Paul Ludlow: Looking ahead with rediscovery on the agenda
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If you’ve never been on a cruise before, you might not know what to expect. Plus, with so many options when it comes to family holidays, it can be difficult to know where to start with something new. In this blog, we explore why P&O Cruises provides the perfect way to holiday for the whole family.
Cruising is the ideal family holiday and we at P&O Cruises offer a great selection of fun-filled activities and memorable destinations to make your first family cruise one for the photo albums! From splashing in the pool and making new friends in the kids’ clubs to exploring their adventurous and cultural side at our fantastic destinations, the whole family will have the best time on their first cruise.
There’s so much fun to have on board, from our kids’ clubs, cinemas and pools to our fantastic range of drinks and snacks to keep your little ones fuelled all day long. Plus, during the school holiday season, there’s even more entertainment! From special guests and interactive performances to full-scale theatre productions, there’s such a lot to do to keep the whole family entertained. And, exclusively on Arvia and Iona, youngsters can pick up a new skill or hobby with our Academy workshops in Science, technology or radio.
Just because you’re on a cruise, it doesn’t mean you have to miss out on a family holiday favourite – a pool day! Pick a sunlounger and settle in for a day of splashing fun. On Arvia or Iona, enjoy our SkyDome experience with the retractable glass roof, making swimming in the sun that little bit more magical. On Britannia or Azura, make the most of our large pool areas with plenty of space for relaxing whilst your family has a swim. Plus, on Ventura, our Beachcomber pool can take you from dawn to dusk as you dip your feet into the pool and gaze up at the sunset overhead.
We’re here to provide fun and precious memories for kids of all ages, and The Reef does just that. As our on-board programme, The Reef has a club for everyone from your little ones to teenagers to join in with activities, play games and make new friends:
Splashers for ages 2-4. Little ones can enjoy both our soft play and outdoor areas as well as fun activities such as parties and getting creative.
Surfers for ages 5-8. Children can get involved with so many fantastic activities such as our games consoles and imaginative play, as well as outdoor sports such as mini Olympics.
Scubas for ages 9-12. Your kids will be able to play air hockey, computer games and pool, or just chill out with their new friends, among the wide choice of things to do on offer.
H2O and Scene for ages 13-17. Even teenagers can get involved with our selection of computer games, table tennis and discos, as well as sports coaching during the school holiday season. Plus, on Iona and Arvia, teenagers can also stow away at Scene, our dedicated games and entertainment hangout.
Plus the best is, there’s no need to book any of the activities before your holiday, and you can sign up once you’re on board. If there are activities your little ones would enjoy or you know there are days you’ll use the children’s clubs, sign up before you start your holiday. Simply head to my.pocruises.com up to 15 days before your holiday to book.
When hunger strikes, there are plenty of family favourites to choose from whilst on board. Children of all ages are welcome into most of our restaurants. Plus, for those little ones with a slightly earlier bedtime, we offer children’s tea in the buffet restaurants each night, full of kids’ classics from Margherita pizzas to poached salmon, and fruit jellies to ice creams.
Our informal self-serve buffets and poolside grill and pizzerias are the perfect places to casually dine or pick up a quick snack. No need to worry about the dress code; instead think about what you’ll try first! From juicy burgers, yummy pasta, handmade pizzas and hot dogs with all their favourite toppings, there’s plenty for the whole family to enjoy. Plus, as breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner at the buffet and poolside snacks are all included, you and your family will never go hungry.
Don’t forget to try our main dining rooms as a family too! Different on board each ship, our Freedom and Club Dining restaurants offer a tasty breakfast, relaxed lunch or sublime evening meal, as well as an extra-special, five-course Celebration Night dinner. What’s more, you don’t need to worry about your kids as there are children’s menus available and it’s all included in the price of your holiday so the whole family can savour the experience.
When enjoying your holiday on Arvia, check out the 6th Street Diner. This all-American classic diner has got great music and a relaxed atmosphere. Whether it’s breakfast, brunch, dinner or sweet things you’re after... we’ve got ya. So make yourself comfy, stick a quarter in the jukebox and enjoy the ride.
For a little extra, those with a sweet tooth will love a delicious Jude’s ice cream at Sundaes and try all your favourite flavours from Truly Chocolate and Strawberries and Cream to Gin & Tonic for the grown-ups. Or, if you’re on Iona, head to Ripples on top of the Grand Atrium for Snowflake Luxury Gelato, which blends Italian and British flavours, as well as delicious gelato cakes and sundaes.
Did you know you can settle in for some family escapism at the on-board cinema? Whether it’s the latest blockbuster or a timeless family favourite, we’re always looking to take your family somewhere new. Plus, on Arvia and Azura, you and your family can catch a film with an open-air screening at SeaScreen.
If you’re looking for more action, why not head to the theatre? Our Headliners Theatre cast will dazzle your family with their live performances and sparkling shows. Little ones will certainly be delighted by our matinee shows and enjoy an afternoon of fun.
Dive into more fun with Wallace & Gromit! You’ll find this fun-filled pair along with Shaun the Sheep on board all of our family-friendly ships, adding a sense of fun and adventure to different events and activities in both our kids’ clubs and around the whole ship. Plus, from February 2023, Arvia will host a new immersive 30-minute show in her SkyDome.
