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Why NCL Premium PLUS Adult Drink Package?


Sthrngary
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31 minutes ago, Xentrix said:

Anyone been on a recent cruise and can tell something about the champagne availability? What brands and if there was bottle's available at the speciality restaurants like Cagney's?

French Champagne is available at all restaurants.  If in the main dining room give your servers a heads up of your drink plan.  In the Specialty Restaurants especially the French restaurants it is always available.  There is one bottle of French Champagne which is on the "Selected" P+BP and a better quality by the glass.  Search Premium Plus program and see list.  The list can change based on availability.  

 

We drink the better Champagne by the glass at dinner.  At the end of dinner we have one glass of the bottle.  We take the rest of the bottle back to the suite.  We do the same thing with win.  Hope that helps. 

 

Cruise well and enjoy every moment. 

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3 minutes ago, Sthrngary said:

French Champagne is available at all restaurants.  If in the main dining room give your servers a heads up of your drink plan.  In the Specialty Restaurants especially the French restaurants it is always available.  There is one bottle of French Champagne which is on the "Selected" P+BP and a better quality by the glass.  Search Premium Plus program and see list.  The list can change based on availability.  

 

We drink the better Champagne by the glass at dinner.  At the end of dinner we have one glass of the bottle.  We take the rest of the bottle back to the suite.  We do the same thing with win.  Hope that helps. 

 

Cruise well and enjoy every moment. 

 

 

Thanks for clarifying. I thought that maybe it was limited to the French restaurants in the Specialty dining. Seems like Moët & Chandon Brut Impérial is the one often included as bottle, and Veuve Clicquot "yellow label" by the glas. And both those are decent IMO. Btw Yellow label cost $35 a glas without the package... brrr.

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20 hours ago, Sthrngary said:

I came back from my last cruise and bought a large bottle.  I live in Alabama and it was no where to be found.  So I ordered it from a online store.  I shopped and finally got it.  $350.00 for this bottle.  I have had it for 5 months and it is 3/4 filled.  It is for special occasions and no one touches it but me in my family.  Really smooth stuff. BTW, it was $45.00 a shot on the cruise.  LOL.

 

Cruise well and enjoy every moment. 

cruise out of LA/ san pedro . stop at Costco for 149. 99. you can resupply. maybe yours is a huge bottle hence the price. this is the regular tall bottle in nice packaging.   So finish that bottle you have and plan a cruise out of LA, quick once gone at Costco you never know if it is coming back. I asked the manager at Costco how they got it he said a cruise line cancelled their order and Costco picked it up. ( ok that is a lie but going for a reaction )  . On your advice,  I looked for one on those bottles on the Joy in the summer of 22 and NO luck . good advice to NOT go with expectation. -- frustrating. 

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4 hours ago, charlie murphy said:

cruise out of LA/ san pedro . stop at Costco for 149. 99. you can resupply. maybe yours is a huge bottle hence the price. this is the regular tall bottle in nice packaging.   So finish that bottle you have and plan a cruise out of LA, quick once gone at Costco you never know if it is coming back. I asked the manager at Costco how they got it he said a cruise line cancelled their order and Costco picked it up. ( ok that is a lie but going for a reaction )  . On your advice,  I looked for one on those bottles on the Joy in the summer of 22 and NO luck . good advice to NOT go with expectation. -- frustrating. 

Yep, the smaller bottles were super hard to find.  Mine it the huge bottle.  Glad I bought it.  Reminds me of my last few cruises. 

 

Cruise well and enjoy every moment. 

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So question, last year we got lucky on a Haven bid and splurged on the drink upgrade to go with it. We're considering booking on Dec 4th cruise coming up, but with everyone cruising again and the recent covid changes I'd imagine our odds of a Haven jump are minimal.

 

Do you think this package is worth it on the rest of the ship when you don't have access to the haven bar? Not sure how many other bars stock these upscale items or what kind of drinks they can make with their supplies.

