Having cruised several times with Cunard would you consider yourself a traditional cruiser? If you enjoy a more formal traditional cruise where 90% + adhere to recommended dress codes etc I would recommend going on Aurora , Oriana and Arcadia, in that order. If you would like a livelier holiday with a more mixed age group I can still recommend Aurora and Oriana in school holidays having cruised then with our own son and his family. Children on these ships are very well catered for and have their own pool on a totally separate deck from the other pools. All ships within a Cruise Line's fleet are not the same. They are all individual and are intended to meet different needs so you need to read the brochure and choose the ship and facilities you think most closely meet your needs. Having cruised 3 times with Celebrity who get better reports than P&O we still keep returning to P&O because for us it gives a better all round experience (but only on Aurora and Oriana) even though we also adversely rate certain aspects. Have cruises booked in 2009 with both Celebrity and P&O!
P and O have a basic product that is good value for money. Many, including myself have commented on aspects of the cruise that we thought were not satisfactory. It doesn't mean you would find the issues a problem.
We had an enjoyable cruise on Arcadia in November. The crew and services, including food were very acceptable and certainly the food was considerably better than on Artemis in April. The Berlitz Guide is correct in its assessment of both ships.
If you have enjoyed Cunard you will probably like the more formal aspects of life on Arcadia and to a lesser extent on Artemis. Artemis to the Fjords despite the poor food was still excellent value for money.
Hope this helps.
We have cruised with P&O many many times and have never been disappointed and would never consider anyone else.To be fair we have never travelled with Cunard so we cannot compare.I think that I am right in saying that more people return to P&O than any other Holiday Company.To our minds they have it just about right for us Brits.
Hate to tell you this, but it's not just for the Brits anylonger. The Americans are coming!
We have tried Cunard (QE2), Royal Carib (Jewel OTS) and Costa (Victoria) and we have not yet found anything better than P&O. We have had two cruises on P&O in the last three months (Ventura and Aurora) and found them both enjoyable. There are several things you don't get with P&O - no charge on shuttle buses, no service charge on drinks, no compulsory tipping. What you do get is good service from a very experienced and pleasant crew, good choice of dining venues, as well as select (pay) venues, good entertainment, drink prices comparable with pub prices and value for money. I would not be tempted back to Cunard even if the price was the same as P&O.
You will find that there are many British holiday makers who have never tried anything other than P & O and swear that nothing compares with it. The truth is that that is the problem and they are unable to compare and they believe that theirs is the best market out there. The connoisseur knows the cruising market and generally speaking puts P & O Cruises well below the others. Cunard has that unenviable position of being very much alone in what it offers and it has stood the test of time. It is a very specific corner of the market and generally way above anything offered by P & O. I would suggest that you stick to Cunard or look elsewhere to experience a better example of cruising than the one you are contemplating. I know I will get some stick for what I am saying but I truly believe that P & O cater to a soft dull market and cut as many corners as they can to do it. ..... Neil.
Actually Neil I feel you sum things up well in "I am saying but I truly believe that P & O cater to a soft dull market and cut as many corners as they can to do it".
I wonder if the comment on Cunard applies only to the higher price cabins?
We have tried Fred olsen. 3 times. RCCL once. Princes cruises once. Pand O 4 times. Celebrity once. Costa once. Ocean village once. MSC once. But still come back to PandO, We think they offer a good value ctuise experience for the british public. No doubt Cunard offer agood cruise experience in the lower catergories and a superb experience in the higher ones. Unfortunately we can not all afford the top class ones. I dont think I would like to be segregated though according to my wallet size from the rest of my fellow cruisers.
Please do no belittle a good number who go on p and o cruises.There are many of us who cannot afford Cunard and the other cruise lines who are above p and o. Many of us wear the correct dress at all times. Know how to use the cutlery are polite and courteous in general love the cruises we can afford. Some day, maybe we can all afford the luxuries you take for granted. On a seperate note enjoy your cruises. We are all entitled to our opinions. Yourselves included.
You have got it wrong, I am not trying to belittle you and I love all of the "correct" things about cruising. Of course you know how to use cutlery and no one would ever suggest otherwise, as I said earlier you are assuming that I prefer Cunard, I do not and haven't been on there for some time but look around there are other cruise ships out there that offer more at the same or lower price. But if you are really happy ....stay put and enjoy what you know ...... I would like to thank you for acknowledging that everyone, even me, has a right to an opinion. .... Neil.