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41 Azamara Buenos Aires Cruise Reviews

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 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 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 the cruise for the destinations and the company were advertising the cruise as an upmarket experience. We boarded at Lima, no issues. The main problems were, the food served in the buffet, this was nearly always luke warm ... Read More
We chose the cruise for the destinations and the company were advertising the cruise as an upmarket experience. We boarded at Lima, no issues. The main problems were, the food served in the buffet, this was nearly always luke warm ie,fried eggs not fully cooked and kept at luke warm temperature. Chicken kept at luke warm temperature, not hot. There were so many issues and we saw lots of food being sent back. Many times we spoke to staff who told us they would pass our concerns on. There had been gastroenteritis on board and everyone was advised to wash hands and use sanitiser around the ship! There were guests who have travelled with Azamara several time before and the told us not to judge Azamara by the Persuit, they stated the Pursuit was not up to standard. The entertainment was very poor, the cruise entertainment director was more interested in selling his CD’s and the assistant entertainment cruise directors discription of tours on the TV was appalling. If you like Jazz the type where all the notes are’in the wrong order’ this is the boat for you. One evening the pianist microphone was off, no one told him, that’s how bad he was. Communication on board was not informative, unless you booked a very expensive trip with the ship there was little information on Ports. Speakers gave wrong information, which the captain had to apologise for. The list goes on and on. This was not the amazing cruise it was advertised as. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
What a disappointment We just got back from our first and most likely last Azamara cruise – a 15-night NYE in Rio voyage. We traveled in a Club Continent Suite. My experience on Azamara was so disappointing, that I’m compelled to ... Read More
What a disappointment We just got back from our first and most likely last Azamara cruise – a 15-night NYE in Rio voyage. We traveled in a Club Continent Suite. My experience on Azamara was so disappointing, that I’m compelled to write this review. This is my first review on cruisecritic, though I’ve read hundreds of reviews to help with the dozen or so cruises we’ve been on in the past few years on Celebrity, Oceania, and Viking. I’m going to take each main experience area in turn, starting with the positive. Embarkation Overall experience was smooth for the most part. Though we were surprised there wasn’t a line dedicated for Suite guests, as is the case with other cruise lines we’ve traveled on. Cabin We were fortunate enough to be able to travel in a Club Continent Suite. The room itself is roomy, with over 300 sq feet. The décor is modern and inviting. Lots of closet space. The bathroom and walk-in shower were great. Lots of room and storage. The veranda was as long as the room, but fairly narrow. Just enough width for the 2-seater table and a little leg room once you’ve sat on the individual seater situated on the veranda. Food This was one of the most disappointing of the elements. We ate at the buffet for most breakfasts and lunches. The food served were the basics ( egg station, cheese and charcuterie station, one carving option, sandwiches etc..). No imagination, no creativity, and for the first few days, very little was seasoned. For dinner, we ate the specialty restaurants since we had that as a benefit for being in a Suite. The menu never changed, and after the first few dinners, there was little left on the menu that we wanted to try. What we ate was fine. But nothing to write home about. And, somewhat meager and plain for a specialty restaurant compared to what we ate on Oceania, Viking, and even Celebrity. Entertainment This was another major downer. Tony Markey, the Cruise Director, and his wife were the headliners for several of the shows. Overshadowing, in our opinion, the four very talented “Signature Singers” who only got to perform 4 or 5 of the 15 nights. The same for the Vegas performer, Tony Arias, who was relegated to only performing 2 out of his 10-night stay on the boat. So odd. So much talent on the boat, and yet we were relegated to Tony, his wife and a string trio that sang the same 10 songs 2x a day for 15 days. The other odd experience was NYE night itself. It seems they combined the “White Party” and NYE celebration, instead of two sperate parties on two separate nights. The party itself was very well organized, and finally some good, higher quality food. However, the moment the clock struck midnight the party ended. No Auld lang syen. Nothing. Everyone looked around wondering if, in fact, the party was over at precisely midnight. Especially since the cruise was billed as an NYE celebratory cruise! Suite Value for Money We