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P&O Cruises: Aurora

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Aurora Review

Instantly recognizable with her elegantly tiered stern, the Aurora is a large resort ocean cruiser, designed for cruisers who prefer to embark and disembark in the United Kingdom. Offering good value for money, the traditional cruise format appeals to individuals, couples,

families, and groups seeking worldwide destinations. Very British in atmosphere and ambience, the dining, entertainment and activities aboard are what one would expect from lively restaurants, theaters, and recreation hotspots found on U.K. shores. Families are welcome and can enjoy a special children’s program, club, and dedicated pool.

Aurora is a bit more formal than fleetmates Arcadia and Oceana but has superb facilities for children. Adjacent to the playroom and teen center, parents and kids have a dedicated area at the ship's stern with its own pool, hot tub, and table tennis area. There's even a bar nearby and waiter service for when you're thirsty. Aurora is so family-friendly that there’s even a baby monitor in every cabin. Not merely kid stuff, Aurora has much to offer for adults. Interiors are designed in such a way that spaciousness prevails, while public rooms are quite distinct.

The centerpiece of Aurora's impressive four-deck-high atrium is a lovely sculptural Lalique-inspired waterfall. Relaxation is easy in the comfortable surroundings of Anderson's, a mahogany- paneled lounge that has a fireplace. From the vantage point of the Crow's Nest, enjoy spectacular sunsets. Head to upper decks for a tennis court, golf simulator, and third pool with sky dome. Other facilities include a virtual reality arcade, broad teak promenade deck, 12 lounges/bars, and a comfortable cinema that doubles as a concert and lecture hall.

Since 1937, P&O Cruises (originally the Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Company) has been a force in passenger shipping. Although the company's suggestion that they invented leisure cruising cannot be proven, P&O is assuredly a pioneer of modern cruising. The company acquired Princess Cruises in 1974. P&O then purchased Sitmar Cruises and merged it with Princess in 1988, and the passenger-cruise business—known as P&O Princess—was spun off in 2000.

P&O Cruises is the oldest cruise in the world and remains Britain's leading cruise line, sailing the U.K.'s largest and most modern fleet. The ships are equipped with every traditional big-ship amenity, including swimming pools, stylish restaurants, spas, bars, casinos, theaters, and show rooms.

Seven ships in the P&O fleet offer a diverse range of venues for relaxation and entertainment, including cocktail bars, nightclubs, cinemas, games rooms, and cabaret lounges. Enjoy live bands, dramatic musicals, and deck parties, cabaret singers, comedians, specialty acts, classical recitals, and concerts. Theme evenings include tropical, 1960s and '70s, or Black and White Ball. Other activities include quizzes and panel games, with prizes awarded to winning teams. A select number of itineraries offer the opportunity to spend the evening, or even overnight, in port.

An abundance of balcony and outside cabins on P&O ships ensures that a view to the sea is never far away. Accommodations, from inside cabins to lavish suites, cater to a wide cross section of budgets and tastes. In the interest of passenger health and safety, smoking has been prohibited indoors, including in all cabins and suites and on private balconies. Outdoor smoking venues are published on board.

To offer passengers a variety of choices, P&O has adapted their fleet to match the preferences of their primary markets. Although most of the ships cater to families as well as couples and singles of all ages, Arcadia, Adonia, andOriana are adults-only ships. The Aurora, Azura, Oceana, and Ventura complete the P&O armada and welcome both adults and children. Following customer feedback, P&O announced major refurbishments for the Ventura, Oceana, and Arcadia in 2013.

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What You Should Know


  • No cost for use of saunas and steam rooms
  • Formal night dress codes are strictly enforced throughout ship
  • A complimentary mineral water and amenities “pamper pack” is in all cabins upon arrival


  • The small fitness center has a very limited number of machines and workout space
  • For a family-friendly ship, there are few interconnecting doors between cabins
  • Special event cakes, specialty coffees, bottled water, and ice cream are no longer free
  • Ship design may feel dated
Ship Stats
  • Crew Members 850
  • Entered Service 2000
  • Gross Tons 76,00
  • Length 886 feet
  • Number of Cabins 939
  • Passenger Capacity 1,870
  • Width 106 feet

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