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P&O Standards dropped, probably never again.


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We’ve just done the 3 day staycation on Britannia and I’m going to be completely honest, and, I expect I’m going to offend quite a few people. 
We’re a middle class couple, we were with friends.

We we booked on one of the Cunard cruises that got cancelled so we booked this one with P&O with some trepidation, but it was more or less the same dates so we went for it. We dithered because we’d heard that standards had dropped. 
 We found the whole experience disappointing.

 

The app was a disgrace. We booked in for Meridian but had to wait nearly an hour to get a table. I wish that we had been told to ignore the “my holiday app”, just walk up and get a bleeper.

 

Once in the Meridian on Gala night, people sitting at a table raised their eyebrows at us and sniggered as we passed. Obese, tattooed, underdressed people who shouldn’t have even been allowed in on Gala night because they hadn’t followed the dress code made us feel uncomfortable because we’d made an effort.


No wine waiter, a rushed service. We were asked to order food before we’d been asked about wine. 
No choice of bread, just white roll. They brought brown when we asked for it. Staff were polite enough but not interested in conversation, too rushed. We felt like we were an inconvenience, they needed to get everyone in and out as quickly as possible.


Horizon buffet. Not enough staff, we waited 10 minutes most mornings to find a waiter to get coffee. I missed being able to get up and get my own coffee and juice.

You can’t choose a table, you get told where to sit ( didn’t understand the logic of that, you can sit where you want in the bars and theatre so why not Horizon).

Choice of food nowhere near enough as usual, no omelette station. Enough to eat but nowhere like the usual array of lovely things.

 

Outside was the usual hogging of sun loungers. 10.00am, no loungers left so we just removed towels and sat down.

 

The entertainment was good, we saw Mr Tickertons circus and Sounds of the Underground, both excellent.

The comedian was a throwback to the 80’s. I’d heard every joke before. It was embarrassingly awful.

Of all the brilliant comedians out there, I’ve no idea how he got booked. He did have a nice voice though, he should have done more singing and less of the other stuff.

 

I don’t know how to word this without being disparaging to others, but basically I think that people feel comfortable with their own kind.

We prefer a more upmarket experience with people like ourselves. We knew that it would be a mixed crowd but we hadn’t anticipated how many people would be different to ourselves.

By dressing up, by being respectful,  I felt in a minority. 
 

I don’t know if P&O standards have dropped generally or if it’s that the type of people that can afford to go on a 3 day cruise perhaps wouldn’t go on a 10 day cruise?

It was just too low class, common, for us. Sorry. 

 

 

 

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7 minutes ago, The Med said:

We’ve just done the 3 day staycation on Britannia and I’m going to be completely honest, and, I expect I’m going to offend quite a few people. 
We’re a middle class couple, we were with friends.

We we booked on one of the Cunard cruises that got cancelled so we booked this one with P&O with some trepidation, but it was more or less the same dates so we went for it. We dithered because we’d heard that standards had dropped. 
 We found the whole experience disappointing.

 

The app was a disgrace. We booked in for Meridian but had to wait nearly an hour to get a table. I wish that we had been told to ignore the “my holiday app”, just walk up and get a bleeper.

 

Once in the Meridian on Gala night, people sitting at a table raised their eyebrows at us and sniggered as we passed. Obese, tattooed, underdressed people who shouldn’t have even been allowed in on Gala night because they hadn’t followed the dress code made us feel uncomfortable because we’d made an effort.


No wine waiter, a rushed service. We were asked to order food before we’d been asked about wine. 
No choice of bread, just white roll. They brought brown when we asked for it. Staff were polite enough but not interested in conversation, too rushed. We felt like we were an inconvenience, they needed to get everyone in and out as quickly as possible.


Horizon buffet. Not enough staff, we waited 10 minutes most mornings to find a waiter to get coffee. I missed being able to get up and get my own coffee and juice.

You can’t choose a table, you get told where to sit ( didn’t understand the logic of that, you can sit where you want in the bars and theatre so why not Horizon).

Choice of food nowhere near enough as usual, no omelette station. Enough to eat but nowhere like the usual array of lovely things.

 

Outside was the usual hogging of sun loungers. 10.00am, no loungers left so we just removed towels and sat down.

