The Cruising Baker emerged as a branch from British Cruising and so as well as writings about my travels, baking and explorations, I aim to keep you updated on the latest news and happenings from the UK cruise industry. Honestly, food and cruising…I can’t think of two better matched subjects!
Starting out in 1965 with a humble ship cruising between LA and Mexico, Princess Cruises has grown to become one of the most popular cruise lines in the world. Originally owned by P&O Cruises, the line now operates under Carnival’s umbrella when they acquired P&O Cruises in 2003. Today, its fleet carries more than a million passengers across the globe each year to more destinations than any other major line.
Princess Cruises: come back new
From relaxing pursuits and enriching activities to world-class entertainment and gourmet cuisine, when you step aboard, you are setting a course for a world of wonderful new discoveries.
Sound appealing? That’s what Princess guarantee when you choose to cruise with them. With numerous accolades to their name, Princess promises that you will ‘come back new’ after your time aboard. Whether you would like a mega ship holding 3500+ passengers, or something a little smaller, Princess Cruises have a ship to suit you.
Princess Cruises - Come Back New - YouTube
Princess Cruises have a long history with the UK cruise market and this continues to show with their dedication to the modern British cruise industry. Often having up to four ships home-porting right here in Britain, they offer you more choice than any other international cruise line. Furthermore, with a fleet of 18 ships (and growing) sailing to over 380 destinations worldwide, they promise to bring the globe to life.
Who sails with Princess Cruises
Princess are a family-friendly cruise line who pride themselves on the array of signature features and experiences they offer. Having ships based across the globe makes them an accessible choice for many cruisers, providing a rich and vibrancy across the fleet. Given their heritage, all announcements onboard are made in English and the currency is in US Dollars.
Immersive destinations. World-class cuisine. Joyful rejuvenation. That’s what’s on offer (and a whole lot more!) when you step onboard one of Princess’ beautiful ships. Onboard you will find a warm and inviting atmosphere, along with gorgeous, inspired spaces to help you make the most of your cruise.
From live production shows created by Broadway legends to world-class magicians and top headliner comedians, with Princess you will find entertainment to suit all tastes. Spend time in the beautiful Piazza where live music, folkloric performances, acrobats and jugglers, and even cocktail and food carving demonstrations await. Take part in The Voice of the Ocean or engage in one of many destination-themed activities onboard. Plus, with their incredible Discovery at SEA enrichment program, you can bring the spirit of adventure to every Princess cruise with Discovery and Animal Planet. You certainly won’t be short of things to see and do.
If relaxation is what you seek then Princess Cruises will not disappoint, offering a variety of ways to rejuvenate body, mind and soul. Find nirvana at the Lotus Spa or Sanctuary – a tranquil retreat reserved just for adults. Why not unwind by one of the deck pools, absorbing the fresh sea air and spectacular views, cocktail in hand. Then after an evening of spectacular entertainment and great food, retire to your stateroom where one of Princess’ luxury beds await.
From hand-tossed pizza to dazzling multi-course gourmet dinners, you’ll find enticing food and dining options throughout the day, as lovingly prepared as a home cooked meal.
Promising exceptional cuisine and tantalising treats, Princess Cruises offer a whole host of dining options throughout the day (and night!), most of which are included in your cruise fare! From a pool-side pizzeria and grill, to popular Piazza choices such as Alfredo’s Pizzeria and the 24-hour International Café. Breakfast and lunch are available in the ships elegant dinings rooms, where sumptuous, multi-course gourmet meals can also be found each evening. The more relaxed Horizon Court Buffet is also open for service and there is the 24-hour room service facility to make use of as well. Bon appétit.
As well as the above, there are also a range of speciality restaurants available for you to dine at for an additional fee. Savor the Italian flavours of Sabatini’s or premium steak and seafood cooked to perfection at Crown Grill. Fancy something a bit different? There are plenty of options to choose from. Find out what’s available and on which ships right here with Princess Cruises.
Craft cocktails, curated wines, premium coffee and more elevate your voyage from amazing to unforgettable
Princess Cruises offer a wide range of hot and cold soft drinks and alcoholic beverages for you to choose from throughout your cruise. Prices are perhaps a little higher than us Brits are accustomed to paying, which isn’t aided by the fact that all bar charges have a 15% gratuity automatically added to them.
There are an array of beverage packages to choose from should you wish to take advantage of having one set price. These range from a simple coffee package ($35.65 for 15 coffees), to a premier beverage package which includes all individual beverages up to $12 USD each. This comes at a cost of $59.99 USD per person, per day, plus 15% gratuity. This is also a non-alcoholic version currently priced at $8.05 per person, per day.
Please note, although I have tried my best to provide the most up-to-date information, all options and prices are subject to change.
Princess advise you to dress for a cruise with them in the same way you would for any stylish land-based resort. During the day this can include casual sportswear, shorts, lightweight trousers, jogging suits. Plus don’t forget your swimwear and flipflops for lounging by the pool on those sunny itineraries (or jumpers for the chilly ones!).
During the evening there are two dress codes: smart casual and formal. Formal requires elegant separates, tuxedos or dark suits, evening gowns or cocktail dresses. Smart casual attire includes smart seperates, trousers and open-neck shirts, skirts or dresses.
Restrictions: Shorts and halter tops are not permitted in dining rooms and shoes must be worn at all times. Pool or beach attire, baseball caps and casual jeans (with fraying and/or holes) are not permitted. However, smart jeans are acceptable on smart casual evenings.
Princess adds a discretionary gratuity automatically to your shipboard account on a daily basis. These are $15.50 USD per person when staying in a suite or $14.50 USD per person for mini-suites and club class guests, and $13.50 USD per person for interior, oceanview and balcony staterooms. This is shared amongst crew members who help to create your cruise experience. It is possible to adjust the amount charged to your account by visiting Customer Relations. There is also a 15% gratuity added to bar charges.
Meet the fleet
Princess Cruises has a large fleet that continues to grow! Below are just a selection of their ships. To find out more about their entire fleet, head to Princess Cruises.
Sapphire Princess. Larger ship.
Sea Princess. Midsized ship.
