With an overall length of 270 meters, MV Aurora is the sixth largest cruise vessel within the British P&O Cruises fleet. She entered service in 2000 and was the first ship to receive the updated company livery with the waving Union flag design on her bow in 2014 while receiving a major refurbishment. I recently had the opportunity to visit the ship in Hamburg and fell in love right from the moment I laid foot on her teak decks.
Laid out for a maximum of 1,878 passengers, MV Aurora belongs these days to the slowly dying medium size of cruise vessels. Designed to mainly attract a more traditional British maritime traveler market, her hull and superstructure feature elements of more classic ocean liners such as her raked, tiered stern. Being a regular Cunard Line guest, I was excited to get to know a less stiff alternative with cozy and homely interiors that I felt most comfortable in right from the beginning.
The Reception is located on the E Deck amidships along with inside and exterior cabins.
This is also where guest will find the Loyalty and Future Cruise Sales desk.
One of the main attractions onboard is the beautiful atrium expanding over four decks with a massive wall mural and the glamorous staircase.
Unlike on other cruise lines, the ship´s shopping gallery is enclosing the atrium and gives it the feeling of being inside a luxurious London department store.
The Medina Restaurant is one of the two main dining rooms aboard Aurora and is located amidships of the E Deck. An elegant staircase leads down from the Prom Deck right into the restaurant.
A view into the rear staircase on the E Deck from where you can access the second restaurant. Note the high ceilings and airy layout.
Alexandria Restaurant is the second main dining room. With its secluded location at the stern of the E Deck it offers panoramic views over the wash and the sides while the elegant interiors are styled with an Oriental touch.
There is one main theatre for shows and concerts, the Curzon Theatre. I actually do like these clear spaces as they truly give you the feeling of sitting in a concert hall on land rather than floating on a ship, don´t they?
Pure ocean liner feeling on the teak promenade. Plenty of space to take a walk or to enjoy a moment on one of the seating accommodation.
Anderson´s brings back the era of the glorious British maritime overseas travel. This elegant “living room” is daytime lounge and bar together and is a cozy retreat to read, play a board game or a game of cards on a hazy day. Feels like a trip back in time.
Right adjacent, the comfortable sofas and arm chairs of Charlie´s invite for a pre-dinner drink while listening to the piano player.
The corridor that connects the atrium with the casino. Note the padded seating along the windows. The glass doors give access to the Medina restaurant.
Feeling like dancing the night away? Masquerade night club is for the young and the young-at-heart.
Champions is the casual sports bar with live tv and a popular meeting point during the day. Aurora also features a Casino for those seeking their luck at high sea. Love the carpet, don´t you?
Aiming at the more mature P&O guest, Carmen´s is an intimate lounge located in the rear of the Prom Deck.
If you love a good cup of tea or your favorite Costa Coffee speciality, Raffles Court & Bar will be your place onboard. Do not forget to try out any of the delicious pastries on offer.
Amazing views into Aurora´s atrium from the top on D Deck.
An elegant evening alternative to the main restaurants is the speciality venue Sindhu which serves classic Indian cuisine in an intimate and cozy ambiance.
Vanderbilt´s, the ship´s card and game room.
The world of wine comes alive at the Glass House on D Deck. Award-winning wine expert and foodie Olly Smith established a classy restaurant and bar for light bites, wine pairings and informal evenings out.
The Terrace Pool is one of three swimming pools onboard P&O´s Aurora. It forms the end to D Deck and is a family friendly environment as the kid´s and teens care are located right adjacent.
Cabin corridors are decorated with bright carpets and warm wooden wall paneling.
A view into one of the Deluxe Balcony cabins on C Deck. Some of them feature a sofa bed which can be separated from the rest of the room by a curtain. The bathroom is roomy and is equipped with a bathtub. I would not mind to move in straight away….
A typical Interior Stateroom aboard MV Aurora. Note how spacious the cabin is laid out! There is even room for a recamiere. And, of course, a portable water heater.
If you cannot do without a bit of physical education during a cruise, the Weights and Measures Fitness Room on the A Deck is your place to be. Even though there are no direct sea views, the gym features floor-to-ceiling windows towards Riviera Pool, allowing sun light to enter.
A wonderful extra during this ship visit: A visit to the bridge, the epicentre of P&O Aurora.
P&O Cruises enforces a dedicated “Adult Only” concept aboard its cruise ships. The Riviera Pool on Lido Deck is accessible to everyone above 18 years of age.
While the larger resort ships such as Azura, Britannia and Ventura offer state-of-the-art thermal suites at additional cost, Aurora is equipped with a small yet neat wellness area called Oasis Spa. Access is complimentary and operates at a first-come-first-serve base.
Open to travelers of all age groups and at every kind of weather: Crystal Pool with included Ice Cream parlor and Lido Grill for quick bites, such as burgers, hot dogs or pizza.
The bright and modern Horizon buffet venue. Something that was new to me: Guests are provided with trays to conveniently carry their self-service meals to the tables. Great idea!
Already my favorite bar onboard: The Beach House Bar on the after deck of Lido Deck with panoramic views over the stern.
No British cruise ship would be complete without an observation lounge located on the top forward deck. Aurora´s The Crow´s Nest.
Small, but…. . Isn´t this one of the most adorable cruise ship libraries there is? Ok, apart from the grandiose one aboard QM2, but this little hideaway made me melt away straight away.
Aurora is one of the P&O ships that sails on world cruises on a regular base. In order to help the guests to orientate, each staircase features a different colored carpet.
Before it was time to leave the ship again at early afternoon, I was invited to a delicious lunch inside the Medina restaurant.
To put it all in a few words, I was actually not sure what to expect during these few hours. While certainly not being the most modern and state-of-the-art ship on the market, P&O Aurora absolutely convinced my in terms of coziness, space, clarity and comfort. While generally appealing to a more mature generation, I encountered quite a number of younger couples and single travelers during my time onboard. And since this size (max. 2000 passengers) becomes more and more my most favorable choice as I mature myself, I would have answered with a definite “Yes” if someone would have asked me to spontaneously join the Baltic itinerary that Aurora was sailing on.
Well, it was not meant to be. At least not now. But for the near future, I will surely include P&O Cruises in my travel plans. And you should, too!
For more specific information about P&O Aurora, visit the P&O Cruises website. Safe travels!