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Sail Date: December 2014
This was a Chrstmas present from my best friend..neither of us had cruised before so thought a good idea. We departed from Southampton to Zeebrugge for the market in Brussels. This was the first cruise after the ship's refit so we ... Read More
This was a Chrstmas present from my best friend..neither of us had cruised before so thought a good idea. We departed from Southampton to Zeebrugge for the market in Brussels. This was the first cruise after the ship's refit so we were looking forward to it. Initially it seemed very organised..park car, photos taken then stand in a long queue to check in. Finally on-board armed with our map..found cabin easily and overall impressions very good. We ate in the Beach Hut the first night..my friend had pre ordered a wine package...which they had no record of, so bought extra wine. On taking this problem with the staff they kept going on about vouchers..which we didn't have, and were apologetic. The food there was very good. We found, plus a lot of other passengers found most of the public areas very cold...to the extent..at breakfast some people had coats on. Breakfast was plentiful but our impression of most of the staff was lack of interest. We had manicures in the Spa on the Friday..staff were courteous and couldn't be more helpful. Departing the ship at Zeebrugge took forever, everyone queing up the stairs...we waited about 30 mins. Two hour coach ride to Brussels...and not impressed with the market. The next night ate in Sindu we which was excellent and staff were very attentive. Entertainment wise we saw a mediocre comedian but an excellent group c as Lord Britones. Disembarkation back at Southampton was very speedy..the reverse of menstruation. Not too sure would want to spend a week on this ship. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2014
Yesterday I arrived home from my first ever cruise, I couldn't have been more sad to leave, not only was this my first cruise, but it was my first 'big' family holiday, which made it all the better. Everything about the ... Read More
Yesterday I arrived home from my first ever cruise, I couldn't have been more sad to leave, not only was this my first cruise, but it was my first 'big' family holiday, which made it all the better. Everything about the cruise was perfect, I do not have one complaint, the service and looking after you will receive is outstanding. Dinner especially was one of my personal favourite times, you are given your table which you will sit at every night, with your two allocated waiters, who are also outstanding.  Rocky and Alfredo were my table waiters, they were extremely kind and attentive, but also funny and made the time even more enjoyable. You'll be given a drinks waiter too, ours was Elvis. And, if your like me and have special dietary requirements etc. someone who specialises in this, will give you the menu for the following night each night, so you can order early and they have time to discuss with the chef if there is any ..(for me I have a nut allergy) in your chosen meal. The food is amazing, I enjoyed my dinner every night, there were so many amazing choices to chose from it was great! The entertainment in the evening it brilliant, you have lots of choices, there are many bars, for eg. There is a bar called carmens, which there is a show preformed every evening, (but there's also a theatre which is brilliant if you want a proper sit down show), there is a bar called champions, which is a sports bar and since the World Cup was on when we were there, we Spent a fair amount of time in there, there's a bar called Masquerades, which is like your after hours 'night club' if you like, no one under the age of 18 is allowed in after midnight. There's also many others, some that are quieter or more formal, but we didn't visit them often, for no reason other than personal preference! If you go with kids, Aurora is great too, the have a kids club on during the day, everyday, called Jumping jacks, this is for 5-8 year olds I believe but there lots of clubs for lots of ages (including a teen club), but my little cousins loved jumping jacks, then at night time each night they do a 'slumber party' where the kids go in the pjs and watch movies etc, and can stay until 11pm (but like I said there's lots of different clubs that will have different times). The off ship days are of course amazing append will be different for everyone that goes so I won't go into much detail about that. But personally our family really loved the on ship days, there are three main pool ares, the crystal pool (which a roof can be closed on, on days the weather may not be great), the riviera pool, and the terrace pool which is located right on the back of the boat and is were the sail away party's are located. Our family stayed in the crystal pool for the majority, not because the weather was bad, although a couple of days it wasn't great, but on the 35 degree heat days we stayed there too, because the roof was off. All pools are great