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

We chose this cruise as it looked like it would be relaxing with a some interesting ports and it did't disappoint, embarkation at Southampton was well organised and stress free, enjoyed the sea days relaxing and although the ship was ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it looked like it would be relaxing with a some interesting ports and it did't disappoint, embarkation at Southampton was well organised and stress free, enjoyed the sea days relaxing and although the ship was full we could always find a lounger, the ship is well laid out and easy to navigate and is well maintained with modern decor & furniture. We really enjoyed the evening entertainment with a great mix of artists and shows, particularly liked the comedian Micky Zany and the Annie Lennox tribute, the headliner shows were high quality and enjoyable. The food in the MDR was excellent, we didn't have one meal we didn't enjoy, the new vegetarian menu is great, so nice to have so much choice every night. The service was very good freindly and efficient, couldn't fault it in fact the service all over the ship was spot on. The food in the buffet was also good, especially liked having breakfast out on deck. We had an inside cabin on deck 8 which was kept spottlesly clean by our hard working steward, it was big enough and had everthing we needed with a very comfortable bed. Didn't do any excursions so can't comment. We have already booked another two cruises with P&O as we always feel well looked after and think they offer excellent value for money Funchal Madeira- lovley port, easy to do yourself, highlight was the cable car to Monte then back down in a wicker basket Santa Cruz de La Palma- small pretty port with historic centre and black sandy beach Santa Cruz de Tenerife- another easy to do port, good for shopping and we had tasty & cheap tapas in the old town, highlight was the Botanical Palm garden a bit of a walk from the ship Las Palmas de Gran Canaria- spent some time on the excellent beach a short walk through town, great for swimming Arrecife Lanarote- scruffy, run down with lots of graffiti, there is a beach within walking distance of the ship Lisbon- lovely city with beautiful architecture, used the hop on & off bus red line which was worth doing Vigo- pleasnt city to walk round, highlight was Samil beach a taxi ride away Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We chose this cruise for the 3 different ports on offer - we had never been to Hamburg or Le Havre and whilst we have been to Amsterdam, we had never visited via a cruise ship or stayed overnight in port. The weather was gorgeous and an ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the 3 different ports on offer - we had never been to Hamburg or Le Havre and whilst we have been to Amsterdam, we had never visited via a cruise ship or stayed overnight in port. The weather was gorgeous and an added bonus in Hamburg when the temperature reached 30c. Unfortunately on the 2nd day in Amsterdam we experienced a thunderstorm and heavy rain but it didn’t stop us enjoying ourselves as we went on a P&O coach tour. We love Azura as we were on her 4years ago when we did a 2 week Russian cruise and she did not disappoint this time. Everyone was friendly and the food phenomenal- we had the Eric Lanlard tea which was amazing and also ate in the Epicurean restaurant and the Sindu restaurant too. A small cover charge was applicable in these 3 restaurants but well worth it. Our balcony cabin was C325 and whilst a little small, it was adequate for the week. Next time though, we have booked a deluxe balcony cabin for the extra room. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We are experienced P&O cruisers and this is our 3rd time on Azura. No problems with embarkation or disembarkation from Ocean Terminal. Azura did not disappoint us. she is getting a little tired but levels of cleanliness and ... Read More
We are experienced P&O cruisers and this is our 3rd time on Azura. No problems with embarkation or disembarkation from Ocean Terminal. Azura did not disappoint us. she is getting a little tired but levels of cleanliness and service were excellent. Just an observation - we were given an upgrade - yippee!!!! We were moved to a better grade sure, however, we were moved to Riviera Deck, deck 14, just under the pool. Very handy but hearing sunbeds being rearranged at 1.00 in the morning and then again at 7.00am took the gloss off the upgrade. You also have a overhang from deck 15 above your balcony which takes some sun off your cabin. All these things did not spoil our cruise - just beware when you are offered an upgrade. We were on Azura in June 16 and although the Headliners line up were different. the shows were the same. They were very good but I would have thought the offering might have changed. Other artists were very good. Already booked next P&O for next year on Arcadia. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Two day trip to Guernsey ok so bad bits: Tender to Guernsey Pools very busy Epicurean restaurant - steak disgusting, food not tasty and cost £90 for the 3 of us - very disappointing Had to put suitcase out at night to go ... Read More
Two day trip to Guernsey ok so bad bits: Tender to Guernsey Pools very busy Epicurean restaurant - steak disgusting, food not tasty and cost £90 for the 3 of us - very disappointing Had to put suitcase out at night to go home Good bits: Room was very clean Lots of lovely touches like champagne sweets fruit canapés Lovely steward service William you were the best! The staff were excellent the food was good and things to do were very good Highly recommend well done PO Cruises , first cruise and i so enjoyed it Embankment and disembarkment was swift Very disappointed in the top restaurant and when i mentioned about the steak they were not overly customer friendly It is confusing the instructions PO give is minimal Lots of people but so many places to hide in and catered for all needs Some nice public areas and nice adult swim only pool Good buffet and the meridian restaurant was very good All staff were pleasant and helpful in the food areas CPS car parking very good Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
My first cruise with P and O UK. I usually cruise with Celebrity or HAL. I was very pleasantly surprised with the standard after reading some reviews. Arrived early, 13.00 instead of 15.30, at Southampton and was in my cabin in under 30 ... Read More
