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51 Meals I Ate on my P&O Cruise (Photos and Menus) – Food Review

If you have ever considered a cruise with P&O Cruises you may be wondering about the quality of the food.

P&O cruises are widely regarded as having high-quality food and in this post, I share photos of everything I ate on a 12-night P&O cruise.

Each photo is accompanied by the menu description as well as dietary information.

Main Dining Room Meals – DINNER (Included in Cruise Fare)

The below photos are food examples from dinner on board P&O’s Ventura. Lunch choices are also featured later in the post.

Selection of Middle Eastern DipsMushroom and Tarragon StrudelCheese Plate
Armenian Lavash and Soughbough Breads, Vegetable Crudites and Moutabal, Romesco and Bissara DipsVegetables, Grain Mustard and Sherry Vinegar CreamBonbon of Stilton Cheese with Fruit Toasts and Port Reduction
Not Gluten-FreeNot Gluten-FreeGluten-Free

Notes: The middle eastern dips may not look like much but it was really tasty!

Puree of Broccoli SoupLentil Spaghetti BologneseHoney Panna Cotta
Toasted Flaked AlmondsGarlic BreadStrawberries, Mint and Honeycomb
Not Gluten-FreeNot Gluten-FreeGluten-Free

Note: The lentil spaghetti bolognese was brilliant. I loved the number of vegetarian options available onboard!

I am vegetarian so have included some meat dishes from others (as seen below) as examples.

Salad of Caramelised Apple, Sweetcorn and Cherry TomatoesGrilled Prime 6oz Beef SirloinPassion Fruit Pavlova
Oak Leaf and Frisee LeavesThick Cut Chips, Seasonal Vegetables, and Bearnaise SauceBerries and Whipped Cream
Gluten-FreeNot Gluten-FreeGluten-Free

Note: The steak was always available on the menu and many family members of mine tried it during our cruise. They all agreed that the steak was well cooked and was of good quality.

Green Asparagus and Devilled Egg MayonnaiseVegetable and Bean Chilli Taco ShellsCookies!
Garlic ToastSteamed Rice, Guacamole and Salsa
Not Gluten-FreeGluten-FreeNot Gluten-Free

Note: I LOVED these Tacos! The portion might not look huge but I was really full after eating the meal.

Christmas Dinner – P&O Cruises Main Dining Room

We spent Christmas day on board P&O’s Ventura and the photos below are of our Christmas dinner.

Chilled Christmas Day AmuseStarterSorbet
Cucumber Gazpacho with Watermelon and MintGoats Cheese CrotinGin and Tonic
Beetroot Carpaccio and Candied Pecan Nut Salad
Not Gluten-FreeNot Gluten-FreeGluten-Free

Note: I didn’t particularly enjoy the amuse (green drink) but I did feel healthy for drinking it.

Main #1Main #2Dessert
Wild Mushroom Bourguignon PieMarco Pierre White’s Free-range Roast Norfolk Turkey Breast with Traditional Apricot, Sage, and Onion StuffingRegional British Artisan Cheese Plate
Black Truffle Mashed Potatoes, Roasted Squash with Pumpkin Seed Pesto, Sauteed Sprouts and Mushrooms and Vegan JusDuck Fat Potatoes, Pigs in Blankets, Brussels Sprouts, Carrots, Graham’s Port and Cranberry Sauce and a Turkey Jusfeaturing a Bonbon of Long Clawson Stilton with a Port Reduction and Fruit Toast
Not Gluten-FreeNot Gluten-FreeNot Gluten-Free

Review: Although not amazingly presented my family all agreed that the traditional roast turkey was good. I had a mushroom pie and although I would have preferred a traditional roast with some sort of meat substitute, I was very happy with the meal.

Breaded BrieBaked Avocado and Herb Cream Cheese in a Shortcrust Pastry Lattice
Chilli Tomato Fondue and Spatzle
Not Gluten-FreeNot Gluten-Free

Review: The breaded brie was one of my favourite foods from the entire cruise, it was just like a giant cheese nugget. Yum!

Main #2DessertDessert #2
Honey and Mustard Roast HamPopsy Seed and Cashew Nut CheesecakeMarmalade Flangipane Tart
Breaded Port and Fennel Press, Mashed Potatoes, Spinach, Leeks and Parsley SauceBlackberry CompoteVanilla Sauce
Not Gluten-FreeNot Gluten-FreeNot Gluten-Free

Review: My tart was more wobbly than expected but it tasted good. We experienced quite a bit of bad weather during this cruise and the tart was wobbly as the ship rocked!

Middle Eastern Meze PlatterOak Marinated Silken Tofu and Broccoli Stir FryWarm Monmouth Meringue Pudding
Falafel, Baba Ghanoush, Housmous, Dolmades and Fattoush SaladChinese Black Bean Sauce, Spiced Cashew Nuts and Crispy Rice NoodlesPlum Jam
Not Gluten-FreeNot Gluten-FreeNot Gluten-Free

Review: Without a doubt, the Tofu and broccoli stir fry was my favourite meal of the cruise. It doesn’t look like much in the photo but I’d be happy to eat this day after day! I didn’t like the pudding, but the other 5 people I was cruising with did, that one was just due to personal preference (a bit too soggy for my liking)!

Main Dining Room Meals – LUNCH (Included in Cruise Fare)

The below photos are from the main dining room lunches we had onboard.

