The cruise was advertised as Christmas and New Year, but there was no atmosphere for either. The decorations looked as if they had been bought at Poundland not at all what we experienced on our previous Christmas Cruise to the Caribbean on Arcadia. The Christmas cake display was abysmal and the atrium decorations were very poor. Not at all what we expected. We expected a similar standard of decorations to that which we had previously enjoyed on Arcadia.
We were also disappointed with the Theatre group shows. Not with the energy or professional attitude of the cast members, but apparently the shows are on a rolling programme and the Theatre group only changes the shows every three years, so we were seeing shows we have seen on previous P&O cruises. Some of the costumes were well past their sell by date with torn flounces, 'V' shaped pieces let into the back of one costume and shorts which did not fasten. A poor showing.
We were 'upgraded' to a cabin with a bath, but we would have preferred just a shower cubicle and we were not allowed to change the upgrade. Everywhere is looking its age, with tatty carpets in the restaurant, well worn seats in the theatre and chipped paintwork everywhere. Not what we have come to expect from P&O. We know Oriana is due a refurbishment in November, but the cruise price did not reflect the poor quality of the ship.
There was no atmosphere on New Year's Eve as we watched the fireworks, courtesy of Tenerife Yacht Club, to the strains of the Deadwood Stage and music from Paint Your Wagon!! The haggis was not paraded through the restaurant, the chefs did not walk through the restaurant so that the passengers could demonstrate their appreciation. The staff were really great, cabin steward second to none and the waiters in the restaurant were friendly courteous and extremely helpful. WE have seen everything change, from there being no ice sculptures, or even lard sculpture, to the size of the bread rolls, the diminished size of the muffins and scones, but to cut up a French fancy in half was just beyond the pail. The self service buffet actually ran out of baked beans for breakfast on one occasion. I ask you, ran out of baked beans!!
We have travelled on P&O 6 times previously, but this is the last time we will ever cruise with this company. We will cruise Cunard in future. This is not a pleas for money off a next cruise, we have already told your office that we do not wish to have the £150 off our next cruise. We are not wishing to cruise P&O ever again.
Cabin clean and tidy and kept that way by excellent service from the steward. Did not want a bath, just a shower, but as this was an 'upgrade' we could not change.