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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
we have sailed with P&O a few times as well as with other cruises companies. i am sad to say the quality offered by P&O feels like a company in Austerity but i will start with the good points. The cabin was clean and the staff ... Read More
we have sailed with P&O a few times as well as with other cruises companies. i am sad to say the quality offered by P&O feels like a company in Austerity but i will start with the good points. The cabin was clean and the staff worked hard. They were very friendly, cabin crew, waiter etc. The weather was good once we reached Greece. Some of the entertainers bought on to perform were excellent. The table we sat with for dinner was excellent. Sadly the the rest went downhill. The food the the restaurant and the horizon was poor quality and repetitive. The meat was often tough, the Salmon was dry and skin burnt on one occasion then fine the next, guess what i'm saying is there was no consistency. Roast beef was on the menu a number of times but not a yorkshire pudding to be found, roast potatoes were deep fat fried rather than roasted. Room service is now all chargeable except for breakfast for which choice is reduced and a cooked breakfast no longer available. Even the biscuits in the cabin have been changed to a poorer quality and now are no better than rich tea. Once upon a time there use to be a small dish of sweets in the cabin but alas this is a past memory. Not a chocoholic afternoon tea in sight. it is now chargeable for materials for art classes, the fit steps and other fitness classes more cost cutting exercises. The headliners who did more shows than i have ever seen, were weak and it was poor. left me feeling this was a cost cutting exercise. The entertainment team had little presence and the dance teachers seem fed up and it seemed as if it was a effort. the entertainment was poorly organised and lacked creativity. On one sea day they put an extra film on in one of the other venues however this turned out to be the darkest hour which had already been shown earlier in the week. Another day the movie was Saturday night fever in the cinema. The T.V in the cabin was something out of Noah's ark limited channels, no choice, really old films i remember from being i child and i am heading toward being 60. The T.V was so small i could hardly see it and i was wearing my glasses. On a sea day the roof over the pool was left open after Malta despite it being windy, even with a number of people asking for it to be closed as it was too cold to use the facilities. Sadly we were advised a decision had been made to leave it open but then it was closed for the Mama Mia party but not for the comfort of the customers. the cabin crew use to fold the towels and make a display of them on the beds this is just another fond memory not once in 17 days but them again if they are cleaning and responsible for more cabins the extra are cut back on. what can i say i can not agree with their advertising this is the life. It certainly is no longer. when a company makes so many cuts they risk reducing the experience and sadly i would say they have achieve this. it no longer feels like a luxury experience more like any other holiday. i think other cruise companies are now offering more Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
yes as you guessed from the title this was our first cruise we have been on.R818N 5 nights ,Bruges and Amsterdam from the 10th to 15 October 2018, The food was good in the main restaurant it’s on par with a good 3 to 4 star hotel, ... Read More
yes as you guessed from the title this was our first cruise we have been on.R818N 5 nights ,Bruges and Amsterdam from the 10th to 15 October 2018, The food was good in the main restaurant it’s on par with a good 3 to 4 star hotel, the Horizon buffet dine around the clock and the day time grill use any time till 3am are about the same as an all-inclusive hotel . We booked two restaurants that had surcharges, the Beach house £7.50 each was ok and nice meal the Sindhu (Indian) £20 each was first class more than worth the extra cost, they made us feel special with exceptional food if you’re going on the Aurora make sure you book it in advance .Next the staff they are so efficient and work so hard and are so polite ,P&O charge your account £7 each per day to cover tips ,we had one lady taking delight and walking around our boat telling other people that if you go to reception you could cancel this charge ,they work so hard and are away from there family’s for long periods so I hope they get every penny of that because you cannot fault them they give whey beyond 100% . other reviews we read before going said the ship is dated ,it is a little in places but not that it could spoil your holiday , Every part of the ship was spotless our cabin was perfect the entertainment was great ,well done P&O you have us hooked ,we will be back ,such a pity I have to work first Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
Had never been to US ........ we have come to cruising quite late.......never thought it would be for us but we have loved those we have done (Baltic, Eastern Med and now this to NY and up as far as Quebec) I read another review about ... Read More
