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

Last minute decision as it was so cheap and I have not visited these places. Have not been on Oceana since she had her refit and it looks good. My (adult) daughter and I shared an inside cabin at the back on A Deck –very spacious, ... Read More
Last minute decision as it was so cheap and I have not visited these places. Have not been on Oceana since she had her refit and it looks good. My (adult) daughter and I shared an inside cabin at the back on A Deck –very spacious, plenty of storage space and well appointed – we could walk a few metres onto a small open deck at the back and steps leading up to the Spa and Gym right overhead. We attended two Pilates Starter Classes and used the Gym which is well equipped. The Instructors were nice people, professional, and did not make you feel like an idiot (as so often happens to me when I am unable to follow the routine). My daughter had a massage which she enjoyed, but not so much the sales pitch afterwards trying to sell her the products used. No Tipping required anymore. The staff were wonderful. They were polite, friendly, and smiled all the time. We used the Restaurant most nights to eat and the Buffet for supper twice. We had the most marvellous dinner companions, some of the nicest people we had ever met. Three of the four were vegan and sometimes found it difficult to know what to eat – it seemed their choices were limited. By the end chefs prepared meals specially and waiters checked regularly to make sure their food was acceptable. Our food was absolutely fine as well. We liked the new lunch format as well – more of a Deli/Café menu but you could also have the full 3 courses if wanted. The Buffet had problems. Not large enough for the numbers wanting to use, long queues regularly, and the late night snacks were much worse than they used to be – very limited choice, cheese in particular was gone within minutes and no more was brought out. Near the end of the week the selection improved, not sure if the result of complaints made or extra food found. The Indian night seemed the most popular and was repeated at the end but re-labelled Tandoori night. There were also Chinese and English food nights. The drinks selection was extensive and at London pub prices. I was disappointed at the number of ladies who did not wash their hands in the toilets and the number of people who declined to use the anti-bac gel in the Buffet. Thank goodness there was no Norovirus. Instead of Cruise Directors there are now Entertainment Managers. I never used to rate Headliners but this time they were excellent with good shows. Two shows had a starter video with a TV celebrity introducing the act (sorry, can’t remember names as never heard of either) and explaining they had helped arrange the show. Visiting acts included Fogwell Flax – we’ve seen him before and he really needs more up to date material, an Annie Lennox Tribute singer who was excellent the first night, but rubbish on the second as she just did cover songs then, and the Runaround Kids who we’ve also seen before. They are very good and sing 1950’s hits, we just didn’t get around to them this time. There were various other groups/singers/pianists around the ship who we listened to as we came across them. Did not use shops, casino or swimming pools – the pools are outdoors and it was cold, but saw a few hardy souls in them. We did not book any tours. Overnighter in Amsterdam: free coaches ran between the ship and the centre all day and night. We spent most of our time in the Museums, of which there are plenty. Hamburg had free shuttles as well. Zeebrugge – the shuttle coaches run to Blankenburg which is a seaside town a few minutes away from the Port. Those in the know then caught the train into Bruges which takes 15 minutes for €6 each way – the ship’s coach cost £35 return. We stayed in the town which is very nice and even though winter, all the shops were open. Leaving Zeebrugge, we had been tied alongside the Ventura, which was leaving after us. For the sail away party as we passed them the two captains used their horns trying to outdo each other and it became a bit like the scene in Close Encounters where a person using a keyboard communicates with the UFO; great fun. One of the best cruises we have been on in a long time. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Have had some wonderful times on Oriana (we still have fabulous memories of the 5 week cruise we did in 2011&the cruise sailing around Cape Horn in 2004) &wanted to have a final cruise before she sadly is off to a new venture . ... Read More
Have had some wonderful times on Oriana (we still have fabulous memories of the 5 week cruise we did in 2011&the cruise sailing around Cape Horn in 2004) &wanted to have a final cruise before she sadly is off to a new venture . We were not disappointed, had a great 3 nights, (shame it wasn’t longer )with superb food ,fantastic entertainment &very efficient happy staff. It was great to see so many ex crew on board as passengers what a feat of organising.Well Done Steve . The entertainment was excellent .the boundless energy of the Headliners Theatre Company is a credit to them .&the live musicians did not disappoint . We were blessed with fine weather for our stop in Guernsey,(which is a bonus as the stop there is always weather dependent ) A huge thankyou to the in seen behind the scenes crew who work equally as hard to ensure a great time is had by all . Sad to see Oriana go Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
I'd never fancied a cruise - this was a friend's choice for a "girly weekend away" for us 2 older ladies. I expected to hate every minute - but actually really enjoyed it. Our cabin was spotless and the beds were ... Read More