family pools and also have hottubs in crystal and riviera, which are lovely! You have food served basically all day in the main restaurant, that's were you tend to have your breakfast and lunch, unless you book to go somewhere else, like Marco Piere Whites which we had lunch in for a special occasion. There is also a spa on board that is supposed to be amazing we didn't visit it, for no reason other than we were too busy doing other things! There is lots of lovely shops to visit, they open around 5pm ish, you have clothing stores, makeup stores, perfume, jewellery (especially high end watches), then a kind of general needs store you could say, which sells toiletries, meds and sweets! Your rooms will be lovely and clean no matter which type, we had a bath/shower balcony room, but my cousins had a room without a balcony that was very large space wise and all rooms are cleaned to the highest standard, you will also have your own cabin steward, who visits your room twice a day, once in the morning before 12pm, to make your bed and give you clean towels etc, and once in the evening when you have gone to dinner, to roll down your bed, and removed the towels you have used. Both embarkation and disembarkation are very fast and simple, a lot easier than flying. OVERALL, this is the most perfect holiday, for ALL ages, I will keep the memories of it forever, it is an experience not to be missed. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2013
Overall impression is a good but confusing ship. By confusing I mean on the main entertainment decks 7 & 8 you have to weave from side to side to get anywhere. It’s also too easy to pick the wrong side! The announcements from the ... Read More
Overall impression is a good but confusing ship. By confusing I mean on the main entertainment decks 7 & 8 you have to weave from side to side to get anywhere. It’s also too easy to pick the wrong side! The announcements from the bridge were not easy to hear as the speaker system was very hit and miss. The cabin is the best place to hear as long as you either have the TV switched on or they decide to broadcast to the cabins. We had a balcony cabin which was clean and of a good size. Food is of a high quality with plenty of choice and locations. The Captain, Neil Turnbull, has a great sense of humour. I enjoyed his interview. The ports visited were well chosen and the scenery was spectacular. Most locals spoke good English and were very welcoming. However, there were no port lectures. To find out more you had to watch the cabin TV – not good. The big problem is the entertainment; it is the worst of any ship that I have been on. The days at sea have such events as “Arthritis pain solution” and “How to revitalize your legs”! No quiz until 5:30pm. However, the guest speaker, Nick Slope, gave informative and entertaining lectures. The port days, however, had many quizzes at various times during the day but most were cancelled due to lack of interest – I wonder why. The evenings had good quality shows in the Curzon Theatre however, the singing left something to desire, but that was it! The bars had some music but where were the members of the entertainment team? They did try their version of “Mr & Mrs” one night but it was poorly presented. P&O should talk to Thomson about entertainment. Overall, I think the problem is the age and mobility of many of the passengers. I’m 67 and generally fit, I must have been in the lower age group on board! Many of the wheelchair passengers thought that they had the god given right to have the priority everywhere. Summary:- Good food, good accommodation, excellent ports, poor entertainment.   Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Food really is not up to the standard you would expect from a cruise ship. Tasteless, stale bread and sandwiches little choice on food for late buffet. Reception staff that really could not be bothered and lied to us on more that one ... Read More
Food really is not up to the standard you would expect from a cruise ship. Tasteless, stale bread and sandwiches little choice on food for late buffet. Reception staff that really could not be bothered and lied to us on more that one occastion. Entertainment was nothing to write home and very standard with only one half decent act on board. The restaurants that you have to pay for and the main dining room in the evening are the best place to eat. Breakfast is very poor overall and this ship seems to be Benidorm at sea, So if you like you cheeky chap cockney gizza this is the cruise ship for you. Iwill never book with P&O again. We have booked for IONA first voyage its now getting cancelled and I will take the lose on the deposit and not bother giving them any more for my money again. Read Less
7 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
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
First the journey to southampton was terrible, why they choose this port is beyond me the best way to describe the port is just ugly. The ship was no better a family room cabin was ideal as a single room, the entertainment third rate acts ... Read More
