There’s nothing like changes to specialty packages to get cruisers talking. And Princess Cruises’ changes over the last 12 months have sparked a lot of comment.

The line offers two bundles; Princess Plus and Princess Premier. They offer inclusions such as a drinks package, WiFi, specialty dining meals, and more. Both packages have a range of unlimited and limited inclusions.

What’s got the What’s App and Facebook groups upset is that the packages are not adjusted for the length of the cruise.

Susain Andruskin has booked the Princess Plus package on her world cruise for 2025. But it gets her just two casual dining meals in 113 days.

“We have booked the 2025 world cruise with the Plus Package, it’s 113 days, yet still only two casual dining meals, how fair is that? Surely it should be at least per sector?”

What’s making her angry is that someone booking a short cruise gets exactly the same.

The Princess Plus package includes two casual dining meals and two fitness classes. Included in the Princess Premier are two specialty dining meals and three print photos.

But if you do a 30-day cruise with Princess Premier, despite paying the full cost of the package (USD$80 per day), you will still only be entitled to two specialty dining meals in total.

Regular Princess cruiser Sherri Joy brought this to other cruisers attention in an online cruise forum.

“So let me get this straight, Princess Premier entitles you to a photo package with three photos and speciality dining for two meals. I cruise for seven days, get three photos and two specialty meals, fair enough.

“However, I cruise for 14 days, pay double for my drinks package but still only receive three photos and two specialty meals, I cruise 21 days and the same deal, 28 days and the same deal, and on.

“Should there not be more incentive to pay for the premier package on longer cruisers?”

Changes to Princess dining people sitting around with sommelier
Changes to Princess dining people sitting around with sommelier

How do the Princess packages stack up against others?

Princess offers an interesting alternate offering to other major lines, as their drinks packages are most valuable when bundled with other perks as well. In AUD, the packages are approximately AUD$91 and AUD$122 respectively.

This creates an interesting situation for cruisers. Besides alcohol, the most critical inclusion in the Princess Packages is Wi Fi. Separate from the bundled packages, the Wi Fi packages on Princess cost USD$25 for one device, or USD$45 for four devices.

How does that stack up against Royal Caribbean and P&O?

Royal Caribbean’s drinks package can vary in price, but generally start from around AUD$115 per day and Wi Fi starts from around AUD$30 per day. P&O drinks packages are available for either AUD$109 or AUD$119 per day, and premium Wi Fi starts at AUD$30 per day for one device, or AUD$90 per day for four devices.

Even forgoing the other extras of Princess Plus and Premier, the packages appear to offer more value than separately purchasing the drinks package and WiFi on cruise lines like Royal Caribbean or P&O.

However, there are more considerations to make. The first is flexibility, if one adult member of a cabin purchases a Princess package, all other adults in the cabin have to do the same. Whereas Royal Caribbean and P&O offer more flexibility, as not all adults have to get an alcohol package.

Furthermore, when both members of a cabin are buying Princess Plus or Premier, it means they are both paying for and receiving a WiFi package. However, WiFi can be shared, and many cruisers are content to share their Wifi throughout a cruise.

Let’s take a cruising couple who wish to go on a 10-day cruise, one of which is a big drinker and the other not so much. They wish to use the internet during their cruise, but only occasionally.

For a Princess Cruise, the couple would both have to pay for Princess Plus, equalling $182 per day between the two of them, or AUD$1820 in total for the cruise.

Whereas if this couple took a P&O cruise, they could buy one drinks package for the partner more keen on drinking, for $109 per day, or $1090 for the entire cruise. Then they could share one device of Wi Fi for $30 per day, or another $300 for the cruise. This would equal AUD$1390 for everything they would need.

Our advice: Before purchasing any package with any line, carefully consider your wants and needs for the cruise, then examine the offerings and flexibility of the available packages.