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Cruise Ratings
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
Food choices were not of my liking but sure for others it was great. I think too much seafood for sure being served in with pasta, also usually was served just luke warm. Entertainment not as good as usual. D-Day tour was not great ... Read More
Food choices were not of my liking but sure for others it was great. I think too much seafood for sure being served in with pasta, also usually was served just luke warm. Entertainment not as good as usual. D-Day tour was not great at all, terrible guide. Would have been nice if they would have arranged a D-Day tour for the 100 plus Canadians on Board. I think more thought has to be given towards things to do during the day on ship. Not just trivia. Maybe a little nice music around the pool. A better selection of drinks to be included also maybe do like Oceania and offer free specialty restaurants. Amazing evening was too short, too hot and not that great. Have seen much better in the past. Captain Jose always a pleasure to see as well as Russ and Phillip. Cabins have been renovated nicely. Still can't believe they didn't put glass doors on the showers with the refurbishment and why they were waiting to install the clothes lines in the showers I am not sure. Missed About Rose products the new products are just okay not 5* again cut backs I guess. Staff is the big plus on this ship. Very friendly and always willing to do what ever asked and with a smile. Our Cabins stewards were awesome and very attentive. Now about smoking: They did move to the opposite side of ship so not to have smoke going into the spa or gym. However, now the two luxury cabins have to smell the smoke when doors are left open. There really were not alot of smokers on this cruise and also in past cruises. So, why such a large area? Please consider not allowing cigars to be smoked. On this cruise there were 3 men who when they went for their smoke together one could not sit near the pool bar on the tables as the smoke and smell was aweful. I sure feel sorry for staff that has to put up with this day in and day out. Maybe move the smoking section up to 10th deck in covered area would be a good solution. Then everyone can enjoy the pool area. Just a thought. Fourth cruise with Azamara. Enjoy this small ship but would like to see some changes and improvements. Just my views. Still love Azamara. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
We like to visit places that we have not been to. As such, other than Amsterdam, Copenhagen & Warnemunde, the other ports, Oslo, Antwerp, Honfleur & St. Peter Port to which the Quest sailed to, are destinations that we have not ... Read More
We like to visit places that we have not been to. As such, other than Amsterdam, Copenhagen & Warnemunde, the other ports, Oslo, Antwerp, Honfleur & St. Peter Port to which the Quest sailed to, are destinations that we have not been. We also like the over night stays, which give us the opportunity to explore at a leisurely pace. We also like sailing the smaller size ships, so the Azamara vessels are perfect to do just that. The embarkation & disembarkation went very smoothly. Again, you don't have the thousands of other passengers to contend with. Amsterdam, Copenhagen & Warnemunde are good ports to return to & continue exploring where you last left off. On this trip, we especially liked exploring the old sections of Antwerp, Le Vieux Bassin area in Honfleur & in St. Peter Port where we lucked out as we arrived on the day of the 2016 Guernsey Airshow, where planes flew over where the Quest anchored. Perfect seats, if we didn't tendered into St. Peter Port to visit. However, we did get fairly good views from the waterfront as we explored the area. Our stateroom was on starboard forward. It was suffice for 2 & had ample storage for us. The suitcases fits easily under the bed. There were at least 4 electrical outlets in the room to charge your electrical devices. The bathroom unfortunately is still standardize "small" with the dreaded tight shower stall & plastic curtain. Our room was under the perimeter of the show lounge & as such, fairly quiet. However, note that in the forward rooms, you will be waken by the thrusters when the Quest docks. It felt like a stampede of wild elephants. You'll hear loud rumblings & feel a whole lot of shaking going on! Generally, the public areas in/outside of the ship was very clean & well maintained. We did not use the specialty dining rooms, only the Windows Cafe, Discoveries Dining Room & The Patio which is by the pool area. There was a good variety of food offered & in general the food was very good. The officers, staff & crew were very friendly & helpful. The service on board was 2nd to none. The gym was fully equipped with treadmills, bikes, racks of dumbbells, benches & universal types of weight machines. A sauna & 2 shower stalls can be found in the change room. A running/walking track on deck 10. The library is on deck 10 aft, while a large lounge is on deck 10 forward where a small section was partitioned off for a games/card room & computer room. Entertainment on board was OK, but there were 2 singers that were very good. The Azamazing Evening was very good, featuring Scala & the Kolancy Brothers at the Zuiderkroom Theater. The acoustic in that theater was excellent. Chuck the port speaker was excellent, well prepared & knowledgeable. We also had interesting tours of the Quests' engine control room & the bridge. All in all, a very good experience on this cruise & itinerary. We would sail with Azamara again. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
