Same Old Ports

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#21
677 Posts
Joined Jan 2004
Originally posted by jh1809
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.

You are probably right but I hope not. We tend to do shorter cruises so the choice is even more limited and repetitive. Narvik and Honfleur are two of my favourites but are a problem for bigger ships. Haugesund was new to us this year but I did not enjoy it particularly. I thought there is a reason we keep going back to Bergen.

Best wishes, Stephen.


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#22
England
800 Posts
Joined Aug 2014
Good thread. We’ve done far less P&O Cruises than many on here, but already find the itineraries to be quite repetitive. We are restricted to round trip Cruises from Southampton, which doesn’t help matters and, as others have said, anything more than 14 nights is a challenge when you are still working.

There are the odd ‘discovery’ Cruises that have more interesting itineraries. We did an excellent 16 night one on Aurora in May and have just booked a 2019 Cruise on Aurora which takes in a number of Med ports that are less popular or usually only accessible via fly Cruises. But these are few and far between. We never managed to cruise on Adonia but her itineraries were far more interesting, due to her size. I suspect that a lot of that market will move to Fred Olsen as the rest of the P&O fleet is too big to pick up the more out of the way places.

Like others, I fear that this will only get worse, with Adonia being just one of a number of Carnival ships that will be sold off over the coming years in their desire to move towards larger ships that are comparatively cheaper to run (per passenger) and are more compliant with modern day emissions requirements etc.
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P&O Cruises Experience – 134 nights over 11 cruises (Aurora, Azura, Britannia x 3, Oceana x 2, Oriana x 2, Ventura x 2)
P&O Cruises to Come - 83 nights over 7 cruises (2017 - Aurora x 2, 2018 - Aurora, Arcadia, Aurora, 2019 - Aurora x 2)

674(A) Oriana 14/5/96. Southampton to Istanbul (Fly back). 8 nights. Outside Cabin.
E620 Oceana 11/8/06. Western Mediterranean. 14 nights. Outside Cabin.
E720 Oceana 12/8/07. Canaries. 13 nights. Outside Cabin.
X912 Oriana 24/7/09. Baltic. 14 nights. Outside Cabin.
A118 Azura 5/8/11. Eastern Mediterranean. 16 nights. Superior Deluxe Balcony Cabin.
N321 Ventura 18/8/13. Western Mediterranean. 14 nights. Superior Deluxe Balcony Cabin.
B517 Britannia 15/8/15. Western Mediterranean. 14 nights. Forward Suite + Balcony Cabin.
B622 Britannia 23/7/16. Norwegian Fjords. 7 nights. Forward Suite + Adjacent Balcony Cabin.
N703 Ventura 15/2/17. Amsterdam & Bruges. 4 nights. Penthouse Suite.
R705 Aurora 13/5/17. Baltic. 16 nights. Accessible Balcony Cabin.
B721 Britannia 22/7/17. Western Mediterranean. 14 nights. Aft Suite + Adjacent Balcony Cabin.
#23
Batehaven, Australia
9,696 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
Originally posted by jh1809
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.
I am a victim of the Adonia sale, having had 2 booked on her B2B next year. Was really looking forward to the smaller ship going up the rivers and overnighting in places like Bordeaux, Rouen, Seville etc. Yes, Fred Olsens do something similar, but very expensive for a balcony cabin which we prefer. Princess Cruises could put Pacific Princess into those places, sister ship of Adonia.
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#24
56 Posts
Joined Jul 2015
Last year we chose a cruise on Oriana because it was going somewhere different - St.Nazaire. Personally I thought it was a great port as was fascinated by the German U Boat pens, finding out about the St.Nazaire raids (and it does have a lovely beach) and having a chance to look at the shipbuilding - we saw MSC Meraviglia about to launch and an enormous Royal Carribean being built. Also the Ocean Liner attraction was really high quality and very interesting. And because it was a maiden call we were made to feel really welcome and had the full fire boat send off. But back on board Oriana all we heard was moans that the whole place was a concrete dump and why on earth had we stopped there.
So I do have sympathy with P & O on this one, try to add somewhere different and everyone complains.
#25
Kent, England
6,165 Posts
Joined Mar 2008
With the big ships replacing the medium ones there will be less choice of ports in the future. The smaller ports can't cater for a huge ship as the numbers swamp the town even if the ship can actually get into the harbour and apparently there is increasing resistance to large numbers of cruise ships visiting.
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#26
3,505 Posts
Joined Sep 2008
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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Maybe I should have emphasised “worthwhile”. There is often good reason why a port has not been visited before that only becomes apparent when you step ashore.

