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665 Azamara Luxury Cruise Reviews

This was our first Azamara cruise and we were so impressed with everything, we decided that we will be an Azamara Customer for life. The service was fabulous and with a smile. The food in the dining room was fabulous and the menu ... Read More
This was our first Azamara cruise and we were so impressed with everything, we decided that we will be an Azamara Customer for life. The service was fabulous and with a smile. The food in the dining room was fabulous and the menu had many choices. Pool area had some shade with lounge chairs to get out of the sun. The gym was great with a view, plenty of equipment and area for yoga and Pilates classes, spin cycle classes. They offered watercolor painting , jewelry making, and needlepoint classes at no charge. The 3 piece live band played prior to dinner and after dinner. There were a variety of shows with 2 seatings. The Captain Carl and Cruise directorTony were always around smiling and available if you had any questions. The ship was very bright and very clean. If you have never been on an Azamara Cruise, YOU Should Go On One, You will not be Disappointed. We have been on other cruise lines and we were VERY impressed with Azamara!!!! Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
Did the immersive African Cape cruise Fe 2020. Booked it for 2 significant life anniversaries Boutique six star so didnt. Mind paying more, WHAT A LET DOWN Tired old ship with worn out carpets and furniture in public areas. ... Read More
Did the immersive African Cape cruise Fe 2020. Booked it for 2 significant life anniversaries Boutique six star so didnt. Mind paying more, WHAT A LET DOWN Tired old ship with worn out carpets and furniture in public areas. Cabins compact not boutique. They said bathrooms were small - too right they were about the same size as an aircraft toilet. You couldn’t bend down in the shower unless you stuck your rear end out of the shower curtain. { no glass cubicle too small ) We’ve been on pads of cruises and had better for less Food was good and on the upside it’s small and not rammed with passengers but on sea days you were struggling for sun bed space which despite a polic6 saying they couldn’t be retained or reserved this was not enforced so lots of books and towels had a good days sunbathing whilst their owners were elsewhere Entertainment not good in fact on sea days we spent most of the time in our cabin due to the aforementioned sun bed issue watching very outdated films or CNN back to back - yippeee ! Wi fi was about 150 dollars for the cruise so we sacked that. Land tours wer3 equally extortionate mostly consisting of long days on safari so we sacked them as well Tge itinary ( cape of Africa Cape Town Richards bay Durban port Elizabeth ) was spoiled by constant warnings about safety and the possibility of getting robbed. Complimentary buses took you to shopping centre. - really immersive. - don’t think so! Goodness knows why folks like Azamara in our view ( and we are both well travelled and well cruised ) its an overpriced mediocre overblown overrated little boat. We’ve been on much better for less not value boutique or six star. Put us off cruising again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
I just want to make a couple of points in comparison of these two lines as many on board have sailed on both lines. As a matter of fact just over one month prior I did a 31 day "Around Australia Circumnavigation with New Guinea, ... Read More
I just want to make a couple of points in comparison of these two lines as many on board have sailed on both lines. As a matter of fact just over one month prior I did a 31 day "Around Australia Circumnavigation with New Guinea, Bali, Komodo Island on the Oceania R-Class 1. I am not loyal cruise ship passenger. My priorities are first the itinerary, then the quality of the ship/ line closely behind. Oceania has had my earlier preferred rating. I have sailed on RCL, Holland, Celebrity, Oceania, Norwegian in the past. I will say my bias is to value, not overall price. I cruise on average on 14-31 day sailings. 2. I am a sophisticated traveller, not a vacationer, I work in/ own/ manage a Real Estate Development company and the other half to a lawyer who travels with me. 3. If you cannot tell the difference between Sea Island Cotton and Egyptian Broadcloth I feel this review is not for you. Important Differences Between Oceania vs Azamara Quest. R- Class ships. 1. Internet - Oceania is Free - Azamara is punitive and expensive by any standards - Not to Oceania. 2. In - Cabin Entertainment: Oceania has over 100+ Free On Demand movies - Azamara again is outrageous Hotel priced PPV movies - Nod to Oceania 3. Specialty Dining: Oceania has two FREE specialty dining per sailing and are exceptional - Azamara charges a Fee - Nod to Oceania 4. Outside Grill: Oceania has a Surf and Turf Lobster with Filet of Beef on a Ciabata Bun everyday, Azamara with Nachos and burgers - Nod to Oceania. 5. Grand Dining Room: Azamara is slightly better here with more choices, quality of the beef product superior to Oceania and the staff on this sailing was exceptional - Nod to Azamara Quest 6. Upstairs Buffet Dining: Well I will say this, I rarely eat in the buffet as I cannot stand the Herd Mentality and getting run over by a 90 year old grandmother behaving worse than a Brazillian at Disney World. However that being said, I did eat there twice on a 26 day cruises. - Oceania has Lobster everyday - Nod to Oceania 7. Ships are Identical and from the prior Renaissance Cruise Line - Push 8. Entertainment was Better on Oceania, not much however and that too is objective 9. Guest Lecturers: Oceania is far superior 10. Alcohol: Well this is where they Separate. Azamara regular brands for me were just fine, however there were a few Amarula's and Drambuie that padded the bill on Azamara. Oceania is an expensive proposition with various packages. - Nod to Azamara Wines: The house paid wine on Oceania is garbage, truly, high in acidity, poor quality and way overpriced for the pour and frankly the experience. Stay away from Oceania House Wines - Wines on Azamara were far superior. South African, Californian, Italian, Chilean, all of very good quality. Nod to Azamara 11. Friendliness of Staff: Overall and not on a individual basis, Azamara was much better than Oceania. 12. Shore Excursions: Slight Nod to Oceania, just more of them. Azamara Excursion staff however was exceptional. 13. Country Club or I call it The Blazer Effect: I can count a level of civility on a cruise by the number of blazers worn by men in the dining room. Likewise for stylish dresses on women. Standards have dropped substantially as more school teachers with puffed up 401K's or I call them the FANG group of senior vacationer. They started cruising at 65 and have 20 cruises under their belt in 5 years. Enough said on that, however I have really begun over the years to discount their reviews as they eat all their meals out at Denny's. Oh the days when cruising was Glamorous. Long Gone. Today's seniors in plaid shirts and women in Legging abound. My final Score and I am sure I know I am missing a few and if able to edit I will do so. A Toss Up - With a slight tilt for to Oceania, because I am not large drinker. However, based on price, destinations I have no problem recommending both lines. You literally need an excel spreadsheet to factor in all the Free stuff on Oceania, vs all the included items such as alcohol on Azamara. Offset that by the outrageous internet pricing on Azamara, I mean really, their pricing is like from the year 2000, and the lack of movies on demand or if they could even place more movies on their own in-house TV channels is simply lazy. Cheers to All Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Crew as always is very friendly and available but found our room stewards did not clean up to AZ standards. Our butler was excellent and followed up on the poor cleaning crew as did Philip the hotel director. The room also is looking ... Read More
Crew as always is very friendly and available but found our room stewards did not clean up to AZ standards. Our butler was excellent and followed up on the poor cleaning crew as did Philip the hotel director. The room also is looking worn as some wallpaper is peeling. The food is standard AZ as not bad at all but not gourmet. Service all over ship and friendliness is what sets them apart. On departure day we were leaving as a walk off very very early, we let them know ahead of time all was set and were told they could get and our bags to the terminal and that we were not part of another large group. We were at the gangway area at the specified time and no one could accommodate us as they were were not ready. In the end the port manager had to drive us with our bags. AZ evening was terrific, well planned and enjoyable. White night was wonderful with great fun and food. The entertainment was ok their troop was good with enjoyable recognizable music. We did not use their tours but the port stops were excellent. We travelled as as couple and we love the casual friendly nature of other passengers. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Overall, we experienced a very good cruise, and would definitely sail with Azamara again. This was our first voyage with Azamara, and we have previously sailed with Windstar, as well as Carnival, and NCL (never will go back to a large ship ... Read More
Overall, we experienced a very good cruise, and would definitely sail with Azamara again. This was our first voyage with Azamara, and we have previously sailed with Windstar, as well as Carnival, and NCL (never will go back to a large ship like those again! The Club Veranda rooms were small, but very comfortable. We used the balcony often, and it was adequate size. The entertainment for such a small ship was surprisingly excellent, great caliber musicians. The white night was absolutely fantastic - great spread of food, desserts, and entertainment. A fabulous evening, and a great touch. The AzAmazing evening concert with the Cape Town Symphony was also excellent. Upon arrival to the concert hall there was plentiful food and drinks, and it really was a special evening that we thoroughly enjoyed. Azamara also brought on local African tribal musicians and dancers at various points throughout the cruise, I did not expect to enjoy it nearly as much as I did, but they were all fabulous, and truly a great and unique experience you don't want to miss! All staff and servers and room stewards we encountered or dealt with were all excellent, and performed their duties with smiles and with class. Everyone was top notch. My wife and I did the Chef's table. The seas were quite rough the entire day, so many people canceled, so by the time we sat down for the special dinner, it was just us and one other couple. It was an excellent experience, the food was very well done, though a little rich for our American tastes, but we still enjoyed it. The special wine pairings were also excellent. We took advantage of the Experience More / Indulgence package, which I thought was completely worth the $1,499 price for 2 people which included free unlimited wifi, chefs table, ultimate beverage package, $250 spa credit, and $700 OBC. With the unlimited wifi, better drinks, and shore credit, it made it a no brainer for us, and totally worth the cost. My only complaint and only reason I hesitated to give 5/5 stars is the food. I have to say, we had some truly excellent meals, and we only ever ate at the included dining venues other than the 1 chef's night tables. However, it was hit or miss in the main dining room. A few nights, the meals were just not very good. Edible yes, but very bland and sometimes dry. However on other nights in the same main dinng room, the entrees were fabulous, and perfectly flavorful and cooked. Perhaps it was just a few random off nights, who knows. Overall though, we found the food to be very good. We did an Azamara excursion in nearly every port, and though expensive, we enjoyed each one. Port Elizabeth - Pumba Game Drive was excellent Richards Bay - St. Lucia River cruise + Imfolozi Game Drive was amazing, and was our favorite excursion. Durban - Local African Spice/Medicinal Market was really fascinating! Though in a slightly unsafe area of Durban, with the guides we felt totally safe. This was really incredible to see all the local herbs and fascinating African medicinal plants/herbs/animals. Really would recommend this tour, wish it was longer actually, as it felt too short at only 3 hours including the drive time. East London - not sure why Azamara even bothers with this port. Absolutely nothing to do, and they only offered a few shore excursions which were all sold out immediately, so we were willing but unable to join any of the excursions. My recommendation to Azamara : Skip this port, and add an extra day in Durban!! Cape Town - What an incredible city. We did the Paarl and Franschhoek Wine Tour. I know some of the wineries were changed last minute, but we truly enjoyed this all day tour, especially the Paarl winery of Nederburg. Awesome wines, and a beautiful Winery. On the second day in Cape Town we did the Cape Point Natural Wonders tour. This was also excellent, with a beautiful drive along this winding coastal road all the way down to Cape of Good Hope where the two strong currents of the Indian and Atlantic Ocean meet, you can hike up to the lighthouse, and walk around the point area, then go to a beach to see African penguins and an excellent lunch overlooking the ocean. This was a great tour, and would highly recommend it! Sorry for the long review, but I felt it was necessary to write a review for the South Africa Itinerary, as it is a new voyage, and there was limited information. Would absolutely recommend Azamara, and this particular itinerary! Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Even though US citizens made up only approx 30% of the total passengers, the cruise was primarily aimed at Americans. If you attended a quiz, the questions were invariably geared to American culture, a fact acknowledged by the ... Read More
