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115 P&O Cruises Transatlantic Cruise Reviews

It was a great time to cruise with P & O on the Arcadia - 4 weeks away at the beginning of November when it was wet and cold in the UK. No flying, Southampton to Southampton via Madeira, the Caribbean and the Azores. Once the ship had ... Read More
It was a great time to cruise with P & O on the Arcadia - 4 weeks away at the beginning of November when it was wet and cold in the UK. No flying, Southampton to Southampton via Madeira, the Caribbean and the Azores. Once the ship had sailed through the fog (the first couple of days) the weather was really good. Interesting ports of call and extremely easy to get ashore when in port. The ship is very comfortable but quite tired. Everything works as it should be but there are signs around windows etc to suggest that perhaps a re-fit ought to be imminent. The cabin was very comfortable but quite clearly had been constructed later when the P & O decided to make the Arcadia child free. The food was excellent although my other half thought that there could have been some more plain dishes on the menu. However we didn't have a meal that was not to our tastes. Both the cabin staff and the dining staff were very good, pleasant and ready to converse with the passengers. We enjoyed the excursions we booked and the arrangements to meet for them was really excellent, on the pier or just off and so no nonsense about meeting in the theatre on the ship. All in all it was an excellent cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Done it before twice and as it fitted in with our plans we decided to do it again.experienced many bad issues whilst onboard,all of them reported to the head of the relevant department but on almost every occasion the issues were not ... Read More
Done it before twice and as it fitted in with our plans we decided to do it again.experienced many bad issues whilst onboard,all of them reported to the head of the relevant department but on almost every occasion the issues were not addressed which bothered us greatly to the point were we thought we would leave it until we returned home and then report it to p&o directly but to no avail. Very poor service throughout and not at all what we expect from this company and further to this we feel that the standards at p&o have dropped dramatically over the 16 years that we have taken cruises for our holidays and so we feel that we will probably revert back to land based holidays or other cruise companies from now on. P&o always claim to provide holidays where the passengers would get excellent value for money but this has not been our experience unfortunately. Dining arrangements were not as requested in as much as they had been changed from freedom to first sitting but we did not want this.the meals in the silver service restaurant were pretty average at the best. Entertainment in the main was poor but there were a few good acts. The staff do not appear to have been trained in their positions and also some of them did not know their way around the ship as someone had asked where the toilets were on deck 15 and was directed down to deck 7! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Took a 15 day transatlantic cruise and overall it was good with some issues P&O should address. Positives Good embarkation process and boarded ship early Room available early Drinks prices reasonable Food in speciality ... Read More
Took a 15 day transatlantic cruise and overall it was good with some issues P&O should address. Positives Good embarkation process and boarded ship early Room available early Drinks prices reasonable Food in speciality restaurants very good Staff very friendly Ship clean in most parts Captain very good at keeping passengers informed Good Entertainment choices inc Limelight Club Things that could be better Food choices in main dining room (too many similar dishes) Buffet choices limited General wear and tear showing on ship Balcony windows need a good clean and Balcony was a bit grubby in places Ship designed badly, no flow, staircase is functional rather than a feature of ship, No staircase to certain floors in mid ship, have to use lifts which are crowded Pizza at pool area very good but Burgers are disgusting (think of bad burger van quality here) Overall a good cruise, having been on Celebrity Eclipse last year I would say that was better overall in certain areas, especially in food and all inclusive food and drinks options. P&O better in Entertainment and staff friendlier Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We chose this cruise because it fitted in with our diary and golden wedding celebration. All previous cruises we have had an outside cabin but this time we decided to try an inside and we were not disappointed. The size is quite ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it fitted in with our diary and golden wedding celebration. All previous cruises we have had an outside cabin but this time we decided to try an inside and we were not disappointed. The size is quite comparable to the ordinary outside staterooms and as we spend very little time in the cabin (awake) we didn't miss the windows/balcony either. The cabin steward, Christian, was very helpful, friendly and super efficient. The food in the main (Meridian) restaurant I regret to say was not up to the standard of previous cruises with P&O and especially Fred Olsen and Cunard. The choice of food on the menu was generally very good but the quality of the food was debatable and was often cold. With the exception of the lamb shank we concluded that it was best to stick to fish oriented food for starters and mains. The waiters were always very helpful and apologetic. We dined for one night in the much trumpeted Marco Pierre White restaurant at £30 extra for two plus an extra £7 for lobster. The starter my wife ordered consisted of some sort of stringy balls in a sauce and was tasteless. It went back but was replaced with a crab salad which she could only describe as 'mushy' also tasteless. It too went back. Mine was o.k. Then came the lobster which because it was so small we doubted it was lobster and was probably crayfish or rock lobster as it is fashionably called but cooked in a cheese sauce.No claws or claw meat were served and we were told they had been removed for something else, (pardon) Some was eaten but the rest went back. The dining experience is of course one of if not the most important features of a cruise but I am afraid this did not live up to expectations. For example one of our fellow table guests when served his steak meal jokingly shouted "this horse is a hundred years old". The bars on board were all well appointed and reasonably priced and perfectly drinkable wines of several choices were available for around £16 to £25 a bottle. We settled mostly on a sauvignon (The Holy Snail) at £17.95 per bottle. The waiters in general were very attentive and helpful although one or two were often too engaged in conversations with the passengers and needed to be reminded why they were there. This was a tiny minority, for the most part the others were exceptional. The off ship experiences were quite interesting New York was crazy and delightful together and Canada and the Canadian people were superb. To gain the greatest experience of many of the places visited it was best to use the facilities of the organised tours but several people declined to go because of the high expense involved. One couldn't help considering a 52 seater bus, full, and a driver and guide for a couple of hours or so pulls in over £4000. One of the most pleasant experiences was in Charlottetown where only two or three hundred metres from the ship in the pretty port we had a lobster lunch each to die for. Now that was a proper lobster with all the claws and tools to deal with it. It took about two hours to complete and was absolutely delicious. I haven't commented on the shows available in the evening because with an 8.30pm dining and a nightcap in the bar afterwards and at the same time a listen to some first-class live music we were ready for what was always a very comfortable nights sleep. We were on deck 10 towards the front of the ship. I did however go to several of the very interesting talks on sail days. So there we are; we did enjoy our trip a lot and we were fortunate to have wonderful dinner guests to end the day with. I would comment that things on board seem to have changed since our last P&O cruise with a definite and obvious orientation around making money. The exorbitant cost of wi-fi, a massive open area put over to fruit machines (damn things), where everyone to access some of the bars and restaurants must pass through, very high costs of sauna, massage, hairdressing etc. With grateful thanks to the Captain and his crew for a safe and gloriously uneventful passage. So would we travel again with P&O to be honest I cannot answer that question at the moment. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
I had sailing into New York Harbour on my yet to do bucket list, plus although we have covered much of Canada we had not touched the eastern side so this was an ideal choice. We have sailed on Arcadia before and enjoyed the fact that ... Read More