Pacific Princess. Small ship.
Emerald Princess. Larger ship.
Island Princess. Midsized ship.
Royal Princess. Large ship.
Why book with Princess Cruises?
Immersive Destinations. Winning numerous awards for their itineraries and shore excursions, Princess Cruises have teamed with local experts to help you make the most of every stop along the way. With a choice of 380 destinations across 7 continents, you won’t be short of inspiration when choosing your next cruise. With late night and overnight stays on offer in every region, you can delve even deeper into the local culture.
Multi award-winning. Princess Cruises are one of the most decorated cruise lines in operation today. They continue to push the boundaries of cruising and have achieved numerous awards of excellence across their fleet.
Sail from Southampton. If you’re not keen on flying but fancy what Princess has to offer, then fear not. During the Summer season, there is a great choice of sailings direct from Southampton!
Exquisite, destination-focused cuisine. Princess Cruises pride themselves on their culinary expertise. Destination-focused menus inspired by your itinerary adds a whole other dimension to your cruise experience. Moreover, with so many dining choices on offer, you won’t know where to begin when you step onboard!
The Captain’s Circle. Princess Cruises offer a fantastic loyalty scheme known as the Captain’s Circle. This can include a whole host of delights from invites to special events, to priority embarkation, onboard discounts, complimentary canapés and much more!
That’s a wrap!
That concludes this cruise line spotlight featuring Princess Cruises. I hope it has provided an insight into what you can expect should you choose to cruise with them! Below I have included an array of links that you may find helpful. Of course, if you have any specific questions that you would like me to answer then please do let me know! I will always try to help where I can.
It’s been a weekend full of exciting developments for P&O Cruises and their new ship Iona! The countdown is well and truly on! Iona will be the largest ship specifically designed for the British market and is sure to have the wow factor.
Introducing Iona’s Captain
Behind every great holiday is a talented team of people who have worked hard to make it happen.
In preparation for Iona’s 2020 launch, P&O Cruises are proud to introduce you to her captain, Wesley Dunlop, who will lead Iona and her crew through her inaugural summer season in the Norwegian Fjords.
I think this is a fantastic choice and I am sure that Captain Dunlop will take Iona and help make her the best ship she can be! I can’t wait to get onboard and head to Norway on this beautiful ship. You can find out more about Iona’s new Captain in this great Q&A session with the man himself! Introducing Iona’s Captain, Wesley Dunlop.
In other news:
P&O Cruises Iona to herald new firsts in luxury spa
Personally, I don’t really tend to use the spa onboard, but I am extremely passionate about health and wellbeing. So these latest developments, launching on Iona in Spring 2020, sound very enticing!
Taking relaxation to a new level
P&O Cruises will take relaxation and restoration to a new level when Iona launches in May next year, as it unveils details of the most luxurious wellness facility in its fleet. A salt steam room, destination themed treatments and infinity whirlpools are just some of the new features that will appeal to guests seeking to unwind completely.
The addition of the salt steam room marks a first for the P&O Cruises fleet, offering an exclusive space based on the classic steam room but with the added advantage of a salt brine solution. Salt therapy is a top spa trend and just a 45 minute treatment in the salt room offers enormous health and relaxation benefits.
Also making its debut is the experiential retail boutique – a specialist spa shop dedicated to skin, body and hair care. It will be a haven for anyone looking for expert advice and a chance to explore and experiment with a wide range of products.
Another new feature in Iona’s Spa will be a range of destination themed treatments. These locally-inspired therapies will bring the destination into the spa. Guests can choose from the Nordic Cleanse (a detoxifying treatment incorporating acupressure back massage and a warming body and face mask)or the Baltic & Ice Massage (adeep tissue massage using warm and cool stones). Both these treatments have been inspired by the Nordic heritage of hot and cold therapies.
Similar to other ships in the fleet, Iona will have a private open-air deck area, The Retreat, where cold flannels, chilled drinks, snacks and alfresco spa treatments are offered in the privacy of shaded cabanas. Iona’s Retreat will also have two infinity whirlpools.
In Iona’s state of the art gym there is a new range of classes to suit every interest and ability from meditation to high energy spinning. New classes include:
Boxing group fitness – a fun, physical cardio workout that builds strength and stamina
TRX suspension – training to develop strength, balance, flexibility and core stability
Functional training/HIIT – a cardio workout to boost stamina and hone body conditioning
Mindful programming – connect mind, body and soul with meditation and breathing classes
Group Cycle Connect – the ultimate indoor cycling experience on high-tech fitness bikes
Skillrow classes – a group cardio workout that simulates a rowing crew
Our new spa on Iona will be ideal for those looking to make the most of their ‘me-time’. From a restorative steam in our new salt room, to the relaxing qualities of a Nordic-inspired massage, guests will certainly feel the benefits whilst relaxing in this stylish space. — P&O Cruises president, Paul Ludlow
Trying to choose the best cabin can be a daunting task. Often presented with 15 to 20 different cabin categories per ship, you can quickly become lost in the sea of cabin numbers! However, there are essentially only five major cruise cabin types to choose from. Below I take a look at these choices in detail and provide some food for thought that you may want to consider when choosing your cabin.
Cruise cabin types: The fantastic five
Using P&O Cruises as an example, the five cruise cabin types that you will find on most cruise ships are:
As the name suggests, these are situated off of inside corridors, with no windows. Well appointed and comfortable, they provide a perfect place to put your feet up and relax. Depending on the ship and grade, some may have added extras such as a sofa or be larger in size.
Often the same as inside cabins, but have the benefit of a window or porthole with a view to the outside, which may be clear or obstructed, dependent on grade and location. Some ships have inside rooms with windows that overlook internal public spaces, such as Royal Caribbean, who have rooms with a view of the Royal Promenade.
Replacing the window is your very own balcony that provides you with a little bit of outside space without having to go up on deck. Depending on grades and ship these may be clear or obstructed view (more on this below) and may vary in the added amenities available. For example, some may have a small 2 seater sofa, whereas others may just have an armchair as demonstrated in the photo below.
