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694 P&O Cruises Europe Cruise Reviews

We recently took a Spain and France cruise on the Aurora. This is a clean, comfortable ship with loads on offer. While not the largest vessel we have sailed on, it was of sufficient size to travel smoothly over a fairly choppy bay of ... Read More
We recently took a Spain and France cruise on the Aurora. This is a clean, comfortable ship with loads on offer. While not the largest vessel we have sailed on, it was of sufficient size to travel smoothly over a fairly choppy bay of Biscay. We found the embarkation process smooth, and the mobility assistance and general crew attitude welcoming. We boarded a little before the cabins were fully ready, but were take to the Alexandria Restaurant where a buffet and a welcome drink were waiting for us. The cabins were soon ready, and we headed off to a small but comfortable inner on the 11th Deck. This cabin (A227) had a soft bed (configured as a double), a small settee, and loads of drawer and wardrobe space for its size. The shower was easy to access, and the TV kept good reception the entire cruise. We didn't use any specialty dining on this occasion, but did eat in the Horizon buffet, and both the Medina and Alexandria Restaurants. Service was attentive, and care was taken for special diets. We attended a really interesting talk on Nat King Cole in the theatre, and took in a couple of recent release films as well. The entertainment provision was typical for cruises, and seemed to be enjoyed by most. Service was good, and we had a very professional steward, who kept a perfect balance of attentiveness without being "in your face." Other staff were accommodating and made for a pleasant cruise. The Bay of Biscay was dreary and blustery in both sea days, and the exposed pools were unusable (for both cold, and the sloshing of their contents over their sides), but plenty of indoor activities were on offer. Each of the ports (La Coruna, Bilbao, La Rochelle, and Cherburgh) were sunny, and the the first three warmer than predicted. Many passengers caught up on their pool time in these. We made two ship arranged excursions to Santiago and to Guernica. Both were informative, and made for a richer experience. The guide for Santiago was flexible and provided good "free time" recommendations. There is a "road train" tour available from the cathedral square, but it was bone jarring over cobbles. The Guernica excursion was also interesting, though the guide was a little less organised. We learned a lot about Basque culture and politics, and also had time in a small fishing port. The highlight was to see the tile reproduction of Picasso's Guernica. This was a very good cruise with great food, and good service. Minor annoyances came in the lift wait times, and the captain's daily announcements. He would introduce himself each time as the "Captaan" which is endearing the first two or three times, but wears thin. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
P & O have always given us first class service, and this cruise was no exception. However, Oceana is showing her age and will benifit from the forthcoming refit. The crew were not quite as friendly as previous trips, but no real ... Read More
P & O have always given us first class service, and this cruise was no exception. However, Oceana is showing her age and will benifit from the forthcoming refit. The crew were not quite as friendly as previous trips, but no real complaints. The food was nearly as good as last time and excellently presented and plenty of it. The entertainments were exceptional, with Headliners even better than last time. The ventriloquist was fantastic as were the various musicians on board. We hit a force 12 off Corsica, but everyone was calm on board and no issues arose. The crew were extremely professional throughout, especially when someone had to be dropped off at Alicante due to illness. I can't speak for excursions on this cruise as we did our own trips, but previous excursions have been very good, even though they appear expensive, well worth it for first timers. Happy cruising. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Returned last week from a 10 day fly cruise from Malta visiting beautiful ports of call.. My first solo fly cruise and my first time with Pand O. Originally booked as only a small supplement for an inside double cabin for single use. ... Read More
Returned last week from a 10 day fly cruise from Malta visiting beautiful ports of call.. My first solo fly cruise and my first time with Pand O. Originally booked as only a small supplement for an inside double cabin for single use. The Oceana is a very friendly ship with hosted morning coffee for solo travellers. Other passengers chatted with me before and during dinner and l teamed with other solos for excursions and meet ups during the afternoon for the sailaway parties. Weather for 2 nights was very unpreditable with the usual sick bags placed everywhere and outside decks couldn't be accessed. A port of call had to be changed,Corsica instead of Marseille which was great but disappointing for some. My cabin was abit dated,shabby but very clean. I cannot fault the food and service in the MDR and the lamb shank was the best l have ever tasted! I also ate the vegeterian options which were equally as good quality and tasty. I purchased the soda package which saves about 10% but found l couldn't drink the 20 in 10days as they are served in very tall glasses. The Costa Coffee package worth the money. I loved the outside decks,hot tubs. The adult only tubs and pool was cold compared to the pools. I enjoy a ship that looks like a ship and not a floating resort and l took,advantage of the promanade deck on a daily basis. Fun range of activities, daily films, interesting lectures and no really 'hard sell ' which has happened on all the American ships l have been on. Oceana having a refit end of the month and does need it as carpeting is taped together in many places and some of the furniture requires upholstering. This did not prevent me from a having a wonderful cruise experience and would cruise again with Pand O when l can find a deal with a small solo supplement Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Very good experience.We have travelled on 8 cruises previously,mostly with P&O.On this occasion we booked on an early bird deal which was slightly cheaper which warned us that we could not be certain og getting the table number we ... Read More
Very good experience.We have travelled on 8 cruises previously,mostly with P&O.On this occasion we booked on an early bird deal which was slightly cheaper which warned us that we could not be certain og getting the table number we preferred which in this case was 8.What we were allocated a table for 2 but we had been warned so this was ok.However what we did not bargain for was that any shuttle requirements which are usually free charged early birders £10 per journey which in total was substantially more than the early bird saving.The cruise was from genoa to venice to genoa on the dates provided on this site Needless to say we have never travelled onP&O again.So be warned about such devious tricks.I have subsequently travelled on Cunard which is now more expensive due to working in dollars rather than .However the ports of call were very good but trips were little expensive. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
