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209 P&O Cruises Azura Cruise Reviews

Petroni on Azura - Embarkation and Cabin - Azura cruise A925 sailing 21st Sept 2019 Also Search for Petroni for info on food, wine and our adventures - rescuing migrants, Monte Carlo 'disaster' trapping 1400 ashore and ... Read More
Petroni on Azura - Embarkation and Cabin - Azura cruise A925 sailing 21st Sept 2019 Also Search for Petroni for info on food, wine and our adventures - rescuing migrants, Monte Carlo 'disaster' trapping 1400 ashore and a bunch of funny (and some not so funny) incidents Embarkation – brilliant! Slick and well organised. It would be hard to think of any way to improve on it. Well done! Cabin – gave it a ‘once over’ with an ultraviolet torch and it was pretty good, clean and tidy The usual over priced water offering (5 x 1.5l bottles for £10.50 with a 6th one thrown in for free). For the same price my local Lidl would give me 66 x 2l bottles, but hey, this isn’t Lidl. Bathroom functional and clean but not much else to say. Needed extra clothes hangers which were readily provided from the steward Television frequently not working as the satellite signal keeps getting lost as you rock when at sea but tends to work pretty well when in port. Could do with a larger selection of films as I had seen pretty much everything there was. No music on offer. These days you cannot get access to your account from your room and have to ask for a printout from reception instead. So much for progress with technology. Safe works easily. Storage space is adequate. Suitcases fit under the bed or on the shelf above the hanging wardrobe. Breakfast in bed is available (free) and many room service options (chargeable) are available. There is a phone in the cabin. Each deck is numbered and lettered so, for example, if you want to phone cabin A123 (deck no.4) you would dial 4123, cabin B123 would be 5123 and so on. Beach towels are provided (two per cabin) but, you should ask for extras if you intend sunbathing. You will need two per lounger. The smoke stacks/funnels spit out a fair bit of soot and any loungers down wind of the stacks can get dirty. So pop to Poundland, and get yourself a couple (each) of the big plastic clips that hold the towels on the loungers (as it can get very windy) and never sit on a lounger without a protective towel if you value whatever you are wearing. If you do end up with soot marks on your clothes, go to reception and they will give you a FOC (Free of charge) laundry clean but the item will be gone for 2-3 days. There are two 500ml bottles of water free when you arrive. To augment the water supply, you can either bring back a glass with you when you return to your cabin from any food area or, you can boil water in your cabin and when cool, refill the 500ml water bottles. Or you can pay the £10.50 (but I am too mean to). The mirror in the bathroom tends to get very misted up if you have a shower. Quick tip – rub a bar of soap onto the mirror and then clean it off with a small hand towel. The soap will clean the mirror up nicely as it dries leaving you a better chance of doing your hair, gel, wig etc. The tea coffee tray has the basics but if you need fresh milk, gluten free, skimmed etc you can ask the steward for some. Similarly, if you prefer a fruity tea, peppermint tea etc you can grab a couple from the self service buffet deck 15 and use them in your cabin. We take a bottle of gin and a couple of bottles of tonic and have a G&T as we get ready for dinner each night. Don’t forget to bring a little bottle of lemon or lime with you if you do the same. Avoids the need for knives, fruit etc. You can ask the steward for extra glasses for your cabin so you have some for the G&Ts and others for your water. There are laundries on every deck with washing machines and driers. We have never used them but they appear to be free. There are ironing boards and irons available there too. Washing powder/tablets/capsules are available on deck 5 (I was told) so you do not need to bring anything yourself. I hope this helps Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was the infamous cruise which left 1200 passengers (including me and my wife) stranded in Monte Carlo. We even made the papers. Don't believe the stories about the weather getting worse and the passenger couldn't be ... Read More
This was the infamous cruise which left 1200 passengers (including me and my wife) stranded in Monte Carlo. We even made the papers. Don't believe the stories about the weather getting worse and the passenger couldn't be tendered back to the ship. The weather was just a light breeze and the transfer of passengers should have been perfectly OK. The problem was that their was an excess of large boats in the area due to the annual boat show. They caused the wake which made conditions in return back to the ship difficult for the able bodied and impossible for most of the elderly passengers. Communications were poor. After up to a 7 hour wait, the local police and on shore crew members guided us all to spend the night in Monte Carlo's basketball stadium. Sleeping on top of a cardboard box (after evicting the dead cockroaches) on the floor of the stadium was memorable. We were eventually tendered back to the ship the following day. A special mention must be made about the work done by the ships crew. Some worked all day and then all night and then the following morning again. Provisions and medicines had been transferred from the ship in dangerous conditions. One crew member feel overboard and that to luck and some quick thinking but the tender operator managed to survive with just bruising. P and O must really think hard if they plan to visit Monaco when the boat shows on. Regarding the ship. It was my 4th cruise and this ship was my favourite. It's due a refit next year which should bring it back to being one of the fleets top ships. The food on board was incredible. Breakfast was top quality both in the buffet and the restaurants. We had the odd light buffet lunch, where there was a large choice, from soups to snacks to full meals. And the evening meals were just as good. We went to the Sindhu restaurant and had fabulous signature meal. Unmissable. The on board entertainment was good. But after the problems at Monaco extra activities and entertainment were added to the schedule. There was even a show in the afternoon. We are independent travellers when we arrive at ports. However we decided to take the excursion to Seville. The guides knew their facts and managed to bypass the large queue when entering the cathedral. Well worth the cost. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was our second cruise, having been with Royal Caribbean before on a fly-cruise. We preferred going from Southampton as it was more relaxing and more time to get to know the ship before excursions began. However, the weather was pretty ... Read More
This was our second cruise, having been with Royal Caribbean before on a fly-cruise. We preferred going from Southampton as it was more relaxing and more time to get to know the ship before excursions began. However, the weather was pretty bad when we left in force 10 gale! We travelled with family and most of us felt a bit 'off' for the first 3 days. My teenage granddaughter was quite ill. But after that the sun shone and the seas calmed and we were able to enjoy all the benefits of the ship. Yes, the ship is old and tired but it didn't bother us. We had an inside cabin on C deck so no window but it was fine - we didn't spend much time there. Very small cabin but plenty of hanging space and decent shower and a comfortable bed. It was a quiet area of the ship so our sleep wasn't disturbed. Food in the buffets was a bit repetitive but very good overall. Staff always pleasant and helpful. We used the restaurants in the evenings where things were more relaxed and the food more varied. Waiter service was excellent - all staff very helpful and considerate. Entertainment was very good, especially the Headliners. Very talented young people. Didn't do many activities but did a quiz or two and had a bash at Pilates! Watched a few films on the on-deck screen which were pretty good. Our cabin steward, Vasilio, was a gem. Nothing too much trouble. Well worth a tip! Embarking and disembarking was very well run. We parked in the NCP car park so our car was taken from us, along with our main cases. Disembarking was much the same - very ordered and smooth. No complaints. Excursions were all enjoyable, (as was the weather). Most towns were close to the ports so very easy. Made use of the hop on buses to see the sights. Barcelona was particularly good as the architecture was amazing. We made the mistake of booking a tour to Mercia and then returning to Cartagina. Mercia was (for us) not worth the time and left such a short time to see Cartagina, which was really interesting and full of history. So we shall have to return there some time! The excursion to Pisa and Florence was very good. We found the information we were given on board very helpful for the port visits. They were not just trying to sell the excursions, which was noticeable to us, compared with our last cruise. All in all, a very pleasant experience and we will certainly consider cruising with P & O again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Looked for a reasonable priced cruise to the Med out of school holidays and as was sailing from Southampton we chose this one. We had a well appointed balcony cabin on deck 9 with all the amenities one would expect, some of the ... Read More
