Life on board

Muster drills

Upon embarkation, one of our friendly crew members will be able to help direct you to your muster station. You’ll have your boarding pass scanned and can familiarise yourself with your muster station, ensuring you know where you need to go in the event of an emergency. When you arrive at your cabin, we ask that you watch our safety video that will be showing on your in-cabin TV. This includes important health, well-being and safety information as well as the actions you would need to take in the unlikely event of an emergency, including a life jacket demonstration. Once this is done, you can relax, explore and enjoy everything your ship has to offer.

Enhanced health and well-being measures

To help you to feel comfortable throughout your holiday, we have well-being measures to protect everyone on board. These include:

  • Guests are politely asked to declare any symptoms before boarding their cruise
  • Enhanced on-board ventilation systems to improve and increase filtration and fresh air
  • High levels of cleanliness are delivered throughout
  • Plans in place to manage your medical needs

Our well-being measures are subject to change, and may do so during your cruise, as we work with experts and government bodies to respond to the latest advice. Rest assured our focus is always to protect the health and well-being of our guests, crew and the communities we visit.

Money matters

Keep your holiday spend in £s with P&O Cruises

Because everything on a P&O Cruises holiday is in £ sterling, from the initial price to any on-board extras, you need never worry about fluctuating exchange rates and can enjoy your holiday with total peace of mind.

On-board account

For your convenience all of our ships operate a ‘cash free’ environment with prices in £ sterling. To make any purchases on board you just need to present your cruise card. Our ships do not accept cash, except at the Reception desk for purchase of foreign currency and the settlement of your account. In order for charges to be posted on to your account you will need to register your credit card or Visa/MasterCard Debit card at check-in. All transactions will be charged to your account in £ sterling.

Registering a payment card

As part of the online check-in process, you will need to register a payment card for use on board. This will allow for a speedier embarkation process when you arrive at the terminal on the day of your holiday.

If you do not register a payment card during online check-in, you will not be able to complete the online check-in process. Instead, you will need to check-in and register a payment card when you arrive at the terminal. The check-in team at the terminal will ask you for your credit or debit payment card. We accept the following major cards: Visa and Discover cards, MasterCard, and American Express & Diners Club. You will need your four digit pin number in order to register your card. We are unable to accept Solo, Maestro, Switch or any pre paid credit cards. £50 will be required for pre-authorisation and you will be asked to enter your four digit pin number for verification.

Even if you wish to settle your on-board account with cash at the end of your cruise, a payment card must still be registered when you check-in online or at embarkation.

Your daily spend whilst on board will be authorised with your card provider at the end of each day to cover your spend for the previous day. Your card provider, as part of their standard procedures, may retain these authorisations for up to 28 days and this is outside the control of P&O Cruises. Until these authorisations are released, the available funds in the account could be affected. Payment is not taken from your account until it is finally settled on the day of disembarkation. You may wish to therefore contact your card provider on your return to release these authorisations.

Settling your on-board account with cash

You may choose to settle your account with cash; however a payment card must still be registered. If using cash, your account must be kept in credit at all times. If you wish to settle your account using cash then please note that there are limits on the amount of cash that can be deposited on your account, which vary by cruise length. Please note that you will not be permitted to deposit cash as payment for any goods totalling €9,000 or more (equivalent in the ship’s currency) and these transactions must be settled using your registered card. You may credit your account with any major currency; this will then be credited to your account in pound sterling at the current exchange rate. We are unable to accept either personal cheques or traveller’s cheques. We are also unable to accept €100, €200 and €500 notes at any time, this includes at the casino.

Settling your on-board account by card

If you have a credit card or Visa/MasterCard debit card registered all you need to do is to check your final statement on the morning of disembarkation. If you are happy with your account you need take no further action. The final amount will be settled to your registered credit or debit card. If you do have any queries you should raise these with the Reception desk prior to your departure from the ship. You have the ability to charge items to your account on the day of disembarkation until you leave the ship – these charges will show as a second settlement on your credit or debit card statement.

