P&O Drinks Packages: Worth It Or Not?

P&O Cruises drinks package prices changed in May 2024 – this guide has information on the new packages, and aims to answer any questions you might have about them.

When booking a P&O cruise, one important decision that you’ll need to make is whether you should purchase a drinks package to make your cruise all-inclusive, or whether you’d be better off paying for drinks individually.

So, are P&O drinks packages worth it?

For some people, yes. For others, definitely not! To decide for yourself, you’ll need to know:

  1. How much are drink packages on P&O Cruises?
  2. How much are drinks on P&O Cruises?
  3. How many drinks will I drink each day?

In this article, I’ll tell you everything you need to know about P&O drinks packages so that you can easily decide whether the P&O all-inclusive drinks deal is worth it or not.

If you just want a quick answer as to whether you should buy a P&O drink package, I’ve made a handy tool that will work it all out for you…

Just enter your email address below and get the P&O Drink Package Calculator sent straight to your inbox for free.

P&O Cruises Drinks Packages 2024

Are P&O Cruises all-inclusive?

P&O don’t sell cruises as ‘all-inclusive cruises’ like other cruise lines such as Marella Cruises do. However, In 2019, P&O Cruises introduced a new drinks package that can turn your cruise from a full-board cruise to an all-inclusive cruise.

And then, in 2023, the cruise line revamped its selection of drinks packages, making it easier than ever to find one that suits you.

Suggested read: What’s included in a P&O Cruise?

Me with cocktail on P&O Iona
Me with a Mai Tai on Iona

I love to drink cocktails, pints of beer and large glasses of red wine on my cruises. But I wouldn’t buy P&O’s drink package. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t either, though. Read on for all of the info you need to decide…

How much are drinks packages on P&O Cruises?

The cheapest drinks package on a P&O Cruise is £14.45 per day, but this includes just a limited selection of soft drinks. The most expensive drinks package is the Deluxe and this costs £60.50 per day. You do save 10% on all drinks packages if you book before you cruise.

P&O Cruises offers 4 different drink packages:

  1. The Deluxe drinks package – £60.50 per person, per day
  2. The Classic drinks package – £48.45 per person, per day
  3. The Alcohol-free drinks package – £26.95 per person, per day
  4. The Refresh drinks package – £14.45 per person, per day

When people talk about the P&O Cruises drinks package, they’re usually referring to the Deluxe or Classic packages – the ones that include alcohol.

Unlike other cruise lines such as Royal Caribbean, which varies the price of its drinks package depending on your itinerary and any promotions, the P&O Cruises drinks package price is always fixed. The only change is if you book in advance where the prices are around 10% cheaper:

  1. The Deluxe drinks package – £54.45 per person, per day
  2. The Classic drinks package – £43.95 per person, per day
  3. The Alcohol-free drinks package – £24.25 per person, per day
  4. The Refresh drinks package – £12.95 per person, per day

Good to know: If you’re cruising with children and purchase the Deluxe or Classic Drinks Package, you also get the Refresh Package for free for one guest aged 16 or under!

Daughter drinking mocktail on Iona
My daughter has a never-ending thirst for mocktails!

What Changed in 2023?

Before these new drinks package tiers came in, back in 2023, there were three drink package options – Ultimate, Non-Alcoholic, and Children’s.

The Ultimate is very similar to the Classic, the Non-Alcoholic is similar to the Alcohol-Free and the Children’s is similar to Refresh. However there are some key differences:

  • Classic used to include all drinks up to £6.95 but the price limit has now gone, to be replaced by a set list of drinks
  • The Classic package does now include all drinks from the Alcohol-Free package – previously it didn’t
  • The Alcohol-Free package now includes mocktails and non-alcoholic beers and wines, but no longer includes coolers or frappes from Costa
  • The Refresh package is now available to all guests, not just children, but hot chocolates have been removed from the package.

The Deluxe package is a completely new package designed to address some of guests’ concerns that their favourite cocktails or large glasses of wine weren’t included in the Ultimate package.

But it’s not necessarily a good thing, as £60 per person, per day (or £55 if you get the discount) is a lot of money, and you need to make sure you’re getting the value from the package before you pay for it. Especially as you have to pay for it for every day of your cruise.

What drinks are included in P&O Cruises drink packages?

Some cruisers are disappointed when they book a package and then discover that their favourite drinks cost extra. So, here’s what you’ll get with each package…

1. P&O Cruises’ Deluxe Drinks Package

P&O Deluxe Drink Package Menu:

  • Extended range of cocktails
  • Extended range of 50ml spirits
  • Beers and ciders
  • Craft beers
  • Extended range of 250ml wines
  • Dessert & fortified wines
  • Prosecco
  • Perfect Serves (specialist spirits, e.g. Grey Goose vodka)
  • All Costa Coffees (small and medium) and teapigs
  • Mocktails
  • Non-alcoholic beers and wines
  • Bottled and fountain sodas
  • Water
  • Mixers
  • Glasses of juice and squash

You’ll also get a 20% discount on any items which are excluded from the package

P&O Cruises’ Deluxe drinks package doesn’t include:

  • All Signature whiskies, cognac and rums
  • Bottles of wine, spirits and Champagne
  • Selected fine wines by the glass
  • Large bottled water
  • Freakshakes
  • Seven Wonders/Seven Treasures cocktails
  • Anderson’s Bar exclusive cocktails
  • Drinks sold in the shops
  • Buckets of beer, or wine, beer and spirit flights
  • Self-service drinks or vending machine drinks
  • Room service drinks
  • Mini-bar items
  • Drinks in The Retreat

Further down this guide, there’s a list of P&O drinks prices so you can see which drinks are included in the package and which would cost extra.

