CRUISING WITH P&O CRUISES
History of P&O Cruises
P&O Cruises can trace its colourful history all the way back to 1837. On 1st September that year, Arthur Anderson and Brodie McGhie Wilcox, founders of the Peninsular Steam Navigation Company, were awarded a contract from the British Government to carry mail from London to the Iberian Peninsula. At that time passengers were also carried on these routes, but initially it was more a case of business than pleasure.
It is commonly believed that Arthur Anderson first imagined deep-sea cruising two years before establishing the company. Arthur placed a dummy advertisement selling a mythical cruise to fill space in the first edition of his 'Shetland Journal' newspaper.
As the company picked up more contracts with more varied destinations, they also put Anderson's idea for leisure cruising into action. They offered round trip tickets to some of the more exotic destinations along their routes like Malta, Athens and Egypt. Needless to say this new holiday phenomenon well and truly took off.
P&O Cruises set the standards for quality, service, reliability, comfort, safety and innovation. And this forward-looking approach ensures that they remain at the forefront of cruise holidays working tirelessly to attend to your needs before you even realise you have them. From arrival to departure, they have developed features that they hope help make your holiday as relaxing as possible. These include such things as a quicker check in process so that you're not kept waiting, to Balcony Dining so you can enjoy the ship's fine cuisine from the comfort of your own cabin. You may not even notice the other features. This is deliberate – they are not there to be seen, just enjoyed.
P&O Cruise Ships - An eye for detail
With so many companies offering holiday cruises, what makes P&O Cruises a cut above the rest? Maybe it's because they think the little things are just as important as the big ones:
- Creating a dedicated welcome pack for children
- Providing personal in cabin pamper treats
- Ensuring your glass is never empty at dinner
- Producing a daily ship's newspaper with the latest headlining stories
- Stewards who remember your favourite drink
- Turning your bed down every evening
When you combine these with the other unique touches they hope that you will agree their service is second to none.
Value holidays with P&O Cruises
Whereas other holiday cruises expect you to pay for essentials like meals and leisure activities, P&O Cruises are dedicated to giving you value holidays where as much as possible is already included. With them, a range of dining options, spectacular entertainment, sports facilities, children's clubs, en-suite accommodation, gym membership, a personal steward and even your flights are all incorporated in your price. And as the prices are all in sterling, and therefore immune to currency fluctuations, budgeting couldn't be easier meaning you can enjoy great value holidays with Planet Cruise and P&O Cruises.
P&O CRUISES LIFE ON BOARD SHIP
Experience Cruising Holidays with P&O Cruises
If you want your cruising holiday to be extraordinary, you've come to the right place. Choose P&O Cruises and the extraordinary happens every day. Imagine awaking to a new view each morning. On their cruise holidays you can.
- Enjoy service that is unlike anything on land
- Visit more beautiful and vibrant places on one cruising holiday
- Dining in exclusive restaurants
This is your holiday after all. You can enjoy a spontaneous modern holiday. Or you can experience cruising with all the traditions. The quality of service and attention to detail let you experience a world that is both carefree and tailored to you.
On a P&O Cruise you can explore the world with them at the same time as experiencing the very best of British. Tate Modern and Tate Britain will be on board various cruises offering Tate Talks and creative workshops. You can dine in restaurants created by Gary Rhodes and Marco Pierre White. Play Scalextric at Sea. And children can be entertained by Noddy and Mr Bump from the Mr Men show.
Spa & Fitness Onboard P&O Cruise Ships
On board you will find some of the most luxurious spa facilities afloat offering all the latest treatments for men and women. Then there are saunas, steam rooms and hair salons. In fact, there's everything you need to be truly pampered. And if you want to get, or keep fit and healthy then the ocean-view gymnasiums, personal trainers, sports courts, swimming pools and a comprehensive well-being programme, are designed to help you do just that.
Salon Onboard P&O Cruise Ships
The salons have qualified stylists and makeup artistes on hand to keep you looking glamorous, or even to give you a complete makeover if you fancy a change.
