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Free drinks & dining promotion...


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REALLY FREE ????

   Once we did a Norwegian cruise with the free drink & dining promotion. Only at final payment time did we realize we had to pay the FULL tax & gratuities which was a lot....but then the drinks were free   (?)

   We are now looking at a Holland cruise with the same offer.

Does anyone know if you have to pay gratuities for that ???

Thank you

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Do you have to sign for drinks still?  When I've had drinks included on Carnival (casino only, not run of the ship), I've had to sign the receipt.  On MSC, I had a drink package but they issued no receipt.  I had not come prepared with a stack of $1s, so had to make change or chase down my favorite drink server later in the cruise to give a larger bill.

 

Just want to be prepared to bring small bills if needed.  Suppose I could always get change at customer servicer or the casino.

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8 hours ago, Crew News said:

Although tips are included in the promotion, additional tips for special bartenders are appreciated.

Always a good idea when you get good service.

 

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1 hour ago, NCTribeFan said:

Do you have to sign for drinks still?  When I've had drinks included on Carnival (casino only, not run of the ship), I've had to sign the receipt.  On MSC, I had a drink package but they issued no receipt.  I had not come prepared with a stack of $1s, so had to make change or chase down my favorite drink server later in the cruise to give a larger bill.

 

Just want to be prepared to bring small bills if needed.  Suppose I could always get change at customer servicer or the casino.

On the beverage package, no signing for drinks. Receipts are inconsistent, but seems like they are going away from receipts.

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1 hour ago, NCTribeFan said:

Do you have to sign for drinks still?  When I've had drinks included on Carnival (casino only, not run of the ship), I've had to sign the receipt.  On MSC, I had a drink package but they issued no receipt.  I had not come prepared with a stack of $1s, so had to make change or chase down my favorite drink server later in the cruise to give a larger bill.

 

Just want to be prepared to bring small bills if needed.  Suppose I could always get change at customer servicer or the casino.

 

I can't recall if we still had to sign for the drinks, but my husband and I always handed the server a dollar or two at time of order...that seemed to ensure that we were always 'remembered' after a while for refills if we were not sitting at the bar.

 

When at the bar, we always left a more substantial tip if we had a couple of drinks while sitting there.  Our favorite servers are always remembered at the end of the trip as well.

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2 hours ago, NCTribeFan said:

Do you have to sign for drinks still?  When I've had drinks included on Carnival (casino only, not run of the ship), I've had to sign the receipt.  On MSC, I had a drink package but they issued no receipt.  I had not come prepared with a stack of $1s, so had to make change or chase down my favorite drink server later in the cruise to give a larger bill.

 

Just want to be prepared to bring small bills if needed.  Suppose I could always get change at customer servicer or the casino.

 

Last time we had SBP, they just took our card to record the purchase.  

We did get a receipt but others have reported that they didn’t get one on other cruises.

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The Have It All was just added as an option for an upcoming cruise promotion on my sailing. This is my first time booking HAL.  Does anyone know if it possible to add the promotion at this time and pay the additional amount to get the Have It All or is it not possible?

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30 minutes ago, Weddingcrasher said:

The Have It All was just added as an option for an upcoming cruise promotion on my sailing. This is my first time booking HAL.  Does anyone know if it possible to add the promotion at this time and pay the additional amount to get the Have It All or is it not possible?

Well, last time I cruised was a few years ago and I dont remember any of that. "Have it all" option sounds cool but I doubt that you will use it fully. Most likely you will have one or two free cocktails and like one dinner at some nice place - a maximum. In any case, I suggest surfing the internet for it 

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1 hour ago, Weddingcrasher said:

The Have It All was just added as an option for an upcoming cruise promotion on my sailing. This is my first time booking HAL.  Does anyone know if it possible to add the promotion at this time and pay the additional amount to get the Have It All or is it not possible?

You can cancel and rebook.  Perhaps just purchase the Signature Beverage Package and the Specialty Dining Package.

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When it comes to 'free drinks' promotions, I tend to do a little fancy math to see if it is worth it.

 

Back in 2017 we had the chance to add Explore 4 to an existing 10-night reservation for $69pp through a reprice of the trip.  That was total, not per day...so just $140 to get free drinks for 10 nights, internet, Pinnacle Grill.  That was a no-brainer.