Even though US citizens made up only approx 30% of the total passengers, the cruise was primarily aimed at Americans. If you attended a quiz, the questions were invariably geared to American culture, a fact acknowledged by the quiz-masters. If you picked up a crossword, very often you could only answer the clues if you were a US citizen. All the photos of sporting stars displayed around the ship, were all of Americans, none of which were known to me. When the Superbowl was held, it was shown live on the big screen, and repeated the following morning together with a party in the Cabaret Lounge. For all the British, Irish, French, Italian passengers, and other from rugby loving nations such as Australia, South Africa and New Zealand, we were not afforded even a TV screen to watch the 6 Nations Rugby tournament. Those wishing to watch the rugby had to do so on our mobile phones. on free to air. If you were American, there was a choice of US beers on the complimentary drinks menu, whereas the only British beer was Newcastle Brown, one of the less popular beers, and even this was not available throughout the whole cruise. If you wanted one of the popular British beers such as Boddingtons, Guinness or Strongbow you would have to pay $5.95 per can. The daily American newspapers contained 8 pages whereas every other country had to make do with 4. The list goes on..... I have been on many American cruise ships in the past and have never experienced so much bias towards US passengers. On the plus side, the staff were exceptional, the ship was well appointed and, unlike other cruise ships where they sell you drinks packages and then hide the waiters, the drinks were free-flowing!! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We chose this cruise because we were interested in seeing the South Pacific and New Zealand and the package deal we got included airfare, unlimited internet and trip insurance (important, as my husband and I are in our mid-60s). We missed ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we were interested in seeing the South Pacific and New Zealand and the package deal we got included airfare, unlimited internet and trip insurance (important, as my husband and I are in our mid-60s). We missed our flight and the ship's sailing from Tahiti, so had to board in Bora Bora, the second port on the itinerary. Checking in was fast and efficient - everything was ready and waiting for us, which we really appreciated. We asked to move from our first cabin on deck 6 because of noise from the band practice in the Cabaret, directly below us. The young lady at the customer service desk, Adina, was so helpful with our request and our second cabin was perfect - no noise at all. The deck 7 balcony cabin was comfortable, had plenty of storage, a small but well designed bathroom (with a shower curtain that was heavy enough it was never clingy) and enough room on the balcony for a table and two chairs. As for dining, we ate at the extra fee Prime C restaurant once, and very much enjoyed the Chateaubriand for two and attentive service; however, we found the service and most of the food equally good to excellent in every dining area. Personally, I found the dining at the Patio outdoor restaurant by the pool, where we had lunch nearly every day, to be really outstanding - their seared tuna wrap and grilled meats, especially the lamb brochettes, were some of the best I've ever tasted. We also very much enjoyed visiting The Living Room on Deck 10 for a glass of wine and selections from their delicious tapas, which were available starting at 5pm every day, and were impressed by the wonderfully authentic German Buffet Lunch, complete with a polka band (I hope this gives you a good idea of how delicious and varied the ship's food offerings were - everyone we talked to enjoyed the food as much as we did.) For such a small ship, The Journey has amazingly spacious public areas including an extensive Library, the previously mentioned Living Room, and the Mosaic Cafe, where you could sit at a small table and enjoy excellent specialty coffees and pastries. As well, a big plus to this cruise were the many people we had great conversations with - the 600 passengers included Americans, Australians, Canadians, New Zealanders and a few Germans and Danes. Most passengers were very friendly and outgoing - even when we thought we would just sit at a table for two and enjoy a quiet meal, we would get to talking to the people at the table next to ours and have a wonderful time. The pool area was very nice and offered plenty of seating, although typically you had to scramble a bit to find shaded seating (there were lovely double wicker seats where we spent lots of time during our 6 sea days). We attended most of the Cabaret shows, which ranged from really entertaining to same-same. The two entertainers brought on board from Rarotonga were both outstanding - a stand up comic, Steven Scott, who was very funny, and a young man who did song and dance routines, Paul Hazel, who was very talented. Highlights of the cruise were the always interesting guest lecturers, talking on subjects ranging from volcanic activity to colonialism in the South Pacific, the White Night event (which was really fun and had some great Maori folk entertainment), and the Azamazing Evening (where we went to the Wellington Opera House to hear the Signature Choir sing selections accompanied by the Wellington Symphony Orchestra - it was just marvelous). We have cruised with similarly upscale Oceania Cruises in the past, but considering how much we enjoyed this cruise, we definitely will be sailing with Azamara again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
In a nutshell: Consistently best food we’ve had on a cruise ship. Special events were well above most other cruise lines. Service was good, but lacked the “sparkle” of other high end (and more expensive) cruise lines that try ... Read More
In a nutshell: Consistently best food we’ve had on a cruise ship. Special events were well above most other cruise lines. Service was good, but lacked the “sparkle” of other high end (and more expensive) cruise lines that try harder to exceed your expectations. We took this cruise because it was my mother-in-law’s 82nd birthday and Tahiti has been on her bucket list since she was a child. We’ve been looking for a good itinerary to visit Tahiti and this cruise through Hawaii fit the bill. ----- Ship Review ----- Embarkation. Standard and quick. The only delay was waiting for a wheelchair for my mother-in-law to board the ship. We waited over 20 minutes and another couple tried to walk in after waiting 30 minutes. It really took much longer than it should have and was not a good first impression of ship services. As we were boarding the ship about 1230 the announcement was made that the cabins were available, so that allowed us to drop luggage in our cabin and go to lunch. There was a table at the entrance to the buffet to buy multi-night packages and make reservations at Prime C or Aqualina. Service. Not quite as impressive as our last cruise on Azamara 12 years ago, it was a bit of a mixed bag this time. Some waiters seemed particularly eager to serve. Others were less enthusiastic. We were surprised by the lack of a “can do” attitude from room service and also surprised (as in woken up from a deep sleep) when they showed up 30 minutes early for breakfast (EVERY TIME). All room service waiters just dropped the trays on our table and ran. No attempt was ever made to set the table or inventory the food. Perhaps they were just extremely busy, but it was a shocking lack of service compared with the apparent standard for this ship. Our room steward was adequate, but not impressive. (As we were packing at the end of the cruise and checking to make sure we didn’t leave anything, we found an old pair of somebody else’s underwear behind the nightstand.) Clientele. 80% have cruised Azamara before. 200 of the almost 686 passengers were continuing on the next leg (apparently a record). Over 90 Cruise Critic members aboard. Azamara prides itself on listening to customer feedback and that breeds high loyalty. The length of this cruise was not well suited for those still working, so the crowd was quite senior. I think we only saw two children onboard. Captain. It is clear that Azamara is hiring captains for their personalities and technical expertise. Most have been with Azamara for years. He went out of his way to be involved with guests and anything important happening on the ship. The two most outstanding captains we’ve ever experienced were both masters of the Azamara Journey. Cruise Director. We started with Eric and he was fantastic—in a league of his own. His show was spectacular and filled the theater to maximum capacity. He’s a hard act to follow, but he left mid-cruise for vacation. Danny took over and while he did a fine job, the cruise just wasn’t quite the same after that. Hotel Director. Heike was very involved, especially with serving during special events. I enjoyed her presentation during a sea day. While I believe she is doing a good job, her enthusiasm isn’t filtering down like it should. The service doesn’t quite have the sparkle I thought it would. Entertainment. The show lounge is quite small, so that limits the entertainment options. However, it was very good for small ship entertainment fare—guest singers, comedians, small production cast, etc. The tango show was outstanding. Food. This is the category where Azamara really excelled this cruise. They said their food budget was higher than anything else in the RCCL fleet and it shows. We were very impressed with the overall food quality. The main dining room has local and chef specials every night that adds variety to the otherwise standard rotation of menu items. We have critiqued many ships for not having local specialties. Azamara is the only line we’ve sailed that has been responsive to that customer request. Our four experiences at the specialty restaurants were excellent, but we had friends who were less impressed with their steaks in Prime C. I have mixed feelings about charging a premium to eat in the restaurants and then providing a bill with a place to add a tip at the end of the meal. Seems like a mixed message to the guests. Here’s a tip I learned the hard way. They will give you a wine list with bottles you can buy for an extra cost, but all the house wines are also available for free if you ask. I still love the panini and smoothie bars at the buffet! The Windows evening buffet changes themes every night which provides a lot of variety. They frequently have specialty buffets with crew officers serving and they were outstanding. The Polynesian dinner buffet and German lunch buffet were especially well done. They also had a late night chocolate buffet in the midship lounge area that was quite impressive and very well attended! Dress code. Every night was “country club casual.” Wear what you would wear to a nice restaurant and you’ll be fine. My wife actually saw the dress code being enforced on a few occasions, which makes it nicer for everybody. You might want to dress up slightly for the specialty restaurants—many people do. Internet. Like most ship-based internet, it was slow and expensive. I usually burned up more than 10 minutes every time I wanted to sync just two email accounts. Unlimited package pricing was outrageous. I had some free minutes because of our status and used cell phone connectivity while at the ports in Hawaii. Here’s another tip. The price of the unlimited package is per day, so wait until the last possible day to sign up. Expend all your free minutes first. With 50% off (due to our status), I got the unlimited package for only $69 for the last 9 days of the cruise. Photographic services. Available, but not in your face—except at the premium restaurants, where they really want to “capture that special moment” for you. I bought a USB with the destination photos and a video of the AzAmazing evening. The photos were not that professional and they never had a chance to produce the White Night video. Ship Décor. We love the classic R-class styling. We’ve been on many R-class ships by now, so this feels like home. It could really use some updating and time in dry dock that it will get this fall. Fitness Center. Pretty good for a small ship. Gift Shop selection. Why does everybody think a ship is the place to buy jewelry? I don’t get it. I’d rather have a much better selection of branded merchandise that can only be purchased aboard to remember my cruise. Special Events. This review would not be complete if I didn’t take time to mention some of the special events that set Azamara above their competition. We saw something like an AzAmazing Evening with Regent, but the 40’s themed night at the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum was much better executed than anything we’ve seen before. Azamara’s signature deck party “white nights” was in Bora Bora. Unfortunately, we missed all but the show because we had reservations in Prime C. The Polynesian cultural show was fantastic and it was a wonderful event until the skies opened up and soaked almost everybody. Crossing the equator celebration was fun and well done. All inclusive? I need to spend a few lines to discuss this issue because it is a source of great confusion among guests. “No tipping?” What were people doing tipping their waiters at dinner last night? Sometimes drinks are included, but the beer at the German buffet was an extra charge. How much? Don’t know. Didn’t see a price posted or on the ticket I signed. There are two levels of wine packages and two levels of spirits packages, but some of both are included, particularly at some events. There is a priced menu of drinks at the shows. Two thirds through the cruise I was told by a friend that there is a back page of the menu that has all the complementary drinks listed. It’s a fairly comprehensive list—I just wish I had known about it sooner. Thank goodness all sodas and sparkling water are included. Well, to be more precise, Costco brand and Mexican sparkling water were included. Perrier and Pellegrino are both extra. While we enjoy wine with dinner, we are not big drinkers. When I heard Azamara made a change to their “all-inclusive” policy to include tips and wine with dinner, I liked the concept. It appeared to match our needs to have wine included with dinner (even if it is a limited selection), while charging for other alcohol, but the implementation seems very schizophrenic. How do you keep track of what is or is not included? Critiques. We got an early cruise feedback form for us to identify any issues we saw so they could be fixed immediately, instead of waiting for the end-of-cruise feedback. About midway through the cruise we filled out the form to identify service issues in the observation lounge. We got a phone call and personal visit about the issues we observed and they were fixed the very next day. Azamara is trying to be resource conscious, so they send a link to an online critique rating form instead of giving you the traditional paper survey. Head’s up. That link expires in one week! When we finally got time to sit down and do the survey after we got home, the link had already expired by a few days. That’s unfortunate because we really wanted to recognize a couple of waiters that were going above and beyond. I completely understand what they are trying to do by keeping everything electronic. Unfortunately, we missed the opportunity to provide our feedback. In summary, we enjoyed this cruise. We always enjoy the ambiance of R-Class ships. Based on our previous experience with Azamara, we had very high expectations. I think the cruise leadership was doing everything they could to meet those expectations and were very responsive to guest input. However, not everyone on the crew was as enthusiastic about their job so we were not as AzAmazed as we expected we would be. ----- Port Calls ----- Azamara prides itself on being port intensive, but that wasn’t exactly true for this cruise because it was more about repositioning toward Australia. We spent 11 of our 18 days at sea crossing the Pacific. I’m not going to try to review the individual ports or offerings. I’ll try to keep my comments more generic. Azamara has two critical things I look for from high end cruise lines during port calls--shuttle busses to downtown areas of interest and local experts onboard in port who provide maps and ideas about what to see if you want to explore on your own. Sometimes you don’t want to spend a fortune on shore excursions to see a port. I like having the low cost option and flexibility to come and go as you please. I also like to see water, juice, and cold towel stations on the dock (tender or port). We may have missed them, but those services were available at some, but not all, port calls. Some of the shore excursions were expensive and others were just outrageous! Arrangements for private vehicles at over a thousand dollars for a few hours just seems absurd to me. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Hawaii has been on a bucket list for years and having sailed on Azamara Journey before and liked the small friendly ship, this looked like a great trip. It was a lot of sea days, 11 out of the 18 on board. It was rough weather coming out ... Read More
Hawaii has been on a bucket list for years and having sailed on Azamara Journey before and liked the small friendly ship, this looked like a great trip. It was a lot of sea days, 11 out of the 18 on board. It was rough weather coming out of LA, high winds and high seas, but on the whole Journey handled it well, even if sleeping was somewhat like dozing off on a roller coaster. The staff are really friendly, officers stop and chat, waiters go the extra mile and stewards keep the cabins ship shape. Staterooms are on the small size compared to other ships we have been on, especially the shower/WC. Bedding is excellent. There is no theatre so evening entertainment is in the cabaret lounge and therefore very much “up close”. Band was great, singers and dancers - excellent, cruise director and assistant, both of whom performed solo evenings were first class. (Eric left is in Hawaii leaving Danny and Emily to run the show). The guest speaker, Dr. Jay was fantastic, so interesting and making his subjects so accessible. The weather in Hawaii was not kind to us, a lot of rain. A number of sea days were also wet so one had to make the most of the interior spaces which despite this never seemed very crowded. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
