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SargassoPirate

Princess/HAL/Celebrity/RCCL cruiser looking at P&O World Cruise. What Can I Expect?

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Posted (edited)

I am starting to research world cruises, with hopes that 2022 will be the year.  While using Google to research world cruises, I ran across a 2021 itinerary on the P&O Arcadia that looked good.  If they do something similar in 2022, I might consider P&O, but we've never tried them.

 

What can we expect insofar as differences from the lines we've cruised on before?

Edited by SargassoPirate

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It will be predominantly British people on board and a lot more formal than you may be used to - we had 26 black tie evenings in 2017. Drinks and excursions will be cheaper and there are no gratuities to pay.  I would do it again in a heartbeat. 

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Thanks, Sharon.  We did do a crossing on the QM2 a couple of years ago and really enjoyed the refined elegance.

 

 

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7 hours ago, SargassoPirate said:

Thanks, Sharon.  We did do a crossing on the QM2 a couple of years ago and really enjoyed the refined elegance.

 

 

P&O is rather different from Cunard though. If you’re looking for refined or elegance I fear you may be disappointed.

 

That was undoubtedly the case some years ago, but Carnival has a different dynamic in mind for P&O these days. Cheap and cheerful, with the occasional thin veneer, is nearer the mark.

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1 hour ago, Harry Peterson said:

P&O is rather different from Cunard though. If you’re looking for refined or elegance I fear you may be disappointed.

 

That was undoubtedly the case some years ago, but Carnival has a different dynamic in mind for P&O these days. Cheap and cheerful, with the occasional thin veneer, is nearer the mark.

Harry be reasonable, the vast majority of passengers on P&O World cruises will be reasonably affluent and most likely to want to adhere the dress code and, IMO, they will be as refined or more so than the average Britannia class passenger on Cunard.

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2 minutes ago, terrierjohn said:

Harry be reasonable, the vast majority of passengers on P&O World cruises will be reasonably affluent and most likely to want to adhere the dress code and, IMO, they will be as refined or more so than the average Britannia class passenger on Cunard.

Fair point. Missed the point that we’re talking world cruises. That should make quite a difference.

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I really don't recognise the description of P&O as 'cheap and cheerful' at all.  We've now been on over 25 cruises with P&O and yes things aren't as refined as they were but in all that time we've seen the dress code mostly adhered to.  We haven't been on a World cruise so can't comment on that - the longest we've done is 65 nights.  Yes P&O hasn't got the polish for want of a better word like Cunard but it's still not cheap and cheerful - in my opinion of course.  It's funny that when I first looked at this thread, before opening it, I saw Mr. Peterson was the last to comment and I thought to myself, well that's going to be a derogatory comment, and I was right.

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In answer to your question. As you may have ascertained not everyone on this board actually likes P and O , so any chance they get will post something not nice. 

Ref a world cruise. 

It will be mostly British passengers, entertainment, food etc will be aimed British sense of humour and  palettes . 

They will be towards the higher end age wise ,as they are the only ones who can afford the time and or money to do such a cruise.

Take the chance while you can. This type of cruiser is a dying breed. and once they are no more the next age group will probably not be able to afford a worldie.

I know a lady who has done two. She is very young outlooking. Even if the passengers are slightly older I think you will find they are a very interesting group of people.

Due to their age formal nights will be adhered to by those dining in the MDR and certain bars. Maybe some will not do all the formal nights ,but will dine elsewhere on those nights.

It will not be a casual all the time cruise...depends if that would appeal to you.

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8 hours ago, the english lady said:

In answer to your question. As you may have ascertained not everyone on this board actually likes P and O , so any chance they get will post something not nice. 

Ref a world cruise. 

It will be mostly British passengers, entertainment, food etc will be aimed British sense of humour and  palettes . 

They will be towards the higher end age wise ,as they are the only ones who can afford the time and or money to do such a cruise.

Take the chance while you can. This type of cruiser is a dying breed. and once they are no more the next age group will probably not be able to afford a worldie.

I know a lady who has done two. She is very young outlooking. Even if the passengers are slightly older I think you will find they are a very interesting group of people.

Due to their age formal nights will be adhered to by those dining in the MDR and certain bars. Maybe some will not do all the formal nights ,but will dine elsewhere on those nights.

It will not be a casual all the time cruise...depends if that would appeal to you.

Thanks for the insight. I appreciate it.

 

As we approach our 70s and have checked off a lot of items on our bucket list, a world cruise is still there staring at me.  We envision a more senior crowd of interesting people to share the experience with - without the belly flop competition, the men's sexy legs contest, spring-breakers, and feral children running loose on the ship.

 

Interesting ports of call, a friendly crew and passengers, a good place to read on sea days, a promenade to walk on and watch the ocean, reasonable entertainment, and a wee dram or two of Scotch in the evening makes a good cruise for us.

