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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
We took this cruise to experience the Middle East in style. Felt like we were splurging a bit since I had just retired and went on a more expensive brand. Expected more than we got. All the people on the ship were nice, but it did not ... Read More
We took this cruise to experience the Middle East in style. Felt like we were splurging a bit since I had just retired and went on a more expensive brand. Expected more than we got. All the people on the ship were nice, but it did not live up to expectations. The shower was so small, worse than a Carnival ship. The room was standard sized for a cruise, as was the balcony. We had booked a suite originally and then backed out due to the flights costs. Wish I had stayed with it. The food was mediocre and did not have the variety that we expected. We went for the destinations, and they were amazing. Also, since the ship is so small, the entertainment was weak. The cruise director's staff was also the entertainment. A bit strange! I would take them again, knowing all this, as they go to destinations others do not. Just know what you are getting into. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2017
We have cruised with Azamara, on both Quest and Journey, for years. The latest experience was, as usual, pleasant and satisfying. We ate at Windows Café every day for we liked to eat outdoors. The varieties of the dishes, when compared ... Read More
We have cruised with Azamara, on both Quest and Journey, for years. The latest experience was, as usual, pleasant and satisfying. We ate at Windows Café every day for we liked to eat outdoors. The varieties of the dishes, when compared with previous years, seemed to be less impressive. The cleanliness at the outdoors eating area occasionally needed to be improved, i.e. napkins, little trash scattering on the floor. One of the attractions of travelling with Azamara was the dance classes offered on the sea days. The dance instructors, Sasha and Duma, were such a delight to watch and to be friends with. We got wind that the dancers will no longer be part of the onborad program in a few months. THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE. There is no entertainment like watching beautiful and classic dancing. Dancing is the perfect condiment to the music. Music on its own is a bit thin....with dancing added to the program, it becomes something wholesome and complete. What will a cruise holiday become without dancing (to dance or to see dancing)? Please, we urge the cruise management to rethink this potential change. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
The cruise linked some new ports for us with some we wished to revisit. Also a brief Western Med cruise on Azamara had really impressed. Suite benefits also very attractive. With the one exception of the Azamazing Evening (which ... Read More
The cruise linked some new ports for us with some we wished to revisit. Also a brief Western Med cruise on Azamara had really impressed. Suite benefits also very attractive. With the one exception of the Azamazing Evening (which definitely was not!), the cruise exceeded expectations. The food in the specialty restaurants and the buffet is outstanding. Crew went out of way to be helpful. Suite kept immaculately and goodies just kept arriving. Would i recommend? Yes without a doubt. Azamara Journey is R6 in the former Renaissance fleet. An ideal size which with under 700 passengers can reach smaller ports. It also has a more intimate fell. The way the Captain and Cruise Director Eric worked together was a joy to behold and experience. The ports of call were very interesting and. Contrasted nicely. The Kuala Lumpur ships tour was particularly well organised. It more than made up for the disappointing Azamazing evening in Colombo where Taj Hotels put on some lovely Sri Lankan dancing interspersed with some dire westernised singers. At embarkation in Singapore we were embarrassingly held by Customs because we had some small Azamara bottles of sports. We were eventually allowed off without a fine if we paid USD 42. Duty. A trap for the unwary. Azamara could usefully warn passengers. A brilliant very memorable cruise with 2 small glitches which in no way detracted from a wonderful cruise. We aim to sail Azamara again. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2017
We just returned from our Cruise Dubai to Singapore stopping in Mumbai, Goa, Cochin, Colombo, and Singapore. We arranged private tours in all ports and all were fine. The ship itself is a wonderful vessel. Small enough with only ... Read More