First the journey to southampton was terrible, why they choose this port is beyond me the best way to describe the port is just ugly. The ship was no better a family room cabin was ideal as a single room, the entertainment third rate acts was awful five days at sea only half day at gibraltar embarkation, tv reception was very poor picture was terrible, sunbeds was another sore point ,not enough and also people as usual throwing the towels on beds was a disgace they said you only could leave your towel on for half an hour before they were removed this never happend .the luggage at the end of the cruise was a farce nobody could find any of there suitcases it was shambolic P.O had a very good reputation we have been on cruises before with them they were excellent but on this occassion we were let down. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
Wanted to experience the Norwegian fjords 1. Could not enjoy the views as the windows were absolutely filthy 2.Embarkation and disembarkation was a nightmare ,staff had not a clue about crowd control,disabled left to wait in the rain when ... Read More
Wanted to experience the Norwegian fjords 1. Could not enjoy the views as the windows were absolutely filthy 2.Embarkation and disembarkation was a nightmare ,staff had not a clue about crowd control,disabled left to wait in the rain when embarking on ship after being ashore. Arrogant,ignorant staff treating us like children,no thought about the elderly or the disabled ,no smiles,very little interaction with passengers . 3.Food in Horizons was bland quite ordinary.Serving staff when asked what dish was what ( some dishes had no label identifications) had no clue to what was being served .Very slow to refill food displays ,waiting staff distant,sour faced, unhelpful. 4 Entertainment manager,and two of the staff who welcomed passengers to the Curzon theatre for the nightly shows would have been better employed at aButlins holiday camp. 5.Breakfast in Medina restaurant waiting staff pointed us to a table,and carried on talking with other staff,we were left to walk thro the restaurant and find the appointed table 6.Reception staff not very helpful with a query regarding disembarkation and connection with Eavesway coaches The passengers we spoke to were dissatisfied with reception service YOU WILL NOT BE SURPRISED WHEN I STATE THAT I WIL NOT BE CRUISING WITH P&O AGAIN SINDHU RESTAURANT WAS THE ONLY HIGHLIGHT OF THE CRUISE Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2014
I have sailed on P&O's Arcadia and Ventura and cruised with RCI,NCL, Cunard and Thomson. This cruise was a complete let down when compared to all of the other cruises I have been on. The food selection and quality is poor and the ... Read More
I have sailed on P&O's Arcadia and Ventura and cruised with RCI,NCL, Cunard and Thomson. This cruise was a complete let down when compared to all of the other cruises I have been on. The food selection and quality is poor and the organisation in the Orangery buffet restaurant was chaotic. We paid £12 each extra for the Pennant Grill (which is basically part of the outside deck of the buffet restaurant, with tablecloths). The food was ok but if you wanted certain menu items such as steak or strawberries you had to pay an extra £3 to £5 per item on top. The food wasn't even worth the extra money and I have eaten better in some of the main restaurants on other cruise lines. The ship is a smaller older ship, which we knew when we booked the cruise but there seems to be no atmosphere. The staff have to be the worst I have ever experienced. They seem miserable and uninterested and at times I felt like I was putting them out. I don't want to be waited on hand and foot but I have had better service in McDonalds. The only staff member who was pleasant and helpful was our Cabin Steward 'Glenn'. I was really glad this was only a 2 day cruise, I wouldn't like to spend any longer on this ship (perhaps the staff feel the same way and that is why they are so miserable). I feel very let down by this cruise, I traveled with 6 others experiencing their first cruise and feel I have let them down and should have suggested a different cruise. Save your money and precious holiday time and choose a different ship or cruiseline. P&O you need to sort things out on this ship, the standards aren't acceptable. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2014
I have never used P&O before, having had great cruises in the past with Royal Caribbean. The Aurora was truly shocking 1/ The mainly-Indian staff simply could not care less, were surly, never smiled, and it felt to me like everything ... Read More
