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Hmm - last time with P&O for us.


bazzaw
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38 minutes ago, bazzaw said:

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

Time for a HAL cruise mate. Bread and butter pudding every day. Yummo.

Edited by lyndarra
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22 minutes ago, lyndarra said:

Time for a HAL cruise mate. Bread and butter pudding every day. Yummo.

SOLD!!! Actually thinking of a HAL cruise around Japan. We have friends who are HAL afficianados - from what they describe, HAL seems like a kind of American Cunard?. 

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Oh dear, how bad can it be? I've recently booked my first P & O cruise as it was the only ship in my price range leaving Melbourne in early 2025 so I thought I'd give them a go. Not so sure now if others would never go on them again. My deposit was only $1 on Melb - Fremantle.

I'm not a fussy eater and I can tidy my own room and I could happily sit and read/play computer games on my balcony if any of the aspiring bogans gave me a headache. Then I can enjoy my port days and sea air.

I'm not a big drinker so 2 bottles of wine would be more than enough.

Any tips for making this cruise as enjoyable as possible within the constraints of being on a P and O ship?

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28 minutes ago, Yaya_in_Oz said:

Any tips for making this cruise as enjoyable as possible within the constraints of being on a P and O ship?

My recommendation for any ship is to approach it with an open mind and remember you are on a cruise, any day at sea is better than one at home 😉

 

Have fun, enjoy your cruise.

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Don't be put off Yaya. Take a good time with you and that's what you'll have. I know a lot has been said about P&O food and to be honest, it isn't a foodies' paradise but it's not that bad or it wasn't when we were on Encounter in May. And it's well worth paying for an evening at Luke's Bar and Grill (around $58 for 3 courses). You've pulled the right rein in opting for a balcony cabin. We used ours quite a bit, just to watch the ocean in peace or settle in with a book. And a morning cuppa on the balcony was lovely. If crowds get to you, avoid the bars on the pool deck. It tends to be a bit of a scrum. We found the bars in the atrium to be more to our liking. Use the adults only area on the Lido deck reasonably early in the morning if you want a quiet swim. The party animals are usually still sleeping off a hang over until at least 10am (or if they have dragged themselves out of their cabins, they will be quietly passed out on the sun lounges 😂). Spend time exploring the ship, you will find some areas that tend to be quiet if you look for them. If you are planning on attending the evening shows, you will probably need to arrive about 30 minutes early (we tend to do that regardless of cruise line) and just take a book to entertain yourselves while you wait or just people watch which can be quite interesting.😂

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Yaya, as ceecee above says don't be put off by other peoples views about P&O just go and have a good time and enjoy what you want to do in your own time.

The food is not 5star it's about the same standard as a good pub meal.

We don't drink alcohol so we buy the soft drink package with the coffee option and we get our moneys worth every time.

Sea days to me are the best days on a cruise for us, love that we can just grab a book find a quite place (blue room is just the ticket) and read in peace and just get a pepsi or coffee when we want.

Yes you have to pay extra for a biscuit to have with the coffee (2 biscuits $3.50 but for $4.50 you can get a really nice cake)

Yes the standards on P&O have gone down over the years but so have standards on other lines as well.

We have been to most of the ports in the past so we don't go on many shore excursions unless it's a port we want to see something we are interested in.

We have been on many cruises on various lines over the years and have noticed a decline in what used to be included and up charging for things that also used to be included.

We off for our first Virgin Voyages cruise in 4 weeks and they seem to be offering a product that is more in keeping with what cruising used to be like but it is WAY more expensive than a P&O cruise.

So enjoy your cruise and don't expect to be treated as royalty but as a customer out to have a pleasant relaxing experience.

Daz

 

 

 

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Agree with everything you said in your post, Daz. Would be really interested to hear what you thought of your Virgin cruise btw. We're toying with the idea, but wonder if it is worth the considerable extra expense (and we'll have to fly in). Your opinion in due course would be very much appreciated.

CeeCee

Edited by ceeceeDee
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No probs Ceecee.

Yes Virgin is much more expensive than P&O but we are going to India for a week because we have never been there before then a cruise from Dubai to Singapore.

