31 Barbados Cruises for the Disabled Cruise Reviews

Everything was perfect, You walk off the plane and onto a coach where you’re taken straight to the ship where our bags were waiting for us at our cabin. On return you see the immigration officers onboard, the queues move very fast, ... Read More
Everything was perfect, You walk off the plane and onto a coach where you’re taken straight to the ship where our bags were waiting for us at our cabin. On return you see the immigration officers onboard, the queues move very fast, no standing still. Then we were taken from the ship to the airport and our cases were sent to the plane ahead of us so we didn’t have to carry them around with us, they will also look after your hand luggage for you from when you leave your cabin until you depart the ship, they give you clean towels and an option to use a cabin to freshen up before your flight. Completely hassle free. Cabin was very comfortable and quiet, spotlessly cleaned twice daily and the cabin stewards were so friendly and kind. Fantastic staff, so attentive, friendly and really make you feel valued. Delicious food with plenty of options. The restaurants were very nice and in the buffet you have tons of options, you have fresh food cooked to order including omelettes and create your own stir fries, pastas and pizzas where you can choose exactly what ingredients they put in your meal. The fresh salad bars were so good too with freshly made potato salads, coleslaws and bean salads to name but a few. They had branston like pickle, piccalilli, chutneys and all the usual condiments including HP sauce, Branded drinks and a great choice of cocktails. Even without the premium drinks upgrade. Twinings breakfast and Yorkshire tea and many other kinds of herbal teas, delicious fresh sweet pure orange juice. The snack bar by the pool had freshly prepared salads (Caesar, Greek, Asian, curried chicken, avocado, salmon and more) sandwiches, wraps and burgers, hotdogs, fries etc to grab and go. Excellent entertainment with so many different options to choose from each day and night, something to do whatever your mood. The Collective were absolutely fantastic and got everyone rocking! Plenty of fun, lively areas with great music and entertainment and also calmer areas if you want some peace and quiet to just chill out and enjoy the moment. Didn’t feel at all overcrowded, even at the busiest times there was always somewhere to sit in the shade or in the sun. You can dress to impress if you like which meant I got the chance to wear some evening dresses but if you don’t feel like dressing up you don’t have to. You’re treated beautifully whatever you wear. Unlike other holidays I’ve been on (where drunken idiots have spoiled it for everyone else with their bad behaviour and they’ve been allowed to remain in the hotel and carry on their behaviour for the whole holiday) if someone gets out of hand they are promptly removed from the ship, they have zero tolerance of violent or abusive behaviour, Brilliant! Like staying in a 5 star hotel where the view changes daily. I can’t see how they can improve this ship and it’s staff. We don’t know how they manage it but even on a ship with so many other people on board you are made to feel special, the staff remember you and treat you very well. We will definitely be booking with TUI / Marella again. Everything really was perfect. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We chose this cruise after a good cruise on the old Thompson Spirit. We have cruised a few times with many cruise lines and saw this trip in a local agent .not a cheapo late deal so planed out 9 months in advance. My wife was real looking ... Read More
We chose this cruise after a good cruise on the old Thompson Spirit. We have cruised a few times with many cruise lines and saw this trip in a local agent .not a cheapo late deal so planed out 9 months in advance. My wife was real looking forward to trip. Perfect start great to leave luggage at Gatwick and see it next in our cabin. I do have limited mobility so arranged an adapted cabin which turned out good ; Sorry down hill from here on THIS ship and MOST of staff are not aware or interested in the disable / less mobile customer. The ship has NO disable seating in restaurants or bars and you are on your own with getting help from staff to get seated . the stock reply seems " we are busy ", " try another restaurant " ; Try another time. The theater is not a lot better . Yes there are a few disable seats but so poorly signed again it is free for all, so do not expect to get one unless you get to show about 45 minuets early. We did eventual get the welfare dept to put out some signs in the Cafeteria just 8 seats which considering the amount of wheel chairs/ scooters ect on board was no where enough . To cap it all I was told by a manager in the Theater he could not ask people to move from disable seats and I should walk down the stairs to front . The shows in all are ok not up to a professional standard more a good local theater group. The excursion ok but again not good for less mobile , we invested in a special light weight wheelchair so I could enjoy the trips but nearly all the trips state on the day that no wheel chairs or buggy's can be accommodated so yes got on the trips but did not see much of the sights except from the transport windows . Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We like the cruise it was small ship i was shock about the jogging track it didn't look like the picture . Emergency drill was get but when the crew did there they barge in room 422 that where they keep the crew life jacket . . They ... Read More
We like the cruise it was small ship i was shock about the jogging track it didn't look like the picture . Emergency drill was get but when the crew did there they barge in room 422 that where they keep the crew life jacket . . They block with rope between 429-431 & 433-435 other than that it was fine so you step over to get to the main dinner restaurant and elevator . For people confusion there was no 430 or 434 . The newspaper was a day behind unfortunately the sad part it was on the tv & in your itinerary . Free movie, free tv show episode , menu , live tv with 20 channel. The fitness centre was great so there were 2 separate and new machine call scale runner for kid to understand it like the the dog walker treadmill in Jetson . There no elevator to deck 9 . You can tour other sliver sea ship and eat for a day but be back on your original boat by 6pm. Not lot of kids around 6 with 2 babies what hear about the sliver spirt there was about 6-8 on that boat. Show room and card room was master so was the library and panorama lounge. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Did not know what to expect on this our first cruise as we had read so many varied reviews, but we could not fault our cruise experience, we booked a large balcony cabin and it was perfect, we had our own sun lounger, table with 2 chairs ... Read More
Did not know what to expect on this our first cruise as we had read so many varied reviews, but we could not fault our cruise experience, we booked a large balcony cabin and it was perfect, we had our own sun lounger, table with 2 chairs and a hammock! It was ideal to get away from the hustle and bustle of the pool deck areas and really chill out. Okay the Marella explorer is not brand new and not as huge as some of the other cruise ships but for us it as just right. The main self service dinning room served a good range of hot and cold dishes which changed daily, and if you wanted a full English breakfast you'd have to go a long way to beat it, we also tried out the specialty restaurants, some you had to pay a cover charge for, but well worth it, and the all inclusive drinks package was the best we ever had, all the top and well known beers and spirits.We can't praise all the staff on-board enough, from the cleaners to the ships Captain, nothing was too much. Plenty of hand sanitisers' everywhere, entertainment and activities were suited to all age groups and were well organised, The only thing I would do differently next time would be to book shore excursions on-board the ship, yes they are more expensive than doing it yourself but it saves the hassle of being pestered by the hoards as you walk out of the port area into local towns, overall we had a fantastic first cruise experience and certainly do it all over again, especially on the Marella Explorer. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We have cruised many times with Thompson/Marella in fact all their ships (including the Infamous Saphire in 1996)(Tic). Yes she is old and vibrates a bit. But the Food is excellent in all venues the staff are all vey good our cabin ... Read More
We have cruised many times with Thompson/Marella in fact all their ships (including the Infamous Saphire in 1996)(Tic). Yes she is old and vibrates a bit. But the Food is excellent in all venues the staff are all vey good our cabin steward was 1 of the best we have had. We had a disabled cabin 101 apart from the "Lump" where they have raised the floor in front of the Bathroom. a few of the staff we have met over the years we have cruised with them, and were glad to see their friendly faces. Mainly "Ling the Lerciless" a play on Ming the Merciless The only drawbacks are the Small swimming pool/s and only 1 Extreemly small Jacquzi, and turning them into "all inclusive" seems to be turning them into "Booze Cruises" which IMHO is not the best way forward. The Discoveries both Ex Royal Caribbean Vision class are superb. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
This was our 4th cruise on Braemar, and our 5th with Fred Olsen. I have already written to the company about some of their policies (fixed dining, tipping policy, 'confiscation' of alcohol brought onboard, drinks package etc) but ... Read More
This was our 4th cruise on Braemar, and our 5th with Fred Olsen. I have already written to the company about some of their policies (fixed dining, tipping policy, 'confiscation' of alcohol brought onboard, drinks package etc) but as far as the cruise itself was concerned, we found it to be most enjoyable. We appreciated the changes made during the 2017 refit, even those in the Neptune lounge --- the new seating at least creates a little more room--- and we enjoyed a very nice meal in 'The Grill', though the additional charge for it was excessive. We had an excellent Cruise Director in Nick Cosslett, who showed that he also had a singing voice to match those of the 'professionals' on board, and the entertainment programme included Micky Zany, guaranteed to enliven a half-dead 2nd sitting audience! We were blessed with near-perfect weather so we could enjoy all the many deck spaces on Braemar. Food and service had greatly improved in the Grampian Restaurant since our last cruise in May 2017, and we enjoyed the lunchtime Fish and Chips on the Pool Deck. Braemar is still a very good-looking ship with its accessible bow and the split-deck stern which lends itself to great sailaway parties, greatly preferable to the enormous 'floating blocks of flats' moored alongside. If 'Fred' changes and makes its cruises far more inclusive we'll look forward to coming back again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
I really can't understand why people complain??? Yes the ship is a bit old but it does everything it needs to....gets you from A to B to Z with everything needed (unless you go 5 star and complain about that too?). My wife (who ... Read More
