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Sail Date: August 2019
We choose this cruise as we wanted to see Greece & Croatia as not been before. We loved every port we visited, Mykonos was my favourite and the wife’s was Venice & Dubrovnik. The ships food was amazing. So much to choose ... Read More
We choose this cruise as we wanted to see Greece & Croatia as not been before. We loved every port we visited, Mykonos was my favourite and the wife’s was Venice & Dubrovnik. The ships food was amazing. So much to choose from every night. The waiters looked after us with extra chips and veg & Ice cream every night. The headliners were the best I’ve seen on any cruise, we loved the killer queen & musical shows. Also north by northeast singers were really good. Around the pool was really busy on sun days but as I’d get the pool at 8.45 it was easy to get beds. After 9 it was hard to get one in front of the pool. Service for drinks was great and not long to wait. My favourites bar was winners with football on and the casino was great and wasn’t busy so always a seat. Le club was great for a dance and was in there most nights. Stayed open till 2 but you could get a drink in and stay till 3am. Peroni on draught was good and they had doom bar in big bottles which I like. Our kids 11 & 13 girls loved the kids clubs and soon made friends. The only tours we Done was In Dubrovnik the game of thrones walking tour. That was amazing but hard going as very hot and a lot of steps. But me and my wife enjoyed seeing all the locations and the views. Also in split we went on the KrKa waterfalls tour which we didn’t enjoy that much as it was a long day on the coach and very rushed so didn’t get to enjoy the walk in the park and not much time to have a swim. I love this ship as it’s a smaller one so not hard to get seats for shows and space in bars and casino. Would definitely cruise again on oceana as staff are friendly and like the less busy areas. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
It was our 24 Th wedding anniversary. So wanted to do a beautiful cruise in the Med as you can almost ensure perfect weather. We have been with P&O Many times brilliant ships. ENGLISH sterling and English plugs. Fantastic. ... Read More
It was our 24 Th wedding anniversary. So wanted to do a beautiful cruise in the Med as you can almost ensure perfect weather. We have been with P&O Many times brilliant ships. ENGLISH sterling and English plugs. Fantastic. The staff are so friendly and the cabins are clean and tidy. But a little on the small side but that's no problem really. We love the evening shows and Entertainment. The staff are all helpful And the good has a good choice and really nice. We prefer to eat at the buffets as it's so much nicer to pick what we wish. The only thing that rubies our holiday was the pool side singer called Frankie. She was awful, she had one of them voices which drones on and on and on the sound system was way too loud. She played guitar but only knew a few chords so it was like she strumned away the same rythem and sand different songs over it. It was so loud you could not read. Relax or talk to each other at all I walked around the deck and saw no less than 5 people with fingers in ears or hands over ears . this is surely not right. How come the volume was so loud when you are trying to relax. She played everyday and sometimes 3 or 4 half hour sets straight after each other playing the same songs.. So so boring. I had to get up and walk away each time she came in. Terrible like torture almost after a while. Read Less
29 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Its 10 years since we were last on Arcadia, in meantime she had a full refurbishment, the cabins and public rooms were impressive and if anyone had a problem then the Housekeeping Manager would provide a solution. She is an older ship and ... Read More
Its 10 years since we were last on Arcadia, in meantime she had a full refurbishment, the cabins and public rooms were impressive and if anyone had a problem then the Housekeeping Manager would provide a solution. She is an older ship and externally there are areas showing age but considering she is at sea virtually daily and has been around the globe many times it can be expected. Daily maintenance is carried out as would be expected and if anyone was woken by the chipping drills on the lifeboat davits then perhaps they prefer lie-ins after 10.00 a or cant be bothered if their lifeboat wasn't serviced. Change of itinerary, we were notified by email 5 days before departure explaining the reason why a prolonged stop in Malaga was necessary. Some fellow cruisers said they did not know until they boarded. Can't explain this but I would suggest that as we are registered in the P&O Cruise Personaliser, where our email is recorded, this could be the reason for those who do not use this system. Yes we missed out a port of call and stayed in Malaga while she was being repaired, the captain kept us informed of the progress of the work. Unfortunately the 22-strong team of divers, flown in from the USA and elsewhere were unable to correct the problem with the port-side pod within the expected time and after arriving on Thursday (at top speed), we departed just after midnight on Sunday/Monday morning. Malaga is a lovely place and a leisurely walk or free for all passengers shuttle bus into the main area was provided.. We missed two sea days and one port. After departure one passenger decided to be seriously ill (not norovirus) but as Arcadia does not have a heli-pad, the Captain sailed at full speed for Venice for the passenger hope all was well) to be transferred to waiting ambulance on the quayside. Safety is a high priority and itinerary change is usually, sometimes weather also for other reasons but some people have to moan and disrespect P&O, fortunately the majority of fellow passengers we spoke to were happy with their cruise. Part-way through their was an outbreak of the dreaded Norovirous. We were not affected, The crew immediately put special measures in place specifically not being allowed to touch any item, plates, cutlery etc, having everything served to you. Not such a bad thing you know! Some passengers believing that they would never suffer from the virus did not wish to gel their hands before going into the restaurant. Probably the same passengers, and you know who you are, who do not bother to wash hands after using the toilets, who rush about and don't care ignoring warning notices and whose disgraceful disrespect of hygiene spread the infection. We noticed several mature passengers not washing hands after using the toilets and not wanting to gel before entering the food areas. After precautions were lifted, sadly a few passengers in the buffet decide to double-fill their plates, charge into the queues to get their fill totally regardless of common courtesy and respect for their fellow passengers and the hard-working crew. We found the food of a good standard and no complaints and I am a fussy eater. All the staff were polite and helpful. The entertainment was of a high standard and we thoroughly enjoyed the entertainment especially the murder mystery and Johnny Youle the guitarist. The Rising Sun pub has great atmosphere and the Palladium theater is one of the best that we have sat in on a cruise ship. Our cabin on C deck was spacious and our steward was very professional and friendly. The excursions were varied, we did Malaga (both booked and ourselves, yes we had time!) we did hop-on-off bus in Cagliari, walking tour in Split (great courier). Would we go on Arcadia again, YES Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We where a little apprehensive regarding the cruise due to some of the reviews posted previously,but we all really enjoyed the cruise from getting on to getting off. We arrived at check in at 2:00 pm expecting to wait till our 3:30 slot ... Read More