Good to know: You’re allowed a maximum of 15 alcoholic drinks in each 24-hour period

2. P&O Cruises’ Classic Drinks Package

P&O Classic Drink Package Menu:

  • Selected range of cocktails
  • Selected range of 25ml spirits
  • Beers and ciders
  • Selected range of 175ml wines
  • Dessert & fortified wines
  • Prosecco
  • Selected small Costa Coffees and teapigs
  • Mocktails
  • Non-alcoholic beers and wines
  • Bottled and fountain sodas
  • Water
  • Mixers
  • Glasses of juice and squash

You still get the 20% off any drinks not included in the package.

It has the same list of exclusions as the Deluxe drinks package, but you also don’t get:

  • Premium cocktails
  • Premium spirits, or spirits in double measures
  • Premium wines, or large wines
  • Craft beers
  • Perfect Serves
  • Certain items from Costa, or medium Costa drinks

3. P&O Cruises’ Alcohol-Free Drinks Package

P&O Non-Alcoholic Drink Package Menu:

  • Selected small Costa Coffees and teapigs
  • Mocktails
  • Non-alcoholic beers and wines
  • Bottled and fountain sodas
  • Water
  • Mixers
  • Glasses of juice and squash

As you’d expect, the exclusions for this package cover just anything non-alcoholic. It’s important to note that this package (and the Refresh package) do not come with a 20% discount on drinks not included in the package – you’ll be paying full price.

4. P&O Cruises’ Refresh Drinks Package

P&O Refresh Drinks Package Menu:

  • Draft soft drinks
  • Glasses of juice and squash

The Refresh package replaced the children’s package, but the key difference is that adults are now allowed to purchase this package. It’s now just an entry-level package for anyone who only wants certain soft drinks and juices.

Good to know: Drink packages can only be purchased on cruises of 5 nights or more.

P&O Cruises wine package

P&O Cruises Wine Packages 2024

P&O Cruises offers wine packages that give you a saving of around 15-20% when you buy six or twelve bottles of wine, compared to buying bottles individually. You can enjoy your wine in any restaurant or have it delivered to your cabin.

P&O Cruises don’t make it easy to find out about these wine packages and you can only buy them on the ship, not before your cruise.

The two wine packages are:

  • The Captain’s Collection – 6 bottles for £149 or 12 bottles for £279 (saving up to 15%)
  • The Commodore’s Collection – 6 bottles for £249 or 12 bottles for £450 (saving up to 20%)

You can see which wines are included in the wine packages here.

P&O Cruises Hot Drinks Package

P&O Cruises did offer a hot drinks package for £10.95 per person, per day, but this has now been discontinued. It included small Costa coffees, hot chocolate and teapigs teas.

The best alternative to the P&O Cruises hot drinks package for 2024 is the non-alcoholic drinks package, although this costs more at £26.95 per person, per day.

Costa Coffee on P&O Cruises

Can you get a discount on a P&O drink package?

The only way to get a discount on a P&O drinks package is to book it before you sail, where you’ll get 10% off the total price. There’s no other way to get the package cheaper – it’s always the same price on any ship and at any time of the year.


Don’t miss the latest P&O Cruises offers…

P&O Drinks Prices

Before you go ahead and buy a drink package, you should look at how much the drinks cost on P&O Cruises.

Brodies Pub on Iona
Brodies Pub on Iona

How much do drinks cost on P&O Cruises?

P&O Cruises bar prices are pretty cheap, particularly in comparison to some other American cruise lines. P&O Cruises drinks prices tend to be similar to the prices of your local pub in the UK.

Here are P&O Cruises drinks prices for 2024:

  • Pint of beer: £4.75 to £5.20
  • Bottle of beer: £4.50 to £4.75
  • Glass of wine: £4.75 to £12.50
  • Cocktails: £6.95 to £8.95
  • Mocktails: £3.50
  • Gin (single): £4.00 to £4.50
  • Rum (single): £3.50 to £5.00
  • Whiskey (single): £3.75 to £4.25
  • Mixers: £2.05 to £2.55
  • Soft drink (regular): £2.25
  • Soft drink (large): £3.05
  • Water (330ml): £1.95
  • Red Bull: £3.50
  • Speciality coffee: £1.95 to £2.80
  • Tea: £2.20

If you’d like to take a look at the full P&O Cruises drink menus, you can see photos of those here: P&O Cruises Drinks Menus & Prices

Which cocktails are included in the P&O Cruises drink package?

Both the Classic and the Deluxe drinks packages include cocktails, but the Deluxe is more comprehensive. These drinks package changes are very new, so a definitive list isn’t yet available for which cocktails will be included in each package, but as examples, Pina Coladads and Mai Tais are included on the Classic, while an Aperol Spritz or Sunset Cooler is included on the Deluxe package.

P&O Cruises strawberry mojito
Strawberry Mojitos are included in the Classic package

Here are the cocktails that are likely to be included in each package:

Likely Classic cocktails:

  • Mai Tai
  • Mojito
  • Pimms Cup
  • Pina Colada
  • Strawberry Daiquiri
  • Spiced Rum Mule
  • Woo Woo
  • Singapore Sling
  • Fruit Salad
  • Pink Gin Spritz

Likely Deluxe cocktails

  • Margarita
  • Cobbler
  • Manhattan
  • Negroni
  • Irish Coffee
  • Gumlet
  • Cosmopolitan
  • Martini
  • Bellini
  • Sour
  • Punch
  • Aperol Spritz
  • Long Island Iced Tea
  • Sunset Cooler

Certain cocktails are excluded from both packages – that’s the Seven Wonders or Seven Treasures cocktails in the Amber and Emerald Bar and the exclusive cocktails served in Anderson’s Bar.

What drinks are free on P&O Cruises?

On P&O Cruises you can always get tea, coffee, water, cordial, and milk free of charge from the buffet restaurant. Fruit juices are also available for free at breakfast time.

The tap water on cruise ships is safe to drink and tastes fine, but it may not always be very cold, particularly during warm weather.

You can get glasses of iced water for free from any bar or restaurant. Iona also has stations where you can refill your own bottle with cold, filtered water.

Iona water dispenser
Water dispenser on Iona

Can you take your own alcohol on-board a P&O cruise ship?