Looked for a reasonable priced cruise to the Med out of school holidays and as was sailing from Southampton we chose this one. We had a well appointed balcony cabin on deck 9 with all the amenities one would expect, some of the furnishings however were very tired, the sofa bed being a prime example our cabin steward was most helpful however it was somewhat dusty in places. The restaurant was very nice and the food generally was well presented and of a excellent standard we found the service excellent The ship was kept clean however the service in the smoking areas was poor as the ashtrays were seldom cleaned and the tables on deck 15 very rarely(we are smokers) The Major gripe and complaint was the very unpleasant sewage smells encountered normally early in the morning on deck 7 aft also this permutated into other areas of this deck, we did complain as did several others including a ships officer, one ended up looking for this pong. Generally although having a large number of passengers 3000 plus it is a well maintained vessel but due in our opinion for a substantial refit. Embarkation and disembarkation was excellent. Would we travel on this boat again probably yes but they must get rid of the unpleasant odours Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We chose this cruise as it was our first and the destinations were places we wanted to visit. We missed embarkation photos etc. as the bus was late. The ship was very nice but a little tired. Getting around was extremely confusing and ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was our first and the destinations were places we wanted to visit. We missed embarkation photos etc. as the bus was late. The ship was very nice but a little tired. Getting around was extremely confusing and we found our way round with more help from other passengers than the staff. There could have been clearer sign posting. The dining rooms were excellent, the waiting staff were very efficient and friendly (Joseph and Manesh). The buffet food wasn’t particularly great. The breakfasts were nice but the main meals we attended were a little disappointing. We thought the entertainment would be better but it was focused on Strictly Come Dancing which we weren’t that in to. The daytime entertainment consisted mainly of dance classes and yoga etc. It would have been nice to have movies indoors or more actual entertainment and shows. We can’t fault the service. The staff were friendly and attentive. We had particularly good service from our cabin steward (Manoj) and the photographic team. The shore excursions involved more walking than we expected and we were disappointed with them. We would definitely go on another P&O cruise as overall we had a great time. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
This was my 13th cruise but my first alone,after the death of my wife in 2015,_the Norwegian Fiords were a place we had on our bucket list but never got to do it together so I decided it was time to take the plunge and see how life onboard ... Read More
This was my 13th cruise but my first alone,after the death of my wife in 2015,_the Norwegian Fiords were a place we had on our bucket list but never got to do it together so I decided it was time to take the plunge and see how life onboard alone was, a inside cabin was a first for me but it kept the cost down besides which I only wanted to sleep and shower in it and it was fine for me other than it having fold away bunk beds either side of my bed that made it somewhat cramped. I opted for first sitting dining on a table of 8 and found myself in the company of lovely friendly people 3 others than were alone and conversation flowed readily, daily menu was well varied as you would expect and excellent quality. The onboard entertainment was as good as any cruise I've ever taken but the Dancers & Singers in the Show were the best I've ever seen. Service was good and as with every other cruise cabin staff were always happy and smiling. First port of call was Stavanger and it was a easy stroll from the ship into town and get a feel for life in Norway, a very expensive country. I did one excursion in Flam and that was on the railway that traverses up the mountain spectacular views. Olden was a poor port of call apart from walking around the Fiord it was a day wasted. Bergen: This was the highlight of the cruise we has sunshine all day and it is without doubt the most interesting place to visit such a loverly harbour and a trip up the heights to look down on it. The trip back to Southampton was a nice calm sea and pleasant cruising, so my first experience as a single cruiser at 73 years was a a flood of past memories and I enjoyed it, I will choose another and look forward to it. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Just back off a lovely 2 week cruise to the Baltic on Azura. We booked our Parking with Parking 4 Cruises and this is the first time we have used them. Excellent service their staff were waiting for us on arrival and car was in the short ... Read More
Just back off a lovely 2 week cruise to the Baltic on Azura. We booked our Parking with Parking 4 Cruises and this is the first time we have used them. Excellent service their staff were waiting for us on arrival and car was in the short stay car park when we docked and we were on the road home by 8.40 am having chosen to keep our luggage in our cabin the night before our return. Embarkation was swift as we arrived at 3.45 pm so straight on the ship to our room R725 on deck 14. Inside room was fine and kept tidy by the Steward Mary who unfortunately had to go home due to her Father being ill. The location of this room is great for the pool deck at the rear of the ship and access to the Buffet and coffee/tea machines. The food in the Buffet was ok but we did prefer to have our evening meal main restaurants and all the meals were lovely except for the toast but when you have one guy making toast for 700 people it is no wonder it often arrives cold and hard. We ate most nights in the Peninsula restaurant and on 3 occasions in the Oriental. The main shows start at 8.30 and 10.30 but if you want to get a seat in the popular shows you need to be in the main theatre 30 mins before the start or 40 mins before to get a seat in a preferred location. We enjoyed most of the shows particularly Mike Doyle Comedian who was very funny on both occasions as opposed to Kane Brown who was completely un funny how he has got away with this act for 13 years is beyond me, it may be ok for the pub after 10 pints with your mates but taking the mick out of elderly people at the front of the audience who then walked out and left their drinks is cheap and not funny. The Headliners shows were good and the Evolution show was fabulous in my opinion not as keen on Dusty the Dusty Springfield story but we all have our own tastes. The male and female Opera/Musical singers were excellent and again we went to both shows on different nights. The Guest speaker was excellent and particularly enjoyed the talk about Rasputin and Russian History and the gentleman who gave the talk on the Paper Mache wooden boxes and how they were made and painted was very informative. We were extremely lucky with the weather most days were in the low 20s but St Petersberg was overcast and we had a short shower but this did not detract from the enjoyment of seeing this wonderful city. Price of drinks on board. Bottle of coke 330ml £2.95 Bottle of Peroni 330ml £4.20 Guinness can and Doombar 500ml bottle around £4.20 Bottle of Kopperberg alco free cider £3.50 Cocktail £6-£7 Large 1.5 litre bottled water £2.20 Average Bottle of wine £16-£20, Glass of red merlot £4.55 ( they will recork unused wine for next night) You can buy drinks packages but we felt they were way over priced unless you are a alcoholic The ultimate drinks package is £39.95 per person per day and you have to buy it for the full duration of the cruise and for all the adults in the cabin. The childrens package is included in this price Non Alcoholic drinks package is £19.95 per person per day Mocktails Mochas soft drinks and juices and primo sized Costa coffee,Teapigs tea and small bottles of water. Childrens drinks package, £7.95 per person per day. Draught soft drinks and selected juices and hot chocolate. Overall we had a great time, the ship is in need of a refit in parts with holes in the carpets in part of the buffet and discoloured and worn carpets in our room which will be reflected in the 4* rating for this review. Staff were good and efficient not much interaction but that was ok. Ports and places we visited. Waremunde Germany. This was a real bonus as we didn’t really know what to expect and it is a lovely town with a great sandy beach and a lovely harbour to walk around which is very close walk to and from the ship. We chose to go into Rostock and went to the railway station nearby where you will see ticket machines and