Just returned from the Azura cruise to Cherbourg, La Coruna, Santander and Guernsey A911. The weather was not brilliant but generally not too bad apart from our return crossing on the Bay of Biscay. We had winds of 55 Knots, Waves of 9 Metres and a 5 Metre swell. to say the ship was moving a lot would be a massive understatement. Some people spent the night in the Atrium wrapped in blankets because they were too scared to go to bed.
The entertainment on board was superb, apart from one singer in the pulse band. she seemed unable to remember the words to most of the songs without having to keep looking at her tablet/phone and she quite often messed up. Fair play to her for giving it her best shot though.
Unfortunately there seemed to be a foul smell of raw sewerage most days and this was especially noticeable during port visits. I think I heard the captain mention something about maintenance being carried out on the water system during the cruise. It was a pretty horrible smell.
We had a bit of an issue with our balcony cabin door. Every time we opened it we had a loud whistling coming from the broken seal at the end of the door frame. I did report this to the cabin steward, but it didn't get fixed. Can't say it was that much of a problem though. Our bed was failrly uncomfortable. It was quite hard, but the pillows were very soft. Can't really complain because that combination might suit other people. Just didn't suit us.
The standard of food was generally very good, although in the Penninsular MDR the food on the first night was not great, as the days went on, the food standard seemed to improve. On the last night, I think I had the best staek that I had ever eaten. It was lovely and pefectly cooked.
The televison was a bit of a waste of time. Very restricted amount of channels and although we didn't intend spending our holiday watching TV, there was the occasional day when we just wanted to chill out in our room and put the TV on. Soon changed our minds about that, because the programmes shown were really old repeats.
We decided to use the laundry to clean two loads of washing, but unfortunately after the wash cycle had finished on both, there was a horrible smell of what I can only describe as stale water. We only took two washing pods with us so we were unable to wash them again. We had to wash everything again when we got home. I know we should have gone to make a complaint but decided not to bother as it wasn't the end of the world.
I managed to go swimming a couple of times during the cruise, but the pools were really cold. good in one way, because it meant not many people were using them, but it did mean that I didn't feel like staying in there for very long. On the day we visited St Peter Port I decided this would be an ideal time to go for another swim as there would probably be nobody in the pool. I was right. Trouble was, the pool had been emptied, so nobody could use it anyway. Very strange time to empty a pool.
I know there seems to be a lot of negatives, but these are just from our experience. I do need to point out that even with these negatives, we still thoroughly enjoyed the cruise and certainly would not let it put us off. We are already looking at booking a cruise for next year, but we might try a different cruise line, just to get a comparison from another line.
I do have to say at this point, that I felt the service from all the staff was excellent and my hat goes off to all of them. They work tirelessly to ensure the passengers enjoy the experience. I just hope they get paid a decent wage for the hard work they do.
The Embarkation and disembarkation was really smooth and although it does take quite a while to get off the ship during disembarkation, it's really not that bad because you can chill out with a coffee after breakfast and wait for your group to be called. Overall, a lovely holiday.
A lovely balcony cabin with a large balcony. It is looking a bit tired in places and the balcony door had a few issues. Wind whistling through the frame when the door was open and it gave a loud squeal when sliding the door open or closed. Also the handle kept sticking. Apart from that, it was very nice.
We didn't spend any time in Southampton. We arrived and went straight to the terminal.
Not much to do in Cherbourg. We arrived on a Sunday and most of the shops were closed.
A nice port to have a wallk around
We didn't bother getting off the ship at this port. There was too much of a queue for the tenders.