Cruise - Ocean Cruise
A very enjoyable short cruise on a very elegant ship
119 people found this review helpful
Having had two not very good short cruise experiences on Azura and Ventura, we were reluctant to try P&O again but friend suggested we try Aurora and they were right. What a difference we could not believe we were on the same company.
Our weekend short cruise got off to a bad start when we were held up by 3 hours when they closed the M40. We finally got to the terminal just after 4.00 p.m. so we had the fastest check in and boarding process ever, no queues anywhere and our luggage arrived a couple of minutes after we got to our cabin.
We booked a guaranteed balcony cabin and we were a little worried about engine noise when we saw that we had been allocated a cabin towards the aft end on C deck, but we need not have been concerned, as we did not experience any noise or vibration and the air conditioning was much quieter than on many much more modern ships. We found the cabin to be very well designed with a lot of storage space, it was light and airy and whilst the balcony was a "sheltered" style, it was perfect for the sunshine of the Channel Islands. There was no obstruction below us and we were not overlooked from above, both problems that we have encountered on Azura and Ventura. The balcony furniture showed its age but was very comfortable and much better than the more modern ships. The colour of the decor in the shower gave away the age of the ship, but the shower room was very well designed and much larger than on some of the newer ships. Yes, there was the dreaded shower curtain, but the shower was big enough to enable you to avoid being attacked! The cabin furniture was very well designed and provided a lot of space for storage and it did not rattle or squeak whilst at sea. Clearly a lot of thought had gone into design and an example of that was the tea making facilities that were built into a shelf above a cupboard rather than placed on a tray that takes up half of the dressing table. Lighting was excellent in all areas.
Overall, we thought that Aurora was a very elegant and classy ship that looked in excellent condition given her years of service. There are plenty of different rooms to spread passengers throughout the ship, The same is true for the open decks, where there are many sub bathing areas, the three pools and the very spectacular cascading decks at the stern of the ship. This is a real gem that has, regrettably, been lost to more cabins on newer ships. More cabins and less deck space is the classic recipe for overcrowding on sea days. I hope Aurora does not lose this beautiful feature during her refurbishment later this year.
We were very impressed with both the food quality and service in the main dining room, especially at dinner. This was very much better than we had experienced on Azura and Ventura. Really tasty food, served very hot by friendly staff, who can ask for more? The Orangery is a very nicely presented self-service restaurant, the free flow service area is much better than the multi lines on the newer ships, but Brits will be Brits and the inevitable queues made this area very hectic. By contrast, the best kept secret and a little oasis is Cafe Bordeaux. They serve a very acceptable alternative breakfast and lunch menu in a street cafe style venue that seemed to be very under used, even though there is no extra charge for breakfast and lunch. We booked dinner in Cafe Bordeaux but were a bit disappointed as it was nothing better than the main dining room and there was far too much noise from the casino and the sports bar.
Overall we felt that Aurora was a great ship, and the atmosphere was very comfortable and friendly, something we found lacking on the newer P&O ships. This is the first P&O ship we have come away from feeling that we would like to go back and experience her on a longer cruise and it also makes us want to try Oriana.
119 people found this review helpful
This review is solely based on the opinion of a Silver Travel Advisor member and not of Silver Travel Advisor Ltd.