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

We booked this 2 day cruise for our grand daughters birthday treat. Checking in at Southampton was a long tiring affair, taking almost an hour and half. We had a balcony cabin as we like watching the world sail by. As usual the cabin was ... Read More
We booked this 2 day cruise for our grand daughters birthday treat. Checking in at Southampton was a long tiring affair, taking almost an hour and half. We had a balcony cabin as we like watching the world sail by. As usual the cabin was clean and functional, the cabin Stewart was very efficient as he cleaned the cabin twice a day. At reception a sign said the ship was fully booked, a mix of families and hen do's. The pool area was very busy with certain groups taking over the jacuzzis all afternoon, drinking using real glass's rather than the plastic ones everyone else had to use. They used the sides to place their glasses and bottles. There were groups of people drinking to excess and jumping in the pool wearing their outdoor shorts, there was no one to stop them. The staff were more concerned in selling them more alcohol. Ordering drinks was a long affair as there wasn't enough staff to serve everyone. The restaurant was no better, trying to get a bottle wine was a long time, we had almost eaten our dinner before we got our wine, even when we pre booked it on the wine channel. The food in the restaurant wasn't up to much, portions have been reduced and much less choice. The choice on the formal night was pretty dire, coming out Lukewarm. One of my grand daughters is a vegetarian and the starter choice was goats cheese and the main course was also goats cheese. When we asked if there was anything else, we were told no, we should have ordered it 2 days previous , which would have been hard as we weren't on the ship then. The staff were slow and uninterested. Having been on the azura seven times before, I can honestly say this was my last time. I think they should just name these cruises booze cruises because it seems p and o are not interested in families, just groups who drink as much as they can in the shortest time. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We traveled as a group of 17 for the weekend from Southampton to Bruges to celebrate my mother's 75th birthday, while we had a great time this was rather in spite of the cruise experience than because of it. At check in we were ... Read More
We traveled as a group of 17 for the weekend from Southampton to Bruges to celebrate my mother's 75th birthday, while we had a great time this was rather in spite of the cruise experience than because of it. At check in we were left to carry our own luggage to the room and also left to find the room ourselves with no directions, which is less straightforward than you might think. The only thing to greet you on board is a man insisting you use handsanitiser - a pretty obvious precusor of what was to come. The lifts are woefully inadequate for the number of people so be ready to lug your bags up and down multiple floors or have a long wait - a very long wait. The cabins were a pleasant surprise, although of dubious cleanliness. Water was provided the first night but not the second - personally I would drink nothing from the taps and wash hands at every opportunity. Before dinner we had the safety talk which was fine and tried on our life jackets - then explored the ship. Top deck had all the activity late afternoon and was heaving. Two small pools and a few hot tubs - if your thing is getting very drunk and watching status quo from a hot tub along with a few hundred others then good luck. There were a lot of hen parties and it seemed perfect for this. The walk around the top deck was quite short and totally uninspiring. The tennis/football extremely small and full of a lot of well oiled men playing football. Golf nets? Forget it. Gym on the other hand was well sized, quite empty and in a prime location on the ship. We had to go early to dinner (6.30pm) as we were a large group, if you came later there was quite a wait. The food choice was probably about what you expect - prawn cocktail and steak and chips etc. Portions were small and the food mediocre to poor. A pub serving this would struggle. Service is slow - but we were a large group. Wine selection is again poor and at cheap end. After dinner saw the ollie murs tribute band - singer was pretty good, atmosphere was lacking and ollie murs doesn't really have enough hits to sustain a tribute band. Tried to go to Karaoke, but it was too busy. Retired to bed. One of our party was up all night being sick, probably from the food - I think this is almost inevitable with a group of our size on a ship like this. Be ready to be woken at about 7am (6am UK) with a huge shuddering as the ship slows and then an announcement telling you about disembarking for Bruges. Breakfast in most restaurants finishes at 9.30 - 8.30am UK so very easy to miss, not that you are missing much. One restaurant stayed open until 10am (9am uk) - very overfull and queue for poor food. Scrambled eggs from packet, no fresh milk, revolting bacon - surely P&O can do a little better?? My wife dropped her toast on the floor and when she picked it up it was covered in hair, not one or two a matting of hair - this boat is not clean. Our day trip to Bruges was a coach to the city and then 3-4 hours to walk around "at our own pace", well as there were 5000 others it was not really at our own pace, more the pace at which you are drifted along by the huge crowds. Also for a return coach I think c.