Complimentary Adult Beverages vs. a “Drink Card”
The third in a series of posts about the thriving brand “Azamara Club Cruises“.
Azamara offers what we believe to be the best value in an all-inclusive cruise experience for all guests. When you see the price of an Azamara Voyage, you feel good knowing that it already includes Gratuities, Bottled water, soft drinks, specialty coffees and teas – but wait – it also includes complimentary adult beverages. How is this different from a “Drink Card”? you ask…
Please allow me to set the scene for this comparison. Many people don’t understand that Architects don’t just draw buildings. In order to design a building, they need an intimate understanding of how the building will be used, and must exercise thinking and over thinking about the intricacies of its design. If they don’t, the building will be dysfunctional, not meeting the needs of its occupants. These every day “Architect” habits leave us analyzing and re-analyzing our experiences everywhere we go. Yep, right down to the difference between the experience of receiving complimentary adult beverages to that of having a “drink card” on a cruise vacation. When we cruise, we drink. In the cruise industry there are many options for drinkers. Cruisers can purchase ala carte, one drink at a time. Or pre-purchase a beverage package that requires you to show your cruise card, sign a receipt, and count drinks. Better yet, cruisers can purchase an all-inclusive beverage experience! This post highlights the difference in the all-inclusive cruise experience as it relates to complimentary adult beverages.
At first you might not think there was a difference between receiving complimentary adult beverages and having a “Drink Card”. After cruising with Azamara, we learned that there definitely is…… We learned that we do want our wine glass refilled at dinner – even if it’s not empty. You don’t have to interrupt our conversation to ask us. We do want to grab a drink any time and any where. We don’t want to count. We don’t want to show our cruise card. We don’t want to wait or sign. And we certainly don’t want to hesitate or feel guilty over the bill at the end of the cruise.
“Hello Madame, Sir, would you prefer red or white tonight?” was the question we were asked in the ship dining room each night. The Azamara boutique wine list features a regularly changing selection of two red and two white wines by the glass each day throughout your voyage. For us minimizing the choice is a good thing, or we could take an hour to decide. The wines are sourced locally, while the ships are sailing in wine-producing regions such as Italy, France, and Spain. Although wine is available at any bar or restaurant on the ship, Rob and I usually just partake of wine, at dinner time. Once you select your dinner wine, your glass is kept full throughout dinner. No counting. No showing your cruise card. No signature. No hesitation. No waiting. No bill. Just enjoy with no regret, in high class dignity.
Cheers to YOU! – for selecting Azamara
Now I know right away, you are thinking – yeah sure – they probably only offer a small selection of hard liquor beverages. They probably charge extra for < my favorite brand>. Prior to sailing check the list to make sure something acceptable to you is offered. Azamara publishes their Spirits, Cocktails and Long Drinks at their Website! But we have them for you here too. (Published as of June of 2017)
Notice that the “brand name” is stated for certain liquors. You know – the one’s that matter most to people, like Beefeater, Jim Beam, Smirnoff or Finlandia to name a few. These complimentary brands are not “top shelf” but certainly good enough for many of us, most of the time . Normally I prefer 100% Agave Tequila, but Jose Cuervo Especial Silver tequila was certainly suitable for 10 Nights of my life during my Azamara Cruise! There is almost nothing better than heading straight for the bar to relax after a challenging day of exploring on shore! You can order from ANY bar on the ship, but you can not get complimentary adult beverages from “room service”.
We think it’s funny that drinks have gender rules. While Lynn must have her Margaritas Rob is thrilled to re-visit a memory of his grandparents and enjoyed a Grasshopper for dessert some nights. Because of the drink gender identities servers are always getting our drinks mixed up. A typical server will take our order, then deliver Rob’s Grasshopper to Lynn and Lynn’s mixed drink to Rob. Yep, Lynn likes her Margaritas to taste like Tequila, (or gasoline according to Rob) and Rob likes the sweet girly drinks! Have you ever noticed “drink gender”? Yeah probably not consciously – noticing something like that is an Architect overthinking thing….. lol
Neither of us are beer drinkers unless it is 110 degrees out and the beer is VERY cold, served with a twist of lemon! But for those of you who do Azamara offers Budweiser, Bud Light and Beck’s within their complimentary options! We rest assured that it might be 110 degrees, in some of the destinations we will sail to, so – if it is, there is cold beer!
