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

The cruise itself was very good we had no issues with the places we visited Madeira Canary Isles Lisbon and Vigo. All ports were accessible so no tenders involved. The disabled room with balcony was excellent even pull down hangers in ... Read More
The cruise itself was very good we had no issues with the places we visited Madeira Canary Isles Lisbon and Vigo. All ports were accessible so no tenders involved. The disabled room with balcony was excellent even pull down hangers in wardrobe. and of course the walk in shower. Food was ok although the horizon restaurant was nearly always busy so with my wife in a wheelchair it was easier to eat outside for breakfast and on sunny days and why not. Not much entertainment on sea days other P&O cruises we were always kept entertained, as 2-3 sea days can be very boring. No activities around the pool no chutes just 2 swimming pools. Obviously very accessible for disabled throughout the ship except deck 18. However not all good for disabled. As stated by others stairs in midships only go to deck 7 bad design therefore unless you walked to either the stern or forward passengers would get the lift. Lifts were small 2 wheelchairs and a couple of passengers that was it. The Oriental restaurant on deck 6 aft can only be accessed by stairs or lifts there is no thoroughfare so disabled had a long time to wait for the lifts. another bad design. The theatre called 'headliner's is too small for the number of passengers on the ship Although some disabled spaces are available there should be designated area for wheelchair users, with the emphasis on wheelchair users . Chairs would be moved out the way for the wheelchair users but of course some people would just sit in the chairs. You would have to get to the theatre 45 minutes at least to guarantee a place for the wheel chair Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We are experienced P&O cruisers and this is our 3rd time on Azura. No problems with embarkation or disembarkation from Ocean Terminal. Azura did not disappoint us. she is getting a little tired but levels of cleanliness and ... Read More
We are experienced P&O cruisers and this is our 3rd time on Azura. No problems with embarkation or disembarkation from Ocean Terminal. Azura did not disappoint us. she is getting a little tired but levels of cleanliness and service were excellent. Just an observation - we were given an upgrade - yippee!!!! We were moved to a better grade sure, however, we were moved to Riviera Deck, deck 14, just under the pool. Very handy but hearing sunbeds being rearranged at 1.00 in the morning and then again at 7.00am took the gloss off the upgrade. You also have a overhang from deck 15 above your balcony which takes some sun off your cabin. All these things did not spoil our cruise - just beware when you are offered an upgrade. We were on Azura in June 16 and although the Headliners line up were different. the shows were the same. They were very good but I would have thought the offering might have changed. Other artists were very good. Already booked next P&O for next year on Arcadia. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Booked this cruise about 54 weeks, yes over a year before embarkation! The appeal of this cruise was the overnight stay in Amsterdam. Always wanted to visit Amsterdam, always wanted to cruise. This seemed like the perfect combination at ... Read More
Booked this cruise about 54 weeks, yes over a year before embarkation! The appeal of this cruise was the overnight stay in Amsterdam. Always wanted to visit Amsterdam, always wanted to cruise. This seemed like the perfect combination at an affordable price. As this was my first cruise, I had spent many of my lunchtimes researching the ship and ports of call. Not necessary at all as even without prior knowledge and going in cold we would have managed to have sussed out how to go on with all things cruising. The closer we got the excitement was building, and then we received a message from P & O that The Oriana had broken down, boiler problems whilst leaving Gibralter en route back to Southampton. This resulted in a delayed start for us, absolutely gutted. The knock-on to this was that the itinerary was changed, still a full day in Bruges but only between 5 & 6 hours in Amsterdam; in Amsterdam actually disembarked at 8.20am and back just after 1pm. Not enough time to explore but a taster never the less. The above delay was disappointing but we were determined to make the most of our shortened break. And so we did. By the way I think P & O handled the whole delay fairly well. Our allotted time for embarkation was 3pm, but we decided to turn up just after 11.30am, from getting out of the car (CPS were brilliant) to get on the ship was the grand total of 20 minutes and we were eating lunch at 12:00 pm in the Peninsular Restaurant. Food: Breakfast, we ate all 3 mornings in the conservatory buffet restaurant. Great selection of food to cater for all tastes Lunch, only ate lunch once on the ship and this was in the Peninsular. This was a waiter served lunch which was great quality. Evening Meal, on freedom dining we dined all of our stay in the Peninsular Restaurant. We turned up at various times during the 3 nights and asked for a table of two, every night we were given a pager but never waited more than 10 minutes. The standard of food and service was outstanding. Entertainment: We spent the majority of our ship time between the ‘Lords Tavern’ when there were quizzes and the ‘Crow’s Nest’ when nothing in the tavern took our fancy. Drinks were reasonably priced and the venues had a great atmosphere. The ‘Crow’s Nest’ was a great relaxing venue where you could have a drink and watch the world go by, and when dark just sit and chill with a beverage of choice. We did spend an hour one evening in the Theatre and watched the comedian Micky Zany, which was well worth it with a lot of laugh out loud moments. Other nights the theatre entertainment was not to our fancy but others appeared to enjoy what was on offer. Ports of Call: Bruges, we decided to make use of the free shuttle bus from port to Blankenberge. The bus drops you very close to the railway station. A return ticket is €6.20 to Bruges, which is a 15 – 20 mins train journey, then a 20 minute stroll to get to the centre of Bruges. We spent most of the day wandering the streets taking in all it had to offer, especially the Belgian Beer, Chocolates, Waffles and Frites . On the whole a beautiful city Amsterdam, due to the delayed start to our cruise and the amended itinerary the limited hours we had in the city was nowhere enough time to fully explore. But the feeling I got was that Amsterdam needs to be experienced at night to get the full experience Summary: As this was our first cruise we didn’t know what to expect. This was the most enjoyable holiday we have ever take, so much so we booked the same itinerary for next October but for one day longer. This will be our way to holiday for the future. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We just arrived home from a 5 night cruise from Southampton due to call at Amsterdam and Le Havre. We did not end up docking in port at Le Havre, due to a local protest. Which is fair enough, although strikes at this port in particular ... Read More
