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1 P&O Cruises Azura Cruise Reviews for Romantic Cruises to Europe - River Cruise

My wife and I are just back from a 2 night mini cruise on P&O's Azura from Southampton to Zeebrugge, back to Southampton. This was our 2nd ever cruise, our first being last August for a 2 week roundtrip cruise from Southampton to ... Read More
My wife and I are just back from a 2 night mini cruise on P&O's Azura from Southampton to Zeebrugge, back to Southampton. This was our 2nd ever cruise, our first being last August for a 2 week roundtrip cruise from Southampton to the Med, on Princess' Crown Princess. Azura and the Crown are the same ship, just run by different cruise operators, so we knew what to expect from the ship in terms of size and layout. The similarities between the two ships sadly ended there for us... Let me start by saying we aren't snobs by any stretch of the imagination, and we are down-to-earth and easy going people (both in our mid-late 20's). BUT... we see cruising as a very expensive top-notch holiday choice; and as a result, it is reasonable to expect good service and quality. Princess more than exceeded ALL our expectations and as a result, obviously this has set our expectations for future cruises. I know i am comparing a 2 week £1600 per person cruise to a 2 night £220 per person cruise, but per night, the price isnt massively different. However, as one of the bar staff said to me just after we boarded, "this will be a different experience to a 2 week cruise, you will see people being carried away on stretchers and all sorts". I think what he was trying to say is this "cruise" is going to be like booze cruise. Obviously because its only a couple of hundred pounds per person, it is affordable to alot more people, which means the "class" (for want of a better word) of people on a 2 night cruise will be somewhat different to a 2 week cruise. OK, i accept that, and thats fine; as a result, i found the atmosphere to be quite good - lots more going on, the entertainment seemed to be enjoyed better etc. Buit thats no excuse in my opinion for the staff to let their hair down and lower their standards... Maybe this is just the way P&O operate, and I shouldnt be comparing to Princess (a far superior cruise operator in my opinion), but I found the following thing unacceptable: Despite multiple requests at all the bars we visited, not one of them could provide us with a cocktail menu or wine menu (except for the Peninsular Restaurant where a wine menu was provided). This is VERY poor in my opinion. The laundry service ruined my brand new shirt which i sent to be ironed. The shirt came back with 4 or 5 different crease lines down the sleeves (instead of one running all the way down). I complained to my room steward, who responded with a big smile and a chuckle!!!??? I then visited the reception desk to complain and after a phone call to someone, the receptionist told me they had refunded the laundry charge. There was no apology from anyone! Our room steward and the laundry person delivering our laundry both let themselves into our cabin unannounced whilst we were in it; once whilst i was in the middle of getting changed! Unacceptable in my opinion! The length of time it took to be served at the bars (even though they weren't busy) was also unacceptable. The bar staff seemingly ignored me in favour of doing other things! The formal evening dress code was not policed in the restaurants. My wife and I were dressed appropriately and in the middle of a quiet meal in the Glass House (think that's its name) when a group of people came in with T-shirts and jeans and sat next to us! The restaurant staff then told us to move our table away from them so that we weren't so close! We were not very impressed at all! You could probably argue that all of the above *must* have been one-off isolated incidents, but the attitude of all the staff was the same, and we quite often witnessed things which we said "you wouldn't see that on Princess". Lots of other finishing touch sort of details that were there on Princess were missing from P&O - tiny things which i would probably get slated for if i mentioned them on here, but to us, its the small finishing touches that differentiates between good and excellent. I would be very interested to hear from people who have cruised P&O and Princess to see what your thoughts are. Read Less
Sail Date May 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 3.1
Service 4.0 4.0
Value For Money 4.0 3.6
Rates 4.0 3.8

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