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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
Friend checked for reviews of cabin f334 and it stated do not expect a good night's sleep. Absolutely correct as cabin creaked from set sail and reported many times, promised would be transfered to next available cabin. NOTHING ... Read More
Friend checked for reviews of cabin f334 and it stated do not expect a good night's sleep. Absolutely correct as cabin creaked from set sail and reported many times, promised would be transfered to next available cabin. NOTHING HAPPENED! Could not get cabin cool enough.Reported many times, kept getting cards left stating ventilation engineer had called but no change. Eventually met with engineer and was told that was impossible to reduce temperature as not individually cabin controlled. Why not told in first place? Food of poor standard, especially in Waterside where food frequently not hot. Staff tried their best in restaurant but not good. Lunchtime menu very poor. Duty free shop very expensive for cigarettes price up almost 50% since December on Oriana. Staff responded well to my special requirements and a big thank you to them. Cabin steward was excellent. Overall got impression staff were not well motivated which must reflect on ship's management. Disembarkation was a complete fiasco and whoever was responsible should be called to account. After over 20 years sailing with P & O this experience has confirmed my decision taken following a bad event on previous cruise that they do not not value their clients and they will get no more business from me. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose this cruise because of the itiniary and to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. We could have not got it more wrong. The food was appaling , some of the staff were outright rude. There were big queues in the ports at ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itiniary and to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. We could have not got it more wrong. The food was appaling , some of the staff were outright rude. There were big queues in the ports at disembarkation and some of the fellow passengers had poor manners. I was pushed out of the way by a woman trying to get to a seat for the next talk in the theater as we were exiting following a previous talk. We felt totally unvalued as a customer and were only there to be exploited as much as possible. We spent over £8000 on this cruise (including onboard spend) and it was a waste of money - not good value at all. After 14 cruises with P&O we will not be cruising with them again.I am dissapointed to say this but standards have fallen to an unacceptable level for us. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We try to get away from the UK winter weather and, having sailed twice before on the Oriana on similar itineraries, we like the US ports, and although not great fans of the Caribbean islands, at least they're warm. We find the P&O ... Read More
We try to get away from the UK winter weather and, having sailed twice before on the Oriana on similar itineraries, we like the US ports, and although not great fans of the Caribbean islands, at least they're warm. We find the P&O service, dining and entertainment entirely adequate and sometimes exceptional and had no qualms about booking Ventura as a cruise of this length was likely to be child free and full of retired couples like ourselves. Unfortunately however, there was discordant modern "party" piped music played continually at a significant volume in all bars, lounges and public areas of the ship including around both top pools - the only quiet area was our cabin - it was impossible to relax, read or chat quietly to fellow passengers. Why on earth do P&O think that passengers in their 70s & 80s would want "shouty party" music for teens/ twenties blasted in their ears 24/7? The westbound crossing was a bit "bumpy" with the ship frequently noticeably heeled over due to a cross wind acting on the huge superstructure, not a problem for us, but not ideal. We enjoyed most ports, even in the rain in New Orleans, but found Key West, St Lucia and St Martin very overcrowded - St Martin had 7 huge cruise ships in port - around 25,000 people! In summary, we won't be going on Ventura or to those overcrowded ports again! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Embarked without trouble,outside cabin with picture window very satisfactory.As peninsular cruisers discounted price and on board spending money was a nice bonus. All meals were fine with plenty of choice but often a little bland we ... Read More
Embarked without trouble,outside cabin with picture window very satisfactory.As peninsular cruisers discounted price and on board spending money was a nice bonus. All meals were fine with plenty of choice but often a little bland we thought.The first seven days were a bit rough as it was February and the North Atlantic after all. We enjoyed all the ports of call and some were first time visits.I,e Bermuda and the Bahamas,the later was a little bit disappointing as the last hurricane caused damage as yet not rectified. American immigration at New Orleans was extremely slow and took most of the first day to get the 3000 and also the crew members ashore.Weather in New Orleans was dull and foggy but we had a lovely time off the ship and will always make the most of these exciting places.Further American ports included Key West,Miami and port canavaral with a visit to the NASA Space Centre,all having a different appeal with lots to see and do. Then into the warm sunshine and Azure seas of the Caribbean including Grand Turk,St,Maarten.St Lucia And Barbados.All wonderful ports of call if a little overcrowded with so many cruise ships at this time of year.Our final port of call after five days at sea was the delightful island of Pria da Vitoria in the Azores,with perfect weather and a welcoming people we enjoyed probably the best day of the cruise.After this it was home to Southampton and because of threatened storms the captain got us back early and that was much appreciated. The fellow guests we got to know on our freedom dining option were stella and we made several new friends. The evening entertainment was also of high standard with little we did not enjoy.There is so much to do and they cater for all tastes from on board lectures,the latest movies,classical pianists ,we must mention the duo of pianists for Four Hands who are exceptional,comedians,etc etc.Dance classes ,night clubs,several bars with competitive prices compare to some cruise lines. Please could you move the dance instructor from the Atrium area twice a day as her constant instruction over the microphone is really annoying.Nit a place where people meet,have a coffee or go to reception or the shops.This is the on real gripe which I’m sorry to bring up as it bothered lots of us in that area and we would avoid it if she was there. Emarbed in good time and set off home. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We normally cruise Holland America out of Fort Lauderdale for our winter Caribbean cruise. However, the cruise departing Southampton on 6 January meant only a short flight down from the North. Embarkation was smooth and efficient. Our ... Read More
We normally cruise Holland America out of Fort Lauderdale for our winter Caribbean cruise. However, the cruise departing Southampton on 6 January meant only a short flight down from the North. Embarkation was smooth and efficient. Our cabin was an outside on the 5th deck, although we were upgraded due to noise issues with an adjacent 'technical area'. This deck house keeper was very proactive on our behalf in securing the change. Impressive Rakesh! Our new cabin was lovely and there were no further problems. The Dining experience was mixed. On the whole the food was good although in the dining room (perhaps because we were far from the kitchen) it could be tepid, rather than piping hot. The Conservatory lido area was well-run and kept clean. There were themed choices each evening and the Indian night was highly popular with passengers and officers. All the dining room/Conservatory staff were excellent-among the best I have come across. Regarding activities, the library was excellent and I attended many lectures and talks on themes such as the British Music Halls and Astronomy etc. Also there were separate musical concerts featuring Glenn Miller's hits and film theme tunes. The Headliners theatre group undertook a wide and varied range of musical productions and these were augmented by visiting singers and comedians who came aboard, including some local acts. Again, as good an entertainment as I have come across. Indeed, the cruise entertaiment manager Mr Percival was totally proactive in interacting with the passsengers as were his wonderful team. Portwise I partcularly enjoyed my tours of Bermuda and Cartagena in Columbia( a change of itinerary due to weather conditions). Grenada always enchants as does the Commonwealth of Dominica. Everyone was impressed by our visit to the Azores. Disembarkation was slow due to the customs doing a very thorough check on departing passengers. But P and O do not control this. Although Oriana is getting a bit old and tired, it is still a great favourite with all who sail in her. Sadly, she is being replaced and while a new ship will be wecome, I wonder if the elegance of this ship will be easy to replacate. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
