1. Home
  2. Cruise Destinations
  3. Spain Cruises
  4. Spain Cruise Reviews
Sail Date: April 2013
A group of four of us has just returned from what should have been an enjoyable springtime cruise on the Thomson Dream. This was our seventh cruise, the fifth with Thomsons, so we were expecting the same high standards that we had ... Read More
A group of four of us has just returned from what should have been an enjoyable springtime cruise on the Thomson Dream. This was our seventh cruise, the fifth with Thomsons, so we were expecting the same high standards that we had previously experienced on other Thomson ships - how wrong we were. When we arrived at the port to board the ship in Tenerife, we had missed the onboard lifeboat drill so a member of the crew stood at the front of the coach and tried to show us how to fasten our life jackets - no-one at the back could see a thing. We were then told that we could find our lifejackets in a cupboard within our cabins. The lifejackets would have our muster station number written on them so it was up to us to find it.This is the first time I have ever been on a ship and not been shown to my muster station. On the second night one of my party contracted Norvirus. She was ill for three days and never regained her appetite until we arrived home. On the fourth nigh, my husband contracted Norovirus. He isolated himself in his cabin for 36 hours . The nurse rang twice to say she was coming to see him but never turned up. By the middle of the week the ship became very quiet during the evenings - most passengers were in their cabins suffering form Norovirus. The food was served by the crew - to prevent the spread of Norovirus. It was never hot enough and people were asking for more because the portions were so small. The temperature on board ship was very cold - I'm told it was to prevent the spread of the disease. I heard one lady sarcastically asking a waiter for a hot water bottle during the show.one evening I had to call the plumber out to my cabin three times. The sink became blocked, the bath water was dark brown and water continuously came up through the drain in the bathroom soaking the bathroom floor - this was still happening when we left the ship. Although the crew were very friendly and supportive, they always seemed to be very disorganised. Getting onto the ship took well over an hour as there weren't enough staff deployed to check us all in. We were locked out of our cabin for two hours when we reported the key was broken. Upon our return to reception to collect a new key, they had forgotten to replace it and made us wait for a further half an hour. Disemnbarking at the various ports also turned into a circus as the crew kept changing their minds about the deck and the side of the ship they would be using. The Captain apologised to everyone and promised to report the incident back to Thomsons after the tender to Portimao turned into a disaster. It took well over half an hour for each tender to reach shore. This resulted in large queues forming on the quayside waiting to board the tenders back to the ship. Passengers were waiting for over an hour in the cold, huddled together like penguins, without any seating or warm drinks avaialble. Thank goodness for the shore excursions. They were very good value and gave us a reprieve from the fast spreading germs on board the ship - when we were well enough to go on them. This will definitely go down as the worst holiday we have ever had. We could not wait to get back home. Unfortunately, due to my experience on the Thomson Dream, I have lost all faith in my favourite cruise line and will definitely be looking at an alternative next time! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2013
We have done about 15 cruises from Florida to Bahamas and Caribbean/Mexico. We wanted to try something different and since we are now retired we had the time to do this. Overall we were very happy with the experience and Celebrity. Their ... Read More
We have done about 15 cruises from Florida to Bahamas and Caribbean/Mexico. We wanted to try something different and since we are now retired we had the time to do this. Overall we were very happy with the experience and Celebrity. Their call center was very helpful with our reservations and got us a good airfare for our return to Florida. We found the ship, Equinox, to be very well cared for and clean. Since this was a 15 day transatlantic crossing there would be plenty of time to spend on the ship. There was a lot of comfortable seating throughout the ship. When we cruise we only eat dinner in the specialty restaurants and the food and staff at Murano were wonderful. We also enjoyed Silk Harvest. We ate lunch twice in the dining room and the service was poor. Trying to get a drink refill was nearly impossible. Anything that was requested seemed to take a long time and multiple request. Food was ok. We ate at the buffet for lunch three times and found the selections and food quality and preparation unsatisfactory and not as good as we have had on Royal Caribbean or Disney. Bistro Cafe was a good alternative for lunch and breakfast, delicious crepes. We seldom saw the ship's officers but the crew were helpful in all facets of the ship. I would say that many of the staff had strong accents and their English was difficult for us to understand. They did not have a "big" production in the theatre and we would have liked that. We brought our tablets and had lots to read many comfortable places to sit. Good food and service in the specialty restaurants, nice bed and bedding for a restful evening. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2013
The Ryndam carried us on our first trans Atlantic cruise. We had smooth sailing, wonderful service and food. We enjoyed all of the ports, especially Barcelona. But, the one thing I'd really rave about is their five new shows. They are ... Read More
The Ryndam carried us on our first trans Atlantic cruise. We had smooth sailing, wonderful service and food. We enjoyed all of the ports, especially Barcelona. But, the one thing I'd really rave about is their five new shows. They are Broadway-quality shows with exquisite costumes, professionally choreographed dancing, fabulous music, varied and gorgeous sets. One of the shows even showcased an aerial performance. Three of the shows won national awards in their category. So, if you're sailing on the Ryndam and also the Nordam, be sure to attend these phenomenal new shows--they aren't the usual fair of quaint singing and dancing! As of right now, these shows are being scaled to be reproduced on several of HAL's smaller ships too. So, be watching for fantastic new shows on HAL! (How do I know? Our son is the set designer. We went on this long cruise so we'd be sure to see all 5 of the shows!) Read Less
Sail Date: May 2013
We cruise as a family around twice a year minimum, normally P&O and we have never had any issues with them.We are certainly not a family of wingers and therefore find it difficult complaining here, but it has to be done ... Read More
We cruise as a family around twice a year minimum, normally P&O and we have never had any issues with them.We are certainly not a family of wingers and therefore find it difficult complaining here, but it has to be done unfortunately.Embarkation was not as smooth as we are used to , this however was down to the inefficient car park attendant who was trying his best on his own to book a long queue of eager to get on board cruisers. Once aboard , around 12.30pm we went for lunch at the windjammer, which should be renamed the windcrammer, no seats at all so we had to sit outside near the pool and it was freezing !Cabin ready around 2.30pm however case did not arrive until around 5pm, room attendant said it could have been as late as 9pm normally, not good when you are first sitting dinning and dressed in shorts ?Cabin clean but looked rough around the edges and tired to say the least.Kids club - normally have to fight to get the kids out of it, not on R/C it was very poor, kids bored all the time , and if they stayed after 10pm they charge you $6 a hour extra or $1 a minute if you state you are going to pick them up at 10pm and are late, unbelievable !Not big drinkers luckily as the drinks prices are crazy, $11 for an average glass of merlot, and the service from the bar staff is almost non existent.The biggest problem on this ship is the lack of seating areas, plenty of bars etc to visit but you will battle to get a seat guaranteed and queuing to be served is a regular daily occurrence. Granted the weather on this weeks cruise was not always great which bring passengers down to the lower decks but the ship simply cannot cope with this, and when the weather is good you again battle to get a sunbed, noticed they had a fair few new ones on board that they were unwrapping so hopefully this with help a bit in the futureIn our opinion the Ice rink (seen the Ice show and it was very good) takes up a lot of room especially for only one performance and a few hours skating for the kids, the same goes for the the promenade, all looks very nice but is not practical with very few seats !The lobby bar : asked for a Bacardi and coke, reply - "come back later no bacardi" , when back there that same evening, wife asked for a bloody Mary , reply - "come back later, no tomato juice", no apologies very rude actually !Its money money, money onboard, oh and $15.00 each if you want a shuttle bus to get off, (went with my 78 year old Father so the 30-40 mins walk was out of the question.)Evening dinning however was top class, and so was the service , food was superb, no complaints here at all, breakfast and lunches at the windjammer average, orange juice in the morning was literally week squash, however you are constantly asked if you would like freshly squeezed OJ at only $4 a pop !2 shows put on for us were very good , but would have liked more, they make up for this by having themed dance nights on the promenade (70's and Brit pop) but this once again gets packed and its just the entertainment team dancing to backing music.Disembarkation went very smoothly, no complaints here !Overall very disappointed with this cruise and really glad it was only for a week, normally dread it when the holiday draws to an end , but on this occasion we were actually glad to get off, never again Royal Caribbean, certainly not value for money, it was a "Royal Rip Off." Read Less
Sail Date: July 2013
I cannot commend this holiday more. I know this is late as it has been about half a year but when we booked our cruise I loved looking at all the reviews. This was our first cruise as a family; 4 of us went - 48 year old, 17 year old, 16 ... Read More
I cannot commend this holiday more. I know this is late as it has been about half a year but when we booked our cruise I loved looking at all the reviews. This was our first cruise as a family; 4 of us went - 48 year old, 17 year old, 16 year old and 12 year old. We had decided to pick a cruise as people always talked positively about them saying how they would never go on a normal holiday again after they went on their first cruise, to be honest I didn't believe them. I love beach holidays and I thought this one cruise isn't going to persuade me is it? How wrong I was. First of all, you get 90KG luggage allowance! Me and my family took full advantage of that as we are all girls it meant that we could bring all the girly necessities like hair products and makeup. The next benefit was parking, although it was expensive to park (around £100) we couldn't have been nearer the ship, we literally had to walk for maximum 5 minutes to get to the ship and we didn't even need to drag our suitcases with us as they are left by the car and taken to your cabin for you! Although going through passport control and waiting to get on the ship took quite a while and it was very hot, as soon as we got on the ship we were greeted with open arms by the staff all waiting by the different entrances to help people find their rooms. Something else that was great was the interactive maps by every staircase, these were so helpful when you first got on to the ship and you kept forgetting where your room was! They also showed the activities that were happening each day around the ship and also the menu's for the restaurants every night. The first day was brilliant, because its not too warm and the ship hasn't set sail yet, its the perfect time to have a look around and see what there is to do/eat. We went to the top deck which was quite an experience because it was so windy we could hardly stand! Our bags got to the room just before dinner (we had a set dinner in the Romeo and Juliet dining room at 8:30 every night) so we could change into some nicer clothes and freshen up. The first night was a casual night so we just went in jeans and a blouse. When we got to dinner we sat down at our table, we had been reluctant to book a large sharing table because we first thought if we don't like the people on our table, we will have to sit with them every night... We were so wrong, I think one of the best parts of the holiday was having dinner with the two other families that were on our table, they were both so lovely. After dinner there was a welcome party (either on the promenade or the top deck I cant remember) but we didn't go because we were so exhausted from the day. However we did have a walk round the ship and get a drink on the promenade at the café. The promenade was amazing, it is so grand and bright, there is a coffee shop where the food is mostly free (and delicious), a pizza place where the food is also free and then there is other shops such as duty free, ben and jerry's and a clothing store. The next day it was getting warmer, we decided to go and try out the Windjammer buffet... oh my god it is amazing, there is so much choice and even the fussiest eaters will find something they like. The windjammer also serves breakfast (the waffles and pancakes are delish) and nachos as a snack just after lunch. We then went and checked out the pools and facilities, I think the one down side to the ship is the swimming pools, they are not very big and there is no way you would be able to do laps in or properly swim, however they were great fun! The solariums (16 and over) were so relaxing, because there are no little kids jumping in and out you can sit in the hot water and look out the side of the boat if you need a little time out. We also checked out the Flo Rider, it looked so fun! We were still sailing away from England at this time so it was quite cold and as it is right at the end of the ship it is very windy! (Take a towel or cardigan to wrap round you if your going to be sat there for a while to watch). Dinner that night was lovely, it was a formal night so we got our long dresses on and went down for dinner. I have to say that there wasn't the widest variety of food available so it wasn't too good for fussy eaters. There is set meals every night like pasta and chicken though. Also our waiter was very lenient with the menu, they could pretty much get you any sides you want. We ordered a large side of chips and extra vegetables everyday so that our whole table could share them. We then went to a show at the theatre on the ship. The theatre is brilliant, there were so many different shows catering to all different people, my favourites were probably the hypnotist and the mr and mrs game show (that definitely brought a lot of laughs to everyone). In the evenings there are other shows on the promenade that you can go and watch. There is also a pretty large casino if you're into the fruit machines! For the teens there are teen clubs and discos that they can go to depending on their age however we found