1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. P&O Cruises
  4. P&O Cruises Cruise Reviews
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We wanted the to escape the gloomy Scottish weather over Christmas and New Year and relax in some Caribbean sunshine. The cruise didn't start well with a near 4 hour flight delay from Gatwick with P&O's chosen charter airline - Thomas ... Read More
We wanted the to escape the gloomy Scottish weather over Christmas and New Year and relax in some Caribbean sunshine. The cruise didn't start well with a near 4 hour flight delay from Gatwick with P&O's chosen charter airline - Thomas Cook (MT3720). This resulted in us arriving very late on board, too exhausted to consider eating anything and being directed more or less immediately to a special safety drill for all the late passengers. Heading back to the cabin we saw that it was quite dirty. We mentioned this to our cabin steward who seemed to shrug his shoulders and said he would 'give it a good touch' the next day. However, the following day, in full daylight, the very poor state of the cabin was revealed and it became clear that none of the surfaces had been cleaned for weeks, with evidence of hairs on bathroom shelves and a very 'unhygienic' looking stain on the toilet. We reported the matter to the front desk and received a visit from a Deck Manager who agreed the room was dirty and he arranged a 'deep clean'. He suggested, however, that the state of the room was due to previous passengers leaving the balcony door open - I'm not sure how/why that would justify the room not being cleaned appropriately. The cruise progressed OK with quite good weather in most of the ports of call. Entertainment on the ship was quite good with the highlight show that of male vocal group 'Troubadour' and somewhat surprisingly the performances of the resident group 'Pulse', whom we found to exceed the performances of the stage singers/dancers. We are frequent cruisers so we were disappointed at some of the guest performers, e.g. Mark Walker, who we have seen many times over several years and he hasn't varied his set. The P&O 'Christmas Present' was quite a let down. On it's maiden Caribbean Christmas Cruise on the Britannia we each received boxes of very nice Marc de Champagne truffles, which we took home and savoured after the cruise. This time, however, we each received identical Britannia Snow Globe ornaments, which weren't very personal or worth the weight in our luggage home so they went straight in the bin. I expect many other passengers did the same. Due to hurricanes in the Caribbean the itinerary of this cruise had been rearranged and abbreviated with two of our favourite ports of call - Dominica and St Maarten - being removed with a day instead at Tobago and an additional day in Barbados at the end of the cruise. If we had been given the option to cancel/rearrange this cruise due to the changed itinerary we would have done but that was never an option. The two and a half days in Barbados at the end of the cruise were particularly tedious with our balcony cabin facing the port and the incessant noise of operating cranes and other heavy machinery. We have been to Barbados many times and have done various trips there so weren't inclined to do any more trips, plus the weather was a bit 'inclement' over those days. We probably would have preferred to go straight home the day after arriving in port in Barbados rather than 'lingering' there. There were lots of passengers coughing and spluttering during the cruise so invariably I also picked up a virus that remained with me for the 2nd week of the cruise and remains with me as I write this review. My wife succumbed to the virus on her return home and has had to take two weeks (and counting) off work. I expect poor hygiene on the ship was probably to blame for our illness as many people avoided washing their hands when entering the buffet restaurant and this was not particularly well enforced by P&O personnel. I would point out though that there are only three hand washing stations at each entrance to the buffet restaurant with often significant queues (20-30 people) waiting to wash their hands. It's probably little wonder that some passengers had no patience and simply by-passed this process. In the ratings that follow I might have recorded some categories as 'Good' but that option isn't available as the jump is from 'average' to 'very good'. We are unlikely to travel on the Britannia again but will be travelling on the Arcadia later this year and the recently refurbished Oceana next year. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
We chose this cruise because of the Itinerary and we have cruised with P&O many times before. Dining arrangements have changed over the years with the advent of Freedom Dining which we tried once but changed back to Club dining as I ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the Itinerary and we have cruised with P&O many times before. Dining arrangements have changed over the years with the advent of Freedom Dining which we tried once but changed back to Club dining as I don't like having to have a pager at peak periods. With prefer second sitting at 8:30pm as it allows time when returning from ashore. We have always preferred a table with 6 - 8 persons and the restaurant managers have always provided us with like minded and interesting people to share with. This was not the case this year as we had a table to ourselves and several other larger tables had people missing a lot of the time. Whilst I appreciate some guests were visiting other restaurants it appears freedom dining was the main cause of this cultural change. The ship takes a bit of getting use to in terms of layout. The choice of Beer or Larger can be frustrating in terms of what is types are sold in different bars and in some only small bottles are sold at inflated prices. The Staff were friendly and the entertainment was good. Access to the various cities from the ports of call was easy whether going on one's own or choosing an excursion. Whilst Zeebrugge does not rate high on visitors list like Brugge I was keen to see the Memorial to the Royal Navy and Royal Marines at Zeebrugge together with St George's walk given that it will be 100 years ago on St George's 2018 that the blocking of the canal entrance took place with it supporting raids there and Ostend for which 11 Victoria Crosses were awarded. Knowledge of this action seemed lacking from crew members I spoke to. The shuttle bus service to Blankenberge was appreciated as an alternative visit to Brugge. Unlike other Cruise Ships I have been on there was also a lack of interesting Lectures or talks whilst at sea. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
