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8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Had a wonderful time on our Azamara Journey cruise which began in Copenhagen and ended with an absolutely splendid, majestic sail right up the Thames in London to end in picturesque maritime Greenwich. We flew the short hop to ... Read More
Had a wonderful time on our Azamara Journey cruise which began in Copenhagen and ended with an absolutely splendid, majestic sail right up the Thames in London to end in picturesque maritime Greenwich. We flew the short hop to Copenhagen a day prior to the cruise and stayed at the Hotel Absalon, three minutes walk from the Central Station and six minutes walk from Tivoli World where we spent the afternoon and evening. The hotel was excellent and I would recommend it wholeheartedly. Around noon, we got a taxi to the pier, Nordre Tolbord, which was close to the Little Mermaid, so much nearer to town than where the larger ships dock. It was pouring with rain so we didn't take advantage of the 10pm departure and venture back into Copenhagen. The ship's crew took our luggage from the taxi and covered us with large umbrellas while escorting us to the port security tent. A look at our passports and it was straight into the ship and the cabaret lounge for checking-in. A most welcome sparkling wine, cocktail, tea and coffee were immediately offered while we sank into the easy chairs before being called to collect our key card and find our stateroom. We had booked a guarantee balcony and were allocated 7115, near the aft. It was a great room and was so quiet and, of course, handy for two flights up to the Windows cafe, pools, patio etc or two flights down to the main restaurant – Discoveries, cabaret lounge etc. It was a very comfortable room and had a small sofa, table, dressing table/desk, chair, bedside tables, tv, fridge with included sodas etc and a few paid-for items (listed on a note above), safe, plenty of storage and hanging space. Flowers and fruit were provided, binoculars and umbrella to use, slippers to keep. The bathroom, as most people note, is tiny but well equipped. (Have to say that the shower is slightly longer than the one we recently had on Sapphire Princess). We enjoyed room service which was always punctual and good and even if we only ordered tea and coffee, the table was always laid with a cloth. The room was kept in great order by Alvin and Edwin. We asked for extra coathangers, pen, writing pads and all were instantly provided. Breakfasts were enjoyed mostly in Windows cafe where there was always a great choice and I especially liked the made to order smoothie counter. Waiters constantly offered more tea, coffee, juice etc and if you ordered an omellete would bring it to you. We didn't try the speciality restaurants this time as the meals in Discoveries were outstandingly good. So different to our last experience on Aamara Quest four years ago when the majority of guests were part of a charter group. The food then was obviously scaled down to their budget and it was incomparable with this time. We felt cheated then as we, of course, paid for a normal cruise. I'm so glad that Azamara redeemed themselves this cruise and the food was wonderful every time. Some impressive buffets were provided – an Asian one, a fabulous seafood one and a German themed one, along with Umpah band. White Night was great fun too. The service from every member of staff was impeccable. One or two waiters were obviously new, as we understand some had transferred to Pursuit, and looked a bit lost at times and not quite up to speed. We always ate dinner around 8.30pm so tended to miss the evening entertainment in the cabaret lounge. We did see a couple of performances by the resident singers and the assistant cruise director, both were okay if a little cheesy – same old Broadway musical and old fashioned songs. We enjoyed going up to The Living Room at the bow of the ship for our pre-dinner cocktails and canapes. There we listened to The Sparkling Trio and enjoyed their laid-back style. We heard two great pianists in Spirits bar and the Library (Drawing Room) The late night disco was good fun with plenty of people on the floor, including us. Our first port of call was Aarhus, Denmark's second city. A nice place to stroll and shop. Next up was Skagen on the northern most tip of Denmark. We weren't expecting anything of this small town but had a brilliant day. The sun shone, the town was 'cute' in the loveliest possible way, the shops eclectic and my husband bought me an elegant Skagen watch for my birthday. We walked all the way along the pristine beach to the end of Denmark and loved every minute. On to Oslo and as we had been here before and visited the Kon Tiki Museum etc decided to catch a tram and go to the beautiful Vigeland Sculpture Park. Next day was a sea day and there was lots to do on board and it was good just to relax with a book from the well stocked library and a cocktail, of course. I worked my way through