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123 Azamara Baltic Sea Cruise Reviews

We booked this cruise to get a comparison of our extensive experience with Viking. We’d lost our affinity for Viking due to a nasty situation regarding a cancelled cruise credit due us. So, we felt Azamara might be our next logical ... Read More
We booked this cruise to get a comparison of our extensive experience with Viking. We’d lost our affinity for Viking due to a nasty situation regarding a cancelled cruise credit due us. So, we felt Azamara might be our next logical choice to try. Embarkation: We landed at 7:00 am in London, waited in a crowded seating area for other passengers to board a bus to Southampton. That was okay, but upon arrival at Southampton we were given instructions to sit in a large waiting area. No estimated time of checkin, no information at all. The soon to become oft-vaunted suite passengers were invited to line up for security and checkin. The remaining dross like us were cattle called into a lengthy line for security, the somewhat shorter numbered lines for checkin. Checkin took three hours from arrival in Southampton. Had I known, I would have booked a private transfer after snoozing in the Virgin Revival lounge available to Delta One passengers. We booked the near-lowest cabin class - an Oceanview Stateroom. Much has been said about the tiny bathrooms and it’s all true. What’s hilarious is you have to upgrade to a suite to get an adequate bathroom. I would have been livid to pay a veranda stateroom price for that same shower that cannot comfortably contain a size 8 woman. The finishes were fine and the toiletries on offer were equal to a two star hotel. We were in 4002 and had no problems with noise from the Caberet Lounge above. We did have some bow thruster noise, but overall, a quiet cabin. Bed quality was just fine. Our stateroom was everything promised - in distant, low-res pictures. Upon closer examination, the noted “full refurbishment” of 2016 has had a hard life, based on our observations. The furniture in our cabin was nicked and worn. It was also mismatched. The carpet was worn and grimy to the point I wouldn’t walk on it without slipper or shoes. It was interesting to note our nightstands didn’t match. There was no clock available except on the standard def tv. This provided extra fun as I used my phone for an alarm in oft-changing time zones, depending on having an Internet connection to update my phone - no luck there, more later. Storage was adequate, the bed was comfortable, it was easy to control the cabin temp in the cool Baltic weather, and the room cleaning was adequate if not terribly speedy (we’ve seen Viking staterooms cleaned in less than a half hour). Wi-fi service was an expensive rip-off. I spent endless hours simply connecting to the network. I’d log on, move to a new location (once as short a move as two deck chairs) only to be dropped. We never had this issue on Viking except some intermittent issues at sea. All our problems with Azamara’s network took place both in port and at sea. Don’t buy it. Most ports on our cruise worked just fine. We logged onto a giant MS ship in port. Food was generally excellent. Service in the restaurants ranged from ok to terrible. The specialty restaurants were a waste of money. They offered nothing superior to what we could get in the main restaurant and the Italian Aquafina served us the two worst meals we had. Book your own excursions. Azamara’s were expensive and offered poor value. For the most part guides didn’t use the popular headphones/receivers and they had to have us crowd in to hear. One plus was plenty of room to spread out. Azamara’s air booking is fabulous compared to Viking. You get to choose your preferred itinerary and price based on the buying power of Royal Caribbean. Public areas on the Journey were uneven. The furniture in “The Living Room” was grimy and worn. Most windows had eroded finishes and uncared for brasses. Entertainment was okay and varied. I don’t cruise for the floor shows. Once again I think Viking takes this whole category - all finishes are crisp and new looking. The entertainment is geared more toward informational lectures applicable to ports visited. I wish I could take the two lines and pick and choose the best of each to come up with a great value cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
There were 6 of us on this cruise, one couple with 4 other women. We started our trip with 3 days in London. Some of us had been on the Journey before and looked forward to coming back. Those new to it loved the cruise. We choose this ... Read More
There were 6 of us on this cruise, one couple with 4 other women. We started our trip with 3 days in London. Some of us had been on the Journey before and looked forward to coming back. Those new to it loved the cruise. We choose this for the ship and the itinerary. The service was excellent as expected. We loved "welcome home" every-time we returned to the ship. Embarkation was slow because of a technical problem. Our first stop was Bruges. We did it on our own, took a train into town, the station was right at the dock. Lots of walking but a beautiful place. Next Amsterdam. We did a ship excursion to the countryside to see windmills. Lots of rain all day, but we enjoyed the scenery. The amazing evening was at a maritime museum, we enjoyed the music and the canal boat ride. The next day some of us went to the Rijksmuseum on a ship excursion and others enjoyed the city on their own. The next day was the Kiel canal. It was like a sea day, but so interesting to go through the locks. We did a ship excursion to Berlin. It was a long bus ride (3 hours) and our driver forgot to make a comfort stop. Near the end of the drive they announced that there was a bathroom on the bus for emergencies. Glad I saw Berlin, but was not my trip highlight Next was a sea day. Always enjoy these and we had a wonderful brunch in the dining room. Helsinki was the next stop. We did not do a tour, but enjoyed a nice little marketplace at the dock. The next 3 days were in St. Petersburg, the highlight of the trip for me. We did a tour with ALLA tours and loved it. Only 12 people on a small bus and so much to see. Great guide and lunches were included. The white night was in St Petersburg. The food and entertainment was great but the weather was cold so it was not as enjoyable as it could have been. Tallinn was next. We enjoyed a tour from our travel agent of the old town and visited a manor home in the country where we had a wonderful meal. Our last port was Stockholm and we stayed 2 extra days. We visited the Vasa museum and Old Town. Enjoyed Stockholm except for the rain. There were many tourists everywhere since it was August. So glad we did tours or ordered advance tickets to most places. The cabin worked well for us - plenty of storage space. The bathroom is small, but not an issue. Better internet service would be welcomed. I love Azamara cruises. This was my fourth - 3rd on the Journey. It has been a few years and i wasn't sure if it would be the same. The service was still wonderful and it was nice to see some familiar faces. I enjoyed the Living Room area, but it did fill up at times. The food was still excellent and I enjoyed the included wine. We had several amazing buffets during the trip. The Chocolate buffet was unbelievable. We ate mainly in the dining room; did not do any specialty restaurants. Breakfast was either Discovery, Windows or room service - all were good. We had one lunch at the Patio and I really enjoyed an Azamara burger and onion rings. Entertainment was good, but not as good as I remembered. Cruise director Eric was not on this trip and I missed him although Danny and Lee were good. Captain Johannes was always around greeting people and letting us know what was happening. I still love Azamara and in several weeks I will be on the Azamara Journey around Spain. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We sailed in July with Azamara for the second time. Our first cruise with Azamarawas on the Pursuit in the Autumn of last year. The only real difference we could see between the ships was the Casino, when that is removed and the Lounge ... Read More
