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I’m looking at an Italy and Greece cruise on the Escape.  I’ve only cruised on Carnival so looking for answers,

 

Can you pre-order alcohol for your cabin?

 

Do the balcony dividers open so that your party in the next room can have one balcony’s?

 

What is your opinion on the beverage package?  Do you think that you get your money’s worth?

 

That’s all I can think of at the moment,  I appreciate any help you can give!

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Hello, I went on the Escape twice and really liked it (In particular I liked the music venues).

From the balcony I was in- the dividers do not open.

For the drink package- I had the regular one as a promo and paid around $120 in gratuities.

It paid for itself as on one cruise I purchased 40 beverages. But it depends what you like as the basic package covers ones up to $15. 

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Relative to the Drink Packages.   Ala cart pricing of drinks on NCL is high in comparison to other lines IMO.   If you don't drink much, it is not worth it.  If you want the drink package book your cruise with the package as part of the cabin promotion as it is cheaper than adding it afterwards.   

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We've never pre-ordered alcohol for our cabin. We always get the beverage package and find it works well for us. My hubby likes to keep beer in the cabin as he likes to sit on the balcony with a beer and enjoy doing 'nothing' for a while. If we're planning to be in the cabin for a while, we'll ask for drinks without ice and add it when we're ready for them. 

 

We've cruised with family and friends and frequently get cabins side-by-side. It has been a looooong time since we had adjoining balconies that actually opened.  The Escape is a fabulous ship! We did her from NYC to Bermuda and loved her.  I've also been on her sister ships - the Breakaway and Getaway. The thing to remember with NCL vs Carnival is that you will need to make reservations for dinners and shows. They typically open up 120 days before sailing - so just set a reminder to do it. It's easy to do online and you can make reservations for more than just your cabin.  I think you can reserve up to a party of 8 under one dining reservation. That was great because we wanted to sit with our sailing friends - and NCL doesn't do the 'early' or 'late' seating for dinner. There are 2 main dining rooms on board (Taste and Savor) and they - and the Manhattan Room - all have serve the same menu on the same nights.  You'll also want to make reservations for the shows - as those waiting for stand-by seating don't always get in. I think our favorite evening activity is the Howl at the Moon dueling pianos/sing along in the comedy club. 

 

I hope you enjoy the Escape as much as we do! 🙂

Edited by LCfromFL
typo
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@phinfan63

I've pre-ordered bottles to my room in all but my last cruise; where I had the drink package. I don't know why they wouldn't fulfill a liquor pre-order, it's revenue to them.

As for the drink package.. I think the premium package is worth it; they offer a wide range of drinks and you don't have to try to keep track to see if you are getting carried away with costs; it takes away a bad surprise element.  I have not upgraded to the premium plus package and after cruising once with a drink package I doubt I ever will upgrade. There is a list that shows the brands available with each package so you can make your decision.

Finally, I don't have 1st hand experience with the Escape, but on our last cruise while the deck dividers had a latch that would open with a screwdriver; we were told we couldn't have them opened due to "safety reasons".  

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Some other quirks with the NCL beverage package. 

  • Carnival limits you to 15 drinks a day less than $20, but those include energy drinks, water, specialty coffees, etc. 
  • NCL has a $15 beverage max, but you're limited to beer, wine and alcohol... no bottled water, coffee, etc. Those are only available with the upgraded package. 
  • NCL charges you gratuity on the "free" package. No other lines do this... if you get a complimentary beverage package, other lines cover gratuities. For a seven day cruise, you're looking at around $140 out of pocket on NCL for the "free" beverage package. 
  • If you're paying out of pocket, NCL's beverage package is by far the most expensive of any major cruise line. Other lines (Royal, Carnival) sell their beverage package for $50ish and up a day (plus gratuity). NCL starts at $99 plus gratuity. Unless you're getting it included as part of a promo, it's a horrible deal. 
  • NCL's upgrade to the extra package is even pricier. If you get Celebrity's free/included beverage package, it costs around $10 a day to upgrade. On NCL it's $29 plus gratuity... way more than any other line.
  • NCL is unique in that they let you get two drinks per order. E.g. you can get a beer and a shot simultaneously, where other lines make you order and consume before getting another drink. We actually loved this on NCL.
  • NCL will definitely let you bring on wine, but charges you an automatic corkage fee of $15 for 750 ml and $30 for 1,500 ml when boarding. 
  • NCL also offers in-room bottles (what is called bar setup). You'll need to call guest services to set this up before your cruise, and the prices aren't cheap. A few years ago, 1 l bottles of liquor were ~$100 and up. 


