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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
My husbands luggage got left in manchester and we didn't receive it for five days. Ruined our first week missed the gala dinner due to lack of black dinner suit shoes etc.offered £50 on board spend which just covere toiletries and a ... Read More
My husbands luggage got left in manchester and we didn't receive it for five days. Ruined our first week missed the gala dinner due to lack of black dinner suit shoes etc.offered £50 on board spend which just covere toiletries and a pair of extra shorts. Then another £50 which bought casual shirt. Had to buy shoes in Aruba as they do t sell shoes on board. Customer service was appalling we were offered gala dinner in our cabin due to having no clothes.Otherwise the ship is beautiful the food is very good we went for breakfast in the dining room as upstairs is very busy.Our inside cabin was fine on deck 15 which is Lido deck where the pool is. Entertainment was rather loud in an afternoon on deck.The iteniry was good overall favourite Island was St.Martin. Met some lovely people on board and the cabin steward was excellent couldn't do enough for us. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
EMBARKATION We had sailed on Azura in January 2016 and had a great cruise. We were delighted to repeat that lovely experience. P and O use charter flights from Manchester, our local airport, and both the direct flights on the ... Read More
EMBARKATION We had sailed on Azura in January 2016 and had a great cruise. We were delighted to repeat that lovely experience. P and O use charter flights from Manchester, our local airport, and both the direct flights on the Dreamliner and their organisation were superb. We did not see our luggage after checking in at the airport until we arrived in our cabin. Coaches were waiting on the tarmac at Barbados to transport us to the ship without having to go through the terminal building. Check in was quick and efficient. Top marks so far. CABIN R323 The cabin on Riviera deck was in a good position with the balcony shaded by the Lido deck above. Average size and quite well planned. On our first night we were kept awake for several hours as the cabin next door was flooded. Very loud machinery had been used to dry out the cabin and remedy the problem. We should have been offered a different cabin for the night. I have to say that we found the guest services department most unhelpful. Our delightful cabin stewardess was excellent. DINING We had no complaints regarding the food on our previous sailing. Alas not so this time. We were given Freedom dining in the Peninsular restaurant, and enjoyed the fact that we could choose when we wanted to eat. In the first week our food was very poor. Many times sent back because it was served cold. Most of the fish and lamb that we ordered were tasteless and badly overcooked however the steaks were decent and cooked to our liking. After many complaints the head waiter did try to resolve the problem by personally supervising all our meals in the dining room and there was an improvement in the second week. Still no where near as good as our previous cruise. The breakfast buffet was always very busy and we did sometimes choose the option of eating in the main dinning room and also enjoyed room service on our balcony. We have been lucky to have cruised many times and have never seen such a woeful buffet that was offered on Azura at lunchtime. The quality of the salads were extremely poor - it looked and tasted as though the cucumber and tomatoes had been frozen. - tasteless and mushy. The selection of food was very paultry - hardly any if one doesn't eat seafood or pork. We had to beg for smoked fish , which miraculously appeared,only to be emptied from the platters immediately, leaving them empty on the buffet table. Very poor indeed. ENTERTAINMENT We enjoyed most of the entertainment on the ship. The entertainment manager Benne and her staff were excellent and we particularly enjoyed one of her staff performing an "Elvis gone wrong" show in one of the show lounges. SERVICE Service on the ship was generally very good. PORTS One of the reasons we chose this cruise was because of its itinerary. Barbados, Antigua, St Maarten, Grand Cayman and New Orleans were of particular interest to us and three of these ports we thoroughly enjoyed. However. When we arrived at Antigua the captain announced that it was too windy to dock. We have been on ships that have docked in much windier conditions than this. At Grand Cayman where we were due to tender to shore, the captain announced once again that it was too windy. Four other ships managed to tender their passengers and the captain amazingly announced that their tender boats were "better than ours"!!! We were not given permission to anchor. The other four ships had anchored. Very Strange AND VERY DISAPPOINTING. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
Having never cruised on P&O before and finding they had the best Itinerary and package for our trip before Christmas we decided to give it a go. We arrived at LGW and checked in perfectly on our flight. We had reserved the ... Read More
Having never cruised on P&O before and finding they had the best Itinerary and package for our trip before Christmas we decided to give it a go. We arrived at LGW and checked in perfectly on our flight. We had reserved the premium seats and the Thomas Cook flight did not disappoint. On arrival into Barbados we went straight onto a coach from the aircraft to the ship where we were checked in immediately with passport control. Have never had an easier trip to the Caribbean. Unfortunately that's where the perfection ended. The Ship is OK (a little tired) and the cabins were about the same. Certainly in need of a makeover. My experience of Dining Experience was as follows: Buffet - Extremely poor quality food with very limited labeling of what you were actually eating. Breakfast - burnt sad omelettes every day, very limited choice and most food looked like yesterdays leftovers. When I asked "what are the muffins", I was asked "which ones ? " when I said "all 3 rows" I was laughed at and told they were all "Chocolate". When I asked whether there was any other choice of breakfast ?, I was laughed at again and the Manager (in a white uniform) just laughed again and walked away. This, unfortunately,was the attitude of most of the staff in the buffet, indolent and rude. Your choices were - Lunch -fish, meat never quite sure what, as I was told they had run out of labels or of course the Pizza and Chips (no labels required). No Labels on any Salad dressings and all salad every day wet and limp. The worst thing to me was to see a label on the dietary requirement desert table (this only had a choice of 1 thing for each requirement that said "Diabetic Desert" What it was, or what it had in it, no one knew. As an insulin dependent I find this extremely insulting. No amount of asking helped. We tried the restaurant for breakfast which was extremely busy every morning obviously for the above reasons. This was better, however, you had to learn how to order. If you asked for the special on the day you got a desert spoon full of it, Literally. If you asked for grilled tomatoes on toast and did not state how many you got 1/2 a tomato etc etc. The Dining room food in the evenings was passable, but only just. Limited interaction from the waiters other than to take orders. Your only other option was to pay expensive rates for the specialty restaurants, some of which served exactly the same type of food as in the main restaurant but not only charged you to go in, but then charged another supplement for certain dishes. We did not take this option, having already paid for the trip and didn't have any confidence it would be any better. Shore excursions - Some OK but lots very poor value for money in comparison to other cruise lines in the Caribbean. Again when faced with a complaint regarding a trip and 3 requests to speak with a manager it took 4 days to get a response. This was only by letter on our last day that frankly, this left me speechless. My list of food quality complaints and staff bad attitudes is endless so I will stop. The entertainment staff , well, they were second to none. Lead by Benni I can only thank her and her team for keeping us sane and greatly entertained in the 2 weeks on board. The quality and professionalism of the entertainment, both around the ship and in the the theater was superb and her extremely hard working team and their attitude was exemplary . My other thanks would go to our Cabin attendant who was fabulous and extremely helpful. Unlike the Plumbing problem we had where boiling water came out of the shower and nearly scalded me. Waited 2 hours as could not get someone to fix on a formal night. Thankfully my husband managed to fix it. Still waiting for a plumber - ha ha So to summarize, having been on board "Celebrity, & Royal Caribbean " I have to say P & O have a lot of work to do with their staff relations and man management and as for the food standard I leave that as stated above. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
We were a party of 7 and took this cruise to celebrate our parents diamond wedding anniversary. P&O FAQ's don't seem to apply to the "2 day" cruise (actually 1 day and 2 nights) and this caused consternation when ... Read More
We were a party of 7 and took this cruise to celebrate our parents diamond wedding anniversary. P&O FAQ's don't seem to apply to the "2 day" cruise (actually 1 day and 2 nights) and this caused consternation when we arrived by car. The terminal was packed and a two hour wait ensued. Also, the formal night gala dinner is advertised as a 5 course meal, we were only offered 3. The food was good, but not exceptional. The muster was held in a room that could not adequately hold the number of passengers that were there and did go on far too long. The staff - downright rude. From the Sunday afternoon it was clear that they were preparing for the next cruise and couldn't wait for us to leave. The exception to this was our cabin steward who was a real delight. The cabins were well appointed, spacious and clean. Our first cruise experience and certainly our last with P&O. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
We, party of 6, 3 cabins, booked the weekend cruise to Guernsey to celebrate a birthday. What should have been a relaxing weekend got off to an absolutely horrendous start! Prior to travelling when we were given our cabin allocations ... Read More
