2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We are just back from our third Azamara voyage in about 18 months- this time on the Pursuit for an eight day Italy Intensive voyage from Rome to Venice. For background purposes, our earlier travels with Azamara did not give us a good ... Read More
We are just back from our third Azamara voyage in about 18 months- this time on the Pursuit for an eight day Italy Intensive voyage from Rome to Venice. For background purposes, our earlier travels with Azamara did not give us a good first impression of this line. On our first trip, we had repeatedly difficulties with the online booking engine and the price promotions would not carry over to the actual booking. As I always like to book our travels directly, this caused some frustration and the response that we "need to use a travel agent" was not going to happen. After several phone calls, we did get it straightened out so we decided to proceed with the trip. On our second voyage, the front office repeatedly gave out misinformation as to where the ship was docking for embarkation (in Sydney, Australia) despite the port authority saying otherwise. Even our final documents showed the wrong location. Again, I was ready to give up. This third journey, I have to say, not only went forward without a hitch, but also convinced us that those who always state "it's the Azamara onboard experience that counts" are right. We began our trip in Rome and used Rome Cabs for a same day transfer to our hotel in Civitavecchia, the Hotel San Giorgio. Our driver was prompt, polite, and provided a very safe ride directly to our lodging. Highly recommend Rome Cabs for transfers to/from FCO. The Hotel San Giorgio is in a beautiful location right on the water front and we were warmly greeted after a long day/night of travel. The room was comfortable and quiet and we had dinner at the very good onsite restaurant. The hotel also provided breakfast and a timely transfer to the ship the next day. Embarkation for the Pursuit took literally 5 minutes- absolutely no lines or queing up. I love being greeted by smiling crew members who hand you a glass of sparkling wine and take your carry on bags so you can begin enjoying the ship. The Pursuit immediately had a very positive vibe. As the newest member of the Azamara fleet, there was still that "new car" feel to her, and everything sparkled. We were anxious to check out the new "Den" which replaced the old casino and just loved it. We spent many hours there and it became our go-to place for cocktails and relaxing. We are thrilled that this change is being made on the Quest and Journey as well. Our Club Veranda stateroom on deck 7 was exactly as we expected- small but with loads of storage and a very comfortable bed. Yes, the bathrooms are small too, but they are functional and you work with it. After our last cruise on the Quest, I commented that Azamara had definitely improved significantly in terms of food and service. The Pursuit took this one step farther. In Windows Cafe, the Patio, and Discoveries Restaurant, we found the food and staff to be excellent. We always were able to get a lovely table for two, usually by the window. Just be patient, go a bit later to the dining room, and they will do their best for you. The master of the Pursuit, Captain Antonio Toledo, and his senior staff were highly visible as was our cruise director, Amanda Poulson. The Azamara perks- White Night, AzAmazing Evening, and the Officers' barbecue, all were fantastic- well organized and fun to attend. Italy itself was a spectacular destination. Several of our ports were repeats for us, but with every trip to this country we just grow fonder and fonder of the people, the scenery, and, of course, the food. We won't go into too many port specifics here, but will add that we fell in love with Sorrento, and discovered a new part of Venice on a rainy day (which just added to the atmosphere)! The demographic of our fellow guests was similar to our other Azamara cruises with a few more younger (30-something) couples. It is always interesting chatting with other well-traveled folks who appreciate the smaller ship and less visited ports. There are two areas of Azamara which continue to cause us some discourse- the first being the included beverages vs the upgraded packages. Many passengers (and bar personnel) were confused by what is and isn't included, and the mixers used continue to be awful. No sense drinking a high end gin (like Hendricks) and mixing it with Royal Club tonic. Secondly, and more importantly, is the huge amount of plastic water bottles used each cruise. Whilst it is nice to have unlimited drinking water, seeing the bins filled with disposable water bottles everywhere is heartbreaking. With 8 million metric tons of plastic being thrown into our oceans annually (source: earthday.org), it would be so easy for Azamara to simply stop using them. Install a few refillable water bottle fountains on the ships like those now becoming commonplace in cities around the world. I think guests would appreciate an inexpensive refillable water bottle more than another tote bag. All in all, we really loved our Italy Intensive voyage on the Pursuit and did visit the Cruise Again desk to book a trip in 2020. In a world where everything seems to be getting bigger and bigger with more people, Azamara fills a niche where less is more. We look forward to many more great experiences. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
