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  1. To go back to the original question, we know nothing for certain but my speculation would be that all new P&O ships will now be Freedom Dining only. Existing ships will retain one dining room for Club dining, until such times as demand for Freedom dining is such that these ships will become 100% Freedom Dining as well. Freedom Dining seems to ‘sell out’ first and we often see passengers who have been allocated Club trying to change to Freedom (presumably those who booked Savers). We did Club Dining for years when there was no other option but after 3 cruises in a row where we had poor table companions we were pleased to make the change to Freedom and have never looked back.
  2. M&S do a very keenly priced dinner suit and it is pretty good quality and very forgiving. I put it in the suitcase, hang it up as we unpack and any creases have always gone by the first black tie night the next day.
  3. This has happened to us around 3 or 4 times. Always a small amount, always an error on P&O’s part, but extremely irritating as it necessitates a phone call. The last time it happened I said that I was sick and fed up with it and what were they going to do about it? They added £25 OBC to our next cruise. I suggest that others affected insist on the same. That way it might encourage them to fix this problem once and for all.
  4. Sadly, P&O definitely doesn’t do that. You have to cancel and re-book. We’ve never done it for three reasons. Firstly, like TerrierJohn we book and launch and the prices aren’t bettered between then and sail date (I don’t say that to be smug as it irritates me having to book so far in advance). Secondly, we book Select because we want our first choice of cabin and dining, not what is leftover, as we never want to be above or below public areas (noise disturbance) and we would only want freedom dining (which often ‘sells out’). Finally, as HP has said, you can often find that the ‘saving’ of a saver fare is severely eroded when you net out the loss of OBC / free parking / shuttles etc etc and is often negligible. If the net saving (after these factors are all taken into account) is significant and you are prepared to risk a noisy cabin then the option to cancel and rebook is perfectly possible. Worth noting that this may be an increasingly desirable option on new ships as they are introduced as they are likely to be 100% Freedom Dining (as Iona will be), so one of the ‘risks’ of booking a saver is eliminated.
  5. Apologies Pete. The very helpful post just made by from Tilly20 (who is onboard) clarifies why the £20 OBC became £80 and it wasn’t as I had speculated. The great news is that we now have yet another person onboard posting to confirm that, late departure aside, they have had no problems, have been running at normal speed and did not miss Skagen. As we know, one poster on here will steadfastly continue to say differently!
  6. Hallelujah! Many thanks Tilly20. If you have read this thread (I suggest you don’t if you haven’t) then you will have seen that Jossie1960 is insisting that the problem wasn’t fixed, you missed Skagen, and have been running on reduced power, when we all know that none of that was the case. Delighted to hear that you are having a great cruise and have experienced no problems, other than the late departure, as we have friends on board with you.
  7. Very minor correction Pete. The passengers were offered £20 per person OBC. This was later upped to £70, presumably because they were getting complaints that the £20 didn’t adequately reflect the loss of the first afternoon and disrupted evening. However, we will never be able to convince Jossie1960 that the ship ever called at Skagen, or that it has been running fine on the current cruise, because somebody on YouTube said that it wasn’t going to, so therefore that must be true.
  8. I have already apologised for using the two words, albeit in jest, that seem to have caused you so much consternation, but I feel that your reaction is extreme and unwarranted. I agree that differing views can sometimes result in unnecessary arguments on these forums, but there are also some who seem to wait to be offended.
  9. Oh dear. Is it 1st April? This surely cannot be a serious post? It is completely and utterly indisputable that there have been no missed ports on this cruise so far. This has been confirmed not just by P&O and passengers on the cruise, but by independent marine tracking websites which show the past course, speed, ports of call etc. But no, let’s not believe all of that. Let’s work on the basis that it’s all a conspiracy theory, because if somebody online predicted that there would be missed ports and slow running then that must be what eventually happened. I despair!
  10. Great to hear that you are having a good cruise Dai, not least because we have friends on board. So I take it that you can confirm that there have been no missed ports, no slow running and that the £70 per head compensation was purely as a result of the delayed departure following problems with the preceding cruise? P.S. We loved Tallin when we went there P.P.S. Is that Jay Leno in your photo?
  11. Excellent post Posford and thanks for the info. Great shame about Anderson’s Gin as that was extremely nice. Nothing worse than unruly neighbours. Happened to us once (kids crashing around) and it put quite a downer on the cruise. Great news about Oceana. Had two very enjoyable cruises on her, but some years ago as we only do Southampton round trips. Will await with interest.
