We had the most relaxing cruise on P&O Aurora between the 29 November 2013 and the 9th of December 2013. Taking in La Caruna, Casablanca, Gibraltar, Ciadiz, and Lisbon.
Check in at Southampton was fast we arrived at Mayflower Terminal 12.00 un loaded our cases from our car my wife waited at the entrance while I drove to the short stay car park and made my car over to the rep from Parking4Cruises walked a short walk back to the Terminal picked my wife up and entered the check in room just a few people in the queue checked in then went through security and was sitting in the Orangerey having a spot of lunch by 13.15, announcement made that cabins were ready at 14.00.
Went down to our Cabin E 167 our cases were there in the Cabin pleasantly surprised at the cabin much better than Oriana even though we were on A deck on Oriana wife unpacked our cases and put clothes away in the plenty of draws and wardrobe's again much better than Oriana , went for a walk around Aurora and watched her pull away from the quay side and leave Southampton returned to our cabin to change for dinner in the Medina Resturant, the food was very good in this restaurant for the rest of the cruise the service was fast and friendly, our waiters were John Mascarenhas, and Swapnil fantastic lads always smiling and they always recommended what was the best course to have and went the extra mile espically with the puddings, coffee,cheese and biscuits.
On second morning we had a problem with the hot water in the bathroom it was only just warm so reported it to our Cabin Steward Angelo and by the time it was needed for a shower the second evening it was fixed nice an hot good job too as it was a Formal evening also Captain's gala evening where Captain Neal Turnbull apologised for the problem with the hot water he said that he pulled out all the stops to get it fixed before some bright spark got in touch with Cruise Critic that brought the house down every one had a good laugh, I have cruised with P&O several Cruises now and can not prase them enough, one of the best Cruise lines why do we British always run our own things down and our own people I am 75 years young I am not snobbish nor am I rich just a working class man but may be I was brought up with good values and was taught to dress well when I go to a dineing table I like dressing up in formal dress and at one time one could not go to dinner with out a coat and tie if some people do not want to dress properly then they should use the Buffet restaurant no body is stopping them, nor are we looking down on them it is in their own head this feeling of being inferior we certainly do not feel superior far from it live and let live.
Aurora is a happy ship one can feel it as soon as one comes on board the crew make you feel welcome from the Captain down to the toilet attendant I get up at dawn and while I was taking a walk on the Promanade deck I passed members of the crew seamen and European officers and always got a good morning sir and how are you this morning , I was born in India of British parents during the British Raj and can speak fluent Hindi,Urdu also Punjabi and many a morning had a conflab with the Indian and Pakistani crew, by the end of the cruise when I came across these seamen they would always greet me with a Salam Sahib or Namaste Sahib and apa kaise hain to which I would reply in Hindi or Urdu maim accha hum in Hindi or main thik hun in Urdu this would make their day a white guy who could speak their language had a great time on this cruise if fact on every P&O Cruise that I've been on .
Now I must point out that I have not come across these so called frayed and threadbare carpets on Aurora or dirty legs on the tables in the Orangerey or the Orangerey looking worn out I took a good look at things on Aurora she is spotless,perhaps these people that keep moaning about P&O Ships should be banished to Fred Olsen, Thompsons, or Ocean Village Cruises .
One more thing I would like to point out is if your cruise takes you to Gibraltar do not buy your duty free on board before you visit Gibraltar as in Gibraltar there is a Morrisons Supermarket and the duty free prices for sprits is much cheaper than on board ship I paid £10.45 for a bottle of Bombay Sapphire Gin whilst on board it was £15 + with 15% off the duty free price so make note make for Morrisons when you are on your way back to the ship only a five minute walk from the docks you can even see the sign from the ship, now the biggest rip off P&O charges £9 to £10 for 6 bottles of drinking water if you and your wife / partner put a 1.5ltr bottle of water in your hand luggage each it would last you two mornings for tea / Coffee in your cabin then you could buy bottled drinking water on shore for much less this will stop P&O from ripping you off please do not use the cold or hot water in your cabin bathroom to boil in kettle in cabin for making tea or coffee as it has several chemicals in it
Had a wonderful cruise on Aurora the cabin was great E167 grade GB bath and shower in bathroom very clean carpets fine every thing ship shape, we will always sail with P&O