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959 P&O Cruises Cruise Reviews

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
We chose this cruise as there were three ports of call new to ourselves. Lido Deck Too large a comfortable seating area earmarked for smokers, particularly when public areas (on land) are discouraging the habit. Dining ... Read More
We chose this cruise as there were three ports of call new to ourselves. Lido Deck Too large a comfortable seating area earmarked for smokers, particularly when public areas (on land) are discouraging the habit. Dining Surprisingly, choice of all three courses at dinner required when ordering. One does not always know whether one might even wish for a third course after the first and second courses but, if so required, the third course should then be allowed to be chosen accordingly. Lido Buffet 'Frozen' pats of butter taking 10 minutes + to soften and thus able to be spread by which time one's toast was even colder! Though 'Freedom Diners' we ate dinner in the Lido Buffet on several evenings as the menu was just as good as the Meridian Restaurant, without the waiter service of course. Sun Deck subjected to falls of soot particularates causing sun bathers to scatter and the Lido Pool to be temporarily closed for cleaning. Admittedly these are fairly inconsequential points, none of which spoilt our cruise but, nevertheless, may be worthy of note for the powers that be. We appreciate that everyone can't be pleased and conscious that there's a great deal to organise and be responsible for and for that we were grateful and contributed to a generally enjoyable cruise. Thank you. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Some background detail first of all. P&O has been our cruise company of choice but I have been trying other cruise lines to review for my travel blog. This cruise was a long awaited return, after just over a year away from ... Read More
Some background detail first of all. P&O has been our cruise company of choice but I have been trying other cruise lines to review for my travel blog. This cruise was a long awaited return, after just over a year away from P&O Embarkation was relatively smooth apart from the appallingly managaged car parking which resulted in a half hour wait to drop off the car. Although strictly speaking not P&O's fault is is their recommended parking provider and provided as part of the select deal. We were traveling with other family members, two adults and two children, who had a family suite. Once parked check-in and security clearance was quick and even though we headed straight to our cabin once on board our bags beat us to the cabin - a promising start. We met our cabin steward, Cathy, who was friendly and personable - a good start to the onboard experience …… little did we know at the time this would almost be the zenith of the cruise. The safety drill was an improvement as you are no longer required to take your life jacket with you, although the demonstration was somewhat undermined by loud, fellow passengers noisily talking over the demonstration and / or finding the whole thing a joke. We had selected “Freedom Dining” as we didn’t want to be tied to a fixed dining time, this also means you are on a different table each night and this led to a mixed experience. We took advantage of Freedom Dining on four of the nights, twice with just the adults and twice with the children as well. Service was decidedly mixed, on two of the nights the service was really good, as one would expect, on the other two totally indifferent with the waiting staff simply going through the motions. It may be coincidence but the two better experiences were when we dined with the children. On another night we dined in the Sindhu restaurant and the service, as well as the food was exemplary with one of the best waiters we’ve ever encountered. In terms of the staff generally we were shocked by the contrasts. A large number offered the standard of service you would expect from P&O, however a very significant minority had an almost, couldn’t care less attitude. The ship just felt generally unhappy. A couple of examples, at one of the food outlets, the woman serving looked as though she had sucked a lemon and acted as if she was doing you a favour by serving you. Indeed a fair percentage of staff seemed to have lost the ability to smile or to be affable. Yes, there has always been the odd staff member on any cruise but here it was much more noticeable and prevalent. On another occasion we wanted an ice cream milkshake and were having trouble finding any on board. I went to reception to ask if any were available on board to be given the response “I don’t know, ask at one of the bars.” The jolliest person on board seemed to be the Captain, who also seemed to think he was a stand up comedian …… he was certainly a refreshing change from some of the aloof Captain’s we’ve come across but I have to admit, after a week, some of of his jokes were becoming a bit boring. I wasn’t overly impressed when he suggested two latecomers were cheered and applauded on board after being late back in Bergen – they may well have had a good reason for being late and the “welcome” could have been humiliating. The sail away from Olden was brilliant - although this is down to the town rather than P&O Turning to food, the food in the main dining rooms was of the usual high standard, although I don’t think I’m alone in being under the impression portion sizes are shrinking. Food in the buffet was more variable ranging from good to inedible – I made the mistake of going for toad in the hole one night – the single sausage was OK but the batter was stodgy and undercooked. The buffet was also too small for the numbers on board, especially at breakfast on the sea days. On the final evening a "Family Disco" was advertised .... the children were looking forward to this but it was a con and a shambles. It wasn't a disco and there were no staff running it ..... basically it was a dance floor with a pre-recorded sound track, most of which was unsuitable for children. The only staff were bar staff trying to sell alcohol to the parents. When one of the parents complined to one of the bar staff, he shrugged his shoulders and walked away. Obviously we speak to fellow passengers on board and it was interesting to note that everyone we spoke to who had sailed with P&O before all thought the standards on this cruise had dropped dramatically. More tellingly, the family members we travelled with are both ex-P&O bridge officers and this is the first time they have been on a P&O ship in ten years and they were appalled by the drop in standards. I wonder if it is down to the removal of the service charge and subsequent reduction in pay for staff …. Is this causing a reduction in morale? We also found from a cabin steward, not ours in case P&O read this and decide to victimise our steward, they are now being asked to look after more cabins than they used to. Whilst on board I had planned to book a future cruise with P&O to take advantage of the discounts and other benefits – after this experience I did not bother. In the past I’ve been happy to pay more for the superior level of service with P&O. I am now of the view I can experience the same level of service with another Carnival company, Costa, for around two-thirds the price of P&O. It will be a long time, if ever, before I sail with P&O again and that’s something I thought I would never say. It seems P&O are aiming to dumb down to the lowest common denominator rather than providing a class service. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
As it was our first cruise and we always wanted to visit the Fjords, we chose P&O as it gave us everything we required. Embarkation was straightforward and well organised and we were on the ship 30 minutes after arriving at ... Read More
