I've cruised many times before as a solo passenger so had a pretty good idea as to what to expect - but what a disappointment! Embarkation was straightforward and easy, although I had to pretty much beg a porter to take my suitcase!
On board the cabin was absolutely fine (Balcony cabin on A deck mid-ship), and yes the ship is looking tired in areas, but on the whole no complaints there.
I'm sad to say it was the very poor attitude of the staff which really let this cruise down. It started with breakfast at the buffet on the first morning, a handful of passengers, me included, were waiting for cups to be brought out to the drinks station when we were approached by the head manager, he asked a lady what she was doing and she just said that we were waiting for more cups, not complaining just stating the fact. He got very irate and told her to go to the other drinks stations to get a cup, when she said that her table was close to this one he was incredibly rude and told her to just to walk to another station and that "it wasn't difficult!" and then he walked off. We were all speechless, I've never heard anyone be spoken to like that on a cruise. No one was complaining, we were all quietly waiting and bearing in mind this was the first morning and we were still trying to get to grips with the layout of the ship.
Later that day I had to go to the Reception desk as the tv in my room was still showing the names of the previous passengers and so I was blocked from certain things as it still had their settings. When I asked a lady at Reception about this she bit my head off stating that they knew that they had an issue and were trying to sort it out! I understand that she may have been asked that question a few times that day but there was no need to be so rude about it. They could have had a notice up on the reception desk or made an announcement if they didn't want to be constantly asked the question. Unfortunately I had to make a further trip to Reception a day later, same woman, same appalling attitude!
The waiting/bar staff did not smile, there was no friendly greeting, I felt like it was an imposition on them by my being there, they genuinely seemed to hate having to be there. The only person who was actually friendly was my cabin steward, however when I passed other stewards they all ignored me or just grunted a response to my greeting.
The ports of call and the excursions which I went on were fine, no issues there. Getting on and off the ship in port was very straightforward.
Entertainment - hit and miss really. I saw some of the shows in the Arena by the ships' entertainers and they were very good. There was an extraordinarily good young male singer (I can't remember his name but he disembarked at Lisbon), and 3 comics - two of which made me laugh, but the third one (who played in the Arena Theatre), well I thought that we have gone back to the 70s and 80s, his jokes were sexist and xenophobic, I cringed the whole way through and would have left early if I hadn't been in the centre of a row.
My experience was so poor that I seriously considered disembarking in Lanzarote and spending the last 5 days of my holiday there - in hindsight I really wish that I had. Needless to say I will never sail with P&O again.
a coach trip which included a visit to an Aloe Vera museum, which was interesting, and a wine tasting - a minute amount of either a dry or sweet white wine the ushered into the shop! The Mountain of Fire was very brief but enjoyable.View All 40 Mountain of Fire Reviews
this was a 3hr walking tour with a very interesting and knowledgeable guide. we were only a small group which definitely helpedView All 16 Sintra Walking Tour Reviews