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twentyknots

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Our upcoming cruise on the Oosterdam includes a complimentary beverage package.  The notes on the TA's receipts say 15 drinks a day and not to exceed $9 for a drink.  Can we pay the difference if we want something higher priced?

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No -- you can not pay the difference price in drinks.

 

If you do order a drink that is higher in price, you will automatically be charged the entire price of the drink to your shipboard account.

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SBP drink price ceiling has recently been raised to $11.

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As of April, the per-drink limit has been raised to $11.   Clearly stated in the SBP details on the website.

 

You cannot pay the difference if a drink exceeds the $11 limit.  And that $11 limit is menu price.  You do not have to be concerned about the 15% service charge, because that is covered by the complementary beverage package you received.   Just browse the menu and you get anything $11 or less.  Don't worry about drinks that have 2 different types of alcohol, such as a Black Russian, which has vodka and coffee liquor.  2 or more types of alcohol do not increase the price.  You can even order a Wang Wang, which has 6 different types of alcohol, and it is included in the package and counts as one drink.   Same for Long Island ice Tea.  You can order doubles of any drink and it will count as 2 of your daily 15.   Don't worry about mixed drinks.   If you order a Grey Goose Bloody Mary, it is covered because almost all vodkas (except 2) are under the $11 limit.  The Bloody Mary mix and all the fruit is also included.  The drink price is based on the base alcohol in it, not the mixers or garnish.

 

The 15 drink limit applies only to alcoholic beverages.   You can get 1 liter bottles of water, sodas in cans, specialty coffees, all included with the package, but they do not count in your daily 15 beverage limit.

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Your Beverage Package may be "grandfathered" to the $11.00 price.  In 2014 I bought the Signature Beverage package when it would pay for drinks up to $7.00.  Several months later in 2015 when I actually took the cruise the drink prices had increased and now the SBP covered drinks up to $8.00.  They honored the price I had paid and gave me no hassle at all.  Hopefully the same will apply to you.  Incidentally the price for the SBP ($44.95 per day (each) plus 15% service charge)  has not changed price since at least 2014, even though covered drink prices went from $7.00 to $8:00, to $9.00, and now $11.00.

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26 minutes ago, Double D Cruisers said:

Your Beverage Package may be "grandfathered" to the $11.00 price.  In 2014 I bought the Signature Beverage package when it would pay for drinks up to $7.00.  Several months later in 2015 when I actually took the cruise the drink prices had increased and now the SBP covered drinks up to $8.00.  They honored the price I had paid and gave me no hassle at all.  Hopefully the same will apply to you.  Incidentally the price for the SBP ($44.95 per day (each) plus 15% service charge)  has not changed price since at least 2014, even though covered drink prices went from $7.00 to $8:00, to $9.00, and now $11.00.

 

Have never heard any reports of anyone not being "grandfathered" in. I imagine it would be a nightmare to monitor whether someone paid for the $9 or 11 dollar drink rate. And....how do you explain to someone that they can't afford any of the drinks on the menu because they bought their package when the drink price was lower?

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2 hours ago, TAD2005 said:

 

 

The 15 drink limit applies only to alcoholic beverages.   You can get 1 liter bottles of water, sodas in cans, specialty coffees, all included with the package, but they do not count in your daily 15 beverage limit.

 

When I booked my cruise a few days ago, the agent down at HAL made it a point to tell me that the 15 drinks a day limit included water and coffee/tea.  I don't see any issue staying within my limit, even with that, but they might be implementing some changes as she made a point of telling me it was not only a limit for the drinks with alcohol.  On Princess, it is as you described and I certainly know if you talk to one person, it is one way and the next might say the exact opposite.  I will know more once I sail and will be happier with your policy ... but like I said, I probably won't have any trouble staying within my limit either way.  

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I'm on Oosterdam now. Our party has the SBP. Also a gift from the TA.

 

No 1 liter bottles! You will be charged. Order the 500 ml Evian or the 350 ml Perrier.

 

The $11 is for wine by the glass. Not mixed drinks. Drink limit is still $9.

 

Unlimited non-alcohol is right. I dont think Heineken 0.0 is unlimited.

 

Have a great time. We are!

