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A word of warning on free drinks packages (RCI)

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    A word of warning on free drinks packages (RCI)

    Hi everyone, I don't post a lot of threads / posts on here on here but thought I would highlight some issues following our cruise from Galveston last week. It may be helpful to others.

    As part of our cruise package, we were provided with a complimentary select drinks package. Upon boarding the ship we upgraded to the ultimate drinks package as this would provide flexibility and premium coffees. At that time we were advised we would pay the difference - $20 per day per person. However, on checking my account 1 day later I noticed that we had been charged $974 approached the desk relations desk to query it and was advised that complimentary drinks packages cannot be upgraded and I had been charged the going rate for the Ultimate drinks package. Not being too happy at this, a discussion took place and after some debate, they agreed to allow the upgrade "on this occasion". How many of you have experienced similar as "free drinks packages" seems to be the norm nowadays. Perhaps it's restricted to US departures or Liberty of the Seas policy, time will tell.

    I also noticed that no bar prices / menus were displayed anywhere on Liberty of the Seas - pool bars, champagne bar etc The only drinks menu we saw was in the main restaurant. My wife's drink of choice is Pinot Grigio (Americans all like Chardonnay don't they) but a glass in the restaurant for this particular wine was $15 !! The maximum allowance for the ultimate drinks package is $12 !! The only other alternative Pinot in the restaurant was sold by the bottle, no single glass purchase allowed. The diamond lounge on the ship was our home for 7 days lol. By the way, for all you diamond plus members out there, you are no longer admitted into the concierge lounge - diamond lounge only. A lot of unhappy diamond plus members on the ship. One couple were doing back to back cruises, access to the concierge lounge the first week and relegated to the diamond lounge for their second week. Liberty has been refurbed and the concierge lounge is now known as the "suite lounge" suite guests only !! In fairness, the diamond lounge was excellent but obviously very busy.

    #2
    Originally posted by mike, lanarkshire View Post
    Hi everyone, I don't post a lot of threads / posts on here on here but thought I would highlight some issues following our cruise from Galveston last week. It may be helpful to others.

    As part of our cruise package, we were provided with a complimentary select drinks package. Upon boarding the ship we upgraded to the ultimate drinks package as this would provide flexibility and premium coffees. At that time we were advised we would pay the difference - $20 per day per person. However, on checking my account 1 day later I noticed that we had been charged $974 approached the desk relations desk to query it and was advised that complimentary drinks packages cannot be upgraded and I had been charged the going rate for the Ultimate drinks package. Not being too happy at this, a discussion took place and after some debate, they agreed to allow the upgrade "on this occasion". How many of you have experienced similar as "free drinks packages" seems to be the norm nowadays. Perhaps it's restricted to US departures or Liberty of the Seas policy, time will tell.

    I also noticed that no bar prices / menus were displayed anywhere on Liberty of the Seas - pool bars, champagne bar etc The only drinks menu we saw was in the main restaurant. My wife's drink of choice is Pinot Grigio (Americans all like Chardonnay don't they) but a glass in the restaurant for this particular wine was $15 !! The maximum allowance for the ultimate drinks package is $12 !! The only other alternative Pinot in the restaurant was sold by the bottle, no single glass purchase allowed. The diamond lounge on the ship was our home for 7 days lol. By the way, for all you diamond plus members out there, you are no longer admitted into the concierge lounge - diamond lounge only. A lot of unhappy diamond plus members on the ship. One couple were doing back to back cruises, access to the concierge lounge the first week and relegated to the diamond lounge for their second week. Liberty has been refurbed and the concierge lounge is now known as the "suite lounge" suite guests only !! In fairness, the diamond lounge was excellent but obviously very busy.
    Thanks for posting.

    I wonder if the policy is RCI only??

    My last drinks package was NCL and I recall a $16 limit on a glass of wine and there was plenty of choice.

    Annie

    Comment


      #3
      It seems like they are giving you a drinks package 'in theory' but in practice when you try to get a drink, you can't have it because it's not covered........................................... .......................................Carol

      Comment


        #4
        Well Mike, I think many will thank you for upping your writing rate. I would imagine that with all that is going on during embarkation it is a time when you could be more that normally off guard. I think this is particularly naughty of them not to mention, when you "Upgraded" your package, that you should be aware that complimentary drinks packages could not be upgraded. They knew that there was an offer on drinks running and if they didn't then they needed reprimanding just on that issue.

