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58 Azamara Eastern Caribbean Cruise Reviews

We are a couple in our early sixties. Choose a Caribbean cruise every year for the weather and ports. This was our 3rd Azamara cruise. We choose small luxury lines. We were in N2 category. As in past excursions were canceled for ... Read More
We are a couple in our early sixties. Choose a Caribbean cruise every year for the weather and ports. This was our 3rd Azamara cruise. We choose small luxury lines. We were in N2 category. As in past excursions were canceled for lack of participants. If there is something you really must do then best to do it as independent. Tender service was good. Hotel mng Philip was good. Dining...we had lunch at buffet every day. Food quality was good, not super. Would have liked to see more seafood,sushi vs. mixed salads with mayo. Oceania and Regent do shrimp cocktail, oysters etc, not Azamara. Panini and sandwich station usually crowded. Sea day when they were make no Ruben sandwich they ran out of bread, sauerkraut. Pool service ok but sometimes had to wait 20 min. for someone to come by and offer a drink. Dinner... we ate in one of the 2 specialty restaurants every night. Service there was good but slow on occasion. The main reason we are 'jumping ship' next year is that the menu is the same every night ....boring! We did not go to MDR because heard service there is VERY slow. Would have liked to see menu changed every couple of days. We had room service every morning for breakfast. It was good. Butler seemed very rushed, wonder how many cabins he was serving, he is either overworked or it was his personality...not sure. Most people in their 70’s and 80’s. all of the music around ship played to this age range. Spa services were good but would have liked a 'relaxation area' to wait while in bathrobe...not a bench at entrance. Went to disco one night...DJ,music and fun evening. White night party on deck always fun, wished they did that more than once. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
This was our first cruise ever, so did not know what to expect. We paid extra to have Azamara arrange all our flights and transfers, which at the time we thought to be expensive. However the whole experience was stress free, the ... Read More
This was our first cruise ever, so did not know what to expect. We paid extra to have Azamara arrange all our flights and transfers, which at the time we thought to be expensive. However the whole experience was stress free, the hotels were good, and the transfers were seamless, so we felt it was money well spent. The food was good and varied with plenty of gluten free options as well as salads for the health conscious, as well as excellent desserts, ice creams etc. for the not so health conscious. We also used room service on a couple of days to have breakfast on our balcony watching the sunrise which was excellent. The entertainment during sea days was low key, however, given the space available the entertainment in the evening was good. We were very lucky, the ports we visited in the Caribbean were small and there were no other cruise ships docked on any day. I would have not have enjoyed it as much if these small ports were bombarded with another cruise liner or two, as it would have been too crowded. We opted to do our own thing on the various islands seeing a lot of the sights the shore excursions offered just by walking around. Would we go again, definately yes, but we now know that cruises with a lot of sea days would not be for us. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We have cruised on Azamara at least 5 time prior to this cruise so we had a level of expectation. It was not met in many respects. Since Azamara had a promotion on the air flights they booked our arrival to the San Juan airport for a ... Read More
We have cruised on Azamara at least 5 time prior to this cruise so we had a level of expectation. It was not met in many respects. Since Azamara had a promotion on the air flights they booked our arrival to the San Juan airport for a 5:49 PM arrival. By the time we got our bags and a taxi it was around 7 PM when we got to the ship which was scheduled to leave at 9 PM. At the doc there were no Azamara personnel and no porters to take our luggage. We dragged our luggage to and through a security check point. Then the problem really started. The gang way was not a ramp but about 50 steps straight up. NO HELP AVAILABLE! We our both in our 70's and in 85 degree humid weather had to schlep our bags up 50 steps. Upon entering the ship we got the normal BS welcome and an offer of a glass of wine. I told them instead of wine perhaps luggage help would had been nice. Blank looks was what I got. The next problem was that by arriving late I could get only lousy reservation at the extra cost restaurants. Other ships allow online bookings in advance. Azamara needs to adopt this. The next day, 12/28/16, we had booked to go to Saint Martin's Orient Beach which we had been to many times before this visit. More about this advance booking later. The trip left over an hour late and Azamara took us to the tender a back route through the ship and completely forgot there was no beach towels or water for us until I asked. They then treated me disrespectfully for asking. Eventually they hand carried them to us on the tender. On 12/29/16 we just shopped in St. Barts. It is very French and very expensive. I looked at my onboard account and noticed a charge for our trip to St. Martin that I had prepaid. I called Customer Relations and told them of the error. The young lady was very condescending and said if I didn't believe her that I had not prepaid to call my credit card company if I had a cell phone. I did not call figuring I will wait until I get home and check. On 12/30/16 we were at St. Kitts for the Azamazing Evening at the Gouverneur General's Home. It was a great event. Music, food and a police motorcade. On 12/31/16 in St. Kitts we had a shore trip that everyone thought was to the Marriott to use the pool and beach. What did we get? about 3 hours of sightseeing a then being told we had ONE HOUR at the Marriott. Who can enjoy the pool and beach in one hour. VERY DISSAPOINTING. The New Year's White Night Party was good until the ship did not leave on time at 9 PM because it was windy. The next morning we were told the ship did not leave until 6 am because the side thrusters were too weak to get the ship away from the dock. Since we were late leaving we would skip stopping at Tortola and have 3 days at sea instead of two days as we headed to our final destination of Miami. Upon getting home I saw that I had been double charged for the Saint Martin's trip and had to call and spend 30 minutes getting someone to refund my money. We have cruised on Crystal, HAL, RCCL, Celebrity, Princess, NCL. Azamara is our preferred line but they sure under performed on this trip! Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We have travelled many times on Azamara, this was so looked forward to and disappointed on so many fronts. The worst was the Amazing evening, it was dreadful.The blurb said we would be met by stilt walkers and proceed carnival style to ... Read More
We have travelled many times on Azamara, this was so looked forward to and disappointed on so many fronts. The worst was the Amazing evening, it was dreadful.The blurb said we would be met by stilt walkers and proceed carnival style to a folkloric evening, returning to the ship singing carols. Wrong on all counts. We were left to walk to the end of the pier for a performance by a magician of dubious skills, the local high school band played for a while. Great disappointment. The whole debacle could have been accomplished on board. The entertainment was lack lustre. Having been spoiled by hands on CDs like Tony Markey and Eric de Grey , Russell Grieve was not at all up to their standard.we rarely even saw him. He would put me off booking my next Azamara cruise . No carols at the trim the tree event again as promised. To sing of Christmas we went to the non denominational midnight mass, very high church Roman Catholic. The priest had 5 bottles of communion wine, he opened one, had a glass, that was the last we saw of that. He gave out communion wafers then proceeded to eat the remainder like popcorn while a singer sang. He treated the sacred body of christ like crackerjack, sitting to one side cramming them in his mouth. It disappointed in so many ways, standards crashed in windows, cold food in Discoveries. It nust was not Christmassy. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We've been cruising the holidays with Celebrity they past 3 years and had gotten bored and felt Celebrity has gone backwards in terms of service and dining. So, we spotted a fair deal on this 8 nighter on the Quest and gave Azamara a ... Read More
We've been cruising the holidays with Celebrity they past 3 years and had gotten bored and felt Celebrity has gone backwards in terms of service and dining. So, we spotted a fair deal on this 8 nighter on the Quest and gave Azamara a try. All I can say is WOW. The crew from bottom to top is very caring, fun and engaging. The food was superb. In addition to the regular meals they outdid themselves with a Christmas day brunch and also the "white night" party and dinner buffet. It was of the highest quality and and great selection. Entertainment was wonderful. Their "in house" singers and dancers are very talented. Russ the cruise director made it a point to get to know us and we felt very included among their other guests, many of whom had cruised with Azamara many, many times before. Captain Jose was quite visible and personable. The other guests were quite friendly and for whatever the reason, we spoke to many more people than we ever do on a Celebrity cruise. The country club casual dress code suits us fine. The updated ship looks fresh. The 690 passenger count is perfect. Never a problem finding a deck chair even on a sea day. No long waits for an elevator. No long waits for anything. Azamara is amazing. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Overall, a very good cruise. We were on a Thanksgiving Day cruise to the eastern Caribbean, with port calls at five islands. Getting the negatives out of the way first. Cabins are very small, and the bathroom and shower are ... Read More
