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Harry Peterson

Reporting from Azura - very poor, and much in need of that refit!

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5 hours ago, arendale1 said:

I know we are in the minority, but this is just our experience. I know lots of people love P&O cruises and that’s great. They have lovely ships and are great value for money and as most have said, they sail from Southampton. 

 

It's always important I think to express your experiences. I pay far more attention to negative criticism than out right praise, because I learn more. Having Cruised with P&O I can certainly equate with your experiences as there were a couple of times I've become quite annoyed at their poor service. Once instance that springs to mind was when a waiter took away I think it was either a glass or a side plate I hadn't finished with, without asking! I immediately got up walked over and told him him to put it back, I hadn't finished with it and in future—ask! Another instance was when I was poured the mostly horrible weak looking cup of tea I'd ever seen! I said 'I'm sorry I can't drink that, you'll have to replace it' and he started to reply '...but you didn't...' and I cut him off and said '...I shouldn't have to tell you, you should ask!'

 

Maybe I'm just difficult, or expect higher levels of service that seem beyond P&O, but those were two incidences that sprang to mind in amongst the same types of difficulty of getting waiters attention as you experienced. I learnt fairly early on that you need to be assertive with P&O staff and tell them what you want. If you can't catch a waiter, get up and go get hold of him or bend the ear of the Restaurant Manager or one of his assistants floating around and tell him the service is dropping below what you expect.

 

I don't want to put people off P&O, it represents very good value for money and on the whole the service is pretty good, but neither do I want to paint a picture that it's perfect because it isn't, an awful lot depends on luck and where you sit and what waiters/servers you get, because it does vary.

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3 minutes ago, booksurfer said:

 

It's always important I think to express your experiences. I pay far more attention to negative criticism than out right praise, because I learn more. Having Cruised with P&O I can certainly equate with your experiences as there were a couple of times I've become quite annoyed at their poor service. Once instance that springs to mind was when a waiter took away I think it was either a glass or a side plate I hadn't finished with, without asking! I immediately got up walked over and told him him to put it back, I hadn't finished with it and in future—ask! Another instance was when I was poured the mostly horrible weak looking cup of tea I'd ever seen! I said 'I'm sorry I can't drink that, you'll have to replace it' and he started to reply '...but you didn't...' and I cut him off and said '...I shouldn't have to tell you, you should ask!'

 

Maybe I'm just difficult, or expect higher levels of service that seem beyond P&O, but those were two incidences that sprang to mind in amongst the same types of difficulty of getting waiters attention as you experienced. I learnt fairly early on that you need to be assertive with P&O staff and tell them what you want. If you can't catch a waiter, get up and go get hold of him or bend the ear of the Restaurant Manager or one of his assistants floating around and tell him the service is dropping below what you expect.

 

I don't want to put people off P&O, it represents very good value for money and on the whole the service is pretty good, but neither do I want to paint a picture that it's perfect because it isn't, an awful lot depends on luck and where you sit and what waiters/servers you get, because it does vary.

Sorry but what a terrible attitude to have and is not the way to treat any hard working staff on a P&O cruise. Yes you can make a verbal complaint to the Restaurant Manager or his assistant but to admit to getting up and getting hold of a waiter and being assertive is awful and very rude.

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17 minutes ago, arendale1 said:

The entertainment and food/drinks are all aimed at Brits - so it felt a little too much like being at home. When we’re on holiday we like to experience different things and be around all nationalities. 

Of course, lots of Brits like familiarity (like all the British pubs and ‘egg and chip’ cafes in the Costas. But, we’re not keen when on holiday tbh. RC being American, gave a bit of a different experience and my kids much preferred all of that (they like the US). Plus, more varied nationalities. 

I’m sure we’ll try P&O again at some stage, as I think we were just unlucky with the service. But, our kids won’t go, so it’ll be sometime in the future 🙂

I get you know to much British food and like yourself we have spent many happy holidays in the states we’re service usually is second to none.

We managed to find the menus for the various cruise lines online so my wife chose the ones she liked (i will eat most things apart from egg custards and bread pudding).

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19 minutes ago, booksurfer said:

 

It's always important I think to express your experiences. I pay far more attention to negative criticism than out right praise, because I learn more. Having Cruised with P&O I can certainly equate with your experiences as there were a couple of times I've become quite annoyed at their poor service. Once instance that springs to mind was when a waiter took away I think it was either a glass or a side plate I hadn't finished with, without asking! I immediately got up walked over and told him him to put it back, I hadn't finished with it and in future—ask! Another instance was when I was poured the mostly horrible weak looking cup of tea I'd ever seen! I said 'I'm sorry I can't drink that, you'll have to replace it' and he started to reply '...but you didn't...' and I cut him off and said '...I shouldn't have to tell you, you should ask!'

