1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. P&O Cruises
  4. P&O Cruises Cruise Reviews

2,902 P&O Cruises Southampton Cruise Reviews

Picked this cruise as keen to see the Northern Lights. This is a 12-night cruise that spends 2 nights at the very top of Norway that offers an excellent chance to see Northern Lights. I was kind of expecting the cruise to be canceled but ... Read More
Picked this cruise as keen to see the Northern Lights. This is a 12-night cruise that spends 2 nights at the very top of Norway that offers an excellent chance to see Northern Lights. I was kind of expecting the cruise to be canceled but all seemed to be fine as we joined the ship at Southampton. We set sail and headed up through the North Sea. Sea was a bit rough but the Aurora copes well with rough weather so it didn't move very much. This was our second time on Aurora after a 12-night cruise to the Canaries August 2019 and the ship does seem to cope well with stormy weather. However, as the Coronavirus continued to spread across Europe the Norwegian Government decided to close their borders to cruise ships. The ship then had to turn round and head back to Southampton. This of course was very disappointing as nearly everyone had booked the cruise to try to witness the Northern Lights. What did make the news more bearable, and indeed the remainder of the cruise was how P&O managed the situation. This was right across the board from the Captain down to the waiters and cabin staff. Got a full refund and an additional £400 per cabin onboard spend. P&O couldn't have done more. The entertainment was top class. A male trio, solo male entertainer and a female singer - all were top class with great performances. We had a retired Detective Chief Inspector giving a series of lectures - informative and entertaining insights into criminal investigation process. The food in the restaurants was great - nice food well prepared and served. The staff very helpful. We did have a couple of issues with the cabin - but a quick call to reception and these were rapidly sorted. Jut as an aside, it beats me why people leave it until writing a review to complain about things that can be rectified whilst on-board. Didn't bother with the Gym, although it seemed well equipped. Unfortunately didn't get to experience any shore excursions - however, I can confirm that the North Sea is pretty much grey all over in early March So whilst the aim of the cruise to see the Northern lights didn't happen the experience of the 5 nights we had on the ship was fantastic and I would not hesitate to recommend the cruise to others. Already booked on the 12 March sailing to Northern Lights in 2021 Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
I have decided to write this review to help first time cruisers like myself decide if cruising is for them. There were a lot of reviews, especially about Aurora that were negative and we had no idea what to expect. So from the ... Read More
I have decided to write this review to help first time cruisers like myself decide if cruising is for them. There were a lot of reviews, especially about Aurora that were negative and we had no idea what to expect. So from the beginning; we chose this cruise for our honeymoon for one reason only. To see the northern lights. It seemed like a great way to experience them. Booking was easy and we got inboard spending. The website post booking took a little navigating especially to book shore excursions. In 2020 for such a big company I would expect better. (At one point I got so frustrated I threw my iPad...) we got some info prior to the boarding but had no idea what to expect on the day and to be honest found it quite overwhelming. Lots of people had clearly done it before and knew exactly what to do but we were quite lost. They took our baggage, we then headed in to a long, took a health quiz due to recent events and then were just kind of herded into the boat. It was quick, but we still had no idea what was going on. We were also directed in the wrong direction twice to our cabin... luckily those are probably the only negatives I have!!! Cabin: f220 was apparently an upgrade, I think because it used to be a four berth room so was potentially bigger? Anyways it was compact but we expected that, surprising amount of storage especially for all the jumpers and spotlessly clean. The bed was two singles pushed together and super comfy. It was turned down each night by our cabin steward. We also had bathrobes, champagne and flowers that I had arranged as it was our honeymoon. Bathroom is tiny, and could do with not being peach plastic but big enough for what you needed. TV had a good selection of films, but ours spent most of its time on the information channel or on the ship radio channel which had a live feed of a camera from the front of the ship. Played decent getting ready music! We were on a lower floor and close to the engine but this had no effect on our sleep. We were also toasty warm even with a window. The boat; Aurora is the oldest and smallest of the fleet, a lot of people who had cruised before compared her negatively to other boats, however we thought she was lovely. She reminded me of an old London hotel or an aging movie star, a little bit cracked around the edges but elegant and classy. We didn't use the pools but a few people did and they looked warm. Plenty of space on the different decks and a walking deck which we took advantage of most days when it was open. There were a couple of shops, the last day sale is probably the best day for deals but we didn't see much for us. The salon was super expensive, not worth it unless you got one of the daily deals. The gym was pretty good, we only went twice (trying to counter the food) had a lot of machines to use. Public areas; we spent most of our time in the glass house and Champions pub. The crows nest was right at the front, had good views but after a very up and down force 12 day we avoided it! Anderson's is a gin bar , loads of gins and good cocktails. masquarades had a disco but we didn't partake in this. the glass house with wines from Olly Smith was where we tended to sit and read on sea days whilst working my way through the wine list. We did get the drink package but prices weren't too bad, a fiver for a small glass on average. The wine was great, the little nibbles (you had to pay extra for) were delicious. Service was... chilled! An extra waiter would of made all the difference especially as there was a coffee bar here so lots of their time was spent making cappuccinos. Oh and limited view of the sea. Champions was a kind of pub, there was always a quiz going on there, a bit of karaoke and we did manage to catch the rugby and football. There was a good selection of different beers and the service was excellent. Entertainment; I'm not going to lie, we didn't catch any of the shows, they weren't really for us. It would of been nice to see the comedian but it was on the same night as our excursion. The playhouse showed some decent films, Judy, Jumanji, Midway. A list of these can be found online. There was Orca watch onboard and they did talks about the wildlife, standing room only but you could watch from your cabin. Other talks included one about pain relief and arthritis... I kid you not. We read mostly happy just to chill out. There were also talks about the places we were stopping and things to do there. There was a daily magazine that told you what was going on and the dress code for the night, plus a news round up and daily suduko. There was also dancing lessons and enough quizzes to keep you entertained if you like a quiz, which we do. Stops; Alta was specifically for the lights, there is nothing much else there. A couple of shops and a church. It was bloody freezing!!! We did a trip at night to see them and were lucky enough to see them, absolutely unbelievable. So beautiful, worth braving -14 and snow. Tromso was gorgeous, still cold and proper snowing! We did the husky ride which was amazing. Again very cold (-9) but worth it to go through the snow covered countryside. We also went into the town, walked over the bridge to the cathedral. Alesund was cute, we walked up a very tall hill, not as cold as it had been. Buy souvenirs here, much cheaper! Stavenger was also gorgeous, shopping here was for fashion if you wanted it. (There's a h and m) All in all good places to see, and you're unlikely to see them any other way. Food; I saved the best for last. We like food, our holidays and trips revolve around good food. The food onboard was unbelievable. The buffet horizon we went to for breakfast and lunch most days. Good choices, fruit, hot choices, omelette made to order. Lunch we tended to try and have lighter options, salad, soup (which was excellent) cheese. Oh the cheese! The grill next door made great burgers to order. We ate dinner in Medina most nights. The black tie nights we had the Marco menu which was excellent and most other nights we had the three courses. All cooked perfectly, great steaks, full of flavour. Puddings were to die for. Afternoon tea was also great, although maybe the cakes could be a bit tastier. We also dined at Sindhu twice. It is totally worth it. The food was delicious. I understand why people put on weight on cruises. Seriously good food! All in all we had a great time. We would recommend it if you just want to chill out. With the average age about 55 be prepared, this is not a party boat! But if you want to chill, eat good food, be waited on hand and foot and experience the majesty of the fjords in comfort then this is for you. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
I haven’t cruised with P&O for over twenty years and as this cruise coincided with school holidays I thought I’d give it a try. Very disappointing. To begin with the Indian and Philippine staff are perfect and a credit both to ... Read More
