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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
My family booked onto this cruise as a birthday gift for my brother turning 21. We have been on a few cruises before and this is the first time I've ever experienced any issues. First issue was that we requested cabins with baths. ... Read More
My family booked onto this cruise as a birthday gift for my brother turning 21. We have been on a few cruises before and this is the first time I've ever experienced any issues. First issue was that we requested cabins with baths. Travel agent said not a problem but upon embarkation we found out that only one cabin had one. Tried to complain to P&O about this but they explained they were fully booked. We're not demanding passengers, We just expect to have the same kind of service you would have in a high street restaurant at the very minimum. However any time we ordered a drink, food or such outside of the restaurants, we would have a very rude reaction from the staff. We bought a pepsi card, every time we tried to use it, we would have the staff member look at us and walk off without saying so much as a "sure thing!" or "Not a problem!". The cruise we were on had a number of young stag do's on board so we assume that the staff were overworked and stressed out by how intimidating they were being but it's still no excuse to treat other passengers that way. We had pre-ordered a birthday cake for my brothers 21st to be delivered to the table at sindhu, they didn't know what happened to the cake after we enquired. The next day we were told they "found it" and delivered it to the table. I know they tried to do right but having a cake a day late isn't what we paid for. Amongst this, The buffet area was mislabeling food, I had an allergic reaction as they listed fish as chicken. I brought it to the attention of the manager at the time who just took all the labels off the food and walked off. Complained the next morning and was told it was going to be looked into. To give credit where credit is due, The team at Sindhu were fantastic and so was the food! Our waiter at dinner as well as our wine waiter were also top class. It's just a shame that outside of dinnertime, we were treated incredibly badly. The locations were great, the weather was also great so it's hard to say the entire holiday is ruined, I just remember on previous cruises we would be so happy to get back on board the ship because we'd be treated well and have good food and drink no matter what we experienced on shore. I think this cruise was ruined by the stag do's to be honest. I don't mind people having fun but when they are intimidating staff and passengers, getting extremely drunk and rowdy, someone should cut off their alcohol supply. I'm also shocked that a few of them were smoking weed on the top deck by the pool and no staff tried to stop them. I think they were scared and the exhaustion was taken out on other passengers for this rowdy groups behaviour. This whole experience has left me never wanting to use P&O/Carnival Group again and I'd advise anybody looking to take a cruise on the aurora to take a second think. I met other Cruise Critic users on board who had similar experiences and I expect there to be a few more from the same journey to share the same reviews. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2018
This was chosen by friends and we went along.Restaurants were fantastic.Lots of good food and the service was great with wonderful waiters.Our cabin was always kept clean and we had a very polite and helpful steward. Entertainment was ... Read More
This was chosen by friends and we went along.Restaurants were fantastic.Lots of good food and the service was great with wonderful waiters.Our cabin was always kept clean and we had a very polite and helpful steward. Entertainment was good but could have been better on certain days.Excursions: We were disappointed on some especially one where on the hottest day ever we were given a coach without air-condition.I even fainted.Full marks go to the St.Petersburg excursion and to our wonderful guide Katerina.Embarkation and disembarkation were fast with helpful staff.The ship was always clean and very easy to move about without getting lost or confused. Films in the cinema could have been better.What we would have liked was an all inclusive for drinks and cocktails.What was offered was coffee and wine all inclusive and not all drink them.We would gladly travel again with these cruise liners.Thank you all. In all it was a wonderful cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2018
Chose this cruise for the interesting ports of call and it certainly delivered on that front ! Visby and Klapeida were our favourites and of course St Petersburg continues to fascinate and amaze us. We loved all the ports and enjoyed all ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the interesting ports of call and it certainly delivered on that front ! Visby and Klapeida were our favourites and of course St Petersburg continues to fascinate and amaze us. We loved all the ports and enjoyed all our excursions except Gydnia which is a lovely place but the excursion we did was very rushed. We think the P and O excursions are actually good value, especially with loyalty discounts. The Captain Neil Turnbull was great and kept us up to date every day with weather and funny little comments. He was seen around the ship and was always very friendly. The staff at all levels were exceptional and they made up for the minor irritants we experienced. The cabin was kept spotless by Mariam and thank you for her hard work and endless cheerfulness. Now the food and entertainment this is where it all goes a bit downhill....Food on formal nights is just laughable really...I am not going to don my dressing up gear for 3rd rate so called Gala dinners, Marco Pierre White, did you really come up with that weird menu !? What has happened to yummy things like lobster ( not that dried up little morsel we get now ) and fillet steak, we ate at the supplementary restaurants on every formal night as there was nothing to tempt us on those 4 nights on the MDR menu. Main dining room breakfast is still awesome and delish. Lunch in MDR boring, boring, boring, we only went once but looked at the menu every day, no inspiration there. The other nights in MDR were passable, all the food was tasty enough ( soups always nice ) but nothing to write home about and reminded me of hotels trying to be posh in the 1970's akthough I must say the desserts were always very good. Buffet was okay the few times we used it for quick lunch but what has happened to pizza at the Lido ? We were looking forward to a slice of pizza for lunch some days and now you can only get pizza from room service ( extra charge surprise, surprise). Beach house we ate there 3 times and all meals were nice and worth the bit extra ( fajitas too spicy for me and it was not explained on menu that they were spicy hot so maybe that could be added P and O ?) Sindhu, we got a deal on second night for £11 extra per person and the service and food were pretty good. Glasshouse was a letdown on first try, we had fillet steaks and they were chewy..when we told waiter they just kind of shrugged it off...no offer of free dessert or anything to make up for it. We tried again, second time round we had the Neptunes feast...if you are hungry don't bother with this, we had literally 6 prawns, 6 scallops and a tiny crab to share ! This cost £16 extra...I don't mind a bit extra but come on P and O this was a rip off.(see picture) Entertainment...who chooses the films..are they trying to send us into a depression..this is some of what we had to choose from...Murder on Orient Express ( quite good we watched that one but the sound was pretty fuzzy) then it all went downhill...other films we did not even bother to go to, Last days of Stalin, Churchill, The last Showman, some weird film about a woman in a mental asylum, Peter Rabbit, The railway children, the one film we did want to see, Red Sparrow, was cancelled because of a technical issue !!!! ?????? As for the in cabin offering, well I know we do not go on hols to watch telly but after a long tiring day ashore we do like the option of chilling in cabin with a good film..well, nothing there to be found...they do give you a printed TV guide but unless you can work out from one word what a film is about it is not much use. Mind you it did not matter much because the postage sized TV was so hard to see anyway. Poor Poor Poor...come on P and O get into this century when she goes for a re-fit. Would be nice to be able to see our bill on TV also please. Theatre shows...and live music....dire and boring except for the comedian (Jeff someone, sorry forgot his last name but he was pretty good). Do we really need that jingoistic flag waving we will meet again show anymore ? Not very diverse is it P and O ? Sack all the choreographers and bring in some new ideas...the dancers were not bad but they had terrible material to deal with. Lots of of the shows we had seen on other ships. Quizzes were fun and well run. We were so bored in the evenings that it took the gloss off our cruise. We ended up reading in the cabin for most nights...not really worth dressing up for formal nights is it if the shows are awful and the food is under par. I am sorry if I have moaned on a lot but those niggly things get under your skin after a while and if we had not been blessed with such lovely weather the cruise would have been bad for us. We were lucky as we got to be up on deck and in the pools a lot which was a lovely bonus. Cabin was fine, not a bad size for an outside with a nice sized bathroom with a bath so that was nice. Sea was smooth all the way there and back, never even knew we were sailing the whole time ! We are booked on Aurora for next year with Mum and Dad and really really hope the re-fit will bring forth some upgrades. I would be tempted to cancel our next cruise but Mum and Dad are looking forward to the Canaries so we will try again and hope for better food and entertainment. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2018