 

Maybe I'm just difficult, or expect higher levels of service that seem beyond P&O, but those were two incidences that sprang to mind in amongst the same types of difficulty of getting waiters attention as you experienced. I learnt fairly early on that you need to be assertive with P&O staff and tell them what you want. If you can't catch a waiter, get up and go get hold of him or bend the ear of the Restaurant Manager or one of his assistants floating around and tell him the service is dropping below what you expect.

 

I don't want to put people off P&O, it represents very good value for money and on the whole the service is pretty good, but neither do I want to paint a picture that it's perfect because it isn't, an awful lot depends on luck and where you sit and what waiters/servers you get, because it does vary.

You right I always speak slowly and very loudly to the waiters they get the message 😂🤣

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30 minutes ago, ozzysdad said:

We travelled on the same cruise (N907) and experienced much of what you described with regards to the MDR, we seemed to be being treated  in a certain way because as a family of three we wouldn't share a table with others, even being told to use the buffet when we questioned why we had to wait for a table for an hour and a half, twice we gave up after an hour and went to the glass house which as nice as it was cost us £40 plus on both occasions - for the food, on the third occasion we encountered a significant wait I wandered into the MDR and saw at least four suitable vacant tables which we would of been happy to take and that was just down one side of the dining room.

 

I did question this and was told the wait was down to the demographic of the cruise and that there were too many families who'd requested freedom dining,  even though our previous cruise at Easter the year before had over 100 children more on board we didn't have to wait once, it appeared to me there was a concerted effort by P&O to force dining arrangements on us even though we had paid for and expected some sort of freedom, to add to the mess service was hit and miss, drinks, toast, steak knife, condiments, all had to be requested which was in stark contrast to the year before, we even received the wrong food on more than one occasion although I must say I've never had a bad meal in the MDR and think the food is very good.

 

Oh well never mind they are not huge issues but just leave a nagging feeling of disappointment. 

I’d forgotten the instances that my kids weren’t given steak knives and they had streak most nights (hubby and I are pescatarian so don’t cook meat often), so they made up for it.

Also, twice hubby was given the wrong meal. He just ate it, but really should have mentioned it.

We were also asked each evening if we wanted to share. No, our family time is precious to us and we wanted to enjoy our time together without having to try to engage with strangers.

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24 minutes ago, majortom10 said:

Sorry but what a terrible attitude to have and is not the way to treat any hard working staff on a P&O cruise. Yes you can make a verbal complaint to the Restaurant Manager or his assistant but to admit to getting up and getting hold of a waiter and being assertive is awful and very rude.

I agree,their attitude is aggressive not assertive.

 

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1 hour ago, booksurfer said:

 

It's always important I think to express your experiences. I pay far more attention to negative criticism than out right praise, because I learn more. Having Cruised with P&O I can certainly equate with your experiences as there were a couple of times I've become quite annoyed at their poor service. Once instance that springs to mind was when a waiter took away I think it was either a glass or a side plate I hadn't finished with, without asking! I immediately got up walked over and told him him to put it back, I hadn't finished with it and in future—ask! Another instance was when I was poured the mostly horrible weak looking cup of tea I'd ever seen! I said 'I'm sorry I can't drink that, you'll have to replace it' and he started to reply '...but you didn't...' and I cut him off and said '...I shouldn't have to tell you, you should ask!'

 

Maybe I'm just difficult, or expect higher levels of service that seem beyond P&O, but those were two incidences that sprang to mind in amongst the same types of difficulty of getting waiters attention as you experienced. I learnt fairly early on that you need to be assertive with P&O staff and tell them what you want. If you can't catch a waiter, get up and go get hold of him or bend the ear of the Restaurant Manager or one of his assistants floating around and tell him the service is dropping below what you expect.

 

I don't want to put people off P&O, it represents very good value for money and on the whole the service is pretty good, but neither do I want to paint a picture that it's perfect because it isn't, an awful lot depends on luck and where you sit and what waiters/servers you get, because it does vary.

I find being friendly and respectful to our waiters is always the best way plus I don't get any additional flavouring on our food this way.

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27 minutes ago, grapau27 said:

I find being friendly and respectful to our waiters is always the best way plus I don't get any additional flavouring on our food this way.

With you on that one.

