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409 P&O Cruises Europe - British Isles & Western Cruise Reviews

We had a good cruise to Jersey with Aurora in June 2018, so booked again for Brugges with Ventura in November. The orginsation is good, luggage taken even before the entry hall and it arrives at your cabin door before you do. We had a ... Read More
We had a good cruise to Jersey with Aurora in June 2018, so booked again for Brugges with Ventura in November. The orginsation is good, luggage taken even before the entry hall and it arrives at your cabin door before you do. We had a balcony cabin which was really great. As we were on a two night cruise we didn't see much of the sea, none-the-less good to have. The ship was great in terms of communal spaces and decor, a real feeling of deluxe. The most disappointing part was the food, not the same standard as the Aurora, two meals of dried up fish, tasteless chicken stuffed with quail. The waiter couldn't tell me the names of cheeses offered. Brugges is 20 mins away from the dock gates by coach. This isn't for anyone with any sort of mobility problem as you are left at a bus stop about 1 mile walking from the centre. I didn't see anywhere this was explained in advance. Later came back on board early afternoon and went to the Glasshouse buffet on Deck 16. The salads for starters were all good, The main meals were not very appealingly presented. We eventually chose fish & chips, but the fish was dry and inededible, Something needs to be done about the help yourself chip tongs which produce about 3 chips a time with a long queue of people waiting behind you. We would have liked to go to the cinema as with Aurora, but told no cinema on board. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Booked this cruise as a way of seeing Bruges, fat chance! This was a weekend two night cruise with one port of call Zeebrugge from which we could visit Bruges. On the morning we were due to dock in Zeebrugge announcement was made saying ... Read More
Booked this cruise as a way of seeing Bruges, fat chance! This was a weekend two night cruise with one port of call Zeebrugge from which we could visit Bruges. On the morning we were due to dock in Zeebrugge announcement was made saying it was too windy to dock and we would spend the day at sea! The sea was not rough and there was no movement on the ship. The announcement was very low key in fact 2 hours later at 9.05am there were still a lot of people having breakfast who were still unaware we were not going to dock! I feel we were treated very badly, with very little communication about the situation. The entertainment on board was very average. There were long waits to get a table in the restaurants in the evening but I'm sure P&O are very happy with the extra revenue they made by having everyone onboard all day! We have cruised with P&O several times but certainly won't be booking with them any time soon! Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
The embarkation process was very efficient and worked well. Our cabin was clean & comfortable, the food excellent, entertainment poor, communication by newsletter or PA not very helpful. There was no information about the Saturday ... Read More
The embarkation process was very efficient and worked well. Our cabin was clean & comfortable, the food excellent, entertainment poor, communication by newsletter or PA not very helpful. There was no information about the Saturday activities, only for the Sunday. We had wanted to to visit Brugge again but no such luck. At the last minute at 7am Sunday morning it was announced that ' too windy to dock at Zeeburgge ' the whole point of the trip! There was no rocking and rolling to be felt so we were very surprised! We just meandered along the English Channel by the White Cliffs of Dover all day and returned to Southampton. P&O must have made a packet!! If each passenger spent £50 on drinks or in the shops on board they would have made £150,000! When I cancelled the taxi I booked the taxi driver said it definitely not too windy. Wouldn't travel with P&O again after this experience. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We normally sail for around two weeks, and we were worried that 7 days would be too short to enjoy our holiday, however the Ventura did us well. Embarkation was extremely quick with little to no waiting, we were on the ship within 20 ... Read More
We normally sail for around two weeks, and we were worried that 7 days would be too short to enjoy our holiday, however the Ventura did us well. Embarkation was extremely quick with little to no waiting, we were on the ship within 20 minutes or so. The ship is lovely, felt warm and cosy without seeming old or dated, plenty of areas to relax and it never felt crowded in the public areas. The outside pool areas were nice, the pool at the back is very quite and relaxing, and the inside pool (although it got loud during the day) provided shelter when cold and was a nice area. Dining was overall good, but there is room for improvement. The MDR was always up to a great standard, heavy on seafood but pleanty of other choices and some options that always remained the same. Service was good and attentive, and we always left feeling well fed. We ate there 2 times for dinner. We ate there twice also for breakfast, menu was a good size offering plenty and is a good alternative to the buffet (more on that later). We didn’t eat in there for lunch. We ate in the Epicurian twice for dinner, Sindu once and the Beach House once. All were amazing and well worth the extra charge. Sindu was our favourite, meals were unique and creative but tasty and familiar enough to not seem crazy or over the top. Service was incredible and it is a shame we only ate in there once. The Epicurian was also very good, providing a nice fine dining experience. If your looking for a slow, relaxed meal that doesn’t leave you feeling over-indulged then this is the place for you. Food was very creative and tasty which left everyone satisfied with their meal. However as said, service is slow (they cook everything to order) and took around 2 hours, so leave plenty of time. The Beach House was our least favourite (but still very good) and were satisfied eating only once. Portions were huge and very indulgent, so not the right spot if you’re looking for a light meal. Entertainment was repetitive, but what we did see was good and enjoyable. Comedians, shows and live music were the main entertainment. Service was generally good, waiters were happy and friendly (even in the buffet) very attentive (you don’t have to wait long for a drink) and the entertainment crew were funny and enjoyable. Our cabin steward was good, didn’t see much of him but did a very good job and was friendly. We traveled with our teenage child, the activities were good and he made friends, the staff were very lovely and really enjoyed working there. Overall a good cruise, and would possible cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
