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

Have travelled on Azura before in Caribbean and Loved that experience. I was disappointed on this cruise. I expected the weather to be grim and knew the ports would be basic. Bearing in mind shops were shut on Sunday in Cherbourg and ... Read More
Have travelled on Azura before in Caribbean and Loved that experience. I was disappointed on this cruise. I expected the weather to be grim and knew the ports would be basic. Bearing in mind shops were shut on Sunday in Cherbourg and ciesta in Spain. Disembarking and embarking in Guernsey was an inconvenience, having to queue for about 40 mins to use the tendor . Getting off and getting back on board . Generally standards have dropped. Even noticed the lower brand of biscuit in the cabin. Used to get a good old hob nob, now a Marie biscuit. ....Maybe because lack of staff, the buffet tables need to be cleared quicker. Often walked around looking for a table to sit at. Buffet food very basic. Only ate breakfast there and found that not very appetising. Peninsular restaurant on the other hand, very good. .... Cabin was depressing due to complete view of lifeboat taking up all off the view, would have preferred an inside cabin. No complaints regarding our steward Rex who was always accommodating. Entertainment was pretty good. Not sure I’m happy with the dance area around the shops and costa, continually being used for classes. Would be nice to have a bit of free style dancing there as well. Personally I will try another cruise line now to compare. Which is disappointing as up until this holiday I could only have praised P&O for ensuring an enjoyable experience. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We chose the cruise as it was available for my significant birthday was only a week long and sailed from Southampton. We also booked a superior deluxe on the sailing for not much more than a standard balcony. We sailed with my oh’s ... Read More
We chose the cruise as it was available for my significant birthday was only a week long and sailed from Southampton. We also booked a superior deluxe on the sailing for not much more than a standard balcony. We sailed with my oh’s parents and had a nice time but both and oh’s parents who are exprencied cruisers felt pretty let down by p and o. We felt the food choice in the buffet pretty poor, fairly low quality and very repetitive. Hence we ate breakfast and lunch as much as possible in the oriental or main dining rooms. The evening meal choice was also pretty limited. I don’t eat sea food or fish, and pretty much all that was left in the mains was pretty much your standard British roast dinner fare. Lunchtime service from the waiters was pretty poor and very rushed. The evening entertainment was generally ok but nothing more, but one comedians act Bernie Flint was exclusively geared for a very old audience ( if I could have walked out I would)P and o generally we have found after two cruises lack daytime activities we enjoy, generally we do our own thing. Overall yes the ship is looking a bit tired in places, but is fine. When you do have issues customer service is woeful. We had no working toilet for 14 hours, my ohs parents had a balcony door that wouldn’t close shut. In a very mild storm, this was blowing open in the middle of the night. PandO assured them it would be fixed the next morning, it took a further two days to be repaired. We took a shore excursion from Santander to bilbo to see the Guggenheim and a walking tour of the old town. We only had 50 mins to explore an internationally renowned museum. The guide was very knowledgeable but the day just felt rushed. In summary not sure we would sail p and o again, unless we got an amazing deal. My oh’s parents are worried about service on a cruise with p and o in the autumn on another ship after this experience. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Lovely ship, lovely cabin, excellent steward, excellent waiting staff, great food (I have a special diet which was well catered for). However, major criticisms : On arrival we were told to report for lifeboat drill at 4 pm, which ... Read More
Lovely ship, lovely cabin, excellent steward, excellent waiting staff, great food (I have a special diet which was well catered for). However, major criticisms : On arrival we were told to report for lifeboat drill at 4 pm, which we and most others did. We then sat in a very crowded restaurant for 1 hour, listening to repeated messages, ‘Sorry to keep you waiting, just waiting for the last few arrivals’. On every ship I have been on there have been late arrivals, you know this, we know this, so why not schedule the lifeboat drill for when everyone has arrived instead of packing too many people into a too small area for far too long (standing room only at the end), this is not a good start to your holiday. On Monday I had a sudden flare up of my illness and couldn’t go on the excursion. Knowing there was a long waiting list for most of the trips I phoned reception at 6am and told them we couldn’t go as I was ill, thinking they would be able to sell the tickets to someone else. I was told I could not have any money back as you needed 48 hours notice to cancel unless you got the doctor to sign you off as ill. The last time I saw the ship’s doctor I was charged £91 for a consultation for £4.50’s worth of anti-biotics, which was more than I would have got back with a refund so I didn’t bother. I don’t know which part of ‘suddenly taken ill’ you can reconcile with having to give 48 hours notice to cancel. The Golden Circle Excursion, Reykjavik. This is an 8 hour tour and we were told to report to the theatre at 8am for an 8.30am start. We got there at 7.50am to find a queue out of the theatre, all the way back to the Atrium and nearly all the way back again. We eventually got in and were allocated tickets for the 9th of 9 buses. The theatre was packed, every seat filled, and there we sat for an HOUR while crew, staff, officers, tour guides and tour ‘organisers’ (a very loose term) discussed and argued over which staircase, which exit, which gangway and which group to send first. Why on earth are the staff not trained in this procedure BEFORE the paying guests were sitting waiting? Have they never done it before? We eventually got on our bus and left at 9.10am, harassed, irritated and already fed up with the standing, queueing, shuffling and waiting. Being the last bus we spent the day constantly falling further behind schedule, hurried on and off the bus, and missed the tour of the Geo-Thermal Plant as we were so late, getting back to the ship at 6.30, 10 ¾ hours after leaving our cabin, completely and utterly exhausted. Isafjordur. Having to tender off, what a shambles! We had an excursion booked for 12.30 and would have liked to spend the morning having a look round the town. The advice was that 9.30 to 10.30 would be the busiest time so we went to the Meridian restaurant at 10.30 for disembarkation. To our amazement the huge room was full to capacity, with many also standing, waiting to go. After the next boatload had departed we managed to get seats and there we sat, moaning along with everyone else. At 11.30 I went to the desk to complain about the wait and that we had a trip booked for 12.30. The reply was that the trip ticket holders would get ashore with priority, and that they were sorry for the delay and they were doing their best! Well in our opinion their best was definitely not good enough. We were eventually called to a tender at 12.10, then hustled along