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75 P&O Cruises Azura Cruise Reviews

We booked this cruise an April 2014, as a treat as up until July my husband was being treated for cancer. So we pushed the boat out so to speak by booking premium flight etc. We were not told about the Norovirus, this information was ... Read More
We booked this cruise an April 2014, as a treat as up until July my husband was being treated for cancer. So we pushed the boat out so to speak by booking premium flight etc. We were not told about the Norovirus, this information was passed to us by a letter from Dr Kate Bunyan left on the bed in our cabin. This letter also said the ship had undergone an additional and extensive disinfection Well you could have fooled us, it was dirty, everywhere looked grubby, tables were sticky, crockery and cutlery you had to check as very very often it have not been washed clean. Staff were rude, and very 'off hand', when asked for things it was as if they could not be bothered, many of them had very little grasp of English . The main complaint though was the food, it was in fact disgusting, one night I cut into the chicken on my plate and blood ran out, asked the waiter to take it away, he disappeared with the meal and was gone for 10 minutes or more and came back with another chicken dinner. I asked him to take it away as chicken was the last thing I wanted, then given a different meal found that the sauce the beef was in had been burnt, at this time I gave up and went hungry that night. Another night four people on our table ordered fish in beer batter When it arrived it was a tiny piece of fish in a lump of dough, six chips and the inevitable peas and carrots. Needless to say again these meals were returned to the kitchen. The food was of such a poor standard whenever we went ashore we ate ashore. Also we booked into the Seventeen Restaurant, Sindu and the Glass House all at an extra cost. Just to put the icing on the cake two of the trips booked before leaving England were cancelled we were told about this by guess what, two more letters left in our cabin. Out of 14 days as far as we were told the ship was on red (re;Norovirus ) for ten days and on yellow for four days. If you are thinking of spending £2300.00 per person for a cabin on this ship please think again. Also £299.00 per person to upgrade your flight does not get you early boarding. This is one couple who are feeling so let down by P&O. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Having cruised on carnival , msc and windstar, I have to say this is the most disappointing cruise we have been on. There is no wow factor on this ship. The atrium is small and boring - looks like a hotel lobby. All other ships we've ... Read More
Having cruised on carnival , msc and windstar, I have to say this is the most disappointing cruise we have been on. There is no wow factor on this ship. The atrium is small and boring - looks like a hotel lobby. All other ships we've been on have a real wow about them but not this one. It is confusing to get around. It has taken us 2 weeks to just about find places as the signs are virtually non-existent. Heaven help you if you need a loo in a hurry. The cabins are small in comparison to other cruise lines and the pool towels are threadbare and thin, though you can have as many as you want. The ship isn't particulalry clean in the communal areas. As I write this I have just passed a chip that has been on the stairs on deck 12 for 3 days. So no one has bothered to pick it up nor has the carpet been hoovered! Other than staff wiping handrails (due to novo virus outbreak ) I didn't see anyone hoovering or cleaning anything else. The table pedestals in the buffet were filthy. As there was an outbreak we had to be served our food in the buffet and it took forever. Not that the food was so worth waiting for. Comparing to carnival it was like a works canteen. The food was boring, not nicely presented and the mixtures of food were baffling. It was ok If you liked curry every day. There was clearly an Indian influence at work. The Verona Italian was the best meal. With a cover charge of £5 each and a fillet steak on a hot rock for just under £3 it was very good. We did not try the other speciality restaurants as they were very expensive (around £30 each) and from what people said pricey for what you got. The entertainment wasn't great. You could never get a seat in the theatre as it was far to small for the number on board. Consequently we never saw any shows other than the pantomime and tom o'connor which we had to stand up for. If you are under e age of 65 then this ship isn't for you. The 'puffy legs' seminar wasn't my idea of a fun cruise! It was typical of what people think of cruises -full of old people (not that I have anything against older people it's just that it was all geared up for that age range) If you want fun and some life then go on carnival. Most of the staff were miserable (except Nazareth our steward) who was great. So, there were some good things: you can bring drinks onboard, drinks are not expensive, there was premiership matches on for my other half. We met a few nice people - shout out for Fiona and Neil! But the upshot is we wouldn't cruise with P&O again. We spent a lot of money and were disappointed. But despite that we still had a good time! But It's back to carnival for us!   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
This cruise was my wife and I's fourth cruise, the previous three were with Royal Caribbean, and we enjoyed them tremendiously, we opted for P&O, because they offered tge cruise we wanted to do at the time we wanted to do it. We ... Read More
This cruise was my wife and I's fourth cruise, the previous three were with Royal Caribbean, and we enjoyed them tremendiously, we opted for P&O, because they offered tge cruise we wanted to do at the time we wanted to do it. We arrived art Manchester Airport to fly on the Thomas Cook Airline charter at 6:30am on the 27th December 2014. The plain was due to take off at 09:30, but due to weather conditions. The excuse was that the airport only had two de-icing trucks, and they were in the queue. You could hear the anger in the pilots voice when he made the various announcements during the delay. We took off at 11:15am, the flight took slightly more than 7 hours. We were given a meal from Jamie Oliver. It was nice, we got free coffee two times and we could buy alcohol and soft drinks a few times also. We landed in Barbados and we were taken to the Azura directly - we did not pass through customs. Our cases arrived at our cabin whilst we were eating dinner. We choose the first seating option for dinner, at 6:30pm in the Peninsular Retaurant, we requested a table for two. Dinner would be described as GOOD, not excellent. In the dining room, between each table of guests, the waitors only replaced the knives, forks and spoons and napkins. The table cloth was NOT replaced, and the remains of the previous guiest's dinner could be seen on the table cloth. On RCI, the waitors replaced the knives and forks, napkins and also the table cloth between guests.. The lack of cleanliness were prevelant - I only saw one housekeeping staff member clean the main stairway's handrails once. OPnce in 14 days, obvioulsly they were cleaned, but every day - I do not know. On RCI, the handrails were cleaned 3 or 4 times a day. TYhe Azura had the Norovirus on the previous cruise, handrails are a source of this infection -I would have thought the handrails would be a priority for cleaning. Our cabin itself, was clean and was a reasonable size. The balcony was a good size, and had two lounge chairs and a table. The stewards name was on the table. The room was cleaned every morning and the standard was very good. In the evening, the room was cleaned again and the HORIZON magasine was delivered - with two AZURA chocolates and replacement coffee biscuits. In conclusion, this ship - The P&O Azura - was not as good as it should have been. My wife and I enjoy quizzes, but there were not enough. Also, the prizes were universally a BOTTLE of WINE, which is rubbish. In Royal Caribbean the prizes are RCI tat - keyrings, pens, squirrel backpacks (camera cases), fridge magnets, lanyards etc. The entertainment team were obvious by their absence, the Entertainment Manager was nowhere. The only time we saw a member of the entertainment team was at the entrance of the theatre - before the headliner show. This is a very poor standard. in RCI, the Cruise Director Team were always there, if one was walking throughout the ship we could speak to them. The entertainment on board was good, but the scheduling was poor - there were shows on at the same time, the scheduling could have been better. There was a lack of entertainment - there was no live music throughout the ship, there was no live band which would play. No Karaoke, no gameshows. RCI have a daily tv show, with the Cruise Director and Entertainment Manager - 30mins every day, which is repeated throughout the morning. P&O's shows only occurred on Sea Days, were over 1 hour long and the sound did not go with the pictures. I had to visit the medical section, as I needed some mouth ulser cream. They had this cream on board, but would not give / sell it to me. They stated that I needed to see the doctor - at a cost of 52 UKPounds - for the doctor to simply say "Yes, you need the cream." Obviously, I did not give them this money. I left the medical section and went up to the Reception. I wanted to formally complain, the reception staff said I could complain if I wanted. I said I wanted them to formally write my complaint down - they GRUDGINGLY did ths, and said the Reception manager would contact me - I am STILL waiting for this communication. This is standard for the reception team, they are PATHETIC, they do not care about any passenger complaint - we heard a story from another guest concerning red wine being poured over a dress, the reception team said that they would get it cleaned in Barbados - 4 days later. I wonmder if this occurred. The maintenance of the public areas on the Azura was poor, on EVERY deck, in the corridors were handrails - on EVERY FLOOR on several of the had rails the brass end was missing. This was either because the maintenance team did not suervey the ship and note the faults - or if they did, they did niot care. The Azura is only 4 years old, it is tired looking and desperately needs refuirbishment Lack of care was prevelant throughout the ship. The lack of care comes from the managment of the staff, and that is the captains responsibility. P&O is not as good as Royal Caaribbean International, and it is doubtful if we shall cruise with P&O again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
After 15 cruises with Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Princess and even Thomson I feel that I have something to compare this cruise with. As we had done a cruise in September with Ventura but had already booked the New Year Cruise we were ... Read More
