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How to best utilize the Drink Package


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Hello All, 

My BF and I are sailing in less than 100 days (WOOT WOOT for double-digits) with the drink package for the first time. Last cruise I only had one alcohol beverage and he had 2-3... I just couldn't justify paying for a drink if I didn't know if I would like it or not (I'm very new when it comes to what booze I like). 

I know I plan on getting plenty of iced lattes (from Cafe Promenade) and mimosas at breakfast and bottles of water for on shore but does anyone have any advice for making the most of the package without being wasted the entire time. 

We are on a 8-night sailing with about 3-4 sea days and 3-4 port days (considering if you count Labadee sea/port day) we also have a half day on board before we get to PR at 1pm...

All Advice and/or drink recommendations (note: I DO NOT like bourbon or whiskey). 

TIA

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Guest Yolocruiser

I usually have about 4-5 assorted frozen drinks throughout the day then switch to crown royal and cranberry or beer for dinner and for the rest of the evening. That’s the beauty of the drink package try whatever you like and if you don’t like it order something else  

 

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To get the most out of your package and since you are new to different alcohol, grab a bar menu and try something that sounds good.  Don't like it, don't drink it and order something else.  The drink package is a great way for you to discover new things.  I finally discovered a type of wine I like by trying them at dinner.  As a rule frozen drinks don't seem to pack the punch that mixed drinks do.  Since you like coffee, have a coffee with Bailey's in it and you can thank me later for that suggestion.

 

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21 minutes ago, Hoski said:

To get the most out of your package and since you are new to different alcohol, grab a bar menu and try something that sounds good.  Don't like it, don't drink it and order something else.  The drink package is a great way for you to discover new things.  I finally discovered a type of wine I like by trying them at dinner.  As a rule frozen drinks don't seem to pack the punch that mixed drinks do.  Since you like coffee, have a coffee with Bailey's in it and you can thank me later for that suggestion.

 

hahaha thanks! 

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14 hours ago, FloridaCruiseGirl1210 said:

Hello All, 

My BF and I are sailing in less than 100 days (WOOT WOOT for double-digits) with the drink package for the first time. Last cruise I only had one alcohol beverage and he had 2-3... I just couldn't justify paying for a drink if I didn't know if I would like it or not (I'm very new when it comes to what booze I like). 

I know I plan on getting plenty of iced lattes (from Cafe Promenade) and mimosas at breakfast and bottles of water for on shore but does anyone have any advice for making the most of the package without being wasted the entire time. 

We are on a 8-night sailing with about 3-4 sea days and 3-4 port days (considering if you count Labadee sea/port day) we also have a half day on board before we get to PR at 1pm...

All Advice and/or drink recommendations (note: I DO NOT like bourbon or whiskey). 

TIA

We are on the very same cruise ?

In reagrds to the drinks package, I will be trying all sorts, if you dont like it get something else. Thats the beauty of it 

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6 hours ago, AshleyDillo said:

A handful of the bars have specialty menus which typically have a variety of different drinks.  Just go down the list and try what jumps out at you.  There are a lot of frozen drinks that hardly taste like alcohol in them which is great if you're not into alcohol-tasting alcohol ?

 

lol! Alcohol-tasting alcohol sounds like something up my alley.

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I've been on an 8-day cruise (Freedom, April 2018) and had no problem "keeping pace" with the deluxe package. A fresh-squeezed OJ at breakfast, followed by a grande cappuccino at Cafe Promenade and another in the mid-day, plus a couple of bottles of water when we went into port on the port days; maybe a beer or frozen drink mid-day on a sea day or a Bloody Mary with breakfast; and of course a mandatory sail-away cocktail (reposado margaritas for me!). Add one or two glasses of wine at dinner time each night and it was more than covered by the end of the trip.

Full disclosure, I got a good sale price on my package -- $42/night, which doesn't seem to be offered any more on any ship, so it's a smidge harder to easily break even. But you can definitely do it without being sloshed all day, every day. Heck, get a bottle of water with every alcoholic drink so you stay hydrated, and all those water bottles will help you hitting "break even" while keeping you hydrated and ready for more of the fun drinks! ?

