Same Old Ports


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#1
Scotland
814 Posts
Joined Aug 2012
Is it just me or are P&O itineries getting a bit boring. They offer almost exactly the same cruises every year.


I have been looking over 2018/19 and can't find anything particulalry new or exciting. Anything vaguely interesting now takes around 3 weeks to get there and back if from Soton (and the fly cruises are not much better as they offer the same places). That's a lot of annual leave for just a few ports and too many sea days.


I know that ports are to an extent limited by the size of the ship but surely someone could be scouting out something more interesting within travelling distance of Southampton, even a round the Uk but not at the usual places.


Has anyone spotted anything new that I have potentially missed?


Thomson have just announced Asia for 2019 so we will be looking at that as well but usually do at least one P &O a year.
#2
Whitley Bay, North East England
6,649 Posts
Joined Nov 2006
We are on Oriana next year and have 4 new ports, Azura this year had another 4. The year after we are doing the Baltic and that will be 7 new ports.

We think that going to the same ports a number of times is fine as there are always things you have not seen. In all our Cruises I do not think we have had 2 exactly the same.

Having said that we do have a list of ports we would like to go back to, La Gomera, Valencia, Split, Cartagena, Salerno, Cadiz, Malaga, Palma Majorca, Toulon, Marseille, La Rochelle, Bilbao. Greek Islands. Some of these we have done many times and some only once.

Or you could try Princess as they only repeat cruises 2 or three times in the same year and then the next year and the next year. They repeat so often they have tee shirts with the itinerary printed on them.

If you crave new cruises then you will have to fly and change lines as there is a limit to the number of ports you can reach from Southampton in 2/3 weeks cruising.


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Aurora AU112 Arcadia AR223
Aurora R418 Aurora R419
Adonia F507 Adonia F508
Aurora R525 Arcadia J625
Oceana E721 Oriana X718
Arcadia J813 Oriana X820
Ventura N902 Aurora R913
Arcadia J004 Oceana E021
Ventura N110 Azura A121
Aurora R119 Ventura N210
Arcadia J217 Oriana X302
Oriana X312 Aurora R315
Oceana E402 Azura A409
Azura A410 Oceana E425
Oceana E426 Arcadia J510
Britannia B522 Britannia B523
Ventura N603 Azura A616
Arcadia J615 Arcadia J616
Oceana E625 Crown Princess May 17
Britannia B719 Britannia B720

To Come

Azura 17
Azura 17
Ventura 18
Oriana 18
Oriana 18
Ventura 19
Ventura 19
Britannia 19
Ventura 9
Ventura 19




Gan Canny

Dai
#3
Scotland
814 Posts
Joined Aug 2012
What are the new ports Dai?

I don't mind going back to the same ports, as we have had different experiences however we have now done some of them to death.

I will take a look at Princess.
#4
Whitley Bay, North East England
6,649 Posts
Joined Nov 2006
Fuerteventura, Catania, Corigliano Calabria, Zadar, Kotor on Oriana over 2 Cruises. In 18.

6 Baltic ports on Britannia. Then Cherbourg on Ventura. In 19.

So that’s 13 in the next 2 years


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Aurora AU112 Arcadia AR223
Aurora R418 Aurora R419
Adonia F507 Adonia F508
Aurora R525 Arcadia J625
Oceana E721 Oriana X718
Arcadia J813 Oriana X820
Ventura N902 Aurora R913
Arcadia J004 Oceana E021
Ventura N110 Azura A121
Aurora R119 Ventura N210
Arcadia J217 Oriana X302
Oriana X312 Aurora R315
Oceana E402 Azura A409
Azura A410 Oceana E425
Oceana E426 Arcadia J510
Britannia B522 Britannia B523
Ventura N603 Azura A616
Arcadia J615 Arcadia J616
Oceana E625 Crown Princess May 17
Britannia B719 Britannia B720

To Come

Azura 17
Azura 17
Ventura 18
Oriana 18
Oriana 18
Ventura 19
Ventura 19
Britannia 19
Ventura 9
Ventura 19




Gan Canny

Dai
#5
58 Posts
Joined Feb 2011
Originally posted by Eglesbrech
What are the new ports Dai?

I don't mind going back to the same ports, as we have had different experiences however we have now done some of them to death.