opposite these you will see a shop. At the side entrance around the corner from the shop you can buy a 1 day rail and tram pass from the office for 6 Euro and the lady will give you a slip of paper that tells you to how to validate the ticket on the platform before getting on train then get off train at Rostock HBF ( 9 stops) yo then need to go down two levels to the tram Platform A Blue tram. Take tram 5 or 6 and get off at stop Neuer Market ( New Market) this is a lovely square with access to shops and nice buildings Trains are every 30 mins and trams every 10 mins. Easy Peasy . Then we came back to Waremunde and had a cocktail on the ship side of the harbour which was less busy. Helsinki, Here we got the courtesy coach to near the centre of Helsinki which if you pay select fare is free but if you are on saver fare it is £4 per person each way. Had to wait nearly 30 mins for return coach in a shower which was not fun. Had a nice walk round the centre of Helsinki then we went to the tourist information office and got details on the trams. We were told if we bought a Ticket 2.8 Euro this would last 80 mins and you can then get the No2 tram which takes you up one side of Helsinki then get the No3 tram which comes back down the other side. This number 3 tram changes its number back to number 2 near the centre and you have to stay on one or two stops back to the centre. Cheap way to see Helsinki. St Petersberg, Day 1 we went to Catherine Palace and we were lucky with the weather as it was sunny in the morning. Reasonably quick access into the Palace but we were in a group of 41 so had to wait for the group to regroup after a visit to toilets and cloakroom which you have to put standard size backpacks so leave on coach if possible to save time. Then you are herded through to an area where you have to put on some fabric over shoes to protect the floor. It if then a slow process moving from room to room which were lovely particularly the Amber room where you are not allowed to film or take photos. We had very little time to walk around the garden area due to a shortage of time and were told no time to shop but I saw this little kiosk in the gardens and bought a pack of 30 postcards that had lovely pics of the palace for 250 roubles ( about £3). Tip Here: we were told before leaving the ship we could not take water off the ship. There is a vending machine near the exit door you can use rouble notes or coins. You put the note (or coins) in the machine THEN select the number of the item you want i.e 52 for water it drops out the bottom and gives you change price of water 45 roubles (50Pence) or coke 65 roubles(80 Pence) much cheaper than aboard ship St Petersberg, Day 2 We booked the Picturesque St Petersberg trip and it started with a boat trip which went along the river /canal? Which was lovely and we saw some wonderful buildings then we went under some very low bridges you cannot stand up on the boat under these as you could be seriously injured. Suddenly this guy started appearing on the bridges waving like a tourist but then he would appear at every bridge on the way back then he was at the dock for our return and expected but did not push for a tip. Be careful here though because someone said after that with some of these they act in pairs look where you take the money from and try to pickpocket. We enjoyed this trip and then we were taken to the Church of the spilt blood which is fantastic inside, the mosaics are spectacular and look like paintings. We then were taken to a gift shop for free coffee or vodka. Try the vodka the coffee is cold and horrible due to lukewarm water also no milk. Talinn Estonia, This was our favourite place, you can walk from the ship to the old town centre in about 20 mins about 800m away to the edge of the town but do get your bearings here so you can find your way back. The square in the centre is lovely for a chill out drink and people watching. There was also a stage up with music and performances on the day we were there. Do be aware drinks in the square are pricey no prices listed you have to sit down and get a menu for prices so do this before you order. A 500ml saku beer and a cappuccino coffee will cost around 12 euro, nice beer though. Stockholm Sweden, I got up at 5.30 am to watch the ship head to the port through spectacular scenery, little islands with typical small wooden houses were lovely and the bird habitats on these small islands were nice to see. When we arrived in Stockholm again you needed to use the courtesy buses (£4 per person each way if not on select fare) which were delayed a bit due to roadworks in the town so had to wait 20 to 30 mins on the outward bound journey. Stockholm is spread out a bit so if you have difficulty walking then a pre booked tour may be a better option. Although it was ok walking through the town and seeing the palace we enjoyed walking around the harbour area more and in some ways wish we had booked a harbour tour. Copenhagen Denmark, Here we looked from the portside of the ship and thought we could see The Little Mermaid statue about 400 yds to the left of the ship so we walked in that direction from the ship but the statue was of a couple of Polar Bears, the little mermaid statue however was 200 metres over to the right of this statue just around the harbour. We followed the harbour round from here to what was a lovely church and fountain then onto the area where the tourist boats dock Nyhavn with its lovely coloured buildings. Again here the cafes are busy and expensive Small beer, coffee and a bottle of water 125 Danish Krone (£15). Great for the views and people watching. Then we went onto Christianborg Palace and the Royal Stables then to the Town Hall building with the Astronomical clock. By this time we were tired so we returned to centre to get a courtesy bus back which was most unpleasant as no Aircon and stop start traffic all the way back to the ship lots of people complained about the shuttle bus service here. We missed out Tivoli but if you are planning on going on an organised tour make sure you confirm how long you get there as some people were unhappy for 2 reasons the minibus transport no aircon black windows to see out of and only 30 mins at the gardens when they complained the tour team were not interested. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We have cruised on Ventura and on embarking found the Azura identical in layout so finding our way around the ship was simple.We booked a late saver fare and got a balcony cabin to the rear of the ship but found no engine noise to trouble ... Read More
We have cruised on Ventura and on embarking found the Azura identical in layout so finding our way around the ship was simple.We booked a late saver fare and got a balcony cabin to the rear of the ship but found no engine noise to trouble us.The cabin was clean and well presented kept that way by our lovely steward Bill.All crew we encountered were happy and well trained in their jobs .We were allocated second sitting and enjoyed the company on our table with much to talk about.We always find fellow cruisers good company and only too pleased to join in conversations. The decor on board is getting a bit worn in places we admit but understand that an upgrade is due soon. Entrainment on P and O we believe is probably one of the best at sea and enjoyed many of the shows.Much praise must go to the young troop the Headliners who were great in all their different shows.Singers,comedians and specialty acts kept us entertained. Food on board geared to British tastes of course was fine,nothing to complain about but also nothing to rave about either.Could do better.We believe that since getting rid of daily gratuities corners are cut in some places ie food quality and a hike in drink prices etc. Weather was good for us as in Britain it was wet and miserable,enjoyed the midnight sun experience on several nights.All ports we visited lived up to expectations and St Petersburg was the highlight of our cruise and we must say that shore excursions by PO Were well organised and very memorable. Disembarked easily at Southampton and now look forward to our next trip,must get those brouchers out. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
The cruise was wonderful. Food and service in restaurants was perfect. Cabin R519 was good and kept very clean. Disappointed we had the overhang from above casting shadow on balcony Entertainment was OK ,but not as good as other ... Read More
The cruise was wonderful. Food and service in restaurants was perfect. Cabin R519 was good and kept very clean. Disappointed we had the overhang from above casting shadow on balcony Entertainment was OK ,but not as good as other cruises we have been on. The best entertainment was the historical murder presentations. Destinations were fantastic although only 6 hours in Gibraltar was disappointing. We only booked in April 2019 and did via the select option mainly because we thought we could get the first sitting and a table for 2 and was put on the waiting list. However once onboard we were informed that all the first sittings for a table for 2 were fully booked in Nov 2018 and we had no chance of this. We needed this because of my wife's poor hearing and cannot hear other peoples conversation. The outcome meant we were in Freedom and always had to wait for a table for 2. This should have been explained at the time of booking and perhaps we would have changed our decision and booked the early saver. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We chose this cruise as my husband wanted to see the Fjords and photograph the landscape. I read all reviews prior to going on the cruise. All I can say is that I think we must have gone on a different cruise to everyone who had ... Read More
