1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. P&O Cruises
  4. Aurora Review
  5. Aurora Cruise Reviews
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
We chose P and O/Aurora on this occasion due to the destinations offered and the convenience of a UK to UK round-trip. Aurora is well proportioned,smart and generally clean,but certainly shows her age. P and O is cruising aimed wholly ... Read More
We chose P and O/Aurora on this occasion due to the destinations offered and the convenience of a UK to UK round-trip. Aurora is well proportioned,smart and generally clean,but certainly shows her age. P and O is cruising aimed wholly at UK customers, with tilts toward tradition and home spun culture which span restauration, on- board media, entertainments,announcements and excursions. We booked a de-luxe balcony which was well sized and adequately provided with storage. The table-top TV and the hairdryer were antiquated and the sofa was lacking any upholstery, with torn cushions.The bathroom was well designed, but old-fashioned with wall panels which groaned loudly on bad sea nights.The constant aircon fans were sometimes difficult to avoid.The only perk our cabin type benefiited from was an atlas which turned out to be older than the ship and contained not a single map of the whole Mediterranean Sea!Our invisible steward was superb at keeping things spic and span. We chose Freedom Dining and eat pretty well exclusively in the Medina restaurant. We alternated between mixing and sitting alone and took whatever seating was available.Some people claimed always to sit at the same table, but we could not be bothered to find out how that worked.The choice of food was good at breakfast, adequate at lunch, but seriously disappointed in the evenings.Most evening main dishes turned out to be meat and two veg, despite exotic menu descriptions.All courses were served at speed,ready-plated and generally hot. Condiments were off limits as we found out when asking for vinaigrette dressing! We used the Horizon self -service little, due to the limited,unappetising buffet options,shortages of seating (on clean chairs) and general pandemonium. Many people aboard were suffering from colds and coughs and we contracted a version of these which we decided to treat with honey and brandy. The carefully selected brandy however was confiscated on return from shore because it 'contravened regulations'! An announcement on the last evening advised that more than half the next day's departing passengers were leaving Southampton by coach. It was evident throughout that there were some quite large groups aboard, who teamed up for many events and sometimes comandeered large swathes of the public rooms, but did not seek to engage outside their groups. For us the six sea-days to get to Gibralter and back was time badly spent, but the shore destinations were pleasing, even if the duration of stay was mostly quite limited. The staff were generally very courteous and a special mention of commendation for the incredibly patient people on the front desk. We concluded that the trip was rewarding for the ports of call, but that most of the rest was below standard, given the price. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2018
Choose this as a replacement for a cancellation on the wonderful Adonia, which I was really excited about as it was visiting Bermuda and the Bahamas. However wasn't disappointed with Aurora's itinerary, as we visited Dubrovnik, ... Read More
Choose this as a replacement for a cancellation on the wonderful Adonia, which I was really excited about as it was visiting Bermuda and the Bahamas. However wasn't disappointed with Aurora's itinerary, as we visited Dubrovnik, Sibenic and Mt Etna Sicily to name a few. The ship shows her age when compared to the facilities that are on the new Britannia, but this was to be expected. Being a person whom likes to read, relax and watch films on my tablet i didnt join in with the many activities that P & O placed during the day, but was more than happy with the evening entertainment, or relaxing with a beer in 'Champions', the on board pub, and the wide selection of real English beers, and not that Larger rubbish. The food in the main restaurant was of a high standard, but believe even with the large selection, there were still nights when it was a good choice to eat in the Horizon restaurant. The Beach Hut was of very high standard and brilliant quality, although disappointed the meat skewer has been taken off the revamped menu. Tiffany's is still my favourite location on the ship. Cabin was always clean and tidy and the steward did a great job. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
I have been on Aurora before and although it was not brilliant it was ok and the timing of the cruise was good. However this time round the cruise was not only awful, cheap tasteless food, miserable crew, dirty cabins, hostile reception ... Read More
I have been on Aurora before and although it was not brilliant it was ok and the timing of the cruise was good. However this time round the cruise was not only awful, cheap tasteless food, miserable crew, dirty cabins, hostile reception staff and manager, the persistence of the crew in selling you stuff especially from the Spa team was very harassing and brutal. Whilst eating lunch they would hover over you say hello then try and sell you something. It was horrible, sly and very pretentious in order for a service. I booked a further 2 cruises on PO ships for later this year and 2019 but as soon as I got home I cancelled them at a loss of a huge deposit but I rather lose a deposit then to have to suffer a extremely unsatisfactory rude crew team where the food is horrible and they try and get you to pay extra for room service food which is of a poor quality and the room service crew so miserable as if they are doing you a favour. Never again PO!!!!!!! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