My first cruise with P and O UK. I usually cruise with Celebrity or HAL. I was very pleasantly surprised with the standard after reading some reviews. Arrived early, 13.00 instead of 15.30, at Southampton and was in my cabin in under 30 minutes. Amazing. Embarkation on my last cruise with Celebrity from Singapore was a disorganised mess and took over 90 minutes. I liked my cabin, especially the open style wardrobe and the tea and coffee making facilities which were great when I woke up at 0300 with jet lag. The laundromat was free but I did not realise I needed to bring my own soap powder. Not a problem really at 60p for 2 tablets from the shop. There never seemed to be a queue and fellow passengers were very helpful in explaining how things worked. The library had a good selection of books, unusual in this day and age when most people have Kindles or tablets. The person in charge was very helpful when I needed to print out an excursion voucher. Food was terribly British and not overly exciting. Potted this and potted that. Not bad but nothing exotic. Cerviche served one night which did not go over well with the people at my table. Likewise the seared tuna which I thought was great. Salt and vinegar icecream [really??] had everyone talking. Lunches were very hit and miss The moussaka was a disaster. I sent it back. Buffet did not seem to attract the feeding frenzy I have seen on other ships. I have yet to be impressed by cruise entertainment [except Cirque de Soleil on Celebrity] and this was no different. Shore excursions were OK. Shame the weather meant we missed Reykjavik but the other Iceland tours were very good. Torshavn in the Faroes was my favourite despite the guide. I did a private tour in Belfast which I suspect did a lot more than the P and O offering. Given an itinerary I liked, I would not hesitate to cruise with P and O UK again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
I had a wonderful surprise not long after embarkation - my husband had secretly booked our two daughters onto the cruise! They'd all kept it a secret from me for months! They came into the cabin and it was the most fabulous ... Read More
I had a wonderful surprise not long after embarkation - my husband had secretly booked our two daughters onto the cruise! They'd all kept it a secret from me for months! They came into the cabin and it was the most fabulous surprise. We all had generously sized balconies on C Deck. They were much bigger than balconies we have had on previous cruises on both Cunard and P&O. So we all had a little champagne sail away with the two bottles that my husband had brought on board. Embarkation itself went well. We'd arrived a lot earlier than advised (3:30 pm), reason being we had a long way to come and didn't want to take any chances. On a previous occasion, in April, we'd had a nightmare of a journey and had only arrived at the docks at 4:30 pm. I'd actually had the paperwork out, with the phone number to ring to say we were going to be late, that time. We didn't want to risk that again. Even so, we were on board by about 2:00 p.m. The cases were already outside the door of the cabin. Cabin: Spotlessly clean, but a tiny bit dated is how I would describe the cabin. We look forward with anticipation to the updating of the cabins to the standard of Britannia, which we sailed on earlier in the year. The television arrangements seemed very old-fashioned in comparison. On Britannia it was like an Amazon Firestick or Sky TV type of arrangement where all the programming was quickly downloadable digitally. Dining - we were allocated Freedom Dining, at which my heart sank slightly, but in the event it worked out quite well. For example one day we wanted an afternoon tea in the restaurant at 4:00pm, so that meant we could choose to dine later to compensate. And another night there was a show in the Malabar Lounge at 9:00, so we dined slightly earlier to get to that in time. Food - the only meal that was not up to scratch was when I ordered Huss in Beer Batter .. it had been cooked earlier and gone cold. The fish was tough and the batter was cold and soggy. Apart from that the standard was good. Oh, also the Ham and Lentil soup I ordered one time was not very nice.There could have been a bit more choice of courses too, in my opinion. The cheese board had improved since our last trip with P&O. We had a meal in Sindhu which was excellent and much recommended. The shows were good, especially 'WALK LIKE A MAN'. We went to both performances of that and it was great. Excursions. Ports of Call, Amsterdam and le Havre. No need for excursions from our point of view; Amsterdam is perfectly accessible oneself on foot, which is what we did, and in le Havre we took the Shuttle bus into town and had a very enjoyable saunter round the town and beach. We've been to both places many times before and it was lovely to go back, especially in such glorious sunshine. A real boon. The weather made all the difference to the days off the ship. I can't help thinking another port of call could easily have been accommodated in the five days. We were clearly sailing very, very slowly the whole time. I wouldn't have minded paying my share of a bit extra to cover the port fees for another port of call. Service. Totally excellent. The crew are so polite and friendly and very often with a great sense of humour. We had some nice laughs and jokes with the waiters etc. the waiters went to a lot of trouble for one of our party who was a Vegan. Also they invited us to try extra dishes on several occasions, as they seemed to think we'd like them! That was so nice of them. The decor of the public areas is beautiful. Stylish and contemporary. Spa Club. Was a little disappointed and surprised to find that there was no thermal heated spa pool within the Spa Club, as I expected, and as we have experienced on many other ships. The only pool was outside, adjacent to the club, but was UNHEATED!! and unusable in October. Why unheated??? But all in all we are totally delighted with the holiday and would recommend this ship and this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
we went on a 14 day cruise to ireland, Scotland, Iceland and the back to Scotland, We had been on Azura before so we knew the ship pretty well. We found her clean and the service was excellent. There were one or two comments that in ... Read More
