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5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
Hygiene was a concern, a used tissue on the gangway on embarkation. Cabin was OK, but was unwell and had nosebleeds, told by cabin steward when asking for clean sheets that this was not a hotel and they change the sheets every 3 days. No ... Read More
Hygiene was a concern, a used tissue on the gangway on embarkation. Cabin was OK, but was unwell and had nosebleeds, told by cabin steward when asking for clean sheets that this was not a hotel and they change the sheets every 3 days. No towel art at all during our stay, part of the cruising experience. Asked for water from waiters ,either ignored, took 20 minutes to arrive or looked at like I was a piece of muck, yet people ordering alcohol got their drinks immediately. Hygiene in buffet, whilst there were hand cleaners no-one insisted on people using. A lot of the staff were wonderful and helpful, especially the breakfast waiting staff and also the waiting staff in the Oriental. Food was average, nothing special, the food that was of a suitable standard you were required to pay extra. P&O never missed a chance to grip more money. The ship broke down in the Azores, delayed 1 and a half days there, but ship caught up almost on the time. Captain left the ship in St Maarten, he was the lucky one, I would say, another person had died during the cruise and the body was down in the medical and another was ambulanced off at St Maarten. Tragedy continued when a mini-bus on one of P&O's overpriced excursions had a head-on collision resulting in one death and several in intensive care. The next port, a water taxi sprung a leak and the passengers had to be rescued by lifeboat. The ship was jinxed, the moral of people was low generally. Making cruises cheap unfortunately seems to attract a different demographic than I have experienced on past cruises. The P&O experience continued on the flight home, with Thomsons who are usually great for long haul flights, charging £2.50 for a coffee which would normally be free. I would not go on P&O again if it was free or if I was paid. I could go on... Entertainment wasn't bad. The horseracing event was painful on the ears because the Geordie girl from entertainment team, whilst a lovely girl, screeched so loud it grinds on your nerves. We were originally a party of 4, reduced to two for unforeseen circumstances, and we two left behind would never have chosen or booked this cruise, usually travel Princess or Carnival or other similar standard. . Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
My sister and I decided to book on this cruise because our 60th and 62nd birthdays fell within the date range. Our twin deluxe cabin was very spacious and included amenities such as tea and coffee making facilities, other luxuries such as ... Read More
My sister and I decided to book on this cruise because our 60th and 62nd birthdays fell within the date range. Our twin deluxe cabin was very spacious and included amenities such as tea and coffee making facilities, other luxuries such as champagne and canapes. Meals in the main restaurants were surprisingly good. even though they catered to the overwhelmingly English guests. Specialty restaurant meals, especially at Sindhu Indian fusion restaurant, were outstanding. But these were at an additional cost. Meals at the buffet restaurants upstairs at Venezia and Verona were boring and tasteless. In comparison to other cruise lines such as Princess, Holland America, Royal Caribbean and even MSC, buffets on Azura had much to be desired. Pizzas tasted like cardboard and the selection was only limited to two or three. P & O marketing of shore excursions outlines why passengers should purchase their excursions (at a much inflated price). One of the reasons is that they ensure no passenger will be left behind. Well, guess what happened to us in Oslo on out booked Explorers Museums tour with them? We were not more than two minutes late and the bus had left without us. We had a very elderly local guide who could not both going into the main entrance, nor was there was no headcount on boarding the bus. We caught a taxi back to the ship and informed them of what had happened. Staff did not seem to care, telling us that the matter would be investigated and to return the following day. We returned and it soon became clear that the matter had not been followed up. They told us that given we were late, albeit even two minutes, the tour was in its right to continue without us. We were not entitled to any refund as it was our fault. Excursion staff became very rude refusing to talk to us any longer. Entertainment on board was also very poor. We had travelled with MSC from Venice to Buenos Aires last November and we were surrounded with exciting Tango and Salsa shows, acrobatic displays, Flamenco and other displays. Performances on Azura were outdated and simply old fashioned. I must say the one positive note from this cruise was the service staff, who were predominantly Indian or Filipino. They were quick to respond to individual passenger requests and were very attentive to needs. The Anglo staff onboard could learn several lessons in manners and customer relations. From my first experience with P & O I would never sail with them again. I would also advise others to steer well away from them until they rethink and re-establish their staff and customer relations program, especially for English staff. Read Less
21 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
Holiday camp at sea.Azura. Thats just what our cruise on Azura was.There is supposed to be a dress code on P&O cruises on black tie nights,there were people walking through the atrium at 10oclock at night in sportswear shorts and ... Read More
Holiday camp at sea.Azura. Thats just what our cruise on Azura was.There is supposed to be a dress code on P&O cruises on black tie nights,there were people walking through the atrium at 10oclock at night in sportswear shorts and flip flops !!!.Asked reception about this,they said dress codes are for dining rooms.surely dress codes on a P&O ships is after 18.00hrs everywhere everyday. There were children running about the entertainment rooms all night long and around people's tables the parents just let them do as they wanted.The entertainment acts had to ask them to sit down,also they quoted to somebody on black tie night are they your formal denims!!! just what you would see at a holiday camp. The buffet was complete chaos,food all over the carpets,in the tea coffee area waiters just left the wet floor cones there when they cleaned up somebody just made another mess.We felt so sorry for the waiters having to deal with all this. So I'm afraid P&O Azura your score for this cruise is 1 out of 10. Read Less
25 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
I've always disagreed when people describe cruising as 'Butlins at Sea'. I still disagree, it was far worse than that. The ship was huge - which of course we already knew, but didn't really appreciate the impact of ... Read More
I've always disagreed when people describe cruising as 'Butlins at Sea'. I still disagree, it was far worse than that. The ship was huge - which of course we already knew, but didn't really appreciate the impact of that. The staff at mealtimes were nowhere near as efficient and polite as they used to be. The meals were no better than we would get in our local pub and no longer had that 'wow' factor. Meagre helpings and hardly a vegetable in sight. The entertainment was the most disappointing. Instead of the West End type shows we have been used to in the past, we had an OK singing group, a few tribute bands and an ageing 'comedian'. That's in inverted commas as he wasn't even funny 40 years ago. Then all the acts were repeated another night. If you didn't enjoy them first time round you didn't want to see them again. We had planned this trip as a 40th birthday treat for our daughter who had not cruised before. Her comment was 'It's not very glamorous is it?' Bilbao as a port of call is a waste of time as there's nothing in its favour apart from the Gugenheim and that's quite ugly. Read Less
32 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
Our first cruise on the Azura and last! We flew from Gatwick to Barbados and joined the ship there. We had to wait hours for our suitcases to be delivered to our cabin and then it was a rush to attend the muster drill and go for ... Read More
Our first cruise on the Azura and last! We flew from Gatwick to Barbados and joined the ship there. We had to wait hours for our suitcases to be delivered to our cabin and then it was a rush to attend the muster drill and go for our evening meal. We visited three islands on the first three days, two excursions booked directed with P & O prior to the holiday. Although the beaches we went to were fantastic (especially Tortola), the half day was not long enough and I could not understand why this was not offered for a full day. We had 5 days at sea travelling to the Azores and found the ship could not cater for over 3000 people during the day. There were not enough sun loungers and those there were crammed in tighter than sardines. There were four areas where you could lay; noisy, smoking, children's/family and only two small areas which were peaceful (these were always full). The Retreat is adults only but you have to pay for the privilege! Our cabin C418 had a balcony, unfortunately it was in the shade until mid afternoon). The bathroom smelt of stale urine if you switched the light/extractor fan off so therefore we left it on 24/7. On the last day we docked at Southampton at 6.30am but unfortunately there was no water to the cabins and we could not wash our hands, shower, brush teeth or indeed flush the loo. Although I had read that the ship had been refurbed a year prior, our room was a little grubby. The most amazing thing was on the last day we had to leave the cabin by 8am so we duly went for breakfast at 6.30am leaving our belongings on the bed etc and when we got back our bed had been changed ready for the next guests and our belonging placed back on the bed! In all of the years and all of the holidays we have taken not one hotel has used this practice and I found it very poor. The food and service in the restaurants were fantastic until the last night when the staff actually "switched off", the service was extremely poor, the meals came out with items missing, unless you asked for the cheese board you were not offered, it was as though tips had been given so bye bye were ready for the next lot of passengers! If you wanted to eat breakfast outside (which could have been a great start to the day), the only areas with tables and chairs which were near the restaurants were all smoking areas, so if you like a fag with your early morning cuppa .... yippee! Our overall experience of days at sea (8 in total) were picturing one of the most deprived run down council estates with a bargain booze, McDonald's, pizza place, bookies and a Wetherspoons with a kids fun annex and voila it's the Azura! Although we paid full price and therefore our expectations were high thus so disappointed, I would recommend you seek out the special offers if you want to have a glorified booze cruise on the Azura transatlantic cruise as you may get more of a value for money experience than we had. Overall we would go to the Caribbean again and the Azores was lovely BUT never on a P&O ferry/booze cruise! Read Less