I'd never fancied a cruise - this was a friend's choice for a "girly weekend away" for us 2 older ladies. I expected to hate every minute - but actually really enjoyed it. Our cabin was spotless and the beds were really comfortable. The whole experience was so good that we have booked another cruise for the Autumn. I simply don't understand the poor reviews given by some people regarding the staff/food/bars, etc. All the staff were fantastic: always helpful and cheerful. There were a number of bars, all with different atmospheres. If you don't want karaoke, then there's a lot more to choose from! (We liked The Red Bar, which was quiet and uncrowded.) The food was amazing, considering they were catering for 3,000 people! High-quality food in the restaurant at dinner. The Waterside buffet was busy at peak times, but what do people expect? We did joke that you could probably eat yourself to death if you wanted to - and some people seemed to be trying. We had a late lunch and watched one family finish their (huge) lunches and then go straight on to afternoon tea with mounds of sandwiches and platefuls of cakes! There was one hen-party group on board who were a bit of a pain during the emergency drill, but we never saw them again and we were told that hen parties weren't being accepted in future. Overall, we thought we got excellent value for money and would certainly recommend. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Arcadia is an Adult only ship which suits me. Took my mum and a friend and we shared an inside cabin which was larger than many inside ones. Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly, very little queuing. This was our 1st time on ... Read More
Arcadia is an Adult only ship which suits me. Took my mum and a friend and we shared an inside cabin which was larger than many inside ones. Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly, very little queuing. This was our 1st time on Arcadia and I was very pleasantly surprised. She is a lovely mid sized ship and easy to navigate round. I was worried initially after reading some of the reviews but I can honestly say that this was the nicest ship I have sailed on with P&O. We had no problems which affected us. If I wanted to be really picky, then some of the lifts were out of use and some of the ladies toilets were also out of order, but there were plenty others around the ship to use. The food was plentiful and tastefully served in the Meridian restaurant, our waiters were very good and attentive. Arcadia has a wonderful 3 tier theatre with comfortable seating and the Headliners entertainment team were the best I have seen on any P&O ship yet. We have another cruise booked on this ship in December and can't wait. Oh and also went through the Bay of Biscay which I always dread and for the 1st time EVER, never felt any movement and didn't have to wear my sea bands. One very happy passenger! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
yes as you guessed from the title this was our first cruise we have been on.R818N 5 nights ,Bruges and Amsterdam from the 10th to 15 October 2018, The food was good in the main restaurant it’s on par with a good 3 to 4 star hotel, the ... Read More
yes as you guessed from the title this was our first cruise we have been on.R818N 5 nights ,Bruges and Amsterdam from the 10th to 15 October 2018, The food was good in the main restaurant it’s on par with a good 3 to 4 star hotel, the Horizon buffet dine around the clock and the day time grill use any time till 3am are about the same as an all-inclusive hotel . We booked two restaurants that had surcharges, the Beach house £7.50 each was ok and nice meal the Sindhu (Indian) £20 each was first class more than worth the extra cost, they made us feel special with exceptional food if you’re going on the Aurora make sure you book it in advance .Next the staff they are so efficient and work so hard and are so polite ,P&O charge your account £7 each per day to cover tips ,we had one lady taking delight and walking around our boat telling other people that if you go to reception you could cancel this charge ,they work so hard and are away from there family’s for long periods so I hope they get every penny of that because you cannot fault them they give whey beyond 100% . other reviews we read before going said the ship is dated ,it is a little in places but not that it could spoil your holiday , Every part of the ship was spotless our cabin was perfect the entertainment was great ,well done P&O you have us hooked ,we will be back ,such a pity I have to work first Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We chose this cruise for a 3 night break. Never cruised with p and o before and we were very impressed with the whole experience. We chose a balcony cabin which was kept immaculate by jay our steward with plenty of hanging and storage ... Read More
We chose this cruise for a 3 night break. Never cruised with p and o before and we were very impressed with the whole experience. We chose a balcony cabin which was kept immaculate by jay our steward with plenty of hanging and storage space . The restaurants offered a varied selection of food which was always hot or cold depending on your choice. Hand cleanser was compulsory on entering especially in self service. Entertainment was of high quality. Bar prices where the same as hotel prices with a large selection of drinks. Embarkation and disembarktion were incredilbly easy . We visited the historic town of Bruges with its cobbled streets and canals. Plenty of bars and chocolate shops to occupy your time with a horse drawn carriage ride to take you to exquisite small areas is really a must. A fantastic time and ready to book another 3 night break..or longer........! Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We chose this cruise as it looked like it would be relaxing with a some interesting ports and it did't disappoint, embarkation at Southampton was well organised and stress free, enjoyed the sea days relaxing and although the ship was ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it looked like it would be relaxing with a some interesting ports and it did't disappoint, embarkation at Southampton was well organised and stress free, enjoyed the sea days relaxing and although the ship was full we could always find a lounger, the ship is well laid out and easy to navigate and is well maintained with modern decor & furniture. We really enjoyed the evening entertainment with a great mix of artists and shows, particularly liked the comedian Micky Zany and the Annie Lennox tribute, the headliner shows were high quality and enjoyable. The food in the MDR was excellent, we didn't have one meal we didn't enjoy, the new vegetarian menu is great, so nice to have so much choice every night. The service was very good freindly and efficient, couldn't fault it in fact the service all over the ship was spot on. The food in the buffet was also good, especially liked having breakfast out on deck. We had an inside cabin on deck 8 which was kept spottlesly clean by our hard working steward, it was big enough and had everthing we needed with a very comfortable bed. Didn't do any excursions so can't comment. We have already booked another two cruises with P&O as we always feel well looked after and think they offer excellent value for money Funchal Madeira- lovley port, easy to do yourself, highlight was the cable car to Monte then back down in a wicker basket Santa Cruz de La Palma- small pretty port with historic centre and black sandy beach Santa Cruz de Tenerife- another easy to do port, good for shopping and we had tasty & cheap tapas in the old town, highlight was the Botanical Palm garden a bit of a walk from the ship Las Palmas de Gran Canaria- spent some time on the excellent beach a short walk through town, great for swimming Arrecife Lanarote- scruffy, run down with lots of graffiti, there is a beach within walking distance of the ship Lisbon- lovely city with beautiful architecture, used the hop on & off bus red line which was worth doing Vigo- pleasnt city to walk round, highlight was Samil beach a taxi ride away Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We chose this cruise for the 3 different ports on offer - we had never been to Hamburg or Le Havre and whilst we have been to Amsterdam, we had never visited via a cruise ship or stayed overnight in port. The weather was gorgeous and an ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the 3 different ports on offer - we had never been to Hamburg or Le Havre and whilst we have been to Amsterdam, we had never visited via a cruise ship or stayed overnight in port. The weather was gorgeous and an added bonus in Hamburg when the temperature reached 30c. Unfortunately on the 2nd day in Amsterdam we experienced a thunderstorm and heavy rain but it didn’t stop us enjoying ourselves as we went on a P&O coach tour. We love Azura as we were on her 4years ago when we did a 2 week Russian cruise and she did not disappoint this time. Everyone was friendly and the food phenomenal- we had the Eric Lanlard tea which was amazing and also ate in the Epicurean restaurant and the Sindu restaurant too. A small cover charge was applicable in these 3 restaurants but well worth it. Our balcony cabin was C325 and whilst a little small, it was adequate for the week. Next time though, we have booked a deluxe balcony cabin for the extra room. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
This was our second p&o cruise having previously been on the excellent Venturer. Everything about Britannia is 5 star. Embarkation went very smoothly and we were soon in the Crows nest enjoying our first cocktail. This is a wonderful ... Read More
This was our second p&o cruise having previously been on the excellent Venturer. Everything about Britannia is 5 star. Embarkation went very smoothly and we were soon in the Crows nest enjoying our first cocktail. This is a wonderful place to watch a sunset . We found the food to be mainly excellent . Choosing to eat freedom dining was a definite plus and gave us flexibility. We also tried the glass house for a couple of lunches again excellent and Sindhu one evening was superb. Our 14yr old daughter had a great time in h20. A highlight for us is the formal evenings, great to see everyone dressed up and a good atmosphere in the fabulous atrium. We didn't find the layout a problem and it was no problem to walk to a staircase. We all agreed what made our holiday was the superb staff in the bar areas and dining. We felt totally spoilt. My one gripe was the sunbeds. People putting towels on sunbeds to reserve them should be removed by staff. We chose to disembark ourselves and this woked well. I would highly recommend Britannia and can't wait to go on again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Britania 29th July 2018 - We have cruised many times with many different cruise lines. I must say we were more than happy with Britannia, it was a busy time of year, being during school holidays the ship was full! And around the swimming ... Read More
Britania 29th July 2018 - We have cruised many times with many different cruise lines. I must say we were more than happy with Britannia, it was a busy time of year, being during school holidays the ship was full! And around the swimming pools very busy, Although I always say you can do as little or as much on board, we found the cabins to be lovely, very modern and great facilities! We were in the Oriental dinning room The food and the staff were excellent, the only thing I could say was it was a bit chilly in there. Our waiters table 75 were excellent and our cabin steward in cabin G421 was also excellent, also the shows were some of the best we have seen. We were travelling with 10 other people friends and family. Age range 11 to 74! In fact we are looking to book the transatlantic crossing to the Carribean this October Thank you P and O Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
