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476 P&O Cruises Senior Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise to get away from the worst of the British Weather, although for the first 10 days it seemed we had taken it with us. Whilst the weather improved the cruise of Ventura got worse. Ship Overall Dirty on the Outside ... Read More
We chose this cruise to get away from the worst of the British Weather, although for the first 10 days it seemed we had taken it with us. Whilst the weather improved the cruise of Ventura got worse. Ship Overall Dirty on the Outside and just as bad on the insde especially Waterside Buffet which for a restaurant was particularly grubby with stains on seating, sofa style backrests and the backs of many chairs. Entertainment The ship was rammed to the rafters and in order to access any entertainment people were entering venues an hour before show start times. Within 30 minutes of showtimes it was standing room only at every venue apart from Metropolis - the Crow's nest equivalent and that was because it was uncomfortably cold during daytime. The Tamarind Show Lounge electrical broke down 12 days before the end of the cruise so no entertainment could be provided, leaving just two - Havanna - often referred to as "Meercats" because it was so poorly designed the barriers were too high to see over without stretching your neck.. Films had to be shown in this lounge until half way through the cruise because the Theatre Company commandeered the Arena Theatre for rehearsals, yet they has been rehearsing in Southampton for two months prior to the cruise. In 5 weeks they put on three average shows. Most passengers thought they had got off in Hamilton the first stop - They were often seen however sunbathing and watching other shows.even though their were not enough seats for fare paying passengers. This was also true of the ship's crew who on many occasion were seated in the Arena Theatre whilst passengers were forced to stand. The entertainment ranged from superb - Revolver and 4Tunes come to mind as well as Lloyd Howlett. The Aretha Franklin Tribute lady should not have even been on ship as she presented her first show "as sick" and by the end of her act so were we. As for the French juggler - it was a surprise he did not get a mass walkout. Food Food in the MDR was generally good and hot, although the service was for the most part appallingly slow, often taking over 2.5 hours for dinner, so you then missed the first show time of any act.. The food in the Waterside Buffet was not of a very good standard and often tepid. At no time did I find at breakfast in 35 days and orange segments, peach segments, pear segments, I also never saw any tinned tomatoes ,or black pudding and only once did I see Hash Brown's. Other breakfast items were always available including appallingly cooked eggs and bacon, Daytime Activities If you like shuffleboard, Spa Treatments, Art, Bridge Craft Class, or quizzes you were inn for a treat, otherwise forget it. I attended an excellent Art Class taught by Debbie Arts which was excellent, however, again if you did not go 30 minutes earlier than scheduled you would find it difficult to get a seat. Ports of Call La Caruna then nothing for 5 days then a quick nod to Bermuda and Freeport in Grand Bahama than we were off at sea for days on end, until we reached Puerto Rico then it was port after port for 4 consecutive days, before leaving Barbados for the 10 long haul to Southampton - The Azores banned us from docking owing to the corona19 Scare, although luckily we had no cases on board. To Summarise This was in my opinion a 2Star Cruise paid for by 4Star Prices. Many, many passengers were deeply offended by the performance of P&O whether it be the appalling array of guest speakers, the varied entertainment, the lack of seating, the breaking gown of venues and dirty condition people were exposed to. An example being that no hand sanitisers were evident in the Pub, Casino, Theatre areas until over half way though the cruise and only then owing to the enhanced risks of novovirus or corona19 I feel cheated by P&O as did many other "seasoned and loyal P&O guests who have vowed never to go back P&O - for God's sake - stuff Carnival and get the Quality back into your operations before you become a cruising Pariah. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
This was a 5 week cruise, having only undertaken a few shorter cruises before, unlike many well seasoned cruisers on board, we were pleasantly surprised at the quality, standard and presentation of everything. In a nut shell: on ... Read More
This was a 5 week cruise, having only undertaken a few shorter cruises before, unlike many well seasoned cruisers on board, we were pleasantly surprised at the quality, standard and presentation of everything. In a nut shell: on reading reviews (after we had paid a deposit) I started to get concerned! Fortunately a very level headed well travelled friend reassured me that the Ventura was ‘lovely’. How right she was. Readers, do not be put off by some highly critical reviews here, much of which I cannot say we witnessed or experienced and leave me baffled. The food was excellent, plentiful and exceptional choice for every palate. We tried every venue. We did not wish to put on weight and by choosing from the enormous range of fresh foods, salads and fish we came back at the same weight! The eggs had golden yolks, the fresh burgers on the deck had quality beef, the sea food kebabs in the Beach House were amazing and as for the food in the Epicurean - well wow wow wow. We particularly enjoyed the Beach House and Epicurean where an additional sum is paid for evening meals. We had one meal at Sindu but preferred the Epicurean on occasion (Black Tie nights) where the service and food is exceptional. We also enjoyed the Cinnamon and Saffron main freedom dining restaurants meeting a variety of well travelled and P&O regular cruisers. The 60s fancy dress night was not supported by the guests (we were tipped off about this so did not appear in our Amazon purchased 60s outfits - P&O may consider removing that one), however the Tropical and Black & White nights were. 8 Black Tie nights we found a bit much and dined in our suite on several nights for relaxation. We found The Retreat sun deck area (light breakfast, lunch and tea included) was a good investment to ensure a more peaceful relaxation area. An additional cost but we were glad we did this on the sea days between Caribbean Islands. Bearing in mind then age group that would be on a 5 week cruise in Feb/March the entertainment was fitting. Some of the acts were so good it was a shame they all did not have 2 nights across the venues. The Whitney Houston act was only on for one night and we were unable to get to it so missed it. Yes, you have to get to the theatre early to ensure a seat hence having acts in for 2 nights or in different venues on 2 nights would ensure everyone had a good chance to see them. The Havana Bar is indeed the ‘meerkat lounge’ due to the high dividing panels and subject to endless complaints. Now that the ship is docked due to the global pandemic maybe something can be done to reduce the high ‘wall dividers’? The guest speakers were a bit limited in variety and none of the speakers seemed to want to stand either in the spotlight or at the front of the stage floor area in Havana so you could see them or ensure everyone could hear them properly. We missed not having a retired detective as a speaker as they are always full of amazing tales. The staff are amazing, each and everyone of them. The rude and crass behaviour on board of some guests made us cringe. To find a lady room steward in tears was appalling and I would have enjoyed being left alone with the male guest culprit for bullying behaviour. Some guests behaviour towards staff made us ashamed and if we could counteract it at any point we did. Sneering comments by guests on trips when we were on hurricane damaged islands, that were fighting for survival, ruined one trip for us - we apologised to our taxi driver for such moronic hurtful and thoughtless behaviour by these guests. For what we paid we were very satisfied with what we got. For us 5 weeks was too long but it was quite an experience. The staff are amazing and it was a privilege to have met them. We did treat ourselves to a suite and very glad we did on such a long voyage. One of the perks was breakfast in the Epicurean which was just perfect. Again, the staff were exceptional and evening meals there would knock most top 5* London restaurants into a cocked hat. Speaking as a retired tourism inspector I was nicely surprised with it all. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We did the same cruise last year, when it was somewhat better. This ship is going in for refurbishment and it certainly needs it. The cabin toilet failed on four days, we had to seek puiblic toilets. The carpets are tired and stained, the ... Read More
