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4,257 P&O Cruises Cruise Reviews

I chose this cruise as I have been on same one 3 previous times and enjoyed it very much. We were a group of 10 people, 8 of whom had been before so we have something to compare our experience with. I can understand that embarkation and ... Read More
I chose this cruise as I have been on same one 3 previous times and enjoyed it very much. We were a group of 10 people, 8 of whom had been before so we have something to compare our experience with. I can understand that embarkation and disembarkation is a massive headache for all staff so have no particular comment to make in that respect. The ship, however is a different matter. Sadly in need of a refurb which I believe is happening soon.....pity we booked this time of year (and paid more than ever before despite not being there over festive period ) Distinctly tatty in many areas. The cabin flooring was well worn and dated but our cabin steward was brilliant. All the staff were hard working and exceptionally polite. We ate in Meridian mainly but also the buffet and Beach House ( which has exceptional food quality and service ) We ate in Sindhu last time but had a bad experience so didn't want to go again. Entertainment was mainly excellent with one bad comedian. We all felt that P&O have cut back dramatically, no shower caps, no replacement toiletries and minimal to start with. One of the worst things was our amount of onboard credit....£45, a joke. I was under the impression that loyalty was rewarded but this amount was the least we've ever had. You shouldn't go to the Caribbean if you have an issue with the ports or how the locals live so all of that was fine. The biggest disappointment was the Rhum Runner excursion. It is billed as a 'Party Boat' which it certainly was not. The Captain droned on for 45 minutes whilst the crew served some sort of gruesome mix which purported to be rum punch.....totally undrinkable! It compared with sugar water so I asked for a rum and coke which I didn't think unreasonable when rum is the main export. The barman was inexplicably rude, telling me I couldn't have one despite me telling him I couldn't drink what was being dished out. He said I could BUY beer at 3 dollars a bottle. I explained that I didn't like beer and he then furtively found some rum under the bar and poured a very small rum and coke but told me that I couldn't have another and not to come back! My sister was behind me and he begrudgingly gave her one but when my son and brother-in-law asked for one they were flatly refused. So, one drink and we were deposited on a beach for 90 minutes. The return journey comprised of no drink as the barman totally refused to give me a rum and coke and when I expressed my feelings he said he didn't care. About 10 minutes from arriving back at the port ( in sight of our ship and anyone who cared to watch our arrival ) they decided to make it look like a party and tried doing conga and limbo. My son had bought me the excursion for Xmas so it was even more of a disappointment. There were some excursion staff awaiting our arrival and asking if we'd enjoyed it. You can imagine what we told them. My son tried to give feedback on board and was told they would make a note of our disappointment.....chocolate fireguard springs to mind. The worst trip I've ever done and totally not worth £50 per person In general the whole group found the cruise to be not good value as compared with previous trips on the same ship. We all said we would be looking at other companies. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Sadly cut backs are very noticeable on the Azura. Food was excellent in all venues. Cabin appeared clean and steward was great, sadly they no longer have time to do the wonderful animal towels as they now have a greater volume of ... Read More
Sadly cut backs are very noticeable on the Azura. Food was excellent in all venues. Cabin appeared clean and steward was great, sadly they no longer have time to do the wonderful animal towels as they now have a greater volume of rooms to clean. sadly when we pulled our suitcase out from under the bed it was covered in dust! Although we no longer pay tips on P+O most people still gave at least the cabin steward a tip. Despite announcements regarding sunbed hogging no staff were seen removing towels. Some greedy couples had 2 in the sun 2 in the shade. most also had towels and bag on the bed next to them to stop anyone being there. but lets face it they are the type of people who are totally selfish + completely ignore requests, you know the type that always push to the front of the Que for everything. 'So wished the staff monitored this and intervened. Guess p+o was on to a winner as we splashed out and booked into the Retreat. Entertainment manager was rubbish,saw him just once he left everything to his deputy who was excellent. Sewerage smell was really bad at times, noticed some new ship parts being loaded on in Barbados before we left 24/1/2020 lets hope its to fix the sewage fault. Very said to see the end of the "Last day great British sail-away". P+O say they want save on plastic so no flags (or another cut back) and to appeal to the international market. So out go the patriotic songs! Being to PC could lose British regulars be careful. Can they honestly expect the Americans and Europeans to be satisfied with p+o type of ships we love. With no water slides/ surf riders/ice-rink/ice cream on tap etc on board. Would they get our British humour and ways (or is that going too) P+O you have a cornered market all you will do is drive us away and have empty ships. I think the marketing/finance team need to review that idea. As for the normal daily 'Sail A ways' nearly every one in the whole of the two weeks was over before we had even left port! Entertainment had some good acts the best being comedian Mick Miller some acts not so good. Brodies could do with more seating during the quizzes. We have always chose for the company to pick our cabin option as they usually give you the middle of the ship which we prefer. However this time we lost out as our balcony was up on the 14th floor still in the middle but under the stick out ledge so we were in the shade a lot. The captain although good at arranging the changed itinerary? due to the windy weather, he was not very good at making speeches over the speaker system, which were few and very far between. Funny though on reading other reviews before and after our cruise 10th January 2020, He Cuts out st Vincent and he always arranged the alternative island as Martinique. Sadly the docking is always at the container berth as the cruise ones are already booked out.Not a pretty sight. I may have been mistaken but I'm sure he mentioned he lived on this french island for a few years! Most regulars we spoke to were like us and didn't enjoy Martinique and missed visiting st Vincent. Sadly with the windy weather, changed itinerary and this tiered, smelly, crowded ship , a lot of 1st timers to the Caribbean and 1st time cruisers on board said never again. Which is such a shame as previous trips this time of year to the Caribbean have been a welcome beautiful trip. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Great ports we had a great room attendant George he was lovely kept every thing lovely and clean room was very nice balcony small but fit our needs. Food was dreadfull in the buffet and main restaurant you can see p and o have let there ... Read More
Great ports we had a great room attendant George he was lovely kept every thing lovely and clean room was very nice balcony small but fit our needs. Food was dreadfull in the buffet and main restaurant you can see p and o have let there standards drop cold food tough stake Very small portions very little veg boring choice whent to beach house 4 times only time we had a good meal .staff were lovely and helpfull could not fault them . We cruise regularly with p and o but it's time for a change entertainment was boring also kept changing venue to what was advertised very confusing .ports of call all very nice loved Valencia . Loved oceaner our second cruise on her but the food and entertainment let her down we can usually find something food wise to suite use but very poor food this time I enjoyed our cruise but will be looking to cruise with some one else next time its bean a slow decline with p and o for the last 3 cruises. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Had an excellent long haul cruise in 2013 on P&O's Adonia so was happy to trust them with another long haul cruise. The Aurora is a beautiful ship, lovely and clean, happy friendly crew, great onboard entertainent and excellent ... Read More
Had an excellent long haul cruise in 2013 on P&O's Adonia so was happy to trust them with another long haul cruise. The Aurora is a beautiful ship, lovely and clean, happy friendly crew, great onboard entertainent and excellent food. If you get the right cabin I would highly recomend it but our deluxe balcony cabin was disgusting. The balcony wasn't fit for purpose or as described to me by P&O's port admin staff before making our booking. The layout of the cabin was inpracticle and the air conditioning system was defective pouring contaminated air into our cabin. 1. We were asked to arrive at Southamptom for 1pm and instructed not to arrive early/late as this was our designated time slot to board the ship. On arrival, one of several P&O female ground crew staff, took our tickets and barked at us in a very loud and unfriendly tone that we should find a seat as there were over a thousand priority passengers joining our cruise therefore we would be boarding late. Not a nice start, being told you were insignificant and more than half of the passengers were more important and ging to get better treatment. They could have been discrete about prioritising frequent travellers. The female ground crew, all aged in their eary sixties continously shouted out the same information as passengers arrived creating an umpaitable atmosphere. 2.A glass of bubbly was handed to passengers as we boarded the ship and crew in shiney white uniforms were there to greet us providing a lovely warm welcome. Taking our hand luguage we proceeded exitedly to our cabin to see our home for the next 55 nights and was horrified to find our deluxe balcony cabin was anything but. It was dark and closed in. The balcony front was actually a window with the glass removed. This window frame was still surrounded by the ships original metal structured enclosing in the whole balcony area. I could only peer over the wooden bar that had been built infront of the window frame by standing on my tiptoes. The whole structure was closed in. No chance of using the area to sit out in the sun or take in the view of the Carrabean sea during our well earned and excitedily awaited 55 day trip. (I live in a small flat, so hope you can appreciate why this balcony was so important for me on this once in a lifetime cruise) The cruise had been booked on the early saver price which meant we coudn't pre-book our cabin number but P&O staff assured me that our balcony cabin would be exactly the same and that by booking a deluxe bacony the cabin would be bigger. The crew couldn't move us as the ship was full capacity and the 'hotel' manager told me we wouldn't get our money back if we abandoned our cruise. 3.We later discovered our cabin (the rear of deck 8) was originally part of the childrens play area and had recently been converted into one of 5 cabins. A couple at our dinner table also booked an early saver deluxe balcony cabin but unlike us didn't accept P&O's verbal assurity as we had and wrote to them expressing instructions for a deck 10, middle of the ship location with a proper glass panel balcony as orginally constructed to accomodate a deluxe balcony cabin. They had exactly what we had expected and paid for. A lovely spacious cabin, laid out exactly as described and shown in P&O's brochures photo, nice and bright with ots of draw storage space. 