that if you leave it too late to go, most kids have found their friends already so id advise going on the first night. There was loads of teens on the ship, I think when we went there was 1,300 out of the 4,000 people on the ship were under 18 so there were plenty of kids to make friends with. I think this was because the ship was perfect for teens and kids with all the activities and facilities and also because it is the perfect size that teens can go round on their own and kids can wonder where you can see them. What was also great was every night after dinner when you go back to your room there is always a daily planner for the next day on your bed, telling you all the activities that are on for all ages and when and where. There were loads of activities on the ship, from deck quoits to music quizzes to giant jenga, and everyone could get involved. There were also movies shown on the large cinema screen by the pool area and on the screen in the theatre. Some of the little things that you take for granted were good too, such as the free unlimited ice cream by the pool, the animals that the cabin crew make out of the towels when they are cleaning your room, the lifts (you don't know how handy lifts are until you go on a cruise) and the hand sanitizers everywhere, it is such a handy way to make sure you are keeping your hands clean. Think of how many germs there would be everywhere if people didn't use the sanitizers. They are all around the ship and they are automatic so even kids find it fun to use them! What we found when we were sailing was that we didn't want to get off the ship, we had pre booked some excursions which were really good (Valencia - cave tour, Lisbon - zoo) but at other stops we didn't want to get off. One piece of advice I would say is that if you cant decide whether to get off the ship or not, don't do half the day on the ship and get off for the other half, because if you find something you want to see, you will be rushed. Leave the ship as early as possible in the morning and then get back on as soon as your finished looking at the area. If you are booking your first cruise, I would pick your deck with your interests at thought, we picked deck 8 because of the 3 teens and there was computers on our deck however if you are adults that like reading, you might want to pick deck 7 because of the library etc. There are also different clubs that over 18s can go to in the evenings which have buzzing night life if you like to dance. There are lots of sports on offer aswell, on deck 12 (I think) there is a court where there are lots of football and basketball tournaments that you can join in with and there is also a crazy golf course. On deck 11 there is table tennis (be careful you don't hit the ball overboard!) Overall the service on the ship was brilliant, everyone was happy to help with anything you needed. One down side was our cabin, that was not the ships fault though, we picked an interior cabin (the cheapest one) and there were four of us, this was not ideal as it was very small and half the room ended up as a wardrobe! The bunk beds pulled down from the ceiling on top of the double bed however they weren't the comfiest of beds... Also as it was interior there were no windows so I would strongly advise you bring a watch or alarm clock that has a light on it so that you know what the time is and when to wake up! However there was so much to do we were hardly ever in the room therefore this didn't really effect the holiday. Other entertainment there was were ice skating shows, they were absolutely magnificent, the skaters were so professional and the skills shown were amazing! You could also skate on the rink during allocated days freely. Coming to the end of the cruise we didn't want to leave at all, we had such an amazing time that we wanted to do another 14 days. On the last night we stayed up really late to take advantage of all the activities and entertainment on the last night and meeting up with people we had made friends with on the ship. That night we also had to pack our luggage and leave it outside the door for the cabin crew to take down for us. The next day we had to disembark the ship and had to take our hand luggage down to the dining room and wait to be called off the ship. When we got off the ship we went through security and then found our luggage and left, from leaving the ship that morning to getting to the car I think it took roughly half an hour which is nothing considering the time you usually have to queue and wait around at airports! Then because we were in Southampton we literally got in the car and drove home, it was so convenient. Overall this was one of the best holidays I have ever been on and I wouldn't think twice about going again! The ship is perfect; not too big, not too small and we are booking one for next summer (2015) as soon as the new cruises come out in travel agents, we loved it so much. Advice to anyone, any age, any gender is to go on a cruise, especially if you have never been on one before, Royal Caribbean is the perfect holiday for everyone. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2013
Our cruise went Barcelona to Lisbon via Casablanca. The Spain section consisted of daily drop-ins to several Spanish Holiday islands followed by a day in Gibraltar. Then it was off to North Africa and Morocco. The lure of Casablanca was ... Read More
Our cruise went Barcelona to Lisbon via Casablanca. The Spain section consisted of daily drop-ins to several Spanish Holiday islands followed by a day in Gibraltar. Then it was off to North Africa and Morocco. The lure of Casablanca was strong and turned out to be completely different to other parts of Southern Europe. WE also went to see the old city of Rabat mainly to visit the souks and old forts. The it wa soff to Lisbon as the final port. We would strongly recommend Lisbon and Portugal - great sights as a discounted cost to Spain. The trams in Lisbon are magical. The Riviera is a top class ship with all the bells and whistles. We found the food and dining room service exceptional and other facilities enough to keep us happy for the time we were actually on the boat. Evening entertainment starts late and is hard work if you have spent the day sightseeing on land. The only major gripe was the cost of Internet facilities. The cost was real penny pinching considering the quality of other services and the cost of the cruise in general. P.S. Ricks Café was shut. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2013
We had a very enjoyable holiday aboard Azura, with fantastic, not too hot weather, and interesting ports. We didn't get to know any of our fellow passengers well, but those we spoke to were very pleasant and good company and there ... Read More
We had a very enjoyable holiday aboard Azura, with fantastic, not too hot weather, and interesting ports. We didn't get to know any of our fellow passengers well, but those we spoke to were very pleasant and good company and there seemed to be fewer people making comparisons with other cruise lines and cruise holidays. There were quite a few largish family groups and lots of children (middle of the summer holidays) who, from what I saw, were very well behaved and credits to their parents. The captain was personable and whilst not a highly visible presence, was around the ship from time to time and friendly. Crew were generally polite, cheerful and helpful. Azura's a nice enough ship, but I didn't fall in love with her. Here is my take on various aspects of our cruise. Embarkation 20-30 minute queue before we were able to unload luggage (not a problem for us). Pleasant, efficient parking attendants and embarkation team. Whole embarkation process took maybe 30 minutes and we were soon lunching in the buffet. No general announcement of cabin availability, or announcement of groups of cabins as on Aurora last year, so it was only through overhearing other pax saying cabins were available that we knew we could go and drop off our hand luggage. The ship By the time we reached our first port, Azura had developed thruster problems. Our first attempt to dock in Lisbon failed and we had to have assistance from a tug, as was necessary in Gibraltar. Thereafter the problem appeared to be resolved (no further mention was made of it in the Captain's broadcasts). By half to two thirds of the way through the 12-night cruise, Azura seemed to be having plumbing and other technical problems. Our cabin was opposite a pursers’ office and they had a significant leak, with water pouring out of the ceiling, which resulted in carpet being ripped up and industrial heaters/dehumidifiers brought in to dry things out. Other, smaller leaks were seen around other parts of the ship. Our cabin toilet started playing up (we’d adhered strictly to the usage guidelines) and despite reporting the issue and it supposedly being rectified, it continued to be a minor inconvenience (no pun intended) until the end of the cruise (erratic flushing). This was apparently the same in several other parts of the ship. Given that within two hours of embarkation my daughter and I came across a public toilet down which someone had stuffed a baby’s dirty nappy and wipes, plumbing problems would hardly be surprising if other pax continued to show the same disregard for correct usage. Also several lifts were out of commission at various times, the most being about four at once. Our cabin We’d been upgraded from the 4-berth inside cabin we’d booked on Riviera deck to an outside cabin on P deck (deck 5). I have to say it was lovely having a window (first time ever). The room was beautifully maintained by our friendly, efficient steward, Rocky, and the "walk-in wardrobe” and bathroom off to the side of it worked well for the 4 of us. Pros: wonderfully convenient for the Atrium, shops, services, MDRs and the main public/entertainment areas on decks 5, 6 and 7. Also usually easier to get a lift up to decks 15/16 for the buffet and pools. Convenient for gangways in port, which were usually located on decks 4 or 5. Cons: being only a few feet from the entrance to the Atrium there was often clearly audible music from the Atrium until quite late. Despite slight to moderate winds there was a lot of noise from waves against the side of the ship. As the deck below (deck 4) is mainly the business part of the ship, we quite often experienced noise (clanking, banging, whirring), which progressively increased throughout the cruise, until we docked at Southampton when it was impossible to stay in bed after 5 a.m., as our cabin was directly above the area where the luggage was being placed and then unloaded with fork-lift trucks. Dining We were on first sitting in the Oriental restaurant. Although we’d said we were happy to share a table, we were on a table for 4 at the stern. I quite missed the chance to chat to other pax about their experiences and excursions. Our waiters, Devashish and Ramesh, were great - polite, efficient, friendly, chatty. We’d had an unfortunate experience on Aurora last year regarding our children’s severe food allergy, which rather spoilt the dining experience for several days. In an effort to prevent a recurrence, I’d spoken to P&O Customer Services and been told that upon embarkation I needed to talk to the head waiter for our restaurant. I duly went there, only to be told by a "minion" that it wasn't necessary for me to see him. When I insisted that I'd been told to do it, I was then instructed to go to the other restaurant, where I joined a queue of people, most of whom had been given dining arrangements they didn't like and were trying to change to a different sitting/table etc. After queuing for an hour, I finally got to see one of the restaurant managers. Initially he was a bit patronising and tried "patting me down”, but once I had firmly, calmly and politely made my point he definitely understood and, I must say, superbly got the message across to our waiters and our head waiter Danny Fernandes, who was just brilliant. Result: happy, stress-free dining. At breakfast and lunch we ate in the buffet or had pizzas/burgers from the poolside grill. The layout of Venezia and Verona is poor as other pax have said, which results in people spending a lot of time wandering haphazardly around trying to find things. We tried the nashta at Sindhu, which were superb, good value and just right for a lunchtime snack and also lunched in The Glasshouse, where the food and presentation were very, very good. The difference in quality compared with the MDR was very evident. We intended to, but didn’t try, Verona and thought that the supplement for Seventeen was just too expensive (it would have been nearly £120 for four of us). Incidentally both Sindhu and The Glasshouse had no problems dealing with the allergy issue " maybe because they have smaller, separate kitchens. The standard of food in the MDR has definitely declined, even from last year. I’m all for prudent management and good housekeeping " but at home, not when one is supposed to be on a "luxury” holiday with "fine dining”. Bubble and squeak appeared on the dinner menu several times over the 12 days (and at breakfast), as did pease pudding! I don’t think dry, roughly mashed potato with the odd pea or lump of carrot really constitutes bubble and squeak either. On Aurora we had a choice of potatoes and two veg with our dinner, this year it’s down to one veg. There seemed to be less choice in the buffets, too, and dishes were less imaginative " there were maybe two dishes during the whole holiday that made me say "Wow, delicious!” or made me think "I’d like to try to make that at home”. The table setting was also frequently missing glassware, cutlery, butter " again, minor niggles. There was a much harder sell of drinks packages (wine and soft drinks) on Azura and I suspect that this is because it makes life easier for the staff. There certainly seemed to be fewer wine waiters at dinner " our waiter, Alex, was covering a massive area (at least 16 tables). There was more of a hard sell on select dining venues, too " mainly Seventeen and Sindhu. Entertainment Children’s club: brilliant. We registered our son (nearly 13) soon after embarkation (daughter now too old for clubs), staff very helpful, friendly and immediately picked up on his allergy when I completed the registration form. For the next 12 days he dipped in and out of activities and soon had a big group of friends. On sea days we really only saw him at breakfast and dinner. Other entertainment was much better than on Aurora (last year we quite often found ourselves sitting playing cards in the evening, because there was nothing else we wanted to do), but nothing spectacular. Lots of quizzes, dance and exercise classes and similar throughout the day on Azura, but they were usually fun, well organised and a good way to while away 30 minutes. The ballroom dancing instructors (Diana Clifford and Mark Anthony) were very good, as was Millei from the Entertainments team who taught line dancing. The (tutored) wine tasting in The Glasshouse was worth every penny: interesting, amusing and delicious, with the little tasters supplied to accompany the wines and show how they paired with food. It was only here that we heard about the wine flights, and the possibility of trying a little of a wine to see whether you like it before committing to a glass or bottle. The wine prices at the lower end were quite reasonable. Evening entertainment consisted mainly of duos/trios, tribute acts (Freddy Mercury " very good, Phil Collins " too loud), singers (Elio Pace " brilliant, Chilli Gold - OK) and comedians (Kev Orkian " brilliant). The one Headliners show we went to (Reel to Reel " great British movies) was well done too. The Entertainments