We did the same cruise last year, when it was somewhat better. This ship is going in for refurbishment and it certainly needs it. The cabin toilet failed on four days, we had to seek puiblic toilets. The carpets are tired and stained, the drawers stick and were difficulat to open and close. The cabin steward was excellent. The entertainment was appalling. Far, far too loud and much too young for the average age of passengers. Even in the buffet restaurant, Venezia at 7am we were lambasted by screaming women and moaning men through the sound system. which can only be described loosely as music. One night, the main entertainment was a girl playing a saxophone, she missed one night and was on yet again the night after doing exactly the same thing.. A comic who was not funny and an illusionist who would have nothing without audience participation.Elsewhere the so called music substituted volume for quality. Appalling.The theatre company were good, but their material, such as Reel to Reel and Astonishing is so old and is repeated so often that we declined to attend. Trouble is that the entertainment is run by young people for older audiences. They just don'y get it ! It is more like a down market Butlins of fifty or sixty years ago. Cheap and nast, particularly on the 15th deck where the sound was skull shattering.The one bright spot was the Sindhu restaurant. Exquisite food but costs 20 pounds. extra, each. This was our 23rd cruise. We have had some great ones but was the second worst. Nothing can be nearly as bad as MSC cruises !! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Like most of the passenger's aboard, we were doing this cruise to get away form the winter weather. This turned out to be a very lucky choice! From beginning to end we had wall to wall sunshine and calm seas with only a couple of ... Read More
Like most of the passenger's aboard, we were doing this cruise to get away form the winter weather. This turned out to be a very lucky choice! From beginning to end we had wall to wall sunshine and calm seas with only a couple of bumpy days leaving and returning to UK home waters. We did have a bit of rain in Tobago and Antigua but it was brief and of the 'liquid sunshine' variety. We've never been so lucky on cruise of any length, let alone 55 nights. We appreciated the new 'Grand Tour' features - a glass of fizz for everyone on boarding (which was quick in our case), a 'Half Way Round' and a 'Farewell Party' were both included and the Ligurian's had a tea at the Biltmore Hotel in Miami. Not the best of events sadly, tho' it was a good thought. It meant missing most of the attractions during our one day in this lovely city for a start and the organisation was poor. The hotel was fine (Entertainment Manager Hughie quickly found the best bar!) but they failed to get welcome drinks out onto very hot balcony quickly enough and queues formed which the ship's people did little to alleviate. Very big tables meant the food and drink was difficult to manage and a lady singer made conversation very difficult. Apart from Captain Pembridge's, the speeches were rather tedious and our Carnival host's excitement at the impending introduction of Iona was not the best choice of topic for the dyed in the wool 'small ship' audience! But it was good of P&O to lay the event on - they didn't have to. Leaving Ponta Delgada the old 'Great British Sailaway' was superseded by the new-style 'Celebration Sailaway'. Lots of live music from a house band some ice carving and enthusiastic dancing form the Hosts. Personally, we did't miss the jingoistic flag waving and community singing of the old Sailaways ; at least it was a pleasant change. The destinations were all predictable in the Caribbean. Lots of tours from the excellent Excursions team - often ignored by the passengers who usually rushed ashore on the hunt for WiFi in order to tell their friends what a great time they were having in the Cruise Terminal - what,me cynical?! We had three days in Barbados owing to a medical emergency requiring a fast crossing. The third day we moved to the remote Flour Mill Berth across the main harbour. This would have been a bit of a disaster for a one-day call but it worked for us and lots of others. There was a good beach a couple of hundred yards away and the Mount Gay distillery visitors centre was even closer. The island chain was a very busy part of the cruise but the weather meant that beaches were a good option everywhere. The highlight for us was a visit to Bob Marley's grave in Jamaica. The whole tour was deafening but quite compelling. We were provided with a meat pie for a snack and were offered unlimited Ganja (eagerly taken up by several passengers).The ports are always interesting and for the first time in the Caribbean we were struck by how many, and how many LARGE ships, were in port. In St Maarten we were not only in with Britannia and Azura but 3 other ships including Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas - 5500 passengers! Having never seen one of the sisters close up she was an awesome sight. In all there were 18000 pax in port - quite overwhelming the lovely town and island. In Cozumel there were even more - 8 ships and 20000 passengers. As we left, Celebrity Edge added a few thousand more.Though Cozumel did cope with the numbers better. We enjoyed chatting to the vast number of Americans who were almost exclusively absorbed by the Harry and Megan story which was live at the time. For us, the highlight of the cruise was the USA. New Orleans is quite unique and the lively jazz music was everywhere. A number of early Mardi Gras parades made it a treat, For the first time we managed to get a trip on the only steam stern-wheeler 'Natchez'. A very imposing vessel providing our tour with a lovely meal and great sights. In Port Canaveral we went on a lagoon cruise looking at manatee, dolphin and exotic birds. Very well hosted and a marked contrast to all the busy places we'd been. On the ship the entertainment was copious. Pleasingly there was almost always a 7pm show in Carmen's (the Show Lounge) as well as the main shows in the theatre. For the first time we experienced Club dining times of 6pm and 8pm - the half hour earlier start suited the late sitting particularly and the shows were timed to suit the dining times. One good move by the ship was to introduce a number of Italian evenings in the Beach House and Thai evenings in Sindhu. They made a good change to restaurants that inevitably became unappealing on a long cruise. Well done - a good initiative and apparently well-supported by passengers. We were told that this was because the cruise was 'older' (apparently the average age was 72 which we thought was pretty young!). There were a lot of (variable) tribute acts but some excellent comedians. Unfortunately the Headliners were sidelined a bit. A pity as they were a very good bunch - their 3 hour production of the comedy play 'Relatively Speaking' was played to appreciative and very full theatre. Our main criticism was of the quizzes which is a staple of P&O's longer cruises. They are always a social event but the quality of the questions was very poor and the individual quiz attendances fell from dozens to less than 10 by the end of the cruise. Maybe not poor, probably badly targeted is more appropriate. The lazier entertainment hosts used the new quizzes provided by P&O. Each is shown on the pub's TVs and has three levels of difficulty - easy, moderate and hard. The general knowledge quizzes we were usually given were targeted at a very different generation to ours - one was even titled 'Family Friendly (9!)'; and this on a child-free ship! Some folk complained that the same people won every time (showing that the best quizzers always have the widest knowledge!) but that matters not to us - we play against our own (dismal) standard! The passengers were generally very clubbable and the staff were as peerless as usual so we had a great trip. Many of the best crew were destined for Iona (or Virgin Cruises allegedly!) but the cruise was increasingly overshadowed by the emerging Coronavirus pandemic. A cruise ship is ripe for infection even in normal circumstances (we apparently had some 150 chest infections afflicting our cruise) and the publicity given to the problems of Diamond Princess, as well as the impact of the bug on Arcadia's and Cunard's world cruises, meant that we were always aware of what could have happened. We were lucky - what will happen to future cruises and the travel industry in general is yet to emerge. We have a number of future cruises booked - what will happen is anybody's guess Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Having used the Ventura last year for a 35 day cruise we were looking forward to a repeat cruise which this time included some South American ports of call.We booked a outside cabin but were disappointed to be given a cabin on deck five ... Read More