P&O Cruises allows each adult aged 18 years or older to bring up to one litre of wine or Champagne on board the ship to drink in their cabin. You can also bring an unlimited amount of water and soft drinks at the start of your cruise and at each port of call.

When it comes to allowing guests to bring their own drinks on board, P&O Cruises policy used to be more generous than any other cruise line – you could previously bring beers and spirits. But that changed in May 2024.

On our cruise on-board Britannia we brought a litre of gin and a litre of rum with us along with several large bottles of lemonade. This saved us over £400 compared to what it would have cost to buy these drinks at the bar. So it’s a shame that’s no longer allowed.

Suggested read: Can You Take Drinks on a Cruise Ship?

If any additional alcohol is purchased, either in duty-free or ashore, it will be confiscated until the end of your cruise.

If you do bring your own drinks on-board that, make sure you pack glass bottles in an inflatable bottle protector from Amazon to stop them from smashing in your case.

Is there a corkage fee?

There is no charge for drinking your own alcohol in your cabin or on your private balcony. However, any alcohol consumed in the dining rooms, bars, restaurants, pool or lounge areas, will be subject to a corkage fee of £20 per bottle.

P&O Cruises cocktail waiter

Are P&O drinks packages worth it?

I see a lot of people online asking if the P&O Cruises drinks package is worth it. To work that out, you need to think about how many drinks you are likely to have each day, and whether they add up to more than £48 or £60 per person, per day.

It’s important to bear in mind, that on the majority of days of your cruise, you’ll be off the ship exploring the ports, and so you won’t drink as much as you will on sea days. On a sea day, I usually drink two to three times as much as I would on a port day.

P&O Drinks Package Calculator

For 2024 and beyond, P&O drinks packages that include alcohol cost £48.45 per day or £60.50 per day. The price for two people on a 14-night cruise would be £1,356.60 for a Classic package, or £1,694 for the Deluxe packages.

If you would normally spend more than that amount on refreshments, then yes, the package is worth it. If not, then you’d be better off paying for your drinks individually.

You can use my drinks package calculator tool to work out how much you can expect to spend on drinks on your P&O Cruise if you don’t buy a package.

Just pop your details in this form and the calculator will be sent straight to your inbox…

For most people, a drinks package on P&O Cruises doesn’t give good value for money and you will be better off paying for your drinks individually. If you mostly drink cocktails, large glasses of wine and double spirits, you’ll definitely want to choose the Deluxe package if you get a package – but it may still be cheaper to pay for drinks individually.

A package may be worth it if…

  • You drink a lot of alcohol every day on holiday
  • You have a lot of sea days or plan to stay on-board when your ship’s in port
  • You plan to spend a lot on kids’ drinks (as kids get a free drinks package when the adults get one)
  • You don’t want to bring your own alcohol in your luggage

For everyone else, you’re probably better off buying your drinks individually.


Don’t miss the latest P&O Cruises offers…

P&O Drinks Package FAQs

Can we share a P&O Cruises drinks package?

P&O Cruises does not allow anyone to share a drink package. That means that each adult in a cabin must purchase their own drink package. Children receive a free drink package when adults buy one.

Can I buy the P&O drinks package for just one or two days?

P&O Cruises drinks packages apply to every day of your cruise except for the day you disembark and must be purchased for the whole cruise. You can buy your drinks package before you cruise or during the first two days of your cruise. If you buy it on day two, you won’t pay for day one.

If I change my mind, can I get a refund?

The P&O Cruises drinks package is not refundable or transferrable.

How many drinks can I order at once with the P&O drink package?

With a P&O Cruises drink package, you can only order one drink at a time and must wait 15 minutes between each drink. One person can go to the bar and order drinks for two people, as long as you take both cruise cards with you.

Are P&O drinks packages available on mini-cruises?

P&O drinks packages are only available on cruises of five nights or more.

What’s the drinking age on P&O Cruises?

Guests must be aged 18 or older to consume alcohol on P&O Cruises. However, if the cruise is in USA or UAE waters then you must be 21 or older both to drink alcohol and to purchase the drinks package.

Can P&O Cruises drinks package be used for the in-cabin mini bar or room service?

P&O Cruises drinks package can only be used to buy drinks in onboard bars and restaurants. It cannot be used for the mini bar or room service.

Can P&O Cruises drinks package be used for self-service machines and vending machines?

Aurora, Azura, Britannia and Ventura have self-service Enomatic wine machines and Britannia also has a self-service beer machine. These are not included in the drinks package. If you have a drinks package, do not use these machines as you will be charged.

Is there a limit on how many drinks I can have per day?

The P&O drinks package limits alcoholic drinks to 15 drinks in each 24-hour period. The 24-hour period resets at 6 am. It’s up to the bar staff whether they serve you any additional drinks over this limit, but if they do, you will be charged for them. If you appear to be intoxicated, they won’t serve you.

Can I order a double?

With the P&O Cruises Deluxe drink package, you can order double shots (such as a double vodka and Coke), but you can’t with the Classic package as this would count as two drinks. You can also get large glasses of wine (250ml) on the Deluxe package only.

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Cruise Mummy

Jenni Fielding is the founder of Cruise Mummy. She has worked in the cruise industry since 2015 and has taken over 30 cruises. Now, she helps over 1 million people per month to plan their perfect cruise holidays.

Read more about me

152 thoughts on “P&O Drinks Packages: Worth It Or Not?”

  1. Hello we are thinking of doing our first cruise next june we would like a drink in our room but not sure what we can order is it a package of six bottles of wine and how do we get it also can i have a bottle of whisky delivered to our room we would never drink the amount in the drink pkg and would still buy drinks with our meals Thank you Kevin

  2. Hi,

    Does anyone know f you add the drinks package on if it is possible to add it to the cost of your cruise or does it have to be done as a one off payment that needs to be paid for at the time of purchase?

    Many Thanks

    • It’s a one off-payment. You can either buy it before your cruise or on the ship, it’s the same price either way. Jenni

  3. Hi im about to book a first cruise for my 40th but il be leaving my disabled child will be going for a longer stay in restbite ( 7 days ) is there an easy way to contact my sons care staff while I’m away if its needed and I don’t have reception.

