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179 P&O Cruises Europe Cruise Reviews

We booked thise cruise very last minute, only a week prior to departure. The price we paid was very good and we opted forthe Select option and were lucky to be upgraded. Embarkation was swift, we were on board within 10 minutes of arriving ... Read More
We booked thise cruise very last minute, only a week prior to departure. The price we paid was very good and we opted forthe Select option and were lucky to be upgraded. Embarkation was swift, we were on board within 10 minutes of arriving at the terminal. The good: Meridian dining room was superb, excellent food and service. We did freedom dining and didn't have to wait more than 15 minutes for a table. We did brunch with a galley tour on our last sea day, this was out of this world. Food was fantastic and the tour really insightful. Fully reccommend it. Epicurian was pricey, but we did this as a treat and this was brilliant. Fine dining at its best. Quizzes and bingo were good fun. Sea Screen showed good films (despite some pucals missing from screem. Cabin was much bigger than I expected. The sail away from Bergen with our flags was fun and an experience not to forget. The cons: The shore excursions we bought were a shambles. Segway tour in Stavanger was 20 minutes short and ran by an unexperienced guide. Although the trip was fun while it lasted, for £69 per person it was terribly done. The Viking and Waterfall tour was an equal mess. Just 10 minutes spent on waterfall and after 2 hours on a coach we had just 30 minutes at the village. The tour hadto be cut short to get us back to ship on time and we missed out on archery and axe throwing. Very dissapointed. The buffet restaurant was poor quality, tiny and had a poor selection. Doesn't reflect the high standard in other areas. Beach House was a con. They charge per item (which were not very nice or has good as other areas) and add on a cover charge on top that is writted in extremely small print. Have a cover charge or pay individually. Not both. I paid £10 per day for wifi. One day there was no service at all and I was refunded. It was patchy at best for the rest of the time. I know it is satillite internet, but in the modern age and what they charge for it, it should be better. Decor of the ship is very old fashioned and beige. Definitely aimed at a certain clientele. I have only ever been on a NCL cruise previously and the decor and design was much better. Cleanliness - On NCL I saw people cleaning all day long, everything froom coffee machines to doors. I did not see that on Azura and both my husband and myself have came home with colds. TV was tiny and had limited channels. The on demand movies were good, but picture quality like watching a pirate movie. Could of done with tv boxsets. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
I was on this ship in 2018 and also had been on it in 2008. Over the ten years a number of items are in need of attention. In my balcony cabin, one of the high storage bins handle came off in my hand when I opened it. A small mat placed ... Read More
I was on this ship in 2018 and also had been on it in 2008. Over the ten years a number of items are in need of attention. In my balcony cabin, one of the high storage bins handle came off in my hand when I opened it. A small mat placed adjacent to the balcony door was curled up to the extent that it posed a significant tripping hazard. On my balcony, there was significant corrosion on the gunwale, the handrail was in need of sanding and varnishing and the lock on the balcony door was significantly corroded. Ten years ago P&O said that their tipping policy was to provide envelopes to allow customers to tip anyone they wished. That changed to the American style automatic tipping added to you bill - now at £7 per person per day! I told my cabin steward on day one that I would be tipping him personally and removed the automatic tipping at reception. I was very annoyed to receive a letter near the end of the cruise, which noted that I had removed the automatic tipping and inviting me to reinstate it. What really annoyed me was that this letter was not in an envelope and was hand delivered by the steward - a serious breach of customer confidentiality in my view. The staff were all great and helpful and that made up for some of the negatives. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Just returned from a cruise on the 23rd may from Southampton, shop was lovely , very clean , food was lovely especially the beach house but you had to pay a surcharge of £7.50 each but well worth the visit to be honest I think you should ... Read More
Just returned from a cruise on the 23rd may from Southampton, shop was lovely , very clean , food was lovely especially the beach house but you had to pay a surcharge of £7.50 each but well worth the visit to be honest I think you should be able to visit this restaurant free of charge as part of the holiday as it was not cheap to go on this cruise. The cabin was lovely and comfortable and staff were excellent could not fault it. However unless you are aged over 75yrs of age this ship was very boring as far as the entertainment, it was terrible, the itinerary was knit and natter, how to get rid of water retention, seminars on the war and more war, films then on id Dunkirk, Churchill , I am all for remembering what the elderly did for their country but I don't want to have it thrown down my neck on my holidays. The band symmetric were atrocious they should have put them overboard , no idea who auditioned them , had a tropical night and we thought this might be good, my god it was terrible the band were singing oh when the saints come marching in, I have never had this song played at any party never mind a tropical party, everyone gave up and called it a night it was so bad. P@O really need to get their act together for entertainment, you could not get in any of the 8.30 shows as all the old codgers would eat at 6.00 and then all sit in that theatres a good 1/2 hrs before the shows even started so you could never get a seat, they were rude and impolite to the crew , they expect some respect but obviously they need to learn to be respectful to their younger passengers, I am 56 but I felt like I was on my last legsNEver again on this ship Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We are reasonably well travelled ‘cruisers’ having done 120+ days on Cunard, 7 on MSC and 14 on P&O Britannia last year. The Britannia cruise, repositioning from the Caribbean to the UK in March 2017 was 100% fine and indeed we ... Read More