We just arrived home from a 5 night cruise from Southampton due to call at Amsterdam and Le Havre. We did not end up docking in port at Le Havre, due to a local protest. Which is fair enough, although strikes at this port in particular are an ongoing issue, and the unions do post a schedule of strikes arranged. So in all honesty I am not sure why they even attempted to dock. Aside from the changes to our itinerary; not being able to dock in France and getting an extra half a day in Amsterdam due to wind conditions preventing our disembarkation (Amsterdam was great by the way), I have several concerns and reservations about the standard of cruise that P&O offered. Where to start... Dirty. Once you navigate away from the main atrium the conditions on board slip -substantially. Old, worn out, shabby decor. Add to that the fact that the whole of deck 7 smelt of sewerage. The one night we got into the lift from the atrium up to deck 15, we were greeted by a pair of extremely soiled pants which had just been taken off and discarded INSIDE the lift! Overall the standard on board is no better than a 3 star hotel. Dirty and discoloured carpets. The stagnant smell of cigarettes. Tatty and old tables and chairs in the dining area. Dirty window cills. Dirty Cutlery. Wet and stained carpets - that they were constantly trying to dry out - to no avail. Cold food. Bad smelling public toilets near Malabar. Plastic cocktail and pint glasses. The only reason I have given the overall rating of 2 stars, is because of the staff. They work ridiculously long hours are always happy to help and quite frankly put up with rude, intolerable and haughty guests on board. Would I cruise with P&O again, no. I am so glad that we booked very last minute and paid the saver rate. If we had paid full price for this cruise, I would have formally complained. One last thing, the only drinks that come in your all inclusive package are; tea, coffee and water, no juice. Which I think is totally ridiculous. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
While not expecting much in the destinations i.e. Amsterdam and Le Havre we got an exceptionally good value deal in deluxe balcony cabin and wanted to see the Azura as other cruisers we have met in the last few years have given it great ... Read More
While not expecting much in the destinations i.e. Amsterdam and Le Havre we got an exceptionally good value deal in deluxe balcony cabin and wanted to see the Azura as other cruisers we have met in the last few years have given it great reviews.They were correct as she is spacious and public areas well planned and very comfortable.Meals were always of high standard and to the British taste ,the buffet though fine for breakfast was a bit boring at lunch time.Because we were stuck in Amsterdam and then were locked out of Le Havre due to a lightning strike by French dock workers ,it meant the buffet area was exceptionally busy and felt over crowded.The staff worked tirelessly and with a smile on their faces? Evening shows were very good and particularly enjoyed the Blue Jays and the comedian Mike Doyle.Drinks on P&O are very reasonable compared to other lines so that's a bonus. We were allocated a balcony suite near the stern which was a bit noisy at times but the bed was so comfortable we slept really well.This cabin came with full bathroom including bath tub!! Even though the weather was awful and impacted on the itinerary we had a good cruise and found it really good value for money having only booked one week before sailing. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We have cruised with P&O many times; this would be our second two night cruise break, it came up to expectations! Embarkation/Disembarkation The ship was using the Ocean Terminal in Southampton. The terminal works very well at ... Read More
We have cruised with P&O many times; this would be our second two night cruise break, it came up to expectations! Embarkation/Disembarkation The ship was using the Ocean Terminal in Southampton. The terminal works very well at getting people through as quickly as possible. Most people were carrying on the luggage which simplified things. The terminal was particularly noisy, and had a party atmosphere, we even saw a chap dressed as a bride with boots on! The only slight hold up is having to complete the health questionnaire on arrival, why not offer it for download from the Cruise Personaliser. P&O complicate this by giving you a boarding time, ours is 15:30, it is always a late time whatever P&O cruise we take! We decided to aim for 13:30, and only had to wait around until 14:00 before being called to check-in. We arrived at our cabin by 14:15. Disembarkation is equally efficient. Instructions are dropped off at your cabin on Saturday. We went to the open seating breakfast (served between 07:00 and 09:00), getting in there before the eight o’clock rush. After breakfast, back to the cabin to pick up the bags, then join the queue to get off This moved fairly quickly and we were off 08:20, and joined the queue for a local taxi to the train station. Dining On the first night we ate in Sindhu, had a really good meal in there, soft shell crab to start and then a selection of curies to follow. The service in there is particularly good. We had opted for Freedom Dining which gives great flexibility, but it can get busy at peak times, the best strategy is to be prepared to share a table (requesting a table for two will probably result in being given a pager). We ate in the Saffron Restaurant; we also used it for breakfast. On the second night we met up with friends and shared a table for four. The Saffron Restaurant is very big, but the service is good. The breakfast choices in the MDR are comprehensive, but I don’t think the choice has changed in the 10 years we have been sailing with P&O. Bars Lots of bars as you would expect, some with an emphasis on gin. There is a wide selection of craft gins available in the Red Bar. Most drinks at pub prices, but if you want more than two glasses of wine a bottle of the house (white in our case) is an economical option at £16. Breakers Bar on the Sun Deck was always busy, and on this cruise some of the passengers were shouting at the staff for service. The Glasshouse offers a quieter venue. Cabin Our cabin was port rear on deck 10 (C510), it was a good size; it is described as a superior balcony. The décor and fittings were in reasonable shape. Between the bathroom and main room is a spacious hanging area that really works well. The beds are high enough to take some pretty big suitcases underneath. The balcony is a good size and does have an overhang. Our steward was very cheerful, but we did not have time to get to know her. This cabin was very quiet, nothing rattled. If we had been on a longer cruise we would have asked for the pillows to be changed, they were like paving slabs. Entertainment There was plenty going on, but we stuck to the bars! Photography We went to a reception in Tamarind and the photographers went to great trouble to get a good group photograph which we purchased fro £12. Ports of Call Zeebrugge – Belgium Nothing in particular planned for this day. We caught the shuttle bus into Blankenberge, walked to the marina, then out along the pier and back along the sea front to the top of the main shopping street. Lunch was moules and bread; there was a problem with the fries! Next we bought some chocolate and went back to the ship. Anything Else? Much as expected these cruises breaks are intense and lively, it helped that we had been on the ship before and knew where everything was. There were lots of groups on board, not just stag and hen parties, but birthdays and anniversaries as well. We even got to meet Poppy from Bolsover Cruise Club (our TA) at a get together! We had expected the formal night to be the second night, but it was the first (apparently so the photographers could take and sell more formal prints). It is nice to be able to carry on and off your bags; it makes embarkation and disembarkation much quicker. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
