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Rant on Deluxe Beverage Package


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My wife and I are set to sail on a cruise then end of March and the end of April both on Mariner. Last week I decided to purchase the DBP after waiting for a real discount to appear but after monitoring the package for the past 4 months I never saw any kind of discount. I ended up paying 870.50!!!! 🤬 That is the cost for my April cruise as well. I believe that I reached my tipping point in which I will no longer buy the DBP. I can truly understand why people now sneak alcohol on board. To make things even worse on my last cruise in December I was talking with the bar tender while he made me a Long Island. Now everyone knows that Long Islands are made with 5 to 4 different shots of liquor.  As I talked to the bar tender I noticed that the liquor shots he used looked like a teaspoon each. When I inquired as to why he was not using full shots he informed me that their drinks are only allowed to have one to one and half shots total of liquor! 😲 No wonder why after slinging down drinks all day long I never really got a buzz. I always thought that it was because I was eating food through out the day.

It is because of the lack of liquor used in the drinks and primarily the cost being so high now that this market will no longer bear the cost of the DBP. I have another cruise also booked for October and that one is looking not good either for the DBP. If I can pickup the package for around $50 or $60 a day I will book it but at $80 a day that is just to much for me.

Alright rant over.

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22 minutes ago, Dimension said:

My wife and I are set to sail on a cruise then end of March and the end of April both on Mariner. Last week I decided to purchase the DBP after waiting for a real discount to appear but after monitoring the package for the past 4 months I never saw any kind of discount. I ended up paying 870.50!!!! 🤬 That is the cost for my April cruise as well. I believe that I reached my tipping point in which I will no longer buy the DBP. I can truly understand why people now sneak alcohol on board. To make things even worse on my last cruise in December I was talking with the bar tender while he made me a Long Island. Now everyone knows that Long Islands are made with 5 to 4 different shots of liquor.  As I talked to the bar tender I noticed that the liquor shots he used looked like a teaspoon each. When I inquired as to why he was not using full shots he informed me that their drinks are only allowed to have one to one and half shots total of liquor! 😲 No wonder why after slinging down drinks all day long I never really got a buzz. I always thought that it was because I was eating food through out the day.

It is because of the lack of liquor used in the drinks and primarily the cost being so high now that this market will no longer bear the cost of the DBP. I have another cruise also booked for October and that one is looking not good either for the DBP. If I can pickup the package for around $50 or $60 a day I will book it but at $80 a day that is just to much for me.

Alright rant over.

We feel the same way!  We get the refreshment package to get bottled water and specialty coffee.  We just order drinks when we want one and we have never paid even close to breaking even for the UBP for one person let alone two people.  

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5 minutes ago, whitsmom said:

We feel the same way!  We get the refreshment package to get bottled water and specialty coffee.  We just order drinks when we want one and we have never paid even close to breaking even for the UBP for one person let alone two people.  

I am normally good for about 8-10 drinks a day but my wife is only good for maybe 4 or 5 tops and some days she does not even drink. With that being said in order for me to get my money back I have to drink 15-20 drinks a day. I do my best right out of the gate by ordering spiked coffee from Cafe Promenade but after about 8 or so drinks I am normally full and getting tired of running to the bar every so many minutes. Overall it is not really about trying to get my monies worth out of packages but more about getting some value out of it. Do you know how much liquor I can buy at home for $870? My god I could get my entire neighborhood drunk on one Saturday night for $870 and still most likely have money left over.

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15 minutes ago, Dimension said:

to get my money back I have to drink 15-20 drinks a day

What's the math here? I admittedly don't buy the package because for on-port days it really doesn't make sense, as we spend most of the day off the boat. I've seen other people do the math here and say 5-7 (alcoholic) drinks per day is enough to make it worth it. Even if you're counting both you and your wife's package, 20 seems excessive. Are you only drinking beer?

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Like just about anything in life WE set the price that companies charge for packages like this.  

If people are willing to pay they'll keep charging that rate.  If collectively WE don't buy something at their price point they will eventually lower the price.  

As long as people are paying they will continue to accept people's money.

The deluxe drink package isn't required to have a great cruise.  If the math doesn't work for you, don't buy it.

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4 minutes ago, jeffmw said:

What's the math here? I admittedly don't buy the package because for on-port days it really doesn't make sense, as we spend most of the day off the boat. I've seen other people do the math here and say 5-7 (alcoholic) drinks per day is enough to make it worth it. Even if you're counting both you and your wife's package, 20 seems excessive. Are you only drinking beer?

I normally drink mixed drinks which range in price but I always go with the $10 a drink average. The DBP runs $80 a day so that equals out to 8 drinks a day which I can do but I hate the fact that I have to push myself to drink that many drinks a day to break even. I personally prefer to take my time and not have to force drinks down me  to feel like I am getting value from the package. This is why I have no problem buying the DBP when it is in the $60 range but at $80 that is just to much for my wallet. I enjoy getting the package for I can order what I want and not have to worry about paying a bill at the end but at $80 a day for the package I am thinking that I will come out cheaper in the end by just paying cash for the drinks.

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4 minutes ago, twangster said:

Like just about anything in life WE set the price that companies charge for packages like this.  

If people are willing to pay they'll keep charging that rate.  If collectively WE don't buy something at their price point they will eventually lower the price.  

As long as people are paying they will continue to accept people's money.

