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Review: Azura

Cruise - Ocean Cruise

Cruise converts!

  • By SilverTraveller SilverJan

    2 reviews

  • Nov 2013
  • Partner
  • Regular holiday
  • Balcony

95 people found this review helpful

I always thought I'd hate going on a cruise and that "you need to stay in a place for a while to really say you have been there" but more recently, I came to realise that as everyone I spoke to who had been on a cruise always loved it , so perhaps it was something worth trying!

We decided that if we only did it once we might as well "push the boat out" so went for a balcony cabin, mid-ships and an Atlantic crossing!!.

The cabin was about the size of a Premier Inn room with a 6 ft (very comfy) bed! Tea, coffee and biscuits were topped up regularly and the beds turned down and chocolates on the pillow every night.

There was lots to do – a theatre, spa (which was better than many land based ones), hairdresser , bars, casino, restaurants, shops and daily activities to join in with – or not – as you chose.

I joined a watercolour painting class and my partner joined the Azura Vocalists – we also attended talks about the ports of call, played a game of bingo (hadn't done that since I was little) and had a flutter on the roulette wheel. There was an Art gallery with original paintings and the onboard shops stayed open til late – though a bit surreal shopping in your ballgown! there was also a resident gemologist to enlighten us as to the best jewellery and watches to buy and the shows were enjoyable too.. We especially liked the house band (called Changez) and the Freddy Mercury lookalike and there was a very funny comedian,

We took the Freedom dining option so shared a table with different people each night – some on their 43rd cruise and others, like us, on their first. (Oh, and the food was fantastic and plentiful!) . You could eat 24/7 if you wanted to.

We visited the Azores, Antigua, St Maarten, St Kitts and Barbados and had ample time to undertake an excursion at each and still have time left to mooch around by ourselves.

The highlight of the Islands for me was swimming with the stingrays on Antigua with the photographic tour on Barbados a very close second – we had booked a P&O tour for each Island (being new to cruising) but we noticed that the old hands at cruising went ashore and took taxi's and locally priced tours which was probably more economical …. but at least there weas no risk of the boat going without us by sticking with P & O!.

The only drawback was that we had to fly home and so we were limited as to the amount of luggage we could take. As there were several formal nights where you could (if you wanted to – and most people did) wear dinner suits and long or cocktail dresses this was a bit limiting (had to resign myself to fewer pairs of shoes that would have liked). Going in November also meant that we started in Winter clothes and ended in Summer clothes so had to be a bit clever with layers! Perhaps when I retire we could go both ways by boat and have the luxury of as many pairs of shoes as I care to take!

We enjoyed the experience so much we are now thinking of booking another one this year – so I take back all the comments I have made to people in the past about cruising being "not for me" – I think I might be hooked!

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This review is solely based on the opinion of a Silver Travel Advisor member and not of Silver Travel Advisor Ltd.

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