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50 Azamara Buenos Aires Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise because we had enjoyed the Pursuit/Captain Carl Smith on our previous cruise to Antarctica in January 2019, We started our 21-day South American cruise 3/1/20. We enjoyed the ports of Punta Del Este Uruguay, ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we had enjoyed the Pursuit/Captain Carl Smith on our previous cruise to Antarctica in January 2019, We started our 21-day South American cruise 3/1/20. We enjoyed the ports of Punta Del Este Uruguay, Montevideo Uruguay, Ushuaia Argentina, and Punta Arenas Chile. Then our cruise got VERY interesting. Our wonderful Capt. Carl Smith--Master of Azamara Pursuit announced to the ship that Countries were closing their ports to foreign travelers and that our cruise had to be suspended. We were assured that we would be taken care of no matter what happened. The cruise company made arrangements to refuel and bring on more food/drink onboard. Then we were notified that because we could not be assured of flights home or safety if we disembarked, they were going to cruise us through the Panama Canal and to Miami! Our cruise was to have ended at Lima Peru on March 23rd. Instead we arrived safely on March 30th in Miami Florida. Let me say that this Cruise was one of the best trips we have ever taken! Everyone on board made the best of the uncertainty and continued to enjoy great food/drink/entertainment (entertainers couldn't get off either!). great enrichment lectures and the good will of the crew. We were safe in our sickness free bubble enjoying all a cruise ship has to offer. We truly became a "family" as we met and talked to each other and the crew. The cruise company arranged our flights (how they did that with flights being canceled I don't know) home and the icing on the cake were boxed lunches given to us to eat as we waited at the airport for our flight! I can not say enough about the Azamara cruise lines that put their guests first through all the uncertainty. They went way beyond in keeping every thing disinfected and safe for us. Azamara has a customer for life in the two of us! Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
This was our first Azamara cruise and we were so impressed with everything, we decided that we will be an Azamara Customer for life. The service was fabulous and with a smile. The food in the dining room was fabulous and the menu ... Read More
This was our first Azamara cruise and we were so impressed with everything, we decided that we will be an Azamara Customer for life. The service was fabulous and with a smile. The food in the dining room was fabulous and the menu had many choices. Pool area had some shade with lounge chairs to get out of the sun. The gym was great with a view, plenty of equipment and area for yoga and Pilates classes, spin cycle classes. They offered watercolor painting , jewelry making, and needlepoint classes at no charge. The 3 piece live band played prior to dinner and after dinner. There were a variety of shows with 2 seatings. The Captain Carl and Cruise directorTony were always around smiling and available if you had any questions. The ship was very bright and very clean. If you have never been on an Azamara Cruise, YOU Should Go On One, You will not be Disappointed. We have been on other cruise lines and we were VERY impressed with Azamara!!!! Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
This was to be our exploration of coastal South America from the safe and comfortable base of a quality small ship. And so it proved, for the first four of the nine ports as well as up-close appreciation of two huge glaciers in the ... Read More
This was to be our exploration of coastal South America from the safe and comfortable base of a quality small ship. And so it proved, for the first four of the nine ports as well as up-close appreciation of two huge glaciers in the Chilean fjords. But the final five ports including destination Lima were progressively denied our ship as Covid19 hit South America, despite the vessel being free of the virus. Eventually Azamara/RCCL had no option but to bring Pursuit back to Miami home base with all guests, staff and crew. Throughout the days of worrisome uncertainty, the cruise extension from three to four weeks, difficulty of resupply at anchor and two medevacs (non virus), Captain Carl Smith showed exemplary leadership and judgement through his honest timely communications, his visibility and his positive reassuring manner. This, despite, we suspect, him getting little rest during the critical week of negotiations with shore authorities and head office in Florida. We were aware that his diplomatic skills with local authorities were tested at times, but all he said was “read the full story in my autobiography”. In all of this Captain Smith was very ably supported by Cruise Director Tony Markey, all the other officers and the whole crew. They worked overtime and creatively to ensure that the quality of our on-board experience was seamlessly maintained, which it certainly was. The wonderful commitment to customer care was demonstrated again when Azamara/RCCL, aided by the ship’s Guest Relations, organised our homeward travel from Miami. At a time when international flights were greatly reduced, the corporation funded and coordinated the smooth return of the 70 Australians on board to our home cities. We thank and congratulate Azamara/RCCL for this considerate and generous act. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
We started our 21-day South American cruise on 2 March after spending a few days exploring Buenos Aires. We enjoyed the ports of Punta Del Este and Montevideo in Uruguay. Azamara is famous for their unique AzAmazing Evening Events. Ours ... Read More
We started our 21-day South American cruise on 2 March after spending a few days exploring Buenos Aires. We enjoyed the ports of Punta Del Este and Montevideo in Uruguay. Azamara is famous for their unique AzAmazing Evening Events. Ours was at the National Theatre of Uruguay, Teatro Solis where we witnessed a Carnival Gala. We also sailed to the ports of Ushuaia, Argentina, and Punta Arenas, Chile. Then our cruise got VERY interesting. Our wonderful Capt. Carl Smith from the Isle of Man--Master of Azamara Pursuit announced to the ship that South American countries were closing their ports to cruise ships and that our cruise had to be suspended. We were assured that we would be taken care of no matter what happened. Azamara made arrangements to refuel and bring on more food/drink onboard. Then we were notified that because we could not be assured of flights home or our safety if we disembarked the ship, the Pursuit would sail through the Panama Canal and on to Miami!!! All of the passengers cheered and clapped for our Captain with that news. Originally we were scheduled to finish our cruise on 23 March in Lima, Peru, instead we arrived safely in Miami on the 30th of March. This was my 29th cruise and our first cruise with Azamara, let me say that this cruise was one of the best and most memorable cruises we have ever taken! From Captain Carl and his officers/crew, they went above and beyond in keeping us safe, entertained as well as keeping us well informed as we sailed thru uncharted waters that the Chinese Coronavirus put us in. We were very fortunate that our ship had zero illnesses as we sailed in our bubble to Miami. One hero that I would like to mention is Beth, HR Mgr on the Pursuit (she retired from American Airlines HR Dept - 30 years) who went out of her way for the Pursuits 700 passengers, but she stayed on the ship until each and every crew member found flights to their home countries. Speaking of flights, Azamara (RCCL) charters flights for their 100+ European passengers to London and to Sydney for the 70 passengers from Australia. They even made us box lunches to take to the airport (since nothing was open) as we flew to our homes. Azamara Club Cruises has a new customer for life! Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
The ship is kept clean and is very nicely decorated and furnished. I especially like that no more than 700 guests are aboard and the overnight port stays make the itinerary enjoyable. Mosaic Cafe specialty coffees, snacks, tapas, and the ... Read More
The ship is kept clean and is very nicely decorated and furnished. I especially like that no more than 700 guests are aboard and the overnight port stays make the itinerary enjoyable. Mosaic Cafe specialty coffees, snacks, tapas, and the daily availability of several Gelato flavors at the Windows Cafe are real plusses. Stateroom service is the best in the industry. The complimentary Azamazing Evening - An Evening Carnival at the Solis Theatre in Montevideo, Uruguay was the absolute best perk. Not only was the logistics of shuttling over 600 guests from the ship to the theatre run effectively and smoothly, the entertainment was stimulating and pertinent to the itinerary. Local talent appearing in the event were outstanding. Totally fun and an excellent shore excursion which made for great pics, vids, and memories. Negatives observed were in-fighting among bar/service staff and also arguing and a walkout fit concerning lighting from the members of the Riviera Sounds Band. The DJ, Valentino, displayed poor attitude daily with his actions and cold facial expressions concerning several requests which were not played. Additionally, Valentino interrupted a Disco evening by allowing one guest to perform her Karaoke in the middle of the dancing. He does not know how to keep guests dancing and constantly breaks the energy level and dance mood with his own selections. A severe lack of live and/or background music was observed most days around the pool area and during sail-aways; especially the first sail-away. Why have a stage at the pool area if it is only used once during White Night? The show band, Riviera Sounds, and the DJ were all underutilized. They need additional assignments providing music and setting the atmosphere in the pool area and dance floors in the Cabaret and Living Room. The food was hit or miss and mostly "miss" concerning flavor. For example, at the Windows Cafe the lasagna was worst I've ever tasted and totally lacked quality cheese and seasonings. Desserts and pastries, while pleasing to the eye also lacked flavor. The "Best of the Cruise" Dinner Buffet was a misnomer and merely a repeat of most of the flavorless offerings from other days like the lasagna. Where's the cocktail shrimp, lobster tails, and crab claws which should represent the best of the cruise? Dinners at Prime C and Aqualina are slightly better in quality and flavor. Prime C definitely offered the best dinner item selections in terms of quality. Table service is better than at Windows at these specialty restaurants. Most of the food service staff are friendly, efficient, and available throughout