 

A very important rule in life - never complain about your food while there's more to be brought to the table! And I've worked in a restaurant.......  🤮

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I have to say that all of these problems that people have had seem to me to be the down side of freedom dining. We have always done club dining and w have never experienced any of the problems given above. In fact I find that the waiters are actually upset if you look as if you are not enjoying something. They always come and ask if they can get you something else. I find that they cannot do enough for you. 

 

The wait staff also change from club to freedom through their contract so often they will move from one to another at the end of a cruise. I do find it hard to understand how they change when this happens. 

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3 minutes ago, daiB said:

I have to say that all of these problems that people have had seem to me to be the down side of freedom dining. We have always done club dining and w have never experienced any of the problems given above. In fact I find that the waiters are actually upset if you look as if you are not enjoying something. They always come and ask if they can get you something else. I find that they cannot do enough for you. 

 

The wait staff also change from club to freedom through their contract so often they will move from one to another at the end of a cruise. I do find it hard to understand how they change when this happens. 

 

I think you may well be correct Dai. The next time we will be booking club dining. I think there is more attention to detail and accountability when you have the same waiter every night. There is also more chance that pax will offer additional tips for great service which may also have an impact.

 

I suspect that there are very few additional tips in the freedom dining rooms as you rarely sit at the same table twice. Consequently there is less incentive to do more than the basics in freedom.

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, arendale1 said:

I’d forgotten the instances that my kids weren’t given steak knives and they had streak most nights (hubby and I are pescatarian so don’t cook meat often), so they made up for it.

Also, twice hubby was given the wrong meal. He just ate it, but really should have mentioned it.

We were also asked each evening if we wanted to share. No, our family time is precious to us and we wanted to enjoy our time together without having to try to engage with strangers.

I bet those two meals your hubby had by mistake we’re two big juicy steaks.

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20 minutes ago, docco said:

With you on that one.

 

A very important rule in life - never complain about your food while there's more to be brought to the table! And I've worked in a restaurant.......  🤮

 

While I get the humour in what you are saying I doubt if any professional organisation would keep staff long who tampered with food (and yes in my student days I worked in a restaurant as well)

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8 minutes ago, Eglesbrech said:

 

I think you may well be correct Dai. The next time we will be booking club dining. I think there is more attention to detail and accountability when you have the same waiter every night. There is also more chance that pax will offer additional tips for great service which may also have an impact.

 

I suspect that there are very few additional tips in the freedom dining rooms as you rarely sit at the same table twice. Consequently there is less incentive to do more than the basics in freedom.

 

 

 

 

We always preferred the service in club dining but found the times a bit restrictive and when we started doing My Time Dining on RC we liked it much better so when Freedom dining was introduced on P&O we tried that and never went back to club dining.

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19 minutes ago, Bazrat said:

I bet those two meals your hubby had by mistake we’re two big juicy steaks.

Haha no! He ordered a fish dish, but ended up with salmon which he didn’t order. No big deal as we both are pescatarian so love fish.

Our daughter also got a wrong order, but she spoke up straight away and they changed it.

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With regards to Freedom dining , we chose this as we liked the idea of not being restricted to a set time. We didn’t mind having to wait for a table, but the service was poor 😕

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45 minutes ago, daiB said:

I have to say that all of these problems that people have had seem to me to be the down side of freedom dining. We have always done club dining and w have never experienced any of the problems given above. In fact I find that the waiters are actually upset if you look as if you are not enjoying something. They always come and ask if they can get you something else. I find that they cannot do enough for you. 

 

The wait staff also change from club to freedom through their contract so often they will move from one to another at the end of a cruise. I do find it hard to understand how they change when this happens. 

I'd agree with that Dai, Freedom has never worked for us, we much prefer Club Dining.Each time we have tried Freedom we have switched back after 2 days. I feel the concept of dining when you want sounds great but the reality isn't. We have had trouble getting a table and when we do we find the experience is very rushed, Club seems more relaxed.

Edited by bee-ess

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2 hours ago, majortom10 said:

Sorry but what a terrible attitude to have and is not the way to treat any hard working staff on a P&O cruise. Yes you can make a verbal complaint to the Restaurant Manager or his assistant but to admit to getting up and getting hold of a waiter and being assertive is awful and very rude.

 

You don't know me, you don't know the situation, the circumstance or what was said, so how can you possibly judge that as being a 'terrible attitude' and 'very rude'?  I treat everyone with politeness, courtesy and respect, whoever they may be. I'm afraid you're confusing assertiveness with aggression.