As the headline says, we expected better from P & O. For a ship that is just over 2 years old it is starting to show signs of wear and tear and the lack of staff for general maintenance, cleaning and restaurant service is much ... Read More
As the headline says, we expected better from P & O. For a ship that is just over 2 years old it is starting to show signs of wear and tear and the lack of staff for general maintenance, cleaning and restaurant service is much apparent. Pros: 1. Very good food. 2. Very good live entertainment and daytime presentations by guest speakers. Cons: 1. The 'Freedom Dining' is an absolute shambles. The lack of waiting staff and co-ordination between, the head waiters and the reception staff meant that queuing was inevitable and the paging system used failed to work properly the majority of the time. Lack of staff also meant that tables were not cleared efficiently - thus the wait for tables. Dropped food and utensils were not picked up - staff training maybe? This is the main reason for the 2 * rating. 2. General cleanliness was another area that could (and should) have been easily dealt with. The windows in the Horizon dining area were absolutely filthy and not cleaned at all during our two weeks on board. The same applies to the glass on the outside decks - especially Deck 16. 3. People should also be aware of the terrible soot problem on the aft decks and balcony cabins. All in all, a very disappointing experience with P & O and we will not be cruising with them any time soon. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Chose the cruise because this was hyped as the P&O flagship, biggest and best. Embarkation was fantastic, car to cabin in about 10- 15 minutes, cannot fault it. Our balcony cabin was small, no sofa, bumping into each other all ... Read More
Chose the cruise because this was hyped as the P&O flagship, biggest and best. Embarkation was fantastic, car to cabin in about 10- 15 minutes, cannot fault it. Our balcony cabin was small, no sofa, bumping into each other all the time. Wardrobe space was ample. Toilet/ shower room was very small. Horizon restaurant , male waiting staffynnon were slow and poorly trained..on three occasions I was given knives point first, this never happened with female staff. Waiters just reaching over my shoulder to get dirty dishes, not just once, but often. Breakfast was reasonable, all other meals were just like fast food poorly cooked. Freedom dining, Slow service, missed some shows waiting for our food. Didn't enjoy one meal in either restaurants. Bars were OK, waiter service good, drink prices reasonable. Entertainment was average, Bernie Flint for goodness sake. Theatre show team need a fair bit of work. Pulse band were very good, so we're the other artists around the ship. Entertainment team did not interact with passengers, just did their bit and went. Too many quizzes all the time. Library geared to American users. Our cabin steward was fantastic, learn from him. Disembarkation was a disaster, only two of our cases where they should be, had to spend about 20 minutes hunting for the rest of the luggage. Would not go back on Britannia. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
This was my first P&O cruise chosen by the friend whose special birthday we were to celebrate. P&O were nice enough to upgrade the two of us and both the super deluxe and balcony cabins were a fair enough size but oh so beige ... Read More
This was my first P&O cruise chosen by the friend whose special birthday we were to celebrate. P&O were nice enough to upgrade the two of us and both the super deluxe and balcony cabins were a fair enough size but oh so beige and plastic. Quiet though and well positioned should we have had rough seas but one of the upsides of this cruise was the calmest of waters I have ever experienced. Let's start with the positives as the negatives were many. Embarkation was super efficient, suitcases were delivered promptly and there was lots of space in the buffet for lunch on that first day. We were most fortunate to be seated for dinner with two of the most interesting of couples and I can honestly say they enhanced the whole experience. As did the friendliness of the crew but, apart from warm and sunny weather at all destinations, that's where the positives ended. The ship is constantly full of inescapable loud music which can be heard even in the library. Worse, the ever cheerful patronising entertainments team was enough to make you scream: 'were you trained at Butlins?' Some of the evening shows were passable if you could have gagged those introducing them with the perpetual interactive question: 'are we enjoying ourselves?'. If you like this stuff then you'll enjoy Azura. The food was mediocre, sometimes cold with items often repeated from lunch to dinner making you wonder if these were made of leftovers. Given this was a 'Marco Pierre White' cruise that isn't a great recommendation. By the way he only boarded at the last port of call. The so-called enrichment programme was poor. There should have been a better selection for the thinking community. Shore excursions were, as ever, far too expensive for what was offered. Best to take a hop-on, hop-off bus. Internet too was expensive especially as it was never available in the cabin. I can't say I didn't enjoy the cruise, after all I found a new bridge partner, but little of my pleasure was down to the ship. Having experienced Cunard there is really no comparison. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Firstly we arrived at the port at 2-15pm and the embarkation process was smooth and we were on the ship by 3pm and were able to go straight to our cabin and our luggage arrived soon after. The room had been set up as requested by our ... Read More
Firstly we arrived at the port at 2-15pm and the embarkation process was smooth and we were on the ship by 3pm and were able to go straight to our cabin and our luggage arrived soon after. The room had been set up as requested by our friendly Cabin Steward Clifford. There is a hairdryer in the cupboard and two pool towels in the bathroom with shower gel, Conditioner and shampoo. My only criticism about the room was that the sheets and pillow cases were not changed during the 12 day trip. The prices of the Minibar is expensive i.e £2.75 for a coke when in the bar it was £1.75. Bar prices are similar to UK pub prices in the south of England. If you have not paid the select fare do bear in mind that some of the courtesy buses are charged to your account at around £4 per trip. We only used the buses once at Porto and there was a queue of around 20 mins but was well organised. There are plenty of areas to sit on the ship during sea days even when the weather was iffy which it was on two of the days of our trip. The Entertainment was ok but Sean Meo the comedian was truly awful we walked out after 15 mins as his act just seemed to be to pick on people at the front to try to gain a few laughs which he did not get. Ben Kimsey the singer was excellent and Tucker the other comedian was pretty funny. The Headliners performed all their shows well but someone said they were on the same ship