380 Southampton Cruises for the Disabled Cruise Reviews

Basically used as transport from the UK to the Caribbean, we had time to take this trip as part of our itinerary to reach home. Southampton check in -very quick and efficient the only flaw was NCL’s oversight in prebooking information ... Read More
Basically used as transport from the UK to the Caribbean, we had time to take this trip as part of our itinerary to reach home. Southampton check in -very quick and efficient the only flaw was NCL’s oversight in prebooking information in failing to advise that documentary proof of ESTA is required. Ship-We had anticipated some shortcomings as this voyage was essentially a shake down , however it was interesting to see how the latest cruise ships have evolved with a lightly built, full bowed hull outfitted with low maintenance Internal modular units obviously designed for a refurbishment a few years down the road. Despite its huge size the vessel reacted like a much smaller one encountering some poor but not particularly rough sea states, surprising that it is classed for “winter North Atlantic” service. The internal ambience is very understated and the internal decorators have done an outstanding job in both layout and decor. Cabin-Mini suite on deck thirteen, was a little on the narrow side and the balcony, unused due to the weather, extremely small. A large amount of storage, more electrical points would be useful(US standard only). The king bed was comfortable and located inboard of the seating area, apparently the sofa converts to a double bed, it would be adequate only for small children. Bathroom was large with excellent shower, but poor quality toiletries. Restaurants-complimentary, were somewhat limited as Taste, Savor and the Manhattan Room have exactly the same menu which changes little from day to day. The Garden Cafe cafeteria was generally a better choice, being large, beautifully laid out and with an good selection, the carvery and Indian sections were the high spots. -specialty, Ocean Blue(seafood), very disappointing , Food Republic basically sushi with a rather annoying tablet menu, a little better, Le Bistro, worth a visit for a change, Cagneys, by far the best and really the only one worth paying for unless the very reasonable Free at Sea package had been purchased. Bars, although cumulatively quite large in number only the Observation deck had a lounge quality with adequate seating. Again the Free at Sea package is almost essential even for moderate drinkers as the per drink prices are high, a plus point is that only the excess cost is charged over the base prices for premium drinks. Wi Fi-worked well but the very reasonably priced unlimited use add on is essential as the basic 250minutes was consumed by an apparently arbitrary log in and out algorithm. Service-Generally good(vessel only 50%occupied), but could improve particularly in table clearing and cabin areas. Entertainment-Two free professional level productions but not continuously available meant that tickets were scarce. Smaller general acts very similar to other cruise lines. Excessive emphasis on trivia and TV type game shows indicate a Bingo rather than Bridge orientation. Outside facilities, did not use due to weather-vessel is geared to tropical cruises. Value-exceptional,even including Free at Sea and extra Wi Fi costs Disembarkation -An utter shambles, not the fault of NCL, or indeed the immigration officers who struggled to cope with 2000+ passengers using outdated technology and without the self clearance machines used at US airports. They were fortunate, as were we, that the crew were not permitted to disembark.Customs clearance on the following day was much easier as the officers basically just watched passengers collect luggage and leave. High spot-The sea approach to New York under the Verrazano Bridge , past the Statue of Liberty and up the Hudson to the terminal berth was stunning and could have been more so had the ships entertainers been used to provide NY music during the transit. Fellow passengers-mix of American , British, Canadian and some others. Many hugely overweight and large numbers of mobility scooters, walkers and wheel chairs, generally in 50 to 70 age group and preponderance of return NCL guests. Overview-A relative bargain on a new ship , perhaps a half star lower than Holland America or Celebrity but quite enjoyable. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
The ship was beautiful, very sturdy and we'll maintained. The staff in general were excellent, the service good, but the food was a real let down. It was either bland or too salty and overcooked. The Britannia restaurant was poor so ... Read More
The ship was beautiful, very sturdy and we'll maintained. The staff in general were excellent, the service good, but the food was a real let down. It was either bland or too salty and overcooked. The Britannia restaurant was poor so was the buffet on the Lido deck. So disappointing. Of the three cruise lines I have travelled on this was the poorest. My accessible cabin was wonderful, everything I asked for was there. The three companions I was with were happy with the service and the cruise generally. I I did not book any excursions as I travelled with a mobility scooter. The first shuttle bus was acceptable and helpful but at Lanzarote my companions and I boarded the bus and were dumped at the end of the new port. (Why go to a place closed on Sunday?) There were no shops or cafes available, and we were told we had to walk 20 minutes into town to see if anything was open. Alternatively we could risk taking a 20 minute taxi to the other side of the island to a possibly open market. As we did not know if we could get back we just got back on the bus and stayed on the ship. Overall very disappointing. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
My mum wanted to see the northern lights before she dies, so we booked this cruise fom Southampton (side note: my Grandad helped build this dock !) The embarkation from this port was so easy and smooth. I've been on the Spirit ... Read More
My mum wanted to see the northern lights before she dies, so we booked this cruise fom Southampton (side note: my Grandad helped build this dock !) The embarkation from this port was so easy and smooth. I've been on the Spirit before so it was nice to show my mum around. The cabin was spacious, on deck 10, easy to get to everything and we were quite happy there. Due to the weather our itinerary was changed but we still thoroughly enjoyed our cruise and the cruise director did a fantastic job re-doing our new changes on the fly ! Unexpected sea days and new stops were quite exciting to me. If there was one thing I could say that could be improved, it would be that I wish that they could arrange more handicap buses for those people in wheelchairs, as my mum coudn't get on any of the excursions in Norway as their buses had no wheelchair lifts and the steps were too big for her. The food, as usual, was amazing. Entertainment was great, and the staff, as always, out do themselves. I like Norwegian and have already booked my next cruise in March!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Just completing a 24 day cruise of New England and Canada on the Sapphire Princess and having had a 3 year break from Princess Cruises. Having completed over 41 cruises I have experienced a lot of great service and friendly staff to ... Read More
Just completing a 24 day cruise of New England and Canada on the Sapphire Princess and having had a 3 year break from Princess Cruises. Having completed over 41 cruises I have experienced a lot of great service and friendly staff to amazing places with P & O, Princess, Celebrity and Royal Caribbean, unfortunately this Princess ship has not given the quality of service I have enjoyed in the past. The food was well below the expected standard and not on par with my previous experience with Princess, in particular the standard was variable and the quality of beef (particularly steaks) was poor with menus which were too repetitive and limited. Getting served in Cafe Piazza is often slow and although bar service is fine the lack of bar menus mean you have to ask what is available. Cabin (L246) was okay but lamps were faulty (until they were changed) and the sink in the bathroom wouldn’t hold water for long, the shower flooded and leaked when used. Water temperature was poor and I am still undecided which way is hot and which was cold. The in cabin entertainment would have been good if the on demand service was reliable and didn’t keep stopping. The cabin was kept clean by the steward and she was helpful. I have been on this class of ship with others and the rear of deck 7 is A show lounge which takes pressure of the theatre when it is full but for some reason the Sapphire has Club Fusion which is not used as such. This meant the theatre was frequently full and there were totally insufficient wheelchair spaces. I was also concerned that people were allowed to stand at the back and down the side stairs while others sat on the stairs, I have concerns that the fire regulations in relation to maximum personnel allowed were not adhered to. Entertainment was good if limited in venues and some great acts to entertain you over a broad range. The ports were all good and though I didn’t participate in any trip I heard good comments about them. I am wheelchair bound and generally the ship was accessible with the exception of decks 15 and 16 and the pool and jacuzzi had a disabled hoist. My only criticism is the shuttle buses which never secured me during transit though this may be outside the company’s control. Th Sapphire Princess is in need of a refit and I believe this is happening sometime this year but that won’t address other shortcomings with her. Altogether a disappointing holiday which failed to meet previous standards and I have already got a cruise on Royal Princess booked for next year (Alaska with land addons so can’t cancel) but I suspect the issues are mainly ship specific, I don’t expect to return to Princess again after that. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