We, party of 6, 3 cabins, booked the weekend cruise to Guernsey to celebrate a birthday. What should have been a relaxing weekend got off to an absolutely horrendous start! Prior to travelling when we were given our cabin allocations (2 close together and 1 further down the corridor) we asked if we could swop the allocations for 2 of the cabins. P & O said this wasn't a problem and new paperwork arrived with the names changed for the 2 cabins. I then spent 4 weeks attempting to get onto the cruise personaliser to be able to print off documents. My travel agent (Thomson) were brilliant in contacting P & O for me. Each time P & O reported they had changed the details, wait 24 hours, then I would be able to log on to cruise personaliser. This went on until 4 days before we travelled - even then I realised P & O had not changed all the details correctly, however I was finally able to print the E tickets etc. P & O clearly have a problem with their administrative services. Embarkation - after a long drive we arrived at Southampton before our allocated arrival time only to find the terminal full to capacity! We finally got to the check in desk after waiting nearly 2 hours. The two partys that had swopped cabins were then unable to check in as P & O had issued 2 cruise cards with the same name and one person didn't have any card issued with their name on it! The check in staff were rude and unhelpful and actually said 'your name is not on my system so I can't help'. I then had to show all my paperwork, with the correct details on, that P & O had issued, to show who should be in each cabin. Senior staff from the ship did finally sort everything out (assuring us the ship wouldn't leave without us) but we were the last people to get on the ship and they were closing up behind us and scowling as we were holding everything up. Due to all P & O's administrative errors we had a horrible, stressful start to our weekend. It didn't help that as soon as we found our cabins we were ushered straight out to go to muster all without being able to sit down for 5 minutes! Cabin - this was lovely with plenty of space, comfy bed and good shower. The cabin steward was a bit hit and miss with emptying the bins and didn't change our towels. On the Sunday he removed all our items off the bathroom shelves so he could presumably get a head start on cleaning before disembarkation! Dining - food was lovely but in the Penninsular but there was a long wait to get a table and the service was a bit slow. At breakfast it was hard to find a table as it was really busy and staff just seemed really fed up. At times it felt like the staff were unable to cope with the number of passengers on board. We watched one show which was enjoyable. We did not take any ship tours and did our own thing in Guernsey. We were a bit disappointed that only a few shops were open (as most closed on a Sunday) and wondered why the ship goes to Guernsey on a Sunday when lots of things are shut. Disembarkation - this was relatively easy, just shuffling along in a line to get off the ship. Time was spent waiting to get in a lift that wasn't full! After a rough start the rest of the weekend was generally fine. It has put us off going for a weekend cruise again and certainly from leaving from Southampton! If this had been our first ever cruise experience we would never, ever cruise again but having been on a perfect cruise on Oceana we know it can be good. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
The Baltic is indeed lovely but I would not advise going with P and O. The ship is attractive and the waiters and room stewards are delightful. The food is good. However, this ship has problems. It could do with a thorough clean. ... Read More
The Baltic is indeed lovely but I would not advise going with P and O. The ship is attractive and the waiters and room stewards are delightful. The food is good. However, this ship has problems. It could do with a thorough clean. Passengers are not allowed to go onboard without a sickness disclaimer. Yet you cannot go to any restaurant without sanitising your hands. I understand from reading reviews (too late) that a noro virus attack last autumn is responsible. So why did they not take Azura out of service and clean it? Our main problem which spoilt our holiday completely was that of an overflowing toilet. It happened the first night. Failure to help ensured that the entire cabin was flooded before the floor manager arrive and turned the stock cock off. We did expect to be moved but there were no spare rooms on the ship except two very low grade doubles. We had to take one as we could not get into the room. The thought of my shoes on the floor was awful. It took a day to dry out the room only to find that the plumbing had not been sorted. So the minute we flushed it happened again. I was told this happens a lot. So do be aware of this if you have OCD like me. It is really not nice. When we complained we were offered a £15 voucher and later a £50 refund. After going ashore, we issued a formal complaint and were offered a further £150. We paid for a balcony room so this was inadequate. The lady who dealt with our complaint was very uncaring. Many people on the ship felt the service had deteriorated. There were no free soft drinks. The entertainment was poor. The queue to get back on the ship was long causing distress for a lady with alzheimers. Noone seemed to care. I would definitely not recommend P and O until they clean up their act and put customers first. I am hoping to find another company with a better reputation for customer care. It is one thing to have an overlowing toilet and another ro have no spare cabins and no staff on immediate call. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
We were at sea for four days( could have called in Lisbon on way down to break the journey) before we docked at Maderia and found it beautiful but after that the next three ports were black lava rock fronted and very little to do and only ... Read More
We were at sea for four days( could have called in Lisbon on way down to break the journey) before we docked at Maderia and found it beautiful but after that the next three ports were black lava rock fronted and very little to do and only allowed ashore for half days. On one of the locations we arrived on a Sunday where everything was closed! What a waste of time!! We paid a LOT of money to go on a cruise to make it a holiday of a lifetime and was not impressed by the itinerary at all. On way back to uk we docked in Lisbon, which was gorgeous but once again only there for half day. Too many days at sea and not enough quality places to see. On board the entertainment was good and staff brilliant but which restaurants were available to your particular ticket is not made clear to you and we spent most of cruise eating in a cafeteria instead of the restaurants we were entitled to go to. Tea and coffee were provided but bottled water you had to pay for and that was also cost too much! There were MANY things that were expensive but as you have a amount of free money by the travel agents given to you to use on your cruise you were expected to donate nearly half to the crew fund ( if they paid the hard working staff a decent wage we wouldn't have need to) but can refuse if you want to. I assume that with all the days at sea passengers would spend more money on board, so that when you reach Southampton any overspend has to be settled and with us turned out to be very expensive. Very disappointed and has made us not want to cruise again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
All details are factual and the subject of a formal written complaint to P&O My wife booked the cruise in Oct 2014 to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary which was to occur in early 2015 We arrived 27/11 /15 and Azura A529 ... Read More
All details are factual and the subject of a formal written complaint to P&O My wife booked the cruise in Oct 2014 to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary which was to occur in early 2015 We arrived 27/11 /15 and Azura A529 departed Bridgetown on the 28th November 2015. The run up to the cruise was plagued with issues as a result of poor recommendation by our agents but after a last minute cabin change we headed off in the hope all would go well. Our balcony cabin had twin beds. On the first evening after a short time in bed I was unable to sleep as I felt as though I was being bitten... Not sure what was going on I swapped beds with my partner...and pretty soon she was bitten too. Bed bugs ! ?? We stripped the bedding and found it filthy the duvet was covered in what looked like body fluid stains , pillows were stained too. We were so shocked we took photo's as evidence. We complained to our cabin steward and reception.In due course the housekeeping manager agreed to change the bedding. No change of room was offered despite the fact the room probably needed a deep clean/fumigating. Not wishing to be labelled complainers , we felt that at least if the bedding was clean , then we should be OK.....but if we had been staying in a hotel , we would have walked and refused to pay the bill. Things could only get better ? Our cabin , B101 stank of stale cigarette smoke each time we put the aircon on. B101 is next to the crew section and on investigation post cruise I have seen comments going back to shortly after Azura first sailed about the smell of smoke in that cabin. The smell entered via the bathroom door lock cavity To cheer ourselves up we booked a P&O official trip to Stingray City , Grand Cayman. The info in the P&O excursion manual said that the sandbank was about 4feet deep and life jackets would be provided. My wife is/was a good swimmer...I am not so good , but with a snorkel I'm fine. On the day of the trip we attended the Playhouse theatre muster and were given labels for the trip. Unfortunately the excursion rep was totally disinterested in what he was doing and gave us the wrong labels. On realising this later we asked for them to be changed .... which was done without apology. This might seem trivial but has a bearing later on We used tenders to get ashore. A storm broke as we arrived at the terminal with some of the heaviest rain seen for some time. Tender ops were suspended , but we went ahead with the excursion....we were soaked to the skin but as we were eventually going into the water it didn't matter too much ! Bussed to our speed boat , we were shown aboard by two crew , for twenty eight people....no P&O rep....no life jackets...not even sure if there were any on board. The trip out to the reef/sandbank was through a heavy swell created by the storm. On arrival at the location we were greeted by the sight of dozens of boats and scores of people milling around in the water. Craft were fighting for position and anchors were being thrown into the water within feet of swimmers. It was mayhem. Visitors were gathered into large groups in the water by their two crew ,some 20-30metres from the boat. Becoming tired by the swell my wife decided to go back to the boat... two others had already boarded. As she did so she was swept under water a number of times and became frightened. I was on the other side of the group and unable to get to her. Eventually she managed to get to the metal steps on the stern of the boat. These were slippery , she lost her footing and fell damaging her knee. There was no-one aboard to help her other than those passengers who had already boarded. When I eventually got back to the boat I found her knee was grazed , bruised and bleeding. I asked a crew member if they had a first aid box...he looked in a small box and commented...tell her to get back in the water , the salt will do it good! Such was the trauma of the incident , my wife never went into the sea again for the rest of the cruise despite the fact that swimming in the Caribbean was to have been the highlight of the holiday. If we had booked this