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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
it was our first 7 night cruise experience ... our Cabin Stewart was 5* star right from the word go, he went above and beyond the call of duty, he most amazing, incredible man I've ever had the pleasure of meeting and talking to, ... Read More
it was our first 7 night cruise experience ... our Cabin Stewart was 5* star right from the word go, he went above and beyond the call of duty, he most amazing, incredible man I've ever had the pleasure of meeting and talking to, the cabin was also clean, tidy and presentable. the Shamrock Tenors Irish group were a 1000* stars vote from me, they delivered an utterly INCREDIBLE and I mean INCREDIBLE set both in the Manhatten Bar {this is where I saw them perform} but I was also told they delivered the most amazing off the charts insane performance in the Playhouse Theatre {I was told by Passengers} Eric Landlard Afternoon Tea is a MUST DO in the Epicuran Restaurant trust me its incredible. the ONLY entertaintment worth seeing was .. 1: the Headliners Theatre Company & Stephen Mulhern with their magic show ''Astronishing'' and the Irish Group ''The Shamrock Tenors} {this is why I would only give these two entertainment acts 5* stars} NOW FOR MY BAD MOANING DO NOT and I repeat DO NOT order Room Service for lunch as its only Included in you're cruise packages for Breakfast and Evening Dinner IF you have 3 adults in a cabin and 1 of them doesn't drink alcohol don't worry as you people who drink alcohol can still have their alcohol drinks package and the person who doesn't drink can have an NONE alcoholic drinks package for the same cabin {despite P&O Cruises drinks package wording saying different - we were told that by a P&O rep who called today about feedback for our cruise} the hot food in the Freedom Dining Restaurants were NEVER EVER hot like they should be when cooked at temperature {it was either luke warm hot food or cold hot food} the Country Line Dancing / Salsa Dancing should NOT have been organised on the stairs of the Altrium Shopping Centre as it is a way too SMALL area and not everyone can take part as its way too tiny area the Rotterdam, Netherlands Excursion Tour was YAWN / DULL / BORING although I couldn't attend this tour due to suffering with an extreme bad headache which was making me ill, apparently I was told this again was just a normal high street chocolate shop / cafe tour with NO demostration as promised in the excursion summary The Ice Cream Parlour on board was difficult to find, once found it said on our Cabin Leaflet that The Ice Cream Parlour closes at 7pm I arrived there at 6:25pm to find it CLOSED but the rest of the Entertainment was Rubbish and not worth seeing the P&O Company seriously needs to take the ship Azura off its cruise list and OVER HAUL IT / modenise it as it needs a Cinema, it needs a Cookery School{like the Brittania}, it needs a LIVE LOUNGE etc they did more on board activities for SOLO travellers than families or adults travelling together and finally the WIFI is way over priced, you can't get WIFI in you're cabins and they need the CLOUD WIFI installed on all levels within their Azura ship rather than their own P&O Wifi which is utterly crap all over the ship Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise as it was one of the few sailing from Southampton during my 60th birthday.I decided to treat ourselves to a suite and having never sailed with P&O didn't know what to expect. I had looked for reviews on this ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was one of the few sailing from Southampton during my 60th birthday.I decided to treat ourselves to a suite and having never sailed with P&O didn't know what to expect. I had looked for reviews on this particular room, which only showed one with positive comments, back in 2014. though a more recent review from the room next door C750 showed a less glowing report.I decided to keep the room I had chosen and will give you my honest opinion later. Embarkation went very well. we were able to have a buffet lunch in the Meridian restaurant before our room was ready. We were leaving at the tail end of Storm Hannah, but thankfully our Captain decided to set sell at 9.30pm instead of 5.30 to let the storm ebate. It was still rather choppy, but I had taken some seasickness tablets so was fine. We did have a look at where we had been seated for our select 8.30pm dining in the Oriental restaurant. We were not impressed, as we had been squeezed into a tiny table for two in a corner that even the waiters had trouble to serve you, I think it was table 42. Seeing as we had paid a lot more for a suite, I was not happy.We were unable to do anything about it for the first night, but our butler Elvis put in a request for us to be moved to a better table the following day. We decided to eat in the Epicurium restaurant that first night at 50% less than the usual price ( which was actually offered to everyone for their first night as it wasn't busy). The next day we were given a lovely table. Thank you Elvis. Our experience in the Oriental was really good after that. Our waiters Amitt and Frances were very entertaining and efficient. Thank you boys.Our wine waiter Allan was totally on the ball. He was there ready to fill your glass when it was needed. The Headliners sing and dance and magic troup were really good. They were the only acts that we watched as our 8.30 dining clashed a bit with other acts on the ship. The big productions had shows at 8.30 for first dining and at 10.30 for late dining.There was something on every night in the Playhouse at both these times. We enjoyed visiting Amsterdam and Bruges on our own, though we did pay for the coach to get there from the ship. The canal boat trips are very easy to do on your own and cost 12 euros in Amsterdam ( our guide took us to the best and cheapest cruise boat) and about 15 euros in Bruges, again our guide gave us a map to show us where to get the canal boats. The comments about the sewage smell was true. I felt sorry for the people using the Manhattan bar and the Malabar the first few nights. You knew you were on the Aft end of deck 7 just by the smell! It did disappear after day 3 I think it was, but other areas of the ship suffered as the trip went on. All you had to do was move else where to get away from the smell. it was a big enough ship to do this!! Another comment I have seen about the noise of the Dance instructors in the Atrium and hub of the public areas, was rather annoying when you wanted to shop or have a "quiet" Costa Coffee!!! Disembarkation was fine, though trying to find our suitcases in the terminal was a bit trying. We have sworn to either put a huge big bow on our suitcases so they stand out, or ask if we can take our own luggage!! Lovely holiday and birthday ( I did have a card from the Captain. Thank You.) Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We have just returned from our holiday to the Netherlands, France, Belgium and Guernsey on board Azura. This was our very first cruise as a family and we were very much looking forward to the whole experience. However we were sorely ... Read More
We have just returned from our holiday to the Netherlands, France, Belgium and Guernsey on board Azura. This was our very first cruise as a family and we were very much looking forward to the whole experience. However we were sorely disappointed with issues we experienced onboard the Ship. Our shower room floor leaked for three days of the cruise causing a pool of water to the bathroom floor this was only rectified on the third day of the holiday following several calls and a visit to reception. The corridor of our cabin location on deck five often smelled strongly of fumes , if not fumes it was fresh paint or sewage. There was a lot of maintenance being carried out on this corridor during the holiday and a dehumidifier was left on all day and evening outside our cabin causing a lot of noise which i had to contact reception regarding as we were not able to sleep due to this. I understand that this is a working ship and requires maintenance however there seemed to be ongoing issues regarding the sewage systems onboard the ship, during our holiday, we encountered blocked toilets throughout the public areas and a strong smell of sewage was present to the public areas on deck seven especially to the malabar lounge which was noticeable throughout the week both when in port and sailing. The roof to the buffet restaurant was leaking badly all week causing saturation to the carpets in the dining area towards the back of the ship, water was running down the wall and through the ceiling as we were eating. The carpet was absolutely soaked and therefore caused a bad small of damp to a large area of the buffet restaurant which was very unpleasant and we reported to reception staff, they were already aware of the issue. Entertainment on board the ship was dire !!! The Irish so called comedian was awful i believe his name to be Shaun Heggaty, people walked out in droves complaining - Music acts on board pretty unoffensive but nothing really magical. The quiz's and so called entertainment in brodies bar was poor - there does not appear to be much effort put into this by the entertainment staff , The quiz host Pearl was quite rude and condescending to fellow passengers. Azura as a ship was very disappointing she seems shabby, tired and in need of some TLC - we understand she is a working vessel however we left feeling very disappointed in her current state and our first experience of cruising. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Well, we have been home for a week now so time to look back on our 7 night Norwegian Fjord Cruise on Azura. By way of background, just to say that we travelled as a 50 something couple, with no children. We like to do our own thing on ... Read More
