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Cunard or P&O World Cruise for a solo traveller


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I am hoping to do a World Cruise in 2024 and I am trying to decide between Cunard and P&O. I will be travelling solo and intend to book a balcony cabin. Looking through the boards it looks as though many switch between Cunard and P&O depending on the itinerary so I welcome all input!  The last time I sailed with P&O was in 2005 on Oriana for the Christmas and New Year sailing to the Caribbean. Since then I have sailed on QM2 and QE as well as Princess, Celebrity, HAL, Disney and RCCL, however, the only solo cruise I have been on was with Crystal. Thanks!

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If it was me and obviously as yet dont know cost and that always makes a difference but I would choose Cunard first every time.

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Cunard for me, but only if money is no object !

There is a RTW forum on CC that you might care to look at.

I presume you want to leave from the UK,  otherwise I think I wouid look at cruise lines with smaller ships, such as Viking. 

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Assuming not much changes in the next three years, Cunard will be significantly more expensive than P&O but will generally be a significantly higher quality too. You probably already know this but Cunard will of course have a lot more formal nights. P&O of course now say gratuities are no longer required and together with lower alcoholic drink prices would save a lot of money.

By 2024 I would expect that Arcadia is the only likely ship to do the World Cruise for P&O. Whilst she is of the same template to QE and QV, she is totally different inside, being of contemporary design. There are plenty of video tours available on that well-known video hosting site.

If money is not a primary factor, I would certainly choose Cunard.

Naturally however, itinerary would, for me too be a very important factor.  The QV 2023 isn't too bad but the QM2 (imho) is awful and not even a circumnavigation. It will be interesting to see the 2024 itineraries as, for me, the 2023 ones include too many stops in both USA/Caribbean/Mexico and the Middle East.

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Personally I would choose Cunard if the Itinerary and prices were similar but I would happily opt for P and O if the itinerary was better and included more ports of call. I have done the translantic crossing on QM2 and on Aurora and Ventura and I think Cunard has more activities on sea days but as others have said, drinks etc are a lot dearer.You are also likely to have a more international mix of passengers aboard Cunard whereas I think the majority of P and O passengers will be British.Cunard only offers fixed dining whereas with P and O has a choice of fixed or Freedom.

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Definitely QM2 in a single KC cabin with the double picture windows, even above a balcony cabin.   Have been in both as a solo traveller, and although the price isn't often much difference, would pick the KC cabin over a balcony one any day.  Quiet corridor, central, mid-ships.   Very well thought out cabins added to the ship.

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My gut is telling me Cunard and you are all confirming that. I will wait to see what the itineraries are as I want to make sure there are not too many ports I have already visited. Of course if it comes down to the fact that I can only afford P&O then it will be a no brainer!

 

Interesting point about the single cabin over a balcony cabin....I do enjoy my cuppa on the balcony every morning!

 

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You need to look closely at the itineries. In my opinion, it is better to sail westwards as you then get lots of 25 hour days (24 in fact) whereas sailing east you get lots of 23 hour days. For this reason most, but not all, sail west.

 

From your location, you may prefer to start and finish in New York. You can do this with Cunard but not with P&O who sail from Southampton and head south for warmer weather.

 

You don’t have to do the entire world cruise. Each cruise is broken down into sectors of around three weeks and you thus can do one or more sectors. You could even change ships with a break half way in Australia if the timing is suitable.

 

I would agree with previous comments that Cunard offer a better experience than P&O albeit at a higher price.

 

Brian

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1 hour ago, BrianI said:

You need to look closely at the itineries. In my opinion, it is better to sail westwards as you then get lots of 25 hour days (24 in fact) whereas sailing east you get lots of 23 hour days. For this reason most, but not all, sail west.

 

From your location, you may prefer to start and finish in New York. You can do this with Cunard but not with P&O who sail from Southampton and head south for warmer weather.

 

You don’t have to do the entire world cruise. Each cruise is broken down into sectors of around three weeks and you thus can do one or more sectors. You could even change ships with a break half way in Australia if the timing is suitable.

 

I would agree with previous comments that Cunard offer a better experience than P&O albeit at a higher price.

 

Brian

Would agree with you Brian but would also add that P&O has sectors of widely varying length. I had booked a middle sector on Arcadia this year which was 39 nights. I looked at 2023 and the nearest equivalent sector is 71 nights!

