P&O Cruises Kicks Shoes Off With New Onboard Themed Parties

31 August 2015

Pack those flapper dresses and feather boas, P&O is getting its art deco on thanks to a new fleet-wide party concept that kicked off this week in Sydney.

The Gatsby party preview on Pacific Jewel saw a roaring twenties vibe erupt under the ship’s dazzling giant chandelier complete with ladies in jewelled headpieces, men in vintage suits, Charleston dancing and a live jazz band.

Twenties dance lessons and workshops on how to make headpieces with bling will be held on board in the lead up to the parties and for those passengers who forget to frock up, bow ties, hats and feather boas will be available to buy in the ship’s boutique.

 Guests embrace the twenties era at P&O's Gatsby party (image: P&O)

The Great Gatsby-themed evening is one of four new parties being rolled out across the fleet for the coming Australian spring-summer cruise season.

Retro Back to School nights and afternoon Vegas pool parties are set to join the line-up, which saw Bianco White Parties take off last month on board Pacific Jewel and Pacific Pearl.

Each event will have a specially crafted menu of themed cocktails and live music with Manhattans and Gin Gimlets flowing at the Gatsby evenings.

“With the extravagant chandelier, the art deco theming and everyone dressed in the spirit of the era, it’s so much more than just another night at sea – it’s a special event,” said P&O Director of Entertainment Brett Annable.

“Inspired by the world’s superclubs and what’s trending in modern Australian venues, our new parties are sure to become the most popular nights on board our ships,” he said.


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 P&O Cruises' first Bianco white party on Pacific Dawn (Image: P&O)

Every P&O departure will now have a Bianco white party while every cruise of three days or more will also stage the Gatsby event. Longer cruises will host all four of the new entertainment concepts when the Vegas Pool Party and Back to School events are added at the end of this month.

On its maiden visit to Sydney after a multi-million dollar refit, which includes new livery, Pacific Jewel also unveiled its new-look stage show, Off The Charts.

The revamped production show features concert-style song and dance numbers with modern LED-lit sets.

Deck 12 of the 1,900-passenger liner has seen the biggest renovation on board with the launch of the new Pantry dining concept.

Replacing the traditional buffet, The Pantry offers an international food market in its place with eight separate ‘restaurants’ offering Asian, Mexican, Indian, Woodfired Pizza and made to order burgers.

 Curries and condiments from Curry House in The Pantry (Image: P&O)

With a modern beach house decor theme, designers have replaced cafeteria-style seating with high tables, banquettes and al fresco dining spaces. Much of the menu is made to order with new wood-fired pizza ovens on duty for room service deliveries as well as mealtime service.

“Eating habits in Australia have changed dramatically. We really wanted to reflect modern Australian tastes as part of our food revolution,” said Uwe Stiefel, P&O executive chef.

“We have introduced a host of new ingredients and dishes from South Africa, India, Malaysia and Mexico.”

The new Pantry concept will be available on board P&O’s new Pacific Aria and Pacific Eden ships when they arrive in Australia in November along with all four new parties.

Angie Kelly

Planes, trains and cruise ships have taken Angie Kelly from sandy droplets in the Pacific to the cloud-piercing peaks of Switzerland, taking in spice bazaars, rooftop bars and roller coaster cars along the way. As a former editor of Fairfax’s Traveller on Sunday, Angie is hooked on the thrill of going places for the first time as well as finding fresh things to love and write about in favourite Aussie holiday spots.