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  #1  
Old July 24th, 2008, 06:40 AM
lostinvegas lostinvegas is offline
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Default P&O Flights to the Caribbien

Hi all, first post so go easy.

I have just booked a Caribbien Cruise on Ventura with my partner and another couple we are good friends with.

Its our 3rd cruise we have been once before on Oceana with P&O round the med about 5 years ago and recently did the first cruise to Amsterdam on Carnival Splendor.

Ofcourse both these cruises were from the UK so there was no flying involved.

I myself am not the most confident flyer in the world and one of our freinds is also very nervous. I do fly quite a lot and normally book on sheduled flights with airlines and equipment I know.

I would really appreciate any info on flights to Barbados from Gatwick arranged by P&O. If anyone could point me in the direction of flight reviews that would be great. I am assuming it will be a charterline.

My last question is if it is a charter line have any of you upgraded your seats? I recently flew business class on USair which was well worth the $500 upgade, I wondered if its worth upgrading on the charter line.

Anyway I am really excited about going, I just hope the flying part does not get us too stressed.

TIA

Chris
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  #2  
Old July 24th, 2008, 07:57 AM
Marmaduke Marmaduke is offline
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For their charters P & O usually use Thomas Cook airlines which fly Airbus A330 or Thomson /First Choice which I believe use the Boeing 767. Flight time out to Barbados is usually about 9 hours and the return 7 1/2 to 8 hours (due to the winds across the Atlantic) The Thomas Cook flight last year was appalling for leg room, my husband is 6' 2" and was extremely uncomfortable for the whole flight so for this comming Winter we have booked the premium cabin, although I understand that Thomas Cook have since taken about 25- 30 seats out of the aircraft to increase the legroom. The big plus points of the P & O Charters are that you are normally allowed 25kg of hold baggage, which you check in at your UK airport and don't see again until it is delivered to your cabin on board. On arrival at Barbados you walk down the steps of the aircraft, straight on to a bus and off to the ship. No filling in forms, waiting in line for immigration or waiting for luggage. Much the same on the way home, you put your suitcase outside your cabin on the last night and pick up from the luggage belt at your UK airport. If for any reason the flight is delayed P & O will keep you onboard and feed you until your aircraft arrives. If you choose to book your own flights with BA or Virgin it will cost you more and you are unlikely to get any form of rebate from P & O for not using their flights. You will probably have to pay for your own transfer from airport to the ship and if you are delayed outbound the ship will probably not wait . Thus catching up with the ship could be costly and you would have to make sure you insurance covers you for such an event. Where as the ship is likely to wait for 330 people on a P & O charter. My advice is to stick with the charter flight provided and upgrade to premium if you are fairly tall. Hope this helps.
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  #3  
Old July 24th, 2008, 11:36 AM
ccrystal ccrystal is offline
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We flew to Barbados last year with Thomson from Birmingham and landed 1/2 hour early, however flights with Thomas Cook from Gatwick, Manchester and Glasgow were all delayed. That meant the ship stayed at Bridgetown till the early hours of the morning waiting for these passengers and then we had 1/2 day in St Lucia rather than an whole day.

We upgraded to the premium seats, but I think First Choice Star Class Premium is far better.

Thomson and First Choice are now merging, so we can expect more changes to come.
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  #4  
Old July 25th, 2008, 08:28 AM
rob linda rob linda is offline
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We flew with Thomas Cook on our last P&O cruise and Thomson on our last Princess one. Both flights were fine. ( Better than some Scheduled flights that I have ben on.)

Bob
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  #5  
Old July 25th, 2008, 09:02 AM
tom_uk tom_uk is offline
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The classic problem with all charter flights (not just for P&O) has always been - leg room. There's no doubt that the amount of leg room on charter flights has generally been smaller than on scheduled flights. However the other factor that affects comfort is: height (and leg-length). Marmaduke said that her 6'2" husband had a very uncomfortable flight to he Caribbean, and I can understand that. I'm just 5'8" (probably a bit less, these days) and not long in the leg, so I'm sure that I would have been much more comfortable. Same flight, different person = different experience.

