Upcoming P&O Cruises Cruises: 2024 Prices, Itineraries + Activities on Cruise Critic (2024)

Britannia (Photo: P&O Cruises)

Upcoming P&O Cruises Cruises: 2024 Prices, Itineraries + Activities on Cruise Critic (1)

About P&O Cruises

P&O Cruises is the U.K.'s largest cruise line, with seven ships catering exclusively to the British market. The ships are based out of Southampton, dividing their time between the Caribbean, Northern Europe, the Mediterranean and the Canary Islands.

The line can trace its history right back to 1837, with the foundation of the Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Company, though it did not start carrying passengers until 1844 -- which is the date often used to determine when cruising as a holiday (rather than as a point-to-point journey) began.

P&O Cruises remained a British-owned company until 2003, when U.S. group Carnival Corp. bought it, sister brand Princess Cruises and spun off a third brand -- P&O Australia.

The line wears its history lightly, preferring to lean into a more contemporary British vibe of modern chefs (the line's "Food Heroes") including Marco Pierre White; entertainers, including Gary Barlow, who is the musical director of the two newest ships, and Olly Murs, who will christen the line's newest, Arvia; link ups with Aardman Animations (of Wallace and Gromit fame); and Brits' love of gin, rum, curry and fish 'n' chips, all of which you'll find represented across the fleet.

Of the seven ships, the five newest are family-friendly; and the older and smaller ships are adults only.

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P&O Cruises Tips, Activities, and Overview

Who goes on P&O Cruises cruise ships?

The line is aimed squarely at Brits, and that's pretty well the only nationality you'll find abroad at any time of year, wherever the ship is based. The demographic varies drastically depending on the type of ship and time of year. The adults-only ships tend to attract couples of 55-years plus; the family-friendly ones will attract families during the holiday periods, and then revert to 55+ couples outside of school holidays. Age will skew lower on the mini-break cruises to Europe and the Channel Islands.

P&O Cruises is also aimed squarely at Middle England -- it's not upmarket and not "bucket and spade". The line is about as typically British as you can get.

Do I have to dress up on a P&O Cruises cruise?

P&O cruisers veer on the side of smart during the evening (not Cunard smart, but certainly not casual or scruffy), with casual during the day -- shorts, T-shirts, baseball caps and flip flops are perfectly acceptable day wear. On elegant nights passengers tend to make an effort and you'll see a range of clothing from ball gowns and black tie to and dark suits and long dresses and heels.

Is everything free on P&O Cruises cruises?

No, though tips are included in the price of the cruise and you won't find the rampant upcharging you get on US lines. You'll pay extra for speciality restaurants, adults-only relaxation areas, the spa (treatments and thermal suite access), alcoholic and soft drinks.

What are P&O Cruises’s most popular activities?

P&O Cruises does not go in for adrenaline-filled activities like the US ships, so you won't even find a climbing wall even on the largest ships (though Arvia does have a ropes course), let alone simulated skydiving, dodgems or simulated surfing. Daytime activities across the fleet consist of activities range from the old-time favourites such as deck quoits, shuffleboard and table tennis to line dancing and party dance classes plus plenty of quizzes throughout the day including a pub challenge.

Why go with P&O Cruises?

  • Main homeport is Southampton
  • The biggest cruise line catering to the British market
  • Family-friendly ships with tailored, age-appropriate kids clubs
  • Check out our Five Top Britannia Tips

Best for: Brits keen to sail with their fellow country people, who want a home-from-home atmosphere.

Not for: Non-English speakers; late-night partyers or those who want lots of outdoor entertainment options

P&O Cruises Cruiser Reviews

We did our own thing and loved it.

Our fellow travellers were more active than on other cruises, and I have never seen such a queue for the salad bar before!!Service at the bar was quick enough, considering there were 5,000 passengers on board.Read More

Upcoming P&O Cruises Cruises: 2024 Prices, Itineraries + Activities on Cruise Critic (2)

Littlelostelf

few6-10 Cruises

Age 52s

The entertainment was probably the best part of the cruise and the signers and bands were out of this world.The staff were available on hand for every possible need or requirement and I would 100% return on board this cruise.Read More

Upcoming P&O Cruises Cruises: 2024 Prices, Itineraries + Activities on Cruise Critic (3)

Sean Morgan

oneFirst Time Cruiser

Age 24s

Mixed Bag

Food, we on the first night went to the Horizon, cant believe the difference, real change, no trays so instead of one journey, the place was bonkers, people everywhere making numerous journeys.Used to be lovely food, but that night it was like school, little choice.Read More

Upcoming P&O Cruises Cruises: 2024 Prices, Itineraries + Activities on Cruise Critic (4)

JAKE1DOG

few6-10 Cruises

Age 66s

awful cruise don't go

we will not be going with p&o again or recommending them to family orall the others involved extra chargesthe overall impression was that p&o were out to squeeze as much money out of passengers as they could.Read More

Upcoming P&O Cruises Cruises: 2024 Prices, Itineraries + Activities on Cruise Critic (5)

steam man

couple2-5 Cruises

Age 75s

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Upcoming P&O Cruises Cruises: 2024 Prices, Itineraries + Activities on Cruise Critic (2024)
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