I have never used P&O before, having had great cruises in the past with Royal Caribbean. The Aurora was truly shocking 1/ The mainly-Indian staff simply could not care less, were surly, never smiled, and it felt to me like everything was just a bit too much trouble. 2/ The officers considered the passengers to be a nuisance and would sit by themselves and studiously ignore us. Not once did a ships officer even acknowledge my existence, let alone say hello or smile. 3/ The food was utterly appalling! - I mean, like something from the 1980's! The Orangery restaurant was like a motorway service station, except that the food was actually worse. Fresh fruit was bruised an completely inedible, the Salad's were lacklustre, the hot food worse than I was dished-up at the school canteen. Meals in the Formal restaurants sounded great on the menu, but what was delivered to my table actually made me laugh out loud several times. I'm not a fussy eater, but had to pretend that I did not have a hearty appetite and always only ate a few mouthfuls, to avoid offending my table-waiters, who actually were OK. The truth is that the Steak could be eaten (too tough), the Beef next night was equally cheap and sinewy, the vegetables were so overcooked that they had lost the colour of proper food. Oh the cheese board! - what a joke! - every night the same cheap, "Aldi" cheese was offered as if it was some fantastic cuisine. The only crew member I would rate is 'Carol' from the entertainment staff who was everywhere and worked so hard. Put her in charge, and dear god, replace the entire top tier of Officers, and start firing the useless waiters so the remaining staff begin to actually care about service. I'm furious, I wasted my time and money on this disgrace of a cruise ship. I can't explain my anger enough except to describe it this way: If P&O contacted me and offered a replacement cruise on the Aurora, in a Suite, somewhere fabulous, I would turn down the free tickets because I could not face that ship and those surly people again. Life is too short to spend time in the company of unpleasant idiots, and the Aurora people are exactly that. If P&O read this, my cabin guy was OK, my table waiters tried their best and Carol is a gem. Fire the rest.   Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2014
We have just returned from our first cruise from Cape Town to Southampton, and to be honest this was one of the most regrettable choices that we could have made. To list all the disappointing items would be a mammoth task, but here goes ... Read More
We have just returned from our first cruise from Cape Town to Southampton, and to be honest this was one of the most regrettable choices that we could have made. To list all the disappointing items would be a mammoth task, but here goes for the main ones: The food in the Medina restaurant was awful, our first meal of roast pork was inedible and quickly convinced us to try the Cafe Bordeaux the next day. We checked the Medina menu each day, and realized that the choice of food was basically very poor British type 1980 pub food. The alternative, cafe Bordeaux was not much better and this at a premium of Pound 9.50 per person preposterous. Food rarely reached the table hot, was certainly not fine dining, desserts were the same as those found in the Orangery. Coffee was worse than our nescafe in our cabin. In order to have a half decent cup of coffee we had to pay Pound 2.20 for a cup of Costa The entertainment aboard the ship from Cape Town was very limited, listening to an athletic champion of 1988 in 2014 was very poor to say the least. Discussion on the Big Five or the sonnets of Shakespeare became quickly the best way for afternoon naps. The captain was often funnier than the comedians. My partner tried watercolor lessons, but a 45 minute (contract from P&O) for over 40 people was a total waste of time if one was there to learn something. Line dancing, Bridge, cha cha cha, along with poor food, awful and expensive shore visits seemed to be a very expensive first time cruise holiday, which we will clearly not do again. Luckily we had paid for and received a good cabin with an excellent steward that enabled us to spend a great deal of time playing solitaire, reading and longing for home cooking and finally being able to leave the ship. ( I dread to think what the passengers that have basic inside cabins without a balcony could be doing ) We will add this letter to the growing dissatisfied P&O forums, so really do suggest that you listen to the complaints, maybe invite Marco Pierre White to take the ship more often, maybe incognito? Finally having to pay 30 Pound for 100 minutes of internet time is the biggest rip off of the century, back in Southampton there is free WiFi on a local bus!!!. And in most hotels and guesthouses.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2014
Please watch out for upgrade. The cabin we had chosen suited us but we were upgraded without our consent. The cabins that are avoided by the informed include the noisiest. From joggers allowed from 4 am jumping on the roof to parties ... Read More