As it was our first cruise and we always wanted to visit the Fjords, we chose P&O as it gave us everything we required. Embarkation was straightforward and well organised and we were on the ship 30 minutes after arriving at Southampton. The ship looked fantastic and we were impressed by the cabin that was clean and well maintained. The buffet restaurant was a real disappointment. I read a number of reviews that compared it to a cross-channel ferry and its no exaggeration. The feel of the place is one of a factory canteen with bland food choices based around roast dinners, chips and tasteless soups. The Oriental Restaurant was better but the menu was unadventurous and very same-ish, with several dishes on offer the same each evening. Breakfast at this restaurant was very good though. The staff working in the dining areas were excellent though and very attentive. The kids club and staff were also very good for our 10 year old but the older club was poor. Biggest disappointment was the amount of off-duty British staff milling around the boat, especially in the dining areas and bars. A number of times I noticed guests having to queue for food in the pool area waiting for a number of off-duty staff to get food. In the evening, a large number would take residence in a section of ‘Brodies’ bar meaning guests had nowhere to sit. I noticed this on at least 2 of the 7 nights. Personally, I see this as highly unprofessional and gave me a poor impression of P&O. Overall I would recommend the boat and the itinerary was very good but P&O need to get a grip of the management of staff. If you went to a restaurant to be told to wait for your table or for food as the staff were being served first, you wouldn’t accept it so why should it be acceptable on Britannia? To me, staff remain in staff quarters. We enjoyed our first cruise experience and will definitely do it again but I question if it would be with P&O. As one guest explained it to me, ‘it’s a 2-3 star all inclusive in 5 star surroundings’. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
5th Cruise on Britannia standards declined rapidly in certain areas Entertainment guest entertainers 1in 3 good one talked more than he sang Oriental Breakfast standard up to expectations Oriental Dinner choice appalling stewing ... Read More
5th Cruise on Britannia standards declined rapidly in certain areas Entertainment guest entertainers 1in 3 good one talked more than he sang Oriental Breakfast standard up to expectations Oriental Dinner choice appalling stewing steak passed off as ribeye stroganoff stewing streak tasteless Calves liver dished up twice In 7 nights Staff apologetic dismissive blamed HQ Tv down not satellite not repaired Embarkation and disembarkation A shambles bags all over the place Not what I expected from P&O 2 children and 3 adults Overall disappointing considering the cost The no tip policy has had a detrimental effect on crew Cruised Oceana In Jan the difference was astronomical in Quality The most disturbing thing is trying to pass off low quality dining to experienced loyal P&O Members The formal dinner menus were an insult Something wants doing about it and the dinner the better Will they I doubt it very much I just couldn’t believe it of P&O Lido Lunch better than oriental dinner Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Our first time with P +O, having previously sailed with Holland America, Oceana, Regent. We costtravelled with 2 friends who had been on 3 previous cruises with P+O. Our expectations were not high but our friends made the trip most ... Read More
Our first time with P +O, having previously sailed with Holland America, Oceana, Regent. We costtravelled with 2 friends who had been on 3 previous cruises with P+O. Our expectations were not high but our friends made the trip most enjoyable. We had an outside balcony cabin which was clean but very outdated. The whole ship was tired and needs a complete refit to bring it up to date. Having said that the majority of staff were very friendly and were interactive. We had loads of banter. The itinery was on the whole very good, the highlights being Fredericia, St Petersburg and Helsinki. Godynia was a waste of time and would have preferred an extra day in Helsinki. The entertainment overall wasn't bad, the resident musicians and acts were okay. We went to the main theatre on 4 occasions and enjoyed what we saw. The food in the main dining room, and buffet was perfectly edible but boring and unremarkable. There was a distinct lack of of seasoning and we thought that the ship had bought a job lot of Green Beans and Spinach. The Belvedere buffet resembled a canteen The real bad points: Trips were expensive, there was a charge of £4 pp each way on the shuttle bus from the port into the centre. This meant it would cost a total of £16 per cabin, a complete rip off. Bottled water had to be paid for and one always felt that P+O were always looking at ways to get extra money. You never felt that they ever wanted to go the extra mile and exceed ones expectations Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Have travelled with P & O several times and although there have been issues, we have returned as they do represent good value for money, up until now that is. 16 day Baltic Cruise on Arcadia, first time on this ship and tips now ... Read More
Have travelled with P & O several times and although there have been issues, we have returned as they do represent good value for money, up until now that is. 16 day Baltic Cruise on Arcadia, first time on this ship and tips now included. BIG MISTAKE!! Ship was tired, maintenance work forever going on around the deck, why do we pay for a holiday to have this, should be in dock to get it done. Staff were deplorable, couldn’t care less, never saw our maid for the first 2 days after which she would shout along the corridor to her colleague at 7.30 in the morning. Had to speak to her about this several times. Freedom dining was a farce, only dined there 4 times in 16 days as the wait was at least 30-40 minutes after which the table service was even worse. First night it took 3 hours to complete our meal. Food was acceptable but totally boring. Resorted to the Belvedere “café” for the remainder of the days where the waiting staff couldn’t even be bothered to supply us with water of an evening. The food here was shocking, totally mixed up, fried cod in batter next to curry dishes so had to go elsewhere if you wanted chips. Too salty and the same old thing night after night. Couldn’t get ice cream, imagine that. Our cabin wasn’t clean either, spilled stuff on ledges was still there after the whole holiday and it wasn’t our spillage either. Toilets around the ship were mostly blocked and out of order and nothing being done about it. Norovirus broke out the last week. Thankfully never caught it due to being careful. Entertainment was boring, no guest acts, no-one we had ever heard of, they usually have someone of renown but not this time, never attended one show. The cruise itinerary was good though and we enjoyed all the ports although Fredericia was our least favourite. We only booked trips in St. Petersburg for obvious reasons (no visa needed) and they were fine although the evening river cruise was like an old ex serviceman’s outing, all old tables on an old boat, one glass of sweet plonk and the nibbles were inedible to me. The shuttle bus to town from the ship in places that were too far to walk was £4 per person each way, a total rip off and P & O homed in on this knowing there was little choice for us. I could write a book on this cruise. All in all it was like a cheap package holiday to Spain. They stress when booking that no logo clothes or words to that effect are to be worn but there were plenty about the ship and no-one ever attempted to do anything about it. Will look forward to trying a better cruise line next time. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This was a special holiday for us – my mum was 80 last year and always wanted to visit St Petersburg, but she won’t fly – so a Baltic cruise we thought would be ideal. This was our second cruise we had wanted to book the cruise to ... Read More
