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Drink Packages


Razorrayy
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I decided with the new promotion to book our drink packages for our upcoming January 2018 cruise on Navigator of the Seas. When I went online I tried to book one Sip & Stream which is deluxe beverage package and one surf & Stream and one deluxe package, but it wouldn't allow me to purchase and so I called. I was told that when purchasing beverage packages that each person in the stateroom of course over 21 must have the identical packages, but I only want one internet package with the promotion.

I also realized that the pricing shown on the promotions don't include gratuities, but I'm pretty sure it use to include gratuities so the add another 18% to the bill and wow it cost almost the amount of the cruise itself. 

My question is, our these drink packages actually a good value for moderate drinkers and I think not.

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Are the drink packages a good value?  That's up to you.

If you plan on drinking 5-6 drinks a day, EVERY DAY of your cruise, that tends to be the break even point for the most part.

Keep in mind, you CAN'T use it when you get off the ship EXCEPT Labadee & Coco Cay.

So, for many, if it's a port intensive itinerary, it may not be a good value, that's up to you ...... plus, can you maintain the pace?  It's one thing the be an alcohol rock star at the beginning of the cruise, but will "drink fatigue" set in near the latter half?

Again, not knowing your drinking habits, only you can be a true judge.

 

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2 minutes ago, Razzorray said:

My question is, our these drink packages actually a good value for moderate drinkers and I think not.

It can be.  It depends on you.

My thought is the drink package is a lot like booking a balcony room versus an inside room.  If you have a balcony, you will force yourself to spend more time in your room to take advantage of the balcony.  Likewise, I feel having a drink package compels you to drink more than if you paid for your drinks individually.

If you drink cocktails mostly, 4-6 is not a lot to get to per day.  Especially when you start mixing in coffee in the morning, bottled water, etc, which brings the daily "break even point" down.  2 drinks in the afternoon, 2 drinks at dinner and a drink or two after dinner and you're even.

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1 hour ago, Matt said:

It can be.  It depends on you.

My thought is the drink package is a lot like booking a balcony room versus an inside room.  If you have a balcony, you will force yourself to spend more time in your room to take advantage of the balcony.  Likewise, I feel having a drink package compels you to drink more than if you paid for your drinks individually.

If you drink cocktails mostly, 4-6 is not a lot to get to per day.  Especially when you start mixing in coffee in the morning, bottled water, etc, which brings the daily "break even point" down.  2 drinks in the afternoon, 2 drinks at dinner and a drink or two after dinner and you're even.

Not really sure it "forces" one to drink more.  It's really a question of your mindset.  I bought the package and already am of the mind that I will probably lose money on the deal.  However, I know if I hadn't spent the money now when I can be done with it and have it out of my budget, then on the trip my penny-pinching mindset would have scrutinized every drink I bought.  Now I can drink whatever, whenever I want and not think twice about the payment.  a weird way to think of it in the long run I know, but it works for me!  Same thing with the balcony.  It's my first cruise and most of the shows / night clubs just don't sound all that appealing.  It is comforting to know that should I find myself not in the mood for "partying" in the evening I always know I have a bottle of wine, a cribbage board, my wife, and a balcony waiting on the 8th deck

 

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I find the drink packages to be more of a convenience buy rather than saving $$ buy.  Certain few can get ahead of the break-even point.  But after a few straight days of "beating the house", most people will become drink fatigued.  With the drink package, you pay a fixed price and won't have a "surprise bill" at the end of the trip.  

If the other items in the drink packages interests you such as the specialty coffees, purchasing a coffee drink card and then the alcoholic drinks a la carte may be another option.  