£30 per head is extortion, I can fly for less - get a taxi quote...Bruges was a pretty city but too busy and very touristy. Chocolate is of course delicious and a good purchase. Back on the boat re-embarkation took about 40 minutes! Sitting on coach and standing in queue - thank goodness we are only doing this for one day. We researched supper more diligently and went to the Glass House - a dinner requiring a supplementary charge (worked out about £10-15) per head. Well worth it as the food was good. Sitting 17 was a challenge, so we arrived early - but the waiter managed it and took it all well. It was 30 minutes though before we were seated with a drink. We were all in black tie as were a lot of other passengers which was a nice touch. Armed with the knowledge of the previous night a small group left dinner early to get a table in the karaoke bar. Spent the rest of the evening subjecting the bored looking passengers to our terrible singing - great fun! Woken again at 6.45am and need to vacate cabin by 8am. Even my 19 year old son arrived fully dressed at 7.20am demanding that we leave ASAP - first time I have seen him before noon for a while. Overall, fun for a hen or stag night - although be prepared to deal with waits and crowding - otherwise go if you a curious about what a cruise on a 3000+ vessel is like as it's about as short as they come and you never have to go again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
I've always disagreed when people describe cruising as 'Butlins at Sea'. I still disagree, it was far worse than that. The ship was huge - which of course we already knew, but didn't really appreciate the impact of ... Read More
I've always disagreed when people describe cruising as 'Butlins at Sea'. I still disagree, it was far worse than that. The ship was huge - which of course we already knew, but didn't really appreciate the impact of that. The staff at mealtimes were nowhere near as efficient and polite as they used to be. The meals were no better than we would get in our local pub and no longer had that 'wow' factor. Meagre helpings and hardly a vegetable in sight. The entertainment was the most disappointing. Instead of the West End type shows we have been used to in the past, we had an OK singing group, a few tribute bands and an ageing 'comedian'. That's in inverted commas as he wasn't even funny 40 years ago. Then all the acts were repeated another night. If you didn't enjoy them first time round you didn't want to see them again. We had planned this trip as a 40th birthday treat for our daughter who had not cruised before. Her comment was 'It's not very glamorous is it?' Bilbao as a port of call is a waste of time as there's nothing in its favour apart from the Gugenheim and that's quite ugly. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We are regular cruisers with Royal Caribbean and Celebrity. We thought it was time to try P & O. We booked a mini cruise to Guernsey. We were so excited about travelling on a different ship. Check in process was smooth after a hour ... Read More
We are regular cruisers with Royal Caribbean and Celebrity. We thought it was time to try P & O. We booked a mini cruise to Guernsey. We were so excited about travelling on a different ship. Check in process was smooth after a hour wait. As soon as we were on board we decided to look for the self serve cafe for lunch. So Surprised how dark and enclosed it felt. No staff offering us anti bacterial gel at the enterance to the food area. As we were early we had no problem finding a table. Not able to serve our selves tea/coffee, hubby had to wait in a queue. Felt like we were back at the school cafe! The food was not great. Not much variety compared to the other cruises we have been on. We then explored the ship. We were astonished to see glasses left from the night before all over the top deck area. Cigarette ends were blowing around on the floor! Not the best start. Checked out the pool areas. One pool was filthy and had a large area of dirt at the bottom of it. Off to our cabin, perhaps it would be better. OMG it was disgusting. Thick dust all around the cabin. Stains on the bed linen. We decided to report this at the reception area, we were advised that a cleaner would be back to sort it out. Guess what they never arrived!. Evening Meal. We were shown to our table and meet our fellow passengers. Our waiter did not introduce himself!. The food was served quickly and the quality was better than the lunch time episode. Again no sight of any anti bacterial gel. We found this odd as the Captain did express to all passengers how they regard hygiene as so important. He even recommended that we do not use the public toilets. On other cruises that we have been on there is always staff cleaning bannisters, glass and door handles. We never saw anyone cleaning the public areas. We were not able to get off in Guernsey as the weather was not great for tender. Not much to entertain us on this sea day!. Spent £1.99 on a film that was years old! To sum it up ~ would never ever go on a P & O Ship again. Dirty, unfriendly and lacks the wow factor. Read Less
Sail Date April 2013
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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