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740 Southampton to Canary Islands Cruise Reviews

Chose this cruise as we love all the dancing aboard Cunard lines. This was our second, the first being 17 days on Queen Elizabeth. Had not been to the Canary Islands so it was a good fit. We had an ocean view as compared to a balcony ... Read More
Chose this cruise as we love all the dancing aboard Cunard lines. This was our second, the first being 17 days on Queen Elizabeth. Had not been to the Canary Islands so it was a good fit. We had an ocean view as compared to a balcony last time and all was well. Room steward was great as always and room was clean and comfortable. Could not see the difference in cost being worth it on this 12 day trip. I think the main dining was OK but not great. Service was good but a little unorganized compared to last time. Never asked for second slice of bread and hardly filled an empty water glass. My wife is gluten intolerant and they prepare everything on the menu for her which other lines only have restricted menus. Did miss the shrimp cocktails as they were not ever there and the lobster tail was breaded? Only attended a few shows as most were with the ships compliment and not acts brought on. The few acts were good but I would rate as below average as a whole concidering they used their own talent most nights, Ballroom dancing was good but I would have enjoyed more than one afternoon tea dance.. Upstairs club was great as was the party band(very varied in their different types of music) Also had a 60's review band that played in auditorium and in the Queens ballroom the last night. Ports were interesting and all were walk off into the local city. We did not do any excurions as the ports offered nothing we hadnot already done. We just enjoyed walking around and sampling the local areas, and were usually back on board by 1-2pm. Overall an enjoyable trip though I prefered Queen Elizabeth Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Sapphire Princess Canaries October 2019. Our fourth time on this ship in two years and in view of its final departure from Southampton this cruise was a real anti climax. Check In and boarding at Southampton took longer for ... Read More
Sapphire Princess Canaries October 2019. Our fourth time on this ship in two years and in view of its final departure from Southampton this cruise was a real anti climax. Check In and boarding at Southampton took longer for Platinum and Elite members that it did for first timers - too many at the higher end of Princess Captains Circle Loyalty Scheme? Same balcony stateroom (C232) for the third cruise running and they still not repaired the fist-sized dent in the wall beside the bed. First sea day through the Bay of Biscay and I've never experienced so much movement throughout the ship, I was surprised that the Formal Night still went ahead even with the smallest Champagne Fountain ever seen and so few people about, we didn't bother with getting formally dressed and ate in Alfredo's Pizzeria instead. Dinner in the Savoy and Vivaldi Dining Rooms resulted in the food varying from inedible to barely acceptable. Inedible in my experience was a beefburger that was so dry it made a McDonalds look upmarket, the Lemon Sole on a bed of black lentils certainly wasn't lemon sole (unless it was overweight) which on the black lentils without any dressing tasted like cardboard, the Lobster Tail stuffed with risotto is an insult to any seasoned Princess cruiser who had a full Lobster until recent years and no I will not be ripped off by $29 for the same thing again. The Curtis Stone Chicken and Leek Pot Pie was quite enjoyable. Princess you need to think again. The usual Spanish and Canaries Ports were visited: Vigo, Madeira, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Las Palmas Gran Canaria, and Arrecife Lanzarote, but why in reverse order with the three sea days on return? It felt like an 8 days holiday rather than an 11 days one. Princess Theatre entertainment was an improvement compared to our previous Grand Asia cruise, but we gave the magician and Edwina Currie a clear miss. The sailing home was rough and as an experienced cruiser, this was rough. Other ships I've sailed through the Bay of Biscay include Grand Princess and Emerald Princess both of which handled rougher conditions than Sapphire. Was Captain Rivera too mean to use stabilisers knowing that they would slow the ship down and increase fuel consumption? Overall, we left the ship a bit disappointed and it took us 2-3 days to get our 'land legs' back. We were told that Princess are 'Investing in People', who are the people, their Shareholders? Certainly not us cruisers. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This was our first time on the Sapphire Princess although we had been on the sister ship, Diamond, earlier in the year in Japan so knew mostly what to expect. We had initially been booked on the Explorer of the seas for a similar ... Read More
This was our first time on the Sapphire Princess although we had been on the sister ship, Diamond, earlier in the year in Japan so knew mostly what to expect. We had initially been booked on the Explorer of the seas for a similar itinerary at the same time but when it got cancelled we opted for this cruise rather than taking the Independence of the Seas {which followed most of our trip} as the Sapphire was in port much longer each time. We flew down to London for 4 nights pre cruise and took in some shows before taking the train to Southampton the day before. Stayed overnight in the Leonardo grand harbour which was very good and gave great views towards the port. Very wet day so ventured out in full rain gear to get the obligatory wine from a nearby Asda! Found a nice Indian restaurant {Bayleaf kitchen} on the High street with great reviews and had an excellent meal before it dried up and we headed back to the hotel. Good breakfast in the morning and pre-booked taxi for 11 o’clock which, as expected, turned into a sea of people all trying to get to one of the 3 large ships nearby. A short taxi ride had us at the terminal around 1140 and as we had a club class cabin we were booked in fairly quickly. The only issue was having to argue with the staff for the advertised priority boarding, which nobody seemed to know about! Got on the ship about 20 minutes later just after the club class dining room opened in the Santa Fe restaurant so relaxed over a small lunch until our cabin was ready. Located midship on the starboard side our mini suite had plenty of space and lots of storage. The only issues we had were the plug in the bath refused to open and the balcony door kept sticking but a visit to guest services quickly had these remedied. This was our third time booking club class. I know it isn’t for everyone but we really enjoy the small dining room and the more personal experience that it brings. We always got a table straight away and usually next to the window. All the staff were excellent and each night there was an extra on the menu that wasn’t available elsewhere. I have to say that on this cruise they excelled with this choice on most evenings, from Surf and Turf {including lobster and filet mignon steak!} to fresh pasta. As a result of this we never made it to the buffet, a first for us! The coffee at the international café has improved this year {according to my wife} and was well used. Entertainment onboard was the usual hit and miss stuff. The headliners being good to excellent and the guest speaker, Egwina Currie , was surprisingly interesting and informative. The cruise director, Paul, was humorous without being over the top and is down to earth. Should mention at this point that this was our first time going through the bay of Biscay. The first day, a sea day, enroute to Vigo was reasonably rough and effected a large amount of passengers. We were lucky and ate, drank and slept through it! We attended the c.c. roll call but unfortunately the weather curtailed the large number of people who had signed up. Still, met a lot of nice people. The ports of call were: Vigo- where we took a half day ship excursion on a catamaran over to Illa de Cies. Two uninhabited islands, joined by a small causeway, off the coast with an amazing sandy beach and a great walking path up to the lighthouse. Terrific weather made this a highlight of the cruise. In the afternoon we spent a couple of hours walking around Vigo old town {nothing special} with some great Italian ice cream! The ship thankfully docked right in town. Madeira- Having spent a week here before and also stopped on a transatlantic crossing we were looking forward to some walking in the mountains. We hired a car and headed for the top but unfortunately so had lots of walking groups on the Island. We persevered for a few hours along narrow high level paths before heading off to other, quieter parts. Got some great photos from some lookout points along the way and ended our day back in town. Dropped the car off and had drinks by the pool of the hotel we had previously stayed at and enjoyed the sunny walk back through the gardens to the ship. Tenerife- Another car hire day. Drove over to Puerto de la Cruz and spent a few hours walking around the old town area before driving up to the cable car centre of Mount Teide. Unfortunately the winds were too strong for the cable car to operate but the scenery was very impressive all around. Nice drive back through small villages and stops at lookout points on the way back to port. Gran Canaria- Car hire again down to Maspalomas and a walk through the sand dunes to the large beach. After a few pleasant hours we drove up into the hills to visit a recommended “pretty village”. The drive was a bit nerve wracking but scenic however the weather changed on arriving at the village and thick mist and cold temperatures made for a short visit after some well deserved coffee and cake! The weather cleared on the return journey to the port giving great views. Lanzarote- Booked a Princess tour as it was reasonable in price and spent the full day visiting all the places we had wanted to see anyway. Got a tour of the Timanfaya national park and then a short camel ride before some wine tasting and a decent buffet lunch. The afternoon consisted of visits to Mirador del Rio viewpoint {a house built into the rockface with stunning views overlooking the nearby island of La Graciosa} and Jameos del Agua {a cave system}. Good excursion. Three sea days and plenty of good food in the club class dining room followed by a few hours of walking it off around the promenade deck! Time for some relaxing before disembarking easily at Southampton and a short flight home. A very good cruise experience. We had{mainly} good weather, got into every port on time, the food was excellent onboard and the ports were interesting, each in their own way. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Our first cruise was a short one on Indy in April 2017, so we were excited to be sailing on her again last month to the Canary Islands. What we didn’t know was that during its ‘refit’ last year they also added more cabins. We were ... Read More
