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4 P&O Cruises Azura Cruise Reviews for First-Time Cruisers Cruises to Canary Islands from Southampton

After reading the recent reviews stating how amazing this ship is, I could not sit back and not give my opinion. As a 22 year old female on my first cruise with my Mother who has done several beforehand I have to say that I did not enjoy ... Read More
After reading the recent reviews stating how amazing this ship is, I could not sit back and not give my opinion. As a 22 year old female on my first cruise with my Mother who has done several beforehand I have to say that I did not enjoy this ship. Firstly I know that P&O cannot screen passengers before they book the cruise, however I have never seen so many leather skinned, cigarette smoking, tattooed women in all my life surrounding the puddle of water they called a pool - I literally felt like I was on a floating Butlins! As for the lift situations which someone else has previusly mentioned, I found it beyond infuriating! There were not enough first of all, people constantly pressed the wrong buttons and made them stop on several floors and as for the comment about people not getting out for wheelchairs - why should we? Our room was on floor 14 and our evening restaurant (The Meridian) was on floor 5 - I suffer from severe asthma and my Mum has arthiritis in her knees - why should we have to walk up and down 9 flights of stairs because P&O cannot accomodate for the amount of passengers they have onboard? But thats just the start of the issues with the ship not being large enough to accomodate passengers! First of all the restaurants on the top deck were vile! I felt as if I was partaking in trials for the England rugby team whilst trying to navigate around the TINY buffet area! Then to have signs on the table stating that you should leave as soon as you finish is just ridiculous; I'm on my holiday, there should be enough tables for me to take my time and enjoy a coffee after my meal! The sunlounger situation was a joke - rows and rows of occupied sunbeds touching each other; theres nowhere to put your drinks or your stuff as the end of your sunbed is the "walkway"! You literally have to crouch at the end of the lounger and throw yourself backwards to actually get on! It's ridiculous that a ship of that size has to cram sunbeds on like that - and don't even get me started on the lack of tables! Now someone else has mentioned that there were people constantly painting and repairing things on the cruise - yes there were; but who on Earth wants a building site on their cruise!? The constant stench of paint and varnish was enough to force me inside and the chairs in the smoking were a disgrace - the strands were all coming apart and sticking out; the ashtrays were never emptied and although the staff by the pool cleared the tables, I was forever asking for them to be wiped! I did read a review saying the music around the pool areas was a constant noise where you cannot hear yourself - do not ignore this warning! The music is so loud at the pool that it is distorted! It just adds to the chavvy atmosphere of a floating Butlins! I'd also avoid the spa if you can - you're charged an EXTRA 10% gratuity on top of the daily one you receive, plus you still have to pay extra to use the retreat area with the decent sunloungers! I don't get why this is not included for people who are spending money in the spa? Do not waste your time with the soft drinks or the Costa packages! What a waste of time they are - you can ONLY get draft coke or draft lemonade; no other soft drinks are included in it - and with the Costa card it's only Americanos, lattes, cappucino or espresso - no hot chocolates or cold drinks are included! I have to say that the staff who serve are fantastic, particularly Emerson in Brodies! He was a delight to see every night! Most of them cannot do enough for you and seem to genuinely enjoy their jobs - however the maintenece staff who hosed the decks down at night seriously need retraining! Many nights myself and several others were sat at the pool bar areas (which close at about 12/1am) when we were suddenly hosed down whilst sitting and having a chat. I found it absolutely disgusting that not only did the bars close early whilst customers were still there, but staff thought it was okay to actually hose down the decks around us and splash us! Our cabin was pleasant enough and our cabin steward Josephine was lovely! She did an exceptional job every morning and night and was delightful when passing her in the corridor! The wifi was ridiculous - £35 for 100 minutes, thats over double the price we pay for unlimited wifi at home! The service was slow and most of the time was wasted waiting for things to load! We did visit the Sindhu and that was an experience I'd definitely recommend - the food and service was impeccable! The entertainment team was really good - Robbie and Beverly were a fantastic duo. Brodies was the best area with quizzes and karaoke, however finding a seat