We chose this cruise as my husband wanted to see the Fjords and photograph the landscape. I read all reviews prior to going on the cruise. All I can say is that I think we must have gone on a different cruise to everyone who had negative comments about Azura. Our cabin was spotless (a balcony cabin), the cabin steward was excellent and cleaned the cabin twice a day. Couldn't complain about him. The Freedom Dining restaurant was very good with excellent wine choices. Only negative about the food was the buffet restaurant on Deck 15. The behaviour of some of the passengers who used that restaurant is questionable and the state of the tables was not nice. We didn't see much entertainment as that isn't our thing - we did see a couple of singers and had drinks in the Brodie and Manhattan bars. The service from staff was, on the whole, very good. They had to deal with some very annoying passengers so I think that they handled situations with professionalism. Well done to all of them. We enjoyed the gala night and the opportunities to dress up. Some people didn't embrace this and made no effort whatsoever - I think that the staff should have informed people about this. On the whole - it was a good experience. We will definitely go again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
This was a last minute decision - booked only a week before departure. We have sailed from Southampton before and this time used CPS to park the car - a very smooth experience when you get to Southampton. No time to look around ... Read More
This was a last minute decision - booked only a week before departure. We have sailed from Southampton before and this time used CPS to park the car - a very smooth experience when you get to Southampton. No time to look around Southampton upon arrival, straight into the embarkation process, which - in our experience - is always very efficient and enjoyable. You feel as though your holiday has already started before even getting on board. I knew where our cabin was and so we went straight there and it was a pretty decent cabin with a fair balcony - all very adequate for our purposes. The only issue for us was the height of the shower head - we are both tall and so kept banging into it and as it was bolted to the cubicle there was nothing we could do about it. As we were a late booking we had no choice about whether we had first or second sittings for dinner and so we were second - 8.45 on embarkation day and 8.30 thereafter. Frankly too late for us (first sitting was 6.30 I think) and so we dined in the buffet on Deck 15. That was great, lovely food and where we had breakfast and lunch thereafter. We also dined there on our last night so that we had time to get packed afterwards. We looked at the drinks pack and decided that £40 per person per night was ridiculous so we took a litre of gin aboard - you are allowed by P & O but only one 1 litre bottle each and anything you buy after Southampton has to be stored until you leave the ship. They also charge £20 corkage if you bring a litre of wine on board and want to drink it with your dinner! We then had a single glass of wine for dinner for £4.15 each and that was that. We've had drinks packs with other cruise lines and they are fine - and you make use of them! But this was perfectly adequate and we didn't think we'd missed out. We only watched one show - which was very good but after eating at 8.20 and not finishing until after 10, we didn't feel inclined to watch a show if we were off the ship the next day. We used the gym only a couple of times but there isn't much head room on a cross trainer if your 6' 4" tall! We also went on a talk about 'losing weight by eating more' This was run by a chap called Christian De Beer and a very nice chap he was to. This was really an opportunity to see you Elemis detoxing stuff. I agreed that 'we' would go for a test and a talk. Should be £50 each but doing two for £50. My other half decided that she didn't want to do it after all so Christian charged me 'only' £43 ! Interesting - I am suffering from acidosis it seems and need a 21 day detox (Cost about £150) and then 3 months worth of stuff costing, I think, about £80 a month so call it £400 all in. Ever felt you've been had? I have since read that this has been going on on cruises for at least 10 years ands it is worth googling Elemis 21 Day detox for a bit of opinion - it works for some but not for al by any means! I think my other half had the right idea! But I still need to look at my diet and maybe some sort off detox would also make sense - more Googling and eBay required!! Great cabin service - our chap was Sunny and very attentive he was to - great feller. I did a trip to the Omaha beech and St Mere Eglise on Day 1 when we went to Cherbourg but my partner didn't go as she didn't think it would interest her and so, for £60 would have been a waste of money. She had a look around the marina at Cherbourg. We didn't do ships excursions for either La Corunya or Santander but had a good walk around both. Our last destination was Guernsey and we did the excursion to Sark - which was brilliant and reasonable value at £50 each. Mind you the carriage (horse and trap!) trips cost £15 apiece and I saw a cheeseburger for £8! Large coffees cost £3 so not bad. Disembarkation went well. We stayed on Deck 15 until about 30 minutes before our exit time of 9.45 and discovered that everyone had moved out of the meeting place a few minutes before. Thereafter getting off the ship was extremely quick and easy and we found our baggage and then the car! Great !! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Just returned from the Azura cruise to Cherbourg, La Coruna, Santander and Guernsey A911. The weather was not brilliant but generally not too bad apart from our return crossing on the Bay of Biscay. We had winds of 55 Knots, Waves of 9 ... Read More
Just returned from the Azura cruise to Cherbourg, La Coruna, Santander and Guernsey A911. The weather was not brilliant but generally not too bad apart from our return crossing on the Bay of Biscay. We had winds of 55 Knots, Waves of 9 Metres and a 5 Metre swell. to say the ship was moving a lot would be a massive understatement. Some people spent the night in the Atrium wrapped in blankets because they were too scared to go to bed. The entertainment on board was superb, apart from one singer in the pulse band. she seemed unable to remember the words to most of the songs without having to keep looking at her tablet/phone and she quite often messed up. Fair play to her for giving it her best shot though. Unfortunately there seemed to be a foul smell of raw sewerage most days and this was especially noticeable during port visits. I think I heard the captain mention something about maintenance being carried out on the water system during the cruise. It was a pretty horrible smell. We had a bit of an issue with our balcony cabin door. Every time we opened it we had a loud whistling coming from the broken seal at the end of the door frame. I did report this to the cabin steward, but it didn't get fixed. Can't say it was that much of a problem though. Our bed was failrly uncomfortable. It was quite hard, but the pillows were very soft. Can't really complain because that combination might suit other people. Just didn't suit us. The standard of food was generally very good, although in the Penninsular MDR the food on the first night was not great, as the days went on, the food standard seemed to improve. On the last night, I think I had the best staek that I had ever eaten. It was lovely and pefectly cooked. The televison was a bit of a waste of time. Very restricted amount of channels and although we didn't intend spending our holiday watching TV, there was the occasional day when we just wanted to chill out in our room and put the TV on. Soon changed our minds about that, because the programmes shown were really old repeats. We decided to use the laundry to clean two loads of washing, but unfortunately after the wash cycle had finished on both, there was a horrible smell of what I can only describe as stale water. We only took two washing pods with us so we were unable to wash them again. We had to wash everything again when we got home. I know we should have gone to make a complaint but decided not to bother as it wasn't the end of the world. I managed to go swimming a couple of times during the cruise, but the pools were really cold. good in one way, because it meant not many people were using them, but it did mean that I didn't feel like staying in there for very long. On the day we visited St Peter Port I decided this would be an ideal time to go for another swim as there would probably be nobody in the pool. I was right. Trouble was, the pool had been emptied, so nobody could use it anyway. Very strange time to empty a pool. I know there seems to be a lot of negatives, but these are just from our experience. I do need to point out that even with these negatives, we still thoroughly enjoyed the cruise and certainly would not let it put us off. We are already looking at booking a cruise for next year, but we might try a different cruise line, just to get a comparison from another line. I do have to say at this point, that I felt the service from all the staff was excellent and my hat goes off to all of them. They work tirelessly to ensure the passengers enjoy the experience. I just hope they get paid a decent wage for the hard work they do. The Embarkation and disembarkation was really smooth and although it does take quite a while to get off the ship during disembarkation, it's really not that bad because you can chill out with a coffee after breakfast and wait for your group to be called. Overall, a lovely holiday. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We have become P & O fans, we like the style of cruising, the mix of formal nights of which there were two, the freedom dining, the choice of menu food, the staff, and great entertainment. We did three organised trips, The best of ... Read More