the included cocktails over the course of the 11 days! We arrived in Amsterdam in pouring rain and it was too bad to venture forth but by the evening the rain had abated and most guests were taken on a canal boat ride to the Maritime Museum for a splendid concert for the Azamazing evening. The whole experience was truly amazing. As we had an overnight here next day we caught a train (24 mins) to Utrecht. This is the most delightful city with canals, quaint shops, interesting architecture and lots of history. On to Germany and Bremerhaven and some more sunshine. The waterfront is very modern with an extensive promenade housing a zoo, maritime museum, canal boat trips, a large shopping complex and a fascinating immigration museum where we spent the day. The museum won the accolade of being the best European museum in 2017 and we can see why. You can follow the journey of those who emigrated from Europe to the US, Canada, South America and Australia and can even research your own family history if your ancestors emigrated. The interactive features and recreation of ship interiors, Ellis Island reception hall etc were exceptional. Belgium followed and we docked in Oostende, a lovely traditional seaside town. We took the 15 minute train ride into Brugge. The map provided on board was so sparse that we couldn't find the centre of town but at least we had fun exploring. When we reached the centre it was packed with tourists but very beautiful and very 'chocolate boxy'. We didn't have quite so much time in port as the ship's departure time was earlier than previously so we made a hasty retreat to Oostende. Sadly, another couple who went into Brugge had their return train cancelled and they missed the ship, although Captain Tysse waited an extra half hour. Pleased to say they caught up with Journey next day. France beckoned as we sailed off into the sunset and next morning we docked in Honfleur. It is such a pretty town, centred around the lovely harbour. The markets were in full swing and made for a lively, bustling atmosphere. We sat in a cafe with a bottle of local Normandy cider and watched the world go by. We have spent a week in Honfleur so didn't feel the need to visit the nearby D-Day beaches again but some guests spent the day there and said what a moving experience it was. For me, the highlight of the trip was the thought of sailing up the River Thames and mooring in Greenwich, London. We had a pilot on board who commentated on the history of the river and lots more as we sailed in around the twisting turns in the river and at one point the Journey turned a full 360 degrees. We moored up opposite the tea clipper, the Cutty Sark, the old Royal Naval College, the Queen's House and up on the top of Greenwich Park one can see the Royal Observatory where the Greenwich Meridian Line is set. Our final evening on board was the icing on the cake when we were allowed to invite my husband's twin sisters on board for dinner (for a small fee). They were thoroughly impressed and we now hope that they will come sailing on Azamara with us. We live beside Tower Bridge where Captain Tysse told us he would have liked to moor but can't at the moment due to the Port of London removing the heavy duty bouys. We forgive him as it would have been great to walk home but it was just a 15 minute ride from Greenwich. My husband even went into work the same day! Can't wait for next time – maybe on Pursuit. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
An unusual itinerary and a keen price.. The itinerary from which we booked showed arrival in Greenwich on 9th September at 1.15pm tendered. The ship was late and the tendering procedure using local tenders was appalling. The tender ... Read More
An unusual itinerary and a keen price.. The itinerary from which we booked showed arrival in Greenwich on 9th September at 1.15pm tendered. The ship was late and the tendering procedure using local tenders was appalling. The tender journey was short (approximately 5 minutes)but the one tender provided took 30 or 40 minutes to make a round trip. The result was that a huge line built up and we did not reach the shore until just before 4pm. All the local attractions such as the Cutty Sark, Maritime Museum, Queens House and the Observatory closed at 5pm. As a result we had barely an hour to look at anything. This rendered the day a wholly inadequate visit. We made many complaints to the officers in charge of tendering while we were standing waiting but they did nothing to speed up the process. We even asked the captain to get something done but astonishingly he said he was not responsible for the tendering. Azamara must take responsibility for making the completely ineffective arrangements. There was nobody on shore from Azamara and this omission meant there was no one expediting the turn round of the tender. Since it was a Sunday there were many other people using the Greenwich pier for river trips but Azamara completely failed to get the company they had appointed to provide an acceptable