We just returned from our Cruise Dubai to Singapore stopping in Mumbai, Goa, Cochin, Colombo, and Singapore. We arranged private tours in all ports and all were fine. The ship itself is a wonderful vessel. Small enough with only around 600 passengers to be intimate and friendly. She is spotlessly clean, the staff are friendly and Officers, especially the Captain, very visible. Eric the cruise director, is the best cruise director I have ever seen on a cruise. Food is amazing, especially in the speciality restaurants. Those are the good - two niggles though. One was the Spa where the manageress is very high on herself and needs a lesson in customer relations. Second was the last day where I was interested to see what would happen. On other cruises such as Celebrity and Princess the last morning is always the same. There is the pervasive feeling that they can't wait to get you off the ship. Azamara Journey was no different, which was a shame, because it leaves a bitter taste after such a lovely cruise. Breakfast buffet in the main dining room was awful. Tables had been pushed closely together which was awkward with everyone having hand luggage. Supposedly hot food was either lukewarm, cold or had run out and not replenished at 8 a.m. No more friendly waiters, we were lucky to get served. I would not let this stop me with cruising with Azamara again though .....it was just interesting to note that they are no difference to other cruise lines we have travelled on, even though they consider themselves to be a cut above. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
We just completed cruise number 10 on Azamara, and are looking froward to number 11 and 12, already booked for early next year. We can't speak highly enough of the Captain and crew who contribute 100% to passenger satisfaction. ... Read More
We just completed cruise number 10 on Azamara, and are looking froward to number 11 and 12, already booked for early next year. We can't speak highly enough of the Captain and crew who contribute 100% to passenger satisfaction. Special mention must go to the Cruise Director, Eric De Gray We dined in the Patio Restaurant on several evenings, and found the food and service excellent. As Bridge players, we also appreciated having a bridge coordinator on board. On this cruise, our Director/Teacher, Vic Quiros, was most helpful in clearing some of the "foggy" areas in our current bridge regime. (Just when we thought we knew it all????) We organized most of our off shore excursions through contacts made with other Cruise Critic members before departure. We were able to travel in a smaller group, which made our three trips in India more manageable, and therefore more relaxing. Overall, good food, fantastic entertainment and the relaxed atmosphere all contribute to a very enjoyable voyage. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2017
We chose the cruise because of the itinerary to Southern India and Sri Lanka. The departure point was Dubai and we had never been there either. New ports were hard to ignore. Dubai and the UAE were special. The architecture, the ... Read More
We chose the cruise because of the itinerary to Southern India and Sri Lanka. The departure point was Dubai and we had never been there either. New ports were hard to ignore. Dubai and the UAE were special. The architecture, the buildings, the people and the culture were fascinating. Surprised that the city was so clean. Booked three tours on Viator: Top 5 places to see, Falconry in the desert, and a day trip to Abu Dhabi's Grand Mosque. Our stateroom was a Spa Suite which was beautiful. We had a huge washroom with separate sinks. There are many drawers for clothing storage and many closets. Definitely spacious. The drawback to these suites on the 9th deck is the smoking section nearby. “Spa suite” should be in a healthy area of the boat. We had to walk through thick smoke to enter our room. Not good placement for a suite. The entertainment was nice, the speakers were excellent. Bingo was disappointing in that few people showed up for the game. Cycling in Goa was a disappointment in that it was cancelled due to poor turnout. Dined in Prime steakhouse and the Italian Restaurant. Food selection was excellent. We did not care for the dining room atmosphere. Overall, great cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
We have sailed with Azamara 4 times and probably this last cruise was a little less value than the others . Overall the cruise was as usual excellent as far as food and service was concerned but it's the little things , the wine ... Read More
We have sailed with Azamara 4 times and probably this last cruise was a little less value than the others . Overall the cruise was as usual excellent as far as food and service was concerned but it's the little things , the wine particularly the white was generally awful several times the whole table at dinner sent it back on enquiry we were told that if we want better we could opt for the wine package this is supposed to be all inclusive, also many of the spirits i.e. Jameson's and Blue Saphire etc etc are no longer included which was a shame . These are small things but it's a 5 star cruise why start to ruin it for the sake of nicer wine and a few bottles of spirits come on Azamara don't spoil it . We are sailing on Celebrity eclipse in February it will be interesting how it compares, we have drink package included and have upgraded that to include the Jameson's and Blue Sapphire and we have 400$ to spend on board which will help with wifi cost . Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2016
This was my first trip with Azamara and I went with high expectations which were met in part. I did receive some misleading information prior to embarkation which meant I missed the first muster and as a consequence of attending a later ... Read More