    Also as we have never done this before and have not been abroad for 16 years and this may be our only
    opportunity to do a cruise we have booked a mini suite . Sale from Southampton in Oct 2024. We are trying to get our heads round the drinks package. We will have £320 in total between us for credits to spend on board . . Can we use the credits towards drinks and pay what’s left at the end of the week . Or is it better/can you use that towards getting the packages if so ..is it an option to do that during the sail. Or is something that has to be booked prior. Thank you . Sorry its a long post x

    • Hi Tina. You can buy the wifi package so that you can stil make calls through services such as Whatsapp. You can ause your on board credit towards drinks or a drinks package and you can buy the package on the first day of your cruise, it’s the same price. I hope that helps. Have a lovely cruise. Jenni

      • Thank you so much I wasn’t aware of a WiFi package.
        Il look into that and the classic package for the drinks for us seems best it mentions a 10% discount if you book it before sailing do il look into that some more xx thank you again xx

  4. You say above that only one drink can be purchased every 15 minutes, I presume this does not include the children’s drinks ? i.e I can go to the bar and buy a pint for myself and get to Pepsi for the kids all at once on the classic drink package, I won’t have to buy a drink for one child, wait 15 minutes to get the next child a drink and then wait another 15 minutes to get mine ?

    • You can get drinks for everyone at the same time.

  5. Hi ,if we get £800 on board spend is it a waste of money getting a drinks package

  6. Hi, does the new refresh package include sparking water and tonic water? This was the case on the old package on arvia. Just an an alternative to cola and lemonade. Thanks

  7. Just tried to add a drinks package but just for the kids. System won’t let the kids have a drink package without everyone having one.
    Bit pathetic to be honest.
    No way is it worth me paying £40 a day for drinks. Ive sailed before and would never drink anywhere near enough for it to make sense

  8. The price of drinks has gone up again. I have just disembarked from the last Britannia cruise 2 days ago, and the cheapest pints are now £5.05. They did do a cruise special though-can of Heineken 330ml for £2.85.

  9. hi can my 16 and 17 2weeks off 18 birthday drink mocktails and no alcohol fruit ciders on board Iona

    • Yes. Kids of any age can drink those. 16 and 17 year olds can also drink beer, cider and wine with a meal as per UK law. Jenni

      • How do mocktails work with children buying the alcohol-free drinks package (my son loves his mocktails) … on the summary and T&C, it specifically says that mocktails are excluded for Under 18s. Just weighing up the Refresh package v the alcohol free as the latter includes the juices, hot choc, san pellegrino and sparkling water.

        I have asked P&O this question twice now, but no-one will confirm (he’s had mocktails since he was 4 without any questions – as have many other children).

  10. Hello-we are taking our first P&O Cruise soon and i would like to know if they sell any Cider other than Kopperberg or Strongbow? As an English company -i’m hoping they will sell Thatcher’s as it’s the most popular and in my opinion, the best Cider by miles. Thank you and thanks for all this brilliant information. Alan-Plymouth.

  11. Hi Jenni
    I wonder if I could have the drinks calculator you mentioned as I’m thinking of getting a package for P & O Azura in October.

  12. First of all thank you for this interesting article.

    I am considering purchasing the classic drinks package bur the only brand mention under this package for a whiskey is ‘Bells’. Do you know if other brands like ‘JackDaniel’s’ is included in this package?

    Thank you in advance

  13. Hi, 2 adults, 2 children (16-18) booked for Norway in July, could we buy 2 deluxe drink packages and divide the drinks between us? bw David

    • Hi David. You’re not allowed to share drinks packages, unfortunately. Are you all in one cabin or in two? If you’re in two, then just two of you could get the package. If you’re all together you will all need it. The 16 year old will get the kids package for free. The 18-year-old would also be required to have the adults drink package if other adults in a cabin have it. I hope that helps. Jenni

  14. If you have a drinks package is a coffee classed as one of your 15 drinks

    • Yes, speciality coffee is, but the coffee you get in the buffet and main dining room is free for everyone.

      • The decaff I was served in the MDR in Britannia 2 weeks ago was freeze dried coffee. I expected it to be filtered coffee.

  15. Hi Jenni, do you know if you can purchase both the ultimate drink package and the wine package. And can you leave your bottle of wine in the restaurant? Does that count towards your 15 drinks a day.

    • I don’t see why not, although you may struggle to get value for money with it.

  16. Hi we are going on Arvia on June foe 14days, my 13 year old daughter doesn’t really drink fizzy drinks bt does constantly drink water,and likes Mocktails and Costa coolers.
    Can I get her these types of drinks with my unlimited drinks package or would it be worth getting the non-alcholic drinks package for her

    • When you buy the adult drink package the kids package is free 🙂

  17. Hi I wonder if I could ask your advice. We have a 17 year old and are trying to work out the drinks package. We are going on Iona in December. It says the ultimate package covers 16 and under for the soft drinks package for children so what would i need for her?
    Kind regards Sarah

    • If you buy the adult drink package she will get the kids package for free.

  18. Hi Jenni, thank you for all the info, quick question around non alcoholic drinks. Do the bars serve alcohol free beer that would qualify for a non alcohol drinks package?

    • Hi Dicky. The bars serve cans of Heineken Zero which is alcohol-free. Unfortunately, this isn’t included in the package, just as canned soft drinks aren’t. Jenni

      • We are going on Azura end of August, do you know if bottles or cans of coke will be included in classic drinks packages, I hate the sweet taste of fountain coke. 🥴

  19. Hi
    I’ve seen a couple of u tube videos saying people have been declined to use the drinks package in the glass house on Arvia, any thoughts or comments ?


    • Hi Steve. Yes, I believe there was some confusion over that on the maiden voyage as the Glass House didn’t have any wine that was included in the package, but I believe that has since been rectified. Jenni

  20. Hi, if there is only one adult in a cabin with two children and I bought the ultimate drinks package would both children get the soft drinks package included?