service. The consequence was that the call at Greenwich started by asking us to stand in line for an hour or more and then to be faced with the impossibility of seeing the places we had anticipated visiting because they were on the point of closing. The next day's disembarkation was in total contrast. It went smoothly with many Azamara staff on shore to speed the process. The cruise itself was pleasant but the weather could have been better. We did not like Bremerhaven as all the notices on shore including in the museums were only in German. There was a u boat on display and a railway truck used to transport Jews. Amsterdam was excellent as usual although it was frustrating not to be able to buy museum tickets at the door. The Amazing evening was a classical concert which was excellent if a little short. The dining room chairs in the main dining room looked good but were uncomfortable. The library was furnished badly and used to be much better. We enjoyed the Tapas every evening in the living room (observation lounge). A pity that a third of the front windows were blocked by the bandstand and that some of the sofas faced inwards rather than looking at the view. In contrast the outer ring of sunbeds on the pool deck faced outwards. Apart from the day in Greenwich we enjoyed the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
This was our second ocean cruise and on the same ship as our first in 2017 and with the same captain. Everything was great on this cruise as well. We again routinely went to the Living Room for pre-dinner tapas and a drink before going to ... Read More
This was our second ocean cruise and on the same ship as our first in 2017 and with the same captain. Everything was great on this cruise as well. We again routinely went to the Living Room for pre-dinner tapas and a drink before going to the main restaurant about 8 pm. There was a very good, laid back, trio: vocalist, keyboard and an excellent guitarist. Very relaxing after a busy day in port. The only negative I mentioned on the last cruise was the occasional meal that was not hot enough, well this was not evident on this cruise. A fellow cruiser 'Literary Lynne' has given a very detailed report and an excellent summary of the ports visited. I can add a summary on what we did in the ports. All the ports were outstanding places to visit on a smaller ship and the weather was mostly perfect except for Amsterdam where we were given a wet welcome. Arrhus: Walked to the botanical garden where they have a large greenhouse with many wonderful tropical plants then on the way back visited the ARos Art Museum which has an outstanding circular art installation structure on the roof you can walk in and view the city 360 degrees through coloured panels. They also have the unmissable 5m squatting 'Boy' sculpture by Ron Mueck, an Australian. After lunch on the ship we walked around the city and on our return along the docks saw the Danish queen disembark her ship and alight a limo to take her to open a festival in downtown Aarhus. Skagen: Walked to the buried church and then back through the town and visited the Drachmanns Hus. Caught the shuttle bus back to the ship for lunch and a short rest. In the afternoon walked the length of the town to the Skagen Vippefyr a reproduction of an early form of warning light for ships. Oslo: Caught the train to the Munch museum which had a wonderful collection of his works in the "Between the clock and the bed" exhibition. They also have "Starry Night" on display. Then a train to the city centre and the National Gallery. We bought a city day pass at the tourist office which allowed us to bypass the long queue. This museum has a good collection of art including one of Munch's paintings of "The Scream". In the afternoon we walked through the 14th C Akershus Fortress, visited the resistance museum and then went to the city port area and took a round trip on a ferry to the closest island and back. Other than the train trips we walked everywhere else. Bremerhaven: Wonderful port city. The museums are outstanding. They include an open for inspection U-boat 'Wilhelm Bauer' Type XXI Built in 1945 and used till 1982. Many other boats are displayed and in the museum building is the 'Bremen Cog' from 1380. The emigration museum is truly outstanding. Visited the nearby shopping area for a bite to eat and to look for a pair of sandles. Just love the German shops. Leaving this industrial port by ship is a highlight. Think railyards, superlarge car-transport ships, massive new car storage areas and travelling next to a vast container terminal where containers are being stored then loaded onto ships in an automated system. Luckily, had a 10x zoom for this. Amsterdam: Great city, been quite a few times so this time went to the Stedelijk modern art Museum. Admired Roy Lichtenstein's 'As I Opened Fire' and George Grosz 'The Rabble Rouser' from 1928 depicting a Nazi sympathizer encircled by a grinning crowd and many other works. On the morning of the second day caught the ferry