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Sail Date: December 2017
This was our 3rd Azamara cruise and we eagerly anticipated the opportunity to celebrate Christmas & New Year on board Azamara Journey. Embarkation in Hongkong was one of the easiest we have ever experienced. Our hotel (Marco Polo) ... Read More
This was our 3rd Azamara cruise and we eagerly anticipated the opportunity to celebrate Christmas & New Year on board Azamara Journey. Embarkation in Hongkong was one of the easiest we have ever experienced. Our hotel (Marco Polo) was linked by a new shopping centre walkway to the new cruise terminal but as the immigration hall was not in operation Azamara arranged on board processing. We arrived at midday. Within half an hour we were enjoying a welcome drink and buffet lunch in Windows. Our ocean view stateroom on deck 4 was ready at 1.30pm and our luggage arrived almost immediately. We were welcomed by our steward Danny and his assistant Agostino who gave us excellent service throughout the cruise. We were only a small group (26 people) for The Cruise Critic Meet & Mingle cocktail party but the Captain & senior staff still took the time to attend - we were impressed. A highlight prior to our 8.30pm departure was a grandstand view of the Victoria Harbour Symphony of Lights from the deck of Azamara Journey. Azamara has rigorous hygiene & sanitation protocols which were instituted for the first 4 days of the cruise (no self service of food & beverages) We avoided any outbreak of Norovirus & greatly appreciated the extra work & effort by all the crew. Service and food in Windows, Patio and Discoveries were all of a high standard. Captain Tysse and Cruise Director Eric de Grey were both brilliant always highly visible, friendly & superbly professional. As we expected the ship was tastefully decorated for Christmas. Christmas Eve (a sea day) was very festive. We had an excellent Christmas brunch and Christmas carols with Eric and the entertainment team. On Christmas Day we anchored in Halong Bay (a tender port) for an overnight stay. Anticipating an exciting program of Christmas Day celebrations we had booked a Halong Bay shore excursion for the following day. We did not want to miss out on any of the Christmas Day festivities (we also chose not to take the 3 hour drive to Hanoi). We were sadly disappointed! No special entertainment had been planned during the day - neither the piano or guitar entertainers. Discoveries restaurant was closed and Windows and the Patio only had their usual menu. The ship was like a morgue. A crew member said approximately 100 passengers remained on board expecting Christmas Day with all the trimmings. It was a non event until activities resumed with a Christmas quiz at 4pm. and Christmas dinner and very entertaining pantomime in the evening. I put in a written complaint expressing my dissatisfaction at the lack of a daytime Christmas Day program. I received a call from Hotel Director Heike Berdos. Her explanation was that as we were in port on Christmas Day It was the usual port day program and instead they had organised Christmas brunch & entertainment on Christmas Eve! I pointed out that a lot of passengers had come on this cruise to celebrate Christmas Day and also as we were in a tender port a lot of passengers either did not want to or were unable to go ashore. Some passengers were also disappointed with New Years Eve as a highlight in the marketing promotion was “see the New Years Eve fireworks in Saigon” a bit difficult as we left Saigon at 4pm! As the Captain had predicted the weather got rough once we were in open waters. However there was a great party mood on board and we all donned (courtesy of Azamara) our New Years Eve party hats and the entertainment staff had done a great job with the decorations. Despite the conditions the wait staff in Discoveries did a heroic job - not sure how the folks fared up on deck 10 in Aqualina and Prime C ! Like many others owing to the ships motion we never made it up to the Livingroom to see in the New Year. We enjoyed the Azamazing and White Night evenings which are a usual feature of an Azamara cruise however Christmas & New Years Eve cruises are marketed as premium cruises at premium prices and are regarded as an opportunity for a special celebration. Even on “low key” ships such as Azamara we expected a festive Christmas lunch. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
We had never cruised With Azamara before however the idea of spending Xmas and New Year on a ship, cruising from Hong Kong to Singapore, with overnight stays at several ports was very compelling. We loved every moment of this cruise! ... Read More
