Aurora
Ranked #27 of 133 cruise ships

A large vessel of superior rating. Built in 2000. The Aurora carries a maximum of 1950 passengers in 939 cabins, 410 of which have balconies and 245 having ocean views. 22 cabins are accessible to disabled passengers.

Cabins are of reasonable size and feature twin beds which are convertible to Queens size, TV, fridge and air conditioning.

Entertainment features two show lounges, library and casino. Sports facilities include fitness centre, steam room and sauna as well as golf driving nets, basketball and volleyball.


5/5
Aurora Aurora is rated 5 out of 5 from 38 Reviews
95% of users recommend this cruise ship
Review Overview (38 reviews)

Cleanliness 5 stars
Entertainment  stars
Food 5 stars
Staff 5 stars

Aurora Reviews

3/5
3

H Bancroft MBE cruised on April 2011
We were kept waiting in the Mayflower Terminal for over 1 hour before we could board the vessel.
When we finally arrived on board, as usual with P & O, the cabins were not ready, When finally we reached our balcony cabin we found it to be quite roomy, but rather dated and in need of some maintenance. The balcony was small and not very clean, there were biscuit crumbs in the floor covering, the chairs had old wooden frames and the cushions were faded & grubby.
The ship seemed to be showing it\'s age, two public toilets were not in use throughout the cruise,in the theatre some seats were broken ...
there was constant painting going on around the ship.
The food was the biggest problem, we dined in the Alexandra Restaurant and at times the food was reminiscent of school dinners, Baked Rice Pudding with Jam, Baked Apple, Stuffed Marrow were on the menu and there was Shoulder of \"Lamb\" which was so fatty that most people could not eat it. The food itself was poorly cooked, Chicken Breast was chewy and the steak was almost too tough to cut.
The Orangerie was shabby and there Semolina Pudding was one of the desserts on offer!, the choice of cold dishes was very limited and altogether the food was inferior to food we have had on any cruise ship.
The staff were all brilliant,especially the Table Waiters who were always willing to change dishes when they were not very good.
The entertainment in the theatre was the usual cruise
standard, the one bright spot was the singer Will Martin, he was the best entertainer we have seen on any cruise
We would not sail on this ship again.
We had been booked for a year and had paid the full priceof over £6000 for our 3 week cruise, and we felt we did not receive value for money.
We were told that some of the passengers had come on \"special offer deals\" two for the price of one etc.if this was the case then I suppose they would not grumble

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Tour Operator: Booked direct with P & O

Recommended: Yes
Review Rating

Cleanliness
3 stars
Entertainment
2 stars
Food
2 stars
Staff
 stars

5/5
5

gilli cruised on January 2011
world cruise. We booked 18 months ahead and greatly enjoyed the preparation , choosing trips at our ports of call which proved to be good value. We went the whole way round and did suffer home sickness from time to time but the wonderful staff and fellow travellers made this a trip of a life-time.

The entertainment staff team worked tirelessly and had us laughing and clapping and dancing at every sail away. meals we usually took in the alexandria restaurant the service was good but a little slow the food really good especially the puddings.

The horizon self service was handy , we did complain about undercooked bacon but ...
found that comments were taken on board and improvements happened quickly.

The headliners shows were brilliant, they just seemed to get better and better. some of the seats were past their best and to be sure of a seat we needed to get there 20 minutes early or sit on the floor.

Our state room was adequate but a little more hanging space would be welcome on a 95 day cruise.

to us the tea/coffee making facilities were essential and one of the reasons we chose P&O for our Grand Tour-

Thanks P&O

We look forward to booking another cruise asap.

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Tour Operator: coop

Recommended: Yes
Review Rating

Cleanliness
5 stars
Entertainment
4 stars
Food
5 stars
Staff
 stars

5/5
5

Karen Cooke cruised on December 2010
Just got back from Christmas cruise to the Caribbean on the Aurora. Had a fantastic time a she is a lovely ship. The weather wasn\'t as good as I had hoped but that wasn\'t the ships fault.
The ship was very clean and they were always painting bits as we were going along. The food in the Medina restaurant was great. Breakfast in the Orangery was OK but sometimes a bit busy, lovely cakes here in the afternoon. The food in Cafe Bordeaux was good but the service was slow.
I thought the entertainment team worked hard. The theatre shows were good, lots of things going ...
on such as craft, singing and dancing classes. Did some good quizzes in the afternoon and joined the Aurora vocalists which was fun.
One or two gripes though. Everything finished too early in the evening especially New Years Eve. You were just getting into things and then they wrapped up at 12.15am which isn\'t long when you are on late sitting for dinner. Sometimes the guests were really enjoying themselves but the entertainment still finished and all you had then was the night club (not my cup of tea). Also they were a bit mean in your cabins. The soap was wafer thin before it was replaced and shampoo etc wasn\'t re stocked. Also a poor beverage tray (tea & coffee only)nice biscuits though. Also people reserving deck chairs got me down sometime a book & a pair of sunglasses enjoyed their rest on one for hours (while their owner was probably having lunch)a notice was put in the ships magazine about not doing this but it did not make any difference.
Overall though had a fantastic holiday and if you haven\'t cruised before they are good fun.

