Wine Waiters and Porters have gone but Cards Return
We motored to Southampton on 6th October 2019, arriving in fine time for lunch aboard. As is our habit, we had arranged parking with CPS, who are usually very efficient and convenient, but not this time! Instead of being directed to the usual spot, we found ourselves handing over the car keys in a remote location, unloading our cases ourselves, and then having the doubtful pleasure of pushing said cases on a trolley across what seemed like 10 traffic lanes, then lifting them on to a conveyor! Why the change? Why no warning of the change? Why no porters? Why no adjustment to the cost reflecting the diminished service?
O.K., I’ve had my moan, but apart from the above, and a personal needs issue noted below, it was a delightful cruise.
The Bay was a little lively, but generally the weather was good, and the sea calm.
We had a balcony stateroom on Canada deck, which, as usual, was well prepared and maintained by our steward, but, dear readers, be prepared to be on first name terms with the plumber. To say that the flush was erratic would be an understatement! It failed either partly or totally at some time most days. I have to say that the response to each failure was prompt, but a major refurbishment of the sanitary system would seem to be required asap.
We ate in the Saffron or the Cinnamon, and the food and service for breakfast, lunch and freedom dinner was excellent. One memorable lunch menu featured, and I kid you not, Pu Pu Platter, with Spotted Dick to follow. Note that wine waiters have been dispensed with, drinks and food being ordered via the magic slates, which the multi - tasking waiters seem to have mastered pretty well. Items ordered usually arrived at the table promptly.
We patronised the smash & grab only rarely. The usual free for all pertained!
Captain Allen kept to time at all the ports, and with the exception of Cartagena, which Ventura left on schedule early in the afternoon, we had plenty of time ashore. Allen disturbed us with a bing bong in the wee small hours once. Something about a suspected fire in an incinerator. Forgive me, but isn’t a fire to be EXPECTED in an incinerator?
The usual entertainment fare of singers, dancers, and comics was good, but most people found the Flamenco group who performed in the theatre, while Ventura lingered late into the evening at Barcelona, a bit hard core.
Abbie, the Cruise Director, along with her staff, made a fine attempt at keeping us punters amused, and I am very pleased to announce that cards are back on the Ventura! Bridge and the traditional P&O Progressive Whist were on the programme each sea day much to my delight!
So, will I cruise with P&O again?
You bet, I’ve got two booked for 2020!
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