P&O Aurora review

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P&O Aurora is a mid sized ship, I was very impressed. The ship had been recently refurbished when I went on, it was clean, spacious and generally an excellent ship belonging to the P&O fleet.

No of passengers: 1845 (100 solo passengers) Average age of passengers: 65

Destination Mediterranean Duration: 14 days

Cabin number and location: Front deck 5 inside cabin with double bed

I travelled solo on the Aurora after getting an absolute bargain only a few weeks before sailing. I was home from travelling and I just couldn’t resist the great price. I had been looking at the Aurora around the world itinerary which I would have loved to have done but unfortunately my fund do not stretch to a world cruise. I love how you can see here the Aurora cruise ship location.

This was my first time on a P&O Cruise. I was still quite new to cruising and thought P&O were ferries but I am glad that I have discovered this cruise line as it very British, very friendly and excellent service I cant wait to go on more of these ships.

What I liked about the Aurora cruise ship

  1. Tea coffee facilities in room
  2. Fridge in room
  3. Can bring food and drink
  4. Comfy bed and soft sheets
  5. Controllable air in room can easily make warmer or cooler
  6. Films in room and cinema
  7. Easy simple check in
  8. Friendly helpful staff
  9. Easy disembarkment at ports of call
  10. Amazing desserts

What I disliked about the Aurora cruise ship

  1. Entertainment wasn’t to my taste but the Queen tribute show was great
  2. Food menu seemed quite repetitive but this was due to there being set dishes that are served every day
  3. I missed the chocolate buffet. They had changed the name to enhanced buffet but didn’t make passengers aware that this was the chocolate buffet and I had been really looking forward to it after hearing great reviews from the other passengers
  4. No alcohol packages apart from wine

I think mine was one of the Best Cabins on Aurora

I had an inside cabin and I was a bit concerned that I was going to feel claustrophobic but I didn’t. I loved the fact it was very dark without the lights on. Sometimes I did sleep more during the day as I didn’t know if it was day or night but these were sea day and that’s the time to catch up on your rest, so you have lots of energy for shore days.

My cabin was a similar size to the outside cabins I just didn’t have the window. It was a nice size for me, I don’t know if I would have felt different if I had a companion. I saw an outside window cabin on deck 5 and a balcony on deck 10 and they were the same size. I did however see a deck 10 single front facing window cabin, this was smaller with only one single bed. I would recommend asking for a double for single occupancy rather than actually booking a single cabin.

I had plenty of storage space including hanging and drawers. My suitcase fitted easily into the wardrobe for when I wasn’t using it.

My cabin was at the front on the 5th deck, it was a good location. I was near the end of the corridor so I didn’t have lots of traffic going past. My only issue was being below a theatre and if they had a late night show on and I wanted an early night it would be a little noisy and also when the dancers were practising but it wasn’t a major problem.

My cabin on the aurora cruise ship. I had two single beds pushed together. The decor is a lime green which is more like a snot green

Such a comfortable bed I had trouble leaving it

My steward was excellent. Very attentive, great at cleaning and very friendly. The cabin facilities are great, I had a fridge and a kettle. The fridge was great for keeping water cool and chocolate and it meant I could make myself a drink when I wanted rather than having to go to the restaurants. I know they are not far away but these little things made me want to cruise again with P&O.

Food on the Aurora

I enjoyed the food there was definitely plenty of it and lots of choices. Although in the main dining room at dinner time the menus seemed repetitive but this is because they have merged their P&O favourites into the main menu so it looked like every night was steak or salmon but this was the options that are served every night anyway.

The best thing about these meals had to be the desserts. As a bit of a chocaholic, if I see a chocolate dish on the menu I will automatically go for it. There were a few occasions when the ladies on my tables went without a main course and had a couple of the desserts. Most nights our table requested extra ice-cream and our server got to know this and we all automatically got ice-cream after a few days which was a nice little touch.

the food on the aurora was actually OK. This is a starter of pate with some toast and a sweet jam.

Starter on Aurora

The main dishes on the aurora were also really good. This was fillet beef with roast potatoes and green beans and a light jus.

Main dish on the Aurora Cruise – So good!!

There was an issue with the chocolate buffet as they had changed the name to enhanced buffet on the daily program so people didn’t realise it was the chocolate buffet and missed it. Quite a lot of people were angry about this, as they said it was the highlight of the cruise but I have not been to one so I don’t know what I missed. However when we mentioned this to the restaurant manager he brought us some chocolates as a apology so I was happy.