Chose this cruise as we wanted an adult cruise over Christmas. I must congratulate P and O on taking penny pinching to a new level. The food was hardly ever hot, just luke warm, EVERY night we had to ask for extra vegetables, they tried to ... Read More
Chose this cruise as we wanted an adult cruise over Christmas. I must congratulate P and O on taking penny pinching to a new level. The food was hardly ever hot, just luke warm, EVERY night we had to ask for extra vegetables, they tried to get away with 3 sprouts for Christmas Dinner. One night my wife ordered New England Clam Chowder, only to find that the "clams" were actually chicken (we are still waiting for an explanation). Considering we were in the Caribbean, apart from the evening meal, the only ice cream available was a very small tub for over £2. P and O excursions were a total rip off. Thankfully we did our own thing, (as did many fellow passengers) we enjoyed longer days out, visiting more places at usually half the advertised P and O price. We were constantly reminded by staff that if our trip was late back, the ship would not wait. Every trip we booked we asked to be back 2 hours before departure, and due to very heavy traffic once we were back 1 3/4 hours before. More scare mongering by P and O. Some entertainment was very good, some not so. The cabin was fine, as was the cabin steward. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
Have been on this ship twice before for Christmas cruise. Previous experiences much better than this one. The entertainment was awful, the food not much better and the ship had a downcast air about it, as it is reported that the Adonia ... Read More
Have been on this ship twice before for Christmas cruise. Previous experiences much better than this one. The entertainment was awful, the food not much better and the ship had a downcast air about it, as it is reported that the Adonia will be sold in March. There was far too much emphasis placed upon classical music. Even the gust cellist, singer and pianist rendered classical rather than middle of the road music which would have been more in keeping with the class of guest on board, including ourselves.In the Conservatory self serve restaurant, we were constantly assaulted by every Christmas song ever written, One does not want this when eating, particularly at an early breakfast. It was stopped for a while after complaints were made by many of the cruising guests. The master of ceremonies would have been better suited to a low class holiday camp ! Our cabin was immediately below Andersons bar. The floor above us was uncarpeted and the chairs scraping and banging late at night was very bad. The saving grace of this cruise was the very good cabin steward and all the waiters, who were also excellent. Embarkation and disembarkation at Barbados was chaotic. The very small buses for the 50 minute transfers was very uncomfortable indeed. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
Embarkation slow. Small ship in reasonable condition. Decor ok if a little beige. Ships entertainment group were quite good as were some of the guest singers. The comedian was non comedic and I can't find adequate, printable words ... Read More
Embarkation slow. Small ship in reasonable condition. Decor ok if a little beige. Ships entertainment group were quite good as were some of the guest singers. The comedian was non comedic and I can't find adequate, printable words to describe the awful pantomime. Food quality started off badly and improved sufficiently after some complaints. No complaints about the crew, all were very polite and helpful. Shore excursions were ok but expensive for the short time they took. P & O have stated that because the Adonia is being sold, the last 6 months cruises will be extra special. What were they like before ?? This is the third P & O cruise we have done and was not up to those taken on the Arcadia or Oriana. I don't think we will trouble them with any more bookings, unless of course we get a cheap (half price) deal at the last minute. Otherwise, Cunard here we come. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
embarkation was very quick and cases were at the cabin soon after we were given a letter saying noro virus was on board last trip and the ship had been cleaned sunday night going through the bay of biscay we hit a squall of 100 knt winds ... Read More
embarkation was very quick and cases were at the cabin soon after we were given a letter saying noro virus was on board last trip and the ship had been cleaned sunday night going through the bay of biscay we hit a squall of 100 knt winds beam on everything ended up on the floor scared my wife half to death .we had freedom dining which suited us because we like to eat early we found the food not as good as last year but the staff were brilliant.the entertainment was also good exspecialy the barbados group seriouse sounds who we watched 3 times. we missed one island ibiza due to strong winds but managed to do all the rest then we had another letter saying noro virus was back on board fon the monday before coming home i became unwell and stayed in the cabin for the rest of the trip had to have a wheel chair to disenbark from there went straight to hospital and was put on a drip and was diagnosed with gastroenteritis ?norovirus and still not right 12 days later m bennett unhappy cruiser Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We had never been to the Caribbean before but our cruise on Britannia was really, fantastic. The holiday started with a very good flight from Gatwick with excellent and friendly service on the Tui flight to Barbados. I had read many ... Read More
