Are drink packages worth it?


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#3
399 Posts
Joined Jun 2005
Not for me, no. I maybe have 1 or 2 alcoholic drinks for the whole cruise. I drink more soda than alcohol, but most cruises I've been on have been too port-intensive to even make the non-alcoholic beverage worthwhile.
#4
South Florida
5,872 Posts
Joined Apr 2011
Video is FOUR YEARS OLD. Almost every graphic showing pricing and what is specifically included in the package is completely out of date.

New account whose first post is a YouTube video...lemme guess: trolling for clicks on a revenue generating video. Probably a duplicate username from an existing member as well.
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#5
112,992 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
Not worth it for us. We don't drink that much.
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#6
Enosburg Falls, VT
19,536 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
To some people they are worth it. To some people they are not. Just like anything else that is available for purchase.
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#7
Nebraska
2,627 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
I would say for most people NO.
Why?
We drink QUITE a bit...a few drinks at the pool, before dinner, during dinner, after dinner...during shows/gambling/dancing. Yep, pretty much all day on a cruise. Of course that is SEA days.
And we did the math based on what we drink--and we figure we are at about break even getting a drink plan. (its the port days that kill it)
So if we get the drink plan "for free" as a perk, it is worth it. And DH loves the convenience. I love the premium plan where I can actually get decent wine.
But for the casual drinker, unlikely.
But I say do the math yourself. Beers run $5-10 (depending on brand), Drinks $8-15, Wine $8-15 (wine that is more you will have to pay the difference) Figure how many drinks at day for you (include coffee or other specialty non-alc drinks if that is your thing as well) & see if it is right for you.
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#8
3,002 Posts
Joined Mar 2011
Not for us as we rarely drink. One exception was a TA from Barcelona to Miami - we did make more than a few trips to the bar in the evenings. However, even on our TA, we did not drink enough to break even with the cost of the drink package.
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#9
Southlake, Texas
1,340 Posts
Joined Sep 2004
Pros: You'll know how much you're paying for alcohol from the start, you won't have to sign for each drink as you buy it, you might pay less for alcohol.

Cons: You won't know your total alcohol expense until the end. You might pay more for alcohol, you might drink more (could also be a pro, lol)

In order to see if its a good value for YOU, find out both the price of the package and the cost of individual drinks on the line you're cruising on. Ask on the specific line's forum here for drink prices. Then multiply the cost of the number of drinks you expect to drink each day by the number of days on the cruise. Which price is less? That's your option.

Remember, if you haven't cruised much, that you may be off the ship for some or a large portion of the day. Try to include that in your calculations, as you may be buying drinks on shore and not on the ship.
#10
North Carolina
723 Posts
Joined Sep 2010
I have an Excel spreadsheet from another board out here that was very helpful in calculating for me.
I like the "experience" of the drink package. This last Friday night on land I bought a drink I hated and felt obligated to finish it since I paid for it. On the cruise if I have the package and don't like it, I just order something I do like!
And I like the convenience of pre-pay vs the surprise bill at the end of the cruise!
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#11
British Columbia
682 Posts
Joined Jun 2014
The drinks packages are definitely worth it for convenience and ease of budgeting. Before the cruise, you will known your dollar spend for drinks.

However, the greatest majority will most likely spend more money on the package than if you purchased drinks individually, especially on cruises that are very port intensive. I have seen many pax with drinks packages adding up the total cost of drinks after a cruise and proudly announcing, "I saved money with the package." I always question, would you drink as much without a package. Personally, if I don't have a package, I probably wouldn't consume as many drinks.

I am always cognisant of the fact that the mainstream cruise lines never introduce packages to save the passenger money, they are introduced to make the cruise line more money.
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#12
Philly burbs, PA.
12,690 Posts
Joined Sep 2008
Originally posted by Heidi13
The drinks packages are definitely worth it for convenience and ease of budgeting. Before the cruise, you will known your dollar spend for drinks.

However, the greatest majority will most likely spend more money on the package than if you purchased drinks individually, especially on cruises that are very port intensive. I have seen many pax with drinks packages adding up the total cost of drinks after a cruise and proudly announcing, "I saved money with the package." I always question, would you drink as much without a package. Personally, if I don't have a package, I probably wouldn't consume as many drinks.

I am always cognisant of the fact that the mainstream cruise lines never introduce packages to save the passenger money, they are introduced to make the cruise line more money.
Not worth it IMO in most cases.

