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Everything posted by Camberley

  1. Oo that is great to know. We never managed to eat in there as were usually happily diverted in Sindhu or the Epicurean but this will now be a must when we are on board Iona this Xmas and Britannia next year
  2. How odd. The menu was definitely different each day on our recent cruise. Ok, it was still the functional pub-like food as usual albeit a nice table setting, but it was different menu. Unless they have since dropped to one menu which would be dreadful: well, possibly unless there was a wider choice and it was better quality!
  3. Aha just in time for “the app” to work with a reliable level of competence
  4. Sadly we did last time but still they kept coming. Gotta love a trier 🤣🤣
  5. I understand the copious left-overs of these are given to the P & O IT folk to keep things going smoothly on the IT front 😀
  6. We tip our butler a little bit at the end. I would have paid him more if he didn’t bring those dreadful canapés. Ok, one night’s were ok but the rest….it’s like P and O’s gone to Iceland and even they’d run out of inspiration! The butler was most useful for getting us into the speciality dining venues that were apparently fully booked etc and finding out information, but that is really about it with the butler service from our side of things. I hope you enjoy the cruise. Honestly, the suite experience is great - not just the space and priority embarkation etc but the breakfast alone!
  7. Fab review, Tom, and amazing photos. So pleased you both got to enjoy the Epicurean (and the snowcrab starter!) and the Glasshouse (ah yes, those scallops!): without proper foodie venues it is just like an indifferent pub chain for food. And I love your comment about avoiding over-the-top patriotism and flag waving: on our previous cruise a few years ago we had the “yikes it really is Pontins at sea” thought. But mercifully it was a tiny part of the cruise and so many other wonderful elements of the experience
  8. 🤣 Well yes and more fool them if they do/say nothing to the powers that be when they feel something is off (slightly off or a major off - but of course slightly to some can be major to another and vice-versa). But arguably there’s a way to do things that do not need to be so dramatically attention-seeking either onboard or offshore in a restaurant, hotel etc,,, for that matter. And I am only referring to those pompous folk who can’t stop themselves from making a scene. And thankfully most people are capable of mentioning and following-up something in a way without feeling the need to resort to asserting their self-importance or even verbal sparring. Which is thankfully a small number of people on board.
  9. Yes - some people are never happy unless they have something to moan about. Or are seeing what they can get out of it……Ie) the more vocal, attention-seeking ones who, by their presence, suggest they normally get their way in life. But thankfully these are the minority - and you can normally spot them a mile off harrumphing and showing themselves up, while spouse lurks embarrassed. Although to be fair this is sometimes good entertainment in itself 🤣
  10. Serve her right for being sent home and good that she was. She knew the rules etc. Sadly there are always some with a huge sense of entitlement: but oh had I been in the test queue and had a bag of popcorn………😇
  11. Ah……there’s nothing quite like a lukewarm Costa and an indifferent pastry sat by the colour-changing fountain thing, watching people fumble with “the app” and hearing pleas from the above shops of “but Barbara, do you not think you can get this cheaper off Amazon when we get home?” We’re on Iona this Christmas and looking forward to being away, but I also have a mix of feelings about her: mostly positive but a few less so. But it will be great to see for ourselves of course. But then maybe I should stop hunting down passenger videos of the ship! And surely I can’t be the only one addicted to watching passenger videos. Especially after just booking a cruise or in the run-up to a cruise: “Oh look Simon, THERE’S our balcony!” Okay, less keen on those videos ruined by loud music that wouldn’t be out of place in a Benny Hill sketch (I know, “mute” is an option, but I’ve normally switched to another video) but the ones who take and publish a decent video and let the visuals speak for themselves, with the occasional bit of informative dialogue: rather than an item by item account of what she and Colin ate for breakfast in the MDR each morning! I look forward to seeing more videos in the coming months.
  12. A good review to read.. Pity the app is still poor in terms of its effectiveness and reliability etc. Such potential but………. Yes, we also found some of the menu descriptions in the MDR to be “intriguing”……..and then reality hit us like limp lollo rosso slapped around our cheeks. Such a shame the MDR food is so very basic: shades of holiday camp food circa the early 90s with delusions of grandeur. “Hello, P and O, some of us actually enjoy food!” Hoping things will pick up in the coming months
  13. Yes 100%. I would definitely slap a hefty fee on them if they cancel so close to the booking and more if they fail to turn up. It’s just rude, arrogant and self-centred of that sort of person.
  14. Hoping this will be addressed as more cruises get underway: well, assuming passengers do feed back to P and O if they have issues (and positives) and P and O choose not to wear blindfolds! Am looking forward to Iona this Christmas and, if this new booking set-up is running properly and fairly (it was not great on our Britannia staycation the other week), with a sprinkling of speciality restaurant meals. These meals add SO much more to the experience. And meals should be looked forward to, rather than just be almost a non-event with what I often find to be the case with the functional, beige food in the dining rooms.
  15. It was on Tuesday on our cruise. I hope you enjoy the cruise
  16. Enjoy it when September comes. Yes re: back to back, We had booked a back to back initially but then had to cancel given the rules against them.