Gym Onboard P&O Cruise Ships
The gymnasiums are fully equipped with all the latest Technogym equipment and trained fitness instructors will be there to give guidance where needed. Personal Trainers are available to tailor bespoke fitness programs to help you reach your fitness goals.
Pools Onboard P&O Cruise Ships
Each ship has several pools. Some are dedicated to families on the family friendly ships; others are for adult swimmers only. Three of the ships have pools with a protective skydome. There are splash pools for simply cooling off in, paddling pools for young children to play in (with supervision of course), whirlpool spas for relaxing in, pools to play pool games in and then there are pools long enough and deep enough to exercise in.
Sports & Games Onboard P&O Cruise Ships
All of the ships have sports courts where you can get involved in fun group sports. There's also golf nets where you can practice your swing and on Oceana and Aurora you'll find golf simulators where you can play some of the most famous courses in the world. PGA professionals will often be on board offering advice and guidance
Cruise Entertainment Onboard P&O Cruise Ships
P&O Cruises offer the very best in cruise entertainment. Evenings are the social highlight of the day when you are on board a P&O Cruises superliner. When the sun goes down your ship begins to come alive with the hum of conversation and music, and you can be sure you are in for a memorable night with the on board cruise ship entertainment. The fleet presents an exciting range of venues and cruise ship entertainment:-
- Cocktail bars, nightclubs
- Casinos and theatres
- Live bands
- Dramatic musicals and deck parties
- Cabarets singers, comedians and speciality acts
- Classical recitals and concerts
- Quizzes and panel games to play, with prizes to be won
- Special theme evenings including tropical, 60's & 70's or Black and White Ball themes
- Cinemas and games rooms
Bars & Lounges Onboard P&O Cruise Ships
P&O Cruises superliners have a diverse choice of bars and lounges. Each has its own unique atmosphere and often a unique selection of drinks. Whether it's a pre-dinner drink, a drink after a wonderful meal or a drink or three with friends. With so many venues to choose from, you will be certain to find the perfect spot to suit your mood:
- Champagne bars>
- Cocktail bars
- English style pubs
- Spanish wine & tapas bars
- Deck & Pool bars
- Piano bars & Nightclubs
Dining Onboard P&O Cruise Ships
P&O Cruises is passionate about food – so prepare your taste buds for a treat. All of the chefs have been inducted into the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs and the cuisine they create has been inspired from around the globe. They use only the finest ingredients in their kitchens and will keep your holiday full of mouth-watering flavour. Each superliner has a tempting medley of venues for you to try and culinary adventures for you to experience
Theatres & Cinema Onboard P&O Cruise Ships
In the theatres on a P&O Cruises superliner you will find some of the most lavish and spectacular shows at sea. There are compilations of West End and Broadway shows, as well as tributes to well known stars. You can easily imagine you are attending an indulgent premiere at one of London's top movie theatres!
The on board cinemas show classic feature films and recent releases – many of which are shown months before they are released in the UK.
Casinos Onboard P&O Cruise Ships
Is Lady Luck smiling on you? Stop into our sumptuous casinos and try your luck. In P&O Cruises casinos you'll find the latest in the world of slot machines. There's also Three Card Poker, Texas Hold 'Em poker, Blackjack, Bingo and, of course, Roulette, one of the oldest and most popular games of chance
If you haven't played before don't worry, you can join in the fun and informative gaming lessons. During these interactive sessions you can learn valuable tips and information to make your playing more enjoyable and possibly more profitable.
Nightclubs Onboard P&O Cruise Ships
If you are in the mood for dancing, head for the themed nightclub. You'll find the atmosphere fun and lively, and you can dance to the music of DJs and live bands, playing everything from the 60's to the present day. These innovative entertainment venues feature state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems and dance floors – some with inlaid fibre-optic lights. And the bars are well stocked with your favourite refreshments.
Evenings Ashore with P&O Cruise Ships
At a select number of destinations you'll have a wonderful opportunity to spend the evening, or even overnight, in port. This is a great chance to dig a little deeper and experience the local nightlife. Spend an evening at the world famous ballet in St. Petersburg, or get a true taste of Dublin in the pubs that line O'Connell Street.