as a private trip we might have expected this cavalier approach , but for an organised P&O excursion , this was abysmal and put lives at risk. The next day , checking our on board account we found that the charge for the excursion had been debited to my account rather than my wife's. We told the excursion rep who said she would put it right. After 24 hours my account was credited....however the charge to my wife's account was for a trip we had not been on.. 006A Stingray Sailaway , which was £98 rather than £76 for the Express tour 017B! Another trip to see the excursion rep....he said he would correct it. 24 hours later , no correction. We complained to reception who phoned the excursion manager for us.The latter insisted we had been on the dearer trip. We did not want reception to be caught in the middle of an argument, we thanked them and went off to the excursion desk. The young lady eventually agreed that we had been on 017B and agreed to correct the charge. The young man we asked to sort it out 24 hours before was sitting next to her and said , he had forgotten... no hint of an apology. This was the same rather rude young man who had originally given us the wrong excursion tag. The third black tie evening approached and I used the laundrette to wash my white dress shirt. On pressing the steam button on the iron I was appalled to find that someone had put coffee in the iron...my white shirt was now splattered with brown stains. I warned other users and tried to disconnect the iron from the wall , but it was locked in , so housekeeping were told , and I was left to rewash the shirt and try to remove the stains. On a second occasion my wife washed a number of items , which came out of the washing machine badly marked and stained. On taking them to reception she was told they would be laundered FOC. It took three days and two reminders to get them back....on the night before we left the Azura! On the last morning we were told to leave our cabin at 0800...some travellers had to wait until late afternoon before disembarking. Public toilets were available but those departing seemed to wander around aimlessly trying to kill the time. Surely a few cabins could have been made available for shower/changing facilities. We sat on the promenade deck at one point and a steward walked past shouting "rubbish !" at me...he was in fact referring to the magazine I had beside me. His attitude was intimidating and clearly shocked others near by. Of course we were leaving...so I suppose we were not of any further interest to him. This was our first ever cruise....and our last. Were we expecting too much ? We would certainly not travel with P&O again or indeed recommend them. Whilst the staff in the Oriental were brilliant and so too our cabin steward , the rest of the experience was akin to a cheap B&B or a stay at a tacky floating holiday camp. We tried to make the best of the trip , but , no thanks to P&O. A truly bad and very expensive experience , not to be repeated. The only high points were the daily "thought of the day" from Captain Camby..... perhaps Captain you should consider this one..."Just because nobody complains it doesn't mean all parachutes are perfect." Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
Flew to Barbados with Thomas Cook as part of this deal. Seats that didn't recline which was okay on the way out but coming back on a night flight was absolutely awful. Four films as entertainment and you have to pay £4 to get an ... Read More
Flew to Barbados with Thomas Cook as part of this deal. Seats that didn't recline which was okay on the way out but coming back on a night flight was absolutely awful. Four films as entertainment and you have to pay £4 to get an upgrade. Emirates it wasn't. Anyway embarkation was fairly quick. First impressions if ship were beige, beige and more beige. This was our 14th cruise with various different cduise lines and this one was probably the least impressive. Cabin was ok, a bit on the small side but was perfectly adequate for what we wanted. Cleaning was a bit hit and miss but our cabin steward was good. We had freedom dining so were able to eat in the Meridian restaurant whenever we wanted. On the first two nights the service wasn't that good but after that we had the same table for the rest of the cruise and came to know our two waiters really well. The food in the Meridian was very good with a lot of different choices. We enjoyed every meal there. The food in the buffet wasn't as good but got a bit monotonous after a few days. It was very small in the buffet area and the layout wasn't that good. It was very difficult trying to manouver trays around this area especially on sea days. Seating area was cramped and staff were a bit slow in removing dirty dishes Entertainment was very boring the first week. The singers and dancers were very good but after the first week were getting a bit boring. They also were in some of the lounges afterwards. It would have been nice to have a bit of variety. The second week started a bit better with Tom o' Conner and there was a brilliant comedian/magician who we went to see a few times. The high light of the cruise. The entertainment team were useless and spent all of the time trying to impress the other ships that were in port with us. Sailaway parties were solely for the purpose of trying to outdo the others ships...highly embarrassing Fellow passengers were not the most friendly people I have ever met on a cruise. They seemed to be more interested in lying flat out in the scorching sun and drinking. The drinking culture being very evident. There was lots of quizzes but nothing remotely entertaining. Unless you like football. There was quite a bit of that on the Seascreen. Overall a very noisy ship. We went on a few excursions which was quite well organized. One was cancelled but we managed to get on another one. Anything to get off the ship. Ports of call were good, apart from Martinique which was a dump. I think this was the first time the Azura had been there. The gym was well equipped. Pity that our fellow passengers didn't clean the equipement afterwards. We were ready to leave this ship after a week. It just does not compare to a Princess or RC line. We wont be going again. We can get better deals on other lines and they are 100 times better. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
I know that everyone has there own ideas on what makes a good cruise so I can only give you my opinions on this ship and cruise and it's up to you to decide if this ship is for you or not. Embarkation at Southampton was smooth and ... Read More
I know that everyone has there own ideas on what makes a good cruise so I can only give you my opinions on this ship and cruise and it's up to you to decide if this ship is for you or not. Embarkation at Southampton was smooth and our bags were delivered to our cabin in good time. The ship itself is big and, if you like that size of ship, impressive. This of course means that there are a lot of people on board, many of who seemed to enjoy wearing football shirts and I'm sure they felt right at home in the English style pub and lying by the pool watching the football on the "seascreen". There were other types of entertainment, of course, including bingo and music from social club style singers and groups. I can't comment on the quality of the entertainment in the show lounges as we preferred to have a quiet drink in the stylish Glass House bar and restaurant. Our cabin was nice and was well maintained by our pleasant and hard working cabin steward. In fact, the vast majority (but not all) staff were very professional and courteous, we did have problems with the reception staff however who did not make a note of our request for an early disembarkation and from who we are still waiting for our 06:00 alarm call. Public announcements sometimes gave out incorrect information and I found one or two of the reception staffs accents difficult to understand. Food on board the Azura was a real disappointment for us. Our first night experience in the peninsular restaurant being the first of many negative points. The waiters were surly and one in particular never even spoke, the food was poor and we couldn't wait to get out. After complaining we were moved to the Oriental restaurant which was an improvement but not without fault, the standard of the food was very up and down, sometimes good, sometimes poor but mainly average and not very hot! On leaving the Oriental restaurant one night we were greeted by two people dressed in large cuddly animal costumes (this was a photo opportunity apparently). I'm sure that if there had been a gang of 5 year olds leaving the restaurant between 9:30 and 10:00 pm they would have been delighted to see them but I'm not sure that the majority of grown ups seemed quite so keen or could see the point of it all if I'm honest. The food in the buffet restaurants was repetitive and not up to the standards that we received on our last P and O cruise (on the Oceana). Be prepared to encounter some bad (in my opinion) manners from your fellow cruisers. Apparently they seem to think that they are never going to be fed again and will trample over anyone who gets between them and their food, some of their hygiene standards leave a lot to be desired as well, I saw one woman eating a cake while digging around in the salad bar and then continually liking her fingers before picking up the serving tongs. Be prepared also for much pushing and shoving in these woefully small restaurants (for the size of the ship). Food in the speciality restaurants was very good (from the reports that we heard) but of course you have to pay a supplement to eat there. There are a number of places to sit outside during the day and we chose an area away from the loud music and giant TV (sea) screen areas. There were LOTS of sunbeds crammed in side by side and not many tables to go with them, one of the tables where we liked to sit had a leg that fell off whenever it was moved. I noticed a stirrer from a cocktail glass under one of the sunbeds and it remained there for the duration of our cruise, not much cleaning going on there P and O ! P and O provide a sail away party at many (if not all ports) and these seemed to be very popular with many people, they are not my cup of tea but every one has their own tastes and if you don't like them there are plenty of places to go to avoid them. Overall this ship promises much but falls short of many of my expectations, I know that many people love the Azura but I won't be one of this ships returning customers. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
Our embarkation was carried out in no time and not difficult, but there was no one to show us to our room t, this being our first cruise. We eventually located our balcony room and were surprised how basic they were. One could touch the ... Read More
