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Ongoing Cuts And Reduction In Services On P&o


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I have also cruised with P & O for many years and the cruise product now doesn't compare with what it was 18 years ago , but then they have to be competitive in the cruise market with more cruises sailing out of Southamption. Also I feel the prices are much cheaper than they were several years ago , you get what you pay for !

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We have cruised P&O for 12 yrs and notice a lot of changes for the worse.

We would rather pay a bit more and have a better cruise experience instead if 2nd class entertainment and catering.

We went on a Celebrity cruise 2 yrs ago and couldn't believe how much higher their standards were.

Now we are trying MSC and Costa due to really cheap prices. Not expecting much, but determined to enjoy different ports and new experiences .

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Guest shilly3191

We have done 23 cruises with P&O since 2000 but have not cruised with P&O since Nov 2012 usually doing 3 cruises a year. We have cruised this year with Princess and found it to be a more superior experience by far. One cruise booked through Bolsover with P&O in March that we have had booked since May 2012 and seriously considering cancelling it.

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What's changed

 

Standard of food in MDR

Every formal night menu used to be really special and the black and white ball night had special napkins like shirt and tie on tables. Ladies also got a flower

 

There used to be 1 seafood buffet in the unused MDR at lunchtime - it was a fantastic display

 

Canapes at captains party - lucky to see a vol au vent flash past nowadays

 

Gold lunch food was like the speciality restaurant food  - on our last cruise it was the same fare as MDR (Caribbean level)

 

Entertainment - this has gone quite a way downhill with 3rd rate comedians and pretend Elton Johns etc

 

Staff - the cabin stewards are given far more cabins to clean now - youcan see how rushed they are now

 

Wine waiters are fewer in numbers too and you can wait a while to get your wine poured at dinner.

 

There are lots more little things, but thats all I can think of at the moment

 

I still like P&O cruises - their prices for drinks ec on board are very reasonable and they dont have a service charge. Very affordable,comfortable cruising.

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Guest shilly3191

What sort of cost cutting are we talking about. We have sailed with P&O twice now and not seen any clear evidence of costs being cut?

When were these 2 cruises if only recently you will not see much difference but the difference on a cruise now compared to 2000 is very noticable.

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I understand everyones different and people have different opinions and preferences when booking a holiday but I personally have never had a problem with P&O.  I've cruised with them a lot now on numerous ships but I've always had a great time hence why i keep going back.  I've recently returned from a 12 night cruise aboard Oceana and can honestly say it was the best yet.  I did Ventura with my wife a few years ago and I admit on that cruise we did feel a little lost with their being so many people on board.  It did feel like it was hard just to order a drink on that holiday but that was more the amount of people on board nothing else, like i say each to their own, some like that some dont and we preferred the mid size of oceana but i disagree with some of the hammer P&O are getting of late.  They still know how to produce a good cruise and I'd definitely book again.

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Guest Solent Richard

I understand everyones different and people have different opinions and preferences when booking a holiday but I personally have never had a problem with P&O.  I've cruised with them a lot now on numerous ships but I've always had a great time hence why i keep going back.  I've recently returned from a 12 night cruise aboard Oceana and can honestly say it was the best yet.  I did Ventura with my wife a few years ago and I admit on that cruise we did feel a little lost with their being so many people on board.  It did feel like it was hard just to order a drink on that holiday but that was more the amount of people on board nothing else, like i say each to their own, some like that some dont and we preferred the mid size of oceana but i disagree with some of the hammer P&O are getting of late.  They still know how to produce a good cruise and I'd definitely book again.

 

I'm in agreement with you Sammy.

 

An awful lot of it is what you make of it.

 

On our last Azura cruise, 24 nights, we often struggled to get every bit of entertainment that we wanted to see in, and that included the production company doing three shows per night.

 

I've always accepted that P&O food is middle of the road but there are always the speciality restaurants to break the monotony.

 

With some 259 P&O cruising days under my belt I'm like you, definitely will book again.

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Guest shilly3191

What P&O rely on is people cruising with them and thinking they are good so see no reason to change and keep booking with them. It is only when you cruise with others that you really notice the difference all I know that having already said about how many cruises I have done with them having now sailed with Princess 3 times and like for like pricing Princess is by far superior in all aspects and we will not be booking anymore P&O cruises in the near future.

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I am not sure about standards dropping my cabin stewards have always done a first rate job even though the number of passengers they have to look after has increased, true we don't get the towel toys often and sadly we don't get to chat to them as we once did but to me their standards have remained high.

Same can be said of the waiters they have more tables they are more rushed but to me the standards of what they do have remained high.

