Aurora Cruise Ship Review

Launched at the beginning of the millennium, P&O Cruises Aurora is a cruise ship in a league of her own. With teak decking, spacious surroundings, and a sleek profile, she’s a classic ship, but with all the modern facilities guests have come to expect, including three pools, four restaurants and a diverse range of entertainment venues. It’s hard to find fault with Aurora. 

Guests usually board the ship on F Deck 5, midships. This is the heart of the ship, where the reception desk and future cruise sales & loyalty desks are situated. But probably the first thing guests will lay eyes on is the enchanting atrium, with a gentle waterfall running down the four-deck-high space and a grand staircase leading up to the decks above.

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Explorers (E Deck 6, mid) is the place to head for if booking shore excursions, or if you have any questions about the ports of call on your cruise. The Mayfair Shop (E Deck 6, mid) sells logo souvenirs, books, clothing, plus high-end jewellery and watches.

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The Photo Gallery is situated on D Deck 8. Two free-to-use launderettes are situated at the forward end of A Deck 11 and aft of C Deck 9. The library, which also hosts several computers, is located on the port side of Sun Deck 13. The Uganda Room, used for wedding ceremonies and events is situated on the starboard side.

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All accommodations on Aurora are comfortable and spacious. Pale green fabrics and light wood fittings make cabins feel bright and airy. Aurora has a range of sizeable accommodation, ranging from dedicated single cabins, to spacious balcony cabins, and right up to two luxurious twin-level Penthouse Suites, that overlook the front of the ship. A number of cabins also have an inter-connecting door - perfect for families. The majority of cabins feature a bath, with overhead shower, apart from inside cabins, which feature a standard shower.

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The two Penthouse Suites offer a spacious lounge and dining area, a bar with butler service, a whirlpool bath, and a staircase leading up to the bedroom. One suite features a grand piano and is suitably named The Piano Suite, and the other Penthouse Suite offers a well stocked bookcase and is called The Library Suite.

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Alexandria Restaurant (E Deck 6, aft)
The Alexandria Restaurant is one of two main dining rooms aboard Aurora and looks out over the aft of the ship. The restaurant operates two fixed sittings where you will be served by the same waiters each night. The first sitting is at 6:30 p.m. and the second is at 8:30 p.m. - although doors on the first night open 15 minutes later than usual, to allow you ample time to receive your suitcases, unpack, and get ready for the evening. Table sizes range from intimate tables for two, right up to tables for twelve. Dishes appeal to the British clientele P&O Cruises is aimed at, so the menu will often feature dishes such as prawn cocktail, tomato soup, salmon, leg of lamb, sirloin steak, beef wellington, sticky toffee pudding, and fruit salad.

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Medina Restaurant (E Deck 6, mid)
The second of the two main formal dining restaurants, the Medina Restaurant is dedicated to P&O's Freedom Dining option. Open from 6 p.m. until 9:30 p.m., this option gives you added flexibility, allowing you to decide when you wish to dine, and with how many people. There's no need to book a table, just turn up and be seated. Sharing tables with other guests is recommended. Demand for tables of two are popular, so to avoid waiting times, it's best to arrive as early as possible. Alternatively, the restaurant manager will hand you a pager, allowing you to enjoy a pre-dinner drink in one of the nearby bars, until your pager lights up and bleeps, indicating that your requested table is ready. Menu choices are identical to those available in the Alexandria Restaurant. Unlike the Alexandria Restaurant, the Medina is also open for breakfast, lunch, and afternoon tea.

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Horizon Restaurant (Lido Deck 12, aft)
The Horizon Restaurant is the buffet on Aurora, which received a refurbishment when the ship entered dry dock at the end of 2014. With inviting colours, island food counters, and easy access onto the pool and terrace decks, the buffet is the perfect place to enjoy a relaxed meal in comfort. Food is served almost entirely throughout the day. The buffet opens at 6:30 a.m. for a Continental breakfast. Full English breakfasts are served between 7 .a.m and 11 a.m. Lunch opens at noon until 2:30 p.m., with favourite dishes including curries, carvery dinners, and healthy salads. Afternoon tea is served for two hours from 3 p.m., offering scones (or scones!) sweet treats, and snack foods, such as sausage rolls and sandwiches. Each night, between 6 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., the buffet hosts a different themed dinner, such as Italian, Indian, Country & Western, or Oriental. Late snacks are then served from 9:30 p.m. until 2 a.m.

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The Beach House [£] (Lido Deck 12, aft)
Situated within the Horizon Restaurant, in addition to an al fresco area overlooking the terrace area, the Beach House is a casual speciality restaurant open in the evenings. For £5, you can enjoy delicious offerings, such as nachos, sizzler plates, chilli tacos, macoroni cheese, and chocolate fudge cake. Some dishes require an additional charge on top of the cover charge, such as the tiger prawns (£1.50), the rib combo (£2.95), and the lobster tail (£5.95).
Sindhu [£] (D Deck 8, mid)
P&O Cruises is famous for its amazing curry dishes. Sindhu is P&O Cruises' dedicated Indian speciality restaurant, created by celebrity chef Atul Kocchar. Sindhu is more than just a curry house, serving tikka masala and pilau rice. The fusion of spices with traditional Indian and British classics, will appeal to all.

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The Glass House [£] (D Deck 8, aft]
The Glass House, by wine expert Olly Smith, first appeared on P&O cruise ships in 2010 aboard Azura. Since then, the popular pre-dinner venue for a sophisticated drink, or intimate dinner, has expanded onto several P&O ships, including Aurora. Dishes include 28-day dry-aged steak, rillette of duck, and gourmet burgers. An exquisite tasting menu is also available, with perfectly matched wines to accompany each course.