in April and the shows were the same. The First port of call was Oporto and you really do need to get the bus to the centre and the town is very hilly. The town is nice with some nice buildings but if you want to sample or buy the Port Wine then a booked tour is advised as it is a long walk from the drop off point and from the ship. The next port was Cadiz and from here we did the trip to Seville with its beautiful cathedral it takes around 90 mins to get there. No information given on route by the guide which was disappointing. We have been to Cadiz before and it is a nice place to walk around with a lovely beach area. The next port was Malaga and from here we went to The Alhambra Palace in Granada. The Tour guide on the Bus Pepe was brilliant and gave us lots of information on route and the rep that gave us the tour of the palace was excellent. I suggest you always go with a tour guide for this tour I would not have known where to start. There was also a lunch at a local hotel with free wine and was very nice. We will go to Malaga again as it looked very nice and we did not get time to explore this time. Cartagena next with its lovely Art Deco buildings was pretty and nice to visit. Gibralter was the penultimate port with its long street of perfume, tobacco and gift shops. But do check the prices at the duty free in Gibralter as we felt they were cheaper. It depends how much you are taking back. There are a couple of tours available but we did not do them. The Last port was Lisbon and we used the Big Red Hop On Hop off bus. This was a two hour trip because of the heavy traffic but was interesting. The cost is 20 Euro per ticket . The centre near the port is lovely to walk around and we will have a closer look next time we visit. We had a lovely table of 8 every evening (club Dining at 6.30pm) and hello to Paddy, Thomas, Malcolm, Mary. Colin and Jenny . We enjoyed your company and shared a few laughs during the very enjoyable meals we had each evening. In Summary there is something for everyone on Azura but on this particular cruise we felt like youngsters in our 60s. We found most of the staff to be engaging and friendly apart from the main Coffee Barista in Java Costa Coffee where the service was hit and miss. One note here is that the cakes and sandwiches in Costa are FREE if you are having a coffee in that area. Our room was at the back of the ship on Deck 12 and you do feel the ship rocking when the sea conditions are lively. The sauna and steam rooms are free and are not mixed. You give in your room card for a locker key and towels are available. The library has a good selection of books and a news sheet is provided daily with some basic home news. And finally in the spirit of the captain's thought of the day. Whether its the best of times or the worst of times, its the only time we have got. Cabin A744 Deck 12 Cruise A730 Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
To be quite honest I was not too keen on the idea of going on a cruise. My Sister who lost her husband almost two years ago was a frequent cruiser and had often said how much she enjoyed it. If fact they would sometimes manage to do two ... Read More
To be quite honest I was not too keen on the idea of going on a cruise. My Sister who lost her husband almost two years ago was a frequent cruiser and had often said how much she enjoyed it. If fact they would sometimes manage to do two a year. Alnong with two other very close friends we all decided that we would go on a cruise and selected Oceana for our maiden voyage together. We opted for a fly cruise for seven nights, flying out to Malta to pick up the ship. Our air transport was provided by TUI the newly branded Thomson airline. Even the cabin crew were getting confused with the change. Sadly this is where the cattle truck system does not make for comfortable travel. Myself, being almost 6ft and not too slim could just about squeeze into the seat. There was no legroom, fortunately I was able to change seats to an aisle seat where I could at least squeeze in with an arm rest placed in the upright position. As to being able to drop the table to a flat position, that was impossible. The upshot of this was that every time the trolleys went past my shoulders and elbows bore the brunt of the collision. It was no different on the return flight. Anyway, I’ve always believed that the flight forms part of the holiday so I would score this a poor 2 out of 5. On a brighter note our arrival at Malta was on time and we were swiftly directed out of the airport by a myriad of helpers brandishing P&O signs and on to coaches. Sadly these coaches had their seats crammed in to maximise the discomfort of tall or not so slim passengers. Some 20 minutes later we got off the coaches and stood in line whilst we all went through the process of being photographed and processed. This procedure seemed to take some time and the standing around in the heat was starting to wear thin by the time we actually arrived under our own steam onto the dock where the Oceana was tied up. We had been travelling for over 14 hours and I for one was getting tired at this time. Our ascent up the gangway onto the ship was very smooth and it was great to be able to sit in a comfy chair and grab a drink before finding our cabin. Initial impressions of the atrium and its lighting seemed to pick me up a little and i thought that if the rest of the ship is as welcoming as this then perhaps it might not be too bad. Drink, Drunk and we moved off to locate our respective cabins, directions were well signed and we soon entered the corridors for A deck. On arrival at our cabin our luggage was outside waiting for us. Brilliant! On opening the door and entering my first impressions were very good. Nice size for two of us with basically all that you need. On drawing the curtains and opening the balcony door there was ample room to sit and chill. Now it’s starting to impress me a little. We planned to meet by the lifts then go up to the sun deck for a drink or two before grabbing a light snack from the buffet. The sun deck was impressive although some fixtures and fitting looked as thought they had seen better days but I’m sure they were on the list of jobs to do. Dinner that evening was casual and the menu was very interesting. I chose for my main course Whole Wytch Sole, which when it arrived was not whole but de-headed, skinned and very over cooked to the point where it was inedible. I had no option but to send this back and chose a lamb dish which when it arrived was excellent. In order to keep this somewhat short as a review, the meals throughout the week in the Buffet and the Ligurian Restaurant were very good to excellent. The formal nights we all enjoyed and even got time to chat to one of the senior officers. Drinks were priced at hotel prices which was not too bad. The service throughout was very good. Our cabin steward was excellent and nothing was too much trouble for him. I for one used the gym a couple of times and was quite impressed with the available equipment. We spent plenty of time on deck either walking round the promenade deck or just leaning on the rail watching the world go by. Going in and out of the ports we visited would find us up on deck of on our balcony watching the procedures. We also did a couple of trips off the ship which we enjoyed but these really are documented by many that have gone before us. We went to a couple of shows which we all enjoyed and all in all spent a very enjoyable week. Needless to say I have now changed my mind about cruising. Would I do it again? Let me think? Yes of course! In fact we have already booked our second cruise on Britannia for 14 nights out of Southampton. No more fly cruises though! Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Having previously cruised with P&O were expecting more of the same , unfortunately it was not to be . The ship is looking tired in places ,mainly carpeting in the public areas,also some fixtures ie damage in the lifts. Our balcony ... Read More
