Strictly Come Dancing Cruise
Jill Williams | September 2, 2019 | P&O Cruises | Azura
We have just returned from this cruise on the Azura, and were not happy with quite a few things on this ship. We are not people in the habit of complaining, but thought these things should be highlighted. On the positive side, the cabin was well laid out and spacious, the food was good, and the staff as always, were excellent. Our friend who came with us was taken ill, and the medical staff were excellent,and even loaned him a wheelchair to get around, as he was in a weak state.
We booked the holiday with friends and I checked with P&O before embarkation to make sure we were on the same dining table, and was assured we were. When we arrived in our cabin we found we were at one end of the restaurant, and our friends at the other. This was sorted out after waiting in a queue for 45 minutes, with most people having the same problem. We didn’t realize then we were in the Oriental Restaurant at the back of the ship, whilst our cabin was at the very front of the ship. Why we were not put in the Peninsular Restaurant which is mid ships heaven only knows. We accepted this rather that complain although two of our party walked with sticks.
We were on first sitting for dinner, and the first two nights managed to get into the show. After that we did not get into the show at all. We did learn that Freedom Diners started their meals at 6.00 p.m. whereas our meal did not start until 6.30 p.m. Apparently, there were people leaving after their main course to get into the show. On the thrid attempt at getting into the Theatre my husband complained to Scott Sanders who was on the door and was told “We have six other ships you can go on”, whereupon my husband said, “Yes and there are plenty of other cruise lines we can go on”. Apparently, there used to be three show per night, but this has been cut to two.
Why there was a Strictly Come Dancing theme for this cruise I don’t know, as you have not even got a designated dance floor on this ship. A small portion of the atrium is used for dancing, which on a ship this size is ridiculous. The fact that everyone was given a ticket for the appearance of the Strictly Come Dancing personalities, and that four shows had to be put on, surely bears out my feeling that the Theatre is not big enough.
I cannot understand why there are all these speciality restaurants, which were half emply most nights, when there was such a tiny library and internet room, and no facilities for playng bridge or whist. My husband played whist on most days,and they had to play in the Oriental Restaurant, where the overworked waiters had to clear the tables and then re-lay them again after the game. Most days there were over thirty people playing whist, which clearly shows P&O is not catering to the needs of their passengers, who are mostly in the over 60 group. Perhaps I am being cynical when I save P&O aren’t making money from these activities.
Whilst stating they are conscious on hygene on their ships, I was surprised that there was no hand cleanser offered on boarding the ship, and none offered at lunch in the Penisular Restaurant. At dinner in the Oriental Restaurant, there were at least three people greeting you as you went in, but the hand cleanser was left on the waiters desk,and the majority of people walked past. It wasn’t until the last few nights that a standing hand cleanser was put at the door.
Whilst talking to other passengers, the only people we spoke to who would go back on the Azura were people who had only travelled on this ship, and had nothing to compare it with. The whole layout of the ship leaaves a lot to be desired, and even the friends we were with, who have travelled with P&O on several occasions said they would not go on the Azura again.
We do not like complaining, but as a Carnival shareholder we do not like to come away from a Carnival ship feeling this way.
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