P&O Cruises introduces ‘The Pantry’, to replace the traditional cruise buffet

P&O Cruises are introducing a brand new dining experience to replace the traditional buffet.

Banishing trays, queues and the all-you-can-eat smorgasbord, P&O’s new dining concept is named “The Pantry”, and is similar to an up-market food hall where passengers can choose between eight different stations and have their meals individually plated.

There’s a “Kettle & Bun” bar with sandwiches and soups, the “Fat Cow” bar for a traditional roast dinner, “Mexicana” gives you your taco fix, “Curry House” brings you a taste of Indian cuisine as well as an Asian food bar, coffee bar and fish and chips stand. And when you’re ready for dessert, the “Sugar Bar” offers homemade cakes and pastries.

Bye, bye cruise ship buffet

Looking more like a chic hotel lobby than a cruise ship.

“We’ve been working on this part of our on-board food revolution for some time and to see the concept become reality is very exciting. It’s a game-changer — and it’s clear from our guests’ reaction that they love it,” P & O Cruises Senior Vice President Sture Myrmell said.

“The Pantry is a dining experience like no other at sea. Designed as an international food market, it features eight bespoke outlets reflecting the many flavours Australians love to eat.”

The interior has also changed. Round tables and carpet have been replaced with a mix of bench seats and intimate tables, mosaic tiles give it contemporary chic, cutlery is wrapped in beach style napkins in baskets and homely bookcases stocked with vases and plants create a relaxed vibe.

Despite earlier patron concerns, dining at “The Pantry” will still be all inclusive in the ticket price. “The Pantry” is currently available on the Pacific Jewel, and will unveiled on the Pacific Aria and Pacific Eden later this year.

For P&O specials visit P&O Specials

Family Cruises – What are the benefits

With the amazing increase in popularity of cruising, it’s no secret that cruising has become hugely popular with families. The number of children onboard is growing steadily, and more than 2 million kids younger than 15 sailed on cruise lines in 2013, according to the Cruise Lines International Association. Yet, despite the great strides made by cruise lines in accommodating children onboard, choosing the best cruise for your family is still complicated. Where once it was a struggle to find ships that were kid-friendly, the challenge now is wading through the bevy of activities, kids clubs, and child-themed activities of the newer ships offer to determine which cruise ships are best for your youngsters. Cruising from Australia the main competition is between P&O, Carnival and Royal Caribbean.

Royal Caribbean

Ships: Radiance of the Seas, Explorer of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas

Royal Caribbean’s award winning Advenure Ocean Youth Programme and a host of onboard activities ensure your kids will have the time of their lives. It’s family time, and it’s all included. Please find below some of the highlights of their family program.

THE DREAMWORKS EXPERIENCE – Exclusive shows, parades, dining and photo opportunities for the whole family with characters from DreamWorks® Animation

FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT & ACTIVITIES – Be entertained with Broadway style shows, rock wall, FlowRider surf simulator, mini-golf, iceskating and swimming pools.

ADVENTURE OCEAN – Our Youth Staff have developed age-appropriate curriculums to engage and entertain kids and teens of all ages: Aquanauts 3 – 5 years, Explorers 6 – 8 years, Voyagers 9 – 11 years, Teens 12 – 14 years, Teens 15 – 17 years

FAMILY-FRIENDLY DINING – With My Family Time DiningSM, our expedited dining service, your kids (ages 3 – 11 years) are served their meals and then picked up by our Adventure Ocean staff so you can enjoy the rest of your dinner.

ROYAL BABIES & TOTSSM NURSERY – Our littlest guests (ages 6-36 months) can enjoy specially designed programmes whilst being cared for by trained professionals.

P&O Cruises

Ships: Pacific Jewel, Pearl, Dawn, Eden & Aria

P&O have a wide variety of daily activities designed just for kids. Their Kids Club program has been designed with help from childhood experts, and they limit the number of children onboard so nobody ever feels left out. At meal time, even the fussiest feeders will love the kids’ menu options, family share platters in the Waterfront Restaurant, and the kids’ only dinner every night at Plantation Restaurant. The kid’s clubs Turtle Cove and Shark Shack are open until 10:30pm and provide a late night child-minding service until 1am while tweens and teens can enjoy the features of HQ & HQ+ until 1am each night. So date nights and downtime are ready when you are.

