Much better than expected
David Biddle | May 28, 2019 | P&O Cruises | Azura
My wife and I set out on this cruise with some trepidation having read some recent negative reviews of the ship. We were pleasantly surprised at the end of the experience. Some disappointment at not flying on the Dreamliner but the Airbus was fine with more leg room than we have experienced on other charter flights. Transfers from the airport were swift with not too long to wait to register at the port. Our cases arrived pretty quickly considering the number that had to be handled from plane to ship. Our balcony cabin was comparable in size with the one we had on a Princess cruise last year. Clean and tidy with, as usual in our experience, a really helpful steward.
We took our meals for the most part on the Peninsular restaurant and whilst not exciting the food was mostly OK. Nicely presented although some poetic licence was taken with descriptions. Creme Anglaise turned out to be a small “fish shaped” portion on the side of the plate.Two exceptions were a pretty leathery steak ( my wife’s was fine) and some goose that was mostly stuffing. The buffet restaurant was as some others have commented a bit of a rugby scrum at times when you were looking for a table. This is a big ship with lots of passengers perhaps P and O should think more about the logistics of that restaurant. One real plus was the lack of a 15 per cent service charge on drinks etc.. We chose the early sitting and it was obvious that the staff wanted to clear the tables very quickly to set up for the next sitting. There was a bit of pressure here.
The entertainment was , what we saw of it, professional with an excellent ventriloquist one evening. People we spoke to had differing views of the “mind reader”.
The “street market” almost every night was what we had experienced on other cruises. Given the number of folk looking at the offers it certainly met a need.
We thought the tours were fine giving you a quick overview of the island. The prices, again, comparable if a little less, than other cruises. Quite a few folk had been to one or more island before so headed directly to the beach. This was our first time in this part of the Caribbean so we went on tours at most of the stops.
We booked our cruise during the sale week last year and for what we paid we thought the holiday to be excellent value for money.
Would we cruise with P and O again? Perhaps but on a smaller ship. Our favourite remains Cunard with more nice touches than P and O.
Be prepared to manage your expectations.
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