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184 P&O Cruises Europe Cruise Reviews

A lot has been said about the 9th December cruise, the listing that terrified people was just that, terrifying. I think the deck could have told us not to worry much sooner. The cost of excursions is a joke, some walking tours were in ... Read More
A lot has been said about the 9th December cruise, the listing that terrified people was just that, terrifying. I think the deck could have told us not to worry much sooner. The cost of excursions is a joke, some walking tours were in excess of £30. They were well supported though. They took money off lots of people for a highlights DVD & never produced it. Not even sure we got a refund. Meet the captain, looked forward to it but he was 20 minutes late & we had to go for food & missed it. Smoking on all outside decks on starboard side is incredible, think about it, half the cruise the only sun is on the starboard side, try and get some & get kippered. One deck, highest obviously, would be enough. I hate formal nights (My wife loves them) Booked a balcony, complete waste of money on a winter cruise. Sounds like I hated it eh? Well I had a pretty good time, liked the food & entertainment, drink a little expensive. Jason & Eifa did a great job with the choir, headliners theatre company were good. The girls, Teresa, Faye & Joana were great in Waterside late night snacks. We booked again not long after we came back for Azura to Barbados in October. After we booked we got an offer from P&O giving us extra spend if we booked another cruise. That offer came too late. Canin C622, perfectly adequate. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Having loved last years Cruise so much (our first) we decided to go again this year. Its a lovely ship but interestingly its surprising how much more critical one becomes second time round. Having said that our rating is still "Very ... Read More
Having loved last years Cruise so much (our first) we decided to go again this year. Its a lovely ship but interestingly its surprising how much more critical one becomes second time round. Having said that our rating is still "Very Good". At embarkation I already knew things would be different. A fellow passenger sitting beside us ripped open his prepacked sandwich with his teeth, guzzled it down and scattered crumbs everywhere. It set me wondering if this was the sort of pleasantries in store for us on the voyage to come. Boarding was a breeze and finding the Cabin was as difficult as ever (that never changed during our entire trip). The room was clean but the carpet looked shabby in areas. Otherwise no complaints. The room steward was fantastic and I should mention at this point that all the staff we had dealings with were excellent too. The Norovirus warning letter that we were presented with at the beginning of the cruise did raise some alarm bells and the subsequent letter confirming an outbreak of Norovirus during the Cruise was a worry. Thankfully we didn't succumb but looking at the unhygienic behaviors of passengers in the Buffet its not unsurprising there was an outbreak. Apart from people coughing and sneezing as the walked around the food areas (already mentioned in another Ventura review) I actually saw several passengers nip in through the central exit of the Buffet in order to avoid the hand washing. One elderly gentleman strode around picking buns and croissants without using the tongs, piled them up on his chest and strode out again. In order to avoid the above we used fine dining every night and sat with 4 lovely individuals with impeccable manners. I would recommend this choice to anyone as the food was generally excellent and you can avoid for the best part the unpleasantries of the Buffet. I know you need to dress up particularly on the formal nights but its great fun. Sadly on this trip some formal nights were missed out and the casual dress code did lead to some shocking sights (never with the ladies I hasten to add). For example as we left the Bay Tree one evening I walked behind a fellow diner. His shirt was a mess of wrinkles and hanging outside his trousers. Luckily the tail wasnt autographed. His trousers were about 9 inches too long and hung over a tatty pair of shoes. He reminded me of a farmer on his way to assist a pig farrowing rather than a fellow passenger just leaving fine dining. Conversation at our table was often hilarious usually reflecting on some of the "sights " we had seen on the ship the detail of which I wont go into but if you were there you will know what I mean. There was one incident where two of our companions had chosen the Buffet for dinner only to tell us "never again". They recounted trying to strike up a conversation with shall we say a "rather large" gentleman at their table. His response was "sorry no time to chat, i'm eating". They said that if he had a garden shovel as opposed to a knife and fork he would have used it. Sadly you will see this all too often in the Buffet areas an although you may have to endure it for breakfast I would suggest you head for the fine dining every evening and of course the Saffron for lunch. My final bugbear is that I do wish some people would bring a bar of soap with them or at least use the shower gel and toiletries provided. On a cruise I shower at least twice a day. This is not for all I guess but I did encounter several people in the lifts and other confined spaces that had not made the acquaintance of a bar of soap for some months or years even. Several times I had to hold my breath and make a hasty exit. This wasnt confined to the lifts in fact queuing for dinner at the Bay Tree some nights was equally unpleasant. What was good. Well the Ventura is a lovely ship. It has plenty of venues and you can tour around to your hearts content. The food at times was fantastic particularly when you consider how reasonably priced the Cruise is. Entertainment, well my Wife loved it so I am not going to say much more this. I dutifully went along to each show and endured o the offerings. Performance wise everything seemed a little more slick and polished than last year and I actually enjoyed some of it. The guest speaker was particularly enjoyable with his take on those high profile murder cases. We met lots of really nice people which is a great thing about cruising. I am forever indebted to the lady who who told me how handsome she thought I was much to my Wifes chagrin. Thats a first for me, perhaps she needed glasses. The ports of call were "same old same old" but the walks were always worth it and a pleasant and healthy change from being on board. Its funny but you can always differentiate passengers from locals whilst walking around town. The locals are the fit and healthy looking ones and passengers tend to be as round as they are tall and wobble along the cobble streets in their droves. I am surprised no one has mentioned the storm in the Bay of Biscay in more detail. There were several injuries on board and we did see one elderly gentleman lying prostrate on the Buffet floor with staff in attendance. I did hear that passengers at the head of the table during the second sitting were showered with everyone else cutlery dinner plates and wine glasses as the ship listed whilst turning into he wind. We did not hear any warning that this manouvre was about to be undertaken so as we left our cabin we were flung towards our neighbors door opposite. They had opened theirs to see what was going on and we almost ended up in their cabin. There was a tannoy broadcast apparently but it was not audible in our cabin. Rather shocking really. So would we go again. Absolutely. Pound for pound these Cruises are absolute bargains. They are mostly stress free and the standard of service is excellent. Has the standard dropped...Well absolutely even in terms of what I can see. Some reviews are now referring to "the Butlins mob". Its a bit like Air travel which was only for the privileged before the budget carriers came along. The only thing I would say here is that people should not be so keen to let the side down. Invest in a Tuxedo and bar of soap and try and be on your best manners. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
This was my first cruise. My first impression was, this needs a uplifte looks tired. Few staff were sarcastic and belittling. I was not impressed like me don’t eat meat, choice offered was not interesting, found mashed potatoes we beaten ... Read More
This was my first cruise. My first impression was, this needs a uplifte looks tired. Few staff were sarcastic and belittling. I was not impressed like me don’t eat meat, choice offered was not interesting, found mashed potatoes we beaten so bad they all became like liquid, and so called wedges were always hard, they do t know how to make custard was always lumpy. Sweets or pudding, were not worth having.As for self service, was like a free for all and food kept running out and had to ask to be re filled, staff had lay back attitude in this restaurant, and too many people were picking food up and putting them down.. Lifts could do with more labelling, along with direction where to go... would be nice to have a little direction of where shops are . You had to pay £4 ew per person ew on shuttle bus. I felt cold in bars, the shows were quite good. bedrooms were very clean, and most places were clean. I did get annoyed the way staff just constantly kept coming up asking you to fill your glass, just as you get to bottom, and when you said no I’m fine, then next one comes and ask same question. I thought they put a mat down to show you did not want a drink. Must say get in on and off was very efficient. I’m only say saying what I feel for my first experience. I felt if we had had third person in cabin we would on top of each other . Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
