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421 P&O Cruises Caribbean Cruise Reviews

Not been with P & O before, usually Celebrity or HAL but liked this itinerary. Good and bad with Britannia. Never seen so many sun beds, as long as you didn't want to sit by the pool (where the music was too loud anyway) there ... Read More
Not been with P & O before, usually Celebrity or HAL but liked this itinerary. Good and bad with Britannia. Never seen so many sun beds, as long as you didn't want to sit by the pool (where the music was too loud anyway) there was never a problem finding somewhere to sit, even on sea days. Shows in theatre were excellent but not a lot to suit us around the ship. No great WOW factor but some parts were very nice and some lovely flower displays. Food at dinner generally good but not always hot enough. Never a problem with queues at the buffet. Fair choice but strange layout, had to walk round first to check what was available. The same type of things, salads etc. were not always together. Thought some charges were excessive, £45 for the Cookery Club, you could take back with you what you had cooked but what can you do with a roast chicken on the ship?? BIG problem was with the lifts, not nearly enough for the number of people. Some good day time activities, quizzes, films etc. but they never seemed to be at a good time, clashed with dinner, theatre etc. Enrichment talks etc. all just wanted to see you products. Why no classical music trio as we have always had with other cruise lines? On and off ship good at all times. Would we go with P & O again? Possibly, if it was an itinerary we could not find elsewhere. 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
A great ship, well run, great mix of relaxed activities with some black tie nights. (British captain) A very pleasant way to enjoy the lovely Caribbean. Every time you walked into the three deck high atrium you felt as if you were in a top ... Read More
A great ship, well run, great mix of relaxed activities with some black tie nights. (British captain) A very pleasant way to enjoy the lovely Caribbean. Every time you walked into the three deck high atrium you felt as if you were in a top new York Hotel. Many comfortable areas to relax in. Even in a force eight gale it remained stable. Quality dining included in the price but of course there are plenty of ways P & O tries to get you to pay more but the ordinary dining areas have class, great service and good menus. We will definitely use P & O again. Much better then cruises with other operators we have tried. The P & O excursions were generally good, although you are often expected to sign a waver that wouldn't be legal in the UK. Micky mouse visits again! Dance lessons by Doris Dance and their displays were a highlight. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Arrival in Barbados was an absolute breeze, with buses pulling up on the tarmac at the airport right next to our aircraft. No need to go through immigration, we were taken on about a 40 minutes journey to Bridgetown cruise terminal. ... Read More
Arrival in Barbados was an absolute breeze, with buses pulling up on the tarmac at the airport right next to our aircraft. No need to go through immigration, we were taken on about a 40 minutes journey to Bridgetown cruise terminal. Embarkation was also very stress free, having to queue for only about five minutes before then going through security screening and then straight onto the ship. As for the ship, it is simply breathtaking when you first walk in via the atrium area. No expense appears to have been spared and it really is a beautiful ship. As for the cabin, we went for an inside cabin. Whilst on the small side, it made for a very comfortable 2 week stay - we spent such little time in the cabin that it suited our requirements perfectly. The bathroom again whilst on the small side was perfect for us, with a very powerful shower and toiletries from the White Company. Our Cabin Steward kept the cabin spotless, cleaning it twice a day. The dining experience was incredible. We opted for the second sitting at 2030 and were seated in the Oriental Restaurant. Each night, delicious 3 course meals were served. The menu had plenty of choice for everybody, and I am sure even the fussiest of eaters could find something that they liked to eat. The quality and presentation of the food was superb and we didn’t have a single bad meal in the 2 weeks. The breakfast and lunches were also of an excellent quality, as was the delicious afternoon teas that we tried a couple of times. Occasionally for lunch we went to the buffet, there is a good choice here with a delicious salad bar that I enjoyed. The entertainment on board really was fantastic - the on board Headliners Theatre Company did shows every other night and were sensational. The quality of these shows was comparable to a production you would pay to go and see in the West End. The singers and dancers really were very talented. There was plenty to do in the day on sea days, with packed itineraries that you can find in the Horizon magazine. We tended to just relax on these sea days and sunbathe, but if you like keeping busy you won’t be bored. Throughout the ship there are several bars to choose from, our favourite was the Crow’s Nest which offered a pleasant relaxed environment with a pianist in the evening. The drinks prices are very reasonable and the cocktails were delicious. We went on a few excursions organised with P+O - we particularly enjoyed the rainforest trek in Grenada which included a refreshing dip at a waterfall. An incredible experience. Overall I can’t praise Britannia, the ship’s company and P+O cruises enough. It really was the holiday of a lifetime and we can’t wait to book another cruise with P+O again soon. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
This was our second cruise ,we traveled with a completely different cruise line on our first and the difference was more than evident. As there are are lot of hardworking staff on the ship our observations are not aimed at them , more the ... Read More
