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My wife and I have cruised with P&O since 1974. Loved the ships. In those days it was Dinner jacket every night. 7-8 course dinners with silver service.

Now unfortunately the evening dinner is not the occasion it used to be. I know costs have to be taken into account but in our view the standard and quality has decreased greatly. Now you are served plated meals. No chance of an extra bit of this or bit of that. You eat what is on your plate, or not, as the case may be.

The last cruise we took with P&O was very disappointing. Dinner was certainly no great occasion. During this particular cruise I mostly had a prawn cocktail for starters, well shrimps really, but anyway they were acceptable. I asked our waiters and our Head waiter if, for the last night I could have 'proper' prawns. The last night came, I ordered the prawn (shrimp) cocktail. The same prawn cocktail was served. I reminded the waiter and Head waiter of my request for 'proper' prawns which had obviously been ignored. Later I was brought 3, yes 3 prawns on a plate, no sauce, no nothing to go with my shrimps.

Not only because of that experience, but because I think P&O are cutting everything to the bone it is unlikely I will cruise with P&O again until someone tells me that the quality of food is on the up.

Our last cruise was on Queen Victoria, Cunard. The difference in quality and choices is unbelievable. Cunard 9.9 out of ten, P&O 3 out of ten.

 

Pip

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My wife and I have cruised with P&O since 1974. Loved the ships. In those days it was Dinner jacket every night. 7-8 course dinners with silver service.

Now unfortunately the evening dinner is not the occasion it used to be. I know costs have to be taken into account but in our view the standard and quality has decreased greatly. Now you are served plated meals. No chance of an extra bit of this or bit of that. You eat what is on your plate, or not, as the case may be.

The last cruise we took with P&O was very disappointing. Dinner was certainly no great occasion. During this particular cruise I mostly had a prawn cocktail for starters, well shrimps really, but anyway they were acceptable. I asked our waiters and our Head waiter if, for the last night I could have 'proper' prawns. The last night came, I ordered the prawn (shrimp) cocktail. The same prawn cocktail was served. I reminded the waiter and Head waiter of my request for 'proper' prawns which had obviously been ignored. Later I was brought 3, yes 3 prawns on a plate, no sauce, no nothing to go with my shrimps.

Not only because of that experience, but because I think P&O are cutting everything to the bone it is unlikely I will cruise with P&O again until someone tells me that the quality of food is on the up.

Our last cruise was on Queen Victoria, Cunard. The difference in quality and choices is unbelievable. Cunard 9.9 out of ten, P&O 3 out of ten.

 

Pip

Get real and compare the price paid in 1974 per person per night to what you are paying now you cannot expect same standards for what is a fraction of price. My first cruise in 1997 was on QE2 in the cheapest and lowest grade inside cabin on the ship and we paid over £100 per person per night take into inflation price of food and fuel since then and compare prices now. For equivalent you can now get a balcony and still as much food as you can imagine or want to eat and cruising is excellent value for money. If you dont like it try and book a land based hotel with room with sea view, breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner, midnight snacks and free room service 24hrs a day and see the cost if you can get a hotel that provides that lot. Best of luck.

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My wife and I have cruised with P&O since 1974. Loved the ships. In those days it was Dinner jacket every night. 7-8 course dinners with silver service.

Now unfortunately the evening dinner is not the occasion it used to be. I know costs have to be taken into account but in our view the standard and quality has decreased greatly. Now you are served plated meals. No chance of an extra bit of this or bit of that. You eat what is on your plate, or not, as the case may be.

The last cruise we took with P&O was very disappointing. Dinner was certainly no great occasion. During this particular cruise I mostly had a prawn cocktail for starters, well shrimps really, but anyway they were acceptable. I asked our waiters and our Head waiter if, for the last night I could have 'proper' prawns. The last night came, I ordered the prawn (shrimp) cocktail. The same prawn cocktail was served. I reminded the waiter and Head waiter of my request for 'proper' prawns which had obviously been ignored. Later I was brought 3, yes 3 prawns on a plate, no sauce, no nothing to go with my shrimps.

