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

Having previously cruised extensively with P&O we were very disappointed at the continual decline in what this company actually achieves whilst still promising a whole lot more. Every previous passenger without exception agreed that ... Read More
Having previously cruised extensively with P&O we were very disappointed at the continual decline in what this company actually achieves whilst still promising a whole lot more. Every previous passenger without exception agreed that P&O cut back on what they were offering or were now charging for what was previously a given. A little for instance, they still serve petit fours after a meal but they're not worth the time even eating, so poor is the offering. The food is at best adequate, nothing at all outstanding, the meat is fatty the fish dry and the veggies laughable. Many of the crew and officers have been quite candid in agreeing that standards and quality has diminished, unfortunately the price hasn't !!! It's as if a smart Alec accountant has been through the ship and cut out or down any of the signature attractions P&O once had. This is not a cruise line that I would recommend to anyone expecting the "P&O ' experience, it's at best a 3 star offering, being promoted as a something more. The captain and the cruise Director both invited comment before we all left to comment on Cruise critic but the fact is neither is really interested or able to do anything positive. It's all a big sell. The cruise director was thought by many to be somewhat churlish in his attitude, which I am in full agreement with. Unfortunately he also thought he should treat the passengers like children too. My comment ?? Wake up P&O and start delivering what you are promising Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
We are regular cruisers with Royal Caribbean and Celebrity. We thought it was time to try P & O. We booked a mini cruise to Guernsey. We were so excited about travelling on a different ship. Check in process was smooth after a hour ... Read More
We are regular cruisers with Royal Caribbean and Celebrity. We thought it was time to try P & O. We booked a mini cruise to Guernsey. We were so excited about travelling on a different ship. Check in process was smooth after a hour wait. As soon as we were on board we decided to look for the self serve cafe for lunch. So Surprised how dark and enclosed it felt. No staff offering us anti bacterial gel at the enterance to the food area. As we were early we had no problem finding a table. Not able to serve our selves tea/coffee, hubby had to wait in a queue. Felt like we were back at the school cafe! The food was not great. Not much variety compared to the other cruises we have been on. We then explored the ship. We were astonished to see glasses left from the night before all over the top deck area. Cigarette ends were blowing around on the floor! Not the best start. Checked out the pool areas. One pool was filthy and had a large area of dirt at the bottom of it. Off to our cabin, perhaps it would be better. OMG it was disgusting. Thick dust all around the cabin. Stains on the bed linen. We decided to report this at the reception area, we were advised that a cleaner would be back to sort it out. Guess what they never arrived!. Evening Meal. We were shown to our table and meet our fellow passengers. Our waiter did not introduce himself!. The food was served quickly and the quality was better than the lunch time episode. Again no sight of any anti bacterial gel. We found this odd as the Captain did express to all passengers how they regard hygiene as so important. He even recommended that we do not use the public toilets. On other cruises that we have been on there is always staff cleaning bannisters, glass and door handles. We never saw anyone cleaning the public areas. We were not able to get off in Guernsey as the weather was not great for tender. Not much to entertain us on this sea day!. Spent £1.99 on a film that was years old! To sum it up ~ would never ever go on a P & O Ship again. Dirty, unfriendly and lacks the wow factor. Read Less
Sail Date April 2013
We were a group of 6 celebrating a 40th birthday, we have cruised with NCL, P and O and Celebrity before. I can't stress enough how disappointed I was with P@O and Ventura. While the ship from the outside looks impressive the ... Read More
