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66 Azamara Cuba Cruise Reviews

We did a 16 day cruise around the Caribbean.The weather was amazing and the crew could not have been more helpful. My wife and I paid a premium to go on this ship. All gratuities and drinks were included. We have completed about 11 ... Read More
We did a 16 day cruise around the Caribbean.The weather was amazing and the crew could not have been more helpful. My wife and I paid a premium to go on this ship. All gratuities and drinks were included. We have completed about 11 cruises on different ships. This was the first time on Azamara Journey. We enjoyed every part of the cruise except one thing which we consider very important and ruined the overall cruise. That was the deck chairs. For a luxury 700 passenger ship we expected to be able to sit around the pool on a nice day. Unfortunately, we were not able to secure a deck chair on the pool deck most days. On some days we had to sit in the Living room lounge as there were absolutely no chairs available. What annoyed me more than anything else was that there were always about 30 chairs with personal items on them but no one around. They had been "reserved" early in the day by passengers who wanted a deck chair for the day. Although there were signs up saying not to do this, the crew did nothing about it. I was so annoyed I took several photos of chairs that were reserved with personal items on them and went about 45 minutes later and no one had been sitting on the chairs. When I pay a premium for a cruise I do not expect this sort of thing to happen and I do expect to be able to find a deck chair for my wife and I. If you go on this ship do not expect to be able to sit on a deck chair most nice hot days.. I can understand this on a budget ship but not a ship of this standard Until they sort this out I probably will not be cruising with Azamara again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We decided to go on this cruise because I would celebrate my 70th birthday on the ship, I had never been to the Caribbean, after 10 cruises we decided to try out a more luxury ship and finally we wanted to visit New York for the first ... Read More
We decided to go on this cruise because I would celebrate my 70th birthday on the ship, I had never been to the Caribbean, after 10 cruises we decided to try out a more luxury ship and finally we wanted to visit New York for the first time. We had previously sailed on the Tahitian Princess many years ago. It was also an R class ship, identical to the Journey. We loved the ship and the destinations then. Firstly, the negative things: The shower was very small compared to other ships. We could barely turn around in the shower. On the White NIght evening there were no where near enough tables for the passengers. We managed to obtain a table eventually but many passengers told me they had to eat in one of the restaurants and missed out on all the White Night Entertainment. I was very disappointed on my 70th birthday. We decided to eat at the Aqualina Restaurant as it was a special night. We had a Premium Beverage Package where nearly all brands of drinks are included. The waiter offered us a bottle of wine which I thought was included. He did not tell me till after he had opened it that there would be a $40 charge.for the wine on top of the $30 admission. On other cruises on my birthdays the crew had always sang happy birthday to me and given me a cake and a free bottle of wine. Not on this ship!!! The last thing and most important thing that infuriated us was people getting up early and putting personal items on deck chairs to reserve them for the day. Signs up saying not to do this, but the crew were not enforcing it. On a nice day do not expect to find a free deck chair on this ship. Because of this we may not sail on the Journey again. When we pay a premium for a cruise we do not expect to have to sit in the lounge on a nice day!!! On a positive note. we found the crew exceptional and all passengers very friendly, The atmosphere on this was great and we have made some friends which we will keep in touch with. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
You can see photos from this cruise and our other sailings by following the link on our Cruise Critic profile page: https://boards.cruisecritic.com/profile/35108-jgnova/ I had a “zero birthday” coming up and wanted to do ... Read More
You can see photos from this cruise and our other sailings by following the link on our Cruise Critic profile page: https://boards.cruisecritic.com/profile/35108-jgnova/ I had a “zero birthday” coming up and wanted to do something special to celebrate – which provided a great excuse for another cruise. But it had to be something special – new ports and/or a new ship or, even better, a whole new (to us) cruise line. We also had the additional requirement that, because of health issues, the embarkation and disembarkation ports had to be within five hours travel time from our Northern Virginia home. I put together a list of options, which were mostly sailings from Miami or Fort Lauderdale that included the ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao). One option stood out because it also included two days in Havana, Cuba, and was on Azamara Club Cruises Journey. This was a 16-night repositioning sailing from Miami to Manhattan, with stops in Havana, Aruba, Curaçao, Bonaire, St. Barts, Sint Maarten, and Hamilton, Bermuda. With four new (to us) ports on a new (to us) ship and cruise line, this became the obvious choice. And we are very happy we made that choice. Ship: The ship is lovely and very well maintained, despite its age – they were even refinishing the corridor handrails near our cabin. Like other ships under the RCCL umbrella, Journey was filled with artwork – paintings, prints, and sculptures (many by Salvador Dali) all over. The ship felt very bright all over – even the staircases and elevator lobbies, despite not having windows, felt very bright and open. The only times the ship felt crowded were when everyone tried to be in one venue at the same time – like White Night by the pool or the last two nights’ shows in the cabaret – and the staff brought in chairs for those events so everyone could sit. Cabin: The cabin had plenty of room for all of our stuff – drawers in the desk and in the closet, lots of hangers. There was plenty of light in the cabin, including extra lights by the desk, the bed, and a working balcony light. The cabin thermostat even seemed to work properly! We discovered that the coffee table by the sofa had a lever that raised it from coffee table height to a height that worked for eating our room service breakfast when we couldn’t eat on the balcony. Food: The food selections and quality were outstanding. With the exception of the AzAmazing Evening, when we ate in Windows (buffet restaurant) because of time constraints, we ate all our dinners in Discoveries (main dining room). We usually arrived around 7 PM and never had to wait for a table, which we usually shared with others, allowing us to meet many new people. Besides the menu selections, each night’s choices also included a chef’s selection and something more international, typically linked to the international themed dinner in Windows that evening. We could choose wines (at no extra charge) from each night’s selection of two whites, two reds, and a rosé – and they would pour wines offered on previous nights as well. We ate most breakfasts on the balcony, which was a treat – the server would even spread the tablecloth for us! The food was hot and usually delivered on time. We could even add things to the menu if we wanted (like a smoked-salmon omelet!). I had a few breakfasts in Windows on mornings when we had an early excursion and the selection was excellent. As opposed to other cruises on which we’ve sailed, instead of placing the omelet order and waiting while it was cooked, I just took a table card with a number and the omelet was delivered when it was done. The servers also provided all of the beverages, including fresh-squeezed orange juice. The ship had a few options for lunch. On days when our excursion returned in early afternoon, we went to the Living Room, where they had small sandwiches and desserts available. (That venue also had tapas in the early evening.) Other days, I would grab a burger (delicious) from the Patio or a salad from Windows and eat by the pool. Service: Service on the ship was excellent. The staff and crew would always greet us – our cabin attendants would open our door for us if they were nearby when we were returning. The pool staff were constantly walking around to clear up towels from vacated chairs and to take drink orders and clear up empty glasses. Entertainment: The entertainment was excellent. The ship’s cruise director and assistant cruise director each did a couple of shows and they were great performers. The ship also had an onboard troupe of six performers (four dancers and two singers/dancers) who did three different shows during