1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. P&O Cruises
  4. P&O Cruises Cruise Reviews

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

We chose this cruise as a first time taster.Just 6 nights.Firstly the food was excellent we had an amazing choice either buffet or served in main dining room.Anything we had was fresh and well cooked could not fault at all.Room service ... Read More
We chose this cruise as a first time taster.Just 6 nights.Firstly the food was excellent we had an amazing choice either buffet or served in main dining room.Anything we had was fresh and well cooked could not fault at all.Room service again was 5 star our cabin steward kept our room in a clean fresh environment.The cabin itself was of good size and nice decor.We had a leaflet placed in our cabin every day to let us know what was happening on board.The entertainment in the evening was of an amazing standard and kept us well entertained every evening.The staff were always helpful and pleasant.The ship had lots of places to have a quiet and peaceful time if you wanted.The only downside on Britannia were the lifts and stairs.Depending on where you were the stairs were at one end of the ship which meant you had to wait sometimes for a lift to arrive.Also another tip is to take any unused hangers of the clothes rail as they rattle about when the ship moves about.Would we cruise again on Britannia yes most definitely really enjoyed our short cruise.Also If it is rough at all you do not get into Guernsey.We talked to a lot of other people who had cruised before and had not got into Guernsey on other occasions either so I would avoid Guernsey on your itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Having sailed on our first cruise on Britannia last year in the Caribbean, thought we’d try a mini cruise as a weekend break and an opportunity to see what the experience of departing on a cruise from Southampton is like. So, our choice ... Read More
Having sailed on our first cruise on Britannia last year in the Caribbean, thought we’d try a mini cruise as a weekend break and an opportunity to see what the experience of departing on a cruise from Southampton is like. So, our choice of vessel was basically made for us but I was looking forward to trying another ship in the P&O fleet… The boarding process was a breeze, I think it took us 40 minutes from self-parking the car at the Mayflower terminal to getting in our cabin. We even got fast tracked to check in, which was a nice touch. Not sure why though as we’re not on any loyalty tier yet having only been on the one P&O cruise previously. Luggage arrived only about 15 mins after we got to the cabin, which allowed us to unpack and get right up to the Aquarius bar to find a spot and have a few drinks in the lovely (but unexpected!) Southampton sunshine. It was very busy in that bar but never difficult to flag down one of the waiting staff and the wait for drinks was not long at all. Given the duration of the cruise there were lots of hen / 50th / 40th birthday parties and a fair number of stag parties on board; as a result the age group was broad, not dissimilar to our cruise in the Carribbean, with fewer elderly passengers and more of our age, 40s & 50s. Now it’s fair to say that there was a party atmosphere in the Aquarius bar / sun deck and it wasn’t peaceful and quiet – I’m sure it would have been a bit loud for some but we loved the party vibe. It never got out of hand, though. Now I know it’s not to everyone’s taste, but we also enjoyed the Great British Sailaway on the Saturday up there (although having a few beers definitely helps!) We were Freedom dining and apart from not reading on the card that you should go to the desk on Deck 3, and as a result queuing on Deck 2 for no reason, we didn’t have to wait at all on the first night when we shared. On the second night, we asked for a table for two and only waited about 20 mins with a pager whilst having a drink. Food was great, the same standard as we remembered from Britannia, including the cooked breakfast in the MDR. I’ve read that Arcadia is looking tired in the public areas; well, we didn’t see any evidence of that, even though our previous experience was a ship only 18 months old. The only bars other than the one on the sun deck that we tried were the Intermezzo and the Crow’s Nest which we always enjoy. We didn’t get the chance to see any entertainment on this occasion given the brevity of the cruise, plus the main act on Friday, Killer Queen, we’d seen before only last year. Our cabin steward was good and all the other staff we interacted with were just fine. We loved the port call at St Peter Port, despite the fact that a tender was needed; there’s no doubt that a port visit where the ship is alongside is by far the best option, but the crew handled the tendering process efficiently and we waited no longer than 15 mins for our number to be called. We waited on the quayside for about 20-30 mins to get the tender back, which was fine and there was water on hand in case it got too warm for anyone. We didn’t pay for any excursions and did our own thing. St Peter Port is a lovely small town, narrow streets with shops both well-known UK brands and more boutique style. We found a great craft beer bar the Golden Lion, and then wandered over to Castle Cornet where the views were excellent over the town and the bay towards where the ship was docked. To have done it justice though we should have devoted more than the hour we had available, given it costs £10.50 each to get in. Disembarkation was even easier than embarkation, as soon as we had breakfast we went straight out (they were early calling from the Meridian), and we were in the car by 9:15am. Overall this was a really fun trip and a great way to spend a weekend away, and sample what Arcadia has to offer. I wouldn’t choose to sail on here for a longer cruise if I’m honest but that’s just down to the fewer select dining choices versus Britannia. The promenade deck is plus, but unlike some other diehard cruisers I’m not about to use this as a primary selection criteria! Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
I've cruised many times before as a solo passenger so had a pretty good idea as to what to expect - but what a disappointment! Embarkation was straightforward and easy, although I had to pretty much beg a porter to take my suitcase! ... Read More
I've cruised many times before as a solo passenger so had a pretty good idea as to what to expect - but what a disappointment! Embarkation was straightforward and easy, although I had to pretty much beg a porter to take my suitcase! On board the cabin was absolutely fine (Balcony cabin on A deck mid-ship), and yes the ship is looking tired in areas, but on the whole no complaints there. I'm sad to say it was the very poor attitude of the staff which really let this cruise down. It started with breakfast at the buffet on the first morning, a handful of passengers, me included, were waiting for cups to be brought out to the drinks station when we were approached by the head manager, he asked a lady what she was doing and she just said that we were waiting for more cups, not complaining just stating the fact. He got very irate and told her to go to the other drinks stations to get a cup, when she said that her table was close to this one he was incredibly rude and told her to just to walk to another station and that "it wasn't difficult!" and then he walked off. We were all speechless, I've never heard anyone be spoken to like that on a cruise. No one was complaining, we were all quietly waiting and bearing in mind this was the first morning and we were still trying to get to grips with the layout of the ship. Later that day I had to go to the Reception desk as the tv in my room was still showing the names of the previous passengers and so I was blocked from certain things as it still had their settings. When I asked a lady at Reception about this she bit my head off stating that they knew that they had an issue and were trying to sort it out! I understand that she may have been asked that question a few times that day but there was no need to be so rude about it. They could have had a notice up on the reception desk or made an announcement if they didn't want to be