I really can't understand why people complain??? Yes the ship is a bit old but it does everything it needs to....gets you from A to B to Z with everything needed (unless you go 5 star and complain about that too?). My wife (who has a disability and TUI were great with the offer of a disabled cabin) & I enjoyed the whole experience around the islands & met some lovely new friends too. Staff - Excellent. Bars - Very Good (although should be 2 or more Bar Staff at all times). Food & Drink - Ideal. Entertainment - Very Good (something for everyone). Cabins - Not luxurious but if they are clean & tidy (as these are) then no complaints from us. Tours - Didn't do all as we like to do our own exploring (When in British Virgin Islands seek out Captain Friendly who will take you on an informative & very enjoyable 3 to 3 1/2 hour tour & visiting the Shell Man & Friends was the highlight). Transfers - Very Good yet we only did the arrival as return is a little early if you've got prebooked seats as TUI checked us in & our hold luggage was taken from our cabin straight to the plane (great touch TUI Thankyou). Tips for new travellers - Take mixture of U.S & Eastern Carribean Dollars as although U.S are widely used some prices better in local currency. Take Barbados Dollars for last day as locals will give you the price in their own currency first. Highlights - Apart from this lovely old ship & it being tbe best/slowest week holiday we have had then its the local bars,shops & people, as doing our own exploring we never felt threatened or intimidated due to the locals being friendlier than citizens of the UK. Negatives - Safe Key (£15 for the week non-refundable)....not a complaint but just a suggestion that this should be a deposit not an extra payment!!! ENJOY YOUR CRUISE WITH THE MARELLA SHIP THAT YOU HAVE CHOSEN AS YOU ARE ONLY USING IT AS A TAXI-WITH-A-ROOM TO TAKE YOU TO SOME ONCE IN A LIFETIME PLACES AS ITS VERY RARE TO HEAR COMPLAINTS ABOUT A TAXI...HAVE A GREAT TIME ALL!!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
My wife and I had never "done a cruise" and were tempted by a last minute deal. The flight out of Gatwick with TUI was really well done and the 'plane was superb. Too much up selling of duty free stuff but, hey ho, ... Read More
My wife and I had never "done a cruise" and were tempted by a last minute deal. The flight out of Gatwick with TUI was really well done and the 'plane was superb. Too much up selling of duty free stuff but, hey ho, that's life. The embarkation process was seamless with some very courteous mini coach drivers. Really fast check in onto the ship. Our luggage hadn't arrived when we went to our cabin but that is to be expected so we spent a fascinating few hours exploring the ship. We had an hour sunbathing and returned to the cabin where our luggage said hello to us. We chose an inside cabin as we didn't want to be in the cabin too much. The cabin was superb with plenty of space and was really, really clean. (Tip: to free up more space pop your shoes under the bed) Freddy our steward was perfection itself and he always greeted us with a smile. Getting set up for WI FI was a bit of a ceremony but we didn't let that annoy us. We cancelled the automatic tip system and tipped our favourite staff nicely and in person. The Horizon restaurant was absolutely superb with great selections and lovely views. We had top quality service from the beginning with Ronald being a stellar waiter/busboy. I was pretty much addicted to the Indian vegetable curry which was made on board and to be honest far better than most Indian restaurants I've been to in the UK and I've been to a few hundred. Everything was slick and immaculate clean. We did try the Peninsular but things were a bit slow so we didn't go back and stayed loyal to the Horizon. The shows in the Theatre were superb. High, high quality. Horizon 3, Peter Howarth and the Bluejays were all absolutely splendid and having been in the entertainment world for decades I am quite picky. The pantomime by the entertainment crew was really not too good so we left. Lots stayed and enjoyed it though. We liked the reggae/calypso band on the main deck. Around the pool was very busy and noisy so we found a few quiet spots around the ship to bask in the sun. Gorgeous. There was always good product and service around the pool areas and wait staff wandering around ready to take an order We loved staying on board the ship when most people went on a tour as we were so very relaxed and happy basking in the sun. We had a wonderful time for the whole cruise and can't really fault it. Yes things aren't always to everyone's liking but that is life. We thought it was all pretty much perfect and we are very fussy. I note people complaining about the elevators and that's fair enough but when a lot of people use the elevator for one or two floors it's easy to see why it all gets clogged. We did the stairs as much as possible. We were on board when the Gatwick drone problem was going on and I have to say P & O and TUI managed everything so well it was very impressive. Superb emergency management. Thank you P and O Cruises and TUI - We will be back! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We're from the UK so embarked at Barbados after flying direct from London. This is the only Carnival cruise which has two embarkations (Sunday is San Juan, Wednesday is Barbados). We flew in the previous day, one night in a hotel, ... Read More
We're from the UK so embarked at Barbados after flying direct from London. This is the only Carnival cruise which has two embarkations (Sunday is San Juan, Wednesday is Barbados). We flew in the previous day, one night in a hotel, then taxi to the port at 12 noon the next day. When we embarked there were only 160 getting on at Barbados and check in was really simple and quick. Our luggage didn't take long to arrive. We had anytime dining which worked well. The staff were great and greeted you by name each evening. If it was busy you were given a small handheld device which vibrates when they are ready for you - we never had to wait more than about 20 minutes. We chose a sharing table each evening because this is a brilliant way to meet other guests. Every evening we were sitting with different people which was great. The food in the dining room was good but the main courses could do with being changed more often, however the quality was good. We did have lunch in the buffet restaurant which had lots of choice and is open 24 hours a day. I liked the section where you could have a sandwich/wrap made up for you. You can get juice/water/coffee in the buffet at any time of day. We tried the burger place and found the burgers very tasty. Service was excellent 100% of the time throughout the whole ship. I liked the fact that when you passed a member of staff they all smiled, said hello and asked if you were having a good time. Nothing seemed like too much trouble. Our room steward was excellent - we did have a couple of small issues with our cabin which I reported and they were sorted out within a few hours. We loved the adults only serenity deck. It's right at the stern of the ship and had two hot tubs as well as loads of sunbeds. We met some lovely people here. Entertainment was varied and good. The cruise director (Marcelo) was lovely, as were all of his staff. We liked the piano bar and the shows in the Palace Theatre (especially the Love and Marriage show). The comedians were also excellent, although some of them need to slow down as they speak far too quickly and it's easy to miss the punchline! We both used the gym which was huge and had loads of equipment. There was also a studio with mats where you could do floor work. We also used the spa and my husband declared his full body massage the best he had ever had. The therapists were lovely. We had a balcony cabin on the main deck which was an excellent choice as we chose to have room service breakfast every morning on the balcony whilst watching the ship dock. There is no charge for room service (apart from within certain hours in the middle of the night). The debark process at Barbados a week later was also quick and simple. If you want to you can stay on the ship until 1pm, but you need to vacate your cabin by 9am. All the islands we visited were great. This was a lovely way to see so many places. This was the first time cruising for us, but will not be the last. We had a great time and will be back. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
A travellors we wanted to try the Caribbean & I would confirm this was not a great introduction I feel I must start with the bad. While booking our cruise I completed an accessibility & Medical Assistance ( 4 pages ) form as ... Read More
A travellors we wanted to try the Caribbean & I would confirm this was not a great introduction I feel I must start with the bad. While booking our cruise I completed an accessibility & Medical Assistance ( 4 pages ) form as my Father In law ( 84 )was coming with us. As you can guess nothing was provided. We flew from Gatwick to Bridgetown Barbados with transfers to the ship, I arranged a wheelchair at Gatwick, also at Bridgetown to the coach & to the ship also a wheelchair on board. The holiday was Barbados sailing to St lucia, St Kitts, Antigua 5 days at sea, Ponta Delgada in the azores & 3 days to Southampton. Due to Hurricanes in 2017 this changed to returning to Barbados to resupply & 8 days at sea to Southampton which was not amusing. At St Lucia My wife & I went Quad biking with ATV & it was fantastic. At St Kitts My wife went Kayaking/Snorkling & my Father In Law & I went with a Land rover Island Tour & Beach break. Firstly the sea was so rough the Kayak excursion should have been cancelled, my wife a strong swimmer ended in the sea & had to be rescued. the beach we went to, a mixture of sand & volcanic ash with a slope to the seas edge & with each step you sank & fell into the sea. My Father In law tried, but strong waves just turned him over. The aforementioned is relevant as on arriving home he was rushed into Torbay hospital with bad stomach pains ( Trachia Virus ) & my wife with a bad cough to the doctors ( Essex ) & both given antibiotics. A week later while writing this review my wife still coughing & Father In law is contacting the paramedics again. Back to Azura. We dined in the buffet for breakfast & lunch & the Meridian Restaurant for dinner. The buffet was good standard fair & the Restaurant food & service Excellent. Whilst on board we took advantage of the Brunch & Galley tour. we toured the galleys speaking to the Chefs & staff. From the Meridian after the galleys we collected the freshly prepared starter then Dinner & followed with dessert. an amazing experience. Being a retired engineer & Father In Law a retired LLoyds Registry Ship Surveyor gave us an insight into maintenance issues. we initially noted water stains on a foreward carpet, ceiling tiles in the theatre were water stained & at a guess longer than 12 months old. Leaving the ship noted 3/4 large rust patches starboard side just painted over. Deck 15 ladies toilets no paper & bins full even though 2 men in whites looked after adjacent mens & ladies. Ash trays on deck 15 on 4 occasions left full all day. Our balcony port side had rust spots, though father in Laws on starboard side was clear. This ship cannot be far from refit. In conclusion the Meridian restaurant waiters & cabin stewards for B101 & B218 are a credit to P & O Azura. Remember if you holiday in the Caribbean, Do Not Drink The Sea Water. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We chose to return to the Caribbean again to escape some of the winter, and having had enjoyable cruises with Thomson Ships in the past chose to go on Discovery. We are getting older now and not so able bodied. My husband has a mobility ... Read More