Our embarkation was carried out in no time and not difficult, but there was no one to show us to our room t, this being our first cruise. We eventually located our balcony room and were surprised how basic they were. One could touch the bathroom mirror and the far wall of the shower with both hands. The drains stank as the water “P” traps drained away. Suitcases came sometime after we were in the room. Cedric our cabin attendant was very pleasant and informative and was delightful when passing him in the corridor. The bed was comfortable and line spotlessly clean. All basics were promptly replenished. Drinks were reasonably priced but the draught beer and lager quality varied a lot. We tended to have the quality drinks in our room. The whole ship was crowded with people the majority in their 65 plus and was ideal for people with walking difficulties who could bring their walking aids and wheelchairs. But this brought a problem with the lifts we had to walk up and down 9 flights of stairs because P&O calculation on the amount of passengers needing these lifts. The same was with the sunbed surrounding the pond all sandwiched tight together. No way could the people in wheel chairs or on walking aids get to and sit on the side of the sunbeds and as for little tables they were far and few between. The same applied for the lounge chairs and settees they were far too low to get out of- one could have done with a hoist – Music played around the “pool” was loud and very distorted and reminded me of a “holiday camp” and nowhere to place your drinks. But one could find peace elsewhere. The pool area was used for “sail away” party which a lot of people seemed to participate. Food on board was OK we tried the Venezia for breakfast and dinner and we found it was like a cattle market scrambling for tables and food. The quality was acceptable but my concern was the number of people serving themselves with their bare hands. We resorted to using the Peninsular restaurant, here one could either have a table for 4 or sit on a larger table with other guests. Un less you had a sea view table the whole area reminded me of an industrial canteen –a swath of people -- get in eat and get out— The Staff were all friendly and if when ordering one asked for an extra portion it would discreetly be served up. The Sindhu dinning was worth a visit but I could not justify the extra charge but that’s what P&O is all about. There was entertainment but here again if you went to an early dinner late you would not get a seat for some of the shows or perched at the rear watching screens. Some were worth watching others were hid-hi. They were ok if you like that sort of thing The trips ashore were not to my liking . Not enough time to see the places of interest such as Rome and Florence bearing in mind there is over 3 to 4 hours of getting there and back and places like Gibraltar it was either go up the rock or do shopping (or does P&O want you to shop on board) The other towns that the ship docked in did not inspire me I’ve come across far more interesting historical places all round the world. Having spoken to many “long term cruisers over the years" we felt that we were missing something but I can honestly say that overall this ship promises' falls short of our expectations. I will continue researching out places to visit at my own pace, with several days stay on luxurious beaches, fly out in comfort and book into known 4/5 star hotels and organise one’s own one to one tours Read Less
Sail Date: August 2015
After reading some very poor reviews for this ship,I will try to be objective in this report. Embarkation was smooth and easy but then it took over three hours to have our cases delivered to our cabin,only then after the cabin steward ... Read More
After reading some very poor reviews for this ship,I will try to be objective in this report. Embarkation was smooth and easy but then it took over three hours to have our cases delivered to our cabin,only then after the cabin steward offered to seek out them for us. We booked first sitting in the Oriental restaurant,the service we received there was second to none,the same applied to our cabin steward and the bar staff,only criticism of the bar staff was that they were often too eager to serve,sometimes even before one was seated. The food was excellent with quite large portions even if the menu's were a little mediocre. I cannot recommend the hairdressers on board as they are very poor value for money. However my main criticism is of the cabin and the ship its self.Decor is very "pub"like,the showers are very tiny and the thermostat on ours ceased to function after the first shower,this was reported twice but nothing was done about it. None of the so called sun decks had seats one could just sit on,every possible space was taken up by sun beds,which is ok for sun lovers but very uncomfortable to just sit on,as a consequence unless one could sit on these it was impossible even to view any of the films shown on the sun deck in the evening.The lifts are very slow and do not always go to the decks one wants,so often one has to walk from one end of this large ship to the other for the right lift.On board facilities are very,very poor,one table tennis and one pool table!! A play area for toddlers but nothing for teenagers.The whole of the mid ship is taken up by the display of photos,less than half this space would suffice.Many of the ladies toilets were blocked so unusable,at the same time the lack of both male and female toilets is a huge fault with this ship.Some have complained about wear and tear but we found nothing wrong with either carpets or seating.Shore excursions are over priced and we could do most things far cheaper by taxi or bus.Entertainment was also very mediocre,sometimes rather crude.In all I cannot recommend this ship unless you just want to lye in the sun all day. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
After reading the recent reviews stating how amazing this ship is, I could not sit back and not give my opinion. As a 22 year old female on my first cruise with my Mother who has done several beforehand I have to say that I did not enjoy ... Read More
After reading the recent reviews stating how amazing this ship is, I could not sit back and not give my opinion. As a 22 year old female on my first cruise with my Mother who has done several beforehand I have to say that I did not enjoy this ship. Firstly I know that P&O cannot screen passengers before they book the cruise, however I have never seen so many leather skinned, cigarette smoking, tattooed women in all my life surrounding the puddle of water they called a pool - I literally felt like I was on a floating Butlins! As for the lift situations which someone else has previusly mentioned, I found it beyond infuriating! There were not enough first of all, people constantly pressed the wrong buttons and made them stop on several floors and as for the comment about people not getting out for wheelchairs - why should we? Our room was on floor 14 and our evening restaurant (The Meridian) was on floor 5 - I suffer from severe asthma and my Mum has arthiritis in her knees - why should we have to walk up and down 9 flights of stairs because P&O cannot accomodate for the amount of passengers they have onboard? But thats just the start of the issues with the ship not being large enough to accomodate passengers! First of all the restaurants on the top deck were vile! I felt as if I was partaking in trials for the England rugby team whilst trying to navigate around the TINY buffet area! Then to have signs on the table stating that you should leave as soon as you finish is just ridiculous; I'm on my holiday, there should be enough tables for me to take my time and enjoy a coffee after my meal! The sunlounger situation was a joke - rows and rows of occupied sunbeds touching each other; theres nowhere to put your drinks or your stuff as the end of your sunbed is the "walkway"! You literally have to crouch at the end of the lounger and throw yourself backwards to actually get on! It's ridiculous that a ship of that size has to cram sunbeds on like that - and don't even get me started on the lack of tables! Now someone else has mentioned that there were people constantly painting and repairing things on the cruise - yes there were; but who on Earth wants a building site on their cruise!? The constant stench of paint and varnish was enough to force me inside and the chairs in the smoking were a disgrace - the strands were all coming apart and sticking out; the ashtrays were never emptied and although the staff by the pool cleared the tables, I was forever asking for them to be wiped! I did read a review saying the music around the pool areas was a constant noise where you cannot hear yourself - do not ignore this warning! The music is so loud at the pool that it is distorted! It just adds to the chavvy atmosphere of a floating Butlins! I'd also avoid the spa if you can - you're charged an EXTRA 10% gratuity on top of the daily one you receive, plus you still have to pay extra to use the retreat area with the decent sunloungers! I don't get why this is not included for people who are spending money in the spa? Do not waste your time with the soft drinks or the Costa packages! What a waste of time they are - you can ONLY get draft coke or draft lemonade; no other soft drinks are included in it - and with the Costa card it's only Americanos, lattes, cappucino or espresso - no hot chocolates or cold drinks are included! I have to say that the staff who serve are fantastic, particularly Emerson in Brodies! He was a delight to see every night! Most of them cannot do enough for you and seem to genuinely enjoy their jobs - however the maintenece staff who hosed the decks down at night seriously need retraining! Many nights myself and several others were sat at the pool bar areas (which close at about 12/1am) when we were suddenly hosed down whilst sitting and having a chat. I found it absolutely disgusting that not only did the bars close early whilst customers were still there, but staff thought it was okay to actually hose down the decks around us and splash us! Our cabin was pleasant enough and our cabin steward Josephine was lovely! She did an exceptional job every morning and night and was delightful when passing her in the corridor! The wifi was ridiculous - £35 for 100 minutes, thats over double the price we pay for unlimited wifi at home! The service was slow and most of the time was wasted waiting for things to load! We did visit the Sindhu and that was an experience I'd definitely recommend - the food and service was impeccable! The entertainment team was really good - Robbie and Beverly were a fantastic duo. Brodies was the best area with quizzes and karaoke, however finding a seat was a nightmare! The casino takes up too much space; it should be towards the back with the seating for Brodies spreading across from left to right! Finally the embarking and disembarking - I found it absurd that the suitcases were not at our room before we set sail; we did not need that stress on our first day! Literally panicking our cases had been left! As for disembarking; again just a shambles with rude passengers pushing and shoving and fighting to get off first! I can't say I'm a cruise convert after this experience - I found the guests rude and not at all what I expected of the holiday. I found the ship too small to accommodate all the passengers, and the services offered were not first class as I expected! I'd say to avoid P&O unless you're one of the ones who wants a cheap deal and want as much as you can get at the cheapest price! If you want quality then look elsewhere! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2015
