Cruise Critic learned of the beverage package expansion from Loyal2RCCL who posted that a friend, working on Oasis of the Seas, had received training regarding the packages. The line began offering alcohol packages in spring 2011 -- but only on certain ships homeporting outside the United States.
Cruise Critic member blueweimer, who is sailing on the Fort Lauderdale-based Allure of the Seas, offered details of the package.
"I am on the Allure today and it is true. $55 per person plus 15 percent gratuity. Both of us had to do it."
According to blueweimer, the package includes all house wine, beers under $6.25, fountain sodas, well/call or premium brands of liquor and frozen drinks. It does not include room service, specialty coffee, minibar items, canned sodas, bottled water or bottled juices.
Royal Caribbean confirmed packages are being tested but added, "We do not have final details on which ships would receive the packages at this time or what those packages would look like."
Royal Caribbean's U.K. Web site lists two packages -- the $55 Premium Package and a $45 Beer/Soda Package -- which are available on a number of non-U.S.-based ships.
Cruise Critic is awaiting confirmation that the Beer/Soda Package also is being offered as part of the Oasis and Allure trials.
The Beer/Soda Package includes all house wine, beers (under $7), fountain soda and frozen drinks. Both packages also offer a 25 percent discount on all wines and specialty spirits bought separate from the package.
Cruise Critic learned of the unlimited Internet test from member Scottct1 who posted that an Unlimited Internet Access plan is available onboard Allure of the Seas for $149 a week.
Royal Caribbean confirmed Allure is testing such a package but wouldn't offer additional details on which ships are part of the trial, which ships might eventually get the package or what the package will ultimately cost.
--by Dori Saltzman, News Editor