We chose to return to the Caribbean again to escape some of the winter, and having had enjoyable cruises with Thomson Ships in the past chose to go on Discovery. We are getting older now and not so able bodied. My husband has a mobility scooter which we took with us for the first time. Everyone was amazing. As soon as we landed in Barbados after a wonderful flight and great service on board Dreamliner, we were met by a taxi and taken to the Ship. Our cabin on deck six was midships and perfect for lifts etc. We ate all breakfasts and most dinners in 47. The waiters loved parking the "Ferrari" as they called it usually doing a lap of the restaurant first. We ate in Surf and Turf and Kora la which were good. The Italian was also enjoyable and made a change occasionally. We didn't do much ashore as we had been to most islands before, but did do the catamaran trip in Antigua which was great. The Ship was immaculate. We were well informed by the Captain regarding weather and sea conditions and have no complaints about service, food, or crew who were all friendly and welcoming. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
l chose this cruise because we wanted to cruise the Caribbean we flew to Barbados and embarked on the Marella Discovery the ship is fantastic for all inclusive drinks the price is excellent and the food was very good especially the Al A ... Read More
l chose this cruise because we wanted to cruise the Caribbean we flew to Barbados and embarked on the Marella Discovery the ship is fantastic for all inclusive drinks the price is excellent and the food was very good especially the Al A Carte we had many meals in there where the staff were excellent the service was perfect l would like to thank Ryan Pacumba for being the best waiter any one could possibly have you are the best Ryan and Renalyn our waitress on a number of occasions and also excellent with a fantastic personality and Anthony the restaurant manager who looked after us so well big thank's to you all---the buffet food was so good we were spoiled for choice. The live music was also very good on deck 9 and in the bars also. l will certainly be booking this cruise again very soon. l would also like to thank the hospital on board the ship my husband was taken ill and spent 2 days in the ships hospital the doctor was first class and also Boris who looked after my husband was the best . l would next time book a better cabin as the inside one we had was very small and with my husband in a wheelchair we had no room to move about at all. The Spar was very good my husband had a pedicure and paraffin massage l had my hair cut and blow dried and my nails done very reasonable price and l would certainly recommend it. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
The original itinerary was changed by the hurricanes to substitute Guadeloupe for the destroyed Tortola in British Virgin Islands. As Hurricane Irma, Harvey, Maria and Katia barrelled their way round the Caribbean in the Autumn of ... Read More
The original itinerary was changed by the hurricanes to substitute Guadeloupe for the destroyed Tortola in British Virgin Islands. As Hurricane Irma, Harvey, Maria and Katia barrelled their way round the Caribbean in the Autumn of 2017, we became very worried about whether there would be enough left standing for us to enjoy. It was a needless concern, because we visiited nine islands and saw no damage. Boarding our P&O chartered Thomson's Dreamliner at Gatwick, we hopefully waved au revoir to our cases and settled in for eight hours of reading, announcements, meals to be eaten like a praying mantis and, of course, funny smells. It was a pleasant flight; the Dreamliner being what it is, we had to keep looking out the windows to make sure the engines were turned on because it was quiet enough to hear people scratching. Luckily, the driver found Barbados in the middle of nowhere and we duly landed to be greeted by a wall of heat and friendly faces. The forty minute coach trip to the P&O Azura was fascinating. Barbados is quite a flat island (the only one in the Caribbean that wasn’t made by a volcano) and so the loveliest scenery is mainly around the beaches. Our first trip to the Caribbean and the things we discovered. • Most places have taxi marshall's outside the welcome terminal. They will manage which taxi (minibus) you get in, leaving only when full (but at least they leave the AC on!). You pay at the end of your return journey after they pick you up at the appointed time. • Take US dollars and Euros. Don’t bother with Eastern Caribbean Dollars and be careful you know which “dollars” you are being asked for. Make sure your change is in US dollars. • Everywhere you go there is music. If you don’t like reggae, go somewhere else, because that is the theme running through most islands. • Rum Punch is often quite strong. Two will make you tipsy, and don’t mix it with their Carib beer at 5.2%, something I learned rather than heard. • Caribbean people are friendly, vibrant, kind, church-going Christians, happy and bring their children up really well. They seem to have proper family values and standards. They don't have drug problems - they have drug-trafficer problems because of their unfortunate geographic location between grower and user. • Wherever you stop, there is a terminal area with markets, shops, stalls, music and bars where you can buy duty free goods. These are invariably more expensive than in the town. Antigua (Pronounced “ANTEEGAH” - saying “ANTEEG YOU AH” singles you out as a “newbie”) A gorgeous and spectacular island, the inhabitants of which are 99% church-going Christians, and all of whom are lovely friendly souls. We went on the “Best of Antigua with Lobster Lunch” excursion for the best lobster I have ever had! Apparently another excursion with a lobster lunch was not nearly so good, so be careful which one you choose. This one visits Shirley Heights, Nelsons Dockyard (Lobster Lunch), the spectacularly beautiful rain forest and finally Mitties Bar by the beach. Verdict - Lovely island and people, safe as houses. Mitties Bar rum punches are stronger than you think. I know that now. St Kitts and Nevis A pretty little island with lovely laid back friendly people. We did the train journey round the island which had some lovely surprises, rattling and rolling it's way round that central mountain. Others did the beach and thoroughly enjoyed their day. The shops near the ship were great fun, as were the bars. Smashing friendly people. "Don't worry ...... be happy" Amber Cove - Dominican Republic This is a shopping and recreation centre built by Carnival Cruises as a clean safe oasis in the Dominican Republic. If you've been to Disney-World, it's a bit like Main Street USA. We didn’t find anyone who did the Puerto Plata (nearest town) excursion and enjoyed it on account of the fact that it seemed to be a tour through landfills. Nobody said they felt safe in the town and, outside Amber Cover, you can pay for a day at the hotel and beach next door. Those that did, didn't seem very happy with it. This Amber Cove “Carnival Cruises oasis” is clean, safe, ringed with steel fences and very well appointed. There are pools, loungers, bars, shops, water features and views, most of it being free. I loved it but others thought it was false and man-made. Which it was. I still liked it though. You don’t have to spend anything if you don’t want to. Unfortunately all telecoms were down so nobody could use the free WiFi or pay with cards. Rickshaws take you from the ship to the entrance.. It’s free, but a $2US tip per trip is gratefully received. Martinique (Actually, France, and therefore Europe) Much nicer than Guadeloupe. This was more up-market - the currency is Euros, very few take dollars. We did what most people do and took the boat from the dock to Pointe de Bout ($7 return per - person pay on board). From here you can walk to the right to a pretty, exclusive and expensive beach. Drinks here, especially on that little bar in the water, are shockingly expensive. Alternatively, walk straight on from the jetty through the lovely shops and bars (normal prices) to the big more popular beach. The boats also go to other nearby beaches which we didn’t visit. The people are lovely, friendly and helpful. And French. Yes I know. All the reviews about rudeness are unfounded. The boats are backwards and forwards from the dock every half hour. Some people walked round the town instead and reported it to be very pleasant, although a lot were closed because it was a Sunday. Guadeloupe (France again) Not our favourite stop. Use Euros and not dollars, try and speak some French if you can. We did the excursion called “Highlights of Guadeloupe” which might have been wishful thinking because some felt the highlight was getting back to the ship again. The waterfall was underwhelming, the botanical gardens a muddle and the plantation and distillery a health and safety nightmare. The rum shop was good though - every rum product you can imagine, so that made the trip worthwhile. People who did the excursion “St Anne’s Beach on your own” had a much nicer time and said it was quite safe and very pretty. Wish we'd done that! I’d like to be able to say all the people we met were friendly. Do not wear jewellery or use your mobile phone in the street. Some passengers didn’t take that advice, regrettably. Our tour guide advised us not to walk anywhere that has buildings above three storeys. Scary! The capital Point de Pitre is like downtown Marseilles. We wouldn’t walk round it, something the Captain advised over the ships tannoy before we docked. The reason that P&O haven’t been to this island for the last twenty years was no longer a mystery. Grenada Paradise. Take the water taxi from near the berth to the beach. $10pp return, $20 for a luxurious sunbed and very large brolly. A bucket of six beers, surrounded by ice costs $15 and is served by waiters who will come round to see if you need anything. Lovely beach for swimming and just chilling out. Water taxis are travelling backwards and forwards all the time. The island is safe and friendly, the people lovely, sand clean the landscape gorgeous. It used to be British. St Lucia Beautiful port, lovely friendly people. The terminal area is a chaotic mass of taxi drivers and tour sellers trying to sell you something. Just walk on, they have nowhere else to tout for business - it’s just not very well organised. People loved the beach trips and the kayaking. We found the people friendly and fun. The terminal building has shops on two levels. Whatever you do, make a point of going upstairs to Shirley's shop. She and her shop are wonderful! If you walk out of the terminal area, turn left and go to the local market a little way on the left. We had such a great time there laughing with the ladies and buying bits and pieces. If someone approaches you and hands you a handmade object or anything else, don’t take it because they will only accept money and will say you bought it by taking it. This isn’t dangerous, it’s just a nuisance. A couple went to Vigie Beach by bus. It cost $18 each return and everything they did was very expensive - umbrellas, chairs, drinks. They said they hadn’t expected to pay so much for a day at the beach and that facilities there were very basic. We were late leaving St Lucia and the Captain advised us not to venture into Castries after dark. It used to be French. St Vincent and the Grenadines A lovely friendly safe pretty island that’s almost more British than Britain. We went to the botanical gardens by taxi - $20 return. Very peaceful and beautiful place to spend an hour. Oddly, we spent two or three hours behind some beers in the terminal area which was totally the opposite of St Lucia - probably because of the people, the music and the beer! With reggae music in the background, and $3 for a local beer, why go anywhere else? Some people went to Bequie island by water taxi, where the beaches are beautiful, but there are no seats or umbrellas for non-residents. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