This was a special holiday for us – my mum was 80 last year and always wanted to visit St Petersburg, but she won’t fly – so a Baltic cruise we thought would be ideal. This was our second cruise we had wanted to book the cruise to the Baltics last year but had left it late to book, as there was 3 of us and we couldn’t get a deal for a cabin for 3. Last year we went on a short cruise (6 days) with Royal Caribbean – before booking a more expensive 16 day cruise with P&O this year. I must say the best part of the P&O cruise was the staff and service – we had a really great cabin steward who just made our cruise better with the warm service and the waiters and waitresses as the bars and restaurants worked hard and were great. On the whole though we rate the cruise a 3 out of 5. Three days in to the journey and some of the lifts weren’t working, some of the public toilets weren’t working (which was blamed on travellers putting things down the toilet systems) and 3 days before the end of the cruise we had a Norovirus breakout. You may think these things happen, but then I’ve since read that during Arcadia’s previous cruise in July 2019 (and June) – all these three things occurred during those journey's – broken lifts, blocked toilets and the norovirus breakouts? The ship needs serious overhauling – these things are basic. I think P&0 have their loyal core travellers - but to us as new to cruising I’m afraid we wouldn’t pick P&O again – the main thing for us was the food – it just wasn’t as good quality as food with Royal Caribbean last year. We had two meals at the Meridian restaurant which were inedible – pork fillet (so tough you couldn’t get your fork into it) and Hake was a lump of small grey fish, full of bones – looked and tasted disgusting. We ate at the Ocean Grill, twice – first time was exceptional and second time was just ok (again the fish was awful with the fish not being white, having the skin still on and bones) we also ate at Sindhu which we enjoyed. We felt the entertainment fell way short of what the Royal Caribbean had offered last year – just couldn’t get the hype with the singing/dancing group – who seemed to be involved every other night – just stage school singing and dancing. We booked 3 excursion trips with P&O – the first was exceptional – vintage tram tour of Helskini, we had a great tour guide who just made the day - everything was spot on. We also booked a 2 day tour of St Petersburg – very expensive – but there was a lot to see and do and we didn’t want to miss anything. I would question the need to visit the food market on the first day – I saw this as a waste of our time. The food we had to eat on both days wasn’t good – we understood that we were visiting a local restaurant on the first day – but then to get Greek salad (what’s Russian about that) beef stroganoff (with some sort of meat that had been cooking it seemed for days and no sauce) and then a piece of cake with ice cream that was frozen and couldn’t eat – the only part we enjoyed was the bread, water and wine. Plus the service – there was no welcome, hello or smile to be had by anyone serving us. Again the tour guide was exceptional. The third trip was the Leisurely Oslo tour – which was £40 for a 2 hour trip – 1.5 hours in the coach seeing the sights of Oslo – which was ok – we had picked this at mum being 81 had two full days in St Petersburg so though a coach tour would have been ideal and more leisurely – but the destination to the ski jump just didn’t work when out of season and you didn’t get to see the ski jump in use so to speak – they would have been better stopping at the park. Really overpriced and a bit of a rip-off. Another thing was the location of the cabin, as not being regular cruisers we were given a cabin in the front of the ship and we felt the ship moving quite a bit and indeed got motion sickness when the weather was rough travelling to and from Oslo. I had phoned as we had booked so far in advance and prices had fallen by £600 when I made a call to see if we could upgrade to another part of the ship – but was told there wasn’t any point there was not difference in the cabins – but why then do you have the different price ranges for the same cabin class. Felt we had been fobbed off with this – not good customer service. Embarkation and Disembarkation – went smoothly – from arriving at the terminal to checking in – we were in our rooms in half-an hour. Our cabin steward (Michael) was superb – friendly, efficient and good humoured. . Perhaps because we had meals that we didn’t enjoy and a couple that were inedible we felt that paying the extra £700 between the three of us for the Select Price/Option for freedom dining we just didn’t see the value on this occasion as we only “walked in” on 2 of our nights on all the other nights when we ate at the Meridian restaurants we had to wait between 20-40 minutes – no big deal as you could go to the piano bar for a pre dinner drink – but maybe this should be limited to numbers for it to work.Seemed to us that most people had opted for the freedom dining – the 8.30 sitting in the bottom restaurant was more than half empty With regard to the destination the highlights for us apart from seeing St Petersburg, was Helsinki (would definitely go back) and indeed enjoyed all the destinations apart from Gdynia (there was nothing there you would need to fork out for an excursion to Gdansk) would have preferred perhaps an extra day in Helsinki or could stopping in Estonia be an option. P&O beats Royal Caribbean in terms of drinks prices – much cheaper paying for your drinks in pounds – RC much more expensive with cocktails being around $11-$14 dollars – where here we paid just under £7 for a cocktail and wine here much more value for money. It’s not a cheap trip with on board spend, and excursions we spent over £9K for the three of us – so we wanted it to be better. We enjoyed ourselves and I don’t normally complain but we so wanted to love this cruise so we could pick P&O again – but it fell short for us. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We’ve sailed with p & o on several occasions now, and I choose P & O because I loved the attentiveness of staff, the cabin cleanliness and the quality of the entertainment. Unfortunately, for us, it didn’t match to our ... Read More
We’ve sailed with p & o on several occasions now, and I choose P & O because I loved the attentiveness of staff, the cabin cleanliness and the quality of the entertainment. Unfortunately, for us, it didn’t match to our expectations. Our room was spotless, as was the whole ship. The attentiveness of staff was very lacking. We could go int9 a bar and not be served for over half an hour. If we went to the bar to request a drink, we were told to sit down and someone would come and take our order. Mostly, they didn’t. The entertainment was disappointing too. On previous P & O Cruises we have always found the theatre shows to be outstanding and so much entertainment on in the Horizon magazine that we have been virtually running from one venue to another time catch the great acts. Sadly, not on this cruise. I’m not sure if it was the fault of the entertainment crew or not but why would you put Whitney House n soundalike in one theatre and Diva’s in the other on the same night?! Again one night with a magician in one place and a mind reader in another?! It didn’t make sense to us. The resident band Pulse, thought they were better than they obviously were. One thing for everyone to bear in mind when booking a cruise to the Norweigan Fjords is that there cannot be any sail away parties on top deck as it’s against Norwegian policies to have music on deck at any of the Norwegian ports. This is something that’s not made aware to you when you book the cruise. Also, you cannot use plastic Britannia flags at a ‘sail on’ anymore and neither do they give them out (because of the harmful effects on the enviroment). We had a sail on party in the Atrium instead but it’s no where near the same. I’m not trying to sway anyone’s mind here, this is just a view of hw we found our cruise. I was shocked how different this cruise was to m last one with Pn& O but I’m not sure entirely what.m Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I have lucky to have cruised quite a bit over the last 15 years, on a number of different ships and different cruise lines. With PO I have experienced Azura, Britannia and Oceana but I am sad to say that over the years I have seen a ... Read More
