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My experience with the Premium Drinking Package.


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Hey guys! Hope everyone is doing well! I wanted to go ahead and share my experience with the premium package, I notice it is a question brought up by many and before my most recent trip I also had a few concerns! I hope to clarify a few things for everyone. This is of course my opinion on the topic.

 

In my opinion the package is worth it....

 

1. if you don't plan on spending too much time with excursions

2. it is your second time cruising!

3. You have OBC

4. You enjoy drinking and can see yourself having a minimum of 5 spirits a day

5. Enjoy trying new drinks, beers, wines.

6. Short duration cruises (3-5 nights)

 

To be fair we had $125 in OBC, it was our second time, so me and the gf decided to put it towards our packages, since we didn't really plan on doing excursions this time around and last time we experienced Nassau, we did so off the beaten path and planned on doing the same which didn't take too much time of our day so we were back on the ship sooner than expected, our itinerary also helped, first two days at sea, nassau, and then Cococay.

 

I thought it would be great to experience our vacation without worrying of overspending on drinks and if we decided to get one of the other packages available and still spend on drinks we probably would've overspent and regretted not getting the package which included non-alcholic cocktails, frozen drinks and the souvenir cup, on top of beer, wine, and spirits, it just made sense to approach it this way!

 

I am usually up early so I enjoyed drinks for lunch, by the pool deck and anywhere we made a stop really, I also enjoy dancing so I took advantage at night during the club hours and pool deck parties. I suggest to get drinks before attending any of the entertainment (comedy, gameshows, broadway, etc) Its kind of annoying to be signing while the show is going on and disturbing others all together, they also usually take quite a while.

 

One thing to note, some drinks are premixed, therefore they taste as if there is no alcohol in them, if you mention this, they can either get you another drink or some bartenders were cool enough to add an extra shot, but company policy does not allow them to, if I am not mistaken. Its definitely something to keep in mind, I wish I knew which ones were premixed, I want to say the rum runner was definitely one, the blended ones usually aren't hence you see them making it in the moment.

 

Also the $50 fee covers the gratuity for the package! Hope this helps guys! any questions post them here, hope that was enough info! lol

 

 

 

 

 

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Hey guys! Hope everyone is doing well! I wanted to go ahead and share my experience with the premium package, I notice it is a question brought up by many and before my most recent trip I also had a f

Hey all!   Just got back from a seven day cruise via vision of the seas... I was following this topic because my husband and I are pretty heavy drinkers, so we were torn about getting the package o

Good review....in my opinion its always worth it unless you dont drink alcohol, or plan on having 1-2 drinks a day and never exceeding that at any point. Which doesnt sound like fun to me!..lol   Bu

Thank you very much Evantra for sharing your experience with us, can you tell me what is the $50 fee ?

No problem! when you make the purchase whether online or onboard, there is a $50 service fee included in the total cost, which basically covers the cost of gratuity for drinks which is 15%....w/o the package if you buy a drink onboard there is a 15% gratuity automatically included every time, the $50 service fee covers it for all drinks/beers/wines you get with the premium package throughout the duration of your cruise.

 

***Also wanted to add that shots are included with the premium package but there is a 10 min wait time before you can order a drink/beer/wine or another shot.

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My husband and I bought the drink package on Quantum for the 8 night cruise.  Loved it.  I tried drinks that I would not normally try.  If I didn't like it, I didn't drink it.

 

BOTTLED WATER:  Still bottled water is included but you can't drink it from the mini bar in your cabin or you will be charged.  You must get it from a bar.  They will only give you one water at a time.  So every time we went back to our cabin we stopped at a bar and got two waters - one for each package.  Each 16.9 oz bottle would have been $3 if not on the package.  That would have really added up - we drink a lot of water.

 

GRATUITY:  I had a different experience than described in the original post.  I purchased the packages on-line before the cruise and was charged a 15% service fee in addition to the advertised daily cost.  I assumed that was for the tips.

 

MAX DRINK PRICE:  We saw different information in various places about the maximum cost of a drink covered by the package.  Some literature said $10 and others said $12.  $12 was correct. 

 

BEST WINE ON QUANTUM:  The best dry red on the package is served at Vintages and Chic.  It is the Spellbound Petite Sirah.  I was disappointed that they ran out of it at Vintages on my cruise.

 

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The tip policy changed so depending on when each person bought their package you might have had different experiences.

 

Originally the package was prices as inclusive of the 15% tip, it was changed a few months back to be before the mandatory 15% tip. So now the price quoted is before they add the tip.

 

Either way if you have purchased a package it "includes" the 15% tip in the price.

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The tip policy changed so depending on when each person bought their package you might have had different experiences.

 

Originally the package was prices as inclusive of the 15% tip, it was changed a few months back to be before the mandatory 15% tip. So now the price quoted is before they add the tip.

 

Either way if you have purchased a package it "includes" the 15% tip in the price.

I think they did that to make the price seem lower, even though essentially the price didn't change much.  But you are correct that gratuity is included with the drink packages so when you order a drink, you just have to sign the receipt and you're done.

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Moncton, I disagree. If you're a beer drinker, even at the common $4.75-5.25 for a beer, you'd have to drink 10 beers each and every day to approach the package cost. I've batted this around with Matt before. I got the premium package and will never do that again. There's no way my wife and I could go through $770 worth of drinks in 7 days. LOL. It actually sounds silly to say it.

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I am wondering if anything was not included? my husband and I are big bourbon/scotch/whiskey drinkers and I would hate to pay 55 a day each and then not be able to get something we really want  

Most drinks are included.  When you look at menus, there's a handful of options that arent included but they are far and few between.  

