LLife on an Ocean Wave
Caroline METCALF | January 10, 2020 | P&O Cruises | Azura
Our first cruise on Azura although we have now done in excess of 10 cruises. Azura was a lovely ship but a bit on the big side for us. We enjoyed the itinerary which was the Greek islands plus Palma and Gibraltar thrown into the mix.
The first few days out of Southmpton were to put it mildly rough but the stabilisers did their job and we were not uncomfortable for too long. Our captain Robert Camby was a good speaker and kept passengers entertained with his “Thought for the Day” at the end of every broadcast. I think he must have had a little book to help him.
With this cruise being quite early on in the year we were fortunate that in many ports we were the only cruise liner in which was great. That said on a few occasions there were other ships in with us but the captain invariably got us in earlier and we gained 4-5 hours on any other ship following us into port which was a big advantage.
The weather throughout the Greek islands was superb with it reaching a high of 26 degrees in Santorini. The med was like a mill pond in Mykonos, Santorini and Katakolon.
We were allocated Freedom Dining on this cruise which worked very well for us. The only negative of this being that you don’t build up a rapport with your waiters on an evening. We were happy to share and therefore never had to be given a bleeper for a table for two. Some of the tables for two were so close you ended up speaking to your near neighbour even if you didn’t want or feel like it.
Entertainment was reasonable although personally we went to very few shows. They had an opera duo called “The Opera Boys” who I believe were very good but unless you were there 50 minutes before the performance at 8.30 pm you had no chance of getting a seat and I’m afraid the 2nd show at 10.30 pm was a bit too late for us so we did in fact miss out on this show because the auditorium only seated approx 700 and with Azura being full to capacity 3000+ the chances of getting into either show was limited.
As usual the cabin steward worked extremely hard and was extremely accommodating and nothing was ever too much trouble for him. Raju was a lovely man and we both appreciated his efforts very much. The vast majority of the crew work extremely hard and look forward to a bit of conversation with the passengers which we always enjoyed plus they always seemed to have a smile on their faces.
Only one cautionary note for this itinerary. Mykonos and Santorini although absolutely beautiful are not well suited for people with mobility/walking issues. Especially in Santorini there are steps, steps and even more steps everywhere up, down, sideways and if you’re in a wheelchair it’s almost impossible for you to get around. This Greek Island itinerary is also being undertaken by one of P&O’s other ships in August but the weather will be even hotter than it was on this cruise. If you want to enjoy a cruise of the Greek Islands April would be the best month to go then at least you can enjoy the destinations without the stress of too much heat.
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