I had sailing into New York Harbour on my yet to do bucket list, plus although we have covered much of Canada we had not touched the eastern side so this was an ideal choice. We have sailed on Arcadia before and enjoyed the fact that it was child free. Because it was transatlantic both ways so a number of days at sea we chose to book a suite. The brochure description sounded great and we were given a choice. Booking in for suites and in our case Peninsular club entitlement we sailed straight through at Southampton and provided with a meal, champagne and wine so a great start. Our luggage was in the suite and we were greeted by both the Butler and cabin steward. The Cairo Suite was lovely, Wardrobes for both his and hers plus a dressing area and dressing table well lit in a separate area, wonderful. The bathroom was a good size with dual sinks storage for toiletries etc, separate shower and a full size whirlpool bath. The main area was a good size great bed, plenty of storage, nice comfortable arm chairs and settee plus table, desk etc. The balcony was a super size plenty of room for sunbeds chairs and table. Arcadia had not long had a refurbishment all done in great taste lovely colour schemes so no complaints there. Arcadia has a great walking deck, which allows you to walk right around the ship unlike some of the other P&O ships, this is particularly good. Unfortunately, the weather was not that kind to us so first two days in New York were wet, never the less we did go on the excursions, providing cover of everything we planned to see. Downside is as usual American Customs, everyone on the ship had to disembark and go to customs booths houses in the terminal and were not allowed back on until everyone had cleared customs, with the number of passengers and staff this took a lot of time and waiting around with insufficient seating. Some had booked an open bus tour and as it was pouring with rain, they all got very wet. Entertainment on the ship was good, unfortunately we had already seen some of the shows and Headliners had thank goodness started to embark on some new shows. I enjoyed the use of the SPA and salon facilities were were of good standard and not in my estimation too overpriced. Seeing more remote areas of Canada was really good we particularly enjoyed Halifax and Quebec. This cruise took in provinces of; New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland so a great experience. If you take this cruise and go to Saguenay I can certainly recommend you book the show La Fabuleuse with P&O Excursions. This was totally amazing and incredible in fact totally fabulous. Do not miss this it is one you will never forget. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We are in our mid 50's and cruise quite a lot. Mostly Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Princess. We chose this cruise as it was a Transatlantic, stopping at the Azures which we have never visited. We still haven't. The day ... Read More
We are in our mid 50's and cruise quite a lot. Mostly Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Princess. We chose this cruise as it was a Transatlantic, stopping at the Azures which we have never visited. We still haven't. The day before we left I got an e-mail from P&O saying we wouldn't be going to the Azores . Reason they gave was stormy weather affecting their operations. They don't say that in their brochure when they tell you that their ships are so large and technologically advanced that stormy weather is of no concern. I wrote to their customer services asking for a better explanation and also to see if they were considering any form of compensation. They say on the website that they respond to queries within 5 days. Well it's been four weeks now and I have received nothing. Customer care ? - don't make me laugh ! So not a good start. We got on board . The muster drill was at 5pm and we were meant to leave Barbados shortly after. However the captain said we had to wait unitl a delayed plane from Gatick arrived and that turned out to be well after midnight. We tried to get off to go into Bridgetown but were told we couldn't . So a really good first night sitting in Bridgetown port. Air conditioning in our cabin wasn't working. I thought this may be due to the ship being still so I waited till next day to see if it improved. It hadn't so I reported it. To cut a long story short, I had to report this for 8 days running before they actually fixed it. Each day I went to reception to be told it was a work in progress. We had an inside cabin. We couldn't breathe. After 8 days when I finally demanded to be moved or else complain directly to the Hotel director, they managed to fix it. Funny that !. Apart from the air conditioning, the cabin was kept extremely clean by our steward Julius who was an absolute pleasure . Food was similar to what you would get in a works canteen and it was always cold. We ate in one cover charge restaurant, the Glass House and it took over 3 hours to get 3 courses.so beware. Waiters were few and far between and it was impossible to get drinks topped up whilst waiting without going to the bar . The dessert was a disgrace - very stale sponge Entertainment was poor with one exception. The ventriloquist who won New Faces was very good. The four young guys who sang were quite good at shouting, as were the P&O singers ( when they weren't miming ). The enrichment lectures from the criminologist were good but with only an 800 capacity in the theatre and 3,500 passengers, you couldn't get a seat. Why not beam it live into the cabins P&O ? - Oh yes I forgot. You aren't buying anything when you are in your cabin. With no stop at the Azures (- Oh wait a minute - they did stop to let someone who was ill off the ship . Their stormy weather excuse just got even weaker ) we had 8 sea days in a row. Bad for the passengers - good for P&O who used the time to sell, sell, sell They say you get what you pay for - not here I didn't. I won't be using P&O again Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Just saying that there was little fun on this ship to be had apart from for the riotous kids who had taken over the swimming pool. A badly designed ship, with sharp elbows from fellow diners in the self service restaurant. Did they think ... Read More
Just saying that there was little fun on this ship to be had apart from for the riotous kids who had taken over the swimming pool. A badly designed ship, with sharp elbows from fellow diners in the self service restaurant. Did they think that there would be nothing left for them? The cabin was good as was the cabin steward. The food was not so good, and the areas cordoned off and charged for separately seemed to be an apt comment on p&o money grabbing. We normally go with Royal Carribean and missed out on the fun, the use of Sauna without having to pay tens of pounds a day, the only thing that we really did not like on our RCI cruise to the Canaries last year was the BIG TELLY which took over the top deck and pumped out football all day and night. No wonder they are throwing cruises away cheap! Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
After 15 years of cruising with Royal Caribbean and Celebrity cruises ... the choice came up including Britannia for a transatlantic cruise to celebrate two 70th birthdays......assuming that the reputation of P&O was alive and well .. ... Read More
After 15 years of cruising with Royal Caribbean and Celebrity cruises ... the choice came up including Britannia for a transatlantic cruise to celebrate two 70th birthdays......assuming that the reputation of P&O was alive and well .. we decided to book with them ... even the cruise agent suggested that the standard passenger on P&O was more discerning and service minded... so we booked. From the first night - in freedom dining .. noisy faulty radio speakers (drowned us out)we were by a service station......... noise level was incredible ... we laughed it off as first night hiccups ...... food in main dining was mostly good ..... Grab & Go - terrible sandwiches along with greasy pale burgers from Market Place....... Boring, dull , unimaginative and uninviting décor throughout and many of us newbies found it very hard to find our way around - some stairways difficult to negotiate............ lack of signage and clocks!!! Balcony far too small .. no reading or bedside light (nightmare for those who wake in the night and don't want to disturb their partner) great having a kettle ! Sullen and disinterested crew on the whole like they were working out their notice ... We were not previously aware that 95% are from the Asian continent ... apparently a P&O tradition.... but every night our dining experience was hit and miss ........ mostly miss...... having been used to the rich tapestry of nations on RCI and Celebrity X great fun and above all great service .......it was a stark difference ....... I could go on about so many small issues ... continual drumming up of "extras" on board ... hard to find tap water ....... no interactive TV in the cabin .. therefore hard to keep a check on spending ..... no free ice cream ...... or towel babies ... wet slippery decks in the morning (a few bad falls resulting in ambulance departures) lack lustre in every direction! So - never again !!! Too many negative issues ............. boring, utterly boring ship ... food variable ...service generally poor and indifferent ......... so much for discerning cruisers ??? .. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Quick and speedy embarkation. We were wondering what the holiday would be like after reading previous reviews but we were impressed with the organisation, food, ship......maybe the service in the restaurants could have been a bit sharper ... Read More