we went on a 14 day cruise to ireland, Scotland, Iceland and the back to Scotland, We had been on Azura before so we knew the ship pretty well. We found her clean and the service was excellent. There were one or two comments that in fairness didn't spoil our cruise but are worthy of note. As usual you had to in the Playhouse at least 30 mins before a performance to get a seat which can be a problem if your meal service is slow. it did lead to some frustration with some passengers. I have been on other cruises where they put on 3 shows to ease this problem. There were issues with the tender in the 3 ports that required it. it was taking over 1 hour to wait to get on the tenders and similar delays ay port truing to get back on the ship. There is no criticism of the crew who worked very hard to reduce everybody's frustration. i think the problem was the ship was too big for these ports to cope with. There was 20-25 min trip from ship to shore with accentuated the problem. other than that we had a great cruise. Weather was abysmal in Iceland but you don't go there for the weather. One nice touch was that all the ports that required transport to town were free, and provided by the port authorities. All in all a good cruise and we will be back with P&O soon. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
Interesting story behind this cruise. Was supposed to be my honeymoon but ended up on it with my best man as the engagement went belly up in February. Used the excellent cruise personaliser p and o have before the trip to book pay ... Read More
Interesting story behind this cruise. Was supposed to be my honeymoon but ended up on it with my best man as the engagement went belly up in February. Used the excellent cruise personaliser p and o have before the trip to book pay restaurants and excursions before the trip. All the tickets were waiting for us on arrival. Embarkation at the mayflower terminal in southampton was smooth and professionally handled. We had a 1530 time slot but arrived early bracing ourselves for a long wait. In the end we boarded at 1330. The ship is absolutely beautiful. Never felt crowded and only encountered a queue on the last day in duty free. The theatre is wonderful with great views. Malabar, Manhattan and Brodies are fantastic venues, immaculate and plenty of seating. We always got a seat. The casino is a good venue and had many entertaining and convival nights playing blackjack. Could be bigger but we usually got straight onto a table. The planet bar though hard to find is a lovely venue for pre dinner cocktails. The atrium is the hub of the ship with shops and access to all of the main venues. Especially good on formal night when you feel like you in a 5 star venue drinking a glass of champagne. Outdoor decks are immaculate. Main pool does get crowded with teenagers but head for the adults only oasis or terrace pool for adults only calm. There are plenty of sun beds especially above breakers bar which is a real sun trap. Sea days the ship is brimming with activities and the band accent kept us entertained day and night. Had freedom dining in the peninsular great food and for the most part great company. Never had to queue. Food was good, service attentive and didn't have an issue with wine as was promptly served. All the service was excellent despite a full ship. Our steward Manuel kept our cabin spotless. Excellent service. Our inside cabin C420 was great. Never felt cramped with a good bathroom. Good storage and comfortable beds. We only slept and changed in there but it was a home from home. Also well located for the lifts. Entertainment was excellent superb shows electric avenue songs from the 80's being a stand out in the theatre. Every night and during the day we were thoroughly entertained. Shout out to accent the band if you are on the ship don't miss them. Tendered to Guernsey found it quite dull so went back to the ship where we indulged in a killer pool tournament which my friend won. La Rochelle and bilbao well worth visiting. We did two good but expensive excursions and thoroughly enjoyed them. I think you could do both on your own without booking a tour. La Rochelle especially is compact and walkable. Disembarking was like a military operation, faultless. We were off the ship within 15 minutes. Downsides. Rude moaning passengers who disrespected the very hardworking staff. Would I go on Azura again? Most definitely! Had a wonderful time. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Our first cruise and certainly won't be our last. Cannot fault the ship, everything kept spotlessly clean. The service was friendly and efficient. The cabin was spacious and cleaned twice a day. Didn't make much use of the ... Read More
Our first cruise and certainly won't be our last. Cannot fault the ship, everything kept spotlessly clean. The service was friendly and efficient. The cabin was spacious and cleaned twice a day. Didn't make much use of the balcony due to the poor weather but that is hardly the fault of P&O. We were upgraded to freedom dining which meant we could choose when and where to eat. The food was unbelievably good, especially so in the Sindhu & Epicurean restaurants both of which incurred a cover charge The entertainment was first class and Tom O'Connor was brilliant. Played table tennis everyday with a really good bunch of people. The only mild negative was the destination itinerary, La Rochelle was quite nice but didn't bother with Bilbao and the people who did weren't impressed but for us this was all about the cruise. We are already looking to book our next cruise with P&O. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
This is our second cruise the first was with Royal Caribbean with our teenage children, this time we were child free. We were given a embarkation time of 3pm but we got to the cruise terminal at 2ish there was bit of waiting around and we ... Read More
This is our second cruise the first was with Royal Caribbean with our teenage children, this time we were child free. We were given a embarkation time of 3pm but we got to the cruise terminal at 2ish there was bit of waiting around and we eventually got on board at 4pm, they were struggling to get everyone through and the muster drill was later than planned. With RCI last year we parked our own car and and we were on the ship very quickly so that was a better system. Our cruise was for 5 days stopping at Guernsey and Amsterdam. We had an inside cabin on deck 12 (Australia) it was perfect for us, a good size with plenty of hanging/storage space, the bed was very comfortable we liked the chocolates on the pillows at night and the tea and coffee and making facilities, something you don't get with RCI. We thought the Azura was a lovely ship we especially liked the eating and drinking areas out on deck and the layout of the ship meant all the bars theatre etc were near each other so in the evenings you could easily move from one to another. We ate in the Meridian restaurant almost every night where the food was excellent, on the black tie night there was also a Marco Pierre White menu available at no extra charge which my brother in law said was very good, on RCI on black tie nights it was the same menu