This is our fifth cruise.
This is our first P and O cruise
Chose this cruise for the ports of call as we had never been to the Canaries before.
I've tried to give you an overview of our cruise but obviously everyone is different and what I find unacceptable other may not...
Timed at 2:30. As we had spent the previous night in Winchester and had to vacate the hotel by 11:00 we arrived at 12:40 Handing over the car to the cruise terminal parking was very easy. Our labelled bags (4) were taken by the terminal staff and we entered the terminal where we were given a lettered ticket and asked to take a seat! Within 10 minutes we were called to the checkin and by 13:10 were on board the ship where cabins were all ready for us.
All bags appeared within a couple of hours.
The ship was very big and clean. However there was a problem on deck 7 starboard (near the photo gallery) this area seemed to have a constant toilet/sewer smell.
Other passengers said it was a blockage in the ladies loo located in that area. We called at several ports yet this did not seem to be mended? On this ship P and O propped open all the toilet doors. I think this area should have been closed off to passengers and the toilet door kept closed.
Cabin was always spotless.
Everything we ate was beautifully hot and well presented. There are 2 self service buffets which cater for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, kids tea and evening meal. Food is available there 24/7
There are 3 complimentary restaurants
Oriental for those on a timed evening meal plan
Meridian and Peninsular for those on freedom(anytime you choose) evening dining.
Peninsular also does a sit down breakfast, lunch, and afternoon tea for anyone on board.
We are vegetarian...
There was no vegetarian sausages at breakfast - a small thing but, very rare in this day and age.
In the Penninsular there was usually at least one vegetarian option on the main menu. However, you could ask for an additional vegetarian menu which we did on the first evening however, the strange thing was that I had to order my vegetarian meal the night before I wished to eat it. Other Cruise lines provide a vegetarian menu in addition to the evening menu and you pick it with your fellow diners. Having to pick a meal 24 hours in advance seemed a little over the top.
Sunil was a star waiter organising our vegetarian meals every evening.
There are also restaurants that you have to pay extra for - we did not use these
Additionally there is a poolside grill offering a 'grab and go' breakfast or lunch. The lunches were brilliant if you were going on an afternoon trip. A pizza place was open till about 7pm.
Love the tea and coffee making facilities in the cabin.
There's also a costa coffee on board (charged) (cakes here are free 11am until 5 pm)
There are several bars and when sitting on your loungers waiters are going about asking if anyone wants a drink(charged)
A variety of evening entertainment is available -all free- you can wander into any bar or theatre to watch dancers, singer, comedians,magicians. The on board show team in the playhouse work very hard and most shows are a very high standard. One comedian was rubbish and the second was good but his second show "for adults only" was a tirade of foul language which he did not need to use as his first family show was very good.
Five o'clock somewhere were very good and the jersey boys were brilliant.
One of the ships Entertainment team as Elvis was absolutely brilliant. But Madonna physically looked the part but her singing wasn't.
ACTIVITIES DURING THE DAY*️⃣*️⃣*️⃣
I honestly didn't do any of these as none interested me. That doesn't mean they were no good, they just weren't my interests.
There were lots of quizzes and a dance lesson every day. Lessons on using the casino, a passenger choir, a photography talk, an iPad talk and probably several more.
There were a couple of films every day sometimes inside on a sea day and every evening one on the sea screen above one of the pools.
My husband loved the history talks by Nick Slope and his talks were quite often standing room only!
SPA AND GYM*️⃣*️⃣*️⃣*️⃣*️⃣
Gym was free to all and very well set up.
The best part of the Oasis spa area is the adult only warm pool and the adjacent changing area with toilets, steam room, sauna and showers (no charge)
I had a shellac nail treatment (30 minutes which took an hour.) for £30 a little pricey but what I think was not acceptable was the extra £3 tip they automatically added on!!
The nails were beautiful when finished. I was the only person in the area for the whole hour!
Maderia was closed! Due to the fires on the island we did not stop here and missed this port.
All the other ports had something for everyone and I would recommend the tram and coach ride in Lisbon and the Mountain of fire on Lanzarote. If you visit Tenerife go to the south side of the island which is apparently always warmer and sunnier that the north.
You can pick your time to leave the ship. However you have to be out of your cabin by 8 and the latest the buffet closes is 9:30.
There was no problem with this on the ship. Dockside, we asked a steward where to go to collect our car and she sent us 250 yards the wrong way! When we passed her again and said what she had done, her response was 'I wouldn't have told you that if you he told me which car company you were looking for!" If she know there more than one then sensibly, ask the traveller which company they are with and don't assume you know!
A special mention needs to be made for our captain
When returning to Southampton, the weather was not too good. The captain took the decision to go as fast as he could on our last sea day to try and avoid this weather. The sun shone brilliantly all day.
He made a decision to continue going as fast as possible so that we arrived at Southampton in the early hours on our disembarction day hours before the winds arrived and possibly causing problems for our docking Good decision even though we were a little rocky during the night.
Overall we both enjoyed this cruise.
Would we book bother P and O cruise? Yes
Would we recommend it to others? Yes
Clean, love the walk in wardrobe.
WAlked from the ship about a mile to the black beach opposite where Azura was berthed.
Sea very dangerous.
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