If you are one of those saying “It doesn’t matter to me anyway because I don’t drink – that much.” Let me ask you this. When was the last time you picked something off the menu without looking at the price? When was the last time you truly considered “do I WANT another glass of wine with my dinner?” NOT “do I want to pay for another glass of wine with my dinner?” It truly is a luxurious experience. You can celebrate your vacation without being haunted with future guilt. Imagine the freedom of conversation, the courage to dance, the convenience to visit any place on the ship and order up a toast with or without your new cruise friends!
It’s Classy, Comfortable & Azamazing!
Of course some will still desire more. And for those, there are very reasonable cost saving packages. You may purchase packages onboard at any time during your voyage!
PREMIUM PACKAGE – $15.95 PER PERSON/PER DAY – Absolut, Ketel One, Stolichnaya, Canadian Club, Crown Royal, Jameson, Johnnie Walker Red Label, Captain Morgan, Myers’s Original Dark, Tanqueray, Bombay Sapphire, Disaronno Amaretto, Kahlúa, Southern Comfort, and more…
ULTIMATE PACKAGE – $21.95 PER PERSON/PER DAY – All Premium Package brands above – plus: Vodka – Belvedere, Christiania, Effen, Grey Goose, Grey Goose Le Citron, Grey Goose L’Orange, Grey Goose La Poire, Level Gin – Hendrick’s, Tanqueray No. Ten Rum – Bacardi 8, Pyrat XO Reserve, Zacapa 23 Tequila – Don Julio Blanco Tennessee Whiskey – Gentleman Jack, Jack Daniel’s Canadian Whisky – Tangle Ridge Irish Whiskey – Jameson Gold Reserve Bourbon – Blanton’s, Maker’s Mark, Baker’s, Knob Creek, Woodford Reserve Scotch Whisky – The Balvenie, Highland Park Aged 12 Years, Johnnie Walker Black Label, Laphroaig, The Macallan Select Oak, Chivas Regal, Dewar’s 12 Years Old, Glenfiddich, The Glenlivet Brandy – Cardenal Mendoza Cognac Courvoisier VS, Courvoisier VSOP, Rémy Martin VSOP Liqueurs – B & B, Baileys Coffee Liqueur, Baileys Irish Cream, Bénédictine, Chambord, Cointreau, Drambuie, Fernet Branca, Galliano, Godiva, Godiva White Chocolate, Grand Marnier, Hpnotiq, St-Germain Wine – Martini & Rossi Asti, Domaine Chandon Brut Classic, Seaglass Sauvignon Blanc, DeLoach Chardonnay, Gabbiano Pinot Grigio, Beringer White Zinfandel, Trumpeter Cabernet Sauvignon, DeLoach Merlot, Callia Alta Malbec Nespresso – Ristretto, Espresso Forte, Ristretto Origin India, Espresso Leggero, Lungo Forte, Lungo Leggero, Espresso Decaffeinato, Lungo Decaffeinato Water – Evian, Perrier, San Pellegrino
WINE LOVER PACKAGE – VARIOUS PRICING – Wine lover packages include all bottles of wine valued at $50 or less. More than 80 wines to choose from, including five sparkling wines, 35 white wines, 5 rosé wines and 35 red wines.
WINE CONNOISSEUR PACKAGE – VARIOUS PRICING – Wine connoisseur packages include all bottles of wine valued at $51-$75. More than 50 wines to choose from, including three sparkling wines, 15 white wines, 30 red wines and 2 dessert wines.
It is important to do this thinking ahead of time. When it comes to travel, cruisers cruise because they don’t want to forfeit their quality of life during a vacation. For many of us, our quality of life is deeply rooted in the quality of beverages we consume and the freedom to choose where, when, and how. We don’t just want to get drunk – we want to savor the moment. I can tell you that we thoroughly enjoyed our Azamara Cruise, and yes, for those of you judging us – we do remember most of it!
Come along with us on this experiential examination of Azamara Club Cruises from an Architect’s perspective. Enjoy our detail oriented evaluation of why it’s the little things that count!
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See older posts about our “Azamara Journey Cruise” in the fall of 2015
Azamara Club Cruises is the upscale brand relative of Royal Caribbean and Celebrity. The Journey and the Quest are small ships offering immersive itineraries and connection to locals, from a boutique hotel at sea. In your Azamazing destinations you stay longer, experience more, and literally see the world #AzaLocal! Search the following hashtags to learn more:
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