Oh dear Oh dear. We have cruised now with P&O for around 8 years, our previous sailing four years ago on board Oriana from Southampton to the Caribbean and back. Our Son got married on board and we had a wonderful time despite a storm at sea. There was plenty of things to do and the entertainment and food on board was varied and of good quality. Two years ago we went with friend on a Mediterranean cruise on board Royal Caribbean and although the ship was good, we praised at the time to our friends to try and used P&O as we felt it was so much better. How can a company change so much in four years. Read on.
Our first encounter was with the boarding disruption at Southampton. After travelling some two hours a distance of nearly 135 miles, one didn't expect to have to wait in a traffic hold up at the port entrance to the ship in an hour of traffic. This we we're first told was due to excess luggage after the world cruise and then to be told of a computer failure. The first excuse doesn't really hold true as this wouldn't have been the first time a cruise ship has returned from a world cruise, and the second excuse a feeble one unless the computers has not been checked or maintained (This comes from my son in law an IT whiz kid). It was a complete shambles and not a good start to the holiday.
When we eventually boarded we quickly explored the ship and ended up near the Crystal pool where the dome that is clearly advertised as "She even has one pool which can be covered by a sky dome" was being repaired and hand winched closed. This was really unsatisfactory as it was hand winched open and left open in all weathers, which proved a problem on one evening when the pool party that had to be held around the other pool, finished prematurely because rain stopped play,,,,,,,,,, Literally.