DAVID.
#27
Whitley Bay, North East England
6,438 Posts
Joined Nov 2006
Originally posted by balf
Maybe I should have emphasised “worthwhile”. There is often good reason why a port has not been visited before that only becomes apparent when you step ashore.



DAVID.


Depends on your definition of worthwhile, we have enjoyed all of the ‘new ports’ we have been to in the past year or so.

Belfast, Stornaway, Kirkwall, Lerwick, 3 in Iceland Santorini, Mykonos, Heraklion, Toulon, Salerno, Portoferraio on Elba, Oslo, Ceuta.

I think that is a fair list and very few would come into the category of not being worth a visit.


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Dai
#28
Whitley Bay, North East England
6,438 Posts
Joined Nov 2006
This is the reason I find the statement ‘Same old ports’ a bit disingenuous. We having cruised quite a lot, are still finding Cruises with new ports on and not just the odd one or two. 15 in the last year or so and 13 to come. Remembering we only Cruise from Southampton so Ocena in the Middle East is out for us.

The new ports are there, you just have to look.


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Aurora AU112 Arcadia AR223
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Ventura N603 Azura A616
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Britannia B719 Britannia B720

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Azura 17
Ventura 18
Oriana 18
Oriana 18
Ventura 19
Ventura 19
Britannia 19
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Dai
#29
hampshire england
1,412 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
We have met people who have complained about a particular port - Dominica comes to mind - saying what a dreadful port and why had we stopped there. It then materialised that all they had done was walk around the port area. Dominica is one of those islands (before the awful destruction it endured in the recent hurricane) where you have to go into the island to realise what a lovely place it is - and hopefully will be again. On another cruise a couple new to cruising were on our table on a fly cruise to the Caribbean. All they did at every port was walk around the port area until the wife put her foot down. She said she was fed up with coming down to dinner and hearing what everyone else had done and seen during the day. Her husband looked most uncomfortable. At the next stop she made him get a taxi and do a tour of the island, can't remember which one, and in the evening she was so much happier and full of what she had seen. Her husband did have the grace to admit that she had been right and they did need to do more than walk around the port area. So some ports may look awful where the ship docks but usually there is something interesting to see.
#30
South Lincolnshire
1,336 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
Having been to Vigo 14 times in 40 cruises does get a bit tiring! Lisbon comes second at 11, and we will be there again in December! so now we often tend to stay on the ship in these cases. Like Dai, we can only cruise from the UK, for health reasons, flying is out, and we can only get cover for certain parts of Europe. We now tend to do UK based holidays, or Eurostar into the closer areas of the continent.
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#31
Surrey
379 Posts
Joined Mar 2013
I would also say that whilst we have only done 7 cruises we have been to Rome 4 times, Lisbon three and yes Vigo 3 times I do agree it is what you make of your visit. When on P&O excursions, we have always been impressed with the agents that they use who are very knowledgable of the local areas. In Geiranger this year we had a really interesting young guy who kept us entertained all day and really made the trip for us, apart from the obvious beautiful scenery.
#32
Hertfordshire, United Kingdom
535 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
One of the problems for me is that I prefer the smaller ships, which are mostly adult-only. P&O seem to increasingly be using these for a lot of longer duration cruises. I would be quite happy with that but the costs of sailing solo make longer cruises pretty prohibitive due to the cost.
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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).

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#33
Staffordshire
1,026 Posts
Joined May 2011
Like Dai we have done over 40 cruises. We now consider it a bonus to have one or two new ports but have had at least one new port on each of the last 5 cruises. We are unfortunately restricted to Southampton round trips now due to health problems but regardless of how many times we have visited a port we always manage to find something that we haven't seen before. We rarely do the tours now but in most ports there are interesting sights if you do your homework before you go. Every place you visit is what you make of it, we need to remember that we are fortunate to be able to visit these places some people will never have the chance to travel.
#34
Devon, UK
4,349 Posts
Joined Aug 2005
It does really depend on what you make of a port. We weren't really looking forward to Naples as last time we were there we took the train to Herculaneum and didn't want to do that again. So I just googled Naples. We visited the Royal Palace, just a short walk from the ship. It was amazing and huge. Came out and had a really good coffee in a place that was obviously very well know and the inside was worth a look as well. After that we did a tour of the opera house, which was just stunning. Whole thing cost about 12 Euros and 5 for the coffee. A very good day.

We used a private company for a bus into Rome. 19 Euros, whereas the ship tour was £51!!