I actually kept a tally of my drink purchases in my blog of that trip (link in the signature below), so you can see how it really didn't require much. Day 1 was my "heaviest" day, and even that wasn't especially excessive in spite of "only" getting started around noon.

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31 minutes ago, JLMoran said:

I've been on an 8-day cruise (Freedom, April 2018) and had no problem "keeping pace" with the deluxe package. A fresh-squeezed OJ at breakfast, followed by a grande cappuccino at Cafe Promenade and another in the mid-day, plus a couple of bottles of water when we went into port on the port days; maybe a beer or frozen drink mid-day on a sea day or a Bloody Mary with breakfast; and of course a mandatory sail-away cocktail (reposado margaritas for me!). Add one or two glasses of wine at dinner time each night and it was more than covered by the end of the trip.

Full disclosure, I got a good sale price on my package -- $42/night, which doesn't seem to be offered any more on any ship, so it's a smidge harder to easily break even. But you can definitely do it without being sloshed all day, every day. Heck, get a bottle of water with every alcoholic drink so you stay hydrated, and all those water bottles will help you hitting "break even" while keeping you hydrated and ready for more of the fun drinks! ?

I actually kept a tally of my drink purchases in my blog of that trip (link in the signature below), so you can see how it really didn't require much. Day 1 was my "heaviest" day, and even that wasn't especially excessive in spite of "only" getting started around noon.

Amen to water between each drink. I average between 6-8 bottles of water a day. I got our package for about $47 so not awful. 

I will definitely be keeping tallies of mine, idk about the BF lol. 

I will check out the blog! TIA

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7 hours ago, FloridaCruiseGirl1210 said:

Amen to water between each drink. I average between 6-8 bottles of water a day. I got our package for about $47 so not awful. 

I will definitely be keeping tallies of mine, idk about the BF lol. 

I will check out the blog! TIA

I don't keep a tally of drinks (and I'm normally a spreadsheet guy!) as I'm sure we get more than our money's worth.

 

As noted, a fresh juice and a decent coffee with breakfast, a couple of bottles of water to take ashore, a pre dinner cocktail, a wine or two with dinner, an evening cocktail and finally, two bottles of water to take back to your room will probably at least break even with the package cost. That's a day in port. If you have a sea day, add in a wine or beer with lunch and a couple of cocktails or beers in the afternoon, and you're well in front.

So on a sea day, my example has 6 alcoholic beverages over a 10 hour period, so you certainly wouldn't be falling down drunk like some people suggest you need to be if you want value, and a port day has only four alcoholic drinks.

If the idea of four alcoholic drinks in a day has you aghast, then the beverage package isn't for you, and you should just pay as you go.

At the end of the day, if you only just break even, you also take into account the intangibles... no worrying about your drinks bill at the end of the cruise, and being able to try different drinks without worrying about whether you'll like them or not.

BTW, those examples were rather conservative ? ?☕???

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when the soft serve Ice cream station opens up stop by a bar first and check with one of the bartenders to ask what kind of ice cream alcoholic drink they could make for you if you bring them the ice cream.  I have had some interesting a flavorful drinks that way and it is a break from your regular frozen drinks

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5 hours ago, CruiseGus said:

when the soft serve Ice cream station opens up stop by a bar first and check with one of the bartenders to ask what kind of ice cream alcoholic drink they could make for you if you bring them the ice cream.  I have had some interesting a flavorful drinks that way and it is a break from your regular frozen drinks

Ooh great idea! Thanks!

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I found it was relatively easy to get my $$$ worth and most of my drinks were nonalcoholic.  An average day I would start with a fresh squeeze OJ, which I drank while my sister was getting her specialty coffee made and then took a gourmet cocoa for the road.  At breakfast I would have a soda.  At trivia I drank 2 to 3 mocktails.  Lunch....more soda.  Afternoon....smoothie or soda or bottle water.  As you can see it is not even 3 pm and I've drank 8-9 drinks.  Our day generally started by 7 and we would get back to our cabin around 1AM.  It really wasn't hard to hydrate in some way off and on all day.  I never had more than 2 alcoholic drinks a day....and easily got my money's worth :)

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I also find it easy to "Get your Moneys worth" if you are literally comparing the price of the drinks with the package price.  This is EXACTLY what RCL wants you to do.  The real question is whether you would buy all those drinks if you didn't have the package.  A lot of people say this and I know it to be true, often with the package i find myself just getting a drink because I can.  The reason why the packages became available is exactly that reason, not enough people were  spending 350.00 per person on drinks each but we all know what happens when we have a ALL YOU CAN EAT / DRINK package, we make sure we are doing the math to get our moneys worth.

