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52 P&O Cruises Western Caribbean Cruise Reviews

arrived in barbados all ok, till at the terminal and as we had book a suite there was no fast track book in till we complained, suite had badley ripped draw curtains up patio window again till i complained nothing would have been done, ... Read More
arrived in barbados all ok, till at the terminal and as we had book a suite there was no fast track book in till we complained, suite had badley ripped draw curtains up patio window again till i complained nothing would have been done, decks around the coral pool never been cleaned as there was cigarette end on the stair case for 3 days and still not cleaned up. bar staff around pool areas walk around with blinkers on as it took us an hour to get a drink. food in cafe buffet at lunch time i.e roast dinners was always cold, when complained was told they only had hot plates on bottom gr gr. full complaint will be going in to p & o as that was only a small part of a very poor cruise as it was for our 25th anniversary. and was very disappointed in the tresatment we received. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
After being regaled non stop by me about the excellent food and shows you get on a P&O Cruise,I finally managed to convince my wife to take her first ever cruise......We decided on the Caribbean Christmas and New Year Cruise on Aurora ... Read More
After being regaled non stop by me about the excellent food and shows you get on a P&O Cruise,I finally managed to convince my wife to take her first ever cruise......We decided on the Caribbean Christmas and New Year Cruise on Aurora - I cruised on the same ship in 2013 on her Transatlantic and Canada trip and was looking forward to being reunited with the ship. Boarding went well, and the A Deck Cabin was comfortable. We were booked on Club Dining in Alexandra Dining Room. My wife was looking forward to the "fine dining", but when the menu arrived, it was disappointing to see that the menu was quite poor. In fact, the standard of the food, when it arrived,was not of the standard that I had been used to on previous cruises. Silver service no longer exisis, nowadays all the food appears on the plate, and has the consistency of the "boil in the bag" variety. Other guests complained about the bland taste, lack of seasoning - in fact when two meals were exchabged between another couple, they could not discerne the taste difference between Pork and Chicken!. Potatoes were undercooked. We were so appaled by the standard, that we ended up eating most of our meals in the Buffet or at the Speciality Restaurants, where the standard shone through. The headliners were not good, the singing was out of tune. The Star Acts were excellent - Well Done, there!. Service was its usual high standard The best excursion was to Nelsons Dockyard, which was the highlight of all the ports. The weather was glorious once through the BOB. The wife enjoyed the Watercolour masterclasses, although it was crammed into a corner of the Crows Nest. rather than the empty Uganda Room. When the Entertainment Manager, Leon, was buttonholed by the ladies about this, his reply of " We didnt want too many people turning up was astounding and rather insulting. As you can imagine, although the wife wants to go on more cruises in the future, she is adament it will not be with P&O Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We chose this ship because of tv advert and that it was a new ship and hadn't sailed with P&O before. No stairs midships so lifts were always busy had to go down just to get up 1 floor.we were below the lido deck which was always ... Read More
We chose this ship because of tv advert and that it was a new ship and hadn't sailed with P&O before. No stairs midships so lifts were always busy had to go down just to get up 1 floor.we were below the lido deck which was always noisy shifting sun loungers about early morning. And music booming out at night. The seating area surrounding the tables at the pool were very dirty and the table bases were rusty, windows could do with a good clean too. We certainly will not be aboard this ship again. We are in our 60 s and 70 s but does not mean we do not enjoy a good time. The entertainment also was dreadful. It reminded me of a holiday camp and so did the food not a lot of choice.the food was very repetitive in the horizon with people wandering about with trays to see if there was anything different, also food was very dry and sometimes not very warm. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
I chose to go on this ship as we had been on a cruise with p&O before on the beautiful Ventura around the med. it was my 60th and I wanted to do something special so booked this very expensive trip! we booked what was meant to be a ... Read More
I chose to go on this ship as we had been on a cruise with p&O before on the beautiful Ventura around the med. it was my 60th and I wanted to do something special so booked this very expensive trip! we booked what was meant to be a deluxe balcony cabin so paid a bit more. So here we go with all that is wrong with this ship: On arrival to our cabin, we noticed that like the Ventura the settee was a double pull out bed, no problem here, however on asking the steward to make up the bed we were gobsmacked when we returned to find that we literally could not walk around the bed to get to the balcony. It is literally up against the cabinets so you have to climb over the bed to get to the balcony or to make coffee/tea. The Balcony: I can only describe this as beyond tiny, you literally can only fit two chairs and a tiny table on it. there is no room to extend the chair it is literally against the glass balcony. Very tiny and not what you are led to beleive by the dimensions. Most of the Deluxe cabins are on Deck A, be warned this has to be the noisiest deck on the ship, as you are located directly under the lido pool, and the sun decks. 6.00 a.m. in the morning you are woken by the waiters dragging all of the sun beds out, then up until1.00 in the morning you can hear the boom boom of the music and you will literally hear the words from the singers, it is frankly a nightmare. Do not stay on this deck unless you sleep like a log! I do not and nor does my hubby. Cabin Stewards: We asked our steward to change our sheets on the pull out bed as we notived they had not been changed for 3 days! The steward lied and said that she changed them daily she did not, we knew because my husband had cut his foot on the metal mechanism of the bed and had bled onto the sheets. The blood was still there 3 days later. Clearly she could not be bothered and she was miserable to say the least! We asked on three days running to have tea coffee milk replenished and also to have 3 cups not TWO! This seemed to be a common problem with all the people who had 3 in a cabin. The bathroom was not cleaned properly, there was dirt all along the edge of the bath, bins were not emptied, geranlly very slap dash. Be warned if you are thinking of doing this cruise around this time of the year it is like Gods Waiting Room!! I am 60 and my hubby 56 but we are very young for our age and enjoy dancing, singing. Not this lot never met such moody rude and generally horrible old people. You walk around and all you see is the oldies snoring with their teeth out!! oh and of course they think they have more of a right to be there than the youngster. Our daughter is 16 and she has model manners unlike this awful lot. The second week a lot went home (thank god) and some younger people arrived, average age of 30, 40 and 50s so much better. Just avoid going