 

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58 minutes ago, AstoriaPreppy said:

Some other quirks with the NCL beverage package. 

  • ...
  • NCL has a $15 beverage max, but you're limited to beer, wine and alcohol... no bottled water, coffee, etc. Those are only available with the upgraded package. 
  • NCL charges you gratuity on the "free" package. No other lines do this... if you get a complimentary beverage package, other lines cover gratuities. For a seven day cruise, you're looking at around $140 out of pocket on NCL for the "free" beverage package. 
  • ...
  • NCL is unique in that they let you get two drinks per order. E.g. you can get a beer and a shot simultaneously, where other lines make you order and consume before getting another drink. We actually loved this on NCL.
  • ....


 

 

You can have bottled water or soda, as long you friendly ask for a glass. So you'll get your glasses of water in a bottle ;-) we did it sometimes at the pool area.

 

Gratuities depend on the way where you booked and which currency used. In some markets "Free at Sea" includes gratuities.

 

One person is allowed to order two drinks for every person in its group/table if they present their cards once. 3 persons * 2 Drinks = bottled Water :-)

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11 hours ago, AstoriaPreppy said:

Some other quirks with the NCL beverage package. 

  • Carnival limits you to 15 drinks a day less than $20, but those include energy drinks, water, specialty coffees, etc. 
  • NCL has a $15 beverage max, but you're limited to beer, wine and alcohol... no bottled water, coffee, etc. Those are only available with the upgraded package. 
  • NCL charges you gratuity on the "free" package. No other lines do this... if you get a complimentary beverage package, other lines cover gratuities. For a seven day cruise, you're looking at around $140 out of pocket on NCL for the "free" beverage package. 
  • If you're paying out of pocket, NCL's beverage package is by far the most expensive of any major cruise line. Other lines (Royal, Carnival) sell their beverage package for $50ish and up a day (plus gratuity). NCL starts at $99 plus gratuity. Unless you're getting it included as part of a promo, it's a horrible deal. 
  • NCL's upgrade to the extra package is even pricier. If you get Celebrity's free/included beverage package, it costs around $10 a day to upgrade. On NCL it's $29 plus gratuity... way more than any other line.
  • NCL is unique in that they let you get two drinks per order. E.g. you can get a beer and a shot simultaneously, where other lines make you order and consume before getting another drink. We actually loved this on NCL.
  • NCL will definitely let you bring on wine, but charges you an automatic corkage fee of $15 for 750 ml and $30 for 1,500 ml when boarding. 
  • NCL also offers in-room bottles (what is called bar setup). You'll need to call guest services to set this up before your cruise, and the prices aren't cheap. A few years ago, 1 l bottles of liquor were ~$100 and up. 


 

When you say $15 max, is that per drink or for the day?  Probably a silly question but if it’s per day, I may need to cancel that...LOL

 

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5 minutes ago, phinfan63 said:

When you say $15 max, is that per drink or for the day?  Probably a silly question but if it’s per day, I may need to cancel that...LOL

 

 

Yes, you can only have $15 worth of drinks in a total day.   lol.  Enjoy that one drink.  😉

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2 hours ago, phinfan63 said:

When you say $15 max, is that per drink or for the day?  Probably a silly question but if it’s per day, I may need to cancel that...LOL

 

Per drink, and if you want a more expensive drink you can pay the difference plus gratuity on the difference.  A $17 drink would cost you $2.40 (I'm recalling 20% gratuity, might be wrong there).

