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Deluxe Beverage Package question (new to RCCL)

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Hello RCCL folks, I’ve ventured out of the safety of the NCL forums to prepare for my first Royal cruise on the Oasis next year, and had a drink package question. I’m used to getting it as a perk with NCL, so the concept of actually paying for a drink package is foreign to me. It looks like at the upper end, I can expect to pay nearly 1k for a drink package ($70x7 x 2 + grats?) This seems nuts, to pay nearly 1/3 of my cruise fare to add a drink package. Even X regularly offers the drink package as a perk. A few questions:

 

1)  Does anyone actually pay this much for it? Obviously people do, but has anyone on here done it? I guess it makes sense as long as you drink more than breakeven point but that seems like it would take some serious commitment. 

 

2) What would be the breakeven point? 7 drink or so per day?

 

3) Do they offer discounts, and do the packages ever go on sale?

 

My wife and I usually don’t drink more than 5 or 6 drinks on any given day, and typically average less than that, so if the breakeven is 7 then ala cart makes more sense for us. We like getting the drink package on NCL because the breakeven is closer to 2 or 3 drinks per day (they make you pay for inflated gratuities), and we normally are pretty frugal so having the drink package gives us the ability to drink freely and ignore our natural impulse to try to save money when we can. 

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I got my drink package for 49/person/day. So yes they do go on sale. Happy Cruising 

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Prices are usually less pre-cruise, check your Cruise Planner on Royal's website.  Prices change all the time.

 

Breakeven is around 3-4 foo foo drinks.  More for basic cocktails.

 

 

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if you are going to decide against buying them per drink because you are frugal (I am the same way) then by all means, get the package. It will go on sale and you will find a price that makes it worth it. We got ours for $47 pp. totally worth it. I hated getting that bar bill at the end of my cruise. I also hating bringing rum runners because it was a hassle to keep going back to the room. Plus I felt guilty for doing it. 

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Got it for $44 for our Sept B2B.  Remember, booze, specialty coffees, juice, and water too.  5 of any of the above a day and it’s paid for.  

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I can say we loved having it . We always tried the Drink of the Day and tried many others.  It was great to have wine with dinner.  We were not charged anything over the $12 limit.  It was a great feature to have daily.

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When I was researching my most recent cruise I looked at Norwegian and did a serious breakdown of price between them with the "freebies" and Royal Caribbean without. Royal was significantly less expensive even when purchasing the drink package - which I got for $46/day. 

 

For me, the worth of the package isn't simply down to the dollar, it is not worrying every time I want a drink and being able to try new things I wouldn't normally with no fear I will dislike it and waste the money. 

 

Also, a lot of people seem to forget the package includes all drinks to include bottled water, specialty coffee, fresh juice, smoothies, soda etc. If I have 3 bottles of water a day, one coffee, one juice, and three cocktails I break even. Easy...and delicious! 

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We always get the package. On our first RCL cruise it wasn't available, and we kept the printout of our account. As we were paying drink by drink, we had been (moderately) careful.

 

On our second cruise, the drink package was available, and, on comparing, it cost slightly less than our bar bill last time.

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5 hours ago, tomservo said:

3) Do they offer discounts, and do the packages ever go on sale?

Oh, yes indeed. RCI practices 'dynamic pricing' and changes prices all the time. Especially, it seems, as the cruise gets closer.

 

Buy it any time and cancel/repurchase as many times as you want. For our TA on the Rhapsody last December, I once cancelled and re-bought three times in one afternoon-evening in October. For two combo-internet&beverage. I think they were testing the Cyber Monday prices, because I wound up paying less than $50 each for the combo! It never went lower again, even on CM.

 

We really enjoy the drink package for all the reasons people stated above. 

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Package is almost always on sale at least it is when we cruise, did oasis in November price kept changing But always was in high 40’s , price includes soda and bottle water ,I believe break even for that is about 4 drinks. Keep checking price , if you buy it and price goes down you can get new price.

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The Drink package is worth it to me.....I got it on the Harmony for $45/day.  My last cruise on the Anthem, I only got the refreshment package and although it was great, I missed having the Drink package.  It is great to not have to deal with signing a receipt each time and having it paid before you even step foot on the ship!  I will be sailing on the Oasis next, and I will most certainly buy the Drink package.  I watch for it to go on sale....I purchase it and then keep an eye out for it to go on sale ( I check my cruise planner several times a week).  Also, Black Friday is a good time to catch a sale on drink packages and excursions too!  5-6 drinks a day @ $12 each= pretty much even, if not saving a few bucks!  Also, like others said, it includes bottled waters (which you can get and take with you on ports of call), specialty coffees, fresh squeezed orange juice, smoothies, sodas......I think it would be beneficial for you to consider!!

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10 hours ago, ResearchObsessed said:

When I was researching my most recent cruise I looked at Norwegian and did a serious breakdown of price between them with the "freebies" and Royal Caribbean without. Royal was significantly less expensive even when purchasing the drink package - which I got for $46/day. 

