Aurora Cruise Review by fair_feedback: Familiar Theme - P&O so Lost its way
Overall Member Rating
Familiar Theme - P&O so Lost its way
Destination: Baltic Sea
My intention was not to share our experience via the on-line community but to do what the Captain banged on about on our cruise, if you have a concern first raise it with P&O and give them a chance to address it" ok, so I did and I go my response, no response. Despite the rhetoric on the P&O website. Take the time to read the process. First you will find that P&O does not have complaints merely "feedback" what is it they say about an alcoholic before they can start recover they have to face up to the facts. P&O is in denial you can dress a complaint up how you like but for the client experiencing the issue and feeling the need to provide "feedback" it is a COMPLAINT.
Now to be fair, We love P&O, or loved P&O, sadly I think the love affair is waning. Not just from our recent experience but from each trip in the last few years. Each time we have gone the service has got worse.
My advice to any new cruisers is to definitely try cruising but only More go the once ! For your first time you will have no bench mark to realise the next time you go you will pay more for less. So go once then stop. Keep the memory precious. If you don't you risk getting like the rest of us. Sooner or later you will have a bad experience and it is here you will find out how good P&O is. In our case poor.
Ok, We thought we would try a short cruise this year to Fjord. Never been to Norway so thought we would try. No problem with cruise, weather good, ports of call all good, toilets did not block, norovirus. Definitely agree with other comments that food has got worse. the menus' unlike other years were boring. Quality/presentation average, Food was thrown in front of you then cleared away almost while still eating. Reminded me of upmarket Butlins which I think is where P&O is repositioning itself to fit into the market - stack it high sell it cheap philosophy.
Entertainment is generally good. If you have been a few times it can get a bit repetitive but, to be fair to the staff appear to work extremely hard and generally deliver to a high standard so well done to them. Comedian was good. Children's club is good. Ours loved it.
Cabins are getting tired but I think this is recognised hence the pending refit. Gym ok but I used daily and found often the entertainments systems where non functional i.e. requiring reboots. The sign of sloppy attention to maintaining machines.
Service was functional, since compulsory tipping came in (you know what I mean), service is not what it used to be. Even if it was fake before, it was part of the experience. Unlike now, a lot of the staff could not care less that came across loud and clear.
The highlight of our experience was embarkation where we were dealt with so poorly and shamefully that it brought an 80 year recently bereaved lady to tears. A person who had cruised for years with P&O, who paid full price but, who P&O favoured a late booking getaway passenger over. The staff dealing with were at times acting as if they were brain dead. A simple problem causing so much stress that any one capable of thinking about the problem, could solve in about 10 seconds but no. The person handled the issue so badly. I have to say I have experienced some things in my life but, this was truly stunning. While I have adopted a little cynical tone, I am not really in life, optimistic but I do appreciate common sense, honesty and accountability words that P&O is loosing the understanding of.
Again, to be fair, I am sure P&O have to put up with a lot of unfair whining from clients but that goes with the territory, When you have clients spending many thousands of pounds one should expect some competence, efficiency and decent customer service. P&O still expects to charge a premium for ferry standard service. Where staff think they can abuse their position. Shame as the service levels, fair pricing and value for money were what made P&O stand head and shoulders above the competition. NOT ANYMORE!!!
Strangely and never before, I left the ship this year feeling disappointed and in part cheated. Cheated by that experience at the start of a special holiday spoiling it for such an avoidable reason. So for the first time ever I wrote to P&O to provide some feedback thinking they may at very least write to the lady they distressed apologising even if they did not have the decency to respond to me. But, despite the stated feedback process indicating acknowledgement within 14 days I have heard nothing. Par for the course I now think. P&O have spoken loud and clear to my family.
I am not saying don't cruise P&O, I like to think deep down its still a good company but I have to say the experience has changed my outlook for P&O. From where I have observed and experienced P&O has lost its way or, maybe, embarked on a concious new direction (pound shop customer service strategy) targeting new clients. Culture they say comes from the top. If the staff act poorly then it is because these are the signals they get from their line management. Maybe the UK CEO needs to take a look in the mirror and ask himself some frank questions or take another swig from the bottle and ignore the feedback. Less
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