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Sail Date: October 2015
We have sailed on Azamara before, so its clear that they offer a product that we value. 1/ An example of their service: at embarkation in Istanbul it was raining. Evaluating the next day's forecast, Captain Magnus decided, I'm certain ... Read More
We have sailed on Azamara before, so its clear that they offer a product that we value. 1/ An example of their service: at embarkation in Istanbul it was raining. Evaluating the next day's forecast, Captain Magnus decided, I'm certain with headquarters' approval, to switch the first 2 ports so as to maximize our chance of good weather. This tactic worked perfectly, although I'm positive it entailed extra travel time and thus cost. 2/ In an improvement over previous cruises, there is a focus, both in the MDR and Windows Cafe, on aiding those with food allergies. For example, in Windows dishes without common triggers are labelled to allow better choice. 3/ White Night on board was a terrific experience and reflected the evolution of the concept. 4/ The presence of so many friendly and familiar faces onboard suggests an excellent retention rate of their valued staff. 5/ Azamara prides itself in providing a destination immersion experience (for example longer times in ports). This itinerary was no exception. 6/ Despite the fact the Journey heads to drydock in January, the condition of the ship, and our stateroom, was excellent. 7/ We thought the food superb, but this is truly subjective. Conclusion: Azamara did not disappoint. 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! But it ... 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
We enjoyed our recent cruise on the Azamara Journey. The staff is outstanding, very friendly and seem to actively anticipate our needs and wants. This is very different from a lot of the other cruises we have been on (14 in the last 4 ... Read More
We enjoyed our recent cruise on the Azamara Journey. The staff is outstanding, very friendly and seem to actively anticipate our needs and wants. This is very different from a lot of the other cruises we have been on (14 in the last 4 years). However, when we were last on an Azamara cruise two years ago, we raved about the food served in the Dining Room. We thought it was wonderful. Not so now. It seems rather run of the mill now. For example, while they served small lobster tails, they were overdone, the rib-eye steak was very thin and we had a portion of what seemed a cornstarch gravy on it; after the first few days the walnuts at breakfast were removed and were replaced by thinly sliced almonds, the seafood was not special, etc., etc. This diminishment in food quality is a disappointment, especially since the prices for Azamara’s cruises seem to be going up quite a bit. Azamara prices now reach into the ‘luxury’ cruise category, yet the food, the cabins, and the fact that you have to pay to dine in the specialty restaurant do not measure up to a ‘luxury’ cruise. Too bad. However we must admit that we did enjoy dining in the specialty restaurants. Alex deserves super kudos for his management and leadership in the specialty restaurants; so does his wait staff. We also thought that Azamara’s excursions are very expensive and were not the best quality. The Azamazing Evening was First Class! It was well organized and managed, the offerings were traditional and local, the transportation to and from the ship was flawless and the entertainment was just special. This event was a highlight of the cruise. We experienced recently, on a luxury cruise line, for nearly the same price, much better food, a suite, a butler, and being able to eat at no extra cost in all of their restaurants, including the specialty restaurants. Will we cruise with Azamara again? Most likely not at their current high pricing. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
This was our 2nd cruise this year so you cannot help comparing the two. Azamara just switched to the all-inclusive system and you can tell. Small examples: They try to up sell everything which I hate. The drink/bar menu first shows 20 ... Read More
This was our 2nd cruise this year so you cannot help comparing the two. Azamara just switched to the all-inclusive system and you can tell. Small examples: They try to up sell everything which I hate. The drink/bar menu first shows 20 pages with drinks you have to pay extra for, the last page and even the backside of that page shows the complimentary drinks. Why....... For 2 restaurants you have to pay extra but we are not sure if they were really worth the money. It is nice to have a different setting a few times but for the food you do not have to do it. The other restaurant is very nice as well! Some of the areas on the ship really really need some work. The pool side restaurant is really like you are on a Greek Ferry ship. For a 5* ship this is not ok. Also the Windows restaurant inside looks like a home for the elderly more than a 5* cruise. The rest is somewhat old fashioned classic but matching to the ship and its customers. Furthermore to compare with Seabourn: The crew on Azamara is very nice but...the crew on Seabourn is a few levels up. The first day they know you by name and know your special wishes. They are very attentive when entering a restaurant and they always bring you to your table, carry your food from the buffets. The moment you sit at your table a waiter greets you and helps you. At Azamara you have to wait minutes untill they spot you, they do not help you with your food to