Mini-Suites/Superior Deluxe Balcony Cabins
A larger cabin which usually has separate living and sleeping areas and a wide variety of extra amenities included. With P&O, guests are treated to extras such as bathrobes, flowers and champagne on arrival, as well as canapés and chocolates.
The ultimate class of cabin onboard, these vary from ship to ship with some ultra-luxury suites available. A large cabin with separate living and sleeping areas, a large balcony, countless added extras and a Butler to boot, it really is the ultimate way to travel.
It doesn’t matter how many grades or factors there are to consider, if you know which cabin type you’d like then you’re already half way there.
Food for thought
Number of passengers
Cabins are usually double occupancy, meaning prices will be based on two adults sharing. However, some may be reserved for single occupants, but these are few and far between and tend to be snapped up almost instantly. On the other hand, there are cabins designed to take three or four passengers (and sometimes more) with pullout sofa beds and/or pullmans beds (think bunk bed style). In these cabins, the third and fourth passengers will often pay a reduced rate.
Most cabin types have grades to suit up to four passengers. But it’s worth considering what type of cabin you really need. If four of you are travelling together, it may be cheaper to have two inside rooms for two passengers rather than one balcony cabin for four. So if you’re prepared to forfeit a balcony, you could have a lot more space per passenger, as well as a cheaper cruise bill. It is always worth spending that extra time pricing up your different options when there is a larger group of you.
The first two passengers will (usually) pay full fare
Cabins are nearly always based on double occupancy. This means the first two passengers, whatever their age, will usually pay full fare. Even if they’re children. Therefore, for families with children, it is (usually) cheaper to share a cabin. However, this is not always the case and there are occasions when it may be cheaper to have two cabins. Again, it is important to check your options to make sure you are getting the best value for money!
Location also plays a key role in price points for differing types of cabin. Cabins that are located Midship tend to be more expensive than those located at the Aft or Forward sections of the ship. This is because they are centrally located and, more importantly, are impacted the least when the seas are rough. Therefore, if ship movement worries you, a midship cabin will be more than worth the extra ££ for peace of mind alone.
However, if you’re like me and just happy to be onboard, no matter the location, then a guarantee cabin might be the best option. This is where you will be guaranteed a cabin in your selected grade or higher. This will save you both time and money. However, if location matters to you and choosing your exact cabin is important, then this is definitely not the option for you.
To save a little money you might consider an obstructed or misshapen cabin. These are often deemed as less desirable and therefore have a lower price point. However, in reality these can vary in the extreme and it isn’t always possible to see exactly what you are getting before you book. Sometimes, cruise lines upload specific cabin numbers to their FAQ pages, showing obstructions in detail before you book. I have added an example from P&O Cruises in the links below which provides a look at a number of varying obsturctions. It is very much a personal preference, but one you might want to consider when choosing a cabin.
Use a travel agent
All of the variations I have mentioned can often be found in each cabin type and are noted on the ships deck plans. As I say, it is important to check all your options to make sure you are getting the best value for money possible. However, it’s at this point it can become a little daunting – especially if you’re new to cruising. This is where the help of a cruise agent can make all the difference.
A good cruise travel agent will have all the answers you need and should be able to help you in selecting the best cabin type to suit you. Don’t feel bad about asking questions or requesting extra prices for different grades. A good agent will work with you to ensure you get the best options available. Therefore, don’t book unless you are 100% happy with your choice! Personally, I highly recommend Go Cruise with Jane – you won’t find a better cruise agent out there! Find her details below.
Finally, try not to worry – you’re booking a cruise after all! It need not be stressful. Enjoy the process as booking is all part of the excitement. Take your time and enjoy the moment…it’s not everyday you book a cruise!
If you have any questions or would like any more information or help, please do let me know! You can leave a comment below, drop me an email or head over to Twitter or Facebook and say Hi! I will always do my best to help.
Britains most popular cruise destinations! When sailing directly from the UK, the length of your cruise will play a large role in determining your itinerary. However, do not despair if you don’t fancy a fly-cruise. Although shorter cruises may not be able to travel as far, there are still several options you may wish to pursue! Those who can spare endless days onboard can sail away to their heart’s desire. But whether travelling north to visit the stunning Norwegian Fjords or embarking on a world circumnavigation taking you to Singapore, Sydney and beyond, choice is something you certainly do have the luxury of.
Popular cruise destinations from the UK
Thought to be the most popular cruise destination in the world, the Caribbean is a place like no other. Nearly every cruise line offers itineraries around these sunny shores and you don’t have to look far to see why! With turquoise-blue water and white sandy beaches, you’ll find no end of glorious spots to while away the time and top up the tan! For the more adventurous, there are rainforests to visit and action-packed activities such as zip-lining, snorkelling, cave tubing and more! The Caribbean provides the holiday of a lifetime, which you will just have to repeat!
A little closer to home, the wide straits of Gibraltar mark the entrance to the Mediterranean, which stretches over 2000 miles to its end at the Suez Canal. Enroute you will find culture, history and architecture to fascinate the mind, and a beautiful climate to top. Add in an array of delectable treats from Spanish tapas to Italian pasta and the Med becomes hard to resist! Visit the sites and see the empires left by the Greeks, Romans and Egyptians! Or relax on the seafront soaking up the atmosphere. The choice is yours.
The Norwegian Fjords and Scandinavia
From the cities of Scandinavia to the vast Fjords of Norway, discover picture-perfect locations and coastlines, all surrounded by some of Western Europe’s most cultured capitals. To understand the true scale of the magnificent Fjords, one can do no better than experiencing them by cruise. Dwarfing even the largest of cruise ships, the Norwegian Fjords are simply stunning! A popular choice given their proximity to the UK, why not experience them yourself. From lush valleys to folklore and trolls…you certainly won’t regret it! Fancy something a little different? Why not explore the beautiful cities of Scandinavia at Christmas? Or travel North in search of snow and the incredible Northern Lights…the possibilities are endless.
The Baltic and Russia
Full of culture, history and outstanding architecture make the Baltics perfect for exploration. From forests with winding rivers to gilded cities and medieval towns, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to enrich the soul! Carved by the ocean in both history and nature, the Baltics thrive on ocean life and activity. Cruising is perhaps the perfect way to experience the culture and splendour of the Baltics.