Leaving and returning to Southampton with some new Islands in the itinerary were the main reason we chose Aurora R803. We know P&O well but not this ship, we were pleasantly surprised. Everything is close to hand with a good choice of ... Read More
Leaving and returning to Southampton with some new Islands in the itinerary were the main reason we chose Aurora R803. We know P&O well but not this ship, we were pleasantly surprised. Everything is close to hand with a good choice of bars and restaurants. The crew were friendly and efficient and the food in all restaurants excellent be it Buffet , MDR or the three speciality ( extra cover charges ) restaurants, Sindhu, Glasshouse and Beachouse. Drinks were reasonably priced , typically the same as a UK South East pub might charge. The ship was clean but tired in some areas. Our cabin B142 a deluxe balcony on deck 10 was well appointed with lots of storage space but rather let down by a shabby carpet. In rough weather we also noticed a “Woodpecker” took up residence in the headboard but this could not be tracked down on inspections. A great location though, two decks up to Lido and buffet and three decks down to promenade and shops etc. The daytime and evening entertainment was poor compared to what we have experienced many times before on P&O. Three new Islands for us, Tobago ( beach day at Pigeon Point, excellent ) Guadeloupe ( closed for Easter Sunday ) and Martinique ( took a ferry to Ainse Maitan beach, very nice ) The other Islands, St Kitts, Antigua and Barbados we’ve visited many times so more beach time. We stopped at Madeira on the outbound and Ponta Delgada ( Azores) on the way back. The weather was generally good apart from the Azores to Southampton when we encountered Force 10 gusting to Force 12 and 7 to 8 m swells. The passengers were the usual mix of P&O , generally friendly, a few moaners, lots of walking sticks and mobility scooters but OK in the main. Embarkation and Disembarkation were excellent, we were off by 08.45am and home to West Kent by 11.30am. Overall an enjoyable cruise. Well done the crew of Aurora. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2018
A Dirty and tired ship . Most of the staff are friendly and very helpful a few rude staff on reception . Hygiene on board is very bad . Hand washing is not actively promoted or enforced in public areas Entertainment was laughable ... Read More
A Dirty and tired ship . Most of the staff are friendly and very helpful a few rude staff on reception . Hygiene on board is very bad . Hand washing is not actively promoted or enforced in public areas Entertainment was laughable very poor ! The food was plentiful but average to poor quality very little choice for special diets . Indian style food far too often ,most of the desserts contain animal derived gelatins seats in the self service buffet are stained With early departures 16.30 at ports of call you really cannot enjoy a good full day on shore . Be prepared to walk to get to the towns shuttles are not provided everywhere as promoted. The cabins are dark dusty and dingy the carpets in them were stained and dirty the showers dribble from hot to cold . Excursions are expensive and not always available if there is not enough uptake and so are canceled frequently.The spa is expensive for very poor quality treatments ! A cruise is what you make it however if you value cleanliness and quality this ship is not for you. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
25 days Southampton to Caribbean and back Embarkation worked well came from home on Eavesway Travel on the ship inside 1/2 hour of arriving. Aurora is one of the older style ships and suits us looking a little worn here and there but ... Read More
25 days Southampton to Caribbean and back Embarkation worked well came from home on Eavesway Travel on the ship inside 1/2 hour of arriving. Aurora is one of the older style ships and suits us looking a little worn here and there but nothing major and doesn't detract from her. Cabin C190 balcony plenty big enough for the 2 of us clean and bright, plenty of closet/drawer space. Be aware the beds are lower than normally found, only 7" of clearance. Bath and shower in this cabin. I couldn't stretch out in the bath 6 ft tall but was adequate, plenty of shelving behind the mirror. Balcony is enclosed so does stop some of the breeze when travelling, 2 reclining chairs footstool and table personally we could have done without the footstool to give a little more space.The TV is not really up to scratch little choice of channels though the films were ok. The bridge computer isn't that good on the TV and you can't get a balance on the screen not hooked up, but I believe this is to be updated. We had club dining and had excellent service all week, food was good and varied enough for us no need to have the same meal twice if you didn't wish. Possibly overall the best food we have had on P&O. Buffet was adequate never had to scrum for a table and always a good choice of food available usually hottish. Grab and go is useful if you want to eat at your sunbed or cabin though is repetitive, didn't try the burgers or hotdogs as I don't like them from under a heated counter always seem to dry. pasta was ok and chips were good. didn't use select dining as we were happy with the MDR and the people we dined with. All the entertainers were very good Rouge Duo and William Caulfield were exceptional. Willie Thorne gave a good talk as did Ron Gatepain on various sites around the world. Sunbeds were never a problem always seemed to find somewhere to lay my head. Gym was ok never too crowded and enough equipment for most. Service in general was very good in all the bars very little waiting and adequate seating. Reception was very good never a queue always a good sign and dealt with my queries/requests quickly. Ports were all good though Guadeloupe was closed for Easter bad timing or what one of the 3 ports we hadn't visited. We didn't use any of the tours never do always go it alone. All in a great cruise, we have already booked Oceana for next year and wouldn't hesitate to go on Aurora again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2018
