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Are any drink packages worth it?


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I'm looking at the total price for a refreshment package (on sale) for $165 for the week and wondering if it's even worth it.  I'd be getting two for my kids.

 

If we just bought individual drinks (they like soda and the mocktails) would we really get our money's worth at $20 a day (plus gratuities)?

 

Thanks.

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It depends on how much soda they drink. I bought the soda package for my kids and told them "make sure I get my money's worth". They didn't let me down.🙂 But that package only included soda, no mocktails or juice or anything else. 

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Generally the cruise line will make out on any service/product they provide, but it can be "worth it" for some.  Generally soft drinks are around $3 and mocktails around $6 (I'm not sure on juice).

 

I personally would carry on the desired soft drinks allowed by your line (most lines allow some) and budget for the rest.  Especially if they prefer a certain brand of drink (most lines are Coke, and I never see Dr. Pepper).

 

If you suspect you won't spend as much as the package, you can give each child $25 per day and it would be close to the same amount with tip.  As the parent you can decide if they get to keep any left over - it can be a good learning experience either way.

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3 hours ago, pacruise804 said:

 

I personally would carry on the desired soft drinks allowed by your line (most lines allow some) and budget for the rest.  Especially if they prefer a certain brand of drink (most lines are Coke, and I never see Dr. Pepper).

Oasis class on Royal Caribbean have Dr Pepper on the freestyle machines, also all Royal ships embarking from Galveston stock Dr Pepper. 

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Our first cruise we bought the drink package (Carnival Sunshine). It was for 2 adults and 1 child.

We did not save money as the bars were busy on sea days, we had to pay an extra charge on port days.

 

Second cruise was on NCL and we saved money by paying each time. We also sometimes got free pop, and I had a drink card at the casino.

 

For our next cruise I'm not sure what we'll do but I can easily drink 5-6 pops a day and my son 2-3.

 

It's seriously a complicated math equation.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Personally, I never see a value in drink package and wonder how folks can recover.  I typically cruise with 6-8 (3-5 adult/ 3 child) person, only myself and oldest daughter drinks (5 - 8 drinks per day), DW one or two, we don't drink much soda, our typical drink cost per 7 day cruises come to around $700 for alcohol/non alcohol, ice cream/smooth, etc.  So, when forced to get packages for whole family, we lose big.  Estimate your drinks ($6 to 10 per drinks, $6 for smoothy etc) vs the package price.  General thumb of rule is you don't want a hassle get a package, you control your expenses and don't drink more than 6 a day and have non drinkers in the party then don't get a package.

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The drink package that we had on the MSC Meraviglia was worth every penny. It was included in our cruise fare. 😀

 

But if I’d come out of my pocket,I probably would’ve declined it. We don’t drink enough to justify it. Mostly soda, water and specialty coffee. Just a few beers and wine glasses here and there 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Last cruise a bunch of our softball buddies and we crashed another player's familymoon cruise. It was a party group of over 40 people .We are social drinkers and this is a group that drinks a lot- so we bought the RCI drink packages and we got our moneys worth on that (although DH got the lower cost beer package so was much less expensive) and we plan to get it on our upcoming 4 day carnival booze cruise with the same group. But on my girl's cruise for my sister and I, or my DH and I going just us on HOTS next year, we were not planning to get it. Two bottles of wine we can bring and occaisional drinks at the pool or with dinner are all we need so it didn't make sense. I think you have to judge your habits, the situation and your own susceptibility to going over a budget as you make your decision, However I happened to be in my cruise planner on that wondrous day of the $18 a day deluxe drink plans so bought it for both cruises where we wouldn't have even purchased a refreshment package. Considering on prior cruises with just us, we never spent more then $200 total on our alcohol for 7 nites,  I am sure we will enjoy the freedom of the deluxe package but RCI won't be losing much. (And we will certainly tip extra) Waiting on an aarp discount gift card to come in the mail to buy the carnival drink package  at the only discount I could find. ($500 gift card for $450)

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  • 1 month later...
On 8/11/2019 at 6:31 AM, sparks1093 said:

It depends on how much soda they drink. I bought the soda package for my kids and told them "make sure I get my money's worth". They didn't let me down.🙂 But that package only included soda, no mocktails or juice or anything else. 

 

I take pretty much the exact opposite tactic.  Price not withstanding I don't want my kids drinking a gallon of soda.  I would rather give them a daily limit on their card that they can use for soda, candy, arcade etc and let them budget for themselves.  

 

A few reasons.  1.  I don't want my kids drinking too much soda.  When they run out of money they run out of sugar and need to switch to water.  2.  Teaches them to budget and make choices.  Do I want soda or do I want candy or do I want the arcade or do I want something from the gift shop?    