Having used the Ventura last year for a 35 day cruise we were looking forward to a repeat cruise which this time included some South American ports of call.We booked a outside cabin but were disappointed to be given a cabin on deck five which was so small that the bed filled most of the space and there was nowhere to sit except the bed.The noise from the thrusters made sleeping difficult and after a complaint on our satisfaction form we were given in upgrade to a balcony cabin.We think the previous occupant must have been I’ll as in no time we cam down with the virus raging through the ship .Everywhere we went people were coughing and sneezing and at every port people were taken off either to hospital or home . The ports of call were great and the trips in Limon,Cartagena and Panama were worth the visit alone.Other carribean islands we have visited in the past and knew what to expect.This time we saw Grenada,St Vincent and Guadeloupe where we visited the death in paradise film location and had a lovely day.We have no complaints about the chosen ports of call or the P@O organised excursions.Well organised and all very interesting. The ship however is tired and furniture old and well worn.Entertainment on board was third class with poor quality singers,comedians etc.They even put on juggling on two evenings. The atrium is still used for the dance classes which only cater for about 30 to 40 couples while the rest of us have no choice.People hate the noise there twice a day when all you can hear is the instructor shouting the steps over and over. Meals were ok,the buffet offered the same fare every day and things ran out including sugar etc.Boring choices and obviously a cost cutting exercise. Evening meals were also sub standard we thought with poor quality meats,undercooked vegetables and very average. The arena theatre and public areas where people congregated is where the sound of coughs and sneezing filled the air,it is no wonder to us that so many fell ill,The guests are mostly over 65 and we suppose this accounts for the high illness count.The hospital on board was busy all the time. What with the lowering of standards in food,entertainment and the rising cost of taking a cruise we will now be more discerning and probably not take the longer cruises in future as it’s no fun coming home sick and disappointed The staff as always on PandO are the real jewels in the crown but it must be value for money and this was nit Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Our first cruise on Britannia but done many with P&O. This is a lovely ship. Although big and lots of passengers, there is plenty of room and a good flow of people. Nice contemporary decor and cabins. The best flow of passengers I ... Read More
Our first cruise on Britannia but done many with P&O. This is a lovely ship. Although big and lots of passengers, there is plenty of room and a good flow of people. Nice contemporary decor and cabins. The best flow of passengers I have seen in a ships buffet restaurant. Never had to wait or share a table even at prime dining times. Good service and food in the MDR. 3 nice big pools including the adult only quiet Serenity pool. Plenty of good quality sunbeds, although set out very close to each other. Now! The public rooms were under employed most of the time. Headliners shows or guest act as normal in the main theatre each evening, but not much else on offer. The large Crystal room had a dance band playing sometimes, with just a few people watching or dancing, but mostly empty! What a waste of a good venue! The Live Lounge advertised all sorts of appealing music, but most of it was just a blank stage and recorded music. Another hugely wasted venue. Where was the alternative to the Theatre evening shows? Comedians, singers, guest bands? This venue was also completely badly designed. All on one level with dividing walls 4ft high everywhere blocking any view. In general, except for the Headliners and ships live bands the entertainment was scatty, boring and poorly arranged. It looks to me like P&O have listened to past reviews regarding a drop in food quality. They have certainly improved food and service lately. But at the expense of saving money on quality evening entertainment. Service in the bars was good, good varied drinks menu, but thought the price for spirits and mixers excessive. All in, a good cruise for all ages. Lots of families and children and well behaved. Nice to see P&O catering for younger demographic as well as the more mature cruiser. The lifts and stairs layout is very poor. The forward and aft stairways are not very forward or aft!!! On the cabin decks this means a long walk to some cabins. These are the longest corridors I have ever seen on a ship, you will certainly do lots of walking. (Good for working off the desserts)! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We chose this cruise because it ticked a number of boxes with regards to islands visited, we boarded the ship on the 27th December 2019, the boarding process was very efficient. The first issue we had was the aircon did not work in the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it ticked a number of boxes with regards to islands visited, we boarded the ship on the 27th December 2019, the boarding process was very efficient. The first issue we had was the aircon did not work in the cabin, we informed our cabin boy and also reception, it took two further days and a number of calls and requested before I had to insist someone visited to the cabin and repaired the system. The cabins are typical cruise ship small and the bathrooms are very small however we have cruised before so it was as expected. The itinerary was good and apart from the dropping Grand Turk for no real given reason the islands visited were good and as expected, we took a number of tours which were all very good in particular the champagne and lobster on Granada which was probably the best trip of this kind I have ever been on. The overall entertainment on board was poor apart from the live music bands that were generally very good. We are not heavy drinkers however we choose to purchase the unlimited drinks package for convenience, however it does restrict the type of drinks (particularly in wine) you can have and they are generally of a lesser quality than if you purchase direct, overall I doubt it cost any more or saved ourselves money but it did restrict the choice of drinks so I would not advise it unless you intend to drink 15 pints of Stella every day (which many did) The bar service on the boat is appalling, the staff in 90% of cases have contempt for the passengers, service is slow and very unprofessional. The quality of food served in all the restaurants was average particularly for a cruise ship, I would rate it as a poor 2 star all inclusive resort and certainly not what we have seen on other cruise ships. On most days and evenings there was no room on the decks, the ship feels very overcrowded and also very intimidating, the open decks are a permanent drinking frenzy and I watched numerous people downing pints of Stella like it was going out of fashion, a number of the older or more refined people on the ship told me they stopped going out on the decks as it frightened them. The tables were dirty and rarely cleared of glasses, the whole of the outside including all the areas around the pools are smoking areas, there was heavy smoking and drinking on most tables, also people smoking in the food areas outside and the children’s area. In my opinion the ship is no more than a very expensive booze cruise. If this is the new target audience for cruise ships we shall have been on our last cruise, I would certainly never recommend this this ship (or P&O) to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Hammering, Drilling and Maintenance We were on our third cruise with P and O. We were so looking forward to this which was my birthday present cruise in December. We thought our cabin had seen better days but had the very professional ... Read More
Hammering, Drilling and Maintenance We were on our third cruise with P and O. We were so looking forward to this which was my birthday present cruise in December. We thought our cabin had seen better days but had the very professional Hilda as our steward and she took care of usvand was always smiling. Most of the staff were wonderful and so happy. On boarding we decided to loaf around in the pool area and had to leave pretty quick as the pool was empty and being painted. I have asthma and paint doesn't serve me well. The paint stench last a few days. The Meridien restaurant was superb and the staff were magical professionals. MAINTENANCE... For a few nights we heard something like a ball continually bouncing above our cabin....then scraping and banging. It kept us awake for hours and we eventually informed reception who said we should call when it's happening (snotty attitude). Must say that Katarina at reception was superb and suggested a wonderful walking tour of Lisbon which included history and shopping at smaller stores. Our walking talking tour was the highlight of our cruise and we thank Katarina. MAINTENANCE... Bang, bang at night again. We called reception and someone was sent to check it out (above cabin A 098) We were told that it was kitchen staff washing dishes and prepping food which we thought was a lie as the ships map didn't show a kitchen above us. The banging eventually stopped and we couldn't sleep as we were too wound up. We are happy go lucky and