Overall, a very good cruise. We were on a Thanksgiving Day cruise to the eastern Caribbean, with port calls at five islands. Getting the negatives out of the way first. Cabins are very small, and the bathroom and shower are extremely tiny. We spent very little time in the cabin, so size was not an issue, but I did hear many gripes about the teeny tiny bathroom and showers from other passengers. The "White Night" evening dining experience in St Marteen was a total fiasco, with long slow lines for food, insects on food, limited food selection, crowded dining conditions. Passengers made it worse by attempting to reserve tables first, then getting in the long food lines. Someone would place a flower or a book on a table for six and then claim they had "reserved" the table. Ridiculous, we did like many and just ignored their inconsiderate reserve nonsense. Of course, this led to a few heated discussions, but you meet a few jerks on every cruise. So silly the way some women dress up in evening gowns and stiletto heels on a ship that emphasizes casual dining. The cost of internet service is absurd, and this service should be free, included in the cost of the cruise fare. Moreover, additional computer terminals are needed in the internet "in touch" cafe. The land excursion department blew it badly in the British Virgin Islands for the "Schooner Sail Away and Swim." The tender pulled up to the dock and no one from Azamara was there to direct people where to assemble for the tour. Then, the ship cut the tour short one hour, claiming they had to depart the port on time. As a token apology, Azamara refunded one-third the cost of the excursion. They should have refunded the entire cost of the land excursion, since they did not live up to the terms of tour contract. Disembarkation on the last day of the cruise was another fiasco, with no one from Azamara outside in the parking lot to direct people to buses which would take them to Miami International Airport. Making matters worse, Azamara employees were cutting into the customs line and going to the front, like they had some special privilege and were superior to everyone else. This created an extremely poor public relations image of Azamara and needs to be corrected immediately before I would ever consider going again on an Azamara cruise. There is no excuse for Azamara employees to be cutting into the customs line, like they are someone special. Positives were many and made for a great cruise. Our cabin attendants were among the best I have ever seen. There was nothing they could not do in an effort to please us. Every little detail and request was immediately handled in a cheerful efficient manner. Fantastic incredible service, and I had no problem giving the cabin attendant generous gratuity. Same for the dining staff. The food in the Windows Cafe was superior, with a huge selection for all three meals. Wait staff service was beyond belief, friendly, efficient, and courteous at all times. Cabins have a flat-screen TV which also allows you to review your on board account, store purchases, purchased land excursions, ship credit, etc. The bow camera channel provides weather information, time, ship position course and speed, etc. You can also make maintenance requests, order room service, request items for your cabin, etc, all through the interactive flat-screen TV. Public areas on the ship are beautiful and very comfortable, with a bonus of never being crowded, a distinct advantage of a small ship. I note that virtually all ship personnel will greet and acknowledge you when passing in the passageways and other locations. Doors are held open for passengers, and all staff are always eager to help and assist, if needed. This is an adults only ship, which makes it so nice. There is absolutely nothing for children or teenagers to do on this ship and no special place for them. All activities are geared for mature adults only. So please do not ruin it for everyone else by bringing your kids with you on this ship. Moreover, your kids will be so bored that they will drive you and everyone else nuts. Be considerate, leave the kids and teens home or take them on a Carnival cruise. Riding a small ship is great, in that you can visit smaller ports and see foreign people up closer in small towns. Azamara Quest operates its own tenders, and we were often greeted with cold towels and drinks, upon return to the pier for the ride out to the ship. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We sailed on Journey for 10 nights beginning March 16, 2016. We were notified in advance that due to an inspection by the Coast Guard, boarding would begin at 12:30 with sailing at 5 PM. Boarding: The ship normally docks at Terminal J ... Read More
We sailed on Journey for 10 nights beginning March 16, 2016. We were notified in advance that due to an inspection by the Coast Guard, boarding would begin at 12:30 with sailing at 5 PM. Boarding: The ship normally docks at Terminal J but docked across from Terminal D so we had to park there knowing when we disembarked, we would have to travel to get our car.We live in Florida so were able to drive to the port. Parking is $20.00 per day. Boarding process moved quickly and we were onboard around 1 PM. Stateroom: We had a lovely fully functional veranda balcony cabin on Deck 7. No noise or other issues. The one thing in the refurbishment is the one couch is really for one person. So that caused the need to sit on the bed or desk chair. The room is nicely done! Bathroom has that wonderful shower curtain that likes to cling to you! Food: There are many venues for eating. We would review the Discoveries menu online in our cabin, look at the buffets in Windows Cafe and also The Patio and make a decision on where to eat for dinner. For the most part, Windows and The Patio were our choice. The Irish, Caribbean and Asian buffets in Windows were exceptional. The food in The Patio is freshly prepared and excellent. Portions in Discoveries were small and menus not to our interest. The Living Room with drinks and tapas is something to experience! Wine: They served a different white and red wine each day along with a rose. You could have as many glasses as you liked throughout the day and in any venue where wine was serrved. Crew/Service: All crew were pleasant, smiling and out to respond to your needs. Officers were very visible. Officers served at special events such as the poolside barbeque. The service was high level along with a real sense of caring for your cruise experience. Entertainment: In general, there was not alot to do during the day. Typical activities were bingo, a few presentations, card playing etc. The production shows were not up to the level of larger ships. We went twice and that was enought. Special events included White Night-well done! Good food and so well set up. This is a special evening. Other entertainment included a talented magician and a nightly session of guitar playing. The cruise director performed for one of the nights and he has an outstanding voice. The AzAmazing Evening took place in St. Maarten on the dock with children playing steel drums and a Caribbean quartet. Fireworks were great! Ports: We made our own excursion plans and enjoyed each of the ports. We did not spend much time in St. Barts as it was so crowded and quite hot. Disembarkation: For some technical reason, the ship was almost 3 hours late docking back at Terminal J. The crew did the best they could to expedite those with early flights. As we were driving back, we took advantage of the extra time. The actual disembarkation process was fine when we left the ship. I could see lines building behind us, but there were three custom agents for the almost 700 passengers. Summary: We have sailed Azamara previously and expected a great cruise. We had that great cruise and have booked another Quest sailing. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Long time cruiser but first with Azamara. The ship was undergoing an annual Coast Guard Inspection so we were delayed embarkation until 12:30. We arrived at that time and our wait was 15 minutes. Check in went smoothly. Our bags, ... Read More
Long time cruiser but first with Azamara. The ship was undergoing an annual Coast Guard Inspection so we were delayed embarkation until 12:30. We arrived at that time and our wait was 15 minutes. Check in went smoothly. Our bags, however, were not delivered until after 4 PM and talking to the crew we found that this was normal performance for them. Other cruise lines bring your bags much sooner. High points of the ship and cruise: Fantastic lunches and buffets. Incredible White Night and Officer's Buffet on deck. The Azamazing Evening in St. Martin was excellent. Overall food quality was very good. Very friendly staff and officers. The ship was just remodeled and looked great. There were rust spots they missed but overall it is excellent. The entertainment was also well above average, excellent musicians and Lecturers. Low points: We booked an Oceanview Guarantee and since were 3 months before cruise time we had hoped for some type of upgrade. No luck at all. We got one of the cabins behind the lifeboats and it is a TINY cabin! The view was pretty good. We travel heavy and there was insufficient room for us, particularly in the miniscule bathroom and not enough countertop space in the main cabin. We were unhappy with our cabin. Although very friendly, the service was spotty, particularly in the Main Dining Room. We had evenings that our dinner took much longer than 2 hours. One night we waited 90 minutes for the main entrée to arrive. The crew was so stressed out that even senior officers were pressed into helping prepare and clean tables. Something was wrong there. We would order coffee upstairs and it took 5 to 10 minutes before they returned. We took two shore excursions on the ship and enjoyed them very much, had a great time. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We just returned from an 11 day cruise on the Azamara Journey. The ship had come out of dry dock prematurely. The company allegedly allowed only 2 weeks to do a complete overhaul. There were weather issues and allegedly supplier problems. ... Read More
We just returned from an 11 day cruise on the Azamara Journey. The ship had come out of dry dock prematurely. The company allegedly allowed only 2 weeks to do a complete overhaul. There were weather issues and allegedly supplier problems. We waited 5 hours at the terminal for " polishing" We finally got to our cabin only to find varnish fumes, wet varnish, no rod in the closet, tv not working and the worst was that the cabin did not resemble the pictures. There was no reading chair. The view was totally obscured by the tenders. The only time you could see out the window was when the tenders were in the water. The crew took care of most of what could be done and were very helpful. I did not know that this ship had just come out of dry dock ( should have, but did not) The crew was great. The meals were good. We did not go to the special restaurants as by the time I thought of it, they were booked. The main dining room was fine. Most of the excursions were good. I would skip island tour of Neves. Virgin Gorda, St John and St Bart's were the best. The ship offered : compensation: in the form of generous discounts on a future cruise. I think a better approach would be to refund money for this one or in the alternative, offer discounts on Celebrity ships. Bridge lessons and games were offered on sea days. Enjoyed them thoroughly. Given the size of the cabin and the drydock issues, this was not a good value. Those waiting at the terminal were divided into 2 camps: first timers and repeaters The repeaters kept saying this was an anomaly. I hope so as the Quest is also scheduled for drydock. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
We are seasoned cruisers and have traveled on many lines, but predominately Celebrity. We were interested in trying the Azamara experience and visiting the smaller islands. This ship was in dry dock and only returned to Miami the ... Read More