our sailing. We were also entertained by a violinist, a magician/comic, and a pianist/singer, who joined the ship at different ports during the sailing. The violinist was a special treat for this voyage because of his work with Cuban musicians and students – and because he was joined for one piece by his young son, an incipient star. This was in addition to the pianist in the lounge and the ship orchestra and instrumental trio playing at different times throughout the ship. Our only complaint was about the volume – the cabaret shows would have been much nicer several dB lower. Ports: With the exception of Sint Maarten, we used the ship excursions in all of the ports. Cuba: The tour guides both days were very knowledgeable and answered all of our questions. The bus was quite comfortable as well. Cuba is a very interesting place to visit for many obvious reasons. There are very few private cars and most people use buses or shared vans for transportation. The six-lane highway leading to Havana was almost empty and there was little traffic in Havana itself, something unimaginable in most other national capitals. Most of the urban-area buildings are in various stages of disrepair, which is a shame because they looked as if they had been beautiful before the revolution. Houses in the outlying areas looked better-maintained. We did the Jewish Heritage tour our first day in Havana and visited a Jewish Cemetery, two synagogues, and a Jewish-owned boutique hotel. We got to meet with a community leader at one of the synagogues and he answered our questions about the Jewish community’s history and current life. Our second day in Havana, we went to Ernest Hemingway’s house in San Francisco de Paula (about 9 miles from Havana), and were able to see how he lived and the tower next to the house in which he did his writing. We then went to one of his favorite bars in Cojimar, where we saw “his table” and enjoyed a daiquiri made the way he drank them. We then went into Havana to another of his favorite bars (how many did he have?) and braved the crowds to have a mojito. We then had time to walk around the cathedral and other historical sections before returning to the ship. Aruba: As we had never been to Aruba before, we took a ship excursion tour of the island. This tour included a visit to an aloe processing plant, a lighthouse, a natural bridge, and the fascinating Casibari Rock Formations, which I’d like to visit again to see the petroglyphs. The tour guide was very knowledgeable and the bus was fairly new and very comfortable. Curaçao: Again, this was our first visit so we took the ship excursion for an island tour. We got to see a coastal national park to see the cliffs and rock formations along the coast and watch the strong surf. We also visited a lovely beach, the old salt flats in an unrealized hope to see the flamingos, and a former estate house most recently occupied by a famous local artist. As was the case in Aruba, the tour guide was quite knowledgeable and bus very comfortable. After a quick lunch in the Living Room, I hiked from the port into town to see the old synagogue, which we couldn’t tour because it was closed on Sunday. This also gave me an opportunity to walk across the Queen Emma Bridge, a pontoon bridge that floats on the water and swings off to the side to let ships through. I also was able to get a closer view of the Queen Wilhelmina Bridge, the tallest bridge in the world, and two other small lift bridges in Willemstad. Bonaire: Another new island and another ship excursion tour. The tour guide was knowledgeable, but the tour company used a smaller bus that was not as comfortable, especially for those stuck in the seats over the wheels. We got to see Bonaire’s lovely coastline, old salt flats with many flamingos raising their young, an old house showing how the early island residents lived, some slave huts right on the coast by the salt flats, and a modern salt processing operation. The tour guide was very good, but she had to keep telling the driver to slow down so we could take photographs. St. Barts: Although we had been to St. Barts five years earlier, we had seen only the port area in the capital so we took another island tour. This tour was in a mini-van and the tour guide was not very effective at discussing much about the island characteristics. We did get to see several beaches and the beautiful island geography. The company arranging the tours should have done a better job preparing a guide for the driver to use. Sint Maarten: We’ve been there several times and I decided to have a beach day. I had searched the web before the trip and found that two bars with beach chair/umbrella rental facilities had reopened at Orient Beach so I decided to go there for the day. There is a taxi rank right off the pier complex and the people there will assemble groups to various destinations. I was able to share a taxi with few other visitors (from another ship) and paid only $9 for the trip instead of the $25 the trip would have cost for just me. The taxi dropped us off mid-beach near the Bikini Beach bar, which looked nice. However, someone at the port had told me that Kon Tiki, a short walk down the beach, had better food. I paid $15 for an umbrella and comfortable chaise (including a cushion) for the day. There were attendants patrolling the beach to take food and drink orders, and the bar and restaurant looked great and had brand new facilities. So I had a lovely day on the beach watching people windsurfing and doing other watersports. Bermuda: We’ve been to Bermuda twice before, but we were docked at the Royal Dockyards at the far end of the island. We took ferry trips to Hamilton and to St. Georges, but had never seen the Bermuda countryside. This itinerary had us docked right in downtown Hamilton so we were able to walk around to see the shops and restaurants. We also took a ship excursion that drove along the south coast of the island to the Royal Dockyards, giving us a chance to see the lovely beaches for which Bermuda is famous and some historical areas. Embarkation/Disembarkation: Embarkation was fairly smooth with priority processing only for suite guests. While we had completed the forms for the Cuban visas, we forgot to bring copies with us, so we had to take time to write out second copies, which the port people insisted we needed even though we had copies at home. Disembarkation was slower than normal, probably because the immigration people had not planned on the high percentage of non-U.S. citizens, who took longer to process. Once through immigration, we located our luggage and found a porter quickly, who then took us out to the drop-off area. We were picking up a rental car and driving home, so I walked about 2 ½ blocks to the car rental office, picked up the car, drove back to the pier, picked up DW and our luggage, and headed through the Lincoln Tunnel. I think I spent more time in line at the car rental office than it took to get to the office and drive back and get to the tunnel. Overall experience: This itinerary was an excellent balance of port and sea days, with 8 ½ days in port and 6 ½ days at sea. The majority of the passengers were from the United Kingdom, which was a new experience for us, and we got to chat with a lot of people from places we had only read about. With fewer than 700 passengers on a smaller ship, we were more likely to bump into the same people repeatedly and get to know them. Even with open seating at dinner, we wound up having the same tablemates a few times and would greet each other by name when we were walking around the ship or sitting in the cabaret. Another pleasurable aspect of the cruise was that we didn’t feel hassled to spend money. Drinks and wine were included if we didn’t request premium brands, as were coffees. And there was no constant sales pressure to eat in the specialty restaurants, as we’ve experienced on other lines. The senior ship staff were always present and visible – the hotel director would frequently assist seating passengers in Discoveries and we saw the Captain walking around the tables at least once. The captain and hotel director were at the gangplank every morning when we left the ship for our excursions, wishing us a good visit. Captain Johannes and Cruise Director Eric had a constant repartee during the noon announcements, with the captain teasing the CD about his shirt every day and the CD finding something funny to say in response. They obviously have a great relationship and that enhanced the voyage. This was the best cruise we have ever taken, thanks to the ship staff and crew, ship size, passenger friendliness, food quality, and itinerary. We are looking forward to another. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Azamara Journey has become our cruise line and ship of choice since our first 7 day trip down the Croatian coast. We made so many friends on that cruise and again on our Norwegian cruise a couple of years later We have just finished ... Read More
