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AlisonB1978

Why are P&O no longer docking in Amsterdam

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Well came back this morning and as I predicted it was a logistical shambles.I urge anyone contemplating this overnight stay cruise to think carefully before booking. We appàrently got off lightly compared  to other passengers after listening to their horror stories  .The first day was Carnage at the dockside the queues to get off snaked around the atrium and into the corridors and lift areas. After making it that far as you got out on to the gangway it was just  a sea of people waiting for shuttles. So 15 to 20 minutes to get off we then queued another 30 minutes to get on a shuttle, time ticking right ? Another 45 Minutes to get into Amsterdam, so in essence that's an hour and a half queuing and on a bus  to make it one way.Yes the buses drop you slightly nearer the centre but not a lot of difference. Then you have the journey back the shuttles would not leave until full, so if you were unlucky another 20-30 minute wait plus the 45 minute journey back then it was another 20 minutes queuing to get back on board so on day one we averaged 3 hours lost between shuttles and queues,, really P&O ???

The Sunday for us as easier as we had an excursion booked so straight on the coach ,however all of us barring 2 wanted to stay in the city absolutely no arrangements made to just drop us back near the centre , ( we had paid a lot of money for the excursion) so we had to fund public transport to get back into the centre. We stayed in town until late evening Saturday and shuttles were running till the really hours of the morning, but we did that only because the trek back and forth was just too much to cope with. We spoke to a lady with a disabled husband who never even got off at all as they didn't have a motorised wheel chair and the logistics were just too much for her to contend with, however when she enquired if there was anything they could do in Ijmuiden she was told by reception staff we have never docked here so no idea !! But basically there is nothing there so bear that in mind. Bottom line find another way to do Amsterdam if you can, we made the best of it  and packed a lot in, though felt cheated with so much  time wasting,  I predict there will be a raft of complaints for this one, and  a letter of apology had already landed in our cabin last night from the captain which says it all really!! P&O you messed up big time .

 

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Posted (edited)

We also just arrived back and everything above is true

 

The captains letter was a joke in itself as it stated they will learn from the problems....no mention of any recompense to those impacted. 

 

Picture attached of the queue. At this point they were holding people back on the ship. Fortunately we waited until later in the afternoon to travel in

7CD9CAF7-9887-48A1-96E1-3722471B9252.jpeg

Edited by Redding43

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Can't see the problem. P&O say it's not a major change, ABTA are backing them up because they're funded by P&O and don't want to upset them, so clearly people are making a fuss about nothing. 

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From that picture it looks like the ship is now berthed at the dark end of the middle of nowhere, worse than the ferry port!

 

Not quite the same as central Amsterdam. I for one will not be booking a cruise that includes “Amsterdam”.

 

The fact is that the lack of any reasonable guarantee that I will actually get to any port (weather conditions excepted) at the whim of the cruise company has actually pushed me towards booking a land based holidays instead of a cruise. 

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Just back today, will post more tomorrow our cabin was just below the photo of the buses and I watched all of the bus boarding process from on high...including one bus just below us which grazed another bus taking it’s tail lights off rendering it unusable....2 full days in Amsterdam....as still advertised..Joke...will post tomorrow. Nice to be moored opposite a Steel works instead of an Amsterdam skyline.

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On ‎3‎/‎8‎/‎2019 at 9:40 AM, kruzseeka said:

 

Just looked at the Amsterdam cruise schedules for one month.  There are still plenty of ships listed including Celebrity, NCL and others - not P&O or Cunard for example which is what we would expect. However, I'm a bit surprised to see a lot of Holland America ships still scheduled for visits.  As HA are part of Carnival it doesn't look like a blanket Carnival ban which is interesting.  Or am I missing something - perhaps the original Dutch connection?  But if as we suppose the action is dictated by Carnival why is one of their brands breaking ranks?  Perhaps more a cruise-line by cruise-line decision?  

https://www.ptamsterdam.nl/en/cruises-portal#calendar-sea-cruise

I'm glad you posted that schedule as it shows the Marella Explorer docking there on the 2nd Sept and no other dates.We sail on the 4th and includes Amsterdam.The previous cruise lists it as Ijmuiden for Amsterdam and ours Amsterdam.It puts my mind at ease and proves at least Marella doesn't hoodwink its customers.Although technically this place is under the umbrella of the port of Amsterdam.