The food was cooked exceptionally well. You were asked how you would like your meat cooked and it came exactly how you requested it. All food was hot and cooked to perfection. There was only one occasion I didn’t like my meal but that was due to my personal tastes not how it was cooked. They had good curries as majority of the cooks were of Indian origin even the crew were eating in the self service restaurant on curry nights and the Captain so it shows how good they are. There is also an Indian restaurant Sindhu which was exceptional although you do need to pay a £10 surcharge, it is definitely worth it as you get so much food.

aurora review of meals. This was a chicken curry non spicey with some white rice

Another main course, but you do eat a lot on a 14 night cruise!!

They served you the bread instead of putting it on the table. This is mainly for hygiene which was always to a high standard where most things were brought to you with serving irons. The service in the main restaurant was very good. There was one occasion when I asked for another bread roll and got a bit of an attitude from the waiter but it was because he was busy. The dining areas were very clean. The staff worked hard to clean away finished plates and cutlery. Self-service restaurant had lots of choices and everything was behind plastic panels to reduce germs. They had speciality nights and all I wanted to do on this cruise was eat as it was all really tasty.

Tips: have to ask for stilton on cheeseboard they don’t automatically bring it

Entertainment on the Aurora Cruise Ship

The timing of the entertainment needs to be reviewed. It seemed you had to wait ages after dinner the first show is at 9.30. I was on early dinner at 6, you need to be out of the restaurant at 8.30 though they want you out about 8 so that then an hour and a half to wait around lots of occasions I didn’t even bother. The shows that I did see however were entertaining.

P&O Aurora sailaway party. This is a image of the back end of the ship where the passengers are waving union jack flags as gthe cruiseship sails out of port

Waving my flag at the sailaway

I really enjoyed the sail away parties I had never experienced this before. It was a little cheesy but lots of fun. The entertainment staff sang and danced out on deck as we sailed away in the sunshine. Apparently as we were leaving Gibraltar you can normally spot dolphins but I didn’t see any on this occasion.

Additional information about the Aurora Cruise ship

  • I really enjoyed this Aurora cruise and I would definitely go on a P&O Aurora cruise again and would like to try the other ships in this fleet. A lot of the passengers seemed seasoned cruisers and they were saying that the ship was lacking compared to previous P&O Aurora cruises for example the menus had changed and were not as fancy but as this was my first time I didn’t notice this.
  • There were a few shops in the middle foyers that sold duty free, a clothes shop, bags and chocolate.
  • Can have Horlicks and hot chocolate as room service though not advertised
  • Sewing kits available from reception if needed
  • They gave you presentation pack of the daily menus at the end of the cruise which I thought was a nice gesture. Each night you got a chocolate on your pillow, sweets in your room and a fresh flower but if these little extras lead to extra costs I would prefer to have a better deal on my cruise than these.
  • On the last night at dinner they had a passenger play bagpipes for the behind the scenes crew to come out to get a round of applause for helping keep us fed all cruise.

Gratuities: £5 per day

Drinks: reasonable price and a great selection

Excursions: A little expensive but organised well

Internet: £42 not worth it (I bought a package but it went over and I wasn’t aware, I found it better to use wifi in ports)

Since writing this review I have been on the Oriana another P&O cruise and I am keeping an eye out for more bargains as I think this is currently my favourite cruise line.

More articles by Travel to Recovery

Oriana Cruise Spa Review

50 Things to do on the Oriana Cruise Ship

How to combat sea sickness

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Article originally posted in Aug 2016 and has been updated Nov 2017 with more details. I have updated this article as I wrote it when I was just starting blogging but now my writing skills are improving and I have added some extra information.



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56 thoughts on “P&O Aurora review”

  1. I have been on this particular cruise on Aurora. I also found most of the staff to be very polite and friendly especially the cabin steward and the restaurant waiters.

    The meals in the restaurant were nice but as said the menu did appear repetitive because the ‘staples of salmon, steak etc’ were included in the menu rather than being stand alone orders which was the case before.

    On my particular trip I was disappointed in the Themed nights in the self service restaurant. During the day they had some excellent well spiced curries but on the Asian/Indian/Thai nights they seemed to be much milder to accommodate a wider palate. But my feeling are that if you don’t like Asian/Indian/Thai food stay in the main restaurant or just eat the roast dinner option which was alway an option in the self serve restaurant .

    One evening I joined a group of travellers and dined in one of the speciality restaurant . You do have to pay a nominal fee… I think it was about £10 but the food was excellent, so I did’t mind paying the extra.