22 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
We have cruised 17 times before, but this was the first time we had cruised with p&o and our last time, even if p&o offered us a free cruise, no thanks, what a complete waste of time, money and annual leave. really would liked to ... Read More
We have cruised 17 times before, but this was the first time we had cruised with p&o and our last time, even if p&o offered us a free cruise, no thanks, what a complete waste of time, money and annual leave. really would liked to have flown home after day 2, enough was enough. P&O please reimburse me.... I know I am probably asking too much but, you never know The good bits are as follows; 1.liked the fact that cases where handed over at the airport and you did not see these again until you boarded the ship. 2.The flights outward and returning were with Thomson , on the Dream liner 787, fabby, so not all completely wasted, thanks to a great crew on both flights 2. No service charges automatically added to each order at the bar 3.free self service laundry - used a lot as there was nothing to do onboard, i would have done ironing for anyone who asked to pass the time away on this boring ship. 4. Bring your own alcohol on board - how ever this then has a negative effect, people go mad and cant refrain themselves and curb bad behaviors 5. The best thing was getting off the ship at each port and spending the day away from the bad points listed below 6. Being able to eat something decent in each Port of call, this saw us through to the next morning when the only edible food was breakfast BEST OF ALL - THE CRUISE ENDED AND WE WERE SO GLAD TO GET OFF THIS FLOATING HOLIDAY CAMP- SO LOOKING FORWARD TO RETURNING TO RCI AND OCEANIA The Bad: 1; RUDE RUDE RUDE Crew, 2. BAD attitude of crew, unhelpful, not interested and certainly could not be bothered to assist 3. Tacky, Butlins like entertainment 4. Ship is not well kept and for the first cruise ever i felt very unsafe and that the ship may go down,not happy 5.Appalling food, if you wanted something, aside from what was on the menu, believe me you get shouted at for even daring to ask 6.Everything tasted of curry 7. No Caribbean food, no Caribbean vibe 8. Cheap entertainment, poor shows 9. Managed to use the pool once - full of kids, although school term had not finished until a week into the cruise..... 10. Could not get in the hot tubs, children as young as 17 months with a young adult, otherwise full with kids all day every day, unsupervised 11.Sun bed grabbing, reserving then clearing off most of the day 12. Washing machine / dryers being filled and then left for the full cycle to only finish and then not emptied, i like my face the way it is so did not dare say anything 13. The ship did not flow at all, very confusing 14. Asked for large print menus and large print news letter before the cruise, only received one menu, and six news letters for the whole cruise 15. No WOW factor on this ship 16. Expensive intermittent WI-Fi on board 17. Expensive photos 18. Poor specialty restaurants, food no better than the dining rooms 19. Wine knowledge shockingly poor, asked if any of the waiters in the Glass House were Sommelier or had a good knowledge of wine, when i asked a few basics in regards to wine, no idea what i was asking and no idea as to giving me an answers, if you are a Sommelier or wine buff, you should have known the basic stuff 20.no genuine feel god factor or excitement on the whole ship,crew were seen most nights on deck 16, drinking and partying, and cavorting with each other, on ever other cruise crew do not party in front of guests, that is what we have paid lots of money for. 21.The annoying announcements and the robotic daily updates and tip of the day from the captain Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
We booked this cruise on 26 May 2015. In the booking process we rapidly discovered that you cannot book the "premium" return flight via the P&O website, you have to phone in. We then noticed that the confirmation did not ... Read More
We booked this cruise on 26 May 2015. In the booking process we rapidly discovered that you cannot book the "premium" return flight via the P&O website, you have to phone in. We then noticed that the confirmation did not include the coach pick up in Birmingham so we phoned in to query this. It was a difficult call because the customer services advisor clearly did not understand what we were asking for but eventually she confirmed that the coach pick up had been arranged. No written confirmation was forthcoming but we did receive a disability questionnaire! Having returned this as unnecessary we phoned again and were assured that the coach pick up was arranged. Again there was no written confirmation so we phoned in again and this time we did receive a confirmation in writing, which was nice. The day before departure we received a notification by text and e-mail that owing to an outbreak of novovirus on the preceding cruise departure would be delayed by 5 hours to allow a deep clean to take place. Coach pickups would be unchanged however, meaning a five hour wait at a hotel near the terminal. P&O generously offered a £20 credit to each individual's room account for this, we were just overwhelmed. In fairness the coach driver took us on a detour to Hamble to try and kill some time, but there is a limit to what he can do at short notice. Once on board we were advised of the "special measures" to prevent a further outbreak. There was no self service and some outlets were closed to allow redeployment of staff. In what were the self service restaurants (Verona and Venezia) staff wore plastic gloves and engaged in sundry cleaning activities such as cleaning the tops of the pillars (but never the middle or base) while we were eating. These additional measures did not apply in the more formal dining venues such as the Peninsular or Sindhu because the novovirus bug can distinguish between people who use a cafeteria and people who use a dining room. Other bizarre special measures included bar staff with gloves but bar waiters without, an obsession with cleaning lift buttons, cleaning sections of wall apparently at random and not vacuuming anywhere as vacuums "spread bugs". Please note that James Dyson will be the next guest speaker on the Azura and will explain how in the special situation of a cruise ship his devices lose all suction and blow germs everywhere. The captain took an active role in constantly reminding passengers that it was their responsibility to keep clean and stop the virus spreading, because yes folks, you have guessed correctly, the virus of course broke out no sooner had we sailed. What he didn't seem able to grasp is that the most likely way to spread a virus from one cruise to another is to leave the crew on board for five hours doing a deep clean. Coincidentally viruses tend to survive about five hours without human or animal contact but not much longer, so keeping the same crew on board pretty much guaranteed the transfer. The other thing that was quite beyond him, probably because he never really got out much, is that the real issue is to ensure crew cleanliness. Frankly there isn't much point in wearing gloves if you are going to wipe your nose on them. Another thing that was not realised was the cleaning agents being used in the cafeterias, particularly those used to douse the carpets in lieu of vacuuming, set everyone's noses running and induced sneezing. With the poor weather to be expected while sailing down the channel at this time of year, being crammed indoors, nasal irritants everywhere and constant rejoinders to keep clean it proved a very pleasant experience. The icing on the cake was the truly amazing events of 2 November. We had going to the show that night, and by the way without the high quality entertainment on board we would have been hanging from the rafters, and then headed to the Manhattan bar for a few drinks and some live music. About 11.30pm the main tannoy booms out a code black for all medical staff to attend a cabin on A deck. We looked at each other in astonishment. Surely P&O can afford pagers or some more sophisticated means of contacting the medical teams? What if the poor patient's family or friends were in the bar, or indeed anywhere. It seemed, to say the least, highly insensitive. Anyway giving the benefit of the doubt we just assumed someone had pressed the wrong button. Until, that is, we headed off to bed. Just as we were coming out of the lift another code black was broadcast. This time it was on our deck, in fact on our corridor a few doors up. Sure enough we can confirm as a result that P&O medical staff do have radio devices and that it was an act of incredible insensitivity to broadcast a passenger's predicament. After the poor chap was wheeled down the corridor we repaired to bed. The following day the ship docked at Ponta Delgada two hours early, having both made up the lost five hours and gained another two. We set off for an island tour which was very enjoyable. On returning, just prior to departure we received a touchingly