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13 P&O Cruises Aurora Cruise Reviews for Family Cruises to Europe - All

This was probably the least enjoyable of our 17 cruises with P&O (6th on Aurora), but I should stress that the majority of this was not down to P&O. We did the Northern Lights Cruise during the same 2 weeks last year (also on ... Read More
This was probably the least enjoyable of our 17 cruises with P&O (6th on Aurora), but I should stress that the majority of this was not down to P&O. We did the Northern Lights Cruise during the same 2 weeks last year (also on Aurora) and had a spectacular display of the Northern Lights over two nights, with a weaker display on a third night. This year we had almost permanent cloud cover and on the two ocassions that we saw the Northern Lights they were incredibly weak. If last year was a 9 out of 10 display, this year was 1 out of 10. We also had fog (with the dreaded fog horn disiturbing sleep a few nights) and rough seas, with a lot of sudden lurching, for 24 hours on the return which became tiresome. Other than the 24 hours mentioned, Aurora rode the seas very well. As a point of interest, Viking Sky (the ship that ran into difficulties) arrived in Alta on our second day there and followed us back down the Norwegian coast a few days later. Last year we stopped in Tromso on the way to Alta, which was a lovely place and we really enjoyed our visit there. This year we made a maiden call (for P&O) to Narvik, which was a very poor replacement. Nothing much to see in the town. I also had a bad experience with a P&O tour. I had booked a snowmobile tour at £310 and it was stressed that the price was per snowmobile, not per person, so if you went as a couple you shared the snowmobile and the driving (and paid £310 between you), whereas if you went alone, you paid £310 but had sole use. At the snowmobile centre they tried to force me to share a snowmobile with another passenger when we had both paid £310 each. Naturally I refused, but it was a battle and spoiled the experience. Also the Snowmobiling was supposed to be ‘in mountains and places inaccessible by foot’ but was back and forth across a frozen lake. This was the same as I had done the previous year in Alta for around £100 less. The tour was also advertised as providing the history of the Narvik to Sweden railway line and its role in the Second World War. This didn’t happen either. Worst of all, my complaint about these issues back on board was handled very badly. They preferred to believe the word of the tour agent (who was naturally covering their back) than a customer of some 23 years standing. Very naive and short sighted of them, as we have now decided to do far fewer P&O tours on future cruises as a result. The scenery along the Fjords and ashore is fantastic. We had seen much of it last year, so didn’t quite get the ‘wow factor’ that passengers seeing it for the first time would have experienced, but it was lovely none the less. Temperatures were fine. Just like a cold U.K. winter. Most of the time it was within a few degrees of freezing, with the coldest we had around minus 7 degrees. Last year it was minus 15 to 20 degrees, so much colder. In spite of it not being that cold, the staff decided to keep the very heavy fire doors to the cabin corridors closed on all decks. Whilst this was needed below deck 7 (which is all they did last year, even when it was MUCH colder), this year they decided to do it on ALL decks. This just wasn’t necessary as the areas around the lift areas between decks 8 and 11 were incredibly hot and there would have been far better temperature dissipation with the doors open. We fed this back on the ‘First Impressions’ form and, thankfully, they kept the door outside our cabin open thereafter (my wife is a wheelchair user and, in addition to the door not needing to be closed, it made access to and from our accessible cabin very difficult). Service in the Medina Restaurant was absolutely superb. Well, to clarify, it was superb as far as the waiters and managers were concerned. The wine waiters were poor. Difficult to get hold of and one was actually quite rude. Food was perfectly acceptable, but not quite as good as on our previous cruises on Aurora. One disappointment (noted by many) was the absence of lobster from the Marco Pierre White menu. The current chefs seem to think that us Brits are scared of anything remotely spicy, so tone everything down to mild, bordering on bland. Great shame, as we loved trying all the tasty curries at lunchtime years ago. The Glasshouse and Beach House were great (as always) and whilst the Sindhu Restaurant on Aurora is our least favourite Sindhu in the fleet, we enjoyed Tiffin lunch in there. We met some lovely fellow passengers (including some we had met on previous cruises, which was fantastic) and enjoyed some pleasant chats. The average age of passengers on Aurora is usually mid 70’s (they didn’t quote a figure this time but last year the Captain mentioned the