I was only aboard the Ventura for a weekend cruise - less than 40 hours. We were celebrating a birthday, and as such for us the trip was really more about making use of the ship's various, delightful-sounding bar and restaurant ... Read More
I was only aboard the Ventura for a weekend cruise - less than 40 hours. We were celebrating a birthday, and as such for us the trip was really more about making use of the ship's various, delightful-sounding bar and restaurant facilities. I would heartily recommend this ship for fans of queuing and waiting. If you're into those, you are in for a treat! Huge lines to get into restaurants - queuing all the way up the stairs to the next deck. Huge queues for the formal photographs. Queues are reception, as one person mans the desk and phones ring off the hook around them. Chaos, basically. A typical interaction with a member of the serving staff on board the Ventura might look something like this: You approach a bar, behind which are two or three people frantically preparing drinks. A waiter dashes up to you, to intercept your attempt to order at the bar. The waiter takes your order. Five minutes later, the waiter returns to take your cruise card. Around 10 minutes later, your drinks arrive. This might sound like an exaggeration, but at one point I waited 25 minutes for a coffee. In a deserted bar. The restaurants were no better - one person assigned to take drinks for a restaurant full with 100+ people. The wine waitress was so stressed and busy that at one point rather than topping up my wine, she just emptied the bottle into it. The fundamental problem seems to me that they were attempting to provide a silver service experience, with greasy-spoon levels of staff training. The food itself was fine, nothing special. The Beach House was absolutely not worth the additional supplements (a cover charge AND supplements on the food), particularly considering its decor and vibe - think school canteen. The ventura has the potential to be a great experience, and perhaps on longer cruises there are more staff laid on. But if this cruise had been any longer than two nights, I'd have found myself wanting to abandon ship halfway through. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Decided on a last minute 7 night cruise on Azura to France and Spain. Embarkation was very well organised and within 30 minutes of arriving we were in our Cabin. Very disappointed with the cleanliness in the cabin, there was dust on ... Read More
Decided on a last minute 7 night cruise on Azura to France and Spain. Embarkation was very well organised and within 30 minutes of arriving we were in our Cabin. Very disappointed with the cleanliness in the cabin, there was dust on the curtains, the bedding looked very worn, the toilet smelt of urine which was awful, this never changed for the whole cruise , we had to buy solid air freshness which partly helped. The carpet was stained and needed a deep clean. We were on club dining in the oriental restaurant , the choice of food is less than we are used to on P and O, the chicken I had was so tough I couldn't even cut into it. The starters and deserts were very good but the main meals were not to the usual standard, there used to be a Marco Pierre White choice every evening, now it is only on one night. The freedom dining on a lunchtime was better with lovely choices. We only visited the buffet once but hard to find a seat and food was not up to the usual standard as in previous cruises. The entertainment with the Headliners was very good except for the last show which was called Evolution and we couldn't follow it al all, I had seen previous reviews on this show which were not good and we felt the same. The comedians and four seasons tribute show was very good and packed house every night. Brodie's is not big enough so we couldn't fing a seat. The groups in the Malabar and Manhatten were not to our taste . The ports were good but sadly it was too windy so we couldn't dock in Guernsey, so 3 sea days in a 7 day cruise was not popular. Most of the lectures were about up selling as was the spa. Disembarkation was very good and well organised. We feel P and O must look at the cleanliness and comfort of their customers, so unfortunately we will be looking at other companies for our future cruises unless we hear things have improve with P and O. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
From the minute we arrived at Southampton Docks Embarkation we were really looking forward to our five night cruise on the Azura to Amsterdam and Le Havre. Our cabin A401 was comfortable and our Steward ‘Teo’ was polite and efficient ... Read More
From the minute we arrived at Southampton Docks Embarkation we were really looking forward to our five night cruise on the Azura to Amsterdam and Le Havre. Our cabin A401 was comfortable and our Steward ‘Teo’ was polite and efficient so no problems there. Our balcony was a good size with two reclining chairs, a foot stool and a small table for drinks. It was a nice touch by P&O to have tea and coffee making facilities in our cabin and a fridge. The ship is generally superb with bars and restaurants reasonably well organised, although on this particular cruise we found it hard to navigate our way around and we have cruised for quite a few years without this problem. The shows were good and the live band that performed in the main theatre on two nights were exceptional. The ports of call were OK, Amsterdam in parts was very scruffy, lots of rubbish around and generally uncared for, Le Havre is a bit of a concrete jungle, but has a particular charm. We liked the trams, the markets and the sea front, and during our visit the ‘tall ships’ were in port. Bad points: the excursions were ridiculously expensive, an example: £44 each for 1 ½ hour evening canal trip! Some (not all) staff, in particularly the self service restaurants were not at all friendly and the security when coming back on board, although we don’t have a problem, especially in these troubled times with being checked were over the top officious, not a pleasant experience! We think that P&O staff should remind people a lot more than they do about using the hand gel provided; we still find it amazing that many go out of their way to not use it, even to the point of getting quite aggressive when reminded. Generally a great time, great ship, the weather in ports could have been kinder, but hey we’re in the English Channel. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We were on the P&O Oriana for a round Ireland cruise. It was our second time on this ship and we found the food much improved from the first time. However, I was disappointed with the actual dining experience. We had booked a saver ... Read More