 

During that trip we decided to see just how much of a value free drinks really are for us.  Receipts were still given for all drinks, and everything was credited off our bill at the end.  I saved all those receipts and added them up after we got home.  Now, we didn't drink any more than we normally would, so I had a good sense of what our 'actual' beverage costs were and could compare to what the drink package would have cost us.

 

The package would have been a poor value as we only spent about $800 on drinks, or $80/day total.  

 

For me now, all I do is look at the price of the cruise with the free drinks...and the price without.  If the per person price without is more than $400 less than the price with drinks, I don't want the perk...there's no value for me.

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Promotions such as Have It All have virtually no value for solo cruisers.  We pay double or close to it, but we don't get 2 drink pkgs., specialty restaurant dinners, etc.  At least HAL gives us the option of booking with or without the promotion.  Celebrity has changed its fare structure to include gratuities, drinks, etc., but doesn't offer an opt out.   

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8 hours ago, Weddingcrasher said:

The Have It All was just added as an option for an upcoming cruise promotion on my sailing. This is my first time booking HAL.  Does anyone know if it possible to add the promotion at this time and pay the additional amount to get the Have It All or is it not possible?

 

Contact your TA or HAL (depending on how you booked your cruise) and ask them to provide you with a quote if you were to refare under the Have It All promo.  You should be able to add it to your booking if you have not reached the final payment date.  However, do compare the price of the cruise for your current booking and the price of the cruise with the promotion.  You could lose perks (if you have any) with your current booking.  Only you can decide if the price differential is worth YOUR value of the perks.  For example, while HAL says the value of the SBP is about $100/day/couple, for us, it's worth only $60/day and that's being generous.   

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9 hours ago, Weddingcrasher said:

The Have It All was just added as an option for an upcoming cruise promotion on my sailing. This is my first time booking HAL.  Does anyone know if it possible to add the promotion at this time and pay the additional amount to get the Have It All or is it not possible?

Rather than cancel and rebook, possibly at a higher base rate, contact HAL or your TA and see if they will add Have It All to the existing booking. Then look at the upcharge and decide if you would normally spend more or less than the daily upcharge on what it gives you. It may, or may not, be worth it for you.

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16 hours ago, Crew News said:

You can cancel and rebook.  Perhaps just purchase the Signature Beverage Package and the Specialty Dining Package.

I emailed my consultant at HAL.  My cruise has been paid for since June 14 and I am now adding the Have it All package at an additional cost, of course.  Once ordered and paid for, it can not be retracted, so she says.

So whoever said it was built into the price was wrong.

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10 hours ago, Horizon chaser 1957 said:

Rather than cancel and rebook, possibly at a higher base rate, contact HAL or your TA and see if they will add Have It All to the existing booking. Then look at the upcharge and decide if you would normally spend more or less than the daily upcharge on what it gives you. It may, or may not, be worth it for you.

Thanks to you and others for the info. I didn’t want to bother my TA if it wouldn’t be possible, but that is what they are there for…it is good to know it is likely.  We had added the Signature drinks package and my calculations is this could save a little bit, plus have the other perks.  Thanks all!

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12 hours ago, Lindancer said:

I emailed my consultant at HAL.  My cruise has been paid for since June 14 and I am now adding the Have it All package at an additional cost, of course.  Once ordered and paid for, it can not be retracted, so she says.

So whoever said it was built into the price was wrong.

 

No, the person who said the package was built into the price wasn’t wrong.

There are several prices for cruises.  Best price, Advantage price and Have it All price.  The Have It All is of course, the highest price.

You most likely had the advantage price so to add the Have it All, the price does go up since the Have it All is built into the price of the cruise where it is included 😉 

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I'm in the same situation.  I asked my TA to price out what it would be to add the "Have It All" to my current partially paid cruise (have until September).  They quoted me a $315 increase.  So I did a little math on this end and figured that chances were good that I would save a little money or at least break even. 

I had already planned on at least one Dinner at Pinnacle @ $40, plus have an excursion that I was thinking of that would use nearly the full $100.  I wasn't planning on the internet package at all (unplugging is one of the reasons for cruising), so I'm not including that in my calculations.  If I subtract $140 from $315, that would leave me with $175 for the SBP.  $175 divided by 7 = $25/day for beverages.  2 adult beverages, a Coke, and a special coffee will be more than that per day.  So I'm thinking it'll save me some money.  I won't know for certain until after the cruise and I review the "paperwork", though.

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