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184 P&O Cruises Europe Cruise Reviews

We travelled on this trip for 2 celebrations.. Wow what a trip we both had.. We got to Southampton early 10am... Thinking we could get to Mayflower dock for 3Pm.. Had a text saying that we could start boarding now.. A great ... Read More
We travelled on this trip for 2 celebrations.. Wow what a trip we both had.. We got to Southampton early 10am... Thinking we could get to Mayflower dock for 3Pm.. Had a text saying that we could start boarding now.. A great friendly reception we got and also a very quick Check in.. On this fine older lady for 1.30pm.. Check in was smoothly- So a quick drop of our Hand Luggage into our Inside Cabin on 11th Floor... It was fine for what we needed.. Quick shower and change.. But the bed comfort was fantastic and also the cleaning of the cabin was fantastic. Had a walk on the Lido Deck.. Drinks ordered and background Music and we are ready to enjoy our trip of a lifetime (again).. Sail away party was a bit of a letdown.. So we got ready for dinner and the night to start.. Medina Restraunt (freedom Dining) Great food and better service- We always got a table for 2 within 25min arrival - So a quick drink in Andersons most nights.. The other restraunts we used were fab except Sindu- Boring and very under welming in taste and quality.. Beach house and the Glass house were just fantastic- Laid back great service and the food was Amazing.. Well worth the extra payments for this.. The Entertainment was great in all of the shows and also the Talk in... The ships shows were fantasic and very new.The onboard team were young ,Vibret and always ready for a laugh.. On board bands were fun and also great with the level of songs they all had. The trip was so special of course of all the fantasic views and the ports.. What made it for us.. The staff from the water waiters to the bar servers to the cleaners to the FB Manager... They really made it all so amazing.. Aurora i will defo be meeting you again.. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
The Northern Lights ,overall the cruise was very good the shows fabulous,the dining room staff were really good we were on freedom dining but had the same table nearly every evening no 53 or 52. I found the ship rather tired, but realise ... Read More
The Northern Lights ,overall the cruise was very good the shows fabulous,the dining room staff were really good we were on freedom dining but had the same table nearly every evening no 53 or 52. I found the ship rather tired, but realise she was going in for a refit. The one thing which I am really annoyed about is,I decided to buy a DVD of our trip and to my astonishment it was only 4 mins 11 seconds long .a total waste of £5. I will be telling everyone not to buy this so called memory of a cruise, I am going on Ventura on my birthday 1st December 2019,then the maiden voyage on Iona, you can be sure I will make my feelings clear about buying a DVD. The staff all over the ship were very friendly and ready to please, can I also say our bathroom was so cold my toothbrush was frozen solid every morning. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Hoped to see the Northern Lights, sadly, they did not appear. First time on this ship which is showing its age. Cabin kept very and tidy. 99% of staff were very good. Service in waiter service restaurants very slow at times. No ... Read More
Hoped to see the Northern Lights, sadly, they did not appear. First time on this ship which is showing its age. Cabin kept very and tidy. 99% of staff were very good. Service in waiter service restaurants very slow at times. No strict enforcement of using antibacterial hand gel before entering restaurants. Food very good in all restaurants. Long walk for our forward cabin to restaurants at the stern of the ship. As we were at sea for quite a few days, entertainment was poor. Headliners shows were excellent. Theatre Royal seating very uncomfortable. P&O need to offer all inclusive cruises as other cruise lines do. Ports visited were very good. Disembarkation was poor as they had not sorted out the exits properly. Abundance of thermal clothing taken not needed as shore temperatures not as low as expected. Lots of deck areas close due to bad weather. P&O would sell more in the onboard shops if they reduced prices. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We chose this cruise as this would be the last opportunity to see Oriana before her sale in August. We had first cruised on Oriana in July 1995. We were pleasantly surprised at the good condition of the ship, although there was ... Read More
We chose this cruise as this would be the last opportunity to see Oriana before her sale in August. We had first cruised on Oriana in July 1995. We were pleasantly surprised at the good condition of the ship, although there was extensive rust around the bow section. A Chinese “spy” was spotted in an anorak inside using a lap top and large notepad, obviously trying to plan where all the pianos will go when it reaches China. The new name will be Piano Land!!! What an insult to a good ship. The captain was very conspicuous by her entire visual absence throughout the 12 night cruise. Some said she should return to container ships from where she came since you do not need to speak to containers. Service in the Peninsular restaurant was at times very slow and to get a drink was at times difficult. Our cabin suite B153 on B deck was spacious but the only “extra” was exclusive dining for breakfast in the Sindhu restaurant. Other lines provide more for suite passengers. We did encounter a violent storm 11 at the northern edge of the Norwegian basin but the ship coped with this well. Food was middle of the road very British as one would expect. Disembarkation was chaotic to the point of being unacceptable. The land bridge between ship and terminal was declared unsafe. There was another crew gangway which could have been used but this was refused. How the port and Carnival can get into this situation defies reason. We waited from 8.00 am until 09.30 am to get off. Our 3 cases were not in deck order and one had been dropped from a great height causing both external and internal damage. We could not complain as we had only 20 minutes to reach our train by taxi. A very poor and disappointing ending. If you embark on a similar cruise you should have good dealers, take appropriate warm clothing and waterproof shoes and be prepared not to see the northern lights. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
No Northern Lights but great experience. Tours all very expensive but worth it. The Captain was anonymous during the whole cruise which was dissapointing. No updates at all from her, and no reassurance during the force 10 storm in ... Read More
No Northern Lights but great experience. Tours all very expensive but worth it. The Captain was anonymous during the whole cruise which was dissapointing. No updates at all from her, and no reassurance during the force 10 storm in the Norwegian sea ( for 12 hours) when many passengers were very worried. My wife and i, and 18 others paid £55 each to sail into Alta in the viewing area of the Captains lounge and it was very nice. Good views, good food and good company...but alas, our Captain couldnt be bothered to come in and say hello when we was in her own suite ! No enforcement of hygene wash at the entrance to the restaurants. Many many people just ignored this so im surprised no outbreak of Norovirus. Entertainment was average but cinema showed some good films. Food was first class and service was very good. Disembarkation was a shambles. Its a shame this particular ship is leaving, i would definately liked to travel again on her..but not with this Captain. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