the quay to our boat which was waiting for us. When we returned to Isafjordur at 4.30 we only had time for a quick walk and it was raining by then so we missed half a port day – NOT BEST PLEASED. Akureyri. Whale watching trip. Perishing cold and 30 mph wind. We were told to gather on the quay at 8.15 to walk round the harbour to the trip boat. We arrived at 8.10 to find a queue already 100 yards long and were then kept waiting in the bitter cold until 8.30. Why could not those already present walk in their own time to the boat? We could see it round the harbour, we weren’t going to get lost, most people are not imbeciles even though you insist on treating them as such. When we got there we again had to stand waiting interminably whilst a ship girl took our excursion ticket, a boat girl gave us another one then up on to the deck painfully slowly where another boat girl tore our ticket in half. It beggars belief that someone should think this acceptable treatment of paying customers. My husband and I are in our 70’s, by no means the oldest present, and I suffer from ill health. Unsurprisingly I was taken ill on returning to the ship and stayed in bed for the next 2 days. This cruise cost us £5500 plus another £1000 for excursions. Not a cheap holiday. On top of that you have to pay the exhorbitant cost of bottled water. Clean drinking water is an essential of life not an optional luxury. Free Wi-Fi is provided by every hotel, B&B and café, nearly every public building, even my GP’s waiting room. Why on earth do you think it is acceptable to charge at all for it let alone so much. We were penned in and herded about like cattle and quite frankly a sheepdog could have done a better job. Far from being a wonderful experience this cruise will remain in our memory as a source of great annoyance. You could and should do much better. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
This was a seven day Southampton to Southampton cruise, Embarkation was quite quick and efficient. We were soon on the ship but it did seem to take a while for the cases to come, but it is a big ship with a lot of passengers so it was only ... Read More
This was a seven day Southampton to Southampton cruise, Embarkation was quite quick and efficient. We were soon on the ship but it did seem to take a while for the cases to come, but it is a big ship with a lot of passengers so it was only to be expected. The ship didn't feel very full, there were a lot of spaces in the MDR and the theatre was never full. The cabin was a good size with a good size balcony, we have been on Azura and Ventura before so knew what to expect. The food in the MDR and Buffet was good and the service in the MDR was excellent. Theatre shows were good and well performed as were the shows in the Bars. It is just a shame that P&O insist that all Brits want to have quizzes during the evening that disrupt the flow of musicians. Dis-embarking was very quick, we chose to take our own cases off and this worked very well. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We chose this cruise because the date suited us and we had never been to Lisbon city centre, Cherbourg town or Oporto, We cruised extensively over the last few years but mostly with American-based lines, ie Celebrity, Princess, Disney ... Read More
We chose this cruise because the date suited us and we had never been to Lisbon city centre, Cherbourg town or Oporto, We cruised extensively over the last few years but mostly with American-based lines, ie Celebrity, Princess, Disney and RCL and also with Viking Oceans, and I had slight reservations about whether we would find this ship 'too British'. It undoubtedly is very British in ways in which others are not, ie decent tea served, kettles in cabins, British bacon and probably more curries on the menu, but nothing I would regard as a negative. After reading the Cruise Critic's P&O forum, I was also a bit concerned about fellow passengers because many on there are very vocal about removing automatic gratuities. standards of dress on formal nights etc. I wish that P&O would include gratuities in the fare for the UK market to put an end to this nonsense and to prevent me from feeling that I am helping to make up the short-fall from those who remove them but say they are tipping their cabin steward and waiters in the Main Dining Room (MDR). What about the others who assist you? This cruise was at the tail-end of the staggered Easter holidays and we met more than one couple of moaners who told us they would not have booked had they realised that! I have no idea why they objected because almost every child we saw on this ship was well behaved and well dressed for the dining room. Okay so we got in one lift after two teenage boys fled only to discover that all the floor buttons had been pressed; I am sure they thought they were the first ones ever to do this but it was soon sorted by a couple of presses of one button which cleared them! Hands up, it was my husband who did this and I don't know which button. Our cabin, B534 was centre-aft, and was kept in very good order by Wilton, our cabin steward who was one of the most efficient we had had and was tipped extra for his excellent service. The cabin was good and the bed comfortable. I liked the private wardrobe/dressing area but did not care for the shower curtain, but then again, the bathroom is so small, it is probably a necessity, and a trade-off for the wardrobe arrangement. We did have some very rough weather one evening, just before we entered the Bay of Biscay and I was pleased to be close to the centre of the ship and have a good supply of medication for the event. This was our second of five cruises this year, (we did five last year also) and each other time we have chosen to have the variable dining time option but on here we opted for early seating fixed dining and we were happy with our choice on account of being allocated a table for two next to a partition and with a good space between us and the next table. We did share tables for breakfast and lunch and so did meet a good number of our fellow passengers; most of whom were good company and interesting (and not moaners!). We were happy with food on most occasions, and when we weren't it was generally because one of us had not chosen well. I had read previously that you are given more veg on a P&O ship and I would agree with this, so a big tick for P&O on that score. There was a difference in the level of presentation of the food on the Azura and the other ships we have been on, in that presentation is not rated as highly in my opinion. One meal in particular made me smile - it was turkey, gravy, roast potatoes, and carrots and it was plated up just as I would have done at home! Not a criticism by the way, just an observation. My roasties would have been better and the cranberry sauce not of a pouring consistency, but otherwise, the taste was fine. The service in the dining room was a tad slow and our waiters were just okay but nothing special, so they were not tipped extra and that is unusual for us, because although we do variable dining on other ships, we usually end up on a table we like after a day or two and stick with it and the same servers for the rest of the cruise. I loved that a MDR was open for lunch each day, including port days, which has not been the case on other lines. Probably the weakest aspect of the Azura was the buffet area, which we used only twice and at quiet times, but even so, there is little room to move around the areas where you get your food, so it must be real chaos