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D & B - Answered a Question by smith (03 Dec 08 20:18)

You do not have to spend a penny if you do not want to…. yes you have to buy Alcoholic drinks also wine with your dinner but you do not have to drink. I also enjoy a beer and do drink and yes the price is a little above the average but hey I do not go on holiday to get sloshed. My bill has always been very reasonable, the last holiday I had, I had three with me all above the age of 18. Guess who paid most of the time. I have been on NCL three times and enjoyed every holiday. Be honest where can you go and receive free alcoholic drinks. If you wish to take water ashore with you this has to be purchased but this can be bought from the local supermarkets. NCL does also have speciality restaurants which if used has to be paid for but on the Jem & the Jewel the main dining room does have a wow factor to it and was just as good as the three times I have been on RCI. regards D & B .

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Smith - replied to D & B (04 Dec 08 09:32)

I understand you have to pay for alcoholic drinks as you would in any hotel, my question is, if I have paid upfront for service charges, will gratuities be added to my drinks bill?

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D & B - replied to Smith (04 Dec 08 12:22)

Hello, I have only sailed with NCL & RCI and if I remember correctly yes gratuities are also added to your drinks bill, regarding other cruise lines there are others far more experienced than I that use this web site and I am sure they will let you know. But I stand by what I said you do not have to spend a penny and I am sure there are some who don’t (there choice) Food, Entertainment, Accommodation, Gym etc are all covered in the price. No doubt if someone goes on the pop every night they will soon run up a very large bill for the end of the holiday but is this any different to what one would receive at home in there local Pub and yes I know you do not pay gratuities in the Pub but would just the gratuities turn ones final bill into a fortune (as you put it) I think not. Regards .

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Neil & Ida Down - Answered a Question by smith (03 Dec 08 21:09)

D & B are right, you are in charge of what you spend. The problem is that when you're on holiday you can sometimes splash out a bit but for every dollar you spend you get a receipt and if you keep these you should be well aware of your out-goings plus I think that you are able,as you are on most other cruise ships, to see you account at any time on the TV. You are in control. ......Neil.

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Cooke - Answered a Question by smith (04 Dec 08 08:45)

With the exception of EasyCruise full board is included. Tea and coffee are available for most of the day, although on the small ships not when the buffet is being prepared for lunch. If you choose to buy your beverage from a bar you pay about £1 per cup. Alcohol prices vary enormously from one line to another. Last year, on Ocean Majesty we paid a small charge for Jose's cocktail demonstations (£1.85 I think) but that included three cocktails - not full strength, it was before lunch time! Also a similar ammount for a wine tasting. These were the only 'extras'. If the cruise company add gratuities to the drinks bill it makes a huge difference. Page & Moy say gratuities are included in the cost of your cruise, so you are paying it anyway, it's just not as painful! If you want to tip 'special' crew members separtately, that is your choice. I hope you enjoy your holiday.

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answer only - Answered a Question by smith (05 Dec 08 20:55)

It is simple......check with who you have booked with to see if the standard graditute charge has been added, or whether it will be added to your cabin account for payment at end of cruise. all alchol on aboard attracts an addition 15% so factor that in as a price of a drink, you receive a receipt for everything you charge so you can keep track. my view drinks is that they are about the same price as being in a hotel bar. (dont expect duty free prices) all cruise ships attempt to sell you things, like spa treatments, gifts, jewelery and art auctions. excursions can be expensive....do your research and make up your own mind wether you take a ships excursion or do your own thing finally no cabin bill should come as a surprise, your brochure, cruise line web site (certainly for excursions prices ) tells you want is included and what is extra. simple money saving ideas, do your own thing in ports of call, about the only destination you can't is St peterburg (due to russian regulations). buy sourveiners ashore. research the ship, cruise line and destinations before booking. plently of free information on the web in forums and sites like this one. ask specific questions and you will get detail responses.

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Walker - Answered a Question by smith (05 Dec 08 22:05)

Be aware that on Jade the wine waitors always try to sell you a bottle when you might only require a glass. They can be very friendly but pushy. Always ask the price, as the list isn't always apparant. There is a coffee machine in the cabin with sachets tomake about two cups each a day. Some Brits were able to swap for a kettle. We took tea bags and some decaff instant coffee and just boiled the water in the machine. The drinks machine in the buffets seemed to be open until the late evening. And today's news about the fuel price drop means that we should be getting some on board credit on our next Feb's trip! Enjoy-Jo.

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Garrett - Answered a Question by smith (06 Dec 08 07:52)

Most cruise lines charge "extra" for your alcoholic drinks and obviously if you buy anything from their shops. Hpwever, NCL being Norwegian will no doubt charge Norwegian prices - it may be worthwhile finding out the "nationality" of the ship before you book so as to have an idea of the rate of charge for "extras".

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Marshall - Answered a Question by smith (06 Dec 08 08:20)

NCL are the only cruise line I sailed with that charge for room service.

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McBlain - Answered a Question by smith (06 Dec 08 09:30)

It is a good idea to monitor your on board account with a print out at least once on a seven day cruise, this can be done with a visit to the accounts desk near to the reception The initial cost of the cruise is only for all food [,except on themed restaurants, a cover charge applies] and entertainment and of course you cabin, Ways that that cruise companies winkle more money from passengers: You will be charged for everyting else!! keep in mind you will have to budget for drinks that normally include a gratuity charge of normaly 15%, excursions which are normally outrageously overpriced and a suggested gratuities to cover cabin steward and waiters etc. The gratuities can be adjusted or removed but ,I notice that some cruise companies have very cunningly changed their wording on information on "tips" to a "service charge" which is now an integral part of your cruise cost now and is non negotiable!! Be warned!! which is very worrying as you are being charged for bad service as well as good!!

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