Paul Millward | August 16, 2018 | P&O Cruises | Azura
Well, where do you start? The service expectation set by P&O at a 4* level was destroyed in a number of areas from the bar staff to the main restaurants. We bought a soft drinks package (20 drinks for ?35.00) which in principle was relative good value, however it came at the expense of customer service; it seems that the waiters are targeted on the drinks they sell, and that the drinks package once sold was not part of their target when requesting refills. This resulted in a very clinical response, no smiles and on one occasion a very rude exchange from a bar manager! We had opted for anytime dinning and found on the two occasions when we chose the Meridian Restaurant that we were waiting for in excess of 45 mins and once we had been seated that we were hurried to order and felt like we were being processed.
Moving on to the state of the ship; having been on a number of Princess Cruises in the past we were familiar with the Azura as it is based on the same design as the Golden and Crown Princesses, however there seems to be a very different maintenance schedule. The steel work in the outside public areas was showing signs of rust and a distinct lack of paint. Some of the ceilings were water stained, fixtures and fittings in the self-service restaurants were showing signs of wear and tear, and carpets in some public areas were stained
Finally, the disembarkation; what an absolute shambles; it felt like everyone had been abandoned by the crew. The total lack of staff to guide and usher passengers was reminiscent of the ??Marie C??leste? story, this being apart from the contractors who were trying to put up Christmas decorations in the areas demarked for passengers to disembark. They were using step ladders and carting large boxes around; they had no regard for passengers and their safety. A fantastic example of how to make something even more difficult than it already is!! P&O: Marks out of 10 = 4
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