average age was 73) and although we are a few decades younger, this suits us. We aren’t fans of P&O’s ‘1960’s holiday camp’ style of entertainment so tend to avoid much of it, but the Headliners troupe on this cruise were very good (we find that they vary enormously from very good to poor), but sadly left after this cruise. Electra (two female violinists) were absolutely superb. Jane Davey (presenter) was very confident and engaging, but we found that her desire to find a wise crack in almost every line became irritating and diluted the substance matter so much that we lost interest. Stuart St Paul (former stuntman and film director) gave some fairly interesting talks, but was rather full of himself. The Port Presenter (Sam) was very good, other than the Butlins style “if you have been to Norway before, shout ‘whoop whoop’ additions. Dear God, when will P&O wake up to the fact that it’s now the 21st Century! When we disembarked, there were 1,000 workmen waiting to embark to assist with Aurora’s refit in Brest, France. A total of 1,800 workmen will toil over the next fortnight to bring her a little more up to date. We are back on board next month, so will play ‘spot the difference’. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Very poor entertainment, had a 10yr old with us that hated kids club (couldn’t blame her) same stuff on every night. The spa on the ship was appalling, still kicking myself for not walking out. Bar closed at midnight, nowhere else except ... Read More
Very poor entertainment, had a 10yr old with us that hated kids club (couldn’t blame her) same stuff on every night. The spa on the ship was appalling, still kicking myself for not walking out. Bar closed at midnight, nowhere else except room service to get a drink. Staff entertainment didn’t show up on numerous occasions. Was a complete waste of money, hated every moment of being on the ship. Luckily we managed to see some amazing places. Great thing was the room, always clean and tidy. Although they never topped up the mini bar. Found out towards the end that you had to ask and sign for anything after the first night. Plus only complimentary water on the first night! Just constantly felt like there was nothing to do, was definitely aimed at the older crowd. If you want to know how to get rid of fluid retention this is your ship *yawn* Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We enjoyed a Christmas Cruise last year with Royal Caribean and anticipated a similar experience - what a disappointment. Before we even started we found the website very difficult to navigate and actually speaking to someone on the ... Read More
We enjoyed a Christmas Cruise last year with Royal Caribean and anticipated a similar experience - what a disappointment. Before we even started we found the website very difficult to navigate and actually speaking to someone on the phone even more difficult. The coach trip to Southampton was well communicated and the coach was large and spacious. The fact that coach parked well away from the pick up point was a major problem as we had to man handle our luggage several hundred yards in wet conditions. ( This was true of the return journey too) Registration was smooth as was the emergency briefing. The food in the Horizon restuarant (breakfast and lunch) was on a par with a Wetherstones pub. Scrambled eggs made with egg powder and toast as hard as biscuits with no difference in choice from day to day. One egg station with massive queues. Lunch offered a more varied choice but the quality and presentation ( apart from desserts) was a low standard. Food apparently haphazardly piled into heated trays. Dinner in the Medina restuarant was much better but apart from Christmas Day the food on the two other formal nights was not special. Service in the restaurants and bars was mixed. The almost complete reliance on male waiters and bar staff was most surprising - some were very good but others surly and arrogant, particularly when dealing with my wife who is Asian and was ignored or looked down upon on many occasions. Evening entertainment was very limited. The Headliners sang and danced to popular groups/genres and were well drilled. Hardly West End show performers though and the 'shows' lacked creativity, uniqueness or any 'wow' factor. The stopping off points, Oslo, Copenhagen, Amsterdam and Bruges were well selected and the best parts of our trip. The guests on board were mainly couples and for the most part elderly. My wife christened the cruise ship a floating nursing home as many many guests were infirm needing help in one way or another to get round the ship. The ones in motorized wheelchairs were reckless and seemed to have little regard for fellow passengers whilst the ones on sticks or walking frames seemed to block passageways by walking 2 or 3 abreast. All in all a very disappointing experience and one I will not repeat. The difference between the Royal Caribean experience and the P&O Aurora experience is so vast it cannot sensibly be measured in my view. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Food really is not up to the standard you would expect from a cruise ship. Tasteless, stale bread and sandwiches little choice on food for late buffet. Reception staff that really could not be bothered and lied to us on more that one ... Read More
