This is the first small cruise ship we have sailed on and we were not disappointed. With around 600 passengers, this is an intimate ship; not difficult to get around and a ship that can call into ports that larger cruise ships cannot get into. Ports included in our itinerary, which are not on the beaten track, include:
- St Peter Port, Guernsey
- Bordeaux, France
- St Jean de Luz, France
- Bayonne, France
- Pasajes, Spain
- Bilbao, Spain
- Oporto, Portugal
- Lisbon, Portugal
Our veranda stateroom was not particularly any better than other cruise ships we have been on, but the difference is the staff (including the Captain and the ships' officers). You really get the impression that the staff want to make your cruise as enjoyable and memorable as possible. Without exception, all the staff we encountered were very friendly and eager to help.
Other than the size of the ship and it's friendly staff, the other big winners for us were::
- gratuities are included in the cost of the cruise
- shore excursions booked before the cruise (on-line) cost half the the normal rate and compared to some cruise ships, the tour costs are very reasonable
- free shuttle buses are provided at ports
- a good selection of wines is provided with meals; soft drinks, bottled water and specialty coffees are also provided free of charge 24 hours a day.
- longer stopovers are made in some ports.
We thoroughly enjoyed our cruise on the Azamara Journey and we will most definitely do on another cruise with Azamara Club Cruises.