I probably wouldn't have written this if it wasn't for completely disagreeing with some of the previous reviews written about this ship and as a result starting this cruise with low expectations. So starting at the start, this is my impression.
Boarding: P&O combined with their parking partners CPS make this a stress free business. We arrived at Southampton at 1pm and joined a short holding queue for the CPS parking service. In a very short while we were at the front and unloading our main bags which were then spirited away by the porters. We then drove around the corner where our car was registered checked for damage and then taken away leaving us with our hand baggage and ready to check in. Check-in is a painless process, register a credit card, have a photograph taken get your ships ID/Room card and in our case straight to the ship. As we entered the ship we were greeted and told our room was ready straight away, the time 2.0pm.
Cabin: We had a large inside cabin on Grenada deck (same level as reception) Ok, no window or balcony but it is very big with an area for a settee and table. The cabin was spotless and of a very high standard. We met our steward and said hello and then made our way up to the Belvedere self-service restaurant for a snack.
Large interior, very handy for reception and tour area. Only one floor up to main dinning room and only one floor down to gang plank at most ports. Midships and low down so little ships movement. Not far from crew space and below Globe but never caused a problem. Very quiet
Half a day here, boring port, poor weather. Ok to stretch your legs after a day and a half at sea
Lovely place, would go back for a long weekend. Expensive.
Favorite port of the cruise, we also had stunning weather which helped.
Be ware the hop on hop off buses. We went on the red one straight out of port, very easy. Confirmed that the bus came back to the ship each circuit and got a map with the main circuit shown round the town with a dotted line to the cruise terminal. We also got the hop on hop off boat trip.
After 3/4 of the circuit we decided to hop off and jump on the boat. The bus driver said that there was only one boat stop and we weren't at it (the map showed a boat stop) How can it be a hop on hop off boat with one stop? We got off anyway and found the boat no problem. The boat tour was very good. We hopped off in the centre of town which by chance was next to the ships free bus shuttle stop so hopped on that and when back to the ship for lunch (it was direct, the HOHO bus would have to go round its circuit) When we got back to the ship I was surprised not to see any red or blue HOHO buses. After lunch we went back on the ships shuttle. Later, after we had left Stockholm we bumped into another couple who had been on the red HOHO bus they stayed on the bus expecting it to return to the ship, it never did. They complained and had to get a ride back in a van. Not sure if the blue bus company were the same, but never saw any after the initial pick up in the morning.
Stockholm was great, would go back
Great port and the old town is a must. Did the P&O walking tour which was very good and very informative and had a great medieval concert at the end. Very commercial with lots of gift shops ect but non the worse for that. Some good cafe/bars to get a drink and watch the world go by.
Had been told some things about Helsinki which made me lower my expectations. What a great place, probably my second or third favourite after Stockholm. Would visit again
Well Zeebrugge, but caught the ships shuttle to the local station and then on to Bruge â‚¬5.8 return on the train and very easy to do. The ticket office speak very good English and when a few hundred passengers rock up with cameras round their necks they know what ticket you want before you open your mouth.
Brugge, great place (have been there before) Chocolate, beer, canal cruise and more beer. Excellent stop