10 Southampton Singles Cruise Reviews

We have cruised with this cruise line several times. We had always had a good experience but since our last cruise I am a vegetarian and can only comment on the lack of vegetarian options are atrocious Lack lustre curry stir fried ... Read More
We have cruised with this cruise line several times. We had always had a good experience but since our last cruise I am a vegetarian and can only comment on the lack of vegetarian options are atrocious Lack lustre curry stir fried vegetables fried rice , or salad were the only option for meals and so the only meal worth looking forward to was breakfast There are no vegan options either. We met really lovely people, entertained by the Acoustic Soul brothers excellent!! And the piano virtuoso Ian West who tinkled the ivories like a legend. Some of the stops were by tender and can be slightly precarious for older persons however the staff were always helpful, some of the stops had very steep slopes so looking at the shore excursions need to be considered before booking The ship itself had a good variety of entertainment great swimming pool and cheerful staff. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Queen elizabeth no 801 23rd dec 2017 - 7th jan 2018. I am a regular passenger with cunard but i had a real problem with my cabin on this cruise. I was in cabin 6182, an inside cabin. I was traveling as a single person so had to pay ... Read More
Queen elizabeth no 801 23rd dec 2017 - 7th jan 2018. I am a regular passenger with cunard but i had a real problem with my cabin on this cruise. I was in cabin 6182, an inside cabin. I was traveling as a single person so had to pay the supplement for that grade. I think this cabin is not even fit for one person, most certainly not two. There is no desk space the way the cabin is configured at present. The tray for tea/coffee making equipment is a nice touch but in this cabin leaves no desk/dressing table space. There is also no causal chair . See attached photographs This meant that the whole time had to be spent on the bed. I complained to the purser (hotel general manager) she responded saying that all desk areas were the same except for queens and princess grills cabins. I have traveled in everything from a q1 downwards. The desk space is not the same in all cabins. In 6182 it was 69 cm. And in the other 84.5 cm. Thus they vary by 15.5 cms and the high space in the 6182 also not available as it is taken up by the tv. The customer service manager offered me cabin 4110 late in the voyage which was perfect. However this not really my point. I tried to load photograph but this proved impossible, however one desk was 69 cm the other 84.5 cm. This being 15.5 cm longer On the last leg of the world cruise, cape town to southampton i traveled in a single cabin on deck 1. This cabin was perfect. This time i was unable to book a deck 1 single through cunards site and had to go to an agent. I notice from the present 2018 site every single cabin for all cruises is marked “sold out” for the whole year. I find this unlikely and this would appear to be a crafty and dubious business practice. When i book a cruise i watch the website frequently and twice a day towards departure and it is obvious when cabins and fares are updated and consolidated. The amount i paid for my 6182 cabin was similar to the fare for a single on deck 1. This single was an oceanview. It therefore had a window, a settee, a usable desk area and plenty of space. Cabin 6182 has no window, no desk and no settee. All for a similar fare. I know very well you get what you pay for, but it is unconscionable to charge the same fare for totally contrasting cabin facilities, what, in one cabin, is provided for a particular fare should in another cabin have similar facilities. Anything else is unacceptable, unethical, sharp business practice and possibly illegal. To further compound this shadiness by “blocking off” all the single cabins on every cruise for the whole year, makes the situation worse. Primary points for attention are: SIMILAR CABIN FARES MUST EQUATE TO SIMILAR CABIN FACILITIES SELECTED CABIN GRADES SHOULD NOT BE DISPLAYED AS “SOLD OUT” WHEN THEY ARE NOT Single travellers are constantly being exploited. Do not let you agent or cunard book you in cabin 6182 on the queen elizabeth. SOLO TRAVELLERS Arising from this problem i have a further concern as to what is provided for “solo travellers”. On this cruise q801 there was very little and what was provided was a shambles. The first “meeting” was situated in an area too small for those wishing to attend. The “bubbly” and coffee had not been arranged and the “host” did not turn up till very late. On the second occasion the “host” did not turn up at all. He was being santa or something. Due to the first meeting not having taken place there was no list of “solos” so it was impossible to arrange invitations for the solo lunch. In port there was no hosting attendance, coffee or other provision other than a notification of the scheduled meeting place. The solo lunch eventually took place on the last day. Solo travellers pay a considerably higher fare than other passengers but receive virtually nothing extra. There was a group arranged in the ballroom on new year’s eve but it was inadequately notified and many people did not realise it had taken place. Many of these ‘solos’ are older and also disabled therefore triply isolated and left on their own. This demographic of cruise passengers is becoming an increasing part of your client base. Cunard need to take