Embarkation was busyt but quite organised. The cabin was spacious with excellent sized balcony. Cleanliness within the cabin was off a high standard and the nightly bed turn down and chocolates was a nice touch. as was the complimentary ... Read More
Embarkation was busyt but quite organised. The cabin was spacious with excellent sized balcony. Cleanliness within the cabin was off a high standard and the nightly bed turn down and chocolates was a nice touch. as was the complimentary bottle of champagne . The entertainment was varied and of a good standard. Bingo available for those that enjoy the game and lots of quizzes. However not sure that the later comedy shows were the place for children. Plenty of bars to chose from so something for everyone. However the big let down was the food and the catering for clients with food allergies. I am gluten free and have cruised before with different cruise lines and have always found the service to be first class with separate menus for those with dietary requirements. We had opted to dine in the Oriental restaurant and was not only disappointed but extremely annoyed to find that I had to order from the main menu 24 hours in advance and if possible they would make a gluten free version. So for first night the only options were melon followed by a plain steak of not brilliant quality. Then following dinner every night I was supposed to order for the next night. I would say that on the occasions that I did dine in the Oriental that the quality of the food was poor for all. It was also difficult to order wine as the waiters were very rushed. I dined in the Sindu one night and the service and food was excellent and staff were very helpful advising on gluten free options. However there is an additional charge of £20 pp. On the final night we dined in the Glass House, again there is a small additional charge. Again main course option was steak and again neither quality nor cooking was great. I had expected better giving that there was a charge. The another annoying factor was the prices in the Spa which are not value for money. A wash and blow dry for short hair was £30 plus 10% service charge. I doubt I will ever cruise with P&O again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2015
The embarkation was very easy. Our cabin was very roomy, the cabin steward kept it spotless. The waiters in the Oriental dining room Alan & Stanley couldn't have been nicer. The scenery made the week worthwhile. Now for the bad ... Read More
The embarkation was very easy. Our cabin was very roomy, the cabin steward kept it spotless. The waiters in the Oriental dining room Alan & Stanley couldn't have been nicer. The scenery made the week worthwhile. Now for the bad part. I complained about the cleanliness in the diningroom (thick dust on some of the panels). As already mentioned by others, the buffet was booring, nothing like we had experienced on the Celebrity Eclipse which was fantastic. We had expected better from P.O. Also surprised to see so many children onboard, surely they should still have been at school. We docked late due to a mechanical fault. The disembarkation was like a Chineese fire drill, chaotic to say the least. We thought we could have got off quicker by opting to take our suitcase ourselves, so we could get out of Southampton before the locals got on the road, it didn't quite work out. Needless we will not be sailing with P.O. again Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2015
A trip to the Baltic! YEA. Places like Copenhagen, Helsinki and St Petersberg. Coming from the southern hemisphere a trip of a lifetime. Every port we visited was fabulous. Getting to them and back on the Azura was a trial at best. Sorry ... Read More
A trip to the Baltic! YEA. Places like Copenhagen, Helsinki and St Petersberg. Coming from the southern hemisphere a trip of a lifetime. Every port we visited was fabulous. Getting to them and back on the Azura was a trial at best. Sorry P&O but you have a lot to sort out. My wife and I have been on three previous cruises with Carnival and Princess, around the Med and to Alaska so feel we have something to compare. The only person to get a tip was our room steward, the service by other staff was not up to the standard expected. The food was way below our expectations, in fact the catering staff should be ashamed of themselves. The buffet selection was boring, and the same boring every day. Select dining was some of the most unpleasant dining experiences. Wanting a nice quiet table for two meant sitting shoulder to shoulder with other couples. You ended up being closer to your neighbour than your partner. P & O management need to take a trip with carnival from Barcelona to Venice. The ports are no more spectacular than the Baltic but the onboard experience is totally different. I would never recommend anyone take an Azura cruise until they see a lot of positive reviews and that will not be any time soon I suspect. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
It started badly! Last voyage had Norovirus on board so we were asked to turn up for embarkation 2 hours later than advertised! Turned up at that time and it took us 3 hours to get on board ship! On previous cruises once on board we have ... Read More
It started badly! Last voyage had Norovirus on board so we were asked to turn up for embarkation 2 hours later than advertised! Turned up at that time and it took us 3 hours to get on board ship! On previous cruises once on board we have been shown to our cabin, no P&O way find it yourselves! Captain informed us that this was due to a passenger bring norovirus on board on last voyage. A fact repeated through out the voyage, blame anyone other than P&O. Lifeboat drill was a farce, it was repeatedly cancelled, and I wonder how they knew all passengers turned up as there was no roll call! Generally ship is new and well kept, good signage and clean. Generally there was very little service on board, the staff only stood talking ignoring the passengers! One time my wife called person taking orders for drinks, he could only wait long enough for her to order 1 drink, before he rushed off. As to getting a drink with food, if your in the self service restaurants forget it. I was told by another passenger that they had similar experiences in the restaurants were you are served! Food was generally good, however several outlets were closed for the first 3 or 4 days. the extra staff were needed to slop our food onto our plates, as we could not feed ourselves due to norovirus being on the last voyage. Will say that every morning there were cups for tea and coffee on table, but only ONCE offered! Would recommend both specialty restaurants that we eat in, the Indian and Beech House, however there was a cover charge! Excursions - well very costly and very little content. Unfortunately the organization of these was very poor. One excursion was 2 hours later and all the person in charge could tell us was go away for 15 minutes and come back and find out what was happening! When I challenged the person in charge I was told "not my fault"! The best excursion was organized by ourselves! I paid a lot of money for this cruise and was expecting a lot from the cabin, however must say that the cabin was more of a rabbit hutch. Despite the size it was in good decor and well kept. Entertainment - generally acts were good, however I would have preferred to see more of the singing dance troop than seeing Ben Makisi and Tom O'Connor twice! in fairness there was other events happening at those times. However generally disappointed as times (especially on days at sea) there was not much other that sit drinking, I will point out that all my cruise experiences have been in hotter climates. Gym - best of any ship I have been on with good staff as well. Only downside does P&O really have to charge for the classes, had i not paid enough? Disembarkation - chose for the company to take our cases off, not do it yourself, we were cheeky and left before we should have, as such we walked straight through with no delay. However I would expect that if we had waited for our allotted time it, then it would have been chaos! In conclusion if you want to cruise on a good ship with awful service the choose this ship and company, if not look elsewhere. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2015
My husband and I have attained Caribbean grade loyalty tier with P&O and have sailed on all the current ships. We cruised last year both on Azura and Ventura. Sadly this last cruise will almost certainly be the last with P&O. We ... Read More
My husband and I have attained Caribbean grade loyalty tier with P&O and have sailed on all the current ships. We cruised last year both on Azura and Ventura. Sadly this last cruise will almost certainly be the last with P&O. We sailed on Celebrity Equinox in March this year and it was with that still fresh in our minds that we joined Azura in Southampton on June 1st for a cruise to the Canaries. We arrived early and embarkation was a breeze so once on board we made our bookings for the specialty restaurants we enjoy and headed to the spa. We have in the past booked the Retreat for the full length of the cruise and were dismayed to find that the price had doubled since last year. As we had poor weather forecast for the first couple of days and no sea days between the Canary Islands £350 per couple seemed very expensive. We decided to just book on a daily basis despite staff saying we may not get places as they would be sold on a first come basis. By the end of the cruise we had spent just two full days in the Retreat a total cost of £80. Had the spa management not been so greedy on their prices we would have happily paid £200 as last year and lost out on days we were unable to use. The Retreat was never full and often had only half a dozen or so passengers ... seems the rest of the passengers agreed with us .... too expensive .... no half days sold. The Sanctuary on Princess ships is exactly the same area but has a totally different flexible pricing structure and is usually used to capacity. Not sure why on this ship topless sunbathing was allowed in the Retreat area. Should only be on designated top decks. How embarrassing for some passengers and staff. As Caribbean tier passengers we had lunch provided on embarkation day in the dining room. Sadly this was not the welcoming experience of previous cruises and was to herald the start of some very poor staff encounters. Here we are loyal repeat paying passengers .. the perfect opportunity for P&O to meet and greet and impress their welcome. Nothing could have been further from the truth. A cursory nod of the head and a begrudging acknowledgement. We took our glasses of fizz and scarpered. The buffet had got to be better than this! So much for loyalty perks. The second Caribbean tier lunch sadly was little better. Norovirus had hit the ship and no officers turned up ... not even to say hello and goodbye. We never did see the captain whilst on board. Time to find the cabin .... we headed down the newly carpeted corridor ... unfortunately that's where the new carpet ended ... the cabin looked tired and dated. Celebrity won hands down in