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ToxM

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  1. This is an interesting thread. I’ve cruised with three different lines - Celebrity, P&O and Oceania. There is no contest with who I would choose given a blank and unlimited budget - Oceania definitely. After only two cruises with Celebrity we saw a decline and realised that we didn’t like the big mega ships. P&O is possibly the new comfy (and relatively) budget conscious choice for people who like familiarly and understand what they like, much in the way that British holidaymakers always used to go to the same resort in the UK. First cruise I did on P&O was on Britannia - too big for me and rather soulless. Cruised on Aurora on a cheap week last November to see if I could stand an inside and just to have a bit of a break. Turns out I really like Aurora, found the staff to be excellent, happy and I had a great time. Sure the buffet was awful (they need to do something, anything to rejig the offerings etc), the dining room was fine - but not into sharing tables (Freedom Dining is the way to go for us). I loved the size of the ship, I managed my expectations with regard to food and really liked it. Absolutely adored the Glasshouse. The key is due diligence. If you are going to be spending (to you) a large amount of money on a product - do your research! Know what product you are buying, what the negatives are, what the positives are. I can’t afford to cruise with Oceania Everytime I want to do a cruise - if I could I absolutely would, but I mange my expectations properly and research enough to know the product I buy will suit my needs. To put the above into perspective, next cruise is in November on Aurora with my husband to the fjords - he hasn’t been on Aurora or in fact P&O before - our cruise last November was to be a test for us for this year but circumstances changed and I ended up going with my sister. I half was hoping that husband travelling on P&O would realise what a great thing Oceania was so we’d do more cruises with Oceania (I know, I am sneaky) but I ended up liking Aurora a LOT. November will either cement us to Aurora or husband will be unimpressed and we will linger on Oceania once more. If he likes Aurora then the world cruise we are planning could well end up being on Aurora over and above Oceania (which has a much better pppd ratio than P&O if you add in all the added stuff). Why? After I just said I would always choose Oceania? Southampton. No flying, no hassle, unlimited luggage (within reason). Nothing is perfect, nothing is problem free, P&O certainly isn’t like the adverts on the telly, it’s comfy, relatively cheap and easy to do.For me if you add in a great ship - Aurora is absolutely a great ship and a great crew....why would you spend a lot of money on an unknown if you know what you can get time after time..?
  2. Brochure arrived for us yesterday. Some very nice itineraries by all accounts. I’m saving myself for the ATW 2023 when it comes out as it’s now looking a possibility, however.
  3. What a unique trip you are going to have! I will watch with interest!
  4. Following sporadic updates in the ATW in 180 days FB group (Oceania run) someone has posted that the ship has arrived in Cartagena after 4 sea days (KW was a cancelled stop). Apparently the sea was so rough the elevators were turned off. More updates as I see them - if anyone is interested.
  5. Agreed, it is too small, and if you don’t want to face the rush, you are forced to go when it is a changeover time and there’s not a lot of (an already limited) choice. It seems to suffer more than anywhere else of being run to a regime that suits the workers rather than it’s actual customers.
  6. Better than schlepping through an airport for a lot of people though.
  7. They do but I don’t really like the mega ships and wouldn’t sail on them, I don’t mean to do away with formal night, but maybe offer itineraries where there wasn’t any formal nights. With regard to the AI options, offering them at price points where you could choose AI or not would work and keep everyone happy (the drinks packages are actually overly restrictive if you are a coffee or soft drink person imo). The buffet on P&O is pretty dire and really needs an overhaul. i think P&O do themselves a disservice with a lot of their offerings because they know they have a largely captive audience because they sail from Southampton. They don’t have to change anything because the lure of sailing from Southampton is strong....
  8. More competitive offerings for suite passengers. Buffet overhaul. Freedom dining only. An AI price in addition to Select and saver fares. A soft drink/coffee AI price. No formal night cruises. I’d happily pay more for an AI that included soft drinks with the option to purchase alcohol. Move The Beach House to the Lido Grill so that there is more space for buffet items, and you use a wasted evening space in the Lido area.
  9. Thanks Val, this is very useful 🙂
  10. Thank you for the advice re Aurora, I think she is probably at the upper limit of size that I would enjoy cruising on these days. Not a fan of specialities every day, whilst I love the Glasshouse and Sindhu, Beach House isn’t really my bag. I do enjoy the food in the dining room, just would want to make sure that hubby is comfy for such an extended period of time.
  11. A good idea when the time comes for certain, just in extreme prep mode at the moment.
  12. Thanks Dai. So Aurora is due to do the WC in 2022 - at the moment on the site you can book B101 (Piano Suite) as Select or Saver - the difference being 5k (!) as far as I can tell it’s the only suite left, so you are essentially paying an extra 5k on the saver fare to be guaranteed Whatever dining you want - hmm... I understand the logistics of it and fully agree with saver vs select normally, but when there is just one cabin of that type left.. As for dining - husband is not into shared tables, and the prospect of sharing a new table every night with people or sharing the same table with people for 99 nights are equally horrendous - he just about manages dining with me 🙂
  13. After a frank conversation with my husband about doing a world cruise while we still can, we will probably be in a position to do this sometime after 2023. Having narrowed the choices down from embarkation points, duration and a few other bits and pieces, we are left with P&O in a suite. I have a few questions for the experts on the board 🙂 Is it normally Aurora that is used for the WC? 2020 I see it is Arcadia... do they switch them around? I like Aurora, but have not cruised on Arcadia at all. Suites - I am aware of The Piano and Library suites on Aurora and they look ridiculously lovely, what are the other suites like compared to those? I am aware that there is a small number on Aurora... 6 I think? What about Arcadia? There is I believe a full bar setup in suites, and a soft drink minibar, are either of these refilled free of charge? I know in suite dining is available from MDR for all meals as well as free room service if booked through the Butler, and that there is a separate area for Breakfast, but if we say booked a suite on a saver basis and asked for freedom dining, would it be likely that as we were in a suite we would be given preference to our request? I’d love to know people’s experiences of a suite on a WC, would you book it again, do you feel you got your money’s worth? Any suggestions for a good possible suite to book would also be welcome. I’ve spent the last few days going through the whole board looking at threads so I have gained a lot of info but I feel like I need first hand info in order to be able to present my findings to the husband in order to play my best hand for this 🙂 As an addendum, we aren’t interested in a mini suite as the MDR in suite dining and sep breakfast venue would not be included. Husband is not a good mixer at mealtimes, and sometimes after a long day on a tour we just want to eat our dinner with our jimjams on, and also we don’t really like formal nights so we’d likely eat in our suite on those days as well. Any experiences/info anyone can share would be great - thank you 🙂
  14. I am really looking forward to reading about your adventures!
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