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

We were looking forward to visiting the 4 locations, first one (Vigo) had to be missed because of bad weather which was unfortunate. We had travelled with Cunard before and as P&O are the same firm we expected similar high standards ... Read More
We were looking forward to visiting the 4 locations, first one (Vigo) had to be missed because of bad weather which was unfortunate. We had travelled with Cunard before and as P&O are the same firm we expected similar high standards but were disappointed with the facilities and entertainment. The public spaces and bars were crowded. The buffet was more like a scrum than a dining area, finding seats was difficult, you had to take it in turns to get your snack or meal. It was also almost impossible to get a seat in the bars. The entertainment in the theatre was limited to a single 45 minute act, i.e. comedian or ventriloquist or dance group, we would have preferred shorter acts but more variety; the actual acts were good. Meals and service in restaurants were good but afternoon tea a bit hurried. See separate comments regarding cabin, reasonable size but poor options and signal for TV, announcements not relayed to cabin. Public toilets were often out of service and not easy to find. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Eight of us decided to go on this two night cruise as a birthday celebration. Friday to Sunday. The layout of the ship is confusing. Cabin acceptable but carpet had stains and the toilet did not work on the final morning. On arrival ... Read More
Eight of us decided to go on this two night cruise as a birthday celebration. Friday to Sunday. The layout of the ship is confusing. Cabin acceptable but carpet had stains and the toilet did not work on the final morning. On arrival the safe was not working and was not fixed until Saturday morning. As a Baltic tier member I am entitled to slippers. I requested these on three occasions and they were eventually delivered to the cabin on Saturday evening. On the first night we arrived at freedom dining at 8.00 pm to be told there was an hour wait. We were eventually seated but the waiters were overstretched and consequently we missed the show in the theatre. At breakfast the following morning I asked for a latte but was told the machine was broken. We arrived at 7.00 pm on the second evening, not through choice but concerned if we left it later we might have the same problem as on the previous evening. I am not sure what the garlic butter consisted of but it was nothing like I have been served in the past! Myself and several members of the party were very disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We just arrived home from a 5 night cruise from Southampton due to call at Amsterdam and Le Havre. We did not end up docking in port at Le Havre, due to a local protest. Which is fair enough, although strikes at this port in particular ... Read More
We just arrived home from a 5 night cruise from Southampton due to call at Amsterdam and Le Havre. We did not end up docking in port at Le Havre, due to a local protest. Which is fair enough, although strikes at this port in particular are an ongoing issue, and the unions do post a schedule of strikes arranged. So in all honesty I am not sure why they even attempted to dock. Aside from the changes to our itinerary; not being able to dock in France and getting an extra half a day in Amsterdam due to wind conditions preventing our disembarkation (Amsterdam was great by the way), I have several concerns and reservations about the standard of cruise that P&O offered. Where to start... Dirty. Once you navigate away from the main atrium the conditions on board slip -substantially. Old, worn out, shabby decor. Add to that the fact that the whole of deck 7 smelt of sewerage. The one night we got into the lift from the atrium up to deck 15, we were greeted by a pair of extremely soiled pants which had just been taken off and discarded INSIDE the lift! Overall the standard on board is no better than a 3 star hotel. Dirty and discoloured carpets. The stagnant smell of cigarettes. Tatty and old tables and chairs in the dining area. Dirty window cills. Dirty Cutlery. Wet and stained carpets - that they were constantly trying to dry out - to no avail. Cold food. Bad smelling public toilets near Malabar. Plastic cocktail and pint glasses. The only reason I have given the overall rating of 2 stars, is because of the staff. They work ridiculously long hours are always happy to help and quite frankly put up with rude, intolerable and haughty guests on board. Would I cruise with P&O again, no. I am so glad that we booked very last minute and paid the saver rate. If we had paid full price for this cruise, I would have formally complained. One last thing, the only drinks that come in your all inclusive package are; tea, coffee and water, no juice. Which I think is totally ridiculous. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
I'm not normally a negative person so let's start with the positives. The staff at Southampton Ocean terminal were efficient and helpful and the people in the town of St Peter's Port Guernsey were warm and welcoming. There ... Read More