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I’m not a solo traveller and I’ve never been on a World Cruise. I have been on Cunard and one thing I know for certain is that the formality would just be too much for me and my OH on a long cruise. He hates wearing jackets for one thing! We always go for Anytime/Freedom too so Cunard wouldn’t suit us for a longer cruise. 

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I'll ring in with an opinion that I posted on the world cruise board:

 

"Don't rule out a world cruise on P&O.  I've been researching world cruises for several years and finally settled on P&O as a good fit for the way I like to cruise.  Their price is hard to beat, but it all depends on what you are looking for.  My cruising needs are fairly simple and I don't like paying for all-inclusives  that I'll never use.  Give me a comfy inside, a full promenade, and a wee dram or two in the evening while listening to some music and I'm good.   I usually skip the MDR in the evening as it is generally too noisy for my taste and I skip production shows for the same reason since they tend to be over-amplified.  

 

One of the beauties of cruising is that you can be as busy as you want or as relaxed as you want.  It's your trip."

 

  

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16 hours ago, BrianI said:

You need to look closely at the itineries. In my opinion, it is better to sail westwards as you then get lots of 25 hour days (24 in fact) whereas sailing east you get lots of 23 hour days. For this reason most, but not all, sail west.

Never thought of that, even though we've done several one way TAs.  An extra hour's drinking per day on our 23 Worldie! 😃👍  Might make the drinks package worth it 🤣

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6 minutes ago, Son of Anarchy said:

Never thought of that, even though we've done several one way TAs.  An extra hour's drinking per day on our 23 Worldie! 😃👍  Might make the drinks package worth it 🤣

The problem is you might die of alcohol poisoning 🥵

This is a really interesting thread for me, if I outlive my dog it's definitely on my "List" of todo.

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I loved my two world cruises on P&O Aurora. 
I must admit we had alcohol most nights and calculated that in 110 nights we’d only abstained for seven or eight nights in total.

As with any cruise it is what you make it and the joy on any ship is that you are free to do exactly what you want when you want.

25 hour days are great but remember when you cross the dateline you lose a whole day and a few of the passengers missed their birthdays due to that non event! A great daily news sheet was produced for “the day that never was.....”

Whichever ship or cruise line you chose it will be a wonderful adventure and such fun to plan.

 

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I am enjoying the planning and intend to have as much information as possible before the itineraries come out. These boards are so helpful and every opinion makes me think of something else to consider.

 

I sailed from Japan to Alaska in 2019 on QE, lost an hour most days and then had one day twice as we crossed the date line!

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1 hour ago, SargassoPirate said:

One of the beauties of cruising is that you can be as busy as you want or as relaxed as you want.  It's your trip."

Very well put and I couldn't agree more and I seem to be the opposite to you.

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A couple of other things to keep in mind:

 

Drink prices, along with gratuity. I believe the drink prices are higher with Cunard.

Gratuities in general - P&O don’t change tips, but Cunard does.

Laundry services, I know P&O is free, unsure about Cunard.

 

I would also suggest taking a look at Oceania, Viking .. their inclusives are very very valuable, free medical, free laundry services, free biz class flights to and from the cruise, visa packages and luggage forwarding as well as tips paid and inclusive alcohol or soft drink packages. Whilst the premium lines may seem more expensive when adding in the extras you wouldn’t get with Cunard or P&O the price differential is not that much.

 

you have a wonderful quandary to mull over, and I am sure you will have a fabulous trip whatever you decide 🙂

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47 minutes ago, ToxM said:

A couple of other things to keep in mind:

 

Drink prices, along with gratuity. I believe the drink prices are higher with Cunard.

Gratuities in general - P&O don’t change tips, but Cunard does.

Laundry services, I know P&O is free, unsure about Cunard.

 

I would also suggest taking a look at Oceania, Viking .. their inclusives are very very valuable, free medical, free laundry services, free biz class flights to and from the cruise, visa packages and luggage forwarding as well as tips paid and inclusive alcohol or soft drink packages. Whilst the premium lines may seem more expensive when adding in the extras you wouldn’t get with Cunard or P&O the price differential is not that much.

 

you have a wonderful quandary to mull over, and I am sure you will have a fabulous trip whatever you decide 🙂

If you book at the right time if they do as they have done in the past sometimes Cunard offer free gratuities inclusive of the cruise fare for world cruises.

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19 hours ago, ToxM said:

A couple of other things to keep in mind:

 

Drink prices, along with gratuity. I believe the drink prices are higher with Cunard.

Gratuities in general - P&O don’t change tips, but Cunard does.

Laundry services, I know P&O is free, unsure about Cunard.

