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7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This was probably the least enjoyable of our 17 cruises with P&O (6th on Aurora), but I should stress that the majority of this was not down to P&O. We did the Northern Lights Cruise during the same 2 weeks last year (also on ... Read More
This was probably the least enjoyable of our 17 cruises with P&O (6th on Aurora), but I should stress that the majority of this was not down to P&O. We did the Northern Lights Cruise during the same 2 weeks last year (also on Aurora) and had a spectacular display of the Northern Lights over two nights, with a weaker display on a third night. This year we had almost permanent cloud cover and on the two ocassions that we saw the Northern Lights they were incredibly weak. If last year was a 9 out of 10 display, this year was 1 out of 10. We also had fog (with the dreaded fog horn disiturbing sleep a few nights) and rough seas, with a lot of sudden lurching, for 24 hours on the return which became tiresome. Other than the 24 hours mentioned, Aurora rode the seas very well. As a point of interest, Viking Sky (the ship that ran into difficulties) arrived in Alta on our second day there and followed us back down the Norwegian coast a few days later. Last year we stopped in Tromso on the way to Alta, which was a lovely place and we really enjoyed our visit there. This year we made a maiden call (for P&O) to Narvik, which was a very poor replacement. Nothing much to see in the town. I also had a bad experience with a P&O tour. I had booked a snowmobile tour at £310 and it was stressed that the price was per snowmobile, not per person, so if you went as a couple you shared the snowmobile and the driving (and paid £310 between you), whereas if you went alone, you paid £310 but had sole use. At the snowmobile centre they tried to force me to share a snowmobile with another passenger when we had both paid £310 each. Naturally I refused, but it was a battle and spoiled the experience. Also the Snowmobiling was supposed to be ‘in mountains and places inaccessible by foot’ but was back and forth across a frozen lake. This was the same as I had done the previous year in Alta for around £100 less. The tour was also advertised as providing the history of the Narvik to Sweden railway line and its role in the Second World War. This didn’t happen either. Worst of all, my complaint about these issues back on board was handled very badly. They preferred to believe the word of the tour agent (who was naturally covering their back) than a customer of some 23 years standing. Very naive and short sighted of them, as we have now decided to do far fewer P&O tours on future cruises as a result. The scenery along the Fjords and ashore is fantastic. We had seen much of it last year, so didn’t quite get the ‘wow factor’ that passengers seeing it for the first time would have experienced, but it was lovely none the less. Temperatures were fine. Just like a cold U.K. winter. Most of the time it was within a few degrees of freezing, with the coldest we had around minus 7 degrees. Last year it was minus 15 to 20 degrees, so much colder. In spite of it not being that cold, the staff decided to keep the very heavy fire doors to the cabin corridors closed on all decks. Whilst this was needed below deck 7 (which is all they did last year, even when it was MUCH colder), this year they decided to do it on ALL decks. This just wasn’t necessary as the areas around the lift areas between decks 8 and 11 were incredibly hot and there would have been far better temperature dissipation with the doors open. We fed this back on the ‘First Impressions’ form and, thankfully, they kept the door outside our cabin open thereafter (my wife is a wheelchair user and, in addition to the door not needing to be closed, it made access to and from our accessible cabin very difficult). Service in the Medina Restaurant was absolutely superb. Well, to clarify, it was superb as far as the waiters and managers were concerned. The wine waiters were poor. Difficult to get hold of and one was actually quite rude. Food was perfectly acceptable, but not quite as good as on our previous cruises on Aurora. One disappointment (noted by many) was the absence of lobster from the Marco Pierre White menu. The current chefs seem to think that us Brits are scared of anything remotely spicy, so tone everything down to mild, bordering on bland. Great shame, as we loved trying all the tasty curries at lunchtime years ago. The Glasshouse and Beach House were great (as always) and whilst the Sindhu Restaurant on Aurora is our least favourite Sindhu in the fleet, we enjoyed Tiffin lunch in there. We met some lovely fellow passengers (including some we had met on previous cruises, which was fantastic) and enjoyed some pleasant chats. The average age of passengers on Aurora is usually mid 70’s (they didn’t quote a figure this time but last year the Captain mentioned the average age was 73) and although we are a few decades younger, this suits us. We aren’t fans of P&O’s ‘1960’s holiday camp’ style of entertainment so tend to avoid much of it, but the Headliners troupe on this cruise were very good (we find that they vary enormously from very good to poor), but sadly left after this cruise. Electra (two female violinists) were absolutely superb. Jane Davey (presenter) was very confident and engaging, but we found that her desire to find a wise crack in almost every line became irritating and diluted the substance matter so much that we lost interest. Stuart St Paul (former stuntman and film director) gave some fairly interesting talks, but was rather full of himself. The Port Presenter (Sam) was very good, other than the Butlins style “if you have been to Norway before, shout ‘whoop whoop’ additions. Dear God, when will P&O wake up to the fact that it’s now the 21st Century! When we disembarked, there were 1,000 workmen waiting to embark to assist with Aurora’s refit in Brest, France. A total of 1,800 workmen will toil over the next fortnight to bring her a little more up to date. We are back on board next month, so will play ‘spot the difference’. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Very poor entertainment, had a 10yr old with us that hated kids club (couldn’t blame her) same stuff on every night. The spa on the ship was appalling, still kicking myself for not walking out. Bar closed at midnight, nowhere else except ... Read More
Very poor entertainment, had a 10yr old with us that hated kids club (couldn’t blame her) same stuff on every night. The spa on the ship was appalling, still kicking myself for not walking out. Bar closed at midnight, nowhere else except room service to get a drink. Staff entertainment didn’t show up on numerous occasions. Was a complete waste of money, hated every moment of being on the ship. Luckily we managed to see some amazing places. Great thing was the room, always clean and tidy. Although they never topped up the mini bar. Found out towards the end that you had to ask and sign for anything after the first night. Plus only complimentary water on the first night! Just constantly felt like there was nothing to do, was definitely aimed at the older crowd. If you want to know how to get rid of fluid retention this is your ship *yawn* Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
I had had a lovely Canary cruise on the Azura two years ago, it was lovely. had a balcony which was great. Booked this christmas cruise for the 19th dec - 29th dec, and was not disappointed. The ship this time was the Aurora. The staff ... Read More
I had had a lovely Canary cruise on the Azura two years ago, it was lovely. had a balcony which was great. Booked this christmas cruise for the 19th dec - 29th dec, and was not disappointed. The ship this time was the Aurora. The staff and crew were fantastic, very helpful and friendly and could not do enough for us. Had a window view this time as didn't really want a balcony for this winter cruise. lovely large picture window. Food was plentiful and good. The entertainment was first class and plenty of it. Matt the guitarist was amazing and he could play anything and did. He went from Bar to Bar and was very well liked. Favourite bar was the The crows nest. just quiet gorgeous and a amazing view. The trio who played their were brilliant and a last after dinner drink was so relaxing just listing to some beautiful music. The ship needs updating and i believe that it is going to have a refit this Spring? and will become an adult only ship as well. I shall be booking with P & O again at some stage. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
I took my 2 teenage grandchildren to see the northern lights. Couldn't have asked for a better holiday for them. They seen the lights and more. The ship and every member of staff was friendly polite and efficient. I have been ... Read More
I took my 2 teenage grandchildren to see the northern lights. Couldn't have asked for a better holiday for them. They seen the lights and more. The ship and every member of staff was friendly polite and efficient. I have been on 2 p&o ships now going on 3rd in March. Could not fault them. We met a couple of friends whom we now keep in touch with. The entertainment was excellent and even the group next step allowed my granddaughter to sing with them. Everywhere we went people were friendly, the ship was clean and always a member of staff to help. If I had to say something negative it would be some costs are a little much when you have children but i understand this for some things. Excursions were too expensive for me to take the kids but managed to get one off ship. In all a very very enjoyed trio from the 3 of us. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We have just returned from a 24 night round trip cruise from Southampton to the USA and Canada which, although it was our 16th P&O cruise and our 5th on Aurora, was the longest cruise we have ever done. Overall, it was a very enjoyable ... Read More
We have just returned from a 24 night round trip cruise from Southampton to the USA and Canada which, although it was our 16th P&O cruise and our 5th on Aurora, was the longest cruise we have ever done. Overall, it was a very enjoyable cruise, but rather than review each of the 24 days, I have summarised the good points and not so good points, from our perspective. GOOD POINTS Good and varied itinerary, with New York, Quebec and our tour to Kennebunkport being the highlights. Aurora is a lovely traditional cruise ship, which attracts a passenger profile that suits us. Average passenger age on this cruise was 73. Approaching New York from the sea is a ‘must do’ experience that you will never forget. Berthing in the Manhattan Cruise terminal, with all the main sights within easy walking distance, was superb and ‘one up’ on Cunard, whose QM2 was berthed over in Brooklyn. The main dining room food was almost always a very good standard. Service and food in the Glasshouse was excellent and it was always quiet in there, which suits us. Although the Sindhu on Aurora is the only one in the P&O fleet that we don’t like - and our one evening meal there was underwhelming - we did enjoy the Tiffin Lunch there. The staff never smile though and don’t seem to enjoy their work - the complete opposite to the Glasshouse team. Port presenter Sam was first class. Exemplary knowledge and detail, all delivered from memory. Jeffrey Holland’s one man play about Laurel and Hardy was the best performance we have seen on any P&O cruise and a real step up from the holiday camp style entertainment that usually prevails. Quite ironic, given that he is best know for being in Hi-di-Hi. Having ORCA whale and dolphin watches and talks was a very welcome addition to the cruise. We also managed to see Sei Whales, Beluga Whales, Atlantic White Sided Dolphins and porpoises at sea, as well as a Bald Eagle and Chipmunk ashore. ‘String & Tonic’, Gervase Phinn, Jeffery Holland, James Pearce and Andrew Killian were all excellent guest lecturers or artists. NOT SO GOOD POINTS Twelve sea days in mostly force 8 to 10 weather is tiresome, and we wouldn’t do another transatlantic by sea unless there were stops both ways. We have discovered that 24 nights is too long a cruise for us, especially with lots of sea days which become repetitive. Our optimum cruise length is now minimum one and maximum three weeks. At least we now know that we would never want to do a World Cruise! A number of passengers came on the ship with coughs and colds and this spread quite extensively. By the end of the cruise, it was almost impossible not to end up sitting near someone who was either coughing, blowing their nose or both. We would have loved the interactive HD TV’s of Britannia, with on demand movies, to help while away the sea days. The old fashioned TV’s on Aurora are rubbish in comparison. Service standards in the Medina Restaurant had slipped from previous cruises on Aurora. Service was too quick at times, with one course immediately following the next with no break in-between. Although you are allowed to enter the Freedom Dining restaurant as late as 9.30pm, they start dimming the lights briefly just at around 10pm to try to hurry guests up, which was unacceptable. Missing a port is always a great shame and we missed Newport Rhode Island. Sound insulation between cabins is very poor. We were disturbed by the people above us pacing up and down in a very heavy footed manner at all hours, which sounded like thunder from below thanks to the metal ceiling. Captain Pembridge insists on doing all 5 of the return transatlantic clock changes at night, which went down badly with passengers, many of whom were used to them being done at lunchtime. The crew that we asked prefer the time changes at lunchtime as well. There should be a P&O policy on this and it shouldn’t be at the whim of individual Captains. Some guest lecturers were scheduled to give talks over lunchtime, which was poor planning. Terry Brown, former police officer, was very engaging but his talks on the outward journey lacked substance, were rambling, repetitive and never really got to the point. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
First time on P&O but have cruised 14 times before. So being a seasonal cruise I wanted to try Christmas at Sea and P&O. Shame as it did disappoint on most levels. The festive special drinks ran out after the first sea ... Read More
First time on P&O but have cruised 14 times before. So being a seasonal cruise I wanted to try Christmas at Sea and P&O. Shame as it did disappoint on most levels. The festive special drinks ran out after the first sea day, day 2 of a 10-day cruise. That start pretty much shows the level P&O was going with on a festive cruise with no festive fun. Amsterdam stop was cancelled, had been the week before and the year before, so this is regular but they keep the stop on the itineraries. This needs to be changed as the bad weather every year won't change, so why still keep trying. We won't be using P&O again and be returning to the other brands we love, like Royal Caribbean, Fed Olsen and Tui Marcella. The cruise went smoothly but the entertainment was lacking, Christmas day at sea had the least amount of entertainment of all the days on board. The Panto on Boxing day was the only decent show we saw and it was by the entertainment team. The highlight production team for the main shows in the theatre were poor to rubbish. The dancers were unfit and out of breath after the first dance. Apart from 2 girls, the other 6 were looking full of mince pies and need more training to stay fit and healthy, cardio needs improving. As for the male dancers, 1 was great which then made the other average man look like he didn't want to be there on stage, it was sad to watch and felt sorry for him as he went through the motions. The dance routines seemed to be pretty much the same routines with different music. The singers were something else, as long as they sang on their own, there wasn't much of an issue, but as soon as someone else joined in, then they would be shouting to be heard over the other singer, no harmony at all. When all 5 sang a different Micheal Jackson song at the same time, it was a car crash. My ears were bleeding from the noise as it got louder from them screaming random words at each other. No one enjoyed this. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