This was my second cruise.I did a Meditteranean cruise on Venturatoassess whether it was good for my elderly father. It was and so we booked a 28 day Caribbean cruise from Southampton and back. My son dropped us off but no porters ... Read More
This was my second cruise.I did a Meditteranean cruise on Venturatoassess whether it was good for my elderly father. It was and so we booked a 28 day Caribbean cruise from Southampton and back. My son dropped us off but no porters appeared to help with baggage but I quickly got around that. We had ordered special assistance for my dad and it was excellent, we were taken immediately to our cabin and our bags were waiting for us. The holiday began I was familiar with the ship and had asked for a cabin near the lift shaft to cut down on walking for my dad. We had a cabin next to the midship lifts. There was no noise, it was perfect. Our inside cabin was excellent , twin beds, spacious clothes hanging area and a small shower room, which was everything we could have wanted. John, our cabin steward was a delight, professional and conscientious. Dining at the Bay Tree was a real treat, the range and quality of the food was superb.I loved sea days best, changing for dinner, a cocktail, then sitting on deck 7 to watch the sun go down before dinner. That is the kind of 'entertainment ' that appeals to me and so I avoided much of the shows. The head barman in the Tamarind didn't t like me- I could never get served, he would look through me and never 'see' me. A loud 'Oi' one night had passing crew help me and a poor innocent bartender was sent to serve me. When I signed my 'autograph' I added, 'took far too long, I am complaining'. Poor man, he couldn; t serve me quickly enough when he saw me after that but it was never his fault.His boss obviously looked after big tippers and to hell with small potatoes like me ! There was none of this at any other bar, everyone was as special as everyone else/ There was a divide on board, the smokers v the non-smokers. The non-smokers won, easily, meaning the smokers were squeezed into the margins. Invariably, when the sun came out, non-smokers hogged seats in smoking areas or took the chairs away. Alas, it is not widely understood that smoking bans have resulted in a camaraderie that non-smokers and crew do not understand. Smokers are social animals, they form large social groups which P and O failed to benefit from, with often no bars open to quench their thirsts. Deck 14 was like a ghost town with very little custom at the bar now that smokers are banished. Apparently, this issue is at the discretion of the Captain and so the cruise I booked, with a smoking area on 14 was denied me! It is time to decide, if there is to be no smoking, then own it and declare ships as non-smoking vessels. Or treat smokers with a little more consideration. It is true to say that in some ways, smokers were 2nd class citizens. Although I was traveling with an elderly person, I was able to consider traveling alone and I am satisfied that I would easily enjoy this. It was easy to meet people, to chat and be invited into groups and it is a very safe environment. Access to ports was effortless but whilst P and O categorize their excursions, they fail to give information as to how easy it is to get to the starting point. I noticed some had a long walk, then long queues without shade to wait for buses. It was too unknowable to risk taking my dad. Besides, local taxis and buses and excursions did a brisk trade at far lower prices. Captain Andy Willard was very Hands On and I chatted with hm many times. He was frequently seen mingling with guests. He was a mean ballerina in the crews ' talent show too. I would definitely do this again, just to see the saphire blue of the sea and the many vivid rainbows I have never seen on land. My thanks to P and O, Captain, his excellent crew , fellow passengers, and the sun, sea and skies that I saw. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We chose this cruise because of the destinations and the time of year. We always go to the Caribbean in January/February for some winter sun, and on the whole the weather didn't disappoint. Check in was a breeze, we arrived ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the destinations and the time of year. We always go to the Caribbean in January/February for some winter sun, and on the whole the weather didn't disappoint. Check in was a breeze, we arrived slightly later than our embarkation time because of a problem on the A34 but got straight on the ship. Our cabin was the same one we had last year and was clean and spacious as cabins go; the cabin steward Ramesh was friendly and helpful and couldn't do enough for us. The biggest let down was the dining experience, we chose Freedom dining in the Cinnamon restaurant; on the first night the food arrived lukewarm, which was a constant feature throughout the cruise. I got sick and tired of sending food back because it was cold, and to top it all I was served a soufflé for dessert which had not risen and was raw inside - totally unacceptable; I sent it back and the restaurant manager came over, apologised and asked if I wanted something else, I declined as my wife had finished eating and was ready to go. One thing we couldn't fault was the waiters, they were all friendly, polite and really helpful. The entertainment was average at best, some acts were outstanding, The Beatles Experience and Beautiful World (celebrating the music of Take That) were brilliant but some were dreadful. One so-called comedian was constantly looking at his watch and was only on for 30 minutes. We had one of the chasers on board from The Chase, Shaun Wallace, and he was really good, a lovely, humble man who was a pleasure to meet. He gave talks in the arena theatre about his life, and took part in P&O's version of The Chase called The Pursuit, he was a good sport and great fun. Some ports were nice, but some, if we never go there again it will be too soon. St Maarten is always good, as is Barbados; we did a P&O photography tour on Barbados and it was really good. The guide Ronnie Carrington was really good, he took us to some beautiful spots and was a pleasure to be with. St Vincent was a let down, the streets where the shops and markets are were dirty and smelly. A hidden gem was Praia de Vittoria, what a beautiful clean town, with plenty of shops and cafes which had very reasonable prices. Disembarkation was easy for us because we took our own cases off, but we heard later there were major problems with luggage not being in the correct place and arriving late; this doesn't surprise me, because when I took our cases down in the morning there was still cases in the corridors. This is probably the last time we will cruise with P&O, because the cuts they are making really showing. There used to be fresh orange at breakfast, that is now cheap orange squash; the biscuits in the cabin are plain and cheap, and anybody wanting decaffeinated tea bags at mealtimes had to ask for them as they were never put out. The chocolate afternoon has gone, and the prizes for the prize passports are vastly inferior to years gone by. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We thought it was very good value for a 28 night cruise. We had an inside cabin, it was perfectly ok. Very powerful shower, plenty of clothes storage and very comfortable queen size bed. Our cabin steward Jofran was a really nice guy, ... Read More
