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

Just returned from the Azura cruise to Cherbourg, La Coruna, Santander and Guernsey A911. The weather was not brilliant but generally not too bad apart from our return crossing on the Bay of Biscay. We had winds of 55 Knots, Waves of 9 ... Read More
Just returned from the Azura cruise to Cherbourg, La Coruna, Santander and Guernsey A911. The weather was not brilliant but generally not too bad apart from our return crossing on the Bay of Biscay. We had winds of 55 Knots, Waves of 9 Metres and a 5 Metre swell. to say the ship was moving a lot would be a massive understatement. Some people spent the night in the Atrium wrapped in blankets because they were too scared to go to bed. The entertainment on board was superb, apart from one singer in the pulse band. she seemed unable to remember the words to most of the songs without having to keep looking at her tablet/phone and she quite often messed up. Fair play to her for giving it her best shot though. Unfortunately there seemed to be a foul smell of raw sewerage most days and this was especially noticeable during port visits. I think I heard the captain mention something about maintenance being carried out on the water system during the cruise. It was a pretty horrible smell. We had a bit of an issue with our balcony cabin door. Every time we opened it we had a loud whistling coming from the broken seal at the end of the door frame. I did report this to the cabin steward, but it didn't get fixed. Can't say it was that much of a problem though. Our bed was failrly uncomfortable. It was quite hard, but the pillows were very soft. Can't really complain because that combination might suit other people. Just didn't suit us. The standard of food was generally very good, although in the Penninsular MDR the food on the first night was not great, as the days went on, the food standard seemed to improve. On the last night, I think I had the best staek that I had ever eaten. It was lovely and pefectly cooked. The televison was a bit of a waste of time. Very restricted amount of channels and although we didn't intend spending our holiday watching TV, there was the occasional day when we just wanted to chill out in our room and put the TV on. Soon changed our minds about that, because the programmes shown were really old repeats. We decided to use the laundry to clean two loads of washing, but unfortunately after the wash cycle had finished on both, there was a horrible smell of what I can only describe as stale water. We only took two washing pods with us so we were unable to wash them again. We had to wash everything again when we got home. I know we should have gone to make a complaint but decided not to bother as it wasn't the end of the world. I managed to go swimming a couple of times during the cruise, but the pools were really cold. good in one way, because it meant not many people were using them, but it did mean that I didn't feel like staying in there for very long. On the day we visited St Peter Port I decided this would be an ideal time to go for another swim as there would probably be nobody in the pool. I was right. Trouble was, the pool had been emptied, so nobody could use it anyway. Very strange time to empty a pool. I know there seems to be a lot of negatives, but these are just from our experience. I do need to point out that even with these negatives, we still thoroughly enjoyed the cruise and certainly would not let it put us off. We are already looking at booking a cruise for next year, but we might try a different cruise line, just to get a comparison from another line. I do have to say at this point, that I felt the service from all the staff was excellent and my hat goes off to all of them. They work tirelessly to ensure the passengers enjoy the experience. I just hope they get paid a decent wage for the hard work they do. The Embarkation and disembarkation was really smooth and although it does take quite a while to get off the ship during disembarkation, it's really not that bad because you can chill out with a coffee after breakfast and wait for your group to be called. Overall, a lovely holiday. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We are not natural cruisers but liked the itinerary of Kirwall, Lerwick, 4 days in Iceland, Belfast and finally Cobh. We had taken advantage of the "free parking" at Southampton as we live in the North of England and chose not ... Read More
We are not natural cruisers but liked the itinerary of Kirwall, Lerwick, 4 days in Iceland, Belfast and finally Cobh. We had taken advantage of the "free parking" at Southampton as we live in the North of England and chose not to spend a day on a coach. Dropping the car at the designated gate and time was very well organised. After queuing for approximately 10 minutes we were shown where to park. We unloaded luggage and it was taken to the ship quickly by a porter, leaving us to check in (all luggage was in cabin by the time we got there). The checkin hall was very busy and appeared a little disorganised but we got through very quickly with the staff on the check in desk being very friendly and efficient. This was only our 2nd cruise and the the first with P&O. The ship, Azura, holds 3100 passengers with over 1200 crew of which 200 are chefs. Our first impression was that the ship was friendly and very clean. All area of the ship provide anti bacterial hand rubs which passengers are expected to use on every entry to a restaurant to avoid sickness bugs. There did not appear to be any sickness on the 2 week cruise. The cabin was clean with plenty of storage space. We had a balcony cabin in the centre of the ship A515 with a very attentive cabin steward. Cabins were serviced twice a day. We chose freedom dining and usually prefer to eat early evening. We were allocated Peninsular Restaurant and usually managed to secure a table for 2 on the majority of evenings. The service is mostly good with a few lapses. Surprisingly attracting the attention of the wine waitress was impossible on at least 1 evening. There is a wide choice of food each evening and people with special diets were provided with their own menus to choose food for th following evening. There are also several restaurants where an additional fee is paid. We chose to have afternoon tea in the Epicurean Restaurant (£15.00 each) and were not disappointed. Having taken afternoon tea at the Ritz and Betty's we were very impressed as this surpassed both- well worth the small extra charge. The service here is excellent and could not be faulted. We also chose to eat here on 1 evening - wow is all we can say!! The buffet is a bit of a bun fight and it is easy to get elbowed out of the way by single minded cruisers. We did not use the "grab and go" or pizza bar but they did look and smell delicious. Entertainment was much in evidence. Every evening a news sheet "Horizon" was distributed to each cabin. This gave times of all activities provided the next day as well as arrangements for the following days excursions. Activities started at 7am and went on somewhere in the ship till late each evening. The is a large theatre on 3 tiers and entertainment provided is very professional. The Headliners Theatre company put on shows almost every evening with the first house at 8.30 being mostly full. There was only one of these shows that was frankly awful. The sound was so loud it was impossible to hear the singers and we came away with our ears hurting. The 2 nd week brought some additional acts, The Opera Boys and Stand Like a Man - both were superb. Outstanding for us was the Azura Orchestra - a very hard working set of musicians who we very much enjoyed when they performed. There were other smaller bands playing throughout the day in various places around the ship. A wide range of activities was provided around the ship - up to the individual whether to participate or not. There seemed to be a fair number of children on the ship but a separate activity programme was provided and at no time did their presence disturb. 7 ports of call including 2 full days in Reykjavik Excursions - huge choice available but quite expensive. Each one was well organised. We opted for a tour of North Shetland which was good despite the mist. In Iceland we opted for the Ring of Fire Tour from Reykjavik - fabulous scenery! From Isafjadur, Vigur Isand - a must for bird lovers and from Akruyri a Game of Thrones Tour where the scenery was stunning. All tours were very well managed and we were impressed with the standard of organisation around the them, with very knowledgable guides. Normally we prefer independent travelling and were a little apprehensive about organised tours on buses but our fears were quickly allayed and we did enjoy all of the ones we chose. Service was mostly good but it was very difficult to actually sit anywhere without someone trying to sell a drink. There are a fair number of shops on board - fragrance, jewellery and watches, handbags, clothes - all quite expensive and none of which were of interest to us. Disembarkation was phased with luggage, which needed to be collected by 11 pm the previous night, being placed in a big hall and located in decks. After we had found our luggage it was a short walk to the cabin to collect our car keys to find the car waiting for us. We had taken photos of the car and mileage before handing over the keys but we need not have worried as the whole car parking operation from start to finish was very efficient. Overall we enjoyed the cruise and would take another one but probably not for a few years, unlike many of our fellow travellers some of whom were on their 20th cruise! Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We love the Azura, this is our second time on her and we had a wonderful trip to Iceland. The food in the main Dining is excellent and though the portions are smaller now than they used to be, I ask, "how much food do you need" ... Read More
