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RestingBird

New drink package trials...

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Just read Matt's article about all adults in a room buying the drink package.

I've considered getting the package if I plan on staying on board most of the time, but my wife won't drink enough of anything to make it worth her while.  I would like to personally thank those of you who shared the package with spouses or friends, and are possibly ruining it for the rest of us (even some of my close friends have done this, and I had to reprimand them).  A sip or two from your drink is one thing, but whole drinks under your name, for someone else, is dishonest and rude.

That is all.

Thoughts? (I won't be offended if you disagree with me, I'm open to hearing other sides).

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Personally, I think RCI is just using an excuse to do this.  All of the other lines do it and I think Royal thinks they'll make an extra nickel by forcing everyone to get a package.

I'm not suggesting that there aren't those who are erroneously sharing drink packages but I truly do not believe that's why Royal is making (or trying to make) this change.

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1 hour ago, RestingBirds said:

but whole drinks under your name, for someone else, is dishonest

Yep....stealing is stealing no matter what form it takes.  Aren't you required to buy ONE drink at a time with a mandatory waiting period between orders?  If your cabin mate happens to be a lush...I don't want to participate....vbg.   Everyone should go ala carté.  

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6 hours ago, RestingBirds said:

Just read Matt's article about all adults in a room buying the drink package.

I've considered getting the package if I plan on staying on board most of the time, but my wife won't drink enough of anything to make it worth her while.  I would like to personally thank those of you who shared the package with spouses or friends, and are possibly ruining it for the rest of us (even some of my close friends have done this, and I had to reprimand them).  A sip or two from your drink is one thing, but whole drinks under your name, for someone else, is dishonest and rude.

That is all.

Thoughts? (I won't be offended if you disagree with me, I'm open to hearing other sides).

100% agreement, I don't drink but if I did I would think it was cheating to supply drinks for two people off of one package. I'm Diamond, so my wife and I get 3 drinks each per night and I don't think I would even use this courtesy to get my wife extra drinks, she never drinks more than three drinks anyway so I've never had to worry.

I guess last year she might have when we were on Harmony in the Mediterranean, we kept going to the Trellis bar in Central park and getting her favorite Moscato, towards the end of the cruise when the bartender would see us walk up he would already have it poured and would not even ask for her card because he knew we were Diamond, and yes we did tip him well.

My point is that this type of cheating is similar to shop lifting, in the long run it cost us "Ordinary Citizens" more because of what someone else does illegally, you guys don't blast me, I'm not saying the two are anywhere close to being the same thing, I'm just trying to make a point, I'll get off my soap box now...

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It is always the few, who ruin it for the many. I know that it is unlimited, but I would personally be all right if there was a time limit between drinks or even a drink limit per day. Even on the refreshment package, which I have purchased. Also, I think some of the blame for this abuse can be put on the shoulders of the serving staff. I've been in the hospitality business for over thirty years and you can't tell me that the serving staff doesn't see what's going on. They just turn a blind eye, especially if somebody is throwing them a couple of bucks. I get it. I've been there and I'm not sure it is even their responsibility.  If they aren't going to police the program, the only way to, is to put some type of limit in place, that's electronically attached to your card.

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Funny .. could of sworn the last couple of earnings calls were all about how onboard earnings (presumably heavily driven by alcohol ?) were up and driving the record profits .... seems like they haven't been hurting from any sharing going on ...

Generally don't do the package anyway, having to buy for both probably cements not buying it.

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Its going to be a pretty moot point for us...i definitely get the drink pkg, my husband wasn't going to for freedom in march,  and was going to ala carte and buy the drink and coffee cards.   Prob this will cost 5 to 10 a day extra for us.   I agree,  the sharing is awful, but over the past year royal seems to be aligning itself with other cruise line policies (room service fee, corkage fee, now drink pkgs).  Will this make me jump ship so to speak?  No, but it does make me think that if my bar tab is half my cruise fare,  then i need to drink less or possibly try a line that includes it.  But i have loved my royal cruises...all 3 of them...and drink issues or no, look forward to the next!   Jane

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A poster on another board mentioned discount cards. The Royal ships that we have been on usually sold discount drink cards during the last few days of the cruise. I think it would great to sell those types of cards (maybe even without the discount) right from the start or on the cruise planner. Pick the number of drinks you want and then each drink gets deducted. Doesn't matter which person it's for so it eliminates the sharing problem--when the card hits zero drinks, it's done. Personally, we are not big drinkers so a full package is not worth it for us. I would love to be able to buy a few drinks in advance, possibly even taking advantage of a cruise planner sale, thus lessening charges to worry about during the cruise.

