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Annie43

Is it possible to cruise without a drink package?

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It's up to you, how does $1200 in liquids sound?

 

For me, that would never be an option. It is not worth $1200 no matter how many opinions of convenience you give me.

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We never get the package and won’t at the current prices.  We spend maybe $200-$300  on our bar bill even on a 10 night cruise.  It’s plenty with our free happy hour. Even with 4 sea days.  I wouldn’t remember the cruise if I drank any more and it’s just more calories.  YMMV. 

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I have to fly to all cruises so I gravitate to longer cruises.  On longer cruises the drink package rarely makes sense for me.

 

My situation is helped being eligible for nightly Diamond happy hour drinks.  Between those and buying several drinks as I go I end up way ahead.

 

I'm fine drinking ship water, not a coffee drinker but the Diamond lounge has a machine if I feel like one and I don't drink until mid or late afternoon.  A couple drinks purchased as I go supplements carry on wine, some CAS wine that is given to me and happy hour Diamond drinks.  

 

My bar bill was $152 on my most recent 11 night cruise and that included buying a couple of glasses of wine for someone else.  Way less than the $650 for the DX.  

 

Some days I allow myself to splurge and for that day I'm am behind the DX.  Then for several days I drink lighter and average out the heavier days so in the end I'm still way ahead of the DX.

 

On shorter cruisers with friends for an event I'll do the DX.  

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Reading this makes me wonder if this is why Celebrity does this as a free perk? All I know is that the with the free perks on oceanview rooms and above on Celebrity booking an inside room doesn’t make sense. We can drink 2 to 3 alcoholic drinks a day or load up on soda and pay same out of pocket as we would in an inside room. 
 

Wonder if the free perks idea will be brought over to RCCL eventually?

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I always want to get one but never do. Mostly because if I had it, I know I would drink more to get my moneys worth😁 and two because the calories in those yummy drinks would kill me.😃

 

We just budget and pay as we go.

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Bottom line is if you drink 4 or 5 drinks a day you should buy package , if not don’t . With prices going up I am sure more people will smuggle in bottles of booze . 

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We drank 4-5 a day and were under the price of the package easily 

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4 minutes ago, janetz said:

We drank 4-5 a day and were under the price of the package easily 

Depends what you drink also if you get soda or bottle water, we normally drink wine about 12 a glass plus tip also several waters .

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No you don't need the BP. All about personal preference and cost (value). We cruised for many years when there wasn't a BP being offred and before we made it in the C&A  top three tier program.  

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I think most people would save money not getting a drink package and buying as consumed.  The convenience is what people really like—not having to keep up with the receipts each drink making sure not to be overcharged.  I have only had a drink package one time and I have decided it is better value for me to pay as I drink.  Sometimes I got a drink when I had the package just because I had the package, not because I wanted a drink.  With Royal Caribbean there is the drink card which for me is a better value.  I also like the coffee card.  Both cards I can share with my husband.  And as another poster posted, I can bring my Brita water bottle.  It is better for our environment to use reusable bottles.  

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3 hours ago, cgolf1 said:

Reading this makes me wonder if this is why Celebrity does this as a free perk? All I know is that the with the free perks on oceanview rooms and above on Celebrity booking an inside room doesn’t make sense. We can drink 2 to 3 alcoholic drinks a day or load up on soda and pay same out of pocket as we would in an inside room. 
 

Wonder if the free perks idea will be brought over to RCCL eventually?

Nothing is ever free.  The cabins without any perk is cheaper.  Two perks the cost is x and three perks a higher fee, and four perks another higher fee.  Never free.

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50+ royal cruises-  no drink packages. No rum runners necessary. 2 bottles of wine, diamond+ lounge, complementary drinks, drinks in port

 

 

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13 hours ago, janetz said:

Just of the Symphony 2weeks ago

We found that most times when we ordered 2 drinks,  with tip it was just a hair over 25.00

We enjoyed the Sangria in Vintages and they were 12 each so that ran us just over 25

Non specialty beers were around 7 and Truly spiked seltzer, 8, these came close to 20

So for 4 drinks a day we were just over 100 a day.

Is you cruise port intensive? Obviously, being off ship a good part of the day you won’t be drinking onboard

We ordered water for our cabin precruise and brought on two bottles of wine

Onboard my husband talked to someone who brought on 4 bottles

He had 2and his wife had 2, they went through security  aopart and not as a couple

We had gifts cards from Christmas we used at the Starbucks inboard.

Most mornings we ordered coffee, tea, juices, fruit, etc from room service so we did not have to go search out coffee first thing. 😊

 

How do I preorder water for our cabin?

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I did a little experiment on our last cruise in October.  Now keep in mind we are D+ so we get the event every night.  We made a rule that we would get a drink no mater time of day when we wanted.  Tracking it we found that we would have lost money on our purchase of a drink package.  On board we spent almost $400 on a 12 nighter and aboutr $700 in dining and drinks on shore..  The drink package if we purchased it at it's lowest price with gratuity would have cost $1300.  I did take into account sea days and port days and even on sea days we would not have used the full drink package.  IMHO, a drink package priced around $30 to $35 a day per person, would be reasonable and I would purchase it.  Anything over you risk wasting your money.  Or as some people have mentioned, just being wasted. 

 

To answer the OP's question, yes it is possible without over spending.

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We drink way more than most , on vacation way more than normal, so even being Diamond plus and being in suite we get package , wine served in suite or diamond lounge I believe is swill . We normally have a couple of glasses with lunch and dinner and many times go above limit of drink package . 