Food really is not up to the standard you would expect from a cruise ship. Tasteless, stale bread and sandwiches little choice on food for late buffet. Reception staff that really could not be bothered and lied to us on more that one occastion. Entertainment was nothing to write home and very standard with only one half decent act on board. The restaurants that you have to pay for and the main dining room in the evening are the best place to eat. Breakfast is very poor overall and this ship seems to be Benidorm at sea, So if you like you cheeky chap cockney gizza this is the cruise ship for you. Iwill never book with P&O again. We have booked for IONA first voyage its now getting cancelled and I will take the lose on the deposit and not bother giving them any more for my money again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Had been on the ship previously about 8 years ago - it had been updated since then but still looking sad and tired in some of the outside areas. On a positive note, the food has to be some of the best I have ever had on a cruise. The ... Read More
Had been on the ship previously about 8 years ago - it had been updated since then but still looking sad and tired in some of the outside areas. On a positive note, the food has to be some of the best I have ever had on a cruise. The Horizon restaurant deserves special mention - the choice and quality was incredible, and the staff some of the most helpful I have ever experienced. Medina Restaurant staff not so friendly, no eye contact, no conversation other than matters relating to the menu; on occasion service very slow, one night over two hours for dinner..... Entertainment: Headliners superb shows, have some very talented staff; however some of the other shows/entertainment very poor during the evening. Daytime - When I go on holiday to the sun, I do not want to go inside for the entertainment during the day - okay some people might like the respite from the sun, but hardly anything outside during the day around the pool, might get the odd 30mins of music, but other than that, zilch !!! Outside cabin and steward ok - but very small - if it had to house 4 people you wouldn't be able to move!!! I know that the ship is going to adults only next year, and all the children paraphenalia will be removed, maybe that will improve the back terrace and maybe the entertainment will improve ...... but I won't hold my breath. P&O really need to up their game, and not be stuck with the same entertainment 20 years down the line - other cruise companies can do it, why can't they? Still have a soft spot for P&O but think we will be looking elsewhere in future. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
My family booked onto this cruise as a birthday gift for my brother turning 21. We have been on a few cruises before and this is the first time I've ever experienced any issues. First issue was that we requested cabins with baths. ... Read More
My family booked onto this cruise as a birthday gift for my brother turning 21. We have been on a few cruises before and this is the first time I've ever experienced any issues. First issue was that we requested cabins with baths. Travel agent said not a problem but upon embarkation we found out that only one cabin had one. Tried to complain to P&O about this but they explained they were fully booked. We're not demanding passengers, We just expect to have the same kind of service you would have in a high street restaurant at the very minimum. However any time we ordered a drink, food or such outside of the restaurants, we would have a very rude reaction from the staff. We bought a pepsi card, every time we tried to use it, we would have the staff member look at us and walk off without saying so much as a "sure thing!" or "Not a problem!". The cruise we were on had a number of young stag do's on board so we assume that the staff were overworked and stressed out by how intimidating they were being but it's still no excuse to treat other passengers that way. We had pre-ordered a birthday cake for my brothers 21st to be delivered to the table at sindhu, they didn't know what happened to the cake after we enquired. The next day we were told they "found it" and delivered it to the table. I know they tried to do right but having a cake a day late isn't what we paid for. Amongst this, The buffet area was mislabeling food, I had an allergic reaction as they listed fish as chicken. I brought it to the attention of the manager at the time who just took all the labels off the food and walked off. Complained the next morning and was told it was going to be looked into. To give credit where credit is due, The team at Sindhu