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Canary Islands - N424

14th Sep 2024 | 14 nights | P&O Cruises | Ventura

Family Friendly Cruise
Tips Included
Choose Saver or Select Price (with benefits)
Funchal, Madeira
Santa Cruz de la Palma
Santa Cruz, Tenerife
Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
Arrecife, Lanzarote
Cádiz (Seville)
Family Friendly Cruise
Tips Included
Choose Saver or Select Price (with benefits)
14th Sep 2024 Saturday
15th Sep 2024 Sunday
At Sea
16th Sep 2024 Monday
At Sea
17th Sep 2024 Tuesday
At Sea
18th Sep 2024 Wednesday
Funchal, Madeira
19th Sep 2024 Thursday
Santa Cruz de la Palma
20th Sep 2024 Friday
Santa Cruz, Tenerife
21st Sep 2024 Saturday
Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
22nd Sep 2024 Sunday
Arrecife, Lanzarote
23rd Sep 2024 Monday
At Sea
24th Sep 2024 Tuesday
Cádiz (Seville)
25th Sep 2024 Wednesday
26th Sep 2024 Thursday
At Sea
27th Sep 2024 Friday
At Sea
28th Sep 2024 Saturday

Ventura, which launched in 2008, and sister ship Azura (2010), aimed to break the mould for P&O Cruises' ships -- bigger, contemporary and family-friendly. The idea was to transform what many people consider P&O Cruises' somewhat stuffy ambience to one more in tune with the times -- as well as making a play for the market all UK cruise lines are chasing: new to cruise. By popular consensus, they appear to have succeeded.

Firstly, Ventura is significantly larger -- by 30 percent -- than any other ship in the fleet (bar Britannia, the flagship). This means there's more room for contemporary amenities such as expanded kids' facilities, a vast spa, numerous dining venues, and lots of recreational activities (three pools, sports court, golf nets). There is also a significant change in décor: the walls are covered in contemporary art and the décor is a combination of rich burgundy carpets and cream-coloured walls: reminiscent of a five-star London hotel.

In fact, it is hard to find signs of traditional P&O Cruises in the hardware -- no card room for example (a mainstay on the older, smaller adults-only ships), no faux fireplaces or Trompe-l'œil artwork to be found anywhere. There are also no art auctions, just a gallery with discreetly priced artwork. There's a casino onboard as well, albeit a small one.

The passengers make up is also markedly different. Yes, there are still the over-60s that P&O is known for attracting, but also lots of families with children, especially in the school holidays.

The ship has all the popular mainstays onboard most of the rest of the fleet including wine guru Olly Smith's The Glass House and superb contemporary Indian restaurant Sindhu; as well as adults-only sundeck area The Retreat and a large kids club called The Reef.

The line has had two refits since it first went into service, and one minor one. The most recent, in April 2018, saw the following upgrades: the Arena Theatre was fitted with a brand new LED wall installation, similar to the one found on flagship Britannia and sister Azura. The shopping area was spruced up with a large glass window display and a number of new brands were introduced for sale including Longines and Liu Jo. The Waterside and The Beach House had new flooring, tiling carpets and furniture. Carpets were replaced in many restaurants and public space and Dixons the retail store was expanded.

A mini-refit in 2015 saw Marco Pierre White's The White Room replaced by The Epicurean, a molecular gastronomy restaurant which debuted on Britannia.

Overall, Ventura does a good job of catering to families in holiday times and the classic P&O Cruises passenger outside of those times. The line has also done a good job of keeping the ship contemporary, despite it moving into its 11th year of service.

A typical two-week cruise will have four formal nights and the rest will be 'evening casual', which is defined as open necked shirt and 'tailored trousers' or smart jeans for men; dress or casual separates for women. Most passengers err on the side of smart.

Note that even though this ship is family friendly and has a more relaxed vibe -- formal still means full black tie in the public rooms. Ventura might break many of P&O Cruises' traditions, but dress code still rules -- and that also applies to older children.


