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14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
This was our second P&O cruise, the first being a four day mini-cruise which failed to meet nearly all of our expectations. So it was with some trepidation that we booked a two week Caribbean cruise (Dec 2016). Flights were with ... Read More
This was our second P&O cruise, the first being a four day mini-cruise which failed to meet nearly all of our expectations. So it was with some trepidation that we booked a two week Caribbean cruise (Dec 2016). Flights were with Thompsons and I have to say the Dreamliner trip out from Birmingham was excellent. What was even better was that our cases, taken at Birmingham Airport, were to be delivered to our cabin on the Azura in Barbados. Didn't even need to pass through customs - just off the plane and onto the (rather dilapidated) coach. Azura has had an update fairly recently and it was in pretty good shape - no complaints there. We had been upgraded so our balcony was bigger than expected and being midships we were to have a comfortable passage. One surprise was having two chairs on the balcony but only one footstool - despite there being plenty of room for two. We were told that only the more expensive cabins had two footstools which we found to be needless penny-pinching. Food in the buffets and restaurants was good - if not exceptional. Service in the restaurants was variable - some teams were excellent others were slow and lacking in warmth. The bars were OK although on the first night we failed to get any service at all when we went to the Glass House bar and so didn't go back there. The Blue Bar was OK but being served nibbles in a very grubby glass did not endear us to the place. By far the best bar was the Planet. Fantastic service and terrific ambience - we especially enjoyed the HD screens showing clips from around the World. Staff around the ship were generally pretty good although some did seem to be disengaged from the passengers. On one occasion I had to stop and step aside from one crew member who was so busy talking to a female colleague that he walked into me stepping heavily on my foot and barely acknowledged the incident. The steward though was first class. The entertainment was mixed. Some of the guest entertainers were very good whilst the in-house 'Headliners' were, in our view, very poor and we avoided their shows. Costs on board were pretty good especially compared to some of the other cruise lines that we have used. Very disappointed with the shore excursions although we much enjoyed the 'snorkel with turtles' trip. Otherwise the trips were expensive and generally of poor value although arrangements for joining the trips were well organised. Two big complaints here however. On two of the trips we were carried on local open sided buses which were really just seats and a body mounted onto a flat-bed truck. On one of them seat belts had been bolted to very flimsy seats welded to the floor. In an accident all the seats would collapse, furthermore, there were sharp exposed metal fixings which would cause serious injury in even a minor shunt. The second of these buses had no seat belts at all. Secondly, on one of the trips we were asked to sign a form given to us by the tour company. It asked passengers to join the trip on the understanding that it was at their own risk and that the company could not be sued even in the event of injury caused by their negligence. I refused to sign this and was told by the P&O representative on shore that this was common practice in the Caribbean because of the' litigious Americans'. She went on to add that we were all covered anyway by P&O. When I later looked at P&O T&C it is made clear that 'P&O Cruises will not in any circumstances have a greater liability than the excursion supplier and P&O Cruises shall not be responsible for the negligent act/omissions of the excursion provider.' We pulled out of the trip and were refunded by P&O - but we are left very concerned about the whole issue of P&O's attention to the safety and well being of its passengers. We were also very disappointed that at two of our destinations we were unable to get ashore - supposedly because of high winds. Worse still these were especially important destinations for us. Now I am not entirely sure that bad weather was the only reason, especially at Grand Cayman where there were four or five ships taking people ashore. We were told that we had been allocated space to 'hold on engines only' whereas the others could anchor and that this made a difference to tender safety. I fear that we were not told the full truth of the matter. Although the missed stops allowed us more time in New Orleans at the end of the cruise we still felt cheated. Organisation at the Catalina Island was very efficient. Prompt tendering, great barbeque and bar service made for a very enjoyable day. The journey home was well organised. Cases taken from our cabins and arrived with us at Birmingham. P&O seem to arrange these things really well. I have to say though that the return flight (not on a Dreamliner) was fairly poor. Cabin service to economy passengers was quite negligent and the food was probably the worst I have ever experienced. That says a lot. On the whole though we had an enjoyable holiday and we would travel P&O again - if not as our first choice cruise line. Read Less
24 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
It was the first cruise I had been on in around 10 years, having always traveled previously with Royal Caribbean. My partner and I were recommended to try P&O by a friend, who suggested they catered far better for the British market. ... Read More