Had never been to US ........ we have come to cruising quite late.......never thought it would be for us but we have loved those we have done (Baltic, Eastern Med and now this to NY and up as far as Quebec) I read another review about this trip and would disagree on a number of points. We always travel steerage! Always an inside cabin, because if rough at sea, I do not wish to see this. We only use our cabin to sleep and to shower. We had a larger inside cabin, midships, which was fine.......we enjoy space and all home comforts at home!! We all enjoy the same food, use the same linen and share the same amenities. Another reviewer did not enjoy the days at sea...........we loved them.......there are so many activities from which to choose! A typical day following breakfast, we'd take advantage of an hour in the gym with a trained fitness instructor, then a quick drink in the Horizon restaurant, then enjoy an hour with a guest speaker, civilised lunch in Medina restaurant......then we'd maybe read for an hour up in the crows nest......before another group activity, perhaps a classical recital before high tea in the Medina restaurant (usually only for a drink) then it is time to prepare for dinner and a show........and if up to it, you could then take in a film in the excellent cinema. I don't know how the other reviewer could have found the time boring......we were spoilt for choice.......I could equally have enjoyed line dancing, ballroom, choir and the painting group and other things but couldn't fit it all in. Something which we found particularly enjoyable, in contrast to the other reviewer, were Terry Brown's talks and even more his murder mystery adventure over several days..... which took a lot of planning ......this was very much enjoyed by those who joined in the fun. We choose freedom dining........we enjoyed the company of new people at each meal, the food was excellent (though some of the puddings didn't quite work!!) but if something isn't good, it will be changed without question .......staff were efficient, professional and charming. And I haven'r mentioned the places we visited.........we were disappointed that the Rhode Island trip had to be cancelled due to severe weather conditions, but I'd rather be safe. We booked many excusions.....you pay your money and make your own choice.......one outing was not good, we gave feedback to the appropriate representative on ship and it was put right. We liked this smaller ship and have booked our next cruise on her....we love the ease of the car parking service......the ship will have another refit before we use her again..... hopefully the windows which have blown will have been replaced along with the once high-end soft furnishings in public areas which are now looking very tired. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We have just returned from a 24 night round trip cruise from Southampton to the USA and Canada which, although it was our 16th P&O cruise and our 5th on Aurora, was the longest cruise we have ever done. Overall, it was a very enjoyable ... Read More
We have just returned from a 24 night round trip cruise from Southampton to the USA and Canada which, although it was our 16th P&O cruise and our 5th on Aurora, was the longest cruise we have ever done. Overall, it was a very enjoyable cruise, but rather than review each of the 24 days, I have summarised the good points and not so good points, from our perspective. GOOD POINTS Good and varied itinerary, with New York, Quebec and our tour to Kennebunkport being the highlights. Aurora is a lovely traditional cruise ship, which attracts a passenger profile that suits us. Average passenger age on this cruise was 73. Approaching New York from the sea is a ‘must do’ experience that you will never forget. Berthing in the Manhattan Cruise terminal, with all the main sights within easy walking distance, was superb and ‘one up’ on Cunard, whose QM2 was berthed over in Brooklyn. The main dining room food was almost always a very good standard. Service and food in the Glasshouse was excellent and it was always quiet in there, which suits us. Although the Sindhu on Aurora is the only one in the P&O fleet that we don’t like - and our one evening meal there was underwhelming - we did enjoy the Tiffin Lunch there. The staff never smile though and don’t seem to enjoy their work - the complete opposite to the Glasshouse team. Port presenter Sam was first class. Exemplary knowledge and detail, all delivered from memory. Jeffrey Holland’s one man play about Laurel and Hardy was the best performance we have seen on any P&O cruise and a real step up from the holiday camp style entertainment that usually prevails. Quite ironic, given that he is best know for being in Hi-di-Hi. Having ORCA whale and dolphin watches and talks was a very welcome addition to the cruise. We also managed to see Sei Whales, Beluga Whales, Atlantic White Sided Dolphins and porpoises at sea, as well as a Bald Eagle and Chipmunk ashore. ‘String & Tonic’, Gervase Phinn, Jeffery Holland, James Pearce and Andrew Killian were all excellent guest lecturers or artists. NOT SO GOOD POINTS Twelve sea days in mostly force 8 to 10 weather is tiresome, and we wouldn’t do another transatlantic by sea unless there were stops both ways. We have discovered that 24 nights is too long a cruise for us, especially with lots of sea days which become repetitive. Our optimum cruise length is now minimum one and maximum three weeks. At least we now know