No Amazing evening - all cancelled, no white night all abandoned, missed ports and very poor decision making by the Cruise directors. Cuts in included drinks and cuts in quality food, very poor cooking. Good on board orchestra but that s ... Read More
No Amazing evening - all cancelled, no white night all abandoned, missed ports and very poor decision making by the Cruise directors. Cuts in included drinks and cuts in quality food, very poor cooking. Good on board orchestra but that s all. The Guest relations dealt withy the visas very well so that was good. Not memorable and really quiet naive and badly lacking in research as this is AFRICA foe goodness sake - not Miami_ Duh. Exasperated! I suggest that Azamara need to research the destination before sending passengers out into the unknown! We took this cruise in reverse order with Oceania 6 years ago and it was perfect! Well organised and we went to Mombasa without a hitch. To call off this port with a week before boarding is inexcusable as it always been a problem area. All the difficulties were a 1000 miles away. This is poor planning by Azamara so please BEARE before booking!!!! Food quality has definitely gone downhill and cutbacks are obvious. Staff are courteous as always but the chefs are not as good as they used to be. Lack of variety in food was a problem apart from the “special” buffets where choice was more plentiful. Fruit was always the same and the all the berries ran out after a few days at sea. Cabins are small and adequately maintained but nothing better than the mainstream cruises. Lack of attention to the balconies was apparent and need a good clean up. Entertainment as above but unfortunately just no personality whatsoever. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Firstly can I say, I'm baffled by the previous two negative reviews given that we were on the same Mumbai to Cape Town Cruise December 28. I do agree that the on board service was delivered in the usual outstanding way and this ... Read More
Firstly can I say, I'm baffled by the previous two negative reviews given that we were on the same Mumbai to Cape Town Cruise December 28. I do agree that the on board service was delivered in the usual outstanding way and this included Guest Relations enquiries. We had little or no issue with the unlimited WiFi included in our booking deal. We travelled in a Verandah Plus Cabin on Deck 8 which was a great location. My husband and I, in reflection, agree that this cruise is amongst one of our best as far as itinerary and on board experience was concerned. There was a bit of everything for everyone's enjoyment. Lecturers were terrific. Sure there were a few unavoidable issues, i.e. bad weather for White Night, unacceptable location (chosen by Miami and not visited by them) for AzAmazing Evening and logistic problems with supplies due to port cancellations - due to arrive in Mombasa but air freighted to another port. (I enjoy berries, I asked for them politely and I got them). These issues were clearly explained if the previous reviewers cared to go to the Q & A sessions held on sea days by Hotel Director, Captain Philips etc. Please when you're reviewing do so with all the facts not just the bits you want to support your negative review. We found the food in all venues to be of a higher quality than the already good food our previous 22 Azamara cruises. We had two lots of 'Foodie' friends travelling for the first time on Azamara and they were impressed also. The security issue with Mombasa was explained clearly to us during the Q & A. The previous reviewer failed to add that in addition to the already known terrorist attack in the north and the known movements south of the said Terrorist Group there was a failed terrorist attack on a shared USA/Kenya Airbase on the outskirts of Mombasa just days before our arrival. We were considered too much at risk of attracting the attention of that terrorist group - I was happy with that decision. I believe the right call was made. Food, (the previous poster didn't get the names of the venues correct) in Discoveries, Windows, Patio and both specialty restaurants was 'top notch' and the Chef/s should be congratulated. Food, wine is such a subjective topic, you can make good or not so good choices from the menu for the food, we particularly enjoyed the fish, wine was satisfactory for my taste. Whilst ship's excursions are pricey we managed some wonderful private tours prior and used taxi's with friends, especially when we found out we'd be in the Seychelles on a Sunday, (who wants to shop in the Seychelles anyway when the scenery is so beautiful). We'd didn't rely on ships shuttles (they were provided in most places) as we have learnt from experience you need to get out and about like a local, pay the extra money and invest the time in research. Bit more effort but so worth it. We enjoyed our mix of private and ships tours but unless the prices of the Ship’s excursions are addressed will opt for more private tours. The new cast (joined in the Seychelles) were settling in and had shown improvement by the end of the cruise. Guest entertainers (tough we’d seen them before) were fine. We didn’t take to the ‘Fancy Trio’ but spoke with guest who enjoyed them. Again personal preferences come into play here. I only participated in progressive trivia, not morning or afternoon trivia. I'm Australian and wasn't aware of any cheating going on and am annoyed slightly at the reviews comments but will let it go. I can confirm we did not correct our own answers as they were collected my Ernest and Steven and they corrected them. But hey we played for fun not the contents of the World Bank! We had 'No F in Idea'. Assistant Cruise Directors birthday was discussed on the morning show on the TV with Ernest and Stephen. I thought it was a comical 'trivial' question to ask and it didn't worry me. Trivia is trivia, it doesn't always have to be general knowledge, i.e. how many steps are on the gangway? At the end of the day, you can't keep everyone happy all the time, but we were pleased with our on board experience. We have another 5 booked and can't wait. I’d do Africa again in a heartbeat. Guys if you're reading this on board you're doing a terrific job! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We are a family of four cruising with Azamara for the first time. In the past, our family has cruised with Celebrity Cruises for over 15 years and has experienced every holiday itinerary that they’ve offered. But, we wanted to try ... Read More
We are a family of four cruising with Azamara for the first time. In the past, our family has cruised with Celebrity Cruises for over 15 years and has experienced every holiday itinerary that they’ve offered. But, we wanted to try something new and Azamara’s 15 night voyage celebrating New Year’s in Rio de Janeiro attracted our attention. We brought our 17 and 20 years old kids to this cruise. We worried they may not like it because of older crowd. But, our kids actually like it and had a great time. The ship is clean and well maintained, but it does not feel luxury. We really like the white night, BBQ brunch served by the officers, and special breakfast at one of the specialty restaurants that we were invited to. I am pleasantly surprised that people dress very nice during the evenings even if there are no formal nights. Because this is a holiday cruise, there are some younger passengers on the ship. We also like the fact that the hot tub and pool are never too busy. You always can find a chair and a spot in the hot tub, so we ended up spending more time in the hot tub than we would have on other mega ships. We will cruise with Azmara again. I also want to give our kudos and high praises to Azamara’s ability in helping us avoid a disastrous holiday. One of our family members holds a non-US passport with a US green card. Once aboard, the guest relations manager informed us that this family member would need a Brazilian visa or he would have to leave the ship. After paying tens of thousands of dollars on the cruise fare, flights, and hotels, this horrible news hit us like a ton of bricks. But, luckily, the Guest Relations Manager, Wresly Fernandes, came to our rescue. Wresly met us and recommended that, when the ship landed in Montevideo, Uruguay, we should try to obtain a Brazilian visa at the Montevideo Brazil Consulate, which gave us a ray of hope. Wresly gathered us in his office and personally helped us fill out the Brazilian online visa application. Throughout the entire process, Wresly was very thorough. For example, he had the photo shop staff take a visa photo and crop it precisely to the size. He was also very knowledgeable about the visa process and its requirement. First, we had to download a bank statement, which Wresly kindly had his staff print out for us. He then arranged the transportation and Amazara’s port agent to meet us the next day at 8:45am to accompany us to the Montevideo Brazilian Consulate. We were very impressed by Wresly’s attention to detail. Not only did he stress to the Azamara port agent to be with us all the time but he also took the port agent’s cell phone number and told us that he would call us every two hours to get a status update. At the Brazilian Consulate, we had a very smooth process. It was obvious that the Azamara port agent knew everybody at the consulate. We got the visa in 3 hours, which relieved our entire family. Overall, Wresly and his team demonstrated great care, efficiency and hard work in solving the issue for us. We are extremely impressed with Wresly’s calmness, his resolve under pressure, and of course, Azamara’s client first attitude. Thanks to Wresly’s leadership we were assured that his entire team was working collectively to assist us with this visa process. Azamara has done an amazing job. Because of our recent experience with Wresly and his team, we will definitely cruise with Azamara again. We have also shared our story with friends and have encouraged them to try Azamara. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This was a 5 day cruise from San Juan. We wanted to try another 5 ½ star ship. We had to turn in our rental car at 9 so we got to the ship early. It was not docked in old San Juan but at the other port. We were able to carry our ... Read More
This was a 5 day cruise from San Juan. We wanted to try another 5 ½ star ship. We had to turn in our rental car at 9 so we got to the ship early. It was not docked in old San Juan but at the other port. We were able to carry our luggage onto the ship enabling us to board very early. They took our luggage to our cabin freeing us up to eat lunch and explore. This was one of the most beautiful ships I have been on. Lunch was at the buffet and was poor. The roast was tough and very fatty. Another day we ate at the pool side grill and the waiter was very rude, wanting me to get my burger off the steam table rather than having it made fresh. I refused and got a much better burger. The food was ok. We ate at both specialty restaurants. The Prime C was better than the Italian. The entertainment was ok. The male piano /singer at the bar was just bad. The singers were good. The white night after party was fun. We also did Christmas caroling. There was little to do during the day. This ship was nickeling and diming you. In cabin movies were $12.00, alcohol in the cabin was a fee, but at any bar was free. We would just go get a glass of wine and sit on our balcony. They also had a coffee bar that charged extra. You could go to the buffet on 9 and make your own specialty coffee. There were two sea days with little to do. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We used Azamara for a South American cruise. The Pursuit is much smaller than the HAL ships we are used to but still had everything we wanted. The service was incredible, although that may have been partly because there were only about 500 ... Read More
We used Azamara for a South American cruise. The Pursuit is much smaller than the HAL ships we are used to but still had everything we wanted. The service was incredible, although that may have been partly because there were only about 500 passengers and capacity is 777 but there was still a full crew on board and so we got more attention than if it had been full. We thought the food was excellent and there was a lot of choice. We don't typically buy a beverage package on HAL so having drinks included was a definite plus. There were always several choices of wine at meals as well as the chance to have a pre-dinner drink in addition to being able to go to any bar at any time (or simply wait for a waiter) and have a drink. It was especially nice to get something ice cold, such as a frozen margarita, when returning from a tour where the weather was 38 degree centigrade and humid! (And no worries about a bar bill at the end of the cruise.) The other nice plus was having gratuities included, which can add up over the course of a two week cruise. Our cabin, an oceanview, was quite nice and the bathrooms were reasonable. I have seen other reviews that said that the showers were tiny and too low -- I am 6'3" tall and I had no problems whatsoever. Having an oceanview was good and, since we weren't on the promenade deck, we could leave the curtains open if we wanted. (Our room steward gave us a tour of the Copenhagen Suite, since it wasn't in use and I would have to say that their suites are amazing but, unfortunately out of our price range.) The cruise itself and the ports included was good. We did not use the ship's excursions but arranged our own. The 'White Night' and the 'Azamazing Evening' were also very well done and we quite enjoyed them. We took in some of the entertainment in the evenings and made good use of the fitness centre. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Azamara Journey 11-30-19 We booked the Azamara Journey 12 days before embarkation as our planned Galapagos adventure on the Celebrity Xpedition was canceled by the cruise line. This back to back cruise, the “9-Night Caribbean ... Read More
