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Sail Date: August 2019
Been 6 times now and this was up there with the rest of them. SHIP Been on the larger ones but Aurora is my favourite. Very attractive ship with lovely wide Promenade Deck and tiered aft. RESTAURANTS Medina and Horizon ... Read More
Been 6 times now and this was up there with the rest of them. SHIP Been on the larger ones but Aurora is my favourite. Very attractive ship with lovely wide Promenade Deck and tiered aft. RESTAURANTS Medina and Horizon restaurants were excellent as always. Great selection of food and always fresh and hot. Everyone smiled and welcomed guests in and out. Where we had to wait for a table for two in the Meridian the wait was only 25 minutes max. Just enough time to pop to Andersons bar to enjoy a pint. We also paid £15 each to see the galley where they make and prepare all the dishes and it was a real eye-opener. Spotless and everyone working to a Trojan standard. Told there is only one Soup Chef and one Potato Chef, etc. This is partly so if there are any complaints the Galley Manager knows who to talk with and also where they are only cooking these items day-in-day-out they always come out perfect. If you do this make sure you have a very early breakfast or none as the visit starts at 10.30am and they serve large trays of canapes along with Champagne. SERVICE Five star throughout. Many staff who you made eye contact with would say 'Good Morning/Afternoon' as they passed you in the corridor. This included the lowest-ranked staff all the way up to the officers. Ask for anything and you will get it. SHOWS The Headliners Theatre Company performers were outstanding as were the comedians and guest singers. The show choreography was also really good. ISSUES Just a couple. Room Service used to be free. It still is for breakfast but other things are chargeable now. The mattress was only 5 years old but was one with springs that had had their day. Woke up the first couple of mornings with bad backs but reception sorted it. When booking it is also not made clear that you CANNOT do Freedom Dining unless you are a Select booking or you are very lucky. We assumed Select booking meant you could choose which fixed dining time you could have, ie 6.30 or 8.30. We assumed that Freedom Dining was for everyone - but beware it isn't. The dining Manager showed us a list of over 150 people who were trying to change to Freedom Dining. Maybe some of these also made this mistake. Due to personal health reasons we did manage to get this changed and greatly thank P&O for this. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
First time back on Aurora since the refit. Although we like the modern, larger ships, Aurora seems to draw us in. We had a fantastic time. We were allocated early dining on a table for eight. The first night we were alone so ... Read More
First time back on Aurora since the refit. Although we like the modern, larger ships, Aurora seems to draw us in. We had a fantastic time. We were allocated early dining on a table for eight. The first night we were alone so bagged the best seats near the window. The following night, 4 others joined us and we couldn't have wished for better table companions. We had some great laughs and good evenings together. Food was great in the mdr, good selection and always well cooked. The buffet had good choices but we only had the odd breakfast and lunch there, but was sneaking up for cheese and biscuits and hot chocolate to take back to the cabin. Service was very good in all areas, although I think their efficiency can sometimes be mistaken for trying to rush you. As soon as you finished, the dirty plate was gone and next course was on its way. Entertainment was great in general, although the house band were very poor and one of the entertainment team just didn't seem interested, reading her kindle in the DJ booth and sighing when anyone requested a song. The headliners were fantastic although not usually my thing but did enjoy their shows. Soul kinda wonderful, the Base Tones and Phil Melbourne had us dancing or laughing every night. In summary, despite her creaking and swaying, we still managed to have a fantastic holiday and can't wait to return. Andy Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We had a wonderful Northern Lights Cruise. Our first cruise, we were new to every aspect and expected some hiccups... There were none. Embarkation was incredibly swift, staff at port really helpful too. We were on the ship and in ... Read More
