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14 Athens (Piraeus) Azamara Pursuit Cruise Reviews

Boarding in Athens was quick and efficient. Ship is very clean and easy to get around We departed Athens facing some high winds and the ship rocked quite a bit on our first night. Food was good but service was better with the wait ... Read More
Boarding in Athens was quick and efficient. Ship is very clean and easy to get around We departed Athens facing some high winds and the ship rocked quite a bit on our first night. Food was good but service was better with the wait staff making sure your glass of wine was always filled. No need to purchase the ultimate drink or wine package as the choices for completely beverages are fine. All premium coffees and bottled water is also included in your fair and is plentiful They conduct two signature events on board. One being their white party which is held on deck by the pool and their Azamara Amazing night which was a concert held at a remote location. Both were excellent Cabin had plenty of storage, bed was comfortable and kept clean Disembarked in Venice after a nice breakfast with no rush. All n all a very nice experience Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
My wife and I have been on dozens of cruises on almost all the major lines. This company is part of the Royal Caribbean/Celebrity family of companies. The cost of Azamara is at least double of Celebrity for the same size of room and ... Read More
My wife and I have been on dozens of cruises on almost all the major lines. This company is part of the Royal Caribbean/Celebrity family of companies. The cost of Azamara is at least double of Celebrity for the same size of room and three times the cost of Royal Caribbean. They are using cost to imitate a high end cruise line, sorry Azamara, you’re a long way from being a top tier line. Pros: Cabin attendant service was good, especially after a nice tip to start the cruise. Food service was good and the attitude of the servers was good. The White Night party was fun with good entertainment. While there was not any big shows, the entertainers they did have were very good. Food was OK, but not at the level of Celebrity. Bar service was good and the “free” drinks were OK. Buses for the shore excursions were good. The Captain was very communicative except then the rockets were exploding over our ship in Israel. Cons: Shore Excursions were very poor and not well defined. The ship was sold as Israel Intensive so we booked many excursions. However, after the first excursion we learned that the next day was almost an exact repeat of the one we just completed. The Shore Excursion desk offered (with no luck) to sell our tickets but would not let us change to a different tour. They hid behind the 48 hour cancellation policy. It didn’t matter that their Excursion people on the phone booked the tours and told us they were much different. I would have expected a RCL company to stand behind their own mistakes, but they don’t have that quality of executives. The Shsore Excursions that we took were mediocre at best. Room size is way too small and the furniture is too big for the room, look at this before booking as we had the biggest room not being a suite. Even the comedians made fun of the room size. Conclusion: Either book a Celebrity Cruise or spend more and go to Crystal or one of the high end cruises. This is actually the low end of the RCL company at a ridiculous price. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
10-Night Israel Intensive Voyage and 7-Night Adriatic Pursuit Voyage This was our first time of the Pursuit after several trips on both the Journey and Quest, and our first back-to-back, but definitely not our last. The Israel ... Read More
10-Night Israel Intensive Voyage and 7-Night Adriatic Pursuit Voyage This was our first time of the Pursuit after several trips on both the Journey and Quest, and our first back-to-back, but definitely not our last. The Israel Intensive voyage gave us overnight stays in both Haifa and Jerusalem. Lots of time to explore this historic area. The second part of the cruise gave us an opportunity to explore destinations that we had not visited before and were on our bucket list. Dubrovnik & Kotor are must visits! We took several private tours as well as some excursions from the ship. Guides were friendly and very knowledgeable in all cases. As usual the food and service on Azamara was excellent. The Azamazing Evenings on both cruises were exceptional. The officers and crew, from Captain Carl, Ryszard and Tony lead by example and this is reflected in the crew as a whole. They were visible throughout the voyages and ready and willing to stop and talk with the guests. Within days we were being called by names by all. The Pursuit is a beautiful ship. They have removed the casinos and replaced them with “The Den”. A wonderful place to sit, relax and have a quiet drink before dinner. The Pursuit entertainers are professional and just excellent! 10 Forward is now the “Living Room”, a beautiful area for relaxing during the day and partying at night. Overall, the refurbishing of the Pursuit has been excellent. On the down side, the bathrooms in the non-suite cabins are a little small. An arced curtain rod or shower doors could help. In 17 days in cruising at 12 ports we only tendered once. The Azamara ships are small enough to dock places the larger ships cannot. We are loyal Azamara and will continue to be so! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Having completed many cruise on Azamara Quest I was eager to experience the newest addition to the brand. Embarkation was very efficient although we had to first get luggage tags for our bags as Azamara do not send any in advance. It ... Read More
