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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Arcadia is an Adult only ship which suits me. Took my mum and a friend and we shared an inside cabin which was larger than many inside ones. Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly, very little queuing. This was our 1st time on ... Read More
Arcadia is an Adult only ship which suits me. Took my mum and a friend and we shared an inside cabin which was larger than many inside ones. Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly, very little queuing. This was our 1st time on Arcadia and I was very pleasantly surprised. She is a lovely mid sized ship and easy to navigate round. I was worried initially after reading some of the reviews but I can honestly say that this was the nicest ship I have sailed on with P&O. We had no problems which affected us. If I wanted to be really picky, then some of the lifts were out of use and some of the ladies toilets were also out of order, but there were plenty others around the ship to use. The food was plentiful and tastefully served in the Meridian restaurant, our waiters were very good and attentive. Arcadia has a wonderful 3 tier theatre with comfortable seating and the Headliners entertainment team were the best I have seen on any P&O ship yet. We have another cruise booked on this ship in December and can't wait. Oh and also went through the Bay of Biscay which I always dread and for the 1st time EVER, never felt any movement and didn't have to wear my sea bands. One very happy passenger! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
The cruise was wonderful. Food and service in restaurants was perfect. Cabin R519 was good and kept very clean. Disappointed we had the overhang from above casting shadow on balcony Entertainment was OK ,but not as good as other ... Read More
The cruise was wonderful. Food and service in restaurants was perfect. Cabin R519 was good and kept very clean. Disappointed we had the overhang from above casting shadow on balcony Entertainment was OK ,but not as good as other cruises we have been on. The best entertainment was the historical murder presentations. Destinations were fantastic although only 6 hours in Gibraltar was disappointing. We only booked in April 2019 and did via the select option mainly because we thought we could get the first sitting and a table for 2 and was put on the waiting list. However once onboard we were informed that all the first sittings for a table for 2 were fully booked in Nov 2018 and we had no chance of this. We needed this because of my wife's poor hearing and cannot hear other peoples conversation. The outcome meant we were in Freedom and always had to wait for a table for 2. This should have been explained at the time of booking and perhaps we would have changed our decision and booked the early saver. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
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 liked the size of the ship , not too big, embarkation was much faster (10 min queue) rather than for Britannia (2 hours queue). But the whole ship needs a total refurb , all the chairs and sofas are incredibly low, some almost ... Read More
I liked the size of the ship , not too big, embarkation was much faster (10 min queue) rather than for Britannia (2 hours queue). But the whole ship needs a total refurb , all the chairs and sofas are incredibly low, some almost impossible to get out of, in the dining rooms you felt like a child sitting at the tables and a lot of people made the same comment. Our superior balcony was quite spacious with a sofa which could become a sofa bed and tables and chairs, 2 , 24” flat screens TVs one facing the bedroom the other facing the sitting room, limited shows and movies and sometime didn’t work due to poor signal. We had a bath and dressing gowns and slippers they provide basic toiletries and there is a small fridge which you pay if you use anything in it. We got complimentary :a bottle of champagne, a bowl of fruit, a box of chocolate, 2 small sparking and one large plain bottled water. There is a kettle , tea , coffee and milk sashes which they renew every day, you also have a turned down service in the evenings, which they clear up any rubbish replace used mugs, glasses and open the bed with a small chocolate on the bed for each. There is only 2 UK sockets ( plus one for the kettle) and one American socket .I phoned up before departure to ask what kind of sockets they use & was told European & Uk. But no European in the cabin and funny enough the hairdryer ‘s plug is American ! The queue for breakfast is massive and no where to sit, so we ordered free of charge room service breakfast, which was sufficient and if you look on line it includes sliced cheese & meat but NO IT DOESN’T. Food is generally just acceptable not as good as Cunard. I has a very good shoulder, neck & back massage twice at the Oasis spa. 50 min of absolute bliss for £72 each session, the second one I had as a couple massage with my husband which we paid on the day we booked 3 days before but they charged us again on the day too and it took us a lot of explanation, back and forth to the spa and reception to get e refund. It ruined the experience. There is The Oasis swimming pool for adults only, if you look on line it says it has a currant that you swim against , but no it doesn’t and thank goodness. However it is not heated and I was only able to use it when it was a warm sunny day which was only one day during the whole 7 day cruise and on the last port day (Fri) the pool was closed and empty of water. Very disappointing there are 2 jacuzzis on either side of the pool but they didn’t work one day as they were doing maintenance why they couldn’t do that during the night god knows ! There is a sauna and steam room as well which have good temperatures. Evening entertainment is very basic and mainly comedy , Madonna tribute was in a bar with limited stage background and she was out of tune.the last evening they showed “Astonishing” which we saw on the Britannia last year, we thought they would change it , but unfortunately it was exactly the same magic show with exactly the same tricks, very disappointing. On the 5th night the Captain announced that the is sea a bit rough on the Bay of Bisque and he was going to detour to avoid it, but it could still be a bumpy ride so hold on to the handle bars and be careful. A Bumpy Ride?!! The whole ship was rocking from side to side then from the front the back making awful sounds as if it was falling apart it started at 10 pm and became worse from mid night to 4pm the next day. But still very very unstable even after that with huge 10 metre high waves hitting the side of the ship. It was a very uneasy experience and we felt very unsafe. Another night we were woken up by the Captain at 5.30 am to say there was a very unwell passenger who had to be helicoptered to a hospital in France , he asked us to stay in our cabins and not even go on our balconies, but we saw it from our patio door coming towards the ship & leaving , later on we found out there is no helicopter pad on the ship so the patient had to be lifted up to the helicopter by a cable ! Scary . Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We have become P & O fans, we like the style of cruising, the mix of formal nights of which there were two, the freedom dining, the choice of menu food, the staff, and great entertainment. We did three organised trips, The best of ... Read More