with no noticeable difference, the buffet was a bit disappointing, not the choice or quality we had RCI. The entertainment was very good with so much packed into a short cruise, we thought the Headliners put on some good shows and were very professional, we especially enjoyed the 80's 'Electric Avenue' show, the guest artists that we saw were a Bruno Mars tribute act, the Beatles Experience and a fantastic jazz/soul singer who were all far better than the sugary naff entertainment we had on RCI so well done P&O, the entertainment team worked hard and were fun to watch. The service on board was generally good our cabin steward Agnello did a brilliant job and was always friendly although a few of the crew were not, we thought the coffee shop staff were particularly miserable at one point we ordered coffee and cake and we were told to go and get the cake ourselves, which is fine but as he was serving us the coffee I didn't understand why he couldn't bring the cake at the same time? RCI definitely had the edge here with the American style smiley service. Unfortunately we didn't get to see Guernsey as it was too rough to use the tender boats, the captain kept us infromed and tried plans A,B,C,D and E but had to give up, this apparently happens a lot when trying to go to the channel islands. Amsterdam was great we were there first thing in the morning to 1:30am the next morning, the city centre was an easy 15min walk from the terminal we booked our own bus and boat tours which were considerably cheaper than the ones offered by P&O. Disembarkation was quick and easy. We really enjoyed our time on Azura and booked our next P&O cruise while on board Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
This was a four night cruise, Southampton to Southampton, calling at Guernsey and Bruges. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, the ship was fantastic as was the entertainment team, the dining and cabin staff. There was a friendly, fun ... Read More
This was a four night cruise, Southampton to Southampton, calling at Guernsey and Bruges. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, the ship was fantastic as was the entertainment team, the dining and cabin staff. There was a friendly, fun atmosphere throughout the ship. The food was good in both the restaurant and the buffet with more than enough choices. The entertainment was good with two full theatre productions. The sail away parties were the best at sea! The highlight of the cruise was Russell Watson's performance. Tickets were allocated and delivered to our cabins to ensure every passenger had a chance to see him. As soon as he walked on stage the atmosphere was electric, his personality, friendliness and true professionalism just shone through. Guernsey. We walked from the ship to a bus stop (about 10 minutes) and caught the local bus which took us a one and a half hour trip around the island. The driver gave a commentary. It cost £2. Well worth it. Local buses also ran to the War museum, War hospital etc. there really is no need to do an organised ships tour. Bruges. We took the free shuttle from the ship to the railway station, caught the train into the centre of Bruges. It cost us about £5 for a return ticket. It was comfortable, easy and quick and trains were every half an hour.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
Another quick 2 nighter cruise from Southampton to Guernsey. Departed on time. Check in opened at 11am and we were quickly processed and on ship by 11:45am. We went to look at our room and it was ready for us!! The Steward was there ... Read More
Another quick 2 nighter cruise from Southampton to Guernsey. Departed on time. Check in opened at 11am and we were quickly processed and on ship by 11:45am. We went to look at our room and it was ready for us!! The Steward was there and said we go in - Fantastic... The ship is big and you can get easily lost on going up and down the stairs to find the bar you actually wanted to get too. The public areas were clean and well staffed. We opted for a balcony room on the Riveria Deck (Deck 14). The room was large enough for 2 with a comfy bed and loads of hanging space. What I felt disappointed with was that we went on the Ventura a few months ago and the Azura is the same? Albeit newer but layout the same. It didn't feel that we were on a different ship.... The Tender to Guernsey was ok and well organised. All in all a good cruise on a good ship. Staff could do with some charm school teachings though. Read Less
Sail Date April 2013
We recently returned from a 7 day cruise on P&O Azura to La Corunna, Bilbao, La Rochelle and Guernsey. For all of our party of 6 (3 generations of a family) it was the first cruise and we were all absolutely thrilled with it. We older ... Read More
We recently returned from a 7 day cruise on P&O Azura to La Corunna, Bilbao, La Rochelle and Guernsey. For all of our party of 6 (3 generations of a family) it was the first cruise and we were all absolutely thrilled with it. We older ones had been very sceptical about cruises, thinking they'd be like floating coach tours. These fears were quickly dispelled and we can't wait to go on another cruise next year. Maybe we were spoilt because we had 3 suites, but we're sure we would still have enjoyed it with a balcony cabin -- sorry, we couldn't settle for anything less. We had a butler who covered 9 cabins and he was marvellous, especially with our 2 year-old grandson who loved the room service. One night he brought us all the full 5 course dinner menu from the restaurant. Another perk with the suite was being able to have breakfast in Seventeen, one of the feature restaurants. Service was superb. Evening meals in the Peninsular, one of the Club dining restaurants, were also great with a fabulous choice. Some our group tried Sindhu, the Indian restaurant, as well as Seventeen in the evening and were very impressed. An alternative option at no extra cost was Trattoria, an Italian restaurant which was OK but service was slow. The place to avoid was Venezia, the 24 hr buffet restaurant, where the food was bland and the piled up plates of some of the diners quite off-putting. We went ashore at each of the ports. We only once used an official tour -- to Santiago di Compostela from La Corunna. It was well worth a visit and the coach was probably the most convenient way of getting there, but the guide insisted on giving a running commentary all the way there and back. At Bilbao and La Rochelle we used the shuttle buses. We were rather concerned on the Bilbao bus. It was just like an airport bus and lots of us were standing for the 20 minute journey and they piled passengers on including a wheelchair that was