BOGO Wild: Is BOGO or free drink packages a better deal?

In:
19Feb2015

Royal Caribbean's latest cruise promotion is to offer guests the option of buy one, get one passenger 50% off or free beverage package for two.  You may be wondering which offer will save you more money in the long run and we're about to find out.

Our test critiera was to pick a couple of random cruises in the future to price out how BOGO Wild affects the price.  We decided to pick cruises in June 2015, since they were far enough out to be a realistic choice for someone pricing out cruises about the time this blog post came out.

First test: Couple sailing on Freedom of the Seas

Itinerary: 7-night Eastern Caribbean cruise departing on June 14

BOGO Price (including taxes, fees and port expenses)

Inside stateroom (Category M): $2115.80 ($635 savings)

Ocean View (Category H): $2688.80 ($826 savings)

Balcony (Category D2): $4207 ($1,333 savings)

Free premium drink package price (including taxes, fees and port expenses)

Value of 2 premium alcohol packages for 7 nights:  $809.48

Inside stateroom (Category M): $2750.80 ($809.48 savings)

Ocean View (Category H): $3514.80 ($809.48 savings)

Balcony (Category D2): $5540 ($809.48 savings)

Second test: Family of 4 sailing on Allure of the Seas

Itinerary: 7-night Western Mediterranean cruise departing on June 14

BOGO Price (including taxes, fees and port expenses)

Inside stateroom (Category K): $6086.00 ($1160 savings)

Balcony (Category D1): $7816.00 ($1,604 savings)

Free premium drink package price (including taxes, fees and port expenses)

Value of 2 premium alcohol packages for 7 nights:  $809.48

Inside stateroom (Category K): $6086.00 ($809.48 savings)

Balcony (Category D1): $9420.00 ($809.48 savings)

Third test: Couple sailing on Enchantment of the Seas

Itinerary: 4-night Bahamas cruise departing on June 15

BOGO Price (including taxes, fees and port expenses)

Inside stateroom (Category M): $1194.16 ($345 savings)

Ocean View (Category H): $1494.16 ($445 savings)

Balcony (Category D1): $2248 ($750 savings)

Free premium drink package price (including taxes, fees and port expenses)

Value of 2 premium alcohol packages for 7 nights:  $462.56

Inside stateroom (Category M): $1539.16 ($462.56 savings)

Ocean View (Category H): $1939.16 ($462.56 savings)

Balcony (Category D1): $2998 ($462.56 savings)

Fourth test: Couple sailing on Oasis of the Seas

Itinerary: 7-night Eastern Caribbean cruise departing on June 13

BOGO Price (including taxes, fees and port expenses)

Inside stateroom (Category M): $2874.96 ($885 savings)

Ocean View (Category G): $3084.96 ($955 savings)

Balcony (Category D6): $3729.96 ($1,170 savings)

Free premium drink package price (including taxes, fees and port expenses)

Value of 2 premium alcohol packages for 7 nights:  $809.48

Inside stateroom (Category M): $3759.96 ($809.48 savings)

Ocean View (Category G): $4039.96 ($809.48 savings)

Balcony (Category D6): $4899.96 ($809.48 savings)

Conclusion

The results show that the less expensive the cruise, the better savings you will find with the unlimited alcohol package.  Conversely, the more expensive the cruise, the better the BOGO savings.

Of course, the savings you get with the complimentary unlimited alcohol package assumes you would be purchasing the unlimited alcohol package anyway.  Also, the free unlimited alcohol package savings come when you total the entire cost of the cruise, whereas BOGO reduces the up-front cost of the cruise.  Depending on how much you drink, the savings with the unlimited alcohol package could be greater than what's noted here in the grand scheme of things.

Across our four tests, the BOGO savings were mostly the better deal, especially if you are interested in a stateroom category of oceanview or above.  

For most people, the BOGO deal may still be the better deal but it will come down to where your priorities are.