all areas of the ship. I was able to enjoy the benefits of my Ultimate Beverage package with waitstaff tending to my needs. I was often alone by the pool or other areas and found waitstaff were good constantly asking me if I needed a drink. I was in shock and disbelief during the White Night dinner when the wait person Romeo, brought me a Pina Colada and lied to me and my party saying it contained Kraken Dark Rum. It was so obvious to all at my table that my drink was too light and definitely not made with the Kraken Dark Rum. I had to take the drink back to the bar where Ivan, the bartender understood the issue and corrected it. I took a photo of both Pina Coladas to prove the difference. Tony, the Cruise Director, and Amanda, the Assistant Cruise Director were seldom if ever observed taking time to walk around guest areas. They should make much more time to greet and spot-check guest feedback along with observing and tending to any immediate issues arising throughout guest areas on the ship. As previously mentioned, I observed in-fighting among entertainment staff, servers, and poor performance from the DJ. Tony was only visible during the Daily Show on TV and during major performances; especially his own. He failed in his Cruise Director duties to guests by not being available. The Cruise Director and Assistant should announce and publish their office locations and telephone numbers at the beginning of the cruise as a courtesy to guests as other cruise lines do. I experienced many issues that needed the Cruise Director's attention but did not have a means for contact. The itinerary for this South American cruise to Rio Carnaval was about perfect save I would highly recommend an overnight at Ilhabela, Brazil. Twelve hours at Ilhabela was not enough time to explore the quaint town's nightlife and all the waterfalls. Sao Paulo (Santos), Brazil seemed to be a lackluster port merely on the itinerary to refuel the ship. SUMMARY: I was very disappointed with the lack of daily visibility of both cruise directors during this cruise. Only saw them at their shows, bingo, or on TV. They need to greatly increase walking guest areas and making individual contact with guests. Musical performances by the band, trio, and DJ need to be increased in frequency. Overall, food is lackluster in flavor. Suggest the chef taste buffet offerings before service. MOST IMPORTANT: Implement served buffet service immediately in light of increasing sanitary concerns aboard cruises. I hate to think of the risk of transmission from other guests who use buffet serving implements without sanitizing hands. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Embarkation was the best I have seen. Staffed very well. State room seemed smaller than other ships. The shower was tiny. Noticed leaves on floor when we moved a table. The robe in the closet had a empty beer bottle in it. I do not ... Read More
Embarkation was the best I have seen. Staffed very well. State room seemed smaller than other ships. The shower was tiny. Noticed leaves on floor when we moved a table. The robe in the closet had a empty beer bottle in it. I do not think the rooms get a deep cleaning between cruises. The Mini bar in room was very disappointing. Drinks are included on the cruise. If you want the wine or beer from your mini bar, you are charged for it. I can not find any logic to explain this. While waiting for the room to be ready, "hard sells" were all over the ship. Crew in your face selling "premium drink, dinning and WIFI packages" It got annoying fast. I could not find a list of included beverages before sailing. We bought a WIFI and Premium beverage package. It was grossly over priced , and we were terribly disappointed in both. The WIFI worked less than 50% of the time. When it did work, it was painfully slow. Azamara changed what drinks that were on the premium package during the cruise. They took drinks away from the Premium package and moved them to the Ultimate package. I feel this is wrong to take items away from a package mid cruise. Dinning Staff were all excellent. Almost all of the staff were excellent. The only flaws were in the coffee bar and shore excursion desk. Coffee bar staff seemed to like to arrange coaters and napkins while ignoring you standing in front of them. The shore excursion staff were probably tired defending some really bad excursions. Food quality was good. Meals in the main dinning room were hot when served. Portions varied. Most fruit was canned.. That may have been due to the region of the cruise. The dinner buffet had specialty nights. Indian was especially good. Lunch and dinner buffets selection was much less than other ships. Many dishes were bland. I think this was because the average age of the passengers was quite high. Ice cream was very good. other sweets missed the mark. Breakfast was OK. They did a great job with the bacon. Entertainment was limited. the trio only played two 45min sets. they tended to play the same songs in the same order. Was a bit old by day 3. Jazz Band were good, but only seen when not needed in show lounge pit. Lectures were a mixed bag.. One was good, the others not so much. It was nice to be able to watch recordings of the lectures on the TV. TV in the room was poor. Very few options. This was really noticed on rough sea days. Bar staff were friendly. Bar tenders did not know how to make the drinks listed in the drink menu. The drink menu was limited. Shore excursions are a disaster. The description and what happens on the tours are very far apart. Azamara says the tours cost more because of the small groups you are put in. But when 5 busses of small groups are put on the same tour, it is not a small group tour any more. You need to dig in to the small print to make sure you are not dumped someplace you do not want to be. We did have some tours we enjoyed. The cost was high. Problems were not fixed by excursion staff. Many people booked tours themselves. this seemed to be a better way. Only 50% of our tours were enjoyable. We paid over 2400$ for Azamara tours. Disembarking was interesting. The cruse port we were to use was closed due to Weather. Azamara did a great job shifting ports. Overall we though the staff made the cruise. Azamara would not be our first choice for another cruise, but we would cruse on them again if we liked the destination. We would book our own shore excursions. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We are a family of four cruising with Azamara for the first time. In the past, our family has cruised with Celebrity Cruises for over 15 years and has experienced every holiday itinerary that they’ve offered. But, we wanted to try ... Read More
We are a family of four cruising with Azamara for the first time. In the past, our family has cruised with Celebrity Cruises for over 15 years and has experienced every holiday itinerary that they’ve offered. But, we wanted to try something new and Azamara’s 15 night voyage celebrating New Year’s in Rio de Janeiro attracted our attention. We brought our 17 and 20 years old kids to this cruise. We worried they may not like it because of older crowd. But, our kids actually like it and had a great time. The ship is clean and well maintained, but it does not feel luxury. We really like the white night, BBQ brunch served by the officers, and special breakfast at one of the specialty restaurants that we were invited to. I am pleasantly surprised that people dress very nice during the evenings even if there are no formal nights. Because this is a holiday cruise, there are some younger passengers on the ship. We also like the fact that the hot tub and pool are never too busy. You always can find a chair and a spot in the hot tub, so we ended up spending more time in the hot tub than we would have on other mega ships. We will cruise with Azmara again. I also want to give our kudos and high praises to Azamara’s ability in helping us avoid a disastrous holiday. One of our family members holds a non-US passport with a US green card. Once aboard, the guest relations manager informed us that this family member would need a Brazilian visa or he would have to leave the ship. After paying tens of thousands of dollars on the cruise fare, flights, and hotels, this horrible news hit us like a ton of bricks. But, luckily, the Guest Relations Manager, Wresly Fernandes, came to our rescue. Wresly met us and recommended that, when the ship landed in Montevideo, Uruguay, we should try to obtain a Brazilian visa at the Montevideo Brazil Consulate, which gave us a ray of hope. Wresly gathered us in his office and personally helped us fill out the Brazilian online visa application. Throughout the entire process, Wresly was very thorough. For example, he had the photo shop staff take a visa photo and crop it precisely to the size. He was also very knowledgeable about the visa process and its requirement. First, we had to download a bank statement, which Wresly kindly had his staff print out for us. He then arranged the transportation and Amazara’s port agent to meet us the next day at 8:45am to accompany us to the Montevideo Brazilian Consulate. We were very impressed by Wresly’s attention to detail. Not only did he stress to the Azamara port agent to be with us all the time but he also took the port agent’s cell phone number and told us that he would call us every two hours to get a status update. At the Brazilian Consulate, we had a very smooth process. It was obvious that the Azamara port agent knew everybody at the consulate. We got the visa in 3 hours, which relieved our entire family. Overall, Wresly and his team demonstrated great care, efficiency and hard work in solving the issue for us. We are extremely impressed with Wresly’s calmness, his resolve under pressure, and of course, Azamara’s client first attitude. Thanks to Wresly’s leadership we were assured that his entire team was working collectively to assist us with this visa process. Azamara has done an amazing job. Because of our recent experience with Wresly and his team, we will definitely cruise with Azamara again. We have also shared our story with friends and have encouraged them to try Azamara. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Azamara Pursuit does not, imho, meet the standards that frequent cruisers with Azamara are used to. This was my 10th cruise with an Azamara ship within 10 years. In a way it was special to me because Azamara was one of my favorite ... Read More
