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34 P&O Cruises Azura Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

After looking forward to our second cruise with P&O, the first being on Oceana, I found myself doing lots of comparisons on the two ships and I must say that Oceana far outstrips Azura.. there is/was one particular reason for this... ... Read More
After looking forward to our second cruise with P&O, the first being on Oceana, I found myself doing lots of comparisons on the two ships and I must say that Oceana far outstrips Azura.. there is/was one particular reason for this... from day 1 on the Azura there was an almost constant smell of sewage on every deck which sometimes permeated down into main dining areas. Having spoken to several officers regarding the matter I never got any sort of logical answer other than the statutory "it's nothing to worry about, it's not harmful to your health". There was no way anyone on board could NOT have noticed the smell. On passing the Reception desk later on in the cruise I overheard one passenger complaining that they were unable to use their balcony due to the constant stink and the receptionist replied "what smell". A really good cruise was rather spoiled by both the smell and not getting explanations as to why it was there. There was also reconstruction work going on on the lido deck ( fitting new lift for disabled people) for the first week... this was not conducive to relaxation what with grinders etc being used. I am aware that these things have to be done at some point but it also had a negative impact on the holiday. Staff on board were very polite but waiters etc around the lido deck appeared less willing to interact with passengers as they were on Oceana. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This was the infamous cruise which left 1200 passengers (including me and my wife) stranded in Monte Carlo. We even made the papers. Don't believe the stories about the weather getting worse and the passenger couldn't be ... Read More
This was the infamous cruise which left 1200 passengers (including me and my wife) stranded in Monte Carlo. We even made the papers. Don't believe the stories about the weather getting worse and the passenger couldn't be tendered back to the ship. The weather was just a light breeze and the transfer of passengers should have been perfectly OK. The problem was that their was an excess of large boats in the area due to the annual boat show. They caused the wake which made conditions in return back to the ship difficult for the able bodied and impossible for most of the elderly passengers. Communications were poor. After up to a 7 hour wait, the local police and on shore crew members guided us all to spend the night in Monte Carlo's basketball stadium. Sleeping on top of a cardboard box (after evicting the dead cockroaches) on the floor of the stadium was memorable. We were eventually tendered back to the ship the following day. A special mention must be made about the work done by the ships crew. Some worked all day and then all night and then the following morning again. Provisions and medicines had been transferred from the ship in dangerous conditions. One crew member feel overboard and that to luck and some quick thinking but the tender operator managed to survive with just bruising. P and O must really think hard if they plan to visit Monaco when the boat shows on. Regarding the ship. It was my 4th cruise and this ship was my favourite. It's due a refit next year which should bring it back to being one of the fleets top ships. The food on board was incredible. Breakfast was top quality both in the buffet and the restaurants. We had the odd light buffet lunch, where there was a large choice, from soups to snacks to full meals. And the evening meals were just as good. We went to the Sindhu restaurant and had fabulous signature meal. Unmissable. The on board entertainment was good. But after the problems at Monaco extra activities and entertainment were added to the schedule. There was even a show in the afternoon. We are independent travellers when we arrive at ports. However we decided to take the excursion to Seville. The guides knew their facts and managed to bypass the large queue when entering the cathedral. Well worth the cost. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise as it was our first and the destinations were places we wanted to visit. We missed embarkation photos etc. as the bus was late. The ship was very nice but a little tired. Getting around was extremely confusing and ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was our first and the destinations were places we wanted to visit. We missed embarkation photos etc. as the bus was late. The ship was very nice but a little tired. Getting around was extremely confusing and we found our way round with more help from other passengers than the staff. There could have been clearer sign posting. The dining rooms were excellent, the waiting staff were very efficient and friendly (Joseph and Manesh). The buffet food wasn’t particularly great. The breakfasts were nice but the main meals we attended were a little disappointing. We thought the entertainment would be better but it was focused on Strictly Come Dancing which we weren’t that in to. The daytime entertainment consisted mainly of dance classes and yoga etc. It would have been nice to have movies indoors or more actual entertainment and shows. We can’t fault the service. The staff were friendly and attentive. We had particularly good service from our cabin steward (Manoj) and the photographic team. The shore excursions involved more walking than we expected and we were disappointed with them. We would definitely go on another P&O cruise as overall we had a great time. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We have just returned from a 12 day cruise on Azura to Canary Islands from Southampton and wish to share our experience of a first cruise with P and O, after having sailed with Princess each year since 2016. The contrast between the two ... Read More
We have just returned from a 12 day cruise on Azura to Canary Islands from Southampton and wish to share our experience of a first cruise with P and O, after having sailed with Princess each year since 2016. The contrast between the two companies is frankly alarming despite there being no difference in the prices we have paid, like for like. We have stayed on Lido deck forward on three occasions; twice in an outside partially obstructedand once in balcony and up until now and despite some rough seas off Cadiz, have not been unduly bothered by that location. This time we stayed in L101, which I will comment on shortly. We have also stayed on deck 12 on Crown Princess at the rear but the vibration from below was terrible. Embarkation was excellent and we were able to gain access to our room quite early, but once on deck it was apparent that all was not good. As we passed through the automatic doors from the outside deck to our corridor we were greeted with a tatty, very worn carpet which didn’t improve much all the way to our cabin at the end. There were also numerous scrapes on the walls. First impressions were bad and didn’t get better in the cabin which also had a worn grubby carpet but worst of all a horrible configuration with the bed back against the window leaving about a foot all around to maneuver. We had to move the table under the clothes rack and were unable to use it. Annoyingly the rooms either side had the bed against the side-wall and far more space all round. The TV was a joke, Not only tiny, but positioned on a shelf