Azura Cruise Review by Blue Aspect: Second Cruise - already planning the next!
Overall Member Rating
Second Cruise - already planning the next!
Destination: Europe - Eastern Mediterranean
Firstly, although only our second cruise (the first being on Ventura in 2011), we found this to be an excellent Ship and tour. I booked Freedom Dining 18 months ago, and have found it to be ideal for us, as we decide when we wish to eat, and if they cannot accomodate you straight away you get a pager whilst waiting for the table (our maximum wait was 10 minutes!). Sometimes if we did not fancy anything on the menu we ate in the Buffet (different Theme each night) or one of the 'Speciality' Restaurants - Glasshouse being our favourite. If you book the cruise well in advance you may not get the cheapest deal, but you DO get your choice of cabin, and choice of Dining option - so it's swings and roundabouts. There are certainly more than one or two other choices on the main dining room menu as well (the menu copy I have in front of me has a total of 7 dishes including Highland Salmon, Sirloin of Beef, Seafood Stew, Roast Leg of Pork, Fricasse of Chicken, Chestnut, Quorn & Spinach More
Gateau, & finally Smoked Haddock Fishcakes!!). I did hear complaints about sunbeds - there were several announcements whilst on board regarding the reservation of sunbeds, but the company are limited to what they can do, as I observed several sunbeds left vacant with towels on them, with people saying the occupants were in the pool, visiting the buffet or using the toilet. Also a fellow passenger complained of a jacuzzi full of children - it was a 'Family' ship in the middle of the school holidays (what did he expect!!) - albeit the children were outnumbered by middle aged and retired couples. There are several adult only ships if children are to be avoided!!!
Anyway, my personal experience was totally different - very clean ship, excellent staff service from our Cabin Steward (Mathew), good entertainments staff led by Neil Oliver, a very approachable Captain (Paul Brown), as well as nothing but courteous friendly staff throughout. The only gripe I have is about the first Port of Call - La Coruna, although we did not go on a booked tour, we were not very impressed with the place at all, and maybe a stop in Lisbon would have been better to break up the number of sea days. Best place we visited was Corfu, visited the Achelon Palace and had a look around the Old Town. Sail in to Venice was also worthwhile (make sure you book a Starboard Cabin - or Port side for on the way out). As previously stated the Glasshouse is worth a visit for the Wine Flights (three glasses of wine chosen by Olly Smith), and the Steaks / Fish. Watched a few shows in the Main Playhouse, also enjoyed watching a couple of films on the outdoor Seascreen at night when it was a bit cooler (blankets provided). Missed a couple of shows in the Manhattan Showbar as this venue was always full when we got there. Going back to the subject of Tours - we did lose 25 minutes off one tour due to the late arrival of fellow passengers (not the Companies fault), but they (the passengers) didn't even apologise to those of us waiting on the coach!! In the main had an excellent holiday, would certainly go on Azura again - it is only your fellow passengers that may affect how much you enjoy it. Less
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