Balloons in Dining Restaurant

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#1
UK
14 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
Hoping for some help.
My wife has a severe phobia regarding percussive noises - this includes a fear of balloons and the fear of them popping.
(I have had a previous thread in 2010 but would like to get more up to date opinions)

In 2010 we made our first, and last, cruise with P&O aboard Ventura. Imagine her horror when on our first evening meal there were six or seven tables celebrating birthdays etc with 4 or 5 balloons, supplied by P&O, floating above the table.
We spoke to the Head Waiter to ascertain if this was a regular occurrence. He assured us it was not and that he did not understand why it had been done. We never saw another balloon in the dining room after the first night.

The reason that it was also our last cruise with P&O is because, although the problem went away on the Ventura cruise, we are unable to find a definitive answer to this balloon situation.

We would really like to cruise again with P&O as they have some great itineraries.
So, do you still get a “bouquet” of balloons, supplied by P&O, at your table when you have a celebration?
(we realise that they maybe the odd occasion when people bring their own balloons.)
If the answer is yes, then is it across the fleet or just some ships.

Thanks in advance
#2
West Yorkshire UK
3,172 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
There were balloons in the MDR on a number of nights on our recent Azura cruise as passengers were celebrating birthdays, fortunately none of them burst.
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Future cruises --- Sept 2017 - RCI Navigator OTS - Canaries & N Africa.,Feb 2018 Ventura - Caribbean & USA., June 2018 Ventura - W. Med. Sept 2018 Azura - CanariesJan 2019 Ventura - Caribbean
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March 92 - Carnival's Carnivale - Bahamas . October 97 - Thomson's Emerald, Med. Nov 2000 - Superstar Gemini, Straits of Malacca. Jan 2004 - Coral Princess - Panama-Carib. June 2005 - Island Princess - Alaska. Jan 2006 - P&O Arcadia - East/southern Carib. Feb 2007 - Celebrity Millenium - Eastern Carib. June 2007 - Tahitian Princess - Honolulu to Papeete. Feb 2008 - Sapphire Princess - Sydney to Auckland. Sept 2008 Emerald Princess - Mediterranean. March 2009 - Coral Princess - Panama Canal. Feb 2010 Celebrity Solstice - Eastern Caribbean . Aug 2011 P&O Azura- Canaries. June 2012 P&O Ventura Iceland & Fjords. Sept 2012 Celebrity Eclipse - Western Med; Apr 2013 P&O Azura Western Med. June 2013 Celebrity Eclipse - Baltic. Oct 2013 P&O Azura - Central Med. May 2014 Emerald Princess N. Spain & France. Sept. 2014 Celebrity Eclipse-Canaries & Azores, Apr 2015 P&O Britannia - W Med. June 2015 Celebrity Eclipse - Iceland & Fjords. Sept 2015 Celebrity Eclipse - Canaries & Azores. Jan 2016 P&O Ventura - No Fly Caribbean. Jun 2016 Eclipse - Baltic. Aug 2016 - Britannia Fjords, May 2017 - Azura W. Med.



#3
815 Posts
Joined Jul 2011
Originally posted by KaraokeK
Hoping for some help.
My wife has a severe phobia regarding percussive noises - this includes a fear of balloons and the fear of them popping.
(I have had a previous thread in 2010 but would like to get more up to date opinions)

In 2010 we made our first, and last, cruise with P&O aboard Ventura. Imagine her horror when on our first evening meal there were six or seven tables celebrating birthdays etc with 4 or 5 balloons, supplied by P&O, floating above the table.
We spoke to the Head Waiter to ascertain if this was a regular occurrence. He assured us it was not and that he did not understand why it had been done. We never saw another balloon in the dining room after the first night.

The reason that it was also our last cruise with P&O is because, although the problem went away on the Ventura cruise, we are unable to find a definitive answer to this balloon situation.

