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5,703 Transatlantic Cruise Reviews

Britannia Cruise Barbados ~ Southampton - Balcony Stateroom E312 We are a retired couple and enjoy travelling the world, we have been on 10 cruises this was the worst one by miles...! Here is a copy of the complaints letter I sent to ... Read More
Britannia Cruise Barbados ~ Southampton - Balcony Stateroom E312 We are a retired couple and enjoy travelling the world, we have been on 10 cruises this was the worst one by miles...! Here is a copy of the complaints letter I sent to P&O. We had a bad start.. 2 hours sitting in the plane on the tarmac at Gatwick waiting to take off without even a drink offered.! On arrival at our cabin we asked our Steward if he could find us a couple of robes to wear on our balcony, he replied.. 'Oh No... they are reserved for suit guests only, you can purchase them if you wish'! The hand hygiene method of providing sinks at the entrance of the dining areas is a joke… half of the soap dispensers are empty or the taps don’t work and there are paper towels everywhere. What’s wrong with the trusted method of a friendly staff member with a spray bottle of hand wash? We also notice that on returning from shore trips there were no cold towels and no staff dispensing hand wash, surely this is the most important time for cleanlyness.? We ate in both the Horizon Buffet and the Peninsular Restaurant; 1st our opinion on the buffet… Never on any cruise have we ever seen such a poor selection/variety and general quality of food, it was worse than we have found on a cross channel ferry.! At breakfast the fried eggs were pre-cooked and lying hard in the tray, you could have tinned tomatoes one day or fresh another, never a choice of both, there were no hash browns, nuts & much much more missing. There was no ice dispensing machine for cold drinks. At lunch & dinner there was no soft ice cream dispenser, in fact no free ice cream whatsoever! You have to pay outside, quite unbelievable! There were no prawns (bigger than a fingernail) sushi, crepes, indoor pizza station etc, etc… The dressings were all in horrible sachets, no nice dispensing bottles/jugs. On a ship like Britannia the food should be 4 star plus, this was sub-standard and barely 2 star food! We considered the Peninsular Restaurant to be worse! The menu was trying to be far too Cordon Bleu to the point that there was very little quality regular food available. Because of the poor menu selection most visits I ordered the sirloin steak & chips, this was always served as a poor quality cut, full of gristle. One evening my wife’s ‘fillet steak’ was unsurprisingly served looking and tasting like a minute steak. When my wife ordered a curry she asked for some lime pickle, ‘We don’t have that… only mango chutney’ yet it was available in the buffet! We also tried the ‘Grab n Go’ sandwiches, they all had pre filled dressings of English Mustard or Horseradish sauce, they were disgusting to us and many other passengers and there was no choice of without the dressing! When we tried to order a drink at the bars the barmen would not serve us saying we have to order from a waiter (if you could find one) because the barmen could not charge our card.! Very unfriendly, what’s going on.? In all our dining experience was awful! We were both quite ill with sickness & diarrhoea and we did not eat from day 7 until we arrived at Southampton, we never ate ashore so we suspect the ships food quality for this. We would not visit the Medical Centre when we saw that we would be charged for the visit (No NHS) ! I like to smoke an electronic cigarette (harmless water vapour) yet amongst the 10 or more outside sun decks none of them permitted any kind of smoking, on average 20%+ of UK population are smokers… That’s discrimination. The ships layout is very strange with bits of sun deck everywhere and lots of stairs, not good for the elderly! All of these decks have plenty of loungers but they are all lined up right next to each other in rows, there is no room to turn your lounger into the sun or for a bit of privacy and a small table for drinks is impossible to find. Like many others we do not want to lay in lines next to other passengers. In the 10 cruises we have previously made (NCL + Celebrity X + MSC) we would rate them 6~9 stars (from 10) for value and enjoyment, we would rate this Britannia Cruise 1 star (the stateroom was nice despite the balcony being too small)! We are sure that any North American passengers would, like us, find this cruise unacceptable. The reply from P&O Customer Services in short... 'I can only apologise that this cruise did not meet with your expectations'. POOO... NOT GOOD ENOUGH!! Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
I had read numerous reviews about this vessel and in general they did not make for good reading but I joined the ship with an open mind. First impressions were good, a modern ship with what looked like modern facilities but this ... Read More
I had read numerous reviews about this vessel and in general they did not make for good reading but I joined the ship with an open mind. First impressions were good, a modern ship with what looked like modern facilities but this eventually just felt like window dressing. There is no one big thing wrong, rather lots and lots of little things that fail to hit the spot which meant that this felt like the worst cruise we have ever done to date. The Atrium should be the beating heart of the ship, however on Britannia, it is a lifeless, soulless void that feels more rest home than resort hub. On a trip that incuded so may sea days, we expected a wide variety of entertainment across the day to keep us occupied but this failed to happen, unless you like shuffleboard, whist drives, line dancing or juggling! Thankfully SINDHU and The Limelight Club help the dining experience here as without these 'select dining' venues that you pay extra for, the review score would have been lower. Poor quality and in some case, tinned food that was bland and repetitive. Who eats stodgy puddings and custard in the tropics? Some of the food was so salty it was inedible The toast at breakfast was white or brown and be careful as it will break your teeth, a request for just sliced bread brought blank stares from the crew. Eggs Benedict in the resturant came without the sauce which showed that they had also forgotten the ham! Asking for crispy bacon resulted in bacon so had and dry you needed a chisel and when asking for plum tomatos, you expect more than one! The Marco inspired Gala Dinner on Black Tie Night was terrible, numerous people sending back their badly prepared lobster, what a waste! Entertainment? Where? The ships team were conspicuous by their absence most of the time. The saving grace was that the guest entertainers were, in the main, good. Had to leave 2 songs into Sound of the Underground as we couldnt stand the poor vocals. The Limelight Club is a nice venue but you have to go to the other side of the Atrium to go to the toilet, poor thought there when you have paid extra for this intimate venue Service was provided by bored, uninterested staff. Unless you were close to a bar outside, the deck service was pretty much non existent and painfully slow at best. The upper deck areas were, in the main, unloved and never seemed to be cleaned at all. Poor product knowledge and inability to waiver from the menu showed a lack of training. Bad hygiene by the table clearing staff in the Horizon Buffet, using guests used napkins to wipe down tables. Wiping seating then tables with the same cloth, just wiping round what was left on the table and resetting, I could go on......... A real shame as I was hoping that all the bad reviews were people being overly fussy but, after speaking with plenty of people onbaord from newbiews to P&O groupies, the consensus is that 'Room for Plenty of Impovement' and 'Must Try Harder' is the report for this ship. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Previously cruised on nearly all of P&O fleet so were a bit apprehensive prior to cruise due reviews but really enjoyed Britannia. We have done the repositioning cruise before on Ventura so were happy for the number of sea days and ... Read More
Previously cruised on nearly all of P&O fleet so were a bit apprehensive prior to cruise due reviews but really enjoyed Britannia. We have done the repositioning cruise before on Ventura so were happy for the number of sea days and thought it would be ideal to see new ship. It is big but this is good as many places to experience and sit. We had no problem with theatre, possibly because we did not turn up 5 minutes before start and expect to sit where we wanted. Also able to walk into all restaurants including Horizon and no waiting. Tables always available. We cannot praise the crew or entertainment staff enough. Used the spa which was excellent and enjoyed the casino. Being picky we can say that the cabins and balconies are smaller than Ventura but still comfortable and the larger shower is great. Also disappointed not to see captain around ship as on all previous vessels. No trouble with lifts and the night club a lot better to see acts than on Ventura or Azura. Although artwork around ship excellent missed art gallery. Also although singers and dancers appeared very talented missed the Headliners. The shows on board were very modern and loud. Overall fantastic time would book Britannia again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Very disappointed to see our cruise came down by 50% a few weeks before. This is the second time this has happened to us. My advice would be to not book early with P&O. Our cabin was situated mid ship, there was no access to any ... Read More
Very disappointed to see our cruise came down by 50% a few weeks before. This is the second time this has happened to us. My advice would be to not book early with P&O. Our cabin was situated mid ship, there was no access to any stairs so even if you wanted to go up or down one flight of stairs you had to wait on a lift. The lifts were very small and it could take up to 10 minutes to get a lift at peak times. The main buffet restaurant (The Horizon) was very poor for the size of ship. Very little choice of food on offer. At night there was a themed food cuisine (ie Indian, Mexican etc), if you didn't like the type of cuisine on offer then there was a one type of meat with potatoes and vegetables to have. Limited salad choice and only ever one type of soup on offer. We had freedom dining which we thought would be good to catch the shows as we could go when we wanted between 6pm and 9.30pm. We only went a couple of times as choice of menu wasn't great and it took approx 2.5hrs to get served all your courses. We treated ourselves to the Eric Lanlard afternoon tea which was a cover charge of £15 per head. It was beautifully presented but it was all types of sweet cakes there was very little savoury bites and no sandwiches at all. We also sampled the Sindhu Indian Restaurant (also £15 per head), service and food was great although the food offered wasn't your usual Indian restaurant type starters, curries etc. The sun beds on deck were crammed together, no room to move. The swimming pools were very deep, shallow end was 5.5ft and deep end was 7.5ft. To get a seat in the main theatre (Headliner Theatre) you had to arrive at least 45 minutes before. The theatre was very small for the size of the ship and the amount of passengers on board. There was also no waiter service in the theatre. Difficult to get out of the theatre at the end of a show due to small pathways and the amount of people trying to get out. Lack on entertainment on a ship of this size. Lack of selection of drinks and cocktails in the bars/entertainment venues. Internet packages very expensive and could only be accessed in the public areas (not always a seat available in the public areas). For this being P&O's flag ship, it didn't have that WOW factor, no real focal point that stands out. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Just back from the Barbados to Southampton Transatlantic. We were left feeling very disappointed. We don't usually moan and we never try to find fault with things but there was so many obvious problems that we just found the whole ... Read More
