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meggers

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About meggers

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  1. Let me start at square one. We have done many cruises with many companies as we are itinerary driven not one company loyalists.Adonia is one of 8 identical ships built for a now long defunct operator and they are currently spread amongst 4 different lines,2 of them upmarket ie Oceania and Azamara.We have been on 6 of them,--and 5 times on Adonia albeit 3 of them when it was in a previous incarnation as Minerva 2 with Swan Hellenic.The point is we have broad experience of this type of ship and also specifically have other cruises on it with which to compare.Its present state of repair I would say is verging on the unacceptable given the high fares they charge for the offering given. We had a forward verandah on deck 6.The verandah windows were dirty on arrival.There was accumulated bird droppings on the side of one window. The teak balcony rail needed sanding down(as they did everywhere throughout the ship) and the blue floor of the verandah was blotched with white paint.Paint had peeled off the metal work around the verandah door and it looked unsightly. Someone had carved lumps out of the dressing table wooden door.The cleaners manager came ,apologised and said I needed to understand there was ongoing maintenance.We saw none happening during our 14 days on board. External windows in some public areas were washed once only and most not at all.By the end of the cruise we found it difficult to see far in the MDR,The Conservatory(the buffet area on deck 9) and the Crows Nest(the bar at the front of the ship on deck 10).From past experiences this should not be the case. The ship was only on its second cruise since its return from the now defunct Fathom brand. It had a 3 day stop in Portland for an external paint job---hence the white mess on our balcony.I think they used sweeping brushes not paint brushes.They had also fitted new carpets in the main public areas plus altered a small restaurant to The Glass House and installed a new Future cruise booking area--2 full time staff on this cruise,busy most of the time for a complement of 700 which says much for apparent loyalty to P&O. Quite why remains a mystery to us. From chats with passengers over breakfast or lunch it seemed that 90% or so of them only ever cruise with P&O. We met one couple who only now cruise Adonia and had not taken a cruise whilst it was with Fathom! I pointed out that they could have gone on one of its 7 sisters but the thought of cruising another brand was unacceptable.Criticism of P&O was deemed unacceptable or taboo and got you a dirty look. As to the state of maintenance of the ship apart from the total apparent lack of it we had a "technical issue"one day which delayed us about an hour;heating and ventilation problems for days(one couple brought hot water bottles on board as a friend on the previous weeks cruise had emailed them. And they used them as their cabin was so cold). We heard another couple at the desk on day 4 saying if their cabin was not sorted by Reykavik they were flying home and would sue for a refund if necessary.The watertight doors closed for a short time one day due to a fault. On the last night a plumbing fault on deck 9 caused water leakage down the aft stairs to deck 4. They were closed for the evening and only half was reopened when we disembarked. As to the food we found evening meals somewhat pedestrian.The veg was mainly stewed and limp throughout the cruise.We did have a fillet steak meal in the Ocean Grill.The food and service there were excellent and worth the small supplement of £12.95. Who ever had stocked the ship did not do a very good job as certain items ran out during the cruise and did not reappear--some fresh berries at breakfast,some cereals.32 wines on the list were unavailable on the last night! We knew this ship did not do Freedom dining and you had to live with fixed seating which is a bind in this day and age but when we turned up on night 1 we had a table for 8 except there were only the 2 of us.All the rest had decamped to first sitting along with about a third of the dining room.We settled for a 2 for the remainder of the cruise as did many others who had been similarly deserted. Positives--the cabin staff and the waiting staff were all cheerful and helpful. The itinerary was great but is not for everyone. We like rugged country and cooler weather.But some of these stops were new to us hence the booking.We saw plenty of sea birds ,Gannets,Fulmars,Kittiwakes,and Puffins plus several other species.Also 2 small pods of pilot whales and one of dolphins. Sea days were short of decent entertainment.One lone guest speaker is a bit mean for 6 sea days.Seminars on ailments,jewels etc were just retail propaganda and time fillers and not worthy of the title entertainment.Three of the guest acts in the evenings were first rate.The Opera Boys,(2 young male harmony singers).Worboy and Farrell,(2 young pianists on a single piano) and Troubadour,4 male singers. Quick fixes for P&O to consider--- the route maps on the cabin TVs were useless.Check with other lines there are much better options about.Let people know when there are sights to see.We passed Fastnet rock going out but were not told when.We passed the Scillies,the Lizard and Eddystone Lighthouse on the way back in.Again no comment.Keep the wine stock up, to run out of a few is understandable but 32 is plainly ludicrous. Would we go back? With P&O on another ship maybe,depends on the itinerary and price on offer.On Adonia--unlikely unless it has a refit and changes the evening dining pattern 8.30 is too late for me and 6.30 too early. Picky maybe but I am not on my own. Finally, the scenery in Iceland and the Faroes was magic.
  2. A few observations on the posts here as we have now been on 16 river cruises with 7 different operators and covered all routes in Europe plus the Nile and the Mekong. We haven`t had a bad cruise and have enjoyed all but some more than others. It is important to compare apples and apples. Some have drinks with lunch and dinner included. A few have 24 hour drinks (Scenic and APT).Some have tips ,many do not eg Viking and AMA. Some operate 2 brands ie Scenic own Emerald and APT own Travelmarvel. The deals on their second brands are cheaper because the offerings are slightly different. APT and Scenic are Aussie firms so you do get many of their fellows as Passengers as a consequence.Viking and AMA get many US and Canadians. Riviera is a British company,very good,nearly all new boats but almost exclusively Brits onboard. Crystal are new to the rivers.Mozart is a 30 year old ship stripped out and wholly rebuilt inside. Their ships due from next year will be purpose built. We prefer to be on deck 2 of a 3 deck boat and housed in the rooms closer to the middle of the ship ie adjacent to the atrium/reception area--primarily because if you are travelling at night the rear of the ship and the lower deck can be noisy due to engine noise and other traffic--particularly the Rhine as it is very busy 24/7. Be aware that sometimes a balcony or even a French balcony is of no use as you may be next to the quay wall or another ship may be tied up next to you or you to it. We have been on 6 with Viking and have no problem with their offering and will return. Opinions differ--there are no rights and wrongs, it is what suits you that matters Invariably we have had good service and any issues(all minor) have been resolved pronto. It is a lovely way to travel and with several operators on most rivers we have repeated some routes with a different one as if you research beforehand you will find some that do the same or similar stops but with a choice of excursions whereas eg with Viking the trip is the trip so that you would be repeating the same one if you went back. Enjoy!
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