We cruised on Ventura in 20014 and had a excellent holiday,We had no reservations in booking the P&O Azura transatlantic cruise from Barbados calling at St Lucia, Antigua, St Maarten and the Azores, finishing at Southampton with a total of eight days at sea. We were aware the ship was scheduled a refit immediately after disembarkation. We chose an outside cabin on E deck with an obstructed view, that description is correct, all we could see was the large tender outside. What we did not expect was the lack of privacy with crew working on the tender on a number of occasions with a full view of our cabin. All though we did enjoy the destinations we were disappointed the dining experience . We were allocated second sitting in the peninsular restaurant. The lack of staff was very apparent, the decision by P&O to remove the wine waiter from the restaurant is a big mistake. Our waiter was rushed off his feet, serving three tables and taking wine orders, he struggled to cope. On a number of occasions we received our wine order half way through the meal, i feel this will be detrimental for P & O as we will not order a wine package if we cruise with them again. The menu was good and varied, however the quality and presentation left much to be desired, (spongy yorkshire puddings and baked Alaska that looked like it had been bought in Iceland) this was very disappointing after the excellent food and service we received on the Ventura (Marco Pierre White would not be impressed). We used the dining room for breakfast and lunch as the buffet restaurants were extremely busy. The afternoon tea was a joke in the main dining room, with dried up sandwiches and a few cakes, not a pleasant experience.
We were disappointed with the daily activities on the long days at sea but the nighttime entertainers were very good.
My last gripe is disembarkation in Southampton. We had to vacate our cabin at 08.00 and given a time of 10.45 to disembark and told to wait in the Sindu restaurant. We arrived to find staff cleaning the restaurant and half of the area cordoned off and toilets closed. The organization was dier, you would expect all passengers to have vacated the ship before the staff start cleaning.
The cabin was clean and comfortable, cabin steward excellent and very helpful