We picked the cruise because we had only been to 1 of the ports of call. Although we had visited Lisbon numerous times before it is a city that we like a lot so that was ok. We also visited Valencia, Alicante, Gibraltar and Cadiz - ... Read More
We picked the cruise because we had only been to 1 of the ports of call. Although we had visited Lisbon numerous times before it is a city that we like a lot so that was ok. We also visited Valencia, Alicante, Gibraltar and Cadiz - Alicante was supposed to be Cartegena but P&O seemed somewhat surprised that a marathon was being run there and so most of the town was closed down! We were livid about this, we really wanted to visit Cartegena and they must surely have known up front, if not somebody needs a demotion. We had heard that Ventura is getting abit tired - sure there are signs that she has been at sea for nearly 10 years now but it's nothing to be put off by. They were replacing carpets with nice new fluffy ones on some of the stair ways, it was done with the minimum of disruption. The wetaher was most excellent apart from a nasty storm we hit just south of Bilbao, that made me sea sick and I missed the only night they served lobster on board - most annoying but nobody's fault. Now we come to the food - it is in this area that you can see cutbacks particularly if you don't like fish. The choice is much less than it used to be, the servings of vegetables are tiny, the always available options of steak and chicken never change - they could offer different sauces but all you get is bearnaise with the steak, the chicken is always cooked exactly the same way and with no choice. There were too many fish dishes and not enough imagination. The dishes sounded good on the menu but were often a bit bland and missing the wow factor they used to have. The food in Waterside was ok but it's such a bun fight that we did not enjoy eating up there. The food in the main dining rooms was variable in quality, one night they served lamb leg steaks, I have brought it home to repair my work boots with, I expect it to last a few years as it is tough stuff :-) We went for freedom dining, which threw up a strange dislike - every night the conversation was the same and very boring. There seem to be so many people that just can't wait to tell you how many cruises they have been on and how big their houses are. It seemed to happen most nights and every attempt to talk about something else was just brought back to the same old topics by somebody on the table. Surely there are other things to talk about? I think it is some sort of snobbery, I have experienced it before but never to this extent. It's not P&O's fault in any way, just thought I would mention it. We would probably have swapped to fixed dining if we could as tables for 2 are rather scarce and even if you do get a table for 2 there will be someone on the next table that can't wait to tell you that their next cruise is already booked despite Bert's lumbago and the fact it's going to take 12 people 10 days to paint the back wall in their massive kitchen. Overall the cruise was very good, the entertainment was excellent apart from a couple of people that had been described as comedians being about as funny as a ruptured spleen. The cabin was always clean and tidy thanks to Sheldon , who was simply brilliant. Overall it was excellent value for money - the trip to the top of the rock of Gibralter was the highlight of the holiday. We will go again but next time I will take ear plugs. And sea sickness pills. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Where to start! I was the lead passenger for a group of 10 travellers. All had sailed with P&O before, however, it was the general consensus of opinion from the group that on this trip standards have dropped. Although the general ... Read More
Where to start! I was the lead passenger for a group of 10 travellers. All had sailed with P&O before, however, it was the general consensus of opinion from the group that on this trip standards have dropped. Although the general condition of the ship was acceptable, it was evident that the ship had seen better days. Some of the carpeting in the public areas shows signs of wear and tear, being thread bear on a number of stairs. The wall covering in some of the corridors was heavily damaged with luggage scuff marks. Most days we had breakfast and lunch in the Waterside Buffet Restaurant, where we found the food choice to be of good quality and plentiful. Because this is a popular restaurant, on occasions there was a short wait for stocks to be replenished. Many of the chairs in this restaurant could have benefited from a good clean, as there was ingrained staining on the plastic covering. Guests are asked to self sanitise their hands to prevent the spread of germs and bugs, however, if the chairs aren't kept clean surely more germs and bugs are encountered. We opted for freedom dining in the Saffron Restaurant. The menu selection in this restaurant, although good, appeared to be less than we had seen on previous P&O menus, even the bread roll selection was limited. One of our party has a gluten free diet requirement which P&O were made aware of and frequently waited more than 30 minutes for their roll to be brought to the table. Being a large party we thought 2 hours would be sufficient time for the meal. On more than one occasion it was an hour to get to the main course. It seems the larger the party the longer it takes to be served. It was noticed that smaller groups of fellow travelers arriving in the restaurant after us, completed their meal and left before we got to the desert course. One evening we found it necessary to leave the restaurant before coffee to enable us to watch a show. P&O please serve people in a timely manner. Its nice to have a drink, that is if you can get one. Something appears to be clearly going wrong with the system for obtaining an a drink, both in the bars and the restaurants. Our group met each evening in a bar for a pre dinner drink, several waiters in the bar and no other customers. Okay so far. You are then subjected to the same service as a previous cruiser reviewed. I should add, we only ever ordered 2 drinks at a time. You cannot order your drink at the bar. A waiter takes your order, after you attract their attention. The waiter then returns to the bar to have the drink(s) made. 10 to 15 minutes later, your drinks arrive. A few minutes later the waiter returns for you to sign for the drinks and return your cruise card. On one occasion we waited 25 minutes just for the drinks to be made. On one occasion we found several waiters standing chatting for several minutes while we waited to order drinks. The cabin stewardess provided a superb service, keeping the cabin clean and tidy and replenishing supplies. The entertainment in the Arena show room was first class. A special mention needs to go to the Headliners, whose shows were to West End standard. Cruising with friends on P&O ships is great fun, but these minor irritations took the edge off it this time. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We recently took a Spain and France cruise on the Aurora. This is a clean, comfortable ship with loads on offer. While not the largest vessel we have sailed on, it was of sufficient size to travel smoothly over a fairly choppy bay of ... Read More
We recently took a Spain and France cruise on the Aurora. This is a clean, comfortable ship with loads on offer. While not the largest vessel we have sailed on, it was of sufficient size to travel smoothly over a fairly choppy bay of Biscay. We found the embarkation process smooth, and the mobility assistance and general crew attitude welcoming. We boarded a little before the cabins were fully ready, but were take to the Alexandria Restaurant where a buffet and a welcome drink were waiting for us. The cabins were soon ready, and we headed off to a small but comfortable inner on the 11th Deck. This cabin (A227) had a soft bed (configured as a double), a small settee, and loads of drawer and wardrobe space for its size. The shower was easy to access, and the TV kept good reception the entire cruise. We didn't use any specialty dining on this occasion, but did eat in the Horizon buffet, and both the Medina and Alexandria Restaurants. Service was attentive, and care was taken for special diets. We attended a really interesting talk on Nat King Cole in the theatre, and took in a couple of recent release films as well. The entertainment provision was typical for cruises, and seemed to be enjoyed by most. Service was good, and we had a very professional steward, who kept a perfect balance of attentiveness without being "in your face." Other staff were accommodating and made for a pleasant cruise. The Bay of Biscay was dreary and blustery in both sea days, and the exposed pools were unusable (for both cold, and the sloshing of their contents over their sides), but plenty of indoor activities were on offer. Each of the ports (La Coruna, Bilbao, La Rochelle, and Cherburgh) were sunny, and the the first three warmer than predicted. Many passengers caught up on their pool time in these. We made two ship arranged excursions to Santiago and to Guernica. Both were informative, and made for a richer experience. The guide for Santiago was flexible and provided good "free time" recommendations. There is a "road train" tour available from the cathedral square, but it was bone jarring over cobbles. The Guernica excursion was also interesting, though the guide was a little less organised. We learned a lot about Basque culture and politics, and also had time in a small fishing port. The highlight was to see the tile reproduction of Picasso's Guernica. This was a very good cruise with great food, and good service. Minor annoyances came in the lift wait times, and the captain's daily announcements. He would introduce himself each time as the "Captaan" which is endearing the first two or three times, but wears thin. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Very good experience.We have travelled on 8 cruises previously,mostly with P&O.On this occasion we booked on an early bird deal which was slightly cheaper which warned us that we could not be certain og getting the table number we ... Read More