This was my first trip with Azamara and I went with high expectations which were met in part. I did receive some misleading information prior to embarkation which meant I missed the first muster and as a consequence of attending a later muster missed the initial dinner for solo travellers. Was pleased with my aft cabin which was in good condition after the refurbishment but unfortunately got soot on the balcony on several occasions when the ship put on extra power. That was dealt with but the cushions were not replaced so remained a bit shabby.There was a full programme of daily activities and I took the opportunity to try Bridge which was a bonus. I Iiked the smoothie bar at breakfast and there was a good supply of fresh fruit. Felt the salads at lunchtime on the buffet were only average but the ice cream was excellent. There was a good menu choice in the main dining room in the evening though the absence of souffles and only a limited appearance of lobster was below my expectations. The waiting staff were plentiful and helpful but a niggle was that brandy was not included in the drinks package though all other spirits were. I was told that this had been raised by other guests and was being considered Only did one of the ship's organised tours which was fine but got better value making independent arrangements. Some of the ship's organised tours did not get good feedback. Overall I was happy with my choice but hope that some of the issues raised whn I was o board will be addressed before my next trip The cruise director had a positive impact on the entertainment and made a lot of effort. Overall a good experience Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2016
We thought the cruise was a dream! We had the back suite 6088 - and it was VERY nice. Our butler, Crook, was absolutely excellent. The food was great. We purchased the Adore Package so that internet and restaurants would be part of the ... Read More
We thought the cruise was a dream! We had the back suite 6088 - and it was VERY nice. Our butler, Crook, was absolutely excellent. The food was great. We purchased the Adore Package so that internet and restaurants would be part of the deal (DEFINITELY would do that on any cruise). The first few days we were sleeping... it had been a long year. But the days after were great. All of the stops - Mumbai, Goa, Kochi, Maldives, Sri Lanka and Chennin were all amazing. The wine-filled Chef's Table was great. The nights in cool places in Cochin was the BEST! I would definitely recommend anyone take this cruise. It was our first trip to India and we LOVED it, and it was our first trip on Azamara and we LOVED IT! The one thing that I found that was missing (and maybe it's because it's a small ship), was the sales to join other cruises. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
Our holiday started in Dubai, then we were at sea for three days. Our first port of call was Mumbai, we then cruised the coast of India and had an amazing time! In addition to India we visited the Maldives and Sri Lanka. We enjoyed it ... Read More
Our holiday started in Dubai, then we were at sea for three days. Our first port of call was Mumbai, we then cruised the coast of India and had an amazing time! In addition to India we visited the Maldives and Sri Lanka. We enjoyed it so much that we have just booked a similar trip but taking in the Seychelles as well. On our original trip we felt we didn't make the most of our shore excursions and are looking forward to remedying this in April and May. We couldn't fault the Azamara Journey, everything about it was first class! The ship is so clean. The Crew can't do enough to make you holiday memorable. There is so much to do on the ship I cant believe there isn't something for everyone. The food was delicious and plentiful! Lots of mouth watering healthy options too, I cant wait to climb aboard again! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
We chose this cruise so we could visit India Maldives and Sri Lanka. Going by Azamara was great as we love sailing with this company. Also we figured we would more likely become sick travelling by sea than on land. Mumbai was a great ... Read More
We chose this cruise so we could visit India Maldives and Sri Lanka. Going by Azamara was great as we love sailing with this company. Also we figured we would more likely become sick travelling by sea than on land. Mumbai was a great eye opener for what was to come in India did a ship excursion to the dalla-wallahs ,train ride then onto the laundry dhobi ghats. great place to watch 22 million people. Goa own arranged shore excursion not as busy and more beaches and relaxed. Coochin organised tour with fellow cruise critics excellent sailing on the Backwaters of Alappuzha. Great Azamazing evening with the ship. lots of different activities other than drinking and eating. Had our palms read, a sketch of our faces an hand tattoo which is just starting to fade now.