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1,083 P&O Cruises Cruise Reviews

Flight over was good and so were transfers to ship. Two days in Barbados to visit relatives then back to the ship to find out the ship was going straight back to Southampton due to CVIRUS. Big shame but we really enjoyed our time on ... Read More
Flight over was good and so were transfers to ship. Two days in Barbados to visit relatives then back to the ship to find out the ship was going straight back to Southampton due to CVIRUS. Big shame but we really enjoyed our time on board. Always something to do. Brilliant lectures from Tony White - Drug man!! Gym and classes good. Cabin fine, although had restricted view due to life boats but at least we had fresh air. Thankfully the Atlantic behaved itself and I didn't have to take the sea sick tabs!! P&O should be proud of their staff. They didn't moan about their own personal situations - always pleasant. I'm a Cunard girl and this was my first P&O experience, and yes I would use them again. A few negatives in comparison but overall looked after very well. Captain was missing we felt. He should have done the 12 noon broadcast/update and the funnel should have hooted rather than a recording!!! Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
Picked this cruise as keen to see the Northern Lights. This is a 12-night cruise that spends 2 nights at the very top of Norway that offers an excellent chance to see Northern Lights. I was kind of expecting the cruise to be canceled but ... Read More
Picked this cruise as keen to see the Northern Lights. This is a 12-night cruise that spends 2 nights at the very top of Norway that offers an excellent chance to see Northern Lights. I was kind of expecting the cruise to be canceled but all seemed to be fine as we joined the ship at Southampton. We set sail and headed up through the North Sea. Sea was a bit rough but the Aurora copes well with rough weather so it didn't move very much. This was our second time on Aurora after a 12-night cruise to the Canaries August 2019 and the ship does seem to cope well with stormy weather. However, as the Coronavirus continued to spread across Europe the Norwegian Government decided to close their borders to cruise ships. The ship then had to turn round and head back to Southampton. This of course was very disappointing as nearly everyone had booked the cruise to try to witness the Northern Lights. What did make the news more bearable, and indeed the remainder of the cruise was how P&O managed the situation. This was right across the board from the Captain down to the waiters and cabin staff. Got a full refund and an additional £400 per cabin onboard spend. P&O couldn't have done more. The entertainment was top class. A male trio, solo male entertainer and a female singer - all were top class with great performances. We had a retired Detective Chief Inspector giving a series of lectures - informative and entertaining insights into criminal investigation process. The food in the restaurants was great - nice food well prepared and served. The staff very helpful. We did have a couple of issues with the cabin - but a quick call to reception and these were rapidly sorted. Jut as an aside, it beats me why people leave it until writing a review to complain about things that can be rectified whilst on-board. Didn't bother with the Gym, although it seemed well equipped. Unfortunately didn't get to experience any shore excursions - however, I can confirm that the North Sea is pretty much grey all over in early March So whilst the aim of the cruise to see the Northern lights didn't happen the experience of the 5 nights we had on the ship was fantastic and I would not hesitate to recommend the cruise to others. Already booked on the 12 March sailing to Northern Lights in 2021 Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
Maybe we was on a different ship than what has been reviewed before. first of all a few bits of rust and worn carpets wont bother our holiday experience. Secondly I do not write letters to the captain with the slightest complaint and ... Read More
Maybe we was on a different ship than what has been reviewed before. first of all a few bits of rust and worn carpets wont bother our holiday experience. Secondly I do not write letters to the captain with the slightest complaint and proceed to tell everyone within earshot. we all know Azura is going in for refit but the ship is in very good condition considering over 3000 passengers use it 365 days a year. I think some people just want to moan about anything and everything. Cabin was perfectly acceptable kept clean by our excellent steward. we have been on azura about 5 times now . food in the main restaurants is very good and nothing is to much trouble for the waiters. we also did Sindu and the Beach house which were both excellent value. the buffet is not as varied as other cruise lines but you could always find something acceptable. this ship used to be p&o liveliest ship with great sailaway partys sadly this is not the case now. the sailaways are now more low key. Bring back Benny and Jo B. the best party used to be the great british sailaway but now sadly no more. I heard many people complaining to each other that this great event is now missing. the entertainment is now average at best but didn't bother us as we do our own thing. do not buy the drinks package as it is extortionate. a serious alky would struggle to get his moneys worth. drink prices for alcohol on board are same as uk. however the soft drink prices ie a small bottle of coke £3.10! we found the staff all to be pleasant and very accommodating. the ports of call are great as we do are own trips . would I travel on azura again most definatley . all in all a great cruise . do not be put off by the serial moaners. yes its not 5 star and improvements can always be made. have a great time. not got time to review all the ports just get out there and enjoy. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Sailed on Britannia 1st Feb around the Caribbean on our third P&O cruise second time on Britannia, and apart from the usual sun bed hogging had a great time on board ship. Why people feel they need to reserve sun beds on both sides of ... Read More
Sailed on Britannia 1st Feb around the Caribbean on our third P&O cruise second time on Britannia, and apart from the usual sun bed hogging had a great time on board ship. Why people feel they need to reserve sun beds on both sides of the ship at 9 in the morning is beyond me. PO must do more about this as this was the worst we seen. Embarkation was easy straight off the plane on to awaiting coaches and to the port. Entertainment was average both good and bad, but food was better than our last cruise. We dined in the Limelight one night where we saw Shaun Williams, which was excellent. Did not dine in Sindhu or epicurean as we had done so previously on other cruises. We also eat in Horizon buffet which is a lot better then some. Could always find a seat even when busy. We also made good use of the food to go fridge ideal when you have just come back from an excursion. Things started to go wrong on the last day. We found our Tui flight home was delayed due to tech fault, after we returned on ship mid day. We were then told we would be staying on board an extra night. We had no access to WiFi as our account was cancelled but access to phone calls. This made if difficult to contact home cancel overnight hotel, and contact dog kennels as was late even U.K. time. All we were offered was a £7.50 drink voucher, but we had problems purchasing additional drinks and snacks as officially we were off the ship. We had in all 3 flight cancellations, poor confusing communication while on board, taken off ship to be accommodated in substandard dirty hotel with little or no information and updates poor WiFi which again made it difficult to rearrange airport pickup P&O also said we could have one 3 min overseas call but this was refused by the hotel. This made the end of our holiday very stressful P&O did call the next day after our return but my mobile was switched off. We tried to call them back on there dedicated phone line but they were either not picking up or constantly engaged. We eventually got through after a few hours, they were sympathetic but not really interested. We have 4 future cruises booked with them but are now considering cancelling them. Not very happy with responses so far do they really care. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Overall a very enjoyable cruise for 2 weeks around the Caribbean. I have to admit I do wonder about some of the comments of others and the issues they highlight, apart from an issue with the toilet/shower extractor fan the ship was clean ... Read More
Overall a very enjoyable cruise for 2 weeks around the Caribbean. I have to admit I do wonder about some of the comments of others and the issues they highlight, apart from an issue with the toilet/shower extractor fan the ship was clean & well presented with a fantastic staff. Flew from LGW on a TUI charter so luggage checked in is next seen on board. Very comfortable flight with decent legroom, food & beverages throughout. Coach from the airport to the check in area & at first sight the queues look horrendous but in reality they kept moving and we were onboard within 30 mins of arriving at the cruise centre. Our cases caught up with us within a couple of hours and everything was well organised and smoothly navigated. Our cabin (A708) was with a balcony and was extremely comfortable with enough room for the two of us. Unfortunately the lack of extractor fan in the shower/toilet was a pain & one that was not resolved despite multiple reports by ourselves and the cabin steward. We accepted a £50 on board cash allowance in compensation purely on principle as it took until the penultimate day of the cruise to receive an apology of any kind. Dining was fine, we were allocated second sitting although chose to eat alternate evenings in either the Glass House or the Beach House restaurants. Both were excellent and were walk in, although the Glass House could get busy. Breakfast was good either in the buffet for early shore excursions or the Meridian for more lazy days. Food was good and generally the choices were fine. We did not indulge in the drinks packages but enjoyed a wide range of wines & cocktails as the fancy took us, generally the prices were not too different from UK restaurant pricing. We didn’t go to any of the Headliner shows past experience has always been disappointing but recognise that for many they are popular and entertaining. We did enjoy two shows by Jemma Wild (Wild Sax) but found a promising duo we had overheard in passing were difficult to listen to in the atrium due entirely to poor sound balance which required total revision. The female lead was barely audible & the bass & rhythm guitars overpowering. All ports were interesting as this was our first time in the Caribbean. Grenada, St Lucia and Barbados were our personal favourites. The St Kitts rail excursion should not be missed and we thoroughly enjoyed the St Lucia land & sea excursion. Absolutely amazed by Grand Turk and the ship nosing virtually onto the beach! Disembarkation was good with our bags being offloaded directly from outside our cabin to reappear on the carousal at LGW. Very impressed with this arrangement as it made it possible to do the farewell to Barbados tour which was a lovely way to end our holiday. Would we go again; yes please! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Overall, a good time was had by all. This was our second cruise. We went as 3 couples together so had quite a few points of views and opinions. I will try to give my hints and tips which I hope will be of use to future cruisers. ... Read More