Azamara Pursuit does not, imho, meet the standards that frequent cruisers with Azamara are used to. This was my 10th cruise with an Azamara ship within 10 years. In a way it was special to me because Azamara was one of my favorite cruise lines, and having cruised 10 times between 2009 and 2019, made me feel like celebrating a milestone. Well, nothing was really special about this cruise with the Pursuit. There were positive aspects. One of them was the itinerary. As a matter of fact I have chosen this cruise due to the itinerary. My cruise was from Buenos Aires to Buenos Aires cruising in Uruguay (Montevideo and Punta Del Este) and in Brazil (Santos, Para Ti, Buzios and Rio de Janeiro). It was a 13 night cruise. I have been in those ports many times with Azamara and other cruise lines, and I like them. I just enjoy walking around and discovering new things each time we dock or tender at those ports. I do see changes happening, for example In Buzios, but the ports are still worth a visit for me and I would not hesitate to cruise again in the area. Another positive observation is that my cabin attendants and the managers and waiters from the main restaurant were as usual friendly and efficient. Thank you! Also positive was from my point of view, the white night in which samba dancers and capoeira performers came to the ship to do the entertainment. I have also enjoyed the Azamazing evening in Montevideo, because I have learned something new about the culture of Carnival in Uruguay. I would not like to repeat though. Other entertainment, like lecturers or solo performers were not to my liking. In room entertainment on the TV was bad. No interactive TV, repeating series on house improvements or ghost... I have found several negative aspects during this cruise, which have contributed to my overall impression. First the cabin. As I was traveling solo, I have chosen an ocean view cabin since the balcony cabins were out of question in terms of pricing. I wanted to ensure a Midship cabin and they were some ocean views there which were described as having restricted views. This, I have thought would not be a problem. I was WRONG! My ocean view cabin did not have a restricted view, but it was totally obstructed. In front of the cabin there was a tender boat, which not only blocked completely the view but which had permanent somebody working on the boat, so that I could not keep my window curtains open if I wanted privacy. So my ocean view turned to be an inside cabin. Besides this it was a small cabin that had a TV placed in such a way that in order to look at it I had to lay with my head at the end of the bed, becoming a pain in my neck for the unconventional position. I would never book such a cabin again. I would prefer an inside cabin if price is an issue. I had received a guest feedback survey from the Hotel Director on the second day of the cruise and I have mentioned the problems I had with the cabin. The ship was not fully booked. On day 9th the guest relation manager offered me to move to another ocean view cabin on the 4th floor. Since there were only 4 more nights to go, I have declined. The guest relation manager gracefully treated me for dinner at Aqualina. Thanks for that. The ship itself, although it is the same category from the other Azamara ships, did not have the same charm. I am not sure what is the reason. It looks quite rundown and somehow cold in the atmosphere. I have felt this cold atmosphere, which does not have to do with the ship temperature, many times on the ship. I felt that something or someone is influencing the atmosphere. The crew members do not look very happy to me. Difficult to see smiles. The interaction with officers was rather limited around the ship. I have missed the warm and friendly atmosphere from the Journey and the Quest, which contributes so much to the on board experience. The food onboard the Azamara Pursuit was comparable to the food at the Royal Caribbean Ships. I have always considered Azamara, as the premium line from Royal, to be around five stars, Celebrity cruises about 4 stars and Royal Caribbean ships and experience about 3 stars. Well, I would give the food on the main restaurant at the Pursuit with a lot of effort, 4 stars. The special buffet brunch was many points below what it used to be before (I remember very well the dim sum that used to be included in the buffet brunch). The buffet restaurant not more than 3 stars at any time of the day. Breakfast was a disappointment with cold waffles and pancakes. Only eggs to order were Ok. No regional food was served. Frozen pizza... (I had looked with envy at the Italian MSC ship anchored next to us in Buzios, knowing how good their fresh made pizza is). Food at Aqualina was also a disappointment. The Branzino (one of the finest fish in Italy) tasted like a simple tilapia. Overall I did not feel that the food on this ship was meeting the Azamara standards. I have drank the included wines. There were fine for me. However, there was also a difference in comparison with other Azamara cruises. In previous cruises if you liked a particular wine of the included wines, let’s say a Riesling, you could repeat it on other days. This was not possible on the Pursuit. You had to take the wine of the day or buy a wine package if you wanted a different wine. The LCV experience had the usual things: internet free minutes according to your level of membership, a free laundry bag per cruise and invitations to some cocktail parties and events. I have received two small astromelia flowers for the whole length of the cruise which were dead after 7 days. No new flowers were brought. I have the feeling that the LCV representative is still facing the challenge to learn how to interact with Azamara guests and special with frequent cruisers from Azamara and from Celebrity. She would kind of contemptuously mention that there were many higher tier onboard that “came from Celebrity “. Being myself a “discoverer plus” member with 10 cruises with Azamara, I have asked her how many other discoverer plus members were there. She refused to give me the information saying this is confidential. Well, I wonder why. I have been at so many presentations in which the LCV told us the numbers of all frequent cruises in public without exposing any information which was confidential. Overall I have enjoyed myself because I love to cruise. Unfortunately I did not have the wow effect, that I always had before at an Azamara ship. It was the first time in all my cruising time that I have debarked without booking another cruise or even buying a next cruise certificate. I would try to cruise again with the Journey or Quest in order to see if my observations are similar. Being a fan of Azamara for so many years, I do not want to judge its performance just based on my last experience with the Pursuit. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We used Azamara for a South American cruise. The Pursuit is much smaller than the HAL ships we are used to but still had everything we wanted. The service was incredible, although that may have been partly because there were only about 500 ... Read More
We used Azamara for a South American cruise. The Pursuit is much smaller than the HAL ships we are used to but still had everything we wanted. The service was incredible, although that may have been partly because there were only about 500 passengers and capacity is 777 but there was still a full crew on board and so we got more attention than if it had been full. We thought the food was excellent and there was a lot of choice. We don't typically buy a beverage package on HAL so having drinks included was a definite plus. There were always several choices of wine at meals as well as the chance to have a pre-dinner drink in addition to being able to go to any bar at any time (or simply wait for a waiter) and have a drink. It was especially nice to get something ice cold, such as a frozen margarita, when returning from a tour where the weather was 38 degree centigrade and humid! (And no worries about a bar bill at the end of the cruise.) The other nice plus was having gratuities included, which can add up over the course of a two week cruise. Our cabin, an oceanview, was quite nice and the bathrooms were reasonable. I have seen other reviews that said that the showers were tiny and too low -- I am 6'3" tall and I had no problems whatsoever. Having an oceanview was good and, since we weren't on the promenade deck, we could leave the curtains open if we wanted. (Our room steward gave us a tour of the Copenhagen Suite, since it wasn't in use and I would have to say that their suites are amazing but, unfortunately out of our price range.) The cruise itself and the ports included was good. We did not use the ship's excursions but arranged our own. The 'White Night' and the 'Azamazing Evening' were also very well done and we quite enjoyed them. We took in some of the entertainment in the evenings and made good use of the fitness centre. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
After reading some of the reviews on this website, we were worried what we were in for! Check in and boarding in Buenos Aires was so smooth and as soon as we were on board an announcement was made that all cabins were ready to occupy. ... Read More
After reading some of the reviews on this website, we were worried what we were in for! Check in and boarding in Buenos Aires was so smooth and as soon as we were on board an announcement was made that all cabins were ready to occupy. When we walked into our Aft Owners Suite we could not help but smile. Yes it is an arm and a leg but soooo worth it. We had a lounge, cloakroom, bedroom, a large bathroom with a walk in shower and plenty of storage. A fabulous balcony wraps itself around outside with two sun loungers and a table with four chairs. We were looked after superbly by our Butler, Padam and our attentive room attendants, Rajesh and Russel who kept our suite spotless and well stocked. This was our first Azamara cruise and it will not be our last. Being in a suite offers up perks such as quality dining in either Prime C or Aqualina each night where the food is excellent. You also get afternoon tea delivered to your suite if you wish. We had a tour of the bridge with the legendary runner that is Captain Carl Smith which was great fun and also a private dinner with about 20 other guests and four senior crew members in a fabulous room with Michelin quality food, what a great night. I sat next to the Cruise Director, Tony, who was excellent company, not to mention an excellent singer, as is his wife. There are plenty of quiet spaces on the ship and you are never too far away from a coffee, a beer or an ice cream, whatever takes your fancy! We found the breakfast in the Windows restaurant to be of excellent quality and there was plenty of it, Having tables outside is a nice option if the weather allows and the service was always with a smile. I have seen people comment that breakfast is the same every day, well of course it is, it is the one meal of the day where there is very little that can be changed, only your personal choice changes daily. You can virtually have anything you want! We did our own thing with regard to shore excursions, preferring to go ashore when we wanted and have a “mooch” about on our own which was great. The trips did seem very expensive and all seem to leave at about 8.30 in the morning - we are not