1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. P&O Cruises
  4. P&O Cruises Cruise Reviews

46 P&O Cruises Singles Cruise Reviews

first time done a cruise and was not disappointed. When arrived at cruise terminal checked in was fast and once on the boat shown straight to cabin. Met so many nice people and everybody was friendly and spoke to each other which was ... Read More
first time done a cruise and was not disappointed. When arrived at cruise terminal checked in was fast and once on the boat shown straight to cabin. Met so many nice people and everybody was friendly and spoke to each other which was nice The food was excellent and different restaurants to eat at and bars to drink at and there was different entertainment every night. Lots of things to do gym centre and several swimming pools. The excursions were very good lots of choice. Staff very friendly and helpful and staff kept boat clean and tidy all the time. Reception staff and restaurant staff all excellent. The scenery of the Norwegian fjords are stunning so lovely to see when getting up everyday in a different port. Getting on and off the boat at every port the staff very friendly and helpful as you have to use your smart card to get on and off the boat and put bags through security and when leaving the cruise ship at the end of the cruise that went really smoothly no problems. Would go on a cruise again as had a great time. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I've just returned from a 7 night cruise to the beautiful Norwegian Fjords on the Britannia. After reading some of the reviews, I must admit I was a little apprehensive about my upcoming trip, but I had no need to worry. I've ... Read More
I've just returned from a 7 night cruise to the beautiful Norwegian Fjords on the Britannia. After reading some of the reviews, I must admit I was a little apprehensive about my upcoming trip, but I had no need to worry. I've decided to stay in Southampton the night before, so was a couple of hours early for my designated embarkation time. I was able to go onboard an hour earlier and the whole process was seamless. Our cabins wasn't ready yet, so I used the opportunity to have a look around the ship and had some lunch. The Britannia is a beautiful ship and the atrium did take my breath away the first time I saw it. I opted for a single balcony cabin on Deck 16 so that I can make the most of the scenary travelling through the fjords. It was worth every penny and early mornings and late evenings was spend on the balcony watching the world go by. My cabin was very spacious for a single and had everything I needed for a very comfortable stay including plenty of wardrobe space and spacious shower cubicle. Patrick, the Cabin Steward was very helpful and friendly. I've mainly opted to eat in the Horizon buffet and there were always plenty of choice and variety. The food is replenished very often, so I never had to worry about getting cold or slightly soggy food. I thought the quality of the food was really good. I used Freedom Dining on two occassions in the Peninsular Restaurant and again the food was of a very high standard. Although the entertainment was quite varied, I only really enjoyed the group "Pulse" and thought their "Tribute Night" was brilliant. We were very lucky to have good weather so on the 2 sea days the pool area were quite busy. I opted to go one deck up that overlooks the pool area and always had plenty of sun loungers to choose from. Despite the amount of passengers that were on the cruise, it never felt claustrophobic...I never had to wait more than a couple of minutes to be served at the bar, I always managed to get a table in the buffet by the window (my preference) and I could always find a little quite corner (on deck or inside in one of the many communal areas) to read a book and just find some peace and quite. I've booked 2 shore excursions with P&O and did 2 on my own. I must admit, the excursions were a bit over priced in my view, but I still had a very enjoyable time. All the crew I've encountered were very helpful, friendly and professional. Disembarkation was well organised and I thought the letter we've received the day before to explain the disembarkation process and arrangements was a really good idea. Seeing the Norwegian fjords has been on my "must see list" for a very long time and doing it on the Britannia was brilliant. I'm looking forward to returning to her next year for a 14 night Mediterranean cruise. Our cruise was the one that unfortunately made the headlines due to the actions of a very small group of passengers. However, all credit to Captain Paul Brown and his crew for dealing with this incident so professionally and discreetly. Other than the tannoy announcement I had no idea what happened and it didn't spoil my last day onboard. I only saw it on the news after I got home on Saturday. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
I selected a farewell cruise on the Oriana, before she slips away to China. I was not disappointed with the ship, she still felt very special, it will be a shame to see her go. The cruise was an adults only, touring France, Spain and ... Read More
I selected a farewell cruise on the Oriana, before she slips away to China. I was not disappointed with the ship, she still felt very special, it will be a shame to see her go. The cruise was an adults only, touring France, Spain and Guernsey in June 2019. Well worth visiting the destinations, plenty to see and do , either using the tour excursions, or being an independent traveller as I did. It was all very safe. I enjoyed the cruise, but wished there had been a few more younger passengers, it seemed to be overrun with the "more mature aged" travellers. Zimmers all around the boat, a shame really. I guess that must be due to the time of year and maybe the smaller boat. The staff were lovely, as always on P&O working so hard and making the cruise a special one. I loved the sail away, great turnout, flags everywhere! Cabin good, inside one, with plenty of room. ~Great bathroom with bath and shower. Entertainment mediocre could do with changing the repertoire, P&O getting a bit boring and predictable with the headliners. Films and screenings, couldn't fault - excellent. Meals and restaurants - very high standard. Enjoyed the entertainments with music in the Crows Nest, some nice acts playing relaxed music - very nice indeed. So all in all an excellent cruise - thank you P& O. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Booked a year early as a medical report put this to be probably my last cruise. Period. First I received a few days in advance that one port would be eliminated due to repairs needed to be done in Malaga meaning an extra day annoyed! ... Read More
Booked a year early as a medical report put this to be probably my last cruise. Period. First I received a few days in advance that one port would be eliminated due to repairs needed to be done in Malaga meaning an extra day annoyed! Then off we go with a dicky propulsion unit needing divers etc in Malaga Malaga was fine as we knew we had an extra day but soon after arrival we were told that we had to stay another day meaning 3.6 days in Malaga ! See my extra info on divers later. So we left Malaga but the next announcement was we had norovirus which started to kill the pleasure even more. We raced at 22 knots to venice . It was just as we left Venice we met the USA divers who told a slightly different story . The Malaga stop had not had Spanish diving approval which took some time before two faults we found . The repairs needed that extra day after all but even then the divers explained they had to dive in Venice BUT these was only allowed with Italian diver plus. The divers were leaving Venice to check out the bits at split and that is where I did not see them any more. P&O never explained all this and generally were poor in information . The norovirus controls were lifted at about 2 thirds of the cruise ! So P&O will probably point at their terms of business in removing a ports for repairs and Put norovirus down to other reasons. As this was to be my last cruise I can only explain that after a multicruise life this was a different P&O and a poor show even though some items were good. As regards the Arcadia as a ship I comment it is poor with 30 seat only cinema, a dining room aft which to my 91 year old near cabin user in B2 as against my B22 Was a trek ! The spa helped my poor feet in place of a massage due to walking round Malaga on a Sunday with not much open. I,m home sad at this last cruise and leaving my view of modern P&O to be forgotten. Nothing can compensate for that last bad cruise but nothing likely to come....will tell you if! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
This was my 13th cruise but my first alone,after the death of my wife in 2015,_the Norwegian Fiords were a place we had on our bucket list but never got to do it together so I decided it was time to take the plunge and see how life onboard ... Read More
This was my 13th cruise but my first alone,after the death of my wife in 2015,_the Norwegian Fiords were a place we had on our bucket list but never got to do it together so I decided it was time to take the plunge and see how life onboard alone was, a inside cabin was a first for me but it kept the cost down besides which I only wanted to sleep and shower in it and it was fine for me other than it having fold away bunk beds either side of my bed that made it somewhat cramped. I opted for first sitting dining on a table of 8 and found myself in the company of lovely friendly people 3 others than were alone and conversation flowed readily, daily menu was well varied as you would expect and excellent quality. The onboard entertainment was as good as any cruise I've ever taken but the Dancers & Singers in the Show were the best I've ever seen. Service was good and as with every other cruise cabin staff were always happy and smiling. First port of call was Stavanger and it was a easy stroll from the ship into town and get a feel for life in Norway, a very expensive country. I did one excursion in Flam and that was on the railway that traverses up the mountain spectacular views. Olden was a poor port of call apart from walking around the Fiord it was a day wasted. Bergen: This was the highlight of the cruise we has sunshine all day and it is without doubt the most interesting place to visit such a loverly harbour and a trip up the heights to look down on it. The trip back to Southampton was a nice calm sea and pleasant cruising, so my first experience as a single cruiser at 73 years was a a flood of past memories and I enjoyed it, I will choose another and look forward to it. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
