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79 P&O Cruises Azura Europe - British Isles & Western Cruise Reviews

Pre-Cruise Flew from Durham Tees Valley to Southampton on Sunday. Less than 3 hours from home to hotel. Pre-booked taxi at Southampton, waiting when we arrived - very slick. Stayed for 2 nights at Novotel, clean, convenient and good value. ... Read More
Pre-Cruise Flew from Durham Tees Valley to Southampton on Sunday. Less than 3 hours from home to hotel. Pre-booked taxi at Southampton, waiting when we arrived - very slick. Stayed for 2 nights at Novotel, clean, convenient and good value. Dinner in the hotel on Sunday but too long a wait on Monday so walked across to the 'golden arches'. Monday visited friends in Cowes via Red Jet - expensive for an adult, cheap for a senior! Embarkation (Tuesday) Taxi from hotel at 12:15, bit slow through the traffic, allocated green X and waited about 25 minutes to be called to check in then about another 25 minutes to clear check-in, photographer and security to board ship. Lunch in buffet - not as busy I expected and easy to join others at a large table. Cabin Inside cabin forward on Barbados Deck; functional and clean just like Ventura and Princess Grand Class Ships. Set up as twin, much more usable space than as a double. Dining We had selected freedom dining for this cruise to guarantee the Meridian restaurant in the centre of the ship. Dined in Meridian on four nights. No wait on any evening, always happy to share, arrived at various times from 7pm to 8.15pm. Three good tables, one dreadful when we shared with three others from one family, Very opinionated male who could only compare food service to fine dining restaurants which was a little unfair, had loads of other complaints which he should have known about if he'd read the brochure. He ruined our dinner that night and it was the black and white formal night - he had on a grey suit, straw trilby and sunglasses!!!! Have to say that food in main dining room was a little disappointing and in one area we weren't happy with the waiters - kept touching you or thrusting menu right in your face. Other areas were better. Two evenings we ate in the Trattoria - what a great experience; excellent service, interesting menu and excellent food. We also ate in XVII one evening - supplement for this cruise was £25pp. What can I say; a wonderful evening with superb food and superlative service, more than worth the supplement. Glasshouse: we had tapas in the glasshouse on the first sea day, this was very good. Buffet: generally ate breakfast and lunch here.Choice is a little limited compared to the American ships but generally OK. We usually had to join a table but never wandered around hunting. Entertainment Attending two Headliners shows; both were enjoyable. Listened to various music ensembles, all good. Phil Collins impersonator was good first time and not so good second time around. Went to cooking demonstration by Atul Kulchar and wine talk by Olly Smith - both were personable and easy to listen to. Theatre was too full to get into Martin Lewis talk. On board Only real disappointment of cruise was the complete lack of organisation when arriving at Port. We were late into Dublin and then Captain announced gangways were open when they weren't and there was a real scrum. I though the crew would have learnt from this but at Brest when again we were late it was even worse. No separation of those on excursions from others and the queue was huge to get off so some on excursions got very upset when they couldn't get off to get to their meet point at the right time. Why did P&O not meet the excursions in the theatre and use one gangway for excursions and one for everyone else??? Read Less
Sail Date September 2010
Embarkation was very well organised and the new Ocean terminal was spacious with a pleasant atmosphere. Azura is a beautiful new ship. We opted for a balcony cabin which was very nice but a little smaller than other balcony cabins we ... Read More
Embarkation was very well organised and the new Ocean terminal was spacious with a pleasant atmosphere. Azura is a beautiful new ship. We opted for a balcony cabin which was very nice but a little smaller than other balcony cabins we have had in the past. The public areas are very stylish and sophisticated. One of our favourite aspects of cruising is the food, however the food in the main dining venue was not very good and a lot of the staff appeared very unhappy and miserable. Our waiters were quite rude; no introduction on the first evening and no greetings each evening on entering the section they were covering. Instead they actually walked away when we approached our table. Also rudely pushing closed menus at us and then shouting over other dining guests 'what do you want?' I also was told off by the waiter for leaving some food on my plate and for leaving a hot drink! This is not what we have experienced before with other P&O OR Princess cruises. It did spoil our dining experience so much that we decided to eat elsewhere. At night the buffet on one side turns into an Italian restaurant