I'm not normally a negative person so let's start with the positives. The staff at Southampton Ocean terminal were efficient and helpful and the people in the town of St Peter's Port Guernsey were warm and welcoming. There was a lovely member of staff in the Verona restaurant, the staff in The Beach House were brilliant, the cabins are nice, the Electric Avenue show was good and mum loved the cocktails.The team running the tenders were lovely and looked out for the travellers with disabilities.The large number of hen parties even sang in tune........... All of that couldn't make up for the sarcasm from the member of staff who did the life jacket demo in muster station D, the lack of food & drink availability when we arrived and very few staff. Just someone to say welcome and then no one. Just a blip I hear you say, must have all been getting the ship ready to sail. And so I thought....until breakfast in the buffet restaurants was chaos and then a two hour wait to get off of the ship (after the busy time they told us to avoid). Take a ticket and sit an wait til called. All stuck in one of the lounges for two hours with no offers of drinks. Told to stand by the side of the room and constantly being told to be patient as they have 3000 to get off of the ship. Surely, you say, they knew how many people they have on the ship and would have thought about this.........Eventually got into St Peters Port at about 12.30 and only stayed a couple of hours as last tender leaving at 5 and they have to get the 3000 people back! Went to The Beach House and paid £10 extra each as not impressed with food in buffet restaurant. Food was good and apparently the extra money buys you the service you should expect anyway.. Didn't even see our cabin steward but they must have been around because we got a chocolate every night. Disembarkation was just another dose of totally disorganised splendour. People had kept their luggage with them rather than trust P & O with it but had to be out of their cabin by 8am. So off they went in the lifts to the buffet restaurants which mean't we couldn't get lifts down to get off the ship. This was meant to be a lovely birthday treat for my dad, who is now 80 and has lost his sight. Have been on cruises with Thomson so thought that he would receive the same consideration and pampering as we have had with them. Made sure that we let P & O know about dad's disability but, other than a scrappy A4 sheet of paper on the first day with large print of the excursions, nothing. Unfortunately dad had a fall whilst getting of the tender but no one bothered to check this morning to see if he was ok. So considering that surely a taster cruise is the 'shop window' for more cruises with P & O, would I ever travel with them or recommend them? I'm sure you can guess.......... Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We have done five cruises with RCI on the news ships, Anthem and Harmony being the most recent. We wanted to try P&O before booking a main holiday cruise with them so going on a two day trip was a good way to see what they have to ... Read More
We have done five cruises with RCI on the news ships, Anthem and Harmony being the most recent. We wanted to try P&O before booking a main holiday cruise with them so going on a two day trip was a good way to see what they have to offer. Very glad we did this as we now know it's not for us! In general it's just not as good the main disappointment being the food, the best thing we ate all weekend was a burger and fries from the deck restaurant near the pool on deck! The buffet restaurants are dreadful, very cramped in the area where you queue up and very hot. You literally have to snake your way along, in one end out the other. No good if you forget something and want to pop back! You have to go one at a time too when travelling as a couple as one of you has to save the table otherwise no chance of getting one with food rapidly going cold on your tray! Choice of food very poor in comparison to RCI and the quality was awful awful awful..... someone from P&O needs to go on the Anthem of the seas to see how to deal with crowds in buffet restaurants. Ate in Sindhu the Indian on the 1st night, cost us an extra £70 with a bottle of wine and really wasn't worth it. No atmosphere either as barely anybody else in there eating, still tried to sit us at a rubbish table for two in the middle of the restaurant though.....ended up next to a window in a larger table. Food quality better than the main restaurant but still nothing stand out. Ate in the main restaurant the next night for formal night as figured this would be when the best menu would be on. Cramped table for two so close to others that we might as well have been sat with them! Could hear everyone's conversation without trying, awful. Food quality was rubbish and portions small. Service very slow and hit and miss, they brought the wrong food twice! Left before dessert couldn't wait any longer and just wanted to get out of there. Bars all pretty quiet with bland background musicians apart from one bar I think it was called Malabar which had a bit more life. Entertainment an Annie Lennox impersonator....that's as far as we got. Went to the casino to play, no chance of getting on a table not enough of them. Listened to the karaoke in there instead which was probably the best entertainment of the cruise! Ship itself is difficult to navigate, several dead ends and having to walk through restaurants to get to other places .....weird. Also pretty dated now and lots of furniture in the bars and restaurants showing it's age and needs replacing. Definitely an older crowd on P&O which is fine but probably not for us just yet..... Tried to get off to visit Guernsey but the tendering system a nightmare with a two hour wait in a long queue to endure first so didn't bother, shame. Cabin was very dated and quite battered, the tv remote sensor was being held to the cabinet under the TV with gaffa tape! Nice! Cabin steward nice and efficient. All in all a disappointment not to be repeated. Back to Royal Caribbean and Celebrity for us, we should have stayed loyal to royal as there slogan says! Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
