The Retreat - Azura


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#1
UK
1,514 Posts
Joined Jan 2013
Hi all, has anyone been on Azura recently and used the Retreat? (Or Ventura it's probably the same!) I wondered if you can still buy a day pass as looking on the Personaliser all I can see is expensive packages!

Thanks.
#2
Hyde United Kingdom
505 Posts
Joined May 2011
You can buy day passes when you get on board but you need to be quick.....they do special offers too when onboard but they sell out quickly. We left it until the second day to go and buy our passes/package.....it was all sold out whereas our friends went straight to book after boarding and got a 2 week deal for not much money including a couple of treatments and classes 😃
#3
UK
1,514 Posts
Joined Jan 2013
Thanks netchells, I will go there straight away - I only want one day pass
#4
UK
505 Posts
Joined Aug 2012
Hi Sue .. saw this thread when searching for latest info on the Retreat.

We last used it on Ventura as the cruise was in August with a very high proportion of children on board. At that time we had to buy the whole cruise ..no day passes. The price was £200 per couple for the whole two weeks. It wasn't like the spa packages that P&O sell prior to embarkation that include the thermal suite and perhaps a treatment and some exercise classes ..it was purely for entrance to the Retreat area.

The Retreat on Azura is very much along the same lines but it seems to vary on how it sells its Retreat places. I guess at the start of the cruise they try and sell the full trip and if they don't sell out then some will be offered as day passes. Otherwise no one would buy the days through the Bay or Port days unless they were planning to stay on board or we suddenly had very good crossings through the Bay. Its a gamble .. do you wait and risk not getting in at all with the off chance of just picking up the odd day.

It will be our first job once we get on the ship ... no doubt see you at the spa desk. I'm guessing with the way this cruise got offered with the OBC deal there will be far more takers for the full length of the cruise. The daily rate works out more expensive too in comparison. Just have to accept there will be times you wont be able to make use of it .. they do not give refunds for wet days or if you book excursions.

That's often why beds appear to be empty .. they are all paid for but passengers may be doing other things at that time.
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In total over 40 cruises. Cunard/P&O/Princess/Celebrity and a couple with HAL and RCI
#5
UK
1,514 Posts
Joined Jan 2013
Thanks for your reply Seapals, unfortunately we only got £50 OBC each so I can't see us wanting to spend £200! we will try straight away to get a one day pass (probably for the 3rd sea day) and see if there are any other offers later in the cruise.
Funnily enough we booked a one day pass when first on Azura 3 years ago at 24 hrs notice as we weren't bothered about going ashore at Guernsey. In the event we didn't get into Guernsey (surprise surprise!!) and went to Cherbourg instead so we cancelled our pass and went ashore
#6
UK
505 Posts
Joined Aug 2012
Doesn't seem fair Sue ... you must have booked early.
Think the offer came out just for a short period and you had to pay the Select Price which we normally never do but the amount of onboard credit made it seem a good deal. Over £700! plus you could still get the choice of parking or more credit with it being a Select Fare.
We could still probably get a saver fare right now that would be a couple of hundred pounds cheaper per person than the cabin price we paid but on balance providing you normally spend over £500 pounds on board the way we booked was better.
Others would argue better to get the cheaper cabin price as then you spend just what you want once on board.
My husband would argue ... don't book ANYTHING until last minute ... he has just seen Britannia price of £899 for balcony cabin going for 14 nights the day before we sail. We would definitely have been sailing to the Baltic this weekend instead of the Canaries!!!
I would argue we could have ended up going ... nowhere!
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In total over 40 cruises. Cunard/P&O/Princess/Celebrity and a couple with HAL and RCI
#7
UK
1,514 Posts
Joined Jan 2013
I know I am a bit sick at the OBC offers I've seen - we booked in November so not MEGA early! I rarely book last minute - all the planning is half the fun for me but I must admit I am going to try and hang on a bit longer next year!
I do want to choose my own cabin though and I see you can still book the select this close - I did get free parking
#8
Devon, uk
1,728 Posts
Joined Feb 2010
Just off Azura and had a pass for the Retreat for the whole cruise.

It is a lovely area, and I am glad I experienced it but I do think that P &O need to rethink their marketing and selling of this . I left it too late to book a Spa package 14 days in advance ( should have read the small print buried elsewhere...) so hot footed it up to the Spa reception on day 1 . After some discussion realised that the only feasible option was to buy the 2 week pass for £200 - realised later that of course we were only on for 12 nights so should have got some kind of reduction. Was told day passes were like gold dust - whereas in fact I think I could have bought one most days especially as I had 2 port days on the ship ( couldn't go ashore due to back injury)The weather was not good on our cruise particularly for most of the sea days so for me this was an expensive lesson learned.
I was also told on the phone by p & o that I could book a spa package when on board whereas when I enquired on day 1 on board I was told I couldn't. Someone was giving me duff info....but who? A lot of info seems to be shrouded in secrecy!
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#9
UK
505 Posts
Joined Aug 2012
There is a difference between a spa package and the cost for the Retreat itself which can only be purchased on board like you have recently done.

We pre booked a spa package for our first cruise on Azura ... it was only for 4 or 5 days in the retreat itself the rest of the package was for inclusive treatments , gym classes and the thermal suite. We had a special event 'under the stars' early evening which was nice with a glass of champagne and a foot bath and the girls went round and did a hand massage. The whole purpose of this was to meet the staff and make more spa bookings. We didn't think this package was a very good deal for us and have since only booked the Retreat once on board however on board it is usually sold for the whole cruise.

