One off trip....: Azura Cruise Review by Marion Needham

Azura 4
Marion Needham

Overall Member Rating

One off trip....

Sail Date: January 2011
Destination: Southern Caribbean
Embarkation: Barbados
Most important to start by saying we really enjoyed the cruise, but we would not chose the Azura again. Having made the original booking, P&O changed the itinerary twice, once to take out a port we had not been to (Catalina Island) and substitute Dominica (why would anyone want to go there??) Then the whole itinerary was rearranged so that the sea days were not spread out and we ended up with two sea days at the end, we didn't mind but plenty did. It was said that the itinerary had been rearranged because there would have been too many ships in Aruba on the same day - or was it because P&O wanted the Azura to be in Aruba the same day as the sister ship Ventura??

Those are side issues, as usual the arrival in Barbados was very smooth and we were soon on the ship, we waited a little while for our bags then saw them sitting on a corridor so we helped ourselves and took them to our cabin. The cabin was quite adequate, we were really glad we had chosen the smaller cabin More on A deck as it was much more private than the cabins on the lower decks that have much larger balconies and are overlooked, they also got wet too on the rainy days.

The things we liked were that wine and drinks generally were reasonably priced, there was a Costa coffee shop and you could get the best 'free' victoria sponge cake with your coffee. There was plenty of seating if different areas.

Unfortunately there were more things that we didn't like - there was no wrap round promenade deck (and what there was, was very narrow - didn't like the plastic chairs either, much prefer wooden steamer chairs) You couldn't get to the front of the ship (officially) but unofficially if you went inside up to deck 8 and made your way to the front there was a paper sign on the door which took you out on to the front.) No mini bar in the cabins which would have been handy. Bars had restricted opening times and most of them didn't provide any nibbles with drinks. The service in the bar was often slow and generally the staff were of a rather miserable demeanour, the state of some of the uniforms left something to be desired too. The design of the ship - it seemed odd that there were service lifts on public corridors and often lots of rubbish left outside the lifts and on corridors generally. There were long waits for lifts that were for passengers. We thought the silver service was a waste of time, it would have been much better to be just a plated service. The buffet restaurants, we felt the choice was not very imiganitive, often the same from one day to another, also the flow for passengers was not easy. It seemed in terms of costs, you got one set of toiletries at the start of the trip and that was your allocation.

We had previously been on the Celebrity Eclipse, a similar size ship, but it seemed to have the WOW factor and for us that was missing on the Azura - but still we had a good trip Less

Published 02/19/11

Cabin review: JB Balcony Stateroom

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Port and Shore Excursions

Not going into detail about all ports just making one general comment. With all the Caribbean islands being fairly small, it's usually easy to get around by making your own arrangements by using a local taxi rather than paying for a trip off the ship. Water taxis are also a good way of getting to a beach and there was the opportunity to do this in Grenada. The feel of the ports can be very different in the Caribbean, for example St Marteen has a beach that you can walk to, it also has lots of shops and the day we were there there were about 20,000 yes that's right 20,000 cruise passengers there we were with the Allure of the Seas to name but one. Why anyone ever takes a cruise ship to Dominica is beyond me, it is quite the worst port of call in the Caribbean.

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Marion Needham
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