We sailed in July with Azamara for the second time. Our first cruise with Azamarawas on the Pursuit in the Autumn of last year. The only real difference we could see between the ships was the Casino, when that is removed and the Lounge becomes bigger it is a definite improvement. However The Journey is a lovely ship, we did not notice any shabby areas, she gleamed! Add to the experience the wonderful crew, a Captain who was so personable and who made in scheduled ‘stops’ so the chef could source local Norwegian berries and cheese and you have a recipe for a fun time. We even did an oil rig safari! Not many can say that! The food, service and overall holiday was first class. We are already booking two back to back cruises with Journey in November, can’t wait. Caribbean here we come! Thank you Azamara for Azamazing holidays Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Azamara folk are incredibly loyal and proud of their ship, and that’s just the guests! (Well, the staff are loyal and proud too). This was our first Azamara cruise, so I’m barely qualified to write this review, surrounded as we were by ... Read More
Azamara folk are incredibly loyal and proud of their ship, and that’s just the guests! (Well, the staff are loyal and proud too). This was our first Azamara cruise, so I’m barely qualified to write this review, surrounded as we were by guests cruising Azamara for their fifth, tenth, even twentieth time in its ten-year history. The Captain set the tone, sociable, warm, and happy to show us Norway through his eyes. Our two (three?) sets of cruise directors brought enthusiasm and warmth to the trip. Entertainment maybe leaned too heavily on Broadway, but we appreciated the effort and I really liked the house band and the lounge performers. The cultural lectures were pertinent and valuable to appreciating our all-Norway itinerary. The cooking demonstrations were enjoyable and offered a peek at the professionalism and mutual respect that exists among the kitchen crew, which surely is not always the case. The AzAmazing evening featured a brilliant concert in Trondheim’s Nidaros Cathedral, and the White Night gave us an opportunity to cheer for the staff as they paraded through. Shore excursions were hit-and-miss and overpriced as usual, but we followed the pre-cruise Roll Call here on CruiseCritic and had a good mix of internal and external bookings. Well done Azamara! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
An unusual itinerary and a keen price.. The itinerary from which we booked showed arrival in Greenwich on 9th September at 1.15pm tendered. The ship was late and the tendering procedure using local tenders was appalling. The tender ... Read More
An unusual itinerary and a keen price.. The itinerary from which we booked showed arrival in Greenwich on 9th September at 1.15pm tendered. The ship was late and the tendering procedure using local tenders was appalling. The tender journey was short (approximately 5 minutes)but the one tender provided took 30 or 40 minutes to make a round trip. The result was that a huge line built up and we did not reach the shore until just before 4pm. All the local attractions such as the Cutty Sark, Maritime Museum, Queens House and the Observatory closed at 5pm. As a result we had barely an hour to look at anything. This rendered the day a wholly inadequate visit. We made many complaints to the officers in charge of tendering while we were standing waiting but they did nothing to speed up the process. We even asked the captain to get something done but astonishingly he said he was not responsible for the tendering. Azamara must take responsibility for making the completely ineffective arrangements. There was nobody on shore from Azamara and this omission meant there was no one expediting the turn round of the tender. Since it was a Sunday there were many other people using the Greenwich pier for river trips but Azamara completely failed to get the company they had appointed to provide an acceptable service. The consequence was that the call at Greenwich started by asking us to stand in line for an hour or more and then to be faced with the impossibility of seeing the places we had anticipated visiting because they were on the point of closing. The next day's disembarkation was in total contrast. It went smoothly with many Azamara staff on shore to speed the process. The cruise itself was pleasant but the weather could have been better. We did not like Bremerhaven as all the notices on shore including in the museums were only in German. There was a u boat on display and a railway truck used to transport Jews. Amsterdam was excellent as usual although it was frustrating not to be able to buy museum tickets at the door. The Amazing evening was a classical concert which was excellent if a little short. The dining room chairs in the main dining room looked good but were uncomfortable. The library was furnished badly and used to be much better. We enjoyed the Tapas every evening in the living room (observation lounge). A pity that a third of the front windows were blocked by the bandstand and that some of the sofas faced inwards rather than looking at the view. In contrast the outer ring of sunbeds on the pool deck faced outwards. Apart from the day in Greenwich we enjoyed the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
This was our second ocean cruise and on the same ship as our first in 2017 and with the same captain. Everything was great on this cruise as well. We again routinely went to the Living Room for pre-dinner tapas and a drink before going to ... Read More
This was our second ocean cruise and on the same ship as our first in 2017 and with the same captain. Everything was great on this cruise as well. We again routinely went to the Living Room for pre-dinner tapas and a drink before going to the main restaurant about 8 pm. There was a very good, laid back, trio: vocalist, keyboard and an excellent guitarist. Very relaxing after a busy day in port. The only negative I mentioned on the last cruise was the occasional meal that was not hot enough, well this was not evident on this cruise. A fellow cruiser 'Literary Lynne' has given a very detailed report and an excellent summary of the ports visited. I can add a summary on what we did in the ports. All the ports were outstanding places to visit on a smaller ship and the weather was mostly perfect except for Amsterdam where we were given a wet welcome. Arrhus: Walked to the botanical garden where they have a large greenhouse with many wonderful tropical plants then on the way back visited the ARos Art Museum which has an outstanding circular art installation structure on the roof you can walk in and view the city 360 degrees through coloured panels. They also have the unmissable 5m squatting 'Boy' sculpture by Ron Mueck, an Australian. After lunch on the ship we walked around the city and on our return along the docks saw the Danish queen disembark her ship and alight a limo to take her to open a festival in downtown Aarhus. Skagen: Walked to the buried church and then back through the town and visited the Drachmanns Hus. Caught the shuttle bus back to the ship for lunch and a short rest. In the afternoon walked the length of the town to the Skagen Vippefyr a reproduction of an early form of warning light for ships. Oslo: Caught the train to the Munch museum which had a wonderful collection of his works in the "Between the clock and the bed" exhibition. They also have "Starry Night" on display. Then a train to the city centre and the National Gallery. We bought a city day pass at the tourist office which allowed us to bypass the long queue. This museum has a good collection of art including one of Munch's paintings of "The Scream". In the afternoon we walked through the 14th C Akershus Fortress, visited the resistance museum and then went to the city port area and took a round trip on a ferry to the closest island and back. Other than the train trips we walked everywhere else. Bremerhaven: Wonderful port city. The museums are outstanding. They include an open for inspection U-boat 'Wilhelm Bauer' Type XXI Built in 1945 and used till 1982. Many other boats are displayed and in the museum building is the 'Bremen Cog' from 1380. The emigration museum is truly outstanding. Visited the nearby shopping area for a bite to eat and to look for a pair of sandles. Just love the German shops. Leaving this industrial port by ship is a highlight. Think railyards, superlarge car-transport ships, massive new car storage areas and travelling next to a