paid a handsome sum to travel in a Club Continent Suite. The room itself was lovely. However, apart from the ability to eat at the two specialty restaurants, that for all intents and purposes served up basic food, there were few other standout benefits. In fact, even with a Suite stay and an upgraded Premium drinks package, we were still only served the very basic brand of bottled water given free to every passenger, plus no additional or premium wine selections beyond what every other guest gets. We found that incredible that even the combo of a Suite plus Premium drinks package couldn’t get us a glass of Evian water or a better choice of wine beyond the sub $10 bottles they were serving. The other Suite benefit that seems interesting on paper, but not in reality, was a Tea service provided each day at around 3 pm. The trouble with this benefit is that they were basically serving the same mini sandwiches and scones found at the café, and only provided a cup of tea. Staff We found the higher the ranking, the less friendly or approachable they were. This not only included Tony and his assistant Cruise Director Lee, who had a hard time pronounces many of the ports we visited and proudly stated on one of the awkwardly embarrassing mornings shows that he’d prefer to spend time at the “London Zoo” than visit the wildlife found in the South Atlantic, but the other senior staff that many times just looked stern and not very friendly. On the opposite spectrum were our incredible Butler, Padem, and the other attendants on the 8th floor. As well as the staff in all the restaurants and cafés, particularly Vadym who managed to remember our names after only just a few days. True gem. Feedback We were sent a questionnaire about 4 days into the cruise to provide any feedback that could be addressed during the cruise. We shared detailed feedback regarding several areas where there was an opportunity for improvement. The first was the Entertainment. A few hours later, Tony, to his credit, called my husband to let him know that he wasn’t monopolizing the entertainment, the exact word my husband used in the feedback form and that we’d see improved entertainment. This never happened. We also lamented the fact that even though the Sanctum, in the Spa, was billed as 16 years old plus only environment, on every day we visited there were a few pre-teens in attendance. They were also in the adults only gym, and sauna/steam room. And you could even find infants on the dance floor post 10 pm at night. We realize this was a holiday cruise, but there was no regard to what is stated policy. Disembarkation We were so disappointed with the cruise and all the various elements that when we got to our final port, Punta del Este, we were so depressed at the thought of spending the last two nights on the boat that we decided to give up our Suite and leave the boat early so we could at least explore a town that seemed very interesting. This forced us to spend additional money on a hotel room for two nights and a flight from Punta back to Buenos Aires, where the cruise originated and where we had already paid for a flight back home. Despite the additional expense, we were happy to have thoroughly enjoyed the last two night of our vacation, and off the Pursuit. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We love the small ship feel and especially Azamara as everyone fells equal. The new ship looks great with a modern feel to the cabins but a few problems with moisture were seen as they had to run dehumidifiers in certain areas. We were ... Read More
We love the small ship feel and especially Azamara as everyone fells equal. The new ship looks great with a modern feel to the cabins but a few problems with moisture were seen as they had to run dehumidifiers in certain areas. We were in a Club Continental suite which was very comfortable, lots of storage, nice bath/shower and cleaned constantly. As I am asthmatic they had already removed feathers and any sense enhancers. The only problem is the makeup mirror in the bathroom must have been installed by a man as it is placed for a 6 foot person. Again great staff come to the rescue for a 5foot lady. A female officer lent me her personal makeup mirror for the entire cruise. The new chairs in Aquilinia were very comfortable even though others had said other wise. The new lounge chairs on the Sanctum are very uncomfortable as they do not recline, but again the great AZ staff upon request brought the regular reclining lounge cots out for my husband. We missed the double lounge cabana that was outside in this area as it blocked sun as well as being cosy for a couple. Food was very good to excellent, Aqualinia still shines with their Dover sole and in Prime C the fillet minion is outstanding and I am not a big meat eater. Lots of excellent appetizers, deserts were better than the previous cruises. Windows cafe and The Patio were also very good with excellent variety. Entertainment is where there is a let down. The musical trio in the living room were so so, sometimes better than others. The shows were generally poor but their in house