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JamieLogical

Drinks Package?

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9 hours ago, creativegenius said:

On our last cruise we paid $166 for WiFi, almost $300 for Specialty meals.  I'm fine paying per drink since I won't have either of those to pay for or coffee or most soft drinks or gratuities on Virgin. 

 I think the moral of this thread is that people prioritize different things when cruising. Virgin has chosen to cater to a certain target audience with the choices they have made. I am simply not part of that target audience. I think my disappointment comes from Virgin coming *so close* to hitting the mark that is my cruising style. It really boils down to the drink packages and lower pricing outweighing child-free and more "hip" cruising for us. That's fine, there are plenty of cruise lines and I can just keep scheduling my cruises at times of year when there are fewer children sailing.

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11 hours ago, JamieLogical said:

 I think the moral of this thread is that people prioritize different things when cruising. Virgin has chosen to cater to a certain target audience with the choices they have made. I am simply not part of that target audience. I think my disappointment comes from Virgin coming *so close* to hitting the mark that is my cruising style. It really boils down to the drink packages and lower pricing outweighing child-free and more "hip" cruising for us. That's fine, there are plenty of cruise lines and I can just keep scheduling my cruises at times of year when there are fewer children sailing.

 

That is the beauty of living in this time.  So many options to choose from. We really want to try out MSC as well and those new ships they announced this week look out of this world.

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Attended a Virgin presentation this week. Most of the cruises I sail on include all drinks. I am trying a Virgin Voyage just for the experience and recognize that I will be charged for alcoholic drinks.  The presenter said there are no drink packages because packages require all members in a stateroom to participate. I have found that many couples resent paying for 2  packages when only 1 drinks alcohol.

 

On another note, there will be no single-use plastic bottles. Does Virgin provide a reusable container for refilling , or must "sailors" bring their own?

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47 minutes ago, Mahogany said:

Attended a Virgin presentation this week. Most of the cruises I sail on include all drinks. I am trying a Virgin Voyage just for the experience and recognize that I will be charged for alcoholic drinks.  The presenter said there are no drink packages because packages require all members in a stateroom to participate. I have found that many couples resent paying for 2  packages when only 1 drinks alcohol.

 

On another note, there will be no single-use plastic bottles. Does Virgin provide a reusable container for refilling , or must "sailors" bring their own?

 

That's a pretty ridiculous explanation. If a couple doesn't want to purchase a drink package, they don't have to. Why should that prevent EVERYONE from being able to do so?

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2 hours ago, JamieLogical said:

 

That's a pretty ridiculous explanation. If a couple doesn't want to purchase a drink package, they don't have to. Why should that prevent EVERYONE from being able to do so?

Because they can?

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So many great concepts and one big bummer. I’m with Jamie on this one!

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2 hours ago, gmbhardy said:

So many great concepts and one big bummer. I’m with Jamie on this one!

 

I am hoping they rethink this down the line. I had high hopes for Virgin and this was a real deal-breaker for me. I am sure I am not the only one, but not sure if there are enough of us to make them reconsider.

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14 hours ago, JamieLogical said:

 

I am hoping they rethink this down the line. I had high hopes for Virgin and this was a real deal-breaker for me. I am sure I am not the only one, but not sure if there are enough of us to make them reconsider.

 

My first cruise was on Allure of The Seas in 2013. At the time, the drink package option was fairly new to the industry. I believe 2012 was the first year they started being offered. I didn’t even know such a thing existed, I’d never heard of it until I was onboard and a crew member sold me on it.

 

Anyways, my point is that I went on the cruise expecting to pay by the drink. I went on the cruise for the cruise, not for the drinks. That being said, would you have never taken your first cruise if there wasn’t unlimited alcohol involved? Just curious. 

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My parents bought me a cruise on the Princess Diamond from Japan for my 🙄50th. My dad shouted me my flight, cruise etc.

My brother and I have never been on a cruise before so when we sat down at s bar for a drink, we realised that there was only 700-900 passengers on board instead of 2,000!!

the Batman explained to us how much we’d save using the drink package. It was very new at the time and being Aussies, not Japs, we’d try any ways of being cheap..

the ship ppl certainly learned how we could circumvent the rules etc. I think we made too much of a test subject 😣.

 

 

 

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14 minutes ago, CruisingNole said:

Anyways, my point is that I went on the cruise expecting to pay by the drink. I went on the cruise for the cruise, not for the drinks. That being said, would you have never taken your first cruise if there wasn’t unlimited alcohol involved? Just curious. 