We thought it was very good value for a 28 night cruise. We had an inside cabin, it was perfectly ok. Very powerful shower, plenty of clothes storage and very comfortable queen size bed. Our cabin steward Jofran was a really nice guy, worked hard and made our cabin up at least twice a day. The staff in all the restuarants were excellent very friendly and always smiling ! We enjoyed the entertainment... Terry Brown ex- Detective provided some interesting talks and a murder mystery..... kept our minds active ha ha. The shows were top quality Dean as Freddie Mercury was excellent, as was Astonishing ! Thank you all the ship's company for a super holiday. Captain Andy Willard and his officers, Nathalie and the entertainment team, Dan, Anthony, Grace etc. Dominic from the headliners. Only comment we would have liked to have spent longer in the fantastic destinations. I heard some comments about chaos of disembarkation but to be fair it was snowing in Southampton AND there were about 3,000 passengers and their luggage (28 nights worth) to disembark. Overall great cruise I'd go again, same ship, same places tommorrow ! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Back from the Arcadia 28 day festive cruise to the Caribbean and I …………… loved it. After a few rocky sea days, we arrived in the Caribbean with temperatures of 25 to 30 degrees centigrade. My top three highlights were the ... Read More
Back from the Arcadia 28 day festive cruise to the Caribbean and I …………… loved it. After a few rocky sea days, we arrived in the Caribbean with temperatures of 25 to 30 degrees centigrade. My top three highlights were the Headliner productions. I have seen many excellent performances on many cruise ships over the years, but they were OUTSTANDING in every one of their shows. The decorations on the ship were first class, the ship really had a great Christmas feel. Thirdly the food and service in both the Meridian dining room and Belvedere could not be faulted….well done to all the staff involved. I will not forget Christmas Day from the Bucks fizz at breakfast to excellent Christmas day dinner to The Runaround Kids in the theatre at night. The ports were stunning each island offering something different from golden sands and deep blue sea to rum tasting in Barbados and shopping in Nassau with Christmas decorations in all the shops and bargains to be had. The ship docked almost on the beach in Grand Turk, which was a great place to feel the sand between your toes The only two negatives for me were the unfortunate “Arcadia cough” which so many passengers seemed to suffer with, and the rudeness, on our second day, by a member of the team when we popped into the games room. I thought I would be bored on a 28 day cruise but far from it, from the excellent films that were shown either in the globe or screening room to the live music being played around the ship it was an experience to treasure. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
The last time we went on Arcadia was before her refit so was pleasantly surprised when we saw her again and saw how sympathetically P&O had done the refurbishment. The ship always flowed naturally and even with the insertion of new ... Read More
The last time we went on Arcadia was before her refit so was pleasantly surprised when we saw her again and saw how sympathetically P&O had done the refurbishment. The ship always flowed naturally and even with the insertion of new rooms and a longer Rising Sun Pub which was always packaged. We had a deluxe balcony cabin which had also been refurbished and was nice. The only fault we have is the air conditioning which you can only switch higher or lower and not turn off completely. We had second seating for dining and a table for two which we prefer and had lovely waiters who couldn't do enough for you and there was always something on the menu you could have. The Headliners shows were the best on this ship to any that we have seen before. And this troop was superb. The other entertainment brought on where really hit & miss and only the Basetones and Bruce Parker were to my liking. There's was always something going on throughout the day and if you wanted something to do, there was always something there. Our ports of call were good and a couple we had not been to before. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
This was our first "C'mas & New Year" cruise and only our 2nd with P & O. Intriguingly, the first was on Arcadia back in 2006. Subsequent experiences on Cunard and Regent may have tainted our view of this cruise ... Read More
This was our first "C'mas & New Year" cruise and only our 2nd with P & O. Intriguingly, the first was on Arcadia back in 2006. Subsequent experiences on Cunard and Regent may have tainted our view of this cruise tbh. For the most part it was, pretty much, what we expected. We opted for freedom dining and we had an aft suite on the port side. We met some interesting & friendly people and enjoyed the "shared table" experience quite often, particularly at lunch time. P & O do a few things very well - embarkation was surprisingly painless and swift, we had a lovely buffet on arrival. Sadly that was the only "lovely buffet" we had all trip. Entertainment is, generally, first class. The ship entertainers varied from mediocre to outstanding. We particularly liked the lounge pianist Steve Kingsbury who entertained us regally whether it be afternoon or evening. His range & versatility, the ability to switch from classical to musicals and "pop" was terrific. Lovely guy too, enjoyed chatting with him around the ship, he helped to make our cruise special. Equally, Small Talk duo were very good and the Headliners group were excellent, except for a couple of very "shouty" lead female singers whose performances were often marred by them simply screeching instead of singing. Guest entertainers varied too but some, like the Base Tones, Runaround Kids (on C'mas day) and, remarkably, Bernie Flint were fantastic in our view. Elektra and Ida were also very good - it just seems so long since we saw them performing! Others ere ok, sometimes just not our taste The fine dining options were superb, we chose to eat 6 times in Ocean Grill and 5 in Sinhu - they were that good. Food and service in both is excellent. The additional "extra supplement" charges for some items in OG is really irritating though. We ate breakfast in Sindhu too as we were in a suite. This is an example of P & O getting it right. Comfortable surroundings, assigned table, great service and good food options. Nadia and the rest of the team there are all very good. The main dining room was very good for lunch and the food in the evening was usually hot and well presented. Not always the most inspiring menu choices, perhaps, but everything was fine The real disappointment on the food side was the buffet - which was fairly awful for both lunch and dinner. We only bothered occasionally but I have never seen such a poor selection of salad items, desperately sad looking cold meat and fish offerings and the hot food was generally themed but always seemed to lack any imagination. Most of the time the cold selection did not vary from day to day - but it was a miracle if the same dressings appeared. Never been a fan of scampering around to find a table anyway but the lack of seating in the buffet, particularly, at busy lunch times is quite marked on this ship. I enjoyed the spa, used it most days, and had several massages - Sophie and Shanda are excellent therapists. The Spa Manager, from Zimbabwe, was lovely and extremely courteous and professional - not sure how you spell her name, Kundzi or similar, I think - sorry I didn't take note of it because she was great. Unfortunately,the crossing was lively so we didn't get to use the pools much. Which brings us to some of the problems: The Captain decided to re-route to avoid bad weather but his some pretty huge swells and bad weather anyway. The first few nights were atrocious and sleep was almost impossible at the aft of the ship due to the excessive vibration and incredible noises that emanated from the back of the vessel. We also had a few technical issues with the suite, these ranged from a loud banging all day and night - which I discovered was due to a badly fitted dividing panel between us and next door's balcony. We were told the shower would be re-grouted but waited over a week, including days when we were off the ship on trips, for that to happen, when it did it was when we returned to the suite at c 5.00 pm & wanted to prepare for dinner, so the lack of communication was an issue there. A similar issue in respect of a broken