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242 P&O Cruises Norwegian Fjords Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise for the Itinerary. We have done 38 cruises with many different cruise lines but this was our first with P&O. From reading boards before hand I was lead to believe this was a slightly up market cruise, better than ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the Itinerary. We have done 38 cruises with many different cruise lines but this was our first with P&O. From reading boards before hand I was lead to believe this was a slightly up market cruise, better than celebrity and Princess but more traditional like Cunard. Having been on many of these lines I thought I knew what to expect. Embarkation was good very smooth arrived an hour before our scheduled time and was on the ship within 15 mins. Cabin was a huge disappointment, we had chosen an inside on this cruise as due to the destination we knew we would get little use from a balcony and the cold through the window could be a problem. The cabin was very small we could not get around the side of the bed on one side as the desk was in the way and on the other side of the bed the wall came in about 6 inches. Storage was good but it was tired and outdated looking. The tea and coffee tray was never cleaned properly and the sheets were clean but stained. This has to be the worst cabin we have ever had. Food - Dining room food was good as was the service but the menus were for the most part foods I cook at home nothing very special. What we had was ok but not great. Buffet - The buffet was boring, same type of foods each day with perhaps one or two variations. There was very limited ethnic foods perhaps one curry etc. On the last night there were Tacos on the menu which consisted of taco shell, guacamole, cottage cheese, corn, tomato and cucumber but no sour cream, salsa, meat or cheese.....very odd. The biggest complaint of the buffet was that food was not removed when it became dry or curling so if you are going to use the buffet go early during the service or you will have dried out food. Bars - The crows nest coffee machine did not work at all, some the cocktails they did not have the ingredients for and did not go get them even though other bars had the ingredients. On the first day I thought it was because they had not restocked but as the days wore on when I asked for a cocktail from the menu I was met with "sorry we don't have the ingredients". Some of the draft beers were not available and no attempt was made to rectify the problem. Entertainment - This was very poor. Daytime we struggled to find something. However if you like quizzes there were lots of these. The guitar player was very good, the comedian was ok. The casino consisted of a few outdated machines, 2 roulette tables and two card tables. Overall this cruise line ranks at the bottom for us . We may try P&O again with a newer ship to a hotter destination but would not go on this ship again. The destination to see the Northern Lights in Norway was great and we saw what we went for but otherwise the cruise was disappointing. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We wanted to go on this particular cruise as we have heard nothing but great reviews about the Fjords and we have sailed on the Ventura before. We drove down to Southampton from North Wales and this was probably the best trip down we ... Read More
We wanted to go on this particular cruise as we have heard nothing but great reviews about the Fjords and we have sailed on the Ventura before. We drove down to Southampton from North Wales and this was probably the best trip down we have had. There weren't any hold ups and after reading on CC that parking and portering had changed, we were pleasantly surprised that it was exactly how it was on our earlier cruise in March. We left the car with CPS outside the terminal and the porters took our luggage, all we had to do was to make our way to the terminal where we waited for no more than 30 minutes before we boarded the ship. Our cabin was ready virtually straight away. The one criticism about the cabin was my wife had to ask the cabin steward to change the duvet cover as it was dirty. The cabin was as expected, we had a sea view cabin and it was absolutely fine. The food on the ship was first class, albeit very similar to the previous cruise. I suppose the old adage ` if its not broken, don't fix it` comes to mind. The staff work tirelessly and nothing was too much trouble for them. I could list several names but they all deserve recognition. The food in the self service restaurant was equally as good as any of the main dining rooms and as such proved to be very popular and the knock on effect of this is that it is a free for all trying to get a table, saying that, we did manage to find a table....eventually. We went to see the Headliners twice, they were excellent. The work that they had to do to get the show as good as they did must have been phenomenal, very smooth and polished performances on both nights. We went to see the comedian Tucker. We have never heard of him before and we both thought he was hilarious. In -fact we were in stitches throughout his routine. The service from the crew was excellent. We had to call reception at 5am as the toilet wouldn't flush, they sent a plumber to fix the problem within 10 minutes. |We both feel that it would be preferable if P&O put the account back on to the TV in the cabins. Its a bit of a pain to have to keep asking for a print out at reception, it may also help to reduce their carbon footprint( every bit helps ). We didn't go on any excursions, I did fancy having a go on the RIB boats but chickened out in the end, we decided to walk into the ports and explore them ourselves. We chose to disembark the ship by ourselves due to the distance we have to travel, this was very easy to do and we were in our car by 7.30am. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
5th Cruise on Britannia standards declined rapidly in certain areas Entertainment guest entertainers 1in 3 good one talked more than he sang Oriental Breakfast standard up to expectations Oriental Dinner choice appalling stewing ... Read More
5th Cruise on Britannia standards declined rapidly in certain areas Entertainment guest entertainers 1in 3 good one talked more than he sang Oriental Breakfast standard up to expectations Oriental Dinner choice appalling stewing steak passed off as ribeye stroganoff stewing streak tasteless Calves liver dished up twice In 7 nights Staff apologetic dismissive blamed HQ Tv down not satellite not repaired Embarkation and disembarkation A shambles bags all over the place Not what I expected from P&O 2 children and 3 adults Overall disappointing considering the cost The no tip policy has had a detrimental effect on crew Cruised Oceana In Jan the difference was astronomical in Quality The most disturbing thing is trying to pass off low quality dining to experienced loyal P&O Members The formal dinner menus were an insult Something wants doing about it and the dinner the better Will they I doubt it very much I just couldn’t believe it of P&O Lido Lunch better than oriental dinner Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
My husband and I had the opportunity to go away without the children and found this cruise with 8 days notice. I had always wanted to go to the Fjords so finding this cruise was perfect. We had a balcony cabin which was very nice. ... Read More
My husband and I had the opportunity to go away without the children and found this cruise with 8 days notice. I had always wanted to go to the Fjords so finding this cruise was perfect. We had a balcony cabin which was very nice. I was a little worried about going on this ship having spoken to someone a few days before and they said they weren’t that impressed. Having been with Princess cruises 3 months earlier, we wondered if we had made the right decision. We needn’t have worried at all! The food was incredible.we had freedom dining so we just queued up and had a buzzy thing which went off when our table was ready. We sat on table for 2 the first night but we had then been told that the larger tables clear quicker so you don’t have to wait as long. From then on we sat on larger tables each night and met some really lovely people. Entertainment was also excellent on board. Disembarkation took a while. We were told to go to the theatre and they cleared the front rows first which is fine but when people just come in after you and take the empty seats at the front which has already been cleared, it’s highly annoying when you’ve been sat there for 30 mins waiting. The only real complaint we had was the guy on the excursion desk. Tours were fully booked as we had booked the holiday late and most of the time depending on the tour, are happy to do our own thing. We asked if there was an independent company ashore doing the boat trip in Stavanger. We were told no, you have to go on the p&o organised tours as there was nothing available in port. We had no option anyway so we just walked round the port and 50yards from the ship there was a company selling boat tours. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Being newcomers to cruising, my wife and I chose P&O because of their reputation. We also chose their Flagship Britannia so as to ensure our experience was the best it could possibly be. Everything went seamlessly. Embarkation of 3000+ ... Read More
