Ventura, 3rd and last time for a while - shambolic
Approx 5th P&O cruise of c15 overall and the first negative review Ive had to write. All the P&O basics were fine - clean & modern ship, decent food for the price, wide drinks range at fair prices, good travelling entertainers (though none of theatre company could sing) - but out of 4 port stops there were problems with 3, plus a disembarkation shambles. Apparently it was the captains first cruise, but the organisation issues rest with others too. First port Vigo, a good shopping area from an earlier visit - scheduled for Sunday. There are zero shops and virtually no public amenities open on Sunday, its a ghost town. Next stop Lisbon which was as expected - fine. Then Oporto was cancelled due to swell making docking unsafe. At this time of year / spring tides, perhaps the port should not be scheduled - see next port. Guernsey wasnt seen by some on the ship due to tendering fiasco. The ship was docked a long way offshore and tenders were few and slow, with queues all round the dock and 1.5hr wait to get back. Is this port suitable for large ships - apparently Britannia tried and failed to land passengers the previous week. Finally, back at Southampton we were told the night before that docking would be about 45mins late, with no clear details of how this affected disembarkation. Next morning, all public areas on several decks were packed with confused passengers, with no announcements as the delay went to 1hr+. We were told to go down 1 deck and wait - after another hour (and no announcement) I checked and the process was well underway, making us much later getting off. Lesson for us is to research ports and other reviews more, as P&O appear to lack consideration.
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