Director, Neil Oliver, was incredibly hard working and always around. We frequently saw him racing from one end of the ship to the other in the evenings, having just compèred one show and heading off to do another. I thanked/complimented him a couple of times and he seemed genuinely appreciative and almost surprised. Maybe he normally only hears from people having a moan! The sail-away parties were particularly good (the sail-away from Lisbon was one of my daughter’s cruise highlights) and even the Great British Sail-away from our last port, Cadiz, was done with a sense of fun, rather than jingoism. I think P&O’s entertainments formula needs updating, though, and there’s nothing really for people of my daughter’s age, who’s just out of the kid’s clubs. Photographers Even less pushy (compared with RCI) than on Aurora last year, but generally not very good, whereas the photographers on Aurora were, resulting in us making several purchases. Often seen prowling around the MDR but never came near us " perhaps we aren’t photogenic! Even casual "around the ship" shots taken by the photographers were poor " in fact most pax would have done better. We did get a good portrait of our children and bought a photo of my son and his group of friends, but out of all the photos taken, these were the only good ones " taken by the same photographer. We actually had big problems with the photo of the children: when we went to collect it at the specified time it wasn’t ready. We were told to come back the next day, did so, and it still wasn’t ready. They tried to give us a photo of a baby, claiming it was ours (the children are teenagers), at which point it became clear their system had totally broken down. They subsequently blamed a processing dept mix up and backlog due to printing equipment malfunction. When we next tried to collect as instructed, still no photo, but the attitude of the staff was that they couldn't care less. We didn't receive a word of apology. We were told a message would be phoned through to our cabin when it was ready for collection " after 2 days no such message had been received, so we went back to the photo desk, as this was now the day before disembarkation in Southampton, and they finally located it. Again, not a word of apology for the lack of phone call, or the delay. Two or three days before the end of the cruise they had tables out with stacks of hundreds of photos, and there were still people trying to collect and pay for photos, or track down photos they’d been expecting, on disembarkation morning. Some people were obviously very annoyed, probably with good reason. The whole thing was a shambles. Ports and excursions We had two sea days, which was a nice way to relax into the holiday, then our first port was Lisbon. Lisbon DH and I had been here 20 years before and we were looking forward to showing the children around. Unfortunately DH was unwell and had to stay on board ship. We docked at the Jardim do Tabaco, which was brilliant, being a 5-10 minute, level walk from Praca do Comercio and the main shopping streets. Also right next to the Alfama. The disappointing thing was that we were there on a Monday, when almost all the attractions are closed. On our previous visit we had not visited Belem (Jeronimos Monastery, various museums…) and I really wanted to do that this time, but everything was shut. We visited St George’s Castle and the Cathedral, which were open, and generally wandered around. I’m sorry to say this, but Lisbon has obviously been hit hard by the recession and the Portuguese economic problems, because it was dirty, run-down and everywhere smelled of urine and worse. There is a big problem with pickpockets, although we never felt at risk. Gibraltar I’d booked a private island tour with John Lopez of Gibraltar Rock Tours. The tour was supposed to be 2 1/2-3 hours, but was nearer 4, at no extra cost. John picked us up from the cruise terminal and we travelled in a cool, clean MPV. John was polite, constantly solicitous of our welfare, engaging, humorous and a mine of information about the island, both historical and general. We had a fabulous afternoon and the tour was worth every penny, covering St Michael’s Cave, the Pillars of Hercules, the Ape Reserve, the top of the Rock, the Siege Tunnels, the 100 Ton Gun, the Moorish Castle and Europa Point, plus various other minor sights, such as a stretch of road which featured in a James Bond film. The fact that in the evening Roman Abramovich’s yacht, Eclipse, was docked on the opposite side of the quay to Azura, caused quite a stir. After another day at sea, our next port was Barcelona, which we did DIY. We caught the ship’s free shuttle to near the Columbus Monument, then walked to Drassanes Metro at the bottom of Las Ramblas, where we caught the Metro to Sagrada Familia. Having researched the Metro online, using it was a breeze - it was clean and far less busy than expected. We bought advance tickets for the Basilica online and were glad we had " when we arrived around 10.00, the Basilica was at capacity and no more visitors were to be admitted for the next 3 hours! After queuing for about 10 mins we were in and - wow! Sagrada Familia is quite mind-blowing. Unfortunately the time on our tickets for going up one of the towers was three hours after our admission time, and when we enquired we were told we couldn’t leave and come back. This conflicts with info. that other CCers have been given, so I think it is very much a case of the guide/customer service person you happen to speak to on the day. Took the Metro a few stops back and walked down Las Ramblas, detouring into the Boqueria market which I loved. Having lived and worked in Europe, I still don’t understand why such a fabulous variety of fruit and vegetables is available there that you never see in the UK. Daughter wasn’t too keen on the sheep’s heads and just about every other part displayed on the butcher’s stalls. Exiting the Boqueria was the only time we felt at risk from pickpockets; there was a big crowd by a road crossing and we saw locals clutching their bags a little more firmly and looking round very carefully, so we did the same and came away unscathed, although we’d taken nothing of value with us anyway. We then went to Port Vell, because my daughter hoped to visit the Aquarium, but the queue was about 2 hours long, so we had a pleasant time strolling around, then headed back to the ship. We saw very little of Barca and were very disappointed, because we loved what we saw. This was mainly due to the ship docking at 08.30, but departing at 3.30, so you really only had a half day. Guess we’ll just have to come back! Can’t say much about our next port, Valencia, because we opted for a ship’s morning beach break excursion (son’s choice) so didn’t see the city at all. The beach we went to, El Saler, was lovely. Clean, peaceful, quiet " with plenty of loungers and parasols (included in the price). Small snack bar for drinks and ice creams - no hawkers, no pickpockets, no blaring music. Our group were virtually the only people there in the morning; later in the day the beach filled up further along with Spanish families. Lovely, gradually shelving beach, very safe for children. Being a big Formula 1 motor racing fan, DH was delighted to find we drove on part of the actual F1 circuit on the coach ride back to the port. Getting back on board ship was a little slow; apparently the Spanish had insisted that they would supply the security people and matters were not expedited. We were lucky " pax returning later in the day were left standing some considerable time in baking heat. Once again, an early departure time precluded going into the city in the afternoon. Malaga We’d booked a ship’s excursion to the Automobile Museum (daughter’s choice) followed by a walk around Malaga. The Automobile Museum is in a massive converted tobacco factory, and takes up just a fraction of the ground floor, although there are over 100 cars on display. The exhibition is not so much about car engineering, but about the golden age of motoring - the glamour, the association with the Roaring Twenties, Hollywood and so on, so in addition to many beautiful and unique cars, there are also displays of gowns, hats, furniture and other items consistent with the era. The cars’ owner has also commissioned individual works of modern art based on the theme of cars and/or using car parts. I’ve visited a fair few car museums and there were many cars here I’d never seen before and I thought the way they were displayed was very appealing. We then went to the Gibralfaro and looked down from a point where we could see Malaga spread out below and particularly the bull ring. In the city centre we saw the house where Picasso was born and the church where he was baptised (but couldn’t go in either building), and walked past the Roman amphitheatre. We also saw the Cathedral but couldn’t go in. Then had an hour free for shopping in Malaga’s pleasant shopping streets. The tour was OK, the highlight for us being the car museum, but the rest was a bit so-so, perhaps because our guide came across as very bored. She also took us to a viewing point outside a hotel, which was pointless when a) we didn’t have time to stop and get a drink and b) there was actually a much better, designated viewing point a couple of hundred yards up the road, as we realised when we had to walk past it to get back to the coach! Cadiz Our final port was probably my favourite. We were docked on a Sunday and because Cadiz is so walkable had elected to do it DIY. We followed the painted routes on the ground, which took us through the old town, past Medieval towers, gateways and merchants’ palaces. It was very quiet, with the town just waking up, and everything spotlessly clean because the streets had just been washed. The narrow streets also meant that a lot of the walking is shaded, so very comfortable. Around 10.30-11.00 shops started to open, so we browsed, and finished off our time with a couple of drinks at a café in a square just a short walk from the ship’s berth. Our cruise ended with two days at sea, spoilt a little by iffy weather. The response to the shop sales in the Atrium and on the walkways was incredible - the shelves and tabletops were stripped bare and sadly some people got quite aggressive. The disembarkation process was very well organised (much better than Aurora last year) and very smooth, as was car collection. Would we cruise with P&O again? Yes, although I think they need to sharpen up their act in many respects. Would we sail on Azura again? Yes, depending on destinations.   Read Less
Sail Date: September 2013
Let me preface the following by saying we chose the cruise exclusively based upon the ports (La Coruna for Santiago, Porto, Lisbon, Cadiz, Gibraltar, and Malaga for Granada/Alhambra). We had never cruised on HAL before, with two prior ... Read More
Let me preface the following by saying we chose the cruise exclusively based upon the ports (La Coruna for Santiago, Porto, Lisbon, Cadiz, Gibraltar, and Malaga for Granada/Alhambra). We had never cruised on HAL before, with two prior European cruises being on Carnival and Princess. There were four of us in our traveling party, utilizing 2 inside cabins on the Main deck. Though the cruise began in Rotterdam, we joined the cruise in Harwich. Embarkation only had a slight hitch as the computers were down, yet we boarded around 11:30 a.m. and our luggage was waiting for us outside our cabins. Our first impression was the age of our fellow passengers, especially embarking with us in Harwich. As our party consisted of a 59, 62, 72, and 81 year old, we felt like youngsters among the cruisers. Our second impression was the size of our cabin. It was significantly larger than ones we have experienced on Princess or Carnival. It even included a couch! The room steward was efficient(which, as I will later relay, an unusual occurrance on the ship). The public areas were very classy and attractive, especially for an older, smaller ship than we had previously used. Our first experience with the staff, other than the room steward was dealing with the front office regarding their taking our passports prior to embarking on the ship. There was no reason given and there was no stating when they would be returned. When asked, the first gentleman just said we would get them when we get them. Thanks for the insight. Eventually, we demanded them the next day and they were given to us by another person at the front desk. Apparently, those who did not ask had them returned days later. The Lido and Dining room were staffed by people who either had limited English abilities or lacked the incentive to quickly deliver meals. Most meals were lukewarm or cold. In some cases, in the dining room orders were forgotten or misunderstood. As such the food was just okay. In the Lido, it looked like for every one person working, there were two watching. At the "burger" place on the Lido deck, slow would be a euphemism. The staff was totally indifferent. When we would see a staff member appearing to be enthusiastic, he or she would really stand out (e.g., at the late night desert party). At one of the Lido outside dinners, they ran out of items within the first hour. Room service was very efficient. The room steward provided us with fresh fruit, though the bananas were usually quite old. As for entertainment, the best was the first night singer and the second night "Broadway" singers and dancers. Unfortunately, it went down hill from there. There was a particularly unfunny gentleman who showed up twice (Broadway and Duet shows) and significantly put a damper on the other talented performers. The entertainment director did his best to promote enthusiasm, but the general age of the majority of the cruisers limited his effectiveness. The piano/singer seemed to work hard, but his music sounded more like elevator music. Indeed, the best entertainment was that provided by the house band and a singer in the upstairs lounge. Unlike other ships, there were no comedians.Overall, we found the activities on the ship, especially on sea days either limited or boring. The person who gave the 2 talks on the ports(about 30 minutes each or about 10 minutes per port) seemed to be giving them by rote memory. When we asked him for approximate cab costs from the port to the city(Porto), he turned out be off by 100%( it cost 10 euros not 20 euros). Overall, he seemed to exude the same indifference as much of the rest of the staff. We did appreciate the "lack" of constant announcements and selling as we had experienced on other lines. The shops were extremely limited in their offerings. For example, there were no t shirts representing the cruise. Instead, you could buy t shirts from the Baltic cruises. We found it difficult to purchase on board miscellaneous sundries. The casino was relatively tiny, but it appeared that the machines were not as tight as most cruise ships. The internet/Explorers lounge was rarely busy, so computers were readily available, though as on other ships, quite slow and costly. The person supervising the computers was helpful and knowledgeable. We did not use the pool area, though it was often covered, which made it comfortable. It looked like vary few people ever used the pool. The fitness room was up to date and rarely used by other cruisers. The wrap around deck 3 was great for power walking. I especially appreciated their Cancer Walk on the last sea day. As mentioned before, the ports were the primary reason for the trip and they did not disappoint. We used a private tour company at 3 of the ports, as they were at least 30-40% less than the HAL excursions. At the other ports we just walked off and did "our thing". I should add that the "hotel director/manager" did a wonderful job organizing a cruise critic meet and greet as well as inviting me to participate in post cruise evaluation(on the last day prior to our arrival in Barcelona). Overall, we found the ship to be adequate, but the staff not so much. We did not feel we belonged to the demographic of our fellow cruisers.   Read Less