After 15 cruises with Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Princess and even Thomson I feel that I have something to compare this cruise with. As we had done a cruise in September with Ventura but had already booked the New Year Cruise we were very aware that P&O were not of the same class as our other cruises but were not prepared for the Azura. The only positives I can think of are the direct flights and ease of transfers especially the luggage arrangements and the cabins which were not too bad although we were lucky to have been given a disabled cabin which was much more spacious. The ship is tired and not very clean, the food is 3rd rate and most of the staff sullen and unhelpful with a few exceptions mainly our cabin stewerd who was always helpful and friendly. We ate in the Merridian but found very few waiters who compared with waiters on our other cruises but they were much the same on the Ventura. The buffet on both ships is a joke, small cramped and with very little choice of food the only nice food was at afternoon tea but even then trying to put the components of a scone together when the scone, jam, butter and cream were all in different places became like a treasure hunt. Surely there is someone on the ship who knows that these things should all be in the same place. A previous reviewer described it as Benedorm at sea but I would say it was even worse. Getting a sunbed was impossible unless you were up at dawn to put towels on. Sitting anywhere near the two main pools was a no no for us as we weren't tattood, drunk or used bad language. The loud music was the other off putting thing there, so we sunbathed by the spa pool which is quiet no music and no children. As we did a Royal Caribbean cruise at new year a few years ago with our grandchildren we were looking forward to the night, but again P&O disappointed. Party on the deck accompanied by the usual dreadful too loud music too cramped and long queues for drinks. We retired with other disgruntled passengers to the Glass House, may I suggest someone from P&O goes on Royal Caribbean at New Year to see how it should be done. Champagne, balloons wonderful dancing to a steel band up on deck and the Captain and Officers with the guests to wish them a Happy New Year. We didn't do any of the ships trips as we prefer to get taxis and do our own thing which is usually much cheaper. The ships clientel had certainly dropped a few notches from any other cruise ship we had been on maybe this is the sort of market P&O are aiming for but they certainly have lost a lot of regular cruisers judging from the many comments we heard from other passengers.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
where do you start,,, This was our 11th cruise our second on the Azura and this is the first time felt a need to write about how bad it was,start at :- Manchester airport Check in on a P&O charter flight,very poorly organised,paid ... Read More
where do you start,,, This was our 11th cruise our second on the Azura and this is the first time felt a need to write about how bad it was,start at :- Manchester airport Check in on a P&O charter flight,very poorly organised,paid extra for premium. As a special treat,wasted money,no speedy check in p&o reps excuse lack of trained staff,expected a Dreamliner aircraft no Way (other passengers from elsewhere did seem to have a modern aircraft)the flight was delayed though it was reasonable. Welcome onboard oh by the way we have norovirus onboard,apart from the cabin steward,general cleanliness was very poor,many staff were just miserable Food very mediocre in the buffet restaurant same or similar day in day out Entertainment Very poor this includes All guest artists and Headliners Itinerary As this was our third time in the Caribbean we had done all the islands before,however a couple of trips were new to us so we went,Don't bother with the St Kitts railway trip this is just a couple of hours of boredom,you can't hear the cometary due to noise ,all you see is sea in the distance and overgrown areas of vegetation. Return Flight,again delayed,but so much worse than the outbound,(only good thing was the inside toilet)this was a first choice aircraft,food atrocious Luke warm at best,due to lateness aircraft couldn't be re stocked in Barbados,no sleep masks,out of stock said staff,no drink mixers,seating hard as rock. A lengthy letter has gone to P&O there so much more that could be written about what was bad Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
We booked our cruise on Azura at the very last minute and was told by the travel agent that we had been lucky and got the very last cabin. This was very interesting as when on board we met a number of other couples who had been told the ... Read More
We booked our cruise on Azura at the very last minute and was told by the travel agent that we had been lucky and got the very last cabin. This was very interesting as when on board we met a number of other couples who had been told the same thing. This seems to be a marketing ploy by P and O to pressurise you in to making a booking. When we got on the ship we found the cabin was of a good size and the balcony although obstructed was very large and still very pleasurable to sit out on. The majority of the ship looks old before its time with lots of dark would and poor lighting, it is also very obvious that the ship is the same design as used by princess as some areas are almost identical in layout. The only true exception being the Glass house bar which is far more contemporary in colour and design. Food on the ship is very inconsistent and the organisation of the top floor buffet restaurant being a complete nightmare, tables where left uncleared and cups not being available at the beverage stations. The thing that really was disappointing was P and O's portion control on food and drink. If you order duck breast for dinner you would expect a whole breast but P and O give you two thin slices. This was the same for all portions at lunch and dinner. Drinks where another joke. We have never been on any other ship where they are measured to the point where a martini is served in what could be described as not much more than a thimble. The beds and pillows are so old and knackered that did not allow us to get a good night's sleep and desperately need replacing. Staff on the ship are also with few exceptions disinterested and not particularly helpful. This was our first cruise on P and O and as you may have guessed we won't be going back. Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
We booked on Azura into a suite at a cost of £1200 for both in anticipation of quick check in and delivery of luggage in view of the short duration of the cruise. Here is a summary of my letter to P&O (which they did not bother to ... Read More
We booked on Azura into a suite at a cost of £1200 for both in anticipation of quick check in and delivery of luggage in view of the short duration of the cruise. Here is a summary of my letter to P&O (which they did not bother to acknowledge until I sent them a reminder). We were on cruise Aura A414 and had booked suite R408 as we wanted to get some priority and enjoy the things that normally come with being in a suite. The cruise got off to a bad start in Southampton due to the manner of the check in person, we went to the priority check in but the person doing the check in seemed inexperienced and kept asking me which level I was, I didn’t know what she was talking about and asked her what she meant she kept repeating the same question, I told her we were in a suite but that didn’t seem to make any difference.In fact when we checked in at 12am there must have been about 500 odd people trying to get on board not exactly priority! I was expecting to be given directions on where to go once we were one board. We boarded the ship and asked several staff members where we should go and eventually were directed to the correct place. Eventually we were told our suite was ready so went up to deck fourteen and went in unfortunately there was no luggage there despite our case having priority written on it. We decided to go and explore in the hope that our luggage would be there on our return, it wasn’t and after enquiring at reception it turned up four and a quarter hours later, this is not acceptable as that time was wasted and one such a short cruise that makes a difference. My wife had asked for feather pillows and was told they would be there later, when we returned to the suite at midnight they were still not there and my wife phoned reception the pillows arrived half an hour later. The ship was dominated by stag and hen parties who monopolized all of the bars and caused a general nuisance, some warning should be given to intending passengers about this being treated as a party cruise so passengers could make an informed choice. The general service was exceptionally bad as though the staff knew it was only a short cruise and could not be bothered. The bar staff in general were especially rude in their manner demanding what drinks we wanted as though they were on commission, several of them hardly gave me time to sign the bill before snatching their pen away. We knew that Azura is family friendly and knew there would be children aboard but what we did not expect is that they would be allowed in the Manhatten lounge until very late at night with two to four year olds hogging the front seats complete with pushchairs, on the last night even the comedian commented on this saying he would have to modify his act to be more family acceptable. The show on the first night was ruined by the stag and hen parties many of them drunk constantly wandering in and out of the theatre spoiling it for us and others too. We should have read the reviews first as many others seemed to have the same opinions. For the money we paid could have had a 5star hotel in London for the weekend. The same experience could have been had on any ferry to France at considerably less price. Sorry P&O after many previous cruises never again standards slipping too much.   Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
18 months ago my wife and I cruised with P & O on the Azura we had a wonderful time at a great price because of that cruise we cruised again this April to the Canaries. I have know idea what has happened the cruise was pretty dismal! ... Read More
18 months ago my wife and I cruised with P & O on the Azura we had a wonderful time at a great price because of that cruise we cruised again this April to the Canaries. I have know idea what has happened the cruise was pretty dismal! No silver service in the restaurant, constantly running out of tea and coffee in the buffet given inane excuses from senior restaurant staff as to why. Mediocre acts in the theatre and the acts now have to earn their money by having to do four sets over two days. The ship has a sea screen on the upper outside decks, great on warm balmy nights in the Caribbean, pretty dire crossing Biscay at 10 degrees and raining with nowhere else to watch the movie. More excuses from the cruise director! No free drinks on sail-away parties any more, WHY? The food has gone downhill. The prices have in effect gone up as there are no great savings to be had as the "getaway" prices have now gone. I understand that a company has to make a profit but the changes that have been made to this ship appear to be penny pinching in the name of economising. My advise would be to use another cruise line and maybe the company will get the message!!!!   Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