Being newcomers to cruising, my wife and I chose P&O because of their reputation. We also chose their Flagship Britannia so as to ensure our experience was the best it could possibly be. Everything went seamlessly. Embarkation of 3000+ passengers was time-managed perfectly. Our cabin with a balcony was all we could have hoped for, and our steward, Suresh, was attentive to the point of us thinking he was waiting on our beck and call. As for the food: Every taste is catered for and I wish I had taken the opportunity to see behind the scenes of the ship's galley as preparing 16,000 meals a day - yes! 16,000 - must take faultless timing. It is impossible to avail oneself of all the excursions, but the guided walk was very informative and our guide was incredibly entertaining. On-board activities are plentiful...far more than my wife and I needed...and we are already considering our next cruise Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I have lucky to have cruised quite a bit over the last 15 years, on a number of different ships and different cruise lines. With PO I have experienced Azura, Britannia and Oceana but I am sad to say that over the years I have seen a ... Read More
I have lucky to have cruised quite a bit over the last 15 years, on a number of different ships and different cruise lines. With PO I have experienced Azura, Britannia and Oceana but I am sad to say that over the years I have seen a steady decline in the cruising experience offered by PO. I was able to experiance the Azura in its ingrual year and a quite a few times since. Although it clearly is ready for a re-fit, this is not the main reason review. I have tried to be as fair as possibe and give merit when derserved and not so good service where experianced. Embarkation; As expected at Southampton, CPS was bit bit slow nd it took around an hour queing in a car line to wait to be able to check in luggge. Luggage porters were in short supply so be prepared to load your cases into the loading bays yourself. We did not see any Ship staff in the Embarkation area on this cruise, but not a big issue. Check in and security ok, did not take for ever this time! As we have been in this ship a number of times, did not stop for photos but they seemed to be more organised this time and there was not pressured sale rotuine - There were a lot of first time cruisers this time and a definate lack of ship staff greet them and help with finding cabins etc. First time we have experianced this on any cruise ship, maybe this is due to cutbacks. Cabin; Looking a bit tired but OK. We had a balcony on C deck, which was nice only issue was the balcony furiture was very old and mismatched and we only had one footstall! We noticed that other cabins had much nicer and newer furniture, maybe ours was the last cabin on their list. Cabin Steward, excellant,greeted ius on arrival, knew our names and delivered ice as requiested without fail. Kept our cabin really clean, tempted to say that they were the best we have experianced on any ship for a long time. Luggage arrived promptly, and we were able to unpack before depature. Dinning: Big improvement on this ship, did not have one bad meal. Service staff efficent, and friently - well done PO! Entertaimnent and activities: In general the entertament was not good. Starting with Headliners only 2 shows in 7 days and both were not great. After being on another cruise where the show were really good and entaining, the cast members interated with the passangers, the number of productions they did were professional and far in excess of PO limp offering. To put in context these show were the worst I have seen in 15 years of cruising. PO have a band called pulse on most of there ships, on the Britannia they were great, young and fun and played great music and good singers, On other cruises on Azura they were also good, but this time the singer lacked personalilty and voice. The other acts were also not great, to many commedians. Other activities: Not a lot of offer other than Spa talks, occasional quiz and sales pitches, what happened to lectures, hosted art and crafts etc etc, very poor on this ship have experienced much better. One good point though, great new sunbeds!c Service:There seem to be a large cutback in staff in the lounges and very oftern we had to order our drinks from the bar then wait 30 minutes for them to arrive at our table. On a few occassions we have to retrive our cruise card and cancel drinks due to time restraints. 30 minutes is too long to wait, 10 minutes acceptable. Port and Shore Exursions: We did not use PO exursions and arranged our own, Norway is beautiful and a lot to do. But be aware it is expensive. The big question is would I go again; I would serioulsy have to think about Cruising with PO again. We tend to pick cruises for their ports of call. I have been with PO on quite a few occassions but this could be our last cruise with them. As a first cruise experience its ok, but I feel there is much better available. Although their drinks/bar prices and cheaper than their counterparts, their cruises are not always better value, the rest of the cruise service/experience they offer is not as good and I feel you get much more for you hard earned money on other cruise ships. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We booked on this cruise long before the news of Oriana's sale broke, because Svalbard was on the destination list. The cruise itself was blessed with good weather for nearly all of the port days and even some sea days, and the ... Read More
We booked on this cruise long before the news of Oriana's sale broke, because Svalbard was on the destination list. The cruise itself was blessed with good weather for nearly all of the port days and even some sea days, and the sea was calm throughout. We had some foggy days which kept the ship's siren busy, but otherwise the cruise went very well. The Oriana offers large amounts of deck space and it was very sad to disembark her at Southampton for the final time on the 9th August. We did have one medical emergency during the cruise requiring a helicopter evacuation, which was handled very professionally by the captain Sarah Breton, but it did not disrupt our itinerary. The cruise to the glaciers in Svalbard was made in calm and clear weather, which gave us stunning views and a lifetime's worth of fantastic memories. At some ports we partook of the ship's excursions, whilst at others we did our own thing. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We have done 4 previous cruises, all with Celebrity (Equinox, Silhouette twice and Reflection) but when looking for a fjords cruise it was this one on Britannia that appealed based purely on itinerary. The price was not a major factor at ... Read More
We have done 4 previous cruises, all with Celebrity (Equinox, Silhouette twice and Reflection) but when looking for a fjords cruise it was this one on Britannia that appealed based purely on itinerary. The price was not a major factor at the time but was certainly welcome as less expensive than Celebrity, plus our first non-fly cruise, which not only saves more money but is a lot easier and gives flexibility for luggage - great for when you have to pack suits for formal nights and a fair bit of clothing knowing we could have any kind of weather. This review is not written purely as a comparative exercise, but given our only previous points of reference have been on Celebrity it was a natural thing to do, so I will draw out the main differences we noted and which we preferred. Some things are really the 'little extras' that add to a more luxury experience, that come with Celebrity, but we also acknowledge they come with a price tag. So drawing attention to them is not necessarily a criticism, simply an observation of what you may not get with P&O but which you pay for to get on Celebrity. Once booked we did have some apprehension as it seemed most people who'd sailed both lines came down clearly in favour of Celebrity, and a couple of forums online seemed to attract some horribly snobby people. We don't mind dressing up for a formal night but do object to people who seem to think that cruising is only about dressing up and when conversations turned to the newly introduced drinks packages 'attracting the wrong sort of people' we wondered what we were letting ourselves in for! Luckily I found some other groups with more normal people and while we appreciated there would be more formality than Celebrity have, we were prepared to embrace it. In advance I had looked into what we'd do on each of our port days and one thing I did notice was how much more affordable the ship's own excursions were compared to Celebrity. We prefer to do our own thing, or go with a small private group, but for various reasons found that harder to sort this time on 2 days so opted (initally reluctantly) to book with P&O and were pleasantly surprised at the cost. The only other reservation I had which we could do nothing about, was the amount of children on board, as this was our first cruise in school holidays. Having got 4 kid between us, all now grown up, we do enjoy being able to avoid other 'little darlings' on our holidays but due to a number of factors had booked this knowing it would be holiday time, but hoping that the fjords would be less of a family attraction than a Med cruise. On the day we embarked we had stayed a couple of hours from Southampton and had opted for inclusive car parking with