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stellababy

Drink Package Value - Norwegian EPIC 11-day (9 ports)

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Hi there! I have a few questions regarding the Norwegian Drink Package on the 11-day Southern Caribbean Epic Cruise with 9 (nine!) ports. We like to drink on vacation and have never purchased the drink package. Since none of the free offers are available when the Sailaway rate is selected, I compared the pricing for an inside cabin (or balcony) with the "free" drink package selected to the Sailaway rate (comparable cabin). It seems the drink package costs roughly $1000 for two people (drink gratuity of $435 included). TIA!!

 

+ If you've taken this cruise (or one with a port-heavy itinerary), what are your thoughts about the drink package? Would you choose this option again? Considering we'll likely drink on the islands during the day, I'm wondering if you found the package to be a good value. We've always brought our own alcohol on the ship but the restrictions seem tighter now. Any helpful feedback appreciated!

 

+ I have quotes from agencies that include the drink package on this sailing for roughly $500 with the stipulation that we would be responsible for our gratuities. Has anyone had a deal similar and how does it work? Do we need to write in a tip for each drink or is there a specific gratuity (20%?) added to our bill for each drink we order?

 

+ Are you able to take drinks (alcohol) off the ship? 

 

+ How many drinks can one order at a time? Can you order shots? Doubles? 

 

+ How are the lines?

 

+ Can you order alcohol via room service with the drink package?

 

Thank you!! 

 

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3 hours ago, stellababy said:

Hi there! I have a few questions regarding the Norwegian Drink Package on the 11-day Southern Caribbean Epic Cruise with 9 (nine!) ports. We like to drink on vacation and have never purchased the drink package. Since none of the free offers are available when the Sailaway rate is selected, I compared the pricing for an inside cabin (or balcony) with the "free" drink package selected to the Sailaway rate (comparable cabin). It seems the drink package costs roughly $1000 for two people (drink gratuity of $435 included). TIA!

 

+ If you've taken this cruise (or one with a port-heavy itinerary), what are your thoughts about the drink package? Would you choose this option again? Considering we'll likely drink on the islands during the day, I'm wondering if you found the package to be a good value. We've always brought our own alcohol on the ship but the restrictions seem tighter now. Any helpful feedback appreciated!

 

+ I have quotes from agencies that include the drink package on this sailing for roughly $500 with the stipulation that we would be responsible for our gratuities. Has anyone had a deal similar and how does it work? Do we need to write in a tip for each drink or is there a specific gratuity (20%?) added to our bill for each drink we order?

 

You prepay gratuities, about $20/day/person.  If you order 2 drinks/day you’ve covered your grats.  If it’s a total of $500/2/14 days that’s about another $20/day, so all depends on how much you plan to drink.

 

You can’t get room service to bring you (free/included) drinks but both of you can go to a bar, get 2 drinks each, and bring them back to your room.  

 

Anything $15 and under is included, and you can get two at a time - so that includes 2 beers, for example.

 

You aren’t supposed to take food & drink off the ship.  

 

As far as is it worth it, if you figure a regular mixed drink, with gratuity, is about $15, how many would you average per day?  Then it becomes simple arithmetic!

Edited by erdoran

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How did you get to $1000? The grats would be about $435 as you mention, but $99x11x2=$2178 for two people, for a total of $2613 if you do not get the drink package included. I love the drink package. I like picking my own room so I wouldn’t consider the sailaway rate. If you drink 2 drinks a day, you come out ahead. If you only drink beer, you’d need to get 4 beers to come out ahead.

 

You can get two drinks per card at a time. I’ve never had an issue with lines. As previously mentioned, you cannot being alcohol off the ship. 

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We always take the drink package. As stated before the grats work out to about 20.00  so once you have a second drink your ahead of the game. Last year we did a 14 day cruise and this year we are booked on a 9 day with 5 ports. If your not a drinker than pass on that perk.

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2 hours ago, Chigirlcruzin said:

How did you get to $1000? The grats would be about $435 as you mention, but $99x11x2=$2178 for two people, for a total of $2613 if you do not get the drink package included. I love the drink package. I like picking my own room so I wouldn’t consider the sailaway rate. If you drink 2 drinks a day, you come out ahead. If you only drink beer, you’d need to get 4 beers to come out ahead.

 

You can get two drinks per card at a time. I’ve never had an issue with lines. As previously mentioned, you cannot being alcohol off the ship. 

Hi there! Thanks for the 411. I've only sailed on Celebrity and Carnival so I wasn't aware of the drink package pricing / person / per day calculation. $1000 seems to be a deal versus buying the package outright. How I calculated: I compared the sailaway rate (no drink package) to a comparable choose-your-own location in the same category (with the drink package included) and the average price increase (for the sailing mentioned) was $1000. I know this isn't a true comparison but it was close enough to compare. I like to know how much I'm actually paying for the "free offers" so I can determine its value. Now that I know the fine print (2 drinks/order, $15/drink value, etc), I can do the math. Thanks to everyone for commenting! 

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One piece of math to keep in mind: there is cost associated with “free” perks (outside of the service charges).

 

example: (per person)

NCL Bliss 6/9/19

Sailaway Balcony: $1,699

Balcony with “free” perks: $1,999

Service Charge: $140

 

the sailaway price is veiled in a “pay an extra $300 per person to pick your stateroom.” When in actuality it is simply charging you for those free perks. $440 for that beverage package... not so different from other cruise lines and the break even at $10/drink is 6.5 drinks a day, every day for 7 days. Can you break even? Sure... (I do ;)) but you should be armed with all the info.

 

many aren’t willing to let NCL pick their room, so NCL marketing works really hard to make people think they’re getting something for free. No price transparency there!

 

all that said- NCL pricing is competitive with most other lines. They just play some mind games but in advance

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