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Princess Wine Packages - Grand Princess

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We are Princess newbies.  We are going on a 15 day Grand Princess cruise from San Francisco to Hawaii in a little less than 2 months.   I'm so confused about the wine.  Can someone please step in and help me with a few questions.  Are there wines available on the ship other than dozen or so I can see on the princess website for pre-purchase?  I'm really not enthused about the ones they have listed on their website.  I'm already planning on taking a case of wine with us when be board, but I know we'll still want additional bottles of wine.  

 

Also, I have read in the forums about wine packages, silver and gold level.  I can't find anything on the princess website about buying them.  Is this something we purchase once we get on the ship?  Can anyone give additional information or their personal opinion on if it's worth it.  Is the wine package a good idea for the nights we want a second bottle?  We live in the SF bay area, so bringing wine from home won't be a problem.

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There are many more than the dozen bottles you are seeing.

 

The wine packages can only be bought onboard.

 

We like the wine package. It gives us  a good break on the price of the wine we drink. We get the 12 bottle silver package. It allows bottles up to $31 and we only pay $20.

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Here’s a link to photos of the new wine list being implemented this Fall fleetwide.

 

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2597437-main-dining-room-drinks-menu-oct-182018-caribbean-princess/

 

The details on the wine packages are:

 

Note: A 15% gratuity is added to all package prices (like any other bar purchase). 

 

Silver Package (wines up to $29 per bottle list price)

7 bottles -- $161 (average of $23 per bottle)

10 bottles -- $210 (average of $21 per bottle)

12 bottles -- $240 (average of $20 per bottle)

 

Gold Package (wines up to $45 per bottle list price)

7 bottles -- $217 (average of $31 per bottle)

10 bottles -- $290 (average of $29 per bottle)

12 bottles -- $336 (average of $28 per bottle)

 

You get a punch card which can be used at any of the dining locations. 

 

You may choose any wine on on the regular wine menu. If you want to buy a wine that costs more than what the package covers, you just pay the difference. For example, if you have a Gold package and buy a wine that costs $46, the charge for $46 will appear on your stateroom account, followed by a $45 credit

 

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o p what ya planning on bringing,  an assortment of varietals or a specific label ?

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Astro Flyers link shows the new dining room wine menu.

We too are doing a 15 day cruise shortly and will be taking a case of wine. We have a few really nice bottles at home, plus will take our own caymus, a few other reds and 2 bottles of sparkling. I’d rather drink what I like at a $15 corkage fee than what I see offered by Princess and at their prices. 

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The wine packages are not offered on all cruises, so don't count on it.   They're usually not offered on shorter cruises (7 days or less), but they also have not been offered on our last 2 cruises - a 15 day RT between Vancouver and Hawaii, and a 12 day RT between LA and Alaska.   We asked our waiters & the maître D and were told 'sorry, not available this trip', without explanation.    

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We only take 10 day or longer cruises and have never been told the wine package is unavailable. Maybe we are just lucky

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27 minutes ago, Kartgv said:

The wine packages are not offered on all cruises, so don't count on it.   They're usually not offered on shorter cruises (7 days or less), but they also have not been offered on our last 2 cruises - a 15 day RT between Vancouver and Hawaii, and a 12 day RT between LA and Alaska.   We asked our waiters & the maître D and were told 'sorry, not available this trip', without explanation.    

Not being available on all cruises is the rationale Princess uses for not promoting it anywhere on their website.

 

Sometimes even on cruises they say it’s available (10+ days) it’s not offered due to a lack of sufficient wine inventory.  That can be a result of resupplying ships sailing around the world which results in less income.

 

With undependable availability passengers such as me are more likely to bring their own wine because as you wrote we cannot “count on it”.  Wine packages have been badly mismanaged & are kept a secret until boarding the ship or reading about it on cruise forums.

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Anyone know if the wine package is offered on the Sapphire Asia?  15 day cruise?   Or a good place to purchase wine in Shanghai prior to cruise.  We will be staying in the Bund area.

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5 hours ago, c-boy said:

o p what ya planning on bringing,  an assortment of varietals or a specific label ?

I'm atobols's other half and she deputized me to respond 🙂

 

We'll have a mixture of things. We live in the Livermore Valley AVA will likely have a lot of Rubino and Ruby Hill wines. We'll  have some of the wines that we get from club subscriptions which will be probably one bottle of Vision Cellars and then whatever is in the rack due to our "world traveler" red subscription with the local wine store. We're thinking of two bottles of sparkling in there as well for Christmas morning and new years night. We have yet to buy those. Not sure if we go local or all-out celebratory on those.