Our first cruise was a short one on Indy in April 2017, so we were excited to be sailing on her again last month to the Canary Islands. What we didn’t know was that during its ‘refit’ last year they also added more cabins. We were informed there were 4500 passengers (an extra 500 people) on our sailing, the ship was full to bursting point. I am disabled and therefore used a walking stick and mobility scooter, but there was no where to sit in the evenings all the bars were constantly over full. We missed so much evening entertainment due to the lack of seating, we ended up back in our cabin after our 8.30 dinner sitting most nights. We could never get a sun bed around the pools and if you are not up early on a sea day there was no chance of getting a sun bed anywhere. Particularly if you’re disabled and cannot climb up a bed crammed along side other beds. We feel RCI have crammed far too many passengers on the lovely Indy yet not added extra bar lounges or seating to cope with it. We loved the many ports we visited, the itinerary was great, but being back on a very over crowded ship by all aboard time soon lowered our mood. We felt it was dirty too, the balconies didn’t get cleaned the whole cruise, and Chops Grill was dusty, the blinds all lopsided and tatty, the floor was grubby and looked like it needed a good deep clean. We booked it to celebrate our anniversary but sadly I can’t even say the meal there was great as my meal kept going back as my steak wasn’t cooked how I asked for, by the time I got mine, my hubby had finished his and my side orders were cold. It’s true RCI charge extra for everything my hubby had commented on it more than once. It’s a shame because we were really looking forward to cruising with her, but we paid a whole of money for a cruise and then couldn’t enjoy it to the max because of RCI’s greed. There were some good points, the staff in the main restaurants were always amazing, they couldn’t do enough for us. Also if you did manage to get a seat in a bar (during the day) the bar staff were great, we never waited long to be served. If you are happy to get up at 6am, plonk yourself on a sun bed and then not move all day, or you love to stand in or near a bar all evening with no chance of a seat, enjoy sitting in the theatre an hour before the show starts to ensure you get a seat, and money is no object then this is the cruise line for you. For us, no, I don’t think we will be cruising on any of the ships that have had a ‘refit’ in future. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We were first time cruisers, family of 5 trip including Gran and daughters 22 & 3. The ship is lovely and cabins are clean and comfortable we were well looked after by our steward. Food in both dining room & buffet restaurant ... Read More
We were first time cruisers, family of 5 trip including Gran and daughters 22 & 3. The ship is lovely and cabins are clean and comfortable we were well looked after by our steward. Food in both dining room & buffet restaurant was very good with a good selection. The ports were all excellent with plenty of time in each. However as with most things on this ship Royal Caribbean only seemed interested in getting you to spend spend spend. Shore excursions were hideously expensive so we arranged our own. Two ports were a good distance from the town and for one RC had a courtesy bus but for Madeira they were charging €19pp!! Given the amount of disabled, elderly and children this was not good customer relations. Most of the staff were friendly apart from customer services who must be so fed up with complaints they barely acknowledge you - very poor! However our main issue was this ship is not conducive to under fives. Yes there is a kids club but it’s inside away from pools etc most of the young kids wouldn’t go in. If they didn’t that was it for entertainment in the evening. There was the occasional family disco at 6pm but this was poor. As for the pools if you have a child still in nappies/diapers they can only use a small area which has a slide with water but nowhere to swim which is beyond strange. If they don’t wear nappies they are not allowed in this area. Therefore if you have children who are in both categories the family cannot be in the pool together. This was a massive issue for many families we spoke to. It must be impossible for single parent families. The sunbeds are comfortable but too many packed together no space in between the veritable sardines! We probably will cruise again but not with Royal Caribbean as one person we spoke to who had cruised with them before told us “the refurbishment has resulted in more cabins therefore more cruisers and less space plus many things that were previously included in the cost were no longer and the subsequent charges were over the top”. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
This was our 3rd cruise on Indy and our first since it was refurbished. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves with very little to complain about. I would say though that I preferred the ship before all the added whistles and bells. The ... Read More
This was our 3rd cruise on Indy and our first since it was refurbished. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves with very little to complain about. I would say though that I preferred the ship before all the added whistles and bells. The overall condition of the ship was very good. The food in Windjammer and the MDR was some of the best we have had on any of our cruises and our waiting staff in the restaurant couldn't be faulted. Our balcony cabin was fine although the storage was limited and the wardrobe was badly set out. It was clean and functional. We rarely saw our cabin steward as we had nothing to ask him for as it was all there. We found a sun bed easily every day without resorting to getting up at the crack of dawn and in spite of reading in a recent review that people are charged $10.00 if the towels aren't returned at night this is simply not true. The only time you are charged is at the end of the cruise if the towels aren't returned. We never returned a towel at the end of the day merely changed them without showing our passes. We were served fairly quickly in all the bars we went to and also found a seat at all the shows.. Grease was particularly good and also The Jersey Boys show. The Cruise Director Cubby was just OK. We wish they would change the shows along the Promenade as they have been doing the same thing down Main Street for years now. The shops were a major disappointment on his cruise.. Normally there are carts with different items along Main Street but most nights there was one or none. Overall a great cruise Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
It's been a few years since we were last on an RC ship, onboard the Anthem, which was an amazing ship and experience. It was also one where most folk we spoke to would always say, "it's great, but it's not the ... Read More
It's been a few years since we were last on an RC ship, onboard the Anthem, which was an amazing ship and experience. It was also one where most folk we spoke to would always say, "it's great, but it's not the Indy". When we saw this year that Indy was doing a Canaries cruise, something we had wanted to do for a long time, we jumped at the chance to see if she was all that and more, especially after her recent refit and refurb, and hit or miss reviews here! Driving from Glasgow, thanks to FlyBe's exorbitant prices to fly direct to Southampton, our embarkation process from arriving at AB Parking to getting onto the ship probably took us no more than an hour from about 11am. The RC staff throughout were extremely helpful and ensured everyone was kept moving towards getting onto the ship. It was the same disembarking on our final day. It was all super slick, super efficient, and felt very well managed and controlled. Once onboard we had to wait about three hours for our cabin to be ready thanks to a deep cleanse of the ship due to an outbreak of the norovirus on the previous sailing. Again, on this point, I don't think I've ever seen a ship and her crew be so resolute in making sure everyone washed their hands, used hand sanitiser, or similar, be it getting on and off the ship or coming in or out of any areas with food and drink. Our cabin was starboard side mid-ships in the bow (7330). We weren't sure if it was a refurbed one or not, but it was certainly spacious when the sofa bed was away, with plenty room for my wife and I, along with our 11 year old boy. It also had a decent sized balcony, more than big enough for the three of us to be out on together. Our cabin steward did a decent enough job of keeping the room clean, although we had to put the sofa bed away ourselves after it was continuously left out for the first few days. After that, it was always put away during the day. The service felt perfunctory at best and nothing more compared to some previous experiences we've had. The ship itself, having spent a fortnight with her, isn't quite as grand as others would have us believe. She's a beautiful ship, but not quite in the same class as the Anthem (although I think we were spoiled sailing in her maiden year). The promenade is very nice, but you have absolutely no chance of getting any space or seats in the cafe, bars, or pub if you're on the 8.30pm dinner sitting. It's very disappointing after your meal to come down and see it crammed full with next to no space anywhere. Likewise, while we certainly never had any problems getting sunbeds or space at any time during the cruise, the poolside beds and those around the running track on deck 12 were very cramped and always busy with very little being done by staff to vacate empty loungers (there's supposed to be a maximum 30min limit). We always found space at the back of the ship towards the flowrider and beyond Johnny Rockets. Food wise, the Indy has definitely been one of the best ships for food I think we've been on. Both the Windjammer and Main Dining Room excelled in choice, quantity, and quality of food. Granted, the days at sea saw the Windjammer absolutely packed with very little room to get seats, but you prepare your best for this and try to schedule your eating time around when you feel it wouldn't be as busy. Johnny Rockets was never busy given it's a chargeable eatery ($10 per head for as much as you want), but the food was very tasty and I'm also sure ridiculously high on the calories. We also bought the three night dining package which we used in Giovanni's Table and twice in Chops Grille. Giovanni's is nice, but the food isn't a patch on Jamie's Italian on the Anthem, while our first experience of Chops on the ship wasn't great from a customer service point of view (this was rectified on our second visit and made up for the first one completely, plus the steaks are to die for in there). We used RC for two shore excursions, Lanzarote where we did the camels and timanfaya national park, and Madeira for the toboggan, cable car and wine tasting. While you are paying extra doing these through RC, we always feel it's better for piece of mind should any delays occur and you get left behind (as we saw several did during this cruise too). Both excursions were very enjoyable and professionally managed. We sadly only managed to see a few shows during our cruise; the brilliant Freeze Frame ice skating show, Frankie Valli and the Dreamers, and Grease. All very enjoyable, but you did need to be there about 30mins before to ensure you got a prime viewing seat. All highly recommended. Lastly, a special mention must go to our waiting team in the main dining room. Our sitting at 8.30pm was always brilliant thanks to Radu and Thommy who very quickly picked up on our needs every night. Nothing was too much trouble, any changes or requests were met with a swift response and resolution. Both were an absolute dream and played a huge part in making our holiday as enjoyable as it was. Radu in particular always had information to hand at the end of our meal regarding our next day on the ship. Both continually went above and beyond and were a pleasure from start to finish. We enjoyed our time on the Indy thoroughly, and while she maybe doesn't have the bling or glamour of the Anthem, we'd happily sail with her again in the future! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Just got back from our first ever cruise and I dont think I could go back to a "normal" holiday. Absolutely amazing! Ship was amazing and staff were so attentive. Bars got very full at night and not enough seats but that's ... Read More