4.Our cabin was very narrow so the layout was different. We didn't have a chest of draws like the other cabin i had asked about this but it wasn't possible because of the limited space. The narrow room also meant the tv hanging on the wall at the bottom of our bed was in the way. It was dangerously close and my partner constantly hit his shoulder when squeezing pass to get in and out of bed. The lady in the cabin next door to us was unhappy with her balcony 'same as ours' and was mislead by the reception staff who wrongfully told her that nobody else had complained. Her cabin was the same size as ours, she had the space all to herself but was only charged just over half the price we were charged for our cabin. 5.A few nights into our cruise we woke up in the night with a strong smell of sewage coming through our air conditioning unit. This happened a secnd time further into our cruise. Each time we reported it to reception we were told no work was being carried out and the smell mysteriously disappeared immediately after 6.Paint fumes flooded our cabin from the air conditioning unit on many occassions throughout the cruise. Each time we were told no painting was being done and after being told this on one occassion I went out on deck, near our cabin and they WERE painting. The fumes were coming out from the air conditioning unit directy above my side of the bed and I spent the last 10 days of our cruise ill. (I am still unwell now 2nd March) an engineer came to our cabin towards the end of our cruse while I was particularly ill, he was a bit surprised because we had left our cabin door wide open to try to circulate the air. He told us it wasn't possible to switch off the air conditioning, we had no control over the toxic fumes entering our cabin. Because our cabin had recently been added on I suggested the air conditioning controlling our cabin was at fault. We expressed our disatisfaction and the fact nothing had been done about it and how it had affected both of us and made me feel so ill. He said he woud get on to the department cntoing the air conditioning. He didn't get bac to us but the last couple of days of the cruise was fume free. The balcony had a big impact on our holiday and we simply woudn't have booked this particular cruise if we had known what we were going to end up with. We trusted P&O and took their word as being factual and honest. This together with the lower spec compared to the other deluxe balcony cabins and most importantly health implications surrounding the airconditioning unit warrants the one star rating we have given in this review. It is a shame because the Aurora really is a beauiful, splendid ship. The rear swimming pool and sundeck is a rarity these days as ships tend to crame more berths into the back of them now. I did love the ship and will miss her. I am disapointed with P&O's treatment of us. And to be honest saddened by it as it should and could have been an amazing holiday. We had cruised with them long haul to the Carrabean in 2013, we are in our fiftys and represented the next generation of P&O's cruisers. SUGGESTION IF YOU'VE ALREADY BOOKED. 1. Get everything in writing. Be a nuisance and be insistent about what you expect. 2.Take an extention 3 pin plug lead, with lots of sockets with you. You only get 2 plug sockets in the cabin. They are on the dresser, away from the bed. The plug on the kettle is extra wide so the 2nd plug can't be used at the same time. Hence extention lead with lots of sockets. 3.take your own brand of washing detergent and stain removal spray for the launderette 4. Take a pack of antibacterial wipes or spray to wipe down door handles, light switches and tv remote in cabin. Our cabin steward kept our cabin lovely and clean but I woud recomend th8s precaution 5. I was surprised at the crews reluctance to insist passengers use of antibacterial gel. Equally shocked by the number of passemgers not bothering to use it when re-entering the ship at ports and the buffet cart. After gathering your food, i would recommend washing your hands again thoroughly before sitting down to eat, especialy if you have bread rolls to handle and other food to pick up.to eat. Observing passengers not cleaning their hands then using the coffee machine and picking up food tongs to handle food puts you at risk of picking up their nasty germs 6. If going to the beach. I often found the sunbeds to hire were too close for comfort. No space, no privacy.. I took a large sheet from home and spread it out on the soft sand to lay out on. Much more space, you can put it where you want and often bag a much better spot on the beach, plus save $10 a time on sunchair hire!! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Like most of the passenger's aboard, we were doing this cruise to get away form the winter weather. This turned out to be a very lucky choice! From beginning to end we had wall to wall sunshine and calm seas with only a couple of ... Read More
Like most of the passenger's aboard, we were doing this cruise to get away form the winter weather. This turned out to be a very lucky choice! From beginning to end we had wall to wall sunshine and calm seas with only a couple of bumpy days leaving and returning to UK home waters. We did have a bit of rain in Tobago and Antigua but it was brief and of the 'liquid sunshine' variety. We've never been so lucky on cruise of any length, let alone 55 nights. We appreciated the new 'Grand Tour' features - a glass of fizz for everyone on boarding (which was quick in our case), a 'Half Way Round' and a 'Farewell Party' were both included and the Ligurian's had a tea at the Biltmore Hotel in Miami. Not the best of events sadly, tho' it was a good thought. It meant missing most of the attractions during our one day in this lovely city for a start and the organisation was poor. The hotel was fine (Entertainment Manager Hughie quickly found the best bar!) but they failed to get welcome drinks out onto very hot balcony quickly enough and queues formed which the ship's people did little to alleviate. Very big tables meant the food and drink was difficult to manage and a lady singer made conversation very difficult. Apart from Captain Pembridge's, the speeches were rather tedious and our Carnival host's excitement at the impending introduction of Iona was not the best choice of topic for the dyed in the wool 'small ship' audience! But it was good of P&O to lay the event on - they didn't have to. Leaving Ponta Delgada the old 'Great British Sailaway' was superseded by the new-style 'Celebration Sailaway'. Lots of live music from a house band some ice carving and enthusiastic dancing form the Hosts. Personally, we did't miss the jingoistic flag waving and community singing of the old Sailaways ; at least it was a pleasant change. The destinations were all predictable in the Caribbean. Lots of tours from the excellent Excursions team - often ignored by the passengers who usually rushed ashore on the hunt for WiFi in order to tell their friends what a great time they were having in the Cruise Terminal - what,me cynical?! We had three days in Barbados owing to a medical emergency requiring a fast crossing. The third day we moved to the remote Flour Mill Berth across the main harbour. This would have been a bit of a disaster for a one-day call but it worked for us and lots of others. There was a good beach a couple of hundred yards away and the Mount Gay distillery visitors centre was even closer. The island chain was a very busy part of the cruise but the weather meant that beaches were a good option everywhere. The highlight for us was a visit to Bob Marley's grave in Jamaica. The whole tour was deafening but quite compelling. We were provided with a meat pie for a snack and were offered unlimited Ganja (eagerly taken up by several passengers).The ports are always interesting and for the first time in the Caribbean we were struck by how many, and how many LARGE ships, were in port. In St Maarten we were not only in with Britannia and Azura but 3 other ships including Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas - 5500 passengers! Having never seen one of the sisters close up she was an awesome sight. In all there were 18000 pax in port - quite overwhelming the lovely town and island. In Cozumel there were even more - 8 ships and 20000 passengers. As we left, Celebrity Edge added a few thousand more.Though Cozumel did cope with the numbers better. We enjoyed chatting to the vast number of Americans who were almost exclusively absorbed by the Harry and Megan story which was live at the time. For us, the highlight of the cruise was the USA. New Orleans is quite unique and the lively jazz music was everywhere. A number of early Mardi Gras parades made it a treat, For the first time we managed to get a trip on the only steam stern-wheeler 'Natchez'. A very imposing vessel providing our tour with a lovely meal and great sights. In Port Canaveral we went on a lagoon cruise looking at manatee, dolphin and exotic birds. Very well hosted and a marked contrast to all the busy places we'd been. On the ship the entertainment was copious. Pleasingly there was almost always a 7pm show in Carmen's (the Show Lounge) as well as the main shows in the theatre. For the first time we experienced Club dining times of 6pm and 8pm - the half hour earlier start suited the late sitting particularly and the shows were timed to suit the dining times. One good move by the ship was to introduce a number of Italian evenings in the Beach House and Thai evenings in Sindhu. They made a good change to restaurants that inevitably became unappealing on a long cruise. Well done - a good initiative and apparently well-supported by passengers. We were told that this was because the cruise was 'older' (apparently the average age was 72 which we thought was pretty young!). There were a lot of (variable) tribute acts but some excellent comedians. Unfortunately the Headliners were sidelined a bit. A pity as they were a very good bunch - their 3 hour production of the comedy play 'Relatively Speaking' was played to appreciative and very full theatre. Our main criticism was of the quizzes which is a staple of P&O's longer cruises. They are always a social event but the quality of the questions was very poor and the individual quiz attendances fell from dozens to less than 10 by the end of the cruise. Maybe not poor, probably badly targeted is more appropriate. The lazier entertainment hosts used the new quizzes provided by P&O. Each is shown on the pub's TVs and has three levels of difficulty - easy, moderate and hard. The general knowledge quizzes we were usually given were targeted at a very different generation to ours - one was even titled 'Family Friendly (9!)'; and this on a child-free ship! Some folk complained that the same people won every time (showing that the best quizzers always have the widest knowledge!) but that matters not to us - we play against our own (dismal) standard! The passengers were generally very clubbable and the staff were as peerless as usual so we had a great trip. Many of the best crew were destined for Iona (or Virgin Cruises allegedly!) but the cruise was increasingly overshadowed by the emerging Coronavirus pandemic. A cruise ship is ripe for infection even in normal circumstances (we apparently had some 150 chest infections afflicting our cruise) and the publicity given to the problems of Diamond Princess, as well as the impact of the bug on Arcadia's and Cunard's world cruises, meant that we were always aware of what could have happened. We were lucky - what will happen to future cruises and the travel industry in general is yet to emerge. We have a number of future cruises booked - what will happen is anybody's guess Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Not been with P & O before, usually Celebrity or HAL but liked this itinerary. Good and bad with Britannia. Never seen so many sun beds, as long as you didn't want to sit by the pool (where the music was too loud anyway) there ... Read More
