We had spent a few days in Dubai visiting family before embarking on Aurora at Dubai cruise terminal so jet lag was long gone and we were relaxed instead of worrying if our plane was going to be delayed etc. This was our 6th cruise, our 3rd with P&O but our first time on Aurora so it would be interesting to compare our experience on this ship with elsewhere.
Check in at Dubai was relaxed as not many passengers were getting on - about 250 in all we heard. At check in we were asked to complete the usual health form to state that we had not been ill within the last so many days etc. What we were not told was that we were about to walk on a ship with the norovirus present. I smelled a rat as soon as we got on board and went into the Orangery for some lunch - no salt and pepper pots on the tables and the doors to the public toilets were jammed open. No one told us about the virus but there were rumours among those who had embarked in Dubai and the Captain confirmed a couple of days later that the ship was now free of it. I think that passengers have a right to know what they are walking into. We have to sign a health declaration. What about the ship's operator doing the same? In future on boarding I shall be asking if the virus is present on the ship and I expect an answer. P&O be aware that yours will be the next ship I will be boarding.
Our cabin had a balcony on the starboard side of the ship. We chose this side so that we would get some sun onto the balcony during the voyage. This worked out really well and spectacularly well when we reached Hong Kong (read on). We usually choose the port side.