Are P&O family friendly ? I mean are they REALLY family friendly? Like many cruise lines they advertise they are family friendly but how interested are they really in this market?
It seems a strange question after all they have launched the family friendly Britannia and have several other ships they advertise as being family friendly. In addition they have just announced the building of their new mega-ship to be launched in 2020. Surely all this is a sign that P&O is family friendly?
The thing is; not for the first time; they have declined my booking as too many children on board already. In fact over the years I have tried multiple times to book with P&O cruises to be declined bookings based on 1 of the kid’s ages. The age of the kid varies they decline but they always decline one.
In fact I have only ever managed to successfully booked a cruise with P&O once. We travelled on the Ventura a few years back to the Fjords. The Fjords were fantastic the ship was less so. I felt the kids club was excellent and both kids loved it. However; outside of the club the was little for them to do. Much, much less than other ships. In addition the interaction from staff was surprisingly minimal. I suspect some of this was unfortunate and why I was prepared to look once more at P&O.
However; trying to book Britannia this week I was again declined. No more 5 to 8 year olds they say.
What is surprising about this is half the ship is currently empty. I have a huge selection of cabins available if I remove the 6 year old. With less than 6 months until the sail date you might wonder how they will fill the ship without heavy discounting. Surely a family of 4 who will pay a full price is better than 2 adults looking for a last minute bargain?
Is this really a sign that P&O are family friendly? Can they really fill a 183200 GT ship in 2020 if they decline to take children?
Whilst they might advertise they are family friendly they are the only major “family friendly” cruise line that declines children on some of their ships. Children are not welcome on the Arcadia or Oriana. I can’t think of another “family family” friendly cruise line that has similar policies. Can you?
Since being declined I have looked at multiple other cruise lines and not one other will decline my booking. Does the Britannia really carry more children than the largest ships of NCL, Carnival & Royal Caribbean?
I suspect not.
When I previously was declined a booking with P&O I asked why.
“For safety & insurance” I was told.
I have no recent to doubt this is incorrect but why does it not seem to be an issue with other cruise lines? Is it because of staffing numbers of youth staff? Surely child safety is easier to manage than multiple frail and disabled in event of an emergency? P&O would not decline these bookings so why do they decline kids?
Due to it being a British line are they not able to increase numbers of staff during school holidays? Do they need to start advertising more to other markets? It is understandable if only appealing to the U.K. market the are few children outside of school holidays.
In my opinion P&O still have an image of appealing to older cruisers rather than families. Again in my opinion; older cruisers are not likely to be appealed by a new 183200 GT ship. However; the family market will be. Will they sail with a half empty ship rather than take a few extra kids?
Surely it is time for P&O to stop these restrictive policies?
If they do then the is no reason why P&O can’t be genuinely family friendly.
Currently are P&O family friendly? I’m really not sure.
Let me know what you think?