P&O Cruises Australia
P and O Australia was formed out of the very old shipping company of Pacific and Oriental Steamship Company. The Australian arm is run from its headquarters in northern Sydney and has now been operating for over 75 years. As can be expected from such a seasoned veteran, everything about P&O is classy and well-polished. P&O is constantly reviewing its fleet and offering. It stays right up to date with the expectations of its passengers. The company operates cruises in Australian and New Zealand waters, among Pacific Islands and South East Asia. They are patronised mostly by Antipodeans, some Americans and a smattering of British. The average age on cruises is around 42 with a very small grouping of over 60s. A quarter of the adult passengers are usually travelling with children. The line has a very loyal following with some cruises have almost half of the passenger list having cruised with them before. Australian Dollars is the on-board currency.
P&O Australia sees families as a main core of its passenger lists. On some special cruises, children under 12 go free when accompanied by and sharing a cabin with a least two adults. Children are well catered for with plenty of facilities and activities supervised by fully trained counsellors.
Depending on which ship is cruised with, there is a wide range of cabins available and many outside cabins have private balconies. Cabins are well fitted out and fully equipped. Mini-suites have separate sitting areas and their bathrooms are fitted with tubs.
Food aboard P&O ships is very good and plentiful. There is a wide choice of dining venues from main dining rooms to bistro style Lido bars to steak houses. Menus tend to suit Australian tastes but there is often a choice of oriental or European dishes available. Buffets can only be described as lavish with great amounts of seafood available. Seating in the main dining room is not allocated on most of the ships and is being changed on those that do not offer it. Passengers can dine when they please during the 5:30 to 10 pm dinner times and booking is not necessary. There are one or two formal dining nights on each cruise. During these men are expected to wear jackets and ladies cocktail dresses but black tie is not required.
There is plenty to do on a P&O ship for both adults and children. There are classes in the fitness suites, massages, jogging, cooking demonstrations and water games in the pools during the days. Ice cream and snacks are served at poolside and there are deck parties. Night time sees variety shows and dancing to live bands. There is a 24/7 casino and plenty of places to simply sit and relax.
P&O target the Australian family as their main passenger grouping. They offer good value for money along with very good levels of service. They have a wide range of cruises available from Brisbane, Sydney, Adelaide, Freemantle and Auckland. There are many round trips from Brisbane to new Zealand and the Pacific Islands. The high proportion of repeat passengers is evidence that P&O is a very popular line suited to cruising Australians.