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illusion lass 09-08-2011 10:31 AM

Hidden extras
 
We are new to cruising and wonder if you can help us budget sensibly.

We have paid our tips up front but find that we are still being charged extra for drinks packages, etc - is this correct or are we being charged twice?

Are snacks and coffees included in our full board package on Navigator OTS or can anyone give us estimated costs?

We don't want to stint ourselves but nor do we want a hefty credit card bill at the end of our cruise.

Sandy 09-08-2011 11:40 AM

Things for which you'll pay extra include alcoholic drinks, soft drinks (Coca Cola, etc), bottled water, specialty coffees such a cappuccino, shore tours, and specialty restaurant surcharges. Since all of the above are voluntary, you can regulate your extra charges by keeping track of how much you're spending on drinks, etc.

The drink packages are available but not mandatory. You can pay on a per-drink basis if you prefer.

Don't forget that you're going to have a fantastic time!

illusion lass 09-08-2011 12:43 PM

Hidden extras
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sandy (Post 290442)
Things for which you'll pay extra include alcoholic drinks, soft drinks (Coca Cola, etc), bottled water, specialty coffees such a cappuccino, shore tours, and specialty restaurant surcharges. Since all of the above are voluntary, you can regulate your extra charges by keeping track of how much you're spending on drinks, etc.

The drink packages are available but not mandatory. You can pay on a per-drink basis if you prefer.

Don't forget that you're going to have a fantastic time!



Thank you Sandy. I am sure we will have a great time.

My only unanswered query is about the drinks package which I think is a good idea.
The literature says that all drinks carry a service charge and we have had extra added to our bill. Is this not included in pre-paid tips?

Sandy 09-08-2011 01:05 PM

The pre-paid gratuities are for your room steward, waiter, assistant waiter, and maitre d'. They don't include the tip that's added into the cost of each drink.

Jim1012 09-08-2011 01:54 PM

Hidden Costs
 
Drinks (all drinks, i.e.soda or alcohol) have a set price and a small tip for the server attached to the cost of the drink. Coffee, tea, iced tea, and table water in a glass for dinner are all included in your fare. In the morning for breakfast, there are juices and milk and coffee and tea also included. Alcohol is NOT cheap-drinks are usually compared to a fine restaurant or downtown bar. Cans of soda can be bought at the pool deck bars and other bars for ABOUT $2.50 US. Unless you drink TONS of soda, the soda stamp or card or whatever the ship calls it is WAY OVER PRICED, and in MY opinion only, not worth the cost. There is also a charge for anything taken from the mini-bar in your cabin at regular normal costs. Pictures are taken all over the place, and you MAY, or MAY NOT buy them. They are on display in the photo area of the ship. There will be many places for you to spend your money at the shops and such on board, as well as a casino, but all those purchases are YOUR choice. Since this is your first, TRY and NOT buy everything you see; be a little careful, and you WILL have a great time. Our first cruise on Mariner had a bill at the end of just over $600 for both of us; not too bad for a first time, and some of that was the soda stamp that we NEVER buy now.

MCPayne 09-08-2011 07:34 PM

Hi illusion lass.

As previously stated, charges once onboard include drinks, certain onboard activities (such as Bingo), onboard photos that they take, as well as certain restaurants and snacks. I'm not sure about the Navigator, but if they have a Cafe Promenade, they have certain items that are free and certain items that you have to pay for.

As far as the photos, they can range anywhere from $8 to $25, and maybe more, depending upon whether or not you want a frame, etc. You are under no obligation to purchase the photos.

In terms of the drinks, yes, as mentioned, you can either buy drinks individually or get some kind of package. The soda package is not worth it, as you have to drink at least 3 sodas per day to pay that off. I normally don't drink alcohol, so I don't know how much that would be, but again, it depends on what you order. Also, at dinner, you can get wine either by the glass or by the bottle. I prefer by the glass, as I like to try a different wine each night. That's about the extent to which I'll drink, one glass of wine every night during dinner while I'm on the cruise. A 15% gratuity is added to each drink sale, as the bartenders are those whose service is not enjoyed by everyone, unlike the cabin stewards and dining room staff.

So, in answer to your question about drink packages, you are not being charged twice in terms of those gratuities. Your prepaid gratuities include your stateroom attendant team, dining room waiter, assistant waiter, and head waiter. They DO NOT include bar staff.

I can't remember offhand what Royal Caribbean's gratuity suggestions are, in terms of amounts. If you prepaid them (either when you booked your cruise, or onboard), you will get vouchers delivered to your stateroom towards the end of the cruise. You will also get envelopes to pass out to your various team members. I usually prepay mine, and if I feel someone has gone above and beyond, I give them a little extra cash in addition to the prepaid voucher. What many people don't realize is that the crew works very hard for little money, and they rely primarily on gratuities.

An example is my Dining Room Waiter when I went on my Enchantment of the Seas cruise. By the 3rd night of a 5 night cruise, she already knew that I wanted decaf coffee with whatever dessert I chose. Having remembered that, I gave her the prepaid voucher for the cruise, as well as a little extra cash for having remembered my preferred beverage once dessert came.

Dwayne 09-08-2011 09:11 PM

Hi illusion lass, and Welcome to Cruise Reviews Forums!

Check out the link below for a breakdown of what is and is not included in your cruise fare.

Click Here.

Welcome Aboard,

Dwayne

illusion lass 09-09-2011 02:45 AM

Hidden Extras
 
Thank you all for your helpful advice and comments.

Can't wait to get away.:)


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