was a nightmare! The casino takes up too much space; it should be towards the back with the seating for Brodies spreading across from left to right! Finally the embarking and disembarking - I found it absurd that the suitcases were not at our room before we set sail; we did not need that stress on our first day! Literally panicking our cases had been left! As for disembarking; again just a shambles with rude passengers pushing and shoving and fighting to get off first! I can't say I'm a cruise convert after this experience - I found the guests rude and not at all what I expected of the holiday. I found the ship too small to accommodate all the passengers, and the services offered were not first class as I expected! I'd say to avoid P&O unless you're one of the ones who wants a cheap deal and want as much as you can get at the cheapest price! If you want quality then look elsewhere! Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
Having read a number of reviews before our first cruise, were not put off and would judge on our own experiences. We left Lancashire by coach provided by P&O, being picked up on time and then travelled the journey without any issues. ... Read More
Having read a number of reviews before our first cruise, were not put off and would judge on our own experiences. We left Lancashire by coach provided by P&O, being picked up on time and then travelled the journey without any issues. We were welcomed onboard by friendly staff and after a walk around we made to our room on deck 8. All our cases had been delivered to the room when we got there, which was within the hour. The room was spacious, very clean and appropriate for our requirements. Though directly opposite the laundry room, there were never any issues with noise. We had no complaints whatsoever regarding any of the food and would say that it is of a high standard. How anyone can complain about portion size I do not know. If you haven't had your fill from the three courses, the cheeseboard and then coffee, just ask for something else, they will oblige, without question. The waiters were very polite and very helpful always. The ship was very clean in all areas and our room was tidied twice a day by the cabin crew, who were also excellent. On this occasion there were 3,000 passengers and we never saw any inappropriate behaviour, saying that the majority were over 50. We found the entertainment excellent and varied throughout, to suit all tastes. We enjoyed this our first cruise and would not hesitate to book with P&O again for our next. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Whilst we all enjoyed our holiday on the Azura in different ways, we would not choose to cruise on this ship again. Our journey down by coach and embarkation were fine. We were thrilled with our stateroom with balcony and the food and ... Read More
Whilst we all enjoyed our holiday on the Azura in different ways, we would not choose to cruise on this ship again. Our journey down by coach and embarkation were fine. We were thrilled with our stateroom with balcony and the food and service were superb. We enjoyed the Glasshouse, Sindhu and 17. Mr. Dsuazo, the manager of the Oriental restaurant was outstanding in organising some wonderful meals for my daughter as she has a gluten and wheat intolerance, and I can't thank him enough for ensuring that she could enjoy her meals as much as we did. The main problem we found with Azura was it's size and the amount of people. Some areas felt dangerous at times, such as the galley visit when people were crowding down two staircases and also coming out of the lifts it was totally intolerable. We tried to avoid the melee from then on by choosing carefully where and when we went to popular areas. The only swimming pool that is heated and quiet enough to actually swim in is the in the spa area which we were unable to access as this area was fully booked. It felt as if we were on a ship that had 1st and 2nd class passengers. The deck was narrow and it would have been nice to have been able to walk completely around the ship. My son and daughter found the gym far too hot as this area has no air conditioning despite the rest of the ship being as cold as a chill cabinet in Tesco.This could be a serious problem in hot climates. They were never able to play tennis, table tennis or any other of the sports advertised in the brochure, due to the activities organised by the children's clubs. Some trips were excellent but Santiago di Compestela was a disaster and our luxury trip around La Palma was marred by the fact that our two scheduled walks were cancelled (even though another trip which my son went on the same day accessed the areas which were supposedly closed) which meant that we were driving pretty aimlessly around the island for 8 hours without the 2 hour walks we were promised. The area we stopped for lunch was littered with paper and dog mess. (the rest of the island was spotless!!!). The trip to the toboggan run in Madeira was badly organised with long queues in the heat. On return to the ship it took about an hour queueing to get back on the ship by which time the restaurant was closed. People in wheelchairs were the last to embark as an adequate gangway had not been provided. However the shuttle buses we used were excellent, efficient and on time. We did however have a good holiday with lots of happy memories. The Azura has something for everyone, it just wasn't for us and most regular cruisers we spoke to recommended the Aurora if we are ever lucky enough to cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2010