We returned February 8 2014 after our 2 week cruise to the Caribbean. We have cruised many times with several cruise companies but this was our first and I am sure our last with P&O. The singers and dancers worked hard and produced ... Read More
We returned February 8 2014 after our 2 week cruise to the Caribbean. We have cruised many times with several cruise companies but this was our first and I am sure our last with P&O. The singers and dancers worked hard and produced excellent performances of a high standard. Unfortunately the same can not be said about the standard of food in the main restaurant and self service area. The menu choice was far from the standard we had come to expect from other cruise companies. Food often arrived cold, it was not as described on the menu, presentation was very poor and often inedible. Surely when so many passengers are sending food back uneaten the chef needs to ask why? We did complain but were just told the chef would be informed. The layout of this cabin was very similar to that on many other ships we have been on with several other cruise companies. All the usual facilities. Unfortunately we had a toilet that was very temperamental and flushed when it wanted and it would have been convenient if it was when we chose. We reported this several times to our cabin assistant but unfortunately it was still not repaired after 2 weeks. My advice to anyone who chooses a cruise for excellent food of a high standard keep away from P&O. Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
On the P&O website one of their fliers state "P & O Discover a Different World " after a 2 day "taster cruise " this statement is very acurate. We are seasoned cruisers mostly sailing with Cunard ,Holland ... Read More
On the P&O website one of their fliers state "P & O Discover a Different World " after a 2 day "taster cruise " this statement is very acurate. We are seasoned cruisers mostly sailing with Cunard ,Holland America,Celebrity and RCI having done 10+ cruises in 6 years we thought we would sample what P&O had to offer on this 2 day mini cruise to Bruges . We travelled down from Cheshire to Southampton on the day before our cruise and stayed in Ennious Boutique Hotel near to Ocean dock we did,nt know at the time but this overnight stay was the highlight of this short break (this was a loverly small hotel with nice rooms good service and a excellant italian restaurant which has just been voted 7th best in the uk ) The cruise terminal was very busy and was not the normal cliental you expect to see on a cruise mostly "hen parties and stag nights" very loud and starting to get merry even before they had boarded this was the norm for our time on the Azura.. However the embarkment was very orgainsed and after roughly 1 hour we were in our cabin. The cabin was very nice and we had a nice size balcony the room steward introduced himself and was very pleasent and cleaned the room to a very high standard . The layout of this ship is very confusing and this being so everywhere had the feel of everywhere being overcrowded leading to queues for most things on board. We assembled in the "breakers bar on deck " for the Sailaway at 4 as instructed where champagne was being sold at £6.75 for half a glass then after watching the hen parties and stagnights enjoying thereselves the Captain annouced routine maintinance had put back sailaway till later .(we actually left at 9 oclock this also added to the confusion .I.ll now give you a quick list of pros of this short cruise PROS Shindu (specialty dining ) very high standard although £25 suppliment in most ive ever paid Drinks very reasonable with wine at good price Tips on drinks Main restaurant (food good standard ) but service a bit fast cabin and cabin staff Entertainment in the bars Cons Confusion ruled on the ship first nights program left in the stateroom said the clocks were going forward ! hour at 2 pm this didnt happen and ship stayed on uk time this was annouced late morning by the captain after people were turning up 1 hour early to get off and to dining areas . There seemed to be a lack of staff no one cleaning stairways toilets had a smell of urine and were not up to normal standards Was there a Cruise Director >??? most annoucements where made by the Captain Unfriendly staff who looked demotivated Ships officers who only looked happy when they were partying with the Hen nights in the Manhatton bar till the early hours Disenbarkation was a joke given time to leave but it was a free for all passengers leaving when the felt like this again leading to large queues there was one officer trying to control this to no help from any other staff STANDARDS I Saw things on this cruise ive never experenced before gangs of young ladies the worst for drink in fancy dress outfits carring blow up dolls having water fights with  water pistols etc etc etc Most alarming was the dress code even on formal nights around the ship .i could go on and on but i,d be writing all day needless to say P&O NEVER AGAIN   Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
Food poor. Wine waiters totally out of their league. Entertainment average. Prices extortionate. Insufficient seating in the main theatre and the 'concert' bars. Over 25% of people had to stand and this considering the average ... Read More
Food poor. Wine waiters totally out of their league. Entertainment average. Prices extortionate. Insufficient seating in the main theatre and the 'concert' bars. Over 25% of people had to stand and this considering the average age must have 65+!!! Shocking Cabin with balcony was 'acceptable but only to thanks to the attention of our cabin Steward. We have cruised for over 25 years and this is by far the MOST MERCENARY ship we have ever been on Prices were ridiculous. They even charged the 'volunteer choir' for their photographs after spending their 'sea time' rehearsing and them performing x2!!! We were informed by a senior crew member that all of P&O ships had been 'slowed down' to save on fuel. he said that meant it was a 'win, win' for the company as they save on fuel and kept us a sea a lot longer so we spent even more on board!!! I could go on but not worth it as some folk are happy to pay 'top Dollar' for a very poor cruise!! P&O; PROFIT & OVERCHARGING!!! NEVER AGAIN!!!   Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
I should start by saying something about P&Os pricing policy and the manner in which they attempt to (and often succeed) in encouraging passengers to book early with the lure of discounts. Do not be fooled in to booking early!! We have ... Read More
I should start by saying something about P&Os pricing policy and the manner in which they attempt to (and often succeed) in encouraging passengers to book early with the lure of discounts. Do not be fooled in to booking early!! We have 2 youngish teenagers and therefore need to have adjacent rooms. As a consequence we booked on release of the cruise 18 months ago. We discovered a month before sailing that the getaway fare (as opposed to the advantage fare) we would have saved us as a family around £6,200. We were given a price promise at the time we booked that we would receive on board credit if the cruise was discounted. When I contacted p&o about this they informed me this did not apply to the getaway fare. So in effect no price promise at all!!! On board the quality of the food is not what it once was. Whilst still very edible it doesn't excite - at dinner one night we order in the main restaurant turkey. It was from a factory produced condensed turkey roll. It was not recognisable as turkey. When we ordered lamb chops they were very good but with very little meat on them one would have expected 3 or 4 chops to a serving. There were 2 on my plate and one on my wives. Generally there are less waiting staff than in the past but they still work extremely hard, are very pleasant and nothing is too much trouble for them. The evening entertainment on board is reminiscent of holidays 15 years ago, superfamily holiday style in Ibiza. The comedian from Wales was a particular low light. He told the one about Mr Fog and mist.....and the Geordie policeman. Need I say more? Before I mention our biggest disappointment it's worth mentioning that the glass house and Sindhu are very good and reasonable value. I heard positive things about 17 too. My wife and I booked the retreat (P&Os exclusive adult spa area) at a cost per couple of £450 for 17 nights. This entitled us to us an area where there were whicker sun beds with proper sun mattresses, waiter service with a light breakfast and lunch. The area also offered plenty of shade - ideal for us both. We wanted to avoid the usual agro that comes with sunbed wars on holiday. Sadly p&o had spotted a way of making even more money out of people. Firstly they told us it was open from 8 till 8. We rise very early so this wasn't great but we were told we could sit on the loungers before opening times. The broucher indicated that the pool around the spa was for the exclusive use of the spa residents. Whilst we didn't know this when we book the retreat on board it was a big disappointment for other guests What p&o then did was to sell treatments to passengers allowing them to use the retreat on their day of the treatment which meant the retreat was very busy on sea days (not what we had been sold), those passengers who had booked the retreat who were not early risers were left without sunbeds in the sun and p&o then decided to rigidly enforce the opening times (which they changed to 9 to 6) by placing a security guard at the entrance to the retreat. At the time of writing we are midway through our cruise. We are waiting to see if p&o will offer any refund. The ports of call are excellent and cruising remains my favourite holiday. It is just a shame that p&o have lost their way so much. If you can book for the right price and have modest expectations in terms of food quality and service you won't be disappointed. If you last travelled on p&o more than 12 months ago and you are returning to them I fear you will be in for a disappointment in the way that my family and I have.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
Unhappy Cruiser I have never been on such a crap cruise. The room was like a shoe box but extremely well cleaned but all down hill from there. The dinning: First off in the mornings there was nowhere to sit so you had to hover like ... Read More
