I will try to keep this review short and to the point.
We booked this cruise on the Azura with P&O direct, no problems there but had to wait till 2 weeks before the cruise to be given our cabin number as we had booked a G class cabin. Compared with previous G class bookings with other cruise lines this was a bit frustrating but I suppose it added a bit of mystery.
The embarkation process at Southampton went really smoothly and we were on board within 30 minutes of being dropped off at the front of the terminal.
The cabin was ready as promised at 2pm. It was very clean and compact and the balcony was a very good size. We were wary about reviews that the clothes hanging space was right out side the bathroom and did not have a door but we found this to actually be more convenient.
The lay out of the ship left a lot to be desired and like ourselves a lot of passengers were still having problems finding their way around even on the last day. Not being able to walk all around the ship on any one deck seemed very unusual and led to many conversations with other passengers as to the best route.
The entertainment was first class but sadly the venues were not large enough and led to standing room only 10 minutes before the start of nearly every performance. Late sitting for dinner was a mistake as every meal had to be timed to get to the venue early.
The buffet restaurants when they were open were like cattle markets with every one being herded through a narrow gateway to stand in line for what turned out to be a very limited choice although most of the food was not too bad. The staff there were the biggest let down as although they were not rude they did not speak unless they really had to and the officers made us feel like we were a much lower class and totally ignored everybody. Definitely the worst passenger/crew relationship we have ever come across in fact you just would not expect it anywhere.
The main restaurant was a little better but not as good as expected, the food was average (better in the buffet) and the service was polite but no more.
Please do not expect P&O to be better than their main competition as is in our opinion they fall way down the list.
We may try P&O again but not on the Azura and not if another cruise line is going to the same destinations at the same times.
However we did enjoy our holiday to Norway with its stunning views and we met a lot of really nice fellow passengers more so than on other cruise lines we have been on and and the evening dress code with P&O was respected more.
We would rate this cruise about 5 out 10 but only kept that high by the Itinerary and the Entertainment.