 

I probably would have taken my first cruise, because that was one my SO booked before we even started dating. It was a year out when I met him and he had booked it to join a good friend who would be celebrating a birthday. I really had no idea what to expect from a cruise at that point. But there is zero doubt in my mind that I wouldn't have become obsessed with cruising the way I have (will be going on my 8th & 9th cruises barely over two years later) were it not for the drink package, because what made me fall in love with cruising was the "all inclusive" nature of it. The idea of paying for the whole vacation up front and truly just being able to relax and not stress about anything ON the actual trip. I had never experienced that before my first cruise and I have come to love it passionately.

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If you feel that this cruise would fit your preferences in every other way, then buy onboard credit in advance for the amount you would normally pay for a drink package on another cruise line. You won't have to nickle and dime the entire time, you can check your balance and increase it onboard if need be. Yes, you would eventually have to check your balance but it does make it easier than calculating every drink. I love drink packages, but I love the new, innovative, kid free opportunity and I'm going to take it! 

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9 hours ago, drewdawg199 said:

Maybe this new article will calm you guys down a bit about drinks, or maybe not.
 

https://www.cruisecritic.com/articles.cfm?ID=5007&source=99365

 

Not sure how this info really applies. A brunch with one type of unlimited specialty cocktail that has CBD oil in it? Or the $9-900 champagne on demand? Both of those have pretty much zero interest to me. I only like champagne in my Mimosas and certainly not at $9/flute! And it's a hard pass for me on anything involving CBD.

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2 minutes ago, resstation said:

If you feel that this cruise would fit your preferences in every other way, then buy onboard credit in advance for the amount you would normally pay for a drink package on another cruise line. You won't have to nickle and dime the entire time, you can check your balance and increase it onboard if need be. Yes, you would eventually have to check your balance but it does make it easier than calculating every drink. I love drink packages, but I love the new, innovative, kid free opportunity and I'm going to take it! 

 

A drink package on NCL costs me $20/day. I would burn through that OBC with two glasses of their cheapest champagne.

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19 minutes ago, JamieLogical said:

 

Not sure how this info really applies. A brunch with one type of unlimited specialty cocktail that has CBD oil in it? Or the $9-900 champagne on demand? Both of those have pretty much zero interest to me. I only like champagne in my Mimosas and certainly not at $9/flute! And it's a hard pass for me on anything involving CBD.

Clearly, you should move on. This is not the cruise for you. We are going on a Norwegian cruise next month. How do you get a $20 a day drink package??? For those who do like the offerings of Virgin, an NCL cruise would just be another cruise. Same ol', same ol'. And that's perfectly FINE. As I said, we are going next month (and Royal in April). Looking forward to check out Virgin - who knows, we may hate it but I very much am looking forward to giving it a shot. 

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11 minutes ago, resstation said:

Clearly, you should move on. This is not the cruise for you.

 

I have already said as much repeatedly in this thread....

 

12 minutes ago, resstation said:

We are going on a Norwegian cruise next month. How do you get a $20 a day drink package???

 

I take the drink package as one of my Free at Sea perks, so I only have to pay the service charges on it, which total $20 per person per day.

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10 minutes ago, JamieLogical said:

 

A drink package on NCL costs me $20/day. I would burn through that OBC with two glasses of their cheapest champagne.

 

I've read all the comments posted to this topic, and this one from you that I quoted seems to confirm the conclusion that I was reaching.

 

NCL is probably the ONLY cruise line where you can pay $20/day for a drink package.  

 

NCL is the only cruise line where I've purchased the package because, as a freebie where it's only the service charge that I pay for, it's a "no-brainer."

 

On other lines, I order a drink as I hand my cruise card, and sometimes sign a chit, sometimes not, then put my card away after I take the first sip.  None of that simple process has ever stressed me out.  At the end of the cruise, I look at my room account and let the balance charge to my credit card.  The bill comes for the credit card and I pay it.

 

True, my daily alcohol tab is almost always less than the $80/day most beverage packages run with service charge.  And true, my cost would be more on NCL if I bought drinks individually rather than have the package.  But it's also true that I drink more on NCL simply because I have the package.

 

I certainly understand some people highly value the beverage package while others do not.  I just feel that it's a shame to miss out on so many of the unique features that VV has planned to set themselves apart simply because one can't pay for alcohol by their preferred method.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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11 minutes ago, JamieLogical said:

 

I have already said as much repeatedly in this thread....

 

 

I take the drink package as one of my Free at Sea perks, so I only have to pay the service charges on it, which total $20 per person per day.