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On ‎3‎/‎4‎/‎2019 at 3:36 PM, the english lady said:

http://www.felisonterminal.com/calendar

 

click on the ship and it gives you EXPECTED times of arrival and departure. As with any ship docking these are not set in stone. We once got to a port round about the time expected. We then spent over an hour trying to dock. The wind was pushing us away.

Sorry,this is the schedule I meant to post previously.Ignore the link on my 1st post.

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We are just back from Amsterdam mini cruise and having done a very similar cruise on the same ship 3 years ago which docked in the city centre we noticed a big difference in the convenience and the time we spent in Amsterdam. We were lucky and got into the city on both days, other people we spoke to didn’t get in at all on the first day.

It took us 30 mins to disembark, 25 mins in queue for shuttle, 10 mins to load the coach and a 40 min drive. Ironically we were dropped off very close to where we should have docked originally. When we got off the ship there were about 300 people queuing and 8-10 shuttle buses waiting. P & O officials insisted on loading one coach at a time which meant many of the coaches waited empty for up to an hour. Surely they could have just walked down the line counting people into groups of 50 and loaded several coaches simultaneously thus substantially reducing the coaches turnaround time. We were in Amsterdam at the weekend and it was packed very difficult to get into any of the bars and cafes for a drink and sit down, not a problem last time with the ship just 10 minutes away you could pop back refuel, freshen up and stroll into town for the evening. Many people just went back to the ship early and like us couldn’t face doing it all again in the evening. We made the most of it and enjoyed Amsterdam but it didn’t come close to the convenience of docking in the city in our opinion.

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We were also on the Azura in Amsterdam this weekend.  Our first and last cruise. It felt like being trapped in a mediocre shopping mall for the weekend.  Impossible to get off the ship on Saturday - people queuing for hours and then having to wait outside on the dock for the buses to return from Amsterdam for 40minutes or more.  We did go in on Sunday - fortunate to be on the first coach at 8.00 am but I gather by 10.30 it was another riot.  We came back mid afternoon but my husband stayed in the city longer and had to queue for ages to get on the return shuttle.  TBH it felt like a huge waste of money and we weren't impressed in any Way with P&O. Glad it was only four days and not a couple of weeks. 

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1 hour ago, SandraMeyer said:

We were also on the Azura in Amsterdam this weekend.  Our first and last cruise. It felt like being trapped in a mediocre shopping mall for the weekend.  Impossible to get off the ship on Saturday - people queuing for hours and then having to wait outside on the dock for the buses to return from Amsterdam for 40minutes or more.  We did go in on Sunday - fortunate to be on the first coach at 8.00 am but I gather by 10.30 it was another riot.  We came back mid afternoon but my husband stayed in the city longer and had to queue for ages to get on the return shuttle.  TBH it felt like a huge waste of money and we weren't impressed in any Way with P&O. Glad it was only four days and not a couple of weeks. 

 

That's such a shame that you had such a horrendous time and sad that you feel you wouldn't do another cruise.  Honestly, longer cruises are such a different experience.  I'm sure if you had a week in the Med you would feel totally different about it but totally understand how you feel.  We are there in a couple of weeks, but know what to expect.

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I've been reading this thread with interest.

 

TBH, I get cross anyway when you look at the website and it gives a list of destinations, that once you have done some research turn out to be miles away.