We are reasonably well travelled ‘cruisers’ having done 120+ days on Cunard, 7 on MSC and 14 on P&O Britannia last year. The Britannia cruise, repositioning from the Caribbean to the UK in March 2017 was 100% fine and indeed we have booked the same cruise for 2019. Anyway, this current P&O 7-day cruise was not quite what we and everyone else expected. Itinerary to be: Southampton (Friday), Sea Day (Saturday), Vigo, Lisbon, Oporto, Sea Day (Wednesday), Guernsey (Thursday), Southampton (Friday). The good points: Embarkation on the 4th was speedy at 12.30 and bags outside cabin by 1.30pm. Obstructed Outside View Cabin E502 (on deck 8) was 100% okay for this short cruise and kept very clean and neat by our unobtrusive cabin steward, Angelo. Food in Saffron Restaurant (Freedom Dining in the evening) was fine and as good as, and perhaps better, than that in Cunard’s Britannia restaurants. Alcohol is much cheaper than Cunard, as are speciality coffees etc., and all WITHOUT the disgraceful 15% auto service charge added. For example, a bottle of Californian Rose wine is £17.95 net on P&O, whereas it is 36$US + 15% on Cunard – exactly the same wine! Service was quick enough in the restaurant. Alternative dining? Sindu is first class for £20 per head and Glass House likewise, but cheaper. Did not try the Epicurean or Beach House on this voyage. Self-Service Buffet had a decent selection throughout the day – cheeses were better than on Cunard(!) according to Mrs F. and no problem with finding a seat, if one was prepared to walk a bit. Entertainment – standard cruise line stuff – guests including Berni Flint, Tony Wallace etc. Disembarkation on Friday 11th – rapid – we were in the car at 8.46am and on our way. The bad points! On Saturday 5th at around 9am the captain announced that the ship had ‘technical’ issues. As a result, Ventura would arrive in Vigo at noon rather than 9am on Sunday 6th, but leave later in the evening to compensate. All rather useless as it was a Sunday and Vigo is hardly the shopping and food capital of Europe. It then got rather more interesting as we would arrive in Lisbon on Monday 7th at noon, but now leave at 3am on Tuesday 8th as this would help compensate for missing Oporto completely on the Tuesday 8th. Now, apart from a very brief slow period on Saturday morning, Ventura managed to get up to 20 knots quite happily as Saturday went on! The 3am departure from Lisbon did not result in the majority of passengers tasting the dubious night delights of Lisbon, as you would expect, and was therefore a total waste of time, although the crew liked it as they disappeared off the ship at 10pm all heading for God knows where. Now for the exciting bit: Costa Mediterranea docked next to Ventura in Lisbon on the Monday shortly after our arrival at noon. It left early that evening after a half-day stop (probably more than enough for most passengers) and then proceeded to Guernsey arriving shortly after us on Thursday morning at 8am, having done another port call in between – could that have been Oporto we all wondered? Ventura then managed to arrive at Southampton, after leaving Guernsey on the Thursday afternoon), bright and early at 6am on Friday 11th ready for the turnaround and yes, closely followed by Costa Mediterranea again. So, in summary most of us poor souls reckoned Ventura never had any intention of going to Oporto and if they had announced that fact before departure, many passengers would have demanded their money back and cancelled. As to what the problem really was? A deadly silence, and rather noticeably the officers were conspicuous by their absence from the public rooms over the 7 days. In summary – a poor effort by P&O, poor communication & no recompense in any form offered such as a free drinks session or whatever. On the plus side, at under £100 per day each, it was a bargain, but no excuse for not going where P&O advertised. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
This was only our second cruise, having went on our first one with Royal Caribbean last year. Booking onto ship was easy. Cabin was B311 which was next door to service area, so at 0600 every morning was awoken by the cabin staff starting ... Read More
This was only our second cruise, having went on our first one with Royal Caribbean last year. Booking onto ship was easy. Cabin was B311 which was next door to service area, so at 0600 every morning was awoken by the cabin staff starting their day. A smoke detector on Deck 15 exploded on the first day, which meant that maintenance staff were working on starboard side for the whole week, which was a pain. On the second day the Captain said that due to issues we would not calling into Porto. No other communication was given. This was very disappointing, both because the visit was cancelled, and an alternative was not on offer, but also because apart from that initial pipe, no other info was given. Even on the Bridge Report at the end of the trip, it was not mentioned. Vigo was nice, Lisbon lovely. Guernsey too, an age to get off and back on the ship due to tenders being needed. All in all 3 hours was spent getting on and off. Again not a good experience. Cabin (inside) was fine. Overall the ship seemed rocky to me. Cabin staff were brilliant. Food was good, although service in the restaurants was a bit slow, due to staff cutbacks I am guessing. Entertainment was not good, maybe catering for the majority of 9lder folk on board. I loved my first cruise with RC, not so much with P&O. Probably not recommend them. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
This was a first time cruise for us and the main reason for this choice was to be able to visit 4 ports. Apparently there was a technical issue with the ship, which meant that we would not be stopping at Oporto in Portugal. We also ... Read More
This was a first time cruise for us and the main reason for this choice was to be able to visit 4 ports. Apparently there was a technical issue with the ship, which meant that we would not be stopping at Oporto in Portugal. We also didn't go ashore in Guernsey, this was because of the ridiculous amount of time waiting for a Tender. We still have not had any clear answer of what the technical issue was and I am presently waiting for a reply from P&O. I wrote to them to ask why no compensation has been offered for the missed port. Pretty sure I will either get no reply or if they do reply, they will simply fob me off with some small print from their terms and conditions and will state that they don't ever give refunds or compensation. As this was out first ever cruise, we didn't know what to expect. However, before we booked the cruise I did read lots of reviews about various cruise ships. On nearly all the reviews people were saying that being on such big ships we would hardly notice any movement. We were really shocked by the amount of rolling around while we were at sea. It was quite bizarre because the sea was so calm. I can't believe that this was a normal amount of movement and I wonder if it could have been due to the technical issue the ship had. The movement was so strong that most of the swimming pools were closed a good number of times during the cruise. this was a bit of a spoiler for me because I wanted to go for a swim every day. I did take some video footage showing the swimming pools sloshing about and being covered with nets to stop people using them. I would love to be able to speak to some seasoned