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mercury7289

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Posts posted by mercury7289

  1. 2 hours ago, Megabear2 said:

    As mentioned previously my extended family of 23 - we've gained two more in recent days - are sailing on Aurora on 26th August.  During our time onboard I will be celebrating my 44th wedding anniversary and my sister in law her 70th.  We have been having a chat about a private get together for this.  Two questions: (1) does P&O offer rooms on Aurora you can book for such a gathering (I have I believe seen such a thing on Britannia but not in recent times) and (2) who do I need to contact to discuss making such an arrangement?

     

    I assume if I can make any arrangement I can arrange and pay for food and drinks to be available in the same way I have previously done on Cunard ships but any advice or help on dealing with P&O would be much appreciated.  Thank you.

     

     

    Uganda room, have used it for pre dinner cocktail parties,up to 40 people.

    • Thanks 1
  2. 9 hours ago, daiB said:

    And I disagree with you after 60+ cruises in 20+ years I do not find that much different. As for choice it is interesting to look at menus from 10 to 15 years ago and the choice is very much the same. That is why I keep the menus. They are laid out differently but you can still get 6/7 courses if you want. Which I have done on occasions on our last 3 cruises to prove the point.

    daiB

    I am not harping back to the old days, neither am I commenting on volume, merely on quality and presentation.which in MHO is not up to scratch

    • Like 3
  3. 33 minutes ago, mercury7289 said:

    Sorry I do not wholly agree,

    I am also only making the point regarding the MDR. The current level of meals including presentation choice and taste,fall a long way short of the so called advertised dining experience in MHO. Linking the poor quality of food choice, presentation and taste to cruise prices is not logical. 16 night cruise at say an extra £10.00 extra per night,at worst = £160.not exactly a deal breaker on the adult only ship Aurora in MHO.

    Not that I am suggesting an extra payment,merely illustrating a point. Premier prices are already being paid by guests on the Adult ships

    • Like 2
  4. On 3/12/2024 at 5:17 AM, S1971 said:

     

    Hi AchileLauro.

     

    I think you make the point I was making, some will find the food enjoyable and some won't, as has been said many times it's a very subjective when it comes to food.

     

    I agree standards have somewhat declined, but prices have certainly reflected that, all in all for me I'd rather pay a lower fee than to have six course, silver service meals back as it was in the past.

     

    Traditional British lines such as P&O and Cunard simply had to change as the market just isn't strong enough to continually support the old style of cruising, hence the reason more families are cruising as it is now more than affordable.

    Sorry I do not wholly agree,

    I am also only making the point regarding the MDR. The current level of meals including presentation choice and taste,fall a long way short of the so called advertised dining experience in MHO. Linking the poor quality of food choice, presentation and taste to cruise prices is not logical. 16 night cruise at say an extra £10.00 extra per night,at worst = £160.not exactly a deal breaker on the adult only ship Aurora in MHO.

  5. On 3/12/2024 at 12:48 AM, AchileLauro said:

    As has already been said food tastes are subjective as we too were on Aurora in December 2023 and enjoyed nearly every meal with the exception of dinner on the first night. That night it was roast pork with apricot stuffing. The pork had obviously been kept warm for far too long as it had dried out. My wife and I were at the point of sending it back but salvaged the meal by asking for additional gravy. That made it just about O.K. but not good. 

    All other meals were reasonable but it certainly is noticeable that standards and indeed choice have declined somewhat.

    Note that I referred to presentation.

  6. 8 hours ago, S1971 said:

    Hi gadabout60.

     

    In fairness, Selbourne has said that food is very subjective and those are just their thoughts, other less travelled folk may have nothing else to compare too, and to be honest cruise food is still very good compared to the buffet in many land based hotels.

     

    I also remember several years ago when there were no speciality restaurants onboard and the MDR was the only restaurant, but the price was much higher than it is today therefore something has to give and that will be food quality, unless of course you pay the additional charge.

     

    I think P&O have changed a lot over the past few years and to compete are now having to cater for mass market clientele, hence the reason for a drop in standards and some might say clientele!!!