Sail Date: September 2013
We just returned from the Iberian Explorer cruise. We will start with the positive comments. Nice large cabins, we had a verandah suite, our dining experience was fine, nice choice of entertainment, easy embarkation and disembarkation, ... Read More
We just returned from the Iberian Explorer cruise. We will start with the positive comments. Nice large cabins, we had a verandah suite, our dining experience was fine, nice choice of entertainment, easy embarkation and disembarkation, most of the personnel was very helpful and friendly. The ms Rotterdam is an older ship which has been refurbished. We presume the refurbishing did not include plumbing and this was definitely an issue for us. The toilet in our cabin never worked properly in spite of the plumbers' efforts to replace every part possible. We also found that the temperature was very hard to control, most of the time, our cabin was very cold but the common areas were too hot. Also, if you are used to seeing your invoice information, etc. on the TV screen in your cabin, or watch the latest movies, this won't happen. They have four movie channels but they show the same movie all day. They still have VCRs and you can borrow older movies. We would not discourage anyone to cruise on the ms Rotterdam as you might not encounter the same problems as we did and after we were finally given another cabin, we truly enjoyed the rest of the cruise.   Read Less
Sail Date: October 2013
Background Information: We are a couple in our late 20's who have cruised often but this was our first sailing as adults with Royal Caribbean. We traveled with a couple in their early 50's & a 16 year old. This cruise ... Read More
Background Information: We are a couple in our late 20's who have cruised often but this was our first sailing as adults with Royal Caribbean. We traveled with a couple in their early 50's & a 16 year old. This cruise unfortunately departed at the time where the UK and Europe was expecting the worst storm for 25 years. Hotel & Embarkation: We stayed the night before embarkation at the Premier Inn West Quay Southampton. The hotel was the usual good standard of a Premier Inn and was only a very short drive to the ship (approx 10min walk). Embarkation on the Sunday was well organised and extremely quick. From getting in the line for security to getting on the ship was only 10 minutes. As always the buffet restaurant was extremely busy but the food was good. Itinerary: We were meant to visit Cherbourg, Vigo, Gijon, Bilbao & Le Havre. Due to the storm approaching the UK we had a number of changes throughout the journey sometimes at 24 hours notice. The Captain and his staff kept everyone informed on a regular basis and handled the situation very well. The number of people complaining about this situation was ridiculous, it seemed that people didn't understand that all changes were made because of the safety of passengers. Ship: The ship did seem crowded but I believe this was due to the open decks being closed for half the itinerary due to high winds. The ship overall is in a good condition with only the cabins showing a little bit of wear & tear. Service: Overall the service was excellent with only some small issues with our cabin attendant. We had a number of issues which were dealt with very quickly and efficiently. Our main issue occurred when one of cases appeared at our cabin without a handle... after reporting to guest services our case was taken from our cabin and replaced within 3 days with a brand new case. Very Impressive! Dining & Food: Overall the quality & variety of food was excellent in all venues. We had my time dining and often booked on the day, this was okay if you wanted a table after 8.15 but impossible if wanted to eat earlier. We often struggled to get a table in the buffet restaurant at lunchtime and breakfast but I think this was due to people sitting at the table for a longtime after finishing their meal. We ate twice at Johnny Rockets and enjoyed the food and experience. Entertainment: We enjoyed most of the music in the various venues on board and the shows we watched were also good. We missed the ice show however our travel buddies went and said it was excellent. Drinks: Yes drinks prices are expensive compared to some other cruise lines but are comparable to London prices. Good selection of drinks but the drink of the day did repeat throughout the 8 night cruise. Other Passengers: A variety of ages with a lot of children & teenagers as it was school holidays in the UK. We knew this would be the case but we didn't expect groups of teenagers sitting in the corridors, on the stairs and taking over the lifts by playing games. Many were rude and inconsiderate of other guests and I think this should have been addressed by the parents or security. We also found some very rude guests who would talk to staff like they were something they had stepped in, it doesn't take much to offer a smile and a hello. Disembarkation: Was quick and well organised from leaving the ship it only took 10minutes to reach our car. Summary: Overall the food was great but we felt the cruise was overcrowded (likely due to the weather), we would travel with Royal Caribbean again but out of the school holidays and if the price was right. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2013
We sailed on the Legend of the Seas for our honeymoon in October of 2013, leaving from Venice, Italy and ending up in Barcelona, Spain. This was our first cruise and we had a phenomenal time. We stayed in a Junior Suite, room 8046, and ... Read More
We sailed on the Legend of the Seas for our honeymoon in October of 2013, leaving from Venice, Italy and ending up in Barcelona, Spain. This was our first cruise and we had a phenomenal time. We stayed in a Junior Suite, room 8046, and found the room to be spacious and well-maintained however during the early mornings we could sometimes hear chairs scraping from the deck above (pool deck), as the chairs were set up for the day. Our room steward was great and very courteous. We let RCL know it was our honeymoon upon booking and when we boarded our room was decorated for the honeymoon, and we were invited to a bonus honeymoon event where we were given complimentary champagne and cake (as though we didn't already get enough dessert on the trip). Overall we found the service on the ship to be great. The dining staff were very courteous and solicitous, and at a level we would expect to experience at a fancy restaurant. The staff at the casino were likewise very engaged and friendly. A blackjack dealer I played with was from Marseille France and spent the time I was at the table giving us tips for what to do when we stopped at Marseille. I did not have negative interactions with any staff members. The ports were also great. We stopped (not in this order) in Rome, Naples, Taormina Sicily, Florence, Kotor Montenegro, Marseilles France, and ended in Barcelona. The only port locations we weren't impressed with were Kotor and Marseilles, but we probably should have done some sort of excursion in Marseilles, just wandering around the city was uninteresting. Exploring Pompeii and hiking to the top of Mount Vesuvius in Naples was probably the highlight of our trip. The final destination of Barcelona was also a great and fun city where we spent a few extra nights after our cruise was over. The food on the trip was excellent. We ate every dinner in the main dining room, and found the food to be delicious and varied. Since this cruise we have taken two other cruises (one on the Norwegian Dawn, and one on the Celebrity Summit), and the food on Legend was far superior to the other cruises we have been on. The ship is smaller then some of its contemporaries, and older, but it was well maintained, and we did not feel wanting for any activities, especially given the quality of the ports that the ship stopped in. We didn't really make it to any shows so I can't comment on them. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2013
Oceana Review Introduction After a long hard year, during which Lesley has been fighting serious illness and dealing with the passing of both her parents, we booked an 11 night cruise on Oceana leaving Southampton on 11/20/13 for a much ... Read More
Oceana Review Introduction After a long hard year, during which Lesley has been fighting serious illness and dealing with the passing of both her parents, we booked an 11 night cruise on Oceana leaving Southampton on 11/20/13 for a much needed break. This was all arranged very last minute (8 days before cruise start) on a P & O Getaway fare of £549. Bargain. This was for a guarantee inside cabin to be allocated shortly before cruise start but at this price who's complaining. It had been some time since we last cruised with P and O as our last two cruises had been on Celebrity Eclipse so we were keen to see if we would still enjoy the P & O brand and the joys of a slightly smaller ship. This really was a last minute cruise and the decision which cruise was very date and price lead hence Oceana. One of the elderly ladies of the fleet and at 77,000 tonnes what would we find and would it be able to match the 'wow' factor of Eclipse? Of course booking so late meant very little time to wait and find out. Friday 11th October - Embarkation Day We live about 3 hours drive from Southampton and luckily were able to leave the car with family friends who live close to Southampton. Now normally we like to arrive on board early as possible to take full advantage of the sip and facilities buy with 11 nights to play with there was no need to rush and so after enjoying a good chat with our friends and struggling through traffic we checked in about 1515hrs. No waiting, no queuing, no fellow passengers. What a pleasant way to board. It has to be said that any previous check in has always been very smooth but arriving later will certainly be a future consideration. Our cabin on deck 8, D744, was ready and waiting and our bags took approx 1 hour to arrive. Now Lesley and I have never been ones to travel light. 3 large cases and a suit carrier would just not be possible on a plane hence we always like to board in the UK. Not for everyone but personally I can't be bothered with a plane. The cruise starts that bit quicker and generally costs are more reasonable not having to worry about flights and hotels pre cruise. First Impressions Oceana would be considered mid sized with approx. 2000 passengers. At well over ten years old she has been well looked after and received a small makeover in 2012. I have to say she has worn very well. Our cabin is fairly basic and the decor is a little early 2000 but it's really very comfortable and has everything we need for 11 nights. Cabins now have modern TV but lack the interactive element found on Ventura and Eclipse. How quaint to use a telephone to order something. Our Cabin Steward Avadhut, made himself known early on and is proving to be very helpful and polite. It does not bother us being inside as we spend so little time in the cabin. The TV is tuned into the mast camera and gives us a good clear view of the outside world. Unless it's a special occasion, we just can't see the point in spending hundreds extra on balcony. One moan would be the lack of space under the queen sized bed. I had to struggle to squeeze our massive luggage train underneath. We are on freedom dining and with no children are eating in the main restaurant on deck 5 later in the evening. Lesley and I enjoy chatting with other guests and so never mind a large table to share. This avoids waiting around for a table and as the cruise progressed we have been sat down straight away every visit. Our first meal was excellent and presented to a high standard. The waiters were very polite and as ever work extremely hard. Lesley and I then visited the theatre for a introductory show which looked promising. The onboard Headliners Theatre Dance group sing and perform with amazing energy. We have quickly found our way around the Oceana. I'm liking this ship. Day 2 & 3 Sea days Our cabin is situated on Deck 8 and is therefore very handy to access Cafe Jardin. This is the Pierre Marco White bistro which has a small cover charge of £5.25 in the evening. Breakfast and lunch can also be obtained here. Due to the proximity of our cabin to the cafe with have enjoyed some lovely light breakfast and lunch. The cafe has a very small buffet selection but most other items are waiter service and ordered from the menu. The bistro is also the late night eatery and benefits again from waiter service providing tea and coffee well into the early hours. Breakfast items include pancakes and maple syrup and pizza for lunch. This is probably our favourite spot to eat situated at the top of the atrium. The sea has been very calm and the dreaded bay has proven to be a relaxing part of the journey. I enjoyed a massage on day 2 which helped my frozen shoulder. Alex the therapist is also a trained Physio. She promised it would hurt and boy was she right. I have gained some movement so can't complain. The ship spa as usual is expensive but the service was fantastic. We have also discovered our favourite meal of the day - afternoon tea. Sandwiches, hot crumpets, toasted tea cakes, scones, Wilkins jam, wonderful cakes. The whole food experience is great. After 2 days hunger may never be a issue again but by avoiding snacking in between meals we are managing with a bite to eat every 4 hours. The ship has over 700 first time cruisers and it is always a great pleasure to inform them of the delights of breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea in the main dining room rather than the scrum of the main cafe. Day 4,5,6,7,8 The busy part of the cruise begins with stops in Lisbon, Gibraltor, Malaga, Cadiz and finally Casablanca. The cruise has has a slightly different intinary to that published due to a holy day in Casablanca. Having visited Lisbon previously we found it to be very untidy and everything is covered in graffiti. We only spent a few hours ashore and were able to spend a hot afternoon in the sun. Our stay in Gibraltor was extended and Oceana did not leave port until 2300hrs. This provided a perfect opportunity to try the Horizon Grill. For a moderate £8.50 service charge, this was excellent value and a great venue for a steak, al fresco. The highlight of the cruise proved to be the Spanish ports of Malaga, Cadiz and as we later found La Coruna. All the cities were easily reached by walking a short distance from the cruise berth. Beautiful weather, clean streets and friendly people proved a winning formula. We are not ones to book a tour and were happy to wander enjoying coffee in one of the many local cafés. Arriving back on board about 1230hrs we were then able to enjoy a light lunch and sun soaked afternoon in one of the three on board pools. I would certainly revisit any of these destinations as they were thoroughly charming. The least said about Casablanca the better. Dirty and grim. A shuttle bus was required to the town square. This was dirty and smelly and everyone was pestered by locals as soon as you stepped off the bus. It was Friday so most shops were shut. This is one destination where an organised tour is probably advised. We did miss a trip to the giant Hussain II Mosque as we thought it would be closed due to Friday prayers. The organised excursion did manage to get in for a visit and everyone said it was beautiful and very interesting. After the beauty of the Spanish cities, I would much rather have stayed another night in Cadiz or Malaga. Apart from the Mosque nobody on board seemed to have a good word to say about Casablanca. Hopefully P & O will act upon the feedback and avoid in future. My advice would be stay onboard ship unless you can get into the mosque. Day 9 Another sea day on route to La Coruna. I find the sea days so relaxing and just enjoy sitting on the promenade deck watching the world go by. Temperatures have remained a steady 24 degrees and we have also been able to swim and sunbathe. The entertainment has continued to have been fantastic and I am full of admiration for how hard all the crew work. I have now converted a large group of fellow passengers to the delights of afternoon tea and this continues to be a highlight of the onboard catering. Day 10 La Coruna has proven to be the unexpected delight of the cruise. Very well kept, fantastic weather and local families clearly enjoying Sunday together. We caught a local bus to the Roman Lighthouse for 1.74 Euro each directly outside the cruise terminal. Number 5 bus is the one to catch. A 10 minute ride drops you off on the Atlantic coast of the city near the lighthouse. I hired a Segway for 20 minutes for 10 Euro. What a fantastic device. Shame they are illegal on public roads in the UK. Lesley and I then had a short walk to the Aquarium. 