What’s the difference between P&O Cruises UK and P&O Cruises Australia?
P&O Cruises Australia is a sister company to P&O Cruises UK. If you’re looking to book a cruise that starts and ends in Australia or New Zealand, it’s worth browsing through its site to see what it’s got to offer.
The amenities, reputation and onboard experience are pretty similar between P&O Cruises UK and P&O Cruises Australia — the biggest difference is simply where you’ll begin and end the voyage.
Where do P&O cruises depart from?
P&O Cruises is pretty particular in its departure locations — you’ll find the most itineraries leaving from Southampton, UK and Sydney, Australia. San Francisco is often the only US departure port. Here’s where you can begin your P&O cruise:
- P&O currently sails from:Baltimore, Barbados, Barcelona, Bermuda, Charleston, Copenhagen, Dover, Fort Lauderdale, Galveston, Honolulu, Jacksonville, London, Los Angeles, Miami, Mobile, New Orleans, New York City, Norfolk, Port Canaveral, San Diego, San Francisco, San Juan, Tampa, Tampa/St.Petersburg, Vancouver, Venice
P&O cruises destinations
You can sail to plenty of bucket list destinations with P&O Cruises, from the tropical Canary Islands to the Norwegian Fjords.
- Here’s where it sails to:Alaska, Bahamas, Baja Mexico, Canada and New England, Eastern Caribbean, Europe, Hawaii, Mexican Riviera, Panama Canal, Southern Caribbean, Transatlantic, Western Caribbean
Why you should — or shouldn’t — cruise with P&O Cruises
The biggest pro is that P&O Cruises doesn’t charge gratuities — the mandatory tip that most cruise lines charge to your account after disembarkation — and you’re not required to pay staff anything above the cost of booking. This could save you a big hunk of cash, compared to cruise lines that charge $10-$20 per passenger, per day.
That being said, perks like room service and fitness classes, which are included with many mid-tier cruise lines, cost extra on a P&O cruise. Shore excursions, alcoholic drinks and Wi-Fi all cost extra, too.
On a P&O UK cruise, most of your fellow passengers will be Brits, likely over the age of 55. That could be a pro or con, depending on your personal preference.
Here’s a snapshot of the pros and cons to consider before booking a P&O cruise:
- No service charges or gratuities
- Fare is low compared to other cruise lines
- Atmosphere is relaxed and tends to be friendly
- Multiple entertainment options each night, from stand-up comedy to live music and theatrical productions
- The Peninsular Club, its loyalty program, rewards frequent cruisers
- Some cruise deals include flights and airport transfers
- Complimentary children’s programs for ages two to 17
- Alcoholic drinks, Wi-Fi and shore excursions cost extra
- Afternoon tea costs extra
- Fewer organized onboard activities than most cruise lines
- The quality of entertainment can be hit-or-miss
- Cruise ships can feel outdated, unless new or recently renovated
- Food isn’t exactly gourmet, and the buffet is smaller than what you’d find on Royal Caribbean or Carnival
- Few itineraries depart from the US
P&O adults-only cruises
P&O Cruises UK has two ships devoted entirely to adults-only cruises: Aurora and Arcadia. If you’re looking for some R&R away from family crowds, consider booking your trip on one of those.
However, even on ships that do allow kiddo passengers, there are adults-only pools, bars and lounges for grown-ups to get away.
What currency does P&O Cruises use on board?
On board a P&O UK cruise, you’ll pay in pounds sterling. If you’re stopping at European ports and would rather not deal with exchanging euros, you can purchase shore excursions from P&O to avoid the hassle.
If you’re sailing on a P&O Australia cruise, the onboard currency will be in Australian dollars.
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