We love the Azura, this is our second time on her and we had a wonderful trip to Iceland. The food in the main Dining is excellent and though the portions are smaller now than they used to be, I ask, "how much food do you need" we certainly were grateful for the quality and less quantity, we now have less weight to lose before our next cruise. The ports we visited were all different and interesting, so the itinerary was really good. On sea days the lectures were fully subscribed with standing room only in the Theatre for the code breakers talks. The staff on the Azura are still the best we have experienced, our cabin steward always smiling, singing and happy to see us and whilst we were on freedom dining we managed to keep the same waiters for the whole cruise, very efficient and friendly service here. Now for the not so good. She is looking a little tired and needs a make over. The Sea Screen has big squares missing from the picture, I heard one member of staff asking the comedian not to mention it one night, but it is so obvious that it's very faulty and if they loose any more of the picture it won't have a picture at all. The Epicurean Restaurant was a big disappointment, at £28 each cover charge you would expect the food to be phenomenal, generally it was a little better than main dining, a few more dots of sauce on the plate and slightly more adventurous menu, but we had to send my wife's meal back, Chicken should not be hard to cut and should be at least moist, it was cooked to death!!! Our main complaint however is not how worn the furnishing have become of the dirty carpet in the cabin, it does need a good clean and maintenance programme, it's the level of noise on the ship. It is very difficult, particularly on sea days, to find somewhere on the ship to sit quietly and read a book without one of the entertainment staff coming along and winding up the volume on the background music to nightclub volume, or screaming over a microphone telling everyone to step to the left and dosie doe. Even the Planet Bar, where normally you can relax, with nice piano or middle of the road music, had the sail away party in it on the last day, "everyone put your books down and do the conga" was the cry. NO! not appropriate! and when I heard American Thrash Metal music being played in the Antium i thought the entertainment staff were surely having a laugh at our expense as 99% of the passengers were over 60's. The big thing about the sound is the Theatre. The Headliners were once again brilliant, how and where do they get their energy, all brilliant vocalist and dancers, a show every other night and other sets in the bars and around the ship with singing lessons and dance lessons plus helping on the excursions. What a brilliant bunch of talented young people, the theatre was packed with standing room only every night they performed. The new shows were imaginative and very entertaining, "Evolution" and "Astonishing" were brilliant, all ruined by the sound levels. The live Orchestra and the pre recorded backing and feature tracks were very audible without being over bearing BUT when the Headliner Vocalist sang their top notes and projected them, it was ear splitingly painful, I am not kidding when I say that I am pretty certain that the sound levels exceeded safe levels at that point. I like loud music and have often enjoyed Rock Concerts (Slade, Quo etc) where your ears are ringing, this distorted sound was not enjoyable and did a disservice to the obviously talented vocalists. This is a great Cruise Ship and a Great Itinerary and i would definitely recommend the Ship and the cruise to anyone, but take some era plugs. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We selected a 7 night cruise on P & O Azura to fit round my working commitments, my wife being retired. We chose to drive to Southampton from home in Lancashire and set off nice and early at 5am even though it was a Saturday ... Read More
We selected a 7 night cruise on P & O Azura to fit round my working commitments, my wife being retired. We chose to drive to Southampton from home in Lancashire and set off nice and early at 5am even though it was a Saturday sailing. Traffic and conditions were favourable so we had a great trip and were in Southampton for 9am so stopped at Tesco and COSTA Coffee and arrived in the CPS car park at 11am. That was very efficient, close and soon we were seated in the terminal. We awaited the embarkation process which commenced, as last year for Ventura, just before 12 noon and was as efficient as last year. Once on board we made our way to the buffet for a spot of lunch. Whilst in the buffet they announced that cabins were ready early so we made our way to Australia Deck, deck 12 and A223, our home for the 7 nights. A wonderfully clean and bright balcony cabin on the front starboard side of the ship with a very comfortable bed, arm chair, small but adequate TV and an ample bathroom. We met BB, our cabin steward who was excellent in the way he took care of everything brilliantly without being noticed at all. The cases arrived quickly so we unpacked we decided to check out the ship and found it most pleasurable and almost a copy of both Crown Princess and Ventura. We were also pleased to see we have been allocated Freedom Dining unlike last year and this we enjoyed. We were allocated the Peninsular Restaurant and the service was excellent in all areas that we got seated during the week. We really prefer to be on a table for two so had this option every meal time which was great. We had nice meals in every evening, so much so my thought of booking Sindhu and Bay Tree evaporated. The food was a notch up here to that on Ventura last year. Breakfasts were always taken in the restaurant and were of an excellent standard. We did the emergency drill on time and sailed almost on time. We had a nice sea day on the Sunday and of as it was a hot day it was busy on the outer decks with everyone taking advantage. We availed ourselves of most bars over the cruise but as we are not huge drinkers so it was more for a change of scenery than anything else. We enjoyed two of the three production shows (missed the last as we were late in the restaurant) that the Headliners cast put on and both were enjoyable, WE3 were a fantastic act, Tucker enjoyable. In other lounges the singers and bands were good, the second comedian, Tom Binns, in our eyes poor but of course entertainment is very subjective. We enjoyed the port stops and also the warm weather. We don’t book ship trips but made our own way without spending silly money. We enjoyed Hamburg & the layover in Amsterdam and did city tours at each and after dinner walked around Amsterdam taking in the sights on the second night when we had better weather than the rain of the previous evening. Second sea day was spoiled by a sea mist all day but that's no the fault of the ship or company. Le Havre was quiet, we walked round, visited a couple of churches plus some shops and if I went again I would take some form or tour or hire a car to get out and see the surrounding parts. The night sail back to Southampton was very pleasant without helicopter medical emergency as last year on Ventura. The captain was excellent and efficient in telling you about the cruise, the interactive map on the cabin TV could be better. My wife was disappointed with the Pilates class but that was a minor negative in a week of positive. Disembarkation was first class, we chose to take our own luggage off and literally had breakfast and walked off the ship, no customs issues or waiting in lounges for times to leave and we were in the car hitting the road back North by 8am. Despite some average to poor reviews I have seen recently on various sites I thought Azura was probably on balance the best of the three P & O trips we have had and I would not hesitate in booking again. I would mark this as a 4.5 / 5 (you have to choose 4 or 5 on here so I have put 4 but it was above that but not a 5) to be honest and chatting with many others on the cruise I think most had a good time and would hope they would also offer a positive review. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We chose this cruise for a fun hen party of 30, we had all ages from 20-70 and found the ship and staff catered extremely well to entertain all age groups. We enjoyed the food, hot tubs, pools (i was pleased to find there were separate ... Read More
We chose this cruise for a fun hen party of 30, we had all ages from 20-70 and found the ship and staff catered extremely well to entertain all age groups. We enjoyed the food, hot tubs, pools (i was pleased to find there were separate pools and entertainment areas for children), this allowed a much more serene and relaxed experience when enjoying the leisurely spa. entertainment and brugge itself. I didn't love that the dinner staff wouldn't leave our bottle of wine on the table. Or that you have to be out of the room at 8am following formal night. Generally speaking the cruise and entertainmemt staff were great and i would give them five stars for value of money. Unfortunately in my experience the dinner staff and cabin staff really let doen the ship. I also found the personal hygiene of some of the staff working with food disconcerting. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
While not expecting much in the destinations i.e. Amsterdam and Le Havre we got an exceptionally good value deal in deluxe balcony cabin and wanted to see the Azura as other cruisers we have met in the last few years have given it great ... Read More