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Lido Grill (Lido Deck 12, mid)
Located near the indoor Crystal Pool, the Lido Grill is the place to head for if you want a quick, tasty, and freshly made burger, hot dog, or fish and chips. Pizzas and ice-cream are also served here.

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Anderson's (Promenade Deck 7, fwd)
Named after Arthur Anderson, the founder of P&O, stepping into Anderson's is like walking into a grand country manor house. Dark wood walls, floral carpets, a mock fireplace, and plush armchairs fill the room with elegance and charm. It's quite easy to forget you're on a ship, and not in an English stately home. It's the perfect place to relax with a whisky and a good book.

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Charlie's (Promenade Deck 7, mid)
Charlie's is a simple, yet elegant, place to enjoy a glass of champagne, or classic cocktail on formal night, as you listen to the pianist in the atrium.

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Champion's (Promenade Deck 7, aft
This is the main pub and sports bar on the ship, and shares space with the casino, as well as a small dance floor. Television shows various sport games, and the venue plays host to pub quizzes, karaoke, and live musicians.

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Raffles Bar (D Deck 8, mid)
For coffee lovers, this is the bar for you. Raffles serves a variety of Costa coffees, teas, and delicious cakes, which can be enjoyed with stunning views that overlook Aurora's atrium. Take a second to look up above the bar, and you'll be mesmerised by a stunning ceiling.

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The Glass House (D Deck 8, aft)
The Glass House, by wine expert Olly Smith, first appeared on P&O cruise ships in 2010 aboard Azura. Since then, the popular pre-dinner venue for a sophisticated drink, or intimate dinner, has expanded onto several P&O ships, including Aurora. The bar is the perfect venue for wine lovers, and an impressive selection of wine flights are available at a reasonable price.

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Terrace Bar (D Deck 8, aft)
Overlooking the aft of the ship, and located next to the Terrace Pool, the Terrace Bar is a perfect destination to enjoy a refreshing drink on a day at sea.
Riviera Bar (Lido Deck 12, fwd)
Poolside drinks anyone? Riviera Bar is one of four outdoor bars on Aurora, and is located next to the Riviera Pool. 
Crystal Bar (Lido Deck 12, mid)
Crystal Bar is another poolside bar - this one being the most popular. It's located next to the Lido Grill and underneath Aurora's magrodome, so its a great place to enjoy a drink by the pool no matter what the weather.

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Pennant Bar (Lido Deck 12, aft)
The Pennant Bar overlooks the aft terrace decks of Aurora and is conveniently located next to the buffet.

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The Crow's Nest (Sun Deck 13, fwd)
With a birds eye view over the bow, the Crow's Nest is a peaceful lounge to relax with a book from the adjoining library. In the evening, it's an elegant place to enjoy a cocktail, or a whisky.

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Curzon Theatre (Promenade Deck 7, fwd)
The Curzon Theatre is the main venue for P&O's West End-style production shows, as well as headlining acts and can seat over 600 people.

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Masquerade (Promenade Deck 7, mid)
Masquarade is the main nightclub aboard Aurora, but also plays host to dance classes, quizzes, and live musicians in the day time and early evening.

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Carmen's (Promenade Deck 7, aft)
Carmen's is a latin-inspired entertainment lounge, hosting dance classes, comedians, musicians, game shows, and themed shows by the resident singers and dancers.

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The Playhouse (D Deck 8, mid)
The Playhouse is the onboard cinema, and shows a variety of classic and new films from a range of genres.
Terrace Pool (D Deck 8, aft)
The terrace pool is the main family pool, mainly due to its close proximity to the children's club and splash pool. There's also an adjoining whirlpool.

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Riviera Pool (Lido Deck 12, fwd)
The Riviera Pool is surrounded by tiered decks full of sun loungers. The pool area is sheltered somewhat from the wind, so this is prime sunbathing territory!

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Crystal Pool (Lido Deck 12, mid)
The Crystal Pool is situated underneath a glass magrodome, which means the pool can be used in all weather conditions. Table tennis can be played on the balcony that overlooks the pool, and the Crystal Bar and Lido Grill are located next to the pool.

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Oasis Spa & Gym (A & Lido Decks 11 & 12, mid)
The Oasis Spa is located on Deck 12 and offers a range of relaxing treatments, beauty services, and a hairdressers. Located on Deck 11, which can be accessed via a spiral staircase within the spa, is a large, well-equipped gym, and a spacious area for exercise classes.

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Sports Court (Sun Deck 13, aft)
Basketball and other sports can be played on the Sports Court located aft on the top deck. Three golf nets are also located here.

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The Reef (D Deck 8, aft) is the children's area. Separated into four different age groups, Splashers for ages 2-4, Surfers for ages 5-8, Scuba's for those aged between 9 and 12, and finally H20 for 13-17 year olds, kids will have a great time meeting new friends, playing games, and going to cool discos. Aurora also has a small play pool for the little ones, an outdoor play area and even a night nursery.

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1 COMMENT

  1. Well, where do you start about this cruise liner, DON’T GO ON IT?
    The bars don’t open there’s no music let just say the entertainment is rubbish!!!!!
    On our 1st day we were informed that the English don’t like Aussies we are to loud & apparently
    don’t dress properly THAT WAS A GREAT START TO OUR FAMILY HOLIDAY.
    Unfortunately, this was not advertised correctly Should have stated that this was a cruise for retired guests.
    I would & never will get on this ship or will not recommend this to anyone.
    As we do around 3 cruises a year & other family member who cruise several times a year also.
    We did make a comment to staff but with no respond didn’t seem to care.
    So in all our 25th wedding anniversary was a disappointment THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR NOTHING

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