Arvia Dining

Editor Rating
Very Good
Jo Kessel

Food on Ariva is more varied than on any other P&O Cruises ship thanks to the introduction of a couple of new restaurants -- 6th Street Diner and plant-based Green & Co. There's a good choice of included and speciality (fee) options with two main dining rooms (Zenith and Meridian) as well as the Horizon buffet and The Quays, a canteen-style venue on Deck 8. Here there’s another new-to-the-line offering with "Roast at the Quays", a novel take on the traditional British Sunday Roast. Food is generally of a good standard and Arvia's speciality dining ranges from sushi to steaks to Indian.

Free Restaurants on Arvia Cruise Ship

Meridian and Zenith restaurants

Arvia has two main dining rooms at the back of the ship: Zenith is on Deck 7 and Meridian is directly below on Deck 6. Both are elegant with floor-to-ceiling wake views and offer Freedom Dining. This means you can eat whenever and wherever you like, but they need to be pre-booked via the My Holiday app; alternatively the app allows you to join a virtual queue, which generally never takes long. If anything, the virtual queue usually ends up being quicker than expected. These two dining rooms offer plenty of options. Breakfast choices range from continental to a full fry-up (there's a vegetarian alternative too) or you can order kippers and eggs benedict. Healthy options include muesli, smoothies and smashed avocado on sourdough toast.

On the lunch menu you'll find daily specials plus British favourites like shepherd’s pie or bangers and mash. There are also lighter options like soup, salads, bagels and wraps as well as comforting deserts (think chocolate brownies or Bakewell tart.)

Both main dining rooms also serve an Afternoon Tea of dainty sandwiches, cakes and scones with clotted cream and jam.

Dinner menus are creative, with five courses spanning starters, soups, mains, desserts and a cheese plate. Vegetarian and gluten-free options are clearly marked. Expect dishes like Wild Mushroom Panna Cotta, Mint-Crusted Leg of Lamb, Miso-Glazed Tuna and Passion Fruit Pavlova. Always available dishes include prawn cocktail, cream of tomato soup, grilled salmon, chicken breast, sirloin steak and a fruit salad.

Suggested bottles of wine for each menu are reasonably priced at £18.95 a bottle.

Once a week, there’s a gala dinner in both dining rooms, with the menu created by chef and restauranteur Marco Pierre White, one of P&O Cruises' "Food Heroes".  Starters might include Devonshire crab and Scallop Ceviche or Buttered Asparagus with a Soft Poached Hen's Egg. For mains expect dishes like Lemon Sole Meuniere or Beef Wellington. And after a baked blueberry soufflé or dark chocolate mousse there’s a selection of Regional British and Continental Cheese with biscuits. Even on Gala Nights the suggested wines are still priced at a reasonable £18.95 per bottle.

Horizon Buffet

The main buffet is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and late snacks. There's always plenty of choice, from full English breakfast, pastries and fruit in the mornings to a daily roast, fish, curries, pre-plated small salad bowls and beautifully presented desserts, including gluten-free, vegan and low sugar options.

Taste 360

This is one of Arvia's signature venues offering a street food style dining experience by the Sky Dome. Dishes here are created by various Food Heroes depending on where the ship is sailing. In Spain, you’ll find Spanish dishes by chef Jose Pizarro; in the Caribbean chef Shivi Ramoutar provides local flavours.

The Quays

This Deck 8 Food Court venue is a great alternative to the often crowded Horizon Buffet. Plus it offers al fresco seating outside. You’ll find small salad bowls alongside stands serving noodles, fish and chips, burgers, hot dogs and "Roast in the Quays". For now, this is exclusive to Arvia and is a traditional Sunday roast with all the trimmings dished up in a jumbo Yorkshire pudding.

6th Street Diner

This is brand new for P&O Cruises’ and, for now, exclusive to Arvia. It’s billed as an all-American diner, but if you’re imagining the average burger joint, think again. While it does resemble a typical 1950s style diner with its high bar stools, red leather banquettes and black and white chequered floor, its menu is incredibly tasty southern fare, from Buffalo wings, to sticky pork ribs with raw slaw, to Po-Boys. Top pick for us was shrimp Louis Cajun salad. For desert there’s Mississippi mud pie or good ol’ fashioned apple pie. Better still, it serves all-day breakfasts and pancakes which make this a great start-of-the-day alternative. The only charge is if you want to purchase quarters for the Juke Box.

Olive Grove

The Olive Grove is on Deck 8 and resembles an Italian trattoria with lots of sharing plates. Food here is Mediterranean with paella and lamb tagine firm favourites. Most of the dishes are free bar a couple of items on the menu which carry a small supplement. On Celebration Nights the restaurant offers an exclusive menu by Food Hero and Spanish chef Jose Pizarro.

Chef's Table

If you enjoy dressing up for fine dining in a more intimate setting than the main dining room, then this dining experience is for you. The Chef’s Table is a space cordoned off at the end of Horizon Buffet and serves an exclusive menu curated by Food Heroes Marco Pierre White and Olly Smith on selected Celebration Nights (usually once a week). Marco selects the food and Olly expertly pairs each course with wine. Food is included but there’s an extra cost if you choose the wine pairing.

Top Tip: Reserve your spot by booking either pre-cruise or the moment you get on board. It’s very popular.

