Interview with Carol Marlow, Managing Director of P&O Cruises 2009 - 2013
The traditional British cruise line has been on the seas for 175 years, Carol tells about P&O Cruises, past, present and future. Look out for 7 ships in Southampton.
What a year 2012 was for Carol Marlow, Managing Director of P&O Cruises 2009 - 2013, she’s at the helm as the company celebrates 175 years of heritage, stretching right back to 1837!
A wonderful day, the ‘Sail Out’, took place with all seven of the fleet’s ships processing up Southampton Water one by one, being reviewed by The Princess Royal, Princess Anne from THV Patricia, anchored in the Solent. What an incredible spectacle for the 15,000 passengers on board the ships and those watching from the shore. Southampton is, of course, the highly popular starting and finishing point for many P&O Cruises, providing great holidays for those who do not want to fly.
When Carol started working for Thomson Holidays in 1984, she cannot have imagined heading up P&O Cruises in their Jubilee year. Her career took her to cruising through Swan Hellenic Cruises, which is a niche, cultural cruise line, and now she has one of the largest cruise ships in the world on order for P&O Cruises. It will certainly signify a new generation of P&O Cruises ships, although the company is keen to maintain its key signature features as well as the new, exciting facilities. It’s a ship for families as well as adult groups and couples, being a ‘modern classic’, with the traditional feel, tailored to today’s British tastes.
P&O Cruises are known to be very ‘British’, fulfilling the needs of the British cruiser by monitoring the tastes of passengers, which are becoming increasingly cosmopolitan, so restaurants on board, for example, reflect this, with Indian and Mediterranean dining too. The ships are either Family Friendly or Exclusively for Adults, which allows travellers to take their pick depending on what facilities they are looking for. Whichever ship is chosen, the atmosphere is professional, yet friendly, offering dedication to service and expertise that such a lengthy heritage would imply.
Single Silver Travellers are well catered for with a growing number of single cabins available on board Azura, Oriana and Aurora, soon to be joined by more on Ventura too. P&O Cruises are keen to keep their gratuities at a reasonable level and treat their staff very well, so that excellent service is rewarded by happy passengers.
Carol has very much enjoyed the P&O Cruises special day in Southampton, the company’s heritage being honoured, whilst that new very big ship will usher in the future of Britain’s favourite cruise line.
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