and we ate some lovely meals here. The food was delicious and the waiters all very polite with very good service. The food at linch time was also good both in the restaurant and buffet. The room service was very good and easy to order with interactive TV. Entertainment was very good. Ports Cobh very quiet and not much going on here perhaps it is better to go into Cork by train. The train station was right next to the ship. No shuttle was provided at this port. Dublin free shuttle took you to the heart of the city and dropped you at the bus stops for hop on and off buses and tours. However we walked the short distance to Grafton Street for main shopping area. Try Bewleys for delicious scones , cakes and coffees and hot chocolate! Bilbao again free shuttle stopped just around the corner from Guggenheim museum, lovely city, walked around the charming old quarter and explored the shopping area where there is El Cort de Inglis department store - the 7 th floor has a lovely cafe / restaurant and toilet facilities. 6th floor has a good supermarket. Brest free shuttle takes you to three places, the main shopping area was in chaos due to roadworks and lots of upgrading of seating area, etc but I think once this work is completed will be very nice. There was a La Redoute shop here which was good and a 1 - 2 euro shop which had alsorts! Great choice of chocolate shops here! A very good cruise just a pity about the evening meal experiences! Read Less
Sail Date July 2010
Well we tried P&O about 4 years ago - Oceana - not inpressed. Having booked a family suite on RCs Indepence of the seas for the end of the year, we were at a loose end , so we decided to book a cruise from Southampton it inculded ... Read More
Well we tried P&O about 4 years ago - Oceana - not inpressed. Having booked a family suite on RCs Indepence of the seas for the end of the year, we were at a loose end , so we decided to book a cruise from Southampton it inculded Ireland, France and Spain. Our hope was that it would be better than Oceana. saddly not. For five days we had sewerage coming out of the WC in our cabin . We complained to the desk - they came to the cabin 4 times said they had fixed it. Not so - we had to eventually go to purser's desk and cause a major fuss asking to speak to the executive purser - told he was in a meeting until 5pm - the time was then 12pm . well we went to a bar and dicovered him there. When we spoke to him he was totally unhelpful - just denied every think 'No probs on the ship' . When we told him we had met others with the same prob (giving him their cabin number-names) he ran away saying he would get back to us - he did not. Later in the evening a purser found us saying they would try and sort it. It took another 3 days. we asked for compensation we got £330 which in no way really compensated us, having previously asked for them to fly us home.As people who do cruises a lot we always try the specialty restaurants well the Indian was not as good as a sainsburys take away box. 17 is ok but expensive compared to restaurnts on other ships. Our conclusions are that the ship is undermanned, the public areas far too small. The ships ok if you should want Butlins on sea. As for the so-called Executive purser - he is unhelpful , will admit to nothing, blindly supports his staff and we hope we never have to the displeasure of meeting him again. We feel that this is a truthful account of our time on Azura and are very saddened to write this account having never done the like before Read Less
Sail Date May 2010
It came to pass that the Mighty P&O did invite all Portunus Gold Tier Members to a Walkabout tour of the latest addition to their Family . The Azura. The Pilgramage led 1500 of this august band to the impressive Ocean Terminal. And ... Read More
It came to pass that the Mighty P&O did invite all Portunus Gold Tier Members to a Walkabout tour of the latest addition to their Family . The Azura. The Pilgramage led 1500 of this august band to the impressive Ocean Terminal. And there she was resplendent in the Southampton Sun.These lovers of The Crows Nest,Andersons,el et assembled two by two waiting for embarkation.Old friends from bygone Cruises renewed aquaintances as they waited.Wise men Shepherds and Masons waited patiently.We were kitted out with our Boarding Pass swinging jauntily from a natty Lanyard.Ours was Green.The wife did say that it it did not match her shoes or bag but I assured her that no one noticed. So.After much sercurity checks we finally got a first real look at Azura. First The Atrium . Where have I seen that before ? Up and Up and Up to Decks 15,16 and 17 and The Coral Pool and Bar.Nice enough I suppose but nothing special.Except those Sun Loungers.Blue and Brown even I could appreciate that it would be difficult to match accessories.Then The Oasis Spa and The Retreat.It looks an absolute picture.Wicker Sun Loungers,Cabbanas all sheltered under a Canopy similar to that at Goodwood Races.All well and good I hear you say but how much ? Well I heard figures of £10/20 pp per day bandied about and that was just for entrance to this