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cruiselvr04

Viking river alcohol for purchase

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Posted (edited)

I have been able to find an updated list of bar prices.  Can someone answer a couple of questions? Is a VAT tax added to the price listed?  If so how much? Is gratuity added?

 

Just trying to decide which way to go with the package....

 

Are bottles of wine above the spirit package?  

Edited by cruiselvr04

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Posted (edited)

 I suggest you wait till you arrive on board and ask to see the Silver Package list onboard that ship. I don't know if the prices are the same across the fleet, I wouldn't have thought so as drink prices differ in different countries.

 

VAT must be applied as the boat isn't operating in international waters but is subject the laws of the nation it is in.

 

The package doesn't include all drinks. You mention wine: the package includes some wines on the list but not the more expensive (interesting) ones. I've found - with one cruise exception - that the house wines are good, they're included and they are poured very generously. Champagne is not included. The fizz that they call (illegally in the EU) 'champagne' is medium sweet German Sekt, which I found undrinkable .

 

And you are welcome to bring your own wines, wine you've bought in wineries you visit or in wine shops along the way.

 

Both people in your cabin must buy the package.

 

I'm not a cocktail, beer or spirit drinker, but a wine lover and I didn't feel the package offered me value.

 

 

Edited by pontac

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On the bar menu, the price shown is what you pay. It includes 15% gratuity and VAT. Yes, there is a line on the tab for gratuity but only for the convenience of those who wish to add to it.

 

There are two reasons that people get the package: Some people like the convenience of it and don't care if they break even. Others buy it because it saves them money.

 

Some things to think about as you decide what to do:

  • other than it must be legal, Viking has no restrictions on what potables you may bring on to the ship--and in fact, they encourage us to sample the local tipples (wines, liqueurs, beers, etc.)
  • you may drink your BYO anywhere on the ship; Viking will even supply glasses
  • there is no corkage fee
  • house wines, beers and sodas are free at lunch and dinner--and they will top off your glass as you leave the dining room if you so desire. It is easy to snag an extra can or two of soda at meal time
  • there is a mini-fridge in each cabin (I never looked in it to see if there was anything in it).

 

 

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3 minutes ago, Peregrina651 said:

other than it must be legal,

 

Yup, in Europe, Europe laws. A 19 year-old American with whom we shared a table  was delighted they could have a glass on wine !

 

Nothing in the fridge in the cabins we've been in; I think you need a suite or Explorer Suite to get drinks in it and refills, but the rooms details on the website has that info

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11 minutes ago, pontac said:

 

Yup, in Europe, Europe laws. A 19 year-old American with whom we shared a table  was delighted they could have a glass on wine !

 

Nothing in the fridge in the cabins we've been in; I think you need a suite or Explorer Suite to get drinks in it and refills, but the rooms details on the website has that info

 

Actually, I was thinking more along the lines of absinthe, which was illegal at one point. I wasn't even thinking of the drinking age because there are so few under-age on board.

 

 

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On 5/18/2019 at 10:50 AM, cruiselvr04 said:

I have been able to find an updated list of bar prices.  Can someone answer a couple of questions? Is a VAT tax added to the price listed?  If so how much? Is gratuity added?

 

Just trying to decide which way to go with the package....

 

Are bottles of wine above the spirit package?  

As far as the last question, I took pictures of the wine list from my cruise last April - they are available here: 

As you can see, most bottles are included in the package. My fiancé isn't a wine drinker so I stuck to wines by the glass. I didn't think to ask if I could still order a bottle for me and save the rest for another night, etc. Also, contrary to everything I was told by the customer service agents prior to the trip, the entire bar menu was covered by the silver spirits package (I enjoyed many times a double pour of Highland Park's Ragnvald single malt after dinner...). 

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I found the the fine print when purchasing that states you can get a full refund until 3 days prior so we took the plunge. I doubt we’ll change our minds.  Knowing you can get bottles also and not just by the glass helps.  We are not huge drinkers but like the convenience of not thinking about each drink you purchase.

 

 

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On 5/20/2019 at 6:26 PM, 3rdCoastFan said:

As far as the last question, I took pictures of the wine list from my cruise last April - they are available here:

 

Thanks @3rdCoastFan That's certainly a very much larger wine list than the ones I was shown when considering the Silver Package. I'll have to ask to see it Wednesday week when I join my next cruise

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If we purchase the SS package BEFORE the cruise we will be charged in USD's.  If we wait until we board the ship on a River Cruise I think their currency is in Euros.  How will we be charged.  Same question for excursions?

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For US, purchase on MVJ is $$$. Purchases on board the ship are €€€ for all -- or whatever the on board currency is.

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Peregrina do you know how they decide the conversion rate?  Trying to decide if it is better to purchase in USD before we leave.

 

Has anyone been onboard recently and purchased a SS package while onboard?  How much did you end up paying?

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For any shipboard purchases (excursions, beverage package, etc), and if I recall correctly, the price in USD beforehand was roughly equivalent to the price in euros while on board. That is, if it was $100 USD before, it was €90 after. If your credit card tacks on a foreign transaction fee, though, factor that in, too. 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, deec said:

Peregrina do you know how they decide the conversion rate?  Trying to decide if it is better to purchase in USD before we leave.

 

Has anyone been onboard recently and purchased a SS package while onboard?  How much did you end up paying?

 

Deec, the exchange rate changes from hour to hour and what you pay will be be based on the conversion rate in effect at the moment when the credit card company processes the charge. In other words, it is so far out of your control that you can't worry about it.

 

Most (maybe all) of the Viking river ships use the euro for the on board currency. Prices are set in euros. Expenditures go on your on board account in euros and at the end of the cruise, your credit card is charged in euros. The bank will convert the charge at the going rate. Out of your control; out of Viking's control.