My wife and I decided to get away for New Year and with the help of our favourite travel agent chose this 5 day Southampton to Amsterdam cruise. Embarkation was straightforward and we were in our cabin 10 minutes before our official ... Read More
My wife and I decided to get away for New Year and with the help of our favourite travel agent chose this 5 day Southampton to Amsterdam cruise. Embarkation was straightforward and we were in our cabin 10 minutes before our official boarding time cases followed us in! We were in an outside cabin on the lowest level F113 with a window. I was expecting a smaller room so was pleasantly surprised. We chose Freedom Dining,which meant we could go to dinner as and when. The restaurant food was of a high standard and New Year's Eve overall was probably one of the best we have enjoyed (5 courses). After dinner we went in to the Curzon Theatre for the very impressive Headliners show of recent West End musicals. We also saw them performing Queen's greatest hits in Carmen (another concert venue) on our last night, superb. We went to the top deck from about 11 30 to view all the firework displays through the Amsterdam suburbs, followed by the official Amsterdam display which was less than 200 yards from Aurora. My wife loves fireworks so it made her evening complete. Returning to Southampton for the 3rd Jan we had a sea day on the 2nd very rough force 6/7 but although enjoyable I had to hang on to the rails. Disembarkation again was straightforward. All in all good trip, easy going. The staff were friendly , and Dominic, our steward and the waiting and reception staff were very attentive. We booked one trip through the ship, the scenic evening cruise through the canals which included wine (unlimited) plus a variety of soft drinks and dutch cheeses with nuts and savoury biscuits. Very enjoyable as the guide gave us some history and we saw the lovely homes with their Christmas Trees too. I mentioned Headliners but we also saw a really good band called Ukebox. Five young men from Liverpool dressed in suits 4 playing the ukulele and one the banjo, Part of their act was a medley of Beatles songs. Most entertaining. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We have taken these New Year cruises for the last few years ( Oceana, Ventura, Arcadia) brightens the post Christmas lull. Oceana still looking good after her late 2017 refit, we were on her last New Year as well. Embarkation was ... Read More
We have taken these New Year cruises for the last few years ( Oceana, Ventura, Arcadia) brightens the post Christmas lull. Oceana still looking good after her late 2017 refit, we were on her last New Year as well. Embarkation was good and had a different good lunch experience in the Ligurian, rather than the Buffet or the "suite lunch". Didn't get priority boarding as we had expected (mini suite) but as we were there at 12.30 we didn't wait long. Oceana's Atrium is lovely and all trimmed up, dance floor a touch small but we all coped, even on very rough stormy night. Quite how people complain of limited choice at lunch/dinner is beyond me. I wonder if people visit all the counters in the buffet, there is always lots of additional choices (hot & cold) to the curry (v good) and stir fry, including usually a roast. At dinner I counted eleven main course choices and a similar number of vegetables. MDR waiters were very good and friendly, our Wine Steward was exceptional. Food was fine, and offered more if we wanted without asking, soups are particularly good, we could not mange any more though. Only a short cruise so perhaps entertainment was more limited. Only one visiting speaker (I think) although the dated WW2 talks seem to have gone, which is good really. Queen show in Footlights was good although we have seen before, but hey ho I play the CD again and again. Headliners in Starlights was very good. This lounge and its equivalent on the "older" ships are in my view better than the newer ones, with more theatre style seating than tables and chairs it was not a problem getting a seat. Mama Mia Here We Go Again was showing in the theatre and on cabin TV, good. Nice mix of fellow passengers all well dressed be it formal or smart casual, and if P&O's embargo has resulted in no football shirts hooray, only saw one smart "tucked in" discrete logo football shirt, and there was plenty of footie on the bar TV's. We met some nice friendly people. Our mini suite B573 was excellent, bigger than some suites we have had, and I think allowing for a smaller balcony (but still big) the actual cabin was bigger than the adjacent suite. Some engine noise/vibration when docking/departing but only for 5-10 minutes at most, not a problem. Usual issues of some people steadfastly refusing to use the hand gels, and "table hoggers" at the Buffet claiming seats and then going off individually to get food - why, there are plenty of seats? Wheelchair users were given consideration and also they were considerate to others with the odd exceptions. Why two men expected to be seated in Freedom immediately just because they are in wheelchairs is beyond me, fortunately it was beyond the Maitre D as well and he gave them a pager like everyone else. A good cruise and was not as frenetic on the first night as it can sometimes be, everyone seemed to drop into their own routines very quickly, few queues therefore. Disembarkation was excellent, had breakfast in MDR by which time it was 9am and we joined our scheduled leaving time and we were in the car heading out of Southampton by 9.30am. Well Done P&O Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Booked this as a last minute, inexpensive cruise (on a saver fare) to get away for Christmas from Southampton because husband refused to fly! Better than I expected. Ship in need of a little tlc but well decorated for a Christmas very ... Read More
Booked this as a last minute, inexpensive cruise (on a saver fare) to get away for Christmas from Southampton because husband refused to fly! Better than I expected. Ship in need of a little tlc but well decorated for a Christmas very geared to families (of which there were many with small children). Staff generally polite and attentive and helpful as well as pleasant and friendly. As saver fare passengers were allocated dining, late, which we couldn't change but worked out well with 4 excellent dinner companions. However would have been good if the table designed for 8 could have been reduced in size to take the 6 of us - it had to be known we were never going to be 8 - would have been much more comfortable. Food was on the whole very good although on occasion portions were a tad on the small size (one evening my monkfish dish had only 2 x 1inch diameter medallions of monkfish! Yes, I know I could have asked for more. Service in both the Alexandria and Medina dining rooms was excellent. Food in the latter was better than in the buffet but often not hot, fried food was terrible and I think much of the food was pre-prepared rather than freshly cooked but a good choice of