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7 P&O Cruises Azura Cruise Reviews for Spring Break Cruises to Europe - All from Southampton

In the past we have sailed on P&O cruises through recommendation, Our first, on the Oriana was excellent, the next time, it was good, lots of cutbacks, ie. silver service in restaurant, food selection in buffet resturants, and dining ... Read More
In the past we have sailed on P&O cruises through recommendation, Our first, on the Oriana was excellent, the next time, it was good, lots of cutbacks, ie. silver service in restaurant, food selection in buffet resturants, and dining rooms. This last P&O cruise on the Azura was a real disappointment, on the first night in the restaurant, the gentleman next to me asked the waiter for an extra scoop of ice cream and got a point blank NO!, then it turned into a bit of a row, as the customer insisted several times, that is what he wanted, and eventually got it. Several of the staff seemed sloppy throughout the trip. Next I went to the hair salon to get my hair done, that was a nightmare, after telling the lady exactly what I did not want, she proceeded. 2 and a half hours later, hair washed, blow dried straight, cut ( or should I say savaged ) half curled, to witch the lady asked delightedly, " Do you like ?" to which I said "NO", it was what I had asked her "NOT" to do, so she started off again, to then turn my hair into "Ringlets", I am 71 and looked like " Shirley Temple", I got up off the chair and walked out and went to lunch with my husband, and as we had lunch, my husband " Your hair is going straight as we speak!". I then asked reception if they could do this, and said I had to go back to the salon, this I did and was asked if I would the same lady to fix it " NO ", I did get my money reimbursed, but had to go around looking like " a street beggar" The shore trips were same old, same old, and ridiculas prices for what was on offer, very dissapointed indeed. Then the dreaded "Noro Virus" hit the ship. On the last night I got it, and we had to be out of our cabins by 8.00am, I was feeling really rough, and still recovering from a fall on the elevator as we were boardind, and I asked an officer who cane into the buffet resturant if there was a chance of getting a wheelchair, as I did'nt fell i could walk very far, "have you ordered one?", "No" i replied, then I could not have one and off he went. Thank goodness the trip was over, not quite, when we came to the disembaking ramp, I asked if there was a lift, and again was given a "NO, you can walk down the ramp!" Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Where to start... Embarkation smooth.Cabin an inside, bog standard but clean and tidy so no issues there.The cabin steward was friendly and tried to sell us water and the mini bar as soon as we got in our cabin.So before muster off to ... Read More
Where to start... Embarkation smooth.Cabin an inside, bog standard but clean and tidy so no issues there.The cabin steward was friendly and tried to sell us water and the mini bar as soon as we got in our cabin.So before muster off to Malibar for a drink,we sat down,3 guys at the bar necking shots at 3.30 in the afternoon swearing like troopers!Not a single member of staff said a word,waiter took our order,30 minutes later our drinks arrived!! So we had to drink them sharpish....off to muster,sailaway indoors because of inclement weather,No problem with that you'd think, you'd be wrong,15 minutes for waiter to arrive,then another 30 minutes for drinks to arrive! Groundhog Day!! And so it goes.. Off to dinner, peninsula restaurant,service efficient if impersonal,wine waiter efficient,food standard,well pretty rubbish... I've cruised with P@O 12 times,last cruise was 4 years ago but boy have they destroyed in that time the quality of the food and choice...seared tuna starter with noodles,3 pieces of translucent tuna,so thin it must have been sliced with a razor blade, overcooked and cold,main,king prawns on stale ciabbata....prawns ok.dessert average, they've removed the always available range....cheese board,a joke, choice of 3 distinctly rubbish cheap cheeses...No stilton.....So all in all not good...Continual sales pitch about the pay restaurants etc....Room service was always included in your fare,not anymore! They now have a tray charge of 7 pounds per person for room service!!!! 14 quid for 2, utterly disgraceful ,I cannot believe they actually justify this way of basically ripping off passengers for every conceivable penny they can get away with, evening entertainment distinctly average,and the first time I've cruised where they've had bouncers on the ship in case of drunken trouble,this is a family ship by the way!! P@O have a responsible drinking policy so that passengers are not troubled by other passengers...This policy obviously doesn't include 2 night cruises or Azura for the ship was quite happy to continue serving people who were clearly very very drunk!! Abusive language abounded...it was no different at all to midnight in your local city's centre....Not a single officer of rank was to be seen anywhere...Public toilets were disgraceful,flooded and stank... Time in port was ok,usual trip into town and did our own thing.Gala dress up night,food in restaurant was anything but special...Marco Pierre white menu,well if he's happy to put his name to that he's obviously skint! Beef wellington...this consisted of tough beef in raw pastry,the pastry was soggy and inedible,the starter consisted of a piece of translucent salmon,I know there's a theme here! With half a quails egg... Wow, not! And the same behaviour as the night before in the lounges and Manhattan's...Removed our tips because of the utter garbage cruise...had to fill a form as to why...it wasn't big enough,P@O charge a tip of 14 pounds per passenger per day!! So