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8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
We selected a 7 night cruise on P & O Azura to fit round my working commitments, my wife being retired. We chose to drive to Southampton from home in Lancashire and set off nice and early at 5am even though it was a Saturday ... Read More
We selected a 7 night cruise on P & O Azura to fit round my working commitments, my wife being retired. We chose to drive to Southampton from home in Lancashire and set off nice and early at 5am even though it was a Saturday sailing. Traffic and conditions were favourable so we had a great trip and were in Southampton for 9am so stopped at Tesco and COSTA Coffee and arrived in the CPS car park at 11am. That was very efficient, close and soon we were seated in the terminal. We awaited the embarkation process which commenced, as last year for Ventura, just before 12 noon and was as efficient as last year. Once on board we made our way to the buffet for a spot of lunch. Whilst in the buffet they announced that cabins were ready early so we made our way to Australia Deck, deck 12 and A223, our home for the 7 nights. A wonderfully clean and bright balcony cabin on the front starboard side of the ship with a very comfortable bed, arm chair, small but adequate TV and an ample bathroom. We met BB, our cabin steward who was excellent in the way he took care of everything brilliantly without being noticed at all. The cases arrived quickly so we unpacked we decided to check out the ship and found it most pleasurable and almost a copy of both Crown Princess and Ventura. We were also pleased to see we have been allocated Freedom Dining unlike last year and this we enjoyed. We were allocated the Peninsular Restaurant and the service was excellent in all areas that we got seated during the week. We really prefer to be on a table for two so had this option every meal time which was great. We had nice meals in every evening, so much so my thought of booking Sindhu and Bay Tree evaporated. The food was a notch up here to that on Ventura last year. Breakfasts were always taken in the restaurant and were of an excellent standard. We did the emergency drill on time and sailed almost on time. We had a nice sea day on the Sunday and of as it was a hot day it was busy on the outer decks with everyone taking advantage. We availed ourselves of most bars over the cruise but as we are not huge drinkers so it was more for a change of scenery than anything else. We enjoyed two of the three production shows (missed the last as we were late in the restaurant) that the Headliners cast put on and both were enjoyable, WE3 were a fantastic act, Tucker enjoyable. In other lounges the singers and bands were good, the second comedian, Tom Binns, in our eyes poor but of course entertainment is very subjective. We enjoyed the port stops and also the warm weather. We don’t book ship trips but made our own way without spending silly money. We enjoyed Hamburg & the layover in Amsterdam and did city tours at each and after dinner walked around Amsterdam taking in the sights on the second night when we had better weather than the rain of the previous evening. Second sea day was spoiled by a sea mist all day but that's no the fault of the ship or company. Le Havre was quiet, we walked round, visited a couple of churches plus some shops and if I went again I would take some form or tour or hire a car to get out and see the surrounding parts. The night sail back to Southampton was very pleasant without helicopter medical emergency as last year on Ventura. The captain was excellent and efficient in telling you about the cruise, the interactive map on the cabin TV could be better. My wife was disappointed with the Pilates class but that was a minor negative in a week of positive. Disembarkation was first class, we chose to take our own luggage off and literally had breakfast and walked off the ship, no customs issues or waiting in lounges for times to leave and we were in the car hitting the road back North by 8am. Despite some average to poor reviews I have seen recently on various sites I thought Azura was probably on balance the best of the three P & O trips we have had and I would not hesitate in booking again. I would mark this as a 4.5 / 5 (you have to choose 4 or 5 on here so I have put 4 but it was above that but not a 5) to be honest and chatting with many others on the cruise I think most had a good time and would hope they would also offer a positive review. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
Staff - couldn't fault the staff for the most part they were exceptionally good. Drinks – P&O don’t do a drinks package other than a buy 20 soft drinks for the price of 19 so those who enjoy a drink run the risk of finding ... Read More
Staff - couldn't fault the staff for the most part they were exceptionally good. Drinks – P&O don’t do a drinks package other than a buy 20 soft drinks for the price of 19 so those who enjoy a drink run the risk of finding themselves with a high bar bill at the end of the cruise. Swimming pools and recreation activities - P&O have the basics in the form of pools and hot tubs but not much else. The main pools are busy but the adults only one can be reasonable and is for 18 years and over. We had an unfortunate incident in that a small piece of rust splashed up from the hot tub and embedded itself in my Husbands eye. We weren’t aware that was the problem but after his eye had been hurting for some time we went to see the on board medical staff where the receptionist informed us that just to get looked at would cost us around £80. My husband decided to try some eye wash from the on board shop however as it was getting worse we went to medical at around midnight to discover they were closed. The problem started on the penultimate day of our cruise and my husband decided to wait until we got home to see the optician who sent him off to the hospital to have it removed by a surgeon. We reported the issue to P&O and they offered a £250 refund. We were happy this was a freak accident however they should consider an option to have the medical staff look at the problem before charging as this was a problem caused by their ship and as such they should have helped with it on board rather than just telling us it was £80 just to get an opinion. Quizzes and shows - you need to turn up between 30 and 45 minutes early to these things if you want a good seat (or in some cases any seat at all) the shows were all of excellent level, although they don’t do a full broadway show they do 1 hour shows that are very entertaining. Photo's & other items to purchase - all your pictures £100 not bad we only got a couple of pictures and they were a good price also. Bathrobes £30 for 2 total bargain. Anything extra you may want to pay for was mostly reasonably priced. Food - Breakfast Breakfast in room good, big queues for buffets, sit down breakfast very good. Food - lunch, snacks and late night food. Buffet busy and staff miserable, good snack options and food available pretty much all night. Food - dinner Buffet at dinner time was horrific but main dining was really good including 'always available' options which were nice. Food - room service Food was nice and service was excellent. Complimentary drinks – Water or Tea/Coffee with your meal, bit limited in options. All around P&O was a good experience ignoring the unfortunate incident with the hot tub and we have booked another cruise with them this time to take our teenage kids as well. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
We have just returned from a lovely cruise aboard the Azura down to the Canaries. Food in the MDR’s and buffet were excellent. We also went to Sindhu, the Glasshouse and the Beach House. Enjoyed them all. Entertainment in the ... Read More
We have just returned from a lovely cruise aboard the Azura down to the Canaries. Food in the MDR’s and buffet were excellent. We also went to Sindhu, the Glasshouse and the Beach House. Enjoyed them all. Entertainment in the evening was of the usual high standard, and we were unable to get around to see all the acts. We were however a little disappointed with the daytime offerings. But this was simply because we had so many sea days which were all bad weather, so we relied on daytime activities to amuse us. We had our elderly parents with us and we were all looking forward to decent guest speakers. Olly Smith was brilliant, but as usual, the speaker on WW2 (dreadfully dull) was on every day. He has been on other ships, we have also had him on the Britannia and Ventura. Come on P & O, do you think everyone wants to hear this day after day? The artist John Gifford was charming and interesting and my Mother enjoyed his demonstrations. We booked late and had balcony cabins on the Lido deck, starboard side. They were fine, although the overhang prevented the sun coming on the balcony most of the time. Also, the smell of smoke which shot through the end door every time it was opened was quite nasty. The whole corridor was affected by the smell and entered our rooms. We were surprised that the whole of the poolside this side was taken up for smokers as it also contaminated the grill bar area as well. All in all, a lovely cruise. Britannia is still our favourite ship. But Azura lived up to its expectations. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