This was my and my friends first cruise. We choose this one as we thought we would try cruising with a short break to see if we liked it. Well I can 100% say it was amazing from the time we arrived at Mayflower terminal until the time we ... Read More
This was my and my friends first cruise. We choose this one as we thought we would try cruising with a short break to see if we liked it. Well I can 100% say it was amazing from the time we arrived at Mayflower terminal until the time we disembarked. The efficiency and ease of boarding was so relaxed and stress free - a very slick operation !! The Oriana is a beautiful, stylish and elegant boat and I strangely felt very attached to it and became extremely emotional when I had to disembark ! The cabins (as was the whole ship) were immaculately clean and well appointed with plenty of storage room and wonderfully comfortable beds and pillows. Room service was 1st class with information booklets left in room each day and chocolates. All dining facilities were faultless and the freedom dining worked very well for us. We initially felt a bit concerned about sitting with people we didn't know, but this worked really well. Entertainment was superb and the staff excellent, so many of them, we never had to wait to be served. I have read lots of reviews, mostly good, but some poor ones and cant help but feel these might have been from people who are extremely picky and just like to complain! Although this is the only cruise I have been on I can honestly say we could not fault it and had an amazing time. One day after coming home I booked a family cruise to the fjords next year on the Ventura. I would have liked to gone on the Oriana again but dates did not suit us . Hope to go on the Oriana before it goes out of service next year. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
After reading reviews about the Oriana, our expectations, were not very high. However we were pleasantly surprised, to find the ship, alot better than, what we had read, in the reviews. It was the first time we had sailed on a ... Read More
After reading reviews about the Oriana, our expectations, were not very high. However we were pleasantly surprised, to find the ship, alot better than, what we had read, in the reviews. It was the first time we had sailed on a smaller, adult only, ship. We loved the art deco design, of the ship,and the size of the ship. So easy to get around. Lots of different bars, and entertainment places. Every area of the ship, was always, clean and tidy.We had an outside cabin (Deluxe Window), on A deck, which was lovely and clean, and plenty of space to hang all our clothes. Our cabin stewardess was a so friendly, she made us feel very welcome. The food, and service, in the restaurant, and bars in the evening, were excellent.All the staff, in the restaurant, were friendly and helpful. The evening entertainment ,was excellent too. Plenty to choose from, to suit all tastes. Loved The Brit Tones and E Sarah Carter, and the man who sang, a mixture of Simon and Garfunkle and other songs, and played the guitar, in various bars, around the ship. We could not fault the Oriana, and would love the chance to sail ,on this ship again. We sailed, all around Ireland, which was nice. It enabled us to see, different parts, of Ireland, Cobh, Dublin, Killybegs, and Galway.We only went on one shore excursion, to visit, Blarney castle, great morning out,which left us plenty of time to look around Cobh, in the afternoon, before sailing. All the ports had lots of excursions you could book, or you could just get off the ship, and do your own thing. Dublin and Galway, both had, city sightseeing buses, which is always a good way to see a city, and for getting around. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We are Americans, and veteran cruisers. This was our first P&O cruise and chose it for the itinerary. Wanting to see Ireland without all the driving was most important to us.I have to say we were extremely impressed with the cruise ... Read More
We are Americans, and veteran cruisers. This was our first P&O cruise and chose it for the itinerary. Wanting to see Ireland without all the driving was most important to us.I have to say we were extremely impressed with the cruise from start to finish.Some of the previous reviews i had read were of concern to me due to negativity.Not from us. I felt like i owed P&O more money when we were done. Great food,clean cabins,attentive staff and all around fun with our fellow British "mates". Seriously,some of the nicest people I've ever cruised with.Will definitely do P&O again. Unfortunately,Oriana is being retired next year.I'm sure the other ships will do her proud. We generally cruise the Carribean from the U.S, and the Meditteranen from Venice but will certainly look at the Canary Islands for an upcoming itinerary. Boston to Heathrow is comparable in price to Boston to Miami for airfare.Thanks P&O and Oriana for a great trip. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Birthday suprise cruise. Absolutely amazing, had a fantastic time. Nothing was to much to ask for. 3 ladies together, treated so well. Thank you so much, will be looking to cruise again, as this was a first experience. Loved every minute. ... Read More