This was our second cruise ,we traveled with a completely different cruise line on our first and the difference was more than evident. As there are are lot of hardworking staff on the ship our observations are not aimed at them , more the robotic head office culture that is present on the ship. Flying from Manchester on a 9 hour trip in economy,I was taken aback when I asked for a blanket for my wife due to the cabin being especially cold.Other passengers has complained . To do this I had to enter premium class , where most passengers were tucked in blankets ,only to be told that only premium passengers get blankets ,!!! Seriously I thought heat , food , and water were a basic human necessity ,not a Victoria first class privilege. Arrived on ship , clean ,Tidy , nice cabin , Booked Sindu Indian restaurant for first evening . The menu in no way represents an Indian offering in anyway whatsoever . Will upload picture and you decide. Pretty tasteless , no spice and did not recognise any of the dishes. Asked for it to be made spicy , told “ it is cooked to British Taste ,bland “ asked waiter to ask the Chef has he being to England ,answer no ! Head office instructions. Food in General Tasteless in most restaurants , apart from Mendia , were the best dish is the Sirlion steak Spaghetti, contained no tomato sauce or any herbs , is was a stew Try to book Beach House told no tables available for two nights , went up the same floor at 7pm to witness a couple walk up and ask if they had any tables , to be told yes . Discussed this with the Restaurant Manger who invited us back the next day . We arrived , ordered the full Chicken to share , it arrived inverted on a spit , when we cut into it was full of blood. We do have a picture but will not publish here as it may spoil you dinner. This picture is going to Head office ,disturbingly the Restaurant Manager thought this was ok ? Breakfast omelette contained raw egg, so check especially if Pregnant. Thai curry prepared while you wait was good , but only when I requested some chillis ,only to be told again we do not serve food will spices on this ship as the British do not like them . He reneged and chillis arrived . All of a sudden everyone in the queue behind said “ I want so chilli in mine please” including Ship Two officers . New Year’s Eve disaster When to Brodie’s bar ,crowded as expected 7 minutes to midnight , no sign of Big Ben on the screen entertainment team finally turned up ,start fiddling around, got screen on ,no sound ,everyone shouting to put sound on for Big Ben , just managed it with 40 seconds to go ! This was turned off immediately, so not sounds with fireworks. New eves dinner was cold and tasteless , this was due to insisting that all guest arrive at the same time for two sittings ,,, Staff over run , kitchen over run , food left uncollected from kitchen, hence cold food . On a final note , can some explain to me the logic on one barman behind the bar , 6 waiters on the floor , leaving 10-15 people at the bar waiting , then the orders from the waiters given priority , madness , when questioned by all , Told “orders from head office “ In summary 1 Seriously tasteless food across the Ship and in places dangerous . 2 General Management draconian/ Head culture - orders are the orders !! 3 Entertainment team in Brodie’s , less than entertaining and competent 4 Bar serving system incompetent and does not meet standard of service required customers There are other observations, but that just our tastes , so pointless to include . But I will mention that previous customers on the Ship has said “ it has gone downhill “ . As the ship goes to refit after this season clearly P&O will get the benefit of wiping the criticism slate clean , so for this season It’s all about “ stack it high and sell it cheap . Advice book next year when refitted and restaffed with Management who care and not Management who at end of the season go to another Ship or don’t bother to come back . Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
have cruised with P&O several times previously and fancied some winter sun with a company we were familiar with but we had some issues on this cruise. There was an horrendous smell of sewerage wafting around the ship over several ... Read More
have cruised with P&O several times previously and fancied some winter sun with a company we were familiar with but we had some issues on this cruise. There was an horrendous smell of sewerage wafting around the ship over several days of the cruise and it was most unpleasant!. Our itinerary was changed and we did not visit Grand Turk which was very disappointing as we were told this was the best place on out itinerary. I found out on the way home that this was apparently due to the grey sewage tanks being full to the brim and the port at Grand Turk could not facilitate the emptying of them so we diverted to Tortolla and Martinique was added to the itinerary instead. If this is the case, I think that is poor management! We stayed in cabin E215 above the playhouse theatre, we did experience some noise on an afternoon from the show rehearsals which did not really bother us too much but what did bother us was that we were kept awake for the first 4-5 nights of our holiday due to a compressor type noise that went off every 10 minutes or so all through the night, it kept us awake and drove us mad but after that it stopped, I believe P&O turned it off and operated it manually after the first few days. We could not fault the waiter service in the Meridian restaurant but the general waiter service around the ship was inadequate, there weren't enough waiters on the ship to accommodate the volume of people and you could never find a waiter around to order drinks from. The Azura is looking a bit tired and shabby in some places. I am not sure if I would cruise with P&O again after this as it marred our holiday quite a bit. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We chose this cruise because it ticked a number of boxes with regards to islands visited, we boarded the ship on the 27th December 2019, the boarding process was very efficient. The first issue we had was the aircon did not work in the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it ticked a number of boxes with regards to islands visited, we boarded the ship on the 27th December 2019, the boarding process was very efficient. The first issue we had was the aircon did not work in the cabin, we informed our cabin boy and also reception, it took two further days and a number of calls and requested before I had to insist someone visited to the cabin and repaired the system. The cabins are typical cruise ship small and the bathrooms are very small however we have cruised before so it was as expected. The itinerary was good and apart from the dropping Grand Turk for no real given reason the islands visited were good and as expected, we took a number of tours which were all very good in particular the champagne and lobster on Granada which was probably the best trip of this kind I have ever been on. The overall entertainment on board was poor apart from the live music bands that were generally very good. We are not heavy drinkers however we choose to purchase the unlimited drinks package for convenience, however it does restrict the type of drinks (particularly in wine) you can have and they are generally of a lesser quality than if you purchase direct, overall I doubt it cost any more or saved ourselves money but it did restrict the choice of drinks so I would not advise it