Azura Summer Cruise
Mark Taylor | December 7, 2019 | P&O Cruises | Azura
My family and I have just returned from a cruise round the med with P&O cruises. Having cruised over 30 times now with P&O I have to say that we were very disappointed with P&O before and after completing this cruise for the reasons outlined below:
1. When we booked the cruise we were advised that if the cost came down we would receive onboard credit or a cabin upgrade. The price almost halfed however P&O simply changed the terms slightly and called it a GetAway fare. I met people on the ship that had booked late and paid half what I did!! In future if we book anymore cruises with P&O it will be last minute whatever they tell me as this is not a straight talking company.
2. The service levels have dropped enormously which can partially be attributed to tips being given automatically unless you ask for them to be removed. Many passengers including myself took this option and gave our own tips to waiters and cabin stewards.
3. The quality of food is at best average in the main restaurants (luke warm and poor cuts of meat) which meant we ate in the speciality restaurants 7 nights out of the 17 and paid extra for the privilege. The cover charges for these retaurants has also been increased with ‘Seventeen’ now costing ?28.50 per head which I think is extortionate. After dinner drinks have also doubled in price to ?4.00 but are now doubles however if there is 8 of you on a table this is an extra expense so we avoided these.
4. Bar prices have also increased with the price of most drinks now exceeding what you would pay in your local bar / pub. In the past prices have always been better than at home.
5. Cleanliness around the ship is not very good with half eaten food left in the corridors and stairwells. Carpets are stained etc.
6. The casino was poorly run with the second roulette table not opening for the whole cruise despite huge demand due to a lack of staff. This is absolutely ridiculous as it meant that many passengers simply left without having a gamble.
7. The length of stay in good ports has also been reduced leaving you very little time to enjoy ports such as Dubrovnik where we sailed just after 2pm (it used to be late afternoon) so we couldn’t have lunch ashore and Gibraltar were we sailed at 1.30pm. This also lead to 30 minute queues in Dubrovnik as everyone tried t get back on board.
8. There are more sea days now as the ships sail a lot slower to reduce fuel consumption. I enjoy the sea days but you have to be up early to get a sun bed and they are often to close together that you can only get on them from the front.
9. Manhattans the nightclub has got to have one of the worst DJ’s in the UK playing old out of date tunes which often resulted in an empty dance floor and no atmosphere.
10. Drinks can no longer be bought in the duty free shop and consumed in the cabin as they do not allow you to have them until the last night. So if you want a drink on your balcony you either have to buy it ashore or go to a bar and then take it back to your cabin which is not ideal. We opted to buy ashore.
11. Shore excursions are a real rip off and you are better to organise your own once you get ashore.
I have outlined our grievances however I have to say that overall we really enjoyed our holiday meeting some very nice people and visiting some interesting places. The sad thing is that as a previously very loyal P&O customer I could no longer recommend them to any of my friends.
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