Jump to content

The 4 free drinks per day really change the math for the UBP if you are Diamond or above


Recommended Posts

I have to wonder if this is affecting their revenue since now you have to be drinking about 8 or so drinks every day to "break even".  It would seem to me that offering Diamond and above a discount on the UBP might make more sense.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For me it still makes sense.  I am diamond and I always get the DBP, (we will see if I am proven wrong on my upcoming cruises, with the preloaded drinks on my card).....

But, I always wait and get it on sale of either 30% off or BOGO 50%, which makes it about $68.50 per day.  I have coffee every morning from the café and cappuccino every night at the end of dinner.  A couple of bottled waters through out the day and more on port days.  2 - 3 glasses of wine at dinner (enjoy long dinners).  Which leaves 4-5 cocktails through out the day (maybe more).  And finally a few late night cocktails at the shows or listening/dancing to music.  So i think it still pans out, but maybe i drink too much on cruises ;).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Diamond 4 per day worked out great for us without purchasing the DBP. However we do not drink a lot 🤣 and have free drinks in the Casino due to our status there so it is a mixed bag. On previous cruises we were frantically ordering the free drinks at the Tier event and would end load the day based on that. Many an evening the ship seemed to be swaying in the swells or maybe it was just me.😄 Now the 4 drinks spaced out during the day works out great and we actually enjoyed watching others sway in the swells.🌊

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is an issue we struggle with every cruise and coupled with the fact that we aren't as young as we use to be, we do not bounce back as well in the morning. With really port intensive cruises, we normally only get one refreshment package as the wife likes coffee and we can get water. We are also prime casino so we can grab drinks from there on sea days. For our upcoming cruises, we had so much on-board credit we bought the UDP for three of the six cruises and the balance we will rely on the D+ vouchers and casino. 

With the new changes, we are doing two four day Freedom cruises, one with the UDP and one without, so we can see if the really need the drink package. I will be interested to see if my experiment is good or bad for the wallet. Both cruises are the same and include Perfect Day.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Adoption of the beverage package was just over 20% typically before the pandemic for a typical cruise.  Typically new to Royal were 50 - 60% of those on board a typical cruise.  Most C&A on board are gold.  The next biggest group is platinum followed by Emerald for a typical cruise.  The numbers of Diamond drink eligible cruisers isn't as big as you think relative to the non-Diamond eligible on board.  

Diamond drinks used to suffice for a number of eligible guests.  Between buying a few during the day and drinking during happy hour a number of eligible guests never bought the drink package before.  I did for 30% of my cruises according to my spreadsheet.

What's changed now?  A few more might not buy it now, but it won't be huge numbers relative to the bulk of guests who were the primary type of guests acquiring the drink package.  

Plus, did you ever see the number of wine bottles they went through before each night on every ship in the fleet?  The old program was not free, it had a hefty cost to it.  They are probably saving money overall.  

For those that get value out of the drink package most still will.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 minutes ago, twangster said:

Adoption of the beverage package was just over 20% typically before the pandemic for a typical cruise.  Typically new to Royal were 50 - 60% of those on board a typical cruise.  Most C&A on board are gold.  The next biggest group is platinum followed by Emerald for a typical cruise.  The numbers of Diamond drink eligible cruisers isn't as big as you think relative to the non-Diamond eligible on board.  

Diamond drinks used to suffice for a number of eligible guests.  Between buying a few during the day and drinking during happy hour a number of eligible guests never bought the drink package before.  I did for 30% of my cruises according to my spreadsheet.

What's changed now?  A few more might not buy it now, but it won't be huge numbers relative to the bulk of guests who were the primary type of guests acquiring the drink package.  

Plus, did you ever see the number of wine bottles they went through before each night on every ship in the fleet?  The old program was not free, it had a hefty cost to it.  They are probably saving money overall.  

For those that get value out of the drink package most still will.  

Thanks.  That is a lot of information that I had no idea about.  This will be my first cruise at Diamond, so I had never seen the way it used to be. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 minutes ago, MrMarc said:

Thanks.  That is a lot of information that I had no idea about.  This will be my first cruise at Diamond, so I had never seen the way it used to be. 

You can save by being smart with your diamond vouchers.

If you plan to have a beer at lunch and you know you'll have 4 or 5 cocktails/wine/frozen drinks later, beer is usually the cheapest drink you can order, so go ahead and buy that beer at lunch by telling them not to use a diamond drink.  Then you are free to use your diamond drinks for more expensive drinks later.

Also, don't forget the beer/wine discount of 50% one time.  Use that for a paid beer and save a few bucks more.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We’re doing the DBP on our symphony next week because A) we ended up with a MASSIVE onboard credit B) it’s our first cruise since October 2019 C) Our neighbors are coming with us and are Royal “virgins” and we want to insure they’ll be gobsmacked and D) I’m celebrating 5 years cancer free from Stage 4b and man we are CELEBRATING. 
 

We have Wonder in March and  may do a DBP for hubs and refreshment for me and I’ll take his 4 drinks in addition to mine. 
 

Next is Alaska. I think we won’t do any package and bring 2 bottles of bubbles with our 4 drinks 

Then we have our 12 night Odyssey Holy Land/Greece. Right now I’m all for no package. There are 3 sea days. So port intensive, we’re mid 50’s, like our drinks BUT moderation will be key on this bucket list. 
 

Diamond is definitely “iffy” as far as buying a package. We will be Diamond Plus after Odyssey and I will have a harder time justifying the DBP

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Jill congratulations on 5 years and continuing.

