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3 P&O Cruises Panama Canal & Central America Cruise Reviews

We booked this cruise for the advertised Panama Canal cruise. The ship had just returned from a refit. The cabinet drawers and wardrobe doors ‘danced’ in any rough seas. A large wooden plank, the full width of the cabin, it was the ... Read More
We booked this cruise for the advertised Panama Canal cruise. The ship had just returned from a refit. The cabinet drawers and wardrobe doors ‘danced’ in any rough seas. A large wooden plank, the full width of the cabin, it was the curtain pelmet, crashed down, had either of us been sitting in the single chair under it we would at the very least been seriously injured. There was one port where the lifeboats were being used as tenders. Two lifeboats were not operational, due to pressure of people going ashore we had to stay on board instead of exploring Grand Cayman. We entered the Panama Canal, passed through the first three, combined, locks, sailed 800 metres, turned round and stayed in the same place for four hours before exiting through the same locks. We did not complain about any of these, but answered a questionnaire. We were then ‘summoned’ to a meeting with the Customer Relations Officer. His first action was to look at his computer and highlight a legitimate complaint we made in 2012 while on a Cunard cruise. What relevance that had to the cabin falling to pieces or the lifeboats not working is beyond our understanding. We were treated like errant schoolchildren on ‘the naughty step’ instead of adults. We wrote to P&O, did not have any written response except when we advised our booking company. P&O then produced a letter they said had been sent to us, but mysteriously never arrived, We did receive what P&O grandly describe as ‘a hamper’, four items, a bottle of Merlot, 100 grams of cheese, 75 grams of cheese wafers and 198 grams of Yorkshire Relish. Waitrose, less than £10, Aldi, less than £5. There were good aspects of the cruise, the downside and lasting memories of this cruise continues to leave a bad taste. We have cruised for more than 150 days with Carnival. Luckily there are other cruise lines, perhaps they treat their customers in a proper manner Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
My mum and dad and,my husband and I,sailed on January 6th 2015,on the first leg of the world cruise,southampton to san Francisco, which ended in the death of my mother,in san Francisco. The ship was turned around the same day as she ... Read More
My mum and dad and,my husband and I,sailed on January 6th 2015,on the first leg of the world cruise,southampton to san Francisco, which ended in the death of my mother,in san Francisco. The ship was turned around the same day as she docked from the xmas cruise,our cabin had dust and fluff on the top of the wardrobe doors,my mums cabin had numerous ships crossword papers stuffed in the top of the dividing wall of the bathroom,our balconys were spotted with old paint drops , the glass, and floor needed a good scrub with a brush. The two swimming pools were emptied simutanously, because they had painted them with the wrong paint ,and passengers were getting paint on them,one sauna was out of action,the whrirlpools didn't work,the one on the aft deck was leaking and some of the floor was all spongy to walk on.Some of the waiters could not totally understand your order and I saw one waiter hiding near the funnels grill,out of the way from passengers ,looking at least three times at his watch,he stood there about 10 mins,another waiter was in a dream and didn't even know where to take the dirty trays, while another waiter served my meal by crossing over me,and on the wrong side.It was eveident there was new and totally inexperienced waiters being trained along side the experienced. Within a few days passengers began to have a barking cough,which rampaged the ship,we all caught it and felt so ill we stayed in our cabins , our appetite went and the warmer we got the worse it got.Our aircon didn't work properly on A deck,it was so hot up there compared to one deck down,we had the smell of food constantly wafting around our corridor. All these things were brought to the attention of the staff, excuses and untruths were relayed to us. The day before cabo san lucas ,my mother was taken to the medical centre,carged over £2000,for oxygen and anibiotics.and removed from the ship the next day,taken to a private hospital,and told by the ship we would have someone to take care of us,well, that's another story,after much stress and trauma of being in a first time port ,and lots of money we got back to the ship in san Francisco,but had no hotel or flights ,because the ship had cancelled them and offered no help to