This was our first cruise with Azamara cruise line . We only slept 8 nights out of the 14 on the ship because we had hired a private company to provide us with guides to show us around Bangkok( slept at Hilton in town), fly us to Siem Reap and Ho Chi Ming City, where we rejoined the ship. We also took an overnight cruise in a small Chinese junk in Halong Bay.
Nevertheless , the time we spent on the boat was very pleasant. We had a suite at the front of the ship with a butler, Ronald.He took very good care of us by taking care of reservations for us,laundry, and bringing appetizers to our suite everyday at 4 PM, among other things.Both him, the cabin attendants and the rest of the crew were very friendly, courteous and helpful. Everybody knew our name. This was a ship where the officers circulated among the passengers on a daily basis. We came to meet the captain and got to know the Hotel manager,Heidi, the Restaurant manager,Adelle, the Executive chef,Rubio,and the front desk crew by name . We really liked the fact that the Journey was a small ship and allowed for that interaction.
Our suite was very spacious. The separate sleeping area had a comfortable king size bed, and had plenty of closet space. It had a sitting and dining area that could accommodate a small party of 6-8 people, and plenty of windows that allowed for natural light. Besides the spacious bathroom, we also had a half bathroom.The outside deck, again, was spacious with a nice size table with 4 chairs and 2 lounge chairs for sunbathing or relaxing.We feel that this has to be one of the best priced suites among comparable cruise lines.
The Windows cafe where we had our daily breakfast and lunch( never had dinner there) was excellent in variety and quality. The regular restaurant, Discoveries, could use a menu renovation. The regular choices were tired and old fashioned and the menu of the evening had no wow factor. Food quality was average. We tried the specialty restaurants Prime C and Aqualina( both free for suite passengers)and the food was very good as well as the service.
We used the spa( salon and gym) and staff was courteous and friendly. We did not use the library(brought our own e-readers)nor attended the shows( we go to bed after the late dinner). We did enjoy the harp player at the bar before entering Discoveries.We did not take any shore excursions because we had our own guides.
We selected this particular cruise because of its itinerary and we were not disappointed. The ports ( Singapore, Bangkok,HCMC(Saigon),Danang, Halong Bay and Hong Kong)were all we thought they would be and more.The fact that there were 2 nights in Bangkok allowed us to fly to Siem Reap and visit Angkor Wat and other temples in Cambodia.
Our only negative was that the disembarkation in Hong Kong took too long.Our recommendation to Azamara is that the company should provide priority disembarkation to suite passengers just like other luxury cruise lines do. There is no additional cost to th company and it makes for happy passengers.
We had such a wonderful experience that we will sailing in the Journey again on June 2014 to the Norwegian Fjords.