Winter Sun on the P&O Azura: Azura Cruise Review by Dinkys on tour

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Dinkys on tour
Member Since 2013

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Winter Sun on the P&O Azura

Sail Date: December 2012
Destination: Canary Islands
Embarkation: Southampton
Our first taste of a P&O Cruise, with Azura our ship for this 14 day trip to the Canary Islands, Maderia, Spain and Portugal.

The ship is well presented and the cabin was modern and spacious with plenty of open hanging space and a reasonable size bathroom with compact shower with curtain, however compared to Celebrity Eclipse where the shower had a glass door and room for two!!

This was not our first sailing out of Southampton however our fellow passengers appeared to be totally from the UK. Clearly the major companies selling bulk cabins had done well with many Scots most of whom travelled on the chartered train and many from the North East who came by coach. This gave a holiday camp feel or an all inclusive hotel in Spain, and we were surprised at the number of school age children despite it not being school holidays.

We had a early sitting and the food was good albeit very English, however that's what P&O do promote. The speciality restaurants were very good More and worth the extra cover charges. The self-service restaurant was lacking in space around the servery and lack of seats, when Azura gets a refurb P&O would be wise to rethink these areas.

Staff are mainly Indian and we noted their customer service ethos was not as good as those from the Philippines or Indonesia. In fact the support to those who needed extra help due to disability or being of senior years was lacking and the eye contact of staff was not evident.

The entertainment staff were excellent and the show team very professional, this approach of having contracted show teams is a winner. This however means you have to get to the Theatre early to get a seat.

The ship is old style shaft and propellers, this gives the stern a waggle (a problem in the rear restaurant especially for those with motion sickness). Th pitch and roll was quiet noticeable and the cavitation caused by the air getting to the propellers created much noise and waggling. This was unexpected for a ship launched in 2010. Compare this to the Celebrity Eclipse that doesn't seem to move even in rough seas of the North Sea and Baltic, maybe the azipods do make the difference.

In summary a good cruise but we won't be back on P&O or Azura for a while, however we have heard the Arcadia is a nice ship and goes to great ports around the World. Less

Published 01/05/13

Cabin review: JE243 Balcony Stateroom

Cabin on Australia Deck A243 Good size with Balcony, good views fore and aft, docking view obstructed by the lower balconies that stick out beyond the side of the ship. In rough seas creaking of ceiling panels especially when rolling. Good furnishings and hanging space. Roomy cabin. Shower area small with curtain, bathroom only slightly bigger than a cross channel ferry.

Read All Balcony Stateroom (JE) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

The local tour buses were very good Red Bus and Green Bus used, took some time to get started as they wanted to fill the bus, however it did cover the main tourists sites and was hop-on-and-off. On reflection with better knowledge using the trams would have been cheaper however with no commentary on public services research in advance and a good map would be essential. Lisbon is hilly, so use the trams to go up the hills and walk down. The City is one of contrasts, with some areas requiring regeneration and others with designer shops and homes. Certainly a port you can do on your own if you want to reduce costs.
Read 626 Lisbon Reviews

Seville on Your Own

Very walkable City with all sites in close proximity, the coach was worth getting to Seville from Cadiz and the on board guide gave good advice and some history which was welcomed.

Santiago de Compostela

Worth a trip and very historic site with pleasant town to visit alongside the cathedral.
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Dinkys on tour
Member Since 2013
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