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#81
Lancashire, England
963 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
Originally posted by peteukmcr
I have been following this thread as we were considering booking Oriana due to her itineraries. Anyway that's a moot point now.

However, if I read it correctly, I am shocked at how P&O are treating those guests who have had cruises cancelled. It would appear that there is no price protection for alternatives being offered and the OBC is a paltry amount for the inconvenience.

We have been affected by cancelled cruises by 2 lines (Celebrity and NCL) and in both cases their offers of price protection/refund/OBC was far superior to what I see with P&O and was similar to below.

Friends of mine are affected by cancellation of 2 sailings of 1 specific ship with RCI and their offer is price protection for 3 alternative sailings, $200 OBC for all categories of cabin up to Balcony and $400 for suites and reimbursement of non-refundable airline charges for any changes or full refund of any deposits paid if they choose to cancel.
In 1995 my late partner and I had booked a cruise on the Cunard Princess which was cancelled when they sold the ship. They refunded any money paid but also offered a huge discount (about 40% I recall) on similarly timed sailings on their then luxury ships Vistafjord, Sagafjord and Royal Viking Sun which brought their prices down to around what we were going to pay. This gift horse was not looked in the mouth!
#82
Carlisle, Cumbria, UK. No Carlisle is not in Scotland
680 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
Originally posted by wowzz
I would try Princess - you'll wish you had cruised with them a lot sooner!

Sent from my SM-T580 using Forums mobile app
Don't think Princess sail from UK.
Fred Olsen have smaller ships that sail from UK. But have been described as a care home at sea. Never tried them myself.
#83
Warwickshire, UK
2,573 Posts
Joined Oct 2007
Originally posted by FangedRose
Don't think Princess sail from UK.
Princess have three ships sailing from the UK- Sapphire and Royal from Southampton and Pacific from Dover

Brian
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Previous P&O (32) Costa, Royal Caribbean (2), Cunard (3) Princess
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#84
Carlisle, Cumbria, UK. No Carlisle is not in Scotland
680 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
Originally posted by BrianI
Princess have three ships sailing from the UK- Sapphire and Royal from Southampton and Pacific from Dover

Brian
I stand corrected. There wasn't any when I last checked. Perhaps wrong time of year for me.
#85
Near Southampton
438 Posts
Joined Oct 2004
Love Princess, but the ships that sail from Southampton are more or less the same as Ventura and Azura. Smaller Princess ships sail from, I think, Dover. But they are expensive. Not been on Fred, but lots of people like them.



We are going to try Marella. Not been yet so dont really know if I can recommend them or not. But they are now sailing from the UK, mainly Newcastle, but some from Southampton. Great itineraries. Ships new to Marella previously RCI vision class ships now Discovery 1 & 2. Explorer next year from UK, previously Mein Sheff. Smaller ships and refurbished. Good prices and AI so no problems with tipping or drinks (we dont drink) Getting some really good reviews.
#86
Cambridgeshire
3,220 Posts
Joined Dec 2011
Originally posted by qm2lover
Love Princess, but the ships that sail from Southampton are more or less the same as Ventura and Azura. Smaller Princess ships sail from, I think, Dover. But they are expensive.
The round the British Isles cruise prices from Dover on the small Pacific Princess tend to drop significantly near sail date. In fact many Princess cruise ex-UK prices drop near sail date. My theory is that their competitors are generally cheaper then as the sail dates become imminent the airfare for US cruisers becomes prohibitively expensive therefore they reduce prices significantly in the final couple of months or so prior to sail date to compete.

Regards John
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John Watson

Ships cruised on
RMS Queen Elizabeth, SS France, Oronsay, Oceana, Vision of the Seas, Caribbean Princess, Aurora,
Queen Mary 2, Star Flyer, Star Clipper, Grand Princess, Queen Elizabeth, Azura, Ruby Princess, Ventura, Diamond Princess, Britannia, Emerald Princess, Navigator of the Seas, Queen Victoria, Pacific Princess
#88
bucks
846 Posts
Joined Apr 2012
We booked with Fred Olsen earlier this year when we lost our Adonia cruise and it was not a great experience. Balcony was expensive and poorly laid out - bedside tables at foot of bed for example. Food was ok quality but not much variety. No available specialty restaurant. Limited restaurant hours. Very much like a care home. Waited ages to get on a shuttle bus at each port. Entertainment poor and lounges uncomfortable. I’m struggling to thinking of any aspect of the cruise I enjoyed other than the ports.
#89
England
1,568 Posts
Joined Aug 2014
Originally posted by gadabout60
We booked with Fred Olsen earlier this year when we lost our Adonia cruise and it was not a great experience. Balcony was expensive and poorly laid out - bedside tables at foot of bed for example. Food was ok quality but not much variety. No available specialty restaurant. Limited restaurant hours. Very much like a care home. Waited ages to get on a shuttle bus at each port. Entertainment poor and lounges uncomfortable. I’m struggling to thinking of any aspect of the cruise I enjoyed other than the ports.
Oh dear. We have only ever cruised with P&O but are becoming increasingly concerned about their direction of travel, so were considering giving Fred Olsen a try. We may not rush to do so now!
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P&O Cruises Experience – 162 nights over 15 cruises (Arcadia, Aurora x 4, Azura, Britannia x 3, Oceana x 2, Oriana x 2, Ventura x 2)
P&O Cruises to Come - 85 nights over 5 cruises (2018 - Aurora, 2019 - Aurora x 2, 2020 - Iona, Aurora)

