Is MSC's all-inclusive drinks package a good idea?

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Poll: Do you think MSC’s all-inclusive package offering is a good idea?
Poll Results
Do you think MSC’s all-inclusive package offering is a good idea?

Yes, it will save me a small fortune!
20
21.74%

I like the flexibility of ordering wine, beer and soda
18
19.57%

Ice cream’s included! Sign me up!
4
4.35%

I like to go for non-alcoholic packages
1
1.09%

I'd rather bring my own beverages onboard
5
5.43%

No, it’s a lot to spend on booze
30
32.61%

I think it will encourage people to drink too much
10
10.87%

Something else, which I will post
4
4.35%

Voters: 92.  You may not vote on this poll.

#1
London, UK
209 Posts
Joined Mar 2008
MSC Cruises has just announced a new all-inclusive package that could put paid to bar tab misery on the last day of a cruise.

From £33.50 per person per night, according to the MSC Web site, cruisers will be entitled to select wines by the bottle or glass, beer, cocktails made with non-premium spirits, soft drinks, items from their mini bar (except champagne), ice-cream and mineral water (at restaurants and the buffet). Drinks can be obtained from all restaurants, the self-service buffet, bars and the cabin mini bar at any time of day.

For £37.80 per person per day, premium brands of spirits are thrown in, while a non-alcoholic package costs £18.90 per day.

You can read the full story here: http://www.cruisecritic.com/news/news.cfm?ID=3742

A good idea? Or the slippery slope to binge-drinking at sea? Vote in our poll and let us know what you think!
#2
Romsey England
11,567 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
A much more well-thought out & flexible selection of packages than Celebrity's rather nonsensical options. Esp as soft drinks are included in the alcohol packages, so the cruiser can choose soda at nil extra cost rather than choosing between paying for a soda or yet another "free" beer.

Binge-drinking? - I've been on alcohol-included cruises with Thomson's, a budget UK line, which is the worst combination. Yet there's been no drunkenness.
I've also stayed at all-inclusive resorts & seen no alcohol problems.
I have seen embarrassing drunkenness in UK city centres on saturday nights and by Brits & other northern europeans in the Spanish costas - but these are pay-as-you-drink places.
I don't see it will be a problem on MSC.

John Bull
#3
Raleigh, N.C.
12,201 Posts
Joined Jul 2002
That's a lot more than I would spend on alcohol in one day. We may have a cocktail in the afternoon and split a bottle of wine at dinner. We can usually find a wine in the $30-$40 range on the wine list. I doubt they'd have anything more expensive to choose from in the all-inclusive package.
#4
1,813 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
I must say that I certainly do more than my share of drinking while on a cruise however I have never had a tab equal to the cost of this package. In US currency that package is approx. $700.00 per couple. I find it hard to believe many people can drink their moneys worth. Should be a great money maker for the cruise line.
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#5
Slough, UK
92 Posts
Joined Feb 2009
I like a cocktail and a glass or two of wine/champagne daily on a cruise but this would appear to encourage anti-social drinking. I cruise to see new places, but I don't want to be seeing them in double.

I guess for those who drink more excessively than I do this could be quite an attractive offer. However, if I regularly drank that much I doubt I could afford to cruise at all.

I am all for All Inclusive deals but I think I would prefer a general reduction in prices, and/or service charges.

Cheers!!
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#6
Mississauga, Canada
585 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
We don't drink alcohol and hardly any soda neither, we only drink ice tea, coffee, tea, water (tap water would do), juice and lemonade...
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#7
Boston
4,411 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
If it were only alcohol, I'd say no but with soft drinks, water, ice cream & the mini bar it would be worthwhile for us.
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#8
Kansas
2,022 Posts
Joined Mar 2008
I like the thought but I still think the cost is too high for me who only drinks maybe 3 sodas a day and maybe the drink of the day and a glass of wine at dinner.
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#9
2,617 Posts
Joined Sep 2006
They definitely put some thought into the concept given the extras that are included in the package. However, as someone who may drink 4-6 drinks the entire cruise, it is just easier to pay on a per-drink basis, and get the soda package for DD.
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#10
Seascale,Cumbria,U.K.
5,729 Posts
Joined Dec 2008
I paid around £10 per day with Thomson's this winter for a similar AI package, but as the drinks including soft drinks and special coffees were so reasonable in the first place, I didn't save a lot.
Booking for next winter, I've bought the same package for £7 per day, which is amazing.
I never saw any drunkenness or unruly behaviour.
jocap.
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#11
664 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
33.50 a night?? and in pounds no less so like $60 per night US.... good lord the drinks on the ship are overpriced but even still that's a LOT of drinks to make it come out financially.... way too much money!
#12
3,485 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
Is it a good thing that they are offering this option? YES!

