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5 P&O Cruises Dover Cruise Reviews

Allocated a cabin midships under open deck - noise intrusion from footfalls - chairs and tables being moved and also wheeled cabinets meant we could not use our balcony or get relaxing sleep at all. Noise intrusion was for some 20 ... Read More
Allocated a cabin midships under open deck - noise intrusion from footfalls - chairs and tables being moved and also wheeled cabinets meant we could not use our balcony or get relaxing sleep at all. Noise intrusion was for some 20 hours plus per day and despite formal complaints nothing was done to alleviate the problem which completely ruined our holiday. P&O have catered for the mass market with the design of this ship and regular cruisers looking for a quality holiday should avoid at all cost allowing P&O to allocate /select cabins for them . We made the best of it but will never book a cruise on this ship again. It sounds ridiculous but we actually prayed for bad weather to keep passengers off the open deck above us to allow a few hours to get some sleep. To add insult to injury on our return home we discovered our cases had been tampered with during embarkation and 2 expensive pairs of sunglasses stolen. P&O will just suggest claiming on insurance for the items instead of accepting they have a problem with security of our belongings has i found out a few years ago when a similar problem arose at Southampton after a Oriana cruise .. Be aware to not put easy to access expensive items in your luggage. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
As Newbies (new to cruising and new to dancing) we booked this cruise specifically to learn to improve our dancing with Warren Bullock and Jane Phillips of Zig Zag dance factory.We didn't expect to be able to dance with dance ... Read More
As Newbies (new to cruising and new to dancing) we booked this cruise specifically to learn to improve our dancing with Warren Bullock and Jane Phillips of Zig Zag dance factory.We didn't expect to be able to dance with dance instructors provided by the cruise line and even to learn line dancing with one of the entertainment team too. Each evening there was a chance to dance for at least two hours and on two occasions there was a ball , hosted by the cruise dance team which combined ballroom and Latin, sequence and some party and barn dances. although we had never danced sequence before, the hosts ensured that there were experienced dancers to lead and even some youngsters who would be more attuned to disco and club dancing joined in with the party Samba. It all meant that some days we danced for five hours (who said you put on weight on a cruise?).But on days in port, we could be totally chilled out and wander round the local area and relax in the sun. The choice really was ours to be active or relaxed as we wished. We opted for 'Freedom dining' which meant we could plan our days and not be tied to fixed meal times. It also meant we could join in with other people if we wished or spend time together on an intimate table for two. The choice of restaurants was just perfect for us as there was a specialist Indian restaurant (with lobster to die for) and an Italian trattoria. Would we cruise again? Certainly! The only decision to make is where and how soon can we go! Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
The Azura seemed to be a large ship and at check in first impressions were it was going to be crowded. This wasn't the case, check in was prompt and efficient and ... Read More
The Azura seemed to be a large ship and at check in first impressions were it was going to be crowded. This wasn't the case, check in was prompt and efficient and staff were very helpful with my wife who was pregnant and 2 children. Cabins were found with ease and cases were waiting. Getting around the ship was easy and nothing too daunting for the kids, plenty of entertainment for all age groups and a nice relaxed atmosphere on board, with most people adhering to the dress codes. Accommodation: We had 2 outside cabins with balcony's which were spacious enough and had everything you needed. Nothing special imagine Travel lodge and you get the idea. They were fit for purpose nothing more to be said. Entertainment: A great selection which seemed very well put together and something for everyone. the night time shows were theater standard and the staff very talented. Good selection of speakers who hled an audience and entertained on a variety of subjects. No complaints at all. Food & Service: Food and service were reasonable and couldnt be faulted for the standard we were expecting, Restaurant 17 & Sandhu were exceptional and couldnt have been better. We were on the 8:30 2nd sitting for dinner which seemed quite relaxed and service was good as was drinks service. Daytime food was of a decent quality for salads, seafood, cold meats etc. Hot food seemed to match the setting which was a little bit motorway services. Some people seemed to have food as their only mission, it was like watching cows graze in a field. Pools & Loungers Decent quality and plenty of availability most of the time, some people tried to monopolise them but this soon calmed down apart from one group of Scouser's who looked like they'd been clipping couples and only aim was to eat and drink as much as they could while sat in the same spot from morning to night for 2 weeks.Port: Toulon Avoid this place at all costs I've given it a 1 star rating as the only plus point was the ship was able to sail away without been hindered. This was the Grimsby of the Cote D Azur Overall: Ive read lots of reviews saying service was bad, I am the perpetual moaner for bad service and have to say the service was excellent from beginning to end, food was good and some days was excellent (cant please all people all of the time), entertainment 1st class and overall rating would be 8 out of 10. Would have been 10 out of 10 if Toulon hadn't had been a stop off, avoid this cess pit of a place at all costs. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
If you're under 60 - then our strong advice is DON'T GO ON ARCADIA!! The mean average age on our cruise was 68 (with a median probably over 70??!!). Virtually all the entertainment was geared toward OAP's. First time ... Read More
If you're under 60 - then our strong advice is DON'T GO ON ARCADIA!! The mean average age on our cruise was 68 (with a median probably over 70??!!). Virtually all the entertainment was geared toward OAP's. First time cruisers, my wife (43) & I (51) - & both retired - didn't fit in as we did not waltz or quick step, we're not into quizzes, don't like deck quoits or "art auctions", don't want to see a show where everything being performed was written before we were born etc etc. Even Tom O'Connor geared his act up to the 70-somethings. We paid top whack for a quality cabin (A62) & foolishly expected a "stateroom with balcony" but actually got a cabin that was below Travel Inn standard. Even the dismal wardrobes were inadequate & not fit for purpose as you could not hang your suits without them being crushed in. The balcony was consistently wet & unusable. This misnomer is simply taking the proverbial! We ate at Arcadian Rhodes: dismal experience as the food came out cold (& was sent back) plus it was so salty that it rendered it virtually inedible - yet the staff were not bothered by our complaints. We sat down at 8.30 & it was a relief to leave at gone midnight. The Meridian restaurant was generally of an expected standard although even that wavered a few times such that we ate at The Belvedere self-service a couple of nights. Swimming pools? Well, the Neptune Pool area with its uncomfy fixed-back loungers was usually an unpleasant area & the Aquarius Pool area was simply small & crowded. We usually went up to the higher levels where there was always plenty of sun beds (probably due to the fact that the average cruiser was too old to negotiate the stairs!). Night Club: yes but very small and not enough people young enough to use it - it didn't get going at all until around 1.00am & most people had gone to bed ages ago! Good points? Not many! The staff (generally) were simply exceptional. The social aspect of cruising was surprisingly pleasant. The Crows Nest bar area was generally excellent (until then the quiz took over at 11.00pm when we and friends we'd met there usually went elsewhere or to bed). The Spa & gym were of a high standard (although very hard sell on their products- be warned!!). Finally, be aware of the fact that Arcadia has a propulsion problem such that the whole ship vibrates - particularly on higher decks: if it was a car then you'd take it back! It certainly shakes you to sleep!! All the above points were reported to P & O whilst we were still aboard, but I've not received any written response from them. The Cruise Director (aboard) was deeply concerned that we'd researched this break yet still got aboard a ship that was highly unsuitable for our age group & that our expectations were totally different to reality. I've since re-read the brochure & there is nothing that I've seen that suggests that this is an O A P cruise ship: you have been warned!! To P & O - come clean about the condition of the port propulsion unit & also make it clear to anyone booking that everything is geared toward pensioners! In summary, our opinion is that this was the worst value-for-money break we've ever had. Would we travel with P & O again - doubtful right now! Would we cruise again - definitely but we will book a standard room (at less than half what we paid) and check thoroughly the likely age of passengers! Read Less
Sail Date July 2008
Oriana June 2006 Last year we took a short cruise on Arcadia and were shocked to hear all the time not to go on a short cruise, there were so many times we were told not to go on a short cruise, so with some trepidation we took a ... Read More
Oriana June 2006 Last year we took a short cruise on Arcadia and were shocked to hear all the time not to go on a short cruise, there were so many times we were told not to go on a short cruise, so with some trepidation we took a 4-day cruise on Oriana. We went Wednesday the 21st. As normal a pleasant and easy trip down to Southampton, we arrived at 1150 am and the car park chaps were waiting, they took the car and then a guy came over and took our bags, all this took about 2 mins and was great service. None of this happened on Arcadia, it was not on a short cruise. Check in opened at 12 and we were whisked through in no time at all. We had a drink in the lounge and waited to board and that was pleasant. Boarding was fast and easy we were on board by 2 and our bags were at the cabin waiting, we had an outside on c deck c141 and its was perfect, last time on Arcadia we had a suite and the cabin on Oriana did not disappoint. Our