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Tour Operator: P&O

Recommended: Yes
Review Rating

Cleanliness
5 stars
Entertainment
4 stars
Food
5 stars
Staff
 stars

5/5
5

anon. cruised on July 2010
right all you negative commenters, i had a FANTASTIC time onboard Auroura, they work damm hard to ensure your holiday is the best it can be and all you can do is complain. it\'s stupid the amount of people that go on holidays only to find the negatives. The food was excellent and the waiters and chef were superb. Even when passengers drive them crazy they still put on a smile.

Tour Operator: P&O auroura

Recommended: Yes
Review Rating

Cleanliness
5 stars
Entertainment
5 stars
Food
5 stars
Staff
 stars

5/5
5

jane cruised on May 2010
My mum and I had not previously sailed with P&O (both previous cruises were with Cunard). We had heard bad things from some people about standards, but we were pleasantly surprised. The food was very good especially in the Medina and Cafe Bordeaux. The buffet was nicer in the evening when it was quieter than at lunchtime when far too many people in there. The onboard entertainment was superb too - especially the Headliners\' shows. All of the entertainment crew made sure we had fun and we enjoyed spending time with them and the friends we made at the quizzes and line dancing. Some of the people who go on these cruises seem to like nothing better than to find fault and to moan about anything and everything - my only complaint would be far too many old and miserable English people.

Tour Operator: P&O

Recommended: Yes
Review Rating

Cleanliness
5 stars
Entertainment
5 stars
Food
4 stars
Staff
 stars

3/5
3

johndoe cruised on December 2009
hi...we sailed on the aurora on the 19th of dec till the 5th of jan (christmas/new year).
the ship in most places was very clean there was however certain places that had not seen a brush or cleaning cloth.
the food in the medina was quite good, but the same cannot be said for the orangery,the buffet food served there was of a very poor standard,the breakfast fried food was nearly always look warm and the presentation was very poor,.
the lunch was very poor also (why oh why)cant they have food that should be hot be served hot, the night dinner served in there when we used it was as bad ...
.
what is the matter with p.and o. they used to be suberb,they have some of the worst meals we have ever had on a cruise ship.
the ship crew were very good always ready to help cannot praise them enough.
the on board entertainment was also poor,the day time hosts were just not interested in making sure you had a good time ,the way thet spoke to some of the passengers whilst doing the quizzes or the whist e.t.c was terrible it was like they were talking to unruly children instead of grown people .

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Tour Operator: p and o
Review Rating

Cleanliness
4 stars
Entertainment
1 stars
Food
3 stars
Staff
 stars

3/5
3

reg briggs cruised on December 2009
I AM 77 WIFE 72 BOOKED ON AURORA FOR CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR CRUISE 2009/10.DONE P AND O CRUISES BEFOR BUT THINK THIS SHIP IS THE POOR RELATION OF THE FLEET.
WE HAD CABIN C101 NO ONE TOLD US THIS WOULD BE NOISEY,AFTER FOUR DAYD THE NIGHT SUPERVSOR INFORMED US IT WAS FROM THE CURZON THEATRE,THE BAND,NEW YEARS EVE NO SHOW INSTEAD THEY PUT ON A FILM.DECK PARTY,RUBBISH,BAND COULD NOT CONNECT EQUIPMENT.WE OBSERVED PARTY FROM 2ND LEVEL,AFTER ONE AND A HALF HOURS NO WAITED HAD BEEN NEAR US TO ASK IF WE WANTED A DRINK.ON LEAVING NEAT THE LIFTS WE INFORMED OTHER PASSENGERS IT WAS ROTTON,A WELL DRESED LADY THEN SAID ...
THEY SHOULD SHOOT THE CHEF,THE STANDARD OF FOOD WAS FAR BELOW THAT OF OTHER P AND O CRUISE LINERS.NOISEY CHILDREN,INFORMED TO SING LOUDER WHEN PASSENGERS WERE DRESSED FOR DINNER IN THE PUBLIC AREARS,NOISEY CHILDREN IN THE SHOWS.JUMPING ON THE STAIRS,CHANGING SEATS,NO I AM NOT A CHILD HATER WE HAD FIVE OF OUR OWN.DIRTY DECK AREAS,DOORS SECURED ALL THE TIME,SUN BEDS AND DECK CHAIRS SECURED SEEMED TO BE A LACK OF DECK CREW.COMPLAINED TO PAND O ON RETURN WAS OFFERED £270 SO WILL REPORT MATTERS TO ABTA.we like this cruise line but a lot went wrong on this cruise,maybe because there was a lot of oldies on board.i could go on and on but does it do any good.i have never heard so much adverse comments as on this cruise against PANDO

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Tour Operator: P&O

Recommended: Yes
Review Rating

Cleanliness
4 stars
Entertainment
1 stars
Food
1 stars
Staff
 stars

4/5
4

Michael johnson cruised on May 2009
My wife and I loved our first cruise and look forward to another. The crew were excellent as were the waiters in Alexandria (especially Clive and Vinay).

