Christmas Markets Cruise V025
This cruise did not turn out to be what it said on the packet. Some of it was down to the weather conditions and some down to advertising poetic licence. Christmas markets in most people’s eyes are the grand events in Germany, Poland etc. and to advertise a cruise visiting destinations offering a Christmas market you are let down by what is NOT on offer
The three ports of call were Amsterdam, Zeebrugge – for Bruges or Brussels and Le Harve for Paris and other destinations. Due to adverse weather conditions, the bus tours to Bruges, Brussels from Zeebrugge and Paris + all other destinations from Le Harve were cancelled for weather and safety reasons.
Amsterdam - No Christmas market
Bruges – arrived there by train, again No Christmas market
Le Harve – while not the intended visiting destination, the shuttle to the centre of town was a washout, being a Sunday little or no shops open and their market consisted of approximately 12 little log cabins.
Very disappointed the ship did not impress in a number of ways, given the ship was just out of a refit in Germany the faults with equipment were numerous new coffee machines in the Lido not working within 24 hours, hot water taps in Lido stopped on first complete day and never worked again.
Just off the Queens’ room, there was a smell of sewage and I know a number of people plus myself reported it to staff, never corrected. Other quests had problems with blocked sinks, toilets over flowing, glasses in state rooms with cracked edges to name a few of the problems discussed.
Given the type of cruise, time of year the ship lacks an enclosed swimming pool.
Lido restaurant – food was a good standard and variety, plenty of choice but some of the hot dishes were not as hot as they should have been.
Britannia restaurant – a poor performance all round, staff were poor on our table, orders all wrong, timing of delivery lead on the first night to cold main course. The kitchen was no better, they obviously were not in tune to the printed menu, on a number of occasions the type of potato served was not as per the menu. When steaks were ordered, it was potluck when it arrived as whether it was, rare, medium or well done. Portions were on the mean side – female comment. When we complained to the Maitre’de, on the first evening all he said was sorry, walked away and he never returned on subsequent evenings.
Wine waiter was very slow and did not have any idea of availability of wines on the menu, plus did not suggest or advise you – looked as if he was handed the job that night without any training. The next table to ours complained that he had taken 45 minutes to deliver their wine (after main course served), plus they also complained about the food. They never returned on any subsequent night.
Cabin was clean spacious and we were looked after by a very good stewardess; could not fault the standard of hygiene exercised by all staff.
Summary - drinks over priced, service charge not worthy of its name, food poor, and staff - lacked drive. A very poor performance all round and auspices start for the new captain on her first voyage.
Not a patch on the P&O Arcadia, on which we spent 17 glorious days / nights earlier this year.