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1 Azamara Montreal Cruise Reviews

We sailed in September-October on a four week cruise Montreal-New Orleans on the Azamara Quest, under charter by a consortium of Australian travel agents.. As far as I am aware, there was no advertising of this charter on the Azamara ... Read More
We sailed in September-October on a four week cruise Montreal-New Orleans on the Azamara Quest, under charter by a consortium of Australian travel agents.. As far as I am aware, there was no advertising of this charter on the Azamara website, which was a pity because I am sure many Americans would have appreciated the opportunity to sail down their east coast. The major benefit would have been more rooms sold at full price, instead of the generous last-minute deals, which no doubt necessitated the charter company's cost-cutting. However, if Azamara was prepared to have its brand undermined because of what was clearly a poor relationship between it and the charter company, then that is the product presented to we first-time passengers, and the experience on which I comment. The rooms on the Quest are small and we had to walk sideways between the end of the bed and wall-mounted TV. The upright chair and coffee table were too heavy for regular movement ... but to use one, the other had to be repositioned. The curved sofa was only comfortable for one person to sit; its shape and size did not fit its corner placement, and the best place to watch the TV was from the bed. The designer of these ill-chosen pieces only needed to spend one night to know how unsuitable they are. The bathroom was minute and had no extraction. For a relatively small ship, 700 passengers, I found it impersonal. Middle management was invisible and obviously has no role in engaging with the customer ... except for the marketing people who, in a few ports, invited travel agents into the main guest lounge and spruiked their product. Blinds were lowered, a microphone and AV presentation used. How dismissive of we passengers using the lounge, when two empty restaurants were available to them to conduct business. The cruise director daily produced a long list of activities, most of which were “unhosted”. This was my first cruise where Bridge was not arranged; on ships of only 300 passengers, there can be a hardcore group of 30-40, especially on seas days. In poor or cool weather when the outer decks could not be used, the main dining room and cafeteria were over-crowded and noisy and, over a month, with too few daily changes, the a la carte menus became ordinary. The food was generally okay, but the superior meals were in the two speciality restaurants at an extra $60 a head. Standard alcohol was included, but a number of the wines were not acceptable. To overcome its aging ships, Azamara promotes its Land Discoveries as setting it apart from its competitors. Most of the 20 or so ports and shore excursions on our cruise were tremendous, but attention to detail by the ship’s staff was missing, e.g. presumably to keep down the cost of coaches timeframes were tight, and we were too often moved at a fast pace by guides (who were often half the age of most passengers, but we all kept up); guides unnecessarily cut short some tours; aging coaches; dubious drivers (one who drove with only one fist on the wheel!) who often didn’t know the route; dirty windows which have spoiled photographs. The ship’s New York berth, altered from Manhattan to a remote wharf in New Jersey with a poor shuttle service, was a disaster, and totally spoiled what most would have regarded as the major port of the cruise. Presumably this was cost cutting, and was an absolute disgrace. I have noticed reference in a previous review of Azamara’s “dysfunctional” website, and dirty windows; comments I completely endorse. Having been told Azamara is viewed as a 5-star ship ... I don't think so. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
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