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P&O Standards dropped, probably never again.


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Here's my 2 cents on this.

 

First of all, I do understand that people feel more comfortable around people like them. This is a psychological phenomenal known as "consensual validation". Being around people like us helps validate our own views on things. For example, if you're an Anti-vaxxer and "all your friends" are anti-vaxxers, you feel more confident about your views as you have backup.

 

We all live our lives in different ways. While some (my father in law) won't even do the gardening without a button up shirt and smart slacks on, some like to wear jogging bottoms to dinner. We all have our ways to feel comfortable and how we present to others and it makes sense that if we're raised to think that dinner = dressing up, then when we see those who oppose that social norm, it causes us discomfort. 

 

My personal view is that what other people wear makes zero difference to my life at all. Sure, sometimes I see what people have chosen to wear and I think "Wow, I wouldn't wear that to X occasion" but if my eyes and mind are wandering to other people's lives, I have to question whether I'm enjoying the company of those I am with! When I am at dinner, my eyes, focus and conversation is all focused on those I have chosen to take a holiday with.

 

As someone who was morbidly obese a year ago but is now probably one of the healthiest weights on here, I feel hurt on behalf of those who you looked down on for being obese. You don't know what is happening in someone's life and no matter how "classy" or well off someone is or isn't, they do not deserve to be looked down on. Our bodies are just the vessels that carry our personalities and you've already dismissed those people based on looks and dress. For all you know, that obese tattooed man could be the most interesting person you've ever had the chance to meet. He could be a Professor of architecture or a future world leader. Think of great business minds like Steve Jobs, who never wore suits, but just simple blue jeans and a turtle neck. When someone is GREAT or when someone is fulfilled in life, they do not feel the need to show everyone else, they are content to just enjoy life.

 

I do feel sorry that you felt sneered at for going dressed up, as someone who is often sneered at and made fun of for having nerdy hobbies like video games and Dungeons and Dragons, I know how it feels when others sneer, but is this not the exact same thing you're doing to the "common people" as you call them?

 

P&O are not a luxury cruise line, they are a family cruise line aimed at the British public, of which a very small number are the social elite. Add this to the fact that these cruises are low cost, allowing those who could never cruise before a chance to experience a holiday usually out of reach of their budget (which is amazing and I am so happy people get that chance!) and I fail to see what you were expecting. 

 

I wish you luck finding a cruise line that meets your elite standards and I hope you were still able to enjoy your cruise but please take some time to think on what I have said as I am sure you don't mean to be rude or offensive, but your opinions on other people are worrisome and not suitable for a 2021 audience where our culture is a mixing pot of people from all backgrounds and each of them deserve respect, compassion and a great holiday where prejudices can be left on land.

 

Thanks.

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I took my first P&O cruise in 2001, and, going by the amount of ‘falling standards’ posts I've seen on forums in the last 20 years, P&O must be in the gutter by now! 
 

Yes, the product has changed gradually over the years, and it’s not surprising, bearing in mind that I could still buy a 14 night cruise in a balcony cabin for the same price that I paid for my original 14 night cruise back in 2001 (which was also in a balcony cabin).

 

it’s just as well that P&O cruises have become more affordable as I would never been able to afford the long cruises that we have been doing in the last few years.

 

There’s always a few people who I prefer to avoid for various reasons, but not for how they look, but  for their personality. Generally, most people are perfectly pleasant. I’ve also sailed on Fred and CMV, and have found the passenger mix to be very similar to P&O. I am due to go on my first Cunard cruise next year, and expect to find the same sort of mix on Queen Victoria 

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I’m not much of a bible scholar but isn’t there a phrase about “judge not, lest ye be judged”?

 

Looks like that’s what happened.  One group (excuse my shorthand) said, amongst themselves, ‘Look at those snobs’ whilst the other said ‘Look at those slobs’.

 

Cruising really pushes different people together.  I’ve learnt the best policy is to do my own thing, enjoy my cruise as I wish and leave others to do theirs 

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Standards have changed over the years simply because cruising is affordable these day. Many will not payout for dinner suits and posh frocks because they will not use them elsewhere. It's no excuse for some outfits you see but just ignore and enjoy. Service has also changed, especially in the dinning rooms, cost cutting, but I have rarely had poor service and the staff work hard and want to please.