cruisers that travelled on this particular cruise to find out if they felt this was normal. My girlfriend really suffered with sea sickness during our cruise and it has put her off ever going on another cruise. I am trying to convince her that perhaps this wasn't how it would be next time (unless of course the sea is rough). If anyone can shed any light on this matter or even if anyone knows exactly what the technical issue was, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to email me: chris.lewis143@ntlworld.com During our cruise we had an inside cabin which was very adequate for us. The cabin was very clean and we were well looked after by our cabin steward Colin. We choose freedon dining, which again was perfect for us and it meant that we could plan our dining around all the entertainment. The food was really nice in the main buffet with loyts of variety and we also enjoyed the lovely food and excellent service in Saffron, which we used on two of our nights. The entertainment was superb. The singers and dancers obviously worked extremely hard every night putting on two shows each night. The visiting acts were also very good. Our overall experience of the service was excellent. Everyone seemed to be very polite and always had a smile for us. Would we go on this ship or another cruise? Not sure at this stage because we need to determine if we would experience the same amount of movement that we did on Ventura or whether this was an abnormal amount of movement due to the technical issue, bearing in mind that the sea was very calm. Obviously we would expect to feel some movement if the sea was rough. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We left Southampton a little later than planned and as it was our first cruise we were unsure as to what to expect but we were impressed with the ship. We fell behind schedule which the passengers were told was due to a 'technical ... Read More
We left Southampton a little later than planned and as it was our first cruise we were unsure as to what to expect but we were impressed with the ship. We fell behind schedule which the passengers were told was due to a 'technical issue' we lost the Oporto stop. We would have preferred P&O to be honest and not gloss over the issue and then forget it happened. We found out that one of the engines had broken down putting us three hours behind. As a result we had to stay in Lisbon longer for it to be fixed. I was horrified to read the reviews that said the same thing happened again a week later! It seems to be a common theme. The safety drill on the first day was a farce, 4 different crew members giving out different instructions and no-one knew what to do. We didn't know what to do but stand in a corner and watch but all we could think was, f this was a real emergency.... The service is mostly fantastic but a few people really let it down. We thought well everyone has a bad day but by the end we were raging at the way we were treated as it continued throughout the week. This included an attitude of 'well that's your problem' to simple queries. 'That's what it says on the sheet' in regards to asking about changes to the entertainment. If you like Bingo - be there in plenty of time. They refused to allow us to join in the bingo as they had too many people in the queue to buy tickets. We ran downstairs to the casino where they would sell us tickets and race back again before it starts - I really couldn't see the difference - it just caused bad feelings. Photography We had a few photos from the team, you take them off the shelf and they scan your card and everyone is happy....until the last black tie event. The queues go back down the corridor waiting for your orders and you don't just queue the once. You have to log into the machine, find your photo, add it to the basket and order it then come back a couple of hours later. We needed help at the machine but the photographer walked off halfway through and helped someone else so we went ahead and ordered the photo. I came back around an hour and a half later as I was worried we hadn't added the payment to the bill. I waited over half an hour in the queue to be told everything is fine and to come back in an hour and a half and the order will be ready and they will scan the card then. So I did this, the third time in the queue for 45 mins this time to be told there was no order and we'd missed a step at the machines. I was furious, that was our last evening this completely ruined it. Tips If this is your first time, prepare to get lost on board a lot!!! Everyone crowds around an A4 plan of the ship and not every lift goes to every deck. Avoid Costa at all costs - it's so bad, my grandmother got burnt on the hand by their stupidity and the next time we tried to use them, they scolded us, for causing them to bring the wrong order over to us- we were stunned! The restaurant food is fantastic, be warned if you share your table with others you will have to wait until everyone is seated and then ordered so your meal time could be a lot longer but then again we enjoyed doing this once or twice. The buffet food was a little limited on one night and I was hungry when I left but this was the exception. Avoid going at the same time as other people if you can as it's like a mad scrum for seats and food. It's a much more relaxed atmosphere but there is no in between of very formal or very casual. Guernsey/Tender Leaving the ship was very smooth, controlled and we felt safe, we had a senior member of the team driving and a member of the entertainment team keeping us informed. I actually quite enjoyed it. Coming back however.......the complete opposite as above, it was frightening and dangerous - we decided we'll never take a tender on a cruise again and I'm not nervous with water. The adrenaline and shaking afterwards took a while to subside. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
It seems fashionable today to rubbish the Carnival Corporation for incrementally dismantling and destroying the P&O brand. Sadly, this trend continues apace. In its race to reach the lowest common denominator, Carnival continues to ... Read More
