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Sail Date: August 2019
Mums 75th Birthday treat. Having not cruised with P and O for a few years I was surprised at how standards had slipped disappointingly. The food wasn’t anywhere near as good as it’s been on previous cruises with them. The ship ... Read More
Mums 75th Birthday treat. Having not cruised with P and O for a few years I was surprised at how standards had slipped disappointingly. The food wasn’t anywhere near as good as it’s been on previous cruises with them. The ship itself is noticeably tatty in places as well. Even the bedding wasn’t up to much, my pillow smelt, there were stains on quilts! The staff however were still great and very attentive, especially restaurant, bar and cabin staff and their commitment to their jobs noticeable. No blame is to be laid at their feet this was simply down to cost cutting on P and O’s side. Having cruised with Marella last year, the difference was quite significant now I think about it. You are totally mislead with the Steven Mulhearn show not as expected at all. Dance lessons however were great and good fun. The comedian was excellent and very funny. Not sure I’d cruise again with P and O given this last experience sadly. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
Been on a few P&o cruises on ships Oceana, Azura and Brittania, so me and my partner decided to try Aurora and the Canary Islands. Overall we felt a bit dissapointed with this one. The ports were great and the excursions were great ... Read More
Been on a few P&o cruises on ships Oceana, Azura and Brittania, so me and my partner decided to try Aurora and the Canary Islands. Overall we felt a bit dissapointed with this one. The ports were great and the excursions were great but we felt that having a full day and evening in Tenerife on the Monday instead of a full and evening day in La Palma on the Sunday would have been better, as everything opened at 10:00 and shut at 14:00 in La Palma,so you were just on the ship until we sail away at 21:00. The ship was a great size, and the new refurbishment was great with new carpets and everything in communal areas seemed new, however you could tell it was built in 2000. A tiny TV, with only certain channels compared to the On Demand service you get on Brittania, also it was in a really awkward position in our cabin. There was only one plug socket in the whole room too, which in an era of technology isn't really the best. Although advitised as an Adults only cruise, it'll be better off advitised as a over 50s cruise. Myself and my partner are in our 20s, and managed to make friends with two other couples in their 20s. We all felt that the entertainment in the evenings was aimed at the over 50s. The only real act who engaged with the whole audience age wise was the comedian Phil Melbourne. One great act was the Irish lad who did acoustic guitar sets on the Lido deck and in the crows nest some evenings. The entertainment team were great, very welcoming and friendly. The Headliners this year I would say were below the expected standard. The vocalists really carried the show, as the dancers were quite poor. It seemed that the best vocalists and dancers go on Brittania and bigger ships. The shows seemed a bit dated too, compared to those we saw more recently on Brittania. Instead of a West End experience, it felt more like a Panto in your local theatre. The crew this year were great, from cabin steward to waiters. There was only one waiter we had a problem with as he got my starter wrong, giving me a mushroom sausage roll instead of Potted Shrimp, and heinsisted that was what I asked for, even though I don't like Mushrooms! If you're over 50 it's a great cruise for you, however if you're under 50 I'd aim for another ship in the fleet! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
The Ship was good, staff miserable, didn't smile much especially in the Medina restaurant, Food was awful, very funny combinations, Who serves Salt & Vinegar Ice cream for a sweet if was disgusting, peppercorn sponge. Please ... Read More
The Ship was good, staff miserable, didn't smile much especially in the Medina restaurant, Food was awful, very funny combinations, Who serves Salt & Vinegar Ice cream for a sweet if was disgusting, peppercorn sponge. Please Chef go back to school and learn some basics. Normal food required. No jacket potatoes in Horrizon Buffett only on first day on ship, after that never again..Why because they have them on other ships all the time. I have cruised with P & O before and food on Oriana was a lot better, basic food options, no concoctions put together, it was lovely all the time, but not on this ship. Please improve this, as otherwise you will get more complaints, also need more options for Gluten free customers, as not enough choice also for Diabetics, as there were a lot of these people onboard too. Please P & O sort the food issue out. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Love Norway good memories of deceased partner. The food left a lot to be desired often only warm, uninspired boring. Had one meai in beach club excellent as was the service, 2 meals in self service very nice. Was put on a singles table ... Read More
Love Norway good memories of deceased partner. The food left a lot to be desired often only warm, uninspired boring. Had one meai in beach club excellent as was the service, 2 meals in self service very nice. Was put on a singles table disaster I was a man paired with 5 women ranging between 65ish to mid nineties could not gat a dcent conversation disaster. I am a very outgoing person and have made good friends on other cruises not on this one.Most staff friendly an d helpful. Excursions way over price [I booked direct[ Worse of alll I got Noro again thanks P&O again I got a bad cold sore throat and head ace Despite using my own sanitizer plush ships own The port days were enjoyable so it wasnt an entire disaster. The young lady who helped me disembark was a treasure. The valet parking was efficient and easy but all in all disapointing Read Less