As we live in Adelaide we have to fly to most cruise ports anyway so we always factor in flights and have a few days pre or post cruise whenever we travel.

Virgin seem to be like our first ever cruise on HAL 15 years ago except there are no under 18's so looking forward to that!

Daz

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1 hour ago, Yaya_in_Oz said:

Oh dear, how bad can it be? I've recently booked my first P & O cruise as it was the only ship in my price range leaving Melbourne in early 2025 so I thought I'd give them a go. Not so sure now if others would never go on them again. My deposit was only $1 on Melb - Fremantle.

I'm not a fussy eater and I can tidy my own room and I could happily sit and read/play computer games on my balcony if any of the aspiring bogans gave me a headache. Then I can enjoy my port days and sea air.

I'm not a big drinker so 2 bottles of wine would be more than enough.

Any tips for making this cruise as enjoyable as possible within the constraints of being on a P and O ship?

You have a balcony cabin so you can enjoy the free air and watching the sea.

 

A few points to keep in mind - there is a charge for room service. The buffet isn't open all the time. Check the times in the daily activities sheet. From memory, it closes at 10am after breakfast, then opens again for a few hours for lunch before closing again. If you want a little snack with morning tea, go to the buffet by around 9.45am and pick up whatever you want. You can get coffee then, or get it anytime as the tea/coffee stations remain open all the time. With P&O you cannot take wine on board, but the prices are lower than with some other cruise lines. They start at $36 per bottle where Princess' lowest price wine is around $55 per bottle.

 

We found the food to be OK except the chips were often not hot enough. Alternate between the complimentary restaurants - the Waterfront, Angelo's (Italian) and Dragon Lady (Asian).

 

You won't have to tidy your own cabin. The stewards will service it twice a day.

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We got off Encounter after a 10 night cruise to PNG in August. It wasn't school holidays & was mostly an older demographic like Princess. I noticed many people liked to dress up at night & looked beautiful especially the 2 formal nights & Gatsby. We went on fully aware it was a $100 a day P&O cruise, we were pleasantly surprised & would definitely cruise on them again. We mixed our dining up by rotating through the 3 resturants with one pantry dinner.  I'm coeliac & still found enough variety. Hubby ordered icecream with his desserts in the dining rooms & always got it. I take on my own gf biscuits & chocolates so always a sweet treat at hand if i wanted it.  We have cruised with Princess & Rcl as well in the last year & honestly food standards have dropped on all of them. Princess charge double per day , you can buy a lot of biscuits  icecreams & eggs Benny for that. On Quantum there were added foods on the menu & no fresh cream to be had. We cruise on Princess again in January out of Brisbane, it will be really interesting to compare it to our recent P&O cruise. 

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Thankyou for your replies @Womble99, @ceeceeDee, @dazadelaide, @Aus Traveller. I will go, everything being OK at the time so its good to hear some positive feedback and helpful hints. Despite living in the West for 3 years, I haven't been there for 15 years and Adelaide wouldn't be far behind, although I will have a day there this Jan. I am fairly flexible and am hoping it will be good as P & O have some interesting itineraries that I could go on in future as I'm almost done with long haul flights.

@Aus Traveller, how much is the room service? Is it a delivery charge or do you pay for the food as well? I like to have breakfast in my nightie, like I do at home, so I'd want to order breakfast. Probably nothing else. I'll take the hint and stock up on something from the buffet or bring a snack to have at odd times. I have 400 OBC, so that should cover most extra things. Thanks.

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Just now, Yaya_in_Oz said:

Thankyou for your replies @Womble99, @ceeceeDee, @dazadelaide, @Aus Traveller. I will go, everything being OK at the time so its good to hear some positive feedback and helpful hints. Despite living in the West for 3 years, I haven't been there for 15 years and Adelaide wouldn't be far behind, although I will have a day there this Jan. I am fairly flexible and am hoping it will be good as P & O have some interesting itineraries that I could go on in future as I'm almost done with long haul flights.