Quick and speedy embarkation. We were wondering what the holiday would be like after reading previous reviews but we were impressed with the organisation, food, ship......maybe the service in the restaurants could have been a bit sharper and the overall cleanliness of the public areas could have had a bit more attention. However, our cabin and cabin housekeeper were first class. The entertainment team worked very hard and we never had a problem finding a seat in the theatre...the shows were very well produced and well presented. The Live Lounge was like a club and had a good atmosphere...the live band 'Pulse' were excellent and their Monsters of Rock set was great. The T/A crossing was like a mill pond the whole way...perfect...the food was first class..the ship was beautiful despite being huge! The return from Barbados on our Thomson flight on board the dreamliner was first class. we would certainly recommend and we will look forward to sailing with P&O again.... Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Two weeks on the transatlantic, repositioning, cruise gave us 8 beautifully restful sea days with very calm seas throughout. P&O run an extraordinarily smooth operation in every department whether it is embarkation, entertainment or ... Read More
Two weeks on the transatlantic, repositioning, cruise gave us 8 beautifully restful sea days with very calm seas throughout. P&O run an extraordinarily smooth operation in every department whether it is embarkation, entertainment or restaurants. Without exception, all of the stewards, waiters, reception, croupiers et al were efficient, friendly and often went out of their way to go the extra mile. Food in the Peninsular, apart from one lunch, was very good. The waiters will serve you with almost any desired combination from the menu and their memories as to what to give where and to whom were impressive. The Horizon buffet is superbly organised, the food is varied and generally hot, and there will always be seating to be found especially as the Beach House no longer exists. Afternoon tea, to be had in the Oriental, was a delight with finger sandwiches, toasted tea cakes and crumpets, scones with clotted cream and jam, and then half a dozen cakes to finish you off. Apologies for waxing lyrical, but I did enjoy it. The presentation and quality of the food in the Epicurean was excellent. Sindhu was interesting but, for us, was the least enjoyable of the select restaurants. Food was good in the Limelight and, in order to accommodate the entertainers, the organisation in getting all tables served almost simultaneously was very impressive. The Glass House had run out of a number of wines towards the end of the two weeks and that spoilt many of their flites of three wines. Brodie’s was a busy place and the quizzes were often well presented and enjoyable. The range of beers is excellent and the prices (of all the drinks on board) are reasonable. We used the casino, next to Brodie’s, to play in the organised blackjack tournaments in the afternoon. Good, cheap fun. If you like to hear young people shouting loudly into microphones then the Headliners or the Live Lounge are for you. The staging is very good indeed. The comedians and the ventriloquist were well worth seeing in both venues. Leon (our cuddly Head of Entertainment) always gave excellent value. His two talks on astronomy, using outstanding software, are not to be missed. Don't forget to have your 'free' patisserie with your coffee at Java (deck 7). £2.50. Daily crosswords and the Britannia News (a short Bulletin from Blighty) are available. Expensive ship tours are available but not widely advertised. Pools have a minimum depth of about 5 1/2 ft. Travel POSH transatlantic. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
This was our first cruise and a bit of a special occasion for ourselves but where do I start! Toilets constantly not working and this was due to the system unable to cope not blockages as staff tried to infer. This was not just our ... Read More
This was our first cruise and a bit of a special occasion for ourselves but where do I start! Toilets constantly not working and this was due to the system unable to cope not blockages as staff tried to infer. This was not just our cabin but everywhere on the ship. Leaks springing up everywhere, through walls, ceilings and blow dryers constantly in use throughout the ship. We excepted this was a long cruise for our first one and the weather on the crossing was force 7-9 for 3 of the days, this was not a problem you expect this on the Atlantic. The ship was tired and much in need of a refit or replacement we excepted this and looked forward to the ports of call and shore trips we had booked. We finally arrived at New York and told ourselves, here we go this is what we signed up for. New York was ok but spoiled by immigration who took from 10:00 till 16:00 to process passengers off the ship, we managed to finally get into the city at just gone 14:00. This was not P&O's fault, just the Americans being there normal anal selves.! We left NY and from that point it just went down hill even more. Rhode Island Bar Harbour Saguenay ( Later to be reinstated and Sydney cancelled ) All the above ports cancelled and then to cap it off, 1 day in Quebec and not 2!! Weather was to blame we were informed and the Captain was not prepared to launch the tenders. ( 4 other Cruise liners, when we spoke to passengers ashore, managed to call at all of these ports with no problem ) Service in the restaurants was very good, we eat in The Ocean Grill 3 times and this was excellent and highly recommended by ourselves. Entertainment was first class. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We use this cruise to relax and not get jet lag on the way back, just chill on sea days and enjoy the ships entertainment each night, Good bunch of passengers playing deck quoits each day and we was able to play until the day before ... Read More
We use this cruise to relax and not get jet lag on the way back, just chill on sea days and enjoy the ships entertainment each night, Good bunch of passengers playing deck quoits each day and we was able to play until the day before disembarkation. Freedom dining is our preference and this worked really well... Coach service back to Gatwick makes the trip really good value .... Done this trip 5 times and it's best sailing back from Barbados.....not sailing from Southampton. Buffet area does not work as it's a pain to get a table and the restaurant is so much better for all meals and the glass house tiger prawns.....are delicious. Sindu was ok and the Beach house was not bad for value.... Staff onboard varied and some were just not happy to be there, but we found that it's the sea days that make it long days for them and this does have an effect on tiredness, so I make sure that I let them know how much they are appreciated and give extra tips to those who go that extra mile..... Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
Transatlantic trip, in a well kept ship, well run, great captain, good food, good restaurants, liked the glasshouse, the beach house and of course the hidden one on deck 17, what is their not to like, even the self service was good, but ... Read More
Transatlantic trip, in a well kept ship, well run, great captain, good food, good restaurants, liked the glasshouse, the beach house and of course the hidden one on deck 17, what is their not to like, even the self service was good, but some of the passengers still had not worked out that it was one way, even by day 12 people still trying to get out the entrance passages, and some were so desperate to gain access to the lifts they would try and barge in to a lift before the passengers were allowed to exit. OK gripe over, did I like the whole experience, yes, found P&O slick, professional and efficient in embarkation and disembarkation to the extent that I have booked the return trip from Southampton to Barbados in the October trip. Can I recommend this ship YES, what more can I say. other than I will be back. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We have just returned from the reposition cruise on the Britannia front the Caribbean to Southampton. We few from Manchester on a 15 year old TCX airbus that had great leg room and a great crew. At Bridgetown we left the plane straight ... Read More
We have just returned from the reposition cruise on the Britannia front the Caribbean to Southampton. We few from Manchester on a 15 year old TCX airbus that had great leg room and a great crew. At Bridgetown we left the plane straight onto the usual coaches to the port. I had chosen seats at the rear of the aircraft hoping that there would be front and rear steps to leave the aircraft but there was only front steps which meant quite a long delay leaving the aircraft whist the dodderers and chatterers left huge gaps in the queue to leave. At the ship we had a 10 minute queue before receiving a cabin cards and then proceeding through security onto the Britannia. Our cabin was ready and after about 10 minutes I spotted that my case was outside the staff lifts. One of the crew passed it to me. My wife's case arrived at our cabin about 30 minutes later. I always look by the nearest staff lifts as the poor stewards are so busy it can often be hours before they have time to deliver your case. We were on the starboard side of the ship which is the sunny side on the crossing to Southampton. Sadly we were on A deck which had a large overhang which meant that after about 2 hours from sunrise you are shaded from the sun. Another problem with our cabin was that between 4am and 5am every morning there was a sound like a 747 taking off as the staff in the buffet above moved heavy trolleys around then dropped something heavy on the floor above. I would not recommend A deck for those who want