BACKGROUND: seven day cruise out of Southampton, to Zeebrugge, Rotterdam, Hamburg and LeHavre. Mother, 88yrs, and daughter 50’s, active and love to participate in activities like trivia. Mom uses a scooter on cruises due to severe ... Read More
BACKGROUND: seven day cruise out of Southampton, to Zeebrugge, Rotterdam, Hamburg and LeHavre. Mother, 88yrs, and daughter 50’s, active and love to participate in activities like trivia. Mom uses a scooter on cruises due to severe arthritis which makes walking long distances challenging. SHIP: I liked the ship. It isn’t particularly easy to navigate as there are multiple bars and rooms but that’s why there is a readily available map and guide. It was very easy to find a hideaway to escape the crowds. The Swarovski Crystal staircase is beautiful. DINING: I found the dining room horrible for me, my mom loved it. I don’t eat meat and the options were abhorrent. Everything was cold and tasteless. The buffet in both our opinions was disgusting although my mother didn’t have to navigate the bun fights as I usually chose for her knowing very well her likes and dislikes. It was truly chaotic. The buffet did not have a natural flow and was always an incredibly unpleasant dining experience. The food was very cold. The only way to get a hot cup of tea for my mom was to go to the barista and get boiling water from the bar. The urns of “hot water” were either cold or empty. I have read that people eat food colder in Europe...ummm not in my experience. This food was inedible except for the wonderful fruit available at breakfast. We tried one specialty restaurant (Butcher’s Cut) as it was gratis having been granted a “Black Card” in MSC’s reciprocity offer as I am Elite Plus with Celebrity and Diamond Plus with RCI. (The other specialty restaurant was was Asian fusion that I could have enjoyed but definitely not mom’s thing). Mom’s veal chops were like hockey pucks and my salmon was again cold and over cooked. It would have been an incredibly expensive meal (+++€120) and I would have had a hard time not seriously challenging paying for a meal as it was THAT bad. One good caveat was that I lost weight...a fairly big feat on a cruise. CABIN: We were in our first accessible cabin. I am a firm believer that accessible cabins should be for wheelchair dependent people, not for someone like us that can manage, albeit sometimes challenging, to be able to fit a scooter inside a cabin. As we only booked two months before the cruise it was actually the only balcony available. I must admit the space was wonderful...the cabin steward...not so much. I actually wrote to no avail IN THE DUST on the table “please clean me.” Mom used the little milk cups for one cup of tea on the first day and despite daily requests, it was never restocked nor was the tissues or tea bags. One morning he told me that “he was too busy to clean our room.” I just chuckled to myself and took fresh towels off his cart. ENTERTAINMENT AND ACTIVITIES: The shows were OK, some better than others. What I did find rather amusing was that two of the shows were VERY similar just different music and costumes. The cirque-like performer with a big ring did the same routine. The aerialist..same..different colour silk. Trio of acrobats...exactly the same tumbling etc. It was a really weird dejavu. There are multiple performers in the many bars around the ship that was wonderful. The multicultural influences were also fabulous. As for activities, the staff didn’t show up for one of the trivias...no response when I queried this with guest services. When they did show up it was OK though. The staff were very nice and personable. What was annoying was that as people can embark and disembark at all the ports, Hamburg was considered a big turnaround day and there were no activities at all until 3pm and that was “hair analysis” in the spa. No trivia/nothing. Furthermore, Hamburg was on a Sunday and there is notoriously nothing open except for the Zoo and a “Miniature” Park. PORTS: As my mom wasn’t feeling well at times, we only got off the ship in LeHavre. We used the ship’s shuttle into town for ~ €8 each. We walked around a bit and went to the Mall. I felt that Brugge would be too difficult for her in her scooter with all the cobblestones. It is one of my favourite ports though. BOTTOM LINE... would I go on MSC again? I highly doubt it though never say never. I now know what to expect from MSC which was one of the goals of this trip. Despite all the banter about how the service, activities and food on CELEBRITY and RCI have dropped a bit it’s still FAR superior than MSC...IN MY OPINION. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Second cruise with RC, first one was on the Navigator (pre refurbishment) and that was so much better, as my wife is in a wheelchair there were many issues that we feel should be addressed:- -Lack of unisex accessible toilets, only one ... Read More
Second cruise with RC, first one was on the Navigator (pre refurbishment) and that was so much better, as my wife is in a wheelchair there were many issues that we feel should be addressed:- -Lack of unisex accessible toilets, only one on deck 12, or its back to your room. - Great idea to put a piano in a lift at peak times which in effect made lift unusable, and yes they put a piano in a lift.....great idea that was - Sun beds rammed in side by side with no access from the sides unless you spend 30 mins dragging other ones out of the way - Apart from deck 4, there were no Sun lounges available - State rooms were shabby and need updating - The so called multi million pound refurbishment was obviously not spent on interior decoration - Windjammer menus seemed to repeated every other day and food was on many occasions cold - It was like a treasure hunt most days in the Windjammer to find the vegetables, which again were cold - On the other extreme you would get second degree burns from the utensils that were kept under the lamps In summary, RC seems to be focusing on quantity and not quality, can we please have the ship's back as they were..... Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We have sailed with P&O since the nineties and last sailed on the Aurora during 2015 which was into the Mediterranean , so we were keen to try P&O again after having had four cruises with Celebrity . Cruise ... Read More
We have sailed with P&O since the nineties and last sailed on the Aurora during 2015 which was into the Mediterranean , so we were keen to try P&O again after having had four cruises with Celebrity . Cruise number R916 was to the Canaries and returning via La Coruna in Spain.The weather was fantastic and the seas were very calm the whole trip , we were very pleased with the whole experience. The ship is classed as mid size and is now child free after a part refit earlier this year . The ship was very comfortable and clean and the staff were very attentive and friendly. Our outside cabin was on the starboard side near the front and was well maintained by our steward Victor . The bed and bedding was a good standard as were the toiletries and the fluffy bath towels . The restaurants have either set times 6.30/8.30pm or any time dinning, we opted for any time since it is more flexible and you meet new people every night which we find more interesting.The food on this trip was first class and the waiting staff were very attentive, we never had to wait for a table , always willing to share with others preferring either a six or eight table size . The entertainment and the shows were the usual high standard and unlike previous shows they were not based on musicals, which were a change from the norm . The bars , bar staff and waiters were friendly and attentive and you found as soon as you sat down you were approached and served quickly. P&O now have a drinks package similar to the other cruise lines but this was not pressurised to buy and we found it was unnecessary since the drink prices are uk hotel prices ,not like the American lines which are very expensive plus service charge add ons . The Itinerary was the usual Madeira,La Palma, Tenerife Lanzarote and La Coruna on the way home . All the ports were easy to walk off and the people using walking aids , wheel chairs and electric scooters found this itinerary great since all harbours were near the towns . The only port that required a shuttle bus service was Lanzarote and the town supplied this to reach the centre also putting on a bus with a tail lift for wheel chairs etc , I thought this was a great facility to allow everyone to visit the town . The Aurora is only one of two in the P&O fleet to have a wrap round Prom deck which is well used for some fitness , this is a feature of more modern ships that is missing . Let’s hope the P&O fleet keep this size of ship but looks highly unlikely since they seem to be getting larger each time they are replaced. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Embarkation - went quickly and smoothly, we had no problem with the alcohol we were brining on board at all - a box of wine, several bottles of wine and many mall bottles of gin, rum and port. At ports we had no problem bringing tonics ... Read More
