Drink package as a tool

Lots of reviews about whether to buy or not buy a drink package. Having to consume 7 or more per person, per day is daunting if you look at it from a pure drinking perspective.

Another perspective, if you feel moved to purchase, explore wine pairing with your meals. Normally the per glass price can deter having more glass or type per meal. With the drink package, use it to expand your culinary experience. When we would splurge with the package, my wife and I would make it a point to pair lunch and especially dinner courses with suggested wines. That often allowed for 3-4 glasses per meal. Not that we would finish them all, but it gave an opportunity to expand your dining experience without the bar bill regret at the end of the cruise. I think on one cruise, we decided to sample all the umbrella drinks. Not that we consumed them all, but it was an affordable way to see the things we like. Same with martini bars - good way to sample and find out what you like. Its all about the vacation experience - we look at drink packages as a vacation tool. And we don't need to use it on every cruise.

Tags: drink packages

17 Answers

I really don't have trouble meeting the break even point, but when it costs $1000 for a cruise, per person, I will not purchase it.

Although I could break even, I do not need to. I will get a bottle delivered to the room ($18) and get the soda ($8 per day), coffee ($35) and wine packages (about $200) (Princess 15 day cruise). The drink package would be $68 per day (total $1020 pp, vs $493 for two (wife will share the wine, get a soda card. She doesn't drink the booze or coffee). Easily paid for in advance, or with their generous OBC.

Agreed BD...I figured it out a long time ago...problem isn't the amount of drinks really...its calculating it using the absurd prices they charge for a premium drink...or whatever it is you have a taste for...(I have genetic need for Russian Vodka)...you cant use shore prices in bars or at the liquor store. There is a $$ limit, but its not there yet....and as a side note if any newbies are lurking...beware the price differential when yer in USA territorial waters...especially around N.O. be prepared for the most expensive beer you ever drank....

Yes to break even should not be the goal on a cruise. Trying to break even could impair your enjoyment (pun fully intended). In my case since my wife is a non or rare drinker it never pays to purchase a drink plan as I am not capable of consuming enough to cover two packages and still enjoy the cruise in a manner that I may remember. Last cruise we had drink packages included as a booking perk and even then factoring in the 18% gratuity on 2 packages it was worth while but not by much. I did however love the convenience of not having to sign anything for a drink on the company island. Just flash the card, they swipe it and I walk away with drinks.

I like the not signing also. Lately we've just booked with lines that included it as part of a perk.

I love, love, love this suggestion! Many people wouldn't as easily be able to afford a fancy meal back home with all of the wine pairings, but if you're considering buying a drink package anyway, what a fun thing to explore on a cruise. Also - people need to look at all that is included in a drinks package. It usually also includes specialty coffees, smoothies, bottled water, canned soda, etc. depending on the cruise line. If they definitely think that those things would make up the difference that they didn't drink in alcohol, it's worth considering a drinks package for those things, too.

We have looked hard at the "Princess All-Inclusive Beverage Package". As noted, only one need to buy the package, but no sharing, except for a bottle of wine. Trouble we have is that even at $69.00 pd (includes 15% gratuity) for one of us it doesn't pencil. If they required us both to buy the package like some lines do, at a total of $140.00 per day, it would be ridiculous.

A guest is allowed to share a bottle of wine, purchased in the MDR or a bar with others, but can not share any other drinks. For instance, order a cocktail and give it to your wife.

I've costed it out and it doesn't make sense for us, since a good portion of the package is of no use to us, as we would have to pay full price for wine and other liquor for consumption in the cabin plus if we had cocktails at a bar, only one would get the free one, the other would pay full price. For wine ordered at dinner we would only receive 25% off a bottle. Roughly figuring we would be about $450.00 to $600.00 ahead on a two week voyage to not purchase the package for even one of us.

We are both elites and both drink a little. We do like to drink before dinner and during sail away time in our cabin and on our balcony. I'm a vino nut and wife likes cocktails, she doesn't like my red wine but sometimes has her own bottle of white in the dining room as I do with the red. We get a free mini-bar setup to start with as elites. On a two week cruise, if we averaged a bottle of wine a day total in the dining rooms plus that brought to our cabin by room service, it would amount to about $620. max. In addition, if we bought three bottles of the ship's whiskey or whatever on the voyage that would be another $150.00 (Approx.). As elites we get half off of all special cocktails served throughout the cruise in the elite lounge each evening before dinner, unfortunately, this used to be great but recently Princess decided to limit those drinks to weird concoctions only so we rarely attend. So, that would be about a $770. max total booze bill. We hardly ever drink in the bars, but on occasion I have a drink in the hot tub. What little soda and beer we might drink we get free in the mini-bar setup and we don't do the fancy coffee bit.

A liquor package for just one of us would be $966.00. then factor in another $300. to $400. for wine the package doesn't cover.

KENN right off the bat I see what your problem is...you belong to a generation that they wouldn't let out of school until you learned to cipher.....cant help yourself...well, you're in good company....

Yes - that's how we looked at it. Gives you a lot more options without culinary regrets. Although lately, we've looked for cruises where we can get a package as a "perk".

Just be sure to compare apples to apples - what would another line charge for the same cruise plus drink package?

Good points made here. Definitely gave me more information to consider. Thanks


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