Customer research by P&O Cruises leads to multi-million pound investment in fleet refurbishments

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Findings from customer research commissioned by P&O Cruises has led to a multi-million pound investment on Ventura, Oceana and Arcadia.

The Glasshouse menu and concept that has proved so popular on board Azura, is being introduced on board Ventura in the area that was previously Las Ramblas. Olly Smith will travel regularly throughout the year to lend his expertise and irreverent style in wine tastings and food & wine pairings.

Olly Smith said “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!”

Ventura will spend approximately 13 days in the German shipyard* in spring 2013, between the cruise which returns to Southampton on March 22 and the following cruise which departs on April 7, 2013. Highlights of the work being undertaken are:
•18 new single cabins – in the same area as Azura adjacent to the Exchange bar and Fortunes casino
•Introduction of The Glasshouse to replace Las Ramblas bar and restaurant. Installation of Enomatics wine dispensing system and conversion to The Glasshouse menu
•Installation of Retreat into the forward area on deck 16
•Introduction of a new dance floor in the atrium
•Optimisation of retail area to improve popular shopping facilities on board
•Cyberstudy conversion to library with digital functions.
•Cabin refurbishment including the replacement of carpets, bed runners, cushions, curtains and mattresses.
The research focused on the different aspects of the cruise experience for both existing passengers and potential cruisers.

P&O Cruises managing director, Carol Marlow, said:

“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.

Research was also carried out to look to dining preferences and trends across the fleet.

Marlow continued:

“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.”

On Oceana, the concept behind Cafe Jardin will change and be replaced by a new menu by Marco Pierre White.

Oceana will spend approximately 11 days in the yard, between the cruise which returns to Southampton on December 5 and the following cruise which departs on December 20, 2012. Highlights of the work being undertaken are:
•Refurbishment to Oasis Spa changing rooms, sauna and salon
•Refurbishment to shops and Sundaes ice-cream parlour
•Additional and refreshed seating in Winners casino, Le Club and Horizon Grill
•New lighting, sound and AV equipment in Le Club, including flat screen TVs, to make venue suitable for daytime entertainment
•Enhanced top deck lighting and sound equipment to enable increased outdoor entertainment
•New Marco Pierre White menu in Cafe Jardin
•Significant cabin refurbishment including the replacement of carpets, bed runners, cushions, curtains and mattresses.

Arcadia will also be refurbished in December 2013 in time for her 2014 world cruise. Highlights of the work will include:
•The addition of single cabins
•The Globe will replace Electra and will become a late night dance venue with state of the art acoustics
•Cabin refurbishment with new soft furnishings
•Re-fitting of the shops on board
•Refurbishment of the soft furnishings in the Crow’s Nest and in the Ocean Grill

See the P&O Cruises fleet here.


  • Yards to be confirmed.

About P&O Cruises
P&O Cruises can trace its roots back to 1837 and 2012 marks the 175th anniversary of when the Peninsular Steam Navigation Company was awarded the lucrative Admiralty contract to carry mail to the Iberian Peninsula and beyond. Not long afterwards the concept of cruising was born and since then has evolved into a popular holiday choice. Today, as trusted cruise experts, P&O Cruises has a fleet of seven ships offering holidays tailored to British tastes combining genuine service, a sense of occasion and attention to detail, ensuring passengers have the holiday of a lifetime, every time. On July 3, 2012, P&O Cruises celebrated its 175 of heritage with The Grand Event, seeing all seven ships berthed in Southampton for the first time. Ushering in an exciting new era for P&O Cruises, a new 141,000 ton as yet unnamed ship will be added to the fleet in spring 2015.

For further press information please contact:
Michele Andjel, 023 8065 6653 / 07730 732 072
Kate Rist, 023 8065 6652 / 07730 732 065

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Mike Fawcett

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