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Posted (edited)

HALs reps need to read Holland Americas own website. (emphasis mine under Signature and Quench Packages)

From https://www.hollandamerica.com/en_US/faq.shipboard-life.how-do-i-order-beverage-packages-and-cards.html

 

 

Onboard, Holland America Line offers a variety of beverage packages and cards for purchase as gifts or personal use. Guests can purchase individual items, multi-day wine packages or an array of convenient beverage cards (for alcoholic, non-alcoholic or soda fountain beverages).

Try one of our drink packages which offer great value and a convenient way to enhance your cruise experience.

ELITE PACKAGE

Only $59.95 per guest/per day*

Enjoy all the benefits from our Quench and Signature Packages and more! With the Elite Beverage Package you can enjoy all drinks menu priced $15 and under including Dale DeGroff’s Original Cocktails!

SIGNATURE PACKAGE

Only $54.95 per guest/per day*

Our Signature package includes everything from our Quench Package along with your favorite premium beers, spirits, cocktails, and wines by the glass priced $11 and under.

EVIAN™ WATER PACKAGE

12 liter bottles of Evian natural spring water delivered to your stateroom for only $42 per guest* 6 liter bottles only $24 per guest*

QUENCH PACKAGE

(NON-ALCOHOLIC)

Only $17.95 per guest/per day* Quench your thirst with our nonalcoholic package which includes an unlimited variety of premium coffees such as espresso and cappuccino, juices, Coca-Cola™ products, our signature mocktails, Red Bull, and bottled waters 500ml and under.

(snip)

The Signature and Elite packages have a daily limit of 15 alcoholic beverages, which includes all alcoholic beverages with a menu price of $15 or less (Elite Beverage Package), or $11 or less (Signature Beverage Package). The Quench Beverage Package includes unlimited non-alcoholic beverages and bottled waters 500ml and under.

Edited by fatcat04

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3 hours ago, Jammu2 said:

I'm on Oosterdam now. Our party has the SBP. Also a gift from the TA.

 

No 1 liter bottles! You will be charged. Order the 500 ml Evian or the 350 ml Perrier.

 

The $11 is for wine by the glass. Not mixed drinks. Drink limit is still $9.

 

Unlimited non-alcohol is right. I dont think Heineken 0.0 is unlimited.

 

Have a great time. We are!

I highly suggest that you talk with the Beverage Manager as you are being scammed.

ANY DRINK of 11$ Or less is included. 

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Posted (edited)

QUESTION:  Is it 15 total beverages or 15 Alcoholic beverages and unlimited "other" beverages? 

 

There has been wide spread confusion on the "15 Beverage" issue for years.  Bar tender to bar tender, even beverage manager to beverage manager you could get a different answer. 

 

The correct answer is you are limited to 15 Alcoholic beverages.  I had HAL send me a letter on official letter head confirming it.  Below is a portion of that correspondence. 

 

"Thank you for your recent correspondence with Holland America Line regarding our Signature Beverage Package and Elite Beverage Packages.  You are correct in believing  if you were to purchase either of these beverage packages, that they would include unlimited non-alcoholic beverages and bottled waters 500ml and under."

 

I am bringing this letter with me on my next cruise. 

 

 

Edited by Double D Cruisers

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15 hours ago, Fouremco said:

SBP drink price ceiling has recently been raised to $11.

 

10 hours ago, Jammu2 said:

The $11 is for wine by the glass. Not mixed drinks. Drink limit is still $9.

As I said in my earlier post, the SBP ceiling has been increased to $11. That's for all alcoholic drinks, not just wine:

 

The Signature and Elite packages have a daily limit of 15 alcoholic beverages, which includes all alcoholic beverages with a menu price of $15 or less (Elite Beverage Package), or $11 or less (Signature Beverage Package). 

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Posted (edited)

Clear and concise  responses all, and very much appreciated.  We leave on the June 2 Alaska cruise, our 25th overall; 1st Alaska.  Wife is the wine drinker, just occasional beer or bourbon for me if playing BJ.  She's looking forward to the package, although we won't come close to the 15 drink maximum.  Maybe 3 for her, 1 for me.

We're in a Neptune suite and I remember last time in the Neptune lounge there was an honor system for wine.  We didnt get any then, but wondering how it might work with the SBP? 