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1 hour ago, Skid said:

A poster on another board mentioned discount cards. The Royal ships that we have been on usually sold discount drink cards during the last few days of the cruise. I think it would great to sell those types of cards (maybe even without the discount) right from the start or on the cruise planner. Pick the number of drinks you want and then each drink gets deducted. Doesn't matter which person it's for so it eliminates the sharing problem--when the card hits zero drinks, it's done. Personally, we are not big drinkers so a full package is not worth it for us. I would love to be able to buy a few drinks in advance, possibly even taking advantage of a cruise planner sale, thus lessening charges to worry about during the cruise.

Except that rc won't do this at the price you usually can buy them on day 4.  They make a lot more money on the pkgs, and the cards are a way to make up revenue on sailings where alcohol purchases have been low.  My guess is that if you sell the punch card for 120 ($12 a drink), people won't buy them.   Maybe I'm totally wrong...they pre-sell the coffee cards now.   And if someone still wants the unlimited drink pkg, then you still have the sharing issue.   Jane

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I do see your point, Jane, but in our case, Royal would have made more money on a $120 punch card than what I actually spent on drinks on our trip. I would have gladly bought that card, while not even considering the $350+ deluxe plan. I would guess many other people would also. I don't think that having this type of plan available would take away from the sales of the larger packages people want--it would actually be additional revenue coming from people like me.

 

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5 hours ago, Skid said:

I do see your point, Jane, but in our case, Royal would have made more money on a $120 punch card than what I actually spent on drinks on our trip. I would have gladly bought that card, while not even considering the $350+ deluxe plan. I would guess many other people would also. I don't think that having this type of plan available would take away from the sales of the larger packages people want--it would actually be additional revenue coming from people like me.

 

I think there is room for both. There is a number of cruisers that don't get the drink package as mentioned, because the value isn't there for them. But of you offered a punch card like the coffee card, I think there would be a number of people who would be interested in that. There is such a huge mark up on liquor that they would still make a ton of profit by discounting the price. If you limited the number of drinks, the profit potential per drink would be higher than the unlimited drink packages. And like everything offered with the cruise planner, they would get their money up front, usually months in advance. Just my thoughts.

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23 hours ago, jticarruthers said:

Funny .. could of sworn the last couple of earnings calls were all about how onboard earnings (presumably heavily driven by alcohol ?) were up and driving the record profits .... seems like they haven't been hurting from any sharing going on ...

Generally don't do the package anyway, having to buy for both probably cements not buying it.

Two things can drive this, consumer spending and RCCL share holders. If the consumers don't like it then they won't spend the money, odds are people will keep buying the package. I have a co-worker that is in RCCL target demographics, he drinks his wife does not, he only buys won package, he told me that if he has to buy 2 packages he won't buy any. So if enough cruisers stop buying that will affect Share holder value, and then the share holders bitch, which I know RCCL should lieted to.

I wish those of us that are share holders as well as RCCL consumers had a load enough voice, but traditionally large corporations only listen to the large Institutional share holders, those company's that hold millions of shares, instead of the few hundred I have.

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5 minutes ago, tiny260 said:

Two things can drive this, consumer spending and RCCL share holders. If the consumers don't like it then they won't spend the money, odds are people will keep buying the package. I have a co-worker that is in RCCL target demographics, he drinks his wife does not, he only buys won package, he told me that if he has to buy 2 packages he won't buy any. So if enough cruisers stop buying that will affect Share holder value, and then the share holders bitch, which I know RCCL should lieted to.

I wish those of us that are share holders as well as RCCL consumers had a load enough voice, but traditionally large corporations only listen to the large Institutional share holders, those company's that hold millions of shares, instead of the few hundred I have.

I agree tiny. If people stop buying the packages, if this is implemented, RCCL will be forced to change the policy, or pay dearly with lost revenue. There are a lot of people though that will continue to buy it, even though they will complain about it. As my dear dad likes to say, "crap or get off the pot!" You can't have it both ways. If you want something to change, you have to make a change yourself. Pick a lane and stay in it.