While not expecting much in the destinations i.e. Amsterdam and Le Havre we got an exceptionally good value deal in deluxe balcony cabin and wanted to see the Azura as other cruisers we have met in the last few years have given it great reviews.They were correct as she is spacious and public areas well planned and very comfortable.Meals were always of high standard and to the British taste ,the buffet though fine for breakfast was a bit boring at lunch time.Because we were stuck in Amsterdam and then were locked out of Le Havre due to a lightning strike by French dock workers ,it meant the buffet area was exceptionally busy and felt over crowded.The staff worked tirelessly and with a smile on their faces? Evening shows were very good and particularly enjoyed the Blue Jays and the comedian Mike Doyle.Drinks on P&O are very reasonable compared to other lines so that's a bonus. We were allocated a balcony suite near the stern which was a bit noisy at times but the bed was so comfortable we slept really well.This cabin came with full bathroom including bath tub!! Even though the weather was awful and impacted on the itinerary we had a good cruise and found it really good value for money having only booked one week before sailing. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
From the minute we arrived at Southampton Docks Embarkation we were really looking forward to our five night cruise on the Azura to Amsterdam and Le Havre. Our cabin A401 was comfortable and our Steward ‘Teo’ was polite and efficient ... Read More
From the minute we arrived at Southampton Docks Embarkation we were really looking forward to our five night cruise on the Azura to Amsterdam and Le Havre. Our cabin A401 was comfortable and our Steward ‘Teo’ was polite and efficient so no problems there. Our balcony was a good size with two reclining chairs, a foot stool and a small table for drinks. It was a nice touch by P&O to have tea and coffee making facilities in our cabin and a fridge. The ship is generally superb with bars and restaurants reasonably well organised, although on this particular cruise we found it hard to navigate our way around and we have cruised for quite a few years without this problem. The shows were good and the live band that performed in the main theatre on two nights were exceptional. The ports of call were OK, Amsterdam in parts was very scruffy, lots of rubbish around and generally uncared for, Le Havre is a bit of a concrete jungle, but has a particular charm. We liked the trams, the markets and the sea front, and during our visit the ‘tall ships’ were in port. Bad points: the excursions were ridiculously expensive, an example: £44 each for 1 ½ hour evening canal trip! Some (not all) staff, in particularly the self service restaurants were not at all friendly and the security when coming back on board, although we don’t have a problem, especially in these troubled times with being checked were over the top officious, not a pleasant experience! We think that P&O staff should remind people a lot more than they do about using the hand gel provided; we still find it amazing that many go out of their way to not use it, even to the point of getting quite aggressive when reminded. Generally a great time, great ship, the weather in ports could have been kinder, but hey we’re in the English Channel. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Having cruised with P&O on a number of previous occasions and experienced the well document decline in standards and quality I was apprehensive about choosing them again. However their prices are still a bit lower than the composition ... Read More
Having cruised with P&O on a number of previous occasions and experienced the well document decline in standards and quality I was apprehensive about choosing them again. However their prices are still a bit lower than the composition and the itinerary was ideal I decided to give them another go. Compared to my last P&O cruise (a year ago) the difference was like night and day, from the evening entertainment to the evening meals and the levels of service offered. Sure daytime entertainment was the usual affair with plenty of sales pitches and activities aimed at the 'older' passenger but as long as the sun is shinning all is well as you can avoid these. Food in the main dining rooms seems to have improved although the green beans still exist in numbers, It appears to be cooked much much better and tastes a lot fresher as well. Service hasn't been upped however and still lacks way behind on what it once did but it didn't spoil anything. The select dining venues again did not fail to deliver, food was exceptional and so was the service (although you would expect it as your paying extra) I better mention the buffet, it seems to be getting worse especially for a quick lunch as the selection is terrible. Too much curry! They seem to think all we eat during a hot day is curried everything! Very repetitive and very boring indeed. This side needs a shake up. If you fancied a late night snack it wasn't worth it as again it was the same every night (curried pasties and curry and rice again and again and again etc...) The Sea Screen which over looks one of the pools is looking very old these days and did not make a pleasure watching movies outdoors as the quality of picture is dreadful as it has to many faults on it and needs replacing or repairing which is a shame as it's such a great selling piont that P&O are ignoring. It does seem to be true what most are saying on here that regarding dress codes and general attire. Fewer and fewer people take advantage of dressing up as they once did for formal nights and tend to 'hide' away on deck or the buffet area as to avoid such nights, even on non formal nights the general attire of a lot of people has declined making the ship feel a lot more of an informal cruise kind of like what Ocean Village used to be like back in the day. Of course you wear what you want to wear it's up to you but it seems some folk don't even try to make an effort. I always like to think that a cruise ship has that luxury feel to it as it once did, now it;s starting resemble a Benidorm/Costa holiday. The best bits; ship was clean and tidy and well maintained. Ports of call were very good. Met some lovely people on board (as you do) and overall had a great time (even with the shortcomings) Have sailed on Ventura, Azura (2) Oceana and Britannia and can honestly say Azura is my number one P&O ship, it may not be up to quality of other lines I have sailed on eg Disney and RCI etc... but for a P&O ship it stands out above the rest, Total chalk and cheese to the dreadful Britannia (the worst cruise I have ever taken) There is good reason as to why Azura has the highest ratings of a P&O ship and in my opinion is the true flagship for P&O. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
chose this as not sailed with p & o before,easy to book had a good deal, free parking and on board spend,went to canary islands, Madeira Lisbon and viga, boarding was smooth and quick,had a balcony cabin on deck 10 would recommend this ... Read More
chose this as not sailed with p & o before,easy to book had a good deal, free parking and on board spend,went to canary islands, Madeira Lisbon and viga, boarding was smooth and quick,had a balcony cabin on deck 10 would recommend this deck as the balcony is much bigger then the other decks, cabin was fine and clean, we only like buffet dining and on this ship was a little disappointing compared to other cruises we have been on,what i mean by that is they have theme nights every night,and if you do not like that type of food there is no alternative, also very little choose for special diets like low sugar,entertainment was fairly good something for everyone found the poolside entertainment was good when there was some but to long with out any even background music, the sea screen was in a poor condition with loads of dead pixels would be nice if it was bigger to. the cruise overall was ok but the ship looked very tired in need of a refit, things kept breaking down or did not work Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
This was my first time with P&O, chosen because of a great last minute deal. I have cruised many times with my favourites being Cunard and Celebrity, so I was nervous about this cruise. It depends what you are looking for and if ... Read More
This was my first time with P&O, chosen because of a great last minute deal. I have cruised many times with my favourites being Cunard and Celebrity, so I was nervous about this cruise. It depends what you are looking for and if it's value for money then you can't go wrong We had a superior delulxe balcony cabin, same size as Cunard Princess suite on Victoria, we were greeted with a bottle of genuine Champagne and chocolates, and a very good sized cabin. The food was very good, but as we had such a good deal we booked Epicurean one evening and the food was amazing, giving Cunard and Celebrity select dining a run for thier money. I enjoy the casinos on board ships, and have never been so well looked after by the casino staff as I was on this cruise, they were first class, as were all the bar staff. The wine and all other drinks were very fairly priced and I never felt I was being over charged. I have booked another cruise with P&O as I was very impressed with most things, I was not sure about being on an all Brits cruise but most of the passengers I met were so friendly. The only negatives I could say are long check in times, and you only get bathrobes in superior balcony state rooms or suites. I am very much looking forward to my next cruise on Azura, not so much a real luxury cruise, but a good deal with everything you could need........ and dare I say the most handsome captain at sea! We always felt safe and well looked after, what more could you want ? Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Hi everyone. Hubby and I, along with my brother and sister-in-law, have today just returned from our cruise on P&O Azura I want to write this review whilst everything is still fresh in my mind. I am going to give you information that ... Read More