direct and to the point broadcast from our captain. We had arrived early he said, "in order to allow our medical disembarks". The novovirus outbreaks had not been contained and special measures would continue until further notice. Passengers must take all measures to ensure their cleanliness. This was broadcast in harbour, booming out across the harbour, god knows what the locals thought had been visited upon them. There was no mention of the crew keeping clean, which some continued to take advantage of. We never had any official word on the outcome of the code blacks. We heard one fatality and one heart attack which resulted in emergency surgery at St Miguel hospital. We offer our condolences and our hopes for a speedy recovery. Gradually the weather improved of course and as we approach St Maarten five days later some of the restrictions started to be lifted. At random of course and without the "further notice" as promised. Sheets began to be changed, a mattress protector appeared for the first time (was this another bizarre measure or an oversight) self service resumed. A special mention for the thermal spa team, a sanctuary! Sindhu was great too. The problem is that by this time you are into the islands and what is going on on board is rather less relevant. We did think seriously about getting off at the Azores, by St Maarten we wished we had, thought about it again and decided to stick it out. It isn't that there was a problem, it is the way it was handled. You can't captain a ship by broadcasting and only meeting passengers at black tie events. Never again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2015
Very disapionting.Ship sailed 2 days late due to technical problems.booked for a 14 day holiday ended up with 12 days. We sailed Sunday late afternoon with another 3 DAYS at sea before reaching Barcelona.Missing out Cadiz and Naples. We ... Read More
Very disapionting.Ship sailed 2 days late due to technical problems.booked for a 14 day holiday ended up with 12 days. We sailed Sunday late afternoon with another 3 DAYS at sea before reaching Barcelona.Missing out Cadiz and Naples. We had a total of 7 DAYs at sea out of a 12day holiday.Not what we would have booked for. Food in the Buffet Restaurant looked very nice,however it would have been great if the Hot Buffet.was infact Hot!!The rest of it Salad etc was very nice. The only good thing...Our Cabin steward Alex was great 100% nice guy . The ship overall was very untidy.For those who smoked on deck15 it was hardly ever cleaned,cups,drinks litter etc. Outdoor cinema screen poor.Deck carpets on decks 16 & 17 lifting,17 deck completly lifted and not fixed.(trip hazards) Glad to get back Home,Will NEVER GO ON ANOTHER CRIUSE AGAIN! Not a trip to look back on with any WOW factor..A lot of money Wasted. NO COMPENSATION !!Unless you take another criuse with P&O then you get a 10% discount WOW !!! "O" They did say sorry Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2015
We have cruised with P&O on an number of occasions and have always regarded cruising to be a sophisticated type of holiday. We knew the Azura was going to be a big ship, and expected that the level of service, food and entertainment ... Read More
We have cruised with P&O on an number of occasions and have always regarded cruising to be a sophisticated type of holiday. We knew the Azura was going to be a big ship, and expected that the level of service, food and entertainment would be on a scale to satisfy the variety of passengers on board. We were very quickly disappointed by ALL of these expectations. The "entertainment" can only be described as "home grown" such as endless quizzes like the "Battle of the Sexes" and the showing of football matches and films on a giant screen around the pool. We went to one of the speciality restaurants, Seventeen, one night and both ordered the halibut. When it arrived, the plates were red hot and the halibut was tough, chewy and obviously over cooked. Both plates were sent back to be replaced by a second offering which was again, inedible. The quality of the food in the Peninsular Restaurant became something that we started to dread as we were given the lunch and dinner menus a day in advance. The food in the Peninsular was tasteless, the salads were straight out of a freezer, watery tomatoes, cheap pate, strange soups (scotch broth with no barley, just a brown liquid with a few carrots), stale bread and a Tiramusi which was two dry sponge fingers piped over with a sickly beige coloured cream. They can't even cook the vegetables properly. Waiters will take your food order and then they all scarper off, so you might be lucky to get a glass of wine by the time you finish your starter. They are having to deal with a new IPad ordering system, so the number of waiters seem fewer on this ship, compared to other P&O ships where the waiters always seemed to take a pride in looking after diners. The crew and staff are so busy talking themselves up, even part of the entertainment is the captain and the cast of Headliners, the dance group, being interviewed (separately) by the entertainments manager on stage, which passengers can "enjoy" again on the TVs in the comfort of their cabins!! Venues were too small but, given the quality of the acts, there was no incentive to fight for a seat. The captain's welcome address on the first black tie night was patronising to the passengers and purely a self promotion exercise underlying the need to reassure passengers about how good the ship is, rather than a welcoming, reassuring message to the most important people on the ship - the passengers, NOT the P&O brand. We were fortunate to have had a suite which meant we could escape the lager swilling, tattooed, loud mouthed "Butlins on Sea", sardine packed top deck but we still forked out £9k for the worst holiday, on land and sea, we have ever experienced. We have never been to Butlins or Blackpool but, if this is the market which P&O are aiming at, then they have surely succeeded on a grand scale.   Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2015
Just returned from 2 week cruise on this ship never to be repeated. Ship looked very tired and the public area carpets were stained and tatty in appearance. P and O or should I say Carnival have let their standards literally slide into the ... Read More
Just returned from 2 week cruise on this ship never to be repeated. Ship looked very tired and the public area carpets were stained and tatty in appearance. P and O or should I say Carnival have let their standards literally slide into the sea . All the good staff have gone to the their new flagship Brittania. If there were officers on this ship then they were conspicuous by their absence, this would explain a lot of the behaviour seen on the ship Health and safety was blatantly overlooked a passengers were seen walking about the ship with glass beer bottles and others with glasses of wine, many of these undesirables having already had quite a lot to drink. Passengers were allowed to board on embarkation day with obvious coughs and sneezing to be told to remain in their cabins, funny but for the fact that the ship has a centralised air conditioning system. No atmosphere or sense of occasion during the whole trip, formal nights were very flat with some people turning up dressed in their interpretation of formal ! Sun loungers reserved at 7am, then the individuals left to go on trips ashore returning at 4pm, not funny at all. Restaurants were okay, biggest disappointment was the lack of fresh fruit baskets, Any fruit choices on the menus were very small, If you wanted fruit you had to go up to the self service restaurants which were like staff canteens full of undesirables with table manners to match The staff in the Peninsular at lunchtime were like headless chickens, loads of them at each work station with nothing getting done, add onto that they were being forced to use the ship's ipad to place the food orders which was very slow and a bit of a disaster. Sindu, their Indian restaurant with £15 cover charge was the best of the three fine dining choices, however it got booked very quickly and was fully booked till the end of the cruise Drink prices were not the English pub prices I expected and to be honest I felt that everything about this ship was about how much more money P and O could fleece from their passengers a real kick in the teeth for those loyal P and O customers . Overall an extremely disappointing holiday spoilt by the hordes that P and 0 now seem to want as passengers, rude, loud , inappropriate language, blantant disregard for others .Any decent person who is thinking about this ship in the future should think twice.   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
Have been on the Christmas cruise with p&o for the last three years,But Never Again The azura ship is a disgrace as is p&o.ship is tired tatty and full of undesirables. P&O have been taken over by carnival cruises and boy ... Read More
Have been on the Christmas cruise with p&o for the last three years,But Never Again The azura ship is a disgrace as is p&o.ship is tired tatty and full of undesirables. P&O have been taken over by carnival cruises and boy have they cut things out,staff are all trainees as the best staff have been put on the new brittannia ship.. Entertainment is allways rubbish,staff arguing with customers cleaning not as good as it was,prices for drinks have gone up. Had a problem with our cabin they did nothing,you might as well bang your head on the wall they don't care less.We didn't have a problem with the food in the oriental restaurant,But don't go up to what we call the pigs trough where you can help yourself to the food and watch the pigs help themselves,its there they have got to have it and sod anybody else disgusting. If you fancy a nice swim forget that because the pools are full of kids who should be in school but aren't,diving in and bombing with parents,and guess what staff do nothing even though big signs saying no bombing or diving. The atmosphere on board is toxic and only a matter of time until there is big trouble and the security wont be able to cope. Don't dare move any towels off sunbeds which are left on beds from early morning staff do nothing about this to and you will get the abuse and threats lovely people p&o want aboard there ships good luck to them because we shall never step aboard a p&o ship again and we aren't on our own. The ordinary people you talk to on board and all the review sites are full of P&O so good luck to them they have made there choice and they are welcome to it Bon Voyage. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