We were on the P&O Oriana for a round Ireland cruise. It was our second time on this ship and we found the food much improved from the first time. However, I was disappointed with the actual dining experience. We had booked a saver fare and had no say in what size dining table or sitting we preferred. When we had boarded, we found a card with our Dining details waiting in our cabin. We both jumped for joy as it was just what we wanted, 2nd sitting on a table for 8. Great we thought! However, on the first night there were 6 of us, that was OK we thought, the other two are probably tired from travelling. Two of the six that night discovered there was nothing on the menu to fulfil their cultural dietary needs. Thus, they didn't join the table again. The missing two, never appeared at all. So for the rest of the cruise there were only 4 of us on a huge table for 8. When I looked around, I noticed there were many other empty seats. May I also point out there was an empty table for 4 adjacent to our table. My question is, did the Maitre'd know that our table would now be a maximum of 4, on a table laid out for 8, for the rest of the cruise? Call me old fashioned, but if he did, why couldn't he fill our table or reduce our table layout. We have cruised for twenty years and have always looked forward to the Dining experience and meeting new people. I did ask our waiter if he could reduce our table so that we could speak and be heard more easily with our fellow diners, of which he replied 'move to the other side of the table'', to which I replied 'how will that help' ? Even in our local Indian, they clear away unused places at the table. Free time dining seems the answer. On the whole, the cruise experience was good, we embarked at Southampton and that ran very smoothly. We found the cabin staff very friendly and efficient. The Theatre entertainment was OK and we did try to see a showing each night however, we did find a lack of entertainment elsewhere.We were looking to settle down with a pre dinner drink to some live music but the bars seemed quite lifeless except for the pub. Also found the same after the theatre showing. We did use the ship's spa facilities and found the experience very relaxing and enjoyable. We also enjoyed sitting on deck in the sea air, and listening to the captain's reports, especially when the crew informed us of dolphin sightings. We chose this cruise for the ports of call and took two P&O excursions, one from Cobh to Kinsale which we found quite interesting. The second was from Galway to the Cliffs of Moher which again was a good trip. The ship tendered from Galway and we must say the organisation was very good getting us across to shore to pick up our coach tour in time but have to say failed miserably to get us back in good time. We found several tours arrived back at the same time and not enough boats to take us to the ship, thus we had to queue a very long time. P&O seem to pride themselves with providing a traditional cruise experience which they do but they need to up there game on the dining experience which requires more interaction from the staff to their guests, otherwise we think they are on the slippery slope. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We felt we needed a quick cruise so we selected Oriana's 7 night trip round Ireland on which some friends were booked. We got a good cabin at a good price with a very generous on board spend allowance. Packing was a problem as Ireland ... Read More
We felt we needed a quick cruise so we selected Oriana's 7 night trip round Ireland on which some friends were booked. We got a good cabin at a good price with a very generous on board spend allowance. Packing was a problem as Ireland is not known for the driest weather but we only experienced a few drops during the entire week. The ports -1 Cobh. Known for being a major emigrant port, the last call of the Titanic and the sinking of Lusitania in 1915 was a delightful little town with good rail links to Cork from right alongside the ship. The museum 'The Queenstown Story' is right in the old station and is really worth a visit for only a few Euro. As it was Sunday when we called, the whole town turned out to see us and it was a really festive call. 2 Dublin. Easy shuttle into the city where we caught a Hop On Hop Off bus ('DoDublin'). The driver/guide was so funny we kept the video running just to record his fabulous humour - informative too! 3 Killibegs (port for Donegal). Quite small but the biggest fishing port in Ireland where we visited a craft exhibition laid on especially for the ship, talked to the local fishermen and tug crews. So friendly and good WiFi and food. 4 Galway. A long tender into port but the town laid on a big trip boat which eased the tender delays. Again, full of live entertainment and very pretty. The captain and crew (and fellow passengers) were all on top form and good sea days at both the beginning and end of the cruise meant that it was well balanced and seemed a lot longer. Thoroughly recommended. Oriana had a refit at the end of last year (2016) which we think had been very well done. All the cabin upholstery had been renewed (although cushions on the bigger cabin settees had not been replaced sadly) and all the seating and decor in all the bars and restaurants looked very well updated. The new carpets caused a few respiratory issues on the Amazon cruise we did in January but they had settled down by the time of this cruise. We felt that P&O had done a focussed refit on the passenger areas and Oriana looked all set for a few more years service. Our Deluxe outside cabin was so similar to our Deluxe balcony cabin from January a deck above that we found ourselves bumping into the window in the morning expecting to find a balcony door behind the curtains! There seemed to be fewer items in the cabin tea tray but our Steward Elton (great guy) was always refreshing it as well as supplying glasses, lemons and ice when we wanted it without any fuss. He was also very happy to empty the fridge on our arrival and to stow its contents under the bed so that we had the fridge available for entertaining.We noted that nearly all room service items (except breakfast) are now chargeable. Didn't worry us but upset some people. We had booked Freedom dining (which we were told was going to be the only form of regular dining on the new ship) and, as we dined with our same friends every night, we were able to arrange the same table at approximately the same time so as to enjoy our rapport with the same waiting team. As usual , it was almost exactly like Club dining but with the flexibility of Freedom dining with the added bonus of getting seated half an hour before the late sitting time in Club that we often opt for. Sadly lobster never made an appearance on either formal night. The quizzes we popular and well managed and the one guest speaker, Carole Phillips talking about her service in the Police was very entertaining and engaging. Headliners were particularly good on this cruise and had the sense to perform their Destination Dance show early on with its spectacular Riverdance