The Canary Islands
The jewel in Spain’s crown, the Canary Islands are situated off the west coast of Morocco. Each island has something unique to offer and between them you’ll find something to suit all tastes. A popular cruise destination for us Brits during the winter months, the weather is beautiful for most of the year. Housing four nature reserves among the seven islands, you will be in awe by the beauty that surrounds you. From beaches to volcanic craters, there is plenty to keep you amused!
The British Isles
If you have a passion for history, stunning scenery and culture, then you need not look any further than our very own British shores! Bursting with history, we have it all. From castles and stately homes to country cottages and ancient towns. With enough iconic locations than we know what to do with, it’s quite amazing what we have on our doorstep. Cruising is certainly a brilliant way to explore the variety of culture and tastes on offer within the United Kingdom!
The USA and Canada
Available for a round trip from the UK, North America is rich in beauty and charm. Begin up north on the eastern coast of Canada where you will find an array of breathtakingly stunning destinations. The mighty mountains to picturesque villages of Canada will leave you awe-struck and inspired. Make your way further south to explore the East coast of the USA where you will find everything from sandy beaches and ripe vineyards, to national parks and magnificent marinas. North America has something for every cruiser and is sure to impress all who sets sail on this voyage of discovery.
Following on from the adventures of North America, we reach not so much a destination but an iconic type of cruise. Embark on a transatlantic voyage, where your experiences will provide you with memories unlike no other. Why not travel in style with Cunard on the most famous ocean liner in the world? With a choice of east and west-bound sailings, plus a round trip should you wish to cruise both ways, witness the golden sun beaming over the New York skyline as you sail past the Statue of Liberty. You won’t be disappointed!
Keeping on the topic of cruise types, escape on a mini-cruise in search of relaxation and discovery. With ports of call close at hand offering cultural delights and historic adventures, we are spoilt for choice when taking a short break from the UK. If you’re new to cruising and not quite sure you’re ready for a full-scale holiday… or maybe you want to introduce a friend to cruise life? Perhaps you’re just tempted to escape reality for a few days, then there is no better option than jumping on a mini-cruise. And with great deals often available, why wait?!
Fly out cruise home!
For those who want to travel a bit further but are not keen on flying and/or are short of time, then it might be worth considering a fly out, cruise home option. We’ve done a few cruises like this (my Dad isn’t keen on flying!) and they work really well…especially if you want to head to the USA or Caribbean. You can also catch up with cruises from Dubai and South Africa and sail directly back to the UK. It’s perfect as you can get the stress of flying out of the way and all of these options are available for cruises 19 nights or less.
To finish? The world is your oyster. This is the journey you’ve always dreamed of. Embark on the journey of a lifetime and sail the world! You’ll visit a huge range of diverse destinations, from the vibrant cities of Shanghai and San Francisco, to the laidback destinations of Barbados and the South Pacific Islands and more. Make incredible memories, experience an array of cultures, and sample the most exotic locations our world has to offer. An opportunity many would die for…if you can, why not? The world is waiting.
What’s at the top of your bucket list? I will always love Norway and have been lucky enough to do many of these destinations! Below you will find some links that you may find useful. But for now…
Perhaps Britains biggest and most loved cruise line, P&O Cruises has been sailing the seas for over 180 years. But what makes them tick? The first in a new series of blogs, I will be shining the spotlight on different cruise lines, showcasing the aspects that are important when helping you decide if they could be your perfect cruise line! As my most cruised line, what better place to start than with P&O Cruises.
P&O Cruises: calling life’s explorers
P&O Cruises (short for Peninsular & Oriental Cruises) is Britain’s oldest cruise company, tracing their roots back through over 180 years of history. Having won several awards, including ‘Best Overall Cruise Line’ and ‘Best Family Cruise Line’, they pride themselves on being one of Britain’s favourite cruise providers. P&O Cruises promise friendly, attentive service, outstanding, fine dining and an array of activities and entertainment, all tailored to meet British tastes.
P&O Cruises Britannia. Captain Paul Brown.
Having an intimate style, P&O Cruises bridge the gap between traditional and contemporary cruising, while providing the latest in modern entertainment, technology and innovation. With Oriana departing the fleet in August 2019, there will be six ships sailing under the P&O Cruises flag. Their latest ship, Iona, will bring this total back to seven when she joins the fleet in May 2020, with an eighth due in 2022! Each ship has its own unique character, being crafted to suit a range of British tastes. From action-packed family holidays to more tranquil and relaxed adult only cruises. They are sure to have a ship which suits your personality!
Who sails with P&O Cruises
Given their heritage, pretty much every single aspect of P&O Cruises has been thoughtfully designed with British tastes in mind. From in-cabin tea and coffee facilities and UK plug points to the largest selection of British Ales at sea – P&O Cruises have you covered. They focus on exploring the world in comfort and style, helping you to make the most of every moment.
One of the aspects I love about P&O Cruises is how they are truly multi-generational. There really is something onboard for everyone, whether young or young at heart! They provide the perfect foundation to build your family holiday and you will often find three (or four!) generations choosing to cruise together each year. How amazing is that?
If you prefer a childless holiday, then fear not. As well as being perfect for the whole family, P&O Cruises also have ships designed exclusively for adults. The choice is yours!
Life on board
Offering a blend of discovery, relaxation and great service, P&O Cruises have much to offer when you choose to cruise with them.
From social gatherings and card games to dance classes, quizzes, bingo and beyond, there’s no shortage of activities onboard. All ships in the fleet have swimming pools, spas, sports areas, shops and a variety of bars and lounges to suit all tastes! There are also enrichment programmes featuring guest speakers and experts on a range of different subjects. A variety of themed cruises including food, music and dance provides the oppotunity to get up close and personal with some of your favourite chefs and Strictly Come Dancing professionals!
As the evening draws in the ships come alive with the sound of music, dance and great conversation. Featuring live music, West End style shows, comedy and cabaret, the possibilities are endless. And we mustn’t forget those fabulous sailaway parties that P&O Cruises are famous for!