My partner and I took this cruise as a B2B with the previous cruise, Norwegian Fjords. This was our 5th Azamara Quest cruise and once again we had a wonderful experience with some sensational ports of call. We absolutely loved the ... Read More
My partner and I took this cruise as a B2B with the previous cruise, Norwegian Fjords. This was our 5th Azamara Quest cruise and once again we had a wonderful experience with some sensational ports of call. We absolutely loved the Norwegian Fjords cruise where we ported daily in different tiny locations surrounded by towering fjords but also we loved the experience of having 2 days in nearly all the ports on the Northern Europe Cruise. We stay with Azamara Quest for several reasons, but by far the main one being the wonderful, friendly and professional crew. Being our 5th cruise on this wonderful ship one may tend to become a little pedantic and note small failures of excellence. I only mention them here more for the attention of RCL management to ensure the Quest's high standards remain. The main one that needs to be addressed is that over this B2B cruise and The Spice Route Cruise we took earlier this year we have noticed a worrying trend. Excellent and outstanding Quest crew are being siphoned off this ship and sent to the Azamara Journey and are being replaced with less professional crew from the Journey. To many regular Quest passengers we spoke to this would indicate that the Journey has service issues and expect the superior Quest crew to fix the Journey's crewing problems. RCL Corporate Relations will no doubt indicate otherwise but they need to hear the criticism at passenger level. RCL must realise that if this trend continues Quest passenger enthusiasm for this ship's crew will wane and the Quest will lose it's major brand identifier, it's on board management and crew. A passenger drift to other cruise lines may be the result. We missed Chef Monica's [sent to the Journey??] excellent taste sensations with her nightly themed buffets and as such the food on our B2B returned to bland. But the blandness could be company corporate policy due to the passenger demographic on these 2 cruises. Also missing was the beloved Yasmin, Concierge extraordinaire [sent to the Journey no doubt?] who faced everyone's every day minor and seemingly major issues with radiance, a huge smile, and a solution. Please bring her back to the Quest RCL. Something else RCL could address is the itinerary of the Quest. We understand there are many factors as to why, when and where a ship can port but attention needs to be paid to the port itself. This year we have experienced the Quest porting in Copenhagen on a Monday [called Blue Monday in the travel industry] when many attractions are shut, porting in Honfluer on a Tuesday when all museums are shut, porting in Penang on a public holiday [all shut], porting in Colombo on a national holy day [all shut] and porting in Muscat on a Friday where religious ceremony takes preference and as a result all attractions are also shut. But on the other hand, whilst ported in Guernsey in the Channel Islands this cruise we had the mind blowing experience of having an air show, including wing walkers and the famous Red Arrows Aerobatic Team perform over and around the Quest. Now that was brilliant timing. Finally we would love to see staff at the Land Discoveries and Loyalty and Sales desks be in attendance during their advertised times of operation plus to see the presentation of future cruises simplified so one can see both ships' annual itinerary in sequence so B2Bs are aligned. As one can see these are not issues that would send us to the opposition but let's not see the standard of excellence on the Quest diminish. We have a B2B2B booked for January 2017 on the Quest and others in the pipeline that show that we at least can overcome the minor issues that RCL may need to address. And finally to you Captain Jose thank you for your management of a brilliant experience and we are still feeling the effects of the ladle of ice down the back as we held the ceremony on board for the crossing into the Arctic Circle. An absolutely magnificent day and you were the perfect pirate on the occasion. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
This is our 6th Azamara Cruise, we wished to experience this refurbished ship and we were not disappointed We really enjoyed the new updated design both in the public areas and in our V2 Stateroom and the new furniture in both. Granted, ... Read More
This is our 6th Azamara Cruise, we wished to experience this refurbished ship and we were not disappointed We really enjoyed the new updated design both in the public areas and in our V2 Stateroom and the new furniture in both. Granted, the size of this ship precludes some of the roominess that other cruisers may desire but, in our view, the layout is cozy and efficient. The new bedding is an upgrade as is is the interactive TV. There are also ample outlets now for charging the seemingly necessary smartphones, tablets etc. Our power cord was never unpacked. We thought the dining the best we had experienced at sea. Azamara has made a real effort to accommodate dietary allergies and their committment to be efficient and discrete is typical of their devotion to customer service. We were so pleased with the MDR (Discoveries) that only once did we attend one of the specialty restaurants (Aqualina). Overall, Azamara is famous for its friendly crew and this cruise was no exception. We also felt that the on board entertainment, although somewhat low key due to the size of the ship, was very enjoyable. Noteworthy were the two events regular to Azamara, White Night and the Azamazing Evening, both of which provide a unique opportunity to add value to the experience. As for the itinerary, Norwegian Fjords and Northern Cape, the ship's size allowed access to a wonderful selection of ports. In our view, it's a wonderful alternative to the typical Med/Baltic ports of call. Highly recommended. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
