Although it is part of the giant Anglo-American Carnival Corporation, P&O Cruises is a quintessentially British line. Its home base is Southampton and the vast majority of passengers are from the UK. Whichever of the eight ships you choose, you can be sure of British tea, proper bacon on the buffet, British beers and entertainment geared to British tastes. There is an element of tradition, too, with dress codes for each night and at least one black tie evening per cruise, which passengers enjoy.
Founded in 1837, the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company, as P&O Cruises was then called, has a distinguished history of operating grand ocean liners. Now, in its incarnation as a modern cruise line, P&O is careful to appeal to the broadest possible market. Adonia (soon to be leaving the fleet), Arcadia and Oriana are sophisticated, adult-only ships, while Aurora, Azura, the flagship Britannia, Oceana and Ventura are known to have some of the best facilities for families in the industry, catering for children and teens from age two to 17. A new ship, as yet unnamed, will launch in 2020 at 180,000 tons: the biggest ever built for the British market.
The experience on each is different, as the ships vary in size and age. Oriana, the old lady of the fleet, has a very traditional feel, while the 3,647-passenger Britannia resembles a beautifully designed, minimalist boutique hotel.
On-board, children’s facilities aside, P&O Cruises prides itself on its association with a whole host of celebrity chefs, from Michelin-starred Atul Kochhar, who has top-notch Indian restaurants on Azura, Britannia and Ventura, to Marco Pierre White and wine expert Olly Smith, whose wine and tapas bar, The Glass House, is also on Azura, Britannia and Ventura. A tie-in with Strictly Come Dancing means there are regular ballroom-themed cruises, with appearances by the judges and competitors from the hit show.
With a sizeable fleet, P&O Cruises offers voyages all over the world, from two-night mini breaks to full world cruises. There is a big programme of ex-Southampton holidays, but also an impressive fly-cruise offering in the Caribbean, the Mediterranean and Asia, and from 2019, a brand new series of cruises in the Arabian Gulf.
My wife and I are going to travel round the world with P&O’s Arcadia starting on 3rd January 2020 (Southampton to Southampton). We are 75 year old and are profoundly deaf (BSL is our first language). We would be grateful if you have any special infromation, health safety and our Rights as the disabled pensioners. As for the entertainment on the crusie, we know and will not be able to hear the music, loud speaker (important annocument / special offer / etc), bingo (number caller), cinema (with sub-titles?). We rely on the superb WiFi on our smart phones because we use ‘face to face’ on BSL videoing, exchanging emails and SMS. I beleive the Arcadia may have 3 or 4 different WiFi networks and one of them could be the superb one, perhaps a suitable for the ship’s officers. I wonder if I could ask for this because it is very important for us to keep in touch with our family in UK during the 100 nights. Any good advice and tips from you please. Thank you.
Hello Richard, we would suggest speaking to the cruise lines themselves so that they are able to identify any extra services they might need to provide. I’ve found this page on P&O Cruises’ website (http://www.pocruises.com/accessibility/impairments-and-disabilities) which offers all the information you need. I hope this helps and enjoy your world cruise! Thanks, Emma.