We had a wonderful Northern Lights Cruise. Our first cruise, we were new to every aspect and expected some hiccups... There were none. Embarkation was incredibly swift, staff at port really helpful too. We were on the ship and in the restaurant having lunch before our check-in time. The ship is lovely and I'm sure will be even more so after its 'spruce up' later this month. Lovely areas to sit and relax. Attentive staff in all areas. Cabin (E139) was lovely, everything you needed. Our cabin steward was fantastic. We kept it tidy anyway but it was spotless after he had been in and shined the mirrors and replenished supplies. A very warm and friendly chap. The dining was lovely. We had planned freedom but we're given a 6.30pm on a table of 8 in the Alexandria restaurant. We weren't sure if we wanted that as that meant sitting with strangers. But we gave it a go and we now have new friends! The food was lovely. Some things weren't to my taste but you get that in any restaurant. Steaks were cooked perfectly. Our lovely trio of friendly welcoming waiters made the whole dining experience extra special. Dining in the Horizon buffet restaurant for other meals was also very good. Again occasional things not to my taste but whilst mindful not to be wasteful I didn't eat something for the sake of it and would try something else instead. Waiting staff in here again very nice. We went along to the evening entertainment several nights and thoroughly enjoyed it. The pianist was excellent too and we wished we had sat and listened to him more. Quizzes, cards, a few pounds in the casino all good fun. Getting on and off at ports was organised well. Ports were all lovely. Daily horizon magazine detailed what was going on when and where on the ship. There was so much we could have done if we hadnt wanted to be up on deck so much. The art lecturer was most likely very interesting and the gallery had some beautiful pieces. The photography lectures would have been interesting too. But being on the deck taking in the majesty of the fjords with their snow covered mountains was the place we spent most of our days. Or sitting in a window seat in the Horizon restaurant having a cup of tea (and small cake). The pools were open and two heated but we missed our chances to go in. We saw the gym but rather than go there we decided to not use the lifts and to walk around the promenade deck. 3.2 turns = 1 mile. .... As this was the Nothern Light's Cruise, we hoped to see the lights and we were incredibly fortunate to see them twice. One show from the ship in Alta lasted around 30min it was beautiful although not very strong. The following night sailing away from Alta around 8.30pm a wonderful display lasting nearly two hours. Absolutely mesmerising!! They had also been seen the previous night on one of the tours. And then sadly the cruise draws to an end. Luggage outside cabin the night before disembarking. We got up for breakfast. Met at our designated venue and were led off the ship. Straight to a hanger where we picked up our luggage, rolled the trolley outside and got the next taxi waiting in the rank. Couldn't have been anymore straightforward. We had driven to Southampton the night before sailing. Used the justpark app to rent a space and stayed in a bed and breakfast in the centre. Got parking and B&B for just £100 and meant no stress of same day travelling. ... Almost all perfect... The only thing that I would change are the very small number of whinging passengers (which I assume you find on any holiday). I find it is best if you just use listening to and watching them as another form of entertainment... Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
This was our first time cruising and we are glad that we chose P & O's Aurora to celebrate our special anniversary year. From check-in to disembarkation, the whole P&O experience was extremely smooth and efficient. We ... Read More
This was our first time cruising and we are glad that we chose P & O's Aurora to celebrate our special anniversary year. From check-in to disembarkation, the whole P&O experience was extremely smooth and efficient. We chose CPS parking to leave our car with, and felt like VIPs when we arrived as they unloaded our cases and took our car away. Having been quite independent travellers having to encounter airports over the past few years, we found the whole having your bags efficiently delivered to your cabin for you quite a wonder. Disembarkation was equally as efficient thanks to both P&O and CPS's services, with our bags delivered outside and our car ready and only a short walk away. Aurora is a traditional mid-size ship with plenty going on, but not so large that you get lost or feel intimidated by too many fellow passengers. The public areas are all very smart and clean and we particularly liked the ‘Crow’s Nest’ bar overlooking the front of the ship. We mainly picked this cruise because of the itinerary (including Venice and Dubrovnik), but we also enjoyed the relaxed sea days between days in port. We had fantastic weather, so spent many an hour sunbathing by one of the three pools or dolphin watching. There were plenty of sun-beds and chairs on deck, so didn't ever encounter any arguments over people marking their favourite spot with towels. The only negative about the Aurora was the onboard gym which was quite small with limited equipment. Even though we are gym bunnies in our home life, the lack of equipment and efficient air-con gave us a good excuse to take a break from the gym and walk the lovely prom deck instead which was much more fun. The food and service on Aurora was excellent. We were on Freedom Dining and never encountered getting a table at the time we wanted to dine (which was generally quite early) whether we wanted to share or have a table for two. We generally ate in the Medina restaurant for breakfast and dinner, as we felt we would be less likely to overeat when the food is served to us. Both the food and service were excellent here - we especially enjoyed the Beef Wellington