 

Not sure if we'd get enough value to justify it. She can probably drink enough Veuve if it's available, and upper tier wines. lol

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1 minute ago, Juncti said:

So question, last year we got lucky on a Haven bid and splurged on the drink upgrade to go with it. We're considering booking on Dec 4th cruise coming up, but with everyone cruising again and the recent covid changes I'd imagine our odds of a Haven jump are minimal.

 

Do you think this package is worth it on the rest of the ship when you don't have access to the haven bar? Not sure how many other bars stock these upscale items or what kind of drinks they can make with their supplies.

 

Not sure if we'd get enough value to justify it. She can probably drink enough Veuve if it's available, and upper tier wines. lol

I would assume at least one or two should havethe upscale items. Maybe either the bar by the MDRs or the Alist bar (the one by the steakhouse.)

 

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3 hours ago, Juncti said:

So question, last year we got lucky on a Haven bid and splurged on the drink upgrade to go with it. We're considering booking on Dec 4th cruise coming up, but with everyone cruising again and the recent covid changes I'd imagine our odds of a Haven jump are minimal.

 

Do you think this package is worth it on the rest of the ship when you don't have access to the haven bar? Not sure how many other bars stock these upscale items or what kind of drinks they can make with their supplies.

 

Not sure if we'd get enough value to justify it. She can probably drink enough Veuve if it's available, and upper tier wines. lol

It can be a mixed bag, but several of the bars will stock top shelf things, it's not exclusive to the Haven. 

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12 hours ago, Juncti said:

So question, last year we got lucky on a Haven bid and splurged on the drink upgrade to go with it. We're considering booking on Dec 4th cruise coming up, but with everyone cruising again and the recent covid changes I'd imagine our odds of a Haven jump are minimal.

 

Do you think this package is worth it on the rest of the ship when you don't have access to the haven bar? Not sure how many other bars stock these upscale items or what kind of drinks they can make with their supplies.

 

Not sure if we'd get enough value to justify it. She can probably drink enough Veuve if it's available, and upper tier wines. lol

@Juncti I can answer this question personally.  First, I am cruising on December 4, 2022 on the Breakaway out of New Orleans.  This next comment has to do with your reference of a December 4, 2022 cruise if this is the ship.  The Haven is sold out.  The normal Spa Balcony Suites are sold out.  It is 60 day prior to the cruise.  That means, NCL has full retail prices for their Haven Suite and the likelihood of an upgrade is slim and none.  I have five upgrade bid personally and know from experience, this is not the type of situation that could get me a Haven upgrade so I won't be disappointed. 

 

In 2021, I cruised on the Joy, In the Haven with my family.  Three months later I cruised in the Joy as a solo in a Non-Haven Club Suite.  Both times I had the Premium Plus Beverage Package.  I drink French Champagne and very high end tequila.  I found that the "A List Bar" called different names on different ships, which is usually in-between two specialty restaurants had the best selection of all high-end wines and spirits.  It was also a classy place to have a drink. 

 

I also found one or two other bars that had great brands and the surprise was the bar in the Main Observation Lounge which was right by the Starbucks.  This means, there are a few bars with everything you could imagine.  

 

The same thing will hold true with my Breakaway Sailing.  It is a fun thing to find the bar that has the brands and wines you like best.  It is like a hunt for your drinks.  Once found, you have your bar of choice. 

 

Cruise well and enjoy every minute.

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3 hours ago, Sthrngary said:

I found that the "A List Bar" called different names on different ships, which is usually in-between two specialty restaurants had the best selection of all high-end wines and spirits.  It was also a classy place to have a drink. 

 

I also found one or two other bars that had great brands and the surprise was the bar in the Main Observation Lounge which was right by the Starbucks.  This means, there are a few bars with everything you could imagine.  

First of all, love your posts and this thread. All very helpful and fun to read.