vast container terminal where containers are being stored then loaded onto ships in an automated system. Luckily, had a 10x zoom for this. Amsterdam: Great city, been quite a few times so this time went to the Stedelijk modern art Museum. Admired Roy Lichtenstein's 'As I Opened Fire' and George Grosz 'The Rabble Rouser' from 1928 depicting a Nazi sympathizer encircled by a grinning crowd and many other works. On the morning of the second day caught the ferry to the NDSM area which was an old shipyard area. They were setting up for summer concerts so couldn't visit some of it but it was worthwhile to see how the Dutch treated their manufacturing history. They treat these things with the respect they deserve, like many other nations do. In Australia we, stupidly, tend to demolish these areas and sell the land to developers. We have done this with Sydney's historic Dock areas and even allowed the navy to recently demolish a large historic crane - because it cost a lot to maintain. Last year in Hamburg my heart sunk when I saw the restored cranes next to the Elbephilharmonie. Oostende: Caught the train to Bruges. Plenty to see and do here. The Groeninge museum was a highlight along with Michaelangelo's Madonna and Child. Leaving Oostende in the evening was a highlight. Honfleur: Another beautiful day with the market in full swing. Vintage Calvados a plenty (to buy) visited Musuem Eugene Boudin and Sainte-Catherine timber church. In the afternoon walked around the harbour and through the Le Jardin des Personnalités. Leaving in the evening was another shipping highlight. London: Travelling up the Thames for a first visit to London was another shipping highlight. Perfect weather and an afternoon visit to Greenwich observatory and park topped off the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We chose this cruise specifically for the 3 full days in St. Petersburg. What we liked: --easy getting on board --smaller ship, easier to get off for excursions (other than first day in StP which is due to customs) and you are ... Read More
We chose this cruise specifically for the 3 full days in St. Petersburg. What we liked: --easy getting on board --smaller ship, easier to get off for excursions (other than first day in StP which is due to customs) and you are stopped as close to the city as possible, this is great --self laundry available at no cost and soap provided --entertainment was good --cabin service good, including room service available 24/7 (no complimentary drink service to rooms in our category, but there will be in 2020) --Azamazing evening was wonderful --White night party was very nice --our favourite meal was at Aqualina, followed by white night buffet and then the first night seafood buffet --the gym is very well equipped What we were less fond of: --food & service in the Discoveries restaurant was just average, we eat well and go out to great restaurants so our expectations may be set higher than for some --complimentary beverage list is very limited, even for us who are not big drinkers. White wine was terrible on a couple of days. At this cost why? I understand charging for truly premium brands and great wine for not the rest of it. --we pre-paid 3 nights at the 2 specialty restaurants, we tried to change our reservation for PrimeC as the white night party moved dates - instead of moving us they cancelled our booking and it was an argument to get a new reservation --wifi was horribly slow, we paid for the unlimited package - not worth the cost IMO --I don't know what the purpose of guest services is, not helpful when I spoke with them --one of our pre-booked shore excursions was cancelled and they only notify you onboard - you're then stuck re-booking in US $ which has an impact --we booked 2 shore excursions with the ship, enjoyed the bike tour but the other was "meh", if you know you don't like group tours then keep this in mind --disembarking was a total gong show, booked ship bus transfer to train station which is a TOTAL rip off and they were totally disorganized and ran much later than communicated to us, taxis were really not available - a handful with many waiting for them, both of our bags were tagged #21 but one was placed with the #12 bags--we were lucky to find it Excursions: --we did a private tour with Alla in StP and it was WELL worth the $$ --Helsinki is easy to visit on your own --Riga, Klaipeda are very small towns and could easily be visited on own, we went to Curonian Spit in Klaipeda and it's beautiful but I couldn't figure out how to get there without the tour --Malbork Castle (Gdansk) is beautiful but leaves little time in Gdansk itself. Gdansk could be done on your own --Ronne not much to see IMO Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We chose this cruise because we hadn’t been in this region before and all the ports were therefore new. We weren’t disappointed. We have travelled on the Azamara line 10 times now and have enjoyed our time on board. We had a window ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we hadn’t been in this region before and all the ports were therefore new. We weren’t disappointed. We have travelled on the Azamara line 10 times now and have enjoyed our time on board. We had a window view on Deck 4, which we found more than acceptable. We are aware of the general criticisms regarding the size and spaciousness of the bathroom and shower but due to our size and stature we don’t experience any problems. We ate mainly in the Discoveries restaurant but did venture up to the Windows café whenever they had the Indian night. The décor and amenities throughout the vessel were good. We didn’t go to the entertainment as it just didn’t strike a chord with us this time, but we did enjoy the onboard pianist. It was nice to relax in the living room and enjoy the ambience. One thing that Azamara should consider whenever they are removing the casino is to enlarge the restroom facilities as I feel they are wholly inadequate (being the closest restrooms to the Cabaret Lounge) All the staff on board were extremely friendly and courteous and always said hello. The cleanliness of the public areas and our stateroom were always pristine. The senior staff were very visible and always approachable We were out most of the time so didn’t take part in any of the on board activities. My wife did enjoy the artist Jean Picton and went to her workshops on the sea days. I enjoyed lectures regarding the Tsars and St Petersburg that helped gen me up on what I would see and experience when we got there. The weather was really good throughout the voyage, the only rain being at Copenhagen and as we were going home it didn’t have the same affect. We are looking forward to our next cruise on the Pursuit. It will be nice to see the transformation the refit (in Belfast) will have had. We live close to Belfast and kept ourselves aware of the progress the ship was making whilst it was there. Ports of call Stockholm Embarkation- A nice sail away past all the islands. St Petersburg We booked a private three day intensive tour of all the important sites with TJ Travel before we left home. It was a full on experience which we enjoyed immensely and felt that it was great value for money. We would thoroughly recommend this to anyone who wished to understand St Petersburg’s role in Russian history. We certainly had a great time! Helsinki We just stepped off the ship as it was right in the centre. Did the open topped bus and enjoyed the little market at the waterfront. Riga Another port were we docked right by the centre of the old town. We just walked across the road we were there. The architecture was very interesting and the people friendly. We enjoyed our day there. Klaipeda Another port easily accessed from the ship, and a local folk group was there to greet us. A lot of metal pieces of public art to enjoy as well as numerous sculptures scattered throughout a public park. We had our White Night party in Klaipeda and were entertained again by the folk group, this time on the ship – a real coup! Gdansk We got bussed in to the old city. Again very interesting to see the pictures of the city as it was just after the war and how it looks now rebuilt in the same style as before. We had our Azamazing evening here. We were entertained in the Philharmonic Hall to an evening of music by Fyrderyk Chopin played on the piano by Rafael Lewandowski and accompanied on the violin by Karolina Piatkowska- Nowicka. An amazing evening of culture rounded of by a firework display. We certainly won’t forget that evening in a hurry. Ronne The best day for weather on the cruise. The sun shone all day. It was a nice peaceful little town to walk through, the architecture of the old houses being particularly appealing. This was a very pleasant and relaxing way to end our cruise. Copenhagen A very wet day to disembark and not a particularly pleasant dock, but Azamara had advised us earlier regarding the facilities and had suggested that we avail ourselves of transfers something that we had already done as part of our package. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