Overall, a good time was had by all. This was our second cruise. We went as 3 couples together so had quite a few points of views and opinions. I will try to give my hints and tips which I hope will be of use to future cruisers. Dining. I hate the self-service buffet. It's just like a factory canteen. I haven't paid £6k to eat in a factory canteen. We used it on 2 occasions when we had early morning trips. We mainly used the Peninsular for breakfast but sometimes went to the Oriental. Nothing to choose between them. Evening dining we mainly used Peninsular on Freedom dining. Dinners are good but do take best part of 2 hours to get through most nights. We paid extra to eat in Sindhu once and the Beach House twice. If I went again I wouldn't bother with either as nothing stood out as worth paying extra for. There are too many sea days (4) and they just provoke selfish behaviour and "sunbed wars". The management could sort this out by policing it better but they don't seem bothered. Lots of pressure this time to get you to spend extra on dining and events. The drinks packages are a waste of time. Even if you were on the drink all day you would struggle to drink £1200 worth of drinks in two weeks. The whole concept needs a rethink. Cabin steward was much better than last year. Very helpful. P & O need to supply WiFi on the ship for free. Even if it's available just when docked. It's 2020 - people expect to be connected. Bars. Atrium bar is nice. Brodie's has a plethora of TV screens. Usually showing football. The open deck bars all serve drinks in plastic glasses which I think make your beer flat and taste odd. Crows Neat is nice but always full and too far from the restaurants. Sunset Bar at back of ship has smoking on one side that drifts to the other side as well. Luckily no smoke in other areas. Waiting staff are constantly asking if you want more drinks. Gets a bit wearing after a while. Horizon daily newsletter very helpful. Make sure you read it to know what's on where and when. We went to a few of the Headliners shows and a Cuban comedian. Could never get a seat in the Live Lounge on any of the 14 nights. We did several P & O Excursions which were all very good. You pay a bit more but you get less people on catamarans etc on the P & O cruises than other trips. Prickly Pear Island in Antigua was my high-spot plus the evening Sunset Cruise in Barbados. Took local ferries/taxis to beaches in Martinique and Barbados. Favourite Islands. We like St Kitts, ST lUCIA, Antigua & St Maarten (even though there were 6 ships in the day we went including 3 P & O ships) and Barbados. Not so keen on Martinique and Aruba. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Boarding the ship in Barbados was a well organised operation. After leaving the TUI flight from Manchester we directly boarded a bus which took us to the Azura where a bank of staff processed credit cards and signed everyone in. We took on ... Read More
Boarding the ship in Barbados was a well organised operation. After leaving the TUI flight from Manchester we directly boarded a bus which took us to the Azura where a bank of staff processed credit cards and signed everyone in. We took on board the allowed 2 x 1 litre bottles of wine or spirit which is way more than other cruise lines. Once on board staff were on hand to direct us to our cabin which was in reasonable condition but as the Azura is having a refit this year it was better than we expected. The buffet restaurant was open as was a pool deck barbecue and pizza bar. As we prefer to eat in the buffet we never use the main restaurant’s so cant comment on them. Food was always excellent and piping hot at all times and was available 24hrs. the only comment I can make is that that the tea / coffee making facility was all in the wrong order. Bar prices were very reasonable for a cruise line and a few drinks packages were on offer. I took the 20 pints for £82 package x2. (tip use your on board spending to pay for your package). Entertainment was very good and the guest artists were excellent apart from one so called comedian and the reggae band howling by the pool. I didn’t like the P&O practice of making some bars as well as the restaurants formal dress only on formal nights. I personally do not do the formal nights and don’t mind if people do but it should be kept to the restaurants only as with other cruise lines as I paid the same cash as everyone else and should be able to use the bars as normal. There were always sunbeds available when we wanted then so no need to put the towel down all day although as usual a lot of people did and they remained empty all day. Ports were as you expect in the Caribbean, a bit of a dump, but good to get off and stretch the legs. Another tip is to take along some laundry tablets and do your washing for free before you go home. An iron is always available as well so you don't have to smuggle one on board. This is my first P&O cruise and have been on numerous ones with RCI, NCL, Princess etc and more recently Marella which was basically an over priced booze cruise and I think P&O have got it spot on. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Sadly cut backs are very noticeable on the Azura. Food was excellent in all venues. Cabin appeared clean and steward was great, sadly they no longer have time to do the wonderful animal towels as they now have a greater volume of ... Read More
Sadly cut backs are very noticeable on the Azura. Food was excellent in all venues. Cabin appeared clean and steward was great, sadly they no longer have time to do the wonderful animal towels as they now have a greater volume of rooms to clean. sadly when we pulled our suitcase out from under the bed it was covered in dust! Although we no longer pay tips on P+O most people still gave at least the cabin steward a tip. Despite announcements regarding sunbed hogging no staff were seen removing towels. Some greedy couples had 2 in the sun 2 in the shade. most also had towels and bag on the bed next to them to stop anyone being there. but lets face it they are the type of people who are totally selfish + completely ignore requests, you know the type that always push to the front of the Que for everything. 'So wished the staff monitored this and intervened. Guess p+o was on to a winner as we splashed out and booked into the Retreat. Entertainment manager was rubbish,saw him just once he left everything to his deputy who was excellent. Sewerage smell was really bad at times, noticed some new ship parts being loaded on in Barbados before we left 24/1/2020 lets hope its to fix the sewage fault. Very said to see the end of the "Last day great British sail-away". P+O say they want save on plastic so no flags (or another cut back) and to appeal to the international market. So out go the patriotic songs! Being to PC could lose British regulars be careful. Can they honestly expect the Americans and Europeans to be satisfied with p+o type of ships we love. With no water slides/ surf riders/ice-rink/ice cream on tap etc on board. Would they get our British humour and ways (or is that going too) P+O you have a cornered market all you will do is drive us away and have empty ships. I think the marketing/finance team need to review that idea. As for the normal daily 'Sail A ways' nearly every one in the whole of the two weeks was over before we had even left port! Entertainment had some good acts the best being comedian Mick Miller some acts not so good. Brodies could do with more seating during the quizzes. We have always chose for the company to pick our cabin option as they usually give you the middle of the ship which we prefer. However this time we lost out as our balcony was up on the 14th floor still in the middle but under the stick out ledge so we were in the shade a lot. The captain although good at arranging the changed itinerary? due to the windy weather, he was not very good at making speeches over the speaker system, which were few and very far between. Funny though on reading other reviews before and after our cruise 10th January 2020, He Cuts out st Vincent and he always arranged the alternative island as Martinique. Sadly the docking is always at the container berth as the cruise ones are already booked out.Not a pretty sight. I may have been mistaken but I'm sure he mentioned he lived on this french island for a few years! Most regulars we spoke to were like us and didn't enjoy Martinique and missed visiting st Vincent. Sadly with the windy weather, changed itinerary and this tiered, smelly, crowded ship , a lot of 1st timers to the Caribbean and 1st time cruisers on board said never again. Which is such a shame as previous trips this time of year to the Caribbean have been a welcome beautiful trip. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Like most of the passenger's aboard, we were doing this cruise to get away form the winter weather. This turned out to be a very lucky choice! From beginning to end we had wall to wall sunshine and calm seas with only a couple of ... Read More
Like most of the passenger's aboard, we were doing this cruise to get away form the winter weather. This turned out to be a very lucky choice! From beginning to end we had wall to wall sunshine and calm seas with only a couple of bumpy days leaving and returning to UK home waters. We did have a bit of rain in Tobago and Antigua but it was brief and of the 'liquid sunshine' variety. We've never been so lucky on cruise of any length, let alone 55 nights. We appreciated the new 'Grand Tour' features - a glass of fizz for everyone on boarding (which was quick in our case), a 'Half Way Round' and a 'Farewell Party' were both included and the Ligurian's had a tea at the Biltmore Hotel in Miami. Not the best of events sadly, tho' it was a good thought. It meant missing most of the attractions during our one day in this lovely city for a start and the organisation was poor. The hotel was fine (Entertainment Manager Hughie quickly found the best bar!) but they failed to get welcome drinks out onto very hot balcony quickly enough and queues formed which the ship's people did little to alleviate. Very big tables meant the food and drink was difficult to manage and a lady singer made conversation very difficult. Apart from Captain Pembridge's, the speeches were rather tedious and our Carnival host's excitement at the impending introduction of Iona was not the best choice of topic for the dyed in the wool 'small ship' audience! But it was good of P&O to lay the event on - they didn't have to. Leaving Ponta Delgada the old 'Great British Sailaway' was superseded by the new-style 'Celebration Sailaway'. Lots of live music from a house band some ice carving and enthusiastic dancing form the Hosts. Personally, we did't miss the jingoistic flag waving and community singing of the old Sailaways ; at least it was a pleasant change. The destinations were all predictable in the Caribbean. Lots of tours from the excellent Excursions team - often ignored by the passengers who usually rushed ashore on the hunt for WiFi in order to tell their friends what a great time they were having in the Cruise Terminal - what,me cynical?! We had three days in Barbados owing to a medical emergency requiring a fast crossing. The third day we moved to the remote Flour Mill Berth across the main harbour. This would have been a bit of a disaster for a one-day call but it worked for us and lots of others. There was a good beach a couple of hundred yards away and the Mount Gay distillery visitors centre was even closer. The island chain was a very busy part of the cruise but the weather meant that beaches were a good option everywhere. The highlight for us was a visit to Bob Marley's grave in Jamaica. The whole tour was deafening but quite compelling. We were provided with a meat pie for a snack and were offered unlimited Ganja (eagerly taken up by several passengers).The ports are always interesting and for the first time in the Caribbean we were struck by how many, and how many LARGE ships, were in port. In St Maarten we were not only in with Britannia and Azura but 3 other ships including Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas - 5500 passengers! Having never seen one of the sisters close up she was an awesome sight. In all there were 18000 pax in port - quite overwhelming the lovely town and island. In Cozumel there were even more - 8 ships and 20000 passengers. As we left, Celebrity Edge added a few thousand more.Though Cozumel did cope with the numbers better. We enjoyed chatting to the vast number of Americans who were almost exclusively absorbed by the Harry and Megan story which was live at the time. For us, the highlight of the cruise was the USA. New Orleans is quite unique and the lively jazz music was everywhere. A number of early Mardi Gras parades made it a treat, For the first time we managed to get a trip on the only steam stern-wheeler 'Natchez'. A very imposing vessel providing our tour with a lovely meal and great sights. In Port Canaveral we went on a lagoon cruise looking at manatee, dolphin and exotic birds. Very well hosted and a marked contrast to all the