I will take a look at Princess.
Hi we found ourselves in the same position, so in September instead of the Med did a Transatlantic on Princess which took in Shetlands (although didn't stop due to bad weather) 3 stops in Iceland, then St Johns and Halifax in Canada finishing up in New York, we would recommend it if you fancy something different!
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#6
Surrey
405 Posts
Joined Mar 2013
Yes, I totally agree. It also seems that the 17 day cruises are now 18 or 19 days, which I know does bring the daily cost of a cruise down, but not many of us can take that many days holiday and these are the cruises that seem to be going to new interesting places (Apart from the fly cruises). An email from P&O a couple of weeks ago regarding the exciting new ports, there were 2.
#7
Grand Canyon Concourse
286 Posts
Joined Dec 2013
Funny I was thinking of starting a similar thread asking what places could become future itenerary stalwarts. Places that haven't really become frequented by ships just yet.

I suppose it all depends on access and availability. Not to mention infrastructure.

Of course the other way of looking at it is, you can't please everyone. Some folks will be disappointed if the likes of Cadiz or Naples just disappeared off the itneraries.
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#8
Edinburgh
3,245 Posts
Joined Jan 2008
I do think P&O now base their cruises on 18 / 19 days instead of 14-16 as they used to be. I suppose the ships go slower, have more sea days, less port payments and more time for passengers to spend money onboard.

If you're flexible on date, there are new ports out there. We're booked for the USA and Canada September 2018 (all new except NY), our Caribbean in 2019 includes The Bahamas, Bermuda and Miami and we've got Oriana in September - Cadiz,Valencia, Calvi, La Spezia, Civitavecchia for Rome, Olbia, Port Mahon, Gibraltar,Lisbon. We've been to Lisbon and Rome numerous times and know there's still things we want to do. I understand the need to call at Gibraltar and apart from that they're all new ports to us. Very pleased with all our future P&O cruises.

However we're also trying Fred Olsen for a German waterways cruise which will be very different for us and it's leaving from Rosyth, a 15 minute drive away- but that's a whole different thread
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Still to come:

P&O Ventura Caribbean and USA 5th February 2018
Fred Olsen Balmoral German Waterways 31st May 2018 - FROM ROSYTH!!!
P&O Aurora USA and Canada 16th September 2018

P&O Ventura Bermuda, USA and Caribbean 5th February 2019
P&O Oriana Spain, Spain, Corsica and Italy, 17th September 2019
#9
3,516 Posts
Joined Sep 2008
Ports are only “new” if you haven’t visited them before. Long time passengers have probably been to most, if not all of the worthwhile Med ports and most of North Africa is out for security reasons. Bordeaux and Seville are both excellent ports to sail into, but P&O are getting rid of their only ship that can reach them.

Also cruise lines don’t really like tender ports. Bigger ships therefore actually limit the choice.

DAVID.
#10
Hertfordshire, United Kingdom
639 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
It is bound to be difficult to introduce lots of new ports when you specialise in round-trip cruises from the UK. There are only so many places that you can get to. I think that there are also other factors that add to this. The competition and desire from cruisers to get a bargain means that they have to find ways of saving money. This means (generally) ships sailing at lower speeds to save fuel and so they often don't go as far in the same time-span. Larger ships, carrying more pax, require a certain infrastructure, which smaller ports may not have and many pax are not keen on tendering into the smaller ports. Calling at the same ports frequently (as in Oceana's itineraries from Malta) will undoubtedly get P&O a better deal from the ports.

Having said that, they have introduced the Arabian Gulf cruises for 2019, which are all-new itineraries. This year, I have had two cruises that have taken me to five ports that were new to me - Travemunde, Skagen, Riga and Klaipeda in the Baltic and Santander in Northern Spain.
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Andrew

Past: Cunard QE2 & Queen Elizabeth; P&O Victoria, Oriana, Arcadia, Aurora, Oceana, Azura; Sea Princess; Celebrity Summit; Fred Olsen Black Watch, Saga Ruby, Portuscale MV Funchal, MS Mayfair (Nile River Cruise).

Future: Thomson (Marella) Discovery 2, Cuba & Caribbean; CMV Marco Polo to Iceland.
#11
Edinburgh
3,245 Posts
Joined Jan 2008
Originally posted by balf
Ports are only “new” if you haven’t visited them before. Long time passengers have probably been to most, if not all of the worthwhile Med ports and most of North Africa is out for security reasons. Bordeaux and Seville are both excellent ports to sail into, but P&O are getting rid of their only ship that can reach them.

