We have also discussed whether the quality of standard offerings such as MDR & buffet quality have declined, and how with the introduction of more charges and Select dining options P&O have effectively 'unbundled' the package allowing passengers to choose upgrades to their holiday.
It seemed like a perfect strategy to me, the ships are full and each customer gets to choose the sort of holiday they want (including dress code options) - but I have definitely fallen out of love with this.
We have had three trips cancelled on this cruise, two of which are due to a lack of bookings. None of the trips can be done alone especially at short notice, and it has really changed what we thought our holiday would be. The issue is that people booking at bargain prices don't necessarily want to spend money on expensive trips, and this leaves us high and dry.
In addition to this I've noticed a few people who seem to drink to much and argue/swear on their balcony or in lifts - although this can happen anywhere it's not something I've really encountered before, perhaps it is the hot climate and the drinking culture.
The select dining venues are almost empty and staff are constantly touring the ship trying to get bookings. They are becoming as unpopular as the photographers once were.
I have found myself adding up the cost of the holiday, the cost of the onboard spend to upgrade to select venues, thermal suite etc. and asking myself whether we would be better off just paying a bit more with a different company to get the sort of holiday we want without having to upgrade everything onboard.
There isn't anything wrong with the ship,the cruise, the staff etc. (In fact they are lovely) but I'm not sure we will be compatible with the P&O of the future, as unbundling doesn't seem to work for us in reality.
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