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29 Southampton to Africa Cruise Reviews

We knew we had made an expensive mistake with this cruise when we saw the other passengers at Southampton - we are in our late sixties/early seventies but we felt like teenagers compared with the rest of the passengers. During the course ... Read More
We knew we had made an expensive mistake with this cruise when we saw the other passengers at Southampton - we are in our late sixties/early seventies but we felt like teenagers compared with the rest of the passengers. During the course of the voyage we saw a few passengers younger than us - but that was it - a few! Embarkation and disembarkation was extremely efficient and we cannot fault anybody for that. The crew were fantastic and really helpful and we both really enjoyed the food. However, there were a lot of sea days and there was nothing to do. There was an ex BBC producer who gave some very good talks but after that it was all extremely boring if you didn't play bridge. The entertainment was amateur - there was one guest male singer who was very good and we enjoyed the crew show but otherwise we were very unimpressed. We went often in case it improved but we sat at the back so we could get out when we had had enough - we generally didn't last long. There were a couple of good pianists in the bars though. What really finished us off was not having enough time in port - particularly Lisbon. The itinerary said we would leave 'late pm' and we were looking forward to having a whole day there. However we had to be back on board by 15:30 - on what planet does half past 3 in the afternoon equate to 'late pm'? We were really disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We chose this cruise as an opportunity to visit some places we’d never seen and get away from a grey British winter. Cunard has a problem. They seem to be massively popular with the over 75s but leave the ‘younger pensioner’ ... Read More
We chose this cruise as an opportunity to visit some places we’d never seen and get away from a grey British winter. Cunard has a problem. They seem to be massively popular with the over 75s but leave the ‘younger pensioner’ wondering whether they really care. The entertainment is poor, comedians that have struggled to leave 1973 behind, lectures about the lives of singers my Nan adored (and I’m 61!), the Golden Lion pianist did what he had to do for the money - an endless stream of 50s classics (he did slip in a Radiohead number at one point which, I suspect, was as refreshing to him as it was to me), jugglers, magicians etc. etc. I understand that Cunard don’t wish to turn their older base away but at sometime they will have to cater for us newer retirees. We’ve been brought up on Led Zepplin, Pink Floyd, Ben Elton and Steve Coogan. OK, so I don’t expect to see Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend belting out ‘My Generation’ on the Queen Elizabeth but maybe a tribute band or two would go a long way. The funniest comedian on this trip was one of the Entertainment Team, Laura, a brilliantly humorous lady who, when she’s on a roll, had her audiences crying with laughter. Learn from her Cunard, we won’t be happy with beige offerings going forward. The food was average compared to other cruises and the Britannia Restuarant lacked character. We didn’t like the 2 set dining times of 6 (too early) or 8.30 (too late), anytime dining would have suited us better. The staff, though, at all times were professional, attentive and friendly. Drinks were crazily overpriced which, I guess, was good for our livers but left us wondering how much more they would sell if prices were taken down a notch or two (other cruise lines prices are cheaper). We didn’t take any excursions as they looked over priced but, to be fair, that apples to all cruise companies. We did have a couple of bad experiences with their shuttle service in particular in Cape Town - the last shuttle back to the boat was scheduled for 8pm so we got to the pick up area at 7.30. By 8.10 pm no bus arrived so we were forced to walk at great speed back to the boat just making the 8.30 ‘all aboard’ time. We complained heavily to the customer service desk who said they would talk to the shuttle company and come back to us. Of course no one ever did get back to us. Are Cunard terrible? No, that would be unfair, but they are distinctly mediocre. In insisting on several formal nights and high tea in the Queens Room they give a veneer of ‘higher quality’ but, beneath this, it doesn’t really have that much to make you want to come back. But, their problem is that some of their older established customers clearly believe that they are sailing with the creme de la creme whilst the rest are a bit uninspired by the overall experience. How do they change to attract us younger oldies? Or do they even want to? Until they do change we’ll pass on Cunard. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
The cruise was chosen as a means of picking up the Oceania Nautica in Cape Town. This review does not try to compare the small premium Oceania ship with the four/ five star QE. We have traveled with the Queen Victoria previously. ... Read More
The cruise was chosen as a means of picking up the Oceania Nautica in Cape Town. This review does not try to compare the small premium Oceania ship with the four/ five star QE. We have traveled with the Queen Victoria previously. Comparing our previous Cunard experience there were noticeable differences. Menus have been seriously reduced. There was always something to our liking and it was well cooked and presented. We were definitely not spoilt for choice. What happened to the cheese trolley? A couple of times we had lunch in the Golden Lion pub. The food served there was very good pub grub worthy of the best country pub. Well done Cunard for maintaining the formal nights. Four were about correct for this length of cruise. There were ample day time activities but the evenings were dire. String ensembles, light opera and a comedian who has been using the same material for years. Oh and a juggler. Make your own mind up about that. The big, big problem with the theatre was the volume of the music/ performance. It truly did hurt at times. Summing up. If Cunard wish to continue calling themselves a five star experience they need to start getting it all right all of the time. Bring back a proper cheese board in the main dining room, please, it's what good restaurants do. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
ON the face of it not a lot seemed to have changed on the Queen Elizabeth since we last sailed on her seven years ago…and vowed never to do so again after the ship’s truly unforgettable inaugural voyage to the Caribbean. Roy Walker, ... Read More
ON the face of it not a lot seemed to have changed on the Queen Elizabeth since we last sailed on her seven years ago…and vowed never to do so again after the ship’s truly unforgettable inaugural voyage to the Caribbean. Roy Walker, star of the “Comedians” and “Catchphrase,” was still the biggest name performing in the Royal Court Theatre at night, a retired law enforcement officer was giving witty lectures during the day and there was still karaoke of very dubious quality in the Golden Lion pub. The entertainment on that Caribbean cruise had to been seen and heard to be believed. One of the highlights was a gentleman playing tunes on a vacuum cleaner. It’s true. Another was the comedian who started a stampede for the exits when he announced he was going to do a medley of Engelbert Humperdinck songs after half an hour of insulting the audience. The biggest laugh of his show was one of the stampeders sneaking back into the theatre to collect his wife’s forgotten handbag. What changed our mind to give the Queen Elizabeth another go was, quite simply, Cape Town. The first major stopping point, where we disembarked, is one of our favourite cities … and this was almost certainly the last time we will go