If like me and you have enjoyed your last seven cruises then you have a quality bench mark set within your mind. My wife and two other friends arrived at the airport twenty four hours early to take advantage of the 'hand your luggage ... Read More
If like me and you have enjoyed your last seven cruises then you have a quality bench mark set within your mind. My wife and two other friends arrived at the airport twenty four hours early to take advantage of the 'hand your luggage in early option, as stated in the brochure. We were informed politely, that as we were travelling with P & O, Thomson was now a chartered flight and they were not allowed to take our luggage. 'Check brochure,' we exclaimed! The Thomson representative told us she had spent all night telling other would be passengers the same story. Having dragged our suitcases from the car and deliberately passing our hotel, we now found ourselves re loading them back into the car and paying the unnecessary parking charges. This was an omen of the things to come. We arrived at Barbados after a very good flight and were greeted by the awaiting coaches to take us to our ship, the Azura. This is a very good service and makes the journey so much better. We had paid to renew our vows earlier in the year and we had completed the paperwork months in advance. The form asks you what date you would like the ceremony to take place and where would you like to dine. I could write a very long list of the total farce this became. We were told there were no tables left in XVII the day of our renewal and yet we'd given four months notice. The ridiculous thing was, when we arrived on board we went to look at Seventeen and was told by the person taking bookings that we should not book as we had a co-ordinator handling our requests. Just as a heads up for all those people reading this thinking they can book when they arrive on board, think again. We arrived a day earlier than our sailing date and struggled to book anything. We managed to book Sindu for a meal but struggled to book other venues. The retreat could not be booked as it was already fully booked from online bookings and you needed to have a spa package to get a place (strangely enough the retreat seemed empty, even on sea days) some people even cottoned on that you only needed to lean over the small deck gate to unlock it and walk in, as no one checked who should actually be in there. Here are some tips for you to know in advance and may help for plain sailing. The Italian resteraunt which is actually the buffet is very good and the food is good too. However above this dining location is the children's play club and the thumping noises that came through the ceiling was incredible. Just outside from this location is the back of the ship. There is a bar here which is a good chill out area in the evening. Unfortunately the smell of smoke and fat coming through the doors drifting over you is obnoxious. Sea days are when P & NO s shows it's true Butlins spirit. Overcrowded, sunbeds blocking walkways, loud rock music,people eating in the pool. Other ships have carribbean music, steel drums,something that tells you why you chose the carribbean. The ships carpets are dirty, the lifts are dirty and there is never any visible cleaning taking place. When it rains it doesn't just pour coffee in costa it rains inside too. Leaky parapet over counter area. The staff in Costa love watching the dancing in the atrium which is were they are based. In fact all five staff behind the counter had to be coerced into serving waiting people. On the top deck we ordered drinks from a waiter who never returned. We became concerned as we had an appointment to attend and so went to the bar to see what had happened to our service. We found the barman with a cluster of about twenty sea passes and a trolley full of drinks. We cancelled our drinks but we noticed some time later we had indeed been charged for these drinks. My friends also spotted that they had been charged for not attending the resteraunt Seventeen. They had not made a booking and questioned this, they were told it was an error. You may think that this review has completely focused on the negatives we'll let me explain this justification further. When you see a woman seated playing roulette in the casino while holding on to a two year old child and this is viewed as perfectly normal then I'm at a loss. If you see this as acceptable and your list of priorities fall in the order of labour club home from home. Sausages must be English mate, karaoke, bingo and choice language, then you will be right at home. The sunbed stampede starts around 6am (don't you dare tarnish the Germans until you have witnessed this) every sea day. If you snooze you lose,your punishment is to walk for eternity looking at empty sun-beds with towels, books and clever clues to say 'hands off.' This has got to be the closest thing to carry on cruising you will ever see. Never again will I want to be surrounded by so many Brits. The crew are not the happiest bunch of people you will ever meet either. Cabin staff were marvellous and the back of the ship had some friendly staff too. Another piece of important information is to consider the following. My friends and both my wife and I took a ship organised tour, kayak and snorkel,Curaçao. When we finally arrived at our destination we were asked to line up and sign a piece of paper. I thought this was for a head count as we were going out on the sea. My friend was last to sign it and noticed that on the other side of the paper was a disclaimer which we were not advised we were signing. We asked about this on our return to the ship at the excursion desk. I will not make a comment regarding what I was told but I would certainly check your own holiday insurance regarding any activities you plan to do. Could be a legal loop hole ahead, don't break a leg! My advice to P & O is simple, clean up your act fast. You may be launching a new ship soon but Azura will still have it's paying passengers, who if not first time cruisers, will turn out to be your last time cruisers. Incidentally, my friends had travelled o. The Aurora and commented on the stark differences. You pay for ice cream No ice machines Food is ok but nothing like some other ships for variety. Eggs Benedict special on a Tuesday, no other days. On all other ships they were just a normal breakfast buffet food. Cramped buffet area. For gods sake put the butter on tables or somewhere that doesn't cause unnecessary congestion. Why did so many people on this ship seem to have a cough? I don't want my photo taken every time I get off the ship and when I'm having a meal. They also charged £25 per photo if taken at renewal of vows or special occasion. Quay side pictures were around £11 plus. In the days of I phone cameras and people doing selfies. Also with the emergence of Go pro cameras you really need to reduce your pricing to get some of those endless walls of pictures shifted. How much do they cost to process? You have wonderful touch screen viewers in the gallery,just put them on there and let people browse. On the way home we were kept on the plane (Dreamliner) for two hours before taking off. This was due to technical fault with breaks. No offer of drinks or refreshment, or even water. I was told that the cabin stewards were four staff short due to illness. Six hours into the flight a person took seriously ill and the pilot asked if a doctor was onboard. We were then told we needed to turn back for the Azores to get this person medical assistance and off the plane. We were then informed by the pilot that he would exceed permitted flying hours if he continued to the UK and therefore we had to stay overnight until 10pm UK time before commencing our journey the next day. Thankfully we were informed that the gentleman who had taken I'll was making a recovery. Looking to other cruise lines.   Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2014
Beginning to think some people think only miserable moaning complainers write reviews. There seems to be two types of review ' loved it and hated it. 'Loved it ' seems to come from first time cruisers and hated it from those ... Read More
Beginning to think some people think only miserable moaning complainers write reviews. There seems to be two types of review ' loved it and hated it. 'Loved it ' seems to come from first time cruisers and hated it from those with a little more cruising under their belt. I'm a working type of chap who puts in many hours and gets that look from other people at work as if to say ' where did he get get the money because I've booked a cruise' Nothing to do with scraping the cash together all year and still watching the penny's even when on holiday. But let's face it, for most of us it's the best type of holiday overtime can buy. I remember back in the 70s 80's watching the celebrities of the day being filmed in Antigua and thinking 'that's for the rich and famous only. Well, news flash, joe blogs has caught up and now the rich and famous look to Crystal cruises and seabourne to escape. Back in the real world we are told that karaoke with a dickie bow is perfectly acceptable and your formal night photo does not look out of place with a bottle of bud in your hand. The overcrowded pack em in cruise ship experience has become a reality and the golden era of cruising sank the minute people like me didn't worry about what knife to pick up in the restaurant. That said I was brought up with good manners and I would be mortified if I felt that my behaviour contributed to making a fellow passenger feel uncomfortable while 'chucking their arrows at the dart board.' Let's spin this a bit further. A bucket of beer,six for the cost of five is surely one of the deals that first class passengers on Cunard cruises would envy. What could be better than a flag waving, I'm British, look at my bull dog tattoo 1945 rock music sail away? No silly steel drum Caribbean music required here guvnor. Sarcasm you bet! What was missing here is Al Murray as cruise director, the pub landlord to make a few meaningless announcements through the day. Frank Gallagher to arrange party nights and Vicki Pollard to head up reception. Sometimes we rise above and turn a blind eye to the things did not live up to expectations. But why should we? The question is, shouldn't those people who are paid our hard earned cash, agree to meet the promises given in their glossy brochures and adverts. Why should we come away from a holiday feeling that we have actually overpaid. Why do so many reviews have he same theme and similar opinions? Do our opinions fall on deaf ears? Shall we go to Benidorm next year? Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2014