early risers on holiday! All staff on board are very friendly and work hard to ensure your cruise is memorable for the right reasons. We only saw a couple of the shows on board, the tango and the Rio carnival dancers were amazing. It was bad weather for the White Night but it was effortlessly moved into the Living Room and the party was great. We did not use the pool facilities, preferring to use our balcony when the weather was good enough to sit out. I had a delightful manicure and pedicure in the Spa and also invested in a few Elemis products to use up our onboard credit. There are also a couple of high end shops with special offers on each day. The gym is light and airy with everything you need. They also offered health and fitness talks and a few classes. I just used the machines and the free weights which was enough. All together, we were delighted with Azamara. We heard a few grumbles about waiting for a tender to go ashore but it was only a question of waiting 10 minutes or so. What’s the rush, you are on holiday! Nearly everyone we spoke to had been on several Azamara Cruises and the clientele on board were mainly high end, well travelled couples and all spoke highly of the Pursuit. There was one downside to our fantastic suite on deck 8 which was the dragging noise from the chairs on the above deck which was the outside area of the Windows restaurant. Unfortunately, I do not know what the solution is for this, maybe Azamara should investigate some form of disc on the bottom of the chairs, just a thought! Thanks to all in the Pursuit for a fantastic time, we will return and in the meantime, we wish you all safe travels! Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We just came back from Azamara Pursuit from BA to Rio. We previously sailed on Celebrity, Princess, Holland, Cunard, Oceania, Costa, RCI and Carnival. This was our 12th cruise. Our benchmark is Oceania (we sailed on the Riviera last ... Read More
We just came back from Azamara Pursuit from BA to Rio. We previously sailed on Celebrity, Princess, Holland, Cunard, Oceania, Costa, RCI and Carnival. This was our 12th cruise. Our benchmark is Oceania (we sailed on the Riviera last September). Overall Pursuit is a great ship and we had an amazing time. However we liked the Riviera better. Here is why. The service is excellent, comparable to Oceania. But sometimes things seem a bit less organized. For example, some of the excustions were delayed 15-20 minutes. Never happened on Oceania. Also there are some lines when leaving the ship and coming back. Nothing major, not even close to what you see on big ships, but still slightly longer waiting times than Oceania. The dinner in the MDR is great, but not as good as Oceania. The open seating works very well for us, never had to wait for a table. The buffet is disappointing. Good quality, but selection is pretty limited. It is not bad overall, but few levels below Oceania. The buffet area itself is also very small and feels a bit crowded at times. Internet is probably the worst we experienced so far on cruise ships. 300kbps is not what you would expect from a luxury line in 2019. It is also pretty expensive at $20/day. We paid last year $10/day on Princess (and the speed was 20 times faster). And we sailed on older ships with much higher internet speeds. Major disappointment. Spa does not have couple massage. This is the first time on any ship that we were not able to do a couple massage. The massage itself was very good. Cabin on Oceania was small, here it's even smaller. Not a big deal, we don't spend much time in the cabin. Entertainment is mediocre at best. They don't have a real theater like on larger ships, just a big lounge with chairs. No angle, so if you don't sit on few first rows, the view is pretty limited. They cannot really provide a good evening entertainment when there is no real theater. Also not too many daily activities, and the ship feels a bit sleepy at times. The pool area is small and feels a bit crowded. Usually no problem to get a chair, except for sea days. Hot tubs are smaller than usual and not hot enough. Service is fantastic as you can expect from a luxury line. Staff is very friendly. Very limited food options. If you want to have a snack after 9pm, the only option is room service. Dress code is relaxing, no formal nights, which is perfect for us. The azamazing event was very nice and well organized. Great atmosphere. The show itself felt a bit amateur. The pre even buffet was very crowded and poorly organized. White night was nice, but we came late from our tour in Sao Paulo, and no seats available on deck 9. They simply cannot accommodate everyone on the white night because the pool area is not big enough. Why to do white night on port day like Sao Paulo when the ship is at port till 9pm, and not sea day or port with shorter port time? Excursions were another disappointment. While we appreciate smaller groups, some of them were poorly organized, and some guides were not professional. I believe Azamara made a business decision to focus on certain things and ignore other things. Their customers obviously don't care about internet, or certain daily activities like dance classes, zumba, music at the pool etc. Overall great ship, great service, good food, but we prefer Oceania Riviera. Both lines are still better than mainstream ships from Celebrity or Princess which feel much more crowded, with longer lines. But in my opinion, Riviera offers the best of both worlds: still a small ship, which still feels much less crowded, but at the same time, much better food, more activities, and better entertainment. And it actually has a better crew/passengers ratio than Azamara, so service is at least as good if not better. We did appreciate the excellent service, less crowded buffet, smaller groups on shore excursions, no lines etc. compared to the big ships. I guess we just expected better from Azamara. We might sail with Azamara again if the itinerary and the price are right, but all other things equal, we would definitely prefer Oceania. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
This was our first time on Azamara, we have done 20 cruises in the past usually 2-3 week itineraries. In the last 6 months we have tried several new cruise lines including Crystal, Seabourn and Viking after primarily cruising on the main ... Read More
This was our first time on Azamara, we have done 20 cruises in the past usually 2-3 week itineraries. In the last 6 months we have tried several new cruise lines including Crystal, Seabourn and Viking after primarily cruising on the main lines of NCL, Celebrity and Hal. Originally we only booked the 17 night Transatlantic but managed to find a good last minute deal while in South America and added the 11 night Buenos Aires to Rio preceding leg. Overall we had a wonderful time with the weather being mostly great (except on white nights), the crossing being smooth and the crew and service being excellent. Embarkation in BA was very easy and super quick (in contrast to our X cruise from the same port which was chaotic) due to the small number of passengers who seemed to arrive spread out and the large number off staff in the terminal. On boarding we were greeted with champagne (the same terrible stuff all the cruise lines seem to be using now). It was immediately apparent how friendly the crew is. The ship is new to Azamara and one of the seemingly famous R class ships. They have done a great job with their refurbishment in most areas as the interiors looked lovely and new. The ship is probably the smallest we have been on and has a small boutique hotel feel. The movement was noticeable, especially on the first leg and seemed strange as the sea seemed relatively calm. The captain told me it was because the stabilisers don't work all that well when sailing slowly as we were, it was noticeably better on the crossing. We have been enjoying the small ships but did find this to be a little less spacious then the slightly larger vessels of Crystal and Viking where the extra space more than offsets for the slightly larger amount of passengers. The highlights of the ship were the library space and the crows nest however it was noticeable in bad weather conditions that internal public space can be difficult to find. The less favourable aspects of the ship was the lack of a full promenade for walking but Azamara has cleverly made the top deck above the pool an area exclusively for walking (something that was lacking on Seabourn). The partial promenades are an excellent place for lounging and watching the ocean. Speaking of lounging, the sun loungers are the best we have come across - the cushioning was impressive. There is a lot of comfortable furniture around the ship and it is obvious that Azamara is aimed at those who mostly like to relax. Fellow passengers were very friendly and the vibe is definitely casual and was noticeably more relaxed than some of the other premium lines, this suited us perfectly. It seemed the majority of passengers were either regular Azamara or Celebrity cruisers. It is definitely a social atmosphere and meeting fellow passengers was easy. At first it seemed nightlife was non existent until we discovered the disco was rocking every night on the first leg. On the second leg there was still a lot of activity in the evening but it tended to be more towards the Den around the piano player. Cabins - we had 2 different ocean view cabins. The first was on deck 6 and was an obstructed view. The room was an unusual shape. It was quite small but with some imagination the storage was plentiful. The bed was super comfortable and the linens and towels clearly new but the room had no couch. The shape of the room meant that getting changed was easy and you did not tend to obstruct one another. Liana our attendant was phenomenal. Our second cabin was your more typical layout located on deck 4 with unobstructed view. It was a larger cabin but we had to have the coffee table removed as it blocked 90% of the passage into the room. While this room was preferable it was noticeable that we tended to get more tangled when trying to get ready. One slight annoyance of this location is that the corridor was often blocked when in port which meant long walks to get back to public areas. The major issue with both cabins were the infamous showers. Small would be an understatement and add to this the uncomfortable feeling of shower curtains and it was not a pleasant experience. Often I resorted to having a shower at the gym facilities after having a steam. There is probably little Azamara could do to fix this but it does feel noticeably less luxurious compared to its small ship rivals. Similarly on this negative note was the in room entertainment system, incredibly poor. No on demand offerings at all and even the cruise ship information such as maps and cameras seemed very old technology (how does this happen on a new ship?) Dining - the ship has the