I chose this cruise for the beautiful scenery of the Norwegian Fjords. Due to strong winds we were unable to embark straight away as it was dangerous to use the air bridge but we were kept informed and I actually boarded 15 minutes ... Read More
I chose this cruise for the beautiful scenery of the Norwegian Fjords. Due to strong winds we were unable to embark straight away as it was dangerous to use the air bridge but we were kept informed and I actually boarded 15 minutes before my allotted time. First time using a mobility scooter but very helpful staff helped me to board by a conventional gangplank. No trouble disembarking, off within 15 minutes. Luggage found and out of the terminal within 30 minutes. I did not do any organised trips as it was my first cruise on my own, since losing my husband and having to us a mobility scooter. Self serve Horizon restaurant has plenty of staff wearing "Happy to Help aprons" and they were indeed helpful (although wanted to give me more food than I wanted) carried it to the table for me. All areas are accessible to disabled travellers and if you want to eat in the other restaurants they will park and bring it back afterwards. The Eric Lanlard afternoon tea in the Epicurean is to die for. The glad house has amazing wines (Selected by Ollie Smith). Try a wine flight if you want to sample. These is plenty of seating even on a sea day it wasn't hard to find a place. Overall a beautiful ship with absolutely wonderful crew. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
I chose this cruise to get a little bit of sun, rather than sit at home watching the rain. This being my third time on Azura, I thought I knew what to expect. Embarkation went smoothly, and I was in my cabin swiftly. I noticed that the ... Read More
I chose this cruise to get a little bit of sun, rather than sit at home watching the rain. This being my third time on Azura, I thought I knew what to expect. Embarkation went smoothly, and I was in my cabin swiftly. I noticed that the plug in the basin was closed,and I wondered why. It didn't take me long to find the answer. I was on deck fourteen, but when I went to decks six and seven, THE SMELL OF RAW SEWAGE WAS OVERPOWERING !!!. Lots of people were complaining throughout the whole cruise. I spoke to reception desk about this,only to be told that they were aware of this problem, and they were working on it. Previous reviews that I have read have indicated that the problem has been on board the ship for some time. The Captain was never to be seen around the ship,except for photo shoots, nor was the chief Engineer,as I would have approached one of them to ask about the problem, which continued for the entire duration of the cruise.( I later found that the basin was kept plugged to prevent the smell entering my cabin). I dined in the restaurant on only three occasions,as the food was only lukewarm, and on one dinner the ribeye steak was so tough that three members at my table had to send it back. After that I dined at the buffet,where the food was Lukewarm too. The entertainment was mediocre,same old gags from old comedians. On one occasion the show was cancelled because of rough seas. To conclude, six sea days are too much,when the entertainment is poor. However if you like dancing,or quizzes,or overpriced bingo,or old movies then this ones for you. I won't be back on Azura! I have a Cruise booked on Brittania for next year,but I won't be going,unless P&o redress me for the disappointment that I endured on this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
The embarkation process was smooth, arrived and checked in within 30 mins. Our cabin was indoor, c366 and was as expected. Not a huge amount of hanging space/storage but for a short cruise was adequate. It was a port intensive ... Read More
The embarkation process was smooth, arrived and checked in within 30 mins. Our cabin was indoor, c366 and was as expected. Not a huge amount of hanging space/storage but for a short cruise was adequate. It was a port intensive cruise. We visited Gijon, it was meant to be la coruna but due to poor conditions the port was changed. A nice coastal resort worth walking to park and headland opposite old town. Bilbao we didn’t do an excursion we got the shuttle to town. Did an independent walking tour, took the funicular up for views. Took the metro to areeta, walked back via there to ship 3.5 km - nicer than central Bilbao. La Rochelle was lovely. €9 to enter all 3 towers. Loads of eating choices. No need for excursion if forecast is good. Cherbourg we went to mount st Michael. Our guide was rather eccentric and got only an hours free time after excusing ourselves of his company. Journey was 5 hours. Organised ship excursion and the most disappointing Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
I'm writing this review as my others in sections. Sailing from Southampton UK. Embarkation/Disembarkation. As with all of my other P&O cruises, P&O have got this to a fine art. I had to be out of my digs at 1200 and I ... Read More
I'm writing this review as my others in sections. Sailing from Southampton UK. Embarkation/Disembarkation. As with all of my other P&O cruises, P&O have got this to a fine art. I had to be out of my digs at 1200 and I arrived at Southampton Docks around 1300. My car was taken to a long-term car park (provided free by P&O) and I went into the main check-in hall. This hall is huge with literally hundreds of people waiting. There were dozens of P&O check-in people on one side and we all had a coloured card with letter for our times. My check-in time was 1530 so I had a while to wait. I eventually checked in at 1500 and was onboard by 1530. I will say that there wasn't any refreshments available in the hall so if you're a bit hungry/thirsty, you'd have to wait till you're onboard or bring something with you. In a first, when I did get to my cabin, my bags were already there. On my last years cruise (also on Britannia) I had one bag there but the other I didn't get till around 2200-and this was after a "heated" discussion at reception. Disembarkation was very easy. I'm a "walk off". Thats someone who can carry their own bags with them. Walk-offs have to be off the ship between 0700 & 0800 (you have to be out of your cabin by 0800 anyway). I picked up my car and I was on my way home by 0830. Demographics. Exclusively British. I didn't hear any other accents onboard apart from the crew. As we travelled outside of the school holidays, there wasn't many families-and the ones that were had pre-school kids under five years old. The average age of the passengers I estimate to be middle age or a little higher-exactly what I expected. I was on another P&O ship in the Easter holidays in 2017 with around 400 kids. This was a nightmare with screaming kids running amok all over the place-but this time we had peace and quiet. The ship and it's crew. The vast majority of the ships crew are either Fillipino or Indian with the officers either British or European. All of the crew are extremely helpful and nothing is too much trouble. The ship itself is another story. Britannia is now three years old and is beginning to show her age. Carpets are looking worn and there are paint chips all over the place. The outside paintwork is starting to show rust patches and the general feel of the ship says that it's had a hard life. I've been told that Britannia is going for a full refit in October 2019-and I have to say that it's about time. I will add that the crew kept the ship spotless for the entire cruise with all of the public areas and toilets clinically clean. My stewardess-Gladys-kept my cabin perfect all the time (and she got a generous tip from me). Food and drink. I was on select dining (in the Peninsular restaurant) and had my evening meal at 1830. I was on a table of 9-all solo travellers. The food on offer was excellent and I can't fault it at all. Our waiters were very attentive-although I will say that sometimes they wanted to rush things along a bit-but they did have another sitting at 2030. The daily menus were a little underwhelming on occasion with fish and chicken being the dominant ingredient. We did have (Michelin starred chef) Marco Pierre White onboard for this trip and his menu one night was fantastic. Mr. White's Beef Wellington was superb. The Horizon Buffet on Lido deck was also very good. Breakfasts were usually "Full English" but there were other options including cereals, smoked fish, fruit, muffins/Danish (for breakfast?), yogurts...The list is almost endless. Lunch and dinner were equally as good with wide selection each day. There were themed menus too-curry night, British Pub Lunch, Italian. Again, the list is too long. As to alcohol...Thats another story. As with every other P&O review I've written, I still say that P&O are overcharging the passengers for alcohol. P&O claim that they charge pub prices. Not from my point of view they don't. Pints were around £3.95 to £4.50 with premium bottles (330ml) around the same price. In my regular pub, I pay £3.25 or a pint and if I go to my local Wetherspoons (to non-British readers, Wetherspoons is a major UK pub chain) I pay around £2.50 for a pint. So, no P&O are not charging pub prices. It's about time cruise companies lowered their alcohol prices and I'm certain that their passengers