Birthday suprise cruise. Absolutely amazing, had a fantastic time. Nothing was to much to ask for. 3 ladies together, treated so well. Thank you so much, will be looking to cruise again, as this was a first experience. Loved every minute. ... Read More
Birthday suprise cruise. Absolutely amazing, had a fantastic time. Nothing was to much to ask for. 3 ladies together, treated so well. Thank you so much, will be looking to cruise again, as this was a first experience. Loved every minute. Staff were courteous, helpful, attentive. Some went over & beyond to give a great service. Food was fresh & plentiful. Always a great choice. Pool areas were kept clean, not to much water on floors for slips. Tables always clean, no litter, bins were always emptied regularly. Public toilets were clean & fresh. Good changing facilities near swimming pools. Medina restaurant was exemplary, service spot on. Birthday cake arrived for my 60th, Fantastic ambiance, waiters sang Happy Birthday. Trips were available, but we decided to do our own thing, went ashore for shopping, staff were great on tender transfers. Always something to do, but great if you just want a relaxing break. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
The staff on board Aurora were wonderful, especially the dining staff who were polite and professional. I was particularly impressed with the Horizon buffet staff who helped the disabled/elderly choose their meals and carrying their ... Read More
The staff on board Aurora were wonderful, especially the dining staff who were polite and professional. I was particularly impressed with the Horizon buffet staff who helped the disabled/elderly choose their meals and carrying their trays to their tables etc. The entertainment team were good, especially Karl who had tons of energy and really put effort into making you enjoy your holiday. Headliners were on every other evening and their dancing was great but the girls did tend to screech the high notes! P&O brought guest bands on-board throughout the cruise and The Runaround Kids were amazing - really got the ship partying. The cabins are looking a bit tired and dated but were extremely clean and the rest of the ship was spotlessly clean. Some people opted out of paying gratuities and considering how hard the staff worked I thought this was a little unfair. All the shore excursions were well organised and P&O staff were there to guide you to the correct coach etc - it couldn't have been easier! My only criticism of the whole holiday is to do with disembarkation. Packed bags have to be on the corridor before you go to dinner on the last evening, and you need to vacate your cabin by 8am. Waiting in the room for our allocated disembarkation time was long and tedious with no drinks or newspapers to keep people occupied. Felt like P&O were more interested in getting the ship ready for the new arrivals. Overall a great holiday though!! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
We chose this cruise because of it's itinerary and we thought we would try a no fly cruise, never again! Too slow and frustrating. There was apparently damage to the prop shaft thrust bearing so we had to lose a day to Cannes, with a ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of it's itinerary and we thought we would try a no fly cruise, never again! Too slow and frustrating. There was apparently damage to the prop shaft thrust bearing so we had to lose a day to Cannes, with a stop over in Barcelona whilst a team repaired the said part, it meant an extra sea day with no additional activities laid on to make up for this. I found the staff on the whole to be very good, our room attendant Jesroy was courteous and meticulous. However some of the dining staff need to learn not be be condescending, I even felt the dining room manager during afternoon tea sneer at me as I asked for gluten free and onion free because of allergy and intolerance to these food stuffs - you would have thought I asked for the earth - I felt like I was an inconvenience. The general age of the clientele appeared to be of the older population which made the music choices and entertainment be for their tastes, whilst it was good, it did not reflect my need - so perhaps this is not the liner for me - I need one that appeals to younger people. The line is obviously well suited to disabled and those with additional needs as I noticed very good care and help of those who could not carry out their daily activities without help. The ship looks aging and in need of a refurbishment. I felt it did not represent value for money - drink packages are not available other than wine for dinner. This makes for a very expensive bill at the end of the cruise which is difficult to budget for. I am a little unhappy with the tipping/gratuities system, according to other passengers and other online sources there is a question as to whether some staff get enough of the tips and salary to be fair. It seems unless a department gets all excellents in the feedback the staff could get reduced payment - I do hope this is incorrect - as the pay for these jobs is low enough without the gratuities being cut from poor feedback which may not relate to how well they do the job but rather systems, or one individual. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