We have become P & O fans, we like the style of cruising, the mix of formal nights of which there were two, the freedom dining, the choice of menu food, the staff, and great entertainment. We did three organised trips, The best of Amsterdam, Ghent on your own, Saire Valley. The guide on the Best of Amsterdam Robert was the best guide we have ever had which made the trip extraordinarily good. Ghent on our own was very poor with just two hours in Ghent.The Saire Valley trip was ok but again too short. We had two comedians on board the first one Mr Heggarty from Ireland was without doubt the worst comedian we have ever endured, the second comedian Tucker was probably the best comedian we have ever heard. The Headliners were brilliant singers and entertainers. The duo in the planet bar were also very good. Our steward, Irenia kept our cabin spotless and replenished and the only thing about our inside cabin to moan about was the carpet could do with a clean. We dined in the Epicurean menu 2 and thought that the extra cover charge was worthwhile. The service was fantastic. We had all our other meals in the Meridian restaurant where the staff were outstanding and the food including steaks served to perfection. The tender service to St Peter Port Guernsey was pretty painful. We did not take an organised trip but instead took a public transport bus around the Island for just £5 each. I read other reviews before our first trip on Azura and agree with the good reviews, this Ship is the Ship for a very enjoyable cruise Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Great Premium flight from Birmingham well worth the extra though why you should have to pay on top of £175 surcharge to reserve a seat baffles me. Smooth transfer to cruise terminal then super quick boarding less than 5 minutes after ... Read More
Great Premium flight from Birmingham well worth the extra though why you should have to pay on top of £175 surcharge to reserve a seat baffles me. Smooth transfer to cruise terminal then super quick boarding less than 5 minutes after getting off coach. Found cabin nice and spacious with large balcony. All ok there, luggage arrived within an hour or so. Muster drill delayed until a18:30 by late arrival of another flight so first evenings dining was a bit chaotic, no ones fault but quality of food was a sign of things to come unfortunately. Apart from Beach house (which we visited twice - very good) the quality of both MDR & buffet was underwhelming. Menus read well but failed to deliver most of the time. Entertainment. We like to see production shows and cabarets but except for 2 nights when a 7pm show was put on we had to choose one or the other as were on late dining. We’d book early or free time dining if booking P&O again though we did enjoy the company on our table. Ashore. Booked 2 excursions through P&O and 2 independently. St Lucia northern tour was very good with varied stops and good value. Taste of Antigua was poor value for money at £45 each for 20 minute bus ride to back street garden restaurant to tast 3 small nips of rum and a small selection of so so food. Did our own thing at St Maarten & Ponta Delgada. Tried most bars - planet was our favourite and felt prices were reasonable. Cannot see point of introducing package @ £40pppd unless they are going to boost bar prices to encourage take-up. We do not hold back but only spent around £350 on wine and bars in 13 nights. We tend to select cruises by itinerary so won’t say no to P&O again but we’re not sold on the brand yet. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Not a moan but flight (tui) delayed at Manchester. Arrived Barbados almost on time and was transferred to the ship bypassing the airport, (great) arrived quayside as the computer system crashed but was kept up to date with progress and ... Read More
Not a moan but flight (tui) delayed at Manchester. Arrived Barbados almost on time and was transferred to the ship bypassing the airport, (great) arrived quayside as the computer system crashed but was kept up to date with progress and water given out and we were looked after, we were then booked in manually and boarded. First impression of the ship was very smart, the cabin was an outside with sea view, was small but big enough to sleep in and get changed. Our opinion is we will not be in there all day, it's only for changing and sleeping, Freddy the cabin boy was brilliant and looked after the room to a high standard, 3 times a day with turn down service. The entertainment team were fab Jo B, Liam, Caroline, Riccy, Ali, DJ Phil Wes and Giovanni were fabulous, kept us entertained. Sea days were a bit packed with sun loungers at a premium, we had to sit on chairs a couple of times, but understandable. The waiter service for drinks was fine though short wait on sea days again understandable with the capacity, yes the decks were chokka at times. The restaurants were very well laid out with the option to share with other guests which was great to meet other people and learn from their past experiences. Food was (as in previous reviews) repetitive but very nice, (i only had the same meal once) the waiters were very obliging and helpful, nothing seemed to much trouble for them. Breakfast in the self service on deck 15 was sometimes a struggle to find a table but most people shared anyway. I had one gripe which was the toast. Was cooked ok but the bread crust was solid i did mention it and was told to ask for fresh as they have someone doing the toast all the time. Drink prices were a bit more than pub price but not extremely over priced, the bar staff were a pleasure to deal with and entertainment of an evening was very good though could have been at times on the bigger theatre as Manhattan bar wasn't big enough for the better artists. In our opinion the overall state of the ship was not as bad as people say. We were very impressed with the ship, the crew, entertainment and food. The itinerary was great with the weather being fabulous with only one Caribbean shower in two weeks. If you want to go ashore just check the Horizon information to see if you need your passport or not and it gives most information you need. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We had been on cruises before but our first wirh p and o.we had an inside cabin on deck 12. Really big for an inside cabin with walk in wardrobe area. Bathroom big enough with toiletries. Lovely lady that cleaned our room . We found ... Read More
We had been on cruises before but our first wirh p and o.we had an inside cabin on deck 12. Really big for an inside cabin with walk in wardrobe area. Bathroom big enough with toiletries. Lovely lady that cleaned our room . We found embarkation ok, given a drink and floral knecklace all good humoured. Ok there were children but they had there own pool area we just went to the adults only area . The boat is plenty big enough for everyone Never found the children a problem. We had 8.30pm seating at night on a table for 6. This was great to meet people all the food was great. You could eat at any time of the day. Only problems were the sunbed shortage on sea days, which was addressed by the staff they put a ticket on the sunbeds with towels on that had been left after half an hour they took the towel and bellongings away. Great New year's eve party. The cruise is what you make it different for everyone we had a great time and have booked again for next year. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We like to go to the Caribbean for some sunshine and have done so for several years with P&O. Earlier in the year we also cruised on Arcadia to New York and Eastern Canada booking for the first time a suite, which was excellent a ... Read More