dishes otherwise and a pleasant experience. Personally cannot recommend the Horizon (and I prefer a buffet). I found it to be an unwelcoming open space akin to an old-fashioned motorway café! Didn't find the food looked very appealing and seemed heavily pork based. Found that there were many dishes on the other menus which included pork (which I do not eat) but where it was not expected or mentioned. One real complaint - I did feel that Chef was rather heavy-handed with the salt, especially in the soups. Perhaps they were packet soups? One lunch time in the Medina nearly all the dishes contained pork in one form or another. The Glass House taster dinner was a superb evening, although we did not return there to pay additionally food food, nor did we go to the Beach House or Sindhu where there is an extra fee. The cabin had an excellent amount of storage, plenty of drawers and cupboards which was great. Being picky, the coat hangers on those hooks intended to deter theft are ridiculous and difficult to remove to hang things back in the rear of the cupboard. Please get rid of them. Use ordinary coat hangers and charge if they are removed as is the case with the robes which were sadly lacking in our balcony cabin. Both embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. For the former, we arrived at the time indicated and started embarkation almost immediately although there was longer queue than expected going through security - however it was an opportunity to chat with other in the queue. The shows I was able to attend (was unfortunately unwell a couple of days so not up to late nights) were on the whole excellent with only one performer I did not like and one who was so-so. The Headliners team were excellent as a group and their shows were some of the best I have seen on 25+ cruises. There were plenty of activities in which too take part and husband was delighted with the number of football matches he was able to watch in the Champions Lounge leaving me to read in peace one of the many other comfortable lounges. Having visited the stops previously we were happy to wander around on our own on the whole but the one excursion we went on was very well organised and although could have been a little longer, we thoroughly enjoyed it. Our table mates were very impressed with their excursion to Ypres. One thing I would like to say is that at £7 per person per day, I thought the gratuities were reasonable as were the prices for drinks on which no further gratuity was added, as is the case with many other cruise lines. This was our second cruise with P&O and we will very likely go with them again (perhaps somewhere warmer next time!). Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
we chose from Ex uk cruises.for xmas. Not too many to choose from. But PO as usual good service and intinerary and value for money, No point in our opinion having a balcony at this time of year, plus a cabin lower down is a good place ... Read More
we chose from Ex uk cruises.for xmas. Not too many to choose from. But PO as usual good service and intinerary and value for money, No point in our opinion having a balcony at this time of year, plus a cabin lower down is a good place to be in event of bad weather. Cabin a little tired however was clean and comfortable, Unusually for us we enjoyed cabin service for most breakfasts and the service and food was excellent. One week before our cruise my wife had an accident and this meant she had some mobility problems. PO were aware of this and went that extra bit to ensure we enjoyed our holiday. The food on board was as usual for us, to our taste. No need to try the speciality restaurants. for us. Crew in all departments gave good service. Always a bonus not having to fly. Airports seem to get busier and more congested each time we fly ! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Over a year ago i travel, along with some friends of ours and their families, excitedly purchased tickets for a Thanks giving cruise Ventura. Our cruise was the second voyage. The restaurant food was varied however I felt there was too ... Read More
Over a year ago i travel, along with some friends of ours and their families, excitedly purchased tickets for a Thanks giving cruise Ventura. Our cruise was the second voyage. The restaurant food was varied however I felt there was too much noise in the restaurant area. I don't ask for silicon but I don't want to hear all the conversations around me. There were quite a few activities in the barcode and people were easily facilitated to chat. At night there was music and one could dance. It was a lot of fun. the workers were super friendly and always helped.We always had very good weather. Luckily, because I get dizzy easily. During our trip we visited the cities on foot, we wanted to walk freely without having to follow a guide and all the clients. We thought that there would be families with children on the cruise but the truth is that most of the passengers were retired people.If you travel with friends and want a cruise of disversion and party, this cruise may not be the best option, but I would definitely recommend it Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Embarkation was quick and we were able to go on the ship straight away, the atrium was decorated with a large tree. Despite very poor weather on the run down to Madeira for 2 and half days, the captain changed some of the evening ... Read More
Embarkation was quick and we were able to go on the ship straight away, the atrium was decorated with a large tree. Despite very poor weather on the run down to Madeira for 2 and half days, the captain changed some of the evening activities. We enjoyed the cruise and ports of call and had booked 2 excursions unfortunately the deep sea fishing was cancelled due to lack of numbers, but was able to book a different excursion. A new excursion was trekking in Lanzarote which was well guided a small group of 11 took part. Our cabin was clean and serviced to a consistent standard, indeed we rarely saw Jay at all. We had booked freedom and as a group of 3 got the same table every night. The waiters were excellent and nothing was to much trouble if you wanted more you just had to ask. Entertainment was the usual mix of headliners and guest stars as seasoned P&O cruisers did not watch many as seen most before. Dancing in the Atrium is a little small and there was always a lack of seating, the hosts were very good and did a good mix of ballroom and sequence dances. The gym has some new equipment installed and was busy at times but there is enough so you can find free kit to use. During the cruise the rear staircase carpet was being replaced, we had no problem with this as it was phased and only 1 side was done at a time, we were also told that the tv system was being upgraded. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
So nice to have a classic cruise instead of the hard sell, glitzy, quantity over quality that other companies seem to be providing now. Embarkation was seemless and from leaving our hotel to sitting in the buffet on board took just 45 ... Read More