CPS. Their directions, along with sat nav, were nice and clear and we found our way to the correct gate easily. We'd been given an arrival time of 3pm and had heard mixed stories about whether we'd be able to get on early or would have to wait. As it worked out, we arrived at the dock gate around 1.30pm. CPS staff directed us efficiently and advised we would have to wait in a queue for a little while, We saw some people who knew the score taking cases out onto trollies but we just waited for only 10-15 mins before being asked to drive forward. Another CPS person then told us we should unload our cases and take a trolley as there were very few porters now. There was no feeling of being rushed, she was polite and helpful and it was a nice calm experience. We handed over the key and headed off to a loading area just across the road where our trollies went onto a conveyor belt and we went to the departure area. We were able to pack my husband's suits into a proper suit carrier and put that through as checked luggage which made things much easier, especially as we had in our hand luggage one small wheeled case containing bottles of drink :) Yes, we were allowed to take a litre each of wine or spirits, plus whatever soft drinks we wanted, for drinking in our cabin, so we took advantage to save us a bit of spending money. More helpful staff inside checked our tickets and then gave us a card with a letter on it, telling us to go wait in the lounge until called, saying we would have enough time to get a drink if we wanted; this was around 2pm. There was plenty of seating and a small but well stocked cafe. We were duly called into the line for check in around 2.45 and this moved along nicely so no standing waiting too much, and so we met our 3pm time in the end! We made our way onto the ship and the first thing we noticed was that we were greeted with a smile but no glass of bubbly! We were directed to some lifts where we noticed there were also stairs - these aren't always open on 'normal' days and the lifts did have quite a wait on them but we weren't lugging the drinks up the stairs! Once out the lift we made our way to the cabin and were delighted to find our cases were already there waiting for us. Full cabin review is provided below We'd taken a look at the Horizon daily leaflet telling us what was going on and when. There was quite a lot on but we're not really into doing a lot other than maybe a quiz. Similarly, we were not majorly fussed on the theatre shows unless something had seemed exceptional. We were pretty sure in advance we'd be fairly low key on this week, so this review doesn't cover entertainment to any extent. We didn't go to the Headliners theatre which is where the main shows are, generally twice nightly, and also used for other events during the day. Although we chose not to go to any shows on board, I did like the fact they had late sessions so one could comfortably eat at say 8pm and then go to the late show after. On Celebrity we often found ourselves having to get ready early to get to the first show and then eat, as we rarely enjoy eating dinner earlier. We did make it into the studio, another small theatre style venue, but that was only for muster! We decided to take a wander around the ship before things got busy and get an idea of what was where, and give an idea of where we'd want to be spending our time over the next week. The first thing we had found out was the lift and stair locations. There are fore, mid and aft lifts, but staircases only fully available for and aft. In mid the stairs only go to deck 7. This caught us out a few times as we often lost track of where we were and decided to walk stairs only to find there weren't any! There are also some areas where it's not possible to walk through so you need to be at the right level. More than one occasion we went down to deck 6, arrived at the Oriental restaurant and could go nowhere else without going back up to deck 7 and across. My Fitbit did well during the week! The ship is big and very long and this is most obvious when finding your way round. The little map we were given on embarkation was invaluable along with the wall plaque diagrams by the lifts. Took us a little while find those as they are not very obvious as signage goes. The lifts were definitely one of the less impressive things. In any lift area there seemed to be a couple that we never saw in action. Lifts were slow to arrive, and sometimes seemed to skip floors out altogether. On one occasion in a lift it announced deck 11 but was still at previous deck 10, the lift floor indicator was flashing between 10 and 11 and then we stopped at 12. We got out saying we'd get the stairs back down a floor only to realise we were mid ship and no stairs. The lift/stair thing never ceased to be something of an irritant! The overall feel of the ship was one of size but well used. I've described the different areas in more detail below, but our overall impression was of space and simplicity. Decor was uncluttered and unfussy with an immediate contrast with the vast range of art on Celebrity ships, which is found pretty much everywhere, in any corridor, any wall space and on all stairwells. I generally preferred this more simply style on Britannia, although in some areas a little more colour wouldn’t have gone amiss. Where we did appreciate space was in the atrium where it was given over to seating for the bars/cafes downstairs. It was also used as a space for showcasing the restaurants and activities, and worked well for that purpose; it manages this as the guest services area is kept away from the central space. What I did feel the ship lacked was a central focal point for activities in evenings as there is a different focus in different areas at different times. If you like Celebrity with the cafe on 5, Martini Bar on 4 and then music from 3 with people generally all involved from each deck, you will miss this on Britannia. That's not to say we didn't find a nice 'home' in the evenings but it is a very different feel, more low key. When we had done our last cruise on Celebrity Reflection we had felt a bit disappointed in a number of areas where we felt that the basic provision in terms of bar space was same as on the smaller ships in the class, pretty much same layout, but catering for an extra deck of passengers. To us it felt busy and harder to get service, and we were concerned about how things would feel on the even busier Britannia but the increased ship size of this P&O flagship meant it did not feel overly crowded. Another vote in favour of P&O so far, things were looking up a lot more than we'd expected Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
My husband and I have just returned from a lovely, memorable holiday on Britannia visiting Norway and the fiords. We went with our two daughters, husband of one daughter and four children. Britannia is a really great ship and the ... Read More
My husband and I have just returned from a lovely, memorable holiday on Britannia visiting Norway and the fiords. We went with our two daughters, husband of one daughter and four children. Britannia is a really great ship and the cruise exceeded all expectations. Our cabins were spotlessly clean, very well fitted and serviced by a a very nice steward. We liked to sleep with the balcony doors locked open and listen to the sea at night. Watching the sunset from our balcony at 10.30 at night was a joy. We were very lucky with the weather and on both at sea days the sun shone and we spent our day on deck enjoying the warmth and views. I was surprised how easy it was to find a sun lounger available either in the sun or shade. Around the pool it could become busy but go up to the deck overlooking the pool and there was usually plenty of space. We all used one or other of the pools (there is an adult only pool and sunbathing area). The children ( 9, two 12 year olds and a15 year old) preferred to play in the pools or do their own thing rather than go to the kids clubs. They were never ever bored! Norway is stunning. We had some lovely excursions not all booked through P&O and easy to source online. The longest zip wire in Scandinavia, the rib ride, hiking up a mountain to visit a goat farm, Flåm railway and walking up to Brikstal glacier were highlights. All the food we had either in thie buffet or the restaurants was excellent. We had an exceptional meal in the Epicurean restaurant that I feel was well worth the supplement. Yes there were little niggles but nothing I feel I have to highlight. You will mix with people from all walks of life on a cruise, young and old, but our experience was very positive. We thoroughly enjoyed it and would do it all again Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Love Norway good memories of deceased partner. The food left a lot to be desired often only warm, uninspired boring. Had one meai in beach club excellent as was the service, 2 meals in self service very nice. Was put on a singles table ... Read More