Went with others who chose this boat. After going aboard, we understood their dysfunctional website better. No attention to detail. On a cruise whose principal attraction is the scenery, the windows in the common areas were dirty. The ... Read More
Went with others who chose this boat. After going aboard, we understood their dysfunctional website better. No attention to detail. On a cruise whose principal attraction is the scenery, the windows in the common areas were dirty. The scrolling info TV channel that has a view out the front of the ship was dirty. Smallest stateroom we've ever had. Mediocre food. Couple of exercise machines were in bad repair. 5 nights out and have had to call maintenance to clear the toilet 3 times. Both sink and shower pan did not drain. Maintenance call. Entire ship was invited to a symphony concert. The paper offering pictured an orchestra. The pianist and violinist were nice. The rest of the orchestra went missing. As with every cruise we've been on, the staff was great. They just work like dogs and manage a pleasant greeting. The fjords were wonderful . . . . take another ship. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2012
Azamara surprised us. We have taken 3 Oceania cruises and thought that we wouldn't find similar service levels. Fortunately Azamara surpassed our expectations - wonderful courteous staff; varied menus each night with an extensive ... Read More
Azamara surprised us. We have taken 3 Oceania cruises and thought that we wouldn't find similar service levels. Fortunately Azamara surpassed our expectations - wonderful courteous staff; varied menus each night with an extensive "offered every day" selection; wines from different regions included with lunch and dinner; nice entertainment for a ship this size; friendly passengers; and one of the most visible Captains we have ever encountered! We would highly recommend this line to anyone who enjoys small ship cruising. Their 2013 itineraries are varied compared to other lines and they seem to offer overnights in more locations on every cruise. Embarking in Amsterdam was a pleasure and our bags were delivered to our staterooms which were ready around 1 pm. All of the ports were well done, shore excursions were not terribly expensive and if you pre-booked there was a 50% off discount! Most of our ports were not included in the port review section below - as they were very tiny fjord towns: Molde - where the Jazz festival was happening; Andalsnes, a tinier town further inland from Molde, Geiranger, Eidfjord, and Stavanger.A shuttle was provided in Edinburgh and wasn't necessary in any other port as were right in town. Disembarkation was the only downside to this trip. In Edinburgh there was no direction for taxis and the scene was chaotic. Aside from this, the trip was flawless! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2012
We have just returned from the Baltic White Nights cruise on Azamara Journey this cruise departed from Amsterdam on June 10th and finished in Stockholm on June 20th. It was our first Azamara cruise and it lived up to all of our ... Read More
We have just returned from the Baltic White Nights cruise on Azamara Journey this cruise departed from Amsterdam on June 10th and finished in Stockholm on June 20th. It was our first Azamara cruise and it lived up to all of our expectations and we would endorse the many other highly positive reviews published about this ship. Highlights: We were very lucky with the weather with only a little rain on day 2 in St. Petersburg, as a consequence we were able to eat all but one breakfast and lunch on the outside area of windows cafe or around the pool when a couple of special events were organised. Food was consistently excellent with a wide choice to suit all requirements, if you ordered food from the patio grill this would be brought to you wherever you were sitting. We ate breakfast once in the main dinning room (day 2) and it was disappointing so we did not use it again Evening meals were excellent and we sampled all the venues, the seafood buffet on the first night was recommended to us and we enjoyed this as well as the Greek night on day 3, the main restaurant served excellent food and was very busy most nights, we were a party of 4 and on 2 occasions had to wait for around ½ hour for a table, not an issue as the Maitre D arranged to have the restaurant wine served to us as we waited. We also enjoyed the lamb chops one night and these were provided again, by request, later in the cruise Rosalie and her deputy kept our cabin spotlessly clean with bottled water topped up on a daily basis. "Free" wine no problem with either the selection or quality or indeed quantity apart from one issue detailed below We booked a number of excursions at 50% off and they represented good value for money, the tour groups were small and the departure from the ship was well organised with very few queues and in some cases collect you sticker and walk straight of to the coach. In St Petersburg we were the first group into Catherine's Palace and one of the first 3 groups into the Petrhoff palace We sampled both speciality restaurants and our preference was Aqualina, as the food was