Aurora Cruise R718 to Zeebrugge (Didn’t dock!). Friday 20th - Sunday 22nd October 2017. DAY 1 - Friday 20th October- Southampton Our first experience of a 2 night cruise and back-to-back cruise all in one (although I am doing ... Read More
Aurora Cruise R718 to Zeebrugge (Didn’t dock!). Friday 20th - Sunday 22nd October 2017. DAY 1 - Friday 20th October- Southampton Our first experience of a 2 night cruise and back-to-back cruise all in one (although I am doing separate reviews for each). The 2 night taster cruise to Zeebrugge didn’t start well, as CPS car drop off was, for the first time, poor. The normal arrangement for a 2 day cruise is for passengers to self park in the short stay car park, but I had called CPS many weeks before and they had linked our two cruise bookings, telling me that I could ignore the self parking option and should pull up at the terminal to be valet parked as normal. I had called CPS again the day before the cruise to confirm and was, once again, told this would be no issue and CPS staff would be available at the terminal. As we arrived at the terminal, we first had a battle with the traffic marshal’s, who seemed incapable of understanding what we had arranged (and were quite offhand) and then, as we arrived outside the Mayflower cruise terminal, there wasn’t a CPS operative in sight. After a phone call to CPS (when I was kept on hold for 10 minutes) and a further wait, two CPS staff members eventually arrived. During the time that we were waiting I noticed that the porters were just standing idle alongside the building waiting for passengers to take their cases to them. Even though I had two large cases, a carry case, a wheelchair and my wife to attend to, no effort whatsoever was made to assist. When I asked an idle porter whether or not there was porter service today, he replied “No, there never is”. Perhaps he meant on 2 day cruises, but this attitude was shocking none the less. Thankfully, as we entered the terminal building, first class service immediately took over. We reported to assisted embarkation and didn’t even have to take a seat, as we were escorted straight to check-in and were through security and on board within around 10 minutes. A record for us. Due to high winds when Aurora had docked, the air bridge wasn’t attached, so we had to board up a steep ramp from the dockside. Thankfully we were assisted by two pushers for this bit. Even though we had an embarkation time of 1430, we were in our cabin by 1310 with both cases already present. Very impressed. We were staying in C152 (Accessible Balcony) which was the same cabin that we had stayed in for our 16 night Baltic cruise in May. We instantly noticed an issue with the bed, in that one half was higher than the other! Also, the previous occupants had stupidly left the safe locked, rather than open as instructed. We could not find our steward, so unpacked and stowed the suitcases under the bed. More than an hour later, we eventually found our steward (Lawrence) who told us that the previous occupant had hired a Mobility at Sea special bed and that the normal bed had not returned as planned. He said he would sort it out and called the deck manager to unlock the safe. Next stop the Glass House, where we each traded our Peninsular Club vouchers for a freebie glass of champagne. The staff have all changed since our May cruise, but were just as friendly. We also noticed that food was available during the afternoon, even though it was a changeover day. We had already had an early lunch at Maritimo Lounge in Ocean Village, but will keep this in mind for changeover day on Sunday as we are staying on board. Then to Anderson’s for the muster drill. When we returned our life jackets to the cabin we were impressed to find that the bed had already been changed and was now level! Up to the Crows Nest for a sailway drink and observation as we pulled forward off the berth, turned (as the ship had docked facing inland) and cruised out past the Isle of Wight. Horns were honked between us and Azura as we passed her. Azura is delaying its departure by 24 hours due to former hurricane (now storm) ‘Brian’ which is due to engulf the English Channel tomorrow. As we are heading North, we are departing as normal, although we will have to come back through the remnants of it. During out time in the Crows Nest we were joined by a lovely couple who lived on The Isle of Wight, so were able to have a good chat about the island. We weren’t overly fussed about the main dining room menu, so tried to get into Sindhu, which although only had about 4 couples in it was apparently full! We ended up in the Beach House where the manager recognised us from May. We experienced exemplary service but my beef sizzling platter wasn’t as tasty as before and none of the deserts appealed, so I just had Eton Mess ice cream, which was very nice. We didn’t fancy the Headliners show (Fantasy) as we had seen it in May and didn’t rate it, so we went to Carmen’s for a Showaddywaddy tribute band called Shomaddymaddy. Pure cheese, but we actually quite enjoyed it as the music was good, even though we couldn’t see the band once the dance floor had filled with people dancing! Our final port of call was a repeat visit to the Crows Nest, as the male members of