Having completed many cruise on Azamara Quest I was eager to experience the newest addition to the brand. Embarkation was very efficient although we had to first get luggage tags for our bags as Azamara do not send any in advance. It was interesting to note that you do not have to complete a health declaration anymore. Ship: Overall there was a new feeling to the ship with some differences to it's sister ships. There is now a lovely and well used seating area where the casino used to be which is also home to the future cruises and shore excursions desks. Spirits bar is central in this area as is a piano which provides light entertainment in the evening. Another major change is the removal of the bar on the sunset veranda which allows for extra seating in that area. This is a wonderful improvement which works well. Cabin: We were in a club continent suite on deck 8. This was a nice light and airy space with a good bathroom which had a large shower.Throughout the cruise it was well maintained by the cabin stewards. There were extra power sockets including a UK style at the desk and a USB socket at each bedside lamp.Although under the Patio noise was not bad except during preparation for the white night although I understand this is a issue for most of the cabins on deck 8. Food/beverage: Food is generally a high standard and well prepared. The MDR has an expanded menu over that that we experienced recently on Quest and is very good. Windows buffet is good (we only used it for breakfast and lunch) although the lunch menus could be repetitive. Prime C was very good both for service and menu choice whereas Aqualina's menu was not very good and in fact the only main course I had was the dover sole.Another issue in Aqualina was the extra tables which had been added which took away from the previous dining experience. The dover sole which is deboned tableside is now done further from your table if you are sat at a window table and might as well be carried out in the kitchen. Included wines are a weak point, they are poor quality and a very limited in variety. During this cruise and the one after I reckon only 5 or 6 different reds and whites were used which led to many repeated offerings of the same wines. We upgraded our drinks package where you expand the range of wine on offer by 5 each of red and white (and are better quality). In general the ship felt crowded on sea days when the weather was not good and seating in the public areas was hard to find. However dealing with the crew and officers was as ever very positive and friendly which was good considering that many were new to Azamara. Entertainment was very average except for the Azamazing evening in Malta which was excellent. We were taken by bus to the venue where we were treated to local wine and bites while watching some folklore dancing and singing. Overall I really enjoyed this cruise and although there are some negative points they are well outnumbered by the positives and the general feel of the ship and crew. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We did our first cruise with Azamara Club Cruises with Azamara Journey from Sydney to Signapore (18 days) in March this year (2018) and was very satisfied with ship, itinieries, food, service and ambiance on board. When we found a good ... Read More
We did our first cruise with Azamara Club Cruises with Azamara Journey from Sydney to Signapore (18 days) in March this year (2018) and was very satisfied with ship, itinieries, food, service and ambiance on board. When we found a good deal on the newly refurbished Azamara Pursuit we booked this cruise from Athen to Rome. We were exicited and a bit anxious in advance as some reviews have been on the negative side in addition to the fact that we also had booked a 16 days cruise in february 2019 from Santiago Chile to Buenos Aires. We are happy to report that we were pleasantly supprised and very satisfied with our cruise and can sum up as follows: * ship is old but well refurbished and in better condition than Journey * embarkation and disembarkation was smoot despite a delay on disembarkment. This delay was however due to bad weather * cabin was fine and to expectations * food and service in discovery was already up to speed and prime C was better than Journey. * Windows cafe can be better on pastas and pizzas which is something both Azamara Journey and Azamara Pursuit are not as good at making Italien food. I think they have to hire some good Italien chef who can take all cooks on a special Italien cooking course. * entertainment was on average in the cabaret except from the cruisedirector Amanda Poulsson and one other english perfomer at the end of the ship. Pianist and group playing in bar areas was good and far better than on Journey *Interesting cruise with many fine places to visit * compared to Journey I must admit that captain Johannes from Norway together with cruisedirector Eric was special and was extremely good at informing and walking the floor among the guests. Antonio and Amanda should benefit from getting tips from Journey. To sum up it seems that Pursuit has managed in a short time to get the crew up to a very good standard and we are looking forward to joining Pursuit on the Santiago-Buenos Aires cruise in February. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We went on this Greek cruise with 2 other couples. One couple was happy with Azmara Persuit; my husband and I as well as the remaining couple were disappointed. I know this ship was recently refurbished and the first voyage since that ... Read More