We have become P & O fans, we like the style of cruising, the mix of formal nights of which there were two, the freedom dining, the choice of menu food, the staff, and great entertainment. We did three organised trips, The best of Amsterdam, Ghent on your own, Saire Valley. The guide on the Best of Amsterdam Robert was the best guide we have ever had which made the trip extraordinarily good. Ghent on our own was very poor with just two hours in Ghent.The Saire Valley trip was ok but again too short. We had two comedians on board the first one Mr Heggarty from Ireland was without doubt the worst comedian we have ever endured, the second comedian Tucker was probably the best comedian we have ever heard. The Headliners were brilliant singers and entertainers. The duo in the planet bar were also very good. Our steward, Irenia kept our cabin spotless and replenished and the only thing about our inside cabin to moan about was the carpet could do with a clean. We dined in the Epicurean menu 2 and thought that the extra cover charge was worthwhile. The service was fantastic. We had all our other meals in the Meridian restaurant where the staff were outstanding and the food including steaks served to perfection. The tender service to St Peter Port Guernsey was pretty painful. We did not take an organised trip but instead took a public transport bus around the Island for just £5 each. I read other reviews before our first trip on Azura and agree with the good reviews, this Ship is the Ship for a very enjoyable cruise Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
Embarkation the quickest ever after a smooth coach journey down from Woolley Edge in Yorkshire. Great to have luggage dealt with efficiently - you do not have any contact with it from handing it over to coach driver, until delivery to ... Read More
Embarkation the quickest ever after a smooth coach journey down from Woolley Edge in Yorkshire. Great to have luggage dealt with efficiently - you do not have any contact with it from handing it over to coach driver, until delivery to cabin. !6 night cruise and weather bad from start to finish, but that cannot be blamed on P&O. All seasoned cruisers said they had never been on a cruise with so much wind, rain, mist and cloud. We went on this cruise because we love Oriana and we wanted one last trip before she is sold to China. So were not too bothered that we had visited most stops previously. One place we hadn't been to before was Terceira in the Azores. This was really the only decent weather we had on the whole trip and it was a lovely island. We had booked a 4 x 4 tour (8 hours) through Viator with ProIsland Tours. I cannot recommend them enough. We covered the whole island and were taken to many places the ship's own tours couldn't access. We had also taken a half day 4 x 4 tour the previous day on Sao Miguel. Again it had been booked through Viator with BioBird tours. Many of those on cruises are very wary of booking trips through anyone other than P&O. We have done it many times and have never been worried about a missed sail-away. The tours' content is usually much more comprehensive and they are usually at least a third cheaper than ships' tours. Give them a go if you've not tried them. After the Azores we visited Madeira, where we used the local bus to visit Santa Cruz. Next was La Palma where we took a P&O tour to a silk farm. OK, but tended to be herded about a bit and were unable to stop to photograph nice views where we were not scheduled to stop. Then came Gran Canaria. Again we took a P&O tour which gave a leisurely overview and took us to some places we had not visited before. We were particularly impressed with our stop in Port Mogan. Fuertaventura was not worth the visit really, unless you wanted to go to a beach. Again we took a local bus and travelled up to a town on the north coast. Last stop was Lisbon where the weather was so bad that it didn't warrant getting of the ship. However, we had to get gifts and so had to go shopping. Got soaked to the skin. The two sea days on the return were once more dull, misty and rainy. We disembarked (very efficiently) in Southampton to a lovely sunny day. Now Thursday and weather still great. Perhaps UK is worth considering. Overall impression of cruise was good because we like the ship so much - no children, good food, good entertainment, nice bars to sit in etc. Would just like to give a tip to anyone who may be considering buying a wine package on board. Don't bother. There is little, if anything, to be saved. In fact, unless you choose the most expensive wines on the lists available (only about 4 of them), you could find that you had paid more than if you had bought them individually from the full wine list. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
First p&O cruise , we have always gone with tui (Thomson) before but wanted to see what it was like going from Southampton, we got there earlier than are allocated time and must say went through the embarkation procedure very ... Read More
First p&O cruise , we have always gone with tui (Thomson) before but wanted to see what it was like going from Southampton, we got there earlier than are allocated time and must say went through the embarkation procedure very smoothly, I had read previous reviews about the ship some good some bad , although some areas looked a bit tired overall the ship was fine, the cabin was no better than what we have had on Thomson ships. We found the afternoon tea was very limited (the same things on all the food areas ) Our breakfasts and evening meals were taken in the baytree restaurant and we found them excellent a good choice at every sitting, our waiters were very friendly and attentive (jam and dominic) table 109. Did not think the entertainment was that brilliant some acts were good (but not the shows like we have seen on Thomson) Our cabin steward was very good cabin always spotless. Went to Madiera for the first stop and on the cable car and toboggan ( this was a great experience , our last stop was in Lisbon and we went on the amphibious duck what a great laugh that was our guide Gonzales was brilliant. Would go again but did find drinks quite expensive you can get a drinks package but at £39.95 each a day and you must both have it think its a bit much. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
I would of given 4 stars as an overall rating as everything else except the cabin was very good . Embarkation was speedy as was disembarkation. The food was great in the dining room and the buffet . The waiters were all polite and helpful. ... Read More
I would of given 4 stars as an overall rating as everything else except the cabin was very good . Embarkation was speedy as was disembarkation. The food was great in the dining room and the buffet . The waiters were all polite and helpful. The excursion from Zeebrugge was excellent. I learnt more about Belgium from our guide than I ever knew before ! We went to a small village, a castle come Manor House and finished at a chocolate factory. We were disappointed that the ship couldn’t stop at Peter Port yet again. I feel it’s time to find another port in northern France that would make it easier to disembark passengers safely. I’ve suggested on previous questionnaires that a dedicated cinema would be great with films on at times you can watch them!! Nobody has paid attention yet ! All in all apart from the cabin we had a great time and have booked a 2 week cruise to the Baltic’s next year. Excellent value. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We used ‘Park on my Drive’ and saved about £100 in parking fees however taxi to the terminal got us there too early so we had a long tedious wait to be checked in. Food My wife’s dietary preferences meant that we had to eat ... Read More
