the first $15 of drinks at any bar or restaurant. You can start with mimosas and bloody mary's at the breakfast buffet and move on from there. 

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Add -

If you have expensive tastes in high end liquor you will pay the difference + tax over a $15 drink.

State and local taxes maybe levied until the cruise ship is out in international waters as noted above post a token charge.

On the last day of the cruise the free drinks maybe cut off while your billing statement is run through accounting.

Usually around 3-4 am - so no farewell drinks leaving the ship.

Drinks are available also in restaurants - just show your cabin key card.

Tipping is optional and for above par service certainly worth it - you will be surprised how the bartender or

beverage wait person in the restaurant will respond bringing another round of drinks.

Drinks are not usually offered as part of room service - there are other programs for that.

Corks n' Caps - Viva Vino - not included.

As just was posted beverages liquor wine pop soft drinks in the mini-fridge are not FREE and not included.

Edited by don't-use-real-name
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Most bartenders are good about warning you if you've asked for something that is extra charge.  But it rarely happens.  If you drink wine, pay careful attention to the wine list as there are only half or fewer that are within the price cap and they may not be as mindful to tell you until you get a slip to sign with a $3 upcharge.  Also, the wine dispensers found in the Garden Cafe are not included - those charge your account.  If your itinerary includes Great Stirrup Cay then drinks on the island are covered by your plan (and food is free).  If you visit Harvest Caye, drinks are NOT covered and you must have cash or card to pay for food and drink.

 

Your drink plan is a great chance to try anything and everything. Tell your bartender you like Pina Colada, and ask what else would I like?  Point to the drink someone else just walked off with and ask what is that?  Have a fun shot.  Learn which named brands are included and ask for them by name like "1800 Reposado tequila sunrise".   I've attached a PDF of the included brands.

 

Finally a personal recommendation. I carry a bundle of $1 bills and I hold a dollar and my card in my hand. Yes, you prepaid the tips. But the extra $1 builds goodwill and they become extra attentive. They remember your favorite drink. You get better service when it's crowded. Your drinks get long pours.  If you're sitting there, fun things happen. Bartenders show off their trick skills. They put partial cups of excess blender drinks up for you to try. They see you coming and start your favorite drink before you are in your seat.  It's magic.

Premium Beverage Package.pdf

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Just a note about tipping: there are rumors circulating that cash tips will no longer be allowed due to COVID-19. I apologize that I can't remember at the moment where I read this (it was on Cruise Critic but I don't remember if it was the Norwegian thread or another cruise line's). Cruise lines are apparently turning more to cashless transactions in an effort to stop the spread of the virus. I don't know if or how it will affect the ability of passengers to tip bartenders. Maybe we can sign a receipt and put a tip on there.

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2 minutes ago, DCGuy64 said:

Just a note about tipping: there are rumors circulating that cash tips will no longer be allowed due to COVID-19. I apologize that I can't remember at the moment where I read this (it was on Cruise Critic but I don't remember if it was the Norwegian thread or another cruise line's). Cruise lines are apparently turning more to cashless transactions in an effort to stop the spread of the virus. I don't know if or how it will affect the ability of passengers to tip bartenders. Maybe we can sign a receipt and put a tip on there.

 

 

Rumors about rumors tend to turn into "FACTS" here on Cruise Critic.   Let's just wait and see how things roll out when cruising does eventually return.

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8 minutes ago, ColeThornton said:

 

 

Rumors about rumors tend to turn into "FACTS" here on Cruise Critic.   Let's just wait and see how things roll out when cruising does eventually return.

Agreed. I will ask our TA to confirm with the cruise line and see what's up.

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I don't think we'll be able to confirm this and many of the rumors about changes until cruises start and someone reports back what is happening! 

 

It would be tragic.  They eliminated paper receipts over a year ago for beverage plans and there is no way I am picking up a pen held by 100 people per hour. Guess I need to add a pen to my lanyard. The better stewards and waiters and bartenders make good money on extra tips. It would be a big loss to them. And there is no system for adding tips for your steward. I guarantee luggage handlers and tour operators will still be accepting cash!

 

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. And there is no system for adding tips for your steward.

 

 

There is a way to tip any crew member - simply go to guest services and request a voucher to pay that

member with a credit to his employee on board account from your own on board account.

You would need full name and department work function to make sure the right crew member gets it.

 

Not quite the same as cash but never the less it is the thought - you can give the receipt for the transaction

to the crew member for recognition. With each cruise becoming more plastic in nature - cash is sometimes

hard to have available for all the little things deserving of attention. 

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9 minutes ago, don't-use-real-name said:

. And there is no system for adding tips for your steward.

 

 

There is a way to tip any crew member - simply go to guest services and request a voucher to pay that

member with a credit to his employee on board account from your own on board account.

You would need full name and department work function to make sure the right crew member gets it.

 

Not quite the same as cash but never the less it is the thought - you can give the receipt for the transaction

to the crew member for recognition. With each cruise becoming more plastic in nature - cash is sometimes

hard to have available for all the little things deserving of attention. 

 

Thanks.. I had never seen this before.