better care of them. Also, the years of people with the large pensions are drawing to a close. Where are your passengers going to come from then? Another problem with being sole on this cruise was the lack of the gourmet/wine dinner in the veranda. I like to eat in this venue but on my own it is little difficult. The gourmet/wine dinner gives solos a chance to eat at a made up larger table. This event was dropped from the usual programme, again to the detriment of sole travellers. Each passenger receive an allocated ‘spend on board”. Should a solo traveler not receive 175% of this amount as they pay 175% for their fare? Primary points for attention are: GIVE MORE APPROPRIATE ATTENTION TO PROGRAMMES AND FACILITIES FOR SOLO TRAVELLERS Increase the personal spend for these passengers. ENTERTAINMENT The christmas show was a disaster. I understand it was probably a one off as it was christmas but if the singers had just come on stage and had a ‘sing along’ of christmas carols it would have been preferable. The costumes did not fit the dancers, the choreography was very poor and dated. I have seldom seen so much fear and embarrassment on a stage. The dancers did not know the routines, could not commit to the choreography and were embarrassed by their ill fitting costumes. Happily they did prove their worth in the other shows later in the cruise. How cunard have the audacity to bill the shows as “new” is beyond belief. I have seen most of these numbers on other cruises and ships in the past. The other entertainers were of a reasonable standard, however the speakers/lectures were not particularly good. The lecture on bletchley park being the least well received. The yacht club dj was very poor. He appeared to be unable to work out the type of music the passengers liked. The band would leave after their set with the dance floor full. The venue would empty in seconds once the stared to dj. The bar service is also poor. Only one waiter had the right idea how to work a club/disco type of venue. He would welcome the passengers at the door, help find them a seat, and ask what they would like to drink. The two staff behind the bar were very slow considering the number of drinks they were serving and the other room waiter was slow to get to passengers and ascertain their requirements. This bar must run at a loss Primary points for attention are: ONLY PUT ON PROPERLY REHEARSED DRESSED AND CHOREOGRAPHED SHOWS Do not bill as “new’ shows that have been staged before. FIND A NEW COMPETENT DJ TRAIN THE STAFF HOW TO WORK A BAR SUCH AS THIS ALTERNATIVE DINING OPTIONS The food in general was very good. Good produce, well cooked, and pleasantly presented. The waiting and sommelier staff were excellent, as usual. However, there was on major issue. I visited the “alternative” dining venue one evening. It was the one billed as “coriander”. The starter was ok, well presented although additional chutneys would have been acceptable, also a dedicated rice dish is required. The main course i ordered was lamb pasanda. I was very very over salted and the lamb meat was extremely tough. I am certain it had only been “lamb” many years before it reached the ship. There was good lamb on board as i had a rack during the following days which cut like butter. To charge a supplement for what was provided is a ripoff. Primary points for attention are: Improve the standard of food in this venue if you are going to charge a considerable supplement. THE PURSER’S DESK On several occasions i was given incorrect information by the recaption desk staff and also by the hotel general manager (purser). The desk staff probably were new and inexperienced and not fully trained. I did not receive my customer questionnaire. I asked a number of times. I was assured it would be resent my cabin. It did not appear. I also asked for the assisted disembarkation information on a number of occasions. Again, this did not arrive until the very last minute. I did suggest it may have been because of my cabin transfer but was assured this was not the reason. The customer services manager was very helpful and understanding and did what she could to address my situation. Primary points for attention are: THE PURSER’S DESK STAFF REQUIRE MORE TRAINING AND BETTER COMMUNICATION The purser (hgm) neads to check the accuracy of information sent out in a letter before it is sent. THE RELIGIOUS SERVICE The service on christmas eve was advertised as an “anglican” service. Before the service started, while we were waiting for the pianist, the “reverend” addressed those attending. I may have misunderstood what he was saying but: he announced that he and his wife had set up a “mission” to minister to passengers at sea. I found this a little disconcerting. The prospect that an ordained priest should go around personally benefitting from providing the holy sacrament to passengers on cruise ships i found rather repugnant. Which church did he belong to? does he have a bishop who has sanctioned this activity? Where i come from, northern ireland, in the past we have had too many people set themselves up as “men of god’ in their own church. I did not take the sacrament in the end although i did attend the service. Primary points for attention are: Provide more information on who and what the priest providing communion is. THE PROVISION OF INTERNET SERVICES When i wanted to write my letter of complaint on the ship i enquired if there were computers on which i could write a letter and print it. I eventually discovered i could write an email and send it to the bureau. However, to do