We picked this cruise because the dates fitted our needs and it was departing from the UK. I've cruised extensively with multiple cruise lines, but this was only my friend's second time at sea having travelled with P&O last time. It was relatively inexpensive at around £680 for the week including a drinks package.
Embarkation was disappointing. We were 2 of only 65 guests joining the ship in Dover, the majority of people had set sail from Amsterdam a couple of days earlier. Being a five hours plus drive away from Dover, we'd stayed overnight at a local hotel. We'd been given an embarkation time of 2pm, but we had to vacate our room for 11am so we got to the port around 11.30. The ship was in, lots of guests had gone off on excursions etc and yet we had to sit in the terminal with our luggage for two and a half hours, with no hot or cold drinks available, not even water. Nobody from the ship was in sight until bang on 2pm when they came and set their stall up and checked us in. It seemed petty to not invite us onto the ship earlier so we could start our holiday, we would have understood if our cabin hadn't been available but it seemed petty to leave us kicking around in an empty terminal.
Small but adequate