we chose this cruise to the north of Norway to get the best chance to view the northern lights, and we were not disappointed. the night we had at the football field away from any lights was great. we say that the lights were grey until ... Read More
we chose this cruise to the north of Norway to get the best chance to view the northern lights, and we were not disappointed. the night we had at the football field away from any lights was great. we say that the lights were grey until we used the 99 cent delay app on our iphones that brought out spectacular green. and the movement like a harp. super.. the ship being abt 1800 passengers was just the right size. only 2 times the motion of the big waves kept us from walking around. also, there seemed to be more places on this ship to just sit and view of chat. good choices. the ship was 98% brits. few Australians. abt 10 Americans(I was one of them). it was fun; kind of stood out in the4 many trivia contests we went too. what a friendly group of people. all service was top notch; from the cabin to all the waiters. the scenery was always beautiful and worth the trip. another bonus of this trip was seeing the conclusion of the 1200km dogsled race when in Alta. with a crowd of hundreds, lots of music and singing(in Norwegian), and seeing the first 2 come in was really neat. if there is any con to this cruise it would be too many sea days after a while. always things to do, but just a feeling. and not too much wildlife seen(but we should not have been surprised). would we recommend? If you haven't seen the northern lights, a definite yes. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
Our 14th Cruise with P&O and 4th on Aurora. We chose this cruise as seeing the Northern Lights has always been on our bucket list. We weren’t disappointed! As with all previous Cruises on Aurora, food and service in the Medina ... Read More
Our 14th Cruise with P&O and 4th on Aurora. We chose this cruise as seeing the Northern Lights has always been on our bucket list. We weren’t disappointed! As with all previous Cruises on Aurora, food and service in the Medina restaurant (freedom dining) was superb throughout. The only (minor) criticism would be the portion sizes of vegetables, which were far too small in relation to the main dish. We had one meal in the Beach House (average) and several lunches in the Glasshouse (very good). We didn’t use Sindhu as it isn’t up to the standard of the excellent versions on Britannia and Ventura, not least because it lacks ambiance and is noisy being in the atrium. Entertainment, as on all P&O cruises, was mixed. The Headliners troupe was far better than the team we had on board Aurora in October. At least this lot could sing! We always enjoy performances from Caravan and this was no exception, other than two of their performances were somewhat spoiled by irresponsible parents allowing toddlers to run around between the audience and the performers, which was incredibly distracting for both and terribly discourteous. None of the guest singers were particularly impressive. Peter Haworth was average but really fancied himself and we left early as a group of passengers arrived late and then proceeded to talk through the performance (a persistent problem we find). The Brit Tones (4 piece male vocalists) were dire. One of them has a comically low voice and the chatter between songs was far too long and frankly juvenile. Georgina Jackson had a reasonable voice but ruined her act by unnecessarily playing the (shrill) trumpet. Craig Halliday (violinist) was the best performer by a mile. Several classes above the usual standard of P&O entertainment. All performers were let down by the Aurora Orchestra whose backing arrangements were rather odd and, at times, a distraction. Another good artist was Flamenco guitarist Adam Westcott. Really nice guy and incredibly talented but we went to all 5 of his shows and there was far too much repetition. The main guest speaker was Bob Turner who, in spite of sounding like Uncle Albert from Only Fools and Horses, gave some very interesting talks. He did, however, make the schoolboy error of having his entire script on the (very word heavy) PowerPoint slides, which made them impenetrable. We did a few tours. Leisurely Alta was pleasant and informative. I really enjoyed Snowmobiling but all my outer clothes stank of exhaust fumes for days afterwards. The ice hotel was interesting but no way would I sleep there. Not only is it cold, it has no toilets inside, mattresses felt cold and damp and the pelts made the place smell like the house of someone who owns big dogs. I did the ‘In Search of the Northern Lights’ tour on the first night in Alta. We only went 10 minutes away as that was where the best viewing was predicted and we had a superb view of them, the strongest being once again between 10 and 11pm. My wife stayed on the ship and although had a good view of them, the light pollution from the ship made them significantly less impressive. We had seen them two nights earlier whilst at sea (although not terribly strong) and a