P&O CRUISES DRESS CODE: SEMI-FORMAL
To help you pack for your holiday, below you'll find a description of the different dress codes P&O operate and upon which ship they apply. If you do forget to pack something, then don't worry as the shops carry a wide range of leisurewear and formal clothing.
Daywear Onboard P&O Cruise Ships
Casual shirts, shorts, trousers and beachwear are ideal. For going ashore and walking on deck, flat comfortable shoes are a must. You will also need a lightweight jacket or coat for cool evenings and occasional showers. Don't forget sun protection cream, a sun hat and sunglasses as the sun is much stronger at sea. Packing a spare pair of glasses and an ample supply of any medicines you are taking is also a good idea.
Formal Wear Onboard P&O Cruise Ships
This is the opportunity for ladies to wear formal evening wear such as an evening dress, smart trouser suit or a cocktail dress. For men, a dinner jacket or tuxedo are the norm, otherwise a dark lounge/ business suit and tie or formal national dress is fine.
Semi-Formal Wear Onboard P&O Cruise Ships
Ladies can wear anything from tailored trousers to smart separates or an elegant dress, while men are required to wear a smart shirt and trousers with a jacket such as a blazer or sports jacket. A suit and tie may be worn but is not compulsory. (Semi-Formal applies to Arcadia, Artemis, Aurora, Azura and Oriana only.)
Smart Casual Wear Onboard P&O Cruise Ships
Stylish resort or leisurewear is ideal, for example casual separates or dresses for ladies and open-neck polo shirts and casual trousers (not shorts) for men. A jacket and smart trousers may be worn but are not compulsory. Smart dark denim may be worn however they request that the following items are not worn: sportswear, e.g. trainers, football shirts and tracksuits. Bring your brightest clothes for our Tropical evenings.
For a typical two week P&O cruise:
Oceana and Ventura - there will normally be four Formal evenings and ten Smart Casual evenings. Arcadia, Aurora, Oriana and Artemis – there are normally four Formal evenings, four Semi-Formal evenings and six Smart Casual. However in extremely hot temperatures these dress codes may be relaxed.
Children: The dress code is applicable to all passengers of 18 years and over and they request that on Formal or Semi-Formal evenings children wear, as a minimum, Smart Casual dress, however on these occasions dark denim is not permitted.
Please do not wear your swimsuit in the lounges, interior bars, restaurants or reception area. A shirt and suitable footwear is required while indoors and when using the buffets. In the evenings all restaurants and bars comply with the dress code of the evening.
P&O CRUISES DINING OPTIONS
There are all kinds of different cruise ship dining options available on board the P&O Cruises fleet. Formal cruise dining rooms, restaurants created by celebrity chefs and restaurateurs, grill restaurants, food courts, Oriental and Pan-pacific restaurants, Tapas bars and pizzerias.
There are also different cruise dining styles on each ship, allowing you to opt for the one that suits you: Club Dining, Freedom Dining and Select Dining:
Club Dining Onboard P&O Cruise Ships
With Club Dining you'll enjoy the special ambience and sociable atmosphere of the main dining room, as well as silver-service and a five-course menu (six-course on Gala Nights). This style of dining is a wonderful way to share your holiday experiences and meet new friends. By choosing Club Dining you're opting for the cruising tradition of set sitting times. The same table will be reserved for you and your table companions every night for first or second sitting, at 6.30pm or 8.30pm. You simply need to request your sitting preference when you book and they will inform you of your table number, sitting and restaurant with a card in your stateroom when welcomed on board.
Freedom Dining Onboard P&O Cruise Ships
With Freedom Dining you'll still enjoy the special ambience and sociable atmosphere of a main dining room, as well silver-service and five-course menu (six-course on Gala Nights).
The difference from Club Dining is that this option allows you the flexibility to turn up at selected restaurants anytime you choose between 18:00 and 21:30, with whom you like, and every effort will be made to accommodate you. Freedom Dining is included in your fare and available on board Oceana and Ventura.
Select Dining Onboard P&O Cruise Ships
Select Dining is wonderfully flexible, allowing you a change of scene and the opportunity to dine with different people. This is a great way to add variety to your holiday, if you wish to dine earlier or later than usual, celebrate a special occasion or enjoy an intimate meal for two. Please note that a modest Select Dining cover charge applies.
