We chose this Azura cruise because we had been on the Azura twice previously and enjoyed almost everything about the experience.I will try to be fair and form an opinion on experience as a whole before choosing a score for the whole cruise. Of course the crew members were mostly charming and well mannered and they work hard. The captain was approachable and seemed excellent at his job. Individually entertainers were good or not good; that is a matter of taste. Our cabin was clean and our steward was hard working so no problems there. I will focus my comments on what I know and what I feel has changed since we last sailed on the Azura. The atmosphere on board, created by the entertainment director and his team, was so different and more" Butlins and Hi de Hi " than our previous Azura cruises which had catered more for "grown ups". The entertainment in the Theatre was usually of a good standard but the Elvis spoof by a deputy entertainment manager in the cabaret lounge was infantile and amateurish and smacked of cost cutting by not paying a professional. We had a constant general uneasiness that standards had slipped due to a cost cutting exercises and this view was expressed to us by many passengers. The Peninsular Restaurant menu was samey and after a few nights aboard I was aching for other food. Is the repetitive menu a PandO ploy to force you into another restaurant at extra cost? The Verona and Venetia restaurants lunch menu was not to my liking but I am prepared to accept that sliced processed sausages and slippery cheese are modern taste, I just happen to prefer sliced real cold cuts with a simple salad for lunch. Absolutely every day we found crockery in the cafeteria which was substandard. Cracked mugs, chipped mug rims and boken handles. Blue staining on the outside of the cups (undissolved detergent) day after day. Multiple tea and coffee stains inside the mugs, one instance of crystallised sugar at the bottom of a mug, two instances of what looked like thick coffee milk skin over a sizeable area of the mugs. On returning the mugs to a waiter I picked up another and found it had lipstick around the rim. On each occasion I returned the mug and reported it to the waiter as well as showing it to any bystander. Now for the cutlery. I usually made my tea and after stirring, placed the spoon in the "used" tin. On one occasion I accidentally left the spoon in my cup only to find later that it had sponge pudding stuck on it. Think about it. I had stirred my tea with a spoon that had been in someone else's mouth and not properly washed. I was also given a knife that had dried egg on the blade and on another occasion a knife had food of different colours all the way along the blade. Finally, three supervisors and a higher authority were involved in checking the offending unhygenic cutlery and crockery and were most attentive on seeing the proof. I suggested the dishwasher water wasn't hot enough. They were apologetic. They gave me a bottle of wine for bringing them the offending items and almost immediately put the matter right. We noticed a lovely shiny feel to mugs the following day. Thank goodness the supervisors admitted what I showed them was substandard and acted upon it or readers might be tempted not to believe the frequency. The night before our cruise ended we found a letter (not in a sealed envelope) outside our cabin regarding gratuities. It stated all the reasons why we should be giving gratuities and not opting out. It left a whole reverse side of A4 paper to state the reasons why we had not added any gratuities to our bill. THEY WERE WRONG. We HAD donated gratuities and after I pointed out their mistake we received an apology from the accounts department. But I have to say that I totally support the right of passengers to give or not give gratuities. It is up to the individual. For goodness sake, PandO, be honest. If you want the staff to have the gratuities, state the full cost of the cruise before passengers step on board and do not intimidate or embarrass them into giving more money once they are captives on the cruise.

Azura. Nobody is saying the crew are not pleasant

Azura Cruise Review by Susan Roberts

6 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: March 2018
  • Destination: Europe
We chose this Azura cruise because we had been on the Azura twice previously and enjoyed almost everything about the experience.I will try to be fair and form an opinion on experience as a whole before choosing a score for the whole cruise.

Of course the crew members were mostly charming and well mannered and they work hard. The captain was approachable and seemed excellent at his job. Individually entertainers were good or not good; that is a matter of taste. Our cabin was clean and our steward was hard working so no problems there. I will focus my comments on what I know and what I feel has changed since we last sailed on the Azura.

The atmosphere on board, created by the entertainment director and his team, was so different and more" Butlins and Hi de Hi " than our previous Azura cruises which had catered more for "grown ups".

The entertainment in the Theatre was usually of a good standard but the Elvis spoof by a deputy entertainment manager in the cabaret lounge was infantile and amateurish and smacked of cost cutting by not paying a professional.

We had a constant general uneasiness that standards had slipped due to a cost cutting exercises and this view was expressed to us by many passengers.

The Peninsular Restaurant menu was samey and after a few nights aboard I was aching for other food. Is the repetitive menu a PandO ploy to force you into another restaurant at extra cost?

The Verona and Venetia restaurants lunch menu was not to my liking but I am prepared to accept that sliced processed sausages and slippery cheese are modern taste, I just happen to prefer sliced real cold cuts with a simple salad for lunch.

Absolutely every day we found crockery in the cafeteria which was substandard. Cracked mugs, chipped mug rims and boken handles. Blue staining on the outside of the cups (undissolved detergent) day after day. Multiple tea and coffee stains inside the mugs, one instance of crystallised sugar at the bottom of a mug, two instances of what looked like thick coffee milk skin over a sizeable area of the mugs. On returning the mugs to a waiter I picked up another and found it had lipstick around the rim. On each occasion I returned the mug and reported it to the waiter as well as showing it to any bystander. Now for the cutlery. I usually made my tea and after stirring, placed the spoon in the "used" tin. On one occasion I accidentally left the spoon in my cup only to find later that it had sponge pudding stuck on it. Think about it. I had stirred my tea with a spoon that had been in someone else's mouth and not properly washed. I was also given a knife that had dried egg on the blade and on another occasion a knife had food of different colours all the way along the blade.

Finally, three supervisors and a higher authority were involved in checking the offending unhygenic cutlery and crockery and were most attentive on seeing the proof. I suggested the dishwasher water wasn't hot enough. They were apologetic. They gave me a bottle of wine for bringing them the offending items and almost immediately put the matter right. We noticed a lovely shiny feel to mugs the following day. Thank goodness the supervisors admitted what I showed them was substandard and acted upon it or readers might be tempted not to believe the frequency.

The night before our cruise ended we found a letter (not in a sealed envelope) outside our cabin regarding gratuities. It stated all the reasons why we should be giving gratuities and not opting out. It left a whole reverse side of A4 paper to state the reasons why we had not added any gratuities to our bill.

THEY WERE WRONG. We HAD donated gratuities and after I pointed out their mistake we received an apology from the accounts department. But I have to say that I totally support the right of passengers to give or not give gratuities. It is up to the individual. For goodness sake, PandO, be honest. If you want the staff to have the gratuities, state the full cost of the cruise before passengers step on board and do not intimidate or embarrass them into giving more money once they are captives on the cruise.
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