10 Euro entry each and bare in mind no card payments. After spending the better part of our cruise on the Atlantic it was fascinating to see up close the creatures of the sea. Plan on spending about 2 hours at the aquarium which includes open air pools containing seals. The coastline is spectacular and it stayed nice and sunny. Be aware that La Coruna is famous for its wind and rain so it's wise to be prepared for a shower or two. We had a little problem finding the right bus stop back and decided to walk. This takes approx 25 mins and was again most pleasant. I really ended up loving La Coruna and would like to visit again. Much more pleasant than the usual stops of Lisbon or Vigo. Day 11 So our home leg begins with a sea day as we cross the bay. A strong force 7 is pushing us from behind with some considerable ship movement but it's not to unpleasant. I've certainly had it worse. All passengers seem in good spirits and are enjoying our last full day onboard. Freedom dining has been great and we have continued to sit at a large table enjoying a good 'cruise nerd' with fellow passengers. The crew continue to be marvellous and we have enjoyed exceptional service. Tonight was the final show by Headliners and we enjoyed a Blues Brothers type high energy performance. They received a standing ovation which was well deserved. Day 12 - Disembarkation We were due to leave Oceana about 0830hrs and after a calm night had moored alongside about 0600hrs. All cases had been packed and let outside the cabin the previous evening. A final breakfast and it was time to say goodbye to Oceana. Cases found easily within the terminal building. This had proven to be an exceptional cruise with a good mix of ages on board. Minimal moaning from fellow passengers infact the only person heard moaning was the same woman throughout the cruise. Awful creature. The cruise had been excellent value, enjoyed excellent weather and great ports except Casablanca. We would not hesitate to cruise on Oceana again. She was probably the most friendly ship we had ever been on. In my opinion the difference in all the major cruise lines is minimal and so our ultimate choice is made on price and date. This had been a great choice and we returned refreshed and relaxed. The only real issue was the traffic at Southampton either end of the holiday and has made us more convinced than ever to try a cruise from my home town of Harwich. Thank you Oceana for a relaxing cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2013
29-DAY ANTIQUITIES & SPANISH PASSAGE COLLECTOR Note: I was on this cruise from Athens to Tampa which was known as the 29-Day Antiquities & Spanish Passage Collector, however the Ryndam broke it down to Athens – Rome, Rome – ... Read More
29-DAY ANTIQUITIES & SPANISH PASSAGE COLLECTOR Note: I was on this cruise from Athens to Tampa which was known as the 29-Day Antiquities & Spanish Passage Collector, however the Ryndam broke it down to Athens – Rome, Rome – Barcelona, & Barcelona to Tampa. This is the 7 day Rome to Barcelona portion. Background information: In Jan. 2013 I cruised the Caribbean & on that voyage was the Mt. Laurel Autoharp Group. I overheard them say that their next cruise was going to be transatlantic. Well it was but for some reason they like the Noordam. Activities: This was my first cruise to the Mediterranean; I thought there could have been more but we had a port of call nearly every day. Some passengers were not happy with a port every day. Cabin: I had cabin 030 on the Navigation Deck giving me use of the Neptune Lounge, breakfast at the Pinnacle Grill and free laundry. Captain: Werner Timmers kept us updated with navigational highlights & was often seen around the ship on special events & for lunch at the Lido. He was the first Captain I have seen not wearing a jacket; fellow officer were the same. Maybe this is what you get with smaller ships. The Captain’s humor, wit & knowledge were well appreciated. The fact that we had nice weather throughout the cruise probably had some affect. Cell Phone: Best bet here is to contact your local cell phone carrier. I was told to have airplane mode on, data off & fetch new data off. When I received my bill later at home no additional charges had been incurred. Children’s Clubs: No experience here. Dining: There was plenty of food; and it was good but I am used to hospital food and my taste buds burned out years ago. This was the first time I had anytime dining & I loved it. You get to meet different people each evening. E Reader: There are various types, basically they are all the same. Either take a bunch of books or put them on an E Reader and save space. In addition the E reader I took a Microsoft Surface tablet. Many fellow passengers had Ipads. Embarkation & Debarkation: Embarkation & Debarkation did not apply as I boarded in Athens & was going to Tampa. Entertainment: The Ryndam singers & dancers were terrific as were Concert Pianist Tomono Kawamura, Gen & The Halcats and Juggler Luke Burrage, Fitness & Recreation: Did not use Formal Nights: There were 2 formal nights; few wore tuxedos Gratuity and Tips: For me the gratuity was $12 per day; for most people it was $11.50. This is deducted automatically & charged to your account. Laundry: There were washers & dryers on decks 9, 6, & 5; washing was $2, dryers $1, soap was provided free. Navigational Sights & Scenery: Breathtaking. Perks: I was in a Neptune Suite so took advantage of the free laundry & Pinnacle Grill for breakfast, plus the Neptune Lounge. Public Rooms: DECK 11: Lido Restaurant: Here was breakfast, the advantage of eating here was it opened early. DECK 11: Fitness Center: Went here once at the beginning to the cruise to weigh myself. DECKS 8-7: Rotterdam Dining Room: This is where I took evening meals on Deck 7 & Deck 8 for hi-tea at 3PM. DECK 8: Explorer’s Lounge, Library, Internet, Puzzle’s & Game’s: I spent my time here while waiting for the dining room to open, using the internet, or just reading. DECK 8: Pinnacle Grill: I had breakfast here once, breakfast is reserved for Neptune Suite guest’s breakfast was served about 8am & I preferred to the Lido @ 6:30am. DECKS 8-7: Showroom at Sea: Where the shows are. DECK 8: Shops: Purchased a pair of shorts here. DECK 7: Wajang Theater: There were movies about 12 noon most every day. DECK 7: Front Office: Open 24/7 & I visited here a few times; Shore Excursions is beside it. DECK 3: Tenders: decks B or 5. Rates: Reasonable. Service: HAL is known for their service. Everyone was very helpful. Ship: The ship was relatively small with 2 banks of elevators 4 each or 8 in total; one bank forward & one aft. I found walking from bow to stern rather easy plus you really do not have any choice. Smoking: About the only place you notice this is in the Casino & here 1 side is reserved for smokers, the other side non-smoking. And that is wrong for this is a sign saying that smoking is allowed only at certain tables. Outside the ship smoking is allowed. At the Sea View Pool on Deck 10, smoking is allowed on the starboard side only. Stewards: My stewards were Ari & Putu who were responsible for 17 Neptune Suite cabins. Tours – Private: For independent tours check reviews on Cruise Critic and Tripadvistor. Independent Tours are less expensive than ship’s tours. Taking a ships tour means that the ship will not leave without you; you lack that advantage with independent tours. Palermo: available taxi tours, HoHo bus, tour around the city, horse drawn wagon. Olbia, Sardinia, Italy: There is a HoHo bus for $10Euro + 5Euro for earphones. Florence / Pisa (Livorno), Italy; tours available at the pier Wi-Fi: Palermo: Wi-Fi at various restaurants, coffee shops, pubs. Olbia, Sardinia, Italy: Did not notice any but there are probably some in Cafes. Florence / Pisa (Livorno), Italy: Wi-Fi at various restaurants, coffee shops, pubs Value for Money: Very good. Overall: I was very satisfied as I did not take this cruise for activities, but for the ports of call. It was an interesting cruise & one I hope to repeat. PORTS: Palermo, Italy: Next visit I would like to spend more time but this was my first visit & people kept bothering for tours. It also was a Sunday so most places were closed plus we were the only ship in port. Olbia, Italy: Several cruisers were upset with the HoHo bus; 10Euro for the bus, 5Euro for the earpiece. Tours are available. I took the HoHo bus. Livorno, Italy: Here a group of us took an independent tour to Pisa & Lucca with Rudy’s Touring Service; Donny was our driver. Monte Carlo, Monaco: This was beautiful. Hills overlooking the bay, beautiful high rise buildings, & expensive too. Marseille, France: From the pier there was a $14 bus to the center of town. Private tours are available as well as ships tours. Dairy: Saturday Oct 26: Cititavecchia (Rome), Italy – leave 4:38pm; 72, sunny, calm, Smart Casual In port with Norwegian Jade, W Spirit, Lirica, Mein Schiff. I stayed on the ship today, went to the Mariners luncheon then read. After the drill I met Kris who went to Rome, got back at 3:30pm on the dot, just made the drill, then we went to supper. Tonight’s entertainment was “Listen to the Music” with the entertainment staff of the Ryndam. Sunday Oct. 27: Palermo, Sicily, Italy – 10am-5:35pm: 82F, clear, calm winds, Smart Casual. Calm seas from Rome to Palermo. Only Ryndam in port. Went off the ship & was bothered by people selling HoHo bus tours, tours of the city, horse drawn wagon tours, etc. Had they left us alone we would have enjoyed the city more. But we were the only ship in port & it was a Sunday. Tonight’s entertainment was “Aces High” with the Ryndam Singers & Dancers. Monday Oct. 28: At Sea, mostly cloudy, 68F, Formal Kris stopped by & showed me how to use Power-point & gave me a few pointers on Word. I decided to have my underwear, socks & pants laundered by the ship to if there would be any shrinkage. Tonight’s entertainment was Concert Pianist Tomono Kawamura; the audience gave her a standing ovation, the best entertainment we’ve had since Athens. Tuesday Oct. 29: Olbia, Sardinia, Italy – 8am-5pm, mostly sunny, 79F, calm winds, Smart Casual, Calm seas from Palermo to Olbia. In port with Ryndam only. There was shuttle service provided free of charge by the City of Olbia from the pier to the center of town from there I caught the HoHo bus. The price was 10Euro plus 5Euro for earphones. When the rep told me the price I thought that you could not go wrong with 10Euro. But the price for the earphones was exorbitant; I have never paid for earphones; this plus they did not work on the first level of the bus, & the second level was not better. After returning I went back to the ship, had lunch, read, and then went to the movie “Now You See Me”. At 3pm I went to hi-tea meeting some interesting people. Read again then dressed for supper. The laundry I sent out yesterday came back, there was no shrinkage so the ship’s laundry will be used. Tonight’s entertainment was Gen & the Halcats. Wednesday Oct. 30: Florence / Pisa (Livorno), Italy – 7am-6:58pm: 74F, sunny, Smart Casual. Calm seas from Olbia to Florence. In port with Carnival Sunshine, Quest for Adventure. Ursula from our cruise critic board set up a tour of 7 people by Rudy’s Touring Service with driver Donny. He mentioned that Livorno was known as Little Venice. The first stop was Pisa followed by Lucca a beautiful walled city. He said Oct-Nov is best time to travel to Italy. We stopped for a nice Italian lunch of various hors d’oeuvres & homemade ravioli with wine & the cost of the entire meal was less than 30 Euros each; later we stopped for gelato. Lastly he took us to a supermarket for some inexpensive wine, chocolate & soda. Tonight’s entertainment International Entertainer & Juggler “Luke Burrage”. Thursday Oct. 31: Monte Carlo, Monaco – 7am-6:10pm: sunny to p/c, 72F, sunny to p/c, calm. Calm seas from Florence to Monte Carlo. Only Ryndam in port. A tour that included a panoramic drive on the Great Corniche Road with a marvelous panorama of the Italian coast, Cap Ferrat, Eze, & the principality of Monaco. We stopped at the quaint village of Eze, visited Nice & walked along the boardwalk / beach. Tonight’s entertainment “Classique” with the Ryndam singers & dancers. Friday Nov. 1: Marseille, France – 7am-4pm: mostly sunny, 67F. Calm seas from Monte Carlo to Marseille. In port with Costa Luminosa & Wind Spirit. Took a ships tour with a panoramic drive through Le Vieux Port continuing to Vallon des Auffe with several photo stops at Notre Dame de la Garde Basilica. Entertainment tonight was “Dancing with the Stars at Sea” starring some of our fellow guests who won various dancing contests during the preceding week. Saturday Nov. 2: Barcelona, Spain – arrive 7am: mostly sunny, 70F. In port with Costa Med, Wind Spirit & Europa, calm seas from Marseille to Barcelona Captain: Werner Timmers Chief Engineer: Pieter Engels Hotel Director: Kees Van Santen Staff Captain: Paul Adams Environmental Officer: Derek Williams Culinary Operations Manager: Ruben Kooiman Purser: Moesa Djoemena Cruise Director: Michael Langley Guest Relations Manager: Christine Lubaton Security Officer: Mark Miranda Dining Room Manager: Pulung Baskoro Executive Housekeeper: Rita Lynch Executive Chef: Antonia Tudla Event Manager: Kristy Berlin   Read Less
Sail Date: October 2013
Adventure of the seas Review - France and Spain 27oct - 04nov 2013 Ports of call: Southampton - Cherbourg - Vigo - Gijon - Bilbao -Southampton Embarkation: Smooth and very easy at the So’ton City terminal. Loyalty lanes were clearly ... Read More