Well, we have been home for a week now so time to look back on our 7 night Norwegian Fjord Cruise on Azura. By way of background, just to say that we travelled as a 50 something couple, with no children. We like to do our own thing on cruises and we don’t tend to go to the theatre for the evening shows as they generally don’t interest us. We are happier enjoying a nice meal and a cocktail or 2 with quiet music. We tend to cruise for a mix of the ship and the location, to explore new places. We always like a nice balcony – though we prefer a mix of sun and shade. We don’t tend to bother too much with the day time activities as we are usually out and about. This was our first cruise on Azura and having spent 17 nights on Ventura (a ship we didn’t particularly enjoy) we were a little concerned about the bad press that Azura was getting before we left. We knew that she was due for a refurbishment, so were expecting the worse. Well, we couldn’t have been more wrong. We had an absolutely fabulous time! From the moment we stepped on to our coach transfer to the moment we stepped off it again the service was faultless. First and foremost the best part of this cruise was the crew. Apart from 2 (who stood out like a sore thumb) the entire crew were friendly, professional, proficient and just seemed so happy to be doing what they were doing. We wrote 6 outstanding comment cards at the end but it could have been more. The Captain seemed pleasant and was seen out and about the ship chatting with passengers and crew. Service was equally good in all bars, in the buffet restaurant and in Sindhus (thank you Yogesh). The Glass House wasn’t quite as good, but was not bad…. if that makes sense. Well done to all of them – they were a credit to the company. The cabin. On Ventura we had had cabin D114 – a superior cabin – and we really did not like it at all. At the recommendation of other Cruise Critic members we opted for aft cabin B749 on Azura – one of the aft balcony cabins that is on the ‘corner’ of the ship. Though the cabin décor was looking tired it was spotlessly clean and the balcony was wonderful. It was completely covered and private. As the cabin was at the end of a small corridor it was very quiet. It was next to a crew door but this never caused a problem. We did feel some vibration as we sailed and when docking there was sometimes a lot of vibration, but this has been the same on all other ships we have been on in aft cabins. We have booked a cruise on Ventura (to give her another try) and have booked this cabin again on her. The cabin steward, Karol was excellent. The food was a mixed bag. On our first night we ate at Sindhus and it was an excellent meal and wonderful way to start the cruise. Loved the ambience of this restaurant and we had a lovely table for 2. The food was very good and they catered well for me as I do not particularly like spicy food. We also ate at the Glass House. Funnily enough, though this had been the only part of Ventura we had really liked we did not find the quality of the food in the Glass House on Azura as good. It wasn’t bad, just didn’t seem to have the ‘wow’ factor and I am not sure we would have eaten there again. The food in the buffet area seemed good. We only ate there for breakfast once and it was good. Other times we had cabin service and this was always punctual and the orders correct. The food that came out at 3pm in the buffet was very good and to us there was a really good variety. We tended to go there after excursions and there were always a good selection of finger roll sandwiches, cakes, cold meats, salads and hot foods. We found the service in the Main Dining Room to be about the best we have had a for a number of cruises – including Celebrity. The Podium Manager, Amit, at our freedom dining restaurant, The Peninsular restaurant was brilliant and so accommodating. If we asked for a specific area he always accommodated this request, ok we had to wait but we were happy to do this and it helped us to develop a good relationship with the waiters in that area. There were some lovely tables for 2 in some parts of the restaurants and this made a massive difference to the horrid long padded seating area that we disliked so much on Ventura. Thanks go to our Waiter, Rupesh for excellent service. Our Wine waiter on this cruise was named D and I have to say we think he is probably about the best Wine Waiter we have ever had. Friendly, polite, knowledgeable and he always remembered what we wanted. Like our waiters he was always happy to take the time to ask about our day and show an interest in what we were doing. Thank you Dolreich. The quality of the wines we had was excellent and the price at an average of £20 per bottle was excellent. Anyone who complains about the cost of drinks on P&O probably hasn’t been on an American cruise line! On our last day we did a Wine Tasting with the lovely Maria and found that to be excellent value for money at £10 per person. We had the chance to taste 5 different wines and this was accompanied by a sizeable selection of canapes. Now the not so good bit re the food. In many ways the food in the Main Dining Room was good – an excellent choice, nice menus (excellent ones on the formal nights). Personally, we found that it lacked seasoning. Do they not use salt when cooking at all? I wouldn’t say it was bad, but not the best we have had on P&O by a long way. The ship itself. We much preferred the layout to that of Ventura, particularly the open decks. The 2nd outdoor pool area if MUCH better than the covered one on Ventura and for some reason we just loved walking around her decks. It really did not feel like the same ship at all ! I can imagine that it would be even busier in the Summer months, but nicely thought out. Surprisingly, we were impressed that the sea screen was not too intrusive, and we may have been converted to having one on a cruise ship! One thing we were disappointed about is that, unlike Ventura, passengers are not allowed to go on the promenade area right at the front of the ship. Before we went on the cruise we had read reports that there was a strange smell on the promenade deck mid ships. Just to confirm that these reports are right and we had no idea what it was. It didn’t spoil things too much though, but I would have expected them to look in to it. The musicians on the ship were of good quality. On the last night there was a duet – a young couple – who were excellent. Just a shame we had only discovered them then. Other vocalists were good and keyboard players etc of a high standard. The formal nights were well observed and to us they are always that extra bit special. Other major pluses for the cruise – the location and weather We had never been to the Fjords before and were expecting to take our snow boots, hats, gloves and scarves. How wrong we were! It was the Easter weekend and the weather was exceptionally warm. I think we left Southampton at 25 degrees and beautiful blue skies. Well this weather followed us up the North Sea and around Norway for more or less the whole week. Even our worst day had blue skies and apart from the last 5 hours of the cruise (as we approached Southampton) the sea was like a mill pond. The Fjords were just beautiful with the ports of call being Stavanger, Olden, Alesund and Bergen. Out of all of them we loved Olden and wished that there had been another port where we had sailed up a fjord rather than being a more coastal port. The excursions we did with P&O varied and ranged from good to outstanding. The scenery was stunning wherever we went and, yes the weather made a massive difference to the whole cruise experience. To be in Norway feeling like you were in the Mediterranean in June certainly brightens the mood and there were a lot of very happy cruisers enjoying every second of the sun and scenery. I suppose those who dislike Azura would say that with the sort of ‘fluke’ weather we had and the location anyone would have been happy in a rowing boat. I can see their point, but Azura was so much more, we loved our time on board and would return in a heartbeat before or after her refurbishment. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
I have cruised with several different lines but P&O has always been my favourite. This time I was travelling with someone who had never been on a cruise before and so went with P&O and a cruise I had already done a few years ago ... Read More