We like to go to the Caribbean for some sunshine and have done so for several years with P&O. Earlier in the year we also cruised on Arcadia to New York and Eastern Canada booking for the first time a suite, which was excellent a real joy, so when on this cruise we were offered an upgrade from mini suite to a suite ( at an extra but reasonable cost) we thought great, the choice was limited but we chose C750, which is at the rear of the ship. We were aware that as in all cases upgrades will not be for the most ideal cabins, in this case the balcony has a large stanchion obstructing the right hand side. Being aware we were prepared so on entering the suite, we found it to be quite large and spacious and set out very different from Arcadia suites. We were surprised to find that the the shower and whirlpool bath was separated from the toilet but thought and indeed found, there were advantages in this. The disappointment was that there in no provision whatsoever for your toiletries, no shelves no cupboards etc so had to store them in the main room . The main room was large, spacious, plenty of drawers, large dressing table plus a large desk. The bed was great plus you could ask your butler for a choice of pillows. The wardrobe was adequate in a small but walk in cupboard. The balcony however was more obstructed than we thought it would be, not only did it encompass one large stanchion on the right hand side blocking the sliding doors by the bedside, but it also encompassed the major part of another on the left side. There were two steamers but in truth only one was usable, plus a table and two chairs rather cramped. So if you go for a suite with a great balcony, do not chose this one. I am appraised that C751 is exactly the same. The service was great and overall we really enjoyed the cruise. The only other issue is when you land at Barbados you are taken immediately to your transport to the ship, which is definitely not great, as there is no room for your hand baggage and these days most folk have rollalongs so very cramped and uncomfortable. Have made this comment to P&O. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We chose this cruise for it's itinerary and value - nine destinations in 14 days. The Azura proved to be a very decent ship. The Atrium could be bigger, for dancing and activities, but is nicely designed. The Glass House was a ... Read More
We chose this cruise for it's itinerary and value - nine destinations in 14 days. The Azura proved to be a very decent ship. The Atrium could be bigger, for dancing and activities, but is nicely designed. The Glass House was a highlight, cleverly designed and a different sort of bar, where sometimes on cruise ships everywhere feels pretty much the same, but the Glass House is a bit more sophisticated and designed to fit plenty of people in but without ever feeling packed. Does nice food at a reasonable extra cost. Drink prices across the ship are reasonable too - wine at the tables from £17 a bottle is very good these days, and beer no dearer than pub prices. Brodies pub was always buzzing if you like that sort of thing - the casino attached is fine but not big. Malabar and Manhattan bars were always showing some live entertainment or movie*. Freedom dining in the Peninsular or Meridian restaurants was good if unexceptional - not the best or the worst we've had. Met lots of interesting people by sharing tables.Service was fine, but not perhaps as personal as when you do fixed dining and get to know the waiters. Sindhu restaurant (£20 extra each) was excellent, particularly for veggies. On deck, we never felt like there were 3000+ on board. I didn't appreciate from pictures why there were two separate pool areas - from the quiet one with the Sea Screen* you can't hear the louder one where all the music and bands play, so you have a choice according to your mood. *We were informed a couple of weeks before sailing that the outdoor screen on deck would be out of action for our cruise. It didn't exactly ruin our holiday but we were extremely disappointed that they couldn't get this right for the Christmas cruise - the priciest of the year. Rumours varied as to how long they had known it was faulty. I don't think this would happen on other lines. A negative for us was the regular PA announcements at 7am every time we docked (9 days out of 14!). We've never experienced this before - we normally enjoy a lie-in on our holidays, but no chance on Azura I'm afraid. Even though the announcements were in the corridor and not in the room, they were loud enough to hear inside. This will make us think hard about choosing P&O again, which is a shame, because it was otherwise very good. Other negatives? As non smokers we're not keen on the policy of letting people smoke on the starboard side of the pool deck - it's not like the smoke stays on that side. But I suppose a lot of P&O customers appreciate it. For a big-ish ship, P&O seem to have created the pokiest and most awkward buffet restaurant at sea, compounded by their unique insistence on providing trays for confused people to shuffle around the aisles with, while every other line just lets you grab a plate and move around much more easily. Otherwise the food and drink was no different to any other ship. One highlight was the shore excursions, which were much cheaper than some lines like Princess. We went kayaking, snorkeling and river tubing and enjoyed them all. The ports we stopped at were good, although if you didn't book an excursion in some of them there wouldn't be a lot to do after half an hour (Tortola, St.Vincent...) We don't go to see many shows - the Adele tribute Helen Ward-Jackson was excellent and the Tina Turner tribute pretty good too, but the 'Astonishing' magic show was poor - the tricks were obvious and the sound quality of the singers was harsh. Embarkation in Barbados was as good as it could be at 8pm on a warm evening after a delayed 9-hour flight. P&O are always well organised at getting everyone on/off properly. Leaving was fine, but due to the late flight home hanging around from 8am until 3pm would have been a bind if we hadn't discovered a long lost friend in Bridgetown who invited us over! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We just returned home from a fabulous 15 night Pre-Xmas Caribbean cruise aboard the P&O ship Azura. We flew into Barbados on a Tui Dreamliner from Manchester on the 1st December. The flight was comfortable and well serviced with ... Read More
We just returned home from a fabulous 15 night Pre-Xmas Caribbean cruise aboard the P&O ship Azura. We flew into Barbados on a Tui Dreamliner from Manchester on the 1st December. The flight was comfortable and well serviced with complimentary food and drink. The price for 15 nights in a seaview cabin inclusive of flights, transfers and meals was £1750 pp with an on-board spend allowance of £140 pp. The Azura was built in 2010 and has a crew of 1200 and a passenger capacity of 3100 and has worn its 8 years well and is a lovely ship. We were located in cabin P325 conveniently on the same level as the atrium and close to all the shops and reception. There are several dining rooms providing fixed or flexible, waiter served dining for breakfast and dinner, a casual self-serve buffet restaurant and four posh restaurants for which there is cover charge. We tried all of them. The standard dining (included in the price) was varied and the service excellent but the standard food whilst OK wouldn’t blow you away. The 24 hour self-serve buffet had a good variety but quality wasn’t great, but you will like it if you are not fussy. The best of the posh restaurants imho was the The Glass House which served great food, wine and drinks, contemporary décor, great service and was the best value with a relatively modest cover charge which varied with what you had. The Indian fushion restaurant, Sindhu, was also very good, superb service, excellent choice of food, wine and other drinks, and a reasonable cover of £20 per head. The Epicurian restaurant was pretentious and over priced at £28 per head and, they couldn’t cook a steak properly. The Beachhouse was OK, roughly equal to your average pub grub with a cover of £7.50 per head. Drinks were wide and varied and seemed fairly priced. As a real ale drinker I didn’t expect to be bowled over but to be fair I found a couple bars serving reasonable bitter/ale but you have to ask them to serve it with a big head and let it warm up a bit, its always too cold. There were four formal black tie nights, which we personally don’t go for, so on those nights we dined in either the Glass House or Beach House, which did not require the penguin look. The itinery had four sea days. To be honest the first was day was not much fun, it was overcrowded on deck and if you didn’t get out with your towel before 9.00 you struggled to get a sunbed. The other three days got better as many passengers couldn’t be bothered and then there was space for everybody. There is an exclusive area called the Retreat which you pay for. It is spacious and never over-crowded but at £175 per person for 14 days it wouldn’t be! We tried to book it for just the 4 sea days but it was all or nothing we were told. I have to say service in all areas, be it restaurants, bars, coffee shops, general shops cabin stewards etc was first class and friendly and they couldn’t do enough for you. We had a seaview cabin. It was reasonably spacious, we went for a single beds layout, the shower