Our only grouse was the fact that having paid for an outside cabin with a balcony (C248) we were unable to enjoy sitting out on it as the people in cabins both sides of us smoked liked chimneys. We therefore had to keep our Patio door closed as their smoke invaded our cabin!! Incidently I have since complained to P&O about this and so far NO RESPONSE!!!
I am not sure if I agree with the tipping policy onboard as I would have hoped that P&O would have paid their employees good salaries. They definately deserved good recompense, all of them.


Tour Operator: Gill

Recommended: Yes
Review Rating

Cleanliness
5 stars
Entertainment
3 stars
Food
4 stars
Staff
 stars

4/5
4

Rod Pettet cruised on February 2009
Despite the major breakdown and consequent hold up in Auckland, the Aurora is a fine seaworthy ship, taking the heaviest seas with aplomb. It is a very clean ship indeed and the staff could not have been better. The Captain was first class juggling all sorts of conflicting demands with good grace.

Smoking was still allowed on the portside of the crows nest bar, which spoilt things for the majority of patrons who were non smokers. I hope this has been rectified by now. Also the Crows Nest used to close too early at night. Odd for such a fantastic venue.

I sailed from Brisbane to Southampton via the Panama Canal, ...
an experience not to be missed. I would like to do the voyage the other way via Suez someday.

On a short trip the food no doubt would be considered excellent, but on a half world trip I found it and the formality all a bit too much in the last few weeks.

If you like club type entertainment it\'s there every night for you. Not for me. Once again it was obvious the Aurora was really intended for short cruises as the inship TV entertainment was repeated and repeated and repeated.

DIY laundry facilities were often crowded but the ships laundry service was excellent and not too expensive.

On a shore visit I contracted a nasty virus and can testify to the excellent and doctors and medical staff in the sick bay!

There was quite a good gym, but I seemed to be the wrong sex/age for the instructor to bother with me. I would also recommend not paying extra for the health club which I thought represented poor value for money.

The practice of tipping staff at the end of a trip or \'leg\' needs looking at. Some very deserving staff get easily overlooked. Some other cruise lines don\'t have tipping. A better idea for all.

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Tour Operator: RACQ Travel

Recommended: Yes
Review Rating

Cleanliness
5 stars
Entertainment
3 stars
Food
3 stars
Staff
 stars

4/5
4

Kate cruised on December 2008
Went on the Aurora Christmas and New year Carribean cruise - this was a lovely cruise... across the atlantic was a bit hairy on the way out. We had a suite which was great in the fine weather but If you are prone to sea sickness ONLY get a suite at the midships it seems crazy that they have put the suites and penthouses at the front ( the butler told us that in bad weather EVERYONE gets sea sick in then front suites).
Butler was brilliant.
Food was nice and plenty of it (not 5 star).Cafe Boudeaux was vey nice and service was good. I hated the orangery chips and sliding ...
your tray along not my idea of fine food (canteen food)
Was VERY dissappointed in the kids club for 2-4years as the girls that ran it seemed more interested in the older kids and often grouped my 3 year old in with 5-7 year olds which was crazy - but as they were busy braiding each other hair and eating ice creams who has time to look after 3 year olds
It was a lovley cruise but if your used to the relais chateaux type service and dining you might be dissappointed.
One formal night they let children wearing football shirts and shorts into the main resturant made me glad i\'d spent £500 on my dress (ha ha)

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Tour Operator: P&O
Review Rating

Cleanliness
5 stars
Entertainment
3 stars
Food
3 stars
Staff
 stars

5/5
5

mick & janice clark cruised on October 2008
just come back from the carib,what a fantastic holiday,this was our 3rd cruise,1st on aurora what a ship,captain and all crew are so nice,food fantastic,entertainment was very good,if you want to see the carib do it on a cruise with p&o its the best,wake up every morning at a different island.went with my sister and her husband,will be back on the aurora again.thank you for a fantastic holiday.