Just got back from our first ever cruise and I dont think I could go back to a "normal" holiday. Absolutely amazing! Ship was amazing and staff were so attentive. Bars got very full at night and not enough seats but that's the only thing I can honestly moan about. Entertainment was excellent and the cocktails!!! We only ate in the main areas so cant comment except Johnny rockets which for the price is a must! Absolutely amazing holiday and highly recommend! Excellent cruise for kids. My daughter loved it (6) Son is 2 so no kids club for him but staff were very accommodating and entertaining. My kids left feeling like royalty! So many different cocktails to choose from. Would definitely recommend buying the deluxe package. We were hesitant but ended up saving a lot of money. Photos were good and a reasonable price! Just waiting for ours to be delivered. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Love Royal Carribean and have travelled with them a couple of times. We travelled with 2 other couples who have never cruised before. Arrival at port and onto boat was very quick. As soon as we got on the ship our friends were amazed. ... Read More
Love Royal Carribean and have travelled with them a couple of times. We travelled with 2 other couples who have never cruised before. Arrival at port and onto boat was very quick. As soon as we got on the ship our friends were amazed. We had a full drinks package and all premium drinks and cocktails included and we definately made rhe most of it. Food was unbelievable as always and thought i was going to have to be rolled off when we arrived home. We picked the Canaries as we thought the weather would have been good at this time but a bit dissapointing (obviously nothing could have been done about that). Arrival at all ports was easy to get off abd back on. The only port that disappointed was Gran Canaria we arrived at port and nothing was opened so couldnt really do much. The only disappointment we had with the ship was the entertainment. We sold it to our friends as top class (as it had been kn previosly ships). I have never been on a cruise were the theatre shows were so poor that people were walking out. Take that tribute band had the place rocking and the Frankie vali and 4 seasons tribute were great but 2 nights out of 10 isnt enough. To put a cruise director on as a main act and a movie which was then shown outside was a joke. The entertainment was more like i would expect to see on a budget holiday not a cruise and a number of people commented on this. All in all however we had a great time and would definately return to Royal Carribean but not on the Explorer of the Seas. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Be careful when going into ports with Royal Caribbean they try and charge you for shuttle service. Ours was $9 per person to go to the edge of city centre. When we got off the ship, the local taxis charge 2.50 euros. The bar prices are ... Read More
Be careful when going into ports with Royal Caribbean they try and charge you for shuttle service. Ours was $9 per person to go to the edge of city centre. When we got off the ship, the local taxis charge 2.50 euros. The bar prices are also so high and sometimes the packages are not worth it. Also Do you research on the ports before you go. 3 of our ports were rubbish, nothing to do and just a normal town, might as well of stopped at home. Also one of the days the entire island was closed. Nothing was open. Yet they still try and push for an excursion to visit the old town where the main shopping centre is open, but the shops inside it weren’t. The entertainment team singers. (Chris & Vanessa) were superb, the best I’ve ever heard on any stage. WOW. The dancers were a little messy, but redeemed by the ballroom couple. The headliner guest acts were awful. The Frankie valli tribute sounded like Orville the Duck. He was also very weak and on occasion out of tune. The take that tribute were not bad. But let down badley by the guy playing Gary Barlow. He was not good. Cringe worthy. The food in the windjammer was excellent. The cabin steward was also excellent. The cruise director (Graeme) was so funny, made the cruise. Just wished he would walk around the ship more. The TV and stations needs looking at. Need to offer more choice. Also some areas around the ship are very cold. I would suggest for everyone to take a cardigan or ask the ship to make it less cold. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We wanted an early spring cruise to visit the Canaries where we have been several times before. Been on Ventura the sister ship but Azura is not the same level of ship. Water damage to buffet ceiling tiles, which were not replaced with ... Read More
We wanted an early spring cruise to visit the Canaries where we have been several times before. Been on Ventura the sister ship but Azura is not the same level of ship. Water damage to buffet ceiling tiles, which were not replaced with new, just replaced. The tiles were disgusting. In the buffet area we noted large holes in the carpet under the chairs. Carpet in corridors deck 8 needed stretching as it was all over the place and a trip hazard. Buffet cutlery, glasses, plates were dirty on a regular basis, need to look at the dishwashers. Mentioned to staff, not interested. We inspected all utensils after that to find clean items discarding three forks one lunch time. The Oriental Restaurant also had water damage to walls and ceiling. The menu seemed to be a quiz every evening, nothing was what it seemed by the description. seemed to be pot luck as to whether we could eat the food or not. The best thing about the cruise was Steve King talking about 60s music. We booked for both lunch and evening at Sindhu when they were doing special prices. The evening one was only a few pounds more and much better value. We have a cruise booked to the Med on Britannia in September hoping for a better standard, it should be it is costing enough! We have also booked in Iona for Fjords in May next year. We are really trying to support P&O but come on guys get your act together otherwise you will lose our future custom. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
I chose this cruise to get a little bit of sun, rather than sit at home watching the rain. This being my third time on Azura, I thought I knew what to expect. Embarkation went smoothly, and I was in my cabin swiftly. I noticed that the ... Read More
I chose this cruise to get a little bit of sun, rather than sit at home watching the rain. This being my third time on Azura, I thought I knew what to expect. Embarkation went smoothly, and I was in my cabin swiftly. I noticed that the plug in the basin was closed,and I wondered why. It didn't take me long to find the answer. I was on deck fourteen, but when I went to decks six and seven, THE SMELL OF RAW SEWAGE WAS OVERPOWERING !!!. Lots of people were complaining throughout the whole cruise. I spoke to reception desk about this,only to be told that they were aware of this problem, and they were working on it. Previous reviews that I have read have indicated that the problem has been on board the ship for some time. The Captain was never to be seen around the ship,except for photo shoots, nor was the chief Engineer,as I would have approached one of them to ask about the problem, which continued for the entire duration of the cruise.( I later found that the basin was kept plugged to prevent the smell entering my cabin). I dined in the restaurant on only three occasions,as the food was only lukewarm, and on one dinner the ribeye steak was so tough that three members at my table had to send it back. After that I dined at the buffet,where the food was Lukewarm too. The entertainment was mediocre,same old gags from old comedians. On one occasion the show was cancelled because of rough seas. To conclude, six sea days are too much,when the entertainment is poor. However if you like dancing,or quizzes,or overpriced bingo,or old movies then this ones for you. I won't be back on Azura! I have a Cruise booked on Brittania for next year,but I won't be going,unless P&o redress me for the disappointment that I endured on this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We have been with P & O in the past and have enjoyed it, I read some negative reviews previously but I could find no fault with this ship,staff,food,entertainnment. It was good value for money. The food in my opinion is some of the ... Read More
We have been with P & O in the past and have enjoyed it, I read some negative reviews previously but I could find no fault with this ship,staff,food,entertainnment. It was good value for money. The food in my opinion is some of the best I have enjoyed on any ship,the standard and presentation is excellent. I think if people complain about the standard of food in the restaurant then they must be hard to please. The choices are excellent each night and plentiful. Well done P & O. Plenty of shows although I do not usually go to many which is my personal choice. I enjoyed the cinema on sea days although not all films were to my personal preference. Plenty going on around the ship at different times and the Lisbon sail away party was excellent. It had to be held indoors due to bad weather but it was fun. The entertainment team were friendly and always made quizzes etc exciting and had banter with passengers. We has a large outside cabin as there were three in our party and it was plenty big enough for us. It had a large window which we all enjoyed especially when in port. Our cabin steward Angelo was excellent (Deck 9 cabin 192) he kept our cabin spotless and always found time to speak to us each time we saw him. All the staff we came across were really friendly and helpful. There was quite a lot of older passengers on this trip and I saw on more than one occassion staff helping them to their seats and carrying their trays in the buffet restaurant. I know from speaking to other passengers how much this was appreciated. It was quite nice not queing like you sometimes have to on the larger ships and we never had to wait long for the lift to get about (we have on the larger ships on many occasions). Drinks were reasonably priced a bottle of the house Rose was £16.50 which was very reasonable and it was a decent quality. A pint of John Smiths bitter was £4 10. We enjoyed a pre dinner drink at Andersons bar where you got snacks with your drinks in a lovely sophistacated atmosphere. I had read the ship looks tired well maybe in some places but in the main it is spotless clean and very classy. I know a lot of people who I spoke to love this ship and I can see why now I have been on it. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
See cabin review below. The Victoria was in very good order, and nicely decorated for Xmas and NY. No welcome drink despite slick embarkation and with bags in cabin immediately. Entertainment in the evening was above average and ... Read More
See cabin review below. The Victoria was in very good order, and nicely decorated for Xmas and NY. No welcome drink despite slick embarkation and with bags in cabin immediately. Entertainment in the evening was above average and during the day OK with good lecturers in the morning although the port lectures had funny timings. Plenty of quizzes and table & paddle tennis which suits us. The Lido restaurant was good with plenty of variety though just sometimes tricky to find a table . Dining in the Britannia Restaurant - The food was OK but often not exciting, though plates were hot. Service was professional but the waiter wasn't good at the socialising. Need to talk about Service Standards. The service overall wasn't as good as on other ships who do much much better in the Friendliness stakes and for going the extra mile. This was a surprise - not terrible but the others are much better, and we are experienced cruisers. I also suspect that staff were managed by the stick and not the carrot. Docking - Cunard was not in the best position at the docksides so longer walks and in Madeira were supposed to Tender and other ships were docked. Then the sea was rough so we did not get to Madeira! Luckily the NY fireworks were as good as ever - a real plus. Disembarkation was fine. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Fred Olsen Balmoral – Xmas/New Year 2018/19 – Canaries All in all, this was a most enjoyable cruise and a great way to spend both the festive season and celebrate my husband’s birthday on Christmas Eve. This was our first time ... Read More