 

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On 7/27/2019 at 10:33 PM, Pen said:

I found it was relatively easy to get my $$$ worth and most of my drinks were nonalcoholic.  An average day I would start with a fresh squeeze OJ, which I drank while my sister was getting her specialty coffee made and then took a gourmet cocoa for the road.  At breakfast I would have a soda.  At trivia I drank 2 to 3 mocktails.  Lunch....more soda.  Afternoon....smoothie or soda or bottle water.  As you can see it is not even 3 pm and I've drank 8-9 drinks.  Our day generally started by 7 and we would get back to our cabin around 1AM.  It really wasn't hard to hydrate in some way off and on all day.  I never had more than 2 alcoholic drinks a day....and easily got my money's worth :)

I hear you, but it sounds like too much sugar for me.  I am more of an ice water with a little lemonade mixed in, two coffees, and 1 or 2 glasses of wine.  For me it doesn't pencil out.  But your math is irrefutable.

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On 7/25/2019 at 12:51 PM, SPS said:

One word of advise, specify the brand of alcohol you want in your drinks rather than getting whatever is considered "well"

For example: Getting something with vodka? Ask specifically for Tito's, Grey Goose, etc.

Also, check out the PDF on this post for an AMAZING list of drinks.

This is the key to me. My wife and I both love drinking Makers Mark whisky. Which on land will cost you $10+ for a drink made with it. But it's included in the DBP.

Just ask for Tito's vodka, Patron Silver tequila, Miami Club rum, and other top shelf liqueurs for each drink you buy and you'll like the taste better AND be getting your money's worth.

Add to those liqueurs fresh squeezed juice, great specialty coffees, and let us not forget the can't-do-without-it Red Bull when I'm SO tired from relaxing all day - God only knows why - and I don't think I'll make it through dinner then dancing and a late-night show. There are so many amazing ways to take advantage of the DBP, I'm sure you won't have a problem! ?

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I’m not a big drinker, but even I definitely break even with the drink package when we get a good sale price. On Oasis in December I got it for $44, and for our upcoming Symphony I got the $18 “deal.” In addition to previously mentioned tips my husband and I order a scoop of vanilla ice cream for dessert along with a shot of Chambord to pour on top. ? 

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At home, I rarely have more than 2 drinks in a day, and the norm is a beer after dinner.  On a cruise ship, I can easily drink the whole day and not feel like I've had any more than I do at home.  The drink package is a great way to try new things, and as other have mentioned if you don't like it, it's okay and we move on to something else.  Works great with wine - you an try lots of different varietals and you may be surprised at a new favorite.

We sailed with friends last year and the guys thought it would be fun to do something unique.  A few of the evenings (this was a 12 night so lots of opportunities) they did "tastings".  First they worked their way through the whisk(e)ys, then through something else and finally tequilas.  Not sure they made it all the way through tequila.  They got 2 shots at a time, but each "shot" was a half-shot.  So the bartender rang up one shot each on their drink package.  They compared and contrasted, and found favorites.  I have a bunch of pictures where they gave thumbs up and thumbs down in front of the bottles.  They had a lot of fun.  You can do this with vodkas, rums, what ever you want.