@Aus Traveller, how much is the room service? Is it a delivery charge or do you pay for the food as well? I like to have breakfast in my nightie, like I do at home, so I'd want to order breakfast. Probably nothing else. I'll take the hint and stock up on something from the buffet or bring a snack to have at odd times. I have 400 OBC, so that should cover most extra things. Thanks.

I didn't order room service. From memory, the cost is a per-item price. I recall the prices in the range of $3.

 

Sometimes I take a tupperware container and pick up what I want from the buffet and keep it in the fridge in the room until we want it.

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8 hours ago, bazzaw said:

SOLD!!! Actually thinking of a HAL cruise around Japan. We have friends who are HAL afficianados - from what they describe, HAL seems like a kind of American Cunard?. 

More like Princess but quieter, and it was hard to get decent espresso. The service in the MDR was the worst I've ever experienced. This was on Westerdam last December. 

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5 hours ago, joejoe 59 said:

We got off Encounter after a 10 night cruise to PNG in August. It wasn't school holidays & was mostly an older demographic like Princess. I noticed many people liked to dress up at night & looked beautiful especially the 2 formal nights & Gatsby. We went on fully aware it was a $100 a day P&O cruise, we were pleasantly surprised & would definitely cruise on them again. We mixed our dining up by rotating through the 3 resturants with one pantry dinner.  I'm coeliac & still found enough variety. Hubby ordered icecream with his desserts in the dining rooms & always got it. I take on my own gf biscuits & chocolates so always a sweet treat at hand if i wanted it.  We have cruised with Princess & Rcl as well in the last year & honestly food standards have dropped on all of them. Princess charge double per day , you can buy a lot of biscuits  icecreams & eggs Benny for that. On Quantum there were added foods on the menu & no fresh cream to be had. We cruise on Princess again in January out of Brisbane, it will be really interesting to compare it to our recent P&O cruise. 

Like P&O, Princess has plenty of cruises at, around or under $100 per day. That is the norm for any cruise that isn't selling to expectations.

 

Look 12 months ahead, and P&O's twin pricing on 7 nighters out of Sydney is around $145pp/per day; Princess is around $150pp/per day. Carnival is cheaper than both, with lots of sub $100pp/pd twin pricing for this time next year. P&O pricing in Brisbane is cheaper than Sydney for this time next year, so they must be having lots of challenges in filling Encounter.

 

We are at around 20 cruises with P&O, so my recent dissatisfaction isn't an anti-P&O sentiment. Over the past 15 years I have seen P&O go from Australia's version of cruising down to lowest common denominator cruising.

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8 hours ago, bazzaw said:

SOLD!!! Actually thinking of a HAL cruise around Japan. We have friends who are HAL afficianados - from what they describe, HAL seems like a kind of American Cunard?. 

I think you will like HAL Barry. Not so much about a Cunard sense of occasion, but a bit more traditional than the others. 

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11 hours ago, Yaya_in_Oz said:

 

@Aus Traveller, how much is the room service? Is it a delivery charge or do you pay for the food as well? I like to have breakfast in my nightie, like I do at home, so I'd want to order breakfast. Probably nothing else. I'll take the hint and stock up on something from the buffet or bring a snack to have at odd times. I have 400 OBC, so that should cover most extra things. Thanks.

Hi Yaya

See below for room service menus.

PORoomService02s.jpg.7d8d3706eb90226a27de6ba2add1c8ec.jpgPORoomService01s.jpg.cd86f30ad6b63eaec9ba3f8304f62ab6.jpg

 

Regards

John

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7 minutes ago, arxcards said:

Note that 400 Gradi pizza is no longer aboard. I would presume that "P&O Trattoria" will still have a room service pizza option, but the menu offerings and prices could be different.

Yes that menu was from Nov 22, will be getting a updated one in next week.

But the prices shown and options would be similar I imagine, so gives a fair idea what to expect.🙂

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10 minutes ago, Ozwoody said:

Actually I think there may have been a breakfast menu for cabin service, not sure, has anyone seen one?

I have seen the breakfast menu. When I mentioned that I recalled a price of around $3 per item, I was referring to the breakfast menu because that was what Yaya enquired about.

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