Posted September 11th, 2017, 05:24 PM
I always think that when comparing P&O with Cunard, a good place to start is by looking at Arcadia vs QE/QV. So I'll just stick to that rather than include the larger and smaller ships. I've done around 150 nights on Arcadia and around 200 nights on the two smaller queens. Both of the Cunard ships are far more elegant and for me have better theatres. Even now there is still a bit of a wow factor when I board any of the queens.
The queens have a higher staff to passenger ratio, but it now seems to me that these extra staff are in the revenue generating areas rather than cabin steward and MDR waiters. I'm just sticking to Britannia grade as I've no experience of the grills. Cabins are virtually the same, main difference being Arcadia has a bath in most balcony cabins.
I've seen passengers taken off P&O and Cunard, so it happens on both lines.
I've done the Baltic itinerary on Arcadia and QV. QV scored on a few extras and when I went the price was similar on both lines. I'm prepared to pay a bit extra for the Cunard product and am travelling again on QE in 2019. However, when I went to look at an autumn 2019 cruise, both lines offered a very similar 19 night cruise to Venice from Southampton - QV left a couple of weeks earlier. However, when it came to price in a balcony, QV was £5,700 and Arcadia was £3,300 for me as a solo. Sorry, Cunard, no sale or sail
at that price. Some of their prices do seem to have been significantly higher this year and for 2018/19.
For me, little to choose between MDR food and service. However, I find the alternative dining options on P&O offer a greater choice than Cunard. I guess Cunard's answer would be to use the Grills. A plus point for me is the lunch options in the pub on Cunard.
I like the Commodore Club but the Crow's Nest on Arcadia is similar and now has an improved range of cocktails, so little to choose between the two, but drinks wise, CC wins just. Enough has been said about drink prices elsewhere, yes they are higher, but I just cut back a bit.
Overall entertainment for me would be to go for Cunard, but I do like the string quartet and harpist that they have on board. Cunard also seem to have more speakers than P&O but most come from the same pool.
Some of it is down to the exchange rate, but I went to the Canaries on QE last December and on Ventura this January and it was noticeable that the Cunard excursion prices were 50% higher than those charged by P&O. However, compared to some Celebrity excursions I've done, Cunard are quite reasonable.
At the end of it, if there is around 10-15% difference in price, then I'd pay the extra and go with Cunard, otherwise, P&O gives me what I'm looking for.
Jon : email: cruiser1955 at hotmail dot co dot uk
Ventura - Iberia - 9th Dec 17
Ventura - N803 - Caribbean & USA - 5th Feb 18
Azura - A815 - Baltic - 9th June 18
Arcadia - J814 - Italy, France & Spain - 3rd Oct 18
Ventura - N903 - Caribbean & USA - 5th Feb 19
Queen Elizabeth - Q915A - Japan & Alaska - 5th May 2019
Arcadia - J916 - Adriatic - 10th October 2019
Swan Hellenic - Minerva II x7 (now P&O Adonia), Minerva
P&O - Arcadia x8, Artemis x3, Azura x2, Oceana, Oriana, Ventura x4
Cunard - Queen Victoria x5, Queen Mary 2 x3, Queen Elizabeth x2 inc World 2013
Celebrity - Solstice x2 - New Zealand and Australia circumnavigation
Voyages of Discovery - Discovery - south Pacific
Holland America - Zanndam x2
Orient Lines - Marco Polo - south America & Falklands
Danube - Johann Strauss
Nile - RA2, MISR Serenade, MISR Rhapsody, Prince Abbas
Santa Cruz (Galapagos)
Victoria Cruises (Yangtze)