We where a little apprehensive regarding the cruise due to some of the reviews posted previously,but we all really enjoyed the cruise from getting on to getting off. We arrived at check in at 2:00 pm expecting to wait till our 3:30 slot but we where able to walk straight to desk credit card given straight through security took about ten minutes when we got to cabin suitcases waiting. Impressions of ship very good only been on Thompson's before. Very large found signage very good took a few days to work stairs out due to being deck 15 . Food found evening meals very good only waited once for fifteen minutes for four of us and sat with some really pleasent fellow passengers. As said earlier good variety of selection. Always went into meridian on a evening around 7:30. Breakfast can not really go wrong with the buffet pick your own always got seat and table even sea days. Lunch selection fine for me only had salads but would off like s little more fruit Cabin was deck 15 A219 very nice plenty of room for clothes and liked the shower more room them previous cruises and enjoyed balcony opened door outside so could talk and drink with our friends. Really enjoyed entertainment saw a few shows in headliners theatre enjoyed all of them never had a problem getting seat. Live lounge good shows but too small . This was my only moan on ship people are sitting in seats on side and other people stand in the gaps by stairs no one can get past or see the stage.They have two Tele screens either side of stage should film the act and show on screens people could watch them .Pulse the band where good they enjoyed themselves whilst singing.One other moan still see people wearing football tops if they are banned tell them. Fyords where fantastic had really good weather apart from Bergen really loved the views. In the end decided not to have drinks package good decision but it was s close call. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
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
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
This was our first cruise with P&O and it came up short in comparison with the line we previously used. In my opinion the Azura is in need of a refurbishment. Many fixtures and furnishings were worn and in poor condition and the beds ... Read More
This was our first cruise with P&O and it came up short in comparison with the line we previously used. In my opinion the Azura is in need of a refurbishment. Many fixtures and furnishings were worn and in poor condition and the beds in our cabin were very uncomfortable. Dining options were limited and the buffet food quality was very poor with very limited choice and the service was not available for long enough per day. The food quality in the restaurants was very good however although coping with the high passenger capacity was a problem. Complimentary room service for breakfast was very welcome and convenient. Whilst the quality of entertainment was very good indeed, all of the entertainment areas had insufficient seating to cope with the number of passengers. Frustratingly, the small atrium was constantly used for dance classes preventing it's use by other passengers for other purposes. With the exception of our cabin steward the staff were generally not as friendly and helpful as we were expecting. Embarking and disembarking was carried out smoothly and quickly at all ports. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We booked a family cruise, 4 adults and an 18 month old, we had two superior balcony cabins of which we could not fault. Our cabin man Romel was amazing, as was the lady that did my son’s cabin. The car drop off and embarkation was easy ... Read More
We booked a family cruise, 4 adults and an 18 month old, we had two superior balcony cabins of which we could not fault. Our cabin man Romel was amazing, as was the lady that did my son’s cabin. The car drop off and embarkation was easy and very quick, the cases were outside our cabins when we reached them. Sadly getting around the ship was incredibly difficult with a buggy as the lifts were constantly full due to there being no stairs in the middle of the ship, why? How much easier would life on board be for everyone if it had been possible to move easily around it. Lifts would have been freed up by able bodied people walking places. Bad design definitely. The Horizon buffet was hit and miss, not the best food I have encountered on a ship, breakfast was the best, afternoon tea was served from 3 to 5, followed by children’s tea at 5, this caused lots of confusion, surely they could have a section for children at all meals, common sense really. We had freedom dining, avoid the Peninsula restaurant, they do not like people going in there, the staff are rude and very unhelpful. However the Meridian restaurant was lovely, the staff were great, cheerful and very helpful. Avoid the Beach House, set in a corner of Horizon, next to the empty buffet stands, food mediocre, Meridian miles better and no extra charge, service charge, discreetly hidden, 7.50 per person. Staff on the rexception of the ship were equally unhelpful, as was the IT lady, wi if a disaster and very expensive. Choosing not to do excursions we did our own thing, coming back on staff were helpful and attentive, letting parents with babies and small children get priority, I also witnessed them be very kind to the ‘older’ people letting them effectively jump the queue. All in all there were some very good points but also some very poor bits. Bingo and quizzes in a very small bar next to the casino, a big noise issue, the timing of lots of things for 530, not a lot of good to parents with children who were eating tea at 5. Also it meant you had to make a choice of what you missed. Not sure about the Headliners, I am tone deaf, genuinely thought they were too! Gervaise Flynn talk was amazing, loved it. To sum up I would not go on the Brittania again, it lacked atmosphere, interest and at times appeared like an old people’s home, just look in the crows nest on a sea day!!!!! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We have visited Malta previously and had the opportunity to spend some time in Valetta before the cruise.We found everything to be well organised with regards embarkation and disembarkation although Malta airport seems to struggle with the ... Read More
