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11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
We were on the same cruise as an earlier negative reviewer; had a totally different experience! We had a verandah cabin, which had great storage ( we didn't even use it all) and utilized the desk and mirror area as a secondary makeup ... Read More
We were on the same cruise as an earlier negative reviewer; had a totally different experience! We had a verandah cabin, which had great storage ( we didn't even use it all) and utilized the desk and mirror area as a secondary makeup area. The food and drinks were awesome....the daily wines were pretty good as a whole and the staff was great about bringing us a previous wine if we did not like the current selection. We never got pushback on that in any restaurant or bar on the ship. As to the food; we had absolutely wonderful meals and had no problems getting reservations in Prime C or Aqualina. From the filet in Prime C to the Dover Sole in Aqualina, we enjoyed it all.....especially the Dark Chocolate Creme Brûlée and soufflés! Even the food in Discoveries impressed us! Highlights of the cruise---having Eggs Benedict and fresh fruit on the balcony in the morning as we were arriving in the port; the DJ and late night dancing in the Living Room, sitting at the Sunset Bar having a cocktail as we were leaving the ports, but MOST OF ALL, the SERVICE!! Not having been on an Azamara cruise before (there were three of us; two had been on Seabourn and Holland America); we really didn't know what to expect. What we received was Ritz or Four Seasons type service; any request or question was answered with "Of course!" We were totally amazed!! The only negative was one of the land excursions; the On Your Own trip to Rome. DO NOT ever take the Yellow Bus tour in Rome; it was the worst experience all week!, everyone was complaining about it and that we never saw anything in Rome! Azamara needs to fire that tour company! Alternatively, the other tour we took to Pisa and Florence was great, with a very engaging and informative tour guide. Overall; very impressed with our first Azamara experience and hope to plan a second one soon! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
This was our first ever cruise having been well seasoned land travellers and also having visited New Zealand some years back this was a good place to start. it was also pointed out by fellow passengers that we had chosen well for our ... Read More
This was our first ever cruise having been well seasoned land travellers and also having visited New Zealand some years back this was a good place to start. it was also pointed out by fellow passengers that we had chosen well for our first cruise. We agree! Embarkation procedures in Auckland went smoothly, just the usual form filling. Once on board we went up to Windows cafe for some lunch while rooms were being made ready. It was very busy as to be expected. We were seated next to a lovely Canadian couple who gave us the low down on cruising. Off to our state room which had a verandah and we were very surprised. We had read many reviews and were a little apprehensive, but the room was bigger than I expected. The bathroom was much as expected but me being small I was happy, hubby however had other thoughts. Yes, the bathrooms are small. Plenty of wardrobe space with loads of hangers. Richard and Denis our state room attendants were marvellous and kept our room clean and tidy and it was always made up by the time we got back from breakfast. The food in Discoveries was good and the wait staff were wonderful always smiling and friendly. We ate in Prime C once and Aqualina twice, to be honest I wish it had been the other way around. Aqualina was nothing special regarding food infact Discoveries was much better. The ship had a very happy atmosphere about it, fellow passengers were helpful with tips for future cruises. The main gripe about our cruise was lack of free Wifi, while in port this could have been provided. It was quite noticeable the number of people getting off the ship at various ports heading into town to get free Wifi access. For all inclusive it should be possible to be able to check a few emails. Shore excursions seemed overly expensive. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
As first time cruisers we had no idea what to expect or how "you cruise". We deliberately chose the Azamara Journey because of its size. We didn't want to be on one of those larger liners and after seeing a couple in ports, ... Read More
As first time cruisers we had no idea what to expect or how "you cruise". We deliberately chose the Azamara Journey because of its size. We didn't want to be on one of those larger liners and after seeing a couple in ports, we were glad we chose the Azamara. The organization of EVERYTHING was great, the staff were super friendly, the food met our needs and was tasty, the ports we visited were well chosen, the entertainment was a bit cheesy but served its purposes and we met some great people that we had a lot of laughs with. We didn't book any of the shore excursions as we just did our own thing. The complimentary drinks list was more than adequate and we didn't feel the need to up-grade. We also didn't book any nights in either of the special restaurants. We could not fault a single thing, except perhaps a bigger self service laundry is needed. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
This was our first cruise and was a 50th birthday present from my wife . The ship was fabulous with a friendly and attentive staff . The rooms were port side state rooms and were well appointed and comfortable . A generous Double bed with ... Read More
This was our first cruise and was a 50th birthday present from my wife . The ship was fabulous with a friendly and attentive staff . The rooms were port side state rooms and were well appointed and comfortable . A generous Double bed with TV and fitted wardrobes completed a very smart space . The small but perfectly functional bathroom was clean and well appointed with shower , basin and toilet . Clean towels every day and a make and turn bed down service every day also with fresh fruit daily and chocolates at the end of each day . The entertainment was limited but very well produced with commitment from the entertainment team . The food onboard was exceptional and no matter which of the 4 diners/ restaurants you dined at the food in each was as good as the next . The only down side was we booked a package to include the Monaco Grand Prix , we felt this was miss old as the tickets were for a spot which had no view of the Grand Prix . We feel this is a con and 5000 other people were also conned . This should not be sold as a viewing point . On the other hand the remains part of the cruise was great and the ticket for the GP issue will be dealt with directly. All in all a lovely trip on a very nice friendly ship . Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2015
We toughtly enjoyed it!!! Azamara Journey cruise ship is beautiful! Emberkation was brilliant. Disemberkation was good enough. Lounges are very comfortable. The food is excellent vlwith lots of choises. The free drinks ... Read More
We toughtly enjoyed it!!! Azamara Journey cruise ship is beautiful! Emberkation was brilliant. Disemberkation was good enough. Lounges are very comfortable. The food is excellent vlwith lots of choises. The free drinks is more than great. The longer stays on port were nice but in comparison with the private tours offered by local guides in ports Azamara offers a little more expensive. Publik room very comfortable and nice. Staff is super friendly. Staff is very courteous and ready to help at any time. Service is professional. Definitely see you again! Thank u to all! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
We took the 10 night Greek Isles Amalfi coast cruise 4/27/15. At first glance, the ship is so similar to the Quest that it's amazing:) We thoroughly enjoyed everything about our last 2 cruises on Azamara so we were so excited! ... Read More
