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184 P&O Cruises Europe Cruise Reviews

Chose this cruise to celebrate New Year in style and also to see Amsterdam and Bruges having never been there before or travelled on P&O before. Embarkation was fantastic with boarding passes being printed out at home before we ... Read More
Chose this cruise to celebrate New Year in style and also to see Amsterdam and Bruges having never been there before or travelled on P&O before. Embarkation was fantastic with boarding passes being printed out at home before we travelled which cut out the waiting time to board the ship. All went without a hitch and we were straight on board in no time. Our cabin was very good, clean and tidy and our steward was just excellent with great attention to detail - nothing was too much trouble. Food was also very good and the service could not be faulted, especially as my husband has a nut allergy. Every care was taken when preparing his food. The entertainment on-board in the theatre was first class and the magic show was just amazing. The ship was very nice however there were a few places where a bit of TLC would not have gone amiss. It was a disappointment when we were invited to attend the Captain's party only for him to not show - understandably we were informed he was busy on the bridge but when we were told the Deputy Captain would attend it would have been nice of him/her to make himself known!!!! After about 15 minutes the majority of people dwindled away! Next came New Year's Eve and the party we had been looking forward to. Unfortunately there was no "big party", only the bars doing their own thing. The staff worked hard but it was not what we expected. Then for the sail away party - or not. Admittedly it was very cold and the staff tried to get the few people involved who had shown up but where were the flags, etc. After a song from Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England (which were not the usual songs played at a sail away party) the staff disappeared. There was not the atmosphere there that there usually is. Would we travel with P&O again? In short Yes but not for New Year -sorry P&O! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Firstly the price paid is a huge factor in the context of any review - your expectations are naturally higher paying £1000 per night than our bargain £79.00 each for a balcony cabin. At this value my expectations were certainly exceeded. ... Read More
Firstly the price paid is a huge factor in the context of any review - your expectations are naturally higher paying £1000 per night than our bargain £79.00 each for a balcony cabin. At this value my expectations were certainly exceeded. We have sailed on 20 cruises, mostly Cunard, and this was our first trip on an adult only ship. I hadn’t expected much difference but it was SO much calmer without noisy children rushing around. The weather was dreadful on the departure day from Southampton and rather than put us all through hell the captain delayed leaving until 3.00 am the next morning when things were forecast to be calmer - at no doubt a considerable cost to P&O in port fees. Impressive touch. Tip - if you are a delicate sailor when seas get rough there is considerably less movement in the cabins midship compared to where we were at the front. And you don’t hear the loud bangs of the waves hitting the bow. Food was excellent and even better in the speciality dining venues - worth waiting for the special offers to sample. In fact no meal disappointed but the Lido was a bit of a scrum at breakfast and lunch. Much more relaxing in the dining rooms. We opted for Freedom Dining but the queues and waits were so long unless you ate right at the beginning or towards the end of the session, when the food took a while to arrive. Next time we will go for fixed dining and have our table waiting for us. The ships interior wasn’t up to Cunards high boutique standards but then the price was considerably lower. And it felt comfortable all round. Cabin fine, You do have to climb into a uselessly small bath to have a shower which could be a mobility issue but beds were comfy. Not many tv channels. Our cabin steward Maria was just lovely - prepared everything with such care. The was a smell of sewage at times in the central atrium area but perhaps they will sort this next April in the refurbishment. No tips or service charge on the drinks which along with the excellent shore excursions were much cheaper than Cunard. Excellent entertainment in a stunning theatre. Lovely spa too and one acupuncture session instantly cured my frozen shoulder after two years. Would we go back? For the right destinations at the right price definitely! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Ventura N933 12 nights Madeira, Canaries and Lisbon, 17 to 29th November 2019 Embarkation at Southampton on the 17th November was quick and efficient. All the cabins were supposed to be ready for occupancy at 1.30pm, although we were in ... Read More
Ventura N933 12 nights Madeira, Canaries and Lisbon, 17 to 29th November 2019 Embarkation at Southampton on the 17th November was quick and efficient. All the cabins were supposed to be ready for occupancy at 1.30pm, although we were in E227 before then. Ferdinand the cabin steward was self-effacing and well worth the personal tip on the last day of the cruise. E227 is on Deck 8, just above the Promenade Deck starboard side a quarter of the way back. It is an Ocean View with no balcony and its window part obscured by the mechanics of the lifeboat davits. However, it is as big as a standard balcony cabin, albeit without the balcony, and at £812 pp with free parking was excellent value for this cruise. Since, apart from the mid-voyage part, it was generally cold and wet outside, not having a balcony was no disadvantage. P&O no longer do the bed ‘turndown’ service with free chocs’ on Day One, no face flannels are supplied unless requested and our fridge was 100% empty – in other words if we wanted drinks from it, we had to order and pay upfront. We never used the shipboard internet as our phones with data were included by the service provider when we were in the EU ports. Food? Main served restaurants were Holiday Inn ‘Plus’ standard I would say, as I have before about Britannia. Alternative dining? Sindhu is well worth the cover charge but it is best to go on Day One or Two of the cruise as they give either a free bottle of house wine for two or a third off the £20 pp charge. Glass House? On this cruise the service was diabolical. The food was excellent as always, but the service dismal. So dismal in fact that a group of us complained and we all got the food (eventually) for free. The deserts are to die for. A meal for two with drinks will be around £22<£30 total. Beach House? Huge portions and the basic cover charge is only £7.50pp. Drinks across the board on P&O are almost as low as Wetherspoon prices and if you have done 15 or more days or so with P&O then you get 5% discount as well. The other passengers? Michael Macintyre would have a field day! For example, in the Tamarind Club venue one morning they were having a talk about their Iceland and Norway cruises. We arrived, the venue was quite full and as usual couples (elderly usually) had selected the middle two of any four seats, clearly wanting to guard their individual space. Asking them nicely if they would mind moving up one seat this particular couple refused, so we sat either side and talked over them to their annoyance! They got the message and left soon after moaning about sub-standard passengers nowadays! The same sort of thing happened on disembarkation day when our meeting point was Deck 6 of the Arena Theatre for off-loading at 8.45. We arrived at approx. 8am to find without exception ALL the end couple of seats of the rows were occupied, no doubt so the inhabitants could be first out of the blocks to the gangway at the ‘call’ time. Since everyone had carry-on cases/coats/bags etc., it meant the ‘end sitters’ were climbed all over to their annoyance as 100’s more guests then arrived which served them right when the obvious thing to do was to move up the row to let in the new arrivals. As it so happened sitting at the end of a row also made no difference since we were, as always, called off by row and on this day to the opposite side of the ship! In other words, it seems to me that some people don’t like to be challenged and are inherently selfish. A final example of this was in the buffet one day, when an able but elderly lady, was peering at the offerings just as a new batch of omelettes were put out. She pushed in, grabbed the flat metal server, put it under an omelette, stepped back with it and then gasped ‘I have no plate’ looking at me as if it were my fault, and she then promptly dropped the selected fresh omelette on the floor! So, be prepared for a degree of selfishness amongst the passengers, many of whom were old(ish). Entertainment? The Turnaround Kids were good and Paul Stickler who gave six talks on unsolved or solved but possible miscarriages of justice murders, was good and he always had a full-house – lots of single seats either sides of couples until the entertainment staff told them to move. Ports of call? Lisbon it rained – we took a taxi to El Corte Ingles - a huge department store like Selfridges in London where you could stay all day if you wanted, and not that expensive either. Madeira it rained until lunchtime. Warning – if you want to use the cable car to see the botanical gardens etc., there are long queues. An organised trip might be better. Gran