put in the aisle. We complained to Azura reception about this but haven't had any feedback. The other downside of the shuttle buses was that everyone seemed to want to catch the bus back at lunchtime and we had to queue for up to 30 minutes in the midday sun. The ship anchored in the bay at Guernsey and the tenders used to ferry us ashore were a lot more efficient than the buses. We hired a car to tour the island and it worked out a lot cheaper than the P&O tours. On the "at sea" days we sunbathed for a few hours each day and were agreeably surprised by the availability of sunbeds in lots of different areas of the boat. We only saw one argument over leaving towels on the beds. One of our party used the Oasis gym and found the facilities equal to any he had used in London. The kids clubs were also very good. Yes, we shall definitely go on a cruise again and, quite probably, on the Azura. We've been on all kinds of exciting holidays in the past, notably Cape Town, Dubai, Las Vegas and New York and 5 star hotels in the UK, and whilst this may not have had spectacular destinations, it was amongst the top for sheer comfort and holiday experience. Read Less
Sail Date July 2012
Travel To Port of Embarkation & parking: Always traffic on M3 into Southampton but set off a bit earlier. Arrived at port about 12:00. CPS Parking are pricey but very professional and would use again. The ease of embarkation was ... Read More
Travel To Port of Embarkation & parking: Always traffic on M3 into Southampton but set off a bit earlier. Arrived at port about 12:00. CPS Parking are pricey but very professional and would use again. The ease of embarkation was superb and better than both Royal Caribbean (RC) and Celebrity. Everything was smooth and well organised by P&O. Ship Info: The first impressions of the ship are good. It still feels new with a large focus on relaxation rather than lots of activities. There are lots of private areas to curl up with a drink and/or a book. Ports: The Fjords are simply stunning. Bergen was ok but Andalnes and Olden will take your breath away. Recommend you go there before the larger ships are stopped from travelling there. P&O put on courtesy buses at some of the ports which was a bonus. However, we tended to stay on the ship apart from odd trips out at the ports. Activities: Azura has the usual facilities and activities including a nicely kitted gym and various quizzes and talks during the day. These are much more low-key than RC and Celebrity but this suited us and made for a relaxing holiday. Worth noting that the only heated pool is within a paid for area of the spa (The Retreat - cost of approx £12 per day on port days). Seascreen is a fantastic treat so dress up warm and head out in the evening to experience it - you have to experience watching a film under the setting sun cuddled up under a blanket with the sound of the sea in the background. Brilliant! Service: Service on the whole was excellent. The cabin steward (Simon) was excellent and although we hardly saw him, our room was immaculately maintained and every request tended to. The dining room staff (particularly the head waiter Kalpesh) are also friendly and very professional. These guys work so flaming hard to keep us happy! If you have a birthday then be sure to order a cake and enjoy the waiter's sing-song! One of the group did have a bad experience from a stylist in the spa but upon complaint to the spa manager a full refund was provided. Stateroom: Balcony stateroom was lovely and an essential for the Fjords. We were at the end of a corridor (at front) which meant less foot traffic past the door which was nice. Deck 11 was perfect as the balcony was covered and others below were more exposed to the elements. Shower is small but what do people expect? Dining: The food is excellent in the dining rooms but a bit more conservative than RC and Celebrity. I suspect this is to suit the British palette and suited our group's less adventurous tastebuds (including one vegetarian). Sindhu deserves a special mention as the meal and experience were well worth the extra cost per head. The buffet restaurants (Verona & Venezia) are huge but a little disappointing. The food was average with limited choice - as each area simply duplicated others. The poolside grill is lovely with pizza, burgers, chips all available and tasty (for no charge). The ship has a Costa Coffee which was lovely but coffees being chargeable. Entertainment: Entertainment (including shows) was ok but we didn't rate the main performers that highly (Headliners). Celebrity and RC both exceed P&O here by quite a way. Disembarkation. The Freddie Mercury tribute was good though. Summary: P&O Azura is absolutely up there with some other ships we've sailed on. The ship seems tailored for British passengers and a very relaxing experience. Staff and unobtrusive but helpful when needed. P&O are a cheaper alternative to RC and Celebrity and would absolutely recommend this trip! Be sure to book a balcony and be as high up as you can. Read Less
Sail Date July 2012
June 9, 2012. Ports: La Corona (one star); Bilboa (three stars); La Rochelle (three stars); Cherbourg (two stars; bad weather forced the cancellation of a trip to St Peter Port, Cherbourg was a lack change of port. Southampton ... Read More
June 9, 2012. Ports: La Corona (one star); Bilboa (three stars); La Rochelle (three stars); Cherbourg (two stars; bad weather forced the cancellation of a trip to St Peter Port, Cherbourg was a lack change of port. Southampton arrival: Due to sail at 4.30 pm we eventually sailed during dinner at 8.10 pm, however, this did not affect our cruise. Check in was very busy, but very efficient. We arrived by car, we queued in car lines for 30 mins, but still managed to be in our cabin within the hour. The excitement of a first cruise, in our case, cannot be exaggerated and the delay in sailing only enhanced our first experience. We spent time in the cabin clicking cameras, watching the world, and cruise ships pass by . . . memorable times. Oh, before I ramble on. My own personal disappointment was the influence the weather had. The Bay of Biscay can, evidently, be a very inhospitable place, luckily for us it only reared a fraction of its ugly head, but it was enough to give my wife sickness problems twice. I do question the cruise itinerary, our next cruise (and yes there will be a next!). Will to guaranteed sun somewhere. Now to summarise: Entertainment was at times dazzling, Dusty Springfield and Freddie Mercury tributes were just remarkable, standing ovations. Comedians likewise. The show we witnessed, Swing, only verged on average and sadly was disappointing, the setting, in an 800-seater theatre, was stunning. Bars: Varied and reasonably priced. No complaints. Food: What can I say? More than we expected, staff were courteous and very efficient and the menus catered for, I believe, every person in the restaurants in which we ate. Conversation included this statement: 'It's like eating in a top London restaurant every night'. And yes, it is possible to eat 24 hours a day. Amenities: check out the P and O website. Three pools, jacuzzi, the list goes on. Service: Five star. Ship: Huge! The deck layout caused some confusion, especially with some of the 'mature' passengers. Nutshell to finish: Cruise itinerary questionable. All else fabulous. Oh, I forgot the room service, try it please . . . spoil yourselves. Time to close our book and begin saving. Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
