Azura Cruise Review by Regular Visitor: Good Cruise but could be better
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Good Cruise but could be better
This is our 10th Cruise but first time on P&O Azura. Very smooth transfer from Manchester to the ship but we do think that 4 hours to deliver our luggage to our cabin was unecessary and could have been much quicker. I would have preferred to collect my luggage from the airport and take onboard rather than wait 4 hours to change! This could be greatly improved. We had a balcony cabin on C deck (10th) which was very comfortable and could not fault. It was kept very clean by our cabin steward who was very polite and discreet. Our flight out was 8hrs 10mins and our return flight was 7hrs 30mins which was great.
We requested 2nd sitting (8.30pm) on a table for 2 which we given in the Penninsular restaurant. The food, ambiance, service and waiting staff were excellent. We did find the tables too close to one another so effectively felt as if we were sharing a table with our dining neigbours either side. Breakfast and lunch was also served in this restaurant and again, the More service was excellent and the food lovely. The buffet restaurant was fine for snacks or a quick breakfast if you were in a hurry but would not recommend for dinner as the food was luke warm, the restaurant was dimly lit and depressing in the evening, more like a canteen. We did not try Sindhu restaurant as we do not like Indian food. There was a surcharge of £15 per person to dine here and a surcharge of £28 per person to dine in the Seventeen restaurant. We found the food so nice in the Penninsular restaurant, so did not find the need to pay these surcharges at Sindhu or Seventeen. There was also another Italian restaurant called Verona but unless you dined at 6.30pm when they opened, it was a long wait for a table. You could eat here with or without a surcharge, depending on the dish you chose. It was quite pleasant in the Verona. There were several bars, our favourites were The Blue Bar, The Glass House and The Planet Bar. We personally did not like Brodies English Pub Bar. The entertainment we though was very poor. The had impersonating singer - Neil Diamond and Kenny Rogers which were both very poor. They had a female Austrailian singer and a Liverpool singer, Gemma and both were quite good. A cuban comedian was dreadful and another comedian was acceptable but wasted alot of time 'messing with the audience' rather than telling good jokes so were not keen on him either. Headliners, the ships dance group were a bit like a Butlins troupe so we only saw them twice. They had a resident group called Changez from St Lucia but these were far too lound and on in the bars too much. I think whoever selects these acts needs to be employ much higher standard acts otherwise this will reflect on people choosing this cruise.
Our itinerary was good and our island visits were: St Kitts, Tortola, St Marteen, Antigua, Dominica, Grand Turk, St Lucia, St Vincent, Barbados (overnight in port). Unfortunately, we could not dock at Antigua due to high winds but the Captain very kindly managed to replace this with an added stop in Grenada which was very much appreciated. The only port we thought was very poor was St Vincent. We have been there twice before but visited the Grenadines. We went to a couple of beaches this time but did not like any of them and apparently there is not much to see on this island.
I will use P&O again on a Mediterranean cruise but maybe try a different company i.e. Cunard for out next Caribbean cruise. I would still recommend P&O and also the balcony cabins. Less
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Cabin review: ABC Deck Balcony
Very good cabin, location, balcony. Comfortable, clean and very good cabin steward. Would recomend
Port and Shore Excursions
Barbados is very popular and a great island to visit. You can easily hire a car and get round the island in a day, visitin Bathsheba on the East coast, Harrison's Caves in the centre, and all the resorts along the South and West coast.
Several beaches to visit: Malibu Beach, The Boatyard, Rockley Beach, Paynes Beach, Carlise Beach. Taxi drivers/shuttle services are very good and reasonably priced. The beaches are lovely.
Catamaran tours around the island are also very good, weather permitting.
Highly recommended Island
Grand Turk has a beautiful long beach and a swimming pool complex just off this. The beach is just off the ship so ideal for an easy, relaxing day out. The sun loungers are free but drinks a bit priceier than other islands. Very good and recommended. Helicopter tours for about $50 per person for 20 minutes ride which is great value.
Grenada, the Spice Island. Most visitors go to Grand Anse Beach but it get very, very busy and very cramped so not very enjoyable. They have a good water taxi service there and back. The better beach to go to is Morne Rouge but you have to get a land taxi there. Interesting town to walk around but you o get pestered alot by the locals and store holders so beware.
St Kitts is a very intertesting island. We did an island tour which took about 4 hours with a local taxi driver and other cruise passengers so had numerous stops and alot of island information which was very good. If you want a beach break then would recommend Frigate Bay as very smart and clean with a big hotel there.
St Lucia is a lovely island and would recommend Catamaran tours around the island as very good, weather permitting. Also the inland island tour is very interesting.
There are several beaches to visit but Reduit Beach is very busy and commercialised now so try and fina another beach if possible.
St Marteen has great beaches and duty free shopping. The best island to buy your duty free. You catch a water taxi from the cruise termianl to the town. The beach is lovely and wide. $20 for 2 sunlounger, 1 umbrella and a bucket of beer - great value! We have done th island tour but found this to be a bit long and tiresome so would recommend visiting the beach and shopping.
St Vincent seems like a very poor island, the beaches are not worth visiting - Indian Bay and Villa Bay are pretty depressing and would never visit again. Just opposite Villa bay is Young Island, which is a private island with 1 hotel on. You can catch a small boat across for $5 return. This is about the best place to visit as other passengers said there is nothing else to see on this island. We have previously visited St Vincent but took a boat tour to the Grenadines which was excellent.
St Vincent is a poor choice, would not recommend.