high above the coffee making area which made it impossible to view unless you were standing up. That didn’t really matter because there was no signal for TV for most of the cruise (and even in Southampton), and the film choices were terrible. The maps for showing the position of the ship looked as if they had been drawn by a 5 year old. The young girl steward, Misty worked tirelessly keeping our cabin clean and neat given the poor state it was in and was the only person on the ship we found worthy of a tip. We went to the buffet where we found the hot food was the same temperature as the cold stuff. It resembled what you would expect to see in a works canteen. I had a stone cold curry and rice. We thought this might be just a changeover day problem but it was the same the next day. In fact lunch was pretty well the same every day, often cold, repetitive and bland. Having enjoyed some great sail aways from Southampton on Princess we were expecting something similar but this one was totally dead with little effort from our entertainment team and bar staff who looked as if they had just heard gratuities were being removed next month. In fact far from being the friendly, attentive, happy people, mostly from the Philippines, we had experienced on other cruises, this bunch were in many cases morose or doing their best to pretend we weren’t there. In fact for the entire cruise we found many staff to be indifferent. At the front desk, staff often chatted to each other or looked at computers rather than acknowledge us. I lost my glasses and reported that to the desk along with a detailed description of case etc and this was noted down with a promise to inform me if found. A few days later I called at desk and identified them. Nobody had bothered to check or inform me. Why would they when they can’t even be bothered to acknowledge a guest standing waiting in front of them? Who trains these people in such basic customer skills? I now turn my attention to various areas of the ship in the vain hope that somebody might actually take note of my observations. The buffet at breakfast was probably the worst aspect of the cruise. The scramble for tables was horrendous with guests reserving tables with various discarded items such as handbags or coats and even books. Once secured those guests would often remain there chatting over numerous cups of tea regardless of the poor souls trying to find somewhere to eat. Staff struggled to clear tables and the jostling for food was really annoying. Staff looked particularly irritated if asked to make poached eggs, omelets or pancakes. What was also annoying was the closing of one side of the buffet, which had the effect of compressing the already large volumes of people into less space. Trying to get a table that wasn’t occupied or reserved (people like to occupy outside seats or diagonally opposed or even place bags on unoccupied seats to discourage/prevent others from sitting down, such is their selfishness) was difficult bordering on impossible. Welcome to the 2 star holiday camp. This was also apparent in some bars and the theatre where you had to arrive 30 minutes early or risk not getting a seat or being split up courtesy of everyone leaving one spare seat next to them. The bars all had their own character. The Planet bar on the18th level was like a care home. Where Princess have skywalkers disco with late night dancing, a happy hour and a place for those still willing and able to enjoy a decent club atmosphere, P and O had Beth and James, A piano and guitar duo you could get a good nights sleep listening to. What a waste of a great venue that actually looked good. The Atrium was a massive disappointment as it was not only compact but devoted almost entirely for the whole cruise to ballroom dancing where the same usual suspects were in attendance showing off nightly. The so called Brodies bar which also housed the casino had the best choice of drinks but often the worse choice of entertainment and guests. If this is P and O’s impression of a British pub they need to get ashore more often. Most of the quizzes were held there along with bowling on the Nintendo Wii, bingo, darts and live football (satellite reception permitting). This was where Benidorm meets Jeremy Kyle and having to listen to one large family singing loud Liverpool football chants was definitely a low point. Incidentally the quizzes of which I attended a few were decidedly hit and miss with themes such as breeds of dogs, for gods sake or fish. The prize for such huge efforts was laughable. You could win a gold star (great if you are in primary school, but not particularly exciting if you were much older but sadly the P and O faithful embraced the idea. I accumulated a couple of the coveted stars and after great difficulty, managed to locate a prize redemption area at the end of the cruise. The prizes actually weren’t bad but it would have been so much easier just to give a prize to the winner at the time. The Glass house was another rest home for the elderly enjoying crosswords, sudoko or a nap. The Blue bar at the Atrium was popular for pre dinner drinks but just ok. The Malabar looked smart with fancy red lighting and Palm trees outside but on approach absolutely stank of sewage. The smell was disgusting and it never subsided. Some people commented on it, some ignored it, and some didn’t seem to notice, such was the diversity of clientele. It had nightly music, usually the resident group, Authorised or Pulse who popped up all over the ship for sail aways or filling in. I can honestly say that whoever is booking these bands either never heard them or needs a hearing aid. The girl singers were terrible and managed to either murder songs or sing them in a way that made even the most popular and well-known song sounded unidentifiable. The other main bar was called Manhatten and was used as a secondary venue for shows which were mostly Tribute acts or comedians. Head and shoulders above the rest was Jeff Dingle as Bruno Mars who really rocked, closely followed by an Adele act and the inevitable Beatles. The Bootleg Beatles are still the bench mark but this band did a fair job whilst actually looking nothing like them. What was really annoying in Manhatten however was the family that sat boozing whilst their two young daughters ran around the bar for hours annoying other guests until midnight. Staff as usual did nothing as they did when same girls were running around the pool ‘bombing’ earlier. On a plus note, and there aren’t many, the Headliners shows were good and clearly a lot of effort had gone into them and the guest speaker Stephen King commanded huge audiences with his insights on the music industry. With regard to one of the more important aspects of cruising, we were on freedom dining which is supposed to mean that you were free to dine anytime between 6pm and 9:30pm. Sadly this was not the case. It did not take me long to figure out that they we working a ‘sitting’ operation. At 5:30 a queue started forming, that was 60 strong at 6pm opening time. Many guests were opting to dine table for 2 and were accommodated. Once full, buzzers were given out and you would think they would be called in as tables became vacant. Not so. We witnessed whole lines of tables empty and not being filled. Eventually when all tables were empty buzzers were going off all over the place and in came sitting number 2. Finally around 8.30, in came sitting 3. We noticed a keenness to move us swiftly through courses on sitting 1. On sitting 2 staff became a little overwhelmed and waits between courses extended. As sitting 3 progressed they began clearing up