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9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
Cruise review azura 10th December to 8th January 2017 _____________________________________________________ We had reasonable flight with Thomas Cook from Manchester and paid extra legroom for exit seats. Flight went faster than we ... Read More
Cruise review azura 10th December to 8th January 2017 _____________________________________________________ We had reasonable flight with Thomas Cook from Manchester and paid extra legroom for exit seats. Flight went faster than we anticipated and was reasonably comfortable. Films ok but unfortunately same films on return journey which was a shame. Very quick to board ship on arrival at Barbados. Well done p and o. Very tired so just had the BBq at pool area before bed. We had balcony room B210. Great room front of ship but very comfortable bed and cabin boy very good nasir. Balcony enough room to relax and glad in hot sunshine to have overhang above us. Plenty of sun most of the day. We had meridian freedom dining and worked very well but kept same table towards end of trip for continuity. Food and service excellent. No complaints. We tried sindhu but was very very disappointed in service attitude and food which was cold and not very interesting.Didn’t even wait for the sweet as felt so unfriendly and uncomfortable. Definitely put us off trying any of the other premium restaurants after wasting 40 pounds on sindhu. Meriden and peninsula were far more service orientated and on the odd occasion steak was overcooked was whisked away and replaced almost immediately. Daniel our waiter was excellent. We took commodore package of wine and very happy with the selections offered and price was better when compared to say celebrity or canard who we travelled with previously. Liked the quiet pool area near spa. Gym was excellent with great views. Enjoyed the majority of the shows particularly Gareth the ventriloquist and Cuban comedian (can’t remember his name). There was a choice of 2 shows in 3 venues each night so plenty of choice. We loved the casino and had a great time over 28 nights in brodies and casino. Entertainment team worked really hard . Some of entertainment did not suit us on main pool area during day with very loud music but others had a great time and we could go to different area of ship. Yes there is a butlin like atmosphere but with quiet areas on ship all seem to live together in harmony. Although do think music could be a bit lower. First stop Antigua. Unfortunately could not tender not really sure why we did not dock as originally planned. Very strange. Next stop was St kitts. Very quaint. Walked around. Roosters everywhere. Allowed to run about freely and protected. St maarten. Plenty of shops from ship. Walked through shops to beach. Paid 30 dollars for 2 beds umbrella and free wifi. Seemed to be going rate. Busy port and bit pushy. Tortola. Loved this port. Got taxi to sugar cane beach (would try brewers bay next time). Liked sugar cane but was busy after all cruise ships came in. Lovely clean water and sand good swimming but apparently brewers bay is better for snorkeling. 7 dollars each way per person for taxi . We paid 20 dollars for bed here for two of us as only stayed a couple hours. Very friendly port and people. Catalina island. Desert type island off Dominica. Ship arranged for bbq and shipped all equipment staff over to island. They worked so hard. It was really busy by the time we went over so we didn’t enjoy but the water was lovely. Most people enjoyed the day but if late there is shortage beds umbrellas. Montego bay. We got off here and straight back on ship. Port is busy and lots of hassle. Couldn’t stand walking through the multitude of pushy taxi drivers. We planned to go to doctor cave beach which others said was good. Grand cayman. Booked stingray trip here so was disappointed as we were not allowed to Anchor or tender which was surprising as watched other ships use port tenders. Stingray trip was cancelled anyway as had booked online with moby dick tours who emailed to say conditions were not suitable so either way couldn’t do stingray trip. New Orleans. Bonus was we left early so had 3 days here. Fantastic place. So much to see. We used the new Orleans street car 3 dollars day ticket. It runs full length Charles Street so went to garden district. Lovely colonial houses. We went to lafayette cemetery while in garden district. Then got streetcar back to bourbon street. Walked to French market. Had great crab and crayfish there from side stalls. Very safe to walk and great 3 days. Key West. So classy loved it. Did bus tour on old town trolley bus for 21.00 dollars each. Took us long way out to beach areas and all sights. We stayed on bus and enjoyed trip about hour and half. Very interesting. Bus is in centre of key West and no queue. Conch seems to get really busy. Port everglades. Great day out. Took p and o trip to alligator farm and on boat through everglades. Definitely recommend exhilarating boat ride. 50 pounds each was worth the trip. Port canaveral. We didn’t want to go to space museum so went shopping mall. Great macys there and clothing very good value on brands. Bus was 27 dollars for 2 of us. Felt expensive but no choice as only one operator there. Never saw a p and o shuttle the whole trip. Do they exist? San Juan. What