We used ‘Park on my Drive’ and saved about £100 in parking fees however taxi to the terminal got us there too early so we had a long tedious wait to be checked in. Food My wife’s dietary preferences meant that we had to eat exclusively in the Buffet Restaurant Venezia, so that she could select food to suit her. There was too much emphasis on curries and Indian dishes, very little variety with few cooked vegetables and food not always as hot as it should have been. Venezia restaurant always crowded as only half the space open most of the time. Coffee machine not working for the whole of the cruise, fruit juice only available at breakfast and pineapple juice only available 3 mornings out of 12. The milk dispenser often not filled and you were expected to use UHT milk sachet instead, Drink P & O are new to the drinks package idea but do not have the price right. A drinks package for two for 12 days would be £960 when in fact our bar bill was under £100. You would need to be an alcoholic to get your money’s worth. Their soft drinks package would have been £480 compared to Norwegian on the Epic at £138. Service The cabin service was very good but in the restaurant there seemed to be a lack of willingness to help and when service was given it was very slow, when ordering drinks they often arrived halfway through the meal even when ordered right at the beginning. Tables not cleared as quickly as they should have been. Entertainment I understand that P & O have won an award for entertainment and goodness knows why. The entertainment was very poor with a few second rate comedians and singers and no shows. The standard was so low that the highlight of the week was the entertainments manager doing an Elvis impersonation. Cost We opted for the saver fare as opposed to the select fare and consequently were only allocated a cabin a week before we sailed and then treated as second class citizens in dining room allocation and having to pay on the “free” shuttle buses. An example of the shuttle bus cost in Lisbon was £4.00 per person per journey a total of £8 each way compared with a taxi cost one way of 6 Euros. The cost for the internet package was very high and so we did not use it. P & O should rethink this policy in this interconnected electronic age. Not a very good move to encourage future bookings on P & O. Ship The Azura started operation in 2010 and is now in desperate need of a refit. Certain areas such as the Malabar and deck 7 midships smelled of sewage all the time and one passenger reported black mould under the toilet seat which was not immediately rectified. The satellite TV was not working for most of the cruise. P & O’s standards have dropped considerably and are now below an acceptable level and do not compare well with rivals such as CMV. Shore Excursions We did two P & O excursions, one to La Palma for Whale watching. 3½ hours on a small boat in heavy seas and saw no whales nor dolphins, in fact not even a fish and no compensation for this. We also did Lisbon by land & river and this was very good with a tour of Lisbon by coach and then a very pleasant river cruise. We also did three excursions by Cruising Excursion The first at Madeira where we were left stranded on the top of a mountain and had to return to the ship by taxi. The second to Tenerife where we saw lots of rocks and volcanoes at the foot of Mount Tiede and the third to Lanzarote where we saw lots of rocks and volcanoes on a visit to Fire Mountain. All the excursions by both companies are vastly overpriced. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
I chose this cruise to get a little bit of sun, rather than sit at home watching the rain. This being my third time on Azura, I thought I knew what to expect. Embarkation went smoothly, and I was in my cabin swiftly. I noticed that the ... Read More
I chose this cruise to get a little bit of sun, rather than sit at home watching the rain. This being my third time on Azura, I thought I knew what to expect. Embarkation went smoothly, and I was in my cabin swiftly. I noticed that the plug in the basin was closed,and I wondered why. It didn't take me long to find the answer. I was on deck fourteen, but when I went to decks six and seven, THE SMELL OF RAW SEWAGE WAS OVERPOWERING !!!. Lots of people were complaining throughout the whole cruise. I spoke to reception desk about this,only to be told that they were aware of this problem, and they were working on it. Previous reviews that I have read have indicated that the problem has been on board the ship for some time. The Captain was never to be seen around the ship,except for photo shoots, nor was the chief Engineer,as I would have approached one of them to ask about the problem, which continued for the entire duration of the cruise.( I later found that the basin was kept plugged to prevent the smell entering my cabin). I dined in the restaurant on only three occasions,as the food was only lukewarm, and on one dinner the ribeye steak was so tough that three members at my table had to send it back. After that I dined at the buffet,where the food was Lukewarm too. The entertainment was mediocre,same old gags from old comedians. On one occasion the show was cancelled because of rough seas. To conclude, six sea days are too much,when the entertainment is poor. However if you like dancing,or quizzes,or overpriced bingo,or old movies then this ones for you. I won't be back on Azura! I have a Cruise booked on Brittania for next year,but I won't be going,unless P&o redress me for the disappointment that I endured on this cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
A little warmth to celebrate the, nearly, end of winter and a reunion with Oriana after several years. We were pleasantly surprised at the smooth check in, there must have been at three couple in the queue ahead of us - passports ... Read More
