We have just returned from R 401 world cruise - Hong Kong to Southampton, 47 nights. I agree with others that the food varied from edible to diabolical in quality, and diabolical in quantity. We were in Medina, 2nd sitting. On lobster evenings, I was served lobster amounting to two mouthfulls. Lunches were worse. Crab Risotto had a few minute pieces of Crab Stick, not crab. Plaice, when removed from the batter, was no more than two small mouthfulls. The final straw was the 'sticky lemon chicken'. I had to look for the chicken. Eventually, from among the stir fries, I extracted 4 tiny pieces of chicken. I took a photograph for posterity, and then complained to the officer in charge. I was served more chicken (6 pieces), all with absolutely no sign of 'sticky lemon', which we enjoy at our local chinese restaurant. To sum up, decent food was the exception rather that the rule. We found the entertainment acceptable, although not brilliant. The best, who was outstandingly good, was Bruce Morrison, who did a show based on Les Miserables, given a standing ovation. I heard there were no more that 50 or so people in for the Shakespeare Lecture, and the athlete was worse.
A point concerning the On Board Spending Money (OBS). If any passenger is on a loyalty discount of 7.5% or 10%, you are not given this discount on goods bought with OBS. So for every £100 of OBS, you are in fact only receiving £90 (if on the 10% rate).
The talk amongst the passengers was of the 'cost cutting' going on in P&O, which seemed to be much more apparent since their previous cruise. P&O do not cater well for the world cruisers with the number of shows now more limited. to 5 or 6. There is too much repetition with the entertainment, and people stop going to the shows. Nicki Chapman & Sue Holderness were very good. I appeal to the new management at P&O to get things sorted out. If that means increasing prices a bit, then so be it. The amount of adverse criticism I have read does not surprise me. Cabin staff were excellent. Embarkation and disembarkation were good. Luggage collection was chaotic.