My husband and I travelled with our 5year old son. Embarkation was very good. We got on much earlier than our allocated slot and the bags already outside our cabin. The cruise demographic was largely retirees. With just under 100 under 18s on board. This was largely fine but the ships design caused major issues. There were lots of people who needed to use the lifts due to mobility issues and the lifts were fairly small so one mobility scooter plus 4 people. Not a problem we would happily take the stairs but non mid ship by our cabin so we had to walk to forward to walk down the stairs to double back - made even trickier when you couldn’t walk the length of the ship on many floors. The kids club was fantastic and the staff great. But we often felt that the cruise was designed for kids to be kept in the kids club out the way. There was really nothing for them in the main ship. The only kid friendly film they did show during the 2 weeks was on a port day. And the only child friendly show on the last night. We ate in the meridian restraint twice. Service very slow. Kids menu had no starter and on both ovcassions brought out between our starter and main so we never ate together. We stuck to the buffet mainly. The staff were fantastic there, knew our little boys name, and always chatted to him and us. After two visits to Meridian we used the glass house on formal nights. By far the high light area for us. The staff there are amazing special shout out to nem and Koran. Nothing was too much trouble, the food was great for a small cover charge. The staff in the glass house are an absolute asset to p&o.
There needs to be more inclusive places to eat. The buffet and main dining rooms were the only places inside. The grab and go and pizza/ burger places were on the open deck so no use later on or in bad weather. Recreate this by ditching the market place cafe which atm is a complete waste of space. Also don’t get the ice cream card. It’s limited to one machine which closes at 6 and again located on the main deck.
Was annoyed at the trip to Lorro Park. Paid the child price for our son but when we got there found out our son would have got in free. Said this to excutsion team wouldn’t give any refund. V poor service. We mainly did our own excursions so much easier, better value and more flexible.
Husband did the behind the scenes tour which he said was amazing.
Pools were nice and not too cold. Nice size for the kids to play in.
British sail away party fantastic. The entertainment team work amazingly hard and talented. The guy in charge could easily host his own chat show.
What I will say for p&o is they look after you when things go wrong. During the first few days we had one detour to enable Spanish coastguard to airlift off one passager, 2 further medical emergency calls the next night followed by speeding up the boat to get to port 6 hours early so one person could be taken off the boat as they weren’t suitable for an airlift. Apparently 10 people were removed by ambulance. I understamd p&o pick up the associated costs and provide support personnel on shore.
P&o still seem very fixated on the older cruisers with a nod towards families. This is not a sustainable business model though it won’t be long before the last final salary pension is paid and those with disposable incomes will be the families they are not really catering for.
Also got fed up of constant sell esp by the photographers. No I don’t want a photo when I’m in the middle of my food. I have a good camera. Most of the pictures we took ourselves were better tbh.
Overall nice ship, some design faults mainly rabbit warren/lack of midship stairs design. Generally great staff. Too much hard sell. Needs to be more family friendly outside of the kids club. Royal Caribbean do this much better.
Disembarkation. Good. 25 min from leaving our seats on the ship, to getting in our car. Fantastic organisation. Cases easy to locate and plenty of trollies.
Nice cabin. Bit small compared to others we’ve stayed in but fine for 3with plenty of storage. Just above life boats but don’t block your view. Good position handy for laundry. Lack of midship
Stair meant walking forward or aft to get to stairs.
Needs better eating facilities
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