Chaîne des Rôtisseurs Onboard P&O Cruise Ships
The Chaîne des Rôtisseurs is a respected international gastronomic society founded in Paris in 1950. The society brings together professional (such as chefs and restaurant owners) and non-professional members from around the world. An invitation to become a member of this organisation is a prestigious honour indeed. Every Executive Chef across the fleet has been inducted into the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs to ensure that each ship in the fleet has a member of the society on board.
Celebrity Chefs Onboard P&O Cruise Ships
Marco Pierre White Onboard P&O Cruise Ships
By the age of 33, Marco Pierre White had been awarded three Michelin stars, becoming the youngest Briton bestowed with this accolade. Marco has been the Head Chef in ITV's 'Hell's Kitchen' and has been dubbed the 'godfather of modern cooking'. The White Room on board Ventura, Cafe Jardin on board Oceana and Cafe Bordeaux on board Aurora, are destined to be a truly special dining experience. Simple, yet beautiful dishes will be the order of the day – classic Italian fare at its very best.
Gary Rhodes Onboard P&O Cruise Ships
Gary Rhodes' legendary dedication to his craft and relentless pursuit of perfection has placed him firmly at the forefront of today's culinary world. Chef, restaurateur, celebrity and author; his distinguished career and unique mastery of the 'Great British Classics' truly sets him apart. A history of stunning restaurants has won him a constellation of Michelin stars. Through Arcadian Rhodes (Arcadia) and Oriana Rhodes (Oriana), Gary brings his inimitable brand of modern British cuisine to the P&O Cruises table, giving diners the same high quality dining experience enjoyed by visitors to his Rhodes Twenty Four restaurant in London.
Atul Kochhar Onboard P&O Cruise Ships
Few people embody the spirit of modern British cuisine better than Atul Kochhar. Born in Jamshedpur, eastern India, Atul's reputation brought him to London in 1994, where at 31 he became the first Indian chef to be awarded the coveted Michelin star. And now Atul has brought his highly sought after talent and years of experience to Sindhu, the exclusive fine dining restaurant. Passengers can expect modern Indian cuisine with a British twist.
Olly Smith Onboard P&O Cruise Ships
Writer/TV presenter extraordinaire and specialist sommelier, Olly Smith adds a flamboyant twist to the culinary tale. On board Azura, his inimitable and irreverent style coupled with his skills will be exhibited in the unique wine bar and restaurant, The Glass House. Here, Olly will be developing the wine list and wine-tasting experiences, matching specially selected wines to each course.
Balcony Dining (Ventura Only) Onboard P&O Cruise Ships
This is the ultimate in intimate dining at sea. You can dine al fresco as the sun sets on the horizon, or beneath a starry sky, on your own private balcony. Select dishes from an exclusive menu designed by Marco Pierre White and enjoy personal waiter service. This is truly indulgent dining at its very best. This service is available on P&O Ventura.
P&O CRUISES LOYALTY CLUB - THE PORTUNUS CLUB
Rewarding Loyalty on your P&O Cruise Holiday
You only have to cruise with P&O once to receive complimentary membership to the loyalty programme -The Portunus Club. The club has three different tiers:- starting with Ruby, then Sapphire and the pinnacle tier is Gold. Each tier has both on board and shoreside benefits associated with it. You'll earn points for every night you cruise and, the more points you earn, the higher your tier and the greater the benefits. Essentially the more you cruise, the more rewards you'll receive.
Your membership will automatically be activated after your first cruise, at which point they will send you a detailed membership pack, your membership card and your points statement which details the number of points you have earned and the tier that you are in.
Summary of Benefits with P&O Cruises
- Ruby Tier (0-500 points)
- 5% on board discount (terms apply)
- Dedicated Loyalty Manager
- Membership Card
- No Membership Fee
- The Portunus Club Magazine
- Sapphire Tier (501-1500 points)
- Benefits as Above Plus:
- 7.5% on board discount
- The Portunus Club Party
- Gold Tier (1501+ points)
- Benefits as Above Plus:
- The Portunus Club Party
- Exclusive special event during your cruise Dedicated check-in in Southampton*
- Priority embarkation in Southampton*
- Exclusive embarkation lounge on board*
- Welcome Gift
*These benefits are only available on Southampton departures and do not apply to world voyages, segments of a world voyage or our Caribbean fly-cruise holidays.