Just back from the Barbados to Southampton Transatlantic. We were left feeling very disappointed. We don't usually moan and we never try to find fault with things but there was so many obvious problems that we just found the whole experience not enjoyable. We so wanted to love this ship but P&O made it very hard for us. Firstly boarding in Barbados was fine, quick and efficient with friendly staff. We boarded and first impressions were good - we thought that she was a pretty ship. We had a balcony cabin on Deck 15 forward. It was very tasteful, on the small size but with a comfortable bed it was more than adequate. The TV was excellent, loads of free to watch movies and TV shows in on demand format. Our cabin steward was pretty good, we did have problems having our free conditioner and shampoo replaced when it ran out, he actually came in to our room when we asked him for it to be refilled after 10 days to check we had in fact ran out! How stingy is that? There was ample storage and tea and coffee making facilities. There was a small fridge to keep your own drinks in and a small safe to keep your belongings safe. The bathroom was tiny but very functional - the shower had a glass screen so no annoying shower curtain to stick too! The balcony was again on the small side but this wasn't helped with the ridiculous large furniture they had placed on there, we kept tripping over it! If made the balcony feel tiny with no room for maneuvering. The entertainment was excellent during the night, shows and acts were all very good. The big problem was that there was barely nothing on during the day, entertainment was basically non existent! We had 8 sea days, most of them with cooler weather - the horizons guide was full of activities but 90% were paid! All spa and shopping opportunities. We were incredibly disappointed. It was all money, money money - thats all P&O were interested in. They did not care that their passengers were kept entertained. This led to the ships interior areas being totally overcrowded. All the venues were too small for a ship this size, it was uncomfortable to say the least. Everywhere was packed, no seats anywhere. This included the theatre and live lounge too - the two main entertainment venues were massivley undersized. Finding a seat on a busy night in the live lounge was a nightmare - so many were left standing for the full night. This goes for the outside areas too - sunbeds crammed together like sardines. They were reserved from 6.30am on the warmer days with no action but empty threats from P&O. Two small hot tubs (if you don't count the paid Retreat) for a ship with 4000 passengers! Crazy! The whole back of the ship was covered in soot and stunk of engine fumes so mostly unusable on sea days when the engines were under power. The service in general was poor, no smiles or interaction. We are always very polite and try to talk to staff on the ship but this was like pulling teeth! They looked bored and uninterested. The waiters were only bothered about getting a drink sale. During one song in the live lounge we were asked 8 - yes 8 times!! If we wanted a drink. You were never left alone for more than 15 seconds if you didn't have a drink or were close to finishing one. There was no system in place to tell waiters we had already been asked. It became a running joke about how many times we could be asked! We were refused point black to the point of an argument in Java Coffee shop when we asked for our free cake! The waitress refused us and shouted "you should have asked when ordering" bear in mind that this was about 7 seconds after we placed the order! She continued to shout at us and refused us our free piece of cake. Well we were both bemused and astonished - had this really just happened over a free piece of carrot cake?! When trying to eat at the Glass House one evening we were told there would be a 45 minute wait. This was fine but when we saw a group of entertainment team being sat two minutes later we were so angry! I have no problem with staff using the ships facilities when it quiet but when paying customers were having to queue behind staff we could not believe it! We complained about both instances but were given a half hearted sorry. Now the food. It was very poor on the whole. The quality and selection was poor compared to other liners we have sailed with. It was so uninspired, it was often cold with poor cuts of meat and served with the same overcooked vegetables each day. The buffet was the same, the selection was very poor - especially the sea food which was only to be seen a few times throughout the cruise. The paid Epicurian was very good but we were left with the impression to eat well you had to pay more! The hygiene was a joke, the sinks outside the buffet barely ever worked. Hand sanitizers were often empty and none of the staff seemed to care. We reported it a few times and nothing was done about it at all. No enforcement, people just walked in without washing their hands - it was disgusting! No wonder P&O are failing health inspections on some of their ships! Would we travel on her again - not a chance! We didn't have the best time. I came down with food poisoning the morning we left the ship, it took me over a week to recover from it. It topped off a terrible cruise! Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We are mid 50s husband and wife and have cruised for nearly 20 years more than 20 times. We have been with Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Princess, P&O, Cunard, Ocean Village, Regent, Holland America and NCL. (P&O three times now - ... Read More
We are mid 50s husband and wife and have cruised for nearly 20 years more than 20 times. We have been with Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Princess, P&O, Cunard, Ocean Village, Regent, Holland America and NCL. (P&O three times now - most sailings with Celebrity/RCI). So we have decent experience and a sense of standards. We had a Suite and organised our own flights and transfers as we had been in USA for a while. Embarkation at Barbados - signage a bit lacking at the port and not the slick operation one usually finds but still very efficient in a laid back Caribbean way. On the ship by 12, allowed into suite although it hadn't quite been finished. Ship - large and generally impressive. Some areas did feel a bit like a big hotel lobby especially the lower atrium but ships are really hotels at sea. Other reviewers have commented negatively on the décor - it was a bit beige/grey but not offensive. The atrium does have some wow factor and other areas are pretty standard. Ship was largely clean. As many people have said the stairs/lifts are a bit unsatisfactory in that the mid ship stairs do not run the whole range of floors so if you want to knock off a few calories you can only walk the full range of floors at the back or front and Britannia is a long ship. Otherwise you end up waiting for a lift at midships which could sometimes take a little time. Food - we were freedom dining being in a suite. We ate at the Peninsula for about half the dinners. Food and service was consistently either good or fair. Not massive portions but on 2 or 3 occasions I asked for extra beef/lamb and they simply brought another plated meal and gave me the extra meat - no fuss. Our waiting staff were always pleasant and helpful. On the one time there was a delay getting the main course they told us in advance and it was handled well. Food was not memorable but certainly pleasant. Cheese selection after dinner was a bit ordinary but if you asked for blue stilton you would get it, but only if you asked. One unbelievable naff thing in the main dining room was if you asked for a decaf coffee after dinner, they opened up, in front of you, a small paper sachet of decaf instant and put it in your cup then poured hot water on it! Very amateurish. Lunch in main dining room was ok, but not memorable. Curries pretty good. Any meal in Horizon buffet was pretty poor. Poor choice, poor quality, (a trough of baked beans and sausage rolls and swiss roll), people (Brits) pushing and shoving and eating like pigs, loud, bad tattoos and lots of football tops, and that was just the women! Many food items not labelled, poor or non-working wash hand basins and soap dispensers. Sindhu speciality restaurant very good modern Indian food. Well worth the price. Epicurean more expensive but borderline genuine fine dining. We ate there 3 times and they rotate the menu so worth checking which one you might get. Staff delightful. Because we were in a suite we had breakfast in Epicurean - high quality and choice and away from the buffet scrum. Wine choice - very good but mostly middle of the road and similar wines. Good prices and very good prices on vintage champagne eg Dom Perignon was £109.50 a bottle but it costs £100 in a shop (not restaurant) on land. Glasshouse - good selection of better wines and many flights of wine where you get to try small measures of 3 different wines. Some staff at Glasshouse not very friendly. Market Café - better coffee than Costa - cakes look great but are nothing special. Drinks prices - wine good but cocktails expensive and weak and small measures! On USA ships it's all free-pouring but on Britannia it was all carefully measured and stingy for the price. Suite - smallish for a suite and balcony a slightly odd long and thin shape. Bathroom in suite great - large with separate loo but shower was very weak indeed. Entertainment - great piano recitals and Beatles tribute very good but otherwise little to excite us. We saw Jaki Graham at Limelight Club - she has a great voice but too much inane chat and her piano player thought he was the star of the show. Overall? Some great speciality restaurants but far too many weak areas for the flagship of P&O. I think that P&O offer a fair experience for Brits who don't now any better and don't have high expectations. Celebrity still the one to beat. Disembarking (self help) was ok and pretty quick. Laughably there was no one at all at HM Customs and no one at all at Passport Control. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We chose this cruise new. it was RT from Ft. Lauderdale and had many sea days.We usually cruise Seaboard and I must admit ,I was very apprehensive about Prinsenda. A friend had cautioned me against booking a smaller cain(no hot water,leaks ... Read More
We chose this cruise new. it was RT from Ft. Lauderdale and had many sea days.We usually cruise Seaboard and I must admit ,I was very apprehensive about Prinsenda. A friend had cautioned me against booking a smaller cain(no hot water,leaks from above,tiny cabin) so we opted for a Signature suite on deck 10.....It was the best move we could have made!!! Not only was the suite wonderful...2 sinks,tub/shower,walk-in closet,large veranda and perfectly placed TV,but the service was superb.Our cabin steward,Henky and Desmoond were attentive,efficient and discreet. Most of all,the food was absolutely perfect! The waiters,busboys and maitre de,Iggy were friendly,efficient and marvelous. As I said before,having normally cruised on Seaboard,I would rate Prinsendam as just as good as Seaboard! We will certainly return!!!!! Please do schedule more cruises out of US ports and consider a world cruise on Prinsendam as the Amsterdam doesn't have suites with 2 sinks.(important to us). Elmar59 Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Most of the highly critical reviews are unfair. Do your homework - this is an Italian line catering primarily to Europeans. If "foreigners" and hearing other languages upset you then stay home and go to Epcot instead. All crew ... Read More