So the question is: how tall are the people in your party? And also, how are they proportioned?
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  #6  
Old July 26th, 2008, 05:51 AM
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Pontius Navigator Pontius Navigator is offline
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I quite agree regarding leg room. We flew TC to the Caribbean and I also flew a TC schedule from Cyprus.

The 767 was a 28 inch pitch and I have a 26 inch thigh length. Unfortunately the seat pocket and an under seat bar intrude and I could not get comfortable. I complained to TC.

We are flying to the Caribbean this winter and I asked about an upgrade. They were all sold out so if you have booked and are thinking you are probably too late. That was from East Midlands so you might be luckier.

However when I asked about my EMA flight the news was good:

"Your carrier, for your flights in December, is Thomson. All of the premium seats are now fully booked. You will have economy seats, which have a seat pitch of 33 inches. The seat arrangements on the carrier are 3x3x3"

I suggest you email P&O they were very good.

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  #7  
Old July 26th, 2008, 06:28 AM
stopgo stopgo is offline
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The worst part of the journey is the bus from the airport to the ship. No air/con bumpy ride and smell of petrol, I was just ready for passing out when we arrived at the port. I just hope p/o have improved this aspect.
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  #8  
Old July 26th, 2008, 11:20 AM
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WE had Thomsonfly last year from Barbados. They were excellent . This year we have First Choice. I had booked Premium Economy seats but was told a few months later that the premium economy seats were limited and as a result they were no longer available to me.
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  #9  
Old July 29th, 2008, 07:48 AM
lostinvegas lostinvegas is offline
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I am not particularly tall 5ft 11" and my partner is only 5ft. Its more a comfort thing as I have a problem with my shoulder which is an injury from playing Rugby.

Usually 3 x 3 x 3 means the charter airline has cramed an extra row of seats in, most wide bodys are 2 x 4 x 2. It normally means the seat width is tiny.

I guess were just going to have to put up with what we get.

Thanks ever so much for all your advise its really helped.

Has anyone flown in the premium seats.

Chris
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  #10  
Old July 31st, 2008, 06:25 AM
annieuk annieuk is online now
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We flew with First Choice in their Premium Seats last Jan. and it was the best charter flight we have ever had. On previous P&O cruises we have flown with Monarch who were dreadful and P&O have stopped using them.

In the Premium cabin the seat pitch was great, lots of room. We had leather seats with the usual tv in the back of the seat in front. We also had a remote control which meants we could watch any of the films - a good selection to choose from - or tv programmes when we wanted. I believe the economy section had this but had to pay extra to use the remote. We were given fizz before take off, served in real glasses, not plastic. We had a choice of menu, choice of wine, again served in real glasses and they came round with the bottles to top up if you wanted.

The food, we thought, for aircraft food, was good. All in all we would try very hard to fly with them again.

Annie
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  #11  
Old July 31st, 2008, 08:18 AM
lostinvegas lostinvegas is offline
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Thanks for the info, I am going to call my cruise agent later and see if an upgrade is possible. I am so so glad they are not using Monarch or I might have cancelled the holiday. I had a terrible flight with them 6 years ago which put me off flying for years, I have only just got my confidence back.

Do you have any idea roughly how much the upgrade will be?

We paid $500 each way with US airlines recently but that was to upgrade to business class from economy.

Chris
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  #12  
Old July 31st, 2008, 02:57 PM
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Laticfanatic617 Laticfanatic617 is offline
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also thomas cook have had their contract with P&O changed to address all the complaints from passengers about the lack of leg room..

they have had to take out several rows of seats to do this, and from what i've read on various sites it seems to have done the trick..

i did New Orleans and Barbados on a TC flight in November... tolerable but not brilliant and i'm 6ft.. this year shouldn't be a problem!! and i don't waste my money on the joke that is premium economy on charter airlines!!! it generally equates to a fair portion of our excursions or bar bill!!
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  #13  
Old July 31st, 2008, 08:02 PM
soraya soraya is offline
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Hadn't realised they'd stopped using Monarch. We went on a Carribean cruise with them in Jan 07 and I complained and got my money back because we paid for an upgrade. There was a cancelled flight on the way back and we were with Thomson in the economy seats as their were no premium ones and had more leg room in economy than Monarch upgraded seats! I thought that was wrong and complained and was refunded but I decided against P&O after that.

