June 9, 2012.
Ports: La Corona (one star); Bilboa (three stars); La Rochelle (three stars); Cherbourg (two stars; bad weather forced the cancellation of a trip to St Peter Port, Cherbourg was a lack change of port.
Southampton arrival: Due to sail at 4.30 pm we eventually sailed during dinner at 8.10 pm, however, this did not affect our cruise.
Check in was very busy, but very efficient. We arrived by car, we queued in car lines for 30 mins, but still managed to be in our cabin within the hour.
The excitement of a first cruise, in our case, cannot be exaggerated and the delay in sailing only enhanced our first experience.
We spent time in the cabin clicking cameras, watching the world, and cruise ships pass by . . . memorable times.
Oh, before I ramble on. My own personal disappointment was the influence the weather had. The Bay of Biscay can, evidently, be a very inhospitable place, luckily for us it only reared a fraction of its ugly head, but it was enough to give my wife sickness problems twice. I do question the cruise itinerary, our next cruise (and yes there will be a next!). Will to guaranteed sun somewhere.
Now to summarise:
Entertainment was at times dazzling, Dusty Springfield and Freddie Mercury tributes were just remarkable, standing ovations. Comedians likewise. The show we witnessed, Swing, only verged on average and sadly was disappointing, the setting, in an 800-seater theatre, was stunning.
Bars: Varied and reasonably priced. No complaints.
Food: What can I say? More than we expected, staff were courteous and very efficient and the menus catered for, I believe, every person in the restaurants in which we ate. Conversation included this statement: 'It's like eating in a top London restaurant every night'. And yes, it is possible to eat 24 hours a day.
Amenities: check out the P and O website. Three pools, jacuzzi, the list goes on.
Service: Five star.
Ship: Huge! The deck layout caused some confusion, especially with some of the 'mature' passengers.
Nutshell to finish: Cruise itinerary questionable. All else fabulous. Oh, I forgot the room service, try it please . . . spoil yourselves.
Time to close our book and begin saving.