Unhappy Cruiser I have never been on such a crap cruise. The room was like a shoe box but extremely well cleaned but all down hill from there. The dinning: First off in the mornings there was nowhere to sit so you had to hover like seagulls waiting for a table. The food was mediocre buffet food. The Cleanliness: of the ship i couldn't fault every time we left our room a mess we came back to find it spotless cleaners work very hard. The entertainment: Apart from a tennis court at the very top of the ship and pools that's all there is. but the out door cinema was nice but that's it. Value for money: Well is your thinking of going on a 7 night cruise to anywhere and you think that's all your going to pay then you thought wrong. Our 7 night cruise for 4 cost £3699 and then at the end of the cruise our drinks bill cost £1500 so wasn't as cheap as first thought. if your thinking of going on a once in a life time cruise please don't chose P&O Cruises go for Princess,NCL, Royal Caribbean anyone else but P&O. Thanks for ReadinG Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
Just returned from cruise on Azura we cruised eastern caribbean. Flight on time this makes a pleasant change as the previous 2 years were long delays. The seat configuration on TCook is 3-3-3 with some twos at rear so we paid the £60 ... Read More
Just returned from cruise on Azura we cruised eastern caribbean. Flight on time this makes a pleasant change as the previous 2 years were long delays. The seat configuration on TCook is 3-3-3 with some twos at rear so we paid the £60 to reserve a 2 towards the rear. As soon as we were in the air the trolley came round with drinks these had to be purchased and it took 1hour 20 minutes to reach me. This was followed by the 1 complimentary drink courtesy of P and O to have with meal. After drinks were dispensed meal was served pretty poor it was too. Then turbulence followed the worst I had known it lasted for over an hour being tossed about at 36,000feet. Passengers were being sick all over the place with staff hard pressed to cope indeed there were no sick bags in the normal place so staff were rushing to get carrier bags instead. No one could use toilets either for normal bodily function or to clean up after being ill. Eventually things calmed down and the trolley returned for those wishing to purchase more drink alcohol included I asked the cabin staff if that was wise after all that had happened but they continued. It was obvious to me that their prime concern was to sell as much as possible during the flight and nothing else really mattered. We had a nice cruise with great weather but the entertainment was very poor and I noticed that cuts to expenditure were evident. The ship looked much older than it is and the carpets in the cabin were poor lots of stains. Other people have also noticed cost savings so I won't go into detail. Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
We returned from our mini cruise on the Azura a few days ago. It was our first cruise with P&O, having sailed with Royal Caribbean, NCL and Princess previously, we couldn't help but compare. Embarkation -- We arrived at the ... Read More
We returned from our mini cruise on the Azura a few days ago. It was our first cruise with P&O, having sailed with Royal Caribbean, NCL and Princess previously, we couldn't help but compare. Embarkation -- We arrived at the Ocean Terminal just before noon, picked up our letter card and waited about an hour before we were called to check in. Actual check in took about 5 minutes and back in the queue we went for the scanners. Food -- Knowing the cabins would not be ready so early we headed to the buffet restaurant. Having been on the Crown Princess before we knew the layout of the ship well and the buffet looks exactly the same with the same decor. However, what was different was that each section of the buffet serving area was split in half with the food repeat on either side. This made the already limited selection even smaller. The actual food was fine, very nice lamb curry. But the service in the buffet has to be the worst I have experienced so far. As soon as we sat down we were asked what we would like to drink. I asked for a glass of water and was told to get it myself because they only take paid orders! This has never happened before on other ships! And the speed at which they whisk the trays and plates away before you have even finished is just too efficient! Similarly the service in the Peninsular dining room was the worst we have encountered. The waiters never introduced themselves or the menus, not even on the first evening. Instead they hand you the menu and hover behind you until you place your order, you don't have time to read the menu properly as you feel pressured to order quickly. The quality of the food was also not great. Much of it was overcooked and not presented well. On the last evening we were presented with "all the menus", this did not include the menu for that evening. We were told we couldn't have it because they had to use them for 2nd sitting guests. Such environmentally friendliness should be applauded, I guess... On the pool deck we tried the pizza and that was fine. But the ice cream section remained closed every time we passed it. Room -- We had an aft balcony on E deck and it is a fine cabin. Although it is directly above the Manhattan lounge, there was never any noise. We had a very big balcony, about twice normal size. We had expected an obstructed view as we had read about there being a pillar in the aft balconies, but there was none. Our cabin steward was ok, kept our room clean and tidy. On debarkation morning we went up to the buffet to have breakfast and on returning to our cabin found that the bed had already been made. Again, a bit too efficient! We had to be careful not to mess up the bed while we packed the remainder of our belongings! Enetertainment -- This has to be the first cruise where I have no idea who the cruise director was. We saw him briefly at the beginning of a show one evening and that was it. The shows are not up to standard with other cruise lines. There are too many tribute acts and the comedian on the last night was absolutely awful. Making fun of the Indian staff onboard was particularly bad. Ports of call -- We visited Zeebrugge and St Peter Port and we did both ports on our own. Return train fare to Brugge for Eur3.80 and £1 round island bus fare on Guernsey were both incredible value for money! Debarkation -- Since our bed was already made, it sure helped to get us out of our cabin quickly! We were off the ship before 8. Having our key cards taken away at the end of a cruise was also a first. Summary -- This was a 3 night mini cruise, so maybe it is not a good representation of a normal length cruise on a P&O ship. However, we have experienced better on all the 8 ships we have cruised on so far and therefore it is most unlikely we would book another cruise with P&O. Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
We were on A219, departing Southampton on 10th August and visiting Stavanger, Flaam, Geiranger and Bergen. The ship was at capacity. The overall feeling of the cruise was one of disappointment due to the mediocre food in the Peninsular ... Read More
We were on A219, departing Southampton on 10th August and visiting Stavanger, Flaam, Geiranger and Bergen. The ship was at capacity. The overall feeling of the cruise was one of disappointment due to the mediocre food in the Peninsular restaurant. Things that were free via self-service on other ships (e.g. fruit juices, soft-serve ice-cream) were decidedly not free on Azura. Food would often turn out as bland, lacking in seasoning and be lukewarm. "School Dinners" is a good description, helped along by the extremely old fashioned silver service of soggy veg. A lot of the items on the menu seemed to translate to a less-than-impressive roast dinner. "Slow cooked brisket in ale" turned out as two slices of unpleasant tough brisket in a tasteless sauce. The pomp and ceremony of black-tie dinners quickly becomes a farce if the food is not good. The service was quite surly, by waiters who made no real effort to introduce themselves and whose English was on the whole poor, and not easily understandable. It is clear that the switch to automatic gratuity hasn't exactly incentivized the staff to do their very best -- no-one was making any attempt to work for their tip. The second night I had a request for a Margarita cocktail turned down as it "wasn't possible", with no explanation or apology. Speaking to an apologetic head waiter later I was told it was in fact possible, just it would take longer due to the limited drink availability for the restaurant. Whereas that explanation is better than the brush off I was given, it's still crazy that a full bar service wasn't available to the restaurant - from a business perspective if nothing else. Requesting two main courses caused a certain amount of hand-wringing and a suggestion that it may have to be accommodated on a single plate. It did come as two separate plates, but I certainly didn't feel comfortable in making a request like that again. Maybe that was the idea. One night my wife who just fancied a salad as a starter, asked for the egg mayonnaise on mixed salad without the egg mayo. A plate of dry baby gem lettuce leaves subsequently turned up. Hygiene seemed a non-issue on this ship. There were plenty of hand-gel dispensers at the buffet, but no attempt to ensure that people were using them before getting their food. No hand-gel was offered in any form going into the Peninsular restaurant. The children's menu was quite limited. Food tended to be of the chicken nuggets (and the really cheap ones at that)/burger/sausage/pasta/chips/mash variety. No fish fingers/battered cod. No home cooked style food like shepherd's pie, or any sort of nightly special. No jacket potatoes or even pizza. Ice-cream for desert was strictly vanilla. No chocolate, no strawberry, just vanilla. Heaven forfend that P&O should miss a sale of its over-priced Carte D'or ice-cream on deck. The buffet at lunchtime could be hit and miss. There were many cold meats, seafood items and a number of hot dishes, but it was decidedly lacking in theme and choice. The daily curries, whilst a welcome addition could be quite bland. There were pies served canteen style (in a gigantic tin) but again these weren't seasoned particularly well. Desserts were often of the mousse variety. There were a few glaring omissions -- whole prawns were very welcome, but served without cocktail sauce. Breakfast in the Peninsular was slow. Poached eggs were always hard boiled. We found the buffet was the best bet for breakfast as it offered a good choice, and had a number of specials (kedgeree, scrambled eggs with smoked salmon). The grill on deck served very mediocre food. The chicken nuggets were the same ones from the children's menu the chips were seemingly on ration, and the burger was a very low-quality, filler-laden affair. The one food highlight of the trip was Sindhu, which we went to twice. Food was a delicious Anglo-Indian cuisine that was genuinely inventive in its taste and presentation. Everything on the menu was appetizing, delivering far