Posted August 14th, 2018, 02:59 PM
We got off Britannia on Sunday after the 2 week Med cruise and there were more than 700 children onboard apparently. On one sea day my 5 year old was turned away in the afternoon as the club was full for her age. This has never happened before and we have probably sailed about 9 times with our children. It would seem they are now letting more children on but obviously the clubs only hold so many so this will happen more often especially if the weather is poor. It could well backfire on them as this is a big plus for us when the children get board of swimming or it's too hot for them. They love the activities and it's hard for a 5 year old to understand why they won't let her in.
Whilst onboard we tried to book for 17th August 2019 but was told the 5-8 club was full. We were booking 5 cabins in total and 2 children would have been in that club. In the past they have opened up the club after our travel agent called P & O head office and told them we are loyal P & O passengers. They flatly refused to even ask the question onboard. I even spoke to the senior loyalty manager and he said they will not open clubs under any circumstances and if he asked Head Office it would be pointless.
We ended up booking the cruise at the end of July but continued to get flyers in the cabin saying there was availability on the original cruise we wanted so book quickly. It was annoying.
I have had problems with booking my daughter on cruises for many years. The problem for us is now resolving as she is older. What surprises me with P&O is the minor school holidays, helf term etc. These holidays can amount to a substantial number of consecutive days. I am surprised P&O does not try and co-ordinate better on this issue. At half-term P&O seem to be offering 14 night holidays and cruises which start and therefore previous cruise finish right in the middle of the school break. If they offered 7 night cruises during the period and started the at the right time they would get more business during this part of the year because the cruises would fit in much more readily and reduce the pressure on the main summer holiday.
I think P&O book a set number of children onto their cruises in each age group but this number is greater than the children's club can accommodate at the same time. The number they over book onto the ship is probably not that much higher than the club can accommodate at one time but if you are personally affected it is a big problem.
Realistically as children are special passengers as they need continuous support and supervision either with the family or with appropriate crew members and the latter are limited in supply whereas parents must always be there if needed.
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