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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
This was our first cruise and we loved it. The ship was lovely and the crew were so friendly The food was great. The crew made the whole Christmas wonderful. The high light for us was the entertainment Roy Locke made our holiday and ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we loved it. The ship was lovely and the crew were so friendly The food was great. The crew made the whole Christmas wonderful. The high light for us was the entertainment Roy Locke made our holiday and we will try to book a cruise when he is appearing. Michelle Perrett the harpist was super too We could go on and on but why not just say EXCELLENT and really mean it Only one slight blip. My brothers excursion to Rosenberg Castle arrived only to find the castle shut 10am to 2pm. Shouldnt the guide have known this? Our excursions were fabulous with lots of information We experienced Storm Barbara and we were given plenty of information and put at our ease throughout the experience If my husband & I had plenty of money we would have refused to leave the ship!!!!. We understood that Arcadia was going on to a World Cruise. Some people are so lucky. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
A great first cruise on a wonderful ship with amazing staff and crew. The food was excellent with outstanding choice and quality. We could not find a single fault except, perhaps, the weather, But if you go on a cruise in the north sea at ... Read More
A great first cruise on a wonderful ship with amazing staff and crew. The food was excellent with outstanding choice and quality. We could not find a single fault except, perhaps, the weather, But if you go on a cruise in the north sea at this time of year and don't expect some rough seas then you a crazy. We sailed through a force 10 gale with great ease and the captain found us a nice calm anchorage for Christmas day. Due to the storm we were unable to get to Amsterdam so an extra port of call was added, Le Herve turned out to be a nice replacement. One thing that did annoy us a little was...Other passengers moaning about anything they could think of, I'm sure P&O would love to hear about your little problems but we're having a great time and DID'NT want to hear them. (Who the hell decides to take a shower in the middle of a force 10 gale, slips and them blames the captain!!!) Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
We chose this cruise in order to visit Christmas markets and see some places we'd never been before; namely Hamburg, Copenhagen and Oslo. The ship and the ports for the most part did not disappoint. It was our first time on Aurora. To be ... Read More
We chose this cruise in order to visit Christmas markets and see some places we'd never been before; namely Hamburg, Copenhagen and Oslo. The ship and the ports for the most part did not disappoint. It was our first time on Aurora. To be honest, I think I prefer larger ships like Ventura. Aurora was a lovely ship but I wouldn't say it was impressive. Our balcony cabin on A deck though small, was very functional and tidy, apart from the badly stained carpet. Our steward was attentive and pleasant. The only disappointment from my point of view was the Alexandria Restaurant. Although we had been allocated our requested table for two, it was so close to the next table that it may as well have been a table for four! The food choices were uninspiring, the portions small, and our desserts were surprisingly served in plastic sundae glasses. Our waiter seemed mainly interested in getting us in and out as quickly as possible. Needless to say, we only ate there one night, and dined after that in the Horizon self serve restaurant. We found the food choices and quality excellent, and the atmosphere very relaxed. We booked excursions for many of our stops and were glad we had. The operation of the excursions was very efficient and the tour guides knowledgeable and friendly. This was our first P&O cruise since 2008; we have been sailing with Cunard who I actually prefer. We will certainly sail with P&O again, but probably not on Aurora. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
Our second voyage aboard Aurora and once again totally wonderful, from the moment we stepped aboard, till the moment we disembarked. As you walk aboard, a friendly crew member is there to welcome you and hand you a map of the ship. I ... Read More
Our second voyage aboard Aurora and once again totally wonderful, from the moment we stepped aboard, till the moment we disembarked. As you walk aboard, a friendly crew member is there to welcome you and hand you a map of the ship. I didn't take a map, saying to him, thank you, but I have been aboard Aurora before. His reply made me smile by saying, 'In that case sir, welcome home'. Our cabin was ready and nicely presented, our steward (Domingos) was just making the finishing touches to the room and introduced himself. He did a great job throughout the voyage keeping the cabin clean and topping up the tea, coffee and milk. Just leave the 'please make up room' card in the door when you go to eat and it will be done by the time you come back. We had our evening meals in the Alexandria restaurant, good choices and all well presented plates served up by pleasant and respectful waiters. We had Anthony and Sheldon serving us, both very pleasant and always welcoming. One evening we tried the Beach House, there are small supplements to pay, however the food was delicious and the service first