Please watch out for upgrade. The cabin we had chosen suited us but we were upgraded without our consent. The cabins that are avoided by the informed include the noisiest. From joggers allowed from 4 am jumping on the roof to parties raising the roof till midnight just outside the door is not conducive to sleep. It was hell for us for the thirty nights aboard. Not much use complaining because the staff from the top down live on another planet. Those who think the food is good do not know what fresh fruit and vegetables are. The room steward seemed to be the only person who knew about cleanliness. The Orangery staff wafted around grabbing plates before one was finished the excuse for food served. In the dining room the waiters did not use handkerchiefs etc. but the back of hands or sleeves which was a little off putting. There was always staff standing around doing little. On other ships the cleaning was much more thorough with stairs being cleaned regularly. The entertainment was limited, repetitive and not always interesting. We learnt our lesson and will head back to Princess or Cunard and leave the UK P&O to those who know no better. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2014
Having previously cruised extensively with P&O we were very disappointed at the continual decline in what this company actually achieves whilst still promising a whole lot more. Every previous passenger without exception agreed that ... Read More
Having previously cruised extensively with P&O we were very disappointed at the continual decline in what this company actually achieves whilst still promising a whole lot more. Every previous passenger without exception agreed that P&O cut back on what they were offering or were now charging for what was previously a given. A little for instance, they still serve petit fours after a meal but they're not worth the time even eating, so poor is the offering. The food is at best adequate, nothing at all outstanding, the meat is fatty the fish dry and the veggies laughable. Many of the crew and officers have been quite candid in agreeing that standards and quality has diminished, unfortunately the price hasn't !!! It's as if a smart Alec accountant has been through the ship and cut out or down any of the signature attractions P&O once had. This is not a cruise line that I would recommend to anyone expecting the "P&O ' experience, it's at best a 3 star offering, being promoted as a something more. The captain and the cruise Director both invited comment before we all left to comment on Cruise critic but the fact is neither is really interested or able to do anything positive. It's all a big sell. The cruise director was thought by many to be somewhat churlish in his attitude, which I am in full agreement with. Unfortunately he also thought he should treat the passengers like children too. My comment ?? Wake up P&O and start delivering what you are promising Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2014
First time with P&O but definitely the last. We were celebrating our Golden Wedding Anniversary and what a let down. We first cruised for our Silver Wedding Anniversary and have cruised several times since and always been delighted, ... Read More
First time with P&O but definitely the last. We were celebrating our Golden Wedding Anniversary and what a let down. We first cruised for our Silver Wedding Anniversary and have cruised several times since and always been delighted, but the Aurora was enough to put anyone off cruising for ever. The food was very mediocre at best, extremely poor most of the time. Not a patch on the food we were served on the many times we have been with Royal Carribean. The tours were very poor and very expensive. The veranda was dirty and when we complained to reception they werent even interested. I wasnt even asked my cabin no or my name. The attitude of all the staff was very complacent. The entertainment was poor and the Headliners were very amatuerist. When we needed to use the Lifeboats as tenders in the Bay of Islands one of them didnt even work. I dread to think what would have happened if we had needed them in an emergency. Lifeboats should be checked weekly. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2011
All started so well, got to the airport good check in, flight by thomas cook was fine,the check in at Barbados was quick and efficient. We then got on the Azura which is a big ship. Cabin was fine and clean, The problems started when we ... Read More
All started so well, got to the airport good check in, flight by thomas cook was fine,the check in at Barbados was quick and efficient. We then got on the Azura which is a big ship. Cabin was fine and clean, The problems started when we went to get some food. The self service dinning was not good, the selection was poor.The evening meal had no alternitive which i have never experianced in all the cruises i have taken. One day my wife asked for a bananna for breakfast and was told that they did not have, she asked for the head guy and after a while he brought her a bananna which looked as it had been on the ship longer than us. The entertainment was very amateurish the singers were not good and the dancers were out of time. I found the front desk staff the most unhelpful i have ever had on a cruise ship. The bar staff hover over you as soon as you find a seat and are most unhelpful, one evening my brother in law asked for a Crabbies ginger beer the waiter said we dont have any go to another bar, Not sorry sir we have run out but iff you would like i will go and find one at another bar. I found the staff not well trained at there jobs. I will never take another trip on P&O as all they are after is your money. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We left Cunards Queen Elizabeth to join this cruise for New Year thinking the entertainment would be more fun and Indy it was. The ships entertainment crew are quite brilliant and deserve a huge pat on the back for all the shows but ... Read More
