P & O Cruises, Azura
7 days of cruising the med
"This is the second time I took this cruise because we both enjoyed it so much. As my Mum lives in Malta, P&O Cruises sailing out of Valetta was the perfect excuse for us to go. I'd never entertained taking a cruise before - it had just never entered my head, despite being a travel consultant! Until, I discovered that P&O operate a weekly service on Azura out of Valetta.
We loved the idea of various ports sailing around the Mediterranean Sea, with stops at Katakolon for Olympia in Greece, Corfu, Dubrovnik & Split.
I was pleasantly surprised by cruising as I thought it would be more for my Mum but it exceeded my expectations, In fact, we loved it so much that we decided to book it again. It's far easier for me to recommend it to clients now that I've experienced it first-hand and thoroughly enjoyed it.
I'd definitely opt for a balcony cabin for amazing views gliding on the ocean, with your own sunbeds to relax on, the wind in your hair, and a different sunrise in every port!
There are four lovely pools, with loungers a spa and bars with great choice of different drinks and cocktails.
One day we took an open-top cabriolet bus and then wandered around the town, bought some jewellery, and had a refreshing glass of holiday wine.
At Split, we both embarked, as it’s walkable into town, we explored the markets, the promenade and meandered around by ourselves. However, there are itineraries available and you can take tuk tuks, visit waterfalls. catch various excursions to Hvar, Brac and Korcula. You can enjoy a full day on shore or head back to the boat whenever you like to enjoy the hospitality and entertainment.
Back on board is live music, great family entertainment, with good food. There are lots of varied options, buffet or sit-down meals. The service on the à la carte was impeccable with attentive waiters. There's an English pub with a karaoke pub quiz, or a Manhattan bar for a Cosmopolitan! You are allocated a time slot for dining times, so you can eat and then watch the show or catch a later show depending on your witching hour. We thought the entertainment was fab!
The ports of call are always the highlight for me. The excursions are really well orchestrated for different tastes. I took the hiking excursion in Corfu, solo, which I absolutely loved. We saw stunning scenery, hiking along Corfu's north coast, enjoying a taste of Greece sampling local delicacies at local taverna - a truly fantastic excursion.
Mum needed a rest day which meant she opted to stay on the ship, where she was comfortable, relaxed and highly sociable! Even as a solo traveller you wouldn’t feel alone as there are plenty of people to chat to if desired.
There is something for everybody with live music on board, singers, tribute acts. I loved ‘Graffiti Classics,’ a unique, talented and hilarious comedy string quartet– it was such a good show! It’s a great excuse to dress up if you like, for some old-school glamour, but you can also dress smart casual.
We've already booked again for next year!'
Julie Gooding, June 2023
To book your next holiday, contact Abbotts Travel on 020 8989 9445