Our 4th cruise on a P&O ship and definately the best experience we have had with them. Embarkation as usual was flawless. Brilliant service from CPS, would highly recommend. Went straight to cabins, definately the best lay out & ... Read More
Our 4th cruise on a P&O ship and definately the best experience we have had with them. Embarkation as usual was flawless. Brilliant service from CPS, would highly recommend. Went straight to cabins, definately the best lay out & position we have had & cabin nice and clean. Muster drill was quick & painless, so we set sail. This was a 7 nighter to the Norwegian Fjords. Went through a G.F 9 on the way up, Azura was a pleasure to be on, probably the best ship we have been on in rough seas. The first port was Haugesund, not a great deal to do here but we had a good look around. Would need to do an excursion if we went there again. Flaam was next, we did the Norway in a nutshell tour, very worth while. Olden and the Briskdale Glacier next. Unfortunately it rained heavily at the glacier but it was still a great excursion. Bergen was our last port & again it rained but Norway is beautiful in all weather, it never disappoints. The ship was a good size, we never felt crowded, & every night we got a table in the dining room on arrival. The food was the best we have had onboard a P&O ship, as was the service. The only negative was that the buffet areas were quite small & on a sea day it wasn’t easy finding some where to sit. The entertainment was good but the acts were repeated during the cruise. The Captain did his job getting us there & back safely but we didn’t once see him around the ship, it’s not a big deal but it’s quite nice to see them occasionally. Disembarkation was easy as was picking the car up. On the whole it was a great holiday and good value for money. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
We chose this cruise for a fun hen party of 30, we had all ages from 20-70 and found the ship and staff catered extremely well to entertain all age groups. We enjoyed the food, hot tubs, pools (i was pleased to find there were separate ... Read More
We chose this cruise for a fun hen party of 30, we had all ages from 20-70 and found the ship and staff catered extremely well to entertain all age groups. We enjoyed the food, hot tubs, pools (i was pleased to find there were separate pools and entertainment areas for children), this allowed a much more serene and relaxed experience when enjoying the leisurely spa. entertainment and brugge itself. I didn't love that the dinner staff wouldn't leave our bottle of wine on the table. Or that you have to be out of the room at 8am following formal night. Generally speaking the cruise and entertainmemt staff were great and i would give them five stars for value of money. Unfortunately in my experience the dinner staff and cabin staff really let doen the ship. I also found the personal hygiene of some of the staff working with food disconcerting. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2018
We chose this cruise as it was at the right time of year for our school holidays, went to the places we wanted to go and we got a great deal on a balcony cabin. We flew from Perth Western Australia to Heathrow, and had a transfer to ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was at the right time of year for our school holidays, went to the places we wanted to go and we got a great deal on a balcony cabin. We flew from Perth Western Australia to Heathrow, and had a transfer to Southampton. We arrived in Southampton and put our bags in and went to the local shops to get phone sim cards and shop. The cruise was fantastic, the kids club however was empty as the UK school holidays had finished, so the kids mainly hang out with mum and dad. Luckily after cruising from Southampton to Spain we got over our jet lag and were busy in each town every day.. The restaurant was great, as we had 4 people, we never waited for a table. The buffet was very crowded so we would grab a table on entry and take it in turns to get out food. Almost everyone on board was from the UK and over 60. The comedians were pretty good and there was plenty of activities during the day. Our cabin was great, it had 2 bunk beds, but during the day the top 2 are folded into the ceiling so the cabin is quite spacious. At night with the beds down it's a bit cosy. We're Australian and quite anti-tipping, so opted out of the gratuity which is automatically included unless you fill in a form to opt out. As a first time Europe trip with our kids it was a great experience, they saw France, Spain, Italy and England. We went to Florence, Pisa, Rome and Barcelona. I think it is a trip they will remember for a lifetime. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
After going on two two-day mini cruise breaks, we decided to book a longer cruise. We were departing from Southampton on a 7-day P & O cruise calling at Vigo, Lisbon, Porto and Cherbourg. We were travelling as a group of 6 and it was ... Read More
After going on two two-day mini cruise breaks, we decided to book a longer cruise. We were departing from Southampton on a 7-day P & O cruise calling at Vigo, Lisbon, Porto and Cherbourg. We were travelling as a group of 6 and it was our main holiday of the year. Embarkation was very busy (as expected) but it was well organised and as painless as possible. It was great that we didn't see our cases after putting them onto the coach until we got to our cabin. Our Balcony cabin room was very clean and spacious enough for a couple sharing. We have certainly stayed in much smaller hotel rooms in the UK. The balcony was big enough for both of us. Our cabin steward was absolutely amazing - he cleaned, made the bed and replenished our cabin supplies twice a day. As soon as we got settled and got our bearings, we went to Reception and cancelled the automatic gratuities for service (which would have been £98 for a couple). We decided to tip individual staff as we thought best by the end of the week. Dining on board was simply outstanding. Service by all waiters, wine waiters etc was amazing! Food was delicious each night - with a large enough variety and choice. One of our party was rather picky, but they could not do enough to accommodate us. We dined for breakfast and Evening meal in the Peninsular Restaurant. We could not fault the service, the food and the whole restaurant experience at all! Occasionally for lunch and once for breakfast, we ate in the self-service restaurant Venezia. The choice was wide and quality was good, but it could be very busy and we sometimes had to walk quite a way to find a table. Apart from the busyness, it was fine. There was a wide range of activities for all age groups. The entertainment during the day was sparse but the evening entertainment was better. We visited the Playhouse a few times for the evening performance and to watch other performers in various bars across the cruise ship. The performers were good but unfortunately due to the adverse weather and choppy conditions, one of the musical performances had to be cancelled and replaced by a film. Service in the restaurants was excellent but some staff on Reception, some bar staff and P and O sales staff were not pleasant and not very helpful at all. In general, however, we did not let this spoil our week's holiday. Food was fully included (apart from the select restaurants which we didn't go to). Drinks were no more expensive than 3* or 4* hotels in the UK - about £4.50 per pint or from £15 upwards for a bottle of wine. Our ports of call were: Vigo (Spain) - on Sunday very few shops were open. We walked up to the large park and castle on the hill. After a couple of hours we had exhausted the main attractions and returned to the ship. Lisbon (Portugal) - a beautiful, fantastic day trip and the weather had improved also. Rather than booking a bus trip, we paid a local taxi driver €20 each for a 2 1/2 hour trip round Lisbon - well worth it. Saw the main sights with time taken for photos etc. Would visit Lisbon again for a long weekend. Porto (Portugal) - very wet and cold. A quick tour of the town and a coffee (which were very inexpensive) then we caught the shuttle bus back to the ship. Don't bother visiting - we weren't keen! Cherbourg - it was absolutely freezing when we visited! We spent two hours walking round the market and then returned to the ship. Very expensive, but may be more enjoyable in the summer!? However, we did enjoy waking up in different ports. Disembarkation was very smooth and well organised. Our cases were collected by from 11:00pm on our final night and easy to collect to board our coach for home. The whole trip was amazing ... too much to say here and our comments don't really do justice to our week aboard The Azura. Without doubt, my wife and I have definitely caught the cruise bug and will be booking a different cruise some time soon! Thank you P & O for giving us such a great experience! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