which was served on one of the Marco Pierre White Gala dinner nights. Also enjoyed occasionally visiting the Medina for afternoon tea as the scones were beautifully warm and fresh. The MaitreD' and all the staff were friendly, polite and efficient, as were all the staff onboard who would always give you a friendly 'hello' when you passed them. The Horizons buffet was also pretty good - the hot meals were generally quite traditionally British such as a daily roast dinner (possibly to please the older crowd), so we generally opted for the salads and cold meats and fish which were all good, as were the yummy desserts. We also tried the speciality restaurants 'Sindhu' and 'The Beach House', the former being excellent but the latter not so (just bigger portions of American style food). There was plenty to do on the ship, especially on sea days, and everything going on was outlined in the daily 'Horizons' pamphlet. We particularly liked the quizzes and destination talks by Sam, but there was also activities such as deck quoits, shuffle board, water colour painting etc etc for those interested. There were clubs for the children, so despite it being the school holidays it never felt that there were too many kids running around. In fact, the children were generally better behaved than some of the old people on board (some of whom, who had perhaps been on too many cruises in their time, were a bit moany!!!). There was generally quite a mixed demographic on board, but more elderly cruisers than I expected with it being school holidays. We noted that the service and facilities offered to disabled guests appeared to be excellent, even though we didn't require this ourselves. On port days, we did an equal mix of organised excursions and our own thing. The tours we picked were all excellent and efficiently organised, the only drawback being the whistle-stop nature of our visits due to the time constraints. We did the 'Classic Mount Etna' on Sicily, 'Venetian Islands and Gondola Ride' in Venice and the wine tasting trip in Sardinia and thoroughly enjoyed all of them. We also noted that P&Os organisation of tenders and shuttle buses was good, the only niggle being our return from Dubrovnik when we had to queue for a while as it was busy and the coaches were having trouble getting in. We loved the way that P&O thoughtfully provided cold water to guests returning to the ship, as it had reached over 35 degrees on some of our port days. Some of the evening entertainment including the resident 'Headliners' was a bit cheesy, but good fun. We particularly liked the 'Destination Dance' and 'New Romantics' evenings which took us back a bit. The highlight was an excellent soul/Motown group called 'The Flyrights' who had the audience up on their feet. Everything was very much geared towards a British audience, from tea and biscuits in the cabin to the 'We'll meet again' show on the last night. I would imagine that non Brits might be a bit bemused by it all! Being first time cruisers, we may be a little starry eyed about everything P&O and Aurora had to offer, but we thoroughly enjoyed our first cruise. So much so that we have already booked for next year! Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
Great cruise which took in Cadiz, Messina, Corfu, Dubrovnik, Venice & Gibraltar. Past P & O cruisers but our first time on Aurora. Lovely sized ship - not too big. Atmosphere felt very friendly & relaxed - maybe as the average ... Read More
Great cruise which took in Cadiz, Messina, Corfu, Dubrovnik, Venice & Gibraltar. Past P & O cruisers but our first time on Aurora. Lovely sized ship - not too big. Atmosphere felt very friendly & relaxed - maybe as the average age of passengers was late 60's / 70's. At times it could feel like we were on a Saga cruise - we are 43 and 44, but our fellow cruisers were in the main really pleasant and sociable. Entertainment was varied in the evenings - excellent resident band Caravan who could perform a wide range of genres, Headliners Theatre Group performed energetic song and dance routines such as Abba, Queen, and Motown. Some guest acts - we saw an excellent Tenor called Roy Locke and a vocalist called Claire Bunso who did a great Shirley Bassey tribute. Tom O'Connor was also performing - we did not see him but were told he was very good. There was also a comedian/variety act on for 2 nights, some classical musician acts, and a unique ukulele act but we did not see these. The daytime entertainment was somewhat limited and I felt geared more to the older cruisers - Line Dancing, Quoits, Shuffleboard, Bingo, Watercolour Art classes, Whist, Bridge and other Dance classes. There is a cinema with 1 or 2 films daily at various times which were pretty good. Our cabin had a Balcony, a shower over a small bath, and a small sitting area - perfect for our needs. It was kept very clean by our steward who was friendly and approachable. The food on board was very good - great selection in both the Horizon Buffet ( referred to by some as the "smash & grab " ) and the main dining rooms. The specialty restaurants were really good and Sindhu in particular was well worth the supplement. We ate there twice as it was so good. We had done some research in advance so only went on 2 shore excursions, one of which