Not been with P & O before, usually Celebrity or HAL but liked this itinerary. Good and bad with Britannia. Never seen so many sun beds, as long as you didn't want to sit by the pool (where the music was too loud anyway) there was never a problem finding somewhere to sit, even on sea days. Shows in theatre were excellent but not a lot to suit us around the ship. No great WOW factor but some parts were very nice and some lovely flower displays. Food at dinner generally good but not always hot enough. Never a problem with queues at the buffet. Fair choice but strange layout, had to walk round first to check what was available. The same type of things, salads etc. were not always together. Thought some charges were excessive, £45 for the Cookery Club, you could take back with you what you had cooked but what can you do with a roast chicken on the ship?? BIG problem was with the lifts, not nearly enough for the number of people. Some good day time activities, quizzes, films etc. but they never seemed to be at a good time, clashed with dinner, theatre etc. Enrichment talks etc. all just wanted to see you products. Why no classical music trio as we have always had with other cruise lines? On and off ship good at all times. Would we go with P & O again? Possibly, if it was an itinerary we could not find elsewhere. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Traveled on P&O flag ship January 3 2020, The ship is very down market, compared to other P&O ships. Cabins very small not very inviting decor bland, service in restaurant very slow you had to rush your last coarse to get to ... Read More
Traveled on P&O flag ship January 3 2020, The ship is very down market, compared to other P&O ships. Cabins very small not very inviting decor bland, service in restaurant very slow you had to rush your last coarse to get to the evening shows. The sun decks were crowded on sea days you had to be on deck at 6 in the morning to get a sun bed, and music blurring out all day long, no were for peace and quiet drove you mad. It was like a South Atlantic beach with seals basking in the sun not a pretty site. Drinks expensive as was the excursions, The one good thing on the ship the evening entertainment was excellent on this cruise. Like I said this cruise is like a holiday camp at sea. And would not recommend it. If you like a bit of class go on Princess cruises. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Having been on Britannia before we were very happy to travel on her again, not that we planned to it was just the cruise destinations we wanted were included in her itinery. I will talk about the ship first then the destinations. Well ... Read More
Having been on Britannia before we were very happy to travel on her again, not that we planned to it was just the cruise destinations we wanted were included in her itinery. I will talk about the ship first then the destinations. Well Britannia, what can I say, so elegant, so smooth when sailing and so cheap compared to many other cruise lines, no tips and prices are in pounds. A lot of regular P&O cruisers were saying that the Azura was better but I could not compare. I know a lot of people complain that you cannot walk straight across the ship and had to come up or down to go from the front to the back but that was not a big deal. The ship itself is very elegant, not in your face and I am glad to say they have got rid of the awful what I can only explain as pensioner's sail away parties. They used to give you union jack flags and sing songs like my old man's a dustman, get the picture. Well now they are helping the environment by not having the flags and they only do a few sail away parties and these include much more modern songs to suit all ages. The entertainment on the ship is good or at least it suits us with a resident group in the club and a typical british style pub where you can sit and chat or take part in karaoke or race nights and quizzes. There is also a pool table. The theatre is Headliners and most of the shows are done by the very talented entertainments team onboard. We only picked which ones we wanted to see and never really felt the need to go to every show. They also had tribute acts onboard such as Jess Glynne and Adele who were both excellent. The food on the ship is excellent whether you go to the Horizon buffet or the main dining rooms. There are also other restaurants where you can pay extra for an exceptional meal. Sindhu is an indian restaurant by Atul Kochhar which is very popular and is so good we went again. We booked the Epicurean afternoon tea this time whereas we had booked the Epicurean evening meal last time and we were a bit disappointed and wished we had booked the meal instead. There were too many sweets and not enough sandwiches/savouries. In fact it won't surprise me if the afternoon tea doesn't get shelved. We had ours postponed because not many people had booked on our day but on the day we did actually go there weren't many then either. The Glasshouse is phenomenal, you pay £6.95 for three starters or three desserts and then the mains prices vary based on what you want but they are not expensive. We went for lunch and had the three starters each(you don't need to book for this) then we went again for Dinner one night but booked this one. A lot of people said the Beach house was fabulous but it was in an extension of the Buffet restaurant so we gave it a miss. We did not do the Limelight club on either cruise because there were no acts we wanted to see, in fact these acts need changing they have been on for several years some of them. Apparently Gary Barlow is now P&O patron for entertainment so hopefully he will make the Limelight club more exciting but we shall see. The ship was full for the whole of the fourteen days and if you did not get a bed early on sea days it was a struggle, I think because everyone has the same coloured towel and P&O just replace them in your room without you having to provide any details of where your old ones went. I think if they opted for a procedure whereby you signed them in and out this may stop people doing this. If you smoke as I do then this ship is a bit different to others in that they do not have a smoking area at the side of the pool. There are three areas, one at the back of the ship outside the Horizon Buffet restaurant, one outside the Live lounge club and one outside Costa on Deck seven. To be fair I had no problem with this as they were positioned ideally if you were eating, sunbathing or being entertained. A tip too if you want to buy tobacco products wait a couple of days in because they do buy three get one free offers and also have discounts on alcohol and other gifts such as Sunglasses, Pandora, etc. P&O offer a drinks package of £39.95 per person per day but you have to have it for everyone in your cabin and you have to take it for the duration of the cruise apart from the first day and the day you depart(it includes bottled water, orange juice speciality coffees and all alcohol apart from expensive ones. . Drinks are not a bad price with a bottle of wine for approx £16-25, beer £4.30 pint and Vodka and coke around £4.40. Cocktails are also reasonable and Prosecco is £20.95 per bottle. Note you can put your bottle away and they give you a ticket for when you next go to the dining room. We drank quite considerably and never thought twice to order anything we wanted right down to Brandies after dinner and we still spent £800 less than it would have cost us for the drinks package. (Two of us) The highlight of sailing of sailing with P&O is the cabin, we booked a balcony and were upgraded to a cabin with a sofa. The shower has a proper door not a curtain as you would expect these days but don't always get. The main thing though, the bed, oh what a glorious sleep. We are investing in a P&O mattress. Now onto the islands on this cruise itinerary 1. Curacao - well unfortunately I cannot comment on here, we were very disappointed to miss this port but a flight from Birmingham delayed for 24 hours meant we had to sail out and back into Barbados so we had the planned day at sea a day later and missed Curacao - an excuse to go back eh 2.Bonaire - We booked a ship trip here which was snorkelling and an hour on the beach. It was incredible, you were taken to a local beach and given lifevests then the two guys running it went into the sea with you and you could snorkel amongst the fish and coral. It was stunning and even those who could not swim could do it as long as you weren't scared of being in the water. The vest kept you afloat. We then transferred to a beautiful beach where we actually had two hours and an area of beds were cordoned off for us. When we returned to Kralendijk we went back on the ship for lunch then just pottered around before going back on the ship. It is a very colourful place but not big so you don't need long to look around. Try the Cactus cocktail it is there speciality. St Vincent was next and I had read that there was very little to do here which is right I suppose. We opted to take the local bus up to the Botanical gardens and walk back into town. Well that was an experience in itself, We boarded what was a large mini bus and waited until it was full then the driver and co driver jumped in, drove around the corner and we all had to get out. He loaded up the minibus with bags of fertilizer and we all sat on top of them and we were off. We then returned to the town and pottered around having a few drinks in what seem like very strange bars which were basically huts with benches outside. On first appearances it is a very poor place and you could feel intimidated but we found everyone to be very friendly and helpful. Grenada - Again once you leave the Cruise terminal is seems very poor and can be intimidating but again, the people were very happy and very friendly. We got a taxi to Grand Anse beach and whilst the beach was beautiful the amenities left a lot to be desired. The toilets and washrooms were really bad. We decided to get the boat back to the terminal and it was the same price as a taxi $5 each. Once back in Grenada we looked for a bar called Fort Mathew but couldn't find it. We asked a local guy and he decided to take us up hill after hill but seemed to know where it was but alas we were fed up of walking so he took us back into the town to another bar and we had a few drinks with him and the locals. St Lucia - We hadn't planned a trip here but I had looked at the South of the island, a place called Soufriere and we priced a taxi and shared with 4 other people and took in the tour which included a stop at a Banana plantation, views of the iconic pitons, mudbaths and waterfalls. It cost us $25 each and was well worth it. Once back we explored the markets in the town and went for a few drinks in the local bars which again were nothing like our bars but the people were very friendly and happy. St Maaren - Our immediate plan was to visit Maho beach and take the iconic photos of the planes landing over our heads. Unfortunately for us it was an extremely windy day and no-one could possibly sit on the beach because the waves were so strong and coming in fast. We shared a taxi with other people and it was cheap enough to get there and back. We arrived at 9.30 to be told the first big plane