I chose this cruise since I have sailed with the cruise line since 2007. Every cruise has been sensational! Having sailed on the Adonia I was looking forward to see the changes that Azamara had made. I was so excited to sail on ... Read More
I chose this cruise since I have sailed with the cruise line since 2007. Every cruise has been sensational! Having sailed on the Adonia I was looking forward to see the changes that Azamara had made. I was so excited to sail on the Pursuit and the wonderful itinerary including Iceland. It was wonderful to see so many of the crew that had been brought over from the other ships. That is where it all ended....I spent a small fortune (more than I have ever spent on Azamara) for the most underwhelming cruise that I have ever been on. The ships excursions were ridiculously overpriced. Larry Pimentel explained that they were so expensive because they decided to use vans instead of busses so the guests could have a better experience . Well...I took a private van tour in Reykjavik with other AZ guests that was under a $100 per person. It covered all the same stops as the AZ tour. The entertainment was underwhelming. The assistant cruise director was the highlight of the Az Entertainment staff. The singers and dancers needed a lot of work. The outside entertainment was very good (especially Mandy who never disappoints). How so much goes on in the Den was a bit overwhelming. With the piano in the middle of the room it was amazing how anyone sitting at the bar could have a conversation or the offices moved up there could hear themselves think. Too much going on in one place at one time. The food and service in the dining room was adequate (nothing spectacular) The food in Windows for breakfast and lunch was the most boring that I have ever had. It never seemed to change. I never thought I would write such a review for Azamara. I was always your biggest cheerleader. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We chose this cruise for two reasons, the itinerary and to try this new ship bought by Azamara. We have traveled on Journey and Quest multiple times and loved them all. In fact, before boarding this cruise, we had the week before cruised ... Read More
We chose this cruise for two reasons, the itinerary and to try this new ship bought by Azamara. We have traveled on Journey and Quest multiple times and loved them all. In fact, before boarding this cruise, we had the week before cruised on Journey doing the Norwegian Fjords. That cruise was exceptional. The Pursuit was a huge disappointment. Our main complaint was a constant tapping noise along with an intermittent foghorn sound in our room. Our cabin, 8058, was torn up for the good part of two days with the ceilings and walls taken apart. The tapping sound was partially eliminated, but since techs were not ever in our room when the foghorn sounds appeared, this was never solved. They didn’t know what it was causing it. However, we were never contacted by guest relations to ask how we were surviving what I deemed the “insane asylum with good food” even once. Several other passengers suffered similar noise problems and complained. We discovered a few days before the end of the cruise that the foghorn noise was an air conditioning problem. If we turned the AC off and then back on, the noise went away temporarily. We had to do this multiple times a night. I suffered headaches from lack of sleep and while the ports were great, my enjoyment of them was thwarted. We were told there were no suites for us to move,although one day when our room was in shambles, they gave us a balcony room to rest in. Later, friends also with noise problems told us they had been moved to a Spa Suite. Hmm. We were happy for them, but they were at Explorer level, and we are Discover+ with 2000 points. Selfishly we thought we should have been given priority. In fact, on this cruise, we received NO advantage for our loyalty. We didn’t even get an invitation to the CC meeting for the first time although we signed up it. The laundry and internet minutes we received were the same as our continental suite provided. We have never felt so ignored or unappreciated on an Azamara cruise before. Service by wait staff and room stewards were wonderful as usual. The dry cleaner shrunk my pants so they are now too short. Food was good and we thought the entertainment was at times great. We met with the guest relations manager to express our disappointment and sleep deprivation before the cruise ended and he said he would report it. Wow, thank you. When I mentioned my dry cleaning- which I had gotten back the day before- he said I should have reported it. I said I just did. Nada. I asked what he could do about lengthening my pants (which I had on at the time so he could see) and all I got was a blank stare. Maybe he was overwhelmed, but he underwhelmed me. I let him know that for the first time ever I would be leaving a negative review. Also, small thing, but the movies they showed were mostly for children on a cruise with few children. And they repeated several times each on this cruise. Pay movies were not available as they are on Journey and Quest. We have eight more Azamara cruises booked (excited about Africa and Japan) but happily none of them are on the Pursuit. I am sure they will work the problems out, but until then, we will avoid this ship. If we receive any positive response to our nightmare that cost well over $20,000, I will post an update. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
The shame of P&O's fleet, the Adonia, returns from dry dock transformed into the luxury, five star, country house hotel experience aka The Pursuit. What are the chances of that happening? What a load of old blether. The cabin ... Read More
The shame of P&O's fleet, the Adonia, returns from dry dock transformed into the luxury, five star, country house hotel experience aka The Pursuit. What are the chances of that happening? What a load of old blether. The cabin was hideously dusty, the 'bathroom' cramped and badly designed, and the first time since the Heysham ferry I've hated the way a ship performed in slight 'weather'. This from someone who's felt perfectly fine going through a hurricane with 100ft waves in the QEII. Stick a funnel on a margarine tub and you get the picture. I feel thoroughly ripped off. Never having used Azamara before (we're itinerary driven cruisers) we asked other passengers was this the usual Azamara experience? All said a resounding 'no' and 'that the service was way below par'. We met a couple who'd been on the Adonia just before Azamara took her over and said there was little difference save a coat or two of paint! I accept this was only the second voyage for the ship but the crew really need better training. Having young officers openly mocking passengers whilst using the dining facilities is frankly appalling. On seeing an overweight disabled passenger one young officer shouted out 'I can see a whale' as the poor soul struggled past. Shame! Worse still the senior officer present didn't rebuke them. The Captain really has to take responsibility for this. I don't don't want a big 'happy family' of a crew I want a well-structured/disciplined professional framework of command and leave the jokes to the Cruise Director (who incidently was the best thing on the ship). Incidentally first time a ship's crew have tried to alter reality to cover their failings. Howsabout admitting fault, apologising, and try to do better? You will get caught out otherwise. I will never use Azamara again. Emperor's New Clothes Outfit. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We boarded the ship in Copenhagen and departed in Stockholm after an 11-day journey visiting some interesting ports on the way. We had a Stateroom with balcony booked. The cabin was small but manageable. Only comment we must make is ... Read More
