Thursday, September 21, 2017

Price for Drink Package Goes Up

Yes it has happened!  The All Inclusive Drink Package has gone up.  Also a few changes have happened too.

  • First the price has gone up to $59.99 US plus the tip making it a total of $68.99 US per day.  
  • The name is now the Premier Beverage Package which makes me wonder if there is another drink package that is in the works.
  • It includes cocktails that are at a price of $12 and under - use to be $11.
  • It now only includes bottled water that is 500 ml, but if you are dining at a Specialty Restaurant you get a litre bottle.
  • Canned sodas and bottled juices are no longer included.
  • For the items that are not included in the Premier Beverage Package you will receive 25% discount on them (Canned soda, large bottles of water - use to be free.  Bottles of wine, which you previously got a 40% discount on).
  • The package now will only be sold prior to the cruise and only on embarkation day.  Previously it was for sale on board the first and second day.
  • There is also a limit of 15 alcoholic drinks per day.  
  • The package is a final sale once purchased on board, or 3 days prior to sailing if purchased online.
  • Only one beverage is allowed per passenger per order, including non alcoholic drinks.
  • Packages may not be shared and are non-transferable and non-refundable. 
I have to say I am really not surprised with the changes. Princess was late to the game for drink packages and it was the cheapest price for a beverage package from other comparable lines with comparable offerings.  (Celebrity is $65 for their premium which is closests to Princess,  Holland America is $64 a day).

For us we always enjoy the drink package but it is an expensive perk for us as we just drink too much and then the added price because of the exchange rate. One of the things we really enjoyed was the large sparkling water and even buying bottles of wine.  So since we now don't get the large bottles of water and the bottled wine discount is only 25% off it really just doesn't make sense to buy the package.

However booking a cruise that has a sip and sail promo may be more enticing.  Note we have the drink package for our 49 day South America trip in 2019 - YEAH.

Here are the details of Princess' new Premier Beverage Package from their website.


Terms & Conditions 2017

The Premier Beverage Package is offered at $59.99 USD per day plus a 15% service charge (totaling $68.99 per day) for all itineraries except Australia. For all Australia-based vessels, the package is $86.99 AUD per day including the service charge. The full amount due for the complete voyage will be charged at the time of purchase. 

Your Premier Beverage Package includes:

  • All beer, wine by the glass and cocktails $12.00 USD and under as listed on our menu(s) or $16.00 AUD and under for ships based in Australia
  • Bottled water (500ml only)
  • Fountain sodas, fresh juices ( if available), specialty coffees and teas, Red Bull energy drinks
  • Gong Cha items (if available) 
  • Frappe’s at Coffee & Cones
  • Smoothies and milk shakes (if available) 
  • Enjoy the convenience of your beverage package on our Private Islands and all food and beverage venues that offer beverage service
  • The package includes an extra 25% discount on the following items that are otherwise excluded from the package:

All bottles of wine 

  • One-liter bottles of water (if dining at a specialty venue, a large one-liter bottle of water, still or sparkling, is covered by the package)
  • Canned soda, and bottled juices 
  • Purchase information and package details and qualifications:
  • Guests must purchase the Premier Beverage Package for every day of sailing. Partial or prorated packages or segments will not be accepted. 

The package may be pre-purchased up to 4 days prior to boarding the vessel. It is not available for pre-purchase within 3 days of sailing but is offered on board on embarkation day. It is not sold after embarkation day. 

Package sales are final within 3 days of sailing or once purchased on board.

The package is not available for voyages of fewer than 7 nights for Australia-based itineraries or fewer than 2 nights for all other itineraries. 

Please note that age restrictions will apply for purchases of the Premier Beverage Package. 

Terms and Conditions
Alcoholic drinks are limited to 15 beverages per 24-hour period (6 a.m. to 6 a.m.) Alcoholic drinks requested above the daily limits are at the discretion of the shipboard management and crew and charged at regular menu prices. Non-alcoholic drinks do NOT have this limitation, nor do they count towards this maximum. 