  17. Just home from 4 nights on Britannia. Was last on there exactly 2 years ago. Another fabulous trip this time, with some terrific highlights. We had fears it would be a kind of naff booze cruise but it really wasn’t. A few glitches along the way (as with any holiday) but they did not mar the experience overall: the excellent elements far outweighed the glitches - for us, at least: The excellent - an outstanding team of staff throughout - really impressive, very helpful and a credit to their profession. The staff really are the stars of the ship and deserve the highest praise. - social distancing measures and excellent compliance from fellow passengers. Really clear, felt 100% safe at all times. Great. - The speciality restaurants. Sindhu was excellent still, as were Epicurean and The Glasshouse. I think some folk had felt these as gone downhill before the pandemic but I felt they were still top class and worth every penny. These venues, for us, made the food part of the cruise special rather than a lot of the other food on board in the buffet and other restaurants which we found to be mostly pretty basic: pleasant but just not exciting food that would enhance a holiday. Maybe I am a bit too much of a critic as food - esp. good food - is an important part of my life - and I get how hard it is to cater for so many different palates. But thankfully there are the speciality restaurants to lift the culinary stakes somewhat. - Being back on board. Even though they were fully sea days, it never once felt we were killing time. It gave us the opportunity to relax and not madly rush from one thing to another. - Evenings in the Crows Nest: marvellous. Set a great tone to evenings before and after meals. Ok, the cocktails helped but it is such a lovely venue. - the concept of the MyHoliday app…brilliant idea in theory, and when it worked it was outstanding. But in practice…hmm! My thoughts on the reality of it below. - the entertainment: ok, had seen some before as expected but there were plenty of other acts and we saw several very good shows - breakfasts in the Epicurean. Top class and a proper fine start to the day. So lovely to dine leisurely in the morning in calm, quiet gorgeous surroundings. The not so great: and these are really very minor things in the grand scheme of things! - meals in the main restaurants: functional food, cooked well but nothing to look forward to. Kind of like a nice looking holiday camp on water: not bad at all, just very unexciting. But the evening menus step it up a little bit and there were at least some outstanding dishes among the routine. But all in all this is pretty much how we felt in those restaurants pre-pandemic. - The actual workings of the Myholiday app: lots of long queues at reception the 1st couple of days with it not working with many, Ours worked on the 1st day then failed until later the following day. BUT when working it was excellent. So easy to use, so well organised - unlike P and O's other IT! A few bookings we had issues with were booked at reception easily for us which kind of defeats the point but problems are solvable. But once they iron out the teething troubles it will be a marvellous addition to the whole cruising experience. It did have an “intriguing” glitch the last night when we were in a virtual queue, so enjoyed a cocktail at a bar while we waited. We eventually got down to the last two and then it crashed and we were back to about 60th in the queue! But the staff at reception were brilliant and got us straight in. - sorry, food-related again: Afternoon tea in the Meridian restaurant (the free one, not the excellent Eric Lanlard one which remains a real pleasure). Seriously dreadful: this was the only real low point, but in perspective was only a tiny part of the whole experience. But it really was terrible: thick, dry sandwiches, minimal filling. The cakes looked quite nice but were very synthetic and cheap tasting: it came across an afternoon tea for folk just wanting any carbs with neither flavour nor excitement. I never thought I'd be almost begging for our daily canapés!! Overall, though, the issues were sorted fairly swiftly and with good grace if you ask (nicely!) for help. There were a few who clearly are not happy unless they have something to moan about and want to get something for free etc….and some really liked the sound of their own voice yelling their demands at reception - but you get those types anywhere! But if I could get back on again now I would do without hesitation.
  18. Hide in the library: we'll sneak you in some coffee and pastries later
  19. Despite a welcome touch of breeze down here I am still hot and claggy. But on the plus side, when I popped to the shops I like to think that kept those maskless ones well away! Wrestled for an hour or so with “My P and O” ahead of Sunday to get final details entered, boarding pass printed etc…. But really, how many times do I have to log in to an already logged-in website: Paul Ludlow could almost hear me screaming “but I’ve entered my booking reference twice already!”; clearly someone at P and O really likes to make life hard for their passengers! Now, ironically, about to prep my ingredients for giving a Zoom canapé making session tomorrow. At least that is great fun…and P and O have no control over that tech!
  20. Am avoiding the stupid members of society who are acting as if it is all over……they might be the minority but eve so 🤣. So some morning baking while it was still cool for a picnic in the garden for the two of us. And a few to pass safely across the fence to one of the neighbours. A few Chorizo, cheese and caramelised onion tartlets and another coffee and walnut drip cake. 58696771-8911-44B5-95B1-B5B56BF0DEE2.webp 1C513304-4D17-41B4-9FD2-AC7C3B0A8F24.webp 32C9C0C1-3194-4B96-A4B4-E106BA49BC72.webp
  21. Oh now that sounds quite pitiful. How disappointing.
  22. Oh now the basic Afternoon Tea sounds quite intriguing
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