 

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I have found when cruising that it is easy to consume 6 beers a day if you do it will come to over 42 dollars if you purchase the drink package online at the on sale rate of 20%off it costs 44dollars a day and this does not count the daily consumption of soda fresh squeezed orange juice specialty coffee bottled water fruity non alcohol drinks etc plus the huge seapass bill at the end of the cruise to me it is worth the money just for no big suprises after a wonderful cruise

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10 minutes ago, henrysea13 said:

I have found when cruising that it is easy to consume 6 beers a day if you do it will come to over 42 dollars if you purchase the drink package online at the on sale rate of 20%off it costs 44dollars a day and this does not count the daily consumption of soda fresh squeezed orange juice specialty coffee bottled water fruity non alcohol drinks etc plus the huge seapass bill at the end of the cruise to me it is worth the money just for no big suprises after a wonderful cruise

I do agree it is worth not having sticker shock after the cruise is over.

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1 hour ago, Matt said:

It can be.  It depends on you.

My thought is the drink package is a lot like booking a balcony room versus an inside room.  If you have a balcony, you will force yourself to spend more time in your room to take advantage of the balcony.  Likewise, I feel having a drink package compels you to drink more than if you paid for your drinks individually.

If you drink cocktails mostly, 4-6 is not a lot to get to per day.  Especially when you start mixing in coffee in the morning, bottled water, etc, which brings the daily "break even point" down.  2 drinks in the afternoon, 2 drinks at dinner and a drink or two after dinner and you're even.

I sometimes forget about the sodas and specialty coffee perks that come with this purchase, but I can't understand why i would need to purchase identical sip and stream packages and not one of each and have one internet package. I think I have purchased this far enough from my cruise to break the cost of the total cruise and it was still less than the Jr Suite I was going to book.

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Value is a personal decision, especially for a moderate drinker. However, given that you have access to specialty coffees, teas, and soda in addition to the alcohol, it is very easy to find value in the package even if one does not drink an exceptional amount. The bottled water alone can add value as that can be easily taken off ship for consumption while in port. In addition, while you may not save money, there is a convenience about knowing that something is already paid for which may lead you to be more adventurous in what you try as there's no worry about "wasting money."

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I've cruised with and without the DP.  

Pros - Try new drinks, don't like it walk away and order something else.  Specialty coffee, bottled water from any bar, smoothies at Vitality Spa on some ships.  If I don't finish a 2nd glass of wine at dinner I don't feel compelled to guzzle down the last 1/3 of a glass as we leave.  Access to better wines than the table wines offered in suite lounges on some ships.

Cons - Cost.  What if you don't drink enough?  Sometimes with a DP I feel like I better have a drink to make sure I break even at times I might otherwise not have a drink.  Longer cruises greater than 7 days and the DP becomes quite costly, the value begins to diminish as cruise length increases.  

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No brainer for us..

I hate the idea of the big bill at the end of a cruise, plus if I feel like a drink I can grab one without running a mental tab all day.

By the time, I've had a couple of specialty coffees in the morning, a few beers in the solarium, a cocktail or two before dinner, wine at dinner and then a few drinks at a show/club we know we save - or we could just be a load of English drunks :)

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1 hour ago, Dinabug38 said:

Speaking of non alcoholic drinks... What exactly is included in the refreshment package? I know what it says in the literature on the website. But does that include all virgin drinks from the bar? Virgin pina coladas etc... ?

Do you mean the replenish package at about $26?  If so, it's the same as the ultimate package minus the alcohol. Virgin drinks, specialty coffees, soda, bottled water, etc. 

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2 hours ago, DocLC said:

Value is a personal decision, especially for a moderate drinker. However, given that you have access to specialty coffees, teas, and soda in addition to the alcohol, it is very easy to find value in the package even if one does not drink an exceptional amount. The bottled water alone can add value as that can be easily taken off ship for consumption while in port. In addition, while you may not save money, there is a convenience about knowing that something is already paid for which may lead you to be more adventurous in what you try as there's no worry about "wasting money."

Not having to choke down a drink that tastes like bath water because you paid $12 for it is always a plus :)

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They are a good deal...IF you are going to drink each day on the cruise. It works out to be about 5-6 drinks a day on average when you factor in some bottled water throughout the day and some soft drinks.