class, in my opinion well worth it. We chose to have breakfast in the Horizon buffet, yes I know it's called a restaurant, but it's a buffet. Having said that, we found the quality of the food far above your regular buffet, as found on Royal Caribbean ships. Breakfast was perfect, delicious English or Continental available and only a few people in front of you in the queue, again, unlike Royal Caribbean where you queue for everything, don't get me started on them, lol. With only 1800 passengers aboard Aurora never feels crowded, sometimes busy, but never crowded, you will always find somewhere to sit and chill out. Ports of call were, Bergen, Andalsnes, Olden and Stavanger each with there own charm and worth considering one of the tours offered at each. When sailing through the Fjords, pop yourselves up to the Crows Nest, get a nice cocktail and sit in one of the comfy leather chairs, watching the Fjords glide by, it feels almost as if you are in and airship. As you can tell I adore Aurora but scratch the surface and you will see Aurora is by no means absolutely perfect, even though the crew try to keep on top of the painting, she still shows her age in places but remember she is 16 years old. If you want a pleasant cruise where the pace of life slows and you can relax, then Aurora is for you. If you want action, noise, queuing and crowds, choose Royal Caribbean. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
We have travelled with P&O only once before on Ventura on a short break, and wanted to give them a go on a week long cruise on Britannia. We normally travel with Princess and I have to say they would still be my favourite. However, ... Read More
We have travelled with P&O only once before on Ventura on a short break, and wanted to give them a go on a week long cruise on Britannia. We normally travel with Princess and I have to say they would still be my favourite. However, embarkation was swift and first impressions of the ship were impressive. The central atrium is very pretty and whilst we didn't spend a great deal of time there, the captains cocktail party on the first formal night was well attended - might have been something to do with the free drink !! We opted for freedom dining and only waited for a table one night. If you are happy to share you would get seated pretty much straight away. The food was Ok, decent portion sizes but tended towards a british theme with not much in the way of international cuisine. If I was vegetarian I think I would be disappointed with the choices, only one per evening. The waiting staff were a bit on the slow side, and one night we waited an awful long time for our plates to be cleared away after we had finished eating and we were right on top of the serving station so there was no excuse really. Also with other cruise lines, water, and rolls are topped up frequently whereas on Britannia we had to ask for more each time. Horizon Court (The buffet) was stupidly busy on a morning but much more manageable during the day. Food was plentiful but not always as hot as it could be. However the pizza place and the fried chicken outlets outside by the pool were popular with my kids and they gave them both a thumbs up. Another thing we thought was stingy is the soft drinks package is only limited to 20 drinks per package - for £35 !!! Again on other lines that would be unlimited and you had to pay for ice creams - again free soft scoop machine on princess and you could have as many as you want. Not a major issue on this cruise as we were up in Norway and it was a tad cold - in the summer that could be an expensive extra. Have to give massive praise to Sindhu - it was well worth the cover charge - the food was incredible, and I suggest you dont eat prior to your meal, - we had 7 generous courses and rolled out afterwards very happy. My family are quite competitive so most nights after dinner we made our way to Brodies for a fun quiz and were absolutely delighted one evening to win a bottle of wine. The Crows nest was another place to enjoy a quiet drink with a pianist playing - very chilled. One thing Brittania is trying to do is introduce a 7pm show - ideal to then go to dinner, and then drinks afterwards. The cast worked really hard on the big productions - try and catch one or two if your on board. Neil Oliver and his entertainment team work extremely hard, and I have to say both Sailaways from Stavanger and Bergen were huge fun up on top deck around the pools - they got everyone involved and were good fun with lots of flag waving going on and passengers belting out patriotic tunes. We did not use the Cruise Shore Excursions - I do think they are overpriced and it is possible to do most things on your own with a bit of research on the internet. This way we managed to book a Cruise in Olden to Pulpit Rock, Flam Railway tickets and Bergen Funicular railway tickets- all a lot cheaper than going through the ship. Particularly in Flam, the railway is literally 5 minutes walk so I am not sure how P&O can justify a huge markup to walk people a few hundred yards..... Disembarkation was swift when we got back to Southampton, and we had no problems finding our bags in the hall and then went on our way. I would definitely recommend a cruise to Norway - absolutely stunning scenery - we were unlucky with the weather but it really didn't spoil it. I would cruise with P&O again but if I had a choice it would still be to sail with Princess - I think the service and food are just that bit better, and overall better value for money. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