Hi everyone. Hubby and I, along with my brother and sister-in-law, have today just returned from our cruise on P&O Azura I want to write this review whilst everything is still fresh in my mind. I am going to give you information that I only wish that someone had written before we left for our cruise. Hopefully this information will give you an advantage of what to expect in the way of the whole ship experience of the Azura. So hope you are sitting comfortably, got your slippers on, your cup of tea, coffee or glass of wine to hand and don't fall asleep on me!! For those who have never cruised with P&O before, I can tell you that our first impression when we alighted from our 5 hour journey by coach to the port of Southampton was one of great admiration at the new P&O Terminal. Very impressed indeed again at how organised everything was. It was a relief to know that we didn't have to worry about our cases in the Coach hold as these were taken care of and the next time we would see them would be outside our cabin within the hour. We were able to take our hand luggage containing of course the necessary documents, ie passports, E-Tickets and valuables etc. As you enter the Terminal, passengers are allocated into groups of 100 or so with a ticket with a letter of the Alphabet and you sit there until your letter is called. (about ten minutes at the most). You then make your way to the security desks (loads of them so no waiting) where your passport and E-ticket is scrutinised and your photo taken. you and each of your party will then be given a boarding card which is very important as you will need it every time you embark or disembark the ship at each port. The boarding card is also the key card to gain access to your cabin. (will go into this in a moment). You then make your way on board via the gangplank (as I call it). This was the our first close up sight of the Azura and my goodness, we were quite overawed at the sheer size of the ship itself. After cruising with Thompson ships prior to this, our first P&O cruise, it was absolutely massive !! We were given a map once on board showing the way to the deck and cabin we had been allocated and there were ample lifts to take us there. Once outside our cabin, one of us slid the card into the cabin door which opened it, then we put the same card into another slot just inside the cabin door which operates the lights. Now I appreciate that some reviewers have been rather scathing about the quality of the ship, its surroundings and the cabins but let me reassure you as one of the most fussiest women on this planet, you have absolutely NOTHING to worry about with regard to your cabin. I was very pleased indeed at the quality of everything in that room, from the bed, bedding, furniture and the shower room which we had. Our steward came along and introduced himself. lovely man, couldn't have been more helpful. All the stewards are the same, they cannot do enough for you. There is a telephone in your cabin. if you need reception it shows the button to press, also your steward, and especially room service which operates 24 hours and is completely FREE ! your breakfast if you wish to have it in your cabin instead of going to the restaurants is also FREE! although it is a continental breakfast only with fresh orange juice, tea or coffee, croissants, muffins etc. pitfall.....we only used it once for Free coffee to be delivered, as did brother and sister-in-law but found although delivered in very nice silver pot with milk jug, the coffee wasn't hot enough for us so didn't bother after that. There is of course tea, coffee, sugar, milk etc with electric kettle already in your cabin which is replenished every day by your lovely steward. There is a hairdryer but no Iron !! they don't like you to bring an iron with you either and insist rightly that if you use any electrical item you must take it out of the plug before leaving your cabin. The showers are heavenly with easy to use switches. (wish I could have brought it home with me) lol. What else can I tell you about the cabin? the beds are lovely and comfortable with two soft pillows each. Oh, almost forgot, there is of course the television with remote control. it has the Ships webcam (channel 1) showing the view from front of the ship, it also has a channel so you can listen to all messages from the bridge and the weather forecast etc. but more importantly it has Sky News (channel 6) BBC International News (channel 5) and Sky Sports News (channel 7) and Sky Sports (channel 8) which hubby was chuffed about because he was able to watch his team Arsenal play. Finally on this subject of the cabin, you will have been left in your cabin, your allocation to where you will be eating if you wish waiter service. the choice is The Meridian Restaurant or the Penninsular Restaurant, we were allocated freedom dining at the Meridian Restaurant. This means that we could choose to eat in the Meridian restaurant anytime between the hours of opening by just going along and asking for a table for just ourselves or if you don't mind, sharing with others. We preferred a table just for four so were happy if one not available, to be given a pager and called when table was free (never more than twenty minutes and an excuse for us to retire to the nearest bar for pre-dinner drink!). If you have been allocated club dining, this means you have the same table, the same time, in the same restaurant with the same waiters for your cruise. Most have the freedom dining I believe but not sure. You also have the choice to eat at the self-service restaurants (2) called the Verona and the Venezia, both which are located on deck 15. All the food served in all the restaurants are the same high quality so don't hesitate to mix and match. You also have a Pizza take away on deck 15 by the second pool. The only restaurants where you have to pay a surcharge if you wish to eat in there are the Sindhu (indian) the Glasshouse (Wine bar) and Epicurian (fine dining) So to the rest of the ship...... Honestly now, even after 9 days, I was still confused about the layout of the ship. I guarantee you will be too !!! Deck 18 is the Planet Bar but the bloomin main lifts only go to the 16th deck which was very confusing. Apparently one can only access deck 17 and 18 by going along to the back of the ship and getting into the lift on deck 6 which takes you to the two elusive decks. Ho Hum. 16th Deck has an outside bar with loads of sun loungers and tables/chairs. I promise you, there will be no fighting for sun loungers on this ship. They have loads of them all over the ship. For all you smokers, you can enjoy your smoke here as long as you stay on the left side of the way the ship is sailing. Ha, no use telling me port or starboard, I don't know my left from right, anyway, all the tables have ashtrays on them so it won't take you long to find your table. You can smoke anywhere on the left the way the ship is heading as long as it is an open area 15th Deck - here you will find two swimming pools, the outside cinema screen, hundreds of sun loungers, an outside bar, The grill bar which is open all day and most of the evening offering chips, burgers and hotdogs (Free) a Pizza bar (Free), Dessert fridge (Free) and an Ice Cream Parlour (Free). it is also where the two self-service restaurants are located. There are numerous bars all over the ship, also several Costa Coffee Shops. which you have to pay for the coffee £2.40 for a medium costa latte but...... make sure if you buy a coffee you ask for the free pastries or muffins that go with your coffee. You only get them if you buy a coffee though. ( I note that they don't exactly publicise the fact !! LOL.) There are numberous decks where you can buy a costa coffee. The Casino and Brodie's Bar (the pub) is on Deck 5. In here is where most men go to watch the matches on several huge television screens all over the place. If your man goes missing, try here first !!! I hope the above has been of some help to those who are taking their first cruise on the Azura. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves with the plentiful entertainment for both adults and children. Please don't worry about any bad reviews. You will really enjoy yourselves on here and believe me, the food is to die for, my waistline will vouch for that !! enjoy your cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
This was our first experience of P&O having previously cruised with Disney (4 cruises), Cunard (2 cruises) and Royal Caribbean (1 cruise) so I am likely to use these as a comparison. The cruise was a 2 night taster cruise to Zeebrugge ... Read More
This was our first experience of P&O having previously cruised with Disney (4 cruises), Cunard (2 cruises) and Royal Caribbean (1 cruise) so I am likely to use these as a comparison. The cruise was a 2 night taster cruise to Zeebrugge and we had a booked a suite. Embarkation - Parking with CPS was fine and our baggage was taken from us outside the terminal. As we had priority boarding we were guided to the check in line which was surprisingly long considering it was only 11:30. This took almost 30 minutes so not very impressive for priority (we had friends travelling and regular check-in took less time than that, which they found amusing!). Most of the check-in desks were already manned but they were idle which seemed odd when they could have cleared the line quickly. We went straight from check in the queue to board to were on the ship around 12:10pm. After being directed to the buffet on deck 15 we had a discussion with the P&O crew member and were directed to Sindhu as the priority lounge. At around 1pm I asked what time our cabin might be ready and as they answered 2pm I decided to go and make my wife's spa reservations and speciality dining bookings. Even at 1pm she was unable to get the spa appointments that she wanted but we did get the restaurants booked. If I waited for our butler I doubt we would have managed to get any bookings later in the day. We met up with our friends at around 1.30pm as we still hadn't seen the butler or been told that they cabin was ready. We had some wine flights in the Glass House and went to find our suite around 2.30pm. Suite/Cabin - We have previously stayed in a Queens Grill suite on the QM2 and although very similar we preferred this one on Azura. The only disappointments were lots of little things that I would have expected from staying in a suite. Sorry if they seem a bit petty but as we have 3 children we can only get away on short trips alone now and again, so pay the extra to have the extra benefits. With other lines the champagne would have