Aurora R906 W Med, First impressions.

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towny44
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Aurora R906 W Med, First impressions.

Post by towny44 » 30 Apr 2019, 17:53

This is our first cruise aboard Aurora, and there is much to enthuse about her, but after almost a week on board I am beginning to feel a little claustrophobic.
The refit has certainly made her feel a little new, new carpets everywhere and Horizon feels as though it is brand new. I like that they have far more tables set up for 2 than is normal in a buffet, there are still some large round tables that will accommodate 5 but the rest are tables for two, and we have yet to find the buffet too full to easily find a place to sit.
It took a few days to easily find our way around the ship, but its smaller size does make easier to get from one end to the other, and the corridors must be wider than its bigger sisters because it is far easier to navigate a wheelchair around the stewards trolleys.
So far the weather has not been ideal for sunbathing, except for yesterday in Ceuta and for the diehards, so the inside spaces have been quite full, not so full as to be impossible to find a seat, but the limited number of venues does make its smaller size noticeable.
One major plus is the service standards and friendliness of the staff, this is light years ahead of that we have experienced on Azura, Ventura and Britannia, I am hoping it might spill over onto the other ships.
More to follow.
John

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barney
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Re: Aurora R906 W Med, First impressions.

Post by barney » 01 May 2019, 09:01

We really like aurora John. Hope you have a great time.

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Re: Aurora R906 W Med, First impressions.

Post by Kenmo1 » 01 May 2019, 11:37

barney wrote:
01 May 2019, 09:01
We really like aurora John. Hope you have a great time.
We have already booked 2 on Aurora for next year as I think all the Oriana groupies, including us, will make it the cruise ship of their choice and I think cabin prices will increase on her because of that.


Happy cruising John.

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Re: Aurora R906 W Med, First impressions.

Post by towny44 » 01 May 2019, 16:48

Mid cruise update.

One thing we have established is that the A,C and Lido deck balconies are maybe not worth considering, the cut out lowers the skyline so far that we rarely get much useable sun, and that is despite having a south facing cabin with the sun on our side for the last 2 days as we sail to Malta, and having a much larger cut out because we have an accessible cabin. If we book Aurora again I think we will choose a seaview cabin.
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Re: Aurora R906 W Med, First impressions.

Post by david63 » 01 May 2019, 18:44

Have to agree that the balconies on Aurora are rubbish. Having said that there are certainly a lot more than there are on Oriana!

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Mervyn and Trish
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Re: Aurora R906 W Med, First impressions.

Post by Mervyn and Trish » 01 May 2019, 19:08

I think it's a case of time moving on. Aurora followed Oriana which has few balconies at a time when balconies were not hugely in demand. Later ships have a greater choice of balconies at the cost of not looking so classy. You can't have everything.


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Re: Aurora R906 W Med, First impressions.

Post by daib GC » 02 May 2019, 12:46

david63 wrote:
01 May 2019, 18:44
Have to agree that the balconies on Aurora are rubbish. Having said that there are certainly a lot more than there are on Oriana!
B Deck are fine, the same as other ships with glass frontage.

But here you have the more expensive cabins.

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Re: Aurora R906 W Med, First impressions.

Post by Mervyn and Trish » 02 May 2019, 13:14

Having said above, we like the C Deck cabins and are happy with the balconies. We're not lie in the sun people and there's enough space to sit and watch the world go by. But different people have different priorities.

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Re: Aurora R906 W Med, First impressions.

Post by Manoverboard » 02 May 2019, 18:06

Accessibility was not an issue for us fortunately and at the time of booking the Deck level was irrelevant.

We did a Worldie Segment in an unobstructed outside cabin on ' A' Deck ( ? ) plus a 3 night Anniversary Celebration treat in a mid ships Suite on ' B ' Deck … both were most enjoyable and each of our choices fitted the itinerary or so we thought.


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Re: Aurora R906 W Med, First impressions.

Post by Quizzical Bob » 03 May 2019, 14:18

Aurora was for a long time out favourite P&O ship but we went off her `when we sailed back to Southampton from Cape Town a couple of years ago.

The promenade deck is our favourite place on her but they have junked all the traditional wooden steamer relaxer chairs and replaced them with sit-up-straight metal ones that could have come from IKEA in an end of season sale. We have also found that sections of this deck are often closed off for large parts of the cruise.

You are right about the limited amount of internal sitting space. This has not been helped by turning the area that used to be outside the library into a Costa Coffee outlet with seats only available to those who bought a drink. The magnificent library has been relocated to what used to be the Cyber Study on the upper port deck just behind the Crows Nest. At least she does have a decicated cinema which is great for film screening or specialist talks.

We have enjoyed some wonderful cruises on her but sadly I feel she will be sold off before we ever return. Cruises on her also seem to be more expensive than other ships, even the Oceana which is a similar size.

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Re: Aurora R906 W Med, First impressions.

Post by towny44 » 11 May 2019, 22:39

One interesting observation I have is that despite many assertions on various forums that Aurora is far more stable in rough seas than its bigger sisters, is IMO wrong. I judge this by whether my wife can walk around in the cabin or needs to use the wheelchair, despite this cruise not really having very rough seas she needs to use the chair more on Aurora than she does on Azura, Ventura or even Britannia.
Last edited by towny44 on 11 May 2019, 22:41, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Aurora R906 W Med, First impressions.