easy going but this was too much. Next day I heard banging and scraping whilst in the buffet and there was a white sheet covering an area which hid a worker banging and scraping. I have a video recorded ready for YouTube. It seems the floor area and the mural above were more important than us passengers. Everyone was upset. I was as this was my 68th birthday and I was but days out of hospital and in need of peace. The first part of the cruise we were often, snottily, told that we couldn't sit in a certain area as it was for officers only. That's fair enough but a whole side which was never full??? One night there was a lot of banging in the balcony area of our cabin and a polite maintenance guy came and fixed it in the morning. We were given $200 extra onboard spend and a beautiful bouquet of flowers as an apology but what price an unhappy holiday? Is there anything that can be done to stop the stench of cigarettes wafting into the buffet? Or the awful people that smoke in the public toilets???? We thought the entertainment wasn't up to much and the sound testing could have been more professional - continual 1 2 ing is not necessary these days. The four piece in the Rising Sun looked terribly miserable. The food and service was very good in the Belvedere although the continual upselling at the tables was too much. The Meridien food, service and ambience was high quality. I hate giving bad reviews but be careful folks. I've been in the Hotel, Club and Entertainment business for most of my life and, ironically, not fussy but this was way too annoying for us. I feel cheated DS Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
have cruised with p and o last five years on azura and brittania but was very disappointed this year. Cabin was ok but three times in the two weeks we could not flush toilet for several hours and although this was repaired eventually ... Read More
have cruised with p and o last five years on azura and brittania but was very disappointed this year. Cabin was ok but three times in the two weeks we could not flush toilet for several hours and although this was repaired eventually never got call back from reception as promised. The main pool (not the side of cinemaI deck 15 was unusable for the whole two weeks as there were children and teenagers diving in although it states no diving. Numerous staff saw this happening and ignored it only once were they told and as soon as staff looked away they resumed diving in so no one else could use the pool Deck 15 smokers side the tables were constantly filthy and not cleaned for hours . The food was quite nice and our waiters were lovely as was cabin steward. The standards are definitely dropping on this ship and will look elsewhere next time I know it is having a refurbishment but no excuse for not being clean Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We have cruised with P&O on a number of occasions, and have particularly enjoyed those on the adults only ships. We liked Oriana and were disappointed when she was sold. So we waited for Aurora to be refurbished as an adults only ship ... Read More
We have cruised with P&O on a number of occasions, and have particularly enjoyed those on the adults only ships. We liked Oriana and were disappointed when she was sold. So we waited for Aurora to be refurbished as an adults only ship and chose this 13 night cruise to Madeira and the Canary Islands to escape the fogs, rain and dark days of November. It proved to be a good choice! Embarkation was speedy and efficient. We were on board be 1pm and first impressions were good. We enjoyed a welcome on board lunch in the Medina restaurant which was most enjoyable, then repaired to our cabin, mid-ship on B deck. We were blown away by our mini-suite which was spacious and well appointed. Everything was clean and fresh and looked new. Tea and coffee making was available, but my husband declared that the coffee pods supplied with the machine did not make the very strong coffee that he prefers, so he only used it once! Our steward Maria kept everything spotless and even cleaned the exterior windows, but we were concerned that she had too many suites to look after and that we had little time to chat and get to know her better During the first three days we were at sea so there was plenty of time to explore the ship, try the various restaurants and see what entertainment was available. The elegant style of the refurbishment has given this traditional ship a new lease of life. Crossing the Bay of Biscay the weather was rough, and access to the promenade deck was restricted, but the ship coped well. Tip - if you suffer from motion sickness, choose a cabin on the lower decks and avoid the forward cabins. As we gained calmer seas we were able to enjoy walking along the wrap-around promenade deck and to appreciate the teak decking and elegant sweeping aft decks. We always choose freedom dining and prefer a table for two. Sometimes we had to wait for a table, but usually no more than 15 or 20 minutes. The food in the Medina restaurant was mostly good. On formal nights the choice and quality of the food was excellent. The wine list is much improved than hitherto and the prices were reasonable. Service was good, but the waiters had too many tables and often seemed rushed. We did not much like the food in Sindhu, but that is probably down to personal taste. The waitresses in Sindhu were charming. We would have preferred an Italian speciality restaurant rather than the Ocean Grill - the menu did not appeal. We had lunch a few times in the Glass House and enjoyed being able to try a wide selection of wines by the glass - the selection of wines by the glass in the main restaurants is limited. The lectures on sea days were interesting and the resident musicians were mostly good - depending on one's personal taste. One guest performer, Wild Sax, was excellent. We would have preferred more jazz and classical concerts. It was disappointing that the piano in the central atrium area was not used more. What should have been the heart of the ship was far too quiet. Listening to the piano, cocktail to hand, while waiting for dinner is one of the greatest pleasures for us. Unfortunately the pager system for your table does not penetrate as far as the Crows Nest where the pianist was usually playing around the pre-prandial hour. We only went to one production show by the Headliners, as the times are not convenient if you dine between 7 and 9pm. For the early show one needs to arrive in the theatre early, otherwise there are no seats. The late show was usually too late for us, specially on port days when we had been on shore. However, there is a separate cinema and a show lounge which offer alternative entertainments, so there is always something to do in the evenings. We enjoyed our visit to Madeira - our favourite island. It has so much to offer: stunning scenery, exotic flora, beautiful gardens and a mild climate. We took a taxi to the Botanic Gardens, bought some Madeira wine for Christmas, then enjoyed strolling around Funchal in the warm sunshine and seeing the Christmas decorations. Then on to La Palma where we went on an excursion to the centre of the island which is a huge crater called the Caldera Taburiente - more scenery surrounded by mountains. It has a world class collection of observatories set up there because of the clear air and low light pollution. Next was Gran Canaria where we visited some attractive villages and gardens - very different from the tourist beaches in the south of the island. We then called at Lanzarote, which is still volcanically active - lots to see there is one is a first-time visitor. Finally Lisbon where we went on one of the antique trams up and down the hills, along narrow streets - great fun. Sailing towards the sunset down the River Tagus was a fitting end to our pre-Christmas holiday. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Cruise Norway 26/11/19 What can I say, been on a good few P&O cruises and enjoyed them all even in bad weather and heavy seas but this one to Norway on Arcadia was bad. The cruise was advertised by Iglu as a 12 nighter with 4 ... Read More
