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957 P&O Cruises Cruise Reviews

Our flight from Newcastle with TUI was excellent plenty of leg room and great service from the stewards on board. We were lucky to get an upgrade of our cabin but unfortunately for us although in a great position on the ship it was a ... Read More
Our flight from Newcastle with TUI was excellent plenty of leg room and great service from the stewards on board. We were lucky to get an upgrade of our cabin but unfortunately for us although in a great position on the ship it was a Pullman berth cabin and for two weeks we were bending over to get into our bed. Entertainment was ok but not as good as on other P&O cruises we’ve been on. Food in the main dining room was was of the best on any cruise we’ve been on. The food in The Epicurian and Sindhu was excellent. Downside. I either had food poisoning or norovirus so missed the first two ports and was confined to my cabin for 48 hours so the first five days of the cruise was spoilt. P&O response was disappointing. Before going on our cruise we read reviews regarding Azura needing its refit but personally I felt the ship was ok in that department. There was a smell from the sewage but not enough to spoil the cruise. Would still cruise with P&O although a few things were disappointing. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Our first P and O cruise, flying to/from Barbados and cruising round the Caribbean. First week saw unprecedented weather with strong winds preventing us berthing at St Vincent and St Kitts (although the Captain managed to squeeze in St ... Read More
Our first P and O cruise, flying to/from Barbados and cruising round the Caribbean. First week saw unprecedented weather with strong winds preventing us berthing at St Vincent and St Kitts (although the Captain managed to squeeze in St Kitts later on, and replaced St Vincent with Martinique). On-board food was very good (gluten-free dietary requirement was very well catered for). Entertainment ranged from OK to good. Service from staff was excellent. The ship, which I believe is about to undergo a refit, had some major issues. The worst was the frequent strong smell of sewage around the mid-ship stair well and lifts, which also reached into the bars nearby and up onto the top deck. Our cabin suffered from continuous A/C fan noise, and the A/C failed completely on our last day. We believe other passengers had plumbing issues. Forget getting a sunbed on the top decks as there's little space, with beds rammed together. Overall the ship isn't a bad ship but desperately needs work doing to it, to keep it up to standard. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
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
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 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
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
I normally cruise with P&O, especially Britannia and have had some marvellous holidays on her. This was my first Christmas cruise. Therefore, let’s start with the Pros: Initially I was so happy to be back on Britannia, usual ... Read More
I normally cruise with P&O, especially Britannia and have had some marvellous holidays on her. This was my first Christmas cruise. Therefore, let’s start with the Pros: Initially I was so happy to be back on Britannia, usual B deck after an excellent TUI flight. The food was good and had again booked the Epicurean and Sindhu restaurants, which were up to their usual standard, preceded by a pre-meal drink in the Crow’s Nest Bar. The crew were still excellent; polite, helpful and friendly. Monahar, my cabin steward was very attentive and kept my cabin to the usual high standard of cleanliness, including the balcony. This was my first time sailing with Captain Camby, who was very much a ‘people’s person’ and very eloquent in his speech-making. He also conducted a very good all-round Christmas Day service. A lovely gesture to be given a Christmas gift by P&O on Christmas day. The catering staff worked exceptionally hard dealing with the two sittings on Christmas and New Year’s days. The tours were very well organised with a good selection of choices and us solo travellers were well looked after. The islands were lovely. Now to the Cons: Where do I begin? What a disappointment this cruise was and never again will I do a Christmas cruise with P&O. OMG, the rude, uncouth people. It is true we have a North/South divide and didn’t it show. The pushing and shoving was unbelievable. Far too many families, of generations, who were obviously not used to and did not know how to behave on cruise – or probably generally. (One of the receptionists actually said to me that Jane McDonald has a lot to answer for!) The waiting staff in the Horizon are there to help, not to clear up after your kid drops its food all over the floor – you know who you are – couldn’t you at least have cleared it up yourself? Generally, please keep your kids under control, if you know how to. Normally, the solo travellers are invited to mix, but not on this cruise. It was very lonely and not helped by the fact even on port days, while the 9.00 a.m. coffee sessions were stated in the newsletter, when turning up, nothing was laid on for us, not even a cup and saucer. Whilst the meals were good, the turkey dinner on Christmas night was cold. There are a lot of notifications about reserving sun loungers and that after 30 minutes items would be removed if the loungers weren’t claimed. This was not done and I heard of some people saying loungers had been reserved for over two hours. Why don’t the crew adhere to what they say? Likewise, in Horizon, why didn’t the senior staff send out the people who were underdressed, including walking around with no shoes? This is far from appropriate, but the people themselves should know better, which goes back to my comment about the types of people on board. I presume to P&O it’s all money if they can sell a cabin, without worrying about their reputation. Sadly, this cruise had no atmosphere and the activities were all geared towards families and kids. Drunken teenagers were reeling most nights – where were the parents? Re the entertainments; the shows were good, but the act brought on for Christmas - was that really the best P&O could provide? At least the holiday ended with a good flight back and I will remember the kind crew (thank you) and feel sorry for those who had to put up with abuse from certain passengers, it’s really disgraceful and sad cruising has come to this. For noting; now no trays in the buffet, which was a nuisance when travelling solo and had to ask for a facecloth – these are just two of the cut-backs. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Family cruise. The good - nice ship and facilities. Food quality also good. Buffet was never crowded and never had to queue. The bad - Dining room service was hap-hazard and very slow. Clearly a lack of staff for the dining ... Read More
