Not as good as it used to be
Paul G | June 4, 2023 | P&O Cruises | Britannia
Beach House was good, food good, if limited choice, and service excellent.
Main dining room
food was good, had table for two but when we were served it was effectively a table for six as we were grouped in with two other tables for two. This meant we were served at the speed of the slowest eater, which wasn’t us, so we spent far longer in the dining room than was necessary. Staff were friendly and polite.
Breakfast was hit and miss as far as heat was concerned, one day the whole breakfast was too cold to eat. Often the fried eggs had a hard skin on top of the yolk because they’d been cooked early and left out. Bread rolls were often slightly stale because they’d been left out for too long or probably not covered whilst waiting to go on display. Selection of melon, pineapple etc was consistently good. No mushrooms, hash browns or tinned plum tomatoes.
Lunch was ok but lacked variety.
Evening was ok but I didn’t find the vegetarian selection brilliant. Luckily I also eat fish and there was always a fish option of some description. The salmon and broccoli bake and the salmon and shrimp pie were both delicious. The batter on the battered fish was also hit and miss, some nights good and others not good at all. It might be an idea to group the vegetarian options together for ease of the passenger. I was quite excited one night because there was a vegetarian option next to chow mien but the chow mien was beef!
TRAYS! I found not having a tray a nightmare. Whoever thought it was a good idea to get rid of trays in the buffet need a serious word. It makes no sense at all, it makes it harder for passengers and crew, and no-one could make any argument in favour. Crazy crazy situation. Adding to the pain, the plates were usually too hot to hold and, as the food layout was often either repeated or slightly confused, it wasn’t a good experience. The staff clearing the tables are definitely more efficient with trays. Strongly suggest trays are reinstated. The waiting staff in the horizon buffet were good but often there weren’t enough of them and tables were often left with dirty dishes for quite a while. I didn’t see much evidence of wiping tables after they were cleared either apart from an occasional swish with a used napkin. On several occasions we went to sit at an empty table and it was dirty. Some buffet staff were friendly but most of them seemed to be too busy to share a welcoming word unlike in the past.
Food overall: there was no chance of going hungry but the choice, quantity and availability of meals continues to decline. Disappointing.
I found it very unpleasant, as a non-smoker, to have to frequently walk through the smell of cigarettes when going to eat in the Horizon buffet from the aft lifts. It seems to us that the smokers’ areas are too widespread and too close to main thoroughfares.
Happy with cabin. Balcony furniture corroding, broken and/or needs replacing. Good to have interactive tv. As with previous feedbacks the cruise radio station is beyond a joke. Seriously can you, in 2023, refer to George Michael’s death “last Christmas”? He died in 2016! That has been the same cruise radio for 6 years. The playlist is far too short and repetitive, the featured artist sections out of date and so much decent music is excluded. The other so-called radio stations, such as instrumental and classical, sound like they’ve been recorded on the cheap. They’re worse than useless.
Our cabin steward was friendly and efficient.
We enjoyed most shows in the theatre. The Headliners were excellent and the singers were strong and had excellent harmonies.
The booking system seemed a bit random. We always booked on the so-called app but sometimes no staff were checking in guests, and we experienced some people who had booked not getting in because others gate crashed the performance. You could do better. People coming in once the shows had started looking for seats was very off putting. The doors should be closed when the performance starts. As for the people who rushed out of the theatre before the acts had property finished I found really rude although I’m not sure what you can do about this. I felt really embarrassed for the acts when the Ents Manager called performers back on stage for more applause for them only to see loads of people already walking out!
Vocal Extr3me were superb, such brilliant voices.
Pulse were excellent.
Orchestra were also excellent.
The busker in Brodies and the singer in the Atrium were also excellent.
P&O never fails with its excellent musicians.
It was noticeable how few passengers used the hand sanitiser provided, especially prior to entering the lifts, theatre and buffet. Prior to Covid, a member of staff was usually stationed at venue entrances encouraging people to apply sanitiser. It’s notable that this has stopped, despite it being even more important now. It’s also notable that we both tested positive for Covid day after we got home! We strongly suggest P&O amends its Covid protocols.
Overall, the cost savings that P&O have introduced in the past 15 years, especially Covid-related savings, are reflected in short-staffing, lower quantity and smaller choice of food. Some of the cost savings are understandable but we feel that the impact is now reflected in increased customer dissatisfaction. What were irritating cuts are now becoming deal-breakers and P&O needs to seriously consider who its main target demographics are – and this need to be done before it’s too late.
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