Do you know if the bartenders themselves tend to know which bars have what product? While it is certainly fun to try all the different bars (kind of a scavenger hunt), it might be helpful to know early on if there's any 1942 and where it is (among other treasures) 😁

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1 hour ago, grobma said:

First of all, love your posts and this thread. All very helpful and fun to read.

Do you know if the bartenders themselves tend to know which bars have what product? While it is certainly fun to try all the different bars (kind of a scavenger hunt), it might be helpful to know early on if there's any 1942 and where it is (among other treasures) 😁

@grobma Now that is an interesting question.  As you know, my answers are never short.  The short answer is most bartenders have no clue.  The ones that do know most of the time, KEY WORDS most of the time is if your ship has a Wine Specific Bar or a Whiskey Specific Bar. 

 

On my last cruise on the Joy as I said, I was not in the Haven.  Yet, on day one, I walked in and said hello to the Haven Concierge.  He welcomed me back.  I told him point blank, I was not in the Haven but I would love to have one drink with a friend who was in the Haven at the Haven Bar.  He said, "Mr. Gary, you can come in anytime you want."  My response was, "I did not pay for it and therefore I do not deserve it.  Just this one drink if it is ok."

 

While at the bar, the bartenders also said hello.  They asked me if I wanted 1942 tequila.  I said yes.  Then I asked them if there was any other bottles and which bars they were at.  He said, "None that he knew of however, there was on bottle in storage."  He offered to have that bottle delivered to the the "A" List Bar that evening.  Sure enough, that night at 5, I went to the bar and said, "Hello, my name is Gary." Before I could finish, the bartender smiled and pulled out an unopened bottle of my favorite tequila.  The next morning I went to the Observation deck for a Starbucks coffee and at the bar was yet another bottle of my tequila which looked lonely.  That was by accident finding it.  

 

The bottle line is rare things are indeed a scavenger hunt.  Remember, many of the things I drink are not even on the approved list for the Premium Plus Package.  Some were a surcharge but that was only once for Louis.  I had to try that.  That was a long way to say, it is an inexact science. Sorry.

 

Cruise well and enjoy every moment. 

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1 hour ago, grobma said:

First of all, love your posts and this thread. All very helpful and fun to read.

Do you know if the bartenders themselves tend to know which bars have what product? While it is certainly fun to try all the different bars (kind of a scavenger hunt), it might be helpful to know early on if there's any 1942 and where it is (among other treasures) 😁

Usually the bartenders will work at different bars, or rotate on a schedule, so they’ll be familiar with what is in each bar.

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21 minutes ago, Sthrngary said:

The bottle line is rare things are indeed a scavenger hunt.  Remember, many of the things I drink are not even on the approved list for the Premium Plus Package.  Some were a surcharge but that was only once for Louis.  I had to try that.  That was a long way to say, it is an inexact science. Sorry.

Funny story on the Louis, I happened to be on board while the Fleet Bev Manager was on board and we had a discussion of the Louis.  She said it was possible to get a couple of ‘drops’ to sample. I was skeptical, and kept questioning if the staff was aware of this. She insisted they were.

 

Next night, I tried ordering the ‘drops’, of course the server was totally confused.  Long story short, I got a full serving ‘pour’ of the Louis, for no money.

 

Next morning a friend mentioned to Fleet Bev Manager that they messed up and I’d gotten full pour for free. She was not happy, but friend did not elaborate and played dumb, didn’t want anyone getting fired or in trouble. FBM had to depart that day for another boat, so I didn’t run into her again.

 

I will say based on the serving I tried, it wouldn’t be worth the $100+ that they charge for it.

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7 hours ago, Sthrngary said:

@Juncti I can answer this question personally.  First, I am cruising on December 4, 2022 on the Breakaway out of New Orleans.  This next comment has to do with your reference of a December 4, 2022 cruise if this is the ship.  The Haven is sold out.  The normal Spa Balcony Suites are sold out.  It is 60 day prior to the cruise.  That means, NCL has full retail prices for their Haven Suite and the likelihood of an upgrade is slim and none.  I have five upgrade bid personally and know from experience, this is not the type of situation that could get me a Haven upgrade so I won't be disappointed. 