Tour Operator: co-op

Recommended: Yes
Review Rating

Cleanliness
5 stars
Entertainment
5 stars
Food
5 stars
Staff
 stars

5/5
5

Carole Clinton cruised on May 2008
1 reader found this review helpful

I sailed from Southampton on 6th May 2008 on the Baltic Capitals and St Petersburg cruise. From the minute of boarding the coach at Liverpool (didn\'t see cases until in cabin) to getting off again 2 weeks later, I had the time of my life. This cruise isn\'t really suited for children or younger people wanting late night discos, surfing and ice skating so the passengers were more \'senior folk,\' shall we say? Well I\'m 49 and enjoyed the quiet and refinement of such a wonderful ship and people. We had in inside cabin which was truly excellent. The cost of upgrading to a balcony would, ...
in effect, be nearly the cost of another cruise so why bother? Our steward always seemed to be accessible without actually being in the way. Anyway, we hardly spent any time in there apart from getting ready for dinner each evening. One night, after a particularly long day ashore in St Petersburg, we decided to dine early in the Orangery (buffet restaurant)and have a night in with the telly and a film. About 8.45 our steward rang our cabin phone to see if we were all right and not ill, as we had not gone down for dinner. Reassuring, if you think there were many people travelling alone and could be quite poorly and not able to contact anyone. We were on a table for 8 and our companions were of a similar age and we all got on so well we often went to the odd quiz after dinner, or a show and then a drink in the Crow\'s Nest. We dined at the 8.30 sitting in the Medina Restaurant. Our waiters were so nice and thoroughly well mannered, nothing was too much trouble. Even the wine waiter, knew our names and requirements and always said hello to us when she was on duty in other bars. Entertainment was good with the new Headliners Theatre Company. The singers and dancers were wonderful and the shows were all packed to the hilt twice nightly when they were on. Obviously they weren\'t on every night, only every other night with a \'special\' thrown in late on in one of the other entertainment rooms, ie., Queen and Abba nights. Other nights in 700 seater Curzon Theatre there were comedians or singers on, which suited the clientele of the ship. On these nights, we chose to go to a quiz night or just chilled in the many bars to live music. The organisation of the trips ashore was done so professionally, it didn\'t even compare to the way we were treated on a previous cruise with different cruise line. We went to Oslo, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Tallin, St Petersburg, Helsinki, Gydinia and Bruges. My favourite place was actully Bruges, with Copenhagen and St Petersburg next.
For anyone contemplating a cruise with P&O please try Aurora - you won\'t be disappointed.

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Tour Operator: P & O

Recommended: Yes
Review Rating

Cleanliness
5 stars
Entertainment
5 stars
Food
5 stars
Staff
 stars

5/5
5

Summer cruised on October 2007
All in all, we have 15 cruises under our belt on different ships - trying to catch up with our in laws who have 50! We have traveled on Aurora 3 times and besides the QM2, is our favorite ship. We took our sons girlfriend on Aurora for her first time and even though she is travel sick at a mere motion, she coped very well and really, genuinely loved it. P&O [& sister co\'s] are, by far and without doubt, the best company/s to travel with. I must admit to liking very much, the Child-Free cruising =D
Always P&O for us!


Tour Operator: P&O

Recommended: Yes
Review Rating

Cleanliness
5 stars
Entertainment
5 stars
Food
5 stars
Staff
 stars

5/5
5

Mike cruised on August 2007
This was our second time on the Aurora and our 7th P & O cruise.

Our main reasons for choosing this cruise ship were:

1. Children\'s facilities. These are superb. Our 7 year old daughter was kept entertained the whole time...if she needed to be entertained. Much of the time she preferred to play around in the pool at the stern of the ship which is reserved for families with kids under the age of 10 (or is supposed to be - we had some issues with teenagers using this pool and displaying rowdy behaviour - a quick word with the Youth Crew leader put a stop to this). The Youth Crew ...
were all excellent in their attitude and enthusiasm. We could drop our daughter off with them at any time from 9am until late and she was always welcomed into the group with warmth. Our daughter had an brilliant time so that meant we had a lovely relaxed holiday.

2. Food. This was generally very very good but there were some disappointments. We dined in the Medina restaurant most evenings and while most dishes were excellent a few suffered from being overcooked, particularly some of the fish. In general I think standards have fallen a little over the years with P & O. However, I could easily be persuaded that these were very much the exceptions and that we were perhaps a bit unlucky. Service was of an extremely high standard throughout. Wine prices are very reasonable.

3. The ship itself, and its staff. The ship is a magnificent, elegant cruise ship with furnishings and fittings of the highest standard. It is kept beautifully clean and tidy at all times. The staff are well trained and extremely courteous. The cabin steward we had (Santana on D deck) displayed the qualities that you need to make you feel comfortable - he was totally unobtrusive yet managed to always keep our cabin spotless.

We should probably try another cruise line but we are so afraid of being disappointed after P & O that we can\'t bring ourselves to change!