more to our taste, Prime C is I suspect more geared to the preferences of American guests We tend to eat around 19.30 to 20.00 and so missed the main shows but did enjoy music and coffee in the mosaic cafe most evenings. Lowlights: This is a relative term as they are more observations than actual complaints and may be a reflection of our personal tastes and experiences. Breakfast in the main dinning room was poor, slow service and a very dry omelette, we were very happy with Windows so not an issue. One evening may wife sent back a glass of wine as it was off, rather than just change it the staff discussed it got someone else to taste it and then change it, the mistake was compounded by serving that wine to the next table who also sent it back Service in Prime C on the last night was poor and we felt rushed despite asking for time between courses. Other Observations: The ship is spotless and staff are constantly cleaning Bathrooms are a little small but we knew that when we booked Pool side loungers are very comfortable and you could always find one either in the sun or shade Conclusions: Would we sail with Azamara again, yes, in fact we paid a future cruise deposit whilst on board. Azamara have found a well balanced niche between Celebrity and the cruise lines that are described as 6 star and having sampled a number of cruise lines over the last 5 years our preferences are now Celebrity, Azamara and Seabourn who meet our needs and will continue to recive our custom when the price and itinerary are appropriate and they maintain the standards that took us to the companies in the first place. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2012
We just returned from the 12 night Chelsea Flower Show cruise from Amsterdam to Southampton aboard the Azamara Journey. Two years ago we were on the Quest for the Best of Italy cruise and loved it. To sum it up: Embarkation: Arriving ... Read More
We just returned from the 12 night Chelsea Flower Show cruise from Amsterdam to Southampton aboard the Azamara Journey. Two years ago we were on the Quest for the Best of Italy cruise and loved it. To sum it up: Embarkation: Arriving passengers were seated in the terminal and provided with complimentary coffee and pastries. You are given a number to board based on (I believe) your cabin number. We began the boarding process at about 11:30 a.m. which went very smoothly. At that time we were given our cabin keys and allowed to make reservations for 2 nights at the speciality restaurants. We boarded the ship and were greeted with smiling faces and a glass of pink champagne. Although we couldn't go to our cabins, we were happy to relax in the Windows Cafe, have a few glasses of complimentary wine and help ourselves to the lunch buffet. At approximately 1:30 p.m. an announcement was made that we could proceed to our cabins. Our luggage was brought to the room almost immediately. We met our cabin steward and our butler. Our butler, Alwyn, was very helpful with all of our requests and was able to reserve additional nights in the specialty restaurants for us because we were in a suite. There were fresh flowers and a bowl of fruit on the table as well as complimentary waters and soft drinks in the refrigerator. Cabins: Had a Continental Suite 8063 and previously had Veranda cabin 7029 on the prior voyage. Suite has more amenities and more space (see Azamara description), but a Veranda cabin is perfectly adequate for us. Dining: Breakfast: Morning started out with coffee in our room (thank you Alwyn). Once we were awake we would head down to the Windows Cafe for a buffet breakfast. We also tried breakfast in the Discoveries dining room one morning. The only difference in the two venues would be: Do you want your breakfast served to you, or are you ok with getting the food yourself? Basically you can have anything you want in either setting. If you choose the buffet, the waiters will bring coffee/tea and juice to your table at while you peruse the buffet. The buffet offers the standard fresh fruit, cereal, yogurt, but you can have eggs/omelets made to order, pancakes or waffles prepared before you, etc. I'm not a big fan of buffets, but we were perfectly pleased with the Windows breakfast buffet offerings. Lunch: We had lunch at the buffet twice and both times we were very pleased, not to mention the complimentary wine and of course the chocolate gelato. If you are at the pool you can get grilled items such as hot dogs and hamburgers. Almost every evening we ate at the specialty restaurants, Aqualina and Prime C. The food is superb and the service is exemplary. On two nights we also dined in the main dining room, Discoveries, and must say that the food was also excellent. Personally I think that dining in the speciality restaurants is more intimate because there are far fewer tables and thus it is quieter and more relaxed. Dining in the Discoveries dining room is very lively and obviously more crowded during peak times. It really is up to you as to what type of dining experience you are looking for. We did not have any difficulty getting a table when we walked in to the Discoveries. Usually we sat at the bar first and had a cocktail then let them know we were ready to be seated. Just as a side note: The Mosaics Cafe offers complimentary gourmet coffees and a delightful array of petite sandwiches and desserts. Excursions: We booked a few excursions; i.e., Normandy Beach, Bruge on your own, Brussells on your own. We booked these on line when Azamara was offering a 50% discount. Great value, plus you always had transportation back to the ship. Entertainment: We were usually too tired to go to the