singers/dancers did do some good shows. The comedian was not bad but the rest were not worth watching. We did not attend the lectures or other activities. Service is where AZ shines, we boarded in Buenos Aries and did have to wait for a short time but it was done in an organized fashion and once on the rooms were already to drop your carry on. To our surprise as we walked towards our room we recognized our butler from our last year cruise as he had been moved to this new ship. Again in AZ fashion he greeted us with our names and remembered us with a greeting of my Canadians. Elro was always able to fulfill our requests with a smile. We left from Buenos Aries stoping in Montevideo where AZ put on the most fabulous Azamazing evening in the Solis theatre, it was unique entertaining and interactive. Well done AZ. Santos Brazil was interesting with some great views and the coffee museum. Buzios Brazil was a lovely beach town friendly people great boutiques, fabulous gelato and nice cafes. Nice day on a great beach with fresh fish lunch. Paraty was a quiet beach town with little infrastructure and a dock in poor shape. We did a private boat day which was nice. Rio stop was ok as this is such a dangerous city we used a guide. It was hot and line ups were long even early in the morning. The rain forest in the city is beautiful and the beaches crowded but lovely looking. As it was New Year’s Eve soon roads were blocked off near Copacabana Beach by noon. Our Captain (Carl) changed the next port because of bad weather and stopped in a beach town which was a good decision as weather throughout the cruise was excellent. We then stopped for one day instead of two in Punta del Este a very high class city taking an AZ tour to the seal island and then walking to the sculpture of the hand in the sand. Lovely cafes, restaurants, and shops. The New Years was outstanding, AZ did their white night on deck and amped it up for New Years. Food was great entertainment fun, hats blowers and beads were given out as well as sparkling wine for midnight toast. The fireworks viewed off the Copacabana Beach were spectacular. It made for a memorable night. We took a special day tour the last day in BA arranged by AZ to Iguazu Falls. It was costly but done well from start to finish. A long day but worth it, they even arranged a dinner at a hotel so we would not need to eat so late upon return. Internet was ok but a pain to keep putting a code in each time to use on my IPad. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Went on this ship 14 years ago and nothing's changed in all that time! It needs a total makeover, a total gutting of the ship. It looks old and feels old. The food in the dining room was only mediocre. They have 2 specialty ... Read More
Went on this ship 14 years ago and nothing's changed in all that time! It needs a total makeover, a total gutting of the ship. It looks old and feels old. The food in the dining room was only mediocre. They have 2 specialty restaurants which were better but they charge you extra to dine there. This felt like "nickle and diming". The cruise was not inexpensive--these restaurants should be included in the price. Also they advertise that soft drinks are included. However, if you decide to have a soft drink that is provided in your cabin's fridge, you are charged a fee! Really? Come on, this again is "nickle and diming". Gratuities are also advertised as being included, however, it is clear that the staff expect more. For example on our last day, they were waiting outside our cabin door and it was obvious that they expected to receive an additional tip. The entertainment was very amateurish. They could put you to sleep. The service was good--the staff did their best to please their customers. Shore excursions were very overpriced. You are much better off using a private tour guide either on your own or with a small group of people. We receive numerous emails from Oceania and are planning to try them for our next cruise. They don't charge for their specialty restaurants and any of their soft drinks. Also their ships are small and totally refurbished and some are brand new.   Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
Due to the bad weather we missed the Buenos Aires port which we were looking forward to. ChoiceAir was the worst company to deal with. My husband and I never book through cruise lines but due to unpredictable weather we decided to take a ... Read More