would appreciate it. Our route. We visited (in this order) La Coruna (Spain), Madeira, The Canary Islands-Las Palmas/Tenerife/Gran Canaria and Lisbon (Portugal). The weather was quite good all the time with temperatures in the mid-to-high 20'sC-sometimes in the low 30'sC. I did several trips in most of the ports (all official P&O excursions). Sightseeing in La Coruna, Volcanoes in Las Palmas and Tenerife and a coffee plantation on Gran Canaria. In Madeira and Lisbon I did my own thing just having a walk around. NOTE. If you do your own thing in ports of call and you miss the sailaway, the ship will not wait for your return. It will then be your own responsibility to get to the next port at your own expense. If, on the other hand, you take an official P&O excursion and you're delayed, the ship will wait for your return. Entertainment. There was the usual in-house troupe "Headliners" doing shows in the main theatre. There was also several guest singers/tribute acts and in the Limelight Club we had Claire Sweeney (UK actress/singer), Cheryl Baker-formerly of Bucks Fizz and a couple of others. I did hear reports of the "Headliners" not being too good but as I didn't attend any shows, I can't comment. Brodies had the usual pub quizzes, kareoke, live football matches (thats soccer to non-British readers). We also had Professor Peter Roberts-a retired archeologist who gave a series of lectures on volcanoes in The Canary Islands and others. The Professors lectures were very interesting but sadly not well attended. P&O need to get more people like Professor Roberts. Observations. All of the passengers were very friendly but...In the buffet one day (a late breakfast) I bumped into one of my fellow diners-an elderly lady who had a fall the day before. She had a very nasty black eye, stiches in her lip and severe bruising ot her left arm. I was enquiring as to her health when an elderly guy with a tray of food shouted "EXCUSE ME!". Just before this, someone had dropped a tray of food and drink and one of the crew was clearing it up. I couldn't move backwards or sideways to accomodate this bloke and he again shouted "EXCUSE ME!". Then he just barged his way through almost pushing people out of his way. I reacted to this bloke by shouting "YOU DON'T HAVE TO SHOUT!". This he ignored. I again repeated "YOU DON'T HAVE TO SHOUT!" but again this was ignored. By this time I had around 200 to 300 people watching. I will admit to not being a "people person" but this was just plain ignorant. Also on our dinner table there was an elderly lady with a southern (London or south coast) accent. She claimed to be travelling with "a friend" but we never met this friend and the lady said her friend preferred to dine at her own time. Why would two people travelling together not be dining together? Anyway, this lady thought that she was better than the rest of us and talked down to us all the time. She was also quite rude when she did talk to us but I had to bite my lip as I was in polite company. She didn't attend on a couple of nights and we all breathed a sigh of relief. I hope that I don't meet her again as I don't think I could hold back with comments about her atttitude. Overall, this was a good cruise but as I have been to some of the ports we visited on previous cruises, it did get slightly boring. Going on cruises does give you the chance to visit several countries on one holiday and you get to meet new people-but as the ships go to the same places all the time, it's getting difficult to find something new. I'm going to the Caribbean (again) in 2019 but I'l be looking further afield for 2020. I'm already looking at India or the Far East. As a solo traveller, it's not cheap do do cruises. I really want to visit Australia/New Zealand but as I'm a solo traveller, the costs are still far too high for my budget. The daily charge (£7 per person per day over 12 years old) was still in force on this cruise. This could be removed by filling in a form at reception. BUT as of May 2019, P&O are abolishing this charge-and about time too. This daily charge is VERY unpolpular and everyone I spoke to had removed the charge. It's about time all of the cruise companies stopped doing this. These trips are expensive enough without cruise companies taking more money out of your pocket. Conclusions. The ship-a bit tatty and in need of a refit. The crew-excellent. Food & drink-again excellent but I maintain that the beer prices are far too high. Our intinerary-ok but as I wrote above, I've been to some of the countries already. Marks out of 10? I'll give this eight out of ten. I've knocked off a couple of points for too high beer prices and the ship looking a bit tatty. I would recommend Britannia to first-timers and seasoned cruisers-but wait for the refit in October 2019. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
I needed a break so short notice I booked the week prior to leaving. The whole process effortless and on arrival at Southampton this was further established as a very well run operation. I was a little concerned over travelling solo but ... Read More
I needed a break so short notice I booked the week prior to leaving. The whole process effortless and on arrival at Southampton this was further established as a very well run operation. I was a little concerned over travelling solo but apart from paying the extra to travel alone there honestly was nothing to worry about. My balcony cabin was perfect 9 steps from the terrace pool bar and restaurant from Riviera deck with easy access to Lido and above. Why kickstart well this cruise is the first real break in 2 years, have thrown myself in to work and given little back. So I purchased the drinks package in my case great value, great brands Tarquins Gin and Doom Bar Ale are a pre requisite for fun. The food excellent, Peninsula Restaurant and the waiting team Emmanuel Table 44 too good to be forgotten. Entertainment well hence the four from five rating it was enhanced by the presence of the Osmond's but the headliners although talented seemed to lack the soul they were trying to portray. Back to travelling solo I made some great friends and we all certainly were men not without hats! Itenary six days of great weather, only one wet day it would have been great if more entertainment were available on wet days. The Gym pool sauna and steams in the Oasis were fantastic and being surrounded by genuinely lovey people made the recipe for a great week. Book again? Yes Recommend? Yes Sparrowhawk on my Balcony? Yes Thank you Azura Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
I chose this cruise for my birthday and wanted to try cruising alone. I was fortunate enough to be upgraded from a regular inside cabin to a "larger" inside cabin shortly before embarkation date so that was a nice surprise. ... Read More
I chose this cruise for my birthday and wanted to try cruising alone. I was fortunate enough to be upgraded from a regular inside cabin to a "larger" inside cabin shortly before embarkation date so that was a nice surprise. The ship is nicely decorated and, for a larger ship, doesn't feel TOO big. Unlike the mega ships Britannia still has a personal feel and after a few days onboard it genuinely felt like home. I found the overall layout of the ship a bit confusing, not helped by the fact that there are no central stairs meaning the only option is to wait a long time for a lift or to walk to the front or back of the ship for the stairs. There is no promenade deck on Britannia which is a shame but there was plenty of outdoor space to take walks. My cabin, A427, was nice enough and kept clean by my very friendly cabin steward. A bit of TLC here and there is required though as there were a few little dings, dents and marks on the walls and furniture in my cabin which I found surprising considering the ship is barely three years old. The dining options were plentiful and, being a solo traveller with little interest in making conversation with strangers, I mainly ate in the buffet. The food there was great in my view and there were different themes every night which made for a nice variety over the course of the cruise. The service was very attentive and I loved how special care was taken with those who have mobility issues, the servers were only too happy to help. The entertainment was hit and miss. Some shows were good, especially the "special guest" shows. However the regular shows performed by the ship's theatre cast ranged from mediocre to terrible, the exception being "Astonishing" which was very entertaining, if a little short. The service throughout the ship was attentive, friendly and fast. The bar staff were great and I found the drinks prices reasonable. The shop attendants were a little too pushy and I found the reception team a little rude, probably due to being overworked, but these are just nitpicks. Overall very nice service. We visited Stavanger, Flam, Olden and Bergen. The only two, in my opinion, that were worth visiting were Flam and Olden as they were surrounded with beautiful scenery and were very sparsely populated. Stavanger was just a regular city and frankly boring. Bergen was nice, they had a market on that day and it was interesting seeing how astonishingly expensive everything is in Norway! However there really wasn't much else there. I'd recommend taking as many excursions as you can afford as these will take you out of the less interesting locations and into the more beautiful and scenic areas of Norway. Overall I enjoyed the cruise and found the overall experience of travelling alone wonderful. I would (and will) be cruising with P&O again as I liked the friendliness and British familiarity on board. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
The news was confirmed last week: Oriana is history, or she will be by May 2019. Much of the chatter I heard in the launderette on C Deck was all about her sale. There were whispers about men in suits having been seen around the ship, ... Read More