Azamara Journey has become our cruise line and ship of choice since our first 7 day trip down the Croatian coast. We made so many friends on that cruise and again on our Norwegian cruise a couple of years later We have just finished our 16 night Miami to New York that went through Havana, Aruba, Curaco , Bonaire, St Martin and Bermuda and this cruise continued to meet and better our expectations The staff are what makes this ship from the wonderful Captain Johhanes ... always available for a chat and prepared to change things up if it makes the customers experience better...all the way down to the staff who clean the toilets The size is also most important and we love the ease on getting on and off this ship Destinations continue to impress and I believe Norway will take some beating for scenery Special mention to Alec and Mario in the dining room who work tirelessly to accomodate guests needs. To our very good friend Roy in the bar... or this trip the coffee station... who is always smiling and going out of his way to make our cruise better, Melchor, Jolly in security who always welcomes us back on board, Aaron and Agust who made up our cabin every day, JR and Elij in the bars, and our dining room waiter most nights, yevgeniy... they and many others continued to provide amazing customer service The entertainment this cruise was the best we have had so hats off to the cruise director Eric This is not the most stylish ship nor the best cabins around but... it is like home and the vibe is relaxed Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We chose this short, six-night Azamara cruise for several reasons: First, although we prefer longer cruises, two weeks or more, we faced some time limitations this trip, including work obligations and also meeting family and friends ... Read More
We chose this short, six-night Azamara cruise for several reasons: First, although we prefer longer cruises, two weeks or more, we faced some time limitations this trip, including work obligations and also meeting family and friends afterward for some spring training baseball games; second, we had heard some very good reports on Azamara from friends who really enjoyed the casual, small-ship atmosphere and we figured this would be a way to try it out without a big financial or time commitment; third, and most importantly, we wanted to visit Cuba, and this cruise included two days and an overnight in Havana. Embarkation at the Port of Miami was easy. We drove to Miami from our home in the mountains of North Carolina because we wanted to have a car for the post-cruise spring training. It is a long drive, and next time we probably would fly (though we hate the MIA airport). We stayed at the Hampton Inn & Suites Blue Lagoon International Airport on a stay and cruise package that included parking and a shuttle. That worked out fine compared with parking at the Port and saved us a little money and a good bit of hassle. It took only a few minutes to get through the formalities of paperwork (including the Cuban visa ($75 per person), which Azamara took care of for us. Soon we were sitting in Journey's buffet restaurant enjoying a drink. Drinks are included in the cost of Azamara cruises, but the included package mostly has low-end brands and house wines. My wife decided to upgrade to the Ultimate package because she enjoys fancy craft cocktails -- unfortunately we would learn that, unlike Celebrity and some other lines most bartenders on Azamara are not up to speed on making complex drinks. Before long we went to our Deck 8 Veranda Stateroom. Having read and heard a lot of reports, we were prepared for the stateroom to be on the small size, and the bath and shower to be tiny. The bathroom wasn't quite as small as I had feared, but I have to say that on a so-called premium ship that the shower is as small as it is. I have rheumatoid arthritis and back problems, and I have to say it was not a pleasure to look forward to a shower. Although the Journey is almost a 20-year-old ship (it was built in 2000 as an R-2 class ship for Renaissance Cruises, now defunct, and then sailed under two names for Pullmantur line), it appeared to be in quite good condition. We liked all the mahogany and other woods in some of the public areas and enjoyed going on several open decks as in the "old days" of cruising. Journey has one of the smallest swimming pools I've ever seen on a cruise ship.The fitness room is pretty well equipped, although smallish and with only one recumbant bike. We found Azamara staff, both officers and guest-contact crew, almost uniformly helpful, friendly and hard-working. That was the case although gratuities were included in the fare. (At the end of the cruise we did tip extra for our room steward, who was excellent, and a bartender who had been extra nice to us.) I have to admit that our overall experience may have been shaded by the fact that my wife had a cold that started soon after boarding (after disembarking she went to a doc-in-the-box in West Palm Beach and was diagnosed with acute bronchitis and an eye infection. A couple of days after board I developed a toothache that turned out to be sinus-related. None of this was Azamara's fault (we didn't hear of any noroviruses this trip), and we probably should have checked with the clinic on board. Dining was certainly adequate on board, but not exceptional. We usually ate in the main dining room, Discoveries, for dinner (everyone has open seating, and only once or twice did we have to wait for a table). Some of our favorite dishes, such as the escargot appetizer, seem to be the same as on sister line Celebrity, but others were mediocre. Service was always excellent, however. We did try Prime-C, the steak house (a $30 per-person upcharge), which was fine but not memorable. The Windows buffet, again, was adequate but with a limited menu compared with other ships we've been on. The Patio on the pool deck, which serves burgers and such, was -- I have to say again -- only adequate. We loved our two days in Havana and wish we could have spent the entire cruise at Cuban ports. Why this itinerary included Cozumel I don't know. We have been to Cozumel many times, both on land trips and on cruises and no longer find it of any interest at all. It is a good dive destination that has been ruined by too many cruise ships and too much commercialization (Cozumel, amazingly, is the 3rd busiest cruise port in the world.) We were not that impressed with the ship excursion staff, who pushed the cruise tours pretty hard, and one of our pre-booked tours was canceled for no reason we could understand. To summarize what we liked and didn't much care for: Liked: Easy embarkation and disembarkation Friendly, helpful staff Lots of "traditional" wood paneling and such The Havana stop -- Havana is amazing, and we only wish we had had more time there So-so: Enrichment offerings (basically one speaker whose knowledge of parts of the Caribbean seemed a little dated -- having written many books on the region I probably knew more than he did) Dining in all venues Entertainment The small-ship atmosphere -- Journey carries fewer than 700 passengers, but we really felt that we had more and better options for places to relax on the Solstice-class Celebrity ships. Didn't like: Cozumel Bartenders' skill -- some bartenders seemed to have no training in making anything but the very basics. The Celebrity ships we have been on had much better bars and craft cocktails; the ship skimped on some ingredients, for example substituting cheap maraschino cherries for Luxardo cherries. I think Azamara should totally rethink its drink policies – just raise the fare a few bucks and make the included drinks cover more options and better brands. Small stateroom, tiny bathroom and ridiculously little shower Bottom line: I guess our expectations were too high. We were hoping to really love Azamara, but at this point I doubt we would go on another Azamara cruise. We prefer its big-ship sister, Celebrity, and hope that Royal Caribbean's purchase of a majority interest in Silversea will result in a true premium line in the cruise family (we have been on Silversea and hope that Royal Caribbean upgrades to new ships). Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We just returned from Azamara Journey Cuba/Cozumel. I thought the ship was meticulously maintained by a wonderful, cheerful staff who could not do enough for you. I think I observed only 1 sourpuss the entire cruise, and that was at ... Read More