 

The entertainment was good, we saw Mr Tickertons circus and Sounds of the Underground, both excellent.

The comedian was a throwback to the 80’s. I’d heard every joke before. It was embarrassingly awful.

Of all the brilliant comedians out there, I’ve no idea how he got booked. He did have a nice voice though, he should have done more singing and less of the other stuff.

 

I don’t know how to word this without being disparaging to others, but basically I think that people feel comfortable with their own kind.

We prefer a more upmarket experience with people like ourselves. We knew that it would be a mixed crowd but we hadn’t anticipated how many people would be different to ourselves.

By dressing up, by being respectful,  I felt in a minority. 
 

I don’t know if P&O standards have dropped generally or if it’s that the type of people that can afford to go on a 3 day cruise perhaps wouldn’t go on a 10 day cruise?

It was just too low class, common, for us. Sorry. 

 

 

 

Shame you didn't enjoy it, but you effectively booked what would be to many a 3 day booze cruise. 

A lot of what you say has been pretty standard on P&O for a while. 

We enjoy dressing up and wouldn't have felt comfortable either, so I do feel for yoy. 

Longer cruises tend to get a slightly more refined crowd, but I will still be drinking my pint of Peroni at the dinner table, sorry. 

Pre Covid, we thoroughly enjoyed all of our P&O cruises, let's hope it gets back to normal soon. 

Enjoy Cunard. 

Andy 

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I think you're probably right about offending some people - though I suspect others will agree with aspects of what you say.

 

I'll try to stay objective, and reasonably neutral.

 

I suspect part of the problem will be the size of the ship, and another the type of cruise.  Although having said that I'd agree with you about the comedians - we've never yet found anyone to our taste on P&O cruises. Always outdated, and rarely funny. Sometimes embarrassing to watch too.

 

There are great comedians out there, but they're all too expensive for the present day P&O - though given the common ownership I suspect that applies to Cunard too these days.  These are troubled times for the cruise industry and there's not a lot of cash about!

 

Carnival courts the mass market by and large, and we have to accept that it's not remotely the P&O that it used to be.  The prices do reflect that though.

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7 minutes ago, The Med said:

We’ve just done the 3 day staycation on Britannia and I’m going to be completely honest, and, I expect I’m going to offend quite a few people. 
We’re a middle class couple, we were with friends.

We we booked on one of the Cunard cruises that got cancelled so we booked this one with P&O with some trepidation, but it was more or less the same dates so we went for it. We dithered because we’d heard that standards had dropped. 
 We found the whole experience disappointing.

 

The app was a disgrace. We booked in for Meridian but had to wait nearly an hour to get a table. I wish that we had been told to ignore the “my holiday app”, just walk up and get a bleeper.

 

Once in the Meridian on Gala night, people sitting at a table raised their eyebrows at us and sniggered as we passed. Obese, tattooed, underdressed people who shouldn’t have even been allowed in on Gala night because they hadn’t followed the dress code made us feel uncomfortable because we’d made an effort.


No wine waiter, a rushed service. We were asked to order food before we’d been asked about wine. 
No choice of bread, just white roll. They brought brown when we asked for it. Staff were polite enough but not interested in conversation, too rushed. We felt like we were an inconvenience, they needed to get everyone in and out as quickly as possible.


Horizon buffet. Not enough staff, we waited 10 minutes most mornings to find a waiter to get coffee. I missed being able to get up and get my own coffee and juice.

You can’t choose a table, you get told where to sit ( didn’t understand the logic of that, you can sit where you want in the bars and theatre so why not Horizon).

Choice of food nowhere near enough as usual, no omelette station. Enough to eat but nowhere like the usual array of lovely things.

 

Outside was the usual hogging of sun loungers. 10.00am, no loungers left so we just removed towels and sat down.

 

The entertainment was good, we saw Mr Tickertons circus and Sounds of the Underground, both excellent.

The comedian was a throwback to the 80’s. I’d heard every joke before. It was embarrassingly awful.

Of all the brilliant comedians out there, I’ve no idea how he got booked. He did have a nice voice though, he should have done more singing and less of the other stuff.

 

I don’t know how to word this without being disparaging to others, but basically I think that people feel comfortable with their own kind.