this i would have to be “logged on” for the time it took to compose it. This would have been wasting my very expensive internet minutes. I am partially dyslexic and have problems with handwriting. The hand written letter i did eventually did compose took me some considerable time and was very rough and probably difficult to read. I found this whole situation quite embarrassing and frustrating. Primary points for attention are: Make word processing facilities available to passenger without having to “log on” to the internet. I have always enjoyed my cunard cruises. I think the waiters, room stewards and public room waiters all work incredibly hard. I even, as a regular traveler, consider some of them as friends. I look forward to seeing them each cruise. However, most of my issues were rooted in the management and policies in force on the ship. Most are the responsibility of “head office” management. I put all the above issues in a letter to cunard. After some considerable time i received a response. Many of the issues were totally ignored and the one over the unsuitability and pricing of my cabin was hardly addressed at all. Hence i am writing this review as others deserve to know cunard's contempt for passengers genuine problems. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
I decided to try QM2 again after sailing on a transatlantic in 2012. I had heard about the fabulous re-mastering and wanted to see if the ship had been changed. I'm afraid that I was not impressed. Obviously the accountants had the ... Read More
I decided to try QM2 again after sailing on a transatlantic in 2012. I had heard about the fabulous re-mastering and wanted to see if the ship had been changed. I'm afraid that I was not impressed. Obviously the accountants had the whip hand in deciding what to do with the ship. QM2 always had an ergonomic problem. It is the worst vessel at sea to get around; so many blind alleys, blocked off areas, exclusion zones and without doubt the worst use of space ever. What they have done is increased the spaces available to make money, though curiously they have turned a wonderful casino into little more than a slot parlour. I was amazed to see that Queens grill and Princess grill dining rooms are located n a non-descript part of the ship with wonderful views of the super-structure, providing they don't mind being stared at by lesser mortals promenading outside their dining room windows. A poor substitute for QV and QE where premium guests have the views of Olympian gods from their dining room, unobserved by lesser mortals. I was most unimpressed by the huge waste of space in and around the Queens Room and other areas of the ship. so much more could be done in these spaces with very little effort. As for the Kings Court, OMG it is like dining in a tunnel on the London Underground. It was cold outside so everyone uses it as a thoroughfare from one end of the ship to the other, a nightmare at busy times negotiating your way to a table through the throng. The service, rooms, food, entertainment were all wonderful as you would expect. I will avoids this ship like the plague, I hate the general layout and find it to be the biggest waste of space on the high seas. One last thing, don't book a cruise on this ship id you are a smoker. Cunard considers smokers as lesser mortals who must be punished for their nasty habit and will confine them to the most uncomfortable out of the way parts of the ship with plenty of wind and rain to cleanse them of their filthy habit. If you smoke you may want to find a another cruise line because the only thing Cunard will help you with is purchasing smokes, god forbid you want to light up. Maybe during the next re-fit they will find a corner of the bilge tanks for the smokers to use. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
7 day cruise to Norway from Southampton, getting on and off the ship was very good, I also enjoyed the evening shows Magic to Do, the Disco Show, the variety show, Jo Little the comedian, and others too, all most entertaining! My cabin ... Read More
7 day cruise to Norway from Southampton, getting on and off the ship was very good, I also enjoyed the evening shows Magic to Do, the Disco Show, the variety show, Jo Little the comedian, and others too, all most entertaining! My cabin steward was excellent too. Though my cabin was very small, I was the only occupant, so it was fine. I would imagine 2 people staying in the cabin might be VERY uncomfortable! I did enjoy the ports too in Norway very much. This ship holds over 3000 passengers, and during the week of the cruise, most of them wandered around aimlessly in groups unsure of where they were going, seemingly always blocking entrances and exits to everywhere on the ship. I did learn out of the over 3000 passengers onboard, only about 700 were Americans. I discovered rude people with no consideration for others come from all over the world apparently. The ship is HUGE and it is a bit of a challenge figuring out where everything is. I ate dinner every night in the Botticelli Dining room. The menu was very limited, with one page remaining the same, and another page with different items, mostly all unhealthy choices with butter or cream, and rather bland and tasteless at the same time, too. My dining companions were all in agreement on how bland most everything was. There were NO healthy options on the menu, and also oddly, no choice of sides (potato, rice, vegetables, etc.) I wonder if this was to encourage people to pay extra for the specialty dining options. Also, after