Azamara was easy to book. I booked direct because they promised to match any prices decreases. Booked our own air directly with USAirways. We also booked our own hotels for our stays before and after the cruise. We took taxis to/from the ship. The cruise line charges for these services seemed too high for us. For example, we stayed at Le Meridien in Barcelona for 179E including breakfast. They even threw in museum passes and coupons for coffee. I got a great deal and I knew it. I booked an guarantee cabin on the ship. I got an assigned cabin about 2 months prior to sailing. It did not include an upgrade. I was a bit dissappointed that we did not get any upgrade. Not even one cat. Captains Club advanced standing got us nothing. However, our balcony cabin was fine. Certainly enough space for storage. Our butler stored out larger luggage. We put our carryons under the beds. The storage space was good. The bathroom was a bit small, but okay. We got used to taking showers sideways. The shampoo/conditioner/soap were excellent quality. Towels were big and heavy.Hairdryer was good. Bathrobes and slippers were provided. Also, a cloth totebag, umbrella, binoculars, hairdryer were in the cabin. We brought a plastic waterbottle which we had our butler fill with ice and water. It was great on excursions. Beds were okay. We really enjoyed the deck area when we were able to use it.
What we did in ports:
Gibraltar ....took a shared taxi to town. Took a taxi to top of the rock, went inside the caves, saw the apes.
La Coruna...walked in the old town
St. Malo.....walked the ramparts, enjoyed the stores and quaint streets, ate lunch at a cafe
Rouen........took the express train to Paris (1 hr), ate lunch at Pompeii ( a nice cafe near Madeline which we had found a previous trip), took the metro to Muse D'Orsay, walked in the Tulleries gardens, metro to St. Lazarre train station where we went back to Rouen, ate dinner at a cafe in the old market square in Rouen
Antwerp..... took the ship excursion to Ghent for a canal ride and tour (very good tour)
London.......took the ship excursion London Panorama and Pub Lunch( very good tour)
Amsterdam.... tram to flower market, tram to Riijksmuseum, walked to the Van Loon House ( a find), walked through the antique district, tram to ship
Kiel Canal.....enjoyed watching the process of going through the locks. The scenery along the canal was beautiful. We wanted to sit on our balcony and enjoy. However, on that day we were shocked to find 2 Azamara workers on our deck scraping, painting, etc. We had not been told that this was to happen. The smell was awful and we were not able to enjoy our balcony that day. Be aware that the cabins balconies connect ..a key is needed to open them. We were not happy.
Copenhagen...disembarkment was a breeze. Taxis were easy to get. Taxis took credit cards. Stayed at Hilton. It was an excellent hotel and a short walk to the airport.
I liked the open seating, the casual dress, no lines. The food was good, but not gourmet. The coffee was poor. The choices could have been better. On a 14 night cruise, the desserts were repeated too often. Most entrees were good, but portions were very large. Specialty restaurants were a nice option. Liked Prime C better than Aquilina. Service was excellent. I missed the therapy pools on Celebrity....the outdoor pool on the front deck of the spa wasn't very good.
Would I cruise again on Azamara? Most likely....if I like the intinery and the price was right. The service was very good. Philip, the hotel director seems to really care. John Howell makes the cruise fun. Everyone smiles. People are happy.
Sign up for the CruiseCritcs party. We had 4 get togthers with our group.