Aurora is one of the oldest ships in the P&O Cruises fleet (it was launched in 2000), and came out a much-needed £26 million refurbishment at the end of 2014 as the first to carry the new livery, featuring a contemporary version of the Union Flag on its bow, and a blue funnel. This may have disappointed a few P&O Cruises regulars, but it indicates the line's policy to combine a traditional British atmosphere with an up-to-date cruise experience.
New features added in the refurbishment include the Sindhu fine dining restaurant, with an Indian-fusion menu; and the Glass House restaurant and bar, with wines selected by TV presenter Olly Smith, which replaced Cafe Bordeaux. Both these restaurants are on P&O Cruises' twin sisters Azura and Ventura.
The buffet restaurant and Sidewalk Cafe were also completely refurbished and include a new Costa Coffee and Grab & Go counter and flexible "Freedom Dining" in the Medina Restaurant, plus more tables for two; and Marco Pierre White dishes on gala evenings.
The refit has transformed the public rooms and they are now bright and attractive, with exceptionally comfortable seating. But some of the rooms and corridors are distinctly chilly, and there is evidence of minor wear and tear in places, despite the refurbishment which is inevitable with a ship that is now approaching 20 years old.