Embarkation - went quickly and smoothly, we had no problem with the alcohol we were brining on board at all - a box of wine, several bottles of wine and many mall bottles of gin, rum and port. At ports we had no problem bringing tonics and coke on board as our mixers. We have never sailed Cunard before, previously only sailing on more casual cruise ships, so were somewhat apprehensive about the dress code. Dress Code - The apprehension was missplaced completely. In the two week cruise there were 3 ball nights, and we knew the ladies and gents dress codes for them. Apart from that, if you were going to eat in the main Brittania restaurant men had to wear trousers, jacket and shirt (no tie necessary) and ladies normal smart going out clothes. If you wanted to wear jeans and t-shirt and stay completely casual, you could eat in the Lido buffet and drink in the Golden Lion pub, but could not go to the ball room, other bars, the main Brittania restaurant or the theatre. Some nights we stayed completely casual. Staff customer service - staff always had a smile and a 'good morning/afternoon/evening' whenever they walked past you or dealt with you. We had an enquiry at embarkation when a case was missing. The customer service team where friendly and helpful, finding the case within 10 minutes. Our cabin steward was friendly and welcoming, keeping our cabin immaculate and was always able to bring additional towels or other items we wanted without delay. Other facilities - there was access to several lauderies on the ship, and these were free!! This included the washing powder as well. The laundry included washers, dryers, washing sink, iron and ironing board. An invaluable resource on a cruise of 14 nights. State of the ship - the ship was kept spotless and any faults seemed to be sorted quickly - there was some water ingress in the ceiling of the central buffet area in the Lido. When in port the ship looked stunning and traditional in comparison to other cruise ships. The decor of the ship is art deco, with lovely wood panelled interiors and themed art work for each stair well. Food - there was excellent choice in the Lido buffet most of the time, ranging from early breakfast, main breakfast, snacks, lunch, afternoon tea, early main tea, later main tea, to later evening snacks (till 1.30am). There was shortages of some items, such as the clotted cream for the afternoon tea, hot chocolate drinks, earl grey teabags etc during the last few days - The main Brittania restaurant, we were on early sitting at 6.00pm, also had at least 4 - 6 choices for starter, main and dessert. On one occasion my daughter and I could not decide which dessert we wanted, and then asked if we could order two each - no problem at all. You left the restaurant feeling pleasently full but not stuffed. - There were snack options during the day available in the Cafe Carinthia. Lunch and dinner were also available in the Golden Lion Pub, we enjoyed Friday fish and chips at lunch time here. Waiter served afternoon tea was available on sea days in the Queends Room, this is not to be missed as the sandwich and cake selection is extremely appetising. We also use the Lido grill, deck 9 stern, at lunch time for fish, burgers and chips etc. - We did not try any of the paid restaurants and were not grills passengers. Room Service - On some mornings, and one evening, we chose to have breakfast and dinner in our cabin. It was such a treat being able to be served just what you wanted for breakfast rather than get up and queue up. The evening menu was not as varied, burgers and pizzas mainly. The room service menu was included in the cruise and not an additional extra, which was very good. Drinks - the bars and deck bars were all welcoming and very good, and we did treat ourselves to an occasional glass of wine with dinner, cocktail at sail away, or cider/beer in the evening or day time. The only issue, is that with the value of the pound to the dollar the cost of drinks is very expensive, especially if you are from the north east of England! If we had not brought our own wine, gins, rums and ports on board, plus mixers, it would have been a somewhat dry cruise! Entertainment - the theatre was exceptional, with proper theatre tiered seating, boxes and an exceptional theatre orchestra!! The ships crew were good (but not exceptional) in the two shows we saw them do. We also saw The Opera Boys both times they performed, they were brilliant. We say a violinist once, she was excellent. There was also a pianist/commedian, Jon Courtenay for the last nights of the cruise who was extremely good. The ball room/Queens Room was a bit of a let down as it was almost like a corridor between the front and back of the ship to one side separating the seating, and there was not enough seating for the passengers who wanted to enjoy the dancing most evenings. There was a ball room orchestra as well, who were also excellent. We did attend some dancing classes during the day and put our steps into practice in the evening when we could. There are some very serious dancers on board, so it did make it a bit awkward for novice dancers if they felt they were getting in the way. Other entertainment we enjoyed was the band Next Steps, both on sailaway celebrations and at the Yacht Club. Also, most evenings, we attended, and enjoyed, quizes in the Garden Lounge and later in the Golden Lion pub - we even won the Husband and Wife quiz in the Golden Lion. As you wandered around the ship in the evening there were other muscians and ensembles to enjoy listening to, such as pianist Andy Law in the Golden Lion, who could play/sing anything. Sea days - My daughter and husband thoroughly enjoyed the talks by Robin Scagett, about astronomy, space and time - my daughter, as a primary teacher she took a lot away from those talks. My daughter and I both enjoyed the inspiring John Peters talk and question/answer session. There was another speaker throughout the cruise, but we did not attend his talks. I went to the beginners bridge classes with Chris Jarosz, which was pitched at the right level. I attended on my own and that was a slight problem as many others attended as a couple, but Chris found solutions to this. I certainly hope to continue to learn bridge. Otherwise, I loved the afternoon social craft group in the Garden Lounge. I did also treat myself to an afternoon in the spa pool, warm loungers and steam rooms but I did not have any spa treatments. My husband attended the ships choir, who gave a wonderful performance on the last sea day. He made many friends through this group. I would say that all but one of the passengers we encountered, or met through groups, were lovely, engaging and warm people and came from all over the world. Aside from what we did, there was a wealth of activities to enjoy on sea days, outside there was a full bowling green and other outdoor sports, plus two swimming pools and 4 bubble pools. Indoors, there were card tables, board games, puzzles and puzzle tables, and a two story library that gave out daily quizes, cross words and sudoko. If you just wanted to relax, there were lots of indoor and outdoor quite areas to relax, read and sleep. Disembarkation - we were going to take our own luggage off, but a very experienced cruiser said to put it out, and explained that at the port luggage was arranged by deck number. She said that you could take yourself off at your own convenience rather than follow the instructions if you wanted to make an early get away - we had a long drive back up north, so got off at 9.00am, and collected our luggage very easily ready for the pre booked taxi back to collect our car from the hotel. Overall, we would definately cruise with Cunard again. A thoroughly enjoyable cruise with excellent choice of activities, ports that we wanted to visit and the chance to meet some fantastic people. Our party only did one shore excursion, my daughter and our friend did the segway in Copenhagen and thoroughly enjoyed it. It was $99, which I could have booked on my own for about $79, but not for the times that were best for our days plans. As my daughter and our friend were novice cruisers we felt better leaving them in the care of the excursion team. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Positive reviews of this ship helped me make the right decision. I was travelling with a disabled mum, so knew this ship would be good for her too. The cabin was 3104 - accessible and was great for mum’s wheelchair and scooter. The ... Read More
Positive reviews of this ship helped me make the right decision. I was travelling with a disabled mum, so knew this ship would be good for her too. The cabin was 3104 - accessible and was great for mum’s wheelchair and scooter. The steward was lovely and kept the cabin clean and tidy for us. The staff are amazing! Annoy do enough to help you. The main areas we enjoyed were the upper deck of the pool - deck 14 - still in the sun, but away from the kids in the pool. The solarium was lovely too, just a shame it’s inside. We spent lots of time in the Passport Bar as this was closest to our cabin, and when entertainment was in the Grand Foyer you could enjoy it. The MDR was lovely, we chose our times and sat upstairs - cannot fault the food or the staff... in fact I preferred the steak in the MDR to to Tuscan Grille. I had a mixology class which was great fun. I also had a lovely facial... but BE WARNED.... I booked the cheapest one - which was still an arm and a leg... and she changed it without telling me, then when she said the bill total it was way more than I had planned. She said the facial I chose wasn’t right for my skin type, but as she didn’t want me about this I refused to pay the extra and she agreed to this.... they do add tip on - even though I had prepaid tips. The casino was great fun as were the quizzes and games shows. And the shows themselves were good - just one duff one out of two weeks. Sue the Cruise Director was great too! We did our own private tours of Rome and Tuscany - £500 for up to six people... better value than the boat excursions. We did the hop on off bus in Barcelona and Marseille. The shuttle cost was steep in one of the ports €20 each, but other shuttles were cheaper. It was great to get mum into the cities! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Lovely itinerary to Faroes, Iceland, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Embarkation was easy with pre arranged assistance. Food was much better than our previous cruise on Ventura, we ate most of the time in the MDR for breakfast, lunch ... Read More