This was our third time on the Azura and as usual we had a good time, despite the best efforts of the weather to try and spoil things. Let's break the review down a bit... Embarkation. We had a 3:30 slot but didn't get onboard ... Read More
This was our third time on the Azura and as usual we had a good time, despite the best efforts of the weather to try and spoil things. Let's break the review down a bit... Embarkation. We had a 3:30 slot but didn't get onboard until almost 4:30 as there was a sudden flurry of people all seeming to turn up at the same time. I was a bit annoyed that I couldn't log my credit card at check-in as the machine wasn't working and meant I had to queue up at reception. That said, it didn't take too long so not worth moaning about! Ship. As I said it was our third time on the Azura so we knew what to expect. It's generally clean and well kept and but it did creak a lot in the swell which interrupted our sleep on a couple of nights. It felt like we were on Nelson's flagship at times! The layout is logical but you have to remember to descend the right staircase otherwise you'll find the restaurants will block your way Cabin. We had a balcony cabin on deck 10 which was a good size with plenty of room for clothes and cases. The balcony is overlooked by a couple of decks above which we didn't really like and something to look out for on future cruises. Dining. We were on freedom dining in the Meridian and had to wait some nights for a table to come free, regardless of whether we shared or not. Table service was generally good and the food for the most part was excellent. Note to steak lovers; if you want it cooked medium, ask for rare as they always seem to overcook. We ate at Sindhu one night where a £20 cover applied but was worth every penny as the food was superb. The buffet is a problem in my opinion. Too many people pushing and shoving and looking for tables with passengers taking far to much time to decide what to pick from the selection. Get a move on for God's sake! To be honest the buffet layout doesn't help. Entertainment. Not brilliant. A rock n roll act called the Runaway Boys was very good but the comedian wasn't funny and the Take That tribute act were woeful. There are lots of quizzes which we enjoy and quite a few lectures although these seem designed to get you to buy things from the shops or the gallery. Service. Only one word needed - faultless. Ports. Vigo, Lisbon and Porto we explored on our own. They are good destinations, although Vigo doesn't have a great deal to offer. At Cherbourg we took an excursion to the Utah D Day beach which was very good, although marred by the grim and foggy weather. Disembarkation. Piece of cake. We took our own cases off and were out of the Southampton by 8am. So overall a good cruise and one that comes recommended! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2018
Booked this particular cruise to celebrate my 60th birthday. Outside cabin was fine. Freedom dining was good not much of a wait for a table and service excellent but some of the food didn't seem as good as it used to be. Tables were ... Read More
Booked this particular cruise to celebrate my 60th birthday. Outside cabin was fine. Freedom dining was good not much of a wait for a table and service excellent but some of the food didn't seem as good as it used to be. Tables were cleared quickly and everywhere was clean.Enjoyed a lot of the entertainment Josh Adams 4tunes and the runaround kids were fabulous. All the ports were good although we went to the botanical gardens and beach in Guadalupe- it's beautiful but could have had more time at the beach. I was worried about going to Amber cove but it was great but there was quite a downpour.We usually took taxis and ferrys ourselves or got in with a group for beaches etc. We usually go to the boatyard in Barbados it's a good deal with sunbeds drink taxi back and snorkelling included in the $20 entrance fee The drinks onboard were expensive I asked for rum and coke and the coke alone was £2.85.Later I realised I could have draught Peps in the rum which was only 50p but i wasnt offered that i found out for myself. We would go again this is our 5th time with p&o Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
This was our first cruise, and having been quite excited but also nervous about what to expect we certainly were not disappointed. We were surprised by the ease and speed once of the aircraft of actually getting onto the ship, all in all ... Read More
This was our first cruise, and having been quite excited but also nervous about what to expect we certainly were not disappointed. We were surprised by the ease and speed once of the aircraft of actually getting onto the ship, all in all very speedy and exciting albeit a bit mesmerising for the first time, be prepared if it is your first time it's a bit of a whirlwind! I was very impressed by the size of the cabin especially the walk in wardrobe - made it so easy to get ready in the evenings. Our steward Fransico was amazing and helpful but not all in the way, he cleaned our room and did everything as if by magic! The bars and restaurants were very good and the service in all excellent. I found the fish was overcooked but I presume they do this to avoid any possible illness maybe, i'm not sure? we did have a gastro flu type bug outbreak but it was handled incredibly well and didn't really impact on us at all. Entertainment was varied and New Year's eve was amazing we actually celebrated at 8pm (UK New Year) and again at midnight Caribbean time, the singers were fantastic, food delicious, staff efficient and the crowd on board was brilliant. Shore excursions got cancelled a few times which was a disappointment and slightly annoying as most the time when we asked why no one had an answer. But to finish off, if you have never cruised and are unsure, if you don't go you don't know and I found that most travellers on board had been on many cruises, it seems to be a bit of an addiction if you are not careful lol !!! Well done P&O we had a great time and booked again for next year !!!! Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
The flight, we had booked seats in the premium at the front, previous years we had done the same and had a good experience and thought it was well worth it, last year we both thought the service wasn't like previous years, and the ... Read More
The flight, we had booked seats in the premium at the front, previous years we had done the same and had a good experience and thought it was well worth it, last year we both thought the service wasn't like previous years, and the drinks what was complimentary, the flight crew seem funny about giving them to you. You have a menu to chose you meal of, going out , no menu and we only have limited meals left, very poor. Going home, flight staff was different, very good service, menus, good meals, even wine with your meal!!! We have booked for next year and we are going to change from premium to premium leg room seats as they are a fair bit cheaper and you get the same. Embarking the ship was very good, fairly quick and easy, suitcases landed early evening. Would suggest to board on the 2rd day so you have a full day because of the muster meeting. Been on azura for the last five years at Christmas and it has a regular following of passengers, which we have meet some nice people and new friends. Ship itself in need of updating, renovating in the cabins and other areas of the boat, but it is always kept clean and tidy. Crew staff, found them as normal, very friendly and helpful, some aren't that interested. Bar waiters found most of them very good, and around asking if you would like a drink, even tea or coffee was t to much trouble for some. Found that very good. Food and resturants. We was on 2rd sitting in the oriental on table 42, our waiters was very good, and the wine waiter was good but his area was to large and he was a bit stretched, not his fault, more the maitre D's. Food was good and found it an enjoyable dining experience. We had booked into the