there. We’re getting too old for 17 hours of flights … Cape Town to Dubai (nine hours) and Dubai to Manchester, eight hours. But, we discovered, to be scrupulously fair, quite a lot had changed for the better on the Queen Elizabeth after the much-heralded £ multi-million refit. We were late bookers so we had a very limited choice of balcony cabins ... just one with an uninterrupted view on Deck Four. The accommodation itself was OK, even though the metal-fronted balcony itself did rather resemble grubby old paint-strewn 1930s tanker or the local tip on windy day. Might be worth spending a few bob more, Mr Cunard. And the pleasant young steward had to be reminded gently and occasionally that we were the guests. There were only three stops … Vigo in Northern Spain (sunny, breezy and busy), Funchal in Madeira (warm, sunny and welcoming) and Walvis Bay, Namibia, where such a mullock was made of the disembarkation procedure for the day that many people elected to stay on board. Even the dear old Garden Lounge seemed to have changed its image to reading marathons, occasional live music and quizzes. Whatever happened to those superbly-named seminars? We can still imagine the late, great Tommy Cooper saying: “A friend of mine said ‘You want to go to the Garden Lounge today. They’re having a seminar on puffy legs. So I did. And I got ‘em!’ The Lido now seems to stretch the length of the ship and is quite the best we have seen on 20-plus cruises for quality, quantity and variety. But, perhaps the biggest change was the quality of the entertainment and the musicianship. It was unfortunate that the two girl singers with the Royal Court Theatre Group had severe colds and some shows were cancelled. The huge band split up to play various venues around the ship but got together for one memorable evening in the Queen’s Theatre. And a spin-off group played a couple of excellent evenings of Dixieland Jazz in the Golden Lion. Plus another fair lady ... Captain Inger Thorhauge. And, oh yes, Roy Walker, aged 78, was just as funny as ever. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
This cruise was a fun way to get to our holiday in South Africa as it went from Southampton to Cape Town. The cabin, public rooms, lectures and art gallery were all great. We were travelling in Queens Grill and were presented with ... Read More
This cruise was a fun way to get to our holiday in South Africa as it went from Southampton to Cape Town. The cabin, public rooms, lectures and art gallery were all great. We were travelling in Queens Grill and were presented with wonderful menus but the food that came from the kitchen (as opposed to being cooked at the table) arrived dry. We complained twice but nothing changed, I suspect that the chef did a good job but the food was left too long on the pass. We like wine and had been assured that we could do WSET Course Level 2 on the trip. That was not available. We attended a wine pairing lunch which was hugely disappointing because of the poor presentation by the head sommelier. We were irritated by how little was included in the price and that we were constantly signing chits to pay for things. The coffee available free was poor quality so one had to pay for premium coffee. Even when going on excursions small bottles of water were sold for $3.90. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
I rated the cruise good because it took us where we wanted to go; the ship itself is good; the public areas, including the pool areas not at all crowded; the restaurants and staff were good and friendly BUT all this is let down by the most ... Read More
I rated the cruise good because it took us where we wanted to go; the ship itself is good; the public areas, including the pool areas not at all crowded; the restaurants and staff were good and friendly BUT all this is let down by the most abysmal administration and organisation. From first boarding nothing that required any kind of intelligent organisation was done well. Some examples follow:- 1. The staff in the Pursers Office were unable to answer any questions on any subject. When information was finally given eg on immigration arrangements, it proved incorrect. 2. Immigration arrangements were dreadful. On our trip they had three opportunities to get it right and failed each time resulting in long queues blocking corridors, disabled people standing in line for long periods of time and passengers shouting at each other for queue jumping because some had been given incorrect advice. 3. Disembarkation was a disgrace. Hundreds of people, with hand luggage, were told to present to a tiered theatre to wait. Has the ship’s management ever tried to get into a theatre seat with hand luggage? It isn’t possible. Consequently most passengers were standing in the aisles. The purpose of this mass assembly was simply to be told which deck could leave the ship. Passengers then had to leave the theatre to disembark. Those leaving earliest were asked to arrive earlier and therefore filled the front of the theatre. They had to exit via the back, through the throngs - with luggage - advised to arrive later and therefore standing at the back. A simple arrangement asking people to wait in any public area and announce decks for departure over the PA system would have worked SO MUCH BETTER. 4. A cruise with lots of sea days and some poor weather requires reasonable in cabin entertainment. This cruise offered the poorest and worst organised. The information left in the staterooms on TV films and entertainment was incorrect and became more incorrect as the journey progressed because whoever compiled it was clearly unaware of the regular time changes. The cruise - Southampton to Perth - was almost 100% English speaking so why did they dedicate four tv channels to showing English and American films dubbed in French German and Spanish but didn’t show the same films in English? Similarly a cruise mainly with elderly passengers hardly needed a dedicated children’s channel. The sound on the only English speaking film channel was too low to hear. Brenda Blethyn May be good in ‘Vera’ but to have the same episode repeated almost daily for over a month was a bit too much to bear. 5. Gin and tonic $14.38. Drinks costs were a rip off. All included an automatic 15% service charge (non optional) and a gratuity was expected as well. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Took easiest and most comfortable way to meet Oceania Nautica in Cape Town. Excellent port calls. Better than flying. 5* Art Deco furnishings. 3* service. Staff does not smile and does not greet guests unless guest talks first. Service ... Read More
Took easiest and most comfortable way to meet Oceania Nautica in Cape Town. Excellent port calls. Better than flying. 5* Art Deco furnishings. 3* service. Staff does not smile and does not greet guests unless guest talks first. Service seemed to be a burden on crew. Our cabin steward was the exception. Smaller than Phone booth size showers drove many to use showers in the fitness center. Balcony ok for two. Glass and rails were cleaned twice. Entertainment and lecture series outstanding. Am now on Oceania Nautica where food quality and presentation are far superior. The Brits seemed to like and praise the food but we could not. Stewards pushed guests aside with service carts in the buffet line. They had no other path to transport clean or used tableware. Paper napkins in the buffet at night are not in step with the smart dress code requested. Maybe the Queen is intended as transportation rather than cruising. It does that well at 22+ knots. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Chose this cruise for a last bit of sun before the winter. We had previously been on the Braemar and really liked the fact that it is a small ship with an intimate feel. It was incredibly good value and I wanted to work with the fitness ... Read More