Love Norway good memories of deceased partner. The food left a lot to be desired often only warm, uninspired boring. Had one meai in beach club excellent as was the service, 2 meals in self service very nice. Was put on a singles table disaster I was a man paired with 5 women ranging between 65ish to mid nineties could not gat a dcent conversation disaster. I am a very outgoing person and have made good friends on other cruises not on this one.Most staff friendly an d helpful. Excursions way over price [I booked direct[ Worse of alll I got Noro again thanks P&O again I got a bad cold sore throat and head ace Despite using my own sanitizer plush ships own The port days were enjoyable so it wasnt an entire disaster. The young lady who helped me disembark was a treasure. The valet parking was efficient and easy but all in all disapointing Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We chose this cruise because it included all the most beautiful fjords and port stops that I had seen recommended on various websites. Stops included Eidfjord, Flåm, Hellesylt, Geiranger, Andalsnes and Olden. Twelve nights obviously ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it included all the most beautiful fjords and port stops that I had seen recommended on various websites. Stops included Eidfjord, Flåm, Hellesylt, Geiranger, Andalsnes and Olden. Twelve nights obviously gives you a broader experience than just seven. Not for you if you want to go further north in Norway or combine fjords with other countries. I had very high expectations for the scenery, and it definitely did not disappoint — just incredible! The best shore excursion was from Olden, taking a boat ride on a lake called Lovatnet (get seats on open-air upper level to take photos). We handled our time ashore differently depending on the port — sometimes just on our own, sometimes with an excursion offered by P&O, and sometimes with an excursion we booked ourselves. It was our first time on P&O and we liked it a lot. No complaints at all. Nice to have no children on this cruise. Food was excellent, everything was very well-run, inside cabin worked very nicely for us, and we enjoyed several of the entertainers. Almost all the cruise passengers were British, and since we are Americans this added a very interesting and pleasant aspect to our experience. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We are a family of 4 who sailed on the Britannia to the Norwegian Fjords on 29th June. It was our first cruise and I had actually stopped reading the reviews on this website leading up to the holiday as it was really starting to worry me ... Read More
We are a family of 4 who sailed on the Britannia to the Norwegian Fjords on 29th June. It was our first cruise and I had actually stopped reading the reviews on this website leading up to the holiday as it was really starting to worry me we had made a mistake booking this holiday. As it turns out it surpassed our hopes and expectations. We had a brilliant week on board the ship and were impressed with every aspect. Taking into consideration what the price equivalent would buy you on land it seems fantastic value for money. I can only surmise that some of the cruising community are a pretty hard crowd to please. Which in a way is no bad thing as it helps to keep the standards high. Highlights: The ship is beautiful. I loved the decor in the public areas with high-quality fixtures and fittings. We had an internal room with pull-down beds which was cosy and compact but absolutely fine for our needs (basically a bed for the night). The kids club – the facilities are great with friendly staff who take security seriously. My boys tend not to do things on their own but loved the kids club which meant their dad and I could have dinner ourselves and a cocktail in the Crows Nest a couple of nights without having to think about keeping the kids entertained. The White Company products in the bathroom. I love a bit of luxury product and this was a lovely treat. Customer Service – excellent. All staff were very helpful and polite. Food – from the kids buffet to the afternoon tea to the restaurants, the food was excellent. I had a couple of dishes in the restaurant that were just ok but the majority were delicious (beer battered cod, sirloin steak and beef wellington being examples) Cookery school with Marco Pierre White – great value for £100. A lovely man who spent time with each passenger along with other chefs who were there to offer advice and clean up after you. 2 dishes with no expense spared on the ingredients (risotto with saffron and a lobster pasta dish). A definite highlight. Boarding and disembarkation – very smooth and well co-ordinated I enjoyed the mix of passengers. It was the start of the Scottish school holidays but not the English which meant there were probably more pre-school kids. The kids tended to be very well behaved and my boys were often asked how they were enjoying their holiday by the older passengers in the lifts. The shows – we thought the resident band in the live lounge were excellent. The dance floor was jumping on the first formal night. We also enjoyed the couple of shows we saw in the theatre. The productions are so polished and professional with fantastic scenery and costumes. Drinks – reasonably priced, high quality and lots of choice. We were late back to Southampton by a few hours due to two passengers having to be taken off the ship at Bergen due to illness and also a problem with the engine. As we had tickets booked for the Harry Potter Studios and as we were going to be back too late we were provided with free ship to shore phone calls and internet access to allow us to change our booking to the next morning. We were also kept well informed of what was happening by Captain Welsley (who sounded like a great character and we always enjoyed his cheery announcements). The ship also produced an adhoc newsletter informing passengers of the extra services being laid on due to our late arrival back into Southampton (including opening the kids club for a couple of hours in the morning, restaurants opening and the guy who normally sings in the Atrium putting on a one hour set at the poolside. The unplanned extended stay really was no hardship for us on a very warm, summers day. People have mentioned about the lack of stairs in the middle of the ship. We had no problems. Fair enough, we might have to wait a couple of minutes occasionally but it really wasn’t a problem. We tended to use the stairs most of the time anyway as a there were only around 8 steps between floors. I can appreciate however if the stairs weren’t an option then this could be frustrating. People tended to be very accommodating in the lifts though and would make room to help people get from a to b. During his first address to the ship the Captain did ask able-bodied passengers to be considerate to those who weren’t able to use the stairs. Even after 7 days were still regularly losing our bearings and we made good use of the ship plans on the walls. It gave us a laugh though and our 5 year old had the best sense of direction out of all of us. Norway: A beautiful country. Flaam being a particular highlight. Stunning scenery and our one organised trip to the Viking Village which was excellent. We were happy to wander ourselves at the other ports although after half an hour the boys were normally itching to get back to the ship and kids club. Bergen was another highlight. A lovely city and we enjoyed the Fenicular (due to poor weather in the morning we didn’t leave the ship until lunchtime but only had to queue around 30 minutes). The weather through the week was generally rainy and around 10/12 degrees. Not one for the sun worshipers. Saying that, it didn’t stop us doing anything we wanted to and the boys got to use the pool on the sea days. To conclude, would I sail with P&O again? Absolutely! Thank you for a fantastic first cruise experience. Just to add, I’m sorry to read all the negative press in the last week. It’s so far removed from our experience. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We hadn't sailed with P&O before and the dates fitted in with our plans as we live way up N in Aberdeenshire. We drove down the day before & stayed O/N at a Holiday Inn Express which offered 15 days free parking plus taxi ... Read More
We hadn't sailed with P&O before and the dates fitted in with our plans as we live way up N in Aberdeenshire. We drove down the day before & stayed O/N at a Holiday Inn Express which offered 15 days free parking plus taxi to/from the port. Excellent package. Embarkation was very efficient and we boarded very quickly, with the luggage arriving in reasonable time. We booked early May and one of the cabins offered was at the stern, but it had a big balcony and we thought [rightly as it turned out] that we'd have brilliant views of the Fjords. The cabin was spacious with plenty of clothes storage, seating space with a settee and a good sized bathroom. Our steward, Umesh, was efficient, friendly and brought ice for our drinks each evening, so deserved his good tip! The only thing I missed was a towelling robe and slippers, as I would have expected those in a de-luxe cabin. The ship was just big enough for us, although I was grateful for the small map which I clutched for days. The cabin was smart and very clean, but the balcony area was quite rusty in areas and both that and the balcony rail needed painting. Although the balcony was huge, there was an overhang so we didn't get as much sunshine as the deck below. But then they had us gazing down on them as they sunbathed..... Dining standards were very varied and although we tried Freedom Dining on the first night, after a projected hour's wait till 9pm, we reverted to our 2nd sitting booking and were with a great group on our table for six in the window. Two very good waiters looked after us very well during the whole voyage. The food varied from