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Tour Operator: Cumbria Cruises

Recommended: Yes
Review Rating

Cleanliness
5 stars
Entertainment
4 stars
Food
4 stars
Staff
 stars

4/5
4

Nick cruised on May 2007
P&O Aurora
Baltic Capitals (R706) - 19 May 2007 (13 nights from Southampton)

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

This was our first time on a P&O ship, having previously been on Thomson Celebration and The Calypso. It would be hard to go back to Thomson’s after sampling P&O!

Check in at Southampton was fast, efficient and courteous. Arriving at the terminal around 2:15, our taxi was met by a porter who I assumed was there to help us to take the luggage to the check in desk. Not at all, it was whisked away and taken straight to our cabin.

There was virtually no queue to check in, we waited less than a minute to ...
go to one of the many check in desks, and completed the formalities within five minutes. Making our way to the ship, there was an opportunity for a photo but it could easily be bypassed. Entering the ship, we were given directions to our cabin which we found easily. The cabin door was open and the keys were on the dressing table. The cabin keys are electronic, but are separate from the cruise cards. A luggage mat was placed on one bed; an array of welcoming leaflets (including our Portunus Club welcome letters) was laid out on the other.

Our cabin, the cheapest inside on deck 9 (C288) was spacious and very well appointed. A single and a double wardrobe with 28 hangers, and 8 drawers of various sizes, gave plenty of storage space. The cabin was well lit and well furnished with a small sofa, chair, coffee table, dressing table, 2 bedside lockers, 2 large mirrors, two pictures, fridge (initially stocked with two small complimentary bottles of water), electronic safe (free), and tea and coffee making facilities - which we did not use as our cabin steward or room service could provide a pot of tea or coffee and a range of food from a croissant to a hot meal 24 hours a day at no extra charge. The bathroom had two cabinets concealed behind side mirrors, which when open can be arranged to let you see the back of your head, and giving plenty of storage space. The bathroom cabinets contained racks for the drinking glasses and a shaver point (handy for charging up the electric toothbrush). Everything was tidily hidden away when not in use. There were even two small litter bins recessed into the shelf below the sink. A small selection of moisturising creams and gels was provided, and a nice touch of luxury – Molton Brown shower gel.

The directory in the cabin contained a surprisingly good room service menu, postcards, and writing paper, and a guide to the TV and the ship’s facilities. We had 3 movie channels, 3 news channels (BBC, Sky, CNN), BBC World, the view from the bridge, the ship information channel (showing maps of our cruise, weather, speed etc), and a channel which showed the Port Talks and Lectures after they were shown live in the main Theatre. Announcements are not made in the cabins (thank goodness), but can be heard through the TV on Channel 1.

Aurora is beautiful. I didn’t think I was going to particularly enjoy such a large ship (I know, she’s quite a modest size by today’s standards), but she is stylish, elegant, with a great range of facilities and a decent amount of deck space. Most of the time, it was hard to believe there were 2000 people on board. Where were they all? There is so much space on this ship.

Our cabin was close to the aft decks. We loved these traditional tiered horseshoe decks, a great place to sit, sheltered from the wind, on sea days, or to wave goodbye when sailing from the ports.

The promenade deck is very wide at the sides of the ship, giving plenty of space for walking, strolling gently, or just sitting and watching the world go by. At either end, the promenade deck goes inside the ship, and there is no view as you walk around the bow. At our sailaway from Southampton, champagne was on offer at £2.90 a glass, and the prom deck was full of people waving Union Jacks while a brass bank played on the quayside.

FOOD

We tried “The Orangery” buffet for afternoon tea soon after boarding and were not overly impressed (but we rarely are impressed by self service!) The quality of the food in The Orangery does not match the quality of the restaurants – certainly for Tea. However, afternoon tea in the Median restaurant was delightful. We always got a table for two with our own stand of cakes, while waiters came round serving finger sandwiches, scones, and toasted teacakes, and pouring tea. If you ask for a speciality tea such as Earl Grey or Assam, you get your own pot. The tea was usually fresh leaf, although my Earl Grey was made with teabags on one afternoon. A pot of clotted cream and a selection of Frank Cooper jams in individual glass jars was on each table. Afternoon tea in the Orangery simply can’t live up to the same standards of elegance. Tea is self service, whipped cream replaces clotted, and a cheaper jam in plastic pots is used.