when it is very busy. I was surprised not to have a choice of a soft drink to accompany a meal, only water. The entertainment was a bit disappointing because one cast show had to be cancelled because of the bad weather and a film was shown in the theatre that evening, which was fine, but I would have hoped that the missed show could have been performed the next day, which was a sea day. The guest speaker, Eileen Goulding, who spoke on topics such as 'Mystical Systems and Signs of the Ancient World' and was a bit monotonous if you did not find the subject fascinating, which we didn't. However, the Utterly Revolting Science show (performed in the theatre but aimed mostly at children) with Stefan Gates and an assistant was great fun and informative to boot! We were not interested in the art talks or anything else aimed at parting you from your money. Which remind me, P&O owe me money and I have not had a reply to my complaint made 7 days ago. I had OBC and checked my account mid-week, although my spending for the full week amounted to two coffees, two alcoholic drinks, one alcohol-free cocktail and a day's internet use. I purchased nothing else. Very easy to keep track of when you are not spending loads. However, my final bill showed £7.70 allegedly spent in the Oasis Spa - where I had never set foot! I of course went straight to the front desk and the young man told me twice that *if* there was an error, it would be corrected. I told him twice that it *was* an error, but here we are 9 days after the cruise ended and it has still not been returned. Oh and they have charged a mystery £1.65 to my credit card which is not even show on my bill. So watch your bills is my advice! I was very impressed that the shuttle buses were included in the price we had paid and used them in Lisbon, Oporto and Cherbourg. We did not take any excursions on this trip because it was the city/town centres that we actually wanted to see. We had been to Vigo in November and both times we caught a service bus (C1 I believe) from across the road and does a circular tour for 1.30 euros. This cruise we were in Vigo on a Sunday and so we saw more on the bus than when it was busy on a weekday, and also there was a festival happening not too far from the ship. It rained heavily in Oporto but we still enjoyed our walk around although did hear people express their disappointment with this port. We did not share this view and if the weather had been better would have walked down to the river. I went on this cruise thinking that P&O would be a 'one-off' for us, but whilst on board I realised that it would be great for my grandsons and so we are likely to be with them again, with the family next year. Really, I hesitated between the three dot 'average' and the four dot 'very good' because just a few little things would have elevated it for me. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Decided on a last minute 7 night cruise on Azura to France and Spain. Embarkation was very well organised and within 30 minutes of arriving we were in our Cabin. Very disappointed with the cleanliness in the cabin, there was dust on ... Read More
Decided on a last minute 7 night cruise on Azura to France and Spain. Embarkation was very well organised and within 30 minutes of arriving we were in our Cabin. Very disappointed with the cleanliness in the cabin, there was dust on the curtains, the bedding looked very worn, the toilet smelt of urine which was awful, this never changed for the whole cruise , we had to buy solid air freshness which partly helped. The carpet was stained and needed a deep clean. We were on club dining in the oriental restaurant , the choice of food is less than we are used to on P and O, the chicken I had was so tough I couldn't even cut into it. The starters and deserts were very good but the main meals were not to the usual standard, there used to be a Marco Pierre White choice every evening, now it is only on one night. The freedom dining on a lunchtime was better with lovely choices. We only visited the buffet once but hard to find a seat and food was not up to the usual standard as in previous cruises. The entertainment with the Headliners was very good except for the last show which was called Evolution and we couldn't follow it al all, I had seen previous reviews on this show which were not good and we felt the same. The comedians and four seasons tribute show was very good and packed house every night. Brodie's is not big enough so we couldn't fing a seat. The groups in the Malabar and Manhatten were not to our taste . The ports were good but sadly it was too windy so we couldn't dock in Guernsey, so 3 sea days in a 7 day cruise was not popular. Most of the lectures were about up selling as was the spa. Disembarkation was very good and well organised. We feel P and O must look at the cleanliness and comfort of their customers, so unfortunately we will be looking at other companies for our future cruises unless we hear things have improve with P and O. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Never travelled by P&O before & decided to celebrate my wife's 70th by inviting 23 of her family(incl partners)...many younger group had never cruised before. Embarkation was reasonably swift ,embarkation times carried out ... Read More
Never travelled by P&O before & decided to celebrate my wife's 70th by inviting 23 of her family(incl partners)...many younger group had never cruised before. Embarkation was reasonably swift ,embarkation times carried out according to cabin deck alphabetical nos from priority for suites,balcony,etc to inside cabins..Ours was 3.30pm which by the time embarkation was complete for all of us,it left little time for our party to familiarise themselves with the ship,let alone get ready for the 1st sitting at 6.30pm.!-I was disappointed the we had requested a double for our cabin C211 & had 2 singles-pity! The Oriental main dining restaurant was spacious & well designed.We were sat on 3 adjoining tables rather than 2 of 12 & 10 (as indicated by our cruise agent),however the wine service ok & table service generally good.Regrettably ,although the menus was variable ,2 dishes of beef on our table had to be returned as overcooked.To redress the situation these were promptly replaced with requested prime steak ,which was excellent. Overall I was impressed with the design of the ship & in particular P&O seem to have excellent facilities for children & my grandson was well entertained, as his parents reported having a really relaxed time!! The biggest gamble on these type of cruises is the possibility of hen or stag parties being near in the adjoining cabins,but this can be outweighed by the absolute value for money v's staying in a British Hotel with a party this large.Plenty to do in Bruge for the day & bus/taxi wise only around 15-20mins away from dock. Finally overall great fun mini cruise with all close family taking the opportunity to catch up & enjoy each others company in the may entertainment areas on the ship. I final critique which I know many passengers are now balking at & that is the increased tipping fee automatically added to the bill without CLEARLY advising passengers they have the alternative to request envelopes at reception to tip those that deserve this having attended to passengers over & above the norm call of duty(.£6p/p per day) or £12/cabin p/d)-Thomson include this in their overall cruise prices,so whu cant other cruise lines????? Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We chose this cruise because of the overnight in Amsterdam and the more than reasonable price. We'd been on Azura recently on a re-positioning cruise and had enjoyed it sufficiently to come back. I feel that although we enjoyed many ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the overnight in Amsterdam and the more than reasonable price. We'd been on Azura recently on a re-positioning cruise and had enjoyed it sufficiently to come back. I feel that although we enjoyed many of the experiences the efforts of the staff were nowhere near as impressive on this shorter voyage. Despite this I felt that the trip represented good value for money. The good Very happy with the quality and the choice of food in the restaurants Headliners shows plenty of energy and well worth a look despite being at the end of their tour. Amsterdam cruise terminal near to city centre and easy to get in and out of. Cabin steward excellent as usual. CBA attitude (See below) extended to ship's photographers who left me virtually unmolested! Out of Amsterdam through the sea lock an interesting experience. Room service on time and good. Breakfast in dinning room, excellent service Irritations Future cruise sales. Always a line. Didn't feel inclined to wait. Background music everywhere. Planet bar almost deserted in the morning but very loud music made it a poor venue for a quiet read or relaxation. Waiters a little tardy in dinning room in the evening. Tables for two in anytime dinning very close together and one seat every evening v. uncomfortable. Walk like a man tribute band. Many of the staff seemed a little indifferent and tired. lack of cerebral enrichment activities. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Chose this cruise to visit ports in Ireland, Scoltand and Iceland none of which we had visited previously. We had been on the Azura three times before so knew the ship well and although we generally prefer a smaller ship we had never ... Read More
Chose this cruise to visit ports in Ireland, Scoltand and Iceland none of which we had visited previously. We had been on the Azura three times before so knew the ship well and although we generally prefer a smaller ship we had never been aware of the larger number of passengers on Azura. This changed on this cruise. On previous cruises on Azura we had been in warm climates which meant the passengers were spread over the entire ship, both inside and outside. On this cruise, in a cooler climate, we found the ship felt quite crowded especially on 'at sea' days and there was often nowhere to sit and relax in the public areas. We did not feel the entertainment was of as high a standard as usual and although the Headliners still extremely professional many passengers had seen the shows before as they had not changed over the last few years. The theatre filled up quickly each night and unless you were in place a good 25 mins before the show began you would not find a seat! The food was very good and the staff were friendly, efficient and helpful, particularly our cabin steward and the restaurant hosts and manager. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
Review Our cabin was On the Lido deck no L 248,an inside cabin, it was the last assessible cabin available when we booked. The cabin I must say was very comfortable, a good size, where the wheelchair could be used. Our cabin steward, ... Read More
Review Our cabin was On the Lido deck no L 248,an inside cabin, it was the last assessible cabin available when we booked. The cabin I must say was very comfortable, a good size, where the wheelchair could be used. Our cabin steward, Agnelo, from India was a gem. Being on Deck 15 was very convenient, as the Buffet Restaurants, pools, sail-away parties were all on deck 15 The theatre, The Playhouse was huge and had a designated area for wheelchair users on level 7 but the great disappointment was that the view of the stage was very restricted because of a long bar which really spoilt the view ( wonder if it serves any purpose ) the place for wheelchairs in the Theatre "Playhouse" on deck six were really good. We had to get there about half an hour before the shows started because the theatre gets packed and there are a number of people who stand throughout the shows!! The shows were very enjoyable and we made it a point to go every evening. We enjoyed the 'Headliners" and Ben Makisi's voice was super. We had opted for Anytime Dining so had dinner at the Meridian. Good food excellent service. The Buffet Breakfasts were overcrowded on port days. The served breakfast at the Penninsular Restaurant were always good. First port was Belfast and we opted for the P & O tour to the Giant Causeway. Left by coach just after 9am and returned by 3:30. The coach stored the wheelchair in the hold. My husband was able to climb up into the coach with a little assistance. At the Causeway Visitors Centre we took the wheelchair to the shuttle bus that goes down to the Causeway stones, this bus was wheelchair friendly and had a ramp so my husband stayed in the wheelchair. At the Causeway where the bus dropped us he could get a good view of the stones too. Had coffee and sandwiches at the Visitors centre cafe which was overcrowded. It was an enjoyable day with beautiful views. The ship crew were very helpful with the disembarkation and embarkation each day. Our next port of call was Stornaway. It was a tender port. We were told by the crew that the tender ride was long and the waves made the crossing difficult. As we did not get bookings for the P&O excursion that we wanted to go for he opted to rest that day. All the executions to the ports get taken up quickly so it is essential to book the trips at least three months before departure. We booked The Golden Circle tour with P&O in Reykjavik. This was the top excursion on my list and I am so happy to have done it. The weather was quite nice and we walked from the coach to the amazing continental divide. The view point was easy for the wheelchair to get to but it was not suitable to go down to the actual ridge. Next onto the Golden Falls. This was great to do even in the wheelchair and we had super views of the grand falls. We then went to see the geyser that erupted twice while we were watching. The steaming earth was a good site. We then went to see into the mouth of a volcano, Pesi too came and we had a good view. Returned to the ship for a good dinner and skipped the night entertainment and headed to bed. We got up early to go for breakfast and enjoy the gorgeous views as we entered the tiny town of Isafjorour. It was very beautiful. We had booked a tour, which drove us through some beautiful country side, enclosed by snow capped mountains. We had coffee and pastries at a small pretty cafe, visited a church, heard Icelandic Music and went to lovely little garden. After a lovely trip we were caught in a light shower while waiting to return to the ship. On Monday 27th June we were in Akureyi, a beautiful little town of North Iceland. Our tour with P&O started as a gorgeous bright sunny day. We visited the wonderful Gooafoss waterfall, a good view from the Coach so did not have to take the wheelchair out. Next we visited Lake Myvatn and a crater. We had a coffee and cake stop at a little cafe. We have been amazed that even the tiny places had wheelchair Assessable toilets!!! These places have a population of only 30,000 people, spread over vast areas. Next we visited the Lava fields with the lava castles at Dimmubergir, this was not assessable by wheelchair but had a good enough view from the coach and our last stop were the thermal fields with boiling hot gurgling purple and yellow cauldrons. Then the rains started as we headed back..... Luckily it stopped when we were to embark the ship. Great dinner and entertainment before we headed to bed. Two restful days at sea but not much to do. Roamed around the ship. Eat drink and be merry! Tomorrow another port. Lerwick..... Lerwick was a tender port. A bright sunny day and that too in Northern Scotland!! Got ashore and took a taxi ( cost us £45/- per hour for a van for 6 persons) for a three hour ride on the most beautiful costal route to Sumburgh Head. Every view took our breath away. Then at the end we saw such lovely puffins, most were nesting in burrows near the coast and we had super sightings. Next we went to a beach to watch seals. They were all sunbathing. It was a wonderful excursion. Next port was Kirkwall. Booked an excursion to Orkney Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