was simply a transfer from Messina to Taormina. The Game of Thrones Tour in Dubrovnik was fantastic taking in the old town and some beautiful gardens where we were shown around filming locations by a lady who had been an extra in the series. The other ports we explored on our own but we heard very good feedback about some of the tours. There was an excellent member of staff called Sam who did regular port talks and even did a commentary as we sailed into Venice. Each port was different and we enjoyed our time in each one. There were 3 pool and jacuzzi areas on this ship. The Terrace Pool at the back was very peaceful with a small number of sunbeds. the shops onboard sold the usual cruise fare and in my opinion could do with updating. The size of this ship meant that unlike on some larger ones, you would often bump into the same passengers for a chat which was really lovely. Whilst this ship would probably be a bit boring for those who like more activity / nightlife, it was a really relaxing experience. The captain Wesley Dunlop is quite new to P & O. It was lovely to see him greeting passengers as we went ashore at a couple of ports. We enjoy the Black Tie nights and there were 4 of these on our cruise. Finally, there was some gastro-intestinal illness a few days into the cruise. Increased hygiene measures were introduced and it was kept under control as a result. Read Less
21 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
We have just returned home from a wonderful cruise on P & O Aurora. The staff were all welcoming and very efficient. We chose a delux balcony cabin, there was loads of drawer & wardrobe space. Our cabin steward was excellent, ... Read More
We have just returned home from a wonderful cruise on P & O Aurora. The staff were all welcoming and very efficient. We chose a delux balcony cabin, there was loads of drawer & wardrobe space. Our cabin steward was excellent, nothing was too much trouble. We chose Freedom Dining which worked very well, we tended to eat at a similar time each evening nod were able to have the same table which meant that we got to know the waiters who got used to our preferences. The choice of food was good and well served. We used the buffet on a few occasions but preferred to be served in the restaurant for most of our meals. The entertainment was good, the Headliners excellent as always and the other entertainment varied and of an excellent standard. Embarkation & disembarkation was well handled we didn't have a long wait for either. We have cruised on other cruise lines and don't go with the intention of finding fault, there are always little things that we like better on one or another but nothing that would make us stop using any cruise line. The captain on Aurora was Wesley Dunlop who is fairly new to P & O and definitely an asset to the company. Without exception we found every member of staff to be professional & helpful in whichever field they worked. The itinerary was good and included ports in Spain, Scily, Corfu, Dubrovnik, Venice, Malta & Gibtaltar We have already booked 3 more cruises on P & O so you can see we are completely satisfied. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
Had an amazing time. First stopped over in Southampton & parked car for a week here. Embarkation truly very well planned & organised by the staff. They managed to get us on around 15 mins earlier than anticipated. Service on ... Read More
Had an amazing time. First stopped over in Southampton & parked car for a week here. Embarkation truly very well planned & organised by the staff. They managed to get us on around 15 mins earlier than anticipated. Service on board was great & had no problems at all. Had some fantastic scenery in Bergen, Flam, Geiranger & Stavanger on the excursions. Cabin was just as expected, nothing spectacular but we knew what we were having beforehand. Very clean though & comfortable beds. Very nice fluffy towels every day. Special thanks to Aurora our cabin steward who pointed us the right way to go on a number occasions & she knew our names & exactly our cabin number in doing so. Also to Jansen our table waitress in the restaurant. Very professional & polite but also funny. Entertainment was better than expected & the Abba tribute, Elvis & the Boogie night were very good. They worked very hard. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2013
This cruise on Aurora was to be a special cruise for our 40th wedding and husbands 65th birthday. Ship found to be tatty and generally food and service below what to expect since our last cruise with P&O. Noise in cabin from slamming ... Read More
This cruise on Aurora was to be a special cruise for our 40th wedding and husbands 65th birthday. Ship found to be tatty and generally food and service below what to expect since our last cruise with P&O. Noise in cabin from slamming drawers and doors in adjoining cabins and unable to sit out on balcony most days due to smoking on balcony either side. Had to book tours due to ship location in most ports of call due to husband being unable to walk far and no shuttle buses in most ports.Tours expensive and quality of transport very poor. Pestered all day long to buy expensive drinks by bar staff. Everything on board is geared up to get money off you and now we have finished up with a large debt on credit card. We think we were miss sold the cruise has we paid full getaway fare after been assured by P&O that it was doubtful it would come down due to high demand and if it came down we may get upgrade which we did not get. The price dropped by £1200 for the both of us 4 weeks later. Last cruise we will do with P&O. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2011
