I am a regular cruiser who cruises with various companies on small, medium and large ships. Love cruising and always embrace each new adventure with an aim to enjoy myself and have fun.
Aurora: A classic ship with public areas to suit individual wishes - quiet or lively according to preference. A good balance of formal, semi-formal and smart casual evenings.
Activities: Plenty going on from a 'pick and mix' daily programme. For me, as this was a Music Festival at Sea there were regular music slots in the programme which were excellent. Where else can you get top musicians all in one place and experience such a variety of programme in one place? Excellent, excellent, excellent! Also joined the choir under the direction of David Pettit. Again a challenging but very enjoyable experience. You do have a few people who feel they can always organise better and were a bit of pain - but hey, i was on holiday and there to enjoy myself. Not sue why some of these people go away in the first place!
Service: Very good, as always. A friendly crew with a good service ethic.
Cabin: Inside. As expected. Functional and value for money. I spend most of my time out and about around the ship.
Dining: Excellent. Always use buffet for breakfast and lunch and then main dining room for evening meal. You have to get to know your way round the buffet. Choose quieter times for a less hassled experience. The main dining room is excellent. They are turning out meals for about 1,000 people per sitting and I think that they do a fantastic job.
Entertainment: Didn't use much of the regular entertainment on this cruise as mainly attended the music events. However, i did see Gareth Oliver (Ventriloquist) who i must say was one of the best acts I've seen at sea for a very long time. Do go and see him if you come across him. The entertainment officers were hard working and friendly.
Disembarkation: Works smoothly if people do what they are asked! Waiting in Crow's next, very quiet, relaxing and then went to gangway when called. All very smooth.
Not good: Marketing team. What a disastrous marketing strategy! Vantage fares price promise! This has caused more dissatisfaction and grumpiness on board than anything i can remember. Needs a drastic urgent rethink. Of course there will always be some late availability and filling of ships - but the current disparity between what loyal passengers are paying up front and the volume of getaway fares is unsustainable.
Summary: Another very good cruise with P&O. The Music Festival is the icing on the cake! Well done all and thank you! Marketing team - rethink please - you are succeeding in turning people away from P&O.