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P&O Cruises VIP day feedback thread. Non-attendees: tell P&O Cruises about your ideal cruise - £250 voucher prize draw! NOW CLOSED

(133 Posts)
MichelleMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 30-Aug-13 16:27:04

This thread is for the 6 Mumsnetters who attended the VIP day on P&O Cruises' family friendly ship, Azura. Hope you all had a wonderful time!

If you didn't attend the VIP day you can still get involved by telling P&O Cruises about your perfect family friendly cruise holiday. Where in the world would you sail? What facilities would you like to see on board? What activities would you, and your DCs, like to be able to get involved in while on board?

Everyone who shares their thoughts on this thread will be entered into a prize draw to win a £250 Love2Shop voucher.

VIP attendees:

We have a few questions we'd like you to answer, but please add any other comments you may have.

- What was your and your family's, overall experience of your day on-board Azura?

- Were you surprised by anything you found, or didn't find, on board?

- What were your/your DCs highlights of the day?

- What did your DCs think of the facilities on-board?

- After your experience on Azura, would you consider going on a cruise for a family holiday? If so, why? If not, why not?

- Overall, if it came up in conversation, would you recommend going on a cruise to your friends and family? If so, why? If not, why not?

If you have any photos you took on the day please do upload them onto this thread, we'd love to see them! Please note that P&O Cruises may use these pictures on their facebook page, website or any other marketing material.

Thanks and good luck with the prize draw!


clubnail Fri 13-Sep-13 23:13:11

Q: Where in the world would you sail?
A: Arctic Circle, somewhere you'd appreciate the comforts on board while seeing stunning scenery.

Q: What facilities would you like to see on board?
A: Soft play, climbing wall, roller rink.

Q: What activities would you, and your DCs, like to be able to get involved in while on board?
A: As above, climbing and skating.

ricecakesrule Tue 10-Sep-13 08:27:31

I would go on a cruise if it was more affordable! I wouldn't be interested in attending all the entertainment / cabaret stuff, or the black tie dinners etc. I would be happier with a cruise that wasn't all inclusive so I didn't end up subsidising the party-goers! Not sure how this could work practically though. You'd end up having to have bouncers grin and ticketed entry which would be an inconvenience for the all inclusive people.

The idea of being able to experience several different places on one holiday does appeal, especially if the sailing is mostly done at night. I haven't properly looked into all the options available but the headline prices advertised are still way out of my budget.

Magicjellyflood Mon 09-Sep-13 10:00:14

Relaxing and entertaining for the children smile

Iwaswatchingthat Sun 08-Sep-13 22:39:32

My ideal cruise would be:

- A spacious cabin with a balcony and a separate room within the cabin for my dds
- plenty of variety of food, lots of healthy choices so I would not return home half a stone heavier
- decent activities for my dds to participate in which did not always involve being enrolled into a 'kids' club' for a chunk of time
- family orientated evening activities which we could enjoy with the dds
- plenty of places to relax on board and a couple of pools - family pool with slides etc.
- the chance to learn some new skills for us and the dds. E.g. Dancing workshops for them, pro golf/tennis lessons for DH etc.

As you can see I don't ask for much!!!

kslatts Sun 08-Sep-13 19:56:28

perfect family cruise would mean enough things to keep my daughters (13 and 11) busy.

LinzerTorte Sun 08-Sep-13 18:45:14

We also only had one sea day during our eight-night cruise this summer; it was great to wake up in a different place almost every morning.

We had interconnecting cabins - DH and I in one, the three DC in the other. Two of the DC slept in a double bed (although we could have asked for it to be made up as twin beds) and the other in a pull-down bed, which the cabin attendant put away every morning and then made up in the evenings. We had interior cabins, so no window, and they weren't huge - but, having heard how small cabins on cruise ships can be and that you can't compare them with a hotel, I was pleasantly surprised to find that they had a small sitting area with a sofa. Lots of storage space too. And, like Anthracite says, we hardly spent any time in the cabins so the size (and lack of window) was never really an issue.

Anthracite Sun 08-Sep-13 17:48:56

The cruise we were recently on had only one at sea day in the whole week. We went ashore in each port, and experienced new places each time, so had as much experience of the real world (whatever that is) as you can get on any holiday.

I would urge anyone to look carefully at the itineraries, checking when the ship docks and then sails off. We had long times in each port and we were surprised that many prestigious ships arrived after us and left earlier. It's also important to check how many ports are tender ports, as this will take an hour off the time you can spend ashore. P&O are notorious at being vague with this crucial information. Cruise Critic is a fabulous source of information and advice.

We had nice cabins - a suite and an extra large outside - but even then, spent little time there. We were either eating, enjoying the entertainment, or relaxing on deck. We had far more space than, say, on a mobile home type holiday.

Well, having only been on one, my experience of the rooms is not all encompassing, but as for the stuck in a hotel idea, I suppose it depends on the ratio of sea to port days you choose, mine was half and half, so we went to 7 European cities in 14 days all with minimal effort on our part, albeit only for short, day trips.

500internalerror Sun 08-Sep-13 08:34:44

What is the family accommodation actually like on a ship then? Something like travelodge would be fine,but a few of you mentioned bunk beds and flip down beds? Also, do the cheaper rooms not have windows, or is that a fabrication of my head?!

