Thank you Paul Woodman for your cruise review. My wife and I agree with almopst everything that you have said.
We were on the same cruise. We didn't opt for Freedom dining. Instead we had first sitting, 6.30 p.m. on a table for six. We were most fortunate to have four interesting and interested companions.However, one couple had paid £2000 per head less than we had paid.In addition our total "on spend" money was £200, those with the cheap fare had £900 per couple.It certainly makes one think about Booking ahead.
Our two waiters were excellent, both were from India and obviously took pride in their work.
In the main restaurant most of the meals were just "OK". Generally very bland and no more than 2* or 3*. An exception was the alternative option each night of a steak. These were always excellent and were often ordered in lieu of the Main Menu.
We were without a TV in our cabin for almost 72 hours. I reported this fault to Reception by phone and in person on at least 6 occasions. On the third day without TV I left reception with a P & O complaint form in my hand and told the Receptionist that if the set wasn't working on my return to the ship I would make a written complaint. Of course it was then fixed and only made me cross that I hadn't gone down that route earlier.
A large number of passengers had taken advantage of the low fares and their dress and general behavior left much to be desired.
A high number of passengers were equally disenchanted with the cruise overall and many said they would write to Head Office and complain. It's my experience that very few actually write.
Finally, I think P & O are shooting themselves in the foot by offering such cheap fares. I've just read that three Cruise Lines are promising to give back the difference to any passengers if the cruise they have booked is reduced.
Paul has already said how poor the entertainment was. We went almost every night thinking "tonight may be better". There were 2 or 3 good shows, best of all was comedian Tom O'Connor; so good in fact that he was asked, and did, another show.
I'll conclude by saying that I will look long and hard before I book another P & O cruise. It's a shame, we have such wonderful memories of our days on the "Oceana"