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Time to stop Unlimted Drink Plan?


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In our case, the availability of a Deluxe Beverage Package won't change our habits.  We're in vacation-mode - we planned for it, we're all-in, and we're ready to have fun!  The real question is, "Does the Deluxe Beverage Package" save us any money?  For some folks, it's a good deal, and for others, it's not.  In our case, we're going to have about the same number of drinks on our vacation, package or not.

I don't see any reason to get rid of the DBP, especially if the argument is that some people can't handle their booze.  Habits don't change without tremendous effort and the willingness to make changes.

If there are issues with a guest being rowdy, drunk, and ruining your enjoyment, then Guest Services would be the remedy for that.  Removing the choice to buy a DBP will not fix wild inebriated guests.  

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4 hours ago, USFFrank said:

 And then they would have to do something to make up for the loss of the beverage packages. And that would be to jack up the prices of everything else, including cruise fare, excursions, souvenirs, spa services, exercise classes, minimum bets in the casino, specialty dining. Did I miss anything???????? oh yea, individual drinks, including coffee, soda, non-alcoholic and especially alcoholic drinks😉  

^^ Good points there, and agreed, RCCL would lose out if they didn't sell the DBP.  I imagine that Royal Caribbean has the best Financial Planning & Analysis people in the business. 

I'll use myself as a case for this.  The DBP price on my upcoming sailing on Allure has been $73-$79 pp/night.  I'm probably an average drinker while on vacation, and maybe I'd go a little heavier on a day or two.  The math for me worked out to be ~$100 cheaper for the week a-la-carte vs DBP.  I had to decide, "Do I go ahead anyway and buy the DBP, just in case I want a couple more drinks on a few days?  After all, its only another $100."  At that point, the DBP becomes an emotional purchase, rather than a value proposition.  RCCL's pricing strategy is perfect - they're betting on average cruisers like me to pay a little more for my drinks up front, to calm my fear of missing out on a deal.  Ultimately, with the DBP, I'd have paid for drinks that I never ended up having - which of course works out better for Royal.  They need average and new cruisers buying the DBP at the $73+ price point.

You know what would make me rowdy in a bad way?  Raising the minimum bet to $20 at the craps tables.  It's already bad enough that the odds are 1X and not 3X-4X-5X!

Everyone keep buying those DBPs! 😉 

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14 hours ago, DonR said:

@Censored Well I tell ya, I am a Recovering Alcoholic. One of the ones who goes looking for the "Friends of Bill" meetings when I am on board. I have cruised both before and after I became sober and, when I was drinking, I cruised both with and without the DBP.

I can assure you cost of the drink had absolutely nothing to do with how much I drank or weather or not I got "drunk and obnoxious". The only thing having the DBP did for me was allowed me to get my drunk on without the worry of what my wife would say when we got the balance sheet being charged to our card on the last night. The getting drunk part was a foregone conclusion.

These days I call and get the DBP for my wife and I get the Refreshment package. You can do that if you call and tell them why. (Yes, I am in recovery and my wife drinks, it happens all the time)  The DBP makes it easy and we don't worry about when or how many Margarita's she can have or how it will impact that balance sheet. We get on the ship and don't worry about anything till we pick up our luggage when we disembark. 

It's called "Being on vacation" you might have heard of it.

 

Oh just a reminder..... your first post had nothing to do with the DBP..

I'm so glad to hear from someone in the same boat as me (pun intended). I am 11 months sober, will be just over a year when we cruise. My wife still drinks, I have the refreshment package. She can enjoy her few glasses of wine a day while I enjoy my sodas, energy drinks and maybe I'll try a mocktail or two! The first thing I'll be doing is looking when and where the friends of Bill meetings are, which is funny because last time I cruised was almost 15 years ago and I remember seeing that on the cruise compass and thinking "who the hell goes on a cruise to attend AA meetings" And welp, here I am! But I can tell you when I did go one that last cruise, we did not get a drink package and when we got that bill at the end of the  trip...well, we could have booked two more trips! 

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4 hours ago, ScottD said:

I'm so glad to hear from someone in the same boat as me (pun intended). I am 11 months sober, will be just over a year when we cruise. My wife still drinks, I have the refreshment package. She can enjoy her few glasses of wine a day while I enjoy my sodas, energy drinks and maybe I'll try a mocktail or two! 