Most of the highly critical reviews are unfair. Do your homework - this is an Italian line catering primarily to Europeans. If "foreigners" and hearing other languages upset you then stay home and go to Epcot instead. All crew members speak fluent English so that will not be a problem. A great variety of good food available at all meals... but (particularly on long cruses) do not expect fresh seafood or American style steaks. Most excursions were excellent and a good value and impossible to duplicate on your own. Spring for a beverage package - Brindiamo gets you unlimited wine, hard liquor (Johnny Walker Red, but not Black) as well as sparkling water, sodas juices whenever you want it. Service staff were amazingly pleasant and hardworking, as swell as fun. Onboard entertainment was fun...from Opera, to popular music to comedy and magic shows, as well as passenger participation contests like the "Voice of the Sea" competition.. More onboard enrichment activities would have been appreciated. Only one on-board lecturer covered Italian language lessons as well as lectures on history and culture. Overall an excellent value with the understanding that you are not booking (or paying for) a "premium" Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
This was our sixteenth cruise and our first with Fred Olsen. What a brilliant find. We thought the whole experience was fantastic from the minute we saw the ship in Bridgetown to when we left Braemar in Dover. It was such a pleasure to ... Read More
This was our sixteenth cruise and our first with Fred Olsen. What a brilliant find. We thought the whole experience was fantastic from the minute we saw the ship in Bridgetown to when we left Braemar in Dover. It was such a pleasure to be on a small, VERY friendly ship, we have tired of the glitzy, enormous floating resorts and have now found a cruise line that treats you as an individual rather than a number. We booked last minute finding an absolute bargain in the national press. Fifteen nights cruise, free drinks package and tips plus £200 cash back. We usually book a balcony or outside cabin but this time decided to try an inside. This was perfectly adequate and was very spacious as it was designed to take 4 people, so loads of wardrobe space. What made the cruise special was the Crew, from Captain down to room steward nothing was too much trouble and you were always greeted with a smile. Food was excellent and the Palm Café was another brilliant find. Entertainment was very good and varied with some excellent guest performers. All in all a great 15 days and one we shall definitely repeat. Well done 'Fred' Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Cruised from Sydney to San Franciso segment of a World Cruise. Mainly English and Aussies on board. No children on this ship. Entertainment was wonderful, the ballroom dancer instructors were the highlight of our sea days aboard the ... Read More
Cruised from Sydney to San Franciso segment of a World Cruise. Mainly English and Aussies on board. No children on this ship. Entertainment was wonderful, the ballroom dancer instructors were the highlight of our sea days aboard the Arcadia. Mainly retired people on board - I guess you need to be retired to have this much time available for a holiday! We met a couple who did a world cruise every year on the Arcadia, and they were just as excited each embarcation! A highlight of our trip was walking on the Great Wall of China; an amazing construction. We also visited Papua New Guinea, Manilla, Hong, Kong, Nagasaki and Osaka as well as 2 stops in Honolulu. We were extremely fortunate with good weather - we had rain on only one day. There was plenty to do on board and we met delightful people who we still email. Recommended! Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We chose this cruise because we had just spent 8 days cruising the amazon river, we thought this would be an ideal way to return home without the long flight, My husband and I have cruised with a number of cruise companies including Costa ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we had just spent 8 days cruising the amazon river, we thought this would be an ideal way to return home without the long flight, My husband and I have cruised with a number of cruise companies including Costa although this was some years ago and was excellent then( it was the first cruise we had ever done). I have to say the standard now is extremely poor, regretably this is the worst cruise we have ever been on. Even low budget cruise lines offer a better experience than Costa do now. It would appear that the line is so dedicated to saving money that customer satisfaction has been forgotten. If you wish to have tea/coffee with your meals (apart from breakfast) you have to pay for it, no water with evening meal unless you pay for it! Coffee and tea available only between 4.00 and 5.00 pm, unless of course you wanted to pay extra for it. The food in the dining room was very poor, and the self service restaurant rarely available in the evening. The waiter/ under waiter were very good. The food in the self service area was better although not as well organised as it could be. The area was so crowded that after you had secured a table one of your party could get theIr meal first whilst the other reserved the spot (therefore not really eating together). The evening shows were generally poor. The excursions are expensive but I think in line with other cruise companies, The staff were very good although we didn't have contact with many as we are not generally interested in the entertainment. I can see why the tips are compulsory - because a lot of passengers would be reluctant to give what is recommended after such a disappointing holiday, what appeared to be a reasonable priced cruise turned out to be quite expensive and not good value for money. I don't usually do reviews, I think this will give you an idea of how poor this cruise was. VERY VERY DISAPPOINTING, WE WON'T BE TRAVELING WITH COSTA AGAIN. YOUR COST CUTTING WILL COST YOU CUSTOMERS. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Following major surgery in 2011 we changed from long haul flying and first started cruising in May 2012, and solely with P & O, sailing on Arcadia, Aurora, Adonia and Britannia, so this cruise was our eighth with P&O company in ... Read More
Following major surgery in 2011 we changed from long haul flying and first started cruising in May 2012, and solely with P & O, sailing on Arcadia, Aurora, Adonia and Britannia, so this cruise was our eighth with P&O company in under four years and because of our total dissatisfaction with the way P & O is run and in particular, Oceana, this will be our last with P&O company. Our problems started on arrival at the terminal to check in, as we always stay at ‘The New Place’ Hotel the night before sailing the Hotel provides us with a taxi to the port which has always arrived at about 11.45, and normally we have been on board by 12.30 to 1.30 without any hassle whatsoever. This time it was a complete farce and we waited in excess of four hours to board the ship, when I inquired as to why we were having to wait so long I was informed that this was a ‘New System’!! We had made up our minds even then because of this debacle that we would never be putting ourselves through this experience again. The place was over crowded, people sitting on the floor and everybody getting uptight, just the sort of attitude that is required prior to a cruise of a life time. Having got to the cabin which was very nice, but let down by dirty carpet and a very scruffy small balcony the windows of which were not cleaned the whole time we were on board, in fact that was the watch word for the whole ship. The ship itself is very well designed, in fact quite beautiful, probably the best we have been on, however it has been left to rot, there was rust everywhere and in port it looked very much like the poor relation to any other ship. The area around the pool has a magnificent wooden structure which is drying out and looks totally neglected, how lovely it would all look with a coat of varnish. There was too much work going on around the ship, it was reminiscent of a building site with banging somewhere everyday. The ship needs taking out of service for two or three weeks and completely refurbished. I was particularly annoyed by the fact that deck 7 was blocked on several occasions as I do like to ‘deck walk’ and I complained to reception who’s excuse was that it was essential maintenance! Rubbish these jobs could be done when passengers do not want to use the facilities, because at the end of the day who is the ship for? Passengers or crew?? We had opted for 1st sitting and as on all previous ships (with exception of Adonia) and confirmed by a printed sheet from the cruise personaliser, we entered the dining room at 6.30 to find people on our allotted table already eating, having arrived at 6pm. There was no way that we were going to interrupt their meal, so we excused ourselves and went to the Plaza, and we only returned to the Adriatic twice more because A. We found the waiters rude and brusk B. The food was of a much lower standard than usual on P&O and C. The people on our table were not welcoming (something that we have never had a problem with before), so every night thereafter we ate in the Plaza. The Plaza is a wonderfully laid out restaurant, however it is spoilt by dirty carpets, filthy upholstery, and badly stained windows. The food is plentiful but very bland, even when it had oriental dishes, they were bland. We found the waiters, of which there seem to be far too many, to be very rude and unaware of table manners when collecting plates or trays. They would lean across instead of going round us, and most of them gave the attitude that they didn’t really want to be there, so different from our last Adonia cruise where the waiter would even ask if you would like a tea or coffee and then go and get it for you. Although we ate 95% of our meals in the Plaza we were generally disappointed. On one occasion we complained about too much salt in a hot pot type meal only to be told that that was the standard. The Plaza experience was yet another reason for not wanting to cruise with P&O again. The ships entertainment staff (not the dancers and singers – they were fantastic) left a lot to be desired, you are obviously employing a much lower (and probably cheaper) standard of staff especially the assistant entertainment manager who A could not speak properly, his annunciation was deplorable, B his stage presence was amateurish and he looked scruffy. The only things that we enjoyed were the ports of call, which is why we booked the cruise in the first place, however we did make a complaint to the shore excursion desk with regard to the visit to NASA where we were kept waiting for such a long time that we were forced to miss out on lunch and their answer was – tough. We fail to see why we only spent one day in Charleston which then meant we had nine days at sea with only one stop in the Azores, I’m sure that an extra call could have been made somewhere to compensate i.e. Bermuda, then to cap it all, one of the engines broke down, probably due to lack of regular maintenance, which then caused a complete cock-up in Southampton and caused us a severe delay in getting home. The Captain gave the impression that he didn’t know what was going on and couldn’t speak coherently without umming and erring all the time. Total disaster never to be repeated with P&O. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
PRE TRIP We had toured the ship and 3 other P&O Cruises boats several months before and we were tres happy with Oceana because its interior is finished in a trad liner style with an excellent gentlemen's club bar and classy ... Read More
