We were a little concerned that the hassle finding the correct coach from our service station pickup point, would have been how the holiday would continue...how wrong were we. The usual efficient check in at Southampton, we travelled as a group of five including our five year old granddaughter. She had dairy free diet which was discussed with head waiter who took care of everything on the first evening, also check every day to ensure she was happy, actually hunting us out wherever we were on the ship.
Bay of biscay was rough, forcing me to medical room for injection, this worked very quickly after a nap and was back to myself within the day and eating normally. Weather was glorious every day, sometimes too hot. Not trouble getting sun beds, but then we were up early. We used the jacuzzi several times beside oasis pool, plus the pool itself. There were a few snooty so and so's that think they own the ship, stating kids under sixteen not allowed in the pool, she was 4 years old for god's sake causing no harm to anyone plus the pool was empty.
Barcelona we did on our own, knowing the ropes from a previous visit, really enjoyed this yet again.
Monaco and monte Carlo did excursion from ship, again really enjoyed this including the guide. Had loads of free time to ourselves which suited, spent loads of time in gardens which we missed last time due to the walking tour not visiting this area.
Civitavecia we did the Bracciano tour, rather than Rome. still full day tour but well worth every penny. Visiting castle where Tom Cruise married Katie Holmes, spectacular views over volcanic lake. Plenty of free time again, but sadly no souvenir shops, just restaurants and coffee bars. In fact we said it was so beautiful we could set up a souvenir stall and make a killing. Great photo opportunities at castle and lake and on journey back to the port.
Corsica was wonderful, not at all like our first experience some years ago, streets were dirty, dog poo everywhere. This time completely opposite, spotless..lovely Market great bargains spent loads! Visited the tortoise park a must for everyone, taxi cost 80 euros driver waited an hour for us and took us back to the Market area, far cheaper than P&O.
Gibraltor lovely although quiet due to festival the weekend before, most shops don't open till 11am, you have to be back on board at 1.30, so it was a sprint to get the excellent duty free's a good opportunity to stock up on cigs, tobacco, spirits, jewellery etc..some real bargains here good opportunity to get rid of the remaining euros left too but also take sterling which is good, very friendly shops and cafes.
Back on board for the dreaded sail back to southampton and again the bay of biscay rough again, suffering the tail end of hurricane katia, confined to cabin again, next time I will be prepared with ginger as that seemed to help.
Now for the ship...cabin excellent bit of mechanical noisy but to be expected on deck 5. We liked the proximity to Atrium and cinnamon restaurant so happy to put up with noise. Cabin Steward Martin polite and efficient, kept cabin spotless as expected.
spent most of our evening meal times at Cinnamon which made our holiday, food again excellent, they made a great fuss of our granddaughter and nothing was too much trouble.
Went to Beach house and although service is a bit slower than Cinnamon it was still lovely and didn't feel rushed to finish.
Breakfasts and lunches to our satisfaction having the freedom to eat when you want and where, on deck mostly, pizzas and burgers from Frankies regularly, plus the ice cream to finish off lunch.
entertainment excellent west end style, all shows we attended were excellent and hats off to the production even during the bad swells.
Visited most of the bars where my granddaughter enjoyed dancing on an empty floor, really cheering up some of the oldies who started looking out for her change of outfits. the photo crew have been given a bad rep on most reviews, if you don't want a photo politely say no and they leave you along, but on the plus side we wanted some nice holiday photos of Grace and our group, one of the photographers kindly obliged when we collared him one evening, when he was on his way to a different area, he could have said no but didn't.
To sum up, apart from a couple of days with sea swells this holiday was brilliant, nice and hot and enough ports to allow a relaxing holiday. Cannot wait for next July for 7 ships sail away already booked.
Had an excellent time and hats off again to P&O, well done !!!