This was our first sailing on Azamara and I'm a travel agent so we were very excited to see why Azamara has such a loyal following. We spent 2 days in Buenos Aires first at the Icaro Suites then embarked on our voyage. The checkin process was a breeze and there were lots of friendly people greeting you as you came onboard. The first thing I noticed was how the crew and passnegers interacted. I was amazaed at how many crew knew the passengers as they boarded and treated them like old friends.. I loved that. We have sailed on the larger ships in the past and even though there's lots to do onboard, you never have the feeling that anybody really cares that you're there.. On Azamara, the crew really cares and shows it throughout the voyage. Our room was fine, like any normal verandah cabin with fresh flowers and a fully stocked refrigerator. We had brought some wine onboard but had a hard time drinking it because Azamara is so free flowing with the wine at lunch and dinner. This is expanding in March to all day I understand.. A great touch to have drinks, specialty coffees and tips included. it takes the worry out of your vacation and makes you feel at home.
Our first port was Port Stanley and it was awesome! The Penguins were fantastic and we even had Nigel Marven onboard to go with us to the Bluff Cove:) He is famous in most other parts of the world as an animal lover like Steve Irwin:)
Next we headed down to the Antarctic. This captain onboard, Captain Steig was the best captain we've ever had on a cruise. He was on top of everything with updates about our positions and what we were seeing. He spent a good deal of his time walking about the ship and talking to everyone. We saw the most beautiful sights I've ever seen. Penguins and whales everywhere! If we saw a pod of whales, we stopped and watched them. I cannot fathom anyone not loving this cruise! We didn't go on it to enjoy our bedding in a suite, we went on it to see places we've never seen. And we did. After 3 days in the Antarctic Peninsula, we left early because of a storm. We were trying to out run it but it caught up with us, hense the 105 knot winds and big waves. I give soooo much credit to the captain and his crew because we were listing to one side for about 9 hours with waves hitting the dining room windows and they handled it beautifully. The next day we had made it to Ushuaia but could not dock.. The port was closed due to high winds. We stayed until 230 in the morning and finally gave up. We couldn't see Cape Horn either but most of us were ok with that. We realize that if you really HAVE to see a port, you'd better fly into because there's never any guarantess with a cruise ship. They miss ports all the time due to bad weather..
Next was Puerto Madryn which we liked also. I have to say, our favorite thing was the food (beef especially) and the crew and captain. The ship is nice but not my favorite layout but like I said, you go on this cruise for the ports.. I've been on Celebrity many times and I would do Azamara before Celebrity because so many things are included that you are nickled and dimed for on all other lines.. Plus the service can't be beat!!
We have already booked our next Azamar cruise for the French Riviera this April and can't wait! Remember, a vacation is what you make of it.