Cunard vs P&O

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#1
Wirral, England
1,804 Posts
Joined Apr 2010
How different is Cunard to P&O. Things I am thinking of are:-

Is it a bit more refined and is service any better?

Do you have the same sort of things provided (water with dinner, tea/coffee making facilities in cabin etc.)?

What about prices - I assume tips are more expensive, but how much are they and are drink prices higher than on P&O (including any service charge added)?

We are thinking of a Baltic cruise on Queen Elizabeth - probably in an outside cabin.

Any help will be greatly appreciated.
#2
Virginia
22,203 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
P&O charges 6 pounds per person per day for gratuities. Cunard charges $11.50 (13.50 for Grills)per person per day. Another difference is all prices on board Cunard are in US$ while P&O is in pounds sterling.

Here is a 2013 bar menu (couldn't find a newer one)-note it mentions that the US standard spirit measure is more than the UK standard. A 15% tip is added to all drinks. This page gives a random list of drink prices on P&O.
#3
Lincolnshire
42 Posts
Joined May 2014
The food is similar to P&O. The belly laughs are fewer. The music a tad staid for dancing.
Cunard best for peace and quiet.
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#5
Cornwall, UK
2,108 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
We did a two way Transatlantic on QM2 in June, our first Cunard trip......the tea, coffee making facilities are the same as P and O with exactly the same biscuits, tea and coffee in cabin....we felt service in general was worse than P and O , i.e. piles of dirty dishes left all day on open decks, had to get our own sun beds out !! Waiters in Britannia OK but nothing special......in fact there was nothing special at all.....the shops had far less selection than P and O. Shows were much the same. Tips are more or less £10 a day because of the exchange rate and drinks much more expensive. We were underwhelmed and will not cruise Cunard again.
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#6
S.W. England
700 Posts
Joined Nov 2007
My one and only time with P&O was on the Azura, and I was not impressed at all, especially the food, and often paid to go to the premium restaurants.
What really totally put me off, was that in the evening, there were too many loud and drunk people on the ship. Perhaps this was just an exception, but I don't think I will be cruising P&O again.
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#7
manchester England
292 Posts
Joined Aug 2012
Originally posted by tring
How different is Cunard to P&O. Things I am thinking of are:-

Is it a bit more refined and is service any better?

Do you have the same sort of things provided (water with dinner, tea/coffee making facilities in cabin etc.)?

What about prices - I assume tips are more expensive, but how much are they and are drink prices higher than on P&O (including any service charge added)?

We are thinking of a Baltic cruise on Queen Elizabeth - probably in an outside cabin.

Any help will be greatly appreciated.
We have just returned from our first Cunard cruise on QV. We have cruised quite a few times with P&O.
We enjoyed the cruise but didnt think the service was any better considering the ratio of crew to passengers is higher.
The food was slightly better in the MDR in our opinion.
The entertainment similar (not very good).
Decor of the ship very nice ..but the ship has just been refurbished.
Afternoon tea nicer.
Cabins not any better. Very small bathroom.
Drinks in buffet are not served at tables as on some P&O ships now quite surprised.
Dress codes adhered to and quite formal every night.
Drinks are very expensive!!!

In all not much different and we would cruise with Cunard again as we enjoyed the more formal atmosphere but we still like P&O as well.

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#8
Manchester
25 Posts
Joined Mar 2013
Originally posted by jenny wren
We did a two way Transatlantic on QM2 in June, our first Cunard trip......the tea, coffee making facilities are the same as P and O with exactly the same biscuits, tea and coffee in cabin....we felt service in general was worse than P and O , i.e. piles of dirty dishes left all day on open decks, had to get our own sun beds out !! Waiters in Britannia OK but nothing special......in fact there was nothing special at all.....the shops had far less selection than P and O. Shows were much the same. Tips are more or less £10 a day because of the exchange rate and drinks much more expensive. We were underwhelmed and will not cruise Cunard again.
Agree with this. Our first with Cunard was a couple of weeks ago. I expected more from it due to the price difference and the Cunard name. We would go with Cunard again if there was a fantastic deal, but overall for the price there is nothing which would make me choose Cunard over P&O
#9
Nottingham,United kingdom
982 Posts
Joined Sep 2008
P&O one of the few lines I have heard of groups of people being thrown off for drink and drugs offences. I have been told about rowdy clientele on many occasions from different people who would not cruise with them again.
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#10
Manchester
25 Posts
Joined Mar 2013
Originally posted by Tillylovesseabourn
P&O one of the few lines I have heard of groups of people being thrown off for drink and drugs offences. I have been told about rowdy clientele on many occasions from different people who would not cruise with them again.
Sounds a little far fetched but if true it sounds like a P&O ferry as opposed to a P&O cruise?
#11
Vale of Glamorgan
3,560 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
One of the difficulties with comparing the 2 brands is that there are such differences within the P&O brand. QE might be similar to Arcadia but very different to Ventura for instance, and I'm not just talking about ship design !

We have only travelled on Ventura, we found the evening entertainment better and we had a deluxe balcony for not much more than an ordinary one. But we found food, organisation and service disappointing.
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#12
manchester England
292 Posts
Joined Aug 2012
Originally posted by Host Hattie
One of the difficulties with comparing the 2 brands is that there are such differences within the P&O brand. QE might be similar to Arcadia but very different to Ventura for instance, and I'm not just talking about ship design !