We went on this Greek cruise with 2 other couples. One couple was happy with Azmara Persuit; my husband and I as well as the remaining couple were disappointed. I know this ship was recently refurbished and the first voyage since that refurbishment was in August. My review is my effort to give them constructive criticism. The cruise line identifies their product as a luxury brand.... not so I say. The cabins were quite small and overfurnished; there was a large table that we needed to navigate to get to the balcony. There also was a huge chair to circumnavigate. With the exception of the onboard steak house and Italian restaurant that cost an additional amount, the food was plentiful but of average quality. The crew and support staff were very friendly and nice.However, there was a definite communication gap because many did not have a grasp of English. My husband asked for more towels; we got a knock on the cabin door because the steward could not understand what he was asking for .....he had to physically show the steward a towel. The staff in the dining room could not tell us how certain foods were made. The DJ had a very limited knowledge of English and yet he was the host of a trivia game that was in English. The true nightmare was the laundry room situation.......one laundry room for 600 guests on an 11 day cruise!!!!!!! There were lines daily to use the machines...... why weren't there laundries on other floors??????????? At times, many of the machines were in disrepair. Lastly, the last 2 ports were disappointing. We docked at Zakynthos and Igoumenitsa... the last ports in Greece. Zakynthos was a bit better than Igoumenitsa. Igoumenitsa looks like Newark, New Jersey!And to make matters worse, this is where we were docked on a Sunday with not much open in the town. Corsica is a port a few hours away from Igoumenitsa....... why couldn't this ship have docked there....a place with so much history to explore????????? I want to end on a positive note: We were invited by Azamara to a cello concert in Dubrovnik....... it was FABULOUS! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We just got back from our 11 night Greek Isles Intensive Cruise on Azamara Pursuit and we thoroughly enjoyed it. This was our second cruise with Azamara although we have been cruising for over 25 years. We arrived at the cruise terminal ... Read More
We just got back from our 11 night Greek Isles Intensive Cruise on Azamara Pursuit and we thoroughly enjoyed it. This was our second cruise with Azamara although we have been cruising for over 25 years. We arrived at the cruise terminal early but we weren’t able to board until 11.30 however the wait was fine with drinks and snacks available. They also completed our check-in whilst we were waiting. The ship is lovely and almost identical to journey with the big change being in the Spirits Bar area where the casino has gone – it’s a much better use of the space in our opinion. We were in stateroom 7121 on the back of the ship where we had a bigger balcony – it was very nice. Just a point to mention if you are thinking of taking one of the staterooms on the back of the ship - yes there was some soot came down- not much and didn’t cause a problem. Whilst the balcony is very private you can see on to the next balconies when standing at the rail. Our stateroom attendant Irza and her assistant looked after us extremely well – how do they remember everyone’s name! The food for us was excellent we had dinner most nights in Discoveries the choice and quality of food was very good indeed. We did comment on how the waiters appear to be rushed although we had no complaints about service. We went up to the Patio one night which is nice for a change and two nights we went to Prime C. The speciality restaurants are a real treat and not to be missed. There has been much discussion on the forum about the changes that have been made to entertainment. We think that Azamara have got it right on Pursuit. The Signature singers were excellent and we enjoyed all three of their shows – they have plenty of movement in their routines and even a bit of dancing. Toney Markey was cruise director and we so enjoyed listening to him and his wife Christine. Also Amanda Poulson was assistant cruise director and another fantastic performer. The orchestra were brilliant with a very talented (leader) pianist called Sacha – one night he played the piano backed by his orchestra and it was sensational. Sadly when everything had been set up for White Night there was a heavy downpour and the event had to be moved inside – we felt so sorry for all the people who had worked so hard. The Azamazing Evening was just that AMAZING! We had a Cello concert by Ana Rucner in the Old Town Dubrovnik. If a Cello concert conjures up a vision of something sombre, heavy and boring then you couldn’t be further from the truth. It was simply fabulous. Our first port of call should have been Spetses but due to bad weather we anchored off Nafplio a very nice little place. Next stop was Mykonos followed by the lovely Paros and then Rhodes where we docked. We docked in Agios Nikolaos and this was another nice little place followed by Chania which was very busy but great as we were tendered right into the harbour. Zakynthos was another nice port fairly quiet and then Igoumenitsa which was a new port for Azamara. We did not enjoy this port even the Captain passed some negative comments about it. Dubrovnik was our final stop and we were tendered in which was much better than being taken on the shuttle bus as per last time we were there. Overall it was a great cruise we met lots of nice people and there was a fair spread of ages. We only spoke to one couple who had a complaint – they were disappointed with the food!!!!! They said the food was much better on Oceania. We have sailed on Oceania and we feel that there is little difference in the food – we enjoyed Oceania too. Sorry my review is a bit long but hopefully you will book up with Azamara and enjoy it as much as we did! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary, the destinations were mostly good apart from a change to Nauplion instead of Spetses. Mykonos was supposed to be docked instead we were taken ashore on tenders. Igoumenitsa was a waste of ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary, the destinations were mostly good apart from a change to Nauplion instead of Spetses. Mykonos was supposed to be docked instead we were taken ashore on tenders. Igoumenitsa was a waste of time nothing of note here .We had more tenders than was on itinerary which was disappointing. Training some of the staff to steer the tenders when passengers were on board was a bit worrying. The food on board was excellent in the Discoveries restaurant and lunch times in Windows. The entertainment on board was a bit disappointing and not up to the Quests. The decor in all the public rooms was tasteful and relaxing. The ship has been refurbished new carpets etc. The waiters in the restaurants were attentive and friendly. The living room was a comfortable relaxing place to be with attentive waiters and various snacks during the day. We had a balcony bedroom which had a table and chairs on the balcony. The bathroom was small and the only complaint from most travellers was the shower curtain clinging to their bodies when showering. We did not take any of the shore excursions as we felt they were very expensive and we could make our own arrangements. We had a group of Greek dancers onboard during an evening buffet who were excellent. The Azamazing evening was in Dubrovnik and Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the entertainment a rock Cellist Ana Rucnar, we had the central square cordoned off and it was a thoroughly enjoyable evening. Taken back to the ship by local boats which was interesting. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We wanted to travel through the Greek Isles and thought doing it on a cruise would be a luxury since it was our 30th anniversary. The destinations in general were very nice (other than a day in Igoumenitsa. The ship was outdated and not ... Read More
We wanted to travel through the Greek Isles and thought doing it on a cruise would be a luxury since it was our 30th anniversary. The destinations in general were very nice (other than a day in Igoumenitsa. The ship was outdated and not very luxurious. The food was very average and the choices were limited, especially at breakfast (a tune omellette?). The caption was very poorly spoken and the cruise director almost invisible except if you watched him and the asistant director on cc tv which was comparable to a poor high school broadcast. The "free" alcohol was basically bar swill except for a couple of decent wines with dinner. The buffet was cold and cheap food (lunch meat and sliced sandwich cheese on the "charcuterie" bar?). I will never recommend this cruise line to anyone, although the over 70 crowd seemed to love it. The entertainment was cheesy and other than the DJ didn't hold our interest. The ship even threatened to charge us if we didn't attend their big Azamazing evening even though they had to tender due to a change of venue. We were also cheated out of an overnight in Mykonos since obviously the ship logistics were too difficult for whoever was in charge of the ports. I would think that with less passengers logistics would be much easier, but obviously this proved to be false. We paid extra for a balcony room that was smaller than an ocean view room on a previous cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Been on the Quest twice 2016 so was looking forward to sail on this " New" ship. Don't know where the other reviewer's comments about aloof crew came about but I found them all extremely friendly and approachable and ... Read More
Been on the Quest twice 2016 so was looking forward to sail on this " New" ship. Don't know where the other reviewer's comments about aloof crew came about but I found them all extremely friendly and approachable and all the wait staff eager to please. It must be difficult to staff up a new ship and mould them into the Azamara way, I believe there was only 20% previous Azamarans on board. I wont go in to endless drivel about minor misnomers with the ship, yes there are things which I didn't care for and some what I preferred for over the quest, the Den being one, its a much better lounge now they have removed the casino, but the pianist plays far too loud as if to say I'm here listen to me. I thought the lack of tables and chairs on pool deck near the bar poor nowhere to sit and sip a cocktail, also the sun loungers were hard with no pads as previous ships. The shows were ok but only one headliner (comedian) and his second show almost a mirror image I found the experience good though and with a few more cruises under its belt it will be excellent Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We chose this cruise because of itinerary, price and previous experience on Azamara Journey. We flew to Athens where we had an overnight stay in the Sofitel hotel at Athens airport. After breakfast next day we returned to the airport to ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of itinerary, price and previous experience on Azamara Journey. We flew to Athens where we had an overnight stay in the Sofitel hotel at Athens airport. After breakfast next day we returned to the airport to get our private transfer to the port of Piraeus. The taxi dropped us off at the cruise terminal where we were swiftly checked in but because we were early, we had to wait approximately 30 minutes before we could embark (Azamara provided coffee and soft drinks in the meantime). Cabin We had an obstructed view cabin on deck 6 which we were quite happy with. We had plenty storage and although the shower is tiny, we knew this from past experience. Our cabin stewards kept the room clean and tidy. Dining We always had breakfast and lunch in Windows cafe and we thought the standard of food was quite good with plenty of choice for