Let me preface this by saying that we are Oceania customers.This cruise was sold to us as Oceania but better. The ship is identical to O's. We asked very specific questions of our TA and were told that they were answered by Celebrity. It seems many passengers were told different stories and it was quite clear that staff on the ship was stunned to hear what we had been told. They blamed the TA's. The TA's said the cruise line lied. Whatever the case may be, this was a disaster and it could have been avoided if we were told the truth. Celebrity runs this ship how they see fit. I was denied the option of saying this is not for me due to misrepresentation.
The embarkation was so unorganized. Our luggage was torn apart as if we were drug smugglers. Celebrity staff stood by and chatted.We chased up and down "buying" replacement forms to prove we had entered Acapulco even though our passports were stamped. We arrived to find that there was Norovirus on the ship. We had to sign forms More
stating that we had no symptoms. Anyone who even mentioned an upset stomach was confined to the cabin for 48 hours.
Why bother to hand out clorox wipes to passengers when you allow them to dig their hands into the food, reaching under the plexiglass panels to grab food while the staff chatted. We avoid buffets in general, however when the dining room was closed for lunch, which was often, you had no choice.The cold salads were re-worked everyday. There was no pasta station, the cold cuts were like luncheon meat but there was always a big roast. A poached salmon once in a while would be nice for those of us who do not eat meat.
There were 120 children on board. The cruise line claims they just found that out. I think not what with all the registering you have to do. We met people who were told by their TA's that Celebrity was marketing this new line as an upscale family cruise. That's not what we were told.We were also told that the library was now Michaels Pub and a great place to hear music and have a drink before dinner. I thought that could work but remembered that there was no bar in there. We sent that question out and were told that the specialty restaurants were right there, had bars and would service the room. Sounded good. Well there is no Michaels Pub. It is called the Drawing Room. There was a piano tied down in there. I asked Heike if they couldn't move the piano down to the old Martini Bar. She said they were thinking to do that but it couldn't happen until they got to Miami. By 10 AM all lounges on the pool deck were "reserved" Adults were told to leave the pool! Kids ran wild stuffing up drains, laying on the floors in the elevator and blocking stairways. We watched a passenger show Becky the "cruise director" pictures of the garbage in the drains. Our A/C did not work for 4-5 days. The engineers came up and asked us to be patient. The duct was cold but there was NO AIR coming out. We were told to keep the drapes closed in the cabin at all times to lessen the heat load. So much for the balcony! Eventually they fixed it so that it worked every other night.If it was working finally, why couldn't they maintain that? The food in the dining room is quite good. The service is another story. If they know you are very unhappy, they will make sure you have a good waiter. They did this for us. We were grateful. However after a few days everyone wanted the same waiter, Aldwyn, and he was killing himself to keep up. This is a cruise line that I feel would rather put out fires rather than do it right the first time. With the Martini Bar gone, there is no place to gather for a quiet drink and hear some live music before dinner. Oh that brings me to the Mosaic Cafe. This is a hallway that the two shops they have open on to. It also leads to the casino. So you may sit and sip a drink and listen to the whizzing sound of the smoothie blenders and coffee machines. Lots of treats at no charge at the counter but the coffee is very expensive. Not the place to sit and have a Martini. The Looking Glass which was a late day gathering spot on O (Horizons) where they served tea and passengers could compare notes and regroup is closed until 5:45PM. Except on this cruise as they made it the Kids Klub. At 5:45 the DJ came on and blasted you out of there. The hotel manager suggested this wonderful trio onboard called Mirage would come up to play there at that time. That was a great idea. We met Lorenzo the restaurant manager and suggested that since a few people would come up there, it would be wise to have additional bar staff. It was limited to one person. Again they said absolutely. We all went up that night and sat for 30 minutes with not so much as an approach for a drink. We brought them in from the pool bar. Since Azamara schedules everything in 45 minute intervals the trio was now off. We headed down to the dining room and saw Heike the hotel manager and Lorenzo. They asked why we were down stairs. We explained about the no service. Awful they agreed and bought us a drink. That doesn't cut it anymore. Save your free drinks and your chocolate covered strawberries and run a decent ship!
The entertainment staff although very young were very talented.Many of the other shows were cancelled for various reasons. We asked Becky why the staff didn't do more on their own as they were dying to sing. Oh no she said, they have very strict contracts and certain charts that they can sing and that's it. The band is quite good, but again, they play for the show and nothing before or after. This was one calamity after another.
In my opinion this is a serious case of misrepresentation. It should never have happened.
BTW, be prepared for the slowest internet service in history. We took packages in increments of $100.00 to get a better rate. Considering it could take 30 minutes to connect and read your email, those minutes went by fast.After the 4th package that was enough.Azamara gets no more money. Most ships provide and email service for the duration of the cruise. You pay $2.00 for each outgoing or incoming email. No need to go on line. Not here.
For those of you who will say----stay on Oceania, I agree. We intend to. If we had been told the truth we could have saved ourselves as well as Azamara a lot of aggravation. Less
Azamara Quest Cruises to the Panama Canal & Central America