i was so looking forward to my first cruise everybody had told me how wonderful they are.we got the coach and all was very good with this.embarkaion was also swift enough and not difficult. Suitcases came as soon as we got into our room, ... Read More
i was so looking forward to my first cruise everybody had told me how wonderful they are.we got the coach and all was very good with this.embarkaion was also swift enough and not difficult. Suitcases came as soon as we got into our room, Jose our cabin attendant was about and very pleasant. On entering the bathroom there was a terrible smell of stale urine, just like a men's public toilets my god I could of vomited, my husband went to find Jose who straight away came and cleaned it all. We had a superior balcony room so box of chocolates were in room and champagne on ice. We got canapés twice whilst on board but never saw any flowers, unless they meant the plastic orchid in room? We were assigned on freedom dining in the meridian. Always found us a table for two straight away, most waiters were pleasant and happy all except wine waiter. Miserable and no interactive pleasantness at all. Food was not too bad I would say on par with a nice pub menu, not enough vegetables for my liking and you could not order extra. We gave up with the buffets they were terrible not an awful lot of choice and absolutely crowded never find a table and when. You did it was usually taken but no way of knowing. They were one of the worst buffet experiences I've ever had. Sindhu was absolutely fantastic, the food was to die for and the service second to non.we went twice on a a and b night. If they had of had more menus we would of gone every night. I never thought I would go on. Cruise and be confronted with so many chavs, it was like being in Blackpool. Around the pool was just so crowded with tattooed load scruffy embarrassing people. I hated the crowded spaces on sea days couldn't find seats anywhere and no quiet places. Even our balcony did not fit this remit as the two people next door used the balcony for smoking on. Diabolical women hardly left their room. The shows were ok if you like that sort of thing, the Tom Jones tribute was very good but catch 22 were awful, lots of different songs all made to sound exactly the same, dead pan, I had to leave after the first set couldn't stand any more.the magician was ok. Every venue you had to be there really early if you wanted a seat. Drinks were not too expensive on par with the UK. Enrichment activities were just adverts for spending more money. We went to the cooking demonstration not very good just pushing the restaurants you had to pay for same as the talk on tired feet. Disembarkation was organised well as long as you stuck to the instructions you were given. I don't think I'll be in a hurry to go back on a cruise may as well save a lot of money and go to Blackpool if that's what I wanted. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
We cruised on Ventura in 20014 and had a excellent holiday,We had no reservations in booking the P&O Azura transatlantic cruise from Barbados calling at St Lucia, Antigua, St Maarten and the Azores, finishing at Southampton with a ... Read More
We cruised on Ventura in 20014 and had a excellent holiday,We had no reservations in booking the P&O Azura transatlantic cruise from Barbados calling at St Lucia, Antigua, St Maarten and the Azores, finishing at Southampton with a total of eight days at sea. We were aware the ship was scheduled a refit immediately after disembarkation. We chose an outside cabin on E deck with an obstructed view, that description is correct, all we could see was the large tender outside. What we did not expect was the lack of privacy with crew working on the tender on a number of occasions with a full view of our cabin. All though we did enjoy the destinations we were disappointed the dining experience . We were allocated second sitting in the peninsular restaurant. The lack of staff was very apparent, the decision by P&O to remove the wine waiter from the restaurant is a big mistake. Our waiter was rushed off his feet, serving three tables and taking wine orders, he struggled to cope. On a number of occasions we received our wine order half way through the meal, i feel this will be detrimental for P & O as we will not order a wine package if we cruise with them again. The menu was good and varied, however the quality and presentation left much to be desired, (spongy yorkshire puddings and baked Alaska that looked like it had been bought in Iceland) this was very disappointing after the excellent food and service we received on the Ventura (Marco Pierre White would not be impressed). We used the dining room for breakfast and lunch as the buffet restaurants were extremely busy. The afternoon tea was a joke in the main dining room, with dried up sandwiches and a few cakes, not a pleasant experience. We were disappointed with the daily activities on the long days at sea but the nighttime entertainers were very good. My last gripe is disembarkation in Southampton. We had to vacate our cabin at 08.00 and given a time of 10.45 to disembark and told to wait in the Sindu restaurant. We arrived to find staff cleaning the restaurant and half of the area cordoned off and toilets closed. The organization was dier, you would expect all passengers to have vacated the ship before the staff start cleaning. In summary, We sailed the North Atlantic, enjoyed the destinations, however, The Azura is not a patch on the Ventura and overall very disappointing. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
The good points were the allocation of Cabin location on a saver deal. Food and service in the main dining room was better than previous experiences, we had changed to an early sitting from our original allocation. Now for the problem ... Read More