We boarded the ship in Copenhagen and departed in Stockholm after an 11-day journey visiting some interesting ports on the way. We had a Stateroom with balcony booked. The cabin was small but manageable. Only comment we must make is that the design of the bathroom is very small with a shower difficult to manage for bigger persons. The room was very clean, and the bed was comfortable. The room attendants looked after us well. Food was of high quality and came in great variety. The cruise was an all-inclusive one, but there are also drinks on offer that are not covered by the all-inclusive package. We were happy with the drinks of the all-inclusive selection. We used the speciality Restaurants that came with an extra cost of $30 per person. There is a Steak place and an Italian Restaurant. Both are recommendable to give yourself an extra treat. There is also a Buffet and an a la card Restaurant that is included in the package with no extra charge. For a snack inbetween there is the Patio that offered Hamburgers, Satays and Sausages. The staff in general are very friendly and attentive. Nothing is impossible for them to arrange. We only experienced one exception. It must have been her bad day. There are two entertainment venues. The Cabaret a large theatre and the Living Room. We spend most nights in the Living Room before dinner to listen to the resident Mexican Band that played everything from Pop to South American tunes. Very good. The young Guitarist was very talented. In the Cabaret we enjoyed the white night party and a speech by Mr Lech Walenza. Also, the Violin player was very good. However, there were nights we did not go to the Cabaret at all and there were nights we departed before the end of the show, but then you cannot like everything. Azamara is an American owned company and the ship orientation is towards their core market. One thing we did not like was the compulsory tip of 18% for services even so the cruise was promoted to be all inclusive. So be aware if you have a Beauty Treatment or a massage that you are paying more than the advertised price. A price that is already very inflated compared to Australian cost before compulsory tip. Everything worked like clockwork on the cruise. The ship always arrived in time at the ports and the shore departures went very smooth. Because the Journey is such a small ship it is sometimes able to sail right into the heart of the towns. No feeder boats were needed to transfer passengers. We arranged our own shore excursions. In Warnemuende we took the train to Rostock and the tram to the old part of town. In Danzig we just went with the shuttle provided by the ship to town and done our own walking tour. Same in Estonia. We had a two-day tour booked in St Petersburg over the internet. The local tour company was excellent with an experienced tour guide. No upfront payment. We only paid at the end of the two-day tour. They give rebattes for early bookings and we got also a refund because we were not able to see two Museums due to time. This was not their fault, but due to our request to return to the ship early on the first day. St Petersburg was full of tourists and without the tour we booked we wouldn’t have been able to get into the attractions without any great delays. The quey at the Summer Palace was so long that even our guide got excited and took several photos. The Tour Company we used was BEST GUIDES GROUP. Highly recommendable local company. You can find them on the Internet. ANNA the guide was very knowledgeable with a very likable personality. She never lost her patience with all the crowds and went out of her way to please fellow travelers. Also, we feel that two days sightseeing is enough even so most Tour company offer three days. We were a very small group of 10 people that made the tour even more enjoyable. In Copenhagen, Helsinki and Stockholm we used Hop on Hop off busses. They come right to the port and take you around the city and stop on several places of interest. Also, in these cities a Hop on, Hop off boat was included. The cruise was a very enjoyable experience. Highly recommendable. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We are a couple in our 50's and booked this cruise because we wanted to see the Baltics/ Northern Europe and we wanted to try a better quality small ship cruise after getting very tired of the mega ships. We were very happy with our ... Read More
We are a couple in our 50's and booked this cruise because we wanted to see the Baltics/ Northern Europe and we wanted to try a better quality small ship cruise after getting very tired of the mega ships. We were very happy with our choice. The small ship experience is so much better for us. Embarkation and debarkation were totally hassle free. In addition we really enjoyed the excellent quality of the food. Azamara upgraded us from a veranda to a suite and we loved the larger room. We ate in the specialty restaurants most of the time and they were excellent, we ordered breakfast in our room several times and loved that. We ate lunches at the patio grill almost everyday, loved the Greek lamb burgers and hot fresh French fries! The staff is exceptional! So friendly and welcoming. The ship never felt crowded even though it was full. It was so nice that all your needs are included in your fare, the included wines were good and certain ones that we really liked the waiters were happy to get for us on days they were serving different selections. We mainly drink wine so cannot speak about the other alcohol options. The ports we visited were great. St Petersburg was one of the highlights. We took the ships 2 day tour and had a wonderful time and saw so much, it really is a small group of around 20 people, we used the 3rd day to relax after the huge crowds in the museums, etc.. Other ports we used the Azamara provided shuttle (again included) and toured on our own. We did not attend the Azamazing evening since we had been out on a tour for 10 hours that day. I heard it was very nice. The entertainment in the evening was not great every night (but some great performances) but that didn't bother us, one night we saw Tony Arias who was terrific!! So funny and a great singer, loved him! Another night was an ABBA night and we loved that! Our cruise director was Alicia Hill and she's wonderful, she had a great standing room only show. Our next trip is probably South America in 2020 and we most certainly will come back to Azamara. Thank you Azamara for such an outstanding trip! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We chose this as we have happily cruised with Azamara several times, and also it was a no fly cruise. We had expected the ship to be pristine, but, while clean, it was clearly a tired old lady. The crew were clearly still in the work ... Read More
We chose this as we have happily cruised with Azamara several times, and also it was a no fly cruise. We had expected the ship to be pristine, but, while clean, it was clearly a tired old lady. The crew were clearly still in the work up phase, as generally it was not such a slick operation overall. The cabin staff and restaurant staff were very friendly and helpful, and the service was generally good. Unfortunately the management of the ships air conditioning system was sadly deficient, as 90% of the time, the main public rooms, i.e. The Cabaret, the Living Room, Windows, Discoveries and the Den were kept far too cold, given the age profile of guests, although the Den did warm up later in the cruise, and despite many complaints, this situation never improved, thus blankets were required most of the time for comfort. At no time did I see a staff member querying why so many guests asked for blankets. The food was definitely not up to the standard of other Azamara cruises, either in Discoveries or Windows, the latter not improved by the difficulty in self serving under the low glass hygiene screens. (Are these lower than the other two boats?) At no time did I see a cloakroom attendant in any of the public washrooms, unlike other Azamara cruises, and in at least two of the men's washrooms, at least one of the basin soap dispensers was empty throughout the whole cruise. An improvement on all three ships in