The embarkation process was smooth, arrived and checked in within 30 mins. Our cabin was indoor, c366 and was as expected. Not a huge amount of hanging space/storage but for a short cruise was adequate. It was a port intensive ... Read More
The embarkation process was smooth, arrived and checked in within 30 mins. Our cabin was indoor, c366 and was as expected. Not a huge amount of hanging space/storage but for a short cruise was adequate. It was a port intensive cruise. We visited Gijon, it was meant to be la coruna but due to poor conditions the port was changed. A nice coastal resort worth walking to park and headland opposite old town. Bilbao we didn’t do an excursion we got the shuttle to town. Did an independent walking tour, took the funicular up for views. Took the metro to areeta, walked back via there to ship 3.5 km - nicer than central Bilbao. La Rochelle was lovely. €9 to enter all 3 towers. Loads of eating choices. No need for excursion if forecast is good. Cherbourg we went to mount st Michael. Our guide was rather eccentric and got only an hours free time after excusing ourselves of his company. Journey was 5 hours. Organised ship excursion and the most disappointing Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We were looking forward to visiting the 4 locations, first one (Vigo) had to be missed because of bad weather which was unfortunate. We had travelled with Cunard before and as P&O are the same firm we expected similar high standards ... Read More
We were looking forward to visiting the 4 locations, first one (Vigo) had to be missed because of bad weather which was unfortunate. We had travelled with Cunard before and as P&O are the same firm we expected similar high standards but were disappointed with the facilities and entertainment. The public spaces and bars were crowded. The buffet was more like a scrum than a dining area, finding seats was difficult, you had to take it in turns to get your snack or meal. It was also almost impossible to get a seat in the bars. The entertainment in the theatre was limited to a single 45 minute act, i.e. comedian or ventriloquist or dance group, we would have preferred shorter acts but more variety; the actual acts were good. Meals and service in restaurants were good but afternoon tea a bit hurried. See separate comments regarding cabin, reasonable size but poor options and signal for TV, announcements not relayed to cabin. Public toilets were often out of service and not easy to find. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
yes as you guessed from the title this was our first cruise we have been on.R818N 5 nights ,Bruges and Amsterdam from the 10th to 15 October 2018, The food was good in the main restaurant it’s on par with a good 3 to 4 star hotel, the ... Read More
yes as you guessed from the title this was our first cruise we have been on.R818N 5 nights ,Bruges and Amsterdam from the 10th to 15 October 2018, The food was good in the main restaurant it’s on par with a good 3 to 4 star hotel, the Horizon buffet dine around the clock and the day time grill use any time till 3am are about the same as an all-inclusive hotel . We booked two restaurants that had surcharges, the Beach house £7.50 each was ok and nice meal the Sindhu (Indian) £20 each was first class more than worth the extra cost, they made us feel special with exceptional food if you’re going on the Aurora make sure you book it in advance .Next the staff they are so efficient and work so hard and are so polite ,P&O charge your account £7 each per day to cover tips ,we had one lady taking delight and walking around our boat telling other people that if you go to reception you could cancel this charge ,they work so hard and are away from there family’s for long periods so I hope they get every penny of that because you cannot fault them they give whey beyond 100% . other reviews we read before going said the ship is dated ,it is a little in places but not that it could spoil your holiday , Every part of the ship was spotless our cabin was perfect the entertainment was great ,well done P&O you have us hooked ,we will be back ,such a pity I have to work first Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We chose this cruise for a 3 night break. Never cruised with p and o before and we were very impressed with the whole experience. We chose a balcony cabin which was kept immaculate by jay our steward with plenty of hanging and storage ... Read More
We chose this cruise for a 3 night break. Never cruised with p and o before and we were very impressed with the whole experience. We chose a balcony cabin which was kept immaculate by jay our steward with plenty of hanging and storage space . The restaurants offered a varied selection of food which was always hot or cold depending on your choice. Hand cleanser was compulsory on entering especially in self service. Entertainment was of high quality. Bar prices where the same as hotel prices with a large selection of drinks. Embarkation and disembarktion were incredilbly easy . We visited the historic town of Bruges with its cobbled streets and canals. Plenty of bars and chocolate shops to occupy your time with a horse drawn carriage ride to take you to exquisite small areas is really a must. A fantastic time and ready to book another 3 night break..or longer........! Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
The embarkation was reasonably quick after being kept waiting in our car for 15min by a lack of baggage porters. Once on board lifts were a problem due to one on each floor aft end out of order causing unacceptable wait times. The ... Read More
The embarkation was reasonably quick after being kept waiting in our car for 15min by a lack of baggage porters. Once on board lifts were a problem due to one on each floor aft end out of order causing unacceptable wait times. The cabin c631 was clean and tidy although a little drab colour wise, our steward was friendly and helpful. The Baytree restaurant the food was imo predictable nothing to really get you excited , the waiters were very busy indeed often having to run ! around the restaurant . The waterside deck 16 the food at times could only be classed as canteen quality! Drinks onboard were reasonably priced The pool area was very pleasant was always possible to find a sun bed For three nights at £900 for 2 would we book anther Ventura cruise No This was our 3 Ventura cruise after a a gap of 8 yrs standards have dropped . Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We chose this cruise as it looked like it would be relaxing with a some interesting ports and it did't disappoint, embarkation at Southampton was well organised and stress free, enjoyed the sea days relaxing and although the ship was ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it looked like it would be relaxing with a some interesting ports and it did't disappoint, embarkation at Southampton was well organised and stress free, enjoyed the sea days relaxing and although the ship was full we could always find a lounger, the ship is well laid out and easy to navigate and is well maintained with modern decor & furniture. We really enjoyed the evening entertainment with a great mix of artists and shows, particularly liked the comedian Micky Zany and the Annie Lennox tribute, the headliner shows were high quality and enjoyable. The food in the MDR was excellent, we didn't have one meal we didn't enjoy, the new vegetarian menu is great, so nice to have so much choice every night. The service was very good freindly and efficient, couldn't fault it in fact the service all over the ship was spot on. The food in the buffet was also good, especially liked having breakfast out on deck. We had an inside cabin on deck 8 which was kept spottlesly clean by our hard working steward, it was big enough and had everthing we needed with a very comfortable bed. Didn't do any excursions so can't comment. We have already booked another two cruises with P&O as we always feel well looked after and think they offer excellent value for money Funchal Madeira- lovley port, easy to do yourself, highlight was the cable car to Monte then back down in a wicker basket Santa Cruz de La Palma- small pretty port with historic centre and black sandy beach Santa Cruz de Tenerife- another easy to do port, good for shopping and we had tasty & cheap tapas in the old town, highlight was the Botanical Palm garden a bit of a walk from the ship Las Palmas de Gran Canaria- spent some time on the excellent beach a short walk through town, great for swimming Arrecife Lanarote- scruffy, run down with lots of graffiti, there is a beach within walking distance of the ship Lisbon- lovely city with beautiful architecture, used the hop on & off bus red line which was worth doing Vigo- pleasnt city to walk round, highlight was Samil beach a taxi ride away Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
This is my 3rd cruise with P&O and went with friends who were experiencing their 1st. On the whole we all thoroughly enjoyed our cruise. Lovely clean ship, sizable cabins and destinations were better than expected. We had set dining ... Read More
This is my 3rd cruise with P&O and went with friends who were experiencing their 1st. On the whole we all thoroughly enjoyed our cruise. Lovely clean ship, sizable cabins and destinations were better than expected. We had set dining in the Oriental which was okay. We booked a late sitting with a table of 8 but got our own table of 4. Food was average. Yes, they have a lot to feed but I have been with other cruise lines where the food is of an exceptional high standard. We booked the Limelight Club on the 2nd night with Dean Andrews. This was our best night and the night we will all remember, definitely a must for any passengers, whoever is entertaining. Good evening entertainment around the ship with the exception of daily out of tune wannabees in front of an amazing band, Pulse. The musicians are extremely talented, the singers, not so much. We were 'blown away' by the talented Maxine Mazumder who did tribute acts of Adele and Dusty Springfield on two separate nights. Fantastic. Sorry but the Entertainments Team do not cut the mustard particularly on sail-aways with their self-indulgent renditions of We are Sailing, Rule Britannia, Day Dream Believer etc etc.... maybe I missed the memo, but I thought that was what Butlins was for!! Public areas in particular the toilets were immaculate. Bar staff and waiters were a tad dour, bringing down an otherwise good atmosphere who give half hearted wipe of tables now and again. Cabin Staff friendly but no attention to detail; We booked Flowers, champagne and chocolates to add to the occasion but were not provided with champagne glasses/flutes, had to drink out of a tumbler!! Cabins were just given a daily 'once-over' bedding not changed all week nor were dressing tables. This did not spoil our trip, just too many annoyances to make the perfect trip. Come on P&O think about your passengers not your shareholders. Oh, one last thing, forget about your last night, this is where you are 'yesterdays' news and they are now focusing on the next lot. All the smiley 'hellos' are gone, you have already submitted your staff nominations and they have nothing else to gain from you. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We were 3 women travelling so we booked a suite g733 the brittania Just going to Spain and Gurnsey the suite was fabulous the priority boarding went without a hitch straight on greeted with tea and biscuits then taken for champagne and ... Read More
We were 3 women travelling so we booked a suite g733 the brittania Just going to Spain and Gurnsey the suite was fabulous the priority boarding went without a hitch straight on greeted with tea and biscuits then taken for champagne and a hot and cold buffet Our suite was ready by 2 and was fantastic our butler got us an extra bed as we had a huge aft balcony with sunbeds sofa and table and chairs Our butler came daily with ice nibbles fresh milk and fruit He was very amenable but not invasive We had the mini fridge emptied do we could use it A full corridor of wardrobes was very useful Staff all pleasant we used the speciality restraunts which were Michelan star and as suite passengers are breakfast in epicurean at no extra cost Priority on tender to start Peter port unfortunately not for return We also used retreat well worth the money if you like peace and comfortort On the neg side very large ship lots of people my last cruise I'm thinking just because I'm not a cruiser but could not fault service Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We chose this cruise for the 3 different ports on offer - we had never been to Hamburg or Le Havre and whilst we have been to Amsterdam, we had never visited via a cruise ship or stayed overnight in port. The weather was gorgeous and an ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the 3 different ports on offer - we had never been to Hamburg or Le Havre and whilst we have been to Amsterdam, we had never visited via a cruise ship or stayed overnight in port. The weather was gorgeous and an added bonus in Hamburg when the temperature reached 30c. Unfortunately on the 2nd day in Amsterdam we experienced a thunderstorm and heavy rain but it didn’t stop us enjoying ourselves as we went on a P&O coach tour. We love Azura as we were on her 4years ago when we did a 2 week Russian cruise and she did not disappoint this time. Everyone was friendly and the food phenomenal- we had the Eric Lanlard tea which was amazing and also ate in the Epicurean restaurant and the Sindu restaurant too. A small cover charge was applicable in these 3 restaurants but well worth it. Our balcony cabin was C325 and whilst a little small, it was adequate for the week. Next time though, we have booked a deluxe balcony cabin for the extra room. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