Sindhu resturant on the 23rd of December but this turned out to be a black tie night. So I rang up to change the reservation for the 26th, Boxing Day night at 8.30pm. We turned up and they said that we had no reservation, when he had checked and looked into it, the booking for 8.30, they moved the reservation to 6.15pm without informing us, so we book again for the following night, the tropical night dress code, again turned up and was messed about, again we hadn't booked they had told us, the front of house waiter, who was telling me that we hadn't a booking, he was the person we had seen the night previous. Big joke!!! Food might be good but the organisation of the resturant has something to improve, found this very poor. The glass house was good, but most of the meals came in batter, but they was very tasty. Wines was nice to. The beach house was good, you can't book but if you go up at 6.30 on the day that you want to eat, they'll book a table for you. Ocean grill, pizza The burgers would have been very nice if they would stop putting lettuce on them, then wrapping them up, putting them on a hot plate, like macdonalds. But the lettuce goes soft and soggy. They have tubs of cabbage and carrot or lettuce tomato salad to dress the burgers yourself, which made a very nice burger. Fries good to. Chicken nuggets needed more taste in the breaded crump mix. Near every day the pizza's was burnt and passengers was complaining to the staff making the pizza's. In the end they sorted it, they was quite nice. Ice cream was nice, but you got to pay for it, which I thought at least they would offer a standard cone with one scoop of ice cream included in the full board booking. Shame. Grab and go was good at dinner. Buffet resturants found the food good but a small selection compared to other company's like princess and Royal Caribbean. Seating at peak times was very few and far between. Over all the dining experience, the food was good and the company to. Except the Sindhu mess up. Tender service St Kitts, we hadn't booked a trip, been an experienced cruiser in the carribean, we was getting a taxi to our nice little beach we got told about. But by the time they had finished the tender service for the trips it was nearly 11 o'clock, then the rest of the passengers could be tendered ashore. Really very poor and shown inexperience to what we had experienced before with po and other cruise company's. By the time we was ashore was 11.55, half the day had gone. Passengers was getting fed up as the young inexpericed senior office said to wait for ten more passengers when there was a tender boating waiting to take more passengers ashore. Some passengers was asking can we go, he just give them little insults, like take man up tablets or are you sea sick yet!! Entertainment we found ok, shows we went to was good and entertaining. Benne and her team did well, they worked hard. The in cabin tv, films was old some good, some well! They could do like other cruise companies screen them through to the cabins at tea time or other times of the day. Some of the port videos wouldn't play. Overall the cruise was good, even with the change of ports with st Martten and Tortola missing. The trips we had booked Do it yourselfs, from Amber cove to peuta plata town, guided tour guide Jeff 1, he was they good, told about all the history not just about Dominican Republic and Haiti but a lot more and how Dom rep was found and who fought to keep it, then he took us to the beach, where we was given beach four posted beach beds, very posh. Drinks wasn't expensive neither, for £17.00 this was a bargain. Enjoyed snuba in Antigua, seen lots of fish and coral. Trip on catermaran to beqelia island , unorganised, was a free for all for the food, trip staff had saved some to give more out to them and the locals. Where we had a chicken leg and a small peice of tuna. They had the beach feast we was promised. Champagne lobster dive and catermaran to a paradise island from Grenada was expensive but was worth every penny, fantastic day out again, we been on this twice before. The turtle swim, snorkelling and catermaran to a really nice beach in Barbados, was another fantastic day out, well run, safe and enjoyable. The deep sea fishing was cancelled, they said dur to no interest, but at some ports like amber cove, and other ports, the locals was offering half day trips and seem quite busy. All in all, fantastic cruise again, and look forward to next year. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
We like the Caribbean and this was our second cruise in this area, having previously been on the Thompson (now Marella) Dream two years ago. The cruise was booked nearly a year ago and was subject to an itinerary chage due to hurricane ... Read More
We like the Caribbean and this was our second cruise in this area, having previously been on the Thompson (now Marella) Dream two years ago. The cruise was booked nearly a year ago and was subject to an itinerary chage due to hurricane damage in Tortola and St. Maarten. Instead we had Guadeloupe plus an extra day in Barbados - there were 3 sea days in total but these were squeezed into 4 days with Amber Cove the only stop during that time. Although this stop was always on the schedule, this leg of the journey took us a long way out of our way and it is no coincidence in my view that both P&O and Amber Cove are owned by Carnival Corporation - clearly trying to make some money out of us. In fact, there were a lot of upselling attempts whilst on the ship, but that is pretty much par for the course thesedays on cruises. Everyone is after our hard-earned cash. Ship was big and there was plenty to do with a decent amount of variety. Personally, I found all the "Are You Having a Great Time?" stuff from the Entertainments team grated on me after a while. That was mostly in the centre section of the ship where there was loud music and plenty of drinking, especialy on the Sail Away Days. if this isn't your bag, then it is possible to get away from all this. Food was better than expected and there was plenty of choice and a huge opportunity to freely over-indulge. There were the usual fat greedy porkers piling plates high, seemingly hell-bent on trying to put on a stone in a fortnight, but most people exercised at least some restraint! Gym was well-equipped and well used and there were the usual band of walkers.runners on the promenade deck. Kids were few at this time of year (yay!) but the facilities seemd reasonable. There were 4 Black Tie nights out of 14 - there is an option to opt out if you don't feel you want to dress up on these nights, but your choice of bars etc is limited if you're not dressed to the nines. All other nights were Evening Casual as a minimum. Sadly, there were still some folk who disregarded this and turned up in shorts and scruffs for dinner - sadder still, P&O made no attempt to enforce this. Disappointing. Similarly with smoking areas, of which there are 4 - all on the starboard side. Particularly in the evening, some smokers seemed to think they were OK if they just went outside. A few more chairs and ashtrays in the smoking areas might stop people wandering into non-smoking areas. Some of you may have noted that P&O are toughening up their rules on bringing booze on board. Again, this wasn't applied when we were there and some parties of people would regularly go ashore to stock up and then openly bring stuff back onto the ship. Not a huge amount of drunken behaviour was witnessed, but a few folk overstepped the mark and over-imbibed. With cruising now affordable to all, P&O no longer seem to be tackling any particular part of the market - basically they seem happy with anyone's money, so if you're a bit of a tut-tutter and like something a bit posh, then maybe you'd be a bit disappointed. Embarkation and disembarkation procedures were very efficient. Staff were generally good and helpful although there was the odd exception. Drinks prices weren't too bad - £4.15 for a pint of John Smiths - £2.95 for a non-alcoholic cocktail. Plenty of brand names and choice. Good wine selection. Cabin was a good size - Carpets a bit tired but decor was otherwise fine and great service from our steward Xavier. Tips? I'm not a fan of the standard deduction imposed by P&O and would much prefer to reward individual members of staff as we see fit. For that reason, I went to Reception, filled in a form and reduced the £6 per person per day to half that, leaving money in the budget to tip individuals as we saw fit. Not sure how many people did this, but there is no reason to feel embarrassed and I got no hassle or filthy looks. There was a huge range of excursions on offer but P&O have a big mark-up on these and much better value could be had by negotiating in port, especially if there were a few of you. Although I have highlighted a few niggles, none of these would stop us either cruising again with P&O or going again to the Caribbean. Weather was great - 30 degrees daytime, 25 degrees at night. Plenty of sunbeds - some hogging with towels but not a real issue. We would recomment the sundeck (Deck 19) right at the back of the boat. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
