I had been looking forward to this cruise for months, Having been on other PO Cruises the Aurora, Adonia, Ventura, Oceana, The only was I can describe the ship is well past its sell by date,
My cabin was tired and grubby, the carpet very worn and filthy, The shower was old and very mouldy around the shower unit the shower head caked in old scale,
The wardrobe smelt damp and the doors rattled, I asked for a different cabin but told they had none available,
The whole corridor stank of sewage, the smell was over powering and I am sorry a steward with a can of air freshener does not really cure the problem.
I was not told on embarkation that there had been Norvo Virus on the previous cruise and was quite shocked when I ventured into the Conservatory to find waiters serving all the food and the sachets of salt and pepper
The Conservatory restaurant the only way I can describe is a bad Motorway cafe, Bunfight at the ok corral, The tables were not cleaned,The area at the far end on the deck had a smoking area and all you could smell at the end of the Conservatory was smoke not nice while trying to eat a meal and each time the door opened the smoke invaded,
The Peninsular Restaurant, where did you find the staff. were they trained by Basil Faulty, they were rude and very unhelpful, during breakfast I had the experience of a waiter pushing my chair in while I was eating if he had asked I would have moved but no he preferred to just push so I ended up wearing my breakfast no apology, If you asked for further coffee or tea they refused the main aim was to sit you down and get you out as soon as possible. They were very abrupt I guess that was the training from the school of Faulty Towers,
Afternoon tea Peninsular after the free for all in the Conservatory thought I would do things the good old PO way and have a proper afternoon tea, well Basil Faultys training was shown to its best, Offered Scones and little fancy cakes, then came the tea, something missing oh yes the sandwiches, they arrived after the cakes, teacakes and scones, Woe betide anyone that asked for more cream of more tea, the looks from the waiters would have turned Sybil Faulty to stone,All that was missing was Manuel but I am sure he was in hiding as the place was chaos.
Evening meal..I was in the Oriental , that was a great improvement on the other restaurant, the staff were slightly better, But what have you done to the fantastic food, did you leave it behind in Southampton, everything was over cooked and stuck in fat to the plate, and the choices were nothing like my previous cruises.Standards have dropped,I had cheese and biscuits one evening one tiny piece of cheese and 2 small crackers and he had gone, If you want to see the photo ask, Your food used to be the highlight of my cruises,
Entertainment the Headliners were very good as were the other acts and the male tenor from New Zealand was fabulous, However I don't go on a cruise just for entertainment,
The swimming pool was warm and very inviting but not very clean , The hot tub was also not clean, not sure why standards have dropped.
The service in the bars was brilliant but the quizzes and day time activity's left a lot to be desired,
The port stops were good and I enjoyed myself , In Lisbon I did try and find out the cost of flights back but none available as I would have left then,
You have major problems with toilets, blocked dirty, no wonder there is Norvo Virus its down to cleanliness and PO seem to have missed that,
Within a day of leaving the cruise I was very ill, with a non specific infection which nearly killed me , and required me to have triple antibiotics, and home nursing from the district nurse, and daily visits from the Doctor, as I refused to go into hospital (personal reasons) What ever I picked up on the cruise has left me sick for the last 5 weeks, Yes I was tested for many things, but nothing specific, All I do know when I boarded Oriana I was well, I would love to know if others had been ill,
Would I travel with PO again that would be No the standards have dropped. I also would never have boarded had I known the problem on the previous cruise with Norvo Virus, and I do think all passengers should had been made aware on Embarkation.