We had never cruised With Azamara before however the idea of spending Xmas and New Year on a ship, cruising from Hong Kong to Singapore, with overnight stays at several ports was very compelling. We loved every moment of this cruise! The Captain was the most friendly, engaging captain we had ever encounted and this friendly, outgoing style was mirrored by the Hotel Manager and the Cruise Director. We could not fault the service and professionalism of any crew member. The Captain and Hotel Manager would often wave us off as we went ashore and all staff would echo the greeting, ‘Welcome Home’, on our return, There were many other highlights including: - the sail away from Hong Kong with its dazzling display of Xmas lights - the beautiful Xmas decorations throughout the ship - the shows and entertainment with the Cruise Director leading the way with his prodigious talent - New Years Eve dinner and show that went on to the wee hours and all guests looked resplendent in their Azamara hats and head dresses - New Years Day buffet - the Azamazing evening, a stunning show in Ho Chi Minh, with music, dance, fireworks, fashion parade and three giant screens displaying scenes from across Vietnam - the White Night deck party with great food and entertainment and the parade of staff - being able to cruise up the Saigon River to The heart of Ho Chi Minh City and up the Chao Phraya River to Bangkok - the Q&A sessions with the Captain, Hotel Manager and Cruise Director provided a deeper level of understanding and appreciation of the ship and it’s operations And much more!! We were sad to see this adventure come to an end and look forward to our next cruise with Azamara. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
Just returned from a 2 week Christmas and New Year sailing in Caribbean on Azamara Quest. Wow, what can I say. Absolutely fantastic. We stayed 2 nights in Miami before sailing. Not overly impressed with South Beach, over-rated and very ... Read More
Just returned from a 2 week Christmas and New Year sailing in Caribbean on Azamara Quest. Wow, what can I say. Absolutely fantastic. We stayed 2 nights in Miami before sailing. Not overly impressed with South Beach, over-rated and very over priced, but did enjoy our time in Miami in general. Loved watching the famous Miami sunrise from the Beach and did the open top bus tours which was great and showed you the whole city. Would choose to stay downtown pre or post cruise in future. Beautiful mid size ship with lots of space. Fantastic facilities, food and drink options and very attentive staff. Basic alcoholic drinks, soda's etc are all included in price or you can upgrade for a larger selection of beers and top shelf spirits, but we didn;t bother as even the basic package offered smirnoff vodka, bombay sapphire gin etc and there was a different choice of 2 reds, 2 whites and 1 sparkling wine every day, so you never got bored of drinking the same every day. On board we opted for a club continent suite and were very impressed at the overall space and storage available. I have sailed on same sized ship before in a balcony cabin and found it very small and claustrophobic, and the bathroom/shower tiny but the club continent suite was fabulous with a larger bathroom with large double, glass shower, large double wardrobe, extra cupboard space and 3 huge drawers, with lots of worktop/desk space too. It also comes with lovely extras such as priority embarkation and disembarktion, free speciality dining reservations for whole voyage, packing and unpacking service, free laundry, access to spa terrace and a butler. There was entertainment of some sort on every night and i have to admit that my expectations were very low before sailing, as Azamara is renowned for many things, entertainment NOT being one of them, but was very pleasantly surprised at how good and varied it was. Being a smaller ship, it can get into ports, and/or better docking location than many of the larger ships and the variety and quality of excursions it offered was excellent. There was a great mix of people and ages on board too, although I would take a stab at the average age being about 60+ There were quite a number of single travellers as well as a large number of lgbt couples too. Overall extremely impressed with everything. Would I sail with Azamara again - ALREADY BOOKED :) Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
This was our 4th Azamara cruise, first time on Quest. Journey and Quest are identical in looks but overall, we would say we slightly prefer Journey, mostly for the food. Not sure if the chefs move around from ship to ship, but we seemed to ... Read More
This was our 4th Azamara cruise, first time on Quest. Journey and Quest are identical in looks but overall, we would say we slightly prefer Journey, mostly for the food. Not sure if the chefs move around from ship to ship, but we seemed to have enjoyed our food immensely on Journey, particularly in the specialty restaurants, and would only rate the same restaurants average to good on Quest. Also, the staff on Journey seems to be a bit more organized. Many servers got our drink orders wrong with the exception of our dear friend, Mariano Costa, the best bartender at sea! He is a gem. Also, the cruise director and hotel director on Journey seem to be much more visible than the ones on Quest. Anyway, the ship was spotlessly clean, embarkation and debarkation were a breeze. Our ship was only 2/3 full so there was a ton of space and no waits for anything. The entertainment was pretty