(2 weeks later). Next stop Maldives - What a picturesque spot snorkelled off a back of a catamaran with another couple from cruise critic very in expensive $65 US each for 6 hours sailing and snorkelling with lunch included.Remember to keep on applying sunscreen. Will come back again Sri Lanka - What a wonderful place and private tour with 7 couples from Cruise Critic TUK TUK SAFARI- Is an excellent and well run company with happy and great drivers and tour guide. It was the little things like having cold water, beer, coconut juice (fresh) peanuts cold wash towels, taking us to get fresh mango juice and many more things. We will definitely visit this place again and do a night tour with TUK TUK SAFARI. Chennai was a nightmare to get off the ship but once we sat and waited an hour on the bus and got to our hotel it was easy to adapt to the mad crazy drivers. really enjoyed visiting Manmallapuram - very unique and wonder in stone. A must see. Azamara Journey is an easy to get around but although there is only 600 passengers we found that by the end of 2 weeks we had not seen some passengers until the last day. We love this size ship. Our services onboard was excellent and nothing was too much to ask for from the crew. This was the first trip with Azamara that they allowed Bridge tours and engine room tours which was an eye-opener. Cooking demonstrations was great, dinning in all restaurants were of high quality food and waiters always willing to please you although their gratuities have already been paid for before we get on-board they were just great always smiling. we did a lot of reading and when I had finished my book we visited the ships library and borrowed another 2 from there. the captain and senior officers are always mingling with the passengers and taking questions when needed. The only disappointments is the repeat of shows from previous cruises which we choice sometime to miss. Enjoyed the Indian Buffet on pool deck and always the white night. Brunch is also a pleaser in Discovery. We love the whole Azamara Experience and feel like family oncer onboard. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2016
This was the first time sailing on Azamara and we were very impressed. The cabins are very comfortable but the balcony was smaller than we expected as it was not big enough for a couple of sunbeds. Saying this the sunbeds on deck were ... Read More
This was the first time sailing on Azamara and we were very impressed. The cabins are very comfortable but the balcony was smaller than we expected as it was not big enough for a couple of sunbeds. Saying this the sunbeds on deck were very comfortable and there were plenty of them. The staff are absolutely fantastic and nothing is too much trouble. With drinks and gratuities included we found the price very reasonable. The food was very, very good and it was always served with a smile. French Onion Soup, Steaks, Lobster were some of our favourite meals. The entertainment was quite good and the entertainment team excelled with a great 'white evening' (the best party we have had onboard any ship and we have been on lots) and the azamazing evening was wonderful. We were disappointed the stop at Kuda Bandos was cancelled but trusted the excursion team when they suggested getting a boat to one of the islands. We decided to do this and were taken to what I can only describe as a building site, not really what you expect in the Maldives. I wish we had been given better advise as we would just have stayed onboard and saved our money. We feel as though the excursion team really let us down by not doing their homework properly. The cruise it self was around southern India, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives and apart from the Maldives we were absolutely fascinated by all the different places we visited, the traditions, the people, the buildings, even the noisy, hairraising traffic were unforgettable experiences. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
The ship has a passenger size of 620+ and a crew size of 403. If you are looking for a first cruise this is the ship to be on. It is big enough to be enjoyable but, not to big that its like a small town. We were a little ... Read More
The ship has a passenger size of 620+ and a crew size of 403. If you are looking for a first cruise this is the ship to be on. It is big enough to be enjoyable but, not to big that its like a small town. We were a little apprehensive on arriving at the port in Dubai handing over our passports which we did not see until we left the ship on a shuttle bus and even then we did not take them with us. The ship has all the amenities that you would find in a 5 star hotel and more. There is a wide range of food and its possible to dine buffet style or waiter service every day in one or other restaurants. We were pleasantly surprised to find that most if not all the crew we came into contact with new what we liked to drink at any time of the day and the captain made you feel just like an old friend. Our cabin crew were just great, both Anwar and Paulo could not be more helpful. Ok, so excursions and entertainment. You are not required to attend any entertainment programme or go on any excursion if you don not want too, I guess some may think that if its there you have too, no not the case its your holiday. However, you would be foolish not to go and see some of the places the ship visits, its a cruise after all. (tip, don't always use the cruise excursions, do a little research before you go and if a shuttle bus is available do your own thing it can be very rewarding). All the shore trips apart from one were great including the Azamazing night on shore. One we did was not brilliant, we did it on our own not a problem, just that the town was a little, well not a tourist town (tip... When you go a shore take some local currency with you, one bank we went too for money would not exchange as we did not have our passports). I could go on and mention all the places visited like Doha, lovely place we are actually thinking of going there on holiday now. so many things to see and do in all the ports, go on try it I am sure you will enjoy it. Oh nearly forgot, don't forget to use the laundry on deck 7 its worth it, banks of washing machines and dryers 2 ironing boards and you get to chat to fellow guests too, saves on laundry bills. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2016