Azamara Journey 11-30-19 We booked the Azamara Journey 12 days before embarkation as our planned Galapagos adventure on the Celebrity Xpedition was canceled by the cruise line. This back to back cruise, the “9-Night Caribbean Highlights Voyage” followed by the “7-Night Caribbean Breezes Voyage” was available at a terrific price and with nice booking incentives. As we had always wanted to try Azamara, this seemed like the best “Plan B” to use our planned vacation time. This review picks up in San Juan PR as we return to the Journey for this segment of our B2B cruise. The Uber driver returned us to the Journey and other than maybe a ten minute wait to get through security we were soon back on board. Lunch was enjoyed on the patio and we returned to our cabin to store the rest of our things. We had our complementary laundry bag ready for our room steward to pick up and took our laundry bag of “Special items” (mostly lightweight Columbia wear) to the laundry room to do ourselves. We were surprised to find we were not the only back to back cruisers who had this idea that this was a great time to do laundry, but we had no problem getting two washers and then a single dryer to clean everything. This was the first time ever that we were excused from the muster drill. Walking around the ship we just keep telling crew members 'In transit guests' and they smiled and waved us on. The cruise critic meet and greet was set for 6:30 PM. We attended and met the roll call members we will be touring with on a few of the islands. One couple asked if they could join us for dinner so we headed to the dining room and were able to get a four-top in Shaad's area. Arriving late (at 7:00) on a very busy dining room night and with our needed special orders, it took nearly three hours to complete dinner. We did not intend to attend Eric's welcome in the showroom of the show of “Come sail away” which we saw last week, so at this point we wandered past the shops and called it a night. Sunday, December 1 - At Sea A truly beautiful day as sea sums up this Sunday. We slept in until after 7:30. DW took the time to do her PT exercises, and I went to get some tea. There is a dining room brunch today so we waited on breakfast. Eric hosted a non-denominational church service in the Drawing Room. About 20 attended and Eric had some really good stories to tell. We also learned that his father was a Presbyterian minister. Following the service we enjoyed brunch and were able to sit in Shaad's area. We then went up to the pool area and I was only able to find one lounger in the shade. I took that one as DW wanted to look over the shops (nothing new) and sign up for the complimentary afternoon “Ladies Pamper Party” hosted by the spa. Shortly after DW came up the pool deck the couple next to me relinquished their loungers so DW took the one next to me. We stayed there reading and listening to the sounds of Vibz. We had a light lunch at the Patio and also moved lounger seats to stay in the shade. The couple we had dinner with last night told us that the price for the internet package is based on the number of days, and therefore it goes down each day. By tomorrow, if we haven't used our complimentary minutes, those minutes would pay for the package the rest of the cruise. We will certainly check that out! DW attended the 3:00 Ladies Pamper Party and really enjoyed the complimentary mini-facial. I returned to the cabin to clean up and get ready for the evening. I brought my log up to date. We visited the Living Room for the start of the Starlight Trio's set and then went to Discoveries at 6:00 for dinner. Guest Entertainer David Knight, a hypnotist, gave a really good show. Getting audience volunteers took him a while, and then about half the volunteers tested out, but it was a good & 'clean' show. After the show we visited the Living Room and listened to Vibz a while. We also danced. Then it was time to call it a night as we have a full day tomorrow! Monday, December 2 – Bridgetown, Barbados Our tour today booked through the ship is a photography tour with a local professional photographer, but it does not meet until 1:00. So despite at least three previous visits to Barbados, we never went downtown to Bridgetown, so we made that our morning excursion. We began the day with breakfast in Discoveries. About 8:45 or so we made our way outside, walked to and through the cruise terminal (which you have to walk all the way around so as to pass all the vendors who have paid for space there), and out the distant “Independent” doorway. We found a cab and for US$2 each caught a ride into Bridgetown. The driver offered to take those of us going to town to the 'far end' of town so we would walk back along the main shopping street. We did that, and actually found the 'far end' had more sights to see, including Independence Square and the parliament building. There is also a marina with several bridges crossing it, near the main bus station. We enjoyed exploring the town for about 2 hours, having purchased one shirt. We caught a cab back to the port and looked around the outside vendors. At the first one (furthest from the actual terminal building) we found a shirt for me and a nice Caribbean dress for DW. These will make an appearance at tonight's Caribbean party. We then went back to the Journey with just enough time for some lunch before heading out to our tour. There were 18 on the tour and gratefully this was in a bus built for 30 or more. Our guide was excellent and our tour took us far from the port to the rarely visited by cruisers area on the Northeastern coast of Barbados which they call the “Scotland” district. Everything here is very green and lush. We shot a great deal of photos of both man built and natural elements. The last stop of the tour was at the Atlantis hotel where we each enjoyed a superb Jamaican Rum Punch while watching the waves crash of the rocks. We returned to the Journey at about 5:20 and rushed to get ready for the Caribbean party as we were to attend the 6:00 show. This performance was not as enjoyable as the one on the first leg of the cruise. It was totally different but the emphasis here was less our cup of tea. The final segment, featuring a man on stilts in the showroom, was certainly the best part of the show. We had 8:00 reservations at Prime C. We went a little early and were seated all the way aft by the rear windows. Before 9:00 the skies opened up so that certainly showed that the staff made the right decision having the Caribbean event in the Cabaret. Dinner was very enjoyable but after this exhausting day it was a challenge to stay awake. We called it a night after dinner. Tuesday, December 3, Castries, St. Lucia, also DW's birthday. Early start to the day so we had a quick breakfast in the Windows Cafe. We saw our touring friends there and they actually were at our meeting spot before we were! I had already received an e-mail from our tour guide, Kurt of Island Man Taxi & Tours confirming our meeting spot, just outside the terminal building. Two other ships in port with us, the Queen Mary 2 (tendering – a long tender ride) and the Summit. We met Kurt before 8:30 and walked a few blocks to his van, parked in the garage of a Massy supermarket. Off we went with Kurt. First stop was an overlook high up with a great view of Castries and the surrounding area. Next we headed south down the West coast road. Kurt explained that nearly the only sign one sees is the “Hairpin curve ahead” sign. He was sure right about this. Between the windiness and the condition of the road (not the greatest for sure) I believe the average speed was no more than 30 KPH. Kurt did seem to know where the many potholes were and missed 98% of them. The next stop was a slow drive through one of the coastal villages. When climbing the hill on the far side, he stopped at an overlook where someone he obviously knew had a small shop. While there his friend, with a guitar, serenaded DW with a “Happy birthday” song. Back in the van, Kurt said that this fellow is the St. Lucian “Bob Marley” and knows just about any song one can imagine. We continued on driving through the coastal rain forest and another coastal village. We stopped at an overlook of the city of Soulfriere. This was again another great view and was also our first really good view of the famous Pitons. From here we could also see the steam from volcanic hot springs a little inland from the Pitons. We drove through Soulfriere and Kurt pointed out the Hummingbird beach area we would visit later. We then drove up hill from the town to the entrance of the Tet Paul Nature Trail. This trail took us past many native plants including both flowers and fruits. We saw pineapple growing, one per plant. Our guide explained that each plant produces one pineapple per year. There were great overlooks over country villages and we had unbelievable views of the Pitons and surrounding seas. The boats down on the sea looked so small from our vantage point. Just like the Piton trail, going back down was harder than going up. We need to take care on the high steps going down so it took a while. Reaching the ticket booth area we found many mini-buses parked and large groups just starting off, about a dozen per guide. We felt very blessed we were just a group of four! Back in Kurt's van, he gave all of us a Rum Punch made with St. Lucian rum. We next drove to the Toraille waterfall, where the two men went bathing directly under the waterfall. This waterfall was easily 75 feet high, and when standing right under the main part, it really beat up on the skin it was so forceful. From there, we headed to a great restaurant in Soulfriere for a seafood lunch. Lunch was very enjoyable and very reasonable at about $10/pp. From here, we went to the beach. We all went swimming and spent about an hour at the beach. Then it was time for the return to Castries, which took over 90 minutes of twisting and turning road. Kurt dropped us off at the terminal and handed DW a birthday gift, which was much appreciated and unexpected! Back on board, as it was now 4:30, we needed to get ready as quickly as possible for the 5:00 Club Voyage party. Dinner followed in Discoveries and was again very good. The show was “Jump, Jive, and Swing.” Even though we saw this last cruise it was so good we again attended. The staff changed the show some from last week and those changes made it even better. After the show we listed to Vibz in the Living Room for a few songs and called it a night. Oh, and the captain told us at the Club Voyage party (followed by a ship wide announcement) that tomorrow's call at Dominica had been canceled due to violent protests ahead of their Friday elections. We were headed to Martinique instead. I sent an e-mail to our tour guide in Dominica, Nature Isle Explorer Day Tours, asking for a refund of our tour deposit. Wednesday December 4 – Fort-De-France, Martinique (re-routed from Roseau, Dominica) All best laid plans sometimes need to change, and this is one of those days. We were not able to put together a literal 'last minute' tour so with some e-mail hints from our friends who were on last week's cruise, we walked the 3500 steps (each way) to the ferry boat landing. Fortunately we walked with the friends from our St. Lucia tour as my credit card would not work in the ticket machine and they didn't take debit/ATM cards. Tickets purchased we took the ferry across the bay to Anse a l'Ane. In talking with locals they said the beach was normally very nice but recent storms had kicked up a lot of rocks. They assured us the water is tested and safe. Looking back we are not so certain. In any case, we paid $5 each for beach chairs (in the shade) and I did take a swim for about 30 minutes. There is a lot of leaves and stuff in the water until you get quite far out, where the water became more translucent. After about 2 hours we decided to head back as the ship's wine and lunch were calling. Soon enough the ferry appeared, we rode across, and walked the 3500 steps back to the ship. Why so far? Being a last minute port, we were docked at the Tourelles Cruise Terminal rather than the one right downtown. We certainly enjoyed lunch and found the pool looked rather crowded. We ended up retreating to our cabin for a bit of a rest as we want to stay up for Eric's show tonight. We listened to the Starlight Trio a while before dinner. We dropped off the note to the couple we are renting a car with tomorrow, and enjoyed dinner in Discoveries. We opted to see the Piano entertainer, Peter Rossetti, in his main stage show “Rocket Man meets Piano Man.” The music is good but I had a hard time staying awake. I worked on my log between shows, and then Eric de Gray came on with his “Broadway Showstoppers” show. This is a terrific show and was just as good as the prior week. Better in fact as we had better seats this time. This is a 75 minute show and the time flies by – no problem staying awake either! After the show we called it a night. Thursday, December 5, Charlestown, Nevis – St. Nicholas Day (Netherlands) The Journey was right on time and tenders began at about 8:00 heading over to the small island of Nevis. We had arranged through cruise critic to share a rental car with another couple. The main road around Nevis is pretty good and can be driven in about one hour. We decided to drive it counter-clockwise so our first stop would be the Botanical Garden. It took quite some doing to reach the garden as the main route was blocked by road construction. The gardens are very nice, with a decidedly Asian theme. In fact, the restaurant in the gardens is a Thai restaurant. We spent about two hours at the gardens, including about a 5 minute shower. From the gardens we continued on our drive trying to reach the rocky beachfront near the lime kiln we saw on the map. We could not reach it, but did spend about 10 minutes with some local children who seemed transfixed that we had happened on their road! We continued our circuit and stopped by the ruins of a sugar plantation. Much of the equipment was still in place and this is now a historic site. Great views were available from nearly every vantage point on the island. Further along we stopped at a beach immediately 'behind' the airport affording incredible views of nearby St. Kitts. By this point we were getting pretty exhausted and sitting in the back seat bouncing around was taking it's toll. We asked our touring friends if they would mind dropping us back at the tender pier and they were most accommodating. We headed back to Journey and had a late lunch recovering from our circuit adventure of Nevis. That evening was the White Night party. We had our dinner in Discoveries and then proceeded up to the pool deck. We sat with friends and nibbled a little before the entertainment began. This was essentially the same show we had seen on the previous cruise segment however the feeling was quite different being out on the open deck. We truly appreciate the amount of work the crew has to invest in changing over the entire pool deck to have this event! What an incredible time. One of the photographers took our photo dancing and that photo ending up becoming our Christmas card photo – appropriate as it is St. Nicholas day! We called it a night after the party. Friday, December 6 – St. Barts The only repeat port on the two cruises was St. Barts. This time we took our time going over and brought our snorkeling gear. We walked to “Shell beach” and quickly discovered that the snorkeling there was best on the left side, by the rocks. I saw thousands of fish of many types and really enjoyed snorkeling there. After having more than our fill of the water, we cleaned the sand off everything and began walking back to the tenders. We met a number of guests along the way just heading to the beach. We told them what we could to enhance their experience. We had a nice conversation with the crew member handling refreshments at the tender pier while waiting for the tender. Everyone onboard is so friendly. Back on board we found two shaded chairs and relaxed with some soft drinks and wine. We enjoyed a swim in the pool, being the only ones in the pool. We enjoyed a last lunch at the Patio, and relaxed a little more in our chairs. Later that day we packed a good portion of our stuff for the return home the next day. The Discovers Club Voyage event was at the aft bar on deck 9 for sail-away. We had a very nice time at this event. The last dinner of the cruise in Discoveries was terrific, and the chocolate buffet had many items different from the prior cruise. We talked some with the pastry chef about his creations. This last night the entertainment team presented “Just Dance.” We missed this show on the first segment and greatly enjoyed everything about it. We then went back to the cabin to finalize the luggage and put it out for pick up. Saturday, December 6 – Disembarkation and return home We woke before the alarm went off. We left our cabin a little after 7:00 bringing our carry off bags with us to the Windows cafe so the cabin team could ready our room for the embarking guests. We had a nice breakfast with all the crew members thanking us for sailing with them. Shaad stopped by and wished us safe travels home. At about 8:40 we headed out with our carry-off bags to find the captain, hotel manager, and Eric De Gray, along with a few other officers wishing everyone safe travels and come back again! With no rush of guests it was nice to stop and chat for a few moments. We found our luggage with no issue and had no wait at all at customs. So nice not to have a line, and the agent asked how our cruise was. We headed outside and dropped our luggage and got into the bus to transfer to the airport. Our driver was entertaining but dropped us at the wrong spot, assuring us our luggage would arrive. After a few minutes DW noticed luggage down at the other end of the terminal and sure enough all the luggage for those in the van was down there. Summary: We have cruised about 35 times. The majority of cruises are on Celebrity and Holland America, with a few other lines occasionally. Really enjoy the smaller ships. Favorite ship was HAL Prinsendam but it was sold. New favorite is the Journey. A few years ago I wrote in a review “I guess the days of 5-star cruising are history.” Well, that is not true. I feel that Azamara gives a five star experience. When we can, if the price fits into the budget, we would happily cruise on Azamara again. The food and service are great! Love the more inclusiveness of the fare. The thing that was very unexpected is the quality of the entertainment. It is hard to remember a cruise where we enjoyed every bit of the entertainment as much as we have on these two cruises. Some of the shows were repeated during the second segment. They are so good we went to see them a second time! So 5 stars for the good ship Journey. May she and her outstanding crew have a long and happy life! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We were first timers on Azamara but it won't be our last. We liked the size of the ship it never felt crowded, we never had to wait for, lifts, tables, sunloungers or seats in the cabaret lounge. The staff from the Captain down to ... Read More
