Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Cruise Food on Azura

Not wishing to inundate my readers with descriptions of our Norwegian ports of call, I have decided to change this blog post to the subject of food.  After all, cruise ships are famous for the quantity and variety of their menus. And the food on Azura was excellent, far better, in our opinion, than on our last cruise on Ventura.
Firstly, I need to say sorry. I was enjoying myself so much that I forgot to participate in the common hobby of taking a photograph of every dish before we munched our way through it. We are going on Arcadia later this year, and (apologies in advance to our future dining companions) I promise to do better. So this blog post contains a rather random selection of food and drink related pictures.
Before I add photos, let’s do a very quick summary of the dining options on Azura…and there was a lot of choice. Some venues were described as ‘speciality’ (which is P&O code for ‘you have to pay extra’), but many venues were free.
We didn't pay for an evening speciality meal, but my daughter and partner went to Sindhu which they said was exceptional.

We did however have a family lunch in the (Olly Clarke's) Glasshouse. Six small plates, an open crab sandwich, and a trio of mini burgers combined with two 'flights'of wine cost £45 in total and easily satisfied the appetites of our party of four adults.

The free options are the buffet, poolside grills and the main dining rooms (MDR for short). The buffet on Azura is called ‘Venezia’ and ‘Verona’.  You can have breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner in either the buffet or one of the Dining Rooms. All serve hot and cold options, the difference being that in the MDR you are served, whereas in the buffet there is even more choice and you serve yourself.
The poolside grills are open for most of the day and serve burgers, chicken pieces, pizza slices and other ‘fast food’ type dishes. It’s all free (well included in your fare!). This is a picture of the pizza bar.

It was a firm favourite with my grandson. There is also an ice-cream bar, but they do charge.

The other (slightly underused) free option is room service, which is in addition to the free tea and coffee making facilities with biscuits always available in your cabin. A free continental breakfast can be ordered for any morning half-hour slot the night before, and other items are ordered at any time by phone. Most are currently free, but I believe there will soon be a small charge. We ordered room service just once, after our snow filled trip up the mountain. It took about 35 mins to arrive, but was hot and very tasty. We had spaghetti bolognaise, and a shared ham baguette.

As well as the buffet, and speciality venues, each evening there are four main dining rooms, two for club dining (where you eat at the same time with the same people each evening) and two for freedom dining (where you can change times and companions daily). We had booked freedom dining. The two MDRs on Azura are Peninsular and Meridien. You can choose a table for two people upwards (sharing is optional). If you eat before 7pm, waiting times are minimal. We dined in the Meridien restaurant.

The food was always quality and well presented with several repeated daily choices, including steak, salmon and chicken. Courses included starter, soup, salad, mains, desserts, cheese and tea/coffee. On formal nights you could also have sorbet.  My grandson was always offered the children’s menu and soon learned to combine  an ‘adult’ starter with his favourite children’s main course of a ‘hot dog’!
This was the adult ‘baramundi’ main course on our last evening.

And finally….let’s talk drink!  Alcohol on P&O is priced very favourably in comparison to most cruise lines. You are also allowed to take drink onboard for use in your own cabin. Bottles of wine in the restaurants start at about £16, and daily cocktails are about £5-50. My favourite was a  GTE (Bombay Sapphire gin, tonic, and elderflower).

However the prize for presentation goes to the Raspberry Creme Brulee Cocktail, which my daughter ordered on our final evening!       

And to finish this post, I am adding a sneak glimpse of a coke, because I am very fond of this photograph of my grandson!


  1. We are going on Azura for the first time next month, so very interesting and useful to have this review. We DO like our food !!

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  3. That's a great read, thanks for taking the time! :) We're gonna be on it for the first time this month, A720, balcony on B-deck, really looking forward!!