Very good experience.We have travelled on 8 cruises previously,mostly with P&O.On this occasion we booked on an early bird deal which was slightly cheaper which warned us that we could not be certain og getting the table number we preferred which in this case was 8.What we were allocated a table for 2 but we had been warned so this was ok.However what we did not bargain for was that any shuttle requirements which are usually free charged early birders £10 per journey which in total was substantially more than the early bird saving.The cruise was from genoa to venice to genoa on the dates provided on this site Needless to say we have never travelled onP&O again.So be warned about such devious tricks.I have subsequently travelled on Cunard which is now more expensive due to working in dollars rather than .However the ports of call were very good but trips were little expensive. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Firstly we arrived at the port at 2-15pm and the embarkation process was smooth and we were on the ship by 3pm and were able to go straight to our cabin and our luggage arrived soon after. The room had been set up as requested by our ... Read More
Firstly we arrived at the port at 2-15pm and the embarkation process was smooth and we were on the ship by 3pm and were able to go straight to our cabin and our luggage arrived soon after. The room had been set up as requested by our friendly Cabin Steward Clifford. There is a hairdryer in the cupboard and two pool towels in the bathroom with shower gel, Conditioner and shampoo. My only criticism about the room was that the sheets and pillow cases were not changed during the 12 day trip. The prices of the Minibar is expensive i.e £2.75 for a coke when in the bar it was £1.75. Bar prices are similar to UK pub prices in the south of England. If you have not paid the select fare do bear in mind that some of the courtesy buses are charged to your account at around £4 per trip. We only used the buses once at Porto and there was a queue of around 20 mins but was well organised. There are plenty of areas to sit on the ship during sea days even when the weather was iffy which it was on two of the days of our trip. The Entertainment was ok but Sean Meo the comedian was truly awful we walked out after 15 mins as his act just seemed to be to pick on people at the front to try to gain a few laughs which he did not get. Ben Kimsey the singer was excellent and Tucker the other comedian was pretty funny. The Headliners performed all their shows well but someone said they were on the same ship in April and the shows were the same. The First port of call was Oporto and you really do need to get the bus to the centre and the town is very hilly. The town is nice with some nice buildings but if you want to sample or buy the Port Wine then a booked tour is advised as it is a long walk from the drop off point and from the ship. The next port was Cadiz and from here we did the trip to Seville with its beautiful cathedral it takes around 90 mins to get there. No information given on route by the guide which was disappointing. We have been to Cadiz before and it is a nice place to walk around with a lovely beach area. The next port was Malaga and from here we went to The Alhambra Palace in Granada. The Tour guide on the Bus Pepe was brilliant and gave us lots of information on route and the rep that gave us the tour of the palace was excellent. I suggest you always go with a tour guide for this tour I would not have known where to start. There was also a lunch at a local hotel with free wine and was very nice. We will go to Malaga again as it looked very nice and we did not get time to explore this time. Cartagena next with its lovely Art Deco buildings was pretty and nice to visit. Gibralter was the penultimate port with its long street of perfume, tobacco and gift shops. But do check the prices at the duty free in Gibralter as we felt they were cheaper. It depends how much you are taking back. There are a couple of tours available but we did not do them. The Last port was Lisbon and we used the Big Red Hop On Hop off bus. This was a two hour trip because of the heavy traffic but was interesting. The cost is 20 Euro per ticket . The centre near the port is lovely to walk around and we will have a closer look next time we visit. We had a lovely table of 8 every evening (club Dining at 6.30pm) and hello to Paddy, Thomas, Malcolm, Mary. Colin and Jenny . We enjoyed your company and shared a few laughs during the very enjoyable meals we had each evening. In Summary there is something for everyone on Azura but on this particular cruise we felt like youngsters in our 60s. We found most of the staff to be engaging and friendly apart from the main Coffee Barista in Java Costa Coffee where the service was hit and miss. One note here is that the cakes and sandwiches in Costa are FREE if you are having a coffee in that area. Our room was at the back of the ship on Deck 12 and you do feel the ship rocking when the sea conditions are lively. The sauna and steam rooms are free and are not mixed. You give in your room card for a locker key and towels are available. The library has a good selection of books and a news sheet is provided daily with some basic home news. And finally in the spirit of the captain's thought of the day. Whether its the best of times or the worst of times, its the only time we have got. Cabin A744 Deck 12 Cruise A730 Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
To be quite honest I was not too keen on the idea of going on a cruise. My Sister who lost her husband almost two years ago was a frequent cruiser and had often said how much she enjoyed it. If fact they would sometimes manage to do two ... Read More
To be quite honest I was not too keen on the idea of going on a cruise. My Sister who lost her husband almost two years ago was a frequent cruiser and had often said how much she enjoyed it. If fact they would sometimes manage to do two a year. Alnong with two other very close friends we all decided that we would go on a cruise and selected Oceana for our maiden voyage together. We opted for a fly cruise for seven nights, flying out to Malta to pick up the ship. Our air transport was provided by TUI the newly branded Thomson airline. Even the cabin crew were getting confused with the change. Sadly this is where the cattle truck system does not make for comfortable travel. Myself, being almost 6ft and not too slim could just about squeeze into the seat. There was no legroom, fortunately I was able to change seats to an aisle seat where I could at least squeeze in with an arm rest placed in the upright position. As to being able to drop the table to a flat position, that was impossible. The upshot of this was that every time the trolleys went past my shoulders and elbows bore the brunt of the collision. It was no different on the return flight. Anyway, I’ve always believed that the flight forms part of the holiday so I would score this a poor 2 out of 5. On a brighter note our arrival at Malta was on time and we were swiftly directed out of the airport by a myriad of helpers brandishing P&O signs and on to coaches. Sadly these coaches had their seats crammed in to maximise the discomfort of tall or not so slim passengers. Some 20 minutes later we got off the coaches and stood in line whilst we all went through the process of being photographed and processed. This procedure seemed to take some time and the standing around in the heat was starting to wear thin by the time we actually arrived under our own steam onto the dock where the Oceana was tied up. We had been travelling for over 14 hours and I for one was getting tired at this time. Our ascent up the gangway onto the ship was very smooth and it was great to be able to sit in a comfy chair and grab a drink before finding our cabin. Initial impressions of the atrium and its lighting seemed to pick me up a little and i thought that if the rest of the ship is as welcoming as this then perhaps it might not be too bad. Drink, Drunk and we moved off to locate our respective cabins, directions were well signed and we soon entered the corridors for A deck. On arrival at our cabin our luggage was outside waiting for us. Brilliant! On opening the door and entering my first impressions were very good. Nice size for two of us with basically all that you need. On drawing the curtains and opening the balcony door there was