good, particularly, Teodor, the guitarist and the show staff who did a bang up job on all the nights. There were a lot more kids on this cruise which surprised us but it was nice to see them enjoying themselves. Just not sure why parents would choose this ship for little ones. Oh well, to each his own! We upgraded to a suite and enjoyed the extra amenities. Our butler, Xavier and our stewards Erwin and Mark were wonderful. It was great to have extra space, free internet, the 4 bottles of booze, afternoon tea and evening snacks and our laundry/ironing taken care of. They were very helpful and friendly, especially Erwin. The big issue we had was with LCV. We originally had $200 OBC and when we got on the ship, we had a letter stating we had $300 OBC. I assumed it was because we upgraded to the suite (at a cost of $398) so I decided to upgrade our over the water cabana on Labadee and to book a spa appointment to spend the OBCs. On the last day of the cruise, I noticed that we had a message on our phone. It was from the assistant purser telling us that they made an error and we only had $200 OBC. I sent my husband down to the front desk to discuss this but they refused to credit us, so I ended spending more than my allotted OBC. Mind you, they did leave a phone message, but the message light on the phone is tiny and they slipped all other notices under our door, so why not this one telling us about the error? I don't look at the phone that carefully on vacation! Anyway, I think they should have eaten the $100. There were a bunch of travel agents on the ship and when we told them about this, they all agreed that the LCV didn't do the right thing. It's little things like this that cause passengers to cease being loyal. The ports were OK. Tortola got swapped out for St. Kitts, due to the hurricanes. We had been to St. Kitts twice already but we spent the day at the Palms Court Gardens which was nice. St. Bart's was OK. Still a lot of stores closed in Gustavia. Shell Beach at sunset was nice. Labadee was great. We were the only ship in port so it was really uncrowded. We booked an over the water cabana at Barefoot Beach which was lovely. We had a cabana attendant who brought us lots of drinks. The ship sent us off with a lovely picnic basket loaded with food (probably could have fed 6 people and we were only 2!). The water was delightful. Everyone on the ship wished we could have stayed longer in Labadee! Overall, we had a great time. As usual, we met a lot of really nice people and relaxed. I'd like to try a Christmas/New Year's cruise next. We got a little taste of it with caroling, a Hanukkah celebration and saw the large gingerbread house that the chef made. Definitely got us in the holiday spirit! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
I have cruised on much larger ships and one comparable luxury small ship and Azamara does a fine job, stem to stern. Their focus is on the guest always, doing their best to keep people happy and feel valued. At the end of our Azmazing ... Read More
I have cruised on much larger ships and one comparable luxury small ship and Azamara does a fine job, stem to stern. Their focus is on the guest always, doing their best to keep people happy and feel valued. At the end of our Azmazing evening in Bangkok, we returned to the ship by bus to a 7 piece band, heralding our return along with cold towels and beverages. Eric De Gray, the entertainment director, is multi-talented, extending himself personally as well as professionally 24/7. Considering the size of the ship, he magnifies the capabilities of his staff to entertain his guests. I did not avail myself of the specialty restaurants, finding no need. I enjoy lamb and since it was available at the included venues, I was fine. We were treated to lobster tails on our White Night, so another favorite was satisfied. The cabin was a bit smaller to share than other lines but not unworkable by any means. The bedside charger was quite handy. The staff service was excellent overall with a few exceptions, as is usually the case. Night -before -arrival luggage was dispatched with amazing speed. Organization in moving and transporting guests on and off, between venues, etc. was smooth, never feeling rushed or lagging. One of my favorite elements was the availability of iPad/iPhone classes. I learned so much, making it time well spent and a true bargain. Sea days are not usually my long suit but this made all the difference. Marcio is a delight, an excellent instructor and a good sport. Two obversations.... I was very impressed with how swift the elevator service was, short wait and not crowded. On the downside, I was disappointed that toilets had to be sought out on some public floors. Read Less
BBMacLaird, CBO - Azamara Club Cruises has responded
Hi BarbaraJo, thank you for submitting a cruise review for us! I was on the same voyage as you, Singapore-Hong Kong, and I regret not meeting you in person. I took one of Marcio's iPhone classes, the last on on photography. I wish I had taken all of them! I learned so much in the one class. Perhaps we met in that class?
