This was somewhat of a treat as well as hard work. I was invited to be one of the guest speakers on the Richmond Event’s Marketing Forum 2007.
They charter a ship for 3 nights, this year the P&O Aurora and marketing suppliers cover the costs and they get marketing people who control budgets along and run a program where the 2 get together and attend talks, workshops and seminars. The ship sails to Port Peter St John at Guernsey and is moored at sea and then sails back.
The guest speakers do not get paid but they do get treated very well. I was allocated a suite (B228 William Wilberforce) which is very special. It is very large with a small hallway, lounge and dining area, bedroom area that has curtains that close it off. There is a bathroom with Jacuzzi bath, 2 basins and stand alone shower. There is also a separate toilet. The balcony is large with a table and 2 chairs and 2 loungers.
The suite has a great feel to it and the furniture, except the beds, are stylish and comfortable. The bed was disappointing, especially after the bed in the newer P&O Arcadia which are large, soft and very comfortable. The beds had been put in the twin format and were pretty narrow, low and feel a bit like they are close to their sell by date. That is probably an exaggeration, but that was the only thing in what was a really great cabin.
This was the 3rd time I have been on the Aurora. I was on it in back in about 2000 on one of these Forums as a delegate and then on a short few days break in 2004.I think the thing that struck me is that the ship, while maintained well, on closer look is starting to look a bit dated. Some areas are starting to look like a refresh will be needed in next year or two. For example some of the pool areas look a bit jaded and some people spoke about some of their cabins had some bits they had noted that were starting to look a bit shabby or worn. The ship is very well looked after though and considering the age and volume of passengers it is in great shape. But am sure the company must be looking at some updating in the years ahead.
The food – as always – is outstanding and the service all through the ship also outstanding.I loved the time on the ship even though the days were long as starts early with breakfast meetings at 745 and it is hard to get to bed before midnight as dinner (also meetings over the meal) runs late. But not bad to get 3 nights in a suite!
Video of the suite: