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4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2013

When it comes down to value for money my wife and I have always rated P & O very highly - first class standards of comfort, cleanliness, fine dining, entertainment, all round customer care - and these elements were all present and ... Read More

When it comes down to value for money my wife and I have always rated P & O very highly - first class standards of comfort, cleanliness, fine dining, entertainment, all round customer care - and these elements were all present and fully met our expectations on our latest cruise to the Norwegian fjords - 28th June, 2013 - 7 nights.

The check in and boarding procedure in Southampton was very well organised and it took us no more than 20 minutes from handing over the car to the meet and greet parking company (worth every penny it cost) to boarding the ship. Just in time for a light lunch in the buffet as we waited for the cabins to become available at 2pm. Greeted at the cabin by our steward, and found a welcoming bottle of champagne - a good way to start our holiday!

The first night's sleep was interrupted as a medical emergency aboard required passenger to be evacuated by helicopter to a hospital ashore. A special announcement was made by the Captain at around 3.30am, apologising for disturbing everyone, and advising all passengers that this would be taking place - for safety reasons everyone was asked to stay in their cabins and NOT to go out on the balconies before or during the arrival of the helicopter and subsequent evacuation of the passenger. Unfortunately the Captain had to make two further broadcasts to request those passengers who had ignored his instructions to get off their balconies and to go back inside their cabins!

It always amazes us how many people one comes across on cruises who do not have a good word to say for almost any aspect of the ship, its facilities, staff, food quality and choice, entertainment, excursions, etc and, unfortunately, it seems more of these feel driven to share these views, during and after the event, than do people who have thoroughly enjoyed their cruise.

It might perhaps be more understandable if these were first time cruisers who had no idea that ships do move in rough weather, that there would be a lot of other passengers also wishing to share, use and enjoy the facilities and who simply find the experience is not for them and not something they would repeat. Strangely however, most of these unhappy people are regular cruisers, as they are only too prepared to tell anyone and everyone who will listen or who happen to be within earshot - if things are so bad we sometimes wonder why they keep coming back for more? We are happy cruisers and decided to post this, our first, review to redress the balance a bit perhaps.

We have heard moans that the staff are hostile and rude - not so, every crew member we encountered was friendly, anxious to please and more than happy to go out of their way to assist in any way possible. Perhaps this has something to do with how one treats them - saying please when you ask for something, and thank you when receiving service - a simple smile, saying good morning or just Hi, how are you today? .. and treating those who are serving you with respect works for us.

In a recent review of the Azura, we read prior to embarkation that Cabin D214 (the one we were booked in) was noisy with banging and creaking and that sleep was impossible - really? We did not notice anything other than the occasional slight creaking that one gets on any ship, in fact it was a very quiet cabin and sleeping was not a problem.

The Ports of Call:

Bergen - free shuttle from ship to town centre, famous old wooden houses, delightful port area. Fish market a "must", and the funicular ride to the top of the mountain overlooking the city is well worth taking; two other cruise ships in town that day though did make the queues for this rather long.

Andalsnes - The Scenic Train trip to Bjorli from Andalsnes is spectacular and we can recommend this.

Olden - Mainly trips going to see the Glacier - there were a number of excursions where one could actually walk on the glacier or, for those wishing just to see the beautiful countryside sights the open-top bus available from the quayside is to be recommended. Not much else to see or do in Olden so an excursion of some sort is a good idea.

Stavanger - Nice town centre with charming old wooden buildings - an easy walk from the Quay so no need for shuttles, etc.

Overall the cruise was great, fantastic scenery in the fjords, calm seas and reasonable weather. Consistently good, the food was the best we have experienced on any P & O ship, and service in the Peninsular Restaurant was very good. The Glass House offers great value wines by the glass or bottle as well as excellent food at a low cover charge. Entertainment was well up to standard with a hard-working, talented ship's theatre company and a couple of comedy shows by Roy Walker which were great fun. Guest speaker David Shute, a former BBC producer, very interesting. With the usual broad spectrum of other entertainments and the added bonus of Lions rugby and Wimbledon Tennis on the TV's in Brodies and on the outdoor screen on Deck 15, there was plenty to keep us occupied. As usual, the bar prices were sensible and without service charges - wish the other cruise lines like Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, etc would follow this example.

