Just returned last week from the Enchantment of the seas. Great ship. I would like to make one comment to other parents of young children, however. The drink pass cards for soda ended up not being a good value for me. For one thing, they charged for each day we were on board, encluding the day we landed back at port and got off the ship at 8:30 am. None of us had time for a soda, just the juice we had with breakfast. I have a 10 year old son. Other than when eating in the main dining room, the only way to get a drink off the card was at one of the bars which can be difficult. As a parent, I was totally uncomfortable with this. There was no soda station for kids. My 13 years old niece went alone once, and came back with stoires of being growled at by two men. She thought it was totally funny, of course. A stranger offered my son a whiskey. I ended up just getting extra cans of soda on the excursions and kept them in the cabin for our brief retreats there.
I never thought about the effect of the kids having to approach the bars for sodas. I agree, kids shouldn't have to rub elbows with the martini crowd to get a soft drink. Sounds like some complaints to the RCI folks might be in order. I recall hearing about a bar code or something being used at Disney food courts. You had to have one of their cups with the code on it for the dispenser to work. Seems like a good idea to me.
As for the soda cards, the wife and I cruised on RCI last year. I wasn't happy about having to pay so much for soda either but I didn't feel like having to sign receipts everytime we got sodas, so I decided to get the cards. We were in a hurry since it was just before lunchtime and it turned out that the guys who set up the table and register for the drink cards and cups didn't know what they were were doing. They both took turns trying to get the sale rung up on the register and it took an awful long time. We finally got finished, rushed into the windjammer lounge for lunch and when I finally looked over the slips it turned out that they didn't know to press the 00 after the dollar amount. We got the soda cards for 41 cents apiece. I thought it was a great deal!
RCI Radiance of the Seas - Sept 16 2011 - Hawaii
RCI Brilliance of the Seas - Oct 08 2008 - Med/Greek Isles
RCCL Adventure of the Seas - Sept 23 2007 – E. Caribbean
Carnival Fantasy - January 15 2006 - Bahamas
Carnival Destiny - July 3 2005 – S. Caribbean
RCI Adventure of the Seas - Oct 10 2004 – E. Caribbean
RCI Navigator of the Seas - Nov 29 2003 – W. Caribbean
I drink a lot of soda and when we first went aboard we thought the Soda cards would be great value for us. What they don't tell you when you buy them is that is generic not brand soda (despite the adverts for brand all over). When we found this out we complained (sorry but they don't taste the same!) and ended up getting our money refunded.
I would not recommend a soda card to anyone.
I can't verify if the fountain soda was Coke or not. I really am not that picky but in the Windjammer and the theater they were pouring the Coke from 2 liter bottles so I can verify that was the real stuff. The only problem with the 2 liter bottles was that they were sometimes flat. I hope this helps!
I guess I'll skip the Soda Card and drink the free stuff, and one or two cans of soda each day. It will be a lot cheaper (especially since they charge you for debarkation day too, when you have to be off the ship so early).
I went on the Navigator last fall. We bought one of the cards. We would take turns getting the cokes. But we really didn't drink alot of them. almost wasnt work it. A word of caution though. Make sure when they pour it they only press the coke and not the coke and sodawater button on the dispenser. I caught them doing that. They mix more plain soda water with the coke to water it down I assume. They gave me some BS answers why they were doing that. almost all the bars did that. I figured it out toward the later half of the cruise. I kept thinking the coke tasted like there wasnt enough syrup. Just make sure you look for that. we ended up not complaining since that was the least of the problems, Rained out whole cruise . Was unusual amount of rain for out of rain season.
Im a little disapointed in this! I have been on carnival and they gave me real coke and it was much cheaper! Im going on The Mariner in december so this cruise i mgiht not have to go with a soda card.
I think cruises should just add $30-$40 to the fare and not charge for soda. They would probably make more money than they are already, seeing people will be paying extra for it in their cruise fare, but maybe not getting their money's worth... $40 isn't much to add, if you pay $1000+ for the crise itself...