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Anyone Get Drink Package for Convenience?


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Lots of discussions on drink packages...especially lately with the $18 "sale" / "error" and now with the crazy $$$ price.

Royal definitely made money on us with the $18 error.  We had never gotten the drink package before, but when two of our cruises next year had the $18 price (or $23 CAD for us), we jumped on it.  Typically, DH gets the soda package, we bring wine on board and the rest we purchase a la carte.  But for that price, to be able to try any drink + coffees + water + soda for DH, it's a no brainier.

But then it got us thinking...our 2 cruises next year with the $18 cost are with our kids so will definitely watch how much we drink.  But...DH and I have a 6 night cruise in Dec where it's just the 2 of us.  That would have been the perfect cruise to have gotten the $18 drink package.  We did the calculations at $62 CAD and he would break even,  but I would not.  (This was just before the recent price hike)

But kept thinking...it would be nice.  It would let us try new drinks without thinking about it.  There are so many neat cocktails, and can give different wines a try. If don't like anything, then order something else. Or if I've had half of the drink and it's enough, then no worries.  Toss the rest away.  DH also loves beer, scotch and other type alcohol.  I'm the type that would stick to the drinks that I know so would be a nice perk of the package.  And then you have the fancy coffees, etc that we typically wouldn't purchase (DH maybe, but I wouldn't).   Having said all that, I'm not a big drinker...would probably have 3-4 drinks (and fancy coffees, water) + any extras that I tried but maybe didn't love.  But...we went ahead and purchased it.  So now, all because of the $18 error, we have purchased the DBP for 3 cruises.

Anyone purchase the package more for the convenience than the savings?

P.S. - I've started a spreadsheet of great drinks to try. 😊

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Yes. My wife will probably "break even" or better, however, she's the type of person who will want another drink but not get it due to price. So, if it's all included, she has no excuse and can stop worrying about money and enjoy herself.

Edit: with the recent price hikes I don't see her breaking even, but the convenience factor will be added in and we will get it for our 2020 sailings. Our next cruise, a bunch of friends will be with us, hence why my wife will probably break even, but when we purchased, we assumed she wouldn't but the extra cost was fine due to convenience.

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32 minutes ago, WannaCruise said:

Anyone purchase the package more for the convenience than the savings?

Yes, when we bought the drink package in the past (we no longer purchase it b/c my husband no longer drinks alcohol) it was always for convenience vs savings.  Neither of us were big drinkers - even when we were drinking alcohol - but it was very convenient #1 to have the expense behind us, having paid it ahead of time and #2 to be able to just order whatever we wanted whenever we wanted it without having to be concerned about a bit bill at the end of the cruise.

We drink for free in the casino anyway so what little I may choose to drink I can either get in the casino or in the Suites/Diamond/Concierge lounge so I do not miss the UDP at all.

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I have always bought it for the convenience of knowing it's paid and not something I have to worry about at the end of the cruise. That said, I still want to get what I consider a fair value for it; knowing how much I'm able to drink on average (answer: not that much! 😅) and what I like to typically drink, my "fair value" price point is generally under $50 a day. More than that and I'll just bring my two bottles of wine, get the Refreshment Package on a good sale, and get whatever other alcoholic stuff I feel like ordering a la carte. The only real "cost" to me in that case is not being able to try out any new wines at dinner, at least on the shorter sailings where my two bottles are enough to cover the whole trip.

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Thanks for the replies as it's good to hear other perspectives and also if others feel the same.

I should note that 

  • we purchased the DBP when it dipped down a bit and literally it was the day before this big increase ($62 CAD sale - our cost, $65 regular, $73 current price after the increase)
  • we are not staying in a suite nor are we Diamond

i.e. We wouldn't have bought at the higher cost or if we had access to the suite or diamond lounge.

13 minutes ago, JLMoran said:

The only real "cost" to me in that case is not being able to try out any new wines at dinner, at least on the shorter sailings where my two bottles are enough to cover the whole trip.

Exactly...getting to try out new things that you typically wouldn't purchase a la carte otherwise. This seems like is the biggest perk.

For us, knowing our full cost before the cruise isn't a plus since we're definitely paying more having the package.  But we are treating ourselves on this cruise.  And not sure when we'll have the opportunity to cruise again with just DH and I in the next few years.

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We did the drink package for the first time this summer in Alaska. It worked perfect. 

We like the convince and ease of use. We tried drinks we would never have tried. When you add specialty coffee and waters we more than broke even. 

I cant imagine doing another cruise without the drink package. 

I will say that we didn’t drink at ports like we used to. Since we knew drinks were waiting onboard we waited. 

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I buy it for convenience too.  I'm not a big alcohol drinker maybe (1 or 2 a day).  I like knowing that I can try different drinks without worrying about the price.  I love trying different martinis!  I do drink a lot of sparkling water (at least 6 16oz bottles a day) and regular bottled water.  I also love my lattes in the morning and after dinner.  My upcoming Anthem cruise I was able to get the package at $49 plus I had a $75 credit to use.

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When we cruised as a family a couple of years ago and purchased the Refreshment Package for all 4 of us purely for the convenience. Even with hitting SBX every day (the 8 yr old was also getting Frappuccinos), I don’t think we broke even. 

When I cruised with my BFF last month, we had the DBP for the convenience but, with 2 days at sea, I’m sure we got out money’s worth... even though neither of us are huge drinkers. It was nice to have a couple of drinks with dinner, though, and not worry about it. With our OBC, I think it came out to $35/day/pp, incl service charges. 

