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Fist Time Crusing and with a baby!

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    Fist Time Crusing and with a baby!

    Hi all, we are looking into going on a cruise with P&O on the Azura to the Fjords in July, having never been on a cruise before we are not sure what to expect. It will be a 7 day cruise from Southampton, been looking at getting a balcony room/cabin as I thought the extra space would be handy, has anyone else done this and how did they find the experience ?

    I understand the Azura is a family ship so I would imagine there will be others on there with babies/small children ? At the moment P&O are offering us about £500 on board spending money and I can get free parking at Southampton, can this money be spent on anything on the ship or is it restricted in anyway, I know you cannot use it towards trip in port etc.

    Can anyone tell me how dinning works and how many places there are to eat ? will these all be included in the price or will some be added extra, can we use the money they are offering to off set any of these extra costs ?

    Any help info would be most welcome!

    #2
    Welcome to the forum, Small tip, if you haven't booked yet and you're flexible with the dates, hang on awhile and the prices are likely to drop, you won't get as much OBC but will save more in the long run (Probably)

    You can spend your OBC on what you like, drinks, in shop items, restaurants even ships tours (unless things have recently changed) basically anything apart from the casino.

    I would think that with a baby and being first time cruisers that you don't need to try any speciality restaurants (unless you really want to as the food will be fine) There are high chairs available. Noddys tea for kids, so if your baby is on solids there are plenty of kids foods between 5 and 6 in the buffet, otherwise just take your child to the MDR and the waiters will get you anything you ask for baby, they are excellent with kids and you'll have a great time.

    Put your tin hat on and ignore anyone who answers this thread with "why do you want to take your baby on a cruise"

    You will encounter some moaners for taking your child in to the dining room, but they are few and far between and 99% of people love to see babys on cruises.

    Enjoy, once you've cruised you won't go back to a land based holiday for a few years, you'll be hooked!

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      #3
      If late July there will be plenty of kids on board as the school holidays would have started. The OBC will go on your account so will gradually be wiped out during the week as you buy drinks and anything from the shops. There are a couple of speciality restaurants that have a cover charge which you can
      use your OBC on, but everything else is included i.e. the Main Dining Room, the buffet, pizza, burgers. We had an inside with 2 kids and had no issues with space, so think you will be absolutely fine with a balcony.
      The fjords are beautiful, good choice for the first cruise, make sure you are up early, wrap up and get up on deck, the sail in is spectacular.

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        #4
        Firstly, children have to be six months (12 months on transatlantic) old before they can cruise. I assume you meet this requirement. P&O have a supervised night nursery where the babies are given cots. It is open from 6pm to 2am. You are expected to have your child settled before leaving but they give you a pager to contact you if there is a problem. Basically, it leaves you free for the evening.
        More details here.

        https://ask.pocruises.com/help/PO/li...childrens_club

        You will be allocated on of the three main restaurants for evening dining depending whether you choose Freedom (dine anytime between 6pm and 9:30pm) or Club dining (fixed time either first or second sitting). I would suggest to go for Freedom as this will give you flexibility with a baby.
        During the day, breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea is served in one or more of the main restaurants. The opening times are in the daily guide. The self service buffet is also open all day and evening and late evening/night for late night snacks. There is also the poolside cafe serving burgers, pizzas, fish and chips etc.
        All of the above is included in your fare and you won't go hungry.
        If you want to splash out for a special occasion, there are the select restaurants which have a cover charge.
        Your on board credit can be used for any on board spend including excursions booked on board (but not booked in advance). Also can be used for auto gratuities, photos, drinks, shops, etc.
        This link tells you what is included in your fare

        https://ask.pocruises.com/help/PO/be.../fare_included
        Brian

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          #5
          Hi, thanks for the replies, regarding the OBC someone who comes in our shop said they did not think you could use it for tours etc

          Are all types of drinks extra, tea, coffee, pop etc or is it just alcoholic drinks that are extra.

          Getting up early will not be a problem, I am up at 4:30am everyday as it is was hoping for a lie in!, what sort of temperatures will it be during the day, I was under the impression low 20's so jeans and T-shirt's ?

          EDIT - Yes she will be 7 months roughly, thats why we were looking at P&O some of the others, Fred Olsen Cruises for example say 1year old.
          Last edited by Arctic, Mansfield; 25th February 2015, 08:07 PM.

          Comment


            #6
            Tea, coffee and biscuits are supplied in tour cabin and replenished twice daily. Tea and coffee is also available 24/7 from machines in the self service buffet. Tea and coffee available with meals. All these at no cost. You pay for Costa coffee in bars.
            Free drinks available at Captains welcome on board party, usually the second night. Only lasts for 30mins so make the most of it. Otherwise all drinks have to be paid for. Prices about the same as a good pub.
            Temperatures in the fjords are a bit variable like the UK so be prepared for anything. It can be quite warm but this is not guaranteed. On our first cruise to Norway in June we had snow.
            Brian

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              #7
              You can get tea or coffee free 24 hours, in the buffet. Its up to you, but we preferred a cabin on one of the upper decks, might have been 14. With kids you are near the pool, kids clubs and buffet area, handy if you need hot water or need to pop in or out of the cabin,.

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                #8
                Hi Arctic,hope you have a great cruise,I'm sure you will.There's lots of useful advice to be found on these boards and the reviews section as well as cruisecritic and crowsnest a P&O forum.Policies have changed over the years as my daughter went on her first cruise at 5 months on a trip to celebrate my parents' golden wedding.She was so small we bathed her in the sink!All the staff made a big fuss of her and most are lovely with young children.
                I'm sure you will have great time,we loved our cruise on Ventura which is almost identical.

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                  #9
                  Hi thanks for the replies, will be giving P&O a call probably tomorrow now to book it, with the deal they are offering for OBC at the moment plus I can get free parking from them at Southampton I think it will be a chance missed if we were to wait.

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                    #10
                    If you are happy with the price, go ahead and book, it maybe cheaper later but then you may not get the choice of cabin or dining times, and with a baby that is important. Enjoy your cruise.

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                      #11
                      just a quick question, I notice the P&O Ventura is slightly cheaper than the Azura and sails 1 week later than we were looking at, that is not a problem, so does anyone know if there are any real differences between the 2 ships ?

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                        #12
                        Biggest difference, and a very major one, is that Ventura has a sliding roof over one of the pools. If I had a choice I would pick Ventura because of this. As well as the warmer swimming and pool area, it also gives you additional seating for breakfast and lunch.

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                          #13
                          Just been reading on another site that the Ventura possibly had a refit last May/June, going to read up some more, maybe I will change ships!

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                            #14
                            I've been on both, and like both. I think Ventura is a little more child friendly than Azura, but which ever one you choose, I'm sure you will have a great time .................................................. .................................................. ......Carol

                            Comment


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