were fantastic and so was the food! Our waiter at dinner as well as our wine waiter were also top class. It's just a shame that outside of dinnertime, we were treated incredibly badly. The locations were great, the weather was also great so it's hard to say the entire holiday is ruined, I just remember on previous cruises we would be so happy to get back on board the ship because we'd be treated well and have good food and drink no matter what we experienced on shore. I think this cruise was ruined by the stag do's to be honest. I don't mind people having fun but when they are intimidating staff and passengers, getting extremely drunk and rowdy, someone should cut off their alcohol supply. I'm also shocked that a few of them were smoking weed on the top deck by the pool and no staff tried to stop them. I think they were scared and the exhaustion was taken out on other passengers for this rowdy groups behaviour. This whole experience has left me never wanting to use P&O/Carnival Group again and I'd advise anybody looking to take a cruise on the aurora to take a second think. I met other Cruise Critic users on board who had similar experiences and I expect there to be a few more from the same journey to share the same reviews. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
The staff on board Aurora were wonderful, especially the dining staff who were polite and professional. I was particularly impressed with the Horizon buffet staff who helped the disabled/elderly choose their meals and carrying their ... Read More
The staff on board Aurora were wonderful, especially the dining staff who were polite and professional. I was particularly impressed with the Horizon buffet staff who helped the disabled/elderly choose their meals and carrying their trays to their tables etc. The entertainment team were good, especially Karl who had tons of energy and really put effort into making you enjoy your holiday. Headliners were on every other evening and their dancing was great but the girls did tend to screech the high notes! P&O brought guest bands on-board throughout the cruise and The Runaround Kids were amazing - really got the ship partying. The cabins are looking a bit tired and dated but were extremely clean and the rest of the ship was spotlessly clean. Some people opted out of paying gratuities and considering how hard the staff worked I thought this was a little unfair. All the shore excursions were well organised and P&O staff were there to guide you to the correct coach etc - it couldn't have been easier! My only criticism of the whole holiday is to do with disembarkation. Packed bags have to be on the corridor before you go to dinner on the last evening, and you need to vacate your cabin by 8am. Waiting in the room for our allocated disembarkation time was long and tedious with no drinks or newspapers to keep people occupied. Felt like P&O were more interested in getting the ship ready for the new arrivals. Overall a great holiday though!! Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We chose this cruise because of the Itinerary and we have cruised with P&O many times before. Dining arrangements have changed over the years with the advent of Freedom Dining which we tried once but changed back to Club dining as I ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the Itinerary and we have cruised with P&O many times before. Dining arrangements have changed over the years with the advent of Freedom Dining which we tried once but changed back to Club dining as I don't like having to have a pager at peak periods. With prefer second sitting at 8:30pm as it allows time when returning from ashore. We have always preferred a table with 6 - 8 persons and the restaurant managers have always provided us with like minded and interesting people to share with. This was not the case this year as we had a table to ourselves and several other larger tables had people missing a lot of the time. Whilst I appreciate some guests were visiting other restaurants it appears freedom dining was the main cause of this cultural change. The ship takes a bit of getting use to in terms of layout. The choice of Beer or Larger can be frustrating in terms of what is types are sold in different bars and in some only small bottles are sold at inflated prices. The Staff were friendly and the entertainment was good. Access to the various cities from the ports of call was easy whether going on one's own or choosing an excursion. Whilst Zeebrugge does not rate high on visitors list like Brugge I was keen to see the Memorial to the Royal Navy and Royal Marines at Zeebrugge together with St George's walk given that it will be 100 years ago on St George's 2018 that the blocking of the canal entrance took place with it supporting raids there and Ostend for which 11 Victoria Crosses were awarded. Knowledge of this action seemed lacking from crew members I spoke to. The shuttle bus service to Blankenberge was appreciated as an alternative visit to Brugge. Unlike other Cruise Ships I have been on there was also a lack of interesting Lectures or talks whilst at sea. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We chose this cruise as it was visiting Hamburg, Oslo and Amsterdam sad well as Copenhagenn and Zeebrugge which we had previously visited. Unfortunately we did not make Amsterdam due to severe winds in the North Sea. We loved the food ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was visiting Hamburg, Oslo and Amsterdam sad well as Copenhagenn and Zeebrugge which we had previously visited. Unfortunately we did not make Amsterdam due to severe winds in the North Sea. We loved the food and always ate in the Medina restaurant on anytime dining and enjoyed the company of all the people that we met. The entertainment was brilliant especially Helen Ward-Jackson who sang Adelle as well as Cabaret songs on another night. We really enjoyed the Four tunes especially their rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody. the headliners theatre group were also great to watch and possibly the best crew ship singers and dancers that we have experienced. We did three organised tours and we were more than happy with the costs incurred. Our cabin D143 was kept spotlessly clean by our cabin steward Val and he is a credit to P & O. Aurora is a lovely ship and a joy to travel on it is the right size of ship please do not decommission it as it is a perfect size! Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Our friends had been trying to persuade us we would love cruising for many years, so this year we decided to give it a try. We chose the canary cruise as it fitted in well with school holidays. We have a 10 year old boy and also travelled ... Read More
Our friends had been trying to persuade us we would love cruising for many years, so this year we decided to give it a try. We chose the canary cruise as it fitted in well with school holidays. We have a 10 year old boy and also travelled with friends and their 10 year old. The night before, we stayed at the Southampton Central travel lodge. This was clean and comfortable. Parking was limited, but we were able to pull up outside and drop off/pick up luggage, and there was plenty of parking a short distance away. The hotel was well situated, near to the shopping centre where there was a great selection of restaurants and bars. The embarkation process was great. We arrived 30 minutes early, handed over our car and were processed straight onto the ship. I don't know if they were using more than one entrance, but we did notice later that lots of families had had their photos taken on boarding the ship; we never had that option. Once on board, we did feel that we were not given much information about the sequence of events. We were anticipating a mandatory safety drill (which happened efficiently) and were looking forward to the 'sailaway'. Unfortunately we missed this as there were no announcements made. Our cabin was great - very clean, reasonably spacious and very comfortable. Our steward was efficient and very unobtrusive - our son had a sofa bed, which he said was more comfortable than his bed at home, and this was cleared away in a morning whilst we were at breakfast and set up again in the evening whilst we were at dinner. The toilet blocked a couple of times, but a quick phone call to reception and the problem was sorted very quickly, from outside the cabin. The food was amazing! We had breakfast and lunch in the Horizon self service restaurant, where there was a good choice of hot & cold dishes. Although it was school holidays and the cruise was fully booked, we never had any problems in getting a table or having to queue for food. The staff were very efficient at clearing the tables and keeping everything scrupulously clean. We had afternoon tea twice, once in the Medina restaurant and once in the buffet. The tea was nicer in the restaurant, but I preferred the flexibility of the buffet where you could choose the exact cake you wanted without feeling you might be depriving someone else on your table. I am sure, however, that if we had requested extra cakes it would not have been a problem. We were on freedom dining and always dined in the Medina. The food was fantastic - always lots of choice and the waiters were friendly. On a couple of occasions we praised a particular dessert and they brought us a second helping! Our son is a fussy eater, but even he managed to find lots of things he liked from the children's menu, and the staff were great at bringing the kids meals out quickly so they could go to kids club and we could continue our meal at a more leisurely pace. There was also a fantastic buffet at 10;30 pm, but sadly we were usually too full to manage any. We went to a few shows - one based around 70's hits, a Queen tribute and an Adele tribute. They were fantastic. I would advise arriving in plenty of time if you are in a group and want to sit together. We felt the family bingo was a bit lacklustre, and the prizes were a bit