We left Cunards Queen Elizabeth to join this cruise for New Year thinking the entertainment would be more fun and Indy it was. The ships entertainment crew are quite brilliant and deserve a huge pat on the back for all the shows but especially for the musical show which got a standing ovation...but alas that's where the good stops. On arrival to the ship our cabins were not ready and we were told to go to the Buffet area for something to eat. My friend chose roast beef - on eating his first mouthful his spat it out saying it tasted horrible - as a chef myself I could see the meat was not right and on smelling it confirmed it was VERY OFF. I immediately told the manager not to serve any more and to remove it from service which he assured me he had done, but no follow up explanation. This buffet area is dire with most of the dishes on offer being made up - one day bangers and mash, awful. Prawn pizza awful, fish pie - like water. We gave up and thought we would try the grill area. Stone cold burgers, stale sandwiches and baguettes - chips shrewd all over the floor just terrible. The chef in a woolly hat and a complete lack of love or care. On arrival at the Cabin, bathroom mirrors dirty, long black ladies hair on the towels ( we were two men) dirty balcony windows and a very unkept feel in dated and very tired cabins. That said our Steward was friendly and rectified what he could. The food in the main dining room is better especially if you stick to the simple things - prawn cocktail was good and a cottage pie on the first night excellent as we're parts of the New Year's Eve gala dinner, especially the rack of lamb. And then there is the Glass House ...... an alternative dining venue. Please don't build your hopes up our first visit was better but the 2nd visit resulted in a 40 minute wait for a table. Follewd by a further 10 minute Wait at the table only to be informed that we might have to wait for a "long time" for our food and that they had run out of most dishes and triple cut chips. Our steak meal inedible resulting in some 20 visits to the loo the day after with severe stomach cramps to boot. Summing up standards are low if you search about you might get a few nice dishes but that shouldn't be the case. If P & 0 are offering something it should at least be edible. I am also concerned about hygiene and stock rotation. No chef should allow food out of their kitchen that is not edible and the roast beef and the steaks in the glass house were not. Neither should we experience a room that is anything other than spotless and ours was not including an out of date yoghurt in the mini fridge. Both my friend and I have suffered stomach pains, sickness and diahorrea for two days this is either caused by the food or by the lack of public hygiene with hand gels. You don't get into a Cunard dining venue without antiseptic gel on your hands. I saw hardly anybody use it on the Aurora Much needs to be done and if you are thinking of going think twice Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Very poor entertainment, had a 10yr old with us that hated kids club (couldn’t blame her) same stuff on every night. The spa on the ship was appalling, still kicking myself for not walking out. Bar closed at midnight, nowhere else except ... Read More
Very poor entertainment, had a 10yr old with us that hated kids club (couldn’t blame her) same stuff on every night. The spa on the ship was appalling, still kicking myself for not walking out. Bar closed at midnight, nowhere else except room service to get a drink. Staff entertainment didn’t show up on numerous occasions. Was a complete waste of money, hated every moment of being on the ship. Luckily we managed to see some amazing places. Great thing was the room, always clean and tidy. Although they never topped up the mini bar. Found out towards the end that you had to ask and sign for anything after the first night. Plus only complimentary water on the first night! Just constantly felt like there was nothing to do, was definitely aimed at the older crowd. If you want to know how to get rid of fluid retention this is your ship *yawn* Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
We enjoyed a Christmas Cruise last year with Royal Caribean and anticipated a similar experience - what a disappointment. Before we even started we found the website very difficult to navigate and actually speaking to someone on the ... Read More