Aurora has two main restaurants, each is open for Dinner with fixed sittings at 6:30 and 8:30. The Orangery buffet was also opened each evening, and for a cover charge of £7.75 one could eat at the Pennant Grill or Café Bordeaux. The Pennant Grill is in the open air at the back of deck 12 if the weather is good, but on this cruise was mainly a reserved part of the Orangery. Café Bordeaux is the ships 24 hour Bistro with waiter service and food cooked to order. The cover charge for Café Bordeaux only applies for dinner (18:00 to 21:30). The menus for the Pennant Grill and Café Bordeaux change every three or four days. We had dinner early on in the cruise in Café Bordeaux, and the food was outstanding. We had Surf and Turf, and the fillet steak was the best I have had for a long long time. The steaks are apparently imported from the US. The prawns were also full of favour. We had intended to try Café Bordeaux a second time, but Dinner in the main restaurant was generally so good that we didn’t see the point of eating anywhere else. We had late sitting in the Alexandria restaurant with delightful companions on a table for six. Our table was close to a window and had a good view, although we noticed when having lunch in the Medina restaurant that even tables in the middle of the restaurant had a fair view because of the way the levels of the restaurant are tiered. Our waiters were truly excellent. If you didn’t like something, it was changed almost immediately. One evening, one of our companions asked for a scoop of ice-cream with her dessert, and of course when it arrived we all looked rather envious. Our waiter had anticipated this, and was back a moment later with ice cream for the rest of the table. The Alexandria restaurant was only open for dinner, and breakfast and lunch were open seating in the Medina. If our dinner waiters saw us in the Medina they would always come over and say hello, and make sure everything was alright, even though we were not on one of their tables. Generally though service at breakfast and lunch could be a bit hit and miss. It was OK, but often not up to the standards of excellence that we found at dinner.

The quality of the food was often superb, especially on the gala nights. Getting rare beef and pink lamb was not a problem. Dinner was usually better than lunch, which tended to be simpler and only three courses – thank goodness! Lunch one day was fish, chips and mushy peas, and made a welcome change. Curries were often available at lunchtime, and again made a nice change from the gastronomic excesses of the evening. Wine was excellent value. The “wine of the cruise” was £12 a bottle. The house wine was £7.50 a half litre, and was absolutely fine. There was always a special after dinner drink – a port or a liqueur - at a reasonable price (and the cocktail of the day in the bars before dinner.)

ENTERTAINMENT

The range of entertainment was very good. The ship has a large theatre and a 200 seat cinema, which is also used for port talks and classical recitals. A pianist – Naomi Edelmariam – gave five recitals, and her concerts were a highlight of the cruise. It was wonderful listening to these recitals in such a small venue, sitting so close to the stage that we were able to appreciate her dexterity visually as well as aurally. Naomi’s recitals lasted about 45/50 minutes, and were often themed according to the countries we were visiting, so we listened to the likes of Beethoven, Sibelius, and Grieg as we made our way around the Baltic and up to Norway. Around half of each programme was well known “popular” pieces.

Four different cabaret acts were on this cruise; comedian/impressionist/singer Allan Stewart and jazz singer Elaine Delmar were on board for the first week, illusionists “The Twins” and west end vocalist Robert Meadmore were on board for the second week. There was also an after dinner speaker, Diane Simpson, guest lecturer Guy Caplin talking about the golden age of television, and a series of excellent lecturers by on board jeweller Chris Burgess who spoke authoritatively about Faberge, Russian Art, and Amber. Chris was passionate about his work, and also had some beautiful pieces of jewellery in his shop which he was happy to show to people who he knew had no intention of buying it!

Aurora’s own 13 strong theatre company gave shows of typical cruise ship standard! Four different bands and a cocktail pianist played in various venues around the ship.

An “interview with the captain” was quite interesting, as was a “virtual bridge tour” by the second officer, a theatre presentation using slides. Both offered the chance to ask questions at the end.

CONDITION & CLEANLINESS

Public areas were in excellent condition and spotless. It was noticeable that handrails were constantly being cleaned. Decks were washed down every night.

Our cabin appeared reasonably clean when we got on board. We always give drawers a wipe with a face cloth before we put our clothes away and it was still white after we wiped them – a good sign. However, there were stains on the sofa and one of the bed spreads. About a week into the cruise, I had lost something, and ended up pulling the sofa and beds out and checking the top shelf in the wardrobe where the life jackets were. The wardrobe top shelf was dusty and there was a bottle of hand gel left by a previous passenger. There was some discarded paper behind the sofa. The cabin was not vacuumed all the time we were on board – the carpet was getting noticeably “bittier” as the cruise went on, and one of the concealed waste bins in the bathroom was not emptied for 3 days. We made a note of some of these issues on our CSQ on the last full day of the cruise and put it in the box at reception. That evening, the carpet had been vacuumed, and the waste bin in the bathroom had been emptied. Our cabin steward was very friendly but clearly a bit lazy. We should have said something to him earlier in the cruise, but I was curious to see how long it would before he finally checked the waste bin and vacuumed. He got half the tip that he otherwise would have received and a note in his envelope expressing our disappointment, and will hopefully learn from that. I noticed housekeeping sometimes left cards outside cabins to warn that they would be inspecting them the next day. This system seems flawed – if you warn the passengers, then you also warn the stewards. Managers/Supervisors need to carry out more spot checks.

