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P&O Australia vs Royal Caribbean

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

Updated

Fact checked

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/

changes?

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

It looks like we don't have any coupons at the moment. Take a look at our most recent deals

Groupon Groupon

Up to 75% off Australia local deals

Available on select dates and activities like spas, skydiving, hot air balloon flights, tours, whale watching, skywalks, classes and more. Destinations include Sydney, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Canberra, Adelaide, Perth and more. Minimum spend may apply. T&Cs apply.

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Coupon code ends

Kayak Kayak

Australia-wide flights from $69 each way

Available on select dates until December 2020 to Adelaide, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Cairns, Perth, Broome, Ballina and more. Sample fare is Melbourne-Sydney with Jetstar.

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Deal ends

Groupon Groupon

Up to 73% off getaways

Available for travel on select dates to Sydney, Sunshine Coast, Adelaide, Brisbane, Launceston, Newcastle, Noosa Heads, Cairns and much more. T&Cs apply.

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RedBalloon RedBalloon
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Extra 10% off Australia activities with code

Valid on all dates on activities like skydiving, bridge climbing, canyoning, hot air ballooning, helicopter scenic flights, abseiling, cruises, tours and more. Minimum spend of $100 applies. Destinations include Darwin, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Lastminute.com.au Lastminute.com.au

Up to 40% off pet friendly hotels

Available on stays until October 2020. Destinations include Sydney, Canberra and Brisbane. T&Cs apply.

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Lastminute.com.au Lastminute.com.au

Up to 56% off Australia stays

Available on stays until December 2020. Destinations include Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Cairns, Brisbane, Townsville, Adelaide, Canberra and more. T&Cs apply.

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Lastminute.com.au Lastminute.com.au

Up to 30% off last minute Australia stays

Available stays until October 2020 in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Canberra, Adelaide, Brisbane, Newcastle, Rockhampton and more.

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Europcar Europcar

$20 off Australia rentals

Available on rentals until 31 January 2021. Destinations include Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane and more. Minimum spend of $200 required. T&Cs apply.

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Coupon code ends

Adrenaline Adrenaline

Up to 63% off domestic activities

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.

Last verified

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.

Last verified

Deal ends

Hotels.com Hotels.com

Up to 60% off Australia-wide stays + Extra 8% off with code

Available on select dates in 2020 and 2021. Destinations include Sydney, Canberra, Newcastle and more. T&Cs apply.

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Deal ends

Europcar Europcar

Up to 20% off Australia and New Zealand rentals

Available on select dates until 15 December 2020. Rental must be for 2 days or more and booked 21 days in advance. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

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.

Last verified

Deal ends

Oaks Hotels & Resorts Oaks Hotels & Resorts

Up to 20% off Australia stays + Extra 10% off with code

Available on select stays dates until 30 June 2021. Destinations include Sydney, Brisbane, Gladstone, Townsville, Adelaide, Glenelg and more. T&Cs apply.

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Deal ends

Wotif Wotif

Up to 66% off Australia stays

Available on stays until May 2021 in Sydney, Melbourne, Gold Coast, Perth, Brisbane, Adelaide, Sunshine Coast and more. T&Cs apply.

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Deal ends

RedBalloon RedBalloon
Exclusive

Extra $10 off site-wide with code

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.

Last verified

Europcar Europcar

$1/day one-way car hire in Australia

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

Last verified

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.

Last verified

Hotels.com Hotels.com

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.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

DiDi DiDi
Exclusive

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.

Last verified

Airbnb Airbnb

New Zealand stays from $30/night

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

Last verified

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.

Last verified

Airbnb Airbnb

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.

Last verified

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

Last verified

Deal ends

Trafalgar Tours Trafalgar Tours

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.

Last verified

Otel.com Otel.com

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.

Last verified

Rentalcars.com Rentalcars.com

Up to 20% off car hire

Compare car hire prices on Rentalcars.com and save up to 20% compared to booking direct.

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Kayak Kayak

Sydney flights from $46 each way

Available on select dates from October 2020 - February 2021. Sample fare departs from Avalon with Jetstar.