everyone. We do think that there is room for improvement with the service as sometimes it wasn't up to standard. We didn't use any of the speciality restaurants and had our dinner in Discoveries. We were satisfied with the standard and choice of food there and also the service. Drinks We encountered difficulty on a few occasions when we tried to order cocktails using the complimentary spirits. On one occasion I was told I would have to pay for an American Mule cocktail because Ginger beer was not included in the complimentary drinks. Ginger beer is a soft drink the same as Coke or Sprite etc!! I asked for it in a different bar on a different day and got it with no problem with the included spirits. I think some of the staff need more training with regard to the complimentary drinks package. The cocktail menu should be much clearer and list the ingredients of all cocktails and not just the ones that cost extra. Entertainment We enjoyed most of the shows in the theatre but felt that the Three Aces band in the Living Room lacked variety. We really enjoyed the Greek dancers that came on to the ship and entertained us when we were in Rhodes. The Azamazing evening in Dubrovnik was spectacular (apart from tendering back to the ship afterwards). Ports and excursions We enjoyed all of the ports apart from Igoumenitsa which was very disappointing. It is clearly just a ferry hub and not a cruise destination. I can't understand why Azamara chose this port when we were so close to Corfu which would have been a much better option. At the start of the cruise our first port destination (Spetses) was changed because of bad weather but this was understandable and no fault of Azamara. We didn't do any of Azamara's excursions as we think they are grossly overpriced and prefer to do our own thing. We would probably cruise with Azamara again, even although there were some issues, as we do like their smaller, friendlier ships and itineraries. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
I was really concerned when I read all the reviews on the Pursuit prior to our trip, especially since this was our first cruise. We just loved the ship & almost everything about our cruise. Our steward Luis & his assistant were ... Read More
I was really concerned when I read all the reviews on the Pursuit prior to our trip, especially since this was our first cruise. We just loved the ship & almost everything about our cruise. Our steward Luis & his assistant were just incredible! Top notch personal service with a warm smile throughout the entire cruise. Almost everything on this ship is beautiful and brand new. Not sure what others were expecting but the ambiance was lovely with a lot of beautiful spaces to hang out and meet others. Day & night our favorite spot was the Living Room. Reading a book on the chaise lounges was heaven! Also such a great spot to hang out and dance after dinner. Overall the crew was wonderful! The pool bartender Michael was wonderful as was one of the security guards with short dark hair as you left & re-boarded the ship! She always had a smile and she made you smile too! The food in the specialty restaurants was great, as was most of the food onboard. Mosaic cafe was a great spot to meet and grab a specialty coffee. When the weather prevented the White Night party being held on the pool deck, the crew was amazingly focused and impressive as they all rallied to move the event inside and make sure a great time was had by all. Our Azamazing night in Croatia was absolutely azamazing & based on all the feedback I heard everyone else loved as much as we did! We also thoroughly enjoyed the excursions we took to shipwreck beach & Crete. We met so many great fellow travelers too, so nice! Overall our cruise just an awesome experience I’d recommend to anyone! Now for a little constructive input. Yes, the showers in the veranda staterooms are super small, but the rest of the cabin was awesome, including the bed! The stop in Igoumenitsa is a complete waste. They should just come clean & say they stop there to restock & service the ship so people know what to expect. We had an upgraded liquor package and for the first few days it was a bit tiresome to keep having to drag out our cruise pass when we ordered drinks, but about day 3 most of the waitstaff began to remember who had premium packages. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
OK A smart attempt at getting all the names in 1 header This is my review and thoughts on this recent cruise from Barcelona to Athens. These are my experiences and comments and as they say other person’s experiences and opinions ... Read More
OK A smart attempt at getting all the names in 1 header This is my review and thoughts on this recent cruise from Barcelona to Athens. These are my experiences and comments and as they say other person’s experiences and opinions may vary completely!!!! Executive Summary Nicely refurbished ship but with some snagging issues which should have been sorted out on the 3 previous voyages. Lots of new staff who look to be being moulded into the Azamara way by Richard Grusman and Jose Ortez MDR manager as well as Captain Carl. No problems with any staff. Would sail on her as equal to our favourite Journey but would depend on itinerary not ship Experiences Nice flight down from NCL at the ungodly hour of 6 am but easy transfer to T3 for flight to Barcelona so had to forgo bacon sandwiches at T5 exec lounge but adequate refreshments at T3 and good flight to BCN . Usual wait at customs but not as long as our American cousins who had up to one and a half hour wait. This may be the Spanish revenge for the American type welcome at Miami to aliens as we are described. A place I refuse to fly to or from now. Had private transfer booked via Azamara and this is when the hell that is Miami/Guatemala kicks in. Instructions are to report to Catalonia tourist office just outside customs area. No problem except 1: They spoke hardly any English (Not good for a tourist office) and it was impossible to get them to help by ringing taxi number for us which was a UK number? 