I have cruised with several different lines but P&O has always been my favourite. This time I was travelling with someone who had never been on a cruise before and so went with P&O and a cruise I had already done a few years ago to be sure he would have a good experience, My partner did enjoy the cruise as did I, however, I was very aware of the difference (not in a good way) between this cruise and every other P&O cruise I have taken. I will not be going with P&O again. It was apparent from the outset that staff were 'going through the motions' Everyone seemed disinterested and as though everything was too much effort. Service and food in the main dining room was so poor that we choose to use the select dining options on most evenings. Mainly these were good experiences, in particular the Indian. My issue is that the experience should have been as good in those areas that are included as in those that you have to pay for. Usually this is the case, but sadly not this time. For example, meals arrived with bits missing, (sauce, dressings and veg on one occasion!) with no apologies and a take it or leave it attitude. We asked for an extra bread roll one evening, and after chasing it, it finally turned up after both starter and main course were finished. Made to feel a nuisance because we don't eat meat. Every single day they brought me the veggie menu once I had reminded them and we had to request a second one for my partner every time. All sounding like tiny points, and in the overall scale of things they are. This isn't my previous experience and so my expectations were not met. Long delays between courses and food clearly been sat under hot lamps for some time as congealed. Only thing that was consistently prompt was the drink bill for signature. Also, the little things generally missing, no robes in cabins any more. Shower cap not replaced even though clearly broken after second use. Room service breakfast failed to show up on two occasions! When it arrived on third try, toast was inedible, which actually was the case throughout. In buffet big delay if wanting veggie sausage as they are cooked to order, take ages and always loads of people waiting for them. Why not cook some in advance, like regular sausage. We did one trip, which was effectively a 15 min bus transfer from the port to the glacier and back. £120 for us both!!!! I could go on...... Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Opportunity for sun after winter, family relaxation however it is the first time we have had such a poor experience with P&O. Hygiene was appallingly maintained for first week hence a significant norovirus outbreak. Passengers were ... Read More
Opportunity for sun after winter, family relaxation however it is the first time we have had such a poor experience with P&O. Hygiene was appallingly maintained for first week hence a significant norovirus outbreak. Passengers were allowed to regularly slip into buffet areas without any sanitising. Norovirus protocol resulted in staff serving you the buffet. Food was dumped on plates in ‘piles’ very unappetising. Evening and lunch meals, even when first in were luke warm. Breakfast service ground to a complete halt with the serving staff grappling with opening everyone’s cereal packets in frustration they threw half the contents in the bin. I had to ask for 3boxes to get an average bowl of cereal despite explaining this it was ignored. Had to return for milk, spoons etc, it was such a fiasco. They need training in how to plate up a meal if norovirus protocol requires them to. Smoking areas were far too extensive the coral pool on deck 15/16 was always heavily smelling of smoke. The Malabar on deck 7 had an awful unidentifiable smell to the area hence we avoided that too. ‘Surfers’ grossly overcrowded 100plus 5-8year olds. Absolutely ridiculous. The reef Deck 16 became a daily health and safety hazard with the sheer volume of children and parents. Queues of half an hour for every session and tooth brushing in the line with taking place to ensure a place especially in the mornings on sea days. Cabin was tired. Beds and bed linen quality was very pleasant. Service from cabin steward was good he was attentive, approachable and friendly. Recycling seemed to be taking place daily. Waiting staff varied greatly some were excelllent some were dismissive to the point of rudeness. Officers seemed ‘hands on’ especially in the dining areas, a very visible presence. Embarkation felt, for the first time, like a cattle market plus no hand sanitiser was given at check in which is shockingly poor for P&O. Disembarkation was yet again a complete farce with self help gangways doors changing at very short notice causing chaos in the waiting areas as those who had queued from 6am were left at the back of a very very long line. Royal carribean was fantastic as disembarkation in comparison. Adult entertainment shows were tired with such old well overused jokes and dated acts largely aimed at get a reaction from where passengers lived in the UK or the ugliness of woman. P&O need to massively modernise their entertainment in this respect as the ones we saw have been done to death. Children’s early tea was rammed. Older children 10-17 need a sepearte time as it became dangerous for the younger ones with loaded trays missing their heads by inches. The children enjoyed the magic shows and circus skills very much and despite how busy the reef was they thought the rangers, for the most part, were very nice, kind and caring. Partner enjoyed rock band UK a new addition for us to the daily entertainment. Astonishing wasn’t at all and extremely loud def take ear defenders if you decided to watch. The gym machines need maintaining and calibrating this wasn’t observed once. Nothing was said by the staff when toddlers were running around in the gym despite notices displaying a strict over 18 policy. The swimming pools were closed due to sickness one day, too much sun cream another day and ‘maintainance’ on a third day. The tv screen above the pool was a nice touch to watch a film of an evening. Staff were very attentive in offering blankets during the movie. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
In the past we have sailed on P&O cruises through recommendation, Our first, on the Oriana was excellent, the next time, it was good, lots of cutbacks, ie. silver service in restaurant, food selection in buffet resturants, and dining ... Read More
In the past we have sailed on P&O cruises through recommendation, Our first, on the Oriana was excellent, the next time, it was good, lots of cutbacks, ie. silver service in restaurant, food selection in buffet resturants, and dining rooms. This last P&O cruise on the Azura was a real disappointment, on the first night in the restaurant, the gentleman next to me asked the waiter for an extra scoop of ice cream and got a point blank NO!, then it turned into a bit of a row, as the customer insisted several times, that is what he wanted, and eventually got it. Several of the staff seemed sloppy throughout the trip. Next I went to the hair salon to get my hair done, that was a nightmare, after telling the lady exactly what I did not want, she proceeded. 2 and a half hours later, hair washed, blow dried straight, cut ( or should I say savaged ) half curled, to witch the lady asked delightedly, " Do you like ?" to which I said "NO", it was what I had asked her "NOT" to do, so she started off again, to then turn my hair into "Ringlets", I am 71 and looked like " Shirley Temple", I got up off the chair and walked out and went to lunch with my husband, and as we had lunch, my husband " Your hair is going straight as we speak!". I then asked reception if they could do this, and said I had to go back to the salon, this I did and was asked if I would the same lady to fix it " NO ", I did get my money reimbursed, but had to go around looking like " a street beggar" The shore trips were same old, same old, and ridiculas prices for what was on offer, very dissapointed indeed. Then the dreaded "Noro Virus" hit the ship. On the last night I got it, and we had to be out of our cabins by 8.00am, I was feeling really rough, and still recovering from a fall on the elevator as we were boardind, and I asked an officer who cane into the buffet resturant if there was a chance of getting a wheelchair, as I did'nt fell i could walk very far, "have you ordered one?", "No" i replied, then I could not have one and off he went. Thank goodness the trip was over, not quite, when we came to the disembaking ramp, I asked if there was a lift, and again was given a "NO, you can walk down the ramp!" Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
We wanted an early spring cruise to visit the Canaries where we have been several times before. Been on Ventura the sister ship but Azura is not the same level of ship. Water damage to buffet ceiling tiles, which were not replaced with ... Read More
We wanted an early spring cruise to visit the Canaries where we have been several times before. Been on Ventura the sister ship but Azura is not the same level of ship. Water damage to buffet ceiling tiles, which were not replaced with new, just replaced. The tiles were disgusting. In the buffet area we noted large holes in the carpet under the chairs. Carpet in corridors deck 8 needed stretching as it was all over the place and a trip hazard. Buffet cutlery, glasses, plates were dirty on a regular basis, need to look at the dishwashers. Mentioned to staff, not interested. We inspected all utensils after that to find clean items discarding three forks one lunch time. The Oriental Restaurant also had water damage to walls and ceiling. The menu seemed to be a quiz every evening, nothing was what it seemed by the description. seemed to be pot luck as to whether we could eat the food or not. The best thing about the cruise was Steve King talking about 60s music. We booked for both lunch and evening at Sindhu when they were doing special prices. The evening one was only a few pounds more and much better value. We have a cruise booked to the Med on Britannia in September hoping for a better standard, it should be it is costing enough! We have also booked in Iona for Fjords in May next year. We are really trying to support P&O but come on guys get your act together otherwise you will lose our future custom. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We have just returned from a 12 day cruise on Azura to Canary Islands from Southampton and wish to share our experience of a first cruise with P and O, after having sailed with Princess each year since 2016. The contrast between the two ... Read More
We have just returned from a 12 day cruise on Azura to Canary Islands from Southampton and wish to share our experience of a first cruise with P and O, after having sailed with Princess each year since 2016. The contrast between the two companies is frankly alarming despite there being no difference in the prices we have paid, like for like. We have stayed on Lido deck forward on three occasions; twice in an outside partially obstructedand once in balcony and up until now and despite some rough seas off Cadiz, have not been unduly bothered by that location. This time we stayed in L101, which I will comment on shortly. We have also stayed on deck 12 on Crown Princess at the rear but the vibration from below was terrible. Embarkation was excellent and we were able to gain access to our room quite early, but once on deck it was apparent that all was not good. As we passed through the automatic doors from the outside deck to our corridor we were greeted with a tatty, very worn carpet which didn’t improve much all the way to our cabin at the end. There were also numerous scrapes on the walls. First impressions were bad and didn’t get better in the cabin which also had a worn grubby carpet but worst of all a horrible configuration with the bed back against the window leaving about a foot all around to maneuver. We had to move the table under the clothes rack and were unable to use it. Annoyingly the rooms either side had the bed against the side-wall and far more space all round. The TV was a joke, Not only tiny, but positioned on a shelf high above the coffee making area which made it impossible to view unless you were standing up. That didn’t really matter because there was no signal for TV for most of the cruise (and even in Southampton), and the film choices were terrible. The maps for showing the position of the ship looked as if they had been drawn by a 5 year old. The young girl steward, Misty worked tirelessly keeping our cabin clean and neat given the poor state it was in and was the only person on the ship we found worthy of a tip. We went to the buffet where we found the hot food was the same temperature as the cold stuff. It resembled what you would expect to see in a works canteen. I had a stone cold curry and rice. We thought this might be just a changeover day problem but it was the same the next day. In fact lunch was pretty well the same every day, often cold, repetitive and bland. Having enjoyed some great sail aways from Southampton on Princess we were expecting something similar but this one was totally dead with little effort from our entertainment team and bar staff who looked as if they had just heard gratuities were being removed next month. In fact far from being the friendly, attentive, happy people, mostly from the Philippines, we had experienced on other cruises, this bunch were in many cases morose or doing their best to pretend we weren’t there. In fact for the entire cruise we found many staff to be indifferent. At the front desk, staff often chatted to each other or looked at computers rather than acknowledge us. I lost my glasses and reported that to the desk along with a detailed description of case etc and this was noted down with a promise to inform me if found. A few days later I called at desk and identified them. Nobody had bothered to check or inform me. Why would they when they can’t even be bothered to acknowledge a guest standing waiting in front of them? Who trains these people in such basic customer skills? I now turn my attention to various areas of the ship in the vain hope that somebody might actually take note of my observations. The buffet at breakfast was probably the worst aspect of the cruise. The scramble for tables was horrendous with guests reserving tables with various discarded items such as handbags or coats and even books. Once secured those guests would often remain there chatting over numerous cups of tea regardless of the poor souls trying to find somewhere to eat. Staff struggled to clear tables and the jostling for food was really annoying. Staff looked particularly irritated if asked to make poached eggs, omelets or pancakes. What was also annoying was the closing of one side of the buffet, which had the effect of compressing the already large volumes of people into less space. Trying to get a table that wasn’t occupied or reserved (people like to occupy outside seats or diagonally opposed or even place bags on unoccupied seats to discourage/prevent others from sitting down, such is their selfishness) was difficult bordering on impossible. Welcome to the 2 star holiday camp. This was also apparent in some bars and the theatre where you had to arrive 30 minutes early or risk not getting a seat or being split up courtesy of everyone leaving one spare seat next to them. The bars all had their own character. The Planet bar on the18th level was like a care home. Where Princess have skywalkers disco with late night dancing, a happy hour and a place for those still willing and able to enjoy a decent club atmosphere, P and O had Beth and James, A piano and guitar duo you could get a good nights sleep listening to. What a waste of a great venue that actually looked good. The Atrium was a massive disappointment as it was not only compact but devoted almost entirely for the whole cruise to ballroom dancing where the same usual suspects were in attendance showing off nightly. The so called Brodies bar which also housed the casino had the best choice of drinks but often the worse choice of entertainment and guests. If this is P and O’s impression of a British pub they need to get ashore more often. Most of the quizzes were held there along with bowling on the Nintendo Wii, bingo, darts and live football (satellite reception permitting). This was where Benidorm meets Jeremy Kyle and having to listen to one large family singing loud Liverpool football chants was definitely a low point. Incidentally the quizzes of which I attended a few were decidedly hit and miss with themes such as breeds of dogs, for gods sake or fish. The prize for such huge efforts was laughable. You could win a gold star (great if you are in primary school, but not particularly exciting if you were much older but sadly the P and O faithful embraced the idea. I accumulated a couple of the coveted stars and after great difficulty, managed to locate a prize redemption area at the end of the cruise. The prizes actually weren’t bad but it would have been so much easier just to give a prize to the winner at the time. The Glass house was another rest home for the elderly enjoying crosswords, sudoko or a nap. The Blue bar at the Atrium was popular for pre dinner drinks but just ok. The Malabar looked smart with fancy red lighting and Palm trees outside but on approach absolutely stank of sewage. The smell was disgusting and it never subsided. Some people commented on it, some ignored it, and some didn’t seem to notice, such was the diversity of clientele. It had nightly music, usually the resident group, Authorised or Pulse who popped up all over the ship for sail aways or filling in. I can honestly say that whoever is booking these bands either never heard them or needs a hearing aid. The girl singers were terrible and managed to either murder songs or sing them in a way that made even the most popular and well-known song sounded unidentifiable. The other main bar was called Manhatten and was used as a secondary venue for shows which were mostly Tribute acts or comedians. Head and shoulders above the rest was Jeff Dingle as Bruno Mars who really rocked, closely followed by an Adele act and the inevitable Beatles. The Bootleg Beatles are still the bench mark but this band did a fair job whilst actually looking nothing like them. What was really annoying in Manhatten however was the family that sat boozing whilst their two young daughters ran around the bar for hours annoying other guests until midnight. Staff as usual did nothing as they did when same girls were running around the pool ‘bombing’ earlier. On a plus note, and there aren’t many, the Headliners shows were good and clearly a lot of effort had gone into them and the guest speaker Stephen King commanded huge audiences with his insights on the music industry. With regard to one of the more important aspects of cruising, we were on freedom dining which is supposed to mean that you were free to dine anytime between 6pm and 9:30pm. Sadly this was not the case. It did not take me long to figure out that they we working a ‘sitting’ operation. At 5:30 a queue started forming, that was 60 strong at 6pm opening time. Many guests were opting to dine table for 2 and were accommodated. Once full, buzzers were given out and you would think they would be called in as tables became vacant. Not so. We witnessed whole lines of tables empty and not being filled. Eventually when all tables were empty buzzers were going off all over the place and in came sitting number 2. Finally around 8.30, in came sitting 3. We noticed a keenness to move us swiftly through courses on sitting 1. On sitting 2 staff became a little overwhelmed and waits between courses extended. As sitting 3 progressed they began clearing up vigorously. Menus in restaurants looked impressive but the reality was not always so good. Some meals were good, notably slow cooked lamb shanks, but then that’s not rocket science. Starters were small and often basic and bland. Deserts were also just okay with watery custard and rather tasteless or ice cream. Some staff made the effort whilst others just looked bored. Front of house seemed much happier. I walked around the ship one day to see what was on offer. The sports deck was an absolute disgrace. There was a large open deck area covered in green matting completely unused. No putting green or bowls here. Two members of staff were playing basketball and the golf net was just a small, tented area and a bag of clubs fit for the bin. The whole area was an absolute disgrace, totally neglected and abandoned. Deck 16 housed Breakers bar, an area almost totally given over to smokers. Down on 15 smokers were again occupying one side of the deck next to the pool. They had slowly on a daily basis been able to extend even further along the deck and when you were going to and from the buffet you had to pass through a wall of smoke. Congratulations to who ever came up with this positioning. The one table tennis table was squeezed into the other corner outside the buffet area. Clearly P and O put greater emphasis on accommodating smokers than people who wish to engage in sporting activities. I have reserved a few final comments for the cruise director and staff. Again on previous cruises with Princess we knew and recognized him and his staff who connected with passengers and seemed to always be around. I’m afraid I found Chris to be conspicuous by his absence and I would fail to pick him out in a line up. His merry men (and girls) were equally grey and seemed to only pop up briefly for quizzes before fading away into anonyimity. Their stupid holiday camp style dancing on deck sailaways left me cringing. This might be Butlins or Haven but it sure wasn’t expected on what I thought was going to be an upmarket holiday. P and O are clearly targeting the mass market in order to fill cabins. There was one other trauma that deserves a mention and also was the pivotal point in my deciding never to book P and O again. One evening we identified a few things to see. One was billed as an Elvis show. What transpired was possibly the stupidest and most pathetic rubbish I have ever seen. Unbeknown to us ‘Elvis’ was not a tribute act but cruise director Chis dressed in a silly costume and making stupid noises. He asked if there were any Elvis fans present, to which there were a few affirmatives including an elderly Welsh couple seated next to us. He then proceeded to make silly wheezing noises and stupid mimicry of Elvis which clearly offended said couple who promptly stood up and walked out. I personally am not an Elvis fan but I felt sorry for them and we did likewise. This man acting the fool on stage was being encouraged by quite a few of the crowd who would definitely not be candidates for Mensa and reinforced my feeling I was on the wrong ship. Fortunately we were able to make it to Manhatten for the Adele tribute singer who actually had some talent. In summary we had a highly disappointing holiday on a tatty ship, with average food and entertainment, constant queuing and a firm conviction that Brits will often accept this. If this had been full of Americans or even Germans, staff would have been overwhelmed with complaints because they expect and demand better standards and get them. Would P and O be our first choice when booking another cruise? Not likely if this one is anything to go by. We will just have to pay more for Celebrity or find a Princess ship going out from Southampton. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We used ‘Park on my Drive’ and saved about £100 in parking fees however taxi to the terminal got us there too early so we had a long tedious wait to be checked in. Food My wife’s dietary preferences meant that we had to eat ... Read More
We used ‘Park on my Drive’ and saved about £100 in parking fees however taxi to the terminal got us there too early so we had a long tedious wait to be checked in. Food My wife’s dietary preferences meant that we had to eat exclusively in the Buffet Restaurant Venezia, so that she could select food to suit her. There was too much emphasis on curries and Indian dishes, very little variety with few cooked vegetables and food not always as hot as it should have been. Venezia restaurant always crowded as only half the space open most of the time. Coffee machine not working for the whole of the cruise, fruit juice only available at breakfast and pineapple juice only available 3 mornings out of 12. The milk dispenser often not filled and you were expected to use UHT milk sachet instead, Drink P & O are new to the drinks package idea but do not have the price right. A drinks package for two for 12 days would be £960 when in fact our bar bill was under £100. You would need to be an alcoholic to get your money’s worth. Their soft drinks package would have been £480 compared to Norwegian on the Epic at £138. Service The cabin service was very good but in the restaurant there seemed to be a lack of willingness to help and when service was given it was very slow, when ordering drinks they often arrived halfway through the meal even when ordered right at the beginning. Tables not cleared as quickly as they should have been. Entertainment I understand that P & O have won an award for entertainment and goodness knows why. The entertainment was very poor with a few second rate comedians and singers and no shows. The standard was so low that the highlight of the week was the entertainments manager doing an Elvis impersonation. Cost We opted for the saver fare as opposed to the select fare and consequently were only allocated a cabin a week before we sailed and then treated as second class citizens in dining room allocation and having to pay on the “free” shuttle buses. An example of the shuttle bus cost in Lisbon was £4.00 per person per journey a total of £8 each way compared with a taxi cost one way of 6 Euros. The cost for the internet package was very high and so we did not use it. P & O should rethink this policy in this interconnected electronic age. Not a very good move to encourage future bookings on P & O. Ship The Azura started operation in 2010 and is now in desperate need of a refit. Certain areas such as the Malabar and deck 7 midships smelled of sewage all the time and one passenger reported black mould under the toilet seat which was not immediately rectified. The satellite TV was not working for most of the cruise. P & O’s standards have dropped considerably and are now below an acceptable level and do not compare well with rivals such as CMV. Shore Excursions We did two P & O excursions, one to La Palma for Whale watching. 3½ hours on a small boat in heavy seas and saw no whales nor dolphins, in fact not even a fish and no compensation for this. We also did Lisbon by land & river and this was very good with a tour of Lisbon by coach and then a very pleasant river cruise. We also did three excursions by Cruising Excursion The first at Madeira where we were left stranded on the top of a mountain and had to return to the ship by taxi. The second to Tenerife where we saw lots of rocks and volcanoes at the foot of Mount Tiede and the third to Lanzarote where we saw lots of rocks and volcanoes on a visit to Fire Mountain. All the excursions by both companies are vastly overpriced. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
Nice to enjoy warmer weather, although mixed sun and cloud. Surprised how many children were on board in term time. All were well behaved, but some of the Dads made nuisances of themselves, jumping and bombing into the swimming pools ... Read More
Nice to enjoy warmer weather, although mixed sun and cloud. Surprised how many children were on board in term time. All were well behaved, but some of the Dads made nuisances of themselves, jumping and bombing into the swimming pools and frightening toddlers. Lunchtime Buffet service rather limited. Shellfish never varied, shrimps in cocktail sauce and mussles every single day. Volume in the playhouse far too loud. I actually saw two people wearing noise cancelling headphones. Rather a lot of ‘we need to keep you entertained’. Activities and a great mant quizzes. Excellent Captain’s Welcome aboard evening.. a great pity that some passengers are rude enough to carry on conversations whilst the captain is speaking. Most people dressed appropriately in the evenings but some did not and no action was taken by the crew. As usual, the crew were friendly and hugely polite. A pity some passengers do not give the crew the same respect. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Great Premium flight from Birmingham well worth the extra though why you should have to pay on top of £175 surcharge to reserve a seat baffles me. Smooth transfer to cruise terminal then super quick boarding less than 5 minutes after ... Read More