 

Edit: It makes them really nervous when you ask them to hold still so you can write down their name carefully...  I know this from the "Vacation Hero" cards I fill out

Edited by PelicanBill
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2 minutes ago, PelicanBill said:

 

Thanks.. I had never seen this before.

 

Edit: It makes them really nervous when you ask them to hold still so you can write down their name carefully...  I know this from the "Vacation Hero" cards I fill out

Are you giving that crew member an "ORCHID LETTER commendation" -or- and 'ONION LETTER (ouch)' !  LOL !

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52 minutes ago, don't-use-real-name said:

. And there is no system for adding tips for your steward.

 

 

There is a way to tip any crew member - simply go to guest services and request a voucher to pay that

member with a credit to his employee on board account from your own on board account.

You would need full name and department work function to make sure the right crew member gets it.

 

Not quite the same as cash but never the less it is the thought - you can give the receipt for the transaction

to the crew member for recognition. With each cruise becoming more plastic in nature - cash is sometimes

hard to have available for all the little things deserving of attention. 

Exactly this.  We usually give extra to our room steward, as almost without fail, they have been friendly, attentive, and a pleasure to be around!  I just include the receipt in my thank you note at the end of the cruise!

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18 hours ago, don't-use-real-name said:

. And there is no system for adding tips for your steward.

 

 

There is a way to tip any crew member - simply go to guest services and request a voucher to pay that

member with a credit to his employee on board account from your own on board account.

You would need full name and department work function to make sure the right crew member gets it.

 

Not quite the same as cash but never the less it is the thought - you can give the receipt for the transaction

to the crew member for recognition. With each cruise becoming more plastic in nature - cash is sometimes

hard to have available for all the little things deserving of attention. 

Cash is just part of what gets packed. Tip money has its own envelope. 

Room Steward either gets handed the money or its left on the bed with a note saying it's for them.

 

Cash is King!

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On 7/23/2020 at 12:15 AM, Mommyof9 said:

We have the NCL Adult Beverage Package.  Where do we get the drinks from?.....

 

For the foreseeable future, and perhaps for a more lengthy period of time.....your home fridge, and drinks cabinet! 😉

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On 7/23/2020 at 1:33 PM, PelicanBill said:

.....Finally a personal recommendation. I carry a bundle of $1 bills and I hold a dollar and my card in my hand. Yes, you prepaid the tips. But the extra $1 builds goodwill and they become extra attentive. They remember your favorite drink. You get better service when it's crowded. Your drinks get long pours.  If you're sitting there, fun things happen. Bartenders show off their trick skills. They put partial cups of excess blender drinks up for you to try. They see you coming and start your favorite drink before you are in your seat.  It's magic.

Premium Beverage Package.pdf 160.95 kB · 9 downloads

 

By definition, that's not a tip....rather, a bribe!  Don't worry, I know, so I just put on my flak vest and it's also flameproof. 😉

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On 7/24/2020 at 2:12 PM, hamrag said:

 

By definition, that's not a tip....rather, a bribe!  Don't worry, I know, so I just put on my flak vest and it's also flameproof. 😉

 

Haha no it's a "New York" tip. The original "To insure promptness."  I don't know how we got to tips being given after service is rendered, but you don't tip the Maitre'd at a posh restaurant after they find you the best available seat, do you?

 

Anyway, A buck is a bribe?  Only if they break the rules for you. Never happened but I can hope 🙂 

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Drink whenever and wherever you find them. Need to head to the pool area for the slushy frozen ones (make sure you get the Miami Vice if you like fruity ones, it's a red/white/blue with daquari/pina colada/blue hawaii). For some drinks it's worth it to pay the extra $2-3 beyond the $15 limit, others not so much. Outside of the $15 limit, the only charges you'll ever see are when you're docked in a US port and you have to pay tax.

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On 7/22/2020 at 6:15 PM, Mommyof9 said:

We have the NCL Adult Beverage Package.  Where do we get the drinks from?  I see a multitude of bars, but we don’t want to get charged for drinks that are supposed to be free.  The last thing we need is to go home with a monster bar tab!  The more info that you can give me the better, folks!  

You do realize those 'free' drinks aren't really 'free'?  You've paid for them in the base fare.

 

TANSTASFL.  

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they may not be "free" and there was at least a $300 service charge added to the cost of the cruise, however now you can drink (responsibly) as much as you like. just keep the costs of whatever you drink under the $15.00 cap.

 

That being said, if you are not prone to drinking a lot, dont take the package, the service charge will be removed, that will make your cruise bill that much cheaper and you can pay for the drinks as you get them. it only becomes a problem if both people dont drink as much since the package applies to the 1st 2 people in the cabin

 

i always opt for the drink package. i like to start the day with either a glass of champagne or a mimosa with my breakfast, a mojito in the middle of the middle of the afternoon, an ice cold Heineken after coming back from a shore excursion (nothing like sitting on your balcony watching the sunset with an ice old beer in your hand) a scotch before dinner and a glass of port wine for dessert. if im at the casino in the evening i'll probably have 1-2 more glasses of scotch.,

 

i normally would never drink that much in a day, but (1) i'm not driving anywhere (2) i've paid for it (3) regardless, i never drink to excess.

 

so, my advice to you if you have bought the package, is drink up, enjoy and have a great cruise

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