A little warmth to celebrate the, nearly, end of winter and a reunion with Oriana after several years. We were pleasantly surprised at the smooth check in, there must have been at three couple in the queue ahead of us - passports checked, photos taken and straight on board. Waiting for the luggage to be delivered was a little disappointing, 2hrs of hanging around punctuated with a disastrous lifeboat drill. The muster station only had seating capacity for 75% of attendees and the ship was not running at full capacity. Old folk with sticks were left standing for nearly 40minutes and why oh why do P&O still insist on trying on survival vests when other lines (Fred Olsen) are happy just to demonstrate. Our inside cabin on deck 5, central to minimise any rough seas, potentially a four berth cabin with two folded up bunks. This means extra wardrobes and drawers. Having unpacked we went for a walk around and were pleased how well the old lady had been spruced up - newish carpet and chairs a greatly improved buffet restaurant. Chaplain's cinema was still there and showed several recent releases (2018). We had opted for 'Open Dining' and ate in the Peninsular for all but two nights - we generally asked to join a table for 6 and were always seated immediately, okay sometime there was a delay while the table filled. Waiters and wine waiters were attentive and efficient but we felt that the cost of food loaded on board had been a little too tightly controlled. Also main courses were no longer silver service but this has been the case for quite a while. An excellent port lecturer ( but two a day is simply too much to absorb), theatre shows were the usual high standard as were visiting cabaret acts. Enrichment lecturers a bit disappointing - one just showed film clips, very professionally, the other we had seen before. Classical concert duo were excellent they entertained with humour and played from a wide ranging repertoire. We did three shore trips all of which were as advertised and without hiccoughs, the on board photographers were considerably less intrusive than usual. The captain however we too unobtrusive. We did not once see her on board and the mid-day announcement was seldom made by her. We had done this itinerary a few times before so most ports of call were a pleasant reminder. However the smallest of the Canaries La Gomera was a first for us and the excursion to the National Park was excellent, a forest that occupies a bout one third of the island. We were saddened to learn, whilst on board, that this was to be our last cruise on Oriana. The powers that be reckon that the 4,500 passenger Iona will absorb the 1500 passengers from Oriana which is being sold to another operator as a casino cruise ship. So for us its Aurora or Fred Olsen. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
If you are a regular browser of this site then you would have known what to expect with Oceana so there is no need to whinge. SHIP-It is ageing but most of the public areas are in tip top condition. CRUISE-This was a new venture for ... Read More
If you are a regular browser of this site then you would have known what to expect with Oceana so there is no need to whinge. SHIP-It is ageing but most of the public areas are in tip top condition. CRUISE-This was a new venture for us in this part of the world but you have to have your wits about you finding your way through Dubai airport as we did landing at terminal 3 with emirates.Keep your wits about you and follow the instructions form the airport staff because it was a real trek to baggage collection.Overall the cruise was interesting and the excursions were well organised.The free shuttles at ports was a real bonus and whether that continues next year is not known. FOOD-This is always a big talking point.We were in the Adriatic MDR 8.30pm sitting.On the menu are 5 starters,10 mains and 5 desserts each day plus ice cream and cheese and if you cannot find something that suits you then you must be really fussy or from a different planet.We did not use the Plaza buffet as to us the atmosphere is like a works canteen. SEADAYS-There was only one sea day and of course you had what I call benidorm cruisers.Out at 7.30am reserving their favourite sunbed even with high winds across the decks no doubt going through the same ritual as when they used to go to benidorm. ENTERTAINMENT-Gary Barlow show,excellent-the 4 tunes very good-headliners-I do not know how much of this singing is live apart from the lead.If they are singing and dancing then they are doing a good job.Steve Day,comedian dire. PORTS-The only port we did not enjoy was Khasab which really was a waste of time unless you were doing a dhow cruise.It is a small town with a few shops a few goats wandering around. SUMMARY-Enjoyed the cruise and all the lovely people we dined with.Would we do it again-no. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Happy 12-day cruise but just sometimes food quality was surprisingly poor. Potatoes with black rotting areas and occasionally not hot. Staff in smart restaurants and buffet were hard-working, helpful and pleasant. Often a ... Read More
Happy 12-day cruise but just sometimes food quality was surprisingly poor. Potatoes with black rotting areas and occasionally not hot. Staff in smart restaurants and buffet were hard-working, helpful and pleasant. Often a feeding frenzy in buffet servery which is too crowded sometimes and too small. One area is opened while the other closes. Ideally should both be open. All made worse by impatient passengers who don't like queuing. Also, despite polite request notes on each table asking diners to vacate once finished eating, there are some who seem to camp there for an hour or two chatting, dozing or reading books while others search for seats. Some ignore hand sanitisers in restaurants. Thump of engines can be heard in main restaurant. We heard that P&O have made economies on several fronts and sometimes it shows compared with previous cruises by us. Cabin stewards now asked to service more cabins daily. Stage shows were very good/excellent. One comedian fared badly/gross with old folk with mime of him pretending to wipe his bottom, complained about weak P&O 2-ply toilet paper, said some elderly passengers "smelled like the homeless" and were infirm - among other grubby "jokes." Long wait to disembark because of tide change and positioning the bridge to terminal. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and dates. We have never cruised with P and O before and are unlikely to do so again. We upgraded our flights with TUI which was money well spent. We were through check-in and security at Gatwick in ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and dates. We have never cruised with P and O before and are unlikely to do so again. We upgraded our flights with TUI which was money well spent. We were through check-in and security at Gatwick in no time at all and the flight was very good. Transfer to the ship was also good. Our cabin was ok,the balcony and bathroom were smaller than we have experienced on other ships. The muster drill was a complete shambles. This cruise has people embarking at different times and in two different ports, therefore when we were called for our drill there were people trying to enjoy a drink in the bar area that we had been assigned to. This was exacerbated when we tried to get back to our cabin. Everyone was trying to get to the lifts at the same time, and there are no stairs by the middle set of lifts. The design of this ship is frustrating, having to go up a couple of floors and then down again to get to another part of the same deck is beyond belief. Dining was a mixed experience: the Horizon self service or the 'push and shove' as we called it was poor, food selection was poor, very few staff available for drink orders, therefore we rarely ate in there. Peninsular was ok for lunch, Meridian was ok for dinner, Oriental was our choice for breakfast, service however was slow. Epicurean was not worth the money, chewy steak! Sindhu was excellent. Limelight club was very good and the Glass House was excellent. The entertainment in the Headliners theatre was not to our taste. Shore excursions were very good, enjoyed the bike ride in St. Maarten, and the Caribbean cuisine in St. Kitts.Overall an enjoyable cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Chose this cruise because of destination, (Arabian Gulf) and the warm weather. The guests were mostly retired, and talking to many of them, only sailed with P & O, never anyone else, "because P & O are the best". ... Read More
