Azamara Journey Cruise Review by CJSANDFS: Not sure that I'll be a return customer
Overall Member Rating
Not sure that I'll be a return customer
It would have to be a very good price and an itinerary I really wanted to get me back on Azamara.
The service and food were excellent, no complaints there, but the organisation left a lot to be desired. As someone has already commented, embarkation was a shambles. We spent over 90 minutes in a queue, no seats available and lemonade and cookies made available after an hour. Disasters happen but there was no apology from Azamara until I filled in my mid cruise comments card. It left a nasty taste and was not a good beginning especially for someone who was cruising Azamara for the first time. Communication did not seem to be a priority
Examples of communication breakdown:
The one and only cooking demo [I love these and always go on HAL] had 2 different times in the daily news so half the attendees missed the actual cooking.
I didn't get my landing card for Cochin and when I asked at reception, suspecting it had something to do with the overland More excursion, they had no idea.
There was a note for passengers 'disembarking' at Colombo that did not specify that it was for people leaving the ship and not coming back. Ambiguous at best.
Travel agents need to be made aware of the possibility to stay onboard for a late checkout on the last day. This is very handy for some flights.
Airport transfer included in post cruise Mumbai package but we had no prior information that this was the case, i.e. no voucher. I almost double booked a transfer through the hotel.
I chose to the do the expensive overland Taj Mahal excursion as the Taj Mahal has long been on my bucket list. I expected to get information on this once I boarded but I had to chase it up mid cruise. I like to know what I am doing. I suspect that, having booked us to Delhi via Mumbai, when there are direct flights available from Cochin, they didn't want to give anyone a chance to complain. That said, Errol did make sure that I got my aisle seats on all 3 flights and we were very well cared for. Just a shame that we did not get to the lovely hotel in Delhi earlier. Two buses for 26 people meant we had a lot of room. Lunch in Agra was excellent and the Taj lived up to expectations. If you are at all claustrophobic, don't bother joining the queue for the mausoleum. Stay outside and people watch. Fascinating. One other hint for ladies is to be at your pushiest in the toilet queue on the Agra expressway stop. Indian ladies do not queue!
This excursion was hot and exhausting but I am very glad I did it. I felt safe and looked after all the way.
In Colombo we booked a car and driver for 2 to go to the elephant orphanage and then on the temple of the Tooth at Kandy. We had not been able to get 2 tickets on the Azamara excursion including the train before we left home. Our day was very long but we saw a lot of the countryside as we took back roads. The shore excursion on the train only just got back before we sailed due a to a derailment on the track ahead of them. Except for the Taj excursion I prefer to do my own thing at a much better price and without the crowd.
Enjoyed the flautist and the cellist. The rest was woeful. Putting a Russian speaker on 'trivia' was sadistic at best. Thank goodness the poor girl had a sense of humour. I do object to a speaker not being able to pronounce place names like Aceh. Calling it 'haitch' is not funny, nor is showing pictures of people from Irian Jaya and telling the audience they were from Sumatra. Made me so sceptical that I didn't attend any more of his talks.
Food and drink.
No complaints here. I didn't have a bad dish and the all inclusive drinks deal was great. Courteous and helpful staff. Loved the spicy chicken wings by the pool. Less
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Cabin review: 7034
No complaints. This was my first ever guarantee cabin on a very good double upgrade promotionI hardly saw my steward but this is understandable as I was certainly in a foul mood by the time I boarded after the embarkation mess. I would have avoided me too. I also found it a bit odd that I still got invites to events on board when they knew I was off the ship.
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Reason for 'Poor' rating