naff, but the normal bingo was great fun. Our son and his friend adored the kids club. They were given an itinery at the beginning of the cruise so they could select what they wanted to go to and they wanted to go to everything!! The premises looked a bit sparse for their age group, so we were a bit wary, but they obviously kept them well entertained. Our son is not very sporty, so we were surprised that he often chose to participate in the football coaching, but they really boosted his confidence which was lovely. We didn't really do many excursions as we thought the boys would prefer to be on ship, but we walked along the front in Madeira to the cable car which we all enjoyed, although the toboggans were closed. We also did a paid excursion in Lisbon, going on an amphibious vehicle which meant we could see all the sights without the children moaning that they didn't want to walk and they enjoyed the river part too. It was well worth the money and next time we will probably book more excursions. The only minor criticism of the whole cruise was that every talk seemed geared up at trying to make you spend more money. My friend and I went to a pamper party on day 2, which was one sales pitch after another and I had a manicure which was excellent but spoiled by the pressure I felt to book another treatment. I was also a little concerned about treatments which were being advocated to treat health conditions, as I felt that people could be misled and some of the claims sounded rather spurious (I am a doctor myself). Overall, we all agreed that it was the best holiday we had ever had - so much so that both families have booked another cruise for next year. Unfortunately, one of our cases went missing at Southampton. No one seemed particularly concerned to help us, or the other handful of families who seemed to have befallen a similar fate. Eventually, we had to fill in a lost baggage claim and are still waiting to find out if it will be returned to us. On the plus side, I have not had to do much washing!!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
My wife and I have been on a few dozen cruises on many different lines and ships over the years. I'm not one for keeping count but I'm guessing we've done about thirty cruises in all. We chose to go on Aurora simply because ... Read More
My wife and I have been on a few dozen cruises on many different lines and ships over the years. I'm not one for keeping count but I'm guessing we've done about thirty cruises in all. We chose to go on Aurora simply because some members of our family were going on her and we wanted to join them. There were nine people in our group - six adults and three kids. I have to say that both the ship and the service exceeded my expectations. Embarkation was quick and efficient. The room (balcony C321) was immediately available - and it was clean and perfectly fulfilled our needs (and we normally book a suite). Because it was a smaller ship, by modern standards, it didn't feel too busy in the public areas. We had anytime dining (nine of us) and we didn't have to wait for a table at any time. A first for us! All the staff on board were friendly and keen to help. Again, that's not always been the case on previous cruises on different ships. The three kids were well catered for in the kids' clubs (including the night nursery). The food was outstanding and there was a very wide choice on offer in the various restaurants. Not once were any of us disappointed with any meal ordered. I don't normally write reviews but on this occasion I made an exception because I wanted to give credit where it is due. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We chose this mini cruise for 4 nights to Amsterdam & Brugges to try cruising as a family for the first time. My children are 17 & 13, we booked interconnecting rooms, these were the larger inside cabins. Plenty of space for ... Read More
We chose this mini cruise for 4 nights to Amsterdam & Brugges to try cruising as a family for the first time. My children are 17 & 13, we booked interconnecting rooms, these were the larger inside cabins. Plenty of space for clothes, good sized bathroom, comfy beds. We booked Freedom dining, since we thought the children may prefer this and we wouldn't be restricted where we ate. I had also pre-booked two of the Select restaurants on the ship, having read bad reviews about the food on board. I needn't have worried, we ate in Sindhu, the curry restaurant, which was simply superb. The Beach House, which was ok, but it was on the formal night so felt very overdressed in there, the Horizon restaurant is ok as a self serve for a quick snack or breakfast but The Medina was lovely, food outstanding and with waiter service. We only had to wait for a table to become available once. The ship is medium sized, has 3 pools, a cinema, theatre, golf simulator (which wasn't actually open when we sailed), lots of bars and lounges to relax in. My only criticism would be that when we finally docked in Amsterdam (having taken 24 hours to get there), it was very slow getting off the ship. We didn't book any excursions, choosing instead to make our own way and have free choice. We visited Anne Frank's house in Amsterdam for 9Euros, opposed to 35Euros each going with P&O. I would certainly think about another cruise with P&O, probably for longer and without the children next time. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Our 10th cruise with P&O but our first on Aurora. Having experienced poor service on a 4 day cruise on Ventura a few months earlier, we were concerned that P&O standards were falling, but our confidence was restored with this ... Read More