PRE TRIP We had toured the ship and 3 other P&O Cruises boats several months before and we were tres happy with Oceana because its interior is finished in a trad liner style with an excellent gentlemen's club bar and classy atrium amongst other decent public rooms the buffet being very elegant. The ports were the real attraction getting to New Orleans overnight plus Charleston & Key West targets high on our list of places to experience and the chance to turn up at Southampton drop the car and be taken there and back over 35 nights was a chance not to be missed. CABIN .. very happy We booked an inside cos the balcony choice was twice the price… this is largely due to the ship having few balcony cabins compared to most other boats we found out later. Ample storage and comfort and a perfectly functional en suite. WEATHER ... Poor Went out in the force 10 ... I was ill ( in the head not tum strange but it was seasickness never had it occur there!) for 3 days. Ship lost 3 windows..no one injured. Caribbean, cos we aren't interested in beaches, palm trees and scuba or snorkeling, holds no interest for us. Its too humid and tacky. BUT we knew this we've been twice before... it was the cost of getting to N.O. The 4 US ports were pleasant enough but I think we are getting old and things don't impress us as much as they once did. Done quite a bit and seen quite a lot already. No sun on the trip back across the ocean ... so couldn't use the deck which we found confining. We knew all the above before we left it was sailing in February weather. We had similar on the QM2 ... in August ! BUT their speakers provided the solution perfectly... not so on Oceana FOOD ... Silly We get it. Curries 2 or 3 every day in the buffet... Britain's favourite dish, codger taste buds failing, PO projecting traditional english ( Chicken Tikka Marsala is recognised as most popular UK dish above fish and chips in a survey several years ago.) But honestly, curried mackerel. Clearly a slam dunk way of reusing yesterday's leftovers. Specialty restaurants ... Now these are stunning ....ly bad. They are not SR's. The Cafe Jardin French cuisine by Marco Pierre White. The Jardin has no kitchen so it's reheated from downstairs …. I left my main course. MPW has flogged his name to many outlets in the UK and we know of several that have closed down. The wine flight was virtually tasteless. Poorly selected. The Beach House had a good meal on a skewer I think it was £6 extra. Restaurants The seems to be a naming problem: The Plaza is an inside restaurant, a beautiful space, exactly where the crows nest is on every other ship, not so here. The horizon grill next door is outside!. There seems to be a pricing problem: The Jardin is £5, The Beach House is £5,25 ! Why ? and then almost anything interesting in the BH is an extra charge. The BH has two menus alternating on different days but is 80% the same menu! It seems like there is no cohesive marketing strategy for food on the ship… In fact bringing in food quality, I suspect there isn't a proper complement of chefs involved in the buffet service… No staffing the pricing and service strategy for the SR’s. It was embarrassing. They permanently closed the entrance into the JArdin from the lift side so access was from the Atrium side and whatever band was on flooded the Jardin with sound to accompany yer romantic candle lit dinner … Customers to access the Jardin had to get off the lift on another floor and walk over or under the jardin then back up or down the stairs. It pointed this out so the guy shut one of the 4 foot atrium doors… he didn't see my point. I gave up. Never went back. The main dining room Ligurian was a lovely space and the service good. We dined on a different table every night and it worked fine. Sometimes the food was a let down but not at the dire level of the buffet. Almost all diners were UK. WINE ... V Good Reasonable pricing & selection and quality ... altho staff know little on the topic. Attended the 2 wine tastings and the chap made a very commendable effort and it was a good session. But not marketed we had to go looking … again a lack of proper promotion and execution of a strategy DESTINATIONS Key reasons for our booking this trip were New Orleans and Charleston overnight. And they delivered except the o’night in C. ! ON BOARD DAYS .. Disappointing Speaker quality was poor and not enough of them … Entertainment was average until a chinese violinist turned up right at the ends of the trip marvellous. But with an average age of 80 her opening rendition of Kashmir by Led Zeppelin was a risky but brilliant start. I think a few died happy! Theatre and Cabaret lounge were fine. One of the best things for me was the proliferation of comfy chairs all over the ship. BOARDING … 3 hours wait on and off POC were using the new appointment time boarding. We were told 1430hrs. Coincidently when boarding Cunard the previous month we had the same time and walked straight on no waiting at all. Not so with Oceana …. Embarrassing! Spoke to the manageress, turns out they started the process 3 hours late … Over the PA the USA were blamed .. not so. Ship arrived 4 hours late into UK and we had decided to walk off with our luggage so we could get an early start (7.30am) Ended up 1130am off after waiting around for an hour with 5 cases ! Happily our car was a short walk away and we were off and away tres quickly. Complete shambles getting on and off. OTHER I had a painful week with the spine on the way over and on two occasions feel nauseous for about 3 days but it affected my head not stomach. Overstaffed and untrained staff in the buffet standing in the traffic areas and unresponsive… Even the name of the ship is silly so inelegant. CONCLUSION We like the style of the ship very much but its clear that it is not operated in a way that suits us. A 4 star operation is 4 star. So it was our own fault. Lesson learned. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
This was a segment of the 180 round the world cruise. I booked because I was interested in the destination - Cape Town - and the ports of call along the west African coast. There was little to complain about on the ship, as I didn't ... Read More
This was a segment of the 180 round the world cruise. I booked because I was interested in the destination - Cape Town - and the ports of call along the west African coast. There was little to complain about on the ship, as I didn't experience any mishaps (unlike some others, as there seemed to be a high rate of injuries aboard ship, that were dealt with in a ranging matter of efficiency) The food was the emphasis of the ship's offering. Both the MDR and the indoor / outdoor buffet, offered a great variety and high quality of food. I was especially impressed that they sourced food locally along the way, and we had the opportunity to eat some very fresh fish. People call the service slow, but I didn't find it especially so. As others mention, this is not a ship to join for a high quality and variety of entertainment. I had seen many of acts on other ships (Azamara and Celebrity). The port lectures were better than average. Many were well entertained by Trivia, by the astronomy lectures and by the artist's corner. As also mentioned, there is not much night life on this ship. A few times 20 or so people committed to stirring up some later night dancing but mostly the ship was in the z zone around 10:30. I have one complaint about this ship, which is the lack of attention given to outdoor areas that are my favorite place to be on board these R ships - the promenade deck and the 11th floor deck. The promenade deck was only grudgingly serviced. Chair covers ripped or non- existent (when they bothered to put the chairs out) and the deck often closed for maintenance or wind. On Azamara these decks are the most popular place for people who really love to experience the sea and read a book. I was not happy at how seldom I was able to enjoy this experience on board. In response to my feedback, the general manager said that the emphasis was on food which I found a bit of a cop out. How much effort does it take to go ahead and service this area. It was truly puzzling. The itinerary for this cruise was fascinating. I knew the ports were not traditional ports of call, and everyone on the ship was very educated and willing to throw themselves into new experience of touring some of the most disadvantaged countries in the world. It was eye opening for all of us. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
We were on the first leg (Southampton to Rio) of a round the world cruise, then had an extension (not booked through P&O) to see the Iguassu falls and finally a stay in Rio. Embarkation was quick and easy. We arrived about an hour ... Read More
We were on the first leg (Southampton to Rio) of a round the world cruise, then had an extension (not booked through P&O) to see the Iguassu falls and finally a stay in Rio. Embarkation was quick and easy. We arrived about an hour and a half before the appointed time (which is almost inevitable as no sensible person would not allow some margin for road conditions). Nevertheless we were through and on the ship in about half an hour. There was a military band on deck playing before departure and shortly after departure a spectacular firework display set off from a barge. Generally we felt welcomed. A long line formed for glasses of champagne sold at an extortionate price, but apparently some members of the loyalty club received them free which explained this. We were on Freedom dining and generally arrived for dinner about 7.00 to 7.30 requesting to share. We were never sent away and the longest we had to wait was a couple of minutes. Usually we were immediately taken to a table. Other people told us that if a table for 2 was requested they had to wait for up to 20 minutes. Service in the MDR was invariably cheerful and helpful. P&O maintain service of Stilton and biscuits on request, but this is never referred to on the menu and if cheese is requested a daily selection (without Stilton) is provided. This is a rather hilarious open secret. Food generally was of a satisfactory standard, both as to quality and quantity. We used the self service restaurant for some breakfasts and lunches and again it was of a satisfactory standard, if somewhat repetitive. Our impression was of a crew who were pretty cheerful, and of good service throughout apart from some difficulties with reception staff especially relating to disembarkation arrangements. There was a range of entertainment. We did not see much of the headliners but the bought in performers were pretty good and varied. Apart from the formal shows, we particularly enjoyed the classical pianist who was very talented. The ship was kept spotlessly clean and is in a generally good state of maintenance. The central atrium is less spectacular than on many ships but this is not of great importance. There is a fairly powerful forced draught ventilation system with a vent above the bed in our cabin and it might be more pleasant if the fans could be turned down a bit. But the ship was a pleasant temperature, not as hot as some others we have been on. The gym was large and well equipped but too hot, apparently there was a fault with the ventilation there. And the gym staff were usually absent, it being necessary on a number of occasions to seek towels through the good offices of the adjacent spa. The hairdresser and manicurists were o.k. but a bit pricey and we were taken aback that they strongly hinted that it would be appreciated if a tip was added to the (already substantial) charge. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
We found the embarquation painless and only had to wait a little while,however we were early in case of accidents etc on journey to Southampton. We went straight to our cabin and to our delight,particularly mine,our luggage was inside. ... Read More