We are seasoned cruisers and have traveled on many lines, but predominately Celebrity. We were interested in trying the Azamara experience and visiting the smaller islands. This ship was in dry dock and only returned to Miami the morning of the cruise. We feel that it was premature as many items had not been completed and it appears that the company only allowed two weeks to do a major overhaul. We were not told about the dry dock when we booked and didn’t find out until after final payment. They noted that they had weather issues and missing parts/supplies. We received a text and voicemail telling us that we should come to the pier from 2 to 4 o’clock. We needed to check out and the last hotel shuttle to the pier was 12 so we went at that time. Once there we waited and then one of the Azamara executives came around announcing that boarding would not happen until at least 5 to allow them to ‘polish’ everything so that we would be ‘dazzled’. They handed out vouchers for some to go to the cafeteria at HQ and brought on pasta/cookies and water/tea for the rest of us. We boarded after 5 and got to our cabin; no luggage yet. We did the safety drill and then went to dinner. The luggage arrived later. The room looked nice; we were in veranda 7089. There was plenty of closet space and drawers for our belongings. BUT - The smell of new carpet was so strong that it almost made us nauseous. The balcony was dirty, full of paint stains and the chair pads were filthy and stained. The TV did not work for 3 days. Once the TV worked, the volume did not work properly (we could not lower it) and it kept cutting out which made it hard to watch when we wanted. There were days that we could not get into our account and a couple of times it said that we had no OBC. There was no trash basket in the bathroom, however, the attendant said that there was going to be one - it never came. Since this was our first with Azamara, we did not know what was supposed to be in the cabin and what was missing. Every day, something appeared in the room that I guess should have been there initially – flowers on the desk, the umbrella in the closet, the bible and the list goes on. Our balcony was cleaned on day 6. We had a leak under the bathroom sink; reported it and was told the next day that it was fixed. There was still a leak; reported it and was told that it was fixed the following day. At that point, we did not have a leak, but I was going to take a shower and we had no water. Called Guest Relations and no sooner that I hung up, we started getting either paint or varnish fumes through the air conditioning vent. Called again. Two plumbers came and one was an officer. He made a call about the fumes and spoke to someone but said that the person that he wanted was not there. The fumes stopped and after an hour, we had a shower again. The crew took care of most of what could be done and were very helpful. Our stateroom was kept tidy and the vacuumed but the rug kept shedding. The self-service laundry was inoperable for the entire cruise. We packed accordingly so that we could use it every couple of days. It seems that during dry dock, they took out the old machines, put the new ones in and never hooked them up. We complained and were told to send our clothes out and there would not be a charge. Talking to another cruiser at the end of the cruise and the conversation turned to the laundry. They did not complain and were unaware of the free cleaning. They were rinsing things in the bathroom basin every night. There was no general announcement. In the casino, the slot machines did not pay out. Every time we wanted to cash out for any reason, we had to call the attendant over and they paid in cash. The paint fumes were everywhere as the painters were completing what had not been done previously. There were many more problems and although they may sound small, the accumulation of them became tiresome. The meet and mingle was held on the first sea day. At the end we were asked if we would like a final M&M arranged for the last day and the majority said yes. It never happened. We bought the Specialty Restaurant 3 pack and really enjoyed the food and service in Aqualina and Prime C. We found that the menu in the main dining room had more choices than some other lines. The meals were good and the service was super except for two waiters who totally forgot us. The Officers were visible. The cruise director Eric was one of the best that we have seen. The comedian Bruce was really funny. The White Night celebration was such a great time; the Azamazing evening was not. A production company from the island was brought on and they had so many problems. The opera singer’s voice was beautiful but the rest of the show was so disappointing. Another night, we were waiting to see the Newlywed/Not So Newlywed Game and after sitting in the cabaret for a while, an announcement was made that it was cancelled due to non-participation. They could have announced it sooner. The ship offered compensation in a letter that stated 30% off of a future cruise but in reality, when it was applied, it was actually 30% of what you paid for this cruise off of another cruise which could make a big difference. Also, if you booked while on the cruise, you would get an additional 25% off and that was later extended to the week following the end of the cruise. We would have preferred OBC since we most likely will not sail with them again. We booked what we thought was a premium luxury cruise and we did not get what we paid for. There were so many issues and it was not a good value. We can do better on another line. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
We loved our first Azamara experience!  The small ship atmosphere is perfect for us at our age...we are both in our early 60's. We do not cruise to spend everyday touring. We cruise more just for the cruise experience and to just get ... Read More
We loved our first Azamara experience!  The small ship atmosphere is perfect for us at our age...we are both in our early 60's. We do not cruise to spend everyday touring. We cruise more just for the cruise experience and to just get away and relax. We liked the fact that Azamara is all-inclusive, not totally inclusive like some cruise lines, but mostly cause gratuities and complimentary drinks are included. We were quite fine with the daily wine selections and the comp alcohol worked well enough. Next trip though might upgrade the alcohol package so we can enjoy after dinner drinks like Baileys. The ship was in great shape and the room albeit a bit small had to be the quietest cabin we had ever had. Loved the fact of the sliding door to the verandah too. Yes, the shower is small, but they have done a great job keeping the water within the shower and not all over the floor The food was good, not great, and there was always the option of a different themed buffet for dinner every night at Windows. We only dined there twice and didnt do either specialty restaurant. Discoveries had a vegetarian and a healthy choice also nightly. Overall service was good. The crew was very outgoing and friendly and you would see the staff out and about daily including helping out at special buffets they might be having There was no high pressure selling and you would only hear from the Captain and Cruise Director once a day when they would give you a noon update We booked another cruise while onboard...next time the Journey. Could not pass up the itinerary including the Panama Canal and overnighting in New Orleans plus a stop in Key West. Thanks to all the Cruise Critic people for all they post. It really helped us set our expectations going in and like we said Azamara did not disappoint Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
This was our 20th cruise, but the 1st with Azamara. It will be hard to go back to any other cruise line after our Christmas 2013 experience on the Quest. The service is superb; the staff are friendly but unobtrusive; the food was fabulous. ... Read More
This was our 20th cruise, but the 1st with Azamara. It will be hard to go back to any other cruise line after our Christmas 2013 experience on the Quest. The service is superb; the staff are friendly but unobtrusive; the food was fabulous. We hated to see the trip end. The cabin was quiet with no vibration. Location was ideal: near the bow stairway/elevators. Balcony is lovely with an unobstructed view. Near the self-service laundry, although we never heard or saw this facility. Lots of storage space for two people. Bathroom is smallish, but no smaller than on many other ships. Lots of bathroom storage. Luggage easily fit under bed. Tons of hangers provided. Embarkation was fast and easy, as was the debarkation process. Whenever we had a question about *anything* on the ship, there was a rapid, very helpful, very satisfactory response. Our Azamazing Evening was moved from Blackbeard's Castle to the Quest pool deck. We received lots of advance information about this and the ship outdid itself in presenting a fantastic evening on board. We loved the food, the costumes, and the entertainment. The ship's staff, from the captain to every member of the crew, contributed to making this a very memorable event. The ship outdoes itself where communication is concerned: notices on the TV, printed careds on the bed at night, reminders in the "Pursuits" paper, and verbal reminders from cabin stewards and waitstaff. We loved that there are very few public announcements on this ship! No annoying reminders about bingo, art auctions, or other entertainments.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
My husband and I took the 8 night Christmas voyage on the Quest. I've written a more detailed trip report with photos on the Azamara forum of Cruise Critic but here's the more compressed version. Dining: excellent. We did not ... Read More
