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jeremystevens

Can't buy beverage package for just one person

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Hi,

 

I drink tea, coffee and alcohol but my wife only drinks mineral water and soft drinks/juices. It makes sense to buy a beverage package for me, but not for my wife. HAL have confirmed to me by email that everyone aged over 21 in a stateroom has to have the same beverage package - so if we don't buy one for my wife (which makes no financial sense to do), I can't buy one either.

 

I understand that the rule is there to stop people 'sharing' a single beverage package, but surely we're not the only couple who've ever sailed with HAL where one person drinks and the other doesn't. Is there any way around this? HAL's suggestion was that I'll have to pay-as-I-go, but I'll be missing out on the benefits of buying a package by doing that.

 

Thanks,

 

 

Jeremy

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You have identified the reasons for the rule, and it is the rule. No way around it. Just a fact of life. And pretty common across the cruise lines.

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She Who Must Be Obeyed doesn't drink so a beverage package would never work for me.  What I do is order a bottle or two or three of scotch (depending on how long the cruise is ) to be delivered to our cabin on embarkation day.  The liter sized bottles are more pricey than on land, but a heck of a lot cheaper than by the drink.

 

It's supposed to be consumed in your cabin only, but I'll occasionally take a wee dram with me while out and about in the evening for a turn around the promenade.

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That's just not true. Once ordered through room service, you are allowed to take your beverage anywhere you want. You have also paid the 15 percent service charge so no problem at all. 

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15 minutes ago, SargassoPirate said:

It's supposed to be consumed in your cabin only,

I believe that only applies to the corkage-free wine you bring on board. For everything you have purchased from HAL on board or in advance you have given them profit and paid the 15%  service charge, and can be taken anywhere.

Edited by catl331

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21 minutes ago, Mosaic said:

Not much benefit to the packages anyway.....often none.

 

By what definition? The Signature plan is $44.95/day if purchased in advance. Just 5 $9 drinks and you are even...anything above that is a savings. So to say "none" is missing a lot of possibilities.

 

Of course, plans are not for everyone...it depends on what and how much you drink. But there is no blanket statement that there is  no benefit.

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3 hours ago, CruiserBruce said:

You have identified the reasons for the rule, and it is the rule. No way around it. Just a fact of life. And pretty common across the cruise lines.

Royal allows different packages but the only way to get it is to call in and explain the circumstances, can't be done online.

Edited by AlanF65

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I have heard of exceptions to the policy IF there are medical reasons.

 

I believe a letter from the Doctor had to be provided and not sure of what else can be involved.  It doesn’t hurt to call HAL on a regular business day to discuss if that is the case.

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4 hours ago, echoshipmate said:

That's just not true. Once ordered through room service, you are allowed to take your beverage anywhere you want. You have also paid the 15 percent service charge so no problem at all. 

 

Wahooo!  Thanks.  I was thinking that on our previous HAL cruise, the fine print required that it be consumed in the cabin.  No way to enforce that anyway.

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You can look at it as an expense for the room. Sort of like someone sailing single has to pay 100% or near markup on the fare (they're renting both beds). On HAL that is, I'm reading that Princess lets one person in a cabin have the adult beverage plan... of course their package is about 1/3 more than HAL's, possibly to offset people sharing!

 

Strategies include bottle(s) in your room, bringing on your own wine and paying corkage (over the first bottle), buying a wine package, buying bucket(s) of beer, and happy hour (buy one drink get second of the same for $2).

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On 11/29/2019 at 4:06 AM, kazu said:

I have heard of exceptions to the policy IF there are medical reasons.

 

I believe a letter from the Doctor had to be provided and not sure of what else can be involved.  It doesn’t hurt to call HAL on a regular business day to discuss if that is the case.

This is correct. A close friend did this on a cruise in September round the Med on the Nieuw Statendam - wife takes medication that does not mix well with alcohol, rang HAL who advised to provide a letter from her Doctor stating this which she did and the husband was able to purchase a signature beverage package for just himself.

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10 hours ago, Nang said:

This is correct. A close friend did this on a cruise in September round the Med on the Nieuw Statendam - wife takes medication that does not mix well with alcohol, rang HAL who advised to provide a letter from her Doctor stating this which she did and the husband was able to purchase a signature beverage package for just himself.

 

Great information.

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A legitimate, documented medical condition is the only way around this "both must buy" rule.  You can thank the freeloaders who successfully shared a single drink package between one or more friends in past years.   Most cruise lines have this restriction.  The few that don't charge upwards of $75 to $80 per day, so if a few drinks get slipped by to non-package friends, there's no loss.  But even on these lines, they do warn about no sharing.  If you are caught sharing, and the waiters are very good at detecting this,  you lose the package, and there's no refund for unused days.

Some posts that say the package is of no value are (hopefully) speaking strictly about their own beverage consumption levels.  If all you consume is a glass or 2 of wine at dinner, then, of course, the package is a waste of money.  But, the cost of the package is $51.70 per day, including the 15% service charge.   The average drink price on HAL ships is still around $9.50 including the 15% SC.  So, you are drinking free after 6 drinks.  And you get ALL the water, sodas, and specialty coffees you want, unlimited, with the package, and it doesn't count towards your daily 15 alcoholic drink limit.   Each person has to compare their beverage consumption level while on vacation, which is usually higher than what you do at home, when you have to go to work the next day.  You are on vacation, the captain is driving, so you generally let loose and consume more than you normally would do in a restaurant at home.

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On 11/28/2019 at 7:23 AM, jeremystevens said:

I understand that the rule is there to stop people 'sharing' a single beverage package, but surely we're not the only couple who've ever sailed with HAL where one person drinks and the other doesn't. Is there any way around this?

Travel solo or with a fellow imbiber.

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6 hours ago, whogo said:

Travel solo or with a fellow imbiber.

That's excellent and extremely practical advice whogo. Bearing in mind the cruise is already booked, I shall have to decide whether it is best to cancel my wife's part of the booking completely, or try to convert her into a drinker within the next three months. Wouldn't want to waste the opportunities provided by a beverage package.

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I guess the thing to do is decide how much both packages would cost you and then decide how much it will cost you to drink what you want. That should make the decision for you on which way to proceed.

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1 hour ago, wyobean said:

I guess the thing to do is decide how much both packages would cost you and then decide how much it will cost you to drink what you want. That should make the decision for you on which way to proceed.

Yes, thanks wyobean. I think, as I'm not a heavy drinker, it's likely to be better if I just pay-as-I-go.

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