the Windows restaurant would be to fit baffles in front of the sliding doors thus inhibiting the gale of cold air which howls through the cafeteria every time they, frequently, open. The cruise destinations were somewhat disappointing, in that we only seemed to see two steep sided fjiords, and one port, Haugesund(?), appeared to have been selected primarily to allow two Azamara ships to be in the same port simultaneously, as there was no attractive scenery on the way in, nor little of interest in the port to attract the casual visitor, yet there was a huge water area to allow one ship, the Journey, to circle the other’s mooring. Were I a cynic, I might have thought that this was perhaps a publicity stunt, such that photos of the event could appear in future publicity brochures. The in-room television offerings were very poor, with no proper program guide, no on-demand film offerings, and the films that were shown, and repeated, were very old, and it was not even possible to check your on-board account on the TV. This was a new ship to Azamara for goodness sake, and provision of such facilities is not rocket science. Sadly, overall, we were quite disappointed in this cruise, and got the impression that Azamara was cutting back, and we did not take kindly to being 'guinea-pig' guests, while still paying the full price, and given the competition at this level, will be looking closely at competitor companies, who offer larger cabins, more modern cabin facilities, and a temperate climate in the public areas. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
This was my 29th cruise (12 different cruise companies). I was really disappointed. The officers are very arrogant and aloof and only acknowledge repeat passengers. Many people have done 10+ Azamara cruises. The cabin staff, ... Read More
This was my 29th cruise (12 different cruise companies). I was really disappointed. The officers are very arrogant and aloof and only acknowledge repeat passengers. Many people have done 10+ Azamara cruises. The cabin staff, bar staff and waiters are all very friendly and service and food was good. My husband complained about a few things but they didn't take any notice because we are only 2nd time passengers. My husband discussed this with a lady from the clique and she openly boasted how they would "listen to her" if she complained !! Other clique passengers blatantly ignored signs saying CLOSED and go in anyway - like they own the ship and are clearly used to preferential treatment. The ship is old and despite the refurbishment it is still very evident. The Ladies toilet's smell musty and remind me of the 1970's. Its not dirty. The ship was very clean. Its just very old. The DJ ruined the party every night. He had absolutely do idea how to do his job. He had a terrible attitude. My husband said to him your going to get bad reviews and he shrugged his shoulders and said he didn't care. After the white night party (which was good) we were told to carry on the party in the Living Room. But when we got there the atmosphere was flat and music didn't come on for 45 minutes. A manager was stood there and my husband asked him why and he just blanked him and walked away to the clique. Who proceeded to talk about my husband and stare at him !! I have never experienced such an atmosphere and unwelcome feeling aboard a ship. I have only travelled on the same ship a few times but generally get on well with other passengers and officers and don't have any problems. Azamara need to address this - I have businesses too and we all need new customers to survive. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We have used Viking three times and Azamara’s food and service beats them hands down. Don’t know what the previous reviewer meant by cliques, but our experience was excellent. All the staff and officers were friendly, engaging and ... Read More
We have used Viking three times and Azamara’s food and service beats them hands down. Don’t know what the previous reviewer meant by cliques, but our experience was excellent. All the staff and officers were friendly, engaging and approachable, especially Captain Carl, the Personnel Manager Beth, and the Hotel Manager as well. Once on Viking I complimented the captain on his new ship and he couldn’t be bothered speaking with a mere passenger. Not so on Azamara. Carlos in future cruises, the new female cruise director and, I believe Ruda was the server’s name In the Living Room and on the pool deck (he is from Romania) were delightful. Ruda always had a big smile and always remembered we liked sparkling wine at 6:00 p.m. We found the food excellent. We ate half the time in specialty restaurants and half the time in the main dining room. All were superb. The Chef’s Table was wonderful as well. Our criticism, and it is nothing that Azamara can really fix, is that the bathrooms in the club veranda rooms have a tiny shower with a shower curtain. It feels very dated, but Azamara is stuck with the existing configuration. When we take Azamara next, we will upgrade to the club continent suite which has a real showers with a real door. Another criticism was the Windows Cafe. The food was never appealing in terms of taste, appearance and aroma, and we tried it three times. We usually ate breakfast in the main dining room We found the shore excursions much more expensive than Viking and not worth the additional cost. There were three in our party and in Oslo, we hired a private guide and saw so much more for a much better value proposition. We shared our concerns with guest relations. The White Night was wonderful as was the Azamazing Evening of Greig’s music. Azamara did a wonderful job with the two buffet evenings, including White Night. The food was fresh, hot and delicious. Taking everything into consideration, we thoroughly enjoyed our cruise and, as Captain Carl said, wait until the Pursuit has a few cruises under her belt and she’ll be amazing. We thought it was pretty amazing as it was! P.S The company needs to have its ground operations fine-tuned in Southampton. We arrived and had to wait almost two hours to board a ship that had no previous passengers. There were no beverages offered and we had to sit on hard airport-like seats after a 6-hour flight. There were also some baggage pickup hiccups in disembarking, but nothing that staff training and reinforcement can’t fix. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We chose this cruise for the ports visited, The Cruise ship for the passenger size and a Balcony Stateroom for watching the world go by. Firstly the ports we visited were all great. some were via tender boat and others berthed close to ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the ports visited, The Cruise ship for the passenger size and a Balcony Stateroom for watching the world go by. Firstly the ports we visited were all great. some were via tender boat and others berthed close to town. On this cruise the embarkation process took such a long time with the ports telling us we would commence boarding at 11:30am when in fact it was 12:30pm. The luggage did not arrive to our room until 4:00pm after multiple attempts I was advised it was still in the port enclosure even though it was dropped off early at 9:00am. This was not a good start to what I was hoping would be a great voyage. disembarkation took no more than 10 minutes and luggage was sitting in bays to pick up straight away at Copenhagen. The room was nice (could have had a fitted sheet on the bottom cover of the bed though) and the balcony was great but the bathroom was so small when you sat on the toilet you would have to remove the toilet roll to save cutting your leg on the metal holder cover. The Shower was so small that if you dropped the soap you would have to get out of the shower to pick it up and worst still there was no shower glass door only a fabric (Plastic) shower screen. This is unheard off in a promoted luxury cruise ship. The food at all the restaurants was good and we mostly ate at the windows café except to use up our OBC's we ate at Aquilinas and Prime C on three occasions. These restaurants I believe should be free or certainly 1 of each per cruise offered complementary to ALL cabin clases instead of $30:00 each or 3 for $70:00. The complimentary white wines were terrible as many were tried but did not taste very nice this should be looked into with the cruise