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Sail Date: January 2018
We had last sailed on an Azamara ship approximately 6 -7 years ago and due to a combination of circumstances,destinations and dissatisfaction with Azamara we had not booked again until we found this cruise going from Bali and around ... Read More
We had last sailed on an Azamara ship approximately 6 -7 years ago and due to a combination of circumstances,destinations and dissatisfaction with Azamara we had not booked again until we found this cruise going from Bali and around Australia beginning on its west coast. At the outset we were delighted with the incredible changes that have been made to the journey. The refurbishment of the ship was good, but the cabin redo's were excellent. Space was much better utilized, especially in the suites. for the first time we actually had room to spare for our belongings on this longish, 18 day cruise. The bathroom set up was a great improvement, over past years and other comparable accommodations on other cruise lines, having a much larger amount of space for our toiletries. The staff was wonderful, knowledgeable and friendly and all had the Ritz Carlton mentality/mantra of being empowered, or so it seemed, to solve problems, both large and small.Highlights of the trip included a great White Nights evening, a wonderful breakfast for Le Voyage Club, Azamara loyalty program, members and a simply superb rijsttafel dinner one evening, at a small extra charge. Gratuities included as is most alcohol, other than very high end premium brands of liquors and wines. With all of that "booze" it was interesting that we never saw a single passenger the slightest bit tipsy other than when the waves were high. Of course some things were not great. Included in that was the differences in the taste and quality of coffee depending on the venue in which it was served. some of the tours that we attended were fair or less at best including the Azmazing night in port at Freemantle. The singers/musicians and songwriters were good, but the native dancers performed off the stage and on a level with the chairs so that unless one sat up front it was difficult to see them. The food was plentiful and quite good at this event but the venue was overcrowded and very hot. Entertainment on the boat is what one would expect with a smallish ship-not terrific, but in some instances quite passable. The enrichment lectures were quite good. In sum, I would rate them tops for value and would not hesitate to return to Azamara for other cruises in the near future. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
Azamara Quest Review Costa Rica 15-25 Jan 2018 This was our sixth cruise with Azamara and it was every bit as good as the last five. We stayed in Hotel Bougainvillea in Santo Domingo, outside San Jose, for 4 days before embarkation. ... Read More
Azamara Quest Review Costa Rica 15-25 Jan 2018 This was our sixth cruise with Azamara and it was every bit as good as the last five. We stayed in Hotel Bougainvillea in Santo Domingo, outside San Jose, for 4 days before embarkation. The hotel was set in 10 acres of botanical gardens and had a swimming pool. It was great for bird watching. We took a tour from there to La Paz Waterfall Gardens, which was excellent, and went into San Jose by taxi to see the National Theatre (amazing building). The hotel arranged transport for us and another couple to the port. The evening before embarkation we got an email from Azamara saying that due to high winds the port of embarkation had changed from Puerto Caldera to Puntarenas. The hotel was able to rearrange the transport for us, and it ended up costing us $70 a couple in a very comfortable mini-bus. When we got to Puntarenas we found embarkation a little different than usual. We were directed into a terminal building to be given a medical form, then took the shuttle bus along the pier to the ship. Check-in was completed in the Cabaret Lounge. This was all done with very little fuss and little queuing - given the short notice, we felt this was handled very well and efficiently. Our verandah stateroom was very comfortable. Our two attendants did a good job, bringing me lots of extra hangers and making sure our fridge had plenty of tonic waters as we requested. We are most nights in Discoveries (MDR) and found the food to be excellent, with some dishes being outstanding. We like to share tables, but found it quite difficult to do this because we like to dine fairly late and by the time we got there all the large tables had filled up. However we found that even when we had a table for two, we could chat to the couple at the next table. Service was generally very good, although on a couple of occasions we had quite a gap between courses. The included wines were OK and if we didn’t like the day’s offerings, it was usually possible to get some of a previous day’s wine. We booked dinner in Prime C (speciality restaurant - $30 a head extra) one night and, as always, the food and service was superb. We ate breakfast in Windows (buffet), where again the tea & coffee service was excellent. We mostly had lunch in the Patio, though