The ship, which is the second ship of this size for P&O Cruises (the first was sister ship Ventura, which was launched in 2008), will be familiar to fans of Princess cruises, as it is built on the same design as Princess' Grand-class ships. Yet Azura definitely oozes P&O Cruises' traditional style: full dress codes, afternoon tea, deck games and ballroom dancing. Dancing is especially popular.
- Cabins 1575
- Crew 1200
- Passengers 3096
- Decks 14
- Launch Year 2010
- Registry Bermuda
Disappointed with the food
"Positive points first.
Bad points outweigh unfortunately
The room was adequate but we had a faulty hairdryer and the toilet was prone to blocking without good reason.
The reception and safety talk was far too long winded. I am disabled and had to stand for a long time which after traveling to the ship for 10 hours was too much and adversely affected me for the rest of the day.
The food was dreadful. I am vegetarian and on the first day on my freedom dining, all they could offer me was an omelette and chips from the kids menu. I was asked to pick my meals from the vegetarian menu for the next day. I did not want any of them as they were all Asian dishes. This menu was set for 3 days so no chance of anything better the next day. I did pick a dish which turned out to be a dumpling with mushrooms inside. The ratio of dumpling to mushrooms was roughly 4 to 1. I ate the mushrooms. The following days we ate in the buffet but sadly the food we could pick from was limited and one day it was again entirely Asian.
I complained and asked what were we supposed to eat. The restaurant manager for freedom dining came to discuss the menu with us. I pointed out that unless we wanted to eat Asian food there was nothing in any dining room for vegetarians. He promised to arrange a pasta dish for us. It turned out to be a handful of Penne Pasta with a light coat of tomato. Very disappointing. Both meals probably cost 50 pence. Annoying when you pay for the freedom of choice. "
- Travel date: Wed 8th of June 2016
So many islands
"My sister and I thoroughly enjoyed this nine island cruise to celebrate my 65th birthday. We had a short cruise to Bruges on Aurora to see if we would like cruising, that was a disaster as endured a Force 8 gale, never got to Bruges and spent the day circling in the Channel - not a good cruise start. I was apprehensive in booking the next one but so glad I did in the end as I could not fault the entire cruise. We were delayed onboard the flight for an hour and a half at Gatwick waiting for the fog to lift so there was a little chaos at Barbados and we had a little wait embarking because of the backlog of flights but from then on, it was plain sailing, so to speak. Cabin with extra large balcony was good, beds comfortable though narrow, not 3 feet ones. Hot water/toiletries/towels good. Our cabin C738 at aft and very quick to use lift and go to floor 19 where there was a quiet sunbed deck overlooking the rear of the ship and beneath the rear pool, also close by. The other pools had rather noisy music/cinema so we mainly avoided those. We had freedom dining but the two restaurants had the same menu, a bit of a disappointment, the buffet was excellent as was the restaurant dining. We tried the Beach House which was also excellent. We also used the 'grab & go' food at the Coral Pool to take back to our balcony. Entertainment was good, especially the Headliners and Mark Walker. The atrium area is rather small for watching the dancing and you had to be in the Playhouse at least half an hour before either performance to get a reasonable seat which meant often rushing dinner in the 'waited on' restaurant. We were disappointed to see that the best part of this particular ship is given over to the gym/healthspa etc unlike Aurora which has a lovely bar at the front. Staff were very helpful and friendly. It was amazing waking up to a different island every day and the only way to visit so many on one holiday. This cruise surpassed my expectations and would definitely recommend this particular cruise. "
- Travel date: Thu 11th of February 2016
I love P&O but ....
"This is a very late review simply because I'm hoping for help for the future. I have cruised with P&O since the 1970's aboard Canberra and was really looking forward to a Christmas cruise aboard Azura to the Caribbean. The ship was beautiful, the destinations were beautiful but oh, the Christmas music. I know it was a Christmas cruise but there is a limit. Loud Christmas music from morning until night, every day for 14 days - and it seemed impossible to find any public area of the ship to escape to. Many people complained but the standard response was "it's Christmas". One guy said to me that if a lifeboat was launched the passengers "would be over the side like lemmings". I wonder if the adult-only ships are any better because as a result of this trip on Azura my partner will never again travel with P&O."