The Arena Theatre (Decks 6 and 7, forward): P&O Cruises doesn't go in for the huge West End-style productions the big US ships have popularised. Instead, expect British comedy; revue-type shows where the emphasis is on the singing talents of the performer rather than what's going on behind her; and magicians, ventriloquists and tribute acts. Ventura's in-house performance group Headliners Theatre Company, put on various singing and dancing revue shows throughout the cruise in the Arena Theatre, and also individual performers from the group were showcased at different spots around the ship. On our cruise the main theatre hosted a genuine star -- Jimmy James, a soul legend (not a tribute act) -- as well as Gareth Oliver, a Britain's Got Talent finalist, who entertained with his ventriloquism and comedy on two separate evenings (in typical British fashion, the daily Horizon magazine stated: "Tonight Gareth returns with a brand new show, completely different to his previous performance -- this time it's funny!"). In 2018 a new hi-tech LED wall was installed, similar to the one on Britannia and sister ship Azura.

There are two main shows nightly in the Arena Theatre (Decks 6 & 7) forward, (times vary; either 7:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.; or 8:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., to accommodate the two set dining times. The theatre doubles as a cinema during the day, sowing a selection of films.

Daily Fun

There's plenty of going on all day throughout the ship, with a full programme published daily in The Horizon, which will be delivered to your cabin the night before.

You'll find quizzes and bingo in The Exchange pub (Deck 6, forward) throughout the day. You'll find tennis and table tennis on the sports deck (Deck 19) and deck quoits and shuffleboard on the Sun Deck (Deck 16); bridge and whist take place in the Peninsular Room (Deck 6).

Films are shown throughout the day in the Arena Theatre.

At Night

There is a small casino, Fortunes, which adjoins The Exchange. Note there is no smoking anywhere inside the ship, including the casino.

Ventura Bars and Lounges

Tazzine (Deck 5, midships): Costa Coffee café in the main atrium, serving specialty coffees and pastries.

The Exchange (Deck 6 forward): The ship's pub offers a wide selection of beers on tap and in bottles, as well as sporting events on wide screens and the inevitable karaoke evenings. The ship's casino Fortunes is adjacent and houses the usual game tables and slot machines. Check out its bar -- model trains (look for the Royal Scot and the Flying Scotsman, among others) run around it.

The Tamarind Club (Deck 7): A walk-through venue on Deck 7, where you'll find a dance floor and plenty of seating. This is a popular spot for a pre-dinner drink and you'll also find singers and bands playing here from early evening.

Havana (Deck 7, aft): Right at the back of the ship. You'll find singers or bands on at various times throughout the evening. There is also a guest band depending where the ship is based, which will entertain during the day and at sail aways on the Pool Deck. Havana is also the nightclub, with a DJ and dancing till late and the venue for the early evening family disco. This is also where you'll find Craig Revel Horwood and the professional dancers from Strictly Come Dancing put passengers through their paces, thanks to P&O's ongoing link-up with the popular BBC show.

The Red Bar (Deck 7): An attractive drinking hole at the top of the three-story atrium which has a pianist playing every evening.

The Glass House (Deck 7): Wine guru Olly Smith's popular spot for wine sampling and small eats.

The Terrace Bar (Deck 15): A lovely spot at the aft of the ship overlooking the pool, with a wrap around balcony with plenty of seating and wonderful views.

Laguna Bar (Deck 15): Main pool deck bar, which is crowded and noisy throughout the day.

Beachcomber Bar (Deck 15): This is beside the part-indoor (there is a retractable roof) Beachcomber Pool.

Breaker's Bar (Deck 16): Overlooking the main pool deck.

The Metropolis Bar (Deck 18): This is the classiest spot onboard and the one with the best views, reminiscent of a city centre five-star hotel bar. Each evening a plasma screen showed photos of a different city -- such as New York or London -- with a new city each night over a seven-day period. It's a place to sip a martini and gaze at the night sky.

Ventura Outside Recreation


There are two main pools on the top Lido Deck. The Laguna Pool is the noisy and crowded outdoor one, with two hot tubs and two bars which also serve free snacks such as pizza and burgers. There is also a newly-installed (2017) ice cream shop, selling Jude's ice-cream. Nearby, the Beachcomber Pool is under a retractable roof so you can swim in all kinds of weather. It has two hot tubs either side. More private (and more quiet) is the smaller Terrace Pool at the aft end of the ship on the Riviera Deck, behind the Beach House. Note: All are deep (Laguna is more than seven feet deep), way deeper than US ships, so keep a watchful eye on children.

The Retreat (Deck 17): This adults-only, for-fee area was added following the 2013 refit and consists of just 49 deck chairs and is bookable on a weekly basis and costs £350 per fortnight, per couple; £200 for a a single for 2 weeks. What The Retreat offers is: 1. Kids free area; 2. Breakfast, lunch and dinner (should you wish), every day. 3. A guaranteed deck chair. The fee includes access to the Thermal Spa, and you are just above the Oasis Pool, so there's easy access to that. There's not much up there apart from the deck chairs, a couples' cabana and changing rooms but on our cruise it was sold out by day two, so it is popular. Note that once 49 passes have been sold, that's it -- in other words it never gets crowded. (Open: 9 a.m. – 8 p.m.)


Sports Court (Deck 19): You'll find the Sports Court right at the top of the ship, towards the aft. It is designed as a basketball court, but offers a range of equipment for playing various sports including short tennis, cricket and football. Friendly tournaments for adults and children take place during the day. Directly below here are the golf nets.

Ventura Services

A central focus is the ship's three-deck atrium. Around each deck you'll find a cluster of public spaces, such as a collection of shops, purser's desk, shore excursions, Internet café and a Costa coffee bar, called Tazzine. Live bands perform here some evenings, and the Captain's welcome drinks take place here too, but it's not a destination area such as on Britannia.

On Deck 6 you'll find most of the shops, including a handbag shop, jewellers, logo shop and watches. The library is also here; it's well-stocked, and you can sit with a good book or do a jigsaw. There is also a bookshop next door. Off the atrium you'll find Whitewalls Art Gallery, where you can buy or reserve art (note there are no auctions onboard). The photo gallery is on Deck 7, aft. Just before here is a Dixons, where you can get chargers, headphones, leads and memory cards.

High up on Deck 16 adjacent to the Spa is The Ivory Suite, whose primary use is for marriage ceremonies, but can also be hired for meetings. The Peninsular Room on Deck 6 is another meeting room.

One nice feature -- though it isn't technically a "room" -- is the full wrap-around promenade deck on Deck 5. It's excellent for walking or simply pulling up a chair and enjoying the view.

There are two small self-service launderettes on each deck, right at the back of the ship.

The ship’s Wi-Fi is available in three 24-hour package options; The Connect Package (£7.75 for 24 hours) provides social media access and internet messaging services; The Browse Package (£12.50) offers internet browsing (with the exception of video streaming), internet messaging, email and social network access; and The Works Package (£24.95) offers web browsing, including YouTube, Spotify and Apple Music streaming, video calls, email, instant messenger services and social media access.


In the Oasis Spa there is a hair and beauty salon offering a wide range of hair, face and manicure/pedicure treatments for ladies and gentlemen. There are 13 treatment rooms, offering treatments ranging from a 50-minute stone massage (£83), to a 75-minute 24 karat gold facial (£230). There are also plenty of deals on offer (especially on port days) such as pre-booking treatments and getting discounts of up to 30 percent.

The Thermal Suite (£12 a day, or £100 per person for a one-week pass) has hot and cold rooms and heated mosaic beds. Numbers are carefully controlled and it is advisable to buy a pass and book a daily slot to guarantee getting in. If you don't fancy paying a fee, there are free saunas and steam rooms in the main changing rooms, just as you enter. The Oasis Pool is located outside the spa and has two hot tubs. Again, it is adults only.

Ventura also has the biggest gym of any P&O ship, with the usual assortment of treadmills, cross-trainers, cycles and weights. There are a huge number of exercise classes (Walk a Mile, Fab Abs, Legs, Bums & Tums etc.), some of which carry a fee, such as Body Sculpt Boot Camp. You can also opt for a Health & Wellbeing Cruise Pass, which includes the boot camp and costs £55.40 per person. Or you can hire a personal trainer for an hourly charge of £47.

Free Dining

The quality of food on Ventura is of a very high standard for such a large ship. The menus in the three main dining rooms (MDR) change daily, and there is a special Gala Menu on formal nights, put together by Marco Pierre White.

Two of the main dining rooms (Cinnamon, Saffron) offer 'Freedom Dining', which means you can turn up anytime between 6 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. and sit where and with whom you like. The third MDR (Bay Tree) offers set-time dining which P&O Cruises calls Club Dining.