I’m sailing with our kids but without my husband next year. Won’t be drinking much but I did get the $18 deal... because $18. 😉

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Royal made about $1100 on us because of the oops.  We bought the DX for a 12 night cruise in late 2020 that we would not have bought and for four of us on a 7 night Med cruise in May 2020 that we also would not have bought. 

The Med cruise has six port days and one sea day;  we'll barely be on the ship to drink, and when we are we'll be exhausted from exploring Spain or Italy or France that day.  We're Diamond, so we'll have our free drinks in the evenings when we're on the ship.  We also have two CP balcony rooms so we're getting two complimentary bottles of wine that we figured we'd drink on the sea day.   There are four of us on this sailing, and we all are over 18 so that meant four drink packages.  There's $500+ we weren't buying, but at $16.36 a day each we figure we're getting one post-Diamond Happy Hour martini each before crashing into bed, and we'll make up the difference on embarkation day.  That was $500+.

The 12 night we would've never bought as we've done a 12 night drink package before - and while drink fatigue never set in, it was rough on the waistline and the glucose levels. 😄 

So while we would've spent money on drinks on Anthem, it wouldn't have been as much as the drink packages cost, between the wine we could bring on board with us and the Diamond drinks.  

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Unless there  are several sea days it is not worth purchasing.  We spend about half of what the package costs.  That would be 4 drinks per person per day.  With the free drinks we get daily  and wine we brought on we are only buying one or two drinks a day.  $ 50 a day vs. $ 120  a day is a no brainer.  And a big cost savings.

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I've done 10 cruises and always had the drinks package. I keep toying with the idea of not having one but never bite the bullet. To me it is about convenience for sure! 

Do I find myself drinking for the sake of it? YES but i'm on holiday so have a good time doing it.

 

I have the drinks package for my upcoming transatlantic on explorer for 14 days, this was "included" in our cruise fare thanks to a UK promotion. the drinks package is £44x14 = £616 and the cruise fare was around £1000 pp for that sailing so really was a great offer.

 

but it certainly is nice to not have a big bill at the end and to just try different drinks.

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49 minutes ago, J_Keeble said:

I've done 10 cruises and always had the drinks package. I keep toying with the idea of not having one but never bite the bullet. To me it is about convenience for sure! 

Do I find myself drinking for the sake of it? YES but i'm on holiday so have a good time doing it.

 

I have the drinks package for my upcoming transatlantic on explorer for 14 days, this was "included" in our cruise fare thanks to a UK promotion. the drinks package is £44x14 = £616 and the cruise fare was around £1000 pp for that sailing so really was a great offer.

 

but it certainly is nice to not have a big bill at the end and to just try different drinks.

I'll definitely drink more than I would without it (I'm a pretty light drinker), but with it, I'll get things I never would order and not worry about ordering something by the pool, trying a nice coffee, trying a different wine, having an evening cocktail.  I'm pretty frugal otherwise and don't order much outside of wine at dinner (and even the, we bring on 2 bottles). But I am not the type to drink too much at all so no worries there. My only worry is the added sugar I'll be having with all those fun drinks....BLue Lagoon, Lava Flow, CoCo Loco, Miami Vice, Mai Tai, Kracken Colada, Frozen Mojito, Bahama Papa, B-52, Paradise Punch, etc etc. 

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14 minutes ago, mcoler18 said:

Bit of both, on our next one we had it included in the cost (UK Offer) but would still buy it as we are pretty heavy drinkers and would defiantely work out cheaper. 

me too, a usual see day consists of the following

 

  •  large caramel latte
  • 7/8 bottles of Heineken
  • 4/5 frozen cocktails
  • maybe a few vodka lemonades

then bedtime

 

 

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On 8/11/2019 at 8:37 AM, WannaCruise said:

Lots of discussions on drink packages...especially lately with the $18 "sale" / "error" and now with the crazy $$$ price.

Royal definitely made money on us with the $18 error.  We had never gotten the drink package before, but when two of our cruises next year had the $18 price (or $23 CAD for us), we jumped on it.  Typically, DH gets the soda package, we bring wine on board and the rest we purchase a la carte.  But for that price, to be able to try any drink + coffees + water + soda for DH, it's a no brainier.

But then it got us thinking...our 2 cruises next year with the $18 cost are with our kids so will definitely watch how much we drink.  But...DH and I have a 6 night cruise in Dec where it's just the 2 of us.  That would have been the perfect cruise to have gotten the $18 drink package.  We did the calculations at $62 CAD and he would break even,  but I would not.  (This was just before the recent price hike)

But kept thinking...it would be nice.  It would let us try new drinks without thinking about it.  There are so many neat cocktails, and can give different wines a try. If don't like anything, then order something else. Or if I've had half of the drink and it's enough, then no worries.  Toss the rest away.  DH also loves beer, scotch and other type alcohol.  I'm the type that would stick to the drinks that I know so would be a nice perk of the package.  And then you have the fancy coffees, etc that we typically wouldn't purchase (DH maybe, but I wouldn't).   Having said all that, I'm not a big drinker...would probably have 3-4 drinks (and fancy coffees, water) + any extras that I tried but maybe didn't love.  But...we went ahead and purchased it.  So now, all because of the $18 error, we have purchased the DBP for 3 cruises.

Anyone purchase the package more for the convenience than the savings?

P.S. - I've started a spreadsheet of great drinks to try. 😊

For my wife, it is worth it, but I am a beer drinker. I probably do not break even, but the question was about convenience and I love the convenience of it.

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