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JLMoran

Another example of drink package fuzzy math (with interesting implications)

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This is interesting.

I've been watching the Deluxe Beverage Package pricing for my upcoming Anthem sailing for a while now. Before today, it's always been $56/night when no sale is in place (stock 20% off $70 on-board price), and $52/night when theres a BOGO50 (25% off $70 on-board price). Never changed in months of watching it.

Today, the price is $52/night with no sale in effect. Verified I haven't received an email from Royal, and there are no banners in place. So the on-board price just got dropped to $65 -- 80% of 65 is 52.

I'll be very curious to what this weekend's expected Memorial Day sale shows:

  • A BOGO50 with the same $52 price? (meaning Royal IT just jumped the gun and enabled the sale price a few days early)
  • A BOGO50 at $49/night? (25% off $65)
  • The long-sought 30% off sale?!?
    • At today's on-board price that would be $45.50/night (which as we've seen can be listed at either $45 or $46, depending on how they choose to round it)
    • At the prior-to-today $70/night on-board pricing, it would be exactly $49

If they do 30% off at either price level, I'll grab that. $45 or $46/night is just at the level where it's not hard at all for me to break even without drink fatigue setting in. $49/night would just mean a couple of extra bottles of water each day to cover the small gap, and lord knows that the hydration around the cocktails and wine would be good for me! 😅

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12 minutes ago, snoboken said:

I have the beverage package - can I upgrade to the alcohol on the ship?

Do you mean you have the Refreshment (non-alcoholic beverage) package? I'm not sure if that can be converted to the alcohol package once on board, as it's technically a cancel of the refreshment package followed by a purchase of the deluxe. Guest Services can probably do that for you if you see them on boarding day, but keep in mind that if you do that, you're paying the full on-board rate instead of any discounted rate in the Cruise Planner.

If you're seriously thinking about getting the Deluxe Beverage Package and having alcoholic beverages regularly, best to buy that in advance through the cruise planner. Just cancel your existing Refreshment Package purchase in the Cruise Planner, then buy the Deluxe. If you have a roommate who doesn't want the Deluxe package, you'll have to call Royal Caribbean at the toll-free number at the bottom of each Cruise Planner page and explain that you want to do the change of package; if your roommate doesn't yet have the Refreshment Package, they'll be required to buy one.

Keep in mind that if you just want an occasional alcoholic beverage here or there, you're better sticking with the Refreshment Package and just buying your alcoholic beverages a la carte at the on-board boards, in the MDR, etc. Buying the Deluxe package, even at $45 or $46 a night, means a commitment to getting at least 3 alcoholic drinks every day, along with a couple of non-alcoholic items like bottled water, espresso-based coffee beverages, fresh-squeezed OJ, etc. I'm leaving out soda since you'd use the provided cup for the Freestyle machines for that.

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6 hours ago, snoboken said:

I have the beverage package - can I upgrade to the alcohol on the ship?

Not sure if it is the same on sailings from various countries, however a friend did exactly that on the first day of our cruise from Singapore recently.

She had the refreshment package, and one of the crew approached her on the first day (while we were still in port) and offered her a deal to upgrade, which she accepted.

Apologies, but I can't recall the pricing.

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It may depend on whether you paid for the refreshment package or received it as a perk.  If you paid for it, it's just cancel and repurchase as JLMoran says above.  If it's a perk, I don't think you can upgrade it.  Certain classes of cabin come with the soda package (Neighborhood balconies, maybe?) and I'm pretty sure I've seen people say those can't be upgraded.  You have to pay full price for any other beverage package.  I would think the same would apply if you receive the refreshment package as a perk but I don't have any direct evidence.

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Who knows with Royal...its a full time job to try and watch/monitor/track.......  nevermind understand their sales and promos.

 

That being said, I will defn check out my planner this weekend. Last time I checked it showed 20% off and $52/day for my Harmony cruise in Nov.

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I just checked my cruise planner, and the Deluxe for my upcoming Harmony cruise in December has the Memorial Day BOGO50 sale at $49 per day. My only question is, does Royal usually do similar sales for July 4th and Labor Day? Or should I buy now? I've been watching for a while and it's remained steady at the 20%/$52 per day. I know I can always buy now, then cancel and re-purchase if the price drops lower, but I would rather wait to spend the $800 if they're going to have the same sale in another month or 3 months. 

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I have seen the price drop the day or night prior to the official announcement of the next cruise planner sale.  They may have implemented the price change prior to announcing the cruise planner sale.

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1 minute ago, theporglife said:

I just checked my cruise planner, and the Deluxe for my upcoming Harmony cruise in December has the Memorial Day BOGO50 sale at $49 per day. My only question is, does Royal usually do similar sales for July 4th and Labor Day? Or should I buy now? I've been watching for a while and it's remained steady at the 20%/$52 per day. I know I can always buy now, then cancel and re-purchase if the price drops lower, but I would rather wait to spend the $800 if they're going to have the same sale in another month or 3 months. 

