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  #1 (permalink)  
Old October 13th, 2006, 02:55 PM
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Default Corkage fee on Celebrity

Would like to hear opinions on new corkage charge of $25 on Celebrity beginning Nov 1?
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Old October 13th, 2006, 05:13 PM
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It's pretty obvious they want to discourage people from bringing their own wines... but if they do they want to make a buck at it.

Not totally out of line for a business to want to make a profit on their premises, where they are selling a similar product.

Locally there's a law that allows customers to bring their own wine into restaurants, and the restaurants are allowed to charge a corkage fee. At least around here the corkage fees are generally within this same range.

The customers choice... just as on a ship... is to 1. pay the fee, 2. purchase the wine on location , 3. go elsewhere.
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Old October 13th, 2006, 10:58 PM
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Understand that they want to make a buck however you have not adressed the fact that that they can still make money on wine priced in the $15 -20 range. Why do they need to price at more than 3 times what it costs me at a retail store in sc?I have been cruising since the late 50,s and this is way above the pricing of those days.Do not tell me that all pricing has gone up since then because this is above and beyond any inflation etc rates.
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Old October 13th, 2006, 11:19 PM
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Why do they need to price at more than 3 times what it costs me at a retail store in sc

The answer to this is simple too. The ship is not a retail liquor or wine store.

Any restaurant you go into on land marks up their wine by at least 3 or 4 times their cost. You'll never pay the same amount in a restaurant as you would in a store.

That's because the associated costs in running a retail store vs. a restaurant are quite different. Again, this is equally true on a ship.

It's true of any liquor, not just wine. You can buy a dozen beer in a supermarket on sale for $8 or $9, then walk into a bar around the corner, and you'll probably pay closer to $3 for 1 beer.
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Old October 13th, 2006, 11:38 PM
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Ok why can I not have a glass of wine in my room after paying a hefty price for the cruise?The cruise lines are looking at every angle to make an additional buck off of the customer and will place a fee on anything that the public will stand.Have noticed that some of the best pricing in the last several years now appearing and in particular on Princess with deals thru March. Supply and demand may be catching up to them.
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Old October 14th, 2006, 12:03 PM
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Ok why can I not have a glass of wine in my room after paying a hefty price for the cruise?
You can, and with no corkage fee.

And until recent years you could purchase full bottles of liquor, at duty free pricing, to take back to your cabin for in cabin consumption.

That was put to an end when they cruise lines found a significant number of people would go back to their cabins, mix their drinks (often in huge sports drink containers), and take them to the ship's public areas, rather than purchasing a reasonable number of drinks onboard.

This led to lower bar revenues, as well as lack of control in having any handle on how much alcohol people were consuming.

Another analogy coming ---- people walking into a bar or restaurant, and drinking from bottles of alcohol hidden in their coats.

If people want to drink alcohol for the price of their local bottle stores, they need to do it at home. Once they step into retail establishments, they should expect to pay the rate the retailer feels if fair to allow them to make a living. If the feel those prices are too high, they have the freedom to choose not to walk in the door, and find a "supplier" they are not happy with.
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Old October 15th, 2006, 01:07 AM
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I posted this at the Celebrity board but as some people aren't checking it and will check Chit-Chat, I'm posting it here, too.

The corkage fees will apply to the wine you bring onboard and then bring to the dining room. Of course, you aren't supposed to be able to bring wine onboard! And, is it any surprise that people do bring wine on board and drink it in their cabin! This is one more thing that they can make a whole lot of extra money on.

Not being a wine drinker on the whole, it doesn't make a big difference to me. On the other hand, when they raised the cost of beer from $3.50 April of 2005 to $4.50 April of 2006 PLUS 15% tip - that was more than a little irritating. I will be on CruiseMates Sail of the Century and the 2 day following one and that will probably be the last one ... even though I will have reached the Select level and get the grand gift of 10 minutes of free internet (oh my gosh, it takes that long to sign on). Back to Princess with absolutely free internet when you're Platinum - that's the same level. And more reasonable drink prices. And, real refrigerators. And, fresh water pools.And, better service. And, friendlier crew. And equal if not better food.
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Old October 15th, 2006, 02:39 PM
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Anyone who thinks that Princess or any other line provides a better overall cruise experience than Celebrity should simply act on their beliefs. Nobody's twisting anybody's arm to book on X.

Me, I think that while Celebrity's overall quality is going down, it's still a better experience--by quite a lot--than Princess, but I don't expect everyone to agree with me. That's what makes the world go around.

But Kuki's got it right when it comes to the alcohol issue. Don't like commercial markups on booze/wine? Stay home. Or go on the wagon.