MDR, buffet, poolside patio and 2 specialty restaurants. The MDR was a lovely but extremely busy room. The breakfast offered here was the best I have come across with interesting alternatives such as shashuka and asian inspired dishes and the breakfast steak was one of the best I have had. Dinner was generally good with a large menu with plenty of variety. We found that the daily specials tended to be the best along with simple meat dishes. The quality of meat was good relative to other lines, fish was hit or miss and more exotic dishes tended to fail. The buffet was good without being great, the freshly made sandwiches at lunchtime being the highlight and the daily roasts. The outdoor eating area is lovely. We did not eat dinner here but it was a different theme each night. The patio did the usual burgers but had a nice salad bar and at night was a good casual alternative focusing primarily on meat dishes. The specialty restaurants are a steak house and an Italian, $30 for each. The food and service in each was excellent and a noticeably better experience than the mdr which is not always the case. It was noticeable that there is a lack of asian options onboard compared to other small lines. Room service was very good but the inability to see the mdr menu on the tv or app is ridiculous and means you have to leave your room. Bars/drinks - there are plenty of bars for a small ship with the dedicated coffee bar being very popular. The main bars are the Den and Living room which are both great. The restaurants all have small bars as well. Bar service was very good and we rarely waited too long. Quality of drinks was average. Much better than on Seabourn but well short of the standard we experienced on Crystal. Similar to Viking where it depended a little on the bartender. Azamara includes basic drinks which is generally good and helps add to the social atmosphere. For me the major problem was with the drinks packages and it was noticeable this was frustrating for a large number of fellow guests. The premium package purports to offer premium beers and spirits. In the case of beer this is not true it simply adds more of the usual standard brands, there was nothing resembling a craft beer and there was no pilsener or pale ale at all. Again it could be debated whether the additional spirits are premium. The ultimate package adds "premium" wines and water and some more spirits. However, of the 8 wines 3 were missing, of the 6 scotches 3 were missing. There is no dessert wines at all included - I have never seen this, they would not even include a cheap chilean option from the menu. Onboard management complained of supply issues in South America and a lack of authority to adjust what is included. If this is the case Azamara head office should be sued for false advertising, if onboard management cannot adjust what is included then everything must be available. Further to these problems obtaining a glass of the ultimate wines in the restaurant regularly took between 15 and 40 minutes which was unacceptable. As time went on and complaints became more frequent the sommeliers (only 3 on the whole ship) began using alternative brands and stocking the nearby bars but why the wines are not put in the restaurant makes no sense. Viking has the same system and yet was never a problem as they simply stored the wine next to the inclusive options. On a small number of occasions I was poured included wine instead of the premium and twice witnessed standard spirits being used in my cocktails, this is unacceptable when you have paid extra for the better products. This was my major gripe on the cruise and noticeably cheapened the entire cruise experience. It felt like we were constantly having to discuss problems related to premium beverages. Azamara would be wise to change to one premium drinks package and have the products readily at hand especially as it spent considerable time and man power marketing the packages! Activities - trivia, trivia and more trivia - an overload. We love participating but surely a little more variety of activities might be appropriate and more variety of questions for those on b2b's. The first cruise was port intensive so there was little in the way of onboard activities and we found the port lecturer to be rude and uninformative. The second cruise was packed with trivias and lecture, we loved the art classes but could not participate in other activities as they were all scheduled at the same time. Also the timetable never changed day to day which led to a feeling of reliving the same day over and over. There was a number of fitness classes that were enjoyable although the instructor was not inspiring. The ship has table tennis and shuffleboard however due to location both are impractical for use. Entertainment - hit or miss. There was some particularly memorable performances such as the local tango act, the capoeira dance group, Amanda the ACD show and the ballroom dancers. However the production shows were simple (band was good though), the comedian was racist and on a couple of nights there was simply a bad movie. We had one Azamazing evening which was excellent and logistically impressive although we were the last back and only just made dinner time. Both white nights were hit by poor weather, the first simply moved indoors and the party continued on the second however the entertainment did not follow indoors and it fizzled in comparison. We found the CD to not be personable, he often walked around the ship but didn't seem to mingle much with guests. Strangely his wife did a number of performances but apparently was not an employee or contractor - we found this strange and pondered whether there could be an insurance problem in the unlikely event something went wrong. Also seemed strange to give so much time to her when Amanda the ACD was clearly much more talented and enjoyable and we even noticed that on white night the employed singers would have to miss out on a microphone in lieu of her participating. On the first leg the ACD Lee was a lovely guy who was very personable with the guests. The Trio band used in the bars were clearly talented but the set was so old fashioned, you were lucky if you got to hear something from the 60s. While we are in our early 40s and younger than most on the ship the general music of the ship was way too old and it was noticeable that few people danced until a modern song was played. Also the DJ in the disco did not have wifi so it was impossible for him to play requested songs not on his list. The piano player had a great knowledge but seemed to be lacking confidence when it came to singing although he improved markedly on the second leg. Service - the highlight of the ship. Probably the most friendly crew we have encountered (2nd to Crystal on overall performance). I guess service needs to be at a premium to balance the lower quality hardware.but they definitely delivered. Many of the crew remembered our names quickly and our preferences. Officers were more visible on the 2nd leg but often you had to approach them to actually interact. Disembarkation was earlier than other cruise lines. Overall a relaxing cruise and very good value for money compared to main lines. The vibe felt similar to celebrity but obviously much more intimate. Crew friendliness is their main strength. Personally we like a slightly larger ship (900-1000 passengers such as Crystal and Viking) with a greater variety of activities but can see why Azamara has such a loyal following. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
This was our seventh Azamara cruise. Rio was on our bucket list. We chose this cruise because we liked Azamara and we had never been to Brazil. Our last Azamara cruise was to the Baltic last August on the Journey. The Pursuit does not ... Read More
This was our seventh Azamara cruise. Rio was on our bucket list. We chose this cruise because we liked Azamara and we had never been to Brazil. Our last Azamara cruise was to the Baltic last August on the Journey. The Pursuit does not live up to the Azamara brand. The food was, at best, mediocre. Windows Cafe served mostly highly spiced Asian and Mexican food at lunch and dinner. The breakfasts were the same every day. Often, the pancakes and waffles were stuck to the serving pan, so they were dried out and inedible. Breakfasts in the main restaurant were better, but you had to ask for things like eggs over medium or poached eggs. The breakfast menu contained a lot of Asian and Indian items, along with some French items, not normal breakfast fare. Service in both Windows and the main dining room was great. On the second day of the cruise, the cruise ship ran out of diet decaffeinated soda. Didn’t matter what brand, they had none. Just Diet Coke. This is supposed to be an upscale cruise line. Almost every day, the vegetables were broccoli and cauliflower. No green beans, no peas, no carrots, just broccoli and cauliflower. Again, this is supposed to be an upscale cruise line. Except for the four singers and the orchestra, the entertainment was pitiful - a tango show that was more slide show than dancing, a mentalist (two times), and the cruise director and his wife singing old standards off key. The Azamazing evening in Montevideo consisted of a 30 minute bus ride to an old theater, where they handed you a glass of wine as you walked in, then took it away four steps and two minutes later when you entered the theater. Waste of wine, although it wasn’t that good anyway. The show consisted of about 40 performers in very colorful costumes in a Carnival type celebration. There was some singing, but mostly it was very loud drumming. Along with flashing lights. Then back to the ship to wait in line for 20 minutes to reboard. We did get nice Carnival masks as souvenirs. The White Night celebration was held despite a forecast of rain. The food was very good. It started raining about 10 minutes into the show, so everyone left. Some folks went to the bar on Deck 10, many others just left. Many times, the entire ship smelled like sewage. I believe they were having problems with the plumbing system. The smell permeated the ship. Three days in a row, late afternoon, there was very loud banging next to our room, where there was an access panel. It lasted almost an hour each time. We took three shore excursions from Azamara. All three were overpriced, probably double what a similar excursion from a dockside purveyor would have cost. At Paraty, the tender ride was 40 minutes. The town, a UNESCO site has very uneven cobblestone streets, and walking was difficult. Many people went back to the ship after a few minutes trying to negotiate the ship. Several of the ports were tendered. The crew did an excellent job getting passengers on and off the tenders. The Le Club Voyage Representative never even bothered to welcome us on board, although it was our seventh Azamara cruise and we are also Celebrity Elite Plus. Azamara did nothing to recognize brand loyalty. The Guest Relations staff was not very helpful and took their time accommodating passengers. We waited five minutes for two Guest Relations Representatives to help us, because they were trying to align a printout on special paper. Apparently, the printer had more priority than the paying passengers. If the Pursuit represents the future of Azamara, we are finished with the cruise line. Both Royal Caribbean and Celebrity treat their guests better. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We wanted to experience South America. With one exception (Paraty) the ports of call did not disappoint. The Azamazing evening was a Carneval show in Montevideo. It was well organized and great entertainment. We bought the indulgence ... Read More