 

But I agree, it hurts big-time having to pay it up front....especially for us Canadians when its getting close to $100 day just for the drink package!

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20 hours ago, jce2 said:

Not really sure it "forces" one to drink more.  It's really a question of your mindset. 

I find myself ordering drinks I would likely not otherwise order simply because I have a drink package.  Such as waiting for a show to start, when the waiter walks around at the pool, etc.  To your point, my mindset when I have a drink package is "why not?".

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19 hours ago, twangster said:

Pros - Try new drinks, don't like it walk away and order something else.

This to me is the added value of the drink package. I don't feel compelled to finish a drink I don't like, or any drink, really. Some might say that it encourages more drinking, which may be true to some degree, but it allows me to try new things, which is part of the fun!

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19 hours ago, FLGooner said:

No brainer for us..

I hate the idea of the big bill at the end of a cruise, plus if I feel like a drink I can grab one without running a mental tab all day.

By the time, I've had a couple of specialty coffees in the morning, a few beers in the solarium, a cocktail or two before dinner, wine at dinner and then a few drinks at a show/club we know we save - or we could just be a load of English drunks :)

The first part of your comments I agree with and do the same on my cruises with my wife, we enjoy the feeling of paying and not having a bill at the end or worrying about how much we are spending throughout the trip. However your comments about you could just be a load of English drunks confuses me? Is this a dig at the English? As I would not generalise to class all people from one place as this or that! Have met a lot of people from all over the world and it would not be right to say they are this or that ! :)  

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"Back in the day" it would have been a good deal, but nowadays, I don't drink nearly enough to make it fit my budget.  If I wanted to do a booze-fest, I could do an all inclusive.  I have friends who still drink  8-10 drinks a day, in which case it'd be a good deal.  But if you drink a couple a day, maybe 5-6 on a "big day" then it's just not a budget friendly option.  Thus I am planning on buying a drink card on my next cruise.

 

 

 

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I didn't do it on my last two cruises and thought of my tab the whole time. I'd say on a trip I'm 3 a day, rarely more due to never wanting to be out of control. I really love coffee and did not enjoy RC's coffee. 2 a day at least on vacation. I'm fine drinking water from the ship but like bottled water for the convenience (I drink a ton of water). Add in an occasional soda, smoothie or juice in the morning and a (discounted) package works for me.

I'm told I can bill my company for the stream package (checking emails while on vacation since my boss and I are both cruising at same time) but not sure I can separate the expenses so not sure if the sip and stream would even work for me.

 

Mainly it's peace of mind that my bill after the trip is low and I can have what I want when I want.

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I agree with @ellcee, @Matt, and others that the what makes the package worth it is just knowing that it's paid for and there won't be any nasty surprises on the bill at the end of the cruise. But I'm also someone who typically drinks at least two specialty coffees every day, will typically have two glasses of wine with dinner ("one for my heart, the other for me" :10_wink:) and likely a cocktail or two during the day, a couple of beers in the pub at night while listening to the live performers, and/or a couple extra glasses of wine in Vintages while enjoying the other goings-on in the promenade. So I can get my money's worth out of it without even trying hard, especially at the discounted rate I've been seeing reported more widely the last few days.

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I am tempted to get it because of the simpler "don't even worry about it!" aspect. But I don't drink near enough anymore.  I am good for one specialty coffee in the morning, I have the soda package (was included in our package) , and I might have 2-3 drinks in a day.  So for me, I just got the coffee card for my mornings, and I will buy a drink card if available for the "adult beverages"

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Question for those in the know-  I have a deluxe beverage package and my wife does not (separate cabins with 3 kids in tow). Can I buy a bottle of wine a dinner and share it with her or do I have to drink it all myself?   Is it still a 40% discount off a bottle of wine if you have the deluxe drink plan?  Thanks for any information!

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