steward was there while we unpacked and was so nice, she said anything you want just ask and she meant it. So we unpacked and did a tour of the ship, starting on the top deck and walking along every deck from top to bottom. The ship is ten years older than Arcadia but much much nicer , all the rooms are better, the bar lounges, shopping it's all so much better . Arcadia was a cold ship quite plain but Oriana was so much nicer. We were seated in the peninsular restaurant and had asked for a table for 2 and first sitting, both of which were given to us as requested. This was not the case on Arcadia. The met office had forecasted strong winds, very unusual for the time of year they said, so we thought it could be an interesting trip to Rotterdam our first port. The ship sailed on time, and we dropped into Andersons for a pre dinner cocktail this is such a nice bar, nothing to compare on Arcadia and the staff were so welcoming. The cocktails were to die for, so so nice. Dinner followed superb food service was brilliant if you can find a fault here then you're a really sad person. As we passed calshot the sea was busy, white horses every where and I thought this does not look good, we're only in the Solent. As we passed bembridge and hit the open water it got worse a fairly heavy swell and white horses every where. But the ship was perfect, hardly moved and took it all in its stride so no worries there at all. So off to the show, its was hits from the musicals and was very good, the only place Arcadia is better was here the seat and layout were better in that theatre. After the show off to the pacific lounge for the 70s night and the group natural high did a great job. We danced the night away and went up to the cabin about 2 am it was the most perfect first day. Next morning we awoke early and watched out progress up the river to Rotterdam its a long ride from the sea to the city and was fascinating. We decide to breakfast in the peninsular again and it was the best breakfast anywhere in the world nothing is too much for those guys. We took the courtesy bus into town for some retail therapy and the guide was great gave us loads of info all free of charge of course. We returned to the ship for lunch and again it could not have been better. Another walk round the ship then back in the afternoon to town, to look round the shops we missed in the morning. Dinner again was just perfect and followed by a show with Tom o Connor who is really good, he was also on Arcadia last year. Yet again more cocktails in Andersons and then off to the pacific lounge again for a sailaway party. We danced the night away again. This ship is really good and your made to feel welcome everywhere. Next morning we arrived on time in Zebrugge and went into town after another amazing breakfast. Bit more retail therapy this time big bottle of chocolate milk and Belgium chocolates. Back to the ship cocktails by the Rivera pool and it was so nice up there, then off to lunch in the conservatory again a wide choice and cream cakes to die for. The afternoon was spent sunbathing and sleeping on the rear pool deck. We both got a bit burnt, as it's a real suntrap. Gala dinner night the only formal night on the cruise followed by the captains cocktail party in the pacific lounge, the Captain made a speech and was genuinely funny. We talked to some officers and they were friendly too and of course free drinks and nibbles. Another show followed this time the Buddy Holly story and that was well done too. By now I suspect you're bored and thinking this is a love story of one couples love for Oriana. Well it's true we loved Oriana and almost hated Arcadia. I smoke and on Arcadia I was told you can't buy cigarettes as it's against customs regulations on a short cruise, on Oriana they delivered my smokes to my cabin and it was not a problem. Arcadia is not finished and decorated in the same way, ok they say its contemporary and modern. That may be, but its cold and not welcoming, the atrium is a waste of time with its boring curtains, on Oriana its grand and welcoming. Little things were different, outside the restaurant the days menus were displayed and on Arcadia it was a secret what was for dinner in the evening, they did not display the menus on a short cruise. If you're thinking of a cruise and can't do the full monty because of costs or work commitments, please treat your self and go on the Oriana you will be hooked for life it's a real experience, to add to our rapture we only paid £ 299 for a double outside we got a free upgrade of about 5 grades too. I hope Arcadia personnel read this and suggest they travel on Oriana to see how to get people to fall in love with cruising and show off the real true way P and O cruising should be. Next trip for us is a one-night taster on the QE2 and we paid £ 49 each for this so we can't wait to see how the ship compares. But I can promise we will be cruising again and P and O are going to see a lot more of us we can't wait and all of you out there wondering if you should try it all we can say is go for it, but not on Arcadia. One tiny footnote, the hand sterilising on the ship was almost non existent, only in the conservatory was any effort made, this is the same on Arcadia so come on P and O sort it out its causes problems so make it more strict please. Happy cruising to you all. Read Less
Sail Date June 2006
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