Jump to content

Hmm - last time with P&O for us.


bazzaw
 Share

Recommended Posts

I have many times come across people of the "I'll never cruise with P&O again " type - and I have always said in response, "we have always enjoyed our P&O AUS  cruises over many years - Star, Sun, Dawn, Aria,Pearl". But after this weeks cruise to the islands on Encounter, I think I will be joining their ranks. My reasons really are manifold - too many to go into here. But overall, the experience was very bad - worse than any other cruiseship/cruiseline we have ever been on. If these large cruiseships are the way of the future, then it looks like we have no cruising future 😞

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

21 minutes ago, bazzaw said:

I have many times come across people of the "I'll never cruise with P&O again " type - and I have always said in response, "we have always enjoyed our P&O AUS  cruises over many years - Star, Sun, Dawn, Aria,Pearl". But after this weeks cruise to the islands on Encounter, I think I will be joining their ranks. My reasons really are manifold - too many to go into here. But overall, the experience was very bad - worse than any other cruiseship/cruiseline we have ever been on. If these large cruiseships are the way of the future, then it looks like we have no cruising future 😞

Come on Barry, give us a bit of a cruise evaluation, its always valuable to get various reviews of cruises Experiences. 

What could be better, what was good, what would you like improved.

 

Regards

John

 

 

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Encounter is a Grand Class ship, correct? So not that big by today's standards unless P&O have a higher percentage of 3 and 4 berth cabins than Princess did then, based on our experience of a very full Ruby Princess in 2019, it would be awful when full to the max.

Edited by OzKiwiJJ
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, OzKiwiJJ said:

Encounter is a Grand Class ship, correct? So not that big by today's standards unless P&O have a higher percentage of 3 and 4 berth cabins than Princess did then, based on our experience of a very full Ruby Princess in 2019, it would be awful when full to the max.

Oh yes, they are 3-4 berths in almost every cabin now from what I seen on our last P&O Aust cruise.

And if yo think that makes the general areas a bit crampt you don't want to see what some of the modified to 4 berths looks like.😆

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

When P&O took over the Golden and Star they converted at least 60 to 100 twin cabins to be quad share so many more passengers.  When booking solo with Princess they don't seem to mind if I book a quad or triple cabin whereas P&O only let you have a twin until the very last minute.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Then I know exactly why bazzaw isn't happy!

 

A regular Grand Class ship fully loaded is bearable but I won't cruise on any of the Princess extended Grand Class ships - Crown, Ruby, Emerald and Caribbean - every again, and I doubt I'll ever cruise P&O.

 

I'm going to run out of Princess ships to cruise on soon. I don't like the Royal Class ships either.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Ozwoody said:

Come on Barry, give us a bit of a cruise evaluation, its always valuable to get various reviews of cruises Experiences. 

What could be better, what was good, what would you like improved.

 

Regards

John

 

 

I will tell you what was "good" - everything else was bad. Good was embarkation - really good actually!! A Production show called "Seven" - probably the best by far that we have even seen on any cruiseship. That leaves - food, clientelle, disembarkation, tendering procedures, addons, gym equipment serviceability, arrival in Noumea in a commercial non-navigable dockyard after 2PM including ticketing procedures for such, longest onboard queue ever known onboard a cruiseship   (surely there could not ever have been a longer one anywhere anytime?)

Edited by bazzaw
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

32 minutes ago, OzKiwiJJ said:

I'm going to run out of Princess ships to cruise on soon. I don't like the Royal Class ships either.

 

Diamond is not so bad and she is coming out here Sept 2024.

 

But I know what you mean, I've been on Encounter twice and it's just too crowded, especially when trying to get into the Encounter Hotel where most of the activities are held.

 

I really like the P&O itineraries, but to get the budget fares they have just cut too many corners. I'd pay a bit more for for better food and less crowding.

Edited by SinbadThePorter
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

23 minutes ago, SinbadThePorter said:

 

Diamond is not so bad and she is coming out here Sept 2024.

 

But I know what you mean, I've been on Encounter twice and it's just too crowded, especially when trying to get into the Encounter Hotel where most of the activities are held.

 

I really like the P&O itineraries, but to get the budget fares they have just cut too many corners. I'd pay a bit more for for better food and less crowding.