P&O Azura A116 - 15th to 22nd July 2011 Introduction We booked this cruise following two very enjoyable trips with Princess to the Mediterranean (2009) and Baltics (2010) and thought it would be interesting to write up a review of ... Read More
P&O Azura A116 - 15th to 22nd July 2011 Introduction We booked this cruise following two very enjoyable trips with Princess to the Mediterranean (2009) and Baltics (2010) and thought it would be interesting to write up a review of our trip and include some comparisons between P&O/Princess and the ships themselves (Azura and Grand Princess) Embarkation We were asked to arrive at Ocean Terminal no sooner than 1pm for embarkation. Having not much else to do, and from previous experience, we drew up at the terminal just before 11, where our luggage was offloaded and taken away, swiftly followed by our car courtesy of CPS. On entering the departure hall, we were given our embarkation cards (E!!. Wonder what time A-D arrived!!!!), completed the health questionnaires and waited. Complimentary magazines seemed to help the hour pass before registration was opened at 12. After a quick credit card registration and photograph we passed security and headed down the gangway The Ship Upon arrival onboard, we were advised that our cabins would not be ready until. 2:30pm but that the buffet was open. This was our first encounter of a difference between P&O and Princess. On our previous cruises, we have always been able to head straight for the cabin even at this early time. A wander around the ship was made easy by the fact that Azura and Grand Princess are built from the same basic template. The decor was more Contemporary than the Grand and had a fresher feel to it but, to be fair, the comparisons I make are prior to the Grands refit. What was extremely disappointing was that our luggage was not delivered to the room until 16:30 which meant a mad rush for sailaway.? Over the week, several differences would become apparent both with the ship and on-board culture: There was no way to access the area above the bridge as this was through "crew only" doors You could not walk completely around Promenade deck as there was no way to get around the nose of the ship on that deck. From the deck plans you would have to go up one deck and out doors at end of corridor which we didn't try. You could walk around the front of the ship above the bridge area, starting on the starboard side but the port side was blocked by cabin balconies. The Manhattan venue located at the rear of Promenade was the ships nightclub (as opposed to the Planet Bar or, as was, Skywalkers on the Grand. this seemed a good decision as it was always busy until about 2am, leaving the Planet Bar as a quieter location for drinks Azura has two dining rooms for fixed dining and one for freedom dining whereas the Grand had two freedom and one fixed. I was slightly surprised at this as i thought freedom dining was gaining popularity Both top deck centre pools are open to the elements whereas the Grand has one covered Azura has 3 staggered layers of decking which can be used to view the seascreen (aka movies under the stars) Azura outer doors onto decks are largely automatic (helps on those blustery days) Cabins have tea/coffee making facilities In-cabin tv has the facility to view hour bill making reception (as its called on Azura) a much quieter place Azura only had one ping pong table whereas it could have done with four as this was a very popular activity amongst teens Tipping on Azura was set at £1.60 per person per day for restaurant staff through an automatic charge and a recommended £1.50 per day for cabin steward. At £3.10 per person per day, these charges compared very favorably to Princess who charge d $10.50 (£6.56) Shuttle buses from the ship to the town centre in each port were free. Princess charge approx $10 for each person return trip Drinks were very reasonably riced. The very agreeable house white wine was priced at £11.95, Princess cheapest were near $20 (£14). Two beers was £6.40, again not too bad. All prices were what you paid, i.e. No 15% gratuity visible on top (not to say its not built in somewhere) Strangely, P&O seem to miss a trick in the main theatre by not offering drinks, whereas Princess had waiters in the theatre who were very attentive. On port days there is no water or soft drinks to take ashore, albeit this may change from cruise to cruise. Shop prices excluded VAT so you had to remember to add 20% to all prices The popcorn on Azura for Seascreen was not free There is no unlimited kids drinks card with P&O. coke was £1.50 or £1.75 a glass but you could buy a 20 drink package for £30 which was a bit pricey considering the base cost of these mixers. However, to sweeten the deal a little you could add a 20 ice cream card for £10. Both cards were identical and any many staff would not have noticed an ice cream card passed for a drink. Ethics aside, useful for those trips which turn out to be less sunny than expected. Ice-cream is of the soft whippy type served in a nice thick chocolate tipped cone. This type of Ice-cream was free in Princess Breakfast - largely a full fried breakfast and could really have done with more fruit/smoked salmon a la Princess. Compared to the waffle station on Princess, the Azura failed badly with no cream, almonds or fruit. Dinner - food was very good but portions of the main part (beef etc) were quite small and fleshed out by veggies. At one sitting the waiter offered another portion as "the chef was not giving big portions". Good for the water to do it but shouldn't be necessary. However, on the flip side I hate wasted food so tough to call. Besides Formal and Smart Casual, P&O have a semi-formal dress code some nights. I found this a real pain as I didn't mind bringing formal and casual but just didn't like to have to bring a jacket for one night. Personally, I don't see