a waiter took my order one night, someone sat down in the empty seat next to me at the table. When the waiter brought over my food, he placed it in front of the passenger who sat down at the empty seat. Not sure what that was about. The dinner buffet on the Horizon deck was actually so much better-each night was a different theme, (Italian, Asian, Indian, etc) with SO much more variety to chose from, and so much tastier too!. I only know this because almost each night BEFORE dining in the dining room, I'd sample some of the buffet items about an hour before, first on deck well aware that the dining room dinners were VERY unsatisfying. Some of the dessert choices though were not bad, and did find some satisfying desserts. One more issue I feel needs to be mentioned here. One evening was the Captain's get together in the Piazza on one of the formal nights. A waiter came around with small bites to eat. I only spotted ONE waiter among the hundreds of passengers gathering in this area. After I sampled something from his tray, I approached him for more, he rudely told me "no" as others had not had any yet. Was the cost of these items coming out of his pocket? I don't think so. I feel that gathering should have been more prepared with more servers, and his behavior was totally unacceptable AND inappropriate. Probably just the ship cutting costs wherever it can, and overcharging for EVERYTHING on the ship that is NOT included. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
This was my 13th. cruise and my 4th. (in a row) with P&O. I travelled on Ventura in 2015 and all was well-but I'm sad to say the ship now needs some serious restoration. As with my other reviews on this site, I'll split this ... Read More
This was my 13th. cruise and my 4th. (in a row) with P&O. I travelled on Ventura in 2015 and all was well-but I'm sad to say the ship now needs some serious restoration. As with my other reviews on this site, I'll split this up into catergories starting with... Embarkation/Disembarkation. Sailing from Southampton in the UK. A complete breeze. P&O know what they're doing. Although the ship was completely booked up, there were loads of staff waiting at the terminal in Southampton. My car was taken by a local long-term parking company and I was directed to the main terminal building. Inside were (literally) hundreds of people getting their cabin keycards. But everything was perfectly smooth and I was onboard in around half an hour. Disembarkation was also a breeze. I'm a "walk off". That is somebody who can take their own luggage and leave the ship without any assistance. I was off the ship around 0730, I picked up my car and I was on the road home by 0800. Fantastic organisation. Demographics. The ship was fully booked and not exclusively British. I heard several eastern European, Asian and American accents. As it was the school Easter holidays, there were lots of families with children onboard and I estimate that the average age of the psasengers was in the forties-maybe less. There was (depending who you spoke to) around 300 to 400 children (under 12 and younger-I don't count teenagers) onboard. As I don't have kids of my own, I forgot about the Easter holidays. I'm not making a social comment, but everywhere you went during the day, there were loads of screaming kids-especially around the swimming pools. I tried to avoid this, but you couldn't get away from them. This made daytime activities difficult and I had trouble finding a nice quiet corner to relax. There was an "adults only" section of the ship, but this had a daily charge attatched and I wasn't going to pay. Talking of daily charge...P&O charge £6 per per per day on everybody's account. They call this a "hotel charge". This applies to all passengers over 12. I went to reception and asked for a form to remove this charge. P&O cannot force people to pay this it and I feel very strongly about being told when and how much (if at all) I am going to tip staff. I did tip my steward 50 Euros but that is as far as I will go. The cruise companies need to look at this as these trips are expensive enough. Food/drink. I requested first sitting in the main dining room (MDR) but I was given "freedom dining". Not for me. I like sitting down with the same people discussing the day, not with different people every night with the same questions...Where are you from/what do you do/married/kids etc. Because of this, I had my evening meals in the buffet. The food on offer was very good with themed nights..Curry night/Italian night/British pub food etc. All in all, very tasty. There are speciality restaurants on the ship-Sinhdu/Epricurean/Glass House and others. There is a cover charge on these but I have tried Sinhdu and I would highly recommend them. There won't be any screaming kids in these restaurants. As to alcohol...P&O claim that they charge "pub prices". Not where I'm from they're not. Beer was served in British Imperial pints (as opposed to the American pint which is 16 fluid ounces-British pints are 20 fluid ounces). My regular pub charges £3.05 for a pint and I could go to a Wetherspoons (to non-British readers Wetherspoons is a major UK pub chain) and pay around £1.80 for a pint, so I don't think P&O is charging pub prices. Permium beers/bottles cost even more. There was the usual spirits/wines/cocktails/champagne on offer-again at a lot more than you would pay in a pub. The ship and its staff. As I said above, I travelled on Ventura in 2015 and it had a refit in that year. I have to report that it needs another one-and