 

In 2021, I cruised on the Joy, In the Haven with my family.  Three months later I cruised in the Joy as a solo in a Non-Haven Club Suite.  Both times I had the Premium Plus Beverage Package.  I drink French Champagne and very high end tequila.  I found that the "A List Bar" called different names on different ships, which is usually in-between two specialty restaurants had the best selection of all high-end wines and spirits.  It was also a classy place to have a drink. 

 

I also found one or two other bars that had great brands and the surprise was the bar in the Main Observation Lounge which was right by the Starbucks.  This means, there are a few bars with everything you could imagine.  

 

The same thing will hold true with my Breakaway Sailing.  It is a fun thing to find the bar that has the brands and wines you like best.  It is like a hunt for your drinks.  Once found, you have your bar of choice. 

 

Cruise well and enjoy every minute.

Now that you mention it I think I might have talked with you briefly about a year ago. That's the sailing we're looking at. We may be booking it, but for some reason right now they're not allowing us to book using any cruise next credits which is kind of the whole point of booking. We just got back from a Carnival cruise this Sunday and noticed room on the Dec 4th booking on Breakaway. I figured chances for Haven were minimal, so that  checks out. Honestly as good as it was I'm not sure it's worth almost 4 times the price we paid on Carnival for a week.

 

I think there's a few bars the might fit the description you mention. I've been on Breakaway like 3 times now so pretty familiar with layout. There's one bar between the two steak restaurants at the rear of the ship. I think it's called Meridian or something like that. So that place might have some of the plus package wines and maybe the veuve. 

 

There's also a pretty nice martini bar near the ice bar (we tried it once, wasn't really worth it). A little further down from this is a whiskey bar near the La Cucina restaurant and the Sid Norman's. Maybe this would be the location to source out some of the higher tier whiskey from the package.

 

There's also the main bar between guest services and Starbucks. We did some damage at Starbucks last year. The coffee of course was nice but they also had all these refresher drinks that were quite nice to pick up in package.

 

We'll see if we can make the numbers work, if so I'll happily join you in the quest for 1942. I'm interested to try the tequila technique Paco taught me the other day in Cozumel when we spent like $400 on high end tequilas to bring home. 

 

Biggest downer would be missing out on the absolutely amazing bartenders in the Haven. Those guys were next level, for obvious reasons

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Sorry for the double post, we just finished booking so now I'm clicking on all the upgrade options, obsessing over every detail as I'm sure many of us in here do, and I clicked on the beverage plus option and noticed it says the 9-22 edition, which I assume means this copy was released a few weeks ago

 

350859 - Premium Plus Beverage Package Flyer Update_PRIMA.indd (ncl.com)

 

I noticed one thing that may be relevant to Sthrngary. 1942 isn't on the list anymore.

 

If this is the case and the days of 1942 are over, does this impact anyone's value proposition on the plus package? Especially for a non-Haven traveler since I think out of all the places on the ship the Haven bar makes the easiest decision for plus upgrade with those amazing bartenders. 

 

22 hours ago, Sthrngary said:

While at the bar, the bartenders also said hello.  They asked me if I wanted 1942 tequila.  I said yes.  Then I asked them if there was any other bottles and which bars they were at.  He said, "None that he knew of however, there was on bottle in storage."  He offered to have that bottle delivered to the the "A" List Bar that evening.  Sure enough, that night at 5, I went to the bar and said, "Hello, my name is Gary." Before I could finish, the bartender smiled and pulled out an unopened bottle of my favorite tequila.  The next morning I went to the Observation deck for a Starbucks coffee and at the bar was yet another bottle of my tequila which looked lonely.  That was by accident finding it.  