Great Premium flight from Birmingham well worth the extra though why you should have to pay on top of £175 surcharge to reserve a seat baffles me. Smooth transfer to cruise terminal then super quick boarding less than 5 minutes after getting off coach. Found cabin nice and spacious with large balcony. All ok there, luggage arrived within an hour or so. Muster drill delayed until a18:30 by late arrival of another flight so first evenings dining was a bit chaotic, no ones fault but quality of food was a sign of things to come unfortunately. Apart from Beach house (which we visited twice - very good) the quality of both MDR & buffet was underwhelming. Menus read well but failed to deliver most of the time. Entertainment. We like to see production shows and cabarets but except for 2 nights when a 7pm show was put on we had to choose one or the other as were on late dining. We’d book early or free time dining if booking P&O again though we did enjoy the company on our table. Ashore. Booked 2 excursions through P&O and 2 independently. St Lucia northern tour was very good with varied stops and good value. Taste of Antigua was poor value for money at £45 each for 20 minute bus ride to back street garden restaurant to tast 3 small nips of rum and a small selection of so so food. Did our own thing at St Maarten & Ponta Delgada. Tried most bars - planet was our favourite and felt prices were reasonable. Cannot see point of introducing package @ £40pppd unless they are going to boost bar prices to encourage take-up. We do not hold back but only spent around £350 on wine and bars in 13 nights. We tend to select cruises by itinerary so won’t say no to P&O again but we’re not sold on the brand yet. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
The entertainment on the Azura was terrible and was not half of good from last time we went on in 2015. The breakfast in the buffet was the same every day. No variation. You even had to ask for mushrooms if you wanted any which I thought ... Read More
The entertainment on the Azura was terrible and was not half of good from last time we went on in 2015. The breakfast in the buffet was the same every day. No variation. You even had to ask for mushrooms if you wanted any which I thought very strange. Not a lot of people knew to ask. The chairs on the balcony were ripped and we had to ask a couple of times for them to be replaced. In the Antrim some of the chairs were badly marked. The meals in the restaurant were absolutely beautiful. We had a wonderful time but the entertainment and buffet let it down big time. The staff are amazing and work really hard. The ship looks a bit sad in places though and could do with a bit of T L C. We love P & O and would definitely go with them again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Not a moan but flight (tui) delayed at Manchester. Arrived Barbados almost on time and was transferred to the ship bypassing the airport, (great) arrived quayside as the computer system crashed but was kept up to date with progress and ... Read More
Not a moan but flight (tui) delayed at Manchester. Arrived Barbados almost on time and was transferred to the ship bypassing the airport, (great) arrived quayside as the computer system crashed but was kept up to date with progress and water given out and we were looked after, we were then booked in manually and boarded. First impression of the ship was very smart, the cabin was an outside with sea view, was small but big enough to sleep in and get changed. Our opinion is we will not be in there all day, it's only for changing and sleeping, Freddy the cabin boy was brilliant and looked after the room to a high standard, 3 times a day with turn down service. The entertainment team were fab Jo B, Liam, Caroline, Riccy, Ali, DJ Phil Wes and Giovanni were fabulous, kept us entertained. Sea days were a bit packed with sun loungers at a premium, we had to sit on chairs a couple of times, but understandable. The waiter service for drinks was fine though short wait on sea days again understandable with the capacity, yes the decks were chokka at times. The restaurants were very well laid out with the option to share with other guests which was great to meet other people and learn from their past experiences. Food was (as in previous reviews) repetitive but very nice, (i only had the same meal once) the waiters were very obliging and helpful, nothing seemed to much trouble for them. Breakfast in the self service on deck 15 was sometimes a struggle to find a table but most people shared anyway. I had one gripe which was the toast. Was cooked ok but the bread crust was solid i did mention it and was told to ask for fresh as they have someone doing the toast all the time. Drink prices were a bit more than pub price but not extremely over priced, the bar staff were a pleasure to deal with and entertainment of an evening was very good though could have been at times on the bigger theatre as Manhattan bar wasn't big enough for the better artists. In our opinion the overall state of the ship was not as bad as people say. We were very impressed with the ship, the crew, entertainment and food. The itinerary was great with the weather being fabulous with only one Caribbean shower in two weeks. If you want to go ashore just check the Horizon information to see if you need your passport or not and it gives most information you need. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
For warm Caribbean weather. Great staff on board, lovely passengers. Mediocre food. Dreadful cabin on deck 14 immediately under pool deck where noisy activities, night and day. No respite from silly sail away parties to late night revels. ... Read More
For warm Caribbean weather. Great staff on board, lovely passengers. Mediocre food. Dreadful cabin on deck 14 immediately under pool deck where noisy activities, night and day. No respite from silly sail away parties to late night revels. Crew banging heavy items around late night and very early morning. Very poor entertainment. All the music was geared up to a younger generation than the mainly retired or elderly cruisers.The Headliners group were enthusiastic and quite talented but the material was wrong, again, geared for a younger audience. The drinks are overpriced, as are the shore tours. Although the food was mainly acceptable it was only of moderate quality. The beef was always tough, as were the pork chops. The only decent meat was the ever popular lamb shank. The parts of call were not at very salubrious places. In the towns immediately in the docking area, it felt a bit unsafe to walk around. In summary, apart from the excellent crew and passengers, the cruise was a bit dreadful. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We chose this cruise been a new year cruise. Have been on the Azura 8 times but there will not be a 9th. Xmas decorations were beautifully done. There seemed to many people on the ship. People everywhere inside and out. The service on ... Read More
We chose this cruise been a new year cruise. Have been on the Azura 8 times but there will not be a 9th. Xmas decorations were beautifully done. There seemed to many people on the ship. People everywhere inside and out. The service on board was dreadful waiters just couldn’t be bothered, plus they were overworked. Never ever have I seen people in dining room in shorts above the knee, Tracksuit joggers and trainers. No one including maitred said a word. I always thought it was a smart casual dress code . See days were manic. We sat in the so called quiet adult area. If you hadn’t got a subbed by 8.15 forget it. They got more Sun beds out from somewhere, put them wherever they could. Not even the poor bar waiters could get by to take drink orders. We were sandwiched in like sardines. New year’s eve I must say was amazing great entertainment great atmosphere. But unfortunately we had 12 other days to put up with on this holiday camp ship. We were put in Sindu ( Indian restaurant) for our N Y gala meal , I did complain but they were having none of it. They did compromise and let us join my son and daughter. Yes they pus us in different restaurants at different times, even though we shared the same cabin. In hignsite we’re please we were in Sindu as we got fab service with pleasant waiters. Cheese & biscuit were a joke . I will try and put a photo on later. We heard people moaning that they were waiting 30 mins between corses. And there drinks just didn’t arrive. Entertainment was ok . Astonishing show done by head liners was very good even though we have seen it many times. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
got a deal flying from Newcastle to Barbados which is a rare event, make a change from getting over to Manchester, firstly getting on the ship was really quick a thumbs up for that, ship looked tired and in need of a good renovation, ... Read More