Cruise Norway 26/11/19 What can I say, been on a good few P&O cruises and enjoyed them all even in bad weather and heavy seas but this one to Norway on Arcadia was bad. The cruise was advertised by Iglu as a 12 nighter with 4 stops two of those being overnight, good selling point, to us overnight means overnight so less time at sea but Iglu's overnight meant leaving port at 1 or 2 am so more time at sea not less. Itinerary clearly stated six sea days but with bad weather and not docking at Stavenger because of that weather, we spent 9 days at sea, no joke and not pleasant. Another selling point of this cruise was sailing down Romsdalsfjord where we hoped to take photographs, what they didn't say was we would be going through the fjord in pitch dark at night, (pointless). The weather was bad most of the trip, can't be helped no fault of P&O's, and most of the trip the Arcadia moaned, groaned and creaked day and night the noises she made were very unnerving and scary at times as I said above we've cruised in bad weather before but never had feeling of dread as on this ship the captains broadcasts were no help and never inspired confidence, prophet of doom, you know things are bad when people tell you they are afraidfor their lives indeed so afraid some abandoned Arcadia at Tromso to fly home at their own expense and many first time cruisers on board said they would never cruise again, we held our nerve and stuck it out. On a lesser note but very concerning the food was almost as rough as the weather and restaurant layout illogical. First day there I could find no individual yogurt pots instead P&O have gone down the money saving route and are now using large open tubs of different flavoured yogurt which you scoop from yourself, fine, until I saw a woman dipping her fingerin each tub of yogurt and tasting each in turn, disgusting, needless to say no yogurt for us on that trip no wonder you read of norovirus problems on Arcadia. I enjoy a sachet of brown sauce with breakfast, no more sachets, just bottles of HPwith crusty brown tops, lots of curry on board but if you prefer french fry's instead of rice with it you must queue again on the other side of restaurant while your main course go's cold, no real butter or cream served to go with a scone the list go,s on. As said, I have enjoyed P&O on past cruises and hope to do so in future but I doubt we'll go on this ship again the way the itinerary differed from that advertised I would class Arcadia a tramp steamer not a passenger liner, infactI would have to be press-ganged to board her again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
O.K. so if you opt for a cruise to Northern Norway at the end of November you've got to expect that the weather might be problematic and it was! This was not a great cruise experience and unfortunately this was not entirely due to ... Read More
O.K. so if you opt for a cruise to Northern Norway at the end of November you've got to expect that the weather might be problematic and it was! This was not a great cruise experience and unfortunately this was not entirely due to the various storms and gales that we sailed through. To warn future searchers for the Northern Lights you should research the itinerary carefully. Technically we were in Narvik and Tromso for 2 days each but we left in the very early hours of the 2nd day in each place so less than 20hrs in each case would be the truth.Also luck was not with us. On safety grounds the captain took us to Narvik first ( we were scheduled to visit Tromso).  Narvik was cold,windy and very snowy and there were problems with Shuttle buses into town. It was walkable, in the right gear, but a 15 minute wait to get back on board in pretty poor conditions with no shelter I could have done without. The weather in Tromso, when we did arrive, meant that there was very little chance of seeing the Northern Lights. We had a chat with some local guides and they told us that all trips that evening had been cancelled as there was no chance of a sighting but to add insult to injury they said that on the day that we had originally been scheduled to be there, there had been a fine display. Boo! Also they were busy refunding the ship's passengers who had booked private tours. P&O clearly had better local knowledge, or worse ethics, than the locals as their Northern lights tours at nearly £100 a go, went ahead. I understand that they were unsuccessful. Due to the bad weather going back (as opposed to the bad weather going!) we missed Stavanger entirely, which resulted in 4 sea days before Southampton. We were o.k. as regards sea sickness and coped well with the movement of the ship. Also it didn't seem to affect our appetites but the decks and indoor swimming pool were all closed for most of the time and I must confess to a touch of 'cabin fever'. The ship creaked and groaned, various buckets appeared to catch the drips and there was a spectacular eruption in the floor of the Belvedere restaurant. The ship did show considerable signs of wear and tear. Our first cabin's balcony partition had to be wedged closed with a wooden peg and the emergency exit in the Meridian flew open spontaneously several times at Dinner. Coffee machines malfunctioned and various toilets were out of order. The ship was noisy as you would expect in stormy weather and some nights sleep was very difficult.So all this is pretty negative, but there are some positives. We were very impressed by most of the crew. Our cabin steward was superb, most of the waiters at dinner were friendly, efficient and helpful and the staff at reception were cheerful and effective. It was deemed necessary for us to move cabins and the move was well organised by various members of the crew. A problem in the dining room was dealt with in a most sensitive and professional manner. The captain kept us well informed as regards the weather and the itinerary changes but there were times when I felt that I was listening to Eeyore as regards his less than optimistic utterances. "We are all in this together' springs to mind.The food varied from the good to the excellent,the entertainment in the evenings was interesting, in a good way, although one Headliners show fell victim to the weather at the last minute. The lectures by John Maclean were most interesting.So there were some pluses.  However, back in Southampton the failure of the Airbridge caused disembarkation chaos.Sometimes you can't catch a break!  Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
This was our first cruise...so tentative and apprehensive.. Food ...huge variety available seemingly at all times of the day. Pretty much faultless, with the buffet restaurant especially providing seemingly endless variety, quality and ... Read More
This was our first cruise...so tentative and apprehensive.. Food ...huge variety available seemingly at all times of the day. Pretty much faultless, with the buffet restaurant especially providing seemingly endless variety, quality and quantity. Entertainment....simply excellent, the quality of the professional theatre artists especially Danieli and Amelia and the guest acts was nothing less than exceptional and despite a couple of instances where the shows had to stop for some technical reason, these instances did not detract from the thoroughly excellent entertainment and quality performances from start to finish. Ship... huge..and a beautiful example of wonderful design and engineering. Everything you could need ...Spaces and 'frontline sunbeds' not always available immediately due to the pressures of people numbers, but that's not a fault of the ship and wherever you go, that will always be the case for popular activities. Staff... almost faultless, some bars where staff did not smile, but we tended to avoid them. All the catering staff and cleaning staff and maintenance staff were polite, professional, dedicated and seemed to care that everyone was not inconvenienced and had the best time possible. Black tie evenings.... entertaining to experience lots of people in their finery once in a while...a little something different, for us anyway. Ports... some excellent locations, some less so, but everywhere is worthy of visiting at least once and it's all relative. Overwhelmed by the high level of organisation of both the managed trips and the 'local' providers.. Tourism is their life...so lots of evidence that people will go out of their way to please. Met some really nice people...the world is full of them. Caribbean Sea... the sea was like a millpond throughout our 2 weeks...is it always like that ? we've no idea.. but it certainly couldn't have been any more calm which made our holiday even easier to enjoy. All in all..we will definitely be going cruising again...and P&O are very high on our list.. We did see some other liners from other providers whilst in various ports...we were not at all disappointed with our choice. If you're thinking about going cruising for the first time...we'd certainly recommend it and we'd recommend a balcony room...it's a real joy to sit out in a warm breeze and simply listen to, and watch the waves go by....at unearthly hours of the night. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Ventura N933 12 nights Madeira, Canaries and Lisbon, 17 to 29th November 2019 Embarkation at Southampton on the 17th November was quick and efficient. All the cabins were supposed to be ready for occupancy at 1.30pm, although we were in ... Read More