Fred Olsen Balmoral – Xmas/New Year 2018/19 – Canaries All in all, this was a most enjoyable cruise and a great way to spend both the festive season and celebrate my husband’s birthday on Christmas Eve. This was our first time with “Fred”, although we’ve cruised a lot since getting the bug a decade ago. Compared with other lines, we were delighted that there was no constant hard sell, ship wide announcements were kept to an absolute minimum and queueing was practically non-existent. Of course the ship photographers were there as you ate at the gala dinners, but not always as you got on and off the ship - perhaps by the time we disembarked, they were on the excursions looking for material to go on the DVD. We always buy one and are looking forward to watching it on a snowy day – they’re really a great way to remember the cruise. One morning, I saw a photographer having breakfast, so took a photo of him, then told him it would be ready the next day! I thought it was funny, but have no idea what he must have really thought - he simply smiled very politely, then got on with his breakfast! Embarkation was truly straightforward, as was disembarkation (we cannot fathom why people sat on the stairs waiting to get off the ship when there were plenty of places to sit and wait). The only time we could have queued was at the Captain’s Receptions, but even then, we sat nattering to other passengers and waited until the queue had gone down. That really is the beauty of sailing on a smaller ship. I’ll get the one downside (British Night) out of the way so we can concentrate on how lovely everything else was. With the way politics are, perhaps something more neutral might be more appropriate. Why on earth would you travel abroad and bring that horrid jingoistic nonsense with you? We’re there to see the world and be ambassadors for our country, not to tell people we rule the waves! We were on second sitting, and rather tired that night, so watched the show from our cabin. We were astonished that the Boomtown Rats (Irish), Debbie Harry and Meatloaf (both US) were featured as the “Best of British”, not to mention Riverdance! And don’t get me started on the bit where they all dressed up as school children. Anyway, that was the low point of the cruise for us, and I’m sure other opinions are available. I made my own little protest by wearing a blue shirt with a yellow bow tie which surprisingly got some very positive comments from those who had cottoned on to the colours of a certain flag it resembled! I also wore a red, white and blue rosette (or was it perhaps bleu, blanc, rouge?) We bit our tongues on the “B” word and tried to forget that many of our fellow passengers had probably voted for the mess the country has found itself in. Such a shame, as we’ve never met such a friendly bunch on a cruise ship. It is sensible to steer very clear of any mention of politics, not wanting to ruin our holidays, nor anyone else’s! Anyway, before I lose you completely, let’s go back to all the positives, and that must start with the cruise highlight - the pantomime. This will be etched in our memories forever. It was definitely worth Andrew Robley (the Panto Dame) bringing 14 suitcases aboard, even though his mum was found clambering over them in her cabin! The theatre entertainment overall was a high standard and very enjoyable. Inside Cabin 4154 The cabin was small and the L-shaped layout of the beds made the best use of the space available, although the unit housing some drawers and the console for lights, announcements etc went behind one of the beds, just giving an extra shelf (which came in handy for my husband’s birthday cards to be displayed). The console itself had a button to turn off ship announcements, with a handy red light to let you know that one was being made. Our cases were on the very large side, so didn’t fit under the beds, especially as there was a wooden plinth in the middle. One case went in the wardrobe, the other between the chair and the bed. My husband has a habit of bringing extra coat hangers, not always necessary, but it’s not particularly a battle I care to fight. Thirty years together has taught me to agree to disagree, and if packing too many coat hangers is the worst thing, then we’re not doing badly! An extra couple of hangers might not have gone amiss, but he’d managed to pack over 30, so we had far too many! I’m sure they’d have brought us some extra, had we asked… The layout of the cabin meant one bed didn’t have a bedside lamp or table, which was a little bit disappointing – I suppose we could have asked for the bed to be made the other way round, so the drawer unit could be used. Being two men of a certain age, neither of us have much hair, so having not one but two hairdryers in the cabin made us laugh as did the fact that our Christmas crackers both contained combs! Daytime activities (especially after 5) are extremely low key (or non-existent), so we enjoyed the interactive TV’s on-demand film and TV programme options which we were very pleased to find came at no extra charge. The cabin was towards the back (I’m sure there’s a technical term for the blunt end), so when the ship was coming into port, the engine noise was fairly loud – and when moving in high winds, it did tend to creak, so earplugs are very much recommended. Having said this, for most of the trip, it wasn’t a problem. One cabin we would advise avoiding is 5143 – there was a really loud vibration noise outside, not sure if it was audible inside that cabin, though, but it would surprise me if not. We were delighted with the kettle in the cabin. Perhaps a little saucer for used teabags wouldn’t go amiss, but we used one of the glasses to put teabags in. We brought our own redbush teabags, but they were available in the tea station, along with a large selection of other teas and infusions. Our cabin stewardess came from Thailand and was very good and thorough. We didn’t get any towel animals, but perhaps, like the baked Alaska parade, also missing, that’s another thing of the past. We had a couple of very minor issues with the cabin (both of our own making). They were dealt with very speedily, with a short note afterwards to say they’d fixed the problem, but reminding us not to hesitate to get in touch if the problem hadn’t been rectified to our satisfaction, or if there was anything else they could do. A very nice touch, we thought. Dining – Table 301, Spey We’d asked for a table of 8, but were given a table of 6, but were only 5 diners – pleased to say we got on exceptionally well with our fellow travellers, three solo women. We were tucked into the corner by the door and it was very noisy at times, which apparently is unusual for the Spey. Being next to a serving station made it even noisier, cutlery and plates were thrown into bins by the waiters. Once we’d had a word with our servers it was better - we did this a couple of times during the cruise, simply saying that the noise levels had increased again. Had our table mates not been as brilliant as they were, we might well have asked to be moved. Service was impeccable – no problem with menu variations, for example having a starter as a dessert. With a couple of rare exceptions, we were very happy with everything we were served, although we did wonder why the rather tasty soup called borscht didn’t contain any beetroot! On the one night things really weren’t to our taste (the burnt nut roast incident), alternatives were found very quickly. We immensely enjoyed a late breakfast in the buffet sitting outside by the pool (heaters were on when it was cooler) – and rarely used the Ballindalloch main restaurant. One tip - for breakfast and lunch, all three restaurants have both a waiter served menu and a very similar buffet, but the menu items aren’t available in the main buffet. At breakfast, I very much liked the selection of nuts (Brazil, cashew and walnut) along with the goji berries. We didn’t partake of the sparkling wine at breakfast on formal nights, but I poured the orange juice into champagne flutes to give a sense of occasion! Much to my husband’s disgust (being on second sitting we’d not long had dinner), I liked to have a “look” at the midnight buffet, which was varied and certainly not at all leftovers from dinner! Needless to say, this “look” generally turned into something landing on a plate and into my mouth… Portions at dinner were on the meagre side - I’m sure double portions were available but we never asked - a couple of times we had two main courses, or an additional one to share. There’s no way anyone could go hungry! Christmas/New Year The ship was wonderfully decorated throughout and at guest services, we thought it was a lovely touch that you could help yourself to satsumas and nuts. Christmas Eve had a carol service after which port, sherry and mince pies were served in abundance. We got back to the cabin to find that instead of a chocolate on our pillows, we had a small bag of chocolates to share. Christmas Day had a deck party in the morning, with a free egg nog station, which helped things along rather nicely! Lunch was just a normal sea day – they actually forgot the lunch I’d ordered from a waiter – I asked several times over 30 minutes - but I did get a free glass of wine to compensate! I just thought it was hilarious as we were on an all inclusive package. But as they say, worse things happen at sea, and I certainly didn’t go hungry for long! In the afternoon, my husband had a sleep and I went to see the Queen’s speech which we all ended up listening to, as something was wrong with the technical setup. I very much applauded her sentiments against tribalism and the need to get on with ones neighbours, but bit my tongue! The entertainment team then played a game of charades, which was quite funny. We slept the rest of the afternoon until it was time to dress for the Captain’s reception. One of the entertainment guys was dressed up as Santa in the Captain’s parade on the way in, so I told him “all I wanted for Christmas is EU”, in quite a loud voice! It was Christmas, and I was well behaved for the most part! We thought our waiters seemed a bit rushed on Christmas Day, until we understood that they were all trying to synchronise and sing a few Christmas carols, which was another nice touch. We were very surprised to see that cocktail parties for certain loyalty level guests made up the main entertainment on Boxing Day, leaving very little to do for first time guests like us, or people who didn’t want to drink at 11am, but it did mean we got seats at the quiz, which was usually oversubscribed if you didn’t get there early enough. New Year’s Eve was great. There were two alternatives – one in case of rain, one for dry weather. The weather wasn’t too kind and we were glad to have brought rain ponchos with us which we put over our dinner suits. It’s a very comfy cruiseline and there isn’t any obvious stuffiness and pretentiousness we’ve found a couple of times on other lines. We were comfy and enjoying ourselves, so that’s what mattered! After dinner, we went to the show, then before we knew it, champagne (well, fizz) was flowing and the fireworks started which were absolutely fantastic and every bit as good as Sydney where we were lucky enough to see them on our honeymoon. One thing we didn’t hear, however, was a countdown, that’s not to say it didn’t happen. The festivities lasted long into the night and I knew it was time for bed when the conversation turned to football and all I could think to say on the subject was that some years ago, we’d really enjoyed seeing the Beverley Sisters – one of whom was married to a footballer. As I said, it was well and truly time for bed! I was very fragile the next day (one of the waiters even asked a couple of days later if I was still fragile!), we finally surfaced and went to brunch in the Spey at around 11.45am, after watching the ex-policeman’s talk on airport security on our cabin telly. We were surprised that it wasn’t really a brunch, but breakfast simply morphed into