Jump to content

Recommended Posts

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!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for comments folks, I’m still researching but looking like few lines with smaller ships sail from UK.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

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.

Edited by Scriv

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We had a super cruise on Braemar, but it was quite a few years ago - 5 I think. The food was better than P&O and so was the buffet. Then 18 months ago, we were on Black Watch and I didn't like it at all. We have sailed on Balmoral a couple of times too, but still prefer P&O

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We had a super cruise on Braemar, but it was quite a few years ago - 5 I think. The food was better than P&O and so was the buffet. Then 18 months ago, we were on Black Watch and I didn't like it at all. We have sailed on Balmoral a couple of times too, but still prefer P&O

 

Like you Jean we prefer the more modern P&O ships but we have also had some really enjoyable cruises with Fred Olsen. They go to much more interesting places than P&O do and can get into smaller ports.

 

I also think that the food in the Mdr and the buffet is far better. Fred do some amazing lunch time buffets with ice carving and a huge choice, the type of fancy things P&O stopped many years ago

 

The age demographic is older but that also depends on where you are sailing to and when. The same could be said on P&O if you go on say Arcadia in November.

 

The big issue with Fred is the high cost of the balcony cabins. I would not pay for it to go to any where that I could get to with a newer ship but will to get to somewhere just that bit different.

 

For me and cruise is what you make of it. All lines have their highs and lows.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Like you Jean we prefer the more modern P&O ships but we have also had some really enjoyable cruises with Fred Olsen. They go to much more interesting places than P&O do and can get into smaller ports.

 

I also think that the food in the Mdr and the buffet is far better. Fred do some amazing lunch time buffets with ice carving and a huge choice, the type of fancy things P&O stopped many years ago

 

The age demographic is older but that also depends on where you are sailing to and when. The same could be said on P&O if you go on say Arcadia in November.

 

The big issue with Fred is the high cost of the balcony cabins. I would not pay for it to go to any where that I could get to with a newer ship but will to get to somewhere just that bit different.

 

For me and cruise is what you make of it. All lines have their highs and lows.

For us Fred Olsen and Cruise& Maritime have never appealed to us even though the Port of Tyne is only 20 minutes from home and some of their ships sail from there.

Before our 46 real cruises we did a few DFDS from Newcastle to Norway and Sweden and also Amsterdam and the above lines are similar and we don't want to do them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
For us Fred Olsen and Cruise& Maritime have never appealed to us even though the Port of Tyne is only 20 minutes from home and some of their ships sail from there.

Before our 46 real cruises we did a few DFDS from Newcastle to Norway and Sweden and also Amsterdam and the above lines are similar and we don't want to do them.

 

I don’t know what Cruise and Maritime are like but I can tell you that Fred Olsen is nothing like DFDS. DFDS is a ferry company, I have been on them many times so I can tell you there is no comparison.

 

Try it before you judge it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I don’t know what Cruise and Maritime are like but I can tell you that Fred Olsen is nothing like DFDS. DFDS is a ferry company, I have been on them many times so I can tell you there is no comparison.

 

Try it before you judge it.

I tried DFDS Queen of Scandinavia which at 30,000 tons was an ex cruise ship and my late parents tried Fred Olsen and said

Never Again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I tried DFDS Queen of Scandinavia which at 30,000 tons was an ex cruise ship and my late parents tried Fred Olsen and said

Never Again.

 

So you have not tried it personally then. As I said, try it before you judge it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
So you have not tried it personally then. As I said, try it before you judge it.

 

Frankly I would say don’t waste your money - there is much better out there

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Frankly I would say don’t waste your money - there is much better out there

 

Yes I would agree that there is much better out there than either Fred or P&O. I know because it have tried many different cruise lines over the years.

 

Each cruise company has a USP all its own, it’s good points and it’s bad.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, personally, there is not much difference between P&O and Fred. The service we have had has always been perfect with cabin stewards and also dining room waiters and staff. I just felt Black Watch was very dated and needed updating. Felt like an old peoples home. However, last Oriana cruise was rather similar and I love Oriana. We both commented on the number of elderly people on board. Mind you that doesn't make any difference to our enjoyment. We had a great table for 8 and a super time. Problem with Fred is the price. Inside cabins are a great deal more than P&O

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
So you have not tried it personally then. As I said, try it before you judge it.
Never fancied Fred Olsen and my late parents hated them so that was good enough for me.

