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Aurora Review

4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating
283 reviews
7 Awards

A very British visit to the Norwegian Fjords!

Review for Aurora to Norwegian Fjords
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LLMcF
First Time Cruiser • Age 60s

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Sail Date: Jul 2022
Cabin:

We are seasoned travelers, but not cruisers. So consider this review with that in mind.

We found the August 2022 Norway cruise on P&O's Arcadia to be wonderful, especially given the still-difficult conditions cruise ships are facing. The Aurora is an easy ship to love-- big enough to have lots of activities and programming, but small enough that nothing was crowded or kept you waiting in line. The passengers were almost all British, and many, many of them had been on the Aurora before. There is a loyal group of Aurora followers, though they were also quick to point out to us first-timers what the staff shortage and covid prep had led to: no formally served afternoon tea (though the buffet served scones and sandwiches in the afternoon) and no evening turn-down. It was also clear some of the staff were still being trained, and were being double-assigned during the day to make up for staffing gaps. That said, our stateroom was really clean, and we always saw staff-- from cabin attendants to the captain-- wearing masks, and wiping down frequently touched services.

Things we especially liked: really easy embarkation in Southampton, despite the fact that they had to check everyone's vaccination status and self-reported laminar flow covid test results. They had enough staff in the terminal to speed away your bags, and get you processed and on the boat in no time at all. (And I know, behind the scenes, P&O administrative staff had been working very hard in these not-quite-out-of-covid conditions, to keep us updated on the changing rules, and just to make sure we sailed!) Similarly, the disembarkation process was pleasant and fast-- as was the one day we had tenders to take us to a port of call. We also liked a classical pianist who gave 5 recitals, including Grieg for Norwegian music enthusiasts, and the overall quality of food in the restaurants and buffet was pretty good indeed. Everything I ordered arrived appropriately hot or cold, was nicely cooked, and of a good variety over the 12 days we were on board ship. The four formal nights felt special, and the food notched up a bit those nights. NB: P&O serves British cuisine, except in their Asian extra-price. If you want an international experience, either in food or entertainment, don't take P&O! That said, the British entertainers were good fun, and of a sufficiently high standard that we ended up going to half a dozen performances in the Curzon theater. We also found the films in the Aurora's dedicated cinema surprisingly good-- several films we'd not heard of proved to be really absorbing. Also I'd like to put in a good word for P&O's excursions. The three we went on were all of a high standard, with nicely planned itineraries at reasonable cost. And the staff selling the excursions on board bent over backwards to help you find the best excursion for you, and in other cases to actually help you plan your own day in port if you didn't want an organized excursion that day. We also found the personal trainer in the fitness area really helpful, the sauna and steam room (complimentary) wonderful, and the prom deck with its track around the circumference of the whole ship fantastic (3 laps=1 mile:>)

Cabin Review

Loved the cabin-- quiet, comfortable, clean well-laid out. And the balcony, though a bit old-fashioned, was a great enjoyment while cruising up the fjords.

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