The cruise itinerary we chose was paradise island which consisted of British Virgin Island (Tortola) St Maarten , St Kitts , Antigua and Bequia (the grenadines) and Barbados however we just embarked and disembarked here . All calls of port ... Read More
The cruise itinerary we chose was paradise island which consisted of British Virgin Island (Tortola) St Maarten , St Kitts , Antigua and Bequia (the grenadines) and Barbados however we just embarked and disembarked here . All calls of port were very nice and what was expected , however Bequia was horrid , there was nothing to do there as soon as we got off the tender boat we looked round and got back on straight away I couldn't believe that we had actually docked there! Also most places you were hounded and disturb by men yelling "Taxi, Taxi!!" It at some points made you feel very vulnerable. Also do not pay for excursions through Thomson as you can get the same experiences for less than half the price when you get off the boat. Our room numbers were 3076 and 3074 which were interconnecting rooms , and I must say the rooms were bigger than we had all expected, plenty of storage space and the bathrooms weren't too small also the windows were massive and you could see plenty through them. Also Maria our house keeper was a lovely lady and would do anything to help. The food was outstanding especially in Gallery and 47° ,the service was excellent and I couldn't recommend it more , however we were continuously eating between those two restaurants every night so I think the a la carte restaurants should have been free or at a cheaper price as there wasn't many places to eat. Also I would recommend the drinks package for £10 a day however you could probably get away with one person in your group just ordering all the drinks as they only scan one card anyway. The entertainment was incredible , in the day they have plenty of things to do from quizzes and musical masterminds where you can win real presents and loads of music and live performances going on. Also there were quite a few activities to do mini golf , climbing wall and they had a enormous amount of classes or gatherings for everyone to do in one day. Although I was not a single passenger I do believe they did try to include single passengers and help them interact with each other as they could meet up daily however hopefully in the future Thomson will offer more for single passengers. Also the shows were out of this world , some of the shows were a bit random however it meant there was at least one shows that everyone would like , the comedian Tank was hilarious I was crying with laughter and all the performers and dancers were amazing you could see how much hard work they put into there jobs. The only down sides were the expenses , the spa was ridiculous!! You could see why there was lack of customers at those prices. Also the wifi was very exspensive (£50 for 8 days) considering it ran out for two members of our party 4 days before we left which was simple impossible as we had not been over using the wifi however they did restart the wifi in both cases , although I do think it was a bit of a dodgey scam just to make more money on you. However I would definalitly recommend this cruise it was amazing and I would love to return. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
I am writing to you from the perspective of a disabled person in who uses a wheelchair. I have recently returned from a Caribbean cruise on the TUI Discovery. Firstly I would like to point out the positive points from my trip with ... Read More
I am writing to you from the perspective of a disabled person in who uses a wheelchair. I have recently returned from a Caribbean cruise on the TUI Discovery. Firstly I would like to point out the positive points from my trip with Thompsons. The travel to and from the UK to Barbados with Thompson Airlines was faultless, with the cabin staff going out of their way to help and assist my wife. However this is where the positives end. I would point out my wife is registered disabled and from time to time her condition becomes so bad that the only way for her to get about is to use a wheelchair. Prior to our trip my wife’s condition worsened and we were forced to take the wheelchair on holiday, so that she could be mobile with her ability to walk very limited. Prior to going on holiday we contacted the Thompson Welfare team to see if it would be possible to get a Taxi transfer from the airport to the ship as my wife would have struggled to get up the steps of the large coaches used to transfer people from the airport to the ship. We were told that we would need a medical letter in order to be able to book a cab if we did not have a medical letter then we would have to get a cab on our own. As the enquiry was a week before we departed it left little or no time to book a doctor’s appointment and obtain a medical letter. At this the time we also asked the Welfare team what Trips/Excursions provided by the Thompsons would be suitable for a wheelchair user. We were advised that they did not know and we would have to ask on the ship, I would have thought that this is information should be available from the welfare team. On arrival at the airport we were surprised to see that a taxi had been provided for people that could not manage the stairs, of the 4 disabled passengers my wife was the only one that could not manage stairs and subsequently was allocated a taxi. At this point I should point out that we had had to change the date of our holiday due to a family commitment, prior to changing our holiday we had the following, Cabin with a Balcony, Premium Economy flight seats and an all-inclusive package. We had to lose all of these as we shifted the booking date by one week. On arrival at our cabin we found that the cabin was not wheelchair friendly, with the door not wide enough to get the wheel chair through this meant that my wife had to get out of her chair to enter the room and struggle to the bed. The cabin we had been allocated was potentially the smallest one on the ship and had no place to store the wheelchair which made moving around the cabin even more difficult for my wife. Prior to departing my wife had been talking to Thompsons and identified a suite was available which we tried to book this but where told that we would have to do this once we were aboard. Of course once we were on board we were told that there were no upgrade options available. Once we had settled into the tiny cabin we decided to visit the destination team eager to find out what trips where suitable for wheelchair users as this was a once in a life time chance to visit 10 unique Caribbean islands. On arrival at the destination desk we were greeted by a male member of the team, We asked what trips would be suitable for a person on a wheelchair to which he replied ‘None’ , His explanation was that in the Caribbean the tour coaches where very small like mini buses and there would be nowhere to store a wheelchair, He then went to the back office and emerged with a handful of maps of the destinations and stated that we would have to make our own way around, To be honest his whole attitude was ‘I can’t really be bothered with a person in a wheelchair, I just want to deal with able bodied people’ Somewhat disappointed we returned to our cabin, my wife was very upset as she felt she would now be effectively imprisoned on a ship for several weeks. The next day we went back to the destination desk and where greeted by a dark haired eastern European girl, She was very blunt when we asked again if there were any trips that where suitable for a wheelchair user, so blunt in fact that my wife started to cry as we wheeled away from the desk I could hear other passengers telling the girl that she was out of order. I decided to go back later and ask to talk to the line Manager, A women reluctantly came out of the back office from her manner I could see she was only playing lip service as I forced her to go through each destination and what trips we could possibly do. She suggested a few and stated that we could pay but if we got to the bus and found that we could not store a wheelchair or my wife could not get onto the bus then she would happily refund us the cost of the trip. Can you imagine the humiliation of trying to get on a bus in front of a load of other guest, failing and have to give up and return to the ship? One the second night it became apparent that the cabin we had been allocated was really inadequate for a disabled person, I went to the main reception area and enquired about an upgrade and was told that there was no upgrades available and we would have to wait until the second week. The dining area specifically the buffet area had two disabled tables allocated both on the very edge of the restaurant at busy times these where used by non-disabled people and thus we often struggled to get a seat in the buffet restaurant. I did suggest to the restaurant manager ‘Eastern European’ that he needed more disabled seating and to his credit he provided some additional disabled tables however these where often taken by non-disabled people. The show area had a designated area for disabled passengers who could park their wheelchairs with their partners sitting next to them. Again this was not policed and many times we found that there was nowhere for me to sit and had to effectively Neal down during the show next to my wife in her wheelchair. On the Wednesday I requested that we see someone so that we could travel back a week early, but no one got back to us until the Friday evening at which time we had missed any opportunity to return home and thus where stuck on the ship for the second week. When we eventually got to meet her, she was very sorry and very helpful, She managed to get our room changed to a larger cabin and also arranged a cab to pick us up for the homeward trip to the airport. The toilets that are marked as disabled on the ship are too small to take a wheelchair in, on the occasions my wife used these she found it very difficult to get the wheelchair into the toilet and then get safely onto the toilet as there was not enough room to maneuverer. There are a few decks where there are no toilets so we had to use the lift to move between floors to locate a toilet, Deck 4 has no toilets. The main pool was not accessible for my wife as you could only get into the pool using the poolside ladder. The pool in the Glass house was accessible however it was inside. On our last day we had a bottle of champagne in our room with an apology note On a more general note we found the non UK staff to be very helpful and always willing to help, however we found that the UK staff could not really be bothered, this was an opinion that was shared by many other guests on the ship. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