Having previously cruised with P&O were expecting more of the same , unfortunately it was not to be . The ship is looking tired in places ,mainly carpeting in the public areas,also some fixtures ie damage in the lifts. Our balcony cabin was large and comfortable Food in the main dining room was not as good with less variety and smaller portions ,as a result of which we took most of our meals in the Waterside and Beach house self service cafe . The entertainment was very good both in the Arena and the various bars . Service is as always very good . Excursions were well organised and informative . Would not cruise with P&O again until their dress code is smart casual on non black tie nights and it is adhered to and enforced . Jeans,trainers,walking shoes and crocs. have no place in the dining room ,but apparently this is "smart casual" Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We chose this review as the ship was visiting Ports we hadn't had a chance to visit. Embarkation was extremely good. I am a part time wheelchair user and help was on hand to help us onto the ship. Our cabin was spacious and the ... Read More
We chose this review as the ship was visiting Ports we hadn't had a chance to visit. Embarkation was extremely good. I am a part time wheelchair user and help was on hand to help us onto the ship. Our cabin was spacious and the wheelchair slotted under the wardrobe very neatly. The cabin was clean and the bed comfortable, we had a good deal of wardrobe space, but could have done with a few more hangers so we didn't have to double or triple up. The bathroom was adequate although the shower curtain was too short and too narrow to contain the water inside the shower, hence a few puddles. I had requested a disabled toilet and was pleased to see a higher than normal loo. The ship was very pleasant, the halls, public areas, bars and restaurants immaculate. However the basket weave furniture on the pool deck was awful with ingrained food making it too unpleasant to sit at. The furniture either needs a good scrub or replacing. Perhaps basket weave isn't such a good idea with so many people using it? We had chosen second sitting dinner and the food was delicious with at least 4 choices for each course. Our waiters were lovely, friendly and chatted, we liked that rather than just serving us food and not talking. Breakfast again had a good choice if rather small portions. I had cheese omelette which was obviously made with one egg and my husband had a kipper, well half of one side of a kipper actually. There weren't any pastries or croissants offered they had to be requested which hasn't been my experience before. The fruit juice was WATERED down!!!! P&O surely a Cruise costing well over two and a half thousand pounds deserves proper fruit juice please, it was horrible to drink. Also the milk jugs were a nuisance as the lip isn't long enough and the milk pours into the saucer and over the table!!!! The entertainment was good however the price of a soft drink was so over priced it was offputting. A Mocktail well over £5?? Come on P&O play fair. I had promised myself a massage in the Oasis Spa, one look at the exorbitant prices put me right off. I can and do get a facial, eyebrow wax etc much cheaper at my home salon than on the ship. What a shame. We have booked two more cruises in March and October 2018 so I do hope the things I have pointed out will be rectified as although they may sound insignificant to us they were important and we would be prepared to look at other cruise lines. We chose 3 tours with little walking as the wheelchair is a nuisance. Our first was to Cadiz to see Flamenco dancing, it was extremely good and we loved it. The courier was very knowledgable and after the dancing we did a tour of Cadiz. Our second tour was to Barcelona and included the Sagrada Familia which I had longed to see. I wasn't disappointed and although we didn't have time to go in I was elated to sit in the park and just drink in the beauty of the Cathedral. Our third tour was in Gibralter to see the dolphins. A very good tour and we did see dolphins, so were happy. All tours were easy walking and the couriers took great care to ensure we were all together. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
I travelled with my Daughter , her husband and two Grand Daughters aged 4yrs and 6 months We had read some damning reviews and were honestly quite worried Boarding was quick and we entered the ship to a friendly greeting, and ... Read More
I travelled with my Daughter , her husband and two Grand Daughters aged 4yrs and 6 months We had read some damning reviews and were honestly quite worried Boarding was quick and we entered the ship to a friendly greeting, and glancing around first base my daughter and i looked at each other and both remarked that it was So Far So Good as everything appeared clean Our cabins were ready and we Loved them I was in P225 and my family were in a Family cabin a few doors down At this point i would happily stay in that cabin again , it was spacious and very clean ( the antic bac spray i bought with me was not needed, Jinty my cabin steward was brilliant , efficient and friendly We went to eat in the Self Service on arrival , there was so much choice there , my daughter and i are vegetarians and it wasn't a problem I could talk so much about this Beautiful ship , but seriously where do the bad reviews come from ? Ventura is so clean , we were up early with the baby and saw Staff hoovering and washing carpets , polishing lifts at all times of the day , antibacing the padded tables and chairs and so on The 4 yr old went to kids club , its so amazing there and she loved it , again everything was wiped clean for the afternoon session and the youth staff were Fantastic We ate in Saffron , loved the food and again our waiters were Brilliant , cannot fault the food or choice I had early morning breakfast delivered by a friendly young man , faultless, and then ate later breakfast with my Daughter and the children in Saffron , all beautifully served and lovely food ( My son in law ate a lot in self service as he could pile his plate up , at this point i will remark that he put on 20lbs , say no more ) The staff were nothing short of Amazing , they spoke to the children , made the baby smile all the time and cheered her up when she was having a moan Yes Amazing is a word i am using a lot , but it sums up everything about this Wonderful ship and her crew We have never sailed with P&O before and we are now Fans . I would love to sail on Ventura again . Yes she is having a refit soon but to my mind you cannot improve on perfection !!!!!!! A special thank you to the Captain who helped us when we needed it x Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