We just returned from Azamara Journey Cuba/Cozumel. I thought the ship was meticulously maintained by a wonderful, cheerful staff who could not do enough for you. I think I observed only 1 sourpuss the entire cruise, and that was at breakfast. Maybe she wasn't a morning person...I also liked the ship décor which was very European instead of the new bland, grey millennial style. I understand they are eliminating the casino which was always empty, and is no loss. The cabin had lots of places to store items from the two huge suitcases we brought along (we drove to the pier) and they stored neatly under the bed. Balcony was small--just enough for two chairs and a table. The bathroom was tiny, and the shower so small when I dropped the soap I had to get out to pick it up. My husband couldn't use the toilet, as it's angled and his knees jammed against the wall, so he simply used one of the public marble bathrooms scattered around the ship---which again were spotless. You need to book a club category if you want a larger bathroom. For the second time we never used the balcony, and might not book one again in the future, unless it has chaise space. We used the promenade deck chairs on the days at sea. Cable had CNBC, FOX, BBC, Sky News, and a movie channel (extra charge of $11.95), and music channels. There were also two movies shown each day that were not new--and in fact, some rather old. We eat out almost every night at home, and so I have a fair idea of what to expect in a wide variety of restaurant types. We though the breakfast and lunch buffets offered an astounding number of good choices. For dinner. the main dining room was very pretty (sometimes noisy if it was full) and although we ate at both specialty restaurants, I would not bother on a future trip, as the food in the main dining room and the nightly buffets were more than adequate. The specialty dining rooms are small, with a high level of service, by excellent staff. However, the food was nothing truly special. All of the steaks we ate in any of the dining rooms, would be below an Outback standard, and they should change their supplier. Really. Though I don't like fish, I ordered the salmon two nights in the regular dining room, and it was excellent. Cuba is not a destination for everyone. You have to be a sophisticated traveler to appreciate it's history (we watched 8 hours of Cuban history on a DVD before we arrived) and charms. The people are beyond lovely, cheerful, have absolutely no animosity towards Americans. Their food is rationed, so any show of excess by any passenger should be frowned upon. Also, I did not wear any jewelry in port because I did not want to appear a spoiled American. Respect is warranted here. I heard a few older people complaining on the shore excursion.. I wanted to ask they why they booked the trip to begin with. If you want it to be like home----stay home. If you want to shop and eat on the ship---then don't book a tour and then ask the bus to take you back early. Appalling behavior, as was the guy who had to be first in line on every tour--and always on his cell phone wheeling and deal his stocks. Geez.... It was amazing how many people didn't listen to simple instructions, i.e. you cannot change the Cuban CUC (tourist money) back to dollars if you don't use it all. When they tell you the bus is leaving at 12:30PM, it's leaving at 12:30PM and when you are not there---it's beyond damned rude. This applies to any tour, on any trip cruise or not... We like it so much we are considering booking the New Years Cuba cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Meh
Went with a big group from my country club development. The pros were that the size of the ship was very manageable and easy to navigate, no lines or waiting for anything. Staff were friendly and helpful and willing to go above and beyond. ... Read More
Went with a big group from my country club development. The pros were that the size of the ship was very manageable and easy to navigate, no lines or waiting for anything. Staff were friendly and helpful and willing to go above and beyond. Had a standard outside stateroom with window that was small but adequate. Best restaurant was Aquilina by a long shot. The spa was decent The cons are a bit plentiful. The ship is very dated looking and in dire need of renovations. Cabin bathroom was ridiculously small. The food was sub par even tho plentiful and certainly nothing special in either taste or presentation ( except in the aforementioned Aquilina) . The entertainment was amateurish and difficult to sit though. The spa did not inform me that I could use the outside sun deck and whirlpool because I purchased a treatment. The destinations itself, key west and Cuba were disappointing. Key west is a place you can walk around for an hour or so, have a great lunch and drink alcoholic beverages in your choice of at least three establishments per block. The stores are typical tourist stores loaded with shell necklaces and tee shirts and crappy sandals. Cuba is a hot mess. It’s depressing it looks like a bomb hit it except in the tourist area where the ships are docked, those buildings are pleasing to the eye. The shopping is limited in scope, most selling the same cigars, Cuban shirts rum and local street art but u can barter price. Tour guides will try and pester you as will shop owners and beggars, it can be daunting. To each his own, this trip was not for me sorry to say Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
This was our first non mega ship cruise. We usually go on the new ships the smallest was the Disney Dream .Having sailed around Cuba so many times and seeing the lights in the distance. This was our chance to visit. To compare is not ... Read More
This was our first non mega ship cruise. We usually go on the new ships the smallest was the Disney Dream .Having sailed around Cuba so many times and seeing the lights in the distance. This was our chance to visit. To compare is not easy. I think it’s where you are in life and what your looking for. If you want a nice peaceful cruise with a crew who really is happy to take care of you.If you like tea in the afternoon and cocktails before dinner they have it. Cocktails and a vey good piano player with fellow cruisers is quite nice. They had a show one night and it was really good. They sang and danced their hearts out. The costumes were also notable. The Cabins... We had a balcony room and it was the usual. The bathroom was fine and we are not small people and the shower was not an issue. They are all small, on this ship they are very clean.. When they do you room the bathroom gets sanitized when they do your room AM and PM. I liked that and there were no issues.The rooms have quite bit of storage built ins and a closet. Food. We never ate sit down. We liked the Buffet and liked sitting in the back outside.They still have great service and white table cloths The food was good and lots of choices.Everything is nicely displayed.and they have servers to help you. Once again everything is about keeping things clean and you happy. I hate people who Double dip ect this was not happening. You could have as much as you wanted with your clean plate. ..Poolside eating.. They have a nice menu of the usual plus salad, nachos ect . You order they bring it to you.It’s very good and very nice to be taken care of. They also have Steak ect at night and the tables are all done up. Room Service. Added treat Everything is so good and great portions. They have both Gelato and ice cream machines and non sugared is a plus.The ship is quiet and attracts the older cruiser who appreciates good service, and good food. The crew loves them and the feeling is mutual Some people we spoke to had been on more than 5 cruises. It was nice to relax and just enjoy ourselves To be taken care of in the style that seems to be forgotten Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
The first thing to say is that we had a great cruise and would recommend Azamara Journey. The staff members were all friendly helpful and efficient and it seems a very happy ship. It is worth noting that some staff members had been on ... Read More
The first thing to say is that we had a great cruise and would recommend Azamara Journey. The staff members were all friendly helpful and efficient and it seems a very happy ship. It is worth noting that some staff members had been on board for many years and seem loyal to the brand. The ship in general, with the exception of the Discoveries Restaurant at Dinner time, did not seem too crowded. Discoveries could be noisy but the food and service remained excellent. The food in general was a high standard in all restaurants but we found that the ambiance of the Specialty Restaurants along with the high quality of gourmet food and service gave us a refuge and a quiet place to dine. Both Prime C and Aqalina had their own menu which remained the same throughout the cruise but were supplemented by Chefs Specials each evening. Suite guests were invited to a special ‘Best of the Best’ dinner which was an exceptional evening The complementary wines were a reasonable standard, particularly the white wines and there was an adequate selection of included drinks at the bars. The internet is well below the standard expected of Azamara in that when and if you can connect it is slow and tends to drop out. The Suites are given 235 minutes but the package otherwise is expensive and difficult to justify. Our impression was that the decor was dull throughout most of the ship, the exception being the Drawing Room/Library which is very colourful & a very pleasant place to sit. The Forward lounge was another excellent