The good points were the allocation of Cabin location on a saver deal. Food and service in the main dining room was better than previous experiences, we had changed to an early sitting from our original allocation. Now for the problem areas: Afternoon Tea. Arrived at 3.34pm for tea. Shown to a table for 2, as we went to sit, there was some hubbub between the staff and we were told to move and sit at a table for 8, six people were already seated. Fine you think, oh not so. The other six people had already eaten, the table was untidy, and we were ignored by the other guests. I was so upset by this I walked out in disgust. A waiter followed us to help, we explained, he wanted to put it right but I was too upset to consider returning to a table. You cannot put something like this right, our afternoon was totally ruined. This should not happen, do not sit a new guest with ones who have finished. Were we supposed to eat their leftovers? Also this had happened once before on a previous P&O cruise. The sea screen. Whilst probably quite a nice feature in warm weather, but at night on a winter cruise! And what is with the volume? It was far too loud particularly when the film had a lot of booming music, it was uncomfortable sitting out in the pool area, particularly as the sound was distorted and hissing. As there were four/five screenings a day it made it restrictive to enjoy some peace on your balcony. We were on A deck and could hear the booming in the cabin when our balcony door was open. The other music/bands outside were generally quite pleasant. The volume can be controlled, so perhaps the job should go to someone who is obviously not deaf, a reasonable adjustment would make it much more comfortable. Also some consideration should be shown when in port, especially the smaller towns. On the other hand the sailaways were so pathetically quiet that even overlooking the stage we struggled to hear, on previous sailings we have stood in the same location, and further up and back and had a great time (in particular Stavanger). One morning our pleasant outside breakfast was spoilt when someone played around with the volume levels ending up with the volume at a deafening level where we could not hear ourselves speak and had to leave food unfinished. I question the 10pm showings - I tried 2 (good films but The Lego Movie was way too loud), along with only about a dozen other people and a spot of rain! Wouldn’t be a money spinner if you charged for tickets! On a previous cruise there were less screenings, leaving some time to relax and enjoy the outside areas.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
I will try to keep this review short and to the point. We booked this cruise on the Azura with P&O direct, no problems there but had to wait till 2 weeks before the cruise to be given our cabin number as we had booked a G class cabin. ... Read More
I will try to keep this review short and to the point. We booked this cruise on the Azura with P&O direct, no problems there but had to wait till 2 weeks before the cruise to be given our cabin number as we had booked a G class cabin. Compared with previous G class bookings with other cruise lines this was a bit frustrating but I suppose it added a bit of mystery. The embarkation process at Southampton went really smoothly and we were on board within 30 minutes of being dropped off at the front of the terminal. The cabin was ready as promised at 2pm. It was very clean and compact and the balcony was a very good size. We were wary about reviews that the clothes hanging space was right out side the bathroom and did not have a door but we found this to actually be more convenient. The lay out of the ship left a lot to be desired and like ourselves a lot of passengers were still having problems finding their way around even on the last day. Not being able to walk all around the ship on any one deck seemed very unusual and led to many conversations with other passengers as to the best route. The entertainment was first class but sadly the venues were not large enough and led to standing room only 10 minutes before the start of nearly every performance. Late sitting for dinner was a mistake as every meal had to be timed to get to the venue early. The buffet restaurants when they were open were like cattle markets with every one being herded through a narrow gateway to stand in line for what turned out to be a very limited choice although most of the food was not too bad. The staff there were the biggest let down as although they were not rude they did not speak unless they really had to and the officers made us feel like we were a much lower class and totally ignored everybody. Definitely the worst passenger/crew relationship we have ever come across in fact you just would not expect it anywhere. The main restaurant was a little better but not as good as expected, the food was average (better in the buffet) and the service was polite but no more. Please do not expect P&O to be better than their main competition as is in our opinion they fall way down the list. We may try P&O again but not on the Azura and not if another cruise line is going to the same destinations at the same times. However we did enjoy our holiday to Norway with its stunning views and we met a lot of really nice fellow passengers more so than on other cruise lines we have been on and and the evening dress code with P&O was respected more. We would rate this cruise about 5 out 10 but only kept that high by the Itinerary and the Entertainment. Kentwood Cruisers   Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
First time with P&O, recommended by Travel Agent for this short break. We imagined Azura was a flagship, although we did foresee her not being on par with,say, Celebrity.Still, surprised at how bad things were with this ship. The ... Read More
First time with P&O, recommended by Travel Agent for this short break. We imagined Azura was a flagship, although we did foresee her not being on par with,say, Celebrity.Still, surprised at how bad things were with this ship. The cabin was small, okay but no style and noisy from the deck above(Lido). The cabin steward was lovely and helpful. The lay-out of the ship is confusing, particularly if going from bow to stern or even mid to stern, where quite a few amenities are placed. The decks are too crowded with sunbeds and the promenade deck is short sides, not around. No running track. The self-service food halls were pretty abysmal, smelly, crowded and also confusing with two separate restaurants(why?)with weird opening times.The service and the food there was on par with the general impression.The restaurant dining was better but not great, only the "gala night" rose to something approaching acceptable. We dined at Sindhu once,full marks. A bright part of our experience on Azura were the surprisingly affordable prices of drinks and wine.--Also a point: why sail to St Peter Port on a Sunday - 95% of the shops were closed. Now the awful fact is we have booked to sail with Azura next year, too expensive to cancel.Perhaps some clink of light will appear. Read Less
Sail Date April 2013
We've had 3 cruises with Princess and thought it was time to try a change so opted for a week on Azura. Embarkation was excellent. We were checked in very efficiently and were on board very quickly. The cabins weren't ready for a ... Read More
We've had 3 cruises with Princess and thought it was time to try a change so opted for a week on Azura. Embarkation was excellent. We were checked in very efficiently and were on board very quickly. The cabins weren't ready for a couple of hours but that wasn't a problem we went and had lunch in the buffet and explored the ship. When we did get into the cabin we were pleasantly surprised. The cabin was bigger than the one we had had on Princess and more comfortable. The cabin steward introduced himself and we were soon unpacked and looking forward to the week ahead. Unfortunately the weather wasn't with us for most of the week but we were determined to make the best of things. We were a little disappointed with the daytime activities, the entertainment crew were conspicuous by their absence most of the time. Crew members would pass you and blank you which is not something we have been used to when travelling with Princess. The crew were generally at best unhelpful and sometimes downright rude. We opted for anytime dining and only had to wait for a table on one evening and that was only for 15 minutes which we thought was very good. The food was ok but it didn't have the wow factor and the menus a little repetative. There was a free shuttle service in ports where necessary. The ports we visited were La Coruna, Bilbao, La Rochelle and Cherbourg. We enjoyed the evening entertainment and the sailaways. Disembarkation was well organised apart from the baggage hall where it was a bit of a bun fight to find your cases. All in all we did enjoy the holiday and the ports visited and the actual ship is lovely it's just such a pity little things that could so easily be put right let P&O down. Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