soon. The carpets in the main public areas and staircases were threadbare and there was paint chips on the woodwork all over the place. Also, it seemed to me that the decor hadn't changed in the two years since I was on Ventura. P&O need to look at this with a serious update. I will say that all of the public areas/toilets/bars/restaurants were spotless all the time. The lower order of staff (bar staff/cabin stewards/cleaners) were mainly Indian and Filipino, very friendly and nothing was too much trouble. My cabin steward-Vincy-was brilliant. My cabin. I paid what P&O call an "early saver" fare. I was allocated an inside double room despite the fact that I had only paid a single fare as opposed to double for a solo traveller. The cabin was ok but as I have said above about a refit, the cabins need updating. There's loads of storage space-drawers/cupboards etc. but the shower/toilet had seen better days. Entertainment. I'm not a show person but there was the usual onboard troupe-Headliners-doing shows in the main theatre. There were resident bands and guest singers all doing MOR music. All very good. I did go and see an Elton John tribute in the Havana bar. He was very good and looked the part. He did two shows on two of the days and they were well attended. Daytime/night activities included quiz nights in the pub "The Exchange". I used to write pub quizzes as a hobby so I don't take part. There was guest lecturer talking about famous singers-Frank Sinatra/Elvis Presley-very informative. At least there wasn't any screaming kids there. Our route. We visited Vigo in Spain, Lisbon and Opporto in Portugal and Cherbourg in France. The weather could have been a little better but it was the first week in April so I didn't expect too much. We did have 32C in Lisbon and Opporto but it cooled down a bit in Cherbourg. I booked excusions with P&O before I travelled visiting the Oceanarium in Lisbon, a port vineyard in Opporto and the Bayuex Tapestry in Bayuex-about an hour's drive from Cherbourg. All very interesting. The Bayuex Tapestry was on my "Bucket List" so thats one done. I did my own thing in Vigo. And no screaming kids. Note: If you decide to do your own thing or use local tour guides in the ports of call and you miss the sailaway-tough. I will be your responsibility to get to the next port and at your own expense. The ship will not wait for you. And if you try to claim back any costs incurred on your travel insurance, they won't pay out as it was your own fault for missing the ship. If, on the other hand, you use an official P&O trip and you're late, the ship will wait for your return. Observations. This is not a social comment. I have said this on previous reviews and have been completely vilified. Going back to the kids onboard. In the buffet, kids were running about with no control from parents. This could be potentially dangerous and P&O need to sort this out. Also, at night, parents were carrying kids who were fast asleep or in buggies/pushchairs in loud, busy bars. These children were very young-some less that a year old. I know that when I was that age, I was in bed by a certain time and if I complained about it, I got smacked. I know that this isn't "politically correct" in this day and age, but I think this is wrong. I will say that during the evenings, the slightly older kids were well behaved and in complete control. But kids don't need to be in loud bars when the adults are enjoying the entertainment. One one occasion, I went to the Metropolis Bar. This is a smaller, intimate bar with a piano player, mood lighting-all very nice. Unfortunately, there were several families in the bar with around ten kids running about all over the place. This was around one o'clock in the morning and I had popped in for a nightcap before retiring for the night. Not something that is needed in what I would call an "adult bar". I won't make the mistake of booking another cruise when the kids are on holiday in the future. Conclusions. The ship...A bit threadbare and in need of a refit. Food/Drink...The buffet was very good-I can't comment on the MDR's-and the alcohol prices are still too high. The staff...Excellent. Weather..I know we can't control the weather but we did get two or three very warm days-the cruise was in the first week of April. Marks out of ten? I'll give this cruise six out of ten. I've deducted points for high beer prices, ship a bit tatty and too many screaming kids. I will recommend Ventura to first timers and seasoned cruisers-just don't book a cruise in the school holidays. Did I mention the screaming kids? Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Having cruised on P & O and enjoyed the experience, we thought that Fred Olsen with its smaller ships stopping at ports unavailable to larger ships would be better. There are many positive things to say about this cruise including the ... Read More