Only one beverage is allowed per passenger per order (alcoholic or non-alcoholic).

Items selected that exceed the $12.00 USD or $16.00 AUD price are charged at full menu price. Alcoholic drinks requested above the daily limits are at the discretion of the shipboard management and crew and charged at regular menu prices 

Packages may not be shared and are non-transferable and non-refundable. 

Guests that pre-purchased the All-Inclusive Beverage Package prior to September 19, 2017 or that took advantage of the 2017 Sip + Sail promotion will have terms and conditions of the Premier Beverage Package apply.

Exclusions and Limitations:
Please note that there are some exclusions from the Premier Beverage Package: Spirits or bottled wine or any items offered in retail venues or shops on board. Beverages offered via self-service or vending machines. Souvenir glassware is excluded but is available for the additional charge of the glass only. 

The Premier Beverage Package cannot be combined with other programs, promotions, onboard specials, or events, such as: group or charter events, room service items, minibar items, special or private events such as cocktail parties, wedding receptions or similar functions, wine tastings, chefs tables, buckets of beer, buy one get one type offers, specialty dining cover charges, food items for sale such as ice-cream etc. 

Pricing is subject to change without notice, and for vessels designated in a foreign currency (Australia as an example) packages purchased in advance may vary from onboard pricing due to timing and currency fluctuations. Guests will NOT incur additional charges, nor be issued any credits or refunds for such currency variances.

Not all exclusions or limitations can be foreseen or published here and may exist or be implemented without notice.

Shipboard management reserves the right to add additional restrictions, revoke or cancel the Premier Beverage Package at any point during a guest’s voyage for any reason with or without a prorated refund. Additional actions may be taken if guests:

  • Become intoxicated 
  • Provide beverages to the other guests or do not comply with the terms, conditions and limitations of the package
  • Exhibit behavior that is inappropriate, a safety risk to themselves or others, or become offensive or disruptive to the other cruise guests or staff
  • Exceed or attempt to circumvent the daily limits and service limitations outlined 

Updates to Itineraries for the Caribbean due to Hurricanes

I woke up at 4 am today - on my day off - thinking of those affected by the recent hurricanes and the horrible earthquake in Mexico.   I am thinking of Antours in Dominica who we have used numerous times.  I wonder about Daria and Michael from Dominica's Caribbean Cooking Experience and how they are.

As I checked the web for updates I saw that Princess has released an update to their cruises that visit affected ports in the Caribbean.

Our trip in January will certainly be affected as we dock in Dominica and I am not sure if they will be able to get back up and running for cruise passengers.  Other islands that are currently affected can hopefully get the help needed to accept tourists soon.  

One thing we both have agreed to is that we will be actively searching ways we can give back on the islands affected.  

Also following is Frequently Asked Questions.

What's on this page: Impact on Itineraries | Frequently Asked Questions
Our thoughts and prayers are with all those impacted by the devastation caused by Hurricane Irma.

Princess Cruises has no ships in the Caribbean until Caribbean Princess departs Ft. Lauderdale on October 7, 2017. We look forward to continuing to provide the great cruise experience our guests expect and the economic support that the region relies on, now more than ever.

Our staff will continue to assess recovery efforts and conditions in affected destinations. Should any adjustments be required to future sailings as a result of storm damage, booked guests and their travel professional will be notified.

Princess Cruises and its parent company Carnival Corporation are working to provide extensive relief to those affected by Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma. Princess has created a matching fund through Princess Cruises Community Foundation for employee donations to support hurricane relief via the American Red Cross. As part of Carnival Corporation’s pledge at providing up to $10 Million dollars in Hurricane relief, Princess Cruises Community Foundation has also set up a Hurricane Relief initiative on board Princess Cruises’ ships to gather donations from guests and crew members which will be matched by Princess Cruises Community Foundation.*

Carnival Corporation, has begun outreach and support for those islands already impacted on behalf of the family of cruise lines. They have been in communication with officials in many of the Caribbean islands and have activated a plan to begin delivery of supplies on both an immediate and sustained, longer-term basis. These deliveries will be worked into ships’ cruise itineraries as part of ongoing operations. Carnival Corporation Foundation is also beginning to evaluate the best channels for support in the Caribbean, as well as Florida.