Birthday suprise cruise. Absolutely amazing, had a fantastic time. Nothing was to much to ask for. 3 ladies together, treated so well. Thank you so much, will be looking to cruise again, as this was a first experience. Loved every minute. Staff were courteous, helpful, attentive. Some went over & beyond to give a great service. Food was fresh & plentiful. Always a great choice. Pool areas were kept clean, not to much water on floors for slips. Tables always clean, no litter, bins were always emptied regularly. Public toilets were clean & fresh. Good changing facilities near swimming pools. Medina restaurant was exemplary, service spot on. Birthday cake arrived for my 60th, Fantastic ambiance, waiters sang Happy Birthday. Trips were available, but we decided to do our own thing, went ashore for shopping, staff were great on tender transfers. Always something to do, but great if you just want a relaxing break. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Living just 40 minutes from Southampton docks means we can take advantage of short two and three night cruises regularly, in fact this cruise was booked much further in advance as we were going as a group of six taking two passengers on ... Read More
Living just 40 minutes from Southampton docks means we can take advantage of short two and three night cruises regularly, in fact this cruise was booked much further in advance as we were going as a group of six taking two passengers on their very first cruise ship, we booked the cabins on a select fare meaning we could choose our cabin, dining preference and also receive an on board spend of £25 per person. We travelled to Bruges which we have been lucky enough to go to a couple of times and on this occasion we stayed on board and enjoyed the sunshine from the adult only pool on the top deck but if you have never been it is well worth a trip into, it’s very picturesque and also has some of the finest chocolate shops of anywhere in the world and they almost always give free samples. Boarding Britannia was docked at the Ocean Terminal, we turned up at the allotted time of 1300 on our ticket and were straight into the check in system without a wait, we queued for less than 3 minutes before we were seen, it was quick and efficient and after a short check in we were heading to security, we were on board within 30 minutes of arrival at the terminal, boarding into the stunning atrium and after a quick picture it was up to the buffet. Cabin GE Grade clear view balcony with sofa, G deck forward. First impressions were that the cabin was clean, light and airy. As you walk through the door you see the usual cabin layout, I was particularly impressed with the doing away off closed wardrobes with it instead being open and walk in rather than the standard closing door wardrobes. Moving into the bathroom we had a larger bathroom than the other members of the fleet, excellent bath products from the white company, moving through to a comfy queen size bed and two seater sofa which in our cabin could also be made into a sofa bed. The balcony as other passengers have said is a little on the small side and when opening the gate to the next door cabin it was hard to get in and out of our door. Restaurant We were seated both evenings on a set dining at 2045 in the Oriental restaurant, first impressions of the restaurant was it was smart, spacious and clean. On previous experiences with P&O I have found the food offering to be very middle of the road, nothing to write home about. Britannia has done some great work in restoring my faith in P&O’s food offering. I won’t bore you with the details of menus but the highlights for me were the Hampshire smoked trout starter, the beef wellington and as always they still offer a really great cheese board at the end of every meal. A quick note on the service, which was excellent, the waiter, his assistant and the wine waiter were all very happy, smiley and knowledgeable, making the service look effortless. A quick note on the buffet which also had an excellent range of food and was a much more pleasant space than many ship buffets, it was more spacious than some of the slightly older ships. Bars We particularly enjoyed the crystal room, it was a beautiful room with a large dance floor and offered a slightly more adult disco, the live lounge had a fantastic band playing although it was completely packed. We also visited the crow’s nest which was considerably larger than many ships it was also very beautiful with wonderful views, all bars we went into seemed to to have comfortable chairs with clean menus and an efficient staff. Spa Like most things on board the spa is large in expanse, however I was slightly disappointed as the thermal suite which we added was on the smaller side and neither steam room worked, the thermal pool however was very nice although the noise of the shower and bubbles being produced somewhat made the relaxation beds a little pointless and I found the general appearance lacked compared to other areas with pool towels and glasses everywhere which was a little bit of a shame. Those travelling with us took massages and were incredibly happy with both the deep tissue and the hot stone massage. Entertainment Aside from the excellent music playing in the bars during the evening, there was the theatre which hosts two shows each evening, the theatre itself is not huge for the number of passengers on board so if you don’t want to stand at the back it is worth to get there a little in advance, the show we caught was a Four seasons tribute which I think they do often have on these shorter cruises, they were a professional act and the show came across this way with excellent lighting and acoustics to match. During the day if the weather permits as mentioned above you can take advantage of the pools on the top deck, the adults only area towards to front end with pool and ample seating and bar was far more relaxing than the family area in the mid section where they had loud music playing throughout the day, it was a real positive that they had these two very different areas catering for almost everyone, there is also a small pool at the aft of the ship with a further bar this again was slightly quieter. We were not travelling with children so cannot comment on their facilities. Disembarkation Much like all disembarkation's it was very smooth, we disembarked at our allotted time after breakfast and picked our luggage up from the terminal