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Hi Jop,

 

Yes, there are 4 different unlimited alcohol packages to select from.  If you Google "Royal Caribbean unlimited drink packages", you should get a list of several links.  If you find the link from "royalcaribbeanblog" from this past April, it is a GREAT read.  I hope you enjoy your cruise.  Our first is in 4 days, Jan. 7th, on Brilliance out of Tampa.  We're pretty excited.  I tried to place the link to the info you requested, here, but I'm too much of a newbie and couldn't get it to work. ;)

Rob-o

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Generally they should be identical in price unless ...

 

1) There is a price increase between when you would have booked and paid for the package before the cruise and when you are on the cruise ...

2) Some ports (I have heard but don't know this for a fact) might charge tax on a purchase made in port before the ship sales ... I have been told by some people that is not the case and by others that they were charged tax, haven't been in any of the ports that do it (Texas and Europe are ones I have heard) so i have no firsthand knowledge but listing it as a potential concern.

3) Noticed a thread on Cruise Critic recently (but didn't follow it all the way through) that seemed to imply on some cruises that the price on board ship was higher than the pre-purchase price, sounded like it might have been a round of "experimentation" that RCI was running. RCI seems to have started running random experiments on different ships in regards to "new options" ... drives me crazy as it means the cruise line known for being predictably unpredictable in enforcing its own policies is now making it even worse by unpredictably applying random new policies as well :)

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I always wait till I get on now, and I get a package every cruise.....(7 and counting)

 

I don't see any advantage really to buying ahead. It goes on your credit card and they get to make that money off you months in advance.

 

Once on board, you can use your OBC to purchase it if you have any.

 

I have never seen the prices higher on board than before...and I have never paid more or less in taxes either on any cruises.

 

I know that some cruises are trying out being able to buy the package for one day at a time..or buying a drink card at a reduced price so that maybe an advantage of waiting till getting on board to decide.

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I agree with JTICarruthers (I tried to quote you but that function isn't working in any of 3 different browsers that I've tried lately).  I have also read on CC of numerous stories of significantly higher prices for the beverage packages once people have gotten onboard.

 

This appears to be something relatively new...if it's true at all.

 

That, combined with the numerous stories of "drink cards" everywhere, I'm not sure what to think about the beverage situation.  I have never purchased a beverage package.  I'm not that big a drinker, for one thing and I drink free in the DL/CL and in the casino, which is where I spend most of my time anyway...so I don't really have that many occasions to need to buy a drink - certainly not enough to purchase an expensive beverage package.  HOWEVER, I probably WOULD consider purchasing a 10 drink punch card if that was an option.

 

With all of these swirling contradictions, I just don't know what I would do if I was considering a package.  Most likely, I would wait, knowing that the price might be higher when I get onboard.  If you have onboard credit to use waiting is probably the best option.  Just know that there ARE stories of higher package prices than what people had expected.

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The only reason I can give for buying it ahead of time is that you can begin boozing IMMEDIATELY!!!! ;) :D B) The line we saw on Freedom was ridiculous! The Queen was particularly happy to not have to wait on it. Also, like Matty always says, it's nice to have things paid off over time. Of course, since I'm not a shopper, not a gambler, and I prepay for my excursions, I have no idea how I'll use my OBC.

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The only reason I can give for buying it ahead of time is that you can begin boozing IMMEDIATELY!!!! ;) :D B) The line we saw on Freedom was ridiculous! The Queen was particularly happy to not have to wait on it. Also, like Matty always says, it's nice to have things paid off over time. Of course, since I'm not a shopper, not a gambler, and I prepay for my excursions, I have no idea how I'll use my OBC.

Specialty dining!

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On a family cruise, I see myself having a hard time hitting the break even point. However, my husband and I are going on a solo anniversary trip in September and I see this as a fun way for us to enjoy ourselves. There were a lot of drinks I wanted to try on Oasis but couldn't justify the $12 just to quell my curiosity. Since we will actually be able to enjoy some of the night life and bars, I think it will be a great way to splurge and not have to worry about the cost of things while onboard.

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Somehow, spending OBC has just NEVER been a problem !  :)

I remind my wife of that fact every cruise.

 

On a family cruise, I see myself having a hard time hitting the break even point. However, my husband and I are going on a solo anniversary trip in September and I see this as a fun way for us to enjoy ourselves. There were a lot of drinks I wanted to try on Oasis but couldn't justify the $12 just to quell my curiosity. Since we will actually be able to enjoy some of the night life and bars, I think it will be a great way to splurge and not have to worry about the cost of things while onboard.

We used the same rationale for the Brilliance of the Seas cruise my wife and I did without the kids.

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Here are two small advantages for waiting till you get aboard.

 

IF you get aboard early before access to the cabins is available

 

IF you really like those cups they give you for pop/soda 

 

Then buying your package upon embarkation makes sense because you will get your cup immediately. Otherwise it may be held hostage until cabin access is opened up.

 

 

To tell you the truth, I always wait till we are on the ship for another reason.

 

I always give my brand new, still wrapped cup away to a Mom or Dad who is also waiting in line to by a pop package for their kid. I always choose someone who looks like it will take the least amount of explaining to this little scam. If some kids want to drink pop out of the machines on me for a week; God bless 'em. If it saves a fellow cruiser $65 for the week--even better.

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You can get the drink  package at ANY bar....just skip the long lines when you first get on the ship and head to the pool bar or wherever you want. It takes 30 seconds and your ready to drink.

 

Take it from someone who has does this many times on different ships..lol.

 

I did get mine in the terminal in Tampa the one time there as well, as there was no line up at the time I was passing by the table.

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There had been a string of posts about BOGO for premium drink packages - however that offer seems to have ended.  Was this a special one-time promo that RC ran or can we expect to see it again?   Cruising in March and trying to figure out what package to buy and if should get early to avoid sales tax (sailing from FLL), if that's even an issue or not, or to just wait and get on-board.       

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There had been a string of posts about BOGO for premium drink packages - however that offer seems to have ended.  Was this a special one-time promo that RC ran or can we expect to see it again?   Cruising in March and trying to figure out what package to buy and if should get early to avoid sales tax (sailing from FLL), if that's even an issue or not, or to just wait and get on-board.       

If it were me, I'd buy a drink package in advance to avoid the embarkation day lines that typically pop up for those drink package purchases.

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