The itinary was the main reason for booking but.... The whole cruise was a let down. We sailed on this ship in March of last year(2016) and could not really fault any aspect of the cruise, however this time it was a complete let down. The ... Read More
The itinary was the main reason for booking but.... The whole cruise was a let down. We sailed on this ship in March of last year(2016) and could not really fault any aspect of the cruise, however this time it was a complete let down. The so called entertainment team lacked drive,enthusiasm and talent even looking bored when hosting on board activites. The food was of a poorer standard too. The sea days of which there were 7 extended from 6 as we could not dock at Reykjavik were boring, listening to passengers comments there was nothing to do apart from spending the little amount of on board credit, in the shops,bars or casino. I can say few positives on this occasion apart from two guest entertainers Julian Smith and Manuel Martinez who where very good. Resident band Jet Set should have a higher profile too and bin Accent. This may result in been the last cruise with P&O. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We were a party of 7 and took this cruise to celebrate our parents diamond wedding anniversary. P&O FAQ's don't seem to apply to the "2 day" cruise (actually 1 day and 2 nights) and this caused consternation when ... Read More
We were a party of 7 and took this cruise to celebrate our parents diamond wedding anniversary. P&O FAQ's don't seem to apply to the "2 day" cruise (actually 1 day and 2 nights) and this caused consternation when we arrived by car. The terminal was packed and a two hour wait ensued. Also, the formal night gala dinner is advertised as a 5 course meal, we were only offered 3. The food was good, but not exceptional. The muster was held in a room that could not adequately hold the number of passengers that were there and did go on far too long. The staff - downright rude. From the Sunday afternoon it was clear that they were preparing for the next cruise and couldn't wait for us to leave. The exception to this was our cabin steward who was a real delight. The cabins were well appointed, spacious and clean. Our first cruise experience and certainly our last with P&O. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We, party of 6, 3 cabins, booked the weekend cruise to Guernsey to celebrate a birthday. What should have been a relaxing weekend got off to an absolutely horrendous start! Prior to travelling when we were given our cabin allocations ... Read More
We, party of 6, 3 cabins, booked the weekend cruise to Guernsey to celebrate a birthday. What should have been a relaxing weekend got off to an absolutely horrendous start! Prior to travelling when we were given our cabin allocations (2 close together and 1 further down the corridor) we asked if we could swop the allocations for 2 of the cabins. P & O said this wasn't a problem and new paperwork arrived with the names changed for the 2 cabins. I then spent 4 weeks attempting to get onto the cruise personaliser to be able to print off documents. My travel agent (Thomson) were brilliant in contacting P & O for me. Each time P & O reported they had changed the details, wait 24 hours, then I would be able to log on to cruise personaliser. This went on until 4 days before we travelled - even then I realised P & O had not changed all the details correctly, however I was finally able to print the E tickets etc. P & O clearly have a problem with their administrative services. Embarkation - after a long drive we arrived at Southampton before our allocated arrival time only to find the terminal full to capacity! We finally got to the check in desk after waiting nearly 2 hours. The two partys that had swopped cabins were then unable to check in as P & O had issued 2 cruise cards with the same name and one person didn't have any card issued with their name on it! The check in staff were rude and unhelpful and actually said 'your name is not on my system so I can't help'. I then had to show all my paperwork, with the correct details on, that P & O had issued, to show who should be in each cabin. Senior staff from the ship did finally sort everything out (assuring us the ship wouldn't leave without us) but we were the last people to get on the ship and they were closing up behind us and scowling as we were holding everything up. Due to all P & O's administrative errors we had a horrible, stressful start to our weekend. It didn't help that as soon as we found our cabins we were ushered straight out to go to muster all without being able to sit down for 5 minutes! Cabin - this was lovely with plenty of space, comfy bed and good shower. The cabin steward was a bit hit and miss with emptying the bins and didn't change our towels. On the Sunday he removed all our items off the bathroom shelves so he could presumably get a head start on cleaning before disembarkation! Dining - food was lovely but in the Penninsular but there was a long wait to get a table and the service was a bit slow. At breakfast it was hard to find a table as it was really busy and staff just seemed really fed up. At times it felt like the staff were unable to cope with the number of passengers on board. We watched one show which was enjoyable. We did not take any ship tours and did our own thing in Guernsey. We were a bit disappointed that only a few shops were open (as most closed on a Sunday) and wondered why the ship goes to Guernsey on a Sunday when lots of things are shut. Disembarkation - this was relatively easy, just shuffling along in a line to get off the ship. Time was spent waiting to get in a lift that wasn't full! After a rough start the rest of the weekend was generally fine. It has put us off going for a weekend cruise again and certainly from leaving from Southampton! If this had been our first ever cruise experience we would never, ever cruise again but having been on a perfect cruise on Oceana we know it can be good. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We were at sea for four days( could have called in Lisbon on way down to break the journey) before we docked at Maderia and found it beautiful but after that the next three ports were black lava rock fronted and very little to do and only ... Read More
We were at sea for four days( could have called in Lisbon on way down to break the journey) before we docked at Maderia and found it beautiful but after that the next three ports were black lava rock fronted and very little to do and only allowed ashore for half days. On one of the locations we arrived on a Sunday where everything was closed! What a waste of time!! We paid a LOT of money to go on a cruise to make it a holiday of a lifetime and was not impressed by the itinerary at all. On way back to uk we docked in Lisbon, which was gorgeous but once again only there for half day. Too many days at sea and not enough quality places to see. On board the entertainment was good and staff brilliant but which restaurants were available to your particular ticket is not made clear to you and we spent most of cruise eating in a cafeteria instead of the restaurants we were entitled to go to. Tea and coffee were provided but bottled water you had to pay for and that was also cost too much! There were MANY things that were expensive but as you have a amount of free money by the travel agents given to you to use on your cruise you were expected to donate nearly half to the crew fund ( if they paid the hard working staff a decent wage we wouldn't have need to) but can refuse if you want to. I assume that with all the days at sea passengers would spend more money on board, so that when you reach Southampton any overspend has to be settled and with us turned out to be very expensive. Very disappointed and has made us not want to cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
I know that everyone has there own ideas on what makes a good cruise so I can only give you my opinions on this ship and cruise and it's up to you to decide if this ship is for you or not. Embarkation at Southampton was smooth and ... Read More
I know that everyone has there own ideas on what makes a good cruise so I can only give you my opinions on this ship and cruise and it's up to you to decide if this ship is for you or not. Embarkation at Southampton was smooth and our bags were delivered to our cabin in good time. The ship itself is big and, if you like that size of ship, impressive. This of course means that there are a lot of people on board, many of who seemed to enjoy wearing football shirts and I'm sure they felt right at home in the English style pub and lying by the pool watching the football on the "seascreen". There were other types of entertainment, of course, including bingo and music from social club style singers and groups. I can't comment on the quality of the entertainment in the show lounges as we preferred to have a quiet drink in the stylish Glass House bar and restaurant. Our cabin was nice and was well maintained by our pleasant and hard working cabin steward. In fact, the vast majority (but not all) staff were very professional and courteous, we did have problems with the reception staff however who did not make a note of our request for an early disembarkation and from who we are still waiting for our 06:00 alarm call. Public announcements sometimes gave out incorrect information and I found one or two of the reception staffs accents difficult to understand. Food on board the Azura was a real disappointment for us. Our first night experience in the peninsular restaurant being the first of many negative points. The waiters were surly and one in particular never even spoke, the food was poor and we couldn't wait to get out. After complaining we were moved to the Oriental restaurant which was an improvement but not without fault, the standard of the food was very up and down, sometimes good, sometimes poor but mainly average and not very hot! On leaving the Oriental restaurant one night we were greeted by two people dressed in large cuddly animal costumes (this was a photo opportunity apparently). I'm sure that if there had been a gang of 5 year olds leaving the restaurant between 9:30 and 10:00 pm they would have been delighted to see them but I'm not sure that the majority of grown ups seemed quite so keen or could see the point of it all if I'm honest. The food in the buffet restaurants was repetitive and not up to the standards that we received on our last P and O cruise (on the Oceana). Be prepared to encounter some bad (in my opinion) manners from your fellow cruisers. Apparently they seem to think that they are never going to be fed again and will trample over anyone who gets between them and their food, some of their hygiene standards leave a lot to be desired as well, I saw one woman eating a cake while digging around in the salad bar and then continually liking her fingers before picking up the serving tongs. Be prepared also for much pushing and