We found the embarquation painless and only had to wait a little while,however we were early in case of accidents etc on journey to Southampton. We went straight to our cabin and to our delight,particularly mine,our luggage was inside. We were very happy with our cabin 4138, bathroom fine too with a covered balcony which suited me as I'm fairskinned and need to be out of the Sun. The cabin was always maintained impeccably by Eddie. The transatlantic crossing was good,very little movement on the ship until the last day when the ship did move for 3/4hours!!but didn't affect us. We personally found the entertainment sadly lacking during the day,as did many other passengers. We went to talks by Celia Imrie,John McCarthy and Tony Robinson,all very enjoyable and talks by David mallinson on several actors which were very informative. Other than these and two or three trips to the planetarium there was little we felt we wanted to do. We did enjoy the quiz but not always tables available. The film's were abysmal,very disappointing indeed. We ate in the Britannia restaurant at night and managed to change the early sitting to the later one. The early sitting was too early and the latter at 8·30 rather late. Staff in the Britannia were excellent,very helpful,good sense of humour and food generally very good although quite repetitive and my husband who is more fussy than me,struggled to find something he fancied,lots of sirloin steaks,various fish and lamb. Wine was ridiculously expensive. We enjoyed the bars,although evenings did become somewhat repetitive and we found over three weeks too long on board as there were many days at sea and as the ship is a liner the outside decks were extremely windy. No shelter at all on the pooldecks so we used the indoor pool most days instead. This was a lovely venue and enjoyed the music and dancing at lunchtime. We realised too that the average age of guests was considerably older than us at 58 &60 and the constant dressing for dinner and always wearing a jacket annoyed my husband although I quite enjoyed it as for a woman wearing a dress is easy! I had pointed this out when we initially looked at the cruise but he did not enjoy wearing a jacket every night,especially when people were wearing shorts or casual clothing in the golden lion well after 6pm and no one said anything to them. We also wanted to do a transatlantic crossing with cunard so we've done that now. The service in the bars was very good and peanuts and crisps regularly served if desired. G32 disco was good,excellent band and music by dj but totally spoiled by smoking from the floor above which drifted down,horrid and ridiculous to allow smokers near a dance venue. The entertainment at night was no better than any other cruise ship,in fact we have experienced far better, much more to do and see and this was our 15th cruise or should I say voyage,as everyone says!! We enjoyed the violin and piano playing at first but after a week we had both had enough and just longed for some easy listening music. We booked three trips through cunard and enjoyed them as we wanted the security of a trip that was organised through the ship. A few guests confused the time to return to the bus on one of them and the courier really had no idea what to do. Very surprised they don't give guests a mobile number and take theirs just in case. We have also never been on a ship before where so many people are late to the shows in the theatre,continuously, and leaving during a show, and getting up and leaving immediately the singing stops!!so rude. We enjoyed the voyage! But very much doubt we would use cunard again as other companies have much more to offer. The ship was a little worn and not nearly as impressive as we expected and many of the guests were cunard only travellers, so really had no idea that there is a lot better out there if you look at other companies. I think as these older passengers stop travelling cunard will have to improve and up their game, both as regards the ship and their entertainment. As our voyage was lengthy I did miss being outside during the day,particularly when the weather was so hot and having lunch outside. Our return to the UK was spoiled by having to waste a whole day hanging around at a hotel in Rio before transferring to a restaurant en route for dinner which was very enjoyable and then to the airport. We may as well have left a day earlier. The day was a wasted day and many people were complaining and it was a sorry end to a holiday. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
The ship was beautiful and very clean, although it is definitely in need of some sprucing up. The crossing was very cold and very rough, so I stayed indoors. I did not find that there were a lot of activities - I am used to Royal ... Read More
The ship was beautiful and very clean, although it is definitely in need of some sprucing up. The crossing was very cold and very rough, so I stayed indoors. I did not find that there were a lot of activities - I am used to Royal Caribbean which always seems to have a plethora of activities. Each morning there was a lecture, which could be seen on the in room TV later on, there were 3 planetarium shows daily (2 different ones during the length of the cruise) a movie every evening, and a show. Except for the Cunard dancers and singers, I thought the main evening's entertainment ranged from 'bleah to awful'. I got a lot of reading and puzzles done. The high tea was very elegant and very tasty - one day there was a Harpist and the other day a String quartet. Both were very nice. The food was good, although I found that the food in the dining room was too 'frou frou' for me. By the 6th day I just wanted a plain old plate of pasta (which I special requested). The sommelier was very attentive and friendly. The king's court buffet always had a good selection, and one day had a chocolate buffet. Our send off was quite spectacular. First, they had a band come aboard the ship and do all sorts of marching and military music in the QUeen's room venue, where we were all given Union Jack flags to wave - very british. Our sendoff from Southhampton had fireworks - all 3 Cunard ships were in the harbor that night, and I believe each one got their own fireworks. I was smart enough to buy a spa pass the first day, so every morning I would spend a few hours in the spa - sauna, steam room jacuzzi. Overall, I don't think this was my sort of trip - not enough activities, and having to change for dinner was also irritating - the whole ship and philosophy was a bit too elegant, low key and traditional for my taste. I prefer a more active and casual atmosphere. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
This review is a continuation of '2 Queens on Queen Victoria.......' We disembarked Queen Victoria for our ‘back to back’ cruise on QM2 to Fort Lauderdale - the first 10 nights of the world cruise. It was painless – we ... Read More
This review is a continuation of '2 Queens on Queen Victoria.......' We disembarked Queen Victoria for our ‘back to back’ cruise on QM2 to Fort Lauderdale - the first 10 nights of the world cruise. It was painless – we put the cases outside our cabin the night before we disembark, collect them in the arrival hall and then hand them over to a Cunard bus which will take them to QM2. We stroll into Southampton and like the rest of Southampton who are awake on a Sunday morning end up in Ikea which offers ‘Free Coffee’ during browsing time between 10-11am. We get a great view of the 3 Queens – the ships I mean – who are all in dock to start their world cruises. It’s a spectacular sight. After our free coffee and internet we avoid ‘browsing’ at Scandinavian Furniture and head instead for Asda to top up our wine before boarding QM2. We board for our next cruise (or voyage as Cunard calls it). Our new Cabin (or stateroom as Cunard calls it) is on deck 8 and has a great view of a lifeboat right outside our balcony. We did know this on booking the cabin and it does not bother us. In fact I look a lot brighter with a shade of orange reflected against my skin. Being back in a ‘Britannia cabin/stateroom’ we are assigned a table of 2 in the main dining room. Although we did enjoy the Princess Grill restaurant on the Queen Victoria, there is nothing to match the main Britannia restaurant on board QM2. It is a feast for the eyes as well as the mouth. We are on a balcony table to can look across the whole restaurant. The food is excellent as are our waiter and assistant waiter. This cruise (sorry, voyage) has a much more mixed group of passengers – lots of Americans, Chinese, Aussies, Kiwis and of course Brits. Lots of examples of bad plastic surgery. Lots of eccentrics – a lady is in the disco one night wearing slippers and holding onto a full size hula hoop. We don’t stay to watch her twirl. We love to cruise (on a ship) as you get to meet and watch lots of colourful people. We hear more rumours of fighting in the launderettes – much like on Queen Victoria but we also hear that a passenger was thrown off at port on the last world cruise (sorry voyage) for fighting in the launderette. This might be a tall story but we like to believe it. We go to the gym most mornings (hangover permitting) and try to burn some of the excess calories we are about to consume. We walk past the Queens Grill restaurant and notice that a passenger has brought with them a ‘service push bell’ which is on their table. This push bell has a floral design. We keep an eye on this table on future walks and note that the push bell remains. It must drive the waiter mad as well as the other diners. We attend another captains cocktail party and again miss the opportunity to ask him, ‘Captain, if you are here entertaining guests, who is driving the ship??!!’ The captain tells us that it is very windy and to be careful moving around the outside decks. We relay this message to guests we have met during the cruise (sorry voyage) who did not attend the cocktail party, ‘Be careful going out on deck or you might get sucked off’. We love watching the other passengers – the social climbing, the gold digging. All life is here. Lots of American passengers ask us about ‘Down Town Abbey’ – we assume they mean ‘Downton Abbey’ and we tell them we don’t watch it. We arrive in New York and it is cold – but not as cold as Denmark. As we have been to New York a few times we decide to take a walk and avoid the tourist traps. We walk into Manhattan across the Brooklyn Bridge and all the way to Macys. We have a squirt of free aftershave in Macys and head back via the liquor store to the ship. As we re-cross the Brooklyn Bridge it starts to snow. It is wonderful and the snow is light and magical. As we reach the ship the snow starts to get heavier and we are glad to be back on board. Manhattan disappears as the snowfall increases and we set sail. It’s too cold to go up on deck for sail away so we watch the Verrazano Bridge sailing between the orange lifeboats on our balcony. We have 2 more magical days on board before reaching Fort Lauderdale. It’s a fantastic trip and we make many friends on-board. We stay in Fort Lauderdale for 5 nights – the weather is great apart from one day of rain (we thought we’d left the rain in Wales). Until the next time when Queen Mary 2 will be refurbished and look more spectacular than ever. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
We booked this cruise as soon as it was offered, ie day one. This 'American Adventure' was P&O's first try at a 50 day UK to UK round trip, taking us to the Caribbean, Central America and the southern States, eg Florida, ... Read More
We booked this cruise as soon as it was offered, ie day one. This 'American Adventure' was P&O's first try at a 50 day UK to UK round trip, taking us to the Caribbean, Central America and the southern States, eg Florida, New Orleans and South Carolina, calling at Bermuda on the way home. A fab itinerary you will agree and we enjoyed the ports very much, calling at a few we had never visited before like Cartagena in Colombia and Miami to name but two. We also had great company on the cruise as so many old cruising pals had booked this trip too. It had been hyped up as a 'wonderful adventure' so we naturally thought that P&O would pull out all the stops to make it extra special. Well it would have been had it not been for the issues with the ship. Cabins were shabby with the furnishings in some, ie sofas, having ground in dirt on the arms and tired, wobbly fittings in bathrooms. 99% of the recliner chairs on the aft decks were broken with the seat part breaking away from the frame and sagging so that you were sitting on the spars underneath. Very uncomfortable! You could not sit on them without at least a folded towel, or, as some passengers did, using the cushions and even the pillows from the cabin! We were on 2nd sitting dining with our friends and some nights service was so slow that we did not get our main course until around 9.50. The food, when it did come was at best fairly edible but at worst (too often) completely inedible. It was often lukewarm or congealed on the plate as if it had been sitting around for ages. One friend's chicken curry consisted of 3 lumps of chicken with a streak of dried up sauce on the plate under them! Another was served coq a' vin in which the chicken turned out to be still bleeding! There was hardly any variety of vegetables served with meals and the standing joke among pax was that they'd gotten a job lot of green beans because they were served up on just about every main course! The entertainment was mixed. Some very good, some mediocre, some very very bad! I won't go into specifics but let's just say that I don't find a trumpet player who can't even play it very well, or a mouth organ player, very exciting entertainment for a 45 minute slot in the main theatre! We did have some very good speakers onboard and enjoyed them. One of the biggest bugbears was that there were contractors onboard for the whole seven weeks, working around the lifeboats housings. They hammered, banged and welded away merrily from morning till night, closing off areas of the promenade deck so that we could not use it. Friends were woken at 5.00 am one morning when the hammering started! Not on! This could and should have been a great cruise in every way. The ports were great but we felt that P&O let us down by their sadly falling standards and after nearly 18 years of loyalty to them we are probably going to look elsewhere in future. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