So nice to have a classic cruise instead of the hard sell, glitzy, quantity over quality that other companies seem to be providing now. Embarkation was seemless and from leaving our hotel to sitting in the buffet on board took just 45 minutes . Ventura is comfortable, clean with great food and lovely staff. We enjoyed the ships excursions we took in Gibraltar and Valencia although the guide in Valencia had poor English. We thought they were reasonably priced. The buffet was probably our only disappointment on the Ventura. It is far too small and cramped with little choice but there are always other options. The food in the main dining room was excellent. Always hot and delicious and served with a smile. The extra charge meal in Epicurean was on another level. Well worth the small extra cost. The cabins were clean and comfortable. The beds were great and we slept well. Not too keen on the old fashioned shower curtain in the bathroom but the toiletries provided were good quality . Overall we had an excellent cruise on a lovely ship. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
we don't fly so cruise from a UK port overall we had a great cruise , only 2 snags, 1 they seved gluten to my wife, also went to Indian and she was ill, but apart from those 2 incidents we had a geat cruise, ship was full and it ... Read More
we don't fly so cruise from a UK port overall we had a great cruise , only 2 snags, 1 they seved gluten to my wife, also went to Indian and she was ill, but apart from those 2 incidents we had a geat cruise, ship was full and it was difficult to get into some venues unless you turned up an hour early also films where put on mostly at 1pm when we where having a sit down lunch drink prices where good and they didn't add a service charge ,would have liked draught beer in restuarant . Best ship yet for choice of gluten free food, waiters need to be trained better on allergies , my wife ordered a meat plate at lunch it came with a slice of pork pie on, she sent it back and all they did was cut the crust off and brought it back, one speck of gluten can make her ill she is very sensitive and a coeliac the head waiter appologised and we know mistakes can happen but this was just wrong cabin staff could not have been better nothinng 2 much trouble will use P & O again Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
This was our second P & O Cruise of 2018 and also our second on Ventura, the last being in June 2017. We selected an 11 night cruise down the West coast of Europe and just into the Mediterranean. As normal we chose to drive to ... Read More
This was our second P & O Cruise of 2018 and also our second on Ventura, the last being in June 2017. We selected an 11 night cruise down the West coast of Europe and just into the Mediterranean. As normal we chose to drive to Southampton from home in Lancashire and set off very early being as it was a Monday sailing expecting heavy traffic. Traffic and conditions were favourable so we had a great trip and having left at 3:45 we arrived in Southampton at 8:30 and this was the only place we met heavy traffic. A walk around the Southampton shopping centre occupied us until we ventured to the terminal at noon and we were soon on board and venturing to the buffet for a welcome lunch after our early start. Cabins were announced as being ready so we made our way to deck 11 and B714 on the port side towards the rear. The cabin was average in size but very comfortable with a small but efficient bathroom. We met Jessica, our cabin stewardess who was excellent in the way she took care of everything brilliantly yes was hardly noticed at all. Once unpacked we decided to check out the ship and look for the recent changes from its partial refit. There was nothing major but all very clean, several new carpets and looking smart and refreshed and almost a copy of the Azura that we had sailed on in June. We had our favoured dining option of freedom dining so generally went for evening G & T’s followed by dinner between 7:45 and 8:30 in the Saffron Restaurant. The food was markedly better than our last trip on Ventura and all of a good standard with reasonable choice. We really prefer to be on a table for two and achieved this every night, we had a few short waits but nothing major. We ate all bar two dinners in Saffron, the other two we opted for the buffet, more for a change than anything else. We breakfasted in Saffron most days and this was always good and very hot. Lunches were taken in a mixture of buffet and Saffron and were all nice. The buffet could be a bit of a scramble sometimes with the ship being full but they kept up well from the kitchens but I must say the set out and lay out of Celebrity ship buffets is better than P & O ships. This time we did not visit and of the ‘pay for’ restaurants as we enjoyed the main dining room so much. We enjoyed all ports, Lisbon where we have visited before was again an excellent choice, the second port was Valencia, a new port for us that was OK, Cartagena was our Sunday port and a really nice city that I would be very happy to return to. The port is just walking distance from town so a very nice change from many port stops. Gibraltar was the next port and the only rainy day of the trip so we did our duty free shopping and decided against a trip up the rock. The final stop was Cadiz but we had pre-booked a ships trip to Seville and we really enjoyed this as one of the nicest cities we have been to in Spain and a host of photos full of memories. We had a sea day for the final day en-route back to Southampton and a gentle sea as we crossed the Bay of Biscay. We availed ourselves of most bars over the cruise but as we are not big drinkers so it was more for a change of scenery than anything else. We enjoyed all the production shows that the Headliners cast put on and were of a great standard. In fact I would go as far as to say this Headliners cast were probably the best we have seen on a P & O ship to date. Bernie Flint still had the audience laughing. In other lounges the entertainment was good but the Cruise Director was a little bland and for me could have been more outgoing without but without the Butlin's style. That said his team worked hard and deserve praise. Normally we book about two months out from a cruise but this time we booked on board to come back to Ventura for a Canaries cruise in November 2019 with the offer of decent on board credit. We did our usual of carrying our own luggage off so we did not have the hassle of sitting around waiting so were off quickly and back home in Chorley for 1pm after a good trouble free drive home. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Cant really go wrong with P & O they are a good company. This ship is quite an old girl but very charming. The public areas are really nice, plenty of small niches to sit and relax and plenty of areas if you want to join in any of ... Read More
Cant really go wrong with P & O they are a good company. This ship is quite an old girl but very charming. The public areas are really nice, plenty of small niches to sit and relax and plenty of areas if you want to join in any of the programs. The decks have plenty of sunbeds/chairs we had no problem finding one at all. The evening shows were excellent, we worked out if you go for dinner early you can easily pull in both shows as they have two different venues with good acts on every night. Food was of good quality tasty and varied, we ate in the main restaurant every evening but one, when we tried Restaurant Jardin, which we didn't think was particularly special. We had a balcony cabin which was fine and the bed was very comfortable but the bathroom was rather small. The cabin stewards were very good and the rooms were cleaned to a high standard, we liked having tea/coffee facilities and they were replenished biscuits every day. Thoroughly enjoyable cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We booked this cruise as a little treat at the end of the summer and also to satisfy ourselves that we have booked the correct cruise next year when we are taking the Britannia for a 2 week Caribbean cruise from Barbados. Embarkation: ... Read More
