Having had previous experience with Fred Olsen and Royal Caribbean, we were surprised at the waiting time and lack of welcome on embarkation. The same lack of organisation and communication then applied for the rest of the cruise.
We took our family (3 generations - 10 of us) on this cruise. Three of us decided to stay on board on the shore day to enjoy the facilities of the boat. Based on what we had experienced on other cruises, we expected a variety of opportunities. But in fact there was nothing in the morning (unless you want early morning running or yoga). Also, there was no port lecture the night before. Evening entertainment in the theatre was excellent.
I thought that the whole ship looked a bit shabby, with carpets worn in places, so I was very surprised on connecting to this website to read that it had only just undergone a refit! Compared to RCI's Independence of the Seas, I thought this ship was decidedly uninspiring. Our inside cabin was lit in such a way as to be dull and gloomy - at least one brighter light would have helped. One of our group needed a disabled cabin, and this was very spacious with ample room to turn his wheelchair and a very good wet room.
The food was good, although the selection in the Plaza could have had more variety. There was trouble with our two gluten-free members even though we had informed the company before we sailed. The waiters, however, did their best (despite seeming to be frantically rushed)and brought a vegetarian menu along and later offered gluten-free rolls.
Disembarkation was another nightmare. Very little communication and consequently long queues and people mumbling and complaining under their breath.
This was our first trip with P&O and may possibly be our last.
We did not go on any of the shore excursions. Instead our group took the free shuttle to Blankenburg and then caught the train to Bruges. This turned out to be a much cheaper option and we were more in control of our itinerary. Bruges is a beautiful city to explore and the chocolate shops, canals and beer are all excellent.