Is a beverage package a good deal?

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#1
West Des Moines, Iowa
3 Posts
Joined Oct 2011
I will be sailing on the Reflection on 1/19/13. This is my first Celebrity cruise. I have cruised multiple times on Carnival, RCCL, NCL, HAL and Princess. This is the first cruise that has offered a beverage package. I am trying to determine if a beverage package makes sense for me. I am not a big drinker, but like to have a few onboard.

What is the pricing of onboard drinks, like domestic & import beers, house cocktails and inexpensive wine?

Anyone have any experiences to share?
#2
Quito, Ecuador
1,796 Posts
Joined Feb 2009
Originally posted by sundeckpatrol
I will be sailing on the Reflection on 1/19/13. This is my first Celebrity cruise. I have cruised multiple times on Carnival, RCCL, NCL, HAL and Princess. This is the first cruise that has offered a beverage package. I am trying to determine if a beverage package makes sense for me. I am not a big drinker, but like to have a few onboard.

What is the pricing of onboard drinks, like domestic & import beers, house cocktails and inexpensive wine?

Anyone have any experiences to share?
You can log onto your account on Celebrity and see the pkg prices for your cruise.
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#3
West Hollywood, Ca
1,621 Posts
Joined Oct 2011
I doesn't work for me, because I don't drink during the day and only drink wine in the evenings.
Figure the average drink is $8. Figure out how many you would have to drink daily to break even or come out ahead. 5-6. Your water would be free, that's $5 per liter.
The premium package? Same math, figure drinks 8-12$ each.
Lastly , I prefer to find a wine I like that is reasonably priced and buy it buy the bottle. The wines offered by the glass are pretty bad.
The drink package isn't always helpful in that regard ( sometimes you can find a cooperative bartender in Cellar Masters, the wine bar )
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#4
1,655 Posts
Joined Jun 2011
You can always buy it onboad after a day or two. See what your spend is and decide if it works for you and then make your decision. Cost will be prorated to remaining days.
#5
TRENTON MI USA
6,033 Posts
Joined Oct 2002
It is only a good deal if you plan on drinking enough to exceed the daily fee. You can always justify it by having a lot of drinks that you may not normally purchase such bottled water, premium coffee drinks, juices and etc.

As suggested try a pay as you go for a few days and if you feel it is worth it you can always purchase it for the remaining days of the cruise.
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#6
Kent, UK
1,804 Posts
Joined Jun 2005
The premium alcohol package really worked for me particularly as Peroni beer wasn't available in the basic package
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#7
Huntington,WV and Backus, MN by way of Canada
676 Posts
Joined Dec 2012
How much did you spend on booze, coffee etc on your other cruises ? If it was over 50 a day per person the it is a good deal, it is pretty easy to figure out. My wife and I know it is a good deal for us, actually that package is one of the reasons we chose Celebrity for our 2nd cruise.
#8
Prescott Ontario
335 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
Let's say that you try to calculate what your daily consumption of liquor, wine, soft drinks and specialty coffees might be and it's a little less than the cost of the drink package. That was the case for us, but we bought the standard package anyway. Here's why: we knew in advance exactly what to expect on our credit card at the end of the cruise, so we didn't have to worry about having a second club soda at lunch or a third glass of wine or another liqueur after dinner. It also helped us to get to know the bar staff who, once you were a regular became more friendly and more generous with their pour. In fact, one bartender switched us over to a 12 year old scotch from the standard stuff allowed by our package.

Next cruise is in April. I think we'll buy the package again, even though we're Elite for the first time.

George +
#9
Huntington,WV and Backus, MN by way of Canada
676 Posts
Joined Dec 2012
One other thing to consider is how many sea days you have, our cruise has 3 sea days so it is worth it. Another cruise we were considering only had 1 sea day.
#10
Saint Simons Island, Georgia
11,520 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
I doesn't work for me, since DW and I drink wine for dinner and might have a beer before dinner or after touring, then perhaps a nightcap.

Also, we don't drink bottled water or specialty coffee or sodas. The most we have spent on a two week cruise for all alcohol has been $500. With a drinks package at about $56 dollars a day, that would cost almost $1600 for two weeks.
#11
Rhode Island
962 Posts
Joined Dec 2009
Originally posted by sundeckpatrol
I will be sailing on the Reflection on 1/19/13. This is my first Celebrity cruise. I have cruised multiple times on Carnival, RCCL, NCL, HAL and Princess. This is the first cruise that has offered a beverage package. I am trying to determine if a beverage package makes sense for me. I am not a big drinker, but like to have a few onboard.

What is the pricing of onboard drinks, like domestic & import beers, house cocktails and inexpensive wine?

Anyone have any experiences to share?
Welcome to Celebrity!!

Onboard drinks have a huge price range, but generally:
- Martini's $12
- Beer $6/7 - $$$$$$
- Wine $7 - $$$ (I've had a few glasses between $8.50 and $12 that I liked)
- Cocktails I've had anywhere between $5 for the daily drink and $12+ for the martini bar or flights.

