Drink package on Royal Caribbean, worth it?

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indexonlyplease
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Re: Drink package on Royal Caribbean, worth it?

Post by indexonlyplease » Wed Mar 21, 2018 8:10 pm

I don't drink that much at home either. But when on vacation and on a ship, I drink more than normal. So the package is worth it. Sitting aroung the pool having unlimited drinks. Now that is vacation.

But if you have young kid that is a different situation. Then you have to drink responsible. Dam, not easy being a parent.

dknightd
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Re: Drink package on Royal Caribbean, worth it?

Post by dknightd » Wed Mar 21, 2018 8:24 pm

guess I'll buy the drink package ;)

ETadvisor
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Re: Drink package on Royal Caribbean, worth it?

Post by ETadvisor » Wed Mar 21, 2018 8:34 pm

michaeljc70 wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 8:01 pm
dknightd wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 7:56 pm
This is an interesting question. We might take a cruise one day.
I prefer beer, but am OK with vodka and fruit (orange or grapefruit preferred) juice. Shots would be fine. Wife likes tea (herbal) and lime coke.
I was thinking we'd smuggle on a couple bottles of vodka, and a box of tea bags.
Is this not a good idea? Do they search luggage?
Always tip ;)
If you go to CruiseCritic.com, they cover this very extensively. They do X-ray luggage coming on board. There are things called rum runners (available on Amazon and elsewhere) that are made of flexible plastic (think IV bag) and generally go undetected by the X-ray machines. But then you have to think about mixers.....juices are generally only available at breakfast from what I've seen.
Drink it neat :D

mikemagz11
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Re: Drink package on Royal Caribbean, worth it?

Post by mikemagz11 » Wed Mar 21, 2018 8:56 pm

dknightd wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 7:56 pm
This is an interesting question. We might take a cruise one day.
I prefer beer, but am OK with vodka and fruit (orange or grapefruit preferred) juice. Shots would be fine. Wife likes tea (herbal) and lime coke.
I was thinking we'd smuggle on a couple bottles of vodka, and a box of tea bags.
Is this not a good idea? Do they search luggage?
Always tip ;)
I believe thy check and send them through scanners like at an airport. You may be able to get away with it but who knows. We used to bring clear bags called rum runners filled with alcohol. IV bags would work too if you could get them. If you drink mostly beer, you could do the beer and wine package. It's cheaper, like $35-40 a day and includes soda and maybe the speciality coffees but I can't remember. Also getting bottled water included is huge.

nolesrule
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Re: Drink package on Royal Caribbean, worth it?

Post by nolesrule » Wed Mar 21, 2018 9:30 pm

michaeljc70 wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 7:30 pm
nolesrule wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 7:00 pm
michaeljc70 wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 6:28 pm
One thing I'll add is the drink packages seems very expensive because you are paying for it all at once. Assuming you'll use it enough, I was sort of glad to pay before I got on the ship and not have to think about it the whole vacation. Otherwise, especially if you are a Boglehead, you might be thinking every time you want a drink "do I really want to spend $10 for a drink now?" I bought it, forgot about the cost, and enjoyed myself. Of course, I didn't go crazy because it was already paid for.
There are two kinds of people when it comes to the drink packages:

1) The set it and forget it types who buy it and just enjoy not having to think about every drink purchase. They are just happy because they won't be thinking about the looming bar bill at the end of the cruise
2) The people who spend the entire cruise trying to get their money's worth. They either end up drinking way too much or are tracking their drinks to make sure they got their money's worth.
True. But if you enjoy fresh squeezed juices, bottled water, specialty coffees, soft drinks, wine, cocktails and martinis, you don't have to be bombed to get your money's worth. If you like getting bombed all the time, then you know what is going to happen.

I know the OP asked about RC, but I will tell you on my last Celebrity cruise (last Dec) we purchased one drink package (which is allowed). It was a fluke due to a problem with their system (I bought one and then due to an issue couldn't buy the 2nd pre-cruise). We tipped heavily the first day (and ongoing too). We only paid for 2 drinks the entire cruise (besides the 1 package). They always ran both drinks through the card with the package (we presented both room cards and didn't pretend to order one drink and then another). We did not ask them to do so. And this was probably 5 different bartenders. We sat with a couple that employed a similar strategy of tipping heavily with no drink package. It is not different than on land- people want tips.
Yup. I said earlier to take the non-alcoholic drinks into account.