unless you intend to drink 15 pints of Stella every day (which many did) The bar service on the boat is appalling, the staff in 90% of cases have contempt for the passengers, service is slow and very unprofessional. The quality of food served in all the restaurants was average particularly for a cruise ship, I would rate it as a poor 2 star all inclusive resort and certainly not what we have seen on other cruise ships. On most days and evenings there was no room on the decks, the ship feels very overcrowded and also very intimidating, the open decks are a permanent drinking frenzy and I watched numerous people downing pints of Stella like it was going out of fashion, a number of the older or more refined people on the ship told me they stopped going out on the decks as it frightened them. The tables were dirty and rarely cleared of glasses, the whole of the outside including all the areas around the pools are smoking areas, there was heavy smoking and drinking on most tables, also people smoking in the food areas outside and the children’s area. In my opinion the ship is no more than a very expensive booze cruise. If this is the new target audience for cruise ships we shall have been on our last cruise, I would certainly never recommend this this ship (or P&O) to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Good points The food and cabin where reasonable, the lady cleaning the cabin was excellent. The Headliners entertainment was excellent. Bad Points. The ship is in need of a make over, The main swimming pool area reminded us of ... Read More
Good points The food and cabin where reasonable, the lady cleaning the cabin was excellent. The Headliners entertainment was excellent. Bad Points. The ship is in need of a make over, The main swimming pool area reminded us of the comedy programme Benidorm,with the towels on sun beds and nobody using the beds,the drone of dated music, kids running and jumping in the pool when signage says not too. Idiots jumping in the pools that were closed on New Year’s Eve (that was adults ) no control over any of this behaviour. The evening dress code for gents was long trousers , many gents wearing shorts. The other big disappointment was we did not get to visit Grand Turk, one of the reasons we booked the cruise in the first place .We were told ship had mechanical issues . One of the trips we booked was a Jeep Safari it turned out to be a pick up truck experience. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Ship was looking very tired. Really poor layout! Unnecessary amount of black tie nights for no real reason. New Year’s Eve wasn’t even 1 of these for which they did nothing special. The buffet was of very poor standard. ... Read More
Ship was looking very tired. Really poor layout! Unnecessary amount of black tie nights for no real reason. New Year’s Eve wasn’t even 1 of these for which they did nothing special. The buffet was of very poor standard. Selection was small and in general not very fresh. All restaurants require long trousers. They are okay. Getting a drink could be hard work and in particular at shows was regularly 20 minute waits. There didn’t seem to be enough staff for the bars and in general a lack of bars and areas to go. Steward was very good in keeping our cabin clean. Entertainment wasn’t great and you had to arrive 40mins prior to the popular shows as the Manhattan room isn’t big enough. I don’t know why the theatre wasn’t used more. Ship badly needs it’s refurbishment! Seems to be too many people for communal spaces and not quite enough staff. Really disappointed with the ship and the cruise line is not in the same league as NCL(out last cruise before this). All bars were shut by 12-1am most nights also which we found strange. Caribbean stops were good but disappointed that the schedule changed and we got a poor substitute of a stop. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
All temperatures in Celcius. Times in the 24 hour format. Currency onboard GB£ Embarkation/Disembarkation. I flew from Manchester (UK) on a Dreamliner. My bag was checked in and I went through the usual security. We landed at around ... Read More
All temperatures in Celcius. Times in the 24 hour format. Currency onboard GB£ Embarkation/Disembarkation. I flew from Manchester (UK) on a Dreamliner. My bag was checked in and I went through the usual security. We landed at around 1630 local time and we were bussed to the ship which took around 45 minutes. Unusually, we didn't go through passport/customs when we arrived. I expected to go through the normal checks but this didn't happen. We did, however, have our passports checked when we arrived back to Barbados. I think that this needs to be reviewed. We entered a large building with literally hundreds of people waiting to check in. P&O don't do online checking in (although a recent announcement from P&O for the new Iona will introduce online checking in) so I had no choice but to wait inline. I eventually boarded at around 1830 and by this time I had been travelling for around 17 hours, I was very tired so I went directly to my cabin to wait for my bag. My bag was not there so as I had a bit of onboard credit, I decided to have a few beers in Brodies-the "pub" style bar. My case didn't arrive until well past 2300. I only found it because I was coming back from Brodies and my bag was in the corridor. I realise that "turn around day" is the busiest time for the staff, but everything was in this bag and I needed to unpack before turning in for the night. Disembarkation was a different story. I will say at this point that most of the problems were not of P&O's doing. My flight was scheduled for 1820. I left the ship at 1500 and I was bussed to the Grantley Adams International Airport (GAIA). Again we went through security and I settled in for the wait. I got talking to a couple of sisters who was on the cruise which helped kill the time. At around 1630, the airport display said that we were boarding at Gate 13-this is on Friday 13th. Not a good omen. At our time, the plane had still not turned up at our gate. The GAIA is around three to four soccer pitches long but only half as wide. There is ample seating but the main walkway is only around 15 feet wide. At around 1700, a Virgin Atlantic plane turned up-not our Dreaminer. We were then told that our gate was now Gate 12. This meant that up to 900 people had to swap gates. Taking into consideration the width of the walkway, things got a bit busy and tempers started to fray a little. By now it was 1900 and we were 40 minutes late. At 1915, we were bussed to our plane. GAIA does not have the usual international airport style bridges to board the planes and all of the planes sit on the tarmac. Everyone was onboard by 1945 but the captain came on to announce that there were still 18 wheelchair