We have visited Malta previously and had the opportunity to spend some time in Valetta before the cruise.We found everything to be well organised with regards embarkation and disembarkation although Malta airport seems to struggle with the volume of passengers. We will be revisting Croatia in the future - enjoyed the shore trips and would like to see more. The ship itself was impressive and we had no complaints about the food and all of the staff were pleasant and helpful. Cabin was comfortable but a bit tight for space with suitcases etc. The rule about not reserving sunloungers could be more rigorously enforced as it took a few tours of the ship to find one that did not have a towel on it most of which remained unoccupied for hours or even for the full day. The entertainment provided by the Headliners cast was excellent - The London West End on the high seas. The cast speaking to members of the audience at the exits after each show was a nice touch - a very talented group! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
The cruise line P&O Cruises is a British cruise line, a constituent of the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company. P&O Cruises claim to be the oldest cruise line in the world. Its predecessor company operated ... Read More
The cruise line P&O Cruises is a British cruise line, a constituent of the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company. P&O Cruises claim to be the oldest cruise line in the world. Its predecessor company operated pleasure trips since 1844, and the world's first dedicated cruise ship in 1881. It is the sister company of, and retains strong links with, P&O Cruises Australia. P&O Cruises was de-merged from the P&O group in 2000, becoming a subsidiary of P&O Princess Cruises plc, which subsequently merged with Carnival Corporation in 2003, to form Carnival Corporation & plc. P&O Cruises currently operate seven cruise ships and tailor their cruises to the British market. Why we chose P&O We have sailed with P&O on a number of occasions as they sail from Southampton. They offer much more of a British feel and use pound Stirling for currency. Having 3 pin plugs in all cabins is always good as it saves carrying all those extra travel adapters for those essential electronics. We chose this cruise primarily for the itinerary as it stopped in Israel, and the fact that Arcadia is an adult only ship. We boarded the ship in Dubai and sailed home via the Suez Canal to Southampton on the ship as part of her 2019 world cruise. The ship Arcadia was ordered by Holland America Line in 2000 as their fifth Vista class vessel. In 2003 she was allocated to the Cunard Line to become their Queen Victoria. Shortly before her launch the decision was made to transfer the ship to the P&O Cruises fleet. As a result, Arcadia has a Cunard style mast similar to those found on the RMS Queen Mary 2. She also sports a modified QE2 style funnel, with cowling removed instead of the traditional P&O style funnel found on the other purpose built ships. Arcadia has a gross tonnage of 84,000tones with a passenger capacity of just over 2000 and is an adult only ship. Arcadia’s biggest disappointment is her lack of a usable atrium in the centre of the ship, although P&O have tried to lighten the space with coloured lighting etc in her last refit in 2017. Arcadia has been plagued with problems with her cabin waste system with blockages and leaks again something P&O have been working to resolve all of her working life. Arcadia’s signature features are her midship glass lifts and the retracting roof over the main swimming pool both of which are features from her being built for Holland America Line. She also boasts over 3000 pieces of art through the ship creating a sophisticated feel on board. Dining Options on Board Dining on Arcadia is as you would expect very well taken care of, from buffet dinning to several specialty restaurants. The main dining room is on 2 levels at the rear of the ship, on the lower level it is set dining times 18:30 and 21:00. The upper level is freedom dining where you can turn up for a table any time fro 18:00 to 21:30. This option has to be pre booked when booking the cruise as there are only a certain amount of spaces. Even then at peak times you will have to wait for a table for 2 or get to the restaurant when it opens. We had freedom dining on our cruise and would certainly have this style of dining again. The buffet restaurant ( The Lido) is open from 06:00 to 01:00 serving breakfast, lunch, afternoon Tea, dinner and evening light meals. The food is of good quality, complementary fruit juices are only available at breakfast in the buffet area. The 2 specialty restaurants, Sindhu and Ocean Grill both have an additional cover charge. They are both very good and they change menus several times during the voyages. While we were on Arcadia P&O were trailing a glass house style menu in intermezzo outside of ocean grill, this worked well and we hope that it becomes a permanent feature on board Arcadia. Eric lanyards afternoon tea is another specialty offer, it is served in ocean grill on selected sea days and is worth trying. During the day by the midship pool (Neptune’s) there is a grill serving burgers, fish and chips ,jacket potatoes etc there is also a small sandwich bar just to the side of this grill. This area can get busy during the day, especially when the sliding roof is open in warm climates. The Cabins Arcadia’s cabins come is 5 basic categories with a number of sub categories. The categories are inside, ocean view, balcony, mini suite and suite. There are also a number of single occupancy cabins both inside and ocean view. Most of the mini suites are midships. All cabins are well appointed as you would expect with all the normal cabin features. All cabins have UK 3 pin plugs as standard, also tea/coffee making facilities replenished throughout your stay. The cabins have a mini bar(chargeable to your on board account ) and fridge. Most of the mini suites and suites have a bath and shower. A few of the Balcony and Ocean View cabins have combined showers and baths. All grades of cabins have complementary shower gel, shampoo and body lotion. There is plenty of wardrobe space in all cabins. This is a feature on all Vista Class ships that make them great for longer cruises or round the world trips. All of the cabins following the refit in 2017 now have flat screen TVs with pay for view films but as yet, like other ships in the P&O fleet, you can not view your cabin bill or order room service / interactive services via the tv. Things to do on Board As with any UK main stream cruise company the daily entertainment is varied from guest speakers to deck quoits. There is always something going, and the good thing about the ship is that you can always find a quiet spot to read the book you have taken from the library onboard. On this cruise because it was the last leg of the world cruise there was daily art classes in one of the meeting rooms. There is a small onboard cinema seating around 30 in leather recliner chairs, they show current films that are on at the cinema at home, due to space restrictions it’s always best to book a seat. The gym also has a full daily program of both free and chargeable fitness classes all of which are good quality and the instructors know what they’re doing Swimming pools, sun decks and Spa There are 3 pools on board, the main one being in the centre of the ship. It is known as Neptune’s pool, this is where the sliding roof covers the pool in