a peaceful night. At Dominique we parked at the berth about a mile from the town. Apparently the week before the ship had berthed at the town. It is pleasant 30 minute walk along the front into town or there is a private shuttle bus for 2$. Our next stop was Tortilla were we had a nice walk along the beach to the small colourful craft village 15 minutes away. Next was St Maarten where, along with the majority of the guests on the other 2 ships in port with us, we took the 7$ day return 5 minute boat across the bay to the beautiful beach. From here and after a few beers we had our Great British Sailaway party as we set off on the 5 day sail to Ponta Delgada. For the first 4 days the temperature slowly dropped from 27° to 22°. There was lots of sun and most people were sunbathing on the top decks. We had there nights were we lost an hour so the when we arrived in the Azores we were 1 hour behind UK time. The day we left the Azores the weather took a turn for the worst. We soon got a heavy gale with wind at 80mph and gusts of over 100mph. Britannia rode the winds and massive waves splendidly, it's huge hulk being steadied by her stabilisers. We then had a final hour removed so that we arrived in Southampton with UK time. We had a free P&O coach to return us from Southampton to Manchester Airport. We assembled in the theatre until our Group were called to go down one flight of stairs and disembark on deck 5. You then go into the large warehouse where the cases are all lined up in deck order. Make sure you grab a free luggage trolley as you enter as it is a bit of a walk to the Manchester coaches. After a bit of a search we found our cases, went through Customs and left the building.. We were directed to the Manchester coaches which were being loaded in arrival at your coaches order. We were lucky went on the coach used as the Southampton FC team coach which left at 8.45am. We arrived at Manchester Airport at 2.30pm, despite a section of the M6 being closed. You get off the coach at a coach dropping off bay next to Terminal 1. Overall it was another great trip on Britannia. The towels have lost a lot of their fluff since our last 2 trips but you expect that after a few years of daily washing. The cabin stewards now have to service 18 cabins. The centre lift stairs only go up to deck 7. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
Hygiene was a concern, a used tissue on the gangway on embarkation. Cabin was OK, but was unwell and had nosebleeds, told by cabin steward when asking for clean sheets that this was not a hotel and they change the sheets every 3 days. No ... Read More
Hygiene was a concern, a used tissue on the gangway on embarkation. Cabin was OK, but was unwell and had nosebleeds, told by cabin steward when asking for clean sheets that this was not a hotel and they change the sheets every 3 days. No towel art at all during our stay, part of the cruising experience. Asked for water from waiters ,either ignored, took 20 minutes to arrive or looked at like I was a piece of muck, yet people ordering alcohol got their drinks immediately. Hygiene in buffet, whilst there were hand cleaners no-one insisted on people using. A lot of the staff were wonderful and helpful, especially the breakfast waiting staff and also the waiting staff in the Oriental. Food was average, nothing special, the food that was of a suitable standard you were required to pay extra. P&O never missed a chance to grip more money. The ship broke down in the Azores, delayed 1 and a half days there, but ship caught up almost on the time. Captain left the ship in St Maarten, he was the lucky one, I would say, another person had died during the cruise and the body was down in the medical and another was ambulanced off at St Maarten. Tragedy continued when a mini-bus on one of P&O's overpriced excursions had a head-on collision resulting in one death and several in intensive care. The next port, a water taxi sprung a leak and the passengers had to be rescued by lifeboat. The ship was jinxed, the moral of people was low generally. Making cruises cheap unfortunately seems to attract a different demographic than I have experienced on past cruises. The P&O experience continued on the flight home, with Thomsons who are usually great for long haul flights, charging £2.50 for a coffee which would normally be free. I would not go on P&O again if it was free or if I was paid. I could go on... Entertainment wasn't bad. The horseracing event was painful on the ears because the Geordie girl from entertainment team, whilst a lovely girl, screeched so loud it grinds on your nerves. We were originally a party of 4, reduced to two for unforeseen circumstances, and we two left behind would never have chosen or booked this cruise, usually travel Princess or Carnival or other similar standard. . Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Clodia has already given a balanced an accurate review of this cruise so I will not go into so much detail. I would just further add that Captain Camby was superb, the staff were excellent,Benny the Entertainments Manager was exceptional, ... Read More
Clodia has already given a balanced an accurate review of this cruise so I will not go into so much detail. I would just further add that Captain Camby was superb, the staff were excellent,Benny the Entertainments Manager was exceptional, our cabin steward Leviston was simply brilliant. What a shame that this cruise was blighted by such bad luck. To summarise: - coach tour of Azores a complete £90 wash out and so foggy we could have been anywhere - starboard engine failure in the Azores causing 30 hour delay in port - late arrival, late departure and tropical storm soaking in St Maarten - late arrival in St Lucia - Dominica: tour bus accident (passenger fatality and injuries), exit/entry computer system inoperative, flood in the Malabar, breakdown of three lifts midship, stewards finger crushed in cabin door, late departure - Grenada: water taxi from Grand Anse beach overloaded and close to capsizing and drowning after taking on water (rescued by another water taxi and the Britannia launched a life boat) Apart from the above it was a good cruise but was upset to see drinks being served in Manhattan to a guy in a vest and shorts on a black tie evening (what happened to the dress code) and drinks being served to four underaged youngsters in the Malabar. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Azura Transatlantic: not the cruise from Hell! Warning: long review! Just back from this cruise, with my oldest friend; it was certainly “interesting” and actually made me realise how P and O cruises (of which this was my 20th) ... Read More
Azura Transatlantic: not the cruise from Hell! Warning: long review! Just back from this cruise, with my oldest friend; it was certainly “interesting” and actually made me realise how P and O cruises (of which this was my 20th) usually do run like clockwork! This one didn't; however much of what happened was not the fault of the staff and was handled well. We had priority boarding and were aboard by 12.50 and in the fizz and canape lunch in Sindhu by just after one. As it was my 60th birthday I really enjoyed a glass or 3 and something to eat; what a start to the cruise and still dinner in Epicurean to look forward to! Our cases had arrived by the time we had eaten and chosen a library book each, so we unpacked, found plenty of hangers and our cabin steward Cliford, who was superb, got us some more as we'd slightly overpacked, despite the fact that we would be flying home from Barbados. Muster was a little late as there was a coach stuck in traffic, so we got some Peller Ice from the Glass House and watched the people boarding through the window as we sipped. This meant that we sailed late, at nearly 6 o clock, something we were to do repeatedly on this cruise though for different reasons! We had a wonderful birthday meal in Epicurean, with smoked salmon carved at the table; pea and ham soup, main courses of lamb and veggie option, and crepes flambeed at the table with Grand Marnier. There were little extras from the chef, and some very nice wine; shiraz for me and chardonnay for my friend. We were too tired and replete to see the show, so relaxed on our balcony before bed. We had a lovely A deck midships balcony which was an upgrade to HA category from the HD one we'd booked. It was opposite the midship lifts but there was no noise at all from them. The beds were soft and in no time we slept. For the next 3 days we were at sea, with very calm weather for the first 2 and only a little moderately rough sea on the 3rd, so we explored, and went to many activities. Films, shows, talks, quizzes and displays. We enjoyed the daily sudoku and crossword from Reception, though we quickly got to know the style of the crossword setter and got a bit irritated with his 2 and 3 word clues and the grammatical inaccuracy of some clues which led to wrong conclusions! However we got all or most of them right each day, and it kept our brains working along with reading, talks, quizzes and the excellent Murder Mystery which we absolutely loved. It's the first time I've done one on a P and O ship; more please! A retired detective, Terry Brown, gave 3 interesting talks on these first 3 sea days, leading up to the Murder Mystery on the 5 days to the Caribbean. He had 11 volunteer suspects from passengers, set the scene, and put the rest of us into teams of detectives who had to interview each suspect, ask for further relevant information, discuss, and then come to a conclusion on the final day. We got it wrong but that didn't detract from the