space to relax and enjoy friendly waiter service. We booked private tours of Havana, Vinales, Cienfuegos and Trinidad but decided to use the ships shore excursion for Santiago de Cuba as the ship was due to sail at 15.00. Sadly the latter, a Panoramic tour in Santiago was very poor and a huge disappointment. This was one of the worst tours we have ever taken; firstly we could not hear the guide, Lucia above the traffic in town and she did not have a microphone to help her. Secondly we were not aware that the bus would not stop to see the Revolution Square etc - we drove slowly past the places of interest rather than being allowed time to see them close up. If this is the intention then it should be made clear in the tour description. Finally, we signed up for a tour without a lunch stop (who needs lunch when you are fed so well on board ship) but were in any case taken to a poor quality lunch despite protests from most of the group. We felt this was a waste of time that might otherwise have been enjoyed at the monuments. More importantly, it turned out to be a waste of food as most of the group did not eat much and lots of food was returned untouched. When there is a shortage of food in Cuba and the locals endure rationing, this was also embarrassing for us and our companions. A very comfortable way to see Cuba on Azamara Journey. Worth Knowing: Immigration: Be very careful filling out the Cuban visa which costs US$ 75 and is issued as you embark. The check in agent said any mistakes would mean you having to buy another visa as a cost of US$ 75. The Visa is good for all ports in Cuba. The first time ashore in Havana the Immigration line was long & generally slow. On subsequent days off the ship, it was a quick wave through after a very casual look at the passport. Local Currency You need to change your foreign currency at the cruise terminal in Havana or at a bank in the square outside the terminal. The exchange rate is fixed and common to all banks. If you use US $ you are surcharged 10% making a total of 13% commission. We were advised to use GB pounds and were charged the 3% commission only. This is common to Euros and Canadian $ also. The tourist currency is the CUC which is worth 25 Cuban Pesos, the money used by locals. Rest Rooms Cuba has a strong health service which is free to Cubans but the health care does not apparently extend to public health as is obvious in the state of toilets in restaurants and bars. You should also have some small change for the person manning the toilets. Apparently it is not necessary but fully expected and in return you will be given a hand full of toilet paper. Take some tissue with you in any case. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
First of all, the ship is in good condition as well as the rooms, my wife and I booked a cabin with a balcony and it was really what we expected, maybe a little smaller than in the photos but we liked it. - Food and drink well, maybe ... Read More
First of all, the ship is in good condition as well as the rooms, my wife and I booked a cabin with a balcony and it was really what we expected, maybe a little smaller than in the photos but we liked it. - Food and drink well, maybe you could improve but in the same way it was not bad. - We had a lot of fun during the nine nights that took the cruise, dancers, music, it seemed an important event every night. - Excellent service, especially Mario our concierge who was very kind and helped us with everything that was presented, we even needed to make an urgent call to our tour agency and he gave us his phone. - About the shore excursions, very important, do not book with the cruise. For my tours in each port we booked with Viajes Vintage (viajesvintage.com) and we had an excellent experience, I HIGHLY HIGHLY RECOMMEND THEM, our guides were Yunet in Havana, Myldred in Cienfuegos and Lianne in Santiago de Cuba, we had during our excursion our own classic car with air conditioning very well maintained and we paid half of what we would pay with the cruise line. - It was very simple to get off the ship terminal in all ports but in Havana, it toke a while. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
This was my 8th overall cruise, and I chose this trip for the amazing immersive itinerary of Cuba. From the moment I stepped on the Journey, I appreciated the calming decor. It was so great to be on a ship of only 600 - you really got to ... Read More
This was my 8th overall cruise, and I chose this trip for the amazing immersive itinerary of Cuba. From the moment I stepped on the Journey, I appreciated the calming decor. It was so great to be on a ship of only 600 - you really got to know your fellow passengers...especially if you're an outgoing guy like me. We ate almost every meal at the discoveries restaurant and were VERY pleased with the quality, presentation, and taste of the food. I've been avoiding red meat recently, and they always had at least two fish choices(other than salmon)! i asked for freshly steamed broccoli and they always delivered on any request that I had. The entertainment wasn't extensive - but we did enjoy both shows by our cruise director...the VERY tall and lovely Eric! Please, please, please...book private tours of cuba! Do not take the cruise's excursions. they tell you that it is difficult when you get to cuba and that you can't get off the ship if you don't have a tour booked...NOT TRUE!!! All three of our private tours were AMAZING...private air-conditioned cars from the 50's. Do your research on TripAdvisor - and book with confidence! Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Our 9th cruise and our 4th with Azamara. We were initially disappointed that the itinerary was changed from 3 to 2 days in Havana but we found the day in Key West to be very relaxing and a good start to the cruise. We always enjoy the ... Read More
Our 9th cruise and our 4th with Azamara. We were initially disappointed that the itinerary was changed from 3 to 2 days in Havana but we found the day in Key West to be very relaxing and a good start to the cruise. We always enjoy the ambiance on the smaller Azamara ships and appreciated how close we docked to the city on all our stops whereas the bigger ships had to use tenders to take passengers ashore. The staff were very attentive and friendly. We always enjoyed a refreshing cup of tea in the Mosaic cafe and were amazed how Jeston and Mark remembered our preference for green tea. Our cabin was excellent with ample storage, a good sized bathroom, a very comfortable bed and in a quiet position towards the back of the ship on deck 8. Both the food and entertainment were very good with Eric and the Captain forming a very funny double act. We have always enjoyed the White Night party in the past and we were not disappointed this time. We had 2 full days in Havana and booked a guide and driver with Cuban Trip Compass. We had a wonderful time exploring Havana in an old American Chevy with a very competent driver and a guide who spoke perfect English. We can highly recommend this company. Cienfuegos was very easy to explore on our own with the aid of the Lonely Planet guide and we booked an Azamara trip for Santiago as the ship was departing at 3pm. We arrived home with a greater understanding of the history and people of this fascinating country. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
My 7th time on Azamara and 4th time on Journey. This was my 36th cruise so trust my remarks. I have sailed on RCCL, Holland, NCL, Disney, Carnival, Princess and more. I escorted my group of 26 on the Journey for the 9 night ... Read More
My 7th time on Azamara and 4th time on Journey. This was my 36th cruise so trust my remarks. I have sailed on RCCL, Holland, NCL, Disney, Carnival, Princess and more. I escorted my group of 26 on the Journey for the 9 night intensive Cuba. Pre-Cruise hotel: JW Marriott on Brickell, fantastic. Ship Staff: Wonderful as ALWAYS!! From the stewards to Capt Johannes! Ship: Old World Classic Beauty!! My home away from home. Deck 4 Oceanvw, my favorite but I have stayed on every floor in balcony as well. Food: Outstanding as usual!! If you don't love the food on Azamara there is something wrong with you, sorry. Every meal fantastic, we ate at Prime C and Aqualina as well as main dining. Aqualina did not leave an impression on me last few times but a few revisions and it's right on par with Prime C at this point! Chef even prepared Baked Alaska off the menu as 1 in my party really wanted to try it!! Waiter brought out 5 fresh made Alaska's to our table and hands down the BEST I've ever had. And that was in the Main Dining room! White Night: Out did themselves with the lobster tail and shrimp on the BBQ! Never miss a White Night! Azamazing Evening: Ours was in Havana in the renovated theater from 1890 and still had the original wood floors! Incredibly beautiful and wonderful Lintz Cuban Ballet was an emotional experience. I was nearly brought to tears with this performance!! Excursions: Hemingways Havana, loved it! Havana Classic