Recently Princess joined many of the other cruise line by introducing an All Inclusive Drink Package.
The cost for this package is $50 a day plus tip = $56.35 per day. It is sold only on the first and second day of the cruise. Note if you buy it the second day you will be charge for the entire voyage, including the first day, so buy it as soon as you can. Note the price and details have changed as of September 2017 see this new blog for more details.
From Princess' page it is describe as
Take advantage of our All-Inclusive Beverage Package which includes any individual beverage item, such as soda, water, cocktails, spirits, wines, beers, coffee and tea, up to $10 (retail value). Bottles of wine are NOT included in the package; however, when purchased in bars, dining rooms or specialty restaurants, will be available at 40% discount from the menu price. Applicable to all bottles below $100 retail. Note: This package is available for consumption at all bars, public areas and dining venues (not room service and excludes mini bar items). Terms and conditions may apply.
When you buy the package they will put a little sticker on your cruise card. In the above picture you can see the small blue sticker with the Princess Logo.
When you order a drink the put in your portfolio number and order the drink. The system knows you have the package and does keep track of how many drinks you are ordering.
You should each order the drink package. You are not allowed to order and share with others. Note people have been contacted by officers when issues arise of blatant abuse, ie. drink sharing. I am not sure what the consequences are though. If you have had an issue let me know, I am curious.
We have not gotten the drink package since it came into effect. But we recently did a short three day cruise and thought since we had a good amount of on board credit it may be worth getting, to try it out. I giggled and said "it is research for my blog".
I did not buy it ahead of time. If you buy ahead of time thru your cruise personalizer you will have to pay for it right then. When you check in, your cruise card will already have the sticker on it. For us this time we just went to one of the MANY tables set up all over the ship that was selling all the drink package options.
Drink prices are quite fair and comparable to many restaurants at home. Here is a link to the Martini Bar drink menu. Vines Bar Menu. And here is a link to pictures of many of the bar menus on board.
Here is my experience with the drink package
- We loved the freedom the package brought. No worries about the added costs of each drink. No worries if we didn't care for the drink we felt free to just leave it. This happened when I ordered a special margarita that I thought I would try but it was way too sweet for me.
- I loved trying different drinks that I would never try and even fell in love with some new ones.
- Crew were so helpful with recommendations for us to try.
- We certainly drank more than the cost per day (oh that could be a negative too).
- Love the freshly squeezed orange juice every morning.
- We didn't hesitate to get bottled water or sparkling water when regular tap water.
- The Elite Mini Bar set up we usually get we were able to trade it in for two coffee cards for use on another cruise.
- It made us drink more than we normally would.
- We always were aware of how much we had drank and whether we had reached the threshold of $50
- We drank bottled water or sparkling water when we could of just had regular tap water, so felt a little guilty about that.
- Drank more soda (usually at lunch) when normally I would of drank water.
- Certainly consumed more calories.
- Thought it was odd that some items were not included in the package. ie. the small bottles of wine sold at Horizon Court for $5. When I tried to get one they said sorry not included.
- The cost is high for us considering we rarely drink $50 each per day normally.
The crew are not getting as much of the tip pool as they would if we just ordered the drink by drink. Plus they are much much busier.
Certainly noticed a lot more intoxicated passengers (but there is no way to know whether this was because of the drink package).
So in the end would I get it again. YOU BET, but it would probably have to be on a shorter cruise with many sea days. I don't think I could justify it on a ten day or longer unless I had a lot of on board credits.
The other night we discussed the drink package and we both agreed that if we just ordered whatever drink we wanted whenever we wanted one (instead of feeling the need to meet the threshold) we would probably still come out ahead.
I would certainly jump at the chance to get the drink package thrown in on a cruise booking if it was offered.
In the end you yourself have to weigh out whether it is right for you. It is great for some and not so great for others.