We arrived at Gatwick and learned that we had a four hour delay..Okay this can't be helped and Thomson kindly offered Â£5 vouchers for refreshments, we eventually boarded the aircraft to learn it was a "First choice Aircraft".. Now I don't know what you think about first choice,but personally I think they offer a terrible service. The cabin crew are scruffy e.g. hair was not tied up above the collar, uniforms looked like they had slept in them, and they were generally frosty towards passengers. My wife had a broken seat that was brought to the attention of the hostess, who said she would have to move for safety reasons, but never did find her another seat!
The on board entertainment was poor along with the food..! the cabin crew offered a entertainment upgrade for Â£5, which I think is an insult, after all we paid enough for the cruise in the first place!
Airport transfers..to be fair were excellent well organised and friendly, the on board credit card system is a excellent idea and proved to be very well executed.
The ship itself is a lovely ship, but is already looking a bit tired, the decor on closer inspection was a bit grubby and it was evident to me that standards had declined.
I was dissapointed with some of the entertainment, as it stated in the brochure that they were "West End" standard...I don't think so! some of the shows were good but equally some were poor.
Sea days are a absolute pain in the backside, I note that passengers are not to reserve sun beds..but they do, I observed one guy reserving 6 beds and then pop off to breakfast. During the day you have a choice of three swimming pools to sit around, The nice pool, the chavvy pool or the smokers pool.
The pool with the sea screen is okay, the middle pool near to breakers bar is very "chavvy" loud and like Butlins. At 12 noon the music starts and it is about 500watts of what I would class as holiday/wedding reception music (does it need to be so loud)?
The final pool is at the rear of the ship and is okay proving your a smoker, there are people sitting at poolside smoking cigarettes, this I find really annoying!
The buffet bar, generally speaking the food is acceptable and is better when it has just been served up and you are early in the queue, when it has been left lying for a while it becomes a bit dry and is hard to digest.
Finally..the dress code: I have noticed over a period of time, that the dress code on board has become a bit lapse and not adhered to, for example on formal nights, I witnessed passengers in track suit bottoms and vests and on semi formal nights, passengers with shorts and T shirts, there is never anyone in uniform to challenge these people.
In conclusion: I enjoyed the cruise, but would not rush back. I think P&O standards have dropped and as you know it is a competitive market, I didn't get the wow factor and the first class service on this cruise, as I did on past cruises with P&O..! I think next time I will try Royal Caribbean.