a lovely place. Walked round old town was really pretty. Had some rum punches sitting in sun. Very friendly and Spanish feel. Also great Ralph Lauren shop. St Thomas. Went up cable car 21 dollars bit expensive but views worth it. Very pretty island. Martinique. Real dump. Long walk into town. Was told by others they got water taxi to beach but wasn’t worth it. Duty free was cheap for rum etc. St lucia. Rained while we were here so didn’t bother with water taxi to beach but was only 2 dollars so probably worth a try if weather ok. Grenada. Lovely island. Got water taxi 7 dollars to beach. We paid 10 dollars for beds as only stayed hour or so. Beach great for swimming. Barbados. Walked from ship to town and turned right to beaches. Fantastic beach only 40mins walk from ship. Pirates cove. 15 dollars for two beds umbrella and free Wi fi. Beach was beautiful and had added bonus of being quiet. Even saw race horses swimming in sea. Wonderful. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2010
On arrival aboard the ventura we we greeted with a cabin that was not properly cleaned and to a standard which i would not expect from a second rate youth hostel.Issues of cleanliness included:Dirty stained tea cupsCoffee stains all down a ... Read More
On arrival aboard the ventura we we greeted with a cabin that was not properly cleaned and to a standard which i would not expect from a second rate youth hostel.Issues of cleanliness included:Dirty stained tea cupsCoffee stains all down a wall on cupboard topsA dirty binDirty ashtray on balconyCarpet not well hooveredFinger marks on mirrorBathroom smellingBathroom not well cleanedBathrobe missingI contacted reception and asked for the house keeper to visit the cabin as the hygene and cleanliness was totally unacceptable,on his arrival we were requested to leave the cabin whilst these issues were attended to.not ideal after an 8 hour flight a 1 hour drive and 3 hours at manchester airport. P and O wake up and smell the roses or in this case the toilet! An offer of a complimentary drink or some form of token gesture would have been of some consolation,but not forth coming.All the above issues were dealt with to some degree and i eventually recieved asome what shabby bathrobe which I personally would have been embarresd to donate to a charity shop.Our smelling bathroom saga continued through-out the holiday dispite several matainance men attending to the issue on numerous occassions,I dont believe the issue was ever really solved we became amune to most odours due to the amount of air freshners we had crammed in the room.we found the rest of the ship to be very clean and had no other hygene issues other than with the poor cleaning standard of our cabin,dispite being a suite where we spent a lot of time especially during sea days and sharing with 3 adults ,the cabin was only hoovered at best every other day and minimal house work was done to our cabin at a very poor standard.In the main restaraunts ,primarily evening meals were of a very poor standard to a degree that if i were a paying customer onshore not only would i never return to such a restaraunt i would expect the head chef to apologise for his mismanagement of creating such poorly cooked and presented food.Often badly presented ,very rarley correctly seasoned,very small portions,A pathetic cheese board and very so so menus that would not attract a paying clientel.I found the waiters and most of the dining staff very professional,courteous and polite although reading between the lines after several weeks,i was lead to believe many staff were unhappy on the ship.The best meals in my opinion were breakfast and best be had in the restaraunt as the self service system was generally a mish mash of problems espescially at peak times (9am onwards)day after day the same issues.No cups ,tea spoons or glasses by the drink machinesDirty cups continually being put out by drink machinesLarge waiting times for speacial orders such as a boiled egg, often stood waiting for 5 mins or moreBacon very undercooked and not of a quality one would expect from any restaraunt. I could waffle on about issues with entertainment ect however appreciate that every ones taste are different and trying to appeal to all ages I am sure no one would be pleased all of the time,In fairness i personally thought the evening shows and artist were of a reasonable standard and catered a bit of everything during our 29 days.Conclusion.P and O are certainly allowing standards in all quarters to drop ,in my opinion more of a bargain bucket than an oppulent experience.I appreciate the price of cruising in real terms has probably never been so affordable however ,why do people especially P n O clentele wish to cruise?I would consider P and O to be offering a butlin on the sea experience rather than an opulent ,quality ,fine holiday experience.I have dispite my latest experience with P and O,booked again on the ventura for a simular christmas cruise,for no other reason than this ship is in the right plaice at the right time at an affordable rate to myself.however should the cabin service be of as poor quality let it be known that the captain may be a crew member missing,as for the food i will aim to live off breakfasts and hope the head chef has found his rightful position in life preferably out of a kitchen. Read Less

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