lounger chair handle also occurred. The change of route also cost us our first day in port at Bermuda, which was major disappointment for many of us - who chose the trip, in part, due the stop over in Bermuda! When the ship came loose from its moorings and floated around Hamilton harbour at 3.00 am we, seriously, started to question the overall control and management of the vessel. The Captain's attempts at humour and glib comments about the mishaps didn't do much to endear him to us either. I would not wish to be on a ship if he was at the helm again - I've never had to think about that before. Along with several others that I spoke to who shared the same opinion,, we found him to be far too aloof and, basically, cavalier about the whole thing. The good news was that we enjoyed the ports, although Nassau was a bit of disappointment. The "best of " excursion left quite a bit to be desired there. However, Antigua, St Lucia Grand Turk and Barbados more than made up for that, as did a wet nd windy stop in the Azores. Terceira was very interesting and we loved visiting the city of Angra as well as Praia de Vittoria, a quaint and colonial port. We were baffled by the shore excursion process - no staff to control it just a free for all getting of the ship, which was frenetic and caused long queues in several ports. Local guides did all the controlling & shore excursion staff simply pointed people, vaguely, in the right direction to find them. That was just plain weird tbh and could be handled far more efficiently and effectively. Fortunately, in our case, the local guides were first class and managed to rescue the situation well on each occasion. My other gripe is the fact that public lounge areas are not the most practical for a ship this size. The Piano Bar is actually just a corridor with seats in it! Many of which are not suitably positioned to hear/see the entertainment on offer. Likewise, the Crows Nest seating arrangement is awful - half the seats face sideways or directly opposite the stage area. Intermezzo is a strange and not particularly comfortable lounge that rarely gets used and looks a bit of an after thought. Overall, there were some highlights, some disappointments and some serious flaws - it will be some time before we consider cruising with P & O again tbh. I would have to say that we did enjoy spending the festive period on board but wouldn't rush back to repeat it. I think the advantage of not flying was outweighed by the lack of variety of day time entertainment on the ship and, on this trip, the risk of a bad crossing at that time of year but we prefer smaller ships anyway. Bit of a lengthy review but it was an eventful cruise! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Hi. We just returned from November Ney York/ Carrabian this year Well this is a liner with no real identity.. and all the atmosphere of a lift not helped by the Choice of depressing pipped music all over the ship don’t forget this is ... Read More
Hi. We just returned from November Ney York/ Carrabian this year Well this is a liner with no real identity.. and all the atmosphere of a lift not helped by the Choice of depressing pipped music all over the ship don’t forget this is only my opinion and observations of being on other cruise lines. The Mary suffers from dated decor and some odd design features read on, our Statroom was on deck five near stare well B a good location for getting about the room itself was fine and well serviced by staff,. So first to Kings Court Buffet, but I must add that Hygene on entrance to Buffet is very poor often empty gel dispensers and no one at entrance to help, we found this at most places, surprising as I would have thought hygene paramount, the layout is very odd and poor with pods to sit in either side, and an isolated larger area further on but dull, you need to get a seat before you get your meal as it can be a long walk to seat, and you can’t generally see out as there are corridors very odd, and lacks atmosphere, the food was good and varied and as with all cruises plentiful, I would add the staff was brilliant and service very helpful. Britannia Restaurant Silver service was really good Breakfast and Dinner were excellent as was service, this is where QM2 scored well. And the Resaraunt is a lovely room. The Lounges generally were much the same not what we expected, just given different names, the Red Lion Pub for instance is just a boring lounge we only new we were in it it because there’s a sign outside the size of a postage stamp saying so? Cunard missed a big trick hear we were expecting a good old English Pub in the days of themed pubs and fit out,this just fails on any level, and they need to get some proper good old Piano Player Entertaininer type musicians in there to liven it up, The Entertainment is below average we found the general daily bands on board were mediocre and lacked fun and drive creating no atmosphere, some extremely dull..on that the whole ship lacks of any atmosphere at all there is no buzz of excitement or vitality so doesn’t feel alive. The Shows are ok but again lack sparkle not helped by a stage void of backdrops or few props the group are working hard but just lacks Showbiz. You do not see the dancers out about at any events or evenings, The Royal Court Theatre in must be the worst at sea, it’s like they bought some bench seats from a 70s pub in put them in, you have a job to find a seat where you can see the stage properly even in the gallery a very odd theatre and disappointed and dated. The Queens Room again is very dull and just lacks atmosphere on Gala or themed nights. The Illussions Theatre by contrast is exceptional good tiered seating fresh and bright, and must be the best Cineama at Sea with 3D Movies and a Plantatrium this venue is a plus for the ship, also a brilliant library. The Spa is overrated and expensive , we found unfriendly and a little Shabby save your money and use the Pavilion Pool. On that note the pool areas are very small you will end up sitting around the deck seats around deck 7 as you will not get near pools on sunny days. As with other Cruse Lines they all need to address Drinks are very expensive topped by a service charge, why anyone buys photos is beyond me at the staggering cost in today’s digital age, and and generally anything on board is way overpriced. Generally I wouldn’t say we had a bad trip the service and food is excellent, but this ship need a good Entertainment Director to get hold of it and transform its whole atmosphere, its crying out for a 30s40s style music to fit with decor, and lift its spirit, otherwise it’s just a floating Rest Home. As I say we enjoyed our trip and shore excisions sunshine etc were fun, we would not cruise with Cunard again as we found them dated and did not come away wowed. But Happy Cruising Have Fun and being at Sea is a great way to holiday Happy Days. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Thinking of cruising on an extended winter sun holiday, think again if you’re under 80 as you might be sorely disappointed. Just back from 4 weeks in the Caribbean on Oriana, many people named this the Hospital Cruise. Day 1 and ... Read More
Thinking of cruising on an extended winter sun holiday, think again if you’re under 80 as you might be sorely disappointed. Just back from 4 weeks in the Caribbean on Oriana, many people named this the Hospital Cruise. Day 1 and before we even left Southampton someone had to be offloaded due to illness. 30 hours out of Southampton and had to turn back for an air sea rescue at Falmouth. Arrived in Barbados and rumour has it 7 more were offloaded. 