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56 P&O Cruises Europe Cruise Reviews

This was booked as a short family cruise, when we found there was no Cunard alternative for our dates. Thank God it was short! The ship is only about 20% bigger than the Queen Elizabeth, but has TWICE the passengers crammed on board ... Read More
This was booked as a short family cruise, when we found there was no Cunard alternative for our dates. Thank God it was short! The ship is only about 20% bigger than the Queen Elizabeth, but has TWICE the passengers crammed on board - and half the crew/staff. OK, Cunard are in a different league but even so, we did not expect 'Butlins' on the water. EVERYTHING about the ship and the cruise screams 'cheap' and 'cut-back'. You even have to PAY for a glass of water in any of the bars! The cabins (there's no way you can call them State rooms) are absolutely miniscule. Our 'family' room for four, was a standard twin room with two extra beds crammed in. Within 20 minutes of being on board, I asked for a better room and was told there WERE no better rooms... I asked for a refund, and to be allowed to get off. Clearly this could not happen. The entertainments were low-grade social club acts, a DIRE comedienne who made NOBODY laugh, but everyone cringe. Even the duo in the so-called 'adults' Metropolis bar - it had loads of kids in it - were just a karaoke act - not even very good. The main ship dance floor is the size of the average lounge at home, and even that was just CD's being operated by disgruntled staff. There were FAR too many people on the ship and it couldn't cope. Restaurant waiting times were up to an hour, getting a drink at any bar was an evening event in itself and the 300 seat theatre was a joke - 3000+ passengers. We did not get to see ONE show. A family cruise? Yes, lots of kids. That's fine - we have two. We didn't expect the open-to-all cinema to be showing 15 and even R rated movies at 11.00 in the morning. Complaints were made about the EXTREMELY loud 'F' words coming from a particularly violent film every other word. Nothing was done about it. Daytime activities? Quizzes and bingo. Service? Extremely slow, sometimes completely ignored or orders forgotten, or wrongly made. Several of the crew and ents. staff openly said it was the WORST ship they have ever worked on and admitted that when the cruises are for families, the quality and costs are cut way back. It showed. Conclusion? DON'T ever travel on the Ventura unless you are happy with a floating cheap holiday camp. It costs a fair bit more, but we will be going back to Cunard from now on. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
Having just returned from our worst cruise ever on board Oriana I feel people need to know what to expect, she is an old ship and a very noisy one especially in during dinner in the restaurant but that is the least of your worries. We ... Read More
Having just returned from our worst cruise ever on board Oriana I feel people need to know what to expect, she is an old ship and a very noisy one especially in during dinner in the restaurant but that is the least of your worries. We did a 3 night mini cruise to Guernsey and Bruges which was no better than a P&O ferries booze cruise, now don't get me wrong, I enjoy a drink and dance into the small hours but when there is rowdy hen parties and stag do's on board all drunk and displaying distasteful behaviour you will understand that this wasn't a typical cruise although how they managed to get drunk is beyond me as it takes about 30 minutes to receive a drink from rude, dull, mute staff, service is beyond a joke. Dinner was terrible with no presentation and we didn't attend on the final night as it wasn't worth the effort and chose to eat in Bruges some decent food, yes, decent food!! something that is not available on Oriana, however,partially warmed up left overs are aplenty and eaten by drunk revellers at midnight. I could write on and on negatively but I'm sure you get the picture, when I complained about things that happened on board and pointed out that I would go back to sailing 5* with Celebrity I was told that they cant compete at that level and don't try to. Disgusted in P&O !!!! you have lost 8 customers. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
If this was someone's first attempt at designing a cruise liner then I would understand some of the flaws. It appears to be designed to leave groups of people huddled waiting to get to their destination. The lifts are beyond ... Read More
If this was someone's first attempt at designing a cruise liner then I would understand some of the flaws. It appears to be designed to leave groups of people huddled waiting to get to their destination. The lifts are beyond description and on the rare occasion we managed to get in one the dissatisfaction of fellow travellers was palpable. We paid extra to eat in the Epicurean which was a sound decision. Food and service excellent, but at a price over and above what we had already paid. Likewise the Market Cafe provided a good place to lunch and it was easier to catch a lift going down rather than battle up to deck 16. Here the food was well presented but service was very slow and, of course, you have to pay for it. Dinner the second night in the Meridian almost defies description. My starter was so bland I forgot what I had ordered and the main course contained both tinned peas and carrots and if the chicken had fallen on the floor it would have bounced! The madeira sauce was a small ramekin of chicken gravy. Dessert was no better. I opted for the safety of ice cream which was already half liquid by the time it arrived. P & O appear to be strangers to hand sanitation. We saw very few hand cleaning points. The Meridian but not Epicurean had one. There was nothing on leaving or re-joining the ship. I am used to seeing machines at every turn on other cruise lines and as I have to make use of the hand rails, I am acutely aware of the transfer of virus via the hard surfaces. For a ship this size it must have the smallest balconies afloat! The cabin was smaller than expected but adequate and, as usual, the cabin steward worked hard and kept it clean and tidy. Guernsey was a delight and the highlight of the weekend. We chose this cruise as a 'taster' for P & O who we hadn't cruised with before. Thank goodness we only chose a weekend!! Needless to say we won't waste our time including this cruise line in any future searches. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