As a seasoned cruiser we have travelled with Thomson, p and o, Disney, Celebrity, Cruise and Maritime, island Cruises, Saga, Windstar and Silver seas. We have always enjoyed the Thomson ships for the service, because they are not too large ... Read More
As a seasoned cruiser we have travelled with Thomson, p and o, Disney, Celebrity, Cruise and Maritime, island Cruises, Saga, Windstar and Silver seas. We have always enjoyed the Thomson ships for the service, because they are not too large and because we truly believe they have the best entertainment, although we know they are not normally the prettiest and nicest of the ships. When we booked the Tui discovery two weeks in the Caribbean we had mixed feelings about it, a little worried about some of the reviews regarding the fact that it was informal (we like to dress up) and a little bothered about there may be too many kids for our liking, but the itineraries were different and so we decided to give it a go. I am so pleased we did. This was an amazing cruise, definately the best we have done! First of all the ship is beautiful. It has gone under a refurb earlier in the year when thomson bought it from royal Caribbean. The atrium is very impressive and we loved the way the housekeeping staff had decorated it so tastefully with Christmas decorations. The main buffet restaurant was lovely, nothing like the canteen feel of most of the ships. It was all glass fronted with the majority of tables set in an angle to give you a lovely view of the bow of the ship and surrounding views which was lively when eating. The glass house adult only area was a conservatory with an indoor pool with no extra charges unlike most lines and extremely comfortable sun loungers. Lite bites and salads were available during the day and snacks in the evening at no extra charge. The theatre is also designed very well, no pillars or posts obscuring views so wherever you sit you can see very well. And the whole ship was spotless, the cleanest ship we have been on, housekeeping staff were amazing. Three weeks before we were due to travel I actually broke my shoulder. I was very nervous about travelling but the care and attention I received from all of the staff was phenomenal. When the chief housekeeper Larry heard this he actually managed to arrange for us to move to a cabin with a specially adapted shower which was amazing as I am still at the stage where my mother is assisting me to dress and wash. They also arranged for extra pillows and our cabin steward Fernando was constantly checking to see if I needed anything else to make myself comfortable. The cabins are a lot bigger than most and very tastefully decorated. I also have a lot of allergies and the food was the best I have experienced on board a ship. The head chefs Gustavo and Thomas and also ionut spoke to me to check what I could eat and ionut checked with me after every meal to sed I had enjoyed my food. The variety and types of foods served on board were very high quality. Guests can find at any time, we preferred to done in the Italian restaurant 47 degrees as it had a balcony overlooking the main restaurant and was a lovely ambience with a pianist to entertain. There was no extra charge for this restaurant, there are two a la carte restaurants which do incur a supplement which we did not try simply because the food was so good elsewhere but I heard good reports from fellow guests. We were pleased that most people did in fact dress up nicely. The restaurant staff were also amazing, particularly the restaurant manager Felipe, the buffet managers Robert and Nara, and Maxton and Jordan who arranged my special orders each meal. I see reports that the bars were short staffed, we certainly did not experience this, there were always plenty of staff and the service was excellent. We did not take the all inclusive option as I do not drink but thought the drinks were reasonable. The five bottles of wine for £72 was a good deal and also the spirits in the onboard shop which thomson allow you to enjoy in your cabin unlike most lines are very reasonable. I see people complaining that you pay for bottled water but there are water stations that are free by the glass everywhere so personally I think this is just nit-picking. In fact I have to say this is the least money grabbing cruise we have been on! We were especially surprised that there was no extra charge for the grab and go where you could get sandwiches wraps and salads to take ashore was free. The Free Icecream was served in quality waffle cones, not cheap wafers. The staff on board from the shops, to the destination services, the spa and the photographers all assisted us without making us purchase. We did one tour with thomson and three independently and they were just as happy to assist with independent information. The evening shows were fabulous and the cruise director Paul Evans was hilarious yet very down to earth. There did not seem to be as many say time activities as in previous cruises, this did not bother us as in the fortnight we only had one sea day but had we been on a crossing we would probably have wanted more. We very much enjoyed the backstage tour by the entertainers and the q and a with the captain. We were also very impressed by the steel band and the amazing saxophonist who entertained in the atrium evening times. I don't know whether it was the time of year (2 and 3 week dec) but there were not many kids on board and the kids club entertainers seemed to keep them occupied which was good for us. We also did not experience any problem with getting sun beds, there seemed to be plenty and most guests obeyed the requests not to reserve them apart from a few ignorant couples who hogged the few in the adult area at the back the Veranda throughout the cruise. I have to say though what really made the trip so great was the crew and officers, senior officers taking time to speak to passengers a lot as well, namely chief officer hotel director, general manager, head bar manager, executive chefs, head housekeeper and captain - everyone was so down to earth and chatty. We will definitely be booking the Discovery or the new soon to be launched discovery two again, despite the fact that as from summer everyone has to go all inclusive which does not really suit us but is worth the sacrifice. Once again, amazing cruise, can't recommend enough and many thanks to all on board! Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We have sailed with P&O many times (10+) before, and we choose this particular cruise because 1. the cruise was over some ones birthday, 2. it visited a few new (to us) islands and a few old ones we have not visited for some time, and ... Read More
We have sailed with P&O many times (10+) before, and we choose this particular cruise because 1. the cruise was over some ones birthday, 2. it visited a few new (to us) islands and a few old ones we have not visited for some time, and 3. to see what Britannia was all about. And we wanted to see frigate birds, flying fish, turtles and dolphins again, and hoped to see a whale again (alas none seen). Although the weather was a best mixed, this didn’t spoil the experience when the sun shone it was hot, strong and good, when it showered we found shelter (sometimes) as usual it was warm rain. Except for one day at Dominica where there was occasional heavy rain and prolonged periods of light rain and a cracking electrical storm as we left port. Most of the islands are so green because of the rainfall, so hey “No Problem”! All in all the islands we had visited before had hardly changed from our last visit except that there were a few new buildings, the taxi drivers are cheekier than before and many prices (beer etc.), had risen slightly. The new islands where delight to explore as each has its own little way of doing things. The flights to and from Barbados where good, we flew in a “Tui” ‘dreamliner’ (or Boeing 787) overall quite comfortable, with plenty of room, air not taken from near the engines and the cabin kept at a slightly higher pressure than normal. The chaos at the booking sheds at Barbados where as usual, but the queues kept moving. First impressions of Britannia where it’s new and its seems big, but when you consider that it only carries some 500 or so extra passengers than say Ventura or Azura – then where has all that space gone? Going aboard her for the first time is exciting like any new experience, and the atrium seemed glitzy and glamorous. But after a few days I began to get the impression that the interior designer(s) had an off day – or their brief was poor. We have all read the about the lifts and the stairwells and I will not comment on this but it was soon my impression is that while the restaurants, shops and show areas are well designed and laid out the rest of the ship was simply placed or adjusted to fit and without consideration to managing pedestrian flow or passenger comfort. There were a few oddities such as whoever designed the buffet area left two deck support pillars 6 inches in front of the buffet area, worse still the crew still placed buffet food awkwardly behind said pillars- amazing!!! We both liked the show areas (althought they appeared to under utilized) and the expanse of the sun decks including ‘Serenity’ area. We missed the use of a complete promonade circuit at deck 7 and think it was a mistake to leave this out form the design. We were impressed with the hand washing facility at the entrances to the buffet area (deck 16) however its use was only really enforced for the first two days, and usual stereotypical culprits still just bypassed this basic hygienic control as though D&V happens only to other people. In conclusion Britannia is not my favourite ship in the P&O fleet, we would cruise on her again but not out of choice, i.e. only if the itinerary and agenda coincide with our requirements. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
JOURNEY: very easy to check in online few days before and then just drop off bags-and not see them again until we got on board the ship-this was great and took away all the stress of travelling -The dream liner is a fab plane and a very ... Read More