Variety is the spice of life when it comes to dining with P&O Cruises. There are numerous options onboard providing you with ample choice and the chance to, quite literally, eat your way through each day! Breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus afternoon tea, are all served in the Main Dining Rooms, where gourmet meals and excellent service awaits your arrival. Gala nights provide an extra bit of sparkle with themed menus created by ‘Food Hero’ Marco Pierre White. If you fancy something a little less formal, then every ship has a buffet restaurant and varying ‘fast food’ outlets accessible throughout the day. All of which are inclusive in your cruise.
For something a little different, there are a range of speciality restaurants across the fleet which you can choose to dine at for an additional fee. From extraordinary fine dining in Epicurean to the more fun and relaxed Beach House and the firm favourite that is Sindhu, and plenty more in between. One thing’s for certain, you won’t be short of choice!
P&O Cruises have a huge range of hot and cold soft drinks and alcoholic beverages for you to choose from. With no service charge onboard (many cruise lines add 15% on to every bar bill), and price lists that are extremely competitive to those found on land, P&O Cruises are one of the most reasonably priced cruise lines.
Recently, new drinks packages have been rolled out across the fleet with varying options depending on your personal preferences. You can find out more about these in the links below.
During the day, there is a relaxed atmosphere onboard and you are welcome to wear the same clothes as you would on any other holiday. During the evening there are two dress codes: “evening casual” and “black tie”. Black-tie attire includes a dinner jacket, tuxedo or a dark suit for men, and a ball gown, trouser suit or cocktail dress for ladies. Evening casual includes stylish leisurewear such as casual separates or dresses for ladies and open-neck shirts/polo shirts and casual long trousers for men. A jacket is completely optional and T-shirts are also ok providing they do not contain any offensive symbols or language on them.
Restrictions: In the evening trainers, shorts, football shirts and tracksuits are not permitted; smart denim and jeans are acceptable. The dress code applies to all restaurants and bars. Swimwear is not permitted in the lounges, indoor bars, restaurants or reception area, at any time.
In recent years P&O Cruises have favoured the auto-tipping policy in line with many other cruise companies. However, they recently announced that for cruises departing after May 2019 tipping isn’t required on board! There are also no service charges when purchasing drinks onboard.
Good service, good value and good times are all part and parcel of your P&O Cruises holiday.’ — P&O Cruises
Of course, you are still welcome to tip a specific person should you feel they’ve gone that extra mile. You can also personally recognise a crew member by nominating them for our Outstanding Service Award. This provides crew with the opportunity to gain the recognition they deserve, as well as prizes and a cash award.
Meet the fleet
Aurora. Adult only, mid-sized ship.
Arcadia. Adult only, mid-sized ship.
Azura. Family friendly, larger ship.
Ventura. Family friendly, larger ship.
Britannia. Family friendly, larger ship.
Oceana. Family friendly, mid-sized ship.
Iona. Family friendly, larger ship. Arriving May 2020.
Coming 2022. Family friendly, larger ship.
Why book with P&O Cruises?
Designed specifically for the British market. Yes, that means tea and coffee facilities in your cabin, UK plug points, excellent service and outstanding dining and entertainment options. Not to mention elegantly designed ships – all created to suit British tastes.
Sail from Southampton. Being based in Britain means P&O Cruises offer an unparalleled amount of choice when sailing from Southampton, 365 days a year! If that’s not all, they also offer a variety of fly-cruises and worldwide ports of call!
Choice, Choice, Choice. With so many ships, both family friendly and adult only, as well as an array of destinations, the choice is all yours. Plus, when it comes to dining and entertainment, you can do as much (or as little!) as you like.
No tips expected. Tipping is solely at your own discretion – From June 2019 onwards, no pesky auto-tipping policy to stress about.
Everything is in Pounds Sterling. From booking to settling your onboard account, everything is in Great British Pounds meaning no exchange rates and bank charges. Plus, isn’t it a pain when you have to spend ages working out how much things cost in ‘real’ money?
The Peninsular Club. A fantastic loyalty scheme organised by P&O Cruises which rewards guests for their continued loyalty. Perks included between 5% and 10% discount on purchases onboard, complimentary sailaway champagne and priorty embarkation and disembarkation.
P&O Cruises: calling life’s explorers
That’s a wrap!
That concludes this cruise line spotlight featuring P&O Cruises. I hope it has provided an insight into what you can expect should you choose to cruise with them! Below I have included an array of links all about P&O Cruises that you may find helpful. Of course, if you have any specific questions that you would like me to answer then please do let me know! There isn’t much I don’t know about P&O Cruises…and if I don’t know, I will certainly find out for you.
Stay tuned for future cruise line spotlights coming soon.
It’s the end of our World Cruise with the CLIA! Six weeks have passed and we’ve called at some incredible destinations along the way. From sipping cocktails in Singapore to searching for penguins in Antarctica. We’ve just about covered it all! However, we have one last continent to conquer on this epic World Cruise. That’s right…we’re heading closer to home.
CLIA World Cruise: Europe
Perhaps not the best destination to be talking about in the UK at the moment! But you can’t get away from the fact that there are some truly stunning destinations to visit in Europe and we are very lucky to have them on our doorstep. Whether it’s searching for the culture, scenery and charm of Northern Europe, or heading further south in search of some Mediterranian style, a cruise around this continent has a lot to offer.
Destination 25: Villefranche (Nice), France
Currency – Euro
Its picturesque backdrop and convenient location make Villefranche a perfect port to call at when cruising the Mediterranean. A maze of steeply terraced, cobbled streets make this ancient fishing village a wonder to explore. Soak up the atmosphere and Gallic charm of the iconic French Riviera as you stroll along the seafront. Or head further in where you will find an array of intimate shops, cafés and restaurants to suit all tastes. Fancy something a little different? Then head further afield to explore the medieval villages of Eze and St Paul-de-Vence.
Destination 26: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Currency – Euro
Amsterdam – a popular destination for us Brits and perfect for those who might prefer a short cruise given how its just off our doorstep. Full of history, culture and beauty, you will find an eclectic mix of narrow and winding streets, mesmerising canals and enchanting shops and cafés. With so much to explore, it’s often hard to know where to start! But Amsterdams laid back atmosphere will ensure your time on land is anything but stressful.
