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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
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
For warm Caribbean weather. Great staff on board, lovely passengers. Mediocre food. Dreadful cabin on deck 14 immediately under pool deck where noisy activities, night and day. No respite from silly sail away parties to late night revels. ... Read More
For warm Caribbean weather. Great staff on board, lovely passengers. Mediocre food. Dreadful cabin on deck 14 immediately under pool deck where noisy activities, night and day. No respite from silly sail away parties to late night revels. Crew banging heavy items around late night and very early morning. Very poor entertainment. All the music was geared up to a younger generation than the mainly retired or elderly cruisers.The Headliners group were enthusiastic and quite talented but the material was wrong, again, geared for a younger audience. The drinks are overpriced, as are the shore tours. Although the food was mainly acceptable it was only of moderate quality. The beef was always tough, as were the pork chops. The only decent meat was the ever popular lamb shank. The parts of call were not at very salubrious places. In the towns immediately in the docking area, it felt a bit unsafe to walk around. In summary, apart from the excellent crew and passengers, the cruise was a bit dreadful. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We just returned home from a fabulous 15 night Pre-Xmas Caribbean cruise aboard the P&O ship Azura. We flew into Barbados on a Tui Dreamliner from Manchester on the 1st December. The flight was comfortable and well serviced with ... Read More
We just returned home from a fabulous 15 night Pre-Xmas Caribbean cruise aboard the P&O ship Azura. We flew into Barbados on a Tui Dreamliner from Manchester on the 1st December. The flight was comfortable and well serviced with complimentary food and drink. The price for 15 nights in a seaview cabin inclusive of flights, transfers and meals was £1750 pp with an on-board spend allowance of £140 pp. The Azura was built in 2010 and has a crew of 1200 and a passenger capacity of 3100 and has worn its 8 years well and is a lovely ship. We were located in cabin P325 conveniently on the same level as the atrium and close to all the shops and reception. There are several dining rooms providing fixed or flexible, waiter served dining for breakfast and dinner, a casual self-serve buffet restaurant and four posh restaurants for which there is cover charge. We tried all of them. The standard dining (included in the price) was varied and the service excellent but the standard food whilst OK wouldn’t blow you away. The 24 hour self-serve buffet had a good variety but quality wasn’t great, but you will like it if you are not fussy. The best of the posh restaurants imho was the The Glass House which served great food, wine and drinks, contemporary décor, great service and was the best value with a relatively modest cover charge which varied with what you had. The Indian fushion restaurant, Sindhu, was also very good, superb service, excellent choice of food, wine and other drinks, and a reasonable cover of £20 per head. The Epicurian restaurant was pretentious and over priced at £28 per head and, they couldn’t cook a steak properly. The Beachhouse was OK, roughly equal to your average pub grub with a cover of £7.50 per head. Drinks were wide and varied and seemed fairly priced. As a real ale drinker I didn’t expect to be bowled over but to be fair I found a couple bars serving reasonable bitter/ale but you have to ask them to serve it with a big head and let it warm up a bit, its always too cold. There were four formal black tie nights, which we personally don’t go for, so on those nights we dined in either the Glass House or Beach House, which did not require the penguin look. The itinery had four sea days. To be honest the first was day was not much fun, it was overcrowded on deck and if you didn’t get out with your towel before 9.00 you struggled to get a sunbed. The other three days got better as many passengers couldn’t be bothered and then there was space for everybody. There is an exclusive area called the Retreat which you pay for. It is spacious and never over-crowded but at £175 per person for 14 days it wouldn’t be! We tried to book it for just the 4 sea days but it was all or nothing we were told. I have to say service in all areas, be it restaurants, bars, coffee shops, general shops cabin stewards etc was first class and friendly and they couldn’t do enough for you. We had a seaview cabin. It was reasonably spacious, we went for a single beds layout, the shower and toilet was adequate and the walk-in style wardrobe and cupboard and safe more than good enough. There were brew facilities, a mini bar, hair drier, TV and climate control, and enough power points (UK) The ship was very stable and at times you had to look outside to see if it was moving. But enough about the ship, the ports of call are what its really about and with the exception of Tortola (which had still not fully recovered from last years hurricane) all were extremely interesting. In each case we took a private island tour provided by the many private hire taxis, in comfortable air conditioned SUVs carrying on average 8 persons at a cost of $25 per head. All had great guides speaking better English than wot I do! Now I know P&O will warn you all about the risks in doing this, but after all they want to sell their own over-priced alternative, we had no problems. Our fave island was Antigua and we loved St Kitts. Our daily weather was just great with average temp of 28C, an odd shower and a refreshing breeze. Worth a mention was the 40 minute transfer to the ship from the airport in Barbados. Following an 8 hour flight P&O seem to think its OK to cram you all in a crammed bone shaker of a bus, with insufficient storage space for your travel case, no working seatbelts (well ours didn’t) with a driver who was in some sort of hurry whilst chatting on his phone. Not good enough P&O. But the check-in and embarkation was very efficient. So, there is no perfect cruise, it is a compromise, but as long as the good outweighs the bad then you are laughing, and on this cruise it did, very easily, and any little niggles were always satisfactorily resolved. So in a nutshell what was good :- All round service in bars and restaurants The Glass House and Sindhu restaurants Resident band Pulse Entertainment On-board activities Breakfasts (water service) Drinks Ports of call – all good Sail-away parties Cabin comfort Spa and gym Efficiency of embarking and disembarking at all ports Ships décor Galley tour (fantastic insight into what goes on behind the scenes) Manhatten lounge Live footy coverage in Brodies The huge number of bars and places to eat Daily news letter. Not so good :- The sea screen (movies under the stars) was not working – a major disappointment The Epicurian restaurant Many of public areas and bars were cold Transfer to ship in Barbados Onboard shops were over-priced Ships yours were over-priced Abysmal service on return flight Reception undermanned at peak times. So the big question is, would we do it again. We are missing it already and are planning our next one. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
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: 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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We chose this cruise for the 3 different ports on offer - we had never been to Hamburg or Le Havre and whilst we have been to Amsterdam, we had never visited via a cruise ship or stayed overnight in port. The weather was gorgeous and an ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the 3 different ports on offer - we had never been to Hamburg or Le Havre and whilst we have been to Amsterdam, we had never visited via a cruise ship or stayed overnight in port. The weather was gorgeous and an added bonus in Hamburg when the temperature reached 30c. Unfortunately on the 2nd day in Amsterdam we experienced a thunderstorm and heavy rain but it didn’t stop us enjoying ourselves as we went on a P&O coach tour. We love Azura as we were on her 4years ago when we did a 2 week Russian cruise and she did not disappoint this time. Everyone was friendly and the food phenomenal- we had the Eric Lanlard tea which was amazing and also ate in the Epicurean restaurant and the Sindu restaurant too. A small cover charge was applicable in these 3 restaurants but well worth it. Our balcony cabin was C325 and whilst a little small, it was adequate for the week. Next time though, we have booked a deluxe balcony cabin for the extra room. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Chose to go on this cruise to determine wether or not we would enjoy it. The result was that we did, and we are looking forward to going on another in the near future. The crew were excellent and the service was worthy of any 5 star hotel ... Read More
Chose to go on this cruise to determine wether or not we would enjoy it. The result was that we did, and we are looking forward to going on another in the near future. The crew were excellent and the service was worthy of any 5 star hotel that I have stayed at. As for the quality of the food that was excellent as well we couldn't fault it. The portions were more than ample and some nights I found it difficult to completely clear my plate. We had freedom dining which suited us as we enjoy meeting new people, however it may not suit everybody, but you did have the option of a table for two if you didn't feel inclined to mix at any time. The entertainment on board was of a very high standard especially the shows in the theatre , plus as an added benefit the shows in the bars were of a very high professional standard, with particular emphasis on the Freddie Mercury Tribute act (class). The only criticism I have is the cost of the excursions seemed to me to be quite high and we only went on one, however no complains about that as the tour guide was very knowledgeable and approachable. The ports chosen were ideal and walking into the various town/city centres was quite easy. There were plenty of onboard activities taking place both while at sea and in port which we could have partaken in should we have wished however we just wanted to read and relax and that we were allowed to do, and at no time during our time on board did we have to put up with overattentive waiting-on staff, bonus. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
My wife and I found the Azura absolutely spotless and we could not fault anything whatsoever! We felt like VIP's nothing was too much trouble for any of the very hard working staff! The entertainment was second to none and so was ... Read More
My wife and I found the Azura absolutely spotless and we could not fault anything whatsoever! We felt like VIP's nothing was too much trouble for any of the very hard working staff! The entertainment was second to none and so was the food! There was always something to do on the ship! They even had an excellent gym to work off all the calories from the constant eating! We felt pampered and special all the way through our journey! You do get the odd snob who always try to pick fault with something and love bragging about how many cruises they've been on!! but we just ignored them! We had an inside cabin on L deck 15 (L232) and we never heard any noise whatsoever! Jorzey was our cabin steward and he was always very pleasant helpful and chatty! There was an incident at the port of Civitavecchia when a freak storm actually broke the ropes on the mooring and blew the Azura to the other side of the port! We were returning back to the ship via shuttle bus when this happened and one of the ship's staff greeted us with what had happened said that nothing like this has happened before! But they handled it with great integrity and experience which kept everyone concerned very calm! We were looked after superbly! Well done ALL the crew of the Azura! The whole experience was superb!! Will be booking with P&O again very soon! Mr.and Mrs Caldwell. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
Food, entertainment and cabin were excellent. Was looking forward to the Grand Cayman anchorage and had Stingray trip booked. The captain refused to anchor due to strong winds. There were 3 other ships at anchor, including the much smaller ... Read More
Food, entertainment and cabin were excellent. Was looking forward to the Grand Cayman anchorage and had Stingray trip booked. The captain refused to anchor due to strong winds. There were 3 other ships at anchor, including the much smaller Disney Magic. These ships were ferrying passengers ashore using the large local Cayman double-decker tenders. There was no explanation as to why these tenders were not used. The compensation for a day lost? - a glass of white table wine. We Brits are suckers I guess, I'm not sure if American cruisers would have been treated thusly? Lunch and diner in the main restaurants was first class. Plenty of variety and freshly cooked. The waiters were real pro's, super efficient and amazingly friendly. We preferred the buffet for breakfast, mainly due to the immense variation on offer. The only downer was the factory-made toast. It was cold, bullet hard and impervious to liquids of any sort. If the Titanic had been plated with Azura toast, it would be sailing today. The entertainment was by far the best we'd experienced on 6 ships and 3 cruise lines. A fantastic itinerary, plenty of variety and true pros. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
The original itinerary was changed by the hurricanes to substitute Guadeloupe for the destroyed Tortola in British Virgin Islands. As Hurricane Irma, Harvey, Maria and Katia barrelled their way round the Caribbean in the Autumn of ... Read More
The original itinerary was changed by the hurricanes to substitute Guadeloupe for the destroyed Tortola in British Virgin Islands. As Hurricane Irma, Harvey, Maria and Katia barrelled their way round the Caribbean in the Autumn of 2017, we became very worried about whether there would be enough left standing for us to enjoy. It was a needless concern, because we visiited nine islands and saw no damage. Boarding our P&O chartered Thomson's Dreamliner at Gatwick, we hopefully waved au revoir to our cases and settled in for eight hours of reading, announcements, meals to be eaten like a praying mantis and, of course, funny smells. It was a pleasant flight; the Dreamliner being what it is, we had to keep looking out the windows to make sure the engines were turned on because it was quiet enough to hear people scratching. Luckily, the driver found Barbados in the middle of nowhere and we duly landed to be greeted by a wall of heat and friendly faces. The forty minute coach trip to the P&O Azura was fascinating. Barbados is quite a flat island (the only one in the Caribbean that wasn’t made by a volcano) and so the loveliest scenery is mainly around the beaches. Our first trip to the Caribbean and the things we discovered. • Most places have taxi marshall's outside the welcome terminal. They will manage which taxi (minibus) you get in, leaving only when full (but at least they leave the AC on!). You pay at the end of your return journey after they pick you up at the appointed time. • Take US dollars and Euros. Don’t bother with Eastern Caribbean Dollars and be careful you know which “dollars” you are being asked for. Make sure your change is in US dollars. • Everywhere you go there is music. If you don’t like reggae, go somewhere else, because that is the theme running through most islands. • Rum Punch is often quite strong. Two will make you tipsy, and don’t mix it with their Carib beer at 5.2%, something I learned rather than heard. • Caribbean people are friendly, vibrant, kind, church-going Christians, happy and bring their children up really well. They seem to have proper family values and standards. They don't have drug problems - they have drug-trafficer problems because of their unfortunate geographic location between grower and user. • Wherever you stop, there is a terminal area with markets, shops, stalls, music and bars where you can buy duty free goods. These are invariably more expensive than in the town. Antigua (Pronounced “ANTEEGAH” - saying “ANTEEG YOU AH” singles you out as a “newbie”) A gorgeous and spectacular island, the inhabitants of which are 99% church-going Christians, and all of whom are lovely friendly souls. We went on the “Best of Antigua with Lobster Lunch” excursion for the best lobster I have ever had! Apparently another excursion with a lobster lunch was not nearly so good, so be careful which one you choose. This one visits Shirley Heights, Nelsons Dockyard (Lobster Lunch), the spectacularly beautiful rain forest and finally Mitties Bar by the beach. Verdict - Lovely island and people, safe as houses. Mitties Bar rum punches are stronger than you think. I know that now. St Kitts and Nevis A pretty little island with lovely laid back friendly people. We did the train journey round the island which had some lovely surprises, rattling and rolling it's way round that central mountain. Others did the beach and thoroughly enjoyed their day. The shops near the ship were great fun, as were the bars. Smashing friendly people. "Don't worry ...... be happy" Amber Cove - Dominican Republic This is a shopping and recreation centre built by Carnival Cruises as a clean safe oasis in the Dominican Republic. If you've been to Disney-World, it's a bit like Main Street USA. We didn’t find anyone who did the Puerto Plata (nearest town) excursion and enjoyed it on account of the fact that it seemed to be a tour through landfills. Nobody said they felt safe in the town and, outside Amber Cover, you can pay for a day at the hotel and beach next door. Those that did, didn't seem very happy with it. This Amber Cove “Carnival Cruises oasis” is clean, safe, ringed with steel fences and very well appointed. There are pools, loungers, bars, shops, water features and views, most of it being free. I loved it but others thought it was false and man-made. Which it was. I still liked it though. You don’t have to spend anything if you don’t want to. Unfortunately all telecoms were down so nobody could use the free WiFi or pay with cards. Rickshaws take you from the ship to the entrance.. It’s free, but a $2US tip per trip is gratefully received. Martinique (Actually, France, and therefore Europe) Much nicer than Guadeloupe. This was more up-market - the currency is Euros, very few take dollars. We did what most people do and took the boat from the dock to Pointe de Bout ($7 return per - person pay on board). From here you can walk to the right to a pretty, exclusive and expensive beach. Drinks here, especially on that little bar in the water, are shockingly expensive. Alternatively, walk straight on from the jetty through the lovely shops and bars (normal prices) to the big more popular beach. The boats also go to other nearby beaches which we didn’t visit. The people are lovely, friendly and helpful. And French. Yes I know. All the reviews about rudeness are unfounded. The boats are backwards and forwards from the dock every half hour. Some people walked round the town instead and reported it to be very pleasant, although a lot were closed because it was a Sunday. Guadeloupe (France again) Not our favourite stop. Use Euros and not dollars, try and speak some French if you can. We did the excursion called “Highlights of Guadeloupe” which might have been wishful thinking because some felt the highlight was getting back to the ship again. The waterfall was underwhelming, the botanical gardens a muddle and the plantation and distillery a health and safety nightmare. The rum shop was good though - every rum product you can imagine, so that made the trip worthwhile. People who did the excursion “St Anne’s Beach on your own” had a much nicer time and said it was quite safe and very pretty. Wish we'd done that! I’d like to be able to say all the people we met were friendly. Do not wear jewellery or use your mobile phone in the street. Some passengers didn’t take that advice, regrettably. Our tour guide advised us not to walk anywhere that has buildings above three storeys. Scary! The capital Point de Pitre is like downtown Marseilles. We wouldn’t walk round it, something the Captain advised over the ships tannoy before we docked. The reason that P&O haven’t been to this island for the last twenty years was no longer a mystery. Grenada Paradise. Take the water taxi from near the berth to the beach. $10pp return, $20 for a luxurious sunbed and very large brolly. A bucket of six beers, surrounded by ice costs $15 and is served by waiters who will come round to see if you need anything. Lovely beach for swimming and just chilling out. Water taxis are travelling backwards and forwards all the time. The island is safe and friendly, the people lovely, sand clean the landscape gorgeous. It used to be British. St Lucia Beautiful port, lovely friendly people. The terminal area is a chaotic mass of taxi drivers and tour sellers trying to sell you something. Just walk on, they have nowhere else to tout for business - it’s just not very well organised. People loved the beach trips and the kayaking. We found the people friendly and fun. The terminal building has shops on two levels. Whatever you do, make a point of going upstairs to Shirley's shop. She and her shop are wonderful! If you walk out of the terminal area, turn left and go to the local market a little way on the left. We had such a great time there laughing with the ladies and buying bits and pieces. If someone approaches you and hands you a handmade object or anything else, don’t take it because they will only accept money and will say you bought it by taking it. This isn’t dangerous, it’s just a nuisance. A couple went to Vigie Beach by bus. It cost $18 each return and everything they did was very expensive - umbrellas, chairs, drinks. They said they hadn’t expected to pay so much for a day at the beach and that facilities there were very basic. We were late leaving St Lucia and the Captain advised us not to venture into Castries after dark. It used to be French. St Vincent and the Grenadines A lovely friendly safe pretty island that’s almost more British than Britain. We went to the botanical gardens by taxi - $20 return. Very peaceful and beautiful place to spend an hour. Oddly, we spent two or three hours behind some beers in the terminal area which was totally the opposite of St Lucia - probably because of the people, the music and the beer! With reggae music in the background, and $3 for a local beer, why go anywhere else? Some people went to Bequie island by water taxi, where the beaches are beautiful, but there are no seats or umbrellas for non-residents. 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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