the cabin stakes. No steward ... no luggage ... no welcome bottle of wine ... no bathrobes ... one footstool on the balcony (did they think we would take it in turns to sit outside) We checked the bed ... linen looked well past its best and the pillows like two flat cushions. How glad we were that we had decided to bring our own having stayed the previous night at Holiday Inn, where we hadn't actually needed them. My husband looked along the corridor and found our luggage ... in the process he moved several cases that were blocking the corridor and helped an elderly couple gain access to their cabin. Not a steward in sight. We never did see our steward that first day and had to ring for fresh towels later in the evening. First evening and our first meal in Sindhu .. we love this restaurant and it didn't disappoint. Although we noted that the little complimentary course before the starter and dessert had gone. Pity but we did get a bottle of wine for eating before 6.30pm. This offer continued for the whole cruise in all the specialty restaurants but P&O play it clever and only tell you the offer is for the first three days, then the next three days .. then the next ..... and so on. Unfortunately the weather forecast was correct and we had force 9 gales for our journey through the Bay of Biscay. Not the best of start to any cruise. Azura coped well with the sea conditions and it didn't impact too much on our sleep ... the poor pillows and grey pillow cases did. They looked grim and although changed frequently never looked clean We booked the Glass House special evening menu with paired wines to accompany each course (£30 per person). Very few other passengers shared the evening .. it was a bit of a wasted night. We thought the wine selections were poor and the menu unchanged from the previous year. Later in the cruise when Olly was on board the price went up to £45 .. not sure how well that was attended or if they served better wines. Sorry Olly but the evening didn't merit a repeat at an inflated price. We used room service for breakfast and the main dining room for lunch. preferring to eat in the specialty restaurants in the evening. 17 has now become .... The Epicurean ... hardly any menu change since we were last onboard ... still tries to impress with those flaming crepes. It wasn't the food that kept us going back it was just the whole dining experience ... waiters were polite and experienced .. just like they used to be in the main restaurant. So now paying £28 per person for the evening meal. The one formal night we ate in the MDR was chaotic and noisy. Our dining companions totally ignored us until we embarrassed them into conversation by introducing ourselves. Perhaps it was their half pint of vodka that had dulled their senses. Their half pint glasses they boasted were good measures of cosmos carried from their cabins. Why waste money on little martinis .... why waste money on wine ... Perhaps we were just unlucky but we didn't go back to find out. We found a lot of the staff indifferent. We didn't know if this had come about by the treatment they had received from passengers or if they had lacked proper training. We guess a lot of good staff have headed off in the direction of Britannia and Azura has suffered for this. There were notable exceptions but they were in the minority. Even staff behind the reception desk lacked in customer skills. Having filled in our comments card we got a call from a senior officer who wished to discuss our poor experiences. As we were about to leave the cabin for dinner my husband requested a call back the following day during the last sea day. We never got a call. Having been to the port stops quite a few times previously we didn't book any excursions but we did experience the port shuttles ... some operated by P&O at a charge for saver fares, some by port authorities were free. Queues were often long but coaches were clean and frequent. Although the distance travelled in some ports didn't merit the £4 each way charge. Lisbon was just a short stroll to the city center from where the ship berthed. An outbreak of reported Norovirus hit hard. Staff were telling us of 900 reported cases and that's just those who actually reported feeling ill. How they are able to distinguish a Norovirus outbreak from food poisoning without laboratory testing is unclear but its seems a very convenient peg to hang a hat on. The Beach House was closed during the outbreak too we assumed because it was a buffet area during the day. The usual increased sanitation measures were put into place which included a large bright green bucket of suds being bought to wipe down the dining room tables and chairs at lunch time as passengers left after eating their lunch. Strange to note that hard backed menus continued to get handed out, twice , if you included a dessert. Why not go to paper copies that can be thrown away after each use. Head waiter said they were wiped after each use but we saw no sign of this .. just stacked and handed out again. In summary ... Azura has had a bit of new face paint and lipstick to match her big sister but for us did not provide the cruise experience we expected. We know prices have to remain competitive and P&O have a lot of beds to fill but with lower prices comes lower standards and expectations. They are now aiming at the mass market and competing with cheap holiday packages. Its worth noting that a lot of the positive reviews come from first time cruisers. Perhaps we have become jaded and P&O are unable to offer what we have experienced in the past. Fortunately some cruise lines seem to be able to still offer the whole cruise package of service, cabin, food and entertainment. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
This was our first p&o cruise and will be the last.having sailed with Norwegian,princess,celebrity and royal Caribbean we thought we would give them a try.Good points first,embarkation was very good no hassle at all.Also overall ... Read More
This was our first p&o cruise and will be the last.having sailed with Norwegian,princess,celebrity and royal Caribbean we thought we would give them a try.Good points first,embarkation was very good no hassle at all.Also overall entertainment very good.Cabin steward first class.Thats all the good points,now for the bad...STAFF genrally not interested,not much in the way of interaction,pool service very poor and in most of the bars if you want a drink when a show is on forget it,they all too busy watching show.FOOD in Buffett area tasteless boring and because of poor design of food serving area it was like a cattle market,although in a cattle market the animals would probably eat less and be less rude.Main dining room service nothing more than ok,and tiny portions example beef with veg consisted of 1 slice of beef,2small new potatoes and 2 florets of broccoli.Also tinned peas,tinned baby carrots,packet mix sauces and general lack of quality,of course if you eat in pay extra venues the food is 10times better,could be a ploy to get you too spend more money.HYGEINE only once on whole trip was there hot water in toilets,and hand cleansers either empty or non existent,no enforcement at meal times as on other cruise lines.ATMOSPHERE around ship generally boring,and us Brits can be proper rude too.CABIN was ok nothing out of the ordinary,however if you are in anyway short,rotund,or in fact over 6 foot tall then the shower is very small.PRICES onboard are expensive and at every turn they try and get you to spend more. Overall very disappointed there is a lot customer services CANT help you with,and that says it all really.unfortunatly we are already booked on Brittania for July,but that's it for us. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2015
Having previously cruised with Princess, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity my wife and I were looking forward to travelling with P&O on, what we believed, would be a 'de luxe' cruising experience. How wrong were we!! On ... Read More
Having previously cruised with Princess, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity my wife and I were looking forward to travelling with P&O on, what we believed, would be a 'de luxe' cruising experience. How wrong were we!! On arrival after a very long travelling day we were amazed to find that the 'buffet',which on other vessels, is always open on embarkation day was closed and other than having a meal in the Peninsula at 20.45hrs (later than advertised) the only alternative was a very poor Deck BBQ. Not a good start but a minor niggle compared to what was to come!! Very quickly after arriving in Cabin E230 we became aware of a very obtrusive noise from Life Boat number 8 which was outside the cabin window. This noise can only be described as a hydraulic pump starting with a loud report, running for approximately 10 seconds then ceasing, this being repeated approximately every 8 minutes,24 hours per day! Hoping that the noise would stop of its own accord I did not report the problem immediately but after 3 days I fortuitously spoke to a ships engineer who I saw on deck during a crew emergency drill exercise. On my description of the problem he stated that it possibly was some sort of leak on the Life Boat hydraulic system and that he would speak to the Chief Engineer, he also advised me to report the incident to The Reception Desk. Over the subsequent days of the cruise engineers worked on the Life Boat but the noise would only cease for a maximum of a day and would then commence again, I continued to report the problem to Customer Services, the last report being made on the 29th March but there appeared no further action by engineering staff up to the termination of the cruise, the intermittent noise continuing to be a constant source of annoyance and interrupted sleep and relaxation in the cabin. However a further, totally different problem manifested itself as the vessel commenced the Transatlantic crossing. At this time we were aware of what can only be described as constant loud 'knocking' from behind the wall and ceiling panels in the entrance area of the cabin. This noise was again very obtrusive and constant and yet again our sleep and rest pattern was greatly disrupted. I can only describe it as a form of 'torture '. I again spoke to Customer Services and the manager visited the cabin and agreed the noise was not acceptable. An Engineer also visited but quickly admitted the problem could not be solved and that it would probably be rectified at the imminent refit! Customer Services confirmed that the vessel was almost full and that the only other cabin available would be an Interior, which was not acceptable to ourselves. Finally a compromise was reached whereby an Interior cabin on D deck was made available to us for sleeping, not the most convenient situation but at least some sleep These problems aside we were also very disappointed with the cruise in general. Food was mediocre except in the speciality restaurants, many of the clientèle did not seem to adhere to the normal standards of behaviour expected on Cruises with alleged instances of drunkenness and assault occurring, culminating in the Police attending the vessel at docking in The Azores. The entertainment can only described as poor 'Holiday Camp' standard. The staff worked hard especially our cabin steward but other travellers who had been on the same cruise last year all remarked that standards had dropped considerably, even to the extent of not having a Wine Waiter and expecting untrained waiters to be knowledgeable on all wines! We were very exited to be travelling with P&O but this excitement rapidly evaporated when on board. We describe the trip as 'The Cruise from Hell' and will never cruise with P&O in the future or recommend them to our many friends. Our long awaited holiday was ruined by P&O due to lack of sleep and relaxation. Use this ship if you are happy with mediocrity; avoid if you expect fine dining, like minded passengers with decent standards of behaviour and an informative pleasurable experience. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
