Having sailed Cunard previously with my Mum and sister my heart sunk when we set foot on the Aurora: the public spaces and the whole ambience just don't compare. Once I 'got real' and realised I was here with my teenage boys and husband, not all adult company things transformed.
It's a great trip for travelling with teens; my son is still busy Skypeing the other kids he met when we were away. On seadays we arranged to have dinner together but otherwise from quick 'touch base' moments didn't see them. At their request!
We had a fab time; My husband loved the RN lectures. We both ADORED the dancing classes from Alan and Ginny.
We didn't do a single P&O trip. I downloaded Rick Steves' guide so Scandanavia onto my ipad and we followed the recommends in different towns:
Fab waffles in Copenhagen and a hugely moving experience at the Resistance Museum.. Stockholm was unbelievable. We bought tickets for the 'hop on hop off' boat and visited Vasa and the unbelievably good Viking Gold exhibition at the History museum. Tallinn is tough in a wheelchair but we had a good peruse of all the town had to offer. Our trip highlight was St Petersburg. We met up with fellow travellers on the Cruise Critic Roll call, and booked a private tour guide: Inna at Klever. I cannot reccommend her highly enough. We had the best time; she is unbelievably sensitive,considerate, knowledgeable and insightful. We saw all the main sites; Peterhof, Summer and Winter Palaces etc, but also had a great time at the covered market, Zenet Stadium; and painting our own dolls at a private art class.
Inna kept us all entertained, involved and interested; from my thirteen year old son up. The whole trip was 600 euros for the four of us.
Aurora is fab for families; great food, lovely ambience, and wonderful entertainment. I can't recommend it highly enough. My husband was a first time cruiser and can't wait to go back; an opinion reflected by my boys.