I have just returned from a wonderful 13-night cruise aboard P&O Cruises Azura and can’t wait to share my thoughts with you.
Travelling as a family of three (our son is 3 years old) we chose to sail on Azura above all other ships due to her family-friendly nature, childrens clubs / splash pools, and the flexibility of ‘Freedom’ dining, meaning we could eat as and when we wanted on our own table. The fact that she was a brand spanking new ship sealed the deal for us too. We also wanted to avoid the hassle of an airport (my husband isn’t the most patient man in the world) so opted for a ‘no-fly’ cruise leaving Southampton. This worked very well as without the strict luggage allowances of an airline we could take as much luggage as would comfortably fit in our cabin (and car)…yes im embarrassed to say we had four huge suitcases and two hand bags.
Superior Deluxe Balcony Our Superior Balcony Stateroom was so much bigger than we had imagined, with plenty of room to store the mass of suitcases and hang all our clothes. We were greeted with a bottle of champagne on ice and a box of chocolates, a very special touch we thought, and throughout the cruise we were treated to a fresh fruit basket and canapes one evening in our cabin.
So, the cruise kicked off with a ‘Sailaway party’ with Union Jack flags galore and bar staff doing the rounds with a cool glass of champers as we waved goodbye to the grey sky over Southampton. Everyone seemed to be out on deck to enjoy the start of our holiday, with two days at sea to follow giving us plenty of time to figure out our way around the ship and find our favourite spots.
The ships is beautifully decorated and gleaming from top to bottom, offering so many places to eat, drink, relax, or join in with the various activities they had planned should you wish to part-take. From bingo to shuffleboard, dance classes to Seascreen (the outdoor cinema), you really couldn’t complain of being bored. Add to that the choice of swimming pools (there’s a seperate one for children at the rear of the ship), plus the gym, spa, adults-only Retreat, theatre and shows, numerous bars and restaurants, we’re thinking you’d be hard-pushed to find all this on a land-based holiday, and for a similar price might I add.
Pool area Each morning our son gulped down his breakfast before asking ‘can I go to the childrens club now pleeeaaase’ to which we happily agreed, giving us an hour or so to do as we wanted on sea days. The ports we visited on our Western Mediterranean itinerary were Gibraltar, Ajaccio (Corsica), Rome, Livorno, Monte Carlo and Barcelona, all fabulous places to explore and boasting great temperatures of between 21 – 32 degrees, perfect for May time. One of the many highlights was seeing Monte Carlo as they prepared for the Grand Prix in a few weeks time, and seeing some historic racing cars coming in. This cruise was perfect for us as we could combine days on the beach or head for some serious sight-seeing depending on where we were. We even hired a pushchair free of charge from the kids club on the days we wanted to explore so Alex could put his feet up and be chauffered around.
Well, what more to say other than we met some lovely people along the way, the staff were attentitive and friendly, we have some fabulous memories of Alex dancing the night away on tropical night (like way past his bedtime), and after some delicious dining in the main restaurant, and even more fine dining in the exquisite Sindu and Seventeen restaurants, we all look ‘very well’ (my mum’s polite way of saying wow, how much did you eat?).
Thank you P&O Cruises, we hope to return soon.