We took the 10 night Greek Isles Amalfi coast cruise 4/27/15. At first glance, the ship is so similar to the Quest that it's amazing:) We thoroughly enjoyed everything about our last 2 cruises on Azamara so we were so excited! But it wasn't quiet there for us. The staff is fantastic, don't get me wrong but the cruise director and his staff left alot to be desired. We hardly saw them except to greet us going into a show. Russ on the Quest was everywhere! His personality was caring, loving and fun.. Didn't feel that with Tony.. I hear that He fills in for both cruise directors on a rotational basis. But that's not the only thing or I'd chalk it up to a bland CD week.. The entertainment before dinner and in the casino lounge was not good. I am a kind person but it was difficult at times. Why doesn't The Journey have a band playing in the Looking Glass at 5;50 to 7 so we can dance and party a bit before dinner? The Quest had a 2 person band that we all loved, especially after a long day of sightseeing. Plus they playing up there at 930-1030pm before the DJ got started. Many of us have a hard time staying awake unless we have activities to keep us busy, such as a little dancing:) Most are in bed by 1030-11pm. Why did the Journey have a guitar player that really put us all to sleep? Nice and friendly guy but very low key... BTW Roy and Carlos were the best waiters! But I digress... The wines choosen each day were very good, we thought.. We did hear people complaining that there was too much Sauvignon Blanc for the white choices but we like that so its all good. If you didn't like that wine choice, you can politely ask for one of the previous days choices, but be nice and not demanding. I think that's where folks don't get what they want as we've never had a problem getting any drink on the package or any wine we asked for within reason:) Overall, we had a wonderful time because we always do when we travel. The itinerary and Azamazing evening were just that, amazing! How they move everybody and do what they do is a miracle in itself:) Don't be afraid to go on one as you'll be sorry if you don't! Azamara is a great product. The captain drove us over in the tender to the dock in Amalfi. You won't get that on a large cruise ship! They are a great Boutique line and we'll go on them again, it might be the Quest though:) Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
I was really nervous before taking my first cruise. I read so many reviews regarding different issues that passengers had. I was so relieved the minute I walked into the port. The staff was courteous and very efficient getting us on ... Read More
I was really nervous before taking my first cruise. I read so many reviews regarding different issues that passengers had. I was so relieved the minute I walked into the port. The staff was courteous and very efficient getting us on board the ship. Upon arrival to our room, our bags were outside our door. The room was clean and very adequate. My husband and I both found the staff incredibly courteous and accommodating. I found it helpful that we participated in the ship tour to get to know the ship itself. The food was good. I thought the buffet had a great variety and good tasting food. We did not eat at the specialty restaurants. I liked that you could basically find food at any hour. I especially enjoyed room service and the Mosaic Café for coffee. I appreciated all of the hand sanitizer stations for the hands but would have liked to have seen a few more signs instructing passengers about hand washing, as hand washing is a more effective method to prevent the Norovirus. For us, the entertainment was fine. Probably too quiet for some but it was perfect for us. My only request would be to offer more live music performances for evening dancing. I really enjoyed the White Party. The cruise sponsored excursions were great and we took a few private tours as well. The disembarkation to ports and when departing were very organized and didn't really take long at all. A nice touch, refreshing towels and water upon arrival to the tender for return to the ship. I could "nit pick" and find some inconsequential thing to complain about but I can't imagine the task of pleasing everyone all the time. So thank you staff of the Journey for a great first cruise experience. My only problem is that I keep waking up in the middle of the night wondering where I am at! I'm sure I will figure it our eventually! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
This was our first experience cruising and we enjoyed ever minute of it. The food was good, as was the choice of drinks that were included. We could not fault the staff they were helpful , friendly and courteous. Our cabin stewards, Ivo ... Read More
This was our first experience cruising and we enjoyed ever minute of it. The food was good, as was the choice of drinks that were included. We could not fault the staff they were helpful , friendly and courteous. Our cabin stewards, Ivo and Sajet, were wonderful, they were hardworking and the cabin was always immaculate nothing we asked was a problem to them. Our only negative was with the art dealers. We attended an auction and an appointment to talk about art and after that we found it impossible to find the art director or assistant. Luckily Guest relations managed to help us and we cancelled any dealings we were going to have. The only time we saw the Art Director and Assistant was on a tender going off on a day out!!!! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2014
This was our first cruise and it blew us away! From the moment we embarked the crew were exemplary in their attitude and were so welcoming. We had a great time, enjoying delicious food in relaxed and comfortable surroundings. The weather ... Read More
This was our first cruise and it blew us away! From the moment we embarked the crew were exemplary in their attitude and were so welcoming. We had a great time, enjoying delicious food in relaxed and comfortable surroundings. The weather was appalling on arrival - we had to wait 30 minutes before we could briskly walk across to the quay to the ship - and setting sail was into rough Med seas. Not a great intro to our first cruise :) And to be honest the weather through the cruise was below what we had hoped for, and Captain Carl admitted it was not really very good! But hey the ship and its crew have no control over this - but what they have control over they undertook with real pride and care. The service from the room team, to the entertainment and the restaurant staff was exemplary. We loved the open dining arrangements, the non-formal but not shabby dress code in the evening, the quality and selection of the food, and the complimentary drinks were great. The house wines each day were good, really no need to choose any other, and the choice of spirits and cocktails more than enough for us. Beer choice was minimal and primarily aimed at Americans and so I enjoyed a week without :) Our cruise, from Athens to Istanbul, was essentially a chartered one - it transpired that over 500 of the guests were from one USA travel company - EO - Educational Opportunities - and were bar perhaps 10 or so belonging to various church groups who wandered around with their lanyards and attached name tags - which made the 100 or so independents like us feel rather separate. I think it had an effect on the atmosphere of the entertainment as this massive group were using the Cabaret in the day for lectures etc and so were generally not around for much of the evening entertainment. They also tended to depart the ship on pre-arranged tours during the day when not being lectured and so we few remaining had the ship pretty much to ourselves! Other more experienced travellers will be able to comment more on the impact of having such a group, but it was obvious that the Looking Glass was sparsely populated in the evening for what were good fun evening of light entertainment - Simon on guitar was great fun, and Matt had a mostly empty dance floor for the late night DJ slots. The magic shows and the main entertainment in the Cabaret were all of an excellent standard - and Alina and Alex led the professional dancing brilliantly. How they did their routine in a pitching sea without falling over when we could hardly stagger in a straight line from our chairs was amazing. Another example of the impact of the group was evident when we turned up for a dance lesson - to find that we had in effect a personal lesson from the fantastic Alina and Alex - and even on the second lesson there were only 8 of us! We did not feel the need to eat at the two speciality restaurants - simply because the food in Discoveries and in the Windows Café was more than satisfactory. The gym was well equipped and we used the Jacuzzi on one day (when it was warm enough outside!). We have simply fallen in love with cruising - and now are not sure having done the Azamara experience that we would do any other - we loved the smallness of the ship, and the superb service - is there any other like it?   Read Less