Canaria? The main city, Las Palmas which is where the cruise ships dock, is like a smaller version of Lisbon and good for quality shopping with big discounts. Lanzarote on a Sunday has little to commend it in Arrecife where the cruise ships dock, but the Mountains of Fire excursion into the Timanfaya Volcano National Park was very good with an excellent guide. You cannot do the drive around the volcanos by taxi or car, so an organised coach trip is best, Santa Cruz, De La Palma, can be easily walked from the cruise terminal. Quite a nice small naval museum, cathedral and a monastery if they interest you. Main street has a range of traditional shops and bars. Ventura as usual suffered a minor hiccup with her machinery on the way South from Southampton and on the way back we made an emergency unscheduled brief alongside stop at Vigo to offload an unfixable medical emergency. It was all a bit tasteless as passengers were standing four deep on Promenade Deck 7 to see the unfortunate lady being offloaded into an ambulance with local doctor, nurse and paramedics. In summary: Good value, decent enough cabin, adequate food (but you have to pay extra for something really special) and the drinks definitely won’t bankrupt you. No auto gratuities nowadays and if you book a future cruise but then want to change it before the balance deadline, there is also no £100 special charge. The other passengers if the cruise is from Southampton (and not in school holidays) will largely be from the older generation. Most are pleasant, but one or two can be quite inconsiderate. Although we did not use Scubas, the P&O childcare nursery facility, it looked good and seemed to be popular. P&O will NOT book more children on a cruise than it can accommodate. I know this because we are taking our entire family mob on Iona next year and the adviser confirmed this fact and we have also booked another cruise on Ventura just for us, which says it all I guess. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Hello !! We were sailing on the Ventura in November in the Canary islands and we have really enjoy it. The ship had everything that you needed.The room was spacious and always clean and tidy. the food could be better, I expected more ... Read More
Hello !! We were sailing on the Ventura in November in the Canary islands and we have really enjoy it. The ship had everything that you needed.The room was spacious and always clean and tidy. the food could be better, I expected more quality but there was enough variety. Making friends is easy on the boat and you never get bored. The ports where we arrive are quite accessible. without thier the reef is quite ugly, dirty. The city of Arrecife is far and not pretty. Unfortunatly the trips they offered we found to be expensiv. We came across a company by accident called Lanzarote experience tours, on their web site they offered their tours in small groups for cruise ships and only in English. What a discovery!! We were 8 in the group and only English. Truthfully if you are in the same situation I would recomend them 100% Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Chose this cruise on the spur of the moment when we spotted a bargain fare. We drove down to Southampton and were quickly on board and exploring. Our first impressions were that the ship was in good condition. We headed up to the buffet ... Read More
Chose this cruise on the spur of the moment when we spotted a bargain fare. We drove down to Southampton and were quickly on board and exploring. Our first impressions were that the ship was in good condition. We headed up to the buffet for lunch. Having only been on larger ships my husband was surprised by the small size of the buffet and was looking for the rest of it lol. Having said that we found that there was plenty of choice and everything was hot and tasty. Our cabin was a balcony on deck 9. Everything here was fine and the bed was very comfortable. The dining was mostly very good. We had freedom dining and had no problems getting a table. We shared a few nights but we don't mind that and our table companions were so nice we shared with them again on the last night. Food was always good but the service was not as attentive as usual. We had to keep asking for the water to be topped up and service was very slow sometimes. One evening a table mate asked for a small portion of the main course of mussels as a starter and it was made very clear that the waiter didn't want to provide it. He was told that this would make everyone else's starter late . the waiter did agree to provide it and so i also asked if i could have the same and was then told the same thing about everyone else would have to wait longer for their starter . i pointed out that if the other man could have it then i didn't see why i couldn't. It did arrive and was possibly the best starter of the cruise. The main course took ages to arrive and only did after a word with the head waiter. We also ate in the beach house which we really enjoyed and would do again. The lava rock cooked fillet steak was amazing. Drinks - fairly well priced and we had lots of onboard credit to use up BUT the cocktails were so very weak - I'm not much of a drinker and usually find one cocktail will effect me but on here it was as though i was drinking pop. Not worth the £6 -£7 price tag. The entertainment was not so good. Fogwell Flax the comedian was on a few too many times - 3 evenings out of 7 is too much, We saw him once but didn't want to see him again. The Runaround boys were excellent and we saw them twice. Astonish was astonishing even though we have seen it on another ship - excellent. The quizzes were good but the cumulative quiz was only on one day - we turned up for the second sea day and it wasn't on- all a bit strange and no one seemed to know why it wasn't happening. The service was OK, not as good as on other ships , Our steward was excellent but the dining staff were nowhere near as good as on other cruises - maybe the tipping policy change hasn't been good for them. Ports were Amsterdam (about ship shuttle 45 mins away), Zeebrugge (shuttle to Blankenburg and then a 5 euro train into Brugge) and Hamburg (another shuttle). All were excellent and we had good weather so had a great time. The aft pool was open and heated and the changing rooms had a sauna and steam room in them which were FREE ! I made much use of this and it was fab being up on deck in the hot tubs while others were wandering around in their winter coats. Pricing Policy. We booked a select fare which is more expensive buy about £200. This gets you credit, choose your cabin, shuttles and choice of dining. Although we got a lot of onboard credit We couldn't choose our cabin and more annoying all of the shuttles were free to everyone (If that's a benefit to select then they should be charging the saver fare passengers). The only benefit to us was the choice of dining and i really don't think that booking select is worth it unless you get all of those benefits. We were struggling to spend the credit and we wouldn't have spent anywhere near as much if we had booked the saver fare with no credit. Moral of the story is do your research and only book select if the benefits are useful to you. Reading this back it looks as though we didn't have a good time but Overall it was a very good cruise, we met some lovely people and had a very relaxing time, We have already booked a black friday bargain for next year. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We love cruising and love P&O but standards seem to be slipping a bit. Embarkation/disembarkation: Emabarkation was very smoothe. Cases taken at Southampton and was on the ship within the hour. The same goes for disembarkation, ... Read More
We love cruising and love P&O but standards seem to be slipping a bit. Embarkation/disembarkation: Emabarkation was very smoothe. Cases taken at Southampton and was on the ship within the hour. The same goes for disembarkation, very smoothe. We chose to take our own cases off and was off the ship by 09:00. Food/Drink The drinks package was good value for money but had such a stupid policy (not allowed to order a soft drink at the same time as an alcoholic?). There was a large group of us (6) and ordering a round of drinks was a mission! It took about half an hour to order a round which was very annoying, especially at dinner! Each drink had to be ordered individually on an individual card, we know the drinks package is relitively new and staff are trying their hardest to get to grips with it but I feel P&O should take a leaf out of other cruise line’s books (RCL/MSC) as their systems are a lot more smoothe. The food in the main restaurants was very good, excellent choice and excellent quality. Sindhu was fantastic, service great and food spectacular. One note though we do miss the fish course in the main restaurant. Cabin: Cabin was very nice. The beds are amazing and our cabin steward worked very hard. The bathroom is small but that is expected. The only negative thing is P&O have removed the onboard account from the stateroom tv’s? This made it quite difficult having to keep getting print outs of the account at reception. Ship: We love Azura so had high hopes for Ventura. The entertainment onboard was great but the ship felt generally shabby. A lot of the rooms need a good face lift, the furntitre was battered in some places and it just felt a little dated. We noticed that the promenade deck was dirty in some areas as well throughout the whole duration of the cruise. Overall we had a nice cruise. The ports were great (especially Amsterdam) and the food was lovely. The ship however leaves something to be desired for. It needs a good refit to bring it back up to standards! We are sailing on Iona next year so hopefully the drinks package would have sorted itself out by then. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Petroni on Azura - Embarkation and Cabin - Azura cruise A925 sailing 21st Sept 2019 Also Search for Petroni for info on food, wine and our adventures - rescuing migrants, Monte Carlo 'disaster' trapping 1400 ashore and ... Read More