Adventure of the seas Review - France and Spain 27oct - 04nov 2013 Ports of call: Southampton - Cherbourg - Vigo - Gijon - Bilbao -Southampton Embarkation: Smooth and very easy at the So’ton City terminal. Loyalty lanes were clearly labelled and took advantage of that as a crown and anchor member, saving up to 20 minutes of queuing. Once onboard by 1pm we headed to the windjammer for our first meal. Very busy as expected. By 2pm the cabins were ready. Our interior stateroom 6377 was roomier than expected and the stateroom attendant looked after our room extremely well throughout the cruise. It was a windy departure and captain Sorensen had adjusted the itinerary to ensure a smooth sailing as much as he could amid storms and low pressure systems developing in the atlantic ocean that were moving east, creating rough conditions in the sea. I liked the insightful updates in TV channel 27 between the captain and the cruise director informing everyone about the weather and showing their thinking on a daily basis. Portofino was excellent and we went twice. The second time we went with a lovely couple we met in dining room table #464. The risotto was great and the T-bone steak in particular was succulent, not to mention the tiramisu. Service was exceptional. Some of the servers were one of the most experienced with RCI. The Ice show and quest show were great. My girlfriend and I participated in a flashmob dance which was fun and took place at Studio B just before the Quest show; it was a nice touch to receive a certificate from the entertainment staff for our dedication to have fun during our rehearsals on sea days. Also attended the ballroom dance classes with the experienced couple “Val and Vira” and zumba fitness lesson in Jesters Disco during the sea days. It was great to get involved. Had nearly forgotten it was Halloween during our cruise but the Monster bash in the Royal Promenade was a lot of fun and we were surprised how many people dressed up. There was definitely a great atmosphere that evening. Took advantage of the martini happy hour for 6.00 USD each, Brilliantly served and by far excellent value for money when compared to the London standard; Similar story with the cocktails. For 8 dollars you could get a decent cocktail and for spirits and mixers served on double measure would equate to half price compared to London. My girlfriend was really happy she could keep the glasses as well. We hope RCI will continue doing it! We attended the two crown and anchor events. The captain was very cheerful speaking to us about his experience, working as a captain and shared his excitement about working for the company. Julio Gomez, our cruise sales manager made us feel very welcome and treated us as truly loyal passengers. It certainly made me feel at home. Two thirds of the cruise passengers were first time cruisers with Royal, of which many have not cruised ever before. Enough said, RCI is doing well in attracting not only the loyal, but new people onboard. One of the reasons I booked the cruise besides the ship, of which I will write about in the next paragraph, was the itinerary. At Vigo, we booked the excursion to Santiago de Compostela; a very notorious city for its cathedral and renowned for its Pilgrimage trail. At Gijon, we booked for Oviedo, the capital of the principality of Asturias, very beautiful and with plenty of local traditions such as the chorizo and its cider. At Bilbao, we only docked until 1:30pm, which was our new early departure time back to Southampton. Despite the short time we booked an excursion the previous night but we managed to oversleep the following morning! We were concerned about the money we had paid (67USD each) but after visiting the shore excursions desk in Deck 5 at 6pm, they were understanding and we were delighted to get a full refund.... which bought me a sale price Citizen watch later that evening ;) The departure time change was due to the weather coming into Bay of Biscay the next day so we wanted to make sure not to get caught in it although that evening it got very rough with up to 8m waves! But it was safe and an interesting experience. I must admit I could not sleep very well that night but on the flipside my tolearance to rougher weather is greater. The Ship: This is for me between 60 and 75% of my cruise holiday and with Royal Caribbean I am certainly not too choosy about which ship to go for because I trust all ships are kept to a high standard (It only takes 5 minutes or so to pay attention to the video of Royal in the interactive channel in your stateroom to appreciate that). The only variable would be the size and the number of amenities. Service is what counts followed by food quality and entertainment, in that order. I am pleased to share that the crew did a fantastic job. However, I feel shows in the theatre have degraded a bit and it’s lacking preparation, colourful stages and costumes (Serenade on December 2012 and Brilliance December 2010 was much better). Guests were ok. Bingo we only played on the jackpot which was a whopping 3900USD, the Lyric theatre was full of people, but I do feel the cartons are overpriced!! Jenny and Bjorn made the Bingo experience more fun. Also it was nice to have giveaways in between games. This is definitely a good idea! The Casino staff was wonderful, the tournaments on sea days are a good choice if you don’t want to spend too much but still have a laugh and who knows, you could win something, like I did with a 2nd place in Blackjack, taking 100USD. I also used the gym which was big enough with a Jacuzzi in the centre. Great layout, maybe the machines are a bit outdated but seeing as this vessel will undergo a revitalisation it might just get the treat, as well as many other additions and upgrades just before her second round at Southampton next year. Another spectacular cruise packed with unforgettable memories. Overall I am very satisfied and looking forward to my next cruise holiday with Royal Caribbean International. In fact, knowing that Adventure is coming next spring to Southampton I would sail on her again. But I might consider Independence of the seas this time if not both. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2013
Rather than subject the reader to a tome I shall bullet point our views; Good, quick assisted boarding. Advised to use Orangery for lunch before accessing our inside cabin. Orangery... cold, draughty and smokers sat just outside the ... Read More
Rather than subject the reader to a tome I shall bullet point our views; Good, quick assisted boarding. Advised to use Orangery for lunch before accessing our inside cabin. Orangery... cold, draughty and smokers sat just outside the doors at either end so wafts coming into this awful space which is no better than an aged ferry. Food- breakfasts on similar lines to a bad greasy spoon. Tongs to withdraw chosen items from various units similar experience to those claw machines where you win a teddy once in every 13 attempts. Staff surly and obsessed with removing plates, cups etc with barely a grunt to be sure you have finished.Avoiding eye contact & smiling? well only a very few bothered with that courtesy even when greeted with a smile and a thank you from us. One gentleman was communicated with by a "waiter" tapping his arm with his bent forefinger and then pointing at the chaps plate to which he replied "Yes I have finished". The operative rude and clearly displeased with his lot in life. Nearer the end of the cruise a supervisor with a dark beige Neru jacket went around to various table instructing guests to ensure they ticked the "Excellent" box on their feedback forms not just Good, re-iterating this several times, I could not believe he had the nerve. Incidentally, our cabin steward said exactly the same thing to us, write "Excellent" nothing else please. I reassured him that we had indeed ticked this box but only this one question as we were about to go for dinner. When we returned to our room another box had been crossed in "Excellent". I asked my husband if he had done it but he said no. I asked our steward who had done this but he didn't really know. I asked for another form. I did tick Excellent but I wanted to do so myself. The ship is old, tired and dirty. Tea & other stains on the woodwork, seating & tables in the hideous Orangery remained for the duration of the cruise, Painted rust everywhere. Alexandria restaurant very nice and the food well prepared. Our waiter, assistant waiter & Somelier all very professional and attentive without being over the top. Entertainment dire. A couple of the shows had clearly had a lot of time and energy spent on them but it was hardly cutting edge and one of the singers sounded like a strangled cat. The "Captaaain's" question and answer session degenerated into an ex-wife verbal battering session calling her a cow and saying one might see her flying round on her broomstick etc etc. He clearly didn't like her but using that arena to vent his spleen was inappropriate to say the least. Security when disembarking sullen and surly. They might have an important job to do but they could at least smile....it's supposed to be a holiday not entering GCHQ. Clientele. What is the point of professing that P&O is about the finer things in life, that they require every passenger to observe their various dress codes when people in jeans, scruffy shirts and trainers mull about unchallenged on formal nights. It's an affront. We did not get a last minute vastly reduced deal and perhaps that adds to our venting our spleen here but when you're accompanied in a lift by a burping, flatulant, tattooed person who declares that he got a balcony room for £306 it kind of describes what P&O are about. Forget the pretention P&O.   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013
We have just returned from a pre Christmas Iberian Cruise on board Oceana for 11 nights, and although overall time had was good it wasn't great. Having cruised with P&O in the past and other cruise lines such as Celebrity, ... Read More
We have just returned from a pre Christmas Iberian Cruise on board Oceana for 11 nights, and although overall time had was good it wasn't great. Having cruised with P&O in the past and other cruise lines such as Celebrity, Cunard, NCL and Princess I expected good things from Oceana instead what I did get was okay food, poor daytime entertainment and abysmal service by the reception staff. Boarding was simple and the ship was beautifully decorated for Christmas and there is a lovely Atrium, we have been on the Sea Princess (her sister ship) and you can tell they are related. Our cabin was compact and adequate, but showing its age. We were well looked after by our steward. Freedom dining worked well and we sometimes shared a table and often had tables for 2. We never had to wait but then you shouldn’t need to when the ship was only 2/3rds full! Food was okay – generally something that appealed but some odd pub grub type meals on the evening menu – Lancashire Hot Pot comes to mind! Service was okay, but they will insist on clearing a plate as it is empty before the entire table has finished! The Buffet had themed nights and we ate there on the two Indian themed nights as P&O do cook a mean curry and we were not disappointed. I was surprised at the number of pay for items on room service. We also liked Café Jardin for breakfast and lunch, but never felt the need to pay the evening cover charge for this location or the Horizon Grill. Staff were generally polite but I have to say they often looked bored. We liked the fact there was plenty of little bars to have a drink and chill in and they felt like proper venues as opposed to the corridor feel that you get on some ships. P&O do a soft drinks pre paid card. but have such a limited selection of soft drinks that we could not recomment it and only one diet option. Entertainment during the day very basic, quizzes, bingo and health lectures. There was one guest speaker, but his subject didn’t interest me. I would love to see craft workshops, these have always been very well attended on other cruise lines. I did enjoy the line dancing and the fitness classes but please stop charging for Pilates and Spin Classes and don’t put the free fitness classes on at 08:00 and 08:30 – we are on holiday after all! Evening entertainment – the cruise ships do need to re-think “the Broadway Style show” same old same old! Although some of the guest entertainers were excellent (some were dire) and there were some fantastic musicians and singers around the ship. So to the reception staff – half way through the holiday my sea pass was refused when I attempted to purchase a pre-dinner drink and I was directed to the reception. Where I was told that our account was suspended as there was a problem with our credit card. We contacted our bank and got a complete breakdown of the charges that had been placed by P&O and was told categorically none had been refused and the bank had our cruise itinnery so knew exactly where we were. We went back to the pursers desk and spoke to the most condescending and patronising person we have ever had the misfortune to meet (I was told to keep quiet and listen!). Apparently a measly £5.20 charge has been refused by the bank, something the bank denied. I asked why we had to find out in such an embarrassing manner and we were told we should have responded to the letter in our room – the letter did eventually arrive in the mail slot outside our room after we returned from dinner much later that evening! At the time P&O had already taken the full holidays worth of service charges, so in effect our account was in credit, as if they are taking drinks charges on a daily basis they should also take service charges on a daily basis. We should have asked to speak to the guys manager, but his attitude was so appalling we had to walk away from it otherwise it might have descended into an argument. Yes we should have gone back the following day and complained but I wanted to forget the whole sorry incident. Now I am sorry I didn’t, as something may have happened to show this guy the error of his ways – but I have to say I doubt it as every other time I went to the purser’s desk for anything the service was below what it should be. He alone took the edge off the holiday and we would really have to think hard about using P&O in the future. The ports of call were very good and we were lucky with the weather. Although the ship itself isn't the smallest it didn't really cope well with the sea other than when it was a mill pond, whether this is down to its smaller size or just by design I don't know although I have travelled on worse seas on plenty of other ships or all sizes without half the movement on Oceana. There is a really odd side to side roll on even calm days! Overall we had a relaxing time and it did us both good, although I have to say we would only cruise with P&O again if it was at a bargain price as quite simply it isn’t worth any more.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2013
Wow . . . I just returned from my Christmas Cruise Marathon! I managed to do 12 laps around the Epic --- which after the starters whistle blew upon getting on board, included slaloming thru the Garden Cafe mass of humanity on a daily basis ... Read More