We were first timers on Azamara but it won't be our last. We liked the size of the ship it never felt crowded, we never had to wait for, lifts, tables, sunloungers or seats in the cabaret lounge. The staff from the Captain down to the room stewards were very attentive, nothing was too much trouble. The food was some of the best we have had on a cruise ship. Our cabin was great, the only slight problem was the size of the bathroom and the shower curtain, just another 20cm pinched from the bedroom would make alot of difference. The entertainment was good and varied, the cruise director Ernest had an incredible voice! We were surprised just how varied the port of calls were. The highlight for us was "At home with an Emirati family" in Khor al Fakkan, we were made so welcome and it was wonderful to be able to talk to them and discover their customs and way of life I would thoroughly recommend this. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
SUMMARY: It is very easy to recommend Azamara as their exceptionally attentive service will make any cruise a very pleasant experience. Their prices may be higher than RCCL, Celebrity, or Princess but the extra cost will be forgotten ... Read More
SUMMARY: It is very easy to recommend Azamara as their exceptionally attentive service will make any cruise a very pleasant experience. Their prices may be higher than RCCL, Celebrity, or Princess but the extra cost will be forgotten once you've enjoyed their exceptional service. People may ask how Azamara compares to Oceania. While both are Premium “Smaller Ship” Cruise lines, our choice would be Azamara given similar itineraries. HITS & OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT HITS: • Service on the Azamara Journey was exceptional throughout our cruise. George, our cabin attendant was very efficient as well as being very friendly. Our servers in the Main Dining Cabin (JR & Oliver) were also excellent. • The Captain was very visible and cordial. The cruise director was very personable plus was a featured entertainer in several shows. • The shows were all excellent an unrecognized value of any cruise. Live Entertainment was much better than might be expected for a small ship. The ship's band/orchestra was excellent and the on deck band was equally entertaining. The Cabaret Lounge had ample comfortable seating. • Living Room was our favorite place on the ship to hang out and relax or read. It is quiet, had ample comfortable chairs and couches. There is also a bar with finger foods in the afternoon. • Azamara’s complementary self serve laundry was very useful and convenient. • Embarkation and Disembarkation were both very quick & easy. This is understandable since there were less than 700 people to process. AREAS WHERE IMPROVEMENTS ARE NEEDED • Service in the Patio Café was not as attentive as in the Discovery Dining Cabin or the Windows Cafe. • The cabin had a curved large chair / very small love seat that. It was too small for 2 people and the curved shape was a poor use of space in the cabin • TV was disappointing because the content was quite limited. Pay movies were very overpriced at $11.95. • The refrigerator cabinet in the cabin needs venting in order to work efficiently. We had to keep the cabinet door open in order for the refrigerator to get cold. It would be better to simply remove the door to allow adequate airflow that allows the refrigerator to work properly than keeping the door open which was a tripping hazard. • Internet was $19.95 for 60 minutes or $24.95 per day. Logging on or off was same as other cruise lines which many guests found to be confusing and lost their precious few minutes as a result of not completing the process properly. Fortunately, Adriana at the Reception Desk understood this issue and cheerfully restored the forfeited minutes. DETAILED OBSERVATIONS Day 1 - EMBARKATION: Azamara check in was very fast because Azamara's Check In process was very quick and easy because we has pre registered our personal information and we arrived about 11:45 (which was well ahead of the crowd) Lunch was at the buffet with the usual first day confusion. Our baggage arrived just after we had walked around the ship exploring. The mandatory life boat drill to explain the safety procedures was held soon after sail away activities. Our first dinner onboard was excellent with very attentive service. Day 2 - AT SEA: We explored the ship. The weather was warm so many people were in the pool area. The Azamara Journey is not a large ship. We got more familiar with the public areas of the ship. These are named "Living Room, Cabaret Lounge, Den, Patio, etc. The Living Room was our favorite place to sit, view the ocean, read, and relax. They have a small band in the evenings. DAY 3 - LABADEE: The weather could not have been better. A few clouds and 80 degrees. I had pre booked a Kayak Tour of the bay. It was OK but nothing more than a guided Kayak Rental. I also had a nice lunch at the Labadee cafe and a great nap on a nearby beach lounge chair after the excursion. My wife has booked a harbor cruise tour. Regrettably, she felt unwell and did not go on her excursion. DAY 4 - AT SEA This was our second (and final ) at sea day. More rest and relaxation. The evening’s entertainment was fantastic. The 8:00 show featured pianist Peter Rossetti playing a fine rendition of Billy Joel and Elton John hits. The 9 15 show featured the Cruise Director, Eric who sang a medley of Broadway show songs. His voice is equal to Josh Grobin's! We then stayed up well past midnight chatting with new friends. DAY 5 – St Barts This is a small island just over 8 square miles in area. It is too small for many cruise ships so it remains relatively unspoiled. (Pictures attached) The Sea Dream Yacht Club (Sea Dream 2) was the only other small cruise ship in harbor. The weather was typical for the Caribbean during November, mid 80s with partly cloudy skies. I thought it was quite pleasant but it was a bit humid for My wife. We hadn't booked any shore excursions for this island because we didn't see anything that interested us. Since we had a very late night, we took the morning slow by relaxing on the veranda enjoying the view and catching up on this trip report. My wife did a load of laundry in the complementary self service laundry too. Later in the day, we took the ship's tender into the town of Gustavia. The town was named after the king of Sweden during the 1600s when St Barts was controlled by Sweden. The Swedish government gave St Barts back to France in exchange for some French territory during the late 1700s. DAY 6 - St Maarten Beautiful weather. My wife really enjoyed her island tour that visited the Dutch and French sides of the island. Her tour traveled to parts of St Maartin that had not been rebuilt after the devastating 2018 hurricane. She recommends this tour. I booked the Catamaran sail with snorkeling and beach excursion. The boat was well staffed with a friendly, attentive, and compete crew. The snorkeling stop was not the most interesting in the world but still adequate. The beach stop was enjoyable. One unexpected treat was a short stop at the St Maartin airport right under the famous low altitude airplane landing approach. (Picture attached) I would recommend this excursion for people looking for an active activity. Caribbean Nights show was onboard (in place of Azamara’s Azamazing Evening) was a good effort but not really to our liking. Day 8 St Kitts We booked the St. Kitts Scenic Railway excursion. This Narrow Gage train was built nearly a century ago to transport sugar cane from the fields to the sugar mill in Basseterre. We really enjoyed our trip in double deck rail cars that gave us a panoramic journey that circled the entire island of St Kitts. (Picture attached). DAY 8 St Johns Antigua Paraphrasing my Father in Law, "It's another beautiful day in the Caribbean" as Antigua is a beautiful island. My wife enjoyed her city tour of St John. I had booked a more active tour Hiking, snorkeling and kayak excursion that was located on an outer island in St John Bay. Needless to say, I was exhausted after my tour. We can recommend either tour depending on your desired activity level. The evening’s entertainment was the Cruise Director singing Broadway songs. He is a great entertainer. Day 9 Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands We didn’t see any excursions that we were interested in so we spent the day relaxing and the afternoon repacking our bags for the 11 PM Luggage pick-up. Day 10 DISEMBARKATION San Juan Puerto Rico: Azamara’s disembarkation process is similar to most other cruise lines, (instructions and luggage tags issued the night before with Luggage in the hall by 11). The main difference is that there were smaller groups of guests in the customs hall so we were able to find our luggage in under a minute. The Customs & Immigration officers in San Juan were very quick and efficient so we were through their process in under 5 minutes. We completed the entire process well before 9 am. We had booked a San Juan city tour with airport drop off. The 3-hour tour covered the "Old town" as well as "New Town" San Juan. Our driver/guide was very interesting and informative so it is easy to recommend this tour as a way to see the city sights before a late afternoon flight. Earlier flights (not recommended any earlier than 11am) should go directly to the airport which is a 30 minutes ride from the San Juan Cruise Terminal. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Azamara Journey 11-21-19 We booked the Azamara Journey 12 days before embarkation as our planned Galapagos adventure on the Celebrity Xpedition was canceled by the cruise line. This back to back cruise, the “9-Night Caribbean ... Read More
Azamara Journey 11-21-19 We booked the Azamara Journey 12 days before embarkation as our planned Galapagos adventure on the Celebrity Xpedition was canceled by the cruise line. This back to back cruise, the “9-Night Caribbean Highlights Voyage” followed by the “7-Night Caribbean Breezes Voyage” was available at a terrific price and with nice booking incentives. As we had always wanted to try Azamara, this seemed like the best “Plan B” to use our planned vacation time. Wednesday, 11-20-19. We left our Pennsylvania home at 5:45 AM. Our neighbor who drives for Uber picked us up and took us to the Philadelphia airport, arriving just after 6:30. We quickly checked the bags, breezed through “Pre-check” security, and were ordering breakfast from Chick-Fil-A by 6:45. Our flight to Miami boarded promptly and departed on time. We landed in Miami 40 minutes early (!) but it took 25 minutes of waiting before we could park at a gate. By the time we reached baggage claim (quite a walk!) the bags were coming out and literally within two minutes we were on our way to the transportation center. As we were meeting friends we were cruising with in Fort Lauderdale, we took the “Tri-Rail” to the FLL station ($5/each, 40 minute ride) and then walked to the nearby Fairfield Inn. After leaving our bags in our rooms, with our friends we visited the famous “Jaxson's Ice Cream parlor” for an ice cream lunch. We stopped at Dollar General and Walmart for a few needed items that were too hard to pack for air travel. Driving along A-1-A, we noticed the water levels on the inter coastal seemed extremely high, in fact, there was some flooding along the side roads. Finally we stopped at a dive shop for travel fins to use when snorkeling. After a brief rest at the Fairfield, we went to meet cruising friends at the “Big Fat Greek Restaurant.” We were not rushed and had a very nice meal and the plus two hours passed too quickly. Back at the Fairfield we agreed not to set a meeting time for morning. As the Journey was just arriving from a trans-Atlantic, Azamara has asked guests not to arrive much before 12:30. We did agree to set up an Uber XL for an 11:30 pick up the next morning. Thursday, November 21 – Embarkation We enjoyed a good night's rest at the Fairfield. Arriving for breakfast at 8:10, likely about the peak time, it was a little chaotic. All was fine though and we enjoyed breakfast with our friends. We then took an excursion to Hollywood Beach. Being early on a weekday no problem finding on street parking. We enjoyed a nice walk and took pictures along the beachfront promenade. We visited the Margaritaville resort, walking around taking photos of the unusual decor. At 10:30, it was time to head back to the car and return to the Fairfield. We had just enough time to gather our things and wait for our Uber ride. Mr. Uber arrived with a well traveled but clean Grand Caravan for our transfer to the Miami cruise port and the Azamara Journey, arriving there at about 12:10. The porters took our luggage, we checked in (no wait), arranged for specialty dining reservations, checked in with the front desk on DW's special diet needs, and were seated at the Patio ordering lunch by 12:45. Due to the Coast Guard inspection, cabin availability was delayed until about 2:00. After enjoying a lunch of fresh Grouper, we walked around exploring the ship. We really like the layout of “The Living Room” (Crow's nest area) as it is a wide open space with lots of seating, some of it unusual in design but comfortable. While sitting and chatting, an announcement was made that the cabins were available, so we headed down to our outside stateroom, #4029. I took my traditional cabin photos before moving any of our things in. One of our two checked bags had also arrived. No time to unpack as we attended the 2:30 “First time Azamara cruiser” gathering in the Cabaret (showroom). Very nice beverages and Hor d'oeuvres were passed around before Eric, the cruise director, welcomed all the first time folks to Azamara. We returned to the cabin to unpack, and found our other suitcase waiting for us. It took about an hour to put everything away. We went to find the “Swirl & Top” ice cream station and had a small bowl of soft-serve. We took that by the aft bar on deck 9 and enjoyed a beverage while waiting for the 5:00 muster drill. We attended the muster drill, which seemed to take a long time to start due to one missing cabin in our section. After the muster, we went back to the Living Room for “Dancing with the Starlight Trio,” along with Tapas and beverages. There were actually Tapas I enjoyed (dates with bacon and nice chicken nuggets). At about 6:30 we headed down to the Discoveries restaurant for dinner. We were seated at a table for four by a window. Service was terrific as was the food. They took very good care of DW's food sensitivities. I enjoyed shrimp cocktail, Grilled turkey breast (something new for me – it was good but not as good as traditional turkey), and Red Snapper (excellent). Dessert was gelato. We left dinner walking past the Mosaic Cafe (coffee/tea/snack shop) and headed to the Cabaret for the cruise director's welcome and the opening show, “Jump, Jive & Swing.” No boring time before the show sitting around in an silent showroom, the house band was playing numbers while waiting for showtime. Very impressive. “Jump, Jive, & Swing” is a”Magellan award-winning” show. This was certainly full of energy and I was impressed with the performers. The show went until about 10:15 at which time we called it a very full day. Friday, November 22 – At sea It is certainly good to be back on the ocean, as it's been nearly 5 months. We sure did sleep well. I ventured out around 8:00 to the Mosaic Cafe to bring some tea back to the cabin. Almost too hot to carry! I stopped at the front desk as the welcome aboard information asked guests to stop in if they were staying on for the next cruise, as we are. Back at the cabin, DW was ready about 8:50. On the way to breakfast we found the desk for the “Colors of the Caribbean” event tickets had opened early. We were able to get our tickets