less favourable conditions. There are sun loungers around the pool. The pool has a bar area and a take way food place serving burgers and chips etc The second pool is on the aft deck behind the lido buffet, again there is a lot of space for loungers and has a large bar, this area is fully open to the elements all the time The 3rd pool in located in the spa area and is a pay for use pool, it is always heated to around 34’ and has whirlpool jets that can be turned on and off. You can pay a one off fee for the entire cruise or choose to pay daily providing there is space available, they only have 30 spaces per cruise for this area The sun decks through the ship are spacious even at peak times so you are always able to get a bed with space round it. The large well appointed gym and spa are right at the top and front of the ship above the navigation bridge. It has it’s own sauna in each changing room . If you want to use the steam room hot bed or sensual sauna then again they are chargeable with the use of the thermal suite. The gym offer daily fitness classes and talks. The spa has a full list of wellbeing and wellness courses / treatments again all as additional costs. Would we Recommend P&O We have sailed with P&O on a number of their ships, this is what lead us to book this cruise. If you are looking for a cruise that looks after the UK cruiser then P&O is definitely for you. Would we book another leg of a world cruise, definitely yes but there are a number of things to consider with this type of cruise. • Large amounts of sea days back to back, we had a 6 and 5 day run of sea days • Average age of the customers is generally higher than on normal cruises • Entertainment tailored to type of cruise and age of customers • Customer familiarity with the crew most noticeable in the buffet and main restaurants as they have been together for the last 3 months or so, it can make you feel left out. • Numerous special event for world cruisers only, so parts of the ship often restricted (bars and restaurants etc) This aside we did enjoy the trip home from Dubai especially sailing through the Suez canal and the trips in Israel ( the reason for booking the trip) We like the smaller ships ( around 2000 passengers) as they are usually more friendly. Our biggest dislike is P&Os Great British Sail Away, complete with Union Jack waving, but majority of the ship joins in so we go with the flow with it. So if you live in the UK and want a great British cruise with a main stream cruise line then P&O certainly deliver no matter what ship you travel on. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
Nice to enjoy warmer weather, although mixed sun and cloud. Surprised how many children were on board in term time. All were well behaved, but some of the Dads made nuisances of themselves, jumping and bombing into the swimming pools ... Read More
Nice to enjoy warmer weather, although mixed sun and cloud. Surprised how many children were on board in term time. All were well behaved, but some of the Dads made nuisances of themselves, jumping and bombing into the swimming pools and frightening toddlers. Lunchtime Buffet service rather limited. Shellfish never varied, shrimps in cocktail sauce and mussles every single day. Volume in the playhouse far too loud. I actually saw two people wearing noise cancelling headphones. Rather a lot of ‘we need to keep you entertained’. Activities and a great mant quizzes. Excellent Captain’s Welcome aboard evening.. a great pity that some passengers are rude enough to carry on conversations whilst the captain is speaking. Most people dressed appropriately in the evenings but some did not and no action was taken by the crew. As usual, the crew were friendly and hugely polite. A pity some passengers do not give the crew the same respect. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
We have been with P & O in the past and have enjoyed it, I read some negative reviews previously but I could find no fault with this ship,staff,food,entertainnment. It was good value for money. The food in my opinion is some of the ... Read More
We have been with P & O in the past and have enjoyed it, I read some negative reviews previously but I could find no fault with this ship,staff,food,entertainnment. It was good value for money. The food in my opinion is some of the best I have enjoyed on any ship,the standard and presentation is excellent. I think if people complain about the standard of food in the restaurant then they must be hard to please. The choices are excellent each night and plentiful. Well done P & O. Plenty of shows although I do not usually go to many which is my personal choice. I enjoyed the cinema on sea days although not all films were to my personal preference. Plenty going on around the ship at different times and the Lisbon sail away party was excellent. It had to be held indoors due to bad weather but it was fun. The entertainment team were friendly and always made quizzes etc exciting and had banter with passengers. We has a large outside cabin as there were three in our party and it was plenty big enough for us. It had a large window which we all enjoyed especially when in port. Our cabin steward Angelo was excellent (Deck 9 cabin 192) he kept our cabin spotless and always found time to speak to us each time we saw him. All the staff we came across were really friendly and helpful. There was quite a lot of older passengers on this trip and I saw on more than one occassion staff helping them to their seats and carrying their trays in the buffet restaurant. I know from speaking to other passengers how much this was appreciated. It was quite nice not queing like you sometimes have to on the larger ships and we never had to wait long for the lift to get about (we have on the larger ships on many occasions). Drinks were reasonably priced a bottle of the house Rose was £16.50 which was very reasonable and it was a decent quality. A pint of John Smiths bitter was £4 10. We enjoyed a pre dinner drink at Andersons bar where you got snacks with your drinks in a lovely sophistacated atmosphere. I had read the ship looks tired well maybe in some places but in the main it is spotless clean and very classy. I know a lot of people who I spoke to love this ship and I can see why now I have been on it. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Happy 12-day cruise but just sometimes food quality was surprisingly poor. Potatoes with black rotting areas and occasionally not hot. Staff in smart restaurants and buffet were hard-working, helpful and pleasant. Often a ... Read More
