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4.0

P&O Azura has always been... by Gordon1310

Sail date: /
Ship: Azura

P&O Azura has always been one of our favourite ships. Despite being a frequent sufferer of sea sickness, I wanted to experience a Norwegian Fjords cruise and knew the risks of days sailing in the North Sea. We found the ship to be very stable despite a couple of fairly choppy seas and even eating in Epicurean on 17 during one such evening didn’t prevent me from enjoying a wonderful meal. Our Cabin Steward was excellent, polite, unobtrusive and understood most of our needs. Waiters, sommeliers and staff in the peninsular restaurant were all excellent as were those in Epicurean, Sindu, The Beach House and The Glass House. In fact all staff across the ship seemed to be very friendly and helpful, acknowledging passengers as they passed by. We didn’t get to speak to any of the officers on board though, and from what I observed, nor did the officers appear to speak to many passengers, apart from those they clearly knew or were related to! We were disappointed to see some aspects of the ship showing its age, and in places a lack of care and attention. For example our stateroom windows and balcony glass were dirty and remained dirty throughout the whole cruise. Windows in restaurants and lounges were also dirty with no sign of recent cleaning. Some of the chairs in Java and the piano bar on 7 were in dire need of refurbishment and cleaning, some were so loose on their bases that we couldn’t sit in them. Despite advising staff, they were still in use (but not safe) the next evening. Each time we passed Malabar, there was a distinct sewage smell. We heard from other passengers that it had been an issue for some time but fortunately did seem to be confined to quite a small area. Our stateroom was clean, but again looking old and uncared. For example, the Sofa(bed) was uncomfortable to sit on a needed cleaning, a picture on the wall needed to be repaired/replaced as it was delaminating/ripped from its backing. Embellishments on the tv/fridge unit were loose. Mould in the shower was being painted over one day when we returned to our cabin. The Balcony was unnecessarily cramped with 2 Sunbeds, 2 footstools (why?) and a small table, despite asking if the sun beds could be replaced with usable chairs, this did not happen. Quite a lot of rust was evident where painting maintenance had not been done. The TV system in our stateroom has small screens and lacked connectivity and choice especially in today’s world of modern technology. USB access or Screen mirroring isn’t difficult to achieve, but was either disabled or impossible in our stateroom, (probably the latter due to the age of the TVs) Internet access in the stateroom and generally around the ship, despite the cost was appalling, inconsistent and slow. On most days there was not enough room/seating around Java, and very limited seating in the atrium which always appeared busy. Other public areas seemed to have good space and seating availability. Although the theatre was busy we always got a seat. Entertainment was good, we didn’t get to see it all though, a couple of shows in the main theatre, a talk on The Northern Lights and listened to some music in Manhattan bar Food on board Azura was quite variable, excellent in the speciality dining such as Epicurean, Sindu, the Beach House and even in the Peninsular restaurant but pretty basic and lacking in some healthier options in the buffets which were always busy and often overcrowded. Attention to food hygiene needs to be addressed, I saw one steward telling people to use the hand sanitiser on the first day, thereafter it didn’t seem to happen. I do think staff in buffet area really do need to be more vigilant around the food! On many occasions I witnessed fellow passengers using their hands to pick up food from display or using the same tongs from seafood to shellfish and meat thus contaminating food and seriously risking the health of other passengers. Staff just stood by and did nothing! One senior uniformed member of staff was reluctant to take away a salad bowl after I watched a woman rummage around in it with her hands! For that reason alone we stopped eating in the buffet. P & O really need to improve the quality and range of their room service menu, which had limited healthy choices. It seems that they have introduced a cynical charging policy for items ordered instead of a standard (reasonable) tray charge. For example the prices being charged for a basic wrap were not that different from any UK high street and certainly not a ‘minimal charge’ for what is an underwhelming service. It seems passengers are being penalised for not wanting to go to an overcrowded buffet where seating was rarely available. It was great to be on ship and not be hounded by staff to purchase a drinks package! As always, there was an eclectic mix of passengers on board. Sadly we witnessed some incredibly rude (and unnecessary) behaviour towards staff, unhygienic behaviour (as mentioned) and an inconsistency in following the ‘dress code’. This latter point is purely my subjective view but find it bizarre to be sitting at dinner near to others in jeans and a tee-shirts/day-wear, when everyone at our table and around had ‘made the effort’. Not quite the image P&O tries to portray in its advertising and promotional media. Getting on and off the ship at ports was easy. We were docked at each one, so we didn’t have to test their tender procedures. There were short queues at the point of disembarkation and likewise on return. Yes there were queues for the lifts but even they didn’t take long to clear. Final disembarkation was well organised and a fairly painless experience. Without feeling rushed and unwelcome we were still off the ship 20 minutes ahead of schedule and cases were fairly easy to find.. The tours all. seemed to be well organised and reasonably priced, although in most ports we chose to explore independently. Not such a risk, when everything we wanted to do was in close proximity (walking distance) to the ship. We did however pay to travel to Flam railway as part of an official P&O organised tour. So all in all, was this a good cruise? On balance, yes it was! Azura is a great ship and has lots of positives. The itinerary was very good, the scenery was stunning and it was a great opportunity to see a new part of the world we will undoubtedly return to. Maybe we were just unfortunate that on this cruise the standards we’ve come to expect from P&O appear to have dropped slightly as other cruises on this ship have been brilliant.