*Princess Cruises Community Foundation will match funds up to $100K.

UPDATED AS OF 9/18/17, 5:50PM PDT
The following sailings are being adjusted due to Hurricane Irma:

Caribbean Princess: October 7 Caribbean Cruise
We have replaced the call to St Thomas on Tuesday, October 10, 2017 with a call to San Juan from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM on the same date. Since the time we made this decision, the path of Hurricane Maria is likely to affect Puerto Rico, therefore an update to the call to San Juan will be provided after the storm passes.

Guests who booked Princess shore excursions for St Thomas will receive a refund to the original form of payment. Shore excursions for San Juan will be available within the next two weeks or may be booked on board.

Regal Princess: October 26 Caribbean Cruise
We have replaced our call to St Maarten on Monday, October 30, 2017 with a call to St Kitts from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM on Tuesday, October 31. As a result of this change, we will now call to Antigua on Monday, October 30. Since the time we made this decision, the path of Hurricane Maria is likely to affect St. Kitts, therefore an update to the call to St. Kitts will be provided after the storm passes.

Guests who booked Princess shore excursions for St Maarten will receive a refund to the original form of payment. Shore excursions for St. Kitts and Antigua will be available within the next two weeks or may be booked on board.

For remaining 2017 Eastern Caribbean ports of call, we are currently assessing itinerary impacts and an update will be provided by the end of the week. We sincerely encourage guests with current reservations and anyone considering a Caribbean cruise to move forward with their plans. There is no better show of support for the area and the people than to continue to visit.

We look forward to welcoming you onboard.

UPDATED AS OF 9/14/17, 8:45PM PDT
Princess Cruises can announce that none of its cruises to the Caribbean or Panama Canal will be cancelled as a result of Hurricane Irma. Furthermore, our private island resort at Princess Cays is ready to receive guests and all of our 7-day cruises to the Western Caribbean and all cruises to the Panama Canal are unaffected by Irma and will go ahead as planned at this time.

At Princess Cruises, we prioritize the safety and enjoyment of our guests and to that end, we are working with local ports in the Eastern Caribbean affected by the Hurricane to assess the situation and to determine if any itinerary changes are needed. Please check back on Monday, 9/18 for an update.

I have booked a Caribbean cruise and would like an update on my itinerary.
We are currently talking to our port agents in each of the affected islands to assess the situation in each area. As you can imagine, communication is difficult at the moment in many places but as soon as we can establish the facts we will be able to share an update.

Will cruises be cancelled?
We will not be cancelling any cruises at this time

Will my itinerary be changed?
While we need to support the communities in those affected islands, inevitably it may take some time to repair the damage and restore those islands so they are able to accept cruise guests. We are talking to each of the islands to understand the extent of the damage so we can make a decision on the itineraries. As soon as we are aware of any changes we will be in touch with all guests individually or through the travel agent. At the moment unfortunately we cannot confirm the time line but will certainly let you know as soon as possible.

How will guests be notified of any changes?
We will be in touch with all guests individually or through the travel agent. We will also update our website with any changes.

Will I receive any compensation if itineraries have been changed?
At this point there are no confirmed changes to the itineraries. If any changes are necessary then we will review them in line with our booking conditions and we will be in touch with guests individually or through the travel agent.  

Will our insurance cover us if we cancel?
Each insurance policy is different so guests should speak to their travel insurance directly.

What if I have booked shore excursions in cancelled ports, will these be cancelled?
If any ports are cancelled then a full refund will be given on any booked shore excursions.

Are there any Princess ships in the Caribbean at the moment?
There are no Princess ships in the Caribbean until the beginning of October.

May I bring on supplies to deliver to the communities the ship visits?
As it requires infrastructure to receive and distribute supplies and the needs at each Island vary, the organizations responding to the immediate crisis and ongoing rebuilding efforts request money rather than supplies. There will be donation opportunities onboard.