Happy 12-day cruise but just sometimes food quality was surprisingly poor. Potatoes with black rotting areas and occasionally not hot. Staff in smart restaurants and buffet were hard-working, helpful and pleasant. Often a feeding frenzy in buffet servery which is too crowded sometimes and too small. One area is opened while the other closes. Ideally should both be open. All made worse by impatient passengers who don't like queuing. Also, despite polite request notes on each table asking diners to vacate once finished eating, there are some who seem to camp there for an hour or two chatting, dozing or reading books while others search for seats. Some ignore hand sanitisers in restaurants. Thump of engines can be heard in main restaurant. We heard that P&O have made economies on several fronts and sometimes it shows compared with previous cruises by us. Cabin stewards now asked to service more cabins daily. Stage shows were very good/excellent. One comedian fared badly/gross with old folk with mime of him pretending to wipe his bottom, complained about weak P&O 2-ply toilet paper, said some elderly passengers "smelled like the homeless" and were infirm - among other grubby "jokes." Long wait to disembark because of tide change and positioning the bridge to terminal. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This was probably the least enjoyable of our 17 cruises with P&O (6th on Aurora), but I should stress that the majority of this was not down to P&O. We did the Northern Lights Cruise during the same 2 weeks last year (also on ... Read More
This was probably the least enjoyable of our 17 cruises with P&O (6th on Aurora), but I should stress that the majority of this was not down to P&O. We did the Northern Lights Cruise during the same 2 weeks last year (also on Aurora) and had a spectacular display of the Northern Lights over two nights, with a weaker display on a third night. This year we had almost permanent cloud cover and on the two ocassions that we saw the Northern Lights they were incredibly weak. If last year was a 9 out of 10 display, this year was 1 out of 10. We also had fog (with the dreaded fog horn disiturbing sleep a few nights) and rough seas, with a lot of sudden lurching, for 24 hours on the return which became tiresome. Other than the 24 hours mentioned, Aurora rode the seas very well. As a point of interest, Viking Sky (the ship that ran into difficulties) arrived in Alta on our second day there and followed us back down the Norwegian coast a few days later. Last year we stopped in Tromso on the way to Alta, which was a lovely place and we really enjoyed our visit there. This year we made a maiden call (for P&O) to Narvik, which was a very poor replacement. Nothing much to see in the town. I also had a bad experience with a P&O tour. I had booked a snowmobile tour at £310 and it was stressed that the price was per snowmobile, not per person, so if you went as a couple you shared the snowmobile and the driving (and paid £310 between you), whereas if you went alone, you paid £310 but had sole use. At the snowmobile centre they tried to force me to share a snowmobile with another passenger when we had both paid £310 each. Naturally I refused, but it was a battle and spoiled the experience. Also the Snowmobiling was supposed to be ‘in mountains and places inaccessible by foot’ but was back and forth across a frozen lake. This was the same as I had done the previous year in Alta for around £100 less. The tour was also advertised as providing the history of the Narvik to Sweden railway line and its role in the Second World War. This didn’t happen either. Worst of all, my complaint about these issues back on board was handled very badly. They preferred to believe the word of the tour agent (who was naturally covering their back) than a customer of some 23 years standing. Very naive and short sighted of them, as we have now decided to do far fewer P&O tours on future cruises as a result. The scenery along the Fjords and ashore is fantastic. We had seen much of it last year, so didn’t quite get the ‘wow factor’ that passengers seeing it for the first time would have experienced, but it was lovely none the less. Temperatures were fine. Just like a cold U.K. winter. Most of the time it was within a few degrees of freezing, with the coldest we had around minus 7 degrees. Last year it was minus 15 to 20 degrees, so much colder. In spite of it not being that cold, the staff decided to keep the very heavy fire doors to the cabin corridors closed on all decks. Whilst this was needed below deck 7 (which is all they did last year, even when it was MUCH colder), this year they decided to do it on ALL decks. This just wasn’t necessary as the areas around the lift areas between decks 8 and 11 were incredibly hot and there would have been far better temperature dissipation with the doors open. We fed this back on the ‘First Impressions’ form and, thankfully, they kept the door outside our cabin open thereafter (my wife is a wheelchair user and, in addition to the door not needing to be closed, it made access to and from our accessible cabin very difficult). Service in the Medina Restaurant was absolutely superb. Well, to clarify, it was superb as far as the waiters and managers were concerned. The wine waiters were poor. Difficult to get hold of and one was actually quite rude. Food was perfectly acceptable, but not quite as good as on our previous cruises on Aurora. One disappointment (noted by many) was the absence of lobster from the Marco Pierre White menu. The current chefs seem to think that us Brits are scared of anything remotely spicy, so tone everything down to mild, bordering on bland. Great shame, as we loved trying all the tasty curries at lunchtime years ago. The Glasshouse and Beach House were great (as always) and whilst the Sindhu Restaurant on Aurora is our least favourite Sindhu in the fleet, we enjoyed Tiffin lunch in there. We met some lovely fellow passengers (including some we had met on previous cruises, which was fantastic) and enjoyed some pleasant chats. The average age of passengers on Aurora is usually mid 70’s (they didn’t quote a figure this time but last year the Captain mentioned the average age was 73) and although we are a few decades younger, this suits us. We aren’t fans of P&O’s ‘1960’s holiday camp’ style of entertainment so tend to avoid much of it, but the Headliners troupe on this cruise were very good (we find that they vary enormously from very good to poor), but sadly left after this cruise. Electra (two female violinists) were absolutely superb. Jane Davey (presenter) was very confident and engaging, but we found that her desire to find a wise crack in almost every line became irritating and diluted the substance matter so much that we lost interest. Stuart St Paul (former stuntman and film director) gave some fairly interesting talks, but was rather full of himself. The Port Presenter (Sam) was very good, other than the Butlins style “if you have been to Norway before, shout ‘whoop whoop’ additions. Dear God, when will P&O wake up to the fact that it’s now the 21st Century! When we disembarked, there were 1,000 workmen waiting to embark to assist with Aurora’s refit in Brest, France. A total of 1,800 workmen will toil over the next fortnight to bring her a little more up to date. We are back on board next month, so will play ‘spot the difference’. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Embarked without trouble,outside cabin with picture window very satisfactory.As peninsular cruisers discounted price and on board spending money was a nice bonus. All meals were fine with plenty of choice but often a little bland we ... Read More
