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Hmm - last time with P&O for us.


bazzaw
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We went on a cruise on the Pacific Encounter exactly a week before Barry's. It went to the same ports. We were also aware that it was in school holidays so there would be more children on board. We didn't find them a problem. I agree that the Encounter Hotel was crowded for some activities, but the Marquee Theatre was never crowded. We have seen the show 'Seven' more than seven times and enjoy it, but the show ONE was terrible. They also had a 'Deal or No Deal' game show at night in the theatre. It should be in the afternoon like bingo (that we don't go to). The couple of guest entertainers were good.

 

Food - Quite good, but the menus were repetitive. Also some of the food wasn't hot enough. Yes - I complained when on the ship and mentioned this in my post-cruise survey.

 

We knew ahead of time that we would not arrive at Noumea until close to mid afternoon and we also knew that all cruise ships have to dock at the container wharf. We were told a while ago that the harbour would have to be dredged to allow cruise ships to dock at the cruise terminal (rather than going there by shuttle bus). We don't bother getting off in Noumea.

 

We enjoyed the cruise. We paid $799 pp for a balcony cabin for seven nights and consider that good value.

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We hadn't even thought about school holidays !! 🙂 - but the kids were no problem for us at all. In fact, we always enjoy the children's talent show . - and this comes from a cranky old man who doesn't particularly like children !! 🙂 There were some very noisy areas though. Also from somebody who is/has been a pretty fair drinker in my time, I was just astounded at the level of drinking being done on this cruise - at bars all over the ship. But I guess - apart from the cost, why not? There isn't much else to do on the ship during the day - especially with the winds we encountered for much of the cruise. Promenade deck 7 was closed for much of the time. One consolation was that, although the opening time for the gym was shown as 7AM on the front door, somehow or another it was open much earlier - the earliest for me was 5:30 AM and by thta time it was well and truly being used. Lots of treadmills with a large red cross on them though. 

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🥴

This is similar to the cabin I seen, it looks pretty industrial to me, and imagine 4 people and all their gear in there.

Me I would feel crampt. 

Encounter Inside 4 Berth 2.jpg

Edited by Ozwoody
Forgot the photo
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Here are some observations of our first P&O cruise on Encounter to North Qld from Brisbane in November 2022. Bear in mind that Covid protocols were still in place at that time. We arrived early and dropped off our cases in Bag Drop, then looked around for somewhere to sit as no-one appeared to be entering into the Terminal. No seats left, so sat on a concrete surround of a flower bed. Time went on and more and more people arrived and when no more seating was available they stood queuing.

A couple of hours later it seemed, a loud voice told the crowd that until everyone had disembarked from the ship there would be no-one getting on. We had noticed a couple of ambulances outside so maybe this was the reason for the delay. When told that 'those sitting around the Bag Drop would have to move' I could feel our patience running out. Not good enough to be herded like sheep. We are seniors and one of us can't stand for a long time.

Eventually got onboard and found our balcony cabin which was lovely. As we had previously cruised Asia with Sapphire Princess we were used to the ship's layout.

We had only been given the choice of two dining times 'Early' or 'Later'. On board we found that our time was 5.45pm and that we had been rotated through Waterfront, Dragon Lady and Angelos. We could change the venues if we wished which we did. Although menus were only changed a couple of times, we found the food very good and also in The Pantry - something for everyone and plentiful.

Dress codes in the restaurants ranged from smart casual to t-shirt and shorts and baseball caps.

In The Pantry it wasn't unusual to see swimwear and bare chests (men).

We only saw one show Blanc de Blanc, risque but very funny, but we had to pay for this one. Lots of charges for onboard extras.

The real downside for us about P&O was the disorganised rush off the ship at Cairns port. We had booked a ship tour to Kuranda and after receiving a tour number were directed to wait in one of the theatres. When our number was called, we thought that we would be guided to our disembarkation deck before the rest of the ship were allowed to disembark. No such luck. We almost had to fight our way through crowds to go down to the deck we were told to go to only to find that it was the wrong deck so another fight to get to the correct deck and eventually find our transport. No such keeping distances here!

Won't say never again, but looks unlikely that we will choose P&O.

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21 minutes ago, temani said:

Here are some observations of our first P&O cruise on Encounter to North Qld from Brisbane in November 2022. Bear in mind that Covid protocols were still in place at that time. We arrived early and dropped off our cases in Bag Drop, then looked around for somewhere to sit as no-one appeared to be entering into the Terminal. No seats left, so sat on a concrete surround of a flower bed. Time went on and more and more people arrived and when no more seating was available they stood queuing.