shows, but caught Eric's performances which were awesome. Before we moved to Florida from NJ we used to go to NYC Broadway shows often and we think Eric is right up there with talent as well as the clouds (he has to be about 6 feet 7 inches tall)! Casino: The casino is small but this is a small ship. The staff is very helpful in assisting passengers to learn the gaming tables (my Blackjack was rusty). Never had to wait for a table or a slot machine. Won a little, lost a little. Activities: This would not be a cruise suitable for children as there are really no activities for them. I am a loving grandparent, but enjoyed the relative peace and quiet. The daily "Pursuits" lists all of the day's events such as bingo, mahjong, enrichment lectures, fitness activities, etc., etc. There is plenty to do if that is your pleasure. There is a nice library with many current books on the shelves. I think the age group on these ships are probably 45 - 70 depending upon the itinerary. We saw a few younger people and a few older people, but this is probably a good average. Pool: The pool area is clean and the chair covers are changed every day (if not more frequently). There was plenty of space (keep in mind we had only 1 full sea day). The waitstaff was always available to take drink orders but they were not aggressive. The passengers on this voyage were, for the most part, polite and thoughtful of each other. Fitness Room: Well equipped but small, however, no wait for the machines. Spa: I only used it for a manicure but thought the staff was friendly and helpful. Prices were not out of line with what I pay on land. Ports: The size of the ship allowed us to go to ports that the big guys can't do. A highlight for me was going towards Rouen along the Seine. The countryside is beautiful, dotted with old chateau and farms. People were waiting on the side of the river for us to come by so they could wave us on. On this cruise we stopped at many ports, each with its own charm. I would need several pages to describe all that there is to do and see. The fact that Azamara has so many overnights at particular ports is a real attraction for us. When you know you don't have to rush back to the ship, you can really get into the local scene and absorb the culture and sites with an unhurried attitude. Crew: I can't say enough about the crew. EVERYONE was sincerely helpful and friendly. The captain was always in communication with the passengers and the rest of the crew were always ready to make your journey as enjoyable as possible. Disembarkation: Again, very easy. You get to select what time you wish to disembark, you get a bag tag with a number on it, when they call your number you can leave and collect your luggage. Of course we stopped at the Windows Cafe for breakfast before we left. We did not use the Azamara transportation because we made our own air/ground arrangements. We used Smith for Airports and they were amazing. 97 GPB for a van (there were 4 of us) to Heathrow. Took about 1.5 hours from Southampton. Negatives: Yes there are a few minor negatives. The only thing we had a problem with was the internet. Azamara has to get with current times...they charge way too much for a sloooooooow connection. Very frustrating for many passengers including us. Overall: We had another great experience with Azamara. We are looking to book another cruise in 2013. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2012
Our cruise was the 12 night Chelsey Flower Show cruise from Amsterdam to Southampton. The cruise boarded in Amsterdam Netherlands (2 days) followed by stops in Flushing Netherlands (1 day), Antwerp Belgium (2 days), Bruges Belgium (1 day), ... Read More
Our cruise was the 12 night Chelsey Flower Show cruise from Amsterdam to Southampton. The cruise boarded in Amsterdam Netherlands (2 days) followed by stops in Flushing Netherlands (1 day), Antwerp Belgium (2 days), Bruges Belgium (1 day), Greenwich England (2 days), Rouen France (3 days) and then on to Southampton England to depart. This was our first cruise with Azamara and from the day we booked, back in February, we found a lot to like about Azamara. Our cruise was booked through Travel of America but we did all of our own check-in and tour bookings through the Azamara web site. A quick call to Azamara Customer Service and we were instantly Le Club Voyage members and credited with our previous cruises on Celebrity and Royal Caribbean. Azamara's web site was very easy to use and check-in took only a few minutes. Pre-booking tours in each port also proved to be easy and extremely cost effective. The selection of tours to choose from was exceptional (something for every interest) and the descriptions unbelievable helpful in describing what you would see as well as how long and strenuous each tour would be (important to us since my wife can not walk very far). Finally, since we were booking early, all of our tours were half price, which resulted in a considerable savings (even though the full prices were quite reasonable). Immediately after boarding the ship and throughout the cruise we found even more to like about Azamara. (Oh, where do I start?) 1. All tips were included! Yea! No trying to figure out how much to tip each time and scrounge up cash for envelopes at the end of the cruise. 2. The small size of the ship (less then 700 passengers, with only 550 on our cruise) made getting around so easy! And, no waiting forever for an elevator. I can't remember once having to wait more them a minute during the entire cruise! Not only that but the layout of the ship was almost identical to the larger Celebrity ships so we pretty much knew where everything was. The entertainment, lounge areas, cafe, gym/spa facilities and dining were also on a par equal to what we have experienced on Celebrity and Royal Caribbean ships. 