shoving in these woefully small restaurants (for the size of the ship). Food in the speciality restaurants was very good (from the reports that we heard) but of course you have to pay a supplement to eat there. There are a number of places to sit outside during the day and we chose an area away from the loud music and giant TV (sea) screen areas. There were LOTS of sunbeds crammed in side by side and not many tables to go with them, one of the tables where we liked to sit had a leg that fell off whenever it was moved. I noticed a stirrer from a cocktail glass under one of the sunbeds and it remained there for the duration of our cruise, not much cleaning going on there P and O ! P and O provide a sail away party at many (if not all ports) and these seemed to be very popular with many people, they are not my cup of tea but every one has their own tastes and if you don't like them there are plenty of places to go to avoid them. Overall this ship promises much but falls short of many of my expectations, I know that many people love the Azura but I won't be one of this ships returning customers. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
We booked our cruise on Azura at the very last minute and was told by the travel agent that we had been lucky and got the very last cabin. This was very interesting as when on board we met a number of other couples who had been told the ... Read More
We booked our cruise on Azura at the very last minute and was told by the travel agent that we had been lucky and got the very last cabin. This was very interesting as when on board we met a number of other couples who had been told the same thing. This seems to be a marketing ploy by P and O to pressurise you in to making a booking. When we got on the ship we found the cabin was of a good size and the balcony although obstructed was very large and still very pleasurable to sit out on. The majority of the ship looks old before its time with lots of dark would and poor lighting, it is also very obvious that the ship is the same design as used by princess as some areas are almost identical in layout. The only true exception being the Glass house bar which is far more contemporary in colour and design. Food on the ship is very inconsistent and the organisation of the top floor buffet restaurant being a complete nightmare, tables where left uncleared and cups not being available at the beverage stations. The thing that really was disappointing was P and O's portion control on food and drink. If you order duck breast for dinner you would expect a whole breast but P and O give you two thin slices. This was the same for all portions at lunch and dinner. Drinks where another joke. We have never been on any other ship where they are measured to the point where a martini is served in what could be described as not much more than a thimble. The beds and pillows are so old and knackered that did not allow us to get a good night's sleep and desperately need replacing. Staff on the ship are also with few exceptions disinterested and not particularly helpful. This was our first cruise on P and O and as you may have guessed we won't be going back. Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
On the P&O website one of their fliers state "P & O Discover a Different World " after a 2 day "taster cruise " this statement is very acurate. We are seasoned cruisers mostly sailing with Cunard ,Holland ... Read More
On the P&O website one of their fliers state "P & O Discover a Different World " after a 2 day "taster cruise " this statement is very acurate. We are seasoned cruisers mostly sailing with Cunard ,Holland America,Celebrity and RCI having done 10+ cruises in 6 years we thought we would sample what P&O had to offer on this 2 day mini cruise to Bruges . We travelled down from Cheshire to Southampton on the day before our cruise and stayed in Ennious Boutique Hotel near to Ocean dock we did,nt know at the time but this overnight stay was the highlight of this short break (this was a loverly small hotel with nice rooms good service and a excellant italian restaurant which has just been voted 7th best in the uk ) The cruise terminal was very busy and was not the normal cliental you expect to see on a cruise mostly "hen parties and stag nights" very loud and starting to get merry even before they had boarded this was the norm for our time on the Azura.. However the embarkment was very orgainsed and after roughly 1 hour we were in our cabin. The cabin was very nice and we had a nice size balcony the room steward introduced himself and was very pleasent and cleaned the room to a very high standard . The layout of this ship is very confusing and this being so everywhere had the feel of everywhere being overcrowded leading to queues for most things on board. We assembled in the "breakers bar on deck " for the Sailaway at 4 as instructed where champagne was being sold at £6.75 for half a glass then after watching the hen parties and stagnights enjoying thereselves the Captain annouced routine maintinance had put back sailaway till later .