Chose this cruise because of destination, (Arabian Gulf) and the warm weather. The guests were mostly retired, and talking to many of them, only sailed with P & O, never anyone else, "because P & O are the best". Nonesense. The Oceana is a tired, smallish vessel, and P & O expects their clients to want to go to bed early, and indeed many do. By 11 p.m. the ship was quite deserted. We were (eventually) given first sitting and we had a nice table for 8. The service was good, but the quality of the food left a lot to be desired. I do believe they had a glut of squash, asparagus and mushrooms, because that was on the menu all the time. The buffet is small, but never much of a queue, except when the tours returned. However the food was poor and repetitive. The onboard Headlines were awful! Two of the lady singers couldn't "sing". One struggled to find a tune and the other just screamed down the microphone. The dancing looked more like an old-school PE session, with lots of jumping about with lots of energy, but no finesse. The visiting acts were mediocre, the comedians were telling jokes from the 60's. Again all past their sell by date. The magician was good but dragged out his performances. There was a pianist in the atrium, and without actually checking, he either had 6 fingers on each hand, or only 2. He was dreadful. However people sat in rows, like an old folks home, listening to him. Can't for the life of me think why. The seating in the show lounges was poor. In the Starlight theatre there were bucket seats crammed together and behind them were a sofa seating. The buckets seats were higher than the softas, and the distance between them was so tiny, that people were climbing over the backs of the sofas to get to their seats. The Footlights theatre seating was all sloping forwards, so not very comfortable. We had an inside guarantee cabin which was perfectly adequate, B624. No complaints there. However there were sequins on the floor when we arrived, and still there when we left. Obviously never vacuumed. The price of alcohol is expensive. A 250ml glass of house red/white wine was £5.65. A Peroni on draft was £4.80 a pint. Can't comment on any other drinks. The ship was always cold, from the air conditioning. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Travel TUI were very strict at check in with both Hand and Hold Baggage £18 per kg excess. Flew TUI, from Birmingham to Barbados which was excellent. Free dinks on route we were offered 3 Alcoholic Rounds of drinks and 2 Hot/Cold ... Read More
Travel TUI were very strict at check in with both Hand and Hold Baggage £18 per kg excess. Flew TUI, from Birmingham to Barbados which was excellent. Free dinks on route we were offered 3 Alcoholic Rounds of drinks and 2 Hot/Cold Drinks with our meals. The main meal was good and the afternoon tea was a small roll and a scone, staffs were very helpful throughout the flight. There was enough on screen games and films to keep us both happy, 5/5. Transfer to the ship was delayed but quick and easy boarding when we got there. Bags handed in at BHX delivered to our door before we returned from Diner at 2100. Room First impression of the room was poor, we paid for what we thought was a good cabin but this turned out to be a cramped area with totally inadequate storage, one rail, 4 small shelves and three small drawers. The bathroom was functional but again lacking any space. The balcony is very cramped. We did get used to the room but not to the extent of suggesting it is worth the cost. Facilities and Dining This is a huge ship with lots of venues, bars, casino, Spa and Gym, 4 main dining rooms, and 4 specialty restaurants. We had freedom dining and ate mostly in the Peninsular 4/5 Waiter Service, which was very good all white table cloths and a good menu selection for all three meals a day, tried the Beach Hut 5/5 (£22), Live Lounge 5/5 (£50) and Glass House 5/5 (£32) extra charges all per couple. The Horizon Buffet was poor compared to Celebrity very British with heavy Indian and Asian Bias, great if you like curry. The Salad Bar rarely varied. Breakfast was very much full English with the usual Fruits and Yogurts, very much a good canteen service 3/5. Entertainment was excellent with three great resident bands moving round the venues, Headliners Theatre Group put on some outstanding shows, with five great singers and a brilliant dance troupe, we also had Revolvers, DNA and The Britones flown out to entertain us, all great but the Revolvers are an exceptional group who should go far 5/5. Excursions Best advice is do not book ships excursions which are much more expensive than local tours and taxis. Barbados We walked to the Harbour by the bridge in the Centre of town and had a few drinks in the Waterfront, 3 beers $6 Rum Punch $6, good wifi, and a very friendly service. Taxi back to the ship was $5. Expensive compared to other ports we visited. Curacao It was a Public Holiday so everywhere was closed. We walked from the Port into town over the floating bridge and had a few drinks by the Harbour. The few shops that were open were expensive but it was one of the cleanest and most welcoming ports we visited. Good free WIFI in the Cafe next to the floating bridge. Aruba The ship docked in the central area and there are good local tours, $25 for the open window bus ride lasting 2 hours with a beach stop if you wanted at no extra cost. Nice Bars and Cafes round the harbour. We walked to the Wilhelmina Park at the end of town to see the iguanas. Again a friendly place to visit. Good free open WIFI in the hotel/shopping mall in the centre of the harbour. St Vincent We did a Ships tour £43 each, but the weather was against us and we saw little of the island, the visit to the Fort and Botanical Gardens was very interesting but seeing two birds in cages should not be described as an Aviary Visit. The city is very rough and a bit of a shock to those less travelled, several guests we spoke to, started off into town but returned to the ship when they got to Front Street. This was a low point in our cruise but on reflection it was worth the visit, following the trip we complained to the on board excursion staff and had a very poor response, the guy didn’t even bother to ask my name or room number, as a result of which I cancelled the other trips we had booked with P&O. St Georges, Grenada Did the Hop on Hop of Trolley Ride $20 each which has 4 stops/pick up points 45 minute trip up to the fort and round the seafront. Lots of folks took the water taxi to Grand Anse Beach $20. We bought our duty free here as it was half the price of other ports $38 for 10X50g packs of Tobacco but shop around as the main duty free was much more expensive. Barter when you buy your spices you will get some good offers we went to the open market and had 15 nutmeg $2, Bag of Cinnamon $2 and Bag of Cinnamon Sticks $2 ($5 for all 3) Spice Necklaces $3 (4 for $10). Castries, St Lucia One of the Gems of the trip we did a full day tour with Cosol Tours, Cassius was our guide and I think the owners of the company which had about 10 nice air conditioned minibuses. $80 is a lot of money but the trip is virtually