3. Small ships can go where the big ones can't! Like right into Antwerp, up the Thames River to Greenwich and up the Seine River to Rouen. This meant no 4 hour bus rides to London or Paris, leaving only a few hours to see the cities. 4. Speaking of seeing the cities, all of our ports were a full day, with most being two days or more. This allowed plenty of time for either multiple tours or to see things on your own. We were never rushed in any port and since we had been to several of the cities before, in those cities we chose to spend one of the days walking around on our own. Once again, Azamara made this so easy. In each port there were free shuttle buses (tender service in Greenwich) into town leaving every 20-30 minutes! 5. No formal dress is required in the dining room, which for us resulted in one less suitcase (or more) to have to drag through the airports before and after the cruise. The ship also had a free laundry room on board and, while we didn't use it, plenty of other passengers did. 6. House wine in the dining areas and soda were free, as was bottled water to take with you on tours or while going ashore. Azamara also offered several "Pre-paid Drink" packages which provided a considerable savings over the per-drink price. In summary, we are now huge fans of Azamara and will definitely book another cruise(s) with them. Their small ship benefits and many included amenities have now spoiled us. We also found the quality of the food, service and entertainment on board to be easily as good as, if not better, then the larger ships we have sailed on. We would (and have) recommended them to anyone looking to take a cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2012
This was my 53rd cruise. I have been on most all of the popular cruise lines. My Aunt and Uncle have praised Azamara to the highest and recommended that I give it a try. Azamara does some things great, but a few things are in need of ... Read More
This was my 53rd cruise. I have been on most all of the popular cruise lines. My Aunt and Uncle have praised Azamara to the highest and recommended that I give it a try. Azamara does some things great, but a few things are in need of serious improvement. This cruise was from May 17, 2012 - May 29, 2012 12 nights from Amsterdam, The Netherlands to Southampton, England. We left our home in Bethesda, Maryland and flew out of Dulles Airport, direct to Amsterdam. We booked the air with Azamara as a package with the cruise. The flight was fine, when we arrived signs were waived in the airport for us to grab our luggage and jump on a clean bus to take us to the ship. As we waited to check in, plenty of comfortable seating was available, as well as coffee, tea, and snacks - nice! Check in was a breeze and we were on the ship. The ship is extremely clean as well as being very small by today's standards at about 30,000 tons, and holding 690 passengers. Our cruise included 550 passengers. The ship rarely felt crowed, and was very easy to navigate. There are two elevators forward and two elevators toward the back of the ship. The wait time for elevators is average compared to other ships. Be prepared to almost always stop on deck 5 - main dining room, casino, shops, coffee bar, and show lounge, deck 7 - many cabins, and deck 9 the buffet, pool deck and spa. Deck 9 - The buffet always had a nice selection for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Service was usually good at this location. Two staff members in this area did an extra nice job- Ernesto- a bar server- always a big smile and bringing me a Sprite Zero immediately every time he saw me. Also Gustavo- he worked at the stir fry station, big smile and remembered my name from the 2nd day on and knew I wanted my stir fry with no pasta or rice. Unfortunately on two different mornings the service in this area was extremely poor. One morning the only three unoccupied tables available needed clearing. I sat at one, and pushed the dirty dishes away while my traveling companion went up to the buffet. Even after I went to the buffet and came back the tables were still not cleaned. I had to hunt down clean silverware, get our own coffee, then get our own juice. I am not sure what was going on that morning. Another morning a similar lack of service was the problem - not good at this level of cruising. Just outside the pool area is a grill that serves a variety of dishes you may request and they give you a number and bring your meal to you. The burgers there were the best, especially with Swiss cheese and mushrooms. Both times I ordered the Onion Rings they were cold- not good! They also have a very small salad bar and a few other menu items. I only did the burgers both times they were so good. The pool area in nice with very comfy padded lounge chairs. And- oooohhh so nice, no need to check out a pool towel with your room card. Towels are around for your use. Two small hot tubs in this area that were rarely used. I got in once and fully enjoyed the relaxing results. The spa/gym is on the front of deck 9 with an ample size gym for the size of this ship. Deck 5 has the nice show lounge called the Cabaret Lounge with no bad seats or poles to block your vision. Saw several of the shows. The entertainment was average- not great, but not poor. The singers and dancers did 3 main shows- the 1st called "Play, Stop, and Rewind" it was average. The 2nd was "Voices" the singing and dancing were superior to the 1st show, but the