My husband and I took the 8 night Christmas voyage on the Quest. I've written a more detailed trip report with photos on the Azamara forum of Cruise Critic but here's the more compressed version. Dining: excellent. We did not dine at the two specialty restaurants this time but will do so the next as they looked very inviting. We ate mostly at the outdoor Sunset Bar, having gotten our food at the Windows Cafe buffet. Each night had a different theme--Asian, French, Turkish, etc. The staff was always willing to tell you about the food if you didn't know what all the items were. The dinners we had at Discoveries were delicious and service was efficient and unobtrusive. High marks there. Public Rooms: very traditional decor that was considerably enhanced by contemporary artwork, carpets, and accent items. It all worked beautifully together. Cabins: we had a V3 deck 6 balcony cabin that was lovely. We were wondering how we'd like it since the cabin is a bit smaller than you'd find on newer ships but it was all good, no small part due to the adequate storage we found. Even in the tiny bathroom! Entertainment: Russ, the Cruise Director, is very engaging and did a great job hosting all the evening shows, which were cruise standard singing, dancing, and the like. We thought the cast did a fine job and the guest singer was fabulous. We attended two lectures, one of which had us hanging on every word (given by Mario, the Art Director) and the other of which was a yawn. Spa: didn't go to the spa except on a ship's tour the first day. Everyone seemed excited about the big showers that were available for anyone to use. When we saw the itty-bitty shower in our cabin we understand why. LOL Family and Children: given that it was a Christmas cruise, there were plenty of families on board. I didn't notice many--if any--children though. Shore Excursions: we did several and were extremely pleased with all of them. Azamara hires plenty of transportation for their tour groups and we were never crowded. The tour guides we had were engaging. Even without the discount (sadly no longer offered) I would have no qualms about booking excursions through Azamara. Embarkation: easy and well-organized; same with getting off the ship on the last day. Service: stellar. This is what Azamara is known for and rightfully so. This ship has a crew who is professional, genuinely welcoming, and attentive to your needs. Azamara's best selling point in our books. Value for Money: what appears to be expensive at first glance readily reveals its value as the cruise days pass. We had plenty to drink. Wine, beer, standard mixed and water are included. Not all brands but we didn't feel the need to upgrade. The full list of included and not included is on Azamara's website so we knew beforehand what to expect. We had free laundry because of our loyalty status but there's a laundry room as well so you can do your own washing and ironing if you so desire. Gratuities were included in the fare. We really liked not having to consider additional expenses once we boarded and this added to the relaxation factor. Summary: we loved our first voyage with Azamara. The crew made us feel like special guests. We walked off the ship more relaxed and happy than we have on any other cruise we've taken. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
We have really enjoyed our cruise aboard the Quest. We have to start at the top and Compliment Captain Jose for a fantastic job in running the ship and taking the time to be sociable and friendly with the passengers. I don't know if ... Read More
We have really enjoyed our cruise aboard the Quest. We have to start at the top and Compliment Captain Jose for a fantastic job in running the ship and taking the time to be sociable and friendly with the passengers. I don't know if this man ever sleeps. The Quest is a fantastic ship and cuts through the waves smoothly. One night we experienced a bit of rock and roll but again the ship handled it great. The entire crew were unforgettable and just lovely people. We were particularly impressed with the shops and how they were run. The entertainment was mini Las Vegas with cruise director Russ putting on quite a show. the ports of call, although I was concerned, turned out to be perfect choices. There is really nothing but good to say about this whole experience aboard the Azamara Quest. This is an unfair question since we were spoiled on our last cruise aboard The Celebrity Equinox where we had a huge balcony cabin.  The Quest was a comfortable balcony cabin but unfortunately with the small veranda they placed a huge table and two chairs. Barely enough room to move around and robbed some of the comfort. Disembarkation was fine, BUT. The cruise line arranges the transportation from the ship home. It took us 23 hours to get from Miami to Vancouver, Canada. We as usual get up early and then follow instructions and go to the airport where this bus bus driver drops us off miles from the United Airlines Terminal. Looking out the door in front of the terminal shows a road letting people off and on buses etc. right at the United Airlines counter. Let me remind you that folks on the Azamara ships are not spring chickens. Then we have to walk all the way to the other end of the airport for the gate. Now we wait for hours. Then we finally board and again have to walk miles at the Houston airport to the United gate. Only after waiting further we are told we have to move to another gate at the end of the airport again. The United Airlines or their staff did not impress us in the least. Anyway, it went on and on. The bottom line is the Cruise line should co-ordinate the schedules to accomodate the traveller. We got up at 6:00am which is 3:00am Vancouver time and my head hit the pillow at home at 2:00am Vancouver time the next day. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
I recently returned from the 12/8 Azamara Quest trip and thought I would write a review. I am in my early 40s and my previous cruising experience consists of two previous "luxury" cruises. All rating are on a 1-10 scale, 10 being ... Read More
I recently returned from the 12/8 Azamara Quest trip and thought I would write a review. I am in my early 40s and my previous cruising experience consists of two previous "luxury" cruises. All rating are on a 1-10 scale, 10 being the best. I broke the review into categories if you only want to read a specific element. I apologize in advance for any typos. Embarking. Fairly smooth at the Port of Miami. Line was a bit longer than I would prefer, but it moved quickly and port agents were friendly and efficient. Once on ship, champagne was nice and lunch in the Windows Café was fine with wine at the Sunset Bar. Bags were promptly delivered to the room. Some upselling on the drink package and spa, but not overwhelming. 9/10 Cabin. Originally, was in a window cabin on deck 5. On the second night, there was a water leak that saturated most of the carpet between the cabin door and the edge of the bed. I woke up in the night to use the bathroom, felt the water on my bare feet and thought we were sinking! Was quickly moved to a balcony cabin on deck 7, which was more than adequate. There was an issue with the SeaPass card that the front desk blamed on “Miami”, so I had to call to be let into my new cabin for most of the day. Annoying, but not a big deal. The cabins themselves are a bit smaller than I would have expected. The finishes are rather cheap looking, but clean and well maintained. The bedding was fair, but the linens were nice. Pillows were good and plentiful. TV service was fine, you can keep up with the USA and international news. A fee for the movies was silly, especially since most of the movies were not first-run. The bathrooms were TINY. I seriously would not want to take a shower in that room, let alone use the toilet, if I was anything over a few pounds overweight. The sticky shower curtain is also a hassle. The exhaust fan works well to keep the odors and humidity down. Shower water pressure was very good, except sometimes in the evening when it was peak time for pre-dinner bathing. The balcony was wonderful, EXCEPT for the ridiculously oversized table. The table should be 1/2 to 2/3 the size. It was extremely hard to maneuver around the table to get to a chair. I should have just has the table removed if that was possible. 8/10 Dining. Breakfast was fine in both the Window Café and Discoveries (main dining room). I wish Discoveries would have has some more creativity with their breakfast menu, but everything was well cooked and to order. Windows Café has whatever you can imagine for breakfast. The smoothie bar was a huge plus for me. Coffee was always hot and fresh. The only issue at breakfast was hat sometimes a seat was hard to find at a table. The Windows Café really needs more two person tables as often times it was apparently that table for 4 or more did not want any guests after they spread their books, handbags, etc. across the table to suggest visitors were not welcome. Lunch was also fine in the Windows Café and Discoveries. Discoveries has some excellent lunch dishes, and I wish I would have eaten lunch there more often. For dinner, the option of having the casual evening buffet is an excellent idea. I would usually graze at the buffet after they opened and had a pre-dinner appetizer and glass of wine. Since most of the Windows Café evening buffets are themed around a certain ethnicity (i.e. Indian or Turkish), it would seem to make sense to have the appropriate cultural staff to serve the buffet stations and to explain the food, culture, etc. Perhaps the scheduling is too difficult. The authenticity of the cultural buffets left a little bit to be desired, but the food was good nonetheless. Discoveries dinner was excellent and was a highlight of the trip. Some of the 2 person tables were a bit close, and reconfiguration of the dining room might be in order. If you sat side by side at 2 person tables, you may as well have been at a 4 person table because it was not possible to not overhear the conversation. I actually prefer fixed dining times, but the open seating was easily accommodated. I missed the Crystal 8 person tables where you could meet other people. It was hard to sit with others unless you all showed up at the same time. The selection of food was extensive, and literally everything was cooked nearly perfectly. There were very minor service issues that were promptly corrected. I usually had a complicated order (like 1/2 portion of this or that, etc.), and it was accommodated with no questions. The portion sizes were perfect for me, except for the chocolate bomb thing, it was HUGE! I believe the main dining room far outshines Crystal Cruises for quality and innovation, as well as preparation and presentation. Prime C as very good. One night was far better than the other. The beef is the way to go here. The second night I ordered the rack of lamb, and lamb chops were served. The lamb had to be sent back as it was beyond well done. The first night I was at a table for 6, and we only had one waiter. It was hard for one waiter to keep up with 6 people, but he did a great job considering the circumstances. I was surprised there was no bus boy type person to fill the water, etc. I would go at least once, but stick to the beef. All the appetizers, salads and desserts were excellent, although not much better, if at all better, than Discoveries. Prime C also has a great bar to check out even if you are not eating there. Both Prime C and Aqualina are gorgeous venues and the experience is worth the charge. Aqualina was also very good. Same issue with the service though. Food was very good, but again, not much better if at all better, than Discoveries. I would go at least once for the ambiance. I only had coffees and an occasionally sandwich in the Mosaic Café. The service was impeccable and the sandwiches were tasty. Room service was good, but the menu was rather limited. I did like how you ordered from the TV, it was nice and easy did not do in-suite dining. Overall, I would give Window’s Café 8.5/10, Discoveries 9.5/10, Prime C 9/10, Aqualina 8/10, Mosaic 9.5/10 and Room Service 8/10. Pool and other Ship Common Areas. Pool and hot tubs were great. Pool could have been a bit warmer, but hot tubs were perfect. Plenty of chairs, in fact too many because it was sometimes hard to maneuver between deck chairs. I did not see many deck chair hogs, as there was always an open chair available. The poolside drink service was very good. The grill was fine, I liked how you ordered food and they brought it to your table. The selection was good. The gym was fine, although some of the equipment needed better maintenance. The gym/spa locker room was ok, but there should have been lockers provided for non-spa uses. Steam room and locker room showers were great. If I was