day to day and a few times we had to send food back to the kitchen, including the infamous steaks. My worst choice was lamb, which turned out to be three slices of fat smothered in gravy and should never have left the kitchen The replacement slices were beautiful and it does pay to complain as the head waiter came over personally to apologise. We did eat twice in the Sindhu restaurant and really enjoyed the food in there, although some of it didn't strike us as particularly Indian or Eastern. The staff went to particular trouble for me as I'm allergic to chilli and I never suffered once! Surroundings were lovely and it was pleasant to enjoy a drink in the quiet East bar before strolling next door to eat. We always breakfasted in the Belvedere as there was a good choice of cereals and fresh fruit and we did indulge in the occasional bacon butty. Lunch was usually there too as we prefer salads and there was a wide selection to choose from. If we did have a hot meal, we were generally disappointed as the food was rarely hot and not brilliant. Their curry night was excellent though! Drinks were reasonably priced, especially the wines at the evening meal and there was a comprehensive choice of world wines. We enjoyed most of the entertainment, especially the Headliners with their superb, enthusiastic, high standard, special musical evenings. Definitely West End quality. The comedian was extremely funny and had an appreciative audience. Enjoyed the historian too as her lectures on the Vikings were very interesting with amusing observations which added to the content. Joined in the daily quizzes, though not all the answers were accurate as for just one example, butterflies do NOT eat through their feet! We only took one shore excursion as we love to stroll off the ship in our own time and explore locally. All the small ports seemed to have similar souvenirs and high prices, but Trondheim and Bergen were well worth exploring on one's own.The trip we chose was the Grieg visit, which was well hyped as a special event with a piano recital. Lovely trip round Bergen to begin with, followed by the tour of Grieg's house and museum with the recital as the icing on the cake in a beautiful concert hall. The pianist was talented and we'd just begun to enjoy this treat when it was over after less than half an hour. So disappointing and we did feel rather short changed. Overall we enjoyed our first P&O trip and as we always try and see the good in everything, any little gripes like the costly Wifi and lack of signals to catch up with the home news, [no Brexit for 12 days....bliss!] were easily put to one side. But the great joy was the Fjords themselves in the sunshine from our private little paradise with panoramic views and the sensation of being all alone in this wilderness with the snow topped mountains and towering waterfalls. Loved the experience. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We where a little apprehensive regarding the cruise due to some of the reviews posted previously,but we all really enjoyed the cruise from getting on to getting off. We arrived at check in at 2:00 pm expecting to wait till our 3:30 slot ... Read More
We where a little apprehensive regarding the cruise due to some of the reviews posted previously,but we all really enjoyed the cruise from getting on to getting off. We arrived at check in at 2:00 pm expecting to wait till our 3:30 slot but we where able to walk straight to desk credit card given straight through security took about ten minutes when we got to cabin suitcases waiting. Impressions of ship very good only been on Thompson's before. Very large found signage very good took a few days to work stairs out due to being deck 15 . Food found evening meals very good only waited once for fifteen minutes for four of us and sat with some really pleasent fellow passengers. As said earlier good variety of selection. Always went into meridian on a evening around 7:30. Breakfast can not really go wrong with the buffet pick your own always got seat and table even sea days. Lunch selection fine for me only had salads but would off like s little more fruit Cabin was deck 15 A219 very nice plenty of room for clothes and liked the shower more room them previous cruises and enjoyed balcony opened door outside so could talk and drink with our friends. Really enjoyed entertainment saw a few shows in headliners theatre enjoyed all of them never had a problem getting seat. Live lounge good shows but too small . This was my only moan on ship people are sitting in seats on side and other people stand in the gaps by stairs no one can get past or see the stage.They have two Tele screens either side of stage should film the act and show on screens people could watch them .Pulse the band where good they enjoyed themselves whilst singing.One other moan still see people wearing football tops if they are banned tell them. Fyords where fantastic had really good weather apart from Bergen really loved the views. In the end decided not to have drinks package good decision but it was s close call. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Chose this cruise for a first time cruise. Brochure made it look very nice. We would not recommend this cruise Too many people, not enough space or things to do - just cramped. Everywhere busy, queues and everything expensive. Queues ... Read More
Chose this cruise for a first time cruise. Brochure made it look very nice. We would not recommend this cruise Too many people, not enough space or things to do - just cramped. Everywhere busy, queues and everything expensive. Queues to get on and off ship (one day 90 minutes waiting in the rain to get back on ship). Cabins small and basic. Nothing grand. Nothing like photos in brochure. Tired. Food below average only bonus lots of it - keep piling your plate up If you like the previous sittings left overs served up again you are okay. No idea of waiting your turn more like a push in and free for all. No where to sit and eat though.... Entertainment dire. A la carte restaurant a joke. Requested a small table as only 3 of us. Allocated a table of 10. Spent 2 hours waiting for food that was to be honest just crap. All pomp and put on - people dressing up and pretending. Complain to front desk - you are ignored and fobbed off Customer services on return - a hamper was sent and basically that’s it Facilities for disabled - poor Would not recommend unless you like paying a lot of money for lousy food and accommodation and being ripped off for excursions in ports and being ignored by the ships staff who are all well trained in fobbing you off. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We had never been to Norway or the Fjords so this Britannia cruise was an obvious choice. We hadn't heard too many positive comments about the Britannia on previous cruises so we were a bit apprehensive Despite the ships many ... Read More
We had never been to Norway or the Fjords so this Britannia cruise was an obvious choice. We hadn't heard too many positive comments about the Britannia on previous cruises so we were a bit apprehensive Despite the ships many shortfalls we loved the cruise and would recommend it to everyone especially anyone considering a first cruise.The Britannia is big and spacious and the Norwegian Fjords and scenery are stunning. Well the ship wasn't full of old people as we thought it might be. Most were middle aged. There were families with babies, teenagers, young couples, middle aged couples and the elderly of course. It was very British in the sense that most guests dressed in shorts, t-shirts, lumberjack shirts the occasional set of braces. At the pool area you ha he usual adornment of pot-bellies, tattoos and the largest pod of beached whales south of the arctic circle..... If you haven't been on a cruise and thought the dress code might be a bit formal well take it from me...it isn't. The Britannia is quite a large ship. It may be described as P&O's flagship but sadly it has too many shortcomings to be overawed by it. However its perfectly functional. There are some very pleasant areas to explore.There is no "Wow" factor however. The Atrium is pleasant but not stunning. The Theatres,cinema etc are on the smallish side and quite claustrophobic compared to other ships. The corridors with their grey and brown colour scheme could pass for any corridor in a certain Lodge hotel group I can think of. In fact the colour schemes everywhere on the ship seem to have been deliberately "dulled down". The lifts are dreadful and the waiting times plus stopping at every floor will drive you crazy. Clearly P&O were more concerned about cramming as many guests in as opposed to providing a more spacious guest environment. Despite the above there was plenty to like about the ship. Food wise I loved the meals at fine-dining in the evenings. The food in the buffet was ok but personally I cant stand buffet food. It appealed to many including my Wife but I think all buffet food can best be described as ".... on a plate". There were only 2 formal nights so it was an opportunity for everyone to dress up particularly the Ladies. On informal nights at fine-dining most of the Ladies still dressed up with the odd one turning up in a vest or sloppy sweater .. eewww. Men tended to dress in short sleeved shirts or whatever they were wearing at the pool. It was quite amusing to observe quite elegant ladies in their finery walking with partners in t-shirts and track suit bottoms. Nothing like people watching on a cruise ship. My son and girlfriend had a meal in the Epicurian restaurant. It was very reasonably priced and they highly recommend it. The Sindhu was full most evenings so I am guessing its good too. Our room was a nice size a I had opted for a slightly larger inside cabin. It was really worth the extra few pounds. I would never consider a balcony cabin but for the Fjords ts could be a very good choice with all that stunning scenery. The staff on the whole were polite and hard working and we tipped them as always irrespective of P&O removing their gratuities. Just remember these staff earn peanuts. Entertainment was quite good. I liked most of the evening shows but particularly Lloyd Wade who has a great voice. One of his shows we attended was spoiled by some uncouth and drunken northerners talking throughout his performance. Sadly you get that everywhere. The headliners would not usually be my cup of tea (having grown up in the hippy 60/70s) but you have to admire them. Some great voices and amazing dancers. Dont know where they get all that energy. Kirsty did a great job on her talks on Norway so do go to these lectures if you get a chance as they are very informative. Please make sure you use the crows-nest for those relaxing moments . Its a gem. Norway is absolutely stunning. I much preferred it to our med and canary cruises. Beware however it is mega pricey. 