passengers to board. He also added that the airport only had one lift for the disabled passengers. This one lift had to serve-what I estimate to be-16 to 18 planes. We eventually took off at 2100-over two and half hours late. I arrived back to the UK only one hour late but the GAIA needs to sort out it's procedures quickly. Demographics. Exclusively British. I didn't hear any other accents (apart from the crew). There was a large contingent of Welsh and a some from the ethnic minority community. There were around 20 or so children (under 12-I don't count teenagers). As this was (UK) school term time, I didn't expect this many. The ages of the passengers varied from young couples to senior citizens. The ship and it's staff. The staff were brilliant and nothing was too much trouble. My steward kept my cabin spotless (and he was well rewarded) and the ship was kept very clean for the entire cruise. Well done to the staff! The ship is a mess. Azura is looking old. Worn carpets, threadbare seating, chips in paintwork and a general feeling that it had seen better days From the outside, Azura has rust streaks all over the hull. The crew repaint the hull but this is just painting over the cracks. Azura is scheduled for a refit this year (I believe this will happen in March or April) and she really needs it. Food and drink. The food was the usual high standard that I have come to expect. I had my evening meal in the Oriental restaurant on a table of six. Myself, two married gay guys Danny and Ryan, A senior Dutch lady Henrietta (who has been living in the UK since 1971), A girl Clova and Andrew. Clova only had one meal with us and disappeared. I didn't see her on the ship again. Andrew only turned up four times (he said he didn't do "sit down" meals) which left the four of us. We got along very well. At the start of the second week-just before we arrived in Antigua-Henrietta was visibly upset. She explained to us earlier that she was supposed be on the ship with her sister but she was taken ill and couldn't travel. She said that her sister had died in the morning. We were upset at this news and tried to console her the best we could but the trauma was obviously evident. The next night after we left Antigua, Henrietta didn't turn up and we never saw her again. The ship kindly allowed her to use the phones to contact relatives in Holland but we were convinced that she left at Antigua as the island has an international airport. The breakfast buffet was the usual "full English" bacon, sausages, eggs cooked in vareity of ways, tinned tomatoes, baked beans, cereals, porridge, Danish, muffins (for breakfast?), smoked haddock and kippers (to non British readers, kippers are heavily smoked herring-I particularly enjoy kippers for breakfast), minute steaks, fruit. The lunch buffet featured carveries, seasonal veg etc. They also had themed days..Italian, Caribbean, curries, English pub food. All very good. Evening meals were similar to lunch with much the same style of foods. There was a small selection of foods for people with dietary requirements-gluten free, vegetarian and vegan-but these were very limited. Now to a subject that really gets up my nose-alcohol prices. P&O claim to charge UK pub prices. Not where I live they don't. Draught beer (served in UK pints) was around £4.50 to over £5 a pint for some premium beers. Bottled beers of 330ml are around the same price. I was drinking Corona which was £4.40 a bottle. If I lived in London, I would expect these sort of prices. My regular pub charges £3.30 for lager and if I went to my local Wetherspoons (to non British readers, Wethersoons is a major UK pub chain) I would pay around £2.80 for a pint. So no P&O don't charge pub prices and they charge as much as they can get away with. If P&O dropped these prices, it would make me happier and I'm certain that a lot of people would agree with me. Our intinerary/excrsions. We visited St. Maartens, St. Lucia, Tortola, Grand Turk, St. Kitts, St. Vincent, Antigua and Grenada. I did several excursions-mainly sightseeing-but I did enjoy a coastal hike, visiting a chocolate processing factory and a beach hike. I will say that the official excursions are a little pricey and I felt that some of these were a bit "whistle stop" with not much time to see or visit properly. I did my own thing on two of the islands-Grand Turk and Tortola. Grand Turk is a mess since the recent huricanes and beyond the "tourist" port there really is nothing to see. NOTE: If you do your own thing and miss the sailaway, it's your responsibility to get to the next island at your own expense. The ship will not wait. If you do one of the official tours and you're delayed, the ship will wait for your return. The local taxis and guides are not obliged to get you back to the ship on time. It would only take a breakdown or a puncture to ruin your cruise. Entertainment. I don't do shows but I did see a Tina Turner tribute act. She was exceptionally good. There was the usual troupe "Headliners" doing West End musicals in the main theatre. I heard mixed reports as to how good they were. There was two resident bands-Pulse and The Fantastic Four. Pulse were ok but The Fantastic Four-although there were four of them, weren't "fantastic". There's an orchestra-who apart from accompanying the Headliners in the theatre-also did a Glenn MIller tribute. This was very well attended and they were very good. There was also a guest speaker-a retired criminologist-who gave lectures on serial killers and the like. Although murders are a gruesome subject, these lectures were very interesting but sadly not well attended. There were the usual pub quizzes and karaoke in Brodies and of course football (soccer to non British readers). I don't do football (I'm F1 and Rugby Union) but they only sport shown in Brodies is football. The ships TV system had Sky News (the only news channel that doesn't have any news), Sport 24 (football again) and a selection of free and pay-per-view films and TV shows. Weather. The temperatures were in the high 20's to low 30's during the day and didn't drop much below 20 degrees at night with almost wall-to-wall sunshine. We did have a couple of days of rain but overall the weather was excellent. Observations and other stuff. Sadly, we had two deaths on the cruise. One in the first week and one in the second. Obviously, no details were forthcoming about the people concerned due to medical confidentiality. There were also two medical emergencies. We were leaving one island and we were about 50 feet from the quay when we had to reberth due to a medical emergency. The person was carried off the ship to a waiting ambulance. The day after we left Grenada (our last island) the captain announced that we were diverting to Martinique due to a person who had suffered a heart attack. The medical