You should be able to get the sale on a future cruise planner sale which happen about once a month or so.

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1 hour ago, theporglife said:

I just checked my cruise planner, and the Deluxe for my upcoming Harmony cruise in December has the Memorial Day BOGO50 sale at $49 per day. My only question is, does Royal usually do similar sales for July 4th and Labor Day? Or should I buy now? I've been watching for a while and it's remained steady at the 20%/$52 per day. I know I can always buy now, then cancel and re-purchase if the price drops lower, but I would rather wait to spend the $800 if they're going to have the same sale in another month or 3 months. 

Yes, they will definitely have a sale on/around July 4th and Labor Day weekend. However, there's no guarantee that the current $49 price will be offered again at that time. If you dig back through the posting archives, you'll find cases where people passed on a sale, often for legitimate reasons (e.g., just too many other bills to deal with that month), and then found that on future sales it never went back down to that earlier sale price.

Royal futzes around with the pricing based in no small part on how well the pre-cruise purchases are tallying up. If they're below a desired quota, they'll put out a better sale to try and goose the sales some. If that doesn't work, they'll try again or go to the next sale level (e.g., BOGO50 to 30% off), or maybe drop the on-board rate so the current sale on offer ends up dropping a couple of bucks. But if they hit their quota or they're on track with projections, they'll bump the prices back up and never bring them down, because why do they need to? Anyone buying at the "rack rate" at that point is gravy for them.

All of this a long-winded way of saying, "If you like this price, grab it now because it might be the last time you see it."

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1 hour ago, JLMoran said:

Yes, they will definitely have a sale on/around July 4th and Labor Day weekend. However, there's no guarantee that the current $49 price will be offered again at that time. If you dig back through the posting archives, you'll find cases where people passed on a sale, often for legitimate reasons (e.g., just too many other bills to deal with that month), and then found that on future sales it never went back down to that earlier sale price.

Royal futzes around with the pricing based in no small part on how well the pre-cruise purchases are tallying up. If they're below a desired quota, they'll put out a better sale to try and goose the sales some. If that doesn't work, they'll try again or go to the next sale level (e.g., BOGO50 to 30% off), or maybe drop the on-board rate so the current sale on offer ends up dropping a couple of bucks. But if they hit their quota or they're on track with projections, they'll bump the prices back up and never bring them down, because why do they need to? Anyone buying at the "rack rate" at that point is gravy for them.

All of this a long-winded way of saying, "If you like this price, grab it now because it might be the last time you see it."

That is exactly the kind of analysis I needed! Thank you!!!🙌😁

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On 5/23/2019 at 5:20 AM, JLMoran said:

Royal futzes around with the pricing based in no small part on how well the pre-cruise purchases are tallying up. If they're below a desired quota, they'll put out a better sale to try and goose the sales some. If that doesn't work, they'll try again or go to the next sale level (e.g., BOGO50 to 30% off), or maybe drop the on-board rate so the current sale on offer ends up dropping a couple of bucks. But if they hit their quota or they're on track with projections, they'll bump the prices back up and never bring them down, because why do they need to? Anyone buying at the "rack rate" at that point is gravy for them. 

I would agree with that.

Since we booked our cruise for this November (booked in January) i have been checking the cruise planner a couple of times a week.

To my great surprise, the drinks package became available for $57 (Australian Dollars) including the service charge.  (for those playing at home - it works out to around $39.5 USD)

Needless to say I jumped on it! 

I would suggest in my case passengers were a bit gun shy at purchasing.  Our cruise is a 14 night cruise and the drinks package becomes quite expensive - so some people are possibly just holding out till closer to the cruise.

Royal Caribbean win because they get the $$ now and can use it as they wish prior to the cruise.

I would love to be a fly on the wall in their analytics department though to see how they make these decisions.

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Bottom line - understand your magic number for any package.  If it's more than that, don't buy it, if it's less, buy it.  

How it gets there, fuzzy math, royal math, reverse polish notation, divine intervention, Royal IT mistake,  a chicken crossed a road, etc...  is meaningless.  

DX had never been a fixed price.  It is what it is.  

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8 hours ago, twangster said:

Bottom line - understand your magic number for any package.  If it's more than that, don't buy it, if it's less, buy it.  

How it gets there, fuzzy math, royal math, reverse polish notation, divine intervention, Royal IT mistake,  a chicken crossed a road, etc...  is meaningless.  

DX had never been a fixed price.  It is what it is.  

I agree.  Sometimes I annoy myself when I realize how much effort I am putting in to save a little money.  But then again, sometimes it is like a sport.

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