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 + Adjacent 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 Corner Wrap Suite + Adjacent Balcony Cabin.

R718 Aurora 20/10/17. Zeebrugge (although didn’t dock due to storm). 2 nights. Accessible Balcony Cabin. Back to Back with;
R719 Aurora 22/10/17. Spain & France. 7 nights. Accessible Balcony Cabin.
R802 Aurora 9/3/18. Northern Lights. 12 nights. Accessible Balcony Cabin.
J807 Arcadia 1/7/18. Norwegian Fjords. 7 nights. Aft Corner Wrap Suite + Adjacent Balcony Cabin.
#90
Edinburgh
3,686 Posts
Joined Jan 2008
Originally posted by gadabout60
We booked with Fred Olsen earlier this year when we lost our Adonia cruise and it was not a great experience. Balcony was expensive and poorly laid out - bedside tables at foot of bed for example. Food was ok quality but not much variety. No available specialty restaurant. Limited restaurant hours. Very much like a care home. Waited ages to get on a shuttle bus at each port. Entertainment poor and lounges uncomfortable. I’m struggling to thinking of any aspect of the cruise I enjoyed other than the ports.
Which ship were you on gadabout? We had a dreadful balcony cabin on Black watch and we'd never cruise on her again. However Fred sails from Rosyth so we were very tempted to try again. We booked a Junior Suite on Balmoral and it was just lovely. a million times better than the one on BW. However as you say it was very expensive. The itinerary was great and different and we loved the late nights in port so we spent 4 out of 9 nights eating ashore. However I 100% agree about the lounges and entertainment. My husband, too, said it was like being in a the lounge of our local care home and at times he called it a zombie movie. I'm not being ageist because we're early 60s/ 70s respectively and the good friends with whom we cruise are 80. Age is just a state of mind and lovely though the people were it was all so dull, dull, dull. The worst thing though was the poor attitude of the waiting staff, especially at breakfast or dinner. They were rude to us at times and reporting it to the maitre d' made little difference. We thought the food was well enough cooked but too homely in style. It was also very inconvenient not just be able to pop into the buffet although to be fair when we did use it it wasn't the bun fight we've had in the P&O buffets.

We were affected by the cancellation of Oriana so we've now booked a cruise with Celebrity. However so far I've been really unhappy. It's 13 months ahead of time, and the only balcony cabins being released are the ones in bad locations so we've had no option but to accept one right by the stairs. It was only because we kicked up a fuss that we even got that. The only one they said they had available at first must have been the worst balcony on the ship. Thanks to people on the Celebrity boards I was able to find that out! There are hundreds of balcony cabins available but you can only book guarantee in some categories if you're a couple. I believe this is so you feel you have to book a Concierge category cabin which is kind of balcony plus perks but obviously a few hundred pounds more. We had one the last time we were on Celebrity 10 years ago and didn't think it was worth it. Not a good start at all.
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Still to come:
P&O Aurora USA and Canada 16th September 2018
P&O Ventura Bermuda, USA and Caribbean 5th February 2019
P&O Oriana Spain, Corsica and Italy, 17th September 2019. CANCELLED BY P&O
Celebrity Infinity Adriatic, Sicily and Spain, 24th August 2019
P&O Ventura USA and Caribbean February 2020
#91
UK
2,529 Posts
Joined Sep 2011
Sorry to hear about your unfortunate dealings withn Celebrity so far tartanexile81.. hope the experience itself is good.