I often went into Windows to get a slice of the roast meat of the day to have with salad. The cruise only had 2 sea-days and we spent these in our favourite spot -deck 11 sun-deck. The Azamazing evening was due to be held in the old part of Panama City, but as the weather was unsettled, the Captain decided to bring it onboard. It was a folk-dancing show and was quite good, but inevitably it lost atmosphere being held in the cabaret lounge. The White Night was excellent. The buffet included lobster, steak, lamb, Frito Misto, Paella and, of course, crepes suzettes served by the Hotel Manager. It was quite an emotional occasion, as it was Captain Carl Smith’s last voyage on the Quest before taking over the new Azamara ship, the Pursuit. The ports we went to were: Panama City - (two days). On the first day we took the Hop On Hop Off bus from Fuerte Amador where the boat docked and got off at the Miraflores lock. We didn’t see any ships going through the lock, but thoroughly enjoyed the exhibition about the canal and how it was built. On the second day we got a taxi into the old town and had a wander around it and around the fish market close by. Golfito - a small town right next to the dock. We had booked a private tour along with others on our Roll call. The tour was a boat trip in the Golfe Dulce to see dolphins, which we did -a pod of 340! We were then taken to an animal sanctuary where we saw monkeys, an ocelot, macaws, sloths and a tayra. Lastly we had the opportunity to snorkel over a small reef. Quepos - tendered port - there seemed to be quite a nice little town next to the tender port. Again we had booked a private tour to Manual Antonio National Park. The tour company met us just outside the tender port and took us to the park, where we walked through the park with a guide who had a monocular and who was able to point out various animals, birds and frogs along the way. The path led to the beach where we had time for a swim before setting off back again. Then we were taken for lunch in a local restaurant. Unfortunately it was a Sunday when we were there so the Park was very busy as the trail to the beach was used by them. We had to queue to get into the park, and then queue along the way to be able to see reptiles, birds, animals & frogs along the way. San Juan Del Tour, Nicaragua,- tendered port. This was a nice little town with a nice beach and lots of beach bars and restaurants, all close to the tender port. We had booked a private half day tour of the town, a visit to the statue of Christ Misericordia perched on the cliff over the town( half the size of Christ the Redeemer in Rio), then to an adventure park where we had a bone rattling ride in 4x4s, to a viewpoint where we could see Lake Nicaragua and it’s 2 volcanoes. From there we could do an included short walk or visit an Iguana Sanctuary, or do Zip-lining for an extra $30. I opted for the zip-lining, which was a first for me - I loved it! We ended up at a seaside restaurant for an included drink and to watch an excellent display of folk-dancing. Puntarenas -the ship was docked at the pier of this small seaside town. This time we took the ship’s tour to the Cloud Forest which was fascinating and included butterfly and humming bird gardens. The tour included lunch and the inevitable stop at a souvenir shop. Disembarkation was, as usual, very easy. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
i chose this sailing because of a special promotion which made the price reasonable compared to most other azamera cruises and it had an interesting intinerary.. i had always wanted to sail on azamera due to its excellent reputation for ... Read More
i chose this sailing because of a special promotion which made the price reasonable compared to most other azamera cruises and it had an interesting intinerary.. i had always wanted to sail on azamera due to its excellent reputation for food quality, its small size, the free liquor and free gratuities. it lived up to my expectations, the staff is very friendly, the captain down to the housekeeping, food was excellent, white nights is a terrific event, get there early and grab a table with a very high end buffet. tendering was orderly and had minimal waits. the only 2 reasons it is not rated 5 stars was that we had a botched excursion where the vendor swisstours did not do all elements of the excursion in papagayo, azamera did refund us 50 per cent but we really wanted the complete refund. the second issue was the best entertainment on the ship was the singers and dancers and russ the cruise director who is also an excellent singer. azamera for some reason is letting go of all their singers and dancers as of feb 8th for some type of new format. this cruise had 3 nights of a violinist and a piano player/magician. do i really need 3 nights for classical music and no comedians. the inside cabin we had seemed smaller than other ships the same room size. overall though the cruise was excellent and i would definitely go on this cruise line. Read Less
BBMacLaird, CBO - Azamara Club Cruises has responded
Thank you blustig77 for the review. We hope you'll sail with us again soon!