been waiting on ice in the cabin, ours was in the fridge and we never got any ice until I asked later in the evening. All other lines we have been on have had the ice kept topped up right through (maybe this is a P&O thing). When we eventually met our butler he was reluctant to bring extra canapes that evening as we were having friends over for drinks. Then later again (when he delivered a fruit bowl) he tried to talk us out of having tea/coffee/danish the next morning as he said that we had breakfast in Seventeen so wouldn't need it. Maybe we are odd wanting tea and coffee in our cabin before going up before breakfast. We only saw the butler the next morning when he brought tea and that was it. He never asked if we needed anything booked etc. Although the suite was nice we were maybe left with a feeling that we didn't really get any benefit from the extras that supposedly accompanied it. I am sure on a longer voyage that the service may have been better but as this was a taster you could argue that they should be trying harder to impress to try to solicit future business. Food - On the first evening we ate at Sindhu and the food/service was excellent. My only comment was that I asked for 2 desserts from the menu as I couldn't decide. This for me has always been a highlight of cruising with other lines that you could sample other dishes and it has never been a problem. It was an awkward moment when the waiter went into shock and wasn't sure he could do that. He did then agree but I did feel that I might have committed a terrible faux pas. Again this might be a P&O thing. The 2 desserts were excellent BTW! The next morning we ate at Seventeen and knowing that we would be eating dinner there later in the day were a little worried about the service and attitude we encountered. The service was slow and we didn't get offered tea/coffee until around 15/20 mins into breakfast by which time we were on fruit and toast (before cooked items arrived). After that we had a top about every 60 seconds! For lunch we decided to try the Glass House and thought the small plates were very good. At the time that we went it was very quiet and was a very enjoyable place to sit and relax. As I mentioned earlier we had booked Seventeen for dinner and need not have worried that the breakfast service would carry over to dinner. We had pre-dinner drinks at the Planet bar and wandered down around 8.30pm. Although the food and service was very good I would say I preferred the food at Sindhu a little better. We had another awkward moment upon leaving the restaurant when my wife took her half full glass of red wine with her as we had decided to go back to the Planet bar. We got to just outside the restaurant and the waitress ran after us and said she couldn't take the wine with her! This was a little embarrassing, then we were half way up the stairs and she ran back and gave it back to her. Very odd as on other lines it is fine to wander from bar to bar with drinks or back to your cabin. Again this may be a P&O thing. Entertainment - we did visit most of the venues for a drink and see what it had to offer but didn't really sample any of the set entertainment. As it was a 2 night cruise is was a bit of a party feel and I guess the entertainment was there to match. Overall we had a great time due to the good food and the company of friends but you may think from some of my comments that we didn't. It may that some of the issues are not P&O policy as such but maybe down to staff inexperience. On balance I think we would travel with P&O again but maybe not in a suite on a shorter cruise as the benefits were almost non existent. Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
A friend and I took a short cruise on the Azura to Bruges, Guernsey and Sark. Embarkation seemed to take an age, one felt rather like cattle being herded and it's difficult for some to have to stand in line for what seemed an age in ... Read More
A friend and I took a short cruise on the Azura to Bruges, Guernsey and Sark. Embarkation seemed to take an age, one felt rather like cattle being herded and it's difficult for some to have to stand in line for what seemed an age in a very stuffy 'hangar'. We booked a twin cabin with balcony, which was fine, and thankfully quiet, and we had a super sunny balcony on Saturday when the sun shone. However night 1 I couldn't open the balcony doors and when I asked our cabin boy the following day about this, he took hold of my shoulder and said push like this to open it = correct, but I was tempted to tell him to 'unhand' me. I travel a great deal to India and have never before had anyone there take hold of me, without permission. Getting into Bruges was a bit tricky ie bus, train, taxi, but the train (3 tiers) was interesting and actually we found we had more time than we thought in Bruges as we got a taxi back to the ship, tho @ a cost of 50euros! A pity the ship couldn't arrange transport directly there and back @ less cost. However, our trip to Sark was good value and luckily both the weather, and sea, were favourable, and I think this excursion was very good value, and I'm glad we didn't opt for just Guernsey only to find out, at the last moment, that in fact the shops would be closed, it being a Sunday! Also, our tickets were not delivered to our cabin, but we were able to get duplicates. The meals in the Peninsular restaurant were I thought good, nothing like the ones on the month long cruise, but one has to bear in mind the good value of this short break. Some of the crew however were a little forward rather than friendly ie when I asked for hot toast for breakfast I was informed - hot like you Madam! Hmmm. And toasters in the dining room would be very useful, or at least covered toast, as is done for breakfasts taken in the cabins, ie would then be warm at least! One always gets the feeling of being rushed, but are aware of how much the crew have to do in a day, they do work very hard indeed. This was a 'transition' break and very good value though I heard some moans about things not being as good as on a 'normal' cruise, or as good as the Royal Caribbean line, but I believe one can't have it all @ such a low price and I loved this break! If ever you want a stowaway, let me know! I spent a month on the Ventura over Christmas and New Year in 2010 cruising around the Caribbean and preferred that ship ie the Tapas bar in particular, and the crew, though our table captain was, as on that cruise, excellent. I think the Captain could have a discreet word with the crew and try to explain the difference between friendly and forward, as I found the crew on the Ventura wholly respectful at all times, though daresay there were one or more women who egged the unsuspecting young crew on rather too much on the Azura! I also had need to visit the ship's doctor and he was great. Also, I must say I wss glad to find the passengers far more decorous than those on the Christmas cruise, many of whom were the worse for wear most of the time, and very loud with it. This was far more restful. Disembarkation was swift, thankfully, and well-executed. Oh! And my friend enjoyed Charlotte and Jonathan very much though felt seats should have been reserved for 1st timers as we knew some had come for the 2nd and even 3rd show, perhaps their cards could have been swiped to prevent this happening again? All in all, very enjoyable thank you! Read Less
Sail Date April 2013
Azura Mini Cruise to Zeebrugge and Guernsey.Embarkation was slick and painless apart from the overzealous security,why an 80+ years old lady should have anything threatening in her flat shoes is beyond me.The ship was very clean and ... Read More
Azura Mini Cruise to Zeebrugge and Guernsey.Embarkation was slick and painless apart from the overzealous security,why an 80+ years old lady should have anything threatening in her flat shoes is beyond me.The ship was very clean and despite what a previous reviewer has stated our cabin was immaculately clean and very well equipped. Freedom Dining in the Meridian was very enjoyable with good quality food well presented and hot,the staff though very busy were attentive and professional. The "Seventeen" fine dining restaurant was worth every penny of the £58 surcharge and was an experience to treasure.Sindhu was a little disappointing in that the food though good was served by a bored,tired Waitress and was not worth the £40 surcharge. 72 for 2 people to take the coach to Brugge was bordering on usury,so we took the free shuttle bus to Blankenberg station and for the princely sum of 11Euros 80 return for 2 tickets we enjoyed the 15 minute journey to Brugge and a had a very nice time exploring this very pretty but very busy town. Guernsey was a bit of a disappointment as we arrived on a Sunday and it was shut! Entertainment on board was varied and ranged from awful to brilliant with Charlotte and Jonathan being brilliant. All in all a nice relaxing break on a well run very hard worked ship at a great price and we wholeheartedly recommend it. Read Less
Sail Date April 2013
Following an easy approach to the port and seamless courtesy parking we had a superbly organised embarkation. Once on board all public restaurants and public areas were operational until staterooms were ready (within the hour. Having ... Read More