Chose this cruise for a last bit of sun before the winter. We had previously been on the Braemar and really liked the fact that it is a small ship with an intimate feel. It was incredibly good value and I wanted to work with the fitness instructor, Pat who is the best yoga teacher I have encountered again. Having now been on the Boudicca as well, the layout of the Braemar works far better. It is logical and has an intimate feel, although some of the decor is starting to look a little tired. Embarkation was very quick. Picked up key card and walked straight on. Although we arrived quite late the restaurant was still open with hot food available. The general service, activities and port excursions were all good, and the room, though on the small side was comfortable, however I spent very little time in it other than to sleep! There were a few surprises I did not expect that made this the best cruise experience I have had. Firstly Fred Olsen appointed a new executive chef and the same food went from mediocre to superb compared with the previous trip on Braemar I had in August. Secondly my companion and I found friends on board with whom we had a greatest laugh ever. Lastly the quality of the music and humour provided by Brendan Kidulis, the musician in the Morning Light Pub made it a truly enjoyable experience. A shame the shows weren't of the same standard, however. We enjoyed all the port visits. We chose not to do many tours as the Canary stopovers were all to accessible interesting towns. They one we did do was whale watching on Tenerife which was fantastic. The Cape Verde islands were a fascinating snapshot of Africa and very different from the Canaries. Can't imagine why they have 'green' in the name - brown and windy was more accurate. The overall experience was great, the service superb, and I would not hesitate to book another cruise on the Braemar. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
QM2 Southampton to Cape Town January 2018 was our 25th cruise but first on Cunard. We normally choose inclusive cruise lines such as Regent, Silversea, Crystal or Seabourn but have also cruised with Princess, Celebrity, Oceania and ... Read More
QM2 Southampton to Cape Town January 2018 was our 25th cruise but first on Cunard. We normally choose inclusive cruise lines such as Regent, Silversea, Crystal or Seabourn but have also cruised with Princess, Celebrity, Oceania and Azamara. We decided on Queen's Grill because we imagined this would be the epitome of cruise life. It wasn't. Biggest disappointment was the Queen's Grill restaurant. Not the staff, who were excellent, but the meals did not live-up to expectation. For instance breakfast and lunch menus are the same as the Britannia restaurant and dinner choices were neither extensive nor that good. Cunard should look at the choice offered all passengers by Regent. The only good part of the Grills experience was that when I pre-ordered something not on the menu it was always delicious, often cooked table-side. Of course having food cooked table-side depended where your table was located. We were fortunate enough to have space; most others did not in the narrow and rather crowded restaurant. Apparently standards have deteriorated, at least according to guests at an adjacent table. This was their 42nd - and last - Cunard cruise, they said. Bars and restaurants even ran out of some wines on the first leg of a world cruise! Very poor planning. It does seem that for suite / grill guests Cunard has been left behind. You are not made to feel special (and you've spent a lot of money to be special) at Southampton check-in or at any other time. Quite frankly suite-class on Celebrity is much better value for money than Cunard Queen's Grill as are all the inclusive lines. All this said, the ship itself is in quite good condition considering its age. However it has a strange layout with a constant need to change decks as you work your way from one end of the vessel to another. Staff were generally very pleasant and helpful though I did overhear a conversation between two crew members that suggested staff in Britannia were not happy but "It will get better after Cape Town". I wonder why it would and if it did? I understand the entertainment was quite good, but shows are not why we cruise. Some lecturers were outstanding, others passable. But quite a good selection of topics. I would say never again, but we have another cruise booked on QM2 in a year's time. It will be interesting to see if standards have fallen even further - or returned to a level one might reasonably expect with such a famous "British" cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
We boarded the QM2 on January 10th sailing from Southampton to Cape Town. Embarkation was very good. Stateroom 5319 with enclosed balcony. Not as clean as expected, one light fitting tied on with plastic ties as it was obviously broken. ... Read More
We boarded the QM2 on January 10th sailing from Southampton to Cape Town. Embarkation was very good. Stateroom 5319 with enclosed balcony. Not as clean as expected, one light fitting tied on with plastic ties as it was obviously broken. Thank goodness for no rough seas. Terrible smell in bathroom so a visit to the pursers office and a wait in a long queue. Problem sorted very quickly. Sheets only changed twice. Milk satches ran out on second week and we were told by cabin attendant to get some ourselves from the Kings court. Food in Brittania was unappetising and poorly presented so decided to eat in Kings Court. Food very good but did not appreciate staff sweeping up around us whilst we were eating and dustbins being pushed past us. Some excellent talks by Colin Jackson and John Mcarthy but other speakers seemed to be reading from books. Entertainment varied from very good to awful. A comedy juggler is not entertaining. This was our 32nd cruise on different cruise ships and this was the most disappointing. Very poor value for money, drinks far too expensive plus 15% plus tip and spa treatments also very expensive. We have cruised on Cunards Queen Victoria and enjoyed it very much, and we will be going on it again in June with friends. I would deffinately not recommend a cruise on QM2. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Having only done Cunard cruises I went with an open mind....staff were great the food very average anything decent had a supplement so not too happy with that drink was not expensive and the cruise itself was not a lot of money so I guess ... Read More
Having only done Cunard cruises I went with an open mind....staff were great the food very average anything decent had a supplement so not too happy with that drink was not expensive and the cruise itself was not a lot of money so I guess you get what you pay for. The cabin was a bit worn and sheets had seen better days the pillows were nice and shower good as were the products ...the buffet was very poor only ate there once..that was enough, my friend even lost weight which is un heard of on a cruise ...the night entertainment was good having two places to choose was good but it did mean sometimes people could not get to see as the venue was small the night club was fun and the DJ very good the shops were ok the choices of handbags were good so that pleased me... Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We have just enjoyed a 12 night cruise onboard the Arcadia departing from Southampton , talking in Gibraltar, Cartagena, Valencia, Tangiers, Cadiz and Lisbon with a couple of sea days. We boarded with little fuss and realatively little ... Read More