Cinnamon (Deck 5, midships): P&O Cruises has really upped its game when it comes to the food in the MDRs, with both adventurous and varied dishes, and superb service. In fact, if you chose just to eat here or Saffron or Bay Tree, rather than in a specialty restaurant, you would not be missing out as both include guest cuisine such as Indian and Far Eastern dishes, as well as six course Gala Dinners on formal nights with menus prepared by Marco Pierre White. A typical menu might consist of chicken liver parfait or wild mushroom risotto to start. Mains will include a fish or shellfish dish, a vegetarian option and one or two meat dishes such as roast leg of pork and braised beef. Or you can stick to the Classics -- prawn cocktail, Caesar salad or tomato soup to start, then fillet of salmon, sirloin steak and breast of chicken, which is available every night. There's also a good selection of very British puddings (desserts) such as sticky toffee pudding, Bakewell tart or baked treacle tart. On Formal evenings, starters might include something special such as a game terrine or oak smoked Scottish salmon; mains might include roast duck or prime fore rib of beef (there are no Classic Favourites offered on Gala evenings). 'Marco's Menu' might feature a dish such as lobster. There is usually a Champagne Sorbet between courses, too. Open 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Saffron (Deck 6, midships): Saffron offers the same menu as Cinnamon, but is open throughout the day. Open daily for breakfast (7:30 a.m. - 9 a.m.), lunch (12:15 p.m. - 1:45 p.m.), afternoon tea (4:00 p.m. - 4:45 p.m.) and dinner (6 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.).

Bay Tree (Deck 6, aft): Bay Tree offers the same menu as Cinnamon and Saffron, but has fixed-time seating in the evenings. Breakfast is served on port days (from 7:30 a.m. - 9 a.m.) and there are two fixed seating times in the evening (6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.).

Waterside (Deck 10, aft): Waterside (open 7 a.m. – 6 a.m.) is the self-service buffet perched high up on Deck 10. It incorporates the Beach House (6:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.; and 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.), a smaller area more towards the aft of the ship. Both offer the same food, but the latter is a calmer area adjoining the main buffet area. A children's tea is served in the Beach House (starboard side from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.) every day; afternoon tea is served from 3:00 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the port side (for free) and also in The Epicurean (for a fee). Most nights there will be a themed food night such as Indian, Mexican or Thai, which are very popular, as evidenced by the queues. There is always a roast as well.

Frankie's Grill (Deck 10): On the Pool Deck during the day Frankie's Pizzeria serves delicious stone-baked made-to-order pizzas; you can also buy ice creams from £1.95. On the first night of the cruise the Pool Deck is turned into an open-air buffet with live music.

Fee Dining

There are three specialty restaurants, two formal ones -- Epicurean, which serves molecular gastronomy cuisine and Sindhu (formerly East), the upmarket Indian restaurant. There is also one informal restaurant, which has proved popular on sister ship Azura and replaces Las Ramblas on Ventura -- The Glass House by UK wine expert Olly Smith -- which is a for-fee tapas-style restaurant.

The Glass House (Deck 4, aft); a la carte: The Glass House has a relaxed vibe -- it invites you to drop in and grab a table, or just hang at the bar -- it's also more of a walk-through space than an actual restaurant. Three small plates are £5.25, and might include chorizo, warm quail Scotch egg, garlic mushrooms or salt and pepper tempura prawns. Large plates are good value -- you can get a sirloin steak for £5.50. The food is OK, nothing special, but where Smith's involvement is evident is the extraordinary selection of wine from all over the world, and it's pretty reasonable, too. A bottle of excellent New Zealand sauvignon will set you back £12.50 (it would be at least double that on dry land).

The Glass House offers Food & Wine Pairing Dinners twice a week for £30 per person, which includes a four-course meal, with wines with each course, plus a wine guide to talk you through the choices. There are also wine talks on certain days of the cruise, hosted by the head sommelier (not Olly Smith), for a maximum of 30 people: for £10 per person you can enjoy a talk, two glasses of wine and several different dishes.

Sindhu (Deck 7, midships); £15 to £25 depending on the length of the cruise: Sindhu takes up a large amount of space on Deck 7, the main Promenade Deck, and is set in a gorgeous room -- red carpet, white upholstered chairs and dark wood tables give it a very authentic Indian feel -- as does the menu, which offers a variety of outstanding Indian dishes. Dinner menus are changed twice a cruise and starters might include shami kebab (spiced lamb cakes), jal tarang (pan-fried hand-dived scallops) and gosht ke soole (marinated smoked beef skewers). For mains, lamb rogan josh, chicken murgh and cod jaipuri are sublime. There is also a small bar area which offers tapas-style Indian dishes from £4.95 on selected days at lunchtime. Open 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. for lunch on selected days and 6 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. for dinner.

