2 Barbados First-Time Cruisers Cruise Reviews

Our first cruise on the Azura and last! We flew from Gatwick to Barbados and joined the ship there. We had to wait hours for our suitcases to be delivered to our cabin and then it was a rush to attend the muster drill and go for ... Read More
Our first cruise on the Azura and last! We flew from Gatwick to Barbados and joined the ship there. We had to wait hours for our suitcases to be delivered to our cabin and then it was a rush to attend the muster drill and go for our evening meal. We visited three islands on the first three days, two excursions booked directed with P & O prior to the holiday. Although the beaches we went to were fantastic (especially Tortola), the half day was not long enough and I could not understand why this was not offered for a full day. We had 5 days at sea travelling to the Azores and found the ship could not cater for over 3000 people during the day. There were not enough sun loungers and those there were crammed in tighter than sardines. There were four areas where you could lay; noisy, smoking, children's/family and only two small areas which were peaceful (these were always full). The Retreat is adults only but you have to pay for the privilege! Our cabin C418 had a balcony, unfortunately it was in the shade until mid afternoon). The bathroom smelt of stale urine if you switched the light/extractor fan off so therefore we left it on 24/7. On the last day we docked at Southampton at 6.30am but unfortunately there was no water to the cabins and we could not wash our hands, shower, brush teeth or indeed flush the loo. Although I had read that the ship had been refurbed a year prior, our room was a little grubby. The most amazing thing was on the last day we had to leave the cabin by 8am so we duly went for breakfast at 6.30am leaving our belongings on the bed etc and when we got back our bed had been changed ready for the next guests and our belonging placed back on the bed! In all of the years and all of the holidays we have taken not one hotel has used this practice and I found it very poor. The food and service in the restaurants were fantastic until the last night when the staff actually "switched off", the service was extremely poor, the meals came out with items missing, unless you asked for the cheese board you were not offered, it was as though tips had been given so bye bye were ready for the next lot of passengers! If you wanted to eat breakfast outside (which could have been a great start to the day), the only areas with tables and chairs which were near the restaurants were all smoking areas, so if you like a fag with your early morning cuppa .... yippee! Our overall experience of days at sea (8 in total) were picturing one of the most deprived run down council estates with a bargain booze, McDonald's, pizza place, bookies and a Wetherspoons with a kids fun annex and voila it's the Azura! Although we paid full price and therefore our expectations were high thus so disappointed, I would recommend you seek out the special offers if you want to have a glorified booze cruise on the Azura transatlantic cruise as you may get more of a value for money experience than we had. Overall we would go to the Caribbean again and the Azores was lovely BUT never on a P&O ferry/booze cruise! Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
The cruise ship was dirty including a persisting smell of sewage on the 7th deck which we reported to the staff but was ignored, the fact that they were aware of this and did nothing has been admitted to us since the cruise. The overall ... Read More
The cruise ship was dirty including a persisting smell of sewage on the 7th deck which we reported to the staff but was ignored, the fact that they were aware of this and did nothing has been admitted to us since the cruise. The overall ship was dirty also. Hardly surprising then that there was a breakout of norovirus which I unfortunately contracted. Thus started my hell of quarantine in my cabin. Serviced daily by specialist cleaners humorously named "The hit squad" they could not speak English and ordered me around my cabin like cattle. I was provided the wrong room service menu while I was not allowed to leave my cabin and when I called up to make my order was told off for trying to order things I was not allowed. All inclusive cruise until you fall ill in which case if you want drinking water you better be prepared to pay. Charging ill people for clean water doesn't exactly scream luxury cruise to me. Plane changed for our return so we did not get the premium economy we had paid for so my husband who was still recovering from a stroke was forced to crowd into the regular seating, asked to speak with their representative in the airport, call went out no one ever turned up. Entered their complaints process on return, late with every single reply on their own timeline and all we ever received was an offer of a discount off our next cruise, but only if it was used within the next year. ABTA no help at all, left with the choice of expensive court action or cutting our losses. If your idea of a luxury cruise is a week of quarantine while you are treated like it is your fault, this is the cruise for you, otherwise I would recommend avoiding entirely. First and last cruise for us. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014

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