 

I would be very annoyed if P&O did this to me. I agree with the comments about P&O customer service.  We had an issue last year with the closure of the shops for refitting and the change of alcohol policy (both notified after booking, and the shop refit closures 2 weeks before we were due to sail).  P&O wouldn't budge on anything - very bullish.  We did get a bottle of champagne and flowers in the room in the end, but this was because they failed to respond to emails, not because of their original decision.

 

In terms of customer service, after the above experience, we had a sulk and booked a cruise with RCI (never going with P&O again!!).  I personally found their customer service just as bad - emails never answered etc.  My cynical view is that they want you to use their premium rate call centre.  And on board, we quickly realised that P&O are miles better at customer service generally.  So back to P&O.

 

We've had POC cancelled before.  On Britannia the call at Monte Carlo was cancelled because of bad weather, but they took us to Ajaccio instead.  And on last years cruise there was an engine problem, so they held us a Barcelona to fix it and cancelled Nice.

 

Has anyone ever had any success with ABTA?  I thought about complaining over the onboard shop closures, but didn't think they'd be any point.

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Nothing will prepare you for the chaos that was P&O's version of a full weekend in Amsterdam I kid you not. I pre booked two cruises with them prior to this shambolic trip. But after over 20 years of cruising with them I've had enough, so the one I've already paid for I have no choice but to take .The other I'm seriously thinking of just letting the deposit go , I feel I'm giving over my hard earned cash to a company that gives not one jot about their customers , believe me there are better companies out there.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, BarmyJackArmy said:

Nothing will prepare you for the chaos that was P&O's version of a full weekend in Amsterdam I kid you not. I pre booked two cruises with them prior to this shambolic trip. But after over 20 years of cruising with them I've had enough, so the one I've already paid for I have no choice but to take .The other I'm seriously thinking of just letting the deposit go , I feel I'm giving over my hard earned cash to a company that gives not one jot about their customers , believe me there are better companies out there.

As they are part of the Carnival group you can sometimes transfer your P and O cruise to another in the Carnival group e.g Princess or Cunard.(I  transferred a Cunard cruise to a P and O cruise in the last year)

Edited by ann141

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14 hours ago, BarmyJackArmy said:

Nothing will prepare you for the chaos that was P&O's version of a full weekend in Amsterdam I kid you not. I pre booked two cruises with them prior to this shambolic trip. But after over 20 years of cruising with them I've had enough, so the one I've already paid for I have no choice but to take .The other I'm seriously thinking of just letting the deposit go , I feel I'm giving over my hard earned cash to a company that gives not one jot about their customers , believe me there are better companies out there.

 

Yes I can believe that.  Looking at the photo's above tells the story.

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On 2/12/2019 at 8:24 PM, AlisonB1978 said:

Surely they knew this before today though.  Feels like we’ve been cheated by them. We only booked a couple of weeks ago and Amsterdam port was the only reason we booked. Can’t cancel either without significant financial penalty. 

 

You can cancel and get a full refund as they have made a "significant change in the booking"

 

It says this in their T&Cs

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1 minute ago, FiftyOnePlus said:

 

You can cancel and get a full refund as they have made a "significant change in the booking"

 

It says this in their T&Cs

No, you can't. P&O are denying this is a significant change. See posts further up.

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2 minutes ago, FiftyOnePlus said:

 

You can cancel and get a full refund as they have made a "significant change in the booking"

 

It says this in their T&Cs

P&O have said that they will not allow anyone a full refund because they do not class it as a "significant change".

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On 2/14/2019 at 10:26 AM, Britboys said:

I too am on this cruise and very unhappy about the change.  If it had been just a one-day call, it would not have been so bad but the fact that we are there overnight makes it a poor decision imho.  Who wants a return coach journey of 80 minutes to go for a night out when on a cruise?

 

Of course, we don't know for certain that it is the new tourist tax that has caused this but it is highly likely.  The problem is that P&O shore-side are very poor communicators and using the cover-all "operational reasons" only winds people up.  Sadly, I don't think we stand a hope in hell of getting a goodwill gesture as P&O will just say that they are fulfilling their contract by providing free transfers into Amsterdam.