I have lucky to have cruised quite a bit over the last 15 years, on a number of different ships and different cruise lines. With PO I have experienced Azura, Britannia and Oceana but I am sad to say that over the years I have seen a steady decline in the cruising experience offered by PO. I was able to experiance the Azura in its ingrual year and a quite a few times since. Although it clearly is ready for a re-fit, this is not the main reason review. I have tried to be as fair as possibe and give merit when derserved and not so good service where experianced. Embarkation; As expected at Southampton, CPS was bit bit slow nd it took around an hour queing in a car line to wait to be able to check in luggge. Luggage porters were in short supply so be prepared to load your cases into the loading bays yourself. We did not see any Ship staff in the Embarkation area on this cruise, but not a big issue. Check in and security ok, did not take for ever this time! As we have been in this ship a number of times, did not stop for photos but they seemed to be more organised this time and there was not pressured sale rotuine - There were a lot of first time cruisers this time and a definate lack of ship staff greet them and help with finding cabins etc. First time we have experianced this on any cruise ship, maybe this is due to cutbacks. Cabin; Looking a bit tired but OK. We had a balcony on C deck, which was nice only issue was the balcony furiture was very old and mismatched and we only had one footstall! We noticed that other cabins had much nicer and newer furniture, maybe ours was the last cabin on their list. Cabin Steward, excellant,greeted ius on arrival, knew our names and delivered ice as requiested without fail. Kept our cabin really clean, tempted to say that they were the best we have experianced on any ship for a long time. Luggage arrived promptly, and we were able to unpack before depature. Dinning: Big improvement on this ship, did not have one bad meal. Service staff efficent, and friently - well done PO! Entertaimnent and activities: In general the entertament was not good. Starting with Headliners only 2 shows in 7 days and both were not great. After being on another cruise where the show were really good and entaining, the cast members interated with the passangers, the number of productions they did were professional and far in excess of PO limp offering. To put in context these show were the worst I have seen in 15 years of cruising. PO have a band called pulse on most of there ships, on the Britannia they were great, young and fun and played great music and good singers, On other cruises on Azura they were also good, but this time the singer lacked personalilty and voice. The other acts were also not great, to many commedians. Other activities: Not a lot of offer other than Spa talks, occasional quiz and sales pitches, what happened to lectures, hosted art and crafts etc etc, very poor on this ship have experienced much better. One good point though, great new sunbeds!c Service:There seem to be a large cutback in staff in the lounges and very oftern we had to order our drinks from the bar then wait 30 minutes for them to arrive at our table. On a few occassions we have to retrive our cruise card and cancel drinks due to time restraints. 30 minutes is too long to wait, 10 minutes acceptable. Port and Shore Exursions: We did not use PO exursions and arranged our own, Norway is beautiful and a lot to do. But be aware it is expensive. The big question is would I go again; I would serioulsy have to think about Cruising with PO again. We tend to pick cruises for their ports of call. I have been with PO on quite a few occassions but this could be our last cruise with them. As a first cruise experience its ok, but I feel there is much better available. Although their drinks/bar prices and cheaper than their counterparts, their cruises are not always better value, the rest of the cruise service/experience they offer is not as good and I feel you get much more for you hard earned money on other cruise ships. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
First cruise. Pleased with the look of the ship. Very clean and sparkly. Pleased with cabin, it was compact but had lots of little drawers and shelves so all our stuff had a home. Buffet was like being at school! You were presented ... Read More
First cruise. Pleased with the look of the ship. Very clean and sparkly. Pleased with cabin, it was compact but had lots of little drawers and shelves so all our stuff had a home. Buffet was like being at school! You were presented with a tray with napkin and cutlery and you queued round the counters, Horrible! You made your own coffee/ tea and then found a table. Staff in bars, atrium, shops and restaurants were generally uncommunicative, at times surly and curt and NEVER friendly or smiley. We ate in the Ligurian each night. Good, tasty, well cooked and well presented food with lots of choice but again, service very poor. Slow, careless and frustrating on the whole. We had to ask repeatedly for things like sugar, milk etc. We had the Champagne breakfast in our cabin which was lovely. Way too much food for two people and we had to leave an almost full basket of rolls etc which was a shame. Such a waste of food. We had a meal in Cafe Jardin which was very good and worth doing. The Formal nights were good and it was lovely to see most people dressed to the nines. Cabin steward was the exception. She was happy, friendly and did a great job. Went to Pilates session. The instructor was miserable as sin. He failed to ask if we had done Pilates before and more importantly, if we had any injuries or weaknesses he should be aware of. Appalling practice! He spoke as though he despised us both (there were only two of us) and didn’t want to be there! It was like a gym workout and when I asked him to explain a position again for me he just pointed to the other person as he was in the required position! How rude!! He was however, much more friendly when he led a seminar on improving your metabolism but that turned out to be nothing more than a sales pitch!! No wonder he was friendly! Entertainment was good and in fact was better than we expected. We went to the theatre group’s shows, the magic shows and enjoyed all of them. The public spaces were nicely kept and always very clean. Our big problem was that there were way too many people, big noisy groups in the bars which were always packed. The main pool area awful!! We nicknamed it Benidorm! The sun beds were so close they seemed welded together! Adult only area was quiet but soooo windy and had no shade. We did not take any of the excursions on offer so I can’t comment on them. Nor did we take part in other activities such as ballroom dancing, but people seemed to be enjoying them. So all in all, I’m sorry but this was nothing more than an all inclusive family holiday on water. Glad we did it but really don’t see why people get hooked on cruising and can’t wait to boast about how many they have done! Lol. There are lots of nicer, quieter ways to spend your hols. Maybe P and O aren’t a luxury cruise line, I don’t know. We won’t be repeating the experience. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
As first family crew chose p and o. Buffet food was average and bland especially at dinner time.Very difficult to find a table at buy times. Staff in buffet restaurant not particularly friendly. Believe other worked. Restaurants included ... Read More
