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Rant on Deluxe Beverage Package


Dimension
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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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23 minutes ago, Dimension said:

Not according to this but this does not reflect what I actually have. I have one of each package.

image.thumb.png.6b9302f494a93caf13d1c91e38979dab.png

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.

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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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8 minutes ago, Sharla said:

I always get the soda package so I subtract that from the cost to see if the DBP is worth it

That's exactly what we did when we first started cruising and getting the refreshment package.  Say, the Refreshment package is $25, the soda is $10, so that's really only $15 more which works out to about 4 "fancy coffees", but then you get all the other benefits of the refreshment package, which we enjoy as well.

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When doing the math to decide on getting the DBP I don't just figure in alcoholic drinks, but also specialty coffees, juices, bottled water, etc. If the daily price drops below $60 then it's worth it to me. My wife doesn't drink alcohol at all, so I just call RC and they allow me to have the DBP without her having to purchase one.

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6 minutes ago, San Diego Garrett said:

When doing the math to decide on getting the DBP I don't just figure in alcoholic drinks, but also specialty coffees, juices, bottled water, etc. If the daily price drops below $60 then it's worth it to me. My wife doesn't drink alcohol at all, so I just call RC and they allow me to have the DBP without her having to purchase one.

Yup, I am in agreement with you that if the package is around $60 a day then I will pick it up. Anything higher than that from now on I am doing without it until Royal lowers their prices.

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Yup, a couple of specialty coffees (with Baileys 😋). Couple frozen drinks by the pool.  Wine with dinner.  Couple more drinks with nighttime entertainment.  Several bottles of water during the day.  Diet ginger ale/sparkling water.  Easy to cover the package cost for me. We paid $72 with gratuities.  About $3 more than the best sale I saw.

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You can purchase the Deluxe beverage package for yourself and the royal refreshment package for your spouse.  It would have to be done with a call to Royal and state "my wife doesn't drink".

You can bring on 2 bottles of wine per stateroom in your carryon.  (I've never seen them check which carryon goes to which room). https://www.royalcaribbean.com/faq/questions/onboard-alcohol-guest-policy

 You can also carry on 12 water/soda-with size limitations.  https://www.royalcaribbean.com/faq/questions/food-drink-onboard-policy

I was able to fit 2 bottles of wine and 12 bottles of water into a small luggage carry on with wheels-made it quite easy to roll around until my cabin was ready

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4 hours ago, Dimension said:

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.

The Breakeven point is 5-6 drink per day for each person. 

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Reading through this thread the main focus seems to be about drinks purchased from the bar and is the cost of the DBP justified?  It was pointed out in another topic that DBP also included fresh squeezed juice at the Windjammer, bottles of water, pop, specialty coffee from Cafe Promenade, smoothies from Vitality and so on.  If you buy the DBP just for bar drinks you will have to guzzle quite a few drinks to break even.   If you also take advantage of the other included offerings you *might* be able to justify it.

One other solution might be to get the RC Visa card and use exclusively for Royal purchases and all other normal CC purchases to build up points.  Then use the rewards points to get on board credits.  We have had the RC Visa for a number of years and one gets double reward points for Royal cruise costs and Cruise Planner purchases.  Being Diamond Plus we can supplement the 5 included drinks per day for each of us with ala carte bar purchases covered by the on board credit we earned via points.   We also take advantage of the other included DBP offerings. 

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I think Royal needs to accommodate a more targeted audience with a "lesser" deluxe beverage package.  One that includes basic liquors and a couple of selections of beer and wine.  Celebrity currently uses this pricing structure (classic versus premium).  I had the classic package on our honeymoon and was still able to order everything I wanted.  Only difference was that top shelf liquor wasn't in my glass.  I'd be much more inclined to purchase a lower tiered alcoholic package even for a small decrease in the daily price.

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9 minutes ago, AspiringCruisePlanner said:

I think Royal needs to accommodate a more targeted audience with a "lesser" deluxe beverage package.  One that includes basic liquors and a couple of selections of beer and wine.  Celebrity currently uses this pricing structure (classic versus premium).  I had the classic package on our honeymoon and was still able to order everything I wanted.  Only difference was that top shelf liquor wasn't in my glass.  I'd be much more inclined to purchase a lower tiered alcoholic package even for a small decrease in the daily price.

Royal once offered a number of different beverage packages but I think it was confusing to the customers and the staff so they simplified it to just a few different packages.  

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5 minutes ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

Royal once offered a number of different beverage packages but I think it was confusing to the customers and the staff so they simplified it to just a few different packages.  

Think the biggest confusion had more to do at the wine level. Want to say the packages that covered wine were Select, Premium, and Unlimited.

At the time I think Select covered beer and wine up to $8. While Premium and Unlimited covered up tp $12.

Then you also had premium tea and coffee plus sparkling water included only in the Unlimited package (plus Royal Replenish).

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9 hours ago, Dimension said:

Not according to this but this does not reflect what I actually have. I have one of each package.

image.thumb.png.6b9302f494a93caf13d1c91e38979dab.png

We have always bought the drink packages but this time I am seriously leaning toward us each getting a coffee card and the soda package then buying drinks Ala carte. Between the two of us we might drink maybe 4 alcoholic drinks a day tops. I mean, I could buy a watch or a Mariner of the Seas tracksuit and beach towel with the money we'd save. OR I could buy a couple bottles of duty free liquor on board since its in the real world that I seriously need a drink.

We haven't cruised in 5 years so when I saw these prices I got a headache. I'll still keep an eye out for the drink package fairy though. Just in case. 

image.png.61e10699f3e8b06146d764b5cd45205e.png

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