Great cruise which took in Cadiz, Messina, Corfu, Dubrovnik, Venice & Gibraltar. Past P & O cruisers but our first time on Aurora. Lovely sized ship - not too big. Atmosphere felt very friendly & relaxed - maybe as the average age of passengers was late 60's / 70's. At times it could feel like we were on a Saga cruise - we are 43 and 44, but our fellow cruisers were in the main really pleasant and sociable.
Entertainment was varied in the evenings - excellent resident band Caravan who could perform a wide range of genres, Headliners Theatre Group performed energetic song and dance routines such as Abba, Queen, and Motown. Some guest acts - we saw an excellent Tenor called Roy Locke and a vocalist called Claire Bunso who did a great Shirley Bassey tribute. Tom O'Connor was also performing - we did not see him but were told he was very good. There was also a comedian/variety act on for 2 nights, some classical musician acts, and a unique ukulele act but we did not see these. The daytime entertainment was somewhat limited and I felt geared more to the older cruisers - Line Dancing, Quoits, Shuffleboard, Bingo, Watercolour Art classes, Whist, Bridge and other Dance classes. There is a cinema with 1 or 2 films daily at various times which were pretty good.
Our cabin had a Balcony, a shower over a small bath, and a small sitting area - perfect for our needs. It was kept very clean by our steward who was friendly and approachable. The food on board was very good - great selection in both the Horizon Buffet ( referred to by some as the "smash & grab " ) and the main dining rooms. The specialty restaurants were really good and Sindhu in particular was well worth the supplement. We ate there twice as it was so good.
We had done some research in advance so only went on 2 shore excursions, one of which was simply a transfer from Messina to Taormina. The Game of Thrones Tour in Dubrovnik was fantastic taking in the old town and some beautiful gardens where we were shown around filming locations by a lady who had been an extra in the series. The other ports we explored on our own but we heard very good feedback about some of the tours. There was an excellent member of staff called Sam who did regular port talks and even did a commentary as we sailed into Venice. Each port was different and we enjoyed our time in each one.
There were 3 pool and jacuzzi areas on this ship. The Terrace Pool at the back was very peaceful with a small number of sunbeds. the shops onboard sold the usual cruise fare and in my opinion could do with updating. The size of this ship meant that unlike on some larger ones, you would often bump into the same passengers for a chat which was really lovely. Whilst this ship would probably be a bit boring for those who like more activity / nightlife, it was a really relaxing experience. The captain Wesley Dunlop is quite new to P & O. It was lovely to see him greeting passengers as we went ashore at a couple of ports. We enjoy the Black Tie nights and there were 4 of these on our cruise. Finally, there was some gastro-intestinal illness a few days into the cruise. Increased hygiene measures were introduced and it was kept under control as a result.
Lovely cabin. Clean, tidy, spacious enough for 2 adults. Plenty of storage. Great to have a shower over a bath and not just a shower cubicle. No excessive noise from any other parts of the ship heard here.
Coach transfer with a guide who directed us to the main street in Taormina and how to get to the Greek-Roman Theatre remains. Quite pricey transfer but it did not look easy to do this independently.View All 101 City Tour Reviews
Game of Thrones Walking Tour. Transfer from dock to Old Town and local guide told us of history of Croatia and Dubrovnik. She had been an extra on the series and was also an archaeologist. This was really enjoyable in part due to the enthusiasm of the guide and her insight into the filming conditions and locations. Some free time was possible in the old town before we were taken to a beautiful garden location where some filming had also taken place.View All 77 Walking Tour Reviews