did not come in until 11 so we sat in a fantastic bar next to the beach and had a coffee. We then went onto the beach and yes took lots of photos as planned. Not too many large aircraft fly in here any more so you wait a while for the next one but it is a must do experience. One thing I would say is avoid the danger zone when the planes are taking off, it is clearly marked, the first couple of small aircraft made no impact so we were all stood there when a small jet took off only to be blown over, my sunglasses flew to the sea, fortunate for me a lady saw them and returned them. Other people were completely blown off their feet. It is clearly marked. By lunchtime the bar was rocking so we went back had a couple of cocktails and headed back to Phillipsburg where we pottered around the shops and had a drink before going back to the ship. This island was definitely more for tourists than the others and I would definitely come here for a holiday. We drank Guavaberry cocktail and ate a lovely Mahi Mahi fish sandwich, two local delicacies. Antigua - We had only planned to go to a beach here but I also wanted to visit Nelson's Dockyard and as it was dull in the morning we decided to get a taxi with another couple and shared the cost of the trip which was $20 each. The taxi driver was like Morgan Freeman, very nice and very well spoken. He took us to the dockyard which was interesting and nice to see and then he dropped us off at a beach called Darkwood beach which was beautiful. Such clear waters and white sand. The bar where we hired our beds was full of the entertainment staff off the ship so it was obviously one of the better ones to go to. It was about 15 minutes from the Cruise terminal. The other couple did not want the beach so he dropped us off returned them and came back for us two hours later. We walked around St Johns for a bit when we returned and it was pleasant. Antigua is another definite holiday destination to see more of the 365 beaches there, one for each day of the year, you will hear that a lot. Dominica - I had read that the beaches here were volcanic and not worth a visit so I opted for two ships tours, the first one to a waterfall and hot springs and the second one in the afternoon to do river tubing. Neither disappointed. The waterfall was amazing, you had a lifevest and went into cold water then swam in a cave until you came to the waterfall. It was incredible and a must do activity. It is called Titou Gorge. We then went to some natural springs where there are five pools and all have lovely hot temperatures. The trip in the afternoon to do the river tubing was great fun. The river was not too fast but fast enough at times to be exhilarated. The safety aspect was impeccable with several chaperones ensuring everyone had a lifevest and was kept safe. The scenery and sounds and sights of the birds as you floated down the river for 3 miles was beautiful. I would recommend both trips which made a lovely change from lying on beaches on the other islands. This country may not have the beaches but the beauty is so amazing and well worth a visit. Barbados - I know we left here initially but we stayed overnight on our return so I thought I would share it at the end. When you arrive here in Bridgetown, you come out into the port and then if you walk outside and keep to the right along the path near the sea wall and keep walking you will come to Carlisle Bay which is a nice area for beach bars and bars. We had read to go to the Boatyard and this is what we did when we first arrived in Barbados, it is a beach bar, you pay $25 which includes two beds one umbrella, a drink free use of facilities, a 45 minute snorkelling trip on their boat and a return taxi to the port. It was really good value for money and the snorkeling alone was worth the money. You went to two separate places the first where you snorkel with turtles and the second where you snorkel at a shipwreck under the water where the fish are so colourful. When we returned to Barbados by the time we got here it was sold out and if you did not have a wristband and bed you weren't even allowed in the bar area. We went to the Lobster pot next door instead and you sunbathe on the same beach and we paid $10 each for our beds which again allowed us to use the facilities and one free drink. No snorkelling though. We wanted to eat local food so we asked the security guy on the door of the Lobster pot where we could get local fish, chicken and rice and a young lad took us amongst the houses and locals where we had some fabulous food at a fraction of the price everywhere else, it was so good. As we were on the ship overnight and could come back on anytime we opted to eat dinner onboard then head out to find local entertainment. We decided to go to Harbour lights which was a club on the beachfront. You paid $25 each, had a wristband and could drink as much local alcohol as you wanted(not wine), we got there a bit early and were the first ones but two hours later it was rocking. Being in our early 50s we enjoyed it but next time would probably go to Oistens which was supposed to be really good with plenty going on on a Friday night but we thought it was too far if we could not get back. When we left the club at 2.30am we knew we wouldn't get food on the ship and the taxi driver offered to take us to the KFC drive thru, there were KFCs everywhere on the islands but no McDonalds, apparently they had opened but closed again due to lack of business. The next day we were due to leave the ship at 4.30 so just stayed aboard and took advantage of the facilities and food before leaving for our flight home. We had an incredible adventure and will surely come back to the Caribbean, whether it will be on Britannia, who knows but if we do sail on her again, we will be more than happy to do so. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Staff good other than our first waiter he was very very poor and sarcastic on one occasion throwing mince sauce all over my food.We asked to be moved and were. Our first cabin was rubbish as toilet kept blocking up air con was faulty the ... Read More
Staff good other than our first waiter he was very very poor and sarcastic on one occasion throwing mince sauce all over my food.We asked to be moved and were. Our first cabin was rubbish as toilet kept blocking up air con was faulty the fridge was warm and more. we were moved to another cabin and we were very well looked after. The air conditioning on this ship was bad nearly every passenger had a dry cough and some were quite ill. I had to move my bed away from the air con as it made me cough. The food in the dining room was not on par with the Oriana. The entertainment was poor and we didn't bother going half way through the cruise. The excursion team were very misleading on various subjects and even on the day of a tour had no idea what type of coach we were in which meant i could not take my wheelchair. I thought the ship was to big and poorly laid out as when i wanted a quiet costa coffee there were dancing lessons going on which could be heard on three decks. I struggled with the wheelchair due to not being able to get an adapted cabin. I won't be going on the Ventura again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Having used the Ventura last year for a 35 day cruise we were looking forward to a repeat cruise which this time included some South American ports of call.We booked a outside cabin but were disappointed to be given a cabin on deck five ... Read More
Having used the Ventura last year for a 35 day cruise we were looking forward to a repeat cruise which this time included some South American ports of call.We booked a outside cabin but were disappointed to be given a cabin on deck five which was so small that the bed filled most of the space and there was nowhere to sit except the bed.The noise from the thrusters made sleeping difficult and after a complaint on our satisfaction form we were given in upgrade to a balcony cabin.We think the previous occupant must have been I’ll as in no time we cam down with the virus raging through the ship .Everywhere we went people were coughing and sneezing and at every port people were taken off either to hospital or home . The ports of call were great and the trips in Limon,Cartagena and Panama were worth the visit alone.Other carribean islands we have visited in the past and knew what to expect.This time we saw Grenada,St Vincent and Guadeloupe where we visited the death in paradise film location and had a lovely day.We have no complaints about the chosen ports of call or the P@O organised excursions.Well organised and all very interesting. The ship however is tired and furniture old and well worn.Entertainment on board was third class with poor quality singers,comedians etc.They even put on juggling on two evenings. The atrium is still used for the dance classes which only cater for about 30 to 40 couples while the rest of us have no choice.People hate the noise there twice a day when all you can hear is the instructor shouting the steps over and over. Meals were ok,the buffet offered the same fare every day and things ran out including sugar etc.Boring choices and obviously a cost cutting exercise. Evening meals were also sub standard we thought with poor quality meats,undercooked vegetables and very average. The arena theatre and public areas where people congregated is where the sound of coughs and sneezing filled the air,it is no wonder to us that so many fell ill,The guests are mostly over 65 and we suppose this accounts for the high illness count.The hospital on board was busy all the time. What with the lowering of standards in food,entertainment and the rising cost of taking a cruise we will now be more discerning and probably not take the longer cruises in future as it’s no fun coming home sick and disappointed The staff as always on PandO are the real jewels in the crown but it must be value for money and this was nit Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Our first cruise on Britannia but done many with P&O. This is a lovely ship. Although big and lots of passengers, there is plenty of room and a good flow of people. Nice contemporary decor and cabins. The best flow of passengers I ... Read More
Our first cruise on Britannia but done many with P&O. This is a lovely ship. Although big and lots of passengers, there is plenty of room and a good flow of people. Nice contemporary decor and cabins. The best flow of passengers I have seen in a ships buffet restaurant. Never had to wait or share a table even at prime dining times. Good service and food in the MDR. 3 nice big pools including the adult only quiet Serenity pool. Plenty of good quality sunbeds, although set out very close to each other. Now! The public rooms were under employed most of the time. Headliners shows or guest act as normal in the main theatre each evening, but not much else on offer. The large Crystal room had a dance band playing sometimes, with just a few people watching or dancing, but mostly empty! What a waste of a good venue! The Live Lounge advertised all sorts of appealing music, but most of it was just a blank stage and recorded music. Another hugely wasted venue. Where was the alternative to the Theatre evening shows? Comedians, singers, guest bands? This venue was also completely badly designed. All on one level with dividing walls 4ft high everywhere blocking any view. In general, except for the Headliners and ships live bands the entertainment was scatty, boring and poorly arranged. It looks to me like P&O have listened to past reviews regarding a drop in food quality. They have certainly improved food and service lately. But at the expense of saving money on quality evening entertainment. Service in the bars was good, good varied drinks menu, but thought the price for spirits and mixers excessive. All in, a good cruise for all ages. Lots of families and children and well behaved. Nice to see P&O catering for younger demographic as well as the more mature cruiser. The lifts and stairs layout is very poor. The forward and aft stairways are not very forward or aft!!! On the cabin decks this means a long walk to some cabins. These are the longest corridors I have ever seen on a ship, you will certainly do lots of walking. (Good for working off the desserts)! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