 

For me, the worth of the package isn't simply down to the dollar, it is not worrying every time I want a drink and being able to try new things I wouldn't normally with no fear I will dislike it and waste the money. 

 

Also, a lot of people seem to forget the package includes all drinks to include bottled water, specialty coffee, fresh juice, smoothies, soda etc. If I have 3 bottles of water a day, one coffee, one juice, and three cocktails I break even. Easy...and delicious! 

 

We sail on both NCL and Royal. My upcoming Symphony Cruise was cheaper than my upcoming Encore cruise for a comparable balcony cabin. By the time I purchased the premium drink package from Royal, the prices were pretty close.  NCL had a slight edge with the free 3 specialty dinner perk but you still pay grats on that. Adding in the Royal Unlimited Dining put my Royal price a little higher than NCL but for a much better dining pkg. But my drink pkg. on Royal includes the unlimited streaming WiFi. ( 57.00 per day) So I still have to buy my WiFi on NCL.  I consider them pretty close when all is done.  

 

 

 

Mary Ann

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I wouldn't pay full price for the drinks package... it typically goes on sale at least once every few weeks.  A decent deal is the buy one get one 50% off (and it will ring up as 25% off per person in your cart).  It often runs at 20% off each... and I've heard it does go to 30% off, but I've yet to see that for our September cruise.  You can book it, and then cancel/rebook if it goes on sale at a better price.  I hear lots of folks do that.  We booked ours at BOGO 50% off, but I still check often to see if I can find that elusive 30% off deal.  

 

We cruised last fall on Harmony, and the drinks package was a decent deal for us.  DH doesn't drink as much as I do, but I feel we probably broke even on him, and I may have done some damage to RCI's profit margins that week 🙂

We would get the premium coffees in the morning (the Coconut iced coffee is delish!)... and the fresh OJ was SO much better than the Hi-C-ish OJ that's on the freebie list.  We went through TONS of bottles of water.  Each time I ordered anything with my seapass card, I asked for a couple/few bottles of water along with it, and they obliged.  I liked having the extra bottles for our room fridge, to take on excursions, etc.  We also liked the soda cups that could be used at the freestyle machines.  Those were nice when we went to the pool deck during the day, but cumbersome at night (I just got sodas in a plastic cup if we wanted one in the evening).

 

Adding in the adult beverages... if you "graze" during the day even, it's a good deal.  I'd have a mimosa or a bloody by the pool.. a couple beers in the afternoon... wine with dinner (after the first day, our server had the wine I liked ready as soon as we sat at our table in the MDR)... a few cocktails in the evening.  I sometimes ordered things that were above price point for the package, and never saw the charges on our bill.  It's convenient... maybe slightly wasteful... I know if I went off to play with my kids a bit and the rest of my beer got warm, I'd just order another.  If I was paying $9 for that individual beer.. I would have sucked it up and chugged it, lol.  I definitely wasn't tossing full beers in the trash here and there just because I could.. that's alcohol abuse!  But I definitely didn't feel obligated to drink the 2 inches of warm flat stuff in the bottom of the can that was sitting by my pool chair for 30 mins.  Also, if I tried something I didn't like, I just handed it back to the bartender and asked for something different.  If I was paying individually, I would have choked down the nasty drink.  

All in all, I bet just by myself.. I racked up about $25-30/day in non boozy beverages (coffees, bottles of water, juice, sodas, etc) and at least another 50-75/day in booze.  You can use the package at Cococay and Labadee, too, if that's on your itinerary.  

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Prices change all the time, but will definitely be less expensive pre-cruise.  On our Anthem cruise last April, we paid $41/pp, and on our Allure cruise in December, I think we paid $53.  I'm not sure when your cruise is, but those Anthem prices were secured during a Black Friday promotion, which is a great time to snag deals for excursions, dining and drink packages, etc.  Not sure if anyone has mentioned this, but Royal will always let you cancel and rebook your package if a lower price arises, so many recommend booking whenever you see a price that you are comfortable with, as you can always rebook if it goes down.

 

As for breakeven point, most say it is around 4-5 drinks, but of course will depend on what you drink and the actual price you paid.  If you're drinking 5-6 a day, basically the only way you wouldn't get your money's worth would be if you're drinking Bud Light bottles, or similar.  Don't forget, this includes bottled water (we like to order a couple at each bar stop and bring them back to the room to stash in our fridge!), fresh squeezed juice, specialty coffees, etc.

 

Whatever you decide, you will have a great time!  Happy Cruising!

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As others have said, you'll find it on sale in the cruise planner.    The price moves, so keep an eye.   If it pops at a price lower than you bought, cancel and rebuy at the lower rate.   I do that all the time.

 

When considering whether its worth it, CONSIDER ALL FLUIDS.    a bottle of water runs $3.50-$4.00  Specialty coffees run $6-$8.   Fresh squeezed OJ runs a few bucks.    For us, ~$52pp/pd is our beak even.    We've never paid more than $49.   We always get several bottles of water a day.   Just to stay hydrated, have one at the bedside in the evening, several in the fridge to grab when going on excursions.   It can add up.   Also, the drink package works on CoCo Cay and Labadee if that's one of your stops.  And consider the peace of mind of not having to think about it and the ability to try new things.