Due to the bad weather we missed the Buenos Aires port which we were looking forward to. ChoiceAir was the worst company to deal with. My husband and I never book through cruise lines but due to unpredictable weather we decided to take a chance. ChoiceAir has an emergency team that is supposed to do everything they can to ensure you get to the ship. They did not accommodate our requests but were very responsive to other cruisers who managed to get to the ship on the first day. Other cruises who did their own air arrangements that were from our area also managed to get out before the storm. We were three days late. When we arrived at the pier our names were not on the list as passengers arriving late. It was as if they didn't care whether we made it or not even though they were notified. It took us a while to finally explain and get on the ship to check in. We are still trying to get some sort of compensation for the lack of customer service and incompetent employees from ChoiceAir. Azamara offers complimentary alcoholic beverages which we felt took away from the dining. We are not big drinkers but decided on this cruise for the itinerary and good food from past cruise. My husband ordered a cuban sandwich from the grill which was just a hoagie with meat, sauce and cubes of cheese. In the past this was grilled like a panini. The grilled blackened fish was just grilled with lots of oil and no seasoning. The dining room salad was so small I had to ask for another. There was no shrimp cocktail on the menu. The entrees were just ordinary nothing that stood out where you couldn't wait to taste it. Like my husband said the food was adequate but nothing to write home about. The italian specialty restaurant was nothing spectacular and not worth the extra cost. However, the steak restaurant was far & beyond my expectations and worth every cent. I just couldn't understand why these fine dining options were not available in the dining room like other cruise lines. There was no fresh spinach or berries; all was frozen and defrosted. Other than that the service was impeccable. We did not go to any shows; there was nothing that stood out for us. Only one of the two hot tubs jets were working. We missed a tender port due to severe winds. This was very disappointing as it was one of the top ten most beautiful places in the world. So missing Buenos Aires and Buzios really put a damper on the trip especially for the high amount of money I paid for this vacation.   Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
Just to be clear at the start of this review. I AM AN AZAMARA LOYALIST so the fact that there are some criticisms should be seen as hopefully constructive criticism. I have been critical of H Office actions such as laundry /internet ... Read More
Just to be clear at the start of this review. I AM AN AZAMARA LOYALIST so the fact that there are some criticisms should be seen as hopefully constructive criticism. I have been critical of H Office actions such as laundry /internet access but would go to the stake supporting the on board experience. In summary for those who may not wish to read further. Good cruise not great. Tango evening in Buenos Aries very good. Ship entertainment good although English female magician was a cross between Jo Brand and Tommy Cooper but good in the end.. I think some allusions may have passed the USA /Canadian audience by. Eric is as Eric does and was good as usual. White night party better than usual but not surprising as it was New years Eve with fantastic fireworks display (20 minutes long) from prime position in front line off Copacabana beach. Food fair Morale on ship appeared to be poor with little leadership shown by Captain. Passenger mix good with no predominant group. I was surprised to see so many non-Christian people on board but maybe they want to escape Christmas as a festival although Christmas decorations were confined to 1 Christmas tree and fake snow on band area in cabaret lounge. We were led astray by bad group in casino lounge most nights so had good time. Now to review/comments Flew down from Newcastle and spent pleasant 3 hours in Exec lounge with a glass or 4 of Champagne before boarding flight to Buenos Aries. Good meal and lie flat bed made the journey faultless. We then emerged into chaos of arrivals at BA . Found rep eventually with one of the smallest arrivals signs I have seen for a long time. Simple transfer to hotel and met people on bus who we had sailed with previously. Hotel fine and had lazy day around pool. Tried to organise taxi for next morning and knowing state of Argentinean peso offered to pay in dollars. Evening concierge was quoting $35/40 plus tip for what appeared to be only a 10 minute journey on Google but was quite insistent we should book now through him. We had transfers booked through hotel so did not make decision. Next morning approached day concierge and was quoted $10 which we took. Advised rep so that bus was not waiting for us. We prefer taxi as it enables us to go when we want and no scrum re bus and baggage. We had a friend who lost hand baggage case which was placed in bus hold but was removed by a thief before bus set off. We always wait now until baggage doors are shut before one of us boards bus. Straight on board at 11.00 to be greeted by Heike and proceeded to make our Prime C reservations. Rather than do a blow by blow account I intend to split review into sep sections. I am fully aware that a lot of people may not like what I write and will say I am nitpicking but how many coincidences/ failures create a trend, All I would ask is read and consider if these were your experiences what would you think? Safety. At one port we were advised of a 30 minute tender journey so therefore a probable 1 Hour 20 turn round. Of the