Ian Struthers | November 17, 2022 | P&O Cruises | Arcadia
The following items have disappeared from P&O cabins – bath caps, body lotion, hair conditioner, face cloths, champagne glasses for the complimentary fizz, stationery, excursions brochure, paper information, and a decent pen. The environmental excuse is being given but paper and plastic can both be recycled.
In the canteen selections in general are much reduced, particularly noticeable at afternoon tea. Freshly made omelettes, soft boiled eggs and Marmite are no longer available.
Drinks parties are replaced by vouchers – 2 drinks per person over a 23 night cruise. There are no longer flowers in the atrium and it looks very sorry for itself.
There are no maps showing the ship’s route, no port talks, no port information in the cabins and paper copies are not available from Reception or the cruise outings desk.
We missed our Baltic tier “welcome on board” loyalty lunch because no one told us in advance there would be one.
Despite being told that tours would be available to book on board they were all but sold out when we went to the tours desk immediately after boarding.
The “my holiday app” was almost essential for life on board but not everyone has a smartphone and the app is poorly designed, unreliable and offers scant information.
Very little information was given over the public address system on arrival at ports, not even whether there were shuttle buses.
Inside cabin passengers with covid were relocated to random, vacant balcony cabins, predominantly on A deck, adjacent to and upwind of uninfected passengers. This was utterly irresponsible as the free flow of air between balconies put healthy passengers at risk. There was, without doubt, a deliberate P&O policy of covering this up, but it was obvious what was going on.
The use of school buses for tours is unacceptable. Their seats are closely spaced and high backed with windows obscured by bars restricting views. If ports cannot provide suitable transport for passengers then these ports should be avoided.
On the plus side, the cutback of servicing cabins once a day, instead of twice, is more relaxing and less intrusive. The staff were good, as were the speakers, especially psychologist Professor David Saunders, but also Phil Holt and Geoff Hughes.
We have noticed that P&O have not put out their holiday satisfaction questionnaire which is very telling.
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