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
We have traveled with Silversea on many cruises and while happy with them, we wanted to try something different to see if there are things we are missing from SS that might actually like and not know yet! We had been wanting to go to ... Read More
We have traveled with Silversea on many cruises and while happy with them, we wanted to try something different to see if there are things we are missing from SS that might actually like and not know yet! We had been wanting to go to Cuba for quite some time so we researched the cruise lines going and since we prefer luxury, we chose Azamara. We only wanted to go to Havana as we have heard the other small ports around the country arent really set up for tourism and there’s literally nothing to do and little to see. So this trip was perfect for us. We live in Sarasota, so it was a quick 4 hour drive to Miami. Parking was easy across the street from the terminal and cost about $22/day I think. Boarding was easy. We checked in about 130p...we were in a Club Continent Suite so we had a dedicated line for suite class customers but in reality the other line wasn’t long and seemed to move just as quick. After several docs to fil out because of Cuba restrictions, we got our key cards and walked on board . Cabins were ready so we went straight to our cabin and were extremely happy with it! Loved that it was more square than long and narrow like the usual veranda suites we get on SS. The shipand our room’s decor is beautiful in our opinion. Very modern, muted , soft relaxing colors. Our room was just terrific. Lots of great storage, not only in closet but big , deep drawers as well. Bathroom was smaller than SS, but perfectly comfortable. Loved the the 3 large storage areas built in the wall...tons of room for our stuff. The bathtub/shower thing was interesting. You step into the bathtub and the ceiling is already low...so if you;re over 5’10” or so, it might be difficult to shower. I’m short, so it wasn’t a big deal, but over 6’0”, you would be hunched over. Butler: great guy, Turkish guy. Best butler we have ever had... Internet: we got 235 mins free each as a suite perk which was nice. It was slow which is the same with SS internet that we pay for. Ship: after getting settled, we walked around the ship to familiarize ourselves. It s so pretty. We loved the furnishings and color. Lots of social areas. Loved the Living Room, big and beautiful with comfy chairs. Dining: We ate one night Prime C, one night Aqualina, one night in Main Dining Room and one night room service. I thought the food was good to very good, but would give SS marks for better food overall. We arent fussy eaters and not wine snobs...we are cocktail drinkers. But we always had wine with dinner and the Pinot Grigio they had was very tasty. What i didnt like about Azamara was that you cant make specialty restaurant reservations until you get on board where with SS you can do online months in advance. Which means unless you are one of the first people on the ship , you get crap times. We booked ours at 230p at day of embarkation and were only able to get a 845p and 9p reservations ..ugh...we are early eaters. Fortunately Continent Suites get generous amount of canapés late afternoon which tied us over to dinner. Azamara also offers tea service right to your room served from a 3 tiered cart complete with sandwiches and sweets. I thought breakfast in Windows was just mediocre..didnt really care for much on buffet. I went back to my usual cereal and yogurt that I have at home. Entertainment: We only caught a few mins of a couple shows. We find on smaller ships they are usually a bit cheesy...never seen a small ship with a fantastic show...so we tend to skip it and go to a lounge for a drink. Service: we thought service was great. We found the staff just as friendly as SS and made an effor to learn our name even though it was a short cruise. Cuba;;;was great...a lot to explain, so wont go into detail, but certainly a port people should try. The US makes all the restrictions sound difficult., but it is very easy. You can do your own thing after tours, feel free to wander. ITs very safe, people very friendly and happy to see Americans. Not a place for shopping but just to take in culture, the architecture ...really great visit! Social aspect: much more friendly and social group of passengers than I find on SS. SS is older, and tends to be more reserved and low energy at night. Maybe because our cruise was mostly Americans who are very social as opposed to SS which has high number of Brit’s who tend to be more reserved and not as outgoing?? We definitely preferred a ship that actually had people in the lounge after dinner whereas often times on SS , its’ dead. Overall: While there are aspects about both lines we liked better over the other, we would be perfectly happy on either cruise line. Guess itinerary would be the deciding factor for us. Disembarkation was super fast and easy! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2017
Visited Cuba with recent Cuba Cruise. Enjoyed ship. Not much selection with shopping on board with smaller selection and high prices with Jewelry and watches. I would have liked to spend one more day in Havana to take another excursion. ... Read More
Visited Cuba with recent Cuba Cruise. Enjoyed ship. Not much selection with shopping on board with smaller selection and high prices with Jewelry and watches. I would have liked to spend one more day in Havana to take another excursion. They have more Cuba cruises with 3 days, but was only able to arranged this one. The food was good, not spectacular. Service was variable in the dining room. The smaller the table, the faster the service. So if you want to go in and out with dining, get a table for 2 instead of a table for 8. One of the nights they were still serving our table when they turned over adjacent smaller tables twice. If you want to do specialty dining, you need to make reservations before getting on the ship, I met one other passenger who had a specialty dining package but could not get into any of the specialty restaurants as they were all booked in advance of the cruise. Read Less
BBMacLaird, CBO - Azamara Club Cruises has responded
Thank you danf46 for the cruise review. The only correction I'd make is that we do not take pre-cruise reservations for our specialty restaurants. They can only be reserved once on-board. Sometime in the future we hope to roll-out the ability to pre-book the Specialty Restaurants.