I’m a well seasoned cruise traveller with over 25 completed to date ranging from Princess, RCI, Celebrity and P&O. I’ve never felt compelled to write a review until now. Having cruised similar with P&O, my partner and I, ... Read More
I’m a well seasoned cruise traveller with over 25 completed to date ranging from Princess, RCI, Celebrity and P&O. I’ve never felt compelled to write a review until now. Having cruised similar with P&O, my partner and I, along with two other friends booked a weekend cruise on Ventura to Guernsey over August Bank Holiday. We sailed on Ventura previously to Brugges, and as Platinum club members with Princess we know the layout of Ventura and Azura mirror their ships, so we were well aware of the ship and what lay ahead – or so we had thought. Firstly upon arrival at Southampton I have to say this was the worst I have experienced to date. Complete chaos. Guests were called in sequence order A-Z depending on what you are given when you arrive at the top of the stairs of the terminal. Waited for approximately 1.5hours to check in (1pm arrival). Terrible. Once onboard we were impressed with the ship layout and how bright and clean it appeared. We had an inside cabin, which was very clean, and enough room for two adults sharing. The bed was probably one of the most comfortable of all liners we have sailed on. The cleanliness is evident throughout from the bars to the pool area, and restaurants. However, in the evenings the majority of toilets throughout the ship smelt really badly – urine quite evident on the floors of several, and also quite a few blockages with no toilet attendant/cleaners in sight (few and far between). On the first evening in the MDR, we had a lovely table for 4. With no introductions or personal welcomes from the waiting staff, we were presented with the main menu - the waiter returned very promptly (in space of 5 minutes) to take the orders. I ordered a lamb shank for my main course and asked the waiter if it was possible to have some mash potato – to which he said he would ask the chef. No drinks, or wine on offer and within 5 minutes our starters arrived. My partner at this point asked was it possible to see a wine list as we felt it was more appropriate to take a drinks order before going full steam ahead and presenting us with our starters! It did feel like a conveyor belt, they wanted us “fed watered and out” with minimal interaction. The bread rolls were dire. Soft rolls, think tesco value on a small scale with zero choice, and put on the side plate with no second offerings. My lamb shank arrived and the waiter took off. I waited whilst my 3 companions tucked into their mains; I assumed the waiter was going to get my potato for the lamb. Again within 5 minutes he returned to clear the plates at which point I asked him did he get the mash as I hadn’t even started to my main yet. He was quick to inform me “no sir there is no mash”. I wasn't happy and I asked why hadn’t he told me this when he presented the plate to begin with. He said he was sorry he had just checked – this itself was a lie as I could see him directly in front of me fiddling with cutlery and the likes. If mash is offered in the buffet, and various other potatoes offered to top that, I didn't quite understand. I again repeated the question you’re telling me there is no mash available, to which he said “sorry no”. I then asked him to fetch me the Maitre’D. when he arrived I asked him if it was possible to have mash – his reply “anything is possible sir”. I told him I was informed mash wasn't available – he seemed surprised. I went on to explain I wasn't very happy at all nor were the others in my party. The lack of wanting to serve us, no drinks menu, orders etc”. I actually handed my main course, untouched, back as I was disappointed by the whole episode. I would like to add to this “Yes this might be a weekend cruise, but you should not treat all guests as first timers on a weekend break whom you assume will probably never return”. We were appalled by the lack of interaction and the lack of personal touch from the MDR waiting staff, their behaviour was definitely the lowest I’ve witnessed. It was quite the contrary in the buffet. Food in the buffet area was lovely, plenty of choice this is one area where the company excel. There were a few hen parties on board who were enjoying themselves Port of Call Guernsey: Tender required. What can I say…….. we docked at 8am – all guests required back on ship for 5pm. We had breakfast and went downstairs to the tender around 11am thinking it will be straight forward as we have tendering numerous times before at other locations worldwide. No - how wrong where we. We were told to join a queue for a ticket to join the tenders. The queue for this alone wrapped around the foyer area back to the art gallery – we waited in line for 1 hour and given tickets to tender. We were then moved into the restaurant, where we waited a further 1.5 hours. With 6 tenders operating, we felt this would have been quicker and should have been better managed. We spoke briefly to the lady (I use loosely as she was abrupt) this was taking forever, she replied by saying “no this is normal”. If this is normal for P&O I would be sacking the management in charge of this process. It was awful. We have experienced several tenders over the years with OTHER liners and never waited longer than 15 mins to disembark the ship, and that also involved a ticket and call by number! Perhaps the ship is too big for tendering to the port, but you've definitely got this so wrong P&O. Guernsey is beautiful, a lovely little place full of charm and very walkable. We had an afternoon tea and stroll, however we felt we should return to the ship around 3 (after just 1 hour on land) to avoid a possible mayhem like the disembarkation to tender earlier . Walking downhill towards the port and tendering area at 3pm, we could see a queue as long as anything with people waiting around. It took us 1 hour 10 mins to board and get back on ship. The whole experience is quite exhausting and not one I will repeat with P&O again. In conclusion, I feel P&O should use smaller ships for the weekend breaks and clearly advertise it involve tendering. Also, other cruise critic members do mention tendering by P&O at Guernsey being the worst experiences witnessed – trust me these people are not telling lies. I for one will NEVER return to P&O on a mini cruise again that involves tendering unless they drastically change their ways - not to mention their manner. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
This was our second p&o cruise having previously been on the excellent Venturer. Everything about Britannia is 5 star. Embarkation went very smoothly and we were soon in the Crows nest enjoying our first cocktail. This is a wonderful ... Read More