busy places we'd been. On the ship the entertainment was copious. Pleasingly there was almost always a 7pm show in Carmen's (the Show Lounge) as well as the main shows in the theatre. For the first time we experienced Club dining times of 6pm and 8pm - the half hour earlier start suited the late sitting particularly and the shows were timed to suit the dining times. One good move by the ship was to introduce a number of Italian evenings in the Beach House and Thai evenings in Sindhu. They made a good change to restaurants that inevitably became unappealing on a long cruise. Well done - a good initiative and apparently well-supported by passengers. We were told that this was because the cruise was 'older' (apparently the average age was 72 which we thought was pretty young!). There were a lot of (variable) tribute acts but some excellent comedians. Unfortunately the Headliners were sidelined a bit. A pity as they were a very good bunch - their 3 hour production of the comedy play 'Relatively Speaking' was played to appreciative and very full theatre. Our main criticism was of the quizzes which is a staple of P&O's longer cruises. They are always a social event but the quality of the questions was very poor and the individual quiz attendances fell from dozens to less than 10 by the end of the cruise. Maybe not poor, probably badly targeted is more appropriate. The lazier entertainment hosts used the new quizzes provided by P&O. Each is shown on the pub's TVs and has three levels of difficulty - easy, moderate and hard. The general knowledge quizzes we were usually given were targeted at a very different generation to ours - one was even titled 'Family Friendly (9!)'; and this on a child-free ship! Some folk complained that the same people won every time (showing that the best quizzers always have the widest knowledge!) but that matters not to us - we play against our own (dismal) standard! The passengers were generally very clubbable and the staff were as peerless as usual so we had a great trip. Many of the best crew were destined for Iona (or Virgin Cruises allegedly!) but the cruise was increasingly overshadowed by the emerging Coronavirus pandemic. A cruise ship is ripe for infection even in normal circumstances (we apparently had some 150 chest infections afflicting our cruise) and the publicity given to the problems of Diamond Princess, as well as the impact of the bug on Arcadia's and Cunard's world cruises, meant that we were always aware of what could have happened. We were lucky - what will happen to future cruises and the travel industry in general is yet to emerge. We have a number of future cruises booked - what will happen is anybody's guess Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Having been on Britannia before we were very happy to travel on her again, not that we planned to it was just the cruise destinations we wanted were included in her itinery. I will talk about the ship first then the destinations. Well ... Read More
Having been on Britannia before we were very happy to travel on her again, not that we planned to it was just the cruise destinations we wanted were included in her itinery. I will talk about the ship first then the destinations. Well Britannia, what can I say, so elegant, so smooth when sailing and so cheap compared to many other cruise lines, no tips and prices are in pounds. A lot of regular P&O cruisers were saying that the Azura was better but I could not compare. I know a lot of people complain that you cannot walk straight across the ship and had to come up or down to go from the front to the back but that was not a big deal. The ship itself is very elegant, not in your face and I am glad to say they have got rid of the awful what I can only explain as pensioner's sail away parties. They used to give you union jack flags and sing songs like my old man's a dustman, get the picture. Well now they are helping the environment by not having the flags and they only do a few sail away parties and these include much more modern songs to suit all ages. The entertainment on the ship is good or at least it suits us with a resident group in the club and a typical british style pub where you can sit and chat or take part in karaoke or race nights and quizzes. There is also a pool table. The theatre is Headliners and most of the shows are done by the very talented entertainments team onboard. We only picked which ones we wanted to see and never really felt the need to go to every show. They also had tribute acts onboard such as Jess Glynne and Adele who were both excellent. The food on the ship is excellent whether you go to the Horizon buffet or the main dining rooms. There are also other restaurants where you can pay extra for an exceptional meal. Sindhu is an indian restaurant by Atul Kochhar which is very popular and is so good we went again. We booked the Epicurean afternoon tea this time whereas we had booked the Epicurean evening meal last time and we were a bit disappointed and wished we had booked the meal instead. There were too many sweets and not enough sandwiches/savouries. In fact it won't surprise me if the afternoon tea doesn't get shelved. We had ours postponed because not many people had booked on our day but on the day we did actually go there weren't many then either. The Glasshouse is phenomenal, you pay £6.95 for three starters or three desserts and then the mains prices vary based on what you want but they are not expensive. We went for lunch and had the three starters each(you don't need to book for this) then we went again for Dinner one night but booked this one. A lot of people said the Beach house was fabulous but it was in an extension of the Buffet restaurant so we gave it a miss. We did not do the Limelight club on either cruise because there were no acts we wanted to see, in fact these acts need changing they have been on for several years some of them. Apparently Gary Barlow is now P&O patron for entertainment so hopefully he will make the Limelight club more exciting but we shall see. The ship was full for the whole of the fourteen days and if you did not get a bed early on sea days it was a struggle, I think because everyone has the same coloured towel and P&O just replace them in your room without you having to provide any details of where your old ones went. I think if they opted for a procedure whereby you signed them in and out this may stop people doing this. If you smoke as I do then this ship is a bit different to others in that they do not have a smoking area at the side of the pool. There are three areas, one at the back of the ship outside the Horizon Buffet restaurant, one outside the Live lounge club and one outside Costa on Deck seven. To be fair I had no problem with this as they were positioned ideally if you were eating, sunbathing or being entertained. A tip too if you want to buy tobacco products wait a couple of days in because they do buy three get one free offers and also have discounts on alcohol and other gifts such as Sunglasses, Pandora, etc. P&O offer a drinks package of £39.95 per person per day but you have to have it for everyone in your cabin and you have to take it for the duration of the cruise apart from the first day and the day you depart(it includes bottled water, orange juice speciality coffees and all alcohol apart from expensive ones. . Drinks are not a bad price with a bottle of wine for approx £16-25, beer £4.30 pint and Vodka and coke around £4.40. Cocktails are also reasonable and Prosecco is £20.95 per bottle. Note you can put your bottle away and they give you a ticket for when you next go to the dining room. We drank quite considerably and never thought twice to order anything we wanted right down to Brandies after dinner and we still spent £800 less than it would have cost us for the drinks package. (Two of us) The highlight of sailing of sailing with P&O is the cabin, we booked a balcony and were upgraded to a cabin with a sofa. The shower has a proper door not a curtain as you would expect these days but don't always get. The main thing though, the bed, oh what a glorious sleep. We are investing in a P&O mattress. Now onto the islands on this cruise itinerary 1. Curacao - well unfortunately I cannot comment on here, we were very disappointed to miss this port but a flight from Birmingham delayed for 24 hours meant we had to sail out and back into Barbados so we had the planned day at sea a day later and missed Curacao - an excuse to go back eh 2.Bonaire - We booked a ship trip here which was snorkelling and an hour on the beach. It was incredible, you were taken to a local beach and given lifevests then the two guys running it went into the sea with you and you could snorkel amongst the fish and coral. It was stunning and even those who could not swim could do it as long as you weren't scared of being in the water. The vest kept you afloat. We then transferred to a beautiful beach where we actually had two hours and an area of beds were cordoned off for us. When we returned to Kralendijk we went back on the ship for lunch then just pottered around before going back on the ship. It is a very colourful place but not big so you don't need long to look around. Try the Cactus cocktail it is there speciality. St Vincent was next and I had read that there was very little to do here which is right I suppose. We opted to take the local bus up to the Botanical gardens and walk back into town. Well that was an experience in itself, We boarded what was a large mini bus and waited until it was full then the driver and co driver jumped in, drove around the corner and we all had to get out. He loaded up the minibus with bags of fertilizer and we all sat on top of them and we were off. We then returned to the town and pottered around having a few drinks in what seem like very strange bars which were basically huts with benches outside. On first appearances it is a very poor place and you could feel intimidated but we found everyone to be very friendly and helpful. Grenada - Again once you leave the Cruise terminal is seems very poor and can be intimidating but again, the people were very happy and very friendly. We got a taxi to Grand Anse beach and whilst the beach was beautiful the amenities left a lot to be desired. The toilets and washrooms were really bad. We decided to get the boat back to the terminal and it was the same price as a taxi $5 each. Once back in Grenada we looked for a bar called Fort Mathew but couldn't find it. We asked a local guy and he decided to take us up hill after hill but seemed to know where it was but alas we were fed up of walking so he took us back into the town to another bar and we had a few drinks with him and the locals. St Lucia - We hadn't planned a trip here but I had looked at the South of the island, a place called Soufriere and we priced a taxi and shared with 4 other people and took in the tour which included a stop at a Banana plantation, views of the iconic pitons, mudbaths and waterfalls. It cost us $25 each and was well worth it. Once back we explored the markets in the town and went for a few drinks in the local bars which again were nothing like our bars but the people were very friendly and happy. St Maaren - Our immediate plan was to visit Maho beach and take the iconic photos of the planes landing over our heads. Unfortunately for us it was an extremely windy day and no-one could possibly sit on the beach because the waves were so strong and coming in fast. We shared a taxi with other people and it was cheap enough to get there and back. We arrived at 9.30 to be told the first big plane did not come in until 11 so we sat in a fantastic bar next to the beach and had a coffee. We then went onto the beach and yes took lots of photos as planned. Not too many large aircraft fly in here any more so you wait a while for the next one but it is a must do experience. One thing I would say is avoid the danger zone when the planes are taking off, it is clearly marked, the first couple of small aircraft made no impact so we were all stood there when a small jet took off only to be blown over, my sunglasses flew to the sea, fortunate for me a lady saw them and returned them. Other people were completely blown off their feet. It is clearly marked. By lunchtime the bar was rocking so we went back had a couple of cocktails and headed back to Phillipsburg where we pottered around the shops and had a drink before going back to the ship. This island was definitely more for tourists