a bigger person, and I did not have a suite, I would shower exclusively in the gym. I did not use the spa, but the spa staff seemed snooty to me. The fitness trainer was nice and helpful. I did not use the specialty hot tub adjacent to the gym. Library inventory was somewhat lame, but it was a great space. Ship artwork was very interesting. Overall 9/10. Destinations. Charleston was great, but it was too cold and honestly 3 days was a bit long. Too bad we missed Savannah. The private islands were fine, and because we were usually the only ship in port, they were nearly empty. The food provided at the Royal Caribbean private venues was decent outdoor BBQ type food, and the free drinks were a plus. Azamara was not clear at Cayo Levantado whether the food and drink were included, but it was not big deal as drinks were only a few dollars, and I did not eat there. The tender service and the security to get on/off the ship were quick. I did not use any ship excursions, but I heard from others that it was hit or miss. No rating. Entertainment / Activities. For a small ship, they did a good job. It seemed like a male dancer was missing after the first few days as the shows were unbalanced. Singing and dancing was top notch. Cruise Director’s show was good. The show with the video screens was excellent. The British comedian was good. Pianist was good, but not really my cup of tea. The ping pong tournament should have been held earlier so players would know who played ping pong throughout the cruise. The location of the ping pong table was a bit annoying if you were trying to relax at that end of the pool deck. The art auction seemed to be enjoyed by some passenger. There was no pressure to buy anything other than flyers in the Pursuits bulletin. There seemed to be a lot of jewelry and other items on tables in the hallways. I did not like that. There was also an overabundance of photography, but no pressure at all to buy any. Casino never seemed very busy. I heard good things about the trivia. Iron Chef competition was fun. Overall 7.5/10. Azamazing Evening. The evening on the Yorktown was very good. Transportation to the Yorktown and back was well organized. The food provided was good, but really passed appetizers and drinks would have been adequate. Drink service was fine, although the wine was not very good. The choice of the African-American tribal group was a bit odd, seemed out of place on a military vessel. I could not really hear anyone at the microphone, so I did not understand why the group performed. A tribute to veterans would have been nice as I saw many veterans on-board the Quest. Overall 8/10. Fellow Passengers. The demographic on this cruises was apparently skewed towards a slightly older crowd, with a number of Canadians and Europeans. Everyone was very friendly and there were no issues with fellow passengers. There was not much of a nightlife on this ship, although the DJ tried to get things going in the Looking Glass at night. This is definitely not a ship for children, and many of the passengers I spoke with agreed that they like Azamara because of the lack of children. That being said, if a child is well behaved and the parents do not expect a children’s program, I would not see a problem. There were two service dogs on the ship and were well behaved, although one night one of the service dogs was gnawing on a rib eye on the carpet in Prime C. I guess you can stay the Quest staff is most accommodating to all of their guests. No rating. Drink Service. I thought I would buy an upgraded drink package, but realized since no upgraded wines were included, it was not worth it for me. I am very disappointed no sparkling wines were available on either the base or any upgraded package. I can only drink so much in a day, and between the inclusive liquors and wines, I was more than happy. The wines are adequate for a casual wine drinker that is not a wine snob, but more upscale wine drinkers might be disappointed with the inclusive selections that are mostly $10-$15 wines that are commonly available. There was no problem requesting a previously served wine. Overall 9/10. Officers/Staff/Crew. Overall very good. The officers are very friendly and heavily interact with the crew. Generally, most of the staff are friendly, although a few were cold and basically did their job without a smile. My cabin steward was amazing and did a most excellent job. Most of the bartenders were very good and they knew their drinks. I did see a few issues with people ordering drinks that were not included, and sometimes a premium drink got poured down the sink when the person realized they had to pay for it. Cruise director was very good. Maintenance staff is unobtrusive, and I honestly do not know when they clean the common areas as I rarely saw anyone. Front desk staff seemed frustrated with “Miami” and the computer system. Overall 9/10. Disembarking. This was a bit of a mess. They wanted us out of the rooms by 8 AM, but then everyone congregated on deck 5 near the gangway. There was a delay in leaving, and the updates from the staff were far and few between. Some people said the message were not broadcast throughout the ship either. It was not a big deal to me as I was not in a rush (i.e. no plane to catch), but others were a bit stressed about early flights. Customs was fine and relatively quick. Those customs officers always put a chill down my spine for whatever reason. Overall 4/10. Overall. Azamara has a very nice product, and closely rivals, if not exceeds, the other luxury line in some areas. Azamara’s full fare pricing is quite high, and I am not sure full fare is worth it. I would definitely take another Azamara cruise with a good itinerary and with a special pricing offer. Overall 9/10. Cheers! John R.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
We had been on the Oceania Regatta in 2007 and the Azamara Quest in 2008, but our recent cruises have all been on larger ships (from 2000-6000 passengers). When we booked the Quest this time, we were wondering whether we would enjoy the ... Read More
We had been on the Oceania Regatta in 2007 and the Azamara Quest in 2008, but our recent cruises have all been on larger ships (from 2000-6000 passengers). When we booked the Quest this time, we were wondering whether we would enjoy the over-all experience on the small ship after all the entertainment and activities of the big ships. We needn't have been concerned. Our 12 days on the Quest wound up ranking as one of our best trips ever. The ship is well-maintained and comfortable, and the service was excellent. The entertainment and Cruise Director were very good. We were there for Captain Jose's first cruise, and he was terrific. All the officers were 'out and about' and very approachable. Captain Jose was everywhere! When a section of the ship had a temporary black-out, he kept us informed of the progress continuously. The electrical problem affected the main kitchen, so the entire dining room was moved to the pool deck... tables, chairs, tablecloths, etc. and an open-air barbecue was set up in just a couple of hours. The lobster tails, lamb chops, filet mignon, chicken and all the other planned menu items were cooked to perfection on charcoal grills. The entire staff was friendly and professional. Service was excellent. Food was delicious. We didn't go to the specialty restaurants because our meals in the dining room were excellent. Azamara knows how to handle the "Open dining" (not true on some other lines) so there was never a long wait even though there were no reservations. We highly recommend Azamara and would sail with her again in the future. Unfortunately, the itineraries don't bring the Azamara ships back to Florida often enough, and I don't want to fly to an embarkation point. Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
Having read numerous forums regarding Azamara Journey cruises, I hadn't spotted any criticisms - everyone seemed to give glowing reports! We signed up for a CruiseCritics Meet and Mingle party and with more than 25 others doing the ... Read More
Having read numerous forums regarding Azamara Journey cruises, I hadn't spotted any criticisms - everyone seemed to give glowing reports! We signed up for a CruiseCritics Meet and Mingle party and with more than 25 others doing the same the party was confirmed. With flights and a pre cruise stay in Barbados arranged by Azamara, we had a late morning transfer to the ship. Despite there being 78 fellow travellers in the hotel, by transferring us in coaches for about 20 people, the registration procedure at the port was painless with only a short queue to contend with. By 11.45 we were sipping our welcoming glass of bubbly, and being advised that our rooms would be ready by 12.30 (which they were!) A quick trip to the pool deck revealed a small pool with two jacuzzis. The loungers were all substantial teak ones, with thick cushions and white towelling covers, as well as towels - no need to sign them in and out as on other ships we have been on. Our outside cabin was nicely presented with a good size comfortable bed. There was a bowl of fresh fruit and the mini bar stocked - soft drinks being complementary (as elsewhere in the ship). Plenty of hangers in the wardrobe together with two robes and slippers. The shower room was a typical tight configuration but well laid out with a collection of toiletries. The room attendant was quick to introduce himself and despite having no need for any dealings with him throughout our trip it was very impressive that he called us by name when we passed in the corridor! The CruiseCritics Meet and Mingle reception was well attended by about 50 guests together with various senior officers. Drinks kept flowing and there was a lovely selection of nibbles (so don't forget to sign up for the reception!) Also, it seems that passengers registered for M&M are automatically given allocations to tours of the bridge, engine control room & galley, all of which are an interesting insight into the ship's operations. Dining in the main Discoveries restaurant can be busy at times, and sometimes slow, but the quality of the food was excellent. Having commented in the mid cruise questionnaire about service, the attention to us when dining went up dramatically! Opting to share a table meant we did not have to queue for more than a minute or two. We noticed that with the restaurant being at the aft of the ship, there was some vibration and noise from the props. Not a particular problem in itself whilst dining, but it could mean that aft suites would suffer similar disruption, especially while trying to sleep when transiting overnight. The house wines, which were all reasonable quality, flowed freely with dinner, though some prompting for a top up was required occasionally. When service was slow, there was a risk of missing the evening show if we went in after 7pm. The quality of the entertainment was mixed, and my personal feeling was that the routines did not reflect the quality, and bring out the best, of the individual performers. Life around the pool was generally quiet, apart from sea days. There was no disturbance from taped music, though on sea days a duet played on stage for two hours. One evening there was a Caribbean themed barbecue around the pool which was very