Lovely itinerary to Faroes, Iceland, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Embarkation was easy with pre arranged assistance. Food was much better than our previous cruise on Ventura, we ate most of the time in the MDR for breakfast, lunch and dinner as we find the buffet difficult with a wheelchair although staff are always willing to help. A couple of times my partner got us a bacon roll from the buffet and brought it to the room when we had early morning starts. We also ate lunch at the deck bars a few times..We had freedom dining with some lovely and interesting table companions; and a few strange ones, which makes life entertaining. Didn’t see as much entertainment as usual, Havana and Tamarind were always packed so difficult to find seats. However the Arena was easier, as long as you arrived early, with reserved seats for wheelchair users, which many able bodied people selfishly occupied. No staff on hand to police this. Entertainers that stood out were the gentleman talking about space which the layman could understand; Pulse in the Metropolis, great variety of music delivered with humour. Last but not least, Graffiti, four talented young people playing violins, singing, comedy etc. Wow what a wonderful show. On embarkation we ate in the Glasshouse to avoid the buffet, very good. Early on in the cruise we had dinner in the Epicurian with a free bottle of house wine, acceptable and a superb meal delivered with their usual first class service and drama. Well worth the extra fee. There were very few children on this cruise, mostly little ones, several foreign nationals. Most passengers were in their 50s or above. Our favourite bar was the Metropolis with one barman (sorry don’t know his name) standing out as especially helpful and friendly. Ports were very interesting. We booked most excursions privately, which were all well organised. One with P and O on the Faroes, very good. What a beautiful and peaceful place, my favourite. In Isofordur we had to use a tender. It was an extremely difficult transfer for passengers and crew due to the high winds, but we all survived. The weather was kind to us and although it was cold the sun came out every afternoon with only a tiny bit of drizzle in Scotland. On our last sea day on deck I got a bit sunburnt as I didn’t realise how hot it was. We booked another cruise while we were on board on the new Iona as we couldn’t resist the low deposit. Hope we haven’t made a mistake as we think Ventura is pretty large. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Recommended. Sunbeds were reserved round all pools. Three small smoking areas with no sunbeds only chairs one under cover cold windy & dark with sunny tables that were no smoking? Hidden extras. Different prices in bars. ... Read More
Recommended. Sunbeds were reserved round all pools. Three small smoking areas with no sunbeds only chairs one under cover cold windy & dark with sunny tables that were no smoking? Hidden extras. Different prices in bars. Norovirus on ship advised use own toilets meaning having to wait for overcrowded lifts as no stairs run through middle of ship?? Penisular breakfast cold toast brought out 35min wait for breakfast hard poached eggs & cold coffee. Horizon buffet good breakfast but like a cafe tables not cleared and floor not hovered between sittings 1st & last cruise not relaxing ship too big too much walking. Butlins at sea but nor butlins prices. Wouldn't recommend to my friends. Drab tired decor. Different prices at bars for same drinks. Internet £7.75 a day free in all hotels we've stayed in. Complaint just done taking in to travel agent tomorrow. Costa/Java staff rude & deck 7 outside terrace dirty ashtrays full Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Drinks were so expensive,small bottle of stella $7.75.glass wine $9.cheapest bottle wine $35 .small bottle water $2.Ship was to crowded,no seats at bar with entertainment unless you get there 1 1/2 hours before & same for the shows but ... Read More
Drinks were so expensive,small bottle of stella $7.75.glass wine $9.cheapest bottle wine $35 .small bottle water $2.Ship was to crowded,no seats at bar with entertainment unless you get there 1 1/2 hours before & same for the shows but the ships own shows were very poor ,people were walking out & the entertainment director was very unprofessional and never looked smart.The shows with guest performers were very good.{Photos taken by ships photograghers were $20.The tours are estortionate, just to go on trip too Rome was $369 Each.Meals in main resturant were ok but mainly only warm.One couple we met complained & were asked to come back the next night & it was excelant then following night cold plates again.The duty free shops were ajoke my perfume channel was $109 for 50ml yet i can buy that in uk £50.We have done 10 cruises before 1 with royal carabbean & p&o,Princess .Norwegean .thomson & never had complained before so sorry royal carabbean that will be our last with you.Service from the staff was excelant & our cabin attendant was great,we asked him about water & he told us he could bring us 6 wine glasses of water each day but if he bought it in bottles the ship would charge us $ 2 per bottle. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
My son chose this Cruise as he had sailed with NCL and Royal Carribean and had nothing but praise for those two companies and the brilliant time I was going to have. He chose it as it seemed comparable with those two companies on price ... Read More
My son chose this Cruise as he had sailed with NCL and Royal Carribean and had nothing but praise for those two companies and the brilliant time I was going to have. He chose it as it seemed comparable with those two companies on price and Marketing jargon but did not live up to the hype. The entertainment was more Butlins than West End, although the theatre was very good and the last show was ok but according to my son, with RC & NCL that happens every night. The food at best was adequate and did not live up to my expectation. In fact, the conversation around our table and talking to other guests was that the standards were not as good as similarly priced competitors. Even the waiting staff agreed that it was a common observation by guests, although according to my son, when you mention this to Princess Customer Services, they deny it all (rather unsurprisingly) My son worked as a chef in top establisments for many years and is quite capable of making the distinction. The crew were very good, the ship was lovely, the public places clean and nice to be in but the whole thing was a bit of a let down for us, as my son felt guilty at encouraging me to come along at a cost well in excess of £1000, a lot for me on my pension ! The cabin was nice enough and served its purpose. I will go Cruising again, but not on Princess, I will take my sons advise and go with NCL next time, suggest you do the same. 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 chose this cruise for 2 reasons. Firstly, the ports (apart from Dublin) were all new destinations for us. Secondly, we had cruised on the silhouette before and new that it was a very good experience. Because my wife is in a ... Read More
We chose this cruise for 2 reasons. Firstly, the ports (apart from Dublin) were all new destinations for us. Secondly, we had cruised on the silhouette before and new that it was a very good experience. Because my wife is in a wheelchair, we had booked an ocean-view accessible cabin which was spacious and the door opened automatically when the card was swiped meaning my wife could come and go independently. The food in the Main Dining Room was excellent - the waiters, Brian & Jordan were brilliant and the sommelier Arnold always kept our glasses full with a smile & a joke. The entertainment was superb - full marks to the cruise director, the amazing Sue Denning. After every excursion ashore, she was always there to welcome us back on board. We missed Gurnesey because the waves were too big to tender, but that was the only port we missed. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
This was our return to the beautiful Silhouette since it’s maiden voyage out of Hamburg many years ago. We decided to try out an accessible Sky Suite and we loved the benefits this brought such as Michaels Club and the exclusive ... Read More
This was our return to the beautiful Silhouette since it’s maiden voyage out of Hamburg many years ago. We decided to try out an accessible Sky Suite and we loved the benefits this brought such as Michaels Club and the exclusive restaurant Luminae for suite guests. The service and food in Luminae was fantastic and offered a personalised dining experience. Kurt and his colleagues were amazing and the best service I have had on a cruise ship. The free alcoholic drinks including champagne and cocktails all day in Michaels club added a lovely touch. We were very disappointed by the ocean view cafe as we decided to try this one morning and once for lunch. The buffet restaurant was over crowded making it very difficult to find a seat and you had to fight your way through to grab your food. The quality of most of the food was mostly enjoyable however the rice pudding was cold and way too sweet. The buffet was not up to standard as we had previously come across with Celebrity and the buffet on Royal was much better. Thumbs down on this sailing. The accessible suite was comfortable but the layout wasn’t the best but this was to accommodate wheelchair users. The sofa and TV were located in a very awkward place so you couldn’t watch TV whilst you were sat on the sofa. The accessible bathroom was a very good size although the lack of drainage in the shower meant that water would flow all over the bathroom area making it a paddling pool. On the morning we were at sea the rocking of the ship had made the water escape into the suite soaking the carpet. There was a lack of power sockets near to the beds so charging your mobile had to be done near to the TV unit. A larger TV would have been nice as the only place to watch it was from the bed. Another big disappointment on this sailing was the lack of free loungers in the solarium as this was extremely busy on both occasions we visited it. The cold weather also meant that more passengers tried to utilise this space including certain passengers who treated it like a booze up cruise where they were drinking bottles of beer in the hot tubs. No celebrity solarium attendant challenged them and they were left to their own devices. They certainly didn’t respect other passengers and their behaviour was more I had come to expect on a P&O cruise. The clientele on this sailing wasn’t what we usually find on a Celebrity cruise and Amsterdam was most likely the reason. Another thumbs down on this sailing. The solarium needs to be better supervised and necessary action taken. The size of the solarium also now feels limited compared to Royals Anthems of the Seas which has over twice the size of what is being offered on Celebrity. For once I felt that there was a lack of space and the ship felt over crowded. Not something I’ve experienced with Celebrity on previous sailings. Overall a nice trip but we have had much better sailings with Royal so this will be our first preference from now on. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