P&O CRUISES TIPS & GRATUITIES
First of all, please do not worry about it - Who, when and how much you tip is entirely at your discretion. Tips are usually given in cash at the end of your holiday to your stateroom Steward, Restaurant Stewards in the Club Dining restaurants, and to any other staff who you feel you wish to reward.
The amount you tip is entirely up to you although, as a guide, P&O recommend a total amount per person (aged 12 and over) of £3.10 per day, which covers all staff who have looked after you during your holiday.
The only exception to this is for passengers travelling on Oceana and Ventura who have opted to enjoy the flexibility of Freedom Dining as, with this style of dining, you may be seated at a different table and served by a different waiter on each occasion. They will therefore add an automatic service charge of £1.60 per passenger, per day to your shipboard account for the Restaurant Stewards.
You will, of course, be able to increase or decrease these charges at your discretion by visiting Reception at any point during your cruise. You can also tip any other staff, including your stateroom Steward, as you feel appropriate.
P&O CRUISES SPECIAL OCCASIONS
Weddings & Special Occasions Onboard P&O Cruise Ships
What can be more romantic than getting married or renewing your wedding vows while you're at sea? The Weddings at Sea package allows you to do just that in absolute style and without any of the usual stress. Of course, if you have something else you want to celebrate then, whatever the occasion, P&O Cruises will help you to celebrate in style.
P&O's special occasion packages offer the perfect way to treat a loved one, a friend - or even yourself. If you would like to add that special touch to your time away, the Gift Collection offers everything you could need to say happy birthday, celebrate an anniversary, or to make your partner's day with a romantic gesture.
Weddings at Sea with P&O Cruise Ships
A wedding on a cruise ship is incomparable to anything you could ever experience ashore. This is what makes your weddings at sea package so remarkable. Not only do you have your own private wedding venue dressed with delicate fresh flowers, but you have the dedicated services of a personal wedding coordinator and a beautiful wedding ceremony hosted by the ship's Captain. All of the following are included in your P&O cruise weddings at sea package:
- Full wedding planning service and on board wedding coordinator
- Invitations delivered to your home address prior to cruise departure
- Pressing of bridal outfits prior to ceremony (service dependent on nature of garment)
- Attractive wedding ceremony venue on board
- A wedding ceremony at sea conducted by the Captain
- Two fresh floral arrangements for the ceremony
- Classical wedding music (or your choice of music)
- Commemorative wedding certificate
- Bottle of champagne
- Thank You notes for those guests attending your wedding at sea
- An additional 5kg luggage allowance for both bride and groom if travelling to the ship on a P&O Cruises charter flight
- 5% discount for parties of 10 or more
Gift Collection Onboard P&O Cruise Ships
Sailing with P&O Cruises is an occasion in itself, but you can add a little extra to make your holiday all the more memorable. The extensive range of gifts covers all the little luxuries in life including:
- Celebration packages
- Party platters
- Cakes, champagne, chocolates
- Flowers and wine
- Spa treatments
- Photography packages
- Dining out
- Gift cards
- Children's gifts
P&O CRUISES KIDS CLUBS
P&O Family Cruise Holiday
Enjoy family cruises on the family friendly Aurora, Azura, Oriana, Oceana and Ventura. These superliners were created with family enjoyment and comfort in mind. P&O Cruises are dedicated to ensuring the very best for your family on their family cruises making sure your family have a wonderful time and return home with amazing memories, which is why they created "The Reef" – the child and teenagers programme. Enthusiastic and well-qualified Reef Rangers have extensive training and experience in planning a wide range of play and leisure activities ensuring that your children will always be in safe hands. They really have thought of everything, so why not let them take the stress out of family holidays?