more than promised. Service was warm and accommodating. The ship was clean and in good shape, but lacked the wow-factor, especially in the atrium. Cabin was clean and maintained well, but the thing that let it down was that it had to be in twin, rather than double configuration in order to use the pullman bed. A balcony room such as this should have had a sofa bed. We had to bring our own bed guard for the pullman as all the ship ones had been allocated. Children on the ship seemed on the whole well behaved, although there was a contingent outside the boundaries of parental or any other adult supervision that seemed free to roam the ship. This was especially prevalent in the pool area, where the rules were not maintained in any way. Children would repeatedly bomb in the pool, making it virtually a no-go area for anyone who wanted to swim or for parents with young children. The terrace pool at the back of the ship was more welcoming for younger children. Alcoholic drinks were reasonably priced and served without 15% gratuity prevalent on many ships. Soft drinks were a comparatively costly affair. We got the soft drinks package consisting of 20 post-mix (i.e. the bar soda pump) drinks for £35. Considering the normal price was a whopping £1.95 the package amounted to £39 worth of Coke for the price of £35 -- not a massive saving considering the initial outlay. For a seven day cruise we only just used it all. Fruit juices were decidedly not free. Machines that freely vended apple juice at the buffet breakfast were rather meanly disabled for subsequent services. Apple juice was available at £1.60 for a 330ml can. We went to see The Headliners in the theatre twice, and they were consistently good. There was a comedian two nights in Manhattan Bar, who delivered a good, if a little close-to-the-knuckle performance. Officers were noticeable by their scarcity in public areas, especially up on deck. The Fjords were breathtakingly beautiful and definitely worth having the balcony for. Waking up to their beauty outside your window was the highlight of the trip. We did the Flaam railway excursion under our own steam, but I would recommend that people always try and book through the cruise line to save a lot of angst. We bought tickets via raileurope.com without reserved seating, and whereas we did get a seat we were squashed into a particular carriage. People who tried to get tickets on the day from the station were disappointed as they quickly sold out. (by 08:30). We did the Bergen Heights and Highlights excursion which was definitely worth the money. It consisted of a cable car trip up Mount Ulriken, followed by a bus tour round the city. We did the 9am excursion and had the mountain to ourselves for a time. Due to a problem with a starboard engine, the ship was delayed in its journey from Bergen back to Southampton. This meant we got into port over 3 hours late, and into the Mayflower terminal. (Due to its size Azura normally goes to Ocean Terminal) Subsequently the self-help disembarkation was massively over-subscribed. (After all, people didn't fancy waiting until midday to get off) We were lucky in that we were able to get wind of the fact that the door would be opening on deck 5 (rather than 6 as per Ocean Terminal) and were one of the first groups off. From other reviews I gather it got quite heated with people who had waited in areas on other decks. All in all, we loved Norway and would go back, but were deeply disappointed with Azura. Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
This was our first P&O cruise and we were looking forward to the formality we were told was expected. How wrong we were.it all went wrong even before we set off with an upgrade we did not want or ask for,which was only a move of ... Read More
This was our first P&O cruise and we were looking forward to the formality we were told was expected. How wrong we were.it all went wrong even before we set off with an upgrade we did not want or ask for,which was only a move of cabin.we had booked a year ago so that our friends disabled parents could join us and picked the cabins we wanted.the move to a lower deck to the stern and separated cabins meant that the parents decided to cancel as it would have been difficult for them. We complained to P&O who were very unhelpful and had already let our original rooms. They blamed the agent,readers offers, who I have to say tried really hard to help us. The 4 of us decided to still go as it was our main holiday,even though our rooms were on different decks and locations. The boarding also went wrong due to computer failure and we waited 2 hours in a warehouse to board.no refreshments were offered and when we got on board we were told that the sail away was to be paid for. No band on the quayside and our cabin was tiny. We had booked a balcony room and the balcony we got had an enormous overhang which meant no sun EVER got on it!!These were obviously the cabins that were difficult to fill. On board I found it too big with long walks to anywhere. Entertainment was not bad, lots of tribute acts with only one genuine act and two awful comedians. The total lack of any educational talks was a great disappointment, only port talks to sell the excursions. Food was good but could have been better.we had lots of sea days which we have always enjoyed but the bad weather and total lack of any activities apart from quizzes and bingo depressed all of us. Worse, was the air conditioning which made us all ill and unable to turn it off.Never again for us P&O Read Less
Sail Date March 2012
WHERE TWO WORLDS COLLIDE Arriving in Barbados we were very slowly herded through a very hot cattle shed (the word shed was painted on the outside of the building -- not our derogatory term) before being allowed to board. This really ... Read More
WHERE TWO WORLDS COLLIDE Arriving in Barbados we were very slowly herded through a very hot cattle shed (the word shed was painted on the outside of the building -- not our derogatory term) before being allowed to board. This really set the scene for our wonderful dream cruise aboard Azura. I wonder if P&O have considered using cattle prods to move things on a little faster!! This was our first and last cruise on board the Azura. It seems to have become the flagship for the cut-price end of cruising - definately not the "Dream Holiday" promised by P&O. We had 14 days of listening to people & their pre-occupation with boasting about how little they paid. For goodness sake, if you feel the advertised price is good value, book it & if someone has the good fortune to get a better deal later that's life -- live with it. The ship was filled with a high percentage of rough, graceless foulmouthed people & was a sea of sweating, cigarette puffing bodies and screaming children wherever one turned. Thank heavens for the sanctuary of our balcony (or it would have been a sanctuary if during the island stops we were not continually up against another huge ship with no view (& lack of sun) just a sea of noise permeating from them, coupled with the ever-present fog of cigarette smoke from the surrounding balconies, not forgetting the noise from the rough loudmouthed woman in the cabin next door continually scolding her partner. Clearly P&O need to fill their many ships, but the demeanour of the clientele clearly belies the image being presented by the marketing blurb with it's purporting of dream holidays of sophistication and a chic atmosphere with superb Michelin quality dining. Credit where it's due, the ship itself is Excellent and the many venues aboard the ship were up to the marketing spiel, but it was all let down by the "Benidorm mob" that monopolised the sun loungers, the on deck areas and much much more. The promised "superb culinary experience" was a real damp squib as we were presented with piles of cabbage, over boiled vegetables, watery soup & wafer-thin steaks & square slabs of rock hard mashed potato - absolutely aweful. With generally below par meals, sadly, the promise of superb mouth-watering dishes was unfulfilled. This accompanied by the waiters apologising for the food they were serving meant complete disappointment was the order of the day. I actually had the opportunity to speak with the Executive Head Chef asking him somewhat tongue in cheek how he kept his food standards high. His response was one of "well we have meetings". P & O must decide if they are going to offer super cuisine -- to Michelin star standard(as their advertising claims) to discerning customers enjoying a holiday of a lifetime on board their fleet or are they going all out for the pack all and sundry in at rock bottom prices to fill the ships and serve what can best be summed up as school meals type mediocre cuisine. Judging by our experience, I fear they may have made their choice. I do not for one moment buy into the argument that if a catering operation is geared for 3000 plus people standards should reflect this -- they should not. Standards are Standards and if one sets ones self up as a professional in this area you are telling the world you know what you are doing -- so get on with it. Mass production appears to have taken over in a big way onboard the Azura. To watch my wife preparing for wonderful formal evenings wearing all her finery and to be served " school meals" dinners was quite a joke if it was not so sad. This along with the jacket dress code that was "enforced" according to the literature, but certainly was not in our restaurant and again lowered the overall experience. It is not acceptable to follow the dress code (& there were times having spent the day on the beach we wanted to stay casual & there were plenty of dining opportunities where you could do this) to witness, uncouth individuals striding past the Restaurant Manager stating "I've paid & I want to eat in here so I'm going to Tha Nos". P & O must have training courses to allow staff to handle this type of scenario. If one ventured outside the restaurants to dine in the various buffets, a seating bun fight was almost a certainty. Despite it's size, the Azura clearly was not big enough for the "sea days" crowd when people generally ate at the same times. It became a guessing game as to what time would be the most advantageous i.e. you could actually find a spare table & seat. When a stop due to weather could not be made on the island of Grenada, there was not a lettuce in sight in the salad bar at the buffet One suggestion for the toasted teacakes was donation to a "clay pigeon shoot" & I heard mouthed, for the Lasagne at the Italian Buffet was "learn to make it". During island stops we were continually up against another huge ship with no view or sun from our balcony just a sea of noise permeating from them -- this coupled with the ever-present fog of cigarette smoke from the surrounding balconies - wonderful. The entertainment was generally very good, although the outside events were spoiled by the sea of cigarette smoke from those who ring fenced the outside areas from dawn to dusk. These passengers were rewarded by the appearance of tired old act "Mercury Rising" better described as "Mercury Spreading" followed by a Phil Collins look/sound alike (who I thought at first was a comedy act who looked & sounded uncannily like Alexis Sale!!!). These acts were obviously popular though & appealed to the level of passenger obviously being targeted for the Azura & it is a sad fact, that several world class performances by the superb concert pianist David Lampiere-Laughton attracted relatively small audiences. The superb Headliners Theatre Company were very entertaining putting on a variety of first class shows providing you did not mind the ignorant people arriving for the show almost up till the end of every performance. Sea days should be renamed "cash cow" days as the whole thing is geared to relieving the passengers of as much money as possible. What else is there to do as all the loungers are purloined by any means - occupied from early am by the Benidorm crowd. When the scheduled stop to Grenada was cancelled meaning another "sea day" captive audience, I thought I heard a cry from the Bridge -- "more bonus" as we slowly circled the island on fuel bonus economy money making mode. My request for a replacement bottle of shampoo seemed to fall repeatedly on deaf ears and was unbelievably refused until a visit to reception where we pointed out that having paid several thousand pounds to stay in their floating hotel "were they really rationing a small bottle of shampoo" An embarrassed member of the reception staff, organised a replacement arrived immediately!! P & O ship designers did well when they created an adult only small swimming pool at the stern end of the ship with it's own bar, easy chairs & sunloungers. This had the potential to be a pleasant oasis away from the crowds & disco music. I do have one observation however. Why on earth did P & O in their infinite wisdom put the kids groups play area & splash pool on the next deck up overlooking this area & fill the surrounding seats with a cigarette smoke haze from dawn to dusk !! Unbelieviable!! Lots of cruisers enjoy swimming & we are no exception. Out of the 14 days on board the Azura we had the opportunity to use the aft pool 3 times as every other time we tried there was a net over it. After enquiring as to why, a ships officer told me the chemicals reading was not right, but it would be sorted within 30 minutes. 5 hours later -- well the reader has guessed it -- the net remained. Would we go again? -- definitely not. Thank you Carnival, that's another traditional quality British cruise line GONE. As for the next sunshine holiday, well - we're off to Benidorm as it should be quiet there -- they're all on board the the P & O cut price fleet. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
We have been on a number of cruises previously, on each occasion aboard "traditional" ships which are much smaller than Azura and all her other practically identical floating leviathans. Let me start by saying that P+O did ... Read More
We have been on a number of cruises previously, on each occasion aboard "traditional" ships which are much smaller than Azura and all her other practically identical floating leviathans. Let me start by saying that P+O did everything they claimed to do. Food was good, entertainment was very good indeed although sometimes not to our taste. The cabin exceeded expectations and no complaints at all about the service............. ........BUT............ Not having cruised with them before, we had been attracted by the sophisticated brand image of P+O. In actual fact we quickly became very disappointed with this aspect. Azura is simply HUGE!!!! It can carry 3000 passengers. Added to this, it is just one of very many similarly sized cruise ships that were travelling around the Caribbean in November. Cruising the Caribbean has clearly become a major tourist industry. In order to support at least ten ships, all with 3000 passengers every two weeks. P+O and the other cruise lines need to appeal to a wide cross section of the population. We were very disappointed that many of our fellow passengers were tattooed, had huge beer guts and non-existent manners and that was just the women! Clearly P+O needs to fill their many ships but the demeanor of the clientele clearly belies the image that they purport of sophistication and a chic atmosphere. Don't get me wrong. The ship is superb and the many venues aboard the ship were up to the marketing blurb but it was all let down by the "Benidorm mob" who monopolised the sun loungers, (despite frequent dire warnings by the ships crew) hoarded around the self serve food outlets, monopolised the inadequate number of tables at breakfast times and generally acted in an ignorant manner. YEUGH!!!!!!! One benefit of a more modern ship was that our cabin was superb. It was more like a modern hotel room than a ship's cabin. We had a lovely private balcony but there was however a problem there as well. The passenger on the neighbouring and upwind balcony insisted on smoking the most stinky cigars that you could imagine. Whilst he was outside, seemingly chain-smoking we could not use our balcony. The people at the Reception on the ship were very helpful here but we are not able to publish how they solved the problem for us. The food was very good, well served and reasonably plentiful. It did, however lack the spark of 'cordon bleu' that we had enjoyed on previous cruises with other lines. I guess that if you have to cater for 3000 passengers plus 1500 crew, mass production must take over. This was certainly the case here. Certain items cost extra. I guess that P+O are in it to make a profit but I would have thought the profit from extra charges for ice cream and certain dining areas is small. Entertainment was wide and varied ranging from the glitzy presentations in the ship's theatre that would do the West End proud to more intimate rock duo "View" in the ship's pub who were also very accomplished and very friendly. There were plenty of bits of entertainment in between but the ship seemed to lack a "hideaway" where you could sit quietly enjoying a drink without constantly laid on music. There were a few - too few lectures on the cruise. These were very well attended, engaging and well presented and I could not help thinking that it would have been lovely to know more about the history of the Caribbean and the slave trade for example. This is where P+O does not compare very well at all against "Voyages of Discovery". The port presentations on "Voyages of Discovery" had always been very informative and engaging and this was our expectation here. We attended a number of port presentations aboard Azura and were very disappointed because they just seemed geared up towards selling the highly priced shore excursions rather than telling the independent traveler what they could enjoy whilst ashore. The other big problem with P+O and the travel agent who booked our cruise was that they down-graded our flights and then initially refused to refund us. Eventually we ended up having to drive from London to Manchester Airport to fly out. This is a deal-breaker from ever booking with this travel agent again. So, would we do it again? Probably not. The ship was superb, some fellow passengers less so and the whole experience seems like a huge Disney park that is geared up to separating passengers from their cash. It's back to "Voyages of Discovery" next time for us. Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
Oh dear, where to begin. My husband and I were so looking forward to a relaxing 14 days in the Caribbean on the flag-ship Azura but what we got was a cheap holiday camp experience at sea. It started by having to pay £50 just to get ... Read More
Oh dear, where to begin. My husband and I were so looking forward to a relaxing 14 days in the Caribbean on the flag-ship Azura but what we got was a cheap holiday camp experience at sea. It started by having to pay £50 just to get seats together on the plane!!!!. We arrived in Barbados in rain but no problem, it was still a fab 30+ degrees. Ship is massive and very difficult to get around and with the amount of passengers on board can feel very closed in. The cabin was nice and kept very clean by Rowena.We were right at the front of the ship and it tended to get very noisy when arriving at ports etc. The air conditioning is constant and tends to cause a lot of passengers to get chest problems and dry coughs etc. Also the corridors are so staggeringly long. Best view in the house is also best kept secret. End of deck 8 at the front (of course) passenger access to the bow. Room service awful, food was dreadful and we are still trying to work out the flavour of soup that we had. Buffets.....don't get me started. Repetitive and boring. Un-attractive and no imagination involved whatsoever. The amount of passengers NOT washing hands on entering buffet was disgusting. Cattle market mentality pushing and shoving. Lack of tables, usually occupied with people who had finished eating but wanted to admire the view. Lack of cutlery and cups. Free juice only available at breakfast.Cooked breakfast swimming in fat. We dined in Oriental. Food of school diner quality, in fact kids probably get batter. Tried 3 times. Received a comment card which we filled in truthfully. Following day we were approached and improvements were attempted. Tried to book Sindu and 17 at the end of first week but told no tables left for the rest of the cruise. Tried to book Verona and told the same. Shore trips....don't book with P&O they are very over priced. There are plenty of trips available on the key side. Ship photographers....bloody nuisance. In your face even when eating. Passengers....miserable po-faced idiots that have no manners and treat staff like slaves, who by the way were extremely helpful and happy. Sunbed re-servers....pack it in. Its petty and ruins holidays. There are plenty to go around. Same with lift stampedes....let people out before you barge in. Entertainment....should be prosecuted under the trades description act. Totally awful. Shore-leave parties, when you have done 1, you have done them all. Repetitive again. No free soft drinks, unlike Royal Caribbean whom P&O really need to take a close look at. Islands visited. Aruba, Antigua and Grand Turks are stunning. Jamaica, st Martin Barbados and Bonaire horrid. St Lucia felt really un-safe and quite scary. Rum bar karaoke at the duty-free saved it. In summing up......No would never travel with this company again. Poor value for money. Still cannot understand why the ship was filled with Primark loyalty customers from Butlins. Ship is too big for staff to cope with. Passengers rude and bored. Sorry but truth hurts. Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
We have cruised only once before and planned a second 2 week cruise later this year with the same company - Celebrity. We also wanted a short family holiday with our teenage sons and thought that a mini cruise would be ideal and found this ... Read More