This was our fourth cruise with MSC and the second on the Preziosa. This is a beautiful ship and we were happy to be back on board. We enjoy the multi-national feel of the passenger list. My partner is disabled and confined to a ... Read More
This was our fourth cruise with MSC and the second on the Preziosa. This is a beautiful ship and we were happy to be back on board. We enjoy the multi-national feel of the passenger list. My partner is disabled and confined to a wheelchair and for the most part we were offered plenty of assistance by the always friendly and helpful staff. Embarcation in Southampton was quick and efficient and we were soon in our cabin. We had an accessible cabin on deck 9 with plenty of room to manoeuvre the wheelchair, a roll in shower and toilet with plenty of grab rails around the walls and a ramp to easily access the balcony. The decor was very pleasant and our cabin steward kept everything neat and clean. Also we were near the front of the ship and the nearby lifts seemed to be much more available than those around the busy atrium area. On the whole meals in the dining room were excellent with plenty of choice. Some people have complained that the portions were small which, admittedly, they were but the menu clearly stated that additional items such as vegetables were always available and we always ate enough. The waiters were wonderful and eager to please. Whenever we visited the buffet the choice was amazing although I can't comment on the temperature of the hot food as we tried to eat healthy and stick to the salad options. The one area where we felt let down was the excursion choice. For the most part we are happy to be independent and do our own exploring which is just as well because all the organised excursions required participants to be able to climb the coach steps and in Hamburg we were advised that even the shuttle buses were not accessible. Like it or not, cruises are popular with disabled and elderly passengers and it's frustrating in this day and age that people with mobility issues can not be catered for in this respect. Assistance was offered for final disembarkation but only one steward seemed to be helping when we arrived. We gave up waiting and found our own way off the ship. We tend to book our cruises well in advance to ensure we get an accessible cabin so tend to miss out on last minute offers. For the price, however, we believe MSC offers great value for money. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
My wife and I have cruised with several lines but it has been Royal Caribbean for the last few years. However, we had a number of issues on our last trip with them so we decided it was time for a change. We were attracted to this cruise ... Read More
My wife and I have cruised with several lines but it has been Royal Caribbean for the last few years. However, we had a number of issues on our last trip with them so we decided it was time for a change. We were attracted to this cruise with MSC (who we hadn't used before) because of the interesting itinerary and they were offering a good deal on a Fantastica balcony. Also, MSC matched our RCL Diamond Plus status which meant that we had a Black Card which gives their highest level of loyalty benefits. First impressions were very good indeed. Embarkation at Southampton was quick and easy and the ship was, in our view, the most attractive that we'd been on. It is both elegant and glitzy and the Swarovski staircase in the central atrium is stunning although I daresay some will find it OTT. Throughout the cruise the ship was kept spotlessly clean, both externally and internally. In fact, on numerous occasions when sitting in a bar we had to move out of the way of the guy vacuuming the carpet. My wife is disabled and uses a mobility scooter so we were lucky enough to get a disabled access cabin on deck 10 (10145). It was very nicely decorated and furnished and was more spacious than the Junior Suites we normally have with RCL. The only slight drawback was that drawer and hanging space for clothes was rather limited. We managed but four people in the cabin (it has a sofa bed) would struggle. With the possible exception of Guest Relations and Excursion Desk staff, who were rather supercilious at times, the crew, bar staff, waiters etc were friendly and helpful. My wife spends a lot of time in the cabin because of her lack of mobility and our cabin attendant, Jovi, went out of his way to look after her. This all round helpfulness is perhaps surprising in view of what we learned from other passengers and crew members about the crew's pay and working conditions. My wife and I are smokers and one reason for moving away from RCL is that the latter are constantly making their smoking policy more and more restrictive and on most of their ships there is now nowhere indoors where smoking is permitted. This is just about acceptable when it's warm and sunny but cruises from Southampton often involve chilly, wet and windy weather for the first and last two or three days. On Preziosa there are several outside smoking areas and smoking is also allowed in the Casino and in a very pleasant little smoking room attached to it. We found this a big plus point but I do realise that others will regard it as a negative! Unfortunately, however, there were numerous drawbacks which detracted from our overall enjoyment. There is no facility for registering a credit or debit card for your on board account during the online checkin process as there is with RCL. When you board the ship you have to find a card terminal and laboriously enter the requested details. If, as my wife does, you use a debit card they immediately take a minimum of 250 Euro from it and if, like my wife, you don't spend that much during the cruise you have to queue at Guest Services on the last evening for a refund which they give you in cash (Euros). MSC have a 'hop on, hop off' policy so there were many passengers embarking or disembarking at every port of call as well as those just getting on and off for excursions etc. At several ports this contraflow of passengers resulted in congestion and queues because the gangways were only wide enough for people to go in one direction. It took me an hour to get back on the ship in Hamburg, for example. This cruise originated in Hamburg and we were told that there were 3000 Germans on board as against 800 from the UK. Germans do have an unfortunate reputation for rudeness and arrogance and I'm afraid that on this cruise many of them lived up to it. Queuing politely seems an alien concept and some would almost climb over my wife on her scooter to get into a lift first. There appears to be a rising tendency for cruise ships to dock in the outer reaches of ports and this happened in Brest, Malaga, Hamburg and Le Havre. In addition, Guernsey involved tendering whilst the itinerary included Amsterdam but it was changed to Rotterdam. As we booked before the change was announced we were given a free coach transfer to Amsterdam but because the ship was late in arriving in Rotterdam and it took an age to board the coach there were only two and a half hours' free time in Amsterdam instead of the four originally scheduled. Yet the ship didn't leave Rotterdam until the following morning so why the rush to get everyone back? Shuttle buses were provided in some ports but were charged for - up to 15 Euro pp which we and many others thought was unreasonable, not so much the level of the charge but the fact that they charged at all. Moreover, the buses provided were usually normal type coaches which meant my wife couldn't use them (hence she was unable to do the Amsterdam transfer) because she is unable to climb up the steps. Full disabled access buses were to be found in some ports but information on the ship regarding their availability ranged from sketchy to non-existent. Consequently, my wife was only able to leave the ship with her scooter in Lisbon, Cadiz and Vigo (the latter was, in fact, another change in the itinerary because we should have gone to La Coruna). Even then there was a problem because in Cadiz the steep angle of the gangway meant that she had great difficulty in manoeuvring her scooter on it. In fact, we heard that two passengers in wheelchairs had actually fallen out of them at the end of the gangway. We did mention these problems and were told that the steepness of the gangway was due to the state of the tide but we have been to Cadiz many times with RCL and had no trouble at all. Still on the subject of embarkation