After cruising more than 15 times I like to think that I can judge what's good and what's bad. Almost every aspect of this cruise was awful. The check in at Southampton was slow and manned by rude miserable sour face staff. I was ... Read More
After cruising more than 15 times I like to think that I can judge what's good and what's bad. Almost every aspect of this cruise was awful. The check in at Southampton was slow and manned by rude miserable sour face staff. I was not very happy at the way they spoke to group member who booked this cruise. Lets just say if it had been me she barked at she would have got more than an earful from me in return. If these "staff" are so unhappy with the job then leave and give someone else a chance to shine. Things did not get any better when we got on the ship with female crew barking at us after they overheard us say that we would just go and drop our bags in our stateroom. Yet again if this is an example of P & O at its "best" then its no surprise that more and more people choose more American Cruise lines. The buffet food was rather bland and was never hot. We disliked the way that they had closed most of the buffet down and were only letting one person in at a time. We do not like to stand in line to get some food so we decided to opt for room service. We were shocked to find a large selection of items on the menu had prices next to them We have never had this on any cruise we have done before and we found that this was the theme all over this ship where anything they could get away with charging for they did. Felt more like a cash cow than a passenger. As we were in a group of 8 we had a single table at first seating well lets just say we wish we had opted for anytime as our waiter stank of BO. This carried on every night of the cruise despite a complaint being made to the reception staff. Bar service was painfully slow in fact on the second night we ordered drinks in the Theatre and the time from the first drink arriving till the last drink arriving at our seats spanned a time of over 40 minutes it took so long the show was over before the last drink arrived. The food in the restaurant was rather bland and seemed to be of poor quality. Steaks were very thin cut and most food lacked any form of seasoning. I did try the buffet one lunch time for a salad and decided against any dressing as you had to move the skin out of the way to get the dressing. Again this seemed to be an on-going theme in the buffet with hot food not very hot and cold items not very cold. The one show that we did watch was an experience not to be repeated as it was that "singers and dancers" last show together. That will be a blessing for any future passengers on this ship. I will say than one of them could sing and dance and he did look like Neil Patrick Harris. Found the dress code to be rather out of date when you could not drink in the piano bar without full evening wear on. We were actually refused service even when another member of the group went up to order drinks for us he was told that if the drinks were for us he would not be served. I asked to speak to the Hotel Manager and the bar staff did not even bother to do this. I did notice that this ship is looking tatty and uncared for in some areas with ripped carpets and rust stains. The only shining star on this short cruise was our cabin steward. Our room was cleaned within 10 minutes of us leaving the room even for a quick coffee and Danish for breakfast. In fact he is the only member of the crew that we did tip and I was so annoyed at the poor slow service I had all auto tips removed. Would we cruise P & O again NEVER. Would I recommend P & O to anyone NO WAY as there in no-one I dislike that much. I would go as far to say that P & O should maybe rethink some of their attitudes as more and more people want informal "fun" cruising Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
This was my 13th cruise to date and although previous experiences cruising with P&O have been excellent, unfortunately the same cannot be said of this cruise. Embarkation - Although we were given a boarding time of 2pm, it was some ... Read More
This was my 13th cruise to date and although previous experiences cruising with P&O have been excellent, unfortunately the same cannot be said of this cruise. Embarkation - Although we were given a boarding time of 2pm, it was some 2.5 hours before we were able to embark. Once on board, there was a lack of direction and communication as to where the cabins were situated or where the lifts were. We simply had to get on with it so to speak and find our own way around. Facilities - there was a lack of toilets throughout the ship. They were difficult to find and when we were able to find a toilet, many were out of service! Even disabled toilets (of which there were very few) were repeatedly out of service, and for a lengthy period of time! There was an absence of soap in many toilets too! So much for P&O advocating personal hygiene and endeavouring to keep bacteria at bay! Food - We were allocated the