Also cruise lines don’t really like tender ports. Bigger ships therefore actually limit the choice.

DAVID.
Yes you're right these are ports that are new to me. I am a long-time cruiser but have been to three of the ports as I said. The OP said P&O was offering the same ports and I agree. However I was just pointing out that there are itineraries which include less common ports of call.

I think we all know that P&O no longer sees long-time cruisers as their primary target audience or they would not be building a new 5000+ passenger ship. We also hear a lot of criticism about Arcadia now and I for one would never cruise on Oceana again. Ultimately they too will go and it's highly unlikely that these ships (and others) will be replaced by similar 'models'.

We're certainly happy to give other lines a chance - providing they offer a Southampton round trip, or even better cruise from a Northern port.
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Still to come:

P&O Ventura Caribbean and USA 5th February 2018
Fred Olsen Balmoral German Waterways 31st May 2018 - FROM ROSYTH!!!
P&O Aurora USA and Canada 16th September 2018

P&O Ventura Bermuda, USA and Caribbean 5th February 2019
P&O Oriana Spain, Spain, Corsica and Italy, 17th September 2019
#12
South Wales
34 Posts
Joined Jan 2017
Sailing ftom Soton to Soton it must be a nightmare now for cruise lines to satisfy customer needs to explore fresh fields with so many interesting ports out of bounds for security reasons . I for one really really miss the Bosphorous and Black Sea cruise. I have noticed some new (for me anyway) ports appearing in the Med Iguana has some interesting ports but I always begrudge paying extortionate prices for one of her few bslconies


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#14
Devon, UK
4,401 Posts
Joined Aug 2005
We have two cruises booked that have unusual ports. Santa Marguerta Ligure, Sorrento, Cagliari, Oporto to name a few. The cruise we have just done had a maiden call at Ciudadella (Menorca), We also had Olbia, Monaco. I do think they try to do new ports.
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Jean



#15
Whitley Bay, North East England
6,649 Posts
Joined Nov 2006
Originally posted by balf
Ports are only “new” if you haven’t visited them before. Long time passengers have probably been to most, if not all of the worthwhile Med ports and most of North Africa is out for security reasons. Bordeaux and Seville are both excellent ports to sail into, but P&O are getting rid of their only ship that can reach them.



Also cruise lines don’t really like tender ports. Bigger ships therefore actually limit the choice.



DAVID.


But David that is my point we are long time passengers now with 40+ Cruises and we can still find new ports. So it can be done.


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Aurora AU112 Arcadia AR223
Aurora R418 Aurora R419
Adonia F507 Adonia F508
Aurora R525 Arcadia J625
Oceana E721 Oriana X718
Arcadia J813 Oriana X820
Ventura N902 Aurora R913
Arcadia J004 Oceana E021
Ventura N110 Azura A121
Aurora R119 Ventura N210
Arcadia J217 Oriana X302
Oriana X312 Aurora R315
Oceana E402 Azura A409
Azura A410 Oceana E425
Oceana E426 Arcadia J510
Britannia B522 Britannia B523
Ventura N603 Azura A616
Arcadia J615 Arcadia J616
Oceana E625 Crown Princess May 17
Britannia B719 Britannia B720

To Come

Azura 17
Azura 17
Ventura 18
Oriana 18
Oriana 18
Ventura 19
Ventura 19
Britannia 19
Ventura 9
Ventura 19




Gan Canny

Dai
#16
Whitley Bay, North East England
6,649 Posts
Joined Nov 2006
Originally posted by tartanexile81
I do think P&O now base their cruises on 18 / 19 days instead of 14-16 as they used to be. I suppose the ships go slower, have more sea days, less port payments and more time for passengers to spend money onboard.



If you're flexible on date, there are new ports out there. We're booked for the USA and Canada September 2018 (all new except NY), our Caribbean in 2019 includes The Bahamas, Bermuda and Miami and we've got Oriana in September - Cadiz,Valencia, Calvi, La Spezia, Civitavecchia for Rome, Olbia, Port Mahon, Gibraltar,Lisbon. We've been to Lisbon and Rome numerous times and know there's still things we want to do. I understand the need to call at Gibraltar and apart from that they're all new ports to us. Very pleased with all our future P&O cruises.



