P&O Cruises invests millions of pounds to refurbish its fleet in response to customer research


P&O Cruises have started a multi-million pound investment refurbishing their fleet. In responding to valued customer research on cruise experience, P&O Cruises will be enhancing Ventura, Oceana and Arcadia.  Using the Azura as a model, key innovations will be rolled out to its sister ship Ventura. The unique Glasshouse menu and concept, which promotes wine tasting in a relaxed and informal manner and which has proved such a huge success on Azura, is being introduced on board Ventura. The pioneer of the Glasshouse menu, Olly Smith, will bring his expertise on board during the year.

“I am delighted to expand The Glasshouse concept to Ventura which will enable even more people to enjoy their favourite wines or experiment with my recommendations by the glass. We are constantly looking at new wines and will be introducing some zinging new tastes and countries to the list. Cheers!”

– Olly Smith

In addition, Ventura will go through a series on renovations in spring 2013 at a German shipyard (to be confirmed). The main pieces of work on the ship include increasing the number of single cabins. This will again use the Azura as a model, with the new cabins placed near the Exchange bar and Fortunes casino. There will also be a wider cabin refurbishment, seeing new carpets, cushions, curtains and mattresses. The Glasshouse will replace Las Ramblas bar and restaurant and the cutting-edge Enomatics wine dispensing system will be installing. This allows customers to sample fine wines by the glass, without having to buy a whole bottle. There will also be a new dance floor installed in the atrium, a new Retreat into the forward area on deck 16 and an improvement in general shopping facilities by way of an optimisation of space. A library will be added through the conversion of the Cyberstudy.

“We are committed to ongoing and continuous improvement and refurbishment of our ships so that there is a consistent standard of decor across the fleet.

“The Glasshouse and Retreat areas on board Azura have proved very popular and so we are taking this opportunity to add these innovations to sister ship Ventura. The addition of a dance floor in the atrium on board Ventura will make it the heart of the ship for afternoon and after dinner dancing, which is so popular on Azura.”

“Our research showed that the quality of dining is important to an overwhelming 97% of respondents. The speciality restaurants are also important as variety of dining came through as another priority, with premium grills, classic fine dining, Asian and Indian menus being the most popular.

“Whilst it is imperative that we continue to research changing trends and tastes it is reassuring to know that we are offering what our passengers want and adapting menus accordingly.”

– P&O Cruises managing director, Carol Marlow

Oceana will also spend some time in yard and undergo a series of renovations. Alongside broad cabin refurbishment, these include refurbishing the Oasis Spa changing rooms, the sauna and salon. Other shops and Sundaes ice-cream parlour will also be refurbished. The concept behind Cafe Jardin will change and be replaced by a newly designed menu by the famed celebrity chef Marco Pierre White. More seating space will be added to Winners casino, Le Club and Horizon Grill. Le Club will also have new lighting, sound and AV equipment to allow daytime entertainment. Sound and lighting equipment will be enhanced on the top deck to improve outdoor entertainment.

Arcadia will also see some refurbishment in December 2013 in time for her 2014 world cruise. More single cabins will be created, and those existing will be refurnished. Shops will be re-fitted, and new soft furnishings will be installed in the Crow’s Nest and the Ocean Grill. Finally, the Globe will replace Electra in becoming a dance venue which will be fitted with high-quality acoustic equipment.


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Claire has worked in the travel industry since leaving college in 1994. One of this blog's most regular contributors, Claire covers cruise news and industry trends.

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