A great ship, well run, great mix of relaxed activities with some black tie nights. (British captain) A very pleasant way to enjoy the lovely Caribbean. Every time you walked into the three deck high atrium you felt as if you were in a top ... Read More
A great ship, well run, great mix of relaxed activities with some black tie nights. (British captain) A very pleasant way to enjoy the lovely Caribbean. Every time you walked into the three deck high atrium you felt as if you were in a top new York Hotel. Many comfortable areas to relax in. Even in a force eight gale it remained stable. Quality dining included in the price but of course there are plenty of ways P & O tries to get you to pay more but the ordinary dining areas have class, great service and good menus. We will definitely use P & O again. Much better then cruises with other operators we have tried. The P & O excursions were generally good, although you are often expected to sign a waver that wouldn't be legal in the UK. Micky mouse visits again! Dance lessons by Doris Dance and their displays were a highlight. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Arrival in Barbados was an absolute breeze, with buses pulling up on the tarmac at the airport right next to our aircraft. No need to go through immigration, we were taken on about a 40 minutes journey to Bridgetown cruise terminal. ... Read More
Arrival in Barbados was an absolute breeze, with buses pulling up on the tarmac at the airport right next to our aircraft. No need to go through immigration, we were taken on about a 40 minutes journey to Bridgetown cruise terminal. Embarkation was also very stress free, having to queue for only about five minutes before then going through security screening and then straight onto the ship. As for the ship, it is simply breathtaking when you first walk in via the atrium area. No expense appears to have been spared and it really is a beautiful ship. As for the cabin, we went for an inside cabin. Whilst on the small side, it made for a very comfortable 2 week stay - we spent such little time in the cabin that it suited our requirements perfectly. The bathroom again whilst on the small side was perfect for us, with a very powerful shower and toiletries from the White Company. Our Cabin Steward kept the cabin spotless, cleaning it twice a day. The dining experience was incredible. We opted for the second sitting at 2030 and were seated in the Oriental Restaurant. Each night, delicious 3 course meals were served. The menu had plenty of choice for everybody, and I am sure even the fussiest of eaters could find something that they liked to eat. The quality and presentation of the food was superb and we didn’t have a single bad meal in the 2 weeks. The breakfast and lunches were also of an excellent quality, as was the delicious afternoon teas that we tried a couple of times. Occasionally for lunch we went to the buffet, there is a good choice here with a delicious salad bar that I enjoyed. The entertainment on board really was fantastic - the on board Headliners Theatre Company did shows every other night and were sensational. The quality of these shows was comparable to a production you would pay to go and see in the West End. The singers and dancers really were very talented. There was plenty to do in the day on sea days, with packed itineraries that you can find in the Horizon magazine. We tended to just relax on these sea days and sunbathe, but if you like keeping busy you won’t be bored. Throughout the ship there are several bars to choose from, our favourite was the Crow’s Nest which offered a pleasant relaxed environment with a pianist in the evening. The drinks prices are very reasonable and the cocktails were delicious. We went on a few excursions organised with P+O - we particularly enjoyed the rainforest trek in Grenada which included a refreshing dip at a waterfall. An incredible experience. Overall I can’t praise Britannia, the ship’s company and P+O cruises enough. It really was the holiday of a lifetime and we can’t wait to book another cruise with P+O again soon. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Chose this cruise to celebrate New Year in style and also to see Amsterdam and Bruges having never been there before or travelled on P&O before. Embarkation was fantastic with boarding passes being printed out at home before we ... Read More
Chose this cruise to celebrate New Year in style and also to see Amsterdam and Bruges having never been there before or travelled on P&O before. Embarkation was fantastic with boarding passes being printed out at home before we travelled which cut out the waiting time to board the ship. All went without a hitch and we were straight on board in no time. Our cabin was very good, clean and tidy and our steward was just excellent with great attention to detail - nothing was too much trouble. Food was also very good and the service could not be faulted, especially as my husband has a nut allergy. Every care was taken when preparing his food. The entertainment on-board in the theatre was first class and the magic show was just amazing. The ship was very nice however there were a few places where a bit of TLC would not have gone amiss. It was a disappointment when we were invited to attend the Captain's party only for him to not show - understandably we were informed he was busy on the bridge but when we were told the Deputy Captain would attend it would have been nice of him/her to make himself known!!!! After about 15 minutes the majority of people dwindled away! Next came New Year's Eve and the party we had been looking forward to. Unfortunately there was no "big party", only the bars doing their own thing. The staff worked hard but it was not what we expected. Then for the sail away party - or not. Admittedly it was very cold and the staff tried to get the few people involved who had shown up but where were the flags, etc. After a song from Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England (which were not the usual songs played at a sail away party) the staff disappeared. There was not the atmosphere there that there usually is. Would we travel with P&O again? In short Yes but not for New Year -sorry P&O! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
After over half a dozen wonderful cruises on Arcadia, we booked this special new years cruise without hesitation and again we were not disappointed! Everything from start to finish was very good indeed. From a smooth and quick ... Read More
After over half a dozen wonderful cruises on Arcadia, we booked this special new years cruise without hesitation and again we were not disappointed! Everything from start to finish was very good indeed. From a smooth and quick embarkation, the very tasteful Christmas Decorations in Arcadia's already classy public areas to our lovely mini suite and generally attentive and happy crew it really was a 'new year' to remember. It was also nice to see routine maintenance such as painting the hull being done after my concern of her rather 'stained' condition from a previous cruise to Venice. Just those handrails on the balconies to do now P&O! ;-) We couldn't have been happier with our mini-suite cabin. Clean, tidy and well appointed with plenty of space and good amounts of storage. A lovely sized balcony and being slightly larger it had space for a a table and chairs as well as a couple of loungers. Our steward was always polite and friendly but it does worry us just how many cabins they are having to do - it's amazing the standards they achieve. Enjoyed just about everything we ate whether it be in the main restaurant, buffet or Sindhu - the speciality fusion restaurant on-board. One or two dishes came out a little 'different' to what we expected in the main restaurant but still tasted good! However we really did notice the sheer workload of the restaurant stewards (we were club dining)- almost looking rather rushed and frantic at times! A good selection of entertainment was provided - especially being a new years cruise. The Palladium theatre is without doubt the best theatre of the fleet and the headliners did a good job with 'Astonishing' and the 'Burt Bacharach' tribute show - both really enjoyable with high quality audio and lighting. P&O really are upping there game across the fleet in this respect! Overall we found all the service on-board polite and attentive and there's always a few wonderful 'characters' who really help to make your holiday. Of course if you treat them with respect then you get the same in return - a lesson a number of passengers could take note of.... Only ports of call were Amsterdam and Zeebrugge. Both always enjoyable and worth a visit. This was my 18th cruise - most of which were on all the various P&O ships as well as one or two on Cunard, and for me Arcadia is the most special indeed. The right mix of facilities and spaces, quite understated (not too much fake ritze and glitz) and of course the real wow factor and beautiful lines of a Vista Class Vessel - not to mention being by the most stable and comfortable of the fleet! Yes her Atrium is small and a little underwhelming at first but it does make an excellent social space throughout the day and especially in the evenings - something many other atrium's can't boast being often just too big! Remember people are much quicker to complain and moan often using these forums to air their gripes rather than just discussing directly with P&O. The fact that P&O is having no problem filling this lovely ship with a VERY high level of loyal and returning custom speaks for itself. Loved it so much we just booked the full world cruise on her in 2021 - can't give it a higher recommendation than that! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We’ve just returned from a most enjoyable new year cruise to Amsterdam on the Arcadia. The experience was absolutely fantastic with friendly and attentive staff, excellent standard of food in the Meridian restaurant and some quality ... Read More
We’ve just returned from a most enjoyable new year cruise to Amsterdam on the Arcadia. The experience was absolutely fantastic with friendly and attentive staff, excellent standard of food in the Meridian restaurant and some quality entertainment. We have cruised with other companies before and found that P&O is much better value in terms of cruise price and also the price of services and drinks on board. The bars and communal areas are all very comfortable with plenty of different options to choose from; all are well decorated and it’s easy for time to pass by on a sea day. The cabins are standard size and whilst, as other reviews comment, the decor is a little tired, our cabin was clean, comfortable and out steward made every effort to ensure our trip was as enjoyable as possible. The food in the meridian restaurant was of a very good standard and well presented with plenty of choice. The vegetarian menu was by the the best we’ve seen. We’ll definitely be booking another cruise with P&O again in the future. Overall, absolutely no complaints! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