    • Hi Benji. That’s a great question! I’m not sure of the answer, but if you log into My P&O Cruises and try to book, it will show you whether two kids packages come up for free or just one. Jenni

    • Hi, I travelled with just my two children on Azura for the 2 week Easter school hols and purchased the deluxe just for me and got both children free, I prebooked it easily.

  21. When I register a card can it be credit card or debit card

    • Yes, it can be either.

  22. Hi cruise mummy
    I’m going to opt for pay as I go for drinks as I don’t drink that much to warrant a drinks package,
    The prices that are quoted for cocktails etc on this page is that what I pay or is there a hidden charge ie TAX????

    • Hi Keith. The price you see is the price you pay. There are no extra gratuities on top of drinks with P&O Cruises as you may have seen with some American cruise lines. Jenni

      • Hi my wife does not drink to health issues can I book 1 alcohol drinks package and 1 soft drink package thank you

        • As it’s for medical reasons it’s worth asking P&O, but usually you would both need to have the package.

  23. Hi, if I buy a drink package, do the mocktails and soft drinks and water come off the 15 total, thanks

    • Hi Steve – no, it’s only alcoholic drinks that count in your 15 drinks. Jenni

  24. Hello, does it have to be cash or can you use a debit card to put credit on your cruise card ?

    • When you check in online you will link your debit card to your account then it will charge your debit card at the end.

  25. Hi, great article. Can you tell me if ginger ale as a mixer is included in the P&O drinks package please (we drink vodka & ginger ale)

    • Hi Dawn. Yes, it is included. Enjoy! Jenni

  26. Hi , if I purchase a vodka , do they charge for a dash of cola as a mixer ? Or do we have to purchase a bottle or can of cola?

    • You can get a dash of coke with your vodka, no problem. Jenni

      • Myself, my partner and our son are on a cruise with p&o in April. She was under the impression that if I buy a drinks package she has to have one too? Is this correct?

        • Yes, that is correct.

  27. Hi, wow your page is fantastic…..thank you. My husband & I and our 5 year old will be doing the Med cruise next May (1st cruise) onboard the new liner. Just want to ask ref drinks package. My hubby enjoys a few alcoholic drinks, I like the occasional cocktail and odd glass of wine and our 5 year old loves any soft drink! Would we be better just paying for our drinks? or my hubby and & I getting the soft drinks package, then our 5 year old can get drinks off us? We also plan on taking some spirits on board with us, would we need to declare them or can we just put them in our cases? Thank you xx

    • Thank you Lisa! So whether the drinks packages are worth it will depend on how much your hubby likes to drink, and whether your cocktails are included in the package, which they might not be. Be careful if you do try to use your own soft drinks package for your little one though, they won’t serve you if they catch you doing it since you should be buying them the package too. The terms state that sharing isn’t allowed. And as for the spirits, as long as you stick to the one litre limit you don’t need to declare them, just put them in your case or your carry on. Hope that helps!

  28. If 2 adults get the alcoholic package, and get the children’s drinks included, is the limit of 15 drinks split between you and the child, or do you both get 15 drinks each?

    • The 15-drink limit is only for alcoholic drinks, so it’s definitely not split with the child! Children can have as many (non-alcoholic) drinks as they want per day, as can adults – but you’re limited to 15 alcoholic drinks each day.

  29. Some great info/ comments on here!
    One thing I haven’t seen covered:
    We drink alcohol free gin. Are we limited to the number of bottles we can pack?
    Also, our son has type 1 diabetes, so is limited to sugar free cordial. My daughter however, can drink coke by the gallon. Am I correct in saying that I would need to buy 2 kids drinks packages?
    Also, can we get the kids packages and buy our drinks as we go? Or does everyone in the cabin need a package?

    • Hi Stuart, thanks for the feedback! To answer your questions:
      1) You should be allowed to bring as many bottles of non-alcoholic drink on-board as you like, though if you pack it in your suitcases you might want to go with the expectation that your bag will be opened and checked through security.
      2) Yes, you would need to buy two drinks packages.
      3) According to the Terms and Conditions, you can only get the kids’ packages if you buy the Ultimate package for the adults. It might be worth speaking to P&O to check whether that always applies, but I imagine they’ll be strict on the rules unfortunately.

      Hope that helps!

  30. Hi, can you use on board credit towards the drinks packages as you said can be purchased on days 1&2??

    • Yes, you can.

      • Sorry to jump on your question..
        Can i ask if the price of the drinks package is the same if you buy it onboard?
        We want to use our onboard credit to purchase the ultimate package but it states that this can not be bought before embarkation.
        It is £39.95 each online.
        Thankyou 🙂

        • Yes, it’s the same price onboard. Jenni

  31. Does anyone know if apple juice and cranberry juice are covered in the ‘selected’ juices of the children’s and non-alcoholic options?

    • Just apple, orange and pineapple I’m afraid.

  32. On P&O website it says that adults can buy the children’s package. At £7.95 a day each, this seems a decent price for soft drinks by the pool and with dinner.

  33. Hi.
    Can I buy the non-alcohol package and then just buy a spirit to go in my glass with my coke etc?
    That may work out cheaper….especially if I have a few coffee a day?

    If I don’t buy a package and as you have been on Iona.. do you recall if they sell diet 7up/sprite and Pepsi Max?

    Thanks in advance

    • Hi Nicola. Yes, you can do that. And yes, they sell Pepsi Max and I’m not sure if it’s Sprite or 7Up but one of those for sure. Enjoy! Jenni

  34. We were not able to get on our cruise due to mix up with the Covid passes we have received a future cruise credit for our cruise are we able to claim our drinks package back for credit on our next cruise thanks Jennifer

    • Yes, you will get that back. Jenni

  35. We are going on a PO cruise. My wife drinks gin and tonic. Is the tonic included in the drinks package?

    • Yes, it is.