Family cruise. The good - nice ship and facilities. Food quality also good. Buffet was never crowded and never had to queue. The bad - Dining room service was hap-hazard and very slow. Clearly a lack of staff for the dining rooms. Aft cabin - no smoke/smut issues as others have recorded. But the carpet near the balcony door was dirty and very badly stained. They didn't refresh the cabins during her recent refit that's for sure. The p and o tours were awful - a whale watching experience turned into a beach day - after challenging the tour desk on return, got a refund. first it was unavailable, then they added an extra tour, then they cancelled on the morning, then they made it available on the dock side - total chaos! another tour was really just a drive to a dirty pool and dried up waterfall - described as a jeep tour - wasn't a jeep but a truck - is you like to drive in the heat for 4 hours with a crap stop, then book this. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This was a Christmas cruise and so had a premium price. Good things 1. Food and waiting staff 2. Steward 3. Balcony cabin Poor things 1. Most entertainment was not worth watching but two tribute acts were OK. The best ... Read More
This was a Christmas cruise and so had a premium price. Good things 1. Food and waiting staff 2. Steward 3. Balcony cabin Poor things 1. Most entertainment was not worth watching but two tribute acts were OK. The best offering was only on for one night but this was NOT made clear and so I didn't see it. 2. Entertainment staff on the Lido deck did not engage with guests but mainly danced with each other. 3. Solo guests pay a significant premium and the value is poor 4. At times it felt like Butlins at sea 5. Some entertainment offered was left to guests to organise e.g. bridge and whist. If no guest has the experience to run a tournament I assume it won't happen despite being advertised 6. The Christmas 'gift' we were given was an insult (a plastic P&O luggage label) in a very grand and attractive box. 7. The gym was awful with machines not properly fixed and noone to advise or help 8. The talks held in the gym were no more than sales pitches. The one I went to was very poor and the information shared was at best questionable and at worst wrong. 9. Shore excursions were over priced and I avoided them I was relieved to have a balcony because the pool areas tended to be very crowded and noisy. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
have cruised with p and o last five years on azura and brittania but was very disappointed this year. Cabin was ok but three times in the two weeks we could not flush toilet for several hours and although this was repaired eventually ... Read More
have cruised with p and o last five years on azura and brittania but was very disappointed this year. Cabin was ok but three times in the two weeks we could not flush toilet for several hours and although this was repaired eventually never got call back from reception as promised. The main pool (not the side of cinemaI deck 15 was unusable for the whole two weeks as there were children and teenagers diving in although it states no diving. Numerous staff saw this happening and ignored it only once were they told and as soon as staff looked away they resumed diving in so no one else could use the pool Deck 15 smokers side the tables were constantly filthy and not cleaned for hours . The food was quite nice and our waiters were lovely as was cabin steward. The standards are definitely dropping on this ship and will look elsewhere next time I know it is having a refurbishment but no excuse for not being clean Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
O.K. so if you opt for a cruise to Northern Norway at the end of November you've got to expect that the weather might be problematic and it was! This was not a great cruise experience and unfortunately this was not entirely due to ... Read More
O.K. so if you opt for a cruise to Northern Norway at the end of November you've got to expect that the weather might be problematic and it was! This was not a great cruise experience and unfortunately this was not entirely due to the various storms and gales that we sailed through. To warn future searchers for the Northern Lights you should research the itinerary carefully. Technically we were in Narvik and Tromso for 2 days each but we left in the very early hours of the 2nd day in each place so less than 20hrs in each case would be the truth.Also luck was not with us. On safety grounds the captain took us to Narvik first ( we were scheduled to visit Tromso).  