This was our second cruise on the Azura and are a couple in our 40s with a 8 and 10 year old.
We had a really good time and enjoyed our time on board, but noticed slight differences from last time 2 years previously.
The bar service around the pool. Yes it was busy on sea days, not as busy on non sea days as we did not get off at every port. But the bar service has slipped. Previously the waiters/waitress were always around to order a drink. I am not precious about using the waiters and happy to go to the bar, which had one or two people serving. Lots of waiting, not enough staff.
We bought the drinks package which worked out well for us, as we got the kids drinks thrown in free so didn't have to worry about the endless drinks for them. The package included the costa slush drinks, hot chocolates and teas as well as the mocktails. Not all of these were allowed on the kids package but we just got them on ours.
Back to the pool - reserving of sun beds!! age old problem on any holiday but seriously people were reserving beds as early as 6am. In the end I didnt bother with a bed and sat on the nice ratton seats by the outdoor bar. I got a better view of the pool and area anyhow to watch out for the kids. The staff were trying to do something about it by leaving tickets on beds. I watched from my ratton seat them put tickets on beds giving people a 30 minute warning. Hours later the tickets were still there, no one was on the beds and nothing was done.
I had two negative experiences on our cruise that haven't affected my rating due to it hopefully not happening to anyone else.
We tried to book another cruise on board. I won't go into chapter and verse but the staff were so unhelpful, kept me waiting days to finally tell me the holiday I was waiting for them to book had been sold to someone else!! We have therefore booked with Celebrity instead for the summer.
The second was purely my fault, I know that. It has never crossed my mind to put my jewelry in my hand luggage. It was packed in my case and left outside my cabin as instructed before midnight before going home.
When we got home, most of it had been taken from my case, leaving charms and bits in my case. Granted the items could have been taken from anywhere between Barbados and Mcr Airport BUT the cases were left overnight with staff from P&O until they sent them off the following day to the airport.
P&O would not accept any responsibility when emailed when I got home. Yes I get it, it was my fault BUT I still had items stolen and left a bad taste in my mouth.
The restaurants are good, the MDR, the beach house, the sidhu - we ate in them all. We had the early morning champagne breakfast in the Planet bar which was really nice!
The buffet restaurant - the dark wood one is a really bad design, its almost a corridor where the food is set out. Miss something and you have to fight back through the corridor or go back round. Head for the lighter wood restaurant!!
Food good BUT on reflection, its very British!! Yes its a British ship, full of brits BUT something a bit more adventurous to reflect the area we are visiting may be better as an addition?
Kids had a brill time, met other kids, felt on ease with them wandering up and down. They used the kids clubs. Think it made it that they made friends.
Trips - I have never done a P&O excursion. I research the port before we go, get a taxi and head off. You can always head to the same beaches P&O do for literally a fraction of the price.
An example being - St Kitts, think it was 180 pounds with P&O for us four. We got our own taxi (all reputable), bought our own bed, a few beers and soft drinks for about 50 dollars!.
Another tip IF you head to where P&O are, find them if it makes you feel better and walk down the beach, you wont all be sat on top of each other and its more pleasurable. We did this in both Antigua and St Kitts and somewhere else I cant remember.
Trust me you will save a fortune if you just want to head for a beach or a walk around.
I good holiday, we all had tears in our eyes when we left...but we are trying Celebrity next time despite being in the P&O Pennisular Club (kids got free hoodys on board which are quite good quality).
Enjoy... or by the way we did notice 'the smell' but was infrequent aand we didnt care.
We were in an inside cabin. Bit tired didn't top up the toiletries, but it is what it is. Got a balcony cabin on next booking on Celebrity, with a drinks package on a med itinerary. Tried to get on the Brittania in an inside without drinks pack was the same price!! Probably a good job I couldn't book on board as mentioned above.