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.
A £3.95 GBP per person auto gratuity is added to your bill daily. Other tips are at your discretion.
Embarkation @ Southampton was brilliant. Cabin F235 ok for 2, very clean, you do need earplugs. We pre-booked speciality dining for 4 nights this was not necessary as we were given 8.30 dining we sat with 4 wonderful people. The food was fabulous ...continue
Yesterday I arrived home from my first ever cruise, I couldn't have been more sad to leave, not only was this my first cruise, but it was my first 'big' family holiday, which made it all the better. Everything about the cruise was perfect, I do ...continue
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I have sailed on P&O's Arcadia and Ventura and cruised with RCI,NCL, Cunard and Thomson. This cruise was a complete let down when compared to all of the other cruises I have been on. The food selection and quality is poor and the organisation ...continue