 

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8 minutes ago, Juncti said:

Sorry for the double post, we just finished booking so now I'm clicking on all the upgrade options, obsessing over every detail as I'm sure many of us in here do, and I clicked on the beverage plus option and noticed it says the 9-22 edition, which I assume means this copy was released a few weeks ago

 

350859 - Premium Plus Beverage Package Flyer Update_PRIMA.indd (ncl.com)

 

I noticed one thing that may be relevant to Sthrngary. 1942 isn't on the list anymore.

 

If this is the case and the days of 1942 are over, does this impact anyone's value proposition on the plus package? Especially for a non-Haven traveler since I think out of all the places on the ship the Haven bar makes the easiest decision for plus upgrade with those amazing bartenders. 

 

 

1942 has never been on the list which is what my post have been saying. To clarify my position, you never know what you can get or not get until you ask. That includes glasses of wine that are not on the list, hi and spirits that are not on the list. Yet, On my last four coaches 1942, not on the list, what is available if you just eggs and had a premium + beverage package.

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1 hour ago, Sthrngary said:

1942 has never been on the list which is what my post have been saying. To clarify my position, you never know what you can get or not get until you ask. That includes glasses of wine that are not on the list, hi and spirits that are not on the list. Yet, On my last four coaches 1942, not on the list, what is available if you just eggs and had a premium + beverage package.

My experience has been that the crew, when they see you have the premium package, they let you have everything except the things they know are extra charge, like bottles of wine and such.

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A few pages back there was a discussion of whether you could have butler serve you a Premium Plus bottle of wine to your suite as part of an in-suite dinner.  We are on the Breakaway and did just that last night.  We went to the Haven bar for a before dinner drink and ordered the bottle there just before leaving.  They said they would hold it for us and to ask the butler to retrieve it at meal time.  It worked.

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1 hour ago, pbenjamin said:

A few pages back there was a discussion of whether you could have butler serve you a Premium Plus bottle of wine to your suite as part of an in-suite dinner.  We are on the Breakaway and did just that last night.  We went to the Haven bar for a before dinner drink and ordered the bottle there just before leaving.  They said they would hold it for us and to ask the butler to retrieve it at meal time.  It worked.

That is one of the best Hacks I have heard in a very long time.  Thank you.

 

Cruise well and enjoy every moment. 

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This may have already been asked and answered, but at 24 pages I'm too lazy to go looking for it 😁 If you have the Premium Plus package, does it cover Starbucks drinks offered on the specialty restaurant menus? Would be nice to have an after-dinner espresso and have it covered since Starbucks is included.

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51 minutes ago, grobma said:

This may have already been asked and answered, but at 24 pages I'm too lazy to go looking for it 😁 If you have the Premium Plus package, does it cover Starbucks drinks offered on the specialty restaurant menus? Would be nice to have an after-dinner espresso and have it covered since Starbucks is included.

It did for us in May on the Joy. 

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48 minutes ago, grobma said:

This may have already been asked and answered, but at 24 pages I'm too lazy to go looking for it 😁 If you have the Premium Plus package, does it cover Starbucks drinks offered on the specialty restaurant menus? Would be nice to have an after-dinner espresso and have it covered since Starbucks is included.

@grobma Hello from a fellow New Yorker that lives in Alabama now.  The answer to your question is, Yes Starbucks is included anywhere it is served.  My habit is to have my Starbucks in the morning in the Observation deck.  On the Joy, one of the Starbuck's is in that area.  The second is at my evening meals after dinner just like you.

 

In the Haven, all specialty coffee are complementary in the Haven Restaurant.  Just incase you are in the Haven.  Hope that helps. 

 

Cruise well and enjoy every moment. 

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2 hours ago, grobma said:

This may have already been asked and answered, but at 24 pages I'm too lazy to go looking for it 😁 If you have the Premium Plus package, does it cover Starbucks drinks offered on the specialty restaurant menus? Would be nice to have an after-dinner espresso and have it covered since Starbucks is included.

Normally after dinner espresso has been covered under the regular drink package when it's in the restaurant. The Premium Plus covered all the drinks at Starbucks, plus all the bottled water, that's why I usually always get it.