We enjoyed a Christmas Cruise last year with Royal Caribean and anticipated a similar experience - what a disappointment. Before we even started we found the website very difficult to navigate and actually speaking to someone on the phone even more difficult. The coach trip to Southampton was well communicated and the coach was large and spacious. The fact that coach parked well away from the pick up point was a major problem as we had to man handle our luggage several hundred yards in wet conditions. ( This was true of the return journey too) Registration was smooth as was the emergency briefing. The food in the Horizon restuarant (breakfast and lunch) was on a par with a Wetherstones pub. Scrambled eggs made with egg powder and toast as hard as biscuits with no difference in choice from day to day. One egg station with massive queues. Lunch offered a more varied choice but the quality and presentation ( apart from desserts) was a low standard. Food apparently haphazardly piled into heated trays. Dinner in the Medina restuarant was much better but apart from Christmas Day the food on the two other formal nights was not special. Service in the restaurants and bars was mixed. The almost complete reliance on male waiters and bar staff was most surprising - some were very good but others surly and arrogant, particularly when dealing with my wife who is Asian and was ignored or looked down upon on many occasions. Evening entertainment was very limited. The Headliners sang and danced to popular groups/genres and were well drilled. Hardly West End show performers though and the 'shows' lacked creativity, uniqueness or any 'wow' factor. The stopping off points, Oslo, Copenhagen, Amsterdam and Bruges were well selected and the best parts of our trip. The guests on board were mainly couples and for the most part elderly. My wife christened the cruise ship a floating nursing home as many many guests were infirm needing help in one way or another to get round the ship. The ones in motorized wheelchairs were reckless and seemed to have little regard for fellow passengers whilst the ones on sticks or walking frames seemed to block passageways by walking 2 or 3 abreast. All in all a very disappointing experience and one I will not repeat. The difference between the Royal Caribean experience and the P&O Aurora experience is so vast it cannot sensibly be measured in my view. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Having been on Oriana on a 17 day cruise around the canary islands, September 2017, my heart SANK when my wife told me that she'd booked a Xmas market cruise on Aurora. I've never had a good experience on this ship and this ... Read More
Having been on Oriana on a 17 day cruise around the canary islands, September 2017, my heart SANK when my wife told me that she'd booked a Xmas market cruise on Aurora. I've never had a good experience on this ship and this cruise was no exception. The Champions bar is an open area one side of the main thoroughfare with the fruit machines banging away on the other side, went there once on first day, rude, disinterested bar staff, never went back. Raffles bar was true to form, one day it was busy and hardly any staff, we were ignored for so long it was quicker to go to the self service on 12 and bring food down, another day it was very quiet and I had a pot of tea and a sandwich; I went back to the counter for a cake, Oh No! One pot of tea = one roll or a cake, you can't have both! As expected, disinterested staff and the ' One Cake Rule ' applied randomly. I went to deck 12 and brought back a plate of cakes. We complained to reception. Much use that was. We usually retired to Andersons Bar at 11pm for cocktails, an experience once again ruined by a cleaner coming along every night at about 11.15 with a faulty Henry vacuum cleaner that sounded like a small jet engine. I should not have to raise my voice or lean closer to hear someone talking to me because of that racket, lasting abour 20 minutes, I complained to the bar staff but was told " she's only doing her job". Disgraceful. Well at least there's the Crow's Nest, oops! no seats available. On previous cruises I was never able to get much use of the ridiculously small weight training section of the Gym, usually because Aurora staff were using it. I didn't even bother wasting my time on this cruise. Here's the good bit; we were freedom dining and happened to get the same table every night. The food was first class and the waiters were excellent. What a shame that Oriana is going, I've had many excellent cruises on that ship, I'll not go on Aurora again. And before I forget, the Beach Hut which is 'enhanced dining' doesn't do cheese and biscuits after the main meal, off to deck 12 again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
we have sailed with P&O a few times as well as with other cruises companies. i am sad to say the quality offered by P&O feels like a company in Austerity but i will start with the good points. The cabin was clean and the staff ... Read More
