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Dave 12-14-2012 06:29 AM

Royal Caribbean Drink Packages Rolled Out
As we heard about a couple weeks ago, RCI has officially announced alcohol packages will come to all 7 night or longer cruises. Read about it here.

poormom 12-14-2012 11:00 AM

I hope it works well for them. I'm just not clear what section of the market this is targeting. Diamond cruisers have free drinks in the afternoon and specialty coffee in the am. Diamond plus have the concierge lounge, and pinnacles have their own club.
So that leaves the newcomers, and lower level cruisers. not much of a market.
And now you can bring 2 bottles of wine. Oh well, I'm not much of a drinker, so maybe I'm not a good judge, but if our tab for just drinks was 1100 dollars for a 10 day cruise, I'd be looking at an all inclusive resort!!!

Dave 12-14-2012 12:49 PM

I discussed this program with my favorite bartender on Liberty Of The Seas. The first cruise he was at the pool bar, but on the second week he had moved to the evening diamond lounge so I had more time to chat with him. He doesn't like it at all and predicted lots of the more talented bartenders will look elsewhere for jobs, since the package cuts into the extra tips they look forward to getting.

I'll tell you, I do drink more than I probably should when cruising and I will give give cash in addition to the normal 15% tip. I've never seen someone with the soda stamp drop some tip money on the bar and I'd think the same will happen with those buying the booze package.

For us, this would be $885.50 for a 7 night cruise, since the actual daily cost is $63.25 and we'd both have to buy it. Now, like I said, I like my drinks on a cruise, but I still don't come close to that figure.

Some think this will add to the problem of drunks but I don't think so. Those who want to drink too much will do it anyway, package or no package.

peter l 12-15-2012 06:09 AM

I'm a little confused Dave. The package price includes a "service charge" but I take it that is not the gratuity for the server. Either way, as is, it would still be a stretch that we would end up with a tab that high, even with purchasing other drinks for our fellow cruisers during our sailing.


Dave 12-15-2012 07:02 AM

Peter, I may need to get clarification on the service charge. The original test on Oasis said $55 plus the 15%, but you are right that the press release says 'inclusive' of service charge. They may have changed it after getting feedback from guests.

Jim1012 12-15-2012 10:37 AM

I'd have to admit that $63 a day for pop and any booze is WAY over my drink limit for a day. I'll still buy a can of soda at the bar and get a glass of ice for the usual $2.75 or so, and my one (maybe) drink a day, and save the rst for other things. I learned on Liberty when one of my kids bought a glass of wine in the dining room and paid more than $13.00 NOT to do that again. I cruise (not often enough for me) at least once a year, and I'd rather spend the extra on a nicer cabin or an excursion somewhere we haven't been yet, or a second cruise that year. Surely there will be people who will like this and use it, but I won't be one of them.

Dave 12-15-2012 11:52 AM

It does appear that Peter pointed out the correct info, and the $45 or $55 fees include the gratuity under the guise of 'service charge'.

For beer drinkers the $45 package is 8 bottles per day, which some have no problem downing. RCI charges $5.25 for their 16 ounce beers.

I think it says something when they say it is only offered on 7 night or longer cruises. People on shorter cruises tend to drink more so the company would not make money with the package. They want those cruisers dropping their SeaPass on the bar every time they order. People on longer cruises tend to drink less, so buying the package is in RCI's favor in those cases.

Jim1012 12-16-2012 06:02 AM

I had never heard that people drink more on shorter cruises. It is an interesting theory tho. Eight beers in my chubby belly in one day would not be a pretty sight.

Dave 12-16-2012 07:31 AM

The demographic for 3/4 night cruises is much younger and also has lots of guests looking to pack a lot into those days. For this reason a lot of bar staff prefer ships doing short cruises because they make more money.

f-mattox 12-17-2012 11:55 AM

Jim1012, that is no theory--that is verufuabke fact.

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