the Aurora Orchestra were performing. However, they were playing jazz, which is about the only style of music that I intensely dislike, so we retired to bed, although I first popped out to the Horizon buffet for a Horlicks nightcap. DAY 2 - Saturday 21st October- At Sea (Zeebrugge cancelled) Although we had heard a lot of people talking very loudly as they passed our cabin late at night, we both managed to sleep well, probably assisted by the combination of alcohol, Stugeron and rocking motion! At 0745 (0645 UK time) we were woken by Captain Turnbull making an announcement that, due to high winds, we were unable to dock at Zeebrugge and would have a day at sea as he had not been able to find a substitute port. Although quite understandable, it’s a shame for those who had booked the cruise specifically to go to Bruges, not least as there are no other stops and this is now a cruise to nowhere! We both commented on how professional and comprehensive his announcement was e.g “the safety of the vessel and all those aboard is, and always will be, my first priority”. We had a leisurely breakfast in the Medina restaurant where the waiter remembered us from our last cruise. During the morning, we cruised up past the Thames Estuary (passing wind farms and gas platforms) into the North Sea, prior to turning around 180 degrees off Lowestoft and heading back towards Southampton - and storm Brian! Lunch in the Medina prior to popping our head into Carmen’s for a singer , Sadie Ebbon, whose 11.15pm show had been brought forward to 2pm due to the unplanned sea day. We stayed for a few songs but weren’t really getting in to it, so we left and went to Anderson’s for a quiet read. By now there were a few more white peaks on the waves and more noticeable movement. We have noticed how busy the ship feels compared to our last cruise on Aurora, which is not helped by everyone having to stay on board and it being autumn, so few people are on the open decks. Although the P&O blurb talks about this being a ‘Discovery Cruise’, the staff on board refer to it as a ‘Party Cruise’ and you can see why. Lots of large groups including quite a few hen parties. We assume that, to keep costs down, they might be sharing 4 adults to a cabin, which also explains the relatively high passenger density. As the ship was busy, we returned to our cabin for a rest and to read. The wind was now force 9 with gusts up to force 11. The balcony divider door is rattling loudly and our patio door out to the balcony is draughty and doesn’t keep out the noise of the wind. We ordered a cream tea from the new room service menu. This took around an hour to arrive. Our steward is pleased that we are staying on board. He explained that on changeover days he works almost all day and evening and has just 90 minutes off during which time he has to rest, eat and call home. The band ‘Caravan’ are on board again, so we decided to go to the 7.30pm Bee Gee’s Tribute show which we had very much enjoyed when we were last on Aurora in May. There was no member of the entertainment team present to provide the commentary between each song and the lead singer attempted to do it but really struggled due to his strong Philippine accent. Thankfully the songs were still good. We decided to have dinner late, so hot footed from Carmen’s to the other end of the ship to the Curzon Theatre for the early (8.30pm) show of a Madness tribute band called Badness. They were the same group that had performed the Showaddywaddy tribute and we enjoyed this performance as much, especially as they didn’t just sing Madness songs but also other Ska groups such as The Specials and Bad Manners. We left before the end as it was 15 minutes before the Medina restaurant closed to new arrivals, so we hope that the show is repeated on our follow on cruise. Dinner in the Medina restaurant was the Marco Pierre White menu, as it was the Black Tie night. Other than the Beef Wellington, I didn’t particularly enjoy the other courses (other than the delicious port infused Stilton to finish) so may dip into the non-Marco choices next time that menu appears. As we had finished dinner very late and the ship was being buffeted by Storm Brian now that we were in it’s path in the English Channel, we retired to our cabin. It was difficult to get to sleep due to the fact that the ceiling of the cabin above the bathroom door was creaking and banging as the ship was being thrown around by the storm. That said, we didn’t feel sick at all and obviously slept well when we eventually got to sleep as we didn’t awake until we were alongside in Southampton. As we were doing our first back to back cruise, there are no disembarkation comments to make and anything beyond this point will feature in the next review. Read Less
40 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
First impressions were of a beautiful ship with lots of wood, marble and chrome. This impression stayed with me throughout the cruise and made me think of how an elegant club would look. Service on board was excellent with the exception of ... Read More
First impressions were of a beautiful ship with lots of wood, marble and chrome. This impression stayed with me throughout the cruise and made me think of how an elegant club would look. Service on board was excellent with the exception of a couple of members of staff who were probably suffering from home sickness or just didn't like cold but dry Norwegian weather.
