We have cruised for the passed 5 Christmasses so when P&O Azura was cruising to the Canaries on 15th Dec for 12 nights we thought we would book the cruise.
Embarkation at Southampton went very smoothly and preference was made for scooter and wheelchair users. The balcony cabin was a good size, big enough for the scooter but the balcony, although large, was very dark due to the top being covered by the deck above. Very little daylight.
The cabin steward, Rony, was excellent and tried his best to find me a stool for the shower to no avail. Being disabled it is hard for me to stand in theses small showers.
Having had Neurovirus on board on the previous sailing the use of hand wash was enforced during the first few days but seemed to rely on passengers to do it voluntary with no supervision after that. Resultently it reappeared during the cruise.
The food and service was excellent up to Xmas Eve but seemed to fall apart after that. Fortunately we elected to dine in the Sindu restaurant on Xmas Day and had a marvellious meal. The passengers who used the dining rooms were not as fortunate. Poor service and shortages in the various courses.
The atmosphere on Xmas Day was like a morgue. Other than a show for the children on board and the officers putting on a bit of a panto in the theatre for an hour there was no further evidence of Xmas spirit. We expected Carol singers to circulate around the ship. No such luck. In the Atrium they were giving a Samba lesson for half an hour after lunch. That was it.
The waiting staff, in the dining rooms and cafes and bars took all the time to crack a smile. The entertainment, on the whole, was good. Only one bad comedian spoilt it.
Disembarkation was smooth enough. Last time with P&O I'm afraid.
E deck balcony cabins are very dark. The outside cabins on the same deck have a partial obstructed view but are better value.
Funchal put on a lovey Xmas show. This is a port offering a good variety of things to do and see.
The port area has a nice marina. Unfortunately the city of Lisbon is very shabby around the squares. A shame for we visited this port many times over the last 20 years and it seems to be neglected in maintenance.
Have to take excursions to see beter parts of the island. The port, Santa Cruz, has a nice promenade and shopping area but not much else.
Nice old buildings in main shopping area. Nice promenade.