facilities onboard are limited at best. Ambulances were on the quay to take the passenger off. We weren't allowed to get off and we were only there for an hour and a half. On the first day of the cruise, I went to the smoking area on deck 7 main promenade. There were three 20 something blokes having a smoke and a beer. An senior lady also joined for a cigarette. This lady spoke to these guys and told them in no uncertain terms that they'd "ruined over a thousand peoples cruise". Upon hearing this, the three guys let loose on this lady with language I can only describe a disgusting and they didn't care one bit. As I didn't want to get involved, I left to go to the smoking area at the other end of deck 7. Upon making enquiries with the staff, it turned out that these three guys were treating the cruise as a two week Stag Night (again to non British readers, Stag Night=Bachelor Party). Apparently, they would start drinking as soon as the bars were open and didn't stop until they were shut. They were also shouting all the time and generally being obnoxious. I'm actually surprised that they weren't kicked off the ship and I was pleased that they were getting off just as I was starting my cruise. Going back to the resident bands. In the open air bar, Pulse would sometimes play. The band was on the other side of the open air pool around 50 yards away. On one night I was sat with friends (on a formal night) and the band was so loud, my beer was rattling on the table. I was trying to talk but I had to shout just to be heard. A friend-Sabina-was only a couple of feet away but she couldn't hear me. I realise that the ship has to provide entertainment, but does it have to be so loud? For the first four days, the staff were extra vigilant in the public areas and the buffet. This was because they had Norovirus onboard the previous cruise. There were reports (from the previous cruise) of people filling up water bottles from the taps in the public loos. There was a member of staff on duty all the time (day and night) for the first four days at all of the public loos to stop people doing this. The water is perfectly safe to drink so why didn't people fill up in their cabins? The buffet staff didn't allow us to have self service-again for the first four days-which was a little inconvenient but necessary to stop any virus. Additionally, although the water is safe to drink, it did have a nasty metallic aftertaste which wasn't pleasant. This did clear up a little, but teas/coffee from the buffet didn't taste right. Conclusions. Food. Excellent with a wide variety in the buffet and main dining rooms. Drink. As I said in my review, alcohol prices are far too expensive and P&O need to think about this. £1 less per pint would be better. Staff. Again excellent and they kept the ship spotless all the time. Well done! The ship. Tatty, threadbare and going rusty. She desperately needs a refit which as I have said above is going to happen in March or April this year. Entertainment. MIxed reports of the "Headliners" shows. Guest speaker was very good. The Fantastic Four weren't, Pulse are too loud. All in all, the cruise was very good. Excellent staff, good weather, good food and friendly passengers. I am giving this cruise six out of ten. If you're thinking about travelling on Azura, wait until she's had the refit. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We had an absolute ball! It was our friends 50th Birthday. Staff were pleasant and helpful. Special thanks to Elias our cabin lad. He was so pleasant and lovely and very attentive to our needs. Thank you Elias. R 616. The food ... Read More
We had an absolute ball! It was our friends 50th Birthday. Staff were pleasant and helpful. Special thanks to Elias our cabin lad. He was so pleasant and lovely and very attentive to our needs. Thank you Elias. R 616. The food and restaurants were spot on. Entertainment was ok, but not brilliant. Plenty to do on board to suit all. Loved the dancing ballroom, Latin and the Salsa class. Quizzes were great and set the mood for the day and evening. Overall it was a fantastic holiday. We didn’t go on the ships tours, but instead got Taxis and found wonderful, quite beaches, with bars and gentle entertainment (if desired). Azura herself is a beautiful ship, although looking a tad tired, but I believe she is in for a revamp this year. We really enjoyed our holiday and would certainly, do it again. You only get out of a holiday what you put into it. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I normally cruise with P&O, especially Britannia and have had some marvellous holidays on her. This was my first Christmas cruise. Therefore, let’s start with the Pros: Initially I was so happy to be back on Britannia, usual ... Read More
I normally cruise with P&O, especially Britannia and have had some marvellous holidays on her. This was my first Christmas cruise. Therefore, let’s start with the Pros: Initially I was so happy to be back on Britannia, usual B deck after an excellent TUI flight. The food was good and had again booked the Epicurean and Sindhu restaurants, which were up to their usual standard, preceded by a pre-meal drink in the Crow’s Nest Bar. The crew were still excellent; polite, helpful and friendly. Monahar, my cabin steward was very attentive and kept my cabin to the usual high standard of cleanliness, including the balcony. This was my first time sailing with Captain Camby, who was very much a ‘people’s person’ and very eloquent in his speech-making. He also conducted a very good all-round Christmas Day service. A lovely gesture to be given a Christmas gift by P&O on Christmas day. The catering staff worked exceptionally hard dealing with the two sittings on Christmas and New Year’s days. The tours were very well organised with a good selection of choices and us solo travellers were well looked after. The islands were lovely. Now to the Cons: Where do I begin? What a disappointment this cruise was and never again will I do a Christmas cruise with P&O. OMG, the rude, uncouth people. It is true we have a North/South divide and didn’t it show. The pushing and shoving was unbelievable. Far too many families, of generations, who were obviously not used to and did not know how to behave on cruise – or probably generally. (One of the receptionists actually said to me that Jane McDonald has a lot to answer for!) The waiting staff in the Horizon are there to help, not to clear up after your kid drops its food all over the floor – you know who you are – couldn’t you at least have cleared it up yourself? Generally, please keep your kids under control, if you know how to. Normally, the solo travellers are invited to mix, but not on this cruise. It was very lonely and not helped by the fact even on port days, while the 9.00 a.m. coffee sessions were stated in