 

I would also suggest taking a look at Oceania, Viking .. their inclusives are very very valuable, free medical, free laundry services, free biz class flights to and from the cruise, visa packages and luggage forwarding as well as tips paid and inclusive alcohol or soft drink packages. Whilst the premium lines may seem more expensive when adding in the extras you wouldn’t get with Cunard or P&O the price differential is not that much.

 

you have a wonderful quandary to mull over, and I am sure you will have a fabulous trip whatever you decide 🙂

Do you know the mix of nationalities on Oceania and Viking?

 

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24 minutes ago, Car59 said:

Do you know the mix of nationalities on Oceania and Viking?

 

 

I couldn’t tell you that apart from reading the worldie blogs from previous years that it was quite diverse, so not all US. 

 

I will also add that reading last year’s worldie blogs, there was a very different reaction to duty of care shown to passengers with regard to the curtailment of the cruises. I would say that P&O comported themselves very well and looked after their passengers very well. Cunard designated themselves as a cargo vessel and removed all but basic amenities to passengers, which I think was appalling. Oceania helped everyone get home from South America. Viking win though as they popped almost all their passengers in first class to get them home and the 8 passengers that were unable to fly home due to flight restrictions were moved to top suites and had to talk the cruise line into NOT opening all venues for them with full service for the last two weeks while they cruised to a port in Europe where the passengers could disembark. 

 

I’d have to say that for me reading how Cunard treated their passengers would have a bearing on whether I would book a world cruise with them. 

 

 

 

 

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16 minutes ago, ToxM said:

 

I couldn’t tell you that apart from reading the worldie blogs from previous years that it was quite diverse, so not all US. 

 

I will also add that reading last year’s worldie blogs, there was a very different reaction to duty of care shown to passengers with regard to the curtailment of the cruises. I would say that P&O comported themselves very well and looked after their passengers very well. Cunard designated themselves as a cargo vessel and removed all but basic amenities to passengers, which I think was appalling. Oceania helped everyone get home from South America. Viking win though as they popped almost all their passengers in first class to get them home and the 8 passengers that were unable to fly home due to flight restrictions were moved to top suites and had to talk the cruise line into NOT opening all venues for them with full service for the last two weeks while they cruised to a port in Europe where the passengers could disembark. 

 

I’d have to say that for me reading how Cunard treated their passengers would have a bearing on whether I would book a world cruise with them. 

 

 

 

 

We were on Arcadia and it is true that P and O were exceptional in the way they handled the emerging chaos in the world.

All facilities remained available, social distancing was introduced, activities continued as per normal and the cruise finished on the due date. The thirty odd sea days without land felt a bit weird but we were kept up to date all the time.

It helped that beer was reduced to half price to help sell it and everyone on board appeared to enjoy the fact that we were in a safe place whilst there was uncertainty everywhere.

The company did great for all of us on board

David

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On 5/22/2021 at 1:20 PM, Car59 said:

I am hoping to do a World Cruise in 2024 and I am trying to decide between Cunard and P&O. I will be travelling solo and intend to book a balcony cabin. Looking through the boards it looks as though many switch between Cunard and P&O depending on the itinerary so I welcome all input!  The last time I sailed with P&O was in 2005 on Oriana for the Christmas and New Year sailing to the Caribbean. Since then I have sailed on QM2 and QE as well as Princess, Celebrity, HAL, Disney and RCCL, however, the only solo cruise I have been on was with Crystal. Thanks!

i have done this on Cunard QM2 in 2007 and had a great time.  never taken po as they do not interest me .  i will state that you get what you pay for.         the QM2 has free self service laundry.  was a long time ago, so the memory is foggy from all the other cruises.

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I don’t know whether Saga are planning a world cruise in 2024 but it might be worth your while to pre register for 2024 at a cost of £90.

If you don’t find anything to suit you, you will get your money back.

Their 2 ships are all balcony, inclusive drinks, some excursions included and gratuities included.

Single cabins available.

All the specialties are included at no extra charge and tables are organised for solo passengers which you can join or not as you wish.

Lots of activities during the day and an excellent solos experience.

By pre registering you will be called first to choose your cruise and cabin virtually guaranteeing the best price.

Prices rise in 5% increments on Saga as cabins are sold.

Mostly British guests but we have encountered some North American guests on board.

Have fun choosing 🙂

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I doubt that we need to expect any major world cruises any time soon as many countries are still on lock down and it might be irrational. In any case, cant wait to jump in 

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