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
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
This cruise was part of a package deal offered by our travel agent. While the first part of our trip (bus trip) lived up to and actually exceeded our expectations we were disappointed with the cruise. The food overall was terrible with ... Read More
This cruise was part of a package deal offered by our travel agent. While the first part of our trip (bus trip) lived up to and actually exceeded our expectations we were disappointed with the cruise. The food overall was terrible with the vegies, what there were, being so overcooked and mushy, the salads very lacking, dried out and not pleasant. The cut fruit we so yearned for at breakfast appeared to have been prepared the night before and left uncovered in a cool room. It was so dried out and the worst we have ever had on a cruse. This was in the main dining room so very disappointing. If you just wanted meat on this cruise this would be the cruise for you but we also enjoy our salads, vegies and fruit so for us this was a huge disappointment. In saying that the steak appeared more stewed than grilled which was also disappointing. Not happy at all with the food. We also had to battle for about 5 days to have our onboard credit credited to our account. It was only that there were 31 in our party and most had this problem that we feel they eventually addressed it and sorted the problem for us. While it was just my husband and myself battling to have our account sorted they were not very helpful. The front desk staff tried to help but appeared to be being blocked by their seniors who they turned to for help to solve our problem. It was only after the majority of our party realised their onboard credit was incorrect and started flooding reception with queries that they agreed to help us instead of trying to push the problem back onto us to resolve ourselves. Our cabin was lovely. Our cabin attendant was great and always had our cabin cleaned to a very high standard. It was well laid out and spacious enough for us. It had lots of cupboards and wardrobe room. Very nice. The onboard activities, while plentiful and varied, overlapped a lot leaving us not able to attend some we really wanted to as they always clashed with others. Better programming of these activities would be good. We noticed the wait staff were not as friendly and welcoming as on other ships. While they did what was required of them, albeit it sometimes very slowly, many appeared very tired and worn out and we got the impression they were overworked. Some really appeared to struggle with tiredness. Not sure on our experience with this cruise we would seek out another P & O cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Chose this cruise to be with friends and living locally departure was convenient from the port of Southampton. Only second time on P&O and was hoping for a better experience but let down firstly by poor administration and secondly by ... Read More
Chose this cruise to be with friends and living locally departure was convenient from the port of Southampton. Only second time on P&O and was hoping for a better experience but let down firstly by poor administration and secondly by our two experiences in the main dining room. We were only a group of three in two different staterooms. When we made our reservations were promised dining together but on ship the Maitre D,s did not appear to be able to carry out such a simple exercise. We did eventually get a joint table by having met a senior management officer and discussing the problem with her, but by that time we had made the decision to eat in the Glasshouse Bar/Restaurant. The Glasshouse was totally different, a wide selection of dishes, all of good quality and presented with a flair. The team lead by A-Jay provided excellent service. Wine selection and Cocktails were better than a four star hotel. Stateroom, and outside single was snug and kept clean by the steward. It did however require a bit of TLC. Generally however the ship,s public areas seemed clean and looked after. Entertainment and activities are not our thing so no real comment except to say the pianist who played in various public areas seemed to have a rather monotonous itinery. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2018
Longer than usual 7 night cruise and gave more time to settle in. the scenery was fantastic. The weather was warm unusually. But Norway is very expensive for everything. A man’s belt was £50. Way more than the UK. A railway journey ... Read More
Longer than usual 7 night cruise and gave more time to settle in. the scenery was fantastic. The weather was warm unusually. But Norway is very expensive for everything. A man’s belt was £50. Way more than the UK. A railway journey listed as spectacular, forgot name, was terribly noisy. Cost about £50 and more booked via ship. Not worth it. Did not find it good as packed out and with the dreadful screeching noise of the tracks was unbearable. Pleased to get off. A snack out was so expensive I either made rolls at breakfast time or I collected rolls from the breakfast area made up. Ship excursions are very expensive and rarely worth it. Better to soak up local atmosphere at each port. Norwegians mostly spoke good English and were charming. The food on P and O has gone downhill. Silver service a few years ago but preplated now. Portions very small. One potato! Ask for more and you get a truckload to embarrass you to not ask again. Bad! I would never travel with this cruise line again. Been on Aurora twice and Arcadia. Warning. If you like you balcony doors open Arcadia’s are not sliding and you have to wedge a coffee table in the gap to get some fresh air. That’s it! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