Following an easy approach to the port and seamless courtesy parking we had a superbly organised embarkation. Once on board all public restaurants and public areas were operational until staterooms were ready (within the hour. Having treated ourselves to an upgrade to luxury balcony cabin to celebrate my wifes birthday we were disappointed to find that we had to ask for the promised :- Flowers (a fish bowl of 2 orchids was supplied the following day) Bathrobes (told that they would be delivered either that evening or the day after - it was the second afternoon after repeated requests that they were delivered! Bowl of fruit - 1 apple, 1 banana, 1 orange and 3 grapes were left in the room on the second day. We also had to ask for housekeeping to look over the room again due to lots of dust and pencil marks on and around the tea and coffee making area. Such omissions and having to make a number of repeated requests certainly takes some gloss off the 'extras' that are paid for and which should be in place on arrival. Food on board was available at a number of outlets and we found, in contrast to sister ship Ventura last year, that the food in the buffet restaurants to be very greasy at all meals. The freedom dining option in Meridian was fully booked and tables had to be waited for (up to 45minutes at a time) on a number of occasions. The food and service here was of a high standard apart from the poor selection of sweets offered along with an extremely limited cheeseboard. Evening entertainment was variable in quality with excellent tributes (Elton John and Annie Lennox) and live acts (Clem Curtis from the Foundations).The main theatre comedian was rather poor with a very dated act in comparison to another comedian in Manhattan showbar who was topical and an excellent ad libber. The in house troupe were enthusiastic but lacked some sparkle, particularly the male vocalists. Day time entertainment, whilst available, was very low key often dominated by quizzes which, in turn, were dominated by larger groups of almost 'professional' quizzers giving the occasional attenders little or no chance of winning. The ports of call (Stavanger, Flam, Geiranger and Bergen) were excellent and certainly helped by the weather. P&O offered trips at inflated prices and the proximity of many trip services in Port made this even more exasperating for some who had booked on board The return journey was slowed by an issue to one of the propulsion engines giving a 3 hour delay in docking in Southampton. Whilst the fault could not have been foreseen the lack of organisation at disembarkation surely should have been - it was a shambles! The early self help disembarkation was, it appeared, to be massively oversubscribed. The overcrowding of passengers with luggage wishing to get off early was disorganised and ill conceived with little communication from staff in the various lounges (many 'trapped' in the theatre with several suitcases). When the doors finally opened the ensuing scramble of many fractious passengers ensured that politeness went overboard and a number of quite threatening exchanges took place as those who had waited patiently in hot, cramped conditions were kept at bay whilst many opportunist latecomers jumped the queues add to frustrations - all this in complete contrast to the superb organisation of embarkation, please learn some lessons from this as there were 2 days to prepare. However, believe it or not, we did have an enjoyable cruise and find P&O remain good value for money with on board charges being in sterling and without the unfounded addition of a 15% service charge on every purchase Again on disembarkation the CPS parking service were exemplary offering a quick exit from the dock area. Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
well here we are back today (4/4/13) from barbados on board a very friendly ship. we embarked on our first ever flight from gatwick where,after an accident to my wife on the escalator we were fast tracked through the airport and looked ... Read More
well here we are back today (4/4/13) from barbados on board a very friendly ship. we embarked on our first ever flight from gatwick where,after an accident to my wife on the escalator we were fast tracked through the airport and looked after very well by very concerned staff at both the airport and on the plane,the 8 3/4 hrs flight was very enjoyable and we were well fed and watered throughout. bit of a bumpy landing but apparently any landing you walk away from is a good one.at barbados we were asked to sit tight whilst everyone was off loaded then we were directed to a private mercedes who transferred us to the ship. we didn't ask for any favours but thank both p & o and thompson for their concern over my wifes dilemma.getting on board was very easy and quick and as we had been on the ventura we knew the ropes and where to go so went straight to our room.the room we had we selected ourselves about 12months ago and was R748 RIGHT ON THE AFT END ON THE CORNER.A LOVELY CABIN THAT ATTRACTED THE SUN MOST OF THE DAY.the cabin steward (cagi) was first class and looked after us very well.the room was kept clean at all times and he was very thorough.we had freedom dining and were treated to a culinary feast most evenings.we ate in the glass house on one night and had the best steak i had tasted for a long while.i will add here that the service in the meridian was very polite and and acceptable but the waiting on several occasions was unnessasarily long.during the day and for breakfast we used the buffet dining and found something to suit our tastes on all occasions.the bars were very enjoyable and we spent the most time in brodies .as i am akin to a bit of karaoke.again we had some fun in there and made some nice aquaintences.p & o have their prices right in the bars so a very well done to them for that. the entertainment was quite good with a choice of variety.the azura orchestra was great peters band .that played for the dancers was the best i had heard for a long time.a vent act went down well as did a micheal buble tribute in the theatre.jet set suffered from jet lag most of the time. the girl singer .a very nice young lady with a voice that doesnt match her personality.the entertainment team pulled out all the stops for the great british sailaway in st.kitts where we gave an american crowd a taste of britain at its best . they were on a rc boat and pulled out before we did so giving us a chance to wave em goodbye.the best sailaway ive ever been too. most interesting speaker was ricky bastin who gave a series of talks on the life of concorde. very interesting. overall.we traveled with friends who were first time cruisers and had a damn good time. if i reflect positively i did not enjoy so many sea days.and this was the reason we picked this cruise.i would rather fly out and fly back than sail transatlantic.i would certainly recommend the azura and will be back soon for probably the fiords Read Less
Sail Date March 2012
First time with P & O so we were not sure what to expect, arrived around 11 am to check in, once this was completed we board around 12 noon. Cabins would not be ready till 14.30 but not a problem as we had lunch then went to explore. ... Read More
First time with P & O so we were not sure what to expect, arrived around 11 am to check in, once this was completed we board around 12 noon. Cabins would not be ready till 14.30 but not a problem as we had lunch then went to explore. Plenty of bars to choose from, we liked the planet bar and Glass house best . We ended our evenings at the Java bar, listening to a very good group, when they finished a piano player carried on, which we could still hear as he was on the floor above in the Blue bar. Manhattan very good for entertainment if you could get a seat!, theatre was more easy but only went once as so much choice of entertainment and you just cannot do it all. We had a table in the Oriental restaurant, good choice of food, waiter service could have been better, felt as if we were thrown our menus then immediately asked if we were ready to order. Wine waiter was very good though. Would suggest that P & O put more signage up as this restaurant not that easy to get to, would choose any other one but this one another time. Cabin steward very helpful, he kept everything very clean and tidy. Disembarkation went well although chaos in the dining room as everyone wanted to eat at same time. Read Less
Sail Date October 2010
This was our 5th Cruise with P and O, and first time both passing through the new Ocean Terminal,and embarking Azura. Check in was overstretched and only just keeping on top of the situation: a problem we have not encountered previously. ... Read More
This was our 5th Cruise with P and O, and first time both passing through the new Ocean Terminal,and embarking Azura. Check in was overstretched and only just keeping on top of the situation: a problem we have not encountered previously. The new Queen Elizabeth had been named by Her Majesty a mere three days earlier: perhaps this was why we were subjected to more stringent Security screening than any Airport we have passed through. The belts upon gentleman's trousers had to be removed, shoes with buckles taken off and screened, etc. I wear Orthopaedic footwear, complete with steel shanks: and I did not appreciate the staff who were conducting the screening, drawing unfavourable attention to my mobility problems. Having been sat upon a chair whilst my shoes were scanned, insult was added to injury by telling me that I would have to walk through the machine bare footed. This I cannot do:which is why shoes are hand made to support me. Had this been my first experience of Cruising, it would have been my last.However, once we were allowed on board the Ship, the enjoyment of the voyage began. The Atrium is stunning; and we squeezed into one of the scenic lifts to ride up to Lido Deck, where Lunch was available in both of the Self Service Restaurants:Venezia and Verona. (Verona becomes an Italian Trattoria with Waiter Service, in the evenings.) Cabins would not be ready for occupation until 2-30pm, so after we had finished our meal, we made our way down to the Manhattan Night Club on Deck 7, at the Stern. This is a vast, beautifully decorated , and most comfortable room. And so to our Deluxe Balcony Stateroom on 'D' deck: immaculate! Clean, welcoming, and with a fantastic Steward, named Jude. Champagne, chocolates, and flowers as a special touch. We settled in like Ducks in a favorite pond: and the 3 nights on board went far too quickly. Another week would have just what the Doctor ordered! A word of warning regarding the Balconies on D Deck: they are completely open to the elements. No shade at all: and are overlooked by C Deck above, and both A & B Decks above that. This we discovered when we went outside with our Champagne to listen to the