popular and topped off with a show and dancing on deck. Many members of the crew, including the Captain, mingled whilst we dined. As ever, they were very pleasant to chat with. On the final sea day there was a jazz brunch in the Discoveries restaurant - great selection of food (as ever), and live jazz music too. Windows cafe is the self service restaurant used for breakfast, lunch and dinner (if you wanted). The evening meals were promoted as being themed. On the Greek evening we had a look in hoping to have our own mezes, only to find the only Greek food on offer was a salad area with some feta cheese to make a Greek salad, so we dined in the main restaurant. Very disappointing. We did not check other evenings to determine whether the promos were more appropriately delivered. Having spoken to a few couples regarding their meals in the speciality restaurants, we were not convinced that the experience would be worth the cover charge. From reports, there was no doubt regarding the quality of food, or the more personal service, but it did not seem to warrant the recently increased fee of $50 per couple. Having pre-booked various excursions with Azamara we benefited form the 50% discount which made them worthwhile and competitive, but in most ports there seemed to be an option to make personal arrangements with local taxis or operators if you so wished. All in all, would any of our niggles make us think twice about booking with Azamara again? - No, we would love to join in the experience again! It's a great little ship, offering a high standard of service, and all the crew are very pleasant and working hard to ensure guests enjoy their cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2012
I was convinced to take a cruise on the Azamara Journey in March this year to the Caribbean. Having only been on two previous cruises, both larger ships, Adventurer of the Seas and Granduer of the Seas. I was slightly apprehensive as to ... Read More
I was convinced to take a cruise on the Azamara Journey in March this year to the Caribbean. Having only been on two previous cruises, both larger ships, Adventurer of the Seas and Granduer of the Seas. I was slightly apprehensive as to the stability of the smaller ship as I get sea sick. I say smaller ship, that is a bit tongue in cheek as the Azamara is not a small ship. It turned out that on the first night at dinner a did feel a bit queazy but on a vista to the fist aid on board I was given some pills, very reasonably priced at $3.00 and one around 5 pm did the trick and they weren't needed the rest of the trip. The on board level of comfort and cleanliness is next to perfect and there were portable hand wash machines everywhere. I also noticed the level of hygiene was very good at the serving areas. Although, watch out for your follow passengers as I did witness a guest poke around the cold section at breakfast with their fingers. I did mention it to a member of staff who, to their credit, did follow it through with the passenger. 10 out of 10 there. The quality of food was 8 out of 10 in the buffet, I would recommend when you want eggs to go to the omelette bar and have the made to your own preference. The staff are constantly on hand to take over and bring your food and drinks to you at the table and forever friendly. I did find it difficult to get a aft terrace seat at the busy times but if you are a late breakfaster you should have no trouble, but don't leave it too late or you will miss a hot breakfast. The table are well looked after but don't leave half glasses of drinks for too long as they will be cleared away as the staff are very attentive. The entertainment is fine for a smaller ship but only 7 out of 10. Don't sit too close to the entertainer if you are a little reserved as all the entertainers whilst I was on board did like audience participation. On all parts of the ship there was lots of room with exception to dinning at the peak times. I found the coffee bar above reception very nice in the afternoons on returning after a day trip between getting back on board and dinner. The pool area was in general very comfortable and the sun beds of good quality and as usual plenty of towels. Only problem was as usual, empty beds with personal belongings left on them to reserve the bed. I found the best way to solve the problem is just to take them to a member of staff and they then put them in lost property for the guest to find them later. I don't like confrontation so that solved the problem. The pool was very small though and in need of a refurb. The BBQ night on board was a great success with lots of atmosphere and all the guests seemed to take part. With the officers and captain mingling and doing the PR work. Captain Johannes was a star and a man with a dry sense of humour and apps, ( joke on board) as he referred to his phone a lot when he needed to answer a technical question. It worked very well for him.. The general decor was of a more traditional style and not modern retro so don't expect large splashes of colour and weird furniture. This is not to say the young wouldn't enjoy a quite cruise. The shore trips where different as we anchored offshore in most ports and took the ships tender to shore. This was an excursion in itself if you like river trips. When we got to shore everything that was promised was there and very well organised. In particular, we did a BBQ in Mayreau and the crew and staff had arranged everything prior to us arriving on shore, what a wonderful day we had there. All the other ports were equally beautiful in there own way and we had not trouble whatsoever at any time. We did have lunch on a beach bar in St Barts, for 4 it was $130 but you are on holiday in a very special place, you would pay as much if not more in the UK in London, Edinburgh etc. I did try to arrange an excursion and scuba diving in St Martin and missed out as the staff had gone ashore. However, we did it by ourselves on arriving at the drop off point by going into a shore side shop, try saying that after a few glasses of free wine, I would highly recommend arranging your own trips as we found it very easy with the help of the locals and saved ourselves over $100 for the very same trip and we had more time on the beach. On all dar trips I recommend getting off the ship early to get the most out of the day and it also allows you to return to the ship if the town doesn't suit you for some afternoon sun. I was disappointed with the casino as I had some dollars left from my last trip and was looking forward to some roulette or blackjack but there was only one roulette table and it was taken over by one guest and his wife who liked to cover the whole table and the minimun bet was $10 on the blackjack. The organisation for all transfers and excursions was 10/10 and in general nothing was too much trouble for any member of the crew. I finish by saying that the all inclusive Azamara Journey was 10/10 as gratuities, soft drinks and wine & coffees are included make it a very reasonably priced holiday which I will be doing again very soon. Read Less
Sail Date March 2012
Our cruise was to begin on the 30th of March. We, as always, traveled to Puerto Rico a few days earlier and spent three days at the St Regis resort in the Rio Grande area of PR. I wanted to play a few rounds of golf before the cruise. I ... Read More
Our cruise was to begin on the 30th of March. We, as always, traveled to Puerto Rico a few days earlier and spent three days at the St Regis resort in the Rio Grande area of PR. I wanted to play a few rounds of golf before the cruise. I was able to get in one round and then the skies opened up for 2 and 1/2 days. Very unusual for this time of year. Through the resort we had contracted with First Class Limo service. So we went shopping on the wet days. They also had taken us from the airport to the resort and from the resort to the ship. We had originally taken a Club Continent Suite. We were pleasantly surprised to be upgraded to an Ocean Suite. It was a beautiful space with a lot of room. The bathroom had a Jacuzzi tub and shower. Plenty of storage space. Our butler was very helpful and made sure we wanted for nothing. We had a very functional veranda. A table with 4 chairs where we had breakfast each morning and canapes and drinks each afternoon. We also had two chaise lounges with thick padding, covered with clean towels each day. The living room had a 52" Samsung TV. Great for watching the Masters. You literally had to find a reason to leave the room. We ate in the specialty restaurants each night, except for two. One was special dinner with the captain and some of his staff in the drawing room one evening. The dinner was called the best of the best and it was. The other was one night we wanted to try Discoveries, the main restaurant. My wife and I very rarely eat in the main restaurants on ships, and this was the same. It was noisy and the food was okay, not special. We liked Prime C the best. We are partial to Steak Restaurants. The shows were okay. Typical for a ship, however Hal Frazier was the exception. What a voice. I am a cigar smoker and found the area near the pool adequate for smoking and having an afternoon cocktail. My wife and didn't do any tours, preferring to go on our own for lunch and shopping. I did arrange for golf in St Thomas and in Bermuda. The concierge was very helpful in Bermuda. My wife and I loved the special attention we received on the ship from everyone and I think we will be hard pressed to find another ship as warm and a crew as nice as the people on the Azamara.. Read Less
Sail Date March 2012
Pre cruise Miami is an absolute nightmare, if you are from outside the US expect long delays. We were delayed for five hours, apparently there was an issue with our passports. So much for the ESTA. Tenders Bit wobberly on your feet, ... Read More
Pre cruise Miami is an absolute nightmare, if you are from outside the US expect long delays. We were delayed for five hours, apparently there was an issue with our passports. So much for the ESTA. Tenders Bit wobberly on your feet, then check how many tenders there are. Captain & Senior officers We met the Captain (our designated driver) on most days. His announcements were both humorous and inspiring. Clearly respected, which shows all the way through the crew. Cabin Was spacious, compared to some, with daily fresh fruit complimentary soft drinks and 24 hour room service. Bath robe,slippers and a good selection of toiletries a nice touch. Food Used both the speciality restaurants and preferred the service in Aqulina (thanks Santosh) a tip here both restaurants are served by the same kitchen. So ask if you can mix and match the menus. The buffet was very good. Too busy at times as the main restaurant is closed at lunchtimes when in port. Overall a good dining experience. Remember the wine is free when dining. The Pool Grill was busy and at times appeared a little disorganised. Fantastic BBQ. Discoveries was a Treat. Going as a couple then book the speciality restaurants for your romantic evening. Join another table at Discoveries, met some lovely people. Pool Small but adequate, teak sun lounges with thick mattresses and towels. Trips We booked on the 50% deal but they are still more expensive than those offered on shore. So you pays your money you take your chance. For a ship that caters for the over 50's there a a good and varied selection. Packages Don't fancy the wine, coffee and soft drinks then purchase a package. Book it on day one, details available at all bars. Entertainment Not really my cup of tea. Prefer the west end type productions, with comedy etc. Magician very good. Post Cruise The only area in which Azamara let itself down. We booked our flights and transfers with Azamara but were still requested to disembark at 9.05 although our flight was not until 17.40 with a twelve hour flight after that . Come on Azamara you can do better than this at least arrange for a hotel to freshen up in but better still let those late flying customers have lunch and a freshen up on board. Would I travel with Azamara again. Most definitely, but not from the US and would keep an eye on the flight times. Read Less
