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

We chose the cruise due to celebrating my mother's 80th Birthday, she had not cruised before so we wanted a short cruise just in case! We have been on many P&O cruises before but not Britannia. The one problem with the ship was ... Read More
We chose the cruise due to celebrating my mother's 80th Birthday, she had not cruised before so we wanted a short cruise just in case! We have been on many P&O cruises before but not Britannia. The one problem with the ship was the lifts!! They are a lot smaller than the other ships and therefore if a wheel chair is in the lift this does not leave much room. My mother needed to use the lift due to mobility and each time we needed to use it we had to wait a long time as they were always full and two lifts were out of service for most of the time. Also when disembarking the usual routine of an allotted time and venue was detailed in a letter, however most of the ship decided to ignore this, the result being a very long queue to get off the ship. I discussed this with one of the ship attendants and he stated that a lot of the people had not been on a cruise before and did not know the procedure!! He said he couldn't do anything about it.! I feel all it would have took was a person standing at the end of the queue checking paperwork to ensure they were queuing at the right time, if not they could have asked them to sit down and wait. If this is not done then all disembarkment is going to be a difficult experience. Due to these two things I will not be going on Britannia again even if the itinerary is of my liking. Avoid this ship if you are less mobile and need to use the lifts!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I'll get my moan out of the way first ! We booked the cruise last January, specifically for the overnight stop in the centre of Amsterdam, to allow us to easily come and go from the ship, and venture back into the city for the ... Read More
I'll get my moan out of the way first ! We booked the cruise last January, specifically for the overnight stop in the centre of Amsterdam, to allow us to easily come and go from the ship, and venture back into the city for the "night life". A month after our booking, we were told that for "operational reasons" we would now be stopping at Ijmuiden overnight Instead, and being coached in an hour each way. A few months later we were told the schedule had changed, and we would not sail the first day but rather go straight to Ijmuiden, so we didn't arrive at 8am but rather at 10.30am, so we didn't get into Amsterdam until 12 noon. This cocked up our plans and we were given the option to cancel but lose our deposit, and not given the option to pay the tax ourselves. A bit of investigation identified that the operational reason was that Amsterdam have introduced an €8 per person tax, and they aren't willing to be dictated to, but despite repeated e mails and calls they aren't willing to admit this. There is no way that the fuel used sailing there faster, the coaches through the night, and the 385 nautical miles sailed before our next port ( 100 miles away) make this a good decision for anyone. Now that I have got that off my chest, the rest of the break was excellent ! We went on Ventura a couple of years ago, and it has had a refit since, so all the public areas are well maintained. We have been on a couple of TUI cruises since we last went on P&O a year ago, so have something to compare them to. Without any doubt the decor and the food quality / choice on P&O is better, with more in the way of activities. However, the standard of service is far below that of TUI, and has dropped since we last sailed P&O (since the dropped the tipping?). It's not that it's poor service, it's more that it is just functional, and there is no attempt to interact with passengers, which does have a big impact on the atmosphere onboard. The show team at night of drama school kids were of as high a standard as we have seen at sea, and all their shows were excellent. I can't say the same for the other entertainment that came an left the ship, who unfortunately appeared more than once, especially the comedienne. Our stop at Bruges was very good, but unfortunately our stop at Guernsey was cancelled due to high winds preventing the launch of the tenders. I can't vouch for its accuracy, but other passengers said that it was the fifth time this year that they have aborted the port, which makes you ask why they bother if this is the case. Embarkation at Southampton was speedy, as was our disembarkation which went very smoothly an hour ahead of schedule. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Our August/September Golden Anniversary Cruise was on P & O’s Ventura, a ship on which we have travelled before, in fact it was on our first cruise just 2 years ago. We chose the itinerary primarily because the date of our ... Read More
Our August/September Golden Anniversary Cruise was on P & O’s Ventura, a ship on which we have travelled before, in fact it was on our first cruise just 2 years ago. We chose the itinerary primarily because the date of our anniversary was mid-cruise and the week-long itinerary included the island where we had our honeymoon back in September 1969, Guernsey, where we could relive all the fond memories of our time there. We had very high hopes since we love Ventura and I had pre-booked a meal in the Epicurean , the ship’s specialist fine-dining restaurant, on the night of our anniversary. That meal was spectacular and the staff were amazing. Apart from being delicious, the food was so imaginative – how about fried custard on your dessert? It was a really lovely surprise, believe me. So, Ventura scores very highly in terms of food and service including the excellent support my wife has for her special dietary needs, and our super cabin steward, Morris. Unfortunately, it was not the cruise we had hoped for in respect of the shore experiences. The first disappointment was to be told, in advance, that we would not be berthing in Amsterdam but at the distant port of Ijmuiden and that a bus shuttle service would be provided. At the time I received the notification I guess I wasn’t too concerned because I hadn’t visited Amsterdam before and didn’t know what impact those arrangements would have on our time there. We were given the usual ‘operational reasons’ excuse. Because details were not divulged, everyone, and I mean everyone, I spoke with believed it was down to the tax imposed on cruise ship passengers. I wonder how much money was spent on the shuttle services and how passenger experiences were thereby enhanced. Come on P & O! Amsterdam is a fascinating city for loads of reasons. It is just the sort of destination that really benefits cruise visitors when they are