vigorously. Menus in restaurants looked impressive but the reality was not always so good. Some meals were good, notably slow cooked lamb shanks, but then that’s not rocket science. Starters were small and often basic and bland. Deserts were also just okay with watery custard and rather tasteless or ice cream. Some staff made the effort whilst others just looked bored. Front of house seemed much happier. I walked around the ship one day to see what was on offer. The sports deck was an absolute disgrace. There was a large open deck area covered in green matting completely unused. No putting green or bowls here. Two members of staff were playing basketball and the golf net was just a small, tented area and a bag of clubs fit for the bin. The whole area was an absolute disgrace, totally neglected and abandoned. Deck 16 housed Breakers bar, an area almost totally given over to smokers. Down on 15 smokers were again occupying one side of the deck next to the pool. They had slowly on a daily basis been able to extend even further along the deck and when you were going to and from the buffet you had to pass through a wall of smoke. Congratulations to who ever came up with this positioning. The one table tennis table was squeezed into the other corner outside the buffet area. Clearly P and O put greater emphasis on accommodating smokers than people who wish to engage in sporting activities. I have reserved a few final comments for the cruise director and staff. Again on previous cruises with Princess we knew and recognized him and his staff who connected with passengers and seemed to always be around. I’m afraid I found Chris to be conspicuous by his absence and I would fail to pick him out in a line up. His merry men (and girls) were equally grey and seemed to only pop up briefly for quizzes before fading away into anonyimity. Their stupid holiday camp style dancing on deck sailaways left me cringing. This might be Butlins or Haven but it sure wasn’t expected on what I thought was going to be an upmarket holiday. P and O are clearly targeting the mass market in order to fill cabins. There was one other trauma that deserves a mention and also was the pivotal point in my deciding never to book P and O again. One evening we identified a few things to see. One was billed as an Elvis show. What transpired was possibly the stupidest and most pathetic rubbish I have ever seen. Unbeknown to us ‘Elvis’ was not a tribute act but cruise director Chis dressed in a silly costume and making stupid noises. He asked if there were any Elvis fans present, to which there were a few affirmatives including an elderly Welsh couple seated next to us. He then proceeded to make silly wheezing noises and stupid mimicry of Elvis which clearly offended said couple who promptly stood up and walked out. I personally am not an Elvis fan but I felt sorry for them and we did likewise. This man acting the fool on stage was being encouraged by quite a few of the crowd who would definitely not be candidates for Mensa and reinforced my feeling I was on the wrong ship. Fortunately we were able to make it to Manhatten for the Adele tribute singer who actually had some talent. In summary we had a highly disappointing holiday on a tatty ship, with average food and entertainment, constant queuing and a firm conviction that Brits will often accept this. If this had been full of Americans or even Germans, staff would have been overwhelmed with complaints because they expect and demand better standards and get them. Would P and O be our first choice when booking another cruise? Not likely if this one is anything to go by. We will just have to pay more for Celebrity or find a Princess ship going out from Southampton. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We used ‘Park on my Drive’ and saved about £100 in parking fees however taxi to the terminal got us there too early so we had a long tedious wait to be checked in. Food My wife’s dietary preferences meant that we had to eat ... Read More
We used ‘Park on my Drive’ and saved about £100 in parking fees however taxi to the terminal got us there too early so we had a long tedious wait to be checked in. Food My wife’s dietary preferences meant that we had to eat exclusively in the Buffet Restaurant Venezia, so that she could select food to suit her. There was too much emphasis on curries and Indian dishes, very little variety with few cooked vegetables and food not always as hot as it should have been. Venezia restaurant always crowded as only half the space open most of the time. Coffee machine not working for the whole of the cruise, fruit juice only available at breakfast and pineapple juice only available 3 mornings out of 12. The milk dispenser often not filled and you were expected to use UHT milk sachet instead, Drink P & O are new to the drinks package idea but do not have the price right. A drinks package for two for 12 days would be £960 when in fact our bar bill was under £100. You would need to be an alcoholic to get your money’s worth. Their soft drinks package would have been £480 compared to Norwegian on the Epic at £138. Service The cabin service was very good but in the restaurant there seemed to be a lack of willingness to help and when service was given it was very slow, when ordering drinks they often arrived halfway through the meal even when ordered right at the beginning. Tables not cleared as quickly as they should have been. Entertainment I understand that P & O have won an award for entertainment and goodness knows why. The entertainment was very poor with a few second rate comedians and singers and no shows. The standard was so low that the highlight of the week was the entertainments manager doing an Elvis impersonation. Cost We opted for the saver fare as opposed to the select fare and consequently were only allocated a cabin a week before we sailed and then treated as second class citizens in dining room allocation and having to pay on the “free” shuttle buses. An example of the shuttle bus cost in Lisbon was £4.00 per person per journey a total of £8 each way compared with a taxi cost one way of 6 Euros. The cost for the internet package was very high and so we did not use it. P & O should rethink this policy in this interconnected electronic age. Not a very good move to encourage future bookings on P & O. Ship The Azura started operation in 2010 and is now in desperate need of a refit. Certain areas such as the Malabar and deck 7 midships smelled of sewage all the time and one passenger reported black mould under the toilet seat which was not immediately rectified. The satellite TV was not working for most of the cruise. P & O’s standards have dropped considerably and are now below an acceptable level and do not compare well with rivals such as CMV. Shore Excursions We did two P & O excursions, one to La Palma for Whale watching. 3½ hours on a small boat in heavy seas and saw no whales nor dolphins, in fact not even a fish and no compensation for this. We also did Lisbon by land & river and this was very good with a tour of Lisbon by coach and then a very pleasant river cruise. We also did three excursions by Cruising Excursion The first at Madeira where we were left stranded on the top of a mountain and had to return to the ship by taxi. The second to Tenerife where we saw lots of rocks and volcanoes at the foot of Mount Tiede and the third to Lanzarote where we saw lots of rocks and volcanoes on a visit to Fire Mountain. All the excursions by both companies are vastly overpriced. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Nice to enjoy warmer weather, although mixed sun and cloud. Surprised how many children were on board in term time. All were well behaved, but some of the Dads made nuisances of themselves, jumping and bombing into the swimming pools ... Read More
