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P&O Australia vs Carnival Australia

Find out which cruise line between P&O or Carnival will take you on the ultimate vacation to paradise.

Updated

Fact checked

We put Australia's branches of P&O and Carnival head-to-head and compared every aspect of cruise travel that you need to know about.

From types of cruises offered, to gratuities, waterslides, gyms and cancellation policies. After reading this article you'll be heading to one cruise line to book your next holiday.


P&O vs Carnival

FeatureP&O AustraliaCarnival AustraliaVerdict
Where does it sail to?
  • Southeast Asia
  • South Pacific Islands
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Southeast Asia
  • Pacific Islands
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Honolulu
Carnival Australia explores further.
Does it have Wi-Fi?Yes. Prices vary based on package.Yes. Prices vary based on the ship and itinerary.Both cruise lines offer Wi-Fi onboard.
Does it provide towels?Yes. Towels are free to be taken off the ship.Yes. They can be taken ashore.Both cruise lines offer towels.
Contact options
  • Phone
  • E-mail
  • Phone
  • E-mail
Both cruise lines offer the same contact options.
Is it all-inclusive?No.No.Neither cruise line is all-inclusive.
How much is the deposit?15% of the booking.Deposits range from $150-400 depending on the destination and cruise length.Both cruise lines require a deposit to book a cruise.
Does it have a gym?Yes.Yes.Both cruise lines have a gym onboard.
Does it have hairdryers, laundry and irons?Yes, self-service laundry is available with ironing facilities. Each room has a hairdryer.Yes, full laundry service, self-service laundry and irons are available on all ships. Hair dryers are available on most ships.P&O supplies complimentary self-service laundry, irons and hairdryers on every ship.
Does it include food?Yes. Charges apply for speciality restaurants.Yes, but speciality restaurants are additional.Both cruise lines include food.
Does it have casinos?Yes. Only one ship, Adonia, doesn’t have a casino on board.Yes.Carnival has casinos on all cruise ships.
Does it have an ATM?No. Cash is available from reception and is charged to your onboard account.Yes.Only Carnival has ATM’s onboard.
Does it have formal nights?Yes. 7-night cruises typically include two formal nights while four formal nights are on 14-day cruises.Yes. 1-day cruises have no formal nights, 2-5 day cruises have one and 6-day or longer cruises have two.Both cruise lines have formal nights.
How much are drinks?Drink packages range from $7-105 per day. Soft drink and alcoholic packages are available.Unlimited soft drinks and juices are available for $7.25 per day ($5.50 for kids). No alcoholic packages are available however individual drinks can bought on board.P&O offers more drink package options, including alcoholic options.
Is it good for families?Yes. Programs for children aged 2-17 are available on board.Yes, onboard activities for kids and teens are available.Both cruise lines are family-friendly.
Does it have child care?Yes. Group programs are available.Yes. Children must be registered for the onboard programs a minimum of 24 hours before departure.Both cruise lines offer group child care options but not private child care.
Does it have virtual balconies?No.No.Neither cruise line has virtual balconies.
Does it have a waterslide?Yes.Yes.Both cruise lines have waterslides onboard.
Does it have a promenade?Yes.Yes.Both cruise lines have promenades.
Does it have free room service?No.No.Neither cruise line offers free room service.
What are my payment options?
  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • American Express
  • Debit
  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • American Express
  • Diner's Club
  • Debit
  • Direct Payment
Carnival has more payment options.
Can I price match?No.Yes. If you find a lower price within 2 days of booking Carnival will refund 110% of the price difference in the form of onboard credit.Only Carnival promises to price match lower fares.
Does it allow for cancellations/changes?Yes, but fees may apply.Yes, but fees may apply.Both cruise lines offer options to make changes and cancellations.
How much are transfers?Prices vary from $18-20 depending on the departure city in Australia.$20 each way.P&O offers cheaper departure transfers.
How much are gratuities?Tips are accepted but not required.Tips are accepted but not required.Neither cruise line has mandatory gratuities added to fares.
Has a ship ever sunk?No.No.Neither cruise line has had a ship sink.

Who offers the best price?

Both P&O Australia and Carnival Australia offer 4-day cruises from Sydney to Moreton Island and back so we compared these cruises leaving on very similar dates to see which cruise line offered the better price.

P&O
p&opreviewscreenshot

Carnival
carnivalpreviewscreenshot

The verdict?

P&O comes in at $150 cheaper than Carnival for the same amount of nights and to the same destination.


Is this cruise line good?

While both cruise lines have mostly excellent reviews on Cruise Critic, Carnival pulls ahead in this round with awards such as best service and best value for money in 2017. P&O received no awards. Carnival also has significantly more reviews than P&O, most of the reviews are also rated excellent.


Any other differences worth noting?

P&O offers many event cruises that Carnival does not. P&O has cruises to the Melbourne Cup, Australia Day in Sydney, the Australian Open, cruises to festivals and speciality cruises such as comedy cruises.