Disembarkation was well organised in groups and ran right on plan for timing - it was all really easy and we were in our car and leaving the port within 15 minutes of our designated disembarkation time.

In summary, to paraphrase Abraham Lincoln, "You can please some of the people some of the time and all of the people some of the time, but you can never please all of the people all of the time.” Despite having a huge range of different requirements to meet for age groups, mobility, dietary requirements, entertainment preferences and expectations we think Azura and P & O very successfully manage to please most of the people, most of the time.

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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2013

We were first introduced to cruising back in 2002 by my dad who would only ever sail with P&O and we last sailed with them on Aurora in 2006. Since then we have cruised with both Royal Caribbean and Celebrity and I always told the ... Read More

We were first introduced to cruising back in 2002 by my dad who would only ever sail with P&O and we last sailed with them on Aurora in 2006. Since then we have cruised with both Royal Caribbean and Celebrity and I always told the passengers on those cruises that P&O were still the best. So this year we chose to return to P&O on the Ventura, what a shock we got!!.Standards in all areas have fallen dramatically especially the food. Food selection for both breakfast and lunch in the Waterside was very limited and the service area chaotic.This was the first ever cruise my wife lost weight instead of putting it on!!

No wonder P&O seem to get bad press for Norovirus the lack of hand hygiene regime was the worst I ever experienced and when I challenged the head waiter why no member of staff was giving out hand gel as on other ships he said that he had been cut back so much on staff he could no longer provide that service.

The other big let down was the poor organisation of getting off the ship by tender at Cannes. It was so slow we gave up and this was the only port we really wanted to visit. There are also no live port talks, again another cutback.

Entertainment was generally good but as another reviewer stated the noise level was so high we some nights had to leave the theatre to escape the screeching of some of the performers.

If P&O continue their policy of discounting and reducing standards I am sure many of their loyal old customers will desert them.