ample room to sit and chill. Now it’s starting to impress me a little. We planned to meet by the lifts then go up to the sun deck for a drink or two before grabbing a light snack from the buffet. The sun deck was impressive although some fixtures and fitting looked as thought they had seen better days but I’m sure they were on the list of jobs to do. Dinner that evening was casual and the menu was very interesting. I chose for my main course Whole Wytch Sole, which when it arrived was not whole but de-headed, skinned and very over cooked to the point where it was inedible. I had no option but to send this back and chose a lamb dish which when it arrived was excellent. In order to keep this somewhat short as a review, the meals throughout the week in the Buffet and the Ligurian Restaurant were very good to excellent. The formal nights we all enjoyed and even got time to chat to one of the senior officers. Drinks were priced at hotel prices which was not too bad. The service throughout was very good. Our cabin steward was excellent and nothing was too much trouble for him. I for one used the gym a couple of times and was quite impressed with the available equipment. We spent plenty of time on deck either walking round the promenade deck or just leaning on the rail watching the world go by. Going in and out of the ports we visited would find us up on deck of on our balcony watching the procedures. We also did a couple of trips off the ship which we enjoyed but these really are documented by many that have gone before us. We went to a couple of shows which we all enjoyed and all in all spent a very enjoyable week. Needless to say I have now changed my mind about cruising. Would I do it again? Let me think? Yes of course! In fact we have already booked our second cruise on Britannia for 14 nights out of Southampton. No more fly cruises though! Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We chose this review as the ship was visiting Ports we hadn't had a chance to visit. Embarkation was extremely good. I am a part time wheelchair user and help was on hand to help us onto the ship. Our cabin was spacious and the ... Read More
We chose this review as the ship was visiting Ports we hadn't had a chance to visit. Embarkation was extremely good. I am a part time wheelchair user and help was on hand to help us onto the ship. Our cabin was spacious and the wheelchair slotted under the wardrobe very neatly. The cabin was clean and the bed comfortable, we had a good deal of wardrobe space, but could have done with a few more hangers so we didn't have to double or triple up. The bathroom was adequate although the shower curtain was too short and too narrow to contain the water inside the shower, hence a few puddles. I had requested a disabled toilet and was pleased to see a higher than normal loo. The ship was very pleasant, the halls, public areas, bars and restaurants immaculate. However the basket weave furniture on the pool deck was awful with ingrained food making it too unpleasant to sit at. The furniture either needs a good scrub or replacing. Perhaps basket weave isn't such a good idea with so many people using it? We had chosen second sitting dinner and the food was delicious with at least 4 choices for each course. Our waiters were lovely, friendly and chatted, we liked that rather than just serving us food and not talking. Breakfast again had a good choice if rather small portions. I had cheese omelette which was obviously made with one egg and my husband had a kipper, well half of one side of a kipper actually. There weren't any pastries or croissants offered they had to be requested which hasn't been my experience before. The fruit juice was WATERED down!!!! P&O surely a Cruise costing well over two and a half thousand pounds deserves proper fruit juice please, it was horrible to drink. Also the milk jugs were a nuisance as the lip isn't long enough and the milk pours into the saucer and over the table!!!! The entertainment was good however the price of a soft drink was so over priced it was offputting. A Mocktail well over £5?? Come on P&O play fair. I had promised myself a massage in the Oasis Spa, one look at the exorbitant prices put me right off. I can and do get a facial, eyebrow wax etc much cheaper at my home salon than on the ship. What a shame. We have booked two more cruises in March and October 2018 so I do hope the things I have pointed out will be rectified as although they may sound insignificant to us they were important and we would be prepared to look at other cruise lines. We chose 3 tours with little walking as the wheelchair is a nuisance. Our first was to Cadiz to see Flamenco dancing, it was extremely good and we loved it. The courier was very knowledgable and after the dancing we did a tour of Cadiz. Our second tour was to Barcelona and included the Sagrada Familia which I had longed to see. I wasn't disappointed and although we didn't have time to go in I was elated to sit in the park and just drink in the beauty of the Cathedral. Our third tour was in Gibralter to see the dolphins. A very good tour and we did see dolphins, so were happy. All tours were easy walking and the couriers took great care to ensure we were all together. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Priority boarding took 15 minutes and we were clear having a champagne lunch by 13.30pm. By time we got to our balcony cabin B248 (deck 14 mid to forward) 2 of our 3 cases were already delivered and the 3rd arrived as we unpacked. The ... Read More
Priority boarding took 15 minutes and we were clear having a champagne lunch by 13.30pm. By time we got to our balcony cabin B248 (deck 14 mid to forward) 2 of our 3 cases were already delivered and the 3rd arrived as we unpacked. The ship is huge but easy for seasoned cruisers to navigate. The cabin & bathroom were nicely decorated and provisioned but the balcony was very small, struggling to hold 2 chairs and a tiny table. All the usual P&O restaurants and speciality restaurants, Epicurean, Sindhu, Glasshouse, Beachhouse and a dining club The Limelight Club with excellent food. The prices for drinks, although still reasonable, seemed to have crept up as have cover charges. Entertainment was good and varied and the novelty of the Limelight Club was a nice change, we saw Eric & Ernie over a splendid dinner in a theatre club setting. The decor throughout was nice but understated and I was underwhelmed by the atrium. Friendly, great service throughout the trip. Off by 08.15am with priority pass. The itinerary was Madeira and The Canaries with Northbound stops at Lisbon and Vigo, all familiar places to us so we largely did our own thing apart from Lanzarote where we did the Fire Mountain excursion. Overall, a good cruise on Britannia. We had heard negative stories but it is a clean, efficient friendly ship with good staff on a nice ship. We've tried all the P&O vessels and Britannia is certainly one to which we will return. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Having sworn never to cruise again with P&O and especially not on Oceana again, we found an itinerary that attracted us and decided to bite the bullet, and try Oceana again. I am very glad that we made that decision, as this cruise ... Read More
Having sworn never to cruise again with P&O and especially not on Oceana again, we found an itinerary that attracted us and decided to bite the bullet, and try Oceana again. I am very glad that we made that decision, as this cruise was a completely different experience to our last one! This was a 7 day cruise out of Malta, travelling up the Croatian coast to Venice and return. The itinerary was interesting, and in spite of some inclement weather, we enjoyed our ports of call and the overall cruise experience. Green beans were still the vegetable of choice in the dining room, but at least there was a slight change in that they mixed the beans with peas, but having said that, food in the dining room and buffet were improved from our last cruise in February 2016. Entertainment this time was great, with good variety and a positive attitude by the entertainment staff. The overall age of guests was much younger than on our last trip, and so we learned that an extended cruise out of Southampton is not for us, but we may even return to Malta next year and continue where we left off. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Firstly this ship is haunted. I’ve been on it twice and same things happened. I’d stop and let someone pass and find out nobody was there. Eventually my mother asked why I kept stopping and turning round and I told her. She laughed it ... Read More