This was our second p&o cruise having previously been on the excellent Venturer. Everything about Britannia is 5 star. Embarkation went very smoothly and we were soon in the Crows nest enjoying our first cocktail. This is a wonderful place to watch a sunset . We found the food to be mainly excellent . Choosing to eat freedom dining was a definite plus and gave us flexibility. We also tried the glass house for a couple of lunches again excellent and Sindhu one evening was superb. Our 14yr old daughter had a great time in h20. A highlight for us is the formal evenings, great to see everyone dressed up and a good atmosphere in the fabulous atrium. We didn't find the layout a problem and it was no problem to walk to a staircase. We all agreed what made our holiday was the superb staff in the bar areas and dining. We felt totally spoilt. My one gripe was the sunbeds. People putting towels on sunbeds to reserve them should be removed by staff. We chose to disembark ourselves and this woked well. I would highly recommend Britannia and can't wait to go on again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Britania 29th July 2018 - We have cruised many times with many different cruise lines. I must say we were more than happy with Britannia, it was a busy time of year, being during school holidays the ship was full! And around the swimming ... Read More
Britania 29th July 2018 - We have cruised many times with many different cruise lines. I must say we were more than happy with Britannia, it was a busy time of year, being during school holidays the ship was full! And around the swimming pools very busy, Although I always say you can do as little or as much on board, we found the cabins to be lovely, very modern and great facilities! We were in the Oriental dinning room The food and the staff were excellent, the only thing I could say was it was a bit chilly in there. Our waiters table 75 were excellent and our cabin steward in cabin G421 was also excellent, also the shows were some of the best we have seen. We were travelling with 10 other people friends and family. Age range 11 to 74! In fact we are looking to book the transatlantic crossing to the Carribean this October Thank you P and O Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We chose this short cruise to take our two Granddaughters on to see if they would like a longer cruise with us at a later date. Big mistake!! We have cruised with P&O before and had a great time but this was a disaster. The booking in ... Read More
We chose this short cruise to take our two Granddaughters on to see if they would like a longer cruise with us at a later date. Big mistake!! We have cruised with P&O before and had a great time but this was a disaster. The booking in was fine and the cabins were good but the stewards seemed a little confused! As we moved out from Southampton we became aware that we had booked on a 'booze cruise' with the number of Hen and Stag parties on board. The food in the restaurants for adults was fine but very restrictive for young teenagers.. Evening entertainments were good. We only had one stop at Guernsey but the following morning this was cancelled due to weather and the fact that we needed to transfere by tender. My granddaughters were so disappointed. Had we been informed that transfers were subject to weather we would have booked a different cruise where we would have had a definite berthing so they could enjoy the experience of 'going ashore' We were told by the Captain we would have an enjoyable day at sea. It may have been enjoyable for the parties that dominated the pools and hot tubs but for two young girls it was not. I am not a prude but I don't want them subjected to the language we heard. When we finally got into a hot tub just after 6pm it was littered with half eaten food and half empty plastic drink glasses.At this point the crew started to clear all the sun loungers away so we got out. I do not blame the crew for the mess, this was due some selfish passengers. Final point...dining..It was 'hunt the vacant table' time.We ordered drinks with our meals on three occasions and each time they arrived at the end of our meals.Due to the lack on empty tables it felt we were rushed to eat and leave but all of the catering staff. I know that these mini cruises are used to help train the staff but we paid a lot of money for this trip and were all looking forward to it but at the end both granddaughters said thanks but never again,which is a shame as my wife and I have had good cruises with P&O.If your going to take a mini cruise with P&O then be prepared..( I submitted a request to review the cruise with them and to complain but they still haven't replied to date)..We will continue cruising but not with P&O Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
This was my and my friends first cruise. We choose this one as we thought we would try cruising with a short break to see if we liked it. Well I can 100% say it was amazing from the time we arrived at Mayflower terminal until the time we ... Read More
This was my and my friends first cruise. We choose this one as we thought we would try cruising with a short break to see if we liked it. Well I can 100% say it was amazing from the time we arrived at Mayflower terminal until the time we disembarked. The efficiency and ease of boarding was so relaxed and stress free - a very slick operation !! The Oriana is a beautiful, stylish and elegant boat and I strangely felt very attached to it and became extremely emotional when I had to disembark ! The cabins (as was the whole ship) were immaculately clean and well appointed with plenty of storage room and wonderfully comfortable beds and pillows. Room service was 1st class with information booklets left in room each day and chocolates. All dining facilities were faultless and the freedom dining worked very well for us. We initially felt a bit concerned about sitting with people we didn't know, but this worked really well. Entertainment was superb and the staff excellent, so many of them, we never had to wait to be served. I have read lots of reviews, mostly good, but some poor ones and cant help but feel these might have been from people who are extremely picky and just like to complain! Although this is the only cruise I have been on I can honestly say we could not fault it and had an amazing time. One day after coming home I booked a family cruise to the fjords next year on the Ventura. I would have liked to gone on the Oriana again but dates did not suit us . Hope to go on the Oriana before it goes out of service next year. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Chose this as our first ever cruise as destinations and length of time ( 7 days) seemed to suit. I really cannot fault anything about our experience. We had a superior deluxe cabin on Deck 9, it was spotless and our cabin steward kept it ... Read More
