Melinda Spencer | November 16, 2017 | P&O Cruises | Azura
This was our first trip to the Caribbean and we decided to go with P & O as we’ve cruised with them before and many people had raved about the Azura! Well….in the main we had a fantastic holiday and P & O delivered us to each of the promised ports in efficient style, as expected!
However, there are many elements to this ship that are awful! We are a professional couple in our early 50’s, both very fit and active and game for some sound entertainment and fun! All Azura offered was a taste of ‘Butlins’ on the water….absolutely dreadful! Endless bingo…..deck quoits….’chavvy’ sail always and more! We went to only two theatre shows as they were dire and an early evening seemed much more appealing! The ship seemed full of people and family groups similar to those you would find out on a stag or hen do in any inner city in England….awful…..loud….usually drunk…..and looking for somewhere to have their much needed fags!?
We did feel very out of place at times and very much needed to tailor our cruise to work for us and that’s not what we thought we had purchased? We avoided the ‘smash and grab’ restaurants like the plague…..they were full of crowds pushing and shoving to get to the last bread roll (even though there was a copious supply!) and never any seats? We avoided the sun deck……absolutely dire!! Daily fights over chairs…..masses of fat sweltering bodies filling their faces with cocktails and endless food!?
Thankfully we were able to enjoy the seclusion of our own balcony and swim in every stunningly beautiful Caribbean ocean we visited! We ate in all the restaurants on board and favoured the ‘Verona’ which transformed into a delightful Italian restaurant come evening (so long as you don’t mind having to queue for it?) Freedom dining is a great addition to the cruise experience and we would only ever opt for this on future cruises.
All in all…..we made our Caribbean trip work for us (not sure how P&O could be credited with more than just getting us there in safety and supplying a reasonable choice of eateries?) The staff on board were generally pleasant (our cabin steward excellent as always) the security staff at the exit and entry points of the ship were dreadful…..miserable, rude and unwelcoming….without exception? The cabins were reasonably comfortable…..the beds on Celebrity ships are wonderful…..Azura’s beds are of a very basic standard?
Bolsover were excellent. Efficient, caring and very importantly, they made sure that my husband and I sat together on the flight there and back (we did have to ask, as we’ve heard that this is often an issue) but they met their commitments to us as clients and we would definitely use Bolsover to book our trip again.
The Caribbean is a stunning place to visit and cruising from port to port is a wonderful way to travel……but if you’re looking for a bit of class and a superior experience of sea travel P & O are not able to deliver it….in our view!? We shall cruise again, but we will sail with other cruise lines, we already know that Celebrity and Cunard offer a more refined and exclusive experience! P & O definitely target the lowest common denominator and they will lose potential clients like us, not that they will care, because all they appear interested in is filling there ships with whomever can pay the fare!
Be prepared to manage your expectations.
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