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Sail Date: December 2012
I will start by giving an honest review about this cruise as it was our first with P&O. Embarkation We arrived at 2.00 pm for embarkation at the Ocean Terminal and we were greeted by the staff and porters. The car keys were handed ... Read More
I will start by giving an honest review about this cruise as it was our first with P&O. Embarkation We arrived at 2.00 pm for embarkation at the Ocean Terminal and we were greeted by the staff and porters. The car keys were handed over as it was to be parked in Valet Parking, and the suitcases were taken swiftly by the porters. The cases arrived at our room around 5.00 pm. After going through check-in, security we had boarded Oceana by 2.40 pm (very good timing). On boarding Oceana we were informed that our cabin was ready, so we proceeded to the cabin to drop off some items we were carrying. Cabin & Cabin steward when we arrived at our cabin C739 deck 9, we met our cabin steward "Roy", our first impression of our cabin steward was not friendly, and we know its a very long day on "turnaround day" so we gave him the benefit of this and thought that may of been the reason for him not being friendly & welcoming. His general attitude during the remaining few days did not really change. We had the feeling that he did not want to be there,but never asked him this as we did not want to pry.... We have been on lots of cruises before P & O and this was the first cruise where our cabin steward was not very nice.. This was first time we have taken an inside cabin, purely because this cruise had been sold out when we came across this cruise, and we were told that we would have to go on a waiting list for a possibility of getting a room. When it came up we accepted the inside cabin and booked, and thought at least we were on the ship and paid around £679 each which was not cheap for a 4 night cruise but it was over the new year festivities, and thought it would be great! First impressions of the room was small, dark and not very welcoming. Looked like the room was due an update and I believe it had a small mini refit in December just gone, (apparently not on these rooms). Bathroom was not very clean, and my husband found hair from previous guests and dirty shelves and towels that had pink stains on them!! Staff P & O staff are not as friendly as other ships we have cruised with before, and the general impression was "the staff were not happy"! We spoke to lots of other guests and they all agreed that they had noticed this. Dining venues We had requested the traditional 2nd sitting, but was informed that it had been fully booked since last March 2012, and we were offered anytime dining; As we have never done this before, we thought OK lets try it and compare the difference "we might of preferred it". However on the day of embarkation we were told that we had been allocated the 1st sitting, (which was just to early for us). This then meant like many others we had to stand for over 90 minutes to change the dining, and missed the sail away party! We ate in the Lingurian Restaurant, "anytime dining" which was nice, but you are not given your own waiter so even though a waiter comes and takes your order, you are not sure who is your waiter as you are served by many others also. so on a personal level we have decided that we prefer the traditional sitting! We booked a night in their speciality restaurant "Marco Pierre" which had a cover charge of around £6.75 per person. The restaurant was situated in the main atrium deck 8. Our impression of this was like a small Bistro, the food was good, but again found another of the waiter staff rude. My husband had asked one of the waiters for a moment of his time to explain to him that we wanted to watch a show at 10.30 pm and did not want to miss it as we only had around 20 minutes till the show started and could we skip the puddings and just have the coffee. He replied to my husband I'll be with you in a few minutes. We waited another 5 minutes whilst watching him stand with other staff members talking and discussing who was going to serve us, not very professional in my opinion! We decided to leave the restaurant and made a complaint to the head waiter about the staff member. The head waiter was very apologetic and removed the cost of the dining from our bill! Entertainment The entertainment was very good on P&O and this is one of the positives that other cruise liners could take from P&O. We watched various shows and there was always something to do in the evenings. They had very good show times so you did not miss them. One show in particular we watched was "Mecury rising" Steve Larkin! His tribute Act was to Freddy Mercury and I can say he was a very good singer and played the piano as well. It would be so nice to see more acts like this on other Cruise ships!!! In General In our opinion this was our first cruise with P&O and there was a multitude of things that niggled us, a few you can over look but when their is a lot, they seem to pile up. (just to note I have not noted them all, too many to list) Our first port of call was Zeebrugge and we had booked to go into Brussels for the day and we had a lovely day, on arriving back at the ship we had been on around an hour when the Captain announced that we would not be travelling to Amsterdam due to reports that there was adverse weather conditions in the Netherlands and he had exhausted all avenues on where to take the ship, but he was left with no alternative but to drop the anchors just outside the port of Zeebrugge, and that all our safety was paramount ( which I do agree), however like I and lots and lots of other passengers said it did not seem right and thought it sounded quite suss!. Anyhow the ship ended up spending the night anchored outside Zeebrugge until the morning, and I must say the ship never moved all night (swaying motion). In the morning around 11.20 am the captain made another announcement that the weather was still not great, but we would try and head to Amsterdam and would take around 6 hrs to get there and he would come back to us all with his next decision. Whilst we set sail to Amsterdam the sea was not that bad, some slight swells and rain but that's all (we have experienced worse in the Caribbean sea). However around 6.20 pm the captain came back