final - very apt for Ireland. The classical pianist was very good but was AWOL for his last appearance sadly. We didn't go on any excursions as we were a foursome and could arrange our own schedule at reasonable cost - and there was no shortage of friendly locals to make sense of everywhere we went and to make excellent recommendations. It was almost in our native language! There were 300+ first time cruisers aboard and all the ones we met seemed to be enjoying themselves although the hardening of tender boarding restrictions, while sensible in our opinion, disappointed some of the more physically challenged guests. The only odd issue that we had not come across before was the charging of tax on all shipboard items in the shops. Apparently this is because the cruise was wholly within the EU and therefore everything had to be tax paid. This explains the popularity of ports such as St Peter Port, Guernsey, and Gibraltar whose tax-free status means that a visit there on any cruise apparently allows the cruise to 'leave' the EU for tax purposes. Check it out in the P&O online Advice Centre. Unfortunately Irish prices are rather higher than in the UK - but at least you get extra Club points in Tesco's! Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We booked this 2 day cruise for our grand daughters birthday treat. Checking in at Southampton was a long tiring affair, taking almost an hour and half. We had a balcony cabin as we like watching the world sail by. As usual the cabin was ... Read More
We booked this 2 day cruise for our grand daughters birthday treat. Checking in at Southampton was a long tiring affair, taking almost an hour and half. We had a balcony cabin as we like watching the world sail by. As usual the cabin was clean and functional, the cabin Stewart was very efficient as he cleaned the cabin twice a day. At reception a sign said the ship was fully booked, a mix of families and hen do's. The pool area was very busy with certain groups taking over the jacuzzis all afternoon, drinking using real glass's rather than the plastic ones everyone else had to use. They used the sides to place their glasses and bottles. There were groups of people drinking to excess and jumping in the pool wearing their outdoor shorts, there was no one to stop them. The staff were more concerned in selling them more alcohol. Ordering drinks was a long affair as there wasn't enough staff to serve everyone. The restaurant was no better, trying to get a bottle wine was a long time, we had almost eaten our dinner before we got our wine, even when we pre booked it on the wine channel. The food in the restaurant wasn't up to much, portions have been reduced and much less choice. The choice on the formal night was pretty dire, coming out Lukewarm. One of my grand daughters is a vegetarian and the starter choice was goats cheese and the main course was also goats cheese. When we asked if there was anything else, we were told no, we should have ordered it 2 days previous , which would have been hard as we weren't on the ship then. The staff were slow and uninterested. Having been on the azura seven times before, I can honestly say this was my last time. I think they should just name these cruises booze cruises because it seems p and o are not interested in families, just groups who drink as much as they can in the shortest time. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Two day trip to Guernsey ok so bad bits: Tender to Guernsey Pools very busy Epicurean restaurant - steak disgusting, food not tasty and cost £90 for the 3 of us - very disappointing Had to put suitcase out at night to go ... Read More
Two day trip to Guernsey ok so bad bits: Tender to Guernsey Pools very busy Epicurean restaurant - steak disgusting, food not tasty and cost £90 for the 3 of us - very disappointing Had to put suitcase out at night to go home Good bits: Room was very clean Lots of lovely touches like champagne sweets fruit canapés Lovely steward service William you were the best! The staff were excellent the food was good and things to do were very good Highly recommend well done PO Cruises , first cruise and i so enjoyed it Embankment and disembarkment was swift Very disappointed in the top restaurant and when i mentioned about the steak they were not overly customer friendly It is confusing the instructions PO give is minimal Lots of people but so many places to hide in and catered for all needs Some nice public areas and nice adult swim only pool Good buffet and the meridian restaurant was very good All staff were pleasant and helpful in the food areas CPS car parking very good Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Love this ship, itinerary took us to a couple of new places. The ship was full but never felt crowded. Food was lovely... I put on 4lbs. I had to make a choice every night...and the strawberry sundae was delicious! We had the best cabin ... Read More
Love this ship, itinerary took us to a couple of new places. The ship was full but never felt crowded. Food was lovely... I put on 4lbs. I had to make a choice every night...and the strawberry sundae was delicious! We had the best cabin steward ever, Shiva, he was so efficient and helpful. Mum uses a wheelchair and all the staff went out of their way to help her. The doors to the Prom deck were not electric so quite a challenge to get her out there, although there always seemed to be a helpful person to hold doors open. Leaving the Belvedere and going out onto deck 9 by the Aquarius pool there were 2 sets of doors to go through, one set automatic and the other not... I came home with a few bruises as I struggled to hold a door open and push mum through at the same time. Mum has a food allergy and was given the next days menu each evening. She could choose anything and they would make it specially for her. The new menus had lots of choices, I struggled every night to decide what to eat. The daily roast and grill really suited mum, I feel she ate the best on this cruise than any other. Assisted embarkation and disembarkation worked really well, luggage was outside our cabin when we got to it. We had a lovely cruise and we are looking forward to our next one, back on Arcadia next year. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Waited over an hour to embark.huge car park queue. Food in the restaurant and buffet is of poor quality and choice. One evening neither of us could eat the starter or the main course. Good food such as smoked salmon would run out in the ... Read More
Waited over an hour to embark.huge car park queue. Food in the restaurant and buffet is of poor quality and choice. One evening neither of us could eat the starter or the main course. Good food such as smoked salmon would run out in the buffet in 30 min and never replaced. The food in the limelight restaurant was the better. They cancelled and refunded our shore excursion 3 days before departure, but we managed to book it again on board. Entertainment was acceptable but not our taste every evening. Hydrotherapy suite was ok, but lots of thing didn't work. Majority of staff are pleasant and helpful . Reception staff were ok but not very knowledgable.we only had till 2.30 pm in. Regents Norway. Small balcony. Not enough plugs. Had to call cabin steward to show me to unplug the kettle to plug in the hair dryer with a funny plug. No shaver/ electric tooth brush charger. Very limited TV channels . Bed is comfortable. Our sheets were never changed on 7 nights. Had a bed time service with 2 little chocolates. Cabin steward was very helpful, friendly and professional ...... Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