Epicurean at The White Room (Deck 17, aft); £25-£30: Epicurean's position right at the back of the ship high up on Deck 17 gives it a wonderful setting. Inside it's dark, with plush carpets and furnishings inside; and a lovely verandah area outside where you can sit and watch the wake. If you like imaginative, creative cuisine -- the so called molecular gastronomy type -- which has style as well as content, then this is the restaurant for you. The menu presents as traditional -- with provenance playing a big part -- but the dishes are re-interpreted for today's modern palates. So expect starters such as jamón pata negra and pulled smoked Gressingham duck leg or a duo of cured smoked salmons, but presented in an interesting and unexpected way. There are lots of other fun touches: Bloody Mary lollipops to start, a dash of Worcestershire sauce in the centre; salt and pepper oyster and jumbo prawn tempura that comes with an artist's 'paint tube' of sweet pimento sauce; a sorbet designed as a tube of lipstick or a 'poached egg' with a 'yolk' of mango and a 'white' of coconut milk. Mains might include The Epicurean Fish and Chips, Whole Dover Sole or Irish Beef fillet and Dorset Crown lamb rump, again all presented in an unexpected and unusual way. Desserts are also classics such as crème brûlée and summer trifle, but with popping candy torte, or flaming caramelised apple crumble -- scorched at your table. All in all an outstanding experience -- and a steal compared to what you might pay for this type of cuisine in a central London restaurant. Open 6 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.

Room Service: Breakfast is free, but there is a charge at other times of day.

Ventura has 1,555 cabins, of which 434 are inside, 1,103 are outside and 881 have a balcony.

There are eight types of cabins: Penthouse, Suites, Superior Deluxe Balconies, Superior Balcony, Balcony, Outside, Inside and Singles. The Singles (18 in total) were added in the April 2013 refit (12 outside and six inside). Twenty-three cabins are wheelchair accessible.

Room sizes range from 130 square feet (Singles), 160 square feet (Insides) to 173 square feet for Outside cabins. Superior Deluxe Balcony cabins are 314 square feet (which includes a 42 square foot balcony) and Balcony Cabins are 233 square feet (which includes a 40 square foot balcony or, in some cases, a 72 square foot balcony). Suites come in at 503 square feet (with a 102 square foot balcony) and Penthouses are 742 square feet (with a 216 square foot balcony).

The colour palette throughout varies from a warm burgundy (carpets) contrasted with cream-coloured walls, with darker wood fixtures. There is lots of contemporary art on the walls. All cabins come with tea-and-coffee-making facilities -- look out for the kettles, jugs and cups by designer Nick Munro, who has also made his mark on the cutlery, vases and other items around the ship -- with a good selection of different teas. All cabins also have empty mini-bars and flat-screen TVs, which are interactive, so you can check your bill, watch the ship cam or order a movie, which are charged at a very reasonable £1.99 and can be paused, saved and rewound.

All cabins are made up in the morning and have a nightly turndown service. Note that all plug sockets are UK three-pin so if you are a US or European passenger you will need to bring adaptors. All bathrooms across all categories have a bottle of shampoo and shower gel from The White Company. Showers have clingy curtains.

Inside: Despite being only 160 square feet, do not feel cramped at all. They have two lower beds that are convertible to a king-size bed, two small bedside tables and a writing desk with a TV. There is a wardrobe area with plenty of hanging space and a set of drawers. The bathroom is small, with a shower, or shower over bath, and toilet plus a hairdryer.

Outside cabins have two lower beds that are convertible to a king-size bed with wardrobe and drawer space. The bathroom has a shower, or shower over bath, and toilet. There is a writing desk and TV. Outside cabins may have a window or porthole.

Balcony: Balcony cabins have two beds convertible to a king, bathroom with shower over bath or shower only; a coffee table and a small desk with a chair and a small cupboard where you'll find the tea and coffee. There are sliding glass doors leading to the balcony. The bathroom has a shower, or shower over bath, and toilet. (It is worth noting that if you like a big balcony book a Balcony cabin on C Deck, as they have a much larger balcony than those on other decks -- 72 square feet compared to 40 square feet).