and disembarkation, when we arrived back at Southampton we found ourselves at a different terminal (Mayflower) from the one we had left from (City). We weren't told about this beforehand and most people didn't realise it until they came out of the Mayflower terminal building. This caused a problem for those who had arranged to be met by relatives or friends, had booked taxis or left their cars at the City terminal car parks, in other words the vast majority. Shuttle buses (free!) were provided back to City terminal and its car parks but the process, including loading luggage on to the shuttles, was time consuming and frustrating. In our case, because my wife couldn't get on the bus, I left her and our luggage at Mayflower, took the shuttle to City, picked up the car and drove back to Mayflower. In view of the above comments we think that MSC need to have a good look at their general organisation, particularly their procedures for embarkation/disembarkation at all ports and also for giving out information. We were aware that announcements over the PA system would be in 6 languages but English was always first so we could ignore the rest. Eventually, however, the constant babble really irritated us, particularly when it meant that you couldn't have a conversation because of it. The positive side was that there were less exhortations to buy or do something than on RCL ships and, thankfully, there was no dreaded Art Auction! We're not ones for shows so we didn't go to the theatre but others we spoke to that did said they were a mixed bag. There wasn't an awful lot in the daily programme and RCL are much better in that respect but we do appreciate the difficulties in catering for a multi-national complement of passengers. Live music in the bars and lounges was pleasant but not memorable. No British TV channels in the cabin except BBC World News. Dining. The Inca buffet is similar in layout and operation to the Windjammer on RCL ships but we felt that the Windjammer offers a bigger choice and better quality. Breakfast was fine (except for a perennial shortage of mushrooms and bananas) but the choice at lunch and dinner was such that there wasn't much we fancied. Having said that, the burgers and pizza were excellent. However, my wife finds it difficult to use the buffet when she's on her scooter because the dishes are too high for her to reach. In addition, the cards on the counter describing the dishes were too high and in print too small for her to read. Because of this she had breakfast in the cabin every day and we had most of our lunches and dinners in the MDR (Golden Lobster). We always have MyTime dining with RCL but that wasn't available to us on Preziosa so we had to choose between 6.00 pm and 8.30 pm sittings, neither of which really suited us because the first (which we chose) was too early and the second too late. And in the second week the early sitting was brought forward to 5.45 pm. The service was excellent but the food was essentially the same as in Inca and generally ranged from poor to mediocre with a quite good dish occasionally, but not often enough, making an appearance. It was frequently not hot enough, portions were small, meat was generally tough, there were hardly any vegetables and, despite the fancy Michelin type descriptions, it wasn't aimed at British tastes (yet MSC made a big thing about providing kettles and Yorkshire Tea in cabins for the benefit of the British). There was a choice of six main courses but the first two were always some sort of pasta and risotto, the third was fish and the last was a vegetarian option so really there wasn't a lot of choice or variety. And some of the combinations were strange. Leek and potato soup frequently appeared which should have been fine but they'd added shrimps to it which put many people off. And how about asparagus soup with tapioca pearls or steamed cod with raisins and onions? My wife got so fed up with it all that one evening we ordered a T-bone steak to share (24 Euro supplement) but it was so tough as to be inedible. In the past we have complained about the food on RCL ships but it's streets ahead of MSC. There should have been three speciality restaurants we could have gone to but Eataly wasn't open, we didn't fancy the one serving Japanese sushi and Butcher's Cut was closed for refurbishment. However, the latter did re-open on our last night so we went there. It was a complete contrast to the Golden Lobster and we had the best steak dinner we've had in a long time so they can do it if they try (and you're prepared to pay). However, even better was that one of the Black Card benefits is a meal in a speciality restaurant so it didn't cost us anything extra. So, to summarise the major pros and cons: Good: Beautiful, elegant and well appointed ship. Spotlessly clean. Lovely cabin. Good service from friendly staff. Nice little perks with the Black Card. Excellent dining in Butcher's Cut. Reasonable provision for smokers. Not so good: Unsatisfactory arrangements for getting off and on the ship during and at the end of the cruise, particularly for anyone disabled. General organisation, communication and dissemination of information poor. Annoying multi-lingual PA announcements. Indifferent shows, entertainment and activities. Mediocre food (except in Butcher's Cut). As for a comparison between MSC and RCL, we think that the Preziosa was nicer and better maintained than the RCL ships we've been on and it almost made them look rather shabby. MSC prices are cheaper, too. Food and on board activities are better on RCL and the way they run the cruise operation is very slick which makes MSC look amateurish. Would we go with MSC again? Probably not but I see that Indy's cruises out of Southampton next year have been cancelled so you never know........ Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
I chose this cruise for the beautiful scenery of the Norwegian Fjords. Due to strong winds we were unable to embark straight away as it was dangerous to use the air bridge but we were kept informed and I actually boarded 15 minutes ... Read More
I chose this cruise for the beautiful scenery of the Norwegian Fjords. Due to strong winds we were unable to embark straight away as it was dangerous to use the air bridge but we were kept informed and I actually boarded 15 minutes before my allotted time. First time using a mobility scooter but very helpful staff helped me to board by a conventional gangplank. No trouble disembarking, off within 15 minutes. Luggage found and out of the terminal within 30 minutes. I did not do any organised trips as it was my first cruise on my own, since losing my husband and having to us a mobility scooter. Self serve Horizon restaurant has plenty of staff wearing "Happy to Help aprons" and they were indeed helpful (although wanted to give me more food than I wanted) carried it to the table for me. All areas are accessible to disabled travellers and if you want to eat in the other restaurants they will park and bring it back afterwards. The Eric Lanlard afternoon tea in the Epicurean is to die for. The glad house has amazing wines (Selected by Ollie Smith). Try a wine flight if you want to sample. These is plenty of seating even on a sea day it wasn't hard to find a place. Overall a beautiful ship with absolutely wonderful crew. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We chose this cruise due to the interesting itinerary, as it was visiting a number of ports that were new to us. We had been on Aurora just 4 weeks before (see other review) so were interested to see the improvements. The ship did look ... Read More
We chose this cruise due to the interesting itinerary, as it was visiting a number of ports that were new to us. We had been on Aurora just 4 weeks before (see other review) so were interested to see the improvements. The ship did look refreshed but as regular cruisers on Aurora (7 times in 2 years) we had been really looking forward to the new large screen TV's so were deeply disappointed to find that all balcony cabins and above had received them, except the 8 accessible ones (of which we had one). Very poor show P&O, made worse by the fact that our questions on board as to why this was the case were ignored - 3 times. Aside from that, we enjoyed the cruise with, as always, some highs and lows (others will no doubt feel differently but these are just our opinions); Good points - The service in the Medina Restaurant (Freedom Dining) was first class. Food was very good. We did the Chef's Table private dining at £75 a head and it was the best thing we have done on a P&O ship for years and in the company of lovely fellow passengers who are prepared to fork out for top quality. Absolutely superb in every respect. Great initiative P&O - please repeat it. Tony Babb (guest lecturer) gave some fascinating talks. The Headliners show called Applause was superb. The new show 'Astonishing' previewed on Aurora during our cruise. It didn't live up to the hype, but was a welcome break from the usual dated offerings. Best two ports for us were Oporto and Ceuta, the latter being the unexpected highlight (it's a Spanish enclave cut out of Northern Morocco). What a fantastic place. P&O should go there far more often instead of the dump that is Gibraltar (the two are opposite sides of the Straits of Gibraltar). La Coruna, Lisbon and Alicante were all very nice, but only the last of them was new to us. Sorrento is lovely but was a tender port (my wife cannot get off at those as she is disabled) and it took a long time to get off the ship, even though I was booked on a tour. I did a trip to Herculaneum and unfortunately it rained all the time we were there. Our port call to Propriano (Corsica) was cancelled due to rough seas and replaced with Ajaccio. Although we hadn't been to the former but had been to the latter (12 years ago) we were delighted with this change, as my wife would have been stuck on the ship in Propriano but