We'd heard a lot of good things about P&O (including here), and were looking forward to our first cruise with them. While not BAD, it certainly didn't live up to it's reputation. Food was mediocre at best, service ... Read More
We'd heard a lot of good things about P&O (including here), and were looking forward to our first cruise with them. While not BAD, it certainly didn't live up to it's reputation. Food was mediocre at best, service inconsistent, entertainment was a mixed bag with some pretty good stuff and some amateur hour quality, special interest lectures were consistently poor except for those given by the cruise director himself. Aurora herself is beautiful, but seemed very cluttered, with shops stuck in the hallways. The mattress sagged and was lumpy, should have been replaced last year. Noisiest ship we've ever been on, we could hear both adjacent cabins plus our neighbors on the floor above. No WiFi in the cabins, I had to go to the computer room itself to log on.Orangery cafeteria was very disorganized, often not set up for lunch by noon. They usually ran short of glasses, and when I asked for more was often greeted by a blank stare.The pool is fresh water, which means it is very expensive to fill. So after draining it due to rough weather, they declined to refill until our next main port.Tender service at the smaller ports was extremely inefficient compared with other ships we've been on. At one port they only put 2 boats in the water - this for 1800 passengers and a 30 minute ride to shore. Only about half the passengers that wanted even got ashore before it was time to get back aboard.I could go on, but you get the idea. As I said, it was not so bad that we'd absolutely refuse to go again, but we'll take any other option first.The only excellent item was the bridge classes and tournament. We're big bridge fans (not all that good, just love it), and that ended up being the only highlight of each sea day. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2010
We have cruised on a number of different ships in the past including P&O so kind of knew what to expect. We boarded at Southampton and embarkation was very smooth and was on the ship in no time, luggage is carry on unless you have a ... Read More
We have cruised on a number of different ships in the past including P&O so kind of knew what to expect. We boarded at Southampton and embarkation was very smooth and was on the ship in no time, luggage is carry on unless you have a bigger case, when they will take on for you. Ship is nice and layout it fairly easy, very similar to Oriana with Andersons bar, not as glizty as the likes of Princess, RCCL etc, but think that is expected on P&O. We hated the layout of the Orangery, feels very cramped and bit canteen like, I know they are always quite like feeding time at the zoo but this was worse than anything id experienced before, didnt think food was great either in here, not much choice, whether this is due to it being a mini cruise? Our cabin was lovely, we chose a balcony deluxe room which was pretty roomy and a nice size bathroom. Entertainment - Only went to 1 show which was the same as the Oriana 2 years ago, so they cant update these very often, we are on the Oceana in a few weeks so be interesting to see if they are the same as we have previously seen, we are not that bothered with the shows so not a major issue for us. Dining - We ate in the speciality restaurants both times, Cafe Bordeaux and the Pennant grill, both were enjoyable, prefered the food at Cafe Bordeaux (not as good as Orina Rhodes though)and service was brilliant at the Pennant Grill. Service elsewhere on the ship was very average, staff did there job but no one really went that extra mile except the staff in the Pennant Grill. Staff are quite surly and no one just says hi like on Princess. Drinks were reasonable, although they had run out of a lot of stuff. Quite a few hen/stag parties on board but they were well behaved. We had a lovely break and always enjoy our cruises and take the rough with the smooth, we would defintely do another mini cruise, however I think anyone that had not cruised before may be put off by doing a mini cruise as things are not quite as well oiled as on a longer cruise, the "extras" are not there and everyone is moving at a very fast pace trying to fit evrything in, in sucha short space, whether this is a reflection of a mini cruise or P&O in general, I guess we will find out on our next P&O trip in June. Read Less
Aurora Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.1
Dining 3.0 3.8
Entertainment 4.0 3.5
Public Rooms 5.0 4.1
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.4
Family 5.0 3.4
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.5
Enrichment 3.0 3.4
Service 4.0 4.2
Value For Money 5.0 3.7
Rates 3.0 3.9

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