Narvik was cold,windy and very snowy and there were problems with Shuttle buses into town. It was walkable, in the right gear, but a 15 minute wait to get back on board in pretty poor conditions with no shelter I could have done without. The weather in Tromso, when we did arrive, meant that there was very little chance of seeing the Northern Lights. We had a chat with some local guides and they told us that all trips that evening had been cancelled as there was no chance of a sighting but to add insult to injury they said that on the day that we had originally been scheduled to be there, there had been a fine display. Boo! Also they were busy refunding the ship's passengers who had booked private tours. P&O clearly had better local knowledge, or worse ethics, than the locals as their Northern lights tours at nearly £100 a go, went ahead. I understand that they were unsuccessful. Due to the bad weather going back (as opposed to the bad weather going!) we missed Stavanger entirely, which resulted in 4 sea days before Southampton. We were o.k. as regards sea sickness and coped well with the movement of the ship. Also it didn't seem to affect our appetites but the decks and indoor swimming pool were all closed for most of the time and I must confess to a touch of 'cabin fever'. The ship creaked and groaned, various buckets appeared to catch the drips and there was a spectacular eruption in the floor of the Belvedere restaurant. The ship did show considerable signs of wear and tear. Our first cabin's balcony partition had to be wedged closed with a wooden peg and the emergency exit in the Meridian flew open spontaneously several times at Dinner. Coffee machines malfunctioned and various toilets were out of order. The ship was noisy as you would expect in stormy weather and some nights sleep was very difficult.So all this is pretty negative, but there are some positives. We were very impressed by most of the crew. Our cabin steward was superb, most of the waiters at dinner were friendly, efficient and helpful and the staff at reception were cheerful and effective. It was deemed necessary for us to move cabins and the move was well organised by various members of the crew. A problem in the dining room was dealt with in a most sensitive and professional manner. The captain kept us well informed as regards the weather and the itinerary changes but there were times when I felt that I was listening to Eeyore as regards his less than optimistic utterances. "We are all in this together' springs to mind.The food varied from the good to the excellent,the entertainment in the evenings was interesting, in a good way, although one Headliners show fell victim to the weather at the last minute. The lectures by John Maclean were most interesting.So there were some pluses.  However, back in Southampton the failure of the Airbridge caused disembarkation chaos.Sometimes you can't catch a break!  Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Before adventuring on my first ever cruise I did some extensive searching on who to travel with and chose P&O partly due to price but also it suited the dates I wanted to travel, the Islands I wanted to visit and the departure ... Read More
Before adventuring on my first ever cruise I did some extensive searching on who to travel with and chose P&O partly due to price but also it suited the dates I wanted to travel, the Islands I wanted to visit and the departure Airport. As an ex Pat living in Germany it was extremely important that the Journey went smoothly as I had to travel from Germany to the UK the day before flying to meet the Cruise. I was quite impressed that P&O had its own dedicated check at Gatwick and the queue was painless. The time of 3hr advised to be at the terminal before departure was generous and I found myself in the terminal shopping for 2 hours due to the smoothness of check in. Upon arrival in Barbados we were met at the terminal by busses who took us straight to the ship where we boarded without too much delay and found our bags arriving within 2 hours. I had booked an outside cabin which was clean and tidy, it was a little small but adequate. I had booked a set time at the restaurants as im not a buffet fan, this is recommended as queues do get long. The food itself was fair however I found the Variety limited and certainly not adventurous. I didn't like the entertainment, this was very like Butlins especially once on the top deck which reminded me of a bunch of people drinking and eating as much as they possibly could whilst lying on sunbeds listening to 60's and 70's music blaring at full volume. This went on for most of the day. The service onboard was good except for the way how the staff treated each other. This was sometimes very obvious. The ports we visited were as expected, some were better than others and I think that everyone has there own views on what they want out of them. The excursions were certainly tailored towards the masses and I found prices extremely high when looking for an alternative. I have my doubts that I will cruise again and if i do I doubt whether it will be with P&O but this is mostly due to having higher expectations especially when it comes to entertainment however if you like loud music and Butlins style holidays im sure you will like it. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We chose this cruise having enjoyed a similar cruise in 2015.Same ship, same time of the year but very different. 6 of us travelled together to celebrate a significant birthday and, as a group, we could enjoy each other's company and ... Read More
We chose this cruise having enjoyed a similar cruise in 2015.Same ship, same time of the year but very different. 6 of us travelled together to celebrate a significant birthday and, as a group, we could enjoy each other's company and the facilities of the ship which made this a better experience than it would have been had we been on our own. The weather was pretty rough all the way to the Canaries and back tho' we did have enough good weather to enjoy each of the destinations.Many passengers (which included a lot of first timers) were sick on the sea days which made the public areas quieter than they might have been as everyone was 'trapped' inside the ship for most of the time spent at sea. The ship was very noisy with excessive background noise all the time and musicians who behaved as entertainers rather than cocktail artistes.We raised this with the hotel management who acknowledged our comments but had no success in changing things. Fortunately the Glass House bar was reasonably quiet. We were surprised that many of the passengers were elderly and/or infirm. In the past we only noticed this on longer P&O cruises. We suspect that the very competitive pricing and the short