We have just enjoyed a 12 night cruise onboard the Arcadia departing from Southampton , talking in Gibraltar, Cartagena, Valencia, Tangiers, Cadiz and Lisbon with a couple of sea days. We boarded with little fuss and realatively little waiting at Southampton, our slot was three but as we arrived early we actually managed to get on about one thirty, it would have been better to have arrived at our allotted slot as then we'd have gone straight on, note to self for future reference. The ship is slightly smaller and older ( although recently refitteed) than we are used to, not as flashy as many of the newer and bigger liners , but it has an intimacy that size doesn't allow. As this was an adults only ship cruising in November we expected an older age demographic on board ( we're in our late fifties ) so weren't surprised that the majority of the passengers were retirement age and we met many a sprightly eighty year old but also noticed younger couples ( we wondered if they may have found it a bit overwhelming to be surrounded by so many older people). We booked late and cheap so we didn't get our preferred 6.30 dinner slot, or the free time dining and had to be content with 8.30 ( very late for us ) but we survived and had excellent dinner companions which made up for it. The food and service onboard were excellent, I was absolutely sure we'd have put on weight but found that we had not, as everything was very healthy and as you can have pretty much whatever you want you naturally pace yourself. The stateroom ( cabin ) was very nice, clean, with perfectly adequate facilities, we had the cheapest inside cabin, slightly smaller than we've had on our usual Princess cruise ships, but not significantly so, did panic slightly about where to put the empty cases but they slip under the bed so no problem. Nice flat screen tv with sky news, BBC news, several free film and tv channels and programs produced for the cruise itinary and information about the ships status. The onboard entertainment program seemed OK but we tend to rest and read when not in port, we attended a dance show in the comfortable theatre and enjoyed that. We also took part in some late night quizzes which were fun. The Spa was very good except that when I booked a special deal the receptionist I saw did not understand the offer and sold me the wrong treatments ( that did not qualify) but after a little upset the matter was resolved to my satisfaction. The massages I had were very very good and the Spa is excellent . I did find the retail area limited, and the staff who manned it badly trained, I actually asked the retail manager if a necklace I was interested in buying was "Opal" or " Imitation Opal" to be told it was " Cubic Zirconia" , I was quite surprised that he decided to " blag " me instead of simply stating that he didn't know the answer to my question, having spent many years in the jewellery trade I do know it wasn't a cubic zirconia and I told him so, he made an aside to a colleague that he'd had me throw off the ship, very unprofessional. Apart from him and the mix up in the Spa the other staff were all lovely and received tips from us above the usual ones added to your account . Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Embarkation when very smoothly we booked the princess bus from Victoria st station which was very close to our hotel and a great price. On arrival in Southampton our luggage was taken on board and walked straight into checkin. It took ... Read More
Embarkation when very smoothly we booked the princess bus from Victoria st station which was very close to our hotel and a great price. On arrival in Southampton our luggage was taken on board and walked straight into checkin. It took about 15mins and we were on board the beautiful Emerald princess. Our cabin which we had chosen on deck 5 interior was clean tidy and one of our best picks so far. Close to the international cafe where we had breaky most morning and fantastic coffee with our coffee card which is a bargain when used correctly. Most evening we used the dining(anytime)room we had great service and always seated within 5mins of arrival. Food was fantastic and staff excellent. Occasionally we used Horizon Court for dinner if we were late back from a trip ashore or stayed on deck for sail aways. Food was good but like all food not the best when cooked and left to sit. We had hamburgers and chips at the grill and enjoyed them. We went to the Share dinning which was fantastic and worth the extra cost. We also went to the Crab Shack and enjoyed this also. Entertainment was good but not great. But British American and Australian humor is very different. but we did enjoy Arny G in crooners bar. Ports were great a bit of an uproar over the Indian Visa but what we have to remember princess did not make any money from this it was the Indian Gov . Princess gave us the correct advise as per gov regulations. Did not do any shore excursions with princess as they are over priced and over loaded. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We've just returned from this cruise to Durban. Some of the places we visited were very different from the normal cruising destinations and were enjoyable as a result. Great if you like sea days too (a few too many for our liking - ... Read More
We've just returned from this cruise to Durban. Some of the places we visited were very different from the normal cruising destinations and were enjoyable as a result. Great if you like sea days too (a few too many for our liking - hence the 4 and not a 5* review). We visited Oporto, Madeira & Tenerife which were as one would expect from Europe, lovely. The Cape Verde islands were interesting but a contrast to Europe, underdeveloped and really not geared up for tourism, therefore interesting but with not much to see or do. We then visited St. Helena, what a treat as not many people get to go here! A charming little island but again not a tourist destination. However, the island appears very safe and friendly. Next we made two stops in Namibia, Walvis Bay & Luderitz. We did a ship's excursion in Walvis Bay as we weren't sure what tourist opportunities would be available. We really enjoyed visiting Dune 7, the desert for the Welwichia plants and the town of Swarkopmund, which incidentally was very lovely. In Ludertiz we simply toured the town ourselves. Such a shame that since diamond mining has moved off shore, the town is in rapid decline, although homes from a bygone age can still be seen and in some cases visited inside. Possibly the highlight of the trip was Cape Town and all that this involves. We then visited Port Elizabeth which was decidedly a sad sort of place with not a lot to do outside of game drives. We concluded with a brief visit to Durban which looked okay, with standards somewhere between Port Elizabeth and Cape Town. We really enjoyed the trip but we happy to be disembarking and not going full circle, although doing the second part could possibly be on another agenda for the future. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
Admittedly, we were on the final leg of QM2's world cruise, but still - boarding her in Cape Town, we then stopped only in Namibia, Gran Canaria and Madeira. There were at least five other interesting places I felt we could ... Read More
Admittedly, we were on the final leg of QM2's world cruise, but still - boarding her in Cape Town, we then stopped only in Namibia, Gran Canaria and Madeira. There were at least five other interesting places I felt we could have/should have stopped. Namibia was wonderful ; Gran Canaria just plain dull; and Madeira utterly fabulous. Overall, I personally feel that this ship is too large for her own good. I have made many transatlantic crossings on smaller ships, including my absolute favourite - the incomparable QE2 - and love the sailing experience, the smell of the sea, the waves, the seagoing atmosphere and the feeling of travelling somewhere. All this, in my opinion, is missing from the QM2. She frankly TOO stable - the feeling of being onboard a ship is lost! No gentle vibrations, no gentle rolling, too far to walk I order to see and smell the sea. I nearly always felt like I was in a big impersonal hotel rather than on a ship. Without wishing to be too rude, the Gentlemen Dance Hosts were of a very poor standard, with only one of them able to dance properly, and he was not a very pleasant person, according to several friends who did try to dance with him.I do love to dance, and luckily have a willing and able husband, but I did feel sorry for those women on the dance floor who were being shuffled around by some pretty lousy movers. The Sports Team were great fun and organised hilarious Decathlons and other games to fill those long days at sea. The entertainment team were excellent, and indeed organised 70 of us into a passable choir, and we even gave a concert of show tunes, which was quite well received, considering we were all amateurs ! The meals onboard are just fine, and the dining rooms quite splendid. Service, as ever on Cunard ships, is impeccable. Our next cruise is on a P&O ship, and it will be interesting to compare the trips. I'll not be sailing on the QM2 again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