The news was confirmed last week: Oriana is history, or she will be by May 2019. Much of the chatter I heard in the launderette on C Deck was all about her sale. There were whispers about men in suits having been seen around the ship, ‘obviously’ checking things out ahead of making an offer. Generally laundrette gossip is best ignored but this time the rumours were true. Oriana fitted so nicely into the current fleet, I thought, being mid-sized (around 1900 passengers) and adult only. With the trend towards ever-bigger ships (Britannia is nearly twice the size and the latest – Iona – will be even larger), I suppose it was inevitable that Oriana would have to go but I'm relieved that we will still have three other smaller ships to choose from - Arcadia which is for adults only, Aurora which becomes child-free shortly, and Oceana. Oriana was launched in 1995 and yes, she was showing her age on this cruise. As a regular passenger I can accept her idiosyncrasies but goodness knows what first-time cruisers must think. Black scum marks around lavatory bowls are one sign of age, wonky propeller shafts another. At critical speeds when the ship is turning to leave a port, throbbing from the propellers can make dining in the Oriental Restaurant a noisy affair with glasses clinking and cutlery rattling. Numerous attempts in dry dock have been made to resolve the problem but none has succeeded as far as I can make out. Yet the ship retains the charm of a bygone age. The décor is luxurious, if a little shabby chic in some areas these days, with beautiful artwork in the stairways. A Costa coffee in Tiffany’s passes a pleasant hour, especially after 11.30 when a selection of cakes and pastries are offered. My favourite was the Victoria sponge and not only because it was free. The daily watercolour classes on sea days proved popular and I disembarked with one or two paintings that passed muster. Port talks attracted many to the Curzon theatre, not all of them devoted to selling excursions; there were also tips for those planning to go ashore independently. I avoided most of the shows each evening because I have seen nearly all of them on previous cruises. However, there were some new ones. I enjoyed Billboard because the music was from my era of the Sixties and the Seventies, and the Headliners delivered it with great spirit. Full marks to the sound engineers too for mixing a proper balance between vocalists and backing music – for once, screeching was minimal. Another brilliant act was Ida, four opera-trained sopranos. They impressed me on Andrew Neil’s TV show last Christmas and they impressed everybody who saw them in Curzon Theatre – they won a standing ovation. There are too many quizzes for my liking but at least the Chaplin Cinema offers an escape with quite a few recent releases being screened. The Darkest Hour (Gary Oldman portrays Churchill brilliantly) drew a large audience and The Greatest Showman with Hugh Jackman playing P T Barnum was another highlight. On other days, the sun deck was a glorious spot to relax, a place where I enjoyed the luxury of time to read; thankfully the library on Deck 8 is well-stocked. I tried to use the gym regularly – you have to with so much food on offer – and it is well-equipped. But beware of some of the talks that take place there because their main purpose seems to be to sell you something. There were talks on posture and healthy eating, for example, and I overheard passengers too polite to leave being sold things like shoe insoles for £75 or activity programmes for more than £100. Port disembarkations went smoothly with little or no queuing at gangways. Venice used to be a nightmare but the new terminal has improved things. I walked ashore rather than fork out for the vaporetto transfers. It takes only ten minutes to reach Piazzale Roma and a further 45 to negotiate the maze of narrow streets to St Mark’s Square. We had tender transfers in Albania and they went well, perhaps because I arrived for my ticket ahead of the scheduled time. Mind you, I am not sure Sarande was worth visiting. The resort is in desperate need of money to fund its development but the locals were very friendly and they made up for the pitted pavements. It was early in the cruise that I spotted Alan Carr, Senior Restaurant Manager. Alan is always a welcome sight because he is someone who demands high standards from his teams. It was no surprise, then, that service in the Oriental ‘club dining’ restaurant was always excellent. Dinners were a cruise highlight with meals attractively presented and delivered on hot plates. Breakfast in The Conservatory, a self-service outlet on Lido deck, was never marred by a shortage of items at the different serveries. Headwaiters and the galley team ensured they were always topped up and I defy anyone to say that they were not spoilt for choice. It may have helped, of course, that Alan would often eat in The Conservatory where he could keep a watchful eye on things. My outside cabin was on E deck and in John Tayag I had the best steward I have ever known. This 26 year old Filipino from Mexico Pampanga was on his first contract and every day he cheerfully ensured that my home was maintained perfectly – in fact he made the bed so immaculately it was almost as if he changed the linen every day. Another character central to my enjoyment of this cruise was Senior Loyalty Manager, Hope Lyttle. Hope is a scouser and her sense of humour made visits to the sales desk to research future cruises a pleasure. Her team members were on the mark too and I disembarked at Southampton having booked what will now be a farewell cruise on Oriana as well as two more on Aurora, a ship very similar to Oriana in terms of style and size. Overall, Oriana continues to impress me. She has her faults, most of them linked to her advancing years, but in terms of service from the officers and crew I find it difficult to fault her. Every day of this cruise I enjoyed outstanding levels of world-class service. And that, after all, is what counts. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
I had the opportunity to travel on the Britannia on May 13th on a lovely trip to Norway. I wanted to provide some comparisons of this ship and P & O in general vs. other lines that cater more to American travelers. I am an ... Read More
I had the opportunity to travel on the Britannia on May 13th on a lovely trip to Norway. I wanted to provide some comparisons of this ship and P & O in general vs. other lines that cater more to American travelers. I am an American and no offense is meant in some of my generalizations to either American or British folk. Ship The décor is beautiful yet understated. It feels more like a 5 star hotel than a ship. There is great use of color, blues, greys, golds and different venues decorated elegantly. The ship is the same “make and model” as the Royal Princess (and Regal). This includes some of the design flaws such as no mid-ship stairs, odd floor 7 bathroom availability, no Promenade deck. Some of these were corrected on the Regal Princess but persist on these 2 ships. The ship caters to folks from the UK, so there are some differences in how the ship is laid out and space is utilized. Atrium – Unlike the Royal there is only 1 atrium spiral staircase and the atrium is rectangular. Most shops are located on deck 6, making the shopping isolated. I liked this. The atrium is much more spacious. With that said, if you love entertainment and dancing in the Atrium, that is not what it is used for. There are several bars and coffee shops on deck 7 and 5, however, these are for lounging and relaxing. There is music that is played in the atrium, but it’s usually an accent and not the main attraction. If you are a dancer, there is a specific dance venue, where lessons and music are held. Crow’s Nest – The forward staterooms normally found on deck 16 (Lido) have been removed. They were replaced with a dining venue, several private rooms, and the Crows nest. The Crows nest is a beautiful bar with forward views of the upcoming destinations. A wonderful place for sail away, pre-dinner drinks or watching the scenic views. This is a wonderful change from it’s sister Princess ships which offer no forward- facing views. Pub and Casino – There is a very small Casino. Perhaps the 3rd of the size on American style ships. The remaining space is used for a Pub type atmosphere, Brody’s. If you go on a cruise with your primary objective being to gamble, this may not be the line to take. The pub is very nice and brings in a great fun crowd for sporting events, quizzes, bingo like games and of course on our cruise, the Royal Wedding!! Aft Bar – Beautiful. A wonderful place to relax in port or watch the ship’s wake. Decorated well despite being outdoors. Lots of comfortable seating. Another interesting way that the décor changed the feel of the ship and made it more like a hotel patio bar. Cabins – No differences here in shape/size, decorated quite differently. My opinion is it was a better utilization of space. There was one North American Plug, but the rest were UK style. One thing to note is that there were several plugs instead of only one. They do have a kettle for tea or coffee in the room. The shower has a glass door. I found that much nicer, but if you are a very large person this may not be as accommodating as a shower curtain. Pools – just as many pools but only a couple of hot tubs. This results in a more open deck, particularly in the Sanctuary, Adults area. Food & Drinks The food was absolutely fabulous. However, there were more pay for, ala carte options than you may find on a ship catering to Americans. There were several coffee shops that offered alternative coffee drinks from the buffet. Dining rooms had amazing food, I never had a bland meal, meals were always hot, the service impeccable. I don’t typically eat sweets, but I must say I did every night. So much more tasty than the other lines. As an American I was asking for things such as ice water, more ice in my drinks than most…all available. Buffet’s are buffets. They are not my favorite. Expect an English