the need for this and think that P&O should get rid of semi-formal Buffer venues - three serving stations as opposed to the Grands two which alleviated the queues although not the dash for tables!!!! the ship was 90% UK passengers with slightly less observing formal evenings than I saw on Princess Photo prices were high i felt - £15.95 for portraits and £6.95 for casual prints. Printed books containing 5 portraits could be bought (and printed) on board - not a bad deal as you also got the hard copy prints free. However, this compared very badly to the Panraven book i ordered on Princess last year which worked out at 100 pages for £40 and you could fill the book with all your own photos and any you had bought, the only downside being you did this when you got back and required some effort. P&O do not offer any type of Ultimate Tour experience. The Captain advised that they had considered it but, in his opinion, it was down to security. This is understandable in todays world but doesn't explain why another line under the same Group differs in opinion.. All in, I believe that both cruise lines offer a great experience but the drink prices, free shuttles and lower tips result in P&O offering better value fr money. On a weeks long cruise, i would expect a family of four to save £250 plus ($400) by traveling with P&O. Ports Brest At this port, the shuttle stopped at three points - maritime museum, town centre and "marina". Docking on a Saturday, we were very surprised at how quiet the town centre was (we are talking ghost town here at 11am) so we didn't stay long. We hopped on the shuttle to the "marina" which seemed to comprise of some very poor cafes and industrial buildings. Very poor and we would certainly not get off the ship at this location again. We were back on boat in less than two hours and were not the only people by any means and throughout the cruise there were various jokes we heard about how bad the port was.?I appreciate it can be tough deciding on ports and that you cant please everyone but this port definitely felt like a "filler" to me. Bilbao Split into two areas (old and new town), we found this port to be very pleasant. Unfortunately we docked on a Sunday which meant that most of the new town was closed but a pleasant walk down by the river and across to the old town soon had us in a bustling and vibrant area. After a pleasant stroll around the old town, we returned to the new town area and wandered until we came across a nice park and, in particular, a servery selling possibly the largest ice cream cones I have ever seen... yum yumm!!! By the time we headed back to the shuttle bus, a queue had formed around the corner and down the street but this very quickly moved and we were heading back to the ship in under 20 minutes. Cork Azura docked at Ringiskiddy which meant we had a nice 20-25 minute through the countryside to arrive in the centre of Cork (thank goodness the shuttles are free!!).?Cork is a typical city with many of the same shopping brands as here in the UK. ?We opted for the "dual" city bus tour which encompassed an inner city tour and an outskirts tour, each lasting 45 minutes. The dual tour was good value at only 6 euros more for a family of four than either of the single tours. The inner city tour was narration was prerecorded but the outer tour brightened things up with an amusing and pleasant driver adding his unique and tongue-in-cheek comments to the proceedings. Dublin Undoubtedly the cream of the ports we visited, the town centre was a short drive from the port. The shuttle buses dropped us in the centre of this architecturally beautiful city.?There are two main bus tour companies (CitySightseeing and Dublin bus) and this competition was to prove fruitful for us. Our shuttle dropped us right in front of the CitySighseeing tours which were doing a roaring trade. However, a very short walk around the corner was the Dublin Bus. Although seeing the prices displayed (�60 for the four of us), i opted to play it a little dumb and ask how much. Pleasantly surprised, the guide confessed that the other tour company had got prime spot and offered us the tour for �28 which was even cheaper than if we had pre-booked online and got 20% discount!. With Dublin Bus being state run, it turned out a good decision and the tour was informative and stopped at the main attractions. The rest of the day was spend meandering along o'Connel street and into St.Stephens Green which was very pleasant. Entertainment I felt the onboard entertainment was very very good - particularly the onboard Headliners shows a not to be missed and surprisingly a young classical act whom was superb. The comedians onboard were nothing to shout home about as they had the same old jokes i have heard in the past three years!!. I understand the need to use venues for rehearsals etc but when the weather is poor, I would have hoped that the company used the main theaters more for movies etc to keep both adults and children occupied.?It is fair to say that, similar to Princess, the daily schedules follow the same base structure with a few features changing each day. Room & Cleaning On our previous trips, we had sailed in a balcony cabin on C deck with a larger balcony.?This trip, we opted for an inside cabin for the four of us due the upgrade costing an additional 50% of what we paid. The cabin was very clean and functional with a surprising amount of hanging and shelf space. The four of us comfortably managed to enjoy the week in the room but I would add that (as with any cabin) organisation and tidiness are the key. ? The cabin was clean and well decorated with the mirrors used to good effect to make the room seem much larger than it actually is. ??The one difference with the interior was that due to the layout of the cabin the top bed ladders could not be put at the bottom of the bed but were put down at the side, meaning they crossed each other. On more than one occasion I did almost trip over them whilst walking between the beds. Room cleaning was friendly, extremely fast and efficient, everything you want it to be. ?I actually have no idea how the room was cleaned within the time we were out of the room! Captain We were lucky enough to be early for photos with the Captain and he was extremely approachable with excellent people skills. Now, in my limited experience this is a rarity as they are often engrossed in their jobs and don't like to be seen front of house. The Captain was happy to spend ten minutes chatting about experiences onboard, the Grand, our prior cruises etc... Very pleasant and a credit to the company Summary Another excellent trip, slightly let down by the weather and the first port (but hey, thats why we cruise to learn). I feel that P&O/Princess would do well to study each others onboard operation and take the best bits from each. Thats not to say they should retain individuality but i do think both sides could learn from the other. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
