P&O Cruises offers a very British cruise experience onboard, and has done since 1837 when the Peninsular Steam Navigation Company was formed. The ships in the fleet are as follows: –
- Ventura review, video and photos
- Aurora view my photos
- Britannia review, video and photos
- TBA – new ship (larger than Britannia) from 2020
Oriana, Adonia and Arcadia are ‘adult only’ ships, while Azura, Britannia, Ventura, Oceana and Aurora cater for passengers of all ages, why not watch the short video at the bottom of the page. The ships range in size from Britannia, which is the largest and carries more than 3,600 passengers, to Adonia which is the smallest with just over 700 passengers. From 2020 there will be a new ‘family friendly’ ship joining the fleet, which will be the largest ever for P&O Cruises, and will carry 5,200 passengers.
English is the language spoken onboard, and the currency used is sterling. The standard of food onboard is very good, and as well as the traditional first and second sitting dinners, also known as Club Dining, you can opt for Freedom Dining on Arcadia, Aurora, Azura, Britannia, Oceana, Oriana and Ventura. This gives you the option to dine with whom you wish, at a time to suit you. In addition to the main dining rooms.
Select Dining is where you eat in a number of speciality dining venues, and a modest cover charge applies, and you just need to make a reservation at a time to suit you. These vary by ship, but include Sindhu by Atul Kochhar, Epicurean, and the Limelight Club on Britannia. Contact us for more details.
Evening Casual – Applicable to all ships. Stylish resort or leisurewear such as separates or dresses for ladies, with open-neck polo shirts and casual trousers, but not shorts, for men. A jacket can be worn, but isn’t compulsory. Smart dark denim is acceptable, but not trainers, tracksuits or football shirts.
Black Tie – Applicable to all ships. On Black Tie nights, or Gala Evenings, ladies wear cocktail dresses, ballgowns or smart trouser suits, whereas men would wear dinner jackets, tuxedos, or a dark lounge or business suit and tie.
For details on the smoking policy onboard click on the following link P&O Cruises Smoking Policy. There is plenty to do on a P&O Cruise, whether it is morning, noon or night. During the day there will be deck games, films, swimming pools, the Spa, shops and demonstrations and lectures. In the evening there will be lavish stage shows, as well as more intimate music in venues throughout the ship.
P&O Cruises offer a number of fare codes, which are called P&O Cruises Select Price, Early Saver and Saver Fares, which replaced the old Getaway and Vantage fares.
Please note the following policy, with regard to children being in a separate cabin – “Children under the age of 16 years old are not permitted to travel in a cabin alone. They must travel with an accompanying passenger who is 16 years old or over. Additionally, they must be ‘escorted’ with an adult aged over 18 in a separate cabin. An 18 year old may also occupy a cabin with anyone under the age of 18 years of age. The first two people in each cabin will be charged an adult fare, regardless of their age”
Children are well catered for on the family ships, with clubs split into the following age groups:
- H2O (13-17 year olds) – music, movies, games and discos, and during the holiday season there are activities such as sports coaching and talent shows
- Scubas (9-12 year olds) – jukebox, games consoles, organised pool parties and sports sessions, and karaoke
- Surfers (5-8 year olds) – they are kept entertained with games, and sports challenges, as well as personal appearances from Mr.Bump from the Mr.Men
- Splashers (2-4 year olds) – ball pools and water play, glove puppet shows, colouring competitions and other activities
- Under 2’s – if you have under 2’s then you will be pleased to know that there are bottle warmers, infant milk and baby food available, as well as other essentials stocked in the shops
(It is occasionally necessary to combine the age groups into 2-8 and 9-17)
The fleet is based in Southampton either for all or most of the year, and offer cruises to destinations worldwide, including Alaska, Mediterranean, Northern Europe, Caribbean, South America, North America and World Cruises.
To see how things have changed over the years, click on the following links to see some old P&O brochures from 1969 and 1970 for Christmas Cruises & Winter Voyages in 1969/70 and P&O Sunshine Cruising 1969.
(Page amended July 2017)