By the time you actually get on board and have done safety briefs it's almost 5pm. The day is almost gone. We were delayed getting back on Sunday because a crew member was taken ill yet we were still off the boat and on our way home by 8.30am. You actually only have one full day and a few hours yet are charged for 2 days. Totally disagree with being billed £48 for tips. It's £6 per person per day. Kids should be exempt and it shouldn't be demanded. I'll give a tip if someone deserves it. Our guy wasn't great, he didn't leave bottled water each day for us which we were told he would. He left our door open twice, nothing worse than coming back to an open room and he walked into our room Saturday evening when we were getting ready for dinner. He mumbled something and quickly retreated. Still got no idea what he was there for.
Buffet food was horrendous. On Friday night it was either chilli and rice or a very hot and spicy vegetable dish which I tried and couldn't eat. Not what I'd call a wide variety of choice. Cold meats and cheese and crackers were also on offer but I wanted a hot meal. They didn't get much better either. The brochure mentioned a grab and go selection of sandwiches and snacks to take off the boat with you. We wasted half an hour looking for them. The staff we stopped and asked, didn't know what we were talking about. Ended up going to customer services only to be told that they don't do the grab and go on mini cruises! Why mention it in a mini cruise brochure then. You don't get a full day in Bruges. By the time you've queued for breakfast, queued to get off the boat, queued for a coach to the train station, waited for the train and gotten into Bruges, you don't actually have long because you have to be back at the coaches for 4.30pm to get back to the ship because it departs at 5.30pm. We barely did anything because the town was packed and the queues were horrendous. It was a major disappointment, there just wasn't enough time to do barely anything. When we did eventually get back to the ship, the queues to get back on board were huge. It was a hot day so staff came out with a trolley of biscuits and drinks which I thought, great, they've finally done something right. It was short lived because they hadn't got their numbers right and there was only enough for half the queue, the rest of us got to watch the people at the front of the queue enjoy their snack, then get back on board first. Later on, the kids wanted to go swimming but the smoking area which was very busy, surrounds the pool. The kids felt uncomfortable and wouldn't stay. In the evening we went looking for the casino which is in the karaoke bar! Not what we expected. It was packed, noisy, staff were rude and the drinks were definitely watered down. Felt out of place because we had dressed up as per the dress code for the casino but everyone else was in jeans because they were officially in the bar. We needed to check on a cctv camera on Saturday so ended up having to purchase wifi. We were charged £27 for 24 hours!!! RIP OFF! The only half decent thing about the entire trip was the meal in the peninsular restaurant on Saturday evening. It was very good food and the staff were lovely. The dress code to eat there was observed, however, on the rest of the ship, it was non existent. There were a lot of people in jeans and t-shirts everywhere, including the casino. Overall, I think the trip was extremely overpriced for the poor quality that you actually get. About 90% of the staff are Indian that barely speak any English and the majority of those were very rude. It was an awful experience and I would definately not recommend it to anybody. This has put me off ever using p&o again and if you want to see Bruges, make your own way there and give yourself the time to enjoy it because you won't get it with p&o. AWFUL!!!!
Cabin was ok, the bathroom was ridiculously small. I'm short and slim and barely fitted in it. Cabin staff was terrible as I've mentioned above.
Bruges was lovely and we will definately be going back, not with P&O though. Be warned, it is packed. There were several cruise ships docked with a lot of passengers and this is on top of other visitors. The queues to do anything were huge. We didn't have a lot time and couldn't waste it queuing so wandered around the town just looking and shopping. My advise would be to go out of season or go for several days so it doesn't matter if you waste a hour or two waiting to see something or get on a boat.