We chose this cruise because of the destinations and the time of year. We always go to the Caribbean in January/February for some winter sun, and on the whole the weather didn't disappoint.
Check in was a breeze, we arrived slightly later than our embarkation time because of a problem on the A34 but got straight on the ship. Our cabin was the same one we had last year and was clean and spacious as cabins go; the cabin steward Ramesh was friendly and helpful and couldn't do enough for us. The biggest let down was the dining experience, we chose Freedom dining in the Cinnamon restaurant; on the first night the food arrived lukewarm, which was a constant feature throughout the cruise. I got sick and tired of sending food back because it was cold, and to top it all I was served a soufflé for dessert which had not risen and was raw inside - totally unacceptable; I sent it back and the restaurant manager came over, apologised and asked if I wanted something else, I declined as my wife had finished eating and was ready to go. One thing we couldn't fault was the waiters, they were all friendly, polite and really helpful.
The entertainment was average at best, some acts were outstanding, The Beatles Experience and Beautiful World (celebrating the music of Take That) were brilliant but some were dreadful. One so-called comedian was constantly looking at his watch and was only on for 30 minutes. We had one of the chasers on board from The Chase, Shaun Wallace, and he was really good, a lovely, humble man who was a pleasure to meet. He gave talks in the arena theatre about his life, and took part in P&O's version of The Chase called The Pursuit, he was a good sport and great fun.
Some ports were nice, but some, if we never go there again it will be too soon. St Maarten is always good, as is Barbados; we did a P&O photography tour on Barbados and it was really good. The guide Ronnie Carrington was really good, he took us to some beautiful spots and was a pleasure to be with. St Vincent was a let down, the streets where the shops and markets are were dirty and smelly. A hidden gem was Praia de Vittoria, what a beautiful clean town, with plenty of shops and cafes which had very reasonable prices.
Disembarkation was easy for us because we took our own cases off, but we heard later there were major problems with luggage not being in the correct place and arriving late; this doesn't surprise me, because when I took our cases down in the morning there was still cases in the corridors.
This is probably the last time we will cruise with P&O, because the cuts they are making really showing. There used to be fresh orange at breakfast, that is now cheap orange squash; the biscuits in the cabin are plain and cheap, and anybody wanting decaffeinated tea bags at mealtimes had to ask for them as they were never put out. The chocolate afternoon has gone, and the prizes for the prize passports are vastly inferior to years gone by.