A couple of hours later it seemed, a loud voice told the crowd that until everyone had disembarked from the ship there would be no-one getting on. We had noticed a couple of ambulances outside so maybe this was the reason for the delay. When told that 'those sitting around the Bag Drop would have to move' I could feel our patience running out. Not good enough to be herded like sheep. We are seniors and one of us can't stand for a long time.

Eventually got onboard and found our balcony cabin which was lovely. As we had previously cruised Asia with Sapphire Princess we were used to the ship's layout.

We had only been given the choice of two dining times 'Early' or 'Later'. On board we found that our time was 5.45pm and that we had been rotated through Waterfront, Dragon Lady and Angelos. We could change the venues if we wished which we did. Although menus were only changed a couple of times, we found the food very good and also in The Pantry - something for everyone and plentiful.

Dress codes in the restaurants ranged from smart casual to t-shirt and shorts and baseball caps.

In The Pantry it wasn't unusual to see swimwear and bare chests (men).

We only saw one show Blanc de Blanc, risque but very funny, but we had to pay for this one. Lots of charges for onboard extras.

The real downside for us about P&O was the disorganised rush off the ship at Cairns port. We had booked a ship tour to Kuranda and after receiving a tour number were directed to wait in one of the theatres. When our number was called, we thought that we would be guided to our disembarkation deck before the rest of the ship were allowed to disembark. No such luck. We almost had to fight our way through crowds to go down to the deck we were told to go to only to find that it was the wrong deck so another fight to get to the correct deck and eventually find our transport. No such keeping distances here!

Won't say never again, but looks unlikely that we will choose P&O.

Hi,

 

we have only done one P and O cruise about 15 years (I think) .   It was a real laugh.   Remember the days when you had to go on the deck to do the safety information,   A young guy was on his first cruise and by the time we were doing the safety thing he was quite drunk,  he said he had spent all his money and would have to contact his mum to send him some more.   We were just going up the side of OZ so no passports required,   We did laugh!!

 

recently I wanted to do a couple of cruises in OZ winter and looked at Carnival or P and O.  I thought P and O were supposed to be the cheapest but when I looked I thought the prices were no cheaper than Carnival and from comments on CC it seems that on P and O you are  now paying for some things that would normally be included.

 

am I wrong ?

 

Eileen

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10 minutes ago, Cruisers47 said:

it seems that on P and O you are  now paying for some things that would normally be included.

 

am I wrong ?

 

 

I don't have any recent comparisons to make - but certainly there are a LOT of optional addon extras available on P&O now - everything from foodstuffs to activities. . Did not notice any at all (apart from optional restaurants) on Cunard Queen Elizabeth earlier this year. 

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33 minutes ago, bazzaw said:

I don't have any recent comparisons to make - but certainly there are a LOT of optional addon extras available on P&O now - everything from foodstuffs to activities. . Did not notice any at all (apart from optional restaurants) on Cunard Queen Elizabeth earlier this year. 

You were probably paying a lot more per day on the Queen Elizabeth compared with the P&O ship.

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1 hour ago, Cruisers47 said:

from comments on CC it seems that on P and O you are  now paying for some things that would normally be included.

 

am I wrong ?

 

Eileen

No, definitely not, I have only sailed with Princess & Cunard prior to cruising with P&O Aust.

I was surprised at the things that had on the previous cruises been free were charged for on P&O.

The biggest wow, was the biscuits at $3.50 for two!!!!

Other lines may charge for every little thing, I don't know? but P&O did made me blink a few times.

 

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9 hours 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.

Cruise-ship-suite-1.jpg

Les, I’m going to start charging you for reproducing our images soon. 

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On 9/30/2023 at 2:21 PM, 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 so pleased, in a way, to see your post as I was wondering if it was just me feeling like this.

I went on a Pacific Adventure in April, to the islands, and it was the worst cruise ever. I had about 5 cruises before that but all pre covid. Two had been with P&O.

 

All I can say is the cut backs were disappointing. I didn't mind the look of the restaurants but the food often wasn't good, (especially for anyone with dietary requirements). Small serves, not much choice on the menu, pay extra for things that used to be included.

And the buffet-little squares of cake for dessert every day? That the best they can do?

 

In the past, the dining was pretty good, we felt we were being a bit spoilt with all the good food. Not this time.

 

Cabins cleaned once a day only (which we could live with, that is fine) but things such as beach towels not restocked unless you nagged. 

Everything too crowded, having to get to the marquee 30-40 minutes before showtime just to get a seat.

