We anticipated this Cruise with some trepidation, it being our first cruise with P & O, having only cruised with Celebrity and RCI before and read some derogatory remarks on Cruise Critic. We were very pleasantly surprised. Embarkation was very smooth, even though there was a fair delay due to passengers being unable to board at one stage due to the weather!
Our cabin was ready as soon as we boarded and was far better than anything we had experienced before with many nice touches including champagne! Our Steward, Ajmal, was a real joy and anticipated our every need. We really could not fault the service on the ship despite previous remarks - perhaps we were just lucky! Even the extremely rough crossing did not mar our holiday - although we were surprised at the amount of movement and noise experienced.
We dined in the Peninsular restaurant on 2nd sitting with a table for 8,two of our table mates were really nice guys, if it hadn't been for them we would have certainly asked to move, as the remaining 4 were stuffy, awkward & boring!We escaped as often as possible and tried alternative dining - Sindhu was fantastic and has totally spoilt us for our local Indian! The Italian was good but l7 was fully booked - our favourite for atmosphere was The Glass House. The shows were mixed, Headliners were good but new acts need to be introduced - Tom O'Conor was a waste of time. Always difficult to find a seat.
The New Year's Eve fireworks in Madeira were amazing and made the cruise as
we felt that there were far too many sea days and that another couple of ports could have easily been fitted in - 3 sea days was just too much.
We found the drinks to be on the weak side and the Casino was a joke! All in all the pros outweighed the cons, we had no complaints and wouldn't hesitate to cruise with P & O again.