The nighttime childcare sounds amazing!

The kids would love a cruise, but there is no way on earth we could afford it. And even if we had a windfall, I think I'd still be stuck in the mindset that its a waste to be stuck on a boat for all that money iyswim? Surely it's like staying in a hotel for most of a holiday & not venturing into the real world?

lottytheladybird Sat 07-Sep-13 20:32:36

My ideal cruise:

Q: Where in the world would you sail?
A: Somewhere warm, where good weather is fairly reliable. Somewhere that's not so easily accessible by plane.

Q: What facilities would you like to see on board?
A: Lots for toddlers - soft play, classes, shows, rides, toys. Baby changing facilities everywhere, so that you never have to go too far. Buggy friendly - wide aisles and places to park your buggy.

Q: What activities would you, and your DCs, like to be able to get involved in while on board? 
A: Dance, gym, craft, music classes.

is1 Sat 07-Sep-13 19:41:24

I would love to cruise around the Caribbean - the weather is so nice and it is beautiful.

kateandme Sat 07-Sep-13 19:39:58

a perfect cruise would be anywhere with family/friends being the priority.there needs to be good food.good facilities,lounging areas comfy beds,electrical tv etc.a place at the end of the day to go when the days activities are through.somewhere where you can always get fed slef catering facilties etc.
the activities need to be catered for for each guest.whether active based,relaxation based each one needs to have as much effort in as possilbe to make it an experience.a good mix.

goldenretriever Sat 07-Sep-13 18:16:52

Where in the world would you sail?

Ideally not too far away, probably around Spain.

What facilities would you like to see on board?

Playground, a theatre

What activities would you, and your DCs, like to be able to get involved in while on board?

Child friendly activities and entertainers

Lampshadeofdoom Sat 07-Sep-13 11:20:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Hadn't thought about the stag and hen night aspect! Maybe not such a good idea then.

GetKnitted Fri 06-Sep-13 22:16:22

Where in the world would you sail?

Pacific Islands!

What facilities would you like to see on board?

Swimming pool, spa, cinema .... and a library!

What activities would you, and your DCs, like to be able to get involved in while on board?

The kids would love to have activities like swimming, games and crafts, maybe themed on the sea, maybe some educational about the next place we would dock. They would love to be the experts when we got off the boat. I think the older one would want to do activities all day, but the little one just in the morning.

camtt Fri 06-Sep-13 21:45:31

non-attender and I have never been on a cruise and also not sure a cruise would suit our family but:

I would like plenty of stop offs and ideally a cruise where you can see something most of the time other than ocean (that might mean that a cruise is not for me!)

the cabin should be comfortable and homely, because we might want to spend some time there

activities for children of different ages - snorkelling would be good for my 8 and 10 year old

lifeguard on the children's pools ideally

Like the sound of the night nursery, although not sure what age it goes up to as it would be nice to be able to have a meal with DH occasionally without the children

wouldn't want to have to dress up for dinner, I would like a choice of a more relaxed style of dining as well, and definitely good wine

TheSkiingGardener Fri 06-Sep-13 20:47:25

The problem with the mini cruises is they are used a lot by people on stag and hen dos and are very, very different to how a cruise ship usually is. We wouldn't go on a mink one again!

Salty there are tons if cruises around doing exactly what you suggest, many specialist lines do very exploratory cruises. On P&O they have lecture program's and experts on board to give them on various topics. Usually there are classical recitals too. Very enjoyable before dinner.

Turnipvontrapp Fri 06-Sep-13 20:00:06

I didn't attend the VIP day but my perfect family cruise would involve seeing lots of wildlife, maybe in Alaska. I would like to see amazing sights. I would want the ship to be fairly small and not be all formal or stuffy. A small cinema would be good, swimming pool with slides. Space to move in a cabin and one that sleeps families of 5. Water sports at stop-offs would be good. As would cycling.

Don't want much do I! grin

saintlyjimjams Fri 06-Sep-13 18:49:19

My ideal cruise would be a smaller cruise ship and not involve any flying. I don't think we could cruise with our kids as the eldest is severely autistic and I can't see it working really. (We do manage ferries to ireland but that's about it). We'd like pools, pools and pools. All the boys would like decent wifi as well but ime (on the ferries anyway) it's incredibly slow at sea.

UniqueUsername Fri 06-Sep-13 18:13:09

I'd have loved to have gone on this day. We've never been on a cruise and DH is not keen but I tend to think they could be a great holiday with options for all generations. I'd probably choose a med cruise for our first to try it out but in terms of a dream destination for a cruise I think it'd have be caribbean island hopping. Though reading this thread has made me realise there are lot more cruise destinations on offer than just the hot obvious places, Scotland, Norway for example.

Pleased to hear the people who were selected and made it had fun.

P&O mini cruises

Royal Carribbean mini cruises

Probably others too.

Theimpossiblegirl Fri 06-Sep-13 16:33:51

That sounds really good- how do you go about booking them?

For those who missed out, there are short mini cruises available from Southampton (2 days to France and back for example), so you don't have to commit huge sums, I think they use them to fill gaps in the schedules as well as to give people a chance to try them out.

We used the medical facilities on Royal Caribbean when DD cut her head open and were very impressed, we weren't charged either.

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