constantly asked the question. Unfortunately I had to make a further trip to Reception a day later, same woman, same appalling attitude! The waiting/bar staff did not smile, there was no friendly greeting, I felt like it was an imposition on them by my being there, they genuinely seemed to hate having to be there. The only person who was actually friendly was my cabin steward, however when I passed other stewards they all ignored me or just grunted a response to my greeting. The ports of call and the excursions which I went on were fine, no issues there. Getting on and off the ship in port was very straightforward. Entertainment - hit and miss really. I saw some of the shows in the Arena by the ships' entertainers and they were very good. There was an extraordinarily good young male singer (I can't remember his name but he disembarked at Lisbon), and 3 comics - two of which made me laugh, but the third one (who played in the Arena Theatre), well I thought that we have gone back to the 70s and 80s, his jokes were sexist and xenophobic, I cringed the whole way through and would have left early if I hadn't been in the centre of a row. My experience was so poor that I seriously considered disembarking in Lanzarote and spending the last 5 days of my holiday there - in hindsight I really wish that I had. Needless to say I will never sail with P&O again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Oh dear, It's been some years since my first cruise with P & O and what used to be a real luxury experience is now very disappointing. Ventura is tired and shabby and desperately in need of an up date. For quite a large ship ... Read More
Oh dear, It's been some years since my first cruise with P & O and what used to be a real luxury experience is now very disappointing. Ventura is tired and shabby and desperately in need of an up date. For quite a large ship it feels very claustrophobic, difficult to get a sun bed on sea days as all the decks are so crowded, the Waterfront restaurant feels like a hospital canteen, and the cabins are tiny. The best restaurants all have an additional charge and were excellent. Good food and great service, but avoid the "all inclusive" restaurants at all costs. Entertainment would be great at a holiday camp!! Although the kids club was very popular with my two and the staff there were great. Ports were a real mix of interesting (Madeira) and awful (La Palma). Expect lots of over weight tattooed passengers making the most of the all inclusive food options. Overall this holiday was a real hit and miss experience, some good and some bad . Would never cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
I'm not normally a negative person so let's start with the positives. The staff at Southampton Ocean terminal were efficient and helpful and the people in the town of St Peter's Port Guernsey were warm and welcoming. There ... Read More
I'm not normally a negative person so let's start with the positives. The staff at Southampton Ocean terminal were efficient and helpful and the people in the town of St Peter's Port Guernsey were warm and welcoming. There was a lovely member of staff in the Verona restaurant, the staff in The Beach House were brilliant, the cabins are nice, the Electric Avenue show was good and mum loved the cocktails.The team running the tenders were lovely and looked out for the travellers with disabilities.The large number of hen parties even sang in tune........... All of that couldn't make up for the sarcasm from the member of staff who did the life jacket demo in muster station D, the lack of food & drink availability when we arrived and very few staff. Just someone to say welcome and then no one. Just a blip I hear you say, must have all been getting the ship ready to sail. And so I thought....until breakfast in the buffet restaurants was chaos and then a two hour wait to get off of the ship (after the busy time they told us to avoid). Take a ticket and sit an wait til called. All stuck in one of the lounges for two hours with no offers of drinks. Told to stand by the side of the room and constantly being told to be patient as they have 3000 to get off of the ship. Surely, you say, they knew how many people they have on the ship and would have thought about this.........Eventually got into St Peters Port at about 12.30 and only stayed a couple of hours as last tender leaving at 5 and they have to get the 3000 people back! Went to The Beach House and paid £10 extra each as not impressed with food in buffet restaurant. Food was good and apparently the extra money buys you the service you should expect anyway.. Didn't even see our cabin steward but they must have been around because we got a chocolate every night. Disembarkation was just another dose of totally disorganised splendour. People had kept their luggage with them rather than trust P & O with it but had to be out of their cabin by 8am. So off they went in the lifts to the buffet restaurants which mean't we couldn't get lifts down to get off the ship. This was meant to be a lovely birthday treat for my dad, who is now 80 and has lost his sight. Have been on cruises with Thomson so thought that he would receive the same consideration and pampering as we have had with them. Made sure that we let P & O know about dad's disability but, other than a scrappy A4 sheet of paper on the first day with large print of the excursions, nothing. Unfortunately dad had a fall whilst getting of the tender but no one bothered to check this morning to see if he was ok. So considering that surely a taster cruise is the 'shop window' for more cruises with P & O, would I ever travel with them or recommend them? I'm sure you can guess.......... Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We have done five cruises with RCI on the news ships, Anthem and Harmony being the most recent. We wanted to try P&O before booking a main holiday cruise with them so going on a two day trip was a good way to see what they have to ... Read More
We have done five cruises with RCI on the news ships, Anthem and Harmony being the most recent. We wanted to try P&O before booking a main holiday cruise with them so going on a two day trip was a good way to see what they have to offer. Very glad we did this as we now know it's not for us! In general it's just not as good the main disappointment being the food, the best thing we ate all weekend was a burger and fries from the deck restaurant near the pool on deck! The buffet restaurants are dreadful, very cramped in the area where you queue up and very hot. You literally have to snake your way along, in one end out the other. No good if you forget something and want to pop back! You have to go one at a time too when travelling as a couple as one of you has to save the table otherwise no chance of getting one with food rapidly going cold on your tray! Choice of food very poor in comparison to RCI and the quality was awful awful awful..... someone from P&O needs to go on the Anthem of the seas to see how to deal with crowds in buffet restaurants. Ate in Sindhu the Indian on the 1st night, cost us an extra £70 with a bottle of wine and really wasn't worth it. No atmosphere either as barely anybody else in there eating, still tried to sit us at a rubbish table for two in the middle of the restaurant though.....ended up next to a window in a larger table. Food quality better than the main restaurant but still nothing stand out. Ate in the main restaurant the next night for formal night as figured this would be when the best menu would be on. Cramped table for two so close to others that we might as well have been sat with them! Could hear everyone's conversation without trying, awful. Food quality was rubbish and portions small. Service very slow and hit and miss, they brought the wrong food twice! Left before dessert couldn't wait any longer and just wanted to get out of there. Bars all pretty quiet with bland background musicians apart from one bar I think it was called Malabar which had a bit more life. Entertainment an Annie Lennox impersonator....that's as far as we got. Went to the casino to play, no chance of getting on a table not enough of them. Listened to the karaoke in there instead which was probably the best entertainment of the cruise! Ship itself is difficult to navigate, several dead ends and having to walk through restaurants to get to other places .....weird. Also pretty dated now and lots of furniture in the bars and restaurants showing it's age and needs replacing. Definitely an older crowd on P&O which is fine but probably not for us just yet..... Tried to get off to visit Guernsey but the tendering system a nightmare with a two hour wait in a long queue to endure first so didn't bother, shame. Cabin was very dated and quite battered, the tv remote sensor was being held to the cabinet under the TV with gaffa tape! Nice! Cabin steward nice and efficient. All in all a disappointment not to be repeated. Back to Royal Caribbean and Celebrity for us, we should have stayed loyal to royal as there slogan says! Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Chose this cruise as had a 3 week window and this was available at the right price.it was. Strictly come dancing, BBC sponsored Cruise which added a lot and would recommend to anybody. Ship has some issues such as no stairs in the ... Read More