a 2 week cruise will cost you an Extra 300 odd quid on top of your holiday fare and bar bill,if you manage to get a drink in 2 weeks and on top of your 14 quid per time if you want someone to walk up to your cabin with a plate of rubbish cheap processed food from the self service restaurant! Which I hasten to add had run out of beans and toast by 0830 this morning......I used to love P@O... but the innuendo it's a luxury great experience is well frankly about as short as pinnochios nose!!! If you want to go back to the days of the 80s drink filled booze cruise on a ferry then P@O Azura will fit your bill perfectly,if you want even half decent service, edible food,good entertainment,and a decent holiday experience without being robbed blind then book a trip with another cruise line.. .It really was that bad.... Sorry P@O... you've lost me after 20 years,I'm sure your not bothered though... Don't waste your hard earned money folks.... I've never been happier to be home. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Embarkation was great, no problems there (Southampton) The ship Very confusing layout. From Aft (back) of ship to get to restaurants(5/6) you have to go to level 7 then to midships then down stairs or lift. Not good for disabled. ... Read More
Embarkation was great, no problems there (Southampton) The ship Very confusing layout. From Aft (back) of ship to get to restaurants(5/6) you have to go to level 7 then to midships then down stairs or lift. Not good for disabled. Most ships you can go down to level you want. Lifts are a pain and slow to get waiting 4 mins asifts hours past your level contantly. Lack of toilets and broken toilets towards end of cruise. Dirty in some cases. There are not enough open spaces it all felt claustrophobic. This is by far the worst cruise ship. Food Food was below average in buffer and sometimes cold or like warm. I'm sure on Oceana there was more choice than this and was better quality. Only had 3 choices to choose from. Trying to get a seat was nigh impossible. Felt sorry for disabled and elderly who had no help from staff. Trying to get cups at breakfast was difficult. When asking staff they said you go to other buffets to get cups. That's not helpful especially for elderly or disabled having to walk between buffets and then losing your seat. Food in freedom Dining was OK. Nothing special not as good as couple of years ago. Layout if buffet was odd and always really busy Service Service in buffet was bad, never enough cups and they really couldn't be bothered to go get some either even when asked to do so. Getting asked a drink was quick but actually getting the drink was really slow and having to ask where it was after 15 mins. In main restaurant they asked us to sign for our drinks when we serving our starters, (very odd as we wanted another during main course) they normally get you to sign bill at dessert or when getting coffee.. Not when your trying to eat your starterm Entertainment Evenings were good. Nothing really to do during day though. It was a about spending money on board. On sea days they were showing films on sea screen which is not good when it's bad weather. Runaround kids were really great and illusionist Philip hitchcock was great too. Cabins We had aft cabin b750 was clean. And a suppose upgrade although we had a steel girder coming through and blocking our view. But as we didn't go outside much because of bad weather It wasn't a problem. Cabin steward was really helpful and kept cabin nice and clean. Didn't do shore excursions we just went out and did our own thing. We will be trying other cruise lines out next. Our last cruise was with celebrity eclipse which was far superior ship than this. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We chose this Azura cruise because we had been on the Azura twice previously and enjoyed almost everything about the experience.I will try to be fair and form an opinion on experience as a whole before choosing a score for the whole ... Read More
We chose this Azura cruise because we had been on the Azura twice previously and enjoyed almost everything about the experience.I will try to be fair and form an opinion on experience as a whole before choosing a score for the whole cruise. Of course the crew members were mostly charming and well mannered and they work hard. The captain was approachable and seemed excellent at his job. Individually entertainers were good or not good; that is a matter of taste. Our cabin was clean and our steward was hard working so no problems there. I will focus my comments on what I know and what I feel has changed since we last sailed on the Azura. The atmosphere on board, created by the entertainment director and his team, was so different and more" Butlins and Hi de Hi " than our previous Azura cruises which had catered more for "grown ups". The entertainment in the Theatre was usually of a good standard but the Elvis spoof by a deputy entertainment manager in the cabaret lounge was infantile and amateurish and smacked of cost cutting by not paying a professional. We had a constant general uneasiness that standards had slipped due to a cost cutting exercises and this view was expressed to us by many passengers. The Peninsular Restaurant menu was samey and after a few nights aboard I was aching for other food. Is the repetitive menu a PandO ploy to force you into another restaurant at extra cost? The Verona and Venetia restaurants lunch menu was not to my liking but I am prepared to accept that sliced processed sausages and slippery cheese are modern taste, I just happen to prefer sliced real cold cuts with a simple salad for lunch. Absolutely every day we found crockery in the cafeteria which was substandard. Cracked mugs, chipped mug rims and boken handles. Blue staining on the outside of the cups (undissolved detergent) day