 

Viking does let us pay for certain things--tips, shorex, drinks package-- in advance through MVJ and in that case, we pay in our local currency -- USD, CAD, AUD, etc. I have no idea how Viking sets these prices and I have no idea how they make the conversions from one currency to the others --and as long as it is in the going range, I'm not going to worry about it.  I do know that since January and today (end of May, 2019), the conversion rate for euros to dollars has fluctuated between 1.11 and 1.16. That is a five cent range and it translates to $5 more or less difference on a $100 spent.

 

Example, prepaid tips. Standard is 15€ per day per person or 225€ for 15 day trip. For our cruise, we were charged $252pp. Hey presto, the exchange rate is $1.12 per euro for this transaction. It is within the range of what the rates have been , so I am just not going to get upset. If Viking had told me that the pre-paid amount was $274 (an exchange rate of $1.22). I would have told them to go pound sand and taken my chances paying on the ship (and using the bank's conversion rate).

Edited by Peregrina651

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On ocean cruises that are purely within the EU, if you buy a beverage package before sailing you escape the VAT but if you buy on board you have to pay it.  Is this true for Viking river cruises that are purely within the EU?

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On the 3 VO we have taken all of our charges were in USD's  however have not been on cruise that was entirely within the EU!

 

Got the exchange thing I did not want to be charged 20Euros on board if I could pay 20 USD from home....if adding up excursions, ss package, and gratuities...it can make a difference.  More and More credit cards are no longer charging foreign transaction fees.  Thinking I will pre-pay for the ss package.  We get a very meager OBC from our travel agent. (currently in search  of a more generous one)!

 

 

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Please be aware that you must purchase the silver package before you sail.  You can not purchase once onboard.  We have seen many unhappy people board the ship and realize they can't buy it.  I believe it's worth the money but you must decide.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, skiladyldp said:

Please be aware that you must purchase the silver package before you sail.  You can not purchase once onboard.  We have seen many unhappy people board the ship and realize they can't buy it.  I believe it's worth the money but you must decide.

While that may have been the policy in the past, it doesn't appear to be the case any more. From the cruise documents for my Rhine Getaway last April: 

 

fullsizeoutput_313a.jpeg

EDIT: The downside to purchasing on board, other than conversion rates and cc fees, is that you have to purchase the package for the complete trip even if you buy it a day or two into the cruise. My understanding is that Viking won't pro-rate it. Also, one of the events on the first day was a wine and cheese tasting featuring wines available throughout the cruise. I assume that's marketing, basically, to push people to get the package once they're on board. 

Edited by 3rdCoastFan

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12 hours ago, skiladyldp said:

Please be aware that you must purchase the silver package before you sail.  You can not purchase once onboard.  We have seen many unhappy people board the ship and realize they can't buy it.  I believe it's worth the money but you must decide.

 

We were offered the Silver package when we boarded on our first Viking trip in 2012 and again in 2013. As per my first post above, the wine list was very small and the only wines we were interested in were not included, plus the house wine which was included was good so Silver didn't make sense to us. Maybe it changed later but I imagine that  Viking would take the opportunity to take more money from their guests.

 

If wine is your focus then waiting till you board and seeing what is available on that particular cruise makes sense. If spirits, cocktails and beer & soft drinks outside meal times are of more importance then it's a different matter

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Posted (edited)

Dear @skiladyldp

 

The experience you describe isn’t typical, and we’d like to take a moment to apologize for – and clear up – any misunderstanding. Typically, our Silver Spirits Beverage Package can be purchased on board, as well as prior to departure.  

 

We are interested to learn more about what you observed so that we can coach ship staff and ensure consistency across our fleet. When you have a moment, please send your booking information to us at TellUs@vikingcruises.com. 

 

Thank you for the opportunity to chime in; we hope to hear from you soon!

 

Kind regards,
Viking Cruises

 

19 hours ago, skiladyldp said:

Please be aware that you must purchase the silver package before you sail.  You can not purchase once onboard.  We have seen many unhappy people board the ship and realize they can't buy it.  I believe it's worth the money but you must decide.

 

Edited by Viking Cruises
Correct tag

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7 hours ago, pontac said:

 

We were offered the Silver package when we boarded on our first Viking trip in 2012 and again in 2013. As per my first post above, the wine list was very small and the only wines we were interested in were not included, plus the house wine which was included was good so Silver didn't make sense to us. Maybe it changed later but I imagine that  Viking would take the opportunity to take more money from their guests.

 

If wine is your focus then waiting till you board and seeing what is available on that particular cruise makes sense. If spirits, cocktails and beer & soft drinks outside meal times are of more importance then it's a different matter

 

BUT, a lot can change in 7 years, especially in the world of Viking and for sure on your next trip, the wine list will be entirely different.

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22 hours ago, Peregrina651 said:

BUT, a lot can change in 7 years, especially in the world of Viking and for sure on your next trip, the wine list will be entirely different.

 

Indeed, as per my post above in reply to @3rdCoastFan  (and the cost of the package has almost doubled)

 

All the same, for wine lovers I think there's a clue in the name Silver Spirits 🙂 

 

Although the website says the package lets you "enjoy unlimited premium wine", it's clearly not unlimited as the best wines on the list are excluded from the package. We have a good cellar and drink good wine every night.

 

Viking house wines - that have already been paid for - have been good enough. I especially like Erhard Morwald's wine from Austria, and, as I try and drink local wines when I travel, I intend to buy some during the trip and have them with dinner. 

 

Still, I'll be very interested in looking at the list when we board next week and see if it's tempting enough to splash out £350

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