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Like @WAAAYTOOO, I don't believe this experiment is about combating sharing. They are in business to make money...and sometimes it takes a set of data gathered out of a trial as proof of concept to justify a change. Just doing it without backup data would be a poor business decision. They will weight the data and come to a conclusion that they may or may not implement. I suspect RCL will weigh complaints along with the financial information. No business is perfect, but in general I find RCL to take customer feedback seriously. They don't always make a change with that feedback, but I do know they listen constructively. 

But...I still think this is tied selling a'la antitrust legislation. If it has gone on in other cruise lines and such...maybe nobody has filed a formal complaint to the Federal Trade Commission. I am not a US citizen nor do I live in the US, but if someone has some cycles between cruises here's a couple of links:

https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/competition-guidance/guide-antitrust-laws/single-firm-conduct/tying-sale-two-products

https://www.ftc.gov/faq/competition/report-antitrust-violation.

 

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Many of you are right, in that the first priority for Royal Caribbean is making money. After all, they are a business and their primary mission is to provide a return on investment for their shareholders.  

Drink packages represent a major source of income for the cruise line. Each quarter, guest spending on things like drink packages are often a significant source of revenue for the cruise line and mean the difference between a good and great fiscal quarter.

Regardless of if sharing drink package benefits represent a 5% loss or a 50% loss, if they can nip that problem in the bud, that can lead to an even bigger quarter.

This test is not just about ending sharing between guests, but also testing the waters for how guests will respond.  If they end sharing, but it comes at a 25% loss of total drink package purchases, then it may not be a good policy for RC.  But if most people shrug it off and buy it anyway, they will likely proceed.

I agree this test is not just about ending sharing, but I do firmly believe it is at the heart of why the cruise line is engaging in this test.

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So I realize any answer is purely speculative, but given the test is supposed to run thru November 18th, how soon thereafter would you think RCL could implement this across the fleet.  Really hoping I can grab my drink package for my January cruise during a Black Friday sale.

 

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33 minutes ago, jce2 said:

So I realize any answer is purely speculative, but given the test is supposed to run thru November 18th, how soon thereafter would you think RCL could implement this across the fleet.  Really hoping I can grab my drink package for my January cruise during a Black Friday sale.

 

 

Absolutely

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Sooooo...Hypothetically...If this plan were implemented....I have three rooms... my wife and I in one ....daughter and fiancé in second ..... son & wife in third.   If my daughter and I are the drinkers couldn't I just move names around in the room reservations?

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5 minutes ago, jce2 said:

Sooooo...Hypothetically...If this plan were implemented....I have three rooms... my wife and I in one ....daughter and fiancé in second ..... son & wife in third.   If my daughter and I are the drinkers couldn't I just move names around in the room reservations?

Yes as long as you leave at least one of the original names in the same cabin. (one name has to stay constant from beginning to end).

Looks like you could swap your wife and daughter around and then book the package for your cabin only.

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On 7/8/2017 at 9:04 AM, RestingBirds said:

Just read Matt's article about all adults in a room buying the drink package.

I've considered getting the package if I plan on staying on board most of the time, but my wife won't drink enough of anything to make it worth her while.  I would like to personally thank those of you who shared the package with spouses or friends, and are possibly ruining it for the rest of us (even some of my close friends have done this, and I had to reprimand them).  A sip or two from your drink is one thing, but whole drinks under your name, for someone else, is dishonest and rude.

That is all.

Thoughts? (I won't be offended if you disagree with me, I'm open to hearing other sides).

Where can I find Matt's article that RestingB referred to? Thanks.

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The crew probably doesn't like being put in a position to play bad cop and scold guests for sharing their drink package.  A lot of people get in to that "I'm on vacation and I'll do what I want!" mentality, and it isn't fun for anybody to watch the ugliness that comes from that mindset unfold.  I'm sure money's a factor in this decision, but I bet that reducing the amount of policing the crew has to do is part of it too.

Sucks for people who obeyed the rules, but I understand why they're making this change.

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19 hours ago, Orange Crush said:

A lot of people get in to that "I'm on vacation and I'll do what I want!" mentality, and it isn't fun for anybody to watch the ugliness that comes from that mindset unfold.

Couldn't agree more.  It's the people that think the rules don't apply to them that irritate me

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3 hours ago, Matt said:

Couldn't agree more.  It's the people that think the rules don't apply to them that irritate me

Very true. This like so many others things in life just prove the point that the few ruin it for the many.

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