I haven’t cruised with P&O for over twenty years and as this cruise coincided with school holidays I thought I’d give it a try. Very disappointing. To begin with the Indian and Philippine staff are perfect and a credit both to their respective countries and to P&O. The problem on this ship is the U.K. staff. All very well being a ‘British’ ship but if you cruise with them you can expect a British attitude. The ship is run for their convenience and not for the passengers. The kids club needs decent management. Although there are lots of children on this cruise, opening time and registration is a disgrace. Once inside, the kids love it but you’re given strict instructions to pick your child up fifteen minutes before closing. If any of the officers (conspicuous by their absence) happen to read this can I suggest you attend the opening of the club tomorrow and witness the shambles for yourself. Does this ship have any officers? We’ve yet to see one. All the hot tubs are closed. Don’t blame the weather either. I’ve been in worse and it’s just down to them not being bothered in my humble opinion. No request goes answered and the miserable Scottish receptionist would be better suited to serving criminals in Barlinnie jail just outside Glasgow than deal with customers on a supposedly ‘luxury’ cruise. On the upside, the main restaurant is very nice indeed. Thanks but no thanks P&O. It’s a shame but it’s back home to Celebrity for us! Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We chose this cruise to get away from the worst of the British Weather, although for the first 10 days it seemed we had taken it with us. Whilst the weather improved the cruise of Ventura got worse. Ship Overall Dirty on the Outside ... Read More
We chose this cruise to get away from the worst of the British Weather, although for the first 10 days it seemed we had taken it with us. Whilst the weather improved the cruise of Ventura got worse. Ship Overall Dirty on the Outside and just as bad on the insde especially Waterside Buffet which for a restaurant was particularly grubby with stains on seating, sofa style backrests and the backs of many chairs. Entertainment The ship was rammed to the rafters and in order to access any entertainment people were entering venues an hour before show start times. Within 30 minutes of showtimes it was standing room only at every venue apart from Metropolis - the Crow's nest equivalent and that was because it was uncomfortably cold during daytime. The Tamarind Show Lounge electrical broke down 12 days before the end of the cruise so no entertainment could be provided, leaving just two - Havanna - often referred to as "Meercats" because it was so poorly designed the barriers were too high to see over without stretching your neck.. Films had to be shown in this lounge until half way through the cruise because the Theatre Company commandeered the Arena Theatre for rehearsals, yet they has been rehearsing in Southampton for two months prior to the cruise. In 5 weeks they put on three average shows. Most passengers thought they had got off in Hamilton the first stop - They were often seen however sunbathing and watching other shows.even though their were not enough seats for fare paying passengers. This was also true of the ship's crew who on many occasion were seated in the Arena Theatre whilst passengers were forced to stand. The entertainment ranged from superb - Revolver and 4Tunes come to mind as well as Lloyd Howlett. The Aretha Franklin Tribute lady should not have even been on ship as she presented her first show "as sick" and by the end of her act so were we. As for the French juggler - it was a surprise he did not get a mass walkout. Food Food in the MDR was generally good and hot, although the service was for the most part appallingly slow, often taking over 2.5 hours for dinner, so you then missed the first show time of any act.. The food in the Waterside Buffet was not of a very good standard and often tepid. At no time did I find at breakfast in 35 days and orange segments, peach segments, pear segments, I also never saw any tinned tomatoes ,or black pudding and only once did I see Hash Brown's. Other breakfast items were always available including appallingly cooked eggs and bacon, Daytime Activities If you like shuffleboard, Spa Treatments, Art, Bridge Craft Class, or quizzes you were inn for a treat, otherwise forget it. I attended an excellent Art Class taught by Debbie Arts which was excellent, however, again if you did not go 30 minutes earlier than scheduled you would find it difficult to get a seat. Ports of Call La Caruna then nothing for 5 days then a quick nod to Bermuda and Freeport in Grand Bahama than we were off at sea for days on end, until we reached Puerto Rico then it was port after port for 4 consecutive days, before leaving Barbados for the 10 long haul to Southampton - The Azores banned us from docking owing to the corona19 Scare, although luckily we had no cases on board. To Summarise This was in my opinion a 2Star Cruise paid for by 4Star Prices. Many, many passengers were deeply offended by the performance of P&O whether it be the appalling array of guest speakers, the varied entertainment, the lack of seating, the breaking gown of venues and dirty condition people were exposed to. An example being that no hand sanitisers were evident in the Pub, Casino, Theatre areas until over half way though the cruise and only then owing to the enhanced risks of novovirus or corona19 I feel cheated by P&O as did many other "seasoned and loyal P&O guests who have vowed never to go back P&O - for God's sake - stuff Carnival and get the Quality back into your operations before you become a cruising Pariah. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Made a mistake by booking Ventura - Very noisy ship especially in the atrium with dance classes going on all day so unable to relax in the bar or coffee lounge. This went on in the evening so instead of having a pianist we had blaring ... Read More
Made a mistake by booking Ventura - Very noisy ship especially in the atrium with dance classes going on all day so unable to relax in the bar or coffee lounge. This went on in the evening so instead of having a pianist we had blaring music to contend with -very unpleasant so went to Glasshouse. Excellent cabin and "Elvor" our cabin steward was very professional and did a excellent job. Waiters were excellent and always asked if everything was O.K. which it was. We even had the chief come round one evening and ask if everything was satisfactory. Entertainment and shows were a disgrace P&O must do better. Far too many people for size of ship. Could not get into shows talks or lectures. Had passengers playing cards in the restaurant at breakfast and no action taken by staff. Water bottles being filled from water machines while staff were watching and no action taken, Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
The Ventura cruise departed on ,11the February for a USA/Caribbean cruise of some 35 days. Initial impressions of the ship were a bit mixed, some good, some less so. Our cabin was a balcony on deck 12, a reasonable size and a comfy bed. ... Read More
The Ventura cruise departed on ,11the February for a USA/Caribbean cruise of some 35 days. Initial impressions of the ship were a bit mixed, some good, some less so. Our cabin was a balcony on deck 12, a reasonable size and a comfy bed. Our cabin steward was good and he did his duties well. Our first port of call was La Corrina, we quite like this call and went ashore for a shop and some tapas. After this we aimed west to our USA/Caribbean calls. It was on this leg that the ships shortcomings came to light. Cabin - whilst the bed was comfy, the pillows were not. The entertainment on the TV was almost non-existent. No wonder they don't put a TV guide in the cabin, it would consist of one page of blank A4 paper. We had BBC and ITV, plus 2 prime channels. These had repeats and stuff that was on the whole very poor. Our TV broke down a few times, and there was a long wait for it to be repaired. These TV sets are very old, and offer square screens for films that need wide screens. As the theatre was put of bounds for a number of days, (the dance troupe were practicing) films were shown in other venues. Both the Havana and the Tamarind are rubbish venues when used as cinemas. The nickname for the Havana is The Meerkat Bar', you can guess why. Ships shops - in a word, poor !! The usual collection of overpriced stuff, the general store didn't even have decent souvenirs. Don't expect a fridge magnet, they didn't exist. Day after day they wheeled out the same stuff, but little sign of a good buy. BUT the drinks shop was the exception, they had a reasonable range at half decent prices. There is also a new rule that a bottle can be taken and enjoyed in your cabin. So a big old well done here. Food - the menu sounded good, but the stuff we were served was down market to say the least. I felt that sometimes the waiters were embarrassed to bring it. Tough steaks, and old lamb (or was it mutton dressed as) potatoes with eyes in, poor choice of veg, altogether not great. The ship did get some carrots in Miami (?), This made a change to the never ending dollop of runner beans we were given. The exception to the poor evening food in the MDR, was the breakfast in the MDR. It was fresh, tasty, and offered a good choice. The pay restaurants were on the whole good, we used the Epicurean once and we were "happy enough". We used the Glasshouse twice, and were very happy. Tea/coffee in self service - this setup is a bit rubbish. The decaffeinated coffee sachets are difficult to open, and the sweetener dispenser is not suitable for this. Getting a hot drink was a nightmare and it was easy to start a queue. I understand that P&O want to reduce plastics and waste in general, but can I suggest they consult a passenger who has to put up with this nonsense. Ships entertainment - for a 35 night cruise, it was as my teacher used to say to me "could/must do better'. I'm afraid the singers achieved the screatcher and screamers zone, could be that they were trying to hard if I'm being kind. The quizzes were good, but the prizes have deteriorated to "win a crappy badge" level. No wine? In the evening in the Havana the music offered prior to the main act had such delights as "How ,much is that doggy in the window,". What drivel, he (the entertainment guy) had the cheek to call it a classic. Well I guess you can get classical drivel? It's an insult to our intelligence. My wife did speak to the entertainment manager about having some "modern music", but his view was that this was what