I really enjoy afternoon tea on P&O and Cunard and would miss it. I don't have a lot - usually just a scone with jam & cream and maybe a small cake, all washed down with some Earl Grey. It really is a tradition that I would like to see kept.
So after years of nagging I finally managed to persuade one of my friends to come along and try a cruise this weekend, and she has done a little review of it!
Virgin cruiser here.... I'm sure there are a lot of people on here that have never cruised before and I've just survived my first experience so wanted to share this for those who are not sure.
A little bit about me first, me and Poppy have been friends for around 9 years and for about 8 of those she's been trying to get me on board, I've constantly declined as I suffer terrible travel sickness, cars, buses, trains and aeroplanes. After 8 years of torment I caved and booked a two night with her on the Ventura.
My thinking was if I'm ill the whole time I won't have lost out on that much money.... now to the actual cruise...
We arrived in Southampton around 12 noon and I when I saw the ship I was in awe, it wasn't the ferry I thought it was going to be, it's huge but having never even seen a ship before I had no idea what to expect. We parked the car and headed to the terminal where we checked in and they let us board straight away, they do take your picture when you check in so try not to look how I did (hair tied up and no makeup) 😂 we made our way onto the ship and straight to our room to drop the bags.
The room was lovely, two single beds, Because I was with Poppy who is an experienced cruiser I didn't read the welcome letter, I recommend you do as a first timer, it's gives lots of information and what's happening.
We did what most holidayers do and headed straight for the bar, cocktails at the ready. I thought the cocktails were cheap, £5.95 and at home we pay more like £7, you sign your name and they scan your card and it gets billed to your room. It was so easy to keep a track on your bill too, it's on the tv in your room.
Cocktails in hand we went for an explore of the ship, my view was it's incredible, I couldn't get over how many bars and different restaurants there were. This is where I took about 100 pictures, proper tourist at this point. There is a theatre, shops. We then headed to the deck for more cocktails, it was quite busy there but lots of staff walking around asking if you wanted drinks, obviously we didn't decline.
At this point I will go back to the welcome letter, on it there will be something called muster to look out for, this is what everybody on board has to attend at a certain time at a certain location with your lifejackets. We headed back for those and straight to our muster point. I think people should know to be on time for this, we waited around for nearly 30minutes as people were still in the bar, the captain announced he was closing the bar to kick people out. Muster is a safety check to make sure you know how to put your life jackets on and in the case of an emergency.
After this we got ready for formal night, it was amazing seeing everyone in their pretty dresses and all the gents in their suits and dickie bows, I loved it.
We were in the normal restaurant which I believe was called Saffron and what can I say, I love food and the food I experienced on both nights was absolutely incredible, starter,soup, sorbet, main, pudding and cheese board. We went for drinks on both nights and went to see one of the shows.
On day 2 we got off the ship and went to the local town of Blankenberg which was lovely and where I could pick up some Belgium chocolates. Don't be late back or the ship will leave without you.
At the beginning of this I mentioned the travel sickness, I've taken travel sickness tablets every 8 hours the whole time of the trip, from parking at 12 to the morning of departure and I have been absolutely fine, to say I'm the sickest person ever when travelling this has really surprised me that I haven't felt ill once. I'm sad to have left the ship I really had a fantastic time and we are already planning a 3 night one for next year and a family cruise. I really can't go into everything as we did so much and ate so much. One thing I do want to say is how every single person I met was lovely and I loved hearing their crushing experience.
A huge thanks to poppy for spending 8 years trying to convince me. A fabulous weekend and can't wait for the next one
Does anyone on here have any more details about the new P&O Cruises ship launching in 2020? I'm hoping this one is more like Royal Caribbean or NCL with more activity type facilities for families and children. I think it would be a great move for P&O and would allow them to compete with the more innovative cruise lines / ships.
You will have to wait until on board to know exactly which nights will be formal, as mentioned before they are usually are on sea days but I wouldn't trust that too much as on our last 14 night cruise we had 4 formal nights and 4 sea days and only one of the formal nights was on a sea day the rest were all port days.