     

     

    The food presentation in the MDR, on Aurora, is dia, in MHO, the home delivered farm food advertised enterprises, look more appetising. Aurora canteen quality at best.This is my opinion from our December 2023 cruise

    • Like 1
  7. 12 hours ago, Selbourne said:

    Final Thoughts

     

    Once again, sincere thanks for all your feedback on my ramblings. I’m pleased that it has provided a source of both interest and amusement over the past few months! I know that I always enjoy reading others live blogs, but I had no idea when I started that this one would get so much interest. I am frankly staggered that this thread has now exceeded 200,000 views and over 1,700 posts 😱

     

    Before I summarise our final thoughts, some quick answers to two questions that several people have asked since we’ve been back;

     

    Health - my throat is no longer hurting when I swallow, but I’m avoiding alcohol as I know that aggravates it. It also kept coming and going on the ship, so I’m hoping that it won’t return in a few days time. I still have an irritating tickly cough but it’s very minor.

     

    Next cruise - is in May on Cunard’s new ship Queen Anne. I am definitely NOT going to do a live blog, but am happy to share my thoughts on how it compares to the P&O ships when we get back.

     

    So, what are our final thoughts? We had a lot of apprehension about going on a cruise of this duration. The longest cruise we’d had before was 24 days (USA & Canada) and we’d really struggled with the homecoming transatlantic, so this was a huge commitment. Well I’m pleased to say that we coped fine with it and didn’t have a single day when we would have preferred to be at home. We enjoyed the cruise and are really pleased that we did it. We have some great memories, which will be aided by the blog and the vast number of photos that I took. If we had to summarise the main likes and dislikes they would be as follows;

     

    LIKES

     

    Itinerary - we cruise for the ports, not the ship or sea days, so this cruise delivered that on steroids. 28 ports (although we ‘only’ made it to 26) of which over 20 were new to us. 

     

    Value - we usually book Select fares but got this one on a late saver. It worked out at £73 per person per night for an accessible balcony cabin (£68 pppn after the £600 insurance refund for the 2 missed ports).

     

    Money saved - as we were away and also on a full board basis, we saved a few thousand pounds against what we would have spent at home over the same period. In real terms, this took our ‘net’ extra cost of being on the cruise down to around £50 pppn, which is just incredible. 

     

    Timing - missing two of the worst winter months in the U.K.  

     

    Service - always a strength IMO but our cabin steward Antonio, assistant waiter Troy and Glasshouse wine host Dennis were all superstars. 

     

    Daytime entertainment - we thought that the days of decent and interesting daytime activities had ended with P&O, but this cruise was as good as any we’ve had. Some great guest lecturers and classical recitals were highlights. 

     

    Some of the performers - Headliners were very good (especially considering their inexperience) and we particularly enjoyed The Privateers, Neil Lockwood and the Annie Lennox tribute. 

     

    Passenger Profile - mostly older seasoned cruisers with the behaviours to match. Exemplary lift etiquette. The polar opposite of what we experienced on Iona. 

     

     

    DISLIKES

     

    MDR Food - to be clear, it wasn’t awful but we felt that only around 20% of meals were very good, 60% were mediocre and 20% were poor. Lack of seasoning, bland flavourless sauces and gravies. Britannia, Iona and Ventura (all experienced in the second half of last year) were far better. 

     

    Loyalty, what loyalty - being Caribbean tier counted for almost nothing on this cruise. Embarkation was the worst we’ve ever had and both CPS and Intercruises were woefully unprepared for over half the passengers having early boarding times. Very poor quality priority boarders buffet. Zero engagement from the Captain or senior officers at the Caribbean lunch.

     

    Maintenance issues - Aurora is showing her age. The air con can’t cope in certain areas of the ship in warmer temperatures. The display screens and floor announcements in the lifts were wrong more than they were right. The exterior of the ship was looking very shabby with multiple rust and dirt patches. Wherever we went, we looked the poor relation up against the other gleaming ships. 

