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Drink packages increase for 2019/2020 sailings

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6 hours ago, CoupleOfCruisers said:

I’m a little confused are gratuities included in posted price of $69? If not do you pay when buy the package or per drink once on ship? 

$69 plus 18% gratuities = $81.42 per day per person.

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13 hours ago, CoupleOfCruisers said:

I’m a little confused are gratuities included in posted price of $69? If not do you pay when buy the package or per drink once on ship? 

Think of mandatory gratuities as just part of the price of the package.  Since you can not opt out of them even if service doesnt warrant it you always just need to look at the price you see + 18% on top of that.  

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Have to keep an eye on these new out of the ordinary boarding day sales.  It is like the 10 drink card, which have never been something you can count on.  I have in fact seen a few 10 drink card sales, but only on a low percentage of cruises, maybe 20%.   I do not ever remember a drink package "sale" with any type of discount on any  previous sailing.

 

 

 

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I feel like Royal's doing too much nickel and diming for the base fares they're charging.  

I'm looking at options for an Alaska trip next year and I'm seeing quite a few sailings where Celebrity, which is allegedly the "premium brand" is pretty close to a comparable Royal itinerary's base price but includes perks like a drink package and better OBC.  Royal's may be a couple hundred dollars cheaper here and there, but after all the packages, Celeb's often less expensive overall.

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On 8/14/2019 at 7:30 PM, mattymay said:

It's the one thing about the US that is kinda annoying... + Gratuity + Tax.... just advertise the final price already! Arghhh!! 🙂

 

I agree, when gratuity is mandatory and not left to anyone’s judgement it should just be added up front. 

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Well for my November Cruise, I paid $48 day +tip, just for me, because my wife did not drink alcohol, so I bought for her the Refreshment Pkg for $20 day + tip.  That was $396.48 for my Deluxe pkg and $165.20 for my wife's, IMHO, it was very similar cost to my last year cruise drink packages.

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On 8/14/2019 at 6:30 PM, mattymay said:

It's the one thing about the US that is kinda annoying... + Gratuity + Tax.... just advertise the final price already! Arghhh!! 🙂

 

Obviously it's just marketing, but I agree. We only care about the final cost.

$9.99 vs $10.00 Really? 😁

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I’m wondering if they have managed to out price themselves.  The pre cruise drink packages have gotten so expensive people are passing, Choosing to limit their drinking, bring their own wine and soda on board and have cocktails in ports.  This all add up to low sales for Royal forcing them to run deals on board (the drink card Seems to be making a comeback)  in order to reach their sales qoutas. Perhaps in the summer and holidays during high volume cruise season the high price packages will sells but my guess they will figure this out and we will start seeing better “ sales” on cruise planner.

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5 minutes ago, Cat mom said:

I’m wondering if they have managed to out price themselves.  The pre cruise drink packages have gotten so expensive people are passing, Choosing to limit their drinking, bring their own wine and soda on board and have cocktails in ports.  This all add up to low sales for Royal forcing them to run deals on board (the drink card Seems to be making a comeback)  in order to reach their sales qoutas. Perhaps in the summer and holidays during high volume cruise season the high price packages will sells but my guess they will figure this out and we will start seeing better “ sales” on cruise planner.

I don't think they have out priced themselves, it's just the way marketing goes. You have a fixed price and then run periodic "sales." The price onboard is just to lure those who decide at the last minute to purchase a drink plan. An impulse buy. The drink cards are a way to catch those last people who say a couple days in, "shoot. We should have purchased a drink plan."  A lot of people wait until the cards go on sale. They are a pretty good deal. Also, I don't know many people who pay full price for a drink plan these days, unless your on a holiday cruise maybe. 

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On 9/1/2019 at 9:44 AM, FManke said:

Obviously it's just marketing, but I agree. We only care about the final cost.

$9.99 vs $10.00 Really? 😁

If it was only that much a difference, then yes who cares but it is more like $392 vs $463 + $232. 

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1 hour ago, FManke said:

I was talking about the price+ tax + gratuity vs just a flat cost. 

So am I.

Do the math.

For a 7 day cruise, it's $392 for me. Then $463 with the gratuity and tax and then the refreshment package for my wife that they make me pay for even though she will not use it. 

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18 hours ago, Jolly Ogre said:

So am I.

Do the math.

For a 7 day cruise, it's $392 for me. Then $463 with the gratuity and tax and then the refreshment package for my wife that they make me pay for even though she will not use it. 

They make a pregnant woman get the REFRESHMENT package when you request not to buy 2 Deluxe.....

Lets think about that:

Sugary Soda Drinks filled with Caffeine - Perfect for Pregnant Women

Caffeine filled espresso drinks: Perfect

Sugary Mocktails - Lets get that baby dancin

Fresh Squeezed OJ: Better drink 8 a day to make up for the 22.00 a day

Bottled Water: Fine if you force yourself to justify bottled water over the perfectly fine filtered water available everywhere.  

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1 hour ago, marti314 said:

They make a pregnant woman get the REFRESHMENT package when you request not to buy 2 Deluxe.....