As first family crew chose p and o. Buffet food was average and bland especially at dinner time.Very difficult to find a table at buy times. Staff in buffet restaurant not particularly friendly. Believe other worked. Restaurants included in price Cinnamon and Saffron. Had lovely food and very good service. We paid for food one night in the glasshouse (tapas) that was amazing. Beach house food which you had to pay extra for was average. My food had a hair in it yuk. Put me off. Our steward was excellent very friendly. Most of the other staff were not very smiley and seemed disinterested. Reception staff not very friendly or smiley either. Swimming pools were good but sometimes full of screaming kids. Entertainment was good. We3 - vocal group were amazing. Adele impersonator very good. Metropolis bar was very classy with good views and a guy playing piano. I used the gym. It’s very good with up to date equipment and nice views into the sea. Overall good. But customer service standards could be better. Maybe staff not getting tips anymore is having an affect. We are thinking of trying another cruise company next time to get a better standard of customer service and friendlessness. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We chose this cruise as it stopped at nine destinations, six of which we had not visited before on previous cruises. Journey from Valetta airport to ship was fine, registration efficient. As always you are met with friendly faces and ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it stopped at nine destinations, six of which we had not visited before on previous cruises. Journey from Valetta airport to ship was fine, registration efficient. As always you are met with friendly faces and a beautiful atrium, we immediately bought the non alcoholics package which included soft drinks as well as costa coffees/hot chocolate. We didn’t use the gym, hair or beauty facilities so cannot comment. The main pool area is compact with lots of sun beds squashed very closely together, however, there are some areas, particularly around the front of the ship where you can spread out a bit. Pool towels are easily accessible and can be refreshed daily, we left ours in the bathroom and they were replaced no problem Food - had better. The breakfast buffet had very little choice, the fried eggs looked like they had been sitting there for hours, the porridge had a weird taste. The plastic glasses used for juice were always warm and wet as if they had just been dragged out of the dishwasher so not ideal when you want a cold drink. The lunch buffet wasn’t great, not much choice and very repetitive. (Depends what you are comparing it to I suppose) The plates were sometimes in shortage and often warm (once again straight out of the dishwasher) and not ideal putting salad on it. We had our evening meal at the 6.30 sitting and the staff were great. We shared a table with six others which worked out well. The first week the food seemed fine, we looked forward to seeing the menu. There was always some items on every single night. For example prawn cocktail, tomato soup and steak. By the second week, the food became very repetitive and some nights we were struggling to choose the best. For better quality food and service I would recommend you eat breakfast and lunch in the main restaurant or Cafe Jardin. (You do have to pay extra in the Cafe Jardin in the evenings but not for breakfast and lunch. Entertainment- plenty to do, you get a news sheet left in your cabin for the following day which is full of information and you can plan your day. Talks, demonstrations, films, singalongs, quiz, dance classes etc are ongoing then in the evening there is two theatres, each have a show at 8.30 and 10.30. Some nights it is by the in house entertainers and also each week three entertainers are brought on the ship, some from “Britain’s got talent” tribute acts etc and like everything some are better than others. If this is not your thing then there are several bar/coffee places to sit. Some quiet, some with background music, some a bit more lively. Overall, the ship is fine, if you want to pick faults you will find some, but overall it’s clean and well organised and all staff were great, except the girl who was supposed to look after our cabin. More about that below. There was a mixed age group from young to old. I watched the younger generation and as long as they were in the pool they were fine, but soon started to wander back and forth in groups, almost looking a bit of a loss of what to do with themselves. I twice came across a group of lads about 14ish being a nuisance with the lifts, going up and down pressing the buttons for every deck whilst their mates raced down the stairs to try and beat the lift. This at times was annoying. Overall, I wouldn’t recommend this ship for children as their is not enough to keep them going and as it was blazing hot they were being dragged around sightseeing. Excursions- quite expensive. We only did one. Half day to Pisa and it chucked it down in rain. £55 each. The tour guide chatted non stop all the way there, the coach took us to a car park outside the main area and we transferred to a little train which took us around Pisa streets. We had free time then returned. However, we talked to some who had shared a taxi and it cost them £22 each so can be done a lot cheaper as it’s not too far away. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
The Ship was good, staff miserable, didn't smile much especially in the Medina restaurant, Food was awful, very funny combinations, Who serves Salt & Vinegar Ice cream for a sweet if was disgusting, peppercorn sponge. Please ... Read More
The Ship was good, staff miserable, didn't smile much especially in the Medina restaurant, Food was awful, very funny combinations, Who serves Salt & Vinegar Ice cream for a sweet if was disgusting, peppercorn sponge. Please Chef go back to school and learn some basics. Normal food required. No jacket potatoes in Horrizon Buffett only on first day on ship, after that never again..Why because they have them on other ships all the time. I have cruised with P & O before and food on Oriana was a lot better, basic food options, no concoctions put together, it was lovely all the time, but not on this ship. Please improve this, as otherwise you will get more complaints, also need more options for Gluten free customers, as not enough choice also for Diabetics, as there were a lot of these people onboard too. Please P & O sort the food issue out. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We are experienced with cruising and this is our second trip with P&O. Not expecting too much but more for the company price per nigyt was not exactly cheap but there were not service charges or tips and everything in UK £'s. 3 ... Read More
We are experienced with cruising and this is our second trip with P&O. Not expecting too much but more for the company price per nigyt was not exactly cheap but there were not service charges or tips and everything in UK £'s. 3 night trip with friend for birthday. Bit of a blow to start as ship had a "technical" problem so would not sail on Friday but midday on Saturday to allow for repairs. Disappointed but we would get over it. Then the Captain revised this, for us to leave earlier on Saturday morning so we were cheered up a bit. Embarkation was very smooth and quick. Went to get buffet lunch which was typical P&O roast beef that was fine but not exceptional - as was the case with nearly all meals on board but it was what we were expecting. Then a drink in the Lords Tavern bar. Largish bar with seats very close together. Asked for a Pina Colada - Whoops not on the list so no. Asked about the 3 taster beer selections - Whoops this not available either - I sensed a theme here! Ship looked in generally good condition though a very dated. Liked the Tiffany ceiling at the Tiffany bar and the other smaller bars such as Anderson's. Pacific lounge looked good too. Cabin OK but some funny bits see below. There was to be a life boat drill but they kept this secret till about 20mins before it was due. Had to take life jackets with us - really do not know why. As other lines have abandoned this and you just turn up and get the lecture. Weather raining so under shelter on pool deck for drinks with friends. Now dinner. Bit of a surprise it all looked pretty good and lamb shank is one of my favourites so off to good start. Made the mistake of asking for bottle of Pinot Grigio. "sorry we have run out" Eh! first day of cruise and 24hrs in home port? Seems the ship is being run down for sale in about a month. Great entertainment is the evening - Singers and Dancers did a medley of Bill Board Hits which everyone knew and was one of the best. Then off to the Drifters tribute which was likewise very good. Comedian Mike Doyle was excellent well worth seeing. He did some reminiscing about past cruises on Oriana as he had been there from the start. Mentioned some of the staff that were on this cruise to say farewell to the ship. Sailed as promised at around 930am Saturday. Bought our duty