P&O drinks package

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40 Posts
Joined Jan 2015
Hello everyone. we are taking our first P&O cruise next year and are a bit hesitant due to several negative reviews we've read! I asked a question on their website but haven't received an answer (not a good start!). Hope someone here can answer.
1. If we take a wine package, where is the wine kept for us?
2. If we would like a glass of our own wine before going to dinner, can we keep it in the room? Of course this means we have to carry it round the ship to the dining room, which is not really satisfactory!
3. Any idea when/if P&O might come up to date and start offering drinks packages rather than the over complicated system they have at the moment, of Softs, coffee, wine as three separate deals.
We've recently had a couple of Celebrity cruises where we had the drinks package included. It makes things much simpler, rather than faffing around keeping a bundle of receipts, etc.
Given their seeming reluctance to reply to me, I'm hoping for some advice here! Thanks in advance.
hampshire england
1,410 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
As far as I know P&O have no plans to introduce an all inclusive drinks package and you will find that many cruisers do not want it. I don't know how you could have a drink from your bottle of wine from your drinks package without keeping it in your cabin and taking it to dinner. The waiter keeps your bottle if you do not finish it during dinner, puts the table number on it and it will appear the next night. You will be given vouchers when you purchase the drinks package and you hand one over each time you start another bottle. You do not have to have one of each bottle in the specific package, you can choose to have the same wine each evening if you wish. Hope this helps.
376 Posts
Joined Mar 2013
1. Wine purchase is so many bottle, you have a card left in your cabin and when you go to restaurants, bars or order from room service, they tick off what you have had, so you do not have all bottles ordered at once and you dont have to stick to one particular wine, you can select from several.
2. Yes, you can keep the wine in your room in your mini fridge.
3. No, but I don't think it will be popular at the moment with people being able to bring their own drink on board, there was a thread on here a couple of weeks ago saying that P&O were thinking of taking away the ability to bring own your own drink, so maybe after that they will introduce a drinks package. The prices on P&O at present, we feel are very good. There will then be a debate on how much a drinks package would be.
1,922 Posts
Joined Sep 2010
If you mean your own wine taken aboard and not the wine in the wine packages then this is for stateroom consumption only and cannot be drunk anywhere else on the ship.
40 Posts
Joined Jan 2015
Thanks everyone for the replies. I did mean wine purchased through a package. I didn't know you were able to take your own drinks aboard, anyone know how much you can take? Someone posted on another site that lots of people disappear back to their cabins after dinner and have a drink there so I guess that's what they were referring to.
813 Posts
Joined Jul 2011
Originally posted by quby33
Thanks everyone for the replies. I did mean wine purchased through a package. I didn't know you were able to take your own drinks aboard, anyone know how much you can take? Someone posted on another site that lots of people disappear back to their cabins after dinner and have a drink there so I guess that's what they were referring to.
P&O don't specify how much you can take. Their information used to say "a reasonable amount". In the latest brochure and on the website they have qualified this, to say "a small, reasonable amount". They don't say what they class as "small". Apparently a fair few people have been abusing this option. For our cruise this summer we took on board 2 wine boxes - one for our cabin and one for our children. We tended to have a drink whilst getting ready for dinner, but still ordered wine with dinner on some evenings and had a couple of drinks from the bar during the day and at night. We've never gone back to our cabin to drink. I know other people take a bottle of spirits and maybe some mixers.
376 Posts
Joined Mar 2013
From the P&O website:

We will generally allow a small, reasonable amount to be taken on-board for you to enjoy in your cabin however, taking bottles of alcohol into restaurants or lounges will incur a corkage fee of £15 (prices are subject to change) per item (any size) per occasion.
hampshire england
1,410 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
We've usually taken a bottle of Pimms - enjoy it in the Caribbean especially - plus possibly a bottle or two of champagne. We used to take a bottle of Gin but it's so reasonable to buy on board we don't usually bother. I've never known of people going back to their cabin after dinner to have a drink to avoid buying it in the bars. As has been said as long as people don't abuse it they can take a reasonable amount of alcohol on board. We enjoy the cocktails on board too, reasonable prices.
893 Posts
Joined Jan 2015
I am not sure how P&O can enforce the 'small reasonable quantity' condition. Suitcases taken by porters are scanned prior to being taken on board, as is hand luggage taken on by individuals, but as far as I am aware there is no way that P&O can currently link the amounts of alcohol that might be in all the luggage of one individual or couple.
Additionally, the definition of 'small, reasonable' will very much depend on the length of the cruise. The amount of wine I am planning on taking on a future 24 day cruise will be reasonable for a cruise of that length, but would be totally excessive for a quick 4 day mini-cruise.
Personally I am of the opinion that the condition has been added, so that if individuals do take advantage of P&O's generosity on a short cruise, P&O can point to the condition when confiscating the bottles.
2,791 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
There are a fair few people with P and O who would NOT want a drinks package brought in. A relative of mine is on a Celebrity ship at the moment and has alluded to the behaviour of some people (where ofcourse you do have a drinks package)
At some stage when the older generation have stopped cruising they may change their mind..but for the moment of lot of people are with with Pandos take on it.
40 Posts
Joined Jan 2015
We've just been on Celebrity and our booking included a drinks package. We did see some people drinking at times we wouldn't have wanted a drink but didn't see any bad behaviour at all.
780 Posts
Joined Feb 2011
Yes, at the moment, you can still take alcohol onboard for consumption in your cabin only. You can also buy at any ports and take onboard, again for use in cabin only.

As for the wine package, speaking to others onboard and looking at prices you are probably just as well ordering bottles when you need them and to complement whatever menu you pick for dinner. The wine packages include limited choice and a lot of the bottles on the wine menu are cheaper and from what others say are just as good or better than those in the package. Any of the alcohol onboard is similar to pub prices in the UK and much cheaper than on other lines we have been on. ( Cunard, RCI, Celebrity)
north-east england
125 Posts
Joined Apr 2008
On our last p & o cruise which was 17nts we took the following for our cabin: 1 bottle champagne to celebrate start of cruise, 1 bottle of gin for G&T's while getting ready (we just replenished tonics while in port) and half bottle of brandy for nightcaps.
We always buy a wine package while on board and have found the Captains package very acceptable, although I do think the choice for our forthcoming cruise is not as good as it was. You can order a bottle of spirits once on board for in cabin use and if you look at the tin soldier post someone has posted photo of price list and the prices look quite reasonable, so on our forthcoming cruise we'll just be ordering on board. If you want to take your own bottle of wine into restaurants or bars they will charge you a £15 corkage fee per bottle, so unless you like an exceptionally fine expensive wine its not worth it.
I'm not sure if P & O still do it, but they used to have a 'cocktail of the day' which was at a special reduced price and was good value if you're a cocktail drinker (I've never found one I really like yet, so tend to stick to G&T's).
We have tried a number of cruise lines, they all have there + & -'s, we are returning to P & O as we like the formal nights and although they are cheesy I actually enjoy some of the sail away parties, especially Gibraltar always get a lump in my throat, but it's been 4 years since last with P & O so things may have changed. Whatever you decided I'm sure you will have a fab time. Kind regards Viv
40 Posts
Joined Jan 2015
Thanks for all the comments. I think the main upside of the Celebrity package was that it included specialist coffee as well as softs and alcoholic drinks so it was just simple to use. Cocktails were also included (up to a certain price) but we don't drink them. Also gave up on our G & Ts as the tonic was always flat so we mainly stuck to wine and the occasional beer and liqueur. I'm really surprised that you can take so much alcohol on board with P&O so as our cruise is 30 days, we'll have to do some sums! Hoping to be disciplined enough not to have wine every day....We travel in January 2019, not next year (senior moment there). I think it's the first one down to Dubai from Southampton to base the ship there for the season. Anyone else going on this one?
4 Posts
Joined Oct 2017
Having been on three P&O cruises IV food the system easy to use,the prices on wine were reasonable, plus the ability to bring some wine , spirits,or beer was a bonus.
Were due to have our first cruise with Celebrity,next year.
The drinks package is about £45 a day for their standard package. The drinks are expensive plus there is a 18% service charge on top.

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1,922 Posts
Joined Sep 2010
MSC were advertising some cruises sailing from Southampton next summer pay inside get free upgrade to balcony, free parking and you could purchase a fully inclusive drinks package for £18 per day. That might ruffle a few feathers at P&O and affect bookings.