the passengers wanted. He did commit to getting the groups to up there game, and initially it worked. But not for long. The 3 groups were reasonably young, and I suspect they would have loved to offer better music. And by better, I mean something from this century. Just because we are "old", (I am 72) it doesn't mean I am into doggy drivel. We did the 28 day Caribbean cruise in January 2020, and the most popular show by miles was the Freddy Mercury show. The theatre was packed, do can I suggest that more of this please? And less doggy stuff. I will make one exception here. The ships crew did a show, it was very good and even the captain joined in. Guest entertainers - a mix of good, bad and indifferent. But the ones we chose to see were ok. Our favorite was David Copperfield, we walked out on the tap dancers. Well done to the acts that put on extra shows when new acts couldn't board on the Azores. Crew - generally a bit miserable, but after 'issues" in New Orleans when somone jumped ship, and shore leave was stopped. The morale dropped to new lows. This became more obvious when we shared a taxi to a mall in San Juan with crew off the Explorer of the Seas, they were 100% happier, and they actually had smiles on their faces. I will add a "but" here. It did seem that when Captain Willard took over, morale did get a bit better. The waiters were another mixed bunch, some would rather talk to each other than serve us. But some were ok as well. I.will single out 2 crew as outstanding. #1 - the young lady who stood outside the restaurant on deck 6 dispensing hand gel. A warm smile and hello is all it took for her to please. #2- the young lady in housekeeping doing toilet duty on deck 6 by the dining room. A warm smile, and hello, plus some very good singing at the crew show. Both the above are assets to P&O. Ships facilities - this ship on the face of it must need a refit. The worst facility by miles were the midship lifts. At one point some 3 out of 8 were non runners. One lift in particular had a habit of wiping the floors selected, and essentially doing its own thing. Ports of call - these are to a point out of P&O's control, but I will summerise. Bermuda - a very short call to an expensive port. Supposed to be an overnight stay, ended up at about 5 hours. This was due entirely to the weather. So not worth the time Freeport - this was a substitute for Nassau for refuelling. Usual port facilities, but passed a few hours at the Senor Frog bar. A good call. New Orleans - we did US immigration clearance here. It was supposed to be a 2 day trip, but by the time we had landing clearance it ended up as 1.5 days. The paddle boats were not running for whatever reason, and as we went the day after Mardi Gras the city was in need of a clean up. New Orleans is now off my bucket list forever. Just for info, if you are mobility impaired, then the distances involved in New Orleans to clear immigration are best avoided. Key West - the best call by far. A lively town, plenty to see and do and best of all. It was interesting. Miami - we decided to do the Sawgrass mill trip. A good excursion and price to a very busy mall. It was HUGE !!! We enjoyed the visit, and beat up our credit cards. We also sampled the key lime pie, it was excellent. San Juan - again we opted to visit a mall. It was quite good, and the cheesecake lunch was superb at the Cheesecake Factory. St Kitts - a typical Caribbean port with various shops selling the usual stuff. T shirts, souvenirs, very cheap drink, and of course the ever popular fridge magnets. Like this port, it's unpretentious, friendly and a nice way to spend a day. Dominica - we took a shore side trip to the waterfalls and sulpher pools. Our guide was a very pleasant girl called Ash who did an excellent job. After this we popped into the Ruined Rock bar. It's a 2 minute walk from the ship, and this place has real atmosphere. Look it up sometime, you won't be disappointed. Barbados - we usually go to the Boatyard, but for a change went to Accra beach. It was not crowded, the water was clean and warm (ish). We had a snack (fishcakes) and drink at one of the sheds, and it was cheap. We will do this again. Azores - due to the coronavirus issues, we were refused permission to dock. We did dissembark one sick pasenger, but we just bobbed around and used the free WiFi. In summary - after checking this review I thought I would do a brief summary. The trip had to few ports, and way to many sea days. The weather was generally poor, and the entertainment was dull. So we decided to book for the 2021 Caribbean only cruise. I know it sounds a bit 2 faced, but we love the Caribbean, so will continue our exploits to this area only. Should P&O wish to discuss. I was in cabin (not kennel) to 6240. Pardon my cynicism. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Whilst we agree with a lot of the comments made about the Ventura. Some of the guests hygiene leaves a lot to be desired. Ignoring hand sanatisers on many occasions. In the buffet restaurant we saw on many occasions passengers blowing ... Read More
Whilst we agree with a lot of the comments made about the Ventura. Some of the guests hygiene leaves a lot to be desired. Ignoring hand sanatisers on many occasions. In the buffet restaurant we saw on many occasions passengers blowing their nose & coughing into the blue serviettes & putting them back on the table. Men walking into the buffet area with no tops on. Filling water bottles from the dispenser, even though there is a large sign on the dispenser stating that this should not be done for hygiene reasons. All of this was happening when we knew coronavirus was beginning to get much worse worldwide. We have cruised with P &O on many occasions, but this is the 1st time on the Ventura & we were very disappointed with the ship. But all of the crew were excellent. Yes, P&O do need to up their game, but some of the faults are with the passengers & not the company. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
This was a 5 week cruise, having only undertaken a few shorter cruises before, unlike many well seasoned cruisers on board, we were pleasantly surprised at the quality, standard and presentation of everything. In a nut shell: on ... Read More
This was a 5 week cruise, having only undertaken a few shorter cruises before, unlike many well seasoned cruisers on board, we were pleasantly surprised at the quality, standard and presentation of everything. In a nut shell: on reading reviews (after we had paid a deposit) I started to get concerned! Fortunately a very level headed well travelled friend reassured me that the Ventura was ‘lovely’. How right she was. Readers, do not be put off by some highly critical reviews here, much of which I cannot say we witnessed or experienced and leave me baffled. The food was excellent, plentiful and exceptional choice for every palate. We tried every venue. We did not wish to put on weight and by choosing from the enormous range of fresh foods, salads and fish we came back at the same weight! The eggs had golden yolks, the fresh burgers on the deck had quality beef, the sea food kebabs in the Beach House were amazing and as for the food in the Epicurean - well wow wow wow. We particularly enjoyed the Beach House and Epicurean where an additional sum is paid for evening meals. We had one meal at Sindu but preferred the Epicurean on occasion (Black Tie nights) where the service and food is exceptional. We also enjoyed the Cinnamon and Saffron main freedom dining restaurants meeting a variety of well travelled and P&O regular cruisers. The 60s fancy dress night was not supported by the guests (we were tipped off about this so did not appear in our Amazon purchased 60s outfits - P&O may consider removing that one), however the Tropical and Black & White nights were. 8 Black Tie nights we found a bit much and dined in our suite on several nights for relaxation. We found The Retreat sun deck area (light breakfast, lunch and tea included) was a good investment to ensure a more peaceful relaxation area. An additional cost but we were glad we did this on the sea days between Caribbean Islands. Bearing in mind then age group that would be on a 5 week cruise in Feb/March the entertainment was fitting. Some of the acts were so good it was a shame they all did not have 2 nights across the venues. The Whitney Houston act was only on for one night and we were unable to get to it so missed it. Yes, you have to get to the theatre early to ensure a seat hence having acts in for 2 nights or in different venues on 2 nights would ensure everyone had a good chance to see them. The Havana Bar is indeed the ‘meerkat lounge’ due to the high dividing panels and subject to endless complaints. Now that the ship is docked due to the global pandemic maybe something can be done to reduce the high ‘wall dividers’? The guest speakers were a bit limited in variety and none of the speakers seemed to want to stand either in the spotlight or at the front of the stage floor area in Havana so you could see them or ensure everyone could hear them properly. We missed not having a retired detective as a speaker as they are always full of amazing tales. The staff are amazing, each and everyone of them. The rude and crass behaviour on board of some guests made us cringe. To find a lady room steward in tears was appalling and I would have enjoyed being left alone with the male guest culprit for bullying behaviour. Some guests behaviour towards staff made us ashamed and if we could counteract it at any point we did. Sneering comments by guests on trips when we were on hurricane damaged islands, that were fighting for survival, ruined one trip for us - we apologised to our taxi driver for such moronic hurtful and thoughtless behaviour by these guests. For what we paid we were very satisfied with what we got. For us 5 weeks was too long but it was quite an experience. The staff are amazing and it was a privilege to have met them. We did treat ourselves to a suite and very glad we did on such a long voyage. One of the perks was breakfast in the Epicurean which was just perfect. Again, the staff were exceptional and evening meals there would knock most top 5* London restaurants into a cocked hat. Speaking as a retired tourism inspector I was nicely surprised with it all. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Shocking is the only work I would say after paying £25,000+ for a Suite cabin (no bigger than an Oceana Mini Suite) on the Ventura for 5 weeks to Central America and the Caribbean. The food was diabolical and reasonably sophisticated ... Read More