and we were on our way home. General ship view The one thing that will hit you when you just arrive at the port is that the ship is huge, this view won’t change on boarding, a wonderful atrium with bars, shops and winding stair cases, be sure to get some pictures here on formal night. The one downside to Britannia’s size is that everywhere is a long distance walk but always worth it as the product on board is stylish and offers a five star style environment that I think P&O have lacked slightly on their other ships. Everybody also seemed to dress to the occasion and there were very few passengers who didn’t dress for the formal evening with black tie in abundance. An extra note was that as this was a two night cruise we didn’t have a full chance to experience everything and it would almost certainly have more to offer on a longer cruise. I have to praise P&O as the staff on board we all excellent, and they have certainly upped their game in terms of ship appearance. Overall this was an enjoyable two night break on board their flagship and I would not hesitate to return. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We are experienced P&O cruisers and this is our 3rd time on Azura. No problems with embarkation or disembarkation from Ocean Terminal. Azura did not disappoint us. she is getting a little tired but levels of cleanliness and ... Read More
We are experienced P&O cruisers and this is our 3rd time on Azura. No problems with embarkation or disembarkation from Ocean Terminal. Azura did not disappoint us. she is getting a little tired but levels of cleanliness and service were excellent. Just an observation - we were given an upgrade - yippee!!!! We were moved to a better grade sure, however, we were moved to Riviera Deck, deck 14, just under the pool. Very handy but hearing sunbeds being rearranged at 1.00 in the morning and then again at 7.00am took the gloss off the upgrade. You also have a overhang from deck 15 above your balcony which takes some sun off your cabin. All these things did not spoil our cruise - just beware when you are offered an upgrade. We were on Azura in June 16 and although the Headliners line up were different. the shows were the same. They were very good but I would have thought the offering might have changed. Other artists were very good. Already booked next P&O for next year on Arcadia. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Booked this cruise about 54 weeks, yes over a year before embarkation! The appeal of this cruise was the overnight stay in Amsterdam. Always wanted to visit Amsterdam, always wanted to cruise. This seemed like the perfect combination at ... Read More
Booked this cruise about 54 weeks, yes over a year before embarkation! The appeal of this cruise was the overnight stay in Amsterdam. Always wanted to visit Amsterdam, always wanted to cruise. This seemed like the perfect combination at an affordable price. As this was my first cruise, I had spent many of my lunchtimes researching the ship and ports of call. Not necessary at all as even without prior knowledge and going in cold we would have managed to have sussed out how to go on with all things cruising. The closer we got the excitement was building, and then we received a message from P & O that The Oriana had broken down, boiler problems whilst leaving Gibralter en route back to Southampton. This resulted in a delayed start for us, absolutely gutted. The knock-on to this was that the itinerary was changed, still a full day in Bruges but only between 5 & 6 hours in Amsterdam; in Amsterdam actually disembarked at 8.20am and back just after 1pm. Not enough time to explore but a taster never the less. The above delay was disappointing but we were determined to make the most of our shortened break. And so we did. By the way I think P & O handled the whole delay fairly well. Our allotted time for embarkation was 3pm, but we decided to turn up just after 11.30am, from getting out of the car (CPS were brilliant) to get on the ship was the grand total of 20 minutes and we were eating lunch at 12:00 pm in the Peninsular Restaurant. Food: Breakfast, we ate all 3 mornings in the conservatory buffet restaurant. Great selection of food to cater for all tastes Lunch, only ate lunch once on the ship and this was in the Peninsular. This was a waiter served lunch which was great quality. Evening Meal, on freedom dining we dined all of our stay in the Peninsular Restaurant. We turned up at various times during the 3 nights and asked for a table of two, every night we were given a pager but never waited more than 10 minutes. The standard of food and service was outstanding. Entertainment: We spent the majority of our ship time between the ‘Lords Tavern’ when there were quizzes and the ‘Crow’s Nest’ when nothing in the tavern took our fancy. Drinks were reasonably priced and the venues had a great atmosphere. The ‘Crow’s Nest’ was a great relaxing venue where you could have a drink and watch the world go by, and when dark just sit and chill with a beverage of choice. We did spend an hour one evening in the Theatre and watched the comedian Micky Zany, which was well worth it with a lot of laugh out loud moments. Other nights the theatre entertainment was not to our fancy but others appeared to enjoy what was on offer. Ports of Call: Bruges, we decided to make use of the free shuttle bus from port to Blankenberge. The bus drops you very close to the railway station. A return ticket is €6.20 to Bruges, which is a 15 – 20 mins train journey, then a 20 minute stroll to get to the centre of Bruges. We spent most of the day wandering the streets taking in all it had to offer, especially the Belgian Beer, Chocolates, Waffles and Frites . On the whole a beautiful city Amsterdam, due to the delayed start to our cruise and the amended itinerary the limited hours we had in the city was nowhere enough time to fully explore. But the feeling I got was that Amsterdam needs to be experienced at night to get the full experience Summary: As this was our first cruise we didn’t know what to expect. This was the most enjoyable holiday we have ever take, so much so we booked the same itinerary for next October but for one day longer. This will be our way to holiday for the future. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We felt we needed a quick cruise so we selected Oriana's 7 night trip round Ireland on which some friends were booked. We got a good cabin at a good price with a very generous on board spend allowance. Packing was a problem as Ireland ... Read More
