MSC Cruises has recently increased the prices of its beverage packages, which include the Easy, Easy Plus, and Premium Extra packages. These changes are effective starting from February 27, 2023, and depend on the voyage length.
Although the price increases are up to 20% in some cases, the gratuity charge, which was previously not included in the package price, has been removed. This means that the actual increase is only about 5%.
Price Increases to Beverage Packages
MSC Cruises has made some modifications to the pricing structure of its beverage packages, which includes the Easy, Easy Plus, and Premium Extra packages. The new prices have been adjusted based mainly on the voyage length.
Guests will notice that some package prices have been raised considerably, between 5-30% depending on the voyage length.
For instance, the Easy package now costs €273, or $322, for a cruise lasting more than seven days. This is a price increase of more than 20%. Per person per day, the Easy package costs €39, or $46, if purchased in advance. It will cost guests €47, or $57 if purchased onboard on a cruise for more than seven days. The Easy package will now cost €43, or $49, if booked in advance, and €51, or $60, on board for trips lasting less than seven days.
The Easy Plus package, which includes drinks up to €9, or $10, now costs €378, or $427, for a seven-day or longer cruise. The Premium Extra package, which includes drinks up to €14, or $16, now costs €518 or $595.
The euro prices apply for cruises in the Mediterranean, Emirates and Antilles. The prices in USD apply for cruises in the Caribbean, North America, South America and Japan.
The drinks included in the beverage packages have not changed much, except for the Easy package, which now comprises canned soft drinks, some beers, and bottled fruit juices. Previously, it only offered draft beer and soft drinks.
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In addition to the Easy, Easy Plus, and Premium Extra beverage packages, MSC Cruises offers two other drink packages, the Alcohol-Free Package and the Minors Package. Interestingly, the prices for these packages have not changed, indicating that the price adjustments only affect the alcoholic beverage packages.
The Alcohol-Free Package is an excellent option for guests who do not consume alcohol or prefer non-alcoholic drinks. The package includes a variety of non-alcoholic cocktails, fresh fruit and protein cocktails, energy drinks, sodas, flavored water, a wide range of hot drinks.
The Minors Package is a great choice for families traveling with children or teenagers. It includes non-alcoholic cocktails, fresh fruit and protein cocktails, energy drinks, flavored water, soda by glass and bottle, a wide range of hot drinks, and soft-serve ice cream.
Service Charge Changes
One of the significant changes implemented by MSC Cruises is the inclusion of the service fee in all beverage packages, including the Alcohol-Free Package and the Minors package. Previously, guests had to pay a separate service charge on top of the package price, which could add up to a considerable sum.
With the new pricing structure, the package price is all-inclusive, and guests do not have to worry about additional service charges. However, guests who choose to purchase individual drinks without a package will now have to pay a service charge of 15% if they pay in euros and 18% if they pay in US dollars.
This means purchasing a package is a more attractive option for guests, allowing them to save money in the long run, despite the seemingly excessive increase in price. By bundling the service fee into the package price, MSC Cruises simplifies the pricing structure and makes it easier for guests to know exactly what they are paying for.
Norwegian Cruise Line and Princess Cruises have also increased their beverage package prices in the last six months. The rising price of ingredients worldwide is a significant factor that has contributed to the price hike. As the cost of raw materials such as sugar, coffee, and fruit continues to rise, cruise lines are forced to raise their prices to maintain profitability.