had high expectations of this ship, but sadly we were dissapointed in the main. for us one of the cruise experience highlights is the food/wine in the evening & we were badly let down by so-called award-winnig chefs who ... Read More
had high expectations of this ship, but sadly we were dissapointed in the main. for us one of the cruise experience highlights is the food/wine in the evening & we were badly let down by so-called award-winnig chefs who couldn't win much for the 3 star food with proper wine list only provided on last night! Token Veg with main course & potatoes in addition to potatoes done differently to add. 5 a day not easy on the azura! In the main dry British food with no sauces hardly (i can get this at home) expected special food but just run of the mill staples with some meat & a few fish options - bread potatoes & ice cream - (that'll fill em up!) so off we went i night to try the " Italian" restaurant alternative.Like the rest of ship staff were Indian so had heard good report of this secret option Ital;ian food by Indian staff? Well Brushetta was basically Cheese on toast I asked for Spaghetti Pescatore but waiter did not understand this so when I said with seaffod it worked - the ish was creamy & very little seafood & not nice so asked for alternative - Napolita just Tomato sauce mmm a child may be happy with this?? but we expected more! Entertainment mainly 2 comedians taking rise out of front row audience was quite funny as long as it wasn't you in the hot seat! Young dancers theme nights very good The free shuttle buses to the destination ports were good Cabin Steward exceptional from Goa thing is he left when we did for a better offer? from Royal Carribean, a wise man! Cabin Toilet faulty flushing experience awaiting P & O response on this & hope they cure the fault for future passengers soon. Overall a 3 star experience the food being particularly poor spoilt it for us compared with Princess food this was not great/ Sam old films showing & timing of films inside not right for inclement weather hardly anything to do quizzes were low on the ground. more Entertainment direction & forethought needed. Get tips from the Cruse director/staff on Independence they were funny themselves AND kept you occupied! Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
The cruise was last week and took us from Southampton to Brest, Bilbao, Cork and Dublin. The weather was very poor and through the Biscay we had a force 7/8 wind. It was choppy but we thought the ship rode well.Check-in was fairly quick, ... Read More
The cruise was last week and took us from Southampton to Brest, Bilbao, Cork and Dublin. The weather was very poor and through the Biscay we had a force 7/8 wind. It was choppy but we thought the ship rode well.Check-in was fairly quick, about 40 minutes from arrival to boarding the ship but nowhere near as quick as Cunard in New York and Princess in Florida. Security is rather over the top particularly the x-ray checks every time you get on board.Our cabin was excellent, a very good size with a good balcony. The cabin steward was very pleasant.We dined in the Peninsular Restaurant and had a table for two. Had good service from the waiters. Food is not as good as it used to be and the portions seem to be very small. Breakfast in the Peninsular every morning was good and we had afternoon tea once which we thought was very good.Had lunch in the self-service once but did not bother after that because of the scrum and lack of tables. Generally thought the bread served on board was of very poor quality even the baguettes for lunch from the deck burger stall.Dined in the specialist Indian retaurant Sindi at an extra £15 per head which was excellent and had an absolutely superb meal at 17 for an extra £20 per head. Once upon a time the ordinary dining on P&O was much nearer to what you have to pay extra for now. Anyone remember the superb seafood buffets they used to serve at lunch time once or twice a cruise? The little things such as the quality of the menus and the paper on which the cruise log is printed are nowhere near the quality of the past.Bars generally seemed crowded, entertainment was not as good as on previous P&O cruise, quite a few loud and ill mannered people on board and many not bothered about dress codes.Port visits apart from Brest which is a waste of time where good with efficient shuttle bus transfers laid on. Did not have to wait more than 15 minutes despite the ship being full.Would think long and hard before going P&O again. Last time we went Berlitz rated the ship Premium and 4 star+. They seem to rate P&O standard and just 4 star. I think they are rapidly becoming 3 star and that it is only the quality of the relatively new fleet which keeps them four star.P&O have a lot of large ships which they need to fill and as a result are cutting the quality of the experience to make the prices competitive. Getting on for 50% of those on the ship were first timers. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
Parking & Embarkation: P&O parking is managed by a third party who insist on them parking your car for you where they take ownership of your keys and car for the duration of the cruise. Generally this has been a very slow ... Read More
Parking & Embarkation: P&O parking is managed by a third party who insist on them parking your car for you where they take ownership of your keys and car for the duration of the cruise. Generally this has been a very slow process as you are forced to wait in organised queues while you are finally directed to offload your luggage just outside the terminal. I am not a fan of this procedure as this does tend to add waiting time of approximately up to 1 hour before embarkation plus in the past on returning to my car there was damage to the rear panel. Heads up - parking with P&O means that you sign and agree that any damage cannot be claimed on behalf of the parking company! That's in the T&C!. Contrast this with Royal and Celebrity where you self park your car where you just walk to the ship in a fraction of the time. Embarkation was slow and while there was organisation to boarding we were at the back of the queue for quite some time. Previous cruises with Royal and Celebrity we were directed to the front of the queue. On this occasion we were placed in a waiting area. We arrived on time according to the boarding time of 2pm where we waited over 45 minutes. We eventually got on board but there was quite a rush before we had to attend the muster station drill. Cabin: Nice interior and smart although I was expecting the bathroom to be a alot bigger. I was amazed that on the latest ship that P&O still make use of a plastic moulded bathroom interior including a plastic moulded sink! The bathroom was the smallest I have been in including the