This was our first ever cruise and we really had no idea what to expect. Reading some of the reviews; I was fairly concerned, particularly about the food. Our embarkation couldn't have been easier. We queued for ages in traffic ... Read More
This was our first ever cruise and we really had no idea what to expect. Reading some of the reviews; I was fairly concerned, particularly about the food. Our embarkation couldn't have been easier. We queued for ages in traffic coming through Southampton assuming it was because Ventura was in dock; the queues ended up being for IKEA, so we will circumnavigate this on our next drive in. We turned into the dock and instantly saw a member of the car parking valet team; it really couldn't have been easier. We unloaded our 65kgs of luggage out onto the pavement, handed ver the keys and unbelievably... we were on board inside 20 minutes. We arrived inside the Terminal at our Embarkation time and were fast-tracked all the way through. Once on board it took us maybe 10 minutes to get our bearings; but a member of the team told us our cabin was available so we went there straight away - our luggage was already waiting outside. We were stunned by how easy and smooth it was. Ventura is a large ship, particularly for first timers. We did spend most of the first week getting lost; but we loved every minute on board. It wasn't as glitzy or as glamourous as I expected; but our cabin was well appointed with tons of storage space, very clean, the bed was extremely comfortable, and there was no scuffed areas of carpet and knocks and bashes like I'd read about on reviews. The bathroom and shower is small; but it didn't cause us any problems. We only booked an inside cabin for our first cruise and we slept so well in it that we will probably always book inside cabin going forwards! Food-wise; we ate on the late sitting every night in the main dining room, apart from one night when we ate in the Epicurean. We had asked for a table of 10 booking; deciding to throw ourselves right in at the deep end with the whole cruising experience and be sociable... yet we spent the first 4 nights with that big empty table all to ourselves. After 4 nights of this; other tables had taken to feeling sorry for us and asked them to join us which we did and we enjoyed our dinners with another couple. We looked forward to our evening meals immensley and on the whole found the food to be very good. Desserts were a bit hit and miss, rather lacking in wow factor, particularly for the lady on our table who wanted a simple fruit salad and simply couldnt get one with anything other than oranges and apples in it! Breakfast and lunch we ate in the buffet; I will admit I came to hate trying to get through the narrow buffet aisles which just seemed badly designed; and particularly hated that I even had to fetch my own tea and coffee in what seemed the tiniest mugs on earth - but it didn't spoil our holiday. We also had pizza from the Pizzeria on deck 17/18? - which was alright. I did order room service on a couple of afternoons and was astonished how good it was. Far better than the buffet; although I can't fault the buffet on choice, it was always good. Entertainment; pretty good all round; we never made it into the Arena for an evening show prefering the bars and clubs on board; but everything we saw was pretty good. We did particularly enjoy late evenings upstairs in the Metropolis bar; absolutely beautiful being right at the top of the ship. The service we had throughout the whole cruise was wonderful. Nobody could do enough for us; we couldn't fault it, from the stewards to the waiters to the bar staff. Halfway through the cruise we found out that we could turn off the automatic staff gratuity; and we did this on the Reception desk, preferring to tip those that had given us good service. I will say the gentleman on the Reception desk that did this for us was fairly unsmiling and taciturn about doing so but this was the only time we encountered anything like this on board. We tended to do our on thing at each Port; apart from when we docked a journeys distance from the likes of Rome etc. Rome was one of the trips we did by coach; and the transfers worked well and it was comforting to know P&O had us booked onto the excursion and were looking after us. Each port is what you make it; oddly enough places we were immensely looking forward to visiting (Barcelona and Rome) we found to be loud, noisy, dirty - we will definitely be doing excursions to these locations next time and concentrating on one highlight such as Sagrada Familia or the Vatican rather than wandering round the streets by ourselves. Villefrance was a beautiful little place, we walked the length of the front and sat and had drinks with friends and just enjoyed the place. Cartegena and Cadiz were lovely, but in all spanish ports we found there to be alot of beggars. The formal nights were an unexpected highlight for us - i could barely persuade my husband into a black suit before we went but in the end he was not only wearing his dickie bow but really enjoying the formal nights. I would never have thought he'd have enjoyed it so much; but he was a real convert to it and even wants us to colour-coordinate on the next cruise. On our last day; we booked a cruise for 2018 on Britiannia, and shortly afterwards booked for 2019 on Azura. This is pretty much the best compliment I can give P&O. I would advise you to go with an open mind if you're a first timer; the things you don't like won't spoil your holiday, and the things you do will make it a worthwhile experience and you'll have lots of lovely memories. Tip: if you're sailing from Southampton, do not worry about your baggage. I panicked and split everything into smalller suitcases so that no bag was over the limit stated in the brochure. Apparently this is a non-issue as the baggage handlers simply stick a "heavy" baggage label on. Tip: When you're booking, pay attention to the location of the laundrettes. The machines are so easy to use and wash and dry in record time. We washed all our clothes the last day when the weather was miserable and brought home everything clean. We also did 2 washes of underwear etc during the holiday and it was super easy. Tip: If you have an inside cabin; put your tv on at night with the ships camera showing. At night when you go to bed you will have a dark screen; but when you wake in the absolute blackout; the screen gives you an idea of time - and also its' lovely to lie in bed and watch the ports get closer and closer on port days! Tip: Larger ladies need to be aware that all the dining rooms (with the exception of the epicurean) have narrow chairs with wooden sides and handles. I am a size 24/26 and i found sitting in the chairs absolute agony. I was fortunate in the main dining room that we were on a large table (these tables do not have chairs with arms) but in the buffet i could only sit on one of the bench seats. The chairs are ridiculously narrow. I hope that this is something that P&O will improve when refurbishing - it looks like Britannia is better. This is reflected in my 3/5 star marking for the dining experience. It didnt spoil my cruise but it would have done had i been seated at a smaller table. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Please think carefully before traveling with P&O. The first thing we noticed after embarkation, was the smoking area directly below our cabin. Starboard mid ship. The smokers were also given a prime spot right at the back of the ship. ... Read More