Nice to enjoy warmer weather, although mixed sun and cloud. Surprised how many children were on board in term time. All were well behaved, but some of the Dads made nuisances of themselves, jumping and bombing into the swimming pools and frightening toddlers. Lunchtime Buffet service rather limited. Shellfish never varied, shrimps in cocktail sauce and mussles every single day. Volume in the playhouse far too loud. I actually saw two people wearing noise cancelling headphones. Rather a lot of ‘we need to keep you entertained’. Activities and a great mant quizzes. Excellent Captain’s Welcome aboard evening.. a great pity that some passengers are rude enough to carry on conversations whilst the captain is speaking. Most people dressed appropriately in the evenings but some did not and no action was taken by the crew. As usual, the crew were friendly and hugely polite. A pity some passengers do not give the crew the same respect. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We liked the ports of call Lisbon, Cadiz. Barcelona, Ibitha and Gibralter as some we had never been to before. Embarkation was fast and well organised, the ship was beautiful, very clean and staff very helpful. been on lots of other ... Read More
We liked the ports of call Lisbon, Cadiz. Barcelona, Ibitha and Gibralter as some we had never been to before. Embarkation was fast and well organised, the ship was beautiful, very clean and staff very helpful. been on lots of other cruises waiting staff good but never smiled, they were from india and pakistan area. Food good with plenty of choice, never had to queue at any meals. Shore excursions we thought were expensive, worst of all we had to pay for transfers from ship to towns and these were £4pp each way which we thought was a rip off!. Our room was always cold the air conditioning didn't seen to alter. Also the playhouse and the evening entertainment venues were also very cold. Entertainment was excellent except the group Pulse often sang off key and screeched a lot. Sorry the area for dancing was not bigger as this was done in the atrium and always too many people to dance in the small area. Overall we had a fantastic time and would certainly choose this ship again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Enjoyable cruise from start to finish. Swift embarkation and luggage soon followed. Balcony cabin on B deck kept spotless by our cabin steward. I can't comment on the entertainment as it's never my thing so I don't ... Read More
Enjoyable cruise from start to finish. Swift embarkation and luggage soon followed. Balcony cabin on B deck kept spotless by our cabin steward. I can't comment on the entertainment as it's never my thing so I don't go. The food was all good from the grab and go to the main resturants. We had two meals in Epicurian and one in Sindu, both of these select venues are well worth the extra fee. We spent sea days in the area near the oasis pool as this is a quieter area but the main pool near breakers bar is good for anyone with children. There seemed to be lots going on during the day and evenings for passengers if they chose to participate. We preferred to just relax. Overall I think the ship caterers well for a wide group of people and you can choose to be as active or quiet as you wish. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
When we arrived at our cabin, there was blood on one of the pillows. Also, the ship did not appear to have been deep-cleaned. P&O do not seem to cater well for those with disabilities. It was difficult for my wife to get around ... Read More
When we arrived at our cabin, there was blood on one of the pillows. Also, the ship did not appear to have been deep-cleaned. P&O do not seem to cater well for those with disabilities. It was difficult for my wife to get around the cleaning trolly using her walker. This was because the towels stuck out from the sides. When we docked at Tenerife, the gangway was far too steep for my wife to use her walker to disembark. This resulted in her feeling extremely frightened and having a panic attack. She had to be carried down by three of the stewards. Our holiday was completely spoiled by the men painting the ship. We could not go out on deck. The paint fumes were spread throughout the ship via the air conditioning. This is the third ship we have been on this year and the worst. We loved the Ventura. My wife and I had to visit the ship’s Doctor and several weeks after returning home I am still on medication and this is under review. As previously indicated we are both filled with sadness and extreme disappointment that the holiday we had both looked forward to for a long period of time was completely and utterly ruined because of this unfortunately timed paint job. They did state at reception that it was safe but if it were safe then why were the workmen wearing protective masks? Also the bar staff seemed on edge and this resulted in a tense environment. However, this does not reflect upon the bar staff who were very good indeed. I would never eat a steak anywhere else on board except the glass house. However, this cost us extra each time we had a meal there. The cruise cost enough money, so surely people should be able to eat anywhere on board? Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
its been a few years since I last cruised never again there were fights over sun beds men in the bars on formal nights in t shirts the suite I was in was very worn ,carpet dirty and stained the sofa I just wouldn't sit on neither ... Read More
its been a few years since I last cruised never again there were fights over sun beds men in the bars on formal nights in t shirts the suite I was in was very worn ,carpet dirty and stained the sofa I just wouldn't sit on neither would I touch the cushions arms of chairs greasy the public areas are showing signs of wear .the staff remain the same always helpful and happy the food is excellent I cannot praise it and the service enough.its the passengers who have changed you would not believe the amount of food that can be stacked on one plate at the buffet the whole ethos of the ship now is to see how much money we can make .thank god I had a balcony were I could just sit and read the captain gave several warnings about passengers reserving sunbeds I don't think it worked Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
First time with p&o cruises we will never go again, boat just lacks finish, food wasn't very good very poor at some times, vegetables were always hard and not much choice in buffet areas, cheese and biscuits were terrible little ... Read More
First time with p&o cruises we will never go again, boat just lacks finish, food wasn't very good very poor at some times, vegetables were always hard and not much choice in buffet areas, cheese and biscuits were terrible little pieces of so called cheese and no fruit at all.Sindhu restaurant was very good, glass house parfait was horrible. We spoke to various people during our two weeks and they had all been on before but would not be returning, standards have slipped a lot they said. Staff were something unhelpful and rude at times, one lad in Costa coffee area expected a lady to clean up some coffee she had split. We had to many days at sea tootaling along instead of getting somewhere and staying overnight. Entertainment wasn't up too much, some guest acts were ok, but otherwise not brilliant and very loud in the theatre. Outside tv half the pixels were missing and the surround had some boards missing. Was going to go into the retreat but you had to pay £25.00 on sea days and £30.00 on port days per person per day and you got nothing for that so we didn't. Just didn't live up to our expectations and very disappointed will be going back to celebrity next year for sure. Read Less