 

There's nothing at all wrong with going over and speaking quietly with a waiter that I've been waiting however long to be served. But what I'm not prepared to do is sit and wait, groaning, mumbling and moaning like so many British people seem to want to do and do nothing to remedy the situation.

 

Which do you think is better, be assertive, get up and remedy whatever the problem is and get on with my holiday or sit there moaning and groaning, complain to the manager on the way out, fill in a complaint form, seethe and fume until I arrive home and then complain bitterly on here about how the service on P&O is so bad I'd never use them again?

 

I've given a balanced view on P&O, for what you pay they offer reasonable value but that's not to say they're perfect because they're not. People will experience exactly the type of situations I have and I've given guidance on how I dealt with those situations, other people will have to deal with them as they see fit.

 

But please don't accuse me of being 'very rude' and having a 'terrible attitude' when you don't know me from Adam.

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2 hours ago, Bazrat said:

You right I always speak slowly and very loudly to the waiters they get the message 😂🤣

 

With respect, I think I will ignore your input until you've actually been on a P&O cruise and experienced the type of situations that are being discussed.

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42 minutes ago, bee-ess said:

I'd agree with that Dai, Freedom has never worked for us, we much prefer Club Dining.Each time we have tried Freedom we have switched back after 2 days. I feel the concept of dining when you want sounds great but the reality isn't. We have had trouble getting a table and when we do we find the experience is very rushed, Club seems more relaxed.

So as I understand it when booking you chose Club but whilst on board you then requested a change to freedom then after two days you requested to go back to Club.

With a select fare booking you make your choice during the booking process and I assume you are expected not to change.

With a saver fare booking your preferred dining arrangements are confirmed whilst on board, Club or Freedom but again I assume you are not expected to change once allocated.

Edited by P-L-B

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1 hour ago, Eglesbrech said:

 

I think you may well be correct Dai. The next time we will be booking club dining. I think there is more attention to detail and accountability when you have the same waiter every night. There is also more chance that pax will offer additional tips for great service which may also have an impact.

 

I suspect that there are very few additional tips in the freedom dining rooms as you rarely sit at the same table twice. Consequently there is less incentive to do more than the basics in freedom.

 

 

 

 

 

That's a very good point. We opt for freedom because it gives us....freedom, but maybe we should change to club. I guess early is going to be WAY to early for us, can anyone tell me what time the late sitting usually is?

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41 minutes ago, booksurfer said:

 

With respect, I think I will ignore your input until you've actually been on a P&O cruise and experienced the type of situations that are being discussed.

 

41 minutes ago, booksurfer said:

 

With respect, I think I will ignore your input until you've actually been on a P&O cruise and experienced the type of situations that are being discussed.

With respect that might be a good idea because obviously in your world problems with waiters is purely a cruise problem.

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35 minutes ago, P-L-B said:

So as I understand it when booking you chose Club but whilst on board you then requested a change to freedom then after two days you requested to go back to Club.

With a select fare booking you make your choice during the booking process and I assume you are expected not to change.

With a saver fare booking your preferred dining arrangements are confirmed whilst on board, Club or Freedom but again I assume you are not expected to change once allocated.

Thank you for that reply we believe club will be the way to go for us.

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45 minutes ago, P-L-B said:

So as I understand it when booking you chose Club but whilst on board you then requested a change to freedom then after two days you requested to go back to Club.

With a select fare booking you make your choice during the booking process and I assume you are expected not to change.

With a saver fare booking your preferred dining arrangements are confirmed whilst on board, Club or Freedom but again I assume you are not expected to change once allocated.

Sorry I didn't explain very well - we usually choose Club on a Select fare but have chosen Freedom a couple of times and each time we have asked to switch to Club after a couple of days, there was no problem with switching.

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Delighted to say we’ve never, ever, had any problems with Freedom Dining. I’d hate to be tied to a fixed time for dinner (that’s just bizarre, and a hangover from holiday camps) and we’ve never had to wait for more than a few minutes at most.

 

Good food, good service too.

 

Always happy to share a table with others, 6 or 8 by choice, though if you stipulate a table to yourself that’s when you’ll wait at peak times.

 

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20 minutes ago, Babyeddiedog said:

 

That's a very good point. We opt for freedom because it gives us....freedom, but maybe we should change to club. I guess early is going to be WAY to early for us, can anyone tell me what time the late sitting usually is?

Early sitting is 6.30 and late sitting is 8.30.

When our kids were younger, 6.30 was a good time. Now they’re all older, we find freedom works best as it’s more flexible.

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