P&O Cruises' Azura is a popular floating resort. The waters are crowded with sea-worthy vessels, so to make planning easier, we've done all the prep work for a cruise vacation. As part of a Huffington Post Travel series on cruise ships, here is a tip sheet offering all the key information one could ever need to know about the Azura.
DestinationsThe Azura sails to Norway and the fjords for seven nights, the Atlantic coast for 11 nights, the Canary Islands for 12 nights, from Dubai to Bangkok and Mumbai to Singapore for 13-night cruises and the Western Mediterranean for 16 nights, among others. The ship is based in Southampton, England, from April to October, and ports of call range from Madeira to Colombo to Bali.
Luxury ShipThe family-friendly Azura is one of the largest cruise ships in the P&O Cruises fleet. The large liner carries up to 3,096 passengers and has 14 passenger decks, with myriad activities for kids, dancing for couples and mixers for singles on board.
Special FeaturesThe Azura's unique draw remains the 18 single staterooms on board, the first in the fleet and a rarity among cruise lines. Also noteworthy: Sindhu, the Indian restaurant with a Michelin-starred chef at the helm; the SeaScreen open-air cinema, an 800-seat theater; a 6,000-piece modern art collection; four pools; and six hot tubs. The ship's atrium also acts as the key venue for traditional ballroom dancing.
AccommodationsThe Azura has 1,117 outside cabins, 910 balcony, 440 inside and 18 single staterooms -- again, the only single cabins in the fleet. Cabin sizes range from 130 square feet to 742 square feet, with prices reflecting these differences. Mineral water and "pamper packs" are available on arrival in all of the rooms. Staterooms include TV, radio, telephone, and tea/coffee-making facilities. Deluxe balcony cabins and suites include multiple flat-screen TVs and offer bathrobes and slippers, flowers, champagne and chocolates on arrival. Spa cabin packages are also available.
CostSeven-night cruises on the Azura to Norway start at $1,192. A 12-night cruise to the Canary Islands costs $2,226, while 16-night journeys to the Western Mediterranean start at $2,988.
ExcursionsOne reviewer at CruiseCritic.com went on four P&O excursions and liked the St. Kitts Railway journey the best. The excursion, which utilizes a narrow-gauge train to traverse the northern coastline of the island, is a passenger favorite, according to the cruise line.
Dining ExperienceThe three main dining rooms on the Azura offer a choice of Club Dining with the same table at the same time each evening or Freedom Dining with no fixed seating or dining times. The main Select Dining restaurant attraction is the Indian restaurant Sindhu, which is run by Michelin-starred chef Atul Kochhar. Other restaurants include the wine bar and restaurant Glass House, fine dining at Seventeen and Italian fare at Verona.
Maiden VoyageThe Azura was built in Fincantieri, Italy, and first entered service in April 2010. According to CruiseCritic.com, it was built on the same design as Princess Cruises' Grand-class ships.
In The NewsOur research revealed no notable news stories or safety concerns regarding the P&O Azura.
A video montage of the P&O Azura.
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