Top 10 cruise myths debunked for first-time cruisers

Never been on a P&O Cruises holiday? Then you might think it’s not for you. Especially if you’ve heard the myths and legends flying around about cruises. These tales are far from the truth when it comes to our holidays, so we thought we’d answer the top 10 myths head on.  

Not convinced? Let’s see about that… 

Cruise myth one: cruise holidays are too expensive

If you don’t know what’s included, our holidays may seem pricey. But you shouldn’t compare the price of a holiday with us to the typical cost of a flight and hotel. You get a lot more than that with us – and then some!

Your P&O Cruises holiday offers incredible value. The price of your holiday comes with premium accommodation, full board delicious dining, flights and transfers, pools,  state of the art gyms and classes, spectacular entertainment and (not forgetting) a number of exciting destinations to explore. You can book your holiday knowing you can enjoy so many ways to relax and recharge, all included in the price.

You’ll also pay for everything on board with the Great British pound, making your holiday money go even further. Slip into holiday mode knowing that all your purchases during your time away will be that exact price.

Enjoy afternoon tea in our main dining restaurants, included in the price of your holiday

So much is included

Cruise myth two: I’ll get caught out by hidden costs & extras

Not with us. As so much is included in the price of your holiday, you can spend as much or as little during your holiday as you’d like. Any additional costs are made clear up front and offer great value – there are no surprises. Here’s a taste of some of the extras you can enjoy:

  • You could book a soothing spa treatment, treat yourself to some on-board shopping or reserve exclusive access to The Retreat, a private relaxation area that’s exclusively for adults.
  • You can explore each destination at your own pace, but if you’d like, you can also browse and book a huge range of shore experiences online at My P&O Cruises up to 365 days before your holiday.
  • You could treat yourself to a meal in a speciality restaurant, with charges clearly stated on each venue’s menu. For example, mains in The Glass House are from £4.50, and mains in Sindhu are from £8. 
  • You can enjoy tea and coffee in your room, buffet and in the main dining rooms, but alcoholic and soft drinks are chargeable at competitive rates. You can also buy drinks packages if you’d like to have your drinks covered.


Some holidays include on board spending money – this is money that is waiting in your on-board account for you to spend on things such as the spa and buying drinks whilst you’re on board the ship.

What’s more, no tipping is needed on our ships, so you can also relax knowing good times are part and parcel on your holiday.

Added extras to make your holiday even more special

You could book a shore experience and kayak in Geirangerfjord, say ‘cheers’ with one of our drinks packages or enjoy an unforgettable meal in a speciality restaurant.

Cruise myth three: people like me don’t go on cruise holidays

Unless you hate discovering new places, enjoying delicious food and having your pick of ways to relax and recharge, then a cruise with us is for you. Whatever your dream destination or idea of a perfect holiday, we’ve got something for everyone. From the ultimate city break to getting up close to Norway’s sublime fjords to exploring blissful beaches and historic gems in the Med. We can help you discover so much more both on board and ashore.

Whether you’re a young family or your children have flown the nest, friends, a young couple or ready to adventure your way through retirement, we believe our holidays offer the best way to explore the world (without having to carry a backpack or snooze on overnight trains). How else can you wake up to a new view each day and spend your time travelling to your next destination while sitting back with a cocktail by the pool, settling in to watch a show in the theatre or serving in the sports court? We’ve so many destinations, itineraries and spectacular ships to choose from, we’ve got your ideal getaway covered. 

Cruise myth four: the food on board is bland with just ‘all-you-can-eat’ buffet options

We know food has the power to make or break your holiday. Which is why the food you’ll enjoy on board is anything but bland! We do have buffets as an option on our ships (no apologies there) – the buffet is a great way to enjoy a relaxed and informal pick of breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as evening treats and hot chocolates. But you can also enjoy the best table service delivering you a variety of mouth-watering menus and restaurants to tuck into…

Enjoy modern British classics, flavours inspired by the destinations on your itinerary, as well as vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free and low-sugar options – and so much is included in the price of your holiday. To find out more about the delicious dining options you can choose from, see here.

You can even enjoy foodie delights designed by our Food Heroes. We work with the brightest lights of the culinary scene, such as Marco Pierre White and Olly Smith to bring you innovative, delicious menus and exclusive experiences across our ships. Meet our Food Heroes and find out more here.