Destination 27: Hamburg, Germany
Currency – Euro
With over a thousand years of maritime history, Hamburg is among the most fascinating ports of call in Europe. Located on the Elbe River, there is more to this city than first meets the eye. With numerous parks, hundreds of canals and stunning architecture both old and new, Hamburg is a beauty to behold. Lose yourself in history and art, experience the vibrant city life or just take a wander and absorb the local culture. Whatever you choose, Hamberg is sure to impress.
Destination 28: La Spezia (Cinque Terre), Italy
Currency – Euro
Situated on the Ligurian coastline, the historic town of La Spezia is becoming increasingly more popular among cruisers. One of Italy’s most important harbours, there is certainly much to explore whether staying close to port or travelling further afield. The subtle charm of La Spezia makes it perfect for relaxing whilst combining the best of spectacular scenery, great food and perhaps a glass of wine or two! For culture-vultures, you will find numerous churches dating back to the 13th century, and seven museums to explore! La Spezia is also the gateway to the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Cinque Terre National Park, a picturesque collection of five historic villages located on the coastline and connected via a stunning coastal path.
Destination 29: Argostoli, Kefalonia
Currency – Euro
The largest of the Greek Ionian Islands, Kefalonia (Cephalonia) is surrounded by clear sapphire waters and golden sands, all of which are watched over by mountainous greenery and beautiful countryside. With many of the islands top attractions being located nearby, a day on these enchanting shores will leave you relaxed and recharged. Head out on a glass-bottomed boat, explore the Drogorati Caves, or just lose yourself in the natural beauty as the sun sets on this gorgeous island.
That’s a wrap!
And that concludes our CLIA World Cruise. What a great start to the year! I can’t believe that we have reached the end of our epic voyage of discovery. However, I am sure there will be more great adventures to come during 2019 with the CLIA! In the meantime, be sure to follow them on the CLIA Facebook, Twitter and Instagram channels for all the latest news and more. Of course, I have lots of exciting things to come throughout 2019 and I hope you will continue to join me – please do sign up below to stay updated! I am forever grateful for your support – it’s never taken for granted.
Mental health problems can affect anyone. They do not distinguish between race, gender, height, weight, hair or eye colour – mental health is universal and does affect us all. Today’s society sees one in four of us being affected by mental health problems and yet people are still afraid to talk about it. For many suffering, there is still an unspoken stigma casting shadows over many walks of life. But change is happening and Time to Talk Day 2019 is a big part of that change.
Time to Talk Day 2019
An initiative pioneered by Time to Change, a UK based organisation who are creating a growing social movement which aims to change how we all think and act about mental health. Time to Talk Day encourages everyone to talk about mental health and this year it’s taking place on Thursday 7th February.
This year’s Time to Talk Day is all about bringing together the right ingredients, to have a conversation about mental health. Whether that’s tea, biscuits and close friends or a room full of people challenging mental health stigma, we want you to get talking.” — Time to Change
A Knock At The Door - Time to Talk Day 2019 - YouTube
Get involved: Support Time to Talk Day 2019
There are lots of ways you can get involved this Time to Talk Day. Whether at work, home, in a lift, up a mountain or at your knitting club, you can start a conversation about mental health anywhere. Yes, talking about mental health isn’t always easy, but there are some key ingredients that can help you throw away those worries and make a good conversation about mental health. Here are some things to help you make the most of Time to Talk Day 2019.
Set the scene – Tea and biscuits (or cake!)
Talking about mental health doesn’t need to be formal. We don’t have to sit at a desk with a pad and pen, scribbling notes and recording every detail. It’s about creating natural conversation in an environment you’re comfortable in. For me, a good brew and some biscuits or cake are vital ingredients for creating great conversation. Indeed, I dedicated my classic sponge cake recipe to this very notion (find the link below).
However, for others, even that might be a touch too formal. But that’s the beauty of creating conversation about mental health – you can do it anywhere. Off to the gym? Have a conversation. Walking the dog? Have a conversation. Lunch break at work? Have a conversation. Stuck in traffic? Have a conversation. Every conversation, however small, makes a positive difference.
Be there, listen and make time
When talking to someone who is struggling with their mental health, take care to ensure they are as comfortable as possible and offer reassurance and support. Dealing with mental health can feel scary. But as I’ve spoken about before, more often than not all you need to do is listen. You are not expected to fix the problem and so don’t try to. It’s the little things that make a world of difference. Be there. Listen. Make time. A text, a phone call, a quick brew, biscuit and chat. You could change someone’s day for the better.
Supporting Time to Talk Day online is just as important. Last year over 100,000 people got involved in Time to Talk Day, sharing posts, using #TimetoTalk and starting conversations about mental health. Every single post, share and like is a little step closer to breaking down the stigma surrounding mental health. Why not take part in the #TimetoTalk ingredient selfie?
Let’s make Time to Talk Day 2019 the biggest and best yet. Get involved and make sure you have a conversation about mental health!
Can you believe we are nearing the end of our World Cruise with the CLIA! In our penultimate week of cruising we departed Grenada and headed south in search of love, passion and penguins!
CLIA World Cruise: South America and Antarctica
A cruise featuring South America and Antarctica offers the chance to experience a whole host of incredible opportunities. Of course, these destinations are not mutually exclusive. So if the chillier climes of Antarctica aren’t your cup of tea, then you will find plenty of cruises which keep the cold at bay! However, cruise lines often offer the opportunity to experience both extremes. And extremes they are! From rivers and rainforests and colourful capitals to icy cliffs, mountains of snow and an army of penguins…you won’t be short of the wow factor when cruising South America and Antarctica.
Destination 20: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Currency – Argentine Peso
The capital of Argentina, Buenos Aires has a unique and haunting grandeur that harks back to its colonial past and European heritage. Today, Buenos Aires is a thriving cosmopolitan city in its own right. Known as the “Paris of the South”, the city is full of life, soul and Parisian style, exuding charm and passion. Explore the city sights, head to the Colon Theatre, one of the worlds greatest opera houses, or just sit back and absorb the atmosphere in one of the lively tango cafés and bars.