We prefer a more upmarket experience with people like ourselves. We knew that it would be a mixed crowd but we hadn’t anticipated how many people would be different to ourselves.

By dressing up, by being respectful,  I felt in a minority. 
 

I don’t know if P&O standards have dropped generally or if it’s that the type of people that can afford to go on a 3 day cruise perhaps wouldn’t go on a 10 day cruise?

It was just too low class, common, for us. Sorry. 

 

 

 

Obviously we are too low a class, but we enjoyed it. On gala night we ' dressed up ' and didn't note many vests, tattoos, or football shirts. Food was quite good, but we only had dinner in the MDR on gala night, eating in Sindhu and the glass house on the other 2 nights. 2 lunches in MDR were quite good. We didn't miss the wine waiter as we know quite a lot about wine. Having a Son who is a MW helps as no doubt his knowledge has helped us. Not quite the same as pre Covid. We normally do 14 night cruises, so obviously have delusions of adequacy. If I was you I would avoid the 4 night one we have in a couple of weeks, there will no doubt be rif raf on that one as well.🤣

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Harry, I don’t agree with you about the cost of comedians.

 

Most would be happy to perform again and at a discount.

They mostly just want to get their name out there and get a name for themselves.

it’s not difficult for a Booker to research decent comedians.

My son is a comedian and a promoter a d could definitely book more relevant acts than what we had to sit through.

 

Zap99, we paid next to nothing for our cruise so I’m not complaining about value for money, we had a laugh and made the most of it.

 

It was just that our friends hadn’t cruised before and we wanted it to be fabulous for them, and it wasn’t.

 

We’ve cruised with P&O on longer cruises 4 years ago and enjoyed it, we just thought that this was a bit rough around the edges. 

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Posted (edited)

After sailing Princess, P&O, Celebrity and Royal, we found the crowd that made the most effort for formal night was on P&O. 

 

So I imagine due to the length and price of the mini cruises, it has attracted some people who have never cruised before and wanted a cheap short break and did not bring any formal attire with them. I agree that they should not have been allowed in the dining room, so that is not on. 
 

We cruise a lot of cruise lines and P&O provide a holiday in nice surroundings, with decent entertainment, food and drink for a very reasonable price. It’s not my first choice, but you know what you are going to get. 
 

 

Edited by Glitterati
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2 minutes ago, zap99 said:

Obviously we are too low a class, but we enjoyed it. On gala night we ' dressed up ' and didn't note many vests, tattoos, or football shirts. Food was quite good, but we only had dinner in the MDR on gala night, eating in Sindhu and the glass house on the other 2 nights. 2 lunches in MDR were quite good. We didn't miss the wine waiter as we know quite a lot about wine. Having a Son who is a MW helps as no doubt his knowledge has helped us. Not quite the same as pre Covid. We normally do 14 night cruises, so obviously have delusions of adequacy. If I was you I would avoid the 4 night one we have in a couple of weeks, there will no doubt be rif raf on that one as well.🤣

 

I think we are the same low class as you.🤣  We came off on Sunday and had a great time.  We both dressed up for Gala night, and did not feel out of place.  Came out from seeing the 'comedian!', booked dinner on the app, wandered down to the MDR to see if there was really that many in front of us, got told yes.  We walked back to the Atrium, sat down ordered a drink and before it even came the app was telling us to go for dinner.  As we walked to the far end of the MDR, the majority we passed were dressed up.

 

We knew going into this cruise things would not be normal and service and choices would be reduced.

 

Andy would have been disappointed, no Peroni that I could find and no Corona.

 

We also found that if you could remember a cocktail you liked from the pre-covid era, the bar staff were more than happy to make it for you.

 

Would I go back and do it again, absolutely!

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5 minutes ago, The Med said:

Harry, I don’t agree with you about the cost of comedians.

 

Most would be happy to perform again and at a discount.

They mostly just want to get their name out there and get a name for themselves.

it’s not difficult for a Booker to research decent comedians.

My son is a comedian and a promoter a d could definitely book more relevant acts than what we had to sit through.

 

Zap99, we paid next to nothing for our cruise so I’m not complaining about value for money, we had a laugh and made the most of it.

 

It was just that our friends hadn’t cruised before and we wanted it to be fabulous for them, and it wasn’t.