fantastic display, again between around 10 and 11pm at Tromso the day before. Sadly, cloud coverage meant that the 2nd night in Alta didn’t produce anything. The Scenic Rauma Railway journey from Andalsnes was pretty, but only 45 minutes long. The views from the coach on the return were just as impressive. For those who do not do tours, be aware that there is very little to do in Alta or Andalsnes. Tromso is bigger and several passengers felt that longer there and less time in Alta would have been better, especially as we had a fantastic showing of the Northern Lights in Tromso between around 10 and 11pm. As might be expected going into the Arctic Circle in March, we had some ‘interesting’ weather conditions. Force 4 to 6 was the norm whilst at sea, but we reached force 10 on the way out and force 10 to 11 on the return. Force 11 is described as ‘exceptionally rough seas’ and is one below a hurricane. We felt absolutely fine thanks to Stugeron, but a number of passengers were a bit off colour. As for outside air temperatures, there was a lot of exaggeration about this. People kept quoting things like -15 degrees but the coldest we experienced was -8 degrees, although it feels much colder when stood on snow in a field or with the wind at sea. The cold weather did cause problems with the ships lifts. 3 of the 7 forward and midships lifts were out of action for 3 days as a result, which was a problem for us as my wife uses a wheelchair. Final words of advice for anyone doing a Northern Lights Cruise. Take Stugeron for the rough seas and plenty of layers of clothing for the cold. You can see the Northern Lights from the ship but don’t let anyone convince you that it’s not worth doing a tour. Light pollution from the ship is excessive. They make no effort to dim deck lighting. My wife and I saw the same ‘display’ at the same time in Alta. My wife was on the ship and I was 10 minutes away in a dark field. My experience was much better. Perseverance pays. Some passengers who insisted on seeing all the shows and popping their head out occasionally missed the best displays. When the lights appear, although impressive they are mostly white. You do see green and, at times, red hues but the camera does lie when it comes to the Northern Lights as it massively exaggerates the colour. All photos come out very bright green as the camera lens sees the colour far better than the human eye. They look nothing like that in reality. If the lights appear, keep your eyes on whichever part is brightest. It is these parts that tend to evolve into the movement (dancing) that people refer to. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2018
We chose this cruise because we wanted the chance to see the Northern Light. As it was also our first cruise we were unsure what to expect or how we would cope with the lifestyle. Fortunately, we loved it! The whole experience of cruising ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted the chance to see the Northern Light. As it was also our first cruise we were unsure what to expect or how we would cope with the lifestyle. Fortunately, we loved it! The whole experience of cruising was so relaxing and enjoyable. Being able to choose what we did and where we went in our own time was something very new to us and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. The Aurora was one of the smaller ships in the P&O fleet but was beautifully maintained and provided an excellent daily newsletter to keep everyone informed of the daily activities and events. The service on board was first class from our cabin steward to the waiters in the restaurants. Everybody was so polite, helpful and respectful. Nothing was too much trouble. The food was beautifully prepared and presented and always sufficient (even for the biggest appetite). There were plenty of activities for people to take part in, from jigsaw puzzles to fitness classes. The entertainment offered was thoroughly enjoyable and varied from comedy to classical guitarist, from dancing shows to astronomy talks. Our balcony cabin was a very good size with plenty of storage space for all our thermal gear and 'posh clothes'. We were very well looked after by our cabin steward who made sure we received all the necessary information available. Our ports of calls were few but all were enjoyable in their own way. Andasnes, was a small port that offered easy access to the town. A gentle stroll was sufficient to stretch the legs after two days at sea. Tromso offered more as it was a bigger town. The trip to the University Planetarium was certainly the highlight where we we given a talk on the Northern Lights. Tromso Museum and the Cathedral of the Northern Lights (an unusual design) were two further stops on the tour. Alta was our most northern port of call and our coldest and snowiest. A shuttle bus was needed to get into the town where the Arctic Cathedral awaited us. Thid was a peculiar design for a church but the ice sculptures, designed by children, that were on disolay were a lovely surprise. The town was quaint and looked very well kept. Alta is where we went in search of the Northern Lights and we were not disappointed. A coach trip took us 15 minutes from the cruise ship where we were treated to a mesmerising display of dancing lights. From 9:45 until 11:00 we didn't know where to look and where to photograph. The guide told us that in the 10 years that he had been doing this he hadn't seen a better display - how lucky were we! The next night there was thick cloud and no Lights!! We also had a wonderful Husky dog sled ride from Alta. We visited the Holman Husky Centre where we met the dogs and were given a talk in a Sami tent before being taken on an exhilerating 25 minute ride - fantastic. Stavanger was our final port of call. This attractive town had a delightful old part and a more modern area. Lovely lake in the centre of town with plenty of walks. Would we go on that cruise again? No - because we think the Northern Lights experience could not be beaten. We had fantastic views, saw dolphins, a dorsal fin of a whale and a sea eagle - everything we wanted to do. Would we recommend this cruise? Definitely with the warning that you might be in the right place and at the right time to see theNorthern Lights but you cannot guarantee the conditions will be right - we were so lucky! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2018
