First time we have embarked at Southampton and that went without a hitch. We were pleased with our balcony cabin and went off to get lunch with high expectations and it all went downhill from there. The lunch was nothing like the sort of lunch we had received on our previous cruises - no salmon or tasty salads - very bland uninteresting food - even corned beef! Reminded us of 'Mums' gone to Iceland'. However if you are into curries you would have been pleased. It was troublesome to find a table which was understandable as so many people were trying to get lunch and we eventually squeezed into a gap with 2 seats, realising we had forgotten to pick up some water we were very grateful when a waiter serving drinks asked us what we would like - on asking for tap water we were told to get it ourselves at the end of the dining room and that waiters only served drinks that were paid for - very different to our previous experience when the waiters could not do enough for us. On returning to our cabin I noticed the pillows were very full/hard. I find it difficult to sleep on hard pillows but I have never found this a problem before as you are usually given a choice of pillow but although we had 4 pillows they were all the same. I asked our Steward for a softer pillow and was told there were no other pillows available. We went down to dinner hoping the poor food at lunchtime was not repeated We were booked on 'anytime' dining - which from our experience in talking to other guests is probably worse than having 'fixed time' dining. The food was very poor in comparison to our other cruises. the portions were so tiny - we were given just one potato each - we realised after a few days we had to stop being polite and just ask for more food at every course. The literature tells you of this '5 star dining experience' - the food was badly served by waiters who looked very unhappy. If you read the menu it seemed quite impressive but some courses - i,e, the cheese course was never offered to us and when we asked for it we were begrudgingly given small amounts from the smallest selection imaginable. This was our first P & O cruise but others who were regular P & O cruisers assured us that this was not the normal standard for P & O and were just as unhappy as us. It really did seem as if everything was being cut back. One lady who we sat with liked her tea to be strong - we joined them one day for a drink in the cafe where you can buy specialised coffee/tea. She was paying £1.90 for a cup of tea but she asked if they would put in 2 tea bags as she liked her tea strong - she was told that if she wanted 2 tea bags she would have to pay £3.80 for 2 cups of tea! She felt this must be wrong and asked the waitress to check - she did and returned to tell her that the staff have to account for every tea bag so the cost would be £3.80 - Crazy when you think that on the top deck the tea bags were lying there for people to use at no charge. Unfortunately for me I could not sleep on the hard pillow so after a bad night I went to reception and besides asking about the pillow complained about the poor service/food at dinner the previous evening. I was hoping that someone from the restaurant would speak to me but I was immediately informed that it wasn't a problem as the charge for a tip would be removed from our account and someone would contact me re the pillow. After I rang again about this I was told that I should have asked for a soft pillow (special request) before I boarded - I explained that I did not know there would not be a choice of pillow but surely if there was an alternative why could I not have that now and I insited that there must be some alternative. I was then give a non-allergy pillow but why couldn't my Steward have known about that in the first place when I asked. It was the unhelpfullnes of everyone I asked that made the situation worse. The food really was our biggest 'gripe' I love smoked salmon and usually enjoy smoked salmon with scrambled eggs every morning - I think we saw smoked salmon once!! Uusally there is a nice buffet on the top deck whenever you feel peckish - on the Azura it was a joke - most evenings we felt hungry during the evening after the poor dinner but there was little food/choice to pick from in the buffet( unless you like Curry). It was also the attitude of the waiters which was sometimes arrogant which was off-putting. We were told by a fellow passenger who had travelled many times with P & O that one waiter confided in her that they had been told to give as little portions as possible and only give more if asked so no wonder most of them looked so unhappy.

Azura - worst cruise line experience for us

Azura Cruise Review by Carol Searle

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: July 2010
  • Destination: Baltic Sea
  • Cabin Type: Balcony Stateroom
First time we have embarked at Southampton and that went without a hitch. We were pleased with our balcony cabin and went off to get lunch with high expectations and it all went downhill from there. The lunch was nothing like the sort of lunch we had received on our previous cruises - no salmon or tasty salads - very bland uninteresting food - even corned beef! Reminded us of 'Mums' gone to Iceland'. However if you are into curries you would have been pleased.

It was troublesome to find a table which was understandable as so many people were trying to get lunch and we eventually squeezed into a gap with 2 seats, realising we had forgotten to pick up some water we were very grateful when a waiter serving drinks asked us what we would like - on asking for tap water we were told to get it ourselves at the end of the dining room and that waiters only served drinks that were paid for - very different to our previous experience when the waiters could not do enough for us.



On returning to our cabin I noticed the pillows were very full/hard. I find it difficult to sleep on hard pillows but I have never found this a problem before as you are usually given a choice of pillow but although we had 4 pillows they were all the same. I asked our Steward for a softer pillow and was told there were no other pillows available.



We went down to dinner hoping the poor food at lunchtime was not repeated

We were booked on 'anytime' dining - which from our experience in talking to other guests is probably worse than having 'fixed time' dining. The food was very poor in comparison to our other cruises. the portions were so tiny - we were given just one potato each - we realised after a few days we had to stop being polite and just ask for more food at every course. The literature tells you of this '5 star dining experience' - the food was badly served by waiters who looked very unhappy. If you read the menu it seemed quite impressive but some courses - i,e, the cheese course was never offered to us and when we asked for it we were begrudgingly given small amounts from the smallest selection imaginable.

This was our first P & O cruise but others who were regular P & O cruisers assured us that this was not the normal standard for P & O and were just as unhappy as us. It really did seem as if everything was being cut back. One lady who we sat with liked her tea to be strong - we joined them one day for a drink in the cafe where you can buy specialised coffee/tea. She was paying £1.90 for a cup of tea but she asked if they would put in 2 tea bags as she liked her tea strong - she was told that if she wanted 2 tea bags she would have to pay £3.80 for 2 cups of tea! She felt this must be wrong and asked the waitress to check - she did and returned to tell her that the staff have to account for every tea bag so the cost would be £3.80 - Crazy when you think that on the top deck the tea bags were lying there for people to use at no charge.

Unfortunately for me I could not sleep on the hard pillow so after a bad night I went to reception and besides asking about the pillow complained about the poor service/food at dinner the previous evening. I was hoping that someone from the restaurant would speak to me but I was immediately informed that it wasn't a problem as the charge for a tip would be removed from our account and someone would contact me re the pillow. After I rang again about this I was told that I should have asked for a soft pillow (special request) before I boarded - I explained that I did not know there would not be a choice of pillow but surely if there was an alternative why could I not have that now and I insited that there must be some alternative. I was then give a non-allergy pillow but why couldn't my Steward have known about that in the first place when I asked. It was the unhelpfullnes of everyone I asked that made the situation worse.



The food really was our biggest 'gripe' I love smoked salmon and usually enjoy smoked salmon with scrambled eggs every morning - I think we saw smoked salmon once!! Uusally there is a nice buffet on the top deck whenever you feel peckish - on the Azura it was a joke - most evenings we felt hungry during the evening after the poor dinner but there was little food/choice to pick from in the buffet( unless you like Curry).



It was also the attitude of the waiters which was sometimes arrogant which was off-putting. We were told by a fellow passenger who had travelled many times with P & O that one waiter confided in her that they had been told to give as little portions as possible and only give more if asked so no wonder most of them looked so unhappy.
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