first tender boats the first had an engine failure on the water. Life happens BUT the second ran out of fuel and also had to be recovered with consequent chaos to tender times. Far more serious was if there had actually been an emergency we would have had only half the number of boats available. Totally unacceptable. Comfort. Aircon We commented on cabin air con and despite curtains closed all day and running on maximum cooling it was practically impossible to tell difference between corridors/outside and room. Complained for 4 days but no differences made. Accepted it in the end even though other parts of ship were kept cool. Toilets. Had blockages /overflows on at least 5 days in both toilets as well as elsewhere in public toilets in deck 9. I realise that these are probably client inflicted but not by us as we are scrupulous about items. I can tell you that one of the worst experiences is when (as you do) you get up in the dark to go to the toilet at 3am you most definitely wake up when you enter toilet and your feet get wet. Fortunately clean water but still a horrible moment. I do not consider that a pot plant in dressing area is equivalent to “fresh cut flowers in suite” but probably a Larry cutback. Morale on board Having sailed at least 10 times with Azamara we look forward to returning and seeing regular staff and had even brought Christmas presents for people like Heike, Alex and other favourite waiters etc. It appears that unlike previous times staff are now rotated between Journey and Quest and we therefore saw far fewer staff that we knew. Missing staff included Adel restaurant manager and Dale and Victor head barmen. It was alleged problems with visas was the reason for this but efficiency suffered because of lack of experienced staff. We also had new F & B manager as well as executive chef Iwan. Staff were certainly not as happy or smiling as on previous trips and officers were hardly ever seen on deck or as previous eating in the Windows Cafe. Food We are early risers 7.45 a.m. and were able to dine in Windows outside deck every morning. At no time did we see the fresh orange machine working and after a few days it had disappeared completely. On asking I was informed “Brazilian authorities do not like you to see it” Hey, I am on Azamaras finest not one of Mr Fyffe’s boats. Smoothies were as good as ever and made as you waited. I was not impressed when waiting for smoothie when Captain walked in, was served before me and did not even say “Good Morning, are you enjoying your cruise?” Maybe he thought the vote of thanks I gave at the Captains dinner in the library 2 days before was not fulsome enough. Rest of food fine with fresh eggs made as requested but there did not appear to be as many staff to carry food to your table if required or requested. I do npt expect for myself as able bodied. 2 days running they ran out of English muffins? It appeared they were on ration as on third day it was like Cpl Jones in Dads Army. If you asked for them they were produced from a cloth covered basket behind the counter!!!! It was great if you liked peach yogurt as this was the only flavoured offered. Surely somewhere in Argentina sells other flavours. Lunch Not great lunchers but soups were fine although the hot dishes could surely have looked better and maybe fresher if they only used half the hot area. Mainly ate freshly made sandwiches and it is the first time I have had an egg mayonnaise toastie as it was whipped into toaster before I could say thank you. Also has on 3 occasions the “room service burger “which according to folk lore is made from tail end of fillets from Prime C. In no way was it the same as on previous cruises. On cutting into it it simply split into pieces rather like mince. Not good. Burger bar at pool area Changes here in that now instead of burgers/hot dogs being prepared as required they are cooked en masse and placed in chafing dishes for self selection. Result is you get a Mcdonalds type bun instead of toasted bun fresh from grill also French fries are kept in same dishes resulting in cool fries. Answer: Cook less per fry and they will be fresh and hot. I would rather wait a minute than have cold/luke warm fries. No extra cost but customer satisfaction. Afternoon tea Had served in suite and I notice now only 5 prawns instead of 6 for 2 people (17 per cent saving) I think they could do away with bits on sticks as they are rarely fresh Whilst on subject the English tea bags are useless and I am NOT a strong teas drinker. Dinner Mainly ate in Prime C and again there is no doubt that the quality of steak has changed dramatically as well as general food standards. It was obvious that they do a good job with pre prepared items i.e. soups, salads, crab cakes and desserts but the fresh items like steaks were often poor. This may be my fault but initially ordered well done fillet steak (major mistake for Americans) but It was like shoe leather. Next time ordered medium which was indeed pink in middle but still completely dry with no juices. Had it sat too long under the lamps? Moved onto halibut which was great but unbelievably