 

Its a personal decision, but getting the package makes sense for us each time.

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45 minutes ago, ostrich710 said:

I'm not sure when your cruise is

 

It's in May 2020. I just checked the cruise planner, it's 54pp right now, which is less than the 65-70pp their marketing material was quoting. I might book it now since it doesn't hurt, then keep my eyes open (especially around Black Friday) for when it drops. Is BF going to be the cheapest it gets?

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1 minute ago, tomservo said:

 

 ... Is BF going to be the cheapest it gets?

 

Unpredictable.

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3 minutes ago, tomservo said:

 

It's in May 2020. I just checked the cruise planner, it's 54pp right now, which is less than the 65-70pp their marketing material was quoting. I might book it now since it doesn't hurt, then keep my eyes open (especially around Black Friday) for when it drops. Is BF going to be the cheapest it gets?

 

Typically very good but as Clarea says its unpredictable.    Best prices I've gotten have been two weeks before the cruise.    I they're not selling the number of packages they want, they will adjust the price.

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I just booked a 9 night on the Explorer and it is showing the drink package  at $50 a day.  That would be an extra $1000 on our cruise.  I just can’t see us drinking that much.

 

I usually will have one drink poolside and two glasses of wine a day.  My dh drinks maybe the same or less.  I think we will pay out of pocket and maybe buy a 10drink card if they are offered on sale. 

 

Jist the calories alone I would consume if I get the package is enough to frighten me.😂😂😂

Edited by Heatherco

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4 hours ago, Jaimeglaser said:

I wouldn't pay full price for the drinks package... it typically goes on sale at least once every few weeks.  A decent deal is the buy one get one 50% off (and it will ring up as 25% off per person in your cart).  It often runs at 20% off each... and I've heard it does go to 30% off, but I've yet to see that for our September cruise.  You can book it, and then cancel/rebook if it goes on sale at a better price.  I hear lots of folks do that.  We booked ours at BOGO 50% off, but I still check often to see if I can find that elusive 30% off deal.  

I would love to find a 30% off deal.  That sounds AMAZING.
The crazy part is that a lot of sales are not fleet wide so to tell one person you saw a sale, they may not find it. 
I did mention on another thread that we are buying the Deluxe Drink Package WITH Voom for our cruise on Brilliance in December. 

The package price for Drinks +Voom (which includes Surf & Stream) was only $10 more per day per person than just the Deluxe Drink Package.  
The price per day for the Voom Surf/Stream was showing as $17.99 per person per day.   So we are saving $7.99 per person per day by purchasing it together (almost $40 savings).   If we purchased Deluxe Drink and Voom Surf Only separately, we would pay about $22 more for the week than doing the combined Drink+Voom Surf/Stream pkg. 
Just something to think about as you are looking through the current pricing. You may want to price it all out. 

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On 6/25/2019 at 9:16 PM, tomservo said:

Hello RCCL folks, I’ve ventured out of the safety of the NCL forums to prepare for my first Royal cruise on the Oasis next year, and had a drink package question. I’m used to getting it as a perk with NCL, so the concept of actually paying for a drink package is foreign to me. It looks like at the upper end, I can expect to pay nearly 1k for a drink package ($70x7 x 2 + grats?) This seems nuts, to pay nearly 1/3 of my cruise fare to add a drink package. Even X regularly offers the drink package as a perk. A few questions:

 

1)  Does anyone actually pay this much for it? Obviously people do, but has anyone on here done it? I guess it makes sense as long as you drink more than breakeven point but that seems like it would take some serious commitment. 

 

2) What would be the breakeven point? 7 drink or so per day?

 

3) Do they offer discounts, and do the packages ever go on sale?

 

My wife and I usually don’t drink more than 5 or 6 drinks on any given day, and typically average less than that, so if the breakeven is 7 then ala cart makes more sense for us. We like getting the drink package on NCL because the breakeven is closer to 2 or 3 drinks per day (they make you pay for inflated gratuities), and we normally are pretty frugal so having the drink package gives us the ability to drink freely and ignore our natural impulse to try to save money when we can. 

Here is a spreadsheet to help you see if it is worth the cost or not. 

 

Beverage Program Calculation.xls

 

 

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Does anyone know if the per drink limit on Harmony is $12 with thr package? I thought it was higher on the Oasis class ships? 

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I was on Carnival last year in the Caribbean and bought their drinks package. They put a limit of 16 drinks a day on it and to be honest, I saw that as a challenge 🤣

I only failed one day over the week but did have to pay extra on a couple of other nights. 

I also tipped my server and so they didn't put them all through which was a bonus 😊

My cruise on the jewel this year (this Sunday) had the drinks package with voom as an incentive to book so we're all OK. 

 

Looking forward to it 😁

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