Firstly this ship is haunted. I’ve been on it twice and same things happened. I’d stop and let someone pass and find out nobody was there. Eventually my mother asked why I kept stopping and turning round and I told her. She laughed it off until something (Invisable) started jumping up and down on her bed one night and I eventually asked the DJ if anyone had died on ship and he said “plenty” I complained to reception but the reply was “We have had no complaints about ghosts madam”. They even followed me to a class. The ship is fairly nice and plenty of restaurants and bars to lounge in. It’s quiet and seems to attract much older people so You get a lovely relaxed feel and it’s staff are very hard working throughout. We were single so were put with a large group of other singles at dinner and it was a blast as all had company and I thought that was a lovely gesture of P&O on this ship. I met an amazing bunch and highly recommend them to continue this as singles usually feel very alone when cruising . I tend to go to spa and have lots of different treatments as they are all great and found it very relaxing and plenty of products to choice from if you wish to take some home. I love cruising and P&O do great trips you can book and also have a free shuttle bus so everything is catered for. The staff are the friendliest most hardworking from ~room servicing to restaurants and this ship has great food. It’s exceptionally clean,good decor and my favourite ship (I’ve been on lots of P&O ships and this is a favourite so went twice to various places. I highly recommend it and those cocktails. Entertainment is brilliant and I mean top west end ,but better. headliners are the best I’ve ever experienced. They put on such good shows that I count down the evenings they are on and try to get a seat as early as possible. They have a Costa, cinema and pretty much everything you need so you are not bored when at sea. Variety of classes to enjoy and have learned so much from them. Like diets and other information for hair ,skin and a variety of things. The worst bit is having to leave a i never want to get off P&O cruises. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
You do sometimes have to wonder if you were on the same cruise as some of the reviewers.Anyway, we had a great time on this 5 night short break. Friendly staff throughout the ship. We enjoyed lovely food in the main dining room and my ... Read More
You do sometimes have to wonder if you were on the same cruise as some of the reviewers.Anyway, we had a great time on this 5 night short break. Friendly staff throughout the ship. We enjoyed lovely food in the main dining room and my gluten free husband had excellent service from the head waiter helping with his choices for the following night. Lovely meal in Sindhu, with excellent staff, a great evening.We didn't go to all of the entertainment and think that Headliners need some new shows as we had seen all of them before. However, there is plenty going on, we enjoyed the Badness tribute band and the live music and the show offs dancing in the atrium each night Enjoyed Amsterdam, the Van Gogh museum was well worth visiting we pre-booked tickets before travelling and that worked very well to jump a large queue. Caught a bus to Honfleur from Le Havre and had a lovely afternoon in this pretty town. All in all a lovely relaxing break. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
A fly-cruise is the only logical way to get to more-distant destinations if many additional ‘sea-days’ are to be avoided. Despite all of the hassle involved with flights from and to Gatwick, this turned out to be a highly-enjoyable ... Read More
A fly-cruise is the only logical way to get to more-distant destinations if many additional ‘sea-days’ are to be avoided. Despite all of the hassle involved with flights from and to Gatwick, this turned out to be a highly-enjoyable seven-night cruise from and to Malta, taking in some fantastic destinations. It was our first time in Valletta and likewise the four further ports of call – Piraeus (for Athens), Heraklion (Crete), Katakolon (for Olympia) and Sarande (Albania). The weather was exactly as one would expect for late August in the Mediterranean – consistently hot and sunny. Excursions to the Acropolis and Olympia were the highlights for us. Sarande was hardly in the same league as the other ports of call and although close to Corfu (which would have been a far preferable destination), apparently the ship had called there in the preceding week (many of the passengers on our cruise being in the second week of a two week cruise; P&O offering ‘back to back’ cruises taking in either seven or fourteen nights around the Mediterranean). The ship was full and age-ranges ‘across the board’, but with perhaps an emphasis on ‘middle-aged without children’, even though the cruise was in school holiday time. ‘Oceana’ itself remains a generally very pleasant experience. We last cruised on her in 2014 and I would imagine that there has been no interim refit. This must certainly now be close, assuming our cabin (and especially the ‘bathroom area’) to be typical of all on the ship. There was nothing really too wrong with our midships balcony-cabin, but it was perhaps beginning to look a bit tired here and there. It does have to be said that the cold running water was never cold and the shower was hardly ‘gushing’ – as we had very recently experienced on ‘Adonia’. At the next refit, fixed-head showers should be replaced with showers on a flexible hose – for obvious reasons. Since P&O have apparently re-negotiated the contract for the supply of tea, it’s a pity that the in-cabin caddies bear logos which are a throw-back to better times when everything was supplied by the acknowledged up-market producer. We considered the food to be consistently excellent and cannot really understand the need to even think about booking one of the ‘select dining’ experiences (with their additional cover-charges). We were on a table of four (second sitting) in the ‘Adriatic’ restaurant – the fixed seating being far more to our liking than ‘freedom dining’, which I believe was the case for those allocated to the ‘Ligurian’ restaurant No complaints either about the self-service arrangements in the ‘Plaza’. This time, we did not take in any of the on-board entertainments (there was really no need; out all day –other than on sea days – and then the pleasurable experience of an unhurried dinner), so no comment can be made in this regard. TWO TIPS: (1) Whereas when cruising we usually have (at least!) a bottle of wine from the restaurant’s comprehensive wine-list at dinner, this time we preferred longer cold drinks (beers and soft alternatives). Do not buy these in the restaurant as they will only offer small bottled options (requiring two at a time). Buy your long drinks from one of the bars (we used ‘Winners’) at half-the price for the same quantity and simply take them in with you. (2) If you are new to fly-cruising (as we were), make sure that you establish on day one (even if only in broad principle) what the arrangements will be when it comes time to leave the ship. This turned out to be an important lesson for us as we had a late flight from Gatwick and a similarly late flight back. We had (wrongly as it happened) assumed that we would be invited to vacate our cabins early on the last day and similarly vacate the ship early. In fact, for those departing in the late afternoon the requirement to vacate the cabin early remain, but it is then possible to come and go from the ship as you like on the final day, enjoying all of the usual amenities. Before we left home, we had pre-booked the excursion ‘Farewell to Malta’ as we thought this would be a good use of our time and get us to the airport. There was no need. Coach transfers are arranged for all departing passengers at a sensible time and so we would have effectively ‘wasted’ the free-transfer if we had gone ahead with the tour. However, the arrangements for departing passengers were only issued on the last but one night – and that meant when we came to try and cancel the tour (which was no longer relevant), P&O looked to invoke ‘the small print’ which says that no refunds for tours can be given for tours cancelled within 48 hours of departure’. To their credit, P&O did acknowledge that we had a fair point, since none of this is evident from the website when you are ‘encouraged’ to book your excursions early, and accordingly found a way of refunding 90% of the cost of the tour. Be warned! Overall, a great cruise. Would we take another fly-cruise and on this ship? Yes. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Cruise chosen because P&O treat passengers like adults, ports of call, variety of reasonably priced trips, `live' performers, bonded luggage scheme and a few new ports for us to visit. Oceania is due her refit and it was ... Read More
Cruise chosen because P&O treat passengers like adults, ports of call, variety of reasonably priced trips, `live' performers, bonded luggage scheme and a few new ports for us to visit. Oceania is due her refit and it was slightly noticeable but did not detract from the top rate service. A beers and standard drinks package would have been welcome in addition to the soft drinks, coffee and wine schemes. The Headliners show team were top of any teams that we have seen over many years of cruising and mostly sang live where possible. We never felt pressured into buying stuff that we were not interested in, although there were plenty of add on's and specials for people who like that sort of thing. The three paid trips we made (Butraint national park, Spinalonga and Cetina river) were very good in terms of interest, timetable, tour guide information and historical facts. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Having sailed on Oceana and Britannia we decided to give Ventura a go on a 17 day cruise to the Greek Islands. We were worried before we went, having read some pretty grim reviews of the ship but came away having enjoyed our cruise ... Read More