We wanted to experience South America. With one exception (Paraty) the ports of call did not disappoint. The Azamazing evening was a Carneval show in Montevideo. It was well organized and great entertainment. We bought the indulgence package which was well worth the extra money. We also got upgraded to a suite without asking ! That alone should make it five stars but there were some downsides as well. - One of the ‘guest relations’ staff turned out to be anything but. The others were great. - Because we had a lot of OBC, we booked some tours. The ‘gaucho’ tour in Uruguay was disappointing as we went to a dairy and crop farm. Talk about false advertising. - We had butler although he did not really enhance the experience. - The indulgence package included the specialty restaurants. However, it’s not open seating and booking something was very though. The attitude of the person doing the booking did not help. - The app needs work. It’s not updated and does not match the daily program. There is a lot of paper that could be saved...... The food never disappoints and the staff go out of there way to please you. The entertainment was solid and there are plenty of activities. The specialty restaurants are also top notch in food and service as was the Chef’s table. The staff was great in helping us transfer to another room for next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Heading north to Brazil from Buenos Aires on the 2nd leg of our cruise, we made another stop at Montevideo. This allowed us to explore some of the museums such as the Government House in depth with exhibits of Uruguayan history. The ... Read More
Heading north to Brazil from Buenos Aires on the 2nd leg of our cruise, we made another stop at Montevideo. This allowed us to explore some of the museums such as the Government House in depth with exhibits of Uruguayan history. The “Azamazing Evening” tonight was at the Teatro Solis – one of the early opera houses in South America. The show was developed and staged just for Azamara. Our next stop was Santos – the seaport for San Paulo and the largest city in the western hemisphere. We decided not to take the two hour drive to San Paulo and saw the local sights in Santos including the coffee auction house (coffee was the major export here in the past) and the funicular to the former casino atop Monte Serrat. (Gambling was outlawed in the 40's.) We stopped at Ilhabela (“beautiful island”) once a hideout of smugglers and pirates. We stopped at the Agua Branca waterfall that once supplied electricity to the region. Our next stop was Buzios – a beach peninsula not far from Rio originally a shipment point for gold to Portugal and later frequented by Bridget Bardot and her Brazilian boyfriend. It was here that the paparazzi spotted her and put the place on the jet set map. Also saw where South America and Africa split into separate continents hundreds of million years ago We spent three days in Rio de Janeiro during the final days of Carnival. After docking in perhaps the most scenic harbor in the world, in addition to the mandatory sights – Sugar Loaf mountain, Corcovado (Christ the Redeemer), Ipanema and Copacabana beaches – we did tour the center of the city. The highlight was the final night of Carnival at the Sambadrome – a once in a lifetime experience not to be missed. Starting at 9 p.m. and continuing until 7 a.m., seven samba schools compete for the top prize. Each group consisting of up to four or five thousand people have an hour to parade. Each group has several elaborate floats, marching bands and dancers. We then sailed back to Buenos Aires for another day of touring on our own through downtown and stopping at an art museum in Recoleta. As beautiful as Buenos Aires still is, it is sad to see the gradual decline even in the last ten years. Rampant inflation has caused closing of the zoo. Many rich in Recoleta can’t afford to garage their cars so they park them on the streets. A newspaper headline noted that inflation had been 7% in a recent week. We then flew to Iguazu Falls near the border of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay. It consists of about 270 mostly double cataract falls stretching for around a mile. From the Argentinean side, it took all day to see the myriad viewpoints, primarily looking down at the falls. The second day was spent on the Brazilian side looking up at the highlights such as Devils Throat. Compared with Niagara Falls (Canada & US - short) and Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe Africa – too misty to see at high water) ), Iguazu tops the list. Flew home from Iguazu to Miami via San Paulo. Some final thoughts. Although it is always nice to see Buenos Aires, the highlights of this trip were the natural beauty of the Chilean fjords (go before the glaciers melt!) and Carnival in Rio (the most elaborate one in the world). Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
I have sailed on Norwegian, Holland America, Princess, Viking, Cunard, Celebrity and this was the most disappointing cruise of those listed. The pricepoint was similar to Viking but the overall experience was not up to that stand The ... Read More
I have sailed on Norwegian, Holland America, Princess, Viking, Cunard, Celebrity and this was the most disappointing cruise of those listed. The pricepoint was similar to Viking but the overall experience was not up to that stand The embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly. We were separated from the masses joining the other ship in port and were ushered onto the ship with little delay. Cabin: Rather small, 2 people cannot navigate around the bed at the same time. Balcony also narrow and small. Bathroom very small and shower is very tiny & uncomfortable. Difficult to get cold water. Service: Staff are very friendly but service is spotty. Service in the Discovery Restaurant is very good, as was our cabin steward. It was difficult to get service in the Living Room between 4 and 5 p.m. The servers are trained to pick up empty dishes but are not trained to keep an eye out for passengers when they arrive in their area. Dining: Food and service was excellent. However, hours were inadequate. Breakfast ended at 10 a.m. Lunch did not start until 11:30 a.m. and ended at 1:30 p.m. We complained about the hours and an officer found me on the ship to address my concerns, which was impressive. Excursions: The shore excursion to Montevideo, Uruguay was a disappointment. The guide had little command of English, and she was ill prepared. We asked her for the itinerary and she said that she didn’t know. The lunch we were given was disgusting – the filet mignon was a thin breaded strip of beef. Not much effort was put into explaining all the sites. We were left to our own devices at the art museum. Entertainment: Entertainment was very good. The Azmazing night at the Solis Theater in Montevideo was excellent but very short. The Azmazing Night and the Officers' Barbeque were excellent. Enrichment lecture with Dr. Palmer was dull and boring. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
It is inexplicable why Azamara, when they drydocked the new to them Pursuit, did not add a pool heater. Although the pools on all the Old Renaissance ships are small and oddly shaped with their two whirlpools “pinching” the pool in the ... Read More
It is inexplicable why Azamara, when they drydocked the new to them Pursuit, did not add a pool heater. Although the pools on all the Old Renaissance ships are small and oddly shaped with their two whirlpools “pinching” the pool in the middle, Oceania made sure to add pool heaters, Azamara apparently cheaper out leaving the pool only functional for most when it is in the tropics. When we were quite surprised and commented to the in service staff we got shrugs and told that is how all the Azamara ships are. So if swimming is important to you as it is to us, beware you probably should choose a different cruise line Having said this, the staff are generally good, the staff/guest ratio and cabins fine (although like all R class ships on the small side. ,. Although I have heard from others that the food on Oceania ships are better, having been on both, I would rate them about the same with the exception of the smaller specialty restaurants on Oceania are free whereas the specialty restaurants on Azamara cost $30 each.3 for $70. On the other hand they have one free outing on shore which Oceania lacks....so on balance....unless you are a swimmer, or like the more frequent activities scheduled regularly on Oceania cruises or simply want to stretch out in a properly heated pool I would rate the two lines about the same...at least in their R class ships...with an edge to Oceania’s slightly larger Marina/Riviera and an edge to them if you are on a longer voyage as the costs of specialty dining in Azamara would more than offset one night’s activity. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Delighted to see Azamara pick up another one of the "R-ships" and have a newly refurbished sister ship to Journey and Quest. It was great to see some familiar faces from the other ships on Pursuit. Overall, a good job in ... Read More