fun. The sessions overran each time which was a bit annoying as it prevented us from doing other things in which we were interested, so perhaps the Entertainment Manager needs to allocate more time than the standard 45 minutes to sessions of this kind in future. But I'd love to do it again! We were allocated a table for 6 on 2nd sitting, but only ate there about half of the nights of the cruise, though we enjoyed both the company of our table mates and the menus, because as it was a special birthday cruise we had decided to do more speciality eating, and tried the Epicurean twice, the Glass House 3 times, Sindhu once and the Beach House twice. All were excellent, though Epicurean is the best of all and I shall be there again next time I cruise! We had chosen this cruise as there were a lot of sea days, as we enjoy time at sea. I heard some people complaining about the number of sea days (one of which was actually spent docked for reasons I shall explain) and wondered why on earth they had chosen a transatlantic repositioning cruise if they didn't like sea days! There was always plenty to do; a bit of something for everyone. Pub quizzes and bingo, talks, shows, bands, comedy, choir,art classes, dance classes both formal and informal, etc etc. No classical music though, which disappointed me as I love it. Nor were there any of the more “intelligent” art house type of films that the ships which have dedicated cinemas sometimes show; the seascreen was all very “popular” stuff and many repeats. We also enjoyed just chilling out on our balcony or on deck with a coffee, iced water, beer or glass of wine too. What sea days are all about! Sunbeds: well despite pleas in Horizon and announcements on deck, the Lesser Spotted Azura Sunbed Hog is still alive and well even if there are definitely enough beds for all when people use them considerately. One announcement actually told us that there was no real way of policing sunbeds and appealed to our better nature; that might work on Aurora, sunshine, but you've got to remember that the big ships attract a minority who don't have one! But we could always get a bed somewhere. During the cruise I enjoyed my Caribbean privileges of free champagne one formal night and at a sailaway, and the excellent lunch with the officers and engineers. Before we got to the Caribbean, things went wrong though I shall say from the outset that none of it (except perhaps the sadness we all felt on learning of the road accident) stopped us from enjoying our cruise. We arrived on day 4 at Ponta Delgada, where despite cool weather we spent a morning exploring the town. There wasn't a lot to see but it was new to us so we enjoyed it. Pouring 2 gin and tonics for drinking on the balcony as we sailed away at 6 o clock, we awaited the usual “bing bong” names of pax not aboard, but instead got an announcement from Captain Camby telling us that there was a mechanical problem and that engineers were working on it, and we would sail late, without an announcement if it was very late. We went to dinner and tried not to think of the possible consequences. We didn't sail, and the Captain updated us again. During the night I kept waking up and peering out of the balcony curtains to see if we were still there. We were. And we were in the morning. I went up on deck for an 8 o clock update from the Captain, who told us that parts were being flown in and the problem still being worked on. We eventually slipped quietly away from the Azores at about 9.30 that evening, as we were eating our dinner in Sindhu. The Captain had kept us regularly updated, but would not make announcements late at night. Apparently it had been quite a serious problem, but it was handled extremely well by the Captain and staff. Disappointing to be stuck in Ponta Delgada for another rather cool day, when we were looking forward to the sun, but better than having a problem in the middle of the Atlantic! We all felt for Captain Camby as his wife was about to give birth to their first child and he wanted to get to St Maarten to fly home to them. In the end she gave birth the day before we got there, to an “adorable” boy called Austin Robert after his father. We were all delighted for him and hope he is enjoying time with his new family. So we changed Captains, to Angelo Vago whom we didn't warm to nearly as much, in St Maarten, where we did eventually arrive only 4 hours late after sailing 30 hours late from the Azores! Quite an achievement if you ask me! Unfortunately, late arrivals did somewhat spoil our enjoyment of some of the ports at the end of the cruise. I didn't mind the heat, but the humidity really got to me, and while we could have coped with doing things in the morning, arriving after noon made walking about almost impossible, and I am quite fit! I used the gym every day until we arrived in St Maarten, but for the final 6 days just found it too much despite the aircon in there! We did walk to Philipsberg and were not terribly impressed. We walked around, got hassled by vendors, had a rather expensive rum punch, and visited a shop advertising “clean restrooms” to buy a bottle of local rum and use their toilets. The “clean restrooms” turned out to be a filthy toilet in a corrugated iron shack with no paper and a notice on the door saying “No poo poo only pee pee.” Culture shock or what! Wonder what the American tourists made of it? Afterwards we found a small beach and had a lovely cool swim, followed by a hot and uncomfortable walk back to the shopping centre near the docks, sand in toes etc. We did a bit of shopping, had a cold beer, and got back on Azura, hoping to be a bit more comfortable the next morning in St Lucia. Unfortunately the late sailings continued, as one of the trips was very late back to the ship after a rope got tangled around a boat propeller, forcing the passengers to have to be rescued by coach. I bet they were pleased! We eventually sailed in the late evening, having changed Captains (Vago didn't keep us nearly as well informed as Camby), which meant another late arrival into St Lucia, and leaving the ship in the full heat of the day. Waiting for a water taxi to the town, we were informed that we would be put into groups of 16 and there would be a 25 minute wait. I could have gone with this at 9am, but not at 1.30pm in the humid 32 degree heat! My friend and I reluctantly made the decision to forget going to town and just to explore on foot the area around the docks, shopping and gratefully subsiding into a seat at a bar for cold drinks. We stayed over an hour and listened to the local band playing which we enjoyed. At least the toilets, though simple, were clean here! St Lucia looked nice from our balcony. I'd like to see it from a boat or first thing in the morning another time. We still sailed late (another delayed trip) which was annoying as we had not had a single sailaway so far. I am not wonderfully keen on the manic activity round the pool, preferring to have a quiet drink on my balcony or in a quieter deck bar, but part of a cruise for me is that lovely moment when the ship's horn sounds and we pull slowly away from our dock. I was missing it keenly by now. However, as the distance was short, we were docked early in Dominica, so looked forward to going ashore after an early breakfast. Again we were disappointed. We docked miles out of town as Celebrity had the town berth (do they pay more?) and it was too far to walk in the heat. We expected a P and O shuttle as we were docked so far away but there wasn't one (nor anywhere in the Caribbean; are they not allowed or something) so we paid for a private minibus tour of the area, only to discover that we had to wait nearly half an hour for him to fill up and there was no aircon, only open windows useless in the humid heat. I hated every minute on that bus and was glad to be dropped near the port, opposite the Celebrity ship. We had a short walk in town and retired gratefully to a cafe for cold drinks, where at least there was a large fan which we sat behind! It was a little slice of life sitting drinking local beer and watching the world go by. We managed to get a private taxi back to the ship. But he tried to charge us twice. As we had paid the asked for 10 dollars at the start we refused to pay again, and were left still with a walk to the ship, though not a long one. We went to the market but most of the stuff was tat. The current exchange rate makes everything expensive so you only buy what you really want! Unfortunately that was the day that there was a road accident on Dominica involving a car and a minibus which was carrying passengers on a P and O tour. One was killed and a number injured. Captain Vago announced this at departure time though rumours were already around the ship, and asked us out of respect not to speculate, particularly on social media, as no names could be announced until relatives had been contacted. This was fair enough though we found out that it was already on social media by the time he made his announcement. I decided to ring my husband at home and get him to ring my friend's family, which was just as well as he was faced with calls over the following days from friends and family who had seen it on social media. We were Speciality dining that night and went for cocktails first in the Planet Bar, but the news took the shine off our and others' evenings a bit as we all felt for those involved. Eventually we sailed, again later, with some of the pax with minor injuries able to reboard the ship and continue their holiday, though several were left in hospital with relatives being flown out and the Port Agent taking care of