Shocking is the only work I would say after paying £25,000+ for a Suite cabin (no bigger than an Oceana Mini Suite) on the Ventura for 5 weeks to Central America and the Caribbean. The food was diabolical and reasonably sophisticated entertainment non- existent. The never ending daily amount of rubbish fed in the daily paper about commercial 'pamper parties' 'aches and pains parties' and the like was not what most passengers want. Especially when you have to buy something at the end of it!!!. There was only one classical pianist. He was wonderful and played to a packed house for only 4 nights. I was told by the Entertainments Manager that Ventura didn't do classical as it was a family ship!!!! What!! People were crying out for some decent classical concerts in the afternoon. No children on board in this cruise,!!! The shops had old and dirty stock, discontinued lines, and clothes that had all been well fingered over the last 4 cruises. The staff in the shops were unmotivated. Who would buy anything there???? The Chef Trevor Glass should be ashamed of himself to put his name to misrepresentation on the menus. I could go on forever but the food which looked so appetizing on the Menu Cards but when it arrived was no better than school cafeteria fodder. For instance the last Black Tie had 'lobster' on the menu. Anyone who ate it would know it wasn't 'lobster', but a mixture of pulverised 'prawns' and white fish stuffed into a lobster shell with breadcrumbs on the top. Are they allowed to con the food ignorant and unsophisticated people with food like this????? This sort of thing went on the whole cruise. This Company should be brought to book Trading Standards comes to mind. The wines are exorbitant for mediocre wines and most on the ship did not drink wine at dinner. I wonder why???? The Buffets also were like school food. Same, same and same all under different names!! Portuguese buffet ! what a laugh!! As a suite passenger we had the opportunity to breakfast in the White Room. We only did it once as it took 30 minutes to get overcooked black poached eggs and inedible dry hard bacon. There were absolutely no extras on a five week trip e.g.(a Captains/Officers reception etc) for passengers who paid 3 times the price of others. This is quite unacceptable if you want to look after your passengers. Our cabin was kept beautifully and we have no issue with quality of the sheets and towels and cleanliness from our excellent cabin attendant. Absolutely loved Cartegena, Curacao, Bonaire, Puerto Rico, Panama Canal (Colon) Fabulous places!! WOW. Pity the food on Ventura wasn't fabulous too, Will never travel P & O again. Treated like a 3rd class citizen. Predictable. Done and dusted ......for the next fools.......... Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Well last cruised 10 years ago, when we used to cruise with our 2 sons who were children then. Booked this cruise following the cancellation of the Dubai cruise. At first port Madeira sent a text to both my sons to say how good it was. ... Read More
Well last cruised 10 years ago, when we used to cruise with our 2 sons who were children then. Booked this cruise following the cancellation of the Dubai cruise. At first port Madeira sent a text to both my sons to say how good it was. Cabin was just an inside with queen bed, perfect for us, cabin steward was excellent. Food in buffet was always hot, fresh and plentiful. Enjoyed the restaurant at night as we had a great table of 4 other couples, good chat but I did find the food a bit poor, however I am a very fussy eater. I also didn’t find our waiter very accommodating of any special requests. Ports were all enjoyable but least favourite was Lisbon, on next cruise , yes we booked another while on this, we will plan to take underground out of main Lisbon centre. Entertainment was good, great comedian and soul group, headliners a bit showy and shouty for us but again personal choice. Found on some evenings there were no free seats in any of the bars or atrium, bit disappointing. It was my 50th birthday and my husband purchased a cake on the ship, which was brought to our dinning table and was a beautiful cake iced with my name. This had only cost £10 which was excellent value. Overall had a great time and looking forward to next one. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Great ports we had a great room attendant George he was lovely kept every thing lovely and clean room was very nice balcony small but fit our needs. Food was dreadfull in the buffet and main restaurant you can see p and o have let there ... Read More
Great ports we had a great room attendant George he was lovely kept every thing lovely and clean room was very nice balcony small but fit our needs. Food was dreadfull in the buffet and main restaurant you can see p and o have let there standards drop cold food tough stake Very small portions very little veg boring choice whent to beach house 4 times only time we had a good meal .staff were lovely and helpfull could not fault them . We cruise regularly with p and o but it's time for a change entertainment was boring also kept changing venue to what was advertised very confusing .ports of call all very nice loved Valencia . Loved oceaner our second cruise on her but the food and entertainment let her down we can usually find something food wise to suite use but very poor food this time I enjoyed our cruise but will be looking to cruise with some one else next time its bean a slow decline with p and o for the last 3 cruises. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Had an excellent long haul cruise in 2013 on P&O's Adonia so was happy to trust them with another long haul cruise. The Aurora is a beautiful ship, lovely and clean, happy friendly crew, great onboard entertainent and excellent ... Read More
Had an excellent long haul cruise in 2013 on P&O's Adonia so was happy to trust them with another long haul cruise. The Aurora is a beautiful ship, lovely and clean, happy friendly crew, great onboard entertainent and excellent food. If you get the right cabin I would highly recomend it but our deluxe balcony cabin was disgusting. The balcony wasn't fit for purpose or as described to me by P&O's port admin staff before making our booking. The layout of the cabin was inpracticle and the air conditioning system was defective pouring contaminated air into our cabin. 1. We were asked to arrive at Southamptom for 1pm and instructed not to arrive early/late as this was our designated time slot to board the ship. On arrival, one of several P&O female ground crew staff, took our tickets and barked at us in a very loud and unfriendly tone that we should find a seat as there were over a thousand priority passengers joining our cruise therefore we would be boarding late. Not a nice start, being told you were insignificant and more than half of the passengers were more important and ging to get better treatment. They could have been discrete about prioritising frequent travellers. The female ground crew, all aged in their eary sixties continously shouted out the same information as passengers arrived creating an umpaitable atmosphere. 2.A glass of bubbly was handed to passengers as we boarded the ship and crew in shiney white uniforms were there to greet us providing a lovely warm welcome. Taking our hand luguage we proceeded exitedly to our cabin to see our home for the next 55 nights and was horrified to find our deluxe balcony cabin was anything but. It was dark and closed in. The balcony front was actually a window with the glass removed. This window frame was still surrounded by the ships original metal structured enclosing in the whole balcony area. I could only peer over the wooden bar that had been built infront of the window frame by standing on my tiptoes. The whole structure was closed in. No chance of using the area to sit out in the sun or take in the view of the Carrabean sea during our well earned and excitedily awaited 55 day trip. (I live in a small flat, so hope you can appreciate why this balcony was so important for me on this once in a lifetime cruise) The cruise had been booked on the early saver price which meant we coudn't pre-book our cabin number but P&O staff assured me that our balcony cabin would be exactly the same and that by booking a deluxe bacony the cabin would be bigger. The crew couldn't move us as the ship was full capacity and the 'hotel' manager told me we wouldn't get our money back if we abandoned our cruise. 3.We later discovered our cabin (the rear of deck 8) was originally part of the childrens play area and had recently been converted into one of 5 cabins. A couple at our dinner table also booked an early saver deluxe balcony cabin but unlike us didn't accept P&O's verbal assurity as we had and wrote to them expressing instructions for a deck 10, middle of the ship location with a proper glass panel balcony as orginally constructed to accomodate a deluxe balcony cabin. They had exactly what we had expected and paid for. A lovely spacious cabin, laid out exactly as described and shown in P&O's brochures photo, nice and bright with ots of draw storage space. 4.Our cabin was very narrow so the layout was different. We didn't have a chest of draws like the other cabin i had asked about this but it wasn't possible because of the limited space. The narrow room also meant the tv hanging on the wall at the bottom of our bed was in the way. It was dangerously close and my partner constantly hit his shoulder when squeezing pass to get in and out of bed. The lady in the cabin next door to us was unhappy with her balcony 'same as ours' and was mislead by the reception staff who wrongfully told her that nobody else had complained. Her cabin was the same size as ours, she had the space all to herself but was only charged just over half the price we were charged for our cabin. 