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4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
We have just returned from a lovely cruise aboard the Azura down to the Canaries. Food in the MDR’s and buffet were excellent. We also went to Sindhu, the Glasshouse and the Beach House. Enjoyed them all. Entertainment in the ... Read More
We have just returned from a lovely cruise aboard the Azura down to the Canaries. Food in the MDR’s and buffet were excellent. We also went to Sindhu, the Glasshouse and the Beach House. Enjoyed them all. Entertainment in the evening was of the usual high standard, and we were unable to get around to see all the acts. We were however a little disappointed with the daytime offerings. But this was simply because we had so many sea days which were all bad weather, so we relied on daytime activities to amuse us. We had our elderly parents with us and we were all looking forward to decent guest speakers. Olly Smith was brilliant, but as usual, the speaker on WW2 (dreadfully dull) was on every day. He has been on other ships, we have also had him on the Britannia and Ventura. Come on P & O, do you think everyone wants to hear this day after day? The artist John Gifford was charming and interesting and my Mother enjoyed his demonstrations. We booked late and had balcony cabins on the Lido deck, starboard side. They were fine, although the overhang prevented the sun coming on the balcony most of the time. Also, the smell of smoke which shot through the end door every time it was opened was quite nasty. The whole corridor was affected by the smell and entered our rooms. We were surprised that the whole of the poolside this side was taken up for smokers as it also contaminated the grill bar area as well. All in all, a lovely cruise. Britannia is still our favourite ship. But Azura lived up to its expectations. Read Less
22 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We chose P&O, and Azura in particular, because of our previous experiences. We have now sailed on Ventura twice, Brittania once and Azura twice. I am a very, very fussy person when it comes to standards of housekeeping, customer ... Read More
We chose P&O, and Azura in particular, because of our previous experiences. We have now sailed on Ventura twice, Brittania once and Azura twice. I am a very, very fussy person when it comes to standards of housekeeping, customer service and quality of food (40+ years of working at a senior level in a service industry made me that way!). The standard on each of the 4 cruises, before, had been almost without fault. Let's start at the beginning of our holiday for 2 adults and their two teenage (15 & 16) children: The parking service is faultless, turned up and waited for the polite and helpful porter to arrive and load our baggage onto their trolley. The Parking company staff were all polite, friendly and had smiles on their faces. So 5* performance so far. Enter the terminal, polite and cheerful staff handing out the check in colour coded and numbered cards that will determine your length of wait for check in. Plenty of seating, cafe with food and drinks, immaculate toilet facilities and plenty of free magazines and newspapers to read. Another 5* score. Checking in was very organised and virtually painless, and so much better than at an airport. The person that checked us in might have been a little more 'smiley' but they were not in any way surly or rude. The whole process from being called to the queue to check in to walking toward security took 10-15 minutes. 4* here then. Security was again smoother and less of a pain than at an airport, staff all friendly and the whole process again was over and done with in less than 10 minutes. 5* So now we are on the elevated gangway and walking toward the entrance to the ship. Smiles and friendly greetings from all the P&O team members welcoming us on board. Picture opportunity which you could take or leave with out an issue. So the first impressions are very positive. Everything looks immaculate and we are advised that we can expect our luggage to be, already, at our cabins. 5* for first impressions. Both cabins are perfectly clean and presented to the highest standard. Our Cabin Steward greets us with a warm and friendly smile (which stayed that way throughout the whole holiday so 5*+ for Ajay) and we set about unpacking. So we're still on 5* performance levels. We know there will be more than enough space (and believe me we bring a lot of stuff!). Well believe it or not we were unpacked with everything put away (including cases under the beds) and enjoying a glass of Champagne (a whole bottle courtesy of P&0) within less than 1 hour of being on board. The carpet in our cabin was brand new! And everything else was to a very high standard. We opted for Club dining at a fixed time and again were not disappointed in any way. The service level from our two waiters (Vijay and Aljon) and our wine waiter (Sunny) was just outstanding throughout the whole cruise. The quality and choice of food each evening was first class and the presentation was also excellent. You could, if you wished, have a starter (choice of 5) a soup or salad (choice of 4) Main course (choice of 10) dessert (choice of 8) followed by cheese (usually 4-6 cheeses) and biscuits and coffee or tea From the iced water to the bread rolls and everything in between there was nothing to fault. Portions are generous and we were even offered second helping!! The attention of the head waiter to ensure that our daughter had a good choice of vegetarian options was also first class. The entertainment was a mixed bag of some truly talented and awesome individuals and some that were not to our taste. From the positive reactions of our fellow passengers and the size of the audiences I would say that most evenings there was something for most people to enjoy and there were plenty of activities going on on board during the day if you wanted to join in. Service levels throughout the ship whether in the bars, the buffet, the Glass House (our favourite) the BBQ, reception and room service was faultless and every person we interacted with was polite, friendly and usually had a pleasant smile. We can't comment on the excursions as we like to do our own thing but loved the places that we visited and Rome, in particular, was our favourite place even though it was a reported 43 degrees C on the day of our visit. (Luckily we don't mind the heat!) Our Children love cruises and would wish to go every year. Would we go again? Without doubt! With P&O? Without doubt! Our only slight niggle was that frequency of staff trying to get us to book a table in one of the select dining venues became a bit of a pain. (But that said once you said no thanks that was it!) Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
This was our first cruise with P & O, having previously cruised with Princess and RCI. We chose it due to itinerary, Reasonably low price including OBC, and dates. Our immediate reaction when boarding was that the cruiselines are ... Read More
This was our first cruise with P & O, having previously cruised with Princess and RCI. We chose it due to itinerary, Reasonably low price including OBC, and dates. Our immediate reaction when boarding was that the cruiselines are very alike. We arrived early and waited for 50 minutes to board, we made our own way to the cabin, nobody was around to direct us, as we have had on other lines luckily we knew where our cabin was and found it easily. Within an hour the muster drill was sounded and we made our way to the stairs. This seemed very disorganised, as nobody was in the corridor to direct us, at the stairs we just followed the queues down to the playhouse, at no time were we directed that way. We passed people who were still trying to find there cabins having just boarded. We were told to take a seat whilst we waited for others to join us. Then we were then given the usual announcements. Returning to our cabins to return our life vests. The ship did seem to have a lot of staff drills during our cruise. Some of the staff had only just joined the ship so this could explain the disorganisation. We attended the sailaway party. This was very poorly attended, obviously due to late boarders/early diners. There seemed to be a general lack of sailaway parties in general when leaving all ports, except Lisbon, the last port. The entertainment team were very Butlins type of entertainment not what you would expect on a cruise ship. eg the team chased round looking for lipstick to put on men etc. Found there was a general lack on entertainment around the ship on sea days. Pool drinks service was very lacking most days. We had several sea days, and due to being unable to dock in Madeira due to fires we had an extra sea day. Unfortunately, the captain did not give announcements over the cabin systems, so unless you were in a public area you would miss any information given out, this I found a bit annoying, especially as his announcements were at 6pm. The one thing that I did like was that there was always plenty of sunbeds available during the sea days. I think that this is due to the lack of entertainment around the pools, and the seascreen not being used in the afternoons. Even on the last sea day there was no entertainment on the pool deck it was all on the lower decks, even though it was a hot and sunny day. Although it was a pity there isn't a retractable roof on this ship for the first day. Most of the staff were friendly but there were a few who seemed to resent having to work and could hardly smile, and a very few who went above and beyond. Unfortunately, service wasn't as good as what we had encountered on Princess. We found with the food what was on the menu, wasn't necessary what was on the plate. I ordered Beef in Red wine sauce, what I got was beef with Turkey or chicken wrapped inside not what I expected. Personally I struggled to find things on the menu that actually tasted nice, or wasn't full of spices or pepper. which isn't suitable for me. Due to a nut allergy my daughter pre-ordered her food in advance, but they still managed to get this wrong on several occasions. The buffet was very disorganised at breakfast you either had a cold omelette or cold bacon etc, as you would need to queue twice, and others were very miffed if you tried jumping the queues. There was a lack of selection it was the same foods everyday. Even the fruit was restricted to pineapple & melon, unless you wanted an apple or banana. We used the pool grill during the day for ease, but did enjoy the jam & cream scones for afternoon tea. I liked the fact that you could take your own drinks on board, and there was a kettle in the room for tea/coffee. Our cabin was kept spotless by our steward who did a great job, not bothering us and getting to know what times we were out of our cabin so he could get in and clean. As this cruise was during the school holidays we found that we never encountered badly behaved children and most seemed to be occupied with the childrens clubs unlike previous cruises when there is nothing for teenagers etc. Evening entertainment - I liked the fact that the shows were later than Princess/RCI, either 10.30 or 10.45pm. We had a great comedian, Lloyd Davies who was excellent as was Walk Like a Man, a Frankie Vali tribute act. Unfortunately, the headliners act weren't very good with lazy choreography and out of time. Singers were ok. Overall the entertainment was very repetitive with each act having at least 2 shows each. We had stops in Canary Islands, Vigo & Lisbon so this was very much a relaxing cruise. The 2 shore excursions we did in Lanzarote and Vigo, were very well priced and good value for money, compared to excursions we have had in the past. This ship is designed like Princess Grand class ships so we found it easy to negotiate our way around. There was a problem with sewerage smell at the back of deck 7, and the ladies toilet there seemed to constantly block. Overall, I would cruise with P & O again if the price was right but they wouldn't be my first choice. I just felt that there was something missing. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