the newsletter, when turning up, nothing was laid on for us, not even a cup and saucer. Whilst the meals were good, the turkey dinner on Christmas night was cold. There are a lot of notifications about reserving sun loungers and that after 30 minutes items would be removed if the loungers weren’t claimed. This was not done and I heard of some people saying loungers had been reserved for over two hours. Why don’t the crew adhere to what they say? Likewise, in Horizon, why didn’t the senior staff send out the people who were underdressed, including walking around with no shoes? This is far from appropriate, but the people themselves should know better, which goes back to my comment about the types of people on board. I presume to P&O it’s all money if they can sell a cabin, without worrying about their reputation. Sadly, this cruise had no atmosphere and the activities were all geared towards families and kids. Drunken teenagers were reeling most nights – where were the parents? Re the entertainments; the shows were good, but the act brought on for Christmas - was that really the best P&O could provide? At least the holiday ended with a good flight back and I will remember the kind crew (thank you) and feel sorry for those who had to put up with abuse from certain passengers, it’s really disgraceful and sad cruising has come to this. For noting; now no trays in the buffet, which was a nuisance when travelling solo and had to ask for a facecloth – these are just two of the cut-backs. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Both My wife & I having cruised before were looking for an enjoyable Christmas with warm weather, good accomadation, tasty food and entertainment/ activities and good service We found The Azura to be lacking on so many points. On ... Read More
Both My wife & I having cruised before were looking for an enjoyable Christmas with warm weather, good accomadation, tasty food and entertainment/ activities and good service We found The Azura to be lacking on so many points. On Freedon dining found the food no better than an average pub,the Christmas dinner was nothing special at all! Food service was slow . certainly not polished & professional- on one occasion the waiter did not know the difference between Cheddar & Brie, and on another occasion on asking for a second cup of coffee after dinner you would have thought I asked the waiter for his first born! Trying to order wine would often require 3 request to get a wine waiter. We did have an excelent meal on paying the suppliment for the Eppicurian Resturant, on previuos ships this would have been the norm not an Extra Charge. The ships is tired looking and does need the refit, but was generally clean. Biggest gripe is with the apauling entertainment. An Entertainments manager with no personality or passion and a team not interested in their customers.Standatds have been allowed to slip so badly or staff not managed that on 2 seperate occasions in Brodies bar the staff were hosting Karaoke but drinking aglass of wine that she hid on the floor and another time a different girk was hosting a quiz wilst eatinga bowl of nuts! Main acts were second rate at best, in fact the best entertainment over the 2 weeks involved the childrens club nativity play, Well Done Kids Club Leader. The onboard speaker/ presenter was a weird choice for a Christmas cruise, as she was all about healthy eating and not putting on weight. Part of one talk being about not eating too much food by picking a smaller plate and start with the salad at the buffet rather than the meat !!! Its Christmas a time when we know we going to eat too much. What looks like a full days activity program is about 50% chargable activities or an advert for a 'special offer' from one of the onboard shops or pop up Christmas market (tat shop). This is also the first cruise I have been on when so many staff were seen on ship whilst off duty. The buffet restaurant was like a staff canteen at times, and most evenings small groups of staff could be seen having a drink in one or other venue. I know staff can earn a deck pass privalage but..... There was very little cheer on this Christmas Cruise from the majority of the staff except the cabin stewards who without exception would greet you when walking through the ship.The same could not be said for the rest of the crew even the Ents team would walk past without a 'Hello' and they are supposed to be the extroverts. In general Standards have been lowered to the extent is P & O worth the money they charge? Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This was a Christmas cruise and so had a premium price. Good things 1. Food and waiting staff 2. Steward 3. Balcony cabin Poor things 1. Most entertainment was not worth watching but two tribute acts were OK. The best ... Read More
This was a Christmas cruise and so had a premium price. Good things 1. Food and waiting staff 2. Steward 3. Balcony cabin Poor things 1. Most entertainment was not worth watching but two tribute acts were OK. The best offering was only on for one night but this was NOT made clear and so I didn't see it. 2. Entertainment staff on the Lido deck did not engage with guests but mainly danced with each other. 3. Solo guests pay a significant premium and the value is poor 4. At times it felt like Butlins at sea 5. Some entertainment offered was left to guests to organise e.g. bridge and whist. If no guest has the experience to run a tournament I assume it won't happen despite being advertised 6. The Christmas 'gift' we were given was an insult (a plastic P&O luggage label) in a very grand and attractive box. 7. The gym was awful with machines not properly fixed and noone to advise or help 8. The talks held in the gym were no more than sales pitches. The one I went to was very poor and the information shared was at best questionable and at worst wrong. 9. Shore excursions were over priced and I avoided them I was relieved to have a balcony because the pool areas tended to be very crowded and noisy. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Our flight on the Friday was on time and even arrived early into Bridgetown. The entertainment and food on the flight was fine and was a pleasant 9 hour flight. When we landed, a few showers delayed us getting off the plane however ... Read More