The dates fit into our schedule.The food was very ok on this ship. Not bad, not great. Too many people at the buffet lines and tables. MDR too physically crowded. The shows were fabulous. Momma Mia was Broadway quality. The shows were ... Read More
The dates fit into our schedule.The food was very ok on this ship. Not bad, not great. Too many people at the buffet lines and tables. MDR too physically crowded. The shows were fabulous. Momma Mia was Broadway quality. The shows were great.The cabin was a good size with a nice seating area. There was plenty of storage for 2 people. Also we enjoyed our excursions specially in country of oman with the best tourism Company there ( Lifetime-tours),Oman was my third stop on a four country vacation and I immediately fell in love with this country. At first I could not put my finger on why, but I think it was the heart of the people that made this place special. Ahmed, our tour guide was extremely knowledgeable and professional. He spoke with a certain pride about his country and I could see why. He took great care to make sure we had a great time and he altered the tour a bit due to my disability to make sure I could still experience a Wadi, but just not a challenging.Also the excellent service and organisation we had with this agency.Finally it was everything beautiful and relaxing. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
Our first Azamara started brilliantly when we were offered the pay for upgrade to a suite from a veranda on the basis of our captains club / LCV status. WOW, we expected a real step up from everything we experienced on Celebrity. We had ... Read More
Our first Azamara started brilliantly when we were offered the pay for upgrade to a suite from a veranda on the basis of our captains club / LCV status. WOW, we expected a real step up from everything we experienced on Celebrity. We had a wonderful time on this cruise Dubai to Singapore. The ports of call were all fascinating and exiting to visit. On the ship some things were Azamazing others a little less so. Azamazing The Officers and crew on the ship are wonderful, engaging, friendly and helpful. They are the star in Azamara’s crown. We had the wonderful Raphael as our butler and with Caitano and Russell we were very well looked after. The whole team in Prime C were fantastic. Azamazing evening was truly amazing. In Kerala on the celebration of Diwali we were greeted by Elephants and music. We had a wonderful show, great food and drinks and also we were able to try having our palm read, have a henna tattoo (temporary) and see local crafts and costumes. A wonderful night ending with a Diwali fireworks show. White night party. The evening was too hot for us to eat outside, however we joined the fun, dancing and music outside later. It was well attended and very enjoyable for all ages. Talks and lectures were very interesting and helped us get far more out of our destinations – we didn’t see them live but watched on our TV as we were getting ready to go out. Spa deck area. This is for suite guests or I think you can pay a small amount to access it. This was a quiet small area which housed the Thalasso pool. We enjoyed it very much. Drinks service was available by phone. Nice furniture and nice loungers. Small ship size made for speedy embarkation and debarkation at ports We are Independent tourers and were well catered for, with guest relations assisting in helping us meet tour times. Special events like the Officers BBQ and the Dim Sum buffet were well organised in the main dining room. Cleanliness on board was noticeable. I like the idea that buffet food is served for the first 2 days and that the cleaning regime was heightened in higher risk countries. Less Azamazing Despite letting Azamara know in advance that we had organised our own hotel and transfers in Dubai, we were met at the airport. Messages just hadn’t got through – This wasn’t to be the first time! Embarkation at Dubai was quick and easy until we were given our key cards. We had 4 people listed for our suite. We questioned it but the additional keycards were removed and we were told not to be concerned. We should have been! We got the wrong mail for days, and did not receive invites to events including the meet and mingle event. This meant we were unable to meet others with whom we had arranged private tours and we also missed meeting Bonnie from the Azamara cruise critic board. Our passports were checked for India visas before boarding.. I don’t understand then how many passengers ( I understand 70+)boarded with either no visa or an electronic visa which wasn’t sufficient. These passengers were very disgruntled were not allowed off the ship at Mumbai or Goa. Eventually a group visa was arranged for out last stop in India. Understanding the visa requirements