5.A few nights into our cruise we woke up in the night with a strong smell of sewage coming through our air conditioning unit. This happened a secnd time further into our cruise. Each time we reported it to reception we were told no work was being carried out and the smell mysteriously disappeared immediately after 6.Paint fumes flooded our cabin from the air conditioning unit on many occassions throughout the cruise. Each time we were told no painting was being done and after being told this on one occassion I went out on deck, near our cabin and they WERE painting. The fumes were coming out from the air conditioning unit directy above my side of the bed and I spent the last 10 days of our cruise ill. (I am still unwell now 2nd March) an engineer came to our cabin towards the end of our cruse while I was particularly ill, he was a bit surprised because we had left our cabin door wide open to try to circulate the air. He told us it wasn't possible to switch off the air conditioning, we had no control over the toxic fumes entering our cabin. Because our cabin had recently been added on I suggested the air conditioning controlling our cabin was at fault. We expressed our disatisfaction and the fact nothing had been done about it and how it had affected both of us and made me feel so ill. He said he woud get on to the department cntoing the air conditioning. He didn't get bac to us but the last couple of days of the cruise was fume free. The balcony had a big impact on our holiday and we simply woudn't have booked this particular cruise if we had known what we were going to end up with. We trusted P&O and took their word as being factual and honest. This together with the lower spec compared to the other deluxe balcony cabins and most importantly health implications surrounding the airconditioning unit warrants the one star rating we have given in this review. It is a shame because the Aurora really is a beauiful, splendid ship. The rear swimming pool and sundeck is a rarity these days as ships tend to crame more berths into the back of them now. I did love the ship and will miss her. I am disapointed with P&O's treatment of us. And to be honest saddened by it as it should and could have been an amazing holiday. We had cruised with them long haul to the Carrabean in 2013, we are in our fiftys and represented the next generation of P&O's cruisers. SUGGESTION IF YOU'VE ALREADY BOOKED. 1. Get everything in writing. Be a nuisance and be insistent about what you expect. 2.Take an extention 3 pin plug lead, with lots of sockets with you. You only get 2 plug sockets in the cabin. They are on the dresser, away from the bed. The plug on the kettle is extra wide so the 2nd plug can't be used at the same time. Hence extention lead with lots of sockets. 3.take your own brand of washing detergent and stain removal spray for the launderette 4. Take a pack of antibacterial wipes or spray to wipe down door handles, light switches and tv remote in cabin. Our cabin steward kept our cabin lovely and clean but I woud recomend th8s precaution 5. I was surprised at the crews reluctance to insist passengers use of antibacterial gel. Equally shocked by the number of passemgers not bothering to use it when re-entering the ship at ports and the buffet cart. After gathering your food, i would recommend washing your hands again thoroughly before sitting down to eat, especialy if you have bread rolls to handle and other food to pick up.to eat. Observing passengers not cleaning their hands then using the coffee machine and picking up food tongs to handle food puts you at risk of picking up their nasty germs 6. If going to the beach. I often found the sunbeds to hire were too close for comfort. No space, no privacy.. I took a large sheet from home and spread it out on the soft sand to lay out on. Much more space, you can put it where you want and often bag a much better spot on the beach, plus save $10 a time on sunchair hire!! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Like most of the passenger's aboard, we were doing this cruise to get away form the winter weather. This turned out to be a very lucky choice! From beginning to end we had wall to wall sunshine and calm seas with only a couple of ... Read More
Like most of the passenger's aboard, we were doing this cruise to get away form the winter weather. This turned out to be a very lucky choice! From beginning to end we had wall to wall sunshine and calm seas with only a couple of bumpy days leaving and returning to UK home waters. We did have a bit of rain in Tobago and Antigua but it was brief and of the 'liquid sunshine' variety. We've never been so lucky on cruise of any length, let alone 55 nights. We appreciated the new 'Grand Tour' features - a glass of fizz for everyone on boarding (which was quick in our case), a 'Half Way Round' and a 'Farewell Party' were both included and the Ligurian's had a tea at the Biltmore Hotel in Miami. Not the best of events sadly, tho' it was a good thought. It meant missing most of the attractions during our one day in this lovely city for a start and the organisation was poor. The hotel was fine (Entertainment Manager Hughie quickly found the best bar!) but they failed to get welcome drinks out onto very hot balcony quickly enough and queues formed which the ship's people did little to alleviate. Very big tables meant the food and drink was difficult to manage and a lady singer made conversation very difficult. Apart from Captain Pembridge's, the speeches were rather tedious and our Carnival host's excitement at the impending introduction of Iona was not the best choice of topic for the dyed in the wool 'small ship' audience! But it was good of P&O to lay the event on - they didn't have to. Leaving Ponta Delgada the old 'Great British Sailaway' was superseded by the new-style 'Celebration Sailaway'. Lots of live music from a house band some ice carving and enthusiastic dancing form the Hosts. Personally, we did't miss the jingoistic flag waving and community singing of the old Sailaways ; at least it was a pleasant change. The destinations were all predictable in the Caribbean. Lots of tours from the excellent Excursions team - often ignored by the passengers who usually rushed ashore on the hunt for WiFi in order to tell their friends what a great time they were having in the Cruise Terminal - what,me cynical?! We had three days in Barbados owing to a medical emergency requiring a fast crossing. The third day we moved to the remote Flour Mill Berth across the main harbour. This would have been a bit of a disaster for a one-day call but it worked for us and lots of others. There was a good beach a couple of hundred yards away and the Mount Gay distillery visitors centre was even closer. The island chain was a very busy part of the cruise but the weather meant that beaches were a good option everywhere. The highlight for us was a visit to Bob Marley's grave in Jamaica. The whole tour was deafening but quite compelling. We were provided with a meat pie for a snack and were offered unlimited Ganja (eagerly taken up by several passengers).The ports are always interesting and for the first time in the Caribbean we were struck by how many, and how many LARGE ships, were in port. In St Maarten we were not only in with Britannia and Azura but 3 other ships including Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas - 5500 passengers! Having never seen one of the sisters close up she was an awesome sight. In all there were 18000 pax in port - quite overwhelming the lovely town and island. In Cozumel there were even more - 8 ships and 20000 passengers. As we left, Celebrity Edge added a few thousand more.Though Cozumel did cope with the numbers better. We enjoyed chatting to the vast number of Americans who were almost exclusively absorbed by the Harry and Megan story which was live at the time. For us, the highlight of the cruise was the USA. New Orleans is quite unique and the lively jazz music was everywhere. A number of early Mardi Gras parades made it a treat, For the first time we managed to get a trip on the only steam stern-wheeler 'Natchez'. A very imposing vessel providing our tour with a lovely meal and great sights. In Port Canaveral we went on a lagoon cruise looking at manatee, dolphin and exotic birds. Very well hosted and a marked contrast to all the busy places we'd been. On the ship the entertainment was copious. Pleasingly there was almost always a 7pm show in Carmen's (the Show Lounge) as well as the main shows in the theatre. For the first time we experienced Club dining times of 6pm and 8pm - the half hour earlier start suited the late sitting particularly and the shows were timed to suit the dining times. One good move by the ship was to introduce a number of Italian evenings in the Beach House and Thai evenings in Sindhu. They made a good change to restaurants that inevitably became unappealing on a long cruise. Well done - a good initiative and apparently well-supported by passengers. We were told that this was because the cruise was 'older' (apparently the average age was 72 which we thought was pretty young!). There were a lot of (variable) tribute acts but some excellent comedians. Unfortunately the Headliners were sidelined a bit. A pity as they were a very good bunch - their 3 hour production of the comedy play 'Relatively Speaking' was played to appreciative and very full theatre. Our main criticism was of the quizzes which is a staple of P&O's longer cruises. They are always a social event but the quality of the questions was very poor and the individual quiz attendances fell from dozens to less than 10 by the end of the cruise. Maybe not poor, probably badly targeted is more appropriate. The lazier entertainment hosts used the new quizzes provided by P&O. Each is shown on the pub's TVs and has three levels of difficulty - easy, moderate and hard. The general knowledge quizzes we were usually given were targeted at a very different generation to ours - one was even titled 'Family Friendly (9!)'; and this on a child-free ship! Some folk complained that the same people won every time (showing that the best quizzers always have the widest knowledge!) but that matters not to us - we play against our own (dismal) standard! The passengers were generally very clubbable and the staff were as peerless as usual so we had a great trip. Many of the best crew were destined for Iona (or Virgin Cruises allegedly!) but the cruise was increasingly overshadowed by the emerging Coronavirus pandemic. A cruise ship is ripe for infection even in normal circumstances (we apparently had some 150 chest infections afflicting our cruise) and the publicity given to the problems of Diamond Princess, as well as the impact of the bug on Arcadia's and Cunard's world cruises, meant that we were always aware of what could have happened. We were lucky - what will happen to future cruises and the travel industry in general is yet to emerge. We have a number of future cruises booked - what will happen is anybody's guess Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Arcadia is my favourite ship. I have sailed on Cunard QM2 but on that 7 days was too many. Arcadia may not be perfect the buckets are still about but she has a soul and the friendliest most helpful crew at sea. Embarkation was a bit ... Read More