Sail Date: September 2014
We were on the Azamara Quest sailing from Istanbul on Sept. 8th. Prior to that, we spent 5 enjoyable days in Istanbul staying at the White House Hotel in Sultanamet, which we highly recommend. It was easy walking distance to the major ... Read More
We were on the Azamara Quest sailing from Istanbul on Sept. 8th. Prior to that, we spent 5 enjoyable days in Istanbul staying at the White House Hotel in Sultanamet, which we highly recommend. It was easy walking distance to the major viewing sites and the tram. We booked our cruise in February and were traveling with two other couples. Booking with Azamara was somewhat disconcerting in that we never received anything in hard copy by mail. It was all by telephone or internet even having to print the 40 page booklet with excursion trip descriptions. Further, we found the Azamara website to be awkward particularly after we booked as it was too sales oriented. We booked our air travel independently as we found the Azamara site not user friendly. In fact we never received notification as to which dock in Istanbul that the ship was sailing. Fortunately, the hotel desk clerk saw the ship on her way to work and told our taxi driver where it was. This was our first cruise and we chose Azamara due to the smaller ship size and its informal, casual nature of the cruise. We had always joked about the cruise crowd on their excursions with 25 people following a loud guide with an umbrella. We were pleased that we did not encounter long waits to go ashore or for dinner. The food was good, we thought the breakfasts were great and when we returned to the ship in the afternoon had a burger by the pool and then ate a light dinner after cocktails. We usually stopped for a snack and a drink on shore and to take advantage of free internet (ship wi-fi was pricey). We only ate in the formal dining room once and not at all in the exclusive rooms. The ship staff was very friendly, helpful whenever we asked and the service was excellent. The staff at the bar on the pool deck was the only exception. The ship was very good about offering hand cleaner, cold towels at boarding and before entering the dining areas. We like to travel independently and set up our own personal tours—Ephesus, Rhoades, Athens. We did participate in two ship sponsored excursions—the evening concert at Ephesus, which was a highlight of the trip; and the winery trip to Aia on Santorini. The Aia trip was a bit of a bust as the winery turned out to be wine tasting, fortunately there was not a hard sell as we did not care for the wine. The view was wonderful. The “whisper” device the guide was using did not work so most of the explanation was on the bus. Santorini was crowded with tourists, shops, etc. This is a pretty place but not one to go to relax and get away from it all. With all the unemployment in Greece you would think they could employ some people to pick up the trash. On Mykonos we hired a taxi who took us to a less crowded, protected beach where we spent a good part of the day. Mykonos was a very pretty place even with all the tourists. The departure in Athens was well organized, except for a long wait for taxis for those of us not taking the Azamara tours. We did spend two more days in Athens on our own which we enjoyed. All in all, we had a good time on our first cruise and will repeat, but only on smaller ships.   Read Less
Sail Date: October 2013
Having intended to book a Seabourn cruise, I was offered an alternative option on the Azamara Quest by the cruise agent, so went with it. Well what a great surprise this ship turned out to be. Fot whatever reason ( not really sure why) but ... Read More
Having intended to book a Seabourn cruise, I was offered an alternative option on the Azamara Quest by the cruise agent, so went with it. Well what a great surprise this ship turned out to be. Fot whatever reason ( not really sure why) but we had been updated to a suite with a butler, good start. Even without the upgrade we really enjoyed our cruise along the south of France and Italy, the ports of call were beautiful, what was nice about this cruise is that you had plenty of time in port so no rushing about to get back on board. The staff were friendly and nothing was too much trouble. The all inclusive drinks package is great. I have to say that we were not pushed to buy any upgrade drinks packages, or made to stand for photos that we did not want. The food in the main dining room was of a great standard. The speciality restaurants were good especially Aqualinia. Prime C was good but felt the service was way over the top. The ship itself is lovely, good quality sun beds, nice traditional decor throughout. The age on board was a good mix and the night club was often busy. I have to admit that we did not got to any of the shows inside, but we did enjoy the white night on deck and a local tennor sang whilst we were in Italy. Every one enjoyed the azamazing evening in Monte Carlo. Free shuttle buses were provided in ports that required it. Only problem was breakfast in the main dining room, it took ages and then we did get our food some of what we ordered was missing. The windows cafe provided a buffet service which although not huge was adequate. Overall this cruise is fab if like us you are fed up of the hustle and bustle of the bigger ships. Well done Azamara we will defiantly be sailing again with you. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2013
My first solo holiday since being widowed and I wanted an easy time. My first cruise and I chose a transatlantic crossing not realising that was a little ambitious. We had wonderful weather so it turned out to be a great choice but no one ... Read More
My first solo holiday since being widowed and I wanted an easy time. My first cruise and I chose a transatlantic crossing not realising that was a little ambitious. We had wonderful weather so it turned out to be a great choice but no one I had spoken to had heard of Azamara so had no idea what to expect. I just chose what I thought would be a restful holiday. The staff were all very loyal and I was constantly told I had chosen the best. An awful start and an even worse end made me wonder. A change of hotel in Miami was a little scary but the Epic could not be faulted. Embarkation was a nightmare, poor organisation and very unfriendly. I felt I might have made an awful mistake. Luckily all the wonderful passengers came to the rescue. No information from the company but a wealth from other cruisers they were all so kind generous and friendly. The days at sea were a joy, with fine weather, good company and a wonderful crew. I enjoyed the evening entertainment, it was varied and fun. The food was wonderful, varied and generous. My only criticism would be it was a shame the main meals in the dining room at dinner were invariably cold. There were activities to fill every hour of the day. If quizzes and bingo are your thing time will fly. I only read one book as every time I sat someone was happy to chat. My cabin was wonderful and I was beautifully looked after. I could have sat on the balcony happily and just watched the sea. The crew were always cheerful, helpful and smiling. Concerns raised with officers were just shrugged off and ignored. I enjoyed my shore excursions in Bermuda and Tenerife. They were well planned and enjoyable. The end of the trip was ruined by Azamara and Monarch. We disembarked and were taken to the airport at 8 am for a 1.30pm flight. This would have been difficult at the best of times but as there was a 6 days old strike of catering staff ongoing it meant to food or drink available. For a company who say they care our welfare seemed to have been missed. A two hour flight delay meant we did not leave till gone 3.30pm and to top it all landed at Gatwick not Heathrow where all our transport and connections were based. No transport was at hand, waiting another hour or so for transport to Heathrow was not a happy prospect. I ended up fighting with a broken suitcase on the train to Watford. I was luck I could beg a bed for the night from family but not what I wanted for my first solo holiday. After a restful 13 days at sea a rubbish end. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2011
Having never been on a cruise before we hoped that what we had read about Azamara Quest would live upto its expectations. It did and more. Firstly, the friendliness of all the crew reflects onto the passengers, people were genuinely ... Read More