Chose this as our first ever cruise as destinations and length of time ( 7 days) seemed to suit. I really cannot fault anything about our experience. We had a superior deluxe cabin on Deck 9, it was spotless and our cabin steward kept it that way for the whole 7 days. The whole trip ran to schedule and the seas were smooth, which always helps Guernsey was lovely, although it took an hour to queue for the tender Porto is old and unappealing but Lisbon more than made up for it, fabulous city Vigo surprised me as it was far more appealing and attractive than I had thought it would be We had freedom dining and were lucky to sit with some lovely people every night and had some great banter We also sampled the buffet dining on Waterside and have to say the varied menu every night was brilliant, breakfast is very good there but seats are hard to get hold of. We saw shows in the Arena and Havana and were thoroughly entertained A couple of downsides 1 The smoking rules are largely ignored, especially on the top deck and on the balconies. It needs to be enforced 2 On sea days the top decks get very crowded and sunbeds are hard to get hold of However, all in all we struck lucky and had a great time Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
After reading reviews about the Oriana, our expectations, were not very high. However we were pleasantly surprised, to find the ship, alot better than, what we had read, in the reviews. It was the first time we had sailed on a ... Read More
After reading reviews about the Oriana, our expectations, were not very high. However we were pleasantly surprised, to find the ship, alot better than, what we had read, in the reviews. It was the first time we had sailed on a smaller, adult only, ship. We loved the art deco design, of the ship,and the size of the ship. So easy to get around. Lots of different bars, and entertainment places. Every area of the ship, was always, clean and tidy.We had an outside cabin (Deluxe Window), on A deck, which was lovely and clean, and plenty of space to hang all our clothes. Our cabin stewardess was a so friendly, she made us feel very welcome. The food, and service, in the restaurant, and bars in the evening, were excellent.All the staff, in the restaurant, were friendly and helpful. The evening entertainment ,was excellent too. Plenty to choose from, to suit all tastes. Loved The Brit Tones and E Sarah Carter, and the man who sang, a mixture of Simon and Garfunkle and other songs, and played the guitar, in various bars, around the ship. We could not fault the Oriana, and would love the chance to sail ,on this ship again. We sailed, all around Ireland, which was nice. It enabled us to see, different parts, of Ireland, Cobh, Dublin, Killybegs, and Galway.We only went on one shore excursion, to visit, Blarney castle, great morning out,which left us plenty of time to look around Cobh, in the afternoon, before sailing. All the ports had lots of excursions you could book, or you could just get off the ship, and do your own thing. Dublin and Galway, both had, city sightseeing buses, which is always a good way to see a city, and for getting around. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We are Americans, and veteran cruisers. This was our first P&O cruise and chose it for the itinerary. Wanting to see Ireland without all the driving was most important to us.I have to say we were extremely impressed with the cruise ... Read More
We are Americans, and veteran cruisers. This was our first P&O cruise and chose it for the itinerary. Wanting to see Ireland without all the driving was most important to us.I have to say we were extremely impressed with the cruise from start to finish.Some of the previous reviews i had read were of concern to me due to negativity.Not from us. I felt like i owed P&O more money when we were done. Great food,clean cabins,attentive staff and all around fun with our fellow British "mates". Seriously,some of the nicest people I've ever cruised with.Will definitely do P&O again. Unfortunately,Oriana is being retired next year.I'm sure the other ships will do her proud. We generally cruise the Carribean from the U.S, and the Meditteranen from Venice but will certainly look at the Canary Islands for an upcoming itinerary. Boston to Heathrow is comparable in price to Boston to Miami for airfare.Thanks P&O and Oriana for a great trip. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Lovely ship, lovely cabin, excellent steward, excellent waiting staff, great food (I have a special diet which was well catered for). However, major criticisms : On arrival we were told to report for lifeboat drill at 4 pm, which ... Read More
Lovely ship, lovely cabin, excellent steward, excellent waiting staff, great food (I have a special diet which was well catered for). However, major criticisms : On arrival we were told to report for lifeboat drill at 4 pm, which we and most others did. We then sat in a very crowded restaurant for 1 hour, listening to repeated messages, ‘Sorry to keep you waiting, just waiting for the last few arrivals’. On every ship I have been on there have been late arrivals, you know this, we know this, so why not schedule the lifeboat drill for when everyone has arrived instead of packing too many people into a too small area for far too long (standing room only at the end), this is not a good start to your holiday. On Monday I had a sudden flare up of my illness and couldn’t go on the excursion. Knowing there was a long waiting list for most of the trips I phoned reception at 6am and told them we couldn’t go as I was ill, thinking they would be able to sell the tickets to someone else. I was told I could not have any money back as you needed 48 hours notice to cancel unless you got the doctor to sign you off as ill. The last time I saw the ship’s doctor I was charged £91 for a consultation for £4.50’s worth of anti-biotics, which was more than I would have got back with a refund so I didn’t bother. I don’t know which part of ‘suddenly taken ill’ you can reconcile with having to give 48 hours notice to cancel. The Golden Circle Excursion, Reykjavik. This is an 8 hour tour and we were told to report to the theatre at 8am for an 8.30am start. We got there at 7.50am to find a queue out of the theatre, all the way back to the Atrium and nearly all the way back again. We eventually got in and were allocated tickets for the 9th of 9 buses. The theatre was packed, every seat filled, and there we sat for an HOUR while crew, staff, officers, tour guides and tour ‘organisers’ (a very loose term) discussed and argued over which staircase, which exit, which gangway and which group to send first. Why on earth are the staff not trained in this procedure BEFORE the paying guests were sitting waiting? Have they never done it before? We eventually got on our bus and left at 9.10am, harassed, irritated and