We boarded in Southampton without any problem,enroute to Amsterdam.The ship docked at Ijmuiden and we took the MSC "Amsterdam on your own" tour,effectively a shuttle bus into Amsterdam.The following day we arrived at Le Havre,and ... Read More
We boarded in Southampton without any problem,enroute to Amsterdam.The ship docked at Ijmuiden and we took the MSC "Amsterdam on your own" tour,effectively a shuttle bus into Amsterdam.The following day we arrived at Le Havre,and were given free transport into the city centre.Pleasant place to walk around and maybe give their tram system a go. We had requested 2rd dining on the ship and on a table for 6 or 8 people,however we found ourselves eating on our own.We had been talking to other passengers and I requested to be moved to their table which was duly organised.We mostly ate breakfasts and dinner in the restaurant and lunches in the buffet.We found the food very good but would have liked a choice of a tea or coffee after our dinner. Next port of call was Bilbao,so we again took the ship's shuttle ( 12 euros} into the centre.Lovely walk along the river past the Guggenheim and into the old town. On to Lisbon,docking close to the Alfama district.We used the local hop on hop off bus,other people used the metro or trams to get around.We didn't do any ship excursions as we like to do our own thing. On to Madeira where it is an easy walk into Funchal.We had been to the Island before,but for anyone new to the island I would recommend taking an excursion into the mountains for the outstanding scenery and gardens.The entertainment staff onboard work very hard to keep passengers involved,althouigh there was a definate Italian flavour to the evening shows. Next stop Cape Verde islands,we stopped at Mindelo,walked into the town,not alot to see,maybe the other islands in the group could be more interesting.Long leg down to Walvis bay,Namibia(7 sea days) There are problems in this area of the Atlantic with communications,no t.v,no internet.We found Namibia interesting,climbed dune 7 and visited Swakomund,lots of wildlife around,pelicans,flamingoes,seals and whales etc.End of the cruise was Capetown,arrived early and hoping to photo tablemountain,heavy mist prevented,but it clears quickly.We found all of the staff pleasant and efficient and the cruise was very good value for money.Having endured 15 hours flying back to the U.K. its no contest! Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
Had a lovely time onboard MSC Opera. The 21 days were very enjoyable. We had an inside cabin that was clean, quiet and comfortable and our cabin steward looked after us very well. The cabin was surprisingly light and felt roomy with plenty ... Read More
Had a lovely time onboard MSC Opera. The 21 days were very enjoyable. We had an inside cabin that was clean, quiet and comfortable and our cabin steward looked after us very well. The cabin was surprisingly light and felt roomy with plenty of storage space. We ate dinner in the LA Caravella restaurant on the 2nd sitting, this was a perfect time to eat as it allowed a leisurely return to the ship after trips ashore. The food and service was very good and our waiters were entertaining and efficient. We ate a couple of times in the buffet this was usually very busy but the food was plentiful and varied. Downside was the free tea and coffee which wasnt a patch on the drinks available in the bars. We paid for the all inclusive drinks package which was well worth the money. The bar teams work hard to ensure guests are served promptly and always took the time to have a friendly chat. All in all the cruise with return Emirate flights to the UK was excellent value for money. This was only our second cruise and we would sail with MSC again.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
One of the plans you tend to make upon finishing your working years is what will you do to celebrate retiring. I had long ago decided to do a long and adventurous cruise to new places. I had my eye on the Grand Pacific cruise on Holland ... Read More
One of the plans you tend to make upon finishing your working years is what will you do to celebrate retiring. I had long ago decided to do a long and adventurous cruise to new places. I had my eye on the Grand Pacific cruise on Holland America's Amsterdam which left in Sept and was 70+ days around the Pacific. However, when I realized that HAL was doing a circumnavigation of Africa for the first time in 5 years with port calls at some places that were high on the bucket list, I decided to go with the Rotterdam instead. It was not listed as a "Grand Voyage" although the price was about the same as the Pacific cruise, but it was indeed grand! Flying from Florida to London was not a pleasure, as opposed to leaving from Ft Lauderdale or even Seattle, but after having to change to a flight to Washington DC, then Amtrak to Philly, and then flight to London followed by "tube" to London Victoria Station, then coach to Southampton, I made it. The Rotterdam had left Rotterdam the day before with less than half the guests before embarking the rest of us. I boarded around noon and the bags were in the room before I was, a first for me. Lunch in the dining room a few minutes later and then back to 1852 (outside mid ship) to unpack in my new quarters where I quickly felt at home. Five separate closets with plenty of storage as the Rotterdam was built for long cruises. The Rotterdam was redone about 5 years ago with new bathrooms, comfortable beds, all the usual HAL goodies. Room stewards couldn't do enough for me such as fresh fruit bowl and even some flowers. Cleaned every morning and turned down every night, and always asked me by my name if I was happy. I prefer the dining room to the Lido when time permitted. The greeter, who also always used my name, made sure I had a table and server of choice. Most of the dining room staff were excellent. I was treated like royalty and often was served my usual choices without even asking! If I asked the server which entree was better tonight, he would tell me and ofcourse return to make sure. If you treat these folks nicely, you will be amazed how great service is. I do mostly seafood or vegetarian and with rare exceptions it was delicious and well presented. Breakfast in a quiet dining room with a sea view table and a good server, Rosenthal china, and great cooked to order food....life doesn't get much better for me. The Rotterdam had about 1300 guests for the first 48 days, about 100 under "full capacity", with a lot of singles and no children. Well, one little girl who belonged to an officer. Never crowded, few ques, easy to find a seat for most everything, except some of the high quality lecturers. The lecturers were an important and quality part of this grand voyage. Entertainment also good to excellent. The cast shows were great; thought they should have performed more often. You could tell most of the staff were picked for this special voyage. Cruise director Michael and port lecturer KK were excellent. Many of the guests on this ship were frequent cruisers, some too frequent. By that, I mean, they were never satisfied with anything. To the staffs credit, they overlooked the TMC (Too Many Cruises) folks and still gave us great information