Not only because of that experience, but because I think P&O are cutting everything to the bone it is unlikely I will cruise with P&O again until someone tells me that the quality of food is on the up.

Our last cruise was on Queen Victoria, Cunard. The difference in quality and choices is unbelievable. Cunard 9.9 out of ten, P&O 3 out of ten.

 

Pip

 

Welcome to The Forum PIP .

 

For whatever reason P&O Cannot reproduce a decent meal on a regular basis.

Out last Cruise twelvemonths ago we sailed on Oceana  and found the Meat tough to eat ,eventually I gave up ordering anything with meat in it and stuck with  Chicken and fish.They did some very nice Pasta dishes which I ate .They did provide proper cooked chips on request?

The Prawn(Shrimp) Cocktail was my choice most nights ,I did try the Cream of Tomato soup ,absolutely tasteless .

On Celebrity there Prawn Cocktail has 3 or 4 king prawns  and a choice of sauces (The Yanks Like them with Ketchup YUK)

A friend ordered his as a double Prawn Cocktail  He got at least 6  ,but then when you compare prices they can offer a better choice....Davybe

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8 hours ago, sinbad10 said:

Get real and compare the price paid in 1974 per person per night to what you are paying now you cannot expect same standards for what is a fraction of price. My first cruise in 1997 was on QE2 in the cheapest and lowest grade inside cabin on the ship and we paid over £100 per person per night take into inflation price of food and fuel since then and compare prices now. For equivalent you can now get a balcony and still as much food as you can imagine or want to eat and cruising is excellent value for money. If you dont like it try and book a land based hotel with room with sea view, breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner, midnight snacks and free room service 24hrs a day and see the cost if you can get a hotel that provides that lot. Best of luck.

If you read my topic you should see I am not comparing land based hotels, I am comparing cruises lines

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9 hours ago, Captain Kidd II said:

If the food is not of a suitable standard then, perhaps, you shoukd send it back. Coukd you imagine the Exec Chef's face if everyone in the MDR sent me heir food back? It would certainly send the message across.

The Second Cruise we did with P&O was on Arcadia returning back from the Caribbean, We had sailed out on her and the food was superb,some of the best meal I have had at sea, the return cruise could not have been different.The food was dire ,one night I told the waiter I fancied the Duck , His reply was I wouldn't,try the fish.

Added to the poorly cooked meals each night the brought out  this squash type veg including seeds, nobody that I saw ate it tray after tray came out and went back.

The Food and Beverage Manager was asking people what they thought of the food, One Man gave him both barrels and pointed out that the squash was going back uneaten every night why waste your time cooking it.  

The night after out came the squash .P&O seem reluctant to act on passengers complaints?? 

We Ate 6 times in Arcadian Rhodes the food in the MDR was so bad....Davybe

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Arcadian Rhodes went a long time ago!  Maybe we are easily pleased.  Our last cruise was a Mediterranean fly cruise on Oceana in May.  We thought the food was really good.  We were on Club Dining on a table of 8 and everyone seemed to like what they had.  If we wanted different vegetables to those advertised with the dish we only had to ask, and could ask for more vegetables or potatoes if we wanted them.  I had the sirloin steak about 3 times during the fortnight as I love steak and I asked for it rare (I've learnt if I want a medium rare steak in the main dining room then I ask for it to be served rare) and it was juicy and tender each time.  The Beef Wellington was particularly lovely.  I don't say that every meal was top rate it wasn't but for mass catering we thought it was very good.  For us the evening meal is always an occasion; whether this is because we choose Club Dining where we get to know the waiters and our table companions I don't know.  We are off on Ventura soon so we'll see what the food is like there.

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On 29/11/2016 at 11:40 AM, piphardy said:

My wife and I have cruised with P&O since 1974. Loved the ships. In those days it was Dinner jacket every night. 7-8 course dinners with silver service.

Now unfortunately the evening dinner is not the occasion it used to be. I know costs have to be taken into account but in our view the standard and quality has decreased greatly. Now you are served plated meals. No chance of an extra bit of this or bit of that. You eat what is on your plate, or not, as the case may be.

