We have just returned from our first cruise from Cape Town to Southampton, and to be honest this was one of the most regrettable choices that we could have made.
To list all the disappointing items would be a mammoth task, but here goes for the main ones:
The food in the Medina restaurant was awful, our first meal of roast pork was inedible and quickly convinced us to try the Cafe Bordeaux the next day. We checked the Medina menu each day, and realized that the choice of food was basically very poor British type 1980 pub food.
The alternative, cafe Bordeaux was not much better and this at a premium of Pound 9.50 per person preposterous.
Food rarely reached the table hot, was certainly not fine dining, desserts were the same as those found in the Orangery. Coffee was worse than our nescafe in our cabin. In order to have a half decent cup of coffee we had to pay Pound 2.20 for a cup of Costa
The entertainment aboard the ship from Cape Town was very limited, listening to an athletic champion of 1988 in 2014 was very poor to say the least. Discussion on the Big Five or the sonnets of Shakespeare became quickly the best way for afternoon naps. The captain was often funnier than the comedians.
My partner tried watercolor lessons, but a 45 minute (contract from P&O) for over 40 people was a total waste of time if one was there to learn something.
Line dancing, Bridge, cha cha cha, along with poor food, awful and expensive shore visits seemed to be a very expensive first time cruise holiday, which we will clearly not do again.
Luckily we had paid for and received a good cabin with an excellent steward that enabled us to spend a great deal of time playing solitaire, reading and longing for home cooking and finally being able to leave the ship.
( I dread to think what the passengers that have basic inside cabins without a balcony could be doing )
We will add this letter to the growing dissatisfied P&O forums, so really do suggest that you listen to the complaints, maybe invite Marco Pierre White to take the ship more often, maybe incognito?
Finally having to pay 30 Pound for 100 minutes of internet time is the biggest rip off of the century, back in Southampton there is free WiFi on a local bus!!!. And in most hotels and guesthouses.