For those after a serious dose of adrenalin, P&OEdge, the largest adventure program at sea is now onboard Pacific Jewel. That means you can climb, swing, jump and race your way through the ship. Whether you’re ascending high above the Big Screen, climbing up the aft tunnel or flying around the atrium you’ll see Pacific Jewel like never before!

Carnival Cruises

Ships: Carnival Spirit and Carnival Legend

Carnival Cruises are fun ships for kids and parents. They are the only ship cruising from Australia with water slides for all ages. The Green Thunder is the steepest waterslide at sea If you’re up for freefalling and being whipped around at up to 65 kilometres per hour you’ll have a blast. If you’re not, take a deep breath, and get ready for the ride of your life.  A new addition to Carnival is the Seuss at Sea. The littlest ones, and their families, will enjoy an all-new, extra-special experience as the fantastical world of Dr. Seuss comes to life around them.  Enjoy a special onboard character parade, interactive story time, arts & crafts activities, character breakfast and more, featuring their favourite Dr. Seuss characters. Seuss at Sea truly brings your child’s favourite books to life.

Camp Carnival offers tons of activities designed for children in three different age groups: 2 to 5 years, 6 to 8 years, and 9 to 11 years. Carnivals counsellors, each with education or childcare experience, are on the clock making sure everyone in the small groups of kids is having fun. When it’s mealtime, kids get their own menus, with faves like mac & cheese, chicken nuggets, and more. And when the sun goes down, we offer Night Owls (fees apply) so kids get to stay up late having fun, while their parents also enjoy themselves well into the night.

www.cruiseoffers.com.au

 

Two new ships for P&O Cruises

P&O has announced that they will welcome two more ships, making it the largest fleet of cruise ships home ported year round in Australia. The additional ships will transfer from Holland America Line in November 2015.

New_P&O_Ships

The announcement is an emphatic statement about the leadership of Carnival Australia, confidence in the Australian cruise market and reaffirmation of P&O Cruises’ status as Australia’s iconic ‘home brand’ cruise line.

“This is a very exciting development for the Carnival Group, P&O Cruises and for our teams who have worked so passionately and effectively to build the business and the cruise category. This move signals that the next generation of P&O Cruises is about to commence.” said Ann Sherry, CEO of Carnival Australia, operator of P&O Cruises.

Both ships are of a similar mid-range size to the three existing P&O Cruises ships, Pacific Dawn, Pacific Jewel and Pacific Pearl.

“The ships will be intimate but offer space, comfort and style giving passengers more destinations to choose from, more onboard experiences to indulge in and more reasons to cruise,” said Senior Vice President P&O Cruises Tammy Marshall.

Having a five-ship fleet will give P&O Cruises greater flexibility in its increased offering of short break cruises, traditional cruises to the South Pacific and exciting new destinations such as Papua New Guinea and Asia.

The additional ships, which will transfer from the Holland America Line, will deliver much needed capacity in the world’s fastest growing cruise market.

Last year, the majority of Australia’s 800,000 cruise passengers travelled with P&O Cruises. Increasing by 130% in the past 5 years, the industry is on track to carry 1 million passengers a year by 2016- four years earlier than forecast.

“This further fleet expansion is entirely appropriate for P&O Cruises, the shipping line that pioneered cruising from Australia more than 80 years ago and has set the pace for the industry ever since,” Ms Marshall said.

Visit www.cruiseoffers.com.au for the latest P&O specials and itineraries.

Countdown to the Pacific Dawn

1 week of fun & relaxation, here I come!

I am counting down the days to my cruise on the Pacific Dawn this weekend!

My tickets are in my travel wallet, my shore excursions are booked and my skin is ready for a tan (spf 30+ will be involved).

Luke Mangan’s Salt Grill is on my list of things to experience, hello juicy steak.  After a night burning up the dance floor in the Dome you will most likely find me chilling out in Oasis.

When back from my wonderful week I will give you an update on the ship and all the great facilities and activities.

Bon Voyage!

Alicia

Cruise Offers
Cruise Specialist

Cruise Offers Wins Cunard, Princess & P&O Awards

Cruise Offers and Travelrite International were very pleased to reach the top sales awards for Cunard and Princess (Diamond Agents) and high sales (Sapphire Agent) for P&O. The photo shows the Directors of Cruise offers and Travelrite, receiving their partnership plaques for 2011 with David Clarke and Sally-Anne from the Cunard, Princess and P&O brands. Thank you to clients who have booked with Travelrite or Cruise Offers making this possible.