able to pop on and off of their ship at will. Sadly, a bus shuttle that took between 40 minutes and over an hour in each direction killed that opportunity. Equally, long delays waiting, in blazing sunshine (well at least we had that!), for return shuttles that got stuck in heavy traffic was not the most pleasant experience other than for sun worshippers! This problem must have been known of in advance and precautions taken to alleviate the misery. This was particularly an issue on our first day when we had booked an evening canal excursion that meant we had to ‘shuttle’ back to the ship in order to pick up the excursion bus to travel back in again, thus cutting our time in Amsterdam on our own severely. The actual excursion was great and you can imagine that we really dug into the cheese and wine provided, especially the wine. However, the real disappointment came when we arrived at Guernsey. I queued early to get a reasonable tender time and was given two spaces on the first tender departure. We were thrilled to have such a long time ashore to relive all those wonderful memories. The thrill was quickly stifled when the captain announced that the winds were too severe to operate the tenders although he would ‘hang around’ for half an hour because the forecast was that the winds would reduce. No such luck because, after 30 minutes had elapsed, we were told that it was too dangerous to operate the tenders. We were both so upset, my wife in particular. I am well aware that safety of passengers is paramount and I cannot take issue with P & O over the decision. What I find hard to take is that, having spoken to so many passengers both on and off the ship at the time and since returning home who have suffered the same experience, I don’t understand why either the destination is not removed from itineraries if it is so dangerous or that the largest possible ‘health warning’ of the likelihood of ‘failure’ is prominently published in all the appropriate literature, including glossy brochures. A Golden Wedding comes only once and is so special. Our celebration left a real curate’s egg of memories from the joy of Epicurean to the real sadness of missing out on re-visiting our honeymoon island. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We are experienced with cruising and this is our second trip with P&O. Not expecting too much but more for the company price per nigyt was not exactly cheap but there were not service charges or tips and everything in UK £'s. 3 ... Read More
We are experienced with cruising and this is our second trip with P&O. Not expecting too much but more for the company price per nigyt was not exactly cheap but there were not service charges or tips and everything in UK £'s. 3 night trip with friend for birthday. Bit of a blow to start as ship had a "technical" problem so would not sail on Friday but midday on Saturday to allow for repairs. Disappointed but we would get over it. Then the Captain revised this, for us to leave earlier on Saturday morning so we were cheered up a bit. Embarkation was very smooth and quick. Went to get buffet lunch which was typical P&O roast beef that was fine but not exceptional - as was the case with nearly all meals on board but it was what we were expecting. Then a drink in the Lords Tavern bar. Largish bar with seats very close together. Asked for a Pina Colada - Whoops not on the list so no. Asked about the 3 taster beer selections - Whoops this not available either - I sensed a theme here! Ship looked in generally good condition though a very dated. Liked the Tiffany ceiling at the Tiffany bar and the other smaller bars such as Anderson's. Pacific lounge looked good too. Cabin OK but some funny bits see below. There was to be a life boat drill but they kept this secret till about 20mins before it was due. Had to take life jackets with us - really do not know why. As other lines have abandoned this and you just turn up and get the lecture. Weather raining so under shelter on pool deck for drinks with friends. Now dinner. Bit of a surprise it all looked pretty good and lamb shank is one of my favourites so off to good start. Made the mistake of asking for bottle of Pinot Grigio. "sorry we have run out" Eh! first day of cruise and 24hrs in home port? Seems the ship is being run down for sale in about a month. Great entertainment is the evening - Singers and Dancers did a medley of Bill Board Hits which everyone knew and was one of the best. Then off to the Drifters tribute which was likewise very good. Comedian Mike Doyle was excellent well worth seeing. He did some reminiscing about past cruises on Oriana as he had been there from the start. Mentioned some of the staff that were on this cruise to say farewell to the ship. Sailed as promised at around 930am Saturday. Bought our duty free which was particularly good value then a relaxing day. Had lunch which was a bit bland and then almost time to get ready for formal night and some photos. Guernsey was fine and we simply walked around St Peter Port there was a market and car show on the quay side which was interesting as many of the shops were shut as it was a Sunday. Have to say here didn't they know there would be 2 cruise ships in with people eager to spend their cash! Now the really BAD news as we walked in to the Oriental dining room for early sitting I could hear a loud rumble accompanied by a lot of vibration. This increased as we approached our table and was now overpowering so much so you could hardly hear yourself talk let alone think. So bad that if you left your cutlery on the plate it danced across it! Meal was fine lobster and beef wellington but they do not seem to like you asking for seconds - felt a bit like Oliver Twist. So uncomfortable actually that they won and I never asked again. Once we dropped anchor outside St Peter Port and the turned off the engine all was OK but we were now halfway through the meal and the Sunday night there would be no respite as we hammered our way up the English Channel. We discovered the best bar being the Crow's Nest at the front of the Ship. Large bar with live music - similar in many respects to the Commodore clubs on Cunard. P&O have now said there is not need to tip staff. Well this time around there was really no one apart from our cabin steward that would deserve anything. Service was pretty poor all around and very basic. You had to ask for everything whether it be ketchup and mint sauce or trying to catch someones eye because they had forgotten an order - everything seemed too much trouble. I just wonder if they have dropped the tips and not increased their pay? The ship was fine despite its age and some bad design decisions around the cabins. I liked the smaller bars but it was simply too crammed in the Lords Tavener. I am sorry to say I pity those passengers on the remaining cruises if they have to put up with the engine noise and vibration in the Oriental Restaurant. As we had experienced before there were many on board who cruise only with P&O and there were also lots of ex staff who were saying farewell to the ship. They will just not hear anything mildly critical or constructive said about the ship. Which is sad really because every company should be aiming to improve. There many things on this ship and cruise that were great but others not so. If all you surround yourself with is yes men then you will fail. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We chose the cruise as it was available for my significant birthday was only a week long and sailed from Southampton. We also booked a superior deluxe on the sailing for not much more than a standard balcony. We sailed with my oh’s ... Read More