Ventura N933 12 nights Madeira, Canaries and Lisbon, 17 to 29th November 2019 Embarkation at Southampton on the 17th November was quick and efficient. All the cabins were supposed to be ready for occupancy at 1.30pm, although we were in E227 before then. Ferdinand the cabin steward was self-effacing and well worth the personal tip on the last day of the cruise. E227 is on Deck 8, just above the Promenade Deck starboard side a quarter of the way back. It is an Ocean View with no balcony and its window part obscured by the mechanics of the lifeboat davits. However, it is as big as a standard balcony cabin, albeit without the balcony, and at £812 pp with free parking was excellent value for this cruise. Since, apart from the mid-voyage part, it was generally cold and wet outside, not having a balcony was no disadvantage. P&O no longer do the bed ‘turndown’ service with free chocs’ on Day One, no face flannels are supplied unless requested and our fridge was 100% empty – in other words if we wanted drinks from it, we had to order and pay upfront. We never used the shipboard internet as our phones with data were included by the service provider when we were in the EU ports. Food? Main served restaurants were Holiday Inn ‘Plus’ standard I would say, as I have before about Britannia. Alternative dining? Sindhu is well worth the cover charge but it is best to go on Day One or Two of the cruise as they give either a free bottle of house wine for two or a third off the £20 pp charge. Glass House? On this cruise the service was diabolical. The food was excellent as always, but the service dismal. So dismal in fact that a group of us complained and we all got the food (eventually) for free. The deserts are to die for. A meal for two with drinks will be around £22<£30 total. Beach House? Huge portions and the basic cover charge is only £7.50pp. Drinks across the board on P&O are almost as low as Wetherspoon prices and if you have done 15 or more days or so with P&O then you get 5% discount as well. The other passengers? Michael Macintyre would have a field day! For example, in the Tamarind Club venue one morning they were having a talk about their Iceland and Norway cruises. We arrived, the venue was quite full and as usual couples (elderly usually) had selected the middle two of any four seats, clearly wanting to guard their individual space. Asking them nicely if they would mind moving up one seat this particular couple refused, so we sat either side and talked over them to their annoyance! They got the message and left soon after moaning about sub-standard passengers nowadays! The same sort of thing happened on disembarkation day when our meeting point was Deck 6 of the Arena Theatre for off-loading at 8.45. We arrived at approx. 8am to find without exception ALL the end couple of seats of the rows were occupied, no doubt so the inhabitants could be first out of the blocks to the gangway at the ‘call’ time. Since everyone had carry-on cases/coats/bags etc., it meant the ‘end sitters’ were climbed all over to their annoyance as 100’s more guests then arrived which served them right when the obvious thing to do was to move up the row to let in the new arrivals. As it so happened sitting at the end of a row also made no difference since we were, as always, called off by row and on this day to the opposite side of the ship! In other words, it seems to me that some people don’t like to be challenged and are inherently selfish. A final example of this was in the buffet one day, when an able but elderly lady, was peering at the offerings just as a new batch of omelettes were put out. She pushed in, grabbed the flat metal server, put it under an omelette, stepped back with it and then gasped ‘I have no plate’ looking at me as if it were my fault, and she then promptly dropped the selected fresh omelette on the floor! So, be prepared for a degree of selfishness amongst the passengers, many of whom were old(ish). Entertainment? The Turnaround Kids were good and Paul Stickler who gave six talks on unsolved or solved but possible miscarriages of justice murders, was good and he always had a full-house – lots of single seats either sides of couples until the entertainment staff told them to move. Ports of call? Lisbon it rained – we took a taxi to El Corte Ingles - a huge department store like Selfridges in London where you could stay all day if you wanted, and not that expensive either. Madeira it rained until lunchtime. Warning – if you want to use the cable car to see the botanical gardens etc., there are long queues. An organised trip might be better. Gran Canaria? The main city, Las Palmas which is where the cruise ships dock, is like a smaller version of Lisbon and good for quality shopping with big discounts. Lanzarote on a Sunday has little to commend it in Arrecife where the cruise ships dock, but the Mountains of Fire excursion into the Timanfaya Volcano National Park was very good with an excellent guide. You cannot do the drive around the volcanos by taxi or car, so an organised coach trip is best, Santa Cruz, De La Palma, can be easily walked from the cruise terminal. Quite a nice small naval museum, cathedral and a monastery if they interest you. Main street has a range of traditional shops and bars. Ventura as usual suffered a minor hiccup with her machinery on the way South from Southampton and on the way back we made an emergency unscheduled brief alongside stop at Vigo to offload an unfixable medical emergency. It was all a bit tasteless as passengers were standing four deep on Promenade Deck 7 to see the unfortunate lady being offloaded into an ambulance with local doctor, nurse and paramedics. In summary: Good value, decent enough cabin, adequate food (but you have to pay extra for something really special) and the drinks definitely won’t bankrupt you. No auto gratuities nowadays and if you book a future cruise but then want to change it before the balance deadline, there is also no £100 special charge. The other passengers if the cruise is from Southampton (and not in school holidays) will largely be from the older generation. Most are pleasant, but one or two can be quite inconsiderate. Although we did not use Scubas, the P&O childcare nursery facility, it looked good and seemed to be popular. P&O will NOT book more children on a cruise than it can accommodate. I know this because we are taking our entire family mob on Iona next year and the adviser confirmed this fact and we have also booked another cruise on Ventura just for us, which says it all I guess. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We chose a last minute cheap offer 12nights around Canaries on Ventura....beautiful ship, good size inside cabin which was very clean and service from cabin steward top rate. Excellent entertainment every night and freedom dining the ... Read More
We chose a last minute cheap offer 12nights around Canaries on Ventura....beautiful ship, good size inside cabin which was very clean and service from cabin steward top rate. Excellent entertainment every night and freedom dining the best ever, but ding experience met our expectations especially Sindu. All the staff very attentive but not in your face which we like. I fell and banged my head in one of the ports, fortunately for me a shuttle bus on its way back to the ship stopped and radio messaged Ventura to say bringing an injured passenger back to port. Emergency staff were on quayside waiting for me and I was in medical centre with a Doctor within minutes. Excellent medical treatment given by all qualified medical team. We love all the P&O ships, they really cater well for the type of cruises we like. Plenty to do onboard day and night, typical entertainment not too loud and brash, good theatres and show lounges with an array of excellent singers, dancers, comedians and musicians. Dancing every evening for the energetic and lovel quiet bars with serene music for those who want to sit back and relax. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
It was a great time to cruise with P & O on the Arcadia - 4 weeks away at the beginning of November when it was wet and cold in the UK. No flying, Southampton to Southampton via Madeira, the Caribbean and the Azores. Once the ship had ... Read More
It was a great time to cruise with P & O on the Arcadia - 4 weeks away at the beginning of November when it was wet and cold in the UK. No flying, Southampton to Southampton via Madeira, the Caribbean and the Azores. Once the ship had sailed through the fog (the first couple of days) the weather was really good. Interesting ports of call and extremely easy to get ashore when in port. The ship is very comfortable but quite tired. Everything works as it should be but there are signs around windows etc to suggest that perhaps a re-fit ought to be imminent. The cabin was very comfortable but quite clearly had been constructed later when the P & O decided to make the Arcadia child free. The food was excellent although my other half thought that there could have been some more plain dishes on the menu. However we didn't have a meal that was not to our tastes. Both the cabin staff and the dining staff were very good, pleasant and ready to converse with the passengers. We enjoyed the excursions we booked and the arrangements to meet for them was really excellent, on the pier or just off and so no nonsense about meeting in the theatre on the ship. All in all it was an excellent cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
P&O has done a Marks and Spencers act. It has ignored customer demand and gone for max profit. This cruise proved it. We ate onshore as often as possible. We are tired of the same corporate menu, cruise after cruise. No ... Read More