@twangster , agree with your comment about getting value out of the DBP.

We're Diamond and suites but until they get to 10-12 free drinks/day will we think about not getting the DBP.  Between alcoholic drinks and water bottles we've definitely gotten our money's worth on every cruise we've done.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is something liberating about having the DX/DBP. 

Enjoying a special coffee like a latte in the morning, a few mimosa to start the day, a beer at lunch, a few bottles of water and you can consume your diamond vouchers before noon.  

People often focus on the financial goal of "breaking even" when deciding about the package, but it is nice when on vacation to put it out of mind and just enjoy what you feel like living in the moment.  When i don't have the package it's always on my mind.  "Am I going to have two glasses of wine tonight?" Hmmm.  Better save a voucher even though I feel like a beer right now.  

Even if you don't break even there is value not having it always on your mind and just living in the moment while on vacation.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 minutes ago, twangster said:

There is something liberating about having the DX/DBP.

^^This^^

I do not drink much alcohol but I [almost] always get the DBP.  I like just knowing that IF I want something to drink (even if it is not alcohol), I can have it.  No questions asked.  No thinking twice about it.  Just do it.  If you don't finish it...oh well....leave it sitting on the table and get another, something-else in a little while.  I also like knowing that whatever expense I have for drinking is already paid and that I will not be surprised by a big bill at the end of the cruise (at least, not from drinks !!).  I am also a Coke snob and if I don't have the DBP or pay-as-I-go, I will get a fountain drink, which is wholly unacceptable to my refined palate.  (that's a joke...reference single malt Scotch and good wine, here).

Does it make good fiscal sense ?  Almost never.  But I'm ok with that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 hours ago, MrMarc said:

I have to wonder if this is affecting their revenue since now you have to be drinking about 8 or so drinks every day to "break even".  It would seem to me that offering Diamond and above a discount on the UBP might make more sense.

Its not just access to alcoholic beverages, but if you enjoy specialty coffee, you can burn through 3/day easily.  We also like trying different wines with meal courses (pairing), that really gets the count up.  And you don't feel so bad not finishing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

21 minutes ago, twangster said:

There is something liberating about having the DX/DBP. 

Not having it is better for my health and my wallet's health. I'm much less likely to sample excessively if I have to pay for it.

Of course that's a personal thing due to my inability to moderate myself 😆

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think what @twangstersaid makes the most sense. I feel like regardless of loyalty perks, people in general will always get the UBP. Me, I am not a drinker, but I do partake more on vacation. The UBP would be way too much for me and I would struggle with making it worth it. The 4-5 vouchers from C&A will be fine with me. I do however always get the soda or refreshment package because I love flavored soda water and juices. RCG smoothies leave a lot to be desired IMHO but I like the option of having them. I do this even if I am staying in a suite, because who wants to constantly walk to deck 17 for a drink, when there is so much on the ship to see and do.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I honestly think this new program strikes a perfect balance.

From RCI's financial side, as @twangsterpoints out, I don't think it's a huge hit. I think D/D+ that bought the package before will mostly (not all) continue to buy the package. But as it has felt like Royal has been kind of dwindling in recent years in terms of perks for loyal cruisers, this is a change that has been welcomed and I really hope they make permanent. Not unanimous approval, but certainly a large majority seem to prefer the current vouchers.

For us, the package has always been nice for sampling new drinks. Trying things we'd never try otherwise. We've discovered some drinks we really like. That said, our package purchasing has almost always been driven by itinerary. When we hit D after our next cruise, I don't foresee that really changing. Maybe there will be an occasion where we switch to the refreshment package instead of the DBP, but I expect that to be more the exception than the rule. The idea of controlled costs and still having some flexibility will still lead us to the DBP.

That said, love the voucher program and really hope it is made permanent.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The package has always been borderline financially for me, the beer only package they used to have made sense, the deluxe rarely does.

Making the Diamond drinks an all day thing means it will never make sense financially now but sometimes i do still do it for the convenience factor, depends on the group i am with and what I think we might end up doing.

RC Blog cruise coming up, at least one pub crawl on the events list ... beverage package booked 😉

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

52 minutes ago, jticarruthers said:

RC Blog cruise coming up, at least one pub crawl on the events list ... beverage package booked

Absolutely a must when I'm with a group.  I am a social drinker. Plus it holds everyone else up when the stack of cards gets collected for shots when someone has to sign for theirs! 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, AshleyDillo said:

Absolutely a must when I'm with a group.  I am a social drinker. Plus it holds everyone else up when the stack of cards gets collected for shots when someone has to sign for theirs! 

Interestingly on my 2 mariner cruises the whole "signing for it" thing has been out the window regardless of whether you have the package or not.

They arent even looking at or asking for cards, just asking for room #'s and then coming back with drinks ... not sure if thats an official change or just random weirdness but I noticed it on the first cruise and the whole group commented on it last time. (We were a mix of package and not but they were doing it for all of the group).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, jticarruthers said:

Interestingly on my 2 mariner cruises the whole "signing for it" thing has been out the window regardless of whether you have the package or not.

They arent even looking at or asking for cards, just asking for room #'s and then coming back with drinks ... not sure if thats an official change or just random weirdness but I noticed it on the first cruise and the whole group commented on it last time. (We were a mix of package and not but they were doing it for all of the group).

I did notice that on my last cruise. They were writing down room numbers instead of sliding cards. I guess trying to eliminate extra touch points.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...