Following the introduction around a year ago of the first beverage packages able to be purchased on P&O Cruises ships, the line has now doubled its range with the launch today of two new drinks packages – one offering alcoholic drinks and one without – both of which are now available for guests to add to their cruise booking, depending on its duration.

New additions include the ‘Refreshment Drinks Package’ which is priced at AUD$25 per person per day (or $19pp per day if bought in advance). Available to any traveller of any age on any cruise, guests have access to unlimited soft drink, various juice blends, tea/coffee and non-alcoholic mocktails.

This package complements the ‘Soft Drinks Package’ which includes unlimited glasses of fountain soft drink, tonic water and ginger ale. The Soft Drink Package will cost a traveller $7.50pp per day or $7 if purchased in advance.

For those eager to have access to a wide range of alcoholic beverages, the new package on offer caters to that and more. Dubbed ‘The Lot!’, this deal caters to the heavier drinkers and is priced at an eye-watering $105 per person per day (or $95pp per day if purchased in advance). It marks the most expensive drinks package available on a cruise ship in Australia.

For that price, guests effectively have access to a full open bar and any drink up to $15 in value. This includes all of the aforementioned non-alcoholic drinks, plus beer, wine, cocktails, energy drinks and bottled water.

The Lot! is the top-shelf drinks offering and features alongside the existing Premium Beverage Package, which includes all of the same except for energy drinks and tea/coffee. The Premium Package is priced at $89 per person per day (or $79 if purchased in advance).

Packages involving alcohol are only available to guests 18 years and older but cannot be used on pallets of bottled water, which can continue to be purchased separately and delivered to a guest’s stateroom as needed. All alcohol service continues to be governed by the P&O Responsible Service of Alcohol policy, which can see guests refused service if intoxicated.

Each of the four drinks packages can be purchased onboard for the early days of the cruise, or added to a guest’s booking between 90 and 4 days prior to departure, paid in advance.

Another innovation rolled out by P&O Cruises sees the introduction of a new price tier dubbed ‘VIP+’. To be made available on cruises of six nights or more departing from February 2018, the VIP+ will be an upgrade guests can add to their fare which will include a drinks package (non-alcoholic for Under-18’s) as well as a Gold wi-fi internet connection allowance of 500MB. The upgrade must be purchased for all guests in a stateroom.

In addition, the first 100 travellers booking the VIP+ package in each stateroom category on each individual cruise itinerary also receive priority boarding on embarkation day and priority access to tender boats – a move which will reward those booking early.