Arcadia is my favourite ship. I have sailed on Cunard QM2 but on that 7 days was too many. Arcadia may not be perfect the buckets are still about but she has a soul and the friendliest most helpful crew at sea. Embarkation was a bit slow as there were visas to check and a new online check in system was being trialled. It is the only time my luggage has beat me to the cabin!!! Our cabin steward was Elias and he was with us until Fremantle, then Jofran took over. Both were above excellent. Our cabin A173 was wonderful. We spent many mornings having coffee on the balcony watching the wake. There is a bit of soot around but I knew that before I booked the cabin. Reception will launder free of charge if required willingly with an apology. We usually have breakfast and lunch in the Belvedere then dinner in the Meridian. The food is excellent in both. We never needed a pager for the MDR on Freedom Dining and we did not necessarily go the same time every night except for the first night club dining was stopped due to social distancing. Once in 99 nights is no big deal. We always share a table as it is a great way to meet people. We dined twice in Sindhi which is excellent but missed Ocean Grill as we had saved it for the last leg but the specialty restaurants were closed after 23 March due to social distancing measures. The guest speakers were excellent. Didi Conn (Frenchy in Grease) was very friendly and sociable. Bob Champion, Ben McBean, Wayne Sleep, Terry Brown, Sharron Davies, the wonderful Reza Muhammad and Geoff Peters were my favourites. The headliners were great and the guest acts excelled. I enjoyed Dean Stansby, Suzy Madin, Fogwell Flax, David Copperfield and Jeff Stevenson, Mark Rueberry, to name a few. I did not like Micky Zany at all and would not watch him again. The very best performance was Entertainments Manager Nick Cosslett singing Music of the Night he earned a standing ovation in the early show. The guest entertainers were outstanding for the last 31 days of the cruise especially as some had only signed on for 5!!! We had 3 Captains, Ashley Cook, Wesley Dunlop and Luko Vojvoda. All were great. However a very special thanks is owed to Captain Luko who got us home safe and in good health when Covid19 was wreaking havoc across the world. His 08:55 daily messages lifted spirits. As he said we were all in it together. The itinerary took a bashing but it could not be avoided the last place I wanted to be after the outbreak was Asia and the Australian ports were a bonus. We had a stretch of 31 days at sea but at least we had plenty of toilet rolls!!! P&O went over and above in my opinion and we have been richly compensated for the changes of port in future cruise credit and extra OBC. I booked a cruise titled Arcadia’s Western Circumnavigation and that is what I got just the bit in the middle was slightly amended!!! Would I go again you bet already booked for 2021 so fingers crossed. Thank you Arcadia you gave me the holiday of a lifetime and I am missing you already. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
The cruise set off prior to virus and went well until half way round when virus caught up with us it then became a mystery tour which p & o dealt with in a brilliant way. The boat was a bit old and other were buckets around catching ... Read More
The cruise set off prior to virus and went well until half way round when virus caught up with us it then became a mystery tour which p & o dealt with in a brilliant way. The boat was a bit old and other were buckets around catching drips, but it didn't interfer with anything. Restaurant was excellent good service and food. The self service restaurant was ok breakfast was really good, so was lunch evening meal always seemed to have a curry in some shape or form, but always had steak which was cooked to order. We only went to sidhu once but it was very good. The entertainment was varied and mostly very good. The ports that we did stop at were well described and lots of tips if you were doing it on your own. The captain's that we had were very good especially captain Luca he had to deal with the change of ports and authorities regarding the virus. It was a disappointment not to have the cruise that we signed up for but p and o did everything in their power to still give us an experience to remember. We really enjoyed our cruise and a big thank you to p and o in this difficult time. Some people didn't enjoy the experience but we did. In the extreme circumstances a really lovely holiday. Didn't use the fitness centre or any of the trips to comment on. However there was an excellent bridge tutors which we attended they were brilliant. The library was also well stocked and a used book swope which was also good. The shop was ok but take own washing powder if you want to wash. Laundrette was also good I never had any problem getting a machine. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Staff good other than our first waiter he was very very poor and sarcastic on one occasion throwing mince sauce all over my food.We asked to be moved and were. Our first cabin was rubbish as toilet kept blocking up air con was faulty the ... Read More
Staff good other than our first waiter he was very very poor and sarcastic on one occasion throwing mince sauce all over my food.We asked to be moved and were. Our first cabin was rubbish as toilet kept blocking up air con was faulty the fridge was warm and more. we were moved to another cabin and we were very well looked after. The air conditioning on this ship was bad nearly every passenger had a dry cough and some were quite ill. I had to move my bed away from the air con as it made me cough. The food in the dining room was not on par with the Oriana. The entertainment was poor and we didn't bother going half way through the cruise. The excursion team were very misleading on various subjects and even on the day of a tour had no idea what type of coach we were in which meant i could not take my wheelchair. I thought the ship was to big and poorly laid out as when i wanted a quiet costa coffee there were dancing lessons going on which could be heard on three decks. I struggled with the wheelchair due to not being able to get an adapted cabin. I won't be going on the Ventura again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Having used the Ventura last year for a 35 day cruise we were looking forward to a repeat cruise which this time included some South American ports of call.We booked a outside cabin but were disappointed to be given a cabin on deck five ... Read More
Having used the Ventura last year for a 35 day cruise we were looking forward to a repeat cruise which this time included some South American ports of call.We booked a outside cabin but were disappointed to be given a cabin on deck five which was so small that the bed filled most of the space and there was nowhere to sit except the bed.The noise from the thrusters made sleeping difficult and after a complaint on our satisfaction form we were given in upgrade to a balcony cabin.We think the previous occupant must have been I’ll as in no time we cam down with the virus raging through the ship .Everywhere we went people were coughing and sneezing and at every port people were taken off either to hospital or home . The ports of call were great and the trips in Limon,Cartagena and Panama were worth the visit alone.Other carribean islands we have visited in the past and knew what to expect.This time we saw Grenada,St Vincent and Guadeloupe where we visited the death in paradise film location and had a lovely day.We have no complaints about the chosen ports of call or the P@O organised excursions.Well organised and all very interesting. The ship however is tired and furniture old and well worn.Entertainment on board was third class with poor quality singers,comedians etc.They even put on juggling on two evenings. The atrium is still used for the dance classes which only cater for about 30 to 40 couples while the rest of us have no choice.People hate the noise there twice a day when all you can hear is the instructor shouting the steps over and over. Meals were ok,the buffet offered the same fare every day and things ran out including sugar etc.Boring choices and obviously a cost cutting exercise. Evening meals were also sub standard we thought with poor quality meats,undercooked vegetables and very average. The arena theatre and public areas where people congregated is where the sound of coughs and sneezing filled the air,it is no wonder to us that so many fell ill,The guests are mostly over 65 and we suppose this accounts for the high illness count.The hospital on board was busy all the time. What with the lowering of standards in food,entertainment and the rising cost of taking a cruise we will now be more discerning and probably not take the longer cruises in future as it’s no fun coming home sick and disappointed The staff as always on PandO are the real jewels in the crown but it must be value for money and this was nit Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Chose this cruise to celebrate New Year in style and also to see Amsterdam and Bruges having never been there before or travelled on P&O before. Embarkation was fantastic with boarding passes being printed out at home before we ... Read More