We chose this cruise because of it's itinerary and we thought we would try a no fly cruise, never again! Too slow and frustrating. There was apparently damage to the prop shaft thrust bearing so we had to lose a day to Cannes, with ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of it's itinerary and we thought we would try a no fly cruise, never again! Too slow and frustrating. There was apparently damage to the prop shaft thrust bearing so we had to lose a day to Cannes, with a stop over in Barcelona whilst a team repaired the said part, it meant an extra sea day with no additional activities laid on to make up for this. I found the staff on the whole to be very good, our room attendant Jesroy was courteous and meticulous. However some of the dining staff need to learn not be be condescending, I even felt the dining room manager during afternoon tea sneer at me as I asked for gluten free and onion free because of allergy and intolerance to these food stuffs - you would have thought I asked for the earth - I felt like I was an inconvenience. The general age of the clientele appeared to be of the older population which made the music choices and entertainment be for their tastes, whilst it was good, it did not reflect my need - so perhaps this is not the liner for me - I need one that appeals to younger people. The line is obviously well suited to disabled and those with additional needs as I noticed very good care and help of those who could not carry out their daily activities without help. The ship looks aging and in need of a refurbishment. I felt it did not represent value for money - drink packages are not available other than wine for dinner. This makes for a very expensive bill at the end of the cruise which is difficult to budget for. I am a little unhappy with the tipping/gratuities system, according to other passengers and other online sources there is a question as to whether some staff get enough of the tips and salary to be fair. It seems unless a department gets all excellents in the feedback the staff could get reduced payment - I do hope this is incorrect - as the pay for these jobs is low enough without the gratuities being cut from poor feedback which may not relate to how well they do the job but rather systems, or one individual. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
We chose this cruise because of the destinations on offer and to celebrate our ruby wedding anniversary. It is also a short drive to the port for us. Check in was quick and efficient. We had an interior cabin which was fine for our needs ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the destinations on offer and to celebrate our ruby wedding anniversary. It is also a short drive to the port for us. Check in was quick and efficient. We had an interior cabin which was fine for our needs apart from the location on A deck (too high especially on windy days) and too close to the bow. Our cabin steward was very good. I was disappointed in Aurora’s Atrium. It was very small compared to other ships I’ve been on. We chose freedom dining but only used it a few times for dinner. Breakfasts and lunches in the self serve restaurant were usually good. As the choices on offer for dinner in the formal restaurant were often not to our taste, we ate in the self service more often. However the meal themes were repeated far too often. For example Asian appeared three times. Only a few of the meals we ate in the formal restaurant were of good standard. Dry chicken and fish and tough steak were the worst. A lot of the meat in both venues was tough and poor quality. I’ve had better meals at our local Wetherspoons! Having to pay for ice creams was rather mean. Also Costa-lot coffee has been brought in forcing people to buy hot drinks and cakes. The cost of dining in the “special” restaurants wasn’t very transparent. They were omitted from all the promotional material. Very off putting. The single entertainment acts were good but were rolled out for two separate performances to pad out the entertainment schedule. There were no “well known” acts at all. Especially disappointing as I have been told by former passengers that people such as Brian Conley and Michael Ball have been booked in the past. The in house shows, apart from the dance themed one were absolutely dire. Poor singers and dancers, hammy “story led” shows with cringeworthy dialogue and acting to match. I personally hate these types of shows. Some of the costumes looked cheap too. They also had a strong American bias. This was worst in the show tribute to BRITISH service men and women which featured singers and dancers in American GI uniforms. So disrespectful. The production team should hang their heads in shame. We could not fault the staff in both restaurants. They were first class. The reception staff were not so good. The one excursion we booked was the highlight of the cruise. A trip to Krka National Park to see the beautiful waterfalls. However because of the over cautious description of the trip, many people were put off. The “1 1/2 hr walk over rough terrain” as described was actually an easy 45 min to one hour stroll over mostly flat boardwalks. The description mentioned 200 steps. There were 50-60 at most. We enjoyed all the ports of call, especially Croatia. What we were annoyed about was the hidden charges for shuttle buses in some ports. £5 per person each way. We were not told about these before the start of the cruise. Having to pay a “minimal” fee of £7 per session for yoga and Pilates was disappointing so I didn’t go to them. £7 is not minimal to me. The show business presentations by Ken Joy were brilliant. We also met some lovely people. Finding our cases in the luggage was difficult because they were all spread out and not placed together. I doubt if we would choose P and O again. Read Less