The last cruise we took with P&O was very disappointing. Dinner was certainly no great occasion. During this particular cruise I mostly had a prawn cocktail for starters, well shrimps really, but anyway they were acceptable. I asked our waiters and our Head waiter if, for the last night I could have 'proper' prawns. The last night came, I ordered the prawn (shrimp) cocktail. The same prawn cocktail was served. I reminded the waiter and Head waiter of my request for 'proper' prawns which had obviously been ignored. Later I was brought 3, yes 3 prawns on a plate, no sauce, no nothing to go with my shrimps.

Not only because of that experience, but because I think P&O are cutting everything to the bone it is unlikely I will cruise with P&O again until someone tells me that the quality of food is on the up.

Our last cruise was on Queen Victoria, Cunard. The difference in quality and choices is unbelievable. Cunard 9.9 out of ten, P&O 3 out of ten.

 

Pip

this is surpirsing, on our last cruise if we wanted more of somthing we just asked and it got brought out, if we didnt like something we changed it, no fuss

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Totally agree. We have only been cruising with P&O since 2007, although in the past 10 years we have done 14 cruises, Last year we did 2 with P&O and 1 with Cunard. The quality of food has certainly deteriorated in that time. The deterioration seems to have accelerated over the last 3-4 years. Unless you want to eat salad everyday, the choice of lunchtime food is awful, unless you want curried food. I love curry but as the predominant choice in the self serve restaurant every single day, it gets boring. Once upon a time you could get good barbecued dishes, now it is cooked ahead wrapped and kept warm in the heated cabinets.

Can't quite follow who posted 'get real' but I would just add that we have also cruised with Cunard many times, same holding company, whose prices are not that much more expensive than P&O and there is absolutely no comparison in the quality and choice of food. In fact, we did a cruise to the Canaries last Xmas with Cunard, and it was considerably cheaper than the same cruise duration and ports of call as [email protected] Cunard is far superior in every possible way.

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Got to say all things change with time and not always for the better. However like someone has already mentioned if it's not to the required standard send it back. We have never had a problem, when it's not been hot enough or we want more of something all we have done is asked and they fetched more out. I normally ask when ordering at the table for more veg/ spuds and I get plenty. If we are set dining then normally after the second evening the extra food comes without even asking. Any issues have always been sorted without too much  fuss. 

 

 

 

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As a regular P & O Cruiser I have noticed a great deterioration in quality and choice of food over the last 3-4 years. Dinner used to be an occasion.  Good choice, well cooked and edible.  Jan 2015 we did 4 weeks on Adonia around Caribbean and Amazon.  The food was terrible.  Steak fit to sole your boots. I had a chest infection and the Doctor told me not to eat the soup as it contained too much salt. The rest of the food was highly salted. This is the first cruise where I didn't gain weight.

Jan 2016 we again did 4 weeks on Adonia in Caribbean and the food was much better. Not as salty and better cooked.

Sep 2016 we sailed on Oceana around Adriatic, the food was awful. Poor choice,  badly cooked.  The Italian Buffet night  was served like a works canteen.  Lasagne in a large server where people had helped themselves, and what was left was all churned up and looked unappetising.  3 times I ordered the steak, as I didn't fancy any of the other dishes, and 3 times I sent it back. It was inedible.  AND, don't mention the vegetables or lack thereof.  My husband could not cut the broccoli it was raw.

On the last evening I ordered Chicken Milanese for my main.  When it came it was a small butterflied chicken breast, breadcrumbed, pan fried with what looked like a cheese slice melted on top. For veg there were 4 pieces of potato, crouton sized, fried.  That was it.

We are thinking of abandoning P & O.

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2 hours ago, Amylegurtz said:

Totally agree. We have only been cruising with P&O since 2007, although in the past 10 years we have done 14 cruises, Last year we did 2 with P&O and 1 with Cunard. The quality of food has certainly deteriorated in that time. The deterioration seems to have accelerated over the last 3-4 years. Unless you want to eat salad everyday, the choice of lunchtime food is awful, unless you want curried food. I love curry but as the predominant choice in the self serve restaurant every single day, it gets boring. Once upon a time you could get good barbecued dishes, now it is cooked ahead wrapped and kept warm in the heated cabinets.