We found this a great, reasonably priced way to see the Caribbean. In order to see the islands you need to get away from the ports as they are simply full of shops that appear to be the same in each port. Each island has it's own ... Read More
We found this a great, reasonably priced way to see the Caribbean. In order to see the islands you need to get away from the ports as they are simply full of shops that appear to be the same in each port. Each island has it's own unique beauty that is pretty easy to get to either with a P&O tour or by yourself. We did a number of P&O tours and found them all to be extremely good. We travelled as a group of 8 people. 4 of the group had not cruised before. Some issues that were rather disappointing - a couple of wines that our group particularly enjoyed had run out by end of the first week. As we had purchased a wine package prior to the cruise we were limited to the standard package wine list. There were no other wines that we liked so we had to get a refund on our wine package. Second week drank very little wine with dinner as there wasn't anything that we really liked. All the staff on board were very friendly and helpful and they all work extremely hard. Our cabin developed a leak on around day 10 of the cruise. We had to relocate to another cabin. We weren't happy with the cabin we were moved to for various reasons and we are in communication with P&O to try and get compensated for this. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2017
The main reason we chose this cruise was that we could fly direct to the Caribbean from our local airport. Certainly this comes at a cost of £100 extra for economy seats plus this is doubled if you want to book your seats. The flight out ... Read More
The main reason we chose this cruise was that we could fly direct to the Caribbean from our local airport. Certainly this comes at a cost of £100 extra for economy seats plus this is doubled if you want to book your seats. The flight out and back was in a Thomson Dreamliner and had plenty of legroom. Transfer to the ship was quick and easy as was embarkation. Our balcony cabin was midship on A deck. Cabins were above and below. This was an upgrade from aft on C deck which to us was not really as we no longer had the bigger balcony. The cabin itself was fine and similar in layout to most other balcony cabins. We hAd no water on first formal night. Guest services were decidedly offhand about it. I had to shower at the spa. We had club dining, first sitting at a table for 6. Everyone got on really well and we had a great time. The food was good with plenty of choice and we had excellent service from Salvador and Jerome. I was surprised to see not all tables were in use. We are breakfast in the dining room. Service was slow but plenty of choice. The buffet at lunchtime was boring with the same items often repeated. We only ever had salad. Afternoontea was available in the dining room of you could help yourself to same items at the buffet. Grab and Go was handy on sea days as it was a nightmare to get a seat I the buffet. The coffee shop was busy.cakes available in the afternoon if you asked. I feel they could have some small food items available all day. We are once in Sindhu, the Indian restaurant. It was excellent. We did not try the other pay eating places. The Weather was fantastic. There were plenty of sun beds but many had towels on them for hours and were never used. The pools were busy. The visiting entertainers were good especially the comedians. The shows in the theatre were not as good as ones we had seen before. We enjoyed watching a film on the Seascreen at night though the screen itself needs an overhaul. The venues were often underutilised as sometimes only taped music being played. The entertainment staff worked hard. First port and embarkation was Barbados. Due to itinerary change we had an extra day here. It was a Sunday so most places closed. Antigua was very busy with several ships in port. We took a taxi to Jolly Beach. Great. St Kitts we did an island tour. Very good. Amber Cove we did the P and O Traditions and Culture. This was good and included lunch. Martinique was mainly closed as Sunday again. Walked round town. Guadeloupe we did P and O Botanical Gardens and Death in Paradise. Very disappointing as we saw nothing about the tv programme. Gardens were good. Very short time in village. Grenada private tour of the island. Excellent. Great spices to buy. St Lucia another private tour of island with great beach stop. St Vincent not much to see in town. Tour or beach best. Barbados walked to town and visited places of note. Final day stayed on ship until transfer to airport. Bumpy flight home. Overall we enjoyed the cruise and had a great time. However I feel that P and O are looking to charge you extra for as much as they can. It was annoying to find the prices had been vastly reduced and flight supplement cancelled for people booking late. Loyalty means nothing to the company. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
Chose this cruise as travelling with friends it was their first cruise and wanted Barbados,and it had islands we hadn't been to before.had 2 sitting in the Oriental which was lovely,looked after by elvisto,and carmo .like the adult ... Read More
Chose this cruise as travelling with friends it was their first cruise and wanted Barbados,and it had islands we hadn't been to before.had 2 sitting in the Oriental which was lovely,looked after by elvisto,and carmo .like the adult pool through the spa weather was great .I would go on the azura again .the play house put on some very good shows I especially liked the show dusty,you can walk through Brodie's bar and Casio to get to it.the late night place to be is Manhattan bar where the put on some shows with comedians and singers ,then dancing to a DJ .the Malabar has a lovely ambiance, the devour is lovely .they had bingo on every day sometimes twice a day for the first week,which I enjoy ,shame it didn't continue for the second week.the self service stations were OK bit busy on change over days .the reception can be a bit busy and have to que for awhile at different times. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
Chose this cruise as it was a re-positioning trip and gave us a chance to re-visit the Caribbean. It was out first time on Azura and it was a great ship, but was marred by the smoking policy. Smokers were allowed on the Promenade deck, ... Read More
Chose this cruise as it was a re-positioning trip and gave us a chance to re-visit the Caribbean. It was out first time on Azura and it was a great ship, but was marred by the smoking policy. Smokers were allowed on the Promenade deck, albeit in a small area, but if you were out walking or jogging, you had to run the gauntlet of smokers puffing away. Similarly, they were allowed to smoke on the starboard side of one of the pools, so when there was a poolside bar b que, or a sail away, it was spoilt by the smokers who encroached over towards the middle of the ship. Lastly they were allowed to smoke on one side of a very small pool at the stern, which also had an area for children. Not good! Apart from that the ship was great. Food, entertainment and facilities were first class. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
Firstly we arrived at the port at 2-15pm and the embarkation process was smooth and we were on the ship by 3pm and were able to go straight to our cabin and our luggage arrived soon after. The room had been set up as requested by our ... Read More