We started on Sun Cruises then P&O,NCL, Princess and RCCL.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Never fancied Fred Olsen and my late parents hated them so that was good enough for me.

We started on Sun Cruises then P&O,NCL, Princess and RCCL.

 

Yes Sun cruises (air tours) were good for their time and handy with direct regional flights. Again they were older ships but still provided a good holiday. I still have a sun cruises fridge magnet on the fridge. They were cruising before Tui / Marella got into the market and did not last too long after that direct competition.

 

You wonder where all these older ships eventually went and how the cruise market exploded to the point that P&O are now ditching their small ships and commissioning the huge behemoths.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Well, personally, there is not much difference between P&O and Fred. The service we have had has always been perfect with cabin stewards and also dining room waiters and staff. I just felt Black Watch was very dated and needed updating. Felt like an old peoples home. However, last Oriana cruise was rather similar and I love Oriana. We both commented on the number of elderly people on board. Mind you that doesn't make any difference to our enjoyment. We had a great table for 8 and a super time. Problem with Fred is the price. Inside cabins are a great deal more than P&O

 

 

Jean sorry to disagree but I felt there was huge differences between Fred and P&O

Only thing better on Fred was the quality of food

If you think inside cabins are expensive you should see the price of the balconies which are vastly inferior IMHO.

Fred was very much like a care home and was full and dowdy

At least there is more activity and life on P&O

Celebrity still by far my favourite though

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Celebrity ships are too big for my liking. I suppose I agree about Freds ships, although I like the Braemar, I shall stick to Aurora and Arcadia whilst they are still here. Did look at Cruise Maritime, but didn't like the reviews and also our friend who travels with us tried a CM cruise and said the staff were surly, the food was terrible and that was enough for us.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yes Sun cruises (air tours) were good for their time and handy with direct regional flights. Again they were older ships but still provided a good holiday. I still have a sun cruises fridge magnet on the fridge. They were cruising before Tui / Marella got into the market and did not last too long after that direct competition.

 

You wonder where all these older ships eventually went and how the cruise market exploded to the point that P&O are now ditching their small ships and commissioning the huge behemoths.

Sunbird went to Thomson's cruises as Thomson Destiny when Airtours pulled out of cruising.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Celebrity ships are too big for my liking. I suppose I agree about Freds ships, although I like the Braemar, I shall stick to Aurora and Arcadia whilst they are still here. Did look at Cruise Maritime, but didn't like the reviews and also our friend who travels with us tried a CM cruise and said the staff were surly, the food was terrible and that was enough for us.

 

I also prefer medium or small ships but I have now been on 3 Celebrity ships and had no problems. They flow really well, you rarely see a queue and they feel very spacious

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I also prefer medium or small ships but I have now been on 3 Celebrity ships and had no problems. They flow really well, you rarely see a queue and they feel very spacious
We used to prefer Oriana and Aurora and spent many nights in Anderson's bar.

Now we are mainly RC I have been on all their classes of ships except Quantum class and loved them all for different reasons.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jean sorry to disagree but I felt there was huge differences between Fred and P&O

Only thing better on Fred was the quality of food

If you think inside cabins are expensive you should see the price of the balconies which are vastly inferior IMHO.

Fred was very much like a care home and was full and dowdy

At least there is more activity and life on P&O

Celebrity still by far my favourite though

I agree with what you say about balcony prices. We've only done one Fred Olsen cruise and only book balconies. I was expecting something more luxurious based on the high cost but was extremely disappointed. Entertainment was poor too in comparison. Never again for us.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I tried DFDS Queen of Scandinavia which at 30,000 tons was an ex cruise ship and my late parents tried Fred Olsen and said

Never Again.

