Took a week-long Celebrity cruise from Bayonne to Bermuda and back the week before last. Overall, Celebrity's product was up to its usual standard.
But this was the first time that the predictable effects of the prepaid liquor package were obvious to me: many people on the pool deck were bombed by noon.
It doesn't take a genius to figure out that any "all-you-can-drink" scheme will incite some people to "get their money's worth"--and then some.
When you boil it down to its basics, this offering is an open invitation to drunkenness. It is unbecoming, and it is counterproductive for a line that markets itself as being reasonably classy, which in most respects, it is.
Last December we were on the Millennium in Southeast Asia and the first couple of nights there were a few more inebriated people than I had seen on previous Celebrity cruises, but after the second or third night a rarely saw anyone who had drank too much.
The second night I was returning from the casino and I had actually won some money. To celebrate I stopped at the Martini Bar and ordered a Martini. There were two couples at the bar and they were clearly over the "legal limit" but not obnoxious. I had a nice conversation with one of the women, drank my drink and headed back to the cabin. A few days later we had a sea day and she sat down next to my wife and I on the pool deck. I started talking to her, called her by name, but she had no idea where we had met. I told her it was at the Martini Bar. She then informed me that they had purchased the "All Inclusive" beverage package and it was a mistake. She said: "We drank too much the first two days and now we don't even want a drink. The hangover was too much." :)
I could never justify the all inclusive $50/day price. I can't drink enough to make it worthwhile and it would be a real waste of money on a port intensive cruise.
I've sailed on Carnival three times since they initiated the Cheers Program and haven't noticed any more inebriated people. Even on a four day cruise on Inspiration. Maybe they are just use to it. ;)
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