- Traditional British cruising
- Interesting itineraries, from exotic to mainstream ports
- Afternoon tea with white-gloved waiters
- Kids programs
- Variety of show entertainment
- All cabins have tea-and-coffee makers
- Fitness classes held on sea days
P&O Cruises retains two-sitting fixed dining on Aurora. There are two restaurants -- Alexandria and Medina -- and meals are served at 6:30 and 8:30 p.m., although second sitting is sometimes 15 minutes later to make room for the captain's gala evenings. Waiters serve vegetables individually for the main course, which is a nice touch (but it meant food stood around for too long getting cold).
For those who want to escape fixed dining, a themed dinner is served each evening in the Orangery self-service buffet venue (6:30 - 9 p.m.). There is a children's tea from 5:15 to 6 p.m. when there are enough kids onboard.
The Pennant, on the aft deck, by the bar of the same name, offers al fresco dining when the weather allows -- it moves into a section of the Orangery when it's wet or cold -- and serves steaks and seafood from 7 to 9:30 p.m. The recently updated and upgraded Cafe Bordeaux's menu is now in the hands of esteemed chef Marco Pierre White (who began his venture at seas as Ventura's consultant chef). It will serve up Mediterranean cuisine.
Reservations are required for both the Pennant and Cafe Bordeaux. Pennant charges a £7.75 ($14.75) per person supplement. Prices for lunch in Cafe Bordeaux are classed as "free," but meals such as fillet of beef or seafood platter carry an additional £2.50 supplement. Dinner charges range from £4.99 per person for cruises of eight days or more, to £7.75 per person for short cruises of two days. Menus change regularly, so you have a reason to keep going back.
Breakfast and lunch are served in the Medina (8 - 9:30 a.m., and 12:15 - 1:45 p.m.) and in Cafe Bordeaux (6:30 - 11 a.m. and 11 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.). There is no charge at these times, but the menu is very limited. For night owls, light bites are available in Cafe Bordeaux from 10:30 p.m. to 6 a.m.
Continental breakfast is available in the Orangery from 6:30 to 7 a.m., breakfast from 7 to 10:30 a.m. and brunch from 10:30 a.m. to noon. Lunch runs from noon to 2:30 p.m. Juice is available until noon; tea, coffee and water are available 24 hours, but only in small glasses, and there's no ice.
You can pick up what must be the best burgers at sea, plus hot dogs, fries and other fast foods, all cooked to order, in the Sidewalk Cafe from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Afternoon snacks are served in the Orangery from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m., with traditional afternoon tea in the Medina from 4 to 4:45 p.m.
Room service is available 24 hours, with a breakfast menu from 7 to 11 a.m. and sandwiches, salads, pasta and other dishes the rest of the time (there's a smaller menu from 11 p.m. until 7 a.m.). A number of dishes carry a supplement. Expect to pay anything from £1.50 to £4.50 ($2.85 - $8.55).