We booked this cruise as the dates suited us and there were a number of ports we hadn't visited before. We take a cruise twice a year (Christmas and summer) and vary the cruise line we take according to dates, ports and, of course, price. This year, the fortnight we chose enjoyed fabulous weather (40+C) which was an added bonus.
Flew on a BA Cunard charter from Heathrow to Rome on Saturday 11th July. Very early start (made worse by the request to arrive 3 hours prior to 7.40 take off- apparently without need) but pleasant flight to Rome (FCO). At Rome: chaos! A whole flight decanting on to buses with luggage left all over the place, lots of shouting and overwhelming heat. Lots of comments from P&O passengers that their luggage would be taken straight to the ship so why were we having to collect luggage from belt, move it to the airport meeting point and then pile it up with Cunard staff before leaving it and going to buses with hand luggage? Surely, not great for security, either?
Embarkation procedures in a stifling tent and then on to the boat. Our group of four had two P1 cabins between us on the seventh deck. Pleasant enough but couldn't really see signs of the refit which we had been told about, other than perhaps the bathroom floor? In the rest of the ship, we noticed that there were lots of new carpets and they certainly looked smart.