We chose this ship as we were travelling with friends who have never cruised before, so they wanted a small cruise from Southampton, this was my 14th cruise along with my partner, so we have experience on numerous ships, from Azamara small ship to the massive NCL epic and many more in between.
Getting on board was very easy, and we were having our first drink by 1pm, cases were delivered very quickly by 1.30pm, so checked into our cabin G529, deck 8, our friends were next cabin, we had a balcony, cabins very clean, as other reviews mention bathrooms small, but to be honest they were spotless and that’s all that matters to us, we have also had smaller bathrooms before, good toiletries supplied by The White Company, really couldn’t complain about cabin at all.
Our first lunch onboard we opted for the buffet not a great fan of these, but wanted our friends to experience it, and let them make their own mind up, very nice selection, very clean and nice staff, only downside are the British people NOT washing their hands, what is it with the older generation, I think they should have a better system in place instead of all lining up at sinks, this does take a while, so much easier with washy washy staff standing there or the self service soap dispensers.
Main dining room we used for breakfast and main evening meals, all very good great selection to choose from, hot plates, nice staff.
We tried the beach house, and the steak on the lava stone was so tender and tasty, we all enjoyed our meals that night, also had a fabulous dolphin show from our window fantastic.
Entertainment was so so, Im never impressed with the cruise dancers and singers, so only saw them once, Sam Bailey was on, she was brilliant and a lovely lady to speak to after the show, another good show in the Live Lounge was a guy called Vernon Lewis. a soul singer music from 60’s and 70’s all Motown had everyone up dancing, then a DJ after, good selection of drinks in every bar, and not expensive, we wanted to book the Limelight club but the guests they had on board really didn’t do it for us.
Never booked excursions as we always get off and wander around, the weather was lovely so always had the afternoons around the Lido Deck pools, only problem we saw were parents taking babies and toddlers into the pool with their nappies on yuk!!!! This needs to be addressed
Sail away parties were great, a brilliant team, got everyone up and dancing.
Always had quizzes going on around pool and in Brodie’s, bar which was like a weatherspoons, full every night, great atmosphere, I’ve never laughed so much playing Bingo with the great Jo B, what a character she was, eyes down teeth in she would shout out, great work Jo.
Casino was ok little on the small side, to many people around roulette tables and not always playing just watching, never have experienced this before on other ships.
We paid for a gin tasting lesson as my partner loves gin, I’m a vodka drinker, but the bar manager of the whole ship called Avalon invited me as his guest to try and convert me, and after 4 different cocktails and different gins, he has converted me, great guy and very informative about making the most of mixers as in fruit not just using tonic water, really enjoyed that.
Can’t think of much else to add, this being our first p&o cruise, all I can say is, yes read the reviews make up your own mind, and give this ship a try, I wouldn’t hesitate going onboard again, but I will never go from Southampton I prefer to fly and cruise.
Just a lovely place to get off board and go for a stroll, lovely locals
Not much going on lively harbour and coffee houses
Didn’t like this stop at all