hadn’t been easy and Azamara just referred us to an expensive visa company. After contacting the Indian Embassy we realised we required full visas. Those caught up in this mess were very unimpressed with Azamara. Many felt they had been misled or uninformed by their TA. Others said they had evidence of being misled by Azamara. Whatever the truth visiting areas of the world like this isn’t as straightforward and Azamara should do more on these sailings to confirm guests fully understand the requirements well in advance. The ships are well overdue the planned bow to stern refit. Dark woods and patterned carpets dominate. The whole feel is of an old world hotel. It is well maintained on the whole but the heavy rain in Kuala Lumpur resulted in leaks in several public areas on the ship. Drinks and food were served with less style and panache than we are used to on Celebrity Suite verandahs are small and with a large square table taking a lot of space. No lounger or footstools on the verandah. I would have thought branded toiletries should have been supplied in suites rather than the rose scented types. We were really looking forward to Aqualina but found it a little disappointing. Service was good, but disappointed that the H’ors deuve trolley wasn’t taken to table for a choice, no tableside cooking in either speciality restaurant. Fish was boned in Aqualina tableside. There were some very odd combinations of fish and pasta . Other items like the Zabaglione were memorable. We switched our bookings to Prime C which we enjoyed very much. The other food on the ship we found to be a little patchy. A great irritant was the drinks packages. We like a good glass of wine and some quality spirits and a great martini. A good sommelier once told us that after the 1st 4 glasses it gets more difficult to discern the quality of a wine. The included wine was we though BBQ standard and not for us so we chose a 10 bottle package which suited us better and enabled us to have sparkling and sweet wine if we preferred it. We took the premium drinks package but found it very irritating that bar staff went through the ingredients of martinis to see what was and wasn’t included. We are on holiday and don’t want to consult lists or be told that a cheaper alternative will be used as the correct ingredient isn’t included. No sparkling wine either, or glasses of premium wine in the package. This whole arena needs to be modernised as per Celebrity to make it better and easier for guests. Martinis were small and very old fashioned. Cocktails were not served with the panache we have come to expect from Celebrity. Our bottled water packaged was delivered in single servings. Sometimes we had 4 servings each in the hot dry climate and the waiter had to keep running back and forth instead of supplying a large bottle in the 1st place! We tried to trade 2 of the 4 half bottles of spirits supplied in our suite for wine. Eventually the wine was delivered but we were very disappointed to find it was the free pour wine used all over the ship. We were also misled that we couldn’t have drinks from our package delivered to our stateroom. Eventually towards the end of our cruise Guest relations confirmed that there had been a change and we could do this….too late! No Meet and mingle invite delivered. The LCV celebration was just for 1 couple and all the music dance etc was for them. Don’t get me wrong they were a nice couple who had cruised a lot with Azamara but we found it sycophantic and embarrassing. Finally the Photo disc we were sold on the basis that the photos were for our trip and ports of call was not as promised. Some nice photos however when we downloaded them they were from 2010 to 2014. Not our sailing, not our Azamazing evening. We felt we had been stung. Would we sail Azamara again? We would love to especially where destinations and ports are more unusual. We loved the crew and the small ship experience. We will look to see what the refit brings and will look to a change to a more modern approach. In the meantime the Celebrity suite enhancements mean it is a better option for us right now delivering a luxury small ship experience within a large luxury ship! We wanted this to be a 5 star luxury experience. For destinations it was but Azamara don't quite step up to a luxury brand......yet. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2015
From the moment I arrived at the Terminal in Dubai, it was clear that this ship was different to the bigger P&O and Princess liners I had sailed on previously. Everything just flowed smoothly from Day 10. The attention to passenger ... Read More
From the moment I arrived at the Terminal in Dubai, it was clear that this ship was different to the bigger P&O and Princess liners I had sailed on previously. Everything just flowed smoothly from Day 10. The attention to passenger comfort and convenience was outstanding. Embarking and disembarking in foreign ports went well with minimal queueing for Customs and Immigration. Detailed information was given in plenty of time and all went as planned each time.' The Guest speakers were excellent, entertainment and good food all added to the experience. The Captain and crew were very friendly and approachable. I got the feeling it was a happy ship. I have been thoroughly spoiled for any other cruise ships and I look forward to getting on board as soon as my finances can be arranged. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2013