When we had the spa package we could reserve sea days. I think if you are lucky enough to get a day pass for the Retreat on board it will be for a port day offer.

For us its part of the cruise and we budget for it at the start. On big family ships its hard to get sunbeds in the shade and also get a quiet spot on deck. The Retreat is perfect for this.

Was hoping for a reduction on the £200 we paid for a full two weeks. Looks like we will be disappointed.
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In total over 40 cruises. Cunard/P&O/Princess/Celebrity and a couple with HAL and RCI
#10
Hampshire,England
350 Posts
Joined Jan 2013
We were on Azura for the shortened cruise and the last two days were very disappointing as the weather wasn't really nice enough to use it. It was our second two week cruise on Azura and we booked The Retreat for the full cruise before boarding on both occasions, not wanting to run the risk of there not being availability on board. At the end of the cruise the spa reception told us there had only been four days when there was availability. We paid £350 for the two of us. Not sure about doing it again for a long cruise, and for our next cruise on Britannia I have read that the adults only Serenity area is just as pleasant. I never thought to ask for a two day reduction given our cruise was delayed two days...
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Aurora April 2013

Upcoming cruises

July 2014 Arcadia
May 2015 Azura
September 2015 Britannia
#11
UK
505 Posts
Joined Aug 2012
Originally posted by Elviex
We were on Azura for the shortened cruise and the last two days were very disappointing as the weather wasn't really nice enough to use it. It was our second two week cruise on Azura and we booked The Retreat for the full cruise before boarding on both occasions, not wanting to run the risk of there not being availability on board. At the end of the cruise the spa reception told us there had only been four days when there was availability. We paid £350 for the two of us. Not sure about doing it again for a long cruise, and for our next cruise on Britannia I have read that the adults only Serenity area is just as pleasant. I never thought to ask for a two day reduction given our cruise was delayed two days...

Was that pre booked price a total spa package inclusive of treatments and the thermal suite. As far as I knew we were unable to book solely the Retreat before sailing.
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In total over 40 cruises. Cunard/P&O/Princess/Celebrity and a couple with HAL and RCI
#12
Gettysburg, PA
2,210 Posts
Joined Dec 2000
Here's a large batch of P&O Azura Retreat Photos from Google if your interested and also the P&O Ventura Retreat Photos from Google.
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#14
Hampshire,England
350 Posts
Joined Jan 2013
We booked The Retreat on the day of embarkation. It was just for The Retreat. Like you I have found it is not possible to book before sailing and the packages you can buy before sailing are not for us.
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Previous cruises
Azura September 2012 our first!
Aurora April 2013

Upcoming cruises

July 2014 Arcadia
May 2015 Azura
September 2015 Britannia
#15
Hampshire,England
350 Posts
Joined Jan 2013
Just looking at those photos, on Azura the pool is not solely for Retreat users. I gather it did used to be.
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Previous cruises
Azura September 2012 our first!
Aurora April 2013

Upcoming cruises

July 2014 Arcadia
May 2015 Azura
September 2015 Britannia
#16
UK
505 Posts
Joined Aug 2012
Wow ... That £350 price tag has risen considerably from when we were last onboard. Expected to be in the region of £200.
That does work out expensive per day .. Particularly when you have to knock off the unused portions.
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In total over 40 cruises. Cunard/P&O/Princess/Celebrity and a couple with HAL and RCI
#17
Hampshire,England
350 Posts
Joined Jan 2013
It was for two people.....
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Previous cruises
Azura September 2012 our first!
Aurora April 2013

Upcoming cruises

July 2014 Arcadia
May 2015 Azura
September 2015 Britannia
#18
UK
505 Posts
Joined Aug 2012
Yes ..it was £200 for a couple last year on Ventura for two weeks in the med when we used it every day. Not always a full day when in port but well worth the price tag.

Will report back after our trip starting 1st June on Azura. 12 nts Canaries.
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In total over 40 cruises. Cunard/P&O/Princess/Celebrity and a couple with HAL and RCI
#19
UK
505 Posts
Joined Aug 2012
Mysticalmother wrote

After some discussion realised that the only feasible option was to buy the 2 week pass for £200 - realised later that of course we were only on for 12 nights so should have got some kind of reduction

Did you pay £200 per person too MysticalM??
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In total over 40 cruises. Cunard/P&O/Princess/Celebrity and a couple with HAL and RCI
#20
Devon, uk
1,728 Posts
Joined Feb 2010
Originally posted by seapals2
Mysticalmother wrote

After some discussion realised that the only feasible option was to buy the 2 week pass for £200 - realised later that of course we were only on for 12 nights so should have got some kind of reduction

Did you pay £200 per person too MysticalM??
Yes , but was just for me - my OH had far too many other things to do than chill out with me (love him really - just not his thing!)
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Sailed on.....
P&O Arcadia (old) 2001. P&O Arcadia(new)2006. P&O Artemis 2007
Cunard QE2 2008. Cunard QV 2010. Cunard QM2 2011.
Cunard QE2013. P&O Azura 2014. P&O Azura 2015
P&O Arcadia 2015. P&O Oriana - May 2016
Riviera Travel Rhone River cruise September 2016
Adonia 2017
Fred Olsen Balmoral 2017
Rhine River cruise - Amadeus Silver III - Christmas 2017

To come.....
Northern Lights, Oriana, 2018
Eastern Med , Oriana 2018