Firstly we arrived at the port at 2-15pm and the embarkation process was smooth and we were on the ship by 3pm and were able to go straight to our cabin and our luggage arrived soon after. The room had been set up as requested by our friendly Cabin Steward Clifford. There is a hairdryer in the cupboard and two pool towels in the bathroom with shower gel, Conditioner and shampoo. My only criticism about the room was that the sheets and pillow cases were not changed during the 12 day trip. The prices of the Minibar is expensive i.e £2.75 for a coke when in the bar it was £1.75. Bar prices are similar to UK pub prices in the south of England. If you have not paid the select fare do bear in mind that some of the courtesy buses are charged to your account at around £4 per trip. We only used the buses once at Porto and there was a queue of around 20 mins but was well organised. There are plenty of areas to sit on the ship during sea days even when the weather was iffy which it was on two of the days of our trip. The Entertainment was ok but Sean Meo the comedian was truly awful we walked out after 15 mins as his act just seemed to be to pick on people at the front to try to gain a few laughs which he did not get. Ben Kimsey the singer was excellent and Tucker the other comedian was pretty funny. The Headliners performed all their shows well but someone said they were on the same ship in April and the shows were the same. The First port of call was Oporto and you really do need to get the bus to the centre and the town is very hilly. The town is nice with some nice buildings but if you want to sample or buy the Port Wine then a booked tour is advised as it is a long walk from the drop off point and from the ship. The next port was Cadiz and from here we did the trip to Seville with its beautiful cathedral it takes around 90 mins to get there. No information given on route by the guide which was disappointing. We have been to Cadiz before and it is a nice place to walk around with a lovely beach area. The next port was Malaga and from here we went to The Alhambra Palace in Granada. The Tour guide on the Bus Pepe was brilliant and gave us lots of information on route and the rep that gave us the tour of the palace was excellent. I suggest you always go with a tour guide for this tour I would not have known where to start. There was also a lunch at a local hotel with free wine and was very nice. We will go to Malaga again as it looked very nice and we did not get time to explore this time. Cartagena next with its lovely Art Deco buildings was pretty and nice to visit. Gibralter was the penultimate port with its long street of perfume, tobacco and gift shops. But do check the prices at the duty free in Gibralter as we felt they were cheaper. It depends how much you are taking back. There are a couple of tours available but we did not do them. The Last port was Lisbon and we used the Big Red Hop On Hop off bus. This was a two hour trip because of the heavy traffic but was interesting. The cost is 20 Euro per ticket . The centre near the port is lovely to walk around and we will have a closer look next time we visit. We had a lovely table of 8 every evening (club Dining at 6.30pm) and hello to Paddy, Thomas, Malcolm, Mary. Colin and Jenny . We enjoyed your company and shared a few laughs during the very enjoyable meals we had each evening. In Summary there is something for everyone on Azura but on this particular cruise we felt like youngsters in our 60s. We found most of the staff to be engaging and friendly apart from the main Coffee Barista in Java Costa Coffee where the service was hit and miss. One note here is that the cakes and sandwiches in Costa are FREE if you are having a coffee in that area. Our room was at the back of the ship on Deck 12 and you do feel the ship rocking when the sea conditions are lively. The sauna and steam rooms are free and are not mixed. You give in your room card for a locker key and towels are available. The library has a good selection of books and a news sheet is provided daily with some basic home news. And finally in the spirit of the captain's thought of the day. Whether its the best of times or the worst of times, its the only time we have got. Cabin A744 Deck 12 Cruise A730 Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
While not expecting much in the destinations i.e. Amsterdam and Le Havre we got an exceptionally good value deal in deluxe balcony cabin and wanted to see the Azura as other cruisers we have met in the last few years have given it great ... Read More
While not expecting much in the destinations i.e. Amsterdam and Le Havre we got an exceptionally good value deal in deluxe balcony cabin and wanted to see the Azura as other cruisers we have met in the last few years have given it great reviews.They were correct as she is spacious and public areas well planned and very comfortable.Meals were always of high standard and to the British taste ,the buffet though fine for breakfast was a bit boring at lunch time.Because we were stuck in Amsterdam and then were locked out of Le Havre due to a lightning strike by French dock workers ,it meant the buffet area was exceptionally busy and felt over crowded.The staff worked tirelessly and with a smile on their faces? Evening shows were very good and particularly enjoyed the Blue Jays and the comedian Mike Doyle.Drinks on P&O are very reasonable compared to other lines so that's a bonus. We were allocated a balcony suite near the stern which was a bit noisy at times but the bed was so comfortable we slept really well.This cabin came with full bathroom including bath tub!! Even though the weather was awful and impacted on the itinerary we had a good cruise and found it really good value for money having only booked one week before sailing. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
You do sometimes have to wonder if you were on the same cruise as some of the reviewers.Anyway, we had a great time on this 5 night short break. Friendly staff throughout the ship. We enjoyed lovely food in the main dining room and my ... Read More
You do sometimes have to wonder if you were on the same cruise as some of the reviewers.Anyway, we had a great time on this 5 night short break. Friendly staff throughout the ship. We enjoyed lovely food in the main dining room and my gluten free husband had excellent service from the head waiter helping with his choices for the following night. Lovely meal in Sindhu, with excellent staff, a great evening.We didn't go to all of the entertainment and think that Headliners need some new shows as we had seen all of them before. However, there is plenty going on, we enjoyed the Badness tribute band and the live music and the show offs dancing in the atrium each night Enjoyed Amsterdam, the Van Gogh museum was well worth visiting we pre-booked tickets before travelling and that worked very well to jump a large queue. Caught a bus to Honfleur from Le Havre and had a lovely afternoon in this pretty town. All in all a lovely relaxing break. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
From the minute we arrived at Southampton Docks Embarkation we were really looking forward to our five night cruise on the Azura to Amsterdam and Le Havre. Our cabin A401 was comfortable and our Steward ‘Teo’ was polite and efficient ... Read More
From the minute we arrived at Southampton Docks Embarkation we were really looking forward to our five night cruise on the Azura to Amsterdam and Le Havre. Our cabin A401 was comfortable and our Steward ‘Teo’ was polite and efficient so no problems there. Our balcony was a good size with two reclining chairs, a foot stool and a small table for drinks. It was a nice touch by P&O to have tea and coffee making facilities in our cabin and a fridge. The ship is generally superb with bars and restaurants reasonably well organised, although on this particular cruise we found it hard to navigate our way around and we have cruised for quite a few years without this problem. The shows were good and the live band that performed in the main theatre on two nights were exceptional. The ports of call were OK, Amsterdam in parts was very scruffy, lots of rubbish around and generally uncared for, Le Havre is a bit of a concrete jungle, but has a particular charm. We liked the trams, the markets and the sea front, and during our visit the ‘tall ships’ were in port. Bad points: the excursions were ridiculously expensive, an example: £44 each for 1 ½ hour evening canal trip! Some (not all) staff, in particularly the self service restaurants were not at all friendly and the security when coming back on board, although we don’t have a problem, especially in these troubled times with being checked were over the top officious, not a pleasant experience! We think that P&O staff should remind people a lot more than they do about using the hand gel provided; we still find it amazing that many go out of their way to not use it, even to the point of getting quite aggressive when reminded. Generally a great time, great ship, the weather in ports could have been kinder, but hey we’re in the English Channel. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
Service was excellent, with helpful and courteous staff throughout the ship. This was our second cruise to the Fjords with P&O having been last year on Britannia, but this time were were introducing the In-Laws to the delights of ... Read More