OK pulled up to the port for embarkation and since the ship was in Port of Nice until 10pm that evening there was no line. I mean no one. Walked thru a tent right outside the ship, up and on quickly since we had uploaded our photos on the ... Read More
OK pulled up to the port for embarkation and since the ship was in Port of Nice until 10pm that evening there was no line. I mean no one. Walked thru a tent right outside the ship, up and on quickly since we had uploaded our photos on the Azamara website. Directed into the Cabaret and received our room keys and went to a nice lunch in the buffet. Easiest embarkation ever experienced! We had the Club World Owners suite on the back of the ship Cabin # 7114. Perfect location as we werent below a restaurant. We have been sailing on NCL in The Haven and decided to try this for the ports of call and were concerned about being on such a small ship. That concern was gone immediately. The cabin was spacious, well stocked and clean. Many towels all over for the balcony, beach, whatever you needed. The first night we decided to eat n the main dining room, which we almost never do on larger ships and the food was excellent! Many options and specials every night. For lunch when we were on board we ate at the buffet but this isnt like any buffet you have seen, Crown Roast one day, many options and same for breakfast. Now to give you an idea of the quality of service, my wife has a food issue, she cant have anything cooked with extra salt or salted. We made this known and from the on no matter where we ate someone was there to make her anything she wanted just without salt. They even went so far as to bake her fresh bread for breakfast and dinner without any salt! There was a dinner for guests in the 10 largest suites called the Best of the Best! WOW! It was served in the library with the Captain, First Officer and other staff. White Glove service with wine paring. A real experience. White Night Party beautiful, with a Buffet and BBQ Lobster Tails, pasta, everything. Azamazing Evening was at an old Opera House in Livorno for a small performance that was extremely enjoyable. We experienced two minor issues. One was that the staff was all new so they werent quite up to speed as to how to go the extra mile yet. They were very good but just didnt go the extra step not because they were rude, they just didnt know. For example we had a butler and the first day asked him to bring coffee and tea every morning at 8am. he said we had to fill out the card and hang it on the door every night. One would think this was something he could have taken care of since he brought it to us every day. Not a big deal but just inexperience. The second was on an excursion. We were in Santa Margarita and wanted to go to Portofino for the day. So we hopped on a cheap tour offered by Azamara just for the ride and we had room credit to spend. Well we waited on the dock for a public ferry for close to an hour, Granted it was Easter Sunday but we expected a company like Azamara to have a private shuttle for their tour, maybe we were expecting too much. However upon our return a staff member asked how the tour was and I said I dont want to complain. They insisted I say something so I explained the situation. Apparently they are offering what they call "sightseeing" inexpensive tours since people have commented that their immersive excursions are expensive. So now they are trying less expensive tours. Anyway they made things right. Since this was an "Immersive" sailing we were in port everyday so by the time we returned each day we ate and walked a little and went to bed so we didnt experience any of the shows. Last night they have a chocolate buffet which is amazing! I loved it because the small personal nature you get to know the staff and the higher ups on board as they are always visible. Also, its an upscale cruise but not stuffy! No jackets required and decent casual comfortable clothes. I dont like to have to wear a jacket when Im on vacation unless I have to Would I go again! Absolutely I already booked Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
Hi there, we are Jorge (40) & Stian (42) (a.K.a the arctic husbands) from Norway, this will be our 20th cruise; second with Azamara. This is the first leg of a B2B2B. This first week we had a Club Ocean Suite stateroom. We booked ... Read More
Hi there, we are Jorge (40) & Stian (42) (a.K.a the arctic husbands) from Norway, this will be our 20th cruise; second with Azamara. This is the first leg of a B2B2B. This first week we had a Club Ocean Suite stateroom. We booked these cruises to celebrate our 10th years marriage anniversary and because after meny RCCL and Celebrity we wanted to experience Azamara again and the ports of call in the meditterannean where the big Ships cannot go PRE-CRUISE: Barcelona... One night stay in the Eurostar’s Grand Marina, next to the port where Azamara starts... so the check out, walk to the ship was a decisive factor... we have been several times in Barcelona and sightseeing was not something we needed this time around. The Hotel is OK, nice but dated rooms, a reception staff that smiles but doesn’t do their job, the best of the stay is the small restaurant offering a Gourmet dinner experience and this was a highlight of the trip... the food and the wine pairings were PERFECT... do we recommend this hotel... yes for a stay next to the port. EMBARKATION: very easy... just five minutes and