 

We’ve cruised with P&O on longer cruises 4 years ago and enjoyed it, we just thought that this was a bit rough around the edges. 

Fair point about the comics - there are plenty of really good young ones out there keen for work, but maybe they don't fit the P&O mould.  I doubt the ones we like do either - but I want something different, not just the same trite old pap.

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7 minutes ago, jaydee6969 said:

 

I think we are the same low class as you.🤣  We came off on Sunday and had a great time.  We both dressed up for Gala night, and did not feel out of place.  Came out from seeing the 'comedian!', booked dinner on the app, wandered down to the MDR to see if there was really that many in front of us, got told yes.  We walked back to the Atrium, sat down ordered a drink and before it even came the app was telling us to go for dinner.  As we walked to the far end of the MDR, the majority we passed were dressed up.

 

We knew going into this cruise things would not be normal and service and choices would be reduced.

 

Andy would have been disappointed, no Peroni that I could find and no Corona.

 

We also found that if you could remember a cocktail you liked from the pre-covid era, the bar staff were more than happy to make it for you.

 

Would I go back and do it again, absolutely!

It shows that different folk have different expectations. Obviously I ain't no toff like what some are.🤣

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It’s interesting to see everyone’s different experience of it all.

 

Because we have also cruised with other cruises we know for example that we shouldn’t pack black tie on  Celebrity (even though we love cruising with them).

 

Wed told our friends that on P&O to pack the glam stuff because people do dress up.

 

Perhaps we were unlucky on our cruise that they didn’t. 
Usually when the lift doors open and you walk into the atrium, it’s an array of beautiful dresses.

Just not this time, for us.

 

 

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Once in the Meridian on Gala night, people sitting at a table raised their eyebrows at us and sniggered as we passed. Obese, tattooed, underdressed people who shouldn’t have even been allowed in on Gala night because they hadn’t followed the dress code made us feel uncomfortable because we’d made an effort.

 

I refer to the paragraph above which you quote about “tattooed” people. Although I am not a huge fan I have come to accept them as my daughter is a tattoo artist and of course has lots of them. It is a skilled job that takes a long time to perfect. They can earn an amazing amount of money, I know as her friend charges out at £80 per hour. I agree they are typically stereo typed but they are normal intelligent people. My daughter is actually a qualified midwife. 

She is cruising with us again next year on Princess and I am glad to have her cruising with me

Michelle

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2 minutes ago, The Med said:

Harry, I don’t agree with you about the cost of comedians.

 

Most would be happy to perform again and at a discount.

They mostly just want to get their name out there and get a name for themselves.

it’s not difficult for a Booker to research decent comedians.

My son is a comedian and a promoter a d could definitely book more relevant acts than what we had to sit through.

 

Zap99, we paid next to nothing for our cruise so I’m not complaining about value for money, we had a laugh and made the most of it.

 

It was just that our friends hadn’t cruised before and we wanted it to be fabulous for them, and it wasn’t.

 

We’ve cruised with P&O on longer cruises 4 years ago and enjoyed it, we just thought that this was a bit rough around the edges. 

We have been on short cruises before as well as many longer cruises and it is just the luck of the draw what clientele are on that particular cruise.

Like Andy said the 3 night cruises before covid19 were party cruises with hen and stag parties on board but most people were very well dressed on formal night.

After 16 months of no cruising it is understandable that some things might not be perfect.

Graham.

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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, grapau27 said:

We have been on short cruises before as well as many longer cruises and it is just the luck of the draw what clientele are on that particular cruise.

Like Andy said the 3 night cruises before covid19 were party cruises with hen and stag parties on board but most people were very well dressed on formal night.

After 16 months of no cruising it is understandable that some things might not be perfect.

Graham.

Graham. You mustn't judge by some ones view. In this case I didn't see these obese, common, tattooed Lower classes. Most folk were dressed nicely on gala night. A few only wore lounge suits, but I wore my dinner suit and DW scrubbed up well also. We have about 30 cruises with P&O, RCI, X, etc and still feel P&O is quite the toffish of them. Not been on Cunard and now don't think we will.

