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Very high drink package pricing


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My wife and I are scheduled to sail for 5 nights on Independence of the Seas in April 2021. I have been keeping an eye on the cruise planer drink prices since they opened it up and cannot believe the asking price. RCL is wanting $71 for the deluxe and $81 for deluxe with Voom. To me this is highway robbery. Mind you the price I just quoted is down from $77 and $93. It would appear that if these prices do not come down some more for me that I will not be doing any drinking on this sailing.

On another note I am also set to sail Rhapsody of the Seas in December 2021 on another 5 night sailing and initially RCL wanted $89 and $103 for the packages. When I saw that I fell out of my chair. There is no way that my wife and I could come even close to getting our money's worth at that price. At best we might be able to get half our money back but there is no way that we would be able to function and enjoy ourselves. The price for that sailing is now sitting at $61 and $71 which is more reasonable but still a little high for my personal preference.

Anyone else notice that the drink packages on their up coming cruises are going up through the roof?

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14 minutes ago, Pima1988 said:

@Dimension  I think it is because you are still so far out.  My May Symphony is still sitting at 67.  I am not biting yet.  I know from another forum, the sailings that are early 2021 (Jan/Feb) are running in the high 40s low 50s.  

Are you sailing spring break time frame?  Maybe that is why.

My April sailing is 10-15 so that could still be considered Spring Break. I have sailed during this time before and granted the prices were somewhat higher but not like they are for this sailing.

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Just remember to include every drink, not just the alcohol.  For example on port days if you take a bottle of water with you off the ship, than add that into your cost.  If you get a cappuccino after dinner, than add that in also.

I am not pulling the hammer on the drink package yet because it is unlimited in the amount they offer and I do believe it will come down to at least the high 50 marker.  However, even at 67 I would still break even.

For me this is my avg:

1. Iced Coffee in the a.m.  $5  2nd drink at the pool around noon. Total now  = 17.  3rd drink is soda at lunch =20.  4th alcohol in the afternoon =33.  5th drink is bottled water or soda late afternoon.= 36.  6th drink pre-dinner. 49 is my total.  7th drink glass of wine with dinner =57.   8th drink is cappuccino and amaretto shot.  = 75.  9th drink is bottle of water at a show. 78.  10th drink is a bottle of water to take back to my cabin. 81.

My husband is higher because he goes to the gym every a.m.,  He gets 2 powerades (1 for working out and 1 for after work).  Otherwise he is identical to me.

As you can see, 50% of my beverages are non-alcoholic.  

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11 minutes ago, Pima1988 said:

 

1. Iced Coffee in the a.m.  $5  2nd drink at the pool around noon. Total now  = 17.  3rd drink is soda at lunch =20.  4th alcohol in the afternoon =33.  5th drink is bottled water or soda late afternoon.= 36.  6th drink pre-dinner. 49 is my total.  7th drink glass of wine with dinner =57.   8th drink is cappuccino and amaretto shot.  = 75.  9th drink is bottle of water at a show. 78.  10th drink is a bottle of water to take back to my cabin. 81.

I would say my drink schedule is about the same.

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2 minutes ago, Pima1988 said:

Just remember to include every drink, not just the alcohol.  For example on port days if you take a bottle of water with you off the ship, than add that into your cost.  If you get a cappuccino after dinner, than add that in also.

I am not pulling the hammer on the drink package yet because it is unlimited in the amount they offer and I do believe it will come down to at least the high 50 marker.  However, even at 67 I would still break even.

For me this is my avg:

1. Iced Coffee in the a.m.  $5  2nd drink at the pool around noon. Total now  = 17.  3rd drink is soda at lunch =20.  4th alcohol in the afternoon =33.  5th drink is bottled water or soda late afternoon.= 36.  6th drink pre-dinner. 49 is my total.  7th drink glass of wine with dinner =57.   8th drink is cappuccino and amaretto shot.  = 75.  9th drink is bottle of water at a show. 78.  10th drink is a bottle of water to take back to my cabin. 81.

My husband is higher because he goes to the gym every a.m.,  He gets 2 powerades (1 for working out and 1 for after work).  Otherwise he is identical to me.

As you can see, 50% of my beverages are non-alcoholic.  

I am in the same boat more or less as you for in the morning most of our drinks come from coffee. We do pick up bottled water on island days but we do not normally drink that much water while on the ship. We mainly drink alcoholic drinks while on the ship with the exception of breakfast and lunch at which time we normally drink ice tea. We try to pick sailings that not port intensive as well so that get time to explore and enjoy the ship because for us the ship is part of the destination as well.