A budget cruise at a designer price!! We are in our 40/50's and found the food to be worse than hospital food. Much worse than you could cook yourself. The ship is in serious need of maintenance, cleaning and decoration. It ... Read More
A budget cruise at a designer price!! We are in our 40/50's and found the food to be worse than hospital food. Much worse than you could cook yourself. The ship is in serious need of maintenance, cleaning and decoration. It is a very rusty ship with toilet systems which are old and overflow frequently. stained walls, ceilings and floors. No atmosphere all over the ship due to lack of entertainment and unhappy people. Little if none entertainment during the day, The shows that were on in the evening were all amateurs trying to flog there cd or DVD. The ship is flat bottomed so it feels every wave just like a car without a suspension so if you get motion sickness you will need plenty of medication for your trip. You will find the staff all friendly but they do make you feel more of a pound sign than a guest, as they constantly try and get you to buy products. It was the worse holiday I have ever been on and 5 weeks we will never get back. I would not recommend and I would never go with this company again. As the management informed us that all the p and o ships all have the same standard of food and entertainment. This was our second cruise in 3 months and not a patch on the previous company for its facilities, entertainment, service and food. P and O, The perfect cruise if you like to read, not do anything all day long, like plain bland food and motion sickness Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
I have just returned from MV Magellan’s cruise to the Amazon, West Indies and the Azores. I wanted to share my experiences with you and to thank you so much for the trip of a lifetime. I took my late husband’s niece with me; for ... Read More
I have just returned from MV Magellan’s cruise to the Amazon, West Indies and the Azores. I wanted to share my experiences with you and to thank you so much for the trip of a lifetime. I took my late husband’s niece with me; for company. She is about to turn 43 so lowered the average age of the passengers by about 90%! She is full of life and energy and impressed everyone from the Cook to the Captain. She certainly ensured that I had a wonderful time as I hung grimly onto her coat-tails and enjoyed the ride. There were a number of people who did nothing but moan but I suspect that the majority of them moan for England. When I book my next cruise, please can you weed out moaning passengers in order to make my voyage more enjoyable. We all know Magellan is not looking her best at present but as she is due for a refit she should emerge with the majority of her problems behind her. I think my only comment is that she is looking a little tired and needs some attention to her plumbing and leaks but no doubt, those things will be addressed. I shall start with the unpleasant things that happened to me and get them out of the way: on leaving Lisbon, in the teeth of a gale, I succumbed to the dreaded D&V lurgy. Being flung around the bathroom as the ship pitched and rolled while suffering is not a memory I wish to dwell on. On alerting Reception to my illness, the situation was instantly taken in hand. Two spacemen turned up shrink-wrapped in plastic with every cleaning agent and gadget known to man. Under the tutelage of the lovely Head Housekeeper, they proceeded to restore health and sanity to the cabin all the while reassuring me that I was not a nuisance, couldn’t help it and they were there to make it better. They did. Such lovely boys: their mummies would be proud of their professional approach and their kindness. Two days later when we were due to be released from our confinement, my niece went down with it so we were incarcerated under the same strict conditions for another two days. You can imagine our joy at being able to see the outside world again and have normal food . One of the most pleasing aspects was the attention given to hygiene in all the public areas: there were always members of the housekeeping team scrubbing, rubbing and polishing to prevent illness being passed from one person to another. What a shame that so many passengers failed to follow the same protocols and failed to protect fellow passengers with their indifference to handwashing and sanitising, not to mention filling their water bottles from the machines in Raffles. No wonder the bugs spread. We were warned about thieves and muggers in Manaus and it soon became obvious that the ship’s company and passengers were being targeted; such a shame when the town needs all the tourism it can get. Horrid stuff over; now down to the sheer pleasure of the cruise. Where to start: the food was good with plenty of choice and really, if there was nothing appealing on the menu for the evening meal, that has to be down to the individual. Having had a tour of the galley (at the end of the cruise when we had dinner at the Chef’s Table) I understood better the constraints under which the catering staff work and indeed, am very impressed with their achievements. Well done, chaps. This leads me on to the crew in general. What a fantastic set of lads and lasses. They were always, without exception, helpful, kind and willing. There were several I would happily take home with me as I am sure they would look after me much better than I look after myself. Even when the dreaded bugs struck, there they were with their precious time off cancelled, making sure we had food to eat and things to drink, probably far more than the majority of us either needed or wanted but heyho, life on board ship tends to centre around food. They still kept smiling. Wherever, one encountered staff be it in the bars, restaurants, corridors, cabins, we were always met with courteous greetings and smiles as well as excellent service. The entertainment provided was varied and fun; it may not have catered for all tastes all of the time but it certainly covered most of it for most of the time. What more can they do with such a varied clientele? The dancers were simply fantastic and the singers terrific. I thoroughly enjoyed the shows I watched. As for the lectures, Louise Bonner has to be the star of the show: her knowledge, her variety of subject matter and her entertaining delivery made listening to her a sheer pleasure as well as being so informative. I’d do the cruise again just to listen to her. I had some amazing experiences while taking part in the excursions. I’ve never snorkelled before; now I’ve learnt to do it, swum with turtles and enjoyed watching a variety of fish as I swam over the reefs. Amazing. My only complaint about excursions is that I needed to cut myself into about three pieces so that I could do more of them. Can I suggest, that when you call in at St Lucia, passengers are enabled to do the aerial tram ride and the zip wire ride; they are side by side. I begged, pleaded, promised the earth but to no avail! The memory of the animals and birds I saw, the beautiful scenery not to mention the warmth, blue sky and sea, delightful people and different surroundings will stay with me for the rest of my lifetime. What a good thing I kept a journal and took a ton of photographs. I shall be able to bore for Britain for the next year or two. Having had a quick look at the Cruise Critic website, I was amused to see comments about the gales. The poor Captain might be the chap in charge but even he can’t control the weather and I thought he did very well to outrun the storm on the way home. All credit to him. As for the ship listing, my secret mole (another passenger who had spent 20 years in the Navy) explained to me that the degree of listing to starboard was between 10 and 20 and was due to not having the stabilisers in use at that time plus the huge volume of fluids sloshing around in the bilges being pumped gently from one tank to another in order to maintain the level of the ship. I am sure both the Captain and my friend Ian would have been delighted with the Captain’s Q and A session where someone asked the exact same question and Captain Nikos repeated almost word for word the explanation I had been given earlier. What a relief that they both got it right! As for the huge bang while coming back down the Amazon, it was clear that we had hit a log, a not uncommon hazard in those waters and there was no harm done but of course, the doom and gloom merchants had a field day. On the personal front, my niece and I were invited to the Sailaway Bridge Party on leaving Iles du Salut. The guests consisted of those passengers who had suffered at the hands of the muggers in Manaus and those who had been inconvenienced by Magellan’s, ahem, deficiencies... What a fun evening we had, sitting in the Captain’s chair, wearing his hat and taking silly photos. It was a charming and thoughtful way of “kissing it better” on the part of Captain Nikos and it was much appreciated by all of us there. Even better, we were then invited to the Captain’s Table, a new experience for me and one unlikely to be repeated. That was very special. Thank you to all concerned. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
Background: I am no stranger to QM2, this is my 9th crossing on her but the first in the middle of winter. Queen Mary 2 was built to be a versatile ship designed to be used both for crossing the North Atlantic at will and also adaptable ... Read More