Please think carefully before traveling with P&O. The first thing we noticed after embarkation, was the smoking area directly below our cabin. Starboard mid ship. The smokers were also given a prime spot right at the back of the ship. We usually love to stand and enjoy the wake experience but passive smoking was again a problem, despite climbing higher, we were regularly breathing cigarette smoke. Our sliding balcony door was very stiff and slid from side to side when left open. At least half of the staff were arrogant and behaved as though the guests were an inconvenience. Not a smile in sight. English was the second language of about 95% of the staff which made interpretation difficult. The highlight of the culinary side of the cruise was the Indian restaurant, Sindhu. The food and service in here were superb. The small surcharge was worth it. Otherwise the food was very basic and very repetitive. Lots of junk food, boring salad choice. The Indian options were without doubt the highlight. The fruit choice was boring and often inedible. The Horizon buffet was like a cattle market. The best places were those with a surcharge. We would have loved to try some spa treatments but the prices were extortionate, hence the therapists were stood around twiddling their thumbs all day On the more positive side! The cabins were clean, spacious and has loads of storage space. It was lovely to have a shower screen not a curtain. The beds were comfortable. The steward despite being a bit surly occasionally, did a great job. The standard of decor throughout the ship was excellent. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Priority boarding took 15 minutes and we were clear having a champagne lunch by 13.30pm. By time we got to our balcony cabin B248 (deck 14 mid to forward) 2 of our 3 cases were already delivered and the 3rd arrived as we unpacked. The ... Read More
Priority boarding took 15 minutes and we were clear having a champagne lunch by 13.30pm. By time we got to our balcony cabin B248 (deck 14 mid to forward) 2 of our 3 cases were already delivered and the 3rd arrived as we unpacked. The ship is huge but easy for seasoned cruisers to navigate. The cabin & bathroom were nicely decorated and provisioned but the balcony was very small, struggling to hold 2 chairs and a tiny table. All the usual P&O restaurants and speciality restaurants, Epicurean, Sindhu, Glasshouse, Beachhouse and a dining club The Limelight Club with excellent food. The prices for drinks, although still reasonable, seemed to have crept up as have cover charges. Entertainment was good and varied and the novelty of the Limelight Club was a nice change, we saw Eric & Ernie over a splendid dinner in a theatre club setting. The decor throughout was nice but understated and I was underwhelmed by the atrium. Friendly, great service throughout the trip. Off by 08.15am with priority pass. The itinerary was Madeira and The Canaries with Northbound stops at Lisbon and Vigo, all familiar places to us so we largely did our own thing apart from Lanzarote where we did the Fire Mountain excursion. Overall, a good cruise on Britannia. We had heard negative stories but it is a clean, efficient friendly ship with good staff on a nice ship. We've tried all the P&O vessels and Britannia is certainly one to which we will return. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We pick The Britannia as she a newest ship in the fleet, we were on venture last year so pick other in their fleet. We read other comments about this ship from the guest who have been on her so was not sure if we were doing the right ... Read More
We pick The Britannia as she a newest ship in the fleet, we were on venture last year so pick other in their fleet. We read other comments about this ship from the guest who have been on her so was not sure if we were doing the right thing, but they say everyone as their own taste and we found the Britannia to be a lovely and friendly ship, yes she as her faults but don't all ships. There is no staircase in the middle of the ship so you have to use the stairs to get to different floors but that where the exercise comes in if you are able to use the stairs if not there are lifts near the center of the ship. We were freedom dining and the two waiters who look after our table were Brilliant, my husband can only eat food that is loctofree {butter,milk and cheese} so each evening they would pick the meals for the following day that he could eat. The Entertainment was not our cup of tea and if you did go to any shows you had to get there early or you would not get a seat. We pick not to go on many excursions, but the one we did on La Palma was very good and the tour guild was interesting to listen to. If you are going onto the Britannia please go with a opened mind, and you may be Surprise ? Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We chose this cruise manly because of the itinerary and we weren't disappointed Embarkation was log winded with flights, security checks etc but went as smoothly as possible. Disembarkation was very good, our bags were taken from ... Read More
We chose this cruise manly because of the itinerary and we weren't disappointed Embarkation was log winded with flights, security checks etc but went as smoothly as possible. Disembarkation was very good, our bags were taken from our cabin & next time we saw them was at Gatwick, we were able to stay on the ship until a few hours before our flights, compare this with Royal Caribbean who chuck you off the ship at 8:30am regardless of the time of your flight It's fair to say that Oceana is ready for her refit in December, some areas were refurbished on the last refit but a lot of the décor is dated, there is a lot of fake brown wood, lots of lights not working in various venues, saying that we found that the ship was friendly and comfortable, we could always find somewhere to sit inside and on deck our inside cabin was kept spotlessly clean by our lovely steward, again the décor was very dated but the bed was comfortable and there is lots of storage The food was excellent, we enjoyed our meals in the restaurant where I had the most amount of vegetarian dishes to choose from I've ever seen, the buffet was also good with lots of fresh salads, we also eat in Le Jardin and the Beachouse which again was excellent The resident headliners on Oceana are the best we've seen, the lady comedian and magician was very funny, the singer Anna Hawkins was absolutely brilliant. Both guest speakers were interesting and my wife enjoyed her art class, there are lots of quizzes and activities to take part in if you want to The crew were friendly and worked hard, no complaints about the service We didn't do any excursions so can't comment on those Dubrovnik- used the free shuttle bus to the old town and took the cable car for amazing views over the city and bay, the old city is interesting but very busy