P&O has done a Marks and Spencers act. It has ignored customer demand and gone for max profit. This cruise proved it. We ate onshore as often as possible. We are tired of the same corporate menu, cruise after cruise. No imagination, no food uploaded along the route - so no local produce.(To ensure quality - we are told.) To ensure max profit is probably fact. We chose the cruise to visit Corsica - it never happened but for acceptable reasons. However P&O food gets worse each cruise. Every turn demands money - the only smiling staff for the 1st two days were those demanding money! The music has got louder and less appropriate to each venue. Azura appears to have no quiet area for relaxing. The staff are great but corners are being cut everywhere. If you like massive loads of average food, loud music everywhere and family movies like Dumbo - you will love P&O Azura. It is not for us - we do not go on holiday for endless loads of poor quality food, for over loud music and below average entertainment. Aurora was ok but even so, did not match RCI for food quality or entertainment. RCI per day was half the price too! Maybe we got a good deal but - 50% cheaper - that is something to consider even at full price! Better food by far, better entertainment and a more caring company. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Chose this cruise for the Greek islands. We only did 1 week. Excellent cruise very easy and quick embarkation and getting off was quick also. . Staff were all lovely very friendly. Clean ship amazing food noble problems there drinks a ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the Greek islands. We only did 1 week. Excellent cruise very easy and quick embarkation and getting off was quick also. . Staff were all lovely very friendly. Clean ship amazing food noble problems there drinks a bit on the expensive side but as tips have been taken of we expected that. Inside cabin was OK clean lovely guy looking after us. Irons on our deck did not work very well. Had room service breakfast 3 mornings it was OK. Did not pay for any excursions found them to be expensive. Did our own thing. Entertainment was excellent. Food was also very good. Nice atmosphere a round the ship. Shops a bit expensive but had some good sales on. Captain very good kept us all informed had to change itinery due to a force 10 gale during the night on the Friday that was Scarry but captain was very reassuring Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Been on a few P&o cruises on ships Oceana, Azura and Brittania, so me and my partner decided to try Aurora and the Canary Islands. Overall we felt a bit dissapointed with this one. The ports were great and the excursions were great ... Read More
Been on a few P&o cruises on ships Oceana, Azura and Brittania, so me and my partner decided to try Aurora and the Canary Islands. Overall we felt a bit dissapointed with this one. The ports were great and the excursions were great but we felt that having a full day and evening in Tenerife on the Monday instead of a full and evening day in La Palma on the Sunday would have been better, as everything opened at 10:00 and shut at 14:00 in La Palma,so you were just on the ship until we sail away at 21:00. The ship was a great size, and the new refurbishment was great with new carpets and everything in communal areas seemed new, however you could tell it was built in 2000. A tiny TV, with only certain channels compared to the On Demand service you get on Brittania, also it was in a really awkward position in our cabin. There was only one plug socket in the whole room too, which in an era of technology isn't really the best. Although advitised as an Adults only cruise, it'll be better off advitised as a over 50s cruise. Myself and my partner are in our 20s, and managed to make friends with two other couples in their 20s. We all felt that the entertainment in the evenings was aimed at the over 50s. The only real act who engaged with the whole audience age wise was the comedian Phil Melbourne. One great act was the Irish lad who did acoustic guitar sets on the Lido deck and in the crows nest some evenings. The entertainment team were great, very welcoming and friendly. The Headliners this year I would say were below the expected standard. The vocalists really carried the show, as the dancers were quite poor. It seemed that the best vocalists and dancers go on Brittania and bigger ships. The shows seemed a bit dated too, compared to those we saw more recently on Brittania. Instead of a West End experience, it felt more like a Panto in your local theatre. The crew this year were great, from cabin steward to waiters. There was only one waiter we had a problem with as he got my starter wrong, giving me a mushroom sausage roll instead of Potted Shrimp, and heinsisted that was what I asked for, even though I don't like Mushrooms! If you're over 50 it's a great cruise for you, however if you're under 50 I'd aim for another ship in the fleet! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose a 12 day cruise with P & O on their Aurora ship this year as everyone we knew, who had cruised, said that they had always had a great time. This ship is now Adult only. We had a smooth and speedy embarkation at Southampton ... Read More
We chose a 12 day cruise with P & O on their Aurora ship this year as everyone we knew, who had cruised, said that they had always had a great time. This ship is now Adult only. We had a smooth and speedy embarkation at Southampton and having travelled from the North-east of England this was a very welcome start to our holidays. Our inside cabin was a moderate size but well furnished with a decent size bathroom (shower). Our cabin was immaculate with tea and coffee making facilities (replenished daily) and Sandesh, who looked after our cabin ensured that clean towels (and pool towels) were changed daily and bedding changed regularly. His attention to detail was very impressive. We were also impressed with the wide selection of food available. Food was available through the day as were refreshments. Food was hot and well presented. We dined in different restaurants as well as the self-serve areas (the Horizon) and one of our favourite places was the Medina Restaurant where we got exceptional service from Melwyn and Joel who really looked after us well each time we visited. When we did dine in the Horizon we were often looked after by Frauline who was a very friendly and funny guy and ensured that we had everything we needed to enjoy our meals. The entertainment was, in our opinion, 1st class considering the entertainment team have so many different shows and routines to perform so often. We were never short of things to do, the cinema showed relatively new films, the gym had modern equipment, there were activities to join in all day long and lots of different entertainment in lots of different bars onboard the ship. One of our favourite places to chill was The Crow's Nest. A definate plus was being able to visit a designated are for Costa Coffee on board. All the staff were very friendly and helpful throughout our holiday. We didn't go on any organised trips as we wanted to explore the ports ourselves and most were within walking distance although there were taxis available. One negative comment would be our visit to Lanzarote. We wondered why so many of the people we spoke to were not getting of the ship that day. Those of us who did were back on the ship within a very short time as there was little to do in the tiny resort we visited (most of which was closed). We now have the 'cruising' bug and are looking for our next adventure. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this cruise as there were three ports of call new to ourselves. Lido Deck Too large a comfortable seating area earmarked for smokers, particularly when public areas (on land) are discouraging the habit. Dining ... Read More
We chose this cruise as there were three ports of call new to ourselves. Lido Deck Too large a comfortable seating area earmarked for smokers, particularly when public areas (on land) are discouraging the habit. Dining Surprisingly, choice of all three courses at dinner required when ordering. One does not always know whether one might even wish for a third course after the first and second courses but, if so required, the third course should then be allowed to be chosen accordingly. Lido Buffet 'Frozen' pats of butter taking 10 minutes + to soften and thus able to be spread by which time one's toast was even colder! Though 'Freedom Diners' we ate dinner in the Lido Buffet on several evenings as the menu was just as good as the Meridian Restaurant, without the waiter service of course. Sun Deck subjected to falls of soot particularates causing sun bathers to scatter and the Lido Pool to be temporarily closed for cleaning. Admittedly these are fairly inconsequential points, none of which spoilt our cruise but, nevertheless, may be worthy of note for the powers that be. We appreciate that everyone can't be pleased and conscious that there's a great deal to organise and be responsible for and for that we were grateful and contributed to a generally enjoyable cruise. Thank you. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
