Our Cabin: R246, On board P&O’s Azura Ship – August 2016
You may remember the last cruise we did in November 2015 on board Oceana. This time we sailed for a week along the Norwegian coastline.
Booking Your Cabin
We booked our cabin with Thomas Cook on board the P&O Cruise Ship Azura in June 2015 to sail alongside the beautiful Norwegian Fjords. When you book with P&O you have the choice of Select or Standard price, with the prior having a few more features and benefits. We went with the select price as it meant we could choose the exact cabin we wanted. A balcony cabin seemed like the obvious choice and the best way to see the Fjords as we sailed by in the early morning and late afternoon. It is really lovely to be able to have your own private outside space.
When booking with the select price you are able to choose the type of cabin, the deck and the cabin number. I believe when you use the standard option you select the type of cabin you want and then it is allocated to you nearer the time you set sail.
P&O’s Free “Upgrade” Option
This is a tricky one. Personally, I do not recommend that you keep this box ticked if you are happy with your cabin. We believe this option was mis-sold to us by basically telling us if we selected yes to a complimentary upgrade, we may get a bigger room, perhaps even a mini suite or some extra amenities in the room. This was not the case and around seven weeks prior to our cruise we were upgraded to a cabin mid-ship and with an overlooked balcony. We specifically said we didn’t want an overlooked balcony as I would feel a bit self-conscious with people looking down on us.
The balconies are partially covered, lower down on the ship and ideal for those that need a bit more space. When we asked about this as we couldn’t really see how an overlooked cabin was an upgrade we were told that it was a higher grade balcony but they couldn’t explain how. There was no mention that it was slightly bigger in the cabin. We were also told that we would be unlikely to get seasick or feel much of the ship’s movement on this deck midship.
However, my partner and I do not get seasick so this seemed irrelevant. After speaking through Twitter with the very helpful Francesca who answered all my concerns promptly and politely she was able to move us back to our room and un select the upgrade option on our behalf.
I have also read and heard complaints that guests have had this option to upgrade for free selected and in fact been moved to a smaller room. My recommendation would be to select the upgrade option if you are in an inside or outside cabin with the hopes of being moved to a balcony. In future, if we decide to cruise again with P&O we will only select this option in those instances.
Our cabin was situated on Riveria, Deck 14, in the front of the ship, port side. We had a clear few of the bridge and excellent views when coming in and out of the port from our balcony. The room is very spacious and was plenty of room for the two of us during our week away.
Features – Two single beds that can be made up into a king size bed. Very comfortable and a really good size considering Adam is 6’5” and I am a chunky lady. We both felt comfortable and had enough space between us. The beds are made up daily with white linen, a bed runner and two cushions. Each night there is a turn down service by the cabin steward who left us with little bedtime chocolates. A lovely touch.
This cabin has an ensuite with shower. The bathroom is very compact with plenty of shelves for toiletries. Included is a bottle of shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, body lotion and soap all from The White Company and is a jasmine and rose scent. They smell lovely and will last a couple quite a while before they run out. A shower cap is also included for those that need to use it and above the shower is a small line for hanging clothes. There are plenty of towels in the bathroom including two big blue towels for you to take to the pool. I believe in a port where you may visit a beach, these blue towels can also be taken ashore to use there. Close to the ensuite bathroom is the walk in wardrobe which had so much space. If you’re wondering on what you should pack for a cruise I wrote a post about that here.
The cabin has three British style plug points, one American plug point and a shaving plug point in the bathroom. There is plenty of lighting including lamps and a light on the balcony too. A travel kettle and regularly replenished tea and coffee is available for that morning cuppa. However, if you like a decent cup of coffee or even a hot chocolate to wake up to, you can fill out a ‘wake me up’ card and hang outside your door for the next day, or simply call the 24-hour room service.
The cabin also benefits from a desk and two chairs, mini fridge and two bedside cabinets. Azura also has a lovely walk in dressing area with plenty of space to hang your clothes and a tall cupboard which contains a safe for any valuables, money or passports you may wish to keep locked up. This is controlled by a pin that you choose so you are the only person that can access the safe. There is also a mini fridge where you may find a mini bar on longer cruise journeys alongside your bottle of mineral water. This is one bottle of mineral water per person for the duration of the cruise. These can be filled with the tap water in the cabin which is safe to drink.
The cabin also has a television. Azura benefits from having a selection of movies and television shows for you to watch at your leisure however, the better films do come at a cost of £2.99 each. If you are wanting to listen out for announcements then keep the television tuned to the navigational channel which is full of useful information.
Our Experience of Cabin R246
We were well looked after by Glenn, the cabin steward, who was very polite, friendly and kept our room looking clean. Everything was always kept in good order and we felt very looked after throughout the cruise. The room was very spacious and the addition of a balcony was truly lovely. The only thing that was a bit frustrating was the size of the shower in the bathroom however it was fine just to get cleaned up after a day exploring the port.
There is plenty of space to store your clothes and belongings and keep the cabin looking clean and tidy. The chairs, bed and balcony seats were all very comfortable and made us feel we could relax without constantly have to sit on the bed in a tiny space. There was plenty of room to move around at our leisure without getting in each other’s way. The balcony was very private however when leaning against the edge it was easy to speak to the people next door, very handy if you’re travelling together in a group.
I do not really have any complaints about our cabin during the cruise, it was the upgrade option prior to us which we feel was mis sold a little however it all turned out well in the end.