free which was particularly good value then a relaxing day. Had lunch which was a bit bland and then almost time to get ready for formal night and some photos. Guernsey was fine and we simply walked around St Peter Port there was a market and car show on the quay side which was interesting as many of the shops were shut as it was a Sunday. Have to say here didn't they know there would be 2 cruise ships in with people eager to spend their cash! Now the really BAD news as we walked in to the Oriental dining room for early sitting I could hear a loud rumble accompanied by a lot of vibration. This increased as we approached our table and was now overpowering so much so you could hardly hear yourself talk let alone think. So bad that if you left your cutlery on the plate it danced across it! Meal was fine lobster and beef wellington but they do not seem to like you asking for seconds - felt a bit like Oliver Twist. So uncomfortable actually that they won and I never asked again. Once we dropped anchor outside St Peter Port and the turned off the engine all was OK but we were now halfway through the meal and the Sunday night there would be no respite as we hammered our way up the English Channel. We discovered the best bar being the Crow's Nest at the front of the Ship. Large bar with live music - similar in many respects to the Commodore clubs on Cunard. P&O have now said there is not need to tip staff. Well this time around there was really no one apart from our cabin steward that would deserve anything. Service was pretty poor all around and very basic. You had to ask for everything whether it be ketchup and mint sauce or trying to catch someones eye because they had forgotten an order - everything seemed too much trouble. I just wonder if they have dropped the tips and not increased their pay? The ship was fine despite its age and some bad design decisions around the cabins. I liked the smaller bars but it was simply too crammed in the Lords Tavener. I am sorry to say I pity those passengers on the remaining cruises if they have to put up with the engine noise and vibration in the Oriental Restaurant. As we had experienced before there were many on board who cruise only with P&O and there were also lots of ex staff who were saying farewell to the ship. They will just not hear anything mildly critical or constructive said about the ship. Which is sad really because every company should be aiming to improve. There many things on this ship and cruise that were great but others not so. If all you surround yourself with is yes men then you will fail. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
As a returning P&O customer I was let down. Arriving at our alloted time of 1500 boarding became a rush, even making the muster station became an issue. I was disappointed as all the excitement of relaxed holidays and a we take ... Read More
As a returning P&O customer I was let down. Arriving at our alloted time of 1500 boarding became a rush, even making the muster station became an issue. I was disappointed as all the excitement of relaxed holidays and a we take care of it attitude has gone. The logistics were wrong. On to the Cabin D522 it was excellent, I thought well mentained until my partner pointed out the face towels hadn't been changed, just refolded. Food excellent, quality of drink excellent, kids club excellent, itinerary spot on. On the whole the majority of the staff have forgotten to smile. The entertainment was also at the bearable level but undone by repetition. Don't get me wrong I have had a week's holiday but a week in Fuengirola would have been just as good. I love cruising, love the non flying option but now considering cancelling next year's booking as I will experience the same level of frustration at an Airport. Disembarkation opted for the early depart, low tide at Soton could not disembark untill the tide did her thing Logistics Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Transfer from airport to cruise terminal very quick. Fast, efficient check in and luggage delivered quickly. Lots of other delayed flights so we left Valetta 4-5 hours later than scheduled. Oceana is showing its age now, especially ... Read More
Transfer from airport to cruise terminal very quick. Fast, efficient check in and luggage delivered quickly. Lots of other delayed flights so we left Valetta 4-5 hours later than scheduled. Oceana is showing its age now, especially in the cabins. Our balcony cabin (C409) , felt very cramped. Few stains on the carpet. Wall panels grubby and dull. Bathroom is very very small and very dated. Parts of the tap were missing ( but still worked though). Shower curtain - which I hate ( but it did look very clean and fresh). Toilet when flushed always had a sooty residue in the water. Balcony was tiny, glass sliding doors had seen better days and there is a lot of wear and tear. I was glad we had only booked a week because the cabin was very disappointing. Staff were lovely. Very hard working, polite and cheerful. Captain's 'thought for the day' were funny in a cringeworthy way but we all listened every day to see what he had to say. He came across as very nice. We attended a few pool side music quizzes which were fun - especially when Craig was hosting. We also attended a few quizzes in the compass pub before dinner which again were great fun. Poolside live music was good for the most part (we don't like Jazz so didn't enjoy that performance but the others were very good). Didn't see any shows - which is usual for us but our fellow guests at our dining table gave mixed reviews throughout the week - some good, some disappointing for them. On the whole, we had a nice week - nothing special. Felt like P&O are cutting corners any and every way they can. We had the second sitting in the Adriatic restaurant. The staff was very friendly and very hard working but we found the food to be bland -very often dry, as it was probably sitting around too long and the portions were a lot smaller than we remember on our previous cruises on this ship. The ship is definitely showing it's age which is a real shame as it has a nice friendly atmosphere with lovely staff. We were glad that we had only booked a week though. This was our third and very possibly our last time on Oceana. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Love Norway good memories of deceased partner. The food left a lot to be desired often only warm, uninspired boring. Had one meai in beach club excellent as was the service, 2 meals in self service very nice. Was put on a singles table ... Read More
Love Norway good memories of deceased partner. The food left a lot to be desired often only warm, uninspired boring. Had one meai in beach club excellent as was the service, 2 meals in self service very nice. Was put on a singles table disaster I was a man paired with 5 women ranging between 65ish to mid nineties could not gat a dcent conversation disaster. I am a very outgoing person and have made good friends on other cruises not on this one.Most staff friendly an d helpful. Excursions way over price [I booked direct[ Worse of alll I got Noro again thanks P&O again I got a bad cold sore throat and head ace Despite using my own sanitizer plush ships own The port days were enjoyable so it wasnt an entire disaster. The young lady who helped me disembark was a treasure. The valet parking was efficient and easy but all in all disapointing Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Although being promised that standards on Oriana would maintain or exceed our cruises last year, this was not the case. One port was amended before we commenced the cruise and another was cancelled due to our berth at Dublin being ... Read More