Sail Date March 2012
We have just returned from our second Azamara Cruise, this time to the Caribbean on Journey, having been on the Quest on the Best of Italy cruise two years ago.Yet again we had a fantastic cruise with Azamara with the highlights being the ... Read More
We have just returned from our second Azamara Cruise, this time to the Caribbean on Journey, having been on the Quest on the Best of Italy cruise two years ago.Yet again we had a fantastic cruise with Azamara with the highlights being the itinerary, the crew and the food. We enjoyed the islands we visited and only had one change when the seas meant we couldn't tender at Virgin Gorda but were able to dock at Tortola instead. As everyone says the officers and crew were outstanding - very visible, friendly and helpful. The food, as before, was excellent. We dined twice at Aqualina which has to be our favourite restaurant. This time we ate in Windows on five of the nights as we loved eating out under the stars on the back deck and the live cooking stations were great. Discoveries was more inconsistent - we had great meals there but we also had one meal which was not good and was also served very slowly and arrived cold. Apart from this one evening, everything else was fantastic.The staterooms are not large but we find them very comfortable and well equipped. We hope that when they do the refit next year, they will replace the balcony chairs with those we have seen on other ships with higher reclining backs as we spend quite a lot of time on our balcony.We look forward to another cruise on the Azamara Quest later in the year. Read Less
Sail Date March 2011
Overview:This was our first cruise on Azamara Club Cruises after 10 voyages on Celebrity (we've been on all of the M class ships, with Constellation being our favorite) and traveled last year on the Equinox. We are two sisters, aged ... Read More
Overview:This was our first cruise on Azamara Club Cruises after 10 voyages on Celebrity (we've been on all of the M class ships, with Constellation being our favorite) and traveled last year on the Equinox. We are two sisters, aged 41 and 48, and we cruise with our mother who is 70. Overall, we liked the intimate feel of the ship and the interesting ports of call. We appreciated the visible presence of the senior officers, especially when they served gelato on the pool deck. We enjoyed the delicious food and the flexible open seating - more like eating at a restaurant than eating with 2,000 of your nearest and dearest friends at once. With the caveat that these are one person's opinions, here is a review of our journey on Journey. Embarkation:We arrived just after 1:00 p.m. to an empty terminal. After a quick few minutes of processing and sea pass making, we were up the gangway and to our stateroom. Stateroom:We chose cabin 7041 - midship and close to the elevator. Our attendant was Wayan and his assistant was Maxim - both were excellent in keeping our stateroom clean and full of fresh towels, lotion, and hair products. This stateroom is very quiet with rooms both above and below. The bathroom is a bit smaller than we are accustomed to, especially compared to Celebrity's S class ships and we didn't care for the shower curtain that seemed to stick to all the parts you are trying to wash. The best way we found to shave our legs was to sit on the toilet and use the sink as a washbasin. The Elemis soap, lotion, shampoo, and conditioner are excellent.Entertainment:We were disappointed in the entertainment - the offerings were just not our cup of tea and we did not care for the cruise director (Tony) or his flamboyant singing. We went to three of the production shows (left early from two of them) and found the singing and music selection to be not to our taste. The singers, for the most part, are talented, but we did not care for the pool band (Carla and Ray). While we were disappointed in the main stage entertainment, there were plenty of pockets of lovely music to be found all over the ship and we never lacked for anything to do.Food/Dining:We enjoyed the MDR very much and especially enjoyed when we were seated at one of Boris's tables. He picked up on our preferences right away and was a friendly helper at breakfast and lunch, too. Some menu highlights - French onion soup, apple trio of desserts, all of the beef dishes, goat cheese and potato appetizer, and the veal.We ate once each in Prime C and Aqualina. While we enjoyed both, we particularly enjoyed Prime C and extra attentive service from Jose. The goat cheese soufflE is all that everyone has written about - light, fluffy, and rich at the same time. The filet was cooked perfectly - four different ways for four different people. And, we especially enjoyed the donuts with the dipping sauces.We appreciated the extra effort chef Lisa and her team took to plan several outdoor barbecues. Between the fresh fish brought on in St. Marteen, to the escargot, to the prepared just for you meats, to the many desserts, both our eyes and our bellies were well fed. It was hard to find seating, but Boris and his assistant, Terrence, were always helpful in that regard.Ports of Call:It's a bit less convenient to take tenders rather than dock, but with less than 700 people aboard, the lines were never long. We like to snuba dive and snorkel. With relatively few "active" excursions offered, it suited us to plan our own days rather than purchase ship excursions. Here's what we did.St. John - We took a taxi to Trunk Bay. Rental chairs cost $7. We used our own snorkel equipment for the snorkel trail. Though the signs identifying the fish were fun and useful, we've enjoyed snorkeling a bit more at other locations.St. Martin - We browsed town for a bit of shopping and then we took a taxi to Orient Beach. We hit a bit of inclement, rainy and windy weather, but we persisted. On a sunny day, this would be a very active beach.St. Kitts - We took a taxi to the Marriott and purchased a day pass. For $35 each we enjoyed use of the facilities and stored our belongings in a locker in the spa. The day pass offered a complimentary drink and 10% off at the restaurant. We took advantage of both. After a full day of swimming, we had the best shower of our entire trip at the Marriott spa.Antigua - We purchased the ship excursion to Crusoe Island. After a short bus ride and a short boat ride, approximately 50 passengers enjoyed this island all to ourselves. Each person was given a beach chair and umbrella. Ample snacks were passed around and the guides arranged for snorkeling, though you can explore on your own, too. The lunch was delicious - curry, chicken, fish, green salad, macaroni and cheese, and more. Though we enjoyed this excursion, we would try something different next time. Variety is the spice of life.St. Barths - With an overnight stay on this island, we enjoyed the opportunity to slow down a bit and enjoy the scenery featuring multi-million dollar yachts. We shopped in the very expensive boutiques in the morning and went to St. Jean beach by taxi ($25 each way) in the afternoon. We found some excellent, unescorted snorkeling on the far right side of the beach close to the rocks. The next day we walked to Shell Beach and rented two chairs and an umbrella ($56) from the Do Brazil restaurant. While we didn't bring our snorkel equipment, we wish we had. It looks like there might have been some snorkeling near the rocks here, too.Virgin Gorda (Tortola) - We were to have anchored in Virgin Gordon, but windy weather prevented us from doing so. With some much appreciated shuffling and very difficult docking, the captain arranged for port time 12 miles away in Tortola. The guest relations crew had maps and beach suggestions readily available. We took a brief taxi to Cane Bay beach where chair rental cost $5 each, a nice break from St. Barth's prices. Not the best beach for snorkeling, but we enjoyed our day. It was fun to watch the pelicans diving for their lunch.Spa/SalonWe each used the salon and spa for several treatments, including Thai poultice massage, seaweed wrap massage, manicures, and pedicures. I was a bit annoyed by the masseuse who asked if I planned to have any other treatments before she even touched me. Turned out that I enjoyed her services and booked another, but don't ask me before. Manicure and pedicures were okay, but the polish was put on too thickly. We both ruined our manicures and pedicures - after three hours you'd think the polish was dry, but it wasn't.Conclusion:We very much enjoyed the little touches on Azamara, especially towels and bottled water available at the gangway, mobile spa treatments at the pool, interesting passengers and ports, and very attentive service. With no departures from Florida next year, it is likely that we will return to Celebrity, but would be open to returning to Azamara as long as mom doesn't have to get on an airplane. Read Less
Sail Date March 2011
We reviewed many reviews before we sailed on the Azamara Journey, mostly 5+ rating, I must say they whole experience was better than 5+, from joining our Virgin Atlantic flight from Heathrow to returning to Heathrow 14 nights later. We ... Read More
We reviewed many reviews before we sailed on the Azamara Journey, mostly 5+ rating, I must say they whole experience was better than 5+, from joining our Virgin Atlantic flight from Heathrow to returning to Heathrow 14 nights later. We were thrilled the way we were able to get to our hotel on South Beach within a hour of the aircraft touching down at Miami airport (a great start). The checkin process at Miami port was simple and very slick, we boarded around 1pm and the rooms were already ready for occupancy.The ship is small so easy to find your way around (unlike the big ones where it takes days to find your way back to the room), the staff simply go out of there way to help and are always happy to chat, not just on the first day, but everyday. We were at sea for four days on the cruise and we never had any issues of getting a sun lounger, or using the gym which was fantastic.The room was bigger than we expected, although there wasn't must wardrobe space, the whole ship was extremely clean and always had a nice fresh smell, along the corridors, stairways etc.The food in all the restaurants was excellant, there was always something very good to eat and obviously the wine was included with your meals, and if you wanted it was also free flowing.Would we travel on Azamara again, absolutly, as long as they keep the prices competetive then we would always choose Azamara first Read Less