There was a time not too many years ago when Royal Caribbean had multiple drink packages, and only the most expensive one came with the non-alcoholic drinks included. We did the drink package once, and it was just too much for me. I only have a couple drinks at night. Now that we're Diamond in C&A, I can get those for free.

I haven't been on Celebrity yet...been thinking about it though.

delamer
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Re: Drink package on Royal Caribbean, worth it?

Post by delamer » Wed Mar 21, 2018 9:52 pm

michaeljc70 wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 6:05 pm
Interesting comments. There are all kinds of threads about spending on first class air travel, very expensive cars, exotic vacations, hobbies, etc. Usually people say if you can afford it and enjoy it, do it. It seems some people that don't enjoy drinking cannot fathom someone else enjoying it on vacation no less.
My observation is that just about any time someone talks about spending money on non-necessities that there are naysayers and supporters. Buy a Lexus; no, buy a beater. Stay in a 4-star hotel; no, go camping. Buy a Rolex; no, buy a Timex. Hire a lawn service; no, cut your grass with cuticle scissors. :wink:

It is just the nature of this forum — while most share a LBYM and low-cost investing philosophy, there is a wide variation in lifestyles and habits.

GuyInFL
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Re: Drink package on Royal Caribbean, worth it?

Post by GuyInFL » Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:51 pm

Just returned from a Celebrity Cruise. Prepaid Gratuities and the middle drink package were thrown in.
I've been on several cruises before and never had a drink package thrown in. If it was free, it wouldn't have been worth $55 each (plus gratuities) for my wife and me.
Since it was thrown in, it was great!

curmudgeon
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Re: Drink package on Royal Caribbean, worth it?

Post by curmudgeon » Wed Mar 21, 2018 11:09 pm

GuyInFL wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:51 pm
Just returned from a Celebrity Cruise. Prepaid Gratuities and the middle drink package were thrown in.
I've been on several cruises before and never had a drink package thrown in. If it was free, it wouldn't have been worth $55 each (plus gratuities) for my wife and me.
Since it was thrown in, it was great!
Last year we were on a Celebrity cruise with similar package included. My take was similar to yours; I wouldn't have paid full price for it, but it was convenient.

I was on a Norwegian cruise recently, and they threw in the drink package. But they charged 20% gratuity on the list price of the package ($89/day!). And they didn't include specialty coffee/tea, or bottled water, and the included wine price limit was fairly low. Would have been a complete ripoff to pay list price, and as a light drinker, I'm not sure it was worth even the $18/day mandatory tip charge on the package. I knew Norwegian was a bottom-end cruise line, but they were the only itinerary that fit what we were doing. I doubt if I will go on one of their ships again (for this and other reasons).

London
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Re: Drink package on Royal Caribbean, worth it?

Post by London » Thu Mar 22, 2018 7:21 am

For what it's worth, I snuck an entire case of beer onto a cruise. The way to do it is to buy the 16oz plastic bottles and lines them around the suitcase standing upright. They won't scan. Then I just put it on ice in the room.

That said, I did make a mistake in that I brought Miller Lite not realizing they don't sell it on the ship.

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bottlecap
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Re: Drink package on Royal Caribbean, worth it?

Post by bottlecap » Thu Mar 22, 2018 7:42 am

Not worth it for 3 drinks a day.

Also realize that a few days into the cruise, RC usually sells drink cards that let you get 10 drinks for $40 or $50 bucks.

Have fun, it’s a great cruise line.

JT

nolesrule
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Re: Drink package on Royal Caribbean, worth it?

Post by nolesrule » Thu Mar 22, 2018 7:44 am

GuyInFL wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:51 pm
Just returned from a Celebrity Cruise. Prepaid Gratuities and the middle drink package were thrown in.
I've been on several cruises before and never had a drink package thrown in. If it was free, it wouldn't have been worth $55 each (plus gratuities) for my wife and me.
Since it was thrown in, it was great!
It wasn't thrown in.

Celebrity has "pick your perks" promotions. But if you price out the cruise without the promotion, it's cheaper. Of course that usually requires a TA with access to the booking engine to find out what the non-promo price is.

So you end up paying for it one way or the other. I was just reading about this misunderstanding on CruiseCritic yesterday.

delamer
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Re: Drink package on Royal Caribbean, worth it?