We felt we needed a quick cruise so we selected Oriana's 7 night trip round Ireland on which some friends were booked. We got a good cabin at a good price with a very generous on board spend allowance. Packing was a problem as Ireland is not known for the driest weather but we only experienced a few drops during the entire week. The ports -1 Cobh. Known for being a major emigrant port, the last call of the Titanic and the sinking of Lusitania in 1915 was a delightful little town with good rail links to Cork from right alongside the ship. The museum 'The Queenstown Story' is right in the old station and is really worth a visit for only a few Euro. As it was Sunday when we called, the whole town turned out to see us and it was a really festive call. 2 Dublin. Easy shuttle into the city where we caught a Hop On Hop Off bus ('DoDublin'). The driver/guide was so funny we kept the video running just to record his fabulous humour - informative too! 3 Killibegs (port for Donegal). Quite small but the biggest fishing port in Ireland where we visited a craft exhibition laid on especially for the ship, talked to the local fishermen and tug crews. So friendly and good WiFi and food. 4 Galway. A long tender into port but the town laid on a big trip boat which eased the tender delays. Again, full of live entertainment and very pretty. The captain and crew (and fellow passengers) were all on top form and good sea days at both the beginning and end of the cruise meant that it was well balanced and seemed a lot longer. Thoroughly recommended. Oriana had a refit at the end of last year (2016) which we think had been very well done. All the cabin upholstery had been renewed (although cushions on the bigger cabin settees had not been replaced sadly) and all the seating and decor in all the bars and restaurants looked very well updated. The new carpets caused a few respiratory issues on the Amazon cruise we did in January but they had settled down by the time of this cruise. We felt that P&O had done a focussed refit on the passenger areas and Oriana looked all set for a few more years service. Our Deluxe outside cabin was so similar to our Deluxe balcony cabin from January a deck above that we found ourselves bumping into the window in the morning expecting to find a balcony door behind the curtains! There seemed to be fewer items in the cabin tea tray but our Steward Elton (great guy) was always refreshing it as well as supplying glasses, lemons and ice when we wanted it without any fuss. He was also very happy to empty the fridge on our arrival and to stow its contents under the bed so that we had the fridge available for entertaining.We noted that nearly all room service items (except breakfast) are now chargeable. Didn't worry us but upset some people. We had booked Freedom dining (which we were told was going to be the only form of regular dining on the new ship) and, as we dined with our same friends every night, we were able to arrange the same table at approximately the same time so as to enjoy our rapport with the same waiting team. As usual , it was almost exactly like Club dining but with the flexibility of Freedom dining with the added bonus of getting seated half an hour before the late sitting time in Club that we often opt for. Sadly lobster never made an appearance on either formal night. The quizzes we popular and well managed and the one guest speaker, Carole Phillips talking about her service in the Police was very entertaining and engaging. Headliners were particularly good on this cruise and had the sense to perform their Destination Dance show early on with its spectacular Riverdance final - very apt for Ireland. The classical pianist was very good but was AWOL for his last appearance sadly. We didn't go on any excursions as we were a foursome and could arrange our own schedule at reasonable cost - and there was no shortage of friendly locals to make sense of everywhere we went and to make excellent recommendations. It was almost in our native language! There were 300+ first time cruisers aboard and all the ones we met seemed to be enjoying themselves although the hardening of tender boarding restrictions, while sensible in our opinion, disappointed some of the more physically challenged guests. The only odd issue that we had not come across before was the charging of tax on all shipboard items in the shops. Apparently this is because the cruise was wholly within the EU and therefore everything had to be tax paid. This explains the popularity of ports such as St Peter Port, Guernsey, and Gibraltar whose tax-free status means that a visit there on any cruise apparently allows the cruise to 'leave' the EU for tax purposes. Check it out in the P&O online Advice Centre. Unfortunately Irish prices are rather higher than in the UK - but at least you get extra Club points in Tesco's! Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Two day trip to Guernsey ok so bad bits: Tender to Guernsey Pools very busy Epicurean restaurant - steak disgusting, food not tasty and cost £90 for the 3 of us - very disappointing Had to put suitcase out at night to go ... Read More
