I and the wife have just returned from a cruise on the Oceana. Unfortunately there are a number of points which were just not acceptable .
Firstly the food in both the premium restaurants. We had a meal in the Horizon on the first Saturday of the cruise. I decided to have the lamb which was served with chips, beef steak and burgers with chips I can understand but lamb? I asked if I could have another type of potatoes e.g. new potatoes and the waiter said he would ask. When he returned he stated the chef had said no. Considering the number of restaurants on the ship I am sure another form of potatoes could have be sourced. This spoilt the dining experience.
The next meal was in the Jardin during the week and I had the Rack of Lamb with Rosemary Jus, it was very disappointing, you could not taste the Rosemary at all, it tasted just like normal gravy. I spoke to the Assistant Restaurant Manager about this and pointed out that though I am not a chef I could do better at home.
We were on Freedom dinning and the food was very good in the Ligurian, however the attitude of Head Waiter was atrocious. We like to dine by ourselves and understood that this could mean waiting for a table. When asking for a table for two the head waiters comment was 'we do not have one' and he did not offer a bleep, I replied 'can I have a bleep' and he begrudgingly handed one out. When the bleep went off and we returned to the restaurant and I joked that it did not take long for a table to be available, to which he replied in a very condescending manner 'we created one for you'. I was very shocked with his manner and to be honest felt very angry; if he worked for me he would be sacked.
Finally regarding the restaurants, the Plaza. At breakfast providing very hot cereal bowls for cold milk, along with very hot glasses for cold juices is just stupid. This was not just a one off but every day, which seems to me down to bad planning.
With regards to other issues. We had a small problem with the shower head and reported it to reception one evening and said there was no rush as it still worked and could be dealt with the next day. To our surprise a maintenance man turned up at 22.15 that night to fix it, we had retired to bed by then. Is common sense in short supply in the maintenance department?
We also had a problem on two occasions with the toilet. On the first occasion the water over flowed onto the bathroom floor. Services came and moped the water up and someone from maintenance looked at the toilet. However we were never told that the problem had been resolved. A few days later the problem returned, and again it was reported. It was approx. 4/5 hours before someone came to have a look and in fact it was our steward who chased it up. Again no one had the courtesy to say that the issued had been resolved.
P&O have excellent, what we would call rank and file staff e.g. stewards, waiters. They are helpful and cannot do enough for you. The problem seems to be management who are not concentrating on the detail.
We feel that other cruise lines have addressed the issue of attention to detail, but P&O needs to do more to retain customers.