Our 10th cruise with P&O but our first on Aurora. Having experienced poor service on a 4 day cruise on Ventura a few months earlier, we were concerned that P&O standards were falling, but our confidence was restored with this cruise. Aurora is a lovely ship. She has all the essential attributes including a wide, full circuit, level (no steps) promenade deck, a Crows Nest and a beautiful design (particularly the tiered stern). Being a small ship (by today's standards) she is easy to get around. We cruised out of the school holiday season so the profile was over 80% retired, which suited us even though we aren't retired, as the passengers were lovely and through Freedom Dining we met a lot of very interesting people who we chatted to around the ship or in ports. The ship had a real 'community' feel. We consider ourselves to be 'foodies' and were concerned at the number of negative comments and reviews regarding the food in the main dining rooms that we had read prior to our cruise. We dined in the Medina Restaurant and can honestly say that the food (quality and choice) was excellent throughout and the service was superb. We had different waiters most days and every single one, bar none, was First Class. The Glass House was fantastic (food and service) but hardly used. The Beach House was lovely but the new menu isn't as good as the one it has replaced. Sindhu on Aurora is poor compared to the version we have experienced on Britannia and Ventura. It is basically an extension of the coffee shop (so very noisy) and, again, the new menu isn't as good as the previous menu. It's a shame that Aurora doesn't have an Epicurean restaurant, as the version on Britannia is our favourite restaurant at sea. Entertainment was mixed. The Headliners Theatre Company was the weakest we have seen. They were good dancers but poor singers. Pianist and singer David Mairs was also poor and could murder some great songs. However, Harmony Duo (classical violinist and pianist), Clare Bonsu (singer), Caravan (particularly Bee Gees tribute) and speaker Diane Simpson were all fantastic. There was very little to do during the day. Our cabin (Accessible Balcony) was very good but, as with all cabins, sound insulation was poor between adjoining cabins. We could hear the TV of the cabin one side and our neighbour the other side woke us up between 5.30 and 6.30am every single morning with a sneezing fit. He made no attempt to stifle the noise so we had no need for an alarm clock. Joking aside, it was infuriating. The TV's on Aurora are pathetic. They are too small to watch, picture quality is poor, reception patchy, sound crackly and no interactive features whatsoever. Having enjoyed the superb versions on Britannia (large screen, HD quality, fully interactive etc), this was going back 30 years. The atrium on decks 6,7 and 8 is narrow and causes bottlenecks. The shops are also tiny. The ship does present some challenges for those in wheelchairs. The Curzon Theatre and Playhouse are poorly designed as there are only a couple of seats where wheelchair users can sit alongside their companion and other less disabled passengers tend to sit in them as they are the only ones that don't involve a step. You cannot get from front to midships on deck 8 in a wheelchair as there are steps. There are 6 doors out to the promenade, but none are automated (there is one automated door out to deck 13). There is an automated door from Champions to the promenade, but it has a heavy solid conventional door behind it (and a No Entry sign!) which renders it useless. In spite of the limitations and shortcomings (no ship is perfect after all), this was our best cruise to date. Aurora is a lovely ship. We experienced friendly and efficient service throughout. The itinerary (Baltics) was superb. We felt no movement at all (although seas were flat calm throughout). The passenger mix was lovely. Food and service in the main restaurant was faultless. This was cruising as it should be. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Aurora Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 4.0 N/A
Dining 3.0 3.9
Entertainment 4.0 3.5
Public Rooms 5.0 4.1
Fitness & Recreation 4.0 N/A
Family 5.0 3.5
Shore Excursions 4.0 N/A
Enrichment Activities 3.0 N/A
Service 4.0 4.2
Value for Money 5.0 N/A

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