If spending $455 per person on a cruise for drinks is what you would typically spend, then I guess they would be worth it as that is about what most drink packages cost. IMO that is a lot to pay for convenience and ease of budgeting. And since most cruise line require all of age in a stateroom to purchase them, the typical cost is more than $900 for two in a stateroom. That's a lot of drinks!

And as you point out, time off the ship while in port counts the same in terms of your daily spend. So a lot would need to be consumed at night on those days.

The bottom line as you say is the only reason the packages are available is because it is a huge money maker for the cruise lines - not a savings for the typical consumer.

And BTW those cruise lines that offer it as a "free perk" are including the cost somewhere in the stateroom rate. I know with Celebrity, as example, you can compare stateroom rates with and without the perks included to determine what the true cost - and value - of the perks are on a given itinerary.
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#13
Fredericksburg, va. USA
87,927 Posts
Joined May 2001
Cruiselines have raised the drink prices to the point where a package is a better deal for many vacationers. Used to be a beer cost about $2.85 and that include the tip! That's reasonable. Now, it's closer to $8 for a lousy domestic beer....highway robbery or flat-out greed...not sure which.
#14
Philly burbs, PA.
12,690 Posts
Joined Sep 2008
Originally posted by cb at sea
Cruiselines have raised the drink prices to the point where a package is a better deal for many vacationers. Used to be a beer cost about $2.85 and that include the tip! That's reasonable. Now, it's closer to $8 for a lousy domestic beer....highway robbery or flat-out greed...not sure which.
....maybe 15 years ago! And $6 - $8 for a beer is pretty comparable to land based venues. But do the math - $65 typical per day divided by your $8 beer is still eight beers every day - including port days - to break even. Might be a good value but that's still 2-1/2 cases of beer on the cruise to consume. Past my limit!

And highway robbery or greed is up to the consumer to choose to purchase. If they didn't want it, they wouldn't buy it, and it would stop being offered. Nobody is forcing anything on anybody.
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#15
Virginia/North Carolina
2,656 Posts
Joined Feb 2016
I have a calculator on my blog that I usually direct people on social media to. That way it's easy for them to see if it's worth it or not. Kinda similar to the Excel spreadsheet that floats around here, just much easier to use.

For us, no way, definitely not worth it. A huge waste for my family.
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#16
South Carolina
30,464 Posts
Joined Dec 2001
411Cruise ... Welcome to Cruise Critic!
Depends on the cruise line for drink packages.
On some they are are for us ... on others not.
On Princess we are happy with the value of the PBP.
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#17
North Carolina
723 Posts
Joined Sep 2010
Originally posted by leaveitallbehind
....maybe 15 years ago! And $6 - $8 for a beer is pretty comparable to land based venues. But do the math - $65 typical per day divided by your $8 beer is still eight beers every day - including port days - to break even. Might be a good value but that's still 2-1/2 cases of beer on the cruise to consume. Past my limit!

And highway robbery or greed is up to the consumer to choose to purchase. If they didn't want it, they wouldn't buy it, and it would stop being offered. Nobody is forcing anything on anybody.
But that's exactly where people miss it!! IT IS *NOT* ONLY ALCOHOL. It's water (and we drink a lot of bottle water), coffee, milkshakes, SODAS, etc.
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#18
Las Vegas
11,878 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
You can assume that anything that a cruise company does to make your life easier is really done to make the cruise company more money, The same applies with drink packages. In general and of course there are exceptions for those people who cruise only to get drunk, they are a sucker deal.

DON
#19
Virginia/North Carolina
2,656 Posts
Joined Feb 2016
Originally posted by ricew001
But that's exactly where people miss it!! IT IS *NOT* ONLY ALCOHOL. It's water (and we drink a lot of bottle water), coffee, milkshakes, SODAS, etc.
It's still MUCH cheaper to buy 24 sodas at a grocery store for $6 than buy any package the ship offers.
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#20
New Cumberland,PA, USA
30,164 Posts
Joined May 2000
The answer varies depending on the cruise line, the pricing, and your drinking habits . Some cruise lines include the drink packages in various booking packages which can result in the drink package being significantly discounted. Otherwise it may not pay unless you have a lot of sea days (when you drink all day) and you tend to drink more then the average person. Some cruisers do not consider that if you have a lot of long port days, your drinking time is limited...assuming that you go ashore.

Hank