My Name is Steve Meredith. I have been in the catering service for 40 years and still going. I have worked in all aspects of the industry from five star hotels, Michelin star restaurants, private chef to deli & coffee shop. I ... Read More
My Name is Steve Meredith. I have been in the catering service for 40 years and still going. I have worked in all aspects of the industry from five star hotels, Michelin star restaurants, private chef to deli & coffee shop. I recently went on New Year Cruise UK Departure Date 29 Dec 19 Total Trip Nights: 5 I was very disappointed in the food and service. Food was of a very poor quality and standard, and presented like kids had prepared it. The service in all catering and bar areas was appalling. Enclose is a diary i kept. Day 1 29th Dec When we arrived at the terminal we were asked if we had checked in on line . We all had but then got told had we registered our credit card . No where did it say to do this . We was told no drink package on this cruise, every one moaned and you could feel tensions getting high. P O opened the exchange bar to purchase the drinks package, long que formed and took a hour to purchase . We went to buffet for lunch, small area and even smaller choice of food. Salads look like the end of the night at pizza hut and not much choice. Cheap food item were on offer. Went to room, this was good . First night dinner took 20 minutes to get in to restaurant, rolls were of a poor quality . Starters was good but main pork roast not so good, stuffing no taste, roast potatoes deep fried then roasted hard in middle and dark brown . Gravy had been left on hot plate to long. The steak pie that my father chose looked like a school meal, peas and carrots and a scoop of mash. Raspberry pavlova that i chose for dessert was not a pavlova. It was one of our guests 75th birthday . One of the head waiters I think white uniform ask who's Mark Acton . Mark said hello the head waiter just plonked this dry old cake by him and ran and I mean ran off . No candles or happy birthday singing . We went to the Havana bar it took 30 minutes to get a drink . Then ages for another. Day 2 Went to watch rocket man in the Havana bar no chairs out left to our own devices. Dinner took 42min to get a drink after I caught a head waiter sort of guy. Lamb steak full of bone tough and small portion. Sent it back another came, tougher then the first one. Powder mash, on other guests dinners the quality was poor . I had the Cheese and biscuits for sweet, says continental and British isles but all were British cheese . We did the elimination quiz they held it in the buffet restaurant. Only one drinks waiter on then was told the bar was closed at 1130 and could not get another drink. So we went with out. Day 3 Getting off to Hamburg we decided to get a take away tea. Was asked cold milk we said yes please . The lady asked the waiter to pass the cold milk. He ignored her and shook the hand of another waiter wished him happy new year. Wasnt new year yet. Lucky the pastry girl saw this and jumped in. Went to buffet once again small, poor choose and quality of food. News eve gala dinner . No one explained our menu and what we had to do. So we missed out on the sorbet course. The chicken soup should have had croutons none of us got croutons . The lobster tail on three of our plates were inedible had to be sent back. The creme brulee was definitely not a creme brulee but a mousse no egg custard or caramel to be seen. Cheese board had Parmesan cheese on. Not really a cheese for the cheese board but a cooking cheese. We sat out in the outside bar, for News Eve. No waiter service at all had to que to place our orders. Day 4 Machines in buffet restaurant only dispensing water no other drinks available. We booked the Afternoon tea in the white room. Was good but not enough savoury too much sweet stuff and very sweet. We waited once again ages for drinks at dinner . Only one wine waiter that we could see. Day 5 I chose the pork and sage roll to start at dinner . It was a two inch sausage roll not what i would call a starter. Mixed grill was small i asked for two. lamb cutlet was tiny over cooked steak and liver . No egg, gammon, sausage or onion rings that you would hope to find on a mixed grill. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
My experience on P and O cruises was a first however it sure will be my last. The buffet food is the same each night and is of a low standard. The entertainment onboard was next to none and they had an awful comedian who was on twice a ... Read More
My experience on P and O cruises was a first however it sure will be my last. The buffet food is the same each night and is of a low standard. The entertainment onboard was next to none and they had an awful comedian who was on twice a night and on, on more than one night. The drinks package is completely pointless unless you become friendly with the bar staff or walk from bar to bar as theres a 15 minute wait time on the drink and they serve the drinks in the smallest glasses possible it may as well be served neat. The customer service is appalling there is no Ps or Qs upon that ship and all the staff look unhappy except clifford in the Havana bar and he was the only one with any manor or able to crack a joke with you. Security dont know what day of the week it is let alone helping you out. Someone also made a noise complaint about me and my mate next thing there was two guys at 4am in the morning outside our cabin who came in arguing with us in relations to this and was very unprofessional. To top the entire experience of i was charged over £1300 when i got of the ship and had to get the bank to cancel payments as I was charged twice as well as that I was considerably over charged for the mini bar in the room. The toliet blocked over four times on the cruise and the last night we was informed it would be sorted but it never was.Overall would recommed celebrity, NCL or royal Caribbean. You get what you pay for on P&O and no more, if not less. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This was our second cruise ,we traveled with a completely different cruise line on our first and the difference was more than evident. As there are are lot of hardworking staff on the ship our observations are not aimed at them , more the ... Read More
This was our second cruise ,we traveled with a completely different cruise line on our first and the difference was more than evident. As there are are lot of hardworking staff on the ship our observations are not aimed at them , more the robotic head office culture that is present on the ship. Flying from Manchester on a 9 hour trip in economy,I was taken aback when I asked for a blanket for my wife due to the cabin being especially cold.Other passengers has complained . To do this I had to enter premium class , where most passengers were tucked in blankets ,only to be told that only premium passengers get blankets ,!!! Seriously I thought heat , food , and water were a basic human necessity ,not a Victoria first class privilege. Arrived on ship , clean ,Tidy , nice cabin , Booked Sindu Indian restaurant for first evening . The menu in no way represents an Indian offering in anyway whatsoever . Will upload picture and you decide. Pretty tasteless , no spice and did not recognise any of the dishes. Asked for it to be made spicy , told “ it is cooked to British Taste ,bland “ asked waiter to ask the Chef has he being to England ,answer no ! Head office instructions. Food in General Tasteless in most restaurants , apart from Mendia , were the best dish is the Sirlion steak Spaghetti, contained no tomato sauce or any herbs , is was a stew Try to book Beach House told no tables available for two nights , went up the same floor at 7pm to witness a couple walk up and ask if they had any tables , to be told yes . Discussed this with the Restaurant Manger who invited us back the next day . We arrived , ordered the full Chicken to share , it arrived inverted on a spit , when we cut into it was full of blood. We do have a picture but will not publish here as it may spoil you dinner. This picture is going to Head office ,disturbingly the Restaurant Manager thought this was ok ? Breakfast omelette contained raw egg, so check especially if Pregnant. Thai curry prepared while you wait was good , but only when I requested some chillis ,only to be told again we do not serve food will spices on this ship as the British do not like them . He reneged and chillis arrived . All of a sudden everyone in the queue behind said “ I want so chilli in mine please” including Ship Two officers . New Year’s Eve disaster When to Brodie’s bar ,crowded as expected 7 minutes to midnight , no sign of Big Ben on the screen entertainment team finally turned up ,start fiddling around, got screen on ,no sound ,everyone shouting to put sound on for Big Ben , just managed it with 40 seconds to go ! This was turned off immediately, so not sounds with fireworks. New eves dinner was cold and tasteless , this was due to insisting that all guest arrive at the same time for two sittings ,,, Staff over run , kitchen over run , food left uncollected from kitchen, hence cold food . On a final note , can some explain to me the logic on one barman behind the bar , 6 waiters on the floor , leaving 10-15 people at the bar waiting , then the orders from the waiters given priority , madness , when questioned by all , Told “orders from head office “ In summary 1 Seriously tasteless food across the Ship and in places dangerous . 2 General Management draconian/ Head culture - orders are the orders !! 3 Entertainment team in Brodie’s , less than entertaining and competent 4 Bar serving system incompetent and does not meet standard of service required customers There are other observations, but that just our tastes , so pointless to include . But I will mention that previous customers on the Ship has said “ it has gone downhill “ . As the ship goes to refit after this season clearly P&O will get the benefit of wiping the criticism slate clean , so for this season It’s all about “ stack it high and sell it cheap . Advice book next year when refitted and restaffed with Management who care and not Management who at end of the season go to another Ship or don’t bother to come back . Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
have cruised with P&O several times previously and fancied some winter sun with a company we were familiar with but we had some issues on this cruise. There was an horrendous smell of sewerage wafting around the ship over several ... Read More
have cruised with P&O several times previously and fancied some winter sun with a company we were familiar with but we had some issues on this cruise. There was an horrendous smell of sewerage wafting around the ship over several days of the cruise and it was most unpleasant!. Our itinerary was changed and we did not visit Grand Turk which was very disappointing as we were told this was the best place on out itinerary. I found out on the way home that this was apparently due to the grey sewage tanks being full to the brim and the port at Grand Turk could not facilitate the emptying of them so we diverted to Tortolla and Martinique was added to the itinerary instead. If this is the case, I think that is poor management! We stayed in cabin E215 above the playhouse theatre, we did experience some noise on an afternoon from the show rehearsals which did not really bother us too much but what did bother us was that we were kept awake for the first 4-5 nights of our holiday due to a compressor type noise that went off every 10 minutes or so all through the night, it kept us awake and drove us mad but after that it stopped, I believe P&O turned it off and operated it manually after the first few days. We could not fault the waiter service in the Meridian restaurant but the general waiter service around the ship was inadequate, there weren't enough waiters on the ship to accommodate the volume of people and you could never find a waiter around to order drinks from. The Azura is looking a bit tired and shabby in some places. I am not sure if I would cruise with P&O again after this as it marred our holiday quite a bit. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This was our second cruise on the Azura and are a couple in our 40s with a 8 and 10 year old. We had a really good time and enjoyed our time on board, but noticed slight differences from last time 2 years previously. The bar service ... Read More