The main reason for choosing the cruise was the itinerary (Gibraltar, Ajaccio, Civitavecchia, la spezia, Monte Carlo, Marseille and Cadiz). Due to being a Powerchair user our previous cruise resulted in us missing out on accessible ... Read More
The main reason for choosing the cruise was the itinerary (Gibraltar, Ajaccio, Civitavecchia, la spezia, Monte Carlo, Marseille and Cadiz). Due to being a Powerchair user our previous cruise resulted in us missing out on accessible shore excursions to Rome, Pisa and Florence for this reason we decided to go to the same ports. This time prior to the cruise we decided to contact p&o cruises and arrange the shore excursions for these particular port. Due to us having a large party the accessible excursions were not suitable for 7 of us. This was no problem for p&o cruises there gave us all the information we needed and provided us with private excursion options, although the private excursions were expensive it made the difficulties of being a wheelchair user in a foreign country stress free. In both civitavecchia and la spezia a private mini bus was waiting port side and available to us for duration of the day. A guide was offered to us but we did not take up this option we wanted to explore by ourselves. Having been on previous p&o cruises we sort of knew what to expect and having been on the azura's sister ship Ventura we were use to the style of the ship. Azura's was a nice ship but simple things made navigating the ship in a wheelchair more difficult, for example only forward lifts were available to deck 16 and with no toilets on this deck numerous trips along the decks and up and down lifts during the day. another example was our restaurant was on deck 6 at the back of the ship we would regularly meet at the front of the ship in Brodie's bar also on deck 6 this resulted in us before our meal having to use the lifts up to deck 7 across and back down to the restaurant as one of the kitchens on deck 6 is in the way. This was not a big problem but did make navigating the ship more difficult. During the day the number of open bars was very limited most were closed till 5 in the afternoon making the bars congested and difficult to find a table. Other than that the bar service was to a good standard but the limited number of waiters did make waiting for a drink that little longer. On a whole this wasn't the best p&o cruises experience we have had, having been on the Ventura in 2011 and Britannia last year it is natural to compare standards of how it was last time and what has changed. But on a whole the main restaurant staff, friends and family, weather, entertainment and the private excursions made the cruise a fantastic experience. As the cruise was a strictly come dancing themed cruise many events were available for people to attend such as live shows with dancers from the show, dance lessons and autograph sessions were available but this was not in your face. If you didn't fancy these events you didn't have to go there was plenty of others things to do and see. The live shows were free and tickets were allocated to the cabin giving everyone the opportunity to attend if the wanted. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
Went on a family holiday. Never cruised before and wasn't sure it was going to be our type of holiday! Had inside cabin, which was absolutely fine as after seeing balcony room would not have been happy to pay £1000 more just for a ... Read More
Went on a family holiday. Never cruised before and wasn't sure it was going to be our type of holiday! Had inside cabin, which was absolutely fine as after seeing balcony room would not have been happy to pay £1000 more just for a tiny balcony, rooms were the same size, bathroom was very small, would have preferred it slightly bigger. Wouldn't go in school holiday again as far too noisy and too busy. Wouldn't go to buffet breakfast as it was like a cattle market with everyone pushing and shuffing, so went to sit down served at table resturant and was far more civilised. It was a strictly come dancing cruise, which was brilliant. Over All good experience. Countries visited were good. Booked two PO excursion which were pricey, otherwise did our own thing when we docked. Staff in resturants and cabin boy very friendly and couldn't do enough to please. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
Joined the ship in the morning, check in was fairly quick considering the number of people to process through. Went straight to our room on Deck 10 and our luggage was already outside in the passageway. We had an inside double but the ... Read More
