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I did a post a couple of months ago after P&O announced refits of three ships (Oceana, Ventura and Arcadia) between now and December 2013. Since then there hasn’t been much information, although there have been rumours that the scale of the refits, especially for Oceana, was not going to be as great as first imagined. P&O have now given some details in the new issue of ‘Our World’, their loyalty club magazine.

  • Oceana is first up. The magazine talks about “£1m …. spent on Oceana’s cabins’; Café Jardin will offer a Marco Pierre White menu in the evenings, and Le Club will be ‘refreshed’, with new lighting, sound, seating and colours.
  • Ventura will get the package as previously announced: 18 new single cabins, a new bar similar to Azura’s ‘Glass House’  will replace Ramblas, and a ‘Retreat’ area.
  • Arcadia will also get more single cabins, and existing cabins will be freshened-up. There will also be work done in the Globe/Electra area.

All the stories about scaling-back on the refits have been about Oceana, but to be honest what’s detailed now pretty much fits with what was announced in the summer. Perhaps the Arcadia refit is the most affected – there was a lot of detail about the changes to The Globe and Electra, plus references to makeovers in the shops and perhaps the Orchid restaurant, but there doesn’t seem to be any mention of those areas now. However, Arcadia’s refit is still a year away so things could change yet.

But perhaps the most interesting point is about Ventura (and Azura). The main news is about the creation of an Azura-style Retreat on Ventura, but the magazine also specifically states “the forward swimming pools on both will be opened up for adult use”. On Azura use of the Oasis pool (the forward pool) has been part and parcel of the Retreat; i.e. if you hadn’t paid to use the Retreat then you couldn’t use the Oasis pool. This has been criticised quite a bit. Now it sounds as if use of the pool will be not require the passenger to be a Retreat customer, and that’s good news.

I still question the whole Retreat concept, anyway, certainly for UK-based cruises. Thinking about our recent Canary Islands cruise on Arcadia, there were at least two days if not three at the beginning when it was too cold to spend much time out on deck, and another day or more at the end – it was cold and miserable in Vigo and cold and foggy for the last sea day. So for five days out of twelve, you wouldn’t have wanted to use the Retreat. It may work in the Caribbean or for fly-cruises in the Med, but for cruises out of Southampton? – not really.

One Response to “P&O refits – more information”

  1. […] a couple of posts some while ago (here and here) I mentioned that included in the latest news on the refits was the suggestion that the […]

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