Destination 21: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Currency – Brazillian Real
Rio de Janeiro is, perhaps, the jewel in Brazil’s crown. From the moment you sail in, to the time you say goodbye, Rio is sure to enrich the soul and leave you in awe. Plenty of sunshine, golden beaches and a vibrant social atmosphere provides plenty of opportunity to soak up the local culture. Head up Sugar Loaf Mountain and marvel at the breathtaking views, or visit the heart of the city, Praca Floriano. Here you will find the very best that Rio has to offer!
Destination 22: Montevideo, Uruguay
Currency – Uruguayan Peso
A historic and vibrant city, Montevideo is the capital of Uruguay and provides an eclectic combination of European and South American culture. Located on the northern shore of the River Plate, it is home to around half of the nation’s entire population. Montevideo’s troubled past is clear to see with historic camps and forts preserved as a remembrance to days gone by. The Old City is full of architectural delights that unearth even the most hidden adventurer within. A wonder to explore, a day in Montevideo will certainly leave you intrigued and inspired!
Destination 23: Ushuaia, Argentina
Currency – Argentine Peso
Located at the very south of America, Ushuaia is known as the southernmost town in the world. Steeped in history, sailing to and around Ushuaia was once feared by many given its reputation for rough seas and rocky coastlines! Today, however, it is an adventurers’ gateway to the wilderness beyond, where snowy mountains, glaciers and icy streams await. Ushuaia is also one of the nearest ports of call to Antarctica! Whether skiing, kayaking, or just enjoying a hot toddy, it’s certainly an adventurers delight.
Destination 24: Paradise Bay, Antarctica
Currency – USD and GBP
Antarctica – the most isolated continent on earth! Paradise Bay is a sheltered, natural harbour in West Antarctica and is one of only two ports used by cruise ships. Ever changing icebergs or severe weather conditions mean a stop here cannot be guaranteed, with many cruise lines opting for a day of scenic cruising. However, expedition cruises can give you the chance to hike across this icy continent and get up close to the local penguins! Perhaps the ultimate cruise destination in terms of a once in a lifetime experience, how many people do you know who can say they’ve been to Antarctica?
That concludes our penultimate week on the CLIA World Cruise as we sailed around South America and down to Antarctica. What a week! Next week we will be sailing closer to home as we come to the end of our voyage. Yep…we’re heading to Europe. Be sure to follow the #CLIAworldcruise over on the CLIA Facebook, Twitter and Instagram channels for the latest destinations and fun facts. I will be here next week with your final weekend round up to cover our very last ports of call.
We’ve reached the end of another week exploring some incredible destinations on our CLIA World Cruise. This week we crossed the International Date Line, hit the sunny shores of the Caribbean and headed further north to the mountain ranges!
CLIA World Cruise: North America and the Caribbean
A cruise featuring North America and the Caribbean offers endless opportunities and the chance to discover a diverse array of history and culture, topped with an abundance of natural beauty and scenic delights. Revel on the sun-kissed sands of the Caribbean or head North to the chillier climes of Canada, or even Alaska! Every port offers unique experiences and a chance to enrich the soul.
Destination 15: New Orleans, USA
Currency – US Dollar
A diverse mix of African, French and Caribbean cultures make for a unique and vibrant city life in New Orleans. Located on the Mississippi River, this city has character by the bucket load and is famous for its laid back atmosphere, delicious Cajun and Creole cuisine and, of course, that jazz and blues. Explore the historic French Quarter with its unique atmosphere and 18th-century architecture before jumping in a streetcar to take in the city sights. End your day in a local bar, soaking up the sounds of rhythm & blues – is there a more relaxed city in the world?
Destination 16: San Francisco, USA
Currency – US Dollar
A personal bucket list destination of mine, San Francisco is billed as a travel experience like no other. Perhaps the most scenic city in the USA, it is a fascinating destination with a colourful history and relaxed atmosphere. Explore the city hills by tram, cross the waters to explore Alcatraz or even head to Fisherman’s Wharf and say hello to the seals! The variety on offer is sure to delight. Of course, there is also that unforgettable sail in under the Golder Gate Bridge, which guarentees an entrance like no other!
Destination 17: Vancouver, Canada
Currency – Canadian Dollar
One of the largest cities in Canada, Vancouver is the gateway to so many spectacular sights and adventures. Beyond its picturesque waterfront and modern architecture lies lush forests and snow-capped mountains. Also home to one of the largest national parks in North America, Vancouver provides ample opportunity to explore nature at its finest. Back in the heart of the city, there is plenty to keep you entertained. From world-class theatre and opera to music and dance, culture-vultures will be in their element. Topped off with a dynamic and friendly atmosphere, Vancouver is sure to leave you satisfied. If that’s not all…it’s also the cruise gateway to Alaska! Awesome!
Destination 18: Kralendijk, Bonaire
Currency – US Dollar
Heading south to the Caribbean, Bonaire is the least developed (and best preserved!) of the Caribbean ABC islands: Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao. Kralendijk is known for its pristine beaches and Marine Park, where the coral reefs and colourful fish make it a popular spot for snorkellers and divers. Further north you will discover freshwater swampland that is home to a variety of wildlife including pelicans, parrots and geese. Oh, and keep an eye out for the flamingos!
Destination 19: St Georges, Grenada
Currency – US Dollar
The island of spice! A personal favourite of mine, Grenada is among the most idyllic and picturesque islands in the Caribbean. Despite its size, Grenada is home to mountainous valleys and volcanic craters, lush rainforests with cascading waterfalls. Plus some of the most stunning beaches in the Caribbean! And why the island of spice? Well, because Grenada grows more spices per square mile than anywhere else in the world!
That concludes this leg of our CLIA World Cruise as we crossed North America and the Caribbean. Next week we will be sailing south to explore South America and Antartica! Be sure to follow the #CLIAworldcruise over on the CLIA Facebook, Twitter and Instagram channels for the latest destinations and fun facts. As always, I will be here next week with your weekend round up on our latest ports of call.