There are "nickel and dime" issues on these boards all the time about all the lines. There's cutthroat pricing out there. In fact there's a poll on this board now that wonders why Caribbean fares are so cheap. The tradeoff for keeping base fares low is to make money on extras. Expensive drinks and corkage, very expensive excursions, borderline outrageous spa prices, photos that cost as much as a camera--you name it. And we won't even talk about the casino!

You find just as many veteran cruisers claiming (with some justification) that cruising is the most economical vacation as those who complain about the high cost of extras. Sometimes, they're even the same people!
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Old October 15th, 2006, 10:02 PM
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Kuki,Ihave no problem paying the going price for drinks and I have been cruising since the 50,s.Am concerned with the retail versus other fees on the ship.There is no reason to gauge the consumer to make your bottiom line profit and I totally disagree with your most recent comments which makes me believe you work for the cruise lines or get deals we do not know about.If I want to bring a bottle to my room for drinks in this location this is my decision and am not interested in their decision to put it to the consumer and has nothing about whether I should stay home or not.Has nothing to di with whether I can afford to cruise or not and believe this is not a concern of mineLighten up on your opinions.
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Old October 15th, 2006, 10:15 PM
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This discussion is "moot" if you cruise all inclusive cruise lines. I haven't paid for a bottle of wine at dinner in a long time. As for those worried about the new corkage fee, why pay $25 if you can drink at home for free?
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Old October 15th, 2006, 10:50 PM
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Quote:
There is no reason to gauge the consumer to make your bottiom line profit and I totally disagree with your most recent comments which makes me believe you work for the cruise lines or get deals we do not know about.
Gee... don't like an opinion that disagrees with your position, so you get accustatory? Not very good form in a fourm

Your original post
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Would like to hear opinions on new corkage charge of $25 on Celebrity beginning Nov 1?
Seems you were asking for opinions, not only to hear from people who agree with you.

While I don't work for the cruise line, I AM in the bar and restaurant business... so do understand marking up a product in order to make a profit.

Ultimately the consumers decide with their wallets if the price gets too high. That's capitalism.
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Old October 16th, 2006, 12:40 AM
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It's been a few years since I last cruised on Celebrity. We were allow to bring 2 bottles of wine aboard. The corkage fee was only applied if we brought the bottle of wine to our dinning table. Has this changed?
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Old October 16th, 2006, 03:27 AM
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This topic (along with booze/soda smuggling) usually goes south the moment someone suggests that the user should pay their fair share.....

Cruise lines.... and any other business for that matter.... (why don't we pick on banks, they are way more evil than cruise lines) will gouge exactly equal to the consumer's willingness to pay. Any more and they go out of business. Any less and the shareholders revolt.
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Old October 16th, 2006, 08:14 AM
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I think it is called "profit." I can't think of any business that has ever said "O.K. we have made enough."
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Old October 16th, 2006, 10:53 AM
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I think Cruise Cynic's bank analolgy is interesting, because it points up the fact that the extent to which you get "ripped off" is often controllable if you know what's going on. And, to a certain extent, it's also in the eye of the beholder. For example, I know exactly what he means about the banks, but we take steps to prevent them from doing a number on us. So, beyond what they make on the float in our checking account (which isn't much because with the help of the computer we intentionally keep the balance as low as possible), they can't get their hooks into us. Same thing on the credit card side. . .we have two cards, both with no annual fee. We don't care what the interest rate is, because we never pay it. Bills are paid each month and we get massive hotel points to boot. On the other hand, we're willing to pay our financial advisor to manage money for us because he does an excellent job. What it boils down to is a "value proposition."

It's the same with cruises. It doesn't take very much research to set up your own shore excursions, often more rewarding than anything the ship will offer, at lower prices. I bring a camera and take my own pictures. And we might even throw a bottle of booze in the carry-on bag for use in the room. But we don't take drinks from the room to the bar. If we go to the bar we buy drinks. And if we want a bottle of wine at dinner we look at the wine list and order one, with the full understanding that we could have gotten it at our local wine merchant for a quarter the price. But we happen to be in the middle of the ocean, where our wine merchant doesn't have a branch. So we live with it. Again, it's a "value proposition." We wouldn't think of encumbering ourselves with wine bottles enroute to the ship, so the added cost of having the wine waiting for us in the ship's cellar represents value to us. And we're willing to pay for that.

So the bottom line is: if you don't consider a $25 corkage fee a value proposition, don't partake. The obvious alternate choices are: buy wine from the ship, or book a different line with lower corkage or included wine, or don't drink wine.

