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meggers

Adonia returns but........

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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.

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Sorry to hear your negative review. We were on the Adonia a couple of years ago. OK it is not perfect, but we enjoyed our time on board. No real complaints. We always go on a cruise to enjoy ourselves and accept that things are never perfect. I hope you wrote to P & O with your complaints and hopefully they will make the necessary improvements.

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An interesting and honest review meggers and one that I can in parts totally agree with.

Firstly you were told " I needed to understand there was ongoing maintenance". There is always ongoing maintenance but not to that extent. The balcony sounds disgusting and totally unacceptable. 

Like you I have sailed on quite a few different cruise lines, 18 in fact on nearly 60 different ships and remember being on Aurora one morning when we were joined at the breakfast table by 2 ladies. They started chatting when one of them said to our friends 'Which is your favourite ship'. Being someone who only cruises with P&O he said, Arcadia. His wife was asked the same question and also said, Arcadia. My wife being diplomatic replied, I like them all. When it came to me I replied, Century. They looked at one another with a puzzled expression, then one said to me, P&O hasn't got a Century. My reply, You asked me my favourite ship. The look I got was as if I had just crawled out from under some stone.

I have given up cruising with P&O simply because most of the itineraries are 'Same old, same old', and I believe that other cruise lines offer a better all round package regarding service, food, entertainment and general ambience.  As always, just my opinion. 

 

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I am looking forward to returning to Adonia next month, and hope that the seemingly rushed transition back from the doomed Fathom branding has settled down. The ship will inevitably be filled with P&O loyalists, as all cruisers with future P&O cruises already booked had a 50% fare discount available for Adonia's  2017 itineraries, which were clearly hurriedly prepared when she was rushed back to be resuscitated by P&O.

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I have just returned from a cruise on Adonia, Southampton to Olbia (Sardinia) and return.  Enjoyed it very much.

The staff were very good and pleasant and helpful.   The food was very good too.   My daughter is gluten free and Mr. Davis came every evening for her order for tomorrow.  Criticisms - the entertainment programme could have been better organised.  The entertainers brought on board  were excellent, particularly a flute player and comedian and Spanish dance troupe at Barcelona. Not enough information about the ports visited.  No carpet bowls, only Wii bowling on port days not sea days.  All guests seemed to be friendly with each other, pity we had rough weather the last few days back to Southampton (guess it was the wind across the Atlantic).

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