Back in February I found out that I would be taking my first cruise holiday and promptly decided that I was ‘Too Cool to Cruise‘ and at least 30 years too early.
Now, just days away from stepping aboard the P&O Azura, I couldn’t be more excited. Since riling stalwart cruise-goers with expectations such as, “war heroes and sequined grannies cutting a foxtrot while Jane McDonald bangs out show tunes” and “swimming pools full of shower-capped grey heads and the latest perfume from Dame Barbara Cartland permeating every corridor”… I have been inundated with messages and tweets from people saying that cruising with P&O is the new holiday of choice for young professionals looking for assured service and a touch of luxury.
The P&O Azura took its maiden voyage in March 2010 and at 115,055 tonnes and 290 metres in length, it’s the second largest of the seven P&O cruise liners. Of the 19 decks, 14 are accessible to passengers and filled with entertainment which includes 11 restaurants and eating areas, 12 bars, four pools, a gym, two spas, outdoor cinema, a theatre and two show lounges. Sounds perfect for someone with a boredom threshold as low as mine.
I’m currently packing and the beauty is that there is no luggage allowance which is fortunate considering I need to dress for sightseeing in four cities, two black tie evenings, three ‘dressy’ events, three smart/casual nights and a two sea days by the pool.
Another bonus is that you can bring as much alcohol as you can carry and stack it in the fridge in your cabin – (while I’m outwardly acquiescing to becoming a seasoned cruiser, the backpacking ethos is still alive and kicking within).
The cruise sets sail from Southampton and travels to St Peter Port, Cherbourg, Oporto and La Coruna before returning to Southampton on day 8.
So, it’s a brave new world of civilized travel for me and far cry from the days of dodging bed bugs in hostels. Do I still think there’s such a thing as ‘too cool to cruise’? I’ll have a really good think about it while I’m sipping champagne on my cabin balcony and watching the sunset over the Bay of Biscay and I’ll get back to you.
Related post: Too Cool to Cruise?
More info on the Azura