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The Premium Plus Beverage Package is not for everyone.  Just like staying in the Haven area, you have to study what you can gain from this program. Many think it is all about drinking enough to justify upgrade.  From a value proposition, that is in many ways is true.  Yet there is something else that needs to be considered.  That is how you approach your cruise vacation.

 

Again, so no one takes me the wrong way, it is not for everyone.  The first time I purchased the Premium Plus program, I did it for the full bottle of selected wines at meal time.  My wife LOVES win.  She hated having to order a glass of wine and when she when she did, it took a while to get it.  When I saw that you could order a full bottle, that solved the issue for my wife.  

 

What I did not know that very first time was the program covered a lot more of what we as a family love.  It was a learn as you go situation which lead me to write this original article on this program. At home, we have water by our beds at night.  We quickly found out bottled imported water was part of the program.  At dinner, we would order Imported water with gas.  After dinner we would ask our waiter to give us two bottles of non-gas water to take to our room.  Normally, I would not order fancy water at meals out. When they were complementary, it was easy to enjoy this luxury.  A plus for us.

 

The next situation that happened was I was at the Haven bar.  Don't think that this is just a Haven benefit because it is not.  I asked the Bartender for a "Nice" sipping tequila.  He looked at my cabin card, noticed the coding for the Premium Plus package and served me a lovely glass of Tequila 1942.  I had never had this before and it was smooth and lovely.  The price per glass usually would have been about $45.00.  With this program, it was no charge.  

 

I like many others like Starbucks.  At first, I was not sure if Starbucks was included.  It certainly was.  Again, when in the Haven, specialty coffee was complementary regardless of which drink package you had.  Out side of the Haven, whether at the Starbucks counter or at a restaurant, there was always a charge.  I had a habit of going to the Observation Lounge in the morning to get a nice coffee at the Starbucks.  This became another benefit.  

 

A few of the bars on all NCL ships do drinks that use smoke.  That are above the normal $15.00 maximum, they also came with this package.  I can remember being in the Teppanyaki Japanese Restaurant and ordering a full bottle of French Champagne.  It was only my wife and I.  The waiter asked me how many glasses I wanted.  There was eight at my table and I asked for eight.  It was no issue and we had three bottles that night with our new friends.  

 

Over time, we learned more about the rules and policies for this beverage plan and leveraged it to make our vacations special.  The cost of the upgrade was a premium however never having to worry about added charges to my room portfolio allowed me to create as close to an all inclusive vacation as one can create on a mainstream cruise brand.  

 

People ask me all that time, is it worth the money.  The answer is, NO.  When you take the approach I was attempting to create a stress free all-inclusive approach, the answer is YES.  Still, the debate is having this program creates the need to make it a value and if you can't drink that much, don't get the package.  I truly never looked at it that way.  Instead, I would now without fear try new items and expended my experiences with no fear of a huge bill at the end of my cruise which I had done in the past. 

 

One more benefit was we would plan our dinner on ordering a second bottle of wine for my wife.  That bottle we would bring to our cabin for a night cap on the balcony.  I explain how we use this program all the time.  I try to educate folks that brands not found on the written list are still on the plan.  All you have to do is ask.  Now there are some obvious exceptions like Louis or Dom.  Yet even on those items, you gain a pretty hefty discount. 

 

The debate on is it worth it or not will never end.  Yet for my lovely bride and I, we never cruise without it.  Now with the New NCL Free at Sea PLUS which includes the Premium Plus Beverage Package and other things, it is even easier for us to enjoy our goal of All-Inclusive feel on an NCL Ship.  

 

We will be cruising on the Breakaway in December of this year.  We have both the Free at Sea Plus package and for the first time, we booked the Vibe Beach Club Cabana months before the cruise.  

 

Like anything else, none of this extra's are essential to having a great cruise.  If your strategy on cruising is similar to mine, consider this as an option.  

 

Cruise well and enjoy every moment. 

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