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Why NCL Premium PLUS Adult Drink Package?


Sthrngary
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42 minutes ago, JbCruisingSoon said:

How would we go about having mimosas for breakfast? 

They should have them at all the bars and dining venues. 
 

Personally, I saunter down to the atrium bar and enjoy one or two after I’ve had a latte with extra shot and baileys. Then finish with Irish coffee. 

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On 8/20/2020 at 6:21 PM, Sthrngary said:

I LOVE cruising and have for over 40-years.  In late May 2021, my family of five (5) and I will be going on our “Bucket List” cruise to Alaska, on the New NCL Encore.  This will be my wife and my 41st wedding anniversary.  Our 40th anniversary cruise, was cancelled, like many of you.  After 23 cruises in 40 years (the first was our honeymoon on the Norwegian SS Norway), I wanted to give some opinions on a couple of items that folks ask about all the time.  I wrote a cruisecritic.com  op-ed months ago, about the NCL Haven Experience.   It had GREAT readership and feedback.  So I thought I would write about another topic. Upgrading from the NCL perk for the “Premium Adult Beverage Package” to the “Premium PLUS Adult Beverage Package”.

 

If I have learned anything over the last decades of cruising; there is “No Free Lunch”.  Another words, there is a COST for everything. Many cruisers feel that purchasing a drink package at the retail price from most main stream cruise lines is ridiculously high.  I agree, yet most cruise lines provide an normal adult drink package as a perk (Premium Adult Beverage Package on NCL). From a full disclosure standpoint, this perk with NCL is NOT FREE.  You have to pay the tips on the package which is a confusion point when this perk is offered.  Still a bargain, if the perk is given. What my wife and I ALWAYS do is upgrade to the “Premium PLUS Adult Drink Package”.  The question is WHY?

 

Please understand your situation may differ, so this is just our preferred preferences. My wife LOVES, did I say loves, to drink wine.  At home, we sit on our roof deck almost every night and she takes a bottle up there so she does not have to go down three flights of steps in our town home, to get another glass.  On a cruise ship, my bride loves to sit on our balcony, and sip her wine.  However, when you get all the wine glasses you want with the Premium Adult Beverage Package, you still have to go to the bar to get another one.  If you want a bottle, you can ONLY get it from room service and there is a cost.  When you are dining, you have to keep on asking your waiter for another glass.  If that is all you know, you are fine with it.  However, when I go on vacation, I want to be pampered and so does my wife. I also do not want to have one item on my ship portfolio when the cruise is over.  Been there and done that way to many times.

 

When you upgrade to the “Premium PLUS Adult Beverage Package”, you can order a FULL bottle of selected wines with any of your meals.  You can take the unopened bottle back to your suite or have it delivered.  This allows there to be a bottle of wine (or two) in your room for the night time balcony ritual. Seems like a little thing, but it really made a HUGE difference for my wife’s experience on our last few cruises. 

 

I love premium bottled water.  Especially the nicer brands.  With the Premium PLUS Adult Beverage Package, bottled water is provided while dinning or in any bar.  I always bring these back to the room, just like the wine.  We love lots of water in the suite, especially at night.  Add to this, specialty coffee.  Normal coffee is always complementary for everyone on the ship.  Specialty coffee is NOT.  Every night, after dinner, I order a specialty coffee.  On some ships, there is a Starbucks also which may or may not be included in the Premium PLUS Adult Beverage Package.  Am I spoiled, YES I AM. 

 

Finally, drink cost limits.  We a very few exceptions, most every brand is available to you at NO addition add-on cost when you have the Premium Plus Adult Beverage Package.  If you just had the Premium Adult Beverage Package, you are limited to $15.00 per drink total.  Seems like a lot per drink? It is.  However, what I personally like to do is try the better premium brands.  I want to know what I am missing.  I assure all of you, I look for every opportunity to get the high-end stuff during my cruise, with this package. If I were to put this expense in to a phrase, it would be; “I want to feel like a rock star for one week a year!”  Is it worth the extra money, probably NOT.  Do I do it every time, YES I DO!

 

Feel free to comment and ask any question on this topic. I hope my experiences help some of you make a choice.  Cruise well, be safe and stay healthy.

Thank you for your opinion. A friend of mine and I were discussing  just that the other day. 
He has had it before, I haven’t.  Though it makes sense… my cruise is 18 days …and the upgrade, is quite pricey.  Tack on a 100% Solo Supplement… it hurts.  But definitely will heed your advice on one of my shorter 7 day cruises. 
 