the same tour as the By Land and Sea Tour offered by P&O at £76. First stop is the Banana Plantation for short talk and a taste of Banana Ketchup, Banana BBQ Sauce and Spiced Rum. Our 2nd stop was a view point and our first drink of the day (Water, Beer, Soft Drinks or Rum Punch offered at all stops). We then move on to the breakfast stop where a wide variety of local buffet food was on offer, more of a taster event with 30 + items on offer (Curry Goat, Lamb Stew, Bread Balls, Meat Balls, Cakes, Coconut Ice, Spicy Toffee, Fudge, Candies) I suggest you get in quick and have a little taste of everything because it was sufficient rather than plentiful with some lovely treats to experience. Drinks were freely available. Our next stop was at Anse for A photo at the fishing village, then on to Soufriere where we boarded a speed boat to Golden Beach which is right between the Pitons, here I hired a snorkel kit with flippers $10 and swam in the reserve which has a wide variety of fish (Best $10 I spent on the whole trip). We had an hour on the beach before the return boat trip; a drink was waiting back at the bus. We then set of to visit the Mud Pools to bathe or the optional Volcano Tour, swimwear is a must, and you are invited to keep on your wet gear for the short drive to the waterfalls, for a second chance to rinse the mud of. The final stop on the tour is a stop for hot local bread and cheese with more drinks. The trip is expensive but everything bar the snorkel gear was included in the price and it has got to be the best way to see and enjoy sights of St Lucia. I can only add my thanks to our outstanding guide Cassius, and add another totally unreserved recommendation to the many which Cosol Tours have on Tripadvisor, Cruise Critic etc. St Maarten The port is across the bay from the beach and town centre, we decide to go local and caught the water taxi $7 all day return. There were lots of tours on offer and the round the island is worth a tour. I turned tourist catcher by asking fellow passenger to join a tour as prices reduced depending on the number of people, between the Downtown Taxi Driver (Sorry no name) and I we managed to get 10 people and had a 3-4 hour tour for $20 each ($60-80 for 2hrs for 2). We had an extensive tour and the devastation caused by the 2017 hurricane is everywhere, the amazing work being done to bring the island back to an upmarket paradise is astonishing. We visited the Nude End of Orient Beach, A Public Housing Development, and French Capital Margot for a lunch stop and Maho Beach for a short stop to see a few planes land. The driver provided a running tour on all aspects of Island life. Before departing on the tour we prebooked sun loungers and a brolley on the beach $25 which included 5 drinks, we left our towels on the beds in the front of the beach. (Others paid $20 for the same deal). Great visit. St Kitts First place as we got of the boat wanted $34 for a tour and beach stop, we picked up the same tour at the pier exit for $20, Del was our guide and he is a colourful character, the tour stopped at the last working Sugar Factory, Bloody River and The Plantation Museum. Del’s commentary was as colourful as his character and he kept us amused and gave us a few drinks on the route, we stopped at the ridge between the Caribbean and Atlantic for some pictures and refreshment. At the Beach a trolley and chairs cost $30 but the facilities were excellent. Beers were $3 and Burger and Chips $22, so a bit expensive. We had 2 ½ hours on the beach before being picked up at 1530. Antigua Our final tour was a shared tour prearranged with Gordon’s Tours on the internet with two ladies. The cost was $30 each and Jerome met us as arranged at the pier. We had a running commentary on all aspects of the history flora and fauna. The tour passed the Cricket Grounds, Abandon Sugar Factory and many villages. We visited the historic barracks and lookout post, for $8 we visited Dows Museum and saw a presentation tracing the history of the island, Shirley Heights, followed by The Blockhouse and Nelsons Dockyard foe a Rum Punch $5. The tour lasted well over 4 hours and Jerome gave us an excellent insight into life on the island. Well worth booking on the internet prior to your visit. On our return trip cases were collected the night before departure and we didn’t see them again until we picked them up in Birmingham, there were no hand baggage weight check on the return flight. Barbados Airport was comfortable and the duty frees booze was good $25 for two litres of popular brand spirits, $14 for Mount Gay room. The flight back was uneventful with an evening meal and a breakfast muffin, neither of which we enjoyed. Only 1 alcoholic drink was offered and wine with the meal. On summary we had a great holiday, were disappointed with the standard of food, and size of cabin onboard Britannia, given the £5200 price paid. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
This was a new ship and the flight left from my local airport. The only deck you could walk on was the top deck and you would have to fight your way around sunbeds and passengers. The only way to sit outside on a deck was via Costa ... Read More
This was a new ship and the flight left from my local airport. The only deck you could walk on was the top deck and you would have to fight your way around sunbeds and passengers. The only way to sit outside on a deck was via Costa coffee shop. You would have to buy a coffee and sit among the smokers. Any other doors to outside were securely fastened for the whole of the journey. The air conditioning was freezing in the theatre and bars. You dont expect to wear cardigans in the Caribbean. Once in the Lido buffet you were bombarded by waiters asking you to book the other restaurants at £30 a person per meal. We tried Freedom Dining but it was not a good experience so once we were sent to the Oriental Restaurant as the the others were full the waiter kept our table for 6 for the same time every evening. Freedom dining didnt work for us. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
Hoped to see the Northern Lights, sadly, they did not appear. First time on this ship which is showing its age. Cabin kept very and tidy. 99% of staff were very good. Service in waiter service restaurants very slow at times. No ... Read More
Hoped to see the Northern Lights, sadly, they did not appear. First time on this ship which is showing its age. Cabin kept very and tidy. 99% of staff were very good. Service in waiter service restaurants very slow at times. No strict enforcement of using antibacterial hand gel before entering restaurants. Food very good in all restaurants. Long walk for our forward cabin to restaurants at the stern of the ship. As we were at sea for quite a few days, entertainment was poor. Headliners shows were excellent. Theatre Royal seating very uncomfortable. P&O need to offer all inclusive cruises as other cruise lines do. Ports visited were very good. Disembarkation was poor as they had not sorted out the exits properly. Abundance of thermal clothing taken not needed as shore temperatures not as low as expected. Lots of deck areas close due to bad weather. P&O would sell more in the onboard shops if they reduced prices. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We try to get away from the UK winter weather and, having sailed twice before on the Oriana on similar itineraries, we like the US ports, and although not great fans of the Caribbean islands, at least they're warm. We find the P&O ... Read More