2: They knew nothing of any arrangements re taxis. Refused to help but pointed us to a taxi official who wanted to charge us for a taxi as he would not accept our voucher. Eventually he pointed out a group of drivers lounging around one of whom had our name for pick up. 35 minutes wasted for want of correct information not being given to taxi driver as to pick up point Decent drive to Casa Fuster hotel through approx 1,000.000 Catalans who were preparing to celebrate their national day that evening. Casa Fuster is a grand old hotel but we got Room 101 which for students of George Orwell or British TV is where your worst nightmares are concentrated. Sold as a balcony room (not a Juliet Balcony) To my mind a balcony room should have 1: A view 2: Chairs to sit on 3: Be clean The view was of a 7 storey block approx 15 feet away covered in some form of wrapping. If you craned to the right you could see the back of housing with attractive items of clothing drying. Possibly great for a specialist in underwear but not what I expect in an alleged 5 star hotel (More later). No chairs on balcony or in room that were capable of being on said balcony and anyway it was filthy. Nice bathroom so had an early night. Up for breakfast at approx 8.30 and decided to see if we could get our taxi any earlier than 11.30 as we would simply be waiting around. Miami strikes again Asked concierge to ring taxi firm but no answer and surprise surprise no emergency number on Azamara paper work. Went for an adequate breakfast and returned to concierge to try again. Success on second attempt and we requested to move time from 11.30 to 10.30 and was met with flat refusal so merely got one when we needed it from the hotel at 10.30. Final indignity was when we went to check our bill to be confronted by a Barcelona room day tax of 5 Euros for an alleged 5 star hotel. As this tax has been in since April 2017 and Azamara advertise prices as “all inclusive “ I was not best pleased at having to pay this. Arrived at port terminal after having to redirect taxi driver as he thought MSC was the same as Azamara!!! Cannot blame Azamara for that!!! This is where it starts to get better!!! Luggage taken and booked in without any trouble. Tea coffee etc. available. As there were overnight flights from USA as well as early flights from UK airports there were approx 150 people waiting. When embarkation called there was a God almighty scramble with people running!!! up escalator as well as a staircase!!! Did they think it was going to run out of food? Suggestion Give out boarding numbers by check in time and board by same i.e 1 to 20 then 20 to 40 etc. Got on board and dropped off hand luggage /advised we had to pick up later from drop-off point although I seem to remember that previously it was delivered to cabin. Booked our Prime C dining with Willy Prime C maitre d. Went to Windows Cafe buffet area and were greeted by one of our favourite people José Ortez who we knew as assistant waiter years ago who is now MDR head waiter. The greeting was so effusive it attracted the attention of a group of American travel agents who were being hosted by East of America/Canada sales director and we became companions at drinking times although they obviously went on all the trips which we avoid (see later) Went down to 7119 to meet butler Elro and his staff. Room is decorated almost identically to the other ships with obvious difference of shower which was efficient but we may be old fashioned and we prefer a good old fashioned soak. Greeted by nice bottle of Perrier Jouet Champagne $50 retail although this may be a “Sorry” for forgetting to book a connecting flight on our last cruise. Room is fine with fancy shower and taps etc. This was allegedly Larry P s room on naming cruise so was surprised to have some minor snags. 1: Vanity room sink did not drain 2: 1 of veranda chairs legs was aprox ¾ inch short so rocking 3: Loungers were pretty dirty and stained. 4: There were at least 14 varnish drips on white superstructure below rails. 5: Lower Owners had completely mismatched rails. 6: Patio doors had never been cleaned or painted properly. 7: Missing patio door stop 8: Drainage channel by doors was rusty and equally that area had never been attended to on refit. I would have expected these to have been spotted on snagging but when pointed out to Agnelo Chief House keeper they were fixed within 12 hours. Outside the room was a fire hose cupboard with a massive (12 inch ) dint which had been there since refit and which only need knocking out as door was metal but not done by the time we left the ship. I intend to split rest of review into sections rather than day by day. Dining Used Windows cafe each am and had outdoor table as weather was great each day. Mark the “egg man” was able to make fresh eggs for us however we wanted i.e. poached fried or however. Rest of food OK except bacon which was of the greasy translucent type where you spent time trying to get the crispiest. After commenting and showing restaurant manager /staff what I meant it was improved for 1 day but then reverted to type again. Lunches were fine with always 2 great soups to choose from. Crazy on hot days but I felt they actually helped to cool you down. Was always able to get our favourite Riesling wine after discreet requests. Also tried the hot dogs from the Patio cafe and they must have changed suppliers as they were tastier and not as fatty as previous cruises. Dined in Prime C most nights and were fabulously looked after by Willy, Angel, Darryl and all the other staff. Food great as always although to my mind