Crossing the Atlantic with six days at sea had an appeal but also a certain dread about it. My brother, with whom I traveled, had done the same crossing on Oceania two years ago so I was somewhat prepared for the kind of cruise it would be.
I had cruised earlier in the decade on the R2 and was acquainted with the smaller ship...actually little had changed from that ship to the Journey. Previously, the R2 was my favorite ship and so I was curious to see what Azamara could do to improve on it.
My reaction, from check-in to departure, was totally positive! From the moment we embarked the crew extended itself with outstanding service. The dining was superb, albeit a bit longer in the main dining room than might have been necessary. If one wants to spend a lot of time in the dining room, then I would recommend sitting at the tables for eight. I found the service much more efficient at smaller table arrangements. But, what the heck. Where does one have to go in a hurry anyway?
The quality of the food throughout the ship was top-notch. I am not normally impressed by the buffet room (Breeza), but the Journey delivered marvelously with broad and varied selection as well as little specials like fresh juices squeezed while you wait. Never disappointed. Main dining room (Discoveries) menus provided great variety throughout the cruise and my selections always tasted great. The specialty restaurants seemed to have less consistency in quality and service than the main room. Food was well prepared, but I didn't feel that it was much better than the fare in the main dining room. Actually, I had a better prime rib in the main room than I did in Prime C which is the ship's 'steak house'. Aqualina with its Mediterranean menu was a treat particularly with its choice of lobster.
Cabin service was excellent with Julio our butler and his assistant always available. We didn't want for anything. On one occasion, we returned from dinner to find our cabin TV was not working. Within ten minutes, after a call to Julio, a technician was in our stateroom and the TV was fixed. Amenities above standard.
The activities aboard were plentiful and varied. Evening entertainment, for a smaller ship, was excellent. One could say that the entertainers were more like a Vegas lounge act than the main room in a Vegas hotel. I was surprised by the caliber of talent particularly a concert pianist who performed twice.
Was I happy I took the 16 day crossing? Yes. Was I satisfied with the service from ALL staff? Yes. Would I do it again? Yes. Would I do it on Azamara? YES!