Thanks again and Bon Voyage. 

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3 hours ago, Flamencacha said:

Thank you for your opinion. A friend of mine and I were discussing  just that the other day. 
He has had it before, I haven’t.  Though it makes sense… my cruise is 18 days …and the upgrade, is quite pricey.  Tack on a 100% Solo Supplement… it hurts.  But definitely will heed your advice on one of my shorter 7 day cruises. 
 

Thanks again and Bon Voyage. 

Have a GREAT cruise.  Enjoy every minute.  I just came back from a cruise to the Bahamas, my first during covid.  A word of advice.  Allow yourself and especially your mind to relax.  Don't force it.  We have all be isolated for so long, it takes an extra day or so to get used to it.  This was very unusual for me. It is almost like you have to convince yourself you can come out of jail and it will be OK.  

 

Cruise well.

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1 hour ago, Rmeister23 said:

anyone have the latest copy of what the Premium Plus package consists of for the new European sailings now this year. Will be going on 11 day Mediterranean cruise in November. I know they changed the bottles and by the glass recently. 

premium-plus-beverage-package-072021v2.pdf

 

This is as of 7/21.  Not sure if it varies by ship, though it does state that it's subject to change on board so take this with a grain of salt.  However, this is the most current I've seen.

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Hi everyone, 

 

Me and my dad are going on a cruise (Athens 24/10), and we are considering the Premium Plus package, especially because we do like to get full bottles of wine for dinner. 

 

Two questions:

 

Is it limited to only one bottle per person per meal? 

 

We have seperate cabins and bookings, can only I get the plus package and be able to share one (or several) bottles with dad (without the package) at the table? 

 

Uhm another question 🙂

 

Are there several bottle options at the complimentary restaurants as well?

 

Thanks for your help, 

 

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32 minutes ago, Xentrix said:

Two questions:

 

Is it limited to only one bottle per person per meal? 

 

We have seperate cabins and bookings, can only I get the plus package and be able to share one (or several) bottles with dad (without the package) at the table? 

 

Uhm another question 🙂

 

Are there several bottle options at the complimentary restaurants as well?

 

Thanks for your help, 

 

As long as you're on a reservation by yourself, if you have the Premium Plus package you get a (read: ONE) bottle of wine with dinner.  Additional bottles come with a 40% discount.  The "free" bottle is from a limited list, so no Chateau Lafitte Rothschild for you; see my post with the current list.  I'm almost certain it's available in the main dining rooms as well but I always go premium so don't have firsthand experience.

 

Your father, unless he's opted out of the beverage package entirely, gets wine by the glass.  So do you once you've consumed your bottle, though your choices are a bit more expansive.  Again, I've had very attentive service in the premium restaurants so my glass was rarely empty but not sure how that stacks up in MDR.

 

Edited by phillygwm
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9 hours ago, phillygwm said:

As long as you're on a reservation by yourself, if you have the Premium Plus package you get a (read: ONE) bottle of wine with dinner.  Additional bottles come with a 40% discount.  The "free" bottle is from a limited list, so no Chateau Lafitte Rothschild for you; see my post with the current list.  I'm almost certain it's available in the main dining rooms as well but I always go premium so don't have firsthand experience.

 

Your father, unless he's opted out of the beverage package entirely, gets wine by the glass.  So do you once you've consumed your bottle, though your choices are a bit more expansive.  Again, I've had very attentive service in the premium restaurants so my glass was rarely empty but not sure how that stacks up in MDR.

 

 

Thanks, well I guess the best opt for us will be that we both get the Plus package, so we can get two bottles of wine each dinner (and then wine by the glass). 

 

The list have some nice wine choices, like the Barolo, and some nice scotch like the Talisker and JW 18 years. Hopefully most restaurants do have some champagne, at least by the glass. And I hope the speciality coffe is nice and strong, that´s important for us (we are swedes 😀).

 

The upgrade seems worth it for 200 euros 7 days, including gratitudes.

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2 hours ago, Xentrix said:

 

Thanks, well I guess the best opt for us will be that we both get the Plus package, so we can get two bottles of wine each dinner (and then wine by the glass). 

 

The list have some nice wine choices, like the Barolo, and some nice scotch like the Talisker and JW 18 years. Hopefully most restaurants do have some champagne, at least by the glass. And I hope the speciality coffe is nice and strong, that´s important for us (we are swedes 😀).