We chose the cruise as it was available for my significant birthday was only a week long and sailed from Southampton. We also booked a superior deluxe on the sailing for not much more than a standard balcony. We sailed with my oh’s parents and had a nice time but both and oh’s parents who are exprencied cruisers felt pretty let down by p and o. We felt the food choice in the buffet pretty poor, fairly low quality and very repetitive. Hence we ate breakfast and lunch as much as possible in the oriental or main dining rooms. The evening meal choice was also pretty limited. I don’t eat sea food or fish, and pretty much all that was left in the mains was pretty much your standard British roast dinner fare. Lunchtime service from the waiters was pretty poor and very rushed. The evening entertainment was generally ok but nothing more, but one comedians act Bernie Flint was exclusively geared for a very old audience ( if I could have walked out I would)P and o generally we have found after two cruises lack daytime activities we enjoy, generally we do our own thing. Overall yes the ship is looking a bit tired in places, but is fine. When you do have issues customer service is woeful. We had no working toilet for 14 hours, my ohs parents had a balcony door that wouldn’t close shut. In a very mild storm, this was blowing open in the middle of the night. PandO assured them it would be fixed the next morning, it took a further two days to be repaired. We took a shore excursion from Santander to bilbo to see the Guggenheim and a walking tour of the old town. We only had 50 mins to explore an internationally renowned museum. The guide was very knowledgeable but the day just felt rushed. In summary not sure we would sail p and o again, unless we got an amazing deal. My oh’s parents are worried about service on a cruise with p and o in the autumn on another ship after this experience. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Have travelled on Azura before in Caribbean and Loved that experience. I was disappointed on this cruise. I expected the weather to be grim and knew the ports would be basic. Bearing in mind shops were shut on Sunday in Cherbourg and ... Read More
Have travelled on Azura before in Caribbean and Loved that experience. I was disappointed on this cruise. I expected the weather to be grim and knew the ports would be basic. Bearing in mind shops were shut on Sunday in Cherbourg and ciesta in Spain. Disembarking and embarking in Guernsey was an inconvenience, having to queue for about 40 mins to use the tendor . Getting off and getting back on board . Generally standards have dropped. Even noticed the lower brand of biscuit in the cabin. Used to get a good old hob nob, now a Marie biscuit. ....Maybe because lack of staff, the buffet tables need to be cleared quicker. Often walked around looking for a table to sit at. Buffet food very basic. Only ate breakfast there and found that not very appetising. Peninsular restaurant on the other hand, very good. .... Cabin was depressing due to complete view of lifeboat taking up all off the view, would have preferred an inside cabin. No complaints regarding our steward Rex who was always accommodating. Entertainment was pretty good. Not sure I’m happy with the dance area around the shops and costa, continually being used for classes. Would be nice to have a bit of free style dancing there as well. Personally I will try another cruise line now to compare. Which is disappointing as up until this holiday I could only have praised P&O for ensuring an enjoyable experience. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
I boarded Britannia for its France, Spain and Guernsey highlights. Embarkation was smooth for all guests, luggage attendants extremely helpful. And check in staff to security personal where to the highest standards. On boarding ... Read More
I boarded Britannia for its France, Spain and Guernsey highlights. Embarkation was smooth for all guests, luggage attendants extremely helpful. And check in staff to security personal where to the highest standards. On boarding Britannia I was greeted by friendly onboard social hostesses, who dealt with enquires in a very pleasant manner. The overall appearance is a finely and articulate ship with the grandiose it expels. The room steward kiran was trained to be more of a butler than a steward, one in which I would of expected to see on a Cunard liner. Absolutely excellent service from this young man. However it was not long Until you could hear the grumbles of passengers. From freezer packs not being delivered at appropriate times for medicine to be administered for a guest who had informed p and o re medical conditions. I can confirm the ship dealt with this on day of departure. Hopefully to the guest satisfaction. Then there was an issue with the drinks package!! 96 year old female told to pay the fee even though didn’t drink so her son could get his drinks package. I can confirm this was dealt with and he did receive his drinks package and the elderly lady was not charged and training was given. There was another incident on board on the first formal night when the photographer asked two gentleman, as they set to pose for photographs if they were father and son. One of the gentleman replied “no he is my partner” the photographer then replied who is the man and who is the woman” to many passengers in the queues horror and well as the two upset gentlemen. I can confirm there complaint was dealt with. The received compensation of 100 pounds on board credit alongside a meal in one of the fine dining rooms and the photographer was moved to a different area of the ship. However, they are still seeking more than this as they feel money or restaurants don’t compensate it is more to the fact of training and his attitude towards their sexuality. Now to bilboa this was pretty horrific as to disembarkation and boarding for disabled passengers coming off