and also for our cruising friends, so we returned to our cabin to drop them off and delivered our friends tickets. They asked us to save them room at our table for breakfast in Discoveries. Breakfast in Discoveries was very nice, although it took a little long. Maybe it's just the first morning. They have a buffet set up, you can order off the menu, or mix it up. We mostly ordered off the menu but did look the buffet over and I had a small amount of Blueberry cobbler from the buffet. Else my ordered fruit plate and omelet were delicious as well! The cruise critic gathering was at 10:00 in the “Drawing Room.” This delightful library area on deck 10 mid ship has a warm feeling with a painted ceiling like you would see in famous Italian places. Eric the cruise director introduced many of the staff, and had us go around introducing ourselves. About half in attendance were on their first Azamara sailing. We left there to check out the shops, and then toured the suite that is being offered as a prize for the 12:15 bingo game. We thought the suite (8068) was not all that impressive. We headed up to the pool deck and got a table near (but not in) the Patio to listen to the 12:30 session of “Music by Vibz.” They are really good. Not one, but two – 45 minute sets with just 15 minutes between. We enjoyed it all, at times, while in the pool, Lunch was very enjoyable as well. We did a combination of the Windows cafe along with the Patio offerings. The ladies left to attend a “Smartphone photography class” At about 3:00 everyone headed down to relax a while – this cruising can really wear you out! We had dinner reservations at Prime C tonight. Beforehand we enjoyed the Starlight Trio again in the Living Room. A much larger crowd was there this evening. At 6:30 we went to Prime C. We had a most excellent meal and we were very impressed with how well they took care of DW's special food sensitivities. They even made her a crab cake with Almond flour. We left Prime C at 9:10 and headed straight for the Cabaret for the Captain's welcome toast. The Captain has quite a sense of humor and plays well with cruise director Eric. The show was assistant cruise director Meg Young in a solo show “Get happy.” It was okay. We left during the final costume change simply because by 10:30 we were too tired. Tomorrow is our first port call of Labadee, Haiti. Saturday, November 23 – Labadee, Haiti (Royal Caribbean Private resort) Another very good nights rest to the slight motion of the sea. Up a little after 7, I went around taking photos a little after 8:00 as we were sliding by a tree-covered portion of Haiti off the starboard side. I ran into our friends on the pool deck and agreed to meet them aft of the Windows cafe for breakfast. We met up for breakfast and really enjoyed our seats at the aft rail, until the Journey arrived at Labadee and needed to turn for docking so we were then in the sun. Breakfast complete, we headed back to our cabins to prepare for a day at the beach. At 9:15 the clearance to go ashore was announced and off we went. We caught the tram and took that to Columbus Cove, where we were provided 4 beach chairs in the shade. Clean restrooms and a calm sea made for a very pleasant morning. I got out my snorkeling equipment but as this was purely a sand bottom there was nothing to see. At about 11:30 we decided to move and headed over to the Town Square by tram. They were setting up the lunch and again we were provided four beach chairs in the shade. A waiter appeared immediately offering drinks. As Azamara cruisers, we had the same beverages included on Labadee as we have on the ship, a very nice benefit. We enjoyed lunch and I then headed into the water to snorkel. I swam past the “Floating bar” and put on the equipment. There is an assortment of small coral like brain coral in the bay, but visibility was likely two feet or less. I did see a few very small fish, but nothing to photograph. Heading back to our chairs I took a walk with one of our friends to the jetty to watch the waves crashing. We saw a few folks take advantage of the zip line, which claims to be the longest zip line over water. Returning to our chairs, we all got drinks and carried them out through the water to the Floating bar. This is quite a unique feature and it would have been really neat had it been staffed. We certainly understand how not every feature was “Open” as this port is built for 5,000 or more guests and the Journey is only 650 strong. But it sure was nice having the run of the place and never having to wait for anything. By 2:30 we had enough and packed up to head back to the ship. On the Journey, three of us headed to the pool and hot tubs to relax just a little. Then after cleaning up from the day, we all met on the pool deck for sail away tunes by Vibz. I also downloaded all our photos to my Surface and brought this log up to date listening to Vibz. Dinner was enjoyed in Discoveries. We went early attempting to make the 8:15 show (which we just made). A nice window table would have been really nice if it wasn't already dark outside! The waiter and dining room manager took very good care of DW's special needs. The 8:15 show was “Out at sea,” a journey around the world without leaving the ship. The show was excellent. We tried the piano entertainer but found he was just not as enjoyable as others. It was also getting late so we called it a night. Sunday, November 24 – At Sea What a beautiful sea day this is! Absolutely perfect weather, mostly sunny and 80 degrees. No whitecaps, a deep blue sea and sky. After we had a light breakfast delivered by room service, we visited to Lido for another cup of tea and sat out aft at the rail watching a number of birds following the ship. I am pretty sure I spied some flying fish as well. The shops were having a “Black Friday sale” and we found two clearance items at an additional 20% off. That takes care of the “Non refundable OBC” that Azamara gave us for booking. Today was a Sunday Brunch in discoveries, with music by the Journey orchestra. What a truly delightful event this was. The food was excellent as well. We headed up to the pool deck as the Starlight Trio was playing two sets beginning at 12:30. We enjoyed their performance greatly, sitting at our favorite shaded table. We left for the 2:00 scavenger hunt. The four of us, with a quickly determined team name of AzAmazing ended up winning the hunt with 138 points! We had tight competition from a group of youngsters that had 134 points. 3:15 brought the Captain's presentation and Q&A session. Speaking of the Captain, we have seen him and the senior staff “Out and about” interacting with guests all the time. Holland America could take some lessons from Celebrity and Azamara in this regard. We went to get ready for the evening and visited the Living Room for the Starlight Trio set. Dinner was in Discoveries and our waiter, Shaad, does a terrific job keeping the wine flowing of our favorite South African red. He also watches over DW's special food sensitivities. We are asking for Shaad each night. We thought we went early to the Cabaret for the 9:30 show, cruise director “Eric de Gray” with his show from “Vegas to Broadway.” Wow, what a show! A standing ovation ended the performance. After Eric's show we called it a night. Monday, November 25 – Gustavia, St. Barts This was our first visit to St. Barts, an island well know as the playground of the rich and famous. Just our opinion of course, but it is not set up to be friendly for cruisers. 95% of the information I gather from Cruise Critic and Trip Advisor seems accurate, the information on St. Barts was not. How anyone could possibly report the walk from the ferry terminal to the Eden Rock resort and beach as being 35 minutes and “Mostly flat” they must have had way too many rum punches! In any case, we did make the walk, up over the mountain and down past the airport to Eden Rock. The water was murky and snorkeling didn't allow any visibility. Besides, after that hike over to there, much of which on narrow roads with no sidewalks, I was too exhausted for much exertion in the water. We had a pleasant enough time swimming and floating in the delightful water, then walked down the beach to watch a few airplanes take off or land on the very short runway. We walked back to the airport and caught a cab back to the tender landing. Due to my own error, we did not have any Euros and the cab mark-up for US dollars was 50%. Ouch. Back on board we enjoyed lunch on the Patio and took a dip in the pool before getting ready for the evening. The Starlight Trio was playing in the Living Room and we enjoyed dinner with Shaad as our waiter. Our friends went to Aqualina, the Italian specialty restaurant this evening. After swallowing too much salt water during our outing, I wasn't feeling the best at dinner but by the end of the meal, after eating very lightly, was feeling much improved. At 8:30 there was a deck party, “Cherries Jubilee & Dancing” with Vibz on the pool deck. We were able to get a table for the four of us and really enjoyed the music. We were even able to dance a few numbers. We did not make the one-time show of “Just Dance” at 9:45 as it was a long day and we have an early start tomorrow. Tuesday, November 26 – Saint Maarten We were up early as we had an 8:15 meeting time with our friends so we would be on time for our reserved “6 Hour sailing/snorkeling tour” with St. Maarten Charters. We had a quick breakfast in the nearly empty Windows Cafe at 7:40 and met our friends at exactly 8:15. Off we went, taking our time taking photos in the dock area before following our instructions to walk towards town to Chesterfield's restaurant where we were to meet the Spellbound catamaran for our tour. Our instructions were very specific that the meeting time was 9:00, and we were there a few minutes before nine. We were welcomed by the captain and reviewed DW's dietary sensitivities with the very nice lady on board. Some time after 9:00 the captain told us that he was waiting on seven others and was unsure where they were. At about 9:20 we viewed a very large Carnival ship slowly pulling into port. It turned out that his other guests were on this ship. By 10:00 we were still waiting. I'm sorry, but by nature I am a punctual person and there are few things more precious that port time. Waiting an hour after an agreed meeting time is just not right, at least for those who are on time. We ended up leaving while our friends stayed*. We made our way back to the port, against quite a bit of foot traffic from those heading into town from Carnival. Wow, that is a big ship. We looked around a number of shops at the port complex and headed back to Journey. Once on board, we used the pool and while talking figured out this would be a great time to do our laundry in the self-serve and complimentary laundry. We started our two loads and went to the Patio for lunch. They specially prepared a meal for DW and I very much enjoyed their wings and grilled Grouper. We put the laundry into the dryers and enjoyed some relaxation time in the shade on the pool deck. I looked through Trip Advisor on my phone and found a likely outing for Antigua. I sent them both text messages and filled out a booking form, hoping to hear from them later in the day. I did not hear from them until after 10:00 the next morning, too late to join their tour. We enjoyed the pool deck until about 3:00, relaxed a little and got ready for the evening activities. Tonight is Azamara's first-ever “Colors of the Caribbean” event. We had arranged for 6:00 dinner followed by the 8:00 show. Beforehand we enjoyed Vibz playing in the living room. This event was designed to replace Azamara's “Aamazing evening” on shore, which they claim no venue in the Caribbean could be found large enough to host. This is all new to us anyway, but I will just say that without question this was the 'worst' dinner of the cruise. Most of the 'hot' items in the dining room Caribbean buffet were at best lukewarm. I understand why they went to buffet style in order to move half the passengers through in less than two hours, but the execution needs improvement. We went up to the Windows Cafe at about 7:35 to reach the back of the long line for entry to the pool deck. At 7:40 the doors were opened and we were seated. Nice Caribbean hand foods were available and these were quite nice. We were told the show would not actually start until 8:20, to allow time to enjoy the foods and beverages. A few local artisans also had their wares on display. The show itself was quite enjoyable and ended up with the finale being a conga line at about 9:00. This wasn't intended to be the finale, but the skies unexpectedly opened up and with the electronic equipment, and slick deck for the dancers, they needed to call the show at that time. All in all we had a very nice time, but during the next week's event we will attempt to dine in Prime C if it is open. Afterwards, we called it a night to get ready for the next port, as we now have six in a row! Wednesday, November 27 – St. Johns, Antigua. With no early plans we went to the main dining room about 8:00 and had a leisurely breakfast. I ordered the “Steak and eggs” for the second time this cruise and really enjoyed it. Just as we were finishing up our friends came in so we stayed and talked while they had their breakfast. We left the ship about 9:30 to join the masses leaving from three large ships in port with us. Two of them were on extended voyages round trip Europe, a P&O ship and a “Mein Schiff.” Additionally there was a large RCCL ship, so likely about 14,000 cruisers. Working our way through the many drivers offering island tours, we wanted to visit the local market. Well, the market opens at 5:00 AM and by 10:00 AM many of the vendors are long gone. We did find a number of vendors still at the nearby craft market and made a small purchase. We walked passed the bus station and back along Market street to the town center. After a while the smells were getting to us so we headed back to the Journey while our friends did a little more shopping. Back on board we enjoyed the pool and lunch. After lunch the two ladies went out to look over a few other ships near the other quay, while the men stayed around or in the pool. The evening included a “Discovers” event on the forward open deck on deck 11. This was an extremely nice with all the senior officers greeting their repeat cruisers. We spoke at some length with Eric, the cruise director and entertainer. Dinner was very nice in Discoveries although tonight it seemed the dining room was unusually busy. In fact, we did not see an empty table. Thru a combination of things dinner ended up taking nearly 2 ½ hours, but the wine kept flowing! We went straight from dinner to the Cabaret and secured good seats for tonight's one time show, Eric de Gray's “Broadway Showstoppers” & tribute to Abba. What an absolutely incredible show. Very likely the best show we've ever seen on our 35 or so cruises. The show wasn't over until 10:30 and at that point we called it a night. Thursday, November 28, Thanksgiving Day (US), Basseterre, St. Kitts. We had a plan for the day. The plan included leaving the ship by 9:00 to head to South Friar's Beach. We just wanted an hour on the beach to swim and then planned to return to the ship for lunch, then going out to see some things in town. That was a good plan, but the weather had other ideas. From 8:00 – 9:30 or so it was raining buckets. So when it appeared to let up just a little we did venture out with the Azamara room umbrellas. It soon did stop raining to we visited Independence Square, the Cathedral, walked over to St. George's Anglican Church hoping to climb the bell tower (it was not open), and then headed back towards the port. All-together this was nearly 7000 steps. Back in the port complex we went directly to the Caribelle Batik shop. On our last visit here we were at Romney Manor, where this process is actually performed, creating unique apparel in a multi-step dying process. I ended up buying a shirt and we also obtained a gift for someone back home. After this stop the men returned to the ship while the ladies visited a number of the other shops. As the Journey is the only ship in port they had the stores largely to themselves. We all enjoyed lunch and then the ladies went back out to see the shops. It had become a beautiful day