Sadly, like you and gadabout, I was also underwhelmed with Fred Olsen and very disappointed with the poor attitude and the rudeness of some of Fred's waiters despite all the hype about the friendliness of the staff. I was also torn to shreds on another group for daring to relate my experience which was contary to this view.
#92
bucks
846 Posts
Joined Apr 2012
Originally posted by tartanexile81
Which ship were you on gadabout? We had a dreadful balcony cabin on Black watch and we'd never cruise on her again. However Fred sails from Rosyth so we were very tempted to try again. We booked a Junior Suite on Balmoral and it was just lovely. a million times better than the one on BW. However as you say it was very expensive. The itinerary was great and different and we loved the late nights in port so we spent 4 out of 9 nights eating ashore. However I 100% agree about the lounges and entertainment. My husband, too, said it was like being in a the lounge of our local care home and at times he called it a zombie movie. I'm not being ageist because we're early 60s/ 70s respectively and the good friends with whom we cruise are 80. Age is just a state of mind and lovely though the people were it was all so dull, dull, dull. The worst thing though was the poor attitude of the waiting staff, especially at breakfast or dinner. They were rude to us at times and reporting it to the maitre d' made little difference. We thought the food was well enough cooked but too homely in style. It was also very inconvenient not just be able to pop into the buffet although to be fair when we did use it it wasn't the bun fight we've had in the P&O buffets.

We were affected by the cancellation of Oriana so we've now booked a cruise with Celebrity. However so far I've been really unhappy. It's 13 months ahead of time, and the only balcony cabins being released are the ones in bad locations so we've had no option but to accept one right by the stairs. It was only because we kicked up a fuss that we even got that. The only one they said they had available at first must have been the worst balcony on the ship. Thanks to people on the Celebrity boards I was able to find that out! There are hundreds of balcony cabins available but you can only book guarantee in some categories if you're a couple. I believe this is so you feel you have to book a Concierge category cabin which is kind of balcony plus perks but obviously a few hundred pounds more. We had one the last time we were on Celebrity 10 years ago and didn't think it was worth it. Not a good start at all.

Tartanexile
Do you use a cruise agent? I have never had any problems selecting good cabins on Celebrity through my agent.
Once on Constellation I wasn’t happy with the cabin because there wasn’t much available but my agent got me a much better one 90 days in after payment date when many Americans cancel
#93
bucks
846 Posts
Joined Apr 2012
So the saga of our Fred Olsen experience- part 1
We were on Braemar. Even after getting a discount as a result of a marketing initiative to entice former Adonia passengers the balcony we had was the most expensive per night we have ever had (on P&O and Celebrity)
I didn’t do my homework and didn’t realise FO permitted smoking on balconies - so outdated nowadays and restricted our use of the balcony in the daytime.
I have never had such a badly laid out room with useless bedside cabinets at the foot of the bed. An extra tiny fridge. An awful safe built into the back of a wardrobe, angled and accessed with a key that was very difficult to turn because of the location of the safe. And it was too small to take any more than passports and purses / wallets. No room for cameras or even mini tablets.
Balcony had a huge overhang and was essentially a restricted view as lifeboats below and you couldn’t see the sea looking down. FO don’t consider this restricted.
I like to sleep with the curtains open, and also to sit for a while on the balcony at night but you couldn’t do this when we overnighted in port as there was a huge floodlight in our balcony that apparently had to remain on. It was w strong powerful light and really intrusive.
#94
bucks
846 Posts
Joined Apr 2012
Part 2
Food was well cooked but if you didn’t - like me - eat fish then quite a restricted choice. Never any steak. 3 nights out of 8 I had an omelette through not liking the look of anything else. Lovely omelette but not what you expect on holiday.
We always like to try speciality restaurants and Braemar had one which is outside and never open.
Didn’t enjoy the buffet - food there was the same as MDR but not as well cooked
Very limited dining times. On the first morning after clocks went forward overnight we met a couple who had missed breakfast (10am) as theirs body clocks were at 9 am
Room service menu was quite good
We cruised in April and weather was varied but regardless there was never much activity on the top decks. I am not really a fan of the sail away party but this was the opposite - no festivity at all.
Muster drill was a farce
To get a shuttle bus in port there was a ludicrous system whereby you queued at guest relations for a voucher, then queued at another desk outside a restaurant for a ticket for a bus then you went to a lounge to wait to be called to the bus - which on the second occasion took an hour.
Shuttle buses were infrequent and very old (eg nails protruding out of seats)
#95
bucks
846 Posts
Joined Apr 2012
Part 3
Before going on this cruise I had joined the FO fb page where everyone seemed to be going on about how friendly the staff were - not my experience. I should also say that I am always pleasant and friendly- smiling and saying hallo and thanking people.
Our waiters were pleasant but didn’t chat. They looked harassed and frankly scared.
Our cabin stewardess was frankly useless. Told us for example we could turn the air con off - you couldn’t but she was adamant.
The security staff bordered on rude. On P&O and Celebrity they are friendly and welcome you back. We never got even a grunt from them - they just blanked us.
I was amazed when we boarded that our cases were delivered by young lads dressed up in bellboy uniforms including caps etc. They were carrying heavy luggage about for goodness sake - they don’t need to be wearing tight outfights - they just needed something smart and comfortable. When I mentioned this on the FO fb page I was slated so just unfollowed the page.
I bought a WiFi package but couldn’t get one for the length of the cruise. You could buy by the hour or day or I think for 6 or 7 days - we were on an 8 night cruise and you couldn’t buy one covering that

Amazingly FO have lots of fans. We met a few people like ourselves who were on FO for the first time and found it awful compared to others. One woman a couple of doors down from us said that for the first time ever she spent most of the day in her cabin watching tv. Entertainment was very amateurish. Yet as I say splits of people wee lapping it up.