deck 6 rather than deck 5. It was far to long for passengers to try and walk and if a dla assessment officer was watching he/she would have been shocked as people who struggle to walk was actually beyond any Disablement entitlement. If a photographer took a photo. However because of this many were left physically exhausted and one passenger falling, injuring her ankle. Other passengers complained regarding the heating in rooms either being to cold then to hot in the evening. Then came the niggles and the freedom dining. Personally was pretty horrified at the times you had to wait your buzzer not going off, which I did complain about. Then the finest champagne not being open correctly and spilling out over the table. Which was reported. Now to your personal order of drinks bill being given and asked to sign before you had your dessert. I can confirm that this was reported and everything was taken extremely serious and action was taken.many passengers were disappointed not docking in Guernsey. This was down to storm Hannah and I back the decision as passengers and staff safety should always come first and the captain did although to the frustration of some. Disembarkation was delayed due to highs winds in the morning again adding to further frustration. This was out of both P and o Cruises control and ground staff. Unfortunately an act of god is beyond anyone’s control. Safety always has to be paramount. I understand people’s views and expectations are all different whether dining, dressing to entertainment. So yes this cruise didn’t meet a lot of expectations however, look carefully at itinerary of your cruise, and dress codes etc , every ship is different but at the same time it’s like a box of chocolates full of different varieties with a glossy coating. One thing I will say I think I am Amongst the majority that found the captains announcements came across a little condescending “ladies and gentleman boys and girls “ and tatty bye. Not how I expect a captain to address his public. I can confirm that every complaint is taking extremely seriously, and that Britannia staff will do their upmost to sort the situation out. Don’t wait to get home and complain it’s important to address it whilst on board. I would like like to add the bar team in the live lounge were of the highest standard and worked together extremely well. They served immaculately and presented themselves well a proud team supporting Avalon and his Assistant manager, and P and O Cruises. So yes the company needs to keep on top of training to impress the quality of service and fix things as soon as they arise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Chose this cruise to be with friends and living locally departure was convenient from the port of Southampton. Only second time on P&O and was hoping for a better experience but let down firstly by poor administration and secondly by ... Read More
Chose this cruise to be with friends and living locally departure was convenient from the port of Southampton. Only second time on P&O and was hoping for a better experience but let down firstly by poor administration and secondly by our two experiences in the main dining room. We were only a group of three in two different staterooms. When we made our reservations were promised dining together but on ship the Maitre D,s did not appear to be able to carry out such a simple exercise. We did eventually get a joint table by having met a senior management officer and discussing the problem with her, but by that time we had made the decision to eat in the Glasshouse Bar/Restaurant. The Glasshouse was totally different, a wide selection of dishes, all of good quality and presented with a flair. The team lead by A-Jay provided excellent service. Wine selection and Cocktails were better than a four star hotel. Stateroom, and outside single was snug and kept clean by the steward. It did however require a bit of TLC. Generally however the ship,s public areas seemed clean and looked after. Entertainment and activities are not our thing so no real comment except to say the pianist who played in various public areas seemed to have a rather monotonous itinery. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We had a good cruise to Jersey with Aurora in June 2018, so booked again for Brugges with Ventura in November. The orginsation is good, luggage taken even before the entry hall and it arrives at your cabin door before you do. We had a ... Read More
We had a good cruise to Jersey with Aurora in June 2018, so booked again for Brugges with Ventura in November. The orginsation is good, luggage taken even before the entry hall and it arrives at your cabin door before you do. We had a balcony cabin which was really great. As we were on a two night cruise we didn't see much of the sea, none-the-less good to have. The ship was great in terms of communal spaces and decor, a real feeling of deluxe. The most disappointing part was the food, not the same standard as the Aurora, two meals of dried up fish, tasteless chicken stuffed with quail. The waiter couldn't tell me the names of cheeses offered. Brugges is 20 mins away from the dock gates by coach. This isn't for anyone with any sort of mobility problem as you are left at a bus stop about 1 mile walking from the centre. I didn't see anywhere this was explained in advance. Later came back on board early afternoon and went to the Glasshouse buffet on Deck 16. The salads for starters were all good, The main meals were not very appealingly presented. We eventually chose fish & chips, but the fish was dry and inededible, Something needs to be done about the help yourself chip tongs which produce about 3 chips a time with a long queue of people waiting behind you. We would have liked to go to the cinema as with Aurora, but told no cinema on board. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
The embarkation process was very efficient and worked well. Our cabin was clean & comfortable, the food excellent, entertainment poor, communication by newsletter or PA not very helpful. There was no information about the Saturday ... Read More
The embarkation process was very efficient and worked well. Our cabin was clean & comfortable, the food excellent, entertainment poor, communication by newsletter or PA not very helpful. There was no information about the Saturday activities, only for the Sunday. We had wanted to to visit Brugge again but no such luck. At the last minute at 7am Sunday morning it was announced that ' too windy to dock at Zeeburgge ' the whole point of the trip! There was no rocking and rolling to be felt so we were very surprised! We just meandered along the English Channel by the White Cliffs of Dover all day and returned to Southampton. P&O must have made a packet!! If each passenger spent £50 on drinks or in the shops on board they would have made £150,000! When I cancelled the taxi I booked the taxi driver said it definitely not too windy. Wouldn't travel with P&O again after this experience. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