Two day trip to Guernsey ok so bad bits: Tender to Guernsey Pools very busy Epicurean restaurant - steak disgusting, food not tasty and cost £90 for the 3 of us - very disappointing Had to put suitcase out at night to go home Good bits: Room was very clean Lots of lovely touches like champagne sweets fruit canapés Lovely steward service William you were the best! The staff were excellent the food was good and things to do were very good Highly recommend well done PO Cruises , first cruise and i so enjoyed it Embankment and disembarkment was swift Very disappointed in the top restaurant and when i mentioned about the steak they were not overly customer friendly It is confusing the instructions PO give is minimal Lots of people but so many places to hide in and catered for all needs Some nice public areas and nice adult swim only pool Good buffet and the meridian restaurant was very good All staff were pleasant and helpful in the food areas CPS car parking very good Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Love this ship, itinerary took us to a couple of new places. The ship was full but never felt crowded. Food was lovely... I put on 4lbs. I had to make a choice every night...and the strawberry sundae was delicious! We had the best cabin ... Read More
Love this ship, itinerary took us to a couple of new places. The ship was full but never felt crowded. Food was lovely... I put on 4lbs. I had to make a choice every night...and the strawberry sundae was delicious! We had the best cabin steward ever, Shiva, he was so efficient and helpful. Mum uses a wheelchair and all the staff went out of their way to help her. The doors to the Prom deck were not electric so quite a challenge to get her out there, although there always seemed to be a helpful person to hold doors open. Leaving the Belvedere and going out onto deck 9 by the Aquarius pool there were 2 sets of doors to go through, one set automatic and the other not... I came home with a few bruises as I struggled to hold a door open and push mum through at the same time. Mum has a food allergy and was given the next days menu each evening. She could choose anything and they would make it specially for her. The new menus had lots of choices, I struggled every night to decide what to eat. The daily roast and grill really suited mum, I feel she ate the best on this cruise than any other. Assisted embarkation and disembarkation worked really well, luggage was outside our cabin when we got to it. We had a lovely cruise and we are looking forward to our next one, back on Arcadia next year. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
When I opened the door to cabin R 751 on the 14th floor Riviera deck, my heart jumped with joy.Why was this cabin still available when I booked the cruise just a few days before departure,I asked myself.What can be wrong with it?The ... Read More
When I opened the door to cabin R 751 on the 14th floor Riviera deck, my heart jumped with joy.Why was this cabin still available when I booked the cruise just a few days before departure,I asked myself.What can be wrong with it?The balcony in the very corner of the starboard side with the whole of the ship spread ahead,utter perfection.Now, I always book a cabin with a balcony,whether I travel alone or with a friend, as I love sunbathing in the nude.Seeing quite a substantial overhang I knew the sun would not be on the balcony much,but nothing could spoil my delight.Knowing I would be able to "freedom dine" and get a little table to myself every evening,the cabin was the cherry on the proverbial cake.And what a cake, what a cherry.Mary,a trainee room attendant,did her best to make me happy,but as long as I have a comfortable bed [and it was] ,cleanliness around me [and there was],the food is well prepared and nicely presented [ and neither the cooks nor the waiters disappoint],I am happy.True, the ship is in need of refurbishment, the towels are threadbare, often stained,as is the carpet throughout,but nothing could spoil the overwhelming sense of contentment.Sitting in the evenings with my chromebook near atrium ,listening to music,drinking non-alcoholic coctails was wonderful.I chose the cruise because I wanted to see the lovely Oporto again and the always enjoyable Lisbon,with Guernsey thrown i for good measure,feeling disappointed our first stop was Vigo.But this time in Vigo I stayed near the port and walked in the shopping centre.There I discovered the best little pastry shop I have ever been to on a cruise - it is by the elevator going up to the first floor.The pastries there are divine.Vigo, I take back everything unbecoming I have said about you in the past!Yes, I had a lovely,lovely time on Ventura. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
This was Our first Cruise, it was everything we were told it was going to be ,excellent,from start to finish, apart from the weather, (and i cant hold P&O responsible for that,) the staff on board were absolutely fantastic both on a ... Read More
This was Our first Cruise, it was everything we were told it was going to be ,excellent,from start to finish, apart from the weather, (and i cant hold P&O responsible for that,) the staff on board were absolutely fantastic both on a personal level,and professional level , the ship herself was neat and clean as was the cabin, the house keeping was outstanding, and all aboard went out of their way to help(my wife is disabled) if i could give a 11/10 i would ,from the captain down to the bottle washer ,everyone went out of their way to help, the food was great and plenty of it (i put on half a stone in a week), ease of access to all decks (using the lifts ) was easy We Highly recommend P&O Cruises, and will definitely travel with them again, With Grateful thanks to all aboard the Magnificent ORIANA, Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
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
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
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