their arrangements. We felt sad as we watched their cases being offloaded. The next day was Grenada, which was our favourite island of those we visited. We had booked on the Rhum Runner, originally in the afternoon, for a sail around the island, a beach visit and some rum punch! Our trip was changed by P and O “for operational reasons” to the morning, which actually turned out better for us. As Britannia the monster was docked opposite us, we guessed the “operational reasons”; their pax got the afternoon trip! As it happened, we got sunshine and they got rain! We were very apprehensive about the trip after the Dominica incident, but we really enjoyed the island cruise on the big flat bottomed catamaran, with a chance to see the marine life, and the visit to an idyllic beach with time to swim, drink and laze. And lots of rum punch, and a steel band and dancing all the way back. It was all good clean fun, no one was too drunk and we loved it! Getting back onboard for lunch, we enjoyed more swimming and lazing in the afternoon. This time we sailed on time, more or less, and looked in on the Great British Sailaway with Britannia and Azura trying to outdo each other, but found it a bit full on and took our cocktails back to our balcony instead for a more peaceful departure. I was up at 6 to see the last docking in Barbados, and was glad we'd gone for the 15 night cruise as it gave us a full day and overnight there. As it was early we tried a walk, and saw some of the town, but got hopelessly lost trying to find a nearby beach and gave in to one of the persistent taxi drivers. He of course took us to his mates' place on Carlisle Beach, but it was very nice, with cold drinks, chairs and umbrellas for hire, showers to get the sand off etc, and free wifi. We had a swim and a short sunbathe, then more cold drinks. The driver picked us up and delivered us back to the docks where we did our last shopping before getting back onboard to start the dreaded packing and get a quart into 2 pint pots acceptable to the aircraft! We threw a few things away or stuffed them into handbaggage! Cases outside and vanished within 5 minutes, it was time to enjoy our last night, where we ate in the Beach House, and then had a drink on deck. I went to the show and my friend went to see a film, (that was often our after dinner choice) then we met for a nightcap before our last sleep. I had never done a transatlantic fly cruise so didn't know what to expect, and it wasn't a good way to end a lovely holiday! We were picked up on time, the coach was airconditioned, but it was a long ride and we were waiting by the roadside for a time. The airport lacked facilities and the duty free was too expensive. The flight was on time but we were made to stand at the gate in the heat for an unacceptably long period. An 8 hour flight is not pleasant and I shan't be doing it again. The service on the aircraft was appalling, a complete contrast to the excellent service we had from all the staff on Azura, and when we landed there were no trains for hours. We spent a freezing 3 hours at the station trying to get warm with hot drinks. Not recommended! On balance, we really enjoyed the “cruise” part of this cruise: the food, entertainment, service, and the huge majority of the company. The Caribbean; well I'm unsure. I liked Barbados and Grenada, and probably would have liked St Lucia if we had got to see more, but wasn't impressed with St Maarten or Dominica. Maybe you can't judge after so few islands. If I return, it'll be on a cruise sailing both ways from the UK. We passed Aurora who was on her way home as we sailed out to the Azores and I was envious (we had a great horn competition!) We met lots of really nice fellow passengers, and unfortunately 3 very rude people; really not bad out of over 3000! One woman who thought we had pushed in front of her in a queue (we hadn't, and she wouldn't accept it and ranted on and on like a lunatic!) and a couple who obviously thought they were better than everybody else on the ship and got into a rant about our being “chavs” (we aren't). But it's Azura again. We've never had any rude pax on the mid sized ships! So much so that we have a phrase in our house when someone is rude or crass: “Oh how very Azura of you!” To sum up: a chapter of accidents, couldn't be helped and well handled. Some ports we loved, others not. Great food and service. Great entertainment though less for the more educated and more for the lowest common denominator; quite a contrast to Aurora! Made myself stay awake till the night after the sleepless flight, and rested now though a bit jet lagged. Can't wait for my next cruise (Aurora!). Might give Azura a miss for a while, unless the itinerary is a must! Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
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
This was our first time crossing the Atlantic and our last. If you are under late 70's this ship is not for you as the entertainment was terrible with only 3 acts through out the cruise worth watching. There was no day time ... Read More
This was our first time crossing the Atlantic and our last. If you are under late 70's this ship is not for you as the entertainment was terrible with only 3 acts through out the cruise worth watching. There was no day time entertainment around the pool (well a saxofone player did try but was moaned at for bent too loud as they were trying to rest!! Lunchtimes and breakfast in the self serve hall was like a bun fight (you would think they had never been fed). To top it all we had a naked (supposed sleep walker) who was playing with himself and after being reported still carried on. So therefore a lot of woman were worried about wandering around at night on their own. To my mind he should have been put off the ship or at least apprehended when we got back to Southampton but I think it was swept under the carpet to try and keep it quiet. We are now looking towards another cruise line for the future after using P&O for several years. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Myself, my husband and my sister and her husband returned home yesterday from a great cruise from Southampton to the Caribbean, Mexico and on to different parts of the USA i.e. New Orleans, Carolina Fort Lauderdale and many more exciting ... Read More
Myself, my husband and my sister and her husband returned home yesterday from a great cruise from Southampton to the Caribbean, Mexico and on to different parts of the USA i.e. New Orleans, Carolina Fort Lauderdale and many more exciting places, The food was wonderful. The Staff very polite and very helpful, lovely sized ship with no children (adults only) Being a confined wheelchair user the only problem was I found it difficult to get out on to the prom deck due to the lip in the threshold being a bit high when coming in but hay - ho !!!! nothings perfect for wheelchairs. Seeing so many new places in this world without having to do long haul flights is the only way to travel when you are confined to a wheel-chair. But the entertainment was the best we have ever had on any cruise will be back for more thanks everyone. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
The cruise was pretty good overall despite having some adverse weather on both outbound and inbound journeys. However the ship seems to handle the swell pretty good. Sadly the ship is showing signs of age and a constant sewage smell was ... Read More
The cruise was pretty good overall despite having some adverse weather on both outbound and inbound journeys. However the ship seems to handle the swell pretty good. Sadly the ship is showing signs of age and a constant sewage smell was evident around certain areas of the ship. The buffet was the usual bun fight with many passengers remaining at the tables even though they had finished eating. Consequently it was always a job finding a table. The food was reasonable at breakfast with a decent choice, lunch was manic and tea was adequate. The themed dinners were a bit in and out. Some good some bad. Oddly enough he Best of Britain theme was probably the worst. We ate at the Meridian on the Freedon dining option and this worked well. The food and service was excellent overall and we never had a bad meal when we went there. There were tables of 2, 4, 6 and 8. Obviously the tables for 2 were always in demand. We can't comment on the speciality restaraunts as we didn't use them but heard good things about them. Entertainment was pretty good in the man theatre with the visiting artists very good, especially the American ones. The Headliners were OK and did some good shows. However we felt that the out of theTheatre entertainment was very much the same. Made up of duo's and Trio's with female vocalists. All performing prettying much the same sort of stuff. The Globe theatre is a waste. It is too small and the acoustics are terrible. We found the bar staff and waiters excellent and did a great job. The drinks prices being very much as a local British pub. Sadly we thought that the shops were a bit boring with not a lot to tempt a purchase and the new internet packages are extortionate. A package of a small amount of dats and email was £12.50 per day and the full package with Skype or FaceTime was £25 a day. And this was for a 24 hour period. So you lost at least 8 hours because of the night. We enjoyed the route and most Ports of call were interesting .. We hadn't been North of New York before so it was a very good experience overall. Having been on the Arcadia before the cruise was pretty much as we expected. As always there was the usual beentheredunthats and moaners, but we enjoyed it so they dnt matter really . Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We embarked on P&O Arcadia on the 11th September 2016 at the Ocean Terminal in Southampton on a transatlantic cruise to New York and the Eastern Seaboard including Canada. It was one more destination ticked off our Bucket List. We had ... Read More