Please note that if your cruise is longer than 28 days, your on-board account will be settled in the middle of your cruise as well as at the end. The exact date of the first settlement will be advised once on board. During the World Cruise, your account will be settled at regular intervals. These dates will also be advised on board. Please ensure you have sufficient funds to settle your account.

Foreign currency

You can exchange your money on board into local currency for most ports of call. There are however certain ports when the ship is unable to carry local currency. In such cases, the ship will advise which currency is best to take ashore. We can only accept back the currencies that we sell on board and only in the denominations that we sell. Foreign currency can be charged to your account if you have a credit or debit card registered or if your account has sufficient cash credit to cover the transaction. The following limits apply to all currency transactions – £250 per day, £1,250 per 7 consecutive days and £5,000 per 30 consecutive days. We are unable to accept either personal cheques or traveller’s cheques. We are unable to accept €100, €200 and €500 notes at any time for currency exchange transactions. Please note that, as part of the fight against terrorism, international crime and money laundering, regulations in the UK and regulations in the EU require all guests entering or leaving the UK or the European Union with £10,000 or €10,000 or more respectively in cash (or its equivalent in other currencies or easily convertible assets - e.g. bonds, shares, traveller’s cheques etc.) to declare it to the relevant customs authorities of the country which he/she is entering or leaving. If you are likely to need to make a declaration under this regulation please contact the HM Revenue & Customs National Advice Service on 0845 010 9000 or visit for further information on how to comply.

Cash on board

If you require cash whilst you are on board, you can charge this to your on-board account. The following limits apply to all cash transactions – £250 per day, £1,250 per 7 consecutive days and £5,000 per 30 consecutive days against a registered card.


With options available around the clock, you can enjoy delicious dishes whenever you feel peckish on board our ships. Choose from modern British classics as well as flavours inspired by the destinations on your itinerary – plus, so much is included in the price of your holiday.

Fresh and informal

From poolside snack bars to cafes, these casual spots are the perfect places to stop by and tuck into a tasty bite. With options available all day and even late at night, you can enjoy delicious dishes whenever the mood strikes.

For fresh and informal food, head to venues such as The Beach House (for a little extra) and The Quays (included in the price).

Contemporary flavours

From light bites to decadent dinners, there’s a menu for every appetite, including some created by our Food Heroes. You’ll find traditional British favourites and exotic world flavours available throughout the day.

For contemporary flavours, head to venues such as your ship’s Freedom and Club restaurants (included in the price – see more information on these restaurants below), The Glass House (for a little extra) and Sindhu (for a little extra).

Served with entertainment

Visit one of these unique venues and you might be treated to the sounds of a live band or solo singer during a sumptuous three-course dinner. Or you could hear secrets from the career of a famous chef while watching them create a mouth-watering meal.

For sumptuous food served with entertainment, head to venues such as The Limelight Club (for a little extra).

Chic and special

Whether you’re celebrating a certain occasion or simply keen to indulge in an extra-special foodie experience, these restaurants have the wow factor. Settle into chic surroundings, enjoy flawless service and take your pick from delicately crafted, delectable dishes.

For chic and special dining, head to venues such as The Chef’s Table (included in the price), The Epicurean (for a little extra) and Ocean Grill (for a little extra).

Family favourites

Bring your whole clan for great food and good times. Munch on burgers and hot dogs by the pool, sit down for a family meal to mark a special occasion, or head to the early children’s tea to enjoy healthy options and treats for all tastes.

Our family favourites include the children’s tea in the buffet restaurant (included in the price), Sundaes (for a little extra) and the Poolside Grill (included in the price).

Freedom and Club restaurants

When you book your holiday, you will need to choose between two styles of inclusive evening dining – Freedom or Club – for if/when you decide to eat in your ship’s Freedom and Club restaurants. Please note, Arvia and Iona offer exclusively Freedom Dining.

For Club Dining, you’ll share a table in the Club restaurant with the same guests at a set time. Choose from 6.30pm or 8.30pm and a variety of table sizes (subject to availability). For Freedom Dining, you can dine any time from 6pm to 9.30pm in your ship’s Freedom restaurants; simply go along and you’ll be seated at an available table. At peak times, we’ll give you a pager to let you know when your table is ready, so you can sit back and relax with a drink in the bar.