 

I am so looking forward to our upcoming cruises on Iona and will be very surprised, after all this time without a holiday, if I am disappointed.

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Shoes !  Yep the times I have looked in a shoe shop window at all the different kind of 

shoe's. Lets be honest how many times have you seen a pair of shoes in the window and 

thought " they are not for me " your reasoning being they look far too posh or to cheap.

You would feel uncomfortable in them ,even if they were to be the best fit ever .

I suppose it is a bit like a cruise ship really not every ship will suit everyone regardless of 

their so called class ,weight or even skin markings that they choose to have . We all have 

our comfort zones  and  if we book a cheap as chips cruise you are going to see people 

who would never step on a ship giving it a try and this will be more evident on the 2/3 day

cruise's .Most will be well behaved ,good manners comes from our upbringing and if you 

were brought up not dragged up then your so called class has very little to do with it .

We all have a right to enjoy our cruise and it's sad when it goes wrong  for us. We have 

been there and we have a ship that we will never step on again but I did not decide that 

the entire cruise company should be abandoned , we decided it was not for us ,nothing to

do with "our kind or class" whatever that means ,maybe I'm just in a class of my own :classic_wacko:

I hope we all choose our shoes and cruisers well and have a good experience with our

future choices .

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11 hours ago, The Med said:

 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 

Fortunately we have never experienced this but it must have been upsetting for you.

Graham.

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I think your experience in the MDR - being rushed, wine order not taken until after the food etc is a result of P&O being allowed to take on more passengers. Having said that, it is the way P&O were heading pre pandemic. On my last cruise ( pre- pandemic) with them there was not enough staff in the MDR and most of the time they seemed to be running. I was fortunate to be on Britannia's second new cruise and was lucky I that the service was impeccable. I think there was more crew than passengers on that one. It shows the staff do know what to do but perhaps now they don't have the time to do it.That is an issue for P&O to address but I can't see any improvement that will increase costs.

I totally agree about the app. They need to sort it before the Iona maiden or ditch it.

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I don’t give a fig what people are wearing, provided it’s appropriate to the setting. Though that’s a judgment call in itself!

 

What does affect me though is what people are actually like underneath. We’ve met some really great people, and still keep in touch regularly, but we’ve actively avoided others. Nothing to do with money, class, whatever - the worst we’ve found have just been obnoxious people. Arrogant, and rude and patronising to the staff. One charming couple obviously thought they were impressing everyone with their rudeness and imperiousness with the waiting staff, but really they were just embarrassing themselves without even being aware.

 

We always Freedom Dined, frequently at around the same time, and made a point of avoiding these two. We were joined one night by two others who’d been shown first to the table these two were on but swerved it with an obviously fatuous excuse. The real reason came out after they’d sat down. Why people think it’s clever to show off and be rude to staff I’ll never fathom.

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Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, grapau27 said:

Fortunately we have never experienced this but it must have been upsetting for you.

Graham.

Graham. We were on the same cruise and dressed up posh, on posh night. Well above our proper station in life. Nobody sneered, pointed, laughed and said ' look at those idiots in their penguin clothes '. Perhaps it's all in the mind. If I wore me pearlies and sung knees up muvver Brown, I could get that response. Last post on this as I find it all offensive snobcompoopery. KUMB.

Edited by zap99
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1 hour ago, ScratchTheRat said:

Here's my 2 cents on this.

 

First of all, I do understand that people feel more comfortable around people like them. This is a psychological phenomenal known as "consensual validation". Being around people like us helps validate our own views on things. For example, if you're an Anti-vaxxer and "all your friends" are anti-vaxxers, you feel more confident about your views as you have backup.

 

We all live our lives in different ways. While some (my father in law) won't even do the gardening without a button up shirt and smart slacks on, some like to wear jogging bottoms to dinner. We all have our ways to feel comfortable and how we present to others and it makes sense that if we're raised to think that dinner = dressing up, then when we see those who oppose that social norm, it causes us discomfort. 