crab cakes and fillet steaks were smaller than previous cruises although maybe everything appears smaller nowadays A little disappointed that they did not take the opportunity on their new ship to tickle the menu a bit. I have yet to see the pheasant confit or swordfish ordered and I am sure that the man who sold it to Azamara got the better end of the deal. I have asked on all 3 ships now how many they sell and all you get is a wry smile and no answer. I am sure the crew must be sick of it as it must be going out of date by now even though it is frozen. Wayne/ Willy were able to fill all our requests for off menus choices such as Goats cheese Soufflé and Dover Sole from Aqualina as well as some special halibut dishes. The Best of the Best dinner was new Executive Chef Danni s first and we have to say of our 16 cruises this was the best presented and tastiest we have ever had and Fabio and Iwan had done fabulous meals in the past. It was a delight to look at as well as eat. Afternoon teas Had the afternoon snacks served in our room each pm and tasty as they were would not really miss them. Once again the Azamara ice hockey pucks/scones were still in evidence. How is it that nobody across all Azamara ships can make a scone that is soft inside and does not need a saw to split it? Entertaiment Saw part of the magicians act and he was entertaining. Tony Markey and his wife had a show and although good I preferred his Blues brothers and Danny Boy. Amanda Poulson was great and had a standing ovation as did the new singer whose name I unfortunately forget (Sorry whoever you were). WHITE NIGHT WAS GREAT FUN AS WE WERE WITH THE PREVIOUSLY MENTIONED TRAVEL AGENTS. We had dined in Prime C earlier next to two British couples who were playing competitive crossword puzzles between mouthfuls of food It appears that you had to answer your opponent’s clues before you could do your own. Fascinating We then joined the travel agents The conga was not as long as previous cruises but good fun anyway. The crews prayers were answered as it began to rain slightly at 10.00 so they were able to set about clearing earlier than normal. The assorted travel agents and spouses then came back to our suite for a final night cap. You can get 14 people in for drinks although it was cosy!! Highlight of the trip was the 4 Sopranos in Goldini theatre in Livorno. Busses and then a 200 meter walk to theatre. A 45 minute programme of light opera and finished with some more modern pop items. Back to ship for any light buffet snacks and so to bed. Trips We do not do ships trips as we consider them an absolute rip off. St Tropez Did not get off as we have been there many times. Spent time in Thalassotherapy pool area which was strictly policed i.e. you had to give up your room card to get access pass and the old back route via gym has been blocked off. Maximum 2 other people in there It appears that the “Night under the Stars” has been abandoned as the bed area has been removed and saw no publicity for it anywhere. On previous cruises I understand that most couples had their dinner, a cuddle and then went back to their own room. Monte Carlo Got off and walked to get on the tourist train at Ooceanographic museum. Stopped at Palace for usual tat i.e. fridge magnet and walked back through the gardens and managed to keep my wife away from the shops. Nice afternoon on balcony. Civitavecchia Lazy day on ship Livorno 2 days Walked around Livorno for a couple of hours and then took the canal cruise for an hour for 12 Euros which was lovely. See later comments on pricing Amalfi One of the highlights and we spent time wandering the streets and people watching and there were plenty of people to watch. Taormina Took 25 euro taxi to this hilltop town which was buzzing with tourists even though we were the only cruise ship in town. You can tell that there is plenty of money around here (Mafia?) as nearly every shop was a high fashion brand Prada, Valentino etc. Nafplio Walked around promenade area and then found the tourist train (4 Euros) which took us all round the town including back streets and past a Lidl for any of us who were feeling homesick. Back “Home” and started the job of packing to return home. Athens Disembarked at 8 .00 am to farewells at gangway from Tony and Richard. Another great Azamara touch as this must always be the busiest day of any voyage. Private transfer to airport and were able to access lounge early so has somewhere to sit as Athens is a very busy airport with 160 check in desks and it felt like they were all being used. Security etc far better than Barcelona. Back to NCL via T5 and lounge. Pros The whole experience on board. Staff, Food, Attentiveness, Entertainment and the general vibe as well as good passenger mix.. Cons Miami Miami Miami Miami I well know that they are not deliberately making life difficult but they are RESPONSIBLE for the problems 1: Taxi transfers Barcelona No emergency numbers on paperwork. No properly organised information for pick up point at Barcelona. Athens Advised to be there 15 mins before pick up time so as Nervous Nellie’s we were there at 8.00am for 8.30 pickup. Taxi turned up at 8.40 after having to chase up via phone call. 2: Non inclusive costs for hotel. OK only 5 Euros but the principle is important 3: Excursion costs We should be grateful that they charge so much as it obviously helps to reduce cruise fares but they are simply gouging. 