        I have never upgraded freebies so it would have not crossed my mind that freebies were un-up-gradable ( or even if that is a word )

        Many thanks for the heads up. ....Neil

        Comment


          #5
          Hi all
          Interesting,,,I am on the Ovation from Sunday.
          I got the Select Package 'freebie' as an inducement to book.
          I rang RCI a few weeks ago about upgrading to Premium Package,,they said I can upgrade once on board.

          We will see.
          JC
          C P Scott,,,,,"Comment is Free,,but Facts are Sacred"
          "You are entitled to your opinion. But you are not entitled to your own facts.

          Comment


            #6
            We are on Harmony out of Barcelona and have been told by our agent that the foc select package can be upgraded onboard by just paying the difference. RCI do tend to have two completely different policies on drinks packages one for USA and another for European cruises.

            Comment


              #7
              Thanks for the heads up. We've got a complimentary select drinks package on jewel of the sea . To be honest I don't drink so much these days though we are still expecting to have a bar bill at the end. There's only so much chardonnay a girl can drink!
              BIG SHIPS, little ships, small world

              Comment


                #8
                That's really interesting. Alex and I upgraded from the inclusive package to the Ultimate package while on board Anthem in September. No problems at all.

                I wonder if this is a new policy, or untrained/poor staff on the ship you were sailing on?
                Duncan S

                See my blog!

                Comment


                  #9
                  I think Duncan may be right saying untrained staff.

                  From there FAQs '

                  Q If a Guest has purchased a particular package, can they pay the difference in price from their package limit if they want to order a higher priced drink?A. Yes, a Guest only pays the difference between the 2 prices for a higher priced item. Example, on the Premium package brandy is covered up to $10, if the guestorders a brandy that is listed at $14 they will only pay the additional $4.

                  Unless there is an argument about Free drinks packages ,it seems clear to me you only pay the difference ,but you will pay it for the full cruise ,not just the days left...Taffy
                  ​Taffy

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Morning All
                    I and many others upgraded our drinks package on Anthem and were only charged the difference.
                    Most bars will do it for you..they get you to sign a receipt to the effect of the upgrade and change the sticker on your sea pass...it's that easy.
                    And of course with the interactive tv you can check on the progress of your bar bill if necessary.
                    Luckily for my upcoming cruise we have both already been upgraded from the select to the ultimate package at no extra cost for some unknown reason.
                    I won't be complaining because if it's a mistake they may take it back...

                    Regards
                    Garfield
                    Last edited by Garfield, Waterlooville; 13th April 2016, 07:25 AM.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      They were trying it on with the upgrade.

                      With 3.5 hour (5-8:30) diamond lounge free drinks and the vouchers(3 each any bar) we don't bother with the packages on our RCI cruises now.

                      I collect the 6 glasses of wine on the way to dinner and that sees us through with the odd beer/cocktail top up.
                      On our last trip the bar I was using did decent pours so nearly a bottle in 3 glasses.

                      on RCI you can have different packages for each person in the same cabin so a quite good compromise(if not getting select included) is one take the ultimate($59) and the other take the royal replenish($19) and still get the premium coffee and juices.
                      http://media.royalcaribbean.com/cont...e_packages.pdf

                      Comment


                        #12
                        We have a premium drinks package included in our next sailing on Indy. The way I understand one of the rules and regulations, picked up on here, is that you don't pay the 15/18 % surcharge when ordering a drink if you have a "free" package when in Europe, but you may have to when in the States. Is this true? The other thought I had was when you're in Spanish waters RCI charge you Spanish tax on top. Do you think that may apply also to a " free " package.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I don't think there's an exact science to it to be honest. It would appear the local rules and policies depend on whether it's a Spanish / Italian / USA departures. However, I can say there was no additional gratuity on top of our free package, albeit the upgrade included 18%. Unbelievably, we had to be 12 miles out to sea before they would serve any cocktails and wine other than the dreaded Chardonnay. I asked for a mojito and was refused - just weird.

                          Comment


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