Yes, I've been on Diamond before and we're booked on her next month in Japan,  and in 2025 Brisbane to Sydney. Unfortunately when Princess does operate the smaller ships here they are homeported in either Melbourne or Brisbane, not Sydney. 😪

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 minutes ago, bazzaw said:

I will tell you what was "good" - everything else was bad. Good was embarkation - really good actually!! A Production show called "Seven" - probably the best by far that we have even seen on any cruiseship. That leaves - food, clientelle, disembarkation, tendering procedures, addons, gym equipment serviceability, arrival in Noumea in a commercial non-navigable dockyard after 2PM including ticketing procedures for such, longest onboard queue ever known onboard a cruiseship   (surely there could not ever have been a longer one anywhere anytime?)

Our P&O was the Noumea, Lifou, Vila, cruise.

And the Noumea docking was even worse, we arrived at 4pm, it was about 4:40pm before the buses started heading in to town, the shops closed at 5pm. Was not even worth getting off.

The food court was indeed a disappointment. 

But the coffee on level six was the best at sea according to my wife, I'm not a coffee drinker.

I did like the Blue Room when it was open, which was mostly at night, would have been great if ran as a coffee lounge all day.

But the fact that they charge for everything including the biscuits, was a bit of a hmmm.

Another good side was their drinks are better priced than Princess from what I've seen quoted on Princess.

We're off on the Encounter shortly.

But even with the mumbles, its a cruise, I'm happy.😁

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, bazzaw said:

I have many times come across people of the "I'll never cruise with P&O again " type - and I have always said in response, "we have always enjoyed our P&O AUS  cruises over many years - Star, Sun, Dawn, Aria,Pearl". But after this weeks cruise to the islands on Encounter, I think I will be joining their ranks. My reasons really are manifold - too many to go into here. But overall, the experience was very bad - worse than any other cruiseship/cruiseline we have ever been on. If these large cruiseships are the way of the future, then it looks like we have no cruising future 😞

I am with you Barry. For many of the same reasons.

 

I don't mind the ships so much, but am no longer a fan of the way they operate their hotels. For what was already a plain, boring and repetitive menu, to start charging for a basic breakfast egg dish was the last straw. It is only more unique itineraries & Luke Mangan that have kept us interested, but the line was crossed for us earlier this year. My thoughts on P&O Australia ....

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, arxcards said:

I am with you Barry. For many of the same reasons.

 

I don't mind the ships so much, but am no longer a fan of the way they operate their hotels. For what was already a plain, boring and repetitive menu, to start charging for a basic breakfast egg dish was the last straw.

 

 

Yes - very repetitive everywhere - including the Pantry. STIX kept me alive 🙂 -- $ 26 EXTRA for a single Lamb shank in the Waterfront. $9 for a can of very ordinary Aussie lager. I don't necessarily look for "budget" these days - but am aware that there is something called " value for money" - I did realise that the first cruise we ever went on was this same itinerary on P&O Pacific Star around 16 years ago - That was a wonderful cruise 🙂  For me these days, it is all about the port stops - days at sea are almost completely valueless for me - very little to do/entertainment on P&O now. The daily programme is just full of ads for spa and other sales 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, OzKiwiJJ said:

Yes, I've been on Diamond before and we're booked on her next month in Japan,  

Which cruise ? 

(Got it, just saw your roll call)

We are doing one of the longer ones next year, so always looking for up to date reports on ports / ship.

 

1 hour ago, bazzaw said:

 - I did realise that the first cruise we ever went on was this same itinerary on P&O Pacific Star around 16 years ago - That was a wonderful cruise 🙂  

Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.

Edited by Tranquility Base
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, bazzaw said:

Yes - very repetitive everywhere - including the Pantry. STIX kept me alive 🙂 -- $ 26 EXTRA for a single Lamb shank in the Waterfront. $9 for a can of very ordinary Aussie lager. I don't necessarily look for "budget" these days - but am aware that there is something called " value for money" - I did realise that the first cruise we ever went on was this same itinerary on P&O Pacific Star around 16 years ago - That was a wonderful cruise 🙂  For me these days, it is all about the port stops - days at sea are almost completely valueless for me - very little to do/entertainment on P&O now. The daily programme is just full of ads for spa and other sales 

You have said something that struck a note with me!   We are willing also to pay more for cruising which I love, having done about 40 cruises but I still look for ‘value for money’.   It’s the way I am.  
 

Eileen

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Tranquility Base said:

Which cruise ? 

(Got it, just saw your roll call)

We are doing one of the longer ones next year, so always looking for up to date reports on ports / ship.

 

Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.