Not much going on in the day unless you love trivia & karaoke all the time. No daytime movies in the marquee, for example.

I could go on... and on.

 

What i would love to know is what cruise lines are people enjoying now, what has changed on eg Princess post covid?

I haven't written off P&O completely but OMG it would have to be extremely cheap before I would bother again.

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7 minutes ago, sherri3802 said:

I am so pleased, in a way, to see your post as I was wondering if it was just me feeling like this.

I went on a Pacific Adventure in April, to the islands, and it was the worst cruise ever. I had about 5 cruises before that but all pre covid. Two had been with P&O.

 

All I can say is the cut backs were disappointing. I didn't mind the look of the restaurants but the food often wasn't good, (especially for anyone with dietary requirements). Small serves, not much choice on the menu, pay extra for things that used to be included.

And the buffet-little squares of cake for dessert every day? That the best they can do?

 

In the past, the dining was pretty good, we felt we were being a bit spoilt with all the good food. Not this time.

 

Cabins cleaned once a day only (which we could live with, that is fine) but things such as beach towels not restocked unless you nagged. 

Everything too crowded, having to get to the marquee 30-40 minutes before showtime just to get a seat.

Not much going on in the day unless you love trivia & karaoke all the time. No daytime movies in the marquee, for example.

I could go on... and on.

 

What i would love to know is what cruise lines are people enjoying now, what has changed on eg Princess post covid?

I haven't written off P&O completely but OMG it would have to be extremely cheap before I would bother again.

I'll start off by saying that P&O isn't my cruise line of choice, but my husband is quite happy going on a seven-day cruise from Brisbane to the islands. To me, that is better than no cruise. I will make a few comments.

 

Even two weeks ago, our cabin stewards serviced our cabin twice a day. This has happened on all our P&O cruises (several since COVID).

 

I don't mind if the desserts in the Horizon Court are only a small square of cake - I get two!

 

In our seven days there was only one show where the Marquee Theatre was nearly full - just before start time there weren't two adjacent spare seats. Usually the theatre was only half full at start time. This might have been because it was school hols and some families didn't go to the shows.

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48 minutes ago, Aus Traveller said:

I don't mind if the desserts in the Horizon Court are only a small square of cake - I get two!

Way to go!  My observation of the desserts in the Princess buffet is that other than a hot dessert like crumble with custard or ice-cream, they just have all the little oblongs of cream-type layer cakes. They look lovely, there are pink ones, brown ones and yellow ones, but they all taste the same, are bland and are nowhere near as nice as they look 😪

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1 hour ago, sherri3802 said:

I am so pleased, in a way, to see your post as I was wondering if it was just me feeling like this.

I went on a Pacific Adventure in April, to the islands, and it was the worst cruise ever. I had about 5 cruises before that but all pre covid. Two had been with P&O.

 

All I can say is the cut backs were disappointing. I didn't mind the look of the restaurants but the food often wasn't good, (especially for anyone with dietary requirements). Small serves, not much choice on the menu, pay extra for things that used to be included.

And the buffet-little squares of cake for dessert every day? That the best they can do?

 

In the past, the dining was pretty good, we felt we were being a bit spoilt with all the good food. Not this time.

 

Cabins cleaned once a day only (which we could live with, that is fine) but things such as beach towels not restocked unless you nagged. 

Everything too crowded, having to get to the marquee 30-40 minutes before showtime just to get a seat.

Not much going on in the day unless you love trivia & karaoke all the time. No daytime movies in the marquee, for example.

I could go on... and on.

 

What i would love to know is what cruise lines are people enjoying now, what has changed on eg Princess post covid?

I haven't written off P&O completely but OMG it would have to be extremely cheap before I would bother again.

Yes - those desserts in the PANTRY are the same everyday - same cake , just different colours 😞 although on one day, they did serve custard with the cake!!!

Edited by bazzaw
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53 minutes ago, Jean C said:

Way to go!  My observation of the desserts in the Princess buffet is that other than a hot dessert like crumble with custard or ice-cream, they just have all the little oblongs of cream-type layer cakes. They look lovely, there are pink ones, brown ones and yellow ones, but they all taste the same, are bland and are nowhere near as nice as they look 😪

I WANT PROPER PUDDING!! The heavier and stodgier the better!!! Down with Fairy cake!!! and fake cream. 

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We had two very friendly cabin stewards - and we were asked on joining whether we wanted our cabin serviced once or twice per day. We chose once . I do have to say that the staff onboard were mostly all very friendly and respectful - a few crab apples early in the morning but we understand what long and hard hours they work. As far as we could make out, it seems that nobody except entertainment staff ever left the ship on port days. 