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4 hours ago, Kmangel said:

Nothing is ever free.  The cabins without any perk is cheaper.  Two perks the cost is x and three perks a higher fee, and four perks another higher fee.  Never free.

 

It may not be free, but we can make an oceanview room be the same out of pocket cost as an inside that didn't qualify for the perks, so maybe better than free? I am sure the math doesn't always work out that way.

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11 hours ago, Kmangel said:

I think most people would save money not getting a drink package and buying as consumed.  The convenience is what people really like—not having to keep up with the receipts each drink making sure not to be overcharged.  I have only had a drink package one time and I have decided it is better value for me to pay as I drink.  Sometimes I got a drink when I had the package just because I had the package, not because I wanted a drink.  With Royal Caribbean there is the drink card which for me is a better value.  I also like the coffee card.  Both cards I can share with my husband.  And as another poster posted, I can bring my Brita water bottle.  It is better for our environment to use reusable bottles.  

 

Sorry, but MANY people drink enough to make the package pay.

 

On sea days, we have no problems with it.  On ports days it is more difficult, but we are close to making it pay.   On a port day, there is fresh squeezed OJ and a latte at breakfast.  Then a drink before dinner.  2 glasses of wine with dinner, and a frozen drink during the show.  Plus at least 2 bottles of water for on shore.

 

The convenience is an added bonus.

 

This pattern may not work for YOU, but it works for many.  Even beer drinkers.  Beer is cheaper, but they tend to drink more.  I have seen people around the pool that have hit break even with beers by lunch time. 😄

 

Bottom line, look at YOUR drinking habits.

 

We did a cruise without the package.  Yes we spent less, but we also drank less, as mentally, each one costs.  We prefer having the package.  And when we have it, we use it, without making any special effort.

Edited by SRF

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On 1/18/2020 at 5:56 AM, SRF said:

We did one cruise without a drink package.  We did end up drinking less.

 

But I did miss the convenience.  Without the package, you have to sign the slip for every drink.  And you need to keep an eye on your account to make sure you are not being charged for drinks you did not order/drink.

 

So even if a few days I do not break even, I still prefer the package.

 

And you don't need to "hammer down" drinks to break even.

 

Fresh squeezed OJ with breakfast.  Maybe a latte or two.

 

2 - 3 drinks over the day around the pool.


A cocktail before dinner, a glass of wine with dinner, maybe 2.  And a frozen drink for the show.

 

WELL over the package price, even if you skip one or two.

 

On port days, you miss the drinks during the day.  You still have breakfast and dinner/evening.  And even that is close to break even or even above.

 

And you can even make some of them non-alcoholic.

I always get the alcohol package and my wife the royal replenishment. 

With coffees, juices, waters, beer, cocktails, MOCKTAILS , wines and soda it pays for us when we cruise in the Caribbean. 

If my wife wants a real drink she just gets one as part of her Diamond perks before dinner.

A bottle of Pellegrino waiting on our table each night is always a plus. 

A few of our sailing companions rarely drink anything other than what is complimentary aside from a cocktail or two in the evening and for them the packages would be a waste of money.

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Also. THIS is why I like the mass market lines.  I can purchase what perks work FOR ME.

 

I am not paying for something I would not utilize.

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Absolutely.  We never had the deluxe drink package until we treated ourselves last time on Adventure.  Aside from that cruise, DH always gets the soda package (and one time refreshment package as it was a really good deal), but for alcoholic drinks, we purchase when we wanted a la carte.  I'll say that the package was really nice...being able to try drinks without a worry of not liking them and worrying about the cost.  I am fine sticking to the regular coffee, but the specialty coffees were really nice too.  It was a 6 night cruise and DH made the package worth it on most days except 1 day ( didn't calculate the overall cost if it was worth it counting that day of 0-1 drink) and I broke even on most days except 1.  I definitely was drinking more than normal though.  Without the package, I'd mostly have a glass of wine at dinner (which we would bring) and a fun drink in the evening.  With the package, I'd have 2 specialty coffees (one with baileys), an afternoon fun drink, wine or mojito at diner and an evening drink...plus bottled water.  But I was drinking because we paid for it, and the opportunity to try things.  From cost point of view, we are better off without it...but the "not having to think about it" was nice.

 

We purchased it at $45, and our next two cruises are at the "oops sale" at $18 (we pay in CAD but that's the USD converted amount).  Having said that, I doubt we'll purchase the Deluxe package again at today's cost.  At $45 I broke even.  I'd be way under at current prices.

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We’ve never purchased the drink package, no way we’d come close to breaking even as at most I’d have is a beer or two in the afternoon and then the free drinks during happy hour.  My wife always gets the refreshment package and always breaks even with that between the OJ, coffees and virgin drinks.  

 

Lucked out and got in on the $18 a day deal for four of our cruises this year.  Same price as the refreshment so that’s a no brainer and I will just break even at the $18 a day price but I will probably end up trying a few new drinks and will certainly enjoy the convenience.

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16 hours ago, Kmangel said:

Nothing is ever free.  The cabins without any perk is cheaper.  Two perks the cost is x and three perks a higher fee, and four perks another higher fee.  Never free.

True, but in July I was able to book a balcony on Celebrity Equinox, 7 night, with gratuities, beverage package, WiFi, and $600 OBC.  It was a few dollars cheaper than an inside room on Harmony for the same time period. Only perk was dinner for two in a specialty restaurant and $50 OBC.  Which do you think I chose?😂

 

Sherri🙂

Edited by sjb317

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