lunch at mid-day. After lunch, we went back to the cabin and watched a great film called What I Did Last Summer. After paying a visit to the future cruise desk, we sat at the back of the ship with a cuppa watching the most magical sunset, in a nice warm spot thanks to the outdoor heaters. Ports We’d been to most of the ports before - and all of them were very easy to walk to from the ship, as long as you’re able bodied. None of the ship excursions took our fancy, but we were most impressed with the booklet and maps that came before the cruise, although they could have done with a little more information about the ports themselves. The destination guide, Graeme, did a good job of giving some hints and tips and not being too centred on the excursions. However, his appalling pronunciation of place names left a lot to be desired! As a linguist I picked up on this and his pronunciation would probably have confused local people if you were asking for directions. For some reason, exact docking timings weren’t given until the day before, which made it a little difficult to plan too much in advance, but having said that, we did seem to be in port for longer than other cruises we’d been on. Lisbon We did a Free Walking Tour (you just pay a tip at the end) of the Alfama and Mouraria districts – you can easily book in advance online – they did stipulate a €2 deposit for not showing up, but were very accommodating when I said we were on a cruise ship and it depended on the weather if we could dock. The tour was excellent, even though we’ve been to Lisbon countless times, and I’d even spent a month here in the 80s, we learned quite a lot from our guide. The tour ended near to the Church of Graça, where there is an amazing panorama of the city, along with a wonderful little outdoor café serving light snacks and sandwiches, the ideal antidote to the fancy meals we were having onboard. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Our extended stay let us go a little further under our own steam. We went to Vegueta, the old town, on the number 12 bus for a couple of Euros, taking about 20 minutes. The architecture around the main shopping street, Triana, is beautiful and rather reminiscent of some parts of Old Havana. We visited the Museum of the Canaries which was a bit old fashioned and apart from a room full of skulls, not overly interesting. After a nice lunch, we went to the Christopher Columbus Museum (my Yorkshire upbringing and infantile humour still makes me giggle when I see the word “Colon”, his Spanish name)… It’s a fascinating place, with lots of old maps of how people thought the world looked, and housed in a beautiful old building. Highly recommended. After getting back, we still had time to go for a walk along the beach front and have a quick look around town, and even to the shopping centre by the port. One little tip – the port wifi reached into the ship, so on returning, I had a quick look at my emails, although we had taken advantage of free EU roaming earlier in the day. Gran Tarajal (Fuerteventura) It was too windy to dock, so we diverted to Puerto del Rosario, the capital. Not the prettiest of places, and with the exception of a very small museum dedicated to a philosopher who escaped from Franco and a shopping centre, we didn’t find too much to do here, so went back to the ship for lunch. Santa Cruz de Tenerife Once again, we were in port until very late evening, so we went by tram to the charming little town of La Laguna (the tram stop is called Trinidad and at the end of the line, making it very easy). After visiting a museum, we went for lunch at an old Canarian Restaurant (Patio Canario) which is housed in an old building. Far from being a tourist trap, most of the clientele were Spanish - the food and service were excellent, as were the prices. The tram ride cost a couple of Euros and was a very pleasant journey taking about 20 minutes. San Sebastian – La Gomera We hadn’t been here before, and I was intrigued that they have a whistling language, so was delighted to see that a local troupe do a demonstration of this, along with local dancing. Apart from that, we didn’t really find much else to do – we were only docked for the morning, so enjoyed a coffee in the main square with two of our table mates before heading back to lunch on the ship. Funchal - Madeira All aboard was 4.30pm which still left us time for a leisurely breakfast. With 11 cruise ships in port, we were very lucky to dock at the most convenient location possible. Funchal was understandably busy, and our attempt at visiting a Madeira wine lodge was thwarted by hoards of people. This was the only day where the weather was unkind with rain on and off, but we still managed to have a walk round. When it threw it down, we had a simple lunch (forgetting how large Portuguese portions were!) Walking round, we found parks wonderfully decorated for Christmas, and stopped by the lovely Christmas market, where we just had to have a ginjinha (cherry liqueur) in a chocolate cup, followed by a Madeira wine in a chocolate cup, then another just in case. And perhaps another, but I can’t really remember. We got back to the ship and slept it off until it was time for the Captain’s Reception and Gala New Year’s Eve dinner! La Coruña This is the one place I’d love to have spent some more time exploring. I’ve never really understood why you’d want to be off the ship for 8am when shops don’t tend to open until 10am or so, although if you’re on a tour to Santiago de Compostela, you would need to set off quite early to make it worthwhile. It’s a real shame we left La Coruña so early at 1.30pm as it was a lovely place for a wander around. We found a very quirky café and I enjoyed a black coffee while my husband had the most delicious thick hot chocolate. No wonder he didn’t have room for the midnight buffet! Walking round, it looked like there were a lot of interesting places for lunch which hopefully we’ll try next time. Ship activities We’d both been very busy before the cruise, so were very glad of time to relax. To be honest, we didn’t see too much of the daytime entertainment staff – there were no napkin folding/cookery demonstrations etc, but we did enjoy the talk with the dancers and singers explaining how things worked backstage. What daytime activities there were had a tendency to clash, for example the quizzes and the speakers. Most evenings there was very little to do after 5pm until dinner - that said, bridge players or dancers were probably very well served. That said, one night, there was a Mr & Mrs competition. We were going to join in, but by the time my husband said yes, we were pipped at the post by another couple. Probably just as well. Our meals meant that we missed the 10pm quiz, as it would have been too much of a rush to get to the theatre show afterwards. I’ve already mentioned Andrew Robley, who not only was brilliant as the Panto Dame, but also entertained us a few times during the cruise (both on and off the stage as he was around and about the ship quite a lot). There was also a comedian, a singer and a magician (to whom I joked that the passengers do a brilliant magic act – they can make food disappear at an amazing rate!) One thing we were surprised at was the suggested themes weren’t adopted by the waiting staff – we thought they should also wear a touch of red, tartan etc. We had a lovely and relaxing time and we’ve already put down a deposit on a future cruise, so that says it all, and we’d have no hesitation in recommending our cruise to the right demographic of mainly over 50s. It’s definitely more hip-op than hip-hop, Fred Olsen definitely know who their clientele is and look after them exceptionally well. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Having cruised before on smaller ships, we thought we would try one of the 'biggies' and as we wanted a Christmas and New Year cruise to somewhere warm, we chose P & O's Ventura cruise to The Canaries and Madeira. The ... Read More
Having cruised before on smaller ships, we thought we would try one of the 'biggies' and as we wanted a Christmas and New Year cruise to somewhere warm, we chose P & O's Ventura cruise to The Canaries and Madeira. The weather couldn't have been kinder with just a bit or rain in Madeira (didn't spoil the wonderful New Year fireworks display though). Both ways across the Bay of Biscay were really smooth which was a real bonus. As for the cruise itself, the service and food was very good; most of the entertainment was excellent; our cabin was fine and our cabin steward was first class. My only disappointment was that apart from a watercolour painting course (which would have cost an extra £21) there were no craft courses - which we've had on previous P & O cruises. Embarkation and disembarkation in Southampton went really smoothly. The various excursions we went on were all great. So all in all we were very pleased with our holiday. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
My partner and I have been on several cruises before, mostly Princess. We wanted to try Cunard, so decided 12 nights for a winter sun break in the Canaries would fit the bill. We chose a balcony cabin in the standard Brittania class. ... Read More
My partner and I have been on several cruises before, mostly Princess. We wanted to try Cunard, so decided 12 nights for a winter sun break in the Canaries would fit the bill. We chose a balcony cabin in the standard Brittania class. Embarkation: the fastest we’ve ever got on board! From dropping off the car to stepping on board it took 17 minutes. Lovely check in staff and a nice smooth process. First Impression: Queen Elizabeth is gorgeous to look at. The Grand Lobby area is beautiful, with plenty of seating areas and plush carpets. The artwork suits the style and there is a calm and relaxed atmosphere on board. This ship is very quiet during the day, with more guests coming out in the evening. Always lots of space to sit down and relax. Cabin: balcony cabin on deck 8 (the highest deck for accommodation), towards the back of the ship. The cabin was pretty much the same as any other, however we were greeted with some sparkling wine, which was a nice touch. Lots of space to move around and a comfy bed. There was also a sofa, desk and wardrobe. The wardrobe had lots of hanging space, but less room to put things like undies and other folded items. The bathroom was standard sized, with a shower. Other reviews say the shower is small, but it was no different to other ships. Lovely toiletries included! Dining: we selected the early sitting in the Brittania restaurant for dinner and were placed on a table of 6. The food was beyond our expectations in both the main restaurant and the buffet. Every meal at dinner was fabulous, with plenty of choice. The waiters would chat and were always friendly, something we haven’t seen on all cruises. We ate breakfast in the buffet each day as the food was so good. We found the buffet was quiet early in the morning, getting very busy between 9 and 10am. The additional restaurants of Verandah, now a steak house, and the various alternative dining choices were excellent and worth the money. Entertainment: this cruise was definitely aimed st the over 50s, with entertainment certainly more geared towards older people. Ballroom dancing was on every night, and the theatre featured acts such as opera, piano and other singers. There was a comedian on one night who was great. On the whole, the entertainment was the weakest part of this cruise. The cruise director, Chris was boring as hell. Every day, the activity schedule was virtually the same as the previous day, with most evening activities centred around listening to music and ballroom dancing. Overall, we loved this cruise but there were definitely areas for improvement. The drinks are very expensive on board, with most alcoholic drinks costing upwards of $10. We bought a soft drinks package each, which was good value for our needs. We found that the crew were much nicer on this ship, with pretty much all crew greeting passengers around the ship. The onboard shops had a weird, unfriendly vibe. We strolled round the clothes shop, and the assistant stalked behind us constantly, making us feel unwelcome. All the shop staff were overly cautious of people looking at or touching their stock. We would definitely book with Cunard again, as the positives were so massively outweighing any negatives! Will also investigate some dance lessons so we can take part more... Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We chose this cruise to the Canary Islands in November in order to enjoy the last of the sun without flying. We thought the amenities and entertainments on this great ship were outstandingly good. Our accommodation was also excellent, ... Read More
