P&O Australia vs Royal Caribbean

Compare and contrast two of Australia’s biggest cruise operators.

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It’s not always easy to play “spot the difference” with two competing cruise lines. So how do you find the itinerary that’s best for you?

We’ve sifted through the small print to work out all the ways P&O Australia and Royal Caribbean cruise lines differ from each other. Plunge into the results below.

P&O vs Royal Caribbean

FeatureP&ORoyal CaribbeanVerdict
Where does it sail to?
  • Asia
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Pacific Islands
  • Asia
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Caribbean
  • Central America
  • Europe
  • New Zealand
  • USA
Royal Caribbean covers more destinations.
Does it have Wi-Fi?Yes, paid forYes, paid forBoth offer paid-for Wi-Fi.
Does it provide towels?YesYesBoth provide towels.
Contact options
  • E-mail
  • Live chat
  • Phone
  • E-mail
  • Phone
  • Post
P&O offers live chat.
Is it all-inclusive?NoNoNeither is all-inclusive.
How much is the deposit?$75 to $400 depending on cruisel length.Deposits vary but generally:
  • $200/1-5 days
  • $500/longer
P&O’s deposits can be cheaper.
Does it have a gym?YesYesBoth have gyms.
Does it have hair dryers, laundry and irons?Hair dryers and irons are available. Charges apply to self-service laundry.Hair dryers/irons yes. Self-service laundry, no.Royal Caribbean does not offer self- service laundry.
Does it include food?YesYesBoth include food.
Does it have casinos?YesYesBoth have casinos.
Does it have an ATM?NoYesP&O does not have ATMs.
Does it have formal nights?YesYesBoth have formal nights.
How much are drinks?$4 to $6 for a beer and $6 to $7 for a wine.$5 to $8 for a beer and $6 to $12 for a wine.Drink prices are similar.
Is it good for families?YesYes, especially the newer ships.Both are family-friendly.
Does it have child care?There are kids’ clubs on some ships and group child minding.YesRoyal Caribbean has more child care options.
Does it have virtual balconies?NoOn some shipsRoyal Caribbean offers virtual balconies.
Does it have a waterslide?YesYesBoth have waterslides.
Does it have a promenade?YesYesBoth have promenades.
Does it have free room service?NoSome items are free but gratuities apply.Royal Caribbean offers some free items on room service.
What are my payment options?
  • American Express
  • Mastercard
  • Visa
  • PayPal
  • BPAY
  • American Express
  • Mastercard
  • Visa
  • Discovery
  • Diners Card
They offer similar ways to pay.
Can I price match?NoNoNeither company price matches with other providers.
Does it allow for cancellations/


Some fares come with cancellation penalties.Some fares come with cancellation penalties.Cancellation penalties apply on both lines.
How much are airport transfers to the departure port?Prices vary. Brisbane Airport to port costs AUD$18. That’s about 10 miles.Prices vary. Example Miami Airport to Port Everglades (30 miles) US$29 one-way.Transfer costs are similar.
How much are gratuities?Tipping is not required.The automatic gratuity is US$14.50 or US$17.50 for suite guests.Royal Caribbean’s gratuities are greater.
Has a ship ever sunk?NoNoNo ship has ever sunk with either line.

Who offers the best price?

We compared similar journeys on P&O Australia and Royal Caribbean to see which stacked up better in terms of cost.

Prices for a 12-night pacific island cruise, round trip from Melbourne, stopping at five ports of call start at $1,473.57 with P&O.

Prices for an 12-night South Pacific cruise from Sydney that stops at five ports starts at $1,510 with Royal Caribbean.

The verdict?

In a similar comparison, P&O Australia’s cruises come a bit cheaper. Royal Caribbean does tend to be known as a slightly more luxurious cruise line, and the ships are larger with more amenities.

Is this cruise line good?

P&O’s ships are rated as either 3.5/5 or 4/5 on Cruise Critic. Reviews often mention the family friendliness and joyful onboard atmosphere.Royal Caribbean has an overall rating of 3.5/5 but some ships that operate from Australia, like Radiance of the Seas, have higher ratings of 4. The quality of the food in the paid-for restaurants always gets a mention, as does the standard on evening entertainment.

What are the deals like?

P&O Australia runs regular sales that offer things like $600 onboard spend when you book certain itineraries. It also runs discounts on last-minute cruises.

Royal Caribbean runs sales such as buy one all-inclusive fare, get another half price on certain sailings.

The verdict?

Great deals are available with both cruise lines. If on-board credit and last minute cruises are more your style, P&O might work better. However if you’re often found travelling with a companion, Royal Caribbean might have a deal to suit.

Top P&O Australia and Royal Caribbean deals


Up to 71% off holiday cruises

Verified 5 days ago Expires 30 Nov 2021
Available on select cruises in 2021 and 2022 with Royal Caribbean, Carnival Cruises, MSC cruises and more. Destinations include Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, Singapore, Caribbean, Bahamas and more. T&Cs apply.

Up to 60% off 2nd guest with Royal Caribbean Cruises

Verified 5 days ago Expires 31 Oct 2021
Plus get up to $1,300 OBCs and 30% off 3rd and 4th guests. Available on select dates from October - December 2022. Destinations include Australia and New Zealand.

3+ nights last-minute cruises from USD$180

Available on select travel dates with Royal Caribbean, Carnival Cruises, Princess Cruises, Celebrity Cruises and more. Sample rate is for a 3-night Caribbean cruise with MSC. Destinations include Australia, Japan, Vietnam, Italy, Alaska and more. T&Cs apply.

Australia and New Zealand cruises from USD$228

Available on select dates in 2021-2022 with Royal Caribbean, Princess Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Holland America Line and more. Sample rate is for a 3-night cruise with Carnival Cruises.

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