My sister had been on a cruise before (not with P & O) and advised myself and Dad that it would be a wonderful holiday.
Our first contact with your company was a rude man who advised us we were in the wrong part of the port. We arrived (finally) to be given a letter stating the ship had had a nova virus on board prior to our cruise and we should take hygiene steps ourselves to avoid this! The greeting on board was very low key and seeing all staff in blue gloves not encouraging! The captins speech to welocme us told us to use only our cabin toilets if possible and to wash our hands for a least 20 seconds each time-all this before saying welcome.Just after getting into our cabins the flush in the toilet in both the cabins we had booked stopped working and were not fixed until about half an hour later. Whilst on board the water stopped at one point brown sludge appeared in our toilet and the sink smelt of sewers.Throughout the trip there were men in our corridor on ladders with exposed wires from the ceiling
It was never explained why this was. The ship was varnished whilst we were on board and on our last night part of the deck closed off for cleaning trapping some passengers on the other side. All of this is completely unacceptable in my opinion If the ship needs maintaining it should dock and be attended to.
The Plaza restaurant was very unwelcoming feeling like we were an infection waiting to happen! Very off putting if you are about to eat. The coffee/tea machines were horrible always breaking down, water not hot enough and always in mugs. We would have used other places but Dad was elderly and wanted porridge/bacon and egg so we went with him.
Staff were far from friendly and we overheard several times them making comments about passengers. I felt all the time they had been told to sell drinks at all costs and they often had to be told not to take unfinished glasses away. I hated feeling they were rushing me at all times particularly when they immediately sprayed the table after you got up! We had freedom dining thank god and the evening meal was better but even here where staff are automatically tipped as you know we found an almost hostile attitude to us. My sister was reading off the menu what sweet she wanted and was told 'you don't need to tell me the whole description' .She accidently ordered the white not red wine and when shown it asked to change it and got a 'so you don't want it then' as he flounced off.
The entertainment was very poor which was worse because of the bad weather but still needs to be upgraded though we liked the table tennis!.
Free shuttle buses are a great bonus but only if they are done properly otherwise charge a 'nominal' fee. In Bilbao we all stood and waited about 40 minutes for the return bus then 3 arrived at once.
I was on my first cruise and I will NEVER go on a P & O cruise again so you may wish to destroy this review but I feel a lot better having written it