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Aurora Review

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70% of cruisers loved it
  • Traditional British cruising
  • Interesting itineraries, from exotic to mainstream ports
  • Afternoon tea with white-gloved waiters

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Aurora Overview

(4.0) 4.0 out of 5+ star rating

Editor's note: P&O announced a £26m refit of Aurora for November/December this year that will see a number of new features. These include Sindhu fine dining restaurant, with an Indian-fusion menu overseen by Michelin-star chef Atul Kochhar, and the Glass House restaurant and bar, with wines selected by TV presenter Olly Smith, will replace Cafe Bordeaux. Both these restaurants are on Azura and Ventura. There will also be a complete refurbishment of the buffet restaurant and Sidewalk Cafe -- including a new Costa Coffee and "Grab and Go" counter -- and the introduction of "Freedom Dining" in the Medina Restaurant, with more tables for two, and Marco Pierre White dishes on gala evenings.

P&O Cruises' Aurora might not be ancient, but, alas, it still looks rather dated -- ship design has simply changed so fast. The mid-ships' gym is so small and in such an unusual location that it looks like an afterthought; the covered balconies likewise look as if they were added at a later date (but were not).

Aurora attracts families during the school holidays, but essentially it is loved by a more elderly audience who prefer a traditional cruising experience.

Decor is unexciting, which appeals to the older Brits. There is a two-sitting fixed dining system in the restaurants, and dress codes are enforced in the dining rooms and in the main bars in the evenings.

Pre-dinner drinks are a popular ritual, and the theatre was packed every evening -- entertainment was run of the mill, British and heavily rooted in song and dance, and variety from the old days -- but half the ship was in bed by 10:30 p.m. Those who weren't already tucked up, disappeared as soon as the last show ended.

Aurora Fellow Passengers
My cruise was almost exclusively full of Brits, which is the norm for P&O Cruises, although there were quite a few Australians doing a one-way cruise from Oz to the U.K. or vice-versa.

Most passengers were retired and aged 60-plus -- a typical round-the-world cruiser with the time and money to spend three months at sea -- but there was a surprising number of younger passengers and even a handful of children, from babies to teens.
Aurora Dress Code
Casual wear is fine by day, but evening dress code is strictly enforced. There are typically two formal nights, two semi-formal nights and three smart casual evenings per seven-night cruise, but this can vary. On formal nights, the dress code is also in force in several bars to stop everyone slipping back to the cabin after dinner to change into something more comfortable. Smart casual is acceptable in the Orangery.
Aurora Gratuity
A £3.95 GBP per person auto gratuity is added to your bill daily. Other tips are at your discretion.
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Aurora Member Reviews 112 Reviews
Not Rated
   Christmas Market Mini cruise!
December 2014

This was a Chrstmas present from my best friend..neither of us had cruised before so thought a good idea. We departed from Southampton to Zeebrugge for the market in Brussels. This was the first cruise after the ship's refit so we were looking ...continue

   Lovely Aurora, just before her refit!
November 2014

Just read a review of this cruise which I also thoroughly enjoyed, so it's prompted me to write mine!

My 15th with P and O and my 2nd solo. Embarkation was as quick and easy as usual, taking around 17 minutes in all; it's one of the ...continue

   November sun aboard the Aurora
November 2014

As this was the last scheduled cruise by the Aurora before its well-publicised re-fit, we did wonder if standards might be expected to slip, but our fears were groundless. This was our third cruise but we have never been with P&O before, and ...continue

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Aurora Ratings
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Spa & Fitness
Family & Children
Shore Excursions

Sailing From

Cruises To
Baltic & Northern Europe
Canada & New England
Caribbean - All
Europe - Mediterranean All
Western Mediterranean

Explore This Ship
Ship Stats
Crew: 417
Launched: 2000
Decks: 10
Tonnage: 76,000
Passengers: 2,000
Registry: Bermuda
CDC Score: 100
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