costumes were super ugly- twisted up looking denim outfits that looked like they slept in them. The 3rd show was probably the best - "Stage Door to Dreams". There was one other show that included the cruise director Eric De Gray - "A Tribute to ABBA" - this was also better than average. Deck 5 also has the casino - about 50 slot machines and several gambling tables. It was only open two nights during cruise and very few people were participating. There are also two small shops on Deck five. One shop has jewelery and the other a few articles of clothing, perfume, and a few odds and ends. Both shops were also only open two times during the cruise. Another VERY nice area on Deck 5 is the Mosaic Cafe opening about 8:00am every morning and staying open until about 10:00 or 11:00 pm. They had a nice variety of free coffee drinks and a small station with elegant snacks- such as small plates of cheese, shrimp, and sweets. The Main Dining Room is also on this level. Food quality and selection were excellent. I just wish the service was as good. On three nights the service was EXTREMELY slow. One night was sat with our menu in our lap for almost 30 minutes before we were offered a drink or asked what we wanted - not good. Another night we arrived for dinner at 8:15. I asked if we could be finished by 9:30 because I really did want to see the show. I requested a table for 2 because smaller tables usually move faster. I was assured we would be done in time for the show and be given to the some of the best wait staff on the ship. We were ushered to a table with 5 other people - that should have been the first sign of trouble. We waited another 20 minutes to have our order taken - sign #2 of a problem. 10 minutes later when drinks arrived nobody got the drink they ordered - it was like musical chairs with drinks - sign #3 there is a problem. Almost an hour and a half later with no entrees in sight and everyone just finishing their salad I excused myself to go to the show, missing what I had expected to be my favorite meal of surf and turf. I just wonder if the staff assigning the seating had a clue as to what they were doing.... more about that below. Deck 7 is mostly cabins and also included the free self service laundry facility. The free laundry is a joke. There are only 4 washing machines and 4 drying machines for the ENTIRE SHIP. The first few days one washing machine was down, and two of the other washing machines did not work properly for the remainder of the cruise even though I did mention it on my mid cruise evaluation. With two of the washing machines, you press the start button and the agitator immediately starts twisting your clothes even though there is no water in the machine. It keeps twisting while the water is filling. The main problem is that 4 washers and 4 dryers are not nearly enough to work for 550 passengers. One day got very heated and a shouting match took place because someones clothes were sitting in the dryer for 3 minutes after the cycle ended. I heard there were a few other heated moments in this area. They need another set of these machines on decks 4 AND deck 8 were most of the cabins are located. I was lucky, I did use this area early one morning, but by the time I left about 10:00 the troops were arriving with their stinky pants in hand for a new round of "Battle for your Whirlpool Washer". And if you make it through round one, round two may be a bit more fun - "How long will your Vanity Fairs Last?" in the dryer that is after the cycle is complete, until someone yanks them out and puts them on display on top of the dryer - skid marks and all. This ship has many good things: Most of the service is good. The staff at the Guest Relations Desk were very nice. Our cabin stewards Husein and Fransisco were wonderful. The food quality and selection is a full step above many of the other cruise lines. Easy to navigate being such a small ship. Ship is very very clean. The free wine at lunch and dinner is very nice, as well as the free soft drinks. We had two very nice cocktail parties and the free drinks were flowing, I do mean flowing, they were not stingy at all. The Mosaic Cafe was fantastic - great staff, great coffee, great snacks - all included in your cruise! My traveling companion purchased on of the upgraded beverage packages and said it was worth every penny! The bad: Some non-service at breakfast at the buffet - two times - bad. SLOW service in the dining room - three times - very bad. Six times our television broke in our cabin - each time I went to the Guest Relations and they helped, but really should the TV die six times?? Really? The laundry on deck seven - I think I have already beat that dead horse above! THE WORST: The mattress on the bed - this needed to be replaced years ago, what are they thinking passengers will not notice? Is it really that difficult to have a nice mattress? The average passenger will be spending 1/3 of the time there, this item should be top notch- especially at this level of cruising. If you want a good mattress one cruise line wins hands down in this area - Holland America - they have the best! THE VERY WORST: On the 6TH evening of the cruise I asked the staff at the desk at the entrance of the main dining room if they could do a small birthday celebration for my traveling companion on his birthday - May 28 - Monday. They said "sure" a cake and singing would be done. I was expecting a cup cake and a few waiters/bus staff to come around and sing Happy Birthday- done all the time on cruises. Two days later I checked AGAIN with the staff at the entrance of the main dining room to confirm that a small celebration would take place, also confirming my cabin number. Each time you go to the dining room they request your cabin number. I even saw them type in what appeared to be a note for the birthday celebration. They assured me a 2ND time they would honor my request. On May 28 the day of the expected birthday celebration we had our complete meal WITHOUT one bit of birthday celebration. I was so utterly disappointed, how could they forget? Do these people really know what they are doing? I did not think my request was unreasonable. This was THE VERY WORST - and absolutely unacceptable. Will I travel Azamara again....maybe, maybe not.....I am leaning more to maybe not - the lack of the birthday celebration was such a major disappointment. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2012
