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Shipboard dining room; P&O buffets

P&O replaces buffets with cafes and restaurants

P&O Cruises has revealed a bold move to discontinue buffet dining from their newer ships and revolutionise cruise dining. In the place of the P&O buffets, passengers can expect more modern food outlets and gourmet delights.

The initial plan is to begin rolling out these options on their newest ships, the Pacific Aria and the Pacific Eden. When these two ships begin cruising, this will mean a record number of five P&O ships will be sailing from New Zealand and Australia throughout the year. Various key features will then be rolled out across the rest of the fleet.

P&O buffets make way for new options

‘The Pantry’, as it is called, is the new area with a more contemporary design that will make a variety of eateries available to passengers. What was the regular open-plan P&O buffets will be replaced by longer high tables, comfortable benches, round-backed chairs and other options in seating. Like the buffet, this is part of your package and passengers will not be charged extra for dining at ‘The Pantry’. Aria and Eden will have a total of 15 restaurants, bars and cafes.

Pacific Aria and Eden dining options include:

* Dragon Lady: Pan Asian cuisine served in an environment decked with midnight-blue furnishings
* Angelo’s Italian restaurant: Named after the photographer Angelo Frontoni, this is where you will find food with style.
* Open Kitchen: Learn and eat with this culinary school
* A gourmet delicatessen
* Fresh fish served with chips
* Luke Mangan’s Salt Grill restaurant is also going to enjoy some changes. The Salt Grill Bar is set to specialise in all your favourite sophisticated cocktails. For wine lovers, a Cellar Door offers passengers the refined experience of a boutique winery.

Plenty of enthusiasm from P&O about these dining changes

P&O Cruises Senior Vice President, Tammy Marshall, expressed confidence in this new approach by supporting the idea of trying something new to attract first timers to the wonderful world of cruising. She was quoted as saying that this will be a “haven for food lovers” and the laid back contemporary atmosphere will be part of the attraction. Ms Marshall is excited about the new dining experience that Pacific Aria and Pacific Aden passengers will get to enjoy with plenty of fresh food and inspired décor specially selected to enhance the experience of dining at sea.

Along with the food presentation, the pool area will also undergo changes with the addition of outdoor rugs, day beds, lamps and white curtains. These extras really add that touch of luxury to an already sensational fleet of cruise ships. Next year, while in dry dock, The Pantry will also be introduced on the Pacific Jewel.

Ready for the best year ever

In Australia, there is a real buzz in the cruise industry as everyone prepares for the upcoming seasons. This may be the biggest year in Australian cruise holidays ever! P&O’s fleet is set to cruise from 8 home ports in Australia with all 5 of their ships set to dock in Sydney Harbour. Pacific Eden and Aria both have itineraries that include Papua New Guinea, Hunter Valley, the Pacific Islands and SeaBreak Comedy Cruises.

Melbourne is set to welcome its largest ship ever when Carnival Corporation’s impressive Golden Princess makes its way here. This grand ship is scheduled to stop off in Sydney first and launch from Fremantle. With all of this in mind, it is important to note that the Golden Princess is not the biggest ship to dock in Australia. For now at least, the Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas holds that title.

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