We would really like to cruise again with P&O as they have some great itineraries.
So, do you still get a “bouquet” of balloons, supplied by P&O, at your table when you have a celebration?
(we realise that they maybe the odd occasion when people bring their own balloons.)
If the answer is yes, then is it across the fleet or just some ships.

Thanks in advance
During our 2015 Christmas/New Year cruise on Britannia, not only were there balloons on individual tables for birthday/anniversary celebrations, they had an archway of balloons at the entrance to the MDR for Christmas Day/New Year's Eve. Plus they issued tables with party poppers and hooters.
#4
Whitley Bay, North East England
6,448 Posts
Joined Nov 2006
I can confirm that if people are having a birthday or anniversary there will be balloons above the tables.

Of course someone in your party has to organise it.

They have stopped the bursting of the balloons which used to happen some years ago.

It can happen every night of the cruise.


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#5
UK
14 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
Thanks for those replies.
So seems that P&O may not be an option for us.
Just another thought, wonder if we could just eat in "speciality" restaurants. Do they have balloons?
I kindly thank you for info re Christmas/Gala nights - we keep away from holidays anywhere over the Christmas period for the reason you mention. We find that with gala nights etc the balloons are generally in one area, which we can avoid.
For the last 30 years we have been far away for November 5th, the worst time of the year for my wife. Our first longhaul Nov 5th holiday was to Kenya - walking up the beach on day 2 we came across a large placard saying "November 5th - Big Bonfire and Firework Party. Bring your own fireworks". Fortunatelty Kenyans have better things to spend thier money on and we never heard a thing.
#6
34 Posts
Joined Mar 2016
I think its difficult to avoid, and I'd be surprised if you could guarantee you wouldn't run into anything similar on any other line. They may well have stopped intentionally bursting balloons, but having balloons (and even popping them) would be fun to most people. I doubt many places would outright ban them (except possibly on formal nights). Cruising for a lot of people is done for an occasion - often a large or important birthday which they want to celebrate, and people mark the occasions in different ways.

I think all you can do is move to one of the other dining options if you see any balloons, or find a cruise line which is less likely to cater to such events.
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#7
Staffordshire
1,030 Posts
Joined May 2011
We have cruised with Princess, Cunard, Celebrity and P&O and I can say that on ALL of these lines there have been balloons in the MDR for people celebrating birthdays, anniversaries and weddings on board. I have tried to think back and I think that on every cruise that we have been on there has been at least one celebration.

On P&O they also allow balloons in the select dining areas, we were seated next to a family celebrating 2 birthdays one night in Sindhu on Azura.
#8
815 Posts
Joined Jul 2011
Originally posted by KaraokeK
Thanks for those replies.
So seems that P&O may not be an option for us.
Just another thought, wonder if we could just eat in "speciality" restaurants. Do they have balloons?
I kindly thank you for info re Christmas/Gala nights - we keep away from holidays anywhere over the Christmas period for the reason you mention. We find that with gala nights etc the balloons are generally in one area, which we can avoid.
For the last 30 years we have been far away for November 5th, the worst time of the year for my wife. Our first longhaul Nov 5th holiday was to Kenya - walking up the beach on day 2 we came across a large placard saying "November 5th - Big Bonfire and Firework Party. Bring your own fireworks". Fortunatelty Kenyans have better things to spend thier money on and we never heard a thing.
The only dining venue I can think of where there would not be balloons would be the buffet, that is assuming that passengers do not bring them themselves to celebrate an occasion. I have also seen them attached to cabin doors in corridors.
#9
Dorset
25 Posts
Joined Feb 2017
On Arcadia yesterday on a day visit we were greeted with a archway of balloons and single displays which I think would cause a problem for your wife to walk under to board the ship ,I'm not sure if this is normal or it was a special treat for passengers, also Fred Olsen as balloons on their ships
#10
Staffordshire
30 Posts
Joined Dec 2016
I have no advice as I'm doing my first ever cruise in September but just wanted to say I have a similar issue to your wife. I have gotten better over the years and now really only struggle with pyrotechnics - November is not a fun month for me. If I'm going to be in a situation where I know I'll face this, I have some discreet earplugs that I wear, where I can still hear conversations but sudden, loud noises are dulled enough that I can cope. Is this an option your wife would consider?