We have cruised only once before and planned a second 2 week cruise later this year with the same company - Celebrity. We also wanted a short family holiday with our teenage sons and thought that a mini cruise would be ideal and found this P&O 4 night trip which seemed to fit the bill. Calling at Rotterdam, Zeebrugge and Le Havre it seemed to hold sufficient interest for all of us without time for the younger members of our group to get bored.Azura is a new ship going into service just a year ago. It is comfortable and the sort of facilities that one might expect. The inside stateroom was small but perfectly adequate and very comfortable. The steward was willing and helpful if a little unsure of himself.The bars were good and prices amazingly cheap compared with Celebrity. We enjoyed the ports of call and took one pre-arranged trip which was good if pricey. Shuttle service at the other ports were just fine and the disembarkation/embarkation arrangements slick and quite painless.Unfortunately aspects of the cruise were far less enjoyable; the food and the standards of service. We had chose 'freedom dining' and our main meals were taken at the Meridian Restaurant. The food was served in quite small portions and of a very poor standard. On one occasion I sent back the sea bream because it was overcooked and tough (the flesh had actually turned brown). If anything the replacement was worse. On the other hand the food in the buffet was good with a varied choice and well presented and nicely cooked.With some exceptions the staff seemed disinterested, unhappy and on a couple of occasions rude. I felt that morale was very low and this certainly left a negative impression on all of us.Disappointed I guess is the best description. This experience has I'm afraid put us off travelling with P&O in the future. Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
Well I appoligise for the writing I have catteracts so writing this review is difficult along with most passengers we had booked 18 months in advance at what we thought was a once in a life time oppertunity 28 nights on the AZURA in ... Read More
Well I appoligise for the writing I have catteracts so writing this review is difficult along with most passengers we had booked 18 months in advance at what we thought was a once in a life time oppertunity 28 nights on the AZURA in caribean and USA at what we thought a bargain taking in Christmas and the New yearof £2500 pp . Before I start I am not hard to please I had thought 28 days away from the UK climate was reason enough to take this cruise The AZURA had no wow factor ship was always full of people rushing or in the case of getting to the Playhouse Theater stamppeading or queing there was no where to sit quitely inside as every venue was a walk thru The first thing you notice was the major cost cutting in all areas Both breakfast and dinner buffets where of cafe style quality with no taste or smell and then again a stamppead to find a table The evening meal could be good if it served before it was cold this was caused very slow service from kitchen to waiters Now the entertainment the Headliners where wonderful but as for the rest the entertainment budget must have been non existant the was several acts one called the mentalist useless, a majician you could see how he preformed the tricks a comedian who laughed at his own jokes good job as no one else did, a supreme tribute act who screached for half an hour then introduced them selves at least three times in all the worse act I had ever seen no I have not mention elton john and geoge michael tribute acts well they were no tribute so bad they could empty a room in 10 minutes There were other acts but in all only passable pub acts the ones you would expect to see at you local WMC. We were treated to two famous performers wait for it Tom O Conner and Des O conner both I was told were 78 years old Everyone I met were fed up with the cheap entertainment provided well the Christmas film shown on the seascreen on Christmas day was Meet me in St Louie this summed it up a ship bulit for the masses with cheap corney entertainment p&O CAN SAY NO EXPENCE WAS SPARED ON THIS CRUISE NO EXPENCE AT ALL Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
A nice big new ship but that's about where it starts and stops. The beginning didn't get off to a good start as we were delayed at Gatwick for over 5hrs by Thomas Cook who were very off about things, we had to pester them for a ... Read More
A nice big new ship but that's about where it starts and stops. The beginning didn't get off to a good start as we were delayed at Gatwick for over 5hrs by Thomas Cook who were very off about things, we had to pester them for a food voucher as we had been there from 5-30am. The seats on the plane were the most uncomfortable we have ever used, When we arrived all we got was told which floor our cabin was on, no comment about our delay offer of support to help make things any easier so we had to find our own way around the ship to find food. The main restaurants were closed and the self service ones were clearing up and there were only scraps left. The ships facilities are not big enough to take the amount of people. People are like sardines around the pools. The atrium is way to small and the dance floor is ridiculously small. When sailing the shops would be open and additional stalls would be placed in the aisles which caused even more problems with the amount of people walking about as the aisles hardly coped without them being there. Like another report the dress codes were not adhered to which was very disappointing. The self service buffet areas were akin to a motorway service area, people everywhere, hardly a table to be found once you had negotiated your way around the food area so we stuck to the main dining halls, at least when we ordered hot food we knew we would get it and the waiters were brilliant always willing to do things for you. The main dining restaurants got very crowded to the point where it was difficult to hold a decent conversation as the noise reverberated the room along with the incessant drone from the air conditioning which was in every room on the ship. Also the fine dining restaurants were excellent especially the glass house and Sindhu. The attention to detail and the service was excellent The Headliners were excellent and we cannot praise them enough, they made our holiday. The supporting entertainment was also very good especially the annie Lenox tribute girl. Looked good but you need to organize movement as only one person could walk around the end of the bed at the same time and the shower room was more like a moulded cupboard. All the staff were very pleasant and courteous Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
Our 2nd P & O cruise - and what a disappointment. Oh, we had a fantastic holiday, the break was lovely, but would we cruise on the Azura again? Absolutely not! The ship is big but doesn't absorb the people very well. There was so ... Read More
Our 2nd P & O cruise - and what a disappointment. Oh, we had a fantastic holiday, the break was lovely, but would we cruise on the Azura again? Absolutely not! The ship is big but doesn't absorb the people very well. There was so many things not right - here goes: Library - far too small for the size of the ship and not a very good selection of books either, the Atrium area was small in comparison with that on the Oceana, the lifts were a nightmare - you seemed to wait for ages - and I lost count of the number of times I threatened to get out of them when other passengers seemed quite happy to ignore the maximum number of people sign in them and just keep on cramming in saying 'room for a couple of small ones', entertainment with the exception of the comedian could have been better, the tribute acts were diabolical, the dining rooms were packed to capacity - waiters had to go in sideways - as did we, to serve you if you were on a table for 2, the buffet restaurants were like cattle markets and the choice of food could have been better - I have never seen such small cakes and sandwiches for afternoon tea, the sun decks were packed to capacity with sun loungers as well - no room to walk round them - I don't want to be that intimate with strangers whilst sunbathing, the daily events seemed geared to the older passengers - and there was plenty of them - I don't call these entertainment - ' how to deal with puffy ankles, 'how to deal with lip lines' 'friends of Dorothy meeting' (Who was Dorothy anyway), Whist drives, 'Botox fillers' - unless you were over the age of 60 I really couldn't see why you would want to go and attend them. Movies seemed to be repeated several times during the course of the cruise and the outside cinema - why have movies on during the day when some people would have liked some general rest and relaxation time in the sun, the pools and jacuzzis - no separate ones for the kids, so you never got a look in as there was daily games for the kids in the pools and it was generally noisy. Reception staff generally unhelpful and didn't seem to want to help. And the ship didn't feel that stable during the odd patch of rough weather - hubby thought the Captain didn't have the stabilisers on as it would have slowed the ship down - and he couldn't have gone much slower on the journey out! The good points - our cabin steward - Guatam was an angel - although I must state that we were shocked when we arrived back at our room on the last night to find he had left us an empty envelope for us to leave him his tips in - we were going to anyway but I thought it was a bit cheeky, the waiters at dinner - Wilber, Tony and Dexter - couldn't have done more for us, Sindhu and Seventeen - definitely worth paying extra for although if you want water with your food, ask for tap water or you will get billed £1.850 for every bottle you have. Our favourite place was The Glass House - fantastic service, knowledgeable staff and great food and the best wine ever! Oh and the Planet Bar - early morning coffee and a good book. It took us 3 and a half days to get to our first port and only 1 and a half days to get back - why?? Considering that the ship docked in Tenerife - a duty free port - on a Sunday - when all the shops were closed - we decided it was a ploy - the longer you are on the ship - the more money you will spend. Come on P and O - you boast that the Azura takes cruising back to how it used to be??? From what we could see, the ship looks set to be like the Ventura -perfect for families and those older cruisers. Not for us and we will not be sailing on her again. I likened the experience to Benidorm -at sea -if you've ever seen the programme you'll know what we mean. One thing is for sure - you'll either love or hate the Azura - we hated it!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2010
Day 1 Southampton Paid for the trip down from Yorkshire on EAVESWAY coaches which is a winner, cheaper than driving down and parking fees, then into the new ocean terminal to book in this seemed to take longer than the last time in ... Read More