(we actually left at 9 oclock this also added to the confusion .I.ll now give you a quick list of pros of this short cruise PROS Shindu (specialty dining ) very high standard although £25 suppliment in most ive ever paid Drinks very reasonable with wine at good price Tips on drinks Main restaurant (food good standard ) but service a bit fast cabin and cabin staff Entertainment in the bars Cons Confusion ruled on the ship first nights program left in the stateroom said the clocks were going forward ! hour at 2 pm this didnt happen and ship stayed on uk time this was annouced late morning by the captain after people were turning up 1 hour early to get off and to dining areas . There seemed to be a lack of staff no one cleaning stairways toilets had a smell of urine and were not up to normal standards Was there a Cruise Director >??? most annoucements where made by the Captain Unfriendly staff who looked demotivated Ships officers who only looked happy when they were partying with the Hen nights in the Manhatton bar till the early hours Disenbarkation was a joke given time to leave but it was a free for all passengers leaving when the felt like this again leading to large queues there was one officer trying to control this to no help from any other staff STANDARDS I Saw things on this cruise ive never experenced before gangs of young ladies the worst for drink in fancy dress outfits carring blow up dolls having water fights with  water pistols etc etc etc Most alarming was the dress code even on formal nights around the ship .i could go on and on but i,d be writing all day needless to say P&O NEVER AGAIN   Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
We returned from our mini cruise on the Azura a few days ago. It was our first cruise with P&O, having sailed with Royal Caribbean, NCL and Princess previously, we couldn't help but compare. Embarkation -- We arrived at the ... Read More
We returned from our mini cruise on the Azura a few days ago. It was our first cruise with P&O, having sailed with Royal Caribbean, NCL and Princess previously, we couldn't help but compare. Embarkation -- We arrived at the Ocean Terminal just before noon, picked up our letter card and waited about an hour before we were called to check in. Actual check in took about 5 minutes and back in the queue we went for the scanners. Food -- Knowing the cabins would not be ready so early we headed to the buffet restaurant. Having been on the Crown Princess before we knew the layout of the ship well and the buffet looks exactly the same with the same decor. However, what was different was that each section of the buffet serving area was split in half with the food repeat on either side. This made the already limited selection even smaller. The actual food was fine, very nice lamb curry. But the service in the buffet has to be the worst I have experienced so far. As soon as we sat down we were asked what we would like to drink. I asked for a glass of water and was told to get it myself because they only take paid orders! This has never happened before on other ships! And the speed at which they whisk the trays and plates away before you have even finished is just too efficient! Similarly the service in the Peninsular dining room was the worst we have encountered. The waiters never introduced themselves or the menus, not even on the first evening. Instead they hand you the menu and hover behind you until you place your order, you don't have time to read the menu properly as you feel pressured to order quickly. The quality of the food was also not great. Much of it was overcooked and not presented well. On the last evening we were presented with "all the menus", this did not include the menu for that evening. We were told we couldn't have it because they had to use them for 2nd sitting guests. Such environmentally friendliness should be applauded, I guess... On the pool deck we tried the pizza and that was fine. But the ice cream section remained closed every time we passed it. Room -- We had an aft balcony on E deck and it is a fine cabin. Although it is directly above the Manhattan lounge, there was never any noise. We had a very big balcony, about twice normal size. We had expected an obstructed view as we had read about there being a pillar in the aft balconies, but there was none. Our cabin steward was ok, kept our room clean and tidy. On debarkation morning we went up to the buffet to have breakfast and on returning to our cabin found that the bed had already been made. Again, a bit too efficient! We had to be careful not to mess up the bed while we packed the remainder of our belongings! Enetertainment -- This has to be the first cruise where I have no idea who the cruise director was. We saw him briefly at the beginning of a show one evening and that was it. The shows are not up to standard with other cruise lines. There are too many tribute acts and the comedian on the last night was absolutely awful. Making fun of the Indian staff onboard was particularly bad. Ports of call -- We visited Zeebrugge and St Peter Port and we did both ports on our own. Return train fare to Brugge for Eur3.80 and £1 round island bus fare on Guernsey were both incredible value for money! Debarkation -- Since our bed was already made, it sure helped to get us out of our cabin quickly! We were off the ship before 8. Having our key cards taken away at the end of a cruise was also a first. Summary -- This was a 3 night mini cruise, so maybe it is not a good representation of a normal length cruise on a P&O ship. However, we have experienced better on all the 8 ships we have cruised on so far and therefore it is most unlikely we would book another cruise with P&O. Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
Day 1 Southampton Paid for the trip down from Yorkshire on EAVESWAY coaches which is a winner, cheaper than driving down and parking fees, then into the new ocean terminal to book in this seemed to take longer than the last time in ... Read More