duration of the cruise may have influenced this. But we made some lovely contacts and there was always a buzz about the ship. Check in was very fast and efficient but the first day gave us some surprises. Firstly the room stewards went off duty for the evening after we sailed. We didn't mind this at all as the room was already made up and the stewards have a very heavy day in Southampton. However we were missing some items in the bathroom and despite our calling Reception, nothing happened until the morning. In the (Freedom Dining) restaurants the waiters now have tablets to take all orders, including drinks. The 'wine waiters' were therefore reduced to running around trying to find out who had ordered what. On shore, these arrangements are pretty standard but it doesn't work well in a big, busy ship's restaurant. We were told that Ventura was trialling these arrangements for Iona. In Club dining the original arrangements applied. Presumably this is because wine waiters are very busy at the beginning of each sitting in Club (while the load is spread in Freedom) and the same applies to the load in the Club galley. However the staff throughout the ship were very competent, efficient and cheerful and Captain Willard was engaging and 'led from the front'. We fully exploited the speciality restaurants - Glass House, Beach House, Sindu and Epicurean. The latter was exquisite and well worth the high cover charge. The tours provided at each port were quite adequate and we enjoyed several. The lecturer who talked on Air Accident Investigation was very good, as was the classical pianist (altho' the amplification did distort the piano's sound sadly). The weather truncated Headliner's shows unfortunately - they were very good. The craft instructor 'missed the ship' which upset the artist in our group. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We embarked at Southampton and this was quite smooth and uneventful but when we were issued our cruise cards we noticed our dining arrangements had been changed to a table of 8 ? I asked and the attendant said you’ll have to modify it on ... Read More
We embarked at Southampton and this was quite smooth and uneventful but when we were issued our cruise cards we noticed our dining arrangements had been changed to a table of 8 ? I asked and the attendant said you’ll have to modify it on the ship, On the ship we made this our first order of business when we went to the restaurant to check our table we were told we cannot adjust this you should have booked this earlier, I replied with I booked 18months ago how much earlier do you want? He managed to swap our table all at once, then the next night we were told your in freedom dining instead again we were tried to be forced onto a table of 8 we again said no and they literally put a table for 2 in the end of a table for 8, I went a bit mad at the manager who promised from now on every night I could have a decent table for 2 at 7pm , but every night this table was double booked so we always ended up waiting up to a hour and a half so very often missed shows and left the whole dining experience very stressful, Our cabin was very nice a balcony, although the actual balcony seemed smaller than other ships we’ve been on, the ship itself seemed very hot as if the air conditioning wasn’t on and quite a odd design is you cannot walk around the deck as a lot of other ships I’ve been on, and a lot of people commented on this so you always had to continually walk through the ship going up and down stairs or constantly waiting for lifts, The lido deck is nice area for families with plenty of sun beds, but only two small hot tubs which was constantly full of children bouncing in and out, the adult only area is quite nice but no hot tubs unless you pay 30 pounds a day to go into the retreat but we couldn’t because it was fully booked before the cruise started, we had the feeling facilities had been scrimped on a bit for a ship of this size two hot tubs for over 3000 passengers?. food in the horizon buffet was ok but the desserts were very poor ok if you like desserts full of gelatine and no flavour, drinks were of a reasonable price but we purchased more than we wanted to because of waiting for our dining table every night, The stops in the Caribbean were very good experience and the trips seemed quite well organised, would I go on this ship again, only if no other ships were doing the stops I wanted to go on or if it was at the right price, so Britannia would be quite low on my choice of ships. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We chose this cruise because it was perfect for a much needed break. We had previously sailed with many other cruise liners and felt that we always referred back to Ventura and Azura. Service had always been commendable however, Britannia ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was perfect for a much needed break. We had previously sailed with many other cruise liners and felt that we always referred back to Ventura and Azura. Service had always been commendable however, Britannia did not seem to uphold this. Waiters were hard to get hold of for refilling your water glass and after having waited 20 mins with empty coffee cups, we ended up walking out. We then decided to go to a bar to get a drink there, this did not happen either and after 30 minutes we retired to our room! We were just glad that we were not on a drinks package! We felt we could not approach the bar as there was only 1 member of staff behind there and she was always busy. There just seemed to be far less staff than we’ve been used to on cruises and we’ve never had this issue in 20 yrs of cruising. On our last morning, we decided to try the restaurant for breakfast, to which we were ushered quickly with a menu that was described to us as the most convenient! I refused this as I wanted continental but my husband was looking forward to a full English to prepare him for the long drive home. He received a plate with a child’s portion on it! 1 sausage, 2 rashers of bacon, 1 fried egg and a few beans! We looked at the other guests plates and they did not resemble the same small portion. This didn’t seem like your usual service and we wondered if it was due to the gratuities not being charged? Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Chose this cruise because the dates and destinations fitted, and we quite like the sea days. Took advantage of the coach from Birmingham Airport direct to Southampton, bit chaotic with people pushing in the queue but got us there ... Read More
