Jump to content
Host Sharon

Taking alcohol on board

Recommended Posts

[quote name='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?


Sent from my iPhone using Forums[/QUOTE]They might do what other lines do and give you the hardsell once on board.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='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.[/QUOTE]



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?


Sent from my iPhone using Forums

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='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?


Sent from my iPhone using Forums[/QUOTE]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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='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.[/quote]
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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='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.[/QUOTE]The RC cocktail hour is every night too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='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?


Sent from my iPhone using Forums[/quote]

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='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.[/quote]

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='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.[/quote]
Thank you, that would be useful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='grapau27']They might do what other lines do and give you the hardsell once on board.[/QUOTE]



They wouldn’t have to sell that hard [emoji23] I’m sure we’d get our monies worth 🤪


Sent from my iPhone using Forums

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='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.[/QUOTE]



Great thank you


Sent from my iPhone using Forums

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='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?[/quote]
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!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='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![/quote]

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='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![/quote]

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='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.[/QUOTE]



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!


Sent from my iPhone using Forums

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='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![/quote]

[quote name='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.[/quote]

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='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.[/quote]
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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='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.[/QUOTE]They are for RCCL when booked in the UK.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='grapau27']The RC cocktail hour is every night too.[/quote]
We are also D+ on RCI but enjoy our January cruise on Azura to Caribbean because of direct flights from our local airport. Just to summarise are we not able to buy gin at airport to take on board?
Never take booze on RCI because of nightly happy hour and gift of wine awaiting in our stateroom.
Thank you

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='Scotland01']We are also D+ on RCI but enjoy our January cruise on Azura to Caribbean because of direct flights from our local airport. Just to summarise are we not able to buy gin at airport to take on board?
Never take booze on RCI because of nightly happy hour and gift of wine awaiting in our stateroom.
Thank you[/QUOTE]I understand P&O allows 1 bottle per person when boarding.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='grapau27']I understand P&O allows 1 bottle per person when boarding.[/QUOTE]I litre each, to be precise.

Sent from my SM-T580 using [URL=http://r.tapatalk.com/byo?rid=76452]Forums mobile app[/URL]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='wowzz']I litre each, to be precise.

Sent from my SM-T580 using [URL=http://r.tapatalk.com/byo?rid=76452]Forums mobile app[/URL][/QUOTE]Cheers,we are on Ventura next month but never bother bringing any wine or spirit's onboard.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='wowzz']I litre each, to be precise.

Sent from my SM-T580 using [URL=http://r.tapatalk.com/byo?rid=76452]Forums mobile app[/URL][/QUOTE]



And.......will that be allowed on Azura if there is a drinks package? I think not.
No other cruise line that has AI packages allows even a drop of alcohol to be brought on board!


Sent from my iPhone using Forums

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='Caravan 37']And.......will that be allowed on Azura if there is a drinks package? I think not.
[B][I]No other cruise line that has AI packages allows even a drop of alcohol to be brought on board!
[/I][/B]

Sent from my iPhone using Forums[/quote]

Try Marella, they do!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='Caravan 37']And.......will that be allowed on Azura if there is a drinks package? I think not.
No other cruise line that has AI packages allows even a drop of alcohol to be brought on board!


Sent from my iPhone using Forums[/quote]

its only a trial and people will have to purchase it..I would take it while trialing it and its a purchasable extra they will still let people take drink onboard. If they decide to go fleet wide I think they will join the rest and stop you taking drinks onboard at that poing. I am not sure how popular it will actually be. intresting that they are trying it out on a large ship with a younger age demographic..what sort of % would they sell on Aurora or Arcadia say.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='the english lady']its only a trial and people will have to purchase it..I would take it while trialing it and its a purchasable extra they will still let people take drink onboard. If they decide to go fleet wide I think they will join the rest and stop you taking drinks onboard at that poing. I am not sure how popular it will actually be. intresting that they are trying it out on a large ship with a younger age demographic..what sort of % would they sell on Aurora or Arcadia say.[/QUOTE]Great point.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='Caravan 37']And.......will that be allowed on Azura if there is a drinks package? I think not.
No other cruise line that has AI packages allows even a drop of alcohol to be brought on board!


Sent from my iPhone using Forums[/quote]
I would have thought it would be in their interests to let you bring your own drink on board (the more the better from their perspective) as presumably if you have a limit on what you can, or will drink, then you'll be drinking less of their drinks which you have already paid for in your cruise price. Or am I missing something?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='kruzseeka']I would have thought it would be in their interests to let you bring your own drink on board (the more the better from their perspective) as presumably if you have a limit on what you can, or will drink, then you'll be drinking less of their drinks which you have already paid for in your cruise price. Or am I missing something?[/QUOTE]



If you were buying a drinks package you wouldn’t be needing to bring alcohol onboard - my point was that most cruise lines (apart from Marella apparently) don’t allow you to bring drink on board if there is a drinks package on board, whether you choose to buy it or not.

Just an observation - who knows what they’ll actually do - time will tell!


Sent from my iPhone using Forums

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='Caravan 37']If you were buying a drinks package you wouldn’t be needing to bring alcohol onboard - my point was that most cruise lines (apart from Marella apparently) don’t allow you to bring drink on board if there is a drinks package on board, whether you choose to buy it or not.