reinstate,saying they were to busy getting new passengers on.Had to pay for hotel stay,and own flights home,my mother suddenly died in that hotel room,that night.With no help from the ship,P&O, or the port agent, the stress and worry caused by the lack of care was responsible for this. Did you Know there is no regulation body to oversee,the cruise ship industry,they are charging what they they can getaway with and doing what exactly what they want to do ,knowing they can, with no questions asked, or authoritive bodies to answer too. Never will I sail with them again and will be cancelling next years cruise also,in fact I thing the cruise industry has got so big, and interested only in taking as much money of you as they can,i doubt wether we will cruise ever again,having had first hand experience when things go wrong,and don't expect your insurance company to be there either,they go through a system of paper work and anylisis to see if they are liable ,before you get any help,which is time ,emails to the uk doctor,time differences to take into account,etc,and on it goes. Arcadia,was the worst ship I have sailed in,and if you are sensitive to sea movement, she is not the ship for you,as she rolls from side to side,at the onset of swell. Old people beware,they wont look after you,you will need a lot of money to pay out first before you get any back off the insurance,even if you do,and you will find you could be in a strange place should you take ill and off load you in a port.Which seems to be the priority of the medical centre,could not get rid of my mother,and another passenger at the same time,fast enough. Fifty years my parents had cruised ,back to the days of Canberra,and this is how it ended. Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
There are two things that P and O are brilliant at. One is the glossy brochures trying to sell excellence. The other is the way they fleece every single penny from the punters once they are trapped on their ships. This was our ... Read More
There are two things that P and O are brilliant at. One is the glossy brochures trying to sell excellence. The other is the way they fleece every single penny from the punters once they are trapped on their ships. This was our first holiday for five years and we were sold on the wonderful brochure rhetoric about Oceana and the Panama Canal cruise Jan 2011. A mini suite seemed perfect for us to view all from the stern. Once aboard, after unecessary security worse than Gatwick, we waited 6 hours for our cases to be delivered to our cabin. 5 hours! A very bad start with no apology or satisfactory explanation. Everyone was fuming. Oceana is a tatty ship, carpet torn, stuck down with Duck Tape. Carpet edges lifting, rust coming through paintwork, unchanged duff lightbulbs, low pressure hot water, muck in the bottom of the pools and jacuzzi etc. If P and O spent as much money refurbishing this faded hulk as they do on glossy brochures it could be quite good again. OK, let's be more specific...... This was a very expensive cruise and we expected the luxury to reflect the price. Sad error here! This can only be described as Butlins at Sea. In fact the facilites, entertainment, food and ambience are probably better at Butlins for a fraction of the price. The prices on board for alchohol are an outrage. One cannot compare with UK prices. Remember, this a Bahama registered vessel and buys it's alchohol locally paying no UK excise. So, one is shafted twice over, the profit margins are obscene. Smokers are treated like lepers. EU(UK) law should not apply to a Bahaman registered ship in international waters with a mainly foreign and Asian crew. The full spectrum xray security measures coming back on board from ashore are not designed to protect but to confiscate any booze one buys ashore at sensible prices. They want a totally captive market. The entertainment team must have come straight from school, lacking any talent, childish and immature, all giggles, hyena laughs and corny. Not a pro amongst them. The cruise director? Lost for words here, where did they drag her from? The food, well, think Butlins, bland and average. The Plaza? Think 1970s Motorway Services at Newport Pagnell! The signature restaurants charge outrageous cover charges for food that is no better than your average town eaterie. Just remember, this cruise was advertised and sold at high prices!!!!!!! We are always happy to spend but want value for money, when you pay top dollar you expect top dollar. All in all, total rubbish, never again. Sorry P and O, everything about this ship is a disgrace. A two star experience for a five star price. A total miss sell! The only highlight, The Canal, amazing. Read Less
Sail Date January 2011
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