What are the deals like?

P&O has a much easier to use deals section on their website giving you the option to choose to find deals to specific destinations, for specific times of the year and more. Carnival offers top deals of the week and last-minute deals.

The verdict?

P&O offers many more deals than Carnival but Carnival has better prices. A 5-night cruise to Tasmania is only $424 with Carnival but $744 with P&O. To Vanuatu Carnival offers a 10-night cruise for $949 while P&O offers a same length cruise for $964. Carnival consistently has lower prices for deals.


Top P&O and Carnival deals

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Groupon Groupon

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Available on select dates and activities like skydiving, hot air balloon flights, quad biking, off road v8 race buggies, scuba diving, whale watching, bridge climbing and much more. T&Cs apply.

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Trip.com Trip.com

Domestic flights from $69 each way

Available on flights from September - October 2020 with Fly Pelican. Destinations include Ballina, Cobar, Canberra and more. Sample fare is Sydney-Newcastle.

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P&O Cruises P&O Cruises

Free room upgrade on sailings

Available on select cruises from December 2020 - September 2022. Destinations include Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Auckland, Norfolk Island and more. T&Cs apply.

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Valid on all dates, including over Christmas, on activities like skydiving, quad biking, bridge climbing, canyoning, hot air ballooning, helicopter scenic flights, abseiling, scuba diving, cruises and more. Destinations include Darwin, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane and more. Minimum spend of $80 required. T&Cs apply.

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$1/day one-way car hire in Australia

Valid on select dates for select car hire in Australia. Destinations updated regularly.

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Airbnb Airbnb

Gold Coast stays from $49/night

Available on select stay dates from June 2020 onward. Sample accommodation is in Surfers Paradise. T&Cs apply.

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Extra 8% off on hotel bookings

Save on hotel stays before 31 December 2020 in Australia, New Zealand, Bali, Fiji, Thailand, Singapore, USA and more. Available at select hotels.

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Get $20 credit

Get $5 off each of your first four rides in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Geelong, Perth and Newcastle. Valid on all dates for new users. T&Cs apply.

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New Zealand stays from $30/night

Available on select dates from July onward for Auckland, Wellington, Queenstown and Christchurch stays. T&Cs apply.

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Airbnb Airbnb

Melbourne stays from $50/night

Available on select stay dates from June 2020 onward. Sample accommodation is in Melbourne Central Business District. T&Cs apply.

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Refer a friend and get $25 Airbnb credit

Give a friend $50 toward their first stay and get $25 credit for yourself toward a future booking.

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Europcar Europcar

Up to 20% off base rate

Available on rentals until 15 December 2020 in Australia and New Zealand. Pick up on Sunday, Monday or Tuesday required to avail offer. T&Cs apply

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Up to 15% off last minute trips

Valid for travel on select dates in 2020 and 2021. Destinations include Europe, UK, the Middle East, Argentina, India, Asia, New Zealand, Australia and Africa and more. T&Cs apply.

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Extra 9% off hotel bookings

Valid on select hotel stays worldwide like Australia, New Zealand, Bali, Thailand, USA, Europe and more on all dates, including over holidays like Easter, Christmas and New Year's Eve. Some restrictions apply.

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Brisbane Story Bridge climb from $159

Available on select dates until 22 October 2021 for a 2-hour twilight climb. T&Cs apply.

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Available on select dates. Participating hotels include Kimpton Hotels, Westin Hotels & Resorts, Hyatt Hotels, Hilton Garden Inn, Intecontinental Hotels & Resorts and more. T&Cs apply

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Popular Travel coupon codes

Last checked Code description Code
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Popular Cruises coupon codes

Last checked Code description Code
7 Sep 2020 Free room upgrade on sailings ********
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P&O Cruises P&O Cruises

10-night New Year's Eve cruise + Free room upgrade from $1,399

Available on departure from 27-30 December 2020 and 27-30 December 2021. Destinations include Noumea, Isle Of Pines, Lifou, Norfolk Island and Sydney. T&Cs apply.

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One-way cruises from $236

Available on select dates in 2021 and 2022 to Adelaide, Brisbane, Albany, Thailand, Singapore and more. T&Cs apply.

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P&O Cruises P&O Cruises

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Available on select dates from December 2020 - September 2022. Destinations include Sydney, Hobart, Melbourne, Brisbane, Wellington, Vanuatu and more. T&Cs apply.

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Available on select cruises from December 2020 - September 2022. Destinations include Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Auckland, Norfolk Island and more. T&Cs apply.

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Popular P&O Cruises - Merchant coupon codes

Last checked Code description Code
7 Sep 2020 10-night New Year's Eve cruise + Free room upgrade from $1,399 ********
7 Sep 2020 One-way cruises from $236 ********
7 Sep 2020 School Holiday cruises from $349 ********
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