Just an observation - who knows what they’ll actually do - time will tell!


Sent from my iPhone using Forums[/QUOTE]



As others have said - usually when drinks packages are introduced the cost of buying individual drinks goes up as a way to try and make the package seem better value and then you can’t bring drink onboard by the litre


Sent from my iPhone using Forums

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='Caravan 37']If you were buying a drinks package you wouldn’t be needing to bring alcohol onboard - my point was that most cruise lines (apart from Marella apparently) don’t allow you to bring drink on board if there is a drinks package on board, whether you choose to buy it or not.

Just an observation - who knows what they’ll actually do - time will tell!


Sent from my iPhone using Forums[/QUOTE]



Not entirely sure that the other lines not allowing booze on board had anything to do with drinks packages.


Sent from my iPad using [url=http://r.tapatalk.com/byo?rid=76452]Forums[/url]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='Caravan 37']If you were buying a drinks package you wouldn’t be needing to bring alcohol onboard - my point was that most cruise lines (apart from Marella apparently) don’t allow you to bring drink on board if there is a drinks package on board, whether you choose to buy it or not.

Just an observation - who knows what they’ll actually do - time will tell!


Sent from my iPhone using Forums[/quote]
[FONT=Arial]As I read your post which said '[COLOR=#333333]No other cruise line that has AI packages allows even a drop of alcohol to be brought on board!', I took the AI to be part of the cruise package but if [/COLOR]there is the option to buy into the AI or not then I can see the rationale. [/FONT]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='Caravan 37']If you were buying a drinks package you wouldn’t be needing to bring alcohol onboard - my point was that most cruise lines (apart from Marella apparently) don’t allow you to bring drink on board if there is a drinks package on board, whether you choose to buy it or not.

Just an observation - who knows what they’ll actually do - time will tell!


Sent from my iPhone using Forums[/quote]

Princess let you take a bottle onboard too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='CCFC']Princess let you take a bottle onboard too.[/QUOTE]



One bottle of wine ‘for special occasions’ not a litre of spirits each? Unless they’ve changed their policy recently?


Sent from my iPhone using Forums

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='daiB']Not entirely sure that the other lines not allowing booze on board had anything to do with drinks packages.


Sent from my iPad using [url=http://r.tapatalk.com/byo?rid=76452]Forums[/url][/QUOTE]



Really? What else would be the reason other than that you don’t drink in your cabin and therefore buy less or none of their bar drinks or packages thereby reducing their bar profits?


Sent from my iPhone using Forums

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='kruzseeka']I would have thought it would be in their interests to let you bring your own drink on board (the more the better from their perspective) as presumably if you have a limit on what you can, or will drink, then you'll be drinking less of their drinks which you have already paid for in your cruise price. Or am I missing something?[/quote]
You are missing something. The trial will be as a chargeable extra, and if they do bring it in fleet wide I think it will continue to be a chargeable extra. With the adults only ships being an older demographic, with all of their medication, I would not think there would be a large take up of it. I don't think they will include it in the prices. Too many older people would not be able to make use of it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='the english lady']You are missing something. The trial will be as a chargeable extra, and if they do bring it in fleet wide I think it will continue to be a chargeable extra. With the adults only ships being an older demographic, with all of their medication, I would not think there would be a large take up of it. I don't think they will include it in the prices. Too many older people would not be able to make use of it.[/quote]

I agree with your thinking however it appears that P&O are actively going after a younger market. Consequently if they do inclusive AI as part of the cruise fare rather than an added extra and “older people would not be able to make use of it” then it might just suit them nicely thank you very much.

They don’t actually want the ships filled with non drinking older folks who have typically done all the excursions before, don’t use the spa and don’t buy the rubbish on the tat tables. They want to make money at the bar either via the AI packages if the trial is successful or through non AI (probably increased in price) bar sales.

Older, (usually quite loyal to the brand) customers are not who or what the newer ships are designed for. As the older ships leave the fleet so will many of the more traditional cruisers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='the english lady']You are missing something. The trial will be as a chargeable extra, and if they do bring it in fleet wide I think it will continue to be a chargeable extra. With the adults only ships being an older demographic, with all of their medication, I would not think there would be a large take up of it. I don't think they will include it in the prices. Too many older people would not be able to make use of it.[/quote]

Yes I replied to Caravan 37, post #873 who explained that it was in effect an optional extra in which case I accept that my argument doesn't follow. I'd taken the general comment about AIS on other cruiselines to be part of the package which some are - and that creates a different scenario.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='Eglesbrech']I agree with your thinking however it appears that P&O are actively going after a younger market. Consequently if they do inclusive AI as part of the cruise fare rather than an added extra and “older people would not be able to make use of it” then it might just suit them nicely thank you very much.

They don’t actually want the ships filled with non drinking older folks who have typically done all the excursions before, don’t use the spa and don’t buy the rubbish on the tat tables. They want to make money at the bar either via the AI packages if the trial is successful or through non AI (probably increased in price) bar sales.

Older, (usually quite loyal to the brand) customers are not who or what the newer ships are designed for. As the older ships leave the fleet so will many of the more traditional cruisers.[/quote]


I think you make some very valid points and sadly agree with your final paragraph. I think we may be amongst the exodus.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×