we have sailed with P&O a few times as well as with other cruises companies. i am sad to say the quality offered by P&O feels like a company in Austerity but i will start with the good points. The cabin was clean and the staff worked hard. They were very friendly, cabin crew, waiter etc. The weather was good once we reached Greece. Some of the entertainers bought on to perform were excellent. The table we sat with for dinner was excellent. Sadly the the rest went downhill. The food the the restaurant and the horizon was poor quality and repetitive. The meat was often tough, the Salmon was dry and skin burnt on one occasion then fine the next, guess what i'm saying is there was no consistency. Roast beef was on the menu a number of times but not a yorkshire pudding to be found, roast potatoes were deep fat fried rather than roasted. Room service is now all chargeable except for breakfast for which choice is reduced and a cooked breakfast no longer available. Even the biscuits in the cabin have been changed to a poorer quality and now are no better than rich tea. Once upon a time there use to be a small dish of sweets in the cabin but alas this is a past memory. Not a chocoholic afternoon tea in sight. it is now chargeable for materials for art classes, the fit steps and other fitness classes more cost cutting exercises. The headliners who did more shows than i have ever seen, were weak and it was poor. left me feeling this was a cost cutting exercise. The entertainment team had little presence and the dance teachers seem fed up and it seemed as if it was a effort. the entertainment was poorly organised and lacked creativity. On one sea day they put an extra film on in one of the other venues however this turned out to be the darkest hour which had already been shown earlier in the week. Another day the movie was Saturday night fever in the cinema. The T.V in the cabin was something out of Noah's ark limited channels, no choice, really old films i remember from being i child and i am heading toward being 60. The T.V was so small i could hardly see it and i was wearing my glasses. On a sea day the roof over the pool was left open after Malta despite it being windy, even with a number of people asking for it to be closed as it was too cold to use the facilities. Sadly we were advised a decision had been made to leave it open but then it was closed for the Mama Mia party but not for the comfort of the customers. the cabin crew use to fold the towels and make a display of them on the beds this is just another fond memory not once in 17 days but them again if they are cleaning and responsible for more cabins the extra are cut back on. what can i say i can not agree with their advertising this is the life. It certainly is no longer. when a company makes so many cuts they risk reducing the experience and sadly i would say they have achieve this. it no longer feels like a luxury experience more like any other holiday. i think other cruise companies are now offering more Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We chose this cruise for the destinations, we have done lots of cruises but never cruised with P&O before but have friends who have so were going on their recommendations. The embarkation was very efficient at the Mayflower cruise ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the destinations, we have done lots of cruises but never cruised with P&O before but have friends who have so were going on their recommendations. The embarkation was very efficient at the Mayflower cruise terminal. When we entered the ship we were just directed in the vague direction of the lifts, unlike other cruise experiences where we have been shown to our cabin by cabin stewards. When we arrived at our cabin it was not very clean, dusty and there were hairs in the bath uggh. The 2nd morning the toilet flush failed, it took 3 phone calls and over 1hour to get a response and then it failed again the next day. The service in the Alexandra restaurant was at times very slow, the menu was repetative and some very strange items ie; salt&vinegar icecream, liquorice jelly (I didnt dare to try). I found this the most confusing ship to find my way around in some cases to get from front to back you had to go up a floor walk through to the next lift and then go back down. I much prefer the other ships/cruise lines I have travelled on, Fred Olsen all thier ships and Cunard Queen Elizabeth I will be cruising with them in the future but definately not P&O. I did however enjoy the ports we stopped at with exception of New York which was the most unwelcoming cruise terminal I have ever visited, its just a wharehouse type shed, no information of help desk. When we were walking back to the ship after an evening trip there were bags of rubbish everywhere and rats running in and out of the bushes. We had some very good excursions in each of the ports, I think one of the best was the Sugar Shack in Quebec it was a fun night out and the last port on our cruise. 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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