The Blueberry Nojito is quite tasty! I also get the virgin Daiquiri's Typically they can do the Strawberry, Mango and Pina-colada without adding booze. You can get any of them on your Refreshment Package. 

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This thread brought the laughs on a Tuesday morning!  

I've been on 8 or so RC cruises now (a rookie around these parts, I know), and I have never had one incident with another cruiser and drunkenness.  And most nights I am out "enjoying the ship" until after midnight.  

Now I have definitely had a few incidents with sober people on a cruise ship (elevator etiquette, line cutting at the windjammer, pool chair hogs), but those are topics for another thread!  

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22 hours ago, BigKarl said:

Being a non drinker I really have little say here but someone clarify if I am wrong here.  Isn't the unlimited drink package actually "Limited" to 15 drinks a day?

the 15 drink limit is a Carnival thing with their Cheers package.  Royal family has no limits posted but they can refuse to serve you if you seem too intoxicated.

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23 hours ago, CrimsonCruiser said:

Okay..I'm finally gonna do it..

@Censored...I've seen you at the helm of quite a lot of topics, which, at least to me, seem like "controversial" topics and I have to ask...why? Like...are you just looking for a place to vent your opinions? Are you trying to get under people's skins? Are you after conversation/discussion/ new view points? I'm genuinely curious...

The answer is “yes”. This screen name is also changed so frequently that it’s difficult to keep up. I think at one iteration of the screen name musical chairs this person did admit that like to vomit controversial topics so that it engages the excessive responses that are witnessed even on this thread. Clearly it works. 

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On 10/24/2022 at 9:28 AM, Censored said:

Seems its a common occurrence to experience intoxicated cruisers aboard .   They can become loud, obnoxious, annoying, angry, and get involved in fights.  Personally I think this is due to the offering of the Unlimited Drink Plan.  People simply want to take liberties and drink as much as they possibly can. Then come the consequences .   Time to stop this plan or change it?  

Too much money involved and not going to happen. It makes for prime people watching so I personally encourage the excessive drinking! Isn’t it vacation anyway and people are entitled to do what makes them happy. I think you need to just sit in your stateroom and order room service for 7 days because the sun, fun and excessive drinking are not going away. On that note, I am very much looking forward to multiple pina coladas by the pool on Icon all day every day for vacation! If luck serves me right, I will still be drinking free Red Stripes in the casino all night while I piss away my good fortunes and kids financial future but it’s vacation! 

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57 minutes ago, tonyfsu21 said:

It makes for prime people watching so I personally encourage the excessive drinking! Isn’t it vacation anyway and people are entitled to do what makes them happy.

The people watching is a fun bonus for sure. 😄

For those who are not into hanging out with a crowd that drinks a lot, another viable solution is to pick a different ship/itinerary/cruise line better suited for the desired experience.  I imagine the experience is much more subdued on lines like Cunard, Oceania, Silversea, etc., or Alaska itineraries?

Royal has a fun mix of people, and in my experience, it's not as wild as Carnival.  Carnival actually does have a hard drink limit of 15, but that doesn't seem to slow things down.  A couple of fist fights from Carnival ships were posted online this year, but I'm not entirely sure if alcohol was a factor in those incidents.

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25 minutes ago, Bankai said:

The people watching is a fun bonus for sure. 😄

For those who are not into hanging out with a crowd that drinks a lot, another viable solution is to pick a different ship/itinerary/cruise line better suited for the desired experience.  I imagine the experience is much more subdued on lines like Cunard, Oceania, Silversea, etc., or Alaska itineraries?

Royal has a fun mix of people, and in my experience, it's not as wild as Carnival.  Carnival actually does have a hard drink limit of 15, but that doesn't seem to slow things down.  A couple of fist fights from Carnival ships were posted online this year, but I'm not entirely sure if alcohol was a factor in those incidents.