Having never been on a cruise before we hoped that what we had read about Azamara Quest would live upto its expectations. It did and more. Firstly, the friendliness of all the crew reflects onto the passengers, people were genuinely friendly and the staff meant it when they greeted us with good morning or good afternoon. With the ratio of over 1 staff per 2 passengers, we never had the need to look for any staff for drinks etc., but at the same time they were not over powering. Also, we never felt uncomfortable asking for anything, because they were never pushed and always had time to be pleasant. We were truly pampered and made to feel very special. The cabin we had was just a standard one, but the bed was so comfortable and there was ample room for us. Fresh flowers, fruit and soft drinks were always available and Jesus, who looked after our room was wonderful. The food and service in all the restaurants was without question, perfect. Believe me, my husband hates taking me to a restaurant, but I had no cause for complaint on the Quest. My husband was equally impressed with the variety of wine we were offered with every meal. We made so many friends on this ship and I'm not suprised, everyone was so relaxed and amiable, so chatting to strangers was never a problem. Also, we were told time and time again by fellow passengers who had been on other cruises, that we had made a very good choice for our first cruise. Other ships they informed us were so large with over 2,500 passengers that they lacked the atmosphere of the Quest. In conclusion, thank you Azamara Quest, as soon as we can afford another cruise with you we shall be booking it. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2011
We cruised on the Azamara Quest on October 1-8, 2011 out of Rome. We were apprehensive about this trip, as it was our first cruise ever! We originally wanted to book with Seabourn but when our desired sailing sold out, we booked with ... Read More
We cruised on the Azamara Quest on October 1-8, 2011 out of Rome. We were apprehensive about this trip, as it was our first cruise ever! We originally wanted to book with Seabourn but when our desired sailing sold out, we booked with Azamara instead. A little bigger ship, but a great itinerary. We are used to chartering sailing and motor yachts privately with three other couples every year, so the idea of a larger ship was slightly nerve-wrecking. However,we were TOTALLY IMPRESSED! We never felt like there were 600 or so other people on the ship! We were impressed by the level of service, the cleanliness and decor of the ship, and the high-end experience. Every stereotype we had considered as a reason not to cruise was not an issue!!! We like a high-end product and Azamara delivered! (1) The Food: The main dining venue, Discoveries, as well as the two premium restaurants, Prime C and Aqualina were absolutely wonderful. If you don't want to step foot in the buffet, you don't have to! The only time we did was on the departure day when that was the only restaurant open for lunch, and it was fine. We are not big fans of buffets, so we chose to dine in the other three restaurants. I can say that the BEST soups I have ever had in my life, I have now had aboard the Azamara Quest. The only thing that I felt fell consistently short were the desserts. I am a sugar-addict, so that disappointed me. (2) Entertainment: My husband and I are in our 30's and consequently were one of the youngest couples on this cruise. However, I felt like the entertainment provided targeted everyone. From the comedian the first night to the Celine Dion tribute show, we never felt bored. My husband really enjoyed the casino, and I loved the shops! The Cruise Director is TOP NOTCH and a very talented entertainer himself! (3) Ports of Call/Excursions: We only booked one shore excursion through Azamara, as we prefer a more private touring experience. However, that one excursion was really good. We went to the Selinunte Ruins and really enjoyed the trip. (4) Rooms/Amenities: The Club Continent Suite is akin to a very nice hotel room. The veranda was lovely. Yes, it is hard to sleep in some mornings (when they are lowering tenders, for example!) but the rooms are great. The bath tub was a nice bonus after all the walking we did day after day! The butler totally adds to the experience and truly does make sure that you have all your needs and wants met (thanks, Ravin!) and the Suite Steward (room attendants) are brilliant...you hardly know they are there but every time you step back into your suite it is perfectly neat and tidy (thanks, Emmanuel!) I must say that the Hotel Director and his staff are wonderful! Any issues you have are immediately addressed (and those issues are few) and they WORK VERY HARD to ensure your cruise is EXTRAORDINARY!!!!! (5) Public Spaces: LOVED the Mosaic Cafe, the entertainment there, and the staff. LOVED the spa, the gym, and the ability to get away to quiet corners of the ship when you desired. I was so surprised that by the end of the week, the crew knew our names, knew our likes and dislikes, and made us feel like we had been cruising with them for years. AMAZING CREW! They MAKE AZAMARA and without them it would not be as special. Would I change anything on this trip? Not much! The only suggestion I would give to Azamara would be to work on the organization of their theme parties (White Night) so that the wait staff/servers know their tables/sections, and know to clear plates, take drink orders, etc. The rest of that party was great. Met some amazing people, had amazing fun, and we are already considering where we will travel next with Azamara. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2011
We are a couple aged 65 and 55 respectively. In wonderful shape and well traveled but we had never been on a cruise. We thought it to be too stodgy and way too laid back for our style of travelling. Well, we finally decided to do it and ... Read More
We are a couple aged 65 and 55 respectively. In wonderful shape and well traveled but we had never been on a cruise. We thought it to be too stodgy and way too laid back for our style of travelling. Well, we finally decided to do it and did our due diligence and chose an Azamara Quest cruise in the Med in early October.Oh, by the way, we made our reservations for this trip 10 days before sailing.Well, I'm happy I did that. We arrived Rome the day before our cruise. We booked a great hotel on the water at our departure port,had a delicious diner nearby and woke the next morning to explore town before walking with our luggage to the pier a bit after noon. The boarding process was professional,swift and most cordial.It took hardly any time and we were greeted onboard with champagne.We were directed to go to lunch and promised that by the time it was over our luggage would be in our cabin. Lunch was a buffet and it was delicious. The ship is beautiful. It's what a classic Ocean liner is suppose to be in my opinion.The ship looks like it was launched last year. The crew is constantly cleaning and looking after you with the biggest smiles and greetings you can imagine. From the Captain on down these are the nicest ,friendliest and most professional people I have ever encountered travelling en masse. Our cabin was a veranda on 6. It was fine and came well stocked with toiletries and a loaded mini fridge. Fruit each day was very nice. Our cabin attendant was perfect. He just did it without even being asked. We did not take any of the cruise tours as we had already been to some of the destinations and enjoy going out on our own. The food on-board was delicious. We ate in both of the specialty restaurants as well as the MDR. Fellow passengers were from the US & Great Britain for the most part. The size of the ship was very important to us. We purposely did not want to go on a Mega ship. One of the advantages of this with Azamara was that we actually got to know quite a few of our fellow passengers.The ship carries under 700 and I think on our cruise there were about 640. We always requested to be seated at a large table with others. We met so many nice people that way. I am a smoker and the one area on the ship where it's allowed also afforded me the pleasure of meeting even more people. Do I enjoy being on a beautiful compact ship that's crewed by the nicest people,being served absolutely great food,not concerned about formal nights or tipping in general nor feeling as though I'm being "nickel and dimed" as so many other cruise people told us later? Well sure. Wouldn't you? Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2011
