I am still amazed that passengers who want to sail on a cruise, whether it's NCL, RCL, CCL or any other cruise line complains about the price of alcoholic beverages on a cruise ship. The latest post here that the average price on NCL was $9.50 is just NOT true or accurate. We have sailed on NCL numerous times and will be on the NCL Pearl next week.
NCL does serve "speciality" drinks commonly called the "drink of the day", and when presented in a NCL souvenior glass, the passenger pays a "premium" price for the drink. Ron Clark once again is correct.
We both like to sit and drink a martini each night before dining. NCL has a special Martini menu, showing the various offerrings/types or flavors and the prices are clearly stated. Not one Martini on the list is priced near $9.50.Average is 6.95 to 7.95 per drink. Remember Martini's are usually 100% alcohol, gin or vodka.
In fact we found the average bar drink was priced at $4.50 house drinks to $5.50 for premium liquor drinks. To generalize and state the average was $9.50 is misleading and destructive to NCL and future passengers who may consider a cruise in the future.
Wines on board the ship are priced three times the price in a USA liquor store.This is common place just as in a USA restaurant. A grocery store wine like Berringer White Zinfindel in a USA grocery store is about $6.00, on the ship it's $18.00 per bottle. A $10.00 USA grocery store wine on the ship is $30.00 per bottle.
If your going to take a cruise and worry about every penny spent,I suggest don't book a cruise. Passengers must remember that NCL and ALL cruise lines are in business to make a profit. I have not heard many passengers complaining about drink prices.
I totally disagree with poster Chef Ken, that there are no quality "box wines". We found that "quality box wine(s)" are available at prices from $15.00 to $20.00 per box. We just spent $18.00 for the 3 liter box that we will take on board the Pearl next week. It is Dolce Blanc, a sweet white table wine, made by San Felipe Winery out of New Mexico USA, and can be found on www.southwestwines.com
Check it out.
Passengers have a lot of choices when on a cruise. While I have never been an adovcate of smuggling bottled liquor on board, hard liquor, or wines in a bottle, we have found we have never had problems with our box wine. So you might want to try that method. Otherwise, a lot of passengers will go off in ports at local resturants and bars to party, and lots come back to the ship feeling pretty darn smashed and good.
If cruising, set a limit on how much to spend each day for drinks. You will be given a receipt for each drink purchased. And yes the bar waiters/waitresss get an auto grautity of 15%. These servers DO NOT receive SALARY's or HOURLY WAGES, they essentailly work for the tips. So why should anyone begrudge the staff for trying make an income. This is one reason some passengers may feel "high pressured" by bar staff personel. Its part of their job to produce sales, profits and income for the cruise lines and themselves.
Bottom line, if your going to be a major penney pincher, be prepared for this environment, bar prices, tips, or just don't go on the cruise. Go to the liquor store at home, stay home, watch the travel channel and enjoy your cheap drink.
For us, we'll take that nice Martini for $7.95 then dine on board in their resturants where there is no charge.
Can't wait till next week for the Pearl. Maybe we will see you at the bar.
Richard & Mary
Las Cruces, New Mexico USA