Petroni on Azura - Embarkation and Cabin - Azura cruise A925 sailing 21st Sept 2019 Also Search for Petroni for info on food, wine and our adventures - rescuing migrants, Monte Carlo 'disaster' trapping 1400 ashore and a bunch of funny (and some not so funny) incidents Embarkation – brilliant! Slick and well organised. It would be hard to think of any way to improve on it. Well done! Cabin – gave it a ‘once over’ with an ultraviolet torch and it was pretty good, clean and tidy The usual over priced water offering (5 x 1.5l bottles for £10.50 with a 6th one thrown in for free). For the same price my local Lidl would give me 66 x 2l bottles, but hey, this isn’t Lidl. Bathroom functional and clean but not much else to say. Needed extra clothes hangers which were readily provided from the steward Television frequently not working as the satellite signal keeps getting lost as you rock when at sea but tends to work pretty well when in port. Could do with a larger selection of films as I had seen pretty much everything there was. No music on offer. These days you cannot get access to your account from your room and have to ask for a printout from reception instead. So much for progress with technology. Safe works easily. Storage space is adequate. Suitcases fit under the bed or on the shelf above the hanging wardrobe. Breakfast in bed is available (free) and many room service options (chargeable) are available. There is a phone in the cabin. Each deck is numbered and lettered so, for example, if you want to phone cabin A123 (deck no.4) you would dial 4123, cabin B123 would be 5123 and so on. Beach towels are provided (two per cabin) but, you should ask for extras if you intend sunbathing. You will need two per lounger. The smoke stacks/funnels spit out a fair bit of soot and any loungers down wind of the stacks can get dirty. So pop to Poundland, and get yourself a couple (each) of the big plastic clips that hold the towels on the loungers (as it can get very windy) and never sit on a lounger without a protective towel if you value whatever you are wearing. If you do end up with soot marks on your clothes, go to reception and they will give you a FOC (Free of charge) laundry clean but the item will be gone for 2-3 days. There are two 500ml bottles of water free when you arrive. To augment the water supply, you can either bring back a glass with you when you return to your cabin from any food area or, you can boil water in your cabin and when cool, refill the 500ml water bottles. Or you can pay the £10.50 (but I am too mean to). The mirror in the bathroom tends to get very misted up if you have a shower. Quick tip – rub a bar of soap onto the mirror and then clean it off with a small hand towel. The soap will clean the mirror up nicely as it dries leaving you a better chance of doing your hair, gel, wig etc. The tea coffee tray has the basics but if you need fresh milk, gluten free, skimmed etc you can ask the steward for some. Similarly, if you prefer a fruity tea, peppermint tea etc you can grab a couple from the self service buffet deck 15 and use them in your cabin. We take a bottle of gin and a couple of bottles of tonic and have a G&T as we get ready for dinner each night. Don’t forget to bring a little bottle of lemon or lime with you if you do the same. Avoids the need for knives, fruit etc. You can ask the steward for extra glasses for your cabin so you have some for the G&Ts and others for your water. There are laundries on every deck with washing machines and driers. We have never used them but they appear to be free. There are ironing boards and irons available there too. Washing powder/tablets/capsules are available on deck 5 (I was told) so you do not need to bring anything yourself. I hope this helps Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I've cruised twice before - Ventura (P&O) and Independence of the Seas (Royal Caribbean). I chose this cruise because we were limited in terms of the dates we could take annual leave from work. Overall I enjoyed the ... Read More
I've cruised twice before - Ventura (P&O) and Independence of the Seas (Royal Caribbean). I chose this cruise because we were limited in terms of the dates we could take annual leave from work. Overall I enjoyed the cruise however there weren't many people my age or younger. I would estimate the average age of passengers to be 65/70+. I preferred the Royal Caribbean as the age range was more varied and this was reflected in the activities and entertainment. Ballroom dancing seemed to feature a lot - holds little/no interest for younger passengers Far too many black tie nights. At one point we had 2 black tie nights in a 3 day period. When dining I would prefer to dress more comfortably and casually. I have to dress up for work everyday so like to be more relaxed when on holiday. One black tie night per week is more than sufficient. I thought the food on Britannia was not as good as Royal Caribbean and on P&O Ventura. Staff were excellent. Cabin was excellent, clean with everything we needed. Ship Sun Decks - even though Britannia is a bigger ship with more passengers there seemed to better provision of sun loungers than compared with smaller P&O ship Ventura and Royal Caribbean. Atrium - a very large space with no atmosphere or buzz, occupied mostly by people drinking coffee, reading or eating cake to background of piano playing. I didn't use this area at all. It felt like an upmarket old people's home. Drinks - Reasonable prices, better value than Royal Caribbean. Drink packages - unless you are drinking well over healthy recommendations on a daily basis (verging on alcoholism) the drinks package is not worth having. We bought our drinks separately. Some passengers with drinks packages were unhappy as the bars weren't open very late - possibly due to the age range of the majority of the passengers. There were very few people about after 12am - most had retired for the evening. Some said the packages limited them to 15 drinks/day. Spa - Didn't use this - very overpriced. I had a tension headache and enquired about booking for a 30 minute treatment. The shortest and cheapest treatment (with a discount) was reflexology session for 50 minutes at £89. I didn't book in, not because I couldn't afford it but because it was not good value for money as this would cost less than half the price back home. I appreciate that things will be dearer on the ship but would have felt ripped off if I'd booked in for a treatment. They didn't seem very busy - possibly because the treatments are overpriced. If they reduced the price I feel people would be more inclined to book treatments. The prices for nail treatments seemed more reasonable. Entertainment Not enough provision for younger passengers below pensionable age, I was often bored during 'at sea' days. I was 50 at the time of sailing so i'm no spring chicken however I'm not ready to spend my nights ballroom dancing or sitting drinking coffee and eating cake in the atrium. There were seminars but most wouldn't appeal to my age and younger - swollen ankles, foot problems, health ailments etc. Marco Pierre White cooking demo and Q&A was excellent Tony Green featured as a speaker on several days. His stories about various war battles were brilliant and his knowledge was extensive. This became a highlight of our 'at sea' days. Brodies - pub feel. Went to Bingo and quizzes here which were good. Sail Away - We left the first sail away due to the volume of the speakers, it was so loud it actually hurt my ears and I'm someone who regularly goes to concerts and festivals watching live music so It's not that I'm noise sensitive. For this reason we didn't attempt any further Sail Aways. Headliners Theatre - most performances were singing and dancing and this became a bit 'samey' so we only went to a couple.The dancers were excellent and I assume many also have acting skills so why not perform a condensed West End type musical with acting and offer a bit more variety. Terry Cotta comedian was brilliant, made a nice change from all the singing/dancing performances. Another comedian or variety act would have been appreciated. Good space but chairs are very narrow and the drink holders only have one side so I don't use them as it's easy to spill your drink. This meant I had to hold my drink or place it under my seat throughout a performance. Film - There is a small theatre showing films which is good, we went there a couple of times. It was empty a lot of the time and the space could have been better used/occupied with additional films being put on. Cookery club - We were lucky enough to to do a Masterclass with Marco Pierre White. Cost of £100pp. This was excellent and made our trip. Marco was brilliant, we saw him around the ship a lot and he was always charming and friendly towards passengers. Dining First meal in restaurant wasn't very good - bland, not hot enough. Subsequent meals were an improvement however the food on Ventura was better and Royal Caribbean were much better. Most meals weren't hot enough. Horizon - buffet, very good, lots of choice and open later at night for snacks, hot