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Azura Review

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69% of cruisers loved it
Why Go?
  • Video Ship Tour: P&O Cruises' Azura
  • Traditional British cruising with a modern twist
  • Adults-only areas including The Retreat
  • Children's clubs and Noddy onboard
  • Sophisticated dining options, including Atul Kochar's Indian restaurant
  • Party atmosphere on mini-cruises

Azura Overview

(4.0) 4.0 out of 5+ star rating
The 3,100-passenger Azura is one of P&O's largest ships at 115,000 tons. It was christened in Southampton in 2010 by ballet dancer Darcey Bussell and is one of the most popular of the seven P&O vessels, partly because it is the newest.

The ship, which is the second ship of this size for P&O (the first was sister ship Ventura, which was launched in 2008), will be familiar to fans of Princess Cruises, as it is built on the same design as Princess' Grand-class ships. Yet Azura definitely oozes P&O's traditional style: full dress codes, afternoon tea, deck games and ballroom dancing. Dancing is especially popular, and dancing sessions feature prominently in the daily programme. There is always something happening on one of the ship's three dance floors, including the wooden one in the atrium, which hosts regular dance evenings.

While these much-loved favourites strike a chord with P&O aficionados, some innovative firsts, such as new dining venues and entertainment options, are exciting repeat passengers and attracting new ones too. Many of these now established features -- such as SeaScreen (the new outdoor cinema) and the adults-only Retreat sun deck -- have been borrowed from sister line Princess.

Azura is marketed as a family-friendly ship and has clubs for children ranging from 2 to 17, plus a good range of sports courts for tennis, football and basketball. Children over 14 are also allowed in the excellent gym if accompanied by an adult.

However, couples and singles are well catered for with sophisticated evening venues such as The Glass House -- a wine bar and restaurant for which TV wine expert Olly Smith has selected 32 different wines for cruisers to enjoy -- and the Sindhu restaurant, where the menu is by Michelin starred Indian chef Atul Kochhar. In all there are nine restaurants and 10 separate bars including the night club style Planet Bar with a giant plasma screen.

Passengers who prefer an adults-only vacation can book into The Retreat, a stylish sun terrace with cabanas for alfresco spa treatments. It has easy access to the spa and thermal suite plus its own pool -- one of four pools on the ship. There are also the well-publicised solo cabins. The fact that there are no extra supplements to pay is great news for single travellers -- but be warned, you will need to plan ahead to nab one of these cabins as there are only 18.

Evening entertainment is a mix of family and adult entertainment ranging from tribute bands to West End shows and dancing until the small hours.

Overall, P&O has done a good job of making sure everything runs smoothly. The staff work hard and create a pleasant atmosphere for passengers, the entertainment and dining options are appealing, and the new additions give the right amount of extra sparkle to this mainstream ship.
Azura Fellow Passengers
P&O Cruises are tailored to the needs of British passengers, so there are few other nationalities onboard, except a few English-speakers such as Americans or Antipodeans. Many passengers are so loyal they would not dream of cruising with another line. Longer cruises attract a mostly 60-plus crowd, but there are plenty of families during school holidays.

Azura's increasing number of mini-cruises are popular with younger folk, including 40-somethings. Azura is also popular with solo passengers thanks to its 18 purpose-built single cabins and activities for single travelers. The welcome mat is rolled out for solo passengers, as the ship offers singles meet-ups, including a number of solo afternoon tea parties and "travelling alone" get-togethers with crew and officers.
Azura Dress Code
Smart-casual is the norm during the day, and at night, three evening dress codes prevail. "Evening Casual" means open necked shirts and tailored trousers or even smart jeans for men, although most wear lounge suits or jackets. Dresses or casual separates are fine for women. "Smart, Jacket Required" means a blazer or sports jacket for men (although suits are equally acceptable) and dress, trouser suits or smart separates for women. "Black Tie" is the most formal, requiring a dinner jacket or tuxedo for men (dark suits are acceptable) and evening or cocktail dress or trousers suits for women. Ties are mandatory, and children ages 13 to 17 should wear Evening Casual dress or smarter.

The dress code is announced in the Horizon daily paper and enforced from 6 p.m. in the Meridian, Peninsular and Oriental Restaurants, as well as the speciality Sindhu and Seventeen Restaurants and The Planet Bar and Blue Bar. A men's black tie hire service is available through P&O's Web site for pre-cruise bookings. Swimwear is never allowed in any indoor bar, restaurant or lounge.
Azura Gratuity
A £3.95 GBP per person auto gratuity is added to your bill daily. Other tips are at your discretion.

Next: Azura Cabins
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Azura Member Reviews 342 Reviews
   The Friendly Caribbean
November 2014

First time cruisers and would highly recommend the experience, particularly being able to visit so many islands in a short 2 week period. The local people almost without exception were so friendly and helpful and grateful for the income that ...continue


   Pros & Cons
November 2014

To start with the embarkation experience in the warehouse at Barbados was not good. it was very hot and very slow, it took the best part of an hour. And then to have no Heineken or coffee cooler is ridiculous from start of or throughout a 14 day ...continue


   First time with P&O Azura
October 2014

This is our first time with p and o would definitely recommend them the coach journey from Manchester to Southampton dock was very well organised as was the embarkation at Southampton.

our cabin was an inside on deck 10 just forward of ...continue


1 - 3 of 342 Reviews


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Azura Ratings
Member Rating
Dining
4.0
4.0
Public Rooms
3.0
4.3
Cabins
4.0
4.5
Entertainment
3.0
3.8
Spa & Fitness
4.0
3.9
Family & Children
4.0
4.2
Shore Excursions
4.0
4.5
Enrichment
3.0
NA
Service
3.0
4.2
Value-for-Money
4.0
3.9
Rates
4.0
3.9

Sailing From

Cruises To
Baltic & Northern Europe
Caribbean - All
Europe - All
Europe - Mediterranean All
Transatlantic
Western Mediterranean

Explore This Ship
Ship Stats
Crew: 1,200
Launched: 2010
Decks: 14
Tonnage: 115,000
Passengers: 3,096
Registry: Bermuda
CDC Score: 97
 
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