Delighted to see Azamara pick up another one of the "R-ships" and have a newly refurbished sister ship to Journey and Quest. It was great to see some familiar faces from the other ships on Pursuit. Overall, a good job in renovating the ship. We selected this cruise principally for the itinerary and were very much pleased with the ports of call; the fact that we had mostly great weather helped. The following comments are relative to our prior experiences on other Azamara cruises. Things we liked: The newly revitalized lounge entertainment -- the Three Aces trio in the Living Room and Alberto in the Den were a welcomed change from prior lounge entertainers; they showed up on time, played for the entire allotted time and did not just repeat the same tired sets. The elimination of the Casino; it was great to have some additional common area. The addition of an onboard-artist creating works in real-time. The Cabin Steward and Waiters were great, as usual; delighted to see that that level of service has not changed. And even the Reception staff and Concierge were very helpful, friendly and with a good attitude. Things that need improvement: Food Quality -- this was our biggest disappointment. We actually recognized most of the menus from prior sailings, which is fine; however the quality and taste, in our opinion, has declined dramatically from prior sailings. Beverage Package and consistency of quality of drinks -- another big disappointment. We purchased two premium packages; only to find that not all the brands listed in the bar menus were available. Examples: Sambuca, they "ran out" of it at all the bars. Given all the ports of call, we would have expected the ship to restock missing items promptly -- that did not happen and to add insult, when we went to Aqualina, they had it, yet we could not get it in any of the lounges/bars. Limoncello, the menus indicate that Pallini is the premium brand, again, that was not available and we were getting different (house) brands depending at which lounge we ordered it. Also, when ordering the same drink, the quality/consistency of that drink, depended greatly on who was behind the bar at the time. Not to have all of the brands that are advertised in the packages at each of the venues, especially with all the stops that the ship made is inexcusable. Evening Service at Mosaics Cafe -- the venue is listed as open until 11:30 pm. On multiple occassion, we stopped by after the (later) show to get something, and while tea and coffee were available, the pastry/snack had been removed. The attendant told us that the "food" service stopped at 10 pm. To our knowledge that was not indicated anywhere. Moreover, the attendant was busy cleaning the sink, utensils, etc. We can appreciate that the staff works hard and long shifts, but if a venue is listed as open, all of the items should be available until closing time, and the wait staff should not start cleaning/shutting down the venue until the closing time has passed. Elimination of the bar on the back (outside terrace) of the ship at Windows Cafe; and the constant closing down of the outside area. This is great, sheltered and generally quiet, common area. Especially when food service is not going on, it is a great place to to sit, watch the wake of the ship, have a drink, read, etc. On the other ships, there has always been a bar at this location, on the Pursuit this was not installed. (My guess is that this was done to minimize "noise" since the suites on Deck 8 are right below the terrace. A bad decision -- you are trying to accommodate a small number of people who may not even be in their cabin at the expense of everyone else who are now deprived of a pleasant common area). Pricing of shore excursions. This has now gone beyond obscene to downright unconscionable. We did book a coupe of excursions with the ship, principally because we had shipboard credit to use; we also booked a number of independent excursions which turned out to be almost identical to those the ship offered. Consistently, we paid a fraction of what the ship was charging. One of the principal reasons people book on Azamara is the destination intensive itineraries; does taking people to great locations and then charging absurd mark-ups on the tour really make sense in the long-run? The company may be enhancing profit margin in the short-run, but longer term, everyone is going to go to Viator, ShoreExcursionGroup.com, directly to local operators, etc. for their excursions. And finally, one thing we are wondering about: our trip ended almost two weeks ago, we have not received any communications or survey requests from Azamara (in the past the email would be waiting before we even got back home), hence I am writing this review on Cruise Critic. Cheers. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
As a 20+ times cruisers, my husband and I had never been on Azamara or to South America and that is precisely why I booked this cruise. A great decision! Azamara went out of their way to make this a cruise to remember and they ... Read More
As a 20+ times cruisers, my husband and I had never been on Azamara or to South America and that is precisely why I booked this cruise. A great decision! Azamara went out of their way to make this a cruise to remember and they defintely succeeded. We had wonderful on-board speakers. The food was incredible. The service was impeccable. The ports were fascinating. The Amazing evening in Montevideo was really amazing! A total surprise performance in an historic theatre by a variety of local singers and dancers explaining the history of Carnival. Revealed the wonderful spirit and sounds of the local peoples. AS if that wasn't good enough, we had beautiful clear weather sailing the Beagle Channel and fjords. On a whim, the captain took us up super close to a glacier so we could all bask in its' magnificence. A true once in a lifetime experience! Last but not least, when I asked the cruise director if they would be showing the Super Bowl on ship, he said they were looking into the possibility. (Remember we were at the southernmost tip of South America by now.) Not only did they show the game but they catered an incredible Super Bowl party complete with an ice sculpture! Who does that? We football fans were bowled over. Literally, super bowled over. During the first quarter I looked at a gentleman next to me consuming a yummy pretzel dog and saw that he was smiling like a kid. I thought, if a cruise line can make someone this happy it's done a great job. So, yes, I would highly recommend the cruise. Any cruise line can take you to the same desinations but Azamara created a total experience. Expect the unexpected from Azamara and have a great time. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
My wife and I had put off too long a trip to Antarctica and finally took that long awaited itinerary. I wish we had done so earlier!! The entire experience (with one small exception) went off without a hitch and, as usual, we enjoyed the ... Read More
My wife and I had put off too long a trip to Antarctica and finally took that long awaited itinerary. I wish we had done so earlier!! The entire experience (with one small exception) went off without a hitch and, as usual, we enjoyed the family-like Azamara experience. This being our 10th Azamara cruise we had a pretty good idea of what to expect, though The Pursuit is a recent addition to the Quest and Journey. The layouts are identical so it was just like returning home. A number of the crew were familiar transfers from the other ships so it really did feel like family. The ship was renovated before being put into Azamara service with the new Deck 5 layout sans Casino. Honestly, on this size ship, the casino was little more than a nice diversion and the extra space in the newly converted "Den" was put to good use. Though we had a 7 day stretch where we were limited to staying on the ship, it seemed to pass quickly with the interesting "cruise by" itinerary of the Alaskan peninsula. Passing a number of HUGE icebergs was also a favorite of all onboard. Best of all, we were lucky to have pretty calm seas passing through the Drake Passage twice and the horror stories some people told us about never came to pass. Entertainment was varied, though by necessity it is limited to guest entertainers and a small ensemble of singers and band. Still, they were excellent, professional, and interactive. The stops were all interesting and fun, and the AZAMAZING EVENING in Montevideo was a presentation of the Urguayan Carnivale and was one of the top two AZAMAZING EVENINGS we have experienced! Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We have not done an Ocean cruise for 15 years. We have been taking land tours and River cruises instead. Before we stopped we had been on 8 Ocean cruises. I was very excited to discover this Antarctica Cruise and on a ship we had sailed ... Read More
We have not done an Ocean cruise for 15 years. We have been taking land tours and River cruises instead. Before we stopped we had been on 8 Ocean cruises. I was very excited to discover this Antarctica Cruise and on a ship we had sailed twice before (as the Royal Princess!) and had loved! The ship is a perfect size for those of us who like a smaller number of passengers. I thought the redo of the interior was fine. The "living room" is a very popular spot to hang out during the sea days with the loungers always in demand. Passengers "save" seats so I was not able to try them. The following are my impressions of the cruise: .Cabin 7100---awkward furniture, was always moving the coffee table to get to veranda or loveseat, plastic shower curtain made shower dark and liked to wrap around the body.. Ship shore excursions---too expensive. arranged tours online with private vendors for all ports. .Service--room steward great, staff friendly, buffet staff attentive, Discoveries staff needs more training (multiple use of seating charts, we were "forgotten" about during our meal several times and sat for 20+ minutes waiting to be checked on .Dinning/food---BUFFET food greatly improved, theme of buffet advertised daily in program, DISCOVERIES menu posted outside restaurant only so had to make trip to check its menu before deciding where to eat daily, menu lacking in variety and food was not outstanding, no soufflé/bananas foster/prime cuts of meat/lobster. Main dinning room has suffered from having specialty restaurants as only place to enjoy those foods. AQUALINA specialty (ate X2) no change in menu from one week to the next, soufflé outstanding but majority of food did not stand out. Two brunch meals in Discoveries were outstanding events! Chocolate buffet was crowded due to small venue area. .Activities--daily activities have not changed in 15 years. I spoke to Tony the cruise director two times about this and he was very receptive to my criticism. Enjoyed: ABBA dance night, photo contest/lectures from professional staff photographer, enrichment lectures (including NASA lecturer who hosted eclipse viewing) , movie nights, Polar club. HIGHLIGHTS Azamazing event & White night party! All in all this was an exciting itinerary! Was happy with the change of dress to "country club casual". The ship captain was very interactive with guests and went out of his way to maneuver ship for exceptional scenery viewing. Would recommend this itinerary/ship with the knowledge that dinning in Discoveries is not a highlight. I hope this review helps other cruise lovers pick their next adventure! Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We passed up the opportunity to sail to the Antarctica when we cruised around South America several years ago and regretted it. So prior to touring Peru, we chose make up for that. Without needing to step onshore for three times the ... Read More