out of school holidays unless you want to have a very sedate holiday. The Oriental Restaurant We did Club Dining because frankly I want to be waited on not suffer the gauntlet of chavs who want to barge you out of the way in the Horizon to get the last sausage!! the food in Oriental is amazing as are the waiters, I would give 10/10 for their service, dedication, politeness and general willingness to please. The Horizon: Frankly the food is disgusting, cold, overcooked, same old slop every day, avoid unless you enjoy this standard of food. Dealing with complaints: My Husband sadly found a hair in his Apple Crumble in the Oriental. We immediately informed the waiters who very hurriedly removed the dish and the hair. The head waiter was called and it was naturally all hushed up (cant have that being announced to all and sundry). Basically we were told that there would be an investigation (I asked if they would be taking a DNA test you know like CSI Miami but apparently not)!. My husband returned to our cabin to find a letter of apology blah blah, not the standard we set etc etc. but that was it. No apology no recompense nothing, so will be complaining to P&O about this. Lastly Brittania is frankly not a very nice ship at all, it is very very drab, browns, wine and gold, the idea was that it would be designed to be contemporary, what it actually resembles is a hospital. Hard railings with no color, carpets drab, Atrium chandelier whic is meant to be a stalagmite is at best awful. The Venture is bright, airy and modern and feels like a holiday this ship is literally depressing. Everyone we was with complained about the ship. Layout of the ship: Herein was the biggest cause for complaint. The Brittania has been designed so that due to the atrium being where it is there are no lifts in the middle and no stairs, as a result to get to floor 6 you have to go up to 7 then walk down to 6??? To say it caused problems was an understatement, everyone was getting lost, there are no signs to direct anyone and worst of all , people like myself who had a knee injury found the constant walking up and down stairs a real pain. Some passengers who were in wheelchairs arrived to find that they could only get in their cabin if they got out of their wheelchairs, folded them up and then walked in. One lady who could not get oout of her wheelchair had to wait for her hubby to lift her out of the chair, put her on the bed, fold up the wheelchair, then put her back in it!!! In summing up I would say if you are aged 60 70 80, are fit and able, don't enjoy bright decor then this is the ship for you. I felt very very let down on this ship its a pretty miserable cruise ship and I wont be going back, I will stick to Ventura, Azura whom everyone on our ship loved. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
This was my first experience of cruising and ok some people might say I have nothing to compare it to but I disagree...I have traveled a lot so whether it be on a ship or air I still have good experience in the holiday sector. This ship ... Read More
This was my first experience of cruising and ok some people might say I have nothing to compare it to but I disagree...I have traveled a lot so whether it be on a ship or air I still have good experience in the holiday sector. This ship is ran to perfection! the cabin, ok a little small but what the hell you only sleep in it ...the dining selection is second to none!! whether you do posh or self service it all meets up to standard! The entertainment....excellent infact if you dont pre-plan you'll miss loads, they leave an entertainment leaflet the night before in your cabin so you can look and see what you want to do the following day/night extremely good idea!!...the service....top notch! and the staff all so friendly!! The captain Mr Paul Brown - it was nice to hear his voice over the tannoy keeping us up to date with everything to do with the ship...I loved the whole experience from start to finish and was amazed how everything ran like clockwork for such a large amount of people 3,400 to be precise.........I cannot wait to go on another...hope fully Christmas 2017....if I had to give it a rating out of 10 it would be 12!!!!! one very satisfied holiday maker...... Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Ship was nice enough but it is only a year old so would expect everything to be shipshape. A lot of dark wood and dark colours, balcony cabin with setee was quite roomy and like the open wardrobe area. Found our way round ok, we did ... Read More
Ship was nice enough but it is only a year old so would expect everything to be shipshape. A lot of dark wood and dark colours, balcony cabin with setee was quite roomy and like the open wardrobe area. Found our way round ok, we did expect to get lost with it being a larger ship but not bad at all as long as you remember to go to deck 7 first to get anywhere. Food wasn't as good as we expected unless you paid extra, we paid extra £15pp for meal in Sindhu (Indian) which was very good, and a cover charge plus approx £3 per meal choice in Beach House this was also good. Some meals in our Oriental restaurant (designated) were nice but majority of meals were basic despite their description. Horizon self serve restaurant was very repetitive and ordinary. Shore excursions not great, our first one on Aruba took us to see a natural bridge ( which had fallen in ) so not much to see but then our guide said but we now have a baby bridge still not much to see, onto a very old lighthouse next....this was covered in scaffolding and couldn't be seen.... Next the oldest church on the island, refurbished from ground up so it looked brand new and had just been painted a bright yellow. Disappointed with this trip to say the least.... cool Runnings and Dunns river falls was better, we enjoyed that one on Jamaica. (See trip advisor) Entertainment was ok but not brilliant. There seemed to be a lot of extra paying out for things. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
We were very disappointed with the cruise. The Decor on the ship was understated and dull the entertainment was poor and there wasn't enough seats in the venues for the amount of passengers so had to queue for 30 or 40 mins to get in ... Read More
We were very disappointed with the cruise. The Decor on the ship was understated and dull the entertainment was poor and there wasn't enough seats in the venues for the amount of passengers so had to queue for 30 or 40 mins to get in to a show which lasted less than 45 mins. We were stuck in a cold corner of the restaurant next to air conditioner and couldn't get changed to a new table. As a result our food was cold before we could finish eating. The food was poor anyway and had steak one night whicht was uneatable. The menu didn't vary much maybe 1 different dish each night. The cabin was very nice and the balcony adequate also the port of calls were great which is just as well because we couldn't get a sunbed at the pools for love nor money. Too many passengers for the pool size. This was our 9th cruise and we loved every one of them but this was awful and we were glad to get off the ship. So if you don't want to sit in an English pub with bingo and pub quizzes every night, avoid this ship. We have now booked our next cruise with ncl Epic. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
This was our first long cruise having taken mini cruises before. The ship is impressive but staff appeared miserable and demotivated. We loved dressing up, the for in The Peninsular freedom dining was fantastic. We did pay to eat at ... Read More
