We travelled to Southampton by car and our luggage was taken by porters and car handed over to be parked very easily. The check in took longer than expected as there was a problem with the computers but , once in board we could access our cabin straight away .
The cabin was a on C deck with spacious balcony , a comfortable bed and tea / coffee facilities. The shower room was small but adequate with plenty of hot water, shower gel , shampoo and conditioner, plus body lotion. Our steward Remy was very attentive and kept the cabin spotless....loved the towel animals and little chocs on the pillow a nice touch !
We were allocated freedom dining in Saffron dining room and the food was fantastic , although we rarely managed to eat all five courses. We tended to eat breakfast and lunch at the buffet , which, despite being busy was very well run . We didn't use the other food venues so can't comment on them . All the staff on board were very friendly and greeted us with a smile .
The entertainment was very good at the Arena theatre , we enjoyed the shows very much . There was also entertainment in other venues , spoilt for choice really ! Drinks in the bars , theatre and restuarants were reasonable prices and we also served promptly . You could even grab a costa coffee if wanted. There was always lots going on all day , all over the ship , the choice was yours whether or not to join in . For those who wished to curl up with a good book there was a librarary on board too. The children were well catered for with their own clubs and had their choice of pools to choose from . ( there was an adult pool too )
We stopped at several different ports during our cruise but didn't use the ship excursions , preferring to do our own thing . We used the shuttle buses a few times but these were expensive for the distance covered . In Gibralter we shared a taxi for eight people at a cost if twenty two pounds each . The driver took us to the rock , caves and tunnels then dropped us in the centre to explore the streets and squares ourselves. When we returned to the ship there was a sail away party , complete with flags, where Rule Brittania , among other songs , was sang with gusto by all who attended, along with vigorous waving of flags, great fun . The young lady passenger who performed Irish Dancing alongside the pool was very good , well done ! In Lisbon we used the hop on hop off bus but could have walked to see most if the attractions as they were centrally located . We used a private guide with other passengers in Rome and were fast tracked into the Vatican museums , a must as the queues were very long , perhaps two hours long ! In Palma , Vigo and Barcelona we simply strolled and enjoyed the lovely cafés outside. Monte Carlo was explored using the hop on hop off buses which took us all over .
Disembarkation went smoothly I thought , despite the huge amount of passengers. Our luggage was put outside our cabin the night before and was waiting for us in deck order in the terminal .
The one thing I would critisize would be that the entertainment is the same on all ships and has been for five years ! As this was our first time with P&O it really didn't matter but it might put me off going on other cruises with them .....think this needs to be addressed .
All in all a lovely cruise .
Our cabin was starboard, mid ships , we were upgraded so not sure what category we ended up with. ( we were on a saver fare ) As we were on C deck ( 10) our balcony was larger than most . The cabin was very comfortable with tea / coffee facilities and TV . The wardrobe was a large , walk in type with plenty of hangers . There were also shelves in the cupboard holding the safe , plus bedside drawers and dressing table cupboard holding tge hairdryer. The shower room , although small , was adequate and always had hit water . Towels were changed regularly by our lovely steward Remy , who looked after us very well.
Explored alone , walked through Las Rambles and beyond . Visited the Gaudi house which was really interesting . Loved the street statues ...very entertaining !
Used the hop on hop off bus to explore Monte Carlo , think this essential as the streets are steep . Watched the changing of the guard at the palace , and walked along the beautiful gardens . The old town was quaint and we strolled along the harbour where the rich and famous moor their yachts.
We took a private tour with other people to Rome as it was a fair distance from the port. We visited the collosseum and Vatican museums , stopping at other places on the way . We were fast tracked into the museum which had huge queues outside.
In Palma we strolled around the streets and enjoyed the cafe culture. We used the shuttle bus from the ship but came back very tired as we had walked a lot .
In Gibraltar we shared a taxi for eight people and this enabled us to tour different points of interest such as the Rock , St Michael's caves and the tunnels . After tge tour the driver dropped us back to the centre of town .
In Lisbon we used the hop on hop,off bus . If visiting again I wouldn't use this as it took too long and some of the places we passed weren't pleasant . In hind site I would just walk into town as it is accessible by foot .
I wasn't sure what to expect in Vigo as we were told it wasn't very nice. This couldn't have been further from the truth , I found it delightful , a very pretty place to stroll around .
Didn't see much of Southampton as all we did was embark and disembark there. ( 150 characters is difficult ...please don't insist ! ) Porters took our luggage and made things easy .