Jazz Band Sail Away, which was great fun. We ate First Sitting Dinner in the Oriental Restaurant, at the rear of the Ship; only accessible from the back set of lifts. (Azura has several 'dead ends' to overcome.) The food was mouth watering, with our Waiters Prayson and Nishi very pleasant and eager to be of service. Some tables for two are sited very close to one another, as was ours: but we had friendly neighbours in the shape of Jill and Rita, whose conversation enhanced our Dinner Times. Our fellow passengers whom we shared tables with at Breakfasts and Lunches were all friendly, and the common gripe amongst us was too few lifts for the number of people on board. Azura is huge, and it wasn't possible to explore her fully across 3 nights. We paid a visit to the Spa on our second afternoon, and paid for access to the Thermal Suite. The Aromatic Steam Rooms and spray showers are great: but there are only 5 heated Ceramic Loungers to go around when one wants to relax, afterwards. And once reclining upon one of these, it would be oh so easy, to doze off for ages. Other participants warned us that the supposedly specially heated Oasis pool, was malfunctioning: and the water was stone cold!! Another point to make about the Spa:there are not enough lockers, in the Ladies Changing Room. Spoiled for choice for Bars and Entertainment, but we are not Night Owls, and didn't get the most out of all that was on offer. Met some ladies whose Cabin was above Manhattan: they stayed up until 2-30 a.m, because the noise from both the Nightclub, and the Ship engines far below, meant that they hadn't been able to sleep, the night before! All in all, Azura gets the thumbs up from us; and pleased to conclude by saying that disembarkation went like a dream. Our colour coded card was timed for 10-00am, but we were called at 9-10. Very sorry to leave the Ship. Read Less
Sail Date October 2010
Embarkation Arrived at Southampton and was immediately faced with an enormous queue. Took about 1hr 20 mins for us to finally get on board as opposed to previous cruise in May with RCI which took only 20 mins. Thought P&O would have ... Read More
Embarkation Arrived at Southampton and was immediately faced with an enormous queue. Took about 1hr 20 mins for us to finally get on board as opposed to previous cruise in May with RCI which took only 20 mins. Thought P&O would have had this down to a tee by now but obviously not. Stateroom Had a superior deluxe balcony cabin on deck 9. Room was long but quite narrow, nicely appointed though with a good size settee plus a table and 2 small chairs. Room also had 2 televisions (not sure why though some may find them useful). Bathroom was compact but again nicely appointed and fine for a cruise, taller people may find the shower a problem as you would need to be under 5 foot 2 inches to stand under it without stooping. Storage space was fairly good with plenty of hangers plus cases could be stored under the bed. Had champagne, chocolates and flowers in room on arrival, with the use of binoculars + world map, umbrella, gowns and slippers . I wouldn't say I was wowed by the stateroom but certainly not disappointed by it and thought it was worth the price paid. Food Breakfast in the buffet was fairly good, not quite as much choice as other cruise lines but still more than enough. You could also get freshly made omelettes and poached eggs from a separate station which was very welcome. Usual crowds of people but that is to be expected with buffet dining so either go early or try for a table just outside as they seemed to be rarely used. Lunch was probably the most disappointing part of the food experience on Azura. The hot meals never really looked very inviting or had that much variety with a lot of repetition over the week. Desserts were disappointing with very little taste. I think P&O have done quite a bit of cost cutting at lunch. Fortunately you could always get a nice salad with cold meats etc so not all bad news at lunch. Afternoon tea, again disappointing with tasteless cakes, dry scones and tiny portions of whipped cream. The only highlight for me was the one occasion they served bread and butter pudding which was moist and tasted delicious. Main Dining Room Dinner Fortunately this was much better! I found the choice of food to be very good. All of the meals were of a high standard with a good selection of vegetables with each meal. The meals on formal night were of an even better standard, well done P&O! Always managed to get a table for 2 each night, sometimes with a small wait for a table but never more than 15 mins. My only complaint with the dining room was the staff, who nearly all seemed indifferent almost to the point of rudeness. Nowhere near the level of service received on other lines where staff seemed genuinely pleased to help you. Speciality dining Where do I start. 17, Sindhu and the Glass house were all fantastic. Excellent food, good service and nice surroundings. This for me is what dining is about. If you can afford the extra cover charge then this is definitely the way to go, as dining in any of the above restaurants was far superior than any main dining room meals. Best to reserve early as after a couple of days 17 and Sindhu were fully booked. Drinks and Wine Very good value all round, could not fault this in any way with reasonable prices in all the bars and wine prices to suit all budgets. The house wine being a very good example! Entertainment Definitely the best entertainment I have had on any cruise. The main P&O cast called The Headliners were absolutely brilliant with shows that would not be out of place on a London stage (have heard this claimed before but not witnessed it till now). Very good tribute acts Phil Collins and Mick Hucknell who not only looked like their famous counterparts but sounded really good too! Female vocalist Lynda Radcliffe was fantastic as well. Good piano music to be found in various locations around the ship. In my opinion P&O have got this absolutely right with some great venues for these shows at the Playhouse Theatre, Malabar and Manhattan Bar. The stage, sound and lighting are second to none. The shows are also on 2 or 3 times a night giving everyone a chance to see them. Also worth a mention is Planet Bar at the top of the ship for a sophisticated pre dinner drink or cocktail. Disembarkation First of all I should mention that P&O need to get a better system for this at some of the ports visited. For instance Brest in France had quite a short stop planned, by the time we docked and several hundred passengers dawdled off the boat to join lengthy queues for the shuttle buses there was hardly anytime left at the port. I appreciate that getting the vast number of people onboard a large ship ashore is no easy task but surely P&O should be able to handle this by now? Fortunately disembarkation at the end of the cruise went very smoothly with everyone getting off about an hour before the scheduled time. Overall an enjoyable cruise with room for improvements. Read Less
Sail Date September 2010
Pre-Cruise Flew from Durham Tees Valley to Southampton on Sunday. Less than 3 hours from home to hotel. Pre-booked taxi at Southampton, waiting when we arrived - very slick. Stayed for 2 nights at Novotel, clean, convenient and good value. ... Read More
Pre-Cruise Flew from Durham Tees Valley to Southampton on Sunday. Less than 3 hours from home to hotel. Pre-booked taxi at Southampton, waiting when we arrived - very slick. Stayed for 2 nights at Novotel, clean, convenient and good value. Dinner in the hotel on Sunday but too long a wait on Monday so walked across to the 'golden arches'. Monday visited friends in Cowes via Red Jet - expensive for an adult, cheap for a senior! Embarkation (Tuesday) Taxi from hotel at 12:15, bit slow through the traffic, allocated green X and waited about 25 minutes to be called to check in then about another 25 minutes to clear check-in, photographer and security to board ship. Lunch in buffet - not as busy I expected and easy to join others at a large table. Cabin Inside cabin forward on Barbados Deck; functional and clean just like Ventura and Princess Grand Class Ships. Set up as twin, much more usable space than as a double. Dining We had selected freedom dining for this cruise to guarantee the Meridian restaurant in the centre of the ship. Dined in Meridian on four nights. No wait on any evening, always happy to share, arrived at various times from 7pm to 8.15pm. Three good tables, one dreadful when we shared with three others from one family, Very opinionated male who could only compare food service to fine dining restaurants which was a little unfair, had loads of other complaints which he should have known about if he'd read the brochure. He ruined our dinner that night and it was the black and white formal night - he had on a grey suit, straw trilby and sunglasses!!!! Have to say that food in main dining room was a little disappointing and in one area we weren't happy with the waiters - kept touching you or thrusting menu right in your face. Other areas were better. Two evenings we ate in the Trattoria - what a great experience; excellent service, interesting menu and excellent food. We also ate in XVII one evening - supplement for this cruise was £25pp. What can I say; a wonderful evening with superb food and superlative service, more than worth the supplement. Glasshouse: we had tapas in the glasshouse on the first sea day, this was very good. Buffet: generally ate breakfast and lunch here.Choice is a little limited compared to the American ships but generally OK. We usually had to join a table but never wandered around hunting. Entertainment Attending two Headliners shows; both were enjoyable. Listened to various music ensembles, all good. Phil Collins impersonator was good first time and not so good second time around. Went to cooking demonstration by Atul Kulchar and wine talk by Olly Smith - both were personable and easy to listen to. Theatre was too full to get into Martin Lewis talk. On board Only real disappointment of cruise was the complete lack of organisation when arriving at Port. We were late into Dublin and then Captain announced gangways were open when they weren't and there was a real scrum. I though the crew would have learnt from this but at Brest when again we were late it was even worse. No separation of those on excursions from others and the queue was huge to get off so some on excursions got very upset when they couldn't get off to get to their meet point at the right time. Why did P&O not meet the excursions in the theatre and use one gangway for excursions and one for everyone else??? Read Less