- Travel date: Fri 29th of January 2016
"We have cruised with P&O, Royal Caribbean, Princess, Celebrity, Thompson and love the P&O ships. We have been on the Aurora, Oceania, and Azura. Yes we have seen disabled, elderly, young children, families and single travelers on the ships and have never encountered or heard complaints from them. As for Noro Virus, yes that was in evidence too on one ship but we only ever saw the staff working very hard to contain and eliminate it. Going on holiday should be an enjoyable experience, but we need to be open minded and be prepared for differences- it's not like being in your own home, though we have always felt very much at home in our cabins, incidentally we always have an inside cabin and find it perfectly adequate. We prefer to eat in the formal dining room for breakfast and evening meal, but usually eat in the self service area at lunch times and yes it can get busy but the choice of food is always worth the wait. Our favorite cruise company has been Princess- their loyalty bonuses far outweigh any other company as they honor P&O points,(incidentally P&O do not honor Princess points) and so as a result benefits are accrued.
In 2015 we enjoyed a Caribbean cruise aboard the Azura and a Baltic cruise on the Aurora. Both wonderful and we have already booked a 30 day cruise on the Azura for Dec-Jan. "
- Travel date: Thu 7th of January 2016
"This was our first cruise and it certainly won't be our last. We stayed in a balcony cabin on the starboard side of the ship, the cabin was clean and large enough for two people. The bathroom was rather small and the shower stall cramped but it was no big deal. The cabin steward was very efficient with a good demeanor and kept the cabin tidy. I ate breakfast on the first morning in the cafeteria buffet and didn't relish the experience so for the rest of the holiday I used the Peninsular restaurant which was excellent. I noticed that people were reserving sun beds when we were at sea, what' s wrong with them rushing about first thing in the morning with a manic look on their faces. There was always sun beds available but scum seem to want to get their towels on first. The food was very good and so was the service, my only minor complaint was the speed of the wine waiter. The islands we visited were brilliant except the Dominican Republic which wasn't so good, my favorite was Tortola which was beautiful. We visited the Epicurean , the Glasshouse and the Beach Hut restaurant. The Epicurean carried a supplement of Â£28 each but was worth it, the Glasshouse was also good and prices reasonable but I didn't rate the Beach Hut I found the food pretty poor. The entertainment was good but it's difficult to get to see the most popular entertainers unless you are in the venue really early. There was four formal nights which I enjoyed and most people made the effort to dress accordingly, there are always a minority that can't be bothered and were probably planning what time to get their towels on the sun beds. I really enjoyed the cruise and the Azura and I am planning a return late November 2016."
- Travel date: Mon 28th of December 2015
Transatlantic Southampton - Barbados 30th October 2015 Azura
"I cannot begin to tell you how disappointed we are with P & O. We booked this cruise for a special occasion expecting a 5 star experience.How wrong were we.
We were advised a five hour delay due to the sanitizing of the ship due to Noro Virus. In fact the delay was nearer eight hours. We were placed in a very overcrowded terminal, when embarked we were advised that the special measures would carry on for 3 days, in fact it was nearer seven days As a consequence everything on board was very restricted. Most of the restaurants were closed. The shops were not running complete service. The buffet restaurant was very stressful, people being served causing congestion getting in and out and long queues for drinks. Staff very tired with all the extra work. Whilst we fully understand he need the for restrictions they should not be at the expensive of other passengers. When people were getting this virus they were confined to cabins for two days but there partners were allowed to walk around the ship.This surely is not a way of isolating the virus.
We felt like cargo that they couldn't to get rid of quick enough. The only thoughts were to get the ship to Barbados to start the winter season in the Caribbean. We feel this cruise should have been cancelled and thoroughly cleansed before any more passengers were allowed on. Our special occasion was ruined.
- Travel date: Tue 1st of December 2015
A decline in standards, disabled-unfriendly excursions, evidence of cost-cutting.
"Last December we went on the Ventura and this sort of set a bench mark for us. This November we went on the Azura which is almost identical in all respects.
Firstly there are NO excursions which cater for wheelchair disabled people. There are no facilities set up to assist wheelchair bound folk to stow the chair in coaches of mini buses which is de rigeur in the UK. When questioned over this, the excursion staff at the Azura seemed unconcerned. Considering that their target audience (I assume) is rapidly aging, this is a serious issue they should address with some urgency.
A small but potentially massive issue was that of teaspoon scarcity. 50% of the time there were no teaspoons for tea or coffee and I saw someone resort to taking one from the used pile. Rewind a month to a nonovirus epidemic and the fact that some people put their spoon in their mouths after stirring their drink . . .
The outside door handle to the toilet compartment was held on with only two screws and for the sake of symmetry so was the handle inside. The screws holding the door damper were loose and one was missing.
The cabin and waiting staff were wonderful whilst the security staff were bored and largely disinterested and aloof. The photographers were omnipresent and even your evening meal wasn't sacrosanct or free from a snap-happy salesman.
The pop-up flea market which appeared in the atrium one evening selling knock-down-priced goods was tacky and inconsistent with their luxury travel ethos.