Car ride, loved it! El Nicho Natural Baths and Waterfalls, DO NOT MISS THIS! (Although too difficult for older and or out of shape travellers, you can still enjoy it buy walking upto the falls on the main path, then wait in the shady lovely restaurant while others do the rocky path up!) Tobacco and Rum Santiago, skip it ! This should be renamed and is not a factory as some thought. Not me as I read through the descripton but still not a great tour for me personally. Cuban History and Cultural talks: The best ever! Great insight from the lecturer! Onboard entertainment: Very very nice, not as cheeky as in a few past cruises. Great Spanish Guitar performance. Overall Commments and Tips: This is a truly Immersive Trip not a vacation to a caribbean island. A wonderful, educational experience in an oppressed world. Do not forget this folks as this is for those who want to expand thier minds and learn about Cuba and in an incredible way. Be kind to the Cubans as they love Americans but of course they only know Socialism and nothing else politically speaking. Bring little bottles of shampoo and lotions from the ship, hand them out to any local you meet. DO NOT BRING Canadian money! They will exchange it at the port but you cannot use it on the street like American Dollars or Euro's. Bring small bills of $20 and less, like lots of 5's and 10's. It is difficult to make change with local vendors. Even $1.00 bills, bring 50. You will need them for tipping which is HUGE in Cuba for guides, waiters and drivers, cabs etc. And yes bring little tissue packs and hand sanitzers or wipies! Dress lighlty it is hot in CUBA and Humid! Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We chose this cruise for the itinerary - only Cuba with no unwanted stops at resort-like Caribbean islands. And on that score, we felt that we made the right decision. Cuba was absolutely fascinating, and we haven't stopped talking ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary - only Cuba with no unwanted stops at resort-like Caribbean islands. And on that score, we felt that we made the right decision. Cuba was absolutely fascinating, and we haven't stopped talking about what we learned. As for the ship - we love the small size, the same as the small Oceana ships. The cabin was adequate, although the bathroom was a little small. It did have adequate storage and was kept immaculate by the cabin stewards. Now for the reasons that engendered a 3-star rating. The entertainment was the worst that we have ever seen on a ship. There was a feeling that Azamara was trying to economize - (1) instead of nicely wrapped chocolates on our pillows, there were two little pieces cut from a bar of fudge. Because they were not wrapped, I could not take them with me on my next day's tour. (2) the tablecloths in the main dining room were not ironed. If you won't iron the cloths, use polyester. (3) the daily program was printed on a smaller than usual piece of paper that necessitated the use of small font for the schedule. (4) Other than in Prime, the quality of the meat was only so-so. (5) free drinks were only available in public venues. Liquor from the mini bar carried a charge. Bottom line - I would only go with Azamara again if the itinerary was so compelling. Otherwise we prefer Oceana or Celebrity Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Chose Azarmara because we did not want to be on a giant cruise ship with thousands of our closest friends. We chose this particular cruise because we wanted to experience Cuba and not just stop one place for a few hours. Service was ... Read More
Chose Azarmara because we did not want to be on a giant cruise ship with thousands of our closest friends. We chose this particular cruise because we wanted to experience Cuba and not just stop one place for a few hours. Service was stellar everywhere we went. After a couple of days in Windows Cafe, the server called me Diet Coke with a smile because it was a small enough ship to get to know people. Themed food night in some of the restaurants were well appreciated. The white night party on the deck was a fun evening. Lots of dancing! There seemed to be ample seating almost always in the pool area and plenty of activities for those who wanted to participate. The ship put up a big screen for the Superbowl and served Superbowl party foods for dinner which was a great touch. Getting on and getting off the boat at ports was a breeze.The ship was small enough to dock at all three ports so we didn't have wait to transfer to start our vacation. We chose to do private shore excursions, but did do the Tropicana & Santiago de Cuba though the boat, which were both well organized and interesting. Highly recommend the El Cobre tour which included an outstanding steel drum band who played music you would never expect from a steel drum. Our private tours were with Blexie - Havana & Caribbean Pearl Tours which were personalized based on our interests. They were both outstanding. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We picked Azamara because of the itinerary: three ports in Cuba. The price was high, but it was billed as a "premium line" so we thought the cost would be worth the experience. We loved Cuba; I had arranged private guides through ... Read More
We picked Azamara because of the itinerary: three ports in Cuba. The price was high, but it was billed as a "premium line" so we thought the cost would be worth the experience. We loved Cuba; I had arranged private guides through FerTours (hats off to Alex!) in Havana and Cienfuegos and through Out of the Box tours in Santiago (Lisandra did an excellent job). In all three cities we traveled in early 1950's cars and the cost was far lower than the bus tours offered on Journey. Our cabin was drab and it was hard to believe the ship had been renovated. The bed was comfortable and the storage was ample. The bathroom was tiny and the shower had been designed for elves. The food on the ship was always available, but the only good meals we had were in the extra cost restaurants. We ate at Prime C twice and Aqualina (delicious Dover sole) once. The service in Discovery, the main dining room, was very slow and the meats (beef and veal) were beyond tough. We discovered that sticking with fish and seafood gave us the best chance for an edible dinner. The food at the White Night buffet was good, but the crowds made getting near your choices very hard. The brunch that was held once was also good. The service on the ship was excellent. Doug Cameron, a fabulous jazz violinist, entertained twice; we could have seen him every night. We will definitely see him if he ever comes to our town. Our trip was successful because we loved seeing Cuba, but we are still wondering why Azamara is a premium line. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
ITINERARY. However, after the fact I'd suggest 2 days in HAVANA (not 3) and 2 days in SANTIAGO DE CUBA (not 1) Cabin & public areas were as expected since I normally sale on OCEANIA. Staff at all levels thru out the ship ... Read More
ITINERARY. However, after the fact I'd suggest 2 days in HAVANA (not 3) and 2 days in SANTIAGO DE CUBA (not 1) Cabin & public areas were as expected since I normally sale on OCEANIA. Staff at all levels thru out the ship were spotty. Some very good or good, a few were less than adequate. The DJ, who often handledTrivia is not as clever as he thinks he is. Very off putting. By contrast the Cruise director was a joy to be around. Her happiness is infectious. Boarding & departure went very smoothly... perhaps the best I've experienced. Food was also very spotty. Mostly good to very good...but every day or so I'd choose something the was just about inedible of average to poor. The cabin attendant did a very good job of keeping the cabin in perfect shape. As I had no special requests I rarely saw him but when I did I was greeted by name. Couldn't't ask for better service. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We recently did a cruise on Azamara Journey, 9 day Cuba Intensive. We were very pleased with Azamara, the service was fabulous, the food very good. We switched off between Prime C and Aqualina every night except for White night, the ... Read More