Superior Deluxe: These cabins on Deck 9 give a real feeling of space with a wrap around desk, living room area with a sofa, table and space for two chairs; two TVs (one for the living area, one for the bedroom), a bathroom with a tub, and a big balcony, wide enough and long enough for two loungers a chair and a small table. There is a wardrobe area just outside the bathroom, with plenty of hanging and storing space for suitcases and clothes. Ventura has a lovely touch for those in Superior Deluxe Balcony cabins and above: an atlas and a pair of binoculars.

The bathrooms have a decent-sized tub, which is always a treat, and a shower; White Company products are in plastic bottles and there is a combined shower gel and shampoo dispenser in the shower. There is a single basin and an electric razor outlet.

Suites: All suite passengers enjoy the following special touches: Butler service, daily canapes, magazine and newspaper selection, Senseo coffee machine with complimentary dark, medium and decaf pods included, bathrobes and slippers, a fruit basket (where available), flowers, chocolate and champagne on arrival. Suite passengers can also take breakfast in The White Room if they wish (sea days 8 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. port days 7:30 a.m. - 9 a.m.).

There are 24 suites across decks, all of which have the following features: A separate living room with corner sofa convertible to single sofa bed, table and chairs; a dining table which can seta four; DVD player, flat screen TV, MP3 compatible music player; floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors leading to balcony with table, chairs and footstool. The bedroom is not much bigger than the bed, but does have separate balcony access and a dressing area off the bedroom, with an iron and ironing board and trouser press. The bathroom has a full size whirlpool bath, a separate shower (in most cases), and White Company products.

There are two Penthouse Suites, side by side on Deck 12 right at the aft of the ship.

As this ship is targeted at families, a large number of cabins have sofas that convert into a bed for a third person, or sofa beds and beds that pull down from the ceiling that will hold up to four people.

Family: Two AE grade suites at the forward end of Deck 9 sleep six in two bedrooms. There is a main living area leading out to a wrap around balcony; a master bedroom and a smaller bedroom with two beds that come down from the ceiling, as well as a separate shower room.

Deck 19 - Ocean Deck
Deck 18 - Sky Deck
Deck 17 - Sports Deck
Deck 16 - Sun Deck
Deck 15 - Lido Deck
Deck 14 - Riviera Deck
Deck 12 - A Deck
Deck 11 - B Deck
Deck 10 - C Deck
Deck 9 - D Deck
Deck 8 - E Deck
Deck 7 - Prom Deck
Deck 6 - F Deck
Deck 5 - P Deck
G Deck

Best for...

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

Not the best for...

Non-English speakers; late-night partyers or those who want lots of outdoor entertainment options

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 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.

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 up charging 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, 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.

The beauty of a cruise holiday with P&O is that they include everything you need to have a great holiday, plus you'll be waking up in a new destination most days!

Included for all:

  • Comfortable, well-appointed accommodation
  • Twice-daily cabin serviced by your cabin attendant
  • Breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner onboard at buffet & main restaurants, plus pool-side snacks and a five-course Gala Dinner by Marco Pierre White
    • Tea, coffee & fruit juices also included at selected times
  • Dazzling shows, live bands, comedians and more at onboard theatres and lounges
  • Age-specific child and teens clubs on family-friendly ships (Britannia, Ventura, Iona, Azura)
  • Access to expansive gyms, equipped with Technogym machines and free weights. Selected fitness classes are included
  • Access to pools and whirlpool spas. Some pools are adult-only. Selected ships have retractable Skydomes for swimming in all weathers
  • Saunas & steam rooms in the Oasis Spa
  • Football, basketball and deck tennis in the enclosed sports court, plus access to the golf nets
  • Dance classes - pick up some new moves and learn to Salsa, Cha-Cha, Foxtrot or line dance
  • Shuttle busses in port - complimentary for all where necessary to exit the port
    • In other destinations, shuttle busses are included for Select Price holidays
    • If you have booked on Early Saver or Saver price, they will be available at an extra cost
  • Flights and transfers (on fly-cruise holidays)
  • Tips - tips are neither expected or required

Are P&O Cruises good for familes?