There was some slight damage to the bottom of our wardrobe that was patched up with duck tape.

PORTS OF CALL

Copenhagen, Warnemunde (Rostock), St Petersburg, Helsinki, Stockholm, Oslo, Kristiansand.

We did all ports of call on our own, apart from St Petersburg, where we had a private tour with Red October. I think it would be difficult to attempt St Petersburg independently. The ship docks in the commercial port some distance from the city, and a long way even from the dock gates. You need a visa to attempt to do St Petersburg on your own, but not if you go on an organised excursion (and you can organise your own tours through Russian companies such as Red October, Alla, or Denrus).

Port information leaflets were good, providing a map and practical information. For example, for Warnemunde, I had checked up the times of trains into Rostock on the internet. What I had not appreciated is that Rostock station is in a modern part of town, perhaps a 15 minute walk from the historic centre. The directions in the port information leaflet told me which tram to take from the station to the town centre. A word of warning though, in Helsinki we were not berthed where we were meant to be – check before leaving the ship! We found our way to the centre easily enough, but didn’t know how to get back!

Berths were often some distance from the town/city centre. In Warnemunde and Oslo we were berthed in the centre. At Kristiansand the berth is perhaps a 15 minute walk from the centre. At other ports, were were half an hours walk or more. Shuttle buses were provided, usually at a charge. A free shuttle was provided in Stockholm, and in Copenhagen a city bus runs from the cruise ships to the centre.

Berthing in the port of Stockholm was an unexpected bonus, as this cruise was meant to anchor at Nyneshamn, a tender port an hour away from Stockholm. This was the first time Aurora had been into Stockholm, and it was touch and go whether we would get there or not. Stockholm is reached through an archipelago of small islands, the route is about 100 km from the open sea and takes four hours. We picked up our Stockholm pilot in Helsinki, as he wanted to be satisfied about the ships manoeuvrability before allowing us in. We were also dependant on winds staying below 25 knots. One thing that had not been factored in was that we had to leave Stockholm the way we came – by the northerly route – as we were just too big to leave by the southerly route. This added 4 hours to our journey on to Oslo. However, this was nice as it meant we navigated the fjord into Oslo from 9:30 to 11:30, and it was very pretty. Our departure from Oslo was delayed until 20:30 to make up for the late arrival. The passage out of Stockholm was also very beautiful.

CONCLUSION

We had a superb holiday on board a wonderful ship, and we are looking forward to cruising with P&O again.


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Tour Operator: P&O

Recommended: Yes
Review Rating

Cleanliness
4 stars
Entertainment
4 stars
Food
4 stars
Staff
 stars

4/5
4

Katie cruised on December 2006
Went on my honeymoon on this ship to the carribean - it was a fantastic holiday and if you mention your on your honeymoon on the dock side they hurried us through the embarkation and we got striaght on the ship.
We had a suite and was a good size and the room was great, everyone very friendly great party atmosphere and Christmas and new year was very memorable will remmeber it for the rest of my life.
I am used to the Chewton Glen (one of Europes finest hotels) fine dining hotels - so in comparasion the meals were very nice.
I have absolutely nothing to complain about but i do feel ...
that P&O have some fine tweaking to do when it comes to things like the staff using customer facilities - and disembarkation is alot of waiting around whilst staff show friends round the ship and members of staff were allowed off the ship before us ( we waited for 2 hours before we got off not allowed to wait in our cabin). And ive never seen so many overweight dancers in the entertainment!!

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Tour Operator: P&O

Recommended: Yes
Review Rating

Cleanliness
5 stars
Entertainment
3 stars
Food
5 stars
Staff
 stars

5/5
5

marion cruised on July 2006
This was our first ever cruise,so didnt know what to expect. We had a ball, my kids are ten and twelve and cried for weeks after we came home they made so many friends there was so much for them to do, i will definately go on another cruise. FANTASTIC!!!!!

Tour Operator: p&o

Recommended: Yes
Review Rating

Cleanliness
5 stars
Entertainment
4 stars
Food
5 stars
Staff
 stars

4/5
4

m jordan cruised on July 2006
we did the baltic fourteen day cruise,bruge, oslo, stockholm, copenhagen, helsinki, st petersburg, tallin, travemunde.st petersburg was the star,tallin was charming, take the shuttle and walk it dont bother with organised trips, bruges is always enjoyable.travamude was great, imagine sailing up past sand banks up the river in an ocean liner and parking in the main street of christchurch with hundreds of happy german holiday makers waving.i can stongly reccomend the baltic go in june or july for the white nights it gets dark about 1am. the ship was very clean and tidy, the crew as always top class.the food was of a high standard,if you stayed at home and ...
eat out to this standard it would nearly cost as much as the cost of thr cruise. the entertainment on p. o ships in recent years has dropped below the high standards we first enjoyed when wefirst started cruising ten years back. the aurora is lovely ship well designed, all the other additions to the fleet since have been a step backwards, you would have hoped some one at p.o could have told the parent company that their design was right for the british public. we dont want gyms with sea views and lose the crows nest, the best asset of oriana and aurora.having sailed on the later ships we still look first at auroras trips when the new brochures arrive. yes you can always improve and fine tune the product but not by adding extra rear cabins and ruining the classic stern of the ship.

