In developing the P&O Edge Adventure Park, P&O Cruises’ activity designers took deck plans and photos of the line’s three (at the time) ships and set their imaginations to work, disregarding areas of the ship traditionally off-limits to passengers and thinking how they could safely use that area to provide yet more exciting and entertaining option to its guests.
Central to designers’ thinking was not so much what could be offered, but how each event could be safely facilitated. It was in this process that the line realised just how much space onboard were not being properly utilised and what was indeed possible.
With that thinking and that freedom in mind, P&O Cruises boffins came up with a huge array of up to 19 different activities which it, in conjunction with external company Pacific Adventures, set about equipping their ships with the safety gear and course infrastructure required to run these events. Since then, the program has been a massive hit with guests.
The line’s relationship with Pacific Adventures continues today to facilitate the operation of the program onboard all five P&O Cruises ships today. It’s important to note that due to a ship’s individual designs, not every single activity may be available on all ships, so it’s wise to check in advance to make sure if you have a particular preference, that it is on offer.
Beginning with the upper-most decks of the ship, one of the most popular activities in the P&O Edge Adventure Park is the Big Screen Climb. This particular experience requires a reasonable level of physical ability and definitely a stomach for heights.
You will gain access to a part of the ship normally off-limits and eventually will find yourself standing at the top of the ship’s outdoor movie screen where a photo will be taken. To complete the experience, P&O will project a message onto the screen itself which can be included in your photo – it’s the perfect social media moment you can share from your cruise.
The cinema screen isn’t the highest you can get. Many P&O ships have had the side of their exhaust funnels transformed into a rock climbing wall, enabling you to ascend nearly all the way to the top. The same space offers another activity in the Funnel Abseil, although this is separate and not intended to be attempted immediately after the rock climb.
Further to the front of the ship, there are several activities available including the Cargo Net Race, where participants compete against each other to see who is the fastest to ascend a net. There will be a great view waiting for you at the top.
Also at the front of the ship, guests will find the Bow Ladder Climb, which is exactly as it sounds. Guests slowly ascend the outside of the front of the ship, past the Captain’s Bridge and all the way to the top. If you think this looks easy, you’ll be surprised and probably out of breath sooner than you might think.
While you’re at the top of the ship, another activity which begins up there is the Flying Fox. Simply put, guests are harnessed and strapped in for a thrilling ride across the top of the ship, which will likely be crowded with other passengers at the time to watch you sail past.
Five more activities are in operation at the top of the ship. You can pilot a segway through a carefully constructed course which includes inclines, turns and narrow passages. Next door to this is the Bungee Tramp, which is essentially an elastically-enhanced trampoline which propels a harnessed rider high into the sky a few times. Make sure you don’t eat right before going on this one or you may have an upset stomach to deal with once you’re on the ground.
On some ships, an extensive High Ropes course has been installed for harnessed passengers to test their balance and move between rope nets and across narrow planks via handles. There is also the Crows Nest experience, which is designed to replicate a Captain’s point of view after climbing to the top of a purpose-built structure at the front of the ship.
And for perhaps the ultimate thrill, you can even pretend the ship has been taken over by pirates and literally “walk the plank”. However unlike a pirate ship, you’re fully harnessed in and the challenge is just to see how far out you can go, not how well you can swim.
Not all of the activities in the P&O Edge Adventure Park are intended for thrill seekers, with a number of more serene options you can enjoy with your feet much closer to the ground. One of these is Slackline Surfing, which is a tightrope walking challenge conducted only a couple of feet off the ground and in a much more enclosed area. You can test your balance as you try to make your way from one end of the rope to the other.
Back at the front of the ship, anybody who has seen the movie Titanic can replicate that famous moment between Leonardo DiCaprio at the front of the ship. Properly harnessed, you can approach the ship’s bow either by yourself or with a friend or partner, climb the first step and extend your arms for your own Hollywood moment. You won’t win any Oscars but you’ll have a cool photo to take home with you.
Finally, P&O has also developed a Laser Tag venue where individuals or groups can partake in a fun virtual shooting game with vests which light up whenever you’re hit. A cool course has been set up with plenty of places to hide and lie in wait to fire a virtual laser at your friends.
Each of the activities carry different surcharges, with many able to be pre-booked as part of a block of experiences via the P&O Cruise Control feature. You can buy Gold, Silver or Bronze VIP Adrenalin Passes which give you access to many of the activities (depending on which ship you’ve booked, different experiences may or may not be available). Some activities, such as Laser Tag, Bungy Tramp and the Segway Obstacle Course can be enjoyed on all P&O ships and can be included with all three passes.
These are just some of the activities you’ll find as part of the P&O Edge Adventure Park, with many others sure to wow you once you get onboard. Make sure to check them out on your next P&O Cruises voyage.