It was the first cruise I had been on in around 10 years, having always traveled previously with Royal Caribbean. My partner and I were recommended to try P&O by a friend, who suggested they catered far better for the British market. It was 100% sound advice. There were minimal sea days, loads of interesting excursions to choose from, and the on board entertainment was brilliant. The ship is known as the friendly ship - and from the moment you step on board, you can see why. Superb, attentive staff - nothing was too much trouble, and any requests were dealt with efficiently and always with a smile. We paid for premium flights, which were definitely worth the extra money - more leg room, great food, and priority transfers to the ship, which meant we were on board with virtually no queue. Our cabin was a balcony on the Port side, which meant we could enjoy the view at the various destinations, and it also provided us with a nice area from which to have pre-dinner drinks. Once on board, we realised that the late dining option which we had booked didn't really suit us, but they agreed to let us change to the early sitting as soon as we asked. Many people prefer freedom dining, but we really enjoyed having the same table each evening, and building up a rapport with our table waiters. The on-board Headliners theatre company were amazing! We saw every show that they did (5 in total) - and for them to put on such varied performances to such a high level was amazing. A new show was also launched whilst we were on board, which featured Avatar and more modern classics. It was brilliant! The guest artists were brilliant too - we enjoyed the UB40 tribute act, a Tina Turner tribute, The Beatles and stand up comedian Lloyd Davies... Impressionist Mark Walker packed out the on-board theatre for all his performances, and was hilarious! I was worried when reading some of the reviews on here prior to sailing that I would be disappointed - that was certainly not the case. It was an amazing holiday from start to finish, and I would recommend the itinerary and ship to anyone else without hesitation. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
Booked this cruise as a birthday present for my patner. We flew with Thomas Cook although very happy with the flight out - the night flight home was terrible there was no chance of getting any rest far to noisy could even hear the air ... Read More
Booked this cruise as a birthday present for my patner. We flew with Thomas Cook although very happy with the flight out - the night flight home was terrible there was no chance of getting any rest far to noisy could even hear the air stewards talking, we upgraded to premier seating well worth the extra cost, plenty of drinks and food was amazing both ways. Our suitcases where taken of us at Manchester airport and we didnt see them till we got to our cabin, to hurry things along we asked if we could have our cases sooner than expected which our cabin steward sorted for us. We did a tour around the ship - was shown the retreat and was surprised at the cost of it (350 pounds per couple for two weeks) which I thought was a bit steap for just a sun lounger, there was a swimming pool which they informed us wasnt just exclusive for those in the retreat, we decided against paying the fee, we used the sunlongers just the other side of the gate, watched with interest people putting their hands over the gate to unlock it and just walk in - no one asking for any proof if they had paid or not. Also soon learnt that you could easily access the changing room in the spa where there was a sauna. We booked a few trips due to it being our first time in the caribean but soon learnt that you could quite easily get the same trips cheaper by disembarking at each port and paying for a taxi, due to there only being two of us the taxi companies would wait to fill the taxi to make it cheaper. The taxi drivers are very informative and they will return to pick you up when you want to go back to the ship. Gratituity - be careful with this, we were given an on board spend but when we checked our bill we discovered that it was going to be taken away from us to pay for gratituity until we went to reception and filled a form in at the reception desk so we didnt pay it - that way we were able to tip our room steward which is what we wanted. Disembarkment - you have to be out of your cabin at 8.00am which makes it a long day especially if your flight home is not till lunch time or even later - the one good thing they do for you is take your suitcases from you the night before but be careful because you dont see them again till you get back to Manchester - so be sure you take all you need until you get back to England. Which made it feel like a long time waiting no information was given to you about the days activities - it made you feel like they didnt care about you at the end of an amazing holiday, people sat around reading - there was a film shown at 11am but wouldnt of known this if my partner hadnt got a whats on guide. All the way through the holiday was asked if we wanted drinks but on the final day no one asked us. Summary of the holiday had a fabulous time, would definately go again with P&O. The ship lovely, entertainment suitable for all taste but be warned if you want to go to the playhouse to see a show go half an hour earlier,downside not enough seats in manhatten bar, plenty choice of food - suggest trying sindhu if you like indian food. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
After reading all of the bad reviews about the Azura, we left for the holiday feeling very nervous. However, being first-time cruisers we had nothing to compare it with and found everything to be just great. The food was lovely, waiters ... Read More