than the others and I would definitely come here for a holiday. We drank Guavaberry cocktail and ate a lovely Mahi Mahi fish sandwich, two local delicacies. Antigua - We had only planned to go to a beach here but I also wanted to visit Nelson's Dockyard and as it was dull in the morning we decided to get a taxi with another couple and shared the cost of the trip which was $20 each. The taxi driver was like Morgan Freeman, very nice and very well spoken. He took us to the dockyard which was interesting and nice to see and then he dropped us off at a beach called Darkwood beach which was beautiful. Such clear waters and white sand. The bar where we hired our beds was full of the entertainment staff off the ship so it was obviously one of the better ones to go to. It was about 15 minutes from the Cruise terminal. The other couple did not want the beach so he dropped us off returned them and came back for us two hours later. We walked around St Johns for a bit when we returned and it was pleasant. Antigua is another definite holiday destination to see more of the 365 beaches there, one for each day of the year, you will hear that a lot. Dominica - I had read that the beaches here were volcanic and not worth a visit so I opted for two ships tours, the first one to a waterfall and hot springs and the second one in the afternoon to do river tubing. Neither disappointed. The waterfall was amazing, you had a lifevest and went into cold water then swam in a cave until you came to the waterfall. It was incredible and a must do activity. It is called Titou Gorge. We then went to some natural springs where there are five pools and all have lovely hot temperatures. The trip in the afternoon to do the river tubing was great fun. The river was not too fast but fast enough at times to be exhilarated. The safety aspect was impeccable with several chaperones ensuring everyone had a lifevest and was kept safe. The scenery and sounds and sights of the birds as you floated down the river for 3 miles was beautiful. I would recommend both trips which made a lovely change from lying on beaches on the other islands. This country may not have the beaches but the beauty is so amazing and well worth a visit. Barbados - I know we left here initially but we stayed overnight on our return so I thought I would share it at the end. When you arrive here in Bridgetown, you come out into the port and then if you walk outside and keep to the right along the path near the sea wall and keep walking you will come to Carlisle Bay which is a nice area for beach bars and bars. We had read to go to the Boatyard and this is what we did when we first arrived in Barbados, it is a beach bar, you pay $25 which includes two beds one umbrella, a drink free use of facilities, a 45 minute snorkelling trip on their boat and a return taxi to the port. It was really good value for money and the snorkeling alone was worth the money. You went to two separate places the first where you snorkel with turtles and the second where you snorkel at a shipwreck under the water where the fish are so colourful. When we returned to Barbados by the time we got here it was sold out and if you did not have a wristband and bed you weren't even allowed in the bar area. We went to the Lobster pot next door instead and you sunbathe on the same beach and we paid $10 each for our beds which again allowed us to use the facilities and one free drink. No snorkelling though. We wanted to eat local food so we asked the security guy on the door of the Lobster pot where we could get local fish, chicken and rice and a young lad took us amongst the houses and locals where we had some fabulous food at a fraction of the price everywhere else, it was so good. As we were on the ship overnight and could come back on anytime we opted to eat dinner onboard then head out to find local entertainment. We decided to go to Harbour lights which was a club on the beachfront. You paid $25 each, had a wristband and could drink as much local alcohol as you wanted(not wine), we got there a bit early and were the first ones but two hours later it was rocking. Being in our early 50s we enjoyed it but next time would probably go to Oistens which was supposed to be really good with plenty going on on a Friday night but we thought it was too far if we could not get back. When we left the club at 2.30am we knew we wouldn't get food on the ship and the taxi driver offered to take us to the KFC drive thru, there were KFCs everywhere on the islands but no McDonalds, apparently they had opened but closed again due to lack of business. The next day we were due to leave the ship at 4.30 so just stayed aboard and took advantage of the facilities and food before leaving for our flight home. We had an incredible adventure and will surely come back to the Caribbean, whether it will be on Britannia, who knows but if we do sail on her again, we will be more than happy to do so. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Our first cruise on Britannia but done many with P&O. This is a lovely ship. Although big and lots of passengers, there is plenty of room and a good flow of people. Nice contemporary decor and cabins. The best flow of passengers I ... Read More
Our first cruise on Britannia but done many with P&O. This is a lovely ship. Although big and lots of passengers, there is plenty of room and a good flow of people. Nice contemporary decor and cabins. The best flow of passengers I have seen in a ships buffet restaurant. Never had to wait or share a table even at prime dining times. Good service and food in the MDR. 3 nice big pools including the adult only quiet Serenity pool. Plenty of good quality sunbeds, although set out very close to each other. Now! The public rooms were under employed most of the time. Headliners shows or guest act as normal in the main theatre each evening, but not much else on offer. The large Crystal room had a dance band playing sometimes, with just a few people watching or dancing, but mostly empty! What a waste of a good venue! The Live Lounge advertised all sorts of appealing music, but most of it was just a blank stage and recorded music. Another hugely wasted venue. Where was the alternative to the Theatre evening shows? Comedians, singers, guest bands? This venue was also completely badly designed. All on one level with dividing walls 4ft high everywhere blocking any view. In general, except for the Headliners and ships live bands the entertainment was scatty, boring and poorly arranged. It looks to me like P&O have listened to past reviews regarding a drop in food quality. They have certainly improved food and service lately. But at the expense of saving money on quality evening entertainment. Service in the bars was good, good varied drinks menu, but thought the price for spirits and mixers excessive. All in, a good cruise for all ages. Lots of families and children and well behaved. Nice to see P&O catering for younger demographic as well as the more mature cruiser. The lifts and stairs layout is very poor. The forward and aft stairways are not very forward or aft!!! On the cabin decks this means a long walk to some cabins. These are the longest corridors I have ever seen on a ship, you will certainly do lots of walking. (Good for working off the desserts)! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Chose this cruise to celebrate New Year in style and also to see Amsterdam and Bruges having never been there before or travelled on P&O before. Embarkation was fantastic with boarding passes being printed out at home before we ... Read More
Chose this cruise to celebrate New Year in style and also to see Amsterdam and Bruges having never been there before or travelled on P&O before. Embarkation was fantastic with boarding passes being printed out at home before we travelled which cut out the waiting time to board the ship. All went without a hitch and we were straight on board in no time. Our cabin was very good, clean and tidy and our steward was just excellent with great attention to detail - nothing was too much trouble. Food was also very good and the service could not be faulted, especially as my husband has a nut allergy. Every care was taken when preparing his food. The entertainment on-board in the theatre was first class and the magic show was just amazing. The ship was very nice however there were a few places where a bit of TLC would not have gone amiss. It was a disappointment when we were invited to attend the Captain's party only for him to not show - understandably we were informed he was busy on the bridge but when we were told the Deputy Captain would attend it would have been nice of him/her to make himself known!!!! After about 15 minutes the majority of people dwindled away! Next came New Year's Eve and the party we had been looking forward to. Unfortunately there was no "big party", only the bars doing their own thing. The staff worked hard but it was not what we expected. Then for the sail away party - or not. Admittedly it was very cold and the staff tried to get the few people involved who had shown up but where were the flags, etc. After a song from Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England (which were not the usual songs played at a sail away party) the staff disappeared. There was not the atmosphere there that there usually is. Would we travel with P&O again? In short Yes but not for New Year -sorry P&O! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
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 ... Read More
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. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Firstly the price paid is a huge factor in the context of any review - your expectations are naturally higher paying £1000 per night than our bargain £79.00 each for a balcony cabin. At this value my expectations were certainly exceeded. ... Read More
Firstly the price paid is a huge factor in the context of any review - your expectations are naturally higher paying £1000 per night than our bargain £79.00 each for a balcony cabin. At this value my expectations were certainly exceeded. We have sailed on 20 cruises, mostly Cunard, and this was our first trip on an adult only ship. I hadn’t expected much difference but it was SO much calmer without noisy children rushing around. The weather was dreadful on the departure day from Southampton and rather than put us all through hell the captain delayed leaving until 3.00 am the next morning when things were forecast to be calmer - at no doubt a considerable cost to P&O in port fees. Impressive touch. Tip - if you are a delicate sailor when seas get rough there is considerably less movement in the cabins midship compared to where we were at the front. And you don’t hear the loud bangs of the waves hitting the bow. Food was excellent and even better in the speciality dining venues - worth waiting for the special offers to sample. In fact no meal disappointed but the Lido was a bit of a scrum at breakfast and lunch. Much more relaxing in the dining rooms. We opted for Freedom Dining but the queues and waits were so long unless you ate right at the beginning or towards the end of the session, when the food took a while to arrive. Next time we will go for fixed dining and have our table waiting for us. The ships interior wasn’t up to Cunards high boutique standards but then the price was considerably lower. And it felt comfortable all round. Cabin fine, You do have to climb into a uselessly small bath to have a shower which could be a mobility issue but beds were comfy. Not many tv channels. Our cabin steward Maria was just lovely - prepared everything with such care. The was a smell of sewage at times in the central atrium area but perhaps they will sort this next April in the refurbishment. No tips or service charge on the drinks which along with the excellent shore excursions were much cheaper than Cunard. Excellent entertainment in a stunning theatre. Lovely spa too and one acupuncture session instantly cured my frozen shoulder after two years. Would we go back? For the right destinations at the right price definitely! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We took a Caribbean Cruise on P&O Azura Cruise number A930A. We had a fabulous time overall but in the interests of honesty there were a few minor things wrong with the ship/service that we will address during the course of the ... Read More