JOURNEY: very easy to check in online few days before and then just drop off bags-and not see them again until we got on board the ship-this was great and took away all the stress of travelling -The dream liner is a fab plane and a very comfortable way to travel .I am glad that Thompsons offer complementary drinks with the service for long haul, just adds a personal touch instead of being appearing money grabbing like some airlines. SHIP: never been on Celebration before-lovely little ship –the Broadway showroom was like a traditional theatre with an upper balcony and had a nice feel to it. FOOD: Food was plentiful and sufficient variety to suit all tastes-my hubby is a keen meat eater –I prefer fish. We only had one evening when the food in the main restaurant was not very appetising and a bit cold but we came late and they were very busy. We ate once in Mistrals which was a lovely dining experience-because we went on the second night it was not busy and we have excellent service. You are asked if you wish to dine alone or share with others –we did both, it is nice to meet people from all walks of life. STAFF: what can I say 99% of the staff were warm and friendly and could not do enough for you-they appeared to love their job and enjoy meeting new people. They worked so hard to ensure we had a good time and it was lovely to see some greeting returning guests like lost family. ENTERTAINMENT: We did not attend much other than two shows in Broadway and one night in Liberties but everyone seemed to enjoy what was on offer-plenty to do day and night. ITINERARY: loved this-the ABC (Aruba, Curacao and Bonaire) islands were so beautiful, very clean and felt very safe. Castries; St Lucia Port was a bit grim (we were too tired on first day to do a trip) worth a visit but I did not like the constant haggling of taxi drivers and tour operators. The Market did not feel that safe. Grenada: lives up to its name of the Spice island- everywhere you went the air was filled with the most amazing smells and although there was some pressure selling it was acceptable-people just trying to make a living but were gracious when you said no. A must is the great rum punch in the market square but lethal so only have one. Curacao: What a pretty island-I was somewhat pressurised by the tours operators on the ship to do the Dolphin swim, but as I had done on in the past am glad I held out my ground to do the observation only at £25 it was very affordable ,do not be told you will not see or hear anything-I got the best photos and was up close and personal –you also could walk around the rest on the sea life centre and also access the Mambo beach, which was stunning-as get transported there and back-well worth doing. Aruba: Beautiful beaches-we took a local bus $7 return to Eagle beach-took 20 mins and paid a further $15 each for the day for a sun bed each and palm tree shade and table, there are toilets and a couple of beach bars and water sports activities if you wish-very relaxing and busses run every 15-20 mins Bonaire: what can me say-little Holland-it looked like a beautiful brightly coloured toy town-there was a children’s carnival in progress and the atmosphere was so happy, there was no touting, hassle free .I took a long walk along the Harbour /Marina front alone and felt completely safe. Barbados: Sadly for others the day to Barbados falls on a Sunday when all the shops are shut but for us it was fine as we have friends who live on the island so we spent the last day with them. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
After a great flight on Thomson Dreamliner we arrived into the chaos that was embarkation at Barbados. We were luckier than some as my Mum is in a wheelchair so we got fast-tracked but I felt sorry for the crowds awaiting processing. ... Read More
After a great flight on Thomson Dreamliner we arrived into the chaos that was embarkation at Barbados. We were luckier than some as my Mum is in a wheelchair so we got fast-tracked but I felt sorry for the crowds awaiting processing. Britannia is a 'nice' ship but a few things do need looking at. The entertainment was awful. What happened to the big names that used to put in shows in the evening? Apart from one comedian it was truly dreadful in Headliners. The P&O crew tried their best but we really didn't want to see the staff singing and dancing and had hoped to see some proper headline acts. The ex BGT ventriloquist was dire. Having recently gone on an NCL cruise the difference was really highlighted as the entertainment was excellent on NCL including a Cirque du Soleil show. A better system too of booking tickets in advance so that there is no scramble for seats at the shows. For some reason though, you cannot get a drink in Headliners. There is no bar and no waiter service which is odd. I have never before known a P&O member of staff say 'no' previously but my Mum's request for a different starter before dinner in the Oriental was met with a firm 'no' one night. This upset her and she says she will never cruise with P&O again, certainly not on Britannia. On many occasions our wine arrived after our starter and one night my fiancé made a point of asking if we could have the wine with our meal for a change! The other big problem was pools and sunbeds. If you put notices up saying 'don't reserve sunbeds' please adhere to your own rule. It's simple to monitor. Employ a member of staff to accompany people to the sunbed of their choice with a fresh towel. When they leave the bed, the staff member takes away the towel. If they want to come back, they take another bed. Yes it is a lot of towels but would save so much aggro. And don't get me started on the loud music round the pool. Totally too much so we sat away from the pools when we could get a bed. And they were absolutely packed in like sardines round the Serenity pool so that wasn't an option. Things we liked were the Limelight Club, Sindhu and the range of tours on offer. The shops are far too exclusive and so we didn't shop onboard. We did use the spa and my fiancé had the foot analysis and has been out of pain ever since. Well worth the money. Also there were plenty of bars but they didn't feel too intimate. We drunk mainly outside Sindhu or in the Crows Nest where the pianist (who also doubled as a lifeguard!) was excellent. One final comment was regarding Mum's wheelchair. Whenever we disembarked we could not take the wheelchair on the tours but we had to take her as far as possible in the chair as she cannot walk too far. However on leaving the ship the P&O staff were very unwilling to let us leave it at the disembarkation point and it very much depended on who was on duty as to whether we had to have a fight to leave it there! Sometimes we just took it with us and left it in the local tourist office who were far more accommodating. Very un P&O-like. Having said all of this, my fiancé and I have booked to go back next year though Mum will not be returning with us so it will be interesting to see if anything has changed although we will not have the wheelchair to contend with next time. So not looking forward to the queue on embarking! Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
Well we are back from our Azura Christmas cruise (flew out 25th Dec from Manchester on the dreamliner). I was going with an open mind as we usually do, we have sailed on Ventura and oceana and a few other cruise lines prior to p&o. I ... Read More
Well we are back from our Azura Christmas cruise (flew out 25th Dec from Manchester on the dreamliner). I was going with an open mind as we usually do, we have sailed on Ventura and oceana and a few other cruise lines prior to p&o. I was hoping we would like Azura as we loved Ventura. I have to say that this was the best cruise by far for us, it even beat our cruise around the Caribbean for our honeymoon 10 years ago, and we had our two young children and my mum with us. I have to say the age range of the passengers was great a real good mixture and there were also 300 children on board which it never seemed that many. There was a great atmosphere on board and we made friends with young and old. While on board we renewed our wedding vows to celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary, as we did want to marry at sea. Captain Camby was lovely, funny and really chatty guy and I love his thoughts of the day. Kids had a ball in the kids club, my daughter is disabled but she had an amazing time too, both got really upset when leaving. They put on a little nativity play which they all did really well remembering their words. I felt 99% of kids were well behaved, there were a few 'on the loose' with no parental supervision and some of them were 16/17 and getting into a spot of trouble but nothing to spoil our holiday. By the time we arrived Christmas day and got on board we were too tired to get off so decided to dump our hand luggage in the cabin and take a mooch around and register the children at club. As were were club dining we could eat at either 6.30 or 8.30pm on the first two days but we decided to do our own thing until the formalities set in on first sea day. Quick drink up top deck to watch the sunset and off to bed. The next day we got a taxi to Harbour lights in Carlisle bay (wanted to do boat yard last time but didn't get round to it and didn't fancy taking the children). I knew I wanted to find the guy who takes you out to snorkel by the turtles and snorkel over the ship wreck. This was an amazing trip, turtles swimming under me, the kids enjoyed it too. Tortola we paid for a ship excursion to Jost Van Dyke, all I can say for the brief few minutes we were there it was beautiful, I was gutted we had to leave asap, as my mum had a caught her leg on a sun bed and lost quite a lot of blood. Spent the next couple of hours in medical while they stitched her up. Amber cover we used the new facilities, what a lovely port area.The water park was amazing, my kids didn't want to leave, plenty of sunbeds too, Captain told me they always try and make sure only one ship is in with them, it would have been crowded if two ships were in. St Maarten was new years day, we wanted to go to Maho last time we were there but never got round to it. We took a cab to Mullet bay first which is a 10 min walk from maho. The beach is stunning but the waves and current are very dangerous for small children, even we got knocked down by them trying to keep hold of the children. We walked to maho and spent a couple of hours at driftwood bar the opposite end of the busier bar. We missed the klm coming in well we saw it from mullet, but witnessed the klm take off, now I wasn't standing in the jet blast and still got blasted with sand and stones and bare the bruises on my tummy, how these people can stand directly in front of it I don't know. Antigua we took a walk to the bus station and took the bus to turners, originally it was going to be Ffryes but the lady at the bus station said it was a far walk. We weren't disappointed with turners it was a lovely beach. We got a taxi back St Kitts, mum stayed on the ship and the kids went to club. We wanted to see what ship wreck bar was like on South Friars and just go for a walk. We asked the driver to stop at timothy hill to get a pic. The weather wasn't great here, at one point we were running from a storm/rain cloud ha ha. Loved ship wreck bar too. Little Adonia joined us and we had a good blast off as she left. Martinique we didn't book anything we were planning on getting the ferry across to one of the beach but the weather wasn't great so we just had a little walk in port, brought some rum and back on ship. I was hoping to make use of an empty ship and sunbathe but ended up doing the hokey cokey with my bags getting them under cover every time it rained! I was ok sitting on a lounger in the rain though! We have been to St Lucia before and did a trip to the pitons, so we decided to stay on board as I knew St Lucia isn't the best for beaches. The children were very tired so we let them sleep in until the woke up. We just sat on the balcony so I was gutted when we had the container side ha ha! Once the kids got up they wanted to go to club so we sat on top deck and had 2 hours peace before picking them back up. Then spent the afternoon with the children in the pool. Grenada is our favourite port, we did a bike ride 10 years ago with ocean village then went to a lovely beach morne rouge. This time we booked the rhum runner, mum felt up to it and the kids were looking forward to the dancing. I knew I wanted to get off and get my spice necklaces and spices first so we did that in the morning while mum came to our cabin while the children slept. The Rhum runner was so much fun, very loud and lots of laughs and dancing not to forget