Regardless of the optional drink package, people are going to continue to do what they want (as they should). If that includes excessively drinking there will always be a way. If you do away with the drink package the guests who have the financial ability will continue drinking w/o interruption and the guests that have a tighter budget will just find more inventive ways to smuggle booze on the ship. The drink package is a big win for the company. As you mentioned, there are other options but the grass may not be greener depending on what type of atmosphere you prefer. Personally I would rather watch what I have witnessed as a very small percentage of drunk fools on RC than an entire ship filled with grumpy geriatrics mowing people down in motorized scooters on other cruise lines. 

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16 minutes ago, tonyfsu21 said:

The drink package is a big win for the company. As you mentioned, there are other options but the grass may not be greener depending on what type of atmosphere you prefer.

I agree, it's not a solution to do away with the drink package.  (I mentioned a few reasons why in some previous posts.)  The solution ultimately lies with the passenger to try something different on their next vacation if they're not happy.  There are so many different options out there that it doesn't make sense for someone to launch a campaign to remove something that most cruisers enjoy.     

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i also suspect there's also definitely a portion of folks who purchase the deluxe beverage package that RCCL makes MONEY on. like they aren't able to hit their target of how many/what kind of drinks they need every day and it peters out.

maybe the convenience factor of not having to pay/sign anything hits big for them but i bet royal is glad they got extra guaranteed money from these folks rather than hoping they purchase however many drinks ala carte.

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26 minutes ago, asquared17 said:

i also suspect there's also definitely a portion of folks who purchase the deluxe beverage package that RCCL makes MONEY on. like they aren't able to hit their target of how many/what kind of drinks they need every day and it peters out.

Every time that we cruise, I know what the daily "break even" point is for the two of us.

A few times I have "made up the difference" when my wife has a light day of drinking! 😆

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1 hour ago, tonyfsu21 said:

Not a chance. This OP is obsessed with the attention positive or negative. They will resurface with a different screen name and more random and controversial posts. 

I tried to make sense of what the OP was trying to say. Here's what I got:

The Unlimted (sic) Drink Plan, not to be confused with the Ultimate Dining Plan, causes excessive drinking that makes intoxicated cruisers become loud, obnoxious, annoying, angry, and get involved in fights. This causes everything to go awry on the ship on its inaugural sailing - new staff, shows, performers, dinner reservations, wait times, room service, much to the delight of bloggers, vloggers, youtube influencers and the author/moderator of this blog.  

Did I get that right?

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24 minutes ago, PG Cruiser said:

Were we loud, obnoxious, annoying, angry?

No..........fun fact: not all drunk people are loud, obnoxious, annoying and angry.

In fact, that describes some people who have never had a drink in their life........this includes some people who aren't even old enough to drink.😝 My godchild is 8 and doing all of that while watching Hocus Pocus 2.

 

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On 10/24/2022 at 8:33 AM, Censored said:

Ive cruised enough and sat in enough hot tubs on board and pools and bars to witness the absurd amount of drinks people order with the plan. One guy was up to 21 drinks on my last cruise.   I think there needs to be a cut off point.  I have to disagree with you.,

LOL...those are rookie numbers.

 

Between my wife and I, we had over 60 "drinks" in one day.  Like another poster said, 99% of people don't cause problems with the UDP.  Yet another person that thinks just because YOU don't like it, no one else should.

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15 hours ago, CrimsonCruiser said:

Which makes me upset because it's classic troll behavior to rile people up then never respond or answer questions....

 

This should be a troll free zone...

No one has ever called it out before even though we are all thinking it, and this time you did. Now he will swap the name up again and post in a few days or a week. This should be a troll free zone, a place to discuss upcoming vacations that most of us have worked hard to afford or haven't vacationed in years, a place to exchange our experiences on trips and help out new comers, like myself. 

Thank you for calling it out - if he wants controversy send him over to twitter 

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On 10/24/2022 at 9:56 AM, Xaa said:

I agree with you.

I recognize you were just going off "Unlimited Drink Plan" when you arrived at your acronym of UDP, but that one is already used for Unlimited Dining Package.  I think we need DBP  For "Deluxe Beverage Package"

I'd hate to see this thread become more confusing than it already is with the apparent pasting of a post from another thread to start this one when the OP seems to have intended a discussion about drinking and not about taking the inaugural voyage as posted.

 

 

This is obviously someone that cruises so much that they cannot get the acronyms correct.  🤣🤣🤣

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