  36. I wonder if you would mind answering a couple of questions?
    Firstly, my wife and I are doing a five week carribean cruise with P&O next March. We both drink wine and only I have an occasional beer. We are wondering if the captain’s wine packages would be better value than the all inclusive drinks package with me paying for my occasional beer?
    Secondly, P&O offer a WiFi package. Do you know anything about this? How reliable it is both in port and at sea? Would we be able to make and receive calls and texts along with streaming videos/TV channels online?

    Many Thanks

    • Hi Roy. Yes, it sounds like the wine package would be a good idea for you. You can buy it on board. Here’s everything you need to know about wifi: https://www.cruisemummy.co.uk/po-cruises-wifi/ I’ve used it myself and it was pretty good on Iona. A few years ago on Britannia, it was a bit hit and miss in some areas of the ship, but if you sit in the lobby it will work just fine. Jenni

  37. Thanks that was a really helpful article and has helped me very much in the decision process

  38. Hello. Excellent advice. Does the non alcoholic beer and cider fall into either of the drinks packages?

    • Yes, you can get them in the Ultimate drinks package.

  39. Hi. Can you put your on board credit towards the cost of the packages? We have £180 on our cruise to use.

    • Yes, you can.

  40. I think P&O need to research what the word ‘ultimate’ mans.

    Thanks for doing these articles mummy, they’re extremely helpful.

  41. Hi,
    Can you buy wine by the glass in the restaurants on P and O cruise ships and use your drinks package to pay for them?

    • Yes you can, but only certain wines as it has to be below the price limit.

  42. Hi , just a question , we have booked Iona for July ( Nordic cruise ) with three children. We have had to split into two rooms unfortunately . My husband and son in one and me and two daughters in another. Could I get away with myself purchasing full drinks package and get my daughters for free and my husband doesn’t , and then just pay for children’s package for my son ? And I can share it with my husband ? Maybe a cheeky way of doing it!! Any advice ?

    • Hi Erin. Try doing it online on the P&O Cruises planner. If it lets you do it on there, then you’re good to go! Be careful of sharing drinks though, if they spot you, they could take away your package with no refund. Jenni

  43. Hi, I have previously seen a comment (on another blog) about not paying for the drinks package, which would be £640 for our family of 4 and to instead put this amount on your cruise account. Is this possible with P&O to have onboard cruise credit to then just buy your drinks as you wish and not having to worry about if it is included in the package, if you don’t have any alcohol one day to gt your moneys worth etc. and you can then spend the money on something else if you find you haven’t spent as much? IS this wishful thinking or a possibility?! Many thanks, Charlene

    • Hi Charlene. Yes, you can add cash to your onboard cruise account. However, this really isn’t necessary… When you use your cruise card to buy drinks, they will all go onto your onboard account and you can settle the bill at the end. You can check where you’re up to at any time on the P&O website on your phone during the cruise without needing to buy wifi. Unless you drink a lot every day, you’ll probably find that you end up spending less than the package. Jenni

  44. Hi, if we go for the wine package and say go for a second bottle over dinner but just get through half the bottle, presumably the bottle is saved somewhere. If we go to another restaurant the next evening, do we ask for the opened bottle or do we have to go back to the same restaurant to finish it?, also, after leaving the restaurant, can we take the half drunk bottle with us to our room, theatre or another bar? thanks

    • Yes, you can take it with you or leave it in the restaurant for the next night. I’m not sure if they can be moved between restaurants, sorry, you can ask the waiter on board though. I tend to eat in the main dining room almost every night so not sure. Jenni

  45. Hi
    We recently cruised with Royal Caribbean, on the first day we went for a drink and the bar tender asked us if we would like the drinks package and said if we did, for that day only, we would get our second drinks package half price. Do P&O offer the same deal.

    • Hi Paul. No, Royal Caribbean has flexible pricing for drinks packages, they can change depending on the cruise and when you book. With P&O Cruises, the price is always the same. Jenni

  46. Hi Cruisemummy,

    Some really useful information there thank you. We are looking at sailing Iona this year. As an adult can i get a free cordial drink with my lunch and dinner? What about if thirsty outside of those times. If we brought our own own soft drinks, say can of coke or something, are we allowed to consume those on deck and in restaurants?

    • Hi Robert. You can get flavoured water which is like cordial in the buffet for free but not in any other restaurants. You can only consume your own drinks from home in your stateroom. While it’s not strictly allowed, some people may take some of those tiny concentrated cordials that can be very discretely added to water. Jenni

  47. Hi I’ve been told that both adults in a cabin have to purchase a drinks package, one adult isn’t allowed to purchase a drinks package whilst the other has a pay as you go system. Is this correct or what I’ve been told incorrect??? Thanks

    • That’s correct. Both adults would need the drink package.

      • Hi if theirs 2 people in a cabin do you have to buy 2 drink packages . As only 1 person drinks alcohol

        • Yes, that’s correct you would need two. Probably bets not to get the packages in that case as it would be very difficult to break even.

  48. Hello
    Do you happen to know if the Iona sells alcohol free beer and if so which one ? Cans , bottles or draft! Really hope this is something they encourage !

    • Hi Jackie. Yes, it’s bottles of San Miguel 0% and Becks Blue. There’s also alcohol-free Kopparberg cider. Jenni

  49. Hi Jenni,
    Thanks for all the great info on your site.
    You mentioned the Wine packages are also available onboard P&O Cruises, how do these packages work?
    Are the 6/12 bottles per person or cabin?
    If per person, does each cabin occupant have to buy the package as well? (like with the other packages)
    can the bottles be shared?
    We are cruising with friends (2 couples in total),
    Can one 6/12 package be shared between couples?
    or would each have to have own package?
    If each couple has own wine package, can we share bottles at the table?

    many thanks

    • Hi Monty. The wine packages are per cabin. I’m not sure whether you can share a package between two couples, but if you ask on board when you buy the package they will be able to let you know. I can’t see this being a problem though. Jenni

    • When we bought the wine package there was no issue with over who was drinking it so whoever buys the package could share drinks with whomever they wanted.