with another announcement that we were 30 miles from Amsterdam and we would not be going to dock at Amsterdam as the weather was not good conditions for the pilot to board the ship, and that we would be turning around and heading back to Southampton! On the way back again there was no movement in the ship and again passengers were all questioning the Captain decision!!! Just to point out no-one saw the Captain at all on this cruise, I guess he knew that guests were not happy! More to the point as we were disembarking we walked passed a VIP person and we heard them over talking about the captains decision and they said he should of went to Amsterdam. On a positive note, we did enjoy our New Years Eve dinner and party-ed hard till 5.00 am I believe that other passengers were still partying at 7.00 am..... the ship was very quite on New Years Day. As I said this was my first cruise with P&O, and I do not think I will rebook another cruise as other cruise company's seem to be miles ahead on lots of things. If you are looking for a cruise with good customer satisfaction who generally care about their customers, have great Gala dinners free champers and canapes and lots of other things to inspire you, then there are other cruises than just P&O. If this had been my first cruise experience then I truly believe I would not of bothered booking again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2012
We anticipated this Cruise with some trepidation, it being our first cruise with P & O, having only cruised with Celebrity and RCI before and read some derogatory remarks on Cruise Critic. We were very pleasantly surprised. Embarkation ... Read More
We anticipated this Cruise with some trepidation, it being our first cruise with P & O, having only cruised with Celebrity and RCI before and read some derogatory remarks on Cruise Critic. We were very pleasantly surprised. Embarkation was very smooth, even though there was a fair delay due to passengers being unable to board at one stage due to the weather! Our cabin was ready as soon as we boarded and was far better than anything we had experienced before with many nice touches including champagne! Our Steward, Ajmal, was a real joy and anticipated our every need. We really could not fault the service on the ship despite previous remarks - perhaps we were just lucky! Even the extremely rough crossing did not mar our holiday - although we were surprised at the amount of movement and noise experienced. We dined in the Peninsular restaurant on 2nd sitting with a table for 8,two of our table mates were really nice guys, if it hadn't been for them we would have certainly asked to move, as the remaining 4 were stuffy, awkward & boring!We escaped as often as possible and tried alternative dining - Sindhu was fantastic and has totally spoilt us for our local Indian! The Italian was good but l7 was fully booked - our favourite for atmosphere was The Glass House. The shows were mixed, Headliners were good but new acts need to be introduced - Tom O'Conor was a waste of time. Always difficult to find a seat. The New Year's Eve fireworks in Madeira were amazing and made the cruise as we felt that there were far too many sea days and that another couple of ports could have easily been fitted in - 3 sea days was just too much. We found the drinks to be on the weak side and the Casino was a joke! All in all the pros outweighed the cons, we had no complaints and wouldn't hesitate to cruise with P & O again. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2012
My husband, son (13 years) and I have just recently returned from a fantastic holiday aboard the Ventura sailing around the many beautiful islands of the Eastern Caribbean! Feel I need to write a review as we had such a wonderful time ... Read More
My husband, son (13 years) and I have just recently returned from a fantastic holiday aboard the Ventura sailing around the many beautiful islands of the Eastern Caribbean! Feel I need to write a review as we had such a wonderful time aboard this ship. Firstly, we flew with Thomson Airlines direct from Newcastle which was a treat being a direct flight of only 8.5 hours. The embarkation was very smooth and efficient and we weren't long exploring our home (ship) for the next two weeks. We found the Ventura to be very organised, clean with lots of helpful staff. Unfortunately there was a bout of Norovirus onboard as we embarked, but this situation was handled very well by P&O. Extra staff were in the buffet areas, where you were not allowed to handle any of the utensils. The staff served you. Antibacterial hand gel was strictly enforced, not only in the buffet, but in the main restaurants also. Within a couple of days, P&O advised there were no more reported cases of Norovirus and all usual facilities had resumed. Excellent points.... -Saffron Restaurant -- absolutely wonderful food (5 courses) each evening. My husband is a fussy eater. Here he always found such wonderful dishes on the menu. -Breakfast in the buffet. Always fully stocked even until late breakfast (around 11.30am) -East (Asian restaurant) -- we sat for lunch one day which we found to be very pleasant and enjoyable. -Ramblas (Tapas restaurant) -- again a pleasant treat with just a very small cover charge. -Drinks -- very reasonably priced including bottles of wine, which were enjoyed each evening at dinner. -The entertainment was fabulous in the Arena Theatre. We watched excellent comedians to a vocalist from the 'Foundations' in the 60's to the brilliant 'Headliners' Entertainment team. -We required a replacement bulb in our room. I called through to reception and within 5 minutes the maintenance team had it replaced. Overall, I would rate P&O 10/10. Mostly enjoyed and I will definitely book with this company again. We have sailed with Princess Cruises previously and find P&O to be just as good. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2012
Just returned from a New Years cruise from Southampton to the Canaries. The Highlights were Madeira for New Year, where there was a fantastic atmosphere during the day and then the firework display which was absolutely fantastic. If you ... Read More