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Tour Operator: ocean world

Recommended: Yes
Review Rating

Cleanliness
5 stars
Entertainment
3 stars
Food
4 stars
Staff
 stars

5/5
5

paul cruised on June 2006
It was a superb experience travelling onboard P& O aurora...lots of goodies inside the ship,excellent service n great quality all around.It was a very nice experience for my family...the entertainment are great especially the filipino band...they really play well,and they can make so many songs all around...thats really amazing, the waiters are so warm and friendly, good place for me to spend my days...I love it!

Hope to cruise again soon...

see ya!
Paul

Tour Operator: P&O aurora

Recommended: Yes
Review Rating

Cleanliness
5 stars
Entertainment
5 stars
Food
5 stars
Staff
 stars

5/5
5

Kathy Adams cruised on November 2005
This was a Southampton to Southampton 21-night cruise to the Caribbean visiting most of the usual suspects - Ponta Delgade (lovely town), Tortola (pretty as can be), Antigua (great shopping at the Port - needs to spend money on the roads though), Grenada (wonderful people, needs our support to help recover from the devastation of Hurricane Ivan in September 2004), Barbados (fabulous, wonderful - the place to buy that holiday villa or apartment if you can afford it, especially as now the South of France and Southern Spain is so unsafe and naff) and Madeira (pretty, with wonderful roads!).

This was our third trip to the Caribbean with P&O and the ...
second on Aurora (the other was on Oriana). We have tried the other ships (but not Artemis) but Aurora and Oriana are definitely our favourites.

Aurora is a WONDERFUL ship and after recent upgrading work looks great (only bathrooms need updating now - pink? ugh!)

ALL STAFF, food, bars, lectures, library, cybastudy etc all first class. The cinema in very good although the choice of films are not!

ONE REAL COMPLAINT ONLY ........

The Aurora Theatre Company are brilliant and had many standing ovations. However, some shows were wrongly chosen - particularly \'WICKED\' which was loud and shrill. Only good manners and not wanting to offend the performers or inconvience our fellow passengers stopped us and,(we found out later) many others, leaving the Theatre.

However, the UK cabaret artistes that were flown in at various locations were really dire. Usually the comedians were billed as \'From TV\'s The Comedians\' - heck that programme was on 30 years ago and in the main the performers haven\'t been heard or seen of since! They must come really cheap! This was in the main village hall or pub-type entertainment and just not good enough for Aurora. The Classical entertainment we were told by many (unfortunately we didn\'t see it) was superb. The \'light\' singers were awful (and permatanned old). One singer was giving an hour\'s programme of Neil Diamond songs and a fellow diner said that on a Saga Cruise in the Caribbean last year Neil Diamond HIMSELF was the cabaret. The diner suggested that if P&O just added a £10 increase per week per person on the voyage cost they would have had an extra £54,000 (plus what they would have usually paid out) to fly some decents act\'s on to the ship from the American mainland. What a good idea.

Accommodation is very good and well planned. We had a stateroom with balcony which we were very satisfied with. The cabin layout is far superior to the same grade on the new ARCADIA.

Aurora and Oriana are the only two ships in the P&O fleet that were specifically commissioned for the UK passenger (the others were inherited) and so as far as the layout and facilities are concerned they have got it as almost perfect as possible.

The weather on our Caribbean trip of 21 nights was pretty bad and we didn\'t have any sunshine until our last Caribbean port of call of Barbados when it was fabulous and how it normally is on all the islands. We had a further two or three good days on the way home via Madeira. However, the weather cannot be blamed on anyone (even P&O!) and was just unusually bad luck and in spite of it we had a great time and will be back on similar cruises in April and November next year on P&O\'s m.v. Oriana.

Would recommend Aurora and Oriana to all those people out there who appreciate the opportunity of glamming up and enjoy sophisticated environments and likeminded people. We had 6 formal nights on our cruise, 6 semi-formal and 9 smart casuals. Apart from the smart casual themed evenings (i.e. Caribbean, Mardi Gras type of thing) just about everyone dressed up for smart casual evenings as well.

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Tour Operator: GoCruise (0117 9391959)

Recommended: Yes
Review Rating

Cleanliness
5 stars
Entertainment
3 stars
Food
5 stars
Staff
 stars
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