Having cruised on P & O and enjoyed the experience, we thought that Fred Olsen with its smaller ships stopping at ports unavailable to larger ships would be better. There are many positive things to say about this cruise including the very friendly atmosphere. The accommodation was fine, the staff were fantastic, with nothing being too much trouble. The entertainment was exceptionally good throughout the cruise. The shore excursions were somewhat hit and miss, but overall fine. The great let down was the food. The restaurant food was passable, however the buffet options were the worst that I have ever experienced. The menus suggest that for health reasons, passengers should make sure that the food was thoroughly cooked so as not to risk individuals health. Unfortunately I was unable to find a single egg which you would consider safe to eat or even hot. For those who ate in the buffet areas when they opened, the majority of the food was cold. A breakfast of partially cooked fried egg, cold beans and cold sausage and bacon is not ideal. One fantastic plus for this cruise were the Phillapean staff who were amazing. Despite a very busy working schedule - they smile Day and night. Their attention to detail and warm personalities provide the kind of atmosphere that can only be admired. We did enjoy the cruise - shame about the food. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
I have been on the sister ship Splendor and now this one...the design is to turn everything inwards to a four story strip mall where everyone congregates because its too cold or wet or both to be on deck. This makes the ship seem very ... Read More
I have been on the sister ship Splendor and now this one...the design is to turn everything inwards to a four story strip mall where everyone congregates because its too cold or wet or both to be on deck. This makes the ship seem very crowded as normally nearly half the passengers would be outside. This makes the Windjammer buffet crowed as people don't want to leave because there is no place to go. My stateroom was beginning to look worn....something was wrong with the water line to the toilets and all this black stuff stained the inside of the toilet and looked dreadful...the T.V. was limited with the same two or three films endlessly repeating and then they would show them in the theatre...how much is a DVD? I've done this crossing twice before on Celebrity and they have an indoor pool...big help...land robes in all the staterooms so you don't freeze getting out of the hot tub...no such luck on Royal. The specialty restaurants on Navigator were fantastic....and the 5 specialty restaurant deal is great value....I would not recommend the Mexican but all the others were fantastic... If you want to stay connected at sea this is the MOST EXPENSIVE program ever. $13. for 24 consecutive hours....Even if your only on line for half an hour....you pay for 24 every day. If you want to check in on line for your flight .... you must buy 24 hours of time even if your only on like 15 minutes...Everyone was angry because you couldn't sign out and save and save your time. On Celebrity for 14 nights I think I payed a flat rate of $75. for the entire trip. YOU MUST GO THROUGH IMMIGRATION at Boston...You stand in a line that is the entire length of the ship and then turns back a third of the way....from joining the line to seeing the officer is THREE HOURS of standing on concrete...even elderly people in their 80 were half dead in this line. You think its not the cruise ships fault well...partly because historically Canadians always go through the U.S. customs line but NOT on Celebrity or Royal (same cruise line) Canadians go through with Europeans who have to have visa's and forms which Canadians don't require but you can't tell Celebrity or Royal that...they keep telling you to go on line and get a visa which you can't get because there is no Canada in the drop down. Royal could have helped by putting the immigration forms in our stateroom the night before but NO...we were given the while standing in line without a pen and when you borrowed you were trying to fill out a floppy form standing up...the people tasked with giving out the forms (White or Green) didn't bother to read who they were for and so had no clue as to who needed which form. I was given white and after three hours lining up and my ankles swollen twice the size...the office looked at my passport and said "Your Canadian" and he threw the form away and stamped my passport...Meantime several officers assigned for Americans sat doing nothing because half the Americans didn't turn up...if they had....then those officers could have switched over to the thousands of people in the line...RULE - all Americans MUST go through Immigration between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. or they will have to line up with the rest of the passengers....I bet that will get them out of the coffee shop. We had cold weather and lots of rain...so we ate too much....the stage shows were O.K. but as usual it is a competition to see who can scream into the mike the loudest and the majority of music was TODAY POP and the passengers were 55 plus and getting up walking out. At least it wasn't as loud as Celebrity which has a deafening sound system even with both my hearing aids out it was too loud. If your doing the transatlantic in Nov. choose a ship with an indoor pool so there more room to spread out...also the Celebrity buffet is far better. I only used the Navigator dining room for one breakfast and my lightly poached eggs were cooked solid and cold. So after that it was the buffet where the eggs were made for you but the bacon was good bacon but overcooked and dripping in grease... Because of immigration I don't think I will do this next year...I'm 78 and very arthritic and my ankles were so swollen I couldn't even go ashore...not that there was any time...I got out of the line at 1 p.m. and we had to be back on board by 3:30 p.m. so what's the point even if I could walk....too little time to do anything in the shops or Quincy Square. This ship needs some renovation and a T.V. plan like Celebrity and they have got to apply themselves to fixing the immigration in Boston problem. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