She was and still is a cruise ferry which is different to a cruise ship as there are car decks, loading doors etc. the idea is the ship goes from A to B and back and offers more facilities than a normal ferry.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
She was and still is a cruise ferry which is different to a cruise ship as there are car decks, loading doors etc. the idea is the ship goes from A to B and back and offers more facilities than a normal ferry.
Some of these ferry's were old Cruise ships and were altered to accommodate cargo.

They had room stewards and the Commodore cabins had mini bars and a segregated section for breakfast.

Last time we went on one was 2002.

My point was Fred Olsen are small ships and not much different from the cruise ferry's and like the Saga ships cater for older people.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Our first cruise was on Fred Olsen back in 2003, we hadn't known what to expect; it was a special cruise to celebrate our Silver Wedding Anniversary - a fly cruise to the Caribbean on Braemar. We loved it. We had a Balcony Suite which to us, at that time, was lovely, not huge but with a settee and a balcony. We had a fantastic time. Then after that a friend suggested we tried P&O, they had started with FO too and then discovered P&O. So we had another fly cruise on Adonia - the old one, sister to Oceana. We had an aft mini suite. To our amazement we found that the huge aft mini suite was almost the same price as the Balcony Suite on Braemar. We could have put our FO Balcony Suite into the Adonia mini several times. So that was the start of our cruising with P&O and we didn't feel we wanted to go back to Fred Olsen.

 

Last summer we booked another cruise with Fred Olsen, again on Braemar, the same Balcony Suite for a cruise that went round the British Isles. My husband fancied the itinerary and I'll never turn down a cruise. It was a real eye opener for me. The Balcony Suite was tiny compared to what I'd got used to on P&O - and it wasn't cheap either, almost the same as we had been paying for mini suites on P&O. One of the things I really didn't like was the dining arrangements. We have always had Club Dining on P&O on a table of 8 second sitting. So we had the same on Braemar. It was fine in the evening, dining at 8.15. It was breakfast and lunch I didn't like. We tried the buffet for breakfast and, although it was better than P&O the area was understandably smaller and there were people moving around, knocking our chairs getting to the buffet area. So we went to one of the Restaurants, the smaller one of the two on offer. This was better apart from one thing. You can choose whether to order from the menu at breakfast and lunch or you can go to the buffet which is available in both restaurants. One lunch time we were sat on a large table for 8 but it turned out that my husband and I were the only two ordering from the menu. This meant that the others on the table were constantly getting up and going off to the buffet to get their next course. So we tried to get a table for two at breakfast and lunch so we didn't have that problem.

 

Admittedly we were on a Southampton to Southampton cruise so the passengers were likely to be much older than on fly cruises and they were. We are both just 70 and we felt young! It was in the afternoons on a sea day and in the evenings, after dinner that everywhere seemed so quiet. The food was fine, really miss not being able to get something to eat when returning to the ship after a late morning excursion - just have to wait until tea time.

 

At the end of the cruise I felt I could cope with a 7 night cruise on FO if my husband wished - he liked the cruise more than I did - but no longer. We did the 65 night Aurora cruise back in January but there's no way I could do that on a Fred Olsen ship. The staff were, for the most part lovely. However, we often didn't get our cabin made up in the morning until lunch time and on one occasion not until 2.30. It seemed as though the cabin stewardesses - all women - had far too many cabins to do. I felt that as far as value for money is concerned we get much better value from P&O.

 

However, we do like the smaller ships - I mean medium size as far as P&O is concerned - not Britannia and her new larger sister. Fred Olsen's ships are now really showing their age, too small for me now. It doesn't look as if FO are thinking of buying a new ship - and I mean new, not someone else's cast off. So if P&O get rid of Aurora, Oceana and Arcadia, which will come in time, I'm not sure what we'll do. We have been on both Azura and Ventura and can just about cope with them but can't say we especially enjoy them, What we'll do - don't know. We may see if we can get a bargain on Oceania, Seabourn or Regent but they seem to be all fly cruises and I do enjoy going from Southampton. Who knows!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Explore the Night. Sweepstakes - Enter now for a chance to win win a free cruise for two with Azamara Club Cruises!
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Community Contests
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×