Edited by zap99
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9 minutes ago, Peanut006 said:

 

 

I refer to the paragraph above which you quote about “tattooed” people. Although I am not a huge fan I have come to accept them as my daughter is a tattoo artist and of course has lots of them. . I agree they are typically stereo typed but they are normal intelligent people. 
 

Absolutely when I referred to obese, tattooed people, there was a stereotype there. 
I’m completely not undermining anyone’s choices in life or judging the way they choose to live their life. 
But as I said in my first post, people feel comfortable mixing with their own kind. 

 

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Well as I said in my first post, it was honest and I knew that it would offend people.

 

We are all different, I’m not judging anyone for their choices of tatt

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I don't think you should take this cruise as typical of P&O at all. Short cruises attract a much wider cross-section of cruisers, including a higher number of 'new to cruise' and some who are treating it as a boozy weekend away.

I do however think it is also worth noting that P&O are very much in a process of change at the moment. They are trying hard to attract a younger set of pax, have the two 5200+pax new megaships and have abolished gratuities but seem to be keeping the prices very competitive.

I've only been on one of their larger ships twice, so may have picked up the wrong impression but from those two cruises, I am left thinking that the larger and newer the ship, the higher the percentage of pax who prefer not to don Black Tie on the more formal evenings.

Should you ever be tempted to try P&O again, you may find Aurora and Arcadia closer to your experience on Cunard, although still not the same. I do feel the general experience on the smaller ships to be more traditional than the newer, larger ones.

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Just now, The Med said:

Well as I said in my first post, it was honest and I knew that it would offend people.

 

We are all different, I’m not judging anyone for their choices of tattoos or being overweight. I’d just rather cruise with  my own kind 

 

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1 minute ago, zap99 said:

Graham. You mustn't judge by some ones view. In this case I didn't see these obese, common, tattooed Lower classes. Most folk were dressed nicely on gala night. A few only wore lounge suits, but I wore my dinner suit and DW scrubbed up well also. We have about 30 cruises with P&O, RCI, X, etc and still feel P&O us quite the toffish of them. Not been on Cunard and now don't think we will.

Thanks Zapp.

I agree after 54 cruises on Royal Caribbean,P&O, Princess and NCL where Pauline wears a different cocktail dress every night and I always dress smart P&O do tend to enforce the dress code more strictly than others.

As long as people are friendly that's what matters but I avoid snobs.

Graham.

 

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7 minutes ago, grapau27 said:

Thanks Zapp.

I agree after 54 cruises on Royal Caribbean,P&O, Princess and NCL where Pauline wears a different cocktail dress every night .

 How would you feel if you and Pauline walked into a restaurant , (having waited 55  minutes to get in, Pauline looking lovely but you get disregarded at the door, sneered at by people that have no manners, and then basically rushed through by the staff?
 

.

 

 

 

Minutes 

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11 hours ago, grapau27 said:

Thanks Zapp.

I agree after 54 cruises on Royal Caribbean,P&O, Princess and NCL where Pauline wears a different cocktail dress every night and I always dress smart P&O do tend to enforce the dress code more strictly than others.

As long as people are friendly that's what matters but I avoid snobs.

Graham.

 

 

Quote

 

Well that’s interesting because you want to avoid the snobs, and we want to avoid the chavs?

So we’re equally at risk of offending people.

 

How does that pan out then? 

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If people were sniggering at you, that's not very nice at all, but does looking down your nose at "obese, tattooed, underdressed people" actually make you any better than them? I'd suggest not.

 

I'm not sure why you would ever think a three day staycation in these unprecedented times would be anywhere like what "your kind" would be expecting anyway. But there's one thing for certain, I better the "other kind" enjoyed themselves a helluva lot more - think about that. 

 

Anyway, off to the gym for me, I feel a right scrubber carrying this little bit of tub! 😁

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I must apologise to my fellow passengers for being 'obese'. I didn't realise it created a problem for others.... Though surely a cruise is the perfect holiday for my kind, with all that food available.

Give me all the cake! 

hahaha

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This was always going to be a controversial thread.  But isn’t this more to do with changes in the demographic of cruisers generally than differences between two Carnival mass market cruise companies?

 

Benidorm was a little fishing village in the 1950s, attracting a very different tourist from those who go there now.

 

Much the same with cruising?

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