Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017 (Berlitz Cruise Guide) (2016)
Ship: 398 out of 500
Accommodation: 154 out of 200
Food: 275 out of 400
Service: 285 out of 400
Entertainment: 71 out of 100
Cruise: 293 out of 400
Overall Score: 1476 out of 2000
Size: Small Ship
Cruise Line: P&O Cruises
Former Names: Royal Princess, Minerva II, R8
IMO Number: 9210220
Builder: Chantiers de l’Atlantique (France)
Original Cost: $150 million
Entered Service: Feb 2001/May 2011
Length (ft/m): 592.0/180.4
Beam (ft/m): 83.5/25.4
Draft (ft/m): 19.5/6.0
Propulsion/Propellers: diesel (18,600 kW)/2
Passenger Decks: 9
Total Crew: 300
Passengers (lower beds): 710
Passenger Space Ratio (lower beds): 42.6
Passenger/Crew Ratio (lower beds): 1.8
Cabins (total): 355
Size Range (sq ft/m): 145.3-968.7/13.5-90.0
Cabins (for one person): 0
Cabins (with private balcony): 258
Cabins (wheelchair accessible): 4
Wheelchair accessibility: Good
Cabin Current: 110 and 220 volts
Casino (gaming tables): Yes
Slot Machines: Yes
Swimming Pools: 1
Hot Tubs (on deck): 3
Self-Service Launderette: Yes
Dedicated Cinema/Seats: No
Onboard currency: UK£
This is an adults-only, friendly ship, suited to British tastes
Overview. There may not be marble bathroom fittings or other expensive niceties, but Adonia provides cruises and programs that are geared specifically to more mature British passengers.
The Ship. Adonia, the last in a series of eight almost identical ships originally built for the defunct Renaissance Cruises in 2001, has the feel of an informal old-world British country hotel - warm, comfortable, cosseting, and friendly. P&O’s trademark buff-colored funnel balances the ship’s all-white hull and superstructure. An outside lido deck has a swimming pool and good sunbathing space.
The ship is small but well proportioned. Although there is no walk-around promenade deck outdoors, there is a small jogging track above the perimeter of the swimming pool, and you can stroll on open decks on the port and starboard sides. There are no wooden decks outdoors; they are covered by a sand-colored rubberized material.
The interior decor, designed by a Scotsman, John McNeece, is quite elegant, a throwback to the heavy hardwood style of the ocean liners of the 1920s and ’30s. It includes detailed ceiling cornices, real and faux wrought-iron staircase railings, wood- and leather-paneled walls, trompe l’oeil ceilings, rich carpeting in hallways, and many other interesting and expensive-looking decorative touches.
The public rooms are basically spread over three decks. The reception hall has a staircase with intricate, real wrought-iron railings (a copy of the staircase aboard SS Titanic), but these are cleverly painted on plexiglas panels on the stairways on other decks.
The real social hub of the ship, Raffles Lounge and Bar, is a delightful wood-paneled lounge with a fireplace, a long bar with sit-up bar stools, and the feel of a proper, traditional London club.
The Library is a beautiful, restful room - perhaps the nicest public room - designed in the Regency style. It has a fireplace, a high, indented, trompe l’oeil ceiling, and a collection of about 2,000 books, plus comfortable wingback chairs with footstools, and sofas to fall asleep on.
A Crow’s Nest Lounge sits high atop the ship, with great views from its floor-to-ceiling windows. The room has a long bar which faces forward - the barmen actually have the best view - and very comfortable seating. There is a small central bandstand and wooden dance floor forward of the bar.
The Cabaret Lounge is used mainly for evening theatrical shows and musical performances. There are several bars, including one in each of the restaurant entrances.
Adonia is already a successful ship for P&O Cruises and for passengers who simply don’t like the larger resort-style ships - or cruising with children. And it allows P&O regulars to sail into some of the smaller ports the larger ships in the fleet can’t get into. Drink prices are quite reasonable.