It seems fashionable today to rubbish the Carnival Corporation for incrementally dismantling and destroying the P&O brand. Sadly, this trend continues apace. In its race to reach the lowest common denominator, Carnival continues to provoke negative comment from its unmerited loyal customers. Often with considerable justification. There is no point itemising P&O's death by a thousand cuts...much too painful...besides, Carnival is not remotely interested. As they say in Yorkshire - you cannot educate pork! Do not believe the advertising hyperbole, reduce your expectations, prepare to be underwhelmed, don't be surprised if the ship's engines break down resulting in a missed port, do not expect the advertised celebrity chef to appear on board and despite all of the preceding observations, you just might have a reasonable holiday. We did, but then we are part of Carnival's gang of unmerited loyal customers...no one to blame but ourselves! As they say in Yorkshire.... Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We chose this cruise because of it's itinerary and we thought we would try a no fly cruise, never again! Too slow and frustrating. There was apparently damage to the prop shaft thrust bearing so we had to lose a day to Cannes, with ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of it's itinerary and we thought we would try a no fly cruise, never again! Too slow and frustrating. There was apparently damage to the prop shaft thrust bearing so we had to lose a day to Cannes, with a stop over in Barcelona whilst a team repaired the said part, it meant an extra sea day with no additional activities laid on to make up for this. I found the staff on the whole to be very good, our room attendant Jesroy was courteous and meticulous. However some of the dining staff need to learn not be be condescending, I even felt the dining room manager during afternoon tea sneer at me as I asked for gluten free and onion free because of allergy and intolerance to these food stuffs - you would have thought I asked for the earth - I felt like I was an inconvenience. The general age of the clientele appeared to be of the older population which made the music choices and entertainment be for their tastes, whilst it was good, it did not reflect my need - so perhaps this is not the liner for me - I need one that appeals to younger people. The line is obviously well suited to disabled and those with additional needs as I noticed very good care and help of those who could not carry out their daily activities without help. The ship looks aging and in need of a refurbishment. I felt it did not represent value for money - drink packages are not available other than wine for dinner. This makes for a very expensive bill at the end of the cruise which is difficult to budget for. I am a little unhappy with the tipping/gratuities system, according to other passengers and other online sources there is a question as to whether some staff get enough of the tips and salary to be fair. It seems unless a department gets all excellents in the feedback the staff could get reduced payment - I do hope this is incorrect - as the pay for these jobs is low enough without the gratuities being cut from poor feedback which may not relate to how well they do the job but rather systems, or one individual. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We chose this cruise to med due to no flight and husbands disability’s needed wheelchair, unable to take scooter as booked wrong cabin so had to push husband around for a fortnight , annoying because scooter smaller than wheelchair , ... Read More
We chose this cruise to med due to no flight and husbands disability’s needed wheelchair, unable to take scooter as booked wrong cabin so had to push husband around for a fortnight , annoying because scooter smaller than wheelchair , explained this to p&o but not sympathetic , we had s superior deluxe balcony cabin plenty of room for scooter which we explained breaks up for ease. Therefore husbands independence totally ruined, also other passengers very mean and rude when we were in the lifts , lots of tutting, the nights turned into some sort of snob based black tie affected rude and ruthless ordeal , difficult to get seats in playhouse , entertainment low standard was strictly cruise not enough dance shows interview with type shows no variety second rate singing groups , we dined at sindu restaurant waitress rude , felt very rushed by her , food not that great, 1st and last cruise Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
My friend and I chose this cruise because we had previously been on a weeks cruise on the Ventura and thoroughly enjoyed it. This cruise visited some places where we had not previously been so we were looking forward to it. However it did ... Read More
My friend and I chose this cruise because we had previously been on a weeks cruise on the Ventura and thoroughly enjoyed it. This cruise visited some places where we had not previously been so we were looking forward to it. However it did not live up to our expectations.We opted for freedom dining and frequently had to wait as long as 40 minutes to be seated. The food was often disappointing. Ordered "pulled pork" for a starter and was given 2 deep fried meat balls on a bed of baked beans. It caused quite a lot of hilarity amongst fellow diners. On another occasion I ordered mussels for a starter. Given neither spoon, finger bowl nor a plate for the shells and to add insult to injury they were cold! A knife and fork to eat mussels? These are just two examples of the mediocrity of much of the food. However the food in the buffet restaurant was good. Some of the shore excursions did not give value for money. In particular Sights and Sounds of the Split Riviera was a complete misnomer. It being a Sunday there was a mass on in the cathedral in Trogir and we waited around for well over an hour. The itinerary could easily have been changed. We could have gone to Split first, then Trogir and then thewater mill. Instead we had about 15 minutes in Split where we were told that we could make our own way back tothe ship if we wanted. The trip to Taormina was very short and we only had time to stroll up the main street and back. Why the early return to the ship? We had to pay £16 for a tender to come ashore in Venice.Surely this should have been included. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We went with a party of 13 four children under 11 so that was the first issue they ( cousins) had too join different age clubs so the brother and sister had too stay together and the two cousins that really got on could not stay together ... Read More
We went with a party of 13 four children under 11 so that was the first issue they ( cousins) had too join different age clubs so the brother and sister had too stay together and the two cousins that really got on could not stay together so they registered but did not go so actually there was an awful lot for them too do as we sailed in Europe in April the weather let us down so the kids did go swimming but it was not the right weather.The entertainment in compared to the Royal Caribbean was very disappointing although Junk was good we ate every night in the oriental restraunt and the kids got exactly what they wanted from either menu I had an issue with my gammon on the bone one night where unfortunately I ended up eating a piece of plastic I got an apology and said it would be investigated Our balcony room was comfortable but we did have a horrible smell coming from our bath room nothing we sprayed to hide it worked overall for a modern ship there was no wow factor and unfortunately the last day the computer system went down so that was another issue it was a good break but I will be sticking to Royal Caribbean which I feel is better suited to my husband and i Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Overall we had an OK time on this cruise. I travelled with four teens 12-15. The weather was poor so outside activities were limited. The boys went in the pools a few times but not for long! The dining experience was generally ... Read More