after day. Multiple tea and coffee stains inside the mugs, one instance of crystallised sugar at the bottom of a mug, two instances of what looked like thick coffee milk skin over a sizeable area of the mugs. On returning the mugs to a waiter I picked up another and found it had lipstick around the rim. On each occasion I returned the mug and reported it to the waiter as well as showing it to any bystander. Now for the cutlery. I usually made my tea and after stirring, placed the spoon in the "used" tin. On one occasion I accidentally left the spoon in my cup only to find later that it had sponge pudding stuck on it. Think about it. I had stirred my tea with a spoon that had been in someone else's mouth and not properly washed. I was also given a knife that had dried egg on the blade and on another occasion a knife had food of different colours all the way along the blade. Finally, three supervisors and a higher authority were involved in checking the offending unhygenic cutlery and crockery and were most attentive on seeing the proof. I suggested the dishwasher water wasn't hot enough. They were apologetic. They gave me a bottle of wine for bringing them the offending items and almost immediately put the matter right. We noticed a lovely shiny feel to mugs the following day. Thank goodness the supervisors admitted what I showed them was substandard and acted upon it or readers might be tempted not to believe the frequency. The night before our cruise ended we found a letter (not in a sealed envelope) outside our cabin regarding gratuities. It stated all the reasons why we should be giving gratuities and not opting out. It left a whole reverse side of A4 paper to state the reasons why we had not added any gratuities to our bill. THEY WERE WRONG. We HAD donated gratuities and after I pointed out their mistake we received an apology from the accounts department. But I have to say that I totally support the right of passengers to give or not give gratuities. It is up to the individual. For goodness sake, PandO, be honest. If you want the staff to have the gratuities, state the full cost of the cruise before passengers step on board and do not intimidate or embarrass them into giving more money once they are captives on the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
This was not our first cruise with P.O. but definitely the worst, Cabin kept perfectly by Edward and were given all the attention needed. Entertainment mixed plenty to watch but the venues are stretched across the ship, and ... Read More
This was not our first cruise with P.O. but definitely the worst, Cabin kept perfectly by Edward and were given all the attention needed. Entertainment mixed plenty to watch but the venues are stretched across the ship, and people wanting to watch more than one programme per night had to traverse nearly the length of the ship. The theatre was very well built for the viewing of the shows/talks etc NOW the food, Having read the other reviews about the food being served I can qualify the remarks, I even saw the captain and commented about the uneatable FOOD being served and not a lot help was forthcoming, I then contacted the restaurant manager and arranged an appointment to speak about the matter, He was very polite and listened to the comments from myself and other cruisers, The sauces , custards gravies etc that were served was unbelievable just water and a colour of what it was supposed to be, Mint, Cranberry, Mornay, diners were refusing to have the sauce (water) put onto their plate. The creamed potatoes were at least 1/2 days old grey and when cut stood up like teeth.The manager said that the chef in charge had just come from another ship, he either needs retraining and the chefs beneath him need to be taught the correct way to make up the sauces, they forget that people will talk and comment about the food . The waiters in general were pleasant but some needed to retraining, some were leaning over another guest to retrieve the plate of another person who had finished his meal. We fortunately had two great ones, Garry and Ace, they attended their area with speed proficiency courteously.. Library was another nonentity with very little reading matter although a daily paper and crossword was published for the cruisers. Shopping was on three floors but expensive as usual. Our last time on the Azura after cruising on many other lines this was a complete let down. PattieJ Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
It all started so well. Just a short break to celebrate my retirement. The journey from our home in Somerset was one of the best we have ever had as it was Easter Sunday and there were no shops open! We arrived at Southampton and ... Read More
It all started so well. Just a short break to celebrate my retirement. The journey from our home in Somerset was one of the best we have ever had as it was Easter Sunday and there were no shops open! We arrived at Southampton and joined the lengthy queue for CPS parking. After about 30 minutes we were processed and heading for embarkation in the Mayflower terminal. We had been given a check in time of 3.00 p.m. and this is the time we were given. We had over an hour to wait. The terminal was complete chaos with disgruntled passengers trying to find seating. There is one only vastly overpriced venue to purchase refreshments. At least at an airport there is a choice. There were constant announcements about not blocking the check-in queues and to wait in the seated areas. We eventually reached check-in at 3.25 and then the trek through security. On board at last, we tried to get a beer only to be told the bars were shut because the safety drill was about to take place. Some joke – there were still dozens of people waiting to embark. Our cabin was very nice surprise. A superior balcony on D Deck. A spacious cabin