I and 5 friends set sail for a two night mini cruise on the P&O Aurora, Southampton to Bruges mid-November.
Although the embarkation line was long, it did move quickly. In fact we were on board and having lunch in under an hour of joining the queue.
My single cabin C102 was very comfortable. However I'd say you would be a bit hard pushed for space if it was sold as a double. The "White Company" toiletries were a real nice touch.
The ship itself is very clean, lots of open deck space including a full wrap around deck (all with teak floors) and modern public lounge areas. For a mid-size ship, there were plenty of bars and lounges to hang-out and relax.
Although this was only a two nighter, the second evening was a" formal dinner". That meant trying to pack a full, formal dinner suite into a small carry-on weekend trolley bag... Something I think is a little over the top for such a short trip. But it was fun nonetheless to dress up.
The food on both occasions was tasty, presented well and the lobster on formal night went down very well. One thing I did notice different to the American lines is that the waiters make a bit of a "thing" if you ask to have more than one item of a particular choice. So getting a lobster and a steak or even two starters brings with it a real sense of "ummmmmmmm" wellllllll I'll have to ask!
Another difference we all noticed was the friendliness of the staff. Don't get me wrong, all the staff did what they needed to do, but that was it.... The staff didn't seem to be able to have a laugh with you, have a joke with you or have any understanding of what it was you were talking to them about (if it wasn't to do with the task you had them do... i.e. bring you a drink from the bar). They often just looked at you and walked away. I have to say, doing a cruise longer than 2 nights with this sort of customer service fills me with dread, I think I'll stick to an american style service.
I can't comment on what the ship tours of Bruges were like as I didn't get off the ship. Instead I managed to spend a few hours swimming in the heated pools and hot tubes, very relaxing indeed.
The age ranged from the very young running around in nappies to the very old, snoozing in any area that had a couch. Given there were lots of stag and hen groups, the bars were often in full swing by late afternoon. Even the staff in the all night disco, were given their run for their money on both nights. So much so extra staff was needed to cope with a full house of party goers.
As they say "all good things must come to an end", so I guess this cruise was no different. Yes I would cruise with P&O again but if it was for a cruise longer than a few days, I'll most probably choose an American line or Cunard first.