Chose this cruise as had a 3 week window and this was available at the right price.it was. Strictly come dancing, BBC sponsored Cruise which added a lot and would recommend to anybody. Ship has some issues such as no stairs in the centre so long waits for a lift to go one or two floors. Public toilets are only one forward and one aft on each floor. Theatre design odd for a large cruise ship in that it is small and no side access to seats..more your local Odeon second screen than Royal Opera House. People complained the same shows have been on for a couple of years. We had freedom dinning which we like but felt we didn't get the service expected. For a large ship it was very smooth often docking without any of the expected juddering etc. Info on port talks were just what P And O had on offer other lines have given independent travelers useful information. Food was OK, started well then dipped in quality as if using the left overs! However you can ask for whatever you want within reason. The only time we were really aware of the number of people was when queuing for port transfers, not always organised in the best way. The live lounge is great for dancing with a wonderful band Pulce however when they put well know acts on it is too small and seat wars ensued. Adam a pianist who also ran the ships choir was wonderful do join if you go. We had read the reviews and were worried about our cruise but the Stictly thing lifted it and overall it was well managed. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Firstly, this was our 1st cruise with P&O out of 9 cruises...and will most definitely be our last P&O!! We had heard many good reports about P&O that we couldn't wait...how disappointed we were. It certainly did not live ... Read More
Firstly, this was our 1st cruise with P&O out of 9 cruises...and will most definitely be our last P&O!! We had heard many good reports about P&O that we couldn't wait...how disappointed we were. It certainly did not live up to our expectations. We sailed from Southampton to France, Spain and Guernsey. We didn't have the best weather...but that's out of anyone's control. We liked the layout of the ship...although she was a little small. We liked club dining idea in the Oriental....although the menu choice left a lot to be desired, as did the service...can't possibly swap cream for ice cream, didn't know our names and we were often given the wrong meal!!! but by the end of the cruise when they were all expecting their tips they couldn't do enough for you!!! We liked our cabin, an outside...but unfortunately, that's where the "we liked's" ends!!! The title of the review is "Rest home at Sea"...because that is exactly how we feel about our cruise (we are just in our 50's). The average age appeared to be an "old" 75 yrs old (and that's being polite). There was no "atmosphere" on the ship....bars were often silent like a library where you dared not speak because people were asleep with their false teeth hanging out. The entertainment was definitely not for us....bridge, whist, crafting, waltz lessons, knitting...OMG!!! For the first time ever... we so desperately wanted to get off ship.....!!!! The Captain had most of the passengers petrified with his OTT announcements when the weather took a turn for the worst. If it's going to be so bad....stay in port....but oh no.... that will cost money!!! Add into this... we couldn't get off in Guernsey. The Captain decided that the sea conditions were too rough...hmmmm!!!! it was the best day weather wise of the whole cruise!!! everyone was so disappointed that we could not get off but could do no other than sit and watch the little sail boats circle us while we sat there like lemons!! We contacted P&O on our return re compensation for missed port but they didn't want to know.....maybe the bar takings were down for the cruise and so the Captain needed to get those till ringing for one last time???? Will we try P&O again??? no....Not good enough P&O....plus, we're not ready to wait for God yet!! P.S. can't wait to get back on NCL. and P.P.S. ....can't wait to get back on Thomson!!! Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Wanted a cruise from. Southampton as very convenient for my mother living in Portsmouth. Itinerary sounded interesting La Rochelle, Santander, La Corona & Guernsey. We booked an outside cabin on deck 9 aft & tried for a balcony ... Read More
Wanted a cruise from. Southampton as very convenient for my mother living in Portsmouth. Itinerary sounded interesting La Rochelle, Santander, La Corona & Guernsey. We booked an outside cabin on deck 9 aft & tried for a balcony upgrade. We weren't lucky but it wasn't a great loss as the resultant weather was atrocious. We started off on a low with a 5 hour delay due to an engine problem not mentioned in the cruise log. Finally left around 9pm. Made up time & arrived La Rochelle on time. Weather warm 22C overcast with slight drizzle. All trips went ahead as advertised. The on to Santander where the weather started to deteriorated with thunder, lightning & very heavy rain. Back on the ship & off to La Corona with a sunny start & sat out in the Piazza square in glorious sun for 1/2 hour. All trips cancelled due to a Spanish coach drivers strike! Then more incessant downpours in high winds. The trouble started after we left for Guernsey heading for the Bay of Biscay. The wind overnight built up rapidly to gale force 10 then maxed out at 11! The swell increased to 6.5 metres & the ride was very uncomfortable but the captain seemed more concerned that the ship was coping admirably while most passengers including myself were pretty scared. I'm starting to think that we shouldn't have left La Corona & should have waited until conditions improved. We finally after 36 hours of hell arrived at St Peter Port, Guernsey where conditions had improved considerably but the captain decided that using tenders was going to be unsafe. This upset a lot of passengers who were looking forward to sampling the joys of the island. Conditions improved during the day but still deemed to be too dangerous for tenders. Instead we upped anchor & left for Southampton 3 hours early arriving around 4am. There was a lot of noise made tying up on our berth so impossible to get any sleep. Disembarked at 9.15 am & relieved to be back on land! Food was really good & recommend freedom dining in the Peninsular restaurant. Top Tip: Avoid The Conservatory which was a bit like the "Wild West" & a scrum. Andersons bar very good service & comfortable seats. Two formal nights when one would have done. Wine prices very reasonable & excellent selection. Oriana nicely refurbished & survived the violent seas which we were grateful for but the passengers really suffered. I won't be cruising again to Northern Spain after this which ruined what was supposed to be a relaxing break for my elderly mother & myself. Marks out of 10 only 5 unfortunately. I still can't believe I paid to go on this cruise & feel some sort of compensation warranted as a lot of 1st timers who won't be returning. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Went for our 40th anniversary on a late booking, lucky to get a mini suite and it was so wonderful felt so special as only used to balconies, but the room surpassed all my dreams. Yes due to problems late leaving so no exciting sail away ... Read More
