This was my first cruise with P&O, having sailed with Royal Caribbean International earlier in the year. By day four of the cruise, I wanted off.
Food -â€“ boring and monotonous with the exception of the Salt Grill -â€“ great food but you have to pay $40 per person to dine here.
Plantation Buffet -â€“ was designed with bain marie in a horseshoe shape rather than islands, meaning passengers had to line up in long cues and it made selection difficult. Once you'd made your choice you could not go back.
Staff -â€“ most of the staff appeared aloof and uninterested most of the time. At times they were just plain rude. Friendly staff were the exception, but thankfully there were a few encountered.
Housekeeping -â€“ didn't clean under the bed properly. Identified two condoms and a pair of old shoes under the bed on arrival. Fridge didn't keep anything cold and no ice trays provided. Items sometimes not replenished, such as glasses and towels. Curtains had no backing and failed to block the 5am sunlight from flooding in. Old wooden furnishing from the 80's creaked constantly and sometimes difficult to sleep.
My shower would alternate between hot and cold, scalding you one minute, than freezing the next.
Pools -â€“ were unheated. Freezing in fact. Attempted entry on one occasion, then retreated, never to return again.
Oasis -â€“ potentially a great area, cushioned sun lounges, two hottubs and a bar. However, you had to arrive before about 10am to secure a sun lounge and the hot tubs were almost always full.
Sauna -â€“ was great, but like anything worthwhile on this ship, you have to pay to use it.
Aqua Massage Spa -â€“ Didn't bother. The prices were exorbitant and twice the price you'd pay on land. Guess that's what you get for being a captive audience.
Duty Free Shopping -â€“ Overpriced. Poor range of liquor/tobacco products and only a handful of change cheaper than Dan Murphy prices. Duty-free fragrances could have been bought cheaper at the Chemist Warehouse.
Marquee Theatre was very poorly designed. Not enough seats to accommodate all the passengers. The view was obscured at most positions (particularly the upper level). It was anarchy trying to exit. Stupid railing and chair design made it difficult to leave at anytime, especially during a show.
Other Public Areas -â€“ Some nice bars. The atrium was dark and dreary. Pool deck often didn't have enough seating to accommodate all passengers. Popular locations usually over crowded.
Shore excursions -â€“ really badly organised and involved trying to "queue" in the overcrowded foyer by the theatre for an hour, followed by more time waiting in the theatre, to another massive queue down the stairs trying to disembark. Overpriced and cheaper off the ship.
I'm going to stick with the American ships. They run rings around P&O.