Taking alcohol on board


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Sunderland England
9,196 Posts
Joined Dec 2016
Originally posted by Caravan 37
Lots of questions for anyone sailing 14 July then!

-how much is the package?
-any limits on number of drinks/price of drinks?
- how much have bar prices increased as a result if you’re not buying the AI package?
-is there only one package?
-does the package include non alcoholic drinks ie speciality coffees/teas/smoothies/soft drinks and juices?

I can’t believe this hasn’t been advised well ahead of a cruise sailing so someone must have all the info?


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They might do what other lines do and give you the hardsell once on board.
London
307 Posts
Joined Feb 2014
Originally posted by grapau27
Very similar to RCI.
Their free drinks package promotion when offered is THE price you have to pay to book the cruise so everyone has it and they have bumped the cruise price up around £200 pppweek to cover it.
I am high loyalty on both P&O,Princess and RCCL so have experience of the drinks package and would never buy it unless I had no choice like when the free drinks package is included when I am booking.


I presume you take full advantage of the free drinks afforded you according to your higher tier membership then and therefore no need to ‘buy’ drinks?


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Sunderland England
9,196 Posts
Joined Dec 2016
Originally posted by Caravan 37
I presume you take full advantage of the free drinks afforded you according to your higher tier membership then and therefore no need to ‘buy’ drinks?


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Exactly.
As a Diamond plus member on RC there is a 3 hour unlimited free drinks cocktail hour in the Diamond Lounge or Concierge lounge so the drinks package is little use for us but on a cruise last year we had the FREE drinks package with the added cruise fare increase which I didn't want.
Staffordshire
1,243 Posts
Joined May 2011
Originally posted by grapau27
For comparison on RCCL the free drinks packages are offered on sailings of 6 nights or more.
When the promotion is on the price of the cruise is increased by over £200pppweek so it is hardly free.
Additionally any drink over $13 you pay the additional amount.
I agree with daiB that drinks included would mean lower quality drinks and people drinking all day and night because It is included.
The only inclusive I would like to see is gratuities.
I agree completely. If P&O make a drink package inclusive in the cost of the cruise and increase the cost by £200 pppw we will not be going with them as our current bar bills are usually around £150 per week for 2 of us so a subsidy of £250 per week for other people's drinking.
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Sunderland England
9,196 Posts
Joined Dec 2016
Originally posted by grapau27
Exactly.
As a Diamond plus member on RC there is a 3 hour unlimited free drinks cocktail hour in the Diamond Lounge or Concierge lounge so the drinks package is little use for us but on a cruise last year we had the FREE drinks package with the added cruise fare increase which I didn't want.
The RC cocktail hour is every night too.
111 Posts
Joined Jul 2017
Originally posted by Caravan 37
Lots of questions for anyone sailing 14 July then!

-how much is the package?
-any limits on number of drinks/price of drinks?
- how much have bar prices increased as a result if you’re not buying the AI package?
-is there only one package?
-does the package include non alcoholic drinks ie speciality coffees/teas/smoothies/soft drinks and juices?

I can’t believe this hasn’t been advised well ahead of a cruise sailing so someone must have all the info?


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I am on the 14 July sailing and have not been informed of any changes to the drinks packages already offered. As stated previously, my TA has spoken to P & O who have categorically denied any changes, either on Azura or any other ship. I will report back next week upon my return.
England
1,439 Posts
Joined Aug 2014
Originally posted by msk1955
I am on the 14 July sailing and have not been informed of any changes to the drinks packages already offered. As stated previously, my TA has spoken to P & O who have categorically denied any changes, either on Azura or any other ship. I will report back next week upon my return.
I have a family member going on Azura next month so will ask them to check also. It may be a case that they intended to commence the trial on 14th July, but it has been delayed. The same happened when the new room service menu was rolled out last year. We were supposed to be on the first cruise with the new menu (Aurora) but it was delayed.
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276 Posts
Joined Aug 2017
Originally posted by msk1955
I am on the 14 July sailing and have not been informed of any changes to the drinks packages already offered. As stated previously, my TA has spoken to P & O who have categorically denied any changes, either on Azura or any other ship. I will report back next week upon my return.
Thank you, that would be useful.
London
307 Posts
Joined Feb 2014
Originally posted by grapau27
They might do what other lines do and give you the hardsell once on board.


