This was our first cruise with P & O.
When first seen at Southampton docks the Azura looked a large ship but once on board we soon realised that it wasn't. The communal areas on decks 6 & 7 felt very hemmed in & getting from one end of the ship to the other was not easy. The Atrium was the biggest let down, only 3 decks high & not very impressive. The shops were typical of all cruise ships, selling P & O souvenirs, but the biggest waste of space was the one selling watches.
However the biggest problem with the Azura is its tendency to vibrate. Our dining table in the Oriental restaurant, deck 6, was right at the rear of the ship, but even on calm evenings you could feel the ship vibrate. We had a bad storm one night & although there was hardly any pitching or rolling the vibration, from speaking to other passengers & crew, kept most people awake for most of the night.
The food was always of high quality in both the self service and main restaurants with an excellent choice. However the seating arrangements were not well organised. I appreciate that complying with everyones request for the size of table they would like is a logistical nightmare but I think P & O could do better. When we booked our cruise, in April 2010, we asked for a large table, 8 or 10, but we were given a table for 2. After complaining, like many others, we were put on a table for 6. The 2 couples on our table had come on holiday together & had asked for a large table so as to meet other passengers. One couple was put on a table for 6, the other a table for 8, bad enough but the tables were in different restaurants.
The entertainment was mostly of high quality especially Peter Piper, the late show, & the ships resident entertainment team who put on some fantastic shows.
Drinks were reasonably priced. Try the Blind River sauvignon blanc only sold in the Glass House, a delicious New Zealand wine.
Our cabin, R330 on Riviera deck 14, was great apart from 3 things Small bathroom. The balcony was shaded by the open deck above which meant we could not really sunbathe. We were woken up every morning before 7am by chairs & tables being moved by crew getting the deck ready for the days activities.
Overall we had an excellent holiday despite our moans. Visited places we'd never been to - Dubrovnic: fantastic, would love to go back & spend more time there.
Would we cruise with P & O again, probably. Would we go back on the Azura, no