After a gap of a year, we returned from our "home away from home" the Azamara Journey to make a much looked forward to visit to India and Sri Lanka. This was to be our seventh Azamara cruise and our fifth successive trip on ... Read More
After a gap of a year, we returned from our "home away from home" the Azamara Journey to make a much looked forward to visit to India and Sri Lanka. This was to be our seventh Azamara cruise and our fifth successive trip on Journey. We had chosen this cruise because although those countries were very much on our bucket lists, we had some reservations about doing a land based adventure for our first visits. We always now do our own flights and pre/post cruise bookings. We flew with British Airways who again turned out to be excellent carriers, we regularly transit Heathrow so are very happy using them. Our pre cruise hotel for two nights was the Hilton Jumeirah Beach and post cruise we stayed a further night in Singapore in the Ritz Carlton. We had not been on Journey since its dry dock and we were pleasantly surprised at how much we liked the changes, even though others have expressed concern that they were less than they would have liked to see. Our view is, just like in your home, your wish list is always longer than your budget will allow and we think Azamara made some sound rationing choices, not least of all by looking after their hard working crew. The ship is in very good shape and was spotlessly clean all cruise long. Dining was excellent, we dined both in the speciality restaurants and in Discoveries and were very pleased with the menu choices and every meal was perfectly served. Lunchtime options (buffet, pool bar and some brunches on the at sea days) were all good and there was ample variety of choice. We also had our regular room service burger (always a treat once a cruise) but apart from that, although we had a suite, we tended not to eat in our room. We found breakfast far less frenetic than on previous visits and therefore enjoyed more breakfasts in Ocean View (including its great smoothie bar) than had happened previously. Service throughout the ship is first rate, staff seem to have been well trained to anticipate your every need and are genuinely engaged and happy to go the extra mile. They also work very much as a team as was evident when the White Nights had to be rapidly relocated indoors due to some unexpected monsoon rains. No one stood on ceremony or status, everyone pitched in to help and it was good to see a lot of guys making personal decisions and taking the initiative in how they looked after guests, not only that night but throughout the cruise. The one area that is still work in progress is Land Discoveries - we had booked all our trips through them in advance to take account of the 25% discount. No trips were cancelled but the quality was very variable. Not only does Azamara have to work with their local agents to produce excursions which are differentiated from the run of the mill drive arounds, they also need to work with their onboard team as this is the one area that does not seem to fully grasp the service ethos and is still more of a cookie cutter sell rather than individual customer focused service mentality. Nothing was really bad, but when you compared how they handled feedback compared to how an Assistant waiter did, there was a disconnect. The cruise director Eric de Gray worked tirelessly to entertain and the onboard production team were very talented indeed, with two doing excellent solo slots. The guest entertainers were all very good indeed. Nigel Marvin was a very good enrichment lecturer and it was nice to see how both enrichment speakers positively supported other activities staff and guest entertainers by attending their events - a real camaraderie existed. In our view, although we thought the pianist was perhaps less forthcoming in terms of their personality, we really loved the relocation of the piano to the Casino Bar area and found this a very relaxing and comfortable place to spend time, either before dinner or after the show. We know many do not like this move, but we feel Mosaic now has a clear purpose and with the piano to the side in the Casino Bar, it is not perched in a public transit area as is the case in Mosaic. We were disappointed to see Park West back on board and felt their "wares" seriously cluttered up part of Mosaic and there were far to many bright pictures on the walls in that area of Deck 5 which just did not fit into the look and feel at all. We slept so well in the new comfortable beds and were sorry when time came for us to disembark - as usual Azamara make that a relatively painless experience though beware, there is quite a long walk in Singapore both before you get your luggage and then on to the taxi stand. In summary, we were so fortunate to be able to sail again with Azamara and to see that as ever the leadership skills of Captain Johannes and the attention to guest experience detail of Heike continues to rub off all the way down to the deck cleaners and to everyone we met onboard. It was a great cruise, with a great cruiseline and one we are so glad we were able to complete. Read Less
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