They wouldn’t have to sell that hard I’m sure we’d get our monies worth 🤪


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Scotland
1,280 Posts
Joined Aug 2012
I’m all for choice so if they want to offer an AI then fine but I do have some reservations. I hope for example that they don’t offer it on short voyages which are already booze cruises.

Fred Olsen limit the % of passengers who can buy AI on any voyage and move the cost up from £15pppn to £34 for voyages under 4 days. Something like that seems to work. I suspect that pando will charge much, much more.

I also think that the recent restrictions on the alcohol you can take onboard and the more recently reported removal of the facility to buy a bottle of spirits once on the ship were all moving towards pushing something new.

He presto we now have an AI trial.

The only question is, if successful, will it be a choice or will the prices for all cruises go up by the cost of AI.

If it is a bolt on cost, any bets on by just how much the other drinks prices will rise!

P&O have definitely changed the passenger demographic they are aiming for, only time will tell if it works out for them. For every new person they attract they will put off some of the more traditional cruise passengers with all the recent changes.
London
307 Posts
Joined Feb 2014
Originally posted by msk1955
I am on the 14 July sailing and have not been informed of any changes to the drinks packages already offered. As stated previously, my TA has spoken to P & O who have categorically denied any changes, either on Azura or any other ship. I will report back next week upon my return.


Great thank you


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England
1,439 Posts
Joined Aug 2014
For what it's worth, I think that P&O will eventually go down the All Inclusive route in order to remain competitive. It would also very much appeal to the demographic that they are now targeting. Sadly, that doesn't include us as we are moderate drinkers and don't like to be around people who are inebriated, with the loudness and poor behavior that can result. This is not just confined to short cruises. We have twice seen aggressive drunken behavior (where security staff have had to be called) on regular cruises and AI will inevitably result in a lot more of these incidents. Some people will also adopt the mentality of 'getting their money's worth' and heavy drinkers would be able to sink a heck of a lot of booze on a long hot sea day. It only takes a tiny minority to have a major adverse impact on the majority.

One question for those who have experienced AI packages on other lines. Some friends of ours went on one of the US lines and said that their drinks package covered drinks up to, say, $13.99 but if the drink was more (which many were) then they couldn't just pay the difference, they had to pay the full price. They ended up having to upgrade to a premium drinks package. Is that true, because that seems like a complete rip off to me?
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674(A) Oriana 14/5/96. Southampton to Istanbul (Fly back). 8 nights. Outside Cabin.
E620 Oceana 11/8/06. Western Mediterranean. 14 nights. Outside Cabin.
E720 Oceana 12/8/07. Canaries. 13 nights. Outside Cabin.
X912 Oriana 24/7/09. Baltic. 14 nights. Outside Cabin.
A118 Azura 5/8/11. Eastern Mediterranean. 16 nights. Superior Deluxe Balcony Cabin.
N321 Ventura 18/8/13. Western Mediterranean. 14 nights. Superior Deluxe Balcony Cabin.
B517 Britannia 15/8/15. Western Mediterranean. 14 nights. Forward Suite + Adjacent Balcony Cabin.
B622 Britannia 23/7/16. Norwegian Fjords. 7 nights. Forward Suite + Adjacent Balcony Cabin.
N703 Ventura 15/2/17. Amsterdam & Bruges. 4 nights. Penthouse Suite.
R705 Aurora 13/5/17. Baltic. 16 nights. Accessible Balcony Cabin.
B721 Britannia 22/7/17. Western Mediterranean. 14 nights. Aft Corner Wrap Suite + Adjacent Balcony Cabin.