and service. Keep smiling guys! The Rotterdam goes into drydock spring of 2015 and it does need some attention. It did have some plumbing issues, but I was lucky to have no problems in my room the entire trip. The dining room often had themed nights relating to the areas we were visiting. There were also special regional foods served around the pool area. Entertainers from the various areas were also brought on to add to the grand style voyage. We were the only ship in port with just a few exceptions. We only tendered in one port (Luderitz) and overnighted in 5 ports. The Rotterdam was a great ship for this itinarary as it is one of the fastest cruise ships on the seas, better to out run pirates and storms. We did run without most exterior lighting in the pirate areas and often maintained 20 knots. An officer told me with all 5 engines going and a freshly painted hull, the Rotterdam can do 26 knots. That burns too much fuel. Also, this ship rides deeper in the water which gives it more stable ride. We did have to avoid a cyclone in the Indian Ocean. A lot of extra sea miles and $75,000 extra in fuel costs, but the Rotterdam did very well indeed. I left on day 79 from Lisbon to fly home (flights were full from London so close to Christmas) only missing one port Vigo, Spain. After mostly great weather, it was getting cold and rainy as we returned to Europe and thus I didn't miss much. I would urge those seeking a long voyage exploring unusual ports on a great mid size (60,000 tons/1400 guests) ship, to consider the Rotterdam on this itinarary. As Holland America builds new (bigger) ships, their older ships will be sold. Don't expect a 100,000 ton/2500 guests ship to do these great places and that will leave only the more expensive smaller cruise lines to do them. The smaller ships can't handle the rougher seas either.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
Good food , excellent service, comfortable cabin . So why let yourselves down on relatively small items that spoil the cruise. Why ask for table preference and give the opposite to that requested I've been on P&O cruises many ... Read More
Good food , excellent service, comfortable cabin . So why let yourselves down on relatively small items that spoil the cruise. Why ask for table preference and give the opposite to that requested I've been on P&O cruises many times and it always happens. You ask for a table for either two or six and are given one of either four or eight and have to fight to get near what you want. Wi Fi is stupidly expensive and doesn't take into account how long it takes to send an EM . An insult to the cruiser . Go to the cyber room and hear the complaints! No assistance except embarkation and disembarkation to cover the yardage from gangway to coaches and taxis so you have to remain on board.no help from tour office except to purchase an electric chair! Poor exchange rates and expensive shops and drinks. Seems to me the company is being run by an accountant with no sales knowledge. Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
We sailed from Southampton to Cape Town - the first leg of QM2's current world cruise. Generally, once everyone (passengers & crew) settled down, it was a fine experience. The ship was full and, at first, things didn't run ... Read More
We sailed from Southampton to Cape Town - the first leg of QM2's current world cruise. Generally, once everyone (passengers & crew) settled down, it was a fine experience. The ship was full and, at first, things didn't run too smoothly but by the time we reached Madeira everyone was more or less au fait with what to do and where to go etc. My wife wasn't too happy with the dining experience in the Brittania restaurant, constantly complaining that the food was indifferent but I was less critical. Feeding 2,350 people at two sittings in the evenings will never be more than mass catering. The entertainment was pretty good (Louis Hoover was outstanding and put on a "free" third concert in response to the acclaim he received). Some of the lecturers were fascinating (Martin Saunders, a BBC wildlife cameraman, for instance, and Peter Hawthorne on Afrikaners - standing room only for that one). There is a fine library on board and the planetarium films were amazing. Each day seemed to pass in a flash - there was no excuse for being bored though some people were. One common complaint was the nine-day leg at sea from Tenerife to Cape Town -- a very long stretch for passengers and crew which seemed unnecessary as we passed equidistant from Cape Verde islands and St. Helena with Ghana to the east. The fascinating desert excursion in Namibia made up for some of this. The other common complaint, as ever, was Cunard's absurd alcohol prices - £10 for a glass of wine and a beer. All this does is to reduce sales and encourage passengers to bring their own drink on board. Our cabin on Deck 4 had a "sheltered" balcony. Before we sailed, we were unsure about this but couldn't upgrade. In the event it was not a problem at all and there was plenty of space and sun. All in all, a memorable experience. Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
We sailed south on the first leg of QM2's 2014 world cruise to Cape Town. The first few days to Madeira were not the greatest. The weather was roughish, the passengers were newcomers and the crew was shaking down. In addition, the ... Read More
We sailed south on the first leg of QM2's 2014 world cruise to Cape Town. The first few days to Madeira were not the greatest. The weather was roughish, the passengers were newcomers and the crew was shaking down. In addition, the poor weather kept everyone indoors which, with a full ship, left little room for manoeuvre. Madeira was a pleasant interlude and from there onward we had a pretty good voyage to South Africa as everyone settled down. The nine-day sea leg from Tenerife to Cape Town was on the long side and as we passed near the Cape Verde islands and not so far from St. Helena it felt like a missed opportunity. We had a cabin on Deck 4 with a sheltered deck - fine by us as we are not sun worshippers but did appreciate the protection from the wind. The cabin (and our attendant) was fine - no issues at all. As ever on cruises, food loomed large. QM2 could really do with another restaurant - perhaps in the under-utilisied Winter Gardens space. The Kings Court buffet isn't as good as the one on the Queen Elizabeth - not sure why but the choice seemed narrower and the space rather cramped. My wife never really enjoyed the evening meals in the Britannia restaurant but I was less critical - it is never going to be straightforward to feed 2,300 people to a five star level at two sittings night after night. The Todd English restaurant was pretty good but expensive. The best bet, we found, were the themed nights in the buffet (American, Italian, Indian etc). Anyone who has cruised with Cunard will know in advance that the line hikes up alcohol prices to sky-high levels. A glass of wine and a beer in the Commodore Bar, for example, cost £10 (gratuity included automatically - another gripe). The answer is to bring on board as much of one's own booze as you can. Were Cunard to lower their prices to UK levels, I'm sure they would sell twice as much drink. But perhaps they don't want to? Entertainment was generally good. Some excellent lecturers were on board for this leg, notably Peter Hawthorne on Africa, Ambassador Walker on foreign policy issues and the charming Martin Saunders on life as a wildlife cameraman. Louis Hoover was the pick of the singers; he got successive standing ovations and put on an extra show without charging a fee. Hannah Kuipers (harpist) was another standout for us. QM2 or Queen Elizabeth/Queen Victoria? We have come down on the side of QE/QV for a cruise - these ships are simply better designed for cruising. While on board we heard a rumour (there are many!) that Cunard was up for sale/had been sold by Carnival. All the officers claimed to know nothing about this so the rumour simply spread faster. One for Cunard's PR department to address. Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