that we would never want to do a World Cruise! A number of passengers came on the ship with coughs and colds and this spread quite extensively. By the end of the cruise, it was almost impossible not to end up sitting near someone who was either coughing, blowing their nose or both. We would have loved the interactive HD TV’s of Britannia, with on demand movies, to help while away the sea days. The old fashioned TV’s on Aurora are rubbish in comparison. Service standards in the Medina Restaurant had slipped from previous cruises on Aurora. Service was too quick at times, with one course immediately following the next with no break in-between. Although you are allowed to enter the Freedom Dining restaurant as late as 9.30pm, they start dimming the lights briefly just at around 10pm to try to hurry guests up, which was unacceptable. Missing a port is always a great shame and we missed Newport Rhode Island. Sound insulation between cabins is very poor. We were disturbed by the people above us pacing up and down in a very heavy footed manner at all hours, which sounded like thunder from below thanks to the metal ceiling. Captain Pembridge insists on doing all 5 of the return transatlantic clock changes at night, which went down badly with passengers, many of whom were used to them being done at lunchtime. The crew that we asked prefer the time changes at lunchtime as well. There should be a P&O policy on this and it shouldn’t be at the whim of individual Captains. Some guest lecturers were scheduled to give talks over lunchtime, which was poor planning. Terry Brown, former police officer, was very engaging but his talks on the outward journey lacked substance, were rambling, repetitive and never really got to the point. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
We loved the itinerary therefore we decided to book this 24 day cruise. The embarkation was quite muddled on arrival to the ship however we were allowed in our cabins quite early. Our mini suite was very spacious but also very tired and ... Read More
We loved the itinerary therefore we decided to book this 24 day cruise. The embarkation was quite muddled on arrival to the ship however we were allowed in our cabins quite early. Our mini suite was very spacious but also very tired and the bathroom had paint peeling from the twin hand basins and the bath ( which we never used). Our steward was Savior who was so professional and also very caring and helpful. We have cruised many times before but this was our first time on Aurora. We didn't like the layout because for example, if there was no table available in the Medina restaurant and you were given a charger, you then had to take a lift up one floor and order a drink in a very full Anderson's bar. By the time our aperitifs were served our chargers inevitably bleeped. Very frustrating! Due to the long journey and inclement weather we relied on the ship's entertainment to keep us amused. We enjoyed the many talks particularly the Orka ladies, Terry Brown and Gervais Phinn. There was lots of classes and activities to suit all. The Medina restaurant was always crowded, however we did enjoy the food more so on this cruise. The Glass House and Beach House were delightful however Sindhu was quite dull with no atmosphere. The staff can be a little rude by interrupting table conversation to describe the dish being presented to us. They should be more polite! But joy of all joys, sailing into New York for the first time was amazing. We docked by 45th Street and from our balcony we were right beside an aviation science museum which was an out of service aircraft carrier. Right in front of us in all it's glory was Concorde. New York was busy, as Trump was in town, so some roads were closed for security which impacted on our 'Highlights of New York' excursion. The other destinations were very enjoyable, particularly Boston, Bar Harbour, Halifax & Quebec. We enjoyed a Lobster bake in Bar Harbour, however it was 11.20am in the morning following our drive around a national park. The Cabot Trail in Halifax was delightful with lovely scenery and a charming town called Badecker to meander round and shop for an hour. We also enjoyed the Sugar Shack in Quebec. It was a lovely drive through fantastic fall scenery which ended up in a clearing on a maple syrup farm. The owner was charming and also spoke good English. We were fed with apple pie and maple syrup and then we moved into another shack for a talk on the history of farming Maple juice. They also had a small shop in this building which was much more reasonable than Quebec. All in all there were lots of enjoyable things about this cruise however the ship is long overdue for a refit. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We chose this cruise for the destinations, we have done lots of cruises but never cruised with P&O before but have friends who have so were going on their recommendations. The embarkation was very efficient at the Mayflower cruise ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the destinations, we have done lots of cruises but never cruised with P&O before but have friends who have so were going on their recommendations. The embarkation was very efficient at the Mayflower cruise terminal. When we entered the ship we were just directed in the vague direction of the lifts, unlike other cruise experiences where we have been shown to our cabin by cabin stewards. When we arrived at our cabin it was not very clean, dusty and there were hairs in the bath uggh. The 2nd morning the toilet flush failed, it took 3 phone calls and over 1hour to get a response and then it failed again the next day. The service in the Alexandra restaurant was at times very slow, the menu was repetative and some very strange items ie; salt&vinegar icecream, liquorice jelly (I didnt dare to try). I found this the most confusing ship to find my way around in some cases to get from front to back you had to go up a floor walk through to the next lift and then go back down. I much prefer the other ships/cruise lines I have travelled on, Fred Olsen all thier ships and Cunard Queen Elizabeth I will be cruising with them in the future but definately not P&O. I did however enjoy the ports we stopped at with exception of New York which was the most unwelcoming cruise terminal I have ever visited, its just a wharehouse type shed, no information of help desk. When we were walking back to the ship after an evening trip there were bags of rubbish everywhere and rats running in and out of the bushes. We had some very good excursions in each of the ports, I think one of the best was the Sugar Shack in Quebec it was a fun night out and the last port on our cruise. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We have just got back from the Baltic on Aurora and had a fantastic cruise. This was my fifth time on Aurora, and she still is my favourite ship, just the right size with prefect deck space/ public rooms/ passenger numbers/ ratios. She ... Read More
We have just got back from the Baltic on Aurora and had a fantastic cruise. This was my fifth time on Aurora, and she still is my favourite ship, just the right size with prefect deck space/ public rooms/ passenger numbers/ ratios. She is beautiful to look at from outside as well with her sharp bow and tiered stern, and is certainly one of the best sea going vessels I have sailed on. All was as expected with a great start at Southampton, being on the Lido deck we were boarded early and by 13:15 we were seated on the rear deck in the sun eating our first excellent meal (Of many) and sipping the first cocktail (Of many) bags unpacked and settled into L108 a port side balcony cabin perfectly situated for the adults only Riviera pool, the Library, as my wife reads a book a day, and the crows nest, which is our favourite pre dinner/ post show venue. We booked second sitting set dining, as this fits in perfectly with our battle plans for the days, breakfast, all day in port, back on leisurely shower and pre Carmens show drinks in Charlie's or the crows nest, then catch the 19:30 show. Dinner at 20:30 with a large table of 8/10 which we have found gives the best chance of having at least 2 couples that you really get on with, plus the real benefit that you have the same waiter/asst waiter /wine steward for the whole cruise, and you really get to know them and they you, resulting in what I have found to be the best service ever. We have tried freedom dining on many ships including Brittania, and have always found the service to lack that certain something that you get once this relationship has formed. Then post dinner up to the Curzon for the late sitting show, and then back to the crows nest for a nightcap. The cruise itself took in Copenhagen, Helsinki, St Petersburg with an overnight and second day, Tallinn, Riga, Kiel and lastly Skagen, before hitting the north sea back to Blighty. On a previous Baltic cruise I had been to the first three ports, and they all lived up to my memories as being real Baltic gems. Copenhagen is lovely, and I would really recommend getting a river and canal cruise, which is available very frequently from a pickup point a few hundred yards from where the ship docks. This took us about a hour and a half, and we saw a different aspect of the city from the canals, very enjoyable. Helsinki is another lovely city, with beautiful churches, and a great town centre for the shopaholics, again we picked up a cruise from the harbour which took us round many of the small islands that make up Helsinki, and was again very enjoyable. St Petersburg is a star, a very big sprawling star, with the highlight being around the winter palace, the bridges and the magnificent river. Because of the cost of Independently obtained Visas we opted for a full day excursion of the city and the main palace on day one, and a river cruise and stop of at the Czars burial island, and then lastly the spectacular Church of the bleeding heart, at the scene of the dramatic assassination. This church is amazing and a must see if you get the chance. We then went to Tallinn, which was my favourite port of call, and a place we will no doubt go back to for a long weekend at some point. Just like a Disney castle on every turn it is a fabulous characterful wonder, here we just did our own thing and walked around the town at our own pace (Note for diary, bring larger camera memory card) Then on to Riga which was a smaller less Castle like old city, but still very beautiful, and again we had a pleasant day walking around admiring the sights. Then after a sea day it was Kiel in North Germany, here we booked a coach and boat excursion to see some German lakes and Castles, we booked this as I wasn't sure that there would be enough to see in Kiel itself, as it was a large and busy working