 

The upgrade seems worth it for 200 euros 7 days, including gratitudes.

It was a straightforward decision for me but it was equally easy for my friends NOT to get it.  Just depends on your (and your father's) drinking patterns.

 

For me, the actual bottle of wine isn't a huge deal.  I anticipate my servers at dinner will be attentive so if I want a few glasses of wine I'll get them.  But I DO like Champagne and one glass can equal the $35/day of the package.  Plus, I like San Pellegrino, which is included in the Plus but not the standard package, and I'm sure I'll get creative with some of the other premium alcohol shown (I'll skip the Patron shots; I'd live to regret those!)  My friends would enjoy a glass or two of wine with dinner and maybe a beer or wine over the course of the day.  For them, even if they want to go to Starbucks or buy a bottle of water here and there, the numbers just won't add up.

 

It's also important to keep repeating to yourself that the selections are subject to change.  I don't think that's a bait and switch but if, perhaps, they're out of a couple of the wine selections and substitute others, I won't be shocked or disappointed.

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1 hour ago, phillygwm said:

But I DO like Champagne and one glass can equal the $35/day of the package.

You and me both 🙂 And when I look at the prices at recent bar menus, the better brands of scotch and wine are ranging from $20-35, so even if we just have to pay what's over $15 (the cap at ultimate beverage package) it will still add up pretty quick. We are not 'heavy drinkers' per say but during a day, evening and night we can consume quite a few. After all, eating and drinking good is a big part of the whole fun of cruising IMO.  

 

1 hour ago, phillygwm said:

It's also important to keep repeating to yourself that the selections are subject to change.  I don't think that's a bait and switch but if, perhaps, they're out of a couple of the wine selections and substitute others, I won't be shocked or disappointed.

I have compared lists of the selections from -19 until now and they all have Yellow label or Moët by the bottle and the other one by the glass. So fingers cross that they still have next month. Not a deal breaker if they don't but Champagne is Champagne 🥂

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  • 1 month later...

We are on the Joy in December and considering upgrading.  I drink wine and would like more options and they have some nice choices above the $15 mark.  Drink a couple of those and a couple of Veuve and I would feel I’ve got my money’s worth.  Since it seems like forever since I’ve been on an NCL cruise I can’t remember if all or most of the bars would carry the better wines and Veuve or would I always have to go to Cellars?

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46 minutes ago, gatorchinsky said:

We are on the Joy in December and considering upgrading.  I drink wine and would like more options and they have some nice choices above the $15 mark.  Drink a couple of those and a couple of Veuve and I would feel I’ve got my money’s worth.  Since it seems like forever since I’ve been on an NCL cruise I can’t remember if all or most of the bars would carry the better wines and Veuve or would I always have to go to Cellars?

Allow me to assist.  You can get better wines in many of the bars.  Especially the ones need the specialty restaurants.  You will have no issues there.  I will also be on the Joy the last week in November.  We have four guests in our cabin.  I have upgraded my wife and I on the "Plus" package as I always do.  My other guest are my adult kids.  It would be a waste for them. 

 

I like the better premium spirts brands.  Also, I to like to try nice wines which I would rarely do at home.  With the Plus program, my wife orders wine from a selected list and the entire bottle can go with us to our cabin.  For her, that is worth the price right their.  We also like bottle imported water at dinner as well as specialty coffee's after meals.  

 

It is also my understanding that StarBucks is part of the program on the Joy.  All and all, it is just the way we like to have flexibility on our vacation.  Enjoy.

 

Cruise well.

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1 minute ago, Sthrngary said:

Allow me to assist.  You can get better wines in many of the bars.  Especially the ones need the specialty restaurants.  You will have no issues there.  I will also be on the Joy the last week in November.  We have four guests in our cabin.  I have upgraded my wife and I on the "Plus" package as I always do.  My other guest are my adult kids.  It would be a waste for them. 

 

I like the better premium spirts brands.  Also, I to like to try nice wines which I would rarely do at home.  With the Plus program, my wife orders wine from a selected list and the entire bottle can go with us to our cabin.  For her, that is worth the price right their.  We also like bottle imported water at dinner as well as specialty coffee's after meals.  

 

It is also my understanding that StarBucks is part of the program on the Joy.  All and all, it is just the way we like to have flexibility on our vacation.  Enjoy.

 

Cruise well.