This was our first long cruise having taken mini cruises before. The ship is impressive but staff appeared miserable and demotivated. We loved dressing up, the for in The Peninsular freedom dining was fantastic. We did pay to eat at both Sindhu and Limelight, "Morcambe & Wise" were superb both but food was disappointing. We had booked before arriving on board but no tables were reserved, we did complain and Kenneth offered us a return visit to Sindhu and at that time food was excellent. Our cabin was huge and located mid ship on C deck accessible only by lift. Standards slipped with guests not adhering to the dress code. Guests also reserved sun beds for hours at a time leaving many guests disappointed. We would have use The Retreat had we known about it at the start of the cruise only 5 spaces allocated on the day. Overall a fantastic cruise,madam in the Crows Nest kept us entertained as did Lauren the female part of the singin duo. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Myself and most others on the holiday became increasingly annoyed by the moaners who were determined to make their negative comments known at every opportunity. Most of us were having a great time and could not understand what the ... Read More
Myself and most others on the holiday became increasingly annoyed by the moaners who were determined to make their negative comments known at every opportunity. Most of us were having a great time and could not understand what the others were moaning about, it seemed like they were living in a parallel universe or that they lived a life of luxury back home. All the staff we had contact with were sociable,had smiles on their faces and always greeted you pleasantly. I could get used to being called Madam!!! The food every where was of a good standard (we tried all the restaurants) The Sindu was our favourite. A common gripe was the surcharge for some places but you always pay more back home to eat in the best places so why not here. I would agree with everyone about the crazy sun bed situation but cannot also understand how anyone could spend more than 30 minutes in the hot sun out there, some people were really over doing it judging by the colour of their skin. I would also agree about how unpleasant it is as a non smoker to find oneself by mistake on the port side on the Lido deck where the smokers gather. Even rushing through is not an experience you want to repeat too often. Favourite place was The Crows Nest during the day, a true oasis of calm where readers could go to pass a couple of pleasant hours with magnificent views all around. Cabin and balcony were as expected. Took Six organised excursions and each one was worth the money for the security and peace of mind they provided. The islands are simply wonderful and the tour guides or drivers are such a wealth of knowledge and show genuine love for their particular island. Beware some of the roads are truely scary. Most memorable experience ,seeing the shoals of flying fishes. All the audience seemed to enjoy the Morcambe and Wise tribute act in The Limelight. We met and enjoyed the company of some delightful ,like minded fellow travelers who far outnumbered those others who seemed determined to find fault with things ( these seemed to be frequent cruisers, mainly with other cruise lines ) Would I go on Britannia again? Of course I would. Go, and decide for yourself. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
THIS IS OUR 7TH CRUISE BUT FIRST WITH P&O. Ship is outstanding but evening theatre shows were disappointing with only one show every other night!!! Service in restaurant was very average and you waited up to 40 minutes to receive a ... Read More
THIS IS OUR 7TH CRUISE BUT FIRST WITH P&O. Ship is outstanding but evening theatre shows were disappointing with only one show every other night!!! Service in restaurant was very average and you waited up to 40 minutes to receive a glass of wine with your evening meal. The staff just didn't know what they were doing, had no customer service skills and were unfriendly at times, even abrupt with their responses at times! We were shocked!! The itinerary was amazing though and despite this we still had a lovely holiday. We didn't do any of the port excursions, we ventured out on our own. The travel from the airport to the ship was fine. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
Just returned from an excellent cruise round the West Caribbean. When I read some of the reviews I can't believe I've been on the same ship. The food to was great, parti ularly in the waiter serviced restaurant. We used the self ... Read More
Just returned from an excellent cruise round the West Caribbean. When I read some of the reviews I can't believe I've been on the same ship. The food to was great, parti ularly in the waiter serviced restaurant. We used the self service restaurants for breakfast and lunch because we love sitting outside to eat. In all fairness in the self service restaurants the food was basically the same every day, but we could have gone intò one of the restaurants where the food and choice was excellent. The entertainment was good and varied. We had some great evenings going round the different venues. This is our first cruise with P @ O, having cruised with other companies. I think some passengers have now been on so many cruises that they have become ultra picky. The bottom line isthe Azura was clean, I felt safe and staff went out of their way to ensure we were well served and the transfers between the airport and the ship just could not be faulted. Thère is just one problem that I think should be addressed and that is reserving sunbeds first thing in the morning and just leaving a towel and book there all day without having any consideration for other passengers. There is a notice that comes up on the deck screen asking people not to reserve beds which is totally ignored. I think members of staff should ensure this policy Is adhered. I am sure it will ruffle a few feathers, but the majority of passengers will appreciate just being able to use a bed if and when they wished to.   Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
Charter flight from Manchester to Barbados was ok - not having to collect luggage in Barbados was a bonus. Embarkation was very swift and friendly.Cabin was clean and comfortable with plenty of storage space for clothes and luggage. ... Read More
Charter flight from Manchester to Barbados was ok - not having to collect luggage in Barbados was a bonus. Embarkation was very swift and friendly.Cabin was clean and comfortable with plenty of storage space for clothes and luggage. Bathroom was fairly small but functional with nice toiletries and always plenty of clean towels. The toilet made a horrendous noise when flushed and we were afraid of waking our neighbours. Abdul was our cabin steward and although we didn't see much of him - he was very efficient and thorough. We had 2nd sitting dining in the Oriental restaurant on a table for 6. Our dining companions were very pleasant and we had some fun with them The waiters were very good and helpful and the food was always hot and delicious. We enjoyed the ports and the trips we had booked and also the days at sea where we could relax on our balcony. We enjoyed afternoon tea in the dining room on a few days - particularly when we had missed lunch whilst being ashore. We are not keen on musical shows but we did enjoy the comedian and the theatre was packed. My one gripe was that people were reserving sunbeds for hours each day - even though there were notices asking them not to. We observed a family reserving 8 sunbeds but only using 2 of them. This is very unfair on other passengers and makes people cross. P&O need to police this and do as we have seen Royal Caribbean do- remove belongings after 40 mins. Overall we thoroughly anjoyed the cruise and the ship was clean and tidy and luckily we were not put off by people giving negative reviews. Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