Having sailed on Oceana and Britannia we decided to give Ventura a go on a 17 day cruise to the Greek Islands. We were worried before we went, having read some pretty grim reviews of the ship but came away having enjoyed our cruise overall. Here are the plus points and areas that we felt needed some attention. Plus points: • The staff overall were probably the friendliest bunch we have ever sailed with on any cruise line. They were happy, professional, helpful and polite bar none. • The ship, though looking tired (and ready for a refit) was kept immaculately clean and all of the public areas were fine. The cabin was looking tired, but nothing major and it was comfortable. No sign of that nasty Norovirus! • The cabin steward, Collin, was exceptional and couldn’t do enough for us. Any issues we had with the cabin t.v.s were sorted within minutes. • The superior deluxe cabin was very spacious and had a lovely sitting area and it was good to have a bath as well as a shower for once. We were right at the front and it was very quiet despite there being 680 children on the ship • The select dining areas were varied and excellent value. We had a lovely meal in the Epicurean and it was great to sit outside and watch the sunset as we ate our meal. The glass house was probably my favourite and the food faultless and excellent value for money. Sindhu’s was good too – and that was a surprise for me as I dislike spicy food. • The food in the Saffron Restaurant was very good and we enjoyed the freedom dining experience again. There were always plenty of tables for 2, though we sometimes had to wait. They told us that the peak time was between 7.30 and 8.30pm if anyone wants to avoid it. • We loved the Greek Island ports in particular and the excursions we did with P&O were superb value for money. We did ‘Ancient Corinth and the Corinth Canal’, ‘Mykonos and Wine Tasting’, ‘Olympia and a Beach Excursion’ , the transfer to Taormina and ‘Secrets of the Rock’ in Gibraltar. They were all excellent and good value. Didn’t like Mallorca much at all and were disappointed with the ‘Formentor and Pollensor’ excursion as it bore no relation to the description we were given. • We only went to one sailaway party – the Great British sailaway – and we enjoyed this as we hadn’t been for a number of years. All good fun! The children were all well behaved so credit to them and their parents. • Our fellow passengers were a mixed bunch from lots of different backgrounds. Everyone we met (bar one snooty, obnoxious lady) was great company and we made many new friends. • There seem to be more sunbeds available on this cruise than on any other cruise we have been on mid school holidays. There were small spaces everywhere and it was lovely to enjoy a dip in the adults only pool at the back. Incidentally, we never saw anyone misusing the pools – i.e. children in adult only pools as had been reported else where. • Embarkation was very good and we were on within 20 minutes – far better at the Mayflower terminal than the Ocean Terminal and the whole experience was stress free. • For anyone who enjoys a drink we would say that prices were very fair and way lower than on American cruise lines. The alcohol policy is still very generous and we took on board a box of wine and purchased some additional bottles in the various ports for use in the cabin. • We found that there was plenty to do and you could make of the cruise what you wanted. ON one evening we noticed that there were some people on top deck drinking by the pool, others in the bar / disco area, others just enjoying the ballroom dancing. There was something for everyone. • We don’t tend to go to the shows though we saw one singer (who was excellent) • The buffet food in the afternoon was more varied than on Oceana • We LOVED the wrap around promenade deck – nice to see on a larger ship • Some people moaned that there were a lot of elderly passengers on the ship. We loved the mix of ages and find this an unfair criticism. Good on the elderly for wanting to go on holiday either alone or on their families – we all get old and we met some delightful 70 / 80 somethings. • Most people dressed up for the formal nights and looked stunning – all ages and backgrounds. We had 5 formal nights and for once gave one a miss as we had 3 in just 6 nights! We ate in the buffet that night, in smart casuals so fail to see why people moan about formal nights. There are plenty of places to go if you don’t want to dress up. • The photograph package seems better value now – 10 photos for £70 which is far better than when it was £20 per photo years ago Not so good points: • Though not P&O’s fault the weather was a bit hit and miss and lots of gloomy, cloudy sea days meant that we couldn’t use our balcony as much as we had liked. Disappointed too that we hardly docked on port side (twice I think) and we were always in the shade at every port. For us this was a shame as we prefer to return from a day out and then chill in the sunshine on the balcony occasionally when returning. If you go for this cruise and like the sunshine then either book starboard or an aft cabin. • We didn’t feel that the ship handled the waves as well as Britannia or Oceana – we always sail at the very front or very back in all ships and found Ventura to be the most ‘bumpy’ even in calmer waters. If you get sea sick go for the middle. We also found that she was at a tilt a lot of the time – the crew told us that this was because of the windy weather. • We had booked a cabin on the no smoking side but discovered that the smell of smoke on our balcony on occasions was from the crew smoking room vent that was just in front of our balcony, off the promenade deck. Why they don’t make port side the smoking side we have no idea so that folk like us, who had chosen the non smoking side (port side) wouldn’t be affected. Would not have cabin D114 again for this reason. • We also found this cabin balcony very windy. The weather was windy anyway, but from talking to others it seemed worse as the balcony was more open. We also had the bridge above us so on a rare sunny day for us (our side) the bridge cast a shadow for a time. Something for any sun worshippers to take note of! • We did not find the Captain to be very obvious and, without going in to details have suggested that he takes lessons from some of the other P&O Captains who appear to value their customers / passengers more. Shame. • Disembarkation was not handled as well as in the other ships. We were sent to a theatre and a number of rude passengers jumped the queue which caused ill feeling and could have caused mayhem. They would be better using the dining rooms as on other ships. • The cabin T.V. was terrible and had a limited choice and I hope that they will be replacing this soon when she has her refurb. • This cruise was 17 days from Southampton, with 9 sea days and 7 ports. There were too many sea days for us and hated the journey back to Southampton as we just wanted to get off and get home as we knew that we were on the way home (and it was miserable weather). We will stick to fly cruising in the future for August. To be fair to P&O other folk enjoyed it and we knew what we were getting in to before we booked. We decided to give it a try though. I suppose this isn’t a negative about the cruise / ship, just something for others to think about when they book. All in all, an enjoyable cruise and, surprisingly for me, we would not hesitate to book this ship again. She is lovely and am sure will be even better when she has had her refurb. Don’t let others put you off with reviews – go and give her a chance. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
I had been on the venturer before and I wanted to visit Guernsey. Very nice staff and food lots to do , very busy as in school holidays we were informed there was two adult only pools but did not find one without children I love children ... Read More
I had been on the venturer before and I wanted to visit Guernsey. Very nice staff and food lots to do , very busy as in school holidays we were informed there was two adult only pools but did not find one without children I love children but someone I was travelling with is autistic and can become anxious around children but they like to swim however this did not spoil the holiday. Really good entertainment but no room in the theatre for one of the shows we wanted to see. very good reception staff the waiters and cabin stewards were lovely too.shops were good and good prices on drink and perfume .lots of choice of food and different places to eat .the prices of the formal night for photos were too expenditure £16 a photo !!!! Was very impressed getting back off the ship in Southampton no sitting about however was not happy that we birthed in a different place to when we left we had to get a taxi back to our car park luckily one of us had some cash on us Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We booked this late as they were offering a good price and we thought it covered Verna’s birthday. We flew from Manchester on a P&O charter flight, which was well organised, the luggage was taken off us and we didn’t see it until ... Read More