We had a terrible experience with P&O five years ago on the Oceana, cruising through the Panama Canal. Argumentative staff, cold food and dirty plates. We said never again but we were persuaded to give them another chance and as we ... Read More
We had a terrible experience with P&O five years ago on the Oceana, cruising through the Panama Canal. Argumentative staff, cold food and dirty plates. We said never again but we were persuaded to give them another chance and as we had not been to some of the islands before, we took the risk and book an Eastern Caribbean cruise on the Azura, leaving from Barbados on the 6th March. This is definitely our last P&O cruise. We paid for a superior Balcony Stateroom which was well worth it. Our Steward, Connie, was very friendly and helpful throughout the cruise. The food in the second sitting restaurant was good but not spectacular. Well, that's the good bits. The captain was very much a P&O publicity merchant. He used every opportunity to tell us how good the ship was and how fantastic his crew were. I wasn't sure if he was trying to convince the passengers or himself. The level of service provided by the staff in the restaurants was very poor. It was not unusual to have to wait 30 min before receiving the first course and a two hour meal was not unusual. The staff was poorly trained. They often leaned across seated passengers to serve meals and rarely served the lady's first. The wine waiter did not exist and wine usually appeared after the first course, if you were lucky. The waiters did not have the time to socialise and they did not introduce themselves on the first night. The bottom line, not enough staff. We had afternoon tea, very disappointing. A very battered cake stand, in the middle of a table seating eight passengers, with eight cakes. If you arrived late to the table you got what was left as replenishment of the cakes never happened. Sandwiches came via a waiter who had no idea what was on the sandwiches but this was of no concern as they were tasteless. The scones eventually arrived, no currents just plain scones and just ordinary whipped cream not clotted. I could give you many examples of the poor presentation style of the food and the waiters but you would loose the will to live. As I have already said the food was good but was of very small portions. It came plated and you got what you asked for. If you ordered a fish cake, that's exactly what you got, no garnish. Sitting in the middle of a large plate it looked very lonely. The entertainment and I use that term very loosely was well below par. The Headliners team were mediocre and amateurish. We watch one good entertainer and he was the entriloquist. Entertainment during the day was provided with the primary aim of reducing costs. It was more suited to a holiday camp than a cruise. At a number of our ports of call we arrived not at the cruise terminal but at the cargo terminal where we were treated to a view of large containers and cranes. P&O did not supply a shuttle service to the cruise terminal and passengers were expected to pick up the expense of transport. P&O have cut back to save costs in every area of the cruise. They are obviously aiming at a different clientele base. I hope it works for them but I'm afraid that my family and I will not be sampling this cruise lite version in the future. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2015
Im sorry for the delay in posting my review, Ive been busy and I wanted the time (do we have the time anymore to really sit down and choose our words carefully) to write a balance and well thought out critique of our experience on the last ... Read More
Im sorry for the delay in posting my review, Ive been busy and I wanted the time (do we have the time anymore to really sit down and choose our words carefully) to write a balance and well thought out critique of our experience on the last PO Cruise that we undertook, which was 20th February 2015 to the 6th March 2015. This is the 3rd time of cruising with PO and the 5th for my partner and I have to say each year the standard gets worse and worse. We tend to cruise around the Caribbean at the end of February / early March, and we normally cruise on the Azura. And after reading this years reviews (prior to our cruise) we were genuinely taken aback by some of the comments, about the staff, their attitude, the service etc. And now looking back after reflecting upon those comments, they were indeed extremely accurate. What has happened PO? Your staff are so miserable and surly. How are they being interviewed? “Right, who has the longest face? You’re in, you can start Monday.” Anyway, as for this year, we thought or I thought that we would try some of their gifts/vouchers that are advertised prior to the cruise. First up, I ordered the “Embarkment Package” as a surprise, so upon arrival in our cabin there should have been waiting for us: a bottle of Champagne, flowers and Chocolate Package. Disaster. We entered the room to find the flowers and nothing else. We couldn’t find anything else. Checked everywhere. Nothing. So I then had to tell my partner why I was searching the fridge and why I was heading to reception. Surprise ruined. Thanks PO. So I went to reception and asked what had happened to the champagne and chocolates. They rang the appropriate area, and told me the champagne was in the fridge, which it wasn’t as we checked when entering the room, (plus we were expecting 2 champagne flutes and for our champagne to be in an ice bucket chilling). We then returned to the room to find a warm bottle champagne now in our fridge, “Abra ka draba”, Champagne for you! I then called reception again and asked for some glasses. So we then had to wait for them to arrive and once they did, I then asked the waiter if we could have an ice bucket for the champagne......(so much for my surprise to my partner, totally ruined by PO incompetency). After achieving 2 things out of 3, I became quite cockey and thought, hmmmm, lets try my hand at finding out where are the chocolates; so I called up reception and inquired as to the chocolates and where were they?. After several calls backwards and forwards (reception had to call catering, catering back to reception, reception back to me) I was told you get the chocolates on your first sea day! “Why?” I asked. You just do. So much for 3 gifts awaiting for you upon your arrival into your cabin. This surprise was now a complete joke. Its not advertised that you get the chocolates on the first sea day, which for us was two days away!!! Second Package – the disastrous wine package. This gets worse.....this episode is something out of Fawlty towers. So you are given (we bought the 12 bottle wine package) 12 little cards, and you are told when you buy this package, The Captains collection package, that you save money, and you can have your wine delivered to your room, the restaurant, the glass house, where ever you are; sounds great doesn’t it? Sounds as though its hassle free (which is right up my boat), but during the booking of this package, you are made aware a bottle can take up to 10/15min before the wine is delivered to you; fair enough, I have no qualms with that. I thought, well they have at least made you aware. So the first time we tried to get a bottle of wine it took over 55 minutes. You see, what you aren’t told, is the porter has to go to a certain restaurant, find the wine manager or bar manager, he then opens up the wine area, collects your wine and bring it back to you. 55 minutes! We did (past tense) have plans while we waited in our cabin, and yes we did call between room service and reception to find out what was going on? And neither of them had a clue. At one point they couldn’t even locate our porter. Not one to throw in the towel easily, I thought ok, we’ll have another go at this, it cant be that hard, we have the vouchers, you have the wine, lets do this!!! So on the second day, we tried again, (mainly because after the first time of trying we were told that we were unfortunate due to the time of day we had placed the order, the wine manager was away and thats why it had been delayed so long. So this was our second attempt......order placed.....in room ready and waiting.......10 min passed, 20 minutes passed, 50 minutes passed,,,,,,our wine turned up this time, 1hr and 35 minutes later. We had waited, called, were given no explanation at all. So we left the bottle in the room and proceeded to go to reception, they apologised and now assured us that this wouldn’t happen again, and they had now ironed out a few difficulties, so all issues were resolved and we could use our vouchers anywhere including in the Glass House. So off we went to the Glass House and tried to order a bottle of wine from our selection that we were entitled too. The waitress in the glass house now informed me, that we weren’t allowed a bottle of wine from our selection because the restaurant where our wine was stored was closed. I couldn’t take this anymore. How hard is this? It couldn’t be that difficult. I had vouchers they had the wine, why couldn’t I just get a bottle of wine from PO. What is wrong with you guys?!?!??! When I ordered this package Southmapton staff in the office seemed to think it was straight forward, let me assure you its far from that. This was becoming a sketch from laurel and hardy, everywhere I looked total incompetency. I now returned to reception explained the latest rules in trying to get a bottle of wine....”I cant” , and said you can have your two bottle of wines back, we’ll just take a refund. We had ordered two, received two, but hadn’t opened any. The receptionist was fine with this, he came to our cabin, took our two bottle of wines back, and the refund did eventually return to my account. Third package: We paid for a framed formal night photo. Upon deciding what picture we wanted, we were told it would take 24 hours for it to be in a frame and ready for collection; so as good customers as we are, we turned up the next day on time to collect our picture, only to find someone else at the desk who informed us, “what picture?, no its not been ordered, it takes 24hrs. I interrupted, “yes we know it takes 24 hours thats why we are here, we've been told it will be ready now”. The gentleman made a few phone calls and found it hadn’t been ordered. He asked if we could give him an extra 30 min, which we obliged, returned to find our chosen picture framed. I also