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Unlimited alcohol package: Convenience or value?


Matt
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For anyone that has purchased either of the unlimited alcohol packages that Royal Caribbean offers, did you buy it for the convenience of not worrying about paying for drinks/tipping?  Or did you buy it as a means of saving money on alcohol over the course of your cruise?

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I would have loved to purchase the unlimited alcohol package on our recent cruise, but RC requires that all people in the same cabin purchase the package.  My husband doesn't drink, so it was not an option for me. The pop package doen't work that way . . . so not sure why the alcohol  couldn't work the same way.  Hopefully a solution will come about by the time we book the next cruise. . . . it certainly would be both convenience and value! 

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I'd imagine that it runs differently from the pop package because if you sneak some soda for a guest in your room that didn't purchase, it's not a heavy cost to RCI. If you, however, order drinks for a guest in your room that didn't purchase, as an unlimited package, would cost RCI $$$$$.

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I'd imagine that it runs differently from the pop package because if you sneak some soda for a guest in your room that didn't purchase, it's not a heavy cost to RCI. If you, however, order drinks for a guest in your room that didn't purchase, as an unlimited package, would cost RCI $$$$$.

Sure that makes sense and that's why they force whomever orders the packages to order it for everyone in the stateroom.  Regardless of how many people order it, it's still a lot of drinks per day to get your moneys worth.

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Same here. I think I could make it worth my while but my wife drinks too little to justify the price.

Exactly. I can't justify spending what could amount to more than 1 person's cruise fare for 2 people to have the unlimited alcohol package. My wife doesn't drink that much, and not having the alcohol package helps me not drink a lot too.

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  • 4 years later...

Kinda both. But if I had to pick one it would be for the convience. With bottled water and juice figured in, it would be hard for us to not at least break even.  With the package I tend to drink more expensive drinks than I would without the package. We get the three free drinks at night on our sea pass ( diamond members), and even figuring that in we still think it’s worth it. 

 

I will I’ll say I hate carrying cash to tip when we have the drink packages. But I feel like tipping is the right thing to do. And occasionally it gets us a little faster service if the bar is busy. 

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Both. I've been on non Royal cruises where I didn't purchase a package and I've had a bit of sticker shock at the end of the cruise. Prepaying helps that sting!  I also get my money's worth by utilizing a wide range of drink package inclusions - not just alcohol. Specialty coffee or juice in the AM, tons of bottled water to stay hydrated, sparkling water at dinner, daily fresh juice blend or protein shakes after the gym*, and the usual alcohol suspects - maybe a mimosa in the AM because why not, fruity pool drinks during the day, a getting ready for dinner glass of wine, glass of dinner wine, and a post dinner drink with entertainment. 

*I've read that protein shakes are not included in the drink package but on Harmony last fall we were never charged for the protein powder.

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I'd say for 3 to 5 nights cruise, you are more likely to break-even.

Anything more than 5 nights, not worth it, financial-wise and health-wise.

You really have to consume a ton of alcohol to break even. Even if we don't consider the alcohol, if you just consume soda, that's a lot of sugary beverage to feed our body.

Worse if you order cocktails everytime.... It's both alcohol AND sugary stuff.

It is bad for your health if you are going to drink that much every day for 7 days. After maybe 4 nights, you will find yourself drinking and ordering for the sake of drinking because you have to break the package even, otherwise you will waste your money.

My advice is:

For sailings less than 5 nights: Yes, get the Deluxe Beverage Package. It is convenient (you don't have to sign the check every time you order your drink) and you most probably can break even or even make package worth-while.

For sailings more than 5 nights: Just pay for each drink. You will realize paying for each drink makes more financial sense after 4 or 5 nights because after 5 nights, you will lessen your drink intake due to fatigue. You won't be able to drink that much every single day. Just pay for each drink and your body will thank you after that.

 

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It was the reason that convinced me to take my first ever cruise. Prior to this option, I had heard horror stories about final bar tabs at the end of the cruise and for someone who had only done AI's for the previous 10 years or so(and enjoys many drinks when on vacation ) I wasn't taking the risk.

 

Now its for both the value and convenience for me....although the value part keeps getting worse.

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4 hours ago, Chris_Wallace said:

I'd say for 3 to 5 nights cruise, you are more likely to break-even.

Anything more than 5 nights, not worth it, financial-wise and health-wise.

You really have to consume a ton of alcohol to break even. Even if we don't consider the alcohol, if you just consume soda, that's a lot of sugary beverage to feed our body.

Worse if you order cocktails everytime.... It's both alcohol AND sugary stuff.

It is bad for your health if you are going to drink that much every day for 7 days. After maybe 4 nights, you will find yourself drinking and ordering for the sake of drinking because you have to break the package even, otherwise you will waste your money.

My advice is:

For sailings less than 5 nights: Yes, get the Deluxe Beverage Package. It is convenient (you don't have to sign the check every time you order your drink) and you most probably can break even or even make package worth-while.

For sailings more than 5 nights: Just pay for each drink. You will realize paying for each drink makes more financial sense after 4 or 5 nights because after 5 nights, you will lessen your drink intake due to fatigue. You won't be able to drink that much every single day. Just pay for each drink and your body will thank you after that.

 

This is a wee bit of a generalization. First, as I mentioned in mine, the number of drinks you have to consume really depends on the price you pay. In my case, I only need to get three to four cocktails to break even, which is easy. And, "cocktails" doesn't always mean sugary tropical drinks...to me a "cocktail" could be a vodka soda which is far from sugary. Also, I can have endless bottles of water as well, which is anything but unhealthy.

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With the sale  - the drink package makes sense for me. I hated the free coffee and drink a fair amount of it - on a cruise at least 2 a day maybe one more in afternoon. I'm lazy on my vacation and while I'll fill up my cup occasionally I like bottled water. I love seltzer and will drink water/seltzer all day. I will have at least 3 cocktails a day -  I have a lower tolerance so this is spread out throughout the day and night.

Personally, I avoid sugary drinks besides wine and above said tolerance for alcohol makes a glass or two at most. For me and everyone else though - not sure many care about sugary drinks while on vacation. Most people don't drink that much on a normal week and this is vacation. Enjoy. Live. Eat the sugar. Or don't.

 

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We got the deluxe drink package when it was on sale, so counting the bottle water, specialty coffees, and 2-3 drinks, then it is a good deal.  Our cruise this summer is with 3 other adult couples so we will use it more that if we were cruising with the grand kids (which we just do the refreshment package then).

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1 hour ago, whitsmom said:

We got the deluxe drink package when it was on sale, so counting the bottle water, specialty coffees, and 2-3 drinks, then it is a good deal

Agreed.  I'll can easily go through 4-5 bottles of water a day, plus an OJ in the morning along with a better cup of coffee.   You're halfway there to an on-sale DDP.    

If you're strictly a beer drinker, the math might not work out in your favor, but for mixed drinks and wine at dinner, I think it works out.  

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13 minutes ago, Jardry said:

We're not huge alcohol drinkers and we buy the soda package.

If we want an alcoholic beverage, would we be charged the full price or would we be charged the difference in price between a soda and the alcoholic beverage? 

Soda package only includes soda.  There is no additional discounts.

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If you're nice to the bartenders and tip them and order simple drinks (rum and coke, vodka soda, etc) they might just charge you for the shot (usually $8) instead of a cocktail price ($10+).  I suppose you could also just order shots and spike your own sodas, but at that point you're starting to be your own bartender which is no fun.

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