When I opened the door to cabin R 751 on the 14th floor Riviera deck, my heart jumped with joy.Why was this cabin still available when I booked the cruise just a few days before departure,I asked myself.What can be wrong with it?The ... Read More
When I opened the door to cabin R 751 on the 14th floor Riviera deck, my heart jumped with joy.Why was this cabin still available when I booked the cruise just a few days before departure,I asked myself.What can be wrong with it?The balcony in the very corner of the starboard side with the whole of the ship spread ahead,utter perfection.Now, I always book a cabin with a balcony,whether I travel alone or with a friend, as I love sunbathing in the nude.Seeing quite a substantial overhang I knew the sun would not be on the balcony much,but nothing could spoil my delight.Knowing I would be able to "freedom dine" and get a little table to myself every evening,the cabin was the cherry on the proverbial cake.And what a cake, what a cherry.Mary,a trainee room attendant,did her best to make me happy,but as long as I have a comfortable bed [and it was] ,cleanliness around me [and there was],the food is well prepared and nicely presented [ and neither the cooks nor the waiters disappoint],I am happy.True, the ship is in need of refurbishment, the towels are threadbare, often stained,as is the carpet throughout,but nothing could spoil the overwhelming sense of contentment.Sitting in the evenings with my chromebook near atrium ,listening to music,drinking non-alcoholic coctails was wonderful.I chose the cruise because I wanted to see the lovely Oporto again and the always enjoyable Lisbon,with Guernsey thrown i for good measure,feeling disappointed our first stop was Vigo.But this time in Vigo I stayed near the port and walked in the shopping centre.There I discovered the best little pastry shop I have ever been to on a cruise - it is by the elevator going up to the first floor.The pastries there are divine.Vigo, I take back everything unbecoming I have said about you in the past!Yes, I had a lovely,lovely time on Ventura. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We were interested to see the locations around the UK but when we arrived at Guernsey, the last port of call, the Captain refused to allow us to go ashore despite customers on the Ventura, anchored alongside, being allowed to go ashore. ... Read More
We were interested to see the locations around the UK but when we arrived at Guernsey, the last port of call, the Captain refused to allow us to go ashore despite customers on the Ventura, anchored alongside, being allowed to go ashore. The Captain claimed the weather was too bad, the tenders inadequate and the customers too old. Some customers were old but that is no reason to cancel the visit for everybody. The weather and sea conditions looked fine to me and there was much annoyance amongst fellow passengers, so much so that it was the major topic of discussion for the rest of the trip. The comedian Roy Walker was amusing and the talk by Ian Brown interesting. The evening meals were of a good standard but felt rushed as did breakfast. The conservatory food was poor so we opted for the seated meals on almost all occasions. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
There were many issues and mainly to do with the dining experience, members of staff, certain basic food and drinks not being available. First, I would like to advise this was my first cruise. I travelled with my mother, and has been ... Read More
There were many issues and mainly to do with the dining experience, members of staff, certain basic food and drinks not being available. First, I would like to advise this was my first cruise. I travelled with my mother, and has been on many cruises but never P&O. My mother has always referred to the service as being outstanding on every cruise (cruise Maritime, Thompsons, Fred Olsen). First morning, I attended the buffet breakfast area (conservatory) at around 9.30am to be faced with huge queues waiting for hot food, these queues seem to be taking a considerable amount of time to move. I have been to many 4-5-star hotels all over the world and I expect to queue at busy periods but the queue would always move quickly. After observing for 10 minutes while I wait (moved ever so slightly in this time), it was instantly clear why the queues were not moving. The hot food was not being replenished quick enough, now this was simple things like mushrooms, bacon, fried eggs as so on (basic breakfast food that is normally consumed by most people). I queued and eventually selected what I wanted, but the overall wait was approximately 25 minutes. I did contemplate getting more but the waiting time outweighed the hunger. This continued throughout the duration of the cruise, (every day apart from the last day, this was mainly due to me and my mother arriving at 6am so we could disembark early). Day 3 and onwards, again I had to wait around the same time as above only to be told there was no mushrooms today or they had completely run out. One day that stands out, the 5th day 28th July 2017, I even asked the member of staff behind the counter, only to be told there had not been any mushrooms cooked and there is none being cooked. At my amazement, when I returned to my seat, my mother had mushrooms. Clearly, I was lied to and again they had simply run out, bear in mind, we always attended breakfast between 9am and 10am. The staff in the conservatory buffet seemed very under trained and had no idea how to interact with the guest. Not once did they say, "good morning", Good Afternoon", or Good Evening". Most of the time they spent talking amongst themselves, it also seemed they had their own game going on. I like to watch people, several of the staff would look at each other and make some form of facial gesture, the other one would then laugh, this was though they were insulting the guest and this made me and my mother very uncofortable. As a little test, I left my plate on the side of my table, 3 members of staff were just chatting and laughing, the plate was eventually removed after about 15 minutes. I am unsure what uniform the Management wear, but to me it was a clear there was lack of supervision in the so-called restaurant. I also witnessed a waiter clearing a table and rather than sweep the crumbs etc. from the table on to a tray or their hand, with my astonishment they just swept it on the floor, there was still around 2 hours of service left, appalling. Throughout the duration of the cruise There was no draught Larger in the Crow’s Nest, (well this is what we were advised). The first club dining night, our table (55) had to wait around 45 minutes between starter and main course. This was nothing to do with the waiters. I would like to say the club dining waiters were very professional and an asset to P&O. I I have made an official complaint via P&O website. I have received a reply (took 29 days which falls outside their complaints process, and only I feel i only received a response due to chasing twice) which basically told me what P&O set out to achieve (type of mission/vision statement) but nothing on how they will be dealing with my dissatisfaction. There was also no apology for the late response and they had the cheek to advise they would welcome me back on board. I have replied back to still state my dissatisfaction, and guess what no response. I have even called the customer services to be told we can not put you through to the complaints department, you need to send an email (trust me this doesn't work), I was advised a Manager would call me ASAP (this call took place on 6th September 2017 and i m now writing this on 7th September 2017, and surprise, surprise, I am still waiting for a call. To sum up. DO NOT BOOK A CRUISE WITH P&O and look for an alternative operator. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
