The main reason for choosing the cruise was the itinerary (Gibraltar, Ajaccio, Civitavecchia, la spezia, Monte Carlo, Marseille and Cadiz).
Due to being a Powerchair user our previous cruise resulted in us missing out on accessible shore excursions to Rome, Pisa and Florence for this reason we decided to go to the same ports.
This time prior to the cruise we decided to contact p&o cruises and arrange the shore excursions for these particular port. Due to us having a large party the accessible excursions were not suitable for 7 of us. This was no problem for p&o cruises there gave us all the information we needed and provided us with private excursion options, although the private excursions were expensive it made the difficulties of being a wheelchair user in a foreign country stress free. In both civitavecchia and la spezia a private mini bus was waiting port side and available to us for duration of the day. A guide was offered to us but we did not take up this option we wanted to explore by ourselves.
Having been on previous p&o cruises we sort of knew what to expect and having been on the azura's sister ship Ventura we were use to the style of the ship. Azura's was a nice ship but simple things made navigating the ship in a wheelchair more difficult, for example only forward lifts were available to deck 16 and with no toilets on this deck numerous trips along the decks and up and down lifts during the day. another example was our restaurant was on deck 6 at the back of the ship we would regularly meet at the front of the ship in Brodie's bar also on deck 6 this resulted in us before our meal having to use the lifts up to deck 7 across and back down to the restaurant as one of the kitchens on deck 6 is in the way. This was not a big problem but did make navigating the ship more difficult.
During the day the number of open bars was very limited most were closed till 5 in the afternoon making the bars congested and difficult to find a table. Other than that the bar service was to a good standard but the limited number of waiters did make waiting for a drink that little longer.
On a whole this wasn't the best p&o cruises experience we have had, having been on the Ventura in 2011 and Britannia last year it is natural to compare standards of how it was last time and what has changed. But on a whole the main restaurant staff, friends and family, weather, entertainment and the private excursions made the cruise a fantastic experience.
As the cruise was a strictly come dancing themed cruise many events were available for people to attend such as live shows with dancers from the show, dance lessons and autograph sessions were available but this was not in your face. If you didn't fancy these events you didn't have to go there was plenty of others things to do and see. The live shows were free and tickets were allocated to the cabin giving everyone the opportunity to attend if the wanted.
On a whole the accessible cabin was excellent for a wheelchair user plenty of turning circles within the cabin, walk in shower with a fold down chair the balcony and bathroom could be accessed in my Powerchair. We took our portable hoist on board to transfer me from my wheelchair, the hoist legs could get under the beds making it much easier to transfer and the carpet wasn't too harsh on the caster wheels on both the hoist and wheelchair. The room was right opposite the opening to the lift meaning navigating the corridors around trollies was not necessary as access to the lifts was right near the door.
The only issues we had with the cabin was the cleanliness and state of the balcony, bird thesis was all over the balcony dividers and overall state of the balcony was very tired this was on the the day we arrived and opened our balcony doors. Once we asked the cabin steward to clean the mess he did the issue was solved. 5 days into our cruise a message arrived saying there were going to be doing some maintanence on our balcony as they thought in needed some tlc. This did improve the overall state of the balcony.
The overall cleanness of the cabin on arrival was too a good standard. But the cabin steward did not keep this up throughout the cruise although he did the simple things fresh towels and making the beds. Vacuuming was not regular and some rubbish and used classes remainder for numerous days, the cabin was not dirty by all means but these little things were noticeable.
Gibraltar is a lovely place and have visited this port before, we tried to get a wheelchair accessible taxi to the top of the Rock the person in the tourist office said this was possible and pointed us to where these taxis could be found. However when we got there the taxi company said they don't have any so this built my hopes up to be told these are not actually available.
Nice and easy to navigate port everything is within reach from shops, bars and restaurants all in walking distance from the ship.
The driver was excellent and went out his way to ensure we saw everything we wanted to within the number of hours we had. His English was very good and nothing was a problem, the van was accessible and stress free experience in Rome.View All 157 Private Tour Reviews
Nice last port of call easy to navigate not far to walk and plenty of things to do beaches, shopping and even architecture.
attended a private excursions to Pisa and Florence so didn't see much of la spezia was a very large shipping container port with loads of machinery and ships.
Lovely experience a lot of walking is required and it's about a 30 minute walk around the large harbour, the walk to the hairpin and casino is a long way and Monaco is a hilly place with steep inclines.