We booked this late as they were offering a good price and we thought it covered Verna’s birthday. We flew from Manchester on a P&O charter flight, which was well organised, the luggage was taken off us and we didn’t see it until we got to our cabin. The flight was smooth and uneventful landing about six thirty the coaches were waiting and with one of the most speedy booking-in I’ve known. By the time we reached our cabin our cases were there waiting for us. Being an older, smaller ship there was the odd patch of rust about the worst being the state of the windows, they looked as though they needed a scrape rather than just a wash, they were filthy. The cabin was smaller than we were used to and the layout was more cramped, when you used the toilet your knees were in the doorway or so it seemed. We had anytime dining in the liguane restaurant this was at times very slow although we did have one set of waiters which were very speedy. The other restaurant was the Adriatic which had set dinning. The Buffet in the Plaza was strange it only had one section right in the front half of which was commandeered at night to form the beachcombers’ specialty dining room, so it made it very busy in the evening with lots of jostling for seats. The food was good on the occasional night we didn’t find anything to our liking so we went to the plaza which had a bigger choice. When we were on the Oceana on previous cruise we found the service especially in the plaza to be bad with tables still with dirty plates, I’m glad to say this time they were brilliant and they appeared as if by magic at your elbow the moment you finished. The entertainment was geared to music, you could have any type you wanted it was everywhere. They told us that the entertainment team was two members down this was why there were few quizzes and the like this was disappointing to us being in the ‘ancient’ class. They had the ‘house’ dancers and singers who did a really good job, but why did the put them on in the lounge where the stage was small and there was very few props. Having traveled the med before we were only interested in three ports, Sarande Albania, Sibenik and Zadar Croatia which are apparently new to the cruise circuit. All three places were attractive and interesting the people were friendly but the names and signs were a tongue twister to try to pronounce. Our best stop was Venice, having been before and knew our way around, this time we found a mass people mover just outside the dock gates which took us to the bus station which is the beginning of Venice and only one fifteen euros. Before we went we had heard that the weather was hot, when we got there it seemed impossibly hot, although the ship had air-conditioning it was a struggle to cool down and we had to sleep on top of the bed in attempt to keep cool. I’m glad to say after a few days the temperature dropped to a cool’ twenty nine Celsius which made life a bit bearable. As our P&O charter flight was not until the evening we were allowed to stay on board unlike other companies which dump you at the airport hours before your flight. And another slick operation bused us to the airport, I must give praise to the Malta immigration people for the slick way they got us through passport control, having heard about huge queues in European airports I was a bit worried this might happen here. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We chose this cruise because it started and finished in Southampton, and because it went to Portugal, and because it was well reviewed. Food on the cruise was very good, although we would have liked more local dishes (Spanish, ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it started and finished in Southampton, and because it went to Portugal, and because it was well reviewed. Food on the cruise was very good, although we would have liked more local dishes (Spanish, Portuguese) to have been included on the menus. We were very happy with the freedom dining, and would definitely choose this again. Of the bars, we liked the Glass House best (we bought a bit of food there too, which was excellent). We were slightly disappointed with the entertainment, with the exception of an outstanding 50s/60s band, the Bluejays. Vigo and St Peter Port were nice enough, but we wouldn't rush back there. Lisbon and Porto were GREAT! We booked our own tours in Lisbon and Porto. For Lisbon, we booked the “Pirates of the Cruise Ships” tour from We Hate Tourism, where they pick you up and drop you off at the cruise terminal. What a great decision that was! We saw lots of different aspects of Lisbon and its surrounding towns and scenery, as well as having a great lunch with plenty of wine. And all the time we were engaged in lively conversation with our guide – not just the standard tour guide lecture, but getting real insight into Lisbon life and Portugal as a whole. A really excellent day. Back on the ship, everyone we told about our day was impressed and envious. For Porto, we booked the Downtown Food Tour from Taste Porto. Food tours can be a great way to see a city and understand its influences, its culture and its pride. We’ve done food tours in several cities before, but this was the best yet. It includes a generous selection of varied and interesting food and drink, and gave us a real sense of the passion behind great Portuguese food. The old market was particularly special and memorable – full of long-established family shops with obvious pride in the quality of their products. Our guide was excellent. We were delighted with our choice of how to spend the day, and we definitely want to go back to Porto for longer. Embarkation and disembarkation were both very slick. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Last minute booking guaranteed cabin. We ended up with a disabled cabin so really spacious. Clean and comfortable, friendly cabin steward( as they always are). Air con always on in cabin and cannot be turned off which could be a bit ... Read More
Last minute booking guaranteed cabin. We ended up with a disabled cabin so really spacious. Clean and comfortable, friendly cabin steward( as they always are). Air con always on in cabin and cannot be turned off which could be a bit annoying. Free launderette which was quite handy. Tea making facilities which was great for a morning cuppa! Ship clean throughout, plenty of choice in buffet as well as poolside grill. Restaurant meals were delicious although some waiters could have done with better customer service skills, ( I have emailed p&o re this). Entertainment good especially comedian. Plenty of jacuzzis and although pools full, there was room to get in baring in mind it was school summer hols. Ports were good but as there was a heatwave we didn't do any trips, preferring to get back to ship. Drinks were a bit expensive and no beer or cocktail packages but we knew that before we booked. Would go with p&o again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Public areas and deck space very good.It is nice that the older ships still have the traditional spacious promenade deck. Good choice of food in buffet and main restaurant. Also enjoyed a meal in Sindhu (supplement payable). Weather ... Read More
Public areas and deck space very good.It is nice that the older ships still have the traditional spacious promenade deck. Good choice of food in buffet and main restaurant. Also enjoyed a meal in Sindhu (supplement payable). Weather mixed,could have been better, but nothing P&O can do about that.Really enjoyed the designated cinema it is a good option if you don't like the shows on offer.Ports of call where La Rochelle,Santander,El Ferrol and Guernsey. Shuttle bus needed to La Rochelle 25minutes. Nice place but not a great deal to see and do. Lovely beach in walking distance of where ship docked in Santander and plenty of shops too. El Ferrol would be a pretty port in good weather, unfortunately rained most of the day we were there. But we received a good send off with a band and musket fire from the towers at the port entrance.Town in walking distance of ship. We spent a few hours in the maritime museum,well worth a visit -entrance free but donations welcome. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
The journey through the Norwegian Fjords was stunning. The itinerary was excellent and the ports were easily accessible - important for my wife who is disabled. All the staff were helpful and friendly and we were very well served by our ... Read More
The journey through the Norwegian Fjords was stunning. The itinerary was excellent and the ports were easily accessible - important for my wife who is disabled. All the staff were helpful and friendly and we were very well served by our excellent cabin steward. The accessible cabin was roomy enough for my wife to easily turn her walker and the wet room was both essential and excellent. The balcony was fine. Being overlooked was not a problem as generally people only came as far as the rail [ which they would need to do to see us from above] at sail away times and then they were more interested in the stunning scenery than watching their neighbours. The cabin could not have been closer to the lift which was ideal for my wife. The cabin was well soundproofed and we were not disturbed by noise from the lift or other cabins. The ship itself was generally well kept and, other than the buffet restaurants, we never had a problem of getting a seat in one of the bars. We didn't go to the Playhouse where the main shows took place but were impressed with the entertainment and background music in the bars. All in all an excellent cruise and I would have awarded 5 stars except for the following. - the lounge area in the cabin was wonderful for relaxing and watching the scenery in some comfort. However, the curtains, both main and net, were well past their sell by date and ill fitting, spoiling the ambience of an otherwise nice area. Generally this area of the cabin needed refurbishment. -there were two televisions in the cabin but both were small and past their sell by date. There was little of interest on offer through the TVs so, on sea days, we would have welcomed seeing a newly released film. The only location where this was possible was on an open sea deck with blankets as cover from the wind and cold of the North Sea. We think it would have been reasonable to show a film or two in the comfort of the Playhouse for those of frailer disposition. - we opted for freedom dining and the Meridian restaurant did not disappoint. We enjoyed all the meals we had in this location. The buffet restaurant was more hit and miss - excellent cold meat salad but disappointing Beef dish where the meat was tough, and breakfast bacon full of fat from cooking. Our main problem with the buffet was the scrum that ensued to get your meal. My disabled wife gave up the struggle as it was almost impossible for her to manoeuvre through the throng of people. As always staff offered help but part of the experience of the buffet is to see what is on offer. Getting food was only half the problem. One then had to, often, walk some distance before finding a table to share by which time food was getting cool. I'm sure that overcrowding in the buffet is a real irritant, not just to disabled, but also the able bodied. Despite these issues we thoroughly enjoyed our trip and would travel with P and O again Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Headline: Big ship, very British, good food overall, friendly staff, I know I've rated the cruise as 'very good' but I'd probably rate it as 'good' if cruise critic would let me! (The ship is definitely ... Read More