breakfast. Since folks are not as keen on ice, there was no ice machine in the buffet, however the cabin steward, waiters etc. all took care of this for me. There is an Indian style venue called Sindhu. It is my understanding this is on most P & O ships. British folk love their Indian, and it was quite good. There was usually some sort of curry available on the daily dining room menu and buffet as well. I love interesting food, and all of this was a great change. However, it was intended to be spicy and was. American’s should keep that in mind when booking a reservation. Don’t go if you don’t like spicy food and don’t complain that it is. In the “Glass House”, situated where “Crooners” would be on the Princess ship, they had a small venue that served food, or bites to eat. The food here was very good and also included some interesting dishes/small plates such as pate, sliders, cheese boards. Prices are not significant £3 - £7 ish. Now the topic of drinks. If you are a cruiser who goes on a cruise to imbibe on mixed drinks and expecting an American “pour” you will be disappointed. The shots are 1 ounce, a North American pour is 2 ounces. Expect a significant difference in cost of mixed drinks since you will order a double. Also, the pours are measured more so than on other lines. This includes wine/beer etc. However, if you are a beer drinker, there are several beers on tap in nearly every bar allowing for pints or half-pints at a reasonable cost. The wine is also reasonable, and many varieties by the glass and bottles. My one complaint about this ship, and frankly all ships in the Carnival Line I’ve been on, is that the wine is inconsistent between venues. The varietals in the Glass house were different from the Crows nest and different from the Aft Bar etc. This is not a P&O complaint, but a Carnival Line consistent challenge for me. Entertainment Just like any cruise there were shows, magicians, comedians, etc. However, none of the entertainment is positioned to be in your face unless you are in the venue. For example, there are several entertainers that play in the Atrium, but they are a compliment to the ambiance, not the main attraction. Very classy piano players, solo and duet acoustic guitar music at the Crow’s nest. The pub was typically crowded nightly with quizzes or Karaoke. Very interactive and American’s will probably feel a little “dumb” as the Brits know their history, music etc. and sure take those quizzes seriously. Sail Away heading back to Southampton was so fun. Union flags passed amongst the deck, a variety of British/UK songs and anthems. Lots of flag waving fun. I wouldn’t doubt at least 1/3 of the passengers participated. Service and Staff The captain/officers of the ship were interactive. Giving many points of information that you don’t receive on other ships, including some problems that we had on board. Ringing the bell at noon, “honking” the horn on queue at sailaway were always quite coordinated. The service staff is very professional. There is less casual interaction with the guests on the ship than you might see on a more American line. There were very few Americans/Canadians on this ship. The staff is trained to accommodate British tastes and service requirements. Staff was not used to MY accent and ways of requesting things. I had to adapt to them and not believe the world revolves around me. I would like to note that, this is why I travel. I loved that I experienced things differently, had to slow down my conversations, inquire more about different utilization of words or words I’d never heard. Importantly, I will say the staff did their best to accommodate my American taste for Bloody Mary’s, double drinks etc. Several ran to the galley to get things like tobasco and were always willing to consult me on my requirements. The one complaint that I had on this ship was Passport handling. I have drafted a separate letter to P&O and Carnival in general about that item. As an American on a British ship (this ship is registered in Southampton), my passport was collected and needed to be retrieved prior to the end of the cruise. It was not the collection that concerned me, but the caretaking of the passport by the staff. Costs Additional fees for coffee, dining venues, etc. are not new to the American traveler, but remind yourself how much you might spend on a Starbucks coffee daily. I didn’t find any of these to be unreasonable and didn’t have any complaints about the coffee, food I was paying extra for. There were just as many no cost items as any other cruise ship, however, this one had more options. Rules American’s should take note of a couple things that I did not mention above. Folks dress up at night, most nights. It is not required, but this wasn’t the venue to wear ratty jeans on smart casual night. On formal nights men wear tuxes, kilts etc. and women wear gowns. Queuing is an art for Brits. No one cuts the line and when someone is in greater need such as wheelchair bound folks, they are keen to allow that person priority access to elevators. I wouldn’t doubt that folks might scold anyone who didn’t adhere to this. It was made clear by the captain himself, that parents were in charge of their children. There weren’t many children, but parents had a handle on them. When a baby cried, parents took them out of the dining room or venue, children are expected to dress appropriately for dinner etc. Thank you P & O! I highly recommend this note of advice to parents on all ships in the Carnival line. There was no yelling, shouting across the Atrium or even overt drunkenness. Misc. & Overall This was my favorite cruise of all time. I have been cruising since 1976, have logged 100 days on Princess, 50 days on Carnival, done some Royal Caribbean cruises as well as Viking. The destinations (Norwegian ports), the ship, the service, the food was all exceptional. I found very little to complain about and enjoyed it thoroughly. I spoke to other passengers and they discussed how they like American style ships and the atmosphere. This speaks to how truly folks like to “get away” from the every day. I found this particular journey to be nothing less than spectacular and understood I was a token American on a British ship. Thank you for reading! Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
This was my first cruise and I wanted it to be in the Mediterranean which is usually fairly smooth. The facilities on this ship were really excellent. The cabins are well kept and the staff could not be more helpful. Both embarkation ... Read More
This was my first cruise and I wanted it to be in the Mediterranean which is usually fairly smooth. The facilities on this ship were really excellent. The cabins are well kept and the staff could not be more helpful. Both embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly. Numerous staff were on hand at London Gatwick to assist and the flights and times were part of the cruise package. I was with two friends, and we went on shore to Monte Carlo (by tender) and also Corsica and Florence. All these trips were very easy although quite expensive. The single supplement meant we all paid almost double for the cabin but we had no interest in sharing. Dining was in a most attractive room with excellent staff. The entertainment was reasonable although usually of quite short duration. There were many activities during the day. We travelled as a group of three, and we had a table to ourselves for meals. In addition to the main dining room, there is an extensive buffet on the 14th floor, where one could get snacks, tea and coffee at all times. We will definitely be arranging a trip in the near future. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
My friend and I chose this cruise because we had previously been on a weeks cruise on the Ventura and thoroughly enjoyed it. This cruise visited some places where we had not previously been so we were looking forward to it. However it did ... Read More
My friend and I chose this cruise because we had previously been on a weeks cruise on the Ventura and thoroughly enjoyed it. This cruise visited some places where we had not previously been so we were looking forward to it. However it did not live up to our expectations.We opted for freedom dining and frequently had to wait as long as 40 minutes to be seated. The food was often disappointing. Ordered "pulled pork" for a starter and was given 2 deep fried meat balls on a bed of baked beans. It caused quite a lot of hilarity amongst fellow diners. On another occasion I ordered mussels for a starter. Given neither spoon, finger bowl nor a plate for the shells and to add insult to injury they were cold! A knife and fork to eat mussels? These are just two examples of the mediocrity of much of the food. However the food in the buffet restaurant was good. Some of the shore excursions did not give value for money. In particular Sights and Sounds of the Split Riviera was a complete misnomer. It being a Sunday there was a mass on in the cathedral in Trogir and we waited around for well over an hour. The itinerary could easily have been changed. We could have gone to Split first, then Trogir and then thewater mill. Instead we had about 15 minutes in Split where we were told that we could make our own way back tothe ship if we wanted. The trip to Taormina was very short and we only had time to stroll up the main street and back. Why the early return to the ship? We had to pay £16 for a tender to come ashore in Venice.Surely this should have been included. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Chose the cruise due to the ship and destinations. Embarkation and disembarkin went well. Allthough gangway failed on disembark. So we were lead to another. We had cabin D440. Balcony and central. Xavier our steward was brilliant. ... Read More
