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P&O Cruises ship Azura resumes sailing - what can guests expect onboard?

Author: Harriet Mallinson

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P&O Cruises ship Azura sailed today for the first time since Covid, marking the fourth vessel of the fleet to return to service. What can guests expect onboard the cruise ship?

Azura returned to the high seas today as P&O Cruises continues to stagger the resumption of cruising.

She sailed out of Bridgetown, Barbados today and will cruise the Caribbean, visiting such popular destinations as Curacao and Tortola on a 13-day voyage.

The family-friendly P&O cruise ship generally sails from Barbados and also Valletta in Malta when this side of the Atlantic, cruising the Caribbean, Baltic and Mediterranean.

Azura, which first entered service in April 2010, has plenty to offer its 3,100 guests - so what can passengers expect onboard the ship, from cabins and dining to entertainment?

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Azura cabins

Azura has a wide range of cabins to suit all travellers, from solos and pairs to families.

There are 1,557 cabins onboard, including 434 Inside, 195 Sea view, 700 Balcony, 182 Superior Deluxe Balcony, 26 Suite, 18 Single and two family cabins.

Depending on the cabin type and location, balconies on the P&O cruise ship vary in size from 4 to 26 square metres.

Azura cabins: There are 182 Superior Deluxe Balcony cabins onboard the cruise ship. Credit: P&O Cruises

Azura dining

The ship boasts 10 restaurants including the Peninsular Restaurant and The Glass House - ideal for wine lovers thanks to award-winning wine expert and P&O Cruises Food Hero, Olly Smith at the helm.

Expect wine pairings and small plates (think, tempura king prawns, Thai beef salad and smoked wild mushroom pâté) as well as a range of mains including steak, fish dishes and veggie options.

There's also The Epicurean, which offers the best of modern British dining. Here you'll benefit from dishes prepared table-side in extravagant performances.

Menu options include such starters as seared king scallops and scallop Tartare and 24 Hour slow-cooked ox cheek while mains include black cod and Canadian cold water lobster tail with Avruga caviar gratin, Emmental cheese soufflé and maple glazed saddleback pork T-bone. As for dessert, there are such delights as Belgian chocolate jaffa cake and lemon meringue tart.

- READ MORE: Which P&O cruise ship is best for you? -

Other speciality restaurants are Sindhu, which boasts authentic Indian cuisine, and The Beach House, which serves food inspired by South American, Caribbean and Stateside cuisines. Tuck into steaks, ribs, grills and burgers, hanging kebabs and a range of sharing dishes.

For more casual options there are two buffet restaurants and the poolside grill, serving burgers, hot dogs and more.

Freedom or Club dining is available aboard Azura in the Peninsular, Oriental and Meridian Restaurants.

There are also 13 bars and cafés.

Azura dining: Speciality restaurant Sindhu boasts authentic Indian cuisine. Credit: Shutterstock

Azura entertainment

There's plenty to keep everyone busy onboard Azura whether you're after a spectacular show or seeking a quiet nook with a good book.

These are some of the options onboard:

The Playhouse theatre - a 800 seat, two-tier theatre showing everything from cabaret performances, stand-up comedy and interactive game shows to quizzes, aerial flying acrobatics and talent shows.

SeaScreen open-air cinema - showing a variety of classic and family films above the pool area.

Brodie’s - a classic British pub serving British and international bottled beers, ciders and real ale as well as traditional bar snacks such as pork scratchings, peanuts and crisps. Expect quizzes and live sport, live entertainment, karaoke and game shows.

- READ MORE: What are Covid rules onboard P&O Cruises ships? -

Malabar - an exotic bar inspired by the contemporary hotels on Marine Drive, Mumbai. Entertainment ranges from piano recitals and cabaret to bands and dancing.

Manhattan show lounge - a New York-inspired classic entertainment lounge. Expect cabaret performances, quiz shows, tribute acts, family shows and discos.

Guests can also enjoy a library and art gallery onboard in the three-deck atrium

There are also shops where you can buy luxury branded items such as jewellery, gifts, clothes, accessories, cosmetics and perfume plus holiday essentials, photography products and services, satellite internet packages, shore experiences, art and collectables.

Age-specific children’s clubs can be found onboard to keep young ones entertained - and to give adults some alone time!

If you need to unwind, head to The Retreat, Azura's outdoor spa terrace. You'll find shaded cabanas and can enjoy personal wait service, luxurious robes, towels and more.

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