Perhaps not for the discerning traveller
Christine Green | September 23, 2020 | P&O Cruises | Azura
We had reservations about booking the Caribbean cruise on this ship, as we prefer smaller ships. However, it was our first “last minute” cruise, and excellent value for 2 weeks of guaranteed sunshine. We are gold members of P.O. the only company we would travel with, as we like the “Britishness” of P O and, over 15 years, we have always booked with Bolsover.
The flight, transfers, boarding all ran like clockwork, as we have always found to have been the case.
The size of the ship, in the end, did not really matter to us. We always have a balcony cabin, and so we were not restricted to enjoying the sun on the overcrowded deck areas. If we had not had the balcony we would have found the ship overcrowded. We were amazed at the queues for people awaiting entrance to the exclusive swimming/sun area, at an extra cost, but always sold out.
The cabin was sufficient for a Caribbean cruise, where we were off the ship most days, but the wardrobe space, toilet/shower area were rather tight. The area where the excellent shows were held benefitted from not having obtrusive pillars in the way, as is found on the older ships. The self service area was noisey and busy, and we never ate there. We enjoyed the Marco Pierre White Restaurant…excellent.
We are a mature couple and hanker after the civility of pre dinner drinks and the classical concerts and good speakers. During the few days at sea the daytime entertainment was basic, and not a patch on that which we had enjoyed during our voyage the previous year on Aurora from Sydney to Cape Town, but for bobbing arund the Caribbean for two weeks we had no grouses…these are but observations. The library was very small, and choice of books therefore restricted.
The meals were excellent, the staff eternally smiling, friendly and efficient. The prices of the wines very reasonable. We were at sea on Burns Night, and this was celebrated with piper, and haggis…well done P O!
We are bombarded with offers for cruises, but have not got the time to consider a holiday at present. However, if I should be tempted towards a more “local” cruise the choice of ship would influence our decision, and we would shun any ship the size of Azura. We had what we wanted, two weeks of sunshine in pleasant surroundings at a tempting price, but my lasting image of my experience on Azura was of the sundecks being packed with bodies ( I had never seen so many tatoos on both men and women) and our table for eight being the very best table we have ever enjoyed.
In summary, I feel that Azura is a young person`s ship, though still with all the high standards which we have always enjoyed with PO.
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