Wow . . . I just returned from my Christmas Cruise Marathon! I managed to do 12 laps around the Epic --- which after the starters whistle blew upon getting on board, included slaloming thru the Garden Cafe mass of humanity on a daily basis ---- the UFC battle for a hot tub (compounded because half of them were broken) ---- the sprint for deck chairs ---- dash for the open table in the free restaurant (NOTE: EAR PLUGS ARE NOT INCLUDED TO REDUCE THE LEVEL 9 NOISE VOLUME) and final all out "cram em in" elbow swinging into the elevator free for alls after the mandatory 8 minute wait. Then there were the bath rooms in your cabin (I had a Mini-Suite). Talk about getting close to your family. I mean, I want to monitor what my kids are doing -- but that should not include mandatory viewing them in the privacy of sitting on the toilet. Just plain uncomfortable! The foggy glass that "serves" as privacy glass is anything but (maybe I should spell that butt!) Hey Norwegian . . . . you can see thru them!!!!!! Talk about a WOW moment on the ship! To help reference all of this -- I have been on close to two - dozen cruises so this isn't a matter of "not being accustomed to life on a ship". This was just a blatant case of minimizing everything that would make a cruise special. Oh --- we did get that special meal and moment, etc., AFTER dropping an additional $1,800 on "Specialty Dining" / "Tour Excusions" (to escape the absolute sardine impact of being squeeeeezzzed onto this moving "Blue Light Special" / and "Tips" for mediocre non-enthused service I have to wonder just what does the initial fees pay for. The Epic was poorly designed, with too many people crammed into too little space. The ship lacks sizzle and creates a real sense of "cabin fever". It felt like "corners were being cut" at every angle. It was great to include the "Blue Man Group" and "Legends in Concert" -- but what about a Welcome Show? What about additional entertainment? The Cruise Director was, unfortunately "missing in action" and honestly when we say "bi-lingual" shouldn't one of those languages include speaking understandable English. (The staff could use lessons in English as well --- they simply didn't speak it! To conclude: Too Much Money for Too Few Memories (Save for the image of my son sitting on the toilet) for me to recommend Epic, or Norwegian, again for that matter. We have always found ourselves saying "can't wait for our next cruise" -- but certainly not this time. I was glad to finally cross the finish line - when debarkation arrived . . . . and finally get a chance to relax (without having to reach back into my wallet!). I'm still recovering!   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2013
We were looking forward to our Christmas break aboard the Oceana ...we boarded on the 19th of December,and at first everything was fine!..Went to the Plaza for our first meal,although it was crowded,we expected this as everyone was rushing ... Read More
We were looking forward to our Christmas break aboard the Oceana ...we boarded on the 19th of December,and at first everything was fine!..Went to the Plaza for our first meal,although it was crowded,we expected this as everyone was rushing there for their lunch! We were then allowed into our cabin..and that is were everything went downhill ... the balcony,which we had paid extra for was very small,and the floor was covered in white paint chippings,which had been left there,obviously after a rushed paint job..The handrail had been varnished and left tacky (although there was a note attached with some sellotape) Bedding was very clean..(But we did have to ask for clean linen after a week)..Supposed to be changed every 3 days.The cabin steward later said the clean linen had not arrived!..that was rectified the same day,so must have arrived quickly after I asked for clean sheets! The en-suite shower room was very small,you could hardly turn around in the shower cubicle ... Clean towels were provided when requested and always lots of hot water! We chose not to eat at the plaza..always busy (More like a works canteen) opted for Café Jardin for breakfast and as we were on freedom dining, we ate at the Ligurian,every night. The food was excellent although not always plentiful and sometimes cold! The waiters work extremely hard (for little pay I might add!) One reviewer described it as a slave ship.and I am afraid have to agree! On Christmas night, things went badly wrong! I awoke to hear water lapping around; I had heard this earlier in the week and it turned out to be rain and spray on the balcony. This was louder though so I thought perhaps my wife had left the balcony doors open and I got out to close it. I stepped out of bed and into above ankle deep water. I switched on the lights (something I realised immediately was a risky thing to do!) and saw the whole cabin awash with water. More water poured in from under the bathroom with every roll of the ship. I opened the bathroom door and saw the problem. The toilets are similar to aircraft suction toilets - they suck away the waste and then fill the bowl with water. A fault had developed in our room where the refill mechanism had decided to go into over-drive and the toilet was overflowing with gallons of water. I woke my wife and naturally, awaking to see our cabin swimming in water, she initially thought the worst, that the thought the ship was sinking! I was frustrated to find there was no "emergency option" on the cabin phone and I had to go through a menu system to get through to reception! Anyway, I described the problem and someone appeared fairly quickly. Amazingly, the guy knew what the problem was, he described with his hands what often happens to the valve system in the toilets, especially in rough weather. But it left me thinking, if they are so aware of what is wrong in such detail and if it happens often, why has it never been fixed? They assured us we would be back to take us to another cabin. Half an our passed before someone finally arrived. We were asked to follow the person down the corridor, down two decks on the lift to our new cabin on C deck (to cabin C441), me dressed in my boxers and my wife in her nightie. We were asked to try to get some sleep and reassured someone would be round first thing in the morning to sort everything out. Naturally, we didn't sleep well and we sat waiting for someone to return. No one arrived and when I called reception, I had to remind people who we were, where we were and what had happened. We had been forgotten. The cabin staff appeared and I followed two of them to get some essentials; they said they would bring the rest of our stuff. So I went back to the old cabin to retrieve some of our clothes and toiletries. As there is not much room to store things like cases in the cabins, we had stored the cases and my travel guitar in its case under the bed. These were all soaked. I managed to dry off the guitar and it appears okay, but it cannot have done it any good! The staff offered to dry out the cases and was a few items of clothing that were still in the cases, which they did. This was the day we were supposed to get off the ship to explore Lisbon and the day turned out to be the nices day, weather-wise, of the whole cruise. Unfortunately, we had to miss that will all that was going on. I all the above was not enough, the water had also destroyed my tablet computer, which had suffered water ingress and no longer works. This is where the "fun" really started! I asked about getting the cost of my tablet computer covered. I was told I could have a £125 as a "goodwill gesture"! I pointed out to them that a goodwill gesture was what a company made when a problem occurred but they wanted to show there good customer service and then I turned down their offer. I was then asked if I would like to meet the "Accommodations Manager". I also pointed out to him that this was certainly not a situation where a "good will gesture" was appropriate! He appeared to be reeling by the fact I had not accepted his initial offer, but eventually came offered me £250.00 and also told me to claim on my travel insurance when I got home. After much ado, he finally sent his "go between", the deck manager, who did most of the delivering of messages. He told me that the Accommodations Manager would like me to consider a better offer, but I would have to meet and sign a document. During a subsequent meeting with the Accommodations Manager, he suggested I should accept a final offer of £400 for the replacement of the tablet; an approximately correct amount and, for our "inconvenience", a sum of £125 in the form of a voucher off our next P & O cruise. I had to point out to him that, considering the treatment we had received, it was extremely unlikely that we would consider a future cruise with P & O and therefore, the voucher held no value. Finally, he contacted me again and said he was prepared to apply the £125 as credit to the current cruise account (as was the offer of the replacement value of the tablet), but said he could not give us cash for either. So, our only option was either to drink our selves senseless in the hope we managed to get maximum value for what we were offered, or to buy things we did not want from the on board, over-priced shops. So, not wishing to appear awkward, we opted for the latter. Then came the sting in the tail! The Deck Manager appeared in our cabin and said he "hoped we were happy with the outcome" and asked if we would be happy to sign a form to that effect? If so, he would bring us the "mandate" as they called it for us to sign. When the mandate appeared, it made no mention of the damage caused, but simply described we had experienced a flood in our cabin. It further repeated that the payment to us was a "good will gesture", but much to our annoyance, actually told us we were, as part of the "agreement", prohibited from telling anyone about what had happened to us, under threat of prosecution for the full refund of all monies paid to us. Naturally enough, we declined the offer as we did not wish to be silenced to allow us to warn other people of what to expect and hopefully to avoid others going through the same thing. We are extremely unhappy with the way we were treated. We also lost part of our holiday; The only decent weather was when the ship docked in Lisbon and we had intended to explore Lisbon with friends. Instead, we spent the time putting stuff away in the replacement cabin and negotiating with the staff on the ship. Neither of which was very pleasant. Following this incident, we also both contracted a strange flu-like illness from which we are still both suffering. No, obviously, it would be difficult to prove this was a direct result of us having to walk around the cabin, flooded with sewage-contaminated water, but the possible connection is obvious. We are both currently on antibiotics for chest infections. All of this was so unnecessary. It should have been very simple to put right, but as far as the Accommodations Manager was concerned, it was all about him ensuring he had made the experience a cheap as possible for P & O. When I talked to him about our whole experience and how it made us feel, he just stared at me. I may as well have been talking in Swahili. At one point, I did ask at the reception desk if we could possibly speak to the Captain, but this was met with an amused and feigned look of surprise, as one would get if one had popped into the local church and asked to see the Pope. Apparently, one does not get to speak to the Captain, he is far too important. Now, I can understand that the Captain would not want to meet routinely with passengers, but in view of what had happened, I would have thought it would have been appropriate for us to spend a few minutes with him outlining our distress. So, I guess either he doesn't want to know about such detail, or the rest of the crew ensure bad news never reaches him. Either way, it is a very sad state of affairs. This was our first cruise of any kind and we feel, because of our experience, it will also be our last. We have not been compensated - and I expect any compensation to come without strings; I would have thought a company the size of P & O would have done whatever it could to ensure no passenger leaves the ship thinking they had a bad experience or at least they they left feeling P & O had bent over backwards to mitigate the passenger's bad experiences. Since getting home, I have emailed P & O customer services but received no reply as yet. I *did* get a call from the young lady who was our cruise advisor. She said it was just a courtesy call to see how the holiday went. Strangely, neither our friends nor other members of our family who were on the cruise with us received such a call. Anyway, I repeated the main point of the fiasco to her and she said she would talk to who ever was investigating. Needless to say, we were very disappointed with the cruise, with the flood, the damage to my tablet computer and the wrecking of our holiday generally and especially with the attitude when we asked to things to be put right. It does not appear to be possible to come back and edit this, so if the company finally respond, and I will leave any updates at http://www.sparksoft.net/pando along with a short video where you can view the water in our cabin. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013
We felt we should write a small review in response to some of the negative reviews we have read re this cruise and ship. Although we do sympathise with the couple who`s cabin flooded due to a faulty toilet but I`m sure this is an isolated ... Read More
We felt we should write a small review in response to some of the negative reviews we have read re this cruise and ship. Although we do sympathise with the couple who`s cabin flooded due to a faulty toilet but I`m sure this is an isolated case. We have been on Oceana twice and have already booked our third over xmas again. We have never felt Oceana was tired or dated as in some comments,we find this a beautiful ship and if we have one complaint,it is that one of the Costa/bars furniture is somewhat in need of replacing but if that is the only complaint then she is doing well. The food is fabulous and I as a veggie found every meal absolutely 5* and my husband said all his dishes were all 5* too. The staff are all amazing and have always a smile and are of cheery disposition considering the long hard hours they work. Both my husband and I feel we are quite fussy and if this ship did not come up to scratch,we would not be sailing on her again. So well done P & O and indeed Oceana,don`t change a thing and hope you stay on the fleet for many years to come.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2014
There were a number of things on this cruise that did not please me. Main disappointment was the very limited choice of food in the Dining Rooms and the poor quality of it. If you cruise on this ship you will find a better variety of ... Read More
There were a number of things on this cruise that did not please me. Main disappointment was the very limited choice of food in the Dining Rooms and the poor quality of it. If you cruise on this ship you will find a better variety of food in the Buffets, personally I would still prefer a better quality of food. One night we experienced engine failure which was quite alarming being awoken from our sleep in the early hours. Next night everything came sliding off the surfaces including drink of water, telephone etc. Be aware that if you have a complaint apparently it is in the small print that it has to be logged at Reception for them to take notice of it. I didn't need to log anything I sorted out the undercooked veg and cold coffee for myself with the Maitre d' I did not see the point in logging a complaint re the unsteadiness of the boat and the engine failure as the events had already happened and could not possibly be put right. The staff were all very courteous and friendly. Thomson you have a long way to go to match the quality of P&O.   Read Less
Sail Date: March 2014
my daughter and I had a great time on Thomson's Majesty. although it isn't a massive ship it had everything we needed. the staff were fantastic and couldn't do enough for us. the cabin crew on our deck Zornitas and Samy were ... Read More