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Moncton, I disagree. If you're a beer drinker, even at the common $4.75-5.25 for a beer, you'd have to drink 10 beers each and every day to approach the package cost. I've batted this around with Matt before. I got the premium package and will never do that again. There's no way my wife and I could go through $770 worth of drinks in 7 days. LOL. It actually sounds silly to say it.

 

Heh... not naming any names, but for some people 10 beers on a vacation is just a good start....  ;-)

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Moncton, I disagree. If you're a beer drinker, even at the common $4.75-5.25 for a beer, you'd have to drink 10 beers each and every day to approach the package cost. I've batted this around with Matt before. I got the premium package and will never do that again. There's no way my wife and I could go through $770 worth of drinks in 7 days. LOL. It actually sounds silly to say it.

 

When I was on Oasis last year my go-to evening beer onboard (a Sam Adams Double Bock) was $8.50 IIRC, and a Sierra Nevada IPA was I think $6.50.  The rum I drank neat (either Zaya or Ron Zacapa Centenario, I don't recall which one they had) was $9.75 in the dining room .  So some people could hit that daily "break even" point if they drink nicer stuff (and stay up past 10pm unlike this lightweight).

 

I don't plan on buying the drink packages for two reasons:

1) We really like port intensive itineraries, so we're not onboard most of the day to have a drink here and there, and

2) We hit Diamond level before the Oasis cruise, and now we get 3 drinks a night loaded onto our card for consumption between 5-8pm (not valid in the dining room though).

 

So for me, it's not cost effective, but I can see how it could be for others - especially those that want to try different drinks without worrying if they'll like it or not.

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Another point I'll make is this. I believe I heard Matt say this on a podcast at some point, and it actually came to my mind as I realized it was happening to me. When you board the ship, you're adreneline is flowing. You're excited as heck. I was. And I hit it,,, HARD. The next day was at sea all day, and I hit it,,, HARD. At that point I was thinking man, what a deal. All this "free" booze. I don't think I drank as much the rest of the cruise as I did those first 36 hours. By the following weekend we were sitting around drinking iced tea. I'm sure there are folks who can drink enough to make it worthwhile, but I found myself drinking just to try and get my money's worth, and I'm sure I never did.

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2) We hit Diamond level before the Oasis cruise, and now we get 3 drinks a night loaded onto our card for consumption between 5-8pm (not valid in the dining room though).

 

 

We have plenty of reason not to buy it this cruise, we have only have one sea day and we are in a suite so we have the drinks available in the Concierge Lounge.  After this cruise we will also be Diamond so we will have the three free drinks also.  BTW just grab a drink in at the bar and carry it into dinner.

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I wrote this in a related blog post but when you read you will need to drink about 5-6 drinks per day to break even, in everyone's mind you either think "Oh, that's a lot to drink" or "Oh, that isn't that many drinks" and that gut reaction is a pretty good indication who the package is good for.

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We bought the Ultimate drink package for both my wife and I on our first RCCI cruise, a 4 day Enchantment of the Seas caribbean cruise this past September. I will buy one for me on our next cruise, but not for my wife. I enjoy not having to worry about the bill and she is a light weight.

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Moncton, I disagree. If you're a beer drinker, even at the common $4.75-5.25 for a beer, you'd have to drink 10 beers each and every day to approach the package cost. I've batted this around with Matt before. I got the premium package and will never do that again. There's no way my wife and I could go through $770 worth of drinks in 7 days. LOL. It actually sounds silly to say it.

Well get the beer package then......lol. Much cheaper.....I wouldnt recomend a "everything package" to someone who doesnt drink everything...

 

$40 is the select package.. so at about $5 beer, thats 4-5 beers along with your soda package useage that makes it worth while. Plus the conveience of not paying/tipping for every drink, plus no surpises at the end of the cruise.

 

I have yet to regret ever getting the package, and have yet to meet anyone in REAL life who got it and regretted it.

 

And maybe its just that 10 drinks for me in a day when on a cruise is before my night even starts but...lol..

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I did the Royal Replenish package on the Jewel last week after having enjoyed a similar package on Celebrity. After trying it, I won't likely purchase it again. While I did break even, I felt like I was ordering that extra specialty coffee and/or soda just to make the package worthwhile. In addition, unlike Celebrity, Royal only gives you the small bottles of water rather than the larger, better water (I.e., Evian). Celebrity also gave you cans at the bar so you could take them back to your room unopened to enjoy later and/or with room service.

 

I will say that I did enjoy the Latte-tudes and the Starbucks offerings. I used that much more than the virgin drinks that were included in the package. If the soda tasted better onboard, the package may have been more worthwhile.

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I think the real takeaway on the drink packages (alcohol and otherwise) is it's all about choices. For some the security of knowing exactly what they are paying for their drinks for the whole cruise is worth the upfront money outweighs the possibility that they won't recoup the expense. For others, especially experienced cruisers, the smart play is 'pay as you go'.

 

We're cruising on Oasis in April. I'll probably buy one of the soft drink plans as we have two teenagers, and they love that carbonated sugar water....

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I think the real takeaway on the drink packages (alcohol and otherwise) is it's all about choices. For some the security of knowing exactly what they are paying for their drinks for the whole cruise is worth the upfront money outweighs the possibility that they won't recoup the expense. For others, especially experienced cruisers, the smart play is 'pay as you go'.

Well said Mark!

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We are going on the Jewel of the Seas (7 night cruise) and will not board until close to 7 pm. There is no way I can get my money's worth the first day. Can we start the package deal on day 2 and pay for 6 nights or will we still have to pay for all 7?

Thanx! 

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