Accommodation. There are six basic cabin size categories, but in many price categories (14 for double occupancy and six for single occupancy). Some cabins have interconnecting doors, and 18 cabins on Deck 6 have lifeboat-obstructed views. All grades have tea/coffee-making facilities. There are two interior accommodation passageways.
Standard outside-view and interior cabins. These are compact units, and tight for two persons, particularly for cruises longer than five days. They have twin beds or a queen-size bed, with good under-bed storage, personal safe, vanity desk with large mirror, reasonable closet and drawer space in rich, dark woods, TV, and cotton bathrobe. TV sets carry major news channels, where obtainable, plus sport and several movie channels.
Cabins with private balcony. Cabins with private balconies - about 66 percent of all cabins - have partial, and not full, balcony partitions, sliding glass doors and, thanks to good design and layout, only 14 cabins on Deck 6 have lifeboat-obstructed views. The tiled-floor, plain wall bathrooms are compact units, and include a shower stall with a removable hand-held shower unit, wall-mounted hairdryer, 100 percent cotton towels, toiletries storage shelves, and retractable clothesline.
Owner’s Suites/Master Suites. The six Owner’s Suites and four Master Suites provide abundant space and are worth the extra cost. They are large living spaces located in the forward-most and aft-most sections of the ship. Particularly nice are those that overlook the stern, on Decks 6, 7, and 8. They have more extensive private balconies that really are private and cannot be overlooked by anyone on the decks above. There is an entrance foyer, living room, bedroom (the bed faces the sea), audio unit, bathroom with Jacuzzi tub, and small guest bathroom.
Dining. There are three proper restaurants, plus a casual self-serve buffet-style venue and an outdoor grill: the Pacific Restaurant, in the aft section, is the most formal, with 338 seats and a raised central section. It has large ocean-view windows on three sides, and several prime tables overlook the stern. Dining is at assigned tables, in two seatings. The menu changes daily for lunch and dinner. The noise level can be high, the result of a single-deck-height ceiling and noisy waiter stations. Adjacent to the restaurant entrance (it actually forms part of it) there’s a Club Bar - a cozy, open lounge and bar, with an attractive fireplace. The food is rather bland, and quite standardized, more suited to those of a certain age.
Other dining options. Ocean Grill, by Marco Pierre White, has ocean-view windows along one side and aft. The menu is small, and concentrates on steak (including a superb Casterbridge 28-day dry-aged filet steak) and seafood dishes. There is a cover charge to eat here, and reservations are needed. A second reservations-only venue, the Sorrento Restaurant, offers rather pleasant Italian cuisine; a cover charge applies. Both of these L-shaped venues are the same size, and have ocean-view windows along two sides and at the stern. Tables are mostly for four or six.
The Conservatory, with both indoor and outdoor seating, is the ship’s casual dining spot, in a self-serve style. It is open for breakfast, lunch, and casual theme-night dinners. The selection and quality of items presented is average, so don’t expect haute cuisine.
There is also a Poolside Grill, which provides casual fast food and grilled food fare to accompany those sunbathing moments.
Also, Raffles Lounge and Bar is the social hub of the ship.
Entertainment. The Curzon Lounge is the venue for all main entertainment events, and occasional social functions. It is a single level room, with a large bar set at the back - the bartender probably has the best views of the stage and acts. The entertainment consists mainly of cabaret and small group shows.
There’s also a Crow’s Nest Lounge; it sits atop the ship at the front, has good forward views; it includes a dance floor and live music, and lots of seating alcoves to the port and starboard sides of the room. However, from most of these seats you don’t have a view of the live band or dance floor.
Spa/Fitness. The Oasis Spa has a gymnasium with some muscle-toning equipment, a large hot tub, steam rooms for men and women (there are no saunas), several treatment rooms, and a beauty salon. A spa concession provides beauty and wellness treatments, as well as exercise classes - some of which may cost extra. Out on deck, there are a small swimming pool, two hot tubs, a jogging track, a golf practice net, and shuffleboard courts.