This was Our first Cruise, it was everything we were told it was going to be ,excellent,from start to finish, apart from the weather, (and i cant hold P&O responsible for that,) the staff on board were absolutely fantastic both on a ... Read More
This was Our first Cruise, it was everything we were told it was going to be ,excellent,from start to finish, apart from the weather, (and i cant hold P&O responsible for that,) the staff on board were absolutely fantastic both on a personal level,and professional level , the ship herself was neat and clean as was the cabin, the house keeping was outstanding, and all aboard went out of their way to help(my wife is disabled) if i could give a 11/10 i would ,from the captain down to the bottle washer ,everyone went out of their way to help, the food was great and plenty of it (i put on half a stone in a week), ease of access to all decks (using the lifts ) was easy We Highly recommend P&O Cruises, and will definitely travel with them again, With Grateful thanks to all aboard the Magnificent ORIANA, Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Myself and my husband ( with our two children) were sailing for 6 days cruise to Spain ,France and Guernsey. Before this cruise, we regularly go cruising, with different companies. But we never sailed with PO Cruises before. Overal ... Read More
Myself and my husband ( with our two children) were sailing for 6 days cruise to Spain ,France and Guernsey. Before this cruise, we regularly go cruising, with different companies. But we never sailed with PO Cruises before. Overal I will describe a cruise to be like a boarding school experience with terrible food and really bad service. We had many issues with the service on the cruise, such as: There were 2 black tie nights during our 6 nights on board. My husband did not bring a black jacket and boe tie . We, because if this, were not allowed in the restarant and on desks during those nights. We had a terrible problem with our room card is not working and we had to go to reception 5 times to sort it out. It took us nearly 3 days and during this time we were not able to buy drinks. The food was just not eatable. It can be described as very bad quality pub food, the same every day. The were very long wait at every port and everyone had to wait for up to an hour for transportation and to go back onto the ship. The staff either ignored our complains, or constantly told us off. They appear to be only interested in selling extras to us. Our last port of call was cancelled by the captain due to the 25 knots wind . It looked fine and snny to me, butthe captain just told us that there will be no stop in Guernsey. We both felt that PO cruises provided us with the experience which we can not described as a holiday. We were so glad to arrive back to Southampton. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
This was my 7th cruise, having sailed with Thompson, NCL and Cunard before; and this was the worst one yet. Cons -had a terrible encounter with my waiter in the Meridian restaurant on a particular night, as whilst having a ... Read More
This was my 7th cruise, having sailed with Thompson, NCL and Cunard before; and this was the worst one yet. Cons -had a terrible encounter with my waiter in the Meridian restaurant on a particular night, as whilst having a conversation about desserts he preceded to say how the fact I must eat too many puddings is why 'she is so podgy' and 'fat and round like a pudding', with after my mum making a comment replying that he 'didn't care what I thought of him because I was leaving in 2 days and he would never see me again' - we formally complained - poor range of food at the buffet, very repetitive - poor room service menu, and on 2 occasions our orders did not even turn up! - the main (and only) deck on levels 16 and 17 often felt slightly unclean, and dangerously slippy - at dinner in the restaurant, drinks orders took ages to arrive - on one occasion, our cabin steward said 'is it ok if I make up your room later, as I clock off now?' - obviously bad customer service - first night, because we had to wait so long to get a table for the 8 of us, we had a later dinner, presumably meaning that's why the service was slow and food arrived luke warm - very disappointing - P&O had failed to mention that one of the formal nights was a black and white evening, only finding out the day before - there is only one main deck on level 16, which personally I thought meant limited outdoor space, making it feel more claustrophobic -disliked the fact that if you wanted hot drinks it always meant having to have a costa version - hence not good quality or good tasting drinks in my opinion - photographs were very overpriced, £120 for unlimited photos to be put on a memory stick,,,not even printed!! -there was a complete lack of toilets around the ship, often only having 2 or 3 working toilets in each bathroom in the ladies -heard from 2 members of my party in a balcony room, that they could have done with more 'black out' curtains -disappointed to not be able to have gotten off at the port in Guernsey because of weather conditions; one waiter told us that this happens 50% of the time at Guernsey - but weather conditions can understandably not be helped - was quite rocky for a couple of days - just a warning that Bay of Biscay where the ship was mostly sailing is known to be rockier so just a warning for anyone thinking of cruising in this area Pros - enjoyed the entertainment - staff on deck, in crows nest and in the live lounge were very friendly - piano playing in the crows nest in the evening was stunning and enjoyable (forgotten his name but he was a replacement for adam Ellison on that particular night) -rooms were cleaned to satisfaction, however the tap handle did fall off on last day so maybe slightly dated with need for repairs -the décor of the ship was very lovely Overall, we were not made to feel special or spoilt on this cruise, as a paying customer, however this was a cheap cruise so probably getting what you paid for; but still doesn't mean you should get any less of an enjoyable cruise experience. I wouldn't recommend P&O, and won't be travelling with them again. But possibly a good cruise, for first time cruisers with no previous experience. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