During your holiday on Arvia, why not check out the Altitude Skywalk – our first-ever high-ropes experience set 54 metres above the ocean. This series of rope walks takes outdoor adventures to the next level. Or try your hand at Altitude Minigolf. Open all day and illuminated at night, enjoy a friendly family competition to claim the winning title at our tropical island-themed minigolf adventure. How about trying something unique with Mission Control, P&O Cruises first multi-sensory immersive submarine simulation game? This new experience, set on board fictional submarine Arvia II, uses digital consoles to solve live-action mysteries and puzzles.
Please note, our new Skywalk outdoor adventure and Mission Control do cost a little extra.
Fun family times aren’t only for on board! Head ashore for new discoveries and exciting adventures. Whether you’re looking for some eye-opening culture, mouth-watering new food or hair-raising adventures, we’re here to help you find the perfect family experience.
Visit Fuerteventura and head out for some wild adventures, whether you choose to hike across the magnificent volcanic landscapes or head off-road on a dune buggy adventure that will make the whole family happy.
Italy is known as being a food heaven and, as a family, you can get some hands-on experience! In Naples, head to a local pizzeria and learn how to make authentic pizza the traditional way from a real-life pizzaiolo (pizza chef).
Stopping in Bergen? Fly high above the beautiful city on the Zip-lining at Mount Ulriken shore experience. From a height of 643 metres, you’ll soar 300 metres on Norway’s fastest zip-line while taking in panoramic views across the fjordic landscape and out towards the North Sea.
The football fans in your family won’t want to miss the FC Barcelona stadium tour. You’ll visit Europe’s largest football stadium, Camp Nou, where you can walk in the footsteps of Messi and Maradona. Visit the away team’s dressing room, walk through the players’ tunnel, check out the media area and stroll around the museum to see the club’s trophies up close.
While in St Lucia, why not book an excursion to the Rabot Hotel and Restaurant by Hotel Chocolat? A chocoholic’s dream, learn the process for bean to bar in the chocolate workshop and enjoy a delicious lunch in the restaurant – fun for all the family. After all, who doesn’t love chocolate??
Did you know that although you can book whilst you’re on board with our Shore Experiences team, you can also book up to a year in advance? Simply head over to my.pocruises.com to browse and book everything on offer.
We have a fantastic range of cruise destinations for every family, whether you wish to sail from Southampton or hop on a plane to have fun further afield.
A hassle-free way to explore the world, no-fly cruises to our idyllic destinations make for the perfect family escape with no airports or luggage restrictions in sight. Sail from Southampton with no flights to a variety of fun-filled destinations.
Over the summer school holidays, set sail for warmer climes on Britannia to the Mediterranean for two weeks of fun, full of adventures and memories. Or bring your walking shoes and take a week-long outdoor adventure to the Norwegian fjords on Iona. Perhaps you and your family fancy exploring Spain and Portugal on Ventura, enjoying exciting cities such as Vigo or Lisbon.
If you’re looking for a family cruise that takes you further around the world, or you are unable to travel to Southampton, consider our fly-cruise options available from 10 UK airports to a range of international locations. Whether you’re looking for a holiday that lasts a week or a month, we’ll fly you there and back to some unique destinations.
Dreaming of a winter-sun escape over the Christmas school holiday? Azura awaits your touch-down in Tenerife for a week or two of relaxing in the Canary Islands. You could also head further afield and spend your Christmas or Easter relaxing in the Caribbean on Britannia or Arvia. And, come the summer holidays, you can join them for magical Mediterranean fly-cruises from Valletta.
When travelling as a family with children and teenagers on board our family-friendly ships, there are lots of accommodation options to cater for the unique needs of your family, from Inside and Sea view cabins to Balcony cabins and Suites.
If you prefer a practical and pocket-friendly option for your family, consider booking an Inside cabin. On the other hand, if having natural light is a must, choosing a cabin with a Sea view (except Britannia) or a Balcony cabin is the way to go! Some of our cabins can accommodate up to four people and so there is a great choice of options.
Alternatively, you and your family could be delighted with some VIP experiences in one of our Suites. Throughout your holiday, your family can enjoy a butler service, spacious accommodation, a superior bathroom, inclusive room service, breakfast each day in an exclusive restaurant plus all the luxuries included with Mini-suites. We also offer family rooms. These offer a comfortable space for up to four guests with two lower beds and up to two additional beds in the form of pull-down beds or a sofa bed, both of which will be made up each evening and put away every morning by your cabin steward.
At P&O Cruises, we pride ourselves on offering our customers the best service as well as making every family holiday special and memorable. We’re proud to be recognised for this in the 2021/2022 British Travel Awards, winning the Best Cruise Line for Family category. As voted for by the public, we are pleased to be recognised as offering exceptional holidays and are excited to continue offering a brilliant fun-filled holiday for all families looking to travel with us soon.
We also understand your family holiday is important, which is why we’re proud to offer protected holidays. You can book with confidence knowing P&O Cruises is fully bonded with ABTA and your fly-cruise holiday is ATOL protected.
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