Never again - was so pleased to get off that ship
#96
England
1,568 Posts
Joined Aug 2014
Very interesting to read the feedback on Fred Olsen. We thought we might give them a go as their itineraries are more varied than P&O, but I hadn’t realised that they allow smoking on their balconies. Until that outdated practice is barred, I’m afraid that they will not see a penny of our business.
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P&O Cruises Experience – 162 nights over 15 cruises (Arcadia, Aurora x 4, Azura, Britannia x 3, Oceana x 2, Oriana x 2, Ventura x 2)
P&O Cruises to Come - 85 nights over 5 cruises (2018 - Aurora, 2019 - Aurora x 2, 2020 - Iona, Aurora)

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 + Adjacent 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 Corner Wrap Suite + Adjacent Balcony Cabin.

R718 Aurora 20/10/17. Zeebrugge (although didn’t dock due to storm). 2 nights. Accessible Balcony Cabin. Back to Back with;
R719 Aurora 22/10/17. Spain & France. 7 nights. Accessible Balcony Cabin.
R802 Aurora 9/3/18. Northern Lights. 12 nights. Accessible Balcony Cabin.
J807 Arcadia 1/7/18. Norwegian Fjords. 7 nights. Aft Corner Wrap Suite + Adjacent Balcony Cabin.
#97
bucks
846 Posts
Joined Apr 2012
Originally posted by Selbourne
Very interesting to read the feedback on Fred Olsen. We thought we might give them a go as their itineraries are more varied than P&O, but I hadn’t realised that they allow smoking on their balconies. Until that outdated practice is barred, I’m afraid that they will not see a penny of our business.
Selbourne I have a letter from FO saying that they have no plans to change their smoking policy
#98
England
1,568 Posts
Joined Aug 2014
Originally posted by gadabout60
Selbourne I have a letter from FO saying that they have no plans to change their smoking policy
More fool them. I thought that P&O were far too slow to ban smoking on balconies and had naively assumed that all ex-UK operators would have done so years ago.
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P&O Cruises Experience – 162 nights over 15 cruises (Arcadia, Aurora x 4, Azura, Britannia x 3, Oceana x 2, Oriana x 2, Ventura x 2)
P&O Cruises to Come - 85 nights over 5 cruises (2018 - Aurora, 2019 - Aurora x 2, 2020 - Iona, Aurora)

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 + Adjacent 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 Corner Wrap Suite + Adjacent Balcony Cabin.

R718 Aurora 20/10/17. Zeebrugge (although didn’t dock due to storm). 2 nights. Accessible Balcony Cabin. Back to Back with;
R719 Aurora 22/10/17. Spain & France. 7 nights. Accessible Balcony Cabin.
R802 Aurora 9/3/18. Northern Lights. 12 nights. Accessible Balcony Cabin.
J807 Arcadia 1/7/18. Norwegian Fjords. 7 nights. Aft Corner Wrap Suite + Adjacent Balcony Cabin.
#99
bucks
846 Posts
Joined Apr 2012
Originally posted by Selbourne
More fool them. I thought that P&O were far too slow to ban smoking on balconies and had naively assumed that all ex-UK operators would have done so years ago.
Thats why I didn’t check before booking - I assumed the same as you
UK
2,529 Posts
Joined Sep 2011
gadabout60, I so agree with a lot of your findings re FO and also experienced real nastiness on a FO group. Know exactly what you mean about the manner of the security staff - also the officers seemed to make a policy of avoiding eye contact as they walked around the ship, all so different to our P&O experiences.
We also thought the muster drill an absolute farce... no guidance as to where to sit when we went in or who to report to for your name to be checked off a clip board by your 'lifeboat monitor'. We didn't realise we were supposed to find her on the stage and then sit down in front of her!! Ours was presented in almost a primary school demonstration way, which is a bit of an insult to primary schools where I know from experience that they do it so much better. I came out not having had the opportunity to put on my life jacket as we didn't have to take them, but knowing how to put my hand on the shoulder of the person in front and march to my lifeboat. A farce!
For us, smoking allowed on balconies is a real no-no, so we would never have one although we love having a balcony.Fred was expensive we found, so we had an inside cabin - this was very clean and well maintained, I have to say, but with a strange layout of twin beds in a L - Shape. Don't like not being able to have a Queen Bed, nor even twin beds side by side.

We love Oriana and will miss her, but we still feel we have lots of choice with the other ships in the fleet, so can't see us 'jumping ship' yet.