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
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
Sail Date: January 2018
We like the Aurora for longer journeys having been on a world cruise on this ship. However were very disappointed with the entertainment on this South America Voyage. The majority of the acts - some good - were in the same vein ie songs ... Read More
We like the Aurora for longer journeys having been on a world cruise on this ship. However were very disappointed with the entertainment on this South America Voyage. The majority of the acts - some good - were in the same vein ie songs from the shows. We appreciate that it may be difficult and expensive to fly multiple acts long distances but perhaps P and O should take this into account when preparing these itineraries. The sailaways were poor - on one occasion the Ent. Manager was “shouting” to another ship! The Headliners shows were somewhat disappointing, most of which we has seen performed by other companies to a much better standard. Also the food is not up to past standard. The meals in the Sindhu and Glass House were very good. The staff are as always polite and always willing to help. Overall experience was average, we feel P and O need to take a better look at their clientele on these type of cruises. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We have traveled before with P&O and we have always been impressed with the entertainment, however this cruise we were left feeling ‘Is that it?’ Embarkation was slow, with us waiting an hour and a half, due to everyone ... Read More
We have traveled before with P&O and we have always been impressed with the entertainment, however this cruise we were left feeling ‘Is that it?’ Embarkation was slow, with us waiting an hour and a half, due to everyone arriving before their designated time. The food was brilliant as always, however, I felt some of the menu was repeated, almost as if they were trying to get rid of what they had left. I was also surprised by the amount of fish on the menu, not with sauces, just bland fish. Some of the ships layout was a bit odd, as to get to the Alexandria restaurant you had to go up to 7, go across the ship, and then come down again; otherwise the ship was nice, and the size was good compared to the amount of people onboard. The reception was very festive with decorations and a charming gingerbread village. The cabin staff were very friendly and they were always saying hello as you came out of your cabins. The entertainment was a different story, while the shows were enjoyable, some of the singers were a bit screechy and when they sang together (especially in that dreadful Michael Jackson rendition) it seemed they were trying to drown each other out and I think everybody in that theatre wanted to leave. I also felt that they were limited by the theatre size and as a result, they weren’t able to perform shows we had seen on other ships. The entertainment team did quizzes every night which we did partake in, but in the run up to Christmas, I don’t think anybody could do another “Guess that Christmas song” quiz. Continuing from that, on Christmas Day, the variety of things going on was very lacking, with nothing on apart from ‘Love Actually’ in the cinema. The Boxing Day panto was worth a watch, with it being very amusing in a car-crash type way. Unfortunately, our call to Amsterdam was cancelled and we were disappointed that there were no alternative arrangements in place after the previous time the ship was due to dock, it could not, similarly this happened the year before. Disembarkation was delayed as the gangways had disconnected; however this was beyond their control and they tried to correct it as quickly as possible. Overall, we would consider going again, but this is not a certainty. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
- lack of discernment from program director in selecting the appropriate movies at certain days or to speicif crowds. We noticed that in Christmas day. Although we don't celebrate Christmas, many of the fellow passengers attended the ... Read More
- lack of discernment from program director in selecting the appropriate movies at certain days or to speicif crowds. We noticed that in Christmas day. Although we don't celebrate Christmas, many of the fellow passengers attended the mass on Christmas day, and were presented later on the same day with a movie called showing scenes of pornography and sex right at the very few initial minutes, worst yet, the movie was put into the family activities, in which young children were present. We felt very uncomfortable while inside the theater and had to leave. - while the house keeping staff was good and up to par, the restaurant staff at medina was not friendly at all, did not care for a smile, or to captivate the guests. Rather, they only performed their job mechanicaly, with a judgemental look for certain guests. We would expect friendly waiters and waitresses, with a genuine smile, and definately lot of carisma. - due to weather conditions the visit in Amsterdam was canceled, we understand, however the tv channel which loops The tours for each