    Another issue I had on my particular trip was the attention/service from the waiters in the self service restaurant. … it was a bit lacking. On many occasions my starter plate remained on the table even after I had left the table, queued for my main meal and returned to eat my main meal. If the adjacent table was empty I would just put my plate on that but if it was occupied I had to eat with it still on the table taking up valuable space. I definitely got the feeling that they were under staffed. (Rumours circulated that staff had been moved over to the flag ship Britania)

    Overall I enjoyed the ship and the trips I did with the them ( Rome/inside the Colosseum, and Pompeii). Both trips were well organised and I got to see everything I wanted to see. At other locations I chose to use the hop on hop off buses which were available as soon as you got off the ship and offered good value for money for a general rather than specialised view of the location.

    Would I travel with P&O again… yes if the price was right!!!

  2. I have to admit that am not a cruise person. The only cruise I ever took was years ago while I was still in college. Recently, staying near Lisbon with a balcony facing the ocean, I was watching cruise ships of all sorts and sizes coming and going right in front of my eyes. This got me curious about how do they look inside these days. Seems like not many changes (at least, for a mid-sized ship). I guess, besides the internet connection cruise companies found the golden formula decades ago. Interestingly, lack of window could be an advantage: sleeping longer in the morning in a dark room.

  3. I have only been on one cruise and would love to go again for more than just two nights. I will defo not be using the internet especially at that price.

  4. Sounds like there were quite a few things you thought should be improved on but you were on the sea so it could not have been all bad. I have never cruised and never really wanted too. Seems to take to long and then not enough time in a location. I much prefer the slow method of trave.

  5. I haven’t been on a cruise yet but I would love to spend a few days on a ship, while cruising and just relaxing. Tomorrow I am actually going to cross the English Channel to France, on a big ferry, and I am quite excited about it.

  6. Cruising long distances is something I look forward to doing sometime. Thanks for the review. I was hoping you would share what you experienced other than the food and cabin in your trip across the Mediterranean for 14 days as well. That would also have been interesting..Perhaps on another post…

  7. I have never been on a cruise and I have to admit that Id rather save it up for some other time. would I like to go on one? Yes but not at the moment. I prefer travelling in train, bus , or even walking (Sadly I dont know cycling else that would be included too ). But it was nice reading your experience. I think everything has some good and some bad points. I hope they can reorganise their menu and provide better entertainment in the future from the feedbacks that they get. Theres always a scope for improvement. 🙂

  8. This is a great review about Po Aurora. I would like to take a cruise trip again. Thanks for sharing! And I’m sorry about the chocolate buffet.

  9. That looks like so much fun! I’ve never been on a cruise but I would like to go. I’m also a choco-holic so the chocolate buffet sounds great to me! And I love that little swan.

  10. 599£ for 14 days??? OMG, that’s a super interesting price! I should look at P&O cruises since I love travelling on a cruise.

  11. This is the ships review I use this format for all my reviews and then I will write a detailed post about the actual ships destinations

  12. What a wonderful review! The cruise definitely looks fun, and I’m writing a cruise review for my blog too so this post definitely gave ideas on what to cover. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  13. This was a great thorough review! I haven’t been on a cruise before, but my dream is to do a South Pacific cruise to Bora Bora, Tahiti and other islands in the area. This information is very helpful.

  14. Great review .. a lot of information I got after reading this. quite interesting and it wants to try. This is truly amazing.

  15. I love going on cruise ships with my family! I’ve never gone on this line of ships but I always want to try new ones to change it up a little bit.

  16. Seems like a lot of fun but am really sorry about the food. I think that is important given that you are at their mercy. I hope that they get that right soon.

  17. I have never done a cruise before but aspire to one day. I love that cruises are often tailored for a specific audience and really work hard at making everyone feel like royalty.

  18. Nice review. I have never been on a cruise so I satisfy myself through these reviews :
    I do like the food options though, I mean the photos look quite nice

  19. Thanks for this very thorough review of P & O Aurora cruise ship. I have only cruised with Carnival so it is good to get insight into other cruises as well. I would particularly enjoy the Enchanced buffet night as I am a fan of chocolate just like you! I would like to do a Meditarrean cruise as well some day so I will keep this line in mind when it comes time to plan my trip.

  20. I have limited experience on cruise ships, but I found that if you don’t like the food, they’ll happily take it away and get you something else, or they’ll work with you (if it’s not a busy time) to get you something. I would be happy to be on a ship stocked with Indian cooks–maybe one can just ask them to make something different for you.

  21. Great price for 14 days, it looks like you enjoyed it overall! I’ve never been in a cruise before but I’d love to do that someday, hopefully in the Caribbean islands

  22. I love clear, honest, thorough reviews like this. It’s so complete with all the likes and dislikes – I would have been upset to miss the chocolate buffet — enhanced buffet doesn’t mean anything :O Overall it seems like really great value (minus the wifi – a bit expensive!)