We chose this cruise because of the destinations on offer and to celebrate our ruby wedding anniversary. It is also a short drive to the port for us. Check in was quick and efficient. We had an interior cabin which was fine for our needs ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the destinations on offer and to celebrate our ruby wedding anniversary. It is also a short drive to the port for us. Check in was quick and efficient. We had an interior cabin which was fine for our needs apart from the location on A deck (too high especially on windy days) and too close to the bow. Our cabin steward was very good. I was disappointed in Aurora’s Atrium. It was very small compared to other ships I’ve been on. We chose freedom dining but only used it a few times for dinner. Breakfasts and lunches in the self serve restaurant were usually good. As the choices on offer for dinner in the formal restaurant were often not to our taste, we ate in the self service more often. However the meal themes were repeated far too often. For example Asian appeared three times. Only a few of the meals we ate in the formal restaurant were of good standard. Dry chicken and fish and tough steak were the worst. A lot of the meat in both venues was tough and poor quality. I’ve had better meals at our local Wetherspoons! Having to pay for ice creams was rather mean. Also Costa-lot coffee has been brought in forcing people to buy hot drinks and cakes. The cost of dining in the “special” restaurants wasn’t very transparent. They were omitted from all the promotional material. Very off putting. The single entertainment acts were good but were rolled out for two separate performances to pad out the entertainment schedule. There were no “well known” acts at all. Especially disappointing as I have been told by former passengers that people such as Brian Conley and Michael Ball have been booked in the past. The in house shows, apart from the dance themed one were absolutely dire. Poor singers and dancers, hammy “story led” shows with cringeworthy dialogue and acting to match. I personally hate these types of shows. Some of the costumes looked cheap too. They also had a strong American bias. This was worst in the show tribute to BRITISH service men and women which featured singers and dancers in American GI uniforms. So disrespectful. The production team should hang their heads in shame. We could not fault the staff in both restaurants. They were first class. The reception staff were not so good. The one excursion we booked was the highlight of the cruise. A trip to Krka National Park to see the beautiful waterfalls. However because of the over cautious description of the trip, many people were put off. The “1 1/2 hr walk over rough terrain” as described was actually an easy 45 min to one hour stroll over mostly flat boardwalks. The description mentioned 200 steps. There were 50-60 at most. We enjoyed all the ports of call, especially Croatia. What we were annoyed about was the hidden charges for shuttle buses in some ports. £5 per person each way. We were not told about these before the start of the cruise. Having to pay a “minimal” fee of £7 per session for yoga and Pilates was disappointing so I didn’t go to them. £7 is not minimal to me. The show business presentations by Ken Joy were brilliant. We also met some lovely people. Finding our cases in the luggage was difficult because they were all spread out and not placed together. I doubt if we would choose P and O again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
We chose P and O/Aurora on this occasion due to the destinations offered and the convenience of a UK to UK round-trip. Aurora is well proportioned,smart and generally clean,but certainly shows her age. P and O is cruising aimed wholly ... Read More
We chose P and O/Aurora on this occasion due to the destinations offered and the convenience of a UK to UK round-trip. Aurora is well proportioned,smart and generally clean,but certainly shows her age. P and O is cruising aimed wholly at UK customers, with tilts toward tradition and home spun culture which span restauration, on- board media, entertainments,announcements and excursions. We booked a de-luxe balcony which was well sized and adequately provided with storage. The table-top TV and the hairdryer were antiquated and the sofa was lacking any upholstery, with torn cushions.The bathroom was well designed, but old-fashioned with wall panels which groaned loudly on bad sea nights.The constant aircon fans were sometimes difficult to avoid.The only perk our cabin type benefiited from was an atlas which turned out to be older than the ship