We chose this cruise to the Canary Islands in November in order to enjoy the last of the sun without flying. We thought the amenities and entertainments on this great ship were outstandingly good. Our accommodation was also excellent, but so it should have been in the most expensive category. We found the best food in the no-frills Lido buffet although the service and ambience of the Queen's Grill made an enjoyable and upscale dining experience. There are two alternative restaurants available at a supplement of 20 or 25 dollars per person. We tried them both and enjoyed the change of scene and the somewhat better cuisine. I gave this ship only four stars because of the evidence here and there of crude cost-cutting at the expense of the passengers' experience. Cocktails were served in miserable pours and were vastly overpriced, fourteen dollars for a glass of ice with what looked like half a pub measure of spirit. The company would make more profit if it offered better value for money in this area. Wine was also pricey for what it was. The excursions were also expensive for what they were. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We selected this cruise because the itinerary was totally new to us - we had not previously been to any of the stops. We flew from Florida through Philadelphia on British Airways to Heathrow (LHR) and arrived before 7am. About a month ... Read More
We selected this cruise because the itinerary was totally new to us - we had not previously been to any of the stops. We flew from Florida through Philadelphia on British Airways to Heathrow (LHR) and arrived before 7am. About a month before the cruise we booked the 8:30am National Express bus on-line from Terminal 5 to Southampton ($25 each). The bus arrived 10 minutes prior and became full. It was a Saturday and we arrived in Southampton in 75 minutes. There were no cabs at the bus station and somehow our phone was not roaming to contact UBER, but the Holiday Inn was a short walk (if it had been raining we would have absolutely needed a cab or get UBER to work). In the afternoon we enjoyed a little walk around the Old Town and in the evening, there was a terrific mall with a lower level and lots of different restaurants to eat inside or outside. The next morning, the Silhouette was docked almost next to the hotel - so we walked. A princess ship was further away and would have needed a cab. The ship looked great, our balcony room was spotless, the drink package was tons of fun (included specialty coffees as well as cocktails and wine). The entertainment was fine enough - started out poorly and became better over time (or we just drank more - LOL) Food was yummy - on our early days with tours, we had room service for breakfast - otherwise we always made it to the dining room right before the 9am deadline. Sea days, we had lunch in the dining room, we ate in the main dining room at select dining every night. We enjoyed a nice table for 2 with the same waiter almost every night - we met other couples also placed at the same area and so it was also a social time. We have always enjoyed the speakers on Celebrity; these people were fine, but not great. However, it was something to do on the sea days. Ports Vigo - Took the ship tour the Santiago to Compestello - beautiful weather and town was lovely. Highly recommend this tour! Watch the movie "The Way" before you go. Lisbon - the sail in is beautiful and our balcony was on the port side - so we ate breakfast outside during the arrival. On our own, walked about 25 minutes from the dock to get onto Tram 28. The wait was too long, but we had a good time and got an idea of the city. It let us out at an unknown area and I would suggest finding a cab to get back, or take the next tram back to a main area. There are many city buses to take you everywhere. Beware of pick pockets as a couple we met on the ship were robbed Lanzarote - beautiful seaside location. We took the ship tour that was terrific with camels and the volcano national park. Highly recommend this tour! Gran Canaria - We took the inexpensive ship city tour and it was great - went all over the place, a beach overlook, town of Teror, a caldera high in the mountains. Lots of fun. There was a nice pedestrian shopping area straight past the entrance of the port - past a replica of the Chris Columbus Nina. Tenerife - It was raining and we planned to walk around the town and to the Mercado, but instead, we rode around on the HOHO bus that also included a walking tour. It was not really worth the $25 per person for the HOHO, but with the rain stopping and the little walking tour, it was ok. We left the tour to go to the Mercado and then walked the lovely shopping streets back to the ship. The sail away is fabulous of the mountains. Maderia - very beautiful stop. The ship is not really conveniently docked and there is not free transportation to get out the port. there was some sort of shuttle and there were cabs, but we decided to walk 2 miles to the cable car. It was a nice walk and good weather. The cable car line moved very quickly (16 Euro round trip) and a good long ride. When we arrived at the top, it started to pour - ugh! but then it stopped. We did not do the crazy basket ride down the hill, but walked to the church and there was a pretty garden, if you want to spend time and more $. La Coruna - the ship was running late so we canceled our planned tour and went ourselves to the old town - and there is a fort of 1 Euro. Bilbao - Lovely surprise - clean and beautiful. We took the 10 euro shuttle from the ship to several blocks from the Guggenheim. We were in time for a docent tour and after spent time outside at all the sculptures. When we walked back to the bus, many shops were closing. We could have also found a cab to get to the old town - others said it was nice, but since everything was closing, we wandered around a little and then took the shuttle back to the ship. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We had a great experience on our 21 Oct 18 cruise. The staff were great, drinks package was excellent value for money, food plentiful, hot and lots of variety. The shows were grand we enjoyed the John & Paul duo, Al the American ... Read More
We had a great experience on our 21 Oct 18 cruise. The staff were great, drinks package was excellent value for money, food plentiful, hot and lots of variety. The shows were grand we enjoyed the John & Paul duo, Al the American comedian, The Tenor (I'm afraid I can't remember his name - but he was good), Reigning Rocks was fantastic, Trust me jack were great (but loud!) and we enjoyed lots of other stuff and there were talks also !- the ones by Jim Kennedy from NASA were extremely interesting and we went to all 5!. The Captains' talk was also incredibly enlightening. We had a very good time - not every event was to our taste so we didn't go, but that wasn't a problem as there was always something to do (we are adults and can actually entertain ourselves!) This was a value for money, action packed cruise. Anyone who says otherwise must be used to 10* service elsewhere (in which case I'd love to know where so I can give it a go). The ship was spotless. There were a higher number of older folk on this particular cruise - so the pace was a bit slower - but when on hols - chillax. I'd recommend this ship as a holiday for anyone who wishes to spoil and indulge themselves. Just go with the flow - apologies for the pun. Some staff of note were: SkyLounge Connor & Bogdan, MDR4 Eva on the front desk - she's from Macedonia - she is completely on the ball and will assist you with the biggest smile. Toto, Pawan & Luidmyla were also so charming & efficient, Lillia on the MDR3 (and egg station at breakfast). Finally, of course our stateroom attendant - Kosim - total gentleman. One tip - if you're at a loss for something to do - there's a daily crossword and soduku available from the Guest Relations centre - and you can always get a pack of cards and just play whatever card games you're in to. You cannot possibly get bored! Note I've only given a 4 for Fitness & Rec as we didn't use the gym (shudders). Nor did we go on any organised excursions - we prefer to do our own thing. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We left home at our usual six o’clock and after an uneventful journey we arrived at eleven, we thought we might have to wait to our official boarding time but no, we sailed straight through. This is the first time we’ve been on a ... Read More
We left home at our usual six o’clock and after an uneventful journey we arrived at eleven, we thought we might have to wait to our official boarding time but no, we sailed straight through. This is the first time we’ve been on a smaller Celebrity Silloette ship and found it took a bit of getting used to, we had balcony cabin 6283 on deck six, there are only two sets of lifts which meant a lot of walking to get to the activity areas and the food. It took a bit of time sorting out our dining room conditions but unlike our last cruise on Princess we had dinner at five thirty on a table for two with no trouble, and the service was a lot faster. The only thing which spoilt it was the menu it had very avant-guard look to it, it had very few recognizable items. The buffet (ocean cafe) had a fantastic choice arranged in a series of islands, apart from freshly baked breads including French baguettes, rye and other continental varieties. There were Egg station, Grill, Pasta, pizza, Mexican and Stir fry. Also there were salad and people with allergies were well catered for. The cabin was spacious with a convertible settee as well as a bed the balcony was slightly bigger than Princess, there was a big TV with some free films and the normal navigation channel although this didn’t give all the information I was used to. The on-suit was good plenty of room for this type of bathroom and it had a sliding door on the shower there was a permanent night light – low powered. Again it had a drawback there were only three clothes draws the rest of the storage was in overhead lockers which meant climbing on the beds.the entertainment was hit or miss, we had some fantastic acts and some which weren’t worth coming to. The main hosts were Jazz, Vish and Veli while nice enough young men their English was definitely lacking making it hard to understand them in Trivia quizzes for example. If you were lucky they laid on the usual games shows late at night such as Mr & Mrs, liarliar, majority rules and Yes No these usually involved the cruise director Sue and her assistant Sarah and all round the ship there was music of one sort or another . The weather for the cruise was poor mainly overcast with frequent showers and a couple of days with rough seas. The ports were good but spoilt by the weather and a bit of planning, when we got to Bilboa it was a Sunday and All Saints Festival day on top of which the shuttle bus was ten Euros. On arriving back at Southampton after doing as we were told and putting our suitcases out and then having to wait until we were told to disembark we found we could have taken our own cases off. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
I chose this cruise as an alternative to visiting the Pacific again. I stayed in Southampton prior to the cruise taking the NEX bus down from Heathrow T3 for £19. Very easy to do and it took less than 2h. Embarkation was running ... Read More