Just returned from a New Years cruise from Southampton to the Canaries. The Highlights were Madeira for New Year, where there was a fantastic atmosphere during the day and then the firework display which was absolutely fantastic. If you get the chance to go there for New Year - go. Sindhu speciality restaurant was extremely good. Lovely attentive service, spacious and the food was easily of Michelin starred quality. Undoubtedly the best Indian food I have ever eaten! Now the downside- This ship despite being relatively modern is showing signs of wear. The design of the ship also made it act rather unusually in rough weather, with a lot of sideways vibration and some huge occasional bangs where it 'slapped' the water after coming through a wave (but this was a force 11....) In the main dining restaurant the food, whilst having the odd gem, was repetitive and predictable. Fish and chips and roast beef, no matter how described and presented are still exactly what they are. Having said this the food was of a fairly good standard and well presented. The same with buffet lunches - Little variation, especially in the cold section. The entertainment was the worst aspect. Why they have all these short shows, repeated in the same venue, in various bars around the ship is beyond me. You end up watching a 45 minute show then walking to the next bar for the next show. You therefore tend to spend a considerable amount of the evening walking to venues and trying to find a seat(a suggestion would be to move the entertainers around and not the passengers! - They may even sell more drinks that way...) The entertainment tended to be totally outdated (loads of quizzes, bingo and karaoke every day)and geared to 'middle of the road' pensioners. The headlining guest celebrity was Tom O'Conner (need I say more!) The dance lessons were held in the Atrium (so overlooked by everyone) but as this is a relatively small area this soon became congested, with couples repeatedly treading on each other's feet and barging into each other (why not hold the dance classes in one of the bars with a reasonable size dance floor?). Another gripe was that children were allowed in all the bars unsupervised even late at night (we had a couple of kids sitting in the Casino area of Brodie's well after midnight on a black tie night, they literally sitting at the bar, playing around. This bar was immediately adjacent to the Roulette table). The staff tended to be cold and distant and too eager to take orders and clear plates as fast as they possibly could (I suspect that the bar staff were on a targeted bonus scheme given the way they acted). There were notable exceptions to this but these particular people stood out a mile and were few and far between. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2012
We have cruised for the passed 5 Christmasses so when P&O Azura was cruising to the Canaries on 15th Dec for 12 nights we thought we would book the cruise. Embarkation at Southampton went very smoothly and preference was made for scooter ... Read More
We have cruised for the passed 5 Christmasses so when P&O Azura was cruising to the Canaries on 15th Dec for 12 nights we thought we would book the cruise. Embarkation at Southampton went very smoothly and preference was made for scooter and wheelchair users. The balcony cabin was a good size, big enough for the scooter but the balcony, although large, was very dark due to the top being covered by the deck above. Very little daylight. The cabin steward, Rony, was excellent and tried his best to find me a stool for the shower to no avail. Being disabled it is hard for me to stand in theses small showers. Having had Neurovirus on board on the previous sailing the use of hand wash was enforced during the first few days but seemed to rely on passengers to do it voluntary with no supervision after that. Resultently it reappeared during the cruise. The food and service was excellent up to Xmas Eve but seemed to fall apart after that. Fortunately we elected to dine in the Sindu restaurant on Xmas Day and had a marvellious meal. The passengers who used the dining rooms were not as fortunate. Poor service and shortages in the various courses. The atmosphere on Xmas Day was like a morgue. Other than a show for the children on board and the officers putting on a bit of a panto in the theatre for an hour there was no further evidence of Xmas spirit. We expected Carol singers to circulate around the ship. No such luck. In the Atrium they were giving a Samba lesson for half an hour after lunch. That was it. The waiting staff, in the dining rooms and cafes and bars took all the time to crack a smile. The entertainment, on the whole, was good. Only one bad comedian spoilt it. Disembarkation was smooth enough. Last time with P&O I'm afraid. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2012
The start of the holiday was via Eavesway transfer, big mistake; the coach was the type used for school runs, the toilet did not function and it was like a day out from the chest hospital with lots of people coughing very flemmy coughs ... Read More
The start of the holiday was via Eavesway transfer, big mistake; the coach was the type used for school runs, the toilet did not function and it was like a day out from the chest hospital with lots of people coughing very flemmy coughs turning you sick. Just wondered how many declared them at the terminal? Embarkation went very well as we had priority but others had to wait around 3 hours. the cabin was ready when we arrived and our luggage was ready. Using the balcony was a nightmare as we had chain smokers either side, nothing we can do about it but it must be coming to an end soon now that it has been banned on celebrity. Entertainment on the whole was good except on Christmas day when it was just the entertainers singing Christmas songs that had more whiskers on than Father Christmas. Not a lot of atmosphere for Christmas, there were the usual trees and gingerbread houses but it just lacked "Christmas". Food and service started good in the "Orient" restaurant, until Christmas eve when the waiters just gave up. We were left sitting with our dirty dinner plates in front of us one and a half hours after we sat down. The head waiter had the cheek to ask if our meal was OK, when I told him the service was unacceptable; instead of moving the plates he just walked away. So we got up and left and completed our meal in the buffet (more about that later). Later that evening I bumped into the H/W in the corridor, he asked why