port. The day here was ok, but wasn't quite up there with the previous stops, with not enough time at the castles for us to go inside and browse. Then lastly after Kiel was Skagen, which was back to Denmark, and unfortunately this was the only time the weather let us down, not bad considering the latitude and time of year, and it was very windy and wet. Skagen is a lovely little fishing village, but best seen in the sun without a force 6 blowing. So ports of call were a real highlight, and I would recommend this to anyone who fancies a scenic and very interesting cruise, but my advice would be do it June/July and August, to make sure of good weather and long days. As for the other aspects of the cruise, food in the buffet was great, with plenty of choice. Our restaurant was the Alexandria, and as always the food was superb, especially on formal nights, and the service was exemplary, friendly fast and after 2 weeks very personal. We ate one night in Sindhu, which was my favourite meal of the 2 weeks, amazing flavours, if you like Indian food then it is a must. We also ate once in the beach house where we sat out on the rear deck, and enjoyed a very tasty Prawn sizzler, a great way to spend an evening with just the 2 of us for a change. Entertainment in the first week was somewhat under par for P&O but improved dramatically in week 2, and overall is still up there with the best, although it does seem to me that this is one area where P&O have trimmed the budget, probably not the best idea!! So to sum up a great cruise on a fantastic ship, and my advice is if you travel on a large ships like Oasis, as we do for our 15 year old son, then Aurora seems like a real "Liner" experience in comparison, with a classic shape, teak decks, and a real feel of being at sea, and this is what I really look for in a cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Had been on the ship previously about 8 years ago - it had been updated since then but still looking sad and tired in some of the outside areas. On a positive note, the food has to be some of the best I have ever had on a cruise. The ... Read More
Had been on the ship previously about 8 years ago - it had been updated since then but still looking sad and tired in some of the outside areas. On a positive note, the food has to be some of the best I have ever had on a cruise. The Horizon restaurant deserves special mention - the choice and quality was incredible, and the staff some of the most helpful I have ever experienced. Medina Restaurant staff not so friendly, no eye contact, no conversation other than matters relating to the menu; on occasion service very slow, one night over two hours for dinner..... Entertainment: Headliners superb shows, have some very talented staff; however some of the other shows/entertainment very poor during the evening. Daytime - When I go on holiday to the sun, I do not want to go inside for the entertainment during the day - okay some people might like the respite from the sun, but hardly anything outside during the day around the pool, might get the odd 30mins of music, but other than that, zilch !!! Outside cabin and steward ok - but very small - if it had to house 4 people you wouldn't be able to move!!! I know that the ship is going to adults only next year, and all the children paraphenalia will be removed, maybe that will improve the back terrace and maybe the entertainment will improve ...... but I won't hold my breath. P&O really need to up their game, and not be stuck with the same entertainment 20 years down the line - other cruise companies can do it, why can't they? Still have a soft spot for P&O but think we will be looking elsewhere in future. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Well I love the entertainment. Headliners are better than west end shows I’ve been to and plenty of entertainment onboard and a cinema and costa. I enjoyed a Baltic cruise visiting such wonderful places and an overnight stay in st ... Read More
Well I love the entertainment. Headliners are better than west end shows I’ve been to and plenty of entertainment onboard and a cinema and costa. I enjoyed a Baltic cruise visiting such wonderful places and an overnight stay in st Petersburg which is a must to get the full benefit of what it has to offer (Part of my trip was visiting historical places of interest and also had quite a few vodkas to enjoy. The ship is comfortable and clean and I always manage to find friends on these cruises. Dinning is like being in 5 star, the waiters are exceptional and you get lots of courses with your evening meals. Great decking area outside and it’s great fun when the entertainment staff all have a little party on board to say bye to whichever port we are leaving. Hardworking staff and always exceptionally clean and stocked cabins.Plenty to do at sea ,can go to various classes as they have something for everyone(so may wish you could attend several that are running at same time) is the only problem you will find here! Shuttle buses are free to take you in to town and bring you back or you can choice a variety of excursions on offer to book. Just a great journey where everything is catered for, so you don’t have to do anything but relax and enjoy your holidays. 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 3.6
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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