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4.0

Fjords Cruise 🚢 1st June... by superplumb

Sail date: /
Ship: Azura

Fjords Cruise 🚢 1st June 2019 First time on a larger ship, prefer smaller ones but we had a great cruise. Enjoyed Stavanger especially the small cobbled streets opposite the ship. Next stop Flåm did the train, sorry P&O booked it direct from home nearly half the price and we got coffee and pancakes at the little cafe at Myrdal station a lovely 😊 reserved table with excellent service. The Flåm train 🚞 has fantastic views, 20 tunnels the Norwegians must be moles, spent an hour at Myrdal not much there but the views are what you go for. Back onboard sat at the stern as we reversed out amazing for the size of the ship lovely sail down the Fjords. Ålesund next enjoyed it but the weather was against us although we did find the heated seats overlooking the canals didn’t want to leave them. Bergen next lovely morning until the thunderstorm came, we were in the Funicular queue, with waterproofs in hand, caught the funicular and when we got to the top the sun was out again, fantastic views on descending we wend round the fish 🐟 market really interesting shame we had to leave so early loved Bergen. Great cruise but I think smaller ships 🛳 for us Azura is a lovely ship though and I would sail on her again if it was going where I wanted to go.

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3.8

Great Mediterranean cruise. Enjoyed ports of call by chrisrainy

Sail date: / Traveled as: Family (young children)
Ship: Azura / Destination: Europe

All in all a good cruise. First one for daughter and grandchildren. Enjoyed ports. And food. Had the drinks package kids got soft drinks free but not water. Strange. P&O still use plastic straws.

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4.5

Amazing Azura! by Cha21

Sail date: / Traveled as: Singles/Friends
Ship: Azura / Destination: Europe

First time cruisers and would definitely recommend. Have booked again! Azura was like a floating hotel with something for everyone on board. Food choice out of this world and lots of sunny sea days to enjoy the open decks. Entertainment good & staff made holiday a really relaxing one. First time using P&O and can’t recommend highly enough. Thanks Azura!

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4.9

Amazing by DragonGran

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Azura / Destination: Scandinavia

this was a wonderful relaxing cruise with magnificent scenery. Excursions are well worth the little extra to see Norway in all its beauty.

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3.9

Fantastic trip with a few exciting times by sidekick180

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Azura / Destination: Europe

Relaxing, enjoyable but not without incident. Heavy weather through Bay of Biscay, Medivac helicopter for poorly passenger and two early morning wake up calls from the captain. Apart from that, a lovely cruise. Excellent entertainment, superb food.

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3.0

The cruise was nice but... by B14NRD

Sail date: /
Ship: Azura

The cruise was nice but didn't feel special. It felt like you had just gone to a nice hotel, not an amazing cruise ship. It never felt like anyone ever went that extra mile to make it special. Great captain on board though. We had bad weather and he done his upmost to try keep it as minimal as possible.

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3.8

Fantastic cruise, but with a few hiccups! by sidekick180

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Azura / Destination: Europe

Overall, a fantastic experience. We did go through a storm in BoB on our way back and although the captain had changed his route to avoid the worst, it was still pretty exciting. 70mph side winds and 30 foot waves. We also had a Medivac at 5am one morning and another morning we were woken up very early with the Spanish army boarding to carry out an exercise. Again, all very exciting. Would love to book again on Azura, but haven't seen any itineraries that we would like, so we have booked Ventura for July 2020. THE DATE ON THIS REVIEW IS INCORRECT! It was 4th May for 7 nights, this option was not available on the drop down list when I was writing the review.

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5.0

Excellent cruise from start to... by rockchk31

Sail date: /
Ship: Azura

Excellent cruise from start to finish, staff are very friendly, ship is kept spotless and our daughter loved the kids club. The food in the Meridian restaurant was AMAZING so we didn’t eat at any of the specialty restaurants. Really enjoyed Brodie’s as it had a nice atmosphere.

