Life at P&O Cruises

This section of the P&O Cruises Careers site will tell you everything that you need to know about working for P&O Cruises. From what life is like at sea, to our offices in Southampton – please read all of the information before applying for a role here at P&O Cruises.

Life on board

Our Vision Statement

At Carnival UK, as part of Carnival Corporation, our highest responsibility and top priorities are to operate safely, to protect the environment, and to be in compliance everywhere we operate in the world. On this foundation, we aspire to deliver unmatched joyful vacations for our guests, always exceeding their expectations and in so driving outstanding shareholder value.

We are committed to a positive and just corporate culture, based on inclusion and the power of diversity. We operate with integrity, trust and respect for each other – seeking collaboration, candor openness and transparency at all times. And we intend to be an exemplary corporate citizen leaving the people and the places we touch even better.

Life at P&O Cruises

The brand you can trust

1 in 2 Ex-UK cruises are booked with P&O Cruises.
Two-thirds of our guests return.
We can trace our roots back 180 years.

Tailored to British tastes

The comforts of home e.g. everything in £s, afternoon tea, 3 pin plugs.
Best of the British food scene with our Food Heroes.
Entertainment geared to British tastes, including Strictly Come Dancing.

Something for everyone

Over 250 destinations.
The largest range of Ex-UK cruises.
A ship for every taste.
The freedom to holiday your way.


When you start a contract at sea on board a P&O Cruises ship, we want to make sure that you have the best possible experience when joining.

We pay for your joining flights, medical checks and of course the P&O Cruises uniform is also provided. Our on boarding team will also work closely with you to make sure that when you join the ship everything runs smoothly. Once you are on the ship, depending on the role that you have, you go through the P&O Cruises induction programme to ensure you are ready for your role at sea.

We recognise that as an officer or crew member, you will spend long periods of time at sea away from your family and friends. We do our best to make sure you have access to our family travel policy, so that you can travel with nominated friends and family on occasion. This is dependent on your rank and the length of service.

We also offer a competitive pension, as well as medical cover whilst you are on board. All P&O Cruises staff at sea also have access to our well-being programme, Pride.


We know that a diverse and inclusive workplace brings together amazing people that can help to develop our business. Equality of opportunity is at the heart of our recruitment process. You’ll be assessed on your suitability for a role based on your skills and experience – We welcome applications from everyone.

We recognise that equality and diversity goes further than the recruitment process and here at P&O Cruises, we continuously strive to be an inclusive and fair employer.

We encourage a high performing diverse working environment and are continually developing initiatives for all employees to give them confidence to support their career aspirations. 2017 has seen an LGBT colleague network launched, as well as P&O Cruises, proudly sponsoring the Southampton Pride event. At Carnival House, we have worked hard to create an environment that enables all of our employees to achieve their best and this guides how we work with our employees – ensuring fair opportunities for all to succeed.

Working at sea

Working on a cruise ship is hard work but incredibly rewarding, so make the most of your time at sea and enjoy every minute of it. The following information will give you an idea of what day-to-day life is like when you’re off duty.


There are set meal times on board and we serve breakfast, lunch and dinner in the mess rooms (dining rooms). With approval from your manager you may be entitled to dine in guest restaurants to mark a special occasion or to have a special evening with friends.

Spa & salon

If you want to spoil yourself, you can book appointments for hair, nails and any other beauty or spa treatments. As a member of the ship’s crew you’ll receive a discount, which we’ll tell you more about once you’re on board. Certain ships also hold crew spa nights where you can have access to the hydrotherapy pool, sauna and steam rooms.


Our ships have excellent health and fitness facilities. In your free time you can use either the crew gym or guest gym and fitness studio (avoiding busy periods). Additionally there are often fitness classes scheduled specifically for crew.


As a member of the crew you can enjoy a discount in the on-board shops. The shops are closed when the ship is in port and they reopen after sailing (although this may vary slightly depending on the ports of call). There is also a crew shop on board which sells basic toiletries and snacks.


Your uniform will be fully laundered every day, ensuring the highest standards of hygiene and personal appearance are maintained at all times. We also have excellent facilities available for all crew members to complete their personal laundry.

Shore excursions

In your free time in port you can take advantage of the exciting shore excursions we offer our guests. You can also apply to be a tour escort with the shore excursions team and request to join the guests on the excursions. You’ll have a questionnaire to fill in to give us more information about the experience guests can expect and you’ll represent P&O Cruises. It’s a great way to socialise with the guests, experience amazing destinations and gain valuable knowledge about the places we visit.

Our head office in Southampton

Our modern building is located right in the heart of Southampton, near to the ships. It’s a fun and interactive place to work and offers the following:

  • Working in our modern building, located right in the heart of Southampton, next to the ships
  • It’s a fun and interactive place to work!
  • Defined Contribution pension scheme (with employer contribution and delivered through salary sacrifice so tax/NI efficient)
  • Access to your own personal training and development
  • Free fruit every Monday
  • Facilities for cyclists, including showers and lockers
  • Regular Health Screening
  • Access to our Harbour perks at work discount scheme offering a range of retail discounts in Southampton and Nationally.
  • Use of our ‘Shipmates’ scheme, offering discounts for entertainment, theatre and trips. Run by the staff, for the staff.
  • Cycle2Work scheme
  • The opportunity to see our ships, when they are in Southampton
  • A great working environment
  • Discounts on our cruise holidays and onboard retail prices
  • Discounts on other holidays, overseas travel and hire cars for being employed in the Travel & Leisure industry

New ships joining the fleet

2020 will put P&O Cruises in the history books once again when we will introduce Britain’s biggest cruise ship. This ship will offer the next generation of guests the holiday of a lifetime on our next generation P&O Cruises ships. At 180,000 tons this ship will offer more choice of accommodation, more places to dine in style, more spaces to relax, more entertainment and more freedom to make your holiday your own – wherever you are in the world.

Then, in 2022, a second new P&O Cruises ship will be joining the fleet. To be created in the image of her sister, she will share the title of ‘the largest cruise ship to be built exclusively for British guests’. With stylish interiors, the very latest dining trends and ground-breaking entertainment; our teams are busy plotting and planning it all at this very moment