Sail Date March 2011
First cruise on a small ship. Azamara has its act together. Staff is extremely friendly and approachable starting with the captain.Main dining room, Windjammer, specialty restaurants and even pool grill were excellent. Evening buffet on ... Read More
First cruise on a small ship. Azamara has its act together. Staff is extremely friendly and approachable starting with the captain.Main dining room, Windjammer, specialty restaurants and even pool grill were excellent. Evening buffet on deck with fish from market in St. Martin was unexpected treat. Complimentary wines were of good quality and variety. Best breakfast room service menu i have seen on a ship. Smoothie bar in Windjammer breakfast was awesome!Tony was outstanding cruise director and excellent singer. Lloyd from production show group was not only a very good singer but did a 1 hour comedy and singing show that was very much enjoyed. Judy's opera performance was excellent. Enjoyed Carlos Alvarez in Mosaic Lounge every night. I had read reviews which complained about the entertainment but we liked every show except a female singer who joined the ship late in the cruise.Service was amazing. On second day I went to guest relations to ask a question about my on-board credit. Guy was on duty and jokingly told me that if i didn't use all of the credit, his birthday was coming up and he liked a watch in the gift shop. I told him that I would consider it but my birthday was that day and I would probably use the credit for myself. When I told him it was my birthday he asked me to wait a minute, went into a back room and brought me a bottle of wine as a gift!Only complaint was spa. Typical Steiner facility. Sell, sell, sell. Kept me waiting 30 minutes and didn't have time for my full service. Also did the wrong kind of massage which caused me some problems. Read Less
Sail Date March 2011
Azamara Journey 12 Caribbean Cruise 03-23-2011 - 04-04-2011 Embarkation - Boarding Journey in Miami was one of the easiest embarkation's of the almost 50 cruises I have completed. Absolutely no lines and a minimal wait to embark. ... Read More
Azamara Journey 12 Caribbean Cruise 03-23-2011 - 04-04-2011 Embarkation - Boarding Journey in Miami was one of the easiest embarkation's of the almost 50 cruises I have completed. Absolutely no lines and a minimal wait to embark. Upon stepping aboard, I was greeted with a glass of champagne, and the opportunity to make reservations at one of the alternative restaurants. There was also an area that one could check carry-on luggage, to be delivered to the stateroom or suite. I took advantage of this service, and enjoyed exploring the ship without the hindrance of a carry on in tow. This was a first for me, and very much appreciated. Lunch was served at Windows Cafe, with a nice wine and food selection. I was lucky enough to meet new friends, CC member "Candylady" and her husband. (Sue and David).Suite - I was situated in a Club Commodore Suite on deck 8. The layout was spacious and lovely. The space afforded areas for extensive storage and included a large 10 X 6 balcony (equipped with table, chairs and lounge). The bathroom had a tub and shower and was stocked with Elemis products. A well stocked mini-bar and complimentary bottle of Absolut Vodka and Dewars Scotch was also available for consumption. Flowers and daily fresh fruit were always looked after. The suite attendants were magnificent. I pondered how I could leave the suite for breakfast, and magically the suite was made up while I was away! The suite afforded Butler service. I understand that many suite passengers enjoyed the lovely tea service and restaurant reservation service he provided. I did not partake in the Butler amenity. The only downfall to the suite was the bedding. My suite had lumpy mattresses that are in dire need of replacement. I understand that the plan is to switch to new mattresses in stages. Originally I was told that this would be done ship wide in the spring of 2012. Luckily, this is an easy "fix".Public Rooms - Azamara Journey's public room's remind me of the first cruise ships that I had ever sailed on in the early part of the 1990's. Warm, "clubby", and classy. Not the glitz that so many ships offer today. The only negative observation is that in the main dining room, the chairs are in need of re-gluing and re-finishing, and the furniture is in need of replacement in the Discoveries Lounge. The computer center had several computers, complimentary printing service and an attendant to help passengers with the equipment, if needed. The gym was extremely well equipped with personal televisions on the elliptical machines and treadmills. There is a separate male and female dressing room off the gym area, with private showers, steam room and grooming area. Adjacent to the dressing rooms is a private "oasis" with soft sunbeds and a large thalassotherapy pool. This was an area I enjoyed immensely. I did not partake in the spa services, but heard from other passengers that they were very pleased with the offerings. Dining Venues and Food - Azamara offers many choices for your dining pleasure. Breakfast is enjoyed daily in the Windows Cafe, with choices from eggs benedict, made-to-order omelets, cereal, fruits, oatmeal and array of typical American breakfast fare. The main dining room is open for breakfast and lunch only on sea days (very enjoyable sit down service). Lunch at Windows Cafe features a daily carving station, sandwich and salad bar, 2 choices of hot soups and daily buffet style offerings. The outdoor pool grill is also a hit with guests, with offerings of burgers (beef, turkey or veggie), chicken wings, hot dogs, fries, and onion rings. Complimentary wines are free flowing throughout all the lunch and dinner venues. Dinner on Azamara is always a special event. It is open seating, dine with whomever you wish, whenever you wish (within reason, of course). The Discoveries Restaurant is the main dining room that offers a variety of items every evening, from lamb, beef, chicken, seafood and a vegetarian offering. The food was very good and consistent, for the most part. There was one evening a fellow diner didn't care for his lamb. The waiter made note of this, and immediately the maitre 'd came over with offerings of a new meal or a substitution. This was one aspect of Azamara I was amazed at. If there is any complaint, as small as it might be, the staff handles the situation immediately and graciously. In the evening, Windows Cafe becomes a casual indoor - outdoor buffet venue, with a usual stir-fry offering. I didn't choose to eat at this venue, but understood that many guests ate there several times throughout the cruise. The 2 alternative dining venues are Aqualina, specializing in seafood and Prime C, an on-board steakhouse. I enjoyed Aqualina 5 times throughout the cruise and found the food and service outstanding. Foie Gras was a favorite starter, the succulent lobster was offered 3 ways, the tuna was excellent, and choices of rack of lamb and filet mignon were right on the mark. Service was impeccable. If a land based restaurant, Aqualina would be rated 5 star. I also enjoyed Prime C, although the food and service wasn't quite up to par with Aqualina. The rib-eye steak was tough on more than one occasion, whereas the Kobe beef sliders were excellent. Service was a bit slow at times, and not consistent. That said, other than a few glitches at Prime C, I found the positive to outweigh any negative I experienced. There is a $15 surcharge to dine at the alternative restaurants, unless you are a suite guest.Service - I found the service, for the most part, excellent and beyond expectation. (The exception was "spotty" beverage service at Windows Cafe lunch. This was noted on my mid-cruise questionnaire, and was personally addressed immediately.) The outdoor pool deck service offered frozen melon offerings, Evian spray, cool towels, and unobtrusive bar service. One afternoon, on a port day, I fell asleep on deck 11, sun deck, and awoke to a large glass of ice water next to my sun lounge. I was amazed, as I was the only guest on this deck! This was service I will never forget. Sham at the pool bar, should be commended for his incredible "service with a smile" and attention to detail. Unfortunately another bartender at the pool bar was quite the opposite. Arrogant and uninterested in making the guest feel comfortable. This was the only service person that stood out as "not Azamara quality". I will not mention his name on this public forum, as I don't feel naming staff in a negative way is appropriate. Service throughout the rest of the ship mirrored the experience I have enjoyed on Seabourn Cruise Line, an ultra-luxury venue. Well done Azamara!Officers and Staff - "Visible" and "hands-on" are two terms I would use to describe the officers and staff. The interaction between and staff and guest were unparalleled in my opinion. I had the pleasure of dining with the Hotel Director, Scott Daniels, one evening, and had many positive interactions with Ngawhira, the "always my pleasure" guest relations manager. This is another personal touch to delight Azamara guests!Entertainment I have to admit, that on a cruise, I tend to make my own entertainment. Although I didn't attend any shows, I enjoyed meeting new friends at the Cruise Critic Meet and Mingle party and coffee social. Socializing with an array of friends throughout the ship and voyage is also one of the best aspects of cruising. Tony Markey, however, was an excellent Cruise Director on my journey.Le Club Voyage - Having sailed with sister company Celebrity, I had 8 Captains Club cruise credits that immediately advanced me to Explorer status on Azamara. Some of the amenities included- over 2 hours of free internet service, a free bag of laundry, a bottle of sparkling wine, and several club parties. After this cruise, I will enjoy 3 more credits (1 for the cruise, 1 for a cruise more than 12 days at length, and another for suite status). This will advance me once more to top-tier Discoverer status that will offer even more perks. What a nice touch, to be rewarded for past loyalty to a sister company!Disembarkation - Always a real "downer", Azamara made disembarking easy. I was able to disembark at my leisure, after the first few colors were called. Guests and staff expressed "Good-bye's" and "till we meet again". Final thoughts - Having sailed on most of the ultra-luxury lines such as Regent, Crystal, SeaDream, Le Ponant and especially Seabourn, this is as close as it gets to the ultra- luxury cruise experience. Actually, I enjoyed my Azamara cruise over my Regent and Crystal cruises. My cruise had the "Open bar" promotion that really added to the luxury "feel" to the voyage. Hopefully this promotion will be offered in the future. A good cruise is when you look back and have fond memories of ship and fellow guests. A great cruise is when you look back and realize that your cruise has now set a new bar for the ultra-premium cruise experience. This was a great cruise.Questions? Email me at hostdan@cruisecritic.com Read Less
Sail Date March 2011
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