  23. It was so interesting to read you and your likes and dislikes. i’ve never been on such a cruise, but now I know what to expect what I don’t. I feel like it’s a particular choice, but it damn may worth it tho!

  24. Personally I haven’t had a great experience on a cruise, I start feeling very sick and claustrophobic cause of small rooms and less space. But you mention not feeling that way, which is great!

  25. I don’t know much about the kids clubs on cruise ships I’m afraid as I don’t have children but there wasn’t many children apart from babies on this cruise so there are probably better cruise lines to cater for kids. I have been on a NCL and they had fantastic things for kids

  26. Such a detailed review you have written! I was particularly excited about the chocolate buffet <3 And the price seems quite reasonable to me!

  27. Great post ! Ive only been in one cruise from New York to Bermuda and I loved it! I would love to go on this Mediterranean cruses I heard all about! Thats a very helpful review you wrote here!

  28. Honestly, I am not a big fan of cruises. But it is a good way to travel comfortably from port to port. And the rooms here look quite comfy for a cruise. And the price also seems to be very good. 🙂

  29. I’m kind of the same as Subhadrika – I’ve never been on a cruise before, as I prefer flying or travelling by train, if possible. I do want to try it at some point, but not just yet! £599 for a two week holiday is a great price, though, no wonder you couldn’t resist the temptation! And it’s great to hear you had a lovely time 🙂

  30. The food does look amazing – shame that the menu was repetitive.
    I would also be worried that an inside room would feel claustrophobic, so it is great to hear a review to say that is is not so bad – and that it actually helped with extra sleep!

  31. Oh, boo! I’m sorry you missed the chocolate buffet! The first cruise I went on had midnight chocolate buffet so we had to stay up for it. Totally worth it to see chocolate in every form and shape.

    I’ve only been on a few cruises and the most recent was a Disney cruise this summer with the kids. It was very impressive but I have wondered what a smaller vessel and experience would be like. This one sounds lovely.

  32. What a jewel! This is the perfect post for me since we are Cruise ship fans since many years already… The Aurora We haven’t tried yet, but as far as I can read from your experience here. Maybe the average age of 65 could be a bit “disturbing” but yeah… we all don’t get younger 😉
    599GBP for 14 days is fantastic – what a deal!

  33. I saw one of the Disney ships in port in florida and it sounded lots of fun they played the jungle book as they were leaving port

  34. I always thought it would be claustrophobic but I never really notice now and would rather save some pennies so I can go on more cruises lol

  35. I’ve actually never been on a cruise although most people rave about them (and always mention how much food there is!). Glad you enjoyed your vacation and experience in a new cruise ship – sometimes you just don’t know how it’s going to turn out. Just wondering – which ports of call did the ship go to?

  36. Thanks for taking me on a cruise trip via your post. I have never been on one, and it is my dream. Must say your post is so detailed that I thought I almost took the trip 🙂

  37. I’ve never been on a cruise before but I’ve always loved the idea of going to sleep in one place and waking up somewhere completely different. The bedrooms seem less cramped than I would’ve expected and the food looks of a higher standard than I would have thought. Thanks for the review!

  38. I’ve been on a few cruises years ago and reading this made me want to go on a cruise again! First of all, wow what a bargain! That is a steal for 14 days. Secondly, your room seems quite spacious. I’ve been on Royal Caribbean and Norwegian cruises and loved both, but from what I remember our rooms were not as spacious as yours appears to be here. We always opted for the rooms with windows, but in retrospect there is no point since most of the time we weren’t in our rooms, and when we were it was usually nighttime and we couldn’t see out the window anyway. Now I’m looking forward to going on another cruise!

  39. What was it like to cruise solo? I’ve always wanted to do that but never knew or even heard of anyone who actually did it. It sounds like you had a nice time – although I’m sure the entertainment was indeed cheesy. Lol

  40. I love cruising solo. Some cater better than others, a lot of cruiselines have solo gatherings but I am generally the youngest lol. Ive made some good friends from cruising

  41. I thought I wouldn’t like a inside cabin sometimes its a bit strange not being able to look outside to see what the weather is like but I just turn the tv on a look at the outside camera on the ships channel lol

  42. That is the best thing you go to sleep and don’t have to worry about sleeping in and missing your stop or anything lol

  43. Your review made me realise that I should really go on a cruise in 2017 as I haven’t been on one yet. Pity that you and others missed the chocolate buffet, nice of the to try make it up to you though. The internet costs seems really high though, I would have expected that it would be inclusive.

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