The little touches which made P&O special have gone but I don't consider this a standard although it is a shame they have gone and I would love to see them back even down to getting your tickets through the post but that can't happen while there are so many getaway prices at such a cheap cost. I feel sorry for those who pay vantage fare and yet are getting getaway standards they pay the price for these little touches but they don't get them as they subsidise the getaway fares. 

I have said it time and time again P&O need to decide what they want to be, do they want to be just ANOTHER cruise line or do they want to be THE cruise line, they need to decide and stick to their decision which will allow their customers to decide if they want a cheap cruise or the cruise they used to have.

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Guest shilly3191

Since 2000 food in MDR and late night snacks not as good, chocolate buffet nowhere near as good as it used to be, very rare if at all neptune buffet one lunch time per cruise. Deck barbecues are poor example as food is just cooked inside and then either served in hot trays or just rewarmed on grill to pretend barbecued. Entertainment is a lot poorer than it used to be less dance company and poorer standard of acts. Recently less ports of calls for same cruises in previous years so saving on port fees giving more days at sea. Shorter stays at ports recently as little as 5hrs in Dubrovnik and not even giving you any idea of arrival and departure time only vague times (Princess is Carnival owned and they still tell you time of arrival and departure). Need I go on!!!!!!!

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Whilst I agree that there are other cruise lines out there, I don't agree with the all of the P&O points being made.  I have travelled with numerous companies including Princess, Celebrity, NCL and Holland America but I have always enjoyed P&O.  I love the Britishness of P&O and I think thats what makes it so special.  I've always found the food to be of a high standard, especially in the main dining rooms but will admit that often the entertainment leaves a lot to be desired.  I love Celebrity Cruises and will definitely go back with them but some of the points you are making shilly3191 are true of many cruise lines not just P&O. 

 

I sailed with Holland America in 2010 and the food was not as good as P&O, the prices of drinks and other services on board were much higher and the service was not as good.  I felt like I was being sold something wherver I went on that cruise whereas P&O never make me feel that way.  They seem to be getting a lot of negative feedback lately but I still enjoy them.

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Guest Solent Richard

Since 2000 food in MDR and late night snacks not as good, chocolate buffet nowhere near as good as it used to be, very rare if at all neptune buffet one lunch time per cruise. Deck barbecues are poor example as food is just cooked inside and then either served in hot trays or just rewarmed on grill to pretend barbecued. Entertainment is a lot poorer than it used to be less dance company and poorer standard of acts. Recently less ports of calls for same cruises in previous years so saving on port fees giving more days at sea. Shorter stays at ports recently as little as 5hrs in Dubrovnik and not even giving you any idea of arrival and departure time only vague times (Princess is Carnival owned and they still tell you time of arrival and departure). Need I go on!!!!!!!

 

Need I go on?

 

Well of course you can, we are each entitled to our opinions.

 

Mine is that P&O meet the requirements of thousands of British cruisers and that they have an incredibly loyal customer base.

 

As for not giving any idea of arrival and departure times that is hardly a show stopper or subject that will pass 'the so what test'.  

 

Surely anyone who has booked a cruise,and has a bit  of nous,  can soon calculate times  by checking out the timings of ship's excursions.

 

That is exactly what I did on my recent QM2 visits to Hamburg. Ship's excursions were heading off for 5 and 8 hours each so I knew I had time to head where I wanted to go and I could take 5 to 8 hours.

 

It worked a treat and we made it to Luneberg.  But I digress.

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Guest Solent Richard

Whilst I agree that there are other cruise lines out there, I don't agree with the all of the P&O points being made.  I have travelled with numerous companies including Princess, Celebrity, NCL and Holland America but I have always enjoyed P&O.  I love the Britishness of P&O and I think thats what makes it so special.  I've always found the food to be of a high standard, especially in the main dining rooms but will admit that often the entertainment leaves a lot to be desired.  I love Celebrity Cruises and will definitely go back with them but some of the points you are making shilly3191 are true of many cruise lines not just P&O. 

 

I sailed with Holland America in 2010 and the food was not as good as P&O, the prices of drinks and other services on board were much higher and the service was not as good.  I felt like I was being sold something wherver I went on that cruise whereas P&O never make me feel that way.  They seem to be getting a lot of negative feedback lately but I still enjoy them.

 

The second time today I have been in harmony with you Sammy. Long may it last.

 

Like you, I have been around a bit: Cunard, Regent Seven Seas, Celebrity, Oceania and so on.

 

Yet I too will always come back to P&O when there is an itinerary that suits.

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We have been cruising since 2000 with P&O and yes the standard has certainly changed in many ways. It was special to be greeted by a waiter in his white jacket and escorted to your cabin if you weren't sure where to go. I miss the band on the quayside, the individual menus with a different old ship on the front of it each evening, the lack of officers chatting with passengers and almost invisible captains amongst other things.