Some exciting news from P&O Cruises today who have announced new chefs set to guest star in Britannia’s very own Cookery Club! Read on to find out more.
Famous names join the line up as guest chefs in Britannia’s Cookery Club
P&O Cruises is serving up a mezze of new guest chefs on Britannia this year.
Host of BBC’s Saturday Kitchen, Matt Tebbutt; chef and author Sabrina Ghayour; award-winning chocolatier Paul A Young and Michelin-starred chef Robert Thompson will travel with P&O Cruises in 2019 and will serve up some of the best foodie experiences to be found on land or sea and will also inspire Britannia’s guests to recreate the culinary magic once they return home.
Each chef will offer interactive masterclasses in Britannia’s state-of-the-art Marco Pierre White Cookery Club where they will cook a range of seasonal and speciality dishes; hosted dinners where guests can enjoy three courses at the chef’s table with paired wines as well as Q&A sessions and book signings.
Each of these vibrant, contemporary chefs have very different styles of cooking, they are all hugely successful and incredibly passionate about what they do. As the holiday company for anyone with an interest in food, I’m delighted that our guests will have the opportunity to meet with, and learn from, some of the most exciting chefs around while cooking up some truly extraordinary gourmet experiences. Holidays are made of memories such as these.”
— P&O Cruises president, Paul Ludlow.
Matt Tebbutt is passionate about Modern British cooking, making the most of local, seasonal produce and getting back to nature by using wild and foraged foods. After university, he attended the prestigious Leith’s School of Food and Wine in London. He then landed a traineeship with Marco Pierre White, followed by a stint of classic French cooking at Chez Bruce. Moving on to work for his hero Alistair Little, he picked up tips on high-quality, rustic cooking and seasonal ingredients.
Matt and his wife Lisa ran The Foxhunter in Nantyderry, for fourteen years, turning it into an award-winning restaurant with a daily-changing menu featuring local Welsh ingredients and Matt’s foraging finds. Since he left the kitchen to focus on TV work, Matt has presented Market Kitchen on uktv Good Food, filmed eight series of Food Unwrapped on Channel 4 and now presents Saturday Kitchen for the BBC. He also presents Best Bites on BBC2 and recently filmed two series of Save Money: Good Food with Susanna Reid.
Matt will be joining Britannia’s B907 seven-night The Netherlands, Belgium & Guernsey sailing departing 29 March, 2019. Select prices from £549 per person.
Paul A Young
Paul A Young is a groundbreaking and inspirational chocolatier who is at the forefront of the British chocolate scene. He trained as a chef before moving into the world of chocolate, Paul’s passion for his craft and his cutting edge creativity have won him numerous awards including Best Sea Salted Caramel in the World and led to him being ranked amongst the world’s best chocolatiers.
Paul has three chocolateries in London, including a flagship store on Wardour Street in Soho.
He has a reputation as an incredibly creative chocolatier, a flavour alchemist who often incorporates unusual flavours into his wonderful chocolates and develops flavour combinations that are original, experimental, sometimes daring, yet always perfectly balanced.
The International Chocolate Awards named Paul Outstanding British Chocolatier.
Paul’s dedication to his craft, his personality and his experimental creativity shine through in the quality of his chocolates and through the style of his beautiful, indulgent boutique chocolateries. Paul has appeared regularly on our screens, including most recently as an expert on BBC Two’s Made in Great Britain and popular historic series The Sweet Makers. Paul’s first book ‘Adventures with Chocolate’, won the World’s Best Chocolate Book at the Gourmand Cookbook Awards shortly after publication.
Paul will be joining Britannia’s B909 13-night Canary Islands & Portugal sailing departing 7 April, 2019. Select prices from £1,099 per person.
Robert Thompson is an award-winning chef serving up contemporary British cuisine in an open kitchen concept at Thompson’s Restaurant in Newport on the Isle of Wight. His reputation as the youngest chef in the UK to be awarded a Michelin star gave him the platform to promote his own style, ideas and talent amongst the culinary world.
Robert’s style has always been a congenial one: his menus have remained brief, his style of cooking respectful of the old classics, yet mindful of a modern dining trend that values, above all, lightness and freshness. He always looks no further than the producers outside his front door and continues to be an ambassador for Isle of Wight ingredients.
Robert will be joining Britannia’s B915 seven-night Guernsey, Belgium & The Netherlands sailing departing 1 June, 2019. Select prices from £549 per person.
Sabrina Ghayour – Persian and Middle Eastern Chef, Cookery Teacher and Author
British-Iranian Chef and food writer Sabrina Ghayour is a self-taught cook and multi-award winning, 3-time best-selling author who made her name hosting the hugely popular ‘Sabrina’s Kitchen’ supper club in London, specialising in Persian and Middle Eastern flavours.
Hailed by The Observer as ‘The Golden Girl of Persian Cuisine’, her debut cookbook ‘Persiana – Recipes from the Middle East and beyond’ published in 2014 became a runaway success topping the UK’s bestseller lists and receiving the prestigious accolade of Observer Food Monthly’s ‘Best New Cookbook 2014’ and winning ‘Best Cookbook of the Year 2015’ by Food and Travel Magazine.
Sabrina is a regular face on BBC1’s Saturday Kitchen as well as appearing on Sunday Brunch and as a guest judge on Great British Menu, Celebrity Masterchef and Top Chef Canada.
She has become a ‘go to’ figure for Persian and Middle-Eastern recipes, history and ingredient wisdom and is a seasoned cookery teacher, teaching her own Persian, Moroccan, Lebanese, Georgian and Modern Middle Eastern cookery classes as well as teaching at Divertimenti, Leith’s and other prestigious cookery schools in the UK.
Sabrina will be joining Britannia’s B919 14-night Scandinavia & Russia sailing departing 6 July, 2019. Select prices from £1,599 per person.
*All prices correct at time of going to press.
Fancy a class in the Cookery Club?
Then head over to www.pocruises.com for more information. I’m excited by these new top-notch chefs and the variety they bring to the table. Hopefully it will be a bright future for Britannia’s Cookery Club!
Keep smiling and happy sailing!
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