The embarkation was reasonably quick after being kept waiting in our car for 15min by a lack of baggage porters. Once on board lifts were a problem due to one on each floor aft end out of order causing unacceptable wait times. The ... Read More
The embarkation was reasonably quick after being kept waiting in our car for 15min by a lack of baggage porters. Once on board lifts were a problem due to one on each floor aft end out of order causing unacceptable wait times. The cabin c631 was clean and tidy although a little drab colour wise, our steward was friendly and helpful. The Baytree restaurant the food was imo predictable nothing to really get you excited , the waiters were very busy indeed often having to run ! around the restaurant . The waterside deck 16 the food at times could only be classed as canteen quality! Drinks onboard were reasonably priced The pool area was very pleasant was always possible to find a sun bed For three nights at £900 for 2 would we book anther Ventura cruise No This was our 3 Ventura cruise after a a gap of 8 yrs standards have dropped . Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
This is my 3rd cruise with P&O and went with friends who were experiencing their 1st. On the whole we all thoroughly enjoyed our cruise. Lovely clean ship, sizable cabins and destinations were better than expected. We had set dining ... Read More
This is my 3rd cruise with P&O and went with friends who were experiencing their 1st. On the whole we all thoroughly enjoyed our cruise. Lovely clean ship, sizable cabins and destinations were better than expected. We had set dining in the Oriental which was okay. We booked a late sitting with a table of 8 but got our own table of 4. Food was average. Yes, they have a lot to feed but I have been with other cruise lines where the food is of an exceptional high standard. We booked the Limelight Club on the 2nd night with Dean Andrews. This was our best night and the night we will all remember, definitely a must for any passengers, whoever is entertaining. Good evening entertainment around the ship with the exception of daily out of tune wannabees in front of an amazing band, Pulse. The musicians are extremely talented, the singers, not so much. We were 'blown away' by the talented Maxine Mazumder who did tribute acts of Adele and Dusty Springfield on two separate nights. Fantastic. Sorry but the Entertainments Team do not cut the mustard particularly on sail-aways with their self-indulgent renditions of We are Sailing, Rule Britannia, Day Dream Believer etc etc.... maybe I missed the memo, but I thought that was what Butlins was for!! Public areas in particular the toilets were immaculate. Bar staff and waiters were a tad dour, bringing down an otherwise good atmosphere who give half hearted wipe of tables now and again. Cabin Staff friendly but no attention to detail; We booked Flowers, champagne and chocolates to add to the occasion but were not provided with champagne glasses/flutes, had to drink out of a tumbler!! Cabins were just given a daily 'once-over' bedding not changed all week nor were dressing tables. This did not spoil our trip, just too many annoyances to make the perfect trip. Come on P&O think about your passengers not your shareholders. Oh, one last thing, forget about your last night, this is where you are 'yesterdays' news and they are now focusing on the next lot. All the smiley 'hellos' are gone, you have already submitted your staff nominations and they have nothing else to gain from you. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Lovely ship, lovely cabin, excellent steward, excellent waiting staff, great food (I have a special diet which was well catered for). However, major criticisms : On arrival we were told to report for lifeboat drill at 4 pm, which ... Read More
Lovely ship, lovely cabin, excellent steward, excellent waiting staff, great food (I have a special diet which was well catered for). However, major criticisms : On arrival we were told to report for lifeboat drill at 4 pm, which we and most others did. We then sat in a very crowded restaurant for 1 hour, listening to repeated messages, ‘Sorry to keep you waiting, just waiting for the last few arrivals’. On every ship I have been on there have been late arrivals, you know this, we know this, so why not schedule the lifeboat drill for when everyone has arrived instead of packing too many people into a too small area for far too long (standing room only at the end), this is not a good start to your holiday. On Monday I had a sudden flare up of my illness and couldn’t go on the excursion. Knowing there was a long waiting list for most of the trips I phoned reception at 6am and told them we couldn’t go as I was ill, thinking they would be able to sell the tickets to someone else. I was told I could not have any money back as you needed 48 hours notice to cancel unless you got the doctor to sign you off as ill. The last time I saw the ship’s doctor I was charged £91 for a consultation for £4.50’s worth of anti-biotics, which was more than I would have got back with a refund so I didn’t bother. I don’t know which part of ‘suddenly taken ill’ you can reconcile with having to give 48 hours notice to cancel. The Golden Circle Excursion, Reykjavik. This is an 8 hour tour and we were told to report to the theatre at 8am for an 8.30am start. We got there at 7.50am to find a queue out of the theatre, all the way back to the Atrium and nearly all the way back again. We eventually got in and were allocated tickets for the 9th of 9 buses. The theatre was packed, every seat filled, and there we sat for an HOUR while crew, staff, officers, tour guides and tour ‘organisers’ (a very loose term) discussed and argued over which staircase, which exit, which gangway and which group to send first. Why on earth are the staff not trained in this procedure BEFORE the paying guests were sitting waiting? Have they never done it before? We eventually got on our bus and left at 9.10am, harassed, irritated and already fed up with the standing, queueing, shuffling and waiting. Being the last bus we spent the day constantly falling further behind schedule, hurried on and off the bus, and missed the tour of the Geo-Thermal Plant as we were so late, getting back to the ship at 6.30, 10 ¾ hours after leaving our cabin, completely and utterly exhausted. Isafjordur. Having to tender off, what a shambles! We had an excursion booked for 12.30 and would have liked to spend the morning having a look round the town. The advice was that 9.30 to 