     

    Captain Robson - we have never come across such a remote Captain. A good one can really enhance a cruise. Other than the departure announcements (which contained just the absolute bare minimum information) he did absolutely nothing to enhance the passenger experience. His explanations for the two missed ports were inadequate. 

     

    Health issues - I had a sore throat for over half the cruise, including all our time in the Caribbean. I’m sure that this was caused by something on the ship (probably air con). An awful lot of passengers had coughs. Thankfully, even though it was a very long cruise, I think we were Norovirus and Covid free. 

     

    Anything more would just be repeating the blog, but those are the main things. So, that’s it. I’m happy to answer any specific questions but, other than that, I’m done!

    Totally agree with your MDR assessment,our thoughts exactly,also with the maintenance issues, particularly with the lifts and the external presentation.Although we have 3 cruises booked,the next on Aurora end of April,but we may cancel the other 2 should we become unwell again. Still not fully recovered from December cruise.Enjoyed your adventure

    • Like 2
  8. 2 minutes ago, Selbourne said:


    I was initially pleased to see that we have chicken fajitas tonight, until our assistant waiter told me that the tortillas that come with them are vegan ones. I had those earlier in the cruise and they were absolutely disgusting. Inedible in fact. 
     

    I don’t mind repetition and on a cruise of this length you expect it, but things can repeat 2 consecutive days, or just be a very slight variation. Happens a lot with mains and desserts. Smacks of ‘we didn’t use it all up yesterday so we’ll try again today’. 
     

    Then you have the added issue that whilst the menus might sound very tempting, what you end up with a lot of the time is a big anti climax and doesn’t live up to the glamorous descriptions. We are still sticking with our assessment that only 20% of MDR meals are ‘good’, 20% are ‘poor’ and 60% are mediocre. I appreciate that it’s mass catering, but if you were served up a lot of these meals in a restaurant at home you wouldn’t be putting the place on your favourites list. It’s a shame as we know that it can be done so much better - including on P&O. As stated, we found the MDR food to be far superior on all the other P&O ships we went on last year (Britannia, Iona and Ventura). 

    Totally agree with you, it is what we experienced on our December cruise. We were told that it was an experimental set of menu's, and that they had already received a lot of complaints.

    • Like 4
  9. 6 minutes ago, Selbourne said:

     


    I am wary of going near the medical centre due to their fondness for imposing cabin confinement, which I wouldn’t be prepared to do. We brought some Covid test kits with us and I tested when this took hold and I was negative.
     

    I have, however, succumbed this morning (after another poor night - not helped by the poor air conditioning

    and the cabin being too warm) and I’ve commenced the course of antibiotics that I bought with me. I was meant to take them before the cruise for a separate issue that has now almost gone (and I was holding back just in case that issue flared up again during the cruise).
     

    I googled the antibiotics yesterday and they are also prescribed for bacterial throat and chest infections, so I am telling myself that I’ll take them as instructed to hopefully completely nail the first issue and if, by chance, I have a bacterial infection in my throat or chest (or it’s heading that way) then I might get a double benefit. Who knows, but I’m sick of this sore throat and want rid of it. 

    I keep my cabin hydrated, soak a hand towel in water squeeze until just dripping peg on wire coat hanger and hang from air con vent in the ceiling, get bath towel and scrunch it up, and lay under hanging towel to catch the drips. Works for me and a lot of other folk

    • Like 5
  10. 5 minutes ago, terrierjohn said:

    Why must it surely contain bacteria?  If it was bacteria free when first produced by the ship, or taken on board from a purified local source, then it should remain bacteria free, surely.

    A build up of gunk on the pipes  loosened into the system and up into my basin, surly is not the same as that straight from the purified source. It's harboured growth?  i.e.; the gunk on the pipe has grown from what into what? I would have thought that  it must be a bacterial situation good or bad, but hey not got a clue which is why I am asking

  11. 9 minutes ago, terrierjohn said:

    I hope the brown water is only a result of sediment in the pipes, and not cross contamination with anything more noxious.