      • Thanks Jenni & Anthony for the replies.
        That’s excellent to hear & sounds much better value than the “ultimate drinks”package!

  50. Thanks really good advice. Could you let me know what fruit juices the children get in the package please as my daughter doesn’t like fizzy drinks

    • Hi Julie. I’m not sure exactly but there’s a good variety of juices and cordials. My kids don’t like fizzy drinks either. Jenni

    • Hi, we got orange, apple & pineapple as well as ‘fat’ lemonade or ‘fat’ ir diet Pepsi.

  51. We went on Iona in Dec and did not buy the drinks package even though we like a drink.
    We bought a bottle of wine every night for 19.95, there were 4 white wines to select from for this price and I think the same with the red although we do not drink red. We took a litre of gin with us and about a dozen tonics to have one drink each in the cabin while getting ready for dinner. Brought back about half the gin. Also took a bottle of champagne for husbands birthday. You get one free drink each on the gala night on the 7 day cruise. We bought a few extra drinks from the bar but definitely not worth it. A litre of spirits from most supermarkets can bought for £16 and even posh tonics for about 60p
    Don’t forget to take tonics/lemonade it can save you a lot.

    • Great advice, thanks for sharing! Jenni

  52. Drink packages like P&O are a rip off.. be better if it was 39.95 per cabin of 2 persons

    • Not if you like a drink they aren’t

  53. We always book with Marella AI, but this time we are booked with Britania. We do drink however not raging alcholics, i thought £40 per day sounded alot but adding it up on your calculator it does soon amount to more than £40 with a couple of beers, a couple of cocktails a coffee n maybe a couple of bottles of water so although it is another chunk of money on top of what we already paid i think it will be worth it for us. Luckily we got a brill cheap last minute a balcony cabin. Working the figures out i wouldnt have thought with the good price we paid for the initial cruise and what we usually pay for Marella AI, i would say it works out roughly the same.

  54. Excellent discussion Jen!
    I’m off with my 82 year old mum on Iona for a week in 25 days!! Was looking at the hot drinks package but having had a staycation on Brittania in July, I didn’t think it make sense to do so. We can have tea coffee with all meals, in room and around the ship during day and can enjoy a couple of paid for special teas or coffees when we like. It makes no sense to pay over the odds, even for peace of mind.
    Off with friend next year for week and she wants us to have the ultimate ?? Am not convinced..but I love the idea of putting that £80 aside each day ourselves and see the probable savings we would make by not having that package. I must get her to read this thread as she us adamant she wants the package!

    • I think that putting £80 aside is a great idea. It’s really hard to break even with the P&O drink package, probably harder than any other cruise line I would say as the drinks are so reasonably priced.

  55. Why do two adults sharing a cabin have to purchase the same drinks package? My husband would want to buy the ultimate drinks package but I don’t drink so do not want that cost forced on me. I’d rather pay for speciality coffees/mocktails as I go. Is there any flexibility?

    • Hi Kay. The rules are this way to prevent people from sharing a drinks package between them. The only way that one person could not get it is if that have a medical reason why they should not drink alcohol. You would probably be better off without a drinks package as it’s quite hard to break even as it is, even moreso without alcohol. Jenni

      • We want to get a drinks package for our 13yr old son, ve we don’t want to have one , can kids have them without an adult getting one?

    • I only drink larger is there a package for that

      • Hi George. There’s no lager only package, you would need the regular drinks package. Although you’d probably be better off paying for individual drinks as you’d need a lot of lager to break even. Jenni

  56. I’ve just discovered your site cruisemummy and I love it!

    Could I just give you my tip on drinks packages? We think almost £40 a day on P & O is a lot of money for drinks but we also like to have everything paid for before we leave so what we do is this – once the cruise is booked we start saving bits of money – it can be £2 coins, £5 notes, if we sell something on Ebay – you get the idea, When we eventually leave on our cruise we take £40 each per day in cash and deposit it at reception, whenever we use our card it then comes off the cash but the big bonus is anything we haven’t spent we just get back from reception on the last evening.

    I hope that makes sense, its complicated to explain what I mean but it works for us – if we drink a lot (which we never have) it’s already paid for and if we don’t drink a lot we get our money at the end of the cruise – you wouldn’t get any unused portion of the drinks package back!!

    • Yes, Jules! I love this idea- genius! On our last cruise, we drank quite a lot really and it still didn’t come to £40 each per day. Jenni

      • Genius, that’s now our plan, thankyou

    • This is a idea 👍

    • Hello, can you use a debit card instead of using cash .thanks

  57. Hi there. Great information here. Great site.
    We went on a New Years Eve trip last year. Expensive, but just excellent. We took the ultimate drinks package. I’m not completely sure it’s value for money tbh. I guess what it is, is peace of mind. Pull it in to the cost of your holiday, and its Full Board. Try not to think too much about it beyond that.

    What really tipped it for us, as we had 2 under 18’s was that it folds in the Kids Drink package as an added extra. That was very handy, and made it a very good deal.

    Next year though, one of our 2 kids will be 18. It’s a 14 nighter, and I’m wondering what to do. I’m assuming that, because he will be 18, we won’t be able to get the kids drinks package for him.

    To my 1st point…I think I’ll probably opt for a package for me and my wife. Pay before we leave…Saves getting a nasty shock when you dock back at Southampton.

    • Thanks for your comment, Robin. That’s correct, 18-year-olds are adults when it comes to cruising and drinks packages. You can get non-alcoholic drinks packages for adults as well, so perhaps this is an option if he doesn’t drink much alcohol. Jenni

      • As a couple, we’ve used the ultimate drinks package for the last few cruises. My husband kept every drinks receipt the first time and kept a running total so we could work out whether it was worth it. Some days we ‘broke even’, others we broke the house! You need to remember that it isn’t just alcohol you’re paying for – you’re going to drink a lot of water on board, plus I’m a coffee hound so we had many visits to Costa. I would recommend using the drinks calculator provided by Cruisemummy – it is really useful!
        On the whole, the drinks package worked for us.