Just returned from a Ventura cruise and was hugely disappointed. The staff are delightful and very caring but the standards have dropped rock bottom. No silver service in the dining rooms which we were not aware of until we were on board, ... Read More
Just returned from a Ventura cruise and was hugely disappointed. The staff are delightful and very caring but the standards have dropped rock bottom. No silver service in the dining rooms which we were not aware of until we were on board, no mention of this in the brochure. Bay Tree restaurant the food was awful we only ate there three times out of the whole cruise. Self service was okay but people walking in with bathing costumes and no shirts is not acceptable. Where were the staff to stop them? People pushing and shoving to get food was terrible. The children on board during term time was amazing and their behaviour was awful the parents didn't seem to worry about them. Jacuzzi was full of very young children without supervision could have been a nasty accident but no crew to bring order to the situation, children jumping and splashing in the pools which is not supposed to be allowed. Entertainment same old same old tribute acts awful. Should have kept Ocean Village or turn Ventura into an Ocean Village. We have cruised many times with P.O but I feel this was the last time. Move like a floating Butlins Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
We have travelled several times with P and O and have always enjoyed it . The Ventura is a large ship with lots of separate areas . Our cabin was on C deck which has extra large balconies . This is really useful in the Caribbean heat as ... Read More
We have travelled several times with P and O and have always enjoyed it . The Ventura is a large ship with lots of separate areas . Our cabin was on C deck which has extra large balconies . This is really useful in the Caribbean heat as it gives an area of shade and it's possible to stretch out comfortably . All the staff on P and O work tirelessly and are very polite and welcoming . Each cabin has normal plug settings so there is no need to take any adapters . A good tip however is to take an electrical strip if you have lots of things that need charging . There are white products , shampoo and shower gel available in the cabin in small bottles so these can add to your supplies . We travel in premium seats on long journeys due to medical problems and the extra that this costs is well worth it especially as you get a 28 kg luggage allowance. The extra on board credit covered most of our costs this year and this was excellent as you don't want an extra large bill after a holiday . P and O has always been one of our favourite cruise lines but from a personal opinion we were a bit dissapointed with a few aspects . The time to put suitcases out on the last evening at 11pm is very early especially if you are on the late dinner sitting . This would be much better if it was extended to 1.00am . We were very compliant with trying to keep our hand luggage on the return journey to the recommended 5 kegs but then watched in amazement as other passengers had two to three large bags and even largish suitcases that were way over the allowance . . If you don't need to keep to the limit then this should be very clear or somone should monitor it . Meals in the main dining room were not delivered with silver service but came plated up and the portions . were quite large . This can be too much at times and seems wasteful . P And O also seems to be stuck in using their tried and tested format . This might be fine for first time cruisers or those who don't like change but we were dissapointed that you could predict the day time and evening entertainment . We can't understand why this always has to be the same , the same type of talks, shows , comedians etc . No one offering an entertainment service on shore would get away with reproducing the same material and artists year on year especially when there is such a variety to choose from . P and O need to just make sure that there are a few new aspects to each cruise to keep everyone's interest or like us we will be tempted to look at other cruise lines so that we do get a different experience . This would be shame as everything else is very good Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
This is the first and last time we will cruise with P & O is the strap line for this review, the content is our honest opinions having cruised in excess of thirty times with Celebrity, RCL, Princess and Cunard. We were looking for a ... Read More
This is the first and last time we will cruise with P & O is the strap line for this review, the content is our honest opinions having cruised in excess of thirty times with Celebrity, RCL, Princess and Cunard. We were looking for a quality itinerary for the New Year period and at least on this front we were not disappointed, with the likes of St Kitts, St Marten, Bonaire, Dominica, St Lucia and Curacao to name a few it did offer some really good islands. It started with a typically poor flight with Thomson, with very poor weight limits, no free drinks, a lousy meal, but it was on time. We arrived in Barbados to meet the rest of our fellow cruisers and whilst there were quite a few P & O past cruisers of quality, sadly the ship was inundated with the tattooed brigade of loud family members, and the cruise I am sure met the expectations of these travellers. However, a great number of P & O previous cruisers and the likes of us from other lines, were vicsiverous with our mutual comments of disappointment and that they would not travel with them again. Let me explain our reasons, the cabins and stewards were good. The Oriental restaurant food was poor although the staff were good. The buffet offered a slightly better standard, but the seating for breakfast and lunch was disastrous with areas closing without notice and meaning that you had to walk to another area and back to where we were sitting and often losing our table. The entertainment was of a 2 class standard, the cruise director was obvious by her absence and the captain was a voice on the tanoy system. The bar staff generally were rude and uncoperative. I cant help but think that P & O has been "Carnivalised" and it now looks for all the possible cost savings it can to add to the Carnival coffers. The Azura is definitely in need of a refit with very tired carpets and some very questionable bed linen with dubious stains, sadly the ship is "tired". The return poor flight on Thomson was on time, but the food was lousy and they had run out of most of their very expensive drinks and mixers, upon mentioning this to the crew, they responded "yes we are aware and have notified head office on numerous occasions, but nothing changes". For us its back to Carnival and Cunard and maybe Princess providing the latter two do not suffer with the Carnival axe. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Beginning to think some people think only miserable moaning complainers write reviews. There seems to be two types of review ' loved it and hated it. 'Loved it ' seems to come from first time cruisers and hated it from those ... Read More