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For my husband and I it is very cruise dependent.  Short cruises-probably worth it.  Longer cruises-not worth it unless we know we won't leave the ship much.  Example: 7N Southern Caribbean route stopping at 5 ports and only 1 sea day at the end-no drink package.  We did get lucky with a drink card appearing at the end of our cruise (which we had hoped for but knew it was very unknown if it would appear).  We enjoyed beverages at the port stops and brought two bottles of wine on board.

Fast forward to our upcoming 3N cruise including Coco Cay-will definitely purchase the drink package as it's a shorter cruise and we plan to only get off the ship at the Coco Cay stop which we can use the drink package there. (currently at $52 per day but have heard of people with 2020 sailings sometimes finding $49 per day)

I think you have to think about all of your options and decide from there in combination with the total cost.

Edited by CruisinUpinLife
adding pricing for reference
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I agree that it is probably still too far out for the low prices to be showing.  The prices on my August Symphony cruise JUST dropped to a reasonable price.

Also, be aware (if you aren't already) that the drink package prices on the shorty cruises are always more expensive (one of the down sides of short cruises) so I wouldn't hold my breath on them coming down a WHOLE lot.

Good luck !!

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4 minutes ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

I agree that it is probably still too far out for the low prices to be showing.  The prices on my August Symphony cruise JUST dropped to a reasonable price.

Also, be aware (if you aren't already) that the drink package prices on the shorty cruises are always more expensive (one of the down sides of short cruises) so I wouldn't hold my breath on them coming down a WHOLE lot.

Good luck !!

I’ll second what Raye said. I wouldn’t worry about it not coming down later. Just keep monitoring. For my Indy sailing in October (4 nights) the drink package came down to 49 this week. 

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I think you have two factors working against you at the moment.  While the average person may cruise every year or every two years they historically have over 80,000 berths filled every night.  They have a lot of data for purchasing trends and consumption trends.   They leverage all that historical data to maximize revenue.  

Historically the 3 & 4 night cruises don't see the lowest prices, 5 & 6 night do marginally better and 7+ night cruises see the lowest prices.  Some of the pricing you are seeing is because a 5 night cruise may not reach the level that other people pay for 7+ night cruises.

Royal knows that on shorter cruises people will drink more daily and that most people can't sustain that on longer cruises.  Drink fatigue is real for the average DX consumer.  Sure there are some people who can sustain 18+ drinks per day for weeks but the average person will drink a lot to begin a cruise then on day 6 or 7 they slow down.  On shorter cruises they may never slow down so shorter cruises tend to see higher DX prices.

Also historically Royal tends to keep prices high for distant cruises on the basis that they are protected if costs increase.  They know some people might bite now so they offer it high knowing there will be opportunity for sale events such as Independence Day, Thanksgiving, etc.  It's a safeguard or worst case protection.

Some of my lowest observed DX prices occur on the longest cruises but even then the cheapest prices aren't offered until a few months away.  I tend to do a lot of longer cruises such as 10 to 15 nights where the DX initially costs over $1,200 per person but eventually can be had for half that.  Like many I have a hard time wrapping my head around $2,400 for two people in alcohol but when it drops it becomes more palatable.  

I'm not trying to justify their approach to DX pricing but this is the way they have long since done it.  Each of us must decide if their is value in the package.  Know what you magic number is and if it reaches that number pull the trigger.   

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47 minutes ago, CruisinUpinLife said:

I think you have to think about all of your options and decide from there in combination with the total cost

I agree.  For our 7 night, we have 4 stops, and 2 sea days, 3 if you count embarkation day.  However, 1 stop is at Labadee and 1 at Coco Cay.  In essence, it is 5 days that anything I purchase drink wise will be thru RCL. 

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24 minutes ago, Pima1988 said:

I agree.  For our 7 night, we have 4 stops, and 2 sea days, 3 if you count embarkation day.  However, 1 stop is at Labadee and 1 at Coco Cay.  In essence, it is 5 days that anything I purchase drink wise will be thru RCL. 

This is the perfect trip in my opinion and if my wife could take that many days off from her business I would love to have do an itinerary like this.

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Mine started out at $74 for a February cruise. The recent planner sale brought it to $46 (yay, sold!). My initial calculations were $1000 or less for the beverage package and 1 voom so if the prices didn't come down the plan was to set myself an on board spend limit of $1000. If we went over then water and tea for us 😄

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6 hours ago, MKMAJ1 said:

Mine started out at $74 for a February cruise. The recent planner sale brought it to $46 (yay, sold!). My initial calculations were $1000 or less for the beverage package and 1 voom so if the prices didn't come down the plan was to set myself an on board spend limit of $1000. If we went over then water and tea for us 😄

That is some hardcore willpower. 

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