Sail Date September 2010
Embarkation was very well organised and the new Ocean terminal was spacious with a pleasant atmosphere. Azura is a beautiful new ship. We opted for a balcony cabin which was very nice but a little smaller than other balcony cabins we ... Read More
Embarkation was very well organised and the new Ocean terminal was spacious with a pleasant atmosphere. Azura is a beautiful new ship. We opted for a balcony cabin which was very nice but a little smaller than other balcony cabins we have had in the past. The public areas are very stylish and sophisticated. One of our favourite aspects of cruising is the food, however the food in the main dining venue was not very good and a lot of the staff appeared very unhappy and miserable. Our waiters were quite rude; no introduction on the first evening and no greetings each evening on entering the section they were covering. Instead they actually walked away when we approached our table. Also rudely pushing closed menus at us and then shouting over other dining guests 'what do you want?' I also was told off by the waiter for leaving some food on my plate and for leaving a hot drink! This is not what we have experienced before with other P&O OR Princess cruises. It did spoil our dining experience so much that we decided to eat elsewhere. At night the buffet on one side turns into an Italian restaurant and we ate some lovely meals here. The food was delicious and the waiters all very polite with very good service. The food at linch time was also good both in the restaurant and buffet. The room service was very good and easy to order with interactive TV. Entertainment was very good. Ports Cobh very quiet and not much going on here perhaps it is better to go into Cork by train. The train station was right next to the ship. No shuttle was provided at this port. Dublin free shuttle took you to the heart of the city and dropped you at the bus stops for hop on and off buses and tours. However we walked the short distance to Grafton Street for main shopping area. Try Bewleys for delicious scones , cakes and coffees and hot chocolate! Bilbao again free shuttle stopped just around the corner from Guggenheim museum, lovely city, walked around the charming old quarter and explored the shopping area where there is El Cort de Inglis department store - the 7 th floor has a lovely cafe / restaurant and toilet facilities. 6th floor has a good supermarket. Brest free shuttle takes you to three places, the main shopping area was in chaos due to roadworks and lots of upgrading of seating area, etc but I think once this work is completed will be very nice. There was a La Redoute shop here which was good and a 1 - 2 euro shop which had alsorts! Great choice of chocolate shops here! A very good cruise just a pity about the evening meal experiences! Read Less
Sail Date July 2010
It came to pass that the Mighty P&O did invite all Portunus Gold Tier Members to a Walkabout tour of the latest addition to their Family . The Azura. The Pilgramage led 1500 of this august band to the impressive Ocean Terminal. And ... Read More
It came to pass that the Mighty P&O did invite all Portunus Gold Tier Members to a Walkabout tour of the latest addition to their Family . The Azura. The Pilgramage led 1500 of this august band to the impressive Ocean Terminal. And there she was resplendent in the Southampton Sun.These lovers of The Crows Nest,Andersons,el et assembled two by two waiting for embarkation.Old friends from bygone Cruises renewed aquaintances as they waited.Wise men Shepherds and Masons waited patiently.We were kitted out with our Boarding Pass swinging jauntily from a natty Lanyard.Ours was Green.The wife did say that it it did not match her shoes or bag but I assured her that no one noticed. So.After much sercurity checks we finally got a first real look at Azura. First The Atrium . Where have I seen that before ? Up and Up and Up to Decks 15,16 and 17 and The Coral Pool and Bar.Nice enough I suppose but nothing special.Except those Sun Loungers.Blue and Brown even I could appreciate that it would be difficult to match accessories.Then The Oasis Spa and The Retreat.It looks an absolute picture.Wicker Sun Loungers,Cabbanas all sheltered under a Canopy similar to that at Goodwood Races.All well and good I hear you say but how much ? Well I heard figures of £10/20 pp per day bandied about and that was just for entrance to this exclusive area.So boys if 'They' insist it may mean only single G n Ts for the duration of your Cruise.Many of the pieces of Equipment in Spa area looked painful but I am reliably informed by one who knows that it was the latest.So what do I know . The Accomodation.Starting at the top . The Suites.If Camelot does its duty I'll have one of these.Well equipped furnished and appointed.I might have trouble negotiating a path to the Thunder box for my nocturnal calls of nature but must say I liked this.Smashing Bose Stereo tucked away.On to the head [naval jargon for bathroom] expensive looking Seperate Shower Enclosure Spa Bath. Could just imagine the good lady scrubbing my back as the Bose belts out a bit of Ole Blue Eyes.'Strangers In The Night' Dooby Dooby Do.Did have a bit of a problem with the Balcony.Why on earth did P&O choose to showcase a Luxury Suite with a balcony that has a steel pillar protruding floor to ceiling.Try again. Nearly forgot the Walk In Wardrobe doubt if even she could fill this but no doubt she would give it her best shot. Balcony/ Outside. Again Well furnished nicely appointed.Walkin Wardrobe of sorts but practical .Smallish Bathroom usual facillities.Room for Biscuits and Tea and Coffee makings.Reasonable Drawer Space for the smalls etc. Overall very good but on the small side. Inside: Its OK but it is Inside and on the small side . Appointments Furnishings and Fittings similar to the Outside cabins.Small Bathroom you would have to take turns for your ablutions . Bars Etc.Have you been on Vetura ? Do you remember,how could you forget The Havana Club. Well they have done it again and called it Manhattan this time with Blue Strip Lighting.Reminded me of a Tanning Studio.And those Partitions high enough to test Red Rum.Poor sight lines.Not for me. Just along from Tan U like there is an Oasis of Calm and Serenity The Sindhu Restaurant.Very tasteful and if the food is as good as the surroundings you could be in for a treat . Next door we are transported to Morroco and The Malabar Night Club and bar.She didn't like the chairs but I felt a bit like Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca but in colour.Room to cut a rug if you fancy a bit of Strictly.Just a pity about the constant flow of people passing through. Now The Glass House : A modern Wine Bar which I think also serves food.Will the P&O Grandees ,Dotties and old dears take to it?.I wonder. Then there is Brodies Pub Named after one of P&O Founders.Quite brash shares the area with The casino has a small stage big enough for say a Trio.I am not one for Pub Style Bars on ships but it is what it is . Certainly not the place for a quite drink.But I am more of an Andersons Man myself.It was a pity that we did not have time to see all of the Bars and facilities but I hope that I have given you a flavour of Azura. With our time running out we only had time to pop into The Playhouse Theatre.On three tiers similar to Ventura's Theatre.Looked to have good sight lines. The PA system announced that lunch was about tobe servered in The Meridian Restaurant. Like many of the features of Ventura Azura is very similar.The Meridian is no exception almost identical to The Cinnamon Restaurant on Ventura.Glass Partions tables for 2,4,6and 8.We were to be fine treated to a very meal so future Azurains you should have no complaints.The lady chose Atlantic Cod.No comment. I settled on a Smoked Salmon Platter followed by Lobster Scallops and King Prawns and just to be sociable a rather nice cheese board.To accompany this excellent fare we quoffed a couple of pleasant little wines.A Cheeky Chilean Shiraz[don't mention the Aussies] and a Saucy Pinot Grigo. During the course of this excellent lunch P&O's MD Carol Marlow gave a short speech. She explained that Azura had been designed with the Traditional P&O Passenger in mind and there would be Formal Semi Formal and a few Casual nights on all Cruises. Let us hope that that this is enforced. Although the speech was politely recieved I felt that most of the audience may have preferred a new Aurora or Oriana,but we do have The New Adomnia to look forward to and the jury are still counting the votes for Arcadia. But what of Azura. Overall she is very similar to Ventura perhaps the decorations are more subdued and I must say that the Carpetting throughout the ship is nothing short of spectacular particulary in the passenger corridors. The service in The Meridian was very good, not fast but unobtrusive and the waiters were excellent.Would I cruise on Azura Errrrr. One last point then I'll leave you to post your rude remarks.On our way from Azura we were presented with a Pen as a momento of our Visit.Think P&O must have bought them off the QVC shopping channel. Read Less
Sail Date April 2010
Azura Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.1
Dining 4.0 3.8
Entertainment 4.0 3.5
Public Rooms 4.0 4.0
Fitness Recreation 5.0 3.7
Family 4.0 3.7
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.4
Enrichment 3.0 3.2
Service 4.0 4.0
Value For Money 4.0 3.6
Rates 4.0 3.8

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