This is the first and last time we will cruise with P & O is the strap line for this review, the content is our honest opinions having cruised in excess of thirty times with Celebrity, RCL, Princess and Cunard. We were looking for a ... Read More
This is the first and last time we will cruise with P & O is the strap line for this review, the content is our honest opinions having cruised in excess of thirty times with Celebrity, RCL, Princess and Cunard. We were looking for a quality itinerary for the New Year period and at least on this front we were not disappointed, with the likes of St Kitts, St Marten, Bonaire, Dominica, St Lucia and Curacao to name a few it did offer some really good islands. It started with a typically poor flight with Thomson, with very poor weight limits, no free drinks, a lousy meal, but it was on time. We arrived in Barbados to meet the rest of our fellow cruisers and whilst there were quite a few P & O past cruisers of quality, sadly the ship was inundated with the tattooed brigade of loud family members, and the cruise I am sure met the expectations of these travellers. However, a great number of P & O previous cruisers and the likes of us from other lines, were vicsiverous with our mutual comments of disappointment and that they would not travel with them again. Let me explain our reasons, the cabins and stewards were good. The Oriental restaurant food was poor although the staff were good. The buffet offered a slightly better standard, but the seating for breakfast and lunch was disastrous with areas closing without notice and meaning that you had to walk to another area and back to where we were sitting and often losing our table. The entertainment was of a 2 class standard, the cruise director was obvious by her absence and the captain was a voice on the tanoy system. The bar staff generally were rude and uncoperative. I cant help but think that P & O has been "Carnivalised" and it now looks for all the possible cost savings it can to add to the Carnival coffers. The Azura is definitely in need of a refit with very tired carpets and some very questionable bed linen with dubious stains, sadly the ship is "tired". The return poor flight on Thomson was on time, but the food was lousy and they had run out of most of their very expensive drinks and mixers, upon mentioning this to the crew, they responded "yes we are aware and have notified head office on numerous occasions, but nothing changes". For us its back to Carnival and Cunard and maybe Princess providing the latter two do not suffer with the Carnival axe. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2014
Booked this once in a lifetime cruise for my partners 50th birthday. After saving up for the £2,169 per person holiday. We have never spent so much on a holiday so expected it to be special. It was special being the worst holiday ever! It ... Read More
Booked this once in a lifetime cruise for my partners 50th birthday. After saving up for the £2,169 per person holiday. We have never spent so much on a holiday so expected it to be special. It was special being the worst holiday ever! It put me off cruise for life. Also the most boring New Years ever. • Swoosh bucket Pontins style evening entertainment. So bad we was in bed for 11pm • Overcrowded, sun beds blocking walkways, 2 inches apart, left, right, head and toe • Carpets are dirty, the lifts are dirty • Drinks waiter looking into space instead of providing service, but if they could maneuver round the bed like a contortionist then they could be the evening entertainment act • Restaurant table cloth with big holes • Black rim round the toilet in the cabin • The food was of such a poor standard whenever we went ashore we ate ashore. We booked into the Sindu and the Glass House all at an extra cost • The food, it was in fact disgusting. P & O shops at “Iceland” as all the food was frozen rubbish • Staff aloof many of them had very little grasp of English • The sunbed stampede starts about 6am • Empty sun-beds with towels, books ect. Bad as the Germans • Balcony was not cleaned once during our holiday • Staff and crew did not smile, such an unhappy ship, not the happiest bunch of people • Never again will I want to be surrounded by so many benefit Brits abroad. • Had to sign a disclaimer on a P & O trip, which we were not advised we were signing • Left the cabin cleaner a £30 and didn’t even get a thank you • Drinks over priced and draft beer rubbish and flat • A lot of people walking normal, then port and plane time jumped into wheel chair or got sticks out • Miss out on Tortola, why couldn’t be of gone another island? What a waste of hard earned money and time. So our first & last cruise thanks P &O. The ship would make a very funny sit com.   Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2014
The cruise ship was dirty including a persisting smell of sewage on the 7th deck which we reported to the staff but was ignored, the fact that they were aware of this and did nothing has been admitted to us since the cruise. The overall ... Read More
The cruise ship was dirty including a persisting smell of sewage on the 7th deck which we reported to the staff but was ignored, the fact that they were aware of this and did nothing has been admitted to us since the cruise. The overall ship was dirty also. Hardly surprising then that there was a breakout of norovirus which I unfortunately contracted. Thus started my hell of quarantine in my cabin. Serviced daily by specialist cleaners humorously named "The hit squad" they could not speak English and ordered me around my cabin like cattle. I was provided the wrong room service menu while I was not allowed to leave my cabin and when I called up to make my order was told off for trying to order things I was not allowed. All inclusive cruise until you fall ill in which case if you want drinking water you better be prepared to pay. Charging ill people for clean water doesn't exactly scream luxury cruise to me. Plane changed for our return so we did not get the premium economy we had paid for so my husband who was still recovering from a stroke was forced to crowd into the regular seating, asked to speak with their representative in the airport, call went out no one ever turned up. Entered their complaints process on return, late with every single reply on their own timeline and all we ever received was an offer of a discount off our next cruise, but only if it was used within the next year. ABTA no help at all, left with the choice of expensive court action or cutting our losses. If your idea of a luxury cruise is a week of quarantine while you are treated like it is your fault, this is the cruise for you, otherwise I would recommend avoiding entirely. First and last cruise for us. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2014
Having cruised on the P&O Arcadia earlier this year we decided to give the P&O Azura a try which would be our 29th cruise. The embarkation in Barbados went OK, our cabin and the ship in general was very good once we had got used to ... Read More
Having cruised on the P&O Arcadia earlier this year we decided to give the P&O Azura a try which would be our 29th cruise. The embarkation in Barbados went OK, our cabin and the ship in general was very good once we had got used to the more unusual layout where it seemed very easy to lose your way and ending up in the wrong place. Food and service in the Peninsular restaurant was excellent and the bands and musicians were also good. What let the ship down very badly were the entertainment staff who organised the deck parties. The terrific volume that they were using for the recorded music on deck made it a no no for many passengers so the parties were not very well attended. It was so loud that any form of communication was impossible and it was most difficult to even recognise a tune. Ear plugs should be used to prevent damage to the ears at that volume. Some fellow passengers had complained about this to Customer Services and they told that if they asked either an officer or a member of the entertainment team when it occurred it would we corrected. At the start of the next deck party we found the noise still unbearable so I asked a member of the entertainment team if it could be turned down a little. His response was both unexpected and surprising, that "if we didn't like the noise we should go to the back of the ship" adding "far from reducing it, it's going to get even louder". At the first opportunity we purchased earplugs but we also decided not to attend any further deck parties due to this wall of distorted sound they were creating, We did however take some video of one party where most of the guests looked miserable, the only people enjoying themselves seemed to be the 5 entertainment staff up on a high platform dancing. We have never experienced this degree of discomfort with any of the other cruises we have been on, the entertainment staff here seemed to be completely out of control. Following the bad response I made a formal complaint to Customer Services and a meeting was arranged with the cruise director who made it clear during an unhelpful meeting, that no change in these volume levels would be made. She did however arrange for a so called 'production manager' to call me who seemed so unsure of himself, but having talked to him for a very short time I realised his technical knowledge was very limited. I asked him if he ever checked the decibel levels of the sound he was inflicting on us. He said he did because a decibel meter was built into his sound desk - how strange ! So our advice is, if you want a cruise with some good customer relations together with respect for passengers, together, with an entertainment team that might at least know the difference between quantity and quality, then give this ship a definite miss. We will never take another cruise on it for sure. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2014