Our flight on the Friday was on time and even arrived early into Bridgetown. The entertainment and food on the flight was fine and was a pleasant 9 hour flight. When we landed, a few showers delayed us getting off the plane however soon enough we were on the bus straight to the ship. When we got there we were the first flight to land so there were no queues so we got straight on. We found our balcony cabin on B deck quickly and it was everything we needed and was really happy with it and our cabin steward who was fantastic throughout the cruise. Azura is in need of her refit which is due to happen very soon however we thoroughly enjoyed our cruise. We had 2nd sitting dining in the oriental restaurant on a table of 6 which we enjoyed and the food was lovely and we dined in Sindhu, The Epicurean and The Beach House which were all stunning and worth the extra surcharge. We have been to all the Caribbean Islands we visited before so it was great to visit again and either visit some new places or go back to old favourites. We had fantastic weather with only a few showers which passed quickly. The ship was beautifully decorated for Christmas and like us many passengers decorated there cabin doors which was great. Santa arrived on Christmas eve and it was a lot of fun and the children on board looked to be having a great time. We have done this Christmas cruise a few times and look forward to being back on board again. 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
have cruised with p and o last five years on azura and brittania but was very disappointed this year. Cabin was ok but three times in the two weeks we could not flush toilet for several hours and although this was repaired eventually ... Read More
have cruised with p and o last five years on azura and brittania but was very disappointed this year. Cabin was ok but three times in the two weeks we could not flush toilet for several hours and although this was repaired eventually never got call back from reception as promised. The main pool (not the side of cinemaI deck 15 was unusable for the whole two weeks as there were children and teenagers diving in although it states no diving. Numerous staff saw this happening and ignored it only once were they told and as soon as staff looked away they resumed diving in so no one else could use the pool Deck 15 smokers side the tables were constantly filthy and not cleaned for hours . The food was quite nice and our waiters were lovely as was cabin steward. The standards are definitely dropping on this ship and will look elsewhere next time I know it is having a refurbishment but no excuse for not being clean Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
This was our first cruise...so tentative and apprehensive.. Food ...huge variety available seemingly at all times of the day. Pretty much faultless, with the buffet restaurant especially providing seemingly endless variety, quality and ... Read More
This was our first cruise...so tentative and apprehensive.. Food ...huge variety available seemingly at all times of the day. Pretty much faultless, with the buffet restaurant especially providing seemingly endless variety, quality and quantity. Entertainment....simply excellent, the quality of the professional theatre artists especially Danieli and Amelia and the guest acts was nothing less than exceptional and despite a couple of instances where the shows had to stop for some technical reason, these instances did not detract from the thoroughly excellent entertainment and quality performances from start to finish. Ship... huge..and a beautiful example of wonderful design and engineering. Everything you could need ...Spaces and 'frontline sunbeds' not always available immediately due to the pressures of people numbers, but that's not a fault of the ship and wherever you go, that will always be the case for popular activities. Staff... almost faultless, some bars where staff did not smile, but we tended to avoid them. All the catering staff and cleaning staff and maintenance staff were polite, professional, dedicated and seemed to care that everyone was not inconvenienced and had the best time possible. Black tie evenings.... entertaining to experience lots of people in their finery once in a while...a little something different, for us anyway. Ports... some excellent locations, some less so, but everywhere is worthy of visiting at least once and it's all relative. Overwhelmed by the high level of organisation of both the managed trips and the 'local' providers.. Tourism is their life...so lots of evidence that people will go out of their way to please. Met some really nice people...the world is full of them. Caribbean Sea... the sea was like a millpond throughout our 2 weeks...is it always like that ? we've no idea.. but it certainly couldn't have been any more calm which made our holiday even easier to enjoy. All in all..we will definitely be going cruising again...and P&O are very high on our list.. We did see some other liners from other providers whilst in various ports...we were not at all disappointed with our choice. If you're thinking about going cruising for the first time...we'd certainly recommend it and we'd recommend a balcony room...it's a real joy to sit out in a warm breeze and simply listen to, and watch the waves go by....at unearthly hours of the night. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Before adventuring on my first ever cruise I did some extensive searching on who to travel with and chose P&O partly due to price but also it suited the dates I wanted to travel, the Islands I wanted to visit and the departure ... Read More
Before adventuring on my first ever cruise I did some extensive searching on who to travel with and chose P&O partly due to price but also it suited the dates I wanted to travel, the Islands I wanted to visit and the departure Airport. As an ex Pat living in Germany it was extremely important that the Journey went smoothly as I had to travel from Germany to the UK the day before flying to meet the Cruise. I was quite impressed that P&O had its own dedicated check at Gatwick and the queue was painless. The time of 3hr advised to be at the terminal before departure was generous and I found myself in the terminal shopping for 2 hours due to the smoothness of check in. Upon arrival in Barbados we were met at the terminal by busses who took us straight to the ship where we boarded without too much delay and found our bags arriving within 2 hours. I had booked an outside cabin which was clean and tidy, it was a little small but adequate. I had booked a set time at the restaurants as im not a buffet fan, this is recommended as queues do get long. The food itself was fair however I found the Variety limited and certainly not adventurous. I didn't like the entertainment, this was very like Butlins especially once on the top deck which reminded me of a bunch of people drinking and eating as much as they possibly could whilst lying on sunbeds listening to 60's and 70's music blaring at full volume. This went on for most of the day. The service onboard was good except for the way how the staff treated each other. This was sometimes very obvious. The ports we visited were as expected, some were better than others and I think that everyone has there own views on what they want out of them. The excursions were certainly tailored towards the masses and I found prices extremely high when looking for an alternative. I have my doubts that I will cruise again and if i do I doubt whether it will be with P&O but this is mostly due to having higher expectations especially when it comes to entertainment however if you like loud music and Butlins style holidays im sure you will like it. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