This was our second cruise on the Azura and are a couple in our 40s with a 8 and 10 year old. We had a really good time and enjoyed our time on board, but noticed slight differences from last time 2 years previously. The bar service around the pool. Yes it was busy on sea days, not as busy on non sea days as we did not get off at every port. But the bar service has slipped. Previously the waiters/waitress were always around to order a drink. I am not precious about using the waiters and happy to go to the bar, which had one or two people serving. Lots of waiting, not enough staff. We bought the drinks package which worked out well for us, as we got the kids drinks thrown in free so didn't have to worry about the endless drinks for them. The package included the costa slush drinks, hot chocolates and teas as well as the mocktails. Not all of these were allowed on the kids package but we just got them on ours. Back to the pool - reserving of sun beds!! age old problem on any holiday but seriously people were reserving beds as early as 6am. In the end I didnt bother with a bed and sat on the nice ratton seats by the outdoor bar. I got a better view of the pool and area anyhow to watch out for the kids. The staff were trying to do something about it by leaving tickets on beds. I watched from my ratton seat them put tickets on beds giving people a 30 minute warning. Hours later the tickets were still there, no one was on the beds and nothing was done. I had two negative experiences on our cruise that haven't affected my rating due to it hopefully not happening to anyone else. We tried to book another cruise on board. I won't go into chapter and verse but the staff were so unhelpful, kept me waiting days to finally tell me the holiday I was waiting for them to book had been sold to someone else!! We have therefore booked with Celebrity instead for the summer. The second was purely my fault, I know that. It has never crossed my mind to put my jewelry in my hand luggage. It was packed in my case and left outside my cabin as instructed before midnight before going home. When we got home, most of it had been taken from my case, leaving charms and bits in my case. Granted the items could have been taken from anywhere between Barbados and Mcr Airport BUT the cases were left overnight with staff from P&O until they sent them off the following day to the airport. P&O would not accept any responsibility when emailed when I got home. Yes I get it, it was my fault BUT I still had items stolen and left a bad taste in my mouth. The restaurants are good, the MDR, the beach house, the sidhu - we ate in them all. We had the early morning champagne breakfast in the Planet bar which was really nice! The buffet restaurant - the dark wood one is a really bad design, its almost a corridor where the food is set out. Miss something and you have to fight back through the corridor or go back round. Head for the lighter wood restaurant!! Food good BUT on reflection, its very British!! Yes its a British ship, full of brits BUT something a bit more adventurous to reflect the area we are visiting may be better as an addition? Kids had a brill time, met other kids, felt on ease with them wandering up and down. They used the kids clubs. Think it made it that they made friends. Trips - I have never done a P&O excursion. I research the port before we go, get a taxi and head off. You can always head to the same beaches P&O do for literally a fraction of the price. An example being - St Kitts, think it was 180 pounds with P&O for us four. We got our own taxi (all reputable), bought our own bed, a few beers and soft drinks for about 50 dollars!. Another tip IF you head to where P&O are, find them if it makes you feel better and walk down the beach, you wont all be sat on top of each other and its more pleasurable. We did this in both Antigua and St Kitts and somewhere else I cant remember. Trust me you will save a fortune if you just want to head for a beach or a walk around. I good holiday, we all had tears in our eyes when we left...but we are trying Celebrity next time despite being in the P&O Pennisular Club (kids got free hoodys on board which are quite good quality). Enjoy... or by the way we did notice 'the smell' but was infrequent aand we didnt care. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We chose this cruise because it ticked a number of boxes with regards to islands visited, we boarded the ship on the 27th December 2019, the boarding process was very efficient. The first issue we had was the aircon did not work in the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it ticked a number of boxes with regards to islands visited, we boarded the ship on the 27th December 2019, the boarding process was very efficient. The first issue we had was the aircon did not work in the cabin, we informed our cabin boy and also reception, it took two further days and a number of calls and requested before I had to insist someone visited to the cabin and repaired the system. The cabins are typical cruise ship small and the bathrooms are very small however we have cruised before so it was as expected. The itinerary was good and apart from the dropping Grand Turk for no real given reason the islands visited were good and as expected, we took a number of tours which were all very good in particular the champagne and lobster on Granada which was probably the best trip of this kind I have ever been on. The overall entertainment on board was poor apart from the live music bands that were generally very good. We are not heavy drinkers however we choose to purchase the unlimited drinks package for convenience, however it does restrict the type of drinks (particularly in wine) you can have and they are generally of a lesser quality than if you purchase direct, overall I doubt it cost any more or saved ourselves money but it did restrict the choice of drinks so I would not advise it unless you intend to drink 15 pints of Stella every day (which many did) The bar service on the boat is appalling, the staff in 90% of cases have contempt for the passengers, service is slow and very unprofessional. The quality of food served in all the restaurants was average particularly for a cruise ship, I would rate it as a poor 2 star all inclusive resort and certainly not what we have seen on other cruise ships. On most days and evenings there was no room on the decks, the ship feels very overcrowded and also very intimidating, the open decks are a permanent drinking frenzy and I watched numerous people downing pints of Stella like it was going out of fashion, a number of the older or more refined people on the ship told me they stopped going out on the decks as it frightened them. The tables were dirty and rarely cleared of glasses, the whole of the outside including all the areas around the pools are smoking areas, there was heavy smoking and drinking on most tables, also people smoking in the food areas outside and the children’s area. In my opinion the ship is no more than a very expensive booze cruise. If this is the new target audience for cruise ships we shall have been on our last cruise, I would certainly never recommend this this ship (or P&O) to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Good points The food and cabin where reasonable, the lady cleaning the cabin was excellent. The Headliners entertainment was excellent. Bad Points. The ship is in need of a make over, The main swimming pool area reminded us of ... Read More
Good points The food and cabin where reasonable, the lady cleaning the cabin was excellent. The Headliners entertainment was excellent. Bad Points. The ship is in need of a make over, The main swimming pool area reminded us of the comedy programme Benidorm,with the towels on sun beds and nobody using the beds,the drone of dated music, kids running and jumping in the pool when signage says not too. Idiots jumping in the pools that were closed on New Year’s Eve (that was adults ) no control over any of this behaviour. The evening dress code for gents was long trousers , many gents wearing shorts. The other big disappointment was we did not get to visit Grand Turk, one of the reasons we booked the cruise in the first place .We were told ship had mechanical issues . One of the trips we booked was a Jeep Safari it turned out to be a pick up truck experience. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Ship was looking very tired. Really poor layout! Unnecessary amount of black tie nights for no real reason. New Year’s Eve wasn’t even 1 of these for which they did nothing special. The buffet was of very poor standard. ... Read More
Ship was looking very tired. Really poor layout! Unnecessary amount of black tie nights for no real reason. New Year’s Eve wasn’t even 1 of these for which they did nothing special. The buffet was of very poor standard. Selection was small and in general not very fresh. All restaurants require long trousers. They are okay. Getting a drink could be hard work and in particular at shows was regularly 20 minute waits. There didn’t seem to be enough staff for the bars and in general a lack of bars and areas to go. Steward was very good in keeping our cabin clean. Entertainment wasn’t great and you had to arrive 40mins prior to the popular shows as the Manhattan room isn’t big enough. I don’t know why the theatre wasn’t used more. Ship badly needs it’s refurbishment! Seems to be too many people for communal spaces and not quite enough staff. Really disappointed with the ship and the cruise line is not in the same league as NCL(out last cruise before this). All bars were shut by 12-1am most nights also which we found strange. Caribbean stops were good but disappointed that the schedule changed and we got a poor substitute of a stop. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
All temperatures in Celcius. Times in the 24 hour format. Currency onboard GB£ Embarkation/Disembarkation. I flew from Manchester (UK) on a Dreamliner. My bag was checked in and I went through the usual security. We landed at around ... Read More
