P&O Cruises' Arvia Expert Review (2024)

Arvia is a spectacular new cruise ship from P&O Cruises with wide-ranging appeal, from couples to families to multi-generational groups. Nicknamed the "Sunshine Ship", it's been designed to sail in warm climes -- winter in the Caribbean, summer in the Mediterranean. Arvia is sister ship to Iona (which launched in 2021).

But despite the two 5,200-passenger cruise ships being structurally nearly identical, Arvia is by no means a carbon copy of Iona.Arvia has a top deck mini golf and high-ropes course and swim-up bar -- firsts for P&O Cruises. The popularity of these amenities, however, has introduced some congestion to the top deck's wake pool area which tends to get crowded early on in the day. Thankfully the roof above its Sky Dome has been designed to retract, giving top decks an extra outdoor swimming pool.

Inside there are differences, too. At the heart of Arvia's deck plan is the all-new and lighter Grand Atrium with three-storey glass walls filling the space with bright, widescreen sea views. Arvia also has the first rum distillery at sea as well as two new restaurants, 6th Street Diner and Green & Co. The latter’s flexitarian menu offers a mix of sushi and plant-based dishes. For families there's a new submarine-themed "Escape Room" experience called Mission Control.

Arvia Cruise Ship Deck Plan Disperses Passengers Well

Thanks to the retractable roof on Arvia's Sky Dome, there are now four outdoor pools (five if you count the swim-up bar) staggered across the ship's top three decks, as well as a splash zone on Deck 18. Here's where you’ll also find the high ropes, mini-golf, jogging track, sports court and kids clubs, which means that during school holidays these decks tend to feel busier than normal. To find somewhere quieter to lay your towel head either to the front of Deck 18 (next to or in proximity of the Beachcomber pool) where there are lots of spare sun beds available or to Deck 8 which, as well as being the Promenade Deck, also has hot tubs dotted along its length. Alternatively there's also the adults-only Retreat -- an extra-fee outdoor sanctuary with loungers, two whirlpools, on tap refreshments and beautiful vistas.

While there are some cabins on Deck 16 (the same level as the Horizon buffet) the vast majority of staterooms are located on Decks 9 to 15. The remainder are on Decks 4, 5 and 8.

As you'd expect, the top decks have several bars as well as a couple of speciality restaurants, but the majority of Arvia's bars, eateries and entertainment venues (including the Headliner's Theatre, cinema and clubs) are found on the three floors that span the atrium -- decks 6 - 8. Although at key times (before or after a show) the atrium can feel crowded, there’s mostly a good flow of traffic. It’s even possible to take a selfie from the sweeping marble staircase without anyone else in your picture.

Arvia Cabins Offer Something to Suit all Tastes and Budgets

Arvia offers Inside (windowless), Outside (ocean-facing with a window), Balcony cabins and Suites, including 28 Single cabins and 32 of the new Conservatory Mini-Suites, which were introduced on sister ship Iona. These have proved hugely popular as a midway cabin option -- they're pricier than a regular balcony room, but cheaper than a higher-category suite.

For extra space there's also a Deluxe Balcony cabin costing less than a mini-suite but with nearly as much floor space. Just be careful of its positioning. If privacy is important to you then Balcony cabins to avoid (including those which are suites) are on Deck 8. That’s because these balconies are all on the same level as the wraparound promenade. Walkers and runners lapping the Promenade Deck (of which there are many) pass these balconies every time they circuit the ship. They can also see INTO the cabin which means that you need to close curtains every time you require privacy.

Budget travellers will be pleased to hear that Arvia has more Inside cabins than any other P&O Cruises' ship. Seeing as you’re likely to spend more time on the public decks of the Sunshine Ship than on a private cabin balcony, this is a great value option, ditto the outside cabins. We met many guests who didn’t bother upgrading to a balcony for this reason and had no regrets. Also popular are Outside cabins on the lower decks 4 and 5, with very large windows, unobstructed sea views and tend to feel less movement.

Food on Arvia Cruise Ship is Varied and on Trend

Arvia has more than 30 bars and restaurants, but whereas sister ship Iona has four main dining rooms, Arvia only has two. Instead there are a couple of new-to-the-line restaurants. One is the included 6th Street Diner -- a hugely popular all-American diner with a gourmet Southern twist. The other is the a la carte plant-based restaurant Green & Co, which, despite its inventive and tasty cuisine, is much quieter…though this may well change as it catches on. Here dishes come with a small fee and there's also a sushi bar which is a great alternative for lunch.

Elsewhere there's the Horizon buffet on Deck 16 as well as Deck 8's The Quays, a food court which offers small prepared plates alongside stands serving noodles, fish and chips and "Roast in the Quays". This is another new-to-the-line offering and is an original take on the traditional Sunday Roast -- dished up in a giant Yorkshire pudding instead of on a plate.

P&O Cruises Covid Rules

For the most up-to-date testing, masking, and vaccination requirements aboard P&O Cruises Arvia, please refer to P&O Cruises Vaccination & Testing Policy.

