Terri Beech | July 17, 2017 | P&O Cruises | Azura
This 18 day cruise was our 40th wedding anniversary cruise and was much anticipated. We had not been on Azura before, and although P&O get many things right, some things need addressing.
The ship itself was clean and the staff and crew as always were helpful and attentive and cheerful in their work. We were lucky in as much as the weather was just brilliant and the captain did a good job of outrunning a low depression going out over the dreaded Bay of Biscay.
We booked a trip to the Parthanon and the Acropolis and it was well led and very informative, though the guide did tend to get verbal diarrhoea and plug rather too much how good Greek produce was, and we MUST buy all his recommendations to help the Greek economy !! We also booked a wine tasting, but that was somewhat disappointing as we only tasted one white and one red of which neither was to our liking. It could have been coloured by the fact it was only 10 am at the time . The island of Mykanos was just lovely, very quaint streets and shops, and we enjoyed just wandering on our own. We enjoyed Palma as our first call, though we walked in and it was nearly 3 miles. We felt ?20 for the shuttle bus ?5 each way for each of us was a bit extortionate .
However we were disappointed in the buffet food this time, especially breakfast . We don’t usually eat a cooked breakfast but treat ourselves on holiday. The bacon was like leather, and the eggs hard . I suspect much was cooked very early and kept warm so we only ate it once!!!! The dining room food was better, and much was up to P&O standard, though the choice of deserts was poor, and they seem to have cut silver service where you could choose whichever vegetables you fancied. Not so now, you get what’s put on your plate. . We ate three times in the Beech House which provided great steaks on hot lava stones and at a supliment of only ?5.00 it was well worth it . The starters and desserts were also very good here . .We weren’t prepared to pay the ?25 supliment plus very expensive wine in the Indian star resteraunt .
Our balcony cabin was lovely, and it was the first time we had done this. It wasn’t overlooked as some are and it was nice to get fresh air rather than constant air conditioning . On the downside of Azura th library was woefully inadequate with only 6,seats all on top of each other squeezed into a corner of the Atrium . If you like reading proper books , bring your own as not more than two books appeared on the ” swap” table the entire 18 days. There were no quiet ” squishy” seating areas anywhere on board , and the seating in all the public areas for shows and quizzes were less than comfortable . There was no indoor cinema area but a large outdoor screen over one of the pools. Not so inviting on cold windy evenings ., but great if you wanted to soak up the rays while watching a film on good days .
There were always plenty of sunbeds to choose from and you could always find a sunny spot . Something inadequate on a Thompson cruise we did. Shade was a little more difficult to find.
Our underlying feeling though, was that P & O were cutting corners, and trying to extract as much extra cash from you at every opportunity …..photo costs being one dreadful over charge.
However, no doubt we will do P&O again , only will steer clear of the bigger ships like Azura and Ventura, as we preferred Oriana and Arcadia . Not before we sample another cruise company…may try Celebrity next time!!
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