Day 1 Southampton Paid for the trip down from Yorkshire on EAVESWAY coaches which is a winner, cheaper than driving down and parking fees, then into the new ocean terminal to book in this seemed to take longer than the last time in Southampton on Arcadia but we were still in our cabin by 2 pm and at lunch in the Venezia restaurant shortly afterwards, a very nice buffet on deck 15 aft Later we took a guided tour around the very expansive spa complex which include the new concept on AZURA the Retreat We were impressed enough to book the retreat for the full 7 days We had the usual sing-along as we departed but it was poor compared to when we were on Ventura, just drab rod Stewart music That evening we had dinner in the meridian restaurant which is for those who have chosen freedom dinning its exactly the same as the 2 club dining restaurants peninsula and oriental, accept you can have dinner any time between 6pm and 9pm, rather than the fixed 6.30pm or 8.30 pm on the ship you can always get something to eat as there is always one of the other grills or dinners open, for example, the Venezia and Verona between them serve a full English breakfast from 0700 to 1200 and then remains open until 930 pm with a buffet and later Verona as an Italian restaurant and late snacks until breakfast The Venezia has a breakfast from06.30 to10.30 lunch from 12 to 3 then afternoon tea at 6 to 930 there is always a speciality buffet ie Indian Chinese Italian etc There are also as I mentioned the 3 main restaurants aft that must seat between 300 to 500 each and the 2 speciality pay extra 'cover charge' restaurants plus the glass house a wine specialty restaurant which does food but at a price later we did not go to the main show just wandered around the many bar's and live entertainment available Day 2 At sea Breakfast in our cabin as usual, this is a long tradition, and therefore stops the 'full English' syndrome I went to a cookery demonstration would you believe, but this was somewhat different, it was Atul Kocchar famed Michelin star'ed Indian chef accompanied by wine expert Olly Smith very interesting and informative Atul was funny too Chilled out in the Retreat then it was the 'Gala Reception' which we gave a miss too but did accept the wine, decide on dinner in the meridian restaurant as it was the first 'Formal 'night, we did not want to share tonight and so we had to wait for 15 minutes on a table for 2 but they give you one of those 'bleeper' things that scares the hell out of you when it goes off to inform you that your table is available. We had an excellent 6 course meal with exceptional service from our waiter of the evening, I had the lobster Again gave the main show a miss and wandered around the many bar's and live entertainment available a bit disappointed because I am not a big fan of ballroom dancing(in 2 locations), karaoke in the British bar, pianist in 2 or a rubbish magician, nor do I wish to throw money away in the casino Day3 Dublin Dublin late arriving no gangway open until midday, large crowds milling about in the Atrium, maybe if we had made more than 10knots getting here we may have been on time Sat on the balcony and watched as we 'rotated 'about in her own length within the confines of the harbour and berthed stern too, quite a feat considering Azura's length and size but having seen Venture and Constellation carry out similar it doesn't impress us any more The weather looks dodgy so we had lunch first before catching the free shuttle bus into town, getting into town at 3pm was easy but queuing up to get back with several hundred others, on the cities crowded pavement, another thing entirely, it was total chaos. Any way back to the ship and it rained Note; - from my experience of holidays here the republic of Ireland has always expensive but the drop in the euro has made Dublin very expensive indeed Evening checked the menus on the interactive television and decided to go to the Verona restaurant which turns into an Italian restaurant in the evening, this was a good choice as we had an excellent meal with the usual exceptional service from our waiter of the evening, note if you decide on this option go early it was very popular and they were giving out the dreaded bleepers after 7 pm Next stop the Malabar for 8.30 to listen to Lynda Radford singing she was pretty good then along to the Manhattan to listen to a tribute to Phil Collins by rob Lewis again if you want a seat get in 30 minutes early, it was packed out by the start with standing room only in the entrance it was 6 deep but what a good show he put on very very good sounded just like the real thing A good evening, on the down side tonight the dress code after 6.00 was semi formal and some men idea of 'smart shirt and trouser with a jacket' left a lot to be desired, jeans and a tee shirt hardly fitted the concept of smart, particularly when their partner had obviously made an effort, then may be its me Day 4 The town of Cobh for cork Azure berthed at the cruise terminal adjacent to the little train station that operate a service to cork, Cobh is a nice little town with an imposing cathedral and many shops and bars, it trades on the fact that both the titanic and Lusitania left here to be sunk and that a little Irish girl left here to be the first immigrant through Elis island, all told its cheaper and nicer than Dublin We did not do any trips as the trips are expensive and I had no wish to kiss the blarney stone any way So back to the ship and up to the Retreat for a few hours it was a pity that it was quite chilly or I could spend all day up there During the morning they had a 'man overboard' exercise me being a cynic, thinks it's a doddle in harbour with the ship stationary and a flat calm sea, 'when I was a lad' we did the exercise doing 25 knots in a rough sea and after the "figure of eight turns" to get back to the dummy that had been thrown over we had to launch the sea boat and collect the 'survivor 'then recover the sea boat, sorry I digress, back to Azura Checked out the daily ships paper 'horizon' looks like tonight is a repeat of the second evening ie ballroom dancing(in 2 locations), karaoke , motown memories and its back to the good old days of the 60 and 70, I was there in the 60s it wasn't that great I also notice that the sailaway starts at 5.15pm yet the gangway does not shut until 5.30pm, it wasn't a bad sailaway accept that it finished before we sailed away, they could take lessons from Ventura's entertainments team on how it's done We had a very good Indian buffet in the Venezia restaurant a large selection well presented and nice table layout, I must say that the foods throughout all the restaurants on Azura are of a very high standard As I suspected the evening was a total wash out the entertainment is very poor catering for a minority this is not up to P&O's usual standard Day 5 At sea In order to getter a full picture on dinning on Azura I decide to forego breakfast in our cabin (a martyr to the course) and checked out breakfast in the Venezia and Verona restaurants, again spoilt for choices and with the 6 buffets split up into about 24 separate segments so there little or no queuing, open for full English or continental until noon There is also the choice of going to the 2 club dining restaurants peninsular and oriental for breakfast but they close at 09.30 We gave the Retreat a miss today as we are doing 16 knots and its very windy and the Retreat is very exposed, it's alright out in the Caribbean but not the bay of Biscay Again checked out the daily ships paper 'horizon' looks like tonight is a repeat of yesterdays evening i.e. ballroom dancing, a ballroom dancing demonstration, 2 karaoke , a classical concert, 2 pub quiz's and a Simply Red tribute, Still I went to the British bar called Brodie's and listened to attempts to get passengers up to sing, no takers, so finally the entertainment guys got up to sing and I left Day 6 Bilbao checked out breakfast in the Venezia and Verona restaurants, again only there was an exercise on for the ships crew and they had closed the larger Venezia which created queues in Verona still it wasn't to bad you had to shunt around abit to get what you wanted because they kept on running out of items, not quite as bad as my daughter's experienced last week on Arcadia but close and it should not happen with P&O and on a ship of this size. They also closed the kids club which upset some of the passengers The same thing happened at lunch time but they closed Verona this time, Maybe they thought everyone would be ashore, wrong We stayed on board because we knew from previous experience, that in Spain, on a Sunday, everything would be closed and the reports coming back supported this, why we could not be at sea on a Sunday is beyond me. Had dinner in Venezia which was an oriental theme and it was excellent then down to the British bar called Brodie's and listened to quite a good group singing ballads Day 7 Brest Arrived along Starboard side too for a change [our side] adjacent to a dry dock and warehouses the cruise terminal here is very poorly positioned, stuck out in the middle of nowhere, it's a feature of this cruise that all the ports of call except Cobh were 20 to 40 minutes from civilisation We took no organised trips because they were all too expensive so it was back to the shuttle but appears that a lot of others had the same idea, so we had to wait until the horrendous long queues for the shuttle got manageable and then we took one into the town centre ,we were not impressed with what we saw in the town and so stayed on the bus and returning to the ship Again queues to get off the ship and queues to get back on board seem to be a feature of this ship not enough gangways being provided, there were only 2 for the 3000 odd passengers, to get on and off the ship, this is not good enough, you do not expect this kind of sloppy unprofessionalism when you have paid a lot of money to a supposedly top end cruise company plus there were no proper dedicated gang way for the disabled Had lunch on deck with a burger from one of the 2 fast food outlets on the pool deck had a glass of pimms and watched the sailaway which by this time the entertainment team were getting pretty good , they must have been practicing, We are giving the meridian restaurant a miss tonight because the buffet in the Venezia appears to have a better menu [you can check out all the menus on board on the flat screen TV in your cabin] In comparing Like For Like her sister ship Ventura is better organised, slicker at passenger comfort and welfare, is far friendlier in her crew to passenger relationship, better entertainment, better shops, better library, freedom dinning is slicker whereas Azura probably wins on quality in the food stakes but has a lot to learn, elsewhere The entertainment on azura is very much a cross between, East Enders and Strictly Come Dancing with quiz's,and bingo thrown in And so back to Southampton and a pretty slick debarkation and to our EAVESWAY coach and a good trip home Read Less
Sail Date October 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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