then we were on board. SHIP: Pursuit is a beautiful ship. The newest of their kind... elegant, sophisticated and the color palette makes you feel happy. CABIN: for this first leg of the back to back we upgraded (at last minute) to a Club continental suite, we got 8039, perfect location and the only suite I have ever said OMG WAO when opening the door... the colours, the decoration, the style and the light. No noise problems, at least for us. SUITE CLASS PERKS: Internett: 235 minutes per guest, which is OK but slowly but after all you´re on holiday and IT works for reading emails if you ned it. Butler service: our butler Roy has been outstanding, amazing level of service when we have requested our breakfast in the suite, our tea service in the afternoon. I will post a picture of the letter in the stateroom with all of the suite perks you can get DINING: This week we just have ate dinner in Aqualina or Prime C, given that is included in the suite perks. Once we had dinner in the buffet (before the Azamazing evening) and once with the White party buffet that was AMAZING. Aqualina and Prime C quality of food and service has been really on point. Room service: we had breakfast in the rom almost everyday and it was very very very nice to have the extra space the suite provides and the balcony breakfast when it was not so cold in the early hours. BARS: For this first week we decided to buy the ultimate drinking package and it worked well for us this week. We got to try most of the included wines when having dinner, and some of the premium drinks we enjoy when on a cruise. For the second week, we decided not to buy it so we can compare the experience.... Our favorite place for drinks so far is The Den... it is just a very nice place, with some piano music on the evenings and the best bartenders and waiters. ENTERTAINMENT: This week we attended all the Signature Singers shows (3 shows) and they were good. These guys can sing and dance and keep you entertained for the 45 minutes signing along. We loved the intimacy of the cabaret lounge shows, if you´re expecting but productions shows, this is not the case and it works for Azamara. Azamazing Evening in Marseilles, Palais du Pharo. Was very entertaining, a kind of cabaret show with very french music, dancers and two great vocalists. White Evening party: we are not party people so we didn´t stay long after the White Evening Buffett ended but the party looked nice and people was enjoying themselves. All the staff makes a great effort for this event and you should not miss it. SERVICE: In general the service level around the ship is very good. Of course there are some that are just good and there are some people that just go above and beyond. SHORE EXCURSIONS & Ports of call: * Port Vendres: small, charming village, we just walked around and then found a hiking path that takes you to the other small town Collioure (or something like it). The Wall in the green areas around the Coast line is just very very very nice and easy with some amazing views. Breathtaking * Sanary Sur Mer: Beautiful town, the marina, the restaurants and cafes, it was very beautiful. We just walked around and enjoyed perplekse watching here and there. * Marseille: a vibrant city, we walked around, did some shopping and visited the Cathedral. It was great to be docked just in the center of town (or very very close) * St. Tropez: we took and organized excursion from Azamara and loved every minute; we visited Gassin and Ramatuelle and the Bertaud Bellieu wineyard for wine tasting. The guide we had has to be the most amazing guy we ever had AS a guide. We actually think we got a lecture on wine making, all about the process and the technology and traditional methods. The wine was so good we bought three bottles to take with us to the ship and enjoy in the stateroom. Also the small towns Gassins and Ramatuelle were beautiful and we got to learn about the history of the places. In Ramatuelle we enjoyed some free time that we used eating cheese and hams with a cold bottle of Rose wine from a local wine yard. It was an amazing day. The port of St. Tropez by itself, was not as expected, it was crowded and just a marina with amazing yachts, the best was the local artists selling their paintings around the marina. Beautiful paints and interesting people. * Cannes: we have been in Cannes several times so we decided to go for the Excursion of the ship to Grasse with a perfume factory visit and to St. Paul de Vence. And again we got a great guide, the visit to the perfume factory: Fragonard; this was very enriching and we could resist and bought two new Eau de Colognes with shower gels... Then we visited St. Paul de Vence and OMG this small hilltop village is just amazing, it breathes art from everywhere. The local artist and small galleries in the very narrow streets, the views from the wall of the town, the small restaurants... once again we learned about the local history with our guide and in the free time we just walked around and decided to have a very French lunch, we found a little place where they make sandwiches, so we bought a baguette with local produced cheese and ham, and sat on the wall and had our small French sandwich picnic there... just beautiful. * Monaco: Last minute changes out of Azamara control, The port authorities closed the port in Monaco so we got diverted to Nice... for the last night and day of this first cruise. We will explore a little bit of Nice today. NEXT CRUISE OFFICE: So far they have made a good job and we booked a cruise for 2021, Western Africa sailing from Cape Town to Lisboa. The benefits of booking on board make sense for us coming from the Nordic market. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We've traveled throughout much of Europe and a little in South America, but two countries we had not been exposed to were Brazil and Portugal, so when this cruise was announced we jumped at the opportunity. It also helped that the ... Read More