R718 Aurora 20/10/17. Zeebrugge (although didn’t dock due to storm). 2 nights. Accessible Balcony Cabin. Back to Back with;
R719 Aurora 22/10/17. Spain & France. 7 nights. Accessible Balcony Cabin.
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19 Posts
Joined Aug 2016
Originally posted by Selbourne
For what it's worth, I think that P&O will eventually go down the All Inclusive route in order to remain competitive. It would also very much appeal to the demographic that they are now targeting. Sadly, that doesn't include us as we are moderate drinkers and don't like to be around people who are inebriated, with the loudness and poor behavior that can result. This is not just confined to short cruises. We have twice seen aggressive drunken behavior (where security staff have had to be called) on regular cruises and AI will inevitably result in a lot more of these incidents. Some people will also adopt the mentality of 'getting their money's worth' and heavy drinkers would be able to sink a heck of a lot of booze on a long hot sea day. It only takes a tiny minority to have a major adverse impact on the majority.

One question for those who have experienced AI packages on other lines. Some friends of ours went on one of the US lines and said that their drinks package covered drinks up to, say, $13.99 but if the drink was more (which many were) then they couldn't just pay the difference, they had to pay the full price. They ended up having to upgrade to a premium drinks package. Is that true, because that seems like a complete rip off to me?
We were on Celebrity Eclipse last year with a "free" classic drinks package, if we wanted a drink not covered by it we would have had to pay the full price of the drink. I too am not a fan of drinks packages as they are poor value for money for the amount we drink, and we're not exactly teetotallers!
England
1,439 Posts
Joined Aug 2014
Originally posted by kenhem
We were on Celebrity Eclipse last year with a "free" classic drinks package, if we wanted a drink not covered by it we would have had to pay the full price of the drink. I too am not a fan of drinks packages as they are poor value for money for the amount we drink, and we're not exactly teetotallers!
Thanks kenhem. That confirms what our friends told us. They also said that a lot of the 'decent' drinks were above the price cap, which seemed incredible. We sound the same as you. We like a drink but not enough to warrant a big upfront cost. We also like to drink decent stuff and not plonk, so would begrudge feeling ripped off if we couldn't just pay the difference.
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P&O Cruises Experience – 162 nights over 15 cruises (Arcadia, Aurora x 4, Azura, Britannia x 3, Oceana x 2, Oriana x 2, Ventura x 2)
P&O Cruises to Come - 55 nights over 3 cruises (2018 - Aurora, 2019 - Aurora x 2)

674(A) Oriana 14/5/96. Southampton to Istanbul (Fly back). 8 nights. Outside Cabin.
E620 Oceana 11/8/06. Western Mediterranean. 14 nights. Outside Cabin.
E720 Oceana 12/8/07. Canaries. 13 nights. Outside Cabin.
X912 Oriana 24/7/09. Baltic. 14 nights. Outside Cabin.
A118 Azura 5/8/11. Eastern Mediterranean. 16 nights. Superior Deluxe Balcony Cabin.
N321 Ventura 18/8/13. Western Mediterranean. 14 nights. Superior Deluxe Balcony Cabin.
B517 Britannia 15/8/15. Western Mediterranean. 14 nights. Forward Suite + Adjacent Balcony Cabin.
B622 Britannia 23/7/16. Norwegian Fjords. 7 nights. Forward Suite + Adjacent Balcony Cabin.
N703 Ventura 15/2/17. Amsterdam & Bruges. 4 nights. Penthouse Suite.
R705 Aurora 13/5/17. Baltic. 16 nights. Accessible Balcony Cabin.
B721 Britannia 22/7/17. Western Mediterranean. 14 nights. Aft Corner Wrap Suite + Adjacent Balcony Cabin.

R718 Aurora 20/10/17. Zeebrugge (although didn’t dock due to storm). 2 nights. Accessible Balcony Cabin. Back to Back with;
R719 Aurora 22/10/17. Spain & France. 7 nights. Accessible Balcony Cabin.
R802 Aurora 9/3/18. Northern Lights. 12 nights. Accessible Balcony Cabin.
J807 Arcadia 1/7/18. Norwegian Fjords. 7 nights. Aft Corner Wrap Suite + Adjacent Balcony Cabin.
London
78 Posts
Joined Jan 2015
Originally posted by kenhem
We were on Celebrity Eclipse last year with a "free" classic drinks package, if we wanted a drink not covered by it we would have had to pay the full price of the drink. I too am not a fan of drinks packages as they are poor value for money for the amount we drink, and we're not exactly teetotallers!
We were on Celebrity in May. You now only have to pay the difference in price for the more expensive drinks. I think this is a recent change. We found the Classic fine for us though.
Scotland
1,280 Posts
Joined Aug 2012
Yes Celebrity you pay the difference.