I chose this cruise as an alternative to visiting the Pacific again. I stayed in Southampton prior to the cruise taking the NEX bus down from Heathrow T3 for £19. Very easy to do and it took less than 2h. Embarkation was running smoothly until they had a problem with the gangway and they didn’t board passengers for at least half an hour. Of course, people kept piling into the terminal. They kept announcing for people to sit down but there weren’t any seats left! Eventually they began boarding in priority order…elite first. As I had a non-EU passport, it was taken off me and returned after we left Lisbon on Day 11. A photocopy was sent to my cabin to carry with me while ashore. I was really pleased with my cabin when I saw the big TV, great for viewing and I also had tea and coffee making facilities which I was not expecting. My kind of room. The sun was shining as the 2746 of us (almost 2000 UK, over 600 Elite and over 800 Platinum members and 55 Aussies) as we headed out past the Isle of Wight. We got a great view of the USS Truman aircraft carrier anchored off the coast. It was a little rough going across the Bay of Biscay and we made our scheduled stop in Vigo. Hurricane Leslie had blown up a storm near Madeira so we did not stop there. Instead the ship sailed full speed to Lanzarote and we had an extra afternoon and evening there rather than just staying at sea. The ports of Tenerife, Gran Canara and Lisbon followed. I got up early (about 7.30am) to see the landmarks of Lisbon from the water as we sailed up the river. It had been raining but the sun came out and it looked great. Port information lectures were given by Debbie Shields who was excellent. She mixed history with relevant information for sightseeing and visuals to assist. She was available for questions and the lectures were put on the TV. I attended the lectures but also referred back to some of the info on TV. I also attended some of the lectures given by Jevan Morris that focussed on Lord Nelson. Very interesting. I’m not into games, trivia and shopping so although plentiful I didn’t attend any of those activities. Ann Widdecombe, the former UK politician gave an interview with the CD. I had never heard of her but was told she was good so I wandered down to the theatre about 15 mins before the talk which was at 3pm. I’ve never seen so many packed in and around the theatre. You physically couldn’t get in. Apparently the first thing she asked the CD is why Princess didn’t have a bigger theatre. I ask the same question. With 2 shows at night (8pm and 10.15pm), 2746 passengers, 879 theatre seats, more than a third miss out every day. I went to the 10.15pm show as you could never get in to the 8pm show. I always enjoy the shows whether it be the Princess entertainers or guest entertainers. Some I’ve seen before but I go again as they are great entertainment. I wish there was a more equitable system or a larger theatre so everyone could get to see what they have paid for. I had dinner each night in the Vivaldi dining room with a few regulars and a few that joined the table just for that evening. I had room service breakfast each day served by the same young lady and ate at the buffet or grabbed a piece of pizza for lunch. I was delighted to eat those old English favourites like my mum and gran used to make and I hadn’t eaten for years……bread and butter pudding, various rice puddings, tapioca and even Yorkshire pudding. Cheerful, friendly and professional service by the wait staff. The night we stayed in Lanzarote I was awoken around 2am by the PA system bellowing out for the medical response to team to head to some cabin on the Dolphin deck. It gave me a fright until I came to my senses and realised where I was. Wouldn’t have been at all surprised if there were a few more medical incidents following that. Surely doctors and the rest of the medical staff have pagers to use a night rather than wake up nearly 4000 people. I chose half day shore excursions. Very good with excellent and knowledgeable guides. This gave me a couple of hours to have a wander round when we got back. Its great being able to use your phone to check your account, order breakfast, buy excursions, future cruise deposits. In a few places the internet was hard to connect to. I had 4h complimentary which was plenty to check e-mails and news headlines from home each day without looking for places in port. Overall, an excellent cruise and well worth the 24h flight in economy. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
The Cruise Boarding was excellent, with no queuing at all, we were actually on board for 10.30 am. A little perk of being Captains Club Elite Plus allows us to board from 10.30am. As we stepped onto the ship as always I just felt ah ... Read More
The Cruise Boarding was excellent, with no queuing at all, we were actually on board for 10.30 am. A little perk of being Captains Club Elite Plus allows us to board from 10.30am. As we stepped onto the ship as always I just felt ah yes we are back home, it is a wonderful feeling at the start of any cruise. The Itinerary was two days at sea to the Azores where we docked at 2.00pm with a sail time of 9.00pm. As it was going dark by 7.00pm we felt this was a little tight for a good look around Ponta Del Garda Island so we booked a ships excursion, we normally do our own trips. The trip was excellent, a visit to the botanical gardens followed by a one to a pineapple plantation and then onto the famous blue and green lakes which sit in the calderas of very old volcanoes. We really enjoyed the whole trip and a childhood ambition to visit the Azores was ticked off the bucket list! We then had another very relaxing day at sea down to Madeira where we enjoyed a trip under our own steam via two cable car ways. The botanical gardens high up in the hills. These gardens are a must for anyone who likes horticulture at all, there is colour all year round. The four day tour of the Canary Islands and as we have had many holidays in these islands we just enjoyed a relaxing stroll in each of the port towns indulging in one of our great pleasures siting in a street café with a cup of coffee people watching, Wonderful!! Another pleasant day at sea and then a full day in Lisbon on of our very favourite cities on this occasion we had a full tour on the open top bus which was excellent. We use the Red buses quite often and find them an excellent way of seeing the ports. Our State Room We had opted for a sunset veranda once again as we love the view from the back of the ship. I have heard all sorts of comments about these State Rooms, engine noise, you can feel the ship moving, soot for the exhaust stacks but we have never experienced any of these problems we just sit there and enjoy the wonderful view. Quite often at night the ships wake is illuminated with a coloured light and to sit there with night cap before we turn in for the night for half an hour is just wonderful. Food The food was excellent everywhere. We tend not to use the Ocean View Restaurant very often for Breakfast we go into Tuscan Grill for the Elite coffee Break another little perk we really enjoy as part of the Captains club benefits. At lunchtime we often east in the Spa Healthy Eating area. This is a great little spot where you can get some lovely light snacks which is all we really want mid-day when we are on board ship. The Grand Cuvee dining room is always very good and we always go for Select Dinning. We find it gives us maximum flexibility with whatever else we want to do, shows or other entertainment. The service was great this year although I do find the Sommeliers rather busy, I do like to discuss the excellent selection of wines with them but they just don’t seem to have the time these days, a great pity. Our great indulgence though is the Specialty Restaurants, we had seven nights eating in them on this cruise! Our number one restaurant is always Tuscan Grill. We choose to eat there always on the first and last night of any cruise and very often some other night. We love the relaxed atmosphere in this area the staff are always so good and we have time to talk with the waiters and sommeliers it is always a wonderful experience. Murano’s is another great restaurant, rather more formal than Tuscan but we enjoyed our two visits on this cruise very much. A great surprise to us on this cruise was the changes to Qsine. No longer do you order on the Ipad from a selection of worldwide menus it is now a digital spectacular I am saying no more at this stage I do not want to spoil the element of surprise for anyone but it is certainly a not to be missed experience we loved it!! Our final indulgence was a night in the Lawn Grill this is another alternative experience, you can, if you wish get involved in preparing your flat bread starter and in cooking your main course steak which we have done on previous cruises but we elected to have it cooked for us on this occasion. It is a wonderful evening do, not rush it leave yourself plenty of time to soak up the experience. It is a great night. The Entertainment There were four shows by the ships on board team and they were really top quality we enjoyed the all although we had seen them before. The guest entertainers who come onto the ship throughout the cruise were all excellent except for one comedian who did a show the night as we left Lisbon and he was terrible. I was disgusted with the subject t matter which was quite abusive to certain sections of the community. I was very disappointed that Celebrity had taken this act on board it certainly was not up to their usual high standard. The entertainment around the ship was good we especially liked the classical duo who were superb there were also the usual singer song writer type of group in Ensemble lounge each evening where we tend to have our pre dinner drinks and they were all excellent. The guest speakers were some of the best. We had Professor Tony Beech a research Forensic phycologist who gave six talks on all aspects of this topic and the increasing audiences over the duration of the cruise spoke for themselves, he was an excellent speaker. We also had another Professor of Art at New York University who also gave six excellent talks on all aspects of art and artists another great speaker and again the packed audiences in Celebrity Central spoke volumes. The third speaker was equally interesting and his talks were all around aspects of the sea from Tall Ships to great historical captains, again a fascinating speaker. The Ship The ship was spotless as always and all the crew were so polite and attentive I really cannot find anything to criticise we love Silhouette. This was a wonderfully relaxing cruise and we are counting the days to our next cruise this time on Connie!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We’ve recently returned from a 14 night cruise of Spain and the Canary Islands. It’s our second time on this ship and our fourth with RCI. I can’t say I didn’t enjoy this holiday because I did, but there were a few issues that ... Read More