20 years ago it was probably true that cruise lines may have known the ports better than travellers but with internet that is no longer true. I also accept that there is the comfort of a guarantee of not missing the ship but to charge £100 pounds each for a bus trip to Rome or Florence or Nice on a 50 seater bus when the cost of that bus is approx. £1000 is not acceptable Equally the cost of a 5 hour bike ride at £100 The offer of insiders tours on board to see Galley/Bridge and Engine room at $89 when there can be NO EXTRA costs to Azamara as personnel conducting these tours will be salaried is equally ridiculous. The final gouge was the Livorno canal tour. The “comfortably outfitted motorboat “ is as comfortable as a packed tender boat with fibre glass seats with no cushions . It is walkable from ship i.e. no transport costs and Azamara charge $75 for a 12 Euro cruise which we took earlier in the day. To be fair Azamara offer “a luscious Dessert at a special little spot after the cruise” but my goodness it would have to be special at approx $60. 4: Spirits bar. It should be obvious that putting the piano at one end of this area would enable pianist to engage with his audience as currently he is facing the bar and has no ability to interact. Additionally if piano is at one end then if you wish to have conversations with your new friends or do competitive crosswords you can simply sit at far end. Apparently “Miami” have refused to listen to current feedback and will take no action for 6 months. 5: Menus It is time these were “tickled”. I think the Speciality menus are at least 2 years old. Any operation would/should continually look to see what the least popular items i.e pheasant confit/black pudding etc. and look to change them for something new. My choice at breakfast would be kedgeree but I am sure Bonnie, Azamara blogging officer could come up with a poll. I would like to see smaller laid out trays of food at breakfast as there is nothing that looks less attractive than a 12 inch tray of half served scrambled egg or 18 fried eggs looking at you. 6: Dress standards I realise that this is very subjective but I can recognise the difference between “smart casual “and “scruffy”. Ship staff were not empowered to refuse people access to areas based on their clothing as Miami had stated they could only “advise” not refuse. Unless there is some enforcement we will soon have backward facing baseball caps in main dining areas at night. I remember being refused access to a “brunch” a few years ago on Journey because I had a pair of good shorts on. (Not swimming trunks). How times have changed. 7: Guest relations I went to try to speak to Richard (hotel director) twice and was advised “not in his office” but no attempt to page him. 3rd time of asking I asked the female receptionist if he would leave message for convenient time to talk/meet him. No message left so obviously the message from Guest Relations was never passed on as we saw him on leaving ship and he made no apologies for being unable to contact us. It was not a complaint so no reason to avoid us. Final disclaimer. These are my opinions and experiences and other peoples opinion may vary. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
This was our first cruise with Azamara and hopefully not our last. Azamara Pursuit was almost brand new when we sailed, so everything was shiny and new, but the senior officers and crew already seemed like one big family, who were ... Read More
This was our first cruise with Azamara and hopefully not our last. Azamara Pursuit was almost brand new when we sailed, so everything was shiny and new, but the senior officers and crew already seemed like one big family, who were genuinely happy to be aboard. We felt like we were coming home every time we re-boarded the ship. It is the perfect blend of sophisticated luxury and welcoming warmth. We departed from Athens at the same time as 'the Medicane' struck - a Mediterranean hurricane! This was a very rare event and the weather was very unpredictable. Our captain Antonio and his team handled it beautifully, and with a very quick rescheduling of our first port of call we managed to avoid rough seas almost completely. All of the ports on this cruise were excellent, particularly Paros, Rhodes and Dubrovnik. The only downside was that we only had one sea-day and it was the very last day! Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly almost without exception, including when we had tenders. We did a combination of Azamara shore tours and private tours. All of the Azamara tours were very good to excellent with the exception of Chania, when we were mostly on the bus and probably could have just spent the day in town. Entertainment on the ship is a group of four entertainers, who would provide two evening shows most days, plus a guest entertainer - a very funny comedian - who did two shows during the 11 night cruise. There was a band who performed in The Living Room most nights - they were pretty good but quite loud, which made conversation tricky. This was a good place to relax during the day too. The entertainer in The Den was a decent piano player but should have stuck to that (not so good with the singing!). We tried the specialty dining, Aqualina and Prime C. Aqualina was brilliant, attentive service, great menu and amazing food - worth the extra. Prime C was also enjoyable but the service was not quite as good and not as much variety, though granted it is a steak specialty restaurant so it's only reasonable to expect lots of meat on the menu! Having said that, the main dining room was also exceptional food and great service. We had a verandah stateroom on Deck 8 and were very happy with it overall. It was very quiet and clean, and our room attendant was awesome. Plenty of storage and lots of hangers provided. Best of all, the bed was so comfortable! I think you can tell we enjoyed this cruise immensely. We can't wait to fist-bump the crew on our next Azamara cruise! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Azamara Pursuit Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.0
Dining 4.0 3.9
Entertainment 3.0 3.4
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.8
Family N/A 3.8

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