 

Sounds like a P&O world cruise would be a good fit.

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57 minutes ago, SargassoPirate said:

Thanks for the insight. I appreciate it.

 

As we approach our 70s and have checked off a lot of items on our bucket list, a world cruise is still there staring at me.  We envision a more senior crowd of interesting people to share the experience with - without the belly flop competition, the men's sexy legs contest, spring-breakers, and feral children running loose on the ship.

 

Interesting ports of call, a friendly crew and passengers, a good place to read on sea days, a promenade to walk on and watch the ocean, reasonable entertainment, and a wee dram or two of Scotch in the evening makes a good cruise for us.

 

Sounds like a P&O world cruise would be a good fit.

I do think it will be a good fit. Hope you do it.

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On 7/10/2019 at 12:39 PM, SargassoPirate said:

What can we expect insofar as differences from the lines we've cruised on before?

 

One difference not mentioned is the cabins. P&O cabin furnishing looks like a 1980's Travelodge, and is certainly not up to the standard of ships like HAL's Konigsdam.

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Why not try a last minute one week or longer cruise before booking,  on Arcadia? The ships are quite different to each other, so pick Arcadia and it will give you an opportunity to try for yourself 

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1 hour ago, galeforce9 said:

Why not try a last minute one week or longer cruise before booking,  on Arcadia? The ships are quite different to each other, so pick Arcadia and it will give you an opportunity to try for yourself 

I think you'll find that the OP lives in the US, and your suggestion, good as it is, may not be that practical.

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On 7/28/2019 at 10:32 PM, picsa said:

 

One difference not mentioned is the cabins. P&O cabin furnishing looks like a 1980's Travelodge, and is certainly not up to the standard of ships like HAL's Konigsdam.

 

I have not sailed with HAL but the OP mentions they have sailed with Princess.

Much as we love them Princess ships are definitely much more successful than P&Os cabin decor when it comes to replicating your 1980’s Travelodge. They have nailed that particular theme. Lots of plastic wood, browns, terracotta and beige are the order of the day.

Also having recently sailed on Britannia I have to stand up for P&O interior design. Sea greens, turquoise and greys, beautiful fabrics and very pleasing artistic pieces for me make for an elegant, interesting and relaxing environment.

Julia

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On 7/29/2019 at 1:06 AM, galeforce9 said:

Why not try a last minute one week or longer cruise before booking,  on Arcadia? The ships are quite different to each other, so pick Arcadia and it will give you an opportunity to try for yourself 

 

That's a good idea, but as others observed probably not practical from the US.  I must depend on comments here and official reviews - some of which are not all that flattering but when you average them out they are not so bad.  So far as the decor, we have experienced all sorts of decor in our world travels, and I take extended motorcycle trips where my decor is a small tent and a sleeping bag. I don't lose sleep over decor, as long as it's clean and we -maintained.

 

What I will be looking for on a world cruise is a clean cabin, a good room steward,  a clean and well maintained ship, good food (doesn't have to be exceptional) a promenade that goes all the way around the ship, some shady areas outside to read and watch the sea glide by, a wee dram or two at reasonable prices in the evening, and a nice group of fellow travelers.

 

I don't need over-amplified production shows or over-amplified pool-side bands, a casino, a belly flop contest, a men's sexy legs competition, drinking contests, and feral children running loose.  I can usually manage to avoid all but feral children and I figure a world cruise will filter them out.

 

So, does it look like a world cruise on the Arcadia will fill the bill?

 

 

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I have sailed a lot with P&O but never on a World Cruise.  I think one major difference will be the food, which is very different from the general style served on USA-based cruise lines.  In particular, I think the good American lines provide a much better buffet at lunchtime.  The P&O buffet tends to be very repetitive in terms of salads etc, although they do change the hot dishes daily.  Unfortunately for the waistline they do a good line in hot puddings with custard 😁.  It may be that they try a bit harder to vary things on a World Cruise?  I have just returned from an Alaska cruise on Coral Princess and whilst I will still very happily sail with P&O again, I felt the overall experience on Princess was better.  You certainly won't find belly flop, sexy legs & drinking contests on Arcadia I am pleased to say.  As you probably know, Arcadia is Adult Only.  She is quite a good ship for a long cruise as she has several dining options and a pool with retractable roof for any inclement weather.

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Thanks, Britboys, I see you have experience on other lines as well.  I'm thinking the Arcadia will be a good fit.  We are pretty low key when it comes to cruising and look for the basics to be done well.  We've never gone hungry on a cruise and I'm always able to scrape up a passable scotch in the evenings.

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No problem with the feral kids running amok, Arcadia is adult only.

