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About Selbourne

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  1. I have managed to get £300 OBC (£50 per passenger for each of our 3 bookings) which, on the face of it, sounds quite good BUT 5% of the cost of those 3 bookings would have been £700. It does seem deeply unfair that you get the same £50 regardless of length or cost of cruise. I did state this to the person who called, but they are clearly working off a script and sticking to a party line. I can't be bothered to take it any further, but it does leave a nasty taste in the mouth and makes me feel a little less loyal to P&O than I have been in the past.
  2. Selbourne

    Noise in Cabins by Lifts

    I am a very light sleeper, but on all 5 cruises we have done on Aurora we have been by the lifts, due to the location of the accessible cabins. We haven't been woken by noise due to the lifts. The bathroom ventilation (always on) is very loud and, along with some wind noise from the balcony doors, we find that this combines to 'mask' any external noise. There are indeed some passengers who talk at full volume in corridors late at night, but these thoughtless types tend not to restrict their noise to the areas near the lifts! The biggest noise problem that we had on our recent USA / Canada cruise on Aurora was from a person in the cabin directly above us, who seemed to pace up and down their cabin in a very heavy footed manner for hours on end at all hours of the day and night and crash and bang around at the same time. With the metal ceiling vibrating as this happened, it was seriously irritating. That said, you can have an inconsiderate or noisy passenger next to you or above you wherever you are on the ship. So, in summary, I wouldn't worry about a cabin near a lift on Aurora.
  3. Selbourne

    Ventura Panama Canal glitch

    We seriously considered booking this cruise when it was released, the main reason being the partial transit of the Panama Canal. We decided against it as Ventura and Azura are our least favourite ships within the P&O fleet. I'm very glad that we didn't book, as this itinerary change would have resulted in us wanting to cancel. I agree that it seems incompetent of P&O to still be advertising this cruise as including a partial transit, but I have known them to continue to market cruises with cancelled ports many months after the itinerary change has been made.
  4. Selbourne

    The end of PSQ's

    I’m also glad to see the back of them. They have insufficient space to really give proper feedback and whilst I would never give anything other than an honest score (good or bad), I have read on this forum that so many people give scores that are above the true level of service that they have received, for fear that a steward may lose out, they are completely meaningless. P&O is clearly overhauling it’s staff remuneration, as the things that used to drive it are gradually being removed, hopefully in favour of a better base wage.
  5. Selbourne

    Iona Booking What A Day

    Yes I’m fully aware that this happens all the time with airlines, but I’m talking about a P&O Cruise, which is a different matter altogether. It’s not quite the same as being able to get the next days flight! I have never heard of it on P&O before, but clearly it does happen, albeit rarely.
  6. Selbourne

    Iona Booking What A Day

    No, it’s not a case of passengers pulling out. It’s the exact opposite. The cruise is going ahead but they are over booked and P&O are trying to offload some passengers. I’ve never know this before, but apparently it does happen!
  7. Selbourne

    Iona Booking What A Day

    There are issues beyond Iona. Some of the passengers on the 24 night USA & Canada Cruise on Aurora departing on Sunday have received calls over the past 24 hours asking if they will consider cancelling in return for a full refund and a free cruise to the same value. Very tempting if you’ve done a similar Cruise before, but smacks of desperation.
  8. Selbourne

    Iona - any larger suites?

    I had a recollection that the ‘curtain’ we had in our Penthouse on Ventura (like the one shown in the photo) was a mock decorative tie back set-up that wouldn’t have entirely bridged the gap, but as we only use a suite on our own we have no reason to close it, so I must bow to your knowledge on that one.
  9. Selbourne

    Iona - any larger suites?

    It’s worth noting that the stated cabin sizes on all P&O ships include balconies. This can give the impression that some suites are bigger than others when in fact the opposite can be the case. As an example, on Britannia, the aft corner wrap suites look, on paper, as though they are significantly larger than the forward facing suites. The aft corner suite balconies are significantly wider (several times wider in fact) than those at the front, and are included in the quoted footage. The forward facing suites have a sloped ceiling in the bedroom and the (significant) area under this slope is not included in the space calculation. The lounge areas are roughly the same in both. Consequently, on paper the aft suite would appear to be much bigger. However, in reality, as far as inside space is concerned, the forward suite feels significantly larger as the bedroom is more than twice the size of the aft bedroom. I have no idea about the balcony sizes on Iona but if they are very shallow (as they are on Britannia) then the suites (or balcony cabins) will feel larger than the sizes imply. However, inside cabins at 134 SqFt are tiny whichever way you look at it. As a further point of interest, we have had suites on Britannia (forward and aft), Arcadia and Ventura (Penthouse) and none has ever had a curtain separating the bedroom from the living area. I hadn’t clocked that many suites on Iona have interconnecting doors. That would put me off booking one. Sound insulation between cabins can be poor at the best of times, but interconnecting doors allow significantly more noise to pass between cabins.
  10. Selbourne

    Rating the ships

    Aurora Oriana Britannia Oceana Ventura Azura Arcadia
  11. Selbourne

    drinks package on Azura

    Would you be able to post a link please? I found the reference to the trial on Azura but not that it's being discontinued. The 'fleet wide' confusion will be due to the P&O 'Moments' magazine, which contained an article about the drinks package with no reference to it being a trial on Azura, the clear implication being that it was going to be fleet wide.
  12. Selbourne

    Omg I have booked an Iona Cruise!