We try to get away from the UK winter weather and, having sailed twice before on the Oriana on similar itineraries, we like the US ports, and although not great fans of the Caribbean islands, at least they're warm. We find the P&O service, dining and entertainment entirely adequate and sometimes exceptional and had no qualms about booking Ventura as a cruise of this length was likely to be child free and full of retired couples like ourselves. Unfortunately however, there was discordant modern "party" piped music played continually at a significant volume in all bars, lounges and public areas of the ship including around both top pools - the only quiet area was our cabin - it was impossible to relax, read or chat quietly to fellow passengers. Why on earth do P&O think that passengers in their 70s & 80s would want "shouty party" music for teens/ twenties blasted in their ears 24/7? The westbound crossing was a bit "bumpy" with the ship frequently noticeably heeled over due to a cross wind acting on the huge superstructure, not a problem for us, but not ideal. We enjoyed most ports, even in the rain in New Orleans, but found Key West, St Lucia and St Martin very overcrowded - St Martin had 7 huge cruise ships in port - around 25,000 people! In summary, we won't be going on Ventura or to those overcrowded ports again! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Embarked without trouble,outside cabin with picture window very satisfactory.As peninsular cruisers discounted price and on board spending money was a nice bonus. All meals were fine with plenty of choice but often a little bland we ... Read More
Embarked without trouble,outside cabin with picture window very satisfactory.As peninsular cruisers discounted price and on board spending money was a nice bonus. All meals were fine with plenty of choice but often a little bland we thought.The first seven days were a bit rough as it was February and the North Atlantic after all. We enjoyed all the ports of call and some were first time visits.I,e Bermuda and the Bahamas,the later was a little bit disappointing as the last hurricane caused damage as yet not rectified. American immigration at New Orleans was extremely slow and took most of the first day to get the 3000 and also the crew members ashore.Weather in New Orleans was dull and foggy but we had a lovely time off the ship and will always make the most of these exciting places.Further American ports included Key West,Miami and port canavaral with a visit to the NASA Space Centre,all having a different appeal with lots to see and do. Then into the warm sunshine and Azure seas of the Caribbean including Grand Turk,St,Maarten.St Lucia And Barbados.All wonderful ports of call if a little overcrowded with so many cruise ships at this time of year.Our final port of call after five days at sea was the delightful island of Pria da Vitoria in the Azores,with perfect weather and a welcoming people we enjoyed probably the best day of the cruise.After this it was home to Southampton and because of threatened storms the captain got us back early and that was much appreciated. The fellow guests we got to know on our freedom dining option were stella and we made several new friends. The evening entertainment was also of high standard with little we did not enjoy.There is so much to do and they cater for all tastes from on board lectures,the latest movies,classical pianists ,we must mention the duo of pianists for Four Hands who are exceptional,comedians,etc etc.Dance classes ,night clubs,several bars with competitive prices compare to some cruise lines. Please could you move the dance instructor from the Atrium area twice a day as her constant instruction over the microphone is really annoying.Nit a place where people meet,have a coffee or go to reception or the shops.This is the on real gripe which I’m sorry to bring up as it bothered lots of us in that area and we would avoid it if she was there. Emarbed in good time and set off home. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
For warm Caribbean weather. Great staff on board, lovely passengers. Mediocre food. Dreadful cabin on deck 14 immediately under pool deck where noisy activities, night and day. No respite from silly sail away parties to late night revels. ... Read More
For warm Caribbean weather. Great staff on board, lovely passengers. Mediocre food. Dreadful cabin on deck 14 immediately under pool deck where noisy activities, night and day. No respite from silly sail away parties to late night revels. Crew banging heavy items around late night and very early morning. Very poor entertainment. All the music was geared up to a younger generation than the mainly retired or elderly cruisers.The Headliners group were enthusiastic and quite talented but the material was wrong, again, geared for a younger audience. The drinks are overpriced, as are the shore tours. Although the food was mainly acceptable it was only of moderate quality. The beef was always tough, as were the pork chops. The only decent meat was the ever popular lamb shank. The parts of call were not at very salubrious places. In the towns immediately in the docking area, it felt a bit unsafe to walk around. In summary, apart from the excellent crew and passengers, the cruise was a bit dreadful. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
I have put this review on here rather than send to P.O. as P.O. would take no notice, and it would be filed away as it’s not what they want to hear, but more people will see it on this site. We picked the Jan 2019 cruise to the ... Read More
I have put this review on here rather than send to P.O. as P.O. would take no notice, and it would be filed away as it’s not what they want to hear, but more people will see it on this site. We picked the Jan 2019 cruise to the Caribbean as our first time on the Britannia. Flights were good, getting transferred was good. To finish off the good points, the sun shone and the food was good. First problem we had was having a shave, the electric sockets on ship don’t take UK razors or tooth brushes. Nothing in the brochure or any literature on the ship. We were told by reception to buy an adapter from the shop (sold out, of course) or they would charge it up for you. Not good news if you have a travelling razor that needs to be plugged in all the time. Then we encountered the lifts which, long with the set up of the ship leaves a lot to be desired. Basically there are too many floors of just cabins, and insufficient lifts for the amount of people on board. So if you need a lift, you stand there for ages, and by then the floor is full of others wanting to get aboard the lifts. It became the normal to get into any lift that turned up no matter what direction it was going. We also found there are no quiet corners to hid in, no matter where you go on Britannia you have mind numbing music playing all over the ship. When we asked if it could be turned down, no one knew how to do it. Too many places to charge you extra to use or go to. We went as a group of 6 who love Dancing, and as this is the Flag ship of the company we were expecting an enjoyable time. What a shock we got. We had a dance band that played the music they wanted to play, not