This was our 13th cruise and our second one with Celebrity. We've always been on the larger ships. We've been on Princess, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and now Azamara.
It was wonderfully easy and quick and very organized. We arrived at the port about 11:30 and were in our cabin by 12:15. Parking at the port was $112.00 per week and you paid that amount when you left your car before the cruise.
We were not sure we would be happy on a small ship as we were used to cruising on the large ones. We were pleasantly pleased however at the beauty and elegance of it. It had a dEcor that was very much a reminder of the ships of yesteryear with all the beautiful woods and upholsteries. Upon embarking, we were served a glass of champagne (it was very good and not watered down as we've had on some cruises.) We were impressed with our veranda cabin at the bow. We had fantastic views at sea and also in Bermuda and it alleviated our concerns of being at the front of the ship. We would definitely book a bow cabin again on deck seven. We had a first hand view of entering and leaving the ports and watching the crew dock the boat.
The service was splendid. The crew on the ship was definitely the most friendly and seemed to be the happiest that we have ever encountered. I believe they are the cream of the crop. They would always say hello and ask how our day was. When we walked past them and they were busy at a task, they would turn from their work to greet us. I wish all cruise lines had such a great crew.
What can I say about the food, other than it was fantastic !!!!! I'd been watching my weight for the last 3 years but gave up when I tasted it. There was so much variety that I tried everything and I mean everything. Now I have to work off the weight that I gained. It was worth it though !!
The shows are the cabaret type. They are not the big production ones that the large ships offer. They had a comedian, a comedian magician and singers and dancers on the small stage. If you enjoy the large shows that are offered on larger ships, then you might be disappointed. I found that these cabaret ones fit the character of the Journey and were very personalized. It was never difficult to find a seat which was refreshing.
We had been to Bermuda before and so we decided not to book any excursions. You can purchase a bus/ferry pass which is great for getting around the island. The bus ride in itself is entertaining. The roads are VERY narrow and the bus drivers seem to think they're on a race course. It was rather thrilling. St. George and Hamilton each have an evening when they close their main street to traffic for a street festival with food and vendors. The stores stay open late that evening as well so there is plenty of time to shop.
We were a little later getting off than the time that our color tags stated but it wasn't a problem. We found our luggage easily and got through customs quickly. We went to the parking lot which was an easy walk (a shuttle is available) and we were in our car and on the road back home.
This was one of the best cruises that we have been on. If anyone asks if we would sail Azamara again, our answer would be a definite YES !!! The other couple that we traveled with were already getting information on the ship's cruise to the British Isles next year. I hope that the Journey and Quest are successful. I believe that Celebrity has made a wise choice in creating this new line. If you try Azamara, I hope that you have as much an enjoyable and memorable time as we had. HAPPY SAILING !