but the beach had much less appeal with the early afternoon sun, so the pool deck was very welcome. We watched the crew work very hard to decorate for the “White Night” party this evening. The ladies returned and it was soon time to get ready for the evening. We had a 5:00 “Back to Back” cruisers meeting in the Cabaret. There are nearly 90 staying on board for the next 7 day round trip San Juan cruise. We met with the dining host to reserve Prime C for the Caribbean night (Barbados) as we thought that was the least satisfactory meal on this cruise. During the meeting much to everyone's dismay it began raining. On our way back to our cabin Eric made the announcement that the White Night party was being moved indoors to the Cabaret. The Thanksgiving deck buffet was moving to the Windows Cafe. Our plan was to dine in Discoveries where the menu included traditional Thanksgiving options such as Turkey and Ham. However, all four of us opted for the Chilean Sea Bass. Wow, that was incredible Sea Bass! In all honesty, it was a great menu overall this evening. We told Shaad that we wanted to be finished by 8:00 to get to the party in time to get seats. The dining room ended up being completely packed out with folks waiting. We were out of there at 8:05 and were able to get seats we liked for the White Night party. During the warm up for the party three members of the senior staff were making Crepes Suzette in the rear of the Cabaret. They were also really into the party atmosphere dancing along with the DJ's tunes. The party itself was a lot of fun. The entertainment staff went all-out, non-stop, for nearly two full hours without a break. They succeeded in getting a great number of folks involved on the dance floor. We took advantage of most of the slower numbers. When the party was over, we were more than ready to call it a night! Friday, November 29 - “Black Friday” (US), Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands This was our first visit to Virgin Gorda. The unique feature this island with a population of 3,500 is best known for are the “Baths.” These unique rocks along the southwest coast of the island are deep-earth rocks propelled through the air by volcanic eruptions at some past time. The winds and sea have sculpted them over the centuries and they have created a unique set of coves, tide pools, and caves just waiting to be explored. Explore we did! We first met in Discoveries for a breakfast of “Steak and eggs” at 7:30. By 8:30 we were heading for the tender. We ended up tendering with three tour groups from the ship. We managed to stay just ahead of one of them upon arrival at the baths. We were instructed to take the path towards Devil's Bay beach and then go through the caves to the baths beach. This was certainly one of the most unique things we've done in the Caribbean in many years. I hope we make it back to Virgin Gorda in the future to explore some more. We also made good use of our snorkel equipment at the bath's beach. With all the submerged and semi-submerged boulders, that became a great spot for coral to grow and many fish congregate there. I shot quite a few underwater photos. Getting out of the water DW was pushed by the waves into a few submerged rock ledges and she and our Around noon we tried to go back into the caves to more fully explore a swimming area in the cave but we were told that the path through the caves was “One way” due to “Two ships being in port.” (We did not ever see another ship...) We were not up to climbing the hill and beginning the process all over again, although looking back a few days later, maybe we should have tried. We did peruse a shop at the parking area and a couple of “Clearance” shirts were acquired as a reminder of our great time at Virgin Gorda. We were directed to one of the open air converted van taxis for the ride back to the marina. It took quite a while to get moving, and we arrived at the marina to quite a line of folks waiting to return to the Journey. We were able to obtain a few cups of cold water and about 15 minutes later we were on the tender back to Journey. Back on the ship we dropped our bags in our cabin and headed up for lunch at the Patio. The staff there take such good care of us, keeping our favorite wines flowing along with 'safe' foods for DW. We enjoyed a little pool time before getting ready for the evening. Dinner in Discoveries was greatly enjoyed with the premier dish tonight being “Surf & Turf.” Most of us had some variety of this. Also this last evening was the “Infamous Chocolate Buffet.” Very reminiscent of what Holland America used to do on each cruise, there is an incredible abundance of Chocolate of every variety, cakes, gelato, etc. My personal favorite was the dark-chocolate covered marshmallows. We bought a few photos at the gallery. Then we agreed to one final nightcap at the Spirit's Bar before heading to our cabin for the final evening. We passed on the show this evening of the guest entertainer, David Knight, a hypnotist. Saturday, November 30 – San Juan, PR, USA The Journey docked very early (before 6:00) as this is disembarkation day for all but 90 of the guests. Our cruising friends were leaving the ship as they are flying back to Florida on Monday. Despite the early docking, no one was allowed to leave the ship (even the walk-off guests) until all the luggage was unloaded, which was not until after 8:30 AM. Sure glad we do not have an early flight next week Saturday! We packed up our non-hanging clothing and toiletries to be moved three cabins to #4023 for the next 7 day segment. We met our friends in the Windows Cafe at 7:45 and enjoyed a last breakfast together on board. At 8:35 we returned to our cabin to find that the housekeeping team had already moved everything into #4023 except for our safe items. We took care of that and secured that material in our new cabin. We took advantage of the time to put most of our clean clothing into drawers in 4023, and then left the ship with our friends at about 9:05. We took many photos along this walk and while approaching the El Morro fortress, our friends heard a bicyclist take a tumble. They tended to this man and called 911. It took 20 minutes for an ambulance to arrive. This happened when we had left them to find water, which we purchased bottles from a vendor nearby for $1/bottle. They ended up using the water we bought for them for the injured man. There is very little shade near El Morro but I did retreat to the shade of a monument. We were all back together and headed to the beverage vendor to obtain four more water bottles. We then walked toward the main pier area as we wanted to visit CVS. On the way, we saw there was a handicrafts market at the La Princesa Promenade so we did view the various vendor's goods. As we neared CVS we did notice an increase in the breeze and some dark clouds approaching. We obtained what we needed in CVS and by then the skies had opened into a downpour. As is typical in the Caribbean, this did not last long, but it was long enough that it delayed us from our planned walk back to Plaza Colon to take the complimentary shuttle back to the Journey, so we called an Uber for the $7 ride. We bade farewell to our good friends who we hope to see during a Florida visit in February. Summary: We have cruised about 35 times. The majority of cruises are on Celebrity and Holland America, with a few other lines occasionally. Really enjoy the smaller ships. Favorite ship was HAL Prinsendam but it was sold. New favorite is the Journey. A few years ago I wrote in a review “I guess the days of 5-star cruising are history.” Well, that is not true. I feel that Azamara gives a five star experience. When we can, if the price fits into the budget, we would happily cruise on Azamara again. The food and service are great! Love the more inclusiveness of the fare. The thing that was very unexpected is the quality of the entertainment. It is hard to remember a cruise where we enjoyed every bit of the entertainment as much as we have on these two cruises. Some of the shows were repeated during the second segment. They are so good we went to see them a second time! So 5 stars for the good ship Journey. May she and her outstanding crew have a long and happy life! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
My wife and I have been cruising for several year - often 3 cruises per year - but had not yet tried an upscale cruise like Azamara. The first thing that we noticed, not surprisingly, was that the Pursuit was not quite as large as the ... Read More
My wife and I have been cruising for several year - often 3 cruises per year - but had not yet tried an upscale cruise like Azamara. The first thing that we noticed, not surprisingly, was that the Pursuit was not quite as large as the other cruise ships we had taken previously. Next we noticed that the crew seemed to be more friendly than on other, larger ships. We subsequently determined that this repositioning cruise had about a 5-10% vacancy rate. This meant that there was less than 2 customers to 1 crew member!! This was definitely a positive. The cabin we had selected was an upgrade from ocean view to a standard balcony stateroom. It was only slightly smaller than the same type of stateroom we have travelled in on other non-Azamara ships. Other than that, there were fresh flowers in the room, lots of closet space for the 17 day voyage. The balcony was more that adequate for the single breakfast that we enjoyed during a sea day. We usually dined in the main dining room. The food there was among the best we had experienced on any other ship....make that THE best we had experienced to date. Service by the staff was efficient and most professional and friendly. The menu was very extensive. The specialty restaurants were also better than we had experience in any of the previous 15 cruise ships. The chef's table menu - 7 course - was quite extraordinary with our sommelier providing a wine education throughout the entire meal. The on-board entertainment was no better and no worse than that found on other ships EXCEPT for the Azamara singers who were, without at doubt, the best we had seen and heard anywhere based on individual AND combined talent. Unfortunately for others, the troupe of 4 individuals were completing their contracts on our cruise. I have no doubt that they will be back.....PLEASE! As this was a repositioning cruise, the ports were not the usual ports visited by ships throughout the regular season. Madeira Island, Canary Islands, Cape Verde, Salvador and Buzios, Brazil were quite beautiful. We particularly enjoyed the town of Funchal on Madeira Island and the magnificent Teide volcano on Tenerife in the Canary Islands. Needless to say, the starting point of the cruise - Lisbon, Portugal - was marvellous and Rio de Janeiro is, well, Rio! We spent a few days after the cruise on the Copacabana beach, checked out the statue of Christ the Redeemer and Sugarloaf mountain. Beautiful! Would we do this cruise in the future? Yes but not for a few more years. (Still too many other places to visit.) Would we sail with Azamara on other adventures? Definitely. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
This our second time on Azamara and it definitely won't be our last. I have never been on a cruise where the staff and crew, from the Captain down to the young man cleaning the stairs, are so friendly. Having the Hotel Manager, the ... Read More
This our second time on Azamara and it definitely won't be our last. I have never been on a cruise where the staff and crew, from the Captain down to the young man cleaning the stairs, are so friendly. Having the Hotel Manager, the Cruise Director and assistant and others waving goodbye as we were disembarking was wonderful. It was as if we were valued friends who they couldn't bear to part with! The ship itself is spotless and understated. The entertainment is not as glitzy as on the bigger ships but it was all of high quality and enjoyable. Activities on board are the usual trivia, lectures, Bridge, card games etc. etc. My only gripe was that the Water colour artist was a woman I had taken classes with before on a different cruise. She may be a talented artist, but she is not a good instructor and the material she asked us to draw and paint was virtually identical to the previous cruise I had taken. But that is insignificant in my enjoyment of this cruise which was full of friendly passengers, divine food, plentiful wine of good quality and attentive staff. There is no casino onboard which is not something I miss and just a small area for smokers which did not bother the non smokers on board (me). My husband enjoyed the gym and the equipment in the Spa and we enjoyed the hot tub at the front of the ship, filled with salt water, so is wonderful on the skin. The speciality restaurants are wonderful, with attentive service and delicious food. The buffet served theme nights most evenings, and the main dining room selections were also of the highest quality. It was difficult to choose where to eat! This is not a cruise for younger people, or children but for my husband and me who are well travelled seniors, it was perfect. Can't wait to be with my Azamara family again! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
This was our 9th cruise with Azamara, but our first ever transatlantic and our first cruise on the Pursuit. We chose it because we love sea days, but it also had 6 ports of call, so a good combination. We had a couple of nights in ... Read More
This was our 9th cruise with Azamara, but our first ever transatlantic and our first cruise on the Pursuit. We chose it because we love sea days, but it also had 6 ports of call, so a good combination. We had a couple of nights in Lisbon before the cruise and were really pleased that we had done so, there’s so much to see and do. We booked the Holiday Inn Express Avenida de Liberdade mainly because it’s very close to the metro. It was a good choice - very comfortable, just refurbished, and with a good breakfast (which included the Portuguese speciality of custard tarts- Yum!). The only snag was that as this was mainly a business area there were few restaurants nearby - you had to walk a little way towards the student area to find them. In the morning we bought a one day public transport ticket at the Marquis de Pompal metro station and used that to get to the old town area where we caught the tram to Belem, which was lovely. We walked to see the magnificent Monument to the Discoverers, and went into the lovely Igreja (Church) de Santa Maria de Belem. We caught the tram back & then caught the famous 28 tram through the uphill winding streets of the old town. We got off at Campo Ourique and caught the 25 tram back, getting off near the Cais de Sordre, then walked along the front to the beautiful Praca de Commercio, before getting the metro back to our hotel. The next morning we asked the hotel to order us a taxi to take us to the Santa Apollonia cruise terminal. We got there at about 11:15 am and were able to board immediately. We had lunch in the Patio, then went to our cabin when allowed to do so (about 1pm). One case arrived fairly quickly, the other took a little time, however we got unpacked and I had time to take a few things to the laundry room to iron them before the muster drill. After the muster drill there was the Cruise Critic Social (Meet & Mingle) in the Cabaret. It was pretty full (86 on the roll call). As always Azamara provided lots to drink and canapés. The Cruise Director Amanda asked us all to introduce ourselves, then there was time for people to have a chat. That night, and most nights, we ate in Discoveries (MDR). We had a drink first in Discoveries bar at about 7:15, then dinner at 7:45ish. We found it very easy to get a sharing table and did this most nights. It’s a great way to meet and get talking to people. Dinner was always very good, with good choices on the menu, and in addition two ‘specials’ each night - one relating to the destination and one the chefs special. We also tried Discoveries for breakfast, but unlike on the Journey in July, there was no buffet food there, other than fruit - it was just the food on the menu and we found service slow, so soon reverted to Windows (buffet) for breakfast. The first few days the weather was not too good - cloudy, cool and windy. The sea was pretty rough too, although luckily this did