I'll probably start a "Live(ish)" thread for that trip as we're doing a cruise on Regent Seven Seas Explorer after the Diamond cruise. The Regent cruise starts in Tokyo and ends in Bangkok.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

48 minutes ago, OzKiwiJJ said:

I'll probably start a "Live(ish)" thread for that trip as we're doing a cruise on Regent Seven Seas Explorer after the Diamond cruise. The Regent cruise starts in Tokyo and ends in Bangkok.

wondering if you plan to do a thread for your upcoming japan diamond princess cruise? 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, bazzaw said:

Yes - very repetitive everywhere - including the Pantry. STIX kept me alive 🙂 -- $ 26 EXTRA for a single Lamb shank in the Waterfront. $9 for a can of very ordinary Aussie lager. I don't necessarily look for "budget" these days - but am aware that there is something called " value for money" - I did realise that the first cruise we ever went on was this same itinerary on P&O Pacific Star around 16 years ago - That was a wonderful cruise 🙂  For me these days, it is all about the port stops - days at sea are almost completely valueless for me - very little to do/entertainment on P&O now. The daily programme is just full of ads for spa and other sales 

Bang for your buck is everything. New experiences, the ability to switch off and relax when you want, the feeling you are being looked after - all at an appropriate price.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

44 minutes ago, austromyrtus said:

wondering if you plan to do a thread for your upcoming japan diamond princess cruise? 

My "Live(ish)" thread will be for the whole of our Japan trip including both cruises, Diamond and Explorer. We fly out on the 28th of this month so I'll probably start the thread a day or two before that. 

  • Like 7
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

34 minutes ago, OzKiwiJJ said:

My "Live(ish)" thread will be for the whole of our Japan trip including both cruises, Diamond and Explorer. We fly out on the 28th of this month so I'll probably start the thread a day or two before that. 

great news - many thanks - looking forward to it as considering booking a 2024 japan cruise. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 hours ago, bazzaw said:

I will tell you what was "good" - everything else was bad. Good was embarkation - really good actually!! A Production show called "Seven" - probably the best by far that we have even seen on any cruiseship. That leaves - food, clientelle, disembarkation, tendering procedures, addons, gym equipment serviceability, arrival in Noumea in a commercial non-navigable dockyard after 2PM including ticketing procedures for such, longest onboard queue ever known onboard a cruiseship   (surely there could not ever have been a longer one anywhere anytime?)

Baz, you mention the clientele on your cruise. Were these people on the cruise, dressed appropriately for the MDR?  Give us a run down on the pax dress and behavior on your ship, please.

Cruise-ship-suite-1.jpg

Edited by NSWP
  • Haha 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I honestly didn't mind Encounter (7 nights last May). From what I could gather she was near capacity, but we really didn't find it all that crowded. It may have helped that we had a Byron Mini Suite so didn't spend that much time on the Lido deck (which admittedly was quite crowded) and the Byron Beach Club was pretty quiet. We also had priority boarding, tenders, etc.

What also may have had an influence was that our last cruise before that was on Symphony of the Seas with 6000 odd pax which did tend to get a bit 'busy' to say the least.

Agreed the Encounter hotel was always full, but we weren't interested in going there (karaoke, ouch!! And we preferred trivia for dummies in the Black Circus - and yes, you had to get there early to get a seat) . Our go to place of an evening was the Blue Room. Great music and not too crowded.

Yes, things are not like they were in our early days of cruising, all cruise lines are nickel and diming, definitely less bang for your buck and activities aren't what they used to be.

Still, P&O is a budget line and accordingly I tend to not have very high expectations but having said that, have never been disappointed with the overall experience to such an extent that I would say 'never again'.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

51 minutes ago, NSWP said:

Baz, you mention the clientele on your cruise. Were these people on the cruise, dressed appropriately for the MDR?  Give us a run down on the pax dress and behavior on your ship, please.

 

Well, It used to be that shoes were at least required on P&O formal night - they seem to have dropped that requirement now. 

  • Like 1
  • Haha 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

21 hours ago, Ozwoody said:

Oh yes, they are 3-4 berths in almost every cabin now from what I seen on our last P&O Aust cruise.

And if yo think that makes the general areas a bit crampt you don't want to see what some of the modified to 4 berths looks like.😆

We have been in several (maybe six) different cabins on the Pacific Encounter and none of these had additional beds.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Welcome to Cruise Critic
      • ANNOUNCEMENT: Set Sail Beyond the Ordinary with Oceania Cruises
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Cruise Critic News & Features
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • Canadian Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...