Overall we had an OK time on this cruise. I travelled with four teens 12-15. The weather was poor so outside activities were limited. The boys went in the pools a few times but not for long! The dining experience was generally average. The food in the buffet was OK but not good. we found lots of dishes over cooked or dried out, maybe this was due to the level of repetition. The curries were good but the salad options were quite bizarre combinations. We had freedom dining and never waited more than 20 minutes for a 6 table. Once you were seated the service was average, the waiters were friendly but too busy and it was impossible to get drinks. Beach House was a nice change, the boys liked it more than I did. They had nachos and lava rock steak, the choices were quite basic for the extra charge. My friend and I went to the Limelight club, the meal was very good and the service excellent. The singer we saw was OK. Where it all fell down for us was the lack of activities and also lack of respect towards teenagers, Britannia advertises itself as a family ship yet the attitude towards Teens is poor. Firstly 12 year olds have to be signed in and out of a club which caters for 9-12 year olds. No chance my 12 year old was going there, we saw the club walking round the ship a few times singing songs etc. It is far too babyish for this age. Teens do have their own room but because 12 year olds are not allowed in and they didn't want to leave him the older ones didn't go. When we were signing the boys up the girl said to them 'whist you are in H2o if there is any criminal damage it will be reported' - This is before they have even stepped in! Not a way to endear Teenagers - lets just label them all as vandals!! The problem then was there was nowhere for them just to 'hang out', no arcade or kids lounge for all ages. The sports court closed every day at 6pm (why?) and adult activities were on there every day between 2-5. They would have played football all the time but were not allowed. The kids rep who told them to leave said it was too noisy for the little ones below?? Around the ship the kids reps were rude to them if they saw them and sad things like 'I hope you are not causing trouble' etc. They weren't - but they were bored and felt like P & O don't want teens on their ships. My boys love cruising but P & O lost my boys for life on this trip, 'Please don't make us go on P & O again' was what they said after the trip, which could have been solved by not having ridiculous rules and treating them like hooligans! Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
The ship was full, so c. 2000 passengers. I believe there were c. 150 kids on board, but they were almost unnoticeable - must have been kept occupied and away from the bulk of the passengers! Whilst the age range was mixed, I would say ... Read More
The ship was full, so c. 2000 passengers. I believe there were c. 150 kids on board, but they were almost unnoticeable - must have been kept occupied and away from the bulk of the passengers! Whilst the age range was mixed, I would say typical passenger was in the 60 - 80 age bracket. I am a regular with Royal Caribbean (RCCL) which, whilst not perfect, definitely ticks many of my boxes! We booked on this one at short notice of ony 2 days because the holiday we had been booked to go on was cancelled due to poor weather. Would I holiday with P&O again? On balance, probably not - no major flaws, but I think all the cruise lines have a particular style, cater to a particular audience, and for me that is RCCL rather than P&O. I don’t regret P&O as a last minute choice, however! Pros Great wine at reasonable price. Coke in bottles for £2.75. Champagne £7.75. They even had Cloudy Bay Sauvignon in the main dining rooms! Heinz ketchup/salad cream, Marmite, Kelloggs cereals in buffet - excellent. Magnums and Judes icecream on sale by pools - fab. Afternoon tea was excellent (but I prefer personal teapot, rather than long-stewed version served to all). Freshly made cakes and scones - it would be rude not to try them all!... Teacakes, crumpets and a hot savoury (e.g. sausage rolls) always on offer with afternoon tea. Real cream in all desserts - RCCL use artificial cream, which is horrid, so top marks to P&O. Minimal announcements to disturb the peace (unlike RCCL, who have lots, and repeat each one in several different languages) The organisation was excellent - for example, the process for leaving the ship and transfer to airport. Incredibly slick & easy, given they had 2k passengers to handle (including this one, who left her iPhone on the transfer coach. Staff were so kind, and went off to find it for me.) Cons Signs encouraged you to open doors to toilets in public areas with tissue - but usually no bins around to put tissues in! I don’t think I saw any staff cleaning the public toilets in the whole 10 day period - can’t get away from them on RCCL cruises! And they seemed to regularly be “out of service”. No crispy bacon at breakfast - stewed, with lots of white “stuff” oozing out. Only skimmed milk for breakfast - tasteless. Why no choice? Tours were expensive and not a great experience for me. I went on one that was 5 hours in all, and was squashed on the back seat, in the corner on a 53 seat bus - I couldn’t see anything at all! The tours were very much token “sightseeing” of key things - in a group of up to 53 it is almost impossible to hear what is being said by the tour guide, and the group can only go at the pace of the slowest person (usually with a walking stick) after long toilet breaks. Highly frustrating and unsatisfying. I cancelled the last two I had booked. I would have liked the option of more things to do and be active with e.g. Segway, things that kids would enjoy. Food in the main dining rooms was OK in quality, and I think catered for the tastes of a retired British population. Lots of very old-fashioned British options (e.g. collar of bacon, steak & kidney pudding). Food in the buffet was good, and was themed each evening. Lots of fresh salads, with a wide choice of dressings. I loved the cous-cous. I suspect many of the sauces (e.g. curry variants) were pre-made, jar versions - gloopy with thickener, inauthentic flavours. Edible, though. Daily roast was probably the best option. The entertainment was... uninspiring. The entertainment team didn’t even seem to enjoy it much themselves! We did a picture quiz one night (name the book/album cover) - they whizzed through it so fast, didn’t revisit questions at the end. Seemed keen to get it over and done with. I did bingo a couple of times - minimal explanation, very functional. Assumption was that the audience was regulars... which they probably were! It is much more of an “event” on RCCL ships - I positively look forward to it as a highlight (have “the t-shirt” and branded seal...), even