 The cabin was a disappointment with a carpet so stained it would have been thrown out if in anyone's home. Space and storage were fine but the small tv stood at an angle because the bracket it was fixed to was bent. The beds were very comfortable and even in heavy seas afforded us a very good nights sleep. The cabin we had was an inside one and was plenty big enough for two of us. Any longer than a week though and I would have been missing daylight. The cabin lights were not bright and seemed to be yellowish in colour which made it a dull place to be. Having said that we only slept and changed there as we were out and about from early on until late into the evening so it didn't really matter to any great extent. We saw little of the cabin steward but he did what he had to do and did it well. 
 The public areas are wonderful with the Playhouse cinema and Curzon theatre having very comfortable seats with plenty of leg room. The Costa Coffee seating area is far too small and finding seats was difficult on a few occasions. The Crows Nest is huge and finding seats was easy. We even found front window seats on three visits including our 30 mile passage through the Fjords after leaving Flaam. The sofas and chairs in all the public areas are very comfortable and look almost new. What I did find strange was the choice of films in the cinema. Two films were ok but another was a horror movie and to cap it all they showed a Mongolian documentary with subtitles! I think the Aurora was at the back of the line when films were handed out. The Headliners shows were good but not outstanding and the harmony singing group were also pretty good. Lyn Frederick the singer and musician was excellent and deserves credit for the hours she puts in. 
 The Horizon buffet food was plentiful and good quality in my opinion. Getting tables wasn't a problem after the first morning as we went a little later to avoid the breakfast rush. The dining was fine with good service and good food, no complaints whatsoever. The Champions bar lacked any kind of atmosphere and once we used it a couple of times gave it a miss after that using the Crows Nest as our favourite sit down for a nice drink venue. Andersons Bar was nice but the waiters were pushy and hovered around you even before sitting down and deciding what drink to have. One night an elderly man asked us to move seats in the Anderson Bar as we were sat in the place he always sat. If he had asked with a please we may have moved but as there was no pleasantries at all we declined his offer! In fact we are as elderly as he was so we could see no reason to move. I have a feeling he had been on the world cruise and stayed on for this Fjords cruise so perhaps he did feel he had a right to the seats we had taken but we didn't agree.
 There were lots of electric scooters (are they called scooters?) being used around the ship for those who were disabled and there were no problems with them at all. In fact the able bodied passengers went out of their way to help and assist and I never saw any 'problems' that's mentioned occasionally on forums. The lifts were never crowded and we never had to wait but we did use the stairs if only going a couple of decks up or down. 
 The embarkation and disembarkation went very well and we were both on and off half an hour before our due times. The shops were always well stocked but the 'sales' of jewellery and watches etc were the usual quality but attracted lots of people. 
 My biggest moan and this is a moan (sorry) but its the old age problem of formal nights. Speaking as a person who has never owned a dinner jacket I took the time and expense of kitting myself out with everything as I and my wife follow the rules laid down by P&O. I didn't think I would like the black tie thing but I do and as I said we follow the rules. Outside the Crows Nest and other places there are signs saying what the dress code for the evening is. So on one formal night there were people in jeans, sweatshirts and trainers sitting in the Crows Nest ‪at 8pm‬! Please P&O either drop the rules entirely or enforce them. Nobody approached these passengers about their dress and they were sat just in front of the bar. Strangely enough we saw the same people the following evening when it was smart casual and there were no jeans or trainers to be seen. Perhaps they had been reminded of the rules after all? I would be happy with no dress rules but they are there so please P&O either ENFORCE them or DITCH them. Sorry my grumble is now over.