10.30 would be the busiest time so we went to the Meridian restaurant at 10.30 for disembarkation. To our amazement the huge room was full to capacity, with many also standing, waiting to go. After the next boatload had departed we managed to get seats and there we sat, moaning along with everyone else. At 11.30 I went to the desk to complain about the wait and that we had a trip booked for 12.30. The reply was that the trip ticket holders would get ashore with priority, and that they were sorry for the delay and they were doing their best! Well in our opinion their best was definitely not good enough. We were eventually called to a tender at 12.10, then hustled along the quay to our boat which was waiting for us. When we returned to Isafjordur at 4.30 we only had time for a quick walk and it was raining by then so we missed half a port day – NOT BEST PLEASED. Akureyri. Whale watching trip. Perishing cold and 30 mph wind. We were told to gather on the quay at 8.15 to walk round the harbour to the trip boat. We arrived at 8.10 to find a queue already 100 yards long and were then kept waiting in the bitter cold until 8.30. Why could not those already present walk in their own time to the boat? We could see it round the harbour, we weren’t going to get lost, most people are not imbeciles even though you insist on treating them as such. When we got there we again had to stand waiting interminably whilst a ship girl took our excursion ticket, a boat girl gave us another one then up on to the deck painfully slowly where another boat girl tore our ticket in half. It beggars belief that someone should think this acceptable treatment of paying customers. My husband and I are in our 70’s, by no means the oldest present, and I suffer from ill health. Unsurprisingly I was taken ill on returning to the ship and stayed in bed for the next 2 days. This cruise cost us £5500 plus another £1000 for excursions. Not a cheap holiday. On top of that you have to pay the exhorbitant cost of bottled water. Clean drinking water is an essential of life not an optional luxury. Free Wi-Fi is provided by every hotel, B&B and café, nearly every public building, even my GP’s waiting room. Why on earth do you think it is acceptable to charge at all for it let alone so much. We were penned in and herded about like cattle and quite frankly a sheepdog could have done a better job. Far from being a wonderful experience this cruise will remain in our memory as a source of great annoyance. You could and should do much better. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Party of 6. Picked this cruise because or itinerary. Appreciate Oriana is an older ship but it has had a recent overhaul. Ship is smart in a rather retro style. We made extensive use of the Lords Tavern bar which is the nearest to a large ... Read More
Party of 6. Picked this cruise because or itinerary. Appreciate Oriana is an older ship but it has had a recent overhaul. Ship is smart in a rather retro style. We made extensive use of the Lords Tavern bar which is the nearest to a large English pub and the staff were great. Went to Indian Sindhu restaurant one night which was superb and well worth the small supplement. Main dining food and service could not be faulted unlike the buffet which was very average. As an example we were given stale bread at breakfast on a number of breakfasts. Bread choice was poor. We could only get white or brown rolls or pre sliced bread. Cooked food choice was limited. No ice cream available at lunch or dinner. I am not being picky but these things and more all add up. This was a 1st on P & O and unfortunately has now put us off. We generally had a good cruise but did not get off feeling special as we have with our favourite Celebrity cruises. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
This was a seven day Southampton to Southampton cruise, Embarkation was quite quick and efficient. We were soon on the ship but it did seem to take a while for the cases to come, but it is a big ship with a lot of passengers so it was only ... Read More
This was a seven day Southampton to Southampton cruise, Embarkation was quite quick and efficient. We were soon on the ship but it did seem to take a while for the cases to come, but it is a big ship with a lot of passengers so it was only to be expected. The ship didn't feel very full, there were a lot of spaces in the MDR and the theatre was never full. The cabin was a good size with a good size balcony, we have been on Azura and Ventura before so knew what to expect. The food in the MDR and Buffet was good and the service in the MDR was excellent. Theatre shows were good and well performed as were the shows in the Bars. It is just a shame that P&O insist that all Brits want to have quizzes during the evening that disrupt the flow of musicians. Dis-embarking was very quick, we chose to take our own cases off and this worked very well. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
It was our anniversary and we saw this 2 night cruise so thought we’d book it. We’ve cruised many times before; mostly RCI, NCL, Princess and Holland America. We were excited to give P&O as we haven’t cruised with them before. ... Read More
It was our anniversary and we saw this 2 night cruise so thought we’d book it. We’ve cruised many times before; mostly RCI, NCL, Princess and Holland America. We were excited to give P&O as we haven’t cruised with them before. Overall it was OK. Not sure what we were expecting, but something seemed lacking. It didn’t have any wow factor or oomph The worst part was check in. What a ridiculous way of doing it, we’ve never done it that way before. You’re given a time to get to the terminal and if you’re early you still have to wait. 2 1/2hrs in our case. Just give people a card as they arrive like they usually do. Cabin was lovely and Clean and the bed very comfortable. We had freedom dining and the usual wait was 30-40 mins. We weren’t overly impressed with the food, it was barely warm one night and the sticky toffee pudding was chewy where it had been left under lights to keep warm and the toffee sauce was thin and bitter. They really seemed in a rush to get you in and out. Usually you get a bit of time between courses but it was take that plate and here’s your next course. Not a relaxing experience. The buffet was fine, everything you wanted, again only warm though. The shows in the theatre were good. Again, a first for us, was that there was no drinks service in the theatre. We took our own in once we knew. The major thing we found, which we’ve never experienced before, were the staff weren’t very happy or friendly. They didn’t seem to engage with people. We tried chatting to a lot of the waiters but they didn’t want to know. They work hard and weren’t rude, but there wasn’t any personality or friendliness coming through like you normally get and I would say it was 85% of the staff we came across. None of this was awful, but we felt worth mentioning. We’ve tried P&O but don’t think it’s for us. Something was definitely missing which was friendliness and atmosphere. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
For a Flag Ship & so new, certain areas looking tired already. Our mistake was not appreciating a "weekend" cruise would be full of badly behaved stag/hen parties! Also, Freedom Dining, as included was very average & the ... Read More
For a Flag Ship & so new, certain areas looking tired already. Our mistake was not appreciating a "weekend" cruise would be full of badly behaved stag/hen parties! Also, Freedom Dining, as included was very average & the buffet very underwhelming. The specialised restaurants were much better but of course at a price - not only a supplement but food supplements too. As a small group who wanted to sit together for dinner - not unreasonable - the only option to be able to book a table at a sensible time, was to dine at one of the specialised restaurants! Catch 22 situation. The "Formal" dining night requested was rather extreme for the ship/the clientele. Having been on a couple of other cruise ships, nothing about this experience will get us rushing back to this ship or PO I'm afraid. Recommend you read the reviews very carefully before committing. Overpriced for what it is, sadly. Lesson learnt. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We have just returned from this cruise and were somewhat disappointed because we did not stop in Oporto because of problems with the ship. The ports we visited were Vigo which was lovely, then Lisbon where the stay was extended in ... Read More
We have just returned from this cruise and were somewhat disappointed because we did not stop in Oporto because of problems with the ship. The ports we visited were Vigo which was lovely, then Lisbon where the stay was extended in order, I believe, for repairs to be made to the ship. We should have left at 5 pm but infact the visit was extended until the early hours of the following morning and we left at about 5 am. Because of this we had an extra day at sea, which was not ideal bearing in mind the following day was also a sea day, and as it was only a 7 day cruise I did not book to be at sea for two consecutive days. The visit to Guernsey was lovely, apart from waiting for nearly one and a half hours for the tender to get into port. Coming back although there was a long queue the tenders seemed to be operating much quicker. Putting our disappointment aside the holiday was fine. Our cabin was well looked after, the entertainment good and the food was well served although someone did comment that it seems P and O are catering more for fish eaters than meat eaters these days. Having said that there was also plenty of choice and the meal was always finished off with coffee or tea. We did not use of the shore excursions advertised by P and O but instead did our own thing. We find using local services and hop on hop off buses suits us fine. All in all it was a good break but must say there was something missing although neither myself nor my husband can pinpoint what it was as except to say there did not seem to be the same sparkle as on previous cruises. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We chose this cruise because the date suited us and we had never been to Lisbon city centre, Cherbourg town or Oporto, We cruised extensively over the last few years but mostly with American-based lines, ie Celebrity, Princess, Disney ... Read More
We chose this cruise because the date suited us and we had never been to Lisbon city centre, Cherbourg town or Oporto, We cruised extensively over the last few years but mostly with American-based lines, ie Celebrity, Princess, Disney and RCL and also with Viking Oceans, and I had slight reservations about whether we would find this ship 'too British'. It undoubtedly is very British in ways in which others are not, ie decent tea served, kettles in cabins, British bacon and probably more curries on the menu, but nothing I would regard as a negative. After reading the Cruise Critic's P&O forum, I was also a bit concerned about fellow passengers because many on there are very vocal about removing automatic gratuities. standards of dress on formal nights etc. I wish that P&O would include gratuities in the fare for the UK market to put an end to this nonsense and to prevent me from feeling that I am helping to make up the short-fall from those who remove them but say they are tipping their cabin steward and waiters in the Main Dining Room (MDR). What about the others who assist you? This cruise was at the tail-end of the staggered Easter holidays and we met more than one couple of moaners who told us they would not have booked had they realised that! I have no idea why they objected because almost every child we saw on this ship was well behaved and well dressed for the dining room. Okay so we got in one lift after two teenage boys fled only to discover that all the floor buttons had been pressed; I am sure they thought they were the first ones ever to do this but it was soon sorted by a couple of presses of one button which cleared them! Hands up, it was my husband who did this and I don't know which button. Our cabin, B534 was centre-aft, and was kept in very good order by Wilton, our cabin steward who was one of the most efficient we had had and was tipped extra for his excellent service. The cabin was good and the bed comfortable. I liked the private wardrobe/dressing area but did not care for the shower curtain, but then again, the bathroom is so small, it is probably a necessity, and a trade-off for the wardrobe arrangement. We did have some very rough weather one evening, just before we entered the Bay of Biscay and I was pleased to be close to the centre of the ship and have a good supply of medication for the event. This was our second of five cruises this year, (we did five last year also) and each other time we have chosen to have the variable dining time option but on here we opted for early seating fixed dining and we were happy with our choice on account of being allocated a table for two next to a partition and with a good space between us and the next table. We did share tables for breakfast and lunch and so did meet a good number of our fellow passengers; most of whom were good company and interesting (and not moaners!). We were happy with food on most occasions, and when we weren't it was generally because one of us had not chosen well. I had read previously that you are given more veg on a P&O ship and I would agree with this, so a big tick for P&O on that score. There was a difference in the level of