they ran out of later in the cruise. How can that happen? They know their passenger load and it must come frozen. Later on they also ran out of Dover sole and one night they ran out between ordering and service. I reordered their daily special of pork steak which was great and came hot and juicy so it is possible. Lamb was not much better and they had no mint sauce except that provided from a bottle which you shook like vinegar over your meal. Mint jelly was so fluorescent it should be in Doctor Who. They provide Marmite and Vegemite for us foreigners surely they could get some Colmans proper stuff? Captains dinner was completely unremarkable as I cannot even remember what we had apart from a Margarita Sorbet which had melted and had to be drunk from the glass. I remember being advised by Chef Iwan whose first Captains dinner this was that we would be served with “Lettuce emulsion “ also “potato spaghetti” . The descriptions were better than the reality as most hot courses were warm/cold. I did not spot the truffels although they were on the printed menu Drinks As previous cruisers we were aware that they normally carry 2 Rieslings which are our preferred choice. Usually a discreet request to restaurant manager would enable us to have this from day 1. This time was advised you could only have the 2 on offer. After 5 days one waiter was bold or stupid enough to comment that there was a Riesling on menu in Discoveries restaurant that night so they then provided the Chilean Riesling. It appeared that the German Diennhard one was no longer stocked although a far better quality. The following comments are from other passengers so cannot vouch for absolute veracity but no reason to doubt them. One couple had friends on previous cruise that raved about a particular daily wine and emailed them about it. They asked if they could have this wine but were advised that it was not possible as it was a free daily wine and not until it was on daily list. No problem they said “Can we pay for it?. Answer “We cannot sell it as it is an inclusive wine.” Also suite members get 4 half bottles of spirits but are not allowed to drink them other than in your room. I understand that Azamara may not want you to drink your own shop bought alcohol but it seems bizarre that if you are sitting in a bar with the provided bottles and using Azamara mixers. You would actually be saving them money as you would not be using their alcohol. Unless my memory is failing I thought that pool bar served draught beer but no longer and the “International selection of beers” is Becks, Bud and Heineken Surely with Inbev reach Azamara could take on board a limited amount of local bottled beer at each replenishment point and use as limited edition. Perhaps our final room service breakfast was a useful metaphor for Azamara on board service. Bacon good, potatoes good, muffin were no bigger than thumb/forefinger circle with an extra inch in circumference, poached eggs bigger than muffins and the weakest orange juice I have ever drunk. Final conclusions The peer of the realm with a party of 16 most certainly will not return and Francis a German lady we have met on 2 previous cruises who received the LCV award on ship for most cruises at 25 will not be returning either. Disembarkation the usual shambles with 3 ships at the same time and 1 hour to check in at Windsor atlantica hotel on Copacabana beach. We were finally dumped at airport 4 hours before departure time with checkout not due to open for another hour. We were all flying on same flight so why was it not possible to delay departure by at least 1 hour.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
I had great expectations for the Azamara Cruise in South America but I came away very disappointed. I must say, that with the exception of two waiters in the café, the service was exceptional. The officers made themselves very visible and ... Read More
I had great expectations for the Azamara Cruise in South America but I came away very disappointed. I must say, that with the exception of two waiters in the café, the service was exceptional. The officers made themselves very visible and they were unusually cordial. I thought I would like the small ship experience but I did not. There were not enough activities going on in the ship. I realize that they had no control over this but the casino and the stores were closed most of the time because we were not far enough out at sea. I am not a big gambler but I would have played the slots some of the evenings. I also missed the constant live music that you find on the large ships. The food was excellent. I did eat in the Prime C and the Acqualina most evenings where food and service was impeccable. I was also delighted when I came home and had not gained any weight. We met some people that we enjoyed. Most were very experienced travelers, very loyal to Azamara, financially comfortable but not any more interesting than anyone we met on Celebrity cruises. I have read reviews where cruisers said that they brought their own toilet paper because it was superior to what was on the ship. I wonder if they have figured out yet that that may have been the cause of the plumbing problems aboard the Journey. We had to tender in most of the ports because there are not many large docks in South America. This would be the same problem for any ship that visited these ports but it did put a bit of a damper on leaving the ship. At least for now, I am booking my future cruises on the larger, more modern ships.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Picked this ship and cruise for the itinerary-- was so pleasantly surprised at how nice so many of the ports are-- you never hear much about places like Punta del Este, Ilha Grande, Ilhabela and Parati, but they have beaches and charming ... Read More