Chose the cruise due to the ship and destinations. Embarkation and disembarkin went well. Allthough gangway failed on disembark. So we were lead to another. We had cabin D440. Balcony and central. Xavier our steward was brilliant. Nothing too much trouble. We had the select price with freedom dining. Exellent. We ate in the Meriden most evenings. Waiters are exellent We had Philip and Amol. Great guys. A credit to the company. Food was excellent. Plenty of good Fish dishes. Wines reasonably priced. We didn't see any shows. Not really our thing. We did go to a couple of talks and the Crow's nest bar, which was good. Ports were good. I'd been to Bilbao Gijon and Cherbourg before. It was nice seeing them from the sea. I found it particularly heartwarming that there were many disabled people of all ages on board. All obviously enjoying every minute. Booked another cruise whilst on board. That says it all !! Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
I Have recently got back from a 12 night cruise in hope of seeing the northern lights but we could not see them but I admit that was nobodies fault , it was down to nature but my main problem was with the cruise itself , I did not enjoy ... Read More
I Have recently got back from a 12 night cruise in hope of seeing the northern lights but we could not see them but I admit that was nobodies fault , it was down to nature but my main problem was with the cruise itself , I did not enjoy much about this cruise , Our cabin was in a bad location and as it was a cold cruise because it was going to Norway and the further it got the colder it got so understandably they had to keep the doors closed on the lido deck which on a warm cruise you would've walked through to make it to the conservatory dining restaurant and it was a long walk and I was travelling with elderly parents in their mid 60's & they found it a lot having to walk a mile each time they wanted to get something to eat . The conservatory restaurant was always super extremely crowded and at breakfast most mornings you had to really scrimp around before you could find a clear table ans it was always absolute mayhem down there , the food was nothing special at all it was like the low quality junk you'd find at an all you can eat buffet for about £8.99 , mass catering . The better food you had to pay for like to dine in either the oriental or Indian restaurant you had to pay quite a bit more and I paid something in the region of £1200.00 so why in the hell should I have to pay for any extras ??? It should all be included , P&0 already had £1200 of my money why should they get anymore . I think this whole cruise was a huge con absolute rip off . The atmosphere of the conservatory restaurant was about as classy as ASDA's cafe but about ten times as rushed and crowded , I will never do another cruise with P&0 ever again ... They have really let themselves go down the toilet . The cabin was looked after very well and the cabin Steward that was looking after all the cabins on the deck I was on did a wonderful job and REALLY looked after us really well and was always happy and polite and nothing was too much trouble and he would chat with me for a couple of minutes while he was working and was very friendly . The cabin was comfortable and I had all the towels and sheets I needed , the one problem that did take longer to sort out that it should've done was an issue with the climate control it was on the coolest setting it would go and was only blowing out REALLY hot air , I was sticky and clammy because it was so warm in there and had to sleep on top of the bed before they finally fixed it , it took them four days to get on it despite the fact that I'd been up at the desk more times than I can remember to complain about it & they kept saying it was beyond their control and someone was fixing it and it could take an hour up to 24 hours and it took much longer , I thought it was complete unacceptable , it would sweetened it a little if they had said while we are sorting this out help yourselves to as many cold drinks from the refrigerator in your cabin and you won't be charged for them , they're on us until we can get this sorted out but they didn't even do that . The entertainment was totally naff & was either aimed at chavs or old people , There were a couple of decent films I saw in the Chaplin Cinema in the evening but that was it . Music was completely awful over commercialised cack and was chosen by someone without a brain or what appeals most to drunk idiots on a Friday or Saturday night . The whole thing has become really chavified where most things appealed to that kind of person . At dinner time in the evening it clearly stated either formal which meant shirt , tie and dinner Jacket and shoes or on smart casual it stated smart trousers , collar shirt and smart jumper no jeans or tracksuit / jogging bottoms or football shirts and when I went into the Conservatory restaurant there were more than half who were inappropriately dressed . I saw Flip flops , Trainers , Football shirts , Skull & Bones shirts , Vests on really gross overweight fat men with beer bellies and at dinner this is a really unpleasant thing to have to look at ... Even on the formal night there were individuals dressed in this manner I was repulsed & put off to be honest I thought I'd mistakenly walked into either Pontins or Butlins dining area as the kind of person these holidays now seem to be attracting this type of character If P&0 are going to have the dress codes then they need to do one of two things either do a beter job at enforcing them or ABOLISH them altogether that way we'd know where we were ... but I guess this was bound to happen , the chav's have cottoned on to and taken over everything else in Britain and ruined it so it was only a matter of time before they discovered cruising and put their filthy stamp on what was once a pleasant relaxing experience . In another decade there will be drunkenness ,fighting and football hooliganism on these ships . They are very fast declining . The daytime activities were weak as they come . Pathway to Yoga , Footprint Analysis , Lunchtime puzzle . One of your entertainment team will provide a "fun" silent puzzle handout to complete at your leisure . Afternoon social Dancing , Walk in Fluid Retention Clinic , Port day picture Quiz , Nit & Natter .... I honestly almost gave up the will to Live it was so damn boring . On the days where I was at sea were the worst because the activities got even more tedious. The Lords Tavern was the worst evening entertainment . awful bland repetitive over commercial music being played at full volume followed by a dumb quiz and the entertainment staff were a bunch of irritating morons . I REALLY HATED this cruise with a passion & will NEVER , EVER go on anything else to do with P&0 or anything which they have had any involvement in . Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
I was only on the Arcadia for a 3 day trip Syd to Bris. Solo traveller paid $1000 for 3 nights in deluxe balcony cabin. Cabin was nice, although I really had to twist the Steward's arm to get a white robe. Food in ... Read More
I was only on the Arcadia for a 3 day trip Syd to Bris. Solo traveller paid $1000 for 3 nights in deluxe balcony cabin. Cabin was nice, although I really had to twist the Steward's arm to get a white robe. Food in Belverede (Buffet) was like Boarding School - small display and not very appertising Food in Main Dining Room was either great or average. Staff everywhere onboard I found very pleasant. There are some nice Public spaces on board being 'Adults only' it made the Swimming Pools and Buffet areas a lot more civilized. Shops were a non event. Embarkation was the fastest ever Disembarkation was a bit slow, due to different messages from P&O Staff and Border Security. The Fishermans Grain Wharf at Brisbane is around a 25min cab ride to the Airport and cost $63 - we did not pull in at Hamilton which is about 10mins from the airport. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
Returned last week from a 10 day fly cruise from Malta visiting beautiful ports of call.. My first solo fly cruise and my first time with Pand O. Originally booked as only a small supplement for an inside double cabin for single use. ... Read More
Returned last week from a 10 day fly cruise from Malta visiting beautiful ports of call.. My first solo fly cruise and my first time with Pand O. Originally booked as only a small supplement for an inside double cabin for single use. The Oceana is a very friendly ship with hosted morning coffee for solo travellers. Other passengers chatted with me before and during dinner and l teamed with other solos for excursions and meet ups during the afternoon for the sailaway parties. Weather for 2 nights was very unpreditable with the usual sick bags placed everywhere and outside decks couldn't be accessed. A port of call had to be changed,Corsica instead of Marseille which was great but disappointing for some. My cabin was abit dated,shabby but very clean. I cannot fault the food and service in the MDR and the lamb shank was the best l have ever tasted! I also ate the vegeterian options which were equally as good quality and tasty. I purchased the soda package which saves about 10% but found l couldn't drink the 20 in 10days as they are served in very tall glasses. The Costa Coffee package worth the money. I loved the outside decks,hot tubs. The adult only tubs and pool was cold compared to the pools. I enjoy a ship that looks like a ship and not a floating resort and l took,advantage of the promanade deck on a daily basis. Fun range of activities, daily films, interesting lectures and no really 'hard sell ' which has happened on all the American ships l have been on. Oceana having a refit end of the month and does need it as carpeting is taped together in many places and some of the furniture requires upholstering. This did not prevent me from a having a wonderful cruise experience and would cruise again with Pand O when l can find a deal with a small solo supplement Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
There were many issues and mainly to do with the dining experience, members of staff, certain basic food and drinks not being available. First, I would like to advise this was my first cruise. I travelled with my mother, and has been ... Read More