Chose this cruise to celebrate New Year in style and also to see Amsterdam and Bruges having never been there before or travelled on P&O before. Embarkation was fantastic with boarding passes being printed out at home before we travelled which cut out the waiting time to board the ship. All went without a hitch and we were straight on board in no time. Our cabin was very good, clean and tidy and our steward was just excellent with great attention to detail - nothing was too much trouble. Food was also very good and the service could not be faulted, especially as my husband has a nut allergy. Every care was taken when preparing his food. The entertainment on-board in the theatre was first class and the magic show was just amazing. The ship was very nice however there were a few places where a bit of TLC would not have gone amiss. It was a disappointment when we were invited to attend the Captain's party only for him to not show - understandably we were informed he was busy on the bridge but when we were told the Deputy Captain would attend it would have been nice of him/her to make himself known!!!! After about 15 minutes the majority of people dwindled away! Next came New Year's Eve and the party we had been looking forward to. Unfortunately there was no "big party", only the bars doing their own thing. The staff worked hard but it was not what we expected. Then for the sail away party - or not. Admittedly it was very cold and the staff tried to get the few people involved who had shown up but where were the flags, etc. After a song from Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England (which were not the usual songs played at a sail away party) the staff disappeared. There was not the atmosphere there that there usually is. Would we travel with P&O again? In short Yes but not for New Year -sorry P&O! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
After over half a dozen wonderful cruises on Arcadia, we booked this special new years cruise without hesitation and again we were not disappointed! Everything from start to finish was very good indeed. From a smooth and quick ... Read More
After over half a dozen wonderful cruises on Arcadia, we booked this special new years cruise without hesitation and again we were not disappointed! Everything from start to finish was very good indeed. From a smooth and quick embarkation, the very tasteful Christmas Decorations in Arcadia's already classy public areas to our lovely mini suite and generally attentive and happy crew it really was a 'new year' to remember. It was also nice to see routine maintenance such as painting the hull being done after my concern of her rather 'stained' condition from a previous cruise to Venice. Just those handrails on the balconies to do now P&O! ;-) We couldn't have been happier with our mini-suite cabin. Clean, tidy and well appointed with plenty of space and good amounts of storage. A lovely sized balcony and being slightly larger it had space for a a table and chairs as well as a couple of loungers. Our steward was always polite and friendly but it does worry us just how many cabins they are having to do - it's amazing the standards they achieve. Enjoyed just about everything we ate whether it be in the main restaurant, buffet or Sindhu - the speciality fusion restaurant on-board. One or two dishes came out a little 'different' to what we expected in the main restaurant but still tasted good! However we really did notice the sheer workload of the restaurant stewards (we were club dining)- almost looking rather rushed and frantic at times! A good selection of entertainment was provided - especially being a new years cruise. The Palladium theatre is without doubt the best theatre of the fleet and the headliners did a good job with 'Astonishing' and the 'Burt Bacharach' tribute show - both really enjoyable with high quality audio and lighting. P&O really are upping there game across the fleet in this respect! Overall we found all the service on-board polite and attentive and there's always a few wonderful 'characters' who really help to make your holiday. Of course if you treat them with respect then you get the same in return - a lesson a number of passengers could take note of.... Only ports of call were Amsterdam and Zeebrugge. Both always enjoyable and worth a visit. This was my 18th cruise - most of which were on all the various P&O ships as well as one or two on Cunard, and for me Arcadia is the most special indeed. The right mix of facilities and spaces, quite understated (not too much fake ritze and glitz) and of course the real wow factor and beautiful lines of a Vista Class Vessel - not to mention being by the most stable and comfortable of the fleet! Yes her Atrium is small and a little underwhelming at first but it does make an excellent social space throughout the day and especially in the evenings - something many other atrium's can't boast being often just too big! Remember people are much quicker to complain and moan often using these forums to air their gripes rather than just discussing directly with P&O. The fact that P&O is having no problem filling this lovely ship with a VERY high level of loyal and returning custom speaks for itself. Loved it so much we just booked the full world cruise on her in 2021 - can't give it a higher recommendation than that! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We’ve just returned from a most enjoyable new year cruise to Amsterdam on the Arcadia. The experience was absolutely fantastic with friendly and attentive staff, excellent standard of food in the Meridian restaurant and some quality ... Read More
We’ve just returned from a most enjoyable new year cruise to Amsterdam on the Arcadia. The experience was absolutely fantastic with friendly and attentive staff, excellent standard of food in the Meridian restaurant and some quality entertainment. We have cruised with other companies before and found that P&O is much better value in terms of cruise price and also the price of services and drinks on board. The bars and communal areas are all very comfortable with plenty of different options to choose from; all are well decorated and it’s easy for time to pass by on a sea day. The cabins are standard size and whilst, as other reviews comment, the decor is a little tired, our cabin was clean, comfortable and out steward made every effort to ensure our trip was as enjoyable as possible. The food in the meridian restaurant was of a very good standard and well presented with plenty of choice. The vegetarian menu was by the the best we’ve seen. We’ll definitely be booking another cruise with P&O again in the future. Overall, absolutely no complaints! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
My Name is Steve Meredith. I have been in the catering service for 40 years and still going. I have worked in all aspects of the industry from five star hotels, Michelin star restaurants, private chef to deli & coffee shop. I ... Read More
My Name is Steve Meredith. I have been in the catering service for 40 years and still going. I have worked in all aspects of the industry from five star hotels, Michelin star restaurants, private chef to deli & coffee shop. I recently went on New Year Cruise UK Departure Date 29 Dec 19 Total Trip Nights: 5 I was very disappointed in the food and service. Food was of a very poor quality and standard, and presented like kids had prepared it. The service in all catering and bar areas was appalling. Enclose is a diary i kept. Day 1 29th Dec When we arrived at the terminal we were asked if we had checked in on line . We all had but then got told had we registered our credit card . No where did it say to do this . We was told no drink package on this cruise, every one moaned and you could feel tensions getting high. P O opened the exchange bar to purchase the drinks package, long que formed and took a hour to purchase . We went to buffet for lunch, small area and even smaller choice of food. Salads look like the end of the night at pizza hut and not much choice. Cheap food item were on offer. Went to room, this was good . First night dinner took 20 minutes to get in to restaurant, rolls were of a poor quality . Starters was good but main pork roast not so good, stuffing no taste, roast potatoes deep fried then roasted hard in middle and dark brown . Gravy had been left on hot plate to long. The steak pie that my father chose looked like a school meal, peas and carrots and a scoop of mash. Raspberry pavlova that i chose for dessert was not a pavlova. It was one of our guests 75th birthday . One of the head waiters I think white uniform ask who's Mark Acton . Mark said hello the head waiter just plonked this dry old cake by him and ran and I mean ran off . No candles or happy birthday singing . We went to the Havana bar it took 30 minutes to get a drink . Then ages for another. Day 2 Went to watch rocket man in the Havana bar no chairs out left to our own devices. Dinner took 42min to get a drink after I caught a head waiter sort of guy. Lamb steak full of bone tough and small portion. Sent it back another came, tougher then the first one. Powder mash, on other guests dinners the quality was poor . I had the Cheese and biscuits for sweet, says continental and British isles but all were British cheese . We did the elimination quiz they held it in the buffet restaurant. Only one drinks waiter on then was told the bar was closed at 1130 and could not get another drink. So we went with out. Day 3 Getting off to Hamburg we decided to get a take away tea. Was asked cold milk we said yes please . The lady asked the waiter to pass the cold milk. He ignored her and shook the hand of another waiter wished him happy new year. Wasnt new year yet. Lucky the pastry girl saw this and jumped in. Went to buffet once again small, poor choose and quality of food. News eve gala dinner . No one explained our menu and what we had to do. So we missed out on the sorbet course. The chicken soup should have had croutons none of us got croutons . The lobster tail on three of our plates were inedible had to be sent back. The creme brulee was definitely not a creme brulee but a mousse no egg custard or caramel to be seen. Cheese board had Parmesan cheese on. Not really a cheese for the cheese board but a cooking cheese. We sat out in the outside bar, for News Eve. No waiter service at all had to que to place our orders. Day 4 Machines in buffet restaurant only dispensing water no other drinks available. We booked the Afternoon tea in the white room. Was good but not enough savoury too much sweet stuff and very sweet. We waited once again ages for drinks at dinner . Only one wine waiter that we could see. Day 5 I chose the pork and sage roll to start at dinner . It was a two inch sausage roll not what i would call a starter. Mixed grill was small i asked for two. lamb cutlet was tiny over cooked steak and liver . No egg, gammon, sausage or onion rings that you would hope to find on a mixed grill. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
