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Aurora Review

4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating
282 reviews
7 Awards

Faux Cunard?

Review for Aurora to Transpacific
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10+ Cruises • Age 60s

Rating by category

Value for Money
Public Rooms

Additional details

Sail Date: Jan 2016
Cabin: Inside Stateroom with Shower
Aurora in San Francisco.
Inside Cabin C162, Deck 9.
Inside Cabin C162, Deck 9.
Inside Cabin C162, Deck 9. Chaise and tea making facilities.
Inside Cabin C162, Deck 9. Safe and fridge.
Inside Cabin C162, Deck 9.  Bathroom.

P&O UK is “British to the bootstraps” but I do believe they are trying to be something they are not, particularly in regard to dress code and maintenance.

For example, the information pack provided to passengers before they board states that the dress code for each evening applies from 6 pm throughout the ship, and “asks” passengers to comply. What it doesn’t tell you is that if you are sitting in the Crows Nest or some other public area at 6 pm, reading a book or drinking a cocktail and minding your own business, and you aren’t in a black tie or jacket on those evenings, you will be told to leave (even if there is no one else there). This was annoying – even more so when I went to dinner in my finery to find myself sitting opposite a fellow wearing a T-shirt. I suspect this was because the wait staff were too busy ogling his 20 something blonde girlfriend to notice whether he was wearing anything at all. On complaint, the maitre d’ personally assured me it would never happen again but it did - two nights later: same guy, same shirt, same girlfriend.

On a 25 night cruise there were 7 ‘formal’ nights, 7 ‘jacket required’ nights (both of which we thought were excessive, especially in summer in the South Pacific) and 11 ’evening casual’ nights. Except for my T-shirt friend, if you didn’t wear the nominated attire, you were banished to eat at Horizon buffet/cafeteria. However, every night they closed half the serving area and half the outside dining area in Horizon as it was being used by the (extra fee applicable) Beach House restaurant, resulting in a much longer queue to collect your dinner. In effect, this was double punishment for dress code violators.

Cabin Review

Inside Stateroom with Shower

Cabin OC

Equal to the smallest we have had on any cruise ship, but perfectly adequate. Plenty of hanging space and drawers. Bed was certainly not the most comfortable we have experienced, but each to his own. Suitcases would not fit in closed state under the bed - had to be left open. Flat screen TV but the shows and movies were unnecessarily repetitive. Good size safe and excellent fridge - cold and could take at least 2 bottles of wine. Tea making facilities with biscuits. Lollies also but not replenished. Chocolates every night but no towel animals (double yay!). Bathroom was a good, compact design. Toiletries were of excellent quality. Shower was adjustable and easy to operate. Small clothes line in shower area. Shower curtain was such that it did not let water leak on the floor. We sprayed Glen20 on the air conditioning outlets every second day, to guard against cabin cough (successfully).

Port Reviews


Berthed right at the town waterfront. We took an independent 'Taste of Waiheke' wine tasting tour to Waiheke Island, which was very memorable for all the right reasons.


The ship docks opposite the ANZ Stadium. It is quite a walk to town or the ship runs a shuttle for 4 pounds sterling per person each way. Free wifi on the waterfront near Te Papa - no free wifi near the ship.


Tender port. Be careful of the overpriced independent local 1 hour tour of the town for $25. There is a free shuttle (run by the locals) between the two ends of town - goes from the end of the tender wharf. The town is flat and easy to walk around. Free wifi at the local library.


The ship berths at Port Chalmers, 10 km from Dunedin. Ship's shuttle costs 5 pounds sterling per person one way - we decided to do a $80 each, 6 hour independent tour (including lunch and other refreshments) instead. Dunedin and the surrounding area are lovely.

Pago Pago

There's not much to do in Pago Pago. It was also stifflingly hot when we were there.

San Francisco

Walking distance to Fishermans Wharf and other attractions. The night view of the Bay Bridge from the deck of the ship was magnificent. Sailing under the Golden Gate at midnight was a highlight.


Tender port. Would have been better if the captain had completed the paperwork to allow us on the first tender to land! (soon rectified of course). Lahaina is a quaint town, quite level for easy walking. Great when the whales re breaching.


Berthed in Pier 2 on the Waikiki side of Aloha Tower instead of the expected berth on the other side of the Aloha Tower. Much confusion, with no ship's crew ashore to guide us, looking for the advertised ship's shuttle (a lie - there wasn't one). No direction or advice whatsoever for independent travelers wishing to go to Pearl Harbour. Some passengers got stickers and lined up for the Maui Divers free shuttle but there was a lot of pushing & shoving when the Hilo Hatties free shuttle arrived first. Both shuttles went to the vicinity of the Ala Moana Shopping Centre, from where you could take a trolley bus to Waikiki for $2 each. Waikiki is lovely and well worth the visit (as is Pearl Harbour). We Hilo Hattie people had been instructed to return to the shop at Ala Moana for an afternoon bus back to the ship, and once 25 people (a bus load) had arrived we were marched to the bus - only to find that some crew (who had obviously done this before) had boarded the bus and were taking up half the seats. They would not move (in spite of being told quite clearly it was a passenger shuttle), resulting in some passengers who had done the right thing having to wait one hour for the next shuttle bus. Black mark for incompetence to P&O UK for this stop, and a black mark to the crew - very hard to consider paying the gratuities after this effort.

Sydney (Australia)

Being awake for, and witnessing, the sail into Sydney Harbour is a "bucket list" event. Berthed right in Circular Quay with the bridge on one side and the Opera House on the other. As we were disembarking, we went as directed and notified in writing to the Curzon Theatre to be told quite curtly that this was for shore excursions only and to go away. So we just went to the gangway and got off the ship. Very welcoming and helpful people ashore.

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