Would I use it? NO! Way too much $$$$ and I simply do not drink that much of soda or alcohol (and have never understood the fascination with ice cream on ships)
#13
8,419 Posts
Joined Jan 2008
It is important to keep in mind that you'll have in-port days. If you go ashore, you'll have a tough time getting your money's worth when you're only onboard for the evening. A 7 day trip with 4 ports will eat into your savings from the pkg. If you just wanta stay on board and get hammered and would do so with or without the package, this is probably a good deal.
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#14
108,163 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
The plan isn't for us -- we don't drink very much because of DH's medications.
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#15
17 Posts
Joined Apr 2010
Just been reading through the posts/replies. What an assortment!!! Look, here in London you go to a restaurant and say you share a couple of bottles of wine - minimum £35 for 2 bottles, at least - nearly the price of a days' AI on MSC, The fact that they are offering Premium brands too for about £37 pppd is good value in my opinion. Those who don't drink, or drink v little, good luck to you and enjoy yourselves. Me and the missus like a drink and intend to drink our money's worth on the Poesia in in the next few weeks. You'll see us about - staggering around (only joking !)
#16
Chicago
78 Posts
Joined Jun 2008
It's a good idea but it is a little too pricey for me to do the alcohol included option. On the other hand, the non-alcoholic option is worthwhile given the water and soda that we drink. I think we will definitely choose that option for our upcoming MSC cruise.
#17
Maryland
5,342 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
DH and I drink quite a bit when we're on a cruise. However, we've never spent $700 worth in one week. I'd love an all-you-can-drink option. But, not for THAT price!
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#18
North Carolina
2 Posts
Joined Jul 2012
We decided to go for the Allegrissimo pkg approximately $33.35 US adult and $17.45 daily for kids after a lengthy and hard fought discussion with the poorly informed staff at MSC. How can you decide the value of the package if you don't even know the cost of a drink in advance, for example? We found out that a beer would be approximately 7 euros plus 15% gratuity. I heard, but not confirmed, a coffee is 5. Estimating as a family we would have a few beers/cocktails here and there and 2-3 glass of wine at dinner, 2 coffees each in the morning, who knows how much water, and 3 kids consuming soda and smoothies, it seemed like a no brainer, despite the cost upfront, I think we'll come out ahead or at least break even. We've been on vacations before where a soda costs more than a alcoholic cocktail or a virgin drink for a child costs $8. Things like that take the fun out of vacation for us. Having not to worry about every little dollar per drink and always say no no no makes it more relaxing, at least for our group including 3 teens/tweens. Everyone is different. The bottom line is figure out your habits, your cruise schedule, and the cost of the beverages first. Then decide what works for you. I hope that helps.

Keep in mind, if you choose this package everyone in your party must as well, cruise rule. Also your insurance will go up.

I'll let you know how it goes when I get back! Going on the MSC Divina on July 29th.
#19
Petaluma, Ca. 94954
29,508 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
Originally posted by LKNcarolinacruisers
We decided to go for the Allegrissimo pkg approximately $33.35 US adult and $17.45 daily for kids after a lengthy and hard fought discussion with the poorly informed staff at MSC. How can you decide the value of the package if you don't even know the cost of a drink in advance, for example? We found out that a beer would be approximately 7 euros plus 15% gratuity. I heard, but not confirmed, a coffee is 5. Estimating as a family we would have a few beers/cocktails here and there and 2-3 glass of wine at dinner, 2 coffees each in the morning, who knows how much water, and 3 kids consuming soda and smoothies, it seemed like a no brainer, despite the cost upfront, I think we'll come out ahead or at least break even. We've been on vacations before where a soda costs more than a alcoholic cocktail or a virgin drink for a child costs $8. Things like that take the fun out of vacation for us. Having not to worry about every little dollar per drink and always say no no no makes it more relaxing, at least for our group including 3 teens/tweens. Everyone is different. The bottom line is figure out your habits, your cruise schedule, and the cost of the beverages first. Then decide what works for you. I hope that helps.

Keep in mind, if you choose this package everyone in your party must as well, cruise rule. Also your insurance will go up.

I'll let you know how it goes when I get back! Going on the MSC Divina on July 29th.
I see you are new to Cruise Critic! Welcome!

This is a two year old poll, and info on it can easily be outdated. A MUCH better source for info would be the MSC board, here:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/forumdisplay.php?f=80
#20
3,656 Posts
Joined Jan 2000
Many of these packages were originally aimed primarily at groups. For example, a corporation might be sending its top 100 sales people on a cruise and want to make it as all-inclusive as possible. In the past the company could pre-pay just about every cost associated with the trip -- even tips -- but there was not an efficient way of covering the group members' bar bills also. These drinks packages that have popped up in recent years solves that problem. And with many of these types of groups cost is not as much of a factor as it is for the individual cruiser.