chocolate etc. Was much easier to get a table when compared with Ventura and Royal Caribbean. There were grab and go fridges for snacks and a pizzeria, burger bar which were really good. Epicurean - a fine dining experience. We went twice for a £25pp supplement - excellent on both occasions. Limelight Lounge - excellent (evening meal with entertainment). We paid £25pp and saw Chesney Hawkes and Eric and Ern (Morecambe & Wise act) - both were excellent and good value for money Sindhu - we went there once for a £25pp supplement. Excellent food and atmosphere. Excursions Rome - Tiber Cruise and Walk. Booked this as we did a full walking tour of Rome last year to the main places of interest and thought this would be a bit easier on the feet. The cruise element of this tour is negligible, we were only on the boat twice for less than 20 minutes on both occasions and there's not a great deal to see from the boat. The tour was predominantly walking. There were several flights of stairs up and down from pavement level to the river which proved difficult for some people. Tour guide was excellent Gibraltar - WW2 tunnels This was interesting and the guide also took us via the monkeys on the Rock which was a bonus as it wasn't included in the excursion. Tour guide was excellent Florence on your own. Would recommend Barcelona Short walk away from the shuttle bus drop off there are hop on/off tourist buses. We bought a ticket and hopped on and off at several locations. Would recommend. Caution - the tourist bus drop off point for Gaudi Guell Park involves a significant uphill walk to get to the park Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Here is some info that I wish I would have known before I went, hopefully it will make your trip/cruise a bit easier. The car and ticket check in with security were very easy and relaxed. Just join the queue of cars, pull out your bags ... Read More
Here is some info that I wish I would have known before I went, hopefully it will make your trip/cruise a bit easier. The car and ticket check in with security were very easy and relaxed. Just join the queue of cars, pull out your bags onto the pavement , sign your keys over to the waiting staff and walk to the terminal, your bags appear by magic at your cabin shortly after. Our cabin on b deck is as small as a two star hotel but there is a big space under the bed for cases. The notice left on our dresser for freedom dining said we had to be at a specific restaurant at a certain sitting, which we later found was at 8.30 but apparently we did not have to go to that restaurant and could eat somewhere else if we liked at extra cost if using another restaurant or the buffet at no additional cost. There was ample wardrobe space for two of us for two weeks in a chilly Baltic arena. Not much time to unpack before the Southampton sail away party which was a loud way of introducing the entertainment crew who seem a nice bunch. Lots of elderly people in this cruise and we found out why later as it is a very relaxing way of travelling to new places with all your immediate needs catered for. Fridge magnets are a good idea to stick the daily itinerary to walls that are nicely finished plastic coated steel. Freedom dining was requested by us but apparently six months wasn’t enough time to secure this however when on a cruise with 5 other people it was a good way of catching up. The constant music in the outdoor Aquarius bar was a bit loud at times but other quiet areas were available .Just inside however the smoking area was too close to the door allowing the smell of tobacco into the buffet area. There are three areas to smoke on the Arcadia, all under cover but no indoor smoking at all so take a windproof warm jacket with a hood if going north. The buffet area is open most of the time so proving very difficult to keep the weight down but there is well stocked gym and three laps around the deck is one mile. The paid for internet is very very slow even when on the ships own pcs. If you use a cloud based photo storage system it would be quicker to wait until you are at home to sync your photos but wether or not the location tags upload correctly I will have to see. The staff are always milling around cleaning, clearing and maintaining but in general are pleasant with some being very pleased to see you at any time and others having a grumpy demeanour most of the time so just like all of us then. The ship “Arcadia “ has obviously done a lot of miles and looks a little tired in places, the most obvious of which is the back with rust lines running over the name so really time to paint that bit soon. Our balcony on Bermuda deck had a doorway between each of our neighbours that could be opened if required but it does rattle in the wind so new bushes are required. Apparently there is sometimes a “back of the house” tour around the ships workings for around £75 but it was not available on our trip which I was very disappointed about as an engineer myself, but it was quite cost prohibitive anyway. Our cabin had a 37 inch flat screen Tv with usb and hdmi ports which proved useful to plug my hard drive in to with my films on as the reception on the onboard channels was terrible and sends your eyes funny after a while. The TV also had screen mirroring but as it was a Samsung I did not have the app. Our cabin had a thermostat on the wall but whatever I put it nothing seemed to change and there was a constant draft around your head when sitting up in bed so we were glad to have a small settee in the room. The wine and champagne lessons where brilliant and by far the best on board entertainment. I could go on but that would just be boring. :) Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
To spend time with my son and enjoy activities on board and ashore. The quizes were fun but one of the quiz masters made them more about him and entered into the realm of vulgarity on a family ship at 12.30.pm. Not a good idea! ... Read More
To spend time with my son and enjoy activities on board and ashore. The quizes were fun but one of the quiz masters made them more about him and entered into the realm of vulgarity on a family ship at 12.30.pm. Not a good idea! The food was exellent at all times and service was fairly good. I would like to single out Milton for High praise, he was an excellent and couertous waiter and took a real interest in us. The drinks system took a lot of getting used to by us passengers and the staff. I am guessing that the ultimate drinks package is a new venture and staff were very slow at times to return the all important cruise card to us, I am sure these teething problems will be sorted out in time. All in all a very enjoyable experience bit not without glitches and some improvements could be made. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose the Ventura as this was the only cruise that suited our availability - we were not disappointed. We arrived at Southampton after a 6 hour journey to be greeted by the parking service. Speedy and efficient, my car was taken and ... Read More
We chose the Ventura as this was the only cruise that suited our availability - we were not disappointed. We arrived at Southampton after a 6 hour journey to be greeted by the parking service. Speedy and efficient, my car was taken and parked whilst we went into departures. No queueing, went straight into check in and on to the ship. This was my first time on Ventura and I was stunned. Glamorous and opulent, it was a beautiful sight. It was clean, bright and well kept, the decor sumptuous. Straight to our cabin, our cases were already there! I went in and our cabin did not disappoint. We'd selected E deck as my 80 yr old mother required to be near the entertainment decks and I expected a somewhat dreary cabin. I was wrong. It was lovely, the view unobstructed and the cabin spacious. It was bright, with and well maintained, no peeling corners but a spruce and well thought out design. The bathroom was super with a lovely shower. It wasn't big but certainly very useable. The cruise was excellent, there was much to do and the food was excellent. We ate on the Lido and there was so much choice. The waterfront restaurant was designed in a way that food was Centred on islands - you don't queue up like a canteen! The service was super and our cabin steward, Rajesh, could not have been more attentive. So many bars and restaurants, a lovely library, a super Arcade games room (which we enjoyed). Deck 15 pools are well designed, one with a retractable roof and it's not windy up there! All in all, a super cruise - I loved it. One thing, though. There's no cards room for adult games. I missed that. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this cruise for a relaxing end of summer break. Having been on the Ventura before, we knew the ship relatively well. Embarkation was smooth and the staff in Southampton were great. We had an inside cabin on deck 12, which was ... Read More