the table and they are really less attentive however they are nice and friendly! On our trip we found the entertainment team really bad. At Seabourn the full entertainment team joins you on the ships activities and after the show they are always in the lounges chatting, dancing, entertaining guests and having fun with guests! In such a nice way you feel their your friends and you miss them after the journey. At Azamara they do not want to interact with the guests at all. If they are in the bar after the show they only stand there talking to each other and can’t seem to wait until they can go to their rooms. Not 1 single attempt to interact we saw all 10 days. Such a shame because they can really make a big difference! Surely there were some staff members we will never forget because of their attitude and passion for their job: Carlos at the pool bar, Ernesto...wow he must teach the entertainment team how this business works. Everybody loved Ernesto! But also Jose in the main restaurant was splendid in doing his job on such a way that it made a huge impression on us. The Captain was funny and made also lots of contact with the guest which is very good. Our conclusion: We had a wonderful trip, met lovely people although we were about 25 years younger than the average age of the guests. But if we compare Azamara with Seabourn.... for the same money we definitely go on the Seabourn where you get the extra * in staff level, food quality and all the caviar, drinks and food you can think of complimentary without any up selling and with the best personal service you can possibly imagine! 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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2015
I have read a lot of forum posts comparing Azamara and Oceania, and now that I have been on both lines, I know what the Azamara fans are talking about. The interaction with the crew on the Journey was something I had never experienced ... Read More
I have read a lot of forum posts comparing Azamara and Oceania, and now that I have been on both lines, I know what the Azamara fans are talking about. The interaction with the crew on the Journey was something I had never experienced before, and I have been cruising for many years on many lines (except what are considered the "luxury" lines). I really enjoyed getting to know the officers and crew and fist bumping with Captain Sindre and others. It really made you feel like part of the family. That spirit exhibited by the officers was also seen in much of the crew. Every day getting on the tender, there was Tony, the Cruise Director, to see you off. If you ever are blessed to have Tony, give him a hug for me. Some days the Captain was there too, or even on the dock to greet you when you stepped off the tender. Have never had a Captain of a ship wish me a Happy Birthday. Silly for me to mention, maybe, but memorable none the less. So Azamara really wins on this aspect. We also had a wonderful cabin upgrade, so kudos to Azamara on that also. The only part of the experience that fell short of Oceania was the food. Oceania is truly the foodie cruise line and there wasn't a lunch or dinner we didn't enjoy immensely. We did have some lovely meals on Azamara, particularly in Aqualina. Azamara's entertainment was also very good and we did not miss an evening show. Another feature on Azamara that really stands out is the longer stays in ports. It was wonderful not to have to rush back to the ship. We choose this cruise also for the wonderful collection of ports: Istanbul, Kykonos, Santorino, Catania (for Taormina), Amalfi, and two days in Sorrento. We choose our cruises based on value and itinerary and do not always stick to one line. We will certainly choose Azamara again when the itinerary tickles our fancy. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2015
This was our first cruise with Azamara. We wanted the smaller ship experience and have to admit we liked it. We chose this cruise for the itinerary and a special price - double upgrade to a verandah cabin. The ship was nice, clean and ... Read More
This was our first cruise with Azamara. We wanted the smaller ship experience and have to admit we liked it. We chose this cruise for the itinerary and a special price - double upgrade to a verandah cabin. The ship was nice, clean and fortunately well functioning. (We had heard stories of plumbing problems.) The staff was generally friendly and the food was good. The food and service were excellent in the specialty dining restaurants but you pay extra for that. The promo on this line is that the fare includes gratuities and complimentary alcoholic beverages. There is a catch. You are still overwhelmed with opportunites to tip more and the complimentary drinks includes only 3 selections of beer and they limit the wine to just one white and one red each day. You know they have the larger selection available - so why can't you get a Chardonnay when I don't like Reisling? With a smaller ship you have to expect less choices in some things but you know the wine is there - they are just going to limit you, so they can sell you another glass for $10 each. The upcharges and extra fees are obnoxious. I'll go to a real all inclusive resort next time. We do have to say the Azamara rep at the airport was fantastic. He handled a late luggage issue and sent us on to the ship, while he waited for our luggage on the next flight from Paris. Within 4 hours we had our bags in our stateroom - and that was a HUGE relief. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2014