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11 hours ago, phinfan63 said:

When you say $15 max, is that per drink or for the day?

Definitely per drink. It’s easy to find beer and cocktail options on NCL under the $15, but drinkable wines by the glass are another situation entirely. On our last NCL trip there were two or three red or whites that were remotely dry and drinkable... it was not great. 

 

22 hours ago, step78 said:

You can have bottled water or soda, as long you friendly ask for a glass.

This might be new? On our last cruise on the Gem out of NY, any bottled water was strictly prohibited from the beverage package. They’d give you tap water or soda water from the serving gun at a bar, but it wasn’t like Celebrity with a choice of San Pellegrino or other bottled waters. 

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1 hour ago, AstoriaPreppy said:

This might be new? On our last cruise on the Gem out of NY, any bottled water was strictly prohibited from the beverage package. They’d give you tap water or soda water from the serving gun at a bar, but it wasn’t like Celebrity with a choice of San Pellegrino or other bottled waters. 

Getaway 2019

I just want to stay hydrated and ask for "water". First time the barkeeper tried to give a glass. Told him my plan to wander around and asked friendly about the possibility to have a bottle for two of us. No problem. Same at the pool-mini-bar. Only cans available, you have to pay. Asked for a glass and they gave us the soda in cans, and one empty glass ;-)

 

Maybe it's not possible in restaurants, but the rest of the day just ask the staff. 

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Since there is NO cruising at this time - there will be NO boozing it - pure and simple !

 

Now with that discouraging thought - here are the booze options:

 

Buy each drink individually -

 

Buy one of the drink packages -

1 unlimited select drinks under $15 - overage with surcharge

2 Premium package - top end liquors and coffees no additional charge

 

Buy a corks n caps package (beer and wine)

 

When on board inquire about the Viva Vino package (wine by the bottle anywhere on the ship)

 

AND the soda package - unlimited soft drinks

 

Lastly there is the Bar-Set-Up purchased in advance or on board -

purchase full liters or fifths of selected spirits with the fixens mixers for use in your cabin.

 

Prices and selection always in flux - things may change post covid 19 ?

 

When you are about 120 or so days from sailing - make inquiry about pricing availability and

the process to book a plan.

 

AND REMEMBER -

NO BYOB ALCOHOL SOFT DRINKS BEVERAGES AND WATER MAY BE BROUGHT ON BOARD NCL SHIPS !

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On 1/25/2021 at 9:46 PM, don't-use-real-name said:

 

AND REMEMBER -

NO BYOB ALCOHOL SOFT DRINKS BEVERAGES AND WATER MAY BE BROUGHT ON BOARD NCL SHIPS !


Is this new for the alcohol?  In 2017 they let us bring wine aboard in exchange for a corkage fee (it was either US$15 or US$25 per bottle, I can't remember).

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24 minutes ago, Named-Tawny said:


Is this new for the alcohol?  In 2017 they let us bring wine aboard in exchange for a corkage fee (it was either US$15 or US$25 per bottle, I can't remember).

You can bring wine on board; I think it's a $15 corkage... but yes as of Feb 2020 you could bring it on board. Of course... once things resume... one ought to make sure they check to see if the rules change.

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APOLOGY %$#&*

 

Totally Forgot about the WINE corkage program.

 

Yes you can bring 5ths/liter bottles of wine on board paying the corkage fee

of $15 - the magnums are double at $30 --- Champagne is classed as wine.

 

Consider the Viva Vino program to avoid lugging all that wine around !

 

AND as "mtrancher" has posted things may change after resumption of service.

 

My comment:

Keeping the boarding process masked simple spaced out separated straight forward

and  speedy - probably checking all the health documentation (vaccinations) and any

other concerns. It won't be like the good ole days of cruising.

BUT you will be able to drink to that !

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