    Sounds fantastic. We have had a couple of cruises in front Suites on Britannia and the forward facing panoramic windows are brilliant. We kept the blind open so woke every morning to panoramic views and could watch our approach to ports from bed! We also set up our own private Crows Nest with two of the chairs from the living room, which was lovely during sea days when the ship was busy. We had an aft corner wrap suite on another cruise on Britannia and although the balcony was ten times better, there were multiple other problems (soot, vibration, plumbing noises), none of which we experienced at the front of the ship. As for movement in relation to your position in the ship, I think this is overplayed. On our last Britannia cruise there was some pitching and rolling (corkscrew motion) on the return trip and as an experiment I stood in a number of areas in the ship (aft, forward, midships, higher decks, lower decks) and have to say that the degree of movement felt pretty much the same everywhere. It was a bit less in the restaurant midships, but that’s very low down and a few decks below the balcony cabins. I’m sure that you will have a fantastic experience.
  13. Selbourne

    Omg I have booked an Iona Cruise!

    Yes I’m delighted to say we got our first choice cabin thanks. Our contact at P&O is a superstar and never lets us down. Once I had confirmation of exactly which balcony cabin we were in I also managed to book a nearby inside cabin for our daughters as a surprise! As a point of interest, at the same time today that I booked this 2nd cabin, the UK’s biggest P&O Cruise Specialist didn’t have any availability other than very low down aft inside cabins, which would have been miles from us. Quite a surprise, as I had been given to believe that they had preferential treatment, but clearly not so in this instance. We’ve gone for free parking on the cheaper inside cabin (plus some OBC due to the deal I get) and have opted for full OBC plus additional (due again to the deal) on the more expensive cabin. I wonder how many people in more expensive cabins / suites have opted for free parking when they would have been better off just having OBC and booking their parking themselves at lower cost? Our contact always talks us through the options with / without parking and what it would cost us booking direct, as I am sure do all good agents and TA’s, but I suspect that’s not the case for every single person making a booking through countless different channels and new cruisers won’t know that this is an option.
  14. Selbourne

    Summer 2020 launch price

    To answer your specific question, yes it does seem to me that launch prices & OBC combined (which, as the true ‘net’ price is the correct way to look at it, rather than just base price) aren’t quite as good this time as at other launches. I have been a vocal advocate for a few years now that the best time to book a Select price is at launch, which is what we have been doing. None of our last 6 Cruises have ever been cheaper (net of OBC) than when we booked them. We have booked two cruises at this launch. One is on Iona, which in so far as base price was concerned seemed very reasonable. However, the offer of OBC or parking is very poor compared to what we have had before. We have always managed both. Other regular posters on here say that they have only ever had one or the other and I have no reason to doubt them (I book with P&O whereas most use TA’s), but I have maintained detailed records of every cruise we have booked since 1996 and in recent years, booking at launch, we have had both - and sometimes quite a chunk of OBC in addition to parking. We have also booked a 21 night cruise on Aurora for summer 2020 which is costing £100 per night more than a comparable 19 night Cruise on Aurora in spring 2019, also booked at launch. In addition, the 2020 Cruise offers OBC or parking. Our 2019 booking offered both. Obviously the fact that the 2020 cruise is summer will account for some of the price difference but not all. It may also be that the conversion of this ship to adult only (which wasn’t announced when we booked the 2019 Cruise) may have played a part. So, for the first time in a number of years, I am less convinced now that those of us booking summer 2020 cruises at this time will be getting the lowest ‘net’ prices. Hopefully I will be wrong as I have booked two, but I certainly feel that there will be late bargains to be had on Iona, as I simply cannot see P&O filling that ship for a whole season just doing the same 7 night Fjord cruise. Of course, it could be the case, as suggested by another poster above, that the lower OBC this time is as a result of the abolition of the auto service charge. Although I wholeheartedly agree with this move (and applaud P&O for doing it) I am not naive enough to believe that P&O will just suffer this loss of revenue. It will clearly have to be offset elsewhere. If, as may be the case, this has been achieved through lower OBC, it may indeed be the case that these ‘net’ prices will continue to be the lowest. None of us know for sure. Only time will tell.
  15. Selbourne

    First cruise - question on excursions.

    A lot of excursions do only have one departure time, especially full day ones. Some have morning and afternoon times. Others have multiple morning and/or multiple afternoon tours. I fully accept that you might never have happened across the latter (or the alternative times have sold out leaving just one option when you book), but you keep on stating this as if you know as a fact that there are never multiple morning or multiple afternoon tours, which is completely inaccurate. I am at a complete loss as to why you keep persisting with this line. I repeat, the fact that you have never experienced it (which I don’t doubt) doesn’t make it untrue. The OP wanted facts. I have provided them.