I think the price of drinks on ALL cruise ships are way too high.
They have captive guests and they know they can get away with
gouging us for drinks. If the drinks were a reasonable price they would sell more and then maybe their customers would not sneak their own booze on board.
I agree with you. I thought that the drinks would be charged as duty free seeing as they cruise in international waters.
Especially for Canadians paying in USD of GBP. I remeber paying 3.95GBP for a cocktail. With the rate of exchange at the time that drink cost me almost 10.00CAD. What a rip!
Compared to a decent bar in the NY area I find cruise ship drinks to be of average price. But, I guess bar prices are probably less in Canada as I believe booze prices are a bit lower are they not.?
Then again , a pack of name brand cigarettes is now over $5.00 in this part of the world.
Jim, I have to agree with you as to the total bar bill one may easily run up on these ships. Not just for booze or beer, but for soda and bottled water as well. It is correct to say that the prices are no higher than fine restaruants and clubs on land, but (if you are like me) you don't consume all your drinks (hard and soft, and bottled water) at fine restaurants and clubs. There is the beer and coke from the grocery store we drink at home, and booze from the liquor store. It get especially bad when a ship won't let you bring aboard or buy for your room at less than bar prices. You might want to check out HAL, where you can still bring your own aboard. Or go all the way and check out Radisson, where they provide "room bottles" for free, and drinks are at no charge at dinner, and at many other times as well.
This is not a camping trip vacation! If you want to cruise then pay the prices. If I want a drink I have one.... I don't want to have to think about how much it costs me to have this drink. I am on vacation....... If you cant afford to have a fun time on a cruise then dont cruise.....Go camping and take your booze with you.....
Don't go....pay the price....bring your own...don't drink. Lots of options. I agree with Charlene........Go ..have a great time....if you can't afford the drink price then you can't afford the cruise. Really, the drinks are no higher there than an upscale night spot at home.
Cruise prices at $350 per week? Have not seen these, and if that's all one pays, it leaves plenty of money for "extras" like drinks. BUT (and you knew a "but" was comming), all the low prices I've seen (lowest about $500) don't include things like port taxes and room upgrades if you want more than a closet in the bowels of the ship, as I do. And from these low prices, room upgrades seem to be a BIG price step. For example, I priced a cruise to Alaska advertised at $550. But after port taxes and a very conservative room upgrade to a 200 sq. ft. outside on a lower, cheaper deck, we were looking at $1200 +.
Whoa now wait a minute...lol...Maybe I'm taking this the wrong way and please correct me if I am,OK? But, I'm not rich and I'm not even middle class,in fact, I am just above the "poverty level". I have worked really really hard to be able to take my two son's on our cruise in 2 weeks. We aren't going to have the extra money to go on shore excur-
sions,snorkeling,etc,etc,and I can't afford the drink prices on the ship (for myself), SO..... am I "NOT" suppose to go on a cruise just because I'm not fianacially able to just blow money away on the ship?
Do you have to have money to have a good time cruising? Can't single
mom's like me have a good time just being there in the middle of the ocean with her son's to show them how awesome a thing cruising is?
I don't think cruising is just for people who have money. It's also for people like me who don't have a lot of it,but I work really hard to reach my goals and that's the lesson I'm teaching to my sons I hope! When you want to do something really bad enough,you'll work hard to do it.
We might not be able to do alot of things other people are doing on a cruise,but regardless of how much money I don't have it's going to be a great experience and time for us! Is this making any sense to anyone? hahahahaha I'm not trying to be rude here or anything like that ..but the comment "if you can't afford to have fun on a cruise,you can't afford to go on a cruise".And that's not true,in my case anyway.
I've been in just about all the financial circumstances there are (except billionaire, of course) over the last 58 years, so I know how you feel. I have a suggestion. Among the "mass market" (i.e., not premium priced) cruise lines, HAL (Holland America) is one of the few (if not only one) left with an announced policy of "no objection" to guests bringing on their own liquor, beer, soda, etc. And, they don't care where you drink it. You can even buy a bottle of liquor at the ship's store for 20% over duty free price, which will be less than you pay at home. If you go on HAL, you can rent a refrigerator for your room for $2.50 per day, if you like. I know that $4 and $6 drinks may not be "budget busters" for just a few drinks, but over a week or more, this can really add up for people of modest means ---and for everyone else. Most mass market lines (except Carnival) used to be just like HAL is now. It's a shame that HAL is the only one left that lets us control our expenses in this manner. But then, HAL is a very good line otherwise, also.
