Azura Cruise Review by Marion Needham: One off trip....
One off trip....
Most important to start by saying we really enjoyed the cruise, but we would not chose the Azura again. Having made the original booking, P&O changed the itinerary twice, once to take out a port we had not been to (Catalina Island) and substitute Dominica (why would anyone want to go there??) Then the whole itinerary was rearranged so that the sea days were not spread out and we ended up with two sea days at the end, we didn't mind but plenty did. It was said that the itinerary had been rearranged because there would have been too many ships in Aruba on the same day - or was it because P&O wanted the Azura to be in Aruba the same day as the sister ship Ventura??
Those are side issues, as usual the arrival in Barbados was very smooth and we were soon on the ship, we waited a little while for our bags then saw them sitting on a corridor so we helped ourselves and took them to our cabin. The cabin was quite adequate, we were really glad we had chosen the smaller cabin More on A deck as it was much more private than the cabins on the lower decks that have much larger balconies and are overlooked, they also got wet too on the rainy days.
The things we liked were that wine and drinks generally were reasonably priced, there was a Costa coffee shop and you could get the best 'free' victoria sponge cake with your coffee. There was plenty of seating if different areas.
Unfortunately there were more things that we didn't like - there was no wrap round promenade deck (and what there was, was very narrow - didn't like the plastic chairs either, much prefer wooden steamer chairs) You couldn't get to the front of the ship (officially) but unofficially if you went inside up to deck 8 and made your way to the front there was a paper sign on the door which took you out on to the front.) No mini bar in the cabins which would have been handy. Bars had restricted opening times and most of them didn't provide any nibbles with drinks. The service in the bar was often slow and generally the staff were of a rather miserable demeanour, the state of some of the uniforms left something to be desired too. The design of the ship - it seemed odd that there were service lifts on public corridors and often lots of rubbish left outside the lifts and on corridors generally. There were long waits for lifts that were for passengers. We thought the silver service was a waste of time, it would have been much better to be just a plated service. The buffet restaurants, we felt the choice was not very imiganitive, often the same from one day to another, also the flow for passengers was not easy. It seemed in terms of costs, you got one set of toiletries at the start of the trip and that was your allocation.
We had previously been on the Celebrity Eclipse, a similar size ship, but it seemed to have the WOW factor and for us that was missing on the Azura - but still we had a good trip Less
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