of the original destination stops was not re-edit, so Amsterda tours were still being shown on tv throughout the cruise, only to cause more frustration and to remind us what we missed there. We would suggest re-editing the tv prgram immediatly should certain destination stops become unnatainable. This eliminates unecessary frustration. - in the same subject, when the stop in Amsterdam was canceled, the captain re-routed the cruise, adding 2 extra days in the sea, all guests were without mobile signal for at least another 48 hours. considering many guests did not have a way to communicate with their family and friends waiting for them in Amsterdam, or even cancel previous travel arrangements, internet signal should had been provided as a courtesy, however it wasn't. The only way for guests to do it, was to pay a fee out of pocket for a day service of internet. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
This should have been a fantastic Christmas cruise with overnights in Denmark, Norway and the Netherlands, with a day in Belgium. What we actually got were overnights in Denmark, Norway and Belgium. I booked the cruise as I wanted ... Read More
This should have been a fantastic Christmas cruise with overnights in Denmark, Norway and the Netherlands, with a day in Belgium. What we actually got were overnights in Denmark, Norway and Belgium. I booked the cruise as I wanted christmas away and to see my friends in amsterdam over the christmas period, had Amsterdam not been on the places to visit I would not have booked. The Aurora is a beautiful little ship with excellent bars and restaurants. She has a slightly quirky layout and not all decks take you to where you think you are going, for example both the Medina and Alexandria Restaurants are on deck 6 but to access the Alex you have to go up to 7 and then back down again. Where the ship did score points with me was with the cabin, mine was a single birth facing forward on A deck - perfect for the single traveller. The service on board is good but although owned by Carnival is not White Star unlike Cunard. House Keeping does a good job but you cannot get the laundry back the same day, once again unlike Cunard. What was also noticed was the dress code they have on board, true at time wearing a jacket on a port night or last night can be an issue, but some dressed down on sea nights. The entertainment which was provided by the headliners was excellent and they performed some of the best show afloat I have seen and all were keen and eager. Regrettably the comic that was on, had not updated his act since the 1970s and some comments could now be regarded as unsuitable. Copenhagen at Christmas is awesome and the Tivoli gardens are worth a trip to – they ooze Christmas. Oslo was good but the first day we had fog, it was felt though that some tours could have been done to be a bit longer as it was not possible to view everything in the museums we visited. After Oslo things went downhill. Christmas was good with Santa coming to see us. Later we had an excellent meal and carols etc. Boxing day the atmosphere changed - the sad thing is it did not need to. We should have been going to Amsterdam and even as late as Christmas day the program for the 26th showed arriving in Amsterdam. We were told at 10 AM that due to weather we could not call but would have another full sea day before an overnight In Belgium. Nobody would disagree with the cancellation due to the weather etc, but P&O make a habit of this, on the previous cruise there had been the same issue. Common sense would have been to have cancelled Amsterdam in favour of Rotterdam (run tours to Amsterdam from there), but this was not considered. Belgium was felt to be a bit of a let-down and some felt that if we had docked in the UK we would have bailed out. It was also noted that the ferry from Hull made Rotterdam ok. Would I do a P&O Cruise again – maybe but I do have concerns as stated above. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
We chose this cruise because of the Itinerary and we have cruised with P&O many times before. Dining arrangements have changed over the years with the advent of Freedom Dining which we tried once but changed back to Club dining as I ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the Itinerary and we have cruised with P&O many times before. Dining arrangements have changed over the years with the advent of Freedom Dining which we tried once but changed back to Club dining as I don't like having to have a pager at peak periods. With prefer second sitting at 8:30pm as it allows time when returning from ashore. We have always preferred a table with 6 - 8 persons and the restaurant managers have always provided us with like minded and interesting people to share with. This was not the case this year as we had a table to ourselves and several other larger tables had people missing a lot of the time. Whilst I appreciate some guests were visiting other restaurants it appears freedom dining was the main cause of this cultural change. The ship takes a bit of getting use to in terms of layout. The choice of Beer or Larger can be frustrating in terms of what is types are sold in different bars and in some only small bottles are sold at inflated prices. The Staff were friendly and the entertainment was good. Access to the various cities from the ports of call was easy whether going on one's own or choosing an excursion. Whilst Zeebrugge does not rate high on visitors list like Brugge I was keen to see the Memorial to the Royal Navy and Royal Marines at Zeebrugge together with St George's walk given that it will be 100 years ago on St George's 2018 that the blocking of the canal entrance took place with it supporting raids there and Ostend for which 11 Victoria Crosses were awarded. Knowledge of this action seemed lacking from crew members I spoke to. The shuttle bus service to Blankenberge was appreciated as an alternative visit to Brugge. Unlike other Cruise Ships I have been on there was also a lack of interesting Lectures or talks whilst at sea. 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
