P&O Drinks Package: Is It Worth It?

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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 2022

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.

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 standard drink package on P&O Cruises is £39.95 per person, per day for drinks with alcohol or £19.95 per person, per day for drinks without alcohol. For kids, unlimited soft drinks cost £7.95 per day.

P&O Cruises offers 3 different drink packages:

  1. The Ultimate drinks package – £39.95 per person, per day
  2. The Non-alcoholic drinks package – £19.95 per person, per day
  3. The Children’s drinks package – £7.95 per person, per day

When people talk about the P&O Cruises drinks package, they’re usually referring to the Ultimate drinks package.

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. It is not possible to secure any kind of discount on the P&O Cruises drinks package.

Good to know: If you’re cruising with children and purchase the Ultimate Drinks Package, you also get the Children’s Package for free!

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

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’ Ultimate Drinks Package

P&O Drink Package Menu:

Includes drinks up to £6.95 in value

  • Beers
  • Wines by the glass
  • Spirits (served in single measures only with a draught soda or long-life juice mixer)
  • Cocktails and non-alcoholic cocktails
  • Liqueurs
  • Bottled water (500ml only)
  • Draught soft drinks
  • Long-life juices
  • Costa coffees
  • Teas
  • Hot chocolates

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

P&O Cruises’ drink package doesn’t include:

  • Any drinks that cost over £6.95
  • Double measures of spirits
  • Bottles of wine
  • Large bottles of water
  • Canned or bottled premium soft drinks
  • Freshly squeezed juices and smoothies
  • Mini bar, room service, self-service or vending machines
  • Wine tastings, cocktail classes, buckets of beer, buy one get one free offers

The important thing to note is that the drink package doesn’t include drinks that cost more than £6.95 – which is quite a few of them.

If you order a drink that costs £7.95, you can’t just pay the extra £1. You’ll be charged £7.95 minus 20% (£6.36) for that drink.

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’ Non-Alcoholic Drinks Package

P&O Non-Alcoholic Drink Package Menu:

  • Bottled water (500ml only)
  • Draught soft drinks
  • Long-life juices
  • Mocktails
  • Costa coffees
  • Teas
  • Hot chocolates

You’ll also get a 20% discount on large bottles of water, canned and bottled soft drinks and juices.

P&O Cruises’ non-alcoholic drink package doesn’t include:

  • Large bottles of water (750ml and 1.5L)
  • Cans or bottles of soft drink
  • Freshly-squeezed juices
  • Smoothies
  • Mini bar, room service, self-service or vending machines
  • Alcoholic drinks

3. P&O Cruises’ Children’s Drinks Package

P&O Children’s Drinks Package Menu:

Only available for children

  • Draught soft drinks
  • Long-life juices
  • Fruit squash and cordial
  • Small hot chocolates

P&O Cruises’ children’s drink package doesn’t include:

  • Bottles of water
  • Teas and coffees
  • Cans or bottles of soft drink
  • Freshly-squeezed juices
  • Smoothies
  • Mocktails
  • Mini bar, room service, self-service or vending machines

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 2022

P&O Cruises offer 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 £129 or 12 bottles for £245 (saving up to 15%)
  • The Commodore’s Collection – 6 bottles for £175 or 12 bottles for £329 (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 2022 is the non-alcoholic drinks package, although this costs more at £19.95 per person, per day.

Costa Coffee on P&O Cruises

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

P&O Cruises’ drinks packages are always the same price. They never go on sale, there are no discount codes and you cannot get the drink package for cheaper by booking at any certain time. It will be the same price whether you book before your cruise or on board the ship.

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 2022:

  • 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 (2022)

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

Most cocktails are not included in the P&O Cruises drink package because they cost more than £6.95. So, if you like to try lots of different cocktails on your cruise, the drink package isn’t a good idea for you.

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

Here are the cocktails that are and aren’t included in the P&O drink package:

Included cocktails:

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

Cocktails over the package limit:

  • Margarita
  • Cobbler
  • Manhattan
  • Negroni
  • Irish Coffee
  • Gumlet
  • Cosmopolitan
  • Martini
  • Bellini
  • Sour
  • Punch
  • Aperol Spritz
  • Long Island Iced Tea
  • Raspberry Creme Brulee
  • The Godfather
  • Gin, Tonic & Elderflower
  • 180 Degree Cooler

Similarly, with wines, there will always be red, white and rose wines that are priced under £6.95 and included in the drink package. But you won’t be able to choose from the full menu and you may have to order a small glass to stay within the price limits.

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 allow each adult aged 18 years or older to bring up to one litre of alcohol (wine, beer, spirit or liqueur) 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 is more generous than any other cruise line.

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.

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.

kopparberg gin
I brought this gin with me on-board Britannia

There was a fridge in our cabin and each day our room attendant brought us ice. After the first two days, we didn’t need to ask for it, it was there waiting for us each evening.

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 £40 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 2022 and beyond, P&O drinks packages cost £39.95 per day. The price for two people on a 14-night cruise would be £1,119.

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’re likely to find that the drink package is quite limiting.

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 Overpay For Your P&O Cruise!

Here’s how I get the lowest price when I book a cruise…

1. Compare prices from every travel agent in one place.

2. Choose a trusted travel agent with a best price guarantee.

Please don’t book with any old company just because they have a cheap deal. I recommend that you find the best price and then take it to a trusted travel agent who will beat it, as well as giving you the best service.

P&O Drinks Package FAQs

Can we share a P&O Cruises drinks package?

P&O Cruises do 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.

The package covers drinks up to £6.95 each. What if I want a glass of Champagne which costs £8? Can I pay the difference?

With the P&O Cruises drink package, drinks that exceed the £6.95 allowance are charged at the full menu price minus 20%. You can’t pay the difference.

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 drink package, you can’t order double shots (such as a double vodka and Coke) as this would count as two drinks. You also can’t order a large glass of wine, only the standard 175ml size.

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80 thoughts on “P&O Drinks Package: Is It Worth It?”

  1. 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
    X

    • 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

  2. 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

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

    • Yes, it is.

  4. 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

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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!

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. 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

    • 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

  24. 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 👍

  25. 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.

  26. 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.

  27. 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

  28. 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

  29. 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

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

  31. 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

  32. 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

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

  34. 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.

  35. 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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