  12. I am completely with you on the first comment and would like to think that I fall into the category of one who gives balanced feedback. For example, whilst I am usually very positive about on-board service and food, I have made many posts criticising aspects such as itinerary changes, land based customer service, complaint resolution, disembarkation, tender operations, entertainment etc. I said previously that I could only think of one regular poster who never says a bad word about P&O. I have given this more thought and can maybe stretch this to two or three - at a push. On the other hand, I can think of a larger number of posters who are constantly negative about P&O and / or are deliberately provocative. Often their criticisms are generalisations (rarely backed up with facts) or based upon one incident and drawing the illogical conclusion that those who state that they haven’t experienced such a problem are in denial / P&O apologists etc. On that basis, I feel that the ‘childish’ behaviour that you describe is more often than not deliberately provoked by such posters. As for the OP, I agree that we all make mistakes, but when a number of us pointed out (with hard facts) that the YouTube article was untrue we were greeted with sarcasm. Once it became clear to everyone that the story was nonsense, the OP should have come back on and apologised for causing undue alarm. They didn’t. We heard nothing. I then made a point of looking back over the OP’s past posts about P&O and found that they were 100% negative, so not balanced at all. So, to end where I started, I agree that balanced feedback is essential, but the frequent allegation that some are overly defensive needs to be ‘balanced’ with a recognition that just as many are overly critical.
  13. Sincere apologies if what was meant to be a tongue in cheek comment has offended you. As others have kindly said, that would never have been my intention. I do however maintain that the drinks package would be poor value for the vast majority of people, especially given the restrictions (which alone would be a show stopper for us). I can see however that drinking that amount of coffee per day would put you in the small percentage who may find it of value. My concern for the OP was that they didn’t fall for the ploy of committing within the first 24 hours and then regretting it. I know a family that drink a lot more than us who were adamant that they were going to buy the package on their first P&O cruise. It took me quite a bit of persuasion to convince them that it might be an expensive mistake. Returning from their cruise they told me that they didn’t go for the package and had been very grateful to me for the advice. They felt that they had drank more than enough during the fortnight but had worked out that they would have been several hundred pounds worse off had they bought the package. My point about the drinks package was a small part of a long post with lots of info that I hope has been of benefit to the OP.
  14. Yes, I can understand your frustration with all of that. With Oriana soon to be no more, I will answer based upon 7 cruises on Aurora in the last few years (very similar) and one on Arcadia - all Freedom Dining. On Aurora, we have never had to queue. There are, however, stupid queues from around 30 mins before dinner opens from those who presumably wanted first sitting Club and weren’t successful (Freedom Dining is now far more popular than Club, with all age groups, and ‘sells out’ first). A large number of these people are after a table for two by a window, so you will usually have to wait until these people leave if you want a table for two by a window (or, as you did, get a pager and be alerted as soon as one is available). We have never had to take a pager if we are prepared to share. We have always been seated immediately. 9 out of 10 times if we want a table for two we have either been seated immediately or had to stand to the side for 5 minutes or so. Rarely are we asked to take a pager. We usually go to dinner between around 8 and 8.30pm but have also gone later. If you go after 8.30pm (last entry 9.30pm) they will often offer you a table for two even if you say you are happy to share, as flow is so slow by then it can take too long to fill a table. I can honestly say that we have never had any problem whatsoever, but we don’t do queues so Dining a bit later suits us perfectly. Only done one cruise on Arcadia and I’m afraid it wasn’t quite as efficient, but I only recall one problem and that was bizarrely lunch in the MDR (so not Freedom Dining related) where they were giving out pagers. I expressed my displeasure to the restaurant manager, saying that we had never had to take a pager for lunch on any ship with P&O before and miraculously he suddenly found us a table immediately. We didn’t like the MDR on Arcadia so are probably a bit jaundiced about it. We had a lovely aft corner wrap suite, but weren’t enamoured with the ship. Most people on here love her though so I am sure that you will have a lovely cruise. I can recommend the Ocean Grill Restaurant. We went twice and the food and service was excellent. Unfortunately on one of the nights they had live music, which we felt was totally inappropriate as it was completely overpowering. I was irritated that we hadn’t been told when booked as we wouldn’t have chosen that night to dine there. Worth double checking if you make a booking.
  15. Having done both Club and Freedom many times I can see the advantages of both and I’m glad that P&O still offers the choice, but I’m curious to know what you mean by ‘wondering about space’ with Freedom dining as it’s never a thought that crosses our mind? We just turn up when we like. We enjoyed Club back in the day when there was no other option until we had a few cruises in a row where we had less than ideal table companions. Conversation was hard work and I began to find dinner a chore rather than a pleasure. Since switching to Freedom we wouldn’t now switch back. At times we choose to dine with others. Mostly it works out fine. but on the odd occasion that it doesn’t at least you know it was a one off and you are not stuck with them all cruise! Other times we choose to dine alone. Never a problem. Occasionally we are given a pager and have a short wait, but at least we have been able to go at a time of our choosing, which varies day by day. We hate being tied to set times at any time, least of all when on holiday. The one big advantage of Club dining, getting to know your waiters and them getting to know your preferences, is now less of an issue as if you get to know the senior restaurant staff in the Freedom Dining restaurant and tell them a waiter station that you like they will endeavour to sit you there each night. The only situation that I could foresee where I would revert to Club Dining is if I was travelling as a solo passenger , in order to avoid the awkward questions night after night. They also tend to sit solo passengers together which I think is a great idea to make people feel at ease.
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