Having been returned by P&O to their 'main fleet during the past month or two, 'Adonia' has been nicely freshened by what appears to have been a very recent refit. This was our first time on this appealingly-small ship which is able to visit some of the more 'off the beaten track' destinations. Our cruise took us to Bordeaux, Bilbao and St Peter Port (Guernsey). No problems with the first two (it was an overnight stay at Bordeaux), but we were transported across the sea to St Peter Port only to anchor outside the town since it was deemed 'too windy' for the tenders to take passengers ashore. It is accepted that the captain's decisons in these matters have to be regarded as 'final', but since he announced with fair warning on the previous day that the weather conditions were likely to be difficult, I failed to understand why he could not have diverted to some other 'sutable' port (say Le Havre, Cherbourg or St Malo) which would have conventional docking at the quayside and - given the size of these ports - would almost certainly have had space. The cynic in me says that it's all about costs! Not great for the fare-paying passengers though, who would certainly have preferred to have got off anywhere than sit on the ship for a further day 'admiring the views' (as the captain siad he hoped we were doing whilst at anchor). To the lay-observer, the sea was hardly 'rough' and doubtless decisioning such as this is to an extent influenced by the age-demographics of the passengers (at 62 and 54, we certainly helped reduce the average age!) Naturally P&O have these matters well and truly tied-up in their smallprint, so it's pointless even trying to raise some sort of compensation-complaint (their wording says that they will only consider 'compensation' where they have failed to deliver a 'significant proportion' (nicely vague!) of the advertised itinerary - but presumably two-thirds delivery would be deemed by P&O to have been suffucuently significant). Listening to other unhappy passengers, it would appear that not being able to get into St Peter Port is not at all uncommon, so why do P&O continue to offer it in their itineraries? Enough of the grouching!!
Overall, this was a very enjoyable experience and the principal elements of what we look for in a cruise (over and above the destinations) were very well satisfied: overall ambience, calibre of cabin-accommodation and quality of food. Entertainment is understandably rather more restricted/low-key on a smaller ship. If you are aged 50+, value amenabe company and like to go to some rather more unusual destinations (perhaps avoiding too many which require transfer by tender!), do not hesitate to book on 'Adonia'. We considered it well worth paying for a balcony-cabin, but cannot comment on an inside or outside experience. We certainly intend to cruise on this ship again.