Can't quite follow who posted 'get real' but I would just add that we have also cruised with Cunard many times, same holding company, whose prices are not that much more expensive than P&O and there is absolutely no comparison in the quality and choice of food. In fact, we did a cruise to the Canaries last Xmas with Cunard, and it was considerably cheaper than the same cruise duration and ports of call as [email protected] Cunard is far superior in every possible way.

I agree that Cunard are superior than P&O but they have also deteriated in standard of food served now compared to our first cruise on QE2 in 1997. But like I said in my earlier post we paid over £100pppn in cheapest cabin so comparing to prices now taking in inflation is still extremely good value and you can expect food has to have deteriated because nobody can realistically expect to serve the same quality and standard with no real increase in cost in 19yrs.

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I must of had the OPs prawns on last P&O cruise. They were enormous which is ironic as I prefer smaller ones. I have been served crayfish of similar size in the past. 

 

Despite the reviews from some on here we were very impressed with the food on Ventura. It wasn't 8 courses but there is so much you can eat after all and being a believer in quality over quantity I was very pleasantly surprised by all the food. It compared very favourably to that we have had on other cruise lines.

 

Maybe we were just lucky, or maybe some people look harder for things wrong.

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Food presentation, quality and choice are what guests will remember most about their cruise and getting it right within the budgets that the catering team have to work within is getting more and more difficult for the cruiselines.

What was once a fine dining experience is now a thing of the past on most ships, however I have to say that Celebrity in my own personal opinion consistently deliver on presentation, quality and choice - they seem to have got the balance right. 

On my last cruise on Celebrity Reflection we had king size prawns, green shell mussels and Lobster tails and some very tasty meat.

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It has been our experience that the food quality and service have been declining steadily on P&O for a few years,and the decline has accelerated certainly in the last two years.We took a decision three years ago to cruise with Princess,and we were amazed at the difference,food quality and service were what they used to be  but on reflection of course Princess is targetted at the American market and they just will not accept anything which they consider to be below their acceptable standards.

As a result we are now Elite with Princess but we still do cruise with P&O as and when it suits us but P&O is never our first choice.

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Just got back off Azura  Food quality in MDR definitely gone downhill (it was OK on Azura in July ! chef Maybe ? although as far as I'm aware they have a fleet menu ) In buffet lunch was "Taste of India ,Asia Greece etc etc  Don't like spicy .curry ,etc type food so was stuck with mainly salads (My problem there as the curries seemed popular with others ) Burger bar not as good as they are now pre cooked & wrapped up and go soggy on a warming tray(unless you get a freshly cooked batch),,,Pizza bar OK... Gave most food a poor rating on questionnaire    Allthat said however I still managed to put a few pounds on!!!!  Must have been the beer And the puddings!!  as others have said still good value for money

 

Edited by SaltyDog
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  • 1 month later...

Both my husband and I believed that standards in service and menu  choice went significantly downhill compared to previous experiences on p&o  3 or 4 years ago. However we do believe that standards have improved recently  if not to the original standards we experienced.  Is it our imagination or are there less waiting staff in the dining rooms employed? Both Celebrity and Cunard dining are far superior to P&O but you are having to pay more, if not on the price of the actual cruise but on drinks shops excursions etc.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just returned from a month in the Carribean on the Ventura. We were delighted with the meals and the service. We were freedom dining in the Saffron for lunch and Cinnamon for dinner. We asked that our food should be hot and it was. We were often asked if we would like extras, but we are not big eaters. Only one meal was returned as unacceptable.  Perhaps the choice of starters could be better.

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I have seen a lot of changes to the food on P&O over the years, With the cost being so much cheaper than our early cruises and the cabins superior, I would not expect them to buy as many of the expensive ingredients they used to use. However the cooking of the food is very hit and miss, our spring cruise last year there was at least 1 dish sent back uneaten every night, my husband lost 5 kgs and I lost 3 Kgs . Our Autumn cruise although the menus were the same only one dish had to be sent back badly cooked from the evening meals. Although almost every 'lightly' poached egg was returned as they were all like hard rubber balls.

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