Arrived back from the Northern Lights trip on Aurora yesterday with mixed feelings. In general the holiday was very good and whilst I would certainly not criticise any of the staff on board I was disappointed with the ship. I know that ... Read More
Arrived back from the Northern Lights trip on Aurora yesterday with mixed feelings. In general the holiday was very good and whilst I would certainly not criticise any of the staff on board I was disappointed with the ship. I know that many people dislike the big ships, but for a tour like this where the outside decks were not particularly accessible for a lot of the time I found it claustrophobic. We were very relieved to have a balcony cabin. On the 12 night cruise there were several days when the outside decks were closed and even when they weren’t it was so cold and windy that it was quite unpleasant to spend much time outside. This put a lot of pressure on the inside areas. The entertainers were mostly pretty good, although a little predictable. As usual the Headliners put a lot of skill and effort into their performances but I found that the singers were trying too hard to sing loud, and should have focussed more on the tune and let the sound engineers make it louder. The speciality acts were also mostly enjoyable. The comedian early in the trip was funny, but had clearly been around for many years and some found his humour a bit tame. We enjoyed good performances by a singer trumpeter and violin player as well as the Brit Tones, although the latter should restrict the chat a bit. We didn’t get around to seeing the resident group, Caravan, until the last night and I regret that as they were excellent. We were on Freedom dining and had a table for two each night. Even so we met some very nice people on adjoining tables on many of the nights. The staff in the dining rooms were very pleasant and efficient as was our cabin steward. The first three of the four ports of call were all small places. In the first, Andalsnes, we had a trip to a skiing and climbing centre with the obligatory coffee and waffles. It became clear that no matter how bad the snow and cold the natives don’t let it bother them. We tourists were kitted out in our thermals but were met up in the mountains by the owner wearing a blouse and thin cardigan. We were most amused at the start of the trip when we all boarded the coach, only to be dropped off about 100 yards later at the Norwegian Mountaineering Centre. Tromsø was the next place and we just took the shuttle into tow and had a wander around. We had a glimpse of the Northern Lights but at this point I was a little underwhelmed as they just looked like slightly green clouds. The highlight of the trip was Alta where, on the first night, we saw a dazzling display of dancing lights from the ship. The temperature was around minus 17 but the thermals coped pretty well. I managed to get some not-bad pictures using an app on my iPhone but as someone had mentioned you need to spend time watching as well as taking pictures. The last stop was Stavanger where we had been several rimes before, so we decided to redo the Pulpit Rock boat trip. Unfortunately the weather was pretty appalling and we could only just see the rock. During the whole cruise we had about 3 days and nights when the winds got up to force 10/11 (maximum is 12). In spite of that I did not feel at all I’ll, but sleeping was almost impossible. Without wishing to sound like a miserable old git, there were some things that were really disappointing. Whilst almost all the people we met were very friendly I was disgusted at the manners of some. 2 young people from the photography department gave a talk about snapping the Northern Lights. They were clearly a bit nervous but during a q&a session lots of people started leaving the theatre and it made it impossible to hear the questions and answers. As usual, it was the same after every show. I wonder what these people do that is so exiting it can’t wait a few minutes. I found the choice of guest speaker disappointing. Whilst probably very popular with people interested in the astronomical world, I found it rather dull. I expected that there may have been an alternative later in the cruise but he was the only one. The last complaint applies to most cruise ships and I’m thinking of starting a support group for people affected. Why on earth do cruise companies think that someone spending between £2000 and £10,000 want to steal some second hand coat hangers. I think we should all boycott ships that don’t have hangers with hooks !!! Seriously though, whilst I probably wouldn’t do a Winter trip to Norway again, and definitely wouldn’t go on Aurora, I’m glad I went and on the whole enjoyed the experience Read Less
Aurora Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 3.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 5.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 5.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 3.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 5.0 0.0
Rates 3.0 0.0

Find a Cruise

Email me when prices drop