If, as a more senior person, I am their target audience, and certainly the average age demographic appeared to be retired people, why swamp the decks with loud, thumping unsuitable music? Who are they trying to cater for? The handful of twenty-somethings by the pool? I had to leave the area and relocate just to carry on a conversation. This is something I complained about when on Ventura. Clearly I am a voice on the wilderness.
Small, niggling things made you feel that there had been cost-cutting in almost imperceptible ways so that in isolation they hardly noticed. Talking to others on excursions it seemed that all felt the same but few were going to stick their heads above the parapet and make a complaint. In fact someone summed up the experience saying that there were two groups of passengers on board: those who were happy and were first-timers and those unhappy who had been before. A number said they would try another company next year. We certainly decided we wouldn't go with P & O again. "
- Travel date: Sun 29th of November 2015
What a let down
"This ship was launched in 2010 so I expected modern design. This was not the case. The biggest offender was the theater, where the seats were extremely tight and arm space negligible. Also, nowhere to put your drink except the floor so had to hang on to it all the time. Secondly the promenade deck. Not possible to walk all around the ship , so just port and starboard walk boards. The Malabar bar and the Manhattan bar where both very dark and dismal. Brodies sports bar would be OK if you liked football and where deaf. The casino was part of Brodies and very small, a real letdown. We spent every night in the Planet Bar which was the only place with decent seats.
Now for the variables. The food in the main restaurants was good although the cooking of fried eggs is something that they need to learn about. We never used the cafeteria restaurants because at the start of the cruise the noro virus caused them not to allow you to serve yourself. The staff in general were robotic and I even told the captain this so it might improve or it might not. Always did my own thing at ports of call because you can do the same thing cheaper on the fly and at your own pace. The entertainment that I saw was pretty good and the Headliners shows were excellent. Cabin was good and the room steward was very good. Room service was also good. In summary it would have been good if they had built the ship better and the staff were more enthusiastic. Lacked sparkle and certainly no wow factor."
- Travel date: Thu 19th of November 2015
"Were do I start well at the beginning this ship the azure should never have left port on the 30th October 2015 as they was sickness as it came into Southampton they took 5hrs to clean it you cant deep clean a ship in that time so first delay we could not help ourselves to tea water juice it had to be handed to you we had to sanitized our hands 247 we couldn't touch railings lift buttons stairs rail nothing toilets you had to use your own cabin which in its self was a nightmare the staff had gloves on but never changed them the sicknesses on board was terrible you were nervous of anybody sneezing or coughing you had to be on your guard at all times I have never had a holiday like it we just wanted to get home I wouldn't consider a p.o cruise again we lost so much money I need a holiday to get over this people on board were so unhappy that didn't help s Travis"
- Travel date: Mon 16th of November 2015
Plague ship wth working mans club entertainment
"Riviera deck is under the restaurant deck so our cabin smelt continually of staff cooking or the waft from the cattle market restaurants. Noro virus struck again with a large number of passengers affected. The crew all appear to be of Indian origin and either have limited English or are simply rude. The decor is in a poor state considering this ship is only in service 5 years. Some of the shore excursions are shorter than is necessary which means you hardly get to explore the sights.
No attention to detail, don't be fooled by the commercial comments added on this site.
My advice , choose another cruise line or ship!"
- Travel date: Fri 30th of October 2015
Stomach Virus strike again, completely spoilt trip!!!!
"Stomach Virus sweeping through passengers at an alarming rate, forcing them to be quarantined in cabins
No managers effectively dealing with the situation or assisting those ill on board ship.
Thank god we dock tomorrow 30/10/15, anyone sailing out of Southampton tomorrow should seriously consider their options, our trip has been completely spoilt.
I have copied a post below from June 15.......P&O WHAT ARE YOU DOING ABOUT THE SITUATION!!!??
Awful experience - never again
"It seems the "nuro virus" strikes every time they set sail! Contained within our cabin for 4 days with no food as it was stone cold and left outside the door or we just didn't get anything! Made to wait 2 hours when getting off the ship in the cold for a bus and staff were extremely rude. Just sent a complaint in. Never again will we book with P&O, what a terrible experience.
Food - Awful
Service - Terrible - none of the staff spoke to you
Holiday enjoyment - none"
Holiday details: Jun 2015, booked with Thomson
Advice: Don't go
- Travel date: Thu 29th of October 2015
Superb overall experience and here's why...
"A thoroughly enjoyable cruise with plenty of opportunities to dance, laugh, relax and have fun! Check out this YouTube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=flX2xqi4obk to see a snapshot of our holiday on board Azura. "
- Travel date: Mon 3rd of August 2015