Post by delamer » Thu Mar 22, 2018 10:14 am

curmudgeon wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 11:09 pm
GuyInFL wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:51 pm
Just returned from a Celebrity Cruise. Prepaid Gratuities and the middle drink package were thrown in.
I've been on several cruises before and never had a drink package thrown in. If it was free, it wouldn't have been worth $55 each (plus gratuities) for my wife and me.
Since it was thrown in, it was great!
Last year we were on a Celebrity cruise with similar package included. My take was similar to yours; I wouldn't have paid full price for it, but it was convenient.

I was on a Norwegian cruise recently, and they threw in the drink package. But they charged 20% gratuity on the list price of the package ($89/day!). And they didn't include specialty coffee/tea, or bottled water, and the included wine price limit was fairly low. Would have been a complete ripoff to pay list price, and as a light drinker, I'm not sure it was worth even the $18/day mandatory tip charge on the package. I knew Norwegian was a bottom-end cruise line, but they were the only itinerary that fit what we were doing. I doubt if I will go on one of their ships again (for this and other reasons).
Yep, we ended up turning down a “free”drink package on NCL because the tip cost for the package was more than we’d have spent on drinks.

GuyInFL
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Re: Drink package on Royal Caribbean, worth it?

Post by GuyInFL » Thu Mar 22, 2018 7:54 pm

So you end up paying for it one way or the other. I was just reading about this misunderstanding on CruiseCritic yesterday.
Wow, I've not seen that. I though my Cruise price was pretty good. I wonder what it would have been without the 'throw ins'.
FWIW, Celebrity includes the gratuities on their 'Pick a Perk' drink packages.

nolesrule
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Re: Drink package on Royal Caribbean, worth it?

Post by nolesrule » Thu Mar 22, 2018 8:05 pm

GuyInFL wrote:
Thu Mar 22, 2018 7:54 pm
So you end up paying for it one way or the other. I was just reading about this misunderstanding on CruiseCritic yesterday.
Wow, I've not seen that. I though my Cruise price was pretty good. I wonder what it would have been without the 'throw ins'.
FWIW, Celebrity includes the gratuities on their 'Pick a Perk' drink packages.
Don't worry about it. If you're happy with the what you get for the price, that's really all that matters. My advice is to book a cruise at a price you are okay with. Prices fluctuate with supply and demand, and also with applicable promotions. I read a lot about people moaning about price drops after final payment is due (if a cabin category hasn't sold well), and they can't get the lower price. But they were okay with the price they paid at the time they locked it in, so way peak at prices later when there's nothing they can do about it?

michaeljc70
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Re: Drink package on Royal Caribbean, worth it?

Post by michaeljc70 » Thu Mar 22, 2018 8:24 pm

GuyInFL wrote:
Thu Mar 22, 2018 7:54 pm
So you end up paying for it one way or the other. I was just reading about this misunderstanding on CruiseCritic yesterday.
Wow, I've not seen that. I though my Cruise price was pretty good. I wonder what it would have been without the 'throw ins'.
FWIW, Celebrity includes the gratuities on their 'Pick a Perk' drink packages.
I got to pick two perk options on my Celebrity I am taking in November. I got many quotes and they were all higher and some didn't include the perks. They like to give the perks rather than lower the price because the perks cost them much less than cash.

Bastiat
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Re: Drink package on Royal Caribbean, worth it?

Post by Bastiat » Thu Mar 22, 2018 9:24 pm

I went on my first cruise last summer and did not get the drink package; definitely the right choice for us. We went down to the Caribbean and only had one day at sea with 5 port calls. At least half of our excursions included as much rum punch as you could drink, so we got plenty to drink between that and the two bottles of wine we brought on board. We only paid for a few drinks on the ship.

Neither of us drink soda or any sugary drink much at all, so we mostly drank from water bottles we brought with us when not at meals.

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msi
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Re: Drink package on Royal Caribbean, worth it?

Post by msi » Sat Mar 24, 2018 4:05 am

We've never paid for it on Royal Caribbean, but we did get it as part of a bundle with NCL, and it's nice to have. At 2-3 drinks/day, it doesn't make financial sense, but... you're on vacation, and it's pretty easy to drink more than that. At least on days when you're at sea.

