Major Changes To Popular Cruise Line’s Drinks Policies Likely To Anger Loyal Guests

P&O Cruises, one of the most popular cruise lines for British cruise passengers, has announced changes to its drinks policies that are likely to disappoint many.

P&O drinks

The changes include price increases for the drinks packages, and also a change to the drinks guests are allowed to bring onboard at the start of their cruise.

It’s important to clarify that this information has been released to travel agents, but no official statement has come from the cruise line yet.

Notably, guests will no longer be permitted to bring a bottle of spirits onto the cruise ship – anyone who does will have it confiscated. While the wording of the information provided to travel agents is slightly contradictory, this does seem to be the big takeaway from the information provided.

P&O Cruises has long had one of the best policies for guests looking to save by bringing their own drinks onboard, but this change brings the company in-line with many of the big American cruise lines, including those owned by P&O’s parent company Carnival Group.

From Tuesday 7th May, guests will only be allowed to bring one litre of wine or Champagne onto the ship on embarkation day, and any additional bottles will be stored and returned to the guest on the last day of the cruise.

Guests must drink these bottles in their stateroom if they want to avoid a corkage fee. Any bottles consumed in the bars, restaurants, dining room or lounges will incur a £20 corkage cost, added to guests’ onboard accounts.

The drinks package price increase, while also likely to disappoint cruise guests, is not uncommon within the cruise industry and so will be seen as more of an inevitable change.

The price increases will roll out across the fleet between 9th May and 25th May. Guests could secure the drinks package at the old price if they book before Wednesday 8th May, when the new pricing structure is put into place.

Here’s a summary of the changes (all prices are per person, per night)

PackageOld Price – Pre CruiseOld Price – OnboardNew Price – Pre CruiseNew Price – Onboard
Refresh£9.85£10.95£12.95£14.45
Alcohol Free£22.45£24.95£24.25£26.95
Classic£40.45£44.95£43.95£48.45
Deluxe£49.45£54.95£54.45£60.50

While the biggest financial increase is on the Deluxe package, with a £5.55 per night increase on the onboard prices, it’s the Refresh package which has seen the biggest price increase – anyone who bought onboard will now pay an extra £3.50 per night, an increase of almost 32%.

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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.

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3 thoughts on “Major Changes To Popular Cruise Line’s Drinks Policies Likely To Anger Loyal Guests”

  1. They will not do themselves any favours if they stop allowing passengers to bring a litre on board on embarkation day especially if they are increasing prices. This may well have been a plus factor for people making a choice of which cruise line to pick, this is another example of pure greed.

  2. Do we know if the prices of drinks are increasing?

    On our last cruise l, last April we thought the drinks prices were pretty fair.

    Booked on Arvia again for next August around the Med, so hoping they don’t increase too much

  3. Surely they can’t apply this to cruises already paid for. We are travelling next Saturday and have had no official notification that prices will change, nor the restriction on bring spirits on board.

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