If you buy a regular pop without the card it is $1.50 + 15% tip each time you want a pop and you then have to wait for them to make up your charge chit, find a pen and have you sign it - if you are only an occasional pop drinker then the card isn't for you - In my case i drink a lot of pop and yes some of it is diet and find it much more convenient to just flash my card .
While the speciality drinks may be $6.95 many of the basic rum and cokes etc are cheaper than that and I was able to buy 6 beer for less than $20.00 including tip.
I was also sceptical of the soda program but did it anyway and am glad I did. I enjoy soda with dinner and ocasionally with lunch. A flat rate for everyone would be better but some people don't like soda they may not want to be charged for it. I think the card would always be needed.
We bought the cards and were very happy to pay the additional in one charge rather than see the individual charges for soda at every lunch, dinner, show and especially from sitting at the pool for a few hours each day. Add it up, if you are a soda drinker, the card is the best deal, period.
Why not just add $20 pp ? Because NCL makes more money this way. Most passengers don't even know about the soda cards. They only sell them the first day or so on most ships. Not everyone spends time on the boards in preparation for a cruise.
Many folks end up spending 2 and 3 times the cost of a soda card and still enjoy their cruise. I thank them it keeps the cost of my cruise down. They do as much as those that buy the prints at the art auction or shop in the stores that pay a promotional fee to NCL..
SHOREGUY, Amen to your comments. If it had not been for this message board, I would not have known about the soda cards prior to our departure. Additionally, no one on board the ship offered the information when we checked-in. It was only upon my inquiry that we we told the specifics.
We met many people during the duration of the cruise, up to the last day, who asked us how we got the mugs and then, what the cost was, etc. Many were very upset that they did not know about the program earlier since they had already spent more than the cost of the card on soda.
That's the point. it is all about margin and revenue per passenger. It has nothing to do with alcohol sales. It is about soda sales and their contribution to the bottom line. Many folks drink six beers a day and just as many if not more drink 6 cokes a day.
So are they charging you for a soda card, and THEN tack on tip when you use the card? Do they charge an under 18 kid as an adult or child (the cards cost more for an adult I see). I don't drink soda but my kid does and who's to say I can't send her to the bar and get one for her old lady?
"We noticed many families using one soda card for their families. Going to different bars."
And that's why the soda cards may well go away. Stealing is Stealing. It's the reason NCL has cracked down on Booze as well. A few will aways spoil it for the rest. We are talking about a few dollars after you spend 1000s on a vacation. I have seen passengers bring ther own refills to the bars and resturants. Would they do this onshore??
Its all about 28 dollars over 7 days - $4 a day per soda drinker - I have had to pay that much for a coffee after dinner onshore.
I bought the card. At first they would bring us a small cup where we had someone in our party who did not get the card and with a can of soda they got was more than twice as much. So we had to hound the waiters for soda more often b/c of the small cups. Also they weren't too happy getting us the "free card" sodas. No tip for them.
As I look bak it really is a toss up. Next time I'm paying as I go.