Cruise myth five: cruise holidays don’t give you enough time in destinations

Did you know that, with us, you can enjoy a full day in almost every destination?

And with evening and overnight stays on many of our holidays, you’ve time to see a destination in a new light as you watch the sun set and soak up the local nightlife. You’re free to explore ashore under your own steam, but we also work with local experts to offer a huge range of shore experiences that help you get to the heart of every destination you visit.

If you want even more time in your destinations, you can choose a fly-cruise. By flying straight to your ship, you can immerse yourself in more amazing places than you may have thought possible. By arriving that much sooner, you can enjoy more of the beaches, culture, sightseeing or whatever you want to experience ashore. Even better, with a fly-cruise, your flights and transfers are included in your holiday price and we make sure you get there on time. Find out more about our fly-cruise holidays and where you can fly from here.

Cruise myth six: you need to dress in formal wear on the ship

Only on some evenings, and only if you want to! During your holiday, you’ll have two types of dress code in the evenings: evening casual and Black Tie for Celebration Nights. If it’s evening casual, then you can dress as you usually would for dinner at a restaurant back home..

If you love getting dressed up, our Celebration Nights will be right up your street. You can don a tux, ballgown, smart dark suit or cocktail dress. If dressing up isn’t your thing and you’re more comfortable dressing casually on holiday, then you don’t have to join in. There will be certain restaurants and venues that have the dress code on Celebration Nights, but there are plenty of other spaces on board where you can keep to evening casual. Find out more here.

Cruise myth seven: cruise holidays are all about overindulgence

Your holiday is exactly what you make it. The food is delicious and you’ve your pick of restaurants, bars, buffet, poolside grills and ice cream, but you’re free to dine however you like, whenever suits you. If you go for another ice-cream by the pool, then no judgement here – you’re on holiday after all! But you’ve also plenty of ways to get active on your ship. As well as days exploring your destinations, you can head to the sports courts and play tennis, football, basketball or even archery; jog with unbeatable sea views on deck; make the most of your state-of-the-art gym; join a FitSteps®, Pilates, spin or AQUA FIT class; or ease into your holiday with mindful yoga sessions. Your holiday can be as relaxed or energised as you wish – it’s up to you!

Cruise myth eight: the ships are overcrowded

All of our ships, large or small, are not only spacious, but offer a variety of spaces and venues where you can feel like you’re on your own private getaway. Our new ships, Arvia and Iona, take things even further. As our largest ships they offer even more deck space, restaurants, and entertainment venues to accommodate the greater number of guests on board.

Designed to invite the outside in, you can enjoy wide open spaces and panoramic viewing spots across the entire ship. From the SkyDome with its luminous roof and the Grand Atrium with its three floors of glass to brand-new, light-infused Conservatory Mini-suites, you can soak up sights of the sea, sky and shore from sunrise to sunset. 

View Iona's Grand Atrium and SkyDome in full 360°

Cruise myth nine: cruising makes you feel seasick

All of our ships have stabilisers, to reduce the motion of the waves on board (not like a smaller boat or ferry). Our larger ships – Arvia, Britannia and Iona – are even better if you’re worried about seasickness as you’re less likely to feel any movement across the ship. If you’re prone to sea sickness we recommend choosing accommodation towards the middle of the ship. The middle feels the least movement, so is the best place to be if you’re worried about feeling nauseous.

If you plan on spending quite a bit of time in your room, a balcony is a good choice, as you can enjoy the freedom of relaxing with fresh air and sea views whenever you wish. Most of our guests find that after the first day or so of their holiday, they’ve found their sea legs and don’t even notice the movement anymore. But if you do find yourself feeling unwell, we have medical facilities on board each of our ships to ensure you stay safe and well. 

Cruise myth ten: cruising is boring

A holiday with us is anything but. On top of the incredible destinations and days spent exploring ashore, your ship is a spa break, a boutique shopping trip, a high-tech gym, nights of drinks, shows, music, dancing and more. There’s so much to do on board, you’ve got your pick of the activities that spell ‘holiday’ to you.

We’ve even taken on-board entertainment to a whole new level. On our Excel class ship Iona, you can be transported to a world of flamboyant costumers and extravagant sets with international entertainment company Creativiva’s jaw-dropping aerial shows.  

Here's a sneak peak into one of their shows...

Have we tempted you?