We booked this cruise as a little treat at the end of the summer and also to satisfy ourselves that we have booked the correct cruise next year when we are taking the Britannia for a 2 week Caribbean cruise from Barbados. Embarkation: Embarkation was great: we used CPS who are clearly masters at the “meet and greet” service and you would be crazy to look for any other way to park your car. You simply park at the terminal which is all under cover and they check the car over and issue you a ticket. This ticket is for when you collect the car at the end of the cruise. We waited approx. 30mins from when we sat down in the terminal until we were on the ship. They run a colour and number system that works like a dream and it is fun watching your fellow cruisers for a while. The Ship. Overall the ship is good. However our last 2 cruises were on NCL Escape and Getaway from Miami and we enjoyed the Haven. We fully understood that the experience would be different and were somewhat prepared for this. However some of the things we noticed were nothing to do with the previous upgraded experience. For instance the paintwork on the hull really needs some attention. It was badly scuffed in places and had rust coloured stains in other places. We also noticed that despite the announcement in the Horizon newsletter that the balcony glass was to be washed on one of the day’s…..they seemed to have skipped this as our glass was salt stained throughout the cruise and this was also true of the glass in the Retreat. We cannot level the same comments for any other area once on the ship as all were in good condition including the pool areas. We particularly liked the pool in Serenity which was a decent size and although a little chilly at first (great fun watching some guests getting in) was actually at a good temperature especially as we enjoyed wonderful weather for this September trip to Northern Spain. We spent a great deal of time in The Retreat and found this area most comfortable and another interesting place to guest watch. The pubic areas inside the ship were well maintained and scrupulously clean. We did notice a vibration at times that resonated through the ship but at other times was completely absent. Other reviewers have made comment about the lift system and whilst we did have to wait a short while on a few occasions it was never so long to concern and certainly no longer than any other ship we have sailed on. We had booked the smallest balcony cabin (C425) and were very pleased with this cabin for the week. Whilst other reviews have mentioned that the balcony is not large enough we found this to be more than adequate and the room was welcoming and the bed most comfortable. The only negative comment is that you cannot bring up your on board account on the TV which means that unless you wish to visit customer services you don’t know the running total of what you have spent! Robert our room attendant was virtually invisible and worth a tip. There were plenty of UK sockets in the cabin and the bathroom was functional if a little small….but who needs to take many steps in a bathroom? Prices of drinks in the bars were reasonable with cocktails approx. £7.00 and a large very premium G&T approx. £10.00 which is a bargain compared to UK city centre prices. Our greatest observation was that whilst enjoying time in the bars there was a resounding lack of music. If you are enjoying an early evening drink at the Glass House or any other place in the Atrium it has the atmosphere of a library (actually the library on the ship was wonderful). There was no live music and not even any piped music. In the Crows Nest the pianist only had 30mins early evening and was absent for the next 1.5hrs. I know a lot of people will be eating at this time……but what about the rest of us? Food That brings me onto the food. This was the biggest disappointment and one where P&O need to think again. The buffet was awful. The usual scrum at breakfast really wasn’t worth the fight. Low grade food that was overcooked was reminiscent of a Holiday Inn Express breakfast. The breakfast in the dining room was marginally better as this was less over-cooked. We did not eat in the Buffet at Lunchtime as one tour of the counters left us less than enthusiastic and there were better alternatives to be found. However whilst it is our opinion, there appeared to be thousands of guests that would share a different view given the way they were tucking onto heaped platefuls. We are hoping that the quality of produce will improve in the Caribbean with the fresh local supplies. The alternatives ranged from plated salads and rolls in the Retreat to the Burgers and Hotdogs (with the best fries on the ship) at the Poolside Grill. The Grab and Go was also another great feature and this meant that we did not need to venture down the restaurants for lunch. Before boarding we had already booked 2 specialty restaurant nights at Sindhu and Epicurean. Our experience was interesting as we vowed to eat at the MDR on the first night but when we presented ourselves (on freedom dining) we found there as a long wait….so ventured into Sindhu. Great great meal and we were really impressed with the fresh food and good spicing. We had forgotten that we were booked into Sindhu the next night…..but as the first night was so good we were very happy to be eating this fine food again…….except it wasn’t!......it seemed as if they had changed the chef overnight and even the Bombay Potatoes…..such a success the night before were a pale impersonator of the their former self. We thought this may have been just a difficult night and again visited later in the week (wanted to try menu “B”)……oh dear……I had to send my chicken on the bone back as it was very dry. The service was excellent but the replacement Chicken Korma was lacking in flavor and I couldn’t taste any coconut or almonds. To their credit they did send another piece of chicken on the bone which was well cooked; if only they had done this the first time around. Epicurean was fine although a little stingy with the fries….. one portion was only 4 standard size chips…..although the other portion was 25% bigger with 5 actual chips! We enjoyed our favorite food on the ship in The Glass House. For a reasonable up-charge they served food that was prepared with great ingredients and well cooked. We also tried the Beach House. This is an area of the Buffet that is sectioned from the main Buffet at night but really needed that input of music and perhaps a few softer lights would help. The atmosphere was awkward however the food was quite good for a reasonable up-charge. No sign of stinginess as all the portions were large. The food in the MDR was OK and there is no real reason not to eat at one of the MDR’s especially if your are on a budget or are not a fan of slightly finer dining, which I appreciate not everyone is. We are very likely to visit the MDR’s more on the longer cruise next year. Entertainment The Theatre Company were very talented and hard working. The theatre is