to the NDSM area which was an old shipyard area. They were setting up for summer concerts so couldn't visit some of it but it was worthwhile to see how the Dutch treated their manufacturing history. They treat these things with the respect they deserve, like many other nations do. In Australia we, stupidly, tend to demolish these areas and sell the land to developers. We have done this with Sydney's historic Dock areas and even allowed the navy to recently demolish a large historic crane - because it cost a lot to maintain. Last year in Hamburg my heart sunk when I saw the restored cranes next to the Elbephilharmonie. Oostende: Caught the train to Bruges. Plenty to see and do here. The Groeninge museum was a highlight along with Michaelangelo's Madonna and Child. Leaving Oostende in the evening was a highlight. Honfleur: Another beautiful day with the market in full swing. Vintage Calvados a plenty (to buy) visited Musuem Eugene Boudin and Sainte-Catherine timber church. In the afternoon walked around the harbour and through the Le Jardin des Personnalités. Leaving in the evening was another shipping highlight. London: Travelling up the Thames for a first visit to London was another shipping highlight. Perfect weather and an afternoon visit to Greenwich observatory and park topped off the cruise. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We boarded the ship in Copenhagen and departed in Stockholm after an 11-day journey visiting some interesting ports on the way. We had a Stateroom with balcony booked. The cabin was small but manageable. Only comment we must make is ... Read More
We boarded the ship in Copenhagen and departed in Stockholm after an 11-day journey visiting some interesting ports on the way. We had a Stateroom with balcony booked. The cabin was small but manageable. Only comment we must make is that the design of the bathroom is very small with a shower difficult to manage for bigger persons. The room was very clean, and the bed was comfortable. The room attendants looked after us well. Food was of high quality and came in great variety. The cruise was an all-inclusive one, but there are also drinks on offer that are not covered by the all-inclusive package. We were happy with the drinks of the all-inclusive selection. We used the speciality Restaurants that came with an extra cost of $30 per person. There is a Steak place and an Italian Restaurant. Both are recommendable to give yourself an extra treat. There is also a Buffet and an a la card Restaurant that is included in the package with no extra charge. For a snack inbetween there is the Patio that offered Hamburgers, Satays and Sausages. The staff in general are very friendly and attentive. Nothing is impossible for them to arrange. We only experienced one exception. It must have been her bad day. There are two entertainment venues. The Cabaret a large theatre and the Living Room. We spend most nights in the Living Room before dinner to listen to the resident Mexican Band that played everything from Pop to South American tunes. Very good. The young Guitarist was very talented. In the Cabaret we enjoyed the white night party and a speech by Mr Lech Walenza. Also, the Violin player was very good. However, there were nights we did not go to the Cabaret at all and there were nights we departed before the end of the show, but then you cannot like everything. Azamara is an American owned company and the ship orientation is towards their core market. One thing we did not like was the compulsory tip of 18% for services even so the cruise was promoted to be all inclusive. So be aware if you have a Beauty Treatment or a massage that you are paying more than the advertised price. A price that is already very inflated compared to Australian cost before compulsory tip. Everything worked like clockwork on the cruise. The ship always arrived in time at the ports and the shore departures went very smooth. Because the Journey is such a small ship it is sometimes able to sail right into the heart of the towns. No feeder boats were needed to transfer passengers. We arranged our own shore excursions. In Warnemuende we took the train to Rostock and the tram to the old part of town. In Danzig we just went with the shuttle provided by the ship to town and done our own walking tour. Same in Estonia. We had a two-day tour booked in St Petersburg over the internet. The local tour company was excellent with an experienced tour guide. No upfront payment. We only paid at the end of the two-day tour. They give rebattes for early bookings and we got also a refund because we were not able to see two Museums due to time. This was not their fault, but due to our request to return to the ship early on the first day. St Petersburg was full of tourists and without the tour we booked we wouldn’t have been able to get into the attractions without any great delays. The quey at the Summer Palace was so long that even our guide got excited and took several photos. The Tour Company we used was BEST GUIDES GROUP. Highly recommendable local company. You can find them on the Internet. ANNA the guide was very knowledgeable with a very likable personality. She never lost her patience with all the crowds and went out of her way to please fellow travelers. Also, we feel that two days sightseeing is enough even so most Tour company offer three days. We were a very small group of 10 people that made the tour even more enjoyable. In Copenhagen, Helsinki and Stockholm we used Hop on Hop off busses. They come right to the port and take you around the city and stop on several places of interest. Also, in these cities a Hop on, Hop off boat was included. The cruise was a very enjoyable experience. Highly recommendable. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We are a couple in our 50's and booked this cruise because we wanted to see the Baltics/ Northern Europe and we wanted to try a better quality small ship cruise after getting very tired of the mega ships. We were very happy with our ... Read More
We are a couple in our 50's and booked this cruise because we wanted to see the Baltics/ Northern Europe and we wanted to try a better quality small ship cruise after getting very tired of the mega ships. We were very happy with our choice. The small ship experience is so much better for us. Embarkation and debarkation were totally hassle free. In addition we really enjoyed the excellent quality of the food. Azamara upgraded us from a veranda to a suite and we loved the larger room. We ate in the specialty restaurants most of the time and they were excellent, we ordered breakfast in our room several times and loved that. We ate lunches at the patio grill almost everyday, loved the Greek lamb burgers and hot fresh French fries! The staff is exceptional! So friendly and welcoming. The ship never felt crowded even though it was full. It was so nice that all your needs are included in your fare, the included wines were good and certain ones that we really liked the waiters were happy to get for us on days they were serving different selections. We mainly drink wine so cannot speak about the other alcohol options. The ports we visited were great. St Petersburg was one of the highlights. We took the ships 2 day tour and had a wonderful time and saw so much, it really is a small group of around 20 people, we used the 3rd day to relax after the huge crowds in the museums, etc.. Other ports we used the Azamara provided shuttle (again included) and toured on our own. We did not attend the Azamazing evening since we had been out on a tour for 10 hours that day. I heard it was very nice. The entertainment in the evening was not great every night (but some great performances) but that didn't bother us, one night we saw Tony Arias who was terrific!! So funny and a great singer, loved him! Another night was an ABBA night and we loved that! Our cruise director was Alicia Hill and she's wonderful, she had a great standing room only show. Our next trip is probably South America in 2020 and we most certainly will come back to Azamara. Thank you Azamara for such an outstanding trip! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
I learned that cruises are not a good way to see places...you only see a glimpse. Azamara was okay. The waiter service was good. Food was okay...never had a great meal. Everything was average. Customer service desk was poor and ... Read More
I learned that cruises are not a good way to see places...you only see a glimpse. Azamara was okay. The waiter service was good. Food was okay...never had a great meal. Everything was average. Customer service desk was poor and unimpressive. Lacking knowledge and unimpressive personalities. Excursions were not especially impressive either. Little knowledge of local sights. I won't go on an Azamara cruise again. I recommend going to Iceland. Rent a car and see the sights. This is an okay cruise. Nothing to write home about. food was just okay. Not great. I recommend saving more money and choosing a different cruise line. I also found the art auction offensive since it interfered with my experience. This cruise line rents out rooms and that limits your personal experience. Frankly, I will not chose Azamara again. I do like smaller ships but this was a poor experience. Too bad. Met some nice people though. Tacky decor, uninformed customer serviceand average food. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
Unfortunately this cruise did not meet my expectations. The food was average....no noteworthy meals. The service was good but the customer service staff and excursion staff was poor and lacking personality. Frankly, I wish I could get my ... Read More