We were a group of 6 celebrating a 40th birthday, we have cruised with NCL, P and O and Celebrity before. I can't stress enough how disappointed I was with P@O and Ventura. While the ship from the outside looks impressive the interior is dated and 80's style, I find it hard to believe it was only launched in 2008. As with most cruises the vast majority of the staff are foreign and of all the cruises I've been on so far the staff were the least engaging and generally of a poor standard. Food was just not up to scratch in all areas, the buffet was chaotic, second class quality and the food poorly displayed. It was a horrible experience to be completely frank. Food on evening dinner service was more or less thrown at us, the waiting staff were more interested in talking amongst themselves rather than engaging with the diners. I was shocked by how bad the service was. The staterooms are dated and poorly maintained. The shower has a shower curtain and all of cabins we occupied had a damp musty smell to them. The main positive about the room was plenty of storage. Where P@O seem to excel is on their entertainment, all of the entertainment staff were of excellent quality. Our favorite line is Celebrity, the difference for the same price is vast between the 2 companies, if you're considering which company to choose there is no comparison in my opinion. Read Less
Sail Date July 2012
Cruised with P & O on previous occasions and have always been very satisfied, but not so on this disastrous mini-cruise. We only had two ports of call on the itinary but Zeebrugge was pulled from the programme before we got on board, ... Read More
Cruised with P & O on previous occasions and have always been very satisfied, but not so on this disastrous mini-cruise. We only had two ports of call on the itinary but Zeebrugge was pulled from the programme before we got on board, leaving us with basically a ferry trip to Le Havre. Worse still - no apology or even a mention from the captain or officers of this change. From our first lunch it was clear that the quality of food and service had plumetted. This continued throughout the 'cruise' with overcooked or warm dishes, food that had not been fully thawed and even tinned peaches for dessert served by disinterested and unfriendly waiters. Together with other passengers it seemed clear to us that we had been abandoned as a '3 day' crowd who were not worth the effort. Many thought the captain had in fact remained in Southampton until the second time when he deemed to 'broadcast' prior to our leaving Le Havre. P&O continued to astound with their total lack of organisation relating to Russell Watson concerts, where ticketing arrangements had not been organised and general chaos ensued, crowds of very angry people battling to get into the theatre. Following pressure from passengers P&O finally relented and produced some sort of system for the last night. Overall a pathetic performance from P&O further exacerbated by the fact that four weeks after writing to the Managing Director not even an acknowledgement has been received. Disgusting!!!!!!!!! 1. On embarkation (3 December) we were handed a letter from Nick Burrows, Head of Customer Services , which informed passengers that 'severe winds are forecast for our call to Zeebrugge' and that this was being 'pulled' from the programme. Some passengers were not even handed this letter, and we later found out that Zeebrugge was not on the schedule already printed in Horizon and given to passengers who had taken a back-to-back cruise from the Canaries, but that Le Havre was. 2. From our first lunch (12.30 hours) it was clearly obvious that your cuisine as displayed in The Belvedere was lacking in quality and presentation. The hot salmon dish was very overcooked, dry and served warm; the noodles with prawns were not hot enough and neither was the curry dish. Waiters were not welcoming, were unfriendly and few in number; tables were not being cleared quickly enough. Anyone who had not cruised before must have been very unimpressed. 3. The Captain, Ian Walters, addressed passengers via. tannoy to explain the emergency drill but failed to apologise or even mention the fact that Zeebrugge had been pulled from the schedule. If as Nick Burrows suggests Zeebrugge was shelved due to bad weather then obviously we all accept and welcome such a change, but surely any reputable Captain should have the manners and courtesy to apologise. In fact none of Captain Walters' officers apologised or mentioned Zeebrugge in any form. Obviously most passengers were very disappointed to miss out on their visit to Bruges. 4. Our first dinner in Meridian (table no. 48 for eight guests ) was extremely disappointing. The dishes we had which were supposed to be hot were barely warm, the quality of the food and the presentation were far below the cuisine we have enjoyed on past cruises. Our waiters were totally disinterested and did not introduce themselves -- the service we endured was unfriendly, surly and slow. On past cruises the section waiter, wine waiter and our table waiters have introduced themselves and were only too happy to be of service. The wine waiter even pulled a face when those at the far end of the table could not hear what he was saying. He then made no attempt to come over to repeat himself but just stood in the same spot cupped his hands around his mouth and shouted. On a number of occasions waiters and other staff pushed in front of passengers showing no courtesy whatsoever. It seems that P & O should be training their staff in manners and how to treat their guests. 