David Rock | January 8, 2017 | P&O Cruises | Aurora
The Aurora is a beautiful ship with spacious balcony cabins. The design of the ship is both pleasing to the eye and user friendly. The public bars and showrooms were never overcrowded and one did not have to queue up 45 minutes ahead of a perfromance (like on Azura last year) to get a seat. Aurora’s mid-size meant that you were always more comfortabler than you would be on one of the mega-sized ships. The nightime entertainment and daytime at sea activities were better than most other cruise lines…especially better than Holland America. We were on a leg of the Aurora’s world cruise that took us 28 days from Sydney to Bangkok. The ports were well chosen, the tours were excellent, and the history and cultures we discovered were most fascinating. Rabaul, Papua New Guinea, was a delightful and unusual place to visit with lovely smiling people. Shanghai, China was most beautiful at night, (we stayed until 11:30 p.m.). Climbing the Great Wall in Beijing was a really unique experience…in spite of the horrendous smog. Hong Kong is a truly magical place and we were fortunate to have 2 full days there.
All in all, this was our favorite cruise of the 25 we have done. Our only disappointment was the food. Too many corners are being cut and the quality of the food ranged from excellent to downright awful. Most disappointing were the steaks…very poor quality of beef that was difficult to cut and almost impossible to chew. One evening the pork skewers were little dried up bits of overcooked pork that were inedible. Yet the beef Wellington was marvelous and the fish dishes were mostly quite good. Having sailed on P and O many times, we noticed that since Carnival has taken over, there is too much emphasis on economizing to the detriment of passengers’ enjoyment.
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