P&O Aurora Review
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
- Tea coffee facilities in room
- Fridge in room
- Can bring food and drink
- Comfy bed and soft sheets
- Controllable air in room can easily make warmer or cooler
- Films in room and cinema
- Easy simple check in
- Friendly helpful staff
- Easy disembarkment at ports of call
- Amazing desserts
What I disliked about the Aurora cruise ship
- Entertainment wasn’t to my taste but the Queen tribute show was great
- Food menu seemed quite repetitive but this was due to there being set dishes that are served every day
- 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
- 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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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.