with defined lounge area. Perks included robes, slippers and towels that were actually big enough plus a bottle of champagne and a box of chocs. Our mood lightened until Safety Drill. Our muster station was the Glass House. The stewards on the stairs really didn’t seem to know where to send people. We attempted to get through to the Glass House, only to be told to go down one more deck, which we knew was wrong. We were then sent back up again only to be told again we were in the wrong place! We made our way to the Glass House and were ordered to stand on the carpet outside as the place was so packed. The muster drill was as chaotic as the Mayflower terminal. It simply isn’t feasible to ram so many people into such a small space; all brandishing life jackets. Despite being told not to put jackets on some people did which made space tighter than ever. I hate to think what would happen in a real emergency. We had been assigned Freedom Dining and on the first night had a table for two but after that shared with others since again the queues were endless. The food is all plated and portions are small. The days of taking a photo of your plate to send to your friends are well and truly over as far as P & O are concerned! Service was slow and noisy in the restaurant –presumably through understaffing. On the last night I had to send calves’ liver back because I couldn’t cut it! We had early room service continental breakfast, which was good. We went to the buffet later on and the choice was limited to typically British. Lunch. We ate in the buffet – mostly on salad because the cooked fare was very processed. One good addition is the Grab & Go servery on deck, where you could get a filled roll and a pudding. We ate in the Glass House once which was mediocre and in the Beach House were the cover charge of £7.50 each was well worth it and we had excellent fillet steaks. Drink. This time we found drink prices expensive. Two glasses of Shiraz at lunch came to over £13 in the buffet – in plastic glasses to boot! Ports. At La Rochelle there were not sufficient shuttle buses and it was taken over an hour queuing in the cold wind, so we reluctantly gave up Bilbao. The ship docked at Getxo which is quite a long way from Bilbao and there was a free shuttle. We have been to Bilbao several times and hoped to we be dropped off nearer the old town but we weren’t and were left in a back street not close to anything of interest. So we caught the bus back and regretted not taking a local service for 8 euros into Getxo which actually looked quite inviting. La Coruna. A firm favourite with us. Always something new to discover. We decided on a local circular tour at 15 euros each and then went to El Rey del Jamon for the most amazing serrano and cheese. Entertainment. If you’ve sailed with P & O before, nothing much changes. There were a lot of children on board, who monopolised the pools but this was to be expected at Easter. Weather. On the whole was good except approaching La Coruna and leaving when at one point the wind got up to Storm Force 10. The Azura creaked and groaned all night and we did not get any sleep. Our overall opinion. Having been on Arcadia at New Year and experienced similar embarkation difficulties and not really having anything good to review, we now feel our disillusionment with P & O was not limited to Arcadia. We feel that P & O are stuck in a time warp and relying on past passenger loyalty. Sorry to report that we are finally about to jump ship and continuing our cruising with other more progressive cruise lines, where there is genuine concern for passengers. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We were on board the ship within 30 mins after arriving at mayflower dock. Our cases and car taken and boarded with no problems. We went straight to our cabin and our cases were already inside! Brilliant service. We had booked 4 ... Read More
We were on board the ship within 30 mins after arriving at mayflower dock. Our cases and car taken and boarded with no problems. We went straight to our cabin and our cases were already inside! Brilliant service. We had booked 4 cabins next to each other and each was clean and welcoming and our cabin steward Marana kept it that way thoughtout the 14 nights. The cabin was plenty big enough with lots of storage for us both. We had booked 1st sitting for evening meals which was 6.30. This was the ideal time for us. We went from the oriental restaurant to see the show most evenings. The entertainment was good. Not brilliant, but we enjoyed what we saw. It was a strictly come dancing cruise and although none of our party are dancers we really felt it was an added bonus to meet the stars and see the costumes from the show. We enjoyed watching films on the sky screen at night. Wrapped in a blanket drinking cocktails, under the stars, brilliant! Films were good too. We found the food in the oriental fantastic. There was plenty to choose from and the quaility was excellent. Our waiting staff were very attentive and we had excellent service. Thank you Mav and Wilbur. The wine waiter was also very good. Not too pushy To make a sale! The pool and deck always had plenty of sun beds. We had great weather so we spent most of the sea days on deck. We did find the deck bar staff a bit slow and quite disinterested ! We ate during the day in the Verona self service which was always good with plenty of different things to eat. We enjoyed all the ports of call. We did 2 excursions. Rome on your own and explore the rock, in Gibraltar. Both good. All in all we had a brilliant cruise. Since coming home we have spoken to other member of our party and we all agree, a great time was had by all !! Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
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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