Having heard so many positive things about Azamara we were anticipating nothing but the best when we embarked for our first cruise. We have never considered a cruise before and have always made our own holidays with flights, ... Read More
Having heard so many positive things about Azamara we were anticipating nothing but the best when we embarked for our first cruise. We have never considered a cruise before and have always made our own holidays with flights, hotels/apartments and rental cars. This year one of our trips were cancelled and suddenly we found our self with 2 weeks of spare time to use at "anything". By pure coincidence we stumbled upon a cruise with Azamara and within a few days everything was arranged thru a TA in Oslo. We were going on our first cruise. We read many reviews before we decided and in line with some recommendations we opted for the interior cabin. It's true what they said. We never spent much time there and the money saved could be used on the beverage package,- among other things. Next time we might go for a balcony, but for the first cruise it was quite OK to just do the interior cabin. We got a great reception embarking in Nice and the Meet and Mingle Party was held later the same evening. A fine opportunity to meet some fellow cruisers that you only had some contact with via cruise critic. First port of call was Saint-Tropez. We had plans for lunch at Plage L'Esquinade and had a great day in port. The Saint-Tropez Sailing Week was in progress and it was fantastic to watch all the yachts and large sail boats passing by the Journey as we were tendered close to the port. Sanary Sur Mer was next port and it was really a quaint little village with a beautiful port. The only negative side to it was that they practice siesta and basically that meant that almost all the shops were closed from 12-3p.m. If you don't have a port excursion in a place like Sanary Sur Mer is a bit too quiet. IMHO they should do a bit more when they get cruise ships,- I rather feel a bit stranded in a beautiful town when everything is closed. If they don't want tourists I can suggest many places that would be better options, Saintes Maries de la Mer for example. Barcelona was fantastic- so were the other ports, not going into details, but the excursions we had was very nicely performed by Azamara and their agents. Very professional and surprisingly efficient. We would recommend excursions if you find them interesting because Azamara really make an effort to give you a supreme product. On board the Azamara Journey everything was pure excellence. The crew, from the maintenance staff to the officers, really seemed to enjoy working for Azamara. That was the first thing that struck me,- these people actually enjoy what they are doing. The restaurants were very good. we dined in all of them and can say that all the options are well worth a visit. The main dining room, Discoveries, was a bit more noisy than the speciality restaurants, but nothing to be bothered with. The food was equally as good, and that is what's important. We found the on board entertainment to be very good. Some very nice performances by artists flown in for a few days only and some performances from the Azamara artists. They all were high level performers and could easily work in the West End or on Broadway. We had a fabulous time on the Azamara Journey and will definately go again. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2011
We are a professional couple, ages 52 and 61, and well traveled internationally. We have been 1000% anti-cruising, thinking that cruise boats were floating nursing homes, or floating buffets for drunken rednecks.We have been converted! ... Read More
We are a professional couple, ages 52 and 61, and well traveled internationally. We have been 1000% anti-cruising, thinking that cruise boats were floating nursing homes, or floating buffets for drunken rednecks.We have been converted! The same week we returned home, I booked the Paul Gauguin Society Islands for February, and The Baltics on Oceania for next July.We agreed to this cruise on impulse, because a professional friend asked us to join him. His wife is a travel agent and booked the cruise. I would guess that the Black Sea would not be a first cruiser's preferred destination, but the dates worked out for us.Embarkation:We flew into Istanbul a few days early to enjoy that fabulous city. Being terrified of Istanbul's dishonest cabbies, we were pleased that the Intercontinental Ceylan had a cadre of honest cab drivers at their disposal. The cruise port was very close to the hotel, and it cost less than $10 to get us to the terminal. We arrived at 3pm, and there was no line. We were serviced immediately, and quickly sent up the gang plank to the reception lobby, where our pictures were taken and we were given a glass of champagne.Room:We were in 8047, S1 Sky Suite with butler service. The room was attractively decorated in red and beige. There was a large bottle of vodka and scotch (which we don't drink and gave away), a bottle of champagne (which we also gave away) and a bowl of fruit. We were later given a bottle of wine, which suffered a similar fate. The mini bar was stocked with a variety of beer and soft drinks and water. We had the butler replace everything with Diet Coke. I booked this category because my husband is 6'3", and I wanted him to not feel claustrophobic. The only problem he had was in the shower. He had to step in the bathtub, and his head hit the ceiling, so he had to shower with his head to one side. The amenities were large size Elemis. Our cabin steward kept the room in immaculate condition, but annoyed us by knocking on our door several mornings to see if we had left the room. We promised to put the 'make up room now' card on the door when we were ready for him!Food:I thought the food was wonderful! We ate in Prime C three times, in Aqualina once, and in the main dining room twice. One night we just had a club sandwich in the room because we were stuffed! We never tried the buffet. We had room service breakfast once, then skipped breakfast the other days (again, because there was too much food!). The delivery person set up by bringing the table in from the veranda, but the coffee table could just as easily have been used.My favorite meal was.....the lunch time hamburger and french fries I had on the pool deck! That cook made the best french fries I have ever had in my entire life! Hot, light, thick and crispy; the perfect fry!Of the fancier places, Prime C was leagues above the other venues, at least to our taste. The little donuts with dipping fondues were to die for. I always had fish, and was very happy with the sea bass and salmon. It was all delicious. The best appetizer, however, was Aqualina's lobster salad with citrus. Perfect blend of citrus with light, non chewy lobster chunks. I could not taste the Cointreau in Aqualina's souffle.If you love to eat, there are plenty of opportunities: breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea with sweets, afternoon savories, dinner, and evening savories! One night we asked our butler if it was possible to order from the specialty restaurants for room service, as we were not able to get (another) reservation for Prime C and loved the little donuts. He said, no, but we later found a tray with the little donuts in our room! That's service that leaves one feeling pampered.Entertainment:We didn't go to any shows. We did play bingo once, to use up some of our on board ship credit from AMEX.Enrichment:We both are intellectually curious, and thoroughly enjoyed Dr. Richard Farkus's lectures on the area. He was an excellent speaker. His lectures were replayed on the TV system, and we listened to each at least twice.Ports:We did not do any of the ship's tours, rather hired a private guide with two other couples for Ukraine.Nessebar Bulgaria is a quaint town with souvenir vendor lined streets. Constanta Romania should be eliminated as a port. It is desolate and depressing. There is no economic activity, and skinny stray dogs roam the streets. Many buildings are rubble. When we were exploring, we ran into a group of Brits.I asked if it got any better where they had been, and he answered "no, in fact we have seen four suicides since we started our walk." So much for British humor, but he accurately described the area.Perhaps we should have gone on the bus trip to Budapest, but we didn't want to travel 3 hours each way to tour for 3 hours. The boat had to delay leaving for the next port because these buses were late.Ukraine- Odessa, Sevastopol, and Yalta was absolutely fascinating. Our private guide was well connected and we got into areas normal tourists aren't allowed, like the private areas of the Livadia Palace, where Stalin, Roosevelt, and Churchill divided up Europe in 1945. Bribe money is left under telephones.SummaryWe came to realize that cruising is an efficient way of seeing locations we would not want to spend a significant amount of time. No risk of encountering dreadful accommodations and even worse food.If Azamara had an itinerary we liked, we would not hesitate to travel with them again. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2011