Beginning to think some people think only miserable moaning complainers write reviews. There seems to be two types of review ' loved it and hated it. 'Loved it ' seems to come from first time cruisers and hated it from those with a little more cruising under their belt. I'm a working type of chap who puts in many hours and gets that look from other people at work as if to say ' where did he get get the money because I've booked a cruise' Nothing to do with scraping the cash together all year and still watching the penny's even when on holiday. But let's face it, for most of us it's the best type of holiday overtime can buy. I remember back in the 70s 80's watching the celebrities of the day being filmed in Antigua and thinking 'that's for the rich and famous only. Well, news flash, joe blogs has caught up and now the rich and famous look to Crystal cruises and seabourne to escape. Back in the real world we are told that karaoke with a dickie bow is perfectly acceptable and your formal night photo does not look out of place with a bottle of bud in your hand. The overcrowded pack em in cruise ship experience has become a reality and the golden era of cruising sank the minute people like me didn't worry about what knife to pick up in the restaurant. That said I was brought up with good manners and I would be mortified if I felt that my behaviour contributed to making a fellow passenger feel uncomfortable while 'chucking their arrows at the dart board.' Let's spin this a bit further. A bucket of beer,six for the cost of five is surely one of the deals that first class passengers on Cunard cruises would envy. What could be better than a flag waving, I'm British, look at my bull dog tattoo 1945 rock music sail away? No silly steel drum Caribbean music required here guvnor. Sarcasm you bet! What was missing here is Al Murray as cruise director, the pub landlord to make a few meaningless announcements through the day. Frank Gallagher to arrange party nights and Vicki Pollard to head up reception. Sometimes we rise above and turn a blind eye to the things did not live up to expectations. But why should we? The question is, shouldn't those people who are paid our hard earned cash, agree to meet the promises given in their glossy brochures and adverts. Why should we come away from a holiday feeling that we have actually overpaid. Why do so many reviews have he same theme and similar opinions? Do our opinions fall on deaf ears? Shall we go to Benidorm next year? Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
This cruise was my wife and I's fourth cruise, the previous three were with Royal Caribbean, and we enjoyed them tremendiously, we opted for P&O, because they offered tge cruise we wanted to do at the time we wanted to do it. We ... Read More
This cruise was my wife and I's fourth cruise, the previous three were with Royal Caribbean, and we enjoyed them tremendiously, we opted for P&O, because they offered tge cruise we wanted to do at the time we wanted to do it. We arrived art Manchester Airport to fly on the Thomas Cook Airline charter at 6:30am on the 27th December 2014. The plain was due to take off at 09:30, but due to weather conditions. The excuse was that the airport only had two de-icing trucks, and they were in the queue. You could hear the anger in the pilots voice when he made the various announcements during the delay. We took off at 11:15am, the flight took slightly more than 7 hours. We were given a meal from Jamie Oliver. It was nice, we got free coffee two times and we could buy alcohol and soft drinks a few times also. We landed in Barbados and we were taken to the Azura directly - we did not pass through customs. Our cases arrived at our cabin whilst we were eating dinner. We choose the first seating option for dinner, at 6:30pm in the Peninsular Retaurant, we requested a table for two. Dinner would be described as GOOD, not excellent. In the dining room, between each table of guests, the waitors only replaced the knives, forks and spoons and napkins. The table cloth was NOT replaced, and the remains of the previous guiest's dinner could be seen on the table cloth. On RCI, the waitors replaced the knives and forks, napkins and also the table cloth between guests.. The lack of cleanliness were prevelant - I only saw one housekeeping staff member clean the main stairway's handrails once. OPnce in 14 days, obvioulsly they were cleaned, but every day - I do not know. On RCI, the handrails were cleaned 3 or 4 times a day. TYhe Azura had the Norovirus on the previous cruise, handrails are a source of this infection -I would have thought the handrails would be a priority for cleaning. Our cabin itself, was clean and was a reasonable size. The balcony was a good size, and had two lounge chairs and a table. The stewards name was on the table. The room was cleaned every morning and the standard was very good. In the evening, the room was cleaned again and the HORIZON magasine was delivered - with two AZURA chocolates and replacement coffee biscuits. In conclusion, this ship - The P&O Azura - was not as good as it should have been. My wife and I enjoy quizzes, but there were not enough. Also, the prizes were universally a BOTTLE of WINE, which is rubbish. In Royal Caribbean the prizes are RCI tat - keyrings, pens, squirrel backpacks (camera cases), fridge magnets, lanyards etc. The entertainment team were obvious by their absence, the Entertainment Manager was nowhere. The only time we saw a member of the entertainment team was at the entrance of the theatre - before the headliner show. This is a very poor standard. in RCI, the Cruise Director Team were always there, if one was walking throughout the ship we could speak to them. The entertainment on board was good, but the scheduling was poor - there were shows on at the same time, the scheduling could have been better. There was a lack of entertainment - there was no live music throughout the ship, there was no live band which would play. No Karaoke, no gameshows. RCI have a daily tv show, with the Cruise Director and Entertainment Manager - 30mins every day, which is repeated throughout the morning. P&O's shows only occurred on Sea Days, were over 1 hour long and the sound did not go with the pictures. I had to visit the medical section, as I needed some mouth ulser cream. They had this cream on board, but would not give / sell it to me. They stated that I needed to see the doctor - at a cost of 52 UKPounds - for the doctor to simply say "Yes, you need the cream." Obviously, I did not give them this money. I left the medical section and went up to the Reception. I wanted to formally complain, the reception staff said I could complain if I wanted. I said I wanted them to formally write my complaint down - they GRUDGINGLY did ths, and said the Reception manager would contact me - I am STILL waiting for this communication. This is standard for the reception team, they are PATHETIC, they do not care about any passenger complaint - we heard a story from another guest concerning red wine being poured over a dress, the reception team said that they would get it cleaned in Barbados - 4 days later. I wonmder if this occurred. The maintenance of the public areas on the Azura was poor, on EVERY deck, in the corridors were handrails - on EVERY FLOOR on several of the had rails the brass end was missing. This was either because the maintenance team did not suervey the ship and note the faults - or if they did, they did niot care. The Azura is only 4 years old, it is tired looking and desperately needs refuirbishment Lack of care was prevelant throughout the ship. The lack of care comes from the managment of the staff, and that is the captains responsibility. P&O is not as good as Royal Caaribbean International, and it is doubtful if we shall cruise with P&O again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