This was a Christmas cruise and as such perhaps anomalous of other experiences, but my main bugbear was a feeling that I wasn't getting value for money. My dad went on the Oceana 2 weeks prior, and paid £750 for the balcony cabin ... Read More
This was a Christmas cruise and as such perhaps anomalous of other experiences, but my main bugbear was a feeling that I wasn't getting value for money. My dad went on the Oceana 2 weeks prior, and paid £750 for the balcony cabin next door to the one we later got for £2600. At the end of his cruise he was told if he wanted to do a back to back, he could have his same cabin for another 12 days for £449. So while I appreciate that there is a premium to be paid for holiday cruises ( I am a teacher and can only travel during those times) it meant I couldn't help feeling that I was eating the same food, watching the same shows, visiting the same ports as my dad had, only for almost 4 times the price - and my cruise was 2 nights less! Still that can't be helped and I'm sure is the same for all cruise lines. I haven't sailed with P&O before, my previous 7 cruises have been on RCI (3), NCL (1), Carnival (1) Cunard (1) and Celebrity (1). The entertainment on the Oceana was great I thought - the Headliners shows were really fun and had extremely talented performers. The food was much better than I expected - always hot (we had Freedom dining and this may have been the difference) and with plenty of choice, though I do get tired of the whole fancy food thing on any cruise about halfway! I certainly disagree with a reviewer who complained about lack of choices as breakfast - we ate in Plaza buffet, dining room and Cafe Jardin for breakfast and I can't imagine what we could have wanted that wasn't available - maybe some American choices like grits I suppose, but the Continental and English breakfasts were very varied and good. I do wish there had been more choices of bread though - it was sliced white or brown, small white or brown rolls. None of the lovely fruited, grain or malted crusty loaves I remember on Celebrity, or any 'slice-your-own' baguettes etc. Still the afternoon tea was lovely, though at 4pm, too late for me to try more than once, due to proximity to dinner! I'd have happily skipped lunch and had afternoon tea instead if it was served from 2 or 3pm. The food is indeed very English, so if you like to go on holiday and eat outside your usual experience, this may be lacking in diverse cuisine. I managed to try several things I hadn't had before like pheasant and partridge though, so I was quite happy! Other positives were the staff, our waiters, barstaff and stewards were all exemplary. Cleanliness was good also and there were nice touches like bathroom amenities (The White Company) and quality coffee, tea and biscuits in staterooms, always topped up generously as soon as we made our preferences known. Now for my big criticism, and the reason I would be unlikely to pick P&O again. The nickel-and diming. The prices on P&O seem comparatively competitive, compared to other lines. I was happy to see the soda package was less than the one I always get on Royal Caribbean - until they told me it was for 20 sodas only. If I pay for a package, it's because I DON'T want to consider whether or not I am thirsty enough to order a Diet Coke during a show. I want to have the freedom to get one without considering the cost, because I've already paid for that privilege! I don't want to have to calculate and keep trackof the number of sodas and whether my package will run out with 2 days to go. Let's be honest - they are well-drinks, poured over whole glasses of ice, I doubt even I am able to consume enough Diet Coke for them to make a loss on the same unlimited packages that other lines offer. I decided against the package, and it left me feeling irritated from the get-go. Then the beauty salon. £41 for a haircut, I arranged with a spa receptionist who agreed my hair (a chin length bob) was short. That's cheaper than my salon at home, so yay! Then I turned up for the appointment and was told 'Oh no, your hair is MEDIUM length, that will be £48'. So I left. Not because £7 is a huge amount, but again, because it left a sense of being scammed. The internet packages are also cheaper than RCI, but my brother spent time almost every day in the Library trying to find out why it didn't work properly, only to be told the whole system was down, so when he disembarked he still had almost 2 unused hours on his package. I paid for laundry, and they hung a sweater up to dry so it came back to me 8 inches longer than before. I registered a muted complaint at the front desk, saying I knew I couldn't get a refund or anything as they have a disclaimer on the laundry slips, but I wanted to suggest they don't hang woollens up to dry in future so it doesn't happen to anyone else. I never heard back from them, not even an acknowledgment. The best value for money is the alcoholic drinks - I don't drink but everyone in my party and other passengers said they were commensurate with pub prices and wine at dinner was reasonable. The other extra we paid for that annoyed me was the meal at the speciality restaurant, Cafe Jardin. We always eat at least once in the speciality places on cruise ships, and I have never been told how many dishes you can order (3 - a starter, main and dessert). I asked for a seafood starter and also a salad from the appetiser section, but the waiter seemed alarmed and said he didn't think that was possible and would have to ask the chef. I was mortified - as if I had asked for 4 desserts or something, and he said perhaps I could settle for a side salad, so I agreed happily. It never came. And again, left me feeling that I was being unrealistically greedy or trying to get one over on them, when in fact it's standard practice in the steakhouse on Carnival, Chops Grille/Portofinos on RCI, Cagney's on NCL etc that you can order what you like from the menu, just as you can in the MDR. So my advice to P&O would be to nix the White Company amenities - no one but me in my party had even heard of them, and though I appreciated them, I'd rather have had an unlimited soda package, without quibbling over how many Cokes make me seem like a freeloader :) RCI don't give you a crappy square of waxy chocolate on your pillow any more, but they at least let me drink 21 Diet Cokes. They don't give us a free small bottle of water in our mini-fridge like P&O do, but at least they don't begrudge me a salad with my otherwise vegetable-free pork Milanese when I've paid a cover charge. And to be honest - I know I am moaning a bit much at this point - but a free bottle of water on Day 1 only sort of highlighted the fact that I wasn't to be given any more without paying. Lastly, this isn't a complaint as it's hardly P&O's fault, but just a warning for other would-be Xmas cruise travellers out of Southampton. I've never been on a ship that rocked this violently - the weather was poor, and the Bay of Biscay crossing can be bad in winter, but pretty much everyone I spoke to agreed this was EXTREMELY rocky, one of the ship's officers my brother spoke to in the sauna told him over 300 people had paid for a seasickness injection (£80) and I met plenty of people who spent all 4 sea days in their cabins. I could tell it was bad because of the unusual number of room service trays in corridors on those days, though I didn't experience any seasickness myself. So if you are prone to this, don't go on that route at this time of year, a piano fell over at one point and we often heard crashes from the art gallery! To end on a positive note though, I was pleased when I called to ask if I could bring a bottle of champagne on board for us to have on Xmas Day as it was a gift. P&O have no issue with you bringing a reasonable quantity of alcohol for consumption in your room, which is a nice change as once we won a bottle of wine on an RCI cruise, and they wouldn't even give us a corkscrew to open it and drink in our cabins, even though they gave us the wine! Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