What Restaurants Cost Extra on Arvia Cruise Ship?

P&O Cruises' regulars will find favourites like the Keel & Cow for steaks, Sindhu for Asian fusion, the Limelight Club for a supper club with a cabaret, and the fine dining Epicurean. Olly Smith’s wine bar and grazing spot, The Glass House, has a new and improved menu and there’s also a new and on trend plant-based and sushi restaurant Green & Co, featuring Mizuhana.

Tip: Book your specialty dining on the My Holiday app as soon as you get on board. The restaurants fill up very quickly.

The Glass House, $

The menu at Food Hero Olly Smith’s Glass House wine and tapas joint has been revised and is excellent for quick, light bites. Pricing is a la carte and as well as a selection of single plates (think Korean sticky chicken lollipops or prawn potstickers) there are now three-dish ‘Big and Bold’ medleys on offer. The seafood one is superb and comes with lobster mac, grilled tiger prawns and crispy Cajun soft shell crab.

Top tip: Wash it down with a glass of Chateau Miraval rose which comes from Brad Pitt’s Provencal vineyard.

The Beach House, $

For a small fee this informal eatery dishes up southern and Caribbean cuisine at its finest. It’s located in a section of the Horizon Buffet and is where Food Hero Shivi Ramoutar showcases her Caribbean flavours with dishes like Jerk Chicken, shallow-fried plantain and hanging kebabs.

Eric Lanlard's Afternoon Tea, $$

For one of the finest afternoon teas at sea book Eric ‘Cake Boy’ Lanlard’s afternoon tea at the Epicurean specialty restaurant. Waiters bring cake stands laden with sweet and savoury goodies like eclairs, scones, salmon tartlets and chocolate spheres sprinkled with gold dust.

Green & Co, feat Mizuhana, $$

This new-to-the-line restaurant reflects the latest trends in vegan, vegetarian and flexitarian dining. A sushi bar sits alongside the main restaurant and the menu is split into ‘land’ and ‘sea’. You can stick to plant-based, sushi, or mix-and-match, depending on your taste. The blend works nicely.  There’s a small per dish charge. Standout starters include Cauliflower Popcorn Tempura, Sesame Crusted Crispy Fried Tofu and Nepalese Tofu Momos in soy broth. The sushi platters are excellent and for an inexpensive spicy treat order the Hot and Sour Dashi Ramen which is a meal in itself.

Sindhu, $$

For contemporary Indian fusion food with a British twist, Sindhu can’t be beaten. Served in opulent surrounds, the food it top notch, with an excellent and varied menu, from the Vegetarian Thali Plate to the Duck Tikka to the Lobster Thermidor main course which also works well as a starter. If you’ve room left, try the yoghurt cheesecake for afters.

The Keel and Cow, $$

This popular, meat lover’s gastropub is a large space on the top deck of the atrium as opposed to an actual venue. It offers different cuts of steak, including a 32oz Tomahawk, complete with chunky chips, battered onion rings and Portobello mushrooms. The most ordered dish is the Prime Minister Burger, which comes with a side of fries and garlic mayo, but the night we were there the restaurant was extremely busy and this didn’t quite meet its normal, excellent standards.  If you want to save room for dessert, best not to order a starter. Be warned: Calorie–counters should steer well clear. Keel and Cow cannot be pre-booked and eating here requires joining a virtual queue.

Limelight Club, $$

This is P&O Cruises’ very successful and intimate Supper Club. Acts on the bill change from sailing to sailing, but drag queen La Voix was in residence during our cruise, emulating the likes of Dolly Parton and Shirley Bass with great pizzazz. The venue has an aura of glamour and exclusivity as wild mushroom arancini, sea bass and chocolate bombe are served alongside the entertainment. If you like the look of the act then book early for an evening you won't forget.

Epicurean, $$$

Classic British ingredients are given a modern twist in the Epicurean. It’s the most expensive of Arvia’s specialty dining restaurants, but presentation is exquisite and service attentive. Worth trying are the Dover sole and New England lobster. You can also order a 28-day-aged Cote de Boeuf for two. The sides seem to have shrunk in size. However, it was no problem to ask for extra.

Ripples Ice Cream Parlour, $

Ice cream fans will love Ripples on Deck 8. A mouth-watering array of hand-crafted artisan flavours can be served in a waffle cone or as a sundae. It also serves a special gelato afternoon tea which comes with mini gelato macarons, a gelato cookie and mini gelato cones.

Top Tip: One's enough to feed a family of four.

Cruise Critic Restaurant Picks on Arvia Cruise Ship

We were wowed by 6th Street Diner. Food here is seriously tasty and we couldn’t believe it was included in the fare, or that it was open for breakfast, too. For us The Quays is another game-changer for a quieter, all-day venue and meat-eaters must try the Sunday roast served in a jumbo Yorkshire pudding at least once. For a quick, tasty bite with great wines Olly Smith’s Glass House can’t be beaten and for date night head to Green & Co. feat. Mizhuhana -- its inventive plant-based cuisine and sushi are delicious.

Dietary Restrictions on Arvia Cruise Ship

Vegetarian, gluten free and low-sugar dishes are regularly marked on menus, but waiters tend not to ask about allergies, so if you've a concern, you must take control and bring it up. They will then bend over backwards to accommodate.

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