We have only travelled on Ventura, we found the evening entertainment better and we had a deluxe balcony for not much more than an ordinary one. But we found food, organisation and service disappointing.
The superior deluxe balcony cabins on Ventura, Azura and Britannia are great and have a large bathroom sitting area and 2 tv's the cabins are the same size as you get in Princess Grills on Cunard but are considerably cheaper. Its disappointing that you cant have a larger cabin in Britannia grade on Cunard.


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#13
Wirral, England
1,804 Posts
Joined Apr 2010
So many very helpful replies, thank you all very much. It is the reports of some of the less appealing events that people have mentioned her that have put us off a bit, though I am sure a lot will depend on the actual cruise.

Mini cruises are always are bit more, shall I say 'wild' on all lines IMO, but a really good party can be enjoyed on them if that is what you want at the time. I feel the longer cruises to some destinations and on some P&O ships will be fine though and other cruises to the run of the mill destinations may be in between. It is a great shame, but it only takes a few people to affect the feel of a ship, given how everything is in a confined space. We cruise for itinerary and the QE one we are looking at fits the bill for us, so we will look at the cost again and think about it.

To be honest we are probably looking at an outside on the QE compared to a balcony on perhaps Aurora or Azura and that will give us a bit of space of our own without being shut indoors. We have travelled on smaller ships (e.g. Fred, VOD and Swan) previously, so have found it relatively easy to get a spot on deck on sunny sea days, which I think we will miss a lot on the bigger ships.

Thanks again,

Barbara
#14
North West England
72 Posts
Joined Oct 2011
Originally posted by sammybonny
The superior deluxe balcony cabins on Ventura, Azura and Britannia are great and have a large bathroom sitting area and 2 tv's the cabins are the same size as you get in Princess Grills on Cunard but are considerably cheaper. Its disappointing that you cant have a larger cabin in Britannia grade on Cunard.


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QE and QV both have Deluxe cabins which are significantly larger than the standard ones albeit they are only available as insides.
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#15
1,280 Posts
Joined Jun 2014
Originally posted by tring
How different is Cunard to P&O
Not very.

Food in MDR on Cunard slightly better than P&O, whereas evening offering in buffet much better on P&O. Afternoon tea also much better on P&O; on Cunard it is just a production line.

Drinks a *lot* more expensive on Cunard, and daily service charge double the price.

Musical entertainment much the same, with the exception that Cunard really delivers for those who want to dance.

Daytime speakers a lot better on Cunard; people you have actually heard of and might want to listen to.

Cabins, pretty much the same but better TVs on Cunard. The decoration of the common areas on Cunard aim for being a bit more classy, but parts are a bit beige.

Little difference in level of service.

A much more international mix of passengers on Cunard, unlike P&O which usually seems to be 99.9% British.

Far more efficient boarding process on Cunard; P&O seem to be going out of their way to annoy people these days.
#16
Nottingham,United kingdom
982 Posts
Joined Sep 2008
Originally posted by rt86
Sounds a little far fetched but if true it sounds like a P&O ferry as opposed to a P&O cruise?
Far fetched? What a bizarre comment, clearly the three separate groups of people we spoke with on QV were lying then! I have no axe to grind re P&O, neither did those we spoke to, all of them said it was lowering standards though.
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#17
Staffordshire
1,973 Posts
Joined Sep 2010
Originally posted by sammybonny
The superior deluxe balcony cabins on Ventura, Azura and Britannia are great and have a large bathroom sitting area and 2 tv's the cabins are the same size as you get in Princess Grills on Cunard but are considerably cheaper. Its disappointing that you cant have a larger cabin in Britannia grade on Cunard.


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The main difference between Princess Grill on Cunard and Superior Deluxe on P&O is on Cunard you get a dedicated dining room and far better food than you would booking a Superior Deluxe on P&O where apart from breakfast you eat in the same restaurant and the same food whether you have booked a Suite down to inside cabins.
#18
Wirral, England
1,804 Posts
Joined Apr 2010
Thanks for those extra comments, sounds worth trying sometime, perhaps for this one as the itinerary is fairly good for what we want,

Barbara
#19
Manchester
25 Posts
Joined Mar 2013
Originally posted by Tillylovesseabourn
Far fetched? What a bizarre comment, clearly the three separate groups of people we spoke with on QV were lying then! I have no axe to grind re P&O, neither did those we spoke to, all of them said it was lowering standards though.
Groups (plural) being thrown off a cruise sounds a little far fetched to me. I don’t recall at any point calling you yourself a liar, more that these ‘groups’ you spoke to may not have let the truth get in the way of a good story! Nothing in any way directed at you and I’m unsure why you would be so protective over them and their opinions.

In my own opinion I saw nothing ‘higher class’ on Cunard compared to P&O and likewise passengers on our cruise commented on lowering standards on Cunard - perhaps the lowering standard is across all Carnival brands and something we all need to get used to going forward.

I need to go and catch this unicorn, which is residing on my lawn now
#20
Vale of Glamorgan
3,560 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
I have no idea what the unicorn comment means but in the meantime there have been reports on the P&O board of people being put off the ship.
They may well be urban myths like some of the laundry tall tales.
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