2 x 400ml beers £21 , bar of chocolate £3 and a packet of biscuits £7 (£1 in £ shop in UK). So eat well for breakfast on the ship before you venture out. The local tour buses were £25-£30. Probably there were cheaper alternatives but we just legged it into town for an expensive coffee and cake. So overall we really enjoyed he cruise.We were at a table for 9 in the evenings and all were really nice people. We have already booked our next Fjords cruise on the Iona. We took our son and girlfriend on this cruise (their first) and they loved it and are already planning their next cruise. Despite the shortcomings Britannia is a nice ship and we will be booking her again. Next cruise is in 12 weeks time on the Ventura. Cant wait.. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We chose this cruise as my husband wanted to see the Fjords and photograph the landscape. I read all reviews prior to going on the cruise. All I can say is that I think we must have gone on a different cruise to everyone who had ... Read More
We chose this cruise as my husband wanted to see the Fjords and photograph the landscape. I read all reviews prior to going on the cruise. All I can say is that I think we must have gone on a different cruise to everyone who had negative comments about Azura. Our cabin was spotless (a balcony cabin), the cabin steward was excellent and cleaned the cabin twice a day. Couldn't complain about him. The Freedom Dining restaurant was very good with excellent wine choices. Only negative about the food was the buffet restaurant on Deck 15. The behaviour of some of the passengers who used that restaurant is questionable and the state of the tables was not nice. We didn't see much entertainment as that isn't our thing - we did see a couple of singers and had drinks in the Brodie and Manhattan bars. The service from staff was, on the whole, very good. They had to deal with some very annoying passengers so I think that they handled situations with professionalism. Well done to all of them. We enjoyed the gala night and the opportunities to dress up. Some people didn't embrace this and made no effort whatsoever - I think that the staff should have informed people about this. On the whole - it was a good experience. We will definitely go again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We are veterans of twenty cruises and this was our first time with P&O, we chose a seven night trip to the Norwegian Fjords leaving from Southampton. Parking was superb, boarding efficient our bags were outside our cabin by the ... Read More
We are veterans of twenty cruises and this was our first time with P&O, we chose a seven night trip to the Norwegian Fjords leaving from Southampton. Parking was superb, boarding efficient our bags were outside our cabin by the time we got there, room attendant excellent and beyond reproach. The ship itself was just dull, no wow factors at all everything Brown and beige. The shops were likewise dull with low end products nothing exciting on show. Food in the main dining room just not good same menu every day with a couple of changes not well presented and everything was just bland. The waiters were indifferent to rude, never introduced themselves just took orders and slapped the food in front of you. The buffet option was so small and cramped to be a joke the food simply dreadful. The late night snack options a joke. Entertainment was a mixed bag, one funny comedian one that should have been sent home. A couple of good tribute bands and an excellent rock headliner show. Day time offerings poor. Drink prices very attractive compared with RCL and Celebrity around £5 to £6 for a cocktail. Staff generally just not helpful or up to the standard we have learned to expect. We heard to of them chatting about passengers and laughing at them, to my mind totally unacceptable. Our first and last trip with P&O Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Wanted to cruise and wanted to see Norway, what a super experience for my first Cruise. Ventura is a well appointed, spotlessly clean. Staff lovely, nothing too much trouble. Food in Bay Tree Restaurant exceptional, waiters lovely, ... Read More
Wanted to cruise and wanted to see Norway, what a super experience for my first Cruise. Ventura is a well appointed, spotlessly clean. Staff lovely, nothing too much trouble. Food in Bay Tree Restaurant exceptional, waiters lovely, service excellent. Plenty of choice, can honestly say enjoyed everything I ate. Buffet good for breakfast and lunch, great choices, tea and coffee always available. Entertainment was really good, shows very professional, comedian very funny. Cabin very comfortable, staff lovely, thank you.Bed made up and towels changed, nothing at all to complain about. Had wonderful company on table 23, hard to say goodbye. All in all recommend it to anyone, I was a solo traveller, felt special, would go again in a flash, have to start saving up. Norway Fjiords were stunning,just as expected, scenery out of this world. Saw glaciers, snow capped mountains, museums, you will have njoy it very much, believe me. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
I chose this cruise for the beautiful scenery of the Norwegian Fjords. Due to strong winds we were unable to embark straight away as it was dangerous to use the air bridge but we were kept informed and I actually boarded 15 minutes ... Read More
I chose this cruise for the beautiful scenery of the Norwegian Fjords. Due to strong winds we were unable to embark straight away as it was dangerous to use the air bridge but we were kept informed and I actually boarded 15 minutes before my allotted time. First time using a mobility scooter but very helpful staff helped me to board by a conventional gangplank. No trouble disembarking, off within 15 minutes. Luggage found and out of the terminal within 30 minutes. I did not do any organised trips as it was my first cruise on my own, since losing my husband and having to us a mobility scooter. Self serve Horizon restaurant has plenty of staff wearing "Happy to Help aprons" and they were indeed helpful (although wanted to give me more food than I wanted) carried it to the table for me. All areas are accessible to disabled travellers and if you want to eat in the other restaurants they will park and bring it back afterwards. The Eric Lanlard afternoon tea in the Epicurean is to die for. The glad house has amazing wines (Selected by Ollie Smith). Try a wine flight if you want to sample. These is plenty of seating even on a sea day it wasn't hard to find a place. Overall a beautiful ship with absolutely wonderful crew. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Well, we have been home for a week now so time to look back on our 7 night Norwegian Fjord Cruise on Azura. By way of background, just to say that we travelled as a 50 something couple, with no children. We like to do our own thing on ... Read More