We booked this cruise last time we were on board in April last year to maximise our on board credit. This was a fly cruise and the flight with Thomas Cook airlines was the worst part of our holiday, we will seriously consider scheduled ... Read More
We booked this cruise last time we were on board in April last year to maximise our on board credit. This was a fly cruise and the flight with Thomas Cook airlines was the worst part of our holiday, we will seriously consider scheduled flights if we do the trip again. There were obvious queues to check in in a less than luxurious shed but you were offered water while you waited. Once check in was complete we boarded the ship and went in search of our cabin. I was so excited because two weeks prior to departure I had had an email from P & O offering us an upgrade to a suite for an additional £250 per person. This seemed like a once in a lifetime opportunity so we took it and were given the Penthouse Suite on the back of the ship. It was amazing, so much space, a butler and the opportunity to have breakfast in the White Room each morning. If you ever get the chance to upgrade I would highly recommend it. The crew as always were friendly, polite, courteous and eager to please. We ate in the Bay Tree each night and the food was always good if not excellent. Lunch was usually eaten in Saffron and again was good or excellent. We ate one evening in the White Room and the food was delicious, I was so full I could hardly manage a pudding. I'm not sure it was worth £25 each but the experience of eating under the stars was great. We used the buffet a couple of times, usually when we had missed lunch and the quality was good and plenty of hand gel in evidence. Pizza was a naughty treat occaisonally as was afternoon tea. We enjoyed pre-dinner drinks in the Metropolis most nights, although sometimes it was hard to get served if they were very busy, this was also the case in the Red Bar. We thought that staff numbers had probably been cut since our last trip. The Glasshouse seemed to lack atmosphere whereas when it was Las Ramblas we thought it had a definite buzz in it but maybe that was to do with the different show times. Shows are not really for us although we did go to one which was fine and we saw Tom O'Connor too. My husband when to a few talks from the guest speaker. In an effort to burn off some calories we visited the gym several times and as usual there were pieces of equipment out of action. One of the rowing machines only required a new battery in the display but despite mentioning this on the first day, two weeks later it was still out of action. We had an excellent holiday once again and would highly recommend this trip to anyone.   Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
There were so many problems it is difficult to know were to start. The ship itself was clearly not ready following its recent refurbishment ! Toilets in public areas seldom worked, we had several days when they did not work in our cabin ... Read More
There were so many problems it is difficult to know were to start. The ship itself was clearly not ready following its recent refurbishment ! Toilets in public areas seldom worked, we had several days when they did not work in our cabin either. Many public and open areas were filthy. Noisy work was being carried out around the pool areas. Decks were blocked off while painting was being done with the subsequent smell of paint a problem. So many people had so many problems it was moans and groans from everyone we spoke to all day everyday, but they already know that from the number of people we saw at reception waiting to complain ! This was our third cruise with P&O since September 2012 and we were likely to be P&O customers for many years to come but their standards have dropped so much they are now a very poor option for cruisers. P&O had good entertainment sadly Arcadia did not. The Headliners were good but only did 4 shows in 24 nights ! (They were rehearsing shows for “The World Cruise”) The poor catering and lack of silver service was another area of disappointment. The Arcadia seemed understaffed and the staff under trained, a few more cleaners would not go a miss. It is a wonder there was not a health related problem during the cruise. We had a minor fire (only in the laundry !!!!!) They are cutting back so much it is the passengers that are bleeding ! Profits are important but with no customers where are the profits going to come from ? None of our party will cruise P&O again ! "what a shame" is it anything to do with the "new senior manager" WE LOVED P&O until this cruise.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
Having cruised for over 25 years, several with P& O, we returned from this Christmas/New Year cruise exceedingly disappointed with the level that standards had dropped to. The hygiene levels were very poor indeed. We lost count of the ... Read More
Having cruised for over 25 years, several with P& O, we returned from this Christmas/New Year cruise exceedingly disappointed with the level that standards had dropped to. The hygiene levels were very poor indeed. We lost count of the number of times we had to ask for the tables to be wiped down in the Belvedere Restaurant (Buffet), because of food or drink spills still on the tables. Toilets were repeatedly out of order - on 1 day we visited 6 sets of toilets between promenade deck and the pool deck before we found any working. Some individual toilets never worked for the entire cruise. At other times it was wash basins or hand driers not working - the knock on effect being empty paper towel holders. Other than in the Meridian restaurant there was no effort made by staff to encourage people to use the hand gels. There were also some very strange, garbage type, smells in several places on the ship. One of the days returning from the Caribbean, the water in the Neptune Pool continued to overflow for several hours. This made this important main area impossible to use - water was swimming around the tables and chairs, normally used for eating, reading, playing cards or having a coffee. A very dangerous situation for some of the less mobile passengers. The water travelled as far as the lift areas and upto the Belvedere restaurant. The carpets took days to dry out. Why did it take so long to make the decision to empty the pool? - Bad management!!!! The entertainment listed in the Horizon seemed to be mainly seminars by spa and gym staff - very little else. This seemed to prove our opinion of the ship being very understaffed. It is no wonder so many people on the ship were ill with chest infections, including us. First time we have ever been ill on a cruise. We are in agreement with many that we spoke to on the ship, we will not be cruising with P& O again. We will be returning to Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises, who still care about the passengers   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
my husband and i took our first cruise 2 years ago on an american cruise liner and my husband hated it.. He reluctantly agreed to make the "sacrifice to take me on a P&O cruise to the Carribean for my 60th birthday on the ... Read More