Meridian restaurant for freedom dining each evening and were disappointed with the quality of food served there. In general the food was poor and certainly not what I have been accustomed to when sailing with P&O. The buffet lacked choice and was far from nutritious! The staff, in respect of the waiters in the Meridian restaurant always seemed miserable and were extremely unhelpful. Food service in the restaurant was slow for the most part, which invariably meant that we were unable to get to other venues such as the theatre or The Live Lounge early enough to be seated for a show! Entertainment - Poor. The theatre was too small, which often meant we missed shows through there being no vacant seats. Ship - Although a brand new ship, this ship lacked the wow factor we had assumed Britannia would have, being P&O's flagship cruise liner. We did an organised tour of the ship with two members of the entertainment team. We were advised that the gym opened at 6am. As such, on our first day at sea, my daughter and I went to the gym for 6.30 only to be waiting outside for half an hour as the gym did not in fact open until 7! Shouldn't the staff conducting tours be well informed as to opening and closing times of particular venues?! The gym in itself lacked equipment and was very small for a ship of such size and magnitude. The gym was poorly situated giving a side view of the sea. This made me disorientated when using the treadmills and other cardiovascular equipment. As with other ships in P&O's fleet, the gym would have been better situated at the front of the ship. Ports - although the ports visited were absolutely beautiful, trying to disembark was not always so pleasurable! At our first port of call, we were advised that all passengers wishing it disembark would need to be issued with tickets for the shuttle bus as we were not allowed to walk along the port and had to be transported into the town. Trying to get a ticket was a complete nightmare! This meant having to wait hours to disembark which impinged on our sightseeing! In summary the cruise was somewhat disappointing to say the least! The Norwegian fjords were breathtaking, however the ship itself failed to impress. I will not be cruising on Britannia again and feel cheated in respect of value for money for this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
We were so disappointed with the trip we have just come back from on the brand new Britannia liner. my wife is disabled and whilst the accommodation on the boat was fine for our needs, moving around the boat via the lifts which were ... Read More
We were so disappointed with the trip we have just come back from on the brand new Britannia liner. my wife is disabled and whilst the accommodation on the boat was fine for our needs, moving around the boat via the lifts which were too small and too few was very difficult, we witnessed many people struggling with the lift service and the volume of people trying to use them because of the lack of stairs midships added to the problem. One of my biggest disappointments was the allocated freedom restaurant which for us was the peninsula restaurant ,the food being served could be likened to school dinners / pub grub and not acceptable - for example dish of the day was Lancashire hot pot, this was abysmal. A prawn cocktail starter was just dreadful, tomato soup like water , an egg mayonnaise that resembled a quails egg with a dob of mayo I also asked for some butter to go with my stale roll , and the waiter took a pot of half used butter from an adjacent table and plonked it in frontOf me., I was astounded. I almost forgot the sirloin steak words escape me !! The waiters had no idea what I was talking about regards getting my wife’s food pureed, i may have well banged my head against a brick wall My wife survived mainly on cheese cake during the week and the Weetabix in the morning for substance. We tried to book the Epicurean but this had been fully booked before sailing, what use is that to any body? We then discovered the Beach house , thank goodness. Although this did incur extra costs for the pleasure ie an entrance fee plus extras for certain dishes the food and service in the beach house was excellent although we still had the same issues regarding the pureed food for my wife which we had to pre order the day before , the meal did arrive when requested but alas the art of pureed food was a failure and we struggled to give my wife proper pureed food and again my wife survived on cheesecakes and mousse. Listening to lots of people with similar opinions to the food on the boat I expect there were will be several comments and letters to P&O regarding the menu and restaurants. The horizon buffet food was always of a high standard , we had breakfast in there every day. We never once had lunch or re visited the Peninsula after our first night experience. It was disappointing that no food was available in the Brodies bar , not even complimentary crisps or nuts these you had to pay for I could go on but what is the point, I spent a lot of money on two suites and did not get any value for money and feel really disappointed. The overall atmosphere on the boat was missing, entertainment was sparse, with very little to do during the day on the boatI am sorry to be a pain but I am not normally one to complain but the above needs saying. I look forward to my cruise in July on the Queen Elizabeth , a proper ship i did contact P&O with regards to the problems and had a call back offering a discount on another trip, but having paid for the cost of the above trip and the extra costs incurred on the dining in the beach house etc we will not be considering a trip with P&O again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
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