 

The problem is that they never think out of the box.  They could have written to all pax stating that a new tax had been introduced by the Amsterdam authorities and so they would need to add the equivalent of €16 to our on-board accounts but by way of a goodwill gesture will credit our accounts with £15 obc - which would of course cost them far less than £15.

 

In general, UK companies are far less customer care oriented.  I'm sure any of the USA -based cruise lines would deal with this in a much better fashion.

 

I am going to write a complaint too and would encourage anyone on this cruise to do the same.  They are inconveniencing us so let's inconvenience them!

 

It isnt the fact they have to pay. The cruise companies can easily add the £ onto the price.

They just  don't want to pay Amsterdam the tax on principle.

 

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On 3/27/2019 at 2:49 PM, SandraMeyer said:

We were also on the Azura in Amsterdam this weekend.  Our first and last cruise. It felt like being trapped in a mediocre shopping mall for the weekend.  Impossible to get off the ship on Saturday - people queuing for hours and then having to wait outside on the dock for the buses to return from Amsterdam for 40minutes or more.  We did go in on Sunday - fortunate to be on the first coach at 8.00 am but I gather by 10.30 it was another riot.  We came back mid afternoon but my husband stayed in the city longer and had to queue for ages to get on the return shuttle.  TBH it felt like a huge waste of money and we weren't impressed in any Way with P&O. Glad it was only four days and not a couple of weeks. 

 

To be fair, a few days Amsterdam way isnt the same at all as a 'proper' cruise. Its just not the same atmosphere at all.

 

Have a 2 week trip around the Med and you will see a massive difference.

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17 minutes ago, majortom10 said:

P&O have said that they will not allow anyone a full refund because they do not class it as a "significant change".

Their view only of course. And I'd argue that it's unsupportable in law, but you would need to take them on. 

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1 hour ago, docco said:

Their view only of course. And I'd argue that it's unsupportable in law, but you would need to take them on. 

Not financially viable would cost a fortune in legal fees and P&O know that, that is why they get away with treating customers like they do.

 

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31 minutes ago, majortom10 said:

Not financially viable would cost a fortune in legal fees and P&O know that, that is why they get away with treating customers like they do.

 

I agree that this is how P&O get away with it, but actually the costs are minimal and you certainly don't need a lawyer. 

 

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9 hours ago, docco said:

I agree that this is how P&O get away with it, but actually the costs are minimal and you certainly don't need a lawyer. 

 

 

Docco. I refer you to post 287 on the other Amsterdam / Ijmuiden thread you started (by MPC 1986) which you have not responded to. Maybe you haven’t seen it. It raises the question of how much you intend to claim for the inconvenience, something that you of course have to inform the courts of in your application, and suggests that it would be hard to justify it being a large sum.

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This topic is certainly proving to be as controversial on here as Tipping, Smoking and Dress Code. 

I am just glad that Amsterdam is well down near the bottom on my bucket list.

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15 hours ago, FiftyOnePlus said:

 

It isnt the fact they have to pay. The cruise companies can easily add the £ onto the price.

They just  don't want to pay Amsterdam the tax on principle.

 

 

Yes, I am aware of that but sadly who are the one's to suffer the inconvenience?  Us, the passengers.  I hadn't intended booking any shore excursions but chose to book one for the Saturday afternoon, anticipating the chaos and delays that ensued on the quayside.  It took me 20 minutes to get off the ship due to the long queue on-board and I was worried that I would miss the excursion.  It is all very well for Carnival/P&O to take a corporate decision but they were not the ones suffering as a result.  It is a fact of life that many cities levy a tourist tax in one way or another.  Amsterdam were only levelling the table between hotel visitors and cruise pax.  Amsterdam will be the only winners.  The City was packed and there were dozens of River Cruise boats docked - and in addition most of the cruise pax still came into the City!

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