and toilet was adequate and the walk-in style wardrobe and cupboard and safe more than good enough. There were brew facilities, a mini bar, hair drier, TV and climate control, and enough power points (UK) The ship was very stable and at times you had to look outside to see if it was moving. But enough about the ship, the ports of call are what its really about and with the exception of Tortola (which had still not fully recovered from last years hurricane) all were extremely interesting. In each case we took a private island tour provided by the many private hire taxis, in comfortable air conditioned SUVs carrying on average 8 persons at a cost of $25 per head. All had great guides speaking better English than wot I do! Now I know P&O will warn you all about the risks in doing this, but after all they want to sell their own over-priced alternative, we had no problems. Our fave island was Antigua and we loved St Kitts. Our daily weather was just great with average temp of 28C, an odd shower and a refreshing breeze. Worth a mention was the 40 minute transfer to the ship from the airport in Barbados. Following an 8 hour flight P&O seem to think its OK to cram you all in a crammed bone shaker of a bus, with insufficient storage space for your travel case, no working seatbelts (well ours didn’t) with a driver who was in some sort of hurry whilst chatting on his phone. Not good enough P&O. But the check-in and embarkation was very efficient. So, there is no perfect cruise, it is a compromise, but as long as the good outweighs the bad then you are laughing, and on this cruise it did, very easily, and any little niggles were always satisfactorily resolved. So in a nutshell what was good :- All round service in bars and restaurants The Glass House and Sindhu restaurants Resident band Pulse Entertainment On-board activities Breakfasts (water service) Drinks Ports of call – all good Sail-away parties Cabin comfort Spa and gym Efficiency of embarking and disembarking at all ports Ships décor Galley tour (fantastic insight into what goes on behind the scenes) Manhatten lounge Live footy coverage in Brodies The huge number of bars and places to eat Daily news letter. Not so good :- The sea screen (movies under the stars) was not working – a major disappointment The Epicurian restaurant Many of public areas and bars were cold Transfer to ship in Barbados Onboard shops were over-priced Ships yours were over-priced Abysmal service on return flight Reception undermanned at peak times. So the big question is, would we do it again. We are missing it already and are planning our next one. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Enjoyable cruise from start to finish. Swift embarkation and luggage soon followed. Balcony cabin on B deck kept spotless by our cabin steward. I can't comment on the entertainment as it's never my thing so I don't ... Read More
Enjoyable cruise from start to finish. Swift embarkation and luggage soon followed. Balcony cabin on B deck kept spotless by our cabin steward. I can't comment on the entertainment as it's never my thing so I don't go. The food was all good from the grab and go to the main resturants. We had two meals in Epicurian and one in Sindu, both of these select venues are well worth the extra fee. We spent sea days in the area near the oasis pool as this is a quieter area but the main pool near breakers bar is good for anyone with children. There seemed to be lots going on during the day and evenings for passengers if they chose to participate. We preferred to just relax. Overall I think the ship caterers well for a wide group of people and you can choose to be as active or quiet as you wish. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
I needed a break so short notice I booked the week prior to leaving. The whole process effortless and on arrival at Southampton this was further established as a very well run operation. I was a little concerned over travelling solo but ... Read More
I needed a break so short notice I booked the week prior to leaving. The whole process effortless and on arrival at Southampton this was further established as a very well run operation. I was a little concerned over travelling solo but apart from paying the extra to travel alone there honestly was nothing to worry about. My balcony cabin was perfect 9 steps from the terrace pool bar and restaurant from Riviera deck with easy access to Lido and above. Why kickstart well this cruise is the first real break in 2 years, have thrown myself in to work and given little back. So I purchased the drinks package in my case great value, great brands Tarquins Gin and Doom Bar Ale are a pre requisite for fun. The food excellent, Peninsula Restaurant and the waiting team Emmanuel Table 44 too good to be forgotten. Entertainment well hence the four from five rating it was enhanced by the presence of the Osmond's but the headliners although talented seemed to lack the soul they were trying to portray. Back to travelling solo I made some great friends and we all certainly were men not without hats! Itenary six days of great weather, only one wet day it would have been great if more entertainment were available on wet days. The Gym pool sauna and steams in the Oasis were fantastic and being surrounded by genuinely lovey people made the recipe for a great week. Book again? Yes Recommend? Yes Sparrowhawk on my Balcony? Yes Thank you Azura Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Overall this was a lovely cruise. It was clean, calm and well organised. The embarkation process was smooth and easy . We visited beautiful places in the Norwegian fiords . If I had to criticise something it would be 3 things. 1. The ... Read More
Overall this was a lovely cruise. It was clean, calm and well organised. The embarkation process was smooth and easy . We visited beautiful places in the Norwegian fiords . If I had to criticise something it would be 3 things. 1. The drinks package . We paid £560 approx for a week of free drinks for 2 adults and 1 child . It does work well but they do fail to tell you everything and when we challenged items on our bill , the assistant bar officer just quoted the small print in the T&C and said you should have read it . We argued £12 as charged for wine on the self service machines which even that don’t say not included he just said you should have read your paperwork, a poor attitude for the sake of keeping a loyal and valuable customers for the sake of £12. Hey ho Royal Caribbean here we come . The 2nd was the ship staff are overall polite , nearly all Indian , however some don’t apply common scence and stick to there rules especially at the costa caffe where I felt the attitude was poor overall . 2. The gym equipment is tired and allot not working, it needs some attention Overall though a lovely cruise and only spoiled by a few silly staff. The staff in the Glass house was lovely and did have scence so it’s not everyone Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
My husband and I went on this cruise together. This was only our second cruise we have done and the first with P and O so we can't really compare to other ships. We chose to have a balcony cabin so we could relax and watch the views ... Read More
My husband and I went on this cruise together. This was only our second cruise we have done and the first with P and O so we can't really compare to other ships. We chose to have a balcony cabin so we could relax and watch the views go by. We thought the views reminded us of the trip we did on the Caledonion way in Scotland, my husband said it was like the Caledonion way on steroids! We were on Riviera deck which has the over hang on the balcony which we were very glad to have. During the trip there was often rain and it meant we could still sit out and enjoy the sights without getting wet, when we looked down on the more open balcony's we saw people with their umbrellas, or trying to dry off their chairs with towels. The cabin itself was clean and very comfy. We asked our cabin steward to empty the mini bar and keep us topped up with ice each day. We took along along a litre bottle of gin and whiskey with little tins of mixers which was great for pre dinner drinks in the cabin. We chose the 2nd sitting for dinner I had hoped this would mean no young children in the restaurant. Don't get me wrong i love kids and have worked with them all my life but as I can only go on holiday during school holidays it can be difficult to have a "break" from them. Unfortunately our table for two was right next to a family with a 4 year old and 6 year old, while on the whole they were pretty good there were times when they were crying at the table ( properly because they were so tired) and also they were playing on tablets with the sound up which was not great for a relaxing dining experience. I think P and O should have a a late dining choice in one of their restaurants for adults only. The food we could not fault I don't know why anyone would pay any extra to go to one of the other dining venues. So much choice and I was amazed that nothing ever ran out. The waiters and the wine waitress were very friendly and helpful. We also tried the afternoon tea on a couple of occasions which was also very good. We