my husband and i took our first cruise 2 years ago on an american cruise liner and my husband hated it.. He reluctantly agreed to make the "sacrifice to take me on a P&O cruise to the Carribean for my 60th birthday on the uinderstanding that if he disliked it again the word cruise would not pass my lips again - Well given he would have been prepared to stay on the ship for another 2 weeks at the end of the trip I can safely say this cruise was a great success. Firstly it really helped that this was a British cruise ship and everything about it was very British, from the entertainment to the sail away parties, games on deck, talks on Nelson in the Carribean and the absolutely fabulous afternoon teas, with warm scones and teacakes and jam and cream and dainty little cakes. Secondly it is essential to choose the right area to cruise in. We are very active people and not sunbathers. so it was great that we spent very little time at sea, arrived at 7.am at most destinations and were able to disembark as early as 8.15am We then toured each island by local taxi's and hit the beaches for swimmimg before heading back to the ship at 4 p.m to get afternoon tea. It is wrong to assume cruising is for the feeble oldies. We did so much each day we actually looked forward to a day on board to recuperate ready for the next landing. When we had a day on board we chatted to other passengers and took in the entertainment. Formal dining took place on the 3 days we were at sea so I also took the opportunity to spend a little time getting my hair back into shape. We were never bored. The carribean is a delight but I wouldn't have wanted to spend more than a few days in each destination so the cruise was a perfect way to do it. For many on the cruise this was their second, 3rd or even 4th time cruising the Carribean and they suggested on the first cruise you should take the opportunity to tour the islands to get a feel for each destination and then take the cruise a second time and just hit the best beaches. That's an idea we may take up.in 2014/15. The Ventura may not be the most spectacular ship on the ocean but we found it spacious and dined well in the Bay Tree Restaurant. There were some interesting and fun people on our table so we chose to dine there each evening to catch up but had that not been the case we could have chosen freedom dining instead. The food was excellent in the Bay Tree and our waiters a joy to be with each night. In general we found all the staff friendly and anxious to please (excluding security staff, whether on the ship or at the airport - are these people specifically selected to have no sense of humour) The entertainment particularly from the inhouse theatre group was very good - west end style shows lasting about 45 minutes and then on to one of the bars to see tribute acts and comedians. Generally all very good. The casino was a little small and we had difficulty in getting on the tables after 10pm. One great thing about P&O above other cruise lines is they will allow you to bring your own drink on board and take it to your room . I believe most cruise ships take it off you and return it at the end of the cruise We didn't do it because we are not drinkers but many were bringing cheap liquor on board from the duty free shops. The only thing which spoiled our cruise was finding out that people in better cabins had paid a lot less than us because they had booked only two weeks before sailing - some people they had paid substantially less than others and caused a great deal of resentment . P.O need to find some way of avoiding this You don't have to take the ships tours at any of the islands visited. The local taxi's are brilliant, well organised and reliable. You don't pay until you get back so they always pick you up and anyway there are hundreds of them touting for your business. They are now controlled by the tourist boards and prices are more or less fixed. The only cruise ship trip we did was swimming with turtles in Barbados. We were a bit surprised to find our catamaran stopped off a beach in view of the cruise ship and others swam with the turtles under there own steam by paying 8 dollars for a taxi whilst we paid £64 on the boat - we did get to snorkel over a shipwreck and cruise to another beach and it was very nice but next time we would do it on our own. Always get talking to people on the boat you would be amazed how many times some people have been and how much they know. Having seen the Carribean for the first time I know why they keep coming back. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
This cruise on Aurora was to be a special cruise for our 40th wedding and husbands 65th birthday. Ship found to be tatty and generally food and service below what to expect since our last cruise with P&O. Noise in cabin from slamming ... Read More
This cruise on Aurora was to be a special cruise for our 40th wedding and husbands 65th birthday. Ship found to be tatty and generally food and service below what to expect since our last cruise with P&O. Noise in cabin from slamming drawers and doors in adjoining cabins and unable to sit out on balcony most days due to smoking on balcony either side. Had to book tours due to ship location in most ports of call due to husband being unable to walk far and no shuttle buses in most ports.Tours expensive and quality of transport very poor. Pestered all day long to buy expensive drinks by bar staff. Everything on board is geared up to get money off you and now we have finished up with a large debt on credit card. We think we were miss sold the cruise has we paid full getaway fare after been assured by P&O that it was doubtful it would come down due to high demand and if it came down we may get upgrade which we did not get. The price dropped by £1200 for the both of us 4 weeks later. Last cruise we will do with P&O. Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
We were both really looking forward to this holiday and the chance to relax and escape to some winter sun. I am pleased to say that both the ship and the destinations did not disappoint and this was a fantastic holiday. I have provided ... Read More
We were both really looking forward to this holiday and the chance to relax and escape to some winter sun. I am pleased to say that both the ship and the destinations did not disappoint and this was a fantastic holiday. I have provided some detail of what we did on each of the ports and would urge anyone to get off an explore on every island - do your own thing. The highlights for us were the picturesque Wilemstad, the spice market and Grand Anse beach on Grenada, the local bar and resturant converted from a shipping container in the middle of nowwhere in Barbados where we entertained the locals when trying the hot sauce (yes, it is !. We loved the atmosphere in Marigot and the people and beauty of Dominica. The service and food on the ship was top notch - we had chosen the 8.30 sitting and ate in the Oriental restaurant most nights. Our waiters Sri and Juan were excellent and the food choice and quality terrific. We ate at the 3 select venues during the cruise and really enjoyed the change in style and pace. Sindhu was our favourite for food - Sean loved the Rabbit tikka but we also enjoyed the experience of the tasting evening at The Glasshouse and would recommend this to anyone and understand it gets booked up very quickly. We ate in Seventeen the night of my birthday and it was a lovely meal although we were puzzled why the wine menu was smaller thatn in the main restuarant? My only comment about dining in the select restaurants is that although the food and service is top notch I felt they lacked the atmosphere of the main restaurant.The entertainment was varied and very professional - we had no trouble getting a seat at any of the later shows in either the Playhouse or Manhatten. The Reel to Reel show put on by the Headliners was as good as many West end shows we have seen. I woudld not hesitate to recommend this ship or this intinerary to anyone and felt you could find your own perfect holiday so easily with all the choice on offer. Read Less