We embarked on P&O Arcadia on the 11th September 2016 at the Ocean Terminal in Southampton on a transatlantic cruise to New York and the Eastern Seaboard including Canada. It was one more destination ticked off our Bucket List. We had stayed at the Hilton at the Ageas Bowl, which is very nice, the night before where we left our car, and got a taxi to the port. Embarkation in Southampton was efficient and we were on board by 2:00 pm. Our bags appeared outside our cabin on C deck at 3:30 pm. The inside cabin was clean but wardrobe space was a little inadequate for a 24 night cruise. We set sail across the Atlantic and the weather was not too bad for the time of year and we arrived in New York at 11:16 am but it was not until 4:00 pm that we cleared customs and walked up to Times Square. We returned at 6:00 pm and took the night time tour up the Empire State Building which was brilliant and then we went to the Brooklyn Bridge and finally Times Square which was still very busy at 11:30 pm when we returned to the ship. The second day we went on a 3 sights tour by coach which was disappointing as the traffic was grid locked and it rained. We managed to see Fifth Avenue, Macys and the 9/11 Memorial. The coach pick up points were changed at each point and caused confusion and time delays which meant we were late going to Central Park and half the Coach group was dropped off at the ship before continuing. I tried to talk to the Tours Desk on the ship about the shambles but I was dismissed with a wave of the hand and told to ‘put it in writing’, extremely rude and unhelpful. The next stop was Newport, Rhode Island where we went ashore by tender and just walked about Newport which is a pretty town. Next was Boston where we did the Freedom Trail Walk and visited the Quincy Market. We thoroughly enjoyed Boston. It is a wonderful mix of new and old areas. Portland was next where we did our own thing. Very quiet but a nice port of call. Next was St Johns, New Brunswick where it absolutely chucked it down so we walked along the front to a shopping centre, had coffee and walked back. Next was Halifax where we berthed in the industrial port and got shuttle buses to where we should have docked at Pier 22. But the shuttle bus would only go to Pier 23 which presented a small problem to those of limited mobility. The Boardwalk at Halifax is a lovely walk and we enjoyed a quiet day strolling along and enjoying the town. The next port of call was Quebec where again we were berthed in the industrial area and not the Cruise Terminal which meant the walking tours of which we participated took and extra 20 minutes to reach the city. The tour guide confirmed that all her paperwork showed we should have been at the Cruise Terminal but we were usurped by Celebrity Summit. Quebec is a fabulous city and we enjoyed it immensely and spent the second day doing our own thing. The final stop was Sydney, Nova Scotia where we went ashore by tender. Celebrity Summit was berthed at the cruise terminal even though the Harbour schedule showed Arcadia should be berthed. I assume Celebrity paid more money. The return trip by tender was lively as the wind had got up and caused quite a swell. Sydney is very run down and in hindsight it would have been wise to do a tour but once again we did our own thing which wasn’t up to much. Our trip back across the Atlantic was a little rough but we have had worse. Unfortunately we were late arriving in Southampton due to a combination of the weather and a problem (not specified) in the engine room. This meant we did not disembark until noon being one of the last groups to disembark. The ship is well maintained and it was very clean and well looked after. The waiters, Bar Staff and Cabin Steward worked tirelessly and were friendly and helpful. We had Freedom Dining in the Upper Meridian Restaurant. Service was very slow at times although the food was good and hot. We did not use the specialist restaurants but we did use the Belvedere Buffet Restaurant for breakfast and the occasional lunch and we found it to be very good but with less selection at lunch than we have been used to on previous P&O ships. The Reception Desk was not very helpful and appeared to be under instruction to protect the company from the passenger and offer as little information as possible. This was commented upon by a number of people we talked to on board. The Tours desk is there to sell tours. They are completely disinterested in any feedback and at times were extremely rude. P&O must address this concern as it is driving customers away. The entertainment by the Headliners was as good as usual and the visiting acts were all very good and we very much enjoyed the entertainment. P&O have changed the way they charge for Wi-Fi access from cost per number of minutes to cost per 24 hours. This ranged between £7.75 for basic access to £24.95 for all the bells and whistles. There was much complaining on board about this change. I have never seen so many Tablets and Smart Phones in use on a cruise before. This was our first cruise to the Eastern Seaboard of North America and our seventh cruise with P&O. We thoroughly enjoyed the cruise and would recommend it although every time we travel with P&O we see more evidence of cost cutting. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Our first cruise on the Azura and last! We flew from Gatwick to Barbados and joined the ship there. We had to wait hours for our suitcases to be delivered to our cabin and then it was a rush to attend the muster drill and go for ... Read More
Our first cruise on the Azura and last! We flew from Gatwick to Barbados and joined the ship there. We had to wait hours for our suitcases to be delivered to our cabin and then it was a rush to attend the muster drill and go for our evening meal. We visited three islands on the first three days, two excursions booked directed with P & O prior to the holiday. Although the beaches we went to were fantastic (especially Tortola), the half day was not long enough and I could not understand why this was not offered for a full day. We had 5 days at sea travelling to the Azores and found the ship could not cater for over 3000 people during the day. There were not enough sun loungers and those there were crammed in tighter than sardines. There were four areas where you could lay; noisy, smoking, children's/family and only two small areas which were peaceful (these were always full). The Retreat is adults only but you have to pay for the privilege! Our cabin C418 had a balcony, unfortunately it was in the shade until mid afternoon). The bathroom smelt of stale urine if you switched the light/extractor fan off so therefore we left it on 24/7. On the last day we docked at Southampton at 6.30am but unfortunately there was no water to the cabins and we could not wash our hands, shower, brush teeth or indeed flush the loo. Although I had read that the ship had been refurbed a year prior, our room was a little grubby. The most amazing thing was on the last day we had to leave the cabin by 8am so we duly went for breakfast at 6.30am leaving our belongings on the bed etc and when we got back our bed had been changed ready for the next guests and our belonging placed back on the bed! In all of the years and all of the holidays we have taken not one hotel has used this practice and I found it very poor. The food and service in the restaurants were fantastic until the last night when the staff actually "switched off", the service was extremely poor, the meals came out with items missing, unless you asked for the cheese board you were not offered, it was as though tips had been given so bye bye were ready for the next lot of passengers! If you wanted to eat breakfast outside (which could have been a great start to the day), the only areas with tables and chairs which were near the restaurants were all smoking areas, so if you like a fag with your early morning cuppa .... yippee! Our overall experience of days at sea (8 in total) were picturing one of the most deprived run down council estates with a bargain booze, McDonald's, pizza place, bookies and a Wetherspoons with a kids fun annex and voila it's the Azura! Although we paid full price and therefore our expectations were high thus so disappointed, I would recommend you seek out the special offers if you want to have a glorified booze cruise on the Azura transatlantic cruise as you may get more of a value for money experience than we had. Overall we would go to the Caribbean again and the Azores was lovely BUT never on a P&O ferry/booze cruise! Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
This transatlantic cruise for us personally was our best yet . Many thanks to the P&O advisors who gave us excellent pre cruise help and advice. Same goes for you guys here on Critics, many thanks. Also the flight from ... Read More
