Bob Chapman | March 12, 2018 | P&O Cruises | Ventura
We flew from Birmingham on a Thomson’s Dreamliner the flight was fine no issues, check in at Birmingham was quick and hassle free and the luggage arrangements were great not having to collect cases at Barbados as they were delivered direct to the cabin and collected again on return. Having read other reviews we did take a change of clothes in our carry on, which was a good tip since the cases didn’t arrive at the cabin until after 8pm.
Unfortunately several UK flights arrived at Barbados Airport in the same time window, meaning insufficient transfer coaches/vans were available. When we finally arrived at the cruise terminal we were not allowed to alight the coaches as the terminal was too busy. After some 20 mins. we were allowed into the terminal, which although basic was adequate. The check in queue moved quite quick and the check in process was quick and efficient. Then onto to security, where the usual Xray of personal items happened. Not the usual trays to put your personal effects in but washing up bowls! – but so what they served the purpose.
On to the ship, we went to our cabin on A deck(Deck12) very near the front. A typical Inside cabin all the facilities you need. The cabin was clean and tidy, but showing its age. The ship in general was clean and tidy too, but many of the corridor carpets need replacing or a thorough deep clean (stained and marked).
Our steward Roberto, was quiet and unobtrusive. We did have problem with the WC on three occasions, but calls to reception soon had a plumber come to sort the problem. We did notice during the first week of the cruise several of the public WCs were out of action, so I guess there may have been problem with the system, but was sorted by the 2nd week.
We had booked a Saver fare, so we were allocated Freedom Dining on arrival, which worked fine for us especially going for dinner at 6.15pm – we never had to wait and we were usually allocated the same table area with the same waiters – Fernando & Boniface were excellent and good fun as was Michelle the Wine waiter. No complaints with the food, always hot and served promptly. P&O food can be very British and not too adventurous and although some people moan about the loss of Silver service we felt it meant the food was served hot, since you don’t have to wait to be served veggies.
We tended to go to the restaurant for breakfast too, good choice great to have proper English back bacon and good sausages! We did go to the buffet for breakfast on excursion days and found that good too with plenty of choice. Great to have good quality English Tea readily available.
The entertainment was mixed, Headliners shows were excellent so were the singers apart from the tribute acts which only fair. Katy Reilly was a good all round singer with a varied repertoire. Sophistication sang in Metropolis (Crow’s Nest) and provided a pleasant easy listening experience.
The pool areas were busy on sea days and you could usually find sunbeds away from the pool areas, there was the usual selfish passengers reserving beds and then going off shopping etc! We even witnessed one women reserving beds in the sun and shade! One disruptive family was put off for bad behaviour ?? Well done P&O. Not sure we need a sail away party at every port, it can get a bit tedious.
During the first week the weather was a little erratic, with the ship unable to dock at St Kitts due to the wind. Of all the islands we visited Dominca was first and probably our least favourite ?? due to congestion the itinerary was altered so we visited it first and gave a bad impression of what was to come on the rest of the cruise ?? St Maarten and Curacao were the prettiest and our favourites. We did find the people on all the islands very friendly and they didn’t really pester you. We took US Dollars, East Caribbean Dollars and Barbados Dollars, however just US would have sufficed and often seemed to be preferred.
All in all a great cruise, good food, good entertainment, reasonable on board prices and most importantly friendly and pleasant staff.
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