Jump to content
411Cruise

Are drink packages worth it?

Recommended Posts

I created a video talking about the pros and cons of getting a drink package on Cruise Ships

 

 

Do you think drink packages are worth it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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 Almost every graphic showing pricing and what is specifically included in the package is completely out of date.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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To some people they are worth it. To some people they are not. Just like anything else that is available for purchase.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
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.

Edited by leaveitallbehind

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
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.

Edited by leaveitallbehind

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
....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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

 

I am aware of that. But along with alcohol, that is still a lot of specialty coffees (as that is the only coffee charged separately), water. soda, milkshakes, etc., to come up to $65 (as example) per person per day, IMO. Would you typically drink $455 each in assorted beverages charged individually during a 7 night cruise? If you do then I guess it would be of value for you.

 

Clearly it's an individual value choice and for some it may well pay off. But if it wasn't such a significant profit item for the cruise lines they wouldn't offer and promote it as widely as they do and would simply charge by individual drink purchase. They offer it because they make more money on the average passenger who purchases it. Cruising is a for profit business, don'f forget.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We find it worth it, even with the port days. But, we're also the type of people who might start the day with a Bloody Mary. Have beers by the pool throughout the afternoon/early evening. Wine with dinner. Drinks and dancing at night. It all comes down to personal preferences.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was pregnant when my husbNd and I first cruised. Our end of the week bill was almost $800, including a few bingo runs. Definitely worth it for us.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, our drink expenses have nearly always been about $1K/trip.

A few drinks at the pool...a few at trivia before dinner...a couple at dinner...several in the evening. DH mixes up beer & pina coladas...I like mixed drinks, possibly a slushie drink now & then, wine at dinner (nothing pricey). In my eyes, we drink A LOT on a cruise.

PREMIUM package on our upcoming Celebrity cruise is about $1150 for both for 7 days. DH wouldn't need premium, so more like $1K/wk.

So even with our continual drinking...a drink package is a wash for us.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The answer varies depending on the cruise line, the pricing, and your drinking habits

 

Hank

Indeed! MSC has an affordable package of 26 euros p/day (about 30 dollars) wich includes sparkling wine (prosecco), 2 white wines, 2 red wines (not top wines, obviously) tap beer, sodas, specialty coffees, and quite a number of (alcoholic) coctails and mixed drinks ( no top brands). With only a prosecco (or two) before dinner, two glasses of wine during, a limoncello after and a coffee to finish you're already made a profit, and that even doesn't include some drinks during the day on seadays or days with a half day excursion. It's something everybody has to decide for themselves.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought I read somewhere that some cruise lines were also selling a prepaid drink card - not a drink plan but something like a 15 drink card. Something where a card is punched with each drink and the card could be used until all punches were used.

Am I recalling this correctly?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, RCI does this at times. It not not offered the first few days, and it may not be offered at all.

 

It is a 10 drink card that is punched for each drink you get. I have heard it is around $80, but prices vary based on the ship and sailing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I thought I read somewhere that some cruise lines were also selling a prepaid drink card - not a drink plan but something like a 15 drink card. Something where a card is punched with each drink and the card could be used until all punches were used.

Am I recalling this correctly?

 

Princess has a premium coffee card, I'm not sure about other lines.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[ATTACH]426047[/ATTACH]

 

 

Someone put a lot of work into this spreed sheet. Just an example for a Princess Cruise. Some pricing may have to be updated but you would get the idea.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×