could get off in Ajaccio, which is lovely. Bad Points - As I have said, we were irritated with the fact that our accessible balcony cabin hadn't received the new large TV's that all other balcony cabins (and above) had benefited from in the refit and even more irritated that our complaint about this was ignored, even when I chased them several times. Whilst most people liked Malta, we were underwhelmed. We did a tour around the island and thought that the place looked terribly neglected. Yes it got savaged in the 2nd World War, but we are 70 years on from that now and were struck by the fact that all the private houses were in a poor state of repair (we were told afterwards it's due to their tax structure - you save money if you don't complete it fully!), all the roadsides have stone walls that are either badly built, incomplete or falling down and their 'countryside' looks more like wasteland. Valletta itself was much better, but it took us 45 minutes from being dropped off from the tour coach until we got back on the ship for lunch due to the very poor cruise terminal (just two security lines and massive queues) so we aborted our plan to see more of Valletta in the afternoon as we just couldn't face that queue to get back on again. Messina was the other disappointment. We should have taken a tour here but stayed in the town. This was a mistake. Very little to see and a nightmare to get around with a wheelchair. We were also plagued there by taxi drivers and dotto trian ticket touts, as well as street hawkers. The guest lecturers for the first half of the cruise were of no interest to us whatsoever (one was about football and the other Anne Frank which then morphed into talks on food. Very odd.) Actor Robert Daws was on board for the second half but was put in the Playhouse or Carmen's which had inadequate capacity for the numbers wanting to attend. He was very good but we only managed to see one of his three talks (which had been reduced from four) and the promised repeats of the 2nd and 3rd talks on the cabin TV never materialised. Other things - We had high drama in Civitavecchia . Just after the morning tours left the ship was blown very slightly off the berth by 70 knot winds. For the rest of the day we had to be pinned against the berth by three large tugs and nobody was allowed on or off the ship for 5 hours. As a result we didn't get to look around the town, but spent the day watching the most spectacular seas crashing over the breakwater and damaging a parked car, all from the comfort of the ship, whilst 500 passengers had to wait in the cruise terminal for hours until it was deemed safe to let them back on. The Captain (I won't name him) was a marmite character. We liked him and found his regular announcements interesting and amusing. A number of other passengers found him to be extremely irritating. There was a very good classical pianist and we enjoyed the Take That style group (Beautiful World) .The Runaround Kids were good, even if their humour is a bit infantile. The Adele tribute had a great voice but completely ruined her act when she spoke between songs. I think she was trying to impersonate Adele but it failed miserably. It was excruciating. Apart from the shows that I have mentioned that we liked, the rest of the 'entertainment' was the usual P&O 1970's style TV variety show / holiday camp fodder (which was great in the 1970's but woefully outdated now). Not for us I'm afraid. Fellow passengers were almost all lovely. I'd say that the average age of passengers was early 70's (as is usual on Aurora). Overall an enjoyable cruise with some real high points and a few niggles, but that's a balanced review of the cruise as we found it. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Seemed like a good idea at the time, first day we were greeted by a pedal bin in the toilet full of tissues and a used tampon smiling at us, reported it and all we got was a grunted apology whereas friends of ours got a fifty pound extra ... Read More
Seemed like a good idea at the time, first day we were greeted by a pedal bin in the toilet full of tissues and a used tampon smiling at us, reported it and all we got was a grunted apology whereas friends of ours got a fifty pound extra spend because some noise was heard early one morning.Although not P&O,s fault the ship was overun with wheelchairs, zimmer frames and mobility scooters.Technical faults ensued throughout and rudely awoken at 4.20 one morning with chairs etc being moved above us, when complained was virtually called a liar as no one goes above deck until 7.00 am to move stuff ,haunted ship I suppose. I dont think I've seen so many vastly overweight people in one place before, food ok but nothing wonderfull but most staff ok with some of the younger girls very smiley and chatty. One waiter virtually threw the food at us and seemed like he would rather be elsewhere . Two P&O cruises and four Princess and will go back to Princess in future , shame really as we would rather support home grown. Freddy Mercury tribute was awful if you were a queen fan and on a last note ive never seen food consumed in such large ammounts by people in their 80s as on this trip, no wonder it cost so much in care homes, lovely bunch though. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
I boarded Britannia for its France, Spain and Guernsey highlights. Embarkation was smooth for all guests, luggage attendants extremely helpful. And check in staff to security personal where to the highest standards. On boarding ... Read More
I boarded Britannia for its France, Spain and Guernsey highlights. Embarkation was smooth for all guests, luggage attendants extremely helpful. And check in staff to security personal where to the highest standards. On boarding Britannia I was greeted by friendly onboard social hostesses, who dealt with enquires in a very pleasant manner. The overall appearance is a finely and articulate ship with the grandiose it expels. The room steward kiran was trained to be more of a butler than a steward, one in which I would of expected to see on a Cunard liner. Absolutely excellent service from this young man. However it was not long Until you could hear the grumbles of passengers. From freezer packs not being delivered at appropriate times for medicine to be administered for a guest who had informed p and o re medical conditions. I can confirm the ship dealt with this on day of departure. Hopefully to the guest satisfaction. Then there was an issue with the drinks package!! 96 year old female told to pay the fee even though didn’t drink so her son could get his drinks package. I can confirm this was dealt with and he did receive his drinks package and the elderly lady was not charged and training was given. There was another incident on board on the first formal night when the photographer asked two gentleman, as they set to pose for photographs if they were father and son. One of the gentleman replied “no he is my partner” the photographer then replied who is the man and who is the woman” to many passengers in the queues horror and well as the two upset gentlemen. I can confirm there complaint was dealt with. The received compensation of 100 pounds on board credit alongside a meal in one of the fine dining rooms and the photographer was moved to a different area of the ship. However, they are still seeking more than this as they feel money or restaurants don’t compensate it is more to the fact of training and his attitude towards their sexuality. Now to bilboa this was pretty horrific as to disembarkation and boarding for disabled passengers coming off deck 6 rather than deck 5. It was far to long for passengers to try and walk and if a dla assessment officer was watching he/she would have been shocked as people who struggle to walk was actually beyond any Disablement entitlement. If a photographer took a photo. However because of this many were left physically exhausted and one passenger falling, injuring her ankle. Other passengers complained regarding the heating in rooms either being to cold then to hot in the evening. Then came the niggles and the freedom dining. Personally was pretty horrified at the times you had to wait your buzzer not going off, which I did complain about. Then the finest champagne not being open correctly and spilling out over the table. Which was reported. Now to your personal order of drinks bill being given and asked to sign before you had your dessert. I can confirm that this was reported and everything was taken extremely serious and action was taken.many passengers were disappointed not docking in Guernsey. This was down to storm Hannah and I back the decision as passengers and staff safety should always come first and the captain did although to the frustration of some. Disembarkation was delayed due to highs winds in the morning again adding to further frustration. This was out of both P and o Cruises control and ground staff. Unfortunately an act of god is beyond anyone’s control. Safety always has to be paramount. I understand people’s views and expectations are all different whether dining, dressing to entertainment. So yes this cruise didn’t meet a lot of expectations however, look carefully at itinerary of your cruise, and dress codes etc , every ship is different but at the same time it’s like a box of chocolates full of different varieties with a glossy coating. One thing I will say I think I am Amongst the majority that found the captains announcements came across a little condescending “ladies and gentleman boys and girls “ and tatty bye. Not how I expect a captain to address his public. I can confirm that every complaint is taking extremely seriously, and that Britannia staff will do their upmost to sort the situation out. Don’t wait to get home and complain it’s important to address it whilst on board. I would like like to add the bar team in the live lounge were of the highest standard and worked together extremely well. They served immaculately and presented themselves well a proud team supporting Avalon and his Assistant manager, and P and O Cruises. So yes the company needs to keep on top of training to impress the quality of service and fix things as soon as they arise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Short jaunt around the Bay of Biscay. Bipolar weather and last stop aborted so no guernsey sadly. I love Britannia. She’s a big ship and handles the rough and tumble of the Bay no problem. I met some lovely people on board who made ... Read More