The Oceana was recommended to us be relatives who had sailed on her many times. We stayed in cabin B405 (mini suite), the cabin was excellent and our cabin steward was outstanding however the balcony was slightly narrow. Our cabin steward ... Read More
The Oceana was recommended to us be relatives who had sailed on her many times. We stayed in cabin B405 (mini suite), the cabin was excellent and our cabin steward was outstanding however the balcony was slightly narrow. Our cabin steward could not do enough for us and she was very friendly. The ship was very clean and the staff were extremely friendly. There was an extensive range of entertainment however I feel that the entertainment was a bit lacking. I also thought that the music on the Lido Deck was a bit too loud so I preferred to stay towards the front of the ship on deck 14 as this was very quiet and relaxed. The dining was outstanding I tried the Ligurian, Cafe Jardin and The Plaza. The food was exceptional in all areas and the staff were very attentive. The ports of call were extremely convenient and the excursions arranged through P&O were excellent. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Have travelled with P & O several times and although there have been issues, we have returned as they do represent good value for money, up until now that is. 16 day Baltic Cruise on Arcadia, first time on this ship and tips now ... Read More
Have travelled with P & O several times and although there have been issues, we have returned as they do represent good value for money, up until now that is. 16 day Baltic Cruise on Arcadia, first time on this ship and tips now included. BIG MISTAKE!! Ship was tired, maintenance work forever going on around the deck, why do we pay for a holiday to have this, should be in dock to get it done. Staff were deplorable, couldn’t care less, never saw our maid for the first 2 days after which she would shout along the corridor to her colleague at 7.30 in the morning. Had to speak to her about this several times. Freedom dining was a farce, only dined there 4 times in 16 days as the wait was at least 30-40 minutes after which the table service was even worse. First night it took 3 hours to complete our meal. Food was acceptable but totally boring. Resorted to the Belvedere “café” for the remainder of the days where the waiting staff couldn’t even be bothered to supply us with water of an evening. The food here was shocking, totally mixed up, fried cod in batter next to curry dishes so had to go elsewhere if you wanted chips. Too salty and the same old thing night after night. Couldn’t get ice cream, imagine that. Our cabin wasn’t clean either, spilled stuff on ledges was still there after the whole holiday and it wasn’t our spillage either. Toilets around the ship were mostly blocked and out of order and nothing being done about it. Norovirus broke out the last week. Thankfully never caught it due to being careful. Entertainment was boring, no guest acts, no-one we had ever heard of, they usually have someone of renown but not this time, never attended one show. The cruise itinerary was good though and we enjoyed all the ports although Fredericia was our least favourite. We only booked trips in St. Petersburg for obvious reasons (no visa needed) and they were fine although the evening river cruise was like an old ex serviceman’s outing, all old tables on an old boat, one glass of sweet plonk and the nibbles were inedible to me. The shuttle bus to town from the ship in places that were too far to walk was £4 per person each way, a total rip off and P & O homed in on this knowing there was little choice for us. I could write a book on this cruise. All in all it was like a cheap package holiday to Spain. They stress when booking that no logo clothes or words to that effect are to be worn but there were plenty about the ship and no-one ever attempted to do anything about it. Will look forward to trying a better cruise line next time. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
we chose this cruise as it was short and e073 cabin was available read on bigest problem with cabin,the embarkation was a shambles the trips were poorly organised went to cherbourg on Bastille day evertwhwere was closed next stop santander ... Read More
we chose this cruise as it was short and e073 cabin was available read on bigest problem with cabin,the embarkation was a shambles the trips were poorly organised went to cherbourg on Bastille day evertwhwere was closed next stop santander no courtesy bus into town very long walk bearing in mind this cruise is mainly for older folks with walking difficulties do P&O care no they dont,we all know how the British love to queue well P&O love people to do that the whole standard of thic cruise company sadly has dropped,they seem to be theonly ship that use a lorry and crain to get the disembarkation gangways fixed seems every thing is being done on the cheap,the only nice thing i can say about this cruise ai that the food was good apart from the piles of green beans, most of the staff were good but not all as we have found before,didnt like the constant smell of paint round the ship painting every day with a radiator roller and one inch brush probably why it takes so long Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
My wife and I have cruised about seven times from the Caribbean through the Med: 5 with Thomson on various vessels and latterly on Britannia with P&O. The cruise on board OCEANA on 11th July to the Greek islands was the latest and ... Read More
My wife and I have cruised about seven times from the Caribbean through the Med: 5 with Thomson on various vessels and latterly on Britannia with P&O. The cruise on board OCEANA on 11th July to the Greek islands was the latest and the most disappointing. What we liked: The Atrium, reception area and the Costa coffee section was second to none. The shops were brilliant and my wife has no complaint there. The sun deck was good although crowded (not unusual for a day at sea etc). The cabin was spacious and wardrobe space more than adequate. What was wrong: the general points . . . 1. The ship decor was drab throughout 2. The lifts were unpredictable and extremely slow 3. We found the buffet food monotonous. Often we found there were no tea spoons available and we had to ask one of the officers in white to provide some. Once a female crew member who was responsible for providing a tray with cutlery repeatedly provided two forks without a knife or two knives without a fork etc. Twice during the voyage this happened to us. We found the crew to be rather sullen and didnt seem to want to interact with passengers. One actually made an inappropriate comment when the wife and I were making a decision on any pudding/sweet: I just joked with my wife saying they were fattening and this male commented: "Too late Sir". He then asked my wife and I had a twin brother (for what reason I do not know). The next time I saw him he rotated his eyes in different directions independently and he thought it was funny. I was not sure what his objective was. This occurred in the buffet by the way on two separate days. Specifically to us: 1. The bathroom was antiquated and particularly the toilet bowl had a black ring around it when we embarked which remained there throughout the voyage. The television was small and the programmes repetitive. There was only one three-pin socket to the entire cabin and that was used for tea making. The lack of sockets was very inconvenient. 2. I unfortunately cut my ankle slightly on the first day which bled overnight and which stained the lower sheet. That sheet remained on the bed and was not changed throughout the voyage. The cabin steward on a few occasions failed to replenish the coffee/tea making facilities and once failed to provide cups/mugs and we had to ask reception to get him to bring them along. 3. We were freedom dining: We often had to wait up to 45 minutes to get a table and this seemed to be case whenever we attended the Ligurian to dine. The service in the Ligurian was slow and often we had to attract attention that we were waiting another course. Again the waiting staff did not seem that interested in providing a good service. A factor which irritated us in particular was black tie nights. This was the first time I decided not to take a dinner suit or black tie. We were denied access during the two black tie nights in both the Ligurian and the Adriatic restaurants (on a 7 night cruise) and we had to eat in the buffet. This was not what we expected from P&O and has completely shattered our confidence. Frankly we were glad when we arrived at Malta so we could get off the ship. We are not going P&O again: Having written to them expressing our disappointment and pointing out our points we eventually received a wholly dismissive letter which implied either we were exaggerating or just a pair of natural complainers. that in itself was enough to put us off going with them again - this is the first time we have complained on any holiday (land or cruise) Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
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