This is our first cruise with P&O and first impressions were great. My partner is unable to walk more than a few yards and uses a mobility scooter. Embarkation was smooth and very easy, we were fast tracked through check in and security and our luggage was waiting outside our cabin for us.
We had a accessible balcony cabin on deck 12 (C deck) and were delighted with it! It was spacious and extremely comfortable, the wetroom was ideal and the balcony, although small was perfectly adequate.
We were booked onto Freedom Dining and allocated the Peninsula restaurant and here is where we encountered the first frustration. As we expected we were told we had a short wait for a table and were given a pager. Unfortunately the reception for the pager didn't stretch as far as the closest bar on that level (Brodie's) and so we had to loiter close to the shops. As my partner uses a mobility scooter, to go to the bar in the atrium area we needed to use the lifts ..... often there were queues, so with a short 15-20 min wait it hardly seemed worth it! Once we made it into the restaurant the food was good ... although service was rushed and we thought the menu could have been more imaginative.
On night 2 we had booked into the Limelight club to see Eric n Ern .... fabulous! Great food, great service and outstanding entertainment. Eric n Ern were brilliant and there was opportunity to have a photo with them afterwards. Grace, the host for the evening did a fabulous job. Well worth the cover charge.
We also ate in the Beach House one evening and, although the menu and food were very good, the evening was spoilt because the air conditioning was uncomfortably cold. We complained several times but as the controls were centralised nothing could be done. Some diners were putting serviettes over their shoulders to try to keep off the cold! We did complain to reception and the cover charge was refunded back to our onboard account.
Our first port of call was La Rochelle and we had booked the Il de Re excursion which was excellent. We loved the island so much we would like to return for a longer holiday.
Next day was Bilbao and again we booked an excursion, this time to the Old town and Guggenheim..... another memorable day. Excellent.
Both excursions were worth the money and the both Tour Guides and drivers outstanding. The drivers uncomplainingly lifted my partners scooter in and out of the coach luggage compartment at every stop and we had front row seats reserved on both coaches.
Our final port of call was St Peter Port, unfortunately due to high winds the captain was forced to abandon the port as it was unsafe for the tenders. I watched the pilot boat early that morning and it was certainly 'bobbing around'. Although disappointing I did feel a certain sense of relief at not having to experience a tender to shore! However, due to the unexpected sea day, the ship was chaotic to say the least- the weather deteriorated and rain and wind made it impossible to access outside decks. This resulted in bored, but energetic children (and adults) all trying to find something to do! There was an alternative entertainment programme in place .... but not to our cup,of tea. We retreated to our cabin, my partner watched the Open Golf Championships on the TV and I read my book and had a nap!
The final frustration came on disembarkation. We were told to join the special assistance group and meet in the Limelight Club at 8.15am. Realising the lifts would be busy, we left our cabin at 7.45am ... it took us almost 30 minutes to get in a lift! The lifts were full with passengers who had chosen to disembark with luggage, sometimes the lifts were full with large suitcases and only one or two people! It was so frustrating as we did not have an option to use the stairs! I think that lifts ought to be managed by staff at this busy time .... with at least one lift reserved for passengers using wheelchairs and mobility aids. I also think allowing people to take their own luggage off at a time when disabled people have been asked to gather for disembarkation is very poor planning! People,disembarking with their own luggage should not be allowed to do this at 8am when everyone has to vacate their cabins! Total chaos.
It is shame that the final memories of what was on the whole a great holiday were soured by disorganised disembarkation.
To sum up - highs and lows. However we will try P&O again ... maybe an adults only slightly smaller ship next time.
We were very pleased with the cabin ... it was large and very comfortable. Wetroom excellent. Balcony was a reasonable size. Bed was huge and very comfortable.
Just fabulous! We will return to BilbaoView All 18 The Guggenheim Museum Reviews
Port day cancelled due to high winds - unsafe to tender