Background: I am no stranger to QM2, this is my 9th crossing on her but the first in the middle of winter. Queen Mary 2 was built to be a versatile ship designed to be used both for crossing the North Atlantic at will and also adaptable as a cruise ship. My experience with her as a cruise ship is limited and it is not one of my favorites in that role but is designed to thrive on Atlantic crossings. Weather on the North Atlantic is always variable but especially in winter and we had heavy seas, strong winds, and cold temperatures, but QM2 is built to handle all with ease. There was not much chance to sit outside but plenty to do inside. Staterooms: As on most of my QM2 voyages I was in an inside stateroom, and most of them are pretty similar. Room 5045 is forward to midship and was compact but comfortable. Storage was good in the cabin but a bit limited in the bathroom. All Cunard rooms except for the Grills have only a shower, but no tub. The room was equipped with 2 UK and 2 US outlets at the desk, and a 3rd slightly obscured outlet behind the TV. QM2 has generous public spaces inside (and out, although the outside spaces didn’t get much use in January), and the cabin was more than sufficient. Dining: 85% of QM2 passengers dine in the Britannia Restaurant, a grand 2-level space midship, low to the water for maximum stability. There are 2 fixed dinner seatings: 6PM and 8:30 PM. The food was excellent and service was personal and attentive. There is open seating for breakfast and lunch, except that lunch is not served on embarkation day. There are 3 smaller restaurants for those in the highest level cabins. Britannia Club is in a small room in the corner of the Britannia Restaurant; Princess Grill and Queens Grill are located on deck 7. Passengers in those top 3 restaurants have a fixed table with the same waiters for each meal but may arrive and dine at any time within about a 3-hour window for each meal. The menu choices get a little wider with each successive level of restaurant but the base Britannia dining starts at quite a high standard. The casual dining option is called Kings Court. It is basically divided into 4 quadrants with 3 sections having similar equipment but somewhat different menus and hours of operation. The 4th quadrant is mostly an exclusive lounge for Grills guests but also has Chef’s Galley, a small space where healthy items are served for breakfast and burgers and pizza are served for lunch. In the evening one of the sections of Kings Court is converted to a specialty restaurant with table service and a small cover charge. The specialty restaurant is called Todd English and serves an upscale lunch and dinner. I did not dine there on this crossing. There is also a small space called Boardwalk Café which serves burgers and other casual fare with al fresco dining. It is very weather dependent and I don’t think there was even an attempt to open it on my winter crossing. Activities and entertainment: In the evening there are several venues featuring multiple varieties of musical entertainment, and a daily presentation in the stunning Royal Court Theater. The Royal Cunard Singers and Dancers consisted of 4 singers and 12 dancers and put on excellent shows, although frequent cruisers may have seen them several times. Other evening venues included the Commodore Club, Chart Room, Golden Lion Pub, and Winter Garden, each generally with some form of live music as well as G32 with a DJ.. Children: There were few children but there does appear to be a well run children’s program. Enrichment: The Cunard Insights enrichment program is always a Cunard strength. This crossing was the inaugural effort in a partnership with the New York Times. There were 5 speakers from the times ranging from very good to excellent, and they covered a variety of topics, usually but not always related to their duties at the newspaper. I did see one possible caution, the Times takes a group of their readers. These people seemed to have some extra access to the presenters. They still seemed to be quite accessible to regular passengers, but the situation needs to be watched in future crossings. Disembarkation: One of the unique features of an Eastbound Cunard crossing is that a UK border agent makes the crossing and does immigration inspections during the voyage. Lines can be briefly long, but the agent’s hours are long enough that one can generally find a time with no lines. With the immigration process completed in advance you essentially just pick up your luggage and go. Disembarkation is by deck, and the process takes a couple of hours from about 8 to 10 AM, but once your group is called things move quite quickly. Summary: I had thought I would hold off on a Queen Mary 2 review until my mid-winter crossing, but it wasn’t all that different from a summer crossing. The crossing turned out to be an excellent showcase of Queen Mary 2's unique strengths, both in her ability to handle all weather conditions, and in the quality of her programs in indoor activities. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
We booked this cruise because of its destinations and reasonable price. Having been on Costa before on several occasions, we were aware of the potential problem with few english speaking passengers but this did not detract from our ... Read More
We booked this cruise because of its destinations and reasonable price. Having been on Costa before on several occasions, we were aware of the potential problem with few english speaking passengers but this did not detract from our enjoyment. We travelled as a group of 8 younger pensioners into dancing and activities, all of which were excellent. Even the six days at sea from Tenerife to Buzios in Brazil were busy, dance classes, Stretch classes and the entertainment team were excellent. The decor of the entire ship was top class and the cabin, [an outside one for the first time] was well worth the extra. The buffet area was often a bit too hectic for us and we ate in the restaurant on most occasions. The food was certainly not as described by some reviewers and the menu changed constantly. We were more than happy with the quality and the service. We found that the shore excursions were way overpriced as is every cruise ship we have ever been on. Being fairly resourceful people, we just get outside the docking area and find a mini bus or similar and negotiate with the driver a price for where we wish to go. Invariably, the price is around one third of the book on board price. All in all an excellent cruise at a good price which is apparently going in reverse in March/April. Look for a deal!!! Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
The Queen Mary 2 is a lovely ship, beautifully run. Ours was a December passage; the Atlantic was rough, to put it mildly. The outer decks were rarely open. Having said that, the QM2 is so well built, that the high seas and strong ... Read More
The Queen Mary 2 is a lovely ship, beautifully run. Ours was a December passage; the Atlantic was rough, to put it mildly. The outer decks were rarely open. Having said that, the QM2 is so well built, that the high seas and strong winds had little effect on our enjoyment of the crossing. If you sat in the Commodore Club or the Library – both with forward facing windows, the turbulence of the ocean was quite apparent. But farther back in the ship, although there was swaying, it was never severe, and the crystal and crockery in the dining room never once slid or fell from the tables. And we noted that they were not especially weighted for shipboard. I am prone to seasickness. Dramamine knocks me out, and I had no intention of sleeping through the voyage – can you imagine? My doctor prescribed the transderm-scop patch, and I enjoyed every minute without the slightest discomfort or side effect. I highly recommend it, though of course check with your physician beforehand. Embarkation in Southampton was efficient. Although we had a 2:30 boarding time, checkout at our hotel was at noon, and as the day was gray with threatening rain, we called a taxi and made our way to Ocean Cruise Terminal, expecting to wait until the appointed hour. Porters collected our luggage from the taxi. We were immediately checked-in and given boarding cards, which were called after a 35-minute wait. We were onboard in less than an hour, with Cunard personnel greeting and pointing us in the right direction. Our cabin was ready; the luggage appeared within minutes. We were in a Deck 6 sheltered balcony on the port side, which was the sunny (well, bright) side for this westbound voyage. It was perfect for a winter’s crossing – the in-hull aspect shielding us from the wind so we could actually sit out and enjoy the view. For a summer cruise, one of the more open, higher balconies might be nicer, but this was just the ticket for December. I know these cabins are to be refreshed in the May refit – but honestly, the room was lovely and spotless (and kept so throughout by Gina) with plenty of cupboard and closet space. An upgraded television, however, will be nice. Ours was a connecting room, though we never heard the people next door, except when their balcony door slammed. I expect we were lucky, in that they were quiet and well behaved. The staff on board really must be commended. How they learn your name amazes me. One would expect this of your steward and dining room personnel, who see you daily, but others, with whom you interact once or twice the entire voyage (and one officer who I knew we had never met before) invariably greeted us by name in passing. A lovely touch. Staff in the Chart Room and the Commodore Club recalled our drink orders after just one visit. The sole exception to this was one of the librarians, who was taciturn and showed no warmth or interest in the passengers and little knowledge of the 8,000 volume collection. He was the exception. This being a holiday crossing, Christmas decorations were everywhere and the ship looked festive. She was almost at capacity, yet there was plenty of space to curl up alone with a book, a drink, or just gazing out at the never changing Atlantic – however, if you want to do that in the Library, best get there early – it is one of the most popular venues and the comfy window chairs fill up fast. The Planetarium seems to be forever out of commission - it was for us, as well. The King’s Court: yes it is congested and crowded, but we always found a seat. It really was not the nightmare that some portray – although it’s to be totally reconfigured in May. Todd English was all right, nothing special in our eyes – it’ll be replaced by the Verandah, which I’m looking forward to experiencing. The Golden Lion is a treat and very popular for lunches. Bangers and mash for us. Service in the Britannia was excellent, as was the food. Service was prompt and attentive. Entrees arrived at the proper temperature, and our table of 8 was invariably the last to leave each evening, we so enjoyed ourselves. The dress code was followed. The ship looked elegant – but not in the least stuffy. Many on these boards complain about needing to dress – but the tone that it sets is priceless, and honestly, the effort is minimal. There are plenty of ships with laxer codes, if that’s what you desire. The Behind the Scenes tour is often not publicized – it wasn't on our voyage. But having read about it on Cruise Critic, we stopped by the purser’s desk first thing after boarding and learned when and where to sign-up. It is limited to just a handful of people, so you are not guaranteed a spot, and it costs $120, if I recall correctly. If you do manage to get accepted, as I was, it is certainly worth the cost. Over a period of three and a half hours, you visit everywhere from the bridge to the galleys, the medical centre to the chief engineer’s control room, backstage at the theatre to the crew’s quarters, with high ranking officers speaking and answering questions at each stop, and a nice snack break, all laid out for you in the dining room, halfway through. Cunard is justly praised for their enrichment programs. There was so much to do in our 7-day crossing – even with the outer decks closed for a sizable portion of the voyage – that we would happily have remained aboard for 7 more days. In fact, we’ll be sailing again this December. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
This is my second time on a Cunard ship, the first one being around 25 years ago onboard Cunard Princess. A bit of background to us first. We are two males (48 & 40) we have both cruised previously this cruise/crossing making it 6 ... Read More