We’ve recently returned from a 14 night cruise of Spain and the Canary Islands. It’s our second time on this ship and our fourth with RCI. I can’t say I didn’t enjoy this holiday because I did, but there were a few issues that prevent me from giving this a five star review. The ship and the staff are incredible. Despite being very busy we didn’t encounter any of the over-crowding problems mentioned in other reviews. It never took more than a couple of minutes to get a drink, even at busy times. The food was generally good. The main dining room seems to have slipped a little since last year, but it’s still good. The speciality restaurants are all excellent and not too expensive if you pre-book a dining package before you get on board. I enjoyed all the bars and felt we received great service from the staff right across the ship. The delux drinks package is well worth having, with a great selection of spirits and cocktails. What lets it down is the quality of the wines. The reds and whites are pretty poor and the “champagne” is awful. It’s a non-descript sparking French wine which smells like a clogged drain. Our cabin, a balcony on deck 6, was okay. It looked a little tired in the places and the carpets and curtains were outdated, but it was a good size and kept clean and tidy. I slept well every night, even in rough seas, so the bed was very comfortable. The entertainment was excellent. There’s a first-rate production of Grease and the ice shows are stunning. The themed nights on the promenade are good fun though they do get very crowded and hot. We had a party under the stars one night on the upper decks which was fun too. What let the holiday down for me was the large number of children and teenagers onboard. We deliberately went during school term time but this seemed to make no difference. I know the Scottish half term took place during this fortnight but most of the kids were English, meaning they’d been kept out school for this trip. It resulted in all the issues raised in previous reviews: kids running around unsupervised, playing in the lifts late at night, etc. We were also unfortunate to encounter a lot of Diamond class snobs on this cruise. They bragged about the Diamond lounge like it was the holy grail, then proceeded to moan about it: how small it is, how common it’s become, how there are too many diamond members on the ship and they were forced to mingle with the “riff raff”. We had four of these people on a table of eight at dinner and I found the constant moaning to be a drain, especially in the second week. Not RC’s fault, just the luck of draw for table seating. I wouldn’t like to think I’d ever go on a huge, beautiful ship and spend most of my time sitting in a single cafeteria-style room, not matter how many points I’d achieved, just to feel special. The itinerary was good, with a nice balance of sea and shore days. I always enjoy the sea days with plenty to do across the ship. We had a bit off iffy weather on the way back: 5 metre waves and 60 mph winds, but the ship handled it well and with the stabilizers engaged it wasn’t too bad at all. It took about six hours to get through the worst of it, which we spent on a low deck, midship with little to worry about. So, to summarise, Independence is a wonderful ship with lots of do and enjoy, let down by the odd issue here and there. But with the recent refit designed to appeal to families rather than couples, I don’t think I’ll be sailing on her, or any RC ship, anytime soon. I’d rather book with an adult only company and guarantee a child free, more relaxing cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
I'm writing this review as my others in sections. Sailing from Southampton UK. Embarkation/Disembarkation. As with all of my other P&O cruises, P&O have got this to a fine art. I had to be out of my digs at 1200 and I ... Read More
I'm writing this review as my others in sections. Sailing from Southampton UK. Embarkation/Disembarkation. As with all of my other P&O cruises, P&O have got this to a fine art. I had to be out of my digs at 1200 and I arrived at Southampton Docks around 1300. My car was taken to a long-term car park (provided free by P&O) and I went into the main check-in hall. This hall is huge with literally hundreds of people waiting. There were dozens of P&O check-in people on one side and we all had a coloured card with letter for our times. My check-in time was 1530 so I had a while to wait. I eventually checked in at 1500 and was onboard by 1530. I will say that there wasn't any refreshments available in the hall so if you're a bit hungry/thirsty, you'd have to wait till you're onboard or bring something with you. In a first, when I did get to my cabin, my bags were already there. On my last years cruise (also on Britannia) I had one bag there but the other I didn't get till around 2200-and this was after a "heated" discussion at reception. Disembarkation was very easy. I'm a "walk off". Thats someone who can carry their own bags with them. Walk-offs have to be off the ship between 0700 & 0800 (you have to be out of your cabin by 0800 anyway). I picked up my car and I was on my way home by 0830. Demographics. Exclusively British. I didn't hear any other accents onboard apart from the crew. As we travelled outside of the school holidays, there wasn't many families-and the ones that were had pre-school kids under five years old. The average age of the passengers I estimate to be middle age or a little higher-exactly what I expected. I was on another P&O ship in the Easter holidays in 2017 with around 400 kids. This was a nightmare with screaming kids running amok all over the place-but this time we had peace and quiet. The ship and it's crew. The vast majority of the ships crew are either Fillipino or Indian with the officers either British or European. All of the crew are extremely helpful and nothing is too much trouble. The ship itself is another story. Britannia is now three years old and is beginning to show her age. Carpets are looking worn and there are paint chips all over the place. The outside paintwork is starting to show rust patches and the general feel of the ship says that it's had a hard life. I've been told that Britannia is going for a full refit in October 2019-and I have to say that it's about time. I will add that the crew kept the ship spotless for the entire cruise with all of the public areas and toilets clinically clean. My stewardess-Gladys-kept my cabin perfect all the time (and she got a generous tip from me). Food and drink. I was on select dining (in the Peninsular restaurant) and had my evening meal at 1830. I was on a table of 9-all solo travellers. The food on offer was excellent and I can't fault it at all. Our waiters were very attentive-although I will say that sometimes they wanted to rush things along a bit-but they did have another sitting at 2030. The daily menus were a little underwhelming on occasion with fish and chicken being the dominant ingredient. We did have (Michelin starred chef) Marco Pierre White onboard for this trip and his menu one night was fantastic. Mr. White's Beef Wellington was superb. The Horizon Buffet on Lido deck was also very good. Breakfasts were usually "Full English" but there were other options including cereals, smoked fish, fruit, muffins/Danish (for breakfast?), yogurts...The list is almost endless. Lunch and dinner were equally as good with wide selection each day. There were themed menus too-curry night, British Pub Lunch, Italian. Again, the list is too long. As to alcohol...Thats another story. As with every other P&O review I've written, I still say that P&O are overcharging the passengers for alcohol. P&O claim that they charge pub prices. Not from my point of view they don't. Pints were around £3.95 to £4.50 with premium bottles (330ml) around the same price. In my regular pub, I pay £3.25 or a pint and if I go to my local Wetherspoons (to non-British readers, Wetherspoons is a major UK pub chain) I pay around £2.50 for a pint. So, no P&O are not charging pub prices. It's about time cruise companies lowered their alcohol prices and I'm certain that their passengers would appreciate it. Our route. We visited (in this order) La Coruna (Spain), Madeira, The Canary Islands-Las Palmas/Tenerife/Gran Canaria and Lisbon (Portugal). The weather was quite good all the time with temperatures in the mid-to-high 20'sC-sometimes in the low 30'sC. I did several trips in most of the ports (all official P&O excursions). Sightseeing in La Coruna, Volcanoes in Las Palmas and Tenerife and a coffee plantation on Gran Canaria. In Madeira and Lisbon I did my own thing just having a walk around. NOTE. If you do your own thing in ports of call and you miss the sailaway, the ship will not wait for your return. It will then be your own responsibility to get to the next port at your own expense. If, on the other hand, you take an official P&O excursion and you're delayed, the ship will wait for your return. Entertainment. There was the usual in-house troupe "Headliners" doing shows in the main theatre. There was also several guest singers/tribute acts and in the Limelight Club we had Claire Sweeney (UK actress/singer), Cheryl Baker-formerly of Bucks Fizz and a couple of others. I did hear reports of the "Headliners" not being too good but as I didn't attend any shows, I can't comment. Brodies had the usual pub quizzes, kareoke, live football matches (thats soccer to non-British readers). We also had Professor Peter Roberts-a retired archeologist who gave a series of lectures on volcanoes in The Canary Islands and others. The Professors lectures were very interesting but sadly not well attended. P&O need to get more people like Professor Roberts. Observations. All of the passengers were very friendly but...In the buffet one day (a late breakfast) I bumped into one of my fellow diners-an elderly lady who had a fall the day before. She had a very nasty black eye, stiches in her lip and severe bruising ot her left arm. I was enquiring as to her health when an elderly guy with a tray of food shouted "EXCUSE ME!". Just before this, someone had dropped a tray of food and drink and one of the crew was clearing it up. I couldn't move backwards or sideways to accomodate this bloke and he again shouted "EXCUSE ME!". Then he just barged his way through almost pushing people out of his way. I reacted to this bloke by shouting "YOU DON'T HAVE TO SHOUT!". This he ignored. I again repeated "YOU DON'T HAVE TO SHOUT!" but again this was ignored. By this time I had around 200 to 300 people watching. I will admit to not being a "people person" but this was just plain ignorant. Also on our dinner table there was an elderly lady with a southern (London or south coast) accent. She claimed to be travelling with "a friend" but we never met this friend and the lady said her friend preferred to dine at her own time. Why would two people travelling together not be dining together? Anyway, this lady thought that she was better than the rest of us and talked down to us all the time. She was also quite rude when she did talk to us but I had to bite my lip as I was in polite company. She didn't attend on a couple of nights and we all breathed a sigh of relief. I hope that I don't meet her again as I don't think I could hold back with comments about her atttitude. Overall, this was a good cruise but as I have been to some of the ports we visited on previous cruises, it did get slightly boring. Going on cruises does give you the chance to visit several countries on one holiday and you get to meet new people-but as the ships go to the same places all the time, it's getting difficult to find something new. I'm going to the Caribbean (again) in 2019 but I'l be looking further afield for 2020. I'm already looking at India or the Far East. As a solo traveller, it's not cheap do do cruises. I really want to visit Australia/New Zealand but as I'm a solo traveller, the costs are still far too high for my budget. The daily charge (£7 per person per day over 12 years old) was still in force on this cruise. This could be removed by filling in a form at reception. BUT as of May 2019, P&O are abolishing this charge-and about time too. This daily charge is VERY unpolpular and everyone I spoke to had removed the charge. It's about time all of the cruise companies stopped doing this. These trips are expensive enough without cruise companies taking more money out of your pocket. Conclusions. The ship-a bit tatty and in need of a refit. The crew-excellent. Food & drink-again excellent but I maintain that the beer prices are far too high. Our intinerary-ok but as I wrote above, I've been to some of the countries already. Marks out of 10? I'll give this eight out of ten. I've knocked off a couple of points for too high beer prices and the ship looking a bit tatty. I would recommend Britannia to first-timers and seasoned cruisers-but wait for the refit in October 2019. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018

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