What's offered onboard P&O Cruises' ships for families?

Making sure a holiday is suitable for our little ones is of top priority. Happy children mean happy parents, grandparents or guardians. If you've never cruised before it may seem a little daunting to think of a cruise as your family holiday, but rest assured a cruise holiday is ideal for families, with so much for kids to do (and the grown-ups too!), from splashing in the pool to running riot in the kid's clubs. We'd highly recommend P&O Cruises for families, and their child fares are so much more affordable than some other cruise lines.

Children can play to their hearts content in The Reef, P&O Cruises exciting complimentary onboard programme; splash around in the family pools; let off steam in the sports arena, tuck into pizza and jelly at the dedicated children’s tea; and join family-friendly shore excursions featuring treasure hunts, water parks, beaches and adventure trips.

Six reasons why families love P&O Cruises:

  • Rooms for families. P&O's cabins are well equipped for the needs of the whole family. Many have additional beds. For example, in the majority of twin cabins, beds fold down from the ceiling or out from the wall. In other cabins, mini-suites and suites, the extra beds are sofa beds. If a family or three or four adults book as a party and share one of these rooms, then you can save money on the prices quoted on this website for only two sharing. Please note that children cannot stay in a cabin without an adult to look after them.
  • Carefree nights. The Night Nursery is available free of charge on all family friendly ships for children aged between 6 months and 4 years of age. It is open from 6pm to 2am nightly. Parents are contacted via a pager, should their infant wake.
  • Laid-back days ashore. P&O 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. Families are also encouraged to participate in any family events taking place - discos, magic shows etc.
  • Stress-free meals. Children are welcome to dine in any of the dining areas on-board, including in the Select Dining Restaurants. Normally children join their parents for breakfast and lunch but since you might occasionally want to dine on your own, on the family-friendly ships, they 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. A child's menu is also available in the main dining rooms.
  • Free holiday clubs for 2-17-year-olds. By spending a few hours in one of the age-specific clubs your offspring will find it easy to get to know others and soon they will have some new holiday friends.
  • Time out for the adults. You needn’t worry about keeping the little ones entertained while you take some time out for yourself. From toddlers to teens, we’ll keep them busy all day and evening long. The Reef offers four children’s clubs with a wide range of age-specific entertainment and is staffed by our enthusiastic crew of DBS checked Reef Rangers.

Free dedicated holiday clubs for 2-17-year-olds

  • Splashers (2-4) - Splashers is our club exclusively for guests aged between 2 and 4. There are slides and toys, books and activities... your little ones will be spoilt for choice! Each ship will be slightly different, but you'll still find enthusiastic and qualified Reef Rangers in each club, with programmes and activities suited to the Splashers age group.
  • Surfers (5-8) - For guests between the ages of 5 and 8, we have Surfers. Your little Surfer will be able to play computer games, watch movies, run around our soft play area, create a puppet show... there is so much to do! Each ship will be slightly different, but you'll still find enthusiastic and qualified Reef Rangers in each club, with programmes and activities suited to the Surfers age group.
  • Scubas (9-12) - 9 to 12 year-old guests can enjoy their own dedicated area on the ship with the club called Scubas. Scubas on board Britannia has a cool arcade feel. Guests visiting Scubas will be able to play air hockey, computer games, pool, or just chill out with their new friends, among the wide choice of things to do on offer. Each ship will be slightly different, but you'll still find enthusiastic and qualified Reef Rangers in each club, with programmes and activities suited to the Scubas age group.
  • H20 (13-17) - H2O is where teenagers (13 to 17 year olds) can hang out and make friends. Onboard Britannia, H2O has a cool, chilled-out vibe with a pool table, computer consoles and even a retro arcade! There are plenty of beanbags and sofas for guests at H2O to just to chill out and chat too. Each ship will be slightly different, but you'll still find enthusiastic and qualified Reef Rangers in each club, with programmes and activities suited to the H2O age group.