This is my second time on a Cunard ship, the first one being around 25 years ago onboard Cunard Princess. A bit of background to us first. We are two males (48 & 40) we have both cruised previously this cruise/crossing making it 6 each. We have mainly cruised with Thomson Cruises and Airtours before that. Last year we decided to try one of the big boys and chose Royal Caribbean. In this review I will be comparing to my previous cruise experiences. I will mark each section out of 20 giving a total score out of 300. Embarkation: Southampton we used this last year although a different terminal. Embarkation was smooth and relatively quick. Porters were waiting at the taxi rank as we stopped. They took our baggage and it was whisked away. We entered the building and went up the escalator. There our tickets were checked and a coloured and lettered card was giving to each of us. We were told to take a seat in the waiting area and we would be called by card colour & letter. We did arrive quite early around 11.45am we had to sit for around 10 minutes before any boarding began. There were lines for priority boarding and for those requiring assistance. After about 30 minutes our card was called and we joined the line to check in. The line moved fast and we were at a desk within 25 minutes. We did have a slight issue with the fact that we hadn't printed our ESTA for entry into the US. The check in girl was in distant that we should see it. However we were equally insistent that when the ESTA is filled out online it clearly states that "you do not need to print this off" However the check in girl took our details And told us that the pursers desk would be in touch during the voyage. (The pursers desk DIDN'T require to see the ESTA although they did say that we needed to have filled on in prior to departure and if we had done that then there would be no problem) We had no problems entering the US. The line for security moved quickly and we made our way straight onto the ship. Score: 20/20 Cabins: are ready on boarding, unlike other ships. We were directed to the lifts which took us to the floor of cabin 1. No one offered to accompany us. We booked atrium view cabin on 6th floor. The cabin isn't the biggest but it was big enough for us. There was plenty storage space and the luggage fitted under the bed. The window overlooking the atrium is large and let's in plenty light. The view down to the atrium isn't easy as one has to lean onto the sill then peer down. (On a previous cruise we had "promenade view" cabin and they offered excellent views) although with any inside window you do have to be careful when changing with light on and curtains open as the cabins opposite can see right in! The bathroom was roomy with plenty storage and the shower was more rectangular in shape than triangular giving more space. There was toiletries which got replenished as required. On boarding we enquirer about upgrades they told us there should be some but they wouldn't know until after departure. Next morning we got a call offering us an upgrade from HB to BY sheltered balcony on deck 4 aft for £150 we had a look and took it. The cabin itself was bigger, it had a 2 seat sofa in it extra and of course there was the balcony too. We have never had a balcony before. We were happy in the atrium view cabin but took the balcony not only as it was only £150 (btw our TA offered us the same upgrade 10 days earlier for £640pp!!!) but also as it would give us access to fresh air. The outside decks were closed often and we weren't getting fresh air. Both cabin stewards were very good. The cabin was clean and didn't look shabby. There were no towel animals which was disappointing. My first experience of towel animals was onboard Cunard. We didn't really notice the difference in being on a lower deck nor aft and it was "lumpy" as the Captain described it! (More later) Score: 18/20 Britannia Dinning: We booked 2nd seating for the first time ever. This was for two reasons firstly, afternoon tea we thought an early sitting for dinner would be too close plus we have found that early sitting is mainly the older type who like to retire to bed early and therefore not really our kind of people. Now I mean no offence and we've had a lot of laughs and good times with older folks but when you are sat at a table where the gentleman can't hear and the wife can't see it doesn't make for good company. The wait staff were very good, very professional but they had no character. The food was very good although I sometimes found it difficult to find something to my taste and I'm not a fussy eater. The wine waiter was quite poor IMO and she kept pushing wine tastings. The head waiter didn't make an appearance until day 3 or 4 and from day 5 onward we were reminded by the wait staff to fill out our questionnaire and to mark "excellent" We didn't feel that our dining experience was at the level we expected from QM2, in fact we felt like that throughout the crossing. Perhaps it's the hype that the specialist cruise programmes on the TV build it up to be We did also use Brittania for breakfast twice. The first time it was painfully slow, I know we had seven days at sea but still it should have been quicker. The second time it was better. Score: 14/20 Kings Court: I have read lots of reviews online and was kind of dreading the bun fight that KC has been described as. However we never found it to be a scrum and tables were relatively easy to find despite the fact that the weather wasn't the best for outdoor activities. The queues for food were acceptable too. The food was good and the choice good also. I did believe that each of the three sections served the same food at lunch. However I think that some sections served different choices are different times. We never used KC for dinner. There was always staff ready to give you a squirt of cleanser as you entered any eatery. Score:18/20 Cunard singers & dancers: excellent! Really can't add to that. The shows were above my expectations. The only thing that was TBH. The shows were very professional, the routines, scenery, the music. The main singers were excellent too. Score 20/20 Headline Acts: There were various musicians onboard; violinists, harpest strings etc. They weren't to my taste, mainly above my head but I'm sure very good. The comedian Mick Millar was terrible (Jokes that were old when my granny was a child!) Score: 6/20 Spa: We booked the 7 day spa pass in order to use the spa facilities; Aqua therapy pool, jacuzzi, sauna, steam room & relaxation area. These were all very good and not overly busy, perhaps having to pay to use them helped keep numbers down. Always clean & tidy with attendant present. Score: 18/20 Guest speakers: Most were interesting, we didn't attend every session with every speaker. Matt the Australian explorer was very good as was George McGhee and his talk on Peggy Lee & Irvin Berlin. Score: 18/20 Planetarium was closed due to a breakdown. This had been reported in the forum weeks earlier so I assume it needs a major repair. We were both very disappointed. Bars: we found the most attentive bar staff in the Comodores Club. We didn't frequent many of the bars. Behind the scenes tour: cost $120pp. This is not advertised due to limited numbers (16) tour included winch room, engine room, hospital, bridge, galley, Burma Road & theatre. The tour isn't for the infirm as there are a lot of stairs. In each department the head talk you through what happens and you can then ask questions. On completion of the tour you get a certificate, commemorative photograph & pin badge. On the bridge we had Capt Kris Wells do the talk (usually a 3rd officer, but he couldn't find one) he is very funny even his midday announcements were funny but informative too. Score 20/20 Ships Layout: we found the layout very "bitty" one would come out of a lift or down stairs to find a wall in your way. You'd then have to take a guess at wether to go to left or right. It was difficult to get your bearings. To get beyond the Britannia/show lounge one had to go up/downs stairs to a half landing that took you passed. The only deck you could walk the entire length of ship was, a party from taking bedroom corridors, was deck 7 with the spa & kings court. Score: 12/20 Afternoon tea: this is something we've never experienced on a ship before. Plentiful tea, lovey cakes, followed by the lightest, freshest scones we've ever tasted. All served by staff in white gloves and some live music playing in the background. One thing I don't understand is the slow handclap as the wait staff begin service. We missed out two days in order to try and keep our waistlines in check! Scores: 20/20 Casino: it's a large casino with lots of slot machines, roulette wheels, blackjack, poker & craps. It never appeared to be very busy. I did splash out $40 on the slots on the 1c machines. Needless to say it didn't last very long. A word of warning though, you don't go to cashier and get cash for the slots. You just put your room key into the slot and register then you just charge an amount against your room. It could be very easy to spend much more than you think. Score: 17/20 Photography: there are countless photo opps. One on entering the ship then mainly on formal nights although they do roam the Brittania some evenings and there is the captains cocktail party. Don't think you can avoid the photographer by going into Queens Room by the opposite door. The deputy captain is there so you get a photo with him instead! There were different offers on each day but that could bump up the total cost of your photos especially if you find they've taken a nice pic later on in the crossing. Costs were $24.95 & $34.95 Photos were of a good quality Score 17/20 Formal Nights: three on our 7 night crossing. I didn't see anyone in Brittania not dressed accordingly. However I did spot one or two in the show lounge and in a couple of bars. Cunard is built on formality and this should be enforced. There was plenty of daytime activities although we didn't partake of much of them. We used the spa lots and took in the lectures we wanted to. Weather: we weren't expecting calm Mediterranean like seas. However the weather was pretty grim. Outside decks were mostly closed the front observation decks only open leaving Southampton and arriving New York. We had hurricane force winds (force 12, gusts of over 85mph, swells of 10m(30ft)+) speed was reduced to around 15knots and 3 stabilisers were out. Waves were crashing against the dining room windows and we head one couple were woken by waves against their cabin window (deck 4 sheltered balcony) The movement didn't bother me but my partner wasn't well for first 36 hours. However the hospital advised to buy seasickness pills. They worked a treat. Knocked him out within an hour of taking them but he was much better once he woke. Took again at bedtime and was fine from then on. Disembarkation: we chose to self disembark in order to maximise our time in the Big Apple. KC opened at 6.30am we were there early after doing the obligatory watch our entry to New York. KC wasn't busy ate leisurely headed back to cabin took some nice pix from balcony and left our cabin at 7.40. Headed off ship to a short queue for border control. Passport stamped and on our way (paper copy of ESTA not required as we had done it online) out on street waiting for our car at 8.20am. We had a car booked for 9am so glad a while to wait. We didn't need to book a car as plenty cabs there. Score: 20/20 Overall: We both felt that the QM2 didn't live up to our expectations. It wasn't as luxurious and we thought it would be. The services wasn't what we'd expected. Perhaps it's watching the cruise channels on TV and all the hype as they try and sell it. As I said earlier we have cruised with other lines we found the service was the same as the other lines. It's not that QM2 was poor it just wasn't any better than the rest. The entertainment on Thomson Cruises is excellent, the food is great & the wait staff have character. Ok their ships are very much older and tired. But all in all take the branding away and one would be pushed to tell the difference. Royal Caribbean they ships are more modern their food is great too. The only exception is entertainment on Royal is awful. If Cunard could give us a bit more luxury and the wait staff have some personality then we'd be much more impressed and the QM2 would be top of my list. Score: 15/20 Would I cruise QM2 again? Yes! We are more likely to do a Mediterranean or Canary Island cruise. Would I do another TA? Yes, although it may be from New York (no weight restrictions) and maybe not in Winter. Total Score 253/300 or 84% I don't think she looks tired for her age. I did look for signs and what I saw was insignificant. I'm sure if I had sailed on her during her first few voyages I'd see a difference. However I didn't and I think she still looks good. I'd just like a bit of luxury & opulence back plus some personality from the staff. Hope this review helps. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015

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