We were on back to back cruises from Singapore to Athens so we spent the first day ashore in Mumbai on a tour to Elephanta Island booked before we left home with Azamara. We have been to Elephanta Island twice before but the guide we had this time explained every part of the caves in such detail. Wonderful.
Arriving back to wharf we rejoined Journey after passing through Indian Immigration without any problems and before we knew it we were on our way again to Windows Cafe with a glass of bubbly in hand.
Journey stayed overnight in Mumbai and next day we took ourselves on a taxi ride around town. We have been to Mumbai on three previous occasions and love the colours of India and the happy smiling faces of the people.
Journey sailed from Mumbai the second evening and a note in the suite from Captain Johannes Thysse informing us that the ship would be in blackout after sundown as we crossed the Arabian Sea came as no surprise and we would have been very concerned if it had not been the case. For the past ten years or more every ship travelling through the Arabian Sea has been on pirate alert and the 8 young security guards that came on board to keep a watch all night was reassuring. Never the less the ship in darkness made for fantastic star gazing from our balcony. Turn off all the lights and out we went along with many others that we spoke to. The heavens in complete darkness was wonderful and we even managed to spot a satellite travelling across the sky.
Suite was a great size and we had our computer set up and whilst the Wi Fi connection was slow we had no problems sending and receiving e-mails and being members of Le Club Voyage there was no cost to us.
Fujairah was the first of only two ports on this voyage and we took the long day journey into Dubai and considered it good value for money having booked it before we left home receiving the trip at 50% off the normal price. We had spent several stop overs in Dubai but never got out and around the city. A trip up the Burj Khalifa building and we had a birds eye view of the city for miles around. A visit to the Al Fahadi Fort Museum gave the history of the Dubai area.
The days at sea that followed were fully occupied with Le Club Voyage activities, Captain and Officers cooking the lunch and formal afternoon teas and watching out for the Grey Funnel Lines that seemed to be always on the horizon watching over us.
Once in the Red Sea the blackout came off the ship and once again we could walk the jogging track at 5.00 am with a select group of plodders.
The trip through the Suez Canal could have been better organised. I suspect that the age of the ship made the broadcast of the passage through the canal difficult as the frequency being used by the expert was also the one the pilot was using. On a more modern ship I would think there would be a dedicated line for the Enrichment Program. That said Azamara should update their program of maps on Channel 14 and have maps that zoom in on the area that the ship is passing through or give more detailed maps out for things like a Suez transit.
We had a wonderful day all the same and spent the full day in our suite and on the balcony and listening with Channel 14 on and we ordered lunch in the suite for the first time and enjoyed the passage with a bottle of champagne.
Once through the Suez Canal and into the Mediterranean Sea the temperature dropped and the hot humid weather of the previous 10 days disappeared. Much more pleasant temperatures.
Santorini appeared ahead of the ship and in the morning light the many white houses on the island appeared as snow on the edge of the Caldera. We had spent a week on Santorini 4 years ago so did not book a tour. We went ashore on the first tender and caught the cable car to the top of the caldera and then a taxi about half way to the top of the island and then walked all the way back along the edge of the caldera to Fira with magnificent views the whole way.
We met many wonderful people from many different countries and swapped cruise stories with them. The ships waiters and waitresses from many different countries are a delight and we were always greeted whenever we entered Windows Cafe with smiling faces ready for a chat and to improve their already good English. The young men in Mosaic Cafe knew the coffee order as we arrived and sat down. Azamara has wonderful people working for them.
We ate all our dinners in either Prime C or Aqualina with breakfast in Windows Cafe where the omelettes of choice were cooked in front of you and delivered to the table. We had lunch either in Discoveries Dining Room or Windows Cafe. All the young men working in both Windows and Discoveries were fully up to the task of serving people quickly and efficiently.
The floor shows with the Azamara Singers and Dancers under the direction of the wonderful Eric De Gray were first class and equal to anything outside of Las Vegas.
The Captain and his officers were friendly and sociable people and were always about the ship and happy to have a chat or eat a meal with you.
Would we book with Azamara again we already have and would we recommend Azamara to others we already have.