Service was excellent, with helpful and courteous staff throughout the ship. This was our second cruise to the Fjords with P&O having been last year on Britannia, but this time were were introducing the In-Laws to the delights of cruising and they wanted to see the Fjords.... Cabin was good – C753 – at the stern, with larger than usual balcony for a Balcony cabin. We took this as it was only a couple of doors away from our in-laws who were staying in a rather nice suite – C749, which had a stupendous balcony. Both at the rear of the ship with great views as cruise along, looking back over the wake. Both cabins will be noisier than one down the side – simply because of the wake – but it is an almost soporific calming noise, with only exception being the arrival/departure at a port as thrusters etc are used. But it did not bother us at all. Perhaps makes conversation a bit more difficult on the balcony when under way, but again didn’t bother us. Food was very good – we ate breakfast in the buffet (always up too late for the sit down restaurant!) – I would note that whilst it can get crowded at times you always end up finding a table. Parents being early risers had proper sit down breakfast which suited them – they would not have enjoyed the buffet scrum (which is not as bad as it sounds). For dinner we were Freedom Dining in Meridian, where staff were very friendly, and food was super – especially recommend the fish dishes. And the curries are almost always excellent – the Tikka Marsala being the tastiest I have had the pleasure of. Just occasionally the food perhaps was a bit less hot than would be expected - but it did not detract from our enjoyment - after all Masterchef tastes the food cold :) Entertainment was probably our one disappointment – we felt that whilst there was plenty, it was very similar – and was certainly missing some of the quality/variety that we enjoyed on a similar cruise last year on Britannia. The ship is a really nice, friendly ship – certainly better than we had envisaged. A shame it does not have a front facing bar – such as the Crows Nest etc on other ships – but the Planet Bar at the back, on Deck 18 was very good – and the Tides Duo were excellent musician/singer combo (with added fun of one of the waiters standing in when the singer was poorly!) Itinerary was good – Stavanger is delightful, with the Sardine Canning Museum a must see, Alesund a very pleasant town, with great views rewarding those walking up the 400+ steps, and funky heated public benches by the best fish & chips. Olden was our perhaps least anticipated port of call (with the exception that the cruise in and out of the fjord (60 miles each way) is spectacular), having been before and been underwhelmed by the Briksdal Glacier – but to our delight a new Cable Car – the Loen SkyLift has opened up – and whilst expensive it provided the most amazing views over the Nordfjord and surrounding lands, including glaciers – providing a 990m lift up from sea level to a superb viewing station with accompanying restaurant, and well marked paths for additional exercise. It was the icing on the cake as it provided an alternative spectacular view that you don’t get from the ship – and boy did the ship look small from over 3,000ft up! Bergen is nice, and easy to get around. Both ways across the North Sea we were blessed with calm seas. Overall a good value cruise – good itinerary, with drinks still priced sensibly on the ship. Azura is a brighter more cruise-like ship than Britannia (which however has better facilities but is rather beige and dull in places). We didn't try the internet - but it will be the usual quality which will not be up to a home users expectations as it is not cable based (I wonder why:)) but rather satellite - which having worked in the industry is not as capable. Anyone expecting better should know better :) Definitely recommend. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
Never been to Norway or fjords so really looked forward to it . Great itinerary , highlights Flam and Olden with land train tour . Bergen wet and Stavanger ok ( visit St Switching church , £3 entry) Booked to board at 1330 but due to ... Read More
Never been to Norway or fjords so really looked forward to it . Great itinerary , highlights Flam and Olden with land train tour . Bergen wet and Stavanger ok ( visit St Switching church , £3 entry) Booked to board at 1330 but due to having to vacate hotel room , we were on board at 1230 and in cabins by 1300 , very quick and efficient , so much better than airports having to sit around for hours ! Even security people friendly. Cabin ( E309) a double restricted view , plenty of space and open wardrobes near bathroom , really handy . TV had basic choice of channels inc. news and sport and BBC Choice but a fantastic selection of ( free) movies on the interactive channel . Wide choice of food and bars , we had Freedom dining in Meridian , which was busy but you were given a pager if a table not free . we never waited more than 15 mins in the bar ( even though they tell you it will be about 30 mins !). Attentive service , however unlike set dining, you very rarely got the same staff twice so made it hard to build a rapport but they were all friendly and efficient anyway . Venezia buffet good for breakfast and a few themed nights . We prefer the formal settings of the restaurant though. Paid to eat in the Epicurean one night . £28 a head extra plus wine but worth every penny for the experience and little extras ( I wont spoil it for you!) Entertainment from Manuel Martinez ( comedian/magician ) and Accent ( band ) fantastic. Sorry to say the Headliners were not great on the first show so we avoided them the rest of the trip , concentrating on other guests ( Gary Barlow and Celine Dion tribute were other highlights , and the general Entertainments team as usual were brilliant especially Chris Reynolds and his Elvis tribute ( hilarious but tasteful ) and Benne and the team do the job wonderfully Weather was really good to us so some great photos ( rained in Bergen though ) . We didn't do any of the P and O trips ( silly prices ) but used local land train or just walked as weather so good Downside - constant pestering to book speciality restaurants ( even after we booked , it continued and then they got the booking wrong anyway !). We were booking anyway , it was just a pain waving them away like pesky mosquitos !) Also very little through the day except wellness ( how's your back , feet , wrinkles etc. etc.) and very few quizzes like we`ve had on other ships. Just as well there were only a couple of sea days Overall great weather and port itinerary helped this cruise along with great ( mostly) entertainment , no shuttle buses and all accessible with no walking miles to get to town. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
The journey through the Norwegian Fjords was stunning. The itinerary was excellent and the ports were easily accessible - important for my wife who is disabled. All the staff were helpful and friendly and we were very well served by our ... Read More
The journey through the Norwegian Fjords was stunning. The itinerary was excellent and the ports were easily accessible - important for my wife who is disabled. All the staff were helpful and friendly and we were very well served by our excellent cabin steward. The accessible cabin was roomy enough for my wife to easily turn her walker and the wet room was both essential and excellent. The balcony was fine. Being overlooked was not a problem as generally people only came as far as the rail [ which they would need to do to see us from above] at sail away times and then they were more interested in the stunning scenery than watching their neighbours. The cabin could not have been closer to the lift which was ideal for my wife. The cabin was well soundproofed and we were not disturbed by noise from the lift or other cabins. The ship itself was generally well kept and, other than the buffet restaurants, we never had a problem of getting a seat in one of the bars. We didn't go to the Playhouse where the main shows took place but were impressed with the entertainment and background music in the bars. All in all an excellent cruise and I would have awarded 5 stars except for the following. - the lounge area in the cabin was wonderful for relaxing and watching the scenery in some comfort. However, the curtains, both main and net, were well past their sell by date and ill fitting, spoiling the ambience of an otherwise nice area. Generally this area of the cabin needed refurbishment. -there were two televisions in the cabin but both were small and past their sell by date. There was little of interest on offer through the TVs so, on sea days, we would have welcomed seeing a newly released film. The only location where this was possible was on an open sea deck with blankets as cover from the wind and cold of the North Sea. We think it would have been reasonable to show a film or two in the comfort of the Playhouse for those of frailer disposition. - we opted for freedom dining and the Meridian restaurant did not disappoint. We enjoyed all the meals we had in this location. The buffet restaurant was more hit and miss - excellent cold meat salad but disappointing Beef dish where the meat was tough, and breakfast bacon full of fat from cooking. Our main problem with the buffet was the scrum that ensued to get your meal. My disabled wife gave up the struggle as it was almost impossible for her to manoeuvre through the throng of people. As always staff offered help but part of the experience of the buffet is to see what is on offer. Getting food was only half the problem. One then had to, often, walk some distance before finding a table to share by which time food was getting cool. I'm sure that overcrowding in the buffet is a real irritant, not just to disabled, but also the able bodied. Despite these issues we thoroughly enjoyed our trip and would travel with P and O again Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Having cruised with P&O on a number of previous occasions and experienced the well document decline in standards and quality I was apprehensive about choosing them again. However their prices are still a bit lower than the composition ... Read More