This transatlantic cruise for us personally was our best yet . Many thanks to the P&O advisors who gave us excellent pre cruise help and advice. Same goes for you guys here on Critics, many thanks. Also the flight from Manchester (TCX 132) was as good as it could get, the crew looked after us and even gave us our head phones for the in-flight system, to keep. From what we saw of the £5 film upgrade it seemed limited so stuck with the free channels and were happy with them . The Azura is near on identical to the Ventura which we have also used in the past so we had no problems getting around the ship. The ports we visited were very good also .St Lucia being our most favourite. We took a visit to Reduit beach and contrary to us being told the " The sellers on the beach pester you all day long " They were not to bad and were friendly enough people. We took the water taxi over the bay in ST Maarten over looking our ship the Azura , also the Thomson Celebration and a French ship called Horizon joined us later that day. This seemed to be the worst beach for getting pestered with locals trying to sell their goods/services but hey , they are only trying to make a living . The crossing over the Atlantic was the best conditions ever seen in over 10 years was the words of Captain Robert Camby and we were happy with the conditions too. After leaving the Azores the weather cooled as we made our way back to the UK but that was to be expected really. The food on the ship was really good that we ate in only the buffet and the Glass House all of our cruise. The Azura crew have been tarred & labeled as offish in some posts I have read. We found them to be great if you spoke to them first, not everyone wants to chat so they let you make the first move so as not to come accross as in your face . We put our balcony to very good use using room service to supply our drinks . 12 PEPSI bottles £9.95 and a 1 ltr of SOUTHERN COMFORT £20 for our very own sail away parties... just remember to take your bottle opener . Azura never felt crowded even on sea days but it could get a little cramped with the book/kindle readers and card players who were not eating or drinking taking up the tables at main meal times in the buffet and the Glass House whilst down on deck 7 were two bars and one up on deck 18 almost deserted at these times. The coach and disembarkation was well organised , 4 hours back to Manchester Airport with a stop 2 hours into the journey for refreshments etc. So all in all , a very enjoyable holiday with good memories and a head full of Capt Camby's "Thought of the day." to remember. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
This is my first Cruise review, although I have done many on TripAdvisor. This review if of our recent cruise holiday from Barbados to Southampton, finishing on Friday 25th March 2016. P&O Britannia is a massive ship, with over ... Read More
This is my first Cruise review, although I have done many on TripAdvisor. This review if of our recent cruise holiday from Barbados to Southampton, finishing on Friday 25th March 2016. P&O Britannia is a massive ship, with over 3000 passengers and over 1300 crew. In many ways P&O Britannia is brilliant. In other ways, it is not good. The ship is beautiful inside, clean and well furnished. The public areas are wide and navigation is easy enough, except that the mid-ship has no stairs which go the full height of the ship, these stop on Desk 7. You need to use the FORWARD and AFT stairs went the full height of the ship. Once you have worked out how to get places it was okay. We used the following locations: BRODIES - this is a pub, where the day-to-day quizzes take place. The waiters are excellent and the range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks available is very good. Brodies is an excellent location. The casino is at the rear of Brodies. We did not use the casino, there was glass division so you did not see the flashing lights from the machines. The resident musicians - Matt & Sarah were in Brodies every day, they are a class act and are brilliant. PRICES - The drinks prices were what you would expect to pay, a little high when compared to supermarkets, but similar to hotel prices. £4.25 for a pint of beer is not too much to ask. LIVE LOUNGE - This is the main live area, you can see the stage area well enough from every chair, and there is a small dance floor. This area is used for the late night disco, and some of the game shows take place in there. The resident band - PULSE - play in there, they are good, an eight-piece band with 4 singers. Two singers were good, and the other two just weren't that good. RECEPTION - The reception team are good, the queues were not that long, but on occasions there was only two reception staff on duty and this is when the queues were large. The reception team were very good and were able to answer my questions. MEDICAL - Did not use. CASINO - Did not use. CABIN - A good size room, a king sized bed, couch and desk. The balcony is slightly small, but two chairs and a table was on the balcony. The shower-room had the largest shower I have had on a cruise ship, the toilet and sink were cleaned every day. Our room steward was available and he cleaned the room very well. On the day of our wedding anniversary, he made a pair of swans out of the bath-sheets RESTAURANTS - The restaurants are special, our dinner plan was First Sitting at The Oriental, this was a standard high-quality restaurant. Ashley, our waiter was attentive and always willing to advise. One thing, there was no SUGAR-FREE options anywhere, either in the sweets at dinner or at lunch. On Royal Carribean, there is always a SUGAR-FREE option on the menu. If you wanted a SUGAR-FREE option, you needed to request it the night before which is not good, as you might want to choose something else. HORIZON RESTAURANT - Breakfast and lunches were at Horizons, on Desk 16. This is a self-service canteen type environment. A buffet. The food was excellent, on occasionally it was not fully hot enough - especially the potatoes. Another criticism is that on occasions, both sides were not open and you had to walk to the open section. There were always enough seats, but you sometimes needed to look for a free table. With all cruise holidays, you need to wash your hands before you enter the restaurant, and you need to wash your hands at Horizons. Fair enough, but the taps and sinks rarely worked. It was an automatic system which poured a little liquid soap when the water started, and you could easily miss it. The paper towels were difficult to remove, and the bins were often full and the used paper towels would spill onto the floor. DINNER in CABIN ROOm SERVICE - Did not use. BREAKFAST IN CABIn ROOm SERVICE - Ordering breakfast in bed was easy, there was no hot food option, even the toast was cold on arrival. Only hot drinks were available. The selection was good, but it did not offer the full range as what was in The Horizon at breakfast. Breakfast always arrived within the time specified in the request. PUBLIC TOILETS - There are many toilets, as you would expect. Some were MALE and FEMALE, where others were mixed - separate sections through a common door. This caused queues, the sinks were pathetic, and again the used paper towels bins were overflowing onto the floor at times. ELEVATORS / STAIRWAYS - The programing of the elevators was poor. When an elevator was selected, I expected to wait for a few seconds before an elevator would stop and I would be able to enter it. On regular occasions elevators passed my floor. When travelling in the direction I wanted to travel causing me to wait. I was willing to do this, but it was frustrating when this happened every day on all three elevator locations. There was a full stairway only at the front and rear of the ship, the mid-ship stairways stopped on DECK 7. ON Our arrival on board, we were shown an elevator which was marked as RESERVED. As there was no crew member in the elevator I pressed my floor number - 11. The crew member said I should not have pressed this, as the elevator would travel to my floor by-passing the other floors. If these elevators were marked as RESERVED, then the floor selector should not have been active, but it was. SWIMMING POOLS / SUNBEDS - There are only 3 swimming pool on the whole ship, two main ones and one in the quiet area. There is a plunge pool on Desk 17 AFT. There are two jacuzzis which is very poor for a ship of this size. There are hundreds of sunbeds, but most of them are away from the pools. There are notices not to reserve sunbeds, but people kept reserving them. Unlike Royal Carribean, there is no staff at the pools who could remove towels from sunbeds which were not being used. ENTERTAINMENT TEAM - The entertainment team did not walk around. When I did see any of the team they occasionally said "Hello", but they regularly just walked past QUIZZES - We do a lot of quizzes on all the cruises. We enjoy the quizzes and enjoy being tested. The prizes of these quizzes is generally a bottle of wine, the wine was AWFULL, like drinking vinegar. DISEMBARKMENT - The departure from P&O Britannia was a joke, we registered for the SELF-HELP and we were advised to go to Midship, Desk 6 to leave. But, this is where The Meridian restaurant is located and the mid ship elevators stopped just outside this restaurant. The disembarkation queue stretched from this restaurant, through Brodies and past the shops. Passengers were waiting and the restaurant waiter asked if they could do a U-turn to move away from The Meridian restaurant entrance. There was no crew member at the elevators on Desk 6 advising where passengers should go. The queue was not too bad, 30 minutes. When we were offboard the passage through the terminal building in Southampton was as good as it could be. Looking back, I would say I really enjoyed this cruise. Would I go back on P&O Britannia, NO I would not as there were too may nagging issues. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
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