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Have seen comments on problems with soda package. Including complaints on cups and ease of access. Does any recent travelers have comment? Traveling in October. Have bought package in past and looking to see if there is a drop off in value. Thanks

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1 hour ago, Kmcdmfma said:

Have seen comments on problems with soda package. Including complaints on cups and ease of access. Does any recent travelers have comment? Traveling in October. Have bought package in past and looking to see if there is a drop off in value. Thanks

We've had it the last couple cruises on Freedom and Independence...  no issues at all...  occasionally, the selection at one of the Machines is limited, but that's usually fixed pretty quickly by the staff.  All in all, it's been worth it for us.

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Back to the nice, double walled cups for Freestyle last week on Oasis. Never had issues with machines being out and staying out, excluding creme soda which wasn't in the machines on either Adventure or Oasis this summer. I'd occasionally run into the machine lacking a flavor, but it'd be restocked during the same day. Only issue I regularly ran into was machines being out of ice at times.

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I get the soda package on every cruise and here are my thoughts:

  • Make sure your ship has the freestyle machines. When we were on Liberty we only discovered on board that there are no freestyle machines and by the end of the 4-day cruise I didn't want to see Coke or Sprite again to save my life.
  • Ease of access - the machines are going to be in high traffic/food related areas. Normally on the promenade and on some ships on the sports deck area (Odyssey wisely had one on the pool deck in Loco Fresh too). But mainly in the promenade. For some people this may be a hassle to go up or down several floors to get a refill. I say, try to plan ahead. You will most likely cross through the promenade on your way to places so try to make soda-stop on your way. You can also get refills at any open bar (except bionic) but again, limited to coke, diet coke, sprite, water, and tonic water.
  • Carrying them around. Yeah...they need handles badly.. So I bought these (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0781K452Q/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s06?ie=UTF8&psc=1) for our last cruise and they were life savers. They didn't add any serious insulation but the little loop at the top made it perfect to slide on my wrist or hang off a belt or bag strap. Free hands once again!
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6 hours ago, CrimsonCruiser said:
  • Make sure your ship has the freestyle machines. When we were on Liberty we only discovered on board that there are no freestyle machines and by the end of the 4-day cruise I didn't want to see Coke or Sprite again to save my life.

Great point. Royal has a list here [https://www.royalcaribbean.com/faq/questions/what-are-coca-cola-freestyle-machines] of the ships which have the machine.

Copied for convenience:

  • Adventure of the Seas® 
  • Allure of the Seas® 
  • Anthem of the Seas® 
  • Enchantment of the Seas® 
  • Explorer of the Seas® 
  • Freedom of the Seas® 
  • Grandeur of the Seas® 
  • Harmony of the Seas® 
  • Independence of the Seas® 
  • Jewel of the Seas® 
  • Mariner of the Seas® 
  • Navigator of the Seas® 
  • Oasis of the Seas® 
  • Odyssey of the Seas®
  • Ovation of the Seas® 
  • Quantum of the Seas® 
  • Rhapsody of the Seas® 
  • Symphony of the Seas® 

Edit: Seems the list is out of date. Wonder also has the Freestyle machines.

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11 hours ago, CrimsonCruiser said:

I get the soda package on every cruise and here are my thoughts:

  • Make sure your ship has the freestyle machines. When we were on Liberty we only discovered on board that there are no freestyle machines and by the end of the 4-day cruise I didn't want to see Coke or Sprite again to save my life.
  • Ease of access - the machines are going to be in high traffic/food related areas. Normally on the promenade and on some ships on the sports deck area (Odyssey wisely had one on the pool deck in Loco Fresh too). But mainly in the promenade. For some people this may be a hassle to go up or down several floors to get a refill. I say, try to plan ahead. You will most likely cross through the promenade on your way to places so try to make soda-stop on your way. You can also get refills at any open bar (except bionic) but again, limited to coke, diet coke, sprite, water, and tonic water.
  • Carrying them around. Yeah...they need handles badly.. So I bought these (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0781K452Q/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s06?ie=UTF8&psc=1) for our last cruise and they were life savers. They didn't add any serious insulation but the little loop at the top made it perfect to slide on my wrist or hang off a belt or bag strap. Free hands once again!

Hi CrimsonCruiser,

Did the pouches in any way interfere with refilling?  I mean do you have to take it out to refill or can you leave it puched up?

Thanks!

Bill

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7 hours ago, Xaa said:

Hi CrimsonCruiser,

Did the pouches in any way interfere with refilling?  I mean do you have to take it out to refill or can you leave it puched up?

Thanks!

Bill

I have a similar pouch and it must be removed before you can refill your cup. 

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On 8/10/2022 at 11:20 AM, Kmcdmfma said:

Have seen comments on problems with soda package. Including complaints on cups and ease of access. Does any recent travelers have comment? Traveling in October. Have bought package in past and looking to see if there is a drop off in value. Thanks

In May I was on the Oasis OTS and I will say we had a few issues with the Freestyle machines. The one in the Solarium Bistro never worked. It was in an update cycle pretty much the entire cruise, so we never got to use it. Flavors were missing from other machines at various times as well. It was a little disappointing and I really wish there were machines in more locations on the ships. On the Oasis, they're only in the Windjammer, next to Sorrento's and in the Solarium Bistro. My main issue is you can't /just/ go in for a drink if you're near the Windjammer. They make you stop and wash your hands (and usually have to wait in a line to get a free sink) which makes just slightly too long for a quick pop-in. And there's almost always a line at the machines next to Sorrento's. And one of these was almost always out of everything since I'd guess they're the ones which get used the most. I didn't complain or anything since it wasn't a /big/ deal and I figured they'd fix things when they were noticed, but it was an issue throughout the cruise. I hope these things improve or that maybe it was just a one-off for our cruise. At the very least, you get soda from all the bars and venues too.

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On 8/11/2022 at 2:47 AM, Xaa said:

Hi CrimsonCruiser,

Did the pouches in any way interfere with refilling?  I mean do you have to take it out to refill or can you leave it puched up?

Thanks!

Bill

It did have to be removed more times than not on refill. I think some of the machines had a hard time reading the chip through the material.

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The freestyle machines in July on Allure had a lot of maintenance issues. However, we found the bar waiters much more helpful with ordering by the glass than we had previously.  They also were using the single wall uninsulated cups but I've been seeing posts that the traditional two-walled cups were making their way back to the fleet.

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