Pleasantly Suprised

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My Wife and I thoroughly enjoyed our repositioning cruise on Azura, Caribbean to Southampton, P&O seems to attract very mixed reviews so undertook this voyage with a little trepidation. However from boarding our TUI flight from Birmingham to arriving back in Southampton, had a thoroughly enjoyable time. Very smooth embarkation, no customs or baggage collection on landing in Barbados, luggage appeared in our cabin 1/2 hour after we had boarded Azura in Bridgetown. Our Cabin B754 was at the stern (we will always look to book a stern located cabin in future), well fitted with a small but adequate bathroom, our cabin steward Teo was simply superb, a credit to P&O. The balcony was a good size and not overlooked and we found overall this cabin position was quiet and very private. The ship was in very good condition and all the staff we came into contact were very helpful. The entertainment was varied and in general of a high standard. The speakers were, in particular, interesting and covered a wide subject matter. I used the gym every day which was well equipped. Interestingly, the Oasis pool was more often than not deserted, with just the two of us enjoying the pool. We enjoyed the Planet Bar, nice ambience, the drinks prices on board were comparable with UK hotel prices. In Barbados we walked the length of Carlisle Bay to the Hilton then walked back with a tour of Bridgetown. In St Lucia, we booked with P&O for the Sapphire Falls, Rain Forest Walk, this was an excellent excursion with a very knowledgeable local guide, you do need to be reasonably fit (I am 71), but if you are up for it I would thoroughly recommend this trip. Again in Antiqua we booked with P&O for Nelson's Dockyard with lobster lunch, I would book a local taxi for this trip as the time allowed for visiting Nelson's Dockyard was too short. In St Maarten we booked a beach day with Aqua Mania at Divi Little Bay Beach Resort. Aqua Mania, pick you up from the dock next to the cruise terminal and take you by boat to the Little Bay Resort. At the resort you get two sun loungers, a parasol, snorkel gear, and either use of a kayak or peddle boat. If you want a quiet, safe and secure beach day with full resort facilities then this is a good option. Our final port of call was Ponta Delgado in the Azores. We chose to wander round the town visiting the Botanical Gardens, a very unspoilt town. Back on board we had opted for 'any time' dining, which suited us. The food in the MDR was always hot and well cooked, though I thought the menus somewhat bland, the exceptions being the two gala evenings, when it was if the Chefs had had the hand brake taken off their menus! Sindhu's was excellent and well worth the cover charge, however the Epicurean was disappointing, all show but the standard of the cooking was below the MDR. As to the Beach House, the food was disgusting and sent back, the Maitre D was very professional and wiped out the cover charge and offered to cook a steak in front of me. My wife advised her meal was ok. It's possible I was just unlucky and this experience certainly did not change my overall view of the cruise. We both found the self service areas slightly confusing, with various sections opening and closing, also the choice of food was somewhat limited. Our fellow passengers were all very pleasant, and contributed to a most enjoyable cruise.For us a 4 out of 5 stars cruise, would not hesitate to book with P&O again, in particular the repositioning cruise suited us very well. One final tip, we booked a one way car hire with Hertz, (Southampton to Stratford upon Avon) cheaper than the Train and Hertz pay for your Taxi from the cruise terminal to their Southampton Office.

Review Details

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

Review Profile

Times cruised before:
March 2019
Annual/regular holiday

Cruise Elements:

Quality of Food:
The MDR, food overall good though somewhat Bland, Sindhu's was excellent, Epicurean, not worth the cover charge and the Beach House poor. The self service areas, slightly confusing, the food was always hot, though somewhat limited choice
Thoroughly enjoyed the shows, speakers and cabaret entertainers
Shore Excursions:
Shore excursions provided by P&O varied from excellent to ok, Sapphire Falls, Rain Forest trek was excellent and if you are fit would recommend.
Onboard Activities:
The Gym was excellent
Cabin B754exceeded our expectations, love a stern cabin
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