Having been on Oriana on a 17 day cruise around the canary islands, September 2017, my heart SANK when my wife told me that she'd booked a Xmas market cruise on Aurora. I've never had a good experience on this ship and this cruise was no exception. The Champions bar is an open area one side of the main thoroughfare with the fruit machines banging away on the other side, went there once on first day, rude, disinterested bar staff, never went back. Raffles bar was true to form, one day it was busy and hardly any staff, we were ignored for so long it was quicker to go to the self service on 12 and bring food down, another day it was very quiet and I had a pot of tea and a sandwich; I went back to the counter for a cake, Oh No! One pot of tea = one roll or a cake, you can't have both! As expected, disinterested staff and the ' One Cake Rule ' applied randomly. I went to deck 12 and brought back a plate of cakes. We complained to reception. Much use that was. We usually retired to Andersons Bar at 11pm for cocktails, an experience once again ruined by a cleaner coming along every night at about 11.15 with a faulty Henry vacuum cleaner that sounded like a small jet engine. I should not have to raise my voice or lean closer to hear someone talking to me because of that racket, lasting abour 20 minutes, I complained to the bar staff but was told " she's only doing her job". Disgraceful. Well at least there's the Crow's Nest, oops! no seats available.
On previous cruises I was never able to get much use of the ridiculously small weight training section of the Gym, usually because Aurora staff were using it. I didn't even bother wasting my time on this cruise.
Here's the good bit; we were freedom dining and happened to get the same table every night. The food was first class and the waiters were excellent.