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hope i am not being silly but we are going as a group on the oriana,we have never been on a cruise but our friends have done lots of cruises,we did not want a balcony and could not imagine no window,but our window is a cabin with an obstructed view what does this mean what is there in the sea to obstruct we are going to florida later in the year so will not be too carefree with our funds so we would always tip after a nice meal but our companions say they decline the tipping could you please explain this and lastly do we need towels for on the deck chairs and sorry what about toiletries we could ask our friends but we have asked them so many questions i now see their eyes roll,thankyou anyone so much if you can help
There is nothing in the sea to obstruct your view it will be something on deck and most likely to be a lifeboat. Never having cruised with P & O I cannot say what their tipping policy is I can only speak for the lines I have travelled with. Your tips are not just for the waiters but your cabin steward and can be pre-paid before you cruise or at the end of the cruise you will be provided with envelopes to pay up. Soap, shampoo and towels are all supplied.
Hope this helps.
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With an obstructed view cabin you will have natural light. Depending on the actual cabin you may see part of the sky and/or water. If you go to this part of the P&O site you will see some examples of obstructed views.
Hope you have a great time on your first cruise!
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But "obstructed view" is much better than an inside cabin, which has no window, because you will have some natural light, you can tell whether it's day or night, what the weather is like, whether you're in port or at sea. And you can tell where you are on the ship - inside cabins can be dis-orientating. All windows are fixed - they don't open.
As Scrapnana's post, the recommended level of tips is half that of US & Italian ships. Nowadays, P&O have done-away with envelopes for you to give cash - instead they do the same as most cruise lines, they add the recommended tip to your on-board account, along with your on-board purchases such as drinks, excursions, dining upgrades, & so on.
You have the right to ask on-board that the tips be removed from your on-board account. Some folk do this so that they can tip personally (a bit pointless, because the tips are pooled amongst the staff). And some like your friends do it to save money. Most cruisers see this as cheapskating, but that's up to them. I suggest you see what the service is like, then decide for yourself what you want to do. Simply leaving the auto-tip in place avoids complications - and the daily amount is what you'd probably tip in a restaurant at home just for an evening meal.
White towels are provided in your bathroom.
Sunbed towels are also provided (on P&O they're available on deck) and you can take them ashore for the beach.
Toiletries nowadays are mainly just soap and a dispenser of shampoo/body gel. Perfectly adequate unless you have specific preferences.
If you're sailing from the UK, there's no luggage/liquid limits that would affect you, so you may prefer to take your own.
If it's a fly-cruise there are severe limitations on liquids in your hand-luggage, and you'll have a weight limitation on your checked luggage - around 20kg to 23kg so don't waste that allowance on big bottles of toiletries.
One major saving with P&O compared to other cruise lines - you are allowed to take as much alcohol aboard as you like, within reason, to drink in your cabin. Make good use of that dispensation for pre-dinner drinks etc.
All first cruises are great. Have a super one