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2017
The cruise linked some new ports for us with some we wished to revisit. Also a brief Western Med cruise on Azamara had really impressed. Suite benefits also very attractive. With the one exception of the Azamazing Evening (which ... Read More
The cruise linked some new ports for us with some we wished to revisit. Also a brief Western Med cruise on Azamara had really impressed. Suite benefits also very attractive. With the one exception of the Azamazing Evening (which definitely was not!), the cruise exceeded expectations. The food in the specialty restaurants and the buffet is outstanding. Crew went out of way to be helpful. Suite kept immaculately and goodies just kept arriving. Would i recommend? Yes without a doubt. Azamara Journey is R6 in the former Renaissance fleet. An ideal size which with under 700 passengers can reach smaller ports. It also has a more intimate fell. The way the Captain and Cruise Director Eric worked together was a joy to behold and experience. The ports of call were very interesting and. Contrasted nicely. The Kuala Lumpur ships tour was particularly well organised. It more than made up for the disappointing Azamazing evening in Colombo where Taj Hotels put on some lovely Sri Lankan dancing interspersed with some dire westernised singers. At embarkation in Singapore we were embarrassingly held by Customs because we had some small Azamara bottles of sports. We were eventually allowed off without a fine if we paid USD 42. Duty. A trap for the unwary. Azamara could usefully warn passengers. A brilliant very memorable cruise with 2 small glitches which in no way detracted from a wonderful cruise. We aim to sail Azamara again. Read Less
BBMacLaird, CBO - Azamara Club Cruises has responded
Thank you barrymx5 for submitting a cruise review of your sailing on the Journey. We are honored that you'll recommend Azamara Club Cruises to your friends, and that you aim to sail again with us. We look forward to welcoming you aboard soon!
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2017
We chose the cruise because of the itinerary to Southern India and Sri Lanka. The departure point was Dubai and we had never been there either. New ports were hard to ignore. Dubai and the UAE were special. The architecture, the ... Read More
We chose the cruise because of the itinerary to Southern India and Sri Lanka. The departure point was Dubai and we had never been there either. New ports were hard to ignore. Dubai and the UAE were special. The architecture, the buildings, the people and the culture were fascinating. Surprised that the city was so clean. Booked three tours on Viator: Top 5 places to see, Falconry in the desert, and a day trip to Abu Dhabi's Grand Mosque. Our stateroom was a Spa Suite which was beautiful. We had a huge washroom with separate sinks. There are many drawers for clothing storage and many closets. Definitely spacious. The drawback to these suites on the 9th deck is the smoking section nearby. “Spa suite” should be in a healthy area of the boat. We had to walk through thick smoke to enter our room. Not good placement for a suite. The entertainment was nice, the speakers were excellent. Bingo was disappointing in that few people showed up for the game. Cycling in Goa was a disappointment in that it was cancelled due to poor turnout. Dined in Prime steakhouse and the Italian Restaurant. Food selection was excellent. We did not care for the dining room atmosphere. Overall, great cruise. Read Less
BBMacLaird, CBO - Azamara Club Cruises has responded
Thank you SMason17 for submitting a cruise review for us! We are so glad you found the cruise great. We hope to welcome you back aboard soon!
Sail Date: November 2017
The Quest is a beautiful small ship. This was the second of our b2b. The food everywhere is excellent. The standard drink package is perfectly good for us. The wines were very nice, so we neither needed to order anything special nor a ... Read More
The Quest is a beautiful small ship. This was the second of our b2b. The food everywhere is excellent. The standard drink package is perfectly good for us. The wines were very nice, so we neither needed to order anything special nor a bottle of wine. We had an Ocean Suite all the way forward 6002. Loved the veranda even though it seemed awkwardly laid out. I still have no idea why there is a Butler. Ours, Eyup, was really a very nice man and always asked if we needed anything. He brought tea and set it up for us unless we asked him not to. The suit was nice but was a little worn. The breakfast in discoveries was always wonderful. There were brunches on Sundays, I didn’t really have any feelings about it. The food was excellent no matter which venu. The bartenders were great as well. The Casino was woefully under used. The 2 shops on board didn’t have much variety, and whomever is the vendor should look into that. There were activities going on all the time Read Less
BBMacLaird, CBO - Azamara Club Cruises has responded
Hello ProfessorEFFE, what a nice review, and I especially love the title "Best 16 days I have ever spent"! We look forward to welcoming you back aboard again in the future. And I look forward to your posts on our Azamara forum on Cruise Critic. Thank you! Bonnie
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