Short jaunt around the Bay of Biscay. Bipolar weather and last stop aborted so no guernsey sadly. I love Britannia. She’s a big ship and handles the rough and tumble of the Bay no problem. I met some lovely people on board who made my holiday very special indeed. Grateful to Pete and Clarke for this. I also met some horrors too. If people can be nasty bigots in a public venue, I’m the antidote. These creatures were summarily dealt with and I moved on. P&O should DNA check some of its passengers. Embarkation and disembarkation were a breeze. Very efficient and the staff were amazing. I simply couldn’t fault them. I love P&O for this. The ship is due for a refit this year and, although she’s a lovely vessel, she needs a bit of a makeover as my cabin bathroom stunk of urine! Not good when I’ve complained about the very same thing on Ventura before. I get that a few thousand people all using the bathroom is a monumental thing on a ship, but P&O must sort this out. Soon. In summary, I enjoyed my journey and Britannia is lovely, apart from her toilet habits!! Safe journeys y’all Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This was probably the least enjoyable of our 17 cruises with P&O (6th on Aurora), but I should stress that the majority of this was not down to P&O. We did the Northern Lights Cruise during the same 2 weeks last year (also on ... Read More
This was probably the least enjoyable of our 17 cruises with P&O (6th on Aurora), but I should stress that the majority of this was not down to P&O. We did the Northern Lights Cruise during the same 2 weeks last year (also on Aurora) and had a spectacular display of the Northern Lights over two nights, with a weaker display on a third night. This year we had almost permanent cloud cover and on the two ocassions that we saw the Northern Lights they were incredibly weak. If last year was a 9 out of 10 display, this year was 1 out of 10. We also had fog (with the dreaded fog horn disiturbing sleep a few nights) and rough seas, with a lot of sudden lurching, for 24 hours on the return which became tiresome. Other than the 24 hours mentioned, Aurora rode the seas very well. As a point of interest, Viking Sky (the ship that ran into difficulties) arrived in Alta on our second day there and followed us back down the Norwegian coast a few days later. Last year we stopped in Tromso on the way to Alta, which was a lovely place and we really enjoyed our visit there. This year we made a maiden call (for P&O) to Narvik, which was a very poor replacement. Nothing much to see in the town. I also had a bad experience with a P&O tour. I had booked a snowmobile tour at £310 and it was stressed that the price was per snowmobile, not per person, so if you went as a couple you shared the snowmobile and the driving (and paid £310 between you), whereas if you went alone, you paid £310 but had sole use. At the snowmobile centre they tried to force me to share a snowmobile with another passenger when we had both paid £310 each. Naturally I refused, but it was a battle and spoiled the experience. Also the Snowmobiling was supposed to be ‘in mountains and places inaccessible by foot’ but was back and forth across a frozen lake. This was the same as I had done the previous year in Alta for around £100 less. The tour was also advertised as providing the history of the Narvik to Sweden railway line and its role in the Second World War. This didn’t happen either. Worst of all, my complaint about these issues back on board was handled very badly. They preferred to believe the word of the tour agent (who was naturally covering their back) than a customer of some 23 years standing. Very naive and short sighted of them, as we have now decided to do far fewer P&O tours on future cruises as a result. The scenery along the Fjords and ashore is fantastic. We had seen much of it last year, so didn’t quite get the ‘wow factor’ that passengers seeing it for the first time would have experienced, but it was lovely none the less. Temperatures were fine. Just like a cold U.K. winter. Most of the time it was within a few degrees of freezing, with the coldest we had around minus 7 degrees. Last year it was minus 15 to 20 degrees, so much colder. In spite of it not being that cold, the staff decided to keep the very heavy fire doors to the cabin corridors closed on all decks. Whilst this was needed below deck 7 (which is all they did last year, even when it was MUCH colder), this year they decided to do it on ALL decks. This just wasn’t necessary as the areas around the lift areas between decks 8 and 11 were incredibly hot and there would have been far better temperature dissipation with the doors open. We fed this back on the ‘First Impressions’ form and, thankfully, they kept the door outside our cabin open thereafter (my wife is a wheelchair user and, in addition to the door not needing to be closed, it made access to and from our accessible cabin very difficult). Service in the Medina Restaurant was absolutely superb. Well, to clarify, it was superb as far as the waiters and managers were concerned. The wine waiters were poor. Difficult to get hold of and one was actually quite rude. Food was perfectly acceptable, but not quite as good as on our previous cruises on Aurora. One disappointment (noted by many) was the absence of lobster from the Marco Pierre White menu. The current chefs seem to think that us Brits are scared of anything remotely spicy, so tone everything down to mild, bordering on bland. Great shame, as we loved trying all the tasty curries at lunchtime years ago. The Glasshouse and Beach House were great (as always) and whilst the Sindhu Restaurant on Aurora is our least favourite Sindhu in the fleet, we enjoyed Tiffin lunch in there. We met some lovely fellow passengers (including some we had met on previous cruises, which was fantastic) and enjoyed some pleasant chats. The average age of passengers on Aurora is usually mid 70’s (they didn’t quote a figure this time but last year the Captain mentioned the average age was 73) and although we are a few decades younger, this suits us. We aren’t fans of P&O’s ‘1960’s holiday camp’ style of entertainment so tend to avoid much of it, but the Headliners troupe on this cruise were very good (we find that they vary enormously from very good to poor), but sadly left after this cruise. Electra (two female violinists) were absolutely superb. Jane Davey (presenter) was very confident and engaging, but we found that her desire to find a wise crack in almost every line became irritating and diluted the substance matter so much that we lost interest. Stuart St Paul (former stuntman and film director) gave some fairly interesting talks, but was rather full of himself. The Port Presenter (Sam) was very good, other than the Butlins style “if you have been to Norway before, shout ‘whoop whoop’ additions. Dear God, when will P&O wake up to the fact that it’s now the 21st Century! When we disembarked, there were 1,000 workmen waiting to embark to assist with Aurora’s refit in Brest, France. A total of 1,800 workmen will toil over the next fortnight to bring her a little more up to date. We are back on board next month, so will play ‘spot the difference’. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Care of the customer seems to have become secondary to profit. A92 yr old pensioner had to be admitted to hospital in Cherbourg but was released as fit a few hours later. We saw him at 1pm sitting in the drafty embarkation shed having been ... Read More
Care of the customer seems to have become secondary to profit. A92 yr old pensioner had to be admitted to hospital in Cherbourg but was released as fit a few hours later. We saw him at 1pm sitting in the drafty embarkation shed having been refused entry to the ship despite the fact the hospital had discharged him as fit to travel, he was 50 meters from the ship,and the ship was not due to sail until 7.30pm. Having made a noisy protest at customer services whose only response was 'we cannot tell you anything' he and partner were finally allowed back on board. All we could do was to mention the Press and hope for the best. They were 12 hrs from Southampton but were expected to get a taxi and three trains to get to the port in the UK to get their luggage which was still on the ship. A truly disgraceful way to treat anyone. Ports and excursions left a lot to be desired. We apparently did not always get our normal births so shuttle buses were used, these dropped you off where they felt like rather the centre of towns, lots of walking on rough pavements. Lisbon was cancelled due to the weather, whose bright idea was Cherburg as a replacement? Entertainment was very good, the new dancing troupe were excellent. Food was adequate but small portions and not as good as before. Restaurants appear to be understaffed. My wife was confined to the cabin for over 30 hours following something she ate, and received a letter saying how grateful they were that she obeyed the guidelines, and as a reward she was offered £71 - off the next cruise booking within the next 12 months. We are speechless. Needless to say, we will not be using their offer. Our disappointment at the whole episode, which should have been a happy break, is now a very miserable experience, not to be repeated. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019

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