Our letter to P&O - the response from them was dreadful! TERRIBLE customer service!!
We booked an inside cabin on the A deck, room A249. On arrival in to our room it felt clean and tidy which was nice, however, when ... Read More
Our letter to P&O - the response from them was dreadful! TERRIBLE customer service!!
We booked an inside cabin on the A deck, room A249. On arrival in to our room it felt clean and tidy which was nice, however, when we got in to the bathroom it was different story. The wallpaper on the approach the bathroom was coming off the wall! Inside the shower, we found black mould build up around the door and on the sink and plug holes. I have printed pictures so you can see how this was. For the thousands that we spent on this holiday, this was not nice to be met with! We asked our cabin steward to clean this for us, however, it was not the best job so we did it ourselves eventually.
We phoned down to reception also to ask if we could upgrade on multiple occasions, but were told we could not at that stage. We were never offered an explanation why, other than to try back the day after, and the day after that, which we did, but we were always told the same thing.
Our cabin steward though, Victor, was very nice to us and very accommodating when we needed something.
Sailing on board Ventura, some 5 years ago, we expected the Buffett to be as good, if not better on board Britannia, however unfortunately this was not the case. The buffet aisles were so small and narrow that there was just simply not enough room for the amount of people that there was to navigate successfully with a tray to get their meals comfortably. Everyone was moaning about this, and at peak times, it became unbearable, as you could not get to the food for the amount of people that were in the way, so on a couple of occasions, we left and came back later. This is not how it should be, and we should not have had to do this. If there were a need to evacuate in that area, I would have serious concerns that this would be a risk to passengers.
Secondly, why do you feel the need to not label all of the food and we just have to guess what the dish is being presented to us? Half of the food had no labels, and when we asked the people behind the counter, they did not know and had to find someone, or could not understand us enough to help us. It was very poor and made our experience worse in the buffet.
Thirdly, the quality of the food was at times, questionable. The pies had very bad pastry, and on one occasion, I had to send it back as it was not cooked properly, and the eggs for Breakfast were often under cooked, as well as numerous other dishes. It just felt very school canteen like, and not the standard I would have expected for a luxury cruise liner.
When we approached members of the staff in here to ask them questions, they were also short tempered with us and didn’t really look interested in answering any questions from passengers about what the food was, or where the toilets were, sometimes just pointing the answer out or asking someone else as they didn’t know the answer. It was very odd at times.
The Meridian Restaurant
Whilst the quality of the food in the Meridian improved somewhat, the service was questionable. One evening, I had to get up and pour my own wine because the wine waiter was conversing with his colleagues, which was clearly more important than being attentive to the needs of some of the passengers. We also asked where our food was on more than two occasions, as their were delays between some courses. Again, not what we expected and were left feeling disappointed.
The Entertainment Team
If I were to use the word, flat, this would probably go some way to describing some of the colleagues working in this team. We were very impressed with Tracy, the woman in charge of the team, but her colleagues were very poor. We had to listen to a young Scottish chap in the team, who over the microphones was draining! His energy was so weak when he was describing something that should have been exciting. I am not sure where his head was at, but he was not engaging. The other members of that team also felt like they were there and being punished rather than working to try to make our experience better. Again, not good.
The Headliners Theatre
As keen theatregoers, and after seeing the production quality on board Ventura previously, we really thought that Britannia was going to pull out all of the stops. We were very impressed with the LED Wall; however that is about where it stopped. The quality of the singing from one of the male singers was dreadful, whilst the others mimed and danced around as if they were imprisoned, rather than displaying bags of energy and fun! The shows were lacking something, which again was different to Ventura, which were all about acting, dancing, singing… Maybe they relied too much on the LED wall for the visual and forgot what they were there to do, which was provide us with that superb memorable experience.
The sound was dreadful! At one point, one of the girls was singing, and the speakers started to distort somewhat, and it was a very uncomfortable listening experience. In addition, at other times, it was so quiet you could hardly hear anything! Again, just so messed up all over and never really did anything run smoothly in that theatre? You are supposed to be the crème de le crème of theatre and visual excitement, but at times, it was very uncomfortable viewing, to the point where we felt like we did not want to see any more. It was way down in our expectation level.
The lighting was also all over the place, with the house lights randomly coming up mid performance and lights not joined up on the stage. Something small in the grand scheme of things, but enough for us to notice!
The Live Lounge
The performances in here were ten times better than in the Theatre. Pulse were amazing and Verity, one of the singers, was so good! However, some of their performances were ruined by poor technical quality. Every night, the sound of mobile phone signals would be very loud through the speakers, which would ruin some performances. Why did the technical team not notice this and do something about it? It was so annoying. Even pulse noticed it. This is a problem of 5-10 years ago surely, and something should be in place to prevent it. A small point, but one that annoyed me and our guests as it ruined our experience somewhat.
The main issue in here was the waiter service and time it took for us to order drinks and for them to be delivered to our table. On a couple of occasions, we could not find a waiter to order, and had to go the bar and order ourselves, and on other occasions, it took an age for the drinks to arrive at the table after we had ordered them. Not good enough!
The Dress Code
This is something that I was very annoyed about in many ways. On formal nights or when there was to be a dress code in place, such as smart casual etc, there were numbers of guests walking around in shorts etc. On one occasion in the live lounge during a black and white formal night, a large family, and others, came in with shorts and caps on which they had been in all day, being very loud after being highly intoxicated sat right in the middle of the room around 100 people who had made an effort to get dressed up, to have to listen to and witness that! Why did they not have to comply with the dress code? The dress code was applicable to the buffet and this was abused regularly with staff members choosing to not deal with this! Why on formal nights do they let people in to the restaurants with suits on rather than black tie? Alternatively, open neck t-shirts rather than smart clothing was not being challenged?
I know you cannot stop everyone but not a single person was challenged on this, and it made our experience, and others, a poor one! This is a tradition on cruise ships, one that we enjoy, and due to P&O’s lacking approach to conserve this, it made the ship feel cheap, and tacky!
The toilets around the ship generally were very poor. On several occasions, we found no soap in the dispensers to wash our hands with which we found wholly unacceptable, and on other occasions, they were dirty and regularly blocked. Again, just not good enough to operate in this way!
The ships temperature was also not good. In some areas, it was very warm and others very cold which made certain experiences uncomfortable. Why your staff cannot notice this rather than passengers having to alert someone that it is either too hot or too cold, I do not know.
On the last day of our cruise, we went to watch a film as other passengers were disembarking. During the film, there were several announcements over the shops PA system that was fine, but it only cut out the noise of the movie rather than pause it also. At key points in the movie, the film played whilst we had to listen to someone go on for a few minutes about disembarkation. I understand the announcements. Why can the film just not be paused whilst this happens? Frustrating and annoying.
On the whole, the experience was poor than we would have expected from Britannia, bearing in mind we half knew what to expected, after travelling with you on Ventura, some years ago. You have some real staffing and technical issues which you need to iron out on that ship.
We spent £3,000 on our room bill and £2’500 on our fare. So for £5’500 we felt very annoyed about what we had experienced and felt it necessary to put these feelings down on paper. Read Less