"The Reef" Onboard P&O Cruise Ships
The Reef is an exciting on board programme for 2-17 year olds, making P&O Cruises an ideal choice for cruises for families. Split into four age groups, there are a whole host of exciting activities organised daily by the qualified Reef Rangers, to keep children of all ages entertained and to ensure that they have the chance to make friends of their own age. Cruise age onboard P&O cruise ships are as follows:
- 'Splashers' for 2-4 year old children
- 'Surfers' for 5-8 year old children
- 'Scubas' for 9-12 year old children
- 'h2o' for 13-17 year old children
Family Dining Onboard P&O Cruise Ships
Normally children join their parents for breakfast and lunch but since you might occasionally want to dine on your own, on the family cruise holidays, P&O Cruises lay on a special children's tea every night featuring all the food that children will enjoy: sausages, fish fingers and pizza to name just a few. In addition there are many healthy options, such as salads, soups, fruit, vegetables and pasta.
Family Accommodation Onboard P&O Cruise Ships
The staterooms are well equipped for the needs of the whole family. Many have additional beds. For example, in the majority of twin staterooms, beds fold down from the ceiling or out from the wall. In staterooms, mini-suites and suites, the extra beds are sofa beds.
Family Shore Excursions with P&O Cruise Ships
On family cruise holidays P&O Cruises have a whole range of tours designed especially for families, meaning your time ashore will be as stress free as the rest of your holiday. With arranged transport, entrance fees and English speaking guides, all you need do is turn up and enjoy your time together.
P&O CRUISES SPECIAL NEEDS
Wheelchair Use On Board a P&O Cruise Ship
In order to receive the best possible service and advice, please contact Planet Cruise. P&O Cruises require all passengers bringing a wheelchair and/or scooter to travel with a personal assistant / travelling companion in order to assist in any day-to-day tasks and in moving around the ship, as a ship is not always the easiest environment for using a wheelchair and/or scooter.
When booking your cruise, you will be asked if you have any mobility or requirements. Please note that P&O Cruises are unable to provide wheelchairs for passenger use, as all ship's wheelchairs are for emergency use only. For this reason, they will require any passengers who will need the use of a wheelchair and/or scooter during the cruise to supply their own. If you require the use of a wheelchair and/or scooter in order to move around your cabin, you will need to book a wheelchair accessible cabin. You can book a non-adapted cabin if you have some independent mobility and do not use your wheelchair and/or scooter full time. Please note that the non-adapted cabins have narrower doorways and raised thresholds to the bathroom/shower room and are not suitable for full time wheelchair use.
Each of the ships in the P&O Cruises fleet has a number of wheelchair accessible cabins. The positions of these cabins are indicated on the deck plans which can be found in the cruise ship section of the Planet Cruise website. All of the wheelchair accessible cabins feature wide doorways into the cabin and bathroom, as well as sufficient floor space for wheelchair manoeuvrability. All wheelchair accessible balcony cabins feature ramped access to the balcony. The bathrooms in these cabins have a wet-room style shower room with a flush threshold into the cabin and grab rails for shower and toilet.
If you are do not use your wheelchair full time and are able to negotiate the cabin without it, you will be able to travel in one of our non-adapted cabins, but please note that you will need to bring a collapsible wheelchair and/or scooter which must be stored in your cabin when not in use.
When cruising from Southampton, the effortless experience of your P&O Cruises holiday starts before you have even reached the ship. You can rest assured that all of the cruise terminals used by P&O Cruises in Southampton are fully accessible for passengers using wheelchairs. All Southampton terminals have a dedicated check-in desk and accessible toilet facilities, with the majority of cruise terminals featuring lifts and high-level linked walkways to the ships, including P&O Cruises' very own Mayflower Terminal.
If you are bringing a wheelchair and/or scooter on board with you, you must notify Planet Cruise at the time of booking. P&O Cruises will then be able to ensure that the dedicated Mobility Assistance Team will be on hand to offer boarding assistance should you require it.
P&O Cruises can also offer assistance for passengers who are not bringing a wheelchair and/or scooter, but may need wheelchair assistance in order to board the ship. If you do require boarding assistance, please contact Planet Cruise to register your request. This will help P&O Cruises to ensure that they have adequate staff available on the day in order to keep check-in times to a minimum.