Room Service

You’ll find a fantastic hot and cold room service menu, available 24 hours a day. Breakfast is included; otherwise charges apply. Please see the room service menu on board for details. A tray charge applies on board Arvia and Iona.

Plan ahead

You can reserve your table at a number of restaurants and venues on board our ships in advance of your holiday via My P&O Cruises. Simply visit to explore the options available and to book.

To find out more about dining experiences on board our ships, visit

Going ashore

Tender operations

Wherever possible, your ship will dock at a quayside allowing you to come and go as you please via the ship’s gangway. Sometimes the ship will anchor at sea and tenders will offer a free and frequent service ashore, such ports are represented by ⚓︎ symbol in our brochure. Depending on the number of people wishing to go ashore, you can normally expect to be ashore about an hour after the time of arrival. The ◉ symbol in our brochure indicates ports that we usually berth alongside but at which, in exceptional circumstances, we may need to anchor the ship at sea. While the ship is in port, naturally the restaurants, bars and other facilities (except the shops) are available.

A tender is a small vessel that carries around 100 passengers. In order to board the tender, please note that you will be required to use steps (up to 20cm/8 inches high) and navigate the gap between the platform and the tender (of up to 45cm/18 inches).

In the interests of safety, we require all guests wishing to use the tenders to have sufficient independent mobility to negotiate steps and traverse a gap of up to 45 cm/18 inches. Anyone wishing to board the tender will need to demonstrate this ability via a mobility test prior to tender embarkation by stepping unaided over a distance of 45 cm/18 inches. Children who are unable to step across a gap of this size will be permitted to use the tender service provided their parent/guardian is able to demonstrate that they can carry or pass them safely across the mobility test gap.

There will be crew members there to guide and steady you as you embark, but they cannot support, carry or lift guests on board the tender for safety reasons. Please wear appropriate, flat, and securely attached footwear, when embarking and disembarking the tender.

If you use a wheelchair or mobility scooter, please note that you or your travelling companion are responsible for assembling and disassembling your wheelchair/mobility scooter. The crew will endeavour to assist where practical and safe to do so, providing that no individual part weighs more than 20kg/40lb.

If you have notified us that you have reduced mobility you will be invited to a tender briefing on board and given the opportunity to take part in the mobility assessment (described above) in advance. This must be completed independently, without any assistance.

If an officer decides it is not safe for you to board a tender, please respect their decision as this decision is taken to ensure your safety, in accordance with health and safety law.

Shuttle buses

With our Select Prices, shuttle buses will be offered free of charge in ports where they are provided by P&O Cruises. If you have opted for an Early Saver or Saver price, you will need to pay a supplement for any shuttle buses in port. The prices for the shuttle bus vary by port and will be advised once on board. As a guide, they are usually £4 to £5 per person each way.

Please be aware that in consideration of health and safety, tour providers/coach operators reserve the right to refuse carriage to any guest who is unable to negotiate the steps of the coach independently.

Please note that water taxis in Venice will be available at a supplement and are not included in the shuttle bus provision for Select Price.

Port information

In some countries we’ve listed the main destination in the itinerary and shown the port in brackets e.g. Rome (from Civitavecchia). In these circumstances we take you to the port advertised and then offer shore experiences to reach the main destination. Where the ship berths some distance from the port centre, guests who wish to go ashore independently will usually find local public transport connections and private taxis close to the ship. We also offer shuttle buses in some ports. These are free of charge if you book a Select Price holiday (See ‘Shuttle bus’ section above.)

There are certain ports (where alternative local transport options are limited or where there are health & safety reasons), where we will offer free shuttle buses to all guests regardless of whether you have booked under Select Price or other promotional prices. For full details on our fare types please see our ‘Pricing’ section on page 2.

Time in port

For Grand Tours and World Cruise the time the ship will be in port is displayed as Half day, Full day, Evening and Two full days – see below for a description of each:

Half day – A half day call will usually be a minimum of 5 hours and a maximum of 7 hours.

Full day – Normally a full day call will be a minimum of 7. hours and a maximum of 11 hours.

Evening – Will usually follow a full day in port and the ship will depart at or after 9pm.