Well, we have been home for a week now so time to look back on our 7 night Norwegian Fjord Cruise on Azura. By way of background, just to say that we travelled as a 50 something couple, with no children. We like to do our own thing on cruises and we don’t tend to go to the theatre for the evening shows as they generally don’t interest us. We are happier enjoying a nice meal and a cocktail or 2 with quiet music. We tend to cruise for a mix of the ship and the location, to explore new places. We always like a nice balcony – though we prefer a mix of sun and shade. We don’t tend to bother too much with the day time activities as we are usually out and about. This was our first cruise on Azura and having spent 17 nights on Ventura (a ship we didn’t particularly enjoy) we were a little concerned about the bad press that Azura was getting before we left. We knew that she was due for a refurbishment, so were expecting the worse. Well, we couldn’t have been more wrong. We had an absolutely fabulous time! From the moment we stepped on to our coach transfer to the moment we stepped off it again the service was faultless. First and foremost the best part of this cruise was the crew. Apart from 2 (who stood out like a sore thumb) the entire crew were friendly, professional, proficient and just seemed so happy to be doing what they were doing. We wrote 6 outstanding comment cards at the end but it could have been more. The Captain seemed pleasant and was seen out and about the ship chatting with passengers and crew. Service was equally good in all bars, in the buffet restaurant and in Sindhus (thank you Yogesh). The Glass House wasn’t quite as good, but was not bad…. if that makes sense. Well done to all of them – they were a credit to the company. The cabin. On Ventura we had had cabin D114 – a superior cabin – and we really did not like it at all. At the recommendation of other Cruise Critic members we opted for aft cabin B749 on Azura – one of the aft balcony cabins that is on the ‘corner’ of the ship. Though the cabin décor was looking tired it was spotlessly clean and the balcony was wonderful. It was completely covered and private. As the cabin was at the end of a small corridor it was very quiet. It was next to a crew door but this never caused a problem. We did feel some vibration as we sailed and when docking there was sometimes a lot of vibration, but this has been the same on all other ships we have been on in aft cabins. We have booked a cruise on Ventura (to give her another try) and have booked this cabin again on her. The cabin steward, Karol was excellent. The food was a mixed bag. On our first night we ate at Sindhus and it was an excellent meal and wonderful way to start the cruise. Loved the ambience of this restaurant and we had a lovely table for 2. The food was very good and they catered well for me as I do not particularly like spicy food. We also ate at the Glass House. Funnily enough, though this had been the only part of Ventura we had really liked we did not find the quality of the food in the Glass House on Azura as good. It wasn’t bad, just didn’t seem to have the ‘wow’ factor and I am not sure we would have eaten there again. The food in the buffet area seemed good. We only ate there for breakfast once and it was good. Other times we had cabin service and this was always punctual and the orders correct. The food that came out at 3pm in the buffet was very good and to us there was a really good variety. We tended to go there after excursions and there were always a good selection of finger roll sandwiches, cakes, cold meats, salads and hot foods. We found the service in the Main Dining Room to be about the best we have had a for a number of cruises – including Celebrity. The Podium Manager, Amit, at our freedom dining restaurant, The Peninsular restaurant was brilliant and so accommodating. If we asked for a specific area he always accommodated this request, ok we had to wait but we were happy to do this and it helped us to develop a good relationship with the waiters in that area. There were some lovely tables for 2 in some parts of the restaurants and this made a massive difference to the horrid long padded seating area that we disliked so much on Ventura. Thanks go to our Waiter, Rupesh for excellent service. Our Wine waiter on this cruise was named D and I have to say we think he is probably about the best Wine Waiter we have ever had. Friendly, polite, knowledgeable and he always remembered what we wanted. Like our waiters he was always happy to take the time to ask about our day and show an interest in what we were doing. Thank you Dolreich. The quality of the wines we had was excellent and the price at an average of £20 per bottle was excellent. Anyone who complains about the cost of drinks on P&O probably hasn’t been on an American cruise line! On our last day we did a Wine Tasting with the lovely Maria and found that to be excellent value for money at £10 per person. We had the chance to taste 5 different wines and this was accompanied by a sizeable selection of canapes. Now the not so good bit re the food. In many ways the food in the Main Dining Room was good – an excellent choice, nice menus (excellent ones on the formal nights). Personally, we found that it lacked seasoning. Do they not use salt when cooking at all? I wouldn’t say it was bad, but not the best we have had on P&O by a long way. The ship itself. We much preferred the layout to that of Ventura, particularly the open decks. The 2nd outdoor pool area if MUCH better than the covered one on Ventura and for some reason we just loved walking around her decks. It really did not feel like the same ship at all ! I can imagine that it would be even busier in the Summer months, but nicely thought out. Surprisingly, we were impressed that the sea screen was not too intrusive, and we may have been converted to having one on a cruise ship! One thing we were disappointed about is that, unlike Ventura, passengers are not allowed to go on the promenade area right at the front of the ship. Before we went on the cruise we had read reports that there was a strange smell on the promenade deck mid ships. Just to confirm that these reports are right and we had no idea what it was. It didn’t spoil things too much though, but I would have expected them to look in to it. The musicians on the ship were of good quality. On the last night there was a duet – a young couple – who were excellent. Just a shame we had only discovered them then. Other vocalists were good and keyboard players etc of a high standard. The formal nights were well observed and to us they are always that extra bit special. Other major pluses for the cruise – the location and weather We had never been to the Fjords before and were expecting to take our snow boots, hats, gloves and scarves. How wrong we were! It was the Easter weekend and the weather was exceptionally warm. I think we left Southampton at 25 degrees and beautiful blue skies. Well this weather followed us up the North Sea and around Norway for more or less the whole week. Even our worst day had blue skies and apart from the last 5 hours of the cruise (as we approached Southampton) the sea was like a mill pond. The Fjords were just beautiful with the ports of call being Stavanger, Olden, Alesund and Bergen. Out of all of them we loved Olden and wished that there had been another port where we had sailed up a fjord rather than being a more coastal port. The excursions we did with P&O varied and ranged from good to outstanding. The scenery was stunning wherever we went and, yes the weather made a massive difference to the whole cruise experience. To be in Norway feeling like you were in the Mediterranean in June certainly brightens the mood and there were a lot of very happy cruisers enjoying every second of the sun and scenery. I suppose those who dislike Azura would say that with the sort of ‘fluke’ weather we had and the location anyone would have been happy in a rowing boat. I can see their point, but Azura was so much more, we loved our time on board and would return in a heartbeat before or after her refurbishment. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We wanted to see the Northern Lights but unfortunately the weather conditions in both Narvik and Alta (the most likely opportunities to see them we were told) did not oblige. Also our Fjord trip to see Pulpit Rock in Stavanger was also ... Read More
We wanted to see the Northern Lights but unfortunately the weather conditions in both Narvik and Alta (the most likely opportunities to see them we were told) did not oblige. Also our Fjord trip to see Pulpit Rock in Stavanger was also spoilt by low cloud and rain.You might think our holiday was ruined but in spite of the above disappointments we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. The views of snow covered mountains and the novelty of snow on deck - someone had even built a snowman - was wonderful. The last minute cancellation of the stop at Bergen was disappointment as we very much like Bergen. The replacement Haagesund stop was pleasant but not really a substitute for Bergen.The entertainment on board was pretty good - particularly the stage music and dance by the resident "Headliners Theatre Company". The Norwegian people at our various ports of call were so friendly. Norway is a fabulous and spectacular country whatever the weather. We have cruised on Aurora twice before albeit to warmer climes and she is as good as ever with cheerful staff in all departments. We look forward to sailing with her again at some time in the future and it will be interesting to see her after he current refit and conversion to Adults only. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We had a wonderful Northern Lights Cruise. Our first cruise, we were new to every aspect and expected some hiccups... There were none. Embarkation was incredibly swift, staff at port really helpful too. We were on the ship and in ... Read More