 Overall we had a fantastic cruise and we both loved it. Would I cruise on Aurora again? without a doubt I would as it's a great place to spend a holiday in such surroundings with good service, comfortable cabins and friendly people. Out of the two P&O ships we have sailed on my favourite is still the Britannia as there is more to do throughout the day. However Aurora comes over as a much more relaxed ship so it's horses for courses.  Last but not least I have read reviews saying she should be sold off as she's passed her sell by date with rust etc showing through. The crew are constantly cleaning, painting or varnishing but not once did any of these activities hinder or effect any passengers enjoyment of the ship. In fact above part of the promenade deck is a bit of decking for crew access only and they were working up there looking after machinery all day and we never even noticed them. It wasn't until we heard a noise and looked up that we saw them and they said they had been there all that time. Security both on board and in ports is excellent and I have no doubts about that aspect at all. I have tried to make this a very fair and unbiased review of Aurora and I think I have achieved this. There was nothing to dislike about her in fact just the opposite but my favourite P&O ship is still the Britannia. Being a larger ship she has more to do during the day but the evenings on both Aurora and Britannia are just the same absolutely superb with good company in a safe comfortable lovely environment. For anyone booked on the Aurora don't have any second thoughts or concerns, you will love her. Read Less
26 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
Aurora. Jan 17. 21 nights Our first time on Aurora, we booked not realising that this was the first leg of a world cruise (not that it made a huge amount of difference to us) and celebrating 180 years of the P and O company/cruise line ... Read More
Aurora. Jan 17. 21 nights Our first time on Aurora, we booked not realising that this was the first leg of a world cruise (not that it made a huge amount of difference to us) and celebrating 180 years of the P and O company/cruise line Another very competitively priced cruise Embarkation at Southampton was slightly better than 12 months ago, however we arrived at our given time and still had to wait two hours in the terminal building, boarding just after 4pm. At least this time we managed to find a seat and weren’t sat on the floor. We boarded quickly and found our cabin decided to get a cup of tea then immediately had to attend the safety drill. On the way down the stairs to the cabin to get the life jackets a muster steward told us to go straight to the muster station and wouldn’t allow us to get our life jackets from the cabin. This meant they had to find life jackets for us and this was a little embarrassing as I know what everyone was thinking and it would have taken one minute to have fetched our own The sail away was lovely with fireworks being let off as we left Southampton. A couple of bumpy but fine days crossing Biscay I liked Aurora, there seemed to be a lot of space with plenty of rooms over several decks where people dissipated. The outside space was great and we could always easily find a sun lounger even on sea days. There are three main pools, the front pool at times had some music and occasionally a singer for an hour or so at lunchtime. I thought this could have been improved on with some background music at least. The middle pool was the quiet one with a retractable glass roof (by the buffet restaurant). The rear pool had great views but was very cold and had the kiddies pool and play area incorporated We had afternoon tea several times in the Medina restaurant (deck 6) 4-4.45pm, lovely but always seemed rushed as they wanted to clear the tables for the evening service that starts at 6pm. I would have thought the Alexandria restaurant would have been better as service didn’t start until 6.30pm Overall good ports of call. However a shame the two hot ports in Egypt were replaced with cold ones in the Med but if security was an issue then it’s for the best I guess. We took on security at Suez and they were still with us when we disembarked in Dubai Our cabin F227 was incredibly noisy at night when sailing. Impossible to get a sound night’s sleep even with ear plugs I found myself falling asleep most days whenever I sat down. The cabin had double the storage space that we needed. It had a good shower that had good pressure and kept its temperature (until two days before we disembarked, then it played up and just didn’t get fixed!). The cabin was well laid out with good lighting. Deck 5 was fairly quiet overall (apart from inside our cabin!). The lifts were quick and because we were on the bottom passenger deck usually empty when we called them. We had the best cabin steward ever Lira, she always had a smile and a moment for a chat, and our cabin was kept spotless at all times The port lectures were very good and I like the overall information given, not just trying to flog P & O excursions. Thank you Krystal. In fact the excursion team as a whole were more than helpful ( as were the reception team) The port presentations were available to view on the cabin TV on a loop as were most of the lectures/presentations. I enjoyed several of the speakers and on sunny sea days when I didn’t want to spend time in the theatre during the day this is an ideal way of not missing out We were on freedom dining and used the Medina dining room several times for our evening meals. We never had to wait to be seated and enjoyed some lovely company. I couldn’t fault any of the food or menus, and the service was first class I found the Horizon buffet restaurant not as good as for instance on