Although this was our 1st Cruise together. I cruised around Fiji when I was 18 with some friends but my husband had never cruised before and often said he didn't want to... he has definately changed his mind now. I am not sure what ... Read More
Although this was our 1st Cruise together. I cruised around Fiji when I was 18 with some friends but my husband had never cruised before and often said he didn't want to... he has definately changed his mind now. I am not sure what cruise the last report was on but This was a PERFECT itinerary, for us and also had many other reports saying the same thing, we didn't want a Port intensive cruise which would be tiring, this had enough Ports to see the place and all but one were over 2 days as well as Sea days in between for the rest that we all needed, I don't understand the previous report saying it was a Port Intensive Cruise!!! We all know the itinerary before we cruise!!! We left Adelaide and flew direct to Singapore arriving around 6pm, we caught a taxi straight to the ship, had a good driver who spoke good English and was a terrific guide. We had been to Singapore many times so didn't want to do a pre cruise night. The good thing about arriving later was that we were the only ones checking in, most people were already on board and enjoying their dinner, so we got straight through. It was a bit confusing in parts, but we got through ok. Being first timers we did not know the procedure and most people presumed you knew what to do - we worked it out though. The first day was at sea, we departed earlier than expected as everyone was on board. Was a good day to get familiar with everything and meet some people. We had our Cruise Critic meet and greet, put on by Azamara which was good putting a face to a name, we had champagne and nibbles which were lovely and met all the people that were coming on our tours etc. We ate in the DiningRoom every night apart from the 2 nights that they sent us to Prime C and Aqualina because the Dining Room was full. Although they were nice, we actually preferred the food in the Dining Room and also the atmosphere was better. We found the choice was good, one side of the menu being the same every night and the other side was different with great choices and always had something we enjoyed. It must be very hard to please 700 people with taste, there will always be the very few that will complain about the choice. We just enjoyed that someone else was cooking and it was always a 1st class meal. It is the type of cruise you can join with others if you wish, or you can eat by yourself, a good choice. We enjoyed the Casual Dining more than getting dressed up every night, we all felt more relaxed and therefore enjoyed the company and the atmosphere. I actually paid no attention to what the people at the next table were wearing as this made no impact to my dining experience and definitly did not make the food taste any different!!! We also liked that we were not on a "SET" time to go for dinner, as we changed it every night, depending on what we were doing in the day, and sometimes we decided to go to the Themed Buffet on Pool deck at the last minute. The freedom to choose when and where we dined and also who with was a highlight and most enjoyable. All the staff we found to be genuinely happy and more than helpful and always saying hello, could not fault any of them. The Cafe was a nice meeting place for morning coffee, although could be crowded at times, but was never a problem. The entertainment was the only thing that was in need of revamping, was a bit on the low side. Jim Badger was good, but didn't want to listen to him every night. We actually enjoyed Dining in the Dining room and then maybe going for a drink in one of the bars with new friends. One thing that we were very impressed with was the Shuttle Bus at every port. No need to battle with the taxi drivers who don't speak english or want to take you every else expect where you want to go. Azamara have a Free Shuttle bus from the ship to a central location in the city area, going back and forth about every 30 minutes, this was Invaluable. We realised our cruise experience was determined on our own outloook, we chose to enjoy it and not grizzle and complain out every tiny little insignificant detail, of which there was very few. Although our cruising is limited, we are not into "comparing" with other cruises or cruiselines as they are all different for different reasons. WE picked this cruise line and WE picked this itinerary, it was up to us to sit back and enjoy it which is what we did, and would HIGHLY recommend it to anyone. Happy to give any more information to anyone if needed - bjbowen@adam.com.au Read Less
Sail Date: November 2010
You'll love it! You'll hate it! We really had little idea of what to expect with friends who had cruised telling us we'd love it and those who had never cruised telling us we'd hate being not being independent ... Read More
You'll love it! You'll hate it! We really had little idea of what to expect with friends who had cruised telling us we'd love it and those who had never cruised telling us we'd hate being not being independent travellers. Well I have to say the first group one hands down. We cruised with the Azamara to The Holy Land in November 2010 and loved every minute of it. The crew were fantastic - so genuinely helpful and always courteous; the cabins were well equipped, though maybe slightly on the small side, and every day we got fresh fruit and various newsletters meaning we were always up to speed with what was going on in relation to excursions or on-board activities. The food in the various restaurants we thought was of 5 star standard with good quality linen, cutlery and glasses (for all that wine included in the price - well done on those selections too - I have been on holidays before where wine was included and mostly they were house wines of dubious quality). I used the gym and went to 2 spinning classes which I loved (a couple of extra bikes would be good as you had to book early to get on to the class which was over-subscribed) and my husband used the walking track each day. We both used the library and, being newspaper addicts, liked the daily news sheets available there (and the UK ones delivered to our cabin). The on-board laundry room was well equipped and I also used the ship's laundry service which was excellent and not expensive either. The Azamara gets full marks for always having cold bottles of water available to take with you on excursions as you leave the ship and for always giving you a warm welcome back at the end of each trip. It was these little things that really stood out. Extra pillow? No problem. Broken light? Fixed very quickly. Breakfast on your balcony? No problem (and always delivered at the time requested). Seriously, and I don't have shares in Azamara, the only area I found to improve concerned the daily delivery of grapes to the cabins - they had several pips in. We have booked another cruise with the Azamara and are introducing some of our relatives too to this whole new way of having a holiday. It was the most relaxing holiday we have had and from start to finish we felt looked after by the Azamara and her crew. We also made some new friends - all helped by the dining experience and the option of sharing tables whenever we chose and through joining Cruise Critic beforehand. The Cruise Critic meetings on board were fun and at the final meeting most of the ship's directors were there to take on board (excuse the pun) any feedback. That was impressive. I could go on but that is probably enough. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2010
My wife and I could not have been more pleased with our Best of Italy cruise aboard the Azamara Quest. During this 14 day adventure the Quest visited Civitavecchia, Sorrento, Taromina, Ravenna, Trieste, Venice, Dubrovnik (Croatia), and ... Read More
My wife and I could not have been more pleased with our Best of Italy cruise aboard the Azamara Quest. During this 14 day adventure the Quest visited Civitavecchia, Sorrento, Taromina, Ravenna, Trieste, Venice, Dubrovnik (Croatia), and Florence(Livorno). The itinerary was what first attracted us to the trip. At several of the stops, Venice, for example, the ship stayed overnight so we were able to see more of the site. Let me start at the beginning, the embarkation process was very well organized and very welcoming and the champaign apon boarding was nice too! The staff throughout the trip was exceptional: friendly, helpful, just a delight! The entertainment was uniformly good. The 9:45pm show was always something to look forward to. Thanks Tony! The food was outstanding! The fish fry in Dubrovnik was something special. The fish we had for dinner had been swimming in the Adriatic a few hours before! Our comlpiments to the Chef!! The wine selections with lunch and dinner (included in the cost) were also very good. The shuttle buses at each port were really a bonus. The buses facilitated getting to the various cities from our dock. There were always enough buses and there was never any crowding. Just to give one example of how remarkable the cruise was: we sailed into Venice at 7:00am, the sun was just rising as we went by St. Marks Square and Tony, the Cruise Director, had Pavoroti playing over the loudspeakers in public spaces. Could not have been more perfect! Thanks also to Captain Carl for the volcano! The disembarkation and transer process was a very smooth operation. My wife and I will cruise again -- with Azamara. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2010
This was our very 1st cruise and we didn't really know what to expect. Other guests we spoke to on board seemed really surprised that it was our 1st time: it would seem that once you've got the bug you become addicted, and I can ... Read More
This was our very 1st cruise and we didn't really know what to expect. Other guests we spoke to on board seemed really surprised that it was our 1st time: it would seem that once you've got the bug you become addicted, and I can really see why ! I went with a friend who I don't see very often. We are both in our 50's. We chose this cruise because of the small size of the ship and the long time in ports of call: we wanted to have enough time to discover the places and not be in a great rush. The cruise was really great for that and we never felt frustrated at having to get back, especially as we booked 1 extra night in hotels in Athens and Istanbul at start and end of cruise. One complete day at sea was a nice experience though we wouldn't have wanted more ... despite it being so great on the ship, my idea of a cruise is to discover the destinations. The ports of call were mostly fascinating: I found Nauplion slightly disappointing and Bodrum not quite so interesting, but Athens, Santorini, Rhodes, Mykonos. Ephesus and Istanbul were all brilliant places to visit, We hired a car in Santorini which was such a perfect day, did private taxi tours in Athens, Ephesus and Istanbul, caught local buses in Mykonos, and just walked around Rhodes with a map in hand. The size of the ship was perfect. As there were "only" about 500 guests we never had problems of queues for anything. The staff were ALL wonderful, from the cheerful and enthusiastic captain to the lowliest of the cleaning staff, and certainly not forgetting the restaurant and entertainment personnel: friendly faces everywhere, always helpful but never obsequious. I cannot understand why some reviews slate the food. We found it extremely good in both the Discoveries restaurant, where we hardly ever got to try the basic menu as the days specials were always so inviting, and the Windows cafe (buffet) where we often went in order to to eat outside. The service was so good, with explanations where asked for and wine and water topped up constantly. We had a veranda stateroom, which was comfortable. We didn't feel squashed although it wasn't huge. We got to the chance to look around the other types of stateroom, and although the suites were a dream, I think our choice was the good balance of value for money: even though we spend little time on the veranda it was really nice having it. I think the only slightly disappointing thing on the ship was the pool which was really small. The other guests all seemed to be from English-speaking countries, I think mostly Americans, though also a fair number of British and Australians and smaller numbers from other places. Ages varied, but mostly adults. Few children and adolescents despite being in holiday time, and I don't think it would be much fun for them unless they were happy to spend all their time with parents etc. Most people were couples: a woman accompanied by her 3 children mentioned she felt rather "different" from everyone else. We didn't see much of the entertainment: having been out all day, after a leisurely evening meal, we just wanted to chill out in the evening, but I gather the quality was good. We did see the show with singer Helen Jayne who was excellent, and also enjoyed the 2 folklore evenings once Greek and once Turkish, with dancing & singing. I would certainly not hesitate to recommend this cruise and have excellent memories and hundreds of photos to remind me ! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2010
My husband and I and our 11 year old son have travelled in Europe extensively on our own, but had never been on a cruise before. I started researching ways to visit St Petersburg Russia and discovered that we could actually see several ... Read More
My husband and I and our 11 year old son have travelled in Europe extensively on our own, but had never been on a cruise before. I started researching ways to visit St Petersburg Russia and discovered that we could actually see several destinations if we took a "Baltic Cruise." After extensive internet research, I determined that a smaller ship might give a more intimate experience and personal service, so I booked an average room on Azamara Journey for June 2010. I was absolutely correct, the service on the ship was impecable, to a person. No request was too much. Azamara is a port-intensive itinerary, which is what we wanted, but time on the ship was nice too. The food was good and did not become monotonous, even after 12 days. There were several different kinds of food venues and you never had to wear a coat and tie or be very dressed up to eat. The entertainment was okay, but usually we were too tired after a day of sightseeing to go to the cabaret anyway. Azamara is not a "kids' entertainment" line, but our son was treated nicely by the staff and other guests as well. My only complaint was that I had very carefully planned our shore excursions so we could have certain special experiences. We were informed after we boarded that several of our excursions (which I had paid for well in advance) had been cancelled. I was disappointed, but made adjustments and had great experiences anyway. We took ship excursions, hired a private company in St Petersburg, and went on our own in some instances. This was a good decision because we didn't feel like we were being herded around all the time. The company in St. Petersburg was DenRus Tours - they were fantastic to deal with - even bought our tickets to a premier at the Mariinsky Theatre. Our driver for two days was Vladimir and our delightful tour guide/interpreter was Igor. They made our trip very special. I just can't say enough about the crew of Azamara and DenRus. It was a great experience. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2010
I grew up on boats. I love to travel. However, up till now, I had no desire to go on a cruise ship. Why? Because I hate crowds, lineups, buffets, tours, corny entertainment and seasickness. And I'm not crazy about kids...other ... Read More