We had a few new ports, El Ferrol, Ciudadella, Olbia, Palamos. Just hope Oriana stays as we would be struggling if she went. We have sailed with Fred, but I do feel the passsengers are a lot older (or seem so cos they are all sleeping everywhere) . I might add that we are 79 and 70 but like to be up and doing.
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Jean



#35
Leeds
135 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
I agree with Jean, there's still plenty to discover at the "same old ports." Since introducing our young son to cruising we've found the lovely beach and promenade just a 10 minute taxi or bus ride from the port in Vigo, the zoo and aquarium in Lisbon, fantastic pizza and a family friendly water polo club and lido in Civitavecchia, Parque Maritimo (lido) in Santa Cruz de Tenerife etc. All done on our own without excursions and very affordable, it's just a matter of doing your homework beforehand (easier than ever these days with Google etc.).
As for the comments about passengers just getting off the ship and walking around the port area, it's a scientific fact that no matter what time you disembark the ship for some time ashore there will always be someone coming the other way getting back on (even early morning)!
Damian
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#36
183 Posts
Joined Feb 2015
Originally posted by Dorset cruise fan
Last year we chose a cruise on Oriana because it was going somewhere different - St.Nazaire. Personally I thought it was a great port as was fascinated by the German U Boat pens, finding out about the St.Nazaire raids (and it does have a lovely beach) and having a chance to look at the shipbuilding - we saw MSC Meraviglia about to launch and an enormous Royal Carribean being built. Also the Ocean Liner attraction was really high quality and very interesting. And because it was a maiden call we were made to feel really welcome and had the full fire boat send off. But back on board Oriana all we heard was moans that the whole place was a concrete dump and why on earth had we stopped there.

So I do have sympathy with P & O on this one, try to add somewhere different and everyone complains.

Wow, I would LOVE to visit St Nazaire. My Great Uncle was second in Command on HMS Campbeltown, the destroyer used for the raid on the dock gate. I must keep an eye out for itineraries which include St Nazaire.


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#37
Devon, UK
4,349 Posts
Joined Aug 2005
Originally posted by DamianG
I agree with Jean, there's still plenty to discover at the "same old ports." Since introducing our young son to cruising we've found the lovely beach and promenade just a 10 minute taxi or bus ride from the port in Vigo, the zoo and aquarium in Lisbon, fantastic pizza and a family friendly water polo club and lido in Civitavecchia, Parque Maritimo (lido) in Santa Cruz de Tenerife etc. All done on our own without excursions and very affordable, it's just a matter of doing your homework beforehand (easier than ever these days with Google etc.).
As for the comments about passengers just getting off the ship and walking around the port area, it's a scientific fact that no matter what time you disembark the ship for some time ashore there will always be someone coming the other way getting back on (even early morning)!
Damian
Hee hee, you're right there. We got off in one port at 9.15 and there were folk already coming back. They couldn't possibly have given it even a try!
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Jean



#38
Sunderland England
4,647 Posts
Joined Dec 2016
Originally posted by jeanlyon
Hee hee, you're right there. We got off in one port at 9.15 and there were folk already coming back. They couldn't possibly have given it even a try!
I have seen that when we get off the ship at 10 am.
P&O are not the only cruise line i have seen that though.
Sailing from Southampton for up to 7 nights does give a limited choice of ports to visit.
#39
UK
234 Posts
Joined Jun 2015
Originally posted by jeanlyon
Hee hee, you're right there. We got off in one port at 9.15 and there were folk already coming back. They couldn't possibly have given it even a try!
We could have been seen once doing this... we got off early in Barbados last Christmas, it was our first port after the transatlantic, we got off as soon as we could. Went for a wonderful walk along the quiet beach next to the very out of the way port. Came back to the ship as others were still only just getting off... Freshened up and got straight back off again for our morning tour... (then in the afternoon we walked into and through the town. Luckily Aurora moved to the town port late pm, so it was a quick walk back to her.

Did they all think we’d not given it a try? Maybe, but they were wrong! Don’t judge everyone going back to the ship early...
#40
Leeds
135 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
Originally posted by Goosebear Mum
We could have been seen once doing this... we got off early in Barbados last Christmas, it was our first port after the transatlantic, we got off as soon as we could. Went for a wonderful walk along the quiet beach next to the very out of the way port. Came back to the ship as others were still only just getting off... Freshened up and got straight back off again for our morning tour... (then in the afternoon we walked into and through the town. Luckily Aurora moved to the town port late pm, so it was a quick walk back to her.

Did they all think we’d not given it a try? Maybe, but they were wrong! Don’t judge everyone going back to the ship early...
Excellent, that's really making the most of port time! Not something I'd thought of to be honest and whilst I definitely try not to judge people you've certainly given me a new perspective!
All the best
Damian
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