Having cruised with P&O on a number of previous occasions and experienced the well document decline in standards and quality I was apprehensive about choosing them again. However their prices are still a bit lower than the composition and the itinerary was ideal I decided to give them another go. Compared to my last P&O cruise (a year ago) the difference was like night and day, from the evening entertainment to the evening meals and the levels of service offered. Sure daytime entertainment was the usual affair with plenty of sales pitches and activities aimed at the 'older' passenger but as long as the sun is shinning all is well as you can avoid these. Food in the main dining rooms seems to have improved although the green beans still exist in numbers, It appears to be cooked much much better and tastes a lot fresher as well. Service hasn't been upped however and still lacks way behind on what it once did but it didn't spoil anything. The select dining venues again did not fail to deliver, food was exceptional and so was the service (although you would expect it as your paying extra) I better mention the buffet, it seems to be getting worse especially for a quick lunch as the selection is terrible. Too much curry! They seem to think all we eat during a hot day is curried everything! Very repetitive and very boring indeed. This side needs a shake up. If you fancied a late night snack it wasn't worth it as again it was the same every night (curried pasties and curry and rice again and again and again etc...) The Sea Screen which over looks one of the pools is looking very old these days and did not make a pleasure watching movies outdoors as the quality of picture is dreadful as it has to many faults on it and needs replacing or repairing which is a shame as it's such a great selling piont that P&O are ignoring. It does seem to be true what most are saying on here that regarding dress codes and general attire. Fewer and fewer people take advantage of dressing up as they once did for formal nights and tend to 'hide' away on deck or the buffet area as to avoid such nights, even on non formal nights the general attire of a lot of people has declined making the ship feel a lot more of an informal cruise kind of like what Ocean Village used to be like back in the day. Of course you wear what you want to wear it's up to you but it seems some folk don't even try to make an effort. I always like to think that a cruise ship has that luxury feel to it as it once did, now it;s starting resemble a Benidorm/Costa holiday. The best bits; ship was clean and tidy and well maintained. Ports of call were very good. Met some lovely people on board (as you do) and overall had a great time (even with the shortcomings) Have sailed on Ventura, Azura (2) Oceana and Britannia and can honestly say Azura is my number one P&O ship, it may not be up to quality of other lines I have sailed on eg Disney and RCI etc... but for a P&O ship it stands out above the rest, Total chalk and cheese to the dreadful Britannia (the worst cruise I have ever taken) There is good reason as to why Azura has the highest ratings of a P&O ship and in my opinion is the true flagship for P&O. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Just wanted to go somewhere to celebrate my birthday whilst combining it with a couple of places we hadn't been before. Booking easy took the benefit of having credit on board which was worth £1000 for the two of us because we ... Read More
Just wanted to go somewhere to celebrate my birthday whilst combining it with a couple of places we hadn't been before. Booking easy took the benefit of having credit on board which was worth £1000 for the two of us because we had booked a suite . Paid for car parking which worked very well . Embarkation was easy , usual efficient check in. Boarding no problem. Found suite champagne and fruit awaiting , didn't see Butler until about an hour before dinner. We hate Freedom dining so had booked Oriental 6.30 P.M. dinner for the duration. Service brilliant , polite, cheerful and efficient. Food on whole was pretty good , good choice of wine. No real complaints. Suite was midships on 14th floor and hadn't appreciated ( should have looked at ship's layout more thoroughly ) that the deck above was where the swimming pools , self service restaurants etc were situated so noise level high till approx. midnight and starting up again about 6 a.m . There was also an unusual knocking sound which would begin intermittently from about 5 a.m onwards which we couldn't trace ( not usual ship sound ) Also the deck above overhung all the cabins on our floor so it was not possible to use the balcony to sunbathe except early morning / late evening when the sun was low in the sky . Best decks for sunbathing were the lower ones where the balconies actually project out . Although the suite itself was pretty good and had all the things you would expect there is no way I would book a suite on the 14th floor again . Butler service OK but not as good as on previous cruises , cabin stewardess excellent. Canapes served at about 5 p.m but selection worse than we remember from other cruise One advantage of a suite is that whilst you can go down to your regular restaurant for breakfast you could also go to the Epicurean restaurant for it , choice smaller but environment better as you could sit outside with an excellent service level and personally cooked breakfasts. So we alternated between the 2 options. We had pre booked dinner in the Epicurean restaurant for my birthday dinner which was 1st class with very good choice of food beautifully prepared . Service excellent. As we had big breakfasts and big lunches only had small lunches in the self service buffets , good selection. Taking advantage of the £1000 credit we ate in the Sidhu Indian restaurant again top class excellent service . Menu was prepared by Atul Kochhar who was actually on board checking out that his standards were being maintained , we also attended a Masterclass given by him followed by an excellent lunch , wine and service. Had dinner in the Glass House in their wine tasting evening top class food and service accompanied by a different wine for each course which the head waiter explained. Other events in which we participated :- were a special tour of the galley followed by a lunch which we chose from a menu put together by the ship's head chef , again excellent food , wine, and service . Limited numbers , booked as soon as we were on board. a cocktail event on the observation desk attended by several of the officers , limited number , booked as soon as we were on board. We only went on one trip which was in Vigo with a cruise on a catamaran round the mussel beds followed by a brilliant lunch in an upmarket Parador , a huge meal with a total 8 courses and plenty of wine. Entertainment on board was upto normal cruise standards with a wide variety of performers and talents . The resident Headline Theatre company very good but sound too loud. On board shops usual variety and reasonable value Bars again par for a cruise ship with a good variety of venues One significant complaint our son had arranged for a bottle of champagne to be delivered to our cabin with a congratulatory message on my birthday, champagne received but no message and nobody knew who it had come , only after we returned did we learn when son asked how we enjoyed our champagne !!! At end with all the events / wine /shop purchases/special restaurant meals /photos we spent £995 on board so we gave P and O the bonus of the £5 we didn't spend of the credit given ! 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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