P&O Cruises' Arvia Expert Review (2024)


How much to tip a cabin steward on a P&O cruise? ›

Tipping isn't needed on our ships, so you can relax knowing good service and good times are all part and parcel of your P&O Cruises holiday.

How many formal nights on Arvia cruise ship? ›

Are there formal nights on Arvia? As a general rule, there is approximately two Black Tie nights during a 7-night cruise and four during a 14-night cruise. This can vary from cruise to cruise. Full details will be provided to you before you travel.

Where is P&O Arvia at the moment? ›

The current position of ARVIA is at North East Atlantic Ocean reported 10 hours ago by AIS. The vessel is en route to ESCAD-GBSOU, sailing at a speed of 19.2 knots and expected to arrive there on Jun 9, 02:15.

What drinks are free on Arvia cruise ship? ›

Water as well as tea (PG Tips, Earl Grey, mint tea etc), coffee and milk are available in the buffet. Juices are also available at breakfast. With the newer ships has come water bottle refill stations - these are currently onboard Arvia and Iona.

Can you opt out of tipping on P&O cruises? ›

If you object to the P&O Cruises tipping policy you have the option to request their removal. Head to the guest services desk, state your decision, and the cruise line will opt you out of P&O tips by amending your onboard account.

Is it bad not to tip on a cruise? ›

Cruise lines are very upfront about their tipping policies. Unless you are on an all-inclusive ship that covers the majority of gratuities in the cruise fare, such as luxury cruise lines Azamara, Seabourn, Silversea, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, and Virgin Voyages, it is recommended that you tip the crew.

How strict is the P&O dress code? ›

The dress code during the day is just your typical holiday wardrobe. Think t-shirts, shorts and sundresses (unless you're heading to colder climates in the winter!). Away from the pool, we ask for shoes to be worn and no pool wear in the ship's lounges, inside bars, restaurants or reception.

What restaurants are free on P&O Arvia? ›

Free Restaurants on Arvia Cruise Ship
  • Meridian and Zenith restaurants.
  • Horizon Buffet.
  • Taste 360.
  • The Quays.
  • 6th Street Diner.
  • Olive Grove.
  • Chef's Table.
  • The Glass House, $

Can you wear jeans to dinner on a cruise? ›

A good rule of thumb for cruisers is to always pack at least one pair of long pants that are not jeans, for dinners onboard. As far as dress prohibitions, cruise lines tend to follow policies similar to airlines, disallowing guests from wearing clothing bearing messages that are distasteful or patently offensive.

What problems did Arvia have? ›

Issues reported by the customers (on social media platforms) and by some major British media outlets online included booking errors (mixed up or missing dinner reservations), long queues at both the Reception Desk and the restaurants (reportedly, hundreds queuing in the hallways during dinner time) and food delays (~2- ...

Who is the current captain on Arvia? ›

P&O Cruises has announced that Captain Robert Camby will lead the team responsible for on board operations for its newest LNG-powered ship Arvia, which will enter service in December 2022.

Is Arvia the biggest cruise ship? ›

Arvia displaces 185,000 tons

Britain´s biggest ever cruise ship will be visiting Mallorca next month. At about 184,700 gross tonnage, Arvia is the largest ship to be commissioned for the British cruise market. She was floated out on 27 August 2022.

Is it cheaper to buy a drinks package on board? ›

Some rumors have circulated that onboard-purchased drinks packages will save you money, but that is almost always not the case. According to Cruise Critic member pete14, "The only price reductions for a drinks package that I have seen are a special offer for buying the package in advance.

Is bottled water free on P&O cruises? ›

Water, teas and coffees are available on board free of charge. However, for canned, still or sparkling water, or specialist teas and coffees such as Costa Coffee or Teapigs, you'll need to either purchase a Drinks Package or pay as you go.

Can you drink tap water on Arvia? ›

Tap water is perfectly safe to drink on Arvia, having been through a thorough filtration and treatment process.

How much extra should you tip your cabin steward on a cruise? ›

You will get answers from $5 to $200. It's really a personal choice. I've tipped anywhere from $10 for a below average steward to $80 for a very good one when in the Haven.

Who do you tip at the end of a cruise? ›

Your gratuities will be charged to your room account and that covers your cabin steward, waiter and Head Waiter. In addition to that, we usually give our cabin steward an extra $20 at the end of the cruise. Sometimes we will tip our waiter extra too, if they give us great service.

How much do room stewards make on a cruise ship? ›

Average Carnival Cruise Line Steward monthly pay in the United States is approximately $2,000, which is 8% above the national average. Salary information comes from 1 data point collected directly from employees, users, and past and present job advertisem*nts on Indeed in the past 24 months.

What do you tip the concierge on a cruise ship? ›

Special Services - Butlers, concierge, salon and spa attendants should be tipped for their services at your discretion - usually 15%.

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