On Fred Olsen you get 50% off the costs of any drinks or bottles of wine not on the AI (except Champagne)

Marella have a supplement for drinks not on AI ( or at least they did, have not been on recently)

I’m not a heavy drinker but I do quite like AI as there are no nasty surprises at the end of the cruise. I particularly like the ones that include the speciality coffee and bottles sparkiling water in addition to just alcoholic beverages. The premium on Celebrity even does fresh press fruit and vegetable juices.

That said the crowd on P&O has been changing a lot recently and some are knocking back a lot of booze without the incentive of AI. I think Selbourne is right that some people will see it as a personal challenge to make sure they get their money’s worth out of any package.
London
307 Posts
Joined Feb 2014
Originally posted by Eglesbrech
Yes Celebrity you pay the difference.



On Fred Olsen you get 50% off the costs of any drinks or bottles of wine not on the AI (except Champagne)



Marella have a supplement for drinks not on AI ( or at least they did, have not been on recently)



I’m not a heavy drinker but I do quite like AI as there are no nasty surprises at the end of the cruise. I particularly like the ones that include the speciality coffee and bottles sparkiling water in addition to just alcoholic beverages. The premium on Celebrity even does fresh press fruit and vegetable juices.



That said the crowd on P&O has been changing a lot recently and some are knocking back a lot of booze without the incentive of AI. I think Selbourne is right that some people will see it as a personal challenge to make sure they get their money’s worth out of any package.


Of course people will weigh up whether they would benefit from buying the AI package and will also make sure that they use the daily amount it has cost - this isn’t always from alcohol though and doesn’t necessarily mean that there will be raucous misbehaviour as a result. I’ve been on a few lines that have AI packages and haven’t noticed a difference in behaviour to passengers on my recent P&O cruise where litres of spirits can be consumed in your cabin and then topped up by drinks from cheap bar!


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Surrey, UK
1,630 Posts
Joined May 2006
Originally posted by kenhem
We were on Celebrity Eclipse last year with a "free" classic drinks package, if we wanted a drink not covered by it we would have had to pay the full price of the drink. I too am not a fan of drinks packages as they are poor value for money for the amount we drink, and we're not exactly teetotallers!
Originally posted by Selbourne
Thanks kenhem. That confirms what our friends told us. They also said that a lot of the 'decent' drinks were above the price cap, which seemed incredible. We sound the same as you. We like a drink but not enough to warrant a big upfront cost. We also like to drink decent stuff and not plonk, so would begrudge feeling ripped off if we couldn't just pay the difference.
We always upgrade the 'free classic package' to premium to avoid having to pay full price for better drinks and because the wine selection is better. On Premium if the drink is more than the upper limit you only pay the difference. Normally we have enough OBC to cover the upgrade. You could not afford to pay the full price for a premium package as it is $55 pppd + 18% but then the drinks are very expensive. On Celebrity it doesn't take much to get to $55.
We are probably above average drinkers on holiday but are certainly not drunk or aggressive and having the drinks package suits us.
Another point to consider is the the package includes all soft drinks, water, the coffee shop, breakfast juices as well as alcohol.
Wine is only by the glass but as soon as you choose a wine they just keep topping up.
The biggest bonus - you don't have to sign for anything.
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Originally posted by Selbourne
Thanks kenhem. That confirms what our friends told us. They also said that a lot of the 'decent' drinks were above the price cap, which seemed incredible. We sound the same as you. We like a drink but not enough to warrant a big upfront cost. We also like to drink decent stuff and not plonk, so would begrudge feeling ripped off if we couldn't just pay the difference.
We also take the same view as you Selbourne.
Also, some people talk of free alcoholic drinks packages but surely the cost of the cruise is increased to effectively pay for these so called free AI packages.
Sunderland England
9,196 Posts
Joined Dec 2016
Originally posted by P-L-B
We also take the same view as you Selbourne.
Also, some people talk of free alcoholic drinks packages but surely the cost of the cruise is increased to effectively pay for these so called free AI packages.
They are for RCCL when booked in the UK.