We recently did a cruise on Azamara Journey, 9 day Cuba Intensive. We were very pleased with Azamara, the service was fabulous, the food very good. We switched off between Prime C and Aqualina every night except for White night, the service was terrific in both and the food was very good. We had room service for breakfast all except 2 days as we had early excursions and they did an amazing job at keeping the food very hot , our butler did a fabulous job setting it up so nicely every morning as well! All the days we had lunch on board we ate at the patio and the food was very good, I ordered kabobs every time and they were excellent . They have a brunch on a sea day which we went to , they had a large variety of food and very good. I wish i had seen a post on this before however i will now post , we went to White Night but did not show up before or the exact start time and there were no seats available so we ate in another restaurant and later joined the party, so if you do care get there on time. The pool area was lovely , they really made a point not to save seets which was nice as there was always seats available. We really enjoyed the living room for drinks before dinner most evenings, the music was not good but it is a loveley space. Azamara did an excellent job with everything, we highly recommend Azamara and everyone we met on board was equally impressed! Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We chose this cruise line because of its itinerary and the Journey being a small ship: 690 passengers. We have been on small ships before and have thoroughly them. The itinerary was Cuba intensive: 3 full days in Havana, 1 day in ... Read More
We chose this cruise line because of its itinerary and the Journey being a small ship: 690 passengers. We have been on small ships before and have thoroughly them. The itinerary was Cuba intensive: 3 full days in Havana, 1 day in Cienfuegos, and overnight in Santiago. The ship was great as was the food and service. Officers and captain were very visible. Highly recommend Azamara. Currency exchange in all 3 ports in Cuba. 10% penalty for US$. No penalty for Euros or Canadian. No problem getting off the ship and doing own thing in Cuba. In fact after the first day in Havana, we didn't even have to go through customs. We didn't do Azamara shore excursions as for many years I have hired private tour guides. In Havana we used Blexie Tours. I highly highly recommend them. We had a private guide, George, and classic cars for 2 of our 3 days in great shape with a/c. The third day we went on our own just soaking up the ambiance of the city. Very friendly people. In Cienfuegos I used Fer Tours. Good tour as well. Not as great as Blexie in Havana but then there is not as much to see in Cienfuegos. Traveled in a classic car in great shape. In Santiago used Out of the Box Tours. Maike (spelling??) was our guide. Highly recommend this tour as well. I could have paid for this tour in US$. Many times you have to pay to use the bathrooms and sometimes no toilet paper. Would recommend having small denominations of coins like 25, 50 cents to use and take toilet paper. You should tip 10% in restaurants. Our guides we tipped considerably more. 25-35% per couple. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
This "immersive" cruise to Cuba was perfect. It stopped in Havana for 3 days, then Cienfuegos and then an overnight in Santiago de Cuba. We were a bit taken back by the age of the ship at first but it was in excellent ... Read More
This "immersive" cruise to Cuba was perfect. It stopped in Havana for 3 days, then Cienfuegos and then an overnight in Santiago de Cuba. We were a bit taken back by the age of the ship at first but it was in excellent condition, the service was exceptional and the small size made it fast and easy to get ashore. Our only criticism was the inability to make reservations in the main dining room and occasionally mediocre food. We had a balcony cabin on Deck 7 that was quite spacious with a loveseat sized couch and coffee table in front of the sliding glass doors. The balcony was larger than most with a dining sized table and chairs. Room service servers routinely brought a white table cloth and we enjoyed meals on the balcony while in port. Though the bathroom was very small, it was perfectly adequate. There were plenty of outlets and USB ports near the beds for recharging. Internet service, though pricey, was the best we ever experienced on a ship. Dining is more limited than on some ships with the primary choices being the main dining room, the buffet or one of two specialty restaurants, one steak house and one Italian. The only dining room option was anytime dining with no reservations possible and on one evening we had a fairly lengthy wait. We appreciated the variety of options and the "theme" nights but the food was unpredictable - sometimes truly excellent (e.g. perfectly cooked steak) and sometimes "send it back" quality. We participated in one Chef's Table that was absolutely superb! Room service menu options, service and quality were extremely good. As expected for such a small ship (750 passengers) the entertainment was limited. A real highlight was that the two cruise directors doubled as entertainers and both were truly excellent. We really enjoyed Alicia Hill in both her entertainment and cruise director capacities. She seemed to know everyone on the ship. The White Night activity at which dinner was served poolside followed by dancing and entertainment proved to be really fun. Service was always fast and friendly and the crew went out of their way to accommodate requests. Standard drinks are included and there is no mandatory tipping. That said, we felt that the crew expected tips. Snacks and drinks were abundant. The crew was attentive, even to the point of remembering us and our preferences from one locale on the ship to another. We like wine and found the Sommeliers and wine list to be exceptional. The drawback to this wonderful ship and crew were the shore excursions in Cuba. We did two excursions when we arrived in Havana and both were dreadful. We don't fault the cruise line for this at all as both excursions were operated by the government with government employed tour directors, in government buses, that took us to government run restaurants and establishments. After day two, we figured out how to use private tours and find private restaurants and the rest of the trip was fantastic. We were very appreciative that we had a "floating hotel" to go home to every night and would recommend a cruise as a first trip to Cuba for anyone. We highly recommend this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
This was our 1st cruise in 14 years, and we have been intrigued by Cuba for even longer. As new empty nesters and not yet retired, costs still are kind of a thing. Some of our choices reflect some effort at economy, which we found is ... Read More
This was our 1st cruise in 14 years, and we have been intrigued by Cuba for even longer. As new empty nesters and not yet retired, costs still are kind of a thing. Some of our choices reflect some effort at economy, which we found is achievable even on Azamara. Our past cruise experience had been on 2,000+ passenger behemoths; part of this review relates to the (first for us) small ship experience. For economy, we flew to Miami early on departure morning (a decision we'd like to have back as we were gambling with winter weather up north). Our Deck 6 midships cabin had an obstructed view through the window. We felt little ship motion, no vibraiton and we were well-insulated from public space noise by other cabins. The obstructed view meant a savings, but we could see well enough for us. We love the (little) R ships and we felt seeing the same staff and passengers lent a sense of collegiality and hominess. Sometimes some passangers might feel the activity selection was insufficient for their tastes - whether this is a legit concern really needs to be weighed in terms of cruise demographics. Our school-year sailing to Cuba meant that the average passenger age was about 66, with a pretty tight standard deviation. In our mid and late 50s, we were decidedly among the youngest on board. Now and then, all of the programmed activities were for an older age group. We were happy enough on our own, but not everyone would be. Azamara pays attention to the details. Embarkation and debarkation were a breeze and the food was outstanding. We did not do the upgraded restaurant or drink options; we are foodies and still do not feel it necessary as the food in the main dining room was great. Here is an interesting and important observation about food during dinners too: portions are modest and gluttons will be disappointed. To us that was fine, but might not be for everyone. There always is the buffet option, with rotating regional specialities each day. All you can eat there, but it lacks the ambience of the main dining room. Along this same vein, there only was a midnight buffet one light with late-ending nighttime shore excursions. Otherwise, no. Fine with us too. Another nice thing about the dining room was this: no assigned seats or times. You come when you want. If you like your waiter and remember his/her name, you can ask for that section but need not. The tables are close enough to strike up conversations with neighbors if you want, but one need not. We have recollections of assigned seats on other cruises with incompatible table-mates; we like Azamara's solution. Room service was included and perfect every time we used it (for coffee in the mornings). Tips are included in your fare; we tipped our room stewards and waiter anyway. Service from absolutely everyone was top-notch. We did the shore excursions sponsored by the cruise line and generally were very satisfied. Mind you, Cuba is new to tourism and Azamara is new to Cuba. Some growing pains were inevitable and showed. Overall, we feel we really learned a lot about the Cuban people and culture, which is why we went. There was one child on the boat, under the age of 20. She was two years old. This is not a cruise for young families or children. The boat simply is not equipped. We knew that and were happy. We definitely would go again on Azamara, on an R-ship (we love the smallness) but might do something a bit more tourism-experienced than Cuba next tme. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We chose this cruise mainly for the itinerary. We wanted to see Cuba and liked the fact that it only went to Cuba and involved several overnights. We really got a chance to experience several ports in Cuba. We also like cruising on the ... Read More