P&O Cruises Fare Types

P&O Cruises Fare Types Explained

P&O Cruises offer three different price types:

Select Price: This offers the most choice and flexibility

  • Choice of cabin location and priority for upgrades (subject to availability)
  • First priority for dining on ships offering both freedom & Club Dining, and first priority for seating time and table size for Club Dining
  • A choice of on-board spending money, car parking in Southampton or return coach travel to Southampton on round-trip cruises (applies to sailings of 7nts and above)
  • Shuttle busses in port (where they are provided by P&O Cruises)
  • Flexibility to change your booking

Early Saver: Offers a great price but without Select Price benefits

  • Available on selected grades. Your cabin number will be assigned by P&O Cruises
  • Possible upgrades (where and if available, after non-Saver bookings)
  • Your preference for desired dining style, time and table size will be noted but cannot be guaranteed
  • Flexibility to change your booking

Saver: Great for deal-seekers to get a last-minute holiday

  • Only available on selected cruises, at selected times,
  • Available on selected grades only. Your cabin number will be assigned by P&O Cruises and cannot be changed once allocated
  • Dining allocated on boarding
  • Full balance payable at the time of booking
  • 100% cancellation fee if cancelled at any time before sailing

No-Fly Canary Islands

Head to the Canary Islands cruises with P&O Cruises

Whilst fly-cruises to the Canary Islands are available, how about sailing leisurely from Southampton? Sailing from Southampton affords you the luxury of holiday relaxation as soon as you board your ship. Bliss. 

Why not treat yourself to balcony cabin from just £68 per night, at that price it would be rude not to! Imagine sipping on something cold as you watch the sun set, toasting to the end of another relaxing day as you look forward to a night of culinary delights and first-class entertainment.

A true slice of paradise. Four of Spain’s seven major national nature reserves are located among this volcanic archipelago – the volcanic crater of Mount Teide on Tenerife and Lanzarote’s Timanfaya National Park being just two. From foodie treasures to sipping the cream of the crop at Europe’s only coffee plantation, there's plenty more of this culinary Canary wonder on our Canary Island cruises.

Reasons to visit the Canary Islands on a cruise holiday

Great winter destination. The Canary Islands are rightly famed for their abundant sunshine and sandy shores, but these dynamic destinations offer so much more than winter-sun or beach-based breaks. Leave the sun-lounger behind and treat your senses to a world of eye-opening culture, mouth-watering cuisine and hair-raising adventure with these local experiences.

Glorious beaces. The Canary Islands boasts beautiful beaches aplenty, and some of the best can be found near the north-eastern resort of Corralejo in Fuerteventura. Beyond the glorious stretch of golden sand is a protected park with miles of constantly shifting dunes.

Natural Wonders. Marvel at natural wonders as you explore the wild interiors and coastlines on these rugged islands. Hike Tenerife's rugged Anaga Mountains, explore a volcanic vineyard in Lanzarote or explore the National Parks of La Palma.

Canary Islands Collection

The Canary Islands are a true slice of paradise

Four of Spain’s seven major national nature reserves are located among this volcanic archipelago – the volcanic crater of Mount Teide on Tenerife and Lanzarote’s Timanfaya National Park being just two. From foodie treasures to sipping the cream of the crop at Europe’s only coffee plantation, there's plenty more of this culinary Canary wonder on P&O Cruises Canary Island holidays.

Canary Islands Cruise Holiday Highlights

You can taste wine from a volcanic vineyard in Lanzarote, walk the black sands of Fuerteventura and explore the National Parks of La Palma - each day can offer a different experience on a cruise to the Canary Islands.

You can island-hop, city-swap and explore all that the region has to offer. And while there is undoubtedly more to enjoy than the beaches and blue skies, some days the turquoise waters and mountain-backed shores might just prove irresistible.

Reasons to visit the Canary Islands on a cruise holiday

Winter in the Canary Islands

The Canary Islands are rightly famed for their abundant sunshine and sandy shores, but these dynamic destinations offer so much more than winter-sun or beach-based breaks. Leave the sun-lounger behind and treat your senses to a world of eye-opening culture, mouth-watering cuisine and hair-raising adventure with these local experiences.

Glorious Beaches

The Canary Islands boasts beautiful beaches aplenty, and some of the best can be found near the north-eastern resort of Corralejo in Fuerteventura. Beyond the glorious stretch of golden sand is a protected park with miles of constantly shifting dunes.

Canary Islands Natural Wonders

In the Canary Islands, you’ll marvel at many natural wonders as you explore the wild interiors and coastlines. You can hike Tenerife's rugged Anaga Mountains, explore a volcanic vineyard in Lanzarote to exploring the National Parks of La Palma.

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