Went for our 40th anniversary on a late booking, lucky to get a mini suite and it was so wonderful felt so special as only used to balconies, but the room surpassed all my dreams. Yes due to problems late leaving so no exciting sail away but as we had a bottle of complimentary champagne to drink on our balcony enjoyed. Weather started good and we enjoyed La rochelle, santander even though the storm was horrendous and lovely La coruna with only a shower, the sea was definitely choppy but known worse from past cruises, think captain should have not been so open about the forth coming conditions as lots of passengars we spoke to were quite frightened and come 10 oclock all venues were very empty, previous cruisers said he should not have said as much as he did. people went back to their cabins early, though the sea did not seem that rough at that stage. Very sad not to get off at Guernsey felt for the passengers who had never visited there, do feel we could have got off lunchtime but the captain seemed like he just wanted to head back to southampton asap so he could get the ship ready for the next big cruise, and feel he let the passengers down and the cost involved losing a port day and the extra so called entertainment he said was laid on was rubbish, even sail away in doors was poor. Really hope this cruise has not put anyone off just so bad luck with the weather which we have never experienced, we have always had great cruises with PO and off soon on lovely Ventura and back on Oriana next year. Had freedom dining but ate in main restuarant every night and met different cruisers for chats. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We chose the Ventura after going on a mini break in 2016 to Bruges. There was a group of six including three elderly people. The whole experience for all of us was first class from the time we arrived at the dock until we departed. ... Read More
We chose the Ventura after going on a mini break in 2016 to Bruges. There was a group of six including three elderly people. The whole experience for all of us was first class from the time we arrived at the dock until we departed. The food was first class as was the entertainment and the hospitaity we received was out of this world. Everyone was so attentive and helpful. The crossing was magical we were all blessed with a calm sea the whole trip. We had our dining at the first sitting then went to enjoy all the entertainment that was available at the time. First class on our first real cruise we will defiantly be returning in the future to cruise with the staff and the ship Ventura. If you want value for your money you will not beat this cruise. France Spain and Gurnsey WELL DONE VENTURA X Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We selected a short 6 night cruise to fit round my working commitments and chose the P & O Ventura. We chose to drive to Southampton from home in Lancashire and set off nice and early even though it was a Saturday sailing. Traffic ... Read More
We selected a short 6 night cruise to fit round my working commitments and chose the P & O Ventura. We chose to drive to Southampton from home in Lancashire and set off nice and early even though it was a Saturday sailing. Traffic and conditions were favourable so we had a great trip and with just slow traffic from about 10 miles out of Southampton but we arrived in the car park at 10.30am. A short walk and into the terminal to await the embarkation process which commenced just before 12 noon. Once on board we made our way to the buffet for a spot of lunch having had no breakfast with our early departure. Whilst in the buffet they announced that cabins were ready early so we made our way to deck 7 and D709, our home for the 6 nights. What an excellent cabin this is, larger than the average with a comfortable bed, sofa and a separate chair, two tv’s and an ample bathroom. We met Frank, our cabin steward who was excellent in the way he took care of everything brilliantly without being noticed at all. Once unpacked we decided to check out the ship and found it most pleasurable and almost a copy of Crown Princess that we had a week on a couple of years ago. The only downside was that as we had booked quite late we were allocated to a table of 8 on late seating in the Bay Tree Restaurant. When will P & O drop this outdated method of allocating restaurants and move to freedom dining for all passengers. We really prefer to be on a table for two but to be fair our table mates were good company on the nights we used the dining room. We had nice meals in the Bay Tree, not special but more than quite adequate but I would prefer the food hotter. We ate in Sindu on the Sunday as a treat for my wife’s birthday and it was excellent. We also had one night in the buffet having arrived back quite late from our day in Bilbao and the Beach House on the last night and all were good. Breakfasts were always taken in the buffet and were of good standard. We sailed later than advertised due to some passengers struggling with traffic on the M3 and I heard later at least one couple might have actually have missed it and only caught us up in La Rochelle. We had a nice sea day on the Sunday and of course as it was one of the hottest days of the year so it was busy on the outer decks with everyone taking advantage. We availed ourselves of most bars over the cruise but as we are not big drinkers so it was more for a change of scenery than anything else. We enjoyed the three production shows that the Headliners cast put on and all were enjoyable, Gareth Oliver was a great act and his comedy and ventriloquism were first class. In other lounges the Up Beats were very good and the Tribute act to Whitney Houston was fantastic. We enjoyed all port stops and also the warm weather. We don’t book ship trips but made our own way without spending silly money. We enjoyed all ports on this trip with La Rochelle being small but interesting and a nice place to walk round. Our second stop was scheduled to be Santander but our excellent captain chose to move the stop to Bilbao about 30 miles away. This was a wonderful exchange with Bilbao being a great city for a day stop. We got off the coach and with the help of the lady tour guide who pointed us to a walking tour around the main sites and we had a great visit. We went back to the ship for something to eat and a rest but as we had a late sail we then ventured out in around the promenade of Getexo to Vizcaya Bridge. This is a great historical site and info as to why, when and how the bridge was constructed. The view from the bridge is spectacular with the sea on one side, Portugalete on the other side and Getxo on another side. The visit to St Peter Port was really good, having never visited to the Channel Islands before. It’s a nice town and we walked round it and then after a bit of local info in a shop we took the lock bus that was just £1 each and took us round the whole island on an hour and a half trip. This just could not be repeated anywhere at that price. You could get off and have a look round or visit any of the great beaches and then get back on a later bus. The night sail back to Southampton was punctuated by a PA message for “flying stations” and then shortly afterwards a helicopter arriving, one assumes to remove a medical emergency, possibly lucky we were so close to Southampton for the unlucky person being airlifted off. Disembarkation was first class, we chose to take our own luggage off and literally had breakfast and walked off the ship, no customs issues or waiting in lounges for times to leave and we were in the car hitting the road back North. We will definitely book with P & O again for another short break cruise. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
The itinary was the main reason for booking but.... The whole cruise was a let down. We sailed on this ship in March of last year(2016) and could not really fault any aspect of the cruise, however this time it was a complete let down. The ... Read More