24 hours out of Antigua and had to turn back to offload 2 more people. Arrival in the Azores was diverted to a different island to offload another before finally arriving in San Miguel. Left San Miguel this evening but had to turn back again to offload another sick person. Approaching the English Channel on our final day and another air sea rescue at Falmouth. The captain did a remarkable job in getting us to each destination on time which meant we were speeding along at 20 knots so can’t complain there but the whole cruise was like a floating old peoples home. Nothing against oldies as I’m no spring chicken but I do think some shouldn’t have been on that cruise at all and it did make for a somewhat depressing time. In an emergency situation it would have been chaos as so many were infirm, immobile and downright obese, not to mention the most grotesque manners I have ever seen. The fares had been greatly reduced, no doubt to fill up the ship and it showed. A couple in Tiffany’s Piano Bar one day should have been turned out, the woman had her bare feet up on her husband’s lap and he was caressing her feet whilst people around them were having a nice cup of coffee with their cake. The ship:- Oriana is lovely but finishing service next year, she really needs to go as her age is showing. I hope the executive chef goes with her as the food was pretty diabolical in both the restaurant and cafe. Caribbean cruise and only one or two days of Caribbean food, rest of the time it was repetitive, boring, uninspiring and tasteless. Far too many dishes made out of leftovers. Guacamole one evening in the restaurant was just mashed processed peas, come on now!! The shop on board is pricey to say the least, duty free drink and perfume is more expensive than supermarkets at home (UK). Thankfully we were able to stock up on bottles of rum etc from the local shops at each port. Can’t stand the shows with the Headliners, too old hat but Roy Walker was quite funny regardless of the same old same old. The morning and afternoon talks were excellent and we loved the quizzes at different times of the day. Thankfully it was possible to sit out on deck most of the sea days and there were lots of them so just as well. Not into all the classes on offer as like to be outside but there was plenty to do. Ports:- Madeira, Barbados, St. Lucia, Martinique, St. Kitts & Nevis, Antigua, Tortola BVI, St. Martin and Azores. A quick run down on them. Funchal, Madeira, great place, have been before, plenty to do on the island but this time just mooched around town. Previously have been on a trip all around the island to see the sights. Have taken local transport into the interior and have visited the beautiful gardens and basket chairs at Monte. Bridgetown, Barbados. Did our own thing here by walking into town from the terminal. On arrival you will be bombarded with people trying to sell you a tour and it didn’t finish there, the rest of the day in town was the same. Didn’t like this place at all, some pretty undesirable people unlike other ports of call and there wasn’t much to see or do in town either. The Coconut Bar next to the cruise terminal was selling rum punch for $7, beware, it was shocking, nothing more than a sweet sugary drink with a dash of rum essence in it, not at all genuine. See my photo of the bar. Castries, St. Lucia, one of my favourite places. Did the ships “Scenic North” excursion and it was fabulous, taking in an old fort, silk painting, spectacular views, rum punch at the Sandals Resort and different beach stops just to take in the view and have a quick paddle. Back in Castries afterwards we walked around the market, visited the rum shops and then had a drink at Zephirins Bakery just along from the cruise terminal next to the market. BE VERY CAREFUL here as we ordered drinks and gave the waitress a $ note but had difficulty in getting our change, really had to get firm with her. See my photo enclosed as confirmation of the bar. Fort de France, Martinique. Very quiet place with little to do but we did the ships excursion to the Botanical Gardens and Zoo. Bear in mind this is not two separate places as we thought but one. The guide thought it would be nice to show us as much on the way as she thought necessary but we ended up taking 2 hours getting to the zoo and then only had 45 minutes there when it would have been better the other way round. Lovely Zoo though but didn’t care much for the island in general. Basseterre, St. Kitts & Nevis. Loved this island. Did the ship excursion to the Rainforest, wonderful and the guide was exceptional. Went very high up on the island and had plenty of time to walk around the beautiful gardens adjacent to the rainforest, lots of wonderful birds and green monkeys too. After a walk through the rainforest the guide provided us with rum punch, cake and bananas, he was a gem. Ali I think his name was. Back down in the port area we just browsed around the numerous shops and tried out all the different drinks. St. John’s, Antigua. Second visit here, last time I did the helicopter trip to the Montserrat volcano which was about a quarter of the price it was this time so we just stayed in the centre but again was bombarded with people trying to sell you their tours, really got on our nerves in the end. Not a whole lot to do in town so just walked by the harbour, had a few drinks and soaked up the sun. Tortola, BVI. Lovely. Took the ship excursion “The Best of Tortola”. Not disappointed as drove high up into the mountains with several stops of the fabulous views and then spent time at Cane Garden Bay for about an hour, so idyllic. We were the first group to arrive so were lucky as by the time we left the other groups had arrived and it was more than crowded. The driver/guide knew everyone at all the stops which made for a fun time. Back at the port and we just browsed around the few shops that were there. Phillipsburg, St. Martin. Second visit here, did a tour to the French part previously whereby it poured with rain but this time it was to the Dutch part and also taking in some of the French side. Did the ship excursion “Island Delights”. Didn’t really warrant the title but enjoyed it as we went to a Caribbean cookery demonstration with tasting, food was scrumptious then onto a rum distillery with tastings, plenty to try ranging from 20% to 40%, phew, declined the 40%. Afterwards went on to a perfumery where they are made, didn’t really like this much, the perfumes were too “homemade” but nice to see what went into them. Back at port and time to browse the numerous shops, needless to say, bought more rum. Ponta de garda, Azores. Lovely little town with more to do than the ships tour guide mentioned, she played it down somewhat. However, we did the ship excursion “Sights and Cheese and Wine Sampler”. Nice trip up into the mountains with tremendous views and to a little village with a church and it’s nativity scene, then to the crater lakes which were a beautiful green. Following a different road back we stopped at various places for photographs and then back into town to a hotel for the wine and cheese tasting. Badly organised as had to queue endlessly for the cheese and wine, it should have been placed on the individual tables for people to help themselves. The wine was 10 euros a bottle if you wanted to buy it but we walked back to the ship and bought the same wine for 5 euros in one of the shops. We took lots of ship excursions but they were reasonably cheap so decided to make life easy for ourselves and it worked quite well. All in all a great destination cruise but all the oldies made it rather depressing. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We don’t normally cruise in November, but decided to join some good friends and the Oriana’s Caribbean itinerary sounded perfect. The ship is in its last year for P&O and there were many onboard who were upset that she was leaving ... Read More
We don’t normally cruise in November, but decided to join some good friends and the Oriana’s Caribbean itinerary sounded perfect. The ship is in its last year for P&O and there were many onboard who were upset that she was leaving the fleet. However, she is in relatively good condition although there are few places on board that are showing their age. Generally the food was good in the MDR. We are not keen on self-service, so,cannot comment on the standard of food there. We were amazed to find the Cruise Director, Hughie Taylor, was still working for P&O. We first met him back in the early 80’s on board Canberra. The entertainment programme was the same old and general consensus was that it needs updating. The guest speakers and many of the guest entertainers we had seen several times before. Again P&O need to look again at this, especially as many of their passengers are serial cruisers. Unfortunately on this trip there were several medical evacuations by either helicopter or the ship turning back to a previous port. There were also many passengers using mobility devices. We thought that there was a restriction on how many were allowed aboard and found it worrying what would,happen in an emergency. P&O seems intent on reducing the number of smaller ships in their fleet and there was much discussion on board about how short-sighted this is. We love Oriana for its size and think it will be a great loss. Not everyone likes these huge new liners that seem to be taking over and spilling 5000+ passengers out at every port. If we had any complaint with the crew, it would be the indifference of some of the younger entertainment team. There was never a Plan B if rain stopped play of quoits and shuffleboard..just a feeble excuse that there was nothing else planned. The ports of call were all great. Having been to them all before, we never took a shore excursion, but heard from those that did that they were good, if not a little expensive. All in all we had a good time and are now looking forward to our forthcoming trip in January on Aurora. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