It is possible--if not likely--that Celebrity's high corkage fee is simply in place to send a message. . ."We'd much prefer that you buy your wine from us."
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Old October 16th, 2006, 06:11 PM
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Its funny that everyone will pay the exorbitant percentage rates the credit card companies stick us with for the convenience but when other service industries do the same, we balk at paying. Personally, I think $25.00 is alot. But since I am on vacation and will probably pay top dollar for alot more frivolous stuff, I say go for it, enjoy your wine with dinner, and relish the thought that youre in a dining room out at sea instead of sitting in McDonald back home!!

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Old October 17th, 2006, 12:20 AM
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I do have to say that all the cruise lines I have sailed on have gone way, way further to keep me happy, thus keeping my business, than my bank ever has.

My bank recently introduced a $2.00 a month fee for updating a bank book account at a banking machine.... I'm doing all the work now, guys, and you still want to charge? I thought the idea of using the machine exclusively was to get rid of tellers.

I think AR counts his pennies and reads the fine print more than the average bank customer. And the banks are quite happy this is so.

Lately, there have been a rash of promotional contests here that are statistically near impossible to win. Why bother then? Because the average player does not know that once you win the big contest, you have to play a second contest with a 1 in 128 chance of winning. The end result is Ronald McD. can offer a $5 million dollar prize that he/they will never have to make good on. At least the cruises lines always pay out on the snowball bingo.[/u]
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Old October 17th, 2006, 03:10 PM
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Yes, cruise drink prices are high - that's no secret. They gouge just shy of wallet rape, deliberately overcharging for their drinks well beyond any fair profit margin or renumeration.

And that doesn't sit with me well - even if the pricing reflects crowd control strategies.

As a result, I have no qualm with bringing my own liquor or beer onboard or how and where I drink it - though I try to be somewhat discreet.

I'm not going to pay $45 for a cheap $5.00 bottle of wine or $4.50 for a beer I can buy myself for a quarter - regardless of the expenses they incur to serve it to me or how luxurious the setting. Corkage fee...f#%k that - though I did it once on a Celebrity cruise. Paid a steep corkage fee to pop open a special $75 dollar bottle of desert wine that ended up being vineger - go figure.

Don't get me wrong, if I want a drink, I sail and sign it away - no problem. And I often do but I don't like it. And that's probably why I keep my onboard drink purchases to a minimum. I just can't in good conscious pay well more for something than what it's worth.

I've been on countless cruises and have yet to have anything I've brought onboard be confiscated. And we're usually talking about one or two 1.75 bottles of whatever packed up in my checked luggage. And I don't hide the fact that it's there by concealing it. I just pack it in.

Well, that's my take on it anyhow.

I've never seen draft beer offered on a cruise. Any reason for that?
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Old October 17th, 2006, 11:34 PM
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Tenmark,you have hit it right on the head and I appreciate your comments 100% and I would like to hear how Kuki entertains your comments which are right on.You are doing what most of us are doing due to the continued overpricing by the cruise lines.Why not have some happy hour pricing which I did find on Holland a couple of years ago at the pool bar?By the way on my last few cruises on Holland they are selling very limited drinks at any of the pool areas and some of this is due to price and not just an older group.Again thanks for your support in your most recent posting.
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Old October 17th, 2006, 11:42 PM
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Lot of years ago - when I was a child - after you got into international waters the price of the drinks went way down because they no longer had to pay American taxes. Them days are gone forever!
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Old October 18th, 2006, 12:39 AM
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Quote:
Tenmark,you have hit it right on the head and I appreciate your comments 100% and I would like to hear how Kuki entertains your comments
Right on!! I'm the same way! If I'm in a store, and I decide they are charging too much for an item I want, I just find an item that's the right price, and switch tags.
Afterall it's up to me how much I want to spend

Franky I don't care if people sneak liquor onto the ship for consumption in their cabin, and I don't think the cruise lines care either (If they did, they'd demand the cabin stewards report seeing it).
I think they do care about people consuming said liquor outside of their cabins, in the ship's public areas.
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Old October 18th, 2006, 08:37 AM
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I agree with you Kuki, if they really didn't want you to do that sort of thing they would actively police it. And not by arranging the bottles nicely in my stateroom, bringing extra ice, or glasses, and even cleaning out my refrigerator to make room for it.

I have misgivings myself about blatently carrying my bootlegged drinks around the ship and usually end up doing shots in the room or carrying it about in one of the glasses from a mixer like cola or one of the many other liquor drinks I ultimately end up getting despite having brought my own stuff. Sometimes, I just carry my junk around in a water glass to top off other drinks I get elsewhere.

I'm not blatently obvious about what I've done or will do, respectively.

