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Coffee Cards- wait till ship?


CruisinUngs
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Hellllo

During some of my research I came across info about the coffee card. I read that it was usually available a few days into the cruise however I see it available now in my cruise planner.

I have heard mixed reviews about the included coffee and my husband and I LOVE our coffee. I would like to wait till we are on board to see if the included coffee will scratch our coffee itch or if we should get the premium coffee card but have some questions to see what would be our best option.

My questions are:

1. Are coffee cards available day 1 now since they are in the cruise planner? 

2. Will the coffee card have an onboard deal if you wait a few days to buy it?

3. Has anyone seen the coffee cards go “on sale” in the cruise planner?

Thanks as always!

Amanda

 

 

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@CruisinUngs I think you're confusing the coffee cards with the alcoholic drink cards. The drink cards show up later in the cruise; the coffee cards are always available.

I like to buy my things in advance to keep the charges to the onboard account low. You could also look for a Cruise Planner sale, but to be honest I don't know if the cards are ever discounted. Odds are they won't be discounted on the ship as they already offer a good value and Royal seems to be pushing for people to buy in advance and thus offering the best deals before boarding rather than onboard.

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I had bought the coffee card from the cruise planner for Brilliance last summer. I was very disappointed, The cruise planner says "card that entitles you to any 15 specialty espresso-based coffees throughout your vacation"  But, when I got my first drink, I ordered a large latte and the crew member then scratched off 3 bubbles off of my card. So it's only 15 shots total not 15 drinks! The cruise planner is misleading.

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Just now, ChefFrancisco said:

I had bought the coffee card from the cruise planner for Brilliance last summer. I was very disappointed, The cruise planner says "card that entitles you to any 15 specialty espresso-based coffees throughout your vacation"  But, when I got my first drink, I ordered a large latte and the crew member then scratched off 3 bubbles off of my card. So it's only 15 shots total not 15 drinks! The cruise planner is misleading.

Yes, there have been many complaints about that....?

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Guest toodle68

I had a better experience on Adventurer..  They only took 2 clips off when I had the starbucks equivalent of venti.. which meant I could get a large espresso for 1 clip.  Different ships, different rules..

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On 6/10/2018 at 8:40 PM, ChefFrancisco said:

I bet!, I'm never buying that ripoff again!

I think it's depends on the barista. I bought this card on Adventure and got Grande drinks, tall drinks and even a couple of venti's.

They never marked more than one spot per drink. I got multiple coffees everyday and still had 3 leftover. Sounds like you did get ripped off. I had also read that I found you got an espresso heavy drink they marked 2 . I never had that issue.

Like I said...it just depends on who you get waiting on you.  I love it and plan on buying it again when we go on Navigator in November.

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16 hours ago, Suzanne said:

I think it's depends on the barista. I bought this card on Adventure and got Grande drinks, tall drinks and even a couple of venti's.

They never marked more than one spot per drink. I got multiple coffees everyday and still had 3 leftover. Sounds like you did get ripped off. I had also read that I found you got an espresso heavy drink they marked 2 . I never had that issue.

Like I said...it just depends on who you get waiting on you.  I love it and plan on buying it again when we go on Navigator in November.

Out of curiosity, did you happen to throw an extra tip when you ordered? Like having a dollar bill or two wrapped around the card when you handed it over? I've heard / read doing things like that goes a long way with bar service to getting better treatment from the staff for things like a stronger drink, or them making sure to remember your favorites or standards; wouldn't surprise to find that also leads to a little bending of the rules around punches on the coffee card.

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The on board coffee is really awful.    Does the ship you are going on have a Starbucks?    If not get the beverage package   .  We do that and get lattes all day at Cafe Latte-Tudes.  And if there are several sea days we get the deluxe beverage package.   If there is a Starbucks we get the coffee cards.  Have never  ever seen a deal  on the coffee cards.   And the beverage packages don`t include Starbucks.  One of many money making perks for R.C.    Like others have stated get them now to keep on board expenses down.   Would rather see Dunkin Donuts coffee than Starbucks.  

