UP CLOSE WITH HISTORY
A new Princess Sip Sail cruise promotion offering free all-inclusive beverages and free specialty dining for new bookings. Depending on the ship and sailing date selected, this one can bring real value. But there are a few tricks to it that bring a typical quandary among consumers considering deals like this. We recently went through the process of weighing individually priced and paid for drink pricing to all-you-can-drink packages on Carnival Cruise Line. I’ll run down those numbers and more shortly. First, the Princess Sip Sail Early Booking Promo and why it is worthy of a post here when we really don’t talk pricing all that much.
Princess Sip Sail cruise promotion is offering free all-inclusive beverages, plus an early booking bonus offer of free specialty dining for bookings made before July 5, 2016. Cruise travelers can choose from more than 350 cruise vacations for Summer 2017 to Spring 2018, on sale now and at a reduced deposit. There is a lot of potential value here depending on a number of factors.
Consider the price of the cruise selected. What it will cost to get there and back home and the commonly quandary: Will I drink enough to make the all inclusive beverage package worth it? We just went though this process before boarding Carnival Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Magic earlier this month. Going in, we calculated that the amount of alcohol we would need to consume to come out even on their CHEERS beverage program ($57.44 per person, per day, including gratuity) compared to the buy-as-you-drink plan. Somehow 8 drinks a day per person sounded like so much in our living room. That’s what we would need to drink to break even.
$402.08 per person is the price on the CHEERS beverage program, $804.16 total for two. Our bar bill: $822.50. We would have come out better perhaps with the CHEERS program but would have had to buy it their way (one at a time, from a bartender) and would not have been able to order from room service ( we did, several times) or get buckets of beer. That would not have worked for us. But “one at a time” sounds so reasonable on land. I had images of people walking around with fists full of beer bottles as the reasoning behind these restrictions.
QUICK QUESTION: When did buckets of beer go from five to four on cruise lines?
Princess Sip Sail Early Booking Promo Deal: See the fine print but here’s the meat of the deal:
- Guests booking a balcony, mini-suite or suite staterooms will receive a free All-Inclusive Beverage Package for two people. That’s normally a $56.25 per person (includes service charge), per day package.
- Third/Fourth guests in the same cabin can enjoy Princess Cruises’ Unlimited Soda & More Packages are available for third and fourth guests in the same cabin.
- The All-Inclusive Beverage Package includes any individual beverage item such as soda, juices, shakes and floats, bottled water, cocktails, spirits, wines, beers, specialty coffees and tea, up to $10 retail value, purchased at all bars, public lounges and dining venues.
- Additionally, full bottles of wine below $100 retail can be purchased in the bars, dining room or in stateroom at 40% discount from the menu price.
$MORE:Princess Sip Sail Early Booking Promo Early Booking Bonus – Cruise Travelers who book between now and July 5 receive FREE specialty dining when booking a Mini-Suite or Suite Stateroom†.
$MORE:Princess Sip Sail Early Booking Promo Reduced Deposit: Guests can also book and receive these offers with a special reduced deposit of only $100 per person for first through fourth guests in a stateroom.
The “Sip & Sail” cruise deal runs through 11:59 pm, August 31, 2016 and is available to residents of the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, Mexico and Bermuda.Examples of Sip & Sail cruise deals include:
- Mediterranean cruise — 7 days: $1,749 balcony stateroom; $2,049 mini-suite stateroom
- Japan cruise — 8 days: $2,269 balcony stateroom; $2,649 mini-suite stateroom
- Alaska cruise — 7 days: $1,399 balcony stateroom; $1,599 mini-suite stateroom
- Alaska Land & Sea Vacation —11 nights: $2,474 balcony stateroom; $2,674 mini-suite stateroom
- Caribbean cruise — 7 days: $1,299 balcony stateroom; $1,549 mini-suite stateroom
- Mexico & California Coast cruise —7 days: $999 balcony stateroom; $1,199 mini-suite stateroom
I said I would leave the fine print to you but this caught my attention. Say you don’t drink all that much and budgeting for onboard beverages is not really a $big line item. Princess will also swap that beverage package for onboard credit. Not quite as much as the package would have been but it’s something and might be wonderful if combined with an outstanding price.
Also, mixing and matching the All-Inclusive Beverage Package and OBC is not allowed on the same booking. Both guest 1 & 2 must choose the same amenity. Offer is not transferable, is not combinable with other select offers or other onboard credits and does not follow guests who change promotions prior to cruising.
Guests booking sailings 6-9 days can receive $150 per guest.
Guests booking sailings 10-12 days can receive $200 per guest.
Guests booking sailings 13 or more days can receive $250 per guest.
The Princess Sip Sail package would cost $393.75 on a 7-night sailing, which might bring a glimpse of the amount of profit cruise lines make on these packages. If the cash equivalent of a package is barely a third of the retail price, they are not losing any money there. Do the math. Then don’t believe the math. Drinks seem to add up quicker at sea than we imagine they will when on land I suppose.
This is a good deal because the reduced $100 deposit is refundable and the beverage package (or substitute onboard credit) add value. The trick then will be to choose a ship and sailing that works with your sailing and is attractively priced.
More information about the Sip & Sail cruise sale is available at princess.com/cruisedeals.
Flickr Cover Photo – Steve Snodgrass