We chose this cruise mainly for the itinerary. We wanted to see Cuba and liked the fact that it only went to Cuba and involved several overnights. We really got a chance to experience several ports in Cuba. We also like cruising on the smaller ships. The service is more personal and you get to know the other passengers. We had a balcony cabin and it was perfect. There was enough storage space, bed was comfortable, and we made good use of the balcony, having breakfast there twice and using it for the sail-aways. We are glad more cruise ships re offering open dining as the Journey does. The food was excellent, prepared and presented well. The portions were just right for us, but those with bigger appetites can always order more food. The wait staff was very well trained and friendly. If you want fancy shows and lots of entertainment, this is not the ship for you. But we really enjoyed the ambiance and intimacy of this small ship. And there was enough to do and see. Over all, we loved the ship and the accessibility of the Captain. He was often seen walking around, and welcomed questions and conversation. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Chose this cruise for the destination. Originally booked on Oceania but changed to be able to travel as part of a group that provides educational credits for my husband. In my opinion Oceania is in a higher class but Azamara did not ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the destination. Originally booked on Oceania but changed to be able to travel as part of a group that provides educational credits for my husband. In my opinion Oceania is in a higher class but Azamara did not disappoint. Cabin was a good size with plenty of storage. Bathroom unfortunately was tiny. Turning around in the shower was nearly impossible. Cabin attendant terrific. Good good not great. Definitely not a reason to select the line. DJ was excellent at the White Night Party but entertainment is not their strong suit but my husband and I felt it met our needs. White Party Night was terrific as was the Azamazing evening in Havana. They took us to a very contemporary ballet in the courtyard of a museum. It was terrific. We did not book any excursions with the boat. They are way too expensive. Booked all private in advance. Two of the three we booked were terrific in Havana and Santiago de Cuba. Cienfuegos guide was not great. Don’t let the cruise line convince you that you must book with them. Service everywhere was really good. Book your specialty restaurant as soon as you get on. They fill up fast. Only ate in the Italian restaurant. Very nice. Reasonably priced at $30pp. Having beer, wine and cocktails included and available all day is a bonus. No problem to find seats at pool. Could use a little better activities for days on board. All in all would recommend the line and this itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Cuba was the lure and Azamara offered the most intensive experience with 3 ports, Havana, Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba. I won't talk about Cuba much here as I wrote a photo review on the Celebrity board with 1700 photos. This is ... Read More
Cuba was the lure and Azamara offered the most intensive experience with 3 ports, Havana, Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba. I won't talk about Cuba much here as I wrote a photo review on the Celebrity board with 1700 photos. This is about the ship and the cruise line which was new to us. We sail medium size ships from the Princess and Celebrity lines and of course due to their size they have more variety to offer. Azamara excels in terms of providing an elegant and relaxing environment with less than 700 passengers. Even after 9 days on board we hadn't eaten in all their venues nor spent time in all the rooms on board. We adapted to the leisurely vibe on board and just a couple of days into the experience were already liking what we saw of Azamara. Would we sail with them again? Yes and have already booked a 7 day Rome to Venice in October 2020 which will include a 10 year Azamara anniversary meet up in Koper, Slovenia, with the other two ships in the fleet. We even booked the same aft cabin again. Cabins are small but well designed (back in the year 2000) and elegantly appointed. Elegant and tasteful are key words to describe the Journey. Soothing on the eye. We sailed with considerate adults who showed respect to each other. It's the staff that make a ship a home for a week and the staff are keen to be of service and represent the brand well. I had hoped they wouldn't be too formal or stiff and was delighted to find them loose and ready to laugh and smile without forcing. Very personable. The dining was the best we have enjoyed at sea, without the expense of a Specialty restaurant. Discoveries restaurant produced fine breakfasts lunches and dinners without fail. Surprises were two brunches, complete with live music and served by Officers. Highlights of the cruise! Even the pool cafe, the Patio, stood high above the deck fare on our other two lines of choice with expansive menus, table service and really well-prepared simple dishes. A good first impression was made on boarding- a glass of champagne, then relaxing on a pool deck without canned music and with thickly padded loungers with pillows, while waiters made sure your glass would not dry out. Only one announcement from the Captain and CD each day. Officers who greet you as they pass. Two unique Home Runs, apart from the Azamara trade-mark overnight port stays which first attracted us to the brand are the Azamazing Evening and White Night Party. Both smoothly executed considering 600 or more guests attended each event. In the case of Havana's Azamazing Evening we were all treated to an incredible performance by the Lizt Alfonso dancers which is one of the most passionate and moving performances we have seen outside of an Opera House or theater in the USA. Kudos Azamara! White Night, an on deck BBQ buffet with music and dancing was held on a warm evening tied up in Cienfuegos and we all got a chance to applaud the crew who were introduced in a parade. Azamara was pricy but included gratuities and basic beverages on board. I upgraded to an Ultimate Beverage package and had the choice of anything on the ship and that was a good move given my preferences. Entertainment is constrained somewhat in the evening shows by the showroom which is on one level so no tiered seating-get there early for the best views-but the artists and CD (Alicia Hill) give it their all. There are plenty of relaxing and cosy areas to sit with friends and enjoy coffee or a beverage aboard the ship , including a real library with books made from paper! Good first impressions continued day after day and there was no let-down. Just a great crew, steeped in the brand culture. They try to impress and with us succeeded and provided a very memorable experience. We have now added Azamara to our Princess and Celebrity roster of go-to cruise lines. Norris Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We tried this for the destination of going to Cuba. We are very loyal to Celebrity, but wanted to give this a chance. Not sure we’ll ever return. The balcony room was OK except for the tiny bathroom. We didn’t have the best ... Read More
We tried this for the destination of going to Cuba. We are very loyal to Celebrity, but wanted to give this a chance. Not sure we’ll ever return. The balcony room was OK except for the tiny bathroom. We didn’t have the best attendants. Never got robes and one day they forgot to leave any washcloths or hand towel. Shore excursion person told us we needed their excursion in order to attend the Azamazing event that night. NOT true and we felt we were forced to buy an excursion we didn’t want. She also said it was impossible to get a tour outside the port. Again, NOT true. We then turned in all the rest of our excursion tickets and did things on our own. We were so frustrated with them! Entertainment was a big disappointment. Fitness center didn’t open on time the first two days. TV’s didn’t work on the recumbent bikes. Not the cruise we had hoped for. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
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