quite small and they put on 3 shows on the popular nights. Astonishing is as good magic show you will see anywhere short of Vegas. We saw the Adele tribute who was very good in the Live Lounge. However as other reviewers have mentioned it is very hard to find a seat later in the evening. Excursion. We took a bike ride through the Valley of the Bear which took just over an hour coach drive from the ship in Gijon. Thank goodness that we had booked this as the ship docked in a remote part of the docks and the prevailing view was of a massive concrete wall that was worthy of the Berlin Wall only taller! This was a P&O excursion that we booked before the start of the cruise. Overall not a bad trip as the scenery was lovely and the bikes were well maintained. However there were a couple of issues that you had to roll with. A day or so before the trip the ship had contacted us to ask our heights to ensure the correct frame sizes were available. When we arrived at the start point all the bikes were lined up….. well I say all the bikes but they were 4 short. We had to wait around 25 minutes for the 4 bikes to arrive….not the end of the world….but shouldn’t have happened nonetheless. I guess Health and Safety gets hold of all aspects of life and this was no different. Although all the guests were adults, we had to be shephered across the roads (4 times) to ensure that we didn’t get run down. How we have ever got to this point in our lives without major incident must be a miracle! I now feel most vulnerable without that assistance in real life! The description of the trip stated that we would receive refreshments so to hear on the coach tannoy that we were to receive a “picnic” at the end of the ride as most welcomed. Alas the “picnic” amounted to a pile of puff pastry envelopes with the smallest amount of cheese and ham: not one person chose to eat 2….quite possibly it was medically impossible. There was also a sweet thing that was lets say….. unusual. Nothing to drink (unless you purchased from the bar) and perhaps P&O need to think this through a bit further and at least supply a small bottle of water at the start of the ride? Disembarkation We opted to self dis-embark which means taking all your luggage with you when you leave the Ship. If you can do this there are a couple of advantages: firstly you don’t have to pack until the morning and can decide what to wear once you have seen the weather. Secondly you don’t have to wait until your nominated disembarkation time as we could leave between 07.00 and 08.00hrs. It was very simple to collect the car with the CPS staff being across the road from the exit from the terminal and within 5 minutes of leaving the terminal we were in the car. Overall So was this value for money. We have to say that yes it was. It was our choice to upgrade most of our evening meals and the drinks prices were reasonable with a good selection at most bars especially the Crows Nest The Retreat and the Serenity Pool areas were great places to spend time, as was the cabin. We felt that the budget for this particular cruise was cut. The ship was not fully booked and perhaps the lack of live music and bar snacks (only to be found at the bars on the last night) and also the windows not being washed were but 3 of the consequences of this. For us this cruise was exactly the correct cruise as we can now tailor our expectations in readiness for our Caribbean adventure next year. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Overall this was a lovely cruise. It was clean, calm and well organised. The embarkation process was smooth and easy . We visited beautiful places in the Norwegian fiords . If I had to criticise something it would be 3 things. 1. The ... Read More
Overall this was a lovely cruise. It was clean, calm and well organised. The embarkation process was smooth and easy . We visited beautiful places in the Norwegian fiords . If I had to criticise something it would be 3 things. 1. The drinks package . We paid £560 approx for a week of free drinks for 2 adults and 1 child . It does work well but they do fail to tell you everything and when we challenged items on our bill , the assistant bar officer just quoted the small print in the T&C and said you should have read it . We argued £12 as charged for wine on the self service machines which even that don’t say not included he just said you should have read your paperwork, a poor attitude for the sake of keeping a loyal and valuable customers for the sake of £12. Hey ho Royal Caribbean here we come . The 2nd was the ship staff are overall polite , nearly all Indian , however some don’t apply common scence and stick to there rules especially at the costa caffe where I felt the attitude was poor overall . 2. The gym equipment is tired and allot not working, it needs some attention Overall though a lovely cruise and only spoiled by a few silly staff. The staff in the Glass house was lovely and did have scence so it’s not everyone Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We were looking for a 7 day cruise, short haul so we were away for our Ruby Wedding, this one seemed to match our requirements. Direct Flight from Ncle on Jet2 went without a hitch, we are only 5 minutes from the Airport so always ... Read More
We were looking for a 7 day cruise, short haul so we were away for our Ruby Wedding, this one seemed to match our requirements. Direct Flight from Ncle on Jet2 went without a hitch, we are only 5 minutes from the Airport so always prefer to fly out from here. Shame P&O/Jet2 could not arrange luggage to go straight to the ship from Ncle airport as they do for the return flight, we put the cases out just before midnight and did not see them again until we got into the arrivals lounge. The ship does show its age in places, but we thought it was in pretty good condition and was very similar in décor and layout to the older Princess ship we have been on. All the public spaces were clean and in decent condition and the ship seemed to have a nice flow to it. Cabins could do with a refresh, but were kept very clean by our excellent cabin steward who catered for anything we asked and worked his time in our cabin around our times. The Safe was a bit small if you have a lot of valuables and there seemed to be only one 3 pin plug in the room. The cabin size was the smallest balcony cabin we have had out of around 10 cruises we have been on and the bathroom really was very small, both were functional and did not cause us any problems. Heavy staining on the enamel of the toilet pan was a bit off putting. The main MDR was excellent, we were on anytime dining so experienced several waiters, all were very good, polite and efficient, we never experienced any real delays in getting a table for 2 and the food was in our opinion better than we had on Azura a few years ago where portion size was an issue, not this time and if you wanted something extra then the waiters always obliged. We also dined at Café Jardin, sometimes for breakfast and then again in the evening once. The staff there were great, including their Managers who were always visible and quite happy to have a chat. We also tried the Beach House and it was also good, but not quite up to the standard of Café Jardin. Occasionally we used the Buffet, it was fine, normal things available for Breakfast and usual hunts for a table at the busy times. Up on Deck, we usually found some sun beds, as we were not bothered about being right next to the Pool. Waiters again were usually around and we never had to wait very long for service which was mirrored throughout the Ship. We enjoyed the entertainment in both the Theatre and Show Lounge and tried to tie in our evening dining so we could see both shows. Did one P&O excursion in Venice, it seemed expensive, but included your water transport there and back, entry to Doges Palace, guides always in attendance and then into St Marks. We also skipped the queues and that was great as they were very long, so in hindsight it saved us a lot of time and was not that bad when you look at what was included. We certainly enjoyed being taken around these attractions. We do not normally cruise at the height of Holiday season, but I have to say there were plenty of children on board, but their parents, staff and themselves were a credit and we enjoyed seeing the different generations around the ship enjoying themselves without running wild. All in all a very enjoyable cruise which surpassed our expectations. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