 

My personal view is that what other people wear makes zero difference to my life at all. Sure, sometimes I see what people have chosen to wear and I think "Wow, I wouldn't wear that to X occasion" but if my eyes and mind are wandering to other people's lives, I have to question whether I'm enjoying the company of those I am with! When I am at dinner, my eyes, focus and conversation is all focused on those I have chosen to take a holiday with.

 

As someone who was morbidly obese a year ago but is now probably one of the healthiest weights on here, I feel hurt on behalf of those who you looked down on for being obese. You don't know what is happening in someone's life and no matter how "classy" or well off someone is or isn't, they do not deserve to be looked down on. Our bodies are just the vessels that carry our personalities and you've already dismissed those people based on looks and dress. For all you know, that obese tattooed man could be the most interesting person you've ever had the chance to meet. He could be a Professor of architecture or a future world leader. Think of great business minds like Steve Jobs, who never wore suits, but just simple blue jeans and a turtle neck. When someone is GREAT or when someone is fulfilled in life, they do not feel the need to show everyone else, they are content to just enjoy life.

 

I do feel sorry that you felt sneered at for going dressed up, as someone who is often sneered at and made fun of for having nerdy hobbies like video games and Dungeons and Dragons, I know how it feels when others sneer, but is this not the exact same thing you're doing to the "common people" as you call them?

 

P&O are not a luxury cruise line, they are a family cruise line aimed at the British public, of which a very small number are the social elite. Add this to the fact that these cruises are low cost, allowing those who could never cruise before a chance to experience a holiday usually out of reach of their budget (which is amazing and I am so happy people get that chance!) and I fail to see what you were expecting. 

 

I wish you luck finding a cruise line that meets your elite standards and I hope you were still able to enjoy your cruise but please take some time to think on what I have said as I am sure you don't mean to be rude or offensive, but your opinions on other people are worrisome and not suitable for a 2021 audience where our culture is a mixing pot of people from all backgrounds and each of them deserve respect, compassion and a great holiday where prejudices can be left on land.

 

Thanks.

Best post so far.

We have met many professional people like doctors, company directors, business owners etc etc who were dressed very casually on board.

We have met people from all walks of life also and we happily speak with everyone.

We have enjoyed every cruise and are big fans of P&O as well as Princess and Royal Caribbean.

We currently have 2 P&O cruises booked.

Graham.

 

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I can't  help thinking that an experienced cruiser would not choose to go on a 3 or 4 nighter, on any line.  The atmosphere is almost certain to be very different,  in some cases with groups of hen and stag parties on board, and it would not represent what cruises are normally like when you are on board for at least a week.

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We are on Britannia for a 4 nighter on Sunday. Will be taking my dinner suit as I like to dress up for formal ( celebration) night on P and O. Conversely I no longer take my dinner suit on Royal Caribbean Mediterranean cruises as would feel out of place. I would take my dinner suit on Celebrity but not on Azamara as Azamara although being more premium is more of a relaxed style of cruising experience. Will only be eating in the MDR on celebration night and will eat in speciality the other nights as I don’t particularly rate the MDR food.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Harry Peterson said:

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?

First went to Benidorm about 5 years ago with a group of friends.  Yes it has the strip and all its associated "theme" bars, but that's what todays punters want.  We usually do a couple of nights in the Brit end of town, but most nights in the old town.  Much more Spanish with some good tapas bars.  During the day you can wander off the beaten track and get away from the seafront etc.  Ticks lots of boxes for lots of people.  The beaches are kept nice and clean as well.  Better than Sarfend!

Edited by Son of Anarchy
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I've been trying very hard recently not to get annoyed and react to certain posts (not an easy feat I can tell you)😏, but this has rattled my cage.

Obesity is not always a choice, and illness and/or medication is the reason, as my daughter can testify. It's easy to criticise others, but some of the 'middle classes'🙄 need to realise that money doesn't negate the need for respect of others. I am sure there are many 'middle and upper class' that are tattooed and obese.