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I did notice that in the card description in the above post it says the vendi and grande size will cost 2 punches if they tried to punch 3 on me I would be wearing someones ear out in guest services you must be careful with the charges as well get a print out of charges every day I booked a massage on the oasis way in advance of the cruise at a substantial discount I went at my appointed time the next day I looked at my charges the girl at the desk in the spa had refunded my original cruise planner discount price and recharged me at the regular rack price which is much higher took about 2 hours and a parade of officers but they straightened it out stating glad you caught this while on the ship it would have been much more difficult to fix once the cruise is over

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On 6/17/2018 at 11:39 AM, JLMoran said:

Out of curiosity, did you happen to throw an extra tip when you ordered? Like having a dollar bill or two wrapped around the card when you handed it over? I've heard / read doing things like that goes a long way with bar service to getting better treatment from the staff for things like a stronger drink, or them making sure to remember your favorites or standards; wouldn't surprise to find that also leads to a little bending of the rules around punches on the coffee card.

I didn't but I will do that next time.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 7/1/2018 at 10:28 AM, Roberta said:

So...I don’t see a coffee card as an option on my upcoming cruise, I see drink packages but no coffee card.   Does that mean it’s not available on the Explorer or do I need to search some hidden menu?

I'd be patient; items come and go at will in the Cruise Planner.  For months, ALL I had in my beverages tab was the coffee card and Evian package.  Nothing else.  Then all of a sudden options.  I've had items appear, disappear, then come back again.  There has never been a sale on them on my May sailing and none for my up coming sailings either.  So it won't cost you more on the boat. 

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I used the coffee card on Empress and Brilliance. On Empress, you use it primarily at the Cuban coffee bar just inside the entrance to Boleros on Deck 6. On Brilliance, you use it primarily at Cafe Latitudes on Deck 5 in the Centrum. I really enjoyed the coffee card on Empress. Since the coffee bar on that ship is special, the drinks are special...especially the cafecitos. Also, the empanadas are quite tasty, but that is beside the point. On Brilliance, I thought it was a waste of time and money. I didn't want the drinks they made with it enough to use all the punches. I thought the crew were going through the motions, really. It was just ok, and they limited me to one shot of espresso per punch which was not what I recalled from Empress. On Empress, I recall one punch per drink, and the drinks the crew made were really yummy.

As a result, personally, I would only consider that coffee card on Empress and not on any other ship. You can make a good coffee drink with the drip coffee and a dollop of soft serve from the pool or Windjammer to scratch that itch.

I am pretty sure the cards are the same price on board as on the Cruise Planner. I have never seen them on sale in the CP or discounted on board.

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  • 2 weeks later...

What is included in the card?  Does it include the frozen style coffee drinks like the Frappauchinos?  I bought this for my daughter and her friends (18 yr olds) to satisfy their iced coffee urges.  Will this work for that type of drink? We are on anthem next week.

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3 hours ago, jzing said:

What is included in the card?  Does it include the frozen style coffee drinks like the Frappauchinos?  I bought this for my daughter and her friends (18 yr olds) to satisfy their iced coffee urges.  Will this work for that type of drink? We are on anthem next week.

As long as the beverage is made with espresso and not regular coffee, it will be covered. Because of this, I'm not 100% sure about the frapuccino-style beverages; at least with my local Starbucks, those are made with coffee, not espresso (unless you ask to add a shot), but the ships may prepare them with espresso instead. I'd recommend asking one of the workers there first before ordering, just to be safe.

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4 hours ago, jzing said:

I bought this for my daughter and her friends (18 yr olds) to satisfy their iced coffee urges.  Will this work for that type of drink? We are on anthem next week.

Yes, it will cover any specialty coffee that has an extra charge.  Frappuchino, macchiato, lattee, etc.  

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've been researching the coffee card for our upcoming trip on Freedom of the Seas ... the tiny print (i.e. Additional Conditions apply) on the Cruise Planner says the card CANNOT be used at Starbucks (darn - I'm a Starbucks junkie).  So exactly where IS the card used?  Are the specialty coffees offered on board better than Starbucks?

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Just now, Dolores said:

Are the specialty coffees offered on board better than Starbucks? 

Of course it will always be a matter or taste and opinion  -  but I drink Starbucks a lot, it's right next to my building at work. I'm drinking it as I type. I only go to Cafe Promenade - I was happy every time. I don't remember the brand they used.