All temperatures in Celcius. Times in the 24 hour format. Currency onboard GB£ Embarkation/Disembarkation. I flew from Manchester (UK) on a Dreamliner. My bag was checked in and I went through the usual security. We landed at around 1630 local time and we were bussed to the ship which took around 45 minutes. Unusually, we didn't go through passport/customs when we arrived. I expected to go through the normal checks but this didn't happen. We did, however, have our passports checked when we arrived back to Barbados. I think that this needs to be reviewed. We entered a large building with literally hundreds of people waiting to check in. P&O don't do online checking in (although a recent announcement from P&O for the new Iona will introduce online checking in) so I had no choice but to wait inline. I eventually boarded at around 1830 and by this time I had been travelling for around 17 hours, I was very tired so I went directly to my cabin to wait for my bag. My bag was not there so as I had a bit of onboard credit, I decided to have a few beers in Brodies-the "pub" style bar. My case didn't arrive until well past 2300. I only found it because I was coming back from Brodies and my bag was in the corridor. I realise that "turn around day" is the busiest time for the staff, but everything was in this bag and I needed to unpack before turning in for the night. Disembarkation was a different story. I will say at this point that most of the problems were not of P&O's doing. My flight was scheduled for 1820. I left the ship at 1500 and I was bussed to the Grantley Adams International Airport (GAIA). Again we went through security and I settled in for the wait. I got talking to a couple of sisters who was on the cruise which helped kill the time. At around 1630, the airport display said that we were boarding at Gate 13-this is on Friday 13th. Not a good omen. At our time, the plane had still not turned up at our gate. The GAIA is around three to four soccer pitches long but only half as wide. There is ample seating but the main walkway is only around 15 feet wide. At around 1700, a Virgin Atlantic plane turned up-not our Dreaminer. We were then told that our gate was now Gate 12. This meant that up to 900 people had to swap gates. Taking into consideration the width of the walkway, things got a bit busy and tempers started to fray a little. By now it was 1900 and we were 40 minutes late. At 1915, we were bussed to our plane. GAIA does not have the usual international airport style bridges to board the planes and all of the planes sit on the tarmac. Everyone was onboard by 1945 but the captain came on to announce that there were still 18 wheelchair passengers to board. He also added that the airport only had one lift for the disabled passengers. This one lift had to serve-what I estimate to be-16 to 18 planes. We eventually took off at 2100-over two and half hours late. I arrived back to the UK only one hour late but the GAIA needs to sort out it's procedures quickly. Demographics. Exclusively British. I didn't hear any other accents (apart from the crew). There was a large contingent of Welsh and a some from the ethnic minority community. There were around 20 or so children (under 12-I don't count teenagers). As this was (UK) school term time, I didn't expect this many. The ages of the passengers varied from young couples to senior citizens. The ship and it's staff. The staff were brilliant and nothing was too much trouble. My steward kept my cabin spotless (and he was well rewarded) and the ship was kept very clean for the entire cruise. Well done to the staff! The ship is a mess. Azura is looking old. Worn carpets, threadbare seating, chips in paintwork and a general feeling that it had seen better days From the outside, Azura has rust streaks all over the hull. The crew repaint the hull but this is just painting over the cracks. Azura is scheduled for a refit this year (I believe this will happen in March or April) and she really needs it. Food and drink. The food was the usual high standard that I have come to expect. I had my evening meal in the Oriental restaurant on a table of six. Myself, two married gay guys Danny and Ryan, A senior Dutch lady Henrietta (who has been living in the UK since 1971), A girl Clova and Andrew. Clova only had one meal with us and disappeared. I didn't see her on the ship again. Andrew only turned up four times (he said he didn't do "sit down" meals) which left the four of us. We got along very well. At the start of the second week-just before we arrived in Antigua-Henrietta was visibly upset. She explained to us earlier that she was supposed be on the ship with her sister but she was taken ill and couldn't travel. She said that her sister had died in the morning. We were upset at this news and tried to console her the best we could but the trauma was obviously evident. The next night after we left Antigua, Henrietta didn't turn up and we never saw her again. The ship kindly allowed her to use the phones to contact relatives in Holland but we were convinced that she left at Antigua as the island has an international airport. The breakfast buffet was the usual "full English" bacon, sausages, eggs cooked in vareity of ways, tinned tomatoes, baked beans, cereals, porridge, Danish, muffins (for breakfast?), smoked haddock and kippers (to non British readers, kippers are heavily smoked herring-I particularly enjoy kippers for breakfast), minute steaks, fruit. The lunch buffet featured carveries, seasonal veg etc. They also had themed days..Italian, Caribbean, curries, English pub food. All very good. Evening meals were similar to lunch with much the same style of foods. There was a small selection of foods for people with dietary requirements-gluten free, vegetarian and vegan-but these were very limited. Now to a subject that really gets up my nose-alcohol prices. P&O claim to charge UK pub prices. Not where I live they don't. Draught beer (served in UK pints) was around £4.50 to over £5 a pint for some premium beers. Bottled beers of 330ml are around the same price. I was drinking Corona which was £4.40 a bottle. If I lived in London, I would expect these sort of prices. My regular pub charges £3.30 for lager and if I went to my local Wetherspoons (to non British readers, Wethersoons is a major UK pub chain) I would pay around £2.80 for a pint. So no P&O don't charge pub prices and they charge as much as they can get away with. If P&O dropped these prices, it would make me happier and I'm certain that a lot of people would agree with me. Our intinerary/excrsions. We visited St. Maartens, St. Lucia, Tortola, Grand Turk, St. Kitts, St. Vincent, Antigua and Grenada. I did several excursions-mainly sightseeing-but I did enjoy a coastal hike, visiting a chocolate processing factory and a beach hike. I will say that the official excursions are a little pricey and I felt that some of these were a bit "whistle stop" with not much time to see or visit properly. I did my own thing on two of the islands-Grand Turk and Tortola. Grand Turk is a mess since the recent huricanes and beyond the "tourist" port there really is nothing to see. NOTE: If you do your own thing and miss the sailaway, it's your responsibility to get to the next island at your own expense. The ship will not wait. If you do one of the official tours and you're delayed, the ship will wait for your return. The local taxis and guides are not obliged to get you back to the ship on time. It would only take a breakdown or a puncture to ruin your cruise. Entertainment. I don't do shows but I did see a Tina Turner tribute act. She was exceptionally good. There was the usual troupe "Headliners" doing West End musicals in the main theatre. I heard mixed reports as to how good they were. There was two resident bands-Pulse and The Fantastic Four. Pulse were ok but The Fantastic Four-although there were four of them, weren't "fantastic". There's an orchestra-who apart from accompanying the Headliners in the theatre-also did a Glenn MIller tribute. This was very well attended and they were very good. There was also a guest speaker-a retired criminologist-who gave lectures on serial killers and the like. Although murders are a gruesome subject, these lectures were very interesting but sadly not well attended. There were the usual pub quizzes and karaoke in Brodies and of course football (soccer to non British readers). I don't do football (I'm F1 and Rugby Union) but they only sport shown in Brodies is football. The ships TV system had Sky News (the only news channel that doesn't have any news), Sport 24 (football again) and a selection of free and pay-per-view films and TV shows. Weather. The temperatures were in the high 20's to low 30's during the day and didn't drop much below 20 degrees at night with almost wall-to-wall sunshine. We did have a couple of days of rain but overall the weather was excellent. Observations and other stuff. Sadly, we had two deaths on the cruise. One in the first week and one in the second. Obviously, no details were forthcoming about the people concerned due to medical confidentiality. There were also two medical emergencies. We were leaving one island and we were about 50 feet from the quay when we had to reberth due to a medical emergency. The person was carried off the ship to a waiting ambulance. The day after we left Grenada (our last island) the captain announced that we were diverting to Martinique due to a person who had suffered a heart attack. The medical facilities onboard are limited at best. Ambulances were on the quay to take the passenger off. We weren't allowed to get off and we were only there for an hour and a half. On the first day of the cruise, I went to the smoking area on deck 7 main promenade. There were three 20 something blokes having a smoke and a beer. An senior lady also joined for a cigarette. This lady spoke to these guys and told them in no uncertain terms that they'd "ruined over a thousand peoples cruise". Upon hearing this, the three guys let loose on this lady with language I can only describe a disgusting and they didn't care one bit. As I didn't want to get involved, I left to go to the smoking area at the other end of deck 7. Upon making enquiries with the staff, it turned out that these three guys were treating the cruise as a two week Stag Night (again to non British readers, Stag Night=Bachelor Party). Apparently, they would start drinking as soon as the bars were open and didn't stop until they were shut. They were also shouting all the time and generally being obnoxious. I'm actually surprised that they weren't kicked off the ship and I was pleased that they were getting off just as I was starting my cruise. Going back to the resident bands. In the open air bar, Pulse would sometimes play. The band was on the other side of the open air pool around 50 yards away. On one night I was sat with friends (on a formal night) and the band was so loud, my beer was rattling on the table. I was trying to talk but I had to shout just to be heard. A friend-Sabina-was only a couple of feet away but she couldn't hear me. I realise that the ship has to provide entertainment, but does it have to be so loud? For the first four days, the staff were extra vigilant in the public areas and the buffet. This was because they had Norovirus onboard the previous cruise. There were reports (from the previous cruise) of people filling up water bottles from the taps in the public loos. There was a member of staff on duty all the time (day and night) for the first four days at all of the public loos to stop people doing this. The water is perfectly safe to drink so why didn't people fill up in their cabins? The buffet staff didn't allow us to have self service-again for the first four days-which was a little inconvenient but necessary to stop any virus. Additionally, although the water is safe to drink, it did have a nasty metallic aftertaste which wasn't pleasant. This did clear up a little, but teas/coffee from the buffet didn't taste right. Conclusions. Food. Excellent with a wide variety in the buffet and main dining rooms. Drink. As I said in my review, alcohol prices are far too expensive and P&O need to think about this. £1 less per pint would be better. Staff. Again excellent and they kept the ship spotless all the time. Well done! The ship. Tatty, threadbare and going rusty. She desperately needs a refit which as I have said above is going to happen in March or April this year. Entertainment. MIxed reports of the "Headliners" shows. Guest speaker was very good. The Fantastic Four weren't, Pulse are too loud. All in all, the cruise was very good. Excellent staff, good weather, good food and friendly passengers. I am giving this cruise six out of ten. If you're thinking about travelling on Azura, wait until she's had the refit. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
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