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
Sail Date May 2018
The upside? Check in was like clockwork, our cabin (inside) was spacious and well equipped and staff were plentiful, friendly and well trained. The downside? Most everything else! The entertainment was generally poor and the programme ... Read More
The upside? Check in was like clockwork, our cabin (inside) was spacious and well equipped and staff were plentiful, friendly and well trained. The downside? Most everything else! The entertainment was generally poor and the programme seemed only geared to enriching the cruise line (learn about wrinkles and then buy treatments) and so pensioner based. Then silly stuff like the bar most people walked through for dinner at 6.30pm didnt open until 7pm so you couldn't get a pre-dinner drink. And in the bar that was open you got some vegetable crisps if you were lucky, but only after 6pm on the dot! The restaurant food was ok, but lacking in imagination and variety. The buffet selection was the worst of any cruise line we've been on. And the photographers? Late setting up for every formal night ... No energy or enthusiasm, very lack lustre. All in all we were underwhelmed. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
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
Sail Date July 2017
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
Sail Date August 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
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
Sail Date July 2016
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
Sail Date September 2015
Having cruised with various US cruise lines over the past 10 years or so we thought we would give P&O a try for a change which also gave us the chance to drive to the embarkation port for the first time instead of flying. Pre-cruise ... Read More
Having cruised with various US cruise lines over the past 10 years or so we thought we would give P&O a try for a change which also gave us the chance to drive to the embarkation port for the first time instead of flying. Pre-cruise information - nice personalised brochure delivered to the house. Would have liked information regarding port arrival and departure times but this was not forthcoming despite an email. (Maybe a ploy so that you can't book your own shore excursions as you don't know in advance how long you'll be in port?) Embarkation - went smoothly (very impressed with the car parking/unloading luggage arrangements at Southampton). Luggage reached our cabin quickly. Buffet available within minutes of boarding. Display by the Red Arrows prior to sailing an unexpected bonus! Unfortunately departure was delayed due to high numbers of passengers being stuck in traffic due to the Boat Show being on, so it was dark before we sailed. Cabin - internal as usual and an excellent layout, better than any we've had on any other ship. Lots of storage space and a very comfortable bed. Really good airflow system in the shower room - good for those nasty niffs (!) and also meant the mirror de-steamed quickly after your shower. Steward attentive but never intrusive. Dining - food all very good - buffet, main restaurant, speciality restaurant (Sindu). Lots of choice at the main buffet and hot food was hot, not lukewarm. All waiting staff pleasant and friendly. Drinks - much less expensive than on US ships, (about what we would pay ashore in UK), which was good as this encouraged you to linger in the venue, listen to the live background music and, (importantly for P&O), order another drink! Entertainment - not as good a variety as we've been used to. Venues got busy very quickly. Didn't like the fact that as 2nd sitting diners, we couldn't linger over our meal if we also wanted to see the shows; other cruise lines have an earlier pre-dinner show for the 2nd "sitters". Shore excursions - poor value for money, more so than usual. Went on the jeep safari from Lisbon and, although we saw a bit of the countryside, learned nothing about the towns where we stopped. The girl from the ship accompanying the jeeps made no attempt to gather everyone together at the stops and tell us a bit about where we were. From Livorno did the "Lucca on your Own" trip. Could have spent hours there - loved it!! Unfortunately only had 2 hours;not sure why this trip was so short as the ship was in port all day. Maybe P&O could have a look at offering this as a longer excursion... Ship - clean and very pleasant decor. However, VERY confusing layout; we heard lots of passengers commenting on this. Sometimes had to go up or down a deck to carry on to where you needed to be. There was also always a lot of vibration throughout the ship. Didn't like the service lifts being next to the passenger stairways. Plenty of sun loungers out on the open decks; indeed this made walking around some of the decks a bit tricky due to the sheer volume of them. Toilets never seemed to be where you thought they should be and were poorly signposted and not enough of them, (for the ladies anyway), at the obvious places such as immediately outside the theatre or restaurant. Fellow passengers - most of our fellow cruisers were British (and I think a lot of them were very P&O loyal) but we really missed the North Americans and their easy chat and their take on life. However had excellent table companions at dinner who all had a great sense of humour. The ship generally had a high proportion of elderly/grossly obese and/or infirm passengers which made the pool areas and the outside spaces closest to the food areas the first to get filled up. Higher decks were quieter but could have benefited from some shade. Disembarkation - well arranged and we were actually off ahead of schedule. Easy walk to car park to collect car for the journey home. In summary, a pleasant enough cruise on a nice enough ship with no glaring omissions but maybe just not quite up to the US standards of service and atmosphere that we find with those ships. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Our embarkation was carried out in no time and not difficult, but there was no one to show us to our room t, this being our first cruise. We eventually located our balcony room and were surprised how basic they were. One could touch the ... Read More
Our embarkation was carried out in no time and not difficult, but there was no one to show us to our room t, this being our first cruise. We eventually located our balcony room and were surprised how basic they were. One could touch the bathroom mirror and the far wall of the shower with both hands. The drains stank as the water “P” traps drained away. Suitcases came sometime after we were in the room. Cedric our cabin attendant was very pleasant and informative and was delightful when passing him in the corridor. The bed was comfortable and line spotlessly clean. All basics were promptly replenished. Drinks were reasonably priced but the draught beer and lager quality varied a lot. We tended to have the quality drinks in our room. The whole ship was crowded with people the majority in their 65 plus and was ideal for people with walking difficulties who could bring their walking aids and wheelchairs. But this brought a problem with the lifts we had to walk up and down 9 flights of stairs because P&O calculation on the amount of passengers needing these lifts. The same was with the sunbed surrounding the pond all sandwiched tight together. No way could the people in wheel chairs or on walking aids get to and sit on the side of the sunbeds and as for little tables they were far and few between. The same applied for the lounge chairs and settees they were far too low to get out of- one could have done with a hoist – Music played around the “pool” was loud and very distorted and reminded me of a “holiday camp” and nowhere to place your drinks. But one could find peace elsewhere. The pool area was used for “sail away” party which a lot of people seemed to participate. Food on board was OK we tried the Venezia for breakfast and dinner and we found it was like a cattle market scrambling for tables and food. The quality was acceptable but my concern was the number of people serving themselves with their bare hands. We resorted to using the Peninsular restaurant, here one could either have a table for 4 or sit on a larger table with other guests. Un less you had a sea view table the whole area reminded me of an industrial canteen –a swath of people -- get in eat and get out— The Staff were all friendly and if when ordering one asked for an extra portion it would discreetly be served up. The Sindhu dinning was worth a visit but I could not justify the extra charge but that’s what P&O is all about. There was entertainment but here again if you went to an early dinner late you would not get a seat for some of the shows or perched at the rear watching screens. Some were worth watching others were hid-hi. They were ok if you like that sort of thing The trips ashore were not to my liking . Not enough time to see the places of interest such as Rome and Florence bearing in mind there is over 3 to 4 hours of getting there and back and places like Gibraltar it was either go up the rock or do shopping (or does P&O want you to shop on board) The other towns that the ship docked in did not inspire me I’ve come across far more interesting historical places all round the world. Having spoken to many “long term cruisers over the years" we felt that we were missing something but I can honestly say that overall this ship promises' falls short of our expectations. I will continue researching out places to visit at my own pace, with several days stay on luxurious beaches, fly out in comfort and book into known 4/5 star hotels and organise one’s own one to one tours Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Background - a bad start! As many people may have heard, we experienced a 2 day delay in the start of our 14 night cruise due to Azura having technical problems on the previous cruise. Whilst this was very disappointing and inconvenient, P ... Read More
Background - a bad start! As many people may have heard, we experienced a 2 day delay in the start of our 14 night cruise due to Azura having technical problems on the previous cruise. Whilst this was very disappointing and inconvenient, P &O handled the situation very well, keeping us informed by telephone, text, email and social media. They also sent a customer services team on board for the first 3 days (sea days) to deal with the inevitable fallout and claims for expenses for hotel and travel changes needed. This team suffered a fair bit of verbal abuse and from what I saw handled it with professionalism. The revised itinerary meant that we missed two ports, Cadiz (for Seville) and Naples. I suspect this was partly due to the need to negotiate with the various port authorities but missing these two ports was generally a very unpopular decision. It also meant we had 3 consecutive sea days at the start of the cruise which was unpopular with many. The "compensation" offered was, in my honest view and I suspect many others, not compensation at all. We received a refund of 15% of the fare paid, (a cheque was awaiting our return home) which almost exactly equated to the cost of the two nights missed, which in all honesty was to be expected. On top of that we are being offered 10% of the fare paid off a future cruise. Fine if you intend to take another cruise within the specified time limit (and not redeemable against saver fares), but not everyone can and will be able to use this credit. So it could be considered worthless. A box of chocolates and a bottle of Pol Acker in the cabin. I guess there will be a deluge of letters to P &O over the next couple of weeks. Moving on to the cruise itself, we were in a Superior deluxe cabin on D deck. The cabins are spacious and well equipped. For anyone interested, they are almost identical to the midship Princess grill cabins on the QE and QV. In common with all ships I have been on there is never enough drawer space but other than that, more than sufficient storage. The balcony is a decent size, (and bigger than on QE/QV) with plenty of room to stretch out on the recliners provided, along with footstools and small table. A comfortable lounge area (although the sofa bed really needed replacing - not sure I would like to have slept on it!). Good size bathroom with bath and shower over. Our cabin steward, Jerry, was excellent., and a lovely man. Just the right level of being around without being intrusive and keeping the cabin clean and tidy. The bed was firm but very comfortable. Ports - as I unfortunately sustained a nasty back injury on the third day, I can't comment much on the ports. Barcelona for me was just a short stroll up La Rambla and Monte Carlo - a tender port - was out of the question. We had very rough seas between Barcelona and Monte Carlo (ship handled it very well) which abated a little in the morning but tendering was still quite " interesting" ! The winds got up again midday and tendering operations were suspended for safety reasons for couple of hours in the afternoon. Watching the tenders from the ship, being tossed around like corks made me very grateful I had stayed on board! It looked very hairy! A reminder of how the staff put their own safety on the line in tender ports. They should be congratulated for their stirling efforts on that day. Rome - we took the P&O " Shuttle and Roma Train" excursion- an excellent option for doing Rome on your own. Expensive - yes but well worth it to avoid that horrible coach trip into Rome. Train very quick and comfortable and stops just behind the Vatican and St Peters Square. Cagliari we stayed on board as I wasn't fit enough to go ashore - maybe a result of trying to do too much in Rome the previous day. Gibraltar - not much to say really, been there before. Good shopping if you want it, the Rock is very interesting. Somewhere to stop on the way home! Food....we ate in the Oriental restaurant, fixed dining , late sitting. Our waiters were simply lovely and coped brilliantly with our table of 8 ( we were all travelling together) , despite the fact that we were nearly always last to leave the restaurant .. The wine waiters have gone and although they were missed, again our waiter coped well with our constant requests for wine! We did not experience any delay in getting wine to the table unlike previous cruises when sometimes the wine waiter was so elusive we got wine delivered with the dessert! (we learned then to pre order!). The down side is that no one seems to have taught the waiters how and when to pour wine properly. Not their fault I suspect. The food itself was fine, plenty of choice, usually hot, and perfectly acceptable. Portion size more than adequate. Occasionally something was not to my personal liking but I was always offered an alternative (declined!) Only real gripe was the cheese - usually too cold and not a huge choice eg Brie disappeared after a few days, sometimes no "blue" cheese to chose from. Fine dining it was not but then I didn't expect that. We also ate in Epicurean - superb and well worth the cover change, and 6 of our group also had a night in Sindhu - also reported as excellent. We frequented the Glass House for lunch on several occasions and again, the food & service was excellent. Breakfast was usually taken in the buffet or in our cabin, as we didn't manage to get up in time to go to the MDR. Fresh cooked omelettes were lovely, as was the fresh fruit on offer along with yogurts etc. Never particularly fancied the rest siting under the hot lights although did partake of a fried egg & bacon one morning. It was ok. Waiters now come and serve you with Tea and Coffee at breakfast which we really liked and worked well. We seldom ate lunch and if we did, it tended to be in the Glass house. A Scone and cake for tea was enough for us. Entertainment - I think P&O did a great job in securing some additional acts to compensate for our delay at the start. We had Joe McElderry (x factor) , Richard & Adam (BGT) and Leanne (the voice). I was not a great fan of these shows but these guys were really good live and we thoroughly enjoyed their performances. We also had the "marmite " act of Freddie Mercury tribute - love him or hate him , he was brilliant! And Tom Jones tribute act too - he was very good. The Headliner shows were as good as they usually are, and we had a bonus of strictly stars Aljaz Skorjanec & Janette Manrara who entertained us beautifully with their dancing. Despite being late out of dinner every night we always managed to find seats in the Theatre somewhere although not obviously 8 altogether. One or two "tuts" when we had to ask people to move so we could reach the 2 seats left vacant right in the middle of the row.... There were some recent films showing on the sea screen and one of the inside venues (although I didn't get round to seeing any of them!) & lots of activities we didn't try - Not into quizzes, too old for cricket and tennis , but just couldn't fit everything in. Guest speaker, Chris Woodward was an excellent speaker if you are interested in the theatre and entertainment history - he covered The Palladium, Butlins, Houdini, comedians as well as others. Fascinating. Nearly forgot. The Retreat - lovely area especially when the weather is good. Is it worth a 2 week pass when sailing from Southampton? Not sure as no refunds for bad weather. But quiet and peaceful, breakfast and lunch available. If you really want R &R you will get it in the Retreat. Service in the bars was generally fine, occasional wait to be served when busy particularly in the Planet Bar but nothing one wouldn't expect. Talking of the Planet bar, the chairs in this bar are decidedly shabby and do need replacing. The location of this bar is so lovely, it seemed such a shame to be so let down by almost threadbare chairs in some instances. Obviously got missed in the refit! Disembarkation was not the smoothest I have experienced and we were delayed by nearly an hour. Communication from the staff was very poor and the way the Theatre was emptied in 3 unexpected stages meant we were separated from our friends who ended up having to wait for us in the baggage hall for nearly 45 mins. Summary - well despite the delayed start, we still really enjoyed our time on board. Azura is a beautiful ship, the service was excellent. I am sure that there is something onboard for everyone to enjoy. And Captain Neil Turnbull' s wonderful sense of humour particularly during the inclement weather kept us all smiling! Would I go on Azura again? Yes. And I prefer smaller ships.....! Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Very disapionting.Ship sailed 2 days late due to technical problems.booked for a 14 day holiday ended up with 12 days. We sailed Sunday late afternoon with another 3 DAYS at sea before reaching Barcelona.Missing out Cadiz and Naples. We ... Read More
Very disapionting.Ship sailed 2 days late due to technical problems.booked for a 14 day holiday ended up with 12 days. We sailed Sunday late afternoon with another 3 DAYS at sea before reaching Barcelona.Missing out Cadiz and Naples. We had a total of 7 DAYs at sea out of a 12day holiday.Not what we would have booked for. Food in the Buffet Restaurant looked very nice,however it would have been great if the Hot Buffet.was infact Hot!!The rest of it Salad etc was very nice. The only good thing...Our Cabin steward Alex was great 100% nice guy . The ship overall was very untidy.For those who smoked on deck15 it was hardly ever cleaned,cups,drinks litter etc. Outdoor cinema screen poor.Deck carpets on decks 16 & 17 lifting,17 deck completly lifted and not fixed.(trip hazards) Glad to get back Home,Will NEVER GO ON ANOTHER CRIUSE AGAIN! Not a trip to look back on with any WOW factor..A lot of money Wasted. NO COMPENSATION !!Unless you take another criuse with P&O then you get a 10% discount WOW !!! "O" They did say sorry Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Having cruised with a number of cruise lines - we returned to P&O this year.Let me say now that if you want to find fault you will find it - remember this is my opinion of my holiday. I post a review after each cruise and I am honest / ... Read More
Having cruised with a number of cruise lines - we returned to P&O this year.Let me say now that if you want to find fault you will find it - remember this is my opinion of my holiday. I post a review after each cruise and I am honest / fair. Its a shame that there have been many poor reviews. Staterooms - P&O do it well overall and for good value. We had two staterooms which believe it it or not was a cheaper option than us all in together. We booked early - had a good on board credit and free parking. Booking early - Do think about this when booking and as a select fare payer we had free transport when in port. There's no hard sell and prices are pretty much what you'd pay in UK. We always pre=order our wine package and we saved around £40. Our Cruise Embarkation - P&O do valet parking and check in was good. We were on Azura lunching by midday and our staterooms with all luggage outside ready by 2ish. Both were excellent and clean. Our stateroom attendant was really efficient. Dining - Buffet was good - though we noticed less choice than ventura two years ago but still ample. Breakfasts good. We ate 10 nights in main dining room - not a night passed without our meal being presented to a high standard, with good service every evening. We are picky with our food and if we couldn't fault it was good and very hot. I was disappointed that there wasn't a Marco Pierre White on board - we didn't go to 17 but a few passengers said it was good - Sindu was never really busy... but apparently great food - P&O could do more with the space. Make it a proper late night club....Marco was consulted on all formal dinner menus so I was happy in part! Entertainment - Kids Clubs - our youngest didnt engage with the club - she simply didnt like the set up this year but it didn't hamper her enjoyment. Our eldest is now too old for the clubs and had looked forward to the 18-30 gatherings but it simply didnt work. Cruise Companies need to think more about young adults - do a session for 18- 21s (the patronising 22 year old passenger irritated all the 18 year olds when she called them "all babies" - it doesnt go down well with those that drive / have a job and have a bit about themselves). RCI do it a bit better but again it didnt impact on our holiday as she made a nice group of friends. There was good feedback about the clubs from many other passengers. Cruising - we travel well but there was some choppy tides like the bay of biscay - take your sea sickness pills and if you need to book high deck - mid ship. Some people felt it on a coupe of days with a high swell and speed - there was a bit of movement on 3 or 4 days. My other half is still walking sideways! Behaviour - As a mother of teenagers I have a high tolerance but was rather taken aback at the rudeness of some of the older teenagers in the lifts and the swearing I heard (there was no real evidence of security). I was saddened by this as this was the first time I have seen such bad behaviour on a cruise and always stick up for young adults. There were many that were good though and it was always the same small group. Pools - limit to 18 in each at any one time. P&O have pool attendants and not life guards to aid enjoyment in busy summer weeks. (this may be due to the issue on a cruise a few months ago). Our observation was that a couple of these pool attendants are a bit OTT - one actually asked an elderly lady to get out - there were 19 in the pool - she sat at the side and less than 5 minutes later got the nod she could go in. Rather silly... and I was going to tell you another story about a foreign body in the pool but I wont as it is too silly to type...but it took 3 pool attendants .. 4 officers.. 3 cleaners and 2 pool staff to make a decision to close the pool. Funny to watch! Adult area nice. Spa okay - found the person doing by treatments very pushy, her treatments not particulary good (usually they are excellent) and she got on my nerves by mentioning my age profile so much! I came out rather depressed but her parting words were that I had rather good skin for my age so I decided to stay on board and get another cocktail and not throw myself off my balcony! Strictly - We only realised after we had booked that we were on a strictly cruise. What did we think about this? we had a few conversations during the cruise....Did this detract or enhance the overall entertainment offering. Captains Party - lovey = thanks for complimentary bubbly (you would get this on RCI), we saw some great headliners shows - the reel to reel show was stunning and so professional. Jon Fisher as Gary Barlow - was great - Lloyd Davies - on towards the end - including the last night - fantastic - we wet ourselves laughing! He got a standing ovation and everyone we spoke to said - wish he'd been on earlier! Seeing Craig Revel- Horwood was good and his audience with was a decent night to sit and listen. Now.. we love strictly but the dancing presentations left us a bit luke warm (sorry). The dancing was great but having the Entertainment Manager interject just made it a bit piece meal and a little amateur. Again it is our opinion - we love strictly but will not go on a strictly cruise again. However, one observation was that the second showcase was far less attended than the first... had other passengers felt the same! The movies outside was quite novel and we watched a few whilst sunning ourselves! The singers in the Malabar - a young guy doing michael buble and a session singer plus a young opera trained singer were also good. Only valid feedback was everything is over by 12.15 really. Bars are all nice - please change the red lights in the planet bar - it looks very seedy and liven it up a bit! Malabar, Brodies, Manhattan and Blue Bar are nice - the latter is quiet a hub pre and post dinner. Glass house is a great addition and is now on ventura replacing the tapas bar. First deck party was on the wrong night... weather too cold. second one better, Chocoholics tea party - nice idea but should have been mid way through cruise really not on last day....ports of call change left no option. Dinner sitting - if you like sun and little pressure... go late sitting... kids can always have something earlier in buffet...On a 12 day cruise with all the ports, 4 formal nights it can be a rush..... Ports of call - this had upset some passengers...it was changed just before sail. The port after port days irritated some and the bad weather and three sea days coming back dampened a few spirits. Why did we move way from good weather so soon. We will not be booking another cruise that has three see days on the way back. Lloyd Davies highlighted this in his show and there was resounding support. Going to Ibiza on a Sunday was a bit of a waste. Why didnt we float for a day and go on the Monday? The captain was visible and announced all information up to Ibiza and then we heard no more as he must have known that it was time to get off. Photos - there is a great system now = all automated and you put your photos in a basket. Tip - select them as you go along and get most of your selection saved / checkout and only leave your last couple to last day. The photo desk was rammed and had to open late and queue was long. Our photos were lovely! Shops = they had decent selection of stuff if you want to shop and I think the 3 days at sea helped push up the on board accounts! We spent far too much.... Overall Experience - Our holiday was lovely - P&O offer good value for money - appeals to Brits - culture - tips are lowest I think - Staff did a good job - no complaints - Azura a nice vessel - carpets are ready for change - overall still pretty smart - air conditioning appears to be not working fully. Men's toilets were smelly (other half reported back that ones by Manhattan were dreadful) Disembarkation - We got off at 7am - took off our own luggage - we left smoothly - P&O - please stop the elderly baggage ladies shouting at everyone about where to stop and load trolleys - it was a bit off putting to be screamed at - dont stand there - stand there - one guy was really "told off" for standing in wrong place- we just picked up our car and went home....it was a good cruise! Next year - think we may go Celebrity again or perhaps try Princess! Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
I booked the cruise after several family members told me of their wonderful cruise experiences. How disappointed I was. Firstly, may I say how good all the staff were, especially the buffet staff. I felt however really let down by the lack ... Read More
I booked the cruise after several family members told me of their wonderful cruise experiences. How disappointed I was. Firstly, may I say how good all the staff were, especially the buffet staff. I felt however really let down by the lack of entertainment facilities. There was only one pool table, one table tennis table and one sports court , ( which is supposed to cater for basketball,cricket,tennis, and football ),which for over 3000 passengers is totally inadequate. I am 61 but dont think I am over the hill yet, but the evening entertainment seemed to be for the over 80's . The seas screen was good but the choice of films seemed to be aimed at middle aged women. I found myself watching my own films on my laptop and would have gone mad had I not taken it. Almost everything interesting was chargeable and you could rack up some nasty extra costs from sheer boredom . Now some good points. The tour team were really good ,especially Sam. Her talks were informative and persuaded me to take more tours which I had not previously planned. All the tours were well organised with knowledgeable guides . The restaurant staff were pleasant , efficient and helpful and the food on the whole was great, BUT, ice cream was extra . Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
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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