The itinary was the main reason for booking but.... The whole cruise was a let down. We sailed on this ship in March of last year(2016) and could not really fault any aspect of the cruise, however this time it was a complete let down. The so called entertainment team lacked drive,enthusiasm and talent even looking bored when hosting on board activites. The food was of a poorer standard too. The sea days of which there were 7 extended from 6 as we could not dock at Reykjavik were boring, listening to passengers comments there was nothing to do apart from spending the little amount of on board credit, in the shops,bars or casino. I can say few positives on this occasion apart from two guest entertainers Julian Smith and Manuel Martinez who where very good. Resident band Jet Set should have a higher profile too and bin Accent. This may result in been the last cruise with P&O. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
My first cruise with P and O UK. I usually cruise with Celebrity or HAL. I was very pleasantly surprised with the standard after reading some reviews. Arrived early, 13.00 instead of 15.30, at Southampton and was in my cabin in under 30 ... Read More
My first cruise with P and O UK. I usually cruise with Celebrity or HAL. I was very pleasantly surprised with the standard after reading some reviews. Arrived early, 13.00 instead of 15.30, at Southampton and was in my cabin in under 30 minutes. Amazing. Embarkation on my last cruise with Celebrity from Singapore was a disorganised mess and took over 90 minutes. I liked my cabin, especially the open style wardrobe and the tea and coffee making facilities which were great when I woke up at 0300 with jet lag. The laundromat was free but I did not realise I needed to bring my own soap powder. Not a problem really at 60p for 2 tablets from the shop. There never seemed to be a queue and fellow passengers were very helpful in explaining how things worked. The library had a good selection of books, unusual in this day and age when most people have Kindles or tablets. The person in charge was very helpful when I needed to print out an excursion voucher. Food was terribly British and not overly exciting. Potted this and potted that. Not bad but nothing exotic. Cerviche served one night which did not go over well with the people at my table. Likewise the seared tuna which I thought was great. Salt and vinegar icecream [really??] had everyone talking. Lunches were very hit and miss The moussaka was a disaster. I sent it back. Buffet did not seem to attract the feeding frenzy I have seen on other ships. I have yet to be impressed by cruise entertainment [except Cirque de Soleil on Celebrity] and this was no different. Shore excursions were OK. Shame the weather meant we missed Reykjavik but the other Iceland tours were very good. Torshavn in the Faroes was my favourite despite the guide. I did a private tour in Belfast which I suspect did a lot more than the P and O offering. Given an itinerary I liked, I would not hesitate to cruise with P and O UK again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Wife treated me to this cruise as a birthday present St.Peterport and Bruges being two places we'd never visited before. Couldn't fault embarkation at Southampton and luggage was already in cabin when we got there but we ... Read More
Wife treated me to this cruise as a birthday present St.Peterport and Bruges being two places we'd never visited before. Couldn't fault embarkation at Southampton and luggage was already in cabin when we got there but we immediately noticed the air conditioning wasn't working although the steward was straight on the case and it was fixed within a few hours. The cabin itself looked tired and not as clean as some of the other ships we've been on indeed the whole ship seemed to look a bit tired and jaded as did some of the staff in the buffet restaurant who didn't seem very happy . I seem to recall reading that she's due for a refit in October and I could see why. Our toilet stopped working after 3 days as did several others in the public areas and several leaks became evident in various areas with buckets strategically placed. We dined in both the Meridian and Belvedere restaurants, the service in the Meridian was great, even when my wife on the formal night couldn't find anything that tempted her the head waiter arranged an alternative menu for her whilst I tried the Marco Pierre White menu which I have to say was delicious. Whether it's because the Arcadia is a smaller ship I found the food didn't measure up in the buffet restaurant to other ships we've been on e.g Celebrity, Ncl, or even Thomson. Our main disappointment with the cruise was being unable to be tendered ashore at Guernsey due to the winds being too strong and then leaving nearly 3 hours early on the Thursday and having a very slow cruise up the channel to anchor up off the coast of Belgium at 5pm on Friday ready to dock at Zeebruge Saturday, begs the question why couldn't a plan B be put into effect when the Captain knows the weather is too severe when he first arrives at a port that requires a tender ashore rather than waste a whole day hanging around. When we did arrive in Zeebruge we had booked a See Bruge in a day excursion which I have to say ,due to the excellent guide we had we both really enjoyed. We're booked on the Britannia in October around the Med and hope it will restore our faith in P&O because we're also booked on th Azura next June for Iceland , but having done the Balltic on Azura can't envisige any problem. As regards on board entertainment nothing really tempted us to see any shows in the main theatre although on other cruises we always have , we did catch a duo in one bar called Lyrical Flame and remember remarking to my wife on finishing our drink come on let's leave the crime scene, nuff said. My wife used the spa and had a pedicure and manicure which she enjoyed but she did point out to me her nails had started to chip within 2 days. It's fair to say we've had much better cruises the highlight of this one being the Bruge experience rather than the ship experience. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Chose this cruise for a bit of nostalgia as once worked for this cruise line years ago, we have done many cruise lines for holidays over the years, RCIL, Princess, Holland, P&O Australia , MSC and Marco Polo etc, we thought we'd ... Read More
Chose this cruise for a bit of nostalgia as once worked for this cruise line years ago, we have done many cruise lines for holidays over the years, RCIL, Princess, Holland, P&O Australia , MSC and Marco Polo etc, we thought we'd take my parents on this one for a short Jaunt over the channel, Food was very average, and absolutely no quality control with the deserts, puds were dry and sauces tasteless, but what really left a bad taste in our minds during and after the cruise was the so called "Black Tie Night" now we are both used to formals (which is what we expected) and in todays terms has always meant smart, trousers, shirt and tie as minimum, needless to say , not on this one, we were told , no jacket ,no entry (with the words "ENFORCED" used, but we can use the Buffet or speciality restaurant, (how nice of them) unfortunately the buffet on the night was dismal , limited and appalling, and i was virtually fuming, now i normally carry a waist coat and jacket but overseas travel weight limits us, what is most annoying is the feeling of being penalised for not being a traditionalist, don't get me wrong i like tradition and silver service along with fine food, but this is a ship that does neither, its a slap the plate on the table and whos next. certainly wont be rushing back, and its sad to see such an iconic cruise line go down hill and not keep up with the times Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
chose this as not sailed with p & o before,easy to book had a good deal, free parking and on board spend,went to canary islands, Madeira Lisbon and viga, boarding was smooth and quick,had a balcony cabin on deck 10 would recommend this ... Read More
