P&O Cruises Azura - The Bars
Updated: Oct 22
We've cruised on P&O Cruises Azura 3 times now, so think we're quite well qualified to take you through the best and worst of the bars in and around Azura. Our most recent cruise on Azura was in February 2023, so most of our opinions will have been formed from that experience.
Blue bar is in perhaps our favourite location on Azura, with it being right in the middle of the Atrium, but also one of our least frequently visited bars. It's in a fantastic spot for people watching but is a little small for its popularity level. Every time we walked through this bar during its opening hours the bar was full. On our February 2023 cruise, we only managed to sit in here once, and on that occasion we had to share a table (which is never a problem for us). The drinks menu in here is pretty standard, with most of our favourites available and service was fast and friendly.
We normally love the pub space onboard a P&O ship, and during our 2 short cruises on Azura, Brodie's was no exception. However, we found that on our 7 night cruise we spent very little time in there. The space is nice enough, it's in good condition and there's a lot of sport being shown, but it isn't as comfortable as some other bars. We sat in on a quiz on one of our sea days, but in order to get a seat we practically had to race a couple who had eyed up the same table as us. We tried to pop in to watch a bit of karaoke too but couldn't even find standing room by the time we'd come out of the theatre. There were always plenty of staff in here serving drinks, but due to how busy it was on the few occasions we ordered a drink in here it took a bit of time to arrive. The Banana Bread Beer which is a favourite for lots of cruisers can be found on Brodie's menu and is definitely worth a try.
The Glass House
This is one of only 2 indoor bars on Azura that you'll find open during the day so if you aren't a sun worshipper the chances are you'll end up sitting in here at some point. We enjoy some of the wines that are only available in The Glass House, so it's a favourite bar for us across the P&O fleet. Azura's Glass House is a nice space, it definitely feels more modern than Ventura's, which makes sense as it is newer. The seating in here is also comfortable for lounging in. There are some nice, cosy orange chairs in here that were our favourites to sit in. Be aware that some areas of this bar are reserved for dining. We're not ale drinkers, but a lot of people were coming to The Glass House for the Jolly Olly ale that is available in here. Another reason why people visit The Glass House is to enjoy a wine flight. We may have sampled a few of these over the years!
Malabar is another lovely space that is very well themed. The furnishings were in great condition in this bar and it gives the impression that it has been well looked after. Something that we thought was a bit odd, was that during our February 2023 cruise, Malabar was used to host activities during the daytime when bizarrely the bar wasn't open whilst the events were taking place. This was a bit irritating and we had to go and hunt down an open bar to get a drink to bring back with us. One of the events we attended in Malabar was the 'Battle of Malabar' quiz. We've only ever seen this quiz hosted in Brodie's/The Exchange before and in our opinion it works a lot better in that space.
If you follow our Instagram account, you'll know that we've spent a lot of time in here! On our most recent Azura cruise we had late dining and we got into a habit of heading to Manhattan for a pre-dinner drink. This meant we enjoyed the entertainment that was on in there that evening and we were then available to go to the theatre after dinner. The location of Manhattan is perfect for this as the fixed dining room is directly below, so one flight of stairs would take us straight to dinner. You'll find Pulse performing in here regularly and its usually the preferred venue for whichever comedian is onboard too. It's also the late night venue on Azura, and always finishes with a disco. Manhattan itself is fine, it's a large enough space, is always well staffed (although we did experience some slow service at peak times) and is in great condition. There is one thing we dislike though, and that's the barriers that divide each level of seating. They're too high and leave us peering over the top to try and see what's going on.
This can be a bit of a controversial bar amongst cruisers as it's at the back of the ship, and many cruisers prefer the Crows Nest style bars at the front. It wasn't a problem for us though, and we thought the space was lovely. It's a lovely place to sit for a calmer evening, and is always a nice spot to chat to fellow cruisers. Of an evening there will usually be a pianist playing, which adds to the atmosphere and gives Planet a very traditional cruise vibe. One thing that didn't add massively to the space is the videos playing on the back wall of places around the world. We appreciate that this is to add to the theming of the bar, but some of the clips were a bit outdated. Service in here was always good and there were plenty of staff every time we visited. On our February 2023 cruise Planet Bar closed at around midnight, we've definitely been on ships where the like for like venue stayed open later.
With Azura being designed for warmer climates, there are plenty of bars outside on the open decks. We've spent a little bit of time at most of them, all offer the same menu and we found it easy to get a drink from them. We particularly liked sitting at the Terrace Bar at the back of the ship, with views out over the wake. It was a bit of a sun trap on some of the days that we were onboard and it was particularly lovely on a sea day. The pool area near to this bar was a bit quieter too, so you could relax and enjoy the views without it being too noisy. On our February 2023 cruise, we also enjoyed the silent disco out by the main pools on the evening. All of the bars were open for this and we no problems getting served quickly even though it was busy. We also found it relatively easy to get a drink at the Sail Away Party by going to a bar. On previous cruises, we have sometimes found this a struggle!