most smallest walk in shower I have experienced! It felt more like some kind of cryogenic chamber that han solo fell victim to in Star Wars! In fairness there was good water pressure and plenty of hot water. In contrast Royal and Celebrity had much more lavish large bathrooms especially on the new Celebrity Eclipse with a proper walk in glass shower and wooden vanity units - not exactly plastic! As for the rest of the cabin it was spacious but lacking a sofa. TV was small although was a flat panel but the choice of TV channels were very restricted! The cabin suffered from severe vibration and so did the entire ship during our cruising. One night as I was going to sleep my body was literally vibrating from head to toe! Ship: Nice ship (from the outside!). Interior decor felt dated with over use of wood and brass! and the interior was alot more plastic than other ships such as Celebrity. Layout was interesting and not the best ship Ive been on. Lots of the decks felt cramped and compacted especially the buffet restaurant where the deck height to the ceiling was the same as in my home cottage lounge!! Serving stations in the buffet were alot more compact than other P&O ships where people seemed to be on top of each other. Hot and cold food stations were literally staggered next to each other. The centre of the ship focused around the Atrium and the shops area. I was expecting this to be alot more open and spacious but compared to other ships such as Aurora the amount of open space felt limited in comparison. Contrast this to Celebrity where several decks are open as one massive spaces. The ship also experienced severe vibration at several intervals during the cruise and was consistent making it very uncomfortable. The retreat is a nice touch to this ship but why do passengers have to pay £12 each per day! On Celebrity they offer the same sort of thing and this is FREE! Food: Food was excellent in the restaurant although the amount of food served to you appeared to be alot less than on previous P&O cruises. Clearly P&O has engaged on a cost reduction exercise. Food in the buffet was good but the choice was limited at times. Service: A polite service was offered by waiters but in comparison to previous P&O cruises and other cruise lines such as Celebrity we found the service to be average. Sometimes it was difficult to get served a drink during lunch in the buffet restaurant. We did experience on one night in the main dining room a very rushed meal where the waiter was literally grabbing the unfinished plates from the table. In fairness the overall food was good and the option of freedom dining was a nice touch!! As for the cabin our stateroom was clean and maintained well by our cabin steward although it would have been nice to have had a formal introduction by him! 1st time with P&O where the cabin steward failed to knock on our door to make himself known on the day of sailing. Excursions: We enjoyed the excursions offered and was good value for money compared to other cruise lines which seemed to be of a similar price. Entertainment: What entertainment?? We were shocked and very disappointed by the entertainment which was offered on board Azura during our cruise. This is the flagship vessel and during Easter bank holiday weekend and the highlight of the entertainment was a guy from Tizzwazz! Not exactly the entertainment we came to expect from P&O. No guest speakers nor anything special for the Easter weekend. We had better entertainment in Butlins! Other: I really don't like the formality of P&O on formal nights. While I do respect and appreciate the need to dress up and pretend to be something I'm not. P&O does tend to take this way too seriously. While on these nights I do tend to take my suit, but on this cruise being soo short I decided to leave my suit at home and to take some smart clothes instead. The only formal night on our cruise we decided to stay up in the top open buffet restaurant which was fine but later that night I popped up to the Planet bar for a casual drink. I walked in wearing a smart black shirt, tie and black trousers and shoes and I was acknowledged by two waiters. I sat at the bar and ordered a drink and the person who served me did not mention that I was lacking a jacket! So I took the drink and sat in a different part of the bar. The same waiter approached me and asked me to sign for my drink. 15 minutes later the same waiter came back and said "oh I'm sorry Sir. You don't have a jacket so please leave!" I was shocked! I said to him that he saw me walking in and he served me! and now he wants me to leave? I was disgusted by his attitude and the formality nonsense of P&O. I can understand if I walked into the bar in t-shirt and jeans! In annoyance I refused to leave and continued to sip my cocktail. I am amazed that P&O take this attitude when this is not the case on a 5 star cruise such as Celebrity on their formal nights! Disembarkation: This has always made me chuckle with P&O. Basically your cruise is over and you cant but help feel or made feel by P&O that they have had your money and now its time to go! Got up early on disembarkation day and they wanted you out of your cabin by 8am! We were running a bit late and the cabin steward was jumping in the cabin as we were wrapping up packing. P&O also insist on you leaving the ship by group colour unless you take the self disembarkation option at something stupid at 7am in the morning! Other cruise lines such as Celebrity offer a much more relaxed and casual disembarkation service. Value for money: Well I used to think that P&O offered good value for money but after sailing with Celebrity and Royal I can no longer stake the same claim. This time last year we took our first trip on Celebrity Eclipse and the cost was the same as P&O on this trip! Bearing in mind that celebrity is 5 star! but in fairness to Celebrity you don't get the 5 star pom pus nonsense! There are ordinary folk on board as found on P&O without the bull associated with it. Conclusion: We have been devoted P&O cruise passengers for a good number of years where we have travelled on a number of their ships. We have had some good holidays with P&O but as of last year we decided to try a different cruise company - Celebrity Cruises. It is a little unfair to start comparing these two cruise companies as Celebrity is 5 star and well... P&O isn't! We are not snobs but come from a hard working class family however as someone said to us on a former P&O cruise 2 years ago. They said to us "You go with Celebrity and you wont want to go back with P&O!" Sadly this was true! In every detail Celebrity cruises out strips P&O in every detail from service, food, entertainment to the ship and the features within it. We weren't expecting celebrity status on P&O but since Azura is the flagship we felt very disappointed by the overall experience. Sorry P&O but that was the last cruise with your company as we will be sticking with Celebrity. They have far nicer ships, more luxurious cabins and decor and the quality of service is simply faultless! They certainly wouldn't have spoken to me in the same manner as that waiter did during that night in the Planet bar. P&O needs to get their act together. If you haven't tried Celebrity yet then give this fantastic cruise company a go! You wont be dis-apointed and you will be glad you did! Well why not? because you are paying the same money! Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
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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