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
This was my first time on the Azamara. If your 50 to 75 years old (Maybe some 40 plus people??) and love being tempted with copious amounts of food and beverage then you are the target consumer. But you may be disappointed too. I ... Read More
This was my first time on the Azamara. If your 50 to 75 years old (Maybe some 40 plus people??) and love being tempted with copious amounts of food and beverage then you are the target consumer. But you may be disappointed too. I know that some people complain about the limited music tastes available, and, generally, the dubious wine quality and this may well be true, but you can't please them all can you. Particularly on a smaller ship. Given the luxurious things to consume on board (and I am sure you can purchase really good wine if you want to) I find something is missing. Cigars. I don't smoke generally, but, when I spend time on board ships I enjoy a cigar. YOU CAN NOT PURCHASE CIGARS ON BOARD THE AZAMARA SHIPS. I didn't bring any because I was assured you could buy cigars on the "Journey". So for me and, I'm sure, for many others, this precludes the indulgence of an essential item in the luxury department. This is the first ship I have been on where cigars were not available. So what is my assessment of the Azamara Journey? A narrow focus to satisfy well behaved old people. This is what Azamara is about. Younger people, and even many middle aged people, are not catered for very well. But underlying this are more serious problems potentially and those who travel with Azamara should be aware of them before they sign up. I was told by the bar manager that, if those serving behind the bar think that you have drunk too much, even if you have had just one beer, then you can be stopped from having anymore alcohol. This can make quite an impact on your holiday on board where beers are included and you may expect to have more drinks in your day than say four(4) beers but were refused because of a subjective assessment by a staff member. This actually happened to my son on the Azamara "Journey" on our second day at sea. I could see that the barman took a dislike to my son after in incident the day before when my son became inebriated. The upshot was that he was not allowed to drink more then three(3) light beers per day for the remaining days at sea, and only in the company of his parents. My son is thirty four(34). I know there will be those who read this and applaud the zero tolerance decision of the hotel manager on board ship but I know my son had adjusted to the ship and his behaviour and drinking would have been good if he had been given a second chance. There are those who equate mental illness with a potential to be violent and this judgement is discriminatory and wrong. Royal Caribbean should bring these punitive and outmoded views into the 21st century.-But not the Cigar policy, they should acknowledge the value of old fashion rare pleasures. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
We traveled with two other couples going to Cuba, through the Panama Canal and 3 stops in Costa Rica. Overall it was a great trip and we would cruise Azamara again. The cruise through the Panama Canal was fascinating with live commentary ... Read More
We traveled with two other couples going to Cuba, through the Panama Canal and 3 stops in Costa Rica. Overall it was a great trip and we would cruise Azamara again. The cruise through the Panama Canal was fascinating with live commentary The service on board was excellent and food the best we have ever had on any cruises with several other lines. Even the security staff was friendly! The wines included in the price did not disappoint and most other drinks not included can be had at a reasonable charge. Room service was prompt, the food hot. We also appreciated that the meals serve on pre-warmed plates in the specialty restaurants and the Windows Cafe. The food in both specialty restaurants was outstanding and the Chef's table world class! We loved the itinerary even though we had no desire to get off the ship in Cuba (The initial itinerary had us go to Cartagena, Colombia first). The fitness center was surprisingly large and well equipped. They common areas are plentiful and the ship even has a small casino and two shops. We had not expectations of entertainment so we were not too disappointed in what we saw. What do you expect on a small cruise ship? There is sufficient onboard activity as well incl. Trivia and hosted card games. Shore excursion are very expensive and not much is offered. Some were clearly not well researched (Golfito, C.R. for example). Also the Azamazing Evening in Panama was poorly organized where you spent more time on the bus then at the event which by itself had only a limited choice beverages (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic) available. We left after we got there and did not watch the show. We had an issue with our cabin and the Guest Relations desk was most helpful in getting us into another room – kudos to them. Read Less
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
Two nights in Hong Kong's Marco Polo Hotel and two nights at the end in Singapore's Hotel Jen finished off our first Azamara cruise beautifully. Boarding was a breeze but the roll call for the drill after embarking was a total shambles. ... Read More
Two nights in Hong Kong's Marco Polo Hotel and two nights at the end in Singapore's Hotel Jen finished off our first Azamara cruise beautifully. Boarding was a breeze but the roll call for the drill after embarking was a total shambles. Due to this fiasco we did not make it to the cruise critic get together. Liked the two nights in ports, size of the ship, being able to cruise up the rivers in Bangkok and Saigon, the first ever bridge lessons by Agnes, and Trivia. Our cruise travelling friends took over from Agnes and we played with them nearly every day. Loved the entertainment with Eric and Alisha, who has the voice of an angel along with the service and quality of the food. What was not to like? Had a X 4 specialty restaurant package but really could have eaten in the restaurant or buffet any time and been just as happy (I don't eat seafood or lamb and very little beef). The couple we were travelling with and my husband love seafood and quality beef and were not disappointed with the chateau Bryon served in the specialty restaurant. We found the quality of the wines quite reasonable as were the cocktails. Must mention that we found some of the food to be quite salty. Even though we have been to all the ports before except for Ko Samui, which in hindsight I would have happily missed, we loved re-visiting them. Shower curtains are so yesterday!!! Want to do another Azamara cruise but need to know that Eric will be part of it. Read Less
BBMacLaird, CBO - Azamara Club Cruises has responded
Thank you Sylvia1948 for the cruise review. So glad you enjoyed your Azamara cruise and are planning another! To find out who will be the Senior Staff on our future voyages, you'll find a link here: https://www.azamaraclubcruises.com/int/life-onboard/crew
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
2 Helpful Votes
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
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