We recently returned from an extremely enjoyable 10 night voyage on Queen Victoria. Before I booked we were rather spectacle about what to expect as had heard many stories about class and different dining options, but this was transparent ... Read More
We recently returned from an extremely enjoyable 10 night voyage on Queen Victoria. Before I booked we were rather spectacle about what to expect as had heard many stories about class and different dining options, but this was transparent and we didn’t notice any difference or visible ‘grills’ class only areas. This was our 1st time with Cunard, but have cruised many times with others. We booked a restricted view ‘oceanview’ on a late deal and were extremely happy with the cabin allocation, as it was mid ship on deck 4 and proved to be more comfortable in rough sea’s in the rather angry bay of Biscay. Embarkation and check in was quick and no hastle. We arrived at 2pm (later that we normally check in) due to the morning fog, and waiting till it cleared before we travelled down the M3. We used CPS for parking and were extremely happy with the service, especially on the return when the weather was miserable and there had been a terminal change – no problem for CPS – the brought the cars to the new terminal (undercover), no queuing or delays or getting wet in the rain. Our cabin was spacious, we were pleased we booked the oceanview, as it was more spacious than the inside. Others have commented about the small bathrooms, but this was nothing different to P&O, RCI and Holland America, and we are not ‘small’ people but found the shower cubicle large enough. The welcome bottle of sparkling wine was a nice touch. We ate in the Britannia restaurant 2nd sitting, and no complaints. Our dining companions were lovely too, and a good time was had by all. Breakfast and Lunch were mostly in the Lido. I’m not a lover of buffets, but appreciated the freshly made pancakes for breakfast and the freshly made to order pasta station for lunch. We also ate in the Golden Lion one lunchtime, very popular for fish & chips. We had an enjoyable afternoon in the Queens Room but as it was a tea dance and we were seated by the dance floor, found it very busy with people constantly walking past. The Royal Cunard Singers/Dancers were some of the most talented we have seen at sea. Being involved in theater, we appreciated that shows were rather unusual and not the normal type of shows based on songs from movies or musicals, but there were of a very high standard. The “singers in concert” was astounding… We are not ‘dancers’ and found that the evening themed balls were more concentrated around the dance activities in the Queens Room and being 2nd seating dinner, missed most of the highlights. However, there were still lots to do after dinner, including lots of activities in the Golden Lion, great Karaoke, and the band in Hemispheres were fab too. All staff were extremely friendly and nothing seemed to be a problem. The South African barman in the Golden Lion was a pleasure and gave some very good advice on how to cope in rough seas. Our only negative comment would be the high price of onboard internet/wifi. But this is the same for all cruise lines…! Repeat guests seemed to have had free onboard minutes, but as we were 1st time Cunard, this was not available to us… We were extremely impressed with the whole cruise and would definitely choose to sail with Cunard again, if the price and itinerary were to our liking. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
Just returned from a 10 day cruise on the '' Oceana'', which set out from Southampton on the 19th Dec.2013, obviously taking in Christmas. We had been on the boat for about 5 hours, when both my wife and I started ... Read More
Just returned from a 10 day cruise on the '' Oceana'', which set out from Southampton on the 19th Dec.2013, obviously taking in Christmas. We had been on the boat for about 5 hours, when both my wife and I started vomiting. This lasted for about 30 hours, and was caused by the boat being unstable and rolling all over the place. During this time, the toilet packed up, and we were without a toilet for about 6 hours. Both my wife and I were not well for most of the cruise, because of the instability of the boat. In fact, on Christmas Day, my wife had nothing to eat, and I only managed to keep a half a bowl of soup down. The only time we felt O.K. was when we went ashore. I had a couple of cooked breakfasts towards the end of the cruise, and my wife had one on the last day. We had booked a couple of shore excursions, in Casablanca and Cadiz, but because my wife was ill on the day we were in Cadiz, she dare not go on the coach. I went to tell them that we would not be able to go on the trip after all, but I was told that because we hadn't given 48 hour's notice, we would forfeit the cost, £72. How we were expected to know, 48 hour's in advance that my wife was going to be ill, I'll never know. The last straw was when we couldn't get a decent cup of coffee one evening, from one of the bars, as there had been black-tie dining that evening. We were told we would be able to get one after 9.30 pm, but just then they would be serving cocktails. We have found out since returning, that the Oceana was built for the Caribbean, and not for going down the Atlantic Coast , and that the ship's bottom is too flat to go where we went. The entertainment was pretty amateurish too, and all together the whole experience of the cruise was pretty awful, and a waste of money. I doubt whether we shall ever cruise again, after this experience, but if we do, it certainly will not be with P&O!   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
Cruise no E330 - OCEANA - 19th - 29th Dec 2013 Been on this ship a number of times, always had a good cruise. We were looking forward to a wonderful Xmas experience on board this trip what a big disappointment and may I add waste of ... Read More
Cruise no E330 - OCEANA - 19th - 29th Dec 2013 Been on this ship a number of times, always had a good cruise. We were looking forward to a wonderful Xmas experience on board this trip what a big disappointment and may I add waste of money. We are not party animals, but there was no Christmas atmosphere on this cruise, which is why we paid the extra for this cruise. 2012, we went on a Warner's Xmas break, better than excellent, P&O could learn from Warner's Xmas festivities. Everything about this cruise was not up to what is promised and expected of P&O.  Even the presentation and quality of the food was not up to the usual standard. The entertainment was also not of the calibre expected and Headliners were rubbish, compared with other cruises. This was also voiced by other passengers. Our plan was to book in advance while on board a 2014 Xmas Cruise, but as we found this cruise to be so poor, we declined and are considering another option. Unfortunately we have already committed ourselves and our payment is now due for a cruise on the Azura departing 19th April, and are not looking forward to this. We can only hope Azura's standards are a great deal higher. If not it may well be our last cruise with P&O. Having cruised a number of times we have only cruised with P&O and have always been satisfied. Our friends are asking if we had a good holiday, they are not sold on a cruise with P&O. The only efficient part of our holiday was the service by Eavesway coaches, and now I am told to use another company for my next cruise. The cutbacks were extremely noticed by all who have sailed with P&O. Considering Oceana has had some refurbishment, having cruised on this ship a number of times it was not noticeable.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013

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