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 10/16/2019 at 1:28 PM, ed01106 said:

 

I take pretty much the exact opposite tactic.  Price not withstanding I don't want my kids drinking a gallon of soda.  I would rather give them a daily limit on their card that they can use for soda, candy, arcade etc and let them budget for themselves.  

 

A few reasons.  1.  I don't want my kids drinking too much soda.  When they run out of money they run out of sugar and need to switch to water.  2.  Teaches them to budget and make choices.  Do I want soda or do I want candy or do I want the arcade or do I want something from the gift shop?    

I mean, I can see both sides. My parents always just let me get whatever on vacation because it was a very special occasion. So I can see them getting the drink package for sodas because of that. They wanted vacation to be the one time where we didn't have to sit around counting out every last bit of our budget and actually just relax and have fun. 

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When I'm on vaca I drink more than normal, but even at that, it's hard to get in 5 - 6 adult drinks per day, when you take into account the days you're off the ship most of the day in port. I bought the deluxe drink package on my New Years cruise but just the soda package on my most recent cruise.  I spent just about $300 on my sea card on mostly alcohol across all 7 days.  With the best rate available to me I would have spent over $400 on the deluxe drink package.  I think even the soda package wasn't really worth it for me, other than I snuck a couple sodas for  my grandmother and mom.  Even at that, I don't think I averaged 3 sodas a day.

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  • 3 weeks later...

On all lines, Ice water, coffee, tea (iced or hot), lemonade or fruit punch, milk and juice at breakfast are INCLUDED in your fare.  You can buy anything without a package, so if you want the kids to split a can of soda, by all means, buy one!  Probably cheaper to do it that way, then paying for a package.

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  • 4 months later...
  • 4 weeks later...
On 10/29/2019 at 5:28 PM, ninsianna said:

When I'm on vaca I drink more than normal, but even at that, it's hard to get in 5 - 6 adult drinks per day, when you take into account the days you're off the ship most of the day in port. I bought the deluxe drink package on my New Years cruise but just the soda package on my most recent cruise.  I spent just about $300 on my sea card on mostly alcohol across all 7 days.  With the best rate available to me I would have spent over $400 on the deluxe drink package.  I think even the soda package wasn't really worth it for me, other than I snuck a couple sodas for  my grandmother and mom.  Even at that, I don't think I averaged 3 sodas a day.

 

People are different but for us it's very easy to drink 5-6 adult drinks per day.

 

1 beer at lunch, 2-3 drinks during the afternoon, 2 predinner drinks, 2 glasses of wine with dinner and at least 2 drinks after dinner = 9-10 adult drinks.

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  • 4 months later...
 
People are different but for us it's very easy to drink 5-6 adult drinks per day.
 
1 beer at lunch, 2-3 drinks during the afternoon, 2 predinner drinks, 2 glasses of wine with dinner and at least 2 drinks after dinner = 9-10 adult drinks.
What about the port days?
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11 minutes ago, drsel said:
On 4/16/2020 at 2:34 PM, sverigecruiser said:
 
People are different but for us it's very easy to drink 5-6 adult drinks per day.
 
1 beer at lunch, 2-3 drinks during the afternoon, 2 predinner drinks, 2 glasses of wine with dinner and at least 2 drinks after dinner = 9-10 adult drinks.

What about the port days?

 

We normally don't drink less on a portday. Most portdays we are back on the ship for that lunchbeer! 

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17 hours ago, drsel said:

I think drink packages will make sense if you are planning to remain on the ship during the port days.
Because just going to town and back takes a lot of time

When we were in port in Florida we went to Universal Studios for the day. By the time we got back aboard we were pretty wrung out and only had one drink each that day. We had enough on the other days to more than make up for it. That being said, we have only had the drink package once and likely won't get it again unless the price is too good to pass up. I did enjoy the drink package (I got to try almost every drink I'd ever heard of and in the process found some good alternatives to my regular drink of choice) but it did tend to make us (well, me in particular) drink more than normal. I never got drunk but I did ingest a lot more calories than I needed to. I know what we normally spend if we drink when we want to and what we want to (i.e. we want a specialty coffee or something other than a hard drink) so that's my bright line- if the drink package is around that figure or higher we will pass. If it's $50 or more less than that figure then I'll buy it. 

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22 hours ago, drsel said:

I think Royal has a 50% off on their Deluxe drink package.
so now it's only $44 per person per day

Royal is the only cruise line that I'm aware of that aggressively uses "dynamic pricing" for the drink packages. Their package will vary by ship and sailing, with some ships charging full price and others having hefty discounts. When we sailed with Royal I think we paid something like $42pp/pd. I think I've only seen Carnival put theirs on sale once. Of course NCL will include the drink package in your cruise fare if you choose it (and will charge you the gratuities). The trick is to know what you will realistically consume, how much you would realistically budget and spend (difficult for first time cruisers, I know). We don't have any cruises booked at the moment so we aren't receiving promotional emails.

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