Unfortunately this cruise did not meet my expectations. The food was average....no noteworthy meals. The service was good but the customer service staff and excursion staff was poor and lacking personality. Frankly, I wish I could get my money back and spend more for a better experience. 3 stars. Everything was adequate - neither more or less. For the money, I was hoping for more. I do not plan to travel on this cruise again. Azamara is not for me. Not the best experience. I met some cool people but the food kind of sucked. I really expected it to be much better. Windows buffet was awful. Salad bar was very disappointing and cheese choices was minimal. Entertainment on board was decent but activities were boring. Find another cruise. This one was lame. Never again. I could not wait to get home. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We decided to do this cruise although we have one booked for September on the same ship. We wanted to visit this area and it seemed an opportunity we did not want to miss when we saw it when on board late last year. I admit we are ... Read More
We decided to do this cruise although we have one booked for September on the same ship. We wanted to visit this area and it seemed an opportunity we did not want to miss when we saw it when on board late last year. I admit we are devoted to Azamara. We were disappointed in the lectures this time and sometimes activities were scheduled at the same time - which was disappointing. The trip was to small ports - some people did not seem to realise that it was only villages that we were visiting and seemed to expect bigger places to explore. Also the weather seemed to come as a surprise to some people but if you book a cruise to the North Atlantic surely you recognise it will be cold whatever the time of year. The specialist restaurants are our nightly choice - for the attentive service, food and views out of the big windows. The crew are always exceptional and nothing is too much trouble. We prefer not to eat breakfast but to have something from the Mosaic cafe in the suite. Lunch time on a sea day were often in the MDR as the choice was good and we prefer to be served. We enjoyed the trip - the torrential rain in the Faroes was expected; we hired a car to wander around Reyjavik and saw a lot in two days - eating and drinking in local cafes and bars and enjoying the Icelandic hospitality; in Lerwick we wandered around the town. For us the cruise met expectations and we saw places that we would not otherwise be able to visit easily. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
Small cruise ship, very well organized, no extra cost for food and drink anytime of the day and night, wonderful, friendly crew and officers, great entertainment, wonderful food. I'm done with large cruise ships, long lines, ... Read More
Small cruise ship, very well organized, no extra cost for food and drink anytime of the day and night, wonderful, friendly crew and officers, great entertainment, wonderful food. I'm done with large cruise ships, long lines, charging for every drink and wine with dinner. There wasn't one time all week that I had an annoyance or was upset. They anticipated any possible issue and took care of it prior. I haven't experienced such good service for a long time. Azamara has one night every cruise where they offer a night in a special place. Ours was at a wonderful Scottish mansion with whiskey tasting, pipers, tour of the huge house (Hopetoun house) and fireworks. Moving all 600+ guests without waiting or a hitch was amazing. Whoever does their logistics is brilliant. The captain was very personable and accessible. He joked with guests in a very genuine way, as did the cruise director who joined the fun every night and looked as if he was genuinely enjoying himself. The service was so good that it was hard to get off into the world of airport lines, inefficiency, and poor service. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
This was our second cruise with Azamara and if we win the lottery, we would just move in. We stayed in a spa suite which I will review in depth because I looked for information on the spa suite and could not find much. The British Isles ... Read More
This was our second cruise with Azamara and if we win the lottery, we would just move in. We stayed in a spa suite which I will review in depth because I looked for information on the spa suite and could not find much. The British Isles were amazing. I loved every port of call. We were unable to go to Waterford due to high winds but I don't think many people minded as we were able to overnight in Dublin instead. The Captain and crew did a fantastic job of handling our new schedule. This was our first visit to the Quest after it was refreshed and she looks brilliant yet also familiar, which I appreciated. I LOVE what they've done with the Living Room. It is light and airy and has 2 hanging cages to sit in. The bartenders/ servers there were great. We also liked the antiques display, how unique and fun. They still have games set up for people who want to play. The spa suite was awesome. We were in 9002, which is closest to the main door and the public restrooms. We were concerned that we would hear toilets flushing but we did not. What did bother us, but not enough to change our next cruise, which is also a spa suite, was the proximity to the SMOKING AREA. The