bought two PO White Robes, and they are lovely and definitely worth the purchase, though they do take some room up in your case. So please be aware. As a surprise I also ordered the breakfast and champagne in bed.....and this was excellent, I tried to order another ½ bottle of champagne and through the lack of their English, I ended up with another Breakfast Basket, we didn’t touch that bar the champagne ad placed the other basket into the corridor. Dinner with PO is not now silver service, its comes prepared on your plate and they deliver it to you, there's no more: would you like some more veg? Potatoes? anymore bread rolls? I know PO are trying to save cost, but these little things matter, its about the service, you cut back on that and you are left with nothing. Bar staff are so miserable, and the drinks they are producing are fair to poor in terms of the cocktails that are being met. If this one guy behind the bar smiled on the ship his face would crack. I’m meant to be on holiday and to look at him, was like an extra out of a horror movie!!! And finally PO, PLEASE PLEASE get away from these sail away parties, horrendous, its embarrassing , it’s the blue winse brigade, Rule Britannia, et et; I’m probably doing an injustice to Butlins here, but its what you’d associate with them in the early 70’s, not now, not 2015. You even have the entertainment team jumping around the ship trying to get people on their feet, and probably half the passengers have had hip replacements and just want to have a drink in the sun and a chat, and be left alone. It was by far the worse cruise I’ve ever been on with PO. Im loyal to PO, they are my ship, my company, but you need to up your game with service and smiling staff and your packages are just a joke. Do the PO team in Southampton know how bad they are in reality. On the phone they promise you this that and other, it will all be taken (cash from my credit card.....Im guessing) care off, we’ll have everything organised for you and your partner. What a lie. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
Just returned from a Caribbean cruise on Azura, did we enjoy it? Yes in many, but not in others. Ou transport from the airport to the cruise terminal was on a very poor coach falling apart and the registration procedure the longest we ... Read More
Just returned from a Caribbean cruise on Azura, did we enjoy it? Yes in many, but not in others. Ou transport from the airport to the cruise terminal was on a very poor coach falling apart and the registration procedure the longest we have endured in Barbados. The deluxe cabin with balcony we enjoyed though probably the carpet needed changing, the steward was good did everything we asked. The restaurant was the biggest disappointment we were second sitting, the service was very poor, the food was pretty mediocre and below the level we have experienced on any previous P&O cruise. Getting a sunbed proved difficult as despite P&O suggested rules people were inconsiderate and selfish reserving them by towels etc hours before they used them. The theatre was always packed in the evening, by the time we had eaten dinner walked to the theatre there wasn't even standing room. On balance we would not go on Azura again.   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
Of course the West Indies in the middle of Winter is wonderful, but this can blind people to the real truth about a holiday. Many of the reviews on here have been positive, but our experiences on the ship and coming to/from the ship were ... Read More
Of course the West Indies in the middle of Winter is wonderful, but this can blind people to the real truth about a holiday. Many of the reviews on here have been positive, but our experiences on the ship and coming to/from the ship were not so. I believe there are many failings with this ship and a more balanced approach is perhaps necessary. Flights with associated carrier Thomson Airways awful - too much involved with sales targets for their duty free products and extortionate tea/coffee/drinks, rather than for looking after the P&O passengers. Their 787 broke down in the far East and we were put on a 767 with a 3hr delay and chaos with ticketing for those who had booked particular seating arrangements despite Thomson having had the time to reorganise before check in (only told about seating at the Departure Gate). Despite the 6 hrs that some passengers had been waiting since the time that they had ben recommended to get to check-in they insisted on going through their sales 'patter' for several hrs rather than serving lunch to their famished passengers - just appalling Customer Serrvice, which I am surprised P&O wish to be associated with. Because of the delays, boarding was massively rushed and we were required to immediately attend a safety briefing before we had even spent any time in the cabin and of course bags were not available till way after any evening meal, so first meal in dirty clothes was horrible. Cabin spacious but continual noise from adjacent extractor fan - no peace and quiet on the balcony- just continual noise. Food OK in main restaurant but, service way below standards of recent 'Celebrity' Cruise. We had Freedom dining, but again it was much better organised on the 'Celebrity' Cruise. Hot food in Buffet Restaurant way below standards that should be for a ship of this supposed category - poorly presented, poorly served, very limited menu in cramped serving area (often only half opened). Cold food/salads very 'samey' every day. Please note that despite ourselves 5 years ago (on sister ship Ventura) and, no doubt, many others since then, complaining about there being NO frozen desserts (ie NO ICE CREAM AND RELATED PRODUCTS) being available in the Buffet Restaurant, that is still the case - explained to me 5 years ago that the designers had forgotten to put in the appropriate frozen foods storage area on Deck 15 (and this for a ship of 115000 tons). Note that they also charge extortionate prices for ice creams out on deck - with Celebrity this is all included as part of the food package included with the cruise. Theatre poor relative to Celebrity experience - 750 seats x two performances for 3000 people and only two decks high leading to overcrowding. Celebrity Eclipse was 1100 seats over 3 decks, everyone having a perfect view. Artists, and particularly the resident theatre company, very ordinary. 'House Company' shows said by other regular P&O Cruisers to be approx the same for 5 years before being changed, and they didn't bother going any more. Prerecoded taped music -didn't know whether singers were actually singing or were miming and that was part of the prerecoded tape as well. We had been spoiled perhaps by the Celebrity experience a few months before where the shows were wonderful individual performances by accomplished, very talented, artists, both those brought on board and those in the 'House Company' The other two main 'show lounges' had very poor sightlines to the stage and very limited capacity - it was very difficult to determine if there was any space available for anyone trying to get into these venues. Entertainment programme in the day poor relative to Celebrity once again. I would probably put this down to very experienced 50+ year old female ex-artist being in charge on Celebrity compared to an apparent Company-bred 30-ish relative newcomer on this particular ship with P&O. Port presentations poor - no historical/geographic/political description of the visited country - too much concerned with providing advice on supposedly what to buy in the shops. On-board shops prices extortionate - just don't buy anything on board unless absolutely necessary. Ignore pleading to buy at 'duty-free' prices - you'll probably get the articles cheaper at home with more variety in selection - particularly bad for prices was perfume, so steer well clear. Another example would be a Citizen eco-drive watch said to be an absolute bargain at £125 - happened to see it at home the day after we got back for £99 in a local jewellers, and not in any sale, so bargains they are not ! Finally, I noted again, relative to the 'Celebrity' Ship, that there was only a moderate amount of attention given to hand cleansers and they were not easily visible early in the cruise - it was no surprise to us therefore that there was an outbreak or gastro-intestinal illness on the ship which threatened to get out of hand and suddenly procedures were changed (eg no more self-service in the Buffet Restaurant) and hand cleansers were suddenly more available. On the the Celebrity Ship they emphasised cleanliness and provided copious numbers of hand cleansers right from the start of the Cruise So enjoy the West Indies but be aware of the failings of this P&O ship.   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
We booked this cruise an April 2014, as a treat as up until July my husband was being treated for cancer. So we pushed the boat out so to speak by booking premium flight etc. We were not told about the Norovirus, this information was ... Read More
We booked this cruise an April 2014, as a treat as up until July my husband was being treated for cancer. So we pushed the boat out so to speak by booking premium flight etc. We were not told about the Norovirus, this information was passed to us by a letter from Dr Kate Bunyan left on the bed in our cabin. This letter also said the ship had undergone an additional and extensive disinfection Well you could have fooled us, it was dirty, everywhere looked grubby, tables were sticky, crockery and cutlery you had to check as very very often it have not been washed clean. Staff were rude, and very 'off hand', when asked for things it was as if they could not be bothered, many of them had very little grasp of English . The main complaint though was the food, it was in fact disgusting, one night I cut into the chicken on my plate and blood ran out, asked the waiter to take it away, he disappeared with the meal and was gone for 10 minutes or more and came back with another chicken dinner. I asked him to take it away as chicken was the last thing I wanted, then given a different meal found that the sauce the beef was in had been burnt, at this time I gave up and went hungry that night. Another night four people on our table ordered fish in beer batter When it arrived it was a tiny piece of fish in a lump of dough, six chips and the inevitable peas and carrots. Needless to say again these meals were returned to the kitchen. The food was of such a poor standard whenever we went ashore we ate ashore. Also we booked into the Seventeen Restaurant, Sindu and the Glass House all at an extra cost. Just to put the icing on the cake two of the trips booked before leaving England were cancelled we were told about this by guess what, two more letters left in our cabin. Out of 14 days as far as we were told the ship was on red (re;Norovirus ) for ten days and on yellow for four days. If you are thinking of spending £2300.00 per person for a cabin on this ship please think again. Also £299.00 per person to upgrade your flight does not get you early boarding. This is one couple who are feeling so let down by P&O. 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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