Picked this ship and cruise for the itinerary-- was so pleasantly surprised at how nice so many of the ports are-- you never hear much about places like Punta del Este, Ilha Grande, Ilhabela and Parati, but they have beaches and charming towns that rival anything in the Caribbean. Lopes Mendes beach was so beautiful. The fireworks New Year's eve moored in front of Copacabana beach were just stunning. Indeed, there were many Brazilians on the trip who'd booked the trip mostly for this. Interesting and chatty passenger mix of people from all over-- had many great conversations (Americans, of course, but also, people from Mexico, Brazil, Belgium, Canada, South Africa, all over!) Another highlight was the Iguazu Falls--- not enough time to try to do this on our own, so we booked the ship's excursion for it--- and it was very well done. The Falls are stunning-- "Niagara on Viagra." Its a loooong day, but SOOOOO worth it. And, the excursion lady (not Azamara, their liasion person) called back our bus, when my husband discovered he'd left his cell phone on the bus, waited and waited outside the terminal for it to come back, and then sprinted to the airline gate with his phone and to accompany our group back to Buenos Aires and the ship! She was our hero! As to the Azamara staff and food, we thought the staff was great. We had a Club Continent suite, port side (We gotta have a bath tub!) so our space was great and we didn't experience the problems with noise and A/C that people on the starboard side did. Food was terrific, we're from the Los Angeles area, so we have access to good food-- and we thought the food at Aquilina, Prime C and also the main dining room, was excellent. Went to some of the shows and they were mostly good, too. We liked not having to sign a slip for every single glass of wine, beer, Coke-- we like the inclusive thing, although we tip the room stewards and the people at the specialty restaurants anyway. We had a great time, met LOTS of interesting people and would cruise with Azamara again! Love the size of the ship-- so easily navigable. And this all said, we've been on Silverseas, Celebrity, Crystal and other lines-- and we really liked Azamara! Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
We are seasoned cruisers, sampling many lines. We Booked Azamara strength of a very enjoyable cruise on its sister line, Celebrity, that we enjoyed immensely. We looked forward to a more intimate ship. Our travel arrangements made by ... Read More
We are seasoned cruisers, sampling many lines. We Booked Azamara strength of a very enjoyable cruise on its sister line, Celebrity, that we enjoyed immensely. We looked forward to a more intimate ship. Our travel arrangements made by Azamara were rather chaotic, their agent did not make himself known to quite a large party of us, resulting in us having to split up and search for him. Even worse arrangements for transport to hotel, where no room was available. I would recommend that travellers make their own arrangements to the ship when travelling with Azamara. Embarkation was difficult as we had to queue for quite some time in the heat. It was so hot inside the port hall that I felt quite faint and needed to be helped to a seat. Our stateroom was very well appointed, with smaller balconies that Celebrity Silhouette class. Not enough room for a lounger. Looks of storage space though. The furniture on board ship was beginning to show its age. The main dining room was dark, for some reason the lights were always dimmed at night. The waiters and Dining room staff were always very cheerful and attentive. Being a small ship, the entertainment is quite restricted but everyone did their best to put on good shows. I found the shore excursions to be good value when booked before setting sail. One gripe is that of restricted restaurant opening hours. It's not much fun returning from an excursion hungry only to find no food available. Disembarkation was disappointing and the arrangements we made with Azamara for a day room in order that we might see the sights of Rio did not materialize. This is another reason to travel to and from the ship independently. The question we need to resolve before booking our next cruise is whether to travel on a larger ship or Azamara size. We might opt for a larger ship. Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
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