By all means avoid the shore excursions. You end up paying top dollar for things you can usually arrange by yourself in port for a 1/4 of the price, esp with kids. Check out whatever destination board you will be headed to and see whats available, taxi situations etc in the ports you will be visiting. You don't have to drink like a lush either to have a good time. I cruised once while being 7 mos pregnant. I had a blast, I snorkelled, I loved the pools, I loved being on deck and walking around the ports with my older son who was 17 mos. I didn't have one drink and still had lots of fun. Spend your money the way YOU want to spend it. You are doing a great thing for your sons, and having fun on a budget is a good lesson for them.
I understand your point. We are a family of 5 cruising in 2 weeks also. I recommend the soda program for your kids if they do not like lemonaid or ice teas. The soda program allows unlimited soft drinks the entire cruise, also I am sure a soda can be free for mom once in awhile. The drinks are hefty stay away from the special of the day with the fancy cups they add up. Have a great time!!
If the drinks were free we would still bring a bottle in our suitcase because we like a night cap and one to go while we are dressing for diner and at those times we do not want to bother with room service.Also on our last cruise(just a couple weeks ago) drank a lot of drinks of the day,there were 3 everyday at all the bars and they changed the drinks everyday for the 11 days and if you stayed away from the souviner glasses they were only 2.50 to 2.95 per drink.Pretty good deal we think,and they also had a glass of straight booze to add to the drink if you wanted it stronger for no extra charge.
Good for you! The very first time I cruised I had $100 for spending money for 2 people. We had a great time. What ports are you going to? There are some inexpensive (and sometimes free) fun things to do at every port. I hope your sons appreciate what a great mom they have!
It may surprise you to know that exactly a year ago I took a 7 day cruise on Norwegian Majesty, standard outside cabin, midships for $400. Port charges included, and a $100 cabin credit. The cabin was even in the new midsection so the wear and tear on the furnishings was minimal.
Similar fares are out there this winter too. It takes some online legwork, but it's possible. FWIW, I found the fare right here in cruisemates in the bargain finder section!
Someone who is strapped for cash and concerned about the price of drinks can take a cozy inside in the bowels of the ship without breaking the overall budget. I've been there, and would rather forgo the paid upgrade to an outside and larger cabin so that other expenses like drinks or cabs to the beach wouldn't be a concern.
Warren: That is a HECK of a deal you got on that NCL Majesty cruise. And it was an outside cabin? Great.While I've never been on that ship, I have been on the Dream, which I think is similar. Not the best I've been on, but certainly was worth what I paid, which wasn't as good as your deal. This thread is on the subject of drink prices and I mentioned that you could "officially" BYOB on HAL. While you can't "officially" do so on NCL , I found NCL's drink prices to be a little lower than some other lines. NCL had lots of "happy hours" and such.
Now's the time for everyone to cruise. Cruising used to be much more expensive. If you can find anyway to save a few bucks, do it. Many people take their own liquor on the ship to avoid the expensive drinks. That's one of the most popular questions on this web site. "how to sneek booze on the ship". And there are snobs who think it's "tacky" to make your own drinks by the pool. This is just one example of how people are critical of those who don't have much money. You'll also read many postings from people who are critical of how others dress. It must be nice to not understand being "just above poverty level".
I just went out for dinner last night to a restaurant I hadn't been to yet and the average wine was 5.95 a glass and Kendall Jackson was over 7.00. I don't think the cruise lines charge more than that. I think even your chain restaurants are up to 5.00/6.00 for wine and I always pay at least that for Margaritas, I don't think the prices are that big a deal. When I first cruised in the early 80's watching the servers around the pool, I thought man would it be easy for them to skim cash. The next year it was cashless. It's business and they want to make money, they'll keep the drink prices right in line with metropolitan areas stateside. Once I leave on vacation, it is just that a vacation and I don't worry about the costs. I'm not big on drinking in my room because I travel alone and I prefer to have my before dinner drink with other people and my before bed drink, I get at the bar and take it with me, if I want one, no big deal. I have gotten into battles over water though and I'm not going there tonight, that's another story! Sue
I suppose it all depends what you drink, where you drink it.
I don't drink at home... only when out and about at nice restaurants... or an after work get together. I've found drink prices onboard the various lines to be cheaper than where I live and work.
(Newport, RI and Cape Cod). On January's cruise my champagne cocktails were $5.75 plus 15%. I ordered one last weekend at a popular locals' restaurant/watering hole.... it was $11.00!!! A nice place, but certainly not a 5* establishment. Extra-sized martinis - similar to what is served on Celebrity were running $9.50-$11.50 depending on type ordered. A plain old high-ball - $5.75!!!
I'm probably one of the few people - who when they plan their cruises.. add their anticipated on-board charges into the cruisefare along with gratuties, excursions, air, transfers, etc. This is the true cost of your cruise vacation. Even with some of the bottomdollar fares we've seen.. you'd be surprised how much you really spend... or don't as the case may be.