This is our first cruise with P&O and first impressions were great. My partner is unable to walk more than a few yards and uses a mobility scooter. Embarkation was smooth and very easy, we were fast tracked through check in and ... Read More
This is our first cruise with P&O and first impressions were great. My partner is unable to walk more than a few yards and uses a mobility scooter. Embarkation was smooth and very easy, we were fast tracked through check in and security and our luggage was waiting outside our cabin for us. We had a accessible balcony cabin on deck 12 (C deck) and were delighted with it! It was spacious and extremely comfortable, the wetroom was ideal and the balcony, although small was perfectly adequate. We were booked onto Freedom Dining and allocated the Peninsula restaurant and here is where we encountered the first frustration. As we expected we were told we had a short wait for a table and were given a pager. Unfortunately the reception for the pager didn't stretch as far as the closest bar on that level (Brodie's) and so we had to loiter close to the shops. As my partner uses a mobility scooter, to go to the bar in the atrium area we needed to use the lifts ..... often there were queues, so with a short 15-20 min wait it hardly seemed worth it! Once we made it into the restaurant the food was good ... although service was rushed and we thought the menu could have been more imaginative. On night 2 we had booked into the Limelight club to see Eric n Ern .... fabulous! Great food, great service and outstanding entertainment. Eric n Ern were brilliant and there was opportunity to have a photo with them afterwards. Grace, the host for the evening did a fabulous job. Well worth the cover charge. We also ate in the Beach House one evening and, although the menu and food were very good, the evening was spoilt because the air conditioning was uncomfortably cold. We complained several times but as the controls were centralised nothing could be done. Some diners were putting serviettes over their shoulders to try to keep off the cold! We did complain to reception and the cover charge was refunded back to our onboard account. Our first port of call was La Rochelle and we had booked the Il de Re excursion which was excellent. We loved the island so much we would like to return for a longer holiday. Next day was Bilbao and again we booked an excursion, this time to the Old town and Guggenheim..... another memorable day. Excellent. Both excursions were worth the money and the both Tour Guides and drivers outstanding. The drivers uncomplainingly lifted my partners scooter in and out of the coach luggage compartment at every stop and we had front row seats reserved on both coaches. Our final port of call was St Peter Port, unfortunately due to high winds the captain was forced to abandon the port as it was unsafe for the tenders. I watched the pilot boat early that morning and it was certainly 'bobbing around'. Although disappointing I did feel a certain sense of relief at not having to experience a tender to shore! However, due to the unexpected sea day, the ship was chaotic to say the least- the weather deteriorated and rain and wind made it impossible to access outside decks. This resulted in bored, but energetic children (and adults) all trying to find something to do! There was an alternative entertainment programme in place .... but not to our cup,of tea. We retreated to our cabin, my partner watched the Open Golf Championships on the TV and I read my book and had a nap! The final frustration came on disembarkation. We were told to join the special assistance group and meet in the Limelight Club at 8.15am. Realising the lifts would be busy, we left our cabin at 7.45am ... it took us almost 30 minutes to get in a lift! The lifts were full with passengers who had chosen to disembark with luggage, sometimes the lifts were full with large suitcases and only one or two people! It was so frustrating as we did not have an option to use the stairs! I think that lifts ought to be managed by staff at this busy time .... with at least one lift reserved for passengers using wheelchairs and mobility aids. I also think allowing people to take their own luggage off at a time when disabled people have been asked to gather for disembarkation is very poor planning! People,disembarking with their own luggage should not be allowed to do this at 8am when everyone has to vacate their cabins! Total chaos. It is shame that the final memories of what was on the whole a great holiday were soured by disorganised disembarkation. To sum up - highs and lows. However we will try P&O again ... maybe an adults only slightly smaller ship next time. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Word of warning to passengers please be careful of what you are being charged from the photo shop when having photos taken on board ! Did not realise until on way home in car that we had been charged twice for the same photo ,people are in ... Read More
Word of warning to passengers please be careful of what you are being charged from the photo shop when having photos taken on board ! Did not realise until on way home in car that we had been charged twice for the same photo ,people are in a rush on morning of embarkation when you get your onboard statement and not always time to check it . Have rung three times on a premium rate number ,promises of replies by email ,it dosnt happen ,I even had a promise of a return phone call straight away as It was a premium rate phone call I've been ringing ,no phone call ! I also like another passenger on the same trip ,I had to go to reception 4 times in 6 days as every card I was given worked a couple of times and then wouldn't let me in my room although I was told it's never happened before !! ,very frustrating when you've been out for the evening and it took over 20 mins for me to get entry to my room ! Don't think Brittania has the wow factor as I heard quite a few people saying ,first and last time for us on that ship. Loved the Theartre shows each evening ,something for everyone . Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Always cruised with P&O, mainly Azura as we like to do the Caribbean. Decided to take 2 of our children on a small cruise so chose this one. The ship was Lovely and Embarkation/Disembarkation was excellent. One daughter loved the ... Read More
Always cruised with P&O, mainly Azura as we like to do the Caribbean. Decided to take 2 of our children on a small cruise so chose this one. The ship was Lovely and Embarkation/Disembarkation was excellent. One daughter loved the Spa and said how friendly the staff were, feeling so relaxed and looked after. Adam the Pianist was first class. Took part in the Les Mis singing session and he made the sessions so enjoyable and also in the Crows nest when he was playing the Piano. He is a gem...Look after him P&O. The only thing I did not like( our cabin was mid ship deck D ) was that there are no stairs in the middle of the ship and so if you are claustrophobic you have to use the lifts (Which of course were always full and crowded and took so long to come as it went to every level) or walk all the way down to the front or back of the ship to change levels. I will go on the ship again but may change where my cabin is so that I am near some stairs. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
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