Thank you!  Would you be willing to provide some photos of the different bar menus from the Joy so I, and others, could get an idea of the different wine options?  Getting full bottles of wine at meals sounds great.  I also like the fact that it can be taken back to our stateroom.

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1 minute ago, gatorchinsky said:

Thank you!  Would you be willing to provide some photos of the different bar menus from the Joy so I, and others, could get an idea of the different wine options?  Getting full bottles of wine at meals sounds great.  I also like the fact that it can be taken back to our stateroom.

I have the actual list in a picture file.  I will attach it with the PDF below.  I will also give you a few restaurant menu's.  Look for the asterisk next to the wines.  That means you can order a full bottle.  Please remember, take on glass when at the table and bring the bottle back to your cabin.  I am not sure they will give you a whole bottle unopened.  FYI only.  

 

PS: When I attach files, some CruiseCritic members can't down load them.  It is a security issue in their personal computers.  If that happens, just give me a way to email the information to you.  

 

Le_Bistro_Dinner_Menu_A.jpg

Le_Bistro_Dinner_Menu_B.jpg

NCL_Premium_Plus_Beverage_Package.jpg

Ocean_Blue_Dinner_Menu_A.jpg

Ocean_Blue_Dinner_Menu_B.jpg

Ocean_Blue_Dinner_Menu_C.jpg

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12 minutes ago, Sthrngary said:

Allow me to assist.  You can get better wines in many of the bars.  Especially the ones need the specialty restaurants.  You will have no issues there.  I will also be on the Joy the last week in November.  We have four guests in our cabin.  I have upgraded my wife and I on the "Plus" package as I always do.  My other guest are my adult kids.  It would be a waste for them. 

 

I like the better premium spirts brands.  Also, I to like to try nice wines which I would rarely do at home.  With the Plus program, my wife orders wine from a selected list and the entire bottle can go with us to our cabin.  For her, that is worth the price right their.  We also like bottle imported water at dinner as well as specialty coffee's after meals.  

 

It is also my understanding that StarBucks is part of the program on the Joy.  All and all, it is just the way we like to have flexibility on our vacation.  Enjoy.

 

Cruise well.

 

Can you upgrade only some of the adults in a suite, but not all of them?

If so, can you get a beverage package for some, but not all?

I thought if any adult had a beverage package, all in the same cabin/suite had to do so. 

 

And I'm like you... that San Pellegrino 🙂  ... keeps me nicely hydrated, which is something I need to be careful about anyway.  And DH... a real Starbucks aficionado for a very long time.  It's probably his only real "splurge", and if it makes him happy, it makes me happy!

 

GC

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1 minute ago, GeezerCouple said:

 

Can you upgrade only some of the adults in a suite, but not all of them?

If so, can you get a beverage package for some, but not all?

I thought if any adult had a beverage package, all in the same cabin/suite had to do so. 

 

And I'm like you... that San Pellegrino 🙂  ... keeps me nicely hydrated, which is something I need to be careful about anyway.  And DH... a real Starbucks aficionado for a very long time.  It's probably his only real "splurge", and if it makes him happy, it makes me happy!

 

GC

I want to be very careful with this answer and I will have to be wordy.

 

To upgrade the perk of the "Premium Beverage Package" to the "Premium Plus Beverage Package" for some but not all of your cabin mates, there is a process.

  1. Pre-Cruise:  The only way I was able to do this on my upcoming November 27, 2021 NCL Joy cruise was to have my travel agent us extra FCC I had.  My online reservations shows my wife and myself having the Premium Plus and my adult children have the Premium drink package.
  2. On the Ship:  When you get on the ship, you can request the upgrade for less member of your group in your cabin.  I have check and double checked this many times.  They just have to do it on the ship. 

The reason why you can't upgrade less then your entire party is the NCL Computer Program they use.  It does not allow the adjustment pre-cruise unless FCC are used.  

 

I hope I answered your question.

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5 minutes ago, Sthrngary said:

I want to be very careful with this answer and I will have to be wordy.

 

To upgrade the perk of the "Premium Beverage Package" to the "Premium Plus Beverage Package" for some but not all of your cabin mates, there is a process.

  1. Pre-Cruise:  The only way I was able to do this on my upcoming November 27, 2021 NCL Joy cruise was to have my travel agent us extra FCC I had.  My online reservations shows my wife and myself having the Premium Plus and my adult children have the Premium drink package.
  2. On the Ship:  When you get on the ship, you can request the upgrade for less member of your group in your cabin.  I have check and double checked this many times.  They just have to do it on the ship. 