    That is part of the point of the question! also sediment in the pipe must surly harbour bacteria, how is it purged?

  12. Any one any idea what they do to purge the system, after a brown water incident running through the basin taps or shower?

    Running the water until its clear, seems to be the way they do it, but surly there is contamination within the pipework leading to the taps afterwards. Could this be part of the illness problem on board, sometimes, rather then the air con? which most people quote.

    Just asking!

  13. 2 hours ago, Megabear2 said:

    Sorry to hear this Selbourne.  Take care of yourself and if necessary seek medical advice.  Having just arrived back home yesterday after a very unexpected extra week stay in Barbados after being refused permission to fly due to the fluid build up in my lungs I can certainly sympathise.  So far three lots of antibiotics have only reduced the symptoms enough to get me home, but thankfully I'm here now and later this morning will be back in the care of my own local health team.  I hope the old fashioned remedies work but if not don't hesitate to seek professional help.  Both onboard Britannia and ashore I was told this year's virus infections seem to be very strong and take a lot of fighting.

     

    Presto2 sorry to hear of you both catching covid.  I hope you both feel better soon.

     

     

     

    Megbear2

    Same symptoms, not nice and a bit scary, mine is finally clearing a bit, started,12th December also had 3 lots of antibiotics. Had to dial 111 doctor wanted me to dial 999, but strike in progress so did not want to up take emergency's time. Defiantly seek help!

    • Like 3
  14. 1 minute ago, TigerB said:

    Thanks for another great report and photo array👍🏻

     

    Yes, Bridgetown isn't much better than other islands for accessibility; it annoyed us, when finding decent dropped kerbs at a junction, using one of them and walking/booling along the entire length of the footpath, only to find at the next junction there were no dropped kerbs. It was better near the waterfront in the town where there was a wooden boardwalk.

     

    Our lass liked Martinique, even though it is French, and accessibility was much better than many other islands, particularly near the waterfront. I'm quite sure we parked at the town pier when on Britannia. It wasn't far at all into town, and we passed a line of stalls selling the usual tourist tat; they all accepted euros and US dollars.

    One thing I do recall, which would also affect you two, is the lack of unisex disabled toilets; we ended up having to use one in the ladies of a department store.

     

     

    What did you have by the way, a no.2 all over to last the rest of the cruise?😉

    Oh! Haircut, silly me🤣

    • Haha 6
  15. 56 minutes ago, Megabear2 said:

    Good for him, hope it goes well for him. 

     

    Out of interest I just looked at Royal Mail careers group to see if the pay and conditions varied by region.  It appears not, but they are advertising 292 postie vacancies countrywide!

     

    https://jobs.royalmailgroup.com/go/Posties-and-Sorting/4480301/

     

    Megabear

    Apologies for my last contact, had not picked up that you were afloat.

    Hope you are feeling better.

    • Thanks 1
  16. 50 minutes ago, Megabear2 said:

    Not very good I'm afraid.  Doctor noted no improvement on the chest in fact right side is apparently "extremely rattly" whatever that means.  I've now been given another stronger antibiotic and am revisiting doctor Thursday with a view I may need to see medical facilities ashore in Barbados on Friday.  It was mentioned St Maarten has excellent European facilities if nothing improves but I'm going to hope for Barbados in case of the worst as far more flights home from there!  Allianz are being very good although I will not get confinement payout as believe it or not only first 48 hours was mandatory. Thankfully I have had the pneumonia jab and apparently this is helping keep the infection down.  I'd just like to sleep as I've not really been able to for 4 full days now.

     

    Thankfully we have a deluxe balcony so my husband has moved to the sofa bed and so far - touch wood - hasn't gone down with anything.

     

    Very glad to have lots of active threads on CC at present to occupy my sleepless nights.

    Sounds similar to my illness, just started 3rd coarse of antibiotics, had chest x-ray yesterday, and gave other samples as required. waiting for results. Have a good trip, and may I suggest that you do your homework regarding available emergency facilities should they be needed

    • Like 2
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