21 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We don't cruise every year but we were in need of a holiday and a cruise is usually a great treat. We spent time in Southampton with family the day before but had to wait to board til 2.30pm. Boarding was very quick and efficient. ... Read More
We don't cruise every year but we were in need of a holiday and a cruise is usually a great treat. We spent time in Southampton with family the day before but had to wait to board til 2.30pm. Boarding was very quick and efficient. Food was available at the Lido deck but we were a bit late and had to make do with a tiny salad until our dinner at 8.30pm. We really should have gone to self serve as it was late for us to eat and although we sat at the table promptly it was nearly 9.30 before we got our meal. I don't count the mushroom starter which was awful! The meal had lightly warmed up new potatoes and a grey looking fish. I complained and perhaps this helped us to get a nice table at 6.30 for the rest of the cruise. Mealtimes were enjoyable because of the company and the attentiveness of the waiters but food was generally disappointing. Often it was lacking in taste. A steak was tough, a waldorf salad was lacking in celery or walnuts- you needed a magnifying glass to find any trace. The Greek salad had no feta cheese and the bread was usually doughy. The bread was exceptionally nice once and I remember about 4 really nice meals out of 11 days. My husband a chocoholic complained to me that the chocolate had little taste. The chocolate brownie did though to be fair. Salads in the self service were watery and again very little taste. Our cabin with balcony was lovely and near to the laundry for washing or ironing. We like dancing but all the lessons during the day were for beginners. The ballroom at night was very quiet maybe because it was school holidays and a lot of families were on board.The shows were quite good- what you would expect on a cruise and the acts they brought on board were good too. We got bored with the disco as the DJ seemed stuck in a rut- so much good music to play and he kept going back to Tamla and baggy trousers! We shared in a couple of quizes but not many activities to suit us. The last two nights there was so little choice, we both read our books and had early nights. We are used to finding our own way at ports of call and when we discussed our days at dinner with other guests, we often found that we had a better and more interesting day than those who had done the excursions! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
Wanted to cruise the Baltic again and see additional sights in St. Petersburg. Aurora happened to have the cruise itinary that suited us and this was our second time on this ship and sixth time with P&O. Overall the ports of call were ... Read More
Wanted to cruise the Baltic again and see additional sights in St. Petersburg. Aurora happened to have the cruise itinary that suited us and this was our second time on this ship and sixth time with P&O. Overall the ports of call were as expected. Wish I could say the same about the ship she is looking tired in many places. Unable to turn off the air conditioning in the cabin or control the heat output, constant noise of the units blower was very annoying. When are P&O going to include free WiFi this should be a must now. I had a minor altracation in the Horizon food hall on the night of the 27th May 2017 when despite the warning notice regarding the importance of hygene etc clearly displayed on the chilled water machine against filling up your own containers there was a guy doing just that in full view of three restaurant staff. I mentioned to the guy that this was not acceptable and he stated that he had been given permission but was unable to tell by whom. Brought this to the attention of the stewardess on duty and she told me " it was not my perogotive to admonish any of the passengers". She failed to tackle the offending person at all and I was according to her clearly at fault. The answer I guess is instead of purchasing bottled water at £2 a litre on board which is what I did for the duration of the cruise you should just refill your own containers and disregard the hygene notices. Makes you wonder how many more food hygene rules are being disregarded. So it's goodbye P&O, not impressed. Read Less
24 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
So lets start with the basics - anyone who is looking for a no frills cruise then this is for you. The embarkation went well and we arrived at our cabin around the time that was scheduled for us on our documents - 2pm. We had the good ... Read More