So this was my 12th cruise with Norwegian following Epic, Spirit, Breakaway, and Getaway (the last both the inaugural sailings). I managed to get on the two 1 night sailings CTN from Southampton on the 27th and 28th before the 29th ... Read More
So this was my 12th cruise with Norwegian following Epic, Spirit, Breakaway, and Getaway (the last both the inaugural sailings). I managed to get on the two 1 night sailings CTN from Southampton on the 27th and 28th before the 29th trans-Atlantic. It also allowed me to experience both an inside cabin as well as a balcony cabin. I love Epic but when the away class came out I immediately loved the Waterfront concept, the negatives of the away class were the small Spice H2O and the bliss nightclub so was eager to see how Escape matched up to its older sisters. First impressions: due to issues with NCL not providing luggage service (even though HO in UK had told two in our party there would be luggage service) we had to drag our 2wk cases onboard ourselves. We boarded deck 5 and so went down the long tunnel like corridor past the kids area which didn't feel like a ship! As I'm used to the away class I knew roughly where everything was so we checked out the deltas. The brew house district was great, one of my fave bars although disappointed that a lot of beers had already been drunk by those from Germany and wouldn't be re-stocked until Miami! A theme which was familiar throughout the cruise.. Skyline bar was a nice open plan bar with the screens but my thoughts immediately thought where could a do do play nightclub music?? The answer is he can't and nothing was on after 12:30. Apparently it was an oversight. They had planned to use the 5 o'clock somewhere bar but with cabins directly above this wasn't an option late. So bars/lounges: Hits: Brewhouse District - nice layout. Nice atmosphere, best on the ship. Would have been nice to have some tables/chairs outside on the waterfront Misses: 5 o'clock somewhere bar - packed with too many tables/chairs. Outside on the waterfront it's the smokers bar so you couldn't drink out there and had to walk through the smoke when walking along the waterfront :( No nightclub. Dining: Hits: Magaritaville - had two lunches in there but had to wait 1.5hrs for a table the 2nd time due to popularity, can't see it staying complimentary for long! O'Sheehans - new menu with the old specials now included and new entries like brownie cheesecake but the chicken pot pie has gone :( Misses: none really except the Oreo cheesecake has gone from Cagneys menu and its of course now a la carte. Ents: Hits: the Brat Pack supper club was brilliant and clearly the best ents onboard. They haven't fixed the sound bleed through issue into the theatre above so if you are in the theatre watching something else you'll feel the bass. Make sure you arrive early to get best seats. Misses: I was born in the 70s so for me Million dollar quarter and after midnight were not great. Not having a nightclub venue was disappointing. Too many people playing pianos.. Cabins: Hits: balcony grade and above have USB sockets on the bedside lamps to charge phones etc.. Insides don't. Guest services/admin: Really disappointed as even though a new ship these were all experienced staff and officers who had brought out the other new ships. Had to make frequent trips to guest services as things pre-paid were being charged again. Some after I'd provided evidence the first trip. Bill was wrong, ents pre booked lost, took 0.5hr on departure day as they didn't charge the full amount and they didn't know why.. Too much "computer says no" Staff: Were great bar staff and room steward. Just seemed like less waiters around. Disembarkation: Worse ever. 1hr queuing onboard with no announcements. Instead the crew started a drill whilst passengers still trying to get off. Miami is by far the worse cruise terminal I have experienced. In the end it took 3.5hrs to get off and through immigration then a further hour wait for the transfer in the boiling Sun! Overall. Given the choice of Epic, Breakaway. getaway, or Escape I'd pick Escape last. If you are over 50, heard of Jimmy Buffet, don't like staying up late or are a smoker then you'll love this ship! Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
I'd read the reviews before I left and so knew what to expect. I wasn't surprised, just saddened really. The ship seems to have sacrificed the open areas, which you find on other ships, for the sake of adding extra cabins. ... Read More
I'd read the reviews before I left and so knew what to expect. I wasn't surprised, just saddened really. The ship seems to have sacrificed the open areas, which you find on other ships, for the sake of adding extra cabins. Everything is in dark browns and dark blues and the forward and rear staircases were exactly the same so I sometimes couldn't work out where I was on the ship. I also found the artwork to be bland and dull, very unlike other cruise lines. It was also difficult to see the deck numbers from the stairs which was also confusing. I didn't find it very easy to navigate around the ship, and even after a week on board I still had to think about the direction and deck that I needed to head for. Finding the library was trying to find Narnia! This was a Norwegian fjords cruise and I can't fault the destinations. I even have to praise the tendering process and getting on and off the ship in the ports. I have to be honest and say that I felt this to be far better than on other cruises that I've