The flight from Bristol was uneventful on a rather old Thomas Cook plane that had no entertainment of any description. The transfer to the ship was well organised and swift. Check in was excellent and after a quick early lunch our balcony ... Read More
The flight from Bristol was uneventful on a rather old Thomas Cook plane that had no entertainment of any description. The transfer to the ship was well organised and swift. Check in was excellent and after a quick early lunch our balcony cabin was available and cases soon unpacked. The ship was in great condition having just had a spruce up. Service in the bars was always quick and efficient. Food in the main dining rooms is varied and of a good standard. One or two evenings service was a little slow. Cafe Jardin was a quieter option for breakfast and turns into an Italian restaurant at night. Shows and entertainers were most enjoyable especially a vocal harmony group who were amazing. Shore excursions seem expensive and apart from a trip to Murano while in Venice we did our own thing. However if you want to see a specific place then they are a safe bet as they get you to the destination and more importantly get you back to the ship! On the middle day of the back to back week's cruise we used the local bus in Malta to visit Medina which was fascinating and cost a fraction of the ship's excursion. Overall a most enjoyable cruise to some interesting destinations - especially Malta, Venice and Athens. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
I chose this cruise for my birthday and wanted to try cruising alone. I was fortunate enough to be upgraded from a regular inside cabin to a "larger" inside cabin shortly before embarkation date so that was a nice surprise. ... Read More
I chose this cruise for my birthday and wanted to try cruising alone. I was fortunate enough to be upgraded from a regular inside cabin to a "larger" inside cabin shortly before embarkation date so that was a nice surprise. The ship is nicely decorated and, for a larger ship, doesn't feel TOO big. Unlike the mega ships Britannia still has a personal feel and after a few days onboard it genuinely felt like home. I found the overall layout of the ship a bit confusing, not helped by the fact that there are no central stairs meaning the only option is to wait a long time for a lift or to walk to the front or back of the ship for the stairs. There is no promenade deck on Britannia which is a shame but there was plenty of outdoor space to take walks. My cabin, A427, was nice enough and kept clean by my very friendly cabin steward. A bit of TLC here and there is required though as there were a few little dings, dents and marks on the walls and furniture in my cabin which I found surprising considering the ship is barely three years old. The dining options were plentiful and, being a solo traveller with little interest in making conversation with strangers, I mainly ate in the buffet. The food there was great in my view and there were different themes every night which made for a nice variety over the course of the cruise. The service was very attentive and I loved how special care was taken with those who have mobility issues, the servers were only too happy to help. The entertainment was hit and miss. Some shows were good, especially the "special guest" shows. However the regular shows performed by the ship's theatre cast ranged from mediocre to terrible, the exception being "Astonishing" which was very entertaining, if a little short. The service throughout the ship was attentive, friendly and fast. The bar staff were great and I found the drinks prices reasonable. The shop attendants were a little too pushy and I found the reception team a little rude, probably due to being overworked, but these are just nitpicks. Overall very nice service. We visited Stavanger, Flam, Olden and Bergen. The only two, in my opinion, that were worth visiting were Flam and Olden as they were surrounded with beautiful scenery and were very sparsely populated. Stavanger was just a regular city and frankly boring. Bergen was nice, they had a market on that day and it was interesting seeing how astonishingly expensive everything is in Norway! However there really wasn't much else there. I'd recommend taking as many excursions as you can afford as these will take you out of the less interesting locations and into the more beautiful and scenic areas of Norway. Overall I enjoyed the cruise and found the overall experience of travelling alone wonderful. I would (and will) be cruising with P&O again as I liked the friendliness and British familiarity on board. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
A last minute cruise to fill a long weekend. We had done this itinerary on Britannia a couple of years ago so this time we were planing to stay on the ship while in Guernsey and relax. Unfortunately due to high winds the ship could not ... Read More
A last minute cruise to fill a long weekend. We had done this itinerary on Britannia a couple of years ago so this time we were planing to stay on the ship while in Guernsey and relax. Unfortunately due to high winds the ship could not launch the tender so nobody could go ashore and we had a day at sea instead. This did not interfere with our plans but meant we didn't have the ship to ourselves. Very quick and efficient embarkation and disembarkation at Southampton. The only negative was the first night dining; We chose not to dress up and were denied access to all of the restaurants (including both freedom dining ones) also Metropolis and The Red Bar (none of these places were busy which made it worse); we were left with a choice of noisy nightclub type bars or the buffet; it made us feel segregated and penalised for not dressing up even though one pays no premium to do so. We felt this was too restrictive especially for a two-nighter. On our second night we ate in Sindhu which was excellent. Plenty of space onboard, never felt crowded but not the outdoor activities of larger ships. Plenty of seating in Waterside and The Beach House (the buffets on deck 15) but the server in The Beach House was very small tight. A good selection of food in both. We did not experience the entertainment etc so cannot comment although my partner had a massage which he thoroughly enjoyed. For an all-inclusive weekend break we were very pleased with value, accommodation and service. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Had been on the ship previously about 8 years ago - it had been updated since then but still looking sad and tired in some of the outside areas. On a positive note, the food has to be some of the best I have ever had on a cruise. The ... Read More