I grew up on boats. I love to travel. However, up till now, I had no desire to go on a cruise ship. Why? Because I hate crowds, lineups, buffets, tours, corny entertainment and seasickness. And I'm not crazy about kids...other people's, that is, on a vacation. I have spent my life teaching teenagers and for me, a holiday must be as far away from them as possible or it simply isn't a change of scene. I do love the ocean, however, and if I'm going to be on a ship, I must be able to actually feel like I'm close to the water, not 16 stories up in a floating skyscraper. I spent a couple of years researching my 'first time cruise' and I chose Azamara for the following reasons: 1. I could not afford a balcony on Oceania and didn't want to go for 2 weeks in case I didn't like it 2. The ships are basically the same size and I liked the size and look of the ships a lot 3. The one week itinerary was terrific and at the right time of year for me 4. It seemed it would appeal to people like me, who are comfortable but not necessarily wealthy, have high standards but aren't totally spoiled and can appreciate the opportunity to travel rather than take it all for granted 5. I got an irresistible deal way before the prices jumped and am kicking myself that I didn't book a hundred more cruises before it was too late. As I was constantly told by more experienced cruisers on board The Journey, I hit it lucky my first time. It was generally agreed by everyone I spoke to that this ship was a tremendous value and everything was fantastic. I have no basis of comparison, unless you count a terrible voyage in steerage on a dilapidate ship from the old Epirotiki lines from Brindisi to Athens as a college student when everyone aboard wanted to jump over from the lousy food, overly attentive waiters (I was much younger and prettier back then) and rampant seasickness. I say this so you can decide how many grains of salt to sprinkle on my review. I booked in the fall, way before rumors of the upgrade in services, because I sensed that the Journey would offer what I was looking for at a decent, affordable price. Imagine my shock at our good luck when the re-imaging took place and I found out that there would be more than met my eye....free wine! free coffee! no gratuities!......I'm not much of a drinker...either wine or coffee but the tips were a savings (although I couldn't resist tipping a little anyways, the service was so incredible). I am now suffering from withdrawal because, with my calculations, I can no longer really afford to return for another cruise.....and return I would, if the price wasn't practically double. Unless you drink like a fish, I'm not sure you could justify the difference in price, although, at the rate we paid, I suppose it's doubtful they could stay in business. Sigh. The best things about the cruise and The Journey 1. Embarkation/debarkation was perfect ....smooth, efficient and welcoming 2. Lunch, like all others to follow, was fantastic 3. Our Deck 7 Balcony suite was great....amazing views all along the coasts of Italy and the Balkans (are they still called that?) Blue seas, blue hills, blue skies. Sure, the bathroom is small, but it's on a ship! If you want a huge bathroom, stay home (where, I assume, your facilities are in a house). 4. The ocean was like glass every day. (Told you we were lucky...I never even opened my pack of wristlets or gravol, never felt queasy or anything but relaxed) Thank you weather gods. 5. The people we met were delightful, considerate, friendly and fun. All ages, too. Honeymooners, empty nesters and retirees. And a few oldies but goodies. 6. The staff was incredible....I absolutely endorse whatever positive comments others have written times 100....the teamwork, the professionalism and warmth made it very hard to leave....I actually cried during their good-bye presentation...felt like a cross between the Olympics and summer camp 7. The 'tendering' and tours were excellent, efficient and pretty reasonable, considering 8 The spa was lovely, but the treatments so costly that few people seemed to be there at any time making it easy to enjoy the steam, shower and private deck 9. The food was sensational. Given the number of people and the complexities involved, the service and the catering was first-rate. I am a 'foodie' with a bit of a background in culinary arts and found something wonderful to eat at each meal. Food was fresh, abundant and beautifully presented. The specialty restaurants were fantastic....all I can say is 'chocolate souffle'... 10. The Captain and his crew were approachable, friendly and eager to please. They are really trying to sell this new upgrade concept with a lot of opportunities for feedback 11. They never run out of anything....towels, food, water, hellos... Not so much.... a very short list....again, based on my experience as a newbie 1. Somebody complained that there were a few cruddy tiles around the pool which had escaped my attention 2. There is only 1 laundry room with only 4 washers and dryers which create a kind of feeding frenzy at times.....it's strictly survival of the fittest in this little space....just don't leave your stuff for a minute or someone will remove it and leave it lying around, damp, and avert their eyes when you enter (don't ask me how I know) 3. Sometimes you can't make up your mind which dessert to order so you have to have two! 4. The programming is a little lame....the games are incredibly juvenile and the entertainment is not great, but it didn't really bother me...I am not interested in Las Vegas afloat 5. The onboard stores are so -so....kind of frumpy 5. I am now spoiled for the rest of my life. I am very sad that I probably will not ever be able to justify spending twice as much for the same thing again and so will have to say Bon Voyage to the good ship Journey. My fear, for Azamara, is that they are now joining a pretty fussy class where their efforts may not be appreciated, given the shiny competition. And they are leaving out an entire group of potential cruisers, boomers new to cruising who want a lovely, romantic and adventurous escape from the kids, grandkids and cares. Like me. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2010
Although we have travelled extensively, this was our first experience cruising and we were thrilled with the entire trip. Mindful of possible inclement weather we chose to fly into Ft. Lauderdale the day before departure to ensure our ... Read More
Although we have travelled extensively, this was our first experience cruising and we were thrilled with the entire trip. Mindful of possible inclement weather we chose to fly into Ft. Lauderdale the day before departure to ensure our timely arrival to the ship. On the sailing day we took a short tour of Ft. Lauderdale as I has spent many Christmas celebrations there as a child and wanted to see if I would remember any places (which I did!). We arrived at the Port of Miami around noon and were immediately invited onboard our new, temporary home. We had a lunch at the buffet and toured the ship to familiarize ourselves with the different things available to us. Our luggage arrived before 3 p.m. so we unpacked; pleasantly surprised with the number of hangers and drawer space. We went outside to watch our departure and waved adios to Miami. It was suggested that we eat at the earlier seating for the 1st evening...this would be the only evening we would have to make a choice of dining times. The next day was spent at sea and although the weather wasn't the best we enjoyed the relaxation time. While on board we took advantage of the lectures, cooking demonstrations, casino, shows, computers, pool, bars, etc. All of the people involved with the day to day activities were very helpful and always had a smile or nice word to say. The 48 nations represented by the crew on the ship can be proud of their ambassadors; they were excellent. The excursions we chose were informative and very enjoyable. The driver and narrator in Dominica were particularly helpful. We were able to eat in the 2 speciality dining rooms a total of 3 evenings. Each meal was memorable from the amuze de bouche to the coffee and desserts and wines. The meals in the Discovery restaurant were also enjoyable however we were a little disappointed with the seafood. We felt that the fish was frozen and were a little surprised at that. We ate in the Windows Cafe twice for a 'lighter dinner' and loved the shushi and sashimi available, as well as the stir-fry and pasta choices. Finally, the disembarkation was extremely organized and well handled. We had transfers to Ft. Lauderdale and were delivered to the airport in a timely manner. To summarize our cruise experience I think we can say it was a great vacation which we would love to repeat, although to new destinations, and we look forward to planning something soon. PS. We visited 7 ports but the ability to select 7 ports wasn't available. Also, loved the 2 days before ports and 2 days after ports "at sea" and would always want this choice. Read Less
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