The reason why you can't upgrade less then your entire party is the NCL Computer Program they use.  It does not allow the adjustment pre-cruise unless FCC are used.  

 

I hope I answered your question.

 

Got it.  Thanks.

(There's already one "thing" our TA had to jump through hoops for us to get arranged in advance, probably also due to "the computers".  Of course, computers do what humans program them to do... Unless "HAL 9000" from the movie 2001 is showing up somehow - heh!)

 

We are looking to summer, 2023 at this point.

Not sure about next summer.  But if things stay calm, we can always find a cruise for just the two of us at the last minute next year.  Indeed, we got an amazing "deal" on one of the two top suites on the Sun for an Alaska cruise a few years ago.  Someone must have cancelled really late.  If there's ever a time when one wants an expansive starboard suite and wide forward-facing balcony, it's on the northbound Vancouver to Seward.  Those views!  And from a private hot tub!  However, that spoiled us forever...  Waiting until the last minute (necessary for other reasons) certainly worked out well that time.  We hardly left the suite that time. 🙂 

 

We are missing cruising - and all travel - so much by now.......

 

GC

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@SthrngarThank you so much for your very valuable information.  I was contemplating the Premium plus upgrade since it is just me and my son (he only has the soda package because he's 16) and between the bottled water and coffee, that sold me.  I am certainly looking forward to having a glass (or 7) of the "Yellow Label" as this was suppose to be a family trip but 2 of my family refuse the vaccine so it's just a mom and son trip.  

We are staying in a cabin that is to large for two people but luxury is how we are going to handle it.  We have an aft-haven-suite.  We lucked out as I booked it in 2019 before covid became a huge deal and shut everything down so the same stateroom now costs over $14,000!  Shocked to say the least but very much looking forward to some bonding with my son.

I did have a question about movies - do they have dvd's you can use or is it just the movies that are on-demand in your room (from what I remember there wasn't a huge selection and they played on a loop)?  I am hoping for some late night movies with popcorn and snacks and even staying up all night to watch the sun rise in the morning on our balcony.    The other question was about being at the back of the ship - have you had any experience with this?  I know we are far away from the Haven area but the room and balcony are amazing.  

I imagine sitting by the pool in a lounger, reading a book, having a glass (or 7) of wine and just relaxing for an entire week!  

This is him and his older brother from our last family cruise in 2018 ❤️ 

 

6246696.jpg

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I'm doing the calculations and trying to figure out how I consume enough stuff to justify the $35 a day.  I love Whistle Pig Rye, Zacapa 23 and prefer Hendrick's Gin but still..  One piece of data I am missing is the cost of the bottle or two of San Pellegrino that is inevitably ordered with dinner.  Anybody remember?

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31 minutes ago, pbenjamin said:

I'm doing the calculations and trying to figure out how I consume enough stuff to justify the $35 a day.  I love Whistle Pig Rye, Zacapa 23 and prefer Hendrick's Gin but still..  One piece of data I am missing is the cost of the bottle or two of San Pellegrino that is inevitably ordered with dinner.  Anybody remember?

You're already there with the Whistle Pig and the Zacapa 23.  I also love the San Pellegrino and had several bottles last cruise.

 

So, last three cruises I've done the P+ upgrade and just the lack of hastle, AND the bar staff, once they see the P+ on the card suggesting upgrades and other things, it's totally worth it.

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47 minutes ago, pbenjamin said:

I'm doing the calculations and trying to figure out how I consume enough stuff to justify the $35 a day.  I love Whistle Pig Rye, Zacapa 23 and prefer Hendrick's Gin but still..  One piece of data I am missing is the cost of the bottle or two of San Pellegrino that is inevitably ordered with dinner.  Anybody remember?

LOL, I don't care what calculation you do.  It is not worth it.  BUT, did I say BUT, I do it every time.  I don't care if I consume enough to cover the costs.  I just want do not have any restraints.  Just one week a year (in this case in two plus years due to four cancelations of covid) to feel like a rock star.  

 

It is NOT worth the upgrade and for sure not the full price.  It is worth knowing you have no restrictions and some benefits.  If someone things it is ridiculous, I support them.  I really do.  If someone says I can't drink that much, I support you.  If someone says it not worth the money, I support you.  

 

I do it because it makes me feel like nothing is out of limits.  

 

Cruise well.

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