This is one of my only ship reviews I have posted, I am very active on the roll call boards, but never felt the need to comment on a cruise ship before now. We sailed on the Journey for a 12 night sailing. The itinerary and the price was ... Read More
This is one of my only ship reviews I have posted, I am very active on the roll call boards, but never felt the need to comment on a cruise ship before now. We sailed on the Journey for a 12 night sailing. The itinerary and the price was the main reason for doing this trip. The Ports were Amsterdam, Vlissingen, Antwerp (3 nights), Bruges, London (docked off of Greenwich, 6 miles from London City) and Rouen, France (one hour train ride from Paris), disembarked at Southampton, England. This was our second time on Azamara, we had sailed on the Quest about 4 years ago doing the Best of Italy for 14 nights, wonderful is all I can say. We have sailed on Celebrity, Royal, Princess, NCL and Carnival before and we have enjoyed each cruise and each line as they are all different in their own ways. As you can see we haven't been loyal to anyone Cruise Line, we go for the itinerary and time of year. I keep looking into land tours but keep coming back to cruising as you don't have all that packing and unpacking. I must admit I now feel that Azamara is the best Cruise Line we have done to date. I have always said I don't care which cruise line we go on, but now I have to admit that Azamara is far and away the best of the best. I will now go out of my way to look for where they are going to see if it meets with our needs to travel with them again. We are in our early to mid-fifties at time of writing. So that all being said I'll go ahead and put down some of the things we enjoyed: 1. They serve a red and white wine at lunch and dinner, complimentary. Now you'll say it's included in the price of the cruise, well at the deal we got I'd have to say no. 2. Mosaics is the specialty coffee house on deck 5, also complimentary. They had cookies, finger sandwiches etc. to munch on. Great place to meet before exiting the ship, if you're not tendering you disembark on Deck 5. Tenders exit on Deck 4. 3. The ship itself is kept in GREAT shape, while on an "R" ship with Princess they started to let it get a little run down because they were transferring the ship to one of their other cruise lines. Everything is cleaned daily. They even re-varnished our railing on our Balcony while we were out. 4. The toiletries in the cabin included shampoo, conditioner, hand lotion, body gel and a small bottle of air freshener (that's a great idea). 5. While in port they hang a banner across deck 5 that says "Welcome Home" another great touch. 6. Crew very, very friendly. Always willing to go out of their way to say good morning, good evening etc. Excellent staff and training, they have to work on it and it shows. 7. Cabin, we had a Balcony, Cabin 6068. Great shape a little small by some ship's standards but had a good amount of closet storage and shelves in both room and bathroom. Shower only had a curtain, but I'm okay with that. 8. Balcony, is about 4' wide by width of cabin, it had 2 plastic chairs and a small glass topped table, very clean and in very good shape. 9. The curtains in room are in good shape and had a blackout curtain and sheer. 10. The lounge chairs around the pool have soft pads and are covered each day with clean towels and they place a rolled up pool towel so you don't have to go anywhere to get one, it's right there on the lounge chair. 11. In one corner of the pool deck they have over-stuffed sofas , love seats and coffee tables instead of just the standard hard back patio chairs and eating tables. 12. They have a coffee service set up on the pool deck by the Pool Bar so you don't have to walk to the restaurant. 13. For breakfast you can order your omelet and they bring it to your table so you don't have to stand there and wait. 14. Enjoyed all the food. The Pool Grill makes great hamburgers and fries. 15. I really enjoyed the idea that they don't nickel and dime you every time you turn around, they just can't go too far out of their way to help, the best crew ever on both ships. 16. Azamara took care of our airfare and I thought the air fights were very good. One stop in Chicago for an hour and a half then direct to Amsterdam on Delta. The return was non-stop from Southampton to Los Angeles on Virgin Atlantic. I could go on and on. Let me just say I love Azamara and the way they take of care you. I guess it's the way cruising used to be before the bean counters took over and started Revenue Enhancement. I won't get into the ports as we enjoyed them all and our private guides. The ship tours sounded like a great deal being half off (within 4 days of cruising) but we like small groups with private guides. Read Less
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