smoking section is on the port side by the pool bar and almost every time we went to our room the smell of smoke greeted us. There is a heavy door to that area that is always closed but it still seeps through and collects in the area by the restrooms. There is a door that is usually closed that blocks the hallway to the spa area so once you are past that, the smoke is much better. The spa suites are directly under the Living Room, which is great to pop up there real quick. They are also conveniently located close to the pool bar! (We got beverage packages.) So we could just grab a drink and take it to our room. The only noise we heard from the Living Room was some stiletto heels that would walk on the uncarpeted walkway to the Living Room. We only heard them during the afternoons when we happened to be in our room. We did not hear the dance music or any noise in the evenings. We did not hear our neighbors in 9000 at all. The bathroom in the spa suites is outstanding. I've never taken so many baths. It's really a neat experience to shower/ bathe with an unfettered view of the ocean. The shower has body jets, a regular adjustable head, and also a rain shower. It was private, no one else from outside your room can see you (unless maybe you were in port and people were looking). There are shades to draw if that is the case. We did not use the spa music as there was one song that annoyed me, but the option to have it was nice. I was concerned that with only 2 rooms on that floor, we would not have the usual relationship with our cabin steward or butler but Eyup and Caitano took excellent care of us. It was nice to be so close to the spa and we could walk down in a bathrobe and slippers to have a treatment. We also enjoyed the thalassotherapy pool several times. We did the Night in Private Places the first night, which was at sea. That is arranged once on board with the concierge. Yasemin took AWESOME care of us in arranging that and also retrieving my luggage which the airline had not bothered to send to Copenhagen. On a tangent- Azamara gave me a Tshirt, some toiletries, and did express laundry free for us until our luggage showed up. They also put a note in the system to give us an exemption to dress codes because we had no luggage. They really did an AMAZING job in taking care of us. Back to the Night in Private Places. It is really cool but I'm glad we did not pay the $400 for it on this particular voyage. It was a little cold in the North Sea, it did rain a little, (although after dinner), and the DJ in the Living Room was a little loud. The champagne and dinner was amazing. Next time, I will ask them to bring us less food. They grilled huge shrimp, swordfish, lamb chop, jerk chicken, and a filet, plus veggies and dessert. It's way too much food for 2 people. The food was delicious, the service was amazing, and the view was outstanding. It really was fun. If you do it, make sure to ask them to turn the lights off. They were on for us and they sent up an engineer to turn them off but we had already left because we were cold. We had our Night on the 4th of July and they decorated with American flags for us. It was very festive. The hotel director, Ryszard is phenomenal. I had one complaint about doors slamming shut (I am the world's lightest sleeper) and within 30 minutes he had them all tightened and I slept great thereafter. The Azamazing evening was of course Amazing. We had drinks at Hopetown House in Edinburgh, lots of live music, a tattoo, and spectacular fireworks. This experience at Prime C was WAY better than the last cruise. The service was better, the food was prepared better, everything was much better at Prime C than last time. We went to Aqualina twice. That is our preferred Specialty Dining venue and Cris took great care of us and one night we saw about 60 baby dolphins swimming in the water. We embarked with no lines and walked right on the ship, our room was ready. We walked off the ship in the morning, no need to gather anywhere before hand. We stayed at the Renaissance in Dublin, which I heartily recommend. We did not participate in any organize Shore Ex except the Azamazing evening. We rented a car three in Belfast, Isle of Skye, and Orkney and explored on our own. We used Morrison's on Isle of Skye and Europecar in the others. Both Europcar locations were near the shuttle drop off points. Morrison's picked us up at Skye. We liked the guitarist Teodor quite a bit but did not make any shows. My husband enjoyed the casino and I appreciated that he came out ahead! :) We LOVE the dinner buffet on board. I planned our evenings around the Asian night stir fry. AZ is the only cruise line I would probably prefer to eat at the buffet. The food is always fresh, the service is great, and usually it's not a problem to get a good view. They had a guy on board to do lectures about our forthcoming ports and while I forget his name, he was entertaining and educational at the same time. Read Less
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