got a deal flying from Newcastle to Barbados which is a rare event, make a change from getting over to Manchester, firstly getting on the ship was really quick a thumbs up for that, ship looked tired and in need of a good renovation, everywhere the deco is dark and dreary, the lifts they had wasnt sufficent for the amout of people using them, entertainment was good whn the headliners was on, apart from that if you like comeddians all the time you would be ok, the verona buffet was like a school canteen food area to small to allow for passing each other, nearly had plate knocked out of my hand many times, food was nice but very repetative, we had set dining on a night and in my opnion the waiters are rude and food again repetative although what we got was nice, we had no trouble getting a sunbed even on sea days, the waiters there were very good and quick to serve you, all in all very disappointed as all the other cruise lines I have been on were wonderful Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
We chose this cruise as we wanted to get some winter sun which we certainly got. As soon as we got on the ship I felt disappointed, we had previously been on two cruises with Celebrity and the Azura unfortunately did not live up to our ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we wanted to get some winter sun which we certainly got. As soon as we got on the ship I felt disappointed, we had previously been on two cruises with Celebrity and the Azura unfortunately did not live up to our expectations. The food in the buffet was absolutely dreadful, I ate a snack there on the first day and returned later in the cruise but other than that I couldn’t eat there. Many passengers were saying the same to me so it isn’t me being fussy. Most days I didn’t eat anything until dinner as the choice was dreadful. On occasions there was an outside barbecue, which again was terrible, I couldn’t eat it. The dinner in the evening was satisfactory but not great, tasteless really. We don’t normally use the specialist restaurants, there was certainly no need on Celebrity Cruises, this time we paid for four different restaurants. The Indian restaurant was superb and we went back again, £20 extra per person. The Glass House was also very nice and very reasonably priced. Afternoon tea was quite nice and free for guests. The entertainment on the ship was OK but repetitive, we saw Jimmy James the first week and again the second week. The cruise entertainment team were good but there should have been more well known entertainers. The bar areas, theatre and halls were nice and good atmosphere. I had never experienced British sail offs, the parties were quite good fun and well worth going to. The islands that we visited in the two week cruise were good, just what we wanted, lots of lovely beaches. We embarked at Barbados and enjoyed everywhere we went, I can’t recommend P&O, the difference between them and Celebrity Cruises is huge, I can’t see me ever using them again. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We were on the Azura for a month over Christmas and New Year 2018-19, in a deluxe balcony cabin. The furniture is now old and a bit tatty, told due for a refit in 2021. The other parts of the ship are holding up well, overall, the ship is ... Read More
We were on the Azura for a month over Christmas and New Year 2018-19, in a deluxe balcony cabin. The furniture is now old and a bit tatty, told due for a refit in 2021. The other parts of the ship are holding up well, overall, the ship is tidy and in good shape with some nice touches by way of decorations. The entertainment of an evening was fairly good, not outstanding but, better than the year previous on Britannia. However, for us after 21years of sailing on P&O UK with over 60 cruises under our belts, this will be our last cruise with them as their standards of service now, apart from the cabin steward, was pretty low grade. The food in the buffet of a lunchtime was both repetitive and cheapness all-around, with the same offerings everyday and the hot plates were of an extremely low grade cuts and poor quality. No doubt about it, even the bread offered was not fresh, indeed the rolls were clearly from what had been left over from the previous day from all of the other dining options of the previous evening. Not once at lunchtime was there sliced bread available to make a simple sandwich, you are forced in the buffet to eat a plate of food or a hot low grade meal. The excuses are, we offer on deck a pre made sandwich for you, they too were low grade and the same every day, no choice and no options. Of an evening, the food was a little better but not outstanding and not worth remembering, again well written menus with creative writing but the quality of the food was poor. Even the waiters did not know what some of the items describe actually were. If you are looking for a quality dining experience and have not been on P&O for a few years, you will be bitterly disappointed with what is being offered now. Everyone I spoke to, said they were disappointed with the food. Only a few of the cheapie last minute bookings who had never cruised previously, thought that the food was anything other than disappointing. They even stopped asking you for your opinion now after the cruise, we never received a questionnaire whether in paper form or via the internet. The ships officers are nowhere to be seen, only 1 bar Indian head waiter´s around the ship. The front desk were never welcoming, I guess because of the level of complaints. Never will we step foot on a P&O ship again, after this very bad and month long experience. It also seems that P&O UK have adopted the P&O Australia method of attracting drunken idiots, to drink beer and alcohol all-day, stopped the allowable bring your own spirits to your cabin onboard, now saying as all do, we will save your prized duty free purchases safely in our store room that you buy ashore until you disembark. It is evidently clear, by the number of people being ejected from this ship, that alcohol plays a large part in how the ships now operate and how they sell so much of the stuff from 10 am in the morning to 4 am in the morning. Remember if you want a quality cruise and not a booze cruise don´t choose P&O UK. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We had been on cruises before but our first wirh p and o.we had an inside cabin on deck 12. Really big for an inside cabin with walk in wardrobe area. Bathroom big enough with toiletries. Lovely lady that cleaned our room . We found ... Read More
We had been on cruises before but our first wirh p and o.we had an inside cabin on deck 12. Really big for an inside cabin with walk in wardrobe area. Bathroom big enough with toiletries. Lovely lady that cleaned our room . We found embarkation ok, given a drink and floral knecklace all good humoured. Ok there were children but they had there own pool area we just went to the adults only area . The boat is plenty big enough for everyone Never found the children a problem. We had 8.30pm seating at night on a table for 6. This was great to meet people all the food was great. You could eat at any time of the day. Only problems were the sunbed shortage on sea days, which was addressed by the staff they put a ticket on the sunbeds with towels on that had been left after half an hour they took the towel and bellongings away. Great New year's eve party. The cruise is what you make it different for everyone we had a great time and have booked again for next year. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We like to go to the Caribbean for some sunshine and have done so for several years with P&O. Earlier in the year we also cruised on Arcadia to New York and Eastern Canada booking for the first time a suite, which was excellent a ... Read More
We like to go to the Caribbean for some sunshine and have done so for several years with P&O. Earlier in the year we also cruised on Arcadia to New York and Eastern Canada booking for the first time a suite, which was excellent a real joy, so when on this cruise we were offered an upgrade from mini suite to a suite ( at an extra but reasonable cost) we thought great, the choice was limited but we chose C750, which is at the rear of the ship. We were aware that as in all cases upgrades will not be for the most ideal cabins, in this case the balcony has a large stanchion obstructing the right hand side. Being aware we were prepared so on entering the suite, we found it to be quite large and spacious and set out very different from Arcadia suites. We were surprised to find that the the shower and whirlpool bath was separated from the toilet but thought and indeed found, there were advantages in this. The disappointment was that there in no provision whatsoever for your toiletries, no shelves no cupboards etc so had to store them in the main room . The main room was large, spacious, plenty of drawers, large dressing table plus a large desk. The bed was great plus you could ask your butler for a choice of pillows. The wardrobe was adequate in a small but walk in cupboard. The balcony however was more obstructed than we thought it would be, not only did it encompass one large stanchion on the right hand side blocking the sliding doors by the bedside, but it also encompassed the major part of another on the left side. There were two steamers but in truth only one was usable, plus a table and two chairs rather cramped. So if you go for a suite with a great balcony, do not chose this one. I am appraised that C751 is exactly the same. The service was great and overall we really enjoyed the cruise. The only other issue is when you land at Barbados you are taken immediately to your transport to the ship, which is definitely not great, as there is no room for your hand baggage and these days most folk have rollalongs so very cramped and uncomfortable. Have made this comment to P&O. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Plane was over 2 hours later going. Arrival on ship was chaotic. No welcome drink, no pictures taken. Nothing!! Just shoved in the direction of our cabin. Had to move from cabin L224 to B311 as L224 had a large noise and vibrating ... Read More
