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Aurora cruise ship review

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Quickly becoming one of our favorite rooms on Aurora is the beautiful Crow's Nest up on deck 13. Located directly above the bridge, this is the prime vantage point for anyone remotely interested in the world outside. The architectural team of Tillberg Design has been most successful in creating an observation lounge that is inviting at all times of the day. Like on this Sunday morning at 10:44 AM as the three of us find a comfortable window seat and order a steaming cappuccino. Ah, life can be good!

Perched high atop the ship, The Crow's Nest seems to lead a life of its own and exudes a completely different atmosphere than many other public rooms on Aurora. Service here seems a little more attentive and with its walls of glass, The Crow's Nest is one of very few public rooms that actually offers an unobstructed view of the sea. During our 40 hours on board, my friends and I are often found in The Crow's Nest. I particularly like the center section, which features nice dark wood paneling and a beautiful bar with an illuminated model of a vintage P&O liner displayed behind it. Even at night, as pianist Paul Collins plays his "Magical Melodies", this room remains one of the most inviting on board. !

Crow's Nest artwork

Adjacent to The Crow's Nest, there are two smaller rooms with tall floor-to-ceiling windows. To starboard, the Uganda Room is used for private functions and features a beautiful scale model of the ship of the same name that used to carry a mix of cruise guests and students. To port, the Himalaya Room has now been turned into a full-service Internet Cyb@Study full of PC's.

Even though it is no time for champagne yet, we should not overlook Charlie's, the small but sweet Champagne Bar adjacent to the atrium on Promenade Deck. Serving fine wines and champagne, the room was definitely underused during our voyage and more or less served as a thoroughfare to Anderson's next door. During the afternoon, this is where the ship's wait staff will be available to take wine orders for dinner. Incidentally, drinks prices are very reasonable on board and the choice in bars and lounges is unrivalled. Prices for bottles of wine are on the high side, though.

Corks galore at Charlie's

We're back in the atrium now and move up one deck. Overlooking the hustle & bustle  below is the exquisite Raffles Bar, serving up specialty coffees, teas and chocolates. "Plunge-in" sofas and formal chairs line the wood paneled room. Unfortunately, lifeboats are blocking the views outside, but this makes people watching all the more enjoyable. 

Across the atrium from Raffles is the stunning Library and Writing Room. In true British tradition, this seagoing library is guarded by a dedicated librarian and the choice of books and reference works is awesome. The Library also acts as book store and Ilona secures a copy of John Maxtone-Graham's wonderful book "Liners to the Sun" here. The reading table is adorned with a bouquet of fresh flowers, there are oversized "listening chairs" and a huge world atlas is prominently displayed in the middle of the room. What a great way to spend a Sunday morning! 

Last but not least is the extensive Card Room, aptly named Vanderbilt's, that runs from the Library to the cinema. Nicely decorated with some amusing artwork, Vanderbilt's is the place to play Bridge, Whist and many other card and board games. You will also find the daily quiz here, with 20 general knowledge questions and a prize for the winner.  

 
The Crow's Nest

The Crow's Nest

Internet Café in the Himalaya Room
The Crow's Nest

The Crow's Nest

The Crow's Nest
Charlie's
Charlie's
Mayfair Court
Raffles Bar
Library

Library

Atrium
Raffles Bar
Vanderbilt's Card Room
Library

   

Photos and text: © 2001-2011 Bart de Boer - www.ShipParade.com

First published on March 6, 2005

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