5. Breakfast in The Belevedere on Sunday morning was a complete fiasco and more like a cattle market than a renowned cruise ship dining venue. People were struggling to find a table and the queues at each serving station were very long. Waiting time to reach the serving area was approx. 10-15 minutes and again the food was barely warm. As previously the waiters could not cope with clearing the tables quickly enough. Whilst waiting in the queue we were told by a couple who had never cruised before that although they had reserved a table for two for dinner they were forced to dine alone on their first night -- one dining in the upper level of Meridian and the other in the lower level!!! Unbelievable. 6. Sunday dinner was much the same as the previous evening. With the exception of Chicken Caesar Terrine which was quite frozen and had to be sent back, plus Poached FRESH Peaches in Champagne and Vanilla, which actually turned out to be TINNED SLICED PEACHES IN A BOWL WITH A SIDE PORTION OF HALF MELTED ICE CREAM. The waiter actually admitted the fresh peaches had "run out" and therefore the peaches being served were tinned!!!! So much for P & O's Food Philosophy statement on the cover page of each dinner menu:-"..............silver-service waiters who become friends, .......................we offer a wealth of unique dining experiences created for the British palate using, wherever possible, the finest local and sustainable ingredients such as ................., we are dedicated to the continuing development of our ingredients, menus, venues and service, ..............all our dishes are thoughtfully and freshly prepared to ensure the most exceptional dining experience with every meal." Needless to say you can see from the above comments and complaints that a lot of the claims in your Philosophy Statement do not bear any resemblance to the food you actually serve or the service your staff are giving. 7. Arcadia's staff and officers really excelled themselves over the disorganisation of the Russell Watson concert. Despite having known for months about the 3-day mini cruise it was obviously impossible for P & O to consider well in advance how to efficiently organise the seating arrangements for both 8.45pm and 10.45pm concerts. Following hundreds and hundreds of passenger complaints regarding the viewing arrangements, Arcadia's staff eventually came to their senses and realised that some organisation was required. They came up with the idea that passengers would present their table card at the theatre entrance which would be marked. However after rushing our dinner and missing coffee, we were amongst a couple of hundred passengers who missed out on Sunday's performance. Needless to say the mood was disappointment, frustration and anger. Staff were confronted by irate passengers wanting complete reassurance that they would be guaranteed good front row seats for a further performance on Monday night. Because of complaints we had already submitted on board, we had a meeting with an Assistant Food and Beverage Manager, Craig, who was polite and courteous. He assured us that we would be served quickly at dinner that evening so that we could get to the performance in plenty of time. Luckily we had excellent seats and thoroughly enjoyed the performance. 8. Captain Walters finally deemed to address passengers for the second time since embarkation at approximately 8.15 p.m. on the Monday evening to inform us that we would be leaving Le Havre at 9.00 p.m. Once again no mention of Zeebrugge and inconsiderately no mention of the Russell Watson seating fiasco or 'thank you for sailing with P & O' or 'hope you have enjoyed your cruise'. We have not been at all impressed by his captaincy as regards passenger relations. Most passengers were of the opinion that he had either stayed in Southampton or had enjoyed a two day four hour vacation at our expense. We have not spoken to any passenger who actually saw Captain Walters wandering around his ship. No other officer has deputised on his behalf to make announcements on the PR side. All in all we are extremely disappointed and disillusioned with the whole P & O experience on board Arcadia. The mood among fellow passengers appeared to be the same as ourselves and many considered the fact that it was because it was a 3-day mini cruise which didn't require standards to be as good as longer cruises. Is this the case? From our previous P & O cruises experiences, we consider that your standards have dropped dramatically. Although we complained about much of the above on board, we have felt compelled to write to you for your comments. Yours faithfully Sandra and Ian Hampton Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
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