Embarked without trouble,outside cabin with picture window very satisfactory.As peninsular cruisers discounted price and on board spending money was a nice bonus. All meals were fine with plenty of choice but often a little bland we thought.The first seven days were a bit rough as it was February and the North Atlantic after all. We enjoyed all the ports of call and some were first time visits.I,e Bermuda and the Bahamas,the later was a little bit disappointing as the last hurricane caused damage as yet not rectified. American immigration at New Orleans was extremely slow and took most of the first day to get the 3000 and also the crew members ashore.Weather in New Orleans was dull and foggy but we had a lovely time off the ship and will always make the most of these exciting places.Further American ports included Key West,Miami and port canavaral with a visit to the NASA Space Centre,all having a different appeal with lots to see and do. Then into the warm sunshine and Azure seas of the Caribbean including Grand Turk,St,Maarten.St Lucia And Barbados.All wonderful ports of call if a little overcrowded with so many cruise ships at this time of year.Our final port of call after five days at sea was the delightful island of Pria da Vitoria in the Azores,with perfect weather and a welcoming people we enjoyed probably the best day of the cruise.After this it was home to Southampton and because of threatened storms the captain got us back early and that was much appreciated. The fellow guests we got to know on our freedom dining option were stella and we made several new friends. The evening entertainment was also of high standard with little we did not enjoy.There is so much to do and they cater for all tastes from on board lectures,the latest movies,classical pianists ,we must mention the duo of pianists for Four Hands who are exceptional,comedians,etc etc.Dance classes ,night clubs,several bars with competitive prices compare to some cruise lines. Please could you move the dance instructor from the Atrium area twice a day as her constant instruction over the microphone is really annoying.Nit a place where people meet,have a coffee or go to reception or the shops.This is the on real gripe which I’m sorry to bring up as it bothered lots of us in that area and we would avoid it if she was there. Emarbed in good time and set off home. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We normally cruise Holland America out of Fort Lauderdale for our winter Caribbean cruise. However, the cruise departing Southampton on 6 January meant only a short flight down from the North. Embarkation was smooth and efficient. Our ... Read More
We normally cruise Holland America out of Fort Lauderdale for our winter Caribbean cruise. However, the cruise departing Southampton on 6 January meant only a short flight down from the North. Embarkation was smooth and efficient. Our cabin was an outside on the 5th deck, although we were upgraded due to noise issues with an adjacent 'technical area'. This deck house keeper was very proactive on our behalf in securing the change. Impressive Rakesh! Our new cabin was lovely and there were no further problems. The Dining experience was mixed. On the whole the food was good although in the dining room (perhaps because we were far from the kitchen) it could be tepid, rather than piping hot. The Conservatory lido area was well-run and kept clean. There were themed choices each evening and the Indian night was highly popular with passengers and officers. All the dining room/Conservatory staff were excellent-among the best I have come across. Regarding activities, the library was excellent and I attended many lectures and talks on themes such as the British Music Halls and Astronomy etc. Also there were separate musical concerts featuring Glenn Miller's hits and film theme tunes. The Headliners theatre group undertook a wide and varied range of musical productions and these were augmented by visiting singers and comedians who came aboard, including some local acts. Again, as good an entertainment as I have come across. Indeed, the cruise entertaiment manager Mr Percival was totally proactive in interacting with the passsengers as were his wonderful team. Portwise I partcularly enjoyed my tours of Bermuda and Cartagena in Columbia( a change of itinerary due to weather conditions). Grenada always enchants as does the Commonwealth of Dominica. Everyone was impressed by our visit to the Azores. Disembarkation was slow due to the customs doing a very thorough check on departing passengers. But P and O do not control this. Although Oriana is getting a bit old and tired, it is still a great favourite with all who sail in her. Sadly, she is being replaced and while a new ship will be wecome, I wonder if the elegance of this ship will be easy to replacate. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
I was on the Oriana with my partner and can honestly say this was not the "holiday from hell" as one couple suggested. We were well looked after. It could have been a lot worse when we had the power failure, but the weather was ... Read More
I was on the Oriana with my partner and can honestly say this was not the "holiday from hell" as one couple suggested. We were well looked after. It could have been a lot worse when we had the power failure, but the weather was very good, a scorching hot day, a bar-b-q was laid on and we still got our evening meal. Only thing I recall not working that evening was the air-conditioning. The cabins were stifling hot but we survived. Well done to all the P & O crew for making our trip a pleasant one and especially to the Captain for keeping up updated. For the inconvenience caused we all got an extra £100 spending money on board, glass of champagne with our evening meal on "Indian buffet night", what more could you ask for. One thing I was disappointed with was the Casino, only 11 machines working out of 18 for the entire journey. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Very poor entertainment, had a 10yr old with us that hated kids club (couldn’t blame her) same stuff on every night. The spa on the ship was appalling, still kicking myself for not walking out. Bar closed at midnight, nowhere else except ... Read More
Very poor entertainment, had a 10yr old with us that hated kids club (couldn’t blame her) same stuff on every night. The spa on the ship was appalling, still kicking myself for not walking out. Bar closed at midnight, nowhere else except room service to get a drink. Staff entertainment didn’t show up on numerous occasions. Was a complete waste of money, hated every moment of being on the ship. Luckily we managed to see some amazing places. Great thing was the room, always clean and tidy. Although they never topped up the mini bar. Found out towards the end that you had to ask and sign for anything after the first night. Plus only complimentary water on the first night! Just constantly felt like there was nothing to do, was definitely aimed at the older crowd. If you want to know how to get rid of fluid retention this is your ship *yawn* Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
I had had a lovely Canary cruise on the Azura two years ago, it was lovely. had a balcony which was great. Booked this christmas cruise for the 19th dec - 29th dec, and was not disappointed. The ship this time was the Aurora. The staff ... Read More
