This was our 10th cruise and the first with P&O we looked forward with great expectation to this cruise.
Our booking was made on the 16th Sept 2012 outside twin grade LC with freedom dining,sailing date 21st October.
We booked a overnight stay with parking for the duration of the cruise and a taxi to the port and back,it makes it a little less stressful than traveling the 300+ miles we have to travel on the sail-away day.
Embarcation was swift and well organised and after a cup of coffee in the Waterside we found our cabin ready for use though the luggage was still to be delivered it wasn't long before it arrived.
The cabin was as we expected it to be twin beds plenty of hanging space and good decor typical of most cruise ships of this size,on the bed were the ships daily information paper and a letter addressed to my wife and I which I eagerly opened only to be disappointedly informed we were allocated 2nd sitting dining on a table of 8 and that freedom dining had been full since July,how can this be possible we booked in September surely they could have told us,so we went in search of the Restaurant's Manager to try and resolve the issue and found him in the Saffron dining room ,when eventually we were let through to see him (we were just one of many couples queuing to see him)we explained that late dining was not something we can handle as it affects both our sleeping patterns,he was not in the least interested his attitude was like it or lump it and if you want to eat early you can eat in the Waterside.We have in the past sailed with Ocean Village and this was a relaxed freestyle type of cruising where we eat buffet meals and very good they were so we resigned ourselves to eating in the Waterside.
only one night did we have any thing that resembled a decent British meal of Beef and Yorkshire Pudding, nearly every other meal was a Theme Night consisting of spiced dishes and rice with a few exceptions,by the half way stage we were living on salad and ham and sick of the sight of it.
Entertainment was pretty good especially the singers and resident dancers and a couple of guest tribute artists, a guest speaker in shape of Ray Clemence gave us a insight into his life with Liverpool and Spurs.
On board activities were very poor unless you were into losing pounds of your waist and pocket,not forgetting deck quoits and shuffle board.
Ports of call were what we expected having spent holidays in all the Canary Islands but Lisbon and Virgo were worth the visit.
To sum up we had as good a time as we could make of it but its not looking good for any future P&O cruises.