My experience on P and O cruises was a first however it sure will be my last. The buffet food is the same each night and is of a low standard. The entertainment onboard was next to none and they had an awful comedian who was on twice a ... Read More
My experience on P and O cruises was a first however it sure will be my last. The buffet food is the same each night and is of a low standard. The entertainment onboard was next to none and they had an awful comedian who was on twice a night and on, on more than one night. The drinks package is completely pointless unless you become friendly with the bar staff or walk from bar to bar as theres a 15 minute wait time on the drink and they serve the drinks in the smallest glasses possible it may as well be served neat. The customer service is appalling there is no Ps or Qs upon that ship and all the staff look unhappy except clifford in the Havana bar and he was the only one with any manor or able to crack a joke with you. Security dont know what day of the week it is let alone helping you out. Someone also made a noise complaint about me and my mate next thing there was two guys at 4am in the morning outside our cabin who came in arguing with us in relations to this and was very unprofessional. To top the entire experience of i was charged over £1300 when i got of the ship and had to get the bank to cancel payments as I was charged twice as well as that I was considerably over charged for the mini bar in the room. The toliet blocked over four times on the cruise and the last night we was informed it would be sorted but it never was.Overall would recommed celebrity, NCL or royal Caribbean. You get what you pay for on P&O and no more, if not less. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
My wife and I went on the Arcadia Christmas cruise to Norway and Denmark on 19th December 2019. We have not been on this ship before but have been on other P&O ships. I do not know how this ship gets bad reviews, mind you looking at ... Read More
My wife and I went on the Arcadia Christmas cruise to Norway and Denmark on 19th December 2019. We have not been on this ship before but have been on other P&O ships. I do not know how this ship gets bad reviews, mind you looking at some of the passengers I don't think they would enjoy anything. The ship was clean and tidy and well decorated for Christmas. Yes there are a few paint chips and scuff marks but how does anything like that spoil a cruise. There were new carpets in the lobby and gangways, we could not fault the ship. The food was excellent. We only used the buffet for breakfast and occasional lunch which again we could not fault for quality and choice. We were seated at the same table in the Meridian restaurant with two other great couples. There was a wide choice of food. One evening we went to the Sindhu and had a great meal and the service was very good. We also went to the Ocean Grill one evening and were both disappointed by the food and the service. The food was not very nice and the service was rushed. If this is supposed to be a menu that Marco Pierre White designed then we think he should go back on the ship and check it out. The Headliners Theatre Company put on very good shows and the visiting acts throughout the 10 days were entertaining. The Entertainments Manager was newly arrived and together with his team did an excellent job. The bars around the ship were always buzzing with something happening. The Captain was informative and quite funny with his announcements. The shore excursions are expensive but that is the same on any cruise line. We went on two excursions but one was good the other not so good. Our cabin was A15 on Australia deck. The cabin has a balcony but compared to other P&O ships the cabin itself was quite small. The cabin was kept immaculate by our cabin steward Beverley who did a great job nothing was too much for her. Overall we had a great time and would say that you should not take any notice of the negative reviews .Some people will complain all the time and some would collapse if they had to smile or say "Good Morning". Some don't even look at you and seem amazed when you speak to them. Perhaps they don't do that on Cunard which we heard on many occasions being dropped into the conversation! We Loved it. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We chose this cruise as we have been on Ventura before. I can't express how disappointed I and the rest of my party were. The headliners seemed under rehearsed, the special guests weren't special - comedians that weren't ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we have been on Ventura before. I can't express how disappointed I and the rest of my party were. The headliners seemed under rehearsed, the special guests weren't special - comedians that weren't suitable for a Christmas cruise, and a lack of entertainment during the day unless you are a fitness fanatic The dance lessons were in the central Atrium - who wants to learn with two left feet with people walking in and out I went to a talk in the Art Gallery - people were struggling to stand (if there were 40 chairs there were 60 people, not counting those that left!) - you couldn't lean on the walls or posts so people with zimmer frames and walking sticks struggling to stay. They did say it would be repeated for those that couldn't stay but no mention of when The same could be said for the Salsa class - got cancelled (understandably due to ship movement) after waiting in the room, to be rescheduled at a later time that never materialised (or wasn't made clear!) The cabin was fine, though again cut backs - no flannels, soap not being replaced when used, shampoo not being refilled. The bathrobes were available to buy, but as the threads were loose and "well worn" why wasn't the option to buy new ones? Also, considering it recently had a refit the area around the patio doors was less than acceptable The dining room and staff were excellent - food top notch in the restaurant, The buffet not so much, and you'd expect the same food to be in throughout the buffet - not so! Some things, like brown sauce and black pudding, were very difficult to find! Often there, but literally walking the full length of the buffet to find The gym was well equipped, but difficult to find - I went three times before realising I was in the right place due to pushy spa people wanting to sell a massage and what-not - you couldn't get to the gym without getting past them! Lastly, the route was ridiculous with the first port cancelled, it meant we didn't actually get to first port until the fifth day of a twelve-day cruise - four days, five nights at sea were slowly getting to us Would I use P&O again? Not this ship (The Arcadia trip I was on the previous year was fabulous - second to none!) Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We chose this cruise because we thought the itinerary looked really interesting & we wanted to experience a smaller ship - we had only ever cruised on Britannia before.We were checked in promptly by friendly staff at Southampton & ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we thought the itinerary looked really interesting & we wanted to experience a smaller ship - we had only ever cruised on Britannia before.We were checked in promptly by friendly staff at Southampton & quickly found our balcony cabin on B deck. T The Horizon buffet was very well arranged & a very pleasant area to sit in, there always seemed enough seats for everybody. As we expected the food was the same as Britannia. We were freedom dining so dined in the Medina dining room each evening. This was lovely, sometimes we shared a table & other times we had our own table. If a table for 2 was not available we only had to wait a few minutes. The food was excellent, served beautifully & always hot. The waiting staff were on the whole very friendly & efficient. We also had afternoon tea (at 4 p.m.) in this restaurant which was superb. The entertainment on board was outstanding especially the Headliners Theatre Company who were fabulous, there was also a good variety of other entertainers & most evenings we saw two shows - on either side of dinner. On the sea day afternoons there was a concert pianist who gave a an enjoyable recital of well known classical pieces. The weather as we set off & on the first sea day was windy (force 8) but Aurora handled it well, in order that we were able to dock in Hamburg the captain sailed at full speed & we docked in Hamburg about 10 hours early - the alternative would have been out at sea waiting it out in very rough conditions. Our first port of call was Hamburg, there was a shuttle bus which dropped & picked us up close to the Rathaus (town hall). It was an interesting city & had a great Christmas Market. It was damp & cold but it didn't spoil our visit. In Oslo, our second stop, we docked next to the fortress which was brilliant & handy .It was extremely chilly but dry & a great place to visit before Christmas. Next stop was Copenhagen, a shuttle bus dropped us off in the centre & we walked backed to the ship both days. Our final stop was Zeebrugge - here a shuttle bus took us to nearby Blankenburg. From here there are hourly trains to Brugge, which take 15 minutes & cost 5 euros return. A beautiful city which looked extra special with the Christmas decorations. By the end of the cruise we loved Aurora & would probably now choose her over Britannia - never thought we'd say that! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click