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  1. No, it has to be purchased for all adults in the cabin. However, there are lots of restrictions on what you can have on the package and the vast majority of us who have done the maths on the package consider it to be poor value, so all is not lost. As every on board purchase is added to your account, there is no ‘convenience’ benefit to the package either.
  2. We have cruised on all the P&O ships, many of them more than once. As cruise ships, Britannia is our favourite in the fleet (we prefer to cruise on Aurora, but that’s more about passenger profile versus the bigger ships) and Azura our least favourite. As stated already, the main downsides of Britannia are lack of promenade deck and shallow balconies. I would add to that soot on rear balconies, but I believe that’s less of an issue in warmer climates, as long as it stays dry (wet weather causes the soot to fall before it clears the ship). The plus sides of Britannia over Azura are more significant IMO. The cabins are far superior on Britannia as Azura’s are somewhat dated now. More modern facilities, great interactive HD TV with on demand movies etc, glass shower screen rather than clingy curtains etc. The Epicurean on Britannia is our favourite restaurant in the P&O fleet. In fact, all the Select Dining restaurants are very good other than the Glasshouse (poor location and slow service for food). On Britannia you have The Limelight Lounge which has cabaret acts and an excellent meal. The theatre and public rooms are nicer on Britannia and it has a Crows Nest bar, which is a major flaw in Azura and Ventura’s design as they feel that a Gym with a view (which only appeals to a small proportion of passengers) is more important than a panoramic bar. Neither are bad ships, but we would chose Britannia over Azura every time.
  3. It is not the instruction now as apparently you don’t need your life jackets any more. I’m sorry that you have taken such exception to my comment about it being common courtesy to turn up on time and not to keep others waiting, but I stand by my comment. We shall just have to agree to disagree.
  4. Thanks Dai. Sounds good. We enjoyed Bruges but fancied a change this time. We have yet to explore Blankenberge and may well do so on the return From Ghent, unless the light is fading in which case we shall save it for next time.
  5. The City of the Sea museum next to the berth is excellent in my opinion. The Titanic exhibition was ten times better than the one in Halifax, Nova Scotia and the audio tour of the decommissioned French Nuclear Submarine was very interesting (although, sadly, not accessible for obvious reasons). We didn’t use the shuttle and walked (pushing the wheelchair) along the quayside into the town. Quite a short walk and very interesting seeing the fishermen selling their catch.
  6. I understand the point you are making, but I don’t believe that the logic holds when it’s a planned muster at an advertised time as most passengers are already at their muster station before the alarm sounds. For staff to be able to assess the true behaviours (and timings) in an emergency the muster would have to be completely unannounced and passengers would need to return to their cabins to collect life jackets, head coverings etc. In reality, what we have on embarkation day isn’t a muster drill at all. It’s a passenger safety briefing, thinly disguised as a muster drill in order that passengers are familiar with where there muster station is.
  7. We have booked a cab to Ghent for our next call at Zeebrugge Dai. Any tips for wheelchair users on good places to go or places to avoid?
  8. In a real life emergency then yes, but when it is a planned passenger muster drill at a set time, which has been advertised in advance and confirmed by way of several announcements, then I personally feel that it is a common courtesy to other passengers and crew to be at the relevant muster station no later than the publicised time so that many hundreds of other people aren’t kept waiting for you. But that might just be me.
  9. I wouldn’t rule out all the large ships based on one experience on Azura Jean. We have cruised on every ship in the P&O fleet (most of them more than once) and Azura was our least favourite. Our favourite ship is Aurora but Britannia runs her a very close second. Cabins, facilities and Select Dining restaurants are far superior on Britannia but we prefer the passenger profile on Aurora. We loved Oriana and Oceana but had to stop cruising on them as they don’t have any accessible balcony cabins with wet rooms. We didn’t like Arcadia at all, for many reasons, but we did have a lovely corner wrap aft suite (prior to my wife needing a wet room). Ventura and Azura are our least favourite ships as they have a similar passenger profile to Britannia but lack the modern facilities and don’t have a Crows Nest. We are going on Iona with an open mind, but it will be the Maiden Cruise, which we think is likely to have a slightly different passenger mix to an in-season cruise. Although we prefer the adult only and traditional cruising aspects of Aurora, when we are on her we miss the modern cabin facilities, Select Dining restaurants, Limelight Club and vastly improved accessibility aspects of Britannia. As an aside, much is said of passenger to space ratios, but we have never found Britannia to feel any more crowded than Aurora. We find that you can always find quiet spots on all the ships.
  10. Yes, I think that is the cause of the delays that I referred to in my previous post. If we have been told in several announcements and in Horizon that the muster is at, say, 4.15pm, then we make sure that we are in our muster venue by 4.15pm. We don’t wait for the alarm to sound before we start to make our way there. Perhaps that also explains why passengers stroll in to shows up to ten minutes after they start as well ;)
  11. We are on the maiden cruise on Iona. I’m not too bothered about a naming ceremony (as you would presumably have to be on the quayside to see it) but I am hoping that there are a few ‘treats’ during the cruise, even if they are chargeable (such as a good act in the Limelight Club, rather than the usual acts that seem to live on Britannia). Perhaps I am being naive? I think I read somewhere that you get a small free gift on a maiden cruise (unless P&O’s cost cutting has seen that off) but is there anything else we can expect on a maiden cruise (it’s our first)?
  12. Thanks all. Hopefully the fact that passengers will no longer have to fetch their life jackets may now encourage people to turn up to the muster on time. I find that the most frustrating thing about muster drills is turning up on time, only to then have to wait for what seems like an eternity until the damned thing starts. Also, by the time I have returned the life jackets to our cabin and returned to my wife, the ship is often underway. Although the departure from Southampton is an anti-climax these days compared to the days of brass bands and streamers, we still like to see the departure!
  13. I haven’t been on this site for a while, so can I ask when the policy changed that you don’t have to take life jackets to the muster drill and is this fleet wide? We still had to take our life jackets to the muster drill in the Spring on Aurora, but we are on our next cruise shortly and it will be very helpful not to have to take them. My wife is a wheelchair user and I end up having to leave my wife in order to return them to our cabin via the stairs (as I am able to use my legs) due to being unable to get a lift, in spite of the Captains request to give priority to disabled passengers!
  14. No problem - It’s actually my wife who is disabled! She is a full time wheelchair user. What you have been told is indeed what I would do, but interestingly not what I was told by CPS and P&O! They said go to the new area and help for disabled passengers ‘should’ be available! I guess that there are two issues as far as I see them. Firstly, disabled passengers have to know to request to drop off before going to the car check in. Whilst we now know to do that, many won’t. Secondly, the CPS service being offered at Ocean Terminal going forward is going to be the same as that offered by the other (often much cheaper) car park operators. As a result, most people booking a 2 week cruise or longer would be far better to take additional on board credit and book their own parking, as we now do. As an added benefit, we often find that there is less of a walk to get your car after the cruise compared to CPS.
  15. We normally board early with P&O and have never found fire doors to cabin decks to be closed. I think that’s a myth.
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