Sail Date March 2013
As two first time cruisers, celebrating 3 special occasions in 2013, we were so excited to be heading for the Caribbean in January 2013 on the P&O Ventura. We had planned and prepared for this cruise for 18 months and it was such a big ... Read More
As two first time cruisers, celebrating 3 special occasions in 2013, we were so excited to be heading for the Caribbean in January 2013 on the P&O Ventura. We had planned and prepared for this cruise for 18 months and it was such a big disappointment. I would recommend that anyone thinking of going on their first cruise to research yourself thoroughly before you jump on board. We had gone to a specialist cruise shop in Liverpool and the advice given to us failed in the first instance as the wrong cruise company was recommended. We wanted a ship with the “wow” factor, including the wave pool, rock wall, indoor mall, but P&O ships don’t offer these services… We now know we should have chosen a Royal Caribbean ship for a number of factors. The beginning of the holiday started well as we boarded our charter at Liverpool Airport (this was a test schedule). The flight to Barbados airport was ideal and the transfer from plane to ship went smoothly bypassing Barbados customs to transfer directly to the ship. Upon boarding we didn’t experience the WOW factor and our first impression of Ventura lasted with us the whole cruise as other experiences didn’t come upto the expected standard. The general area furnishings were outdated, tired and worn and within our room (B326), the carpet was dirty, the towels threadbare and yellowed, the sheets in need of renewing as we found a hole in the duvet upon one of the changes and the balcony furniture was stained. Whilst on board we found that the ship was due for refit in March so we would it would be interested to see if passengers cruising after that refit report a significant change. Other passengers on board felt the standard against price paid was very poor. Having paid extra for a balcony and checked the brochure before hand for any restrictions, we found that our balcony was completely covered, the canopy being the floor of the balcony above. So beware of B deck balconies as this canopy stretches a good proportion of the ship. We have since raised this mis information with P&O (the fact that according to the brochure, our balcony wasn’t “restricted” in any way) and their customer service dept are not willing to accept this fact. I would recommend that if you do have a problem whilst on board then persist with the in- house team to rectify any problem, as once home, the UK based Customer Service Centre are not interested in listening to you regarding your concerns. There were four days at sea during the 15 night holiday and we expected to take full advantage of these relaxing on a sun-lounger. This was not the case as the sun-loungers filled up by 9 am with customers reserving them from sunrise. The in-house literature requested that passengers do not reserve beds and if they are moving away from their bed for half an hour then it be freed up. Policing this request was none existent as staff weren’t interested in the distress of some customers who searched the ship and were unable to obtain a sun-lounger. Some selfish customers went as far as reserving one each in the shade and one in the sun and swapped between the two periodically throughout the day. The feedback from P&O customer services reported that “they had provided the facility to sunbathe and were not obligated to find passengers a bed!!” This issue with beds has been a major problem with other passengers on Cruise Critic Sites and has been reported since 2009 and yet P&O have made no attempt to implement a procedure for the comfort of their passengers. I wonder if this is the norm with all cruise ships but it is certainly off-putting and a bad mark against P&O for their lack of interest to rectify this problem. I have some good aspects to report. The itinery with the variety of islands covered and the length of daily stay in port (normally arriving 7 am and departing 5 pm) was ideal. Booking P&O organised excursions is recommended as it alleviates the worry that you may get left behind if you are delayed. These excursions do seem expensive but the island tours give you a good overview of beach and town. The evening entertainment content was of a high standard but that did prove a disadvantage in itself as seating was unobtainable unless you left your meal early and reserved your seat in the cabaret lounge and theatre. The food was of a high quality in all of the ship restaurants and the waiting and bar staff attentive and helpful. We dined in Saffron on the first sitting and the organisation was excellent. I would recommend eating in the waiter service restaurants than fending for yourself in the buffet restaurant which at times was like a free for all at a holiday camp as some passengers chose to queue jump and many were disrespectful of the waiting staff. The bar prices were on par with UK hotels and the fact that you paid in £ Sterling was a bonus. The soft drinks and ice cream package was good value for money. Ship’s passengers are 90 % British and for us Brits that like our tea available in the room, all rooms had tea making facilities and a fridge. I believe P&O advertising is bringing in a different clientel and the traditional standards of cruising are being left behind. The Captain’s Gala on the second night was a let down as the Captain appeared for a five minute slot at the beginning of the evening and was never spotted again for the rest of the evening. There was no Captain’s table at which he was dining and he wasn’t "Meeting and Greeting" the passengers as we expected. In fact passengers wanting to approach him were queuing to have their photo taken with him to which they would then be asked to pay for this official photo. Official photographers were in abundance but the price charged was expensive and there were no offers for those wishing to purchase more than one photo. I can only guess at the amount of photos that were wasted and it surely would have been more cost effective to have reduced prices and put packages together. The “Spa” didn’t give the ambiance of privacy and restfulness expected and the prices for spa treatments and prices in the hairdressers were far too expensive. Therapists were under pressure to attract the customers themselves, however, appointments were always available when requested and the daily specials provided the best deals. Disembarkation was straightforward and smooth running. All in all this cruise didn’t give us the excitement, elegance and luxury we expected to get for a special holiday and as such it left a lot to be desired. After my experience I wouldn’t recommend a P&O as a company to cruise with. Many customers on my cruise that had travelled with P&O previously highlighted the lowering in standards they believed because P&O are attracting a different group of passengers, those cruising on a budget and choosing to travel at the lowest category available. The late deal prices are now comparable to an all inclusive resort in Benidorm. There was a wide assortment of tattoos on display and a number of passengers chose not to participate in the formal evenings and were wondering the ship in shorts and T shirts in the evening. A shame as the formal evenings were good fun and what cruising used to be about. The glamour and extras are being discarded to the detriment of those passengers wanting a traditional cruise experience.   Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
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