Plane was over 2 hours later going. Arrival on ship was chaotic. No welcome drink, no pictures taken. Nothing!! Just shoved in the direction of our cabin. Had to move from cabin L224 to B311 as L224 had a large noise and vibrating all the time. Very reluctant to move us but after refusing to move away from reception until we go a manager to sort it. Staff useless at sorting out issues.This was the theme thru the entire cruise. Food was ok but no allergen info in buffet. Too many kids in the main pool. Yes it was an xmas cruise but kids should have been in school (and no they were NOT private school kids) Itinerary was changed from that scheduled and no one told us. Still waiting for a response from P&O about this. Boat ok, Sit down dining good. Entertainment average (Headliners quite good). All of the islands blend into one after a while. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
First and last cruise with P&O Azura.Sailed from Barbados on 15/12/2018 on 2 weeks Caribbean cruise at a total cost of nearly 5000£ for me and my girlfriend ,just to be very very disappointed with everything.The inside cabin we had ... Read More
First and last cruise with P&O Azura.Sailed from Barbados on 15/12/2018 on 2 weeks Caribbean cruise at a total cost of nearly 5000£ for me and my girlfriend ,just to be very very disappointed with everything.The inside cabin we had was a small ,dirty box with dirty carpet,dirty furniture, dirty little toilet .The cabin has not been cleaned properly in the 2 weeks we were on the ship.We caught a terrible chest infection during our stay which basically ruined our holiday,Christmas and my birthday(thanks P&O).The food in the buffet restaurant was absolutely rubbish,dirty plates and cutlery,rubbish coffee,we bought coffee from costa every day.We have skipped loads of meals during our stay.Staff on the ship ok but some of them don’t understand English unfortunately.We have bought 5 excursions,not cheap waiting a long time for old people to get on and of the catamaran or boat.Lunch included in the excursions where shocking,burgers and hotdogs disgusting ,paid extra to eat to eat a proper lunch.The excursion were ok at least we were away from Benidorm on the sea with all the characters on board.On the end of the cruise we have paid our bill but P&O put on top a preauthorisation of 800£ on my girlfriend card putting her account in overdrawn.We are never going to use this company again because they are overpriced,no standards absolutely disgusting,Azura ship should be scrapped. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose this cruise for it's itinerary and value - nine destinations in 14 days. The Azura proved to be a very decent ship. The Atrium could be bigger, for dancing and activities, but is nicely designed. The Glass House was a ... Read More
We chose this cruise for it's itinerary and value - nine destinations in 14 days. The Azura proved to be a very decent ship. The Atrium could be bigger, for dancing and activities, but is nicely designed. The Glass House was a highlight, cleverly designed and a different sort of bar, where sometimes on cruise ships everywhere feels pretty much the same, but the Glass House is a bit more sophisticated and designed to fit plenty of people in but without ever feeling packed. Does nice food at a reasonable extra cost. Drink prices across the ship are reasonable too - wine at the tables from £17 a bottle is very good these days, and beer no dearer than pub prices. Brodies pub was always buzzing if you like that sort of thing - the casino attached is fine but not big. Malabar and Manhattan bars were always showing some live entertainment or movie*. Freedom dining in the Peninsular or Meridian restaurants was good if unexceptional - not the best or the worst we've had. Met lots of interesting people by sharing tables.Service was fine, but not perhaps as personal as when you do fixed dining and get to know the waiters. Sindhu restaurant (£20 extra each) was excellent, particularly for veggies. On deck, we never felt like there were 3000+ on board. I didn't appreciate from pictures why there were two separate pool areas - from the quiet one with the Sea Screen* you can't hear the louder one where all the music and bands play, so you have a choice according to your mood. *We were informed a couple of weeks before sailing that the outdoor screen on deck would be out of action for our cruise. It didn't exactly ruin our holiday but we were extremely disappointed that they couldn't get this right for the Christmas cruise - the priciest of the year. Rumours varied as to how long they had known it was faulty. I don't think this would happen on other lines. A negative for us was the regular PA announcements at 7am every time we docked (9 days out of 14!). We've never experienced this before - we normally enjoy a lie-in on our holidays, but no chance on Azura I'm afraid. Even though the announcements were in the corridor and not in the room, they were loud enough to hear inside. This will make us think hard about choosing P&O again, which is a shame, because it was otherwise very good. Other negatives? As non smokers we're not keen on the policy of letting people smoke on the starboard side of the pool deck - it's not like the smoke stays on that side. But I suppose a lot of P&O customers appreciate it. For a big-ish ship, P&O seem to have created the pokiest and most awkward buffet restaurant at sea, compounded by their unique insistence on providing trays for confused people to shuffle around the aisles with, while every other line just lets you grab a plate and move around much more easily. Otherwise the food and drink was no different to any other ship. One highlight was the shore excursions, which were much cheaper than some lines like Princess. We went kayaking, snorkeling and river tubing and enjoyed them all. The ports we stopped at were good, although if you didn't book an excursion in some of them there wouldn't be a lot to do after half an hour (Tortola, St.Vincent...) We don't go to see many shows - the Adele tribute Helen Ward-Jackson was excellent and the Tina Turner tribute pretty good too, but the 'Astonishing' magic show was poor - the tricks were obvious and the sound quality of the singers was harsh. Embarkation in Barbados was as good as it could be at 8pm on a warm evening after a delayed 9-hour flight. P&O are always well organised at getting everyone on/off properly. Leaving was fine, but due to the late flight home hanging around from 8am until 3pm would have been a bind if we hadn't discovered a long lost friend in Bridgetown who invited us over! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
Wanted a relaxing,warm weather cruise, so chose the Caribbean as we had been before about 10 years ago. Azura was our 2nd P&O ship, Britannia was our first, and there was no comparison. Azura was infinitely better, and we were not ... Read More
Wanted a relaxing,warm weather cruise, so chose the Caribbean as we had been before about 10 years ago. Azura was our 2nd P&O ship, Britannia was our first, and there was no comparison. Azura was infinitely better, and we were not disappointed. Were upgraded to Superior deluxe Balcony Suite, which was the biggest cabin we have ever had in our 14 years of cruising. Food in the Meridian Freedom dining restaurant was very good, the lido was ok for breakfast and lunches and snacks, a pity we only tried our main dining room for breakfast on the last day as the breakfast there was excellent and everything was freshly served. We had pre booked Sindhu Indian Restaurant before we sailed and enjoyed our meal there. We also dined in the Epicurean for a special evening meal, which took a long time between courses and was a bit pricey. Our favourite, however, was The Beach House where the food consisted of sizzling steaks served on slate platters, great giant prawn skewers and the biggest strawberry, banana, cream and flambeed brandy deserts. We loved it so much we ate there twice! The evening entertainment, was very good every night, (unusually as on other ships we have been frequently disappointed with some of the acts). The resident band was excellent, the dancers were very good and again unusually the resident singers on the main stage all had great voices and sang in tune. We had no complaints about any of the acts!! Service was good in all areas, all in all no complaints about the ship at all! Weather was great, islands were interesting and we had a great cruise! Read Less
Azura Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.1
Dining 4.0 3.8
Entertainment 4.0 3.5
Public Rooms 4.0 4.0
Fitness Recreation 5.0 3.7
Family 4.0 3.7
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.4
Enrichment 3.0 3.1
Service 4.0 4.0
Value For Money 4.0 3.6
Rates 4.0 3.8

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