This was our fourth P&O cruise and the Pearl is by far the best in our experience. The food was great, the service from the restaurant/wait staff/cabin staff was extraordinary. The teens HQ centre was new and spacious and the activities were endless.
There will always be people who put themselves on a pedestal and think that the whole world owes them a huge favour - and it seems that a lot of these people choose to go cruising. I wish they would just stay at home instead of sharing their misery with everyone else. On the last two cruises, we have got up and moved our children away from people choosing to loudly complain about trivial things. Both times it took all my strength not to tell them to go back to the mansions and butlers and 3-star Michelin chefs that must be waiting for them at home.
The Chef's Dinner was an absolute highlight. Eight courses - degustation - paired with eight wines. The Maitre D'Hotel Helder Santos personally greeted us and gave us a tour of the galley before the dinner. The Executive Chef Sean Watier took the time to explain every meal that he created for us. The food was beyond anything I have had on dry land. On top of everything else, at the end of the 3 hour experience, we were given a commemorative photo of the whole dining group along with Mr Santos and Mr Watier.
If I had to be critical of anything, it would be that since our last cruise two years ago, the drink service was slow in most venues and the duty-free and photography staff seemed disinterested and impersonal. But, then again, there wasn't any rush and we weren't there to shop.
I would go on the Pearl again tomorrow if I could.
I hope this helps potential cruisers.