This was our first cruise on Azura, although we had cruised with P&O some years previously. The ship was fresh and new. We enjoyed the art work on all of the staircases (climbing the stairs was good for the waistline too), and ... Read More
This was our first cruise on Azura, although we had cruised with P&O some years previously. The ship was fresh and new. We enjoyed the art work on all of the staircases (climbing the stairs was good for the waistline too), and although we didn't try all of the bars we liked the Glass House and the Planet Bar. The design of our cabin was a little different to the usual outside cabin. It seemed to be quite spacious, and the bathroom opened on to a walk-in wardrobe/dressing area which effectively created a separate sleeping space. The weather was not good in the early part of the cruise, and it was only on the final day that we were able to make use of the sun beds. We ate mainly in the Peninsular restaurant, but lunched on the first sea day on tapas in the Glass House and on the second sea day had Sindhu Nashti. No complaints about the food. Drinks prices were low compared to other cruise lines and the suggested tips (handed over in an envelope at the end of the cruise) very low given that the service we received was just fine - nice clean cabin and good food service. We visited Brest, in France. I am sure that it is very nice if its not raining and will be much improved when the road works, which have apparently been there for about a year, are completed. Our next port was Bilbao, on a grey Sunday. We visited the Guggenheim (again) to marvel at the building. We were luckily inside during the showers. In Cork the ship sailed past the usual(pretty and historic) port of Cobh and was berthed in the totally dull and boring freight or ferry port of Ringaskiddy which didn't even have an entrepreneurial Irishman selling shamrocks to attract the tourist Euro. We took the shuttle to Cork itself, which was a nice little town. We wandered around and found the English Market before the drizzle drove us back to our ship. Dublin was so busy!! We took a HoHO bus around the city and saw lots, accompanied by a witty commentary from our local guide. And it didn't rain!!! A bit more sun would have been good (P&O couldn't have done anything about that); overall we enjoyed the ship and the the holiday. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
I'm not in the habit of writing holiday reviews, but before we boarded I had read some reviews that pulled the Azura apart and I was quite concerned that I had made a mistake in booking. Thankfully, I now realise some people just ... Read More
I'm not in the habit of writing holiday reviews, but before we boarded I had read some reviews that pulled the Azura apart and I was quite concerned that I had made a mistake in booking. Thankfully, I now realise some people just moan and whinge about everything....so read on if you want an honest opinion!We sailed on P&O Azura from Southampton on Good Friday 2011 on a short 4 day cruise, heading for Rotterdam, Zeebrugge and Le Havre. First impressions were very good. From arriving at the Ocean Cruise Terminal to plonking down on a sun longer was no longer than 1 hour 15 mins, which was also well before our original 1pm slot. The embarkation process was faultless, allocated a 'letter' when we arrived, then called in alphabetical order (we were G so not long to wait!) to the desk to confirm details and off we went. We also took advantage of P&O allowing you to take your own wine etc on board to drink in our cabins.Moving on, the ship is very nicely decorated, cabins are comfortable (we had got a free balcony upgrade) and well appointed. After all, who goes on a cruise to sit in the cabin! Making a comparison, I would say the Arcadia is a little more grand in decor. Plenty of public lounges and all finely done out along a theme. I was a little concerned that the presence of children may spoil the holiday, as my previous cruise was on the adult ship Arcadia, but fears were unfounded. The families with children tended to gather around the 2 main pools, so we just stayed away as we wanted more peace and quiet. Only small niggle would be that the adult pool area was situated very near to a kiddies pool, so some noise there, but the kids were having fun, so not a moan!Staff all pleasant and helpful, our personal waiter 'Om' was happy to get us anything we asked for, that might not have been on the menu - such as chips!! Very friendly and keen to find out about us and tell us about himself if we asked. Cabin steward great, asked her once for ice and then found that she took it upon herself to make sure we always had a bucket full in the fridge. Touches like that are great!Went on one excursion, as I felt they were a little on the pricey side. Great day out, very informative guide and enjoyed very much. Watched whilst 7 passengers arrived back very late and missed the ship's sailing! Oops, the captain waited 45 mins but they got left on the dockside....let that be a lesson for anybody who dawdles!Drinks prices were brilliant.....no more than the local pub for anything, so a weight off your mind if you are on a spends budget. Also, we took a glass of wine with us from our cabin and it was never commented on by any staff in the bars we sat in.Entertainment was very good, I'm sure it is better in the West End, but then those seats are not free night after night! They also put on a 7.30pm show so that 2nd sitting diners did not have to go to the 11pm show if they didn't want. Perfectly watchable 'Headliners' Theatre Group and some other specialty acts too, such as pianists, rock bands and singers. There was a film on each day, we watched 'The King's Speech' one afternoon. Films were also on in the evening on the sea screen.All considered, a very nice time on the Azura....yes I could moan that my key card stopped working a couple of times or that the food in the buffet was similar each day, but I don;t care about things like that. The food was lovely and plenty of it to keep us going. There was enough choice to have different lunches/dinners each day and pizza/burgers whenever you wanted a snack. I ate whenever I felt peckish and it was always gorgeous!Azura was great for us 'normal' people.....P&O all the way for us in the future! 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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