already fed up with the standing, queueing, shuffling and waiting. Being the last bus we spent the day constantly falling further behind schedule, hurried on and off the bus, and missed the tour of the Geo-Thermal Plant as we were so late, getting back to the ship at 6.30, 10 ¾ hours after leaving our cabin, completely and utterly exhausted. Isafjordur. Having to tender off, what a shambles! We had an excursion booked for 12.30 and would have liked to spend the morning having a look round the town. The advice was that 9.30 to 10.30 would be the busiest time so we went to the Meridian restaurant at 10.30 for disembarkation. To our amazement the huge room was full to capacity, with many also standing, waiting to go. After the next boatload had departed we managed to get seats and there we sat, moaning along with everyone else. At 11.30 I went to the desk to complain about the wait and that we had a trip booked for 12.30. The reply was that the trip ticket holders would get ashore with priority, and that they were sorry for the delay and they were doing their best! Well in our opinion their best was definitely not good enough. We were eventually called to a tender at 12.10, then hustled along the quay to our boat which was waiting for us. When we returned to Isafjordur at 4.30 we only had time for a quick walk and it was raining by then so we missed half a port day – NOT BEST PLEASED. Akureyri. Whale watching trip. Perishing cold and 30 mph wind. We were told to gather on the quay at 8.15 to walk round the harbour to the trip boat. We arrived at 8.10 to find a queue already 100 yards long and were then kept waiting in the bitter cold until 8.30. Why could not those already present walk in their own time to the boat? We could see it round the harbour, we weren’t going to get lost, most people are not imbeciles even though you insist on treating them as such. When we got there we again had to stand waiting interminably whilst a ship girl took our excursion ticket, a boat girl gave us another one then up on to the deck painfully slowly where another boat girl tore our ticket in half. It beggars belief that someone should think this acceptable treatment of paying customers. My husband and I are in our 70’s, by no means the oldest present, and I suffer from ill health. Unsurprisingly I was taken ill on returning to the ship and stayed in bed for the next 2 days. This cruise cost us £5500 plus another £1000 for excursions. Not a cheap holiday. On top of that you have to pay the exhorbitant cost of bottled water. Clean drinking water is an essential of life not an optional luxury. Free Wi-Fi is provided by every hotel, B&B and café, nearly every public building, even my GP’s waiting room. Why on earth do you think it is acceptable to charge at all for it let alone so much. We were penned in and herded about like cattle and quite frankly a sheepdog could have done a better job. Far from being a wonderful experience this cruise will remain in our memory as a source of great annoyance. You could and should do much better. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We love the Azura, this is our second time on her and we had a wonderful trip to Iceland. The food in the main Dining is excellent and though the portions are smaller now than they used to be, I ask, "how much food do you need" ... Read More
We love the Azura, this is our second time on her and we had a wonderful trip to Iceland. The food in the main Dining is excellent and though the portions are smaller now than they used to be, I ask, "how much food do you need" we certainly were grateful for the quality and less quantity, we now have less weight to lose before our next cruise. The ports we visited were all different and interesting, so the itinerary was really good. On sea days the lectures were fully subscribed with standing room only in the Theatre for the code breakers talks. The staff on the Azura are still the best we have experienced, our cabin steward always smiling, singing and happy to see us and whilst we were on freedom dining we managed to keep the same waiters for the whole cruise, very efficient and friendly service here. Now for the not so good. She is looking a little tired and needs a make over. The Sea Screen has big squares missing from the picture, I heard one member of staff asking the comedian not to mention it one night, but it is so obvious that it's very faulty and if they loose any more of the picture it won't have a picture at all. The Epicurean Restaurant was a big disappointment, at £28 each cover charge you would expect the food to be phenomenal, generally it was a little better than main dining, a few more dots of sauce on the plate and slightly more adventurous menu, but we had to send my wife's meal back, Chicken should not be hard to cut and should be at least moist, it was cooked to death!!! Our main complaint however is not how worn the furnishing have become of the dirty carpet in the cabin, it does need a good clean and maintenance programme, it's the level of noise on the ship. It is very difficult, particularly on sea days, to find somewhere on the ship to sit quietly and read a book without one of the entertainment staff coming along and winding up the volume on the background music to nightclub volume, or screaming over a microphone telling everyone to step to the left and dosie doe. Even the Planet Bar, where normally you can relax, with nice piano or middle of the road music, had the sail away party in it on the last day, "everyone put your books down and do the conga" was the cry. NO! not appropriate! and when I heard American Thrash Metal music being played in the Antium i thought the entertainment staff were surely having a laugh at our expense as 99% of the passengers were over 60's. The big thing about the sound is the Theatre. The Headliners were once again brilliant, how and where do they get their energy, all brilliant vocalist and dancers, a show every other night and other sets in the bars and around the ship with singing lessons and dance lessons plus helping on the excursions. What a brilliant bunch of talented young people, the theatre was packed with standing room only every night they performed. The new shows were imaginative and very entertaining, "Evolution" and "Astonishing" were brilliant, all ruined by the sound levels. The live Orchestra and the pre recorded backing and feature tracks were very audible without being over bearing BUT when the Headliner Vocalist sang their top notes and projected them, it was ear splitingly painful, I am not kidding when I say that I am pretty certain that the sound levels exceeded safe levels at that point. I like loud music and have often enjoyed Rock Concerts (Slade, Quo etc) where your ears are ringing, this distorted sound was not enjoyable and did a disservice to the obviously talented vocalists. This is a great Cruise Ship and a Great Itinerary and i would definitely recommend the Ship and the cruise to anyone, but take some era plugs. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We are not natural cruisers but liked the itinerary of Kirwall, Lerwick, 4 days in Iceland, Belfast and finally Cobh. We had taken advantage of the "free parking" at Southampton as we live in the North of England and chose not ... Read More