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5.0

Beautiful ship with excellent staff,... by General24

Sail date: /
Ship: Azura

Beautiful ship with excellent staff, good food and an all round good holiday, me and my family and friends really loved the holiday. They even had an excellent gluten free service for my nan

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3.0

It's interesting to note that... by BudgieMama

Sail date: /
Ship: Azura

It's interesting to note that we feel like we've had a great cruise despite P&O rather than because of them. Azura is a nice enough ship, although we found the layout unhelpful and in places poorly designed, and signage lacking meaning even after a week we still didn't have our bearings. Didn't feel shabby, but did feel under staffed. Also encountered an outright rude staff member (first for us on a cruise) and had issues with our bills which weren't resolved before we had to disembark. Cabin (inside) was decent size, layout and condition, and we had a good steward. The Norwegian Fjords were wonderful, and we're so glad we've been, but won't be sailing to P&O in the future.

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4.6

Mediterranean cruise by saucysue

Sail date: / Traveled as: Singles/Friends
Ship: Azura / Destination: Europe

I was dismayed on embarkation, as there were far more children than I am used to, but they were, on reflection, mostly well behaved. Having paid a large single supplement, was horrified to hear that it was only £1 for children to travel!!!

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2.0

Too many quizzes, no rules... by jaydecay78

Sail date: /
Ship: Azura

Too many quizzes, no rules enforced (kids in adults pools), no service on pool deck (offered a drink twice during entire cruise), buffet is rubbish! First and last cruise with p and o..... Like a trip to benidorm on a boat!

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3.7

The cruise was good but had to wait over an hour on the fine dining it shouldn't make a difference whether you get a discount on your holiday everyone should be treated the same unless you have a top of the ra by debbyrobson

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Azura / Destination: Canaries

The cruise was lovely and relaxing, plenty of things to do loved the planet bar, and the Manhattan bar the theatre had the best shows like We3. I also meet them after and had my photo taken with the lead singer Steven.

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4.2

Amsterdam cruise. by powerfulpierre1

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Azura / Destination: Europe

Excellent short break. We actually went into Amsterdam twice. Shuttle to Amsterdam was fine took about 40 minutes. Worth going on public ferries, as they are free.

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3.8

A complete shambles my cousin wedding was treated as it was just another day on board by Sarahjayne50

Sail date: / Traveled as: Family (older children)
Ship: Azura / Destination: Caribbean

Overall I enjoyed some of the cruise but not the entertainment

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3.0

Ship was welcoming, very tired... by ayelet

Sail date: /
Ship: Azura

Ship was welcoming, very tired and bathrooms need updating ! Food was good and entertainment was patchy! Service in bars was very hit and miss either a feast or a famine, waiters waiting for you to finish your drink before pouncing or waiting a long time for service, neither favourable. Huge let down from staff with regard to a service they promised and advertised in their paper. All in all, nice cruise, fabulous islands, but that is the last chance I give P&O twice I’ve been and not again

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3.7

Another great trip..... by bennygm

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Azura / Destination: Caribbean

Let me just start by saying that, contrary to other replies on other sites i have seen and indeed on here, i am not a moaner, nor am i whining or never satisfied, i'm just giving my humble opinion of things as we found on the Azura. I'm sorry if they do not line up with your experience but - there you are. I thought the food was average in the MDR, not that is necessarily a bad thing and we certainly didn't starve, i just thought it could have been better. I also thought the lack of an interactive tv was strange, you have to walk to reception to book anything, find out your running total etc. in fact anything at all, just think they could do better in 2019. So, nothing major to whinge about folks, just think that this is a ship that will really benefit from the upgrade/refit it will be having next year, after all, the loyal P&O customers deserve it don't they? Did we have a fabulous cruise - absolutely. Would we do it all again - of course, already booked!

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4.9

Excellent Caribbean/Transatlantic Cruise by Redtop24

Sail date: / Traveled as: Singles/Friends
Ship: Azura / Destination: Caribbean

Very good cruise overall. Food and entertainment was excellent.

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5.0

Mamma b Had a wonderful time... by mammabott

Sail date: /
Ship: Azura

Mamma b Had a wonderful time on AZURA met some wonderful people at the singles meetings And shared a table in the evenings Went out with some of them on trips etc Thought the ship was wonderful 👍 Everything about it was fabulous, So have booked up again same time next year! Well done the staff and entertainment teams ***** 5 stars

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