Oh yes, understand. One cruise line is way too limiting for us, but I understand. I haven't read through this thread and just got on a few days ago because there seemed to be quite a bit of activity on it. Curious why you are still responding on the thread if you're not interested? Bon Voyage, wherever and however you choose to go. Cruising is a ball, ANY cruising! 

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7 minutes ago, resstation said:

Oh yes, understand. One cruise line is way too limiting for us, but I understand. I haven't read through this thread and just got on a few days ago because there seemed to be quite a bit of activity on it. Curious why you are still responding on the thread if you're not interested? Bon Voyage, wherever and however you choose to go. Cruising is a ball, ANY cruising! 

 

I'll be sailing on Princess in August. We wanted to do an Alaska cruise and all in, with the drink package, the Princess sailing worked out to be significantly cheaper than NCL would be for the same week. Looking forward to trying a new (to me) line. I know it will be a VERY different demographic being both a Princess cruise and an Alaska itinerary. My SO sailed on Princess for his first ever cruise back on his honeymoon with his ex-wife so we won'e be flying completely blind, but I am sure it will be a very different experience!

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2 hours ago, rbt001 said:

I just feel that it's a shame to miss out on so many of the unique features that VV has planned to set themselves apart simply because one can't pay for alcohol by their preferred method.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I don’t think someone would pass on an entirely new cruise experience simply because the pricing isn’t structured in such a way that pleases them. At the end of the day, it’s because they just can’t afford the cruise (or they are not willing to spend) if they have to pay per drink. I mean no disrespect to the OP, but I think that’s what it all boils down to, no? And there’s nothing wrong with that, we all have budgets, some are higher and lower than others.

 

This is why I originally asked whether or not you would cruise (whatsoever) if the all inclusive drinks were not an option and every single cruise line charged per drink, like they did 10 years ago.

Edited by CruisingNole

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Unless you are in The Haven NCL is basically an animal house.  All one has to do is look at the color of the pool water on the main deck.  That being said there are plenty of lines that offer drink packages but this isn't one of them.

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If the fact that you absolutely need an all-inclusive drink package (along with your bank account) limit your travel options,  then Virgin is probably not the cruise line for you. Luckily,  there are so many other cruise options. 

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5 hours ago, JamieLogical said:

 

I'll be sailing on Princess in August. We wanted to do an Alaska cruise and all in, with the drink package, the Princess sailing worked out to be significantly cheaper than NCL would be for the same week. Looking forward to trying a new (to me) line. I know it will be a VERY different demographic being both a Princess cruise and an Alaska itinerary. My SO sailed on Princess for his first ever cruise back on his honeymoon with his ex-wife so we won'e be flying completely blind, but I am sure it will be a very different experience!

Princess does Alaska well, and it sounds like you got in on their Sip 'n Sail promo which includes the drink package.  Otherwise, I think Princess charges at least $84/day for the drink package.

 

Circling back to VV, hopefully "reasonably priced" as the promo material quotes, is really "reasonably priced" and they never feel a need to do a drink package on VV.

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49 minutes ago, Nymich said:

Unless you are in The Haven NCL is basically an animal house.  All one has to do is look at the color of the pool water on the main deck.  That being said there are plenty of lines that offer drink packages but this isn't one of them.

My last NCL cruise was in The Haven on one of their newer, larger ships where The Haven is a complete ship within a ship:  private DR, bar, lounge, sun deck, pool, etc.  THAT will be the ONLY way I travel on NCL:  I really did laugh loudly when I read your "animal house" comment.

 

I'm hoping VV with 2,700 pax is a little more sedate and refined.

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I get that everyone prioritizes different things, but I also understand where @JamieLogical is coming from. My first cruise, we didn't think enough about about prices (we were on honeymoon and all) and our bar bill was over $1500 for 7 days 😮 Then I started keeping a notebook on our next couple cruises and limiting our budget. There were specials on NCL back then, and that's what we would go with...but keeping a notebook was not ideal. And as the prices went up, the beverage package was the best option. Now you just pay $20/day to cover the gratuities, and it definitely makes budgeting easier. I have looked at other lines, and I personally decided that if the price was right, I would pay up to $60 including grats. for a beverage package. I won't go back to keeping a notebook. If Virgin had a reasonable beverage package, I would be in as well. They also haven't spoken much about their regular prices except that they'll be comparable to land prices. Now do they mean land in NYC or Miami, or look and in Small Town USA? So many questions, but I too am excited about the product. 

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