We chose this as we'd done the Med to death and knew all the ports inside out but with a tight time window, we jumped onto this ship to see the fjords and try P&O. Whenever we've gone out of Southampton before, it's been pretty slick getting on the Indie but this was from the Mayflower terminal. We turned up at the time we were told to arrive and, just as any doctors waiting room, we had to wait for 45 minutes clutching a coloured card until ours was called... and this was only to join the back of the never decreasing queue. When we got on the ship, we straight away noticed a smell like BO or rotten eggs or (rather worryingly) gas. This stayed throughout the duration, especially in one of the bars that made it unusable. We know that P&O have a poor record with viruses and this was hardly surprising as no-one enforced the use of gel in the bars or restaurants and at no time did we see anyone disinfecting the handrails on the stairs which you see all the time on NCL and RCL. Cleanliness was generally quite poor - tables were not kept clean and a toilet that had something exceptionally unpleasant floating in it was left for several hours, unchecked by the staff. If you have been on any Royal Caribbean ship, you will know about the fantastic Windjammer buffet restaurant. On the Azura, at best this is like a school dinners canteen - exceptionally poor quality food and no 'traffic flow' system so it ends up a bun fight. On the one occasion, we had breakfast in the Peninsula, the service was dire and the food all arrived cold, apart from the butter sachets which were warm! Unlike RCL and NCL, they look for numerous opportunities to charge you for things that on other cruise lines are free...these include food and drinks! The casino on any other ship is huge with a large selection of tables and slots. On this ship there are (I think) 3 tables and a handful of slots in a bar! Very odd considering how much revenue these generate on other ships! I think one of the worst things was the enforcement of the black tie policy. Previously on the Indie, if you didn't want to dress up to that extreme, you could dress smartly and go up to the huge choice in the Windjammer - your only real choice here was the Beach House or the school canteen - even many of the bars wouldn't let you in for a drink and the looks I got when I was coming back from the gym were laughable!! Whereas the Epic and Indie have big shows and great entertainment, there were no 'west end' shows on here, more 'cabaret' type stuff. There were hardly any staff in the theatres to get you a drink and no booking system either, so you either had to arrive V early or take your chance of standing at the back. On the plus side, prices were a little more reasonable than some cruises (for drinks etc) and our cabin steward went out of his way to help. The cabin D729 was pretty spacious. Would I book P&O again? No, not on the strength of this experience. Would I recommend the Azura? No - you get infinitely better value on the Independence or Epic

That's one we won't go back to

Azura Cruise Review by Richie Boy

10 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: August 2018
  • Destination: Norwegian Fjords
  • Cabin Type: Balcony Stateroom
We chose this as we'd done the Med to death and knew all the ports inside out but with a tight time window, we jumped onto this ship to see the fjords and try P&O.

Whenever we've gone out of Southampton before, it's been pretty slick getting on the Indie but this was from the Mayflower terminal. We turned up at the time we were told to arrive and, just as any doctors waiting room, we had to wait for 45 minutes clutching a coloured card until ours was called... and this was only to join the back of the never decreasing queue.

When we got on the ship, we straight away noticed a smell like BO or rotten eggs or (rather worryingly) gas. This stayed throughout the duration, especially in one of the bars that made it unusable.

We know that P&O have a poor record with viruses and this was hardly surprising as no-one enforced the use of gel in the bars or restaurants and at no time did we see anyone disinfecting the handrails on the stairs which you see all the time on NCL and RCL.

Cleanliness was generally quite poor - tables were not kept clean and a toilet that had something exceptionally unpleasant floating in it was left for several hours, unchecked by the staff.

If you have been on any Royal Caribbean ship, you will know about the fantastic Windjammer buffet restaurant. On the Azura, at best this is like a school dinners canteen - exceptionally poor quality food and no 'traffic flow' system so it ends up a bun fight.

On the one occasion, we had breakfast in the Peninsula, the service was dire and the food all arrived cold, apart from the butter sachets which were warm!

Unlike RCL and NCL, they look for numerous opportunities to charge you for things that on other cruise lines are free...these include food and drinks!

The casino on any other ship is huge with a large selection of tables and slots. On this ship there are (I think) 3 tables and a handful of slots in a bar! Very odd considering how much revenue these generate on other ships!

I think one of the worst things was the enforcement of the black tie policy. Previously on the Indie, if you didn't want to dress up to that extreme, you could dress smartly and go up to the huge choice in the Windjammer - your only real choice here was the Beach House or the school canteen - even many of the bars wouldn't let you in for a drink and the looks I got when I was coming back from the gym were laughable!!

Whereas the Epic and Indie have big shows and great entertainment, there were no 'west end' shows on here, more 'cabaret' type stuff. There were hardly any staff in the theatres to get you a drink and no booking system either, so you either had to arrive V early or take your chance of standing at the back.

On the plus side, prices were a little more reasonable than some cruises (for drinks etc) and our cabin steward went out of his way to help. The cabin D729 was pretty spacious.

Would I book P&O again? No, not on the strength of this experience. Would I recommend the Azura? No - you get infinitely better value on the Independence or Epic
Richie Boy’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Balcony Stateroom
Cabin JF D729
Spacious - bed very hard. TV quite small compared to other cruises. Movies are free but only 2 or 3 current ones
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