Money doesn't maketh man, manners does. 

Avril

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Quick question for The Med, can I ask why you were/felt you were sneered at?  On our cruise a couple of weeks ago my husband wore his tux and I wore a long dress and I have to say most of the passengers in the restaurant were dressed in their finest too.  The Horizon newspaper did stipulate you couldn't use the MDR's unless adhering to the dress code so the restaurant staff should have turned them away.

 

To be honest I think that, as others have said,  you chose the wrong ship for the wrong amount of days.  Please don't dismiss P&O in the future, choose one of the small ships and it might suit you better.

 

I too had a little moan on here when I got back but I still thoroughly enjoyed my little break - yes there were things wrong but P&O and the crew are learning how to deal with all things covid - as we all are.

 

On a similar theme but not cruise related, my husband and I had a long discussion the other day after we'd been shopping.  We were muttering to each other about the people not wearing masks etc and then later in the day, when we walked around the local park, we grumbled about teenagers swearing and litter just abandoned.  In the end we decided that we should stop worrying about other people not wearing masks or dropping their litter - they obviously don't care about their actions and the only people it is upsetting is us.  We're trying now just to worry about ourselves (and our loved ones) but its really difficult. 

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11 minutes ago, zap99 said:

Graham. We were on the same cruise and dressed up posh, on posh night. Well above our proper station in life. Nobody sneered, pointed, laughed and said ' look at those idiots in their penguin clothes '. Perhaps it's all in the mind. If I wore me pearlies and sung knees up muvver Brown, I could get that response. Last post on this as I find it all offensive snobcompoopery. KUMB.

I'm delighted you had a great cruise Zapp and thank you for your feedback.

Graham 

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11 minutes ago, Adawn47 said:

I've been trying very hard recently not to get annoyed and react to certain posts (not an easy feat I can tell you)😏, but this has rattled my cage.

Obesity is not always a choice, and illness and/or medication is the reason, as my daughter can testify. It's easy to criticise others, but some of the 'middle classes'🙄 need to realise that money doesn't negate the need for respect of others. I am sure there are many 'middle and upper class' that are tattooed and obese.

Money doesn't maketh man, manners does. 

Avril

We'll said Avril.

Graham 

 

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2 hours ago, Harry Peterson said:

But isn’t this more to do with changes in the demographic of cruisers generally than differences between two Carnival mass market cruise companies?

 

 

Exactly Harry. 

Over the last few years, we have cruised with P&O quite a lot, mainly down to cost, (choosing many cruises over a 'special' holiday,) but also the offering. 

We like to dress up for the formal nights and enjoy nice food, but not necessarily 'a la carte' all the time, as is a bit too fancy for us. 

We are the 'new type' of cruiser, but even we wouldn't expect the same standards on a 3 night cruise. 

Andy 

 

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Some people trying cruising for the first time won't necessarily want to buy the whole tuxedo/posh frock look until they know they're likely to keep cruising.

We are going on Iona for a 7 day cruise next year and Iona only has one formal/gala night on 7 day cruises, so my husband doesn't want to buy a tux just for one evening in case it's our first and last cruise so he will wear a smart suit that he already owns. I on the other hand am planning many more cruises and have already bought enough long dresses to last me at least a 3 week cruise 😉

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I'm with Graham and his wife.I dress up every night on a cruise. Mostly I'm stuck at home on my lonesome so on a cruise I can finally enjoy good food (speciality every night - can't hear a word in the MDR too much noise), great wine and get dressed up. I may join a table but happy to eat alone but have always just chatted to anyone that seems inclined while carefully keeping a check on myself that I don't dissolve into verbal diarrhoea just because I have someone to chat too. Personally not a fan of tattoos but not frightened off chatting to anyone with them and can soon get out of there if we are not on the same wavelength. I cruise to enjoy myself and largely I know how to make the best experience for myself. If anyone sniggers at me I've not noticed but they would soon get a frosty look and a quick swerve I do me they can do them.