had not realised until a couple of days into the cruise that we could go to one of the dining rooms for waiter service lunch. This was so much better than the scrum of the buffet restaurants. This was a terrible dining experience the food was great but trying to get a table was impossible we ended up walking up and down with our trays of food and by the time we found somewhere to sit our food was cold. Once we discovered the other dining option we did not venture in here again! We did not do any of the excursions preferring to do our own thing in the ports. We did lots of walking and saw some amazing views. It was easy getting on and off the ship as no tenders involved. We are not really people who do all the competitions that are on during the day especially sea days but we enjoyed a two part talk by Chris Lubbe who was Nelson Mandela's body guard, he had an amazing story to tell. We also watched the film "The greatest Showman" on the last sea day which i had been wanting to see. We watched all the shows which were of a high standard and enjoyed them all. As we were on late sitting for dinner we always went to the late show at 10.30 and never had a problem of finding anywhere to sit. We then always moved onto one of the bars to listen to music by the live bands. We particularly enjoyed the band "run around kids". We enjoyed the the cruise and felt it was good value for money we are planning to do another one next year with P and O. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
This was our second cruise with P & O and we enjoyed it very much. We had a boarding time of 1.30 p.m. However, when we arrived at Southampton at midday we were pleasantly surpised to be told that we could join the check in queue ... Read More
This was our second cruise with P & O and we enjoyed it very much. We had a boarding time of 1.30 p.m. However, when we arrived at Southampton at midday we were pleasantly surpised to be told that we could join the check in queue immediately. This was a real bonus for us and we were checked in and boarded by 12.30 p.m. Having boarded and grabbed some lunch, we decided to try to find out the location of our cabin and were very pleased to see our luggage had already been delivered. We were unpacked and ready to go by 1.15 p.m. The whole process was very efficient. We split our dining between the Peninsular dining room and the buffet. The food and service in the dining room were excellent. However, the food in the buffet left a lot to be desired, especially during dinner. Breakfast was pretty good, however. It seemed to us that providing excellent food in the dining rooms was at the expense of the buffet. The entertainment in the theatre was very good and the new show "Astonishing" was extremely entertaining and did leave us wondering how a couple of the illusions were done. The comedian improved as the week wore on. I know it is something people either love or hate, but we enjoyed the Great British Sailalong very much. You will note that I said "Sailalong" rather than "Sailaway". This is because Norwegian ports have now banned the sailaways, so we had this on our last day at sea instead. The only criticism we would have is that the DJ could have kept the party admosphere going a bit longer after the sailalong, instead of playing just one tune and then reverting to the usual stuff. The ports of call are all outstanding. We did not book any excursions through P & O, but instead booked independently. Flam and Olden are particularly spectacular. If you can manage the walk up to the Bryksdal glacier, it is well worth the effort. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We are not natural cruisers but liked the itinerary of Kirwall, Lerwick, 4 days in Iceland, Belfast and finally Cobh. We had taken advantage of the "free parking" at Southampton as we live in the North of England and chose not ... Read More
We are not natural cruisers but liked the itinerary of Kirwall, Lerwick, 4 days in Iceland, Belfast and finally Cobh. We had taken advantage of the "free parking" at Southampton as we live in the North of England and chose not to spend a day on a coach. Dropping the car at the designated gate and time was very well organised. After queuing for approximately 10 minutes we were shown where to park. We unloaded luggage and it was taken to the ship quickly by a porter, leaving us to check in (all luggage was in cabin by the time we got there). The checkin hall was very busy and appeared a little disorganised but we got through very quickly with the staff on the check in desk being very friendly and efficient. This was only our 2nd cruise and the the first with P&O. The ship, Azura, holds 3100 passengers with over 1200 crew of which 200 are chefs. Our first impression was that the ship was friendly and very clean. All area of the ship provide anti bacterial hand rubs which passengers are expected to use on every entry to a restaurant to avoid sickness bugs. There did not appear to be any sickness on the 2 week cruise. The cabin was clean with plenty of storage space. We had a balcony cabin in the centre of the ship A515 with a very attentive cabin steward. Cabins were serviced twice a day. We chose freedom dining and usually prefer to eat early evening. We were allocated Peninsular Restaurant and usually managed to secure a table for 2 on the majority of evenings. The service is mostly good with a few lapses. Surprisingly attracting the attention of the wine waitress was impossible on at least 1 evening. There is a wide choice of food each evening and people with special diets were provided with their own menus to choose food for th following evening. There are also several restaurants where an additional fee is paid. We chose to have afternoon tea in the Epicurean Restaurant (£15.00 each) and were not disappointed. Having taken afternoon tea at the Ritz and Betty's we were very impressed as this surpassed both- well worth the small extra charge. The service here is excellent and could not be faulted. We also chose to eat here on 1 evening - wow is all we can say!! The buffet is a bit of a bun fight and it is easy to get elbowed out of the way by single minded cruisers. We did not use the "grab and go" or pizza bar but they did look and smell delicious. Entertainment was much in evidence. Every evening a news sheet "Horizon" was distributed to each cabin. This gave times of all activities provided the next day as well as arrangements for the following days excursions. Activities started at 7am and went on somewhere in the ship till late each evening. The is a large theatre on 3 tiers and entertainment provided is very professional. The Headliners Theatre company put on shows almost every evening with the first house at 8.30 being mostly full. There was only one of these shows that was frankly awful. The sound was so loud it was impossible to hear the singers and we came away with our ears hurting. The 2 nd week brought some additional acts, The Opera Boys and Stand Like a Man - both were superb. Outstanding for us was the Azura Orchestra - a very hard working set of musicians who we very much enjoyed when they performed. There were other smaller bands playing throughout the day in various places around the ship. A wide range of activities was provided around the ship - up to the individual whether to participate or not. There seemed to be a fair number of children on the ship but a separate activity programme was provided and at no time did their presence disturb. 7 ports of call including 2 full days in Reykjavik Excursions - huge choice available but quite expensive. Each one was well organised. We opted for a tour of North Shetland which was good despite the mist. In Iceland we opted for the Ring of Fire Tour from Reykjavik - fabulous scenery! From Isafjadur, Vigur Isand - a must for bird lovers and from Akruyri a Game of Thrones Tour where the scenery was stunning. All tours were very well managed and we were impressed with the standard of organisation around the them, with very knowledgable guides. Normally we prefer independent travelling and were a little apprehensive about organised tours on buses but our fears were quickly allayed and we did enjoy all of the ones we chose. Service was mostly good but it was very difficult to actually sit anywhere without someone trying to sell a drink. There are a fair number of shops on board - fragrance, jewellery and watches, handbags, clothes - all quite expensive and none of which were of interest to us. Disembarkation was phased with luggage, which needed to be collected by 11 pm the previous night, being placed in a big hall and located in decks. After we had found our luggage it was a short walk to the cabin to collect our car keys to find the car waiting for us. We had taken photos of the car and mileage before handing over the keys but we need not have worried as the whole car parking operation from start to finish was very efficient. Overall we enjoyed the cruise and would take another one but probably not for a few years, unlike many of our fellow travellers some of whom were on their 20th cruise! Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
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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