Overall, we experienced a very good cruise, and would definitely sail with Azamara again. This was our first voyage with Azamara, and we have previously sailed with Windstar, as well as Carnival, and NCL (never will go back to a large ship ... Read More
Overall, we experienced a very good cruise, and would definitely sail with Azamara again. This was our first voyage with Azamara, and we have previously sailed with Windstar, as well as Carnival, and NCL (never will go back to a large ship like those again!
The Club Veranda rooms were small, but very comfortable. We used the balcony often, and it was adequate size.
The entertainment for such a small ship was surprisingly excellent, great caliber musicians.
The white night was absolutely fantastic - great spread of food, desserts, and entertainment. A fabulous evening, and a great touch.
The AzAmazing evening concert with the Cape Town Symphony was also excellent. Upon arrival to the concert hall there was plentiful food and drinks, and it really was a special evening that we thoroughly enjoyed.
Azamara also brought on local African tribal musicians and dancers at various points throughout the cruise, I did not expect to enjoy it nearly as much as I did, but they were all fabulous, and truly a great and unique experience you don't want to miss!
All staff and servers and room stewards we encountered or dealt with were all excellent, and performed their duties with smiles and with class. Everyone was top notch.
My wife and I did the Chef's table. The seas were quite rough the entire day, so many people canceled, so by the time we sat down for the special dinner, it was just us and one other couple. It was an excellent experience, the food was very well done, though a little rich for our American tastes, but we still enjoyed it. The special wine pairings were also excellent.
We took advantage of the Experience More / Indulgence package, which I thought was completely worth the $1,499 price for 2 people which included free unlimited wifi, chefs table, ultimate beverage package, $250 spa credit, and $700 OBC. With the unlimited wifi, better drinks, and shore credit, it made it a no brainer for us, and totally worth the cost.
My only complaint and only reason I hesitated to give 5/5 stars is the food. I have to say, we had some truly excellent meals, and we only ever ate at the included dining venues other than the 1 chef's night tables. However, it was hit or miss in the main dining room. A few nights, the meals were just not very good. Edible yes, but very bland and sometimes dry. However on other nights in the same main dinng room, the entrees were fabulous, and perfectly flavorful and cooked. Perhaps it was just a few random off nights, who knows. Overall though, we found the food to be very good.
We did an Azamara excursion in nearly every port, and though expensive, we enjoyed each one.
Port Elizabeth - Pumba Game Drive was excellent
Richards Bay - St. Lucia River cruise + Imfolozi Game Drive was amazing, and was our favorite excursion.
Durban - Local African Spice/Medicinal Market was really fascinating! Though in a slightly unsafe area of Durban, with the guides we felt totally safe. This was really incredible to see all the local herbs and fascinating African medicinal plants/herbs/animals. Really would recommend this tour, wish it was longer actually, as it felt too short at only 3 hours including the drive time.
East London - not sure why Azamara even bothers with this port. Absolutely nothing to do, and they only offered a few shore excursions which were all sold out immediately, so we were willing but unable to join any of the excursions. My recommendation to Azamara : Skip this port, and add an extra day in Durban!!
Cape Town - What an incredible city. We did the Paarl and Franschhoek Wine Tour. I know some of the wineries were changed last minute, but we truly enjoyed this all day tour, especially the Paarl winery of Nederburg. Awesome wines, and a beautiful Winery. On the second day in Cape Town we did the Cape Point Natural Wonders tour. This was also excellent, with a beautiful drive along this winding coastal road all the way down to Cape of Good Hope where the two strong currents of the Indian and Atlantic Ocean meet, you can hike up to the lighthouse, and walk around the point area, then go to a beach to see African penguins and an excellent lunch overlooking the ocean. This was a great tour, and would highly recommend it!
Sorry for the long review, but I felt it was necessary to write a review for the South Africa Itinerary, as it is a new voyage, and there was limited information. Would absolutely recommend Azamara, and this particular itinerary! Read Less