Had been on the ship previously about 8 years ago - it had been updated since then but still looking sad and tired in some of the outside areas. On a positive note, the food has to be some of the best I have ever had on a cruise. The Horizon restaurant deserves special mention - the choice and quality was incredible, and the staff some of the most helpful I have ever experienced. Medina Restaurant staff not so friendly, no eye contact, no conversation other than matters relating to the menu; on occasion service very slow, one night over two hours for dinner..... Entertainment: Headliners superb shows, have some very talented staff; however some of the other shows/entertainment very poor during the evening. Daytime - When I go on holiday to the sun, I do not want to go inside for the entertainment during the day - okay some people might like the respite from the sun, but hardly anything outside during the day around the pool, might get the odd 30mins of music, but other than that, zilch !!! Outside cabin and steward ok - but very small - if it had to house 4 people you wouldn't be able to move!!! I know that the ship is going to adults only next year, and all the children paraphenalia will be removed, maybe that will improve the back terrace and maybe the entertainment will improve ...... but I won't hold my breath. P&O really need to up their game, and not be stuck with the same entertainment 20 years down the line - other cruise companies can do it, why can't they? Still have a soft spot for P&O but think we will be looking elsewhere in future. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
school holidays. 2nd time on Ventura but the lack of coffee machines at the bars is no good for caffeine fans. There us one Costa on level 5 which is so busy one often left due to queues. There are machines in buffet restaurants but ... Read More
school holidays. 2nd time on Ventura but the lack of coffee machines at the bars is no good for caffeine fans. There us one Costa on level 5 which is so busy one often left due to queues. There are machines in buffet restaurants but coffee is often weak I enjoy double shot lattes several times a day. The food is excellent, every restaurant every day but this is only ship I've been on where there id no all inc drinks package. Another deal breaker. Entertainment superb, friendly staff, super ship but lack of coffee machines at bar will not see me return. The breakers sun bar allows smoking outside but only on left hand side. You need to get up there early if you want an outside table. My best cruise by far was with AIDA prima the German cruise liner which is already re booked for next easter. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
This was our 2nd cruise with p&o, the 1st on Azura. Brittania is a lovely ship, however very badly designed the lifts are an absoloute nightmare. We travel with our disabled son and spent most of our time waiting for lifts !! however ... Read More
This was our 2nd cruise with p&o, the 1st on Azura. Brittania is a lovely ship, however very badly designed the lifts are an absoloute nightmare. We travel with our disabled son and spent most of our time waiting for lifts !! however wouldn;t have to wait so long if the able bodied people used the stairs!!!! ( they could walk off the food they ate !! ). The rooms are very modern and good sized but the balconys are much smaller then Azura. The cabin boy was excelent Josie and kept are room immaculate and was very friendly. The food in restaurants and buffets was excelent choice and quaity good. Cannot understand negative reviews !! what do people want ?? Evening entertainment good and a good variety.Price of drinks good and again good choice. Daytime sea days not enough going on really, could be improved on. The staff on this cruise ship work extremeley hard and go out of there way to be nice to people. However I spoke to several staff in great lenghs, most staff from Goa and the phillapines. It makes me ashmed to be british sometimes as they all said some british people are just miserable and down right rude and treat them really bad. They said people in Goa are always happy and appreciate what they have, yet english people are so miserable and always want more !!!!! a lesson to be learned there !!!!! Only downside was sharing the cruise with some very greedy, rude english people and the fact you had to pay extra for more on this cruise than Azura, Also when using the shuttle buses to get off at ports it was very disorganised and they expected by disabled son to travel alone on a bus without a companion totally unacceptable for a child in a wheelchair !! Driver didn't speak english however after a few goes at getting him to understand my son couln't travel alone he let me sit in back of bus on wheel hub !!! agaqin unnaceptable but had no choice Something P&o need to look into. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
This was our second cruise with P & O and we enjoyed it very much. We had a boarding time of 1.30 p.m. However, when we arrived at Southampton at midday we were pleasantly surpised to be told that we could join the check in queue ... Read More
This was our second cruise with P & O and we enjoyed it very much. We had a boarding time of 1.30 p.m. However, when we arrived at Southampton at midday we were pleasantly surpised to be told that we could join the check in queue immediately. This was a real bonus for us and we were checked in and boarded by 12.30 p.m. Having boarded and grabbed some lunch, we decided to try to find out the location of our cabin and were very pleased to see our luggage had already been delivered. We were unpacked and ready to go by 1.15 p.m. The whole process was very efficient. We split our dining between the Peninsular dining room and the buffet. The food and service in the dining room were excellent. However, the food in the buffet left a lot to be desired, especially during dinner. Breakfast was pretty good, however. It seemed to us that providing excellent food in the dining rooms was at the expense of the buffet. The entertainment in the theatre was very good and the new show "Astonishing" was extremely entertaining and did leave us wondering how a couple of the illusions were done. The comedian improved as the week wore on. I know it is something people either love or hate, but we enjoyed the Great British Sailalong very much. You will note that I said "Sailalong" rather than "Sailaway". This is because Norwegian ports have now banned the sailaways, so we had this on our last day at sea instead. The only criticism we would have is that the DJ could have kept the party admosphere going a bit longer after the sailalong, instead of playing just one tune and then reverting to the usual stuff. The ports of call are all outstanding. We did not book any excursions through P & O, but instead booked independently. Flam and Olden are particularly spectacular. If you can manage the walk up to the Bryksdal glacier, it is well worth the effort. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
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