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Deal ends

RedBalloon RedBalloon
Exclusive

Brisbane Story Bridge climb from $139 + Extra $10 off with code

Available on select dates until 13 March 2021 for a 2-hour nighttime climb. Minimum spend of $80 required. T&Cs apply.

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Coupon code ends

RedBalloon RedBalloon
Exclusive

Dining experiences at home from $40 + an extra $10 off with code

Available on select 2020 dates across Australia on experiences including wine tasting, cooking classes, cheese making, high tea, cocktail making and more. Minimum spend of $80 applies. T&Cs apply.

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Avis Avis

$30 off 2+ days car hire

Available on rentals until 18 December 2020 in Sydney, Perth, Adelaide, Gold Coast, Hobart, Melbourne and more. T&Cs apply.

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Coupon code ends

Luxury Escapes Luxury Escapes

Up to 61% off Australia holiday packages

Available on select dates until December 2021. Destinations include Adelaide, Gold Coast, Byron Bay, Sydney, Cairns, Canberra, Hunter Valley and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Stayz Stayz

Australia beach holidays from $82/night

Available on select stay dates in 2020 and 2021. Destinations include Adelaide, Sydney, Gold Coast, Brisbane, Melbourne and more. Sample price is for a stay at a private beach cottage in South Greenough, Western Australia. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Experience Oz Experience Oz

Brisbane Story Bridge climb from $159

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

Last verified

Deal ends

London Pass London Pass

Fast-track entry at London attractions

Get fast-tracked entry to select attractions like Tower of London, Tower Bridge Exhibition, London Zoo and London Bridge Experience with your pass. T&Cs apply.

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finder.com.au finder.com.au

BridgeClimb Sydney from just $174

Book a 90-minute sampler BridgeClimb in Sydney for up to $134 less than the price of the full-length experience. T&Cs apply.

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RedBalloon RedBalloon
Exclusive

Up to 20% off experiences for 2 + Extra 10% off with code

Available on select dates for experiences like tours, zoo and wildlife interactions, hot air balloon flights, skydiving and more. Destinations include Sydney, Hunter Valley, Melbourne, Brisbane and more. Minimum spend of $100 required. T&Cs apply.

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RedBalloon RedBalloon
Exclusive

Up to 60% off Australia activities + Extra 10% off with code

Available on select dates and activities like hot air balloon flights, tandem skydiving, getaways, driving experiences and more. Destinations include Sydney, Gold Coast, Cairns and more. Minimum spend of $100 required. T&Cs apply.

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Coupon code ends

Klook Klook

Up to 10% off winery tours + Extra $10 off with code

Available on select dates until March 2021 when you spend a minimum of $100. Destinations include Hunter Valley, Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth, Canberra, Hobart and Launceston. Applicable to new Klook members. T&Cs apply.

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Coupon code ends

Priceline.com Priceline.com

Up to 60% off express deals

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
25 Sep 2020 Up to 75% off Australia local deals HOL****
23 Sep 2020 Extra 10% off Australia activities with code RBF****
15 Sep 2020 $20 off Australia rentals FIN****
19 Aug 2020 Extra $10 off site-wide with code FDR****
5 Aug 2020 Extra 8% off on hotel bookings CLP****

Popular Cruises coupon codes

Last checked Code description Code
7 Sep 2020 Free room upgrade on sailings ********
23 Sep 2020 Up to 61% off Australia holiday packages ********
7 Sep 2020 10-night New Year's Eve cruise + Free room upgrade from $1,399 ********
7 Sep 2020 School Holiday cruises from $349 ********
4 Sep 2020 Up to $1,500 off 2021 worldwide voyages ********
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.

Last verified

Deal ends

P&O Cruises P&O Cruises

One-way cruises from $236

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

Last verified

P&O Cruises P&O Cruises

School Holiday cruises from $349

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

Last verified

Deal ends

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.

Last verified

Deal ends

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 ********
7 Sep 2020 Free room upgrade on sailings ********

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