we had left, when I told him he blamed the kitchen staff. When I told him that everyone around us had been served and gone after being fed by the same kitchen he had no answer. The next day I asked to see the manager, again he tried to blame the kitchen. He told me he would make it "special" for Christmas day but I told him I did not want it to be false and that the H/W should have made the previous night work effectively. We chose not to dine there for the rest of the cruise as it would have been a bad atmosphere with the waiters. I feel the service has gone down hill with the waiting staff since auto tipping, they just don't need to work for it. Back to the buffet, only limited serving areas were open and for a full ship this did cause some overcrowding around the food. The food was very samey if you don't like curry at lunch then hard luck. late night food consisted of pasties made from whatever meat was left over from dinner. Finding a seat never seemed a problem but a lot of inconsiderate people taking up a table of four sitting on the outside or diagonal to deter anyone sharing, if you did ask to share they made some strange grunting noises or said they were waiting for someone but they never seemed to turn up. Cabin lad did his job well and deserved his tips, not much more to be said that's his job. We sat with two ladies in a bar on the first day who told us they had been up all night with the runs, now we know how it gets on board, ships don't make it people bring it on. We left them quite quickly. P & O still owe us money for trips we booked on the new cruise personaliser that went wrong, still waiting for them reimburse us. Had a run in with the "Loyalty Manager" who does not know even the simplest detail about loyalty benefits. Because he couldn't get his way he said he would have us thrown off, bearing in mind we were returning via the Bay of Biscay with the next stop Southampton I am not sure if he intended to set us adrift or walk the plank. Definitely last chance and last time with P&O. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2012
We travelled down from Lancashire the day before sailing and stayed in the Holiday Inn at Eastleigh. This was a comfortable hotel and a relaxing start to the cruise. Boarding was stress free as we had priority boarding and we were on ship ... Read More
We travelled down from Lancashire the day before sailing and stayed in the Holiday Inn at Eastleigh. This was a comfortable hotel and a relaxing start to the cruise. Boarding was stress free as we had priority boarding and we were on ship before noon and enjoying the complimentary champagne and lunch in Carmens. We had our hands squirted with gel 5 times before we actually got into Carmens. Cabins were ready for 2pm and we were pleasantly surprised by how clean it was and the amount of storage. It is a few years since we last had an inside cabin but as the balconies on this ship are at a premium we decided to book inside. The cabin was compact but it did fit everything in and we had taken a lot. Our cabin steward was friendly and professional as were all of the crew we came into contact with. The Captain Neil Turnbull was a character and probably the most informative Captain we have sailed with. His influence on the crew was apparent and it was a happy ship. Lots of different venues on this ship with many choices of entertainment. Large Cinema, theatre, show lounge, nightclub, crows nest, and various bars. We sampled them all during the 22 nights we were on board. The show lounge Carmens has a super dance floor and most nights there was ballroom dancing in there to a live group or CDs. The theatre shows were very energetic but this is an older ship and the theatre productions were more limited than on the newer ships. The Cabaret artistes were varied but no big names for a Christmas cruise. We had booked 1st sitting dining as we enjoy the evening entertainment and find there are more choices for early diners. We ate in the Alexandra restaurant on a table for 6. Great table companions and the food was probably the best MDR food we have encountered. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for the alternative dining restaurants. These were very mixed in our opinion and not up to the same standard as the other ships in the fleet. The weather was rough up to Madeira and the ship hit many pot holes. I am not a good sailor but managed okay with over the counter medication. After Madeira the weather was sunny and got warmer each day. There were many sea days and lots of activities around the ship. We wanted a lazy relaxing cruise so didn't attend any of the day time activities. The pool areas were quite small for sun worshipers but the aft desks make up for this with lots of spaces for beds and chairs. The prom deck is wide which is also a bonus. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were very special with carol services, and the children watching out for Father Christmas. The Christmas Eve deck party was great fun with live music and dancing. Nothing better than spending Christmas Day on a sun lounger with a bottle of Champagne. At the ports of call which in the Caribbean were Barbados, Antigua, Tortola and St Maarten, we did our own thing. The trips were expensive and as we had been to all the islands many times decided to DIY. New Years Eve there was a deck party again. This was well attended and the Captain counted in the New year. Not sure what time the party went on till but early hours of the morning. On the return journey the weather was warm and sunny right up to the day before Southampton. We should have called at the Azores but this was changed to a 1/2 day call in Madeira due to a passenger becoming seriously ill after we left the Caribbean. Overall we liked the Aurora but it is in need of some TLC. There were strange smells in the corridors and buckets made regular appearances to catch water dripping from the light sockets. We were on C deck so not sure if this is the only deck with this problem. I think that we prefer fly cruising as this means more port of calls but this was certainly a relaxing cruise. Disembarkation was a breeze because we had priority and were off the ship by 08:30 collected the luggage without problems and car from CPS and were on the road before 9am. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2012