chose this as not sailed with p & o before,easy to book had a good deal, free parking and on board spend,went to canary islands, Madeira Lisbon and viga, boarding was smooth and quick,had a balcony cabin on deck 10 would recommend this deck as the balcony is much bigger then the other decks, cabin was fine and clean, we only like buffet dining and on this ship was a little disappointing compared to other cruises we have been on,what i mean by that is they have theme nights every night,and if you do not like that type of food there is no alternative, also very little choose for special diets like low sugar,entertainment was fairly good something for everyone found the poolside entertainment was good when there was some but to long with out any even background music, the sea screen was in a poor condition with loads of dead pixels would be nice if it was bigger to. the cruise overall was ok but the ship looked very tired in need of a refit, things kept breaking down or did not work Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Having cruised with P&O on a number of previous occasions and experienced the well document decline in standards and quality I was apprehensive about choosing them again. However their prices are still a bit lower than the composition ... Read More
Having cruised with P&O on a number of previous occasions and experienced the well document decline in standards and quality I was apprehensive about choosing them again. However their prices are still a bit lower than the composition and the itinerary was ideal I decided to give them another go. Compared to my last P&O cruise (a year ago) the difference was like night and day, from the evening entertainment to the evening meals and the levels of service offered. Sure daytime entertainment was the usual affair with plenty of sales pitches and activities aimed at the 'older' passenger but as long as the sun is shinning all is well as you can avoid these. Food in the main dining rooms seems to have improved although the green beans still exist in numbers, It appears to be cooked much much better and tastes a lot fresher as well. Service hasn't been upped however and still lacks way behind on what it once did but it didn't spoil anything. The select dining venues again did not fail to deliver, food was exceptional and so was the service (although you would expect it as your paying extra) I better mention the buffet, it seems to be getting worse especially for a quick lunch as the selection is terrible. Too much curry! They seem to think all we eat during a hot day is curried everything! Very repetitive and very boring indeed. This side needs a shake up. If you fancied a late night snack it wasn't worth it as again it was the same every night (curried pasties and curry and rice again and again and again etc...) The Sea Screen which over looks one of the pools is looking very old these days and did not make a pleasure watching movies outdoors as the quality of picture is dreadful as it has to many faults on it and needs replacing or repairing which is a shame as it's such a great selling piont that P&O are ignoring. It does seem to be true what most are saying on here that regarding dress codes and general attire. Fewer and fewer people take advantage of dressing up as they once did for formal nights and tend to 'hide' away on deck or the buffet area as to avoid such nights, even on non formal nights the general attire of a lot of people has declined making the ship feel a lot more of an informal cruise kind of like what Ocean Village used to be like back in the day. Of course you wear what you want to wear it's up to you but it seems some folk don't even try to make an effort. I always like to think that a cruise ship has that luxury feel to it as it once did, now it;s starting resemble a Benidorm/Costa holiday. The best bits; ship was clean and tidy and well maintained. Ports of call were very good. Met some lovely people on board (as you do) and overall had a great time (even with the shortcomings) Have sailed on Ventura, Azura (2) Oceana and Britannia and can honestly say Azura is my number one P&O ship, it may not be up to quality of other lines I have sailed on eg Disney and RCI etc... but for a P&O ship it stands out above the rest, Total chalk and cheese to the dreadful Britannia (the worst cruise I have ever taken) There is good reason as to why Azura has the highest ratings of a P&O ship and in my opinion is the true flagship for P&O. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We have recently returned from the 3 night Ventura cruise my feedback is both negative and positive. My negative comments mainly refer to our cabin. We were a group of 3. On arrival to our cabin we found only 2 of everything. We asked ... Read More
We have recently returned from the 3 night Ventura cruise my feedback is both negative and positive. My negative comments mainly refer to our cabin. We were a group of 3. On arrival to our cabin we found only 2 of everything. We asked and the 3rd items arrived in dribs and drabs. Also we left our dry cleaning out as instructed but it was not taken and therefore unable to get it done in time for the formal night.Fortunately they have a passenger lundrey room so we were able to do a DIY dress steam. My friends personal hair towel was taken by mistake and unable to be located. Our next observation was the cleanliness of the room. There were previous guest items on shelves and in draws.The carpet had clearly not been hoover and was not hoovered during our stay. I twice visited the public toilets to find no toilet paper and our drinks tables were not cleared of empty glasses or wiped over enough On a positive, embarkation very smooth and quick, we liked the ship, cabin spacious enough for 3, staff friendly , food excellent, mini break is great value.drinks prices very reasonable. As it's so reasonable it was extremely busy with families and groups, mainly hen parties so all areas were very busy. Pool bars packed but waiting staff walking round were great and quicker service. Loved the ' Great British Sail ' l away party. Also enjoyed the englishness.... like music and staff sense of humor. I have done 8 cruises on RCI and fancied trying P&O as a comparison. I feel RCI definitely have the edge regards dining service . I would happily do another P&O short cruise but choose RCI for longer duration's as service is something that is important to my cruise experience Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Wanted to go on a short cruise with grandchildren and family so this looked good. Embarkation was quick and well organised. We had three balcony cabins which were fine size wise. Food was great, entertainment a little amateur but that ... Read More
Wanted to go on a short cruise with grandchildren and family so this looked good. Embarkation was quick and well organised. We had three balcony cabins which were fine size wise. Food was great, entertainment a little amateur but that did not spoil our enjoyment. Of course the weather was a big factor and was lovely. Anne Franks house and city tour was most enjoyable plus the journey down the canal was really restful. The port was bustling with river traffic and we enjoyed sitting out in the evening sun watching it. Took the shuttle bus to Blankenburge which has a super beach, coffee on pier and then mandatory stop at chocolate shops. Staff were great, our waiters were most attentive and cabin always clean and tidy. All in all a great introduction to the family to cruising, especially as youngest grandchild usually suffers from travel sickness but was fine throughout the journey. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We chose this cruise as we wanted a short break and to visit Brugge .Please do not book suite cabin G733 or the cabin next door which is G731. The vibrations that we encountered in G733 from the engines were horrendous .They are so bad ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we wanted a short break and to visit Brugge .Please do not book suite cabin G733 or the cabin next door which is G731. The vibrations that we encountered in G733 from the engines were horrendous .They are so bad that you won't be able to sleep for much of the night.You will also get loads of soot on the balcony . The problem with cabin G731 is not the same vibrations from the engines BUT you will hear all the noise from the Live Lounge which is situated under this cabin. We did think that we may be able to hear distant music but not to the extent that again you cannot sleep.It sounds as if the music is coming from the other side of the wall!! This not only happens all evening and into the early hours of the morning but also every time they have rehearsals. The vibrations from the music can also be felt and you will notice if you put something on the table that you can physically see it moving even when you are docked. The staff are aware but P&O still sell these cabins. The service onboard was ok,nothing great but the food was well presented. We went to the shows which were of a good standard. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