We took a Caribbean Cruise on P&O Azura Cruise number A930A. We had a fabulous time overall but in the interests of honesty there were a few minor things wrong with the ship/service that we will address during the course of the review. Flights out- Manchester to Barbados, aircraft was comfortable, lots of legroom and decent screens in the seat backs...it was our first time on a dreamliner tbh we struggled to understand what the fuss was about, its just an aircraft like any other long haul aircraft. We had seats away from the toilets which helped( i guess it was a different experience if you were next to the loos). The food was poor on the aircraft especially for my wife who cannot eat cheese (our fault we didnt warn them) there were no cheese free options. Embarkation- Transfer from aircraft to ship was super slick time from sat on aircraft to stood on ship was 45mins. No passing through customs at airport just bussed straight from bottom of aircraft steps to the cruise terminal. Excellent transfer. Our Cabin was immediately available. Cabin- We were on deck 12, Cabin A433 it was clean and tidy, everything worked. Typical cruise ship cabin, nothing spectacular but perfectly acceptable. The handrail could have done with a scrape and repolish but other than that nothing wrong. A big plus with P&O is that there is a kettle but if you like a particular coffee or tea take it with you. We had some free water provided in the cabin on arrival due to having cruised previously with them. There was a mini bar but we never used it. Chocolates on the bed at night and biscuits (for the tea and coffee) were replenished a couple of times a day if required. The Ship - Tired, its going for a sparkle and it needs it. Tatty carpets in heavy use locations, much of the seating is worn out... particuarily seating with a velvety finish looked worn...the 45000 rubs have been more than exceeded. In the lido buffet room on deck 15 there was an issue with the food service units that led to leakages onto the worn carpets which led to closure of the walkways so passengers were diverted through the eating areas...it led to a feeling of chaos in the areas concerned. Repairs were facilitated whilst we were onboard her and it wasnt an issue in the 2nd week. The hulls exterior paintwork is in need of repainting, she is showing her age especially when other ships pull along side her in port... Azura looked shabby from the outside in comparison. One more thing is the smell. It is there and is worst midships on Promenade deck Port side... but it wasnt so bad as to spoil any holiday as some would have you believe... also folk who say there wasnt a smell must not have had a cabin near it or walked that way or maybe have something wrong with thier noses perhaps.... it was worst on port days and it seemed to eminate from what we assume are heat exchangers at lifeboat level. Whilst the list of issues here seems long, none were major areas of concern and the ship was otherwise seemingly well maintained. Space on board was ok, maybe there was an older passenger list than usual but there always seemed to be a sunbed on sea days even for late risers... its a nice ship and very similar to the Ventura. Dining- Big plus here. We tried all the restaurants at some point or other and they were all excellent. We had great food everywhere. We particuarily enjoyed Sindhu. but the main restaurant was also very good and unless you like a change there is not a great deal of point paying the extra for the speciality dining locations...we do them as part of our trying things out type of holiday experience that we do. You will be fine staying in main dining room if funds are tight. The only thing i would say is that puddings could be hit and miss.. some were excellent and some were just a bit odd. Bars- OK ish... tbh.. we didnt like the bars that much.. when i go to a bar i want the barman to serve me.. but even if he does he involves the waiter and on more than a couple of occasions our drinks sat there a few metres away whilst we waited for a waiter to fetch them to us...i just didnt get it... it didnt happen all the time but we never quite understood what was going on. We took out the all inclusive option on 2nd day but we will address that issue at the end. It was our biggest beef about the cruise. Entertainment- Some ok acts, the magic show 'Astonishing' was what it said on the tin. We were sat on 2nd row and I still dont know how some of the tricks worked...even when watching for it i couldnt see the actual move.. great show... watched a couple of the main ensemble shows and they were fine. Usual cruise ship fare. We have done many cruises now though and wish that it was a bit more modern and a bit less crooner/cover bandsish based. That said a very lot of people would be very happy with the shows. Its us that have seen it all before rather than the quality of the acts at fault here. The entertainment team were approachable and friendly... average stuff again though. Quizzes were decent enough. Some were quite tough, which was nice. My wife particuarily enjoyed the lecturer who was a crime writer and ex police... some great insights over the 4 lectures apparently. What was good was the lack of hard sell by the staff. Unlike some cruise lines the staff didnt push things all the time. Spa & Gym- We didnt use the Spa itself, but did use the gym..5 times actually..honest... it is pretty basic and a few machines were down.. but it did the job and it is much nicer using a gym cruising the caribbean than it is on a damp day at home. On Board Shops- Usual gear, some decent prices for some items too... check first though on tinternet before committing. We bought a watch for £310 which when we arrived home found same locally for £540..so there really are bargains but i guess not everything is as good as that one was. Crew/Staff- Generally very nice and chatty, no issues other than they were more laid back than usual... is that the new P&O no tips policy in action? ..we dunno.. but tbh it was nice to be not pushed to spend more. Itinery/ports of call- This is where our holiday really took off, we had a wonderful time ashore at every port. St Vincent: We booked our own trip here at home prior to the holiday. We went to the waterfall at the far end of the island..its about 75 feet high and quite spectacular, we then visited the Pirates of the Caribbean set and then onto Fort Charlotte.. it cost $40 and was a nice day out. We had a good laugh at the waterfall in particular. Be careful, some trips go to waterfalls that are little more than a river running over rocks... very few went where we went. St Kitts: Made an error here, used the ships trip and the minibus was less than good. The windows were tiny and they had been obscured by vinyl which put on badly distorted everything. We should have just got off the ship and caught a taxi for same money. Anyway, once we arrived at our destination it was superb, we visited Fort Brimstone which is in a stunning location, very carribean. We loved it. St Maarten- We went to a mountain and did the Flying Dutchman zipline 1050 feet high (steepest zipline with greatest decent in world)... this was fabulous fun... there was a ski type hoist to the top and then 4 ziplines between two mountain peaks before the Flying Dutchman down the hill... there wasnt a rush and you could have a look around at the top first. After the dutchman it was back on the ski hoist upto the first level for some tubing runs... a great day was had and we were back at the port for 2pm in time for a beer and a look at the shops. My wifes fave day out. Grand Turk: Ship parks at the beach so why go further. Paid a few dollars for sunbeds (although early birds can get free ones) and chilled by the sea..and in it... its a truly stunning location and no chance of missing ship. They blow the ships horn half an hour before to let you know to get on. Tortola: We jumped in a minibus/taxi onshore..cost $20 dollars each for a trip to a beach coupled with a bit of sightseeing along the ridgeway out to far end of the island. A stunning island, we also called at an old rum distillary and sampled some wares. Pussers Beach where we stopped was beautiful, there were pelicans flying along its length from time to time... another great shore day. Antigua: We booked a ships trip to Prickly Pear Island, wow this was stunning too... we were lucky this day, apparently on the mainland they had some rain..but we missed it all... apart from when we returned to the port where we popped into a bar until the rain eased... Prickly pear is very basic, some people were not that happy with it but for us it was perfect. Its only 100m x 30m and there was a cabin with all inclusive drinks and a lunch service... the loo was in a wood hut and was a pump type yacht loo... best not to dwell on it too long... the sea was amazing, superb snorkelling on the sandbar and reef..lots of fish to see... i ended up getting a very burnt back due to spending 5 of the 6 and a half hours half submerged in the water. We spent the day with a couple off the ship and had a great time with them. My fave place of the holiday, but its not for everyone i guess. There was probably about 30 people in total on the island...all off the ship i think. St Lucia: Another ships trip, this time a catamarran to see the pitons, tbh we saw em on St Vincent at start of the holiday(its not that far from St Lucia) and as the ship pulled in to St lucia that morning too... but the fun is the journey here.. it stopped at a beach for snorkelling and then went onto the pitons... Rum flowed, there was dancing and generally everyone had a lovely time.. we did. Afterwards we ate in a bar near the ship and continued the fun there with a couple we met on the catamarran. It was a good day. Grenada: Weatherwise this was worst day of the holiday. It rained before we arrived, it rained a little bit in the morning and rained very hard toward the end of the day. However we lucked out massively, we prebooked on tinternet a ATV experience...and the inclement weather only made it more exciting. There was only 4 people doing the trip too so it really was a one to one experience with the guides. We also visited what would probably have been the most beautiful beach of the holiday had the sun been out. Grenada is stunning, we just need to see it in the sunshine and not with grey skies. One thing, if you are considering buying jewellery whilst out in the caribbean wait until Grenada.. they undercut all the other places for the exact same item of jewellery by quite some margin. It was my wifes 50th and she ended up with a diamond and Sapphire necklace and a watch for the same price as the necklace elsewhere (am looking at you, St Maarten and Antigua)... Barbados: we boarded on a saturday, so the friday at barbados for us was a full day and night there before our flying home day on the saturday. We have been before to barbados so looked online at what to do diiferent from last time when we did a island tour by taxi... we read about the boatyard.. so went... wow, what a great day... the taxi driver tried to talk us into going further down the beach to a bar there that didnt charge entry.. what he didnt say was that the sunbeds there cost $20 each..at Boatyard entry is $25 dollars but you get the sunbeds and a free drink, every two hours theres a 241 happy hour and inbetween that there are free shots and a free snorkelling trip in a boat to swim at two sites in the bay... one has a wreck the other as turtles.. it was fabulous and rounded our holiday off perfectly. The ships entertainment crew and in fact many of the other crew go there to party on days off too so it must be good. Glad we went there.. not to be missed, if you havent done it..do it. Drinks Package- Now before we sum up...the thing that annoyed the most. The drinks package. Firstly it is expensive but we just about managed to reach the total everyday, we like a drink but are not massive drinkers..so people who drink a lot will cane it... we won because the speciality coffees and soft drinks /water are in so we took water ashore with us every shore day and had a few coffees a day too...we were £30 into the money before we touched alcohol so it was fairly easy to reach the outlay cost. That however isnt the issue... the issue was not being able to have doubles and then drinks being overun with the mixers so they tasted like dishwater... and generally being made to feel somehow 2nd class by the bar staff... Is that a large wine?.. they asked, is that a double? ... no we are on the package...and