Although being promised that standards on Oriana would maintain or exceed our cruises last year, this was not the case. One port was amended before we commenced the cruise and another was cancelled due to our berth at Dublin being unavaiable! Due to engine issues we still managed to be back in Southampton approximately 10 hours ahead of schedule...... still trying to understand this. Our Cabin was well looked after by Dina. Food stanards and variety were not as on previous cruises-but restaurant staff continued to provide exceptional service, replacing a meal where the meat could not be cut no matter how i tried. Entertainment was at best mediocre with the only exceptions being the Shamrock Tenors, Gaels Afloat and Anita Mays. The service from the future cruise desk was poor and had to be reminded that we were waiting for a quotation for a future Carribean cruise.Embarkation and Disembarkation were excellent. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We chose this cruise as it was going to places we wanted to visit, we had not been on Arcadia before and my birthday occurred during the cruise period. First impressions were very much on the lines of this HAS been a lovely ship but is ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was going to places we wanted to visit, we had not been on Arcadia before and my birthday occurred during the cruise period. First impressions were very much on the lines of this HAS been a lovely ship but is now very tired. We had no wish to spend three and half days in Malaga and as the stay lengthened were concerned other ports may have to be cancelled. One can only presume the additional work was brought about by the company extensively running the azipod in a damaged condition. Why divers had to be flown from USA goodness only knows. As usual information from P&O was scant For most of the cruise large sections of the Promenade deck were closed to passengers while.painting was carried out. The overpowering small of paint was not pleasant albeit it did help mask the stench of sewage which pervaded the starboard side of that deck. At least three lifts were out of action for the whole cruise. Food in the Belvedere was tasteless as was custard in all restaurants. In Dubrovnik someone had the bright idea to put a trainee "driver" in charge of a tender. The vessel was packed, little air and at the port he had no idea what he was doing as a result we bobbed around and watches another tender overtake us and dock. The shops supply of yellow buckets were put to good use catching dripping water presumably from the air-conditioning. There was more but this is long enough. We certainly won't be going back on Arcadia Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We had been wanting to try another cruise line and this P&O visit to the Mediterranean fitted in with with this. Arriving at the Cruise terminal at the appointed time meant a swift processing and rapid boarding even if the cabins ... Read More
We had been wanting to try another cruise line and this P&O visit to the Mediterranean fitted in with with this. Arriving at the Cruise terminal at the appointed time meant a swift processing and rapid boarding even if the cabins were not ready. When we were able to access ours we found clean, the bed looked good and the bathroom was fine. The cases arrived shortly after so we were into unpacking when the call for life boat drill came. Our muster station was the Palladium theatre along with countless other. Unfortunately the place we chose had steep steps, The drill was straightforward and included putting on a life jacket. As we had opted for Freedom Dining and we had been advised to get to the upper deck of the Meridian early so we had a chance of a table for 2, we queued up half an hour early. Using this tactic we always had the same table for two and were we well looked after by James & Michael. We tried lunch once in the Meridian but this did not offer the soup and salad we like. The Belvedere was huge, daunting and difficult to find what we wanted. Thereafter we had a snack in the cabin and a coffee in the Vivo cafe. The menus are lengthy in the Meridian. It rapidly became clear that all meat varied from tough to very tough so we almost always had fish.On one occasion the fish was impenetrable and was replaced with properly cooked one which was as palatable as my wife’s. For some nights there were fancy menus designed by Marco Pierre White or a Chef’s special. We had a glass of wine one night and my red was not fit to be drunk. We used the Cafe Vivo which was good value and served Costa coffee at the right temperature. On this cruise most of the time people were out side enjoying the sun. We did notice that the two seats in the Art Gallery were invariable taken, the being the only sitting places that were free of waiters bring to sell drinks. Due to a “technical problem” so the email from P&O we would be spending an extra day in Malaga. The technical problem turned out to be fishing gear fouling a propeller and also turned out to require much more time and we actually sailed at 1205 am on the fifth day. Malaga was the one port on the itinerary that we did not want to go to. P&O (Carnival) stated that there would be no compensation for this or missing the call at Messina beyond a token gesture about Spanish taxes on drinks. A letter to this effect was delivered to our cabin with the implication that we should claim on our insurance for missing Messina. Claiming on the insurance means that the premium will rise to cover this and I do not pay for expensive policies so that Carnival can avoid facing the cost of compensating us for our loss of enjoyment. A knock on of the prolonged stay was that we had to fit in 3 formal nights in 5 days so these nights were nothing special. There was an out break of norovirus which was a brought under control speedily. However the hand sanitisation was not enforced at every restaurant and not easily seen in the bars and cafe. Indeed at one the officer (maitre d’) made no effort whatsoever to help those of us who wanted to us the sanitiser before entering a restaurant he was in charge of. The rest of the cruise was blessed with calm seas so maximum speed could be maintained and the time in the remaining ports was as planned. However it was hot with Cagliari being over 35 degrees. Disembarkation was relatively painless. We are giving P&O another chance as we were able to relax and do as we pleased. Ports: Malaga. Shuttle bus to centre or a longish walk. Interesting for a day Venice. Ordered ticket never arrived. Split: Used the free shuttle bus which was a good move as the walk looked as though it dodged ferry terminals and a bus station. Diocletian's Palace was well worth seeing and is free. Dubrovnik. Anchor port but the tenders were both frequent and easy to use and much better than a shuttle bus as we were landed on the edge of the old town. Well worth exploring but pick up a map. Cagliari. Far too hot so we did not explore it. We did find an air conditioned cafe at the top of a department store. Gibraltar. Afternoon call. Walked into town as the queues for the shuttle seemed lengthy and it only gets you so far. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Second time on Azura. Once to the Caribbean which I easily give 5 stars. This time to the Fjords. Had a wonderful time. Loved the cruise but the food was terrible. There was no choice. Everything was cold and uneatable. We went to the ... Read More
Second time on Azura. Once to the Caribbean which I easily give 5 stars. This time to the Fjords. Had a wonderful time. Loved the cruise but the food was terrible. There was no choice. Everything was cold and uneatable. We went to the restaurant and they messed that up, it was a right shambles. My partner sent his food back twice and it was still wrong after that. Entertainment was great, staff pleasant, cabins maintained. Food was just awful. We couldn't afford to eat when at the destinations because we hadn't budgeted £22 for one beef burger because that is what it costs to eat out in Norway. They must all be millionaires or something! The entertainment was excellent, the staff where nice. We did all our excursions through the P&O planner and they looked after us really well. I have a really big issue with paying so much money and not being able to eat properly that is all. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
7 day fly cruise around the Greek Islands with two restful sea days. Perfect itenary for us and although we have sailed many many times with P&O we had never been on Oceana. Firstly , we were aware of her size and age, so ... Read More