MainDessert #1Dessert #2
Penne Pasta NapolitanaStar Anise Poached Pineapple, Ricotta Mousse, and Mago CoulisChocolate Brownie, Raspberry Sorbet and Violet Crystals
Not Gluten-FreeGluten-FreeGluten-Free

Review: The pasta was the perfect lunch when I wasn’t feeling like eating a huge portion. The chocolate brownie was a little dry and could have benefited from some extra chocolate sauce.

MainMain #2Dessert
Fusilli Pasta and Pesto Vegetarian Glamorgan Sausages with Puff Pastry, Sauce AuroraPlum and Vanilla Fool With Granola
Not Gluten-FreeNot Gluten-FreeNot Gluten-Free

Review: The great thing about cruising is that if you can’t decide between two dishes, you can order both! Everything I had during this meal was great. I particularly liked the granola on the fool.

Beach House Dinner (Not Included in Cruise Fare – £7.50 Per Person)

The Beach House is a speciality restaurant on P&O Cruises cruise ships. To eat dinner here costs £7.50 per person and there are a couple of items on the menu which cost a few pounds extra.

The Beach House is a converted section of the buffet which changes into an independent restaurant in the evening. I enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere here.

If you are taking a P&O cruise and don’t want to take part in formal nights, the Beach House is a great alternative. To learn more about how to avoid the formal night dress codes on cruise ships, check out this post: You Can Skip Formal Nights on a Cruise – Here’s How

Beach House NachosSizzler Plates (Halloumi)
Tortilla Chips, Monterey Jack Cheese, Tomato Salsa, Guacamole, Sour Cream and JalapenosStir-fried Rice and Vegetables, Flour Tortillas, Guacamole and Sour Cream
Not Gluten-FreeNot Gluten-Free

Review: If you are considering dinner at the Beach House, make sure you come hungry. The portions are HUGE. I was looking forward to my nachos all day and they did not disappoint.

Main #2Dessert Dessert #2
Double Decker Burger (+£1.95)Milk Chocolate Fondue (+£4.00)Triple-layered Chocolate Fudge Cake
Prime Beef, Dry Cured Bacon, and Monterey Jacke Cheese in a Sesame Brioche Bun. Skin-on Fries, Onion Rings, and ColeslawToasted Marshmallows, Churros, Vanilla Ice Cream, Toasted Almonds and SprinklesPraline Sauce and Vanilla Ice Cream
Not Gluten-FreeNot Gluten-FreeNot Gluten-Free

Review: My brother and boyfriend had the double-decker burger and both said it was great. It was difficult to eat due to the size but well worth it. My chocolate cake was HUGE but well worth making room for.

Buffet Meals – (Included in Cruise Fare)

The buffet is a self-service restaurant that is free for all guests.

Meal 1Meal 2Meal 3
Wedges, Egg, Carrot, Tomato, Cucumber and Chickpea MerrangiueRoast Potatoes, Cabbage, Carrots, Popadoms, Pasta SaladRoast Potatoes, Stuffing, Egg, Cucumber, Sweetcorn, Fruit Bowl and Pasta Salad
Not Gluten-FreeNot Gluten-FreeNot Gluten-Free

Review: I did have some strange combinations when it came to meals from the buffet but that is the fun of a buffet. I particularly liked the ready-made salads and desserts which came in little bowls or on small plates.

Plate 1Plate 2Plate 3
Chocolate CakeCookie PlateDouble Chocolate Chip Breakfast Muffin
Not Gluten-FreeNot Gluten-FreeNot Gluten-Free

Review: The chocolate cakes and cookies onboard were always tasty. The buffet would open again at 11 pm for late-night snacks so this is where we would often find treats like these.

Plate 1Plate 2Plate 3
Snowman Cookie (Costa)Costa Cake SelectionChristmas Tree Cookie (Costa)
Not Gluten-FreeNot Gluten-FreeNot Gluten-Free

Costa Coffee Snacks – (Included in Cruise Fare)

On most P&O cruise ships you will find a Costa Coffee. Drinks here must be purchased, either on a pay as you go basis or by purchasing a drinks package.

The cakes, cookies and sandwiches here are always free of charge.

Review: I’ve been searching for the best cruise ship cookies for years and these are my favourite. Technically I’d say they’re biscuits not cookies, but even still. These were SO GOOD.

Starter #1Starter #2Dessert
Popadoms with ChutneyChana Pakodi ChaatChocolate Textures
Black Chickpea Dumplings, Chickpea Salad, Masala HoumousChocolate Truffle Mousse, White Chocolate and Mint Sorbet, Mint Chocolate Soil
Vegetarian VegetarianVegetarian
Not Gluten-FreeNot Gluten-FreeNot Gluten-Free

Sindu Dinner (Not Included in Cruise Fare – A La Carte Pricing)

Sindu is a speciality restaurant that serves Indian food with a British twist. We had a great meal here.

Each item on the menu has a separate price, as it would in a restaurant on land.

Note: The meal that we had here was so good that I actually forgot to take a photo of my main. Oops! You’ll have to trust me on that one.

Pool Side Grill – (Included in Cruise Fare)

Besides the pool is a poolside grill that serves burgers and hot dogs. The food is made to order and the food is some of the best quality I’ve ever found beside a pool.

Usually, the food at the poolside grill isn’t as good as the food in the buffet or main dining rooms but I have always been impressed with P&O’s poolside food.

Pictured below is my veggie burger and my brother’s cheeseburger, both are served with fries and ketchup.

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