This is my first cruise experience and what an amazing experience it was! Here is a link to a video I made whilst on The Britannia : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbFZ8BB8FnI The cabins are beautiful and outstandingly clean, the ... Read More
This is my first cruise experience and what an amazing experience it was! Here is a link to a video I made whilst on The Britannia : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbFZ8BB8FnI The cabins are beautiful and outstandingly clean, the staff are very friendly and attentive however drinks service was sometimes slow but overall the service was excellent. Unfortunately I cannot compare this to other ships as this is my first time cruising, however I travelled with my partner and his family who are Caribbean members and have been on various ships over the years and they absolutely love The Britannia! Me and my partner had booked the coach journey from the ship into Bruges, we had a wonderful time being escorted into Bruges by the lovely staff and enjoyed the day at our own pace meeting back up with the rest of the group several hours later to head back to the ship. Bruges is a beautiful place to visit and I would definitely recommend this trip on the Britannia, I would have stayed longer if I could! Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Itinerary suited us, good mix of sea days and port days. Ship now looking tired, damaged and torn seats and leaks from ceilings in public areas and marked and damaged fittings in cabin, although the ship was spotlessly clean. Ship ... Read More
Itinerary suited us, good mix of sea days and port days. Ship now looking tired, damaged and torn seats and leaks from ceilings in public areas and marked and damaged fittings in cabin, although the ship was spotlessly clean. Ship didn't seem to have the atmosphere it usually did, cabin steward and waiters didn't seem to have time to talk. Most days we were waiting for food in the buffet restaurant. The theatre show times had been altered and made it difficult to get to the theatre and a show afterwards. Many of the little fancy touches that made P and O special were missing. Shore excursions included a lot of walking, not suitable for me. Picked only two with minimal walking, and still ended up struggling to cope. Not enough information is given on board ship about the ports. What shops are within walking distance, where the bus stops are and how to get to them. Entertainment staff and Headliners theatre company made the holiday, they are so hard working. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
What I like to do on a cruise: I don't drink, gamble or am interested in speciality dining. I don't like to lay in the sun but like a dip in the pool and to spend an hour or two reading in the shade. I Iike to see as much of the ... Read More
What I like to do on a cruise: I don't drink, gamble or am interested in speciality dining. I don't like to lay in the sun but like a dip in the pool and to spend an hour or two reading in the shade. I Iike to see as much of the entertainment as possible and take part in activities. I found Britannia to be a bit too large to enable me to do this comfortably. For instance, I went to a show in the Headliners theatre on deck 6 and straight onto the buffet on deck 16. 900 people all coming out of the theatre and trying to get in the lifts. I walked along to the next lifts midships but they had also filled up and there are no midships stairs. Tried to get along the ship but was unable due to the restaurants blocking my way, so just had to wait for the lifts. But if there were stairs, I don't think many people would be willing, let alone able, to manage to walk up 9 floors. However, the plus sides…. Britannia handles rough seas with ease. I didn’t feel seasick at all in 12 days and everything is clean and in good condition. The Horizon buffet is very large and busy but has handwashing stations at each entrance which is an improvement on most other ships. The entertainment was far more suited to my tastes than other ships I've been on. The most excellent 8 piece band, Pulse played in the live lounge most evenings. All kinds of music from the 70s to present day. Definitely the best band I've seen in my 7 years of cruising. Talented pianist Adam Allinson played during the evenings in the atrium and also the Crows Nest and I joined the choir he hosted on the first sea day. This was great fun and a great way of meeting new people. Adam was an excellent choirmaster. Very friendly and approachable. This culminated in a performance in the Headliners Theatre on the last sea day. We had a good audience and there wasn't a dry eye in the house when we sang climb every mountain. The cabin was C625 on deck 12. Ordinary balcony cabin near the aft. Plenty of room with a desk and 2 chairs. A walk in wardrobe next to the bathroom, a large TV which had all sorts on it available to watch, not just the usual news and navigation chart but a huge number of films and dramas. Plus 4 choices of radio. Cabin steward Savio kept the cabin spotlessly clean and made sure everything was topped up. We were on club dining in the Oriental restaurant on the early sitting. Table for 8 like minded people, which was so lucky. We did get a few hard stares from other tables as we were a bit noisy but we had a great laugh. The food was excellent. I saw no reason to eat elsewhere but did go to the buffet a couple of evenings. I even used the launderette which was just opposite the cabin but was a bit of a mystery as there were no instructions so had to pick the brains of the more seasoned users. The Britannia Show Cast were absolutely excellent performers who did several shows in the Headliners Theatre during the 12 day cruise. The last one was Sound of the Underground which was absolutely spectacular. There were a number of guest performers and one I saw was Roy Locke, a very talented tenor. Another lady played in the Live Lounge as a Dolly Parton tribute which was also very entertaining. This cruise we were lucky enough to have Captain Paul Brown and entertainment director Neil Oliver who did some fantastic sail aways. This cruise began with 3 sea days which I wouldn't elect to do again as the weather wasn't good and I hardly put my nose outside for the last 2 due to the high winds and low temperature. The top deck was closed and I stayed inside eating too much and doing too little. We did go to the cinema each day and caught up with some films we had missed at the cinema at home. The first sea day we had to divert to Brest to let off a sick passenger and also offloaded a couple for fighting. Later in the cruise another couple were evicted for having sex in the jacuzzi, allegedly. The ports we visited were Lanzarote, Gran Canaria, Tenerife, Funchal, Lisbon and Vigo. Embarkation was smooth: Supposed to be 3.30 but we arrived at 2.30 and didn’t have to wait long. Disembarkation was fine too, we were given 9.45 to leave and waited in Brodies but we were called to leave a few minutes earlier. Age of passengers: I’d say the vast majority of them were 65+. Lots of wheelchairs and walkers and very few children as it was in term time. Oh yes, plenty of moaners, but I won’t elaborate on them…. In summary, I really enjoyed the cruise and would sail on Britannia again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
This was my 13th. cruise and my 4th. (in a row) with P&O. I travelled on Ventura in 2015 and all was well-but I'm sad to say the ship now needs some serious restoration. As with my other reviews on this site, I'll split this ... Read More