not affect us, but a few people were affected. Ports of call Madeira There was a free shuttle bus into the middle of town. We took the bus, then walked to the market and fish market, then to the cable car. We took the cable car up to the first station where we got out and went to the Monte Gardens. The gardens are set in a hill side and you walk down through the gardens to the beautiful waterfall, pond and house set at the bottom. We then paid to take a golf cart back up to the top, where we went to watch the ‘toboggan’ run, before catching the cable car back to the town centre and getting the shuttle bus back to the ship. La Palma, Canary Islands We had a booked a ships tour to the Caldera de Taburiente. It was an excellent tour to a beautiful area. The Caldera was caused by a massive landslide and the scenery is stunning. At the Caldera we had time for a reasonable walk, then on the way back we stopped for a drink and a snack at a house that was designed to match the Thai embassy in Paris. A very good tour and not too expensive. Tenerife, Canary Islands The ship docked at Puerto Cruz and a shuttle bus took us out of the docks, as the docks are pretty much in the town centre. We had decided to get the tram to La Laguna, the old capital of the island, which is a UNESCO heritage site. We managed to work out where to get the tram, but when we got there we found the ticket machine only too small value Euro notes. The smallest note we had was a €50, which was no good, so we had to walk back to a shop to get some change (which was tricky as the owner spoke no English). Once we had small notes we managed to buy our tickets and caught the tram, taking it to the end of the line. We found our way into the old town which was quite quaint and busy as it was a Sunday and all the locals were out and about in their a Sunday best, creating a lovely atmosphere. Mindelo, Sao Vicente, Cape Verde We had pre-booked a day tour of the island with Green Line tours, along with about half the roll-call. They met us just at the end of the dock and took us into the town where we had a guided walking tour including the main streets, the main market, the African market and to see the beautiful picture of Cesaria Evora (the barefoot diva) who was from the island. Then the minibuses met us and took us on a tour of the island, including going to the top of Monte Verde. We stopped for the included lunch, which was pretty basic and somewhat spoiled by the numbers of flies around. Overall, though, this was an excellent tour and terrific value at $60 or $100 for two. Salvador de Bahia, Brazil After 6 sea days in a row we were ready to be back on land again. Unfortunately when we woke up that morning it was pouring down, and that continued all day - and when I say pouring, this was continuous tropical rain! Never mind, we really wanted to see the old town area of Pelourinho, so we put our cagoules on and ventured forth. The ship was docked very close to the lift that takes you up to Pelourinho, so it wasn’t far, but we still got pretty wet. This old town area is beautiful, if slightly ‘faded grandeur’ and we had a good walk around, calling in to two beautiful churches, both covered in gold leaf. There were a lot of tourist police around so it felt relatively safe. After a couple of hours we caught the shuttle bus back to the ship. Despite our cagoules we were wet right down to our underclothes - a day we won’t forget in a hurry. Buzios, Brazil We were supposed to be docking at Vitoria, but apparently there was to be a dock strike there, so Buzios was substituted. I don’t know what Vitoria would have been like, but Buzios was lovely. It was like a mixture between Saint Tropez in the old days and a small Caribbean resort. There were some lovely shops, including some very high end ones, and a couple of Havianas shops where the shoes were really cheap. The whole place was buzzing because they had a film festival at the time. We went on a little open sided ‘truck’ tour bus for a tour around the island - a bit bumpy, but interesting - and very cheap. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil We had a day here before disembarkation. We were intending to get a taxi to the Botanical gardens, but didn’t get off as my husband had a chest infection following a cold that just about everyone on the ship had had. We actually disembarked the evening before disembarkation as we had a late night flight back and decided we didn’t much fancy having to tour our suitcases around a Rio for the day. Given my husbands health, this proved to be an excellent decision. The White Night was supposed to be on the day we were in Salvador de Bahia, but having looked at weather forecast the Captain has decided to hold it at sea the night before. It was a beautiful calm night and a good white night. As always the food was lovely - no lobster, but some very nice huge prawns instead. We had three meals in the speciality restaurants - 2 in Aqualina and 1 in Prime C. All three were delicious. Overall this was an excellent cruise. As ever the service was superb - although we did notice some differences between the Pursuit and the other two ships. For example at night the sun beds on Deck 11 were cleared away into piles against the superstructure, whereas on the other ships they are usually left in rows, tied together if it’s expected to be rough. As we had gorgeous weather from Cape Verde to Salvador, Deck 11 was well used and sometimes the chairs were not laid out very early and it became a bit of a ‘bun fight’ to get them. The other unusual thing was the mix of passengers - there were well over 400 english, which is unusual in our experience. We got the impression that the cruise had been heavily promoted in the north of England in the few weeks beforehand. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We had used Azamara before and we liked the look of the Myanmar itinerary. We stayed in Singapore for 2 nights before boarding the ship. The embarcation procedure was diabolical. This took ages to be processed with long queues. This ... Read More
We had used Azamara before and we liked the look of the Myanmar itinerary. We stayed in Singapore for 2 nights before boarding the ship. The embarcation procedure was diabolical. This took ages to be processed with long queues. This was not a great start, especially when compared to other small cruise ships. Azamara advertise themselves as a Luxury Small Cruise Ship line. It is anything but luxurious. After 10 days of the same basic food menus served both on deck 9 and on deck 5 we were sick to death of the options. We even tried both speciality restaurants ( which cost an extra $30pp ) and these served the same basic food as the main restaurant with a small presentation variance. Certainly nothing special and definitely not worth the supplement. The Executive Chef needs to jack himself up and provide a new menu for each day. The fact that the menu didn't change for the whole cruise is a sign of absolute laziness. Other that the dancer and singers performances on 3 nights, the rest of the entertainment was very weak. They use the assistant cruise director and director for 3 of evenings ! In today's age to only have 1 movie channel that shows an alternate film is ridiculous. The films are so out of date. They obviously want you to use their pay to view channels. The WiFi on the ship is so outdated that you simply can't download even emails. Even though we had purchased the Indulgence package which gives you the supposedly top of the range drinks, this is still extremely limited and you are forced to pay again for drinks outside this selection. To too it off, even drinks that are included in one's package are not covered if consumed out of the fridge in your cabin. How absurd. Every where you go you are constantly being asked to present your key card so that they can verify whether or not you are entitled to the service / drinks or whether you must pay additional. All in all this ship cannot be described as luxurious when compared to the other small ships we have sailed on. The shore excursions are expensive for what you get. In Phuket we were transported on a coach with a broken suspension for 2.5 hrs and then on an old delapidated water taxi for a further 2.5 hrs. We failed to visit the cashew nut factory due to time constraints In Myanmar the immigration process was appalling. We had fortunately arranged to do our own private tour to Bagan to do the hot air balloons over the temples. To do this we needed a visa. There were only about 50 people doing their own travels and it took over 2.5 hrs for our passports to be returned from the ship. The communication between the various departments of the ship is diabolical. The left had doesn't know what the right hand is doing. In all the ship has been dumbed down to the standard one expects on the large cruise lines. There is a lack of attention to detail on everything done on this ship. It is simply average - except for the price. We shall definitely be avoiding Azamara in the future. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Although it is an 39 year old ship we had a great time on board. We booked a club continent suite and the stateroom was spacious enough for two adults. Staff is very attentive and friendly. Food is, compared to Aida or MSC cruises, ... Read More
Although it is an 39 year old ship we had a great time on board. We booked a club continent suite and the stateroom was spacious enough for two adults. Staff is very attentive and friendly. Food is, compared to Aida or MSC cruises, above standard. Entertainment is of course a little bit limited due to the size of he ship but we don’t need a rollercoaster nor a ice skating range. Two very good band are playing every evening and there is also a talented piano player and a DJ. The relatively small size of the ship is the biggest advantage. Never ever we had to wait in lines. Everything is good organized from embarkation to Disembarkation. Obviously it is easier to handle 600 guests than 4000+. Most of the guests are 50+ therefore there are no kids on board. Three negative items: First: on a 3-day stay in Myanmar we had to save water because the ship didn’t had enough water on board. The crew closed the laundry and towels need to be reused, same as the tablecloth. Would be no problem if we had been informed not just one day before the shutdown. The official excuse was that onboard examination proved that water form then onshore is not safe. But the crew stated that this happens every time when the the shimmies in Myanmar. Why they don’t inform the guests at the beginning of the cruise ore even better, dealing with this issue honestly during the booking process? Second: Azamara advertises with small ships which are able to dock close to the city. In Myanmar we were isolated on a very remote port. Driving time to downtown was 2 house one way. Third: some shore excursions are just a rip-off. If you pay 119$ for a day on the beach in a luxiourios hotel you I’ll end up in a hotel we’re you are treated as a second class. This happens to us. We paid 238$ for a day on the beach. The day on the beach was only 4h which we spent completly in the garden of the golden sands hotel in Georgetown because the beach is public with all its vendors and „beach boys“. While all the other hotels guests can have as much towels as the like we are only entitled to get one towel. Even after a kind request they refused to give us a second towel so we can cover the dirty chair. By the way: the rate for a room is 78$ per night for two guests according tot he hotels homepage. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We have sailed with Azamara 3 times before and selected the cruise on Pursuit as it went to Corsica and Sardinia 2 islands we had not been to. Lets start with the positives. We were in a continental suite on deck 8. It was OK. Pursuit had ... Read More
We have sailed with Azamara 3 times before and selected the cruise on Pursuit as it went to Corsica and Sardinia 2 islands we had not been to. Lets start with the positives. We were in a continental suite on deck 8. It was OK. Pursuit had undergone a refurbishment and the fitted furniture in the suite had been replaced with Ikea style units. The suite is cramped compared with many of the newer luxury ships. We had a butler who was very helpful and excellent room attendants. There were many negatives about this cruise. Firstly the food. The only really good meal we had was in Windows - the cafeteria. Our food in Prime C, Aqualina and in the main dining room was not up to standard. We found it was often overcooked, kept hot and served to us with congealed gravey and sauce - sometimes the meat was stuck to the plate. We sent food back but the replacement meal was little better. We asked to speak to the Executive Chef about the poor quality of the meals but she did not take the opportunity to do this. There were a shortage of staff in all the restaurants and clearly showed in the lower standard of service offered. The entertainment was the poorest we have seen on the 25+ cruises we have undertaken. The Cruise Director announcements in the public areas were extremely loud - probably a fault with the PA system. The Spanish captain was a lovely pleasant guy but verbose. What could be said in 10 words he would say in 50. There was little interaction between the officers of the ship and the guests. Senior staff seemed to be in a terrible rush all the time. We had booked a 5th cruise on Azamara but with our experience on Pursuit we decided to cancel this and Azamara have returned our deposit. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Chose this cruise mainly for the itinerary, Hong Kong Taiwan, and the Philippines and secondly the Azamara Quest was recommended by a friend. We were looking forward to a small ship, but were surprised by the small cabin, plastic shower ... Read More
Chose this cruise mainly for the itinerary, Hong Kong Taiwan, and the Philippines and secondly the Azamara Quest was recommended by a friend. We were looking forward to a small ship, but were surprised by the small cabin, plastic shower curtain with small shower, two seater strange shape seat that could only sit one person, huge balcony table for size of balcony. Cabin staff brilliant no problems, pity they did not have better cabin to look after,very poor design. Restaurants were ok, food was very good, service was very good once you got to know staff. On some days only Windows buffet open for lunch not enough tables for everyone, people wandering about with plates of food and nowhere to sit, twice we gave up and left,that really annoyed us, and a lot of other guests. Entertainment was terrible Cabaret lounge is not a suitable venue for type of shows we went to, unless sitting in front three or four rows not much could be seen. The Den had a pianist in the centre of the room whilst being excellent, he was so loud and played all evening we could not hold a conversation with friends so we had to look for somewhere else to sit. Tours were ok apart from a couple, boats returning in the dark with no lights, and people having to wade out in the sea up to their waist to get aboard boats on return trips, health and safety risks in both cases I would think. Places visited were ok, but why take us through the slum area of Manila in a horse drawn carriage I can not understand, there must be more attractive parts of the city to see and hear about. One of the few plus sides was the quality and variety of the cuisine, it was excellent, served by wonderful crew in Discoveries dinning room Titiana and Ferdie they were brilliant. The service on board was very good, the crew being friendly and helpful at all times. There was a lack of knowledge on the management side, Windows and Discoveries restaurants should have both been open for lunch to cater for the numbers on board. Show organised to suit the venue, volume of piano in Den set suitable for the size of room. Certainly this cruise was not five star more like two, I will stick to MSC, superior cabins, superior entertainment, cuisine almost as good, no complaints like we experienced with Azamara. Would I cruise with Azamara again probably not. I thought it was to be a luxury cruise, how wrong can one be sometimes!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
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