lots of rum. The children had some coke (their first time) and told me it was their best drink ever, they won't be having it again. An officer was waiting for us from the ship to hurry us all along. The captain was on the bridge and we all gave a good wave and he waved back. The trip is a must do - so much fun. Pity it is at the end of the holiday though when you need to pack!!! We booked the taster menu in the Glass house £30pp and 6 glasses of wine to accompany the food. Really good food and really good wine. Loved the glass house and really recommend, but you have to book quick as the places are limited. We ate in the buffet twice for dinner and once for lunch. We had 8.30pm sitting in Oriental, our waiters were great and we had a wine waiter which we weren't sure about as we had read that p&o had got rid of them. Our manager came to me every night with the menu the next day to pick my food as I am a vegetarian. I had to send food back once as I had mould on my yorkshire pud, I told them to take the yorkshire away and to keep the rest of my food as I was enjoying it, but they said they couldn't. Because they rushed my course to get it out it was all under cooked and not very enjoyable so I just told them to take it away in the end which I was gutted as I was enjoying it originally. Food was good generally but we have noticed a decline over the years, both in main dining room and the buffet, this was just an observation after cruising with P&O before, it certainly didn't spoil our holiday. We used the pizzeria and grill a fair bit at lunch and the grab and go next to the grill, some nice salads and sandwiches. Breakfast we mixed it up between buffet, restaurant and room service depending when the children woke up and what mood we were in. We have always found the entertainment not to be the best for our age range but we enjoyed what we did see this time. We had Jon Fisher as Gary Barlow, he was brilliant, Freddy Mercury tribute was brilliant, a ventriloquist who was so funny, we couldn't stop laughing all way through the act. We loved accent on top deck too. We didn't use any of the other bars as we were mainly in breakers or up on top deck while the weather was lovely. New Years Eve on top deck was brilliant, unfortunately our dinner service wasn't very good in Oriental which meant the kids didn't eat until 10.10pm and no one come to tell us that they had over cooked the food and started again, it was only when we told them we were a bit disappointed. This meant we got up to top deck late and there were no seats. We sat with a family we made friends with and had to get the chairs that recline to be able to sit down, but everyone was doing this. Darcey Bussell was on board and on stage with the captain and we let the new year in. Overall a brilliant cruise and our best by far. We usually put down a future down payment while on board but we decided not to as we want to come to the Caribbean again but I find it hard fitting it in with the kids holidays except over Christmas, they wanted £10k to go this year on Britannia, but I need to pay some of this cruise off first, so it will be a land based holiday for us for a year or two and maybe going back in two years. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
This was our first long cruise having taken mini cruises before. The ship is impressive but staff appeared miserable and demotivated. We loved dressing up, the for in The Peninsular freedom dining was fantastic. We did pay to eat at ... Read More
This was our first long cruise having taken mini cruises before. The ship is impressive but staff appeared miserable and demotivated. We loved dressing up, the for in The Peninsular freedom dining was fantastic. We did pay to eat at both Sindhu and Limelight, "Morcambe & Wise" were superb both but food was disappointing. We had booked before arriving on board but no tables were reserved, we did complain and Kenneth offered us a return visit to Sindhu and at that time food was excellent. Our cabin was huge and located mid ship on C deck accessible only by lift. Standards slipped with guests not adhering to the dress code. Guests also reserved sun beds for hours at a time leaving many guests disappointed. We would have use The Retreat had we known about it at the start of the cruise only 5 spaces allocated on the day. Overall a fantastic cruise,madam in the Crows Nest kept us entertained as did Lauren the female part of the singin duo. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
The Britannia is a beautiful ship but has a few bits and pieces that stop her from being fantastic. The first was the swimming pool, it's much to small for the ship, and the chances of getting a sun lounger are poor. On the days ... Read More
The Britannia is a beautiful ship but has a few bits and pieces that stop her from being fantastic. The first was the swimming pool, it's much to small for the ship, and the chances of getting a sun lounger are poor. On the days when you're at sea everyone wants to sun bathe and swim, the loungers are so tightly packed together there is no room to walk between them. My husband is a wheelchair user so there was no chance of us using the sun decks. It's a shame there isn't a promenade, it would be nice to have somewhere to walk for some exercise. The food was extremely good, as were the restaurants waiting staff. The Lido bar staff could do with a few lessons on customer service, it would also help if they smiled a bit. There were a few unpleasant events on the ship which resulted in people being put ashore, I did notice that there were quite a few people that aren't exactly what I would call, the usual cruise type, maybe they had to fill the ship and gave good discounts. P&O need to keep an eye on this because people will stop cruising if they have to encounter an unsavory type of person. We had a disabled balcony cabin that was huge and extremely well thought out. Both embarkation and disembarkation was extremely efficient and well run. The entertainment was a little bit on the poor side, it would be nice to have a proper variety show instead of charging people to see the better acts in the Lime Light Club. The speciality restaurants were very good. Please don't be put off cruising on this ship by some of the negative comments, it's well worth a visit and enjoy being the biggest ship in the Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
Adonia is a very nice ship Apart from the good food on this trip Entertainment is of a high standard. The crew are helpful and friendly ‘though the ship is old, not trendy To a wide range of tastes they have pandered. I enjoyed the ... Read More
Adonia is a very nice ship Apart from the good food on this trip Entertainment is of a high standard. The crew are helpful and friendly ‘though the ship is old, not trendy To a wide range of tastes they have pandered. I enjoyed the entertainment choices Quizzes, concerts, talks and “voices” This is really how to fill one’s days at sea. Constant eating isn’t possible Well, it is but not weight lossable Life’s at a slower pace, we take it easy. For a wheelchair user, the flaws Are only two automatic doors. There are steps on most of the gang planks. With high sills and bumps in corridors Plus fixing hooks on most of doors One finds oneself often saying “Thanks”. On a trip like this the ship proceeds With all power at maximum speed And into a force seven, steady she ain’t. Some days this wet and windy ship Can really get upon one’s pip. On fine days, it all just stinks of paint. The Adonia theatre company deserve High praise for performing with verve They sing arrangements better than originals. With other tribute acts, the cause To show how good the artist was Do much less with all the same material. Good singing, shows and cabarets Plus excellently acted plays And the activities in which we all partake. A superb magician exemplified By contrast the over-amplified Musicians serve to keep us all awake. On cruises one should mention food And on this ship it’s very good But pretentious menus can be found on ships. If the menu option’s chancy And there’s stuff that you don’t fancy The standard options include steak and chips. There is a problem with the chips In that there will be only six But that situation, your waiter can fix. The crew are nice they’re are all the same They want you to learn their name Because they want an increased rate of tips. On organised trips with my wheelchair The thing I consider unfair Is not being allowed on a minibus. This is only a P&O rule And although I’m nobody’s fool I think Health & Safety’s the root of the fuss. Some people think that I’m a jerk. I’m not but my left foot don’t work. Most folks are sympathetic, some don’t care. For the past six years of my life I’ve been pushed around by my wife I can walk a bit but mostly use a wheelchair. So around the world we go Flying, cruising as you know Even driving my own car or using busses. Steps are easier than flat walking (My foot won’t bend as much) and talking Of pain it results in fewer cusses. Performers’ rules are common sense First, don’t insult your audience And as in life, the secret is to smile. To make an effective entrance Temper confidence with diffidence Give it oomph, then go that extra mile. Personality commands the floor Always leave them wanting more And never batter folks into submission. The willing suspension of disbelief Requires relaxation and relief From any threat of audience participation. Pretentious menus? I’ll give an example. Ways of serving potatoes- I sample.... New, roasted, noisettes, boulangére, Creamed, Cretan, crushed, macaire, Pomme purée, champ, Delmonico, Colcannon, mousseline, chateau, Duchess, hasselback, gratinée, Fondant, galette, rissolée, Tartiflette, marquis, dauphinoise Time-poached, bon-bons, Lyonnaise, There are more than twenty six Because, of course there’ also chips.   Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
We went on the Ventura on 8th November, there were 8 people in our party, one of which were wheelchair bound. Some of us had cruised before (Carnival Valor and Thomson Destiny) but the majority of the party were cruise virgins. Myself and ... Read More