This was our first cruise with P&O having cruised several times previously with Princess. We chose P&O due to the convenience of a direct flight from Manchester to Barbados. We will not be choosing P&O again and I would ... Read More
This was our first cruise with P&O having cruised several times previously with Princess. We chose P&O due to the convenience of a direct flight from Manchester to Barbados. We will not be choosing P&O again and I would advise anyone booking the Azura to think carefully. The most noticeable features were the poor standard of service and the poor quality of the food. Only a very few of the staff are friendly, engage well with passengers and show an interest and pride in their work. When you come across a smile it stands out against the norm. Most staff carry out their work to the minimum of standards; they are indifferent, appear to be unhappy and treat passengers as if they are commodities. The standard and quality of food in the formal restaurants is average and the choice and quality of food in the self service is limited and mediocre. However, the quality and standards in the Sindhu and Epicurean speciality restaurants is excellent, demonstrating that P&O can provide a good service when they choose to. Of course, you are charged extra for these restaurants. You pay for ice creams on board and these are expensive and the choice is very limited. For this reason there is little uptake from passengers and therefore the ice cream counter is rarely staffed. The coffee shop is a Costa, complete with paper cups. It offers a small choice of unappetising cakes and snacks and as passengers are not tempted by them they sit in the counter for most of the day. Though I like and often use Costa in the high street I do not consider them a luxury or highly 'star rated' coffee shop. The ship itself is tired and scruffy with clear signs of damage to some walls. The atrium, compared to other ships, is small and uninspiring. Overall, this was a mediocre 3 star holiday. 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
Because we had sailed on Britannia before on her first transatlantic crossing felt we would like to try again.there had been a few issues before but P@O seem to have cured this.the resturant have improved staff and food , we ate in Jays ... Read More
Because we had sailed on Britannia before on her first transatlantic crossing felt we would like to try again.there had been a few issues before but P@O seem to have cured this.the resturant have improved staff and food , we ate in Jays section and he was so nice and professional that we requested to eat there everytime we ate in the Meridian resturant . All the ports where very nice,because we had been so many time before we did our own thing including local bus where needed and convenient if not the taxis St Marrtens and Barbadoes are two of our best ports but enjoyed all of them.Britannia looks very good after her tidy up . Guest still moan about lack of stairs but you just have to plan your route, it is a shame there is not a lot of shade on the serenity deck in the Caribbean this would be most wecolme, it did not affect us but we did see a lot of hogging loungers and the settees which is a shame for their fellow guests. The headliners team are not our cup of tea but the group Pluse in the live lounge were excellent 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
Due to the quite understandable cancellation of our Gulf cruise on Oceana we decided to book a Caribbean cruise on Azura. As my wife and I are not really ‘beach people’ this has never been particularly high on our bucket list. Prior to ... Read More
Due to the quite understandable cancellation of our Gulf cruise on Oceana we decided to book a Caribbean cruise on Azura. As my wife and I are not really ‘beach people’ this has never been particularly high on our bucket list. Prior to going on this ship I read some of the reviews on this site and began to worry about what I had let myself in for. However, from our experience I now wonder if we have been on the same ship. Yes, I agree that it is looking a little tired but P&O obviously recognise this as it is being refurbished in Spring 2020. The ship felt quite spacious helped by the glorious weather which meant that people were spread around. There was no evidence of the smell that other reviewers have mentioned. We had a balcony cabin which we found more than comfortable with plenty of storage and hanging space. Our cabin steward was charming, helpful and kept our cabin very clean and tidy. We ate in the Oriental restaurant where we received very good service from our waiters. The menu was varied and we had no trouble at all of finding meals to suit our tastes - my wife is fishy and I am meaty. There is the opportunity to eat yourself to a standstill should you wish. We enjoyed the little extras that we received. Our wine waiter proved to be knowledgeable when helping to choose a wine and was very attentive. Service in the other restaurants we used was also good. We had 2 excellent meals at The Sindhu restaurant - a real experience. Be aware that you have to pay an extra £20pp but it is worth it if you enjoy Asian food. Embarkation and disembarkation at Barbados was excellent. We walked down the steps of the plane and straight onto a coach waiting by the aircraft which took us straight to the ship. Our luggage arrived in our cabin not too long after we arrived. Everything to do with the Embarkation was undergone on the ship - immigration, airline luggage tags and boarding passes. On arrival at the airport we went straight to security and through to the departure gate. We didn’t have anything to do with our hold baggage until the carousel at Gatwick.. Organisation of excursions was good although it could be a longish walk from the ship to the coaches. All of the guides were very knowledgeable, helpful and also made the trips good fun. I have never drunk so much Rum Punch! The resident theatre group, the Headliners, were very good although the volume of their performances verged on excessive. Any of the headline acts that we didn’t enjoy as much was down to taste rather than quality. Our cruise on Azura was far beyond our expectations and we thoroughly enjoyed the ship and our Caribbean experience. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
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