my daughter and I had a great time on Thomson's Majesty. although it isn't a massive ship it had everything we needed. the staff were fantastic and couldn't do enough for us. the cabin crew on our deck Zornitas and Samy were lovely, friendly and helpful. the seven seas and four seasons restaurants served great food and the waiters were very efficient, helpful and good fun they often entertained us with there singing. there is a self service restaurant on deck 10 which is open most of the day. it also serves afternoon tea with a variety of cakes sandwiches and cream scones and late night burgers chips hot dogs etc. This cruise is for people who like to do casual though you do get the chance to dress up in your evening ware for the captains cocktail party. For the energetic there's a small gym and there's a wellness centre for those who like a bit of pampering. there's always something going on from bingo to quizzes during the day and the evening entertainment extremely good. we went on two shore excursions which I think are over priced the one to Casablanca I would recommend our guide was very informative and funny but we would have liked more time then the twenty minutes we had to look round the market. In Malaga we took a taxi from the port to the town centre which cost 10 euros. In Gibralter we shared a tour taxi to see the apes etc. which cost us 22 euros including the 10 euro entrance fee to the attractions. you can also take the cable car up the rock. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2014
I am sharing my thoughts on the recent cruise which we made aboard Oceana. I understand that what I write may displease the legion of P&O enthusiasts- however in this world perception is reality! Douglas Ward's downgraded Oceana ... Read More
I am sharing my thoughts on the recent cruise which we made aboard Oceana. I understand that what I write may displease the legion of P&O enthusiasts- however in this world perception is reality! Douglas Ward's downgraded Oceana in the 2014 Berlitz Guide by half a star and 100 points. This is our 14th cruise and our first with P&O. We have previously cruised with HAL, Cunard, Celebrity, RSSC and NCL. We sailed from Southampton and booked the Orissa suite on a 10 night cruise to Iberia departing on March 13th. Sadly, a number of our expectations on this cruise were not met. The Suite. The suite was well laid out and reasonably spacious, however the sofa was worn and shabby, with one solitary cushion. It was uncomfortable. The television was in a cupboard and not viewable from the entire designated seating area. The television was also, it has to be said, a sad addition to the suite - small and outdated. The bedroom area was well-served with plenty of drawer space, but again, these had seen better days. They were badly fitted, and when the ship encountered a swell - the drawers opened and closed spontaneously - particularly annoying at night! There was no full-length mirror in the suite. The bathroom, at first glance seemed spacious and well-appointed, but on close examination it too was shabby. Some of the grouting was stained, some was missing. There was no magnifying mirror. White Company toiletries were a nice touch, but towels were thin and tired. The beach towels provided were badly stained and should not have been placed in the suite for passenger use. On a general note - lighting in both bedroom dressing table areas and in the bathroom was inadequate - downlighting is not helpful for applying makeup or doing hair - I'm told by my wife! The bath and shower were excellent. Upon boarding, the very spacious balcony was dirty and we had to request for it to be cleaned and the salt removed from the furniture. The garish blue plastic floor covering on the balcony had seen better days - surely a teak balcony floor would have been better? Generally, for a suite of this size, we felt that the level of comfort could be improved. More cushions, travelling rugs, better hair dryer, better dressing gowns might have helped. The Tassimo coffee machine, the Bose sound system were welcome additions, but did not make up for a general lack of comfort. There was an overall sense that the place had only just been vacated, which, of course, it had, but guests always want to feel they are the first occupants. Service in the suite. Our butler was attentive and friendly but not a patch on the service we had recently on a cruise in a suite on Celebrity Eclipse. Maybe we were spoiled by that experience? He did everything requested but was not in anyway proactive. I spilled a cup of coffee on the bottom sheet of the bed and was surprised to find that the bed had been remade with the dirty/wet sheet - not what one expects. The crew generally. The team in the dining room were outstanding. Xavier our waiter and his assistant were attentive and nothing was too much trouble. The wine waiter was also very good. The food, after a fiasco on the first night, was generally tasty, well cooked and presented, but a tad unadventurous. We were disappointed in both the food and the service in the Plaza which we considered more akin to a cafeteria. We sampled it twice, but didn't wish to repeat the exercise - sullen staff and repetitive un interesting food. I asked one waiter if I could have some vinegar and oil to make dressing. He replied that they didn't have any! Our experiences of similar eateries on other lines have been markedly different with staff universally efficient and helpful. Cafe Jardin was very good, particularly for a light lunch. Section heads tended to be smiling and helpful, but many of their staff were not. Staff in the bars and the Costa Coffee areas were often sullen, unsmiling and uncommunicative. Entertainment Probably the best that we have enjoyed on any ship. The Headliners were energetic and enthusiastic and delivered consistently excellent shows. We also enjoyed several of the cabaret acts. Films shown during the voyage were up to date and excellent. I took the ships tour on the penultimate sea day which was very interesting and gave a fascinating insight behind the scenes. The Ports All very interesting with the notable exception of Casablanca. I do not understand why we stopped in this port. We were berthed in the middle of a dirty and very noisy commercial port and there really was not much to see ashore. We visited Seville from Cadiz which was outstanding also Santiago from La Coruna which was excellent. Generally My impression is that although P&O offer suites, they are not really committed to 'making it special.' Suite passengers on Celebrity and HAL as well as Grill passengers on the QM2 are given privileges and are made to feel that they are special passengers which is very definitely not the impression that we received on Oceana. I just felt that we had a large cabin. There was absolutely no interaction with the officers, in fact we rarely saw any officers, and none of the hotel management side seemed in the least interested. Notwithstanding this, we enjoyed our cruise but will not be choosing P&O again. I rather think Mr Ward got it right! I think that P&O with 8 or so ships have 20000 bed nights to fill and probably something had to give. I realise that some of my observations are nitpicky, but we paid a lot of money for this cruise - and as I wrote earlier - perception is reality! ...............Or - maybe our expectations were just too high. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2014
After having sailed on the Rotterdam the past 3 years, we decided to go on the Ryndam this year . We were not disappointed ! What a great ship, being slightly smaller than the Rotterdam there seems to more space per passenger . ... Read More
After having sailed on the Rotterdam the past 3 years, we decided to go on the Ryndam this year . We were not disappointed ! What a great ship, being slightly smaller than the Rotterdam there seems to more space per passenger . Embarkation: smoothly and efficient, we were on board in 15 minutes Public Rooms : all in tip top shape , is this ship 20 years old ? ;-) MDR : we had open seating , it worked out really well, we only had to wait once. The quality of the food is perfect ! Lobstertails are still on the menu... . Although there have cutbacks in the amount of stewards , service is still great. Entertainment : HAL standard, nothing special except for magician Ruben Millegrand and Spanish Dance group. Fitness : was never crowded, enough equipment Ports of Call : except for Portland UK , worth docking !! Disembarkation : we took expedited, walked off with our own bags at 8 o'clock. Hotel Manager, Cruise Director and more staff were at the gangway to say goodbye, nice touch ! In General : very friendly crew ( even on disembarkation day ! ) and a very informative and "social" Captain. I hope that HAL will keep ships like the Ryndam in their fleet for a long time to come. If you 're looking for skating rink, climbing wall etc . not your ship . If you're looking for a great library, trivia quizzes, talking to fellow passengers, a casino , Ryndam is for you . Read Less
Sail Date: April 2014
This was our 5th cruise with Thomsons but our first on the Majesty. I had read a lot of derogatory reviews but was pleasantly pleased and surprised on our trip. The transfer was smooth with a short ride to the port ( Malaga) and we were ... Read More
This was our 5th cruise with Thomsons but our first on the Majesty. I had read a lot of derogatory reviews but was pleasantly pleased and surprised on our trip. The transfer was smooth with a short ride to the port ( Malaga) and we were soon on board. Our cabin was on deck 4 with a large outside window - really good views and bright and light. We had twin beds and the cabin was 'snug' with little room to move about but we spent very little time in there anyway, The bathroom was small and tired but with a good shower and it was all spotlessly clean. The ship has plenty of places to eat and lots of seating/bar areas. We ate in the Seven Seas for breakfast and dinner and were delighted to find our favourite waiter from previous ships was now on the Majesty - in fact he recognised us! What a great team Jerry, Niki and Dias were and nothing was too much trouble for them making our holiday special. We had snacks in the San Marco - clean, with lovely views. We also went into the Cafe Royal but it was crowded with a poor selection. As it was a birthday for one member of our party we booked The Bistro for dinner - we were made to feel very special with excellent service and fantastic food & then our favourite waiter came in to sing us a song! Ports of call were great - close to the centre of town/city and most of the time we did our own thing. We did a few bike rides from the ship which were quite leisurely and a good way to get an overall impression of the places we visited. The weather was sunny and warm apart from some morning sea fog which meant we had to sit outside two ports for several hours. Thomson did extend our time in port ( when we got there) and left a little later, they even waived the cost of the bus fare into town on one occasion. Overall a good cruise but it did have some flaws. The entertainment team didn't seem to gel at all. The shows were very poor compared to other fantastic productions we have seen on Thomson ships. The cruise director had the tones of a BBC announcer and didn't seem to have a high profile. As we had a comedian ( very funny ) and a singer ( from the Drifters - excellent rapport with the audience & great voice) apparently there weren't enough evenings to put on the shows(!) The resident showband were also great but give the shows a miss. Thomson also pride themselves on their afternoon plays which have been excellent in the past. All we had was a late evening offering of a murder mystery which was supposed to be funny but was overacted with lots of ad libbing, mistakes etc. Going home was a different story - the plane actually got on the runway before turning back with a problem. Thomson quickly organised a transfer to a local hotel & made sure everyone would appear fora briefing at 9;30 the following morning. However, they didn't even turn up! An hour later the manager of the hotel rang them & was told buses were arriving to take us to the airport at 11;30. We then had to sit in Malaga airport to await further instructions. No one from Thomsons came to tell us anything & most information came from relatives in Britain who were able to tell us when our flight was due. The pilot did come to update us - the plane was new & they hadn't encountered this problem before. Every time they thought they had fixed it the fault reappeared. We did get food vouchers and eventually took off at 5pm to cheers and claps. Black marks to Thomson for not keeping us updated -even the airport staff said we should have stayed at the hotel until things were sorted. It did spoil our happy memories of the cruise. Would we go again with Thomsons? Yes definitely! Friendly ships and great value for money. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2014
The embarkation was well organised and we were sitting on board within 40 minutes. The food in the Plaza was mediocre and did not improve over the cruise. The food was never hot and often too cold to be enjoyable. The choice was shocking, ... Read More
The embarkation was well organised and we were sitting on board within 40 minutes. The food in the Plaza was mediocre and did not improve over the cruise. The food was never hot and often too cold to be enjoyable. The choice was shocking, especially on their 'special' nights. If you don't like Indian then you have no choice. The same food appeared for a day or two after it first appeared in order to get it used up. The entertainment was, on the whole, excellent. The Headliners company did three amazing shows but I feel in this day and age Kevin, the 'comedian' should not be on a British ship with his style of comedy. The end of cruise talent show from the staff was excellent and got me Dan, one of the entertainment staff, was the star of the show with his operatic singing! The ports, for us, were good. We enjoyed getting off the ship and pottering around the 4 towns, La Coruna, Bilbao, La Rochelle and St. Nazaire. It was the lack of communication on the evening when we were kept very late leaving one of the ports. No one seemed to know what was going on. Also on the few occasions we had to complain, the main one being the noise in our cabin from the kitchen above at 11.30pm and 7am we got no resolve for the whole cruise...so stay clear of L330 if you want to sleep! The day time entertainment was not great. If you enjoy your gameshows or quizzes then this ship is NOT for you. They were few and far between each day and all individual (cutting costs on prizes I presume). One of the team needs to learn how to present a quiz correctly and to speak correctly so everyone can understand. Cocky was an understatement for this boy. Full of himself and we got the feeling he really didn't want to be doing the quiz one night as it was rushed and the wrong guests won the bottle of wine all because he was incompetent. However, on the reverse side Paul and Keith were fantastic. We always enjoyed their quizzes and banter, and Paul, a real gentleman, was very helpful and went the extra mile to help people. The food in the Cafe Jardin was all beautiful. We tried breakfast, lunch and dinner in it and everything was beautiful. In the main dining room the food was average but a lot of guests complained about the service. It may have been because we were freedom dining so the waiters didn't really care as you wouldnt be tipping them at the end. Our room steward, Jason, was just great. He quietly got on with his job and was very helpful. Our room was always clean and ready for us. On the final day disembarking the ship was a complete shambles. We were 90minutes late getting docked and clearance given then to be told that where a lot of us had queued would not be a disembarking door!! Would we cruise with P&O again? No!! Will we cruise again? Yes with anyone else but P&O. A disgraceful example of a British cruise company. The customer is certainly not at the forefront of their minds.   Read Less

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click
Compare and book excursions for your next cruise