By Jane Archer, Cruise Critic contributor
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). Mine was so enclosed the sun rarely managed to shine in.
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.
I suspect that it had something to do with the older clientele onboard as I was on a sector of a world cruise; having said that, I can't see the ship ever getting too lively.
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.
P&O Cruises provides envelopes at the end of the cruise so passengers can tip crew in cash. The cruise line recommends £1.50 ($2.58) for the cabin steward and £1.60 ($3) for the waiter and assistant waiter -- but whether you tip and how much is entirely up to you. Gratuities are not added to the bar bills, nor is there space to add a tip. The same applies to the spa bill.
We booked onto this 22 night cruise on P&O Aurora direct with P&O on a vantage fair with a price guarantee stating that if the price reduces we will get the difference in onboard credit or an appropriate upgrade. When we found the price ...continue
December 2013 Johnduckenfiel
Sailed from Southampton on 21st Dec. for the Canaries. This is the first time we have sailed with P and O,although we have sailed before with their sister company, Princess.
Well what can I say, although the ship is in need of updating as ...continue
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we have recently returned from the christmas cruise to the canary`s apart from the rough weather which p&o have no control over the cruise went quite well mainly due to the efforts of the captain Neil Turnbull [who is up there as the best ...continue