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P&O Cruises Overview
Founded in 1837, P&O Cruises is the oldest cruise line in the world. It is also the largest cruise operator catering for the British market. In 2003 it was bought by Carnival Corp. & Plc., becoming part of the largest cruise company in the world. P&O Cruises ships are easy to spot -- each one has a huge Union Jack painted across its hull.
Who goes on P&O Cruises 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 Gala 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.
What are P&O Cruises 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, let alone simulated skydiving, dodgems or simulated surfing. Daytime activities across the fleet consist of Daily 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.
Is everything free on P&O Cruises?
No, though 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. Though, from May 2019, tips are inclusive.