If you don't buy it, keep an eye out for the drink specials. They also give out free champagne on formal night.

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F150HD
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Re: Drink package on Royal Caribbean, worth it?

Post by F150HD » Sat Mar 24, 2018 7:19 am

ChinchillaWhiplash wrote:
Tue Mar 20, 2018 8:04 pm
Is it worth paying for the drink package on their cruises? We don't drink a lot. At most, probably 2-3 mixed drinks, wine, or beer a day x 2 for my wife and myself. Have 2 kids that would probably like some sodas since they don't get them at home.
you may want to state specifically what the 'drink package' costs or includes. is it just liquor/beer etc? soda? juice? milk?

Ron
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Re: Drink package on Royal Caribbean, worth it?

Post by Ron » Sat Mar 24, 2018 11:03 am

If they didn't make money on the package, they would not offer it.

Sounds like a food/restaurant deal I had decades ago when I took the family to Disney World. Wound up making early morning reservations for lunch/dinner every day to ensure we could get into the most expensive restaurants in order to get a return on our "investment". As it was, wound up eating much more than we would normally do, at places where we sometimes did not care for the menu/food. It wasn't worth it, IMHO.

- Ron

michaeljc70
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Re: Drink package on Royal Caribbean, worth it?

Post by michaeljc70 » Sat Mar 24, 2018 11:45 am

Ron wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 11:03 am
If they didn't make money on the package, they would not offer it.

Sounds like a food/restaurant deal I had decades ago when I took the family to Disney World. Wound up making early morning reservations for lunch/dinner every day to ensure we could get into the most expensive restaurants in order to get a return on our "investment". As it was, wound up eating much more than we would normally do, at places where we sometimes did not care for the menu/food. It wasn't worth it, IMHO.

- Ron
It is like insurance. Of course net-net they make money on it. Some people they make more and some they make less or none (compared to buying drinks individually).

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Pajamas
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Re: Drink package on Royal Caribbean, worth it?

Post by Pajamas » Sat Mar 24, 2018 11:48 am

I have been thinking about this. Have you considered getting the drink package and then drinking as much as you can every day? Then you will have something to talk about for years to come.

Plenty of people do that, but it will be out of character for you and might open up a whole new way of living your life.

michaeljc70
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Re: Drink package on Royal Caribbean, worth it?

Post by michaeljc70 » Sat Mar 24, 2018 11:59 am

If you are drinking mixed drinks, one thing to consider is the drinks generally are not very strong so you may wind up drinking more (in quantity) than you are used to. I found that to be particularly true on NCL. I started asking for a margarita and then a shot of tequila separately that I poured into the margarita. And no, I was never bombed or looking to be. I also didn't want to be drinking just mixers. I actually took a picture of a pour of tequila as I was shocked at how small it was. That is how much alcohol they were putting in drinks.

Image
Last edited by michaeljc70 on Sat Mar 24, 2018 12:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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MP123
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Re: Drink package on Royal Caribbean, worth it?

Post by MP123 » Sat Mar 24, 2018 12:07 pm

michaeljc70 wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 11:59 am
If you are drinking mixed drinks, one thing to consider is the drinks generally are not very strong so you may wind up drinking more than you are used to. I found that to be particularly true on NCL. I started asking for a margarita and then a shot of tequila separately that I poured into the margarita. And no, I was never bombed or looking to be. I also didn't want to be drinking just mixers. I actually took a picture of a pour of tequila as I was shocked at how small it was. That is how much alcohol they were putting in drinks.

Image
And that's probably a $15 pour too, right?

michaeljc70
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Re: Drink package on Royal Caribbean, worth it?

Post by michaeljc70 » Sat Mar 24, 2018 12:11 pm

MP123 wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 12:07 pm
michaeljc70 wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 11:59 am
If you are drinking mixed drinks, one thing to consider is the drinks generally are not very strong so you may wind up drinking more than you are used to. I found that to be particularly true on NCL. I started asking for a margarita and then a shot of tequila separately that I poured into the margarita. And no, I was never bombed or looking to be. I also didn't want to be drinking just mixers. I actually took a picture of a pour of tequila as I was shocked at how small it was. That is how much alcohol they were putting in drinks.

Image
And that's probably a $15 pour too, right?
I'm not sure since I had the package, but I would guess $9 + 17% gratuity.

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