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P&O Cruises Australia to banish the buffet

P&O Cruises Australia
The Pantry replacing traditional cruise buffet
As part of a major overhaul of dining at sea, P&O Cruises Australia has revealed that both Pacific Aria and Pacific Eden will feature its largest ever array of restaurant offerings when they join its fleet in November 2015 – including a market place of fresh food outlets replacing the traditional cruise buffet.

To be known as The Pantry, the new area will offer a variety of food outlets including a gourmet delicatessen, fresh fish and chips and modern cuisine restaurants. Guests will able to enjoy their meals in a setting featuring high tables, communal benches and comfortable banquettes.

Unveiling details of Pacific Eden and Pacific Aria, P&O Cruises svp Tammy Marshall said The Pantry would take dining at sea into new waters.

‘It will be a haven for food lovers, with a contemporary relaxed vibe as guests indulge and discover what’s in The Pantry,’ Marshall said.

Speaking at the World’s Leading Cruise Lines Summit with key travel agents on the weekend, Marshall said the latest ships would each offer 15 bars, restaurants and cafes.

New eateries include Dragon Lady, serving Pan-Asian cuisine in a sultry setting featuring dark timbers and midnight blue furnishings, and an elegant Italian restaurant Angelo’s, named after photographer Angelo Frontoni, and offering traditional food with Italian flair.

Guests will also be able to indulge at the ships’ Open Kitchen featuring a culinary school as well as dining, while a dedicated Chef’s Table dining area will be available for a more intimate experience.

The popular Salt Grill by Luke Mangan restaurant – already featured on P&O Cruises Australia’s existing fleet of Pacific Jewel, Pacific Pearl and Pacific Dawn – will be served with a twist on Pacific Aria and Pacific Eden, with the inclusion of Salt Grill Bar offering Luke Mangan cocktails.

Meanwhile a new Cellar Door will provide guests a boutique winery experience, with an opportunity to taste the wines onboard and pre-order for dinner.

Marshall said the dramatic new look and feel of the ships would extend to the pool area, with day beds, sheer white curtains and outdoor rugs and lamps.  

The interiors, designed by Tillberg Design of Sweden, can be seen at               

Elements of the latest ships’ features will be introduced across the existing fleet, with Pacific Jewel to have The Pantry added during a drydock next year.

Meanwhile Pacific Dawn’s pool area will be transformed with a new resort look in December this year as part of a major refit which will also include the installation of a P&OEdge Adventure Park, building on the success of the original adrenalin experiences launched on Pacific Jewel last year.

Also available across the fleet from December, the new in-room service will enable guests to enjoy a raft of in-cabin extras usually only available to suites such as shoe shine, 30 minute express ironing, a yoga mat, a full-size hairdryer, ice, a sewing kit, a robe, slippers, more towels, a laundry service and toiletries.

A highlight of the new service is a pillow concierge offering guests a choice of different pillows.

P&O Cruises svp hotel operations Sture Myrmell said the premium services were on top of the daily steward service and would be available to all guests.

Luxury suite guests will continue to enjoy an array of extra benefits as part of their premium package including in-suite Nespresso machines and iPod Nanos pre-loaded with a selection of music.

Suite guests can also enjoy a hot breakfast or afternoon tea served in their suite each day and access to a preferred reservation service for the ships’ specialty restaurants, spa treatments and shore tours.