There were many issues and mainly to do with the dining experience, members of staff, certain basic food and drinks not being available. First, I would like to advise this was my first cruise. I travelled with my mother, and has been on many cruises but never P&O. My mother has always referred to the service as being outstanding on every cruise (cruise Maritime, Thompsons, Fred Olsen). First morning, I attended the buffet breakfast area (conservatory) at around 9.30am to be faced with huge queues waiting for hot food, these queues seem to be taking a considerable amount of time to move. I have been to many 4-5-star hotels all over the world and I expect to queue at busy periods but the queue would always move quickly. After observing for 10 minutes while I wait (moved ever so slightly in this time), it was instantly clear why the queues were not moving. The hot food was not being replenished quick enough, now this was simple things like mushrooms, bacon, fried eggs as so on (basic breakfast food that is normally consumed by most people). I queued and eventually selected what I wanted, but the overall wait was approximately 25 minutes. I did contemplate getting more but the waiting time outweighed the hunger. This continued throughout the duration of the cruise, (every day apart from the last day, this was mainly due to me and my mother arriving at 6am so we could disembark early). Day 3 and onwards, again I had to wait around the same time as above only to be told there was no mushrooms today or they had completely run out. One day that stands out, the 5th day 28th July 2017, I even asked the member of staff behind the counter, only to be told there had not been any mushrooms cooked and there is none being cooked. At my amazement, when I returned to my seat, my mother had mushrooms. Clearly, I was lied to and again they had simply run out, bear in mind, we always attended breakfast between 9am and 10am. The staff in the conservatory buffet seemed very under trained and had no idea how to interact with the guest. Not once did they say, "good morning", Good Afternoon", or Good Evening". Most of the time they spent talking amongst themselves, it also seemed they had their own game going on. I like to watch people, several of the staff would look at each other and make some form of facial gesture, the other one would then laugh, this was though they were insulting the guest and this made me and my mother very uncofortable. As a little test, I left my plate on the side of my table, 3 members of staff were just chatting and laughing, the plate was eventually removed after about 15 minutes. I am unsure what uniform the Management wear, but to me it was a clear there was lack of supervision in the so-called restaurant. I also witnessed a waiter clearing a table and rather than sweep the crumbs etc. from the table on to a tray or their hand, with my astonishment they just swept it on the floor, there was still around 2 hours of service left, appalling. Throughout the duration of the cruise There was no draught Larger in the Crow’s Nest, (well this is what we were advised). The first club dining night, our table (55) had to wait around 45 minutes between starter and main course. This was nothing to do with the waiters. I would like to say the club dining waiters were very professional and an asset to P&O. I I have made an official complaint via P&O website. I have received a reply (took 29 days which falls outside their complaints process, and only I feel i only received a response due to chasing twice) which basically told me what P&O set out to achieve (type of mission/vision statement) but nothing on how they will be dealing with my dissatisfaction. There was also no apology for the late response and they had the cheek to advise they would welcome me back on board. I have replied back to still state my dissatisfaction, and guess what no response. I have even called the customer services to be told we can not put you through to the complaints department, you need to send an email (trust me this doesn't work), I was advised a Manager would call me ASAP (this call took place on 6th September 2017 and i m now writing this on 7th September 2017, and surprise, surprise, I am still waiting for a call. To sum up. DO NOT BOOK A CRUISE WITH P&O and look for an alternative operator. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
I have been wanting to see London, and also Norway (The Fiords) for quite awhile. I was going to do a land tour, but since my health is now working against me sometimes, I realize that I need to slow down (74ys), and a widower on top of ... Read More
I have been wanting to see London, and also Norway (The Fiords) for quite awhile. I was going to do a land tour, but since my health is now working against me sometimes, I realize that I need to slow down (74ys), and a widower on top of it. I love the people of Great Britain as they are polite and have a special way to be proud, so I put all of that together and I decided to sail on the newest ship and also visit the Norway coast and Fiords. I arrived early so I could spend 4 days visiting London and having a great time. I had to find a way to get to Southampton, but it is only about 2 to 2 1/2 hours from my hotel near the Victoria Bus Station to the station in Southampton in a comfortable bus. The crew of the ship were polite and efficient and took my luggage and got me on the ship very fast. The ship was beautiful, and my table mates were so nice, as they were from all over England, but did not hesitate to include me in all the festivities. The entertainment was excellent and the music and dancing was just wonderful. The food gave me a chance to sample British style, and I really loved it. We had to cross the North Sea to get to Norway, and the water was calm as a lake and I was glad as it could be rough if there were storms. We stopped at the main locations and had great tours as we headed toward our last stop in Bergen. The country was lovely and the Norwegian people are alos polite and glad to see everyone as we got to explore the views and shops. This was definitely a trip to remember. I was glad I sailed on the P&O line and someday will go back and sample other ships from the line. When we disembarked on the last day, I was amazed how smooth and fast, and how they had people in the large terminal area where you picked up your suitcases who were able to assist you and get you out very fast. I must say Great Ship and Captain and all the crew I met were the best personally and efficiently. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Overall the ship was excellent value and the menus were fine dining. I never experienced one poor meal. The only negative I can speak of is that solo travellers are not catered for at meal times ie constantly asking for a large table with ... Read More
Overall the ship was excellent value and the menus were fine dining. I never experienced one poor meal. The only negative I can speak of is that solo travellers are not catered for at meal times ie constantly asking for a large table with other singles and getting couples or a couple was daunting.As lovely as the people were, it wasn't ideal until I went to afternoon tea for singles and befriended a group who we finally got to dine together. So if P&O say they cannot accommodate diners then surely if the afternoon tea works what is the difference. There were about thirty singles so not an odd one or two. The first excursion I thought was really poor, driving us to a deserted beach for a ten-minute photo opportunity was a total waste of money ie £35,00. The second excursion you could have done yourself by just walking up to the railway. If you wanted to see the Glaciers it would have cost you over £75 to £95.Entertainment was excellent with good singers and shows. The comedians were ok. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
This was my 13th. cruise and my 4th. (in a row) with P&O. I travelled on Ventura in 2015 and all was well-but I'm sad to say the ship now needs some serious restoration. As with my other reviews on this site, I'll split this ... Read More
This was my 13th. cruise and my 4th. (in a row) with P&O. I travelled on Ventura in 2015 and all was well-but I'm sad to say the ship now needs some serious restoration. As with my other reviews on this site, I'll split this up into catergories starting with... Embarkation/Disembarkation. Sailing from Southampton in the UK. A complete breeze. P&O know what they're doing. Although the ship was completely booked up, there were loads of staff waiting at the terminal in Southampton. My car was taken by a local long-term parking company and I was directed to the main terminal building. Inside were (literally) hundreds of people getting their cabin keycards. But everything was perfectly smooth and I was onboard in around half an hour. Disembarkation was also a breeze. I'm a "walk off". That is somebody who can take their own luggage and leave the ship without any assistance. I was off the ship around 0730, I picked up my car and I was on the road home by 0800. Fantastic organisation. Demographics. The ship was fully booked and not exclusively British. I heard several eastern European, Asian and American accents. As it was the school Easter holidays, there were lots of families with children onboard and I estimate that the average age of the psasengers was in the forties-maybe less. There was (depending who you spoke to) around 300 to 400 children (under 12 and younger-I don't count teenagers) onboard. As I don't have kids of my own, I forgot about the Easter holidays. I'm not making a social comment, but everywhere you went during the day, there were loads of screaming kids-especially around the swimming pools. I tried to avoid this, but you couldn't get away from them. This made daytime activities difficult and I had trouble finding a nice quiet corner to relax. There was an "adults only" section of the ship, but this