Post by Mervyn and Trish » 12 May 2019, 08:53

I think you're right Towny. Maybe depends on the precise conditions but we had a few hours of Force 10 on Azura last week and she handled it well.

There was typical hysteria on Facebook. One passenger claimed 48 dreadful hours. In fact we went from flat calm around teatime one afternoon back to flat calm by lunchtime next day. The Force 10 bit was a few hours in the night.
Last edited by Mervyn and Trish on 12 May 2019, 08:54, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Aurora R906 W Med, First impressions.

Post by Stephen » 12 May 2019, 11:04

Mervyn and Trish wrote:
12 May 2019, 08:53
I think you're right Towny. Maybe depends on the precise conditions but we had a few hours of Force 10 on Azura last week and she handled it well.

There was typical hysteria on Facebook. One passenger claimed 48 dreadful hours. In fact we went from flat calm around teatime one afternoon back to flat calm by lunchtime next day. The Force 10 bit was a few hours in the night.

Yes, it can get a bit rough around Navarone ;)

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Re: Aurora R906 W Med, First impressions.

Post by towny44 » 12 May 2019, 15:13

To continue, the food was equivalent to recent standards but the menus do need more frequent updates or maybe a bit more mixing of items, but that applies to all P&O ships. The freedom MDR is probably a bit nicer and roomier than the bigger ships, but does anyone remember them using the stairs from the prom deck?
The burgers and hot dogs at the lido grill are OK but the pizzas are not up to Ventura standard, the covered pool area is however far better and has many more tables than Ventura, and it is a very pleasant place to enjoy lunch.
The evening entertainment venues are not very wheelchair friendly, they are of course smaller than the equivalent ones on the bigger ships with even less room to manoeuvre a wheelchair.
The much vaunted prom deck was disappointing, only one chairs width alongside the ships rail was ever in sunshine, and it was always windy, however the area on the sun deck outside the upper tier of the covered pool did provide a nice sunbathing spot for chair users who don't like sun beds.
The entertainment was the usual P&O standard fare, we find ourselves watching less and less as each cruise passes, however the horizon singers and dancers were some of the best we had seen. But we don't enjoy the new shows that try to blend songs into a story, if P&O want to follow this trend they need to consider the RCI route of offering shortened versions of show like Grease, but we liked Applause and Billboard hits.
Customer service is however still a bit lacking, I queried why our cabin had not benefited from a new bigger TV and the initial response was that only de luxe cabins had them, I pointed out that ours was a GC grade exactly like the one next door which did have a new TV, only to be then told that ours being an accessible cabin was a lower style??????!!!! This will need taking up with head office.
Final comment is that we thought the new carpets were fine, they do not appear in way too gaudy, and the patterned ones, especially in the dining areas, should hide minor spills.
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Re: Aurora R906 W Med, First impressions.

Post by Mervyn and Trish » 12 May 2019, 16:56

You and your telly envy Towny!

Yes we used to use that entrance.

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Re: Aurora R906 W Med, First impressions.

Post by Stephen » 12 May 2019, 17:03

I think we have three large TV's in our cabin for August on Ventura. This may be just a rumour but I believe they borrowed one from Aurora and left them with a 14inch portable.

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Re: Aurora R906 W Med, First impressions.

Post by Suekersh » 12 May 2019, 17:42

Enjoying your report Towny.
The stairs from the zoom deck which lead into Freedom dining were used when it was a club dining restaurant. As Freedom diners have to book in and be allocated a table it is no longer feasible to open them up. There was a discussion about removing them in the re fit to allow more freedom dining tables but this was shelved as the stairs are a feature.

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Re: Aurora R906 W Med, First impressions.

Post by barney » 13 May 2019, 19:21

We had our longest cruise on Aurora and felt that it had a nice atmosphere about it.
We tend to overlook many of the trivialities in search of a happy holiday :wave:

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Re: Aurora R906 W Med, First impressions.

Post by towny44 » 13 May 2019, 23:09

Another interesting point I forgot to mention, I asked reception if they knew the average age of the passengers on our cruise and after consulting her boss he produced an A4 double sided print with loads of very interesting sales data for all depts, which unfortunately I did not get a long enough look at to read it and digest it upside down, gave the average age as 72. Which rather deflated me as I now stand on the older end of the list, despite feeling that I was way younger than the majority of my fellow passengers.
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Re: Aurora R906 W Med, First impressions.

Post by Mervyn and Trish » 15 May 2019, 09:40

Age is just a number Towny. Trouble is it's a big one these days.

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Re: Aurora R906 W Med, First impressions.

Post by Stephen » 15 May 2019, 10:44

I just turn mine around.

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Re: Aurora R906 W Med, First impressions.

Post by Mervyn and Trish » 15 May 2019, 15:15

87 is even bigger than 78!!!

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Re: Aurora R906 W Med, First impressions.

Post by Manoverboard » 15 May 2019, 15:28

How about 77 ?

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Re: Aurora R906 W Med, First impressions.

Post by Stephen » 15 May 2019, 16:16

Mervyn and Trish wrote:
15 May 2019, 15:15
87 is even bigger than 78!!!
I think you've got mine mixed up with yours Merv.

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