Azura A103A Caribbean 5th Feb – 21Feb 2011. Cabin B308. My wife and I have cruised the Caribbean with P&O five times now. MV Victoria (the old Victoria) Oceana, Adonia, and Artmis. We have also cruised other parts of the world with different companys. Azura is 289.6m long which is the same as 3 football pitches. Its breath is 36m.
Contrary to other reviews I have read I like to think that this one is objective but not being critical about smaller points and criticising for the sake of it. The Azura is the biggest cruise ship we have been on. Sister ship to the Venturer, it is 289.6m long which is the same as 3 football pitches. Its breath is 36m.
It takes a few days to find your way around. Our cabin was on B deck and unfortunately those who have cabins on C and D deck are over looked by A and B deck. Our Cabin was clean and comfortable and everything I expected from P&O.
Breakfast was taken in the Restaurant and you are seated with other passengers. You can meet people who are cruising for the first time to others who have cruised for thirty years. Unlike the self service you don’t have to find or wait for a table.
Dinning on the second sitting in the Peninsular Restaurant table 111 with our other two cruising companions’. Our waiter’s names were Wilson and Bickram you could not want a nicer pair to wait on you. The food was varied and enjoyable. Other reviews have criticised food portion size, we did not go hungry and at times that extra spoonful from the waiter was refused. At the end of the day its how you speak and interact with people that goes a long way.
On sea days the deck areas around the pool was very crowded no more than you would expect. There were plenty of sun loungers available but not always where you would like them. In the Horizon paper detailing the day’s activities there is a note about reserving sun loungers saying a towel or a personal item is not acceptable and the only way to reserve a sun lounger is to sit on it. Unfortunately the towel on the sun lounger appeared to be the unspoken rule.
The service in the bars and around the pools / decks was very good and you did not have to wait long before you were being asked if you would like something to drink. The drink prices were reasonable and the selection was good.
Entertainment was varied and something for everyone. We practically liked the Headliners Theatre Company who performed in The Playhouse. We attended the early performance 07.15 (19.15hrs) and afterwards giving us time for a drink and then into dinner. The Headliners were very entertaining and professional and the sets on the stage were excellent. You would have to go a long way outside the West End to find better. Please note as the cruised progressed the 07.15 show became more popular with the second sitting diners.
We found the ship to be clean and the staff very polite and helpful. Generally everything lived up to our expectations with the P&O high standard.
If you have read about The Retreat and you are thinking of using its facilities when you fist get on board the Azura go straight to the Oasis Spa (Deck 16) and book it before going to your cabin. It may appear a bit extreme but the chance of you getting a booking especially on a sea day is nil. The reason being there are only 47 beds in The Retreat half are available for booking for the first day arrival of passengers and the remainder are available for passengers arriving the second day. We went up to the Oasis Spa to book it a couple of hours after our arrival to be told that it was fully booked on sea days but we could have hour name put on the waiting list that was two pages long we declined the offer.
Additional dining XVII (17) cover charges applies, book this restaurant if you fancy a special treat one evening, on your arrival day because the chances of a booking is slim if you leave it too long. We were told that the food was excellent, need I say any more.
Remember there are 3000 + passengers on the Azura.
Would we cruise on Azura again? no. But we will continue to cruise with P&O but on one of their smaller ships.