I am brand new to the cruise reviews but a very long term big fan of aurora. Our first cruise on her was in july2000 which was the year of her launch. My partner & I and our two daughters then age 8 & 11 were first time cruisers and we did not know what to expect.
What we got was the best family holiday that we had ever had, the ship was beautiful, the food superb and the ships staff from cabin steward to captain were amazing! We were 'hooked'.
We have since then cruised on aurora in July which is family holiday time every year, except for this year. (family circumstances meant we could not go, it broke my heart that 'my ship' was sailing without me this year) after that first cruise we invited my parents to cruise with us, bit of a mixed reaction from them "cruising is not for the likes of us dad said" anyway they came with us and have now accompanied us on every cruise since! (including new year on the oriana which was superb)
As the years have gone by my son celebrated his 18 th birthday on board, my daughter had the most beautiful romantic wedding in 2010 (she was the one who first came aboard at 11years old)
The youngest daughter spent every single birthday from 8years old up to & including her 19th birthday all on board aurora! The last 2 cruises we had four generations as my grandchildren age 3 &4 all had a wonderful time on aurora. From our many and continued experiences it is suffice to say that I feel quite qualified to vouch for cruising on aurora it has never lost its magic for us & I can honestly say that every one from 3 years to 76 years old with teenagers in between have always been enthraled with the experience. During July aurora is filled with all age groups and you can always find a party to join or a quiet corner to sit in. You can be in bed by 10pm or just be going to bed at 10am (you know who you are!)
I have seen the food change over the years, the variety and quality have remained the same always excellent. But the sheer extravagance and waste that I saw in earlier years has quite rightly been reigned in. Of course the ship is showing a few signs of age (sailing round and round the world for 12 years will have that effect on all of us old cruisers) she will never compare now to the big, brash 'hotels at sea' or even 'blocks of flats at sea' that are the modern cruise ships. But she remains an 'elegant lady' her beautiful spacious teak decks are not to be found on the new ships, she looks like a ship, feels like a ship and by golly she is a ship that I will be on again soon with my four generations of family. Sailing from country to country port to port, changing views and no unpacking.
We have travelled to her every which way ! train, car, coach, limo and even flying. The limo became too cramped for our older generation, the train was chaotic, the plane was cancelled on the way home and we had to get a taxi all the way back to Lancashire. The eaves way coach has now become our method of choice. Now I have been quickly and charmingly 'processed' through the cruise terminal I would not care if I never saw an airport again!
I can recommend the kids clubs, the food, the entertainment, the staff, weddings at sea, going to bed in France and waking up in Spain. In fact there is only one thing I would like to do instead and that is go to the restaurants that some of the other cruisers go that think the food is poor, because if they go to better places than sitting on the aft deck of aurora, al fresco while the sun sets sipping cool wine and enjoying 3 course meals to include freshly grilled steaks and seafood for a cover price of Â£8 .50 approx. then I must have been on a different ship from them!