We chose this cruise for a relaxing end of summer break. Having been on the Ventura before, we knew the ship relatively well. Embarkation was smooth and the staff in Southampton were great. We had an inside cabin on deck 12, which was well presented and our cabin steward was friendly and conscientious. We couldn't fault her or the standard of cleanliness. We found the dining experience to be, overall, very good. We ate in Sindhu on the first night, which was delicious and the staff were brilliant. We also had afternoon tea in the Epicurean on the second sea day. However, I feel the 3.30pm timing is a little late and we could have done with it being an hour or so earlier (we didn't eat lunch due to the reservation and we were hungry by the time 3.30pm came!!!) We opted for set time dining at 8.30pm. Having been on several cruises before, we know that, if you wish to change tables, the earlier you speak to a member of staff in the dining room the better. However, it took over 24 hours and five different members of staff until somebody actually listened to us and moved our table. We were given a table of 6 but wanted to sit on a table for 2. After being told many, many times that the staff in the Bay Tree Restaurant were 'working on it', we finally got a smaller table. It was confusing as to why it took so long, especially as half the smaller tables were empty all week... The staff in the Bay Tree were very nice but they were running around due to being incredibly busy. I found the food to be incredibly rich and had a hard time finding lighter choices whilst in the main dining room. Breakfast and lunch in the buffet were much more agreeable due to the variety of choices. I found the buffet to be quite calm whenever I went - we always managed to find a table. The entertainment was good, and I particularly enjoyed the addition of Sam and Mark and the Legend at Sea Steve Staunton. The Headliners group were decent and put on a couple of good shows. The ports were calm and relaxing, and we did have the weather on our side. Particular highlights were Santander and Guernsey - both beautiful destinations. I attended the port talks and found them to be useful. The organisation of the tender in Guernsey was seamless. When we disembarked, we opted to walk off the ship rather than wait for an allocated time and this was incredibly easy - we were in the car by 8am. Overall, a great trip and I'm pleased I chose P&O! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Embarkation was easy. Ship spotlessly clean and we could see the hard working staff cleaning and polishing every day and disinfecting all common areas. The service throughout the ship for the entire journey was perfect. Ferdinand ... Read More
Embarkation was easy. Ship spotlessly clean and we could see the hard working staff cleaning and polishing every day and disinfecting all common areas. The service throughout the ship for the entire journey was perfect. Ferdinand our cabin steward was top notch, cabin was always spotless. The quality of food on Ventura is of a very high standard for such a large ship. Restaurants very nice. The menus in the three main dining rooms change daily. Buffet servery is too crowded sometimes and too small. One area is opened while the other closes. Ideally should both be open. All made worse by impatient passengers who don't like queuing. Only did one excursion, but chaotic trying to get off, should be called by excursion instead of loads of people queuing. The entertainment was average, not timed correctly, had to leave evening meal early to get to the first show. The comedian was a bit to near the knuckle for an 8.30pm show as there was youngsters there. Singing and dancing is not our cup of tea but there’s plenty of it if you like that sort of thing. Not much on during the day. The quizzes are poor, if you won you got stickers, whats happened to getting a little prize? People that had been on the ship pervious week said questions were the same. Drinks package extortionate, the dearest on ship I have been on, and done twelve cruises with different companies. On the positive, drinks were very reasonably priced. The service throughout the ship for the entire journey was perfect. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Cruised on Ventura and Azura before and this year we tried the flagship Britannia. Food was considerable better on Britannia than above mentioned other 2 ships. But we expected good food as it was a Marco Pierre White cruise - he ... Read More
Cruised on Ventura and Azura before and this year we tried the flagship Britannia. Food was considerable better on Britannia than above mentioned other 2 ships. But we expected good food as it was a Marco Pierre White cruise - he joined only in the last port - Gibraltar. Our inside cabin on Deck 12 was adequate, comfortable and clean. Entertainment overall excellent - especially the Headliner`s Once Upon a Time show. The dancers were talented but the singers not so. The Entertainment manager Neil was absolute fantastic - we enjoyed the pool parties, sail aways, the flamenco program on Lido Deck in Barcelona day. The Cookery Club was something new and unique, I and my 8 year old daughter participated the chocolate cooking and we really loved it. However the children club Reef program was well below the P&O standard we use to on Ventura and Azura: sometimes boring, unimaginative and some of the reef rangers did not show interest towards the kids. We enjoyed the Lido Deck, the pools were clean, always found sun lounger or chairs. The only complaint I can raise is, that some of the bar staff was rude and selective of what drink they want to serve. The preferred to serve only alcohol, even mornings, and several times when I asked for freshly pressed orange juice - which was available in one of the pool side bars - the bar waiter said it is not available. So I just woke up from the sun chair, went to the bar, pointed to the pile of fresh orange and the juicer machine - and the bar tender made the juice for me. This happened to me few times and one matured bar steward even wanted me to change my order from fresh orange juice to Pepsi Cola - I guess it is easier to serve and the price is same. I really would love to see more healthy drinks to be available on a school holiday cruise! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
The Oceana was recommended to us be relatives who had sailed on her many times. We stayed in cabin B405 (mini suite), the cabin was excellent and our cabin steward was outstanding however the balcony was slightly narrow. Our cabin steward ... Read More
The Oceana was recommended to us be relatives who had sailed on her many times. We stayed in cabin B405 (mini suite), the cabin was excellent and our cabin steward was outstanding however the balcony was slightly narrow. Our cabin steward could not do enough for us and she was very friendly. The ship was very clean and the staff were extremely friendly. There was an extensive range of entertainment however I feel that the entertainment was a bit lacking. I also thought that the music on the Lido Deck was a bit too loud so I preferred to stay towards the front of the ship on deck 14 as this was very quiet and relaxed. The dining was outstanding I tried the Ligurian, Cafe Jardin and The Plaza. The food was exceptional in all areas and the staff were very attentive. The ports of call were extremely convenient and the excursions arranged through P&O were excellent. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This was our second cruise, having been with Royal Caribbean before on a fly-cruise. We preferred going from Southampton as it was more relaxing and more time to get to know the ship before excursions began. However, the weather was pretty ... Read More
This was our second cruise, having been with Royal Caribbean before on a fly-cruise. We preferred going from Southampton as it was more relaxing and more time to get to know the ship before excursions began. However, the weather was pretty bad when we left in force 10 gale! We travelled with family and most of us felt a bit 'off' for the first 3 days. My teenage granddaughter was quite ill. But after that the sun shone and the seas calmed and we were able to enjoy all the benefits of the ship. Yes, the ship is old and tired but it didn't bother us. We had an inside cabin on C deck so no window but it was fine - we didn't spend much time there. Very small cabin but plenty of hanging space and decent shower and a comfortable bed. It was a quiet area of the ship so our sleep wasn't disturbed. Food in the buffets was a bit repetitive but very good overall. Staff always pleasant and helpful. We used the restaurants in the evenings where things were more relaxed and the food more varied. Waiter service was excellent - all staff very helpful and considerate. Entertainment was very good, especially the Headliners. Very talented young people. Didn't do many activities but did a quiz or two and had a bash at Pilates! Watched a few films on the on-deck screen which were pretty good. Our cabin steward, Vasilio, was a gem. Nothing too much trouble. Well worth a tip! Embarking and disembarking was very well run. We parked in the NCP car park so our car was taken from us, along with our main cases. Disembarking was much the same - very ordered and smooth. No complaints. Excursions were all enjoyable, (as was the weather). Most towns were close to the ports so very easy. Made use of the hop on buses to see the sights. Barcelona was particularly good as the architecture was amazing. We made the mistake of booking a tour to Mercia and then returning to Cartagina. Mercia was (for us) not worth the time and left such a short time to see Cartagina, which was really interesting and full of history. So we shall have to return there some time! The excursion to Pisa and Florence was very good. We found the information we were given on board very helpful for the port visits. They were not just trying to sell the excursions, which was noticeable to us, compared with our last cruise. All in all, a very pleasant experience and we will certainly consider cruising with P & O again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Our fifth time with P +O, most things as expected with a few differences having been used to Ventura and Azura. There was a great feeling of space on this ship with very few queues and a much calmer atmosphere than the family ships. We ... Read More
