What is it that makes a cruise and for that matter a cruise line special?
Could it be that a dazzling itinerary, perhaps the price was amazing, might it be that the comfort is superlative, the food is out of this world or maybe it is just that your kind of people are attracted to this type of cruise?
With Azamara Club Cruises it could be any one of these things but may I suggest that the true catalyst in creating what is to be found on these ships is the atmosphere, the ambience and the huge joie de vivre exuding from everyone on board. It is contagious from the moment you set foot on the gangway and even before that in the embarkation area. This ebullience pervades the whole vessel and lifts you as no other ship can. It has been this way for a long time now. This was our fourth cruise with Azamara and those who remembered us welcomed us as old friends and those to whom we were new welcomed us as though we were new friends, it is a superb feeling to come back into that kind of environment.
Now how can a cruise go wrong after that?
Well every cruise has top contend with the weather, we still, despite all our ingenuity, haven't managed to change that but we had our own genius on board..... Captain Johannes Tysse, he did things that often wouldn't be allowed; things like changing the itinerary, docking instead of tendering, changing ports so that we were on the leeward side of an island and walking around the ship chatting to passengers as though he hadn't got a care in the world when we really knew that each day he had lost one or two hairs that should be still firmly fixed.
What can go wrong when the F & B manager, Scott has to give away delectable wine every lunch and dinner time and he does it so generously even when confronted with the load of inebriates as were on the ship this time and he never stopped smiling even when it rained on his Barbeque?
What can go wrong when a man of true fashion, one who can carry off a spotted tie with a striped shirt; he never puts a foot wrong and has to introduce all manner of miscreants who arrive late, who have their peculiar foibles, and who sometimes don't feel too well in the swell, to us demonstrative passengers? Cruise Director, Tony Markey has seen "us lot" and knows "us lot" so well; if it has happened on a ship he's seen it or done it or held it above his head until it went limp. I will let you into a secret, on a previous cruise I dined with him and he has a better selection of wine than the Captain, so if you get a chance ...... well you know!
This was the first time we had met Heike, the Hotel Director, other H Ds have had to put up with me before, but she is the one who keeps everyone in line and she like all crew and staff on the ship was never without a smile, although I wasn't present when the Captain just happened to mention to her about the alteration to ports of call and small readjustments that had to be made to the arranged party nights and various other minor things which would have driven Gordon Ramsey into an apoplectic fit. Nary a hair disturbed, and immaculate to boot.
And over all of these is the brilliant, beaming bundle of joy, Vicky, Human Resources; always sound to me like a Spare Part Surgery Section. Now if you had her managing you ethics and paperwork you'd be in heaven.
We all know that the demands of cruise passengers are second to none and we also know that these guys and gals work more hours than just about anyone. What you see on this ship is a wonderful camaraderie that exists and which must go a long way toward warding off the stress, tiredness and the sweat that goes with the job. You can see the whole ship's company revelling in this elation, uplifted, cushioned and comforted by the ambience that has been created and all that is so evident to us, the passengers
I have left out so many of the staff and crew and I am sorry, please forgive me.
Other reviews will talk about where we went what we did but we just want to say how much we appreciated everything on board and to say thank you for an outstanding cruise. à bientôt. Jean and David ( Lucy Tania )