P&O Trial New Ultimate Drinks Package
P&O customers have always had the opportunity to invest in either a soft drinks or wine package for their cruise. This year, the liner has been trialing a new, comprehensive package that offers holidaymakers their pick of a complete selection of soft drinks, beers, wines and spirits. From 21st July, customers on the Azura have had the opportunity to enjoy their choice of
beverages at a cost of £39.95 per person, per day.
The package has a few stipulations. All adults in a cabin must buy it, and it must be purchased for every day of the cruise. The package is also only available on cruises of five nights or more. Only drinks up to a value of £6.95 will be covered by the package, and anything over that price will be billed to the customer (though they will receive a discount of 20%). Finally, there is a maximum of 15 drinks per day, with a minimum 15 minute break between each order. And as wine is served by the glass for the package, no wines sold exclusively by the bottle will be available.
The package offers a few benefits, giving customers a high level of convenience for their holiday, and removing the hassle of billing. However, £80 of drinks per day for an average couple isn’t cheap, and far more expensive than most competing liners offer. It seems fairly unlikely that many people would even get their money’s worth, unless through bloody-minded determination. Considering how much time many cruise passengers spend ashore, the prospect of trying to plough through £40 worth of drinks a day, every day, doesn’t sound great. And given the low prices in a standard P&O bar, with a G&T setting you back roughly £2.95 (much cheaper than other cruise lines), quite where the savings can be found in the package isn’t clear.
Whether or not the trial will be viewed as a success and taken up across the P&O fleet remains to be seen. Their Australian ships are already offering similar, comprehensive drinks packages, as do many other cruise lines, albeit at markedly lower prices. What seems more likely is that this is essentially a precursor to a general price hike on drinks onboard P&O cruises. By raising normal bar prices, their hefty £40 per person, per day, price tag will seem good value for money by comparison. Their next move remains to be seen, but we recommend you get them in while you still can.
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