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Lindsey Baldwin

Age: 53

Occupation:Shipping Export Manager

Number of Cruises: 8

Cruise Line: P & O Cruises

Ship: Artemis

Sailing Date: August 18th. 2006

Itinerary: Canaries Explorer

First of all there doesn’t seem to be many reviews about the Artemis, so I would assume the majority of P and O cruise goers prefer the larger ladies like Arcadia, Oriana and Aurora. Well Artemis wasn’t my first choice as we wanted to do this itinerary in June on Oriana but we couldn’t so this was the only other cruise with a similar sequence of ports but it was on Artemis. I am told it is affectionately known as ‘Arthritis’ in P and O circles so this needs no explaining. Anyway we bit the bullet, decided to try the Artemis and so we arrived just 10 minutes from our house (how lucky is that?) to check in at the QE2 terminal and within 30 minutes we were aboard. I recall last time how labored it was but if you turn up a lot earlier, in our case at 1315 hrs, you will find little delays. It was on par with the RCI cruise we did in May on the Legend of the Seas so embarkation was a breeze.

Now you will know about the ages of the people on board, I’m no spring chicken at 53 but I would say the average age was around 67 years old but it’s not a problem if you just remember you have to take things a little slower, there’s no choice as inevitably the people standing in your way are walking at slow motion!!

The ship was showing its age (20 years) in some aspects but it didn’t cause us any problems, everywhere was clean and we were fortunate to have been given an upgrade from obstructed view to totally UN-obstructed view. So now to précis a little, the food was excellent, the staff were ultra friendly, the entertainment was ok, the ports were fantastic as we had expected. However there is a but. Without question P and O are cutting back, you tend to notice little things, gifts for winning quiz tournaments are tacky, even a P and O Umbrella doesn’t have a motif on it! At dinner if you like Cheese and Biscuits or Fruit then you can have it, but only if you ask. Previously they were offered automatically, not any more. Is the Carnival influence gradually taking over from the Colonial I wonder. Finally the cost of the trips have increased dramatically – compared to RCI they are a third more and sadly I got the feeling that as soon as you got on board they were after your money. Maybe it has always been like this but never as much ‘up front’, basically urging you vociferously to go on the trips.

So you are warned, if you know about these things it will help and despite this ‘little’ Artemis had a certain charm, it was that much smaller so it was difficult to get lost and it was certainly very friendly. Its not bad as a stand by if the other ships don’t go where you want to at the right time. Certainly all things considered we had a wonderful holiday but I just hope P and O doesn't change for the worse.

Lindsay Baldwin

The Artemis is advertised as the more traditional way of cruising but this should not mean it cannot be fun as well.

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