promotions. The entertainment was not first class and it was a hit and miss thing with 2 of the stars brought on board doing fantastic shows and the on board entertainers just average for a promoted luxury cruise ship. The activities on board were well received and numerous. The room service team and on board staff in all areas we very friendly and helpful in every way certainly a big plus for Azamara recruiting here. The captain was also present a lot and very approachable for a chat. The free laundry service was well used by me and a big hit with other passengers too. The shore excursions were well over priced in all ports so we only took one (to use up the OBC's) as you could not do the tour at Olden independently as there is a closed shop set up between the cruise ships Shore departments and the operators from what I was told to do a tour along the lake I am yet to understand why when Azamara would book in bulk for tours that they are not offered cheaper than the local operators. The Locals are always a third or half cheaper for the same tour offered by the cruise line. All in all we had a great cruise to many ports we would normally not have visited and would like to thank Azamara. For a promoted luxury cruise line I would give it a 4 Star at the Max until improvements are made. . Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We cruised the Baltic ports at the end of June on Journey. Previously we had sailed on Quest in Feb 2016, both ships being identical helped in navigating our way around. Both ships have been upgraded since and I was slightly disappointed ... Read More
We cruised the Baltic ports at the end of June on Journey. Previously we had sailed on Quest in Feb 2016, both ships being identical helped in navigating our way around. Both ships have been upgraded since and I was slightly disappointed that the BEIGE look in the cabins dominated, the heavy chairs in the dining room were ridiculously heavy and I needed help in getting closer to the table to eat. The Cabin stewards were wonderful and so helpful especially when i fell ill with sea sickness. My cabin steward brought me three cans of ginger ale and was so concerned about my well being. All crew were polite and willing to help. Food in the dining rooms was good, the speciality restaurants had gone up in price from $30 to $40 per person since we last cruised with Azamara. To be honest they were nothing special and I think the meals in Discoveries were far better. As for the entertainment, well, we didn’t bother as there was nothing to inspire us to go see and from the comments of other passengers we were correct in doing so. Surely, when docked in St Petersburg for three nights local Russian dancers could have been brough on to provide entertainment. The same in Tallin as we were in port until 10am. Cruise tours, no matter which line you travel on are always over priced. We booked a three day tour with Alla tours in St Petersburg which was excellent. So sad to say but, I think the luxury has gone out of Azamara and this worries me because we have a Christmas/NY cruise booked at the end on 2018 Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We chose this cruise because we hoped it would be more luxurious, being the highest quality line that Royal Caribbean became but it was not. I would describe this as better than Celebrity (also RC) but not on par with Seaborne or other ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we hoped it would be more luxurious, being the highest quality line that Royal Caribbean became but it was not. I would describe this as better than Celebrity (also RC) but not on par with Seaborne or other similar ships. The food was decent. The speciality restaurants were not worth the money. The best place we ate was the Patio which was outside. A small menu but you can bring out food from the Cafe, which was decent. My main issue is that dinner ends early and you can’t get food after 9:30 other than room service. Many other cruise lines have a later night option. That would have been nice (if not expected). The rooms are small. The bathrooms very small. We had a veranda. Upgrade to the suite. Easy decision (which we did not make and should have). A suite on the ship is equivalent to a normal sized cabin on other cruises. We stayed on 7097. The main issue was that the service door was outside our room and we heard the door opening all of the time. Stay away from the service door for housekeeping. Laundry room has approx 8 machines. We managed to do laundry 3 times during our 12 night cruise. It can be crowded so plan accordingly. Usually best is if you get back from touring before the ship departs. Avoid the sea day. Three days in St Petersburg was nice. We used a private company (Alla Tours) for our tour. The ship excursions are not worth the money. Bigger complaint was that we stayed until 10:00 pm in Tallin — a total of waste — but left Amsterdam and Coppenhagen but 5:00 pm. That was absurd. We chose a smaller ship to stay later in port. This was a huge planning mistake. Also in Belgium, the trains were on strike. Azamara knew this but made no efforts to arrange for transportation to Bruge. Many people were stuck waiting for city buses that were far too few. Azamara should have arrange for buses — even if at a discount rate — into Bruge. Many people rightly commented that this was an example of how Azamara missed the opportunity to be a quality line. In the end, the trip was good but not luxurious. Better than a 2,000 passenger ship but there are other options for small ships too, like Wind Star. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
As first-timers on Azamara Cruises, my husband and I chose this ship primarily for its port-intensive itinerary and passenger size of ship (less than 700 guests). Embarkation and check in were a breeze - it probably took us 30 minutes in ... Read More
As first-timers on Azamara Cruises, my husband and I chose this ship primarily for its port-intensive itinerary and passenger size of ship (less than 700 guests). Embarkation and check in were a breeze - it probably took us 30 minutes in total from time of arrival at port to getting to the cabin. The ship itself was beautiful, well-kept and clean. Our room club verandah stateroom was well-maintained and our cabin attendants were wonderful. We were pleased that we spent the extra money to get a room with a balcony, and spent a fair amount of time on it when we were in our room. The bathroom is tiny but well cleaned, and you get used to the size. Fortunately we had quiet neighbors on either side of us which made for an even better experience! There was a sufficient amount of dining options to choose from. We ate mostly in the Windows Cafe for dinner - great selection to choose from, and also tried both specialty restaurants once each, as well as the MDR a couple of times. Quality of the food was fine for the most part, and we really enjoyed the Aqualina restaurant. Windows Cafe is buffet style, so with that comes food that may be lukewarm at times. Because the itinerary was port-intensive, we did not partake in too many on-board activities, and when we did it was mainly the daily afternoon trivia contests. Nighttime entertainment was okay - I believe a few of the acts were new to the ship - so it was a bit hit and miss in terms of quality. I'm sure they will work out the kinks as time goes by. The ports themselves were great, with the exception of Amsterdam, which we found quite grimy (cigarette butts and trash everywhere). The only excursion we signed up for was a three-day one through a local operator in St. Petersburg, which was tiring but fantastic. Otherwise, we prefer to explore on our own and the small size of the ship meant we were able to pull right into the city center of most ports and walk into town. Above all, we found the staff and crew extremely delightful, and always with a smile on their faces and willing to assist however they can. Thank you Wilson and Raymond for keeping our room immaculate! Alicia the Cruise Director was always full of energy, and is also a great singer/entertainer. We would definitely sail on Azamara again if the right itinerary came along. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
My wife and I took our son and his wife on this cruise as it was scheduled at a perfect time for us as well as stopping at ports we have found enjoyable every time. Most of the ports were new to our daughter-in-law which made for a perfect ... Read More
