Was very worried before embarking with the lack of reviews concerning cruises over past christmas periods and what we did find didnt fill us with confidence either. This was to be the first time we had taken our two girls away (Aged 13 and 8) at this time of year and was a little worried that the celebrations were going to be a little muted.
From the moment we arrived seeing all the crew in santa hats and the atrium decked out with a massive christmas tree, festive music being played by a band our fears started to subside.We had a quick walk around the ship and found all areas decorated tastefully.With christmas music both traditional and pop being played everywhere which continued to the time of disenbarkment. Throughout the cruise you could feel the festivities getting nearer and was cranked up on the british sailaway with lots of christmas songs along with the national favourites. On christmas eve the special sailaway was brilliant with updates from the bridge of sightings of santa nearby, even more christmas songs and a full deck of people with novelty headwear getting merry with christmas cocktails dancing away with the entertainment team. Then the captain anounced to all the children gathered together on the deck above the coral bar that someone was on the funnel and santa appeared.
The reef childrens entertainment team were really enthusiastic and the work they put in for the nativity and the pantomine should be applauded. On christmas day as it rained the games they put on whilst the children waited to see santa in the grotto were a great distraction. They helped massively towards a great holiday and we couldnt thank them enough.
Whilst waiting for our evening meal we were entertained by various members of the crew with a carol service in the atrium. well done to all. The peninsular restaurant was decked out even more and a special christmas menu was printed and the options available were very pleasing. All in all we had a very enjoyable day different yes which was to be expected but the azura crew could not of done anymore in my opinion.
we all had a great time on this cruise and as much as its not the same what do people expect. personally i dont think christmas was devalued for us as a family but would perhaps not take children a few years younger than ours but again each to their own. Would not hesitate to cruise over a christmas again and p and o would be first choice for the party atmosphere they created.