Venice- took the ferry service straight to St Marks Square then followed the yellow & white signs back to Piazzale Roma where you can get the people mover back to the ship Hvar- beautiful place, tender boat from the ship, picturesque harbour and town, walked up to the castle where the views are stunning Split- another lovely port, spent some time in the walled city and climbed the tower where you are rewarded with views of the city, then spent some time on the beach not much sand but good for a paddle and had a nice lunch overlooking the sea Valletta- Is a lovely city built out of warm sun coloured limestone, we caught a public bus to the ancient city of Mdina which was very interesting, cost a couple of euros on the bus Civitavecchia- port for Rome which we have done before so had a look around not much to see and a bit scruffy Ajaccio- went to the beach and swam in the clear blue sea! it's round the headland from the ship, the town it's self is pretty with interesting squares and streets Naples- big and busy city with mad drivers! took a ferry to Sorrento which took about 40mins, you get the ferry from the dock to the left of the ship Messina- you need to go out of Messina to see a better side of Sicily, there is a square with a clock tower but it's not an attractive place with a lot of graffiti and rubbish We really enjoyed our cruise and would like to sail on Oceana again after her refit, there was the right amount of shore time and time to relax on the ship Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
This was my third cruise with P and O but first time on Ventura,I have to say that I am finished with P and O .The Ventura is so dated very tired looking furnishings the superior balcony was terrible 2 small televisions that you had to ... Read More
This was my third cruise with P and O but first time on Ventura,I have to say that I am finished with P and O .The Ventura is so dated very tired looking furnishings the superior balcony was terrible 2 small televisions that you had to strain your neck to seethe very poor quality films that were on offer,the deck-chairs on the so called superior balcony were a disgrace old and filthy.The cushions on the settee were flat dead, shower was good. Food in restaurant was ok nothing special Ollys Glass House was fantastic as was Sindhu.Staff were so glum especially at Pizza outlet no smiles no hellos or welcomes.Marks out of 5 Food 3 Entertainment 2 Superior cabin 1 Overall Ventura experience 1. The captain was not evident on ship ,movies on ship shown in a make shift theatre so if someone sat in front of you then its quite literally curtains. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
My wife is a seasoned cruiser, having been a top act on Cunard in the 1970s and 1980s.I've been cruising for about 14 years ,having tried quite a few of the cruise lines. Our friends ( who came along with us) are also regular ... Read More
My wife is a seasoned cruiser, having been a top act on Cunard in the 1970s and 1980s.I've been cruising for about 14 years ,having tried quite a few of the cruise lines. Our friends ( who came along with us) are also regular seasoned cruisers. Although , of course, the four of us have different tastes in food, wine, entertainment etc we are agreed that the P&O Azura was the worst cruise any one of us have been on. The allocated restaurant's food was poor, the regular lunch buffets even worse. To get a decent meal it was necessary to pay extra to eat in one of the special restaurants, which were much better.Our allocated restaurant for 'freedom dining' for which we had booked a table for the 4 of us, kept asking us to share tables and sometimes meant we had to go elsewhere .The breakfast buffets were second rate, with toast as hard and cold as it can be, and the food choice fairly standard but sad and tired looking. The wine in most of the venues were not up to much ( except in Olly's 'The Glass House' which had some really good wines and good food) . The wine waiters were mstly useless, lacking knowledge of wine. The restaurant waiters, though nice pleasant kids , knew little about food, and seemed under trained. They were polite with lots of 'please' and 'thank yous' and repeated enquiries whether we were enjoying the meal, but seemed to be raw recruits. The cabins, though adequate, were tired, the carpets well past their sell by date with ingrained dirt, the bathrooms poorly patched up in places. The bathrobes supplied were ghastly , thin and felt cheap . The ship was ran more akin to a down-market holiday camp ; noise and lots of shouting from the cruise staff substituting for quality & enjoyment. Throughout P&O spent copious amount of time selling, selling ,selling. Selling specialist restaurants, selling ship's tours, even selling entrance to a sail away party ! Selling all manner of things by leaflets to the cabin, by staff walking round the restaurant pushing this or that. Endless selling. The Wi-Fi facility was adequate but ,as with most cruise ships, very expensive. Some of these quibbles may sound OTT but the price of our cruise was comparatively expensive, so it just isn’t on to then have to pay for things that should have been provided in the cruise price. Two really good things; my wife used room service extensively and the steward that brought it in was competent , prompt and superb; and our cabin steward was a star, the saving grace. Of the average entertainment available , one band ,in particular, was excellent, "Catch 22" , with an excellent energetic girl singer who covered all sorts of vocals and a terrific lead guitarist , Fortunately, the itinerary was excellent, just what we were seeking. As you can imagine , none of the four of us are in the least happy with P&O and chances are we'll avoid them and never use them again. in summary : disapointing and just not good enough. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We chose this cruise for our 50th Anniversary, we've been on the Azura before & enjoyed ourselves. Our cabin was lovely, food & entertainment fantastic, The Entertainments Team lead by Benne worked so hard, so much ... Read More
We chose this cruise for our 50th Anniversary, we've been on the Azura before & enjoyed ourselves. Our cabin was lovely, food & entertainment fantastic, The Entertainments Team lead by Benne worked so hard, so much energy. The Sail Aways were exciting & got people into the swing of things. Staff all very helpful & understanding. Great choice of food in the Buffet, so much. Varied menu in the Dining Room, always steak or chicken available if menu not to choice. We enjoyed getting off of the Ship & seeing the lovely places. We didn't go on any excursions this time & just did our own thing. We didn't manage to go ashore at Santorini as on that day we were very tired, w saw the donkey's waiting to take people up the steep trail to the top and the cable car but having read that Santorini isn't very suitable for wheelchairs, thought best not to attemp it. Went to Art Classes on the Ship on Sea Days which was fun. Steve Richards the Artist wad great & very willing to share his knowledge. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We decided on this cruise for the ports of call, and it was great choice. September can be dodgy with the sun/rain, but this was sunshine all the way, with temperatures around the mid 20's. This was our first time on Azura but we have ... Read More
