P&O Covid procedures in practice

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Review Details

Overall Rating:
Cruise Line:
P&O Cruises
Cruise Ship:

Review Profile

Times cruised before:
December, 2021

Cruise Elements:

Quality of Food:
Shore Excursions:
Childrens Activities:
Onboard Activities:
Thermal Spa, Gallery talks.
Tired bathroom - in need of refit.
P&O Ventura cruise from Southampton to Madeira, Canaries and Lisbon in December went smoothly (excepting Atlantic Dec seas - and winds outside safety limits for Madeira).  Leading up to the cruise, P&O went to great pains in continually reminding passengers of new arrangements on board due to Covid.  On board, wearing of masks went ok and was strictly enforced and yes, there was an on board app for booking events and speciality restaurants.  However:

1- Aside from speciality restaurants the app only booked main events in the Arena, and then, not always. The app was not in sync for changes to programs times and changes to events and a wise precaution was to forget the app and phone reception to book.  Access to bars and functions away from the arena was as per normal. The pre-cruise requirement to book a table in a bar, or to be shown to a table did not exist, but in absence of these rules all seemed safe.

2 - Prior to the cruise we were told that for evening meals we'd  be directed to a table for two,  unless we had linked ourselves with another party.  Having previously opted for a table for eight we were surprised that on the first night we were directed to a table for eight ...as per usual. The initial discomfort soon evaporated and it was cruising as normal.  We were told that lunch arrangements in the grill would be changed to table service ... but it was self-service as usual.  Again, all felt safe.

I'm not complaining about the actuality on board, but perhaps P&O should not be so upfront in creating a set of protocols that were either ignored or were broken (aka the app).  Before the cruise,  the emails and videos of Covid life on board were comforting,  and yes, we have just received another one that repeats the dining arrangements:  (Aurora) " We've new health protocols in place to protect the well-being of everyone on board and things will look and feel a little different. You will just need to pre‑book a table in the restaurants or join a virtual queue while we prepare your table. This will also apply to the buffets and deck grills which will now be served by our team". Sounds comforting?  Perhaps if people on our cruise had  known the truth in advance there might have been a flurry of cancelations
Perhaps for new processes,  our Ventura cruise was was in a no man's land and Aurora will be up to speed.

All in all, the cruise went ok, apart from the rough sea discomfort.  Shore leave in the Canaries and at Lisbon was business as usual - no vaccination passes to be presented - step off board, onto shore, say good morning to anyone happening to wear a uniform,  and walk into town. As I said, - business as usual.
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