Azura is a ship with many problems i.e. dirty stained grubby carpets through out the public areas, stateroom carpets stained and dirty, our balcony was not cleaned once during our holiday, not even by the sanitation team !!!! sent in ... Read More
Azura is a ship with many problems i.e. dirty stained grubby carpets through out the public areas, stateroom carpets stained and dirty, our balcony was not cleaned once during our holiday, not even by the sanitation team !!!! sent in during my husbands illness due to the n/virus sweeping the ship, both staff and guests were very ill, it's not surprising given the poor hygiene standards, no hand gel on embarkation, hand gel told not necessary after 48hrs. when entering main dinning room, handrails door handles not cleaned no sign of housekeeping staff UNTIL after the virus out brake all to late, hundreds of ruined holidays. Staff and crew did not smile, such an unhappy ship. This was our 24th. cruise so I know what standards to look for Azura fell short of what a Caribbean birthday celebration cruise should have been, my birthday was 100% ignored by P&O , the only two people to give superb service Christian and Joseph our waiters in the Oriental restaurant as to the rest move to a job you enjoy then you will smile and make those around you happy. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2014
Having purchased what seemed like a really really great last minute bargain on the P&O Azura, we were really quite chuffed with ourselves, so around a week after purchasing we found ourselves onboard! First Impressions: Ship is only ... Read More
Having purchased what seemed like a really really great last minute bargain on the P&O Azura, we were really quite chuffed with ourselves, so around a week after purchasing we found ourselves onboard! First Impressions: Ship is only four years old although there was a certain amount of wear and tear, much more than we have experience on other cruise lines in even older ships. I don't think there is as much emphasis on this ship as keeping on top of maintenance. But we thought we payed little over £800 to be on a balcony for two people - we can live with that! The Buffet: I really don't think they know what they are doing with the buffet, no matter when you went there were always queues (sometimes 20 deep). They never seemed to open the full servery, there were 6 serving stations and at most they only ever used four of these - sometimes only two! I have never experience such poor service on a buffet - even on a seaday. P&O really need to do something about this - if there are 6 stations, open the 6 stations rather than having passengers waiting in queues 20 deep at peak times. MDR: We went to the main dining room only once on the ship as the menus did not seem very good! There was little choice and even on the second formal night there was very little imagination on the menu, normally we would expect fillet of beef or lobster bisque on a formal night but P&O's speciality was BEEF STROGANOFF!!! Again we thought we payed little over £800 to be on a balcony for two people - we can live with that as there were other options. As we were not eating in the MDR we used the speciality restaurants on four evenings: Sinduh: Had a fantastic evening in this restaurant - the food was cooked perfectly, the waiters were attentive and the service perfectly timed! The Glasshouse: The first night we used this restaurant the service was appalling - we waited 1 Hour and 30 minutes for two rare steaks to be prepared! After speaking to the F&B manager about this - apparently the kitchen used is the main kitchen and if you happen to go at a peak time for the MDR your stuffed! Having said that the food was VERY good (when it came) and we did try this restaurant again and the service was much better. Seventeen: Like Sinduh the service, food and staff were perfect in this restaurant. Port Days: OMG! What a nightmare - in Bilbao and La Rochelle you basically couldn't leave the ship! The queues for the shuttle busses actually took 3 hours to dissipate. It is unforgivable to only have two shuttle busses in a port that does not allow you to walk along the pier and is a round trip of 1 hour to the town and back! There was a queue for the entire length of the ship at La Rochelle between the hours of 9am and 11.30am. It was absolutely disgusting the way they were treating passengers. We did have a enjoy our holiday but the food and queues for everything have really underlined that I would not use P&O again. Had we paid more than what we did I would have been extremely annoyed about this experience but just like the fare P&O is cheap and cheerful and this is all you can really expect.   Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2014
We recently went on a 13 night cruise around the Canary Islands aboard the Azura.However I am afraid we are not satisfied with the level of service we received from P&O as a whole. Firstly we felt that the Breakfast / Lunchtime area ... Read More
We recently went on a 13 night cruise around the Canary Islands aboard the Azura.However I am afraid we are not satisfied with the level of service we received from P&O as a whole. Firstly we felt that the Breakfast / Lunchtime area in the Venezia restaurant was reminiscent of a staff canteen You collected your tray at one end of the counter and then were expected to follow the buffet bar from one end to the other collecting your food as you went. The problem was the area was to small for the amount of people trying to use it.The people in front of you were rushing as they felt under pressure to hurry through which in turn put you under pressure causing you to rush and so it went on down the line When you did finally emerge from the chaos to the seating area you were very lucky to find a table and mostly when you did you had to share with strangers which was not a problem for us but not everybody appreciated company and some went out of their way to show it Secondly there was the Gym scenario no matter how often I tried I could not get on any of the equipment I wanted to use The gym did not open until 8.00 When I did try to use it at this time there were large queues I subsequently returned on several occasions throughout the day only to find there were seminars in progress which meant half the the gym was closed due to the noise of the machines This situation was ridiculous surely they could have found another room rather than the main floor area at the centre of the gym. The swimming pools always appeared to be netted over to prevent people from using them we never got to the bottom of that one. We also had the mis fortune to visit the Port of El Ferrol which was nothing but a glorified Naval Base. The town of El Ferrol was small dismal run down and for the most part covered in graffiti a place we would not have visited if we had known what it was like before leaving the ship. Finally we come to the cost of our cruise.We booked our cruise relatively early in relation to the cruise embarkation date and paid just over £3015 for a balcony cabin. At the point of booking we were led to believe that our holiday would be price matched by P&O to any holidays like ours that were sold at a later date.This however has not been the case We met several people on board the ship who had paid significantly less than us for the same thing.We even met 1 couple who had paid £2800 for a family of 4 giving them and their children adjoining cabins. All in all we feel very disappointed with the cruise in general. We feel that the cruise was not worth the amount of money we paid for it and we feel that we were mis-lead by the P&O price match promise. So my advice would be book your cruise about 2 weeks before you go and get a cheap deal because you will be told that your price doesn't change and everyone else uses a Getaway Fare? I will leave it up to you Would we cruise again? like a shot !!! With P&O never in a month of Sundays even if they paid us to go   Read Less
Sail Date: July 2014
Having just returned from our holiday on the Azura never been on a cruise with P & O before and never will again. The food was nothing special small portions so needed to go upstairs afterwards for a snack not enough fruit and ... Read More
Having just returned from our holiday on the Azura never been on a cruise with P & O before and never will again. The food was nothing special small portions so needed to go upstairs afterwards for a snack not enough fruit and vegetables on the menus. After the morning breakfast the only drinks given free with other meals was water, tea or coffee ,Most of the food served in the buffet was stodgy food in the thirteen days on board only had carved meat in the self service section once. Desserts were mostly mouse type or had no taste The Ice cream was payable, coffee other than in the self service section and with meals was chargeable There is limited space in the shows so most nights you could not see the shows. Most of the public areas are dirty and need to be updated. Our room was kept clean but our friends room had dirty stains on the sofa and was not cleaned prior to them entering and was not cleaned often when they were there , if you used the shampoo and conditioner they were not replaced and the empty bottles were left there . On some days the pools were not available to use. The excursions were expensive and not at all good value if you do not pay the full price to board the ship you have to pay for using the shuttle even if you only use it one way and walk back you are charged for both ways. The best food is found in the payable restaurants and the cost of these soon mount up. There are a few friendly staff to be found but this is mostly in the main restaurant and cabin stewards .The bar staff are not friendly if you try to sit in the areas listening to the shows without buying a drink they say rude comments one time we ordered a set of drinks to save them bothering us and one walked past and said a comment about us only having the one drink. The layout of the ship is aggravating you have to keep going to the promenade to go down to the other levels the shops are on different levels but do not have much choice It does look like P & O are cutting back on the quality and the quantity of their service If you expect the old service and treatment from P & O you will also be disappointed. The daytime activities are dull and need up dating also needs more things to do on the ship to keep the adults entertained not everyone wants to sit by the pool drinking. I expected more from P & O due to their name and image I will be travelling with Royal Carribeane next year at least you know that there are soft drinks , ice cream good food and crazy golf free   Read Less