We boarded the Quest in Istanbul, after a problem with the berthing location, which had been changed from Sarayburnu to Karakoy before we arrived, and Azamara had not informed us. We found the berth after a wild taxi ride, reimbursed by ... Read More

We boarded the Quest in Istanbul, after a problem with the berthing location, which had been changed from Sarayburnu to Karakoy before we arrived, and Azamara had not informed us. We found the berth after a wild taxi ride, reimbursed by Azamara.

Our boarding was flawless and hospitable, but we were surprised at the security measures taken ; more than at an airport!

Our cabin, port side, Level 6, was fine, with verandah, and was for disabled; however, the automatic door opener did not work and we were told later that a new part would be delivered within 22 days.

We were very impressed with the dining in the Discovery Restaurant; the food, the variety, the service, the organization were at least as good as any restaurant in our area in Marin, CA.

The Windows Cafe , which is buffet style , we used for breakfast and lunch was also very impressive. A wide variety of foods with nothing missing and attentive service, even to the point of assisting with carrying your choices to your table. Nanunga, one of the few women waiters, was in both Discovery and Windows and impressed us with her good natured assistance.

Entertainment was OK, but not outstanding.

WiFi was a rip-off.

Visham at Client Relations was very helpful and patient, and Yasemine at Concierge, too, was very helpful.

The Land Discoveries were a mixed bag. Part of the problem was that the descriptions of the arduousness of the various Land excursions were not always accurate. For example, the description for Santorini vastly under-reported the number of steps required on the tour, particularly if one was to take the cable elevator back, which most people do; that part alone had over 100 steps! Ephesus, on the other hand, had an over-stated difficulty, as my traveling companions reported, so I missed out on what was a nice tour.

Disembarking went very smoothly .

In summary, we really enjoyed our first cruise and liked the personal, caring touch of the Azamara Quest. We'll do it again!

 

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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2014

Having sailed with Fred Olsen twice previously we thought we would try 5* luxury as Azamara had reduced the price following the itinerary change.

Flew Turkish Airlines from LHR to Istanbul, good flight there & back, ... Read More

Having sailed with Fred Olsen twice previously we thought we would try 5* luxury as Azamara had reduced the price following the itinerary change.

Flew Turkish Airlines from LHR to Istanbul, good flight there & back, excellent cabin service. Embarkation was a bit hit & miss airport to ship but smooth once onboard. Had late lunch at the Pool Grill & then to cabin 6067 to unpack. Called up to main dining room as the muster point for the safety drill which lasted 1 hour as 500 or 600 people waited for 2 latecomers, ridiculous. The drill was not as detailed as on FO. & could easily been done in 15 minutes. Luckily we had opted for dining at 8.30 pm & so we could unpack & get cleaned up in time for pre dinner G&T.

My wife has a very strong aversion to garlic so we spoke to the Maitre D to arrange garlic free food. No problem, she would be given the next day's menu to choose her meal & it would be cooked garlic free. Dinner that night was good, a pleasant occasion with our 4 dining companions.

Did not go ashore the next day as we were "indisposed". Noticed later in the day that the Pool Grill was getting a deep clean by staff in protective clothing resembling a noddy suit. Uum!

Dinner time arrived & looking forward to a gastronomic treat. Garlic in the wife's food, taken away but next dish garlic again. Despite meeting with Maitre D etc. & Executive Chef Iwan they just could not do it, meal after meal had garlic. I was eating off menu & have to say that the food was mediocre compared to FO, bland, lacking sauces, just plain ordinary to not so good. I had a rib eye, it was cooked just right but was that tough it was inedible, as the Maitre D said "oh dear".

We gave in with the MDR & ate salad in the Windows restaurant. A very disappointing cruise.

Superb ship, fantastic staff but poor food.

I should say that I saw a toilet cleaner washing out the toilet brush cannister in the wash hand basin - do not blame the passengers for norovirus.

 

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