A Comprehensive Guide to Maximizing Your Drink Package on a Cruise
If you’re a cruise enthusiast, chances are you’ve contemplated investing in a drink package. As a cruise expert and the face of lifewellcruise.com, I’ve had my fair share of experiences with beverage packages. I am here to share my knowledge to ensure you get value for your money and avoid the common mistakes that can cost you.
Purchasing Your Drink Package
Timing of Purchase
First off, the timing of your purchase matters. Yes, it is advisable to buy your drink package before your voyage begins. This is because buying beforehand typically yields a 10-20% discount compared to purchasing on-board. Not only will you save on costs, but you will also get to lock in a lower rate if prices increase closer to your sailing date.
Rebooking Your Package
Don’t panic if you spot a lower price after making your initial purchase. Most companies will allow you to cancel your earlier booking and rebook at the more affordable rate. So save yourself some money and keep an eye out for sales!
Choosing Your Drinks
When it comes to the actual drinks, don’t fall into the mistake of settling for subpar brands. While airline bartenders might default to cheaper brands, remember that you paid for premium brands too. Do not hesitate to specify your preferred brands when ordering your drinks.
Know What’s on Offer
Before your cruise, take some time to familiarize yourself with the drink brands included in your package. This will equip you to request exactly what you want. Understanding your package and its contents is key to ensuring you don’t miss out on any concealed perks.
Commonly, passengers underestimate the non-alcoholic side of the drink package. Of course, alcoholic drinks may give more ‘bang for your buck’, but don’t overlook specialty coffees, teas, or even frozen beverages. These drinks can be energizing, especially after a long, hot excursion.
Also, a pro tip is to utilize your package to stay hydrated. Request water bottles or cans from bars and distribute them in your cabin. It saves you from paying for expensive mini bar water and provides a handy source of hydration for beach visits.
Assessing the Value of Your Package
When contemplating whether to purchase a beverage package, take the itinerary of the cruise into account. A beverage package may not be worth it if you have numerous shore excursions and won’t spend much time on the ship. In such cases, it might be more cost-effective to pay for individual drinks or bring your own wine.
Cruise Line Amenities
Remember, each cruise line has different policies and offerings. Some have incentives like free Internet or laundry services. Getting acquainted with each line’s offerings is essential in choosing the best package.
Also look into each cruise line’s gratuity policy. Some lines charge gratuities at the time of drink package purchase, while others add them on to each drink. Understanding these policies will prevent any surprise charges.
Exploring Drink Options
Once you’re on-board, don’t limit yourself to standard bar menus. Most cruise bartenders can whip up a wide range of drinks. Explore your options and try something new.
But don’t forget, there are rules to drink packages. Almost all cruise lines mandate that if one person in a cabin purchases an alcoholic package, everyone else in the cabin over 21 must do the same, to avoid sharing. However, if one person doesn’t drink at all, some cruise lines may allow that person to buy a non-alcoholic premium package instead.
Also, be aware that many lines have daily drink limits, usually around 15 alcoholic beverages per day. There might also be a limit on the price of each individual drink.
Exploring the Ship
Once on your cruise, take the time to explore the ship and see what amenities are available. You might find surprising drink options like fresh fruit and vegetable juices at the spa café or specialty coffee at a kiosk. These novel options can enhance your cruise experience.
Remember that a cruise is an opportunity to indulge and treat yourself. If you love a particular morning cocktail or specialty coffee, go ahead and order it. After all, you’re on vacation.
Whilst the choice to invest in a beverage package is individual, with the right knowledge and approach you can maximize its value. Keep an open mind, explore the ship, and, above all, savor every sip. Ultimately, your enjoyment is paramount. Happy cruising!