We passed up the opportunity to sail to the Antarctica when we cruised around South America several years ago and regretted it. So prior to touring Peru, we chose make up for that. Without needing to step onshore for three times the price, we picked Azamara cruise line rather than the larger ships. Also due to the size of the ship, we were hoping it would get closer to the beauty than the larger ships. The experience itself was delightful, from the moment we were greeted by our taxi and personally escorted into the terminal. Once onboard, that level of service continued and was definitely a touch above other lines we've been on. The only time service dropped off was crossing the Drake Passage during which staff seemed to be affected by their first rough seas due to lack of crew members resulting in the Maitre de waiting tables. Even then, there was nothing to complain about. Obviously, it was too cold for the pool, or much time outside on the windy decks, but whenever the captain would slow down or pivot for viewing, everyone was there with cameras ready. This was the longest we've been onboard a ship without going ashore, and we definitely won't do that again, but the Antarctica is impossible to get to without the sea days. The fitness room was small but efficient and made the time pass while exploring this region. The onboard lectures were not really about the nature and wildlife we would be experiencing, but more about conservation efforts in the area. The lunar eclipse occurred while sailing and they had flown in a NASA expert to narrate on deck that night for those interested in watching it. The nightly entertainment was standard for a cruise, but the theater seating is not angled causing difficulty in visibility. Rather than spending time locating a decent seat, we enjoyed the nightly music in the Living Room lounge. With spectacular viewing opportunities during the day, this lounge was crowded and noisy so we would spend the days in the Den only a couple steps to the outside decks close by. At night, the Living Room had a talented band, 3 Aces Trio, which played nightly and kept the dance floor full, even with the ship movement. The cruise director and captain were highly visible throughout the cruise and welcomed interaction with the passengers. The captain seemed to always be on the bridge as he would announce photographic opportunities spotted throughout the day. The cruise director provided nice non-denominational church services on the two Sundays of the cruise. The lounge staff quickly learned names and drink preferences of the guests, and with most drinks included, it was enjoyable relaxing with fellow passengers throughout the trip. Since we are only in our room to sleep, and would rather spend our money on experiences than space, we always book and inside stateroom. The cabin was small but had enough storage for everything. Our room stewards always greeted us by name even within hours of meeting us. They kept the room spotless and stocked with toiletries, towels, water and ice. Disembarkation was a mess, but not due to the ship staff. Buenos Aires has a small, congested terminal and with two ships, it was impossibly packed and confusing. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We chose this cruise mainly to see Antarctica, but also to have a chance to cruise Azamara again on her "new" ship. Embarkation was a little busier than we expected and a shuttle bus must be taken to the ship in Buenos Aires, ... Read More
We chose this cruise mainly to see Antarctica, but also to have a chance to cruise Azamara again on her "new" ship. Embarkation was a little busier than we expected and a shuttle bus must be taken to the ship in Buenos Aires, but there were Azamara people with signs at every stop easily directing you to the next location. All in all, not a bad experience. We thought the ship was lovely and due to the itinerary, spent a lot of time in the Living Room on Deck 10 looking at the scenery. It was tough to get a seat at the front at times, and took some patience, but it was quite an unusual itinerary. We would typically take a seat more toward the middle and move up as they became available. The buffet was fine, though we didn't go there often - for health and quality reasons, we prefer the other restaurants when possible. When looking for drinks, we felt we were either asked 50 times if we wanted a drink, or we couldn't find anyone and ended up serving ourselves. Never sure why that was the case. We felt the food in Discoveries was generally very good and the two Brunch Buffets were outstanding! The music during the buffets, provided by the Pursuit Band was so delightful, we ordered more coffee and tea and lingered to relax and enjoy. It was heavenly! Specialty restaurants were good and the Chef's Table food and wines were excellent - we thoroughly enjoyed this experience and felt it was a good value (we chose a package, chefs table + 2, which was one Chef's table and one dinner and each specialty restaurant.) Unlike others have mentioned on here previously, we felt the complimentary wine offerings were quite good (especially the Cline Cellars Zinfandel) and offered a good chance to try wines from different countries. Others we chatted with on our cruise agreed. Bartenders were willing to make our favorite drinks, Cosmos and Lemon Drops with complimentary alcohol and it was all good. One odd point, I think maybe bartender placement is more by seniority rather than quality, as the best bartenders were not in the best bars.... by far the best bartender on our ship could only be found in Discoveries at night... he had quite a following, but it was strange to not find a bartender of his quality in the Spirits Bar or Living Room...all other cruise lines we've sailed (27 so far) would have placed him in a much busier location. The Azamazing Evening, a carnival celebration at Solis Theater in Montevideo, was surprisingly excellent. It was a pain to be bussed over there, of course, but we were expecting it and the show was very good - we were surprised and impressed! The White Night celebration had some challenges with the weather, so we ended up eating in the dining room, but going up after for dancing - some songs with a few sprinkles of rain mixed in - but it was a very fun time! We attended most of the enrichment lectures. The main lecturer gave good overviews of all of our ports. Unfortunately, the wildlife speaker was not as interesting, and he ended up not giving any after the first few. This is one area I think Azamara could have done better for this itinerary....they missed a chance to bring on an expert on Antarctica in areas such as ice, iceberg types, previous expeditions, geology etc.... This cruise had a different type of clientele, I believe due to the itinerary and we spoke with many people who would have enjoyed a more in-depth enrichment experience. However, they did fly down a NASA expert ambassador for the lunar eclipse - He & Captain Carl made this a once in a lifetime experience! The few days in Antarctica were an indescribable experience - We thoroughly enjoyed everything about it! We would have liked the overnight in Ushuaia, as our original itinerary included in order to see more of Patagonia. This was our second Azamara cruise (27 total on Carnival, Princess, Celebrity & Oceania) and we thoroughly enjoyed it and would go again tomorrow if we could! Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
e have just returned from an Azamara Pursuit cruise to Antartica. The customer serviceon the ship is appalling. We had problems with our hot water going cold over two days. After various attempts to fix it (it would go cold again within ... Read More
e have just returned from an Azamara Pursuit cruise to Antartica. The customer serviceon the ship is appalling. We had problems with our hot water going cold over two days. After various attempts to fix it (it would go cold again within a couple of hours) and much debate we were offered another stateroom but no apology, upgrade or any comprnsation for the inconvenience.The guest relations manager (Sasha) hid behind his staff and after meeting with us once never got back to us although we left messages for him to contact us. Also the stateroom had the smallest shower and least storage of any that we have ever experienced in 21 cruises with 8 cruise lines. The ship was also compromised in many areas as altough it has been refurbished it is quite old. For the price we paid and the reputation of Azamara (boutique cruise line 4.5 stars) we expected far more but sadly found them worse than 3 star cruise lines such as Princess and Holland America. To say we were disappointed would be an umderstatment and we will never travel on Azamara again. No port information was given out apart from maps from port staff. Food quality was quite variablee, sometimes good, sometimes not. Selection was reasonable except for breakfast with only four cereals on offer. Entertainment was OK. Unfortunately the floor of the theatre didn’t slope so it was difficult to see. The enrichment lectures were great. Embarkation and disimbarkation was well organised and very smooth. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We chose this cruise as we wanted to go to Antarctica but didn't want to pay the prices of the expedition ships. Fortunately the ship was small enough to allow us to navigate some of the small passages and appreciate the wonder of ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we wanted to go to Antarctica but didn't want to pay the prices of the expedition ships. Fortunately the ship was small enough to allow us to navigate some of the small passages and appreciate the wonder of icebergs and penguins. We even entered an active volcano. 17 days on board with only 4 ports was a bit too long, but we knew this when we signed up. What we didn't know was how inadequate the weather proofing was in the staterooms. We were freezing inside, even with the heating bumped up high. Not sure if this is still one of the teething problems with a newly acquired ship. We didn't even have the standard issue binoculars in the stateroom - an abomination for a destination such as Antarctica. Having sailed with Azamara previously, more recently we have become disillusioned by the increasing up-selling. The brand has been cheapened by all the nickel and diming, although base prices have not reduced. The prices of the shore excursions were obscene, and based on general feedback around the vessel, they weren't even good. The promised strenuous 2 hour trek we went on turned out to be a 1km walk + bus ride. They did listen to our feedback and begrudgingly gave us a small refund. Although still settling in as a relatively new team (since August 2018), the service staff were friendly and efficient as we have come to expect from Azamara. Some recognised us from before. We thoroughly enjoyed the talks given by the destination speaker. He was entertaining and knowledgeable and certainly did enrich our time on board. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
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