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After posting our concerns about the deluxe drink package..we called RCL once again.

Due to medical reasons..(chemo treatments) my wife cannot drink and thus being forced to buy 2 drink packages is prohibitive

We were told that she wouldn't have to buy the drink package..but WOULD have to purchase one of the other packages

The soda..water..etc..is $20/ day...Has anyone else been told the same?..

That would still bring our total to about $900 for a 12 day cruise out of Baltimore..

 

THAT IS INSANE!!!....As diamond members we expected more from RCL

 

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The reason I personally get worked up about it was that it wasn't always like that and I'm a rule follower. It's just my nature and I hate having to do ANYTHING because other people didn't follow the

They don't have to actually swap cabins, just arrange names then adjust it on board so spouses stay together. But here we go down the rabbit hole again,  finding ways to circumvent the policy.

Personally I don’t understand the controversy. Everyone knows the reason why they did this.  They aren’t alone. Other cruise lines have the same policy. I used to buy a pkg for myself and not my wife.

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I saw your original post - I'm not surprised you received a different response when you called back. 

Yes, this seems typical. My mother-in-law does not drink at all, and my father-in-law was interested in purchasing an alcohol package. After discussing with Royal, they told my MIL that she would have to buy the Refreshment package if her husband bought the Deluxe drink package. 

I agree - I'm disappointed by the changes to the drink packages. However, it seems that due to the amount of people sharing the packages is basically the reason we can't have nice things. I do know many are frustrated by this policy change, but I get it to a point.

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13 minutes ago, ellcee said:

If you're a Diamond member don't you get 3 free at night? Maybe the drink package isn't worth it for you with the free drinks...just pay as you go?

+1 for this. Between that and being allowed to bring 2 bottles of wine on board, I'd hope that could cover a good amount of any alcohol-based drinking you might be doing. Then you could get 2 refreshment packages if desired, or just go with the complimentary beverages.

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51 minutes ago, D Murphy said:

We were told that she wouldn't have to buy the drink package..but WOULD have to purchase one of the other packages

The soda..water..etc..is $20/ day...Has anyone else been told the same?..

That appears to be the line these days.

 

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1 hour ago, KLAconQueso said:

I wonder if there's enough feedback on this if Royal would be willing to take on medical requests on a case-by-case basis with the policy.

I'm assuming they would never go there as people will likely abuse that too.  Look the at support animal trend right now...

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1 hour ago, ellcee said:

100% insane and insensitive in some cases.

If you're a Diamond member don't you get 3 free at night? Maybe the drink package isn't worth it for you with the free drinks...just pay as you go?

I've already told hubby that once we hit diamond next year, we're done with the drink package.  He doesn't drink anything so it's not worth it for us.

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Discussing medical issues with guests introduces HIPPA laws and compliance.  The real issue here is social media.  Someone figures out they can claim medical or something else and get around the policy then social media explodes with "how to circumvent the drink policy".  No company can ask for proof of medical or dig into medical details without running into HIPPA, so they are left with little choice.  The same people that created this issue by sharing the drink package are the same ones doing everything they can to circumvent the policy and cheat.  That leaves Royal with few options.  Requiring the Replenish package is a compromise.

RCI simply fell in line with NCL and Carnival who has had this policy for years.    It's hard to single out RCI and claim they are being outrageous with this policy when the other cruise lines always have had the same policy.  

My diamond status is irrelevant to the issue but honestly since achieving diamond I haven't felt inclined to buy the drink package.  A beer and frozen something each day comes to around $20.  Free drinks during diamond happy hour plus a couple drinks during the day is like having a drink package that cost $20 per day. 

On 12 night cruises I never did the drink package before making diamond - drink fatigue kicks in around day 7 for me.  Many days I only drink in the evenings so diamond happy hour is a game changer.  On a recent 9 night cruise even the diamond happy hour started into drink fatigue territory towards the end.

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Personally I don’t understand the controversy. Everyone knows the reason why they did this.  They aren’t alone. Other cruise lines have the same policy. I used to buy a pkg for myself and not my wife. Now I can’t do that. It’s their ship and MY choice. So, now I don’t get any pkgs, go a la carte, and there’s NO WAY my bar tab will be anywhere near the cost of 2 pkgs. 

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12 minutes ago, Michael Vitale said:

Personally I don’t understand the controversy. Everyone knows the reason why they did this.  They aren’t alone. Other cruise lines have the same policy. I used to buy a pkg for myself and not my wife. Now I can’t do that. It’s their ship and MY choice. So, now I don’t get any pkgs, go a la carte, and there’s NO WAY my bar tab will be anywhere near the cost of 2 pkgs. 