presentation of the food on the Azura and the other ships we have been on, in that presentation is not rated as highly in my opinion. One meal in particular made me smile - it was turkey, gravy, roast potatoes, and carrots and it was plated up just as I would have done at home! Not a criticism by the way, just an observation. My roasties would have been better and the cranberry sauce not of a pouring consistency, but otherwise, the taste was fine. The service in the dining room was a tad slow and our waiters were just okay but nothing special, so they were not tipped extra and that is unusual for us, because although we do variable dining on other ships, we usually end up on a table we like after a day or two and stick with it and the same servers for the rest of the cruise. I loved that a MDR was open for lunch each day, including port days, which has not been the case on other lines. Probably the weakest aspect of the Azura was the buffet area, which we used only twice and at quiet times, but even so, there is little room to move around the areas where you get your food, so it must be real chaos when it is very busy. I was surprised not to have a choice of a soft drink to accompany a meal, only water. The entertainment was a bit disappointing because one cast show had to be cancelled because of the bad weather and a film was shown in the theatre that evening, which was fine, but I would have hoped that the missed show could have been performed the next day, which was a sea day. The guest speaker, Eileen Goulding, who spoke on topics such as 'Mystical Systems and Signs of the Ancient World' and was a bit monotonous if you did not find the subject fascinating, which we didn't. However, the Utterly Revolting Science show (performed in the theatre but aimed mostly at children) with Stefan Gates and an assistant was great fun and informative to boot! We were not interested in the art talks or anything else aimed at parting you from your money. Which remind me, P&O owe me money and I have not had a reply to my complaint made 7 days ago. I had OBC and checked my account mid-week, although my spending for the full week amounted to two coffees, two alcoholic drinks, one alcohol-free cocktail and a day's internet use. I purchased nothing else. Very easy to keep track of when you are not spending loads. However, my final bill showed £7.70 allegedly spent in the Oasis Spa - where I had never set foot! I of course went straight to the front desk and the young man told me twice that *if* there was an error, it would be corrected. I told him twice that it *was* an error, but here we are 9 days after the cruise ended and it has still not been returned. Oh and they have charged a mystery £1.65 to my credit card which is not even show on my bill. So watch your bills is my advice! I was very impressed that the shuttle buses were included in the price we had paid and used them in Lisbon, Oporto and Cherbourg. We did not take any excursions on this trip because it was the city/town centres that we actually wanted to see. We had been to Vigo in November and both times we caught a service bus (C1 I believe) from across the road and does a circular tour for 1.30 euros. This cruise we were in Vigo on a Sunday and so we saw more on the bus than when it was busy on a weekday, and also there was a festival happening not too far from the ship. It rained heavily in Oporto but we still enjoyed our walk around although did hear people express their disappointment with this port. We did not share this view and if the weather had been better would have walked down to the river. I went on this cruise thinking that P&O would be a 'one-off' for us, but whilst on board I realised that it would be great for my grandsons and so we are likely to be with them again, with the family next year. Really, I hesitated between the three dot 'average' and the four dot 'very good' because just a few little things would have elevated it for me. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We have traveled before with P&O and we have always been impressed with the entertainment, however this cruise we were left feeling ‘Is that it?’ Embarkation was slow, with us waiting an hour and a half, due to everyone ... Read More
We have traveled before with P&O and we have always been impressed with the entertainment, however this cruise we were left feeling ‘Is that it?’ Embarkation was slow, with us waiting an hour and a half, due to everyone arriving before their designated time. The food was brilliant as always, however, I felt some of the menu was repeated, almost as if they were trying to get rid of what they had left. I was also surprised by the amount of fish on the menu, not with sauces, just bland fish. Some of the ships layout was a bit odd, as to get to the Alexandria restaurant you had to go up to 7, go across the ship, and then come down again; otherwise the ship was nice, and the size was good compared to the amount of people onboard. The reception was very festive with decorations and a charming gingerbread village. The cabin staff were very friendly and they were always saying hello as you came out of your cabins. The entertainment was a different story, while the shows were enjoyable, some of the singers were a bit screechy and when they sang together (especially in that dreadful Michael Jackson rendition) it seemed they were trying to drown each other out and I think everybody in that theatre wanted to leave. I also felt that they were limited by the theatre size and as a result, they weren’t able to perform shows we had seen on other ships. The entertainment team did quizzes every night which we did partake in, but in the run up to Christmas, I don’t think anybody could do another “Guess that Christmas song” quiz. Continuing from that, on Christmas Day, the variety of things going on was very lacking, with nothing on apart from ‘Love Actually’ in the cinema. The Boxing Day panto was worth a watch, with it being very amusing in a car-crash type way. Unfortunately, our call to Amsterdam was cancelled and we were disappointed that there were no alternative arrangements in place after the previous time the ship was due to dock, it could not, similarly this happened the year before. Disembarkation was delayed as the gangways had disconnected; however this was beyond their control and they tried to correct it as quickly as possible. Overall, we would consider going again, but this is not a certainty. Read Less
Sail Date December 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
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
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
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
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
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