Joined the ship in the morning, check in was fairly quick considering the number of people to process through. Went straight to our room on Deck 10 and our luggage was already outside in the passageway. We had an inside double but the beds were separate. We unpacked immediately - plenty of space for all our clothes with room to spare, don't think we could have carried much more on board anyway! Once unpacked we decided to go and explore and we then met our allocated cabin steward Shirley who was absolutely brilliant and once we mentioned our bed we went to 'reconnoiter' the ship. We returned about 45 mins later and the room had been transformed with the double bed joined etc.. Our room, although a basic inside had tea/coffee making facilities, a fridge and electronic safe. There were two small 500ml bottles of water in our fridge which cost to replace £2 each!! So we did not open them and they remained unopened for the whole trip!! More later on water........ Very easy to find your way around the ship if you have cruised before which we had, this made getting anywhere a whole lot easier and quicker, still a few lost souls wandering around though! Everyone is provided with a ship map and there are maps displayed near the lifts on each deck. Tip of the day - when you exit any lift you are always facing Forward! FOOD: Plenty of places to eat and good variety to suit most tastes. We used mainly the Verona and Venezia restaurants on deck 15 for breakfast and sometimes lunch. We also had an evening meal there on a couple of occasions when it was a themed night ie Asian... For the main though we attended the Peninsula Restaurant on deck 6 where we had the option of sharing a table or having our own. We opted for Freedom Dining which gave us much more flexibility. The Set Dining was the other option available but that restricted you to a set time and same table which didn't suit us. There were soft drink machines in the Verona and Venezia restaurants including - WATER Tip of the day - Re-supply your water from here but do not try and fill a bottle up directly as this is taboo for fear of transferring bugs to the outlet. Use a glass and refill that way There were other (Specialist) Restaurants but you had to pay an additional charge and we didn't manage to fit them in on our trip! During the day around the Coral pool area you could obtain hot or cold snacks if you didn't want to go to one of the restaurants and we used this facility a few times when we felt a bit lazy! Overall the food on board was very good and what you would expect when catering for the amount of people attending. What was slightly disappointing was food provided on two themed occasions by the poolside - An Haiwaian night and a BBQ ........food very bland and a shame. DRINK Water packages available to purchase...£10 got you x6 500ml bottles! Big tip of the day - take water with you and then buy it ashore and bring back onboard which was quite acceptable.......more later. Alcohol (Beer, Lager etc) was not particularly cheap, more like London prices. Cocktails around £5 - £6. ACTIVITIES There were numerous 'Non Hosted' events going on during the day......this seems to be as a direct result of staff cutbacks, which was a shame as on other cruises we never had this issue. There were two golf practice nets on the upper deck which, due to the wind made them both difficult to use as the entry netting kept blowing back inwards and tangling with the golf club!! The clubs provided all needed re-gripping as they were very 'slick' to hold. We attended numerous quizzes both inside and up by the pool which were good fun and a chance to meet other guests. There was a very well stocked Gym on deck 16 and a big thanks to MELISSA and EARL for encouraging us and helping us burn off those unwanted calories!! Hope EARL has got his sea legs now!! ENTERTAINMENT The Headliners Theatre Company were very good and we attended nearly all their shows in the evenings. Tip of the day - Don't sit in the very front row as you will get a sore neck looking up! We saw some brilliant guest acts especially Ben Makisi a Tenor from NZ...excellent and also Laura Broad (Semi Finalist of Britains Got Talent 2013)...brilliant singer.... TIPS FOR TRIPS ASHORE: 1. VIGO - Go ashore and there is an Information building about 200m along the road on the left. Pop in and ask where the nearest supermarket is. We walked for about 15 mins and were rewarded with 10 litres of water for less than €1 !! Take a small backpack if you have one or better still a mini wheeled shopping trolley bag. 2. LISBON - Straight out of the terminal and there is a bus stop where you catch the Yellow Tour Bus which takes you all around Lisbon and you will see far more than if you went on foot. Plus you can get on and off and numerous stops and catch the next one that comes along. 3. GIBRALTAR - There is a huge Morrisons Supermarket not far from the cruise terminal. On your way out of the terminal on the left is an Information desk where you can pick up a local map and ask the staff to point the store location to you - a ten minute walk...10L of water cost £3. 4. VILLEFRANCHE - Free Wifi in the town anywhere !! Don't need to go into any cafes etc.... 5. FLORENCE - If you do the prearranged tour you will probably all have to meet in the Piazza S.Croce next to the Santa Croce Church....as you look at the church - to your right is a street called Via Magliabechi which goes for about 250m then you turn right on to Corso del Tintori and about 100m down on the right hand side is a supermarket- 12L of water cost €3....very quirky supermarket...oh and Limoncello very cheap!! Overall a great little cruise made even better due to nice weather - enjoy!! Read Less
Azura Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 5.0 0.0
Family 4.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 3.0 0.0
Enrichment 3.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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