The deluxe drink package isn't required to have a great cruise.  If the math doesn't work for you, don't buy it.

I agree 100% with you and as I stated before I am no longer willing to bear the cost of the package. I am taking a stand and telling Royal that they are over charging for their drink packages. I can only hope that other people are reaching that point as well otherwise it might be awhile until I start to drink again on their ships.

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7 minutes ago, twangster said:

I'll also add that inflation is real right now.  This frickin' pandemic has done a number on the price we pay for so many things.  It stands to reason that prices for beverage packages will be impacted as will other purchases.  

Not wanting to get into politics but I was informed that last July the pandemic was over. Got to love politics.🙄

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Also keep an eye on the prices for the things you buy.  If it goes for a lower rate you can always buy it at the cheaper amount by having your previous purchase canceled.  I know this goes against your point in general, but figured I would throw that out there.  I managed to get an awesome deal on the refreshment package 2 days before our last cruise (dropped significantly from what I had paid for it on the last "sale").

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I would agree that almost $900 is crazy.  I got the DBP with zoom for $527 total for my upcoming 7 nights.  I drink like a fish and can easily have 15 drinks on sea days and maybe 10 on port days.  That doesn't include waters.  It's kind of shocking how many you can have from 10am to 1am.  I would think twice if I had to pay $900.  

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6 minutes ago, TravisMA81 said:

I would agree that almost $900 is crazy.  I got the DBP with zoom for $527 total for my upcoming 7 nights.  I drink like a fish and can easily have 15 drinks on sea days and maybe 10 on port days.  That doesn't include waters.  It's kind of shocking how many you can have from 10am to 1am.  I would think twice if I had to pay $900.  

This is for a 5 night cruise at that, At least yours is a 7 night. I believe that my April trip is going to be alcohol free for the most part unless I can get the 10 drink card which I have not seen on my past 2 cruises.

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1 hour ago, twangster said:

Like just about anything in life WE set the price that companies charge for packages like this.  

If people are willing to pay they'll keep charging that rate.  If collectively WE don't buy something at their price point they will eventually lower the price.  

As long as people are paying they will continue to accept people's money.

The deluxe drink package isn't required to have a great cruise.  If the math doesn't work for you, don't buy it.

I agree with @twangster on this.  The price is set by what people will pay.  I also think there are ways to bring down the "total cost" of the trip to help offset the pricing of individual items.  I think many times, people look at the price of individual components in a vacuum and lose sight of the total cost.  We once had some family that freaked out about the cost of the cruise in Florida and we compromised on a cruise from New Jersey, but then the flights to New York were at least double what we would pay to Florida, losing the savings on the cruise and getting worse port stops.  

For us, we "require" the Refreshment package.  We have a price point that we "like to get" at $23 per day, and anything less is amazing (we recently got it for $17!)  To ensure we can get the package, we always book the cheapest room we can, regardless of category (generally it's Inside GTY).  We also typically don't do excursions and explore on our own (harder during these times). 

At the end of the day it's all about choice and what you can live without on the cruise.  I also think that too many people want to "break even" on each thing. We both get the Refreshment package and I certainly break even (i drink a ton of coffee 🙂 ), but maybe not her since she could probably do with just the soda package and then pay for bottled water, but we like the convenience of prepaying for it and then not having a bill at the end.  

Happy cruising!

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1 hour ago, Dimension said:

I normally drink mixed drinks which range in price but I always go with the $10 a drink average. The DBP runs $80 a day so that equals out to 8 drinks a day which I can do but I hate the fact that I have to push myself to drink that many drinks a day to break even. I personally prefer to take my time and not have to force drinks down me  to feel like I am getting value from the package. This is why I have no problem buying the DBP when it is in the $60 range but at $80 that is just to much for my wallet. I enjoy getting the package for I can order what I want and not have to worry about paying a bill at the end but at $80 a day for the package I am thinking that I will come out cheaper in the end by just paying cash for the drinks.

Well I don’t know where you get $10 per drink.  Mixed drinks are $13 each plus gratuity brings them to about $15 each.  Assuming the $80 per day includes gratuities, you are looking at 5-6 mixed drinks per day to break even.  Sounds like you wouldn’t have a problem having that many.  

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I always get the soda package so I subtract that from the cost to see if the DBP is worth it. It rarely is, to me. I don't drink liquor or beer and I can bring wine onboard, so I usually just do that and purchase any extra glasses of wine that I want. 

The one time I did have the DPB I felt like I was drinking non-stop. Which I was, and I didn't enjoy that.

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6 minutes ago, Templecruiser said:

This is because you are buying 2 separate drink packages. If you bought the first and get 2nd 50% off, then bought to Voom separate, you would be much cheaper.

That is what I thought as well but when I called Royal to arrange that setup they said that my package setup was cheaper.

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6 minutes ago, Pooch said:

Well I don’t know where you get $10 per drink.  Mixed drinks are $13 each plus gratuity brings them to about $15 each.  Assuming the $80 per day includes gratuities, you are looking at 5-6 mixed drinks per day to break even.  Sounds like you wouldn’t have a problem having that many.

If I'm not mistaken gratuities is not included in that $80 list price. That is added on when you check out.

As for the $15 drink each you may be right on that one but I always just averaged $10 a drink for some times it is not a mixed drink but something like a Cap and Coke which I would assume is cheaper than say a Long Island.

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