Chose this cruise because the dates and destinations fitted, and we quite like the sea days. Took advantage of the coach from Birmingham Airport direct to Southampton, bit chaotic with people pushing in the queue but got us there efficiently and embarkation was excellent. The ship was larger than we normally go for and a bit confusing to get around sometimes. I think that even after 2 weeks people were getting lost. Our cabin, an inside one on deck 10 was fine, seperate area for hanging clothes, enough hangers etc and a comfy bed. We chose set dining in the Oriental Restaurant, we had a good table and enjoyed it. The food was a bit 'samey' though. We were quite interested in the ballroom dance lessons, but so was everyone else. Although the dance teacher was excellent the lessons took place in the atrium-far far too small, so we dropped out. We joined the guest choir, an excellent experience and met some lovely people. Having been on this ship for a long weekend previously I was keen to see how the Manhatten lounge would cope on a longer voyage as it had been inundated by the groups of hen parties on board. As previously, if you didn't get there over an hour before any entertainment you hadn't a prayer of getting a seat. The main theatre was fine, that too got full, especially when the resident 'headliners' were performing. I must say that they were very talented, just not enough of them-they didn't join in any other activities, were seldom seen around the ship and did 4 shows in 2 weeks! the other entertainment ranged from Beatles tribute, excellent Song and dance man, a couple of typical cruise ship singers and a mind reading act from BGT, and a Freddie tribute act that only performed in the Manhattan-so we never got to see him. Generally the drinks service was poor-cutbacks were obvious throughout the ship. Why did I entitle this review 'clash of cultures' ? I shall explain. There was one group who took no notice of the rule not to reserve sun loungers, took no notice of smoking restrictions, and let their kids run riot. I know that is a sweeping generalisation but the same people were in the pool area day after day, the kids were either dive bombing in the pool or frequenting the spa pools, they were in big groups, very loud and, as I say, smoking (or vaping) all around. Unfortunately, and this is my big criticism THERE WAS NO POLICING OF THE SUN LOUNGERS, THE SMOKING/VAPING, OR THE KIDS. Putting signs up just doesn't cut it. I know that they are on holiday too, but the rules are there so that everyone can enjoy themselves. Although the excursions were generally fine I would like to draw your attention to one of the Antigua trips. Party bus to private Red Bus Rum punch beach, private facilities, price included transport with guide, party bus, free drink (plus opportunities to buy food and drink if you wanted) and 3-4 hours on the beach. £45-£50 each. In reality, 14 of us were crammed into an old transit van with no suspension and inefficient AC, a Bob Marley tape and just dumped off at the afore mentioned beach. You then could hire a gazebo & Sun bed (if you were quick enough-short supply). We were told that as they only given a few quid per head from P & O that it no longer included a drink-which were expensive). We had paid £100 per couple for an old van taxi to a beach. I was also appalled that you had free drinks in the casino whilst you gambled. Did we enjoy the cruise?-yes, would we go again? yes. Was it value for money,?yes What could be done to make it a better experience? Police the Sun beds, the smoking, the kids and start looking at a bigger venue for the ballroom lessons-a massively increasing sector. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Having just completed our first P&O cruise (aboard the Ventura )I thought I’d post my comparison with the Celebrity Solstice class ships, as most of the cruises we have done were aboard Celebrity, the last one being on the Silhouette ... Read More
Having just completed our first P&O cruise (aboard the Ventura )I thought I’d post my comparison with the Celebrity Solstice class ships, as most of the cruises we have done were aboard Celebrity, the last one being on the Silhouette this time last year. The ships are roughly the same size in tonnage , but Ventura carries more passengers, and I believe has a higher ratio of crew to passenger. So on that score the Silhouette seems to come out on top. I would also say the Silhouette has a plusher interior, but that said the Ventura is still a nice interior just not as glitzy. On the Ventura we had a superior deluxe balcony cabin, because it had a bath. On the Silhouette we had a standard cabin; albeit in the past we have had an Aqua Class cabin. Again the Silhouette cabin has a bit plusher feel, but doesn’t compare in size and storage to the Ventura. Without doubt the Ventura cabin wins hands down. Can’t comment on standard cabins on Ventura, other than to say a few passengers remarked on how tight the shower was. Obviously food and drink are a big factor in any cruise. We’ve never had any complaints on a Celebrity boat about food. Quality, choice, service have always been consistently good. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same about Ventura. In the main food was ok, but never exceptional, and in a few cases quite bad. Both ships have specialty restaurants, for which you pay a premium; although quite a bit more on Celebrity. We tried them all on Ventura and found their top restaurant – The Epicurean to be passable but not memorable, but did enjoy Sindhu, the Indian themed restaurant, and the Beach House. There was, generally, a noticeable difference in the waiter service, with Ventura being very mixed, and at times not overly efficient, whilst Celebrity consistently good. If you are a foodie then, based on our experience, Ventura is not for you. Conversely, when it came to entertainment we think Ventura was much better. The ship had an excellent entertainment team and programme. The shows in the main theatre were of a good standard, and the final show on the last night – “Astonishing” – was probably the most enjoyable production we have had on any cruise. All round the entertainment team was more engaged with passengers; even at disembarkation they were high profile and involved with folk waiting to leave the ship. Passengers on Ventura were 99% Brits; whereas Celebrity has a more mixed nationality passenger base., but mainly American. So many features on Ventura were targeted to British taste, including prices in sterling and 3 pin plugs. Certainly the Brits made more of an effort about dressing up on formal nights; in contrast Celebrity and others appear to be moving to a more smart casual style throughout the cruise. In summary Celebrity is a bit more upmarket, but of course quite a bit more expensive. If I had a choice between a like for like cruise, at same price, I think I’d opt Celebrity, but the lure of the Ventura cabin, with its decent size, and bath, might be hard to resist. Best on Celebrity – the food Best on Ventura – cabin; closely followed by excellent entrainment team. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
My husband and I chose this cruise as we wanted a taster cruise of the Greek islands. We were very lucky with the weather for October. 28 degrees most days. We have stayed on the Oceana before about 7 years ago and although it is ... Read More
My husband and I chose this cruise as we wanted a taster cruise of the Greek islands. We were very lucky with the weather for October. 28 degrees most days. We have stayed on the Oceana before about 7 years ago and although it is supposed to have had a refit it is definitely not in the same good condition. It is looking very tired. Atrium is an exception to this - still beautiful. Our cabin was inside f229 on deck 5 . Very handy for reception, gangway, bars, restaurants and theatres. Small long not wide cabin with fixed twin beds. Lots of storage space. Decor tired and could do with brightening up. Very loud engine noises coming from empty rooms to the side and read of the cabin. Did not get much sleep. We would not recommend it. We did not use the main dining room. We chose 1St sitting and table for 2 as we booked select. We were given 1St sitting but table for 6. Decided to use buffet as we wanted to do things in our own time. We would probably choose freedom to dining next time. Food was very average in buffet with limited choice and quality not as expected. Roast beef was raw. We enjoyed the barbeque on deck though. Breakfasts in buffet not the best. Eggs were tasteless without an egg station so tried eggs were in a tray on top of one another. Bacon was good but no mushrooms on offer. Entertainment was excellent day and night. Faultless. Deck quoits are a hazard with an extremely rude elderly male player who thought it was acceptable to block me from passing by pushing his arm into my bosom. I have him a piece of my mind. Chivalry is definitely dead. Our cabin steward Mira was lovely and always happy. Reception was excellent and we used them lots as we had problems with our almost daily. They were there to help very quickly. We enjoyed our time at the ports in Crete and Brides. We went on an excursion to the Acropolis and Plaka booked with P and O. Very good day out and guide Irene was extremely knowledgeable. Not for the unsteady though. You need flat, strong, antisocial footwear. It was very crowded on the way up. Views at the top are stunning. Watch out for the rose sellers. They have you a rose and say 'free!'. But what they really mean is Three. 3 euros!!. Easy to embark and disembark. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
P&O has done a Marks and Spencers act. It has ignored customer demand and gone for max profit. This cruise proved it. We ate onshore as often as possible. We are tired of the same corporate menu, cruise after cruise. No ... Read More
P&O has done a Marks and Spencers act. It has ignored customer demand and gone for max profit. This cruise proved it. We ate onshore as often as possible. We are tired of the same corporate menu, cruise after cruise. No imagination, no food uploaded along the route - so no local produce.(To ensure quality - we are told.) To ensure max profit is probably fact. We chose the cruise to visit Corsica - it never happened but for acceptable reasons. However P&O food gets worse each cruise. Every turn demands money - the only smiling staff for the 1st two days were those demanding money! The music has got louder and less appropriate to each venue. Azura appears to have no quiet area for relaxing. The staff are great but corners are being cut everywhere. If you like massive loads of average food, loud music everywhere and family movies like Dumbo - you will love P&O Azura. It is not for us - we do not go on holiday for endless loads of poor quality food, for over loud music and below average entertainment. Aurora was ok but even so, did not match RCI for food quality or entertainment. RCI per day was half the price too! Maybe we got a good deal but - 50% cheaper - that is something to consider even at full price! Better food by far, better entertainment and a more caring company. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose the cruise due to celebrating my mother's 80th Birthday, she had not cruised before so we wanted a short cruise just in case! We have been on many P&O cruises before but not Britannia. The one problem with the ship was ... Read More