This is the case for myself too. My wife rarely drinks (heck she has lowered my tolerance too lol) and it was worth it for myself but not when I have to buy too. I understand it but this trip I got the refreshment package because I still can get most things and go al la carte for the liquor and it's still only 1 person needing it. We'll bring 2 bottles of wine for her and that should last her the whole cruise.

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I know it can be frustrating partially for fear of the unknown.  Some like to know the total cost of the cruise in advance and are worried about a big surprise bill at the end.   Our first measurement is to look at how many port days vs cruising days you have.  Then are those ports ones you are going to get off the ship for or not.  Finally in my spouses case when she does have a drink she just wants a glass of wine.  Since we can bring 2 bottles on we simply have the room steward deliver a couple glasses to our stateroom  and she pours a nice glass of wine to take with her to dinner or the show.  Drink fatigue sets in pretty quickly for me so even if I may exceed the first couple of days there is no way I'm going to pass the cost of 2 drink packages.  That said we moving up to a cruise on Allure this fall and we are really seeing the ship as the destination.  So we plan to spend a majority of our time on ship so we are buying the drink package.  Hope this helps

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On the Navigator last week we saw a man buy 3 drinks at different times and take it to his son (I assume) either way that is why they have to do this. We are certainly not diamond members but I bought my wife the refreshment package because she can’t drink personal reasons. I get it and have no problem our last Carnival cruise they would not even do that. 

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On 2/7/2018 at 7:38 AM, ellcee said:

If you're a Diamond member don't you get 3 free at night? Maybe the drink package isn't worth it for you with the free drinks...just pay as you go?

Plus as a Diamond you get to go to the Diamond lounge if the ship has one, but I don't drink so basically my wife gets 6 drinks per night plus the diamond lounge.

On Allure in October they didn't have the wine that my wife liked in the diamond lounge, so the Diamond Concierge found what she liked and had it in the lounge from that night forward, she got a good tip at the end of the week.

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I am struggling with the drink package.  My daughter is absolutely for getting it but I am not sure we would spend that much on alcohol and the non-alcoholic drinks we would want.  We have 2 sea days and 2 port days.  I can see spending that much (currently $50 pp) on our sea days but not sure about the port days.  It would be nice to have it all paid in advance but I'm not sure how I would feel about having it overpaid in advance.

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40 minutes ago, Pooch said:

I am struggling with the drink package.  My daughter is absolutely for getting it but I am not sure we would spend that much on alcohol and the non-alcoholic drinks we would want.  We have 2 sea days and 2 port days.  I can see spending that much (currently $50 pp) on our sea days but not sure about the port days.  It would be nice to have it all paid in advance but I'm not sure how I would feel about having it overpaid in advance.

Is this your first cruise?  Why don't you test it out and skip it this time and keep track of how much you spend and then you will know for next time if it's worth it or not.  We did not start getting the package until about 3 cruises in.  

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28 minutes ago, Pooch said:

I am struggling with the drink package.  My daughter is absolutely for getting it but I am not sure we would spend that much on alcohol and the non-alcoholic drinks we would want.  We have 2 sea days and 2 port days.  I can see spending that much (currently $50 pp) on our sea days but not sure about the port days.  It would be nice to have it all paid in advance but I'm not sure how I would feel about having it overpaid in advance.

All valid concerns.  I've cruised with a package and without.  Even on port days a mimosa in the morning, wine at dinner, cocktail in the evening, specialty coffee, bottled water to take off the ship on your excursion, it adds up pretty quickly. 

No shame in not doing it this time to see how it works out in preparation for next time.

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10 minutes ago, twangster said:

All valid concerns.  I've cruised with a package and without.  Even on port days a mimosa in the morning, wine at dinner, cocktail in the evening, specialty coffee, bottled water to take off the ship on your excursion, it adds up pretty quickly. 

No shame in not doing it this time to see how it works out in preparation for next time.

Now that I can enjoy the Diamond Lounge with my SO, I'm wondering if our beverage package should be cancelled... but then you reminded me between the mimosas, at least 6 beers he will drink at the pool, dinner drinks, and after dinner drinks.. it might be worth keeping! :3_grin:

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1 minute ago, HLWIser said:

Now that I can enjoy the Diamond Lounge with my SO, I'm wondering if our beverage package should be cancelled... but then you reminded me between the mimosas, at least 6 beers he will drink at the pool, dinner drinks, and after dinner drinks.. it might be worth keeping! :3_grin:

Diamond access is a game changer, at least when I'm solo.  Do you keep pace with him during the day? 

If you both drink 6 beers each day (plus other drinks) that's one thing.  If he drinks 6 and you drink 2 that changes the math at least for a married couple paying from the same bank account.    

There are often 10 drink cards or 10 draft beer cards offered on some cruises starting mid-cruise.  The savings amount to a few bucks per drink but perhaps those would fill in the gaps between diamond happy hours.  

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