We booked the cruise for our honeymoon to the Caribbean. Not wanting to be straight in the sun we did an Atlantic crossing of 10 days at sea. The ship is very nice but the activities where boring and repetitive. The food is lovely and ... Read More
We booked the cruise for our honeymoon to the Caribbean. Not wanting to be straight in the sun we did an Atlantic crossing of 10 days at sea. The ship is very nice but the activities where boring and repetitive. The food is lovely and the house keeping staff couldn't do enough for you. However the entertainment team looked like they had been struck with a sickness bug and had no energy. The only decent sail a way party was Madeira and British themed evening. The other nights where bland and dull. We had to stop at a different island due to a sick passanger however we arrived at Martinique which was euro not American dollars. We only found out by word of mouth as an announcement wasn't made for a further two hours from being able to get off. Unfortunately the island wasn't expecting a cruise ship so the place was shut down with nothing to do. So we'd changed our money back into euros then with nothing to actually send it on once off the boat. First cruise for us and definitely our last. Not for us. The ship was described as a floating morgue and they weren't wrong. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
My 1st cruise and my other halfs 2nd TA re-positioning cruise. The Britannia is a great ship,and we enjoyed our holiday the chance to wind down from work for several days before in the Caribbean was great. I found the ship to be very ... Read More
My 1st cruise and my other halfs 2nd TA re-positioning cruise. The Britannia is a great ship,and we enjoyed our holiday the chance to wind down from work for several days before in the Caribbean was great. I found the ship to be very clean and tidy, however I will say the colour pallate is a little on the neutral side and not to every ones taste. The inside of the ship, and central area is pleasant to spend time in, however we tended once the weather warmed up after Maderia to spend most of our time in the Sunset bar on the aft of the ship which was a pleasant spot. We booked for the 8.30 fixed dining, thinking this would free up more time in ports and we would be able to see the early shows/ entertainment. We were very disappointed that a lot of evenings there was no early 7pm shows only 8:30pm, (whilst we were dining) or 10:45pm. (Quite a while to wait after dinner). P&O to sort this out as it's quite unfair on those with the later dining choice. We did also try and see a late show at the live lounge, and found that there were no seats , as a lot of people had gathered there for the later disco. Our cabin steward looked after us well, our standard balcony cabin, was smart and the shower and storage walk in wardrobe larger than I expected, The balcony is a little narrow compared to some other ships we were moored next too. The food was generally good in the restaurant, but things were not always exactly as described. The food in the buffet got quite repetitive on a fortnight cruise. I think there needs to be a little more variety,very traditional very british fare. I was a little disappointed in the activities on offer, I enjoy my art and there were no art or craft sessions on board. Though lots of pub quizs. Personally I thought the sail away parties were a little bit brash especially the one in Antigua with Azura moored alongside us. We stayed for the 15 day cruise, having decided on the extra day in Barbados, and we felt like P&O basically ignored us with very little information on the last 2 days. People were sat around the ship with their carry on on day 14 it kind of felt like our holiday had already ended:( We did the land and sea tour in St Lucia which was excellent, gave a really good feel for the island, and we enjoyed the swim off the catamaran. In Antigua, we did a half day beach activity to Dickenson Bay, which was enjoyable despite the occasional rain Barbados on our 2nd day we did the farewell to Barbados tour which was nice to see with a few short stops and a bit of lunch. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
I have been with P&O many times. I have always been full of praise and delight, about all off our Cruises’s However, I am now questioning if I will EVER use P&O again. P&O is now owned by Carnival, it shows that all they ... Read More
I have been with P&O many times. I have always been full of praise and delight, about all off our Cruises’s However, I am now questioning if I will EVER use P&O again. P&O is now owned by Carnival, it shows that all they are interested in is money. The Britannia is a “Cash - Cow”. No interest in the care of passengers needs. I was on P&O’s Britannia for 16days to the Western Caribbean on the 26/10/18. Starting off from Southampton flying back from Barbados to Gatwick. I have never seen such disgusting behaviour from both passengers and overpowering bullying staff. The food was disgusting, I was with freedom dining in the Meridian. The staff were non existent, just like the food, we had to wait forever to be served. ( not the fault of the staff in the restaurant, perhaps bullying officer crew members) It was no different than the buffet dining, except in the buffet you had more choice of HOT food. We tried a few of the paid Restaurants £30 extra per person was it worth it... NO The only one that was good was the “beach hut” £7.50. In Epicurean Resturant a long hair was found inside a roll. A lot of people ( me and my friends included) were complaining about the type of clientele the passengers were I could only say Feral, loud, brash, drunk and disgusting. 10 people detained and escorted off the ship. P&O is now owned by Carnival, it shows that all they are interested in is money. Not the service or care of passengers needs. Too long at sea. If we had wanted to go on a Butlin’s holiday we would have booked with them. The design of the ship is awful! The entertainment was extremely poor throughout the two weeks. The reception is a very small enclosed space and to have pungently strong lilies is CRASS to someone who has allergic reactions, having to use an epi - pen. I could go on, however I will not. I thank you P&O Britannia for RUINING my holiday and making my holiday a MISERY for two weeks. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Wanted a longer cruise of three weeks. We have enjoyed a number of trans Atlantic cruises so this suited us well. The cruise out was generally calm and the weather fantastic, excellent for the time of year. The ship itself was in ... Read More
Wanted a longer cruise of three weeks. We have enjoyed a number of trans Atlantic cruises so this suited us well. The cruise out was generally calm and the weather fantastic, excellent for the time of year. The ship itself was in generally good condition,albeit showing signs of wear in places. Carpets were almost threadbare in places. The main point of criticism of the ship itself is that there is a distinct lack of sunbathing space. Sun beds are lined up along the available decks with no room between. The rows themselves are also very close to those in front and behind. My wife who has had both knees replaced could not get on these beds except for those on the end of a row, and once or twice we could not get off the deck without asking people to move their bed as all isles were blocked. Staff as is usually the case were excellent, they do seem busier than ever, but this might be me. They still seem to make time to smile while making sure you have what you need. Finally our ongoing gripe with P&O is their dress code, simply it’s not enforced. Increasingly people are going to diner in shorts, and tea shirts are very popular also. Both theoretically against policy. Formal nights are similar. People do not wear jackets and or ties but still dine in the main restaurants. I accept P&O are loath to upset these customers but it does, by its inactivity, seem happy to upset those of us who like the dress codes. Please P&O either enforce or end the dress codes but stop sitting on the fence!! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Only cruise to the destinations at the right time. A lot of people who just like to drink eat and drunk a lot of the time. Dramas constantly going on with lots of people gossiping. Stealing from the shops and they are not that great ... Read More