I remember when drink prices were lower... much lower.. but cruise fares were MUCH HIGHER!!
Conversely, you can spend in excess of $3000 per person for a 7-night Caribbean cruise and have all the liquor you can drink and gratuities included. The choice is yours.
Went on Disney last year. We aren`t much on the drinks either. One or two a day. Usually had the three dollar specials. Bought pop by the glass. Combined with our excursions, which included the Atlantis sub, and a new watch for me, we spend 450 dollars total on extras.
Stayed in a cabin on the lowest deck, inside deluxe,It got there just as fast as the suites. Spent 2 grand for entire cruise. two of us. Shop well and have fun. But you do have to pick and choose.
I felt the wine was priced a little higher than a restaurant at home, but the mixed drinks were about the same if not even a little lower. The prices should be much cheaper on a cruiseship than in a US restaurant. After all, they pay duty-free prices for everything. But there's plenty of ways to save if you're worried about it. Most of the lines allow a few bottles of wine to be brought on board; just say it's for a special occasion and don't forget the corkscrew. You have to pay $10 to have someone open it for you.
And definitely, consider booking your excursions yourself.
Where are the cruises that are all-inclusive? I can't find any. I tried some searching some of the more expensive cruiselines like seabourn, windstar, silverseas and radisson and none of them offer all-inclusive. Are there other cruiselines that I've never heard of? They're probably still out of my league, but I wouldn't mind checking them out.
Marnie: what is your definition of all-inclusive. Seabourn and Silverseas include everything except air fare (sometimes included) and shore excursions (usually one included on each cruise). Wines, bar drinks, all tips, alternative restaurants, stocked bar in each suite (2 bottles)--all are included. What else do you think should be included?
My definition of all-inclusive is that you pay one price for the week and go home without any charges (except maybe a souvenir). They provide room, food, entertainment, drinks in bars and during meals, and water sports like kayaking and snorkeling, and depending on the location, some excursions.
The reason I ask is I searched the internet recently and couldn't find any. Could you provide any links? I did find some sites that explained gratuities were included, but not bar beverages. Below is one I found for Seabourn's FAQ. It's near the very bottom of the web site. Food, entertainment and service are included, but not bar beverages. Windstar's FAQ list said the same thing. Is this wrong? Maybe there's certain destinations or ships? Or all-inclusive an optional choice? I can't find it. Other cruise links didn't specify what is included.
sounds like a good idea until you start to realize you are subsidizing other passengers, unless you are consuming more drink and going on more excursions than everybody else on board.
i think THAT is why there are no totally all-inclusive ships/lines in the mainstream category. yes, people want more for less, but most don't want to foot the bill for somebody else to get much more for the same "less."
you pay for your voyage, i pay for mine... you get a better cabin, you pay more than i do...
we eat ourselves into submission -- whatever amount that might be for each of us -- which is included in the fare.
but if you drink like a fish and i have a little nip at the bottle here and there, suddenly the equilibrium goes way out of balance.
the costs of drinks are part of the total cost of cruising one must consider before deciding the high seas is the right vacation.
if you don't like the cost to partake, try this novel approach: cruise for a week without drinking. you will not only survive the experience, you will probably enjoy yourself very much -- and you might even remember your entire vacation.
All inclusive isn't only for those who want to drink, but for those that are on a strict budget and need to know precisely what they will pay. Not everyone can afford to cruise, but may be able to afford an all-inclusive vacation. How will anyone know if they don't ask. That's what these boards are for.
We recently sailed the Radisson Paul Gauguin and found it to be NEARLY all inclusive. We took advantage of one of their many free air specials, booked with a TA who placed us with a travel group, paid with AMEX Platinum, and ended up with a $600 room credit. The room had a mini bar with soda always replinished, two liters of liquor of our chosing, and two cans of beer. (Liquor and beer could be replinished at less than local prices.) Open bars at all three private beach days. Free snorkel equipment use and boats, etc. for the whole cruise. Many other open bars on ship. All beverages included at dinner, without limit. Included soft drinks and bottled water always. Two included shore excursions. The rest could easily be paid for out of the credit. Even visits to the ship's doctor for minor things were included. Even at the times when bars weren't "open" the drinks were priced well and STRONG, and came out of the credit. At the end of the cruise, we actually had to pay a visit to the gift shop to use up the credit. So, not really all-inclusive in the land resort sense, but it worked that way in reality.
Cost? Well for the heck of it, when we got home, I calculated the "cruise only" cost, in a mass market sense, by taking the total cost and subtracting out the value of all that was included. I came up with $430 per person, double occupancy.