We are not natural cruisers but liked the itinerary of Kirwall, Lerwick, 4 days in Iceland, Belfast and finally Cobh. We had taken advantage of the "free parking" at Southampton as we live in the North of England and chose not to spend a day on a coach. Dropping the car at the designated gate and time was very well organised. After queuing for approximately 10 minutes we were shown where to park. We unloaded luggage and it was taken to the ship quickly by a porter, leaving us to check in (all luggage was in cabin by the time we got there). The checkin hall was very busy and appeared a little disorganised but we got through very quickly with the staff on the check in desk being very friendly and efficient. This was only our 2nd cruise and the the first with P&O. The ship, Azura, holds 3100 passengers with over 1200 crew of which 200 are chefs. Our first impression was that the ship was friendly and very clean. All area of the ship provide anti bacterial hand rubs which passengers are expected to use on every entry to a restaurant to avoid sickness bugs. There did not appear to be any sickness on the 2 week cruise. The cabin was clean with plenty of storage space. We had a balcony cabin in the centre of the ship A515 with a very attentive cabin steward. Cabins were serviced twice a day. We chose freedom dining and usually prefer to eat early evening. We were allocated Peninsular Restaurant and usually managed to secure a table for 2 on the majority of evenings. The service is mostly good with a few lapses. Surprisingly attracting the attention of the wine waitress was impossible on at least 1 evening. There is a wide choice of food each evening and people with special diets were provided with their own menus to choose food for th following evening. There are also several restaurants where an additional fee is paid. We chose to have afternoon tea in the Epicurean Restaurant (£15.00 each) and were not disappointed. Having taken afternoon tea at the Ritz and Betty's we were very impressed as this surpassed both- well worth the small extra charge. The service here is excellent and could not be faulted. We also chose to eat here on 1 evening - wow is all we can say!! The buffet is a bit of a bun fight and it is easy to get elbowed out of the way by single minded cruisers. We did not use the "grab and go" or pizza bar but they did look and smell delicious. Entertainment was much in evidence. Every evening a news sheet "Horizon" was distributed to each cabin. This gave times of all activities provided the next day as well as arrangements for the following days excursions. Activities started at 7am and went on somewhere in the ship till late each evening. The is a large theatre on 3 tiers and entertainment provided is very professional. The Headliners Theatre company put on shows almost every evening with the first house at 8.30 being mostly full. There was only one of these shows that was frankly awful. The sound was so loud it was impossible to hear the singers and we came away with our ears hurting. The 2 nd week brought some additional acts, The Opera Boys and Stand Like a Man - both were superb. Outstanding for us was the Azura Orchestra - a very hard working set of musicians who we very much enjoyed when they performed. There were other smaller bands playing throughout the day in various places around the ship. A wide range of activities was provided around the ship - up to the individual whether to participate or not. There seemed to be a fair number of children on the ship but a separate activity programme was provided and at no time did their presence disturb. 7 ports of call including 2 full days in Reykjavik Excursions - huge choice available but quite expensive. Each one was well organised. We opted for a tour of North Shetland which was good despite the mist. In Iceland we opted for the Ring of Fire Tour from Reykjavik - fabulous scenery! From Isafjadur, Vigur Isand - a must for bird lovers and from Akruyri a Game of Thrones Tour where the scenery was stunning. All tours were very well managed and we were impressed with the standard of organisation around the them, with very knowledgable guides. Normally we prefer independent travelling and were a little apprehensive about organised tours on buses but our fears were quickly allayed and we did enjoy all of the ones we chose. Service was mostly good but it was very difficult to actually sit anywhere without someone trying to sell a drink. There are a fair number of shops on board - fragrance, jewellery and watches, handbags, clothes - all quite expensive and none of which were of interest to us. Disembarkation was phased with luggage, which needed to be collected by 11 pm the previous night, being placed in a big hall and located in decks. After we had found our luggage it was a short walk to the cabin to collect our car keys to find the car waiting for us. We had taken photos of the car and mileage before handing over the keys but we need not have worried as the whole car parking operation from start to finish was very efficient. Overall we enjoyed the cruise and would take another one but probably not for a few years, unlike many of our fellow travellers some of whom were on their 20th cruise! Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Party of 6. Picked this cruise because or itinerary. Appreciate Oriana is an older ship but it has had a recent overhaul. Ship is smart in a rather retro style. We made extensive use of the Lords Tavern bar which is the nearest to a large ... Read More
Party of 6. Picked this cruise because or itinerary. Appreciate Oriana is an older ship but it has had a recent overhaul. Ship is smart in a rather retro style. We made extensive use of the Lords Tavern bar which is the nearest to a large English pub and the staff were great. Went to Indian Sindhu restaurant one night which was superb and well worth the small supplement. Main dining food and service could not be faulted unlike the buffet which was very average. As an example we were given stale bread at breakfast on a number of breakfasts. Bread choice was poor. We could only get white or brown rolls or pre sliced bread. Cooked food choice was limited. No ice cream available at lunch or dinner. I am not being picky but these things and more all add up. This was a 1st on P & O and unfortunately has now put us off. We generally had a good cruise but did not get off feeling special as we have with our favourite Celebrity cruises. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
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