Kuki, I think we've all thought about switching stickers on merchandise - but actually doing it, well, that's another story. You can include me out of that one. You're too funny!!

Looking forward to seeing you again in Decemeber - hope you'll do one of my shots with me then!!

In your experience, can you explain why the cruise lines don't offer beer on draught? I figure their captive audience profit margins are so high on the bottles already, why bother.

p.s. thanks for keeping my earlier post - Michelle was sure it would be deleted given the conservative nature of this site. I applaud you.
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Old October 18th, 2006, 10:04 AM
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Mark, glad to see you posting under your own name now. Next step is for you and Michelle to join us for chat where we can have "real time" debates.

To take this discussion further (or backwards), when you go to Key West, I am sure you bring your own drinks to Mallory Square; do you also take your own drinks into Sloppy Joes or Margaritaville?

As for corkage fees, I think they only pertain to those bringing expensive special bottles from home. If you want to just get a run of the mill bottle, it is usually cheaper to just buy on board. Even on RCI they didn't gouge us that badly especially if you bought the multi bottle pacage deal.
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Old October 18th, 2006, 10:50 AM
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I guess I finally found a subject that got Mark riled up enough to join up and post. And of course I agree with him! Well-spoken, sweetie.

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Old October 18th, 2006, 12:43 PM
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Interesting you should make that parallel, Marc, about the Keys – almost rhetorical.

Those two things are just not the same for me, though. Whenever I go to those places in the Keys, the bars in particular, I go there with the specific intention to buy drinks (overpriced or not). And when I’ve had my fill, I leave for one of any number of cheap places to find a drink – or even return to wherever I’m staying and drink there or even not at all.

It’s my choice.

On a side note, I’ve been known to bring along my own cocktail to Mallory Square, but I usually get said supplies at a local package store and restaurant – mostly just for quantity and lack of availability of drinks for purchase on site. I'll be there next week and hope to remember to smile if I faintly recall our emails in a fog of inebriation.

Moreover and back to complete what I was saying, I don’t necessarily go on cruises with the whole purpose to buy drinks (yea right) like as in a bar. Additionally, as part of a captive audience I can’t leave and am stuck paying whatever they're asking - it's just not the same, at least for me.

Still no information on why or why not cruise lines fail to offer draught beer.
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Old October 18th, 2006, 12:46 PM
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Hi Mark
I totally agree with you too----its the high mark up that gets to me----I really wouldnt mind buying bottles onboad if the prices were reasonable----I might even buy more------ to share with friends-----etc
I can open my own bottles too----lol------
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now if they only had diet pepsi onboard I'd really be happy----
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Old October 18th, 2006, 01:49 PM
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I totally agree with you too----its the high mark up that gets to me

I guess what gets to me is who decides what mark up is appropriate? What's high to one person is reasonable to someone else, and to some anything more than they can buy it for from a loss leader sale flyer around the corner from their house is too high.

I still stay the way to express your "vote" in this matter is to chose to not purchase it if it's too high; not to find your own way around it.

I certainly wouldn't allow people to walk into my bar or restaurant with a container filled with their own choice of drink, because they had decided I was charging too much.

Fine if they're drinking it in their room in the hotel, but don't be bringing it into the bar downstairs!

By all means.. everyone should "speak" with their wallets, by refusing to purchase products they feel are overpriced. But to simply find away around what you don't like is "cheating" someone. And rationlizing it by saying "they are making too much" isn't all that different from stealing from someone who you feel has "deeper pockets" than you.

We get into very shaky ground when each of presumes to have the right to decide what's fair to us.
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Old October 18th, 2006, 02:37 PM
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They do have draught on RCL larger ships in the English pub.My guess is that Holland America is not making a lot of profit on many of their ships as very few drinking except before dinner.They did experiment with happy hr at the pool bar on one of my cruises and they did a landside business for those 3 hrs. It woud appear to me that if they offered a more resonable price that volumn would offset the current lack of sales and would also stop many of the hidden bottles.at least Holland is offering a bucket of beers whch nets a little savings.Most of the cruise lines are using a very inexpensive house brand and could very easily drop the price on these items ans still maintain a very nice profit margin.
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Old October 18th, 2006, 04:08 PM
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Mark, I think the Keys does make a good comparison. Why not take a bottle (or two) along with you on the cruise for in room consumption. After you have had your fill of paying in high priced bars onboard, you can retire to your room and drink from your stash. I think the analogy is spot on to what you say you do in Key West. I think it is also in line with Kuki's post that says it is fine to drink your own in his hotel rooms but not in his bar.
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Old October 18th, 2006, 04:21 PM
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