music to dance to. One evening they had a night of playing Jazz all night. That emptied the ball room. On their night off we got local band playing again their type of music, that again emptied the ball room. ( I could write war and peace on that subject only) When the instructors came on they were only interested on the group of novice dances they had nurtured on the cruise. So the floor was literally full on novices, no problem with that but anyone who could dance could not get on the floor to dance. They should have played 2 of each, but they didn’t. The male instructor danced with the same passenger nearly every dance for the 2 weeks we were there. Their knowledge of sequence dances seemed minimal, as some requests were met with “we don’t know that one” then they would not play a sequence dance as only 3 or 4 couples knew it. The next minute they would play a Viennese waltz, and only 2 couples would get up for, so double standards there. To us they were more interested in selling private lessons and their dancing week ends away than doing what they should. So to me we had a disappointing time on this ship and I would not recommend to anyone. God help anyone who has booked a cruise on the next overgrown monster being built at the moment. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Having used Princess, Celebrity and Costa to cruise the Caribbean in the past via Miami and US Immigration, it is refreshing to cruise with P&O for the following reasons: Say goodbye to your luggage at Manchester Airport and ... Read More
Having used Princess, Celebrity and Costa to cruise the Caribbean in the past via Miami and US Immigration, it is refreshing to cruise with P&O for the following reasons: Say goodbye to your luggage at Manchester Airport and don't see it again until it is delivered to your cabin. Charter flight to Barbados on TUI 787 Dreamliner. Exit the plane, board a bus at the bottom of the aircraft steps and be taken directly to the ship, no terminal to go through with customs etc. Fast check in at the dockside, then onto the ship. From plane to balcony in 50 minutes! As good as Princess and Celebrity are, we would probably have just arrived at US Immigration in 50 mins, then claimed our bags, be taken to a Hotel for the night, then bused to the ship the next day. It's a dream with P&O via Barbados! The ships currency is £ stirling and drinks are at fair prices a G&T around £4.50 and a bottle of wine £17 to £24 for a decent wine. One niggle, on Brittania, P&O's flagship, you have to go to reception to see your account statement, no on cabin TV display or printer in the Aitrium like Princess, a sister company have. We liked the minimalist design of Britannia, but felt the Aitrum should have live music every night, not just on some nights. The Crowsnest is a fabulous bar with great views. People did dress for formal night and even on smart casual evenings, most people made an effort, no shorts or baseball caps wandering around! The entertainment was good, as it usually is on cruise ships, with the ships cast putting on great shows. The Limelight Club is good, Gareth gates and Chesney Hawkes appeared when we were on board Jan '19. There is a cover charge and the atmosphere is that of a cabaret supper club. We also had dinner in the Epicurian restaurant, which was excellent and attracts a cover charge. The Sinduh restaurant was also very popular with those who enjoy spicy food. We also enjoyed sunbathing on the forward quiet deck, with its own pool. High density of sunbeds on all decks due to the Brits liking the sun in January. The staff did enforce the away for 20 mins and you loose your bed policy, great! The itinerary was fine, most Caribbean Islands are much the same, good beaches, sometimes taty ports. Usually there are taxi minibuses available off the ship, which are well organised and safe. They gather groups together and off you go. As a price guide, US$20 will get you a return trip to say Jolly Beach in Antigua, then you pay $10 for a sun bed and $10 for a umbrella. All together we had a very relaxing holiday and will return to Brittania for Christmas 2019. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
Decided to do the world as a ‘Well Why Not’ and wasn’t disappointed generally. Arcadia is a very stable ship in adverse weather conditions. Cabins were very comfortable, although a tad tired/well worn. Meals in Meridian Restaurant ... Read More
Decided to do the world as a ‘Well Why Not’ and wasn’t disappointed generally. Arcadia is a very stable ship in adverse weather conditions. Cabins were very comfortable, although a tad tired/well worn. Meals in Meridian Restaurant were excellent, think there was only one dish I disliked and that was me, not the restaurant’s choice. The Sindhu is totally delicious. Entertainment was very mixed. Mark Labett (The Chase) was particularly good as were the many talks by naturalist Nigel Marven. So many to chose from. The Headliners in my opinion weren’t up to much as the female lead singers always shouted rather than sang. The Runaround Kids were excellent just a pity they have a silly name. Too many jugglers and mind reader type acts, once is enough! Entertainment Manager Emma was very personable, the same could not be said of her counterpart when Emma was on leave. The excursions team were superb especially Sam and the ladies, the 2nd man wasn’t in the same way, not overly helpful or friendly. Sam’s port talks were quite outstanding. Most staff on board were courteous, very friendly and helpful particularly Manuel in Meridian and Elinore in Piano bar. My only complaint really was the coffee. That in the buffet was quite disgusting and undrinkable which meant I spent an absolute fortune on Costa cards/coffee. Dependant on the barista really whether a good or poor cup was dispensed. The quality was not consistent. Great room for improvement and a poor show that you can’t get a decent drink without having to pay for it - beverages I mean AND the fact you have to pay for water which is deplorable. Need water to live! As I have already said, the trip all in all was amazing but a bit of tweaking required. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
I chose this because it was one of a few that covered Christmas and the new year. The decorations were far below that of two greats ago. There was no Christmas atmosphere. Christmas jumper competition judged on the day of ... Read More
I chose this because it was one of a few that covered Christmas and the new year. The decorations were far below that of two greats ago. There was no Christmas atmosphere. Christmas jumper competition judged on the day of departure, before most passengers had received their luggage. Bar staff pandered to long time cruisers and other passengers had to wait for service. Passengers sat at the bar making it difficult to get service. Bar stools should be removed. Entertainers were always too loud. Food in the buffet was always cold, although a good choice. The cabin steward was, as always, excellent. There were a lot of mobility scooters to avoid. One lift was permanently out of order, while a second one was also sometimes out of order. Some Children were left to run around the ship instead of being supervised by parents, going up and down in lifts, while other passengers had to wait for them. Read Less
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