been on. Sadly the Bergen excursion that I was booked on was cancelled as we arrived about 4hrs late in port. I went on excursions at the other stops and they were fine with no problems. I rarely used the lifts, I'm only in my mid-40's so was happy for the exercise, and talking of which, the gym was well equipped but way too warm, they definitely need to crank up the aircon. I only went to the main theatre twice, the first night and the last. The last night's show was very good indeed and was well worth seeing. It would have been nice to have waiters serving in the theatre rather than having to remember to grab a drink before you went in. Other than that I spent most evenings either on my balcony or sitting in the Horizon restaurant watching the stunning scenery (why miss the most gorgeous views by being inside?). The Live Lounge was the one place with a bit of atmosphere, Pulse were fantastic and the music was more my taste. Even the Take That tribute band were pretty darn good and I'm not a fan. Food-wise, well I was a solo traveller and so ate in the Horizon each time. The food was very good and it was lovely and quiet in the evening, and like I said the views were fabulous. I never had a problem finding somewhere to sit for breakfast or lunch, which was really unexpected given the number of people aboard. The staff that spoke to me were very nice, again not as "happy" as I've encountered on other cruise lines, but most would say hello if they passed you. The cabin was smaller than I've been in on other cruise lines and the balcony was about half the size (namely Celebrity and Royal Caribbean), but it was fine and the shower was lovely and large. I was on deck 15, A deck at the rear under the Horizon restaurant and unfortunately I was woken up at 4am every morning by the noise of the staff/crew getting the Horizon ready for breakfast and I think it may even have been noise from the deck above that too. It was like a heard of elephants doing ballet, banging and crashing around. Ear plugs didn't help and I was exhausted by the end of the trip. Oh and the balcony is shaded by the overhanging deck above which limits some views and sun. Embarkation and disembarkation were well done and I have no complaints about that. All in all I think that I've been spoilt by going with Celebrity on previous cruises, however the same cruise with them would have cost me an extra £1,000 so to be fair to P&O they were very good value for money on that score, and if the price was right I would actually go on the Britannia again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Booked this cruise on impulse as the one I had booked in April was cancelled due to the Ash Cloud so was looking forward to it. Flew down to Southampton from Edinburgh this may have been my first mistake as the planes engine broke down so ... Read More
Booked this cruise on impulse as the one I had booked in April was cancelled due to the Ash Cloud so was looking forward to it. Flew down to Southampton from Edinburgh this may have been my first mistake as the planes engine broke down so spent an hour onboard waiting to get on another plane. Reached Southampton with no further delays and got a taxi to the port easy and painless.On board the ship by 12.15 this was great. Once on board had a wander around and was very disappointed I thought there was going to be a wow factor with this ship but for me it just wasn't there. The Atrium was so disappointing and so small. The Theatre was quite latge which was a plus and I also liked the idea there was three times for the shows as I was on second seating for dining it meant I did not miss out on any of the shows. I was in the Oriental dining room which was quite easy to get there but was very crowded outside as we were waiting to go in at 8.30pm.Service was very slow and we waited quite a while in between courses to be served. There was very little to do during the day and I found it very boring I have been on Transatlantic cruises before and this was not the case then. I am not into the Spa keep fit etc or listening to lectures or arts and crafts. I expected fun games bands anything around the pool area but this was very quiet apart from the sunbathers. It was always easy to get a sun lounger at any time but ther did not appear to be a lot of people in the swimming pools at any one time. The cinema screen was a bounus but would be better if they did not keep repeating the same films and had a greater variety. This was where I spent a few evenings after dinner when I did not like the shows that were on elsewhere. The shops have the usual items but did not have great sales on. My cabin an inside single was quite large with plenty of storage space and although next to the Atrium and Casino did not hear any noise once the door was shut. Meals were okay but nothing special apart from the Glass House which was superb. Due to the bad weather we did not leave until the Saturday but I am a good sailor and this did not bother me.We had to miss out Tenerife and go to Ponta Delgado instead. Embarkation was fine and as I had been in Barbados quite a few times just got off and had a wander round the shops to kill time. Would I book another Transatlantic cruise with P & O yes but not on the Azura. As Ponta Delgado is not one of the ports listed I will give my impressions here. I booked to go and see the mountains and fire lakes which was really special but it was a very cold and windy day which spoilt it slightly. Read Less
Sail Date October 2010

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