though it is more expensive! The music and shows did nothing for us at all - although we enjoyed Manuel Martinez, the mildly abusive magician! They showed films once or twice a day - would have been good to have had some of them shown more than once. If you were off on a trip and it was during the day, you missed it. Staff in public areas were excellent - we had a “base” in the main atrium, and the staff quickly recognised us, what we drank and how we liked our drinks. Always lovely to be welcomed with a smile by someone who knows your name. I spent quite a lot of time in the Spa having treatments. If you enjoy massage etc worth looking out for their “offer of the day” - typically c. 1 hour for around £70. Great value - especially as their routine treatments are usually £100+. You can book the “offer of the day” for the next day from the previous evening. Didn’t use the gym, sauna or steam room. Didn’t use the shops - extensive range of jewellery, and quite a good range of clothes, snacks etc. But I’m not on a cruise ship to shop! The above are all personal niggles, and I’ve tried to be fair and point out where they really did deliver. Oceana provided exactly what they promised, the issue is that it wasn’t really what I wanted. But that’s not their fault. It was amazing value @ £960 per person for a balcony cabin, including return flight home and £110 each room credit, for 10 days). I wouldn’t go again by choice for me, but I can think of people I know to whom I would absolutely recommend a P&O cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Been on Azura before and did not fancy a long flight to USA / Caribbean so booked to sail from Southampton as its only a 4 hour drive. Since booking and trip they stopped you bringing alcohol on board at destination ports and put ... Read More
Been on Azura before and did not fancy a long flight to USA / Caribbean so booked to sail from Southampton as its only a 4 hour drive. Since booking and trip they stopped you bringing alcohol on board at destination ports and put gratuities up by 15% (over 100% in the last 5 years). Getting on was a pain, having to wait over 1 hour, watching coach guests with blue cards bypass many others with red cards. Quickly found everything else to be the same, same and same, don't P&O know how to improve? Ship is looking a tad tired now even though she is only 8 years old, rust is evident in many areas. Since last sailing on her I have been on a couple of NCL / RCI cruises and may have been spoiled, main gripe is buffet where guests are herded into one or tow of the four limited choice serving areas, more akin to a cattle market if you get your timing wrong, time to rip them out and make the open areas with a much better choice of foods. Cabin was a balcony on C deck, carpets tired and very rarely vacuumed by the steward, except towards the end as he wanted his tip. Bit of excitement in Civitaveccia where a scrawl blew in and hit Azura blowing her off her berth snapping the mooring lines, crew quickly restored order and she was moored on the opposite side of the port. biggest disappointment was comedian Dave Kristian, when he asked the audience "who said the first million was the hardest?" after a few comments from the audience, he replied as he was walking off " Hitler!!" disgusting from anyone let alone a paid entertainer.Have complained but felt I was being humored by the entertainments manager, another guest said he used the same "gag" on Britannia on a previous cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We chose it to search the Northern Lights. Erm well this ship should be labelled a Care Home at sea. Everything seemed to be geared towards the elderly. Ok let's start with the positives. The ship is classic classy and clean. ... Read More
We chose it to search the Northern Lights. Erm well this ship should be labelled a Care Home at sea. Everything seemed to be geared towards the elderly. Ok let's start with the positives. The ship is classic classy and clean. The itinerary great. The staff work extremely hard and very friendly. The negatives...average age 80. Lots of repeat cruisers as they love the ship. Now we're not in the bloom of youth being 63 and 70...but the ship lacked any element of fun. I've never seen so many miserable grumpy faces in one place and believe me hubby and I did try to interact with our fellow passengers. As for the entertainment, we'll all geared towards elderly. Classical concerts, harpists,pianists. Oh we did have a comedian and a wonderful tenor. That performed. But then we had one evening show of We'll Meet Again really!!!! Basically it was above unless you enjoy quizzes bingo and spending most of your time glued to your pint in the Lird Taverners, they were all squashed in there like sardines. Lots of people don't even venture off, well to be honest most couldn't. So we will not be cruising in this ship again, we should have heeded a couple of previous reviews that read the same. We felt so sorry for a few 20 somethings there were on there, they looked bored to tears and they were as were we. I've ever seen corridors look so empty at certain times. Pacific lounge where the Dj set up was mostly deserted and he was. Stuck in 60/70song choice time warp. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Oceana is a mixed bag, the public areas are nice, but many of the cabins are mean and utilitarian, and bsthrooms cramped. This at 12 days the shortest cruisecwe have done, i would not recommend this ship for a long cruise. We did ... Read More
Oceana is a mixed bag, the public areas are nice, but many of the cabins are mean and utilitarian, and bsthrooms cramped. This at 12 days the shortest cruisecwe have done, i would not recommend this ship for a long cruise. We did freedom dining for the first time and enjoyed it, no rushing for a fixed time, and we met lots of nice people. Food mainly good, i had lobster twice and dining service pleasant. A highlight of this cruise for us and other jazz fans was the resident Elena safanova trio. We arrangedcour evenings around their schedule. As previously the headliners theatre company impressed us. A bonus was the presence on board of emma and russell from Orca rescue. Emmas lectures on marine wildlife were good,and the chance to spot whales and dolphins with expert guidance was great. Port calls all good, and everywhere possible to arrange your own visit. we will revisit both cartagena and cadiz. Vigo is much underestimated by the rough guide, we thought its granite old quarter delightful, and the estuary setting is beautiful. But the main feature of this cruisecwas the dramatic weather. We expect a gale in biscay and we got one, lots of people were ill. However gales in the straits of gibraltar and so bad the ships itinerary had to be changed, that was a disappointment, we ve been in thatvpart of spain many times in march, and had lovely spring weather, not this time, it was WET. The cruise fulfilled our wish for acquick short notice getaway, but probably would not choose such a short cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