Only cruise to the destinations at the right time. A lot of people who just like to drink eat and drunk a lot of the time. Dramas constantly going on with lots of people gossiping. Stealing from the shops and they are not that great either. Been on lots of other cruises with other company's and I must say this has to be the worst. Not A lot of choice of entertainment and what there is much the same pub quiz bingo etc. Every single thing you have to pay for even water now that I feel is bad. Dining seating times are not always suitable and they would not change ours to an earlier time for even a birthday night so we never ate in them. We only ate in what was called the push and shove / canteen or known as the buffet resturant. Think wisely on who you travel with. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
I have always wanted to go to the Caribbean, My husband booked a Suite which was gorgeous and all the trappings you would expect including the butler!! We had an adventure a couple of days in with the Captain waking us to advise what was ... Read More
I have always wanted to go to the Caribbean, My husband booked a Suite which was gorgeous and all the trappings you would expect including the butler!! We had an adventure a couple of days in with the Captain waking us to advise what was going to happen as there was a medical emergency and we had to turn into the storm, I was thrilled , not for the poorly person but the excitement of being on a bouncy castle in the sea!! Husband on the other had was dealing with his sea sickness bands and other medication. anyway after that it was wonderful locations, celebrations, our silver anniversary was celebrated with flowers and Maderia. Then the best part 6 days at se, I celebrated my 60th with a hot stone massage something not to miss... It was a wonderful day with the bottle of champagne being cracked open. The islands were lovely, we had another emergency so never got to see St Vincent, I just hope that both people were ok. We left the ship in Barbadous our son had flown over with BA to meet us...a wonderful end to the holiday, which up until then had been great. then it was time to fly back!!!!!! Our son returned to his BA flight (he works for them) and we were cattle classes on to a horrendous Thomas Cook flight. We had paid over 8k for the suite with NO option to book any other airline. Words cannot be written of how awful the flight was..... but I will never fly again with Thomas Cook, crew were rude, and when I pointed, when we landed in LGW that there was 8 people waiting for assist and the manifest would have said so,the cabin manager Kevin who we had not seen all flight realised that maybe customer service was an attribute his staff did not have!! Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
The ship is tired, and badly needs updated. The engine noise and vibration made conversation and sleep almost impossible. The entertainment,with the exception of the two duos and the performance of Jimmy James was poor. The films offered ... Read More
The ship is tired, and badly needs updated. The engine noise and vibration made conversation and sleep almost impossible. The entertainment,with the exception of the two duos and the performance of Jimmy James was poor. The films offered were old and dated, with no new releases. At times the staff appeared stretched, although always polite and very hard working. Probably the only plus factor. The smoking areas on open deck were appalling, the smell invading not only the open deck but eating areas and stairwells in the ship. The route to Bermuda, our first port, from Southampton seemed strange given the fact that this was an autumn cruise. This resulted in 6 days sailing in cold/cool, damp and cloudy conditions. The food was uninspiring, as an example, the fresh fruit appeared to be limited to melon, pineapples, apples and bananas. Strawberries were offered but most of the time they were frozen. The degree of hard sell in the Oasis spa, led me to cancel several appointments, as I was unwilling to endure this at the end of each appointment. This was supposed to be a special holiday for my husband and I, celebrating our 45th wedding anniversary, and my husbands retirement. We were bitterly disappointed. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Winter no-fly cruises to the Caribbean are very good value and its not surprising that we meet up with the same people nearly every time we sail - particularly the friendly shuffle boarders. This one included Bermuda, the Bahamas and Grand ... Read More
Winter no-fly cruises to the Caribbean are very good value and its not surprising that we meet up with the same people nearly every time we sail - particularly the friendly shuffle boarders. This one included Bermuda, the Bahamas and Grand Turk which made it even more popular than usual. All good ports, particularly for impressing American passengers off the ships we met who were astounded to learn that we were out for 28 nights! Mind you, judging by the fun and games aboard all the ships we met, they pack as much as we do in 28 nights into a 4 night cruise from Miami! Our taxi got us to Arcadia in good time for an early embarkation. In fact having got our luggage into the system at 1145 we had no time for coffee in the lounge and were directed straight onto Arcadia - far too early for lunch! However we learnt from our table companions later that the air bridge failed mid-afternoon and they were delayed and had to embark via the crew gangway. Captain Martin Allen was apparently first time in command and proved a steady and informative captain throughout. The ship was a year out of refit and was in good order. We didn't really like the new seating in the Intermezzo bar as most of the comfy seating had been replaced by chairs but no doubt this practice helps accommodate the ever-increasing passenger numbers that cruise companies shoe-horn onto their vessels. Our cabin was clean and comfortable and our steward Christopher was a real gem. Always friendly, willing to meet our every request - and always had our cabin cleaned by the time we returned from breakfast. We noticed a couple of changes in the catering. At lunchtime in the Meridian restaurant the delicious curries no longer made a daily appearance sadly, particularly as P&O say they are so proud of the curry tradition on aboard their ships. More strange was the appearance of sharing plates. These don't really work if you are seated on one of the many tables for 6/8 as you may well be a fair distance from your partner! 'Company policy'. But the ever obliging crew always made a sharing plate available for one. The other issue we had was that P&O now require their Entertainment Managers to move the time of activities on a daily basis - 'to be fair to everyone'. But no-one has ever been able to do everything they want aboard and changing the times around merely frustrated everyone wanting to get into a pattern of speakers, deck games, choir and quizzes. However full marks to EM Alex Percival (also on his first cruise 'in command') - when I commented on the 'How are Doing?' survey early in the cruise, he called me up and we met for a talk about it. The changes were 'Company policy' again. But these are minor gripes about the constant change that is inevitable in any business and the positives far outweighed the negatives. The Headliners were just finishing their time aboard and were one of the best we've seen. Their new show 'Mr Tinkerton's Clockwork Circus' was a triumph. P&O are really moving their show offering up a gear. And good to see the team helping out with activities round the ship on a daily basis. The weather may have been poor in the North Atlantic but the benefit of Carnival's central control system really helped. Yes, by having to take a northerly track across the Pond to avoid the weather we didn't get much sun but it was very much the lesser of two evils. The weather in the Caribbean was a bit damp at times (it was the tail end of the hurricane season after all) but the Captain invariably got his daily forecast right