DH and I thoroughly enjoyed our cruise on Azura.
Embarkation was quick and easy so we were soon in the buffet for lunch. We were served in there for a couple of days, so when it went back to self service i assume the ship was clear of bugs.
Hand sanitizers were everywhere. Some passengers having to be chased after by staff with handheld bottles of gel!
All the food was very good to excellent. Whether P@O had made more effort for the New Year cruise, I don't know.
We were early sitting in the Oriental. Our waiters Vas and Peltono and the wine waiter Allan, were a very quick and slick team. They had to be as they had a lot of tables to cover! It's a shame it's not possible to interact with them more, but they were working very hard to ensure everyone was taken care of.
DH and I really enjoyed Sindu, 17, Glasshouse, Verona and Sindu Nashta for lunch. The waistline suffered though!!
We had a balcony cabin on C deck. We will try to get on that deck again as the balcony was large and partly shaded.
Jinky kept our cabin sparkly clean and responded quickly to a few requests for a few extras.
Entertainment was fair to good. Tom O'Conner was very good as was the Reel to Reel Show.
Azura had prime position in Madeira for New Year. The dinner New Year's Eve was excellent. I had venison in a Rioja and chocolate jus! Yum!!!
The fireworks were fantastic, what a show!!! It was the best New Year we've ever had!! Apparently, some partied till 6am the next morning. We had a cabin near the lifts and were not disturbed by late night revellers.
We didn't book any trips this time. Therefore we're not able to comment about the ports of call. For this particular cruise we were happy to wander off, make good use of the free port shuttles that P@O provide, and amble about.
Azura was beautifully decorated for the festive season. The staff were constantly cleaning. It must be an uphill struggle to keep the ship so smart, especially when you get some people leaving plates of half eaten food in lifts and glasses on stairwells.
DH and I had been on Azura in autumn 2011 and we enjoyed her then. Last autumn we had a cruise on another cruise line who we had always considered a little bit better than P@O. However, although the holiday was very good, budget cuts were very obvious in the food, entertainment and the overstretched staff. Therefore, we wondered what our return to Azura would be like. Well, it was great. Whether it's because it was a New Year do, I don't know, but when we get the chance to cruise again, Azura will be the first ship we will look at.