One of two ships departing Southampton for short New Year Cruise. First (and probably last) time P&O. Just did not meet expectations in several areas. Food choice and quality were average, Cafe Jardin (Marco Pierre White) was well ... Read More
One of two ships departing Southampton for short New Year Cruise. First (and probably last) time P&O. Just did not meet expectations in several areas. Food choice and quality were average, Cafe Jardin (Marco Pierre White) was well below average. I am surprised he would allow his name to be attached to such a poor venue. Stateroom A206 and Deck 11 required thorough springclean. Smelt of mildew for the duration of the cruise. Bars, maybe adequate for some guests but for anybody looking for a good cocktail bar, sadly lacking. After 1st day I drank in Tiffanys (Costa Coffee Venue) which served better drinks than other bars. The one positive were the friendliness of the crew barstaff and waitstaff. I did not visit shows so cannot comment on theatre entertainment. However a positive was the Jazz Trio playing nightly in Tiffanys. To the extent I thanked the pianist for what I described as the best Jazz pianist I have heard for years. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
I choose this ship as it was docking in Amsterdam, my husband and I had never been. The embarkation was ok a bit on the slow side. We found our cabin with balcony to be very small there was not room for my husband and I to be doing things ... Read More
I choose this ship as it was docking in Amsterdam, my husband and I had never been. The embarkation was ok a bit on the slow side. We found our cabin with balcony to be very small there was not room for my husband and I to be doing things at the same time we would just be in each other’s way so I stayed in bed while he was getting ready then we swapped. When we booked we requested a table for two at the atrium restaurant but to our horror we were sat with another couple when complained to restaurant manager he didn’t want to know so we complained to reception they said the complaint goes to restaurant manager who never did anything about it, this ruined our holiday as the other couple were not very friendly. I must mention the poo smell around the boat and toilets were blocked up and out of order which meant a lot of queuing. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We had never been in a Christmas Cruise before and thought it would be magical. The cruise itself was nice but as for Christmas Spirit it was lacking. The crew wearing santa hats and a 20 minute carol service by officers and crew doesnt ... Read More
We had never been in a Christmas Cruise before and thought it would be magical. The cruise itself was nice but as for Christmas Spirit it was lacking. The crew wearing santa hats and a 20 minute carol service by officers and crew doesnt make what I expected a christmas cruise to be, especially when you consider the price. Two places we visited had a long walk to the entrance of the dock and no transport was provided. When this was mentioned to the crew member we were told that she could walk this in 15 minutes or so minutes. Not really interested in what a fit person could walk it in. Another Port we were advised it was. 'Long walk' to the town. We didn't go ashore there at all as no transport was provided again. I wouldn't do another Christmas cruise when you consider you could do two cruises for the price paid. The Oriana definatey needed a little tender loving care. Some of the ceiling tiles in the crowsnest where either dropping or being held up with tape. Dining was good, the food imaginative, well presented and cooked. The headliners were okay, not the best we had seen and there was no crew show which was disappointing. Entertainers were good, nothing earthshattering. The crew were helpful but did seem a little bored with everything. The television choices werent good. The larger ships have choices of tv programmes and films in the tv. Daytime activities were very limited and if you didn't want to go to the pictures but I play bridge so that was a something. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
we chose this cruise for a relaxed christmas break,the food was of a good standard, up until christmas dinner, and anyone looking forward to good christmas roast would be very disappointed we got a marco white idea of limited minute turkey ... Read More
we chose this cruise for a relaxed christmas break,the food was of a good standard, up until christmas dinner, and anyone looking forward to good christmas roast would be very disappointed we got a marco white idea of limited minute turkey and limited vegetables. Entertainment considering it was christmas and new year was hit and miss,there were a couple of old singers the tassimo club was empty new year eve proberly due to records only being played. there're some reviews complaining the lack of dress code however to be there were to manyblack tie nights 1 take the opinion that holidays are a relaxed affair if people want to be eleltist try cunard not everyone wants to conform to this code. Overall the cruise was ok however,the cost of the cruise for the christmas period did not warrant the extra cost or match up to cruises outside of this period. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
This should have been a fantastic Christmas cruise with overnights in Denmark, Norway and the Netherlands, with a day in Belgium. What we actually got were overnights in Denmark, Norway and Belgium. I booked the cruise as I wanted ... Read More
This should have been a fantastic Christmas cruise with overnights in Denmark, Norway and the Netherlands, with a day in Belgium. What we actually got were overnights in Denmark, Norway and Belgium. I booked the cruise as I wanted christmas away and to see my friends in amsterdam over the christmas period, had Amsterdam not been on the places to visit I would not have booked. The Aurora is a beautiful little ship with excellent bars and restaurants. She has a slightly quirky layout and not all decks take you to where you think you are going, for example both the Medina and Alexandria Restaurants are on deck 6 but to access the Alex you have to go up to 7 and then back down again. Where the ship did score points with me was with the cabin, mine was a single birth facing forward on A deck - perfect for the single traveller. The service on board is good but although owned by Carnival is not White Star unlike Cunard. House Keeping does a good job but you cannot get the laundry back the same day, once again unlike Cunard. What was also noticed was the dress code they have on board, true at time wearing a jacket on a port night or last night can be an issue, but some dressed down on sea nights. The entertainment which was provided by the headliners was excellent and they performed some of the best show afloat I have seen and all were keen and eager. Regrettably the comic that was on, had not updated his act since