We decided on this cruise for the ports of call, and it was great choice. September can be dodgy with the sun/rain, but this was sunshine all the way, with temperatures around the mid 20's. This was our first time on Azura but we have been on the sister ship Ventura, but we did find Azura a more happy place - not sure why but it might have something to do with the Captain - a great bloke. Yes if you look hard you can see the ship is showing some signs of age and work on maintenance is visible but no complaints. We decided on an inside cabin as we wanted no excuse to get involved (the balcony is a great excuse not to go anywhere) and we did - my wife joined the choir and I learned how to juggle... We were allocated the main dining room first sitting and a table of 8. It is a great way to get to know your table mates but it does depend where about's in the dining room your table is as to how much noise there is - which in turn can determine how much of a conversation you can have across the larger tables. On a longer trip, I think the waiters do get to know you better and give a better service for it - I always think there is not enough vegtables in the normal meal and always ask for more - only needed to do this a couple of times and the rest was automatic. The only small thing with the food is that we found it lacking in change, the same stuff (although nice) for most meals. The ports of call on this cruise were excellent - not just the wonderful sun be the places we visited. The greek islands are a bucket list tick off. We only took two organised trips (both included drinking wine - not sure where that came from...) and can't fault the organisation or the standard of the guides, we had a great time. Entertainment - most of the shows we had already seen (Ventura) so we didn't go twice, but the ones that we did go and see were not of the normal standard that we expect - not sure why but we didn't generally enjoy them. We did visit Shindu and The Glass House (both have an extra charge) but the food is really good - and of course the service. Both embarkation and getting off were great - in fact embarkation was the best that we have had. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We went to celebrate a friends 50th birthday, far too impersonal everywhere you went there was constant queuing. The food was not good at all, some completely inedible....We had an inside cabin, so you get what you pay for I suppose, but ... Read More
We went to celebrate a friends 50th birthday, far too impersonal everywhere you went there was constant queuing. The food was not good at all, some completely inedible....We had an inside cabin, so you get what you pay for I suppose, but the Wifi didn't work, the TV was erratic, the air conditioning was appalling.....For such a big ship it feels very claustrophobic, the lifts take forever and are very small, the onboard entertainment was awful, the staff are helpful enough....The shore trip was the best part of the trip, as we left the ship!! Getting off upon reaching Southampton was nothing short of chaotic....Everyone trying to eat and leave at the same time is ridiculous. I tried to upgrade my cabin but no one seemed interested in assisting me with this...This was the first cruise I'd been on and probably the last...For the Ventura to be the P&O 'flagship' the rest of them must be awful..that's it really. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
This was a 2 night mini cruise to Guernsey from Southampton. i have been on other cruises and this 2 night one was billed as a break or a taster and it was a booze cruise and nothing else!!! the staff were rude and surly, I asked for ... Read More
This was a 2 night mini cruise to Guernsey from Southampton. i have been on other cruises and this 2 night one was billed as a break or a taster and it was a booze cruise and nothing else!!! the staff were rude and surly, I asked for help in the cabin and was told the deck manager would come and he never did, the telly didnt work and the food was dreadful. I am gluten free and my option one day was jelly or a minuscule meringue. There were no cups for breakfast Sunday morning so had to have water. I was so hungry Friday night I had to buy some chocolate to tide me to breakfast as nothing gluten free on offer. The muster was hampered by drunks shouting and yelling and blowing whistles. the only saving grace was the theater company who were excellent, great show. so if you want to drink lots then its the cruise for you but beware its poor beyond belief shame on you P and O Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Booked as a surprise treat for my friend who was 60 in August. Outside cabin was spacious and bed was very comfortable. All the staff very welcoming and nothing was too much trouble. Drinks reasonably priced and food was of excellent ... Read More
Booked as a surprise treat for my friend who was 60 in August. Outside cabin was spacious and bed was very comfortable. All the staff very welcoming and nothing was too much trouble. Drinks reasonably priced and food was of excellent quality. You could not fault the service on this boat and it is beautifully clean with hand sanitisers everywhere. Would definitely go on this boat again. Varied evening entertainment for all tastes. Older people and the infirm where looked after well. I booked this cruise through a local agent friend of mine and it was everything that I expected. The cost was excellent value as you have a choice of a la carte and buffet style dining. The staff made this cruise as very efficient friendly and well presented. On talking to them it is obvious that they are very well looked after by P&O and I think that makes that difference. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Having sworn never to cruise again with P&O and especially not on Oceana again, we found an itinerary that attracted us and decided to bite the bullet, and try Oceana again. I am very glad that we made that decision, as this cruise ... Read More
Having sworn never to cruise again with P&O and especially not on Oceana again, we found an itinerary that attracted us and decided to bite the bullet, and try Oceana again. I am very glad that we made that decision, as this cruise was a completely different experience to our last one! This was a 7 day cruise out of Malta, travelling up the Croatian coast to Venice and return. The itinerary was interesting, and in spite of some inclement weather, we enjoyed our ports of call and the overall cruise experience. Green beans were still the vegetable of choice in the dining room, but at least there was a slight change in that they mixed the beans with peas, but having said that, food in the dining room and buffet were improved from our last cruise in February 2016. Entertainment this time was great, with good variety and a positive attitude by the entertainment staff. The overall age of guests was much younger than on our last trip, and so we learned that an extended cruise out of Southampton is not for us, but we may even return to Malta next year and continue where we left off. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
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