We went on the Ventura on 8th November, there were 8 people in our party, one of which were wheelchair bound. Some of us had cruised before (Carnival Valor and Thomson Destiny) but the majority of the party were cruise virgins. Myself and the other half went on Carnival last year for our honeymoon which we thoroughly enjoyed so we were excited to cruise again and to see how a different company compared. My top tip would be to book as late as possible, we booked 16 months in advance thinking we were getting a good deal but it was reduced by around £500 per passenger around 6 weeks before departure which was sickening. STAFF The majority of the staff on the ship were Indian which we didn’t expect, I knew there would be some different ethnicities but 95% were Asian males. The majority were friendly with the odd exception. From certain members of staff we received fantastic service, in the restaurants and bars to the salon staff. Credit to P&O. (Joel Manning Head waiter, Melissa on bar, Gracey the bar steward, Krystina the croupier). DINING Breakfast was nice, buffet style was always plentiful and cooked nicely. Formal breakfast was nice too but toast was always cold. Lunch we missed most days but made it back for the afternoon which doesn’t really make sense to me, I would have preferred a ham/chicken salad at 4pm when you have had a day lazing by the beach rather than pie/curry, sandwiches and scones. Staff were less than forthcoming when we asked for a salad which is unfortunate considering the amount of money we handed over. Our evening seating time was 8.30pm which we chose as we thought 6.30pm was too early but due to the amount of people in our party we would struggle to make it to the 10.30 show so we changed to freedom dining in the second week which we wished we had done sooner. Freedom dining is the way forward. Food was average to very good in the main restaurant, there was a starter, soup, main, dessert and cheeseboard every night. We dined in the “surcharge” restaurants after a few days as the food was starting to get slightly repetitive in the main restaurant. East was £15 each but if you book while on board they offer a bottle of house wine between two on certain nights, effectively bringing the price down to £7.50 each. Same with the White Room which we paid £25 each for, with a bottle of wine between two we thought it was well worth it. The only restaurant (excluding the buffet) were you can dine outdoor which was fantastic. Beach House (daytime buffet restaurant which converts in to sit down restaurant of an evening) was £5 per person and you had the option to upgrade from there, ie. If you wanted king prawns to start you would need to pay an extra £1.50 and if you wanted steak on a stone it was an extra £2.95 but the food was very nice. Drinks were not too expensive, glass of wine approx £4 for small and £5.50 for large, spirit and mixer around £5 and cocktails from around a fiver. Range of wines available, bottles of house went down well at £14.95. Selection of diet drinks available which was a massive plus, diet coke, 7up free and diet Tango all available. ENTERTAINMENT/ACTIVITIES Gym had good machines but very little free classes. It opened at 8am until 8pm which was a bit awkward as we were awake at 6.30pm some days which we would have normally shot up to the gym ready to get off the boat once docked at 8am. This was very strict as there are cabins below the gym. Only way of getting in before this was to do a stretch and relax class at 7.30am which didn’t look like it would be worth walking to the lifts for, looked more like lie down and sleep. Shame they charged £7 odd for the spinning class too and there weren’t more aerobic classes available for free. Other than that it was fine, lots of equipment, busy in the morning with everybody standing at the front doors at 8am ready to get their preferred machine. Pools were fine though were majorly busy are what I would imagine a typical Benidorm holiday would be like, definitely wasn’t what we expected. At 5pm they would do a sail away party were the entertainment staff would come out and do sing along and arm waving that was fit for a 10 year olds party. We weren’t pleased but the other 2000 passengers seemed happy with it! (Bah humbugs!). Some days there were ice sculpting which was interesting, deck BBQs and as I said some parties when departing the island. Evening entertainment was fantastic thanks to the Headliners Theatre Group, such amazing singers and dancers who kept us entertained with 4 different shows while on-board. There were also two comedians, a Tom Jones and Gary Barlow tribute and a fantastic 4 piece Michael Buble style band who were amazing too. SHORE EXCURSIONS If there is something that you really want to do, ie whale watching/boat trips/river rafting, I would recommend booking through P&O as these wont be available to book on the day. For beach trips and island tours it was massively cheaper to book on arrival at the port. There are many street vendors over 50% cheaper than P&O. DISABLED FRIENDLY The disabled friendly room was fab. It was a great size and had excellent facilities throughout, the shower room was the same size as our cabin, the mother in law was made up! Getting on and off the ship was easy enough too as there would be a steward to help out at every port. The only port she was unable to get off was Tortola as we had to use a tender from the boat to the port. She didn’t miss much to say the least! All in all the cruise was fab, I would recommend P&O for both families and couples as there was something for everyone. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
From the early booking stage, the forms now sent by P&O, for all disability and wheelchair users are easy to fill in and now are in a format that can be completed on the computer and returned via email. We booked a flight from ... Read More
From the early booking stage, the forms now sent by P&O, for all disability and wheelchair users are easy to fill in and now are in a format that can be completed on the computer and returned via email. We booked a flight from Birmingham Airport and we had to talk to Thomson airways to confirm they could take the power chair, as there is a limited amount of space on the aircraft, and I was able to discuss if there was any further information they needed before we departed. I had to purchase an air safe key, to disable the power chair for the flight, and this cost £12.00 off eBay. I was also advised to get to the airport a bit earlier due to the amount of time needed to check in. Check in at the airport take a little while as the power chair has to be checked but having the manual and all the relevant data helps to speed you through check in. Then off to check in with the ground staff who would help with getting on the airplane and storing the wheelchair on the airplane. Then off to the waiting area were you have to report to the disability area half an hour before gate opening and then wait to be called. Once at the gate all the disabled are take down the skyway and helped aboard first. Pre booked seat are a must one less hassle. Arrival at Barbados, which was late in the evening and dark, proved to be the first problem with a standard taxi being supplied and the staff on the ground saying they could put the wheelchair in the boot of the car. No chance, as the chair does not fold up, and it weighs some 80+kgs. Although there was a mix up the guys decided to put the chair in the baggage compartment of the bus after folding the seat back down and two of the guys lifted aboard. Then off to the ship and check in with the wheelchair to follow although this could have been a major problem if I could not have been able to transfer to a taxi. We make sure a request for an adapted vehicle is made on the disability form we send to P&O. We resolved this problem for the return by going to the reception, on board the ship, and they contacted the ground staff to book the relevant vehicle for the return journey. We missed the embarkation photo and garland as we had to go a different way through the security check all those done it on board the ship. We had been on the ship before, although not with the electric wheelchair, and we knew that access was best from the forward gangplank and perhaps I should have been told which gangplank to head for. One thing I have to say is every time we embarked and disembarked there was staff to help me up and down the gangplank with a bit of banter and a smile. Because of the wheelchair I did not want to drive through the food area of the self service of the restaurants so I parked the chair and walked in with two sticks. Help was offered to carry a tray and put food onto a plate and then carried to my table, but my wife always fetched and carried for me. There is some problems when the restaurant are full as it was difficult to sit at a table of four and often the larger, which are round, people would not always sit on the fixed seating. For anyone who could not get out of the chair the staff will remove a chair and make space for the wheelchair. Busy times are the worst but we found most people would make space and shuffle around to make room. We had booked freedom dining which suits us best as the early sitting is too early and the late too late. We found that a table for eight is about as big as one can communicate with all the people but an optimum size we found was six. We met some nice people and had a variety of different conversation and not all are about what, how many and who one has cruised with. I wanted to walk to the table and was able to park the wheelchair outside buy the reception desk and we were always allocated a table within a short walking distance. If one had to stop in a chair they would make sure you had easy access to the table. Lift were not a problem as when empty I could drive in and turn around so I could drive out. Most passengers were helpful making way for me to get in and out of the lifts and we had some good banter when the lift was full. There are always one or two people who try and get into the lift as I tried to reverse out and both I and the wife told them off and although we had some dirty looks no one complained. I have seen several reports of people complaining about the number of scooter on the ship and I only saw three and only one about the ship but several manual wheelchairs pushed about by partners. We saw some people who used a wheelchair only to transfer to and from the airport yet were able to walk long distances into town when visiting ports. Cabins are ok with enough room to drive a wheelchair and to turn around and with access to the balcony but the drop down section that fills the gap for in between the sliding door could do with a method of lifting the infill section without sticking your fingers underneath to lift up. Cabins on B deck have a narrow balcony which would be difficult to get a wheelchair out onto. Those of C deck have a lot larger balcony and would easily allow the wheelchair access and be able to turn around. The shower is large with a good size seat to sit on and can easily accommodate a wheelchair and lots of handrails around the toilet and shower area but the wash hand basin is set at a standard height as are the mirrors and sat in a wheelchair it’s difficult to use. Access from the cabin to other areas of the ship was easy as the lifts were right outside the door and the communal decks were easily got to with good walkways even when busy. Getting to deck 15 is along a short corridor and through manual operated double glass doors and then electric wooden doors. I only came across a cleaning trolley once and was able to squeeze by. Everyone I met in this corridor gave way by stepping into the doorways and allowed me to pass. Once on deck to get a bed to sit in the sun was always a problem on sea day, as is on any ship, but is more difficult when you are in a wheelchair and have to park it close to the bed so I could get out of the chair. I don’t want the cruise ship to allocate an area for wheelchair users yet it would be helpful if the end beds on a row could be allocated for wheelchair users how you police it I have no idea. Access to the theatre is good up a double dogleg ramp and an area for 3 wheelchair users per side and there partner/carer but the chairs are too low for the partner/carers to see over the wooden balustrade. Either the chairs need to be higher or the balustrade removed. The staff on duty each evening at the theatre will instruct non wheelchair persons who sit in these chairs to move so don’t be afraid to seek help to gain a seat. The return transfer was faultless with the correct vehicle waiting. There was a minor hitch on boarding the airplane as the ground crew were not aware of what a flight key was or how it worked.   Read Less
Sail Date February 2014

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