exclusive area.So boys if 'They' insist it may mean only single G n Ts for the duration of your Cruise.Many of the pieces of Equipment in Spa area looked painful but I am reliably informed by one who knows that it was the latest.So what do I know . The Accomodation.Starting at the top . The Suites.If Camelot does its duty I'll have one of these.Well equipped furnished and appointed.I might have trouble negotiating a path to the Thunder box for my nocturnal calls of nature but must say I liked this.Smashing Bose Stereo tucked away.On to the head [naval jargon for bathroom] expensive looking Seperate Shower Enclosure Spa Bath. Could just imagine the good lady scrubbing my back as the Bose belts out a bit of Ole Blue Eyes.'Strangers In The Night' Dooby Dooby Do.Did have a bit of a problem with the Balcony.Why on earth did P&O choose to showcase a Luxury Suite with a balcony that has a steel pillar protruding floor to ceiling.Try again. Nearly forgot the Walk In Wardrobe doubt if even she could fill this but no doubt she would give it her best shot. Balcony/ Outside. Again Well furnished nicely appointed.Walkin Wardrobe of sorts but practical .Smallish Bathroom usual facillities.Room for Biscuits and Tea and Coffee makings.Reasonable Drawer Space for the smalls etc. Overall very good but on the small side. Inside: Its OK but it is Inside and on the small side . Appointments Furnishings and Fittings similar to the Outside cabins.Small Bathroom you would have to take turns for your ablutions . Bars Etc.Have you been on Vetura ? Do you remember,how could you forget The Havana Club. Well they have done it again and called it Manhattan this time with Blue Strip Lighting.Reminded me of a Tanning Studio.And those Partitions high enough to test Red Rum.Poor sight lines.Not for me. Just along from Tan U like there is an Oasis of Calm and Serenity The Sindhu Restaurant.Very tasteful and if the food is as good as the surroundings you could be in for a treat . Next door we are transported to Morroco and The Malabar Night Club and bar.She didn't like the chairs but I felt a bit like Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca but in colour.Room to cut a rug if you fancy a bit of Strictly.Just a pity about the constant flow of people passing through. Now The Glass House : A modern Wine Bar which I think also serves food.Will the P&O Grandees ,Dotties and old dears take to it?.I wonder. Then there is Brodies Pub Named after one of P&O Founders.Quite brash shares the area with The casino has a small stage big enough for say a Trio.I am not one for Pub Style Bars on ships but it is what it is . Certainly not the place for a quite drink.But I am more of an Andersons Man myself.It was a pity that we did not have time to see all of the Bars and facilities but I hope that I have given you a flavour of Azura. With our time running out we only had time to pop into The Playhouse Theatre.On three tiers similar to Ventura's Theatre.Looked to have good sight lines. The PA system announced that lunch was about tobe servered in The Meridian Restaurant. Like many of the features of Ventura Azura is very similar.The Meridian is no exception almost identical to The Cinnamon Restaurant on Ventura.Glass Partions tables for 2,4,6and 8.We were to be fine treated to a very meal so future Azurains you should have no complaints.The lady chose Atlantic Cod.No comment. I settled on a Smoked Salmon Platter followed by Lobster Scallops and King Prawns and just to be sociable a rather nice cheese board.To accompany this excellent fare we quoffed a couple of pleasant little wines.A Cheeky Chilean Shiraz[don't mention the Aussies] and a Saucy Pinot Grigo. During the course of this excellent lunch P&O's MD Carol Marlow gave a short speech. She explained that Azura had been designed with the Traditional P&O Passenger in mind and there would be Formal Semi Formal and a few Casual nights on all Cruises. Let us hope that that this is enforced. Although the speech was politely recieved I felt that most of the audience may have preferred a new Aurora or Oriana,but we do have The New Adomnia to look forward to and the jury are still counting the votes for Arcadia. But what of Azura. Overall she is very similar to Ventura perhaps the decorations are more subdued and I must say that the Carpetting throughout the ship is nothing short of spectacular particulary in the passenger corridors. The service in The Meridian was very good, not fast but unobtrusive and the waiters were excellent.Would I cruise on Azura Errrrr. One last point then I'll leave you to post your rude remarks.On our way from Azura we were presented with a Pen as a momento of our Visit.Think P&O must have bought them off the QVC shopping channel. Read Less
Sail Date April 2010
Azura Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.1
Dining 4.0 3.8
Entertainment 4.0 3.5
Public Rooms 4.0 4.0
Fitness Recreation 5.0 3.7
Family 4.0 3.7
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.4
Enrichment 3.0 3.2
Service 4.0 4.0
Value For Money 4.0 3.6
Rates 4.0 3.8

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