I guess all experiences relate to price paid so we'll start with that. We always choose an inside cabin as we spend so little time in it. At £585 for a week in the Fjords in August booked two months ahead this was quite a bargain. ... Read More
I guess all experiences relate to price paid so we'll start with that. We always choose an inside cabin as we spend so little time in it. At £585 for a week in the Fjords in August booked two months ahead this was quite a bargain. Embarkation at Southampton was faultless even though we arrived well before our allocated time. Compared with Oceana the ship is a little plainly decorated but spotlessly clean throughout including our cabin which was spacious and comfortable. We were allocated Peninsular restaurant and pleased to be allocated freedom dining. It seems two restaurants are freedon and one fixed. The service and food here were way beyond any criticism. We couldn't believe anybody would pay extra to eat elsewhere. I guess some just have to spend the money. Buffet food was also superb. There were plenty of outdoor areas for those who want a quiet or noisy time. As ever, it's what you make it. The shows were very high quality. Entertainers We3 were incredible. A good mix of comedians etc. We do our own thing so can't comment on the excursions. It was a pity we couldn't go to Flam, though we were warned some weeks before. Too many cruise ships already booked in there? Seems bad planning. Some of the towns were a little dull though I guess they would look better in the sun (we hardly saw it). Sailing into Geiranger Fjord was the highlight. I don't think we'd go back to Norway but pleased to have seen it. We prefer bigger towns with more to see. Dismbarkation at Southampton was a little disorganised. All in all, extremely pleased with everything about the ship, especially at the price. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
We chose this cruise primarily for the itinerary but also because we had enjoyed our previous cruise with P&O onboard Ventura. We were a little put off by the low satisfaction rating on cruise Critic however were willing to take the ... Read More
We chose this cruise primarily for the itinerary but also because we had enjoyed our previous cruise with P&O onboard Ventura. We were a little put off by the low satisfaction rating on cruise Critic however were willing to take the chance based on our positive experience with Ventura. Unfortunately we found that many of the complaints we had read about Britannia turned out to be quite justified. The main drawback of this ship is the layout which does not appear to have been thought through very well. Several times we found ourselves coming to a dead end when climbing up or down staircases as certain decks of the ship are only accessible from certain staircases. Likewise on deck 16, the main swimming pool deck, it is impossible to get from one end to the other without passing through the Horizon Buffet Restaurant, causing inconvenience and congestion for diners and those passing through alike. While on the subject of Horizon I would have to say that this was probably the most disappointing element of the ship. At times it seemed totally unable to cope with the number of passengers trying to use it, not helped by the fact that on very few occasions were all serveries actually open at the same time. On top of that the menu choice was not particularly extensive, though the food itself was generally of good quality. We were allocated the Peninsular restaurant on Freedom dining and would have to say the experience was no more than average. Although we only had to wait for a table on 1 occasion the design of the dining room is such that our table for two was often hidden away behind a wall so that, for example, when the parade of chefs was held, we were unable to see any of what was going on. Service in Peninsular was efficient if impersonal and at times rushed. The waiters seemed under quite a bit of pressure to get passengers in and out as quickly as possible to make way for the next lot. The food itself was good rather than great and again the menu was fairly restricted, lacking the popular choice options that featured on Ventura. This was a problem for my wife who is quite a picky eater as their was rarely a chicken option on the menu and she rarely eats anything else. We pre-booked a table in the Limelight Club which seemed a good option for a combined dining and entertainment experience. Unfortunately on boarding we were given the menu for our evening which turned out to be even more restricted than that in the MDR. It featured only 3 main course - 1 fish, 1 meat and 1 vegetarian - and needless to say none of them chicken. It also stated to contact the Limelight room if you had any special dietary requirements so we did and asked if it would be possible to have a chicken dish - any chicken dish- for my wife. The answer was a flat no. We then asked if we could change our booking to a night when there was a chicken dish on the menu but were told that they did not serve chicken in the Limelight Club. Through reception we took this up with the restaurant manager as I found it impossible to believe that on a ship this size, which boasts 193 chefs, they could not manage to prepare one piece of chicken for us but she only confirmed that this was the case. She was then quite astonished when we cancelled our booking, apparently of the opinion that it was quite normal to spend an extra £22 on a meal you could not eat. We went to the theatre every night and were quite disappointed