we showed our card.. oh they said.. and then they turned up with a small wine and a single short over run with mixer unless we could stop them in time... i know its not thier fault, but there is a serious flaw in P&O policy here. We spent a very lot of money with them and somehow managed to feel less special than people who didnt. I know its silly but it was annoying... am not saying that spending that money should have made us more special but it shouldnt have put us at a disadvantage. If P&O are doing All Inclusive then they need to do All Inclusive not this half arsed carry on they have concocted... I understand that some people may take the piss but we are not those people and we just couldnt get the drinks of the quality we expect ....it was as if they had our money and we could just do one. Thats the biggest gripe of what was an otherwise terrific holiday. Disembarkation- Went very smoothly, was a long day, but we went last minute shopping in the morning, had a bit of deck/pool time, had lunch and then changed and showered in the spa facilities before catching bus to the airport. Flight was delayed about an hour and a half but time soon passed and they pretty much managed to land on time back in Manchester. Summing up- This was our 20th cruise with a variety of different lines so by now we know a thing or two about cruising so our views are honest, constructive and considered with plenty of experience to measure the ship and overall cruise against. This was a 5 star holiday experience with a 3 star ship board experience so overall we give it 4 stars. We have attempted to be uber honest. Some will disagree ..but this is our experience of this cruise so please accept it as truthful from our perspective. There is nothing that should put you off from cruising with P&O or on the Azura..we would do it again, and on this very ship without any worries. Many of the minor issues will no doubt be sorted in the sparkle before next season begins so the only real beef is with the P&O All Inclusive drinks policy... we dont understand it (it seems designed to piss us off) and it detracted from what was an other wise wonderful experience. We wouldnt take the P&O drinks package on this experience again (it may depend on what it is you prefer to drink of course). Hope you found this helpful. Happy Cruising. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We have cruised with P&O on a number of occasions, and have particularly enjoyed those on the adults only ships. We liked Oriana and were disappointed when she was sold. So we waited for Aurora to be refurbished as an adults only ship ... Read More
We have cruised with P&O on a number of occasions, and have particularly enjoyed those on the adults only ships. We liked Oriana and were disappointed when she was sold. So we waited for Aurora to be refurbished as an adults only ship and chose this 13 night cruise to Madeira and the Canary Islands to escape the fogs, rain and dark days of November. It proved to be a good choice! Embarkation was speedy and efficient. We were on board be 1pm and first impressions were good. We enjoyed a welcome on board lunch in the Medina restaurant which was most enjoyable, then repaired to our cabin, mid-ship on B deck. We were blown away by our mini-suite which was spacious and well appointed. Everything was clean and fresh and looked new. Tea and coffee making was available, but my husband declared that the coffee pods supplied with the machine did not make the very strong coffee that he prefers, so he only used it once! Our steward Maria kept everything spotless and even cleaned the exterior windows, but we were concerned that she had too many suites to look after and that we had little time to chat and get to know her better During the first three days we were at sea so there was plenty of time to explore the ship, try the various restaurants and see what entertainment was available. The elegant style of the refurbishment has given this traditional ship a new lease of life. Crossing the Bay of Biscay the weather was rough, and access to the promenade deck was restricted, but the ship coped well. Tip - if you suffer from motion sickness, choose a cabin on the lower decks and avoid the forward cabins. As we gained calmer seas we were able to enjoy walking along the wrap-around promenade deck and to appreciate the teak decking and elegant sweeping aft decks. We always choose freedom dining and prefer a table for two. Sometimes we had to wait for a table, but usually no more than 15 or 20 minutes. The food in the Medina restaurant was mostly good. On formal nights the choice and quality of the food was excellent. The wine list is much improved than hitherto and the prices were reasonable. Service was good, but the waiters had too many tables and often seemed rushed. We did not much like the food in Sindhu, but that is probably down to personal taste. The waitresses in Sindhu were charming. We would have preferred an Italian speciality restaurant rather than the Ocean Grill - the menu did not appeal. We had lunch a few times in the Glass House and enjoyed being able to try a wide selection of wines by the glass - the selection of wines by the glass in the main restaurants is limited. The lectures on sea days were interesting and the resident musicians were mostly good - depending on one's personal taste. One guest performer, Wild Sax, was excellent. We would have preferred more jazz and classical concerts. It was disappointing that the piano in the central atrium area was not used more. What should have been the heart of the ship was far too quiet. Listening to the piano, cocktail to hand, while waiting for dinner is one of the greatest pleasures for us. Unfortunately the pager system for your table does not penetrate as far as the Crows Nest where the pianist was usually playing around the pre-prandial hour. We only went to one production show by the Headliners, as the times are not convenient if you dine between 7 and 9pm. For the early show one needs to arrive in the theatre early, otherwise there are no seats. The late show was usually too late for us, specially on port days when we had been on shore. However, there is a separate cinema and a show lounge which offer alternative entertainments, so there is always something to do in the evenings. We enjoyed our visit to Madeira - our favourite island. It has so much to offer: stunning scenery, exotic flora, beautiful gardens and a mild climate. We took a taxi to the Botanic Gardens, bought some Madeira wine for Christmas, then enjoyed strolling around Funchal in the warm sunshine and seeing the Christmas decorations. Then on to La Palma where we went on an excursion to the centre of the island which is a huge crater called the Caldera Taburiente - more scenery surrounded by mountains. It has a world class collection of observatories set up there because of the clear air and low light pollution. Next was Gran Canaria where we visited some attractive villages and gardens - very different from the tourist beaches in the south of the island. We then called at Lanzarote, which is still volcanically active - lots to see there is one is a first-time visitor. Finally Lisbon where we went on one of the antique trams up and down the hills, along narrow streets - great fun. Sailing towards the sunset down the River Tagus was a fitting end to our pre-Christmas holiday. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Ventura N933 12 nights Madeira, Canaries and Lisbon, 17 to 29th November 2019 Embarkation at Southampton on the 17th November was quick and efficient. All the cabins were supposed to be ready for occupancy at 1.30pm, although we were in ... Read More
Ventura N933 12 nights Madeira, Canaries and Lisbon, 17 to 29th November 2019 Embarkation at Southampton on the 17th November was quick and efficient. All the cabins were supposed to be ready for occupancy at 1.30pm, although we were in E227 before then. Ferdinand the cabin steward was self-effacing and well worth the personal tip on the last day of the cruise. E227 is on Deck 8, just above the Promenade Deck starboard side a quarter of the way back. It is an Ocean View with no balcony and its window part obscured by the mechanics of the lifeboat davits. However, it is as big as a standard balcony cabin, albeit without the balcony, and at £812 pp with free parking was excellent value for this cruise. Since, apart from the mid-voyage part, it was generally cold and wet outside, not having a balcony was no disadvantage. P&O no longer do the bed ‘turndown’ service with free chocs’ on Day One, no face flannels are supplied unless requested and our fridge was 100% empty – in other words if we wanted drinks from it, we had to order and pay upfront. We never used the shipboard internet as our phones with data were included by the service provider when we were in the EU ports. Food? Main served restaurants were Holiday Inn ‘Plus’ standard I would say, as I have before about Britannia. Alternative dining? Sindhu is well worth the cover charge but it is best to go on Day One or Two of the cruise as they give either a free bottle of house wine for two or a third off the £20 pp charge. Glass House? On this cruise the service was diabolical. The food was excellent as always, but the service dismal. So dismal in fact that a group of us complained and we all got the food (eventually) for free. The deserts are to die for. A meal for two with drinks will be around £22<£30 total. Beach House? Huge portions and the basic cover charge is only £7.50pp. Drinks across the board on P&O are almost as low as Wetherspoon prices and if you have done 15 or more days or so with P&O then you get 5% discount as well. The other passengers? Michael Macintyre would have a field day! For example, in the Tamarind Club venue one morning they were having a talk about their Iceland and Norway cruises. We arrived, the venue was quite full and as usual couples (elderly usually) had selected the middle two of any four seats, clearly wanting to guard their individual space. Asking them nicely if they would mind moving up one seat this particular couple refused, so we sat either side and talked over them to their annoyance! They got the message and left soon after moaning about sub-standard passengers nowadays! The same sort of thing happened on disembarkation day when our meeting point was Deck 6 of the Arena Theatre for off-loading at 8.45. We arrived at approx. 8am to find without exception ALL the end couple of seats of the rows were occupied, no doubt so the inhabitants could be first out of the blocks to the gangway at the ‘call’ time. Since everyone had carry-on cases/coats/bags etc., it meant the ‘end sitters’ were climbed all over to their annoyance as 100’s more guests then arrived which served them right when the obvious thing to do was to move up the row to let in the new arrivals. As it so happened sitting at the end of a row also made no difference since we were, as always, called off by row and on this day to the opposite side of the ship! In other words, it seems to me that some people don’t like to be challenged and are inherently selfish. A final example of this was in the buffet one day, when an able but elderly lady, was peering at the offerings just as a new batch of omelettes were put out. She pushed in, grabbed the flat metal server, put it under an omelette, stepped back with it and then gasped ‘I have no plate’ looking at me as if it were my fault, and she then promptly dropped the selected fresh omelette on the floor! So, be prepared for a degree of selfishness amongst the passengers, many of whom were old(ish). Entertainment? The Turnaround Kids were good and Paul Stickler who gave six talks on unsolved or solved but possible miscarriages of justice murders, was good and he always had a full-house – lots of single seats either sides of couples until the entertainment staff told them to move. Ports of call? Lisbon it rained – we took a taxi to El Corte Ingles - a huge department store like Selfridges in London where you could stay all day if you wanted, and not that expensive either. Madeira it rained until lunchtime. Warning – if you want to use the cable car to see the botanical gardens etc., there are long queues. An organised trip might be better. Gran Canaria? The main city, Las Palmas which is where the cruise ships dock, is like a smaller version of Lisbon and good for quality shopping with big discounts. Lanzarote on a Sunday has little to commend it in Arrecife where the cruise ships dock, but the Mountains of Fire excursion into the Timanfaya Volcano National Park was very good with an excellent guide. You cannot do the drive around the volcanos by taxi or car, so an organised coach trip is best, Santa Cruz, De La Palma, can be easily walked from the cruise terminal. Quite a nice small naval museum, cathedral and a monastery if they interest you. Main street has a range of traditional shops and bars. Ventura as usual suffered a minor hiccup with her machinery on the way South from Southampton and on the way back we made an emergency unscheduled brief alongside stop at Vigo to offload an unfixable medical emergency. It was all a bit tasteless as passengers were standing four deep on Promenade Deck 7 to see the unfortunate lady being offloaded into an ambulance with local doctor, nurse and paramedics. In summary: Good value, decent enough cabin, adequate food (but you have to pay extra for something really special) and the drinks definitely won’t bankrupt you. No auto gratuities nowadays and if you book a future cruise but then want to change it before the balance deadline, there is also no £100 special charge. The other passengers if the cruise is from Southampton (and not in school holidays) will largely be from the older generation. Most are pleasant, but one or two can be quite inconsiderate. Although we did not use Scubas, the P&O childcare nursery facility, it looked good and seemed to be popular. P&O will NOT book more children on a cruise than it can accommodate. I know this because we are taking our entire family mob on Iona next year and the adviser confirmed this fact and we have also booked another cruise on Ventura just for us, which says it all I guess. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Hello !! We were sailing on the Ventura in November in the Canary islands and we have really enjoy it. The ship had everything that you needed.The room was spacious and always clean and tidy. the food could be better, I expected more ... Read More
Hello !! We were sailing on the Ventura in November in the Canary islands and we have really enjoy it. The ship had everything that you needed.The room was spacious and always clean and tidy. the food could be better, I expected more quality but there was enough variety. Making friends is easy on the boat and you never get bored. The ports where we arrive are quite accessible. without thier the reef is quite ugly, dirty. The city of Arrecife is far and not pretty. Unfortunatly the trips they offered we found to be expensiv. We came across a company by accident called Lanzarote experience tours, on their web site they offered their tours in small groups for cruise ships and only in English. What a discovery!! We were 8 in the group and only English. Truthfully if you are in the same situation I would recomend them 100% Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Chose this cruise on the spur of the moment when we spotted a bargain fare. We drove down to Southampton and were quickly on board and exploring. Our first impressions were that the ship was in good condition. We headed up to the buffet ... Read More
Chose this cruise on the spur of the moment when we spotted a bargain fare. We drove down to Southampton and were quickly on board and exploring. Our first impressions were that the ship was in good condition. We headed up to the buffet for lunch. Having only been on larger ships my husband was surprised by the small size of the buffet and was looking for the rest of it lol. Having said that we found that there was plenty of choice and everything was hot and tasty. Our cabin was a balcony on deck 9. Everything here was fine and the bed was very comfortable. The dining was mostly very good. We had freedom dining and had no problems getting a table. We shared a few nights but we don't mind that and our table companions were so nice we shared with them again on the last night. Food was always good but the service was not as attentive as usual. We had to keep asking for the water to be topped up and service was very slow sometimes. One evening a table mate asked for a small portion of the main course of mussels as a starter and it was made very clear that the waiter didn't want to provide it. He was told that this would make everyone else's starter late . the waiter did agree to provide it and so i also asked if i could have the same and was then told the same thing about everyone else would have to wait longer for their starter . i pointed out that if the other man could have it then i didn't see why i couldn't. It did arrive and was possibly the best starter of the cruise. The main course took ages to arrive and only did after a word with the head waiter. We also ate in the beach house which we really enjoyed and would do again. The lava rock cooked fillet steak was amazing. Drinks - fairly well priced and we had lots of onboard credit to use up BUT the cocktails were so very weak - I'm not much of a drinker and usually find one cocktail will effect me but on here it was as though i was drinking pop. Not worth the £6 -£7 price tag. The entertainment was not so good. Fogwell Flax the comedian was on a few too many times - 3 evenings out of 7 is too much, We saw him once but didn't want to see him again. The Runaround boys were excellent and we saw them twice. Astonish was astonishing even though we have seen it on another ship - excellent. The quizzes were good but the cumulative quiz was only on one day - we turned up for the second sea day and it wasn't on- all a bit strange and no one seemed to know why it wasn't happening. The service was OK, not as good as on other ships , Our steward was excellent but the dining staff were nowhere near as good as on other cruises - maybe the tipping policy change hasn't been good for them. Ports were Amsterdam (about ship shuttle 45 mins away), Zeebrugge (shuttle to Blankenburg and then a 5 euro train into Brugge) and Hamburg (another shuttle). All were excellent and we had good weather so had a great time. The aft pool was open and heated and the changing rooms had a sauna and steam room in them which were FREE ! I made much use of this and it was fab being up on deck in the hot tubs while others were wandering around in their winter coats. Pricing Policy. We booked a select fare which is more expensive buy about £200. This gets you credit, choose your cabin, shuttles and choice of dining. Although we got a lot of onboard credit We couldn't choose our cabin and more annoying all of the shuttles were free to everyone (If that's a benefit to select then they should be charging the saver fare passengers). The only benefit to us was the choice of dining and i really don't think that booking select is worth it unless you get all of those benefits. We were struggling to spend the credit and we wouldn't have spent anywhere near as much if we had booked the saver fare with no credit. Moral of the story is do your research and only book select if the benefits are useful to you. Reading this back it looks as though we didn't have a good time but Overall it was a very good cruise, we met some lovely people and had a very relaxing time, We have already booked a black friday bargain for next year. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Having visited the Caribbean several times on a/I holidays we decided to do our first cruise after taking some advice from our travel agent. Holiday got off to a good start when Thomas Cook folded and we were give Virgin flights as an ... Read More
Having visited the Caribbean several times on a/I holidays we decided to do our first cruise after taking some advice from our travel agent. Holiday got off to a good start when Thomas Cook folded and we were give Virgin flights as an alternative. Being excited but very apprehensive we got to the terminal at Barbados and check in was really quick and efficient. The boat itself was amazing, plenty of sun Ed’s although did get a little cramped on sea days but not really an issue, staff were good at removing towels from reserved beds after the allotted 30 mins. The food was really good, whether it was the buffet restaurant or the other freedom restaurants, no complaints at all about the food. The updates from the Captain and his crew were really good and informative, ports of call were great, some better than others which is normal, the entertainment was amazing, the shows in the theatre were like the west end, plus the guest acts were also really good quality acts, the staff don’t stop, ever, constantly serving, cleaning, always with a smile. The room (an inside cabin) was ok, comfy bed but would definitely consider a balcony on our next cruise. Overall we were both really really impressed with our first cruise and will definitely cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
This was a 50th birthday present from my husband and I was not disappointed. We were one of the last flights on the Saturday to join the ship, so late boarding, but they got us on board pretty fast after arriving at the port. The ... Read More
This was a 50th birthday present from my husband and I was not disappointed. We were one of the last flights on the Saturday to join the ship, so late boarding, but they got us on board pretty fast after arriving at the port. The ship layout was pretty easy as we had cruised with Princess the year before and Azura has exactly the same layout so pretty much knew the deck plan from day 1, but yes people were still getting lost even at the end of week 2. The ship itself is due for refurb in April 2020 and yes there are noticeable areas that need doing, but I did not think at any point we had got on a ship that was in desperate need. We had a balcony stateroom that was front of ship, always clean and tidy thanks to Pascoal our steward. We dined in the Oriental, food always very good with a varied selection on the menu. Bar service was good whatever bar we went to. Loads going on onboard on the sea days, so no excuse to be board. Guests were constantly told not to reserve sunbeds on deck, but do people listen? Sometimes they were easy to come across other times not so. The only thing that dampened our cruise was the theft of my husband's prescription sunglasses. He attended a talk in the art gallery and when he left forgot to pick them up as he had a coffee cup and other bits and pieces with him. He returned 2 hours later after a gym session when he realised he left them behind. The girls in the gallery had seen them but chose to leave them on the chair rather than put them in a safe place!! If only they had of moved them they would not of been stolen! I hope whoever stole them was as annoyed as my husband was when they tried them on to discover they are no good to anyone apart from my husband. They will probably be in a bin somewhere now I guess. On a plus note I must give a big shout out to Captain Neil Turnbull who greeted us every day with his wit and charm. He got off in every port and was always ready to meet and talk to any guests.... big asset to P&O! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Having read many cruise reviews and agree everyone's points are valid, here is my review of our 14 night cruise round the Caribbean. We stayed the night before at Premier Inn Gatwick north and have stayed there many times. You get ... Read More