Sail Date: June 2014
INTRODUCTION - I had built my Mother and Son's expectations up so high telling them what a wonderful time they would have cruising only for their first cruise to fall flat on it's face. PRE-CRUISE CUSTOMER SERVICE - Booking our ... Read More
INTRODUCTION - I had built my Mother and Son's expectations up so high telling them what a wonderful time they would have cruising only for their first cruise to fall flat on it's face. PRE-CRUISE CUSTOMER SERVICE - Booking our tickets was easy and straight forward. I saw on p&o's website there was a theme night, it might be Hawaiian or 60's/70's. I love dressing up and our details did not inform us which it would be. I phoned customer services gave cruise details and she said she would find out. I was told not to worry as it was only a 7 day cruise they did not have theme nights. I left my costume at home. Guess what? that's right we had a 60's/70's theme night on board. EMBARKATION - I was pleased to find this was stress free and very quick. We were given a card with a letter on and different groups were called staggering the amount of people at the check in desk. FIRST IMPRESSIONS - Upon entering the main foyer I was expecting to see something grand only to find it reminded me of an airport lounge with a dance floor in the middle. Not even a ballroom on board. SERVICE DESK - Staff were friendly enough but didn't do their job. My son's safe in his cabin was not working as the prongs that shut it were locked out and could not be closed. On the evening of embarkation this was reported. We were told someone would be along to fix it. On the day of dis-embarkation we were still waiting!! CABIN - was an inside one as I like to have it pitch black at night. Presentation was reasonable but nothing special. I had to laugh as there was a flower in a vase with no water!. General upkeep in the toilet shower was good over the week, however I did run my finger along the mirror at the back of the bed to find it thick with dust! We had 2 bottles of water upon our arrival and that was it. Tea and coffee making box was not refilled and all the biscuits were broken. My son had blood on his sheets and my mum had goodness knows what on her pillow, mustard colour patches!! (I dread to think) CABIN STEWARD - Did not see her much, she was polite enough but not overly friendly. She never knocked on the cabin door just came straight in which annoyed me. LIFEJACKET DRILL - what a farce that was. This is supposed to be taken seriously for your own good, but I don't think people listened to what was being said. Having said that the ushers showing the way to your muster station were pretty useless. Instead of making sure everyone was keeping to the left going down the stair everyone just meandered down ( and before they were actually supposed to) I thought you kept the right side clear for emergency services to be able get through?!! The actual drill, well the staff member told us quite clearly to watch the other staff members first and to then join in the second time. I could not believe it, about 90% just did their own thing - safety at sea, I hope it never has to be used on Azura. SAIL AWAY - The very first sail away I found patronising and childish as it was the entertainment team dancing on a small platform on the pool deck. It was like ' 1 2 3 sing along with me' The great British sail away I did enjoy but it was crowded. THEARTE ENTERTAINMENT - Saw the opening show which was ok. Mick Miller. a throw back from the comedians was good and was entertaining. Refreshing to see something funny. Reel to reel was good also, singing and dancing to movie songs through the decades. My disappointment here was that the music was pre-recorded and not a live band. BAR ENTERTAINMENT - I saw about 5 mins of a George Michael tribute which was more than enough, same can be said for a singer called Portia. I wanted to see a Freddie Mercury tribute (who I am told was good) didn't find out for myself as the bar was so packed I couldn't get anywhere near. BARS - were heaving at night and you counted yourself lucky if you got a seat! The service was very slow. My son to amuse himself started his stop watch just to see how long we waited. 20 mins was the longest it took (could have died of thirst) and then we had to wait extra for the waiter to bring our cabin charge card back. I was given the wrong drink but couldn't be bothered to wait another 20 mins for him to change it. GENERAL STAFF - I have to say I found most of them to be quite rude and they expected you to get out of their way (there were 1 or 2 who were ok.) Most of them walked around with faces that looked like they had just been smacked, not a flicker of a smile or a "good morning". On the pool deck there was one man clearing plates and he so obviously loved his job!!!! as each time he opened the metal rubbish bin he just let it slam every time and it got on your nerves after a while. The interesting thing was, when a senior officer came past he opened and shut the bin very carefully - spoke volumes to me. HYGIENE AND CLEANLINESS - There was a distinct lack of this through out the ship. I never once saw any general cleaning taking place. Vacuuming seemed to take place around 3 am. There were some disgusting toilets that looked like they had never seen toilet cleaner. One of the worst areas was the lido deck restaurants - the windows were smeared with handprints as was the glass partitioning. The base of the table was greasy and again thick with dust. Upon entering the lido deck there was no hand sanitiser only on the gate area that leads to the food, so you could walk in and make a drink with dirty hands. My son who had a late supper around 10.00 pm, later took his laptop up to the lido deck around 2 am (as he couldn't sleep) found his dirty plates and cup still on the table as he had left them.. There were dirty serviettes, bottles, cans and waste on the pool decks that was just left. There were spilled drinks, again just left. One of them had been a glass of milk which of course would have been slippery and given there were blind people aboard I could see a safety issue here. When reported I was told it would cleared up. I made a point of going back to look a couple of hours later only to find it was still there. The outside windows were drizzled with water by an automated machine (not even a proper cleaner) on the last evening. The carpets throughout the ship were very badly stained and for a ship that is only 4 years old I can only guess what the condition would be like on their older ships. By far the best has to what my mum thought was a dirty serviette and when we looked it was a pair of ladies dirty soiled knickers just left on the walkway. MAIN DINING - we were on the first sitting in the oriental restaurant. Our waiter and head waiter were absolutely wonderful, I can only sing my praises to them which I think had to be about the only positive thing on board this ship. We being vegetarians found there was not a lot of options although they did have a vegetarian menu. One Evening I chose melon for my starter my husband had egg mayonnaise - fine you may say. The thing was that is what was on the menu the next night too!! The waiters kept saying "anything you want just ask" so I asked if it would be possible in 2 nights time if they could make a curry. The head waiter said he would ask and confirm the next evening. I was ill so didn't see him that day. The day I had requested the curry for I tried to contact him. I was sent to another restaurant to find him - no luck I was told to talk to the head waitress. She keyed my request into the computer and wrote it down. Surprise, surprise he never got the message. One evening 3 of us ordered a starter that was cold and congealed, none of us ate it. Well you would have thought we had committed a crime. They prodded, poked and analysed it, and insisted we have something else. I told them that was fine please don't worry. They kept on so much in the end I had to leave. LIDO DINING - The food here was beyond awful and I am being polite when I use the word awful. EVERY day the food was just about the same as the day before. You always got fruit salad, profiterols, chocolate cake & cheesecake. The choices were few and far between and what there was I swear came from packets and tins. Mum and I ended up each day playing a game of guess today's filling in the profiterole. Again for vegetarians there was 1 option. I ended up living off chips, potatoes, bread and occaisionally veg!! I had said there would be wonderful cakes, pastries's, pizza's, waffles, pancakes - you name it you would get it on a cruise. I think my mum and son thought I had made it all up as we saw none of that. You could only have fruit juices at breakfast!!! or it was water for the rest of the day. VERY often there was no milk or cups. Finding a table I have to say was a real pain. One day, it was half way through our week from hell I had just about given up the will to live and there was not a seat to be had I just had enough and plonked myself down in the middle of the floor - nobody said a word. On the last night one of the serving staff picked an argument with my son as he had shorts on, they were long ones. He was told he couldn't come in, silly really as there was a woman wearing what could only be described as a pelmet showing far more leg. The food on the whole was penny pinching and horrible. FELLOW PASSENGERS - What can I say here, very loud, rude and inconsiderate