Whether or not the package is a good deal for you depends on you. We have done one cruise with the package (Caribbean and we mostly stayed on board during port days) and a few cruises without. The nice thing about the package is you can get an Americano or Latte in the morning, a premium iced tea, as many bottles of water as you want, sodas, vitamin water, etc. in addition to all of the alcohol drinks. If you have a cocktail getting ready for dinner, 2 glasses of wine with dinner and a nightcap, it's worth it!
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#12
Orlando
606 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
If you are only looking at the cost of the packages and asking if it's a good deal for you, it isn't!
You definitely will save money if you consider each drink that you buy and decide if you really want it.
If you are looking at the "cruise experience" as a "luxury vacation." Then perhaps the amount of value that you get from not having to think about spending money to have a drink, or not having a drink, is well worth the cost. For me, it is. For you, I don't know.
#13
SC
487 Posts
Joined Jun 2012
There are other things to consider besides "how much do you drink", for example convenience (no slips to sign), pay ahead and forget it, not "another" added expense at the end of your cruise.
In my case, i had one or two Perrier, fresh orange juice, a couple of specialty coffees a day. Some days more, some days less. I have the premium non alcoholic package. Did i win or lose, don't know.
On the occasional times i wanted a glass of wine or a drink, i just billed that. My bar tab was minimal on alcohol.
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11-05-2012 Celebrity Equinox
#15
Moon Township, Pa
23,146 Posts
Joined Oct 2000
It's not worth it unless you drink more per day than the daily charge. If you don't drink a lot of soda or alcohol drinks every day, then it's probably better to pay as you go.
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Darcie
#16
SC
487 Posts
Joined Jun 2012
Originally posted by kitty9
It's not worth it unless you drink more per day than the daily charge. If you don't drink a lot of soda or alcohol drinks every day, then it's probably better to pay as you go.
Personally i would rather have paid ahead of time, know i can drink as much (soda, juices, spec coffees etc) as i like, not worry if i lose out on a dollar and one less thing to pay for at the end.
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11-05-2012 Celebrity Equinox
#17
Landenberg, PA
1,857 Posts
Joined Jul 2011
Originally posted by sundeckpatrol
I will be sailing on the Reflection on 1/19/13. This is my first Celebrity cruise. I have cruised multiple times on Carnival, RCCL, NCL, HAL and Princess. This is the first cruise that has offered a beverage package. I am trying to determine if a beverage package makes sense for me. I am not a big drinker, but like to have a few onboard.

What is the pricing of onboard drinks, like domestic & import beers, house cocktails and inexpensive wine?

Anyone have any experiences to share?
First of all, welcome to Cruise Critic. As this is your first post, you may not know about the search function which will access the hundreds of other comments on the drink packages. Just enter "drinks package" or "beverage package" in the search box and you will be overwhelmed with other threads and posts on this subject.
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Queen Mary 2 - July 2005
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Infinity - Eastbound thru Panama Canal,October 2011
Millennium - Caribbean B2B2B, January-February 2012
Equinox - Caribbean, March 2012
Reflection - Barcelona to Miami, November 2012
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#18
Manassas, VA USA
2,134 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
Originally posted by bobby dee
if you are only looking at the cost of the packages and asking if it's a good deal for you, it isn't!
You definitely will save money if you consider each drink that you buy and decide if you really want it.
If you are looking at the "cruise experience" as a "luxury vacation." then perhaps the amount of value that you get from not having to think about spending money to have a drink, or not having a drink, is well worth the cost. For me, it is. For you, i don't know.
exactly!
#19
UK
36 Posts
Joined Mar 2012
We will also be 1st timers in January on the Equinox and have gone for drinks packages. DH premium alcoholic, dd and myself premium non-alcoholic.
Thinking behind this was not so much needing to make sure we drunk enough to make it worthwhile but more about having a choice and no added stress about could we afford something we wanted to try.
I fully intend to try the virgin cocktails, smoothies, fresh juices and lovely range of teas and coffees, which I may not do necessarily do at home.
The idea of being able to have this freedom and no worry about additional cost makes the package a great buy for me.....what I don't drink I have saved in worry
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#20
Indianapolis
465 Posts
Joined Jul 2011
Originally posted by Bobby Dee
If you are only looking at the cost of the packages and asking if it's a good deal for you, it isn't!
You definitely will save money if you consider each drink that you buy and decide if you really want it.
If you are looking at the "cruise experience" as a "luxury vacation." Then perhaps the amount of value that you get from not having to think about spending money to have a drink, or not having a drink, is well worth the cost. For me, it is. For you, I don't know.
This is the position I have come around to as well. On our most recent cruise I decided to pay careful attention to what we spent and make a decision based on that for future cruises. It was a 7 night cruise so the package would come to around $400pp.

The end result, if I am liberal in my counting and include all individual drinks, the wine and bottled water we brought on with us, and the bottles of wine from the MDR, is that we spent about $400 total for the two of us. So, the package would cost about twice as much.

Therefore, I have decided to purchase the package for both of us from now on.

Wait, you say--didn't I just explain that it would cost us twice as much to buy the package? Yes, I did. But as Bobby says, to me it's about the freedom the package gives me not to think about every drink.

So, what will I get with the package that I wouldn't otherwise? Honestly, I'm not talking about drinking myself silly. I might not drink much more alcohol than I would without the package.
  • A morning specialty coffee
  • A few bottles of water for excursions
  • Different glasses of wine with different dinner courses
  • Specialty coffee with dinner
In addition, we're on an S-class ship next time and I figure we'll want to try the molecular bar.

The big disadvantage to me is that the by-the-glass selection of wine is much smaller than by-the-bottle.