We chose the cruise due to celebrating my mother's 80th Birthday, she had not cruised before so we wanted a short cruise just in case! We have been on many P&O cruises before but not Britannia. The one problem with the ship was the lifts!! They are a lot smaller than the other ships and therefore if a wheel chair is in the lift this does not leave much room. My mother needed to use the lift due to mobility and each time we needed to use it we had to wait a long time as they were always full and two lifts were out of service for most of the time. Also when disembarking the usual routine of an allotted time and venue was detailed in a letter, however most of the ship decided to ignore this, the result being a very long queue to get off the ship. I discussed this with one of the ship attendants and he stated that a lot of the people had not been on a cruise before and did not know the procedure!! He said he couldn't do anything about it.! I feel all it would have took was a person standing at the end of the queue checking paperwork to ensure they were queuing at the right time, if not they could have asked them to sit down and wait. If this is not done then all disembarkment is going to be a difficult experience. Due to these two things I will not be going on Britannia again even if the itinerary is of my liking. Avoid this ship if you are less mobile and need to use the lifts!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I'll get my moan out of the way first ! We booked the cruise last January, specifically for the overnight stop in the centre of Amsterdam, to allow us to easily come and go from the ship, and venture back into the city for the ... Read More
I'll get my moan out of the way first ! We booked the cruise last January, specifically for the overnight stop in the centre of Amsterdam, to allow us to easily come and go from the ship, and venture back into the city for the "night life". A month after our booking, we were told that for "operational reasons" we would now be stopping at Ijmuiden overnight Instead, and being coached in an hour each way. A few months later we were told the schedule had changed, and we would not sail the first day but rather go straight to Ijmuiden, so we didn't arrive at 8am but rather at 10.30am, so we didn't get into Amsterdam until 12 noon. This cocked up our plans and we were given the option to cancel but lose our deposit, and not given the option to pay the tax ourselves. A bit of investigation identified that the operational reason was that Amsterdam have introduced an €8 per person tax, and they aren't willing to be dictated to, but despite repeated e mails and calls they aren't willing to admit this. There is no way that the fuel used sailing there faster, the coaches through the night, and the 385 nautical miles sailed before our next port ( 100 miles away) make this a good decision for anyone. Now that I have got that off my chest, the rest of the break was excellent ! We went on Ventura a couple of years ago, and it has had a refit since, so all the public areas are well maintained. We have been on a couple of TUI cruises since we last went on P&O a year ago, so have something to compare them to. Without any doubt the decor and the food quality / choice on P&O is better, with more in the way of activities. However, the standard of service is far below that of TUI, and has dropped since we last sailed P&O (since the dropped the tipping?). It's not that it's poor service, it's more that it is just functional, and there is no attempt to interact with passengers, which does have a big impact on the atmosphere onboard. The show team at night of drama school kids were of as high a standard as we have seen at sea, and all their shows were excellent. I can't say the same for the other entertainment that came an left the ship, who unfortunately appeared more than once, especially the comedienne. Our stop at Bruges was very good, but unfortunately our stop at Guernsey was cancelled due to high winds preventing the launch of the tenders. I can't vouch for its accuracy, but other passengers said that it was the fifth time this year that they have aborted the port, which makes you ask why they bother if this is the case. Embarkation at Southampton was speedy, as was our disembarkation which went very smoothly an hour ahead of schedule. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Our August/September Golden Anniversary Cruise was on P & O’s Ventura, a ship on which we have travelled before, in fact it was on our first cruise just 2 years ago. We chose the itinerary primarily because the date of our ... Read More
Our August/September Golden Anniversary Cruise was on P & O’s Ventura, a ship on which we have travelled before, in fact it was on our first cruise just 2 years ago. We chose the itinerary primarily because the date of our anniversary was mid-cruise and the week-long itinerary included the island where we had our honeymoon back in September 1969, Guernsey, where we could relive all the fond memories of our time there. We had very high hopes since we love Ventura and I had pre-booked a meal in the Epicurean , the ship’s specialist fine-dining restaurant, on the night of our anniversary. That meal was spectacular and the staff were amazing. Apart from being delicious, the food was so imaginative – how about fried custard on your dessert? It was a really lovely surprise, believe me. So, Ventura scores very highly in terms of food and service including the excellent support my wife has for her special dietary needs, and our super cabin steward, Morris. Unfortunately, it was not the cruise we had hoped for in respect of the shore experiences. The first disappointment was to be told, in advance, that we would not be berthing in Amsterdam but at the distant port of Ijmuiden and that a bus shuttle service would be provided. At the time I received the notification I guess I wasn’t too concerned because I hadn’t visited Amsterdam before and didn’t know what impact those arrangements would have on our time there. We were given the usual ‘operational reasons’ excuse. Because details were not divulged, everyone, and I mean everyone, I spoke with believed it was down to the tax imposed on cruise ship passengers. I wonder how much money was spent on the shuttle services and how passenger experiences were thereby enhanced. Come on P & O! Amsterdam is a fascinating city for loads of reasons. It is just the sort of destination that really