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I think you are going to some extent get people with different attitudes on p and o and Cunard it’s inevitable as they are apples and pears.

 

Don’t like to judge others, and I’m surprised to the op with some of your comments to be honest, but your perfectly entitled to speak your mind. 
 

I think the staycations are probably attracting a varied mix of newbies and p and o customers who wouldn’t normally go on Britannia let alone a short cruise, so in a way a more varied clientele.

 

 

 


 

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From my very long first post which covered quite a few issues, the things that people have latched on to are the words obesity and tattoos.

 

People are asking me not to judge others and yet are making a judgement on me because of my views. However I think most people are guilty of some form of unconscious bias.

 

However, absolutely  nowhere did I say that I thought myself better than anyone else, just different. That’s all, different.

 

In the same way that I wouldn’t visit a rough pub or restaurant at home because I wouldn’t have anything in common with the clientele, well it’s the same on holiday.

 

We’re not experienced cruisers but I did book a 3 night knowing that it would be a different experience. I hardly paid anything for the cruise so my comments weren’t so much as a complaint but more of an observation.

Perhaps other people who are thinking of booking a staycation can make an informed decision based on the comments.

 

I do think that standards have dropped, if other people are happy to accept a sub standard service that up to them. 

We still had fun but overall it’s not the cruise line for me.

 

Silverseas anyone? 

 

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10 minutes ago, The Med said:

From my very long first post which covered quite a few issues, the things that people have latched on to are the words obesity and tattoos.

 

People are asking me not to judge others and yet are making a judgement on me because of my views. However I think most people are guilty of some form of unconscious bias.

 

However, absolutely  nowhere did I say that I thought myself better than anyone else, just different. That’s all, different.

 

In the same way that I wouldn’t visit a rough pub or restaurant at home because I wouldn’t have anything in common with the clientele, well it’s the same on holiday.

 

We’re not experienced cruisers but I did book a 3 night knowing that it would be a different experience. I hardly paid anything for the cruise so my comments weren’t so much as a complaint but more of an observation.

Perhaps other people who are thinking of booking a staycation can make an informed decision based on the comments.

 

I do think that standards have dropped, if other people are happy to accept a sub standard service that up to them. 

We still had fun but overall it’s not the cruise line for me.

 

Silverseas anyone? 

 

Absolutely agree with you that everyone has some sort of unconscious bias. I even teach courses on this very subject to many companies.

 

However your bias is very much conscious as you've stated class, outfit, appearance and equated them to "lowered standards". This is not a case of judging you, quite the opposite, I do not know you and thus I can not judge you, I'd need to meet you, talk with you, learn about you. 

 

The exact things you have seemingly failed to do with the other guests on board and that is YOUR prerogative. 

 

As I said in my post, I used to be "obese" and have lost 10 Stone over lockdown and I've found that people treat me completely differently. Have I changed as a person? No. I just don't happen to be fat anymore and as such, the assumptions that I am lazy, unmotivated, unhealthy and suchlike are gone and people instead treat me with a newfound respect that I am finding unusual.

 

You say you wouldn't visit a "rough pub or restaurant" as you wouldn't have anything in common with the clientele. I'm not even going to go into the definition of "a rough pub" but I will ask how you would know that you have nothing in common with a large group of people, just based on what pub they choose to drink at? 

 

I pride myself on being able to talk and get along with anyone. Through my work, I work with everyone from young kids from underprivileged black and ethnic minorities to CEO's of multi billion companies and you know what? I never assume anything about them, because I always see every encounter with someone new as a chance for me to learn something. 

 

Sure, I wouldn't invite certain people I don't get along with to my home for wine and cheese but even those people that rub me up the wrong way have something to teach me, something for me to learn from and experience. One of my favourite parts of cruising is that I get to meet people from all walks of life and admire them. Perhaps you could learn something from others too? 

 

It would be easy for me to be rude or to be dismissive of you but in all honestly, that's just not me and instead I offer you one suggestion. Open your mind and try starting a conversation with someone like me or anyone else, someone who isn't part of your "class" or "usual suspects" - you'll be surprised how fulfilling your life will become.

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