Two full days – Normally will be a minimum call of 32 hours and a maximum call of 40 hours.

Please note that the timings given above are based on the ship’s arrival and departure times, not the length of time you will have ashore.

These are intended as guidelines only as the actual times may vary. We will keep you regularly updated of arrival and departure times while you are on board.

On all fly-cruises, the amount of time you can spend in your embarkation and disembarkation ports may be limited and depends on your flight times. Shore experiences will be available for purchase where time and other factors permit.

For all other cruises featured in the brochure, we have used a ☾ symbol to denote evenings in port and a ★ to denote an overnight in port within the itinerary. Any consecutive (or multiple) days in port are summarised beneath each itinerary.

All ships entering the United States are required to go through the US Immigration Services immigration procedures. This process can take up to half a day, and whilst we endeavour to minimise the impact this may have on your holiday, it may impact your first day in a US port. Guests booked on a P&O Cruises shore experience are not affected by this process.

The impact on immigration requirements resulting from the UK exit from the EU is currently unknown.

Book on board for extra benefits

When it comes to P&O Cruises holidays, it seems you agree that you simply cannot have too much of a good thing! We have a Loyalty and Cruise Sales team on board every ship who, with their expert ship and destination knowledge, can assist with booking your next cruise whilst you are on board, rewarding you with up to £100pp^ additional on-board spending money for your future cruise. If you booked your current cruise via a travel agent we will pass your future booking to your travel agent when you arrive back home.

^ On-board spending money is available on Select Price holidays of 4 nights or more. On-board spending money amount of £100pp is based on cruises of 22 nights or more. Amount varies by cruise duration and is based on holiday nights spent on board, and does not include travel to and from the ship.

My Holiday

My Holiday, is your very own pocket planner. You can access it once on board using your mobile phone or tablet and our free guest Wi-Fi*, and you’ll have the power to personalise your experience from the comfort of your cabin, sun lounger, wherever! Before you sail, you can pre-book experiences with My P&O Cruises but once on board, My Holiday allows you to customise your holiday in real-time.

Want to book a seat for a show? View your on-board account summary? Make a dining reservation? You can browse the restaurants and make bookings for your entire holiday. You can also queue virtually… For restaurants that allow walk-ins or offer Freedom Dining, you typically go to the restaurant and stand in line for a table but with My Holiday, you can join the queue from anywhere on the ship and only head to the restaurant when your table is ready. It’s never been easier to holiday your way…

*Free guest Wi-Fi is limited to using My Holiday. For general Wi-Fi usage and packages, please see

Ships exclusively for adults

Please note that there may be a small number of children on ships classified as exclusively for adults as families of our officers and captains travel on occasion.

Single travellers

On cruises when there are significant numbers of single travellers and dependent on cruise duration, the on-board Entertainment team may arrange dedicated events for single travellers, such as get-togethers or informal coffee mornings.

Smoking policy

For the safety, comfort and enjoyment of all of our guests, and in view of the UK legislation banning smoking in interior public areas, smoking is not permitted in cabins, on cabin balconies or in public rooms. It is permitted in designated areas of the open deck. E-cigarettes, including those which do not emit smoke, are permitted in designated smoking areas only. E-cigarettes are illegal or banned in some countries and governments are changing their laws as new research is revealed so always check where you can use them before you sail.

Stay Connected

Your mobile phone should be able to work as it does ashore, but please ensure you check with your service provider regarding the necessary roaming agreements before you board. There’s also a phone in your cabin. All our ships have extensive Wi-Fi capability and you can access the internet (satellite reception permitting) via one of our tailored internet packages, each designed to suit your online preferences. You can purchase internet access before you sail, or log on to the Wi-Fi when you board your ship to see the full range of packages available. To find out more, visit

No tips required

No tipping is needed on our ships, so you can relax knowing good service and good times are all part and parcel of your P&O Cruises holiday.


Self-service launderettes with washers, dryers and ironing stations are available on all our ships for guests to use, but you will need to supply your own detergent (available to purchase on board).

Launderettes will be closed on cruises less than 5 nights. Opening is dependent on relevant public health information and guidelines at the time of the cruise.