by the variety (or lack of) of entertainment available. On four nights out of seven the ships company provided the show and while they were very talented it all got a bit samy and boring after the first couple of shows, to the extent that I slept through most of the second two. The guest acts were a mixed bag. Comedic magician Manuel Martinez was very good, the acrobatic act Lyodji were very talented however would have been more suited to a ten minute slot in a variety show than a full forty five minutes on their own. Apparently they kept getting better and better as the show progressed but again I'm afraid I was in the land of nod by the time they got to the good stuff. The final act was big name soul star Jimmy James who while a star in his day was well past his sell by date. Better entertainment was to be found in the Live Lounge where the ship's resident band 'Pulse' held court. They were excellent with a very wide repertoire - often playing three 45min sets a night and never repeating themselves - featuring many different genres. Stand outs for me were singer Verity and guitar player and band leader Mark who were both outstanding. Also in the Live Lounge on a couple of nights was guest comedian John Ryan who was also very good. We didn't take part in many of the enrichment events, partly because we spent most days ashore and partly because they didn't appeal. The one we did attend was the Spanish lessons by Bjorn from the entertainments team. Why Spanish lessons on a Norwegian cruise I don't quite know but as we're trying to pick up the language anyway it seemed worthwhile going along. Turned out Bjorn was a 6' 4" Jamaican and camp as Christmas. Turned out he was also the best Spanish instructor I have encountered in the many lessons I have attended. He had a brilliant manner and was great at breaking things down into easy to understand pieces. Undoubtedly one of the stars of the ship. As I said at the start our main reason for choosing this ship was the itinerary. Unfortunately this was changed prior to sailing meaning we missed out on the opportunity to visit a glacier which was something I was really looking forward to. However the ports we did visit were all very good and Norway is a truly beautiful country which did not disappoint. We did our own thing in Stavanger, Bergen and Alesund but booked a ship's tour in Andalsnes. This turned out to be a good choice as Andalsnes is a tiny little town and you would be hard pushed to occupy yourself there for a full day. The tour we went on was excellent though with a coach trip up into the mountains through breathtaking scenery. All in all then a great holiday but on a somewhat disappointing and fairly average ship. Our previous trip on Ventura showed that P&O can do better than this and they really need to up there game on their flagship. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
The opportunity to visit so many countries in one trip was what attracted us. Copenhagen, Stockholm St Petersburg, Helsinki, Talinn and Bruges. We were very lucky to have great weather which meant we were on the top deck with swimming ... Read More
The opportunity to visit so many countries in one trip was what attracted us. Copenhagen, Stockholm St Petersburg, Helsinki, Talinn and Bruges. We were very lucky to have great weather which meant we were on the top deck with swimming pools when not on trips. From arrival at Sothampton everything was very efficient and impressive. Happy with room and our steward was fantastic and seemed to work night and day. Choose Freedom dining which meant we could go to dinner anytime and sit with different people each time, or on our own if we wanted. The choice and quality of food was amazing. Theatre entertainment good and also saw a couple of very new films in their very comfortable but small cinema (need to book as only 30 seats but free). All trips well organised And enjoyable with great guides. Would highly recommend. Talinn was our favourite stop visiting the old city and an interesting market with handmade crafts, followed by coffee and cake at Deja Vu with live singing. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2016
The ship was lovely, staff top class food good nice size and enough variety, green Beene with everything thing but I like them. What I do have a problem with was the carpets being changed during the cruise, getting to our room became a ... Read More
The ship was lovely, staff top class food good nice size and enough variety, green Beene with everything thing but I like them. What I do have a problem with was the carpets being changed during the cruise, getting to our room became a problem as mum 81 and I have parkinsons so stepping over piles of carpet a no go I felt sorry for the workers, trying to fit it whilst the ship was full. Also the pool was repainted and emptied. But by the time I came home I didn't whant to hear a piano again. Did not realise the entertainment was so boring, pianos flutes and tenners, the Beatles hour (my type of thing good dance music) was pre taped music no staff anywhere, three people in the dance floor. But quizzes 2 staff, and a lot of the daytime entertainment do it yourself. I had been on Ventura last year had a great time. This time the ship looked like a goaststhost town by 9 pm. Boring the shows in the theatre well done, dancers best iv seen but same old shows. We dinned with some lovely people, and visited great countries. had a nice time not a great time, this ship is for you if you like pianos, Read Less
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