We had a wonderful Northern Lights Cruise. Our first cruise, we were new to every aspect and expected some hiccups... There were none. Embarkation was incredibly swift, staff at port really helpful too. We were on the ship and in the restaurant having lunch before our check-in time. The ship is lovely and I'm sure will be even more so after its 'spruce up' later this month. Lovely areas to sit and relax. Attentive staff in all areas. Cabin (E139) was lovely, everything you needed. Our cabin steward was fantastic. We kept it tidy anyway but it was spotless after he had been in and shined the mirrors and replenished supplies. A very warm and friendly chap. The dining was lovely. We had planned freedom but we're given a 6.30pm on a table of 8 in the Alexandria restaurant. We weren't sure if we wanted that as that meant sitting with strangers. But we gave it a go and we now have new friends! The food was lovely. Some things weren't to my taste but you get that in any restaurant. Steaks were cooked perfectly. Our lovely trio of friendly welcoming waiters made the whole dining experience extra special. Dining in the Horizon buffet restaurant for other meals was also very good. Again occasional things not to my taste but whilst mindful not to be wasteful I didn't eat something for the sake of it and would try something else instead. Waiting staff in here again very nice. We went along to the evening entertainment several nights and thoroughly enjoyed it. The pianist was excellent too and we wished we had sat and listened to him more. Quizzes, cards, a few pounds in the casino all good fun. Getting on and off at ports was organised well. Ports were all lovely. Daily horizon magazine detailed what was going on when and where on the ship. There was so much we could have done if we hadnt wanted to be up on deck so much. The art lecturer was most likely very interesting and the gallery had some beautiful pieces. The photography lectures would have been interesting too. But being on the deck taking in the majesty of the fjords with their snow covered mountains was the place we spent most of our days. Or sitting in a window seat in the Horizon restaurant having a cup of tea (and small cake). The pools were open and two heated but we missed our chances to go in. We saw the gym but rather than go there we decided to not use the lifts and to walk around the promenade deck. 3.2 turns = 1 mile. .... As this was the Nothern Light's Cruise, we hoped to see the lights and we were incredibly fortunate to see them twice. One show from the ship in Alta lasted around 30min it was beautiful although not very strong. The following night sailing away from Alta around 8.30pm a wonderful display lasting nearly two hours. Absolutely mesmerising!! They had also been seen the previous night on one of the tours. And then sadly the cruise draws to an end. Luggage outside cabin the night before disembarking. We got up for breakfast. Met at our designated venue and were led off the ship. Straight to a hanger where we picked up our luggage, rolled the trolley outside and got the next taxi waiting in the rank. Couldn't have been anymore straightforward. We had driven to Southampton the night before sailing. Used the justpark app to rent a space and stayed in a bed and breakfast in the centre. Got parking and B&B for just £100 and meant no stress of same day travelling. ... Almost all perfect... The only thing that I would change are the very small number of whinging passengers (which I assume you find on any holiday). I find it is best if you just use listening to and watching them as another form of entertainment... Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
I took my 2 teenage grandchildren to see the northern lights. Couldn't have asked for a better holiday for them. They seen the lights and more. The ship and every member of staff was friendly polite and efficient. I have been ... Read More
I took my 2 teenage grandchildren to see the northern lights. Couldn't have asked for a better holiday for them. They seen the lights and more. The ship and every member of staff was friendly polite and efficient. I have been on 2 p&o ships now going on 3rd in March. Could not fault them. We met a couple of friends whom we now keep in touch with. The entertainment was excellent and even the group next step allowed my granddaughter to sing with them. Everywhere we went people were friendly, the ship was clean and always a member of staff to help. If I had to say something negative it would be some costs are a little much when you have children but i understand this for some things. Excursions were too expensive for me to take the kids but managed to get one off ship. In all a very very enjoyed trio from the 3 of us. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We always said that we would not travel on the larger ships, but as the itinerary and ports of call fitted in with our needs we decided to take the plunge. The ship is in quite good condition and kept quite clean. However the food and ... Read More
We always said that we would not travel on the larger ships, but as the itinerary and ports of call fitted in with our needs we decided to take the plunge. The ship is in quite good condition and kept quite clean. However the food and entertainment were not as we had hoped. From the start, whilst having lunch we were approached asking if we wanted to dine in any of the select dining restaurants, and this happened on several occasions throughout the cruise, with some staff, being quite persistent. We ate in Sindhu on one occasion and were disappointed as the food quality wasn't the same as the other Sindhu restaurants on P&O ships. The food was quite bland and a bit tough. Some of us had the lobster for the main course which was a bit ropey. In fact we had the lobster the following night in the freedom dining restaurant which was much nicer. It made us wonder why we paid the extra money for Sindhu. We were also asked on leaving if we wanted to book for week B, but declined. For the first four nights or so of the cruise, the food in the freedom dining restaurant was very good. From then on there was a noticeable decline in quality, quantity and presentation. One evening I had the "taste of Portugal" option which was Piri Piri Chicken. When it arrived the presentation resembled that of a school dinner and it didn't taste much better. Some of the fish portion sizes were very small and the sauces quite watery. On the desert side the chocolate brownie sundae arrived minus the chocolate brownie. When we pointed this out to the waiter, he just smiled and walked away. Another sundae had very little ice cream, so much so that my daughter asked if she could have another, much to the amusement of waiters. At lunchtime we mainly ate in the Peninsular restaurant which was a bit hit and miss. Some days the food was really good, but there were days when the food was quite inedible. My daughter and I decided to have the Ploughmans platter, which is shared by two people. There was some "pork pie" which was awful and spicy and didn't resemble a pork pie that I know of. One piece of bread so small, we had to ask for another bread roll, and a very poor selection of cheese and tiny bits of pickled vegetables with two pots of relish. Some of the other deserts were also questionable and inedible, but we did have a few good lunches there. It was very hit and miss. We tried to avoid the buffet at all costs, but sometimes we had no choice. Needless to say, the food quality there wasn't very good, being kept under the heat lamps, with a lot of pushing and shoving from other passengers, as is the norm in these places. The grab & go section was quite good, but a bit repetitive and bread quite stale on the sandwiches. We also ate at the Epicurian restaurant and this was brilliant and highly recommended. Although most of the waiters in the freedom dining restaurants were very good, there is a big step up in the Epicurian. The quality and quantity of the food, was extremely good and would not have any hesitation in recommending this. Entertainment was a bit hit and miss. As with the food, the first four days were good and varied, but then fell into decline. The films were repeated in the second week and if you were not into quizzes or archery, there was not much else to do, unless you wanted to spend extra money. The "free" galley tour seems to have disappeared, as has the chocaholics event. If you want to have a tour of the ship it will set you back £75 per person and the cookery school £45 per per person. The cabin we had was on G deck and was kept clean and tidy by the cabin steward. The only two drawbacks were its position and the soot problem. It was an aft cabin and we had been notified by our booking agents that it was directly above the Live Lounge and they had to notify us of this. We were informed that the music usually ended around midnight, which was fine by us. Unfortunately, they started rehearsals at 5pm and it was so loud in the bathroom that some of the fittings were vibrating. This did not bother us too much at the beginning but by the end of the holiday, it got a bit much. All we could hear was the base drum. If we could hear a tune, it wouldn't have been so bad! The other issue with this cabin was the soot problem on the balcony. Some days it was really bad. On one sailaway whilst sitting on the balcony soot was falling onto my clothes and into my daughter's drink. We had to put pool towels on the chairs before sitting on them. Some days the soot was all over the floor, table, chairs and handrails. Some particles were quite large and you could smell whatever fuel was being used whilst sitting outside. Sometimes you didn't really want to use the balcony because of this. The ports of call were good, some we have visited before and so did most of these on our own. Overall it wasn't a bad cruise, apart from the items listed above and we would travel with P&O again, just not in an aft balcony cabin on Britannia. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
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