I had had a lovely Canary cruise on the Azura two years ago, it was lovely. had a balcony which was great. Booked this christmas cruise for the 19th dec - 29th dec, and was not disappointed. The ship this time was the Aurora. The staff and crew were fantastic, very helpful and friendly and could not do enough for us. Had a window view this time as didn't really want a balcony for this winter cruise. lovely large picture window. Food was plentiful and good. The entertainment was first class and plenty of it. Matt the guitarist was amazing and he could play anything and did. He went from Bar to Bar and was very well liked. Favourite bar was the The crows nest. just quiet gorgeous and a amazing view. The trio who played their were brilliant and a last after dinner drink was so relaxing just listing to some beautiful music. The ship needs updating and i believe that it is going to have a refit this Spring? and will become an adult only ship as well. I shall be booking with P & O again at some stage. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Plane was over 2 hours later going. Arrival on ship was chaotic. No welcome drink, no pictures taken. Nothing!! Just shoved in the direction of our cabin. Had to move from cabin L224 to B311 as L224 had a large noise and vibrating ... Read More
Plane was over 2 hours later going. Arrival on ship was chaotic. No welcome drink, no pictures taken. Nothing!! Just shoved in the direction of our cabin. Had to move from cabin L224 to B311 as L224 had a large noise and vibrating all the time. Very reluctant to move us but after refusing to move away from reception until we go a manager to sort it. Staff useless at sorting out issues.This was the theme thru the entire cruise. Food was ok but no allergen info in buffet. Too many kids in the main pool. Yes it was an xmas cruise but kids should have been in school (and no they were NOT private school kids) Itinerary was changed from that scheduled and no one told us. Still waiting for a response from P&O about this. Boat ok, Sit down dining good. Entertainment average (Headliners quite good). All of the islands blend into one after a while. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We just returned home from a fabulous 15 night Pre-Xmas Caribbean cruise aboard the P&O ship Azura. We flew into Barbados on a Tui Dreamliner from Manchester on the 1st December. The flight was comfortable and well serviced with ... Read More
We just returned home from a fabulous 15 night Pre-Xmas Caribbean cruise aboard the P&O ship Azura. We flew into Barbados on a Tui Dreamliner from Manchester on the 1st December. The flight was comfortable and well serviced with complimentary food and drink. The price for 15 nights in a seaview cabin inclusive of flights, transfers and meals was £1750 pp with an on-board spend allowance of £140 pp. The Azura was built in 2010 and has a crew of 1200 and a passenger capacity of 3100 and has worn its 8 years well and is a lovely ship. We were located in cabin P325 conveniently on the same level as the atrium and close to all the shops and reception. There are several dining rooms providing fixed or flexible, waiter served dining for breakfast and dinner, a casual self-serve buffet restaurant and four posh restaurants for which there is cover charge. We tried all of them. The standard dining (included in the price) was varied and the service excellent but the standard food whilst OK wouldn’t blow you away. The 24 hour self-serve buffet had a good variety but quality wasn’t great, but you will like it if you are not fussy. The best of the posh restaurants imho was the The Glass House which served great food, wine and drinks, contemporary décor, great service and was the best value with a relatively modest cover charge which varied with what you had. The Indian fushion restaurant, Sindhu, was also very good, superb service, excellent choice of food, wine and other drinks, and a reasonable cover of £20 per head. The Epicurian restaurant was pretentious and over priced at £28 per head and, they couldn’t cook a steak properly. The Beachhouse was OK, roughly equal to your average pub grub with a cover of £7.50 per head. Drinks were wide and varied and seemed fairly priced. As a real ale drinker I didn’t expect to be bowled over but to be fair I found a couple bars serving reasonable bitter/ale but you have to ask them to serve it with a big head and let it warm up a bit, its always too cold. There were four formal black tie nights, which we personally don’t go for, so on those nights we dined in either the Glass House or Beach House, which did not require the penguin look. The itinery had four sea days. To be honest the first was day was not much fun, it was overcrowded on deck and if you didn’t get out with your towel before 9.00 you struggled to get a sunbed. The other three days got better as many passengers couldn’t be bothered and then there was space for everybody. There is an exclusive area called the Retreat which you pay for. It is spacious and never over-crowded but at £175 per person for 14 days it wouldn’t be! We tried to book it for just the 4 sea days but it was all or nothing we were told. I have to say service in all areas, be it restaurants, bars, coffee shops, general shops cabin stewards etc was first class and friendly and they couldn’t do enough for you. We had a seaview cabin. It was reasonably spacious, we went for a single beds layout, the shower and toilet was adequate and the walk-in style wardrobe and cupboard and safe more than good enough. There were brew facilities, a mini bar, hair drier, TV and climate control, and enough power points (UK) The ship was very stable and at times you had to look outside to see if it was moving. But enough about the ship, the ports of call are what its really about and with the exception of Tortola (which had still not fully recovered from last years hurricane) all were extremely interesting. In each case we took a private island tour provided by the many private hire taxis, in comfortable air conditioned SUVs carrying on average 8 persons at a cost of $25 per head. All had great guides speaking better English than wot I do! Now I know P&O will warn you all about the risks in doing this, but after all they want to sell their own over-priced alternative, we had no problems. Our fave island was Antigua and we loved St Kitts. Our daily weather was just great with average temp of 28C, an odd shower and a refreshing breeze. Worth a mention was the 40 minute transfer to the ship from the airport in Barbados. Following an 8 hour flight P&O seem to think its OK to cram you all in a crammed bone shaker of a bus, with insufficient storage space for your travel case, no working seatbelts (well ours didn’t) with a driver who was in some sort of hurry whilst chatting on his phone. Not good enough P&O. But the check-in and embarkation was very efficient. So, there is no perfect cruise, it is a compromise, but as long as the good outweighs the bad then you are laughing, and on this cruise it did, very easily, and any little niggles were always satisfactorily resolved. So in a nutshell what was good :- All round service in bars and restaurants The Glass House and Sindhu restaurants Resident band Pulse Entertainment On-board activities Breakfasts (water service) Drinks Ports of call – all good Sail-away parties Cabin comfort Spa and gym Efficiency of embarking and disembarking at all ports Ships décor Galley tour (fantastic insight into what goes on behind the scenes) Manhatten lounge Live footy coverage in Brodies The huge number of bars and places to eat Daily news letter. Not so good :- The sea screen (movies under the stars) was not working – a major disappointment The Epicurian restaurant Many of public areas and bars were cold Transfer to ship in Barbados Onboard shops were over-priced Ships yours were over-priced Abysmal service on return flight Reception undermanned at peak times. So the big question is, would we do it again. We are missing it already and are planning our next one. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
