I have never been on a P&O ship before so when I was asked if I would like to attend training with P&O, Princess and Cunard followed by a one-day holiday onboard Azura I jumper at the chance.
The 2.5-hour drive down to Southampton was stress-free, unlike some of my colleagues that had a 5.5-hour journey due to junctions being closed on the Motorways.
The training was fun and informative and I was looking forward to my one-day holiday onboard Azura the next day.
After checking out of our hotel we headed to the port and parked in the short-stay car park. If you have ever used the Stress-Free parking you first drop your bags off in the baggage lanes then drive over to the short-stay car park where you drop your car off for it to be taken away until your return. As you can see from the photo below you don’t have very far to walk to the ship.
After going through security we headed onboard and began our tour of this lovely little ship. We started with viewing a few cabins, the first being a Peninsular Suite on deck 7 and I could spend a week or two in here. These are fully air-conditioned with two lower beds that convert to a queen-size bed. Bathrooms have a walk-in shower and a whirlpool bath. The lounge area has a sofa and chairs plus a dining table, perfect for private dining or for inviting friends round to join you for a drink and relaxation on the enormous balcony.
We then viewed an Inside cabin and a partially-obstructed view cabin on deck 4. Although there was a lifeboat in front of the window it didn’t spoil your view as much as I thought it would and if you are on a budget but want some natural light then this may be the perfect solution. Again these are air-conditioned with beds that can convert to a queen-size bed and has a shower only.
We then visited the Epicurean Restaurant which you can dine in for a cover charge where they prepare some of your food table-side. This is a premium restaurant and the food doesn’t disappoint.
If you fancy treating yourself to a little something special then why not book for Afternoon Tea by Eric Lanyard which takes place on selected sea days in the Epicurean.
Other dining rooms are the Meridian which is one of the Main ones offering Flexible Freedom dining for Dinner. The Peninsular Main Dining is Club Dining at night as well as offering open-seating waiter service for Breakfast and for Lunch and Afternoon Tea.
The other Main Dining Room Restaurant is the Oriental which is for more Formal Dining in the Evenings. This is where we had lunch. We had a sample menu to choose from and I had the lamb chops but I don’t like polenta so they accommodated my request to have the vegetables from the beef medallion option instead. Anything, within reason, is possible on a cruise ship!
There are no shortages of places to eat onboard from the Poolside Pizzaz & Ice Cream Bar to the Verona (Italian Self-Service) to the Glass House (Olly Smith Restaurant, Seafood and Steak House), Venezia which is the main Self-Service Restaurant to Sindhu (Atul Kochhar Celebrity Restaurant) which is where I would definitely choose to dine as a special treat. This is where we tried a few tapas-sized dishes and a restaurant that fuses Indian and British cuisine.
With all this food onboard you may want to burn off a few calories in the gym which is probably one of the biggest ones I’ve seen onboard a ship and very well equipped. They also offer Health Seminars.
There is plenty to keep you occupied onboard, you could relax by the pool or on deck, take part in the daily activities on sea days, watch a movie by the pool or relax in the Adult-Only Retreat (for a charge), play at the Casino or play a game of pool or watch sport in Brodies Bar.
After spending the day on Azura it was time to disembark whilst the ship and passengers prepared to set sail to the beautiful Fjords.
Have you been on Azura before?
I have only touched the surface of what Azura has to offer!
If you would like to know more about Azura please contact me and I will be more than happy to share my experience with you.