Edited by twentyknots

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23 minutes ago, twentyknots said:

Clear and concise  responses all, and very much appreciated.  We leave on the June 2 Alaska cruise, our 25th overall; 1st Alaska.  Wife is the wine drinker, just occasional beer or bourbon for me if playing BJ.  She's looking forward to the package, although we won't come close to the 15 drink maximum.  Maybe 3 for her, 1 for me.

We're in a Neptune suite and I remember last time in the Neptune lounge there was an honor system for wine.  We didnt get any then, but wondering how it might work with the SBP? 

 

I just created a entirely separate thread to discuss this about a week ago. The answers were 3-1 against the honor bar (no longer an "honor bar', the concierge now serves your drink) being included in the beverage packages.

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17 hours ago, fatcat04 said:

HALs reps need to read Holland Americas own website. (emphasis mine under Signature and Quench Packages)

From https://www.hollandamerica.com/en_US/faq.shipboard-life.how-do-i-order-beverage-packages-and-cards.html

 

 

Onboard, Holland America Line offers a variety of beverage packages and cards for purchase as gifts or personal use. Guests can purchase individual items, multi-day wine packages or an array of convenient beverage cards (for alcoholic, non-alcoholic or soda fountain beverages).

Try one of our drink packages which offer great value and a convenient way to enhance your cruise experience.

ELITE PACKAGE

Only $59.95 per guest/per day*

Enjoy all the benefits from our Quench and Signature Packages and more! With the Elite Beverage Package you can enjoy all drinks menu priced $15 and under including Dale DeGroff’s Original Cocktails!

SIGNATURE PACKAGE

Only $54.95 per guest/per day*

Our Signature package includes everything from our Quench Package along with your favorite premium beers, spirits, cocktails, and wines by the glass priced $11 and under.

EVIAN™ WATER PACKAGE

12 liter bottles of Evian natural spring water delivered to your stateroom for only $42 per guest* 6 liter bottles only $24 per guest*

QUENCH PACKAGE

(NON-ALCOHOLIC)

Only $17.95 per guest/per day* Quench your thirst with our nonalcoholic package which includes an unlimited variety of premium coffees such as espresso and cappuccino, juices, Coca-Cola™ products, our signature mocktails, Red Bull, and bottled waters 500ml and under.

(snip)

The Signature and Elite packages have a daily limit of 15 alcoholic beverages, which includes all alcoholic beverages with a menu price of $15 or less (Elite Beverage Package), or $11 or less (Signature Beverage Package). The Quench Beverage Package includes unlimited non-alcoholic beverages and bottled waters 500ml and under.

The Signature Beverage package is still $44.95 per day plus 15% SC if you purchase it online, before your cruise.  The $54.95 price shown above is if you buy it onboard within the first 2 days of your cruise.   The Elite package has gone up to $59.95 per day plus 15% and it doesn't matter if you buy it online or onboard.   

It doesn't matter when you purchased the SBP or if you got it as a promotion,  the per drink price limit applies to when you board the ship, not when you booked the cruise or purchased the package.  No "grandfathering" needed.  

 

Recently on the Eurodam in March, we would always stop at a bar on the way back to the cabin and pickup 2 bottles of water.  We had the SBP, and the bartender would ask us "do you want the big bottles (1 liter) of the little ones, (500 ml).  We always picked the big bottles and never were charged for them.   I guess the 500 ml restriction is just another inconsistency on HAL ships and their beverage plans.

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We've booked for Westerdam in April next year and will be our first cruise with HAL.  If I reach my 15 alcoholic drink limit on the Signature package, I can still opt to buy regularly-priced drinks after that, right?

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Posted (edited)
33 minutes ago, plettza said:

We've booked for Westerdam in April next year and will be our first cruise with HAL.  If I reach my 15 alcoholic drink limit on the Signature package, I can still opt to buy regularly-priced drinks after that, right?

If you can still stand up and reach the bar after 15 alcoholic drinks, yes, they will happily sell you more drinks which will be charged to your cabin account at regular menu prices plus 15%.   Surprisingly, it is rather easy to hit the 15 drink limit on a sea day, and if you start early and are drinking doubles.  Not that I'm endorsing this but you could have 4 doubles with your Dive-In burger at lunch, take the afternoon off, and have 4 more doubles in the evening, maybe 2 before dinner and 2 after.  That would put you over, and the 8th double would be charged to your cabin account. 