I took my 2 teenage grandchildren to see the northern lights. Couldn't have asked for a better holiday for them. They seen the lights and more. The ship and every member of staff was friendly polite and efficient. I have been ... Read More
I took my 2 teenage grandchildren to see the northern lights. Couldn't have asked for a better holiday for them. They seen the lights and more. The ship and every member of staff was friendly polite and efficient. I have been on 2 p&o ships now going on 3rd in March. Could not fault them. We met a couple of friends whom we now keep in touch with. The entertainment was excellent and even the group next step allowed my granddaughter to sing with them. Everywhere we went people were friendly, the ship was clean and always a member of staff to help. If I had to say something negative it would be some costs are a little much when you have children but i understand this for some things. Excursions were too expensive for me to take the kids but managed to get one off ship. In all a very very enjoyed trio from the 3 of us. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Did ncl Did royal caribbean Now done PO The seamless transit from london to Barbados and boarding the ship and returning to london was good. The only critic I have with that process is with the thomas cook return leg flight. Poor ... Read More
Did ncl Did royal caribbean Now done PO The seamless transit from london to Barbados and boarding the ship and returning to london was good. The only critic I have with that process is with the thomas cook return leg flight. Poor is the best way to describe it. Staff , entertainment, in flight meal , all poor. Captain of the ship on my cruise was brilliant and comical with his announcement. Staffing was mediocre and not very friendly some had difficulty giving reply to my queries. Food was mediocre in the buffet and the restaurant. Navigating around the ship was challenging as not all sides lead somewhere and some stair not accessible. Waiting for coffee cups at the drink station. Waiting for glass at the drink station. Side of pool drinking water containers , all 3 empty on a baking day. Buffet always been directed to go to a different part as they were closing the section I was going to. Was great visiting those 8 islands . Would I go on this ship again ? Yes IF THE PRICE WAS RIGHT. Low Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
The embarkation process was smooth, arrived and checked in within 30 mins. Our cabin was indoor, c366 and was as expected. Not a huge amount of hanging space/storage but for a short cruise was adequate. It was a port intensive ... Read More
The embarkation process was smooth, arrived and checked in within 30 mins. Our cabin was indoor, c366 and was as expected. Not a huge amount of hanging space/storage but for a short cruise was adequate. It was a port intensive cruise. We visited Gijon, it was meant to be la coruna but due to poor conditions the port was changed. A nice coastal resort worth walking to park and headland opposite old town. Bilbao we didn’t do an excursion we got the shuttle to town. Did an independent walking tour, took the funicular up for views. Took the metro to areeta, walked back via there to ship 3.5 km - nicer than central Bilbao. La Rochelle was lovely. €9 to enter all 3 towers. Loads of eating choices. No need for excursion if forecast is good. Cherbourg we went to mount st Michael. Our guide was rather eccentric and got only an hours free time after excusing ourselves of his company. Journey was 5 hours. Organised ship excursion and the most disappointing Read Less
24 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
My wife and I have cruised 1/2 dozen times. P&O, RCI, Princess, and Celebrity. We booked this cruise a couple of months back as an extra holiday this year. There were some poor reviews, negative comments like, old ship, bad smells, ... Read More
My wife and I have cruised 1/2 dozen times. P&O, RCI, Princess, and Celebrity. We booked this cruise a couple of months back as an extra holiday this year. There were some poor reviews, negative comments like, old ship, bad smells, poor food, miserable staff. What a load of old rubbish people come out with. I’ve even read stuff about flight delayed. As if that’s P&Os fault. Or bad weather. (Our captain even diverted the ship to find us sun) I say to most of those people “Get a life” our flight was delayed 2 hours due to fog. I’d much would rather sit on an aircraft and wait than take a chance and take off. In fact an announcement was given on the aircraft saying not to worry the ship wouldn’t leave without us. The food was lovely with lots of choice. Did I like everything all of the time? Of course not. But it was well presented and most of the time suited my own taste buds perfectly. The staff in ALL of the restaurants were immaculately dressed. The tables were always clean and very quickly cleared away too. There was rightly, maintenance being carried out constantly to keep the standards high. I read reviews about Rule Britannia and such like being constantly played. I could hear it in the background occasionally but I certainly didn’t find it overpowering. There was differing music being played throughout the ship for everyone's taste. Once on a sail away union flags were given out and I can honestly say that everyone around the pool deck thoroughly enjoyed singing along to English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh songs waving their flags, as did other nationalities. The headliners shows didn’t do it for me but they worked really hard. I just felt that their singing skills were poor. Nevertheless I watched and sang along. The other entertainers I enjoyed. If you don’t do excursions as we don’t, do some research and do your own thing. Some ports in the U.K. are not very nice but, move away a little and there is often so much to enjoy. I’m sure that there are some genuine complaints, there are bound to be,,,,,,,do things ever go right at home all of the time, is your gutter and facia sparkling clean on your house? Nothing ever broken down? Blocked up? I dropped my luggage at Gatwick and it arrived outside my cabin door and on the way back, I left it outside my cabin and next saw it at Gatwick on the conveyor reclaim belt. So, to everyone I say, Ignor the moaners, chill, and do what I firmly believe P&O want you to do and will help you to,,,,,relax and have a lovely cruise. My wife and I sure did. Our cruise was a 7 Day on 4/10/18 From/To Valetta. Read Less
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