 

On the note of the wine package, it looks like we're going gold. After reviewing the link to the menu posted previously (thanks, BTW, great info), everything we would want is over $29 and many over $45 so gold it is. $336 for a case of wine at markup prices in a captive environment isn't too bad.

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2 hours ago, Astro Flyer said:

Not being available on all cruises is the rationale Princess uses for not promoting it anywhere on their website.

 

Sometimes even on cruises they say it’s available (10+ days) it’s not offered due to a lack of sufficient wine inventory.  That can be a result of resupplying ships sailing around the world which results in less income.

 

With undependable availability passengers such as me are more likely to bring their own wine because as you wrote we cannot “count on it”.  Wine packages have been badly mismanaged & are kept a secret until boarding the ship or reading about it on cruise forums.

Where does one ask for an purchase the package (if available)? At the dining room table? At the guest relations desk?

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12 minutes ago, winestream said:

Where does one ask for an purchase the package (if available)? At the dining room table? At the guest relations desk?

It’s been my experience that the best place is from the dining room waitstaff.  They serve my wine & such sales have benefits including extra time off in port.  They’re the most knowledgeable & are happy to sell it to passengers.

 

I once attempted to purchase it from an Alfredo’s headwaiter who incorrectly said wine packages were unavailable.  Instead he was eager to sell me the expensive all-inclusive drink package which would never be cost effective for me.

 

I’ve also seen tables at the aft elevator outside of the buffet early in the cruise selling drink packages including wine packages.  However I prefer that my dining room servers get the benefits than someone I’ll never see again. 

Edited by Astro Flyer

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29 minutes ago, winestream said:

Where does one ask for an purchase the package (if available)? At the dining room table? At the guest relations desk?

I get it in the dining room the first night.

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On 10/28/2018 at 3:58 PM, winestream said:

I'm atobols's other half and she deputized me to respond 🙂

 

We'll have a mixture of things. We live in the Livermore Valley AVA will likely have a lot of Rubino and Ruby Hill wines. We'll  have some of the wines that we get from club subscriptions which will be probably one bottle of Vision Cellars and then whatever is in the rack due to our "world traveler" red subscription with the local wine store. We're thinking of two bottles of sparkling in there as well for Christmas morning and new years night. We have yet to buy those. Not sure if we go local or all-out celebratory on those.

 

On the note of the wine package, it looks like we're going gold. After reviewing the link to the menu posted previously (thanks, BTW, great info), everything we would want is over $29 and many over $45 so gold it is. $336 for a case of wine at markup prices in a captive environment isn't too bad.

 

Of course you are only permitted to bring one bottle of wine per person onboard.

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35 minutes ago, Videopark said:

 

Of course you are only permitted to bring one bottle of wine per person onboard.

Only one bottle per person to drink in cabin without any fee ($15 fee in dining room);  unlimited number of bottles that are subject to the $15/bottle fee to drink anywhere.

Edited by Astro Flyer

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Yes, I should have been more clear. Extra bottles are charged $15 each beyond the one bottle per person.

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FYI... On the Grand Princess right now. They have at least temporarily discontinued the wine package in board. Princess claims that since the wine supplier changed that they haven't yet negotiated a package deal. At least that's the story we got.

Edited by winestream

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36 minutes ago, winestream said:

FYI... On the Grand Princess right now. They have at least temporarily discontinued the wine package in board. Princess claims that since the wine supplier changed that they haven't yet negotiated a package deal. At least that's the story we got.

Thanks...I’ve read posts from other ships that the Silver package ($29 limit) was eliminated because only a few bottles were in that price range.  The Gold packages ($45 limit) had continued but as your experience proves the packages will be in flux for awhile during this transition to the new wine list.

 

For our Spring B2B 7-day cruises driving to the Port of LA we’ll have a 12-pack container of wine like you.

Edited by Astro Flyer

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1 hour ago, Astro Flyer said:

Thanks...I’ve read posts from other ships that the Silver package ($29 limit) was eliminated because only a few bottles were in that price range.  The Gold packages ($45 limit) had continued but as your experience proves the packages will be in flux for awhile during this transition to the new wine list.

 

For our Spring B2B 7-day cruises driving to the Port of LA we’ll have a 12-pack container of wine like you.

On the Sapphire last week. Silver package has been eliminated. Bought the 12 bottle Gold package. Was told that 70% of the wines had been exchanged and they would soon transition the remainder to the new wine menu.

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