Both men came home, and went out and bought expensive bottles of something or other, that they had found on the ship.  LOL 

But, even without that, we can find value in the drink package.  Our normal day (water bottles are picked up here and there, but we don't like all the plastic waste they create so they are mostly for in cabin/port consumption) does not include "included" beverages we drink with meals: 

Husband: specialty coffee in morning, fresh squeezed OJ on sea days, late morning coffee with extra spike to it, couple of beers at pool, frozen drink in hot tub, glass of wine or whisk(e)y with dinner, limoncello after dinner, couple more beers or godfathers in evening, toasted almond pre-bedtime

Wife (aka me): specialty coffee in the morning, late morning tea, couple of beers at the pool, frozen drink in the hot tub, late afternoon tea, limoncello after dinner, tokyo tea or another mixed drink or three in the evening, toasted almond pre-bedtime.

As you go throughout the day...it can add up without making you drunk.  But only at the right price!  

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1 hour ago, KathyC said:

At home, I rarely have more than 2 drinks in a day, and the norm is a beer after dinner.  On a cruise ship, I can easily drink the whole day and not feel like I've had any more than I do at home.  The drink package is a great way to try new things, and as other have mentioned if you don't like it, it's okay and we move on to something else.  Works great with wine - you an try lots of different varietals and you may be surprised at a new favorite.

We sailed with friends last year and the guys thought it would be fun to do something unique.  A few of the evenings (this was a 12 night so lots of opportunities) they did "tastings".  First they worked their way through the whisk(e)ys, then through something else and finally tequilas.  Not sure they made it all the way through tequila.  They got 2 shots at a time, but each "shot" was a half-shot.  So the bartender rang up one shot each on their drink package.  They compared and contrasted, and found favorites.  I have a bunch of pictures where they gave thumbs up and thumbs down in front of the bottles.  They had a lot of fun.  You can do this with vodkas, rums, what ever you want.

Both men came home, and went out and bought expensive bottles of something or other, that they had found on the ship.  LOL 

But, even without that, we can find value in the drink package.  Our normal day (water bottles are picked up here and there, but we don't like all the plastic waste they create so they are mostly for in cabin/port consumption) does not include "included" beverages we drink with meals: 

Husband: specialty coffee in morning, fresh squeezed OJ on sea days, late morning coffee with extra spike to it, couple of beers at pool, frozen drink in hot tub, glass of wine or whisk(e)y with dinner, limoncello after dinner, couple more beers or godfathers in evening, toasted almond pre-bedtime

Wife (aka me): specialty coffee in the morning, late morning tea, couple of beers at the pool, frozen drink in the hot tub, late afternoon tea, limoncello after dinner, tokyo tea or another mixed drink or three in the evening, toasted almond pre-bedtime.

As you go throughout the day...it can add up without making you drunk.  But only at the right price!  

This is what I'm struggling with.  First, let me say that we were lucky and got the $18 package on 2 cruises next year. Yah.  But it's addicting....and so would love to have it for the one cruise in Dec that is just DH and I (the ones next year are with our kids and so don't want to give bad image ordering much).  DH could break even, but for me, without the package I'll have a glass of wine at dinner (where we bring 2 bottles without the package - and also have the bogo c&a offer), and maybe a cocktail in the evening or day.  With the package, I could see myself having an afternoon cocktail, wine at dinner and evening cocktail, would have a specialty coffee (maybe try with bailey's added) and bottled water on port days to take with us.  I don't drink juice or soda.  However, I have a sensitive stomach and too much alcohol / sugar drinks can make me nauseous (had Ben & Jerry room last year and took advantage of suite lounge and my stomach paid for it...but then again, the drinks were in a short time).  

Having said that...to your point above...with the package I love the freedom of trying new drinks (I've noted many different drinks on here to try, plus experimenting with wines I typically wouldn't order is another adv).  Could order something without thinking twice...and then not feel obligated to finish it if I didn't like it or was full.

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4 hours ago, KathyC said:

At home, I rarely have more than 2 drinks in a day, and the norm is a beer after dinner.  On a cruise ship, I can easily drink the whole day and not feel like I've had any more than I do at home.  The drink package is a great way to try new things, and as other have mentioned if you don't like it, it's okay and we move on to something else.  Works great with wine - you an try lots of different varietals and you may be surprised at a new favorite.