So lets start with the basics - anyone who is looking for a no frills cruise then this is for you. The embarkation went well and we arrived at our cabin around the time that was scheduled for us on our documents - 2pm. We had the good fortune to be upgraded but to be honest the upgrade was probably only a little better than our original cabin as it was still small but functional. The one saving grace was our cabin steward who was charming and always very polite - our cabin was kept in spotless condition. We had booked freedom dining but this turned out to be a little bit of a bun fight because about half the ship had so maybe we will opt for the conventional sitting next time we cruise. We ended up sharing tables of eight most of the time which can be a little hard on the social side as people can be chatty or very quiet depending on their demeanor - or as we found downright rude! However the food was good but a little repetitive and the staff very efficient and friendly. The entertainment was very slow and disappointing - not much going on. The shows in the evening apart from the comedian Mickey Zany and the Britones were not very exciting. The dancers headliners are always good so no change there. Reception service was excellent. Shore excursions overpriced as usual and Norway itself very expensive - please try to do your own if you can as you will find on most ports small travel stops who do most of the trips at half the price. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
We flew to Sydney to join the ship, sailing a leg of it's World Cruise. The embarkation at Sydney was quick and smooth. Outside cabin D183 was okay. Average size, a bit faded glory - the bathroom was that 'old lady's ... Read More
We flew to Sydney to join the ship, sailing a leg of it's World Cruise. The embarkation at Sydney was quick and smooth. Outside cabin D183 was okay. Average size, a bit faded glory - the bathroom was that 'old lady's corset' pink colour. A bit tatty but clean and tidy. A big mirrored cabinet with plenty of room for toileteries, etc. Soap, shampoo, conditioner and body lotion provided. Lots of wardrobe space. Ask for extra clothes hangers if you need them. The staff were lovely. The entertainment was very mixed. Headliners group were excellent dancers although their singing was pretty bad. Some of the acts were outstanding. The comedian, I can't remember his name unfortunately, was brilliant and an unusual act called, would you believe, The Unusualist was great. Some of the other acts were quite poor. The Aurora Orchestra is fabulous, as is the band Caravan. Whoever was in charge of entertainment shouldn't be. The activities during the day were mostly aimed at the older people. There were ballroom dancing classes, and in the evening, ballroom dancing again in a nearly empty room. It would have been so easy to arrange for the band, Caravan to play some pop songs so people could have a bit of a bop instead of this formal dancing to CDs which hardly anyone attended. Everyone we spoke to complained about it. Most nights,we bought a drink and just sat out on the deck for want of something to do. Caravan were often playing to just a handful of people scattered around the huge Crow's Nest bar. It must be so demoralizing for them. There was a 1970's style 'disco' which started at 11.30pm in another big room. All dark with flashing lights and someone playing CDs. Always empty. I think they cancelled it eventually. Food. Again, okay. We often used the buffet and could always find something to eat. We had Freedom dining, too, and went to the restaurant a few times and again, it was okay. As good as mass catering can be. There was a very good Indian restaurant, The Sindhu. There was a supplementary charge of £16 per head. The Beach House, a cordoned -off part of the buffet, was also very nice. The charge for this was £7.50 each, although some of the items on the menu were up to £2.95 on top. We didn't use the Glass House which is a wine bar with bistro type food at £5 to £8 per item. The drinks in all the bars were a bit more than pub prices eg.£4.15 Carling lager and Magner's cider. I'm not sure I'd go on part of a world cruise again. There was a bit of snobbery from some of the people on the whole journey. We received a newsletter each evening telling us all the activities and about the port for the following day. It also stated the dress code for the next evening. (Black tie. Medals can be worn !) The launderette was a bit difficult at times with some of the 'all rounders' bagging their favourite washer or dryer. I found the best time to use it was 5.30pm onwards, when most people were getting ready for dinner and, presumably, polishing their medals..The place was always nearly empty then. A wash is 40 mins. So time to put the laundry in a washer then get showered and dressed. (I didn't sit and wait for it to be finished like some people did during the day) then put it in a dryer on my way to dinner. Pick it up any time before the launderette closes at 10pm. Sorted. There are three launderettes of varying size on decks 5, 9 and 11. All with washers, dryers and ironing facilities. You can buy washing tablets from reception or take your own. I think it's a great idea to have a free service like this. Many ships you have to pay or they don't have one at all. Ports. Sydney. Fab. if you've never been, go. New Zealand - Dunedin, Wellington, Tauranga and Auckland were all very nice, although it absolutely poured down. Akaroa was exceptionally lovely. NOTE - All the public phone boxes in NZ have free WiFi. Lautoka, Fiji. A shuttle bus took us into the town which was very poor and run down. Wish we'd booked an excursion. Apia, Samoa. Very hot. Quaint buildings, friendly people. Ran the gauntlet of taxi drivers who badgered us for ages. San Francisco. Lovely shops and places. Lots and lots of homeless people. Public transport great. Cable cars overpriced and not worth it. Pier 39 great. Sea lions smelly. Take a ferry to Sausilito which is very picturesque. All in all, a nice, medium sized ship with a tiered back and lots of deck space. Lovely wrap around promenade deck which is great. Bit shabby but clean. Food okay. Service good.I would sail on it again, providing someone sorts out the entertainment. Probably better on a short trip of one or two weeks on the Med in the Summer or the Caribbean in Winter time. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