Lets think about that:

Sugary Soda Drinks filled with Caffeine - Perfect for Pregnant Women

Caffeine filled espresso drinks: Perfect

Sugary Mocktails - Lets get that baby dancin

Fresh Squeezed OJ: Better drink 8 a day to make up for the 22.00 a day

Bottled Water: Fine if you force yourself to justify bottled water over the perfectly fine filtered water available everywhere.  

My wife is not pregnant. 

She will not drink sugary drinks.

She will not drink espresso.

She will not drink mocktails.

She will not drink fresh squeezed fruit drinks.

She only drinks water, black coffee and un-sweet tea.

All that is free but if I want a deluxe package for me I still have to pay for the refreshment package for her even though she will not use any of it.

 

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5 hours ago, FManke said:

Is this policy exclusive to RC? What are the other cruise lines doing? 

I think most all the other lines have this policy, but RCCL just started with the everyone in the cabin over 21 has to have a package 12/31/18.

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5 hours ago, Jolly Ogre said:

My wife is not pregnant. 

She will not drink sugary drinks.

She will not drink espresso.

She will not drink mocktails.

She will not drink fresh squeezed fruit drinks.

She only drinks water, black coffee and un-sweet tea.

All that is free but if I want a deluxe package for me I still have to pay for the refreshment package for her even though she will not use any of it.

 

Have you called RCL?  The reason I love this company is if you actually talk to a rep they can override the system.  This and other boards are litterd with passengers that got a "pass"  

If your are forced into a refreshment package for her, than I would say Can you really drink 70+  a day in alcohol, specialty coffee. freestyle drinks?  If the answer is no,  than don't buy the drink packages.

You honestly can't blame RCL for tightening their restrictions.  You buy the DBP, she can take the cup to the freestyle machine and get Dasani flavored water.  She can take your sea pass card and get a coffee from Starbucks.  You say that is all  she drinks, but many others can say that too and yet use their partners cup or card.

I also want to say one thing regarding pregnant women.  Basically at 26 weeks you cannot sail with RCL.  Realistically pregnant women are a very small %, there will be more kids than pregnant women.

 

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45 minutes ago, Pima1988 said:

Have you called RCL?  The reason I love this company is if you actually talk to a rep they can override the system.  This and other boards are litterd with passengers that got a "pass"  

If your are forced into a refreshment package for her, than I would say Can you really drink 70+  a day in alcohol, specialty coffee. freestyle drinks?  If the answer is no,  than don't buy the drink packages.

You honestly can't blame RCL for tightening their restrictions.  You buy the DBP, she can take the cup to the freestyle machine and get Dasani flavored water.  She can take your sea pass card and get a coffee from Starbucks.  You say that is all  she drinks, but many others can say that too and yet use their partners cup or card.

I also want to say one thing regarding pregnant women.  Basically at 26 weeks you cannot sail with RCL.  Realistically pregnant women are a very small %, there will be more kids than pregnant women.

 

I have but it is a choice and not for any medical or religious reasons.

I understand why they do it, and we would not abuse it at all.

I "could" drink that much but I wont. So I just get the refreshment package for me as that is all I am willing to pay extra for. Now if I could have gotten that $18/day SNAFU that would have been great, but I did not find out about that until it was already fixed.

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I think the prices have risen far more than they should are based on a few reasons.  I do believe the cruise line is trying to make up for their $18 snafu.  They didn't void the purchases because it would have  been a PR nightmare, but no doubt they are going to make up the money one way or another.

 

Secondly, I think there are many cruisers who may or may not have cruised other lines where there was a 15 drink max per day and heard about the unlimited packages on RC, so they are booked and are darned sure going to get their monies worth.  I have seen that posted so many times on another site that it's kind of like a given now.

 

Thirdly, I think so many people have posted to watch for sales and if the price is lower than what you paid, cancel and rebook.  The prices are lower than one line who gives free drinks but charges gratuities that amount to a much higher price than RC.

 

Lastly, the cruise line has new ships on the line and needs to make the money to pay for them and the alcohol package is a great way to do so.  At some point the cruisers will decide the price is too high, but until then, the price will go up. JMO.

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58 minutes ago, Katiel53 said:

 At some point the cruisers will decide the price is too high

That's why they can't raise prices to cover the $18 DX mistake.

When they raise prices many people stop buying the package.  You can see that trend in many different posts on the topic. 

If they could have raised prices and had minimal impact to sales they would have raised prices long ago.   

In the end the market (us) indirectly dictate prices.  When they raise them if sales remain the same that is the new normal price.  If they raise prices and people stop buying it, they have lowered revenue, not increased revenue.  When they raise prices and sales fall the natural reaction will be price reductions.  

Until the recent price increases the DX price was largely unchanged from 2016 when the DX was first introduced.  Yet cost of alcohol, beer and wine have increased for all of us over the last 3 years.  Prices of individual drinks have increased on board.  A price hike was due simply because of the cost of inflation and cost of goods compared to years past.  

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