After reading all of the bad reviews about the Azura, we left for the holiday feeling very nervous. However, being first-time cruisers we had nothing to compare it with and found everything to be just great. The food was lovely, waiters in the restaurants were very friendly and professional as were the stewards and rest of the staff. We found that if you speak to them, they will speak to you. Entertainment was good, although some of it was not our cup of tea, we always found things to do and enjoyed all of the sea days .The islands were fantastic. Only booked one excursion through P&O. It was much cheaper to use the local transport and it suited us better because we could get off the ship at a time to suit us and pick up an independent tour or a taxi to the beach. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2015
Have just returned from our first ever cruise, Eastern Caribbean on P & O Azura. Everthing was perfect from cabin, to food, to entertainment, to staff. Flew on Thomson dreamliner to Barbados, had to wait a while for bags to arrive ... Read More
Have just returned from our first ever cruise, Eastern Caribbean on P & O Azura. Everthing was perfect from cabin, to food, to entertainment, to staff. Flew on Thomson dreamliner to Barbados, had to wait a while for bags to arrive on board but when there are 3000 odd passengers, hey what do you expect. Ate with freedom dining in Peninsular Restaurant, superb food, breakfast, lunch & dinner. Buffet was also acceptable and plentiful. Cabin on deck 10 with balcony. spacious and very quiet, was able to totally relax Entertainment varied and to all tastes. Also used well equipped gym Staff always pleasant and friendly Islands called at varied and interesting (but would like to avoid Martinique again), didn't seem like caribbean island, more south of France port town! Azura is large but at certain times and locations you felt alone, quite strange with 3000+ passengers, everything was clean, absolutely perfect, well done P & O Read Less
Sail Date: December 2011
We booked our cruise in May 2010 as it was our Honeymoon and we always tend to book our cruises well in advance so having much longer to look forward to them. We decided on a Superior Balcony Deluxe cabin as it was our honeymoon and we ... Read More
We booked our cruise in May 2010 as it was our Honeymoon and we always tend to book our cruises well in advance so having much longer to look forward to them. We decided on a Superior Balcony Deluxe cabin as it was our honeymoon and we were not disappointed (we have only ever had an inside cabin previously). We were extremely impressed with our chartered flight from Birmingham, we checked our bags in and then didn't see them again until around 10pm on the first night of our cruise. When the plane landed in Barbados we were whisked away straight to the ship and embarkation took around 30mins. Our cabin was large with a very comfortable queen size bed! Our bathroom had a bath however the shower head was quite low, which was ok for me and my husband but if you are over 6foot you may have to stoop! The 'lounge' area in our cabin was nice for a bit of extra room. The balcony is looked over by the balconies from above however this didn't bother us. The champagne and chocolates were a nice touch too. Our cabin steward was very good and always friendly. We opted for the Freedom dining and on the first night we did sit on a table for 8 however every other night we did sit on a table for 2. We tended to eat around 6:30 to 7pm so we didn't have to wait for a table. Food was excellent with a good choice, e.g fish, beef and veggie offered. Staff were always happy to help and service was top noch! A couple of nights we ate in the buffet which was good however I always felt we couldn't take our time. Sindhu was excellent (£15 each), we love curry anyway but this was far better than any takeaway! We got extras such as mini poppadoms (delicious) and a sorbet course and the meal was finished off with handmade biscuits so really worth the money! (We ate there twice). The Glass House was also excellent, I had the 3 small dishes for £4.95 and my husband always opted for the larger meals for around £7. Service was slightly slower but that was because it was freshly made to order. Puddings were also lovely, I would recommend the lemon cheesecake! Entertainment was good with always something on somewhere. The theatre was never extremely busy however the tribute acts in Manhattan did get busy so best to get there early. There were a lot of quizzes, interesting talks and films on offer. We opted to watch films in Malabar on a few afternoons. On sea days there were always people saving sunbeds which was a little annoying but if they had been saved too long their things would get moved by other passengers. A few last things to note, drinks were reasonable and your onboard account could always been seen on the tv in your cabin. We did quite a few trips which were all very good, but were quite expensive. In St. Kitts we did the railway tour and we got most our money back as the carriage we were in the speakers were intermittent so couldn't hear the tour guide. We were impressed with P and O's response to this. Read Less
Azura Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.1
Dining 4.0 3.8
Entertainment 4.0 3.5
Public Rooms 4.0 4.0
Fitness Recreation 5.0 3.7
Family 4.0 3.7
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.4
Enrichment 3.0 3.1
Service 4.0 4.0
Value For Money 4.0 3.6
Rates 4.0 3.8

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