Oceana, where they have two separate serving areas and one is generally always open. Aurora has one in the center and when it’s closed..... It also closes at 9pm (Oceana 9.30pm). The food was good but I joined several very very long lines for the hot food and you could be in line and waiting for 15mins at times, they cordon off half the Horizon restaurant serving area in the evenings and use it exclusively for the Beach house service. Also they had a new type of milk in a tube and it’s very difficult to open, many people complained but were told it’s the company nothing we can do The Lido grill I found rather lacking as it’s now a “grab and go” and the hot food i.e. burgers hotdogs have been precooked and wrapped, then left in a heated cabinet. They weren’t pleasant with the bread being half toasted and hard no onions available etc. A member of staff is present behind the counter and I did ask a couple of times for fresh food but was referred to the pre cooked cabinet. There is a cold cabinet with sandwiches and they are very good The rear lounge Carmen’s seems a little underused for entertainment, we did see a couple entertainers here and one show from the headliners. Most of the time it’s used for themed discos and old time dancing, Aurora has many rooms and I thought one of them might be better used for the half a dozen people on the dance floor. The cinema was also used for other things i.e. guest speakers and classical concerts, when seeing a movie would have been just the thing to do at times. The entertainment was on the whole good and the Headliners group well above average Overall we had a really fantastic 21 nights aboard Aurora, everything ran like clockwork, fab crew and service. The niggles above are just that (apart from the noisy cabin) You can always pick holes in things if you want. I would defiantly cruise on Aurora again but only with a different cabin Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
Great cruise which took in Cadiz, Messina, Corfu, Dubrovnik, Venice & Gibraltar. Past P & O cruisers but our first time on Aurora. Lovely sized ship - not too big. Atmosphere felt very friendly & relaxed - maybe as the average ... Read More
Great cruise which took in Cadiz, Messina, Corfu, Dubrovnik, Venice & Gibraltar. Past P & O cruisers but our first time on Aurora. Lovely sized ship - not too big. Atmosphere felt very friendly & relaxed - maybe as the average age of passengers was late 60's / 70's. At times it could feel like we were on a Saga cruise - we are 43 and 44, but our fellow cruisers were in the main really pleasant and sociable. Entertainment was varied in the evenings - excellent resident band Caravan who could perform a wide range of genres, Headliners Theatre Group performed energetic song and dance routines such as Abba, Queen, and Motown. Some guest acts - we saw an excellent Tenor called Roy Locke and a vocalist called Claire Bunso who did a great Shirley Bassey tribute. Tom O'Connor was also performing - we did not see him but were told he was very good. There was also a comedian/variety act on for 2 nights, some classical musician acts, and a unique ukulele act but we did not see these. The daytime entertainment was somewhat limited and I felt geared more to the older cruisers - Line Dancing, Quoits, Shuffleboard, Bingo, Watercolour Art classes, Whist, Bridge and other Dance classes. There is a cinema with 1 or 2 films daily at various times which were pretty good. Our cabin had a Balcony, a shower over a small bath, and a small sitting area - perfect for our needs. It was kept very clean by our steward who was friendly and approachable. The food on board was very good - great selection in both the Horizon Buffet ( referred to by some as the "smash & grab " ) and the main dining rooms. The specialty restaurants were really good and Sindhu in particular was well worth the supplement. We ate there twice as it was so good. We had done some research in advance so only went on 2 shore excursions, one of which was simply a transfer from Messina to Taormina. The Game of Thrones Tour in Dubrovnik was fantastic taking in the old town and some beautiful gardens where we were shown around filming locations by a lady who had been an extra in the series. The other ports we explored on our own but we heard very good feedback about some of the tours. There was an excellent member of staff called Sam who did regular port talks and even did a commentary as we sailed into Venice. Each port was different and we enjoyed our time in each one. There were 3 pool and jacuzzi areas on this ship. The Terrace Pool at the back was very peaceful with a small number of sunbeds. the shops onboard sold the usual cruise fare and in my opinion could do with updating. The size of this ship meant that unlike on some larger ones, you would often bump into the same passengers for a chat which was really lovely. Whilst this ship would probably be a bit boring for those who like more activity / nightlife, it was a really relaxing experience. The captain Wesley Dunlop is quite new to P & O. It was lovely to see him greeting passengers as we went ashore at a couple of ports. We enjoy the Black Tie nights and there were 4 of these on our cruise. Finally, there was some gastro-intestinal illness a few days into the cruise. Increased hygiene measures were introduced and it was kept under control as a result. Read Less
Aurora Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.1
Dining 3.0 3.8
Entertainment 4.0 3.5
Public Rooms 5.0 4.1
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.5
Family 5.0 3.5
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.5
Enrichment 3.0 3.4
Service 4.0 4.2
Value For Money 5.0 3.7
Rates 3.0 3.9

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