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Advice for a P&O newbie please.


GOQ
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1 hour ago, Son of Anarchy said:

We've decided that we will do the drinks package for our staycation on Iona.  Usually it wouldn't be worth it for the two of us, but on this occasion with no port days we'll better value out of it than on cruises that can be port intensive and we would only have a couple of drinks in the evening.

 

As you say, factor in posh teas and coffees instead of using the buffet, glass of wine or a beer with lunch, pre-dinner cocktail instead of a beer and maybe a port after dinner it will be a nice treat when we return to cruising.

Always a port with cheese and crackers after dinner or may be a Brandy (or both, the delight of a drinks package). But why oh why do they always want to put ice in brandy? Arrrrrrrgh!

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2 hours ago, indiana123 said:

You have made me think now.  We will be bobbing about in the English Channel and off the French Coast, hopefully, in September, and with no stops it might b e worth considering the drinks package.

 

Off to investigate.  Thank you


this is the website I use. 
 

https://www.cruisemummy.co.uk/cruise-drinks-package-calculator/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=your_drinks_package_calculator_is_inside&utm_term=2021-05-08

 

to find out if the drink package is worth it

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13 minutes ago, Vampiress88 said:

Thank you for that....very helpful.....we are not big drinkers but  it shows how quickly the drinks' bill adds up....has me considering it now

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1 hour ago, MX-Drew said:

But why oh why do they always want to put ice in brandy? Arrrrrrrgh!

Absolutely agree.  Don't like ice cold brandy.  Many a time, on land and sea!... I have had to wave and jump about to stop ice being given automatically.

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I think if I were going on a non-stop Seacation I would get the drinks package.  I bet the speciality teas, coffees and chocolates rack up during never-ending sea days, particularly if the weather isn’t great.  A wine with lunch, cocktails pre dinner etc.  Fruit juices for a bit of healthy balance.

 

I’ve never felt it would be a good idea previously, despite lots of long cruises and a good number of transatlantics.  Port days soon wipe out any financial benefit if you do your boozing ashore 

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2 minutes ago, Eddie99 said:

I’ve never felt it would be a good idea previously, despite lots of long cruises and a good number of transatlantics.  Port days soon wipe out any financial benefit if you do your boozing ashore 

I wound not say we are big drinkers but even on port days I believe we come close if not over the required amount. Then again we don't drink much ashore.

For me it will always go back to knowing what my bar bill will be at the end, £0.00

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Trying to learn something about P&O I have been watching various YouTube videos one of which was a review of the drink package. On that one the presenter says you can either buy it onboard, if you buy it on the second day you won't be charged for the first day (useful if you board late) or you can pay upfront with the cruise cost.

 

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54 minutes ago, Vampiress88 said:

Another thank you.  Firms up that for our staycation the package is worth it.

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That calculator is interesting, I still come out under the drinks package! Water is free, you don’t need to buy bottles of water. I do have the odd special coffee but am quite happy with the buffet and cabin coffee, both free! I only  have fruit juice at breakfast and that’s free!
Im not a miser, I also put in 2 glasses of wine and 2 cocktails a day!

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1 hour ago, P&O SUE said:

That calculator is interesting, I still come out under the drinks package! Water is free, you don’t need to buy bottles of water. I do have the odd special coffee but am quite happy with the buffet and cabin coffee, both free! I only  have fruit juice at breakfast and that’s free!
Im not a miser, I also put in 2 glasses of wine and 2 cocktails a day!

We've never bought water on board, nor teas or coffees.  Most of the time we have an inside cabins so teas and coffees we'll be sat in the buffet or take them out on deck.

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2 hours ago, P&O SUE said:

That calculator is interesting, I still come out under the drinks package! Water is free, you don’t need to buy bottles of water. I do have the odd special coffee but am quite happy with the buffet and cabin coffee, both free! I only  have fruit juice at breakfast and that’s free!
Im not a miser, I also put in 2 glasses of wine and 2 cocktails a day!

Yes, I agree.  To be honest, P&O's drink package is not entirely comprehensive either and it's double the price of Fred's. 

 

For example, I quite like the Fentimen's drinks which are apparently "Premium" even though they are essentially just decent soft drinks, and would not be included except for a small discount.  Nor would be a few of the cocktails on the menu.

 

When I typed my typical amounts in, still came up as half of the price of the drinks package, so I'll stick on buying as I go.

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Although going off topic slightly, I do remember conversations with bar staff where the thrust was that P&O are not too bothered how many sign up for the drinks package.  It's not designed to encourage "all inclusive." 

 

They would much rather get you in to specialty dining, the casino, and their on board excursions.  A better priced drinks package might encourage more use of the casino, but that's a different matter😂

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Me and Mrs W enjoy the odd libation or three, but there is no way that we couid drink the equivalent of £80 of drink every day, especially on port days. 

For Seacation cruises, the maths might be slightly different, but you can take enough wine/spirits onboard to make the drink package irrelevant. 

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At the Peninsula lunch on our 2019 TA our table was hosted by the head of hotel side of things.  He said that on that cruise the take up of the drinks package was just over 10%, and he was happy with that.

 

On that cruise I got the "beer card", I think it was about £80 for 20 draft pints and you got Peninsula discount if you'd used up you OBC.  It worked for me and I hope that they continue with it.  A little bit restrictive though as not all bars sell/sold draft beer which sometimes meant having to put up with a Carling instead of Peroni or Stella.  Mind you the Shipyard Ale in The Exchange was very good!

 

We were chatting with some pax in a bar in St Johns and they said that they had taken the package.  They quite liked things like single malts, and other premium spirits.  They thought the package was good value for them.

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It's all very personal,  if there's a single malt  you like package is a good bargain, the beer package sounds good for a beer drinker.  For us wine is our indulgence.  The wines on packages in all cruise ships are OK , but we like to indulge offthe wine list which on P&O is wide and reasonable prices for a cruise ship .   P&O Used to have a good Barolo for under £50. The DW likes English  bubbly.  A bottle of each a day is all we can take and wake up in the morning. 

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On 5/7/2021 at 2:08 PM, GOQ said:

I have only cruised with P&O once before, with my late wife 11 years ago on Oceana. I have since cruised with Marella several times and because they only have a limited number of solo cabins I need to book early with the choice being limited to either a solo inside or solo outside cabin, and sometimes the outside cabins have gone. Easy choice.

 

Now I intend to be a bit more adventurous and start booking cruises with P&O, a bit more difficult, can you help me with these questions please:

 

1. If I try a dummy booking and select 1 passenger the booking site gives me a choice of single, standard, sea view, obstructed view or balcony and often the price difference is not very much. Am I missing something here?, it seems as if they don’t care much price wise if, I as a single cruiser, choose any cabin. If I can book a double cabin I am guessing I don’t have to book so far in advance as it doesn't matter if the solo cabins run out.

 

2. Assuming the above when might be best to book, early or late, do prices vary much throughout the booking season? I know Marella prices can vary from week to week and often a “special offer” code might appear knocking £100 -£200 of the price. The only limitation I have is booking my dog minder.

 

3. Early Saver or Select Price fares? I am not familiar with P&Os ships so being able to select a specific cabin does not seem to be much of an advantage, having one picked for me might add to the surprise? I will probably book the drinks package anyway so the onboard credit would only be used for excursions.

 

I am not quite sure what fixed or freedom dining mean, on Marella I just turn up at the restaurant anytime they are open. Does it mean if I choose the Saver fare I will be restricted to a fixed time in a specific restaurant whereas with a Select fare I can dine anywhere anytime they are open? That might influence my choice as I like to dine early.

 

I hope that doesn't confuse you, I am confused already.

 

TIA

 

Paul

Being a single cruiser does take a bit of work to make sure everything falls into place, took me ages to get up the courage after my husband passed to go on my own,  go with family as well but I do like being totally free to come and go as I please and enjoy the ship and the ocean - love sea days, the wobblier the better.  With P&O I have always felt totally relaxed and comfortable, met some lovely people at dinner and onboard - hope very very much that the solo cruiser tables will still be allowed for the seacations - and always book a standard balcony and always book Select as soon as I can confirm that I can run away to sea.  Select gives me OBC sometimes just enough to cover my miniscule bar bill but still, usually parking at the port and I get to pick my own cabin as I am not the best sleeper so a noisy spot will be misery for me.   I always book direct with P&O, their agents have steered me around unseen shoals a few times with some of the things I thought I knew but had it wrong.   Best of luck with whatever you choose.

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On 5/10/2021 at 1:00 PM, teabear said:

Being a single cruiser does take a bit of work to make sure everything falls into place, took me ages to get up the courage after my husband passed to go on my own,  go with family as well but I do like being totally free to come and go as I please and enjoy the ship and the ocean - love sea days, the wobblier the better.  With P&O I have always felt totally relaxed and comfortable, met some lovely people at dinner and onboard - hope very very much that the solo cruiser tables will still be allowed for the seacations - and always book a standard balcony and always book Select as soon as I can confirm that I can run away to sea.  Select gives me OBC sometimes just enough to cover my miniscule bar bill but still, usually parking at the port and I get to pick my own cabin as I am not the best sleeper so a noisy spot will be misery for me.   I always book direct with P&O, their agents have steered me around unseen shoals a few times with some of the things I thought I knew but had it wrong.   Best of luck with whatever you choose.

 

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Thank you for your advice, it's very useful to me and I'm glad you enjoy P&O.

 

Now where's that web booking page.

 

🙂

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