After being regaled non stop by me about the excellent food and shows you get on a P&O Cruise,I finally managed to convince my wife to take her first ever cruise......We decided on the Caribbean Christmas and New Year Cruise on Aurora ... Read More
After being regaled non stop by me about the excellent food and shows you get on a P&O Cruise,I finally managed to convince my wife to take her first ever cruise......We decided on the Caribbean Christmas and New Year Cruise on Aurora - I cruised on the same ship in 2013 on her Transatlantic and Canada trip and was looking forward to being reunited with the ship. Boarding went well, and the A Deck Cabin was comfortable. We were booked on Club Dining in Alexandra Dining Room. My wife was looking forward to the "fine dining", but when the menu arrived, it was disappointing to see that the menu was quite poor. In fact, the standard of the food, when it arrived,was not of the standard that I had been used to on previous cruises. Silver service no longer exisis, nowadays all the food appears on the plate, and has the consistency of the "boil in the bag" variety. Other guests complained about the bland taste, lack of seasoning - in fact when two meals were exchabged between another couple, they could not discerne the taste difference between Pork and Chicken!. Potatoes were undercooked. We were so appaled by the standard, that we ended up eating most of our meals in the Buffet or at the Speciality Restaurants, where the standard shone through. The headliners were not good, the singing was out of tune. The Star Acts were excellent - Well Done, there!. Service was its usual high standard The best excursion was to Nelsons Dockyard, which was the highlight of all the ports. The weather was glorious once through the BOB. The wife enjoyed the Watercolour masterclasses, although it was crammed into a corner of the Crows Nest. rather than the empty Uganda Room. When the Entertainment Manager, Leon, was buttonholed by the ladies about this, his reply of " We didnt want too many people turning up was astounding and rather insulting. As you can imagine, although the wife wants to go on more cruises in the future, she is adament it will not be with P&O Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
Cruise chosen as a way of seeing the Caribbean and enjoying lengthy times at sea. Ship is a fantastic ocean going vessel and rides it so well. That's where it ends. Very tired and plain looking even after a recent refit. the ... Read More
Cruise chosen as a way of seeing the Caribbean and enjoying lengthy times at sea. Ship is a fantastic ocean going vessel and rides it so well. That's where it ends. Very tired and plain looking even after a recent refit. the biggest disappointment was the food. You would never starve but boring, bland old peoples food. No taste, no flavour etc.. I suppose they are catering for the age of the traveller(79 on this cruise). Even Sindhu served a Rogan Josh that had rubbery beef and NO chilli. No heat at all. Similar in the Medina and buffet(school cafeteria). The beach house served overdone lobster and scallops(twice, so disappointing) especially paying for the privilege. Having sailed on Celebrity Solstice previously the food was a major letdown. Dont go if food taste is a requirement. Plenty of areas to hide away. Crows nest is good. Peroni draught in Champions cold and fair priced at 4.95 Pint. If your a big drinker take your own spirits on. Friends took 12 litres of Vodka on an and took it on deck in water bottles. Bought mixers for a pound and you have a cheap drink. The real secret is the glass house. Very underused. The wines and champers are better and same price or cheaper than the bars. The food here is exceptional and worth paying extra for. Cabin ok, windows dusty internally. Be careful on longer cruises as the ages go up and the disabled are everywhere. Wheelchairs, walkers etc so all lifts are slow. Use the stairs. It is a worry how many disabled are really quite mobile when fighting over chicken legs, port days etc.. P&O again. Not for us Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
Ship ok, considering just had refit carpets are filthy in cabins, public lounges bars etc nice and clean Alexandria waiters excellent the best we have ever had. Food ok can notice cutbacks within the menus. The real downside for us ... Read More
Ship ok, considering just had refit carpets are filthy in cabins, public lounges bars etc nice and clean Alexandria waiters excellent the best we have ever had. Food ok can notice cutbacks within the menus. The real downside for us was the entertainment very very poor not sure if it was down to Leon to book or main office but something needs to be done about it when you spend £8000 for four of you to cruise you don't want to be bored and most people were. Our other gripe were some of the ignorant passengers on board complaining about wheelchairs and walking aids saying quite loud it's Like a DHSS holiday, I am fit and healthy and even I found this quite rude, we were one of the younger guests on board 48 to 54 you get sly comments from ken and Barbie in there day cravats and grey flicked hair sniveling around the officers on portunas night. saying how do you afford to bring kids do you get hand outs. Well no we don't, we own two very successfull businesses we cruise 5 times a year we pay for ourselves and our children we have a house mortgage free o home in spain all this without DHSS help. It would be a lot better if you put your brain in gear before passing untrue comments about people you don't know 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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