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Often the staff don't leave the ship on port days. They go to those ports every week or two and they have told us on occasions, that they don't go ashore because it would cost money. I suppose they mean for a taxi or whatever. An exception to this would be Lifou where they can go ashore in a tender for a swim.

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1 minute ago, bazzaw said:

As far as we could make out, it seems that nobody except entertainment staff ever left the ship on port days. 

I've often seen our dining room waiters on shore on port days, so I guess they can work around their rosters and the lower lunch time demand in the MDR.

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6 minutes ago, Jean C said:

I've often seen our dining room waiters on shore on port days, so I guess they can work around their rosters and the lower lunch time demand in the MDR.

On P&O and on Princess, the MDR's aren't open on port days. Some of the staff would have to do a shirt in the buffet, but this would allow others to have time off.

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3 minutes ago, Aus Traveller said:

On P&O and on Princess, the MDR's aren't open on port days. Some of the staff would have to do a shirt in the buffet, but this would allow others to have time off.

A couple of waiters in particular we kept bumping into, they'd go to KFC or the like for lunch!

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2 hours ago, Aus Traveller said:

I'll start off by saying that P&O isn't my cruise line of choice, but my husband is quite happy going on a seven-day cruise from Brisbane to the islands. To me, that is better than no cruise. I will make a few comments.

 

Even two weeks ago, our cabin stewards serviced our cabin twice a day. This has happened on all our P&O cruises (several since COVID).

 

I don't mind if the desserts in the Horizon Court are only a small square of cake - I get two!

 

In our seven days there was only one show where the Marquee Theatre was nearly full - just before start time there weren't two adjacent spare seats. Usually the theatre was only half full at start time. This might have been because it was school hols and some families didn't go to the shows.

 

I'm jealous. Sounds as if you hit the jackpot as far as shows went. On our cruise, they were always packed out. Maybe it varies from ship to ship or number of passengers on board, I don't know.

 

As for the cake squares, I know it sounds as if all I was harping on about is food but I recall a Princess cruise way back in about 2009 where one day, they had all manner of desserts from cheesecake to pavlova to choc mousse etc. This was one afternoon up in the buffet. Plus icecream every aftrernoon.

Free pizzas, burgers etc

 

Okay, so P&O has never had all that but they have definitely cut down on the quality & quantity of the food, as far as I could see. And I would have loved a few different desserts in the buffet.

I would genuinely love to hear how other cruise lines compare these days.

I am finding some of the P&O prices are right up there eg one cruise I was looking at is over $1,500 I think for 5 days in window cabin. And close to $1,200 for an inside cabin.

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1 minute ago, sherri3802 said:

 

I'm jealous. Sounds as if you hit the jackpot as far as shows went. On our cruise, they were always packed out. Maybe it varies from ship to ship or number of passengers on board, I don't know.

 

As for the cake squares, I know it sounds as if all I was harping on about is food but I recall a Princess cruise way back in about 2009 where one day, they had all manner of desserts from cheesecake to pavlova to choc mousse etc. This was one afternoon up in the buffet. Plus icecream every aftrernoon.

Free pizzas, burgers etc

 

Okay, so P&O has never had all that but they have definitely cut down on the quality & quantity of the food, as far as I could see. And I would have loved a few different desserts in the buffet.

I would genuinely love to hear how other cruise lines compare these days.

I am finding some of the P&O prices are right up there eg one cruise I was looking at is over $1,500 I think for 5 days in window cabin. And close to $1,200 for an inside cabin.

We paid $799pp for 7 nights in a balcony cabin on P&O. Our next P&O cruise is $1,149pp for 7 nights in a balcony cabin, but we have $600 OBC (total, not each).

 

On my cruises on Princess post COVID, I have not seen icecream in the buffet, but I have not been there for dinner. My cruises include a few cruises 7 to 14 nights plus the recent World Cruise.

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1 minute ago, Aus Traveller said:

On my cruises on Princess post COVID, I have not seen icecream in the buffet, but I have not been there for dinner. 

The ice cream was offered by the serving staff - just vanilla.  I'm travelling with family next month and wondered if it would be rude if the kids asked just for the ice-cream!

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Just now, Jean C said:

The ice cream was offered by the serving staff - just vanilla.  I'm travelling with family next month and wondered if it would be rude if the kids asked just for the ice-cream!

They used to have icecream in the buffet pre-COVID, but I haven't seen it since then.

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