Day 1 Southampton Paid for the trip down from Yorkshire on EAVESWAY coaches which is a winner, cheaper than driving down and parking fees, then into the new ocean terminal to book in this seemed to take longer than the last time in Southampton on Arcadia but we were still in our cabin by 2 pm and at lunch in the Venezia restaurant shortly afterwards, a very nice buffet on deck 15 aft Later we took a guided tour around the very expansive spa complex which include the new concept on AZURA the Retreat We were impressed enough to book the retreat for the full 7 days We had the usual sing-along as we departed but it was poor compared to when we were on Ventura, just drab rod Stewart music That evening we had dinner in the meridian restaurant which is for those who have chosen freedom dinning its exactly the same as the 2 club dining restaurants peninsula and oriental, accept you can have dinner any time between 6pm and 9pm, rather than the fixed 6.30pm or 8.30 pm on the ship you can always get something to eat as there is always one of the other grills or dinners open, for example, the Venezia and Verona between them serve a full English breakfast from 0700 to 1200 and then remains open until 930 pm with a buffet and later Verona as an Italian restaurant and late snacks until breakfast The Venezia has a breakfast from06.30 to10.30 lunch from 12 to 3 then afternoon tea at 6 to 930 there is always a speciality buffet ie Indian Chinese Italian etc There are also as I mentioned the 3 main restaurants aft that must seat between 300 to 500 each and the 2 speciality pay extra 'cover charge' restaurants plus the glass house a wine specialty restaurant which does food but at a price later we did not go to the main show just wandered around the many bar's and live entertainment available Day 2 At sea Breakfast in our cabin as usual, this is a long tradition, and therefore stops the 'full English' syndrome I went to a cookery demonstration would you believe, but this was somewhat different, it was Atul Kocchar famed Michelin star'ed Indian chef accompanied by wine expert Olly Smith very interesting and informative Atul was funny too Chilled out in the Retreat then it was the 'Gala Reception' which we gave a miss too but did accept the wine, decide on dinner in the meridian restaurant as it was the first 'Formal 'night, we did not want to share tonight and so we had to wait for 15 minutes on a table for 2 but they give you one of those 'bleeper' things that scares the hell out of you when it goes off to inform you that your table is available. We had an excellent 6 course meal with exceptional service from our waiter of the evening, I had the lobster Again gave the main show a miss and wandered around the many bar's and live entertainment available a bit disappointed because I am not a big fan of ballroom dancing(in 2 locations), karaoke in the British bar, pianist in 2 or a rubbish magician, nor do I wish to throw money away in the casino Day3 Dublin Dublin late arriving no gangway open until midday, large crowds milling about in the Atrium, maybe if we had made more than 10knots getting here we may have been on time Sat on the balcony and watched as we 'rotated 'about in her own length within the confines of the harbour and berthed stern too, quite a feat considering Azura's length and size but having seen Venture and Constellation carry out similar it doesn't impress us any more The weather looks dodgy so we had lunch first before catching the free shuttle bus into town, getting into town at 3pm was easy but queuing up to get back with several hundred others, on the cities crowded pavement, another thing entirely, it was total chaos. Any way back to the ship and it rained Note; - from my experience of holidays here the republic of Ireland has always expensive but the drop in the euro has made Dublin very expensive indeed Evening checked the menus on the interactive television and decided to go to the Verona restaurant which turns into an Italian restaurant in the evening, this was a good choice as we had an excellent meal with the usual exceptional service from our waiter of the evening, note if you decide on this option go early it was very popular and they were giving out the dreaded bleepers after 7 pm Next stop the Malabar for 8.30 to listen to Lynda Radford singing she was pretty good then along to the Manhattan to listen to a tribute to Phil Collins by rob Lewis again if you want a seat get in 30 minutes early, it was packed out by the start with standing room only in the entrance it was 6 deep but what a good show he put on very very good sounded just like the real thing A good evening, on the down side tonight the dress code after 6.00 was semi formal and some men idea of 'smart shirt and trouser with a jacket' left a lot to be desired, jeans and a tee shirt hardly fitted the concept of smart, particularly when their partner had obviously made an effort, then may be its me Day 4 The town of Cobh for cork Azure berthed at the cruise terminal adjacent to the little train station that operate a service to cork, Cobh is a nice little town with an imposing cathedral and many shops and bars, it trades on the fact that both the titanic and Lusitania left here to be sunk and that a little Irish girl left here to be the first immigrant through Elis island, all told its cheaper and nicer than Dublin We did not do any trips as the trips are expensive and I had no wish to kiss the blarney stone any way So back to the ship and up to the Retreat for a few hours it was a pity that it was quite chilly or I could spend all day up there During the morning they had a 'man overboard' exercise me being a cynic, thinks it's a doddle in harbour with the ship stationary and a flat calm sea, 'when I was a lad' we did the exercise doing 25 