Large ship – lot’s of people
Dorothy Wolstencroft | June 11, 2014 | P&O Cruises | Azura
This was our first experience on a very large cruise ship and my husband and I were a bit apprehensive having sailed mostly on the Aurora.
The Azura is a family ship and has a ‘Hi Di HI/holiday camp’ atmosphere around the two main pool areas. My husband and I found the large ‘Sea Screen’ intrusive as was the live entertainment/disco music. Hundreds of people on sunbeds around the pools – for me a ‘vision from hell’ but many people were enjoying themselves. There were plenty of sunbeds and lot’s areas around the ship for sunbathing. Children appeared to be well catered for.
My husband and I had a balcony cabin on ‘B’ deck so we were able get away from the crowds. Being able to relax on the balcony in beautiful sunny weather helped to make our holiday.
There were many positives as well as negatives:-
The ship was very clean with lot’s hand sanitizer in the buffet restuarants and also on embarkation.
Our cabin steward (Simon) was excellent and our cabin was kept spotlessly clean. The cabin was well designed and felt quite spacious. Room service was also excellent. We were able to order food via the interactive TV and it arrived on time.
Service in the Oriental restuarant (table 40) was also excellent. The food was generally good although the vegetarian food was, on occasions a bit eccentric and not always hot. I am, however, amazed how the galley can cater for so many people and produce such good food for each dinner sitting.
On a couple of occasions the buffet restuarant was a bit chaotic at lunchtimes – usually when the weather was cool and people did not wish to eat in the open around the pool. Otherwise there was plenty of choice of ‘eateries’ and a good selection of food.
On the negative side:
Disembarking so many people at each port was rather chaotic.
We went on three organised tips and in our opinion they were not good value for money. The Korkula wine tastine trip in particular was very disappointing. We did not tour the vinyard as expected. A walk around the estate – was in actual fact more like a farm. We were given small quantities of wine to taste and people said they couldn’t eat the ham. It was more akin to food tasting than wine tastine.
The Duty free prices on the ship for bottles of spirits etc., were in fact more expensive than in some ports such as Gibraltar. The company did refund the difference e.g. a bottle of Bailey’s ?4 cheaper in Gibraltar than in the Duty Free shop on board Azura. Gin was ?5 cheaper ashore. Cigarettes, according to other passengers, also cheaper ashore.
Entertainment was generally good but it was difficult to get a seat in the theatre for some of the more popular shows.
The Azura experience was better than we expected. However, we personally feel the ship was too large for us. We had a cabin near the front of the ship – the restuarants were at the back of the ship. We didn’t realise just how big the ship was – it was a long walk from the front of the ship to the back for meals.
If you like a ‘holiday camp’ atmosphere with plenty of organised entertainment during the day then this may be the ship for you. My husband and I will return to the Aurora or the Arcadia.
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