We travelled on Ocean for their New Years Cruise to Amsterdam. The berthing procedure at Southampton was faultless. We spent the first day in Zeebrugge which was lovely. We were then to go onto Amsterdam spending new Years eve and part ... Read More

We travelled on Ocean for their New Years Cruise to Amsterdam. The berthing procedure at Southampton was faultless. We spent the first day in Zeebrugge which was lovely. We were then to go onto Amsterdam spending new Years eve and part of New Years day in Amsterdam. The captain announced adverse weather conditions and we could not go into Amsterdam. There was no adverse weather conditions the sea was calm there was some wind but I have spent and uncomfortable night in a force 8 gale and I can assure you this ship was as calm and stable as a rock with hardly any movement. I complaind to p&o on arriving home about our cruise which ended up on New Years day in the English channel with a view of Dungerness power station. There response was that there passengers safety was paramount and that we were not entitled to any compensation. I feel this is not acceptable as they did not have to pay any berthing costs in Amsterdam and also they had two days of passengers spending money on their cruise ship when they would have been ashore if we had been allowed to dock.

The ship was very crowded P&O chose to keep a large lounge/bar closed therefore very little room to sit around the ship and enjoy any of the facilities. We have cruised with P&O on many occasions and this is the first time I have made a complaint they are usually very good but on this occasion I feel they failed miserably to placate the passengers (a free glass of champagne may have helped)and feel there was another reason that we did not berth in Amsterdam.

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