Our fifth time with P +O, most things as expected with a few differences having been used to Ventura and Azura. There was a great feeling of space on this ship with very few queues and a much calmer atmosphere than the family ships. We had an outside balcony cabin which was clean and absolutely fine. I’m unsure why people criticise the ship for being outdated, it was a bit rusty in places but the cabins and public rooms were absolutely in keeping with other ships and certainly better than the average/budget cruise lines. Most staff were great but at times very secretive, the waits for freedom dining and length of service in the restaurant were unacceptable at times, some staff went a long way to make us happy and some didn’t. The itinery was great with the highlights being St Petersburg and Helsinki. Gdynia was a short train ride from Gdansk. Entertainment was very good. The ship employed a number of resident musicians performing all styles from classical to jazz to popular. There were bands, an orchestra, soloists, a dance group and an entertainment team, more than on many cruise lines. There was more choice of entertainment and venues than other larger ships. The food was mainly good but at times bland. The Belvedere buffet was as you would expect from a self service restaurant. Trips and shuttle bus were too expensive. P+O continue to look at ways to get extra money. This doesn’t seem as bad on slightly older ships like Arcadia but it certainly is a trend on newer larger ships which have less space per passenger and seem to find more and more things to charge for, although it might try Arcadia does offer done welcome relief from this. Staff regularly go the extra mile but I can’t help at thinking times this is driven by money. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Travelled to Southampton with Intercruises. A very comfortable coach, and pleasant driver. Speedy check in and then straight to the Meridian restaurant where we had drinks and snacks. We had cabin B40 and we were very pleased with the ... Read More
Travelled to Southampton with Intercruises. A very comfortable coach, and pleasant driver. Speedy check in and then straight to the Meridian restaurant where we had drinks and snacks. We had cabin B40 and we were very pleased with the space. Balcony was a decent size and there was the usual facilities - kettle fridge etc. We had been a little concerned re some very negative reviews, but honestly found the ship in good repair and evidence of maintenance being carried out most days. We always have room service for breakfast on the first day to avoid the scrum in the buffet. This was delivered on time and correct orders then and on the other occasions we used it. We enjoyed a couple of the shows, some weren’t for us, but that never bothers us at all. We enjoyed the Arcadia orchestra playing in the Crows Nest on a few occasions.We enjoyed an evening at the cinema which was well attended and is designated seats by ticket only, saving any problems of people bringing in chairs and parking themselves in front of you. Freedom dining was a little frustrating as we had quite long waits on a few occasions. We then tended to go down for dinner earlier, and didn’t seem to have to wait as long. We found the food to be ok. Vegetarian menu is available each evening, so that’s a change from previously where you had to order the night before. There were good choices and we were quite happy with the food in the main. Dined in Sindhu - absolutely delicious, and Ocean grill, again very nice food and excellent service in both restaurants. The first two ports of call in Denmark, Skagen and Fredericia were wonderful. Blessed with great weather, we loved the atmosphere in both of these places. Pricey though! Having been to St Petersburg before and used Alla tours, who were amazing, we wanted one day tours this time and used P&O. Faberge eggs on day one - very interesting. Day 2 we did a trip where we were dropped at 3 different locations and left to our own devices ( complete with a note which said , in Russian, I am lost, please ring this number! That was a great day. We rented the map and audio pen and found that useful. Gdynia was a delight. A lovely marina and a really interesting museum which was in an old sailing ship in the harbour. Cheapest and most delicious ice cream of the trip! Oslo was super - saw the amazing sculptures, and we loved Helsinki . Weather wasn’t marvellous for the last two ports, but it was Norway so we kind of expected it. We also had a norovirus outbreak during the last few days. Still witnessed people using the toilets and walking straight out. So, all in all, a good time was had. We love trying different cruises lines and have tried eight, but do pick cruises for the itinerary so we are booked again on Arcadia in 2021 on an itinerary that suits us. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
What an amazing experience overall with very little to fault! Embarkation was swift, we used CP Parking and had priority boarding through our suite booking. It took us less than 20 minutes from arrival at the dock in our car to ... Read More
What an amazing experience overall with very little to fault! Embarkation was swift, we used CP Parking and had priority boarding through our suite booking. It took us less than 20 minutes from arrival at the dock in our car to stepping on board the ship - couldn't have been any easier! Once on board we did find that there was no assistance/help for those new to cruising to know where we should go or what to do! I felt this was the one element of the cruise that was a little bit of a let down. Safe to say we walked aimlessly around for a while before working out where to go. All meals and food were fantastic. We had a mix of breakfasts at the Epicurian, the waterside buffet, the bay tree restaurant and on our balcony. All were wonderful. Lunches were taken at the waterside buffet or the poolside grill / pizzeria. Good choice and plenty available. We had select dining at the 6.30pm slot in the bay tree restaurant where we had the same table for 4 by the window each night. Our waiters Wilson and Suresh were exceptional and brilliant with the children showing them new drawings and tricks each night and serving up the odd extra chocolate treats! Ports visited: Stavenger - we did our own thing here and just took a long walk around the different areas of the town, plenty to see and keep the children busy Olden - amazing sail down the fjord - simply stunning. In Olden we did the beautiful Stryn exursion which was a lovely coach drive through the mountains stopping off at various points for photographs etc. It also included a stop at the national park centre for traditional pancakes, tea and a chance for the children to play at the small beach by the lake. definately our stand out day. Alesund - we did our own thing in the morning climbing the 416 steps to the viewpoint high above the town. Stunning views but be aware it costs once you get up there to enter the viewpoint area with the cafe/toilets etc. In the afternoon we did the exursion to the Atlantic Sea Park - much nicer than the sea life centres in the Uk, but we did find that the 3 hours allocated was a little long - we were done in 2 hours and had to wait for the coach to return. Bergen - biggest port of call and very busy with numerous cruise ships all in dock at the same time. Again we did our own thing and took in the sights of the old shopping quarter the park and lake and the fish/traditional food market. Both children attended the Reef childrens' clubs in the evening - surfers and scubas and had an amazing time, meeting lots of new friends onboard. this enabled us to have time in the evening to relax and take in some of the entertainment on offer. The Beatles experience were fantastic as was the Astonishing magic show. Spice Girls tribute and comedian also good fun! We felt the cleanliness of the ship and attentiveness of staff was excellent throughout. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
First the good points of our cruise. We feel there has been a big improvement in the quality and variation of the food on Britannia, we cruised with P & O twice last year on Azura & Ventura and without doubt the food this time was ... Read More