Edited by TAD2005

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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, TAD2005 said:

If you can still stand up and reach the bar after 15 alcoholic drinks, yes, they will happily sell you more drinks which will be charged to your cabin account at regular menu prices plus 15%.   Surprisingly, it is rather easy to hit the 15 drink limit on a sea day, and if you start early and are drinking doubles.  8 of those will push you over the limit.

 

Thanks for the clarification.  I was reading elsewhere once one has reached their limit, it's game over including full-priced purchased drinks.

 

I can easily put 15 away on sea days and usually be fine for the next day.  On Carnival, I probably order doubles every one in 3 depending how the vibe is onboard.  Shore days help curtail my drinking.  I've usually cruised with Carnival which doesn't have the Cheers package here in Australia. So all I know, I usually end up with a drinks bills equal to the cruise amount in some cases.

 

This cruise will be from Japan to Vancouver for 16-nights and I'm trying to work out if I'd be able to drink enough to get the value out of the daily drinks package rate and if I can sustain 16 nights of alcohol consumption.  This will be the longest cruise I've been on.

 

I should add, I usually drink Scotch and wine/sparkling wine and soft drink (soda water, No Sugar Coke).

Edited by plettza
Added information

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I will mention that I saw a bartender on HAL cut off a man after he hit his 15 drink limit. 

It was about 5 pm. near the pool on a sea day. 

The guy was; as my ship's captain father would say, " 3 sheets to the wind". He was not being rude or belligerent, but definitely having trouble with balance and heavily slurred speech. 

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Question, if you are given the SBP complimentary, can you upgrade to the Elite and just pay the difference?

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13 hours ago, dundeene said:

I will mention that I saw a bartender on HAL cut off a man after he hit his 15 drink limit. 

It was about 5 pm. near the pool on a sea day. 

The guy was; as my ship's captain father would say, " 3 sheets to the wind". He was not being rude or belligerent, but definitely having trouble with balance and heavily slurred speech. 

Under those circumstances the bartender was acting in the passengers best interest whether he had reached his 15 limit or not.  Not to mention HAL's  liability issues if this passenger fell down the stairs and it was shown the bartender had knowingly served a passenger when significant impairment was obvious.

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On 5/10/2019 at 9:22 PM, Jammu2 said:

I'm on Oosterdam now. Our party has the SBP. Also a gift from the TA.

 

No 1 liter bottles! You will be charged. Order the 500 ml Evian or the 350 ml Perrier.

 

Not the case on Oosterdam last Fall. 1 liter bottles of Evian WERE included (no charge). This ongoing inconsistency with how policies regarding the SBP are interpreted and enforced from ship to ship (and even same ship sailing to sailing) is maddening to us! 😣

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3 hours ago, doone said:

Question, if you are given the SBP complimentary, can you upgrade to the Elite and just pay the difference?

 

I would like to know the answer to this one also.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Double D Cruisers said:

Under those circumstances the bartender was acting in the passengers best interest whether he had reached his 15 limit or not.  Not to mention HAL's  liability issues if this passenger fell down the stairs and it was shown the bartender had knowingly served a passenger when significant impairment was obvious.

Yes of course, my point was that even though no one needs to be the designated driver ( I believe they are taking care of that on the bridge) bartenders will stop serving those cruisers who appear dangerously impaired.

Edited by dundeene

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If you purchase the SBP online, ahead of the cruise, you can easily upgrade to the Elite package by asking any bartender.  Currently the SBP is $44.95 a day and the Elite is $59.95, so you will have to pay the $15 plus 15% difference per day.  And you can't decide to upgrade halfway through your cruise.  You must attempt the upgrade on your first day.  No pro-rating !!   If you received the SBP through Explore-4 or some other promotion from HAL, it is still possible to upgrade, but some here on CC say that you have to find a friendly (and hungry) face among the bartenders you ask to get the upgrade.  

The bartenders and waiters will detect if you are getting sloppy drunk and they will cut you off.  They will not cut you off for exceeding the 15 drinks.  As long as you are coherent, you will be served.  After all, no waiter or bartender will turn down another 15% just because you have hit your daily 15.   Some people can hold it, others are a disaster and have no business even having the SBP.

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