so it helped in planning the day. He did get it wrong once, in St Maarten when we met him walking ashore just before a tropical shower hit the ship - lucky he wasn't in uniform! Luckily we avoided a storm on the way home and had to substitute La Coruna for Praia Da Vitoria in the Azores - a much better option in our opinion. The popularity of this type of longer cruise inevitably attracts an older crowd. We were told that the average age was 71 (hopefully not including the crew!) and it was a sad fact that we had an unusually large number of medical issues requiring the Captain to divert and alter the schedule to meet these urgent issues. Some good decisions, which incidentally showed that Arcadia can still lift her coat tails and exceed 24 knots when required - to the detriment of the Chief Engineer's credit card no doubt! On a personal basis we enjoyed the Scenic Sailaway from St Lucia. Thankfully these are not widely advertised aboard nowadays as they are so popular - and excellent value at the price. A group of about 40 enjoyed excellent canapés and unlimited drinks in East Bar as we sailed out on a lovely evening. We made friends in our quiz team with a couple whose daughter was getting married aboard and we were delighted to be involved. A lovely family. One grouse we've had in the past was that the higher levels of the Peninsular Club have their lunches very early in the cruise. We were invited three days out! However it was no problem changing to join those later in the cruise and the ship is also always happy to accommodate requests for particular table hosts which makes the event even more memorable. By then we had got to know most of the wine waiters through the excellent wine tastings and getting a little extra to drink at all the events was a bonus! So a leisurely and entertaining cruise when ticked all the boxes for us. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
We chose this cruise because it was 28 days, to the Caribbean and back from Southampton. It was our first P&O cruise after several Azamara and one Viking Ocean cruises. This was an adults only cruise and the average age was apparently ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was 28 days, to the Caribbean and back from Southampton. It was our first P&O cruise after several Azamara and one Viking Ocean cruises. This was an adults only cruise and the average age was apparently 72, but looked older to me. Most of the passengers were experienced P&O guests, 95% were Brits. Firstly the service was excellent from the mainly Indian crew. Very professional, friendly and efficient. We were fortunate to have a suite and our butler Sam was the best butler we have had. The suite was fine, not particularly large but large enough, and the bed was very comfortable. There was a separate shower with the dreaded shower curtain, not a good touch for a suite. The specialty restaurants, Simbu and Ocean Grill were both excellent, well worth the supplement. The main restaurant was OK but a bit "mass catering". The food was generally acceptable and occasionally good. The service was generally good, but the waiting staff were very busy resulting in the occasional long wait. The Belvedere buffet was very poor, busy and the food was displayed haphazardly. It was served on a tray with plastic glasses, a bit like an old works canteen. Having a suite we could use Sindu for breakfast and did every day. it was one of the highlights of a sea day. We missed the Azores due to high winds and went to La Corola in Galicia which was lovely. The sea days got a bit monotonous but overall we enjoyed ourselves and would go again. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Arrived at Southampton by taxi and unloaded are cases and for the first time in eleven cruises we were ignored by the porters and we eventually gave up and took the cases to the conveyor ourselves. Check in was busy but we were onboard ... Read More
Arrived at Southampton by taxi and unloaded are cases and for the first time in eleven cruises we were ignored by the porters and we eventually gave up and took the cases to the conveyor ourselves. Check in was busy but we were onboard within about thirty minutes. Our cabin on C deck was ready and Rubi our efficient and friendly cabin steward introduced herself. After the safety muster we unpacked with no problems for storage space and went to our evening meal, (freedom dining). Over the cruise we often shared but did have a table for two with no problems as well. We only used the MDR and found the food to be of a good variety and standard. The waiters have however declined often putting the wrong meal in front of people. The buffet was poor and much smaller in size than we remembered. The much used Italian Verona is no more and has been replaced by 'The Beach House' at an extra cost and they were continually trying to sell this venue throughout the cruise even when we eating in the main MDR. The entertainment team were good especially JoB and Alessandro with the usual Quizes, Games and Dancing etc. on offer. The Headliners were Ok although one show left us bemused. The main acts were excellent with Mike Doyle, IDA and Electric dreams standing out. There were two speakers, the first on Planets we had heard before and the second Terry Brown an ex policeman who talked about the history and changes to interviewing techniques. This was followed by a 'who done it' with twelve passengers as suspects and nineteen teams of detectives to solve the murder. All very well done and so much fun!. There is a variety of bars some quiet such as Planet bar and Glass house and others more lively , Malabar / Brodies. We did not use the casino this time but did manage to make a small profit on the horseracing. The table tennis has been reduced to one table and this caused over subscription with only doubles competitions which I found disappointing. The four black tie nights were well supported but of course there were a few who declined to enter into spirit and dress up. This being our first trip to the Caribbean we stuck to ship tours. Disembarkation was different as we booked a day cabin which gave us the chance to sample an inside cabin but also to have a base for the day until airport departure which went smoothly apart from the taxi being stopped by police for a traffic offence (let off). The flight to Bournemouth on a Thompson Dreamliner was delayed an hour after we boarded due to a mix up between ground staff over a missing passenger. Our per-arranged taxi was waiting for us and we were home in ten minutes. We enjoyed our cruise but not being sun worshippers found the Caribbean to be to hot and humid for us, proving that we are all different. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We chose this cruise because we have cruised with P and O A Couple of times before and found them to be great value for money and very well organised. The food on board Azura was in our opinion very good, plenty of choice and of decent ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we have cruised with P and O A Couple of times before and found them to be great value for money and very well organised. The food on board Azura was in our opinion very good, plenty of choice and of decent quality. Some people moan about the quality but we found it to be what you would get in a good quality restaraunt or pub. The entertainment was first class with the headliners who do several shows absolutely brilliant and some good tribute acts and good comedians especially Mike Doyle. Excursions are quiet dear with P and O but you can book your own which we did on 4 occasions. Viator and very good and we booked a couple of independent ones as well. The two we did with P and O was the Azores witch was ok but we got very wet weather which spoilt it a bit, not P and Os fault though. The second was a trip by land and sea around St Lucia which was quiet expensive but would highly recommend it. The Tour did everything, the famous Pitons, Lovely litttle fishing villages, An active volcanoe, a tropical gardens and finally a boat ride back to the ship. 8 hours of pure joy. Getting on and off the ship was straight forward with hardly any wait at all including your first step and last step on the ship. Please don't be put off by any bad reviews you read unless you want 5 star Luxuary, then you need to spend a couple of thousand pounds more. If like us you want good food, grate entertainment and good service you cant go wrong with P and 0 Read Less

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