Strictly Come Dancing visits Azura
Karen Lancaster | September 22, 2017 | P&O Cruises | Azura
When we booked cruise A323N going to the Med on the 1st October 2013, we found out that it was a Strictly Come Dancing Cruise. We are not fans of the show so thought no more about the theme but looked forward to the 17 nights on board this fantastic ship.
This cruise turned out to be one of our favourite cruises and the dancing theme, including some dance classes, amazing dance ‘exhibitions’ from two of Azura’s dancers, Craig Revel-Horwood putting on a Strictly show and costumes on display all around the ship, absolutely added excitement and atmosphere throughout the cruise.
Azura is a lovely ship and usually carries a wide age range, including families, which we feel is a bonus as it’s uplifting to be surrounded by other passengers of all ages. We have found that on the adult only Arcadia, a lot of the passengers are older and in some cases, quite frankly, are rude and act as though they own the ship when you try to get a sun bed!!
Our cabin was excellent and roomy with an open-topped balcony. We had one of the superior deluxe balcony cabins on D deck – these particular cabins are large with a lovely big sofa area leading to the balcony which, although overlooked, gets the sun for longer because of the open top. Our cabin steward was excellent, as usual.
We ate in the Peninsula Restaurant and had a table for two – the tables for two are well situated next to other tables for two and allows you to get to know the people around you if you want to. We were lucky and had some very good nights laughing with the people around us. We did use the Glass House which we enjoyed – the wine flights are a must and the fish and chips are gorgeous.
Entertainment-wise Malabar and Manhattan provide very good bands, singers and tributes and we discovered the Planet Bar this time which is situated on Deck 18 – we walked up the stairs which was hard going but worked off a few calories! The Planet Bar is a piano bar with stunning wall features of scenes from around the world, ever-changing so you always have something to look at. A lovely place for a drink before dinner.
Our ports of call included Cadiz which is lovely to walk around, Messina which had the usual sound of road mayhem to be found in Italy but we discovered the Bell Tower at noon which can’t be missed – the display is surreal really and lasts for about 15 minutes consisting of a series of loud noises from a lion and cockerel, followed by Ave Maria. We visited Venice again and decided to use the monorail which costs 1 euro each way from near the ship – we walked through Venice and back going into as many leather shops as possible along the way!! We had a cappuccino, ice cream and pizza just to sample all things Italian in one day. Valetta, the capital of Malta, was a nice surprise, very hot and attractive to look at from the port. There is a new lift up to the main town which was free and quick. Valetta is full of English shops, they drive on the left, signs are in English and we saw changing of the guard.
Towards the end of the cruise we went to the Strictly show which we enjoyed very much.
Overall the cruise was excellent and we are now looking forward to our next cruise in April. Maybe it will top our last cruise, who knows?
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