  58. I’m amazed how mean P&O are regarding their drink packages compared to other cruise lines e.g. Celebrity charge £25 per day for drinks, graturities & 300$ OBC, whilst Princess charge £35 for drinks, Wi-fi & grats and there are other good deals with other cruise lines and they don’t count your drinks!. P&O £39.95 … Typical British!

    • Hi that was cheap for Princess. We have been on 3 and the Premier Packages has cost us $59.99 a day, but did allow us to have a soda package for me (adult), as I don’t drink. Also, for those reading this and have children aged 18, they can only drink on P&O, as it’s 21 on Princess and RC. We had the drinks package on past cruises, as even though my husband is not a big drinker, however, on holiday, he likes a couple of Buds with lunch, fancy coffees, a couple of buds with dinner, then likes a couple of cocktails, which all adds up to over the daily package price, so the package gives him the freedom of having the best of both worlds, soft drinks, fancy coffees, bottled water, etc. I’m thinking of not taking him next time lol.

    • P & O are owned by Carnival along with Aida, Costa, Carnival, Cunard, Holland America, Princess & Seaborn. US owned not British.

  59. Thanks for all the info.. We was on the lovely brittania last year without a drinks package but we’re considering for next year’s holiday in there again.. I wondered whether we can pay in installments for this as I can’t find out if I can in there website. Thanks 😊

    • Hi Debbie. It is possible to pay for your drinks package in instalments if you book your cruise with a travel agent who offers this option. They can bundle the drinks package in with the cost of your cruise. You’ll find more info about paying in instalments here: https://www.cruisemummy.co.uk/how-to-pay-for-a-cruise-in-instalments/ Jenni

  60. Hi still not sure about the drinks package. Do you know if you don drink the 15 in one day can they roll over to the next? Thanks x

    • Hi Deb. The daily limit resets at 6 am each day and you can’t roll it over, sorry! Jenni

      • Hi, I am trying to decide wether to buy a drinks package or not. I am booked on Ventura for 35 nights next January. With 35 nights it’s a big layout for a package but using your calculator it looks like I will save around £18 per day if I do drink what I have stated I will lol. I am a solo traveler by the way. Last cruise that I went on a fellow passenger bought his package on board on the first day and said you got 14 nights free (it was a 55 night cruise) fir buying it on board. You state that these on board buys are ‘clever marketing’ so I am wondering if I should wait to buy a package on board? What would you advise?
        Thank you x

        • Hi Melanie. That’s really interesting. I haven’t heard of that offer so I suspect its only on those longer cruises where they have might a low uptake on drinks package purchases. The price of P&O drinks packages is usually the same whether you buy before your cruise on onboard, so in thais case it might be worth waiting as I don’t think you have anything to gain by booking it in advance but it sounds like there could be the chance of a discount leter maybe. Jenni

  61. Thanks for all the amazing info on this website, stumbled across your site and it’s a great find! I’m looking to book Iona for 2021 for my 3 teenage children & myself, our first cruise. The Ultimate package looks to work out too expensive as I’m likley to only have a couple of alcoholic drinks per day and it’s charged x 2 adults so £80 per day. Can I take the non-alcholic package as well as 3 x kids packages? My kids would definitely benefit from the soft drinks package.

    • Hi Suzanne. Congratulations on booking your first cruise! Yes, you absolutely can do that. Sounds like a good idea to me. Jenni

  62. Thanks for the information, really useful and we will definitely be getting the drinks package! We are really not alcoholics… honest! Happy cruising everyone!

  63. Thankyou for that advice. Just booked to go to Dubai on Oceana in 2021 and definitely having the drinks package. Very informative thankyou.

    • You’re very welcome! I’m glad you found this to be informative. Have a great cruise! Jenni

  64. Thank you for your honest information. We were going to take drinks package but after reading your review I think we will do wine package, take our own drinks on board and pay as we go. We were meant to go on the new Iona in August but now changed to oceana next June. Tracy

    • Thanks Tracy, I’m glad you found this to be helpful! Jenni

  65. BTW, thanks very much for the info – very helpful

  66. Wow… that’s a lot of alcohol. I like my drink, but £80 a couple a day is more than I can justify. We’d split 3 bottles of wine max in a day, much better off with the wine package, I think.

    • Hi Jenni if you don’t have a drinks package dose the price of a pint go up when in Spanish waters

      • Hi Keith, yes it does, the Spanish tax is added on when the ship is docked in Spain.

  67. Thanks for the info. Has helped me decide to take the drinks package on our upcoming Britannia TA (btw we were up your neck of the woods last night! Got the train to Horwich Parkway and went off the Gerrard Arms in Aspull)

    • Ahh, small world! I hope you enjoyed your night! Jenni

      • Hi Jenni
        Excellent tool and helps with the planning
        Going on Iona maiden cruise 7 sea/daycation so drinks package may well be worth considering
        Do you have any idea when the new drink prices may be available? as wondering how much drinks may have gone up and what will still be available in the package

        • Hi Chris. Britannia will be back first from 8th July so if any prices have changed we should see them from then. I expect that any changes to prices will be minimal and the package inclusions should be the same. If you’re on Facebook, there are some excellent groups about P&O Cruises, so it could be worth asking there later in July if anyone who’s cruised this year has any info. Jenni

    • Hello Jennyi,
      We are going on our first P&O cruise next year, you say that cordials are always available free of charge, what flavours are available and are they available as made up squash in drinks dispensers or do you need to ask for them at the bar? I’ve noticed on other forums dated a couple of years ago that the writers were under the impression that there weren’t any free cordials? We are going on Azura to the Greek islands.

      • Hi Andrew. When I sailed on Britannia last year there were several different flavours available to serve yourself by the pool. I expect that this may change given the changes that are due in light of the pandemic, and I don’t yet have any information about what to expect in that regard in the future. I’m due to sail on Iona this November so fingers crossed I’ll know more then.

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