This was my 13th. cruise and my 4th. (in a row) with P&O. I travelled on Ventura in 2015 and all was well-but I'm sad to say the ship now needs some serious restoration. As with my other reviews on this site, I'll split this up into catergories starting with... Embarkation/Disembarkation. Sailing from Southampton in the UK. A complete breeze. P&O know what they're doing. Although the ship was completely booked up, there were loads of staff waiting at the terminal in Southampton. My car was taken by a local long-term parking company and I was directed to the main terminal building. Inside were (literally) hundreds of people getting their cabin keycards. But everything was perfectly smooth and I was onboard in around half an hour. Disembarkation was also a breeze. I'm a "walk off". That is somebody who can take their own luggage and leave the ship without any assistance. I was off the ship around 0730, I picked up my car and I was on the road home by 0800. Fantastic organisation. Demographics. The ship was fully booked and not exclusively British. I heard several eastern European, Asian and American accents. As it was the school Easter holidays, there were lots of families with children onboard and I estimate that the average age of the psasengers was in the forties-maybe less. There was (depending who you spoke to) around 300 to 400 children (under 12 and younger-I don't count teenagers) onboard. As I don't have kids of my own, I forgot about the Easter holidays. I'm not making a social comment, but everywhere you went during the day, there were loads of screaming kids-especially around the swimming pools. I tried to avoid this, but you couldn't get away from them. This made daytime activities difficult and I had trouble finding a nice quiet corner to relax. There was an "adults only" section of the ship, but this had a daily charge attatched and I wasn't going to pay. Talking of daily charge...P&O charge £6 per per per day on everybody's account. They call this a "hotel charge". This applies to all passengers over 12. I went to reception and asked for a form to remove this charge. P&O cannot force people to pay this it and I feel very strongly about being told when and how much (if at all) I am going to tip staff. I did tip my steward 50 Euros but that is as far as I will go. The cruise companies need to look at this as these trips are expensive enough. Food/drink. I requested first sitting in the main dining room (MDR) but I was given "freedom dining". Not for me. I like sitting down with the same people discussing the day, not with different people every night with the same questions...Where are you from/what do you do/married/kids etc. Because of this, I had my evening meals in the buffet. The food on offer was very good with themed nights..Curry night/Italian night/British pub food etc. All in all, very tasty. There are speciality restaurants on the ship-Sinhdu/Epricurean/Glass House and others. There is a cover charge on these but I have tried Sinhdu and I would highly recommend them. There won't be any screaming kids in these restaurants. As to alcohol...P&O claim that they charge "pub prices". Not where I'm from they're not. Beer was served in British Imperial pints (as opposed to the American pint which is 16 fluid ounces-British pints are 20 fluid ounces). My regular pub charges £3.05 for a pint and I could go to a Wetherspoons (to non-British readers Wetherspoons is a major UK pub chain) and pay around £1.80 for a pint, so I don't think P&O is charging pub prices. Permium beers/bottles cost even more. There was the usual spirits/wines/cocktails/champagne on offer-again at a lot more than you would pay in a pub. The ship and its staff. As I said above, I travelled on Ventura in 2015 and it had a refit in that year. I have to report that it needs another one-and soon. The carpets in the main public areas and staircases were threadbare and there was paint chips on the woodwork all over the place. Also, it seemed to me that the decor hadn't changed in the two years since I was on Ventura. P&O need to look at this with a serious update. I will say that all of the public areas/toilets/bars/restaurants were spotless all the time. The lower order of staff (bar staff/cabin stewards/cleaners) were mainly Indian and Filipino, very friendly and nothing was too much trouble. My cabin steward-Vincy-was brilliant. My cabin. I paid what P&O call an "early saver" fare. I was allocated an inside double room despite the fact that I had only paid a single fare as opposed to double for a solo traveller. The cabin was ok but as I have said above about a refit, the cabins need updating. There's loads of storage space-drawers/cupboards etc. but the shower/toilet had seen better days. Entertainment. I'm not a show person but there was the usual onboard troupe-Headliners-doing shows in the main theatre. There were resident bands and guest singers all doing MOR music. All very good. I did go and see an Elton John tribute in the Havana bar. He was very good and looked the part. He did two shows on two of the days and they were well attended. Daytime/night activities included quiz nights in the pub "The Exchange". I used to write pub quizzes as a hobby so I don't take part. There was guest lecturer talking about famous singers-Frank Sinatra/Elvis Presley-very informative. At least there wasn't any screaming kids there. Our route. We visited Vigo in Spain, Lisbon and Opporto in Portugal and Cherbourg in France. The weather could have been a little better but it was the first week in April so I didn't expect too much. We did have 32C in Lisbon and Opporto but it cooled down a bit in Cherbourg. I booked excusions with P&O before I travelled visiting the Oceanarium in Lisbon, a port vineyard in Opporto and the Bayuex Tapestry in Bayuex-about an hour's drive from Cherbourg. All very interesting. The Bayuex Tapestry was on my "Bucket List" so thats one done. I did my own thing in Vigo. And no screaming kids. Note: If you decide to do your own thing or use local tour guides in the ports of call and you miss the sailaway-tough. I will be your responsibility to get to the next port and at your own expense. The ship will not wait for you. And if you try to claim back any costs incurred on your travel insurance, they won't pay out as it was your own fault for missing the ship. If, on the other hand, you use an official P&O trip and you're late, the ship will wait for your return. Observations. This is not a social comment. I have said this on previous reviews and have been completely vilified. Going back to the kids onboard. In the buffet, kids were running about with no control from parents. This could be potentially dangerous and P&O need to sort this out. Also, at night, parents were carrying kids who were fast asleep or in buggies/pushchairs in loud, busy bars. These children were very young-some less that a year old. I know that when I was that age, I was in bed by a certain time and if I complained about it, I got smacked. I know that this isn't "politically correct" in this day and age, but I think this is wrong. I will say that during the evenings, the slightly older kids were well behaved and in complete control. But kids don't need to be in loud bars when the adults are enjoying the entertainment. One one occasion, I went to the Metropolis Bar. This is a smaller, intimate bar with a piano player, mood lighting-all very nice. Unfortunately, there were several families in the bar with around ten kids running about all over the place. This was around one o'clock in the morning and I had popped in for a nightcap before retiring for the night. Not something that is needed in what I would call an "adult bar". I won't make the mistake of booking another cruise when the kids are on holiday in the future. Conclusions. The ship...A bit threadbare and in need of a refit. Food/Drink...The buffet was very good-I can't comment on the MDR's-and the alcohol prices are still too high. The staff...Excellent. Weather..I know we can't control the weather but we did get two or three very warm days-the cruise was in the first week of April. Marks out of ten? I'll give this cruise six out of ten. I've deducted points for high beer prices, ship a bit tatty and too many screaming kids. I will recommend Ventura to first timers and seasoned cruisers-just don't book a cruise in the school holidays. Did I mention the screaming kids? Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click