If they've binned Monarch that's great. You really can't beat checking in here and then seeing your bags in the cabin - very slick operation!
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  #14  
Old August 1st, 2008, 03:25 AM
Marmaduke Marmaduke is offline
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The upgraded premium seats on a P & O charter are usually £199 pp return.
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  #15  
Old August 1st, 2008, 05:23 AM
lostinvegas lostinvegas is offline
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I called about an upgrade but there are no premium seats left I would have been happy to pay £199 each as compared to the price of the cruise its a drop in the ocean really.

We should be fine in economy, I hope they either do gluten free meals or allow you to take your own food on borad or else my other half is going to be starving by the time we get to Barbados.

Were on a waiting list for flights from B'ham which is where we live otherwise it will mean a drive to Gatwick. I cannot beleive these holidays sell so quickly, ours is 6 months away.....

Thanks for all your advise its been really usefull. This is a great forum and I have really enjoyed reading some of the post on other subjects.
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  #16  
Old August 1st, 2008, 06:16 AM
Marmaduke Marmaduke is offline
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Airlines (including charter) can usually supply Gluten Free Meals if they are ordered in advance. Check with your travel agent /P & O and then double check with the airline about 3 days before you fly that your request has been actioned. If you do have special dietary requirements it is always worth taking a snack with you on the flight just incase your special meal isn't available.
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  #17  
Old August 1st, 2008, 02:17 PM
rolythegoalie rolythegoalie is offline
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Smile flights from leeds bradford

i know this is changing the subject slightly but we are flying from leeds bradford in november, does anyone know if it is a direct flight because we have read that we might have to change at another airport and can't seem to get any information from the travel operater about flight times. we would like to book transport but are stuck until we can get more information
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  #18  
Old August 1st, 2008, 03:21 PM
BrianI BrianI is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rolythegoalie View Post
i know this is changing the subject slightly but we are flying from leeds bradford in november, does anyone know if it is a direct flight because we have read that we might have to change at another airport and can't seem to get any information from the travel operater about flight times. we would like to book transport but are stuck until we can get more information
We flew from East Midlands a couple of years ago (Thomsonfly 767) and it was non stop so I would assume Leeds/Bradford is the same. We took off around 9:30 and the flight time to Barbados is around 9.5hours depending on wind speed. You should arrive there mid afternoon local time and there is a fleet of minibuses to pick you up off the tarmac and take you straight to the ship. You don't even enter the terminal building.
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  #19  
Old August 1st, 2008, 03:53 PM
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Pontius Navigator Pontius Navigator is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lostinvegas View Post
I cannot believe these holidays sell so quickly, ours is 6 months away.....
Ah, last minute bookers

Our TA sends us advance notice about a week before the cruises go on sail. We use the previous year's brochure for cabin details etc and pre-register a few days before bookings are open.

P&O release the cruise a few days later and send out preview brocuhres. The TA places the booking. About a week or two after that P&O release the 1st Edn brochure.

Our first cruise with P&O was booked in August for the following December 12 month. This year we booked in April for Nov 09. Why so early? You get the best deals.

We got the TA discount of 15%, we got a price £30 below the 1st Edn brochure, we also got an additional TA obc of £150 making £300 in all and an effective discount from the early booking brochure of 25%. We also avoided the fuel surcharges as we had booked.

BUT, in the brochure P&O reserve the right to increase prices to a certain level without giving us the right to cancel. Above the threshold we can cancel without penalty.
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  #20  
Old August 2nd, 2008, 05:35 AM
Marmaduke Marmaduke is offline
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Re: Leeds Bradford Flights

The people we met last year who came on the Leed Bradford flight had to refuel in Manchester because the runway at Leeds Bradford is too short for the aircraft to take off with the required amount of fuel need to to cross the Atlantic. They did not have to change aircraft. The homeward flight is non-stop.
In airline jargon a Non-stop flight is from A to B without stopping, a Direct Flight may involve stops along the way but does not involve a change of aircraft
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