Having read many cruise reviews and agree everyone's points are valid, here is my review of our 14 night cruise round the Caribbean. We stayed the night before at Premier Inn Gatwick north and have stayed there many times. You get what you have paid for, very clean tidy and comfy beds. We planned to leave the hotel at 7am as our flight wasn't until 11:10. Over night I received a email from Gatwick informing me my flight had been delayed. This was only a short delay and we took off about 12:45. We paid to be upgraded to premium seating, this was £175 each way. Being a tall guy, it was worth it. The service out was good films we good. We arrived in Barbados at 5.40 local time. we were quick off the plan and on to the transport to Bridgetown. As we were one of the first transport coach, there wasn't any queues at the check in desk. We were given garlands to wear ( this is our 5 cruise to the Caribbean and first getting garlands). We were on board by 6.45 and went straight to the open deck for the BBQ. As we were very tired we didn't eat much. At 7pm we were instructed to our muster drill. No life jackets are now needed. This has speeded up the process of getting there and back. After, due to the delay ( which wasn't P&O fault) and time difference we retired to our cabin. Our Cabin lady wasn't the most friendliest I have come across. She said our cases would be here very soon. However due to our delay they didn't start to arrive until 10:30 and the last one at gone 11am. First port St Vincent: Wasn't our most favourite Island. We spent the day at the beach and then came back. We brought some coke from eth shops in Port. Please be aware they were 1 year out of date but didn't notice until the day after. First sea day: we spent just lounging in the sun. we were told the ship was full but in my past experience I wouldn't have said so. No issue with getting sun beds, unless you wont to around the pools. we don't and never had a issue. However some guest were getting quite cross with others as the captain made several announcements over the PA informing everyone not to hog the beds. It was quite funny watching some having words about THEIR sun bed. We choice to have lunch in the glass house, this was very nice, we enjoyed the quietness and service ( as well as the wine). St Kitts: we took a taxi to Cockleshell bay. Very nice beach, however we learned a big lesion. Check with your fellow passengers before you leave what time everyone wants to return. We didn't any only had 2 hours and would have liked longer. The beach has full WIFI and drinks, snacks and a friendly couple their too. St Marrtin: we booked a P&O boat trip. This boat could hold up to 80 passengers and there was only 24 on board. It was amazing, the service the crew made you feel very welcome and answered lots of questions about St Martin we would have never known. After we caught the water taxi to Grand bay and did some shopping and had lunch and a little siesta by the sea before returning to the ship. Second sea day: same as the first just chilled on deck and also our balcony reading, just a relaxing day. Grand Turk: This is our favourite Island and we walked to Jacks Shack, we been there many times before. However this time, I would have to say its become very expensive. One of the most expensive of snacks or beer etc. Our best bit about this time was being in the sea with my wife and a turtle popped his head up to breath right in between us. Very much the WOW factor for us both. We booked the Epicurean restaurant for our friends 50th Birthday and we weren't disappointed the service and food was out of this world... Finishing our deserts on a trolley in front of us all and explaining what she is doing.. Beautiful Third Sea day: We took part in " Trek the deck" for charity. 9 times walking round the deck, loads of our fellow passengers took part and raised a lot of money for children's charity. After, we spent some time on the promenade deck enjoying watching the world go by and reading ( I did get a little burnt the day before). Tortola; we normally go to Cane Garden bay and it rains. This time we caught a taxi to long bay. A real hidden gem, the clouds skirt bay and for the first time it didn't rain while at the beach. The sand was so soft and the prices for snacks and beers were normal prices. Antigua: we spent the day at Darkwood beach, again very nice beach, however getting out of the sea was causing some with difficulty. One older lady kept losing her swimming costume top and this amused everyone. She laughed which made it more difficult to get out. St Lucia: we went to Rodeny bay and unfortunately due to not having rain in Tortola, the heavens opened and it came down like stair rods. I darted to the sea and the rain was pounding up wards. We had great delight in having Gloria who kept coming back checking if we needed anything, very nice pleasant lady. Her last words were come back again. However the beach peddlers just don't stop, this has to be the worst Island for this. Constantly saying " No thankyou" Grenada: We spent the morning on board and the afternoon we booked another P&O trip" the Rhun Runner". We have been on one before, however I wouldn't do this trip again. Wasn't as much fun compared to the boat trip in St Marrtin. We were informed by one of the crew this trip is the one everyone likes watching on its return as the crew gave you lots of run punch. This was far to sweet for me to drink, like syrup. However others on the other hand loved it and it showed. Some were so drunk. One young lady they even refused her anymore due to the state she was in. We bumped into her on her return to her cabin and it took four of us to get her up the stairs as her friends left her. A unconfirmed comment from another passenger stated the captain disabled her cruise card for alcohol until the next day. We did see her and she did look a little sorry for her self. Last sea day: spent morning up on deck and friends went to the murder mystery. there was a ex police detective talking about his career and put on a mock murder with passengers. They came back and thought it was a giggle. Barbados: up early for immigration check. Very quick this time. We caught a taxi to Harbour heights beach. Again wasn't disappointed, beautiful sand and water. Reasonable prices for snacks and beers. Back on board for our evening meal and the dreaded packing. Barbados day 2 ( going home) We were up early as we had to be out of our cabins by 8am. Went to the buffet for breakfast and what a fiasco. Half the passengers are new and have not yet got their bearings, no cutlery, no where to sit. P&O need to split the buffets, one for new passengers and they can sit around chatting about their flight etc with fellow passengers and those departing passengers departing to use the other one. It was chaos to say the least. However, as our flight wasn't until 6pm we caught another taxi to the Boat yard. Very nice, beach again is amazing. My wife meet up with an old work colleague and she gave us some insight to living in Barbados. Very interesting. We returned to the ship and had lunch and shower in the spa, so many products are left behind. we were told the crew love this as it all gets used up by them, so don't worry about leaving them. About 330pm we left Azura and made our way to the airport. We have been to the Caribbean 5 times and each time is so different. We are now giving it a miss for a while and looking at other destinations . Good comments; The ship isn't looking as tired as others say, cleanliness is up to P&O normal standards. Friendly staff, Speciality restaurants are a must. Bad comments: I have to sadly say we felt rushed in the MDR. Never experienced this before and its was a shame. they just wanted you seated and for your meal and out. If I choice soup some nights, this was served with my fellow guests mains !! However, that's all I can say about our cruise. We meet some amazing passengers and crew.. Hope you find this interesting Bells Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
It was a great time to cruise with P & O on the Arcadia - 4 weeks away at the beginning of November when it was wet and cold in the UK. No flying, Southampton to Southampton via Madeira, the Caribbean and the Azores. Once the ship had ... Read More
It was a great time to cruise with P & O on the Arcadia - 4 weeks away at the beginning of November when it was wet and cold in the UK. No flying, Southampton to Southampton via Madeira, the Caribbean and the Azores. Once the ship had sailed through the fog (the first couple of days) the weather was really good. Interesting ports of call and extremely easy to get ashore when in port. The ship is very comfortable but quite tired. Everything works as it should be but there are signs around windows etc to suggest that perhaps a re-fit ought to be imminent. The cabin was very comfortable but quite clearly had been constructed later when the P & O decided to make the Arcadia child free. The food was excellent although my other half thought that there could have been some more plain dishes on the menu. However we didn't have a meal that was not to our tastes. Both the cabin staff and the dining staff were very good, pleasant and ready to converse with the passengers. We enjoyed the excursions we booked and the arrangements to meet for them was really excellent, on the pier or just off and so no nonsense about meeting in the theatre on the ship. All in all it was an excellent cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We love cruising and love P&O but standards seem to be slipping a bit. Embarkation/disembarkation: Emabarkation was very smoothe. Cases taken at Southampton and was on the ship within the hour. The same goes for disembarkation, ... Read More
We love cruising and love P&O but standards seem to be slipping a bit. Embarkation/disembarkation: Emabarkation was very smoothe. Cases taken at Southampton and was on the ship within the hour. The same goes for disembarkation, very smoothe. We chose to take our own cases off and was off the ship by 09:00. Food/Drink The drinks package was good value for money but had such a stupid policy (not allowed to order a soft drink at the same time as an alcoholic?). There was a large group of us (6) and ordering a round of drinks was a mission! It took about half an hour to order a round which was very annoying, especially at dinner! Each drink had to be ordered individually on an individual card, we know the drinks package is relitively new and staff are trying their hardest to get to grips with it but I feel P&O should take a leaf out of other cruise line’s books (RCL/MSC) as their systems are a lot more smoothe. The food in the main restaurants was very good, excellent choice and excellent quality. Sindhu was fantastic, service great and food spectacular. One note though we do miss the fish course in the main restaurant. Cabin: Cabin was very nice. The beds are amazing and our cabin steward worked very hard. The bathroom is small but that is expected. The only negative thing is P&O have removed the onboard account from the stateroom tv’s? This made it quite difficult having to keep getting print outs of the account at reception. Ship: We love Azura so had high hopes for Ventura. The entertainment onboard was great but the ship felt generally shabby. A lot of the rooms need a good face lift, the furntitre was battered in some places and it just felt a little dated. We noticed that the promenade deck was dirty in some areas as well throughout the whole duration of the cruise. Overall we had a nice cruise. The ports were great (especially Amsterdam) and the food was lovely. The ship however leaves something to be desired for. It needs a good refit to bring it back up to standards! We are sailing on Iona next year so hopefully the drinks package would have sorted itself out by then. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
After looking forward to our second cruise with P&O, the first being on Oceana, I found myself doing lots of comparisons on the two ships and I must say that Oceana far outstrips Azura.. there is/was one particular reason for this... ... Read More
After looking forward to our second cruise with P&O, the first being on Oceana, I found myself doing lots of comparisons on the two ships and I must say that Oceana far outstrips Azura.. there is/was one particular reason for this... from day 1 on the Azura there was an almost constant smell of sewage on every deck which sometimes permeated down into main dining areas. Having spoken to several officers regarding the matter I never got any sort of logical answer other than the statutory "it's nothing to worry about, it's not harmful to your health". There was no way anyone on board could NOT have noticed the smell. On passing the Reception desk later on in the cruise I overheard one passenger complaining that they were unable to use their balcony due to the constant stink and the receptionist replied "what smell". A really good cruise was rather spoiled by both the smell and not getting explanations as to why it was there. There was also reconstruction work going on on the lido deck ( fitting new lift for disabled people) for the first week... this was not conducive to relaxation what with grinders etc being used. I am aware that these things have to be done at some point but it also had a negative impact on the holiday. Staff on board were very polite but waiters etc around the lido deck appeared less willing to interact with passengers as they were on Oceana. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
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