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PRNole November 25th, 2005 09:17 AM

Quaint: Drink (and other) prices 1974 vs. today?
I have booked passage on the Dream's Dec 31 sailing.

There! I always wanted to use that terminology ("booked passage...sailing").

I have only cruised 2 previous times: 1974 and 1999. The 1974 cruise was on the old Norwegian Caribbean Lines' M/S Skyward from Miami to San Juan, St.Thomas, St. John, Puerto Plata 7-day run. The 1999 was on the Carnivale's Tropicale 4-day sail out of Tampa for Key West, Cancun, and Cozumel. Aside from the fact that we experienced "engine problems" out of Tampa on our 1999 cruise -- which appears to be following us with the Dream's 2005 engine problems -- and it resulted in missing Key West, running slower, less a/c power, etc., I have reminded myself of the major differences between the 1974 Skyward and the 2005 Dream.

First of all, I realize that another thread brought up the issue of "drink prices" on NCL, but by way of comparison, the 1974 M/S Skyward's prices were as follows:

"Call brand" liquors (i.e., name brand or premium labels such as Johnny Walker Red, Dewar's, J&B, Cutty, Beefeater, Gordon's, Smirnoff, etc.): 85 cents each.

Cognacs, such as Courvoisier VSOP, Remy, etc., were $1.25 each.

"Specialty" drinks, such as (popular in those days) Singapore Slings, Yellow Birds, Champagne Cocktails, etc., were $1.25.

Imported beers: 75 cents/Domestics: 50 cents.

Cocktails: 85 cents

Soft drinks: 15 cents/glass and 25 cents/bottle

Of course, there's a world of difference between prices today and those 31 years ago, BUT...during 1974 I happened to work as a bartender during college and remember that call brands then in local restaurants were $2.50 to $3.50, beers were $1 domestic and $2 imported, soft drinks were 75 cents or $1. Today, at least in the area of Fla where I live, premium brands (call brands) liquor costs $6.95 to $8.95; beers: imports at $4.50 (domestics are less, but I don't drink them so I don't know the prices), etc. Point being that drink prices on cruises back then seem to have been a real bargain compared with today's prices.

Now, those of you, unlike me, who have sailed continuously: Do drink prices on NCL ships differ all that much from land-base prices in tour own communities?

BTW, our 1974 cruise cost us $350 each for an upper deck outside cabin on the Skyward. Don't ask me about the 1999 Tropicale cruise, the one with the "engine problems," for I swore off cruising then (until I was talked into this one by several old college friends) and don't even care to remember it.

I still have the menus, passenger list, daily news briefs, port brochures, shore excursions & their prices, etc., from our 1974 cruise.

Here's hoping the Dec 31 Dream does not turn into a nightmare...


big apple November 28th, 2005 08:35 AM

Having lived in Miam from 1954-1971 we saw many changes in the cruise growth with oue first experience on the Nassau to the Bahamas In those days the prices were as you mentioned and even 20% cheaper for the drinks.Have been on the Skyward also and you are right on for the drink prices.As for pricing on the other lines they were very close to today on the cruise portion.Would love to see a marketing study as to what lower prices on drinks and wine would do to the bottom line profit picture rather than sticking it to us with the current pricing.Holland had happy hour at the pool bar on a recent cruise and finally sold some drinks which makes the waiters happy with increased volumn.Also remember a cruise from Miami on the Niew Amsterdam, Holland America which was the finest we have ever had and we have now logged over 30 cruises on all of the main stream lines.

nmnita November 28th, 2005 11:52 AM

wow, things have changed since the 70s, but so has everything else. I remember when we paid $55,000 for a house in So Calif (1975) and were told the value would go up about 6 to 8% per year. I thought that was the funniest thing I had ever heard. A year later I joined the Real Estate business and decided to sell our home so we could buy a larger one in a slightly better neighborhood: One year, $10,000 profit. Today that same house would probably be over $500,000 easily. Cruising really hasn't increased that much. Now for the question of drinks and prices, depending on where you live and what type of establishments you patronize, you may find the drinks cheaper or more expensive. For us, I would say mixed drinks are about the same as here in the Albuquerque area, those living in the larger cities or more upscale areas will still find drinks on ships less than on land. Of course at our local Moose Lodge we only pay $2 for wine and $2.25 for a mixed drink, that's a bargain!! yes the wine is out of a box but the liquor brands are pretty middle of the road, certainly not the rut gut kind. NMNita :roll:

PRNole November 28th, 2005 01:57 PM

I agree. Point I was trying to make is that it appears there used to be a *significant* difference at one time between onboard drink prices and prices landside. I don't believe that difference exists today, from the posts that I've seen recently. Drink prices appear to have equaled across the board, even when taking into account the level of cruising one may do (popular, premium, lux) vs. types of restaurants one may frequent at home. Back in those years, people used to express amazement at "how cheap" drinks were aboard ship, relative to landside restaurants. I don't think the same can be said today.

So, if the drink prices aboard ship vary from $5.95 to $12.95, depending on the cruise level, they are about par with my landside experience, depending on the restaurant.

As for whether or not cruise prices have increased significantly in the past 30 years, I recall paying $350 per person on the Skyward during our initial 1974 cruise vs. about $900 per person for the Dec 31 sailing on the Dream. I equate both cruises at about the same level.

nmnita November 28th, 2005 02:30 PM

pr, does that stand for public relations by any chance? As for 1974 versus today and the quality of the ships you are right on, but $900 for the Dream is high. Of course you are going over NYrs which makes a huge difference. $350 was a good deal even then probably. Our first cruise was in about 84 and we paid $500 per person plus $40 port charges. NMNita :-P

marilynd November 29th, 2005 09:40 AM

NMNita: I know you have a cruise coming up soon. Granddaughter's wedding right? Have a wonderful cruise. :D Sorry no freestyle cruise :cry:


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