First the good points of our cruise. We feel there has been a big improvement in the quality and variation of the food on Britannia, we cruised with P & O twice last year on Azura & Ventura and without doubt the food this time was improved. It was of good quality and varied even in the Buffett. The Buffett area is also a much better design than on other P & O ships which are too ‘tight’ and get very crowded. The entertainment was very good and there were some good deck parties. Our ‘restricted’ balcony G408 was not really restricted and neither was G410, G412, G414, G416 these rooms fall between a large gap between the lifeboats yet they are lower priced due to a very slight restriction. We could see straight out and sideways With nothing directly in our view. If you want a bargain balcony then these are the ones to go for. Our room was nice and a decent size. We didn’t have the drinks package because it is just to expensive but the drinks purchased separately are of a very reasonable price. Now for the negatives. As I say we booked a midship balcony room on deck 8 but the balcony is the smallest we have ever seen. You cannot sit straight looking out to sea they are that small. The ship in parts is very poorly designed. The stairs in midships only go up to deck 7? So unless you walk to either end of the ship you cannot walk up or down from midships from deck 8 and upwards. It’s just bonkers. The lifts are also small. On deck 17 at the aft is what I can only describe as a large bath, it is supposed to be a plunge pool but it’s just too small with vast amount of wasted deck either side. We never used it because it was always full. This pool should fill the width of the deck. The ‘sunset bar’ at the aft is lovely but they play background music that is so quiet it may as well not be on. The reason given for this was because guests in the suites below complain?? We and others asked for the music to be raised to a very reasonable level, not loud, until at least 11.30 but it was refused. It takes away a lot of the ambience of the bar. Towards the front of the ship is the ‘Serenity pool’ for adults only but the bar stops serving at 6pm?? So there is not an adult only bar on outside decks after 6pm. On deck 16 in the centre of the ship is the Lido pools, a great family area but above this on deck 17 looking down on the Lido the ship is crying out for a bar just like on Ventura or Azura. A couple of entertainment planning issues we had and that other guests complained about were that the ‘Crystal bar/room’ was just not used to anywhere near it’s capacity. It was almost predominantly used for old style dancing and apart from a few times was always only a quarter full. This is fine if like Ventura and Azura there are two live music bars to chose from but there isn’t so most people only have the choose of the ‘Live lounge’. In respects of the ‘Live lounge’ there was no thought given to the fact that most passengers see the last but one night as a party night and with that in mind many of us turned up to party and dance the night away only for the party to be flattened by a poor comedian who came on at 23.45hrs when lots of guests were dancing. The problem then was that there is no where else to go to dance or party. The service we received was also very patchy and on the whole was below standard. We had done nine cruise before this one with four being P & O ships so we know what to expect but I’m afraid the smiles, interaction, attention to detail has gone from many of the waiters, waitresses on deck and within the restaurants with the exception of the ‘Glasshouse’ for some reason. Without doubt they work hard and we are very chatty, polite people who love having a laugh and it must be hard doing their work day in day out but that’s what we pay our money for. It may seem like it just us morning but there were lots of other passengers who noticed this. One last moan and something to be aware of and it will probably be the same on most ships is that if you go on a cruise in school holidays be ready to expect uncontrolled children approx 8 to 16 running around throughout the ship at all times especially in the corridors. We watched many parents just let their kids do this without a word being said. A constant ‘thump, thump, thump’ was heard. We have had our own children and now have grandchildren but we would never let ours be totally out of control like a lot of what we saw were even in the ‘Glasshouse’ whilst we ate some were running around our table whilst their parents drank oblivious to everything. We wouldn’t go on this ship again although in spite of everything we had a great cruise because the food was good, we met lots of great new friends and the weather was great. Something to ponder though is that someone probably got paid thousands of pounds to design this ship yet there seems to have been some glaring mistakes. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Our first cruise. Have to agree with previous review by 'mendumrw' with regard embarkation. It wasn't so much the delay (hey these things happen) but we were disappointed in the way P&O handled the delayed ... Read More
Our first cruise. Have to agree with previous review by 'mendumrw' with regard embarkation. It wasn't so much the delay (hey these things happen) but we were disappointed in the way P&O handled the delayed passengers. A hot day, nowhere to obtain refreshments at the terminal; lots of queuing/shuffling. By the time we boarded ship nowhere to get food (when staff were asked they directed us to the closed buffet, which did not actually open until 6pm). Choatic to get a drink at sailaway party as so many of us late embarkers arrived en masse after a crowded muster drill. What would it have cost P&O to explain reasons and apologise for the delay, provide a few jugs of iced water at muster drill, kept the buffet open, or offered a complimentary drink? Any way moan over, what did we think of the ship..... As said it was our first cruise so had nothing to compare it to, but we thought the ship was lovely. Apart from embarkation day there always seemed to be plenty of space to sit and watch the waves, take in the sun, get a drink etc. There are a lot of deck areas to choose from. Our balcony cabin was spacious, very clean and everything in working order. Didn't see anything that was 'tired'. There was some outside maintenance works / painting going on occasionally, but we have friends who cruise regularly and say they find this is the norm. We felt the food was good, and especially liked the themed nights in the buffet. We ate in the Sindhu one evening - it was OK but nothing remarkable (a taster menu, which was a bit 'bland' for us). A quiet night in the Sindhu (as it was black tie night) so it was a pity that they chose to squash the few diners into one small area, so all conversations were shared (perhaps one should request a quiet table, especially as there were many empty). We found the service on the ship very good - the waiters, barmen, cabin crew etc all worked so hard, and all friendly and polite to us. We found it easy to entertain ourselves at the ports (even Cherbourg) and only went on one excursion. We have been on many holiday excursions and they are always too rushed, not enough time to explore and too much time spent on a coffee and cake stop (or whatever) and this was no exception, but it was well organised with a good guide. Would we go on a cruise again - yes we would. Apart from the poor start, the remainder of the time we felt comfortable, well fed, well looked after and entertained. We would go on Arcadia again - yes definitely. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Firstly embarkation was a breeze. Turned up early and no hanging about. A porter came over collected our cases and off we went. But if you take a suit bag you have to carry this on yourself. Straight onto the ship, the bars where open the ... Read More
Firstly embarkation was a breeze. Turned up early and no hanging about. A porter came over collected our cases and off we went. But if you take a suit bag you have to carry this on yourself. Straight onto the ship, the bars where open the holiday was well under way, and didn't have to wait ages for the cases to arrive at our cabin. The cabin had plenty of hanging space, coat hangers and comfy a lot of mirrors! I ordered my wife flowers before we got onto the ship and they where there and they have now come home with us and still perfect. Our cabin assistant was called Ana and she is amazing, you could ask her anything and she knows. She works really hard So if your cabin assistant is as good give them some extra they deserve it. Dining. We went for freedom dining, which meant we could go to the Saffron any time between 18.30 and 21.30. If you want a table for 2 be prepared to wait. Otherwise you sit with 6 other people and not the same people.If you are a big eater you will lose weight and it takes 2 hours to eat a 3 course meal. You can however have what you like, so if you opt for the pan fried chicken you can add a steak which I found out on the Friday.I found some waiters little snatchey towards the men, and not too intent on watching butter levels, it was like if its gone its gone. Waterside. Utter chaos little selection and poorly set out. Breakfast was Luke warm and limp. Pastries dry and hard. Lunch very similar BUT go to the beach house the buffet there amazing!!!!Still disorganised but worth it.We had lunch in the Saffron one day which took over an hour and if you order a plate from the menu i.e the cold meat plate that is all you get so don't forget to order your sides. We didn't eat in the specials. when an Indian couple tell you that the Indian restaurant was poor you guess they should know. Drinks Pub prices pints £4,30 wine £5.00 ish Costa coffee £2.60 when you order a drink be prepared to wait it takes a while to get it, usually about 15 minutes although we did wait longer than that when it's busy. We opted for the soft drink pack and consider we saved but everyone is different.If you go for the soft drinks package and order a alcoholic one be prepared for the comment "this is for soft drinks" and you have to explain you know we have to pay for a alcoholic drink. Ice cream Ridiculous price £3.45 for 2 golf ball sized scopes. Burgers and hotdogs from the poolside great Big and juicy cooked fresh and not dripping in grease. condiments though in a large pump vat. Entertainment. We saw 2 good comedians and the Astonish Show which was good. I am not a lover of cruise ship singers so can't judge as it would be unfair. Didn't have much to do with the day time events either. We paid for the use of the Retreat. Adults only a waiter lunch bought up to you afternoon tea of sorts. But be careful as the price isn't fixed