However we're also trying Fred Olsen for a German waterways cruise which will be very different for us and it's leaving from Rosyth, a 15 minute drive away- but that's a whole different thread


I do not think that is entirely true certainly not for Azura, Ventura, Britannia and Oceana.

Arcadia is doing 3 17 night Cruises in early 18, May and June but 2 of them are standard Venice trips which are generally 17 nights.

Oriana is doing a number of longer than 14 night Cruises over 18/19 and so is Aurora but not as many as Oriana.

BTW having a longer cruise does not mean going slow. We have just been to the Greek isles on Azura and for most of the way we were doing in excess of 20 knots and for one 3 day run over 21 knots as an average. We did have the boy racer as captain but the speed was necessary to fit the ports in.


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Aurora AU112 Arcadia AR223
Aurora R418 Aurora R419
Adonia F507 Adonia F508
Aurora R525 Arcadia J625
Oceana E721 Oriana X718
Arcadia J813 Oriana X820
Ventura N902 Aurora R913
Arcadia J004 Oceana E021
Ventura N110 Azura A121
Aurora R119 Ventura N210
Arcadia J217 Oriana X302
Oriana X312 Aurora R315
Oceana E402 Azura A409
Azura A410 Oceana E425
Oceana E426 Arcadia J510
Britannia B522 Britannia B523
Ventura N603 Azura A616
Arcadia J615 Arcadia J616
Oceana E625 Crown Princess May 17
Britannia B719 Britannia B720

To Come

Azura 17
Azura 17
Ventura 18
Oriana 18
Oriana 18
Ventura 19
Ventura 19
Britannia 19
Ventura 9
Ventura 19




Gan Canny

Dai
#17
Cornwall, UK
2,115 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
I agree that P and O ought to start looking for some different itineraries.....we did a wonderful cruise on Adonia a couple of years ago with some lovely Greek ports i.e Monemvasia, Samos, Limnos, Gythion, they could tender at the smaller ones.
We are up to 37 cruises now and always looking for new places and Thomson are able to deliver lots of fabulous itineraries from Corfu and Dubrovnik, as well as Majorca for 2018.....of course we will have to fly but they go from regional airports so an easy journey to fly from Exeter for us...now they have newer ships as well which makes it even better (although we never had a problem with older ships)
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Still to come:-

Oriana Christmas in the Canaries 21 Dec 2017
Ventura Caribbean & USA 5 Feb 2018
Marella Discovery 2 Aegean & Adriatic 28 Sep 2018
#18
Scotland
814 Posts
Joined Aug 2012
Originally posted by balf
Ports are only “new” if you haven’t visited them before. Long time passengers have probably been to most, if not all of the worthwhile Med ports and most of North Africa is out for security reasons. Bordeaux and Seville are both excellent ports to sail into, but P&O are getting rid of their only ship that can reach them.

Also cruise lines don’t really like tender ports. Bigger ships therefore actually limit the choice.

DAVID.
I think that you have hit the nail on the head. We have done a lot of cruising over the years and so have exhausted most of the possibilities. We were lucky enough to do a lot of the African ports when they were still safe and accessible (the ones in Egypt were really interesting) and have done the med and Baltic ones several times.

The bigger ships limit the areas of travel which is why we have some booking with Fred Olsen for something a bit different however I don't like the ships as much.

We did look at the ones from Dubai but really don't fancy them in view of the attitude to women and the two recent news stories.
#19
Scotland
814 Posts
Joined Aug 2012
Originally posted by daiB
But David that is my point we are long time passengers now with 40+ Cruises and we can still find new ports. So it can be done.


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So you are a relative newbie then Dai 😀
#20
United Kingdom
231 Posts
Joined Mar 2015
Originally posted by balf
Ports are only “new” if you haven’t visited them before. Long time passengers have probably been to most, if not all of the worthwhile Med ports and most of North Africa is out for security reasons. Bordeaux and Seville are both excellent ports to sail into, but P&O are getting rid of their only ship that can reach them.

Also cruise lines don’t really like tender ports. Bigger ships therefore actually limit the choice.

DAVID.
I was going to say something similar. The loss of Adonia must tend to reduce the number of new ports, as most new ones will inevitably be small. I have a nasty feeling that in ten or so years time, Azura and Ventura will be P&O's smallest ships, and the choice of ports will be even more limited.
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JH