We sailed with friends last year and the guys thought it would be fun to do something unique.  A few of the evenings (this was a 12 night so lots of opportunities) they did "tastings".  First they worked their way through the whisk(e)ys, then through something else and finally tequilas.  Not sure they made it all the way through tequila.  They got 2 shots at a time, but each "shot" was a half-shot.  So the bartender rang up one shot each on their drink package.  They compared and contrasted, and found favorites.  I have a bunch of pictures where they gave thumbs up and thumbs down in front of the bottles.  They had a lot of fun.  You can do this with vodkas, rums, what ever you want.

Both men came home, and went out and bought expensive bottles of something or other, that they had found on the ship.  LOL 

But, even without that, we can find value in the drink package.  Our normal day (water bottles are picked up here and there, but we don't like all the plastic waste they create so they are mostly for in cabin/port consumption) does not include "included" beverages we drink with meals: 

Husband: specialty coffee in morning, fresh squeezed OJ on sea days, late morning coffee with extra spike to it, couple of beers at pool, frozen drink in hot tub, glass of wine or whisk(e)y with dinner, limoncello after dinner, couple more beers or godfathers in evening, toasted almond pre-bedtime

Wife (aka me): specialty coffee in the morning, late morning tea, couple of beers at the pool, frozen drink in the hot tub, late afternoon tea, limoncello after dinner, tokyo tea or another mixed drink or three in the evening, toasted almond pre-bedtime.

As you go throughout the day...it can add up without making you drunk.  But only at the right price!  

This is why we are excited about having it. Neither of us (me or the BF) are super familiar with different types of booze and what we like/don't like. We didn't get the drink package last time and I only had 1 drink the entire cruise. He took advantage of the $1 mimosa's in the casino one day. I'm definitely excited about trying some new drinks aka Labadoozie, Lava Flow, etc. 

For me after doing the math I definitely think it'll be worth it. I drink about 6-8 16oz bottles of water when we are out in the sun so that'll help for port days. I also like iced Latte's in the morning and the coffee in the WJ doesn't do it for me, I def will also have mimosa's or poinsettia's with breakfast also... 

VERY excited. I love the idea of the "tastings" that would def be up our alley...

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6 hours ago, FloridaCruiseGirl1210 said:

Neither of us (me or the BF) are super familiar with different types of booze and what we like/don't like.

Well, if you'll allow me the indulgence I'll give you one suggestion when it comes to tequila -- skip anything that doesn't say "Reposado" or "Añejo". E.g., Patrol Silver is a resposado tequila, as is 1800. The terms refer to how much the tequila has been aged, where tequilas without either label aren't aged at all and tend to be harsh-tasting.

Aged tequilas are a lot smoother and better tasting, whether in a  shot or a margarita or another tequila-based cocktail. The reposados and añejos in my experience have all been covered under the drink package with no up-charge; Boleros even has specialty margaritas on their menu like the Melon and Mango that include an añejo tequila right there in the drink description. If you're not sure when you order it, be sure to ask! Going with those better tequilas will make things a lot more enjoyable.

Remember, there are only two kinds of people in this world: Those who drink tequila... and those who can never hear that word again!!

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Just now, JLMoran said:

Well, if you'll allow me the indulgence I'll give you one suggestion when it comes to tequila -- skip anything that doesn't say "Reposado" or "Añejo". E.g., Patrol Silver is a resposado tequila, as is 1800. The terms refer to how much the tequila has been aged, where tequilas without either label aren't aged at all and tend to be harsh-tasting.

Aged tequilas are a lot smoother and better tasting, whether in a  shot or a margarita or another tequila-based cocktail. The reposados and añejos in my experience have all been covered under the drink package with no up-charge; Boleros even has specialty margaritas on their menu like the Melon and Mango that include an añejo tequila right there in the drink description. If you're not sure when you order it, be sure to ask! Going with those better tequilas will make things a lot more enjoyable.

Remember, there are only two kinds of people in this world: Those who drink tequila... and those who can never hear that word again!!

 

Ironically tequila is the ONLY thing I am familiar with... big Margarita drinkers in our family. I would agree (Repasado and Anejo) except for Milagro Silver which is my favorite silver tequila... I don't even like Patron... If you haven't had it... def recommend it. A lot of the time you can get a set of the silver, repasado and anejo together for a decent price... 

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