Headline: Big ship, very British, good food overall, friendly staff, I know I've rated the cruise as 'very good' but I'd probably rate it as 'good' if cruise critic would let me! (The ship is definitely better than 'average'!) The decor is modern and the layout improved on the previous Azura and Ventura class ships. Britannia has made me realise how much I like wraparound decks on ships. I wish she had one, alas, she doesn't. Common areas... The atrium is lovely, I liked it. Cocktails, chatting, playing cards, this is a great space. Pool was always busy, I tried many times to take a dip in a jacuzzi but there's only 2 available so it's challenging. Kids and teenagers were in the jacuzzis most days I tried to get in. Rear deck areas are soot-tastic! I jest about the 'sootastrophe' but the problem is pretty rough for some passengers with rear balcony cabins. If you spend time any reasonable amount of time near the rear funnel, be prepared to potentially get soot on your clothes. Dining... We were at the first sitting for dinner in the Oriental. This is a lovely and deceptively large restaurant that's been thoughtfully laid out. The staff lovely throughout. Food was generally good (don't bother asking for a rare steak though, they just can't seem to do it!). I just wished that the menu was scaled back a bit and they did a more refined job of a smaller number of dishes. Buffet was good, the layout is similar to the remastered QM2 buffet which is great for managing traffic flow. We always managed find seats quite easily at breakfast and lunchtimes which was very impressive. Sindhu was great. Lobster biryani was fabulous, in fact the whole dining experience was great. Epicurean was frustratingly mediocre. Again. Arrgh! It's annoying because it could be consistently great but fails with standardisation of food and service. We went for afternoon tea for a special occasion. The surroundings are beautiful but the experience was...meh. It was style over substance. Save yourself a few quid and go to Sindhu or The Glasshouse instead. Cabin... Compact yet perfectly functional. It was also incredibly quiet. I normally take a stash of earplugs on cruises but found that I didn't need them on here. Entertainment... Theatre is small, not enough seats for people wishing to attend shows. We did attend a wine tasting event in the Glasshouse which was great. It was £10 for the session including 6 wines and nibbles. It was excellent, I recommend this if you get the chance. Crow's Nest was a great bar, relaxed and busy with great sunset views. I love that this is a gin speciality bar. It's a great concept and reasonably priced too. Ports of call... The number of people onboard the ship never bothered me until each time we got on and off the ship. Be prepared to queue to get on and off the ship at every port. Coordinating 4000 people (+crew) is no mean feat and this usually results in reduced times in ports compared with smaller ships. As this is the largest capacity ship I've been on, I can only assume this problem is commonplace on other massive ships 4000+ pax too? (Or do RCL and MSC handle it better?) Minor niggles... P&O don't seem to have given proper thought to their passenger mix. There were lots of buggies, wheelchair users, small children and elderly passengers on our cruise. Unfortunately there never seemed to be enough capacity in the elevators for them. This created lots of traffic in midships. Kids activities... The children in our group loved the kids clubs. The only issue was that with 700 kids on the sailing, it seemed that space was tight. Would be nice if a pager system was employed to alert parents to any problem their child may experience. Dropping you your kids off and having no way of the Kids Staff contacting you seems irregular on ship so large. I think other cruise lines have better safety alert systems in place in their Kids Clubs. We had a great family holiday, if the price and itinerary were right I'd go on Britannia for a family holiday again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We chose this cruise due to its itinerary (Norwegian Fjords) and suggestions from family to try P&O as we have always been a Royal Caribbean cruisers. After our journey from Lincoln to Southampton we left our car with a meet and greet ... Read More
We chose this cruise due to its itinerary (Norwegian Fjords) and suggestions from family to try P&O as we have always been a Royal Caribbean cruisers. After our journey from Lincoln to Southampton we left our car with a meet and greet company (Parking4cruises) which went very smoothly with a slight wait for the single greeter to process 3 cars ahead of us. We had a embarkation time of 3:00pm and it appeared so did many others as there was a queue out of the registration hall into the car off load area. However the processing went fairly quickly and we were on-board within an hour. We went straight to our cabin and were very surprised to see our luggage already there, excellent service. Although we only booked the Saver Price we were extremely pleased with our Outside Cabin, on deck 5 Forward, very spacious and enough drawers and wardrobe space for all our clothes. The ship was very quiet in terms of engine noise (helped by very smooth seas), very quiet in terms of fellow passengers who were of a mixed age group from babies to 80+ but the average age would be 50+. Being just before the main school holiday there were very few children on-board. Being first timers on P&O we did not know what to expect in terms of ambiance but now put it as very British with no razzle and brashness of Royal Caribbean, only reserved politeness with a Last Night of the Proms feel to entertainment. We used Freedom Dining which worked extremely well, no waiting for a table and always a choice of size. The waiters were very good but the wine waiters needed to be more attentive. The food was above average, the main dining room had plenty of fish choices, however my wife being a non fish eater was disappointed in the chicken dishes (too dry). We always had breakfast and lunch in the buffet dining area which was excellent. We did dine in Sindhu one evening, the specialty Indian restaurant to great acclaim although we found it difficult to sleep that night as we were rather full! Bar prices are reasonable (equivalent to top hotels in the UK) and with P&O allowing drinks to be taken on board for personal use in the cabin allowed us to partake of a pre-dinner drink whilst changing. The entertainment was not always to our liking but listening to fellow passengers it was well received by them. Entertainers of note were Catch 22, a resident band playing many venues and genres). guest artist Paul Anderson a classical/Spanish guitarist playing in small intimate venues and guest Headliners Jack Pack.. Being the Norwegian Fjords we expected dubious weather, however we had blazing sunshine throughout the trip apart from one day in Bergen and the days sailing back to Southampton. The ship docked right in the heart of all the ports and thus it was a short stroll to the centres. We only booked one excursion and that was in Bergen to go up in the cable car on the Heights and Highlights tour. A very good tour with time for at the top of the summit for coffee and cake and photographs. Although it wasn't a clear day (Bergen has 320 days of rain!) the clouds kept moving and opening up various gaps down to the city and surrounding areas to give wonderful vistas. Disembarkation was simple and straight forward although we were allocated a 10:30am time, however this didn't worry us too much as we had no timescales to keep to. Overall we very much enjoyed the trip and our first time on P&O and would certainly consider them again when choosing another cruise. There were only 2 comments we made on-board and they were: The gym and jogging area did not open up until 8:00am - to late for me My wife had a spa treatment which was excellent but felt the product sales afterwards was too heavy and intimidating. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
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