It's no fun, and I love the archways of balloons because I think they look pretty - I'm just glancing at them suspiciously all night for fear of them bursting!
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#11
Oxfordshire
660 Posts
Joined Jun 2016
In answer to the question posed by two posters above, no, they do not, generally, have balloons in the Select Dining Restaurants. We've never seen them in 16 years of cruising.
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Previous Cruises:- Seabourn Goddess II - Aug 2001 Aurora - Oct 2001 Oriana - Nov 2001 Hebridean Spirit - June 2002 Hebridean Spirit - Oct 2002 Seabourn Legend - July 2003 Seabourn Pride - Aug 2003 Adonia (Old one) - July 2004 Hebridean Spirit - Oct 2004 Aurora - Nov 2005 Aurora - Aug 2006 Arcadia - June 2007 QM2 - May 2008 Arcadia - June 2009 Arcadia - Nov 2009 Azura - April 2010 Azura - July 2011 Azura - Aug 2012 Arcadia - Oct 2012 Oceana - July 2013 Adonia - Aug 2013 Arcadia - June 2014 Adonia - Aug 2014 Arcadia - Dec 2014 Arcadia - July 2015 (2 cruises back to back) Britannia - Sept 2015 Aurora - Dec 2015 Oceana - March 2016 Britannia - July 2016
#12
Staffordshire
1,030 Posts
Joined May 2011
Originally posted by Cruise Puss
In answer to the question posed by two posters above, no, they do not, generally, have balloons in the Select Dining Restaurants. We've never seen them in 16 years of cruising.
Balloons were definitely in evidence in Sindhu on Azura last July. I think that P&O will put balloons above any table where they are requested by passengers having a celebration.

Another thing that the OP needs to be aware of is that sometimes balloons are used to decorate some of the lounges on "themed" evenings.
#13
UK
14 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
Originally posted by Deep-Blue-Iris
I have no advice as I'm doing my first ever cruise in September but just wanted to say I have a similar issue to your wife. I have gotten better over the years and now really only struggle with pyrotechnics - November is not a fun month for me.

Couple of things I could contribute re our experiences taken over 30+ cruises. As mentioned we did a cruise on Ventura where we did experience the MDR balloon problem.
Excluding Gala nights, specific events and the odd personal celebration where there maybe balloons we have not experienced the MDR experience with: -
Cunard
Celebrity
Royal Caribbean
NCL

With regard to the November issue, which we 100% understand – we have done a number of transatlantic/repositioning cruises to get away from November 5th. The fact that these cruises are normally very competitively priced is an added bonus.

My wife does wear earplugs but unfortunately does not help with her anticipation that something might happen. She does, sometimes, wear them in the theatre at show times but this is more to the fact that she finds some of the shows acoustically loud – that really is subjective. We do check with the activies staff if we feel that the show may have some explosive/noisy sections – magicians for instance. They are always very helpful. Should say it’s been very rare for us to miss a show for this reason.

We have never come across pyrotechnics.

I’m sure that you will have a wonderful cruise.
#14
Chesterfield
761 Posts
Joined Jan 2014
We have just returned from a cruise on Britannia and remarked how few balloons there were in the main dining room-probably only on 2 nights of a 7 night cruise.I wonder if this is due to the fact that Britannia has more select Dining venues than other P and O ships and that it is more popular to celebrate a special occasion by paying to for example spend an evening in the Limelight Club or Sindu etc.
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#15
Stretfordend
952 Posts
Joined Jun 2005
We have done over 20 cruises and have always seen balloons in the MDR at sometime during the cruise. In fact some of the times it was our table that had the balloons as it was my wife's birthday.