Best Retirement Home Ever

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We recently took our first P&O cruise on the Aurora, having already cruised with RCI, NCL and Cunard. We enjoyed a lot of aspects of the cruise such as the cinema, the Englishness (even though we didnt expect to enjoy this aspect), the upcharge dining options, the cabins and the casino. The drinks were very reasonable and we didnt feel we were being nickle and dimed. So there were many good points. However, we cruised over Christmas and this may have been a contributing factor to the general age group on the ship. There was a lot of shuffling and walking sticks. The average age was probably around 75. We are in our 40s so didnt really have a huge amount in common with other passengers we spoke to. We chose freedom dining, and visited the MDR on 2 evenings out of 10. Our dining companions were very nice and sociable. The food was a bit miserable. I had high hopes but we were disappointed. We tried afternoon tea one day and again we were disappointed and couldnt understand what all the fuss was about. I think we generally gave up on breakfast too, as it was repetitive. Although we do like a bacon sandwich so we could have made more of breakfast in hindsight. Lunch in the MDR and the buffet was pretty good so this became our preferred complimentary dining option. We ate in Sindhu once, The Beach House twice and The Glass House 5 times. We enjoyed these more intimate experiences despite the (modest) up-charge. We also thought the themed buffets in the evening were good, especially the Indian buffet. The staff warmed up as the cruise progressed but our room steward was pretty curt with us on one occasion and I think generally the staff werent that friendly compared to say NCL. However, we never remove tips, no matter what. Everyone is entitled to an off day. I cant comment on the shows as we didnt see any. We prefer the casino, which was a lot of fun and inexpensive compared to NCL. We would holiday with P&O again but on a larger ship. We have booked the Iona for 2020.

Review Details

Overall Rating:
Cruise Line:
P&O Cruises
Cruise Ship:
Northern Europe

Review Profile

Times cruised before:
December 2018

Cruise Elements:

Quality of Food:
At most in upcharge (good). At least in MDR in the evening (average)
Shore Excursions:
We enjoyed all the ship excursions.
The casino staff
Onboard Activities:
It was ikay. We weren’t wowed.
We thought the cabin was very good indeed.
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