knots in a rough sea and after the "figure of eight turns" to get back to the dummy that had been thrown over we had to launch the sea boat and collect the 'survivor 'then recover the sea boat, sorry I digress, back to Azura Checked out the daily ships paper 'horizon' looks like tonight is a repeat of the second evening ie ballroom dancing(in 2 locations), karaoke , motown memories and its back to the good old days of the 60 and 70, I was there in the 60s it wasn't that great I also notice that the sailaway starts at 5.15pm yet the gangway does not shut until 5.30pm, it wasn't a bad sailaway accept that it finished before we sailed away, they could take lessons from Ventura's entertainments team on how it's done We had a very good Indian buffet in the Venezia restaurant a large selection well presented and nice table layout, I must say that the foods throughout all the restaurants on Azura are of a very high standard As I suspected the evening was a total wash out the entertainment is very poor catering for a minority this is not up to P&O's usual standard Day 5 At sea In order to getter a full picture on dinning on Azura I decide to forego breakfast in our cabin (a martyr to the course) and checked out breakfast in the Venezia and Verona restaurants, again spoilt for choices and with the 6 buffets split up into about 24 separate segments so there little or no queuing, open for full English or continental until noon There is also the choice of going to the 2 club dining restaurants peninsular and oriental for breakfast but they close at 09.30 We gave the Retreat a miss today as we are doing 16 knots and its very windy and the Retreat is very exposed, it's alright out in the Caribbean but not the bay of Biscay Again checked out the daily ships paper 'horizon' looks like tonight is a repeat of yesterdays evening i.e. ballroom dancing, a ballroom dancing demonstration, 2 karaoke , a classical concert, 2 pub quiz's and a Simply Red tribute, Still I went to the British bar called Brodie's and listened to attempts to get passengers up to sing, no takers, so finally the entertainment guys got up to sing and I left Day 6 Bilbao checked out breakfast in the Venezia and Verona restaurants, again only there was an exercise on for the ships crew and they had closed the larger Venezia which created queues in Verona still it wasn't to bad you had to shunt around abit to get what you wanted because they kept on running out of items, not quite as bad as my daughter's experienced last week on Arcadia but close and it should not happen with P&O and on a ship of this size. They also closed the kids club which upset some of the passengers The same thing happened at lunch time but they closed Verona this time, Maybe they thought everyone would be ashore, wrong We stayed on board because we knew from previous experience, that in Spain, on a Sunday, everything would be closed and the reports coming back supported this, why we could not be at sea on a Sunday is beyond me. Had dinner in Venezia which was an oriental theme and it was excellent then down to the British bar called Brodie's and listened to quite a good group singing ballads Day 7 Brest Arrived along Starboard side too for a change [our side] adjacent to a dry dock and warehouses the cruise terminal here is very poorly positioned, stuck out in the middle of nowhere, it's a feature of this cruise that all the ports of call except Cobh were 20 to 40 minutes from civilisation We took no organised trips because they were all too expensive so it was back to the shuttle but appears that a lot of others had the same idea, so we had to wait until the horrendous long queues for the shuttle got manageable and then we took one into the town centre ,we were not impressed with what we saw in the town and so stayed on the bus and returning to the ship Again queues to get off the ship and queues to get back on board seem to be a feature of this ship not enough gangways being provided, there were only 2 for the 3000 odd passengers, to get on and off the ship, this is not good enough, you do not expect this kind of sloppy unprofessionalism when you have paid a lot of money to a supposedly top end cruise company plus there were no proper dedicated gang way for the disabled Had lunch on deck with a burger from one of the 2 fast food outlets on the pool deck had a glass of pimms and watched the sailaway which by this time the entertainment team were getting pretty good , they must have been practicing, We are giving the meridian restaurant a miss tonight because the buffet in the Venezia appears to have a better menu [you can check out all the menus on board on the flat screen TV in your cabin] In comparing Like For Like her sister ship Ventura is better organised, slicker at passenger comfort and welfare, is far friendlier in her crew to passenger relationship, better entertainment, better shops, better library, freedom dinning is slicker whereas Azura probably wins on quality in the food stakes but has a lot to learn, elsewhere The entertainment on azura is very much a cross between, East Enders and Strictly Come Dancing with quiz's,and bingo thrown in And so back to Southampton and a pretty slick debarkation and to our EAVESWAY coach and a good trip home Read Less
Sail Date October 2010
Azura Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.1
Dining 4.0 3.8
Entertainment 4.0 3.5
Public Rooms 4.0 4.0
Fitness Recreation 5.0 3.7
Family 4.0 3.7
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.4
Enrichment 3.0 3.2
Service 4.0 4.0
Value For Money 4.0 3.6
Rates 4.0 3.8

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