and a couple the next day paid £75.00 less and got more thrown in. Overall our expectations of the Ventura was good here are some rough points We had a photo shoot at the same time as another couple, then a private viewing of our photos If we wanted them the price was £1500.00 I can not make this figure look anymore ridiculous the other couple £450 for the same package! Figure that out? Other passengers I am not a snob, How ever I am able to conduct myself in an acceptable manner You will need at times a high tolerance level to endure them from both sides of the coin, and I must point out that the Ventura is a wheelchair friendly ship which although liberating can at times turn into a destruction Darby. Thus paid for the retreat, The attendant in the downstairs perfumery is possibly the most unhelpful person on the ship. All the staff apart from the fore mentioned did work hard and long hours, and sometimes you had to double take as they had changed from working pool side to the restaurants. You could talk to the officers and they interact with ease and it's not a chore, and the Captain is witty. Excursions!!!!! Our experience and others We paid for 2 excursions On 1 we had the misfortune of having someone sit behind us who had been before and wasn't interested. I paid to hear the guide. I have come home not knowing anything about what I saw, but know her family intimately and so does the rest of the coach. Before we set off I noticed that our trip finished at 18.30 but so was the boarding time. I questioned this and was told that there was plenty of time. when we got back to the ship we where thrown on our bags launch onto the X-ray and spoken to like idiots regardless of mobility. If you want to complain the shore excursion desk closes at 18.30!Our second was really nice the coach drivers are highly skilled. Watch the pricing I know you pay to guarantee getting back on board but to be charged to take a child under 6 on the train in Flaam is a bit rich when children under 6 actually travel for free. Other points P and O do black tie nights. Get involved and enjoy then spend the evening people watching many giggles were had.If you don't you can only eat in the Waterfront as widely stated, don't bore others the next day moaning that it was your only option. The scenery is stunning get up early though as you sail through around 4am Sunsets are out of this world. Is it value for money? only you will know. We paid for extras because we wanted to. Their guidelines are their guidelines. the choice stops with you. Norway is expensive. A coffee and a waffle for 2 £13.00(130.00kr)a bottle of coke from £3.00(30kr) Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Looked for a reasonable priced cruise to the Med out of school holidays and as was sailing from Southampton we chose this one. We had a well appointed balcony cabin on deck 9 with all the amenities one would expect, some of the ... Read More
Looked for a reasonable priced cruise to the Med out of school holidays and as was sailing from Southampton we chose this one. We had a well appointed balcony cabin on deck 9 with all the amenities one would expect, some of the furnishings however were very tired, the sofa bed being a prime example our cabin steward was most helpful however it was somewhat dusty in places. The restaurant was very nice and the food generally was well presented and of a excellent standard we found the service excellent The ship was kept clean however the service in the smoking areas was poor as the ashtrays were seldom cleaned and the tables on deck 15 very rarely(we are smokers) The Major gripe and complaint was the very unpleasant sewage smells encountered normally early in the morning on deck 7 aft also this permutated into other areas of this deck, we did complain as did several others including a ships officer, one ended up looking for this pong. Generally although having a large number of passengers 3000 plus it is a well maintained vessel but due in our opinion for a substantial refit. Embarkation and disembarkation was excellent. Would we travel on this boat again probably yes but they must get rid of the unpleasant odours Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Its 10 years since we were last on Arcadia, in meantime she had a full refurbishment, the cabins and public rooms were impressive and if anyone had a problem then the Housekeeping Manager would provide a solution. She is an older ship and ... Read More
Its 10 years since we were last on Arcadia, in meantime she had a full refurbishment, the cabins and public rooms were impressive and if anyone had a problem then the Housekeeping Manager would provide a solution. She is an older ship and externally there are areas showing age but considering she is at sea virtually daily and has been around the globe many times it can be expected. Daily maintenance is carried out as would be expected and if anyone was woken by the chipping drills on the lifeboat davits then perhaps they prefer lie-ins after 10.00 a or cant be bothered if their lifeboat wasn't serviced. Change of itinerary, we were notified by email 5 days before departure explaining the reason why a prolonged stop in Malaga was necessary. Some fellow cruisers said they did not know until they boarded. Can't explain this but I would suggest that as we are registered in the P&O Cruise Personaliser, where our email is recorded, this could be the reason for those who do not use this system. Yes we missed out a port of call and stayed in Malaga while she was being repaired, the captain kept us informed of the progress of the work. Unfortunately the 22-strong team of divers, flown in from the USA and elsewhere were unable to correct the problem with the port-side pod within the expected time and after arriving on Thursday (at top speed), we departed just after midnight on Sunday/Monday morning. Malaga is a lovely place and a leisurely walk or free for all passengers shuttle bus into the main area was provided.. We missed two sea days and one port. After departure one passenger decided to be seriously ill (not norovirus) but as Arcadia does not have a heli-pad, the Captain sailed at full speed for Venice for the passenger hope all was well) to be transferred to waiting ambulance on the quayside. Safety is a high priority and itinerary change is usually, sometimes weather also for other reasons but some people have to moan and disrespect P&O, fortunately the majority of fellow passengers we spoke to were happy with their cruise. Part-way through their was an outbreak of the dreaded Norovirous. We were not affected, The crew immediately put special measures in place specifically not being allowed to touch any item, plates, cutlery etc, having everything served to you. Not such a bad thing you know! Some passengers believing that they would never suffer from the virus did not wish to gel their hands before going into the restaurant. Probably the same passengers, and you know who you are, who do not bother to wash hands after using the toilets, who rush about and don't care ignoring warning notices and whose disgraceful disrespect of hygiene spread the infection. We noticed several mature passengers not washing hands after using the toilets and not wanting to gel before entering the food areas. After precautions were lifted, sadly a few passengers in the buffet decide to double-fill their plates, charge into the queues to get their fill totally regardless of common courtesy and respect for their fellow passengers and the hard-working crew. We found the food of a good standard and no complaints and I am a fussy eater. All the staff were polite and helpful. The entertainment was of a high standard and we thoroughly enjoyed the entertainment especially the murder mystery and Johnny Youle the guitarist. The Rising Sun pub has great atmosphere and the Palladium theater is one of the best that we have sat in on a cruise ship. Our cabin on C deck was spacious and our steward was very professional and friendly. The excursions were varied, we did Malaga (both booked and ourselves, yes we had time!) we did hop-on-off bus in Cagliari, walking tour in Split (great courier). Would we go on Arcadia again, YES Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Embarkation was smooth, we waited about 30 mins to be called.The ship was easy to navigate and very clean. Always found somewhere to sit during the day and in the evening. We had a delux balcony cabin and were very impressed with the size ... Read More
Embarkation was smooth, we waited about 30 mins to be called.The ship was easy to navigate and very clean. Always found somewhere to sit during the day and in the evening. We had a delux balcony cabin and were very impressed with the size and storage. It was kept spink and span by our attendant. The food was comparable with other cruises. We especially liked the grab and go option at lunch. I found the puddings in the main dining room a bit bland at dinner. Strange as the puds in the buffet were lovely. I really enjoyed the activities and joined in the line dancing, choir, deck games and quizzes. I thought the bands around the ship were good and almost all the shows in the theatre. I especially enjoyed the Scottish show in Greenock. We did excursions in The Faroe Islands and every port in Iceland, they were pricey, but it is an expensive island. they were well organised. In fact the tender operation were the smoothest we have experienced. All in all a really good cruise and would book with P & O again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
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