We booked with a local travel agent and as our holiday came within their criteria as to cost we were provided with a taxi both ways. The taxi turned up on time at our home in Park Gate Fareham Hants. As first time cruisers we were not sure ... Read More
We booked with a local travel agent and as our holiday came within their criteria as to cost we were provided with a taxi both ways. The taxi turned up on time at our home in Park Gate Fareham Hants. As first time cruisers we were not sure as to the amount of clothes to take so erred on generous amount as we were advised we would not have to carry it anywhere as it so transpired as we turned up in Ocean Terminal 20 mins later, the taxi driver said just leave it all on the ground by the car and the porters will pick it up, what a difference from airports. After waiting a while after being issued with letter cards we checked in and joined the queue for embarkation. Once on ship we were directed to our cabin. Jocelyn our cabin steward came and introduced herself. We had lifejacket demo then went for a wander around the ship as we had never seen anything like it, the Atrium was stunning as were the numerous bars,shops and restaurants etc. We had opted for freedom dining as we felt this would suit our needs best, also prior to cruising heard some horror stories of being lumbered with unsuitable companions for all evening meals! The freedom dining worked out extremely well for the whole cruise and we had different neighbours each night which was really good,all the dining staff really helpful.The food was a very high standard and all very enjoyable, I especially, opted to try many types of food which I had not previously had eaten. We went to a number of the Playhouse Theatre shows, the Headliners especially were excellent,most of the other acts also being of a good quality.Although the Theatre could hold 800+ we found that the 7.30 and 9pm shows had long queues so we opted for 11pm show and walked in easily. We had our breakfast most days up on 15 in self service of Venezia & Verona. Although there were a lot of people we never had any troule with seating as we shared on most days and met many interesting people. The Sea Screen was a novel idea, in fact on one evening we watched Mamma Mia! Although we walked around we didn't have a dip in any of the pools as the weather was not that brilliant to feel it was a good idea, maybe another time. In the evening we split our time between the Blue Bar where we could listen to relaxing music to Manhattan watching entertainment and even participating in The Weakest Link,great fun. We enjoyed the atmosphere of the Planet Bar, very interesting either watching the large interactive video screens or looking out to sea. It was great on Formal and semi-formal evenings to see that the majority of people involved themselves and we enjoyed this. The Atrium with its staircases and glass lifts never failed to please the eye. We listened to various talks in Malabar. The Photo Gallery was always a popular place to be at.Being first timers we had many photos taken, probably next time far fewer. We set the alarm early to get up to see our arrival in Madeira and had breakfast in cabin as we were off on early coach trip round island. We went on several of the trips and felt they were fairly reasonably priced although we quickly learned after watching points and talking to other experienced cruisers that in future we can easily do our own thing far cheaper. We also got up very early to see our entrance into Lisbon as we had been told this was spectaculay especially going under the bridge. This was well worth it, we went up to 16 and watched the sunrise from over the bows of the ship, we were amazed how few people were there with us. still our gain others loss. When disembarking it was a bit of a crush although there were timed disembarkation times, but finding our luggage was very easy with many luggage trolleys available, back out to waiting taxi and on to home within the hour. This is just a short review of our cruise but suffice to say we are hooked and looking forward to end of Aug on Ventura. Read Less
Sail Date April 2010
Azura Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.1
Dining 4.0 3.8
Entertainment 4.0 3.5
Public Rooms 4.0 4.0
Fitness Recreation 5.0 3.7
Family 4.0 3.7
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.4
Enrichment 3.0 3.2
Service 4.0 4.0
Value For Money 4.0 3.6
Rates 4.0 3.8

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