 

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One of the advantages for US cruisers is that the onboard currency is GBP ( I assume this is also the case on a world cruise). Given the current fx rate,  your drinks, plus any other onboard spending, will be amazingly cheap, in dollar terms. Plus there is no service charge added to already reasonable drink prices. 

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3 hours ago, wowzz said:

One of the advantages for US cruisers is that the onboard currency is GBP ( I assume this is also the case on a world cruise). Given the current fx rate,  your drinks, plus any other onboard spending, will be amazingly cheap, in dollar terms. Plus there is no service charge added to already reasonable drink prices. 

 I hope it holds true for 2022, which is the first opening in our schedule for a world cruise.

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The Buffet and food choices are the big downside to me on P&O, nowhere near the choice available on Celebrity or Royal Caribbean.

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On ‎8‎/‎3‎/‎2019 at 11:28 AM, SargassoPirate said:

 

That's a good idea, but as others observed probably not practical from the US.  I must depend on comments here and official reviews - some of which are not all that flattering but when you average them out they are not so bad.  So far as the decor, we have experienced all sorts of decor in our world travels, and I take extended motorcycle trips where my decor is a small tent and a sleeping bag. I don't lose sleep over decor, as long as it's clean and we -maintained.

 

What I will be looking for on a world cruise is a clean cabin, a good room steward,  a clean and well maintained ship, good food (doesn't have to be exceptional) a promenade that goes all the way around the ship, some shady areas outside to read and watch the sea glide by, a wee dram or two at reasonable prices in the evening, and a nice group of fellow travelers.

 

I don't need over-amplified production shows or over-amplified pool-side bands, a casino, a belly flop contest, a men's sexy legs competition, drinking contests, and feral children running loose.  I can usually manage to avoid all but feral children and I figure a world cruise will filter them out.

 

So, does it look like a world cruise on the Arcadia will fill the bill?

 

 

I think it will be just fine from what you specify as important to you.

 

1 hour ago, Elaine0138 said:

The Buffet and food choices are the big downside to me on P&O, nowhere near the choice available on Celebrity or Royal Caribbean.

Totally agree with this, Celebrity and RCCI food (especially the buffet, is much better) - I LOVE my food and the thought of a very long cruise on P&O with the distinctly average (to be kind) buffet offering would make me think twice.

However, the Glass House is a good, Sindhu is ok, The Beach House is ok and the MDR is ok and as food is not up there on the OP's list of "must haves" then I think it sounds as though the trip will be just the ticket.

Have a great time. 😊

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I think it sounds as if it will be a good fit for you based on your requirements.  We had some American passengers on the table next to us on Aurora (also adult only) earlier this year, they were looking for a specific destination, and P&O Aurora came up in a google search.  They were really enjoying their first P&O experience, and seemed to enjoy the 'Britishness' of it.  They were sure they would try it again!  World cruises do sometimes attract a few non-Brits looking for the full world cruise experience.  I hope it works out for you.

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Thanks to all for your observations and opinions.  We will savor what we love about cruising and avoid what annoys us.

I just finished reading a delightful book about a P&O world cruise and am more excited than ever.

 

New adventures await.

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We've done two world cruises with P&O (when they did them on Aurora) and thoroughly enjoyed them.

 

A few observations, though. 

 

While the world cruise clientele is likely to be as described in other posts, it is worth bearing in mind that probably well under half of the passengers will be doing the full world (the proportion seems to drop each year).  A significant number will be doing a half world, getting off or on in Australia (or NZ if the cruise goes there), and there will also be a high proportion of "leggers" doing a relatively short cruise.  What we found is that this does create a bit of a disruption to the feel of the cruise every 3 weeks or so - not necessarily a bad thing, just something to be aware of.

 

 

We noticed that some people had focused only on the ports and seemed to have not really appreciated the very large number of sea days.  P&O do put on plenty of things to do (watercolour painting, bridge, dance classes, knit and knatter and, if you are lucky, craft classes) and there are also guest speakers (usually better than on the short cruises) as well as a reasonable library but please do go prepared for the sea days.  Being away from family for an extended period can also be difficult for some people.

 

A popular topic of conversation on a world cruise is the cost and availability of insurance.  Travel insurance for a world cruise can be difficult and expensive to source, particularly in these days of "standard" products that are designed around people taking 2-3 week holidays.  And don't forget house insurance where there may be restrictions on the period when the house can be left unoccupied.

 

Finally, and I mention this only as no-one else seems to have, P&O, unlike a lot of other cruise lines, provide self-service launderette facilities.  These are free to use but you do need to provide your own detergent.  It is worth taking detergent onboard with you as it tends to be expensive if purchased in the onboard shop.   (You can send washing to the laundry, but it is not particularly cheap as they don't offer a "stuff-everything-you-can-in-the-laundry-bag" price)

 

 

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