to other travellers. Shouting in the corridors at all times of the day, Having to get in the lift FIRST. Mostly aloof people but we did meet a few nice people. LIFTS - I think anyone who was on this cruise would agree with me that this was a big bug bear. One lift was out of service for the entire voyage. There were a large number of elderly and disabled who obviously had to use the lift. Given the lifts are not very big, put one wheelchair in and the lift is full. My mum who is elderly and doesn't do stairs had to use the lift. On one occasion we waited 25 mins to get one. Again we played another game while waiting "shall we catch the 10.20 or the 10.40?" SHIP - very badly designed layout. I love having a stroll around the promenard deck but you can't walk right the way around on this boat and on the starboard side smoking is permitted, although people were smoking portside also. Their are cabins on entertainment decks. If you want to walk around the top you have to walk up hill and down dale ,not very eldery/disabled friendly. The one thing was whatever time you went down on the pool deck there was loud music all the time. I love loud music but when you can't hear the person next to you!! There are hundreds of sun beds with little room to walk or climb between. Over all Azura is by no means a pretty ship or a practical one. CHILDRENS ACTIVITIES - N/A DAYTIME ACTIVITIES - few and far between, If you like line dancing, juggling or quizzes you will be fine. SHORE EXCURTIONS - we only did one to the Normandy beaches. Our tour guide was very informative, thoughtful and considerate and had lots to tell us. A very moving experience indeed. I felt a little more time spent at the beach is needed rather than just 30 mins. CAPTAIN AND SENIOR OFFICERS - We never once saw the captain or any of his senior officers once. I began to think the ship was running by remote control and all the messages pre- recorded. There was not an audience with or book signing with the captain. SUMMARY - if you like brash and noisy, don't mind the filth, waiting for just about everything, then this is for you - BUTLINS AT SEA! I would rate this as a 0 but alas 1 is the lowest so 1 it has to be. FUTURE CRUISES - certainly not with p&o, this was my first and last with them. My mum and son have been put off cruising full stop. for me I will only go with CUNARD in the future. I can not fault them in any way - perfection at it's best. WORD OF ADVICE TO P&O - give up cruise ships and stick to freight and ferries. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2014
What a shame!! Our expectations were dashed, when our problems started from the 1st step on to the ferry(sorry ship). Confusing lay out, lots of walking up and down stairs,along the ship onto another lift a maze,but hey ho!!! It could not ... Read More
What a shame!! Our expectations were dashed, when our problems started from the 1st step on to the ferry(sorry ship). Confusing lay out, lots of walking up and down stairs,along the ship onto another lift a maze,but hey ho!!! It could not get any worse,could it.?mmm yes it could....rude staff,food awful,dirty toilets ,and dress code gone mad.....what gives any one the right to turn up at breakfast in pj's and fluffy dressing gowns..on a ship...yes it was a hen party,one of many!!!don't get me wrong I have been on a few weekend breaks on ships where it is great for a weekend for hen /stag party's,,but dress codes are there for a reason,if you want a meal in pjs have it in the cabin..and management should monitor the situation... staff, well one word RUDE!!!! We couldn't (due to weather) get off the ship due to being unsafe to dock....mmm well we were told prior to leaving southampton that this would properly be the case....so there we go the trip turned into a booze cruise where shops,casino, was open,and tv's in cabins would not work,but guess what the tv in the bars were working.it ended up like a holiday camp......and the ship made more money!!!! Then the food!!! it was like nothing I have ever seen...bits of cheese ,jacket potatoes with no fillings...bits of meat here and there...it was awful....We went on a taster cruise to try P&O for our future holidays but I'm sorry to say we were disappointed,perhaps they should stick to ferries..... Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2014
My wife and I are just back from a 2 night mini cruise on P&O's Azura from Southampton to Zeebrugge, back to Southampton. This was our 2nd ever cruise, our first being last August for a 2 week roundtrip cruise from Southampton to ... Read More
My wife and I are just back from a 2 night mini cruise on P&O's Azura from Southampton to Zeebrugge, back to Southampton. This was our 2nd ever cruise, our first being last August for a 2 week roundtrip cruise from Southampton to the Med, on Princess' Crown Princess. Azura and the Crown are the same ship, just run by different cruise operators, so we knew what to expect from the ship in terms of size and layout. The similarities between the two ships sadly ended there for us... Let me start by saying we aren't snobs by any stretch of the imagination, and we are down-to-earth and easy going people (both in our mid-late 20's). BUT... we see cruising as a very expensive top-notch holiday choice; and as a result, it is reasonable to expect good service and quality. Princess more than exceeded ALL our expectations and as a result, obviously this has set our expectations for future cruises. I know i am comparing a 2 week £1600 per person cruise to a 2 night £220 per person cruise, but per night, the price isnt massively different. However, as one of the bar staff said to me just after we boarded, "this will be a different experience to a 2 week cruise, you will see people being carried away on stretchers and all sorts". I think what he was trying to say is this "cruise" is going to be like booze cruise. Obviously because its only a couple of hundred pounds per person, it is affordable to alot more people, which means the "class" (for want of a better word) of people on a 2 night cruise will be somewhat different to a 2 week cruise. OK, i accept that, and thats fine; as a result, i found the atmosphere to be quite good - lots more going on, the entertainment seemed to be enjoyed better etc. Buit thats no excuse in my opinion for the staff to let their hair down and lower their standards... Maybe this is just the way P&O operate, and I shouldnt be comparing to Princess (a far superior cruise operator in my opinion), but I found the following thing unacceptable: Despite multiple requests at all the bars we visited, not one of them could provide us with a cocktail menu or wine menu (except for the Peninsular Restaurant where a wine menu was provided). This is VERY poor in my opinion. The laundry service ruined my brand new shirt which i sent to be ironed. The shirt came back with 4 or 5 different crease lines down the sleeves (instead of one running all the way down). I complained to my room steward, who responded with a big smile and a chuckle!!!??? I then visited the reception desk to complain and after a phone call to someone, the receptionist told me they had refunded the laundry charge. There was no apology from anyone! Our room steward and the laundry person delivering our laundry both let themselves into our cabin unannounced whilst we were in it; once whilst i was in the middle of getting changed! Unacceptable in my opinion! The length of time it took to be served at the bars (even though they weren't busy) was also unacceptable. The bar staff seemingly ignored me in favour of doing other things! The formal evening dress code was not policed in the restaurants. My wife and I were dressed appropriately and in the middle of a quiet meal in the Glass House (think that's its name) when a group of people came in with T-shirts and jeans and sat next to us! The restaurant staff then told us to move our table away from them so that we weren't so close! We were not very impressed at all! You could probably argue that all of the above *must* have been one-off isolated incidents, but the attitude of all the staff was the same, and we quite often witnessed things which we said "you wouldn't see that on Princess". Lots of other finishing touch sort of details that were there on Princess were missing from P&O - tiny things which i would probably get slated for if i mentioned them on here, but to us, its the small finishing touches that differentiates between good and excellent. I would be very interested to hear from people who have cruised P&O and Princess to see what your thoughts are. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2013
First time crusie from Southampton - I was impressed how easy this was. Booking of the trip via a travel agent was not good. In the end I delt with P & O direct. I booked this 4 night cursie for myself and my disable mother. ... Read More
First time crusie from Southampton - I was impressed how easy this was. Booking of the trip via a travel agent was not good. In the end I delt with P & O direct. I booked this 4 night cursie for myself and my disable mother. Getting on the ship was great, no problems. Cabin was great, but not very clean. Air Con did not work well, we were always feeling cold. Butler service was very poor, only saw him once and then on last night he was looking for us so we could tip him. Entertainment was very poor, in fact we were so board on sea day, we just walked around the deck for most of the morning. I used the self service option for every meal. Food was good but service was so poor, table never wiped clean, service to clear tables very slow. I will never use the self service option for breakfast ever again. Too many people, no clearing of tables. Staff at times were very rude, I had overherd a converstion a member of the entertainment team were having with a passage, It was so bad i complained, nothing was done about that member of staff. If i had spoken to a customer in that way, i would have lost my job. Most of the staff were unfriendly, no greetings, no smile. Even the captain. The one exception was the staff in the spa. I would never travel on the Azura again, perhaps i may try a smaller P&O ship. 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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