We had never been to the Caribbean before but our cruise on Britannia was really, fantastic. The holiday started with a very good flight from Gatwick with excellent and friendly service on the Tui flight to Barbados. I had read many criticisms of the ship before we sailed but I must admit, I cannot see many reasons for these criticisms. The only major fault we found was the fact that the air conditioning temperature throughout the public areas (restaurants included) was too cold and at some times unpleasantly cold. Everything else about the cruise worked very smoothly from our embarkation at Barbados until the time we disembarked. The staff on the ship were always friendly and helpful in every area providing an extremely good service. We were pleased that there were no port transfers by tender as it can be tedious getting on and off the ship. We did a few more shore excursions from Britannia than we have previously done and whilst they were quite expensive they were well organised and we were pleased that we had booked them. Some of the ports of call have not much of interest and are really built up around the cruise terminal. There was plenty of entertainment on board and the sea day shuffle board and quoits tournaments were always fun and a good way of meeting other passengers. We did not find the ship too crowded, there was always plenty of space in whichever venue you chose to go to. It was also nice to find that P&O still make something of the formal nights and enforce the black tie code in the restaurants (other than the Horizon buffet) and other areas of the ship. We would definitely cruise with P&O again and would even do the same cruise again. The weather in the Caribbean is fantastic although we did have a few more showers that we expected but at least it was warm rain and the sun shone again very soon afterwards. All in all we found it a fantastic cruise that was value for money. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Never again on the Oriana unless you are over the seventy age mark and would like to sit like zombies. The days entertainments were adult Colouring by numbers,Craft and Chat get together & knitting & Chat also line dancing and ... Read More
Never again on the Oriana unless you are over the seventy age mark and would like to sit like zombies. The days entertainments were adult Colouring by numbers,Craft and Chat get together & knitting & Chat also line dancing and they are only the high lights. Getting onto the ship was no trouble fill in the medical card, collect your on board cards and on to the ship you go and there the enjoyment ends. for four of five days there was a virus on board but we were not told, but when salt & pepper comes in little paper, hand antibacterial gel every where, on day five everything was back to normal. I must say that we did not have the best in weather 5 days of winds and bad seas but once we reach canary island the weather did get better for two days, who said go for the hot weather was not on the Oriana this December. The Conservatory [The Buffet] Poor meals Al Fresco [ Passable] Freedom Dining [Passable] If you like the formal evening you can eat and drink anywhere But if you not the buffet is all you get and you can drink only in one bar because you are not dress up for the rest. This ship I was please to get off and I was not the only one I'm sure. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
Last minute availability and itinerary made a no brainer to escape the winter weather. Our only complaint was the circuitous route around the islands, many people like us felt the opportunity could have been taken to stay overnight say in ... Read More
Last minute availability and itinerary made a no brainer to escape the winter weather. Our only complaint was the circuitous route around the islands, many people like us felt the opportunity could have been taken to stay overnight say in Martinique. The standard of service from our cabin steward and the dining room waiters was of the highest order. The food was generally superb in the Pacific restaurant and restored our faith after very poor standards on Britannia. There is no doubt that P&O are going to loose a lot of their traditional older customers in the trend to larger and larger ships. The library was a pleasure to sit in and the avoidance of endless disco around the pool when we went on Britannia was a relief. We learnt that Oriana and Aurora will be disposed of in the near future because of impending pollution legislation which P&O are saying cannot be fixed. There is no way we will travel on Britannia, Azura or Ventura because they are much too big for our liking. So we are left with Oceana or Arcadia. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2017
Went on this Caribbean cruise from Southampton to celebrate a 50th wedding anniversary earlier in the year. Never been to the Caribbean previously, but have cruised twice before with other operators. Embarkation was easy, booked arrival ... Read More
Went on this Caribbean cruise from Southampton to celebrate a 50th wedding anniversary earlier in the year. Never been to the Caribbean previously, but have cruised twice before with other operators. Embarkation was easy, booked arrival time was 15.00, we arrived about 20 minutes early but went straight through and we were having a cup of tea in our cabin by 15.15. Cabin was good and as expected. Steward, Thomas looked after us very well. Very windy crossing overnight to Coruna but the only thing that woke us at 04.00 was the banging of an unsecured balcony connecting door between ours and next doors.A phone call to reception got an immediate response and back to sleep we went. Although on Freedom dining we mainly dined in the Belvedere and found that satisfactory, although the flow of people around the various serveries could have been better managed by having a stock of trays and cutlery etc at the entrance as well as at the serveries. We went to the Meridian restaurant about 4 times (3 for black tie nights) and found the service and food quality to a good standard. We enjoyed the cruise, although the humidity in the Caribbean was much higher than usual- even the locals were complaining, so activity was curtailed to a extent. Most of the cruisers were above 50 years old, and were a happy group, although of course, there were the usual small number of those whose expectations seemed to be rather unrealistic. The Captain had a great sense of humour which helped particularly on days when the weather was not so good, and he did his best to keep out of the way of the worst. Ports of call, with the exception of Coruna where the weather was wet and there was not much of interest, were good and varied and gave us a insight into the Caribbean life both for the poor and the rich. Disembarkation went well although with a time slot of 9.15 to 9.30 there was some hanging about in the lounge having had to leave the cabin by 8.00. Whilst it's unlikely we would do this length of trip again- 16 sea days was great to relax but got a bit boring after leaving Ponta Delgada, we were certainly happy with the ship and if we were to cruise again would be looking for one of her other trips. Read Less
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise