225 Barbados Family Cruise Reviews

Maybe we was on a different ship than what has been reviewed before. first of all a few bits of rust and worn carpets wont bother our holiday experience. Secondly I do not write letters to the captain with the slightest complaint and ... Read More
Maybe we was on a different ship than what has been reviewed before. first of all a few bits of rust and worn carpets wont bother our holiday experience. Secondly I do not write letters to the captain with the slightest complaint and proceed to tell everyone within earshot. we all know Azura is going in for refit but the ship is in very good condition considering over 3000 passengers use it 365 days a year. I think some people just want to moan about anything and everything. Cabin was perfectly acceptable kept clean by our excellent steward. we have been on azura about 5 times now . food in the main restaurants is very good and nothing is to much trouble for the waiters. we also did Sindu and the Beach house which were both excellent value. the buffet is not as varied as other cruise lines but you could always find something acceptable. this ship used to be p&o liveliest ship with great sailaway partys sadly this is not the case now. the sailaways are now more low key. Bring back Benny and Jo B. the best party used to be the great british sailaway but now sadly no more. I heard many people complaining to each other that this great event is now missing. the entertainment is now average at best but didn't bother us as we do our own thing. do not buy the drinks package as it is extortionate. a serious alky would struggle to get his moneys worth. drink prices for alcohol on board are same as uk. however the soft drink prices ie a small bottle of coke £3.10! we found the staff all to be pleasant and very accommodating. the ports of call are great as we do are own trips . would I travel on azura again most definatley . all in all a great cruise . do not be put off by the serial moaners. yes its not 5 star and improvements can always be made. have a great time. not got time to review all the ports just get out there and enjoy. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Sadly cut backs are very noticeable on the Azura. Food was excellent in all venues. Cabin appeared clean and steward was great, sadly they no longer have time to do the wonderful animal towels as they now have a greater volume of ... Read More
Sadly cut backs are very noticeable on the Azura. Food was excellent in all venues. Cabin appeared clean and steward was great, sadly they no longer have time to do the wonderful animal towels as they now have a greater volume of rooms to clean. sadly when we pulled our suitcase out from under the bed it was covered in dust! Although we no longer pay tips on P+O most people still gave at least the cabin steward a tip. Despite announcements regarding sunbed hogging no staff were seen removing towels. Some greedy couples had 2 in the sun 2 in the shade. most also had towels and bag on the bed next to them to stop anyone being there. but lets face it they are the type of people who are totally selfish + completely ignore requests, you know the type that always push to the front of the Que for everything. 'So wished the staff monitored this and intervened. Guess p+o was on to a winner as we splashed out and booked into the Retreat. Entertainment manager was rubbish,saw him just once he left everything to his deputy who was excellent. Sewerage smell was really bad at times, noticed some new ship parts being loaded on in Barbados before we left 24/1/2020 lets hope its to fix the sewage fault. Very said to see the end of the "Last day great British sail-away". P+O say they want save on plastic so no flags (or another cut back) and to appeal to the international market. So out go the patriotic songs! Being to PC could lose British regulars be careful. Can they honestly expect the Americans and Europeans to be satisfied with p+o type of ships we love. With no water slides/ surf riders/ice-rink/ice cream on tap etc on board. Would they get our British humour and ways (or is that going too) P+O you have a cornered market all you will do is drive us away and have empty ships. I think the marketing/finance team need to review that idea. As for the normal daily 'Sail A ways' nearly every one in the whole of the two weeks was over before we had even left port! Entertainment had some good acts the best being comedian Mick Miller some acts not so good. Brodies could do with more seating during the quizzes. We have always chose for the company to pick our cabin option as they usually give you the middle of the ship which we prefer. However this time we lost out as our balcony was up on the 14th floor still in the middle but under the stick out ledge so we were in the shade a lot. The captain although good at arranging the changed itinerary? due to the windy weather, he was not very good at making speeches over the speaker system, which were few and very far between. Funny though on reading other reviews before and after our cruise 10th January 2020, He Cuts out st Vincent and he always arranged the alternative island as Martinique. Sadly the docking is always at the container berth as the cruise ones are already booked out.Not a pretty sight. I may have been mistaken but I'm sure he mentioned he lived on this french island for a few years! Most regulars we spoke to were like us and didn't enjoy Martinique and missed visiting st Vincent. Sadly with the windy weather, changed itinerary and this tiered, smelly, crowded ship , a lot of 1st timers to the Caribbean and 1st time cruisers on board said never again. Which is such a shame as previous trips this time of year to the Caribbean have been a welcome beautiful trip. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
I chose this cruise as I have been on same one 3 previous times and enjoyed it very much. We were a group of 10 people, 8 of whom had been before so we have something to compare our experience with. I can understand that embarkation and ... Read More
I chose this cruise as I have been on same one 3 previous times and enjoyed it very much. We were a group of 10 people, 8 of whom had been before so we have something to compare our experience with. I can understand that embarkation and disembarkation is a massive headache for all staff so have no particular comment to make in that respect. The ship, however is a different matter. Sadly in need of a refurb which I believe is happening soon.....pity we booked this time of year (and paid more than ever before despite not being there over festive period ) Distinctly tatty in many areas. The cabin flooring was well worn and dated but our cabin steward was brilliant. All the staff were hard working and exceptionally polite. We ate in Meridian mainly but also the buffet and Beach House ( which has exceptional food quality and service ) We ate in Sindhu last time but had a bad experience so didn't want to go again. Entertainment was mainly excellent with one bad comedian. We all felt that P&O have cut back dramatically, no shower caps, no replacement toiletries and minimal to start with. One of the worst things was our amount of onboard credit....£45, a joke. I was under the impression that loyalty was rewarded but this amount was the least we've ever had. You shouldn't go to the Caribbean if you have an issue with the ports or how the locals live so all of that was fine. The biggest disappointment was the Rhum Runner excursion. It is billed as a 'Party Boat' which it certainly was not. The Captain droned on for 45 minutes whilst the crew served some sort of gruesome mix which purported to be rum punch.....totally undrinkable! It compared with sugar water so I asked for a rum and coke which I didn't think unreasonable when rum is the main export. The barman was inexplicably rude, telling me I couldn't have one despite me telling him I couldn't drink what was being dished out. He said I could BUY beer at 3 dollars a bottle. I explained that I didn't like beer and he then furtively found some rum under the bar and poured a very small rum and coke but told me that I couldn't have another and not to come back! My sister was behind me and he begrudgingly gave her one but when my son and brother-in-law asked for one they were flatly refused. So, one drink and we were deposited on a beach for 90 minutes. The return journey comprised of no drink as the barman totally refused to give me a rum and coke and when I expressed my feelings he said he didn't care. About 10 minutes from arriving back at the port ( in sight of our ship and anyone who cared to watch our arrival ) they decided to make it look like a party and tried doing conga and limbo. My son had bought me the excursion for Xmas so it was even more of a disappointment. There were some excursion staff awaiting our arrival and asking if we'd enjoyed it. You can imagine what we told them. My son tried to give feedback on board and was told they would make a note of our disappointment.....chocolate fireguard springs to mind. The worst trip I've ever done and totally not worth £50 per person In general the whole group found the cruise to be not good value as compared with previous trips on the same ship. We all said we would be looking at other companies. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
I was a little concerned booking this cruise having read some of the reviews but concerns absolutely unfounded. We had the most brilliant time. The cabins we had were perfectly fine with plenty of storage space, and a decent size ... Read More
I was a little concerned booking this cruise having read some of the reviews but concerns absolutely unfounded. We had the most brilliant time. The cabins we had were perfectly fine with plenty of storage space, and a decent size bathroom. We only ate breakfast in the Lido buffet restaurant which was great with so many options and the advantage of being able to sit outside. Dinner we always used the Meridien restaurant which was fabulous. Brilliant service and amazing food. We were on the cruise for 2 weeks and never had the same choices. I do not understand why anyone would feel the need to pay for any of their three "fine dining" restaurants. We could not fault the entertainment - except perhaps the guitarist, Michael Brew, in Hemmingways - but perhaps that is a matter of taste. StrumJam were sensational, as were New Dimensions Trio and the entertainment team were just fabulous - the most amazing bunch of young and talented singers and dancers - they were brilliant. And Capt. Alex Downes was fantastic - he had the most amazing sense of humour. Would highly recommend. We did not do any of the Marella excursions so cannot comment on those but certainly the destinations visited and information available was perfect. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
have cruised with P&O several times previously and fancied some winter sun with a company we were familiar with but we had some issues on this cruise. There was an horrendous smell of sewerage wafting around the ship over several ... Read More
have cruised with P&O several times previously and fancied some winter sun with a company we were familiar with but we had some issues on this cruise. There was an horrendous smell of sewerage wafting around the ship over several days of the cruise and it was most unpleasant!. Our itinerary was changed and we did not visit Grand Turk which was very disappointing as we were told this was the best place on out itinerary. I found out on the way home that this was apparently due to the grey sewage tanks being full to the brim and the port at Grand Turk could not facilitate the emptying of them so we diverted to Tortolla and Martinique was added to the itinerary instead. If this is the case, I think that is poor management! We stayed in cabin E215 above the playhouse theatre, we did experience some noise on an afternoon from the show rehearsals which did not really bother us too much but what did bother us was that we were kept awake for the first 4-5 nights of our holiday due to a compressor type noise that went off every 10 minutes or so all through the night, it kept us awake and drove us mad but after that it stopped, I believe P&O turned it off and operated it manually after the first few days. We could not fault the waiter service in the Meridian restaurant but the general waiter service around the ship was inadequate, there weren't enough waiters on the ship to accommodate the volume of people and you could never find a waiter around to order drinks from. The Azura is looking a bit tired and shabby in some places. I am not sure if I would cruise with P&O again after this as it marred our holiday quite a bit. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This was our second cruise on the Azura and are a couple in our 40s with a 8 and 10 year old. We had a really good time and enjoyed our time on board, but noticed slight differences from last time 2 years previously. The bar service ... Read More
This was our second cruise on the Azura and are a couple in our 40s with a 8 and 10 year old. We had a really good time and enjoyed our time on board, but noticed slight differences from last time 2 years previously. The bar service around the pool. Yes it was busy on sea days, not as busy on non sea days as we did not get off at every port. But the bar service has slipped. Previously the waiters/waitress were always around to order a drink. I am not precious about using the waiters and happy to go to the bar, which had one or two people serving. Lots of waiting, not enough staff. We bought the drinks package which worked out well for us, as we got the kids drinks thrown in free so didn't have to worry about the endless drinks for them. The package included the costa slush drinks, hot chocolates and teas as well as the mocktails. Not all of these were allowed on the kids package but we just got them on ours. Back to the pool - reserving of sun beds!! age old problem on any holiday but seriously people were reserving beds as early as 6am. In the end I didnt bother with a bed and sat on the nice ratton seats by the outdoor bar. I got a better view of the pool and area anyhow to watch out for the kids. The staff were trying to do something about it by leaving tickets on beds. I watched from my ratton seat them put tickets on beds giving people a 30 minute warning. Hours later the tickets were still there, no one was on the beds and nothing was done. I had two negative experiences on our cruise that haven't affected my rating due to it hopefully not happening to anyone else. We tried to book another cruise on board. I won't go into chapter and verse but the staff were so unhelpful, kept me waiting days to finally tell me the holiday I was waiting for them to book had been sold to someone else!! We have therefore booked with Celebrity instead for the summer. The second was purely my fault, I know that. It has never crossed my mind to put my jewelry in my hand luggage. It was packed in my case and left outside my cabin as instructed before midnight before going home. When we got home, most of it had been taken from my case, leaving charms and bits in my case. Granted the items could have been taken from anywhere between Barbados and Mcr Airport BUT the cases were left overnight with staff from P&O until they sent them off the following day to the airport. P&O would not accept any responsibility when emailed when I got home. Yes I get it, it was my fault BUT I still had items stolen and left a bad taste in my mouth. The restaurants are good, the MDR, the beach house, the sidhu - we ate in them all. We had the early morning champagne breakfast in the Planet bar which was really nice! The buffet restaurant - the dark wood one is a really bad design, its almost a corridor where the food is set out. Miss something and you have to fight back through the corridor or go back round. Head for the lighter wood restaurant!! Food good BUT on reflection, its very British!! Yes its a British ship, full of brits BUT something a bit more adventurous to reflect the area we are visiting may be better as an addition? Kids had a brill time, met other kids, felt on ease with them wandering up and down. They used the kids clubs. Think it made it that they made friends. Trips - I have never done a P&O excursion. I research the port before we go, get a taxi and head off. You can always head to the same beaches P&O do for literally a fraction of the price. An example being - St Kitts, think it was 180 pounds with P&O for us four. We got our own taxi (all reputable), bought our own bed, a few beers and soft drinks for about 50 dollars!. Another tip IF you head to where P&O are, find them if it makes you feel better and walk down the beach, you wont all be sat on top of each other and its more pleasurable. We did this in both Antigua and St Kitts and somewhere else I cant remember. Trust me you will save a fortune if you just want to head for a beach or a walk around. I good holiday, we all had tears in our eyes when we left...but we are trying Celebrity next time despite being in the P&O Pennisular Club (kids got free hoodys on board which are quite good quality). Enjoy... or by the way we did notice 'the smell' but was infrequent aand we didnt care. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We chose this cruise because it ticked a number of boxes with regards to islands visited, we boarded the ship on the 27th December 2019, the boarding process was very efficient. The first issue we had was the aircon did not work in the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it ticked a number of boxes with regards to islands visited, we boarded the ship on the 27th December 2019, the boarding process was very efficient. The first issue we had was the aircon did not work in the cabin, we informed our cabin boy and also reception, it took two further days and a number of calls and requested before I had to insist someone visited to the cabin and repaired the system. The cabins are typical cruise ship small and the bathrooms are very small however we have cruised before so it was as expected. The itinerary was good and apart from the dropping Grand Turk for no real given reason the islands visited were good and as expected, we took a number of tours which were all very good in particular the champagne and lobster on Granada which was probably the best trip of this kind I have ever been on. The overall entertainment on board was poor apart from the live music bands that were generally very good. We are not heavy drinkers however we choose to purchase the unlimited drinks package for convenience, however it does restrict the type of drinks (particularly in wine) you can have and they are generally of a lesser quality than if you purchase direct, overall I doubt it cost any more or saved ourselves money but it did restrict the choice of drinks so I would not advise it unless you intend to drink 15 pints of Stella every day (which many did) The bar service on the boat is appalling, the staff in 90% of cases have contempt for the passengers, service is slow and very unprofessional. The quality of food served in all the restaurants was average particularly for a cruise ship, I would rate it as a poor 2 star all inclusive resort and certainly not what we have seen on other cruise ships. On most days and evenings there was no room on the decks, the ship feels very overcrowded and also very intimidating, the open decks are a permanent drinking frenzy and I watched numerous people downing pints of Stella like it was going out of fashion, a number of the older or more refined people on the ship told me they stopped going out on the decks as it frightened them. The tables were dirty and rarely cleared of glasses, the whole of the outside including all the areas around the pools are smoking areas, there was heavy smoking and drinking on most tables, also people smoking in the food areas outside and the children’s area. In my opinion the ship is no more than a very expensive booze cruise. If this is the new target audience for cruise ships we shall have been on our last cruise, I would certainly never recommend this this ship (or P&O) to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Good points The food and cabin where reasonable, the lady cleaning the cabin was excellent. The Headliners entertainment was excellent. Bad Points. The ship is in need of a make over, The main swimming pool area reminded us of ... Read More
Good points The food and cabin where reasonable, the lady cleaning the cabin was excellent. The Headliners entertainment was excellent. Bad Points. The ship is in need of a make over, The main swimming pool area reminded us of the comedy programme Benidorm,with the towels on sun beds and nobody using the beds,the drone of dated music, kids running and jumping in the pool when signage says not too. Idiots jumping in the pools that were closed on New Year’s Eve (that was adults ) no control over any of this behaviour. The evening dress code for gents was long trousers , many gents wearing shorts. The other big disappointment was we did not get to visit Grand Turk, one of the reasons we booked the cruise in the first place .We were told ship had mechanical issues . One of the trips we booked was a Jeep Safari it turned out to be a pick up truck experience. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We had an absolute ball! It was our friends 50th Birthday. Staff were pleasant and helpful. Special thanks to Elias our cabin lad. He was so pleasant and lovely and very attentive to our needs. Thank you Elias. R 616. The food ... Read More
We had an absolute ball! It was our friends 50th Birthday. Staff were pleasant and helpful. Special thanks to Elias our cabin lad. He was so pleasant and lovely and very attentive to our needs. Thank you Elias. R 616. The food and restaurants were spot on. Entertainment was ok, but not brilliant. Plenty to do on board to suit all. Loved the dancing ballroom, Latin and the Salsa class. Quizzes were great and set the mood for the day and evening. Overall it was a fantastic holiday. We didn’t go on the ships tours, but instead got Taxis and found wonderful, quite beaches, with bars and gentle entertainment (if desired). Azura herself is a beautiful ship, although looking a tad tired, but I believe she is in for a revamp this year. We really enjoyed our holiday and would certainly, do it again. You only get out of a holiday what you put into it. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Family cruise. The good - nice ship and facilities. Food quality also good. Buffet was never crowded and never had to queue. The bad - Dining room service was hap-hazard and very slow. Clearly a lack of staff for the dining ... Read More
Family cruise. The good - nice ship and facilities. Food quality also good. Buffet was never crowded and never had to queue. The bad - Dining room service was hap-hazard and very slow. Clearly a lack of staff for the dining rooms. Aft cabin - no smoke/smut issues as others have recorded. But the carpet near the balcony door was dirty and very badly stained. They didn't refresh the cabins during her recent refit that's for sure. The p and o tours were awful - a whale watching experience turned into a beach day - after challenging the tour desk on return, got a refund. first it was unavailable, then they added an extra tour, then they cancelled on the morning, then they made it available on the dock side - total chaos! another tour was really just a drive to a dirty pool and dried up waterfall - described as a jeep tour - wasn't a jeep but a truck - is you like to drive in the heat for 4 hours with a crap stop, then book this. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This being my first cruise, I wasn't sure what to expect however I checked out some videos on YouTube and did some research to make sure that I had the best experience with my family. The cruise ended yesterday and I can say that it ... Read More
This being my first cruise, I wasn't sure what to expect however I checked out some videos on YouTube and did some research to make sure that I had the best experience with my family. The cruise ended yesterday and I can say that it was amazing! The staff and crew of Carnival Fascination did an excellent job in making this experience great. There was always someone nearby to pick up after you or refill or replace. They are just amazing. The food choices were good and if you don't like what's on the menu there are many other options. With that comes a lot of food wastage however but that is no fault of the Cruise line. The itinerary for the next day is given the day before so you can decide which shows you want to see and plan your day beforehand. The rooms are cleaned regularly and guest services do their best to cater to your needs. All in all it was an amazing experience. We enjoyed the Comedy club hosted by Pedro. Happy Cole, Lance and Esposito were really funny. Thanks to Rachell from the Philippines and Britney with her usual announcements. The staff and crew truly make it a great experience. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Our flight on the Friday was on time and even arrived early into Bridgetown. The entertainment and food on the flight was fine and was a pleasant 9 hour flight. When we landed, a few showers delayed us getting off the plane however ... Read More
Our flight on the Friday was on time and even arrived early into Bridgetown. The entertainment and food on the flight was fine and was a pleasant 9 hour flight. When we landed, a few showers delayed us getting off the plane however soon enough we were on the bus straight to the ship. When we got there we were the first flight to land so there were no queues so we got straight on. We found our balcony cabin on B deck quickly and it was everything we needed and was really happy with it and our cabin steward who was fantastic throughout the cruise. Azura is in need of her refit which is due to happen very soon however we thoroughly enjoyed our cruise. We had 2nd sitting dining in the oriental restaurant on a table of 6 which we enjoyed and the food was lovely and we dined in Sindhu, The Epicurean and The Beach House which were all stunning and worth the extra surcharge. We have been to all the Caribbean Islands we visited before so it was great to visit again and either visit some new places or go back to old favourites. We had fantastic weather with only a few showers which passed quickly. The ship was beautifully decorated for Christmas and like us many passengers decorated there cabin doors which was great. Santa arrived on Christmas eve and it was a lot of fun and the children on board looked to be having a great time. We have done this Christmas cruise a few times and look forward to being back on board again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Boarding - We have cruised many times including two with Marella, on their smaller ships, so looked forward to this, the latest addition to the fleet. Boarding at Barbados was smooth, with up selling limited to the AI Premium pack, which ... Read More
Boarding - We have cruised many times including two with Marella, on their smaller ships, so looked forward to this, the latest addition to the fleet. Boarding at Barbados was smooth, with up selling limited to the AI Premium pack, which we already had. First impressions of the ship were disappointing, the general decor being a low key drab‘battleship’ grey and the main atrium area, though nicely decorated for Christmas, being soulless and more like a shopping centre, There is only one bar, ‘Flutes’, around the atrium, this is a pleasant place for pre-show drinks, but has a limited capacity. In my view too much space has been allocated to shops, that never seemed to have customers. Cabin - plenty of storage, very nice shower and useful customer features on the TV, though no music options. All the films were free. Space at the end of the bed is limited. We also found the bed uncomfortable, a thin mattress that felt lumpy. The room was kept immaculate by Maria, with fresh towels every day. Our cabin, 9211, was located opposite the cleaners store, so we were woken early most mornings as they parked the service trollies and got ready. Food - best described as mediocre in all the standard restaurants, we preferred Vista. The self catering is the usual free for all but ok if you go off-peak. The additional costs for the specialist restaurants are some of the most expensive we’ve seen across all lines. Surf & Turf, nothing special, but the Dining Club was lovely. Pool area - two nice pools and four jacuzzis. Sun bed hogging is endemic on this ship, particularly on sea days. Due to our circumstances we couldn’t get off the ship at several ports and witnessed people reserving beds in the morning and returning several hours later, in the afternoon, presumably after doing a shore tour. The staff did nothing about this. People with restricted mobility, unable to use stairs, should be aware they will not have access to the upper decks that have The Veranda and Sundeck, the lifts do not service these decks! It means you must sit around the pool area. This is were all the quizzes, live performances and discos take place. OK for a while, but for us there was no escape to a quiet area. Finally, the large poolside screen, it just shows adverts for cruises, trips and staff bio’s all day, why can’t they show a concert or similar during the day? There were a couple of films in the evening, but no comfortable seating available, sorry I’m being so negative, but we were trapped here for 12 days! Shows & Bars - nice theatre with some well produced shows. We enjoyed the comedian. My wife, due to an on shore accident, had to use a wheelchair throughout the cruise, giving us an eye opening insight into this aspect of cruising. The PRM (Persons of Restricted Mobility) seats are at the back of the theatre. Like the sun-beds, you have to get in early to secure one. Again, no staff oversight of this area, on one occasion we were told the seat was being reserved whilst the person ran to the toilet! Squid and Anchor, the Gin and Whisky bar is the highlight, but again, it’s like drinking on the moon, no atmosphere. It’s a general feature that the seating on the ship though it looks stylish is uncomfortable with few places to really relax. Finally - my fellow cruisers! We met some lovely people who enriched our experience. Equally there were some who were selfish, loud, boorish and occasionally outright drunk. There were a couple of dress to impress nights when some did make an effort, with long dresses and evening suits, making it so incongruous to see people in shorts, vests and flip-flops, mingling in the bars. Special thanks to Carol, from the ships welfare team, for her communication and invaluable assistance following our accident on Tortola. Overall though a really disappointing cruise and I doubt we will return to Marella. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Adults only. Senior cruise. The staff were 100% attentive with courteous and friendly smiles every day. They work extremely hard and should receive MORE tips from all clients. (The pool area bar service from these hard working people ... Read More
Adults only. Senior cruise. The staff were 100% attentive with courteous and friendly smiles every day. They work extremely hard and should receive MORE tips from all clients. (The pool area bar service from these hard working people should not go unrecognised). The cabin was very clean and tidy but we had to negotiate who was going where around the bedroom area. Food, Market Place was for quick and easy breakfast but we opted for Latitude if we dressed accordingly unlike some who still thought Football shirts and vests were OK for evening attire. The Beach Cove and Surf & Turf were excellent even though there was an additional charge; But we were on holiday. Pool deck. Get up there early to place your towels out to get a sunbed especially on at sea days. It was very crowded. (a bit like God's waiting room) and one can only say that there were far too many quizzes? After speaking with loads of guests who were ALL saying we want it more lively with Sail Away parties and foot taping music for the afternoon? There was only so much tiny winey from The Collective who sang the same set every day (Great band though). Us seniors do not want afternoon naps? Tours; Do not go on the island tours around Bonaire and Curacao? total waste of money and being given 15 min's to visit the so called stops??? By the time the frail and elderly got off the buses it was time to go. Cheaper to do it yourself. This was The Explores 2 first Caribbean so there were loads of creases to iron out. The entertainment staff should also stop talking over the records and Matt (you really can not sing like Freddy Mercury) Let the record play and people around the pool do their own thing. The main show in the evenings; Well done to ALL the staff and entertainers who work really hard to put on different shows every night (twice nightly). Would we re-book this ship? At the moment No. A lot of people who were on these two weeks felt the same.Lets see how it goes next year. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
This was our first cruise with P&O having cruised several times previously with Princess. We chose P&O due to the convenience of a direct flight from Manchester to Barbados. We will not be choosing P&O again and I would ... Read More
This was our first cruise with P&O having cruised several times previously with Princess. We chose P&O due to the convenience of a direct flight from Manchester to Barbados. We will not be choosing P&O again and I would advise anyone booking the Azura to think carefully. The most noticeable features were the poor standard of service and the poor quality of the food. Only a very few of the staff are friendly, engage well with passengers and show an interest and pride in their work. When you come across a smile it stands out against the norm. Most staff carry out their work to the minimum of standards; they are indifferent, appear to be unhappy and treat passengers as if they are commodities. The standard and quality of food in the formal restaurants is average and the choice and quality of food in the self service is limited and mediocre. However, the quality and standards in the Sindhu and Epicurean speciality restaurants is excellent, demonstrating that P&O can provide a good service when they choose to. Of course, you are charged extra for these restaurants. You pay for ice creams on board and these are expensive and the choice is very limited. For this reason there is little uptake from passengers and therefore the ice cream counter is rarely staffed. The coffee shop is a Costa, complete with paper cups. It offers a small choice of unappetising cakes and snacks and as passengers are not tempted by them they sit in the counter for most of the day. Though I like and often use Costa in the high street I do not consider them a luxury or highly 'star rated' coffee shop. The ship itself is tired and scruffy with clear signs of damage to some walls. The atrium, compared to other ships, is small and uninspiring. Overall, this was a mediocre 3 star holiday. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Having visited the Caribbean several times on a/I holidays we decided to do our first cruise after taking some advice from our travel agent. Holiday got off to a good start when Thomas Cook folded and we were give Virgin flights as an ... Read More
Having visited the Caribbean several times on a/I holidays we decided to do our first cruise after taking some advice from our travel agent. Holiday got off to a good start when Thomas Cook folded and we were give Virgin flights as an alternative. Being excited but very apprehensive we got to the terminal at Barbados and check in was really quick and efficient. The boat itself was amazing, plenty of sun Ed’s although did get a little cramped on sea days but not really an issue, staff were good at removing towels from reserved beds after the allotted 30 mins. The food was really good, whether it was the buffet restaurant or the other freedom restaurants, no complaints at all about the food. The updates from the Captain and his crew were really good and informative, ports of call were great, some better than others which is normal, the entertainment was amazing, the shows in the theatre were like the west end, plus the guest acts were also really good quality acts, the staff don’t stop, ever, constantly serving, cleaning, always with a smile. The room (an inside cabin) was ok, comfy bed but would definitely consider a balcony on our next cruise. Overall we were both really really impressed with our first cruise and will definitely cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Due to the quite understandable cancellation of our Gulf cruise on Oceana we decided to book a Caribbean cruise on Azura. As my wife and I are not really ‘beach people’ this has never been particularly high on our bucket list. Prior to ... Read More
Due to the quite understandable cancellation of our Gulf cruise on Oceana we decided to book a Caribbean cruise on Azura. As my wife and I are not really ‘beach people’ this has never been particularly high on our bucket list. Prior to going on this ship I read some of the reviews on this site and began to worry about what I had let myself in for. However, from our experience I now wonder if we have been on the same ship. Yes, I agree that it is looking a little tired but P&O obviously recognise this as it is being refurbished in Spring 2020. The ship felt quite spacious helped by the glorious weather which meant that people were spread around. There was no evidence of the smell that other reviewers have mentioned. We had a balcony cabin which we found more than comfortable with plenty of storage and hanging space. Our cabin steward was charming, helpful and kept our cabin very clean and tidy. We ate in the Oriental restaurant where we received very good service from our waiters. The menu was varied and we had no trouble at all of finding meals to suit our tastes - my wife is fishy and I am meaty. There is the opportunity to eat yourself to a standstill should you wish. We enjoyed the little extras that we received. Our wine waiter proved to be knowledgeable when helping to choose a wine and was very attentive. Service in the other restaurants we used was also good. We had 2 excellent meals at The Sindhu restaurant - a real experience. Be aware that you have to pay an extra £20pp but it is worth it if you enjoy Asian food. Embarkation and disembarkation at Barbados was excellent. We walked down the steps of the plane and straight onto a coach waiting by the aircraft which took us straight to the ship. Our luggage arrived in our cabin not too long after we arrived. Everything to do with the Embarkation was undergone on the ship - immigration, airline luggage tags and boarding passes. On arrival at the airport we went straight to security and through to the departure gate. We didn’t have anything to do with our hold baggage until the carousel at Gatwick.. Organisation of excursions was good although it could be a longish walk from the ship to the coaches. All of the guides were very knowledgeable, helpful and also made the trips good fun. I have never drunk so much Rum Punch! The resident theatre group, the Headliners, were very good although the volume of their performances verged on excessive. Any of the headline acts that we didn’t enjoy as much was down to taste rather than quality. Our cruise on Azura was far beyond our expectations and we thoroughly enjoyed the ship and our Caribbean experience. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
The ship was old and the entertainment on the ship was terrible. The food was horrible not enough choices of food. Will never book this company again. The staff was nice and the room was kept clean. Other then that just horrible. If you ... Read More
The ship was old and the entertainment on the ship was terrible. The food was horrible not enough choices of food. Will never book this company again. The staff was nice and the room was kept clean. Other then that just horrible. If you are going to spend that type of money I expect for it to be nice. Just wasn't enough to keep you entertainment when you are at sea. That is just about all I have to say. I'm just very disappointed. I really was ready to enjoy myself. But I was like WOW. Big company like this should not such a old ship. And we're there for my sister 50th birthday day. She didn't enjoy herself as we. It was like 5 of us. I wouldn't recommend this cruise line to anyone. I do mean no one and I also complain to anyone who would listen to me on the shi0. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This was our fourth cruise, the third one with Carnival. During embarkation, the baggage screener threw out my empty water bottle, while she allowed water bottles for all the other 5 family members with me. That started off my cruise on ... Read More
This was our fourth cruise, the third one with Carnival. During embarkation, the baggage screener threw out my empty water bottle, while she allowed water bottles for all the other 5 family members with me. That started off my cruise on the wrong footing. Guest Services: There was always a long line at guest services. I had to wait more than an hour. For the most part, they had only two people at the desk, at times only one, especially on the first day of the cruise when they would be expecting more guests at the guest services desk. Carnival Hub App: The app is great if it works. I paid extra for the ability to use the Chat feature to be able to communicate with the rest of my family. The chat did not work couple of times. When reported to the guest services, all they could say was that they have made a note of it. How difficult would it be for the technical staff to keep a tab on something as simple as an app and ensure that it is working at all times especially when guests depend on it to communicate Cabin: Cabin was great and the housekeeping crew did a good job. However if the lid on the toilet was kept open it would stink like urine all the time. Dining: The food variety on the Lido deck was mediocre, especially the desserts. The Sensation room dining staff seems to be overworked or busy to interact with guests. Some wait staff were simply rude or uninterested,, whereas others were great.So it was a mixed bag. Entertainment : Entertainment was so-so. The cast and performances lacked quality. Considering the ethnic diversity in the demographics of the guest, the main entertainment cast lacked diversity. Some of the fun staff were rude and acted more like celebrities than fun staff. Port and Shore excursions: The saving grace for us was the number of ports on this itinerary and the shore excursions which were good. Overall, other than the ports and excursions it was a very mediocre experience. We had cruised last year on a different cruise liner to Alaska. We did not feel like leaving that cruise ship, but on this one we were so looking forward to go back home. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We have traveled to Caribbean previously in 2017 on MSC Fantasia and had a wonderful time. It was a fly cruise. This time we flew out to Caribbean on Virgin Atlantic and this was a very pleasant experience. We decided to do a ... Read More
We have traveled to Caribbean previously in 2017 on MSC Fantasia and had a wonderful time. It was a fly cruise. This time we flew out to Caribbean on Virgin Atlantic and this was a very pleasant experience. We decided to do a different cruise in as much as we flew to Barbados and then after On our arrival in Bridgetown we had a very pleasant surprise. As we got off the aircraft we found coaches waiting for us at bottom of steps. We were taken directly to the ship and never touched our luggage until it arrived in our cabin. The cabin itself was a balcony cabin and was beautiful in every way. We chose a Fantastica cabin as it came with a drinks package. Our cabin steward, Erith could not have been more helpful and kept cabin spotless. We chose !st sitting dining in Golden Lobster Restaurant. The waiters were great and were very attentive including our waiter James ( name we used for him.) he left ship in Lisbon to fly home to Bali. His assistant waiter was called Abhishek Kumar from India and he went out of his way to make sure we had a fantastic holiday. He deserves the highest praise. The food was excellent although not to my taste all the time. The restaurant was spotless and well managed. The entertainment on the ship left a lot to be desired although the the trio with the pianist and 2 violinists we excellent and a pleasure to listen to. The service overall on the ship was first class and could not be faulted in any way. WE did not take any of the excursions and made our own arrangements. We found the islands very commercialized now and have got worse over the past few years. We took a taxi in Guadaloupe and the female taxi driver was the most dangerous taxi drive I have ever used. She was swerving all over road and reading phone texts and making nd taking phone calls. In Barbados was took a trip in a glass bottom boat which was most enjoyable and well worth the money. After leaving Barbados on 9th April we traveled 5 days across the Atlantic and it was a lovely smooth crossing to Tenerife which we enjoyed immensely. WE then visited Madeira which is a lovely island and I would recommend anyone visiting if you get the chance. The 3 visits to Lisbon, Vigo and Le Havre were not as good and as it was bank holiday most of town was closed. The appeared to be a lot of coughing on board which I hasten to add. I do not blame on ship. Our disembarkation in Southampton due to passengers who boarded in Le Havre did not attend the compulsory immigration procedures. This is the one complaint I have about MSC. It is used as a ferry service more that a cruise ship. Overall the ship and staff were perfect in every way and I would not hesitate to use MSC again although I would be more selective. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
The ship its self was modern clean with an impressive stairway and delivered what was expected from this class of ship . We purchased the Aurea package which gave you some extras like free drinks, package massage, my choice dining and ... Read More
The ship its self was modern clean with an impressive stairway and delivered what was expected from this class of ship . We purchased the Aurea package which gave you some extras like free drinks, package massage, my choice dining and free access to deck 18 Dining was the first problem, a high standard was expected from the team as the previous two cruises delivered this but , quality of service and food failed to meet the previous experience resulting in a complaint. The buffet area offered at times a better standard. The buffet area also was at times I felt of a disjointed set up the items did not flow i.e meats/ chesses to accompany a salad where miles apart when common sense would of had them close. Entertainment was of a low standard very repetitive and only started to improve last three days of the cruise The Drinks package wow what a mess , previously the Aurea had a generous drinks package but this has been devalued to €6 but and this was changed in November 2018. Their systems don't know who purchased the cruise prior to November so the system was honoring drinks to the value of € 9 but the staff advised you if you asked only €6. In the next action they would still process drinks to the value of €9 at no extra charge to yourself, what was the point of telling you €6 ? I found some of the front line staff wooden especially on the help desk , like the sketch from little Brittan the computer says no !!! If you used a brain cell you could make life so much easier without the customer having to point out some of the MSC policy's just don't make sense! In a nut shell MSC is growing and polices are changing of which I would hazard a guess non of the management who are implementing the changes have actually experienced the impact of such living on board as a guest. Having cruised with MSC twice before we had a level of service expected and unfortunately this cruise fell short of these. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
service was amazing. I want to compliment Nestor, our server for dinner. he made it entertaining and was overall a very cheerful person and made my cruise. the food was amazing and the first time I was full every single night. and trust ... Read More
service was amazing. I want to compliment Nestor, our server for dinner. he made it entertaining and was overall a very cheerful person and made my cruise. the food was amazing and the first time I was full every single night. and trust me, I eat a lot of food. loved the different variations of food they had to eat throughout the cruise especially guy's burger shack. i loved that they had water slides on the ship so you had something to do on the sea day. cabin was always spotless and i loved the towel animals they made especially the heart on the last day of the cruise. i loved club o2 and all the activities they had especially the ps4s. the ship was a lot larger than i expected it to be. so first impressions, amazing. overall, i would definitely sail with them again and i would definitely recommend this to someone else. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We booked this cruise on the back of many great cruises on the TUI Celebration as our celebration of 40 year of marriage. We took our only son with us as it was a family celebration. The whole trip including excursions was over £10k ... ... Read More
We booked this cruise on the back of many great cruises on the TUI Celebration as our celebration of 40 year of marriage. We took our only son with us as it was a family celebration. The whole trip including excursions was over £10k ... this would made one think it would have been 4 star at least in my eyes. The food in the main restaurant was inedible, overcooked and hard to eat. It was so bad we decided to use the Market buffet the rest of the holiday. There were specialist restaurants but they wanted upwards of £30 per person per visit ( after having paid for food i felt the cover charge was over the top compared with being able to pay on the Celebration a sum of £10 per person to upgrade the main meal in the dining room to steak or lamb chops etc ) On speaking to people on the ship, nobody thought the specialty restaurants to be be good value. One of the nice things about a cruise is coming back to your cabin at night after dinner and finding your cabin news containing the details of the next days itinerary and a little bit about the ship and crew... nice bedtime reading and handy to take with you the next day on shore excursions as it always had the telephone numbers of the port authority etc in case you have any off shore difficulties etc. This is currently being replaced by an APP you must load on your phone and use the ships WiFi When I inquired if we could have a paper copy delivered to my cabin as before ( these are still available if you rush to reception in the evening) i was promptly and firmly told NO... i even offered to pay to have this and it was ignored. The APP is terrible only some of it is on the phone APP others and again not all are on the TV. The only way you could get the menus of the restaurants was from the flat touch screen terminals at the lifts (these sometimes lost the WiFi and didnt work either). It really ruffled my feathers when every day there was a channel on the TV where the Cruise Director would go over the highlights of the days activities and did it from the paper copy of the cruise news!! The ship is poorly covered by entertainment at night and it doesnt flow properly like the Celebration or other cruise ships i have used.. things finish in the middle of other items you may be interested in and you find yourself walking in on a half completed piece of entertainment upsetting the guests that managed to be there on time for it to start. The bars are mainly all too loud and mainly served by piped music with occasional live music... it seemed to be done on the cheap or not utilised properly. Staff on the ship are mainly unhappy and it shows to the customer. The biggest concern on the ship, i have left till the end.... the number of people i seen drunk in the early afternoon was high ( never before have i seen this on a cruise) between afternoon and evening it looked like the ship was a BOOZE CRUISE ... im certainly not impressed with the Explorer or Marriela / Tui.. and wonder if the Celebration is now been changed to feel and look the same... ( this was my favourite ship in the Tui fleet) It looks like we will need to use our other favourite ships like the NCL ( Jade/Pearl etc) In Conclusion .... if i was offered another week on the Explorer, i would decline it!! Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Did not know what to expect on this our first cruise as we had read so many varied reviews, but we could not fault our cruise experience, we booked a large balcony cabin and it was perfect, we had our own sun lounger, table with 2 chairs ... Read More
Did not know what to expect on this our first cruise as we had read so many varied reviews, but we could not fault our cruise experience, we booked a large balcony cabin and it was perfect, we had our own sun lounger, table with 2 chairs and a hammock! It was ideal to get away from the hustle and bustle of the pool deck areas and really chill out. Okay the Marella explorer is not brand new and not as huge as some of the other cruise ships but for us it as just right. The main self service dinning room served a good range of hot and cold dishes which changed daily, and if you wanted a full English breakfast you'd have to go a long way to beat it, we also tried out the specialty restaurants, some you had to pay a cover charge for, but well worth it, and the all inclusive drinks package was the best we ever had, all the top and well known beers and spirits.We can't praise all the staff on-board enough, from the cleaners to the ships Captain, nothing was too much. Plenty of hand sanitisers' everywhere, entertainment and activities were suited to all age groups and were well organised, The only thing I would do differently next time would be to book shore excursions on-board the ship, yes they are more expensive than doing it yourself but it saves the hassle of being pestered by the hoards as you walk out of the port area into local towns, overall we had a fantastic first cruise experience and certainly do it all over again, especially on the Marella Explorer. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
I have been on 12 previous cruises with most of the other cruise lines. This was my first P & O cruise. First the positives. Good flight. I loved the fact you check in and don't see your suitcases until they arrive at your ... Read More
I have been on 12 previous cruises with most of the other cruise lines. This was my first P & O cruise. First the positives. Good flight. I loved the fact you check in and don't see your suitcases until they arrive at your cabin. Likewise on the return trip. Cases taken the evening before and next time we saw them was at Gatwick. I also like the process of getting off the plane, onto a coach and not going through the hectic Barbados immigration process. The embarkation process was quick and efficient and on the ship in no time at all, despite there being queues on arrival. Furthermore the disembarkation process was painless. I also liked that we could stay on board until our afternoon pick up. So could enjoy the day at the pool. I have been on the RCL Ovation so the size of Britannia wasn't as awesome as it was to my family. (It was the biggest ship they have been on). The deco in the cabin was average although fully equipped and spotlessly clean. Our steward quickly introduced herself and said if we require anything not to hesitate to ask. The beds were comfy and we had a good night sleep. Although, my only grip was, there were only back lights and no individual bedside lamp. In order to read I had to have all the lights on at night. This I found awkward particularly as my other half doesn't read at night. I was surprised there was no USB ports especially as it's only 4 years old!! Our food was great and ate mainly in the Horizon buffet or the Peninsular. Our service in the Peninsular was outstanding and nothing was too much trouble for our waiter Nasir. Especially as the other half is a fussy eater. We had Freedom dining and there was 10 of us at every meal. We only had to wait 15 mins on one occasion. Our Waiter was fantastic. The gym was well equipped which members of our party who are regular gym goers said it was great. We liked the pools, however, this is where things become a bit fraught. My first negative, in our party we had four thirty year olds and 4 children, ages 4,5,8 and 14. The elderly regular cruisers didn't like the younger children. My grandchildren played all day in the pools and if they dared splashed they were told off by the elderly women. Now, I could understand if they were laying on the sunbeds but they were sat at the edge of the pool. The first few times we ignored them but on one occasion I had to remind them that the pool is for everyone and if they didn't want to be around children they should go to the adults pool. This didn't go down well. Another elderly gentleman told my son off for splashing his little daughter in the pool. Apparently his wife didn't want to get her hair wet!!! What do you expect sat at the edge of the pool with your feet dangling in there!! There seems to be a quota of elderly elitist that wanted a very traditional cruise and obviously were regulars with P & O and consequently felt they owned it. This also showed on sea days. The poolside entertainment was at best poor. Old fashioned back ground music, not that that's a problem but they should be catering for all ages. There was very little entertainment except the quizzes, which was dull and mundane. I also felt the quizzes were something to pacify us. The sail away parties were good fun. They would start at 5pm and finish on the dot at 6pm. Despite the party being in full flow it stopped dead an hour later. I understand the entertainment team has other jobs but it all felt it was going through the motions. One of the sea days I even went to see a film as I was that bored on deck. On other ships the evening entertainment have had spectacular various shows every night. Apart from Astonish show the rest of the time was the same group singing songs from different decades. If you wanted a good show you really had to book the Limelight club and pay £25-£35 per person for the privilege. So for me it would be £70 extra just to see Gareth Gates! So for our party we felt that the entertainment team was VERY poor for the size of the ship. The next grip is the midship lack of stairs. How was this thought out? Lucky for us we were on deck 14 so it was only 2 decks to the lido. If we had stairs we would have walked to this deck but unfortunately the forward and aft stairs were too far away. I understand this is being rectified in the October refit. I feel P & O are missing a younger audience. Their adverts are targeting an older customer. Unlike RCL, Carnival etc who are targeting families. My family have said their next cruise will be on a fun ship and not a geriatric ship. So that's 6 adults and 4 children they have lost. We had a lovely cruise, fantastic ports, good food but in comparison to other cruise lines poor entertainment. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019

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