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I'm not a coffee aficionado (personally, I value the caffeine and the vanilla/hazelnut, and couldn't care less about the other high-falutin' stuff) but if I was, I would take all the above comments very seriously, and this is what I'd do: I would not get a coffee card until I was aboard. Then I'd get my favorite coffee, even though there's no discount. Then, IF I liked it, I would talk to the barista about that ship's policy for how many punches each coffee will cost me. If I still thought that the coffee card was worth it, I'd give the barista a nice tip and ask what her on-duty hours are.

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  • 11 months later...
14 hours ago, Neat said:

I know it's a coffee card but does anyone know if you can purchase chai latte & hot chocolate with this card?

My wife had a chai latte on one ship (I bought it with the punch card), but we didn't see it offered in Cafe Promenade on the Harmony -- it was plainly omitted from the posted menu.  That said, we didn't ask the barista.  My point is that it might depend upon the ship.

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16 hours ago, Neat said:

I know it's a coffee card but does anyone know if you can purchase chai latte & hot chocolate with this card?

I'm pretty sure if it's on the menu, excluding any that contain liquor are included. Just be advised that larger sizes or extra shots will require additional punches.

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The secret is to make friends with your barista. A good tip with your first purchase always helps.

I have bought 2 coffee cards and never had an issue. I have bought all sized drinks and only had one punch for each purchase. It depends on your barista. When we were on Oasis, which has a Starbucks, I used my card there multiple times a day...no problem.  I did learn you cannot use your Starbucks app unfortunately, so you can’t earn stars with onboard purchases.  ?

The coffee cards are also transferable between ships. I had one with 4 punches left and saved it and brought it on my next cruise 8 months later and used it no problem. I haven’t seen them go on sale in the cruise planner, but I did the math if I purchased my 2 or 3....ok 4 coffees a day and the coffee card came out as a better deal.

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On 7/26/2018 at 8:44 AM, Dolores said:

I've been researching the coffee card for our upcoming trip on Freedom of the Seas ... the tiny print (i.e. Additional Conditions apply) on the Cruise Planner says the card CANNOT be used at Starbucks (darn - I'm a Starbucks junkie).  So exactly where IS the card used?  Are the specialty coffees offered on board better than Starbucks?

If my understanding is correct. There is not a free-standing Starbucks on Freedom. So i believe it can be used at Cafe Promenade which I think uses starbucks coffee. I could be confused. I just know I went with the Deluxe drink package so I wouldn't have to worry. ?

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4 hours ago, pezgirl said:

If my understanding is correct. There is not a free-standing Starbucks on Freedom. So i believe it can be used at Cafe Promenade which I think uses Starbucks coffee.

@pezgirl is correct that there is no free-standing Starbucks kiosk on Freedom, so you'll be buying all coffee from Cafe Promenade on deck 5 forward. Will note that at least when I sailed Freedom in April 2018, the coffee used was Illy rather than Starbucks brand. I found it perfectly fine and actually better-tasting than the typical Starbucks medium roast (which I find to be over-roasted and burned-tasting, but when there's no full Starbucks on board you can forget about finding blonde roast options).

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On 7/19/2019 at 5:40 PM, JLMoran said:

@pezgirl is correct that there is no free-standing Starbucks kiosk on Freedom, so you'll be buying all coffee from Cafe Promenade on deck 5 forward. Will note that at least when I sailed Freedom in April 2018, the coffee used was Illy rather than Starbucks brand. I found it perfectly fine and actually better-tasting than the typical Starbucks medium roast (which I find to be over-roasted and burned-tasting, but when there's no full Starbucks on board you can forget about finding blonde roast options).

I prefer Illy to Starbucks as well.  I am just hoping that there will be iced chai lattes (which I think there are).  I never treat myself to one so with my deluxe package that will be a daily treat. Only one more week. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
2 hours ago, jayde43 said:

Hi all ?

Does anyone know how much the cost of a cappuccino with almond milk is?   Trying to work out if it is worth it buy the card or just buy a coffee each day?  Thanks in advance ? 

From searching the menus the highest price I'm seeing (for the large sizes) is in the $4.50 range.  The smalls are $3.00-$3.50ish  They charge $1 extra for soy milk and I'm not seeing the almond milk offering listed on the menu.  Doesn't mean that they don't have it, but they may or may not on your particular ship.

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  • 5 weeks later...

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