the 1970s and some comments could now be regarded as unsuitable. Copenhagen at Christmas is awesome and the Tivoli gardens are worth a trip to – they ooze Christmas. Oslo was good but the first day we had fog, it was felt though that some tours could have been done to be a bit longer as it was not possible to view everything in the museums we visited. After Oslo things went downhill. Christmas was good with Santa coming to see us. Later we had an excellent meal and carols etc. Boxing day the atmosphere changed - the sad thing is it did not need to. We should have been going to Amsterdam and even as late as Christmas day the program for the 26th showed arriving in Amsterdam. We were told at 10 AM that due to weather we could not call but would have another full sea day before an overnight In Belgium. Nobody would disagree with the cancellation due to the weather etc, but P&O make a habit of this, on the previous cruise there had been the same issue. Common sense would have been to have cancelled Amsterdam in favour of Rotterdam (run tours to Amsterdam from there), but this was not considered. Belgium was felt to be a bit of a let-down and some felt that if we had docked in the UK we would have bailed out. It was also noted that the ferry from Hull made Rotterdam ok. Would I do a P&O Cruise again – maybe but I do have concerns as stated above. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We chose this cruise because of the Itinerary and we have cruised with P&O many times before. Dining arrangements have changed over the years with the advent of Freedom Dining which we tried once but changed back to Club dining as I ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the Itinerary and we have cruised with P&O many times before. Dining arrangements have changed over the years with the advent of Freedom Dining which we tried once but changed back to Club dining as I don't like having to have a pager at peak periods. With prefer second sitting at 8:30pm as it allows time when returning from ashore. We have always preferred a table with 6 - 8 persons and the restaurant managers have always provided us with like minded and interesting people to share with. This was not the case this year as we had a table to ourselves and several other larger tables had people missing a lot of the time. Whilst I appreciate some guests were visiting other restaurants it appears freedom dining was the main cause of this cultural change. The ship takes a bit of getting use to in terms of layout. The choice of Beer or Larger can be frustrating in terms of what is types are sold in different bars and in some only small bottles are sold at inflated prices. The Staff were friendly and the entertainment was good. Access to the various cities from the ports of call was easy whether going on one's own or choosing an excursion. Whilst Zeebrugge does not rate high on visitors list like Brugge I was keen to see the Memorial to the Royal Navy and Royal Marines at Zeebrugge together with St George's walk given that it will be 100 years ago on St George's 2018 that the blocking of the canal entrance took place with it supporting raids there and Ostend for which 11 Victoria Crosses were awarded. Knowledge of this action seemed lacking from crew members I spoke to. The shuttle bus service to Blankenberge was appreciated as an alternative visit to Brugge. Unlike other Cruise Ships I have been on there was also a lack of interesting Lectures or talks whilst at sea. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
- lack of discernment from program director in selecting the appropriate movies at certain days or to speicif crowds. We noticed that in Christmas day. Although we don't celebrate Christmas, many of the fellow passengers attended the ... Read More
- lack of discernment from program director in selecting the appropriate movies at certain days or to speicif crowds. We noticed that in Christmas day. Although we don't celebrate Christmas, many of the fellow passengers attended the mass on Christmas day, and were presented later on the same day with a movie called showing scenes of pornography and sex right at the very few initial minutes, worst yet, the movie was put into the family activities, in which young children were present. We felt very uncomfortable while inside the theater and had to leave. - while the house keeping staff was good and up to par, the restaurant staff at medina was not friendly at all, did not care for a smile, or to captivate the guests. Rather, they only performed their job mechanicaly, with a judgemental look for certain guests. We would expect friendly waiters and waitresses, with a genuine smile, and definately lot of carisma. - due to weather conditions the visit in Amsterdam was canceled, we understand, however the tv channel which loops The tours for each of the original destination stops was not re-edit, so Amsterda tours were still being shown on tv throughout the cruise, only to cause more frustration and to remind us what we missed there. We would suggest re-editing the tv prgram immediatly should certain destination stops become unnatainable. This eliminates unecessary frustration. - in the same subject, when the stop in Amsterdam was canceled, the captain re-routed the cruise, adding 2 extra days in the sea, all guests were without mobile signal for at least another 48 hours. considering many guests did not have a way to communicate with their family and friends waiting for them in Amsterdam, or even cancel previous travel arrangements, internet signal should had been provided as a courtesy, however it wasn't. The only way for guests to do it, was to pay a fee out of pocket for a day service of internet. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Great value cruise chosen to get away in December. Embarkation slow and there was very little time to get ready for muster stations. Seas were very rough for the first 2 days and on the second evening we were hit by a 100 mph plus ... Read More
Great value cruise chosen to get away in December. Embarkation slow and there was very little time to get ready for muster stations. Seas were very rough for the first 2 days and on the second evening we were hit by a 100 mph plus side wind. The ship listed badly with lots of beakages and injuries. The crew coped well and had to turn the ship back for around 20 minutes until it was safe to resume course. A number of us spent the night on deck 7 as cabins on decks 10 to 14 were swaying so badly. It was a relief to dock in Lisbon! Lisbon, Cadiz and Valencia are great places to visit but we could not dock in Ibiza due to the high winds. Gibraltar was excellent. I cannot fault the staff who were great in all the bars and especially in the restaurants. Entertainment was fair but not as good as on some of the Royal Caribbean ships. All in all a great value cruise but it causes me to question the use of Southampton for a winter departure. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
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