This was our 12th cruise, and our 4th on Azura/ Ventura. Chosen due to 5 of the ports of call were new to us.
There were very many first time cruisers on this trip who thought the Azura experience was brilliant, but the experienced cruisers we spoke to were, like ourselves, rather disappointed with the lowered standards and penny pinching by P & O.
First thing we experienced was - blamed on COVID, but just seemed like an excuse to us - cabins are now serviced only once a day, in the morning, so no nightime tidy-up, turndown, or pillow chocs.
Despite it's twelve years, the cabin was still in excellent condition, and perfectly clean - apart from the balcony glass, which has been absolutely filthy on every one of our 4 Azura/Ventura Cruises.
Don't bother with the Mountains and Mapeis excursion. Most of what you see is trees, trees, trees, and yet more trees, apart from a short photo stop in the woods near a tumbling stream, and a similar stop overlooking a reservoir. Ajaccio seems to be a working town, with little touristy about it, but there is a minitrain - €8 for a 45 min tour, but with a 15min stop at a park with lots of steps up to a statue of Napoleon. Don't bother; the only picturesque bit is the promenade, which you can walk to off the ship in about 10-15 mins.
Pretty little town in a fairly picturesque bay, with lots of cafes/ restaurants. We walked to the nearby railway station and took the train into Nice - 2 stops, €3.80 each return - then took the tram - €1.50 each one way - down to the Promenade Des Anglais, but walked back through the shops.
We'd been to Rome before, so chose to stay in Civitavecchia. A working town rather than a seaside resort, but a newly landscaped sea front and promenade had been constructed since our last visit. Also since our last visit, instead of the shuttle bus dropping you off near the old fort at the harbour entrance - a very short walk from the new sea front - you now get dropped off at a purpose made drop off in the middle of nowhere at what seems like about a ¾-mile walk from the sea front through back streets. We decided to walk back to the ship from the sea front, as it didn't seem any further than walking to where the shuttle buses ran from.
We took the open top bus tour €22 each from near the ship, round the south of the island, as this was due to depart imminently. We didn't realize that it was a three hour trip! But it didn't give us a very good impression of Malta, driving round run down back streets in Valetta, out through heavily built up areas and scabby farmland to the industrial port of Marsaxloxx, then back past the Blue Grotto stop and Sliema to Valetta bus station. We were told later, by other passengers, that the north of the island is much prettier, but we didn't have time for the northern three hour tour as well.
Missed port due to ship not being allowed in.