benefits cruise visitors when they are able to pop on and off of their ship at will. Sadly, a bus shuttle that took between 40 minutes and over an hour in each direction killed that opportunity. Equally, long delays waiting, in blazing sunshine (well at least we had that!), for return shuttles that got stuck in heavy traffic was not the most pleasant experience other than for sun worshippers! This problem must have been known of in advance and precautions taken to alleviate the misery. This was particularly an issue on our first day when we had booked an evening canal excursion that meant we had to ‘shuttle’ back to the ship in order to pick up the excursion bus to travel back in again, thus cutting our time in Amsterdam on our own severely. The actual excursion was great and you can imagine that we really dug into the cheese and wine provided, especially the wine. However, the real disappointment came when we arrived at Guernsey. I queued early to get a reasonable tender time and was given two spaces on the first tender departure. We were thrilled to have such a long time ashore to relive all those wonderful memories. The thrill was quickly stifled when the captain announced that the winds were too severe to operate the tenders although he would ‘hang around’ for half an hour because the forecast was that the winds would reduce. No such luck because, after 30 minutes had elapsed, we were told that it was too dangerous to operate the tenders. We were both so upset, my wife in particular. I am well aware that safety of passengers is paramount and I cannot take issue with P & O over the decision. What I find hard to take is that, having spoken to so many passengers both on and off the ship at the time and since returning home who have suffered the same experience, I don’t understand why either the destination is not removed from itineraries if it is so dangerous or that the largest possible ‘health warning’ of the likelihood of ‘failure’ is prominently published in all the appropriate literature, including glossy brochures. A Golden Wedding comes only once and is so special. Our celebration left a real curate’s egg of memories from the joy of Epicurean to the real sadness of missing out on re-visiting our honeymoon island. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Been on a few P&o cruises on ships Oceana, Azura and Brittania, so me and my partner decided to try Aurora and the Canary Islands. Overall we felt a bit dissapointed with this one. The ports were great and the excursions were great ... Read More
Been on a few P&o cruises on ships Oceana, Azura and Brittania, so me and my partner decided to try Aurora and the Canary Islands. Overall we felt a bit dissapointed with this one. The ports were great and the excursions were great but we felt that having a full day and evening in Tenerife on the Monday instead of a full and evening day in La Palma on the Sunday would have been better, as everything opened at 10:00 and shut at 14:00 in La Palma,so you were just on the ship until we sail away at 21:00. The ship was a great size, and the new refurbishment was great with new carpets and everything in communal areas seemed new, however you could tell it was built in 2000. A tiny TV, with only certain channels compared to the On Demand service you get on Brittania, also it was in a really awkward position in our cabin. There was only one plug socket in the whole room too, which in an era of technology isn't really the best. Although advitised as an Adults only cruise, it'll be better off advitised as a over 50s cruise. Myself and my partner are in our 20s, and managed to make friends with two other couples in their 20s. We all felt that the entertainment in the evenings was aimed at the over 50s. The only real act who engaged with the whole audience age wise was the comedian Phil Melbourne. One great act was the Irish lad who did acoustic guitar sets on the Lido deck and in the crows nest some evenings. The entertainment team were great, very welcoming and friendly. The Headliners this year I would say were below the expected standard. The vocalists really carried the show, as the dancers were quite poor. It seemed that the best vocalists and dancers go on Brittania and bigger ships. The shows seemed a bit dated too, compared to those we saw more recently on Brittania. Instead of a West End experience, it felt more like a Panto in your local theatre. The crew this year were great, from cabin steward to waiters. There was only one waiter we had a problem with as he got my starter wrong, giving me a mushroom sausage roll instead of Potted Shrimp, and heinsisted that was what I asked for, even though I don't like Mushrooms! If you're over 50 it's a great cruise for you, however if you're under 50 I'd aim for another ship in the fleet! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Mums 75th Birthday treat. Having not cruised with P and O for a few years I was surprised at how standards had slipped disappointingly. The food wasn’t anywhere near as good as it’s been on previous cruises with them. The ship ... Read More
Mums 75th Birthday treat. Having not cruised with P and O for a few years I was surprised at how standards had slipped disappointingly. The food wasn’t anywhere near as good as it’s been on previous cruises with them. The ship itself is noticeably tatty in places as well. Even the bedding wasn’t up to much, my pillow smelt, there were stains on quilts! The staff however were still great and very attentive, especially restaurant, bar and cabin staff and their commitment to their jobs noticeable. No blame is to be laid at their feet this was simply down to cost cutting on P and O’s side. Having cruised with Marella last year, the difference was quite significant now I think about it. You are totally mislead with the Steven Mulhearn show not as expected at all. Dance lessons however were great and good fun. The comedian was excellent and very funny. Not sure I’d cruise again with P and O given this last experience sadly. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
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