My wife and I took our son and his wife on this cruise as it was scheduled at a perfect time for us as well as stopping at ports we have found enjoyable every time. Most of the ports were new to our daughter-in-law which made for a perfect match. In addition, the Journey left from Greenwich rather than the boring old South Hampton or other extended drive ports out of "London". This also gave us the opportunity to sail out of the Thames which is a unique experience compared to almost all the other cruise lines. We also sailed close to the WWII fortifications in the river known as Maunsell Forts … another unique and interesting experience! Embarkation in Greenwich was odd as you actually did most of the paperwork on board. After identifying you, your luggage was portered on board and passengers boarded by tender to the ship awaiting us in the river. Much more pleasant than the masses of humanity queueing to get onto bigger ships. Sail out was great and we enjoyed every port in a similar fashion: sailing up river and close in to the city centers. We stopped in the heart of St. Petersburg on the Neva River and our mooring in Helsinki was just across the road from where Trump and Putin would meet a couple of weeks later. Mooring "close to the action" is one of the reasons we favor Azamara … avoiding two hour bus rides in and out of cities is a benefit that is hard to price! The dining experience was also wonderful, with varied choices each and every night and we did not have a single disappointing meal. Be prepared for more intimate entertainment settings. Azamara focuses more on destination and personal service than entertainment. Although the Cruise Director is a very talented entertainer in his own right, you are not going to get any entertainment with "big production value" … no Broadway style shows, though we did enjoy an excellent, if scaled back, production of Bizet's CARMEN. Our son and his wife thoroughly enjoyed their experience as much as we did. The ships may be older, but they are very well maintained and recently updated. You can't beat high level service, interesting itineraries and personal attention with slick new gadgets and neon lights. Would we sail on this line again? Already booked in January to Antarctica! Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
This was my second cruise, both with Azamara. I'm not sure how I venture to another company to make a comparison as Azamara is just delightful. We spent 4 days in Stockholm before boarding which was excellent, such a beautiful city. ... Read More
This was my second cruise, both with Azamara. I'm not sure how I venture to another company to make a comparison as Azamara is just delightful. We spent 4 days in Stockholm before boarding which was excellent, such a beautiful city. We found our cabin to be very comfortable, clean and well looked after by our lovely room attendants. Dining onboard is very good. Lots of options and the specialty restaurants and Chef's Table experience are well worth indulging in. The ports were all excellent, even the little town of Skagan where the local bands played on the dock as we sailed out. The ship docks so close to the destination cities you literally walk off the ship and you're in town. We only did Azamara shore excursions in St Petersburg and while they are a little pricey we would highly recommend the "meet a local" tour. A small group of us had afternoon tea with a delightful lady in her family home where she happily chatted about life and answered our questions. It was a great insight into the similarity and differences of life. Without a doubt the jewel in the crown for Azamara is their staff. Every single person you encounter from your room attendants to the Captain are open, friendly and totally engaged. The senior staff are very visible and interact freely with guests, always happy to chat and answer questions. I believe it's the human factor that creates a sense of loyalty to Azamara. I look forward to them adding a New York to Montreal route so I can book my next cruise with them. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
This was out fourth cruise on the Journey. Loved the redecorating. The crew was very friendly and accommodating. Thank you for providing us with what we needed to have Sabbath services onboard. The apple tarts were delicious. Would ... Read More
This was out fourth cruise on the Journey. Loved the redecorating. The crew was very friendly and accommodating. Thank you for providing us with what we needed to have Sabbath services onboard. The apple tarts were delicious. Would have liked to have a more private setting for the services. There was a lot of noise from the bar and another reception happening. It was wonderful to meet Lek Waleska. The Azamazing Evening was a real treat. Very well organized. The Cruise Critic reception allowed us to meet other couples right away. The food was excellent and we really appreciated accommodating my husband's food allergies. The wine tasting was very good. The wine steward was very knowledgable and did a great job of explaining things to us. Our cabin steward was very thoughtful and helpful He obtained an extension cord for the CPAP machine. We made some wonderful new friends on board. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
This was our third Azamara cruise and we have loved each one! The ship size is ideal for us. The ship's staff could not have been any friendlier. We dined three times in the specialty restaurants and did two of the chef's tables ... Read More
This was our third Azamara cruise and we have loved each one! The ship size is ideal for us. The ship's staff could not have been any friendlier. We dined three times in the specialty restaurants and did two of the chef's tables with wine. All were very good. Also could find no complaints with the Discoveries Restaurant. Very diverse selections. White Night was exceptional! Also enjoyed the Sunday brunch with the jazz band. Thanks to recommendations from other Cruise Critic roll call members, we booked tours in St Petersburg and Berlin with SPB Tours. Highly recommend! St Petersburg was unbelievable! So glad we had three full days there. Due to the small size of the ship, we were able to pull into the heart of St Petersburg. The weather was exceptional for the most part. Just a brief shower one afternoon. It was nice Azamara provided free shuttles from the ship into Tallin and Skagen. Made a number of new friends on the cruise. Another big benefit of the smaller ships. Nice to have a free laundry on board. Embarkation and disembarkation were both a breeze. Enjoyed so much we booked back to back cruises for next year. Counting the days! Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We chose this cruise because we have wanted to visit St Petersburg, and we had sailed before on Azamara and have always been highly satisfied. Because we wanted to see as much as we could with as little hassle as possible, I found out ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we have wanted to visit St Petersburg, and we had sailed before on Azamara and have always been highly satisfied. Because we wanted to see as much as we could with as little hassle as possible, I found out that Azamara has a private tour section. We worked with Zsofia Sarkadi and she provided us with a 3 day tour. It was a fantastic experience. The tour company that Azamara use was first rate. Our guide, Ludmilla Stepanov was as good as they come. She is an English teacher so language was no problem. During the tour, our driver would drop us near the entrance and when we finished that tour, he was always right there. We visited all the places you read about, and a bonus was a canal tour. Again this tour was conducted in English by a young lady that studies English at the University. If you would like to see St Petersburg, I highly recommend this way. It is slightly higher than the larger shore excursions, but so pleasant. The Journey's best feature is their crew. They are very friendly, and after the first day, usually know your name and your preferences. The small ship let us dock right near the town center at most of the stops, so you could just walk off and see the town. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
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