SATURDAY Kitchen wine guru Olly Smith stars in a new cruise video guide as P&O launches a holiday smartphone app for post-pandemic lockdown passengers.
The TV presenter, author and columnist, who heads up The Glass House eateries on the line’s ships, has filmed a guide for Brits setting sail on P&O’s UK itineraries this year.
It comes as the cruise giant gets ready to resume sailings this Sunday, June 27, after pandemic lockdown.
The five-minute video includes details of the new ‘My Holiday’ app, which will enable guests to pre-book dining times, restaurants and entertainment on their mobile phone or tablet.
Free to download and use, it can be used from the comfort of their cabin, sun bed or anywhere else on board, and will help with social distancing by removing any need to queue for a table.
All restaurants on both Iona and Britannia will run table service and guests can pre-book or join a My Holiday app virtual queue. If required, a My Holiday desk can also assist with bookings.
Britannia sets sail on Sunday on a UK coastal cruise, while new Excel-class ship Iona, which was officially named at a ceremony last month starring Take That’s Gary Barlow, sails from August 7.
Britannia has achieved external validation of its health and wellbeing protocols from Bureau Veritas, a world leader in testing, inspection and certification. Iona will be inspected shortly.
New wellbeing measures to protect guests and crew will be in place for the series of UK coastal cruises, which will be for UK resident Covid-19 vaccinated guests only.
To ensure the wellbeing of all guests, complimentary Covid-19 testing will be carried out upon arrival at the cruise terminal with boarding subject to achieving a negative test result.
“We cannot wait to welcome guests back on board from the end of June and we are committed to providing peace of mind and reassurance at every stage of a holiday with us,” says P&O Cruises president Paul Ludlow.
“We want guests to enjoy every moment of these highly anticipated sailings so Olly Smith’s video on our website helpfully guides guests through what to expect this summer.
“Then, while onboard, the My Holiday app is the tool for guests to plan their activities from anywhere on the ship. Precious and longed-for time on board can therefore be spent getting the very most out of the P&O Cruises holiday experience.”
All the elements that make P&O Cruises special including speciality dining, shops, gym, spa, pools casino and gala evenings will be a fixture of Britannia and Iona’s breaks.
Guests on Iona can experience the first gin distillery at sea, more than 30 places to eat and drink, and four swimming pools including an infinity pool and 18 whirlpool spas.
Olly Smith is one of the cruise line’s ‘Food Heroes’ and will sail on selected cruises, offering wine tastings and dining experiences as cruising returns to normal. See www.pocruises.com for latest booking information, travel advice and assistance.