Left to Right
David Clark, Sandra Walliss, Neville Walliss, Simon Walliss, Shawn Walliss, Nigel Walliss, Sally-Anne Matthews

P&O Cruises launch 2012-13 program including depatures from Melbourne

Departures from Melbourne and more short breaks are features of P&O Cruises massive new 2012-13 program.

On sale from March 31, the new program is P&O Cruises’ biggest ever and features a record 126 voyages between June 2012 and April 2013, with great value fares from $749* per person for a seven-night cruise from Brisbane and $1199* per person for a 10-night cruise from Sydney.

The program offers 24 cruises of less than a week, including more of the themed cruises that have proven such a hit with passengers, such as food and wine getaways and comedy cruises.

Highlights include a three-night Australia Day long weekend cruise from Sydney in January 2013 onboard Pacific Pearl, plus a new four-night Christmas shopping cruise from Sydney to Melbourne in early December on Pacific Sun, with fares on the shopping cruise priced from $649* per person.

The new program also features two new Australian ports of call, with Pacific Sun visiting Port Lincoln and pristine Kangaroo Island in South Australia on a coastal cruise. Fares start from $899 per person quad share for a nine-night cruise from Fremantle to Sydney departing on October 23, 2012.
Meanwhile, P&O Cruises has added Melbourne to its line-up of homeports, with the cruise line returning to the Victorian capital to offer seven summer cruises from late 2012, in addition to regular voyages from Sydney, Brisbane, Fremantle and Auckland.

Jenny Lourey, Senior Vice President of Carnival Australia, which operates P&O Cruises, said the new program offered more cruise itineraries than ever before, with destinations ranging from Asia to Tasmania, as well as the Pacific islands.
“Not only do we offer great places to visit, our ships are a destination in themselves. No matter where you’re cruising, the fun begins the moment you step onboard a P&O Cruises’ ship,” Ms Lourey said.

“Whatever your age, our ships offer a great range of features to make your holiday memorable – from spectacular aerial circus acts and great kids’ clubs through to delicious meals at Luke Mangan’s Salt Grill Restaurant and relaxing treatments in the spa.”

The new program also offers travellers front-row seats for the total solar eclipse in November 2012, with Pacific Jewel and Pacific Dawn sailing to the Pacific islands and northern Queensland to ensure the ships offer the best vantage points for the eclipse. Fares start from $799 per person quad share for a seven-night cruise onboard Pacific Dawn departing November 10, 2012.

Meanwhile, Brisbane will see 36 cruise holidays on offer onboard Pacific Dawn and Pacific Sun, including 25 of the popular seven-night cruises to the Pacific Islands or exploring the Queensland coastline. Cruises start from $749 per person quad share for a seven-night Queensland cruise onboard Pacific Sun departing July 8, 2012.
Fremantle will welcome home Pacific Sun for a third season of cruising in 2012, offering a mix of short breaks, Western Australian cruises and longer voyages to Asia between August and October 2012.

Twelve-night cruises to Indonesia calling at Bali and Komodo Island are priced from $1099 per person quad share.

Pacific Pearl will return to Auckland for another season of cruising from New Zealand, sailing five cruises of between three and 15 nights between April and May 2013. Fares start from $1299 per person quad share for a 10-night cruise to the Pacific Islands departing May 8, 2013.

Australian travellers will also have the chance to celebrate the birth of cruise holidays, with two special voyages planned in August 2012 to mark 175 years since the Peninsular Steam Navigation Company signed its first contract to deliver mail by sea and 80 years since P&O Cruises’ first Australian cruise.

Pacific Pearl and Pacific Jewel will meet in Sydney Harbour on August 22 and set sail in tandem on special heritage cruises, featuring tailored entertainment including a 175th Anniversary Gala dinner, a heritage art display and fascinating guest speakers. Fares on the nine-night Pacific Jewel cruise start from $1199 per person quad share.

For more information, Cruiseoffers on 1800 616 434 or visit www.cruiseoffers.com.au

* Fares are quad share. Subject to availability, conditions apply