had a daily charge attatched and I wasn't going to pay. Talking of daily charge...P&O charge £6 per per per day on everybody's account. They call this a "hotel charge". This applies to all passengers over 12. I went to reception and asked for a form to remove this charge. P&O cannot force people to pay this it and I feel very strongly about being told when and how much (if at all) I am going to tip staff. I did tip my steward 50 Euros but that is as far as I will go. The cruise companies need to look at this as these trips are expensive enough. Food/drink. I requested first sitting in the main dining room (MDR) but I was given "freedom dining". Not for me. I like sitting down with the same people discussing the day, not with different people every night with the same questions...Where are you from/what do you do/married/kids etc. Because of this, I had my evening meals in the buffet. The food on offer was very good with themed nights..Curry night/Italian night/British pub food etc. All in all, very tasty. There are speciality restaurants on the ship-Sinhdu/Epricurean/Glass House and others. There is a cover charge on these but I have tried Sinhdu and I would highly recommend them. There won't be any screaming kids in these restaurants. As to alcohol...P&O claim that they charge "pub prices". Not where I'm from they're not. Beer was served in British Imperial pints (as opposed to the American pint which is 16 fluid ounces-British pints are 20 fluid ounces). My regular pub charges £3.05 for a pint and I could go to a Wetherspoons (to non-British readers Wetherspoons is a major UK pub chain) and pay around £1.80 for a pint, so I don't think P&O is charging pub prices. Permium beers/bottles cost even more. There was the usual spirits/wines/cocktails/champagne on offer-again at a lot more than you would pay in a pub. The ship and its staff. As I said above, I travelled on Ventura in 2015 and it had a refit in that year. I have to report that it needs another one-and soon. The carpets in the main public areas and staircases were threadbare and there was paint chips on the woodwork all over the place. Also, it seemed to me that the decor hadn't changed in the two years since I was on Ventura. P&O need to look at this with a serious update. I will say that all of the public areas/toilets/bars/restaurants were spotless all the time. The lower order of staff (bar staff/cabin stewards/cleaners) were mainly Indian and Filipino, very friendly and nothing was too much trouble. My cabin steward-Vincy-was brilliant. My cabin. I paid what P&O call an "early saver" fare. I was allocated an inside double room despite the fact that I had only paid a single fare as opposed to double for a solo traveller. The cabin was ok but as I have said above about a refit, the cabins need updating. There's loads of storage space-drawers/cupboards etc. but the shower/toilet had seen better days. Entertainment. I'm not a show person but there was the usual onboard troupe-Headliners-doing shows in the main theatre. There were resident bands and guest singers all doing MOR music. All very good. I did go and see an Elton John tribute in the Havana bar. He was very good and looked the part. He did two shows on two of the days and they were well attended. Daytime/night activities included quiz nights in the pub "The Exchange". I used to write pub quizzes as a hobby so I don't take part. There was guest lecturer talking about famous singers-Frank Sinatra/Elvis Presley-very informative. At least there wasn't any screaming kids there. Our route. We visited Vigo in Spain, Lisbon and Opporto in Portugal and Cherbourg in France. The weather could have been a little better but it was the first week in April so I didn't expect too much. We did have 32C in Lisbon and Opporto but it cooled down a bit in Cherbourg. I booked excusions with P&O before I travelled visiting the Oceanarium in Lisbon, a port vineyard in Opporto and the Bayuex Tapestry in Bayuex-about an hour's drive from Cherbourg. All very interesting. The Bayuex Tapestry was on my "Bucket List" so thats one done. I did my own thing in Vigo. And no screaming kids. Note: If you decide to do your own thing or use local tour guides in the ports of call and you miss the sailaway-tough. I will be your responsibility to get to the next port and at your own expense. The ship will not wait for you. And if you try to claim back any costs incurred on your travel insurance, they won't pay out as it was your own fault for missing the ship. If, on the other hand, you use an official P&O trip and you're late, the ship will wait for your return. Observations. This is not a social comment. I have said this on previous reviews and have been completely vilified. Going back to the kids onboard. In the buffet, kids were running about with no control from parents. This could be potentially dangerous and P&O need to sort this out. Also, at night, parents were carrying kids who were fast asleep or in buggies/pushchairs in loud, busy bars. These children were very young-some less that a year old. I know that when I was that age, I was in bed by a certain time and if I complained about it, I got smacked. I know that this isn't "politically correct" in this day and age, but I think this is wrong. I will say that during the evenings, the slightly older kids were well behaved and in complete control. But kids don't need to be in loud bars when the adults are enjoying the entertainment. One one occasion, I went to the Metropolis Bar. This is a smaller, intimate bar with a piano player, mood lighting-all very nice. Unfortunately, there were several families in the bar with around ten kids running about all over the place. This was around one o'clock in the morning and I had popped in for a nightcap before retiring for the night. Not something that is needed in what I would call an "adult bar". I won't make the mistake of booking another cruise when the kids are on holiday in the future. Conclusions. The ship...A bit threadbare and in need of a refit. Food/Drink...The buffet was very good-I can't comment on the MDR's-and the alcohol prices are still too high. The staff...Excellent. Weather..I know we can't control the weather but we did get two or three very warm days-the cruise was in the first week of April. Marks out of ten? I'll give this cruise six out of ten. I've deducted points for high beer prices, ship a bit tatty and too many screaming kids. I will recommend Ventura to first timers and seasoned cruisers-just don't book a cruise in the school holidays. Did I mention the screaming kids? Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Arcadia is one of my favourite ships and I have sailed on her a few times. The fact it is adult only is lovely and makes for a more relaxing cruise. As a single lady I fine this a safe way of travelling and a way of meeting like minded ... Read More
Arcadia is one of my favourite ships and I have sailed on her a few times. The fact it is adult only is lovely and makes for a more relaxing cruise. As a single lady I fine this a safe way of travelling and a way of meeting like minded people. The only downside to travelling alone is the price P&O charge for a cabin it is often double the price! The food is good but standards have dropped over the years no silver service and no portion control in the resturant. The entertainment was exellent and a good variety . My cabin was on G deck and was lovely all but there being a few problems initially with cleanness . I worry that the staff cuts are leading to poorer service in all areas which isn't the fault of the staff! The staff rush around and no longer have time to interact with passengers and on occasions can present as rude. Arcadia was going in for a refute which was due and I look forward to seeing the improvements on my next cruise in March 2018. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
P&O Cruise Ref: X620. If I could give this ship 0/5 for a review I would, but as I can't I'll have to rate it as 1/5. The ship was due to go into port for a re-fit straight after this cruise & to be honest I ... Read More
P&O Cruise Ref: X620. If I could give this ship 0/5 for a review I would, but as I can't I'll have to rate it as 1/5. The ship was due to go into port for a re-fit straight after this cruise & to be honest I wouldn't bother spending the money & just scrap the whole thing instead. Right from the start things were going wrong, the first cabin I had (rear of ship) had such bad vibrations & noise that I had to call reception & complain twice. Their first suggestion was to offer me earplugs! After spending nearly £4000 for the cruise, I saw this as an absolute joke. After four days on board, they said that some people had missed the sailing & so moved me to another cabin, this time on deck 11 instead. This was much better for vibration, but had the disadvantage of being right under the sunbathing area & so I was woken every morning at 6.30am by the staff dragging them across my ceiling. I had to complain more than once about this whilst on board. The other disadvantage was that most sail away parties was on the same deck & so the noise from it came through my cabin & these often went on longer than advertised in the daily newsletter. Again I complained about this whilst on board. The only excursion that I enjoyed was on the submarine, I felt that the others didn't offer the same value for money. There was a constant water leak in the conservatory for the duration of the cruise. They put buckets out to catch the water & after a couple of weeks they put up a curtain to block an area off, it looked like Santa's grotto & was awful. In the restaurant they had the soup & custard in bowls next to each other & many times I saw other guests put soup on their desserts & vice versa. I've done cruises previously with Royal Caribbean & given P&O's reputation, I was expecting an even higher level of service, but this was the worst cruise I've ever been on. DO NOT GO FOR A CRUISE ON THIS SHIP! Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click