However we can now have two cruises for the price of the original cruise so the value for money is first rate.

We have been on both Azura and Ventura this year and the ships were as different as chalk and cheese. On Azura the captain must have been on commission judging by the way he was pushing tours (such poor value now) and the bar staff seemed almost indifferent to the passengers. However on Ventura we had one of our best cruises ever with the theatre company excelling themselves on every performance, the crew spot on and only one announcement a day with advertising what's on and tours.

I believe that P&O have finally recognised that cutting costs has resulted in a greater cut in service and therefore passenger satisfaction. With Carole Marlowe's departure and the arrival of a CEO with real customer satisfaction experience I think we will see some dramatic improvements over the next few months.

After some fifteen cruises with P&O the Ventura cruise was P&O's last chance for us and I'm glad to say that we will be back!

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We gave travelled with P&O since 2003 and have our 12th cruise coming up next March.  We have not noticed a falling in standards in that time.  Yes certain things are different - the band at sailaways in Southampton - doesn't bother us - officers don't seem to dine with passengers as much - but nothing that we feel has spoilt our cruise.  Given the state of the economy it is surely unrealistic to expect everything to stay the same without prices going up.  For us every cruise is still special, and the excitement as we board the ship is still there - long may it continue.

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We have cruised with PO since 2004 and after 31 cruises with them and 5 more booked, w still do not feel the need to change cruise lines.

Like others we enjoy the Britishness of the line.

We have noticed some differences since our earlier cruises but they are minimal. Flower on ladies night - it used to die within a couple of days.

In all our cruises we have never been for a late night snack so would not know if there was less to choose from, same with chocoholics we went for the first couple of times but now don't bother. We still hear new cruisers raving about it.

We have always enjoyed the MDR meals but do go to the speciality restaurants for a change of scenery.

The entertainment on the larger ships always provide a great choice. On our last cruise we saw the West End Men led by Lee Mead the best entertainment we have ever seen on a ship. Last May we saw the Strictly Come dancing show with Ola and James, Darcey and Craig, just fantastic entertainment.

We find the drink prices reasonable although they have increased in the last few months but prices everywhere have increased.

We don't miss the band at sail away or officers dining at our table. We would rather have a good priced cruise and if we want any extras we will provide our own.

One thing we did miss on our last cruise was the 'cruise overview'. I like to plan when to book our speciality restaurants and it is easier to do so when we know what is planned for each night.

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I am in agreement with happywanderer.  The point being missed by most of the old P&O brigade is that P&O cruises are excellent value for money.  They need to attract younger cruisers with families as they now have so much capacity to fill.  If you want the bells and whistles, upgrade to travelling with the 5 star companies (and pay much more for the privilege).

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I've just recently booked a 12 night canaries cruise with P&O, the same cruise I went on 8 years ago at a similiar time of year. I have paid less than a third of what I did 8 years ago. Therefor I would never expect to recieve the same 'extras' as what I received back then. How can anyone expect champagne on a beer budget??

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I don't think that this reduction in 'services' is anything new - unfortunately. It has been happening for years, death by a thousand cuts!!!

My first cruise on P&O was in 1999 on the old Arcadia. We shared a table with a lovely couple from Wales who had cruised for many years and were great Canberra supporters. It was their first cruise on Arcadia and I am sure that she was the direct replacement for Canberra so they were looking at Arcadia with a critical eye.

After a couple of days they were making some critical comments about how how the standards had dropped. My wife and could not believe what they were saying as we thought we had died and went to heaven. The food, service, shows and Arcadia herself were quite magnificent - in our eyes.

We cruised the following year with our 'new' friends from Wales on Oriana and we found her and the services even better, yet again our friends kept pointing out little things that had been dropped. So bad did they feel about the situation they never cruised again!! I still keep in touch but they could never be pursued to cruise again.

The point I now want to make is that I now feel like our Welsh friends. Having now completed 16 cruises (all with P&O) I have to stop myself from being the cruise bore who keeps telling everyone "how good it used to be." However as has been stated a few times already in this topic, we all have the choice. We can move to another company or if it is so bad we can be like my friends and stop altogether.

However P&O cannot continue to ignore these comments. They need to decide if they are going to be a company that tries to be everything to everyone (and sometimes fails) or look to addressing the heart-felt issues that keep cropping. They will soon have 7 ships in their fleet that requires thousands of cruisers to be on their ships every week. If loyal customers like myself decide to stop or move companies what effect will that have on their 'profit margins'.

I am not sure what the future holds for the company but I for one wants to stay with them but if I am tempted to try another company will I ever return to my first love??

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