and contained not a single map of the whole Mediterranean Sea!Our invisible steward was superb at keeping things spic and span. We chose Freedom Dining and eat pretty well exclusively in the Medina restaurant. We alternated between mixing and sitting alone and took whatever seating was available.Some people claimed always to sit at the same table, but we could not be bothered to find out how that worked.The choice of food was good at breakfast, adequate at lunch, but seriously disappointed in the evenings.Most evening main dishes turned out to be meat and two veg, despite exotic menu descriptions.All courses were served at speed,ready-plated and generally hot. Condiments were off limits as we found out when asking for vinaigrette dressing! We used the Horizon self -service little, due to the limited,unappetising buffet options,shortages of seating (on clean chairs) and general pandemonium. Many people aboard were suffering from colds and coughs and we contracted a version of these which we decided to treat with honey and brandy. The carefully selected brandy however was confiscated on return from shore because it 'contravened regulations'! An announcement on the last evening advised that more than half the next day's departing passengers were leaving Southampton by coach. It was evident throughout that there were some quite large groups aboard, who teamed up for many events and sometimes comandeered large swathes of the public rooms, but did not seek to engage outside their groups. For us the six sea-days to get to Gibralter and back was time badly spent, but the shore destinations were pleasing, even if the duration of stay was mostly quite limited. The staff were generally very courteous and a special mention of commendation for the incredibly patient people on the front desk. We concluded that the trip was rewarding for the ports of call, but that most of the rest was below standard, given the price. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2018
Choose this as a replacement for a cancellation on the wonderful Adonia, which I was really excited about as it was visiting Bermuda and the Bahamas. However wasn't disappointed with Aurora's itinerary, as we visited Dubrovnik, Sibenic ... Read More
Choose this as a replacement for a cancellation on the wonderful Adonia, which I was really excited about as it was visiting Bermuda and the Bahamas. However wasn't disappointed with Aurora's itinerary, as we visited Dubrovnik, Sibenic and Mt Etna Sicily to name a few. The ship shows her age when compared to the facilities that are on the new Britannia, but this was to be expected. Being a person whom likes to read, relax and watch films on my tablet i didnt join in with the many activities that P & O placed during the day, but was more than happy with the evening entertainment, or relaxing with a beer in 'Champions', the on board pub, and the wide selection of real English beers, and not that Larger rubbish. The food in the main restaurant was of a high standard, but believe even with the large selection, there were still nights when it was a good choice to eat in the Horizon restaurant. The Beach Hut was of very high standard and brilliant quality, although disappointed the meat skewer has been taken off the revamped menu. Tiffany's is still my favourite location on the ship. Cabin was always clean and tidy and the steward did a great job. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
I have been on Aurora before and although it was not brilliant it was ok and the timing of the cruise was good. However this time round the cruise was not only awful, cheap tasteless food, miserable crew, dirty cabins, hostile reception ... Read More
I have been on Aurora before and although it was not brilliant it was ok and the timing of the cruise was good. However this time round the cruise was not only awful, cheap tasteless food, miserable crew, dirty cabins, hostile reception staff and manager, the persistence of the crew in selling you stuff especially from the Spa team was very harassing and brutal. Whilst eating lunch they would hover over you say hello then try and sell you something. It was horrible, sly and very pretentious in order for a service. I booked a further 2 cruises on PO ships for later this year and 2019 but as soon as I got home I cancelled them at a loss of a huge deposit but I rather lose a deposit then to have to suffer a extremely unsatisfactory rude crew team where the food is horrible and they try and get you to pay extra for room service food which is of a poor quality and the room service crew so miserable as if they are doing you a favour. Never again PO!!!!!!! Read Less
Aurora Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.1
Dining 3.0 3.8
Entertainment 4.0 3.5
Public Rooms 5.0 4.1
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.5
Family 5.0 3.5
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.5
Enrichment 3.0 3.4
Service 4.0 4.2
Value For Money 5.0 3.7
Rates 3.0 3.9

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