7 day fly cruise around the Greek Islands with two restful sea days. Perfect itenary for us and although we have sailed many many times with P&O we had never been on Oceana. Firstly , we were aware of her size and age, so expectations were not high. However it has to be said the staff are excellent, friendly and provide excellent service. Nothing is too much trouble. The food was also of a very high standard, with an extremely wide choice and very accommodating waiters. The ships function rooms have been upgraded and create a very relaxed and inviting atmosphere. What really lets this ship down are her cabins. Not only are they very small , that also includes the balcony , but they are in great need of attention . Air conditioning is extremely loud througout the night, the bathroom is so small when using the toilet you can touch the door, the shower cubicle is minuscule and shower heads falling apart, drains do not seem to drain away properly and despite the cabin being cleaned extremely well each day, the cabin looks well worn. Despite this the itenary of the cruise around Greece did exceed expectations. Beautiful ports with easy access to sights. SoundaBay whilst remote, you can take a public bus from the port to Chania - 20 minutes away and what a gem. Santorini is wonderful. Pre hotel stay in Malta at the Excelsior was perfect. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
This was a family cruise around the Fjiords with frequent cruisers. The boarding was very efficient and our cabin (Superior Deluxe Balcony) could not be faulted when we first arrived. However, the food across the board was below ... Read More
This was a family cruise around the Fjiords with frequent cruisers. The boarding was very efficient and our cabin (Superior Deluxe Balcony) could not be faulted when we first arrived. However, the food across the board was below average. It was below average in general, not just in comparison to the normal standard of cruise food. The buffet was small, cramped and disorganised with limited selection. We ate breakfast in the buffet and restaurant. The selection in the restaurant was very disappointing as each day there was a special which could not be ordered on any other day. i.e. Eggs Benedict could only be ordered on a Monday etc. We ate in the Cinnamon Restaurant every evening and were able to have the same table seating all of us every night. The poor staff are run off their feet from clear staff cuts and do not have enough time for the usual niceties let alone to take orders and serve the food. The food in the restaurant was bland and disappointing on almost every occasion. The desserts were diabolical. The pastry was always uncooked, the panna cotta contained far too much gelatine and had less flavour than a piece of paper. Our cabin was very noisy. Being near an engine room there was a constant rattling. We did complain and were offered to move to an indoor cabin! When we refused to downgrade we were offered ear plugs. However, we were impressed with the size of the cabin and canapes on the Captain's night were a nice touch. Our cabin stewardess was lovely and really looked after us. The entertainment was average and if anything on the tacky side. They could do with more seating in the bar/lounge areas. On the positive, drinks were very reasonably priced in comparison to other cruises we have been on as were the spa treatments. We will not be cruising with P & O again.Yeah Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We chose this cruise as sailing around the fjords had been on our bucket list for some time. We booked late, all that was left was cabins with restricted views. We had a cabin on E deck, with a magnificent view of a lifeboat which of ... Read More
We chose this cruise as sailing around the fjords had been on our bucket list for some time. We booked late, all that was left was cabins with restricted views. We had a cabin on E deck, with a magnificent view of a lifeboat which of course we were expecting. The cabin was kept scrupulously clean throughout the cruise by our cabin boy, Sandum. We gave him a generous tip when we returned to Southampton, especially as tips are now at the passengers’ discretion. We were happy with the cabin on the whole but we would have liked some warning when crew members were going to be working outside our window on the lifeboats! We were allocated First Sitting in the Meridian Dining Room. Our first meal there was not a success as my husband had to return his steak which was impossible to cut through, a replacement was immediately served which was much better than the original. We later learnt that several people at that sitting were unhappy with their steaks, apparently a new supplier was at fault. I ordered sticky toffee pudding for dessert, this is the first time I have had this pudding without any sticky toffee! It was very dry and the custard was tasteless and runny. The next evening we returned for our second meal at First Sitting. This time the staff got our wine order wrong, we had ordered Sauvignon Blanc but for some reason the wine waitress turned up with Zinfandel! She returned a second time to say we had ordered Zinfandel, we again said she had got the order wrong. She then returned a 3rd time, this time with a Head Waiter who asked us again if we had ordered Zinfandel. Again we said, ‘No’ ! The next day whilst having lunch in the Belvedere Buffet a Restaurant Manager (Clive) was doing his rounds asking people if they were happy with the food. We told him of our experiences and he immediately offered us Freedom Dining on the upper floor of the Meridian Restaurant. Our dining experience upstairs was far better than First Sitting, food was hotter, service much more professional and caring and we managed to get a window table each evening. We later met up with a fellow passenger who was on our table at First Sitting, he told us he had sent back 5 meals because they were almost cold. We were surprised to see a cruise ship displaying so much rust, especially on the outside where surely first impressions are important! Also on the decks we were surrounded by rails and doors badly in need of another coat of varnish, more rust, lots of drips affecting the deck. On all our previous cruises we have remarked on how hard the crew work on maintaining all areas of the ship. We did not see this on Arcadia, during the whole length of the cruise we just saw 2 crew members repainting. On Princess and Celebrity there are crew on deck continually varnishing and painting throughout the cruise. Also the interior of the ship looks tired, carpets look dirty, handrails on stairs lack the gleam that we are used to, again, we have seen cleaners polishing stair handrails all the time on other cruise lines. The highlight of the holiday was cruising through the fjords. Spectacularly beautiful with stunning waterfalls and awesome glaciers. We spent most of our time on the top deck for this part of the cruise because of our restricted view in the cabin. We only did one ship’s excursion, to the wonderful Briksdal Glacier. This was one tour we didn’t mind paying for, the glacier is thousands of years old. The walk up to it is steep in parts but quite manageable. Like on all cruises, the price of excursions is expensive. Several of the ports had ‘hop on - hop off’ buses and shuttles, I can recommend these, so much cheaper than a ship’s tour. Interesting ports of call, especially Bergen with its historic buildings and fish market. Entertainment on board was good. Special mention must go to the on-board orchestra who were exceptionally talented. We enjoyed the violinist and the magician particularly. The ship’s company of singers/dancers worked hard to keep us entertained. We enjoyed the Queen tribute in particular. We like quizzes and managed to do at least 2 a day. We also attended the very informative lectures on the Vikings by Sandy. So generally we enjoyed the cruise which we chose for the itinerary. P and O was not our first choice of cruise company but it was the only one which had this itinerary for the preferred duration. We noted several fellow passengers were die- hard, loyal P and O customers and would not have sailed with any other cruise company. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
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