We've traveled throughout much of Europe and a little in South America, but two countries we had not been exposed to were Brazil and Portugal, so when this cruise was announced we jumped at the opportunity. It also helped that the cruise line was offering a double cabin upgrade (veranda for the price of an inside cabin), and the extras offered (gratuities and basic drink package) were not common on ocean crossing cruises. Even with all our travel, we are relative neophytes in the cruising game, having only taken a total of four over the years. The most recent cruises were on Celebrity, which we now use as our standard against which to judge others, and we were anxious to compare this "upscale" cruise line to those. We arrived in the departure city, Rio, a day early and took in the sights, and then the next morning taxied to the port. As the ship is small and only holds about 700 guests, the lines were short in the registration area, and it was only a matter of 15 minutes before we were boarding the ship. The wait to get into our cabins was also short, and luggage arrived quickly. A bit of good news we received once we were on the ship was we were able to use our Celebrity points to get some perks on Azamara (including a free hour of wifi time). Our cabin was small (category V3 on deck 7), but it had plenty of closet space and places to store the luggage. We met our cabin stewards, Dyna and Gouri, right after finding the cabin, and they carefully wrote down our requests for stocking the minibar and other requirements. For the rest of the cruise they tended to our needs perfectly and unobtrusively, always with a smile on their faces. At the muster drill we learned an interesting fact: Apparently Norovirus, the scurge of cruising, manifests itself within 24 hours of embarkation. So the cruise line doesn't allow guests to touch any of the serving utensils in the buffet for the first day. Not sure if other lines have adopted that practice but we didn't hear of any outbreaks during our cruise. For the remainder of the cruise we learned the ins and outs of Azamara cruising. The ratio of guests to crew is less than two to one, and there are always management staff around to ensure every operation runs smoothly. In the buffet they are constantly providing coffee refills, taking away plates, filling up your wine glass or other drinks. In the main dining room it's all open seating, meaning you meet new people each day. After the first couple of meals we were especially pleased with one of the servers, Doma (from India), and so from that point we requested to be seated in her area each night. She and her assistant, Wayan (from Indonesia) took great care of us, remembering our drink preferences and other details, and becoming great friends by the end of the cruise. Other dining options were the small cafe on the pool deck, where you could get hamburgers, salads, chicken wings, etc., as well as frozen yoghurt for dessert, and two specialty restaurants (which we didn't take advantage of). Both my wife and I felt the food quality was excellent, with plenty of choices at all times, and there were always two types of red and white wine each day, which we enjoyed. There were also special occasions, such as buffets outside on the pool deck. One of those was their "White Night" where everyone is encouraged to wear white. Food was plentiful (including zillions of BBQ lobster tails), and live entertainment and dancing lasted late into the night. Since the weather was quite chilly and windy that night, they provided blankets to everyone. Another special offered was the Chocolate Fantasy, with every chocolate concoction you could ask for including two fountains. Entertainment ranged from magicians to singers to comedians, but our favorites were Four on the Floor, their resident singing group. A special event was the crew talent show, where various crew members showed off their singing and dancing skills. It was great fun seeing people we knew on the crew and finding out they had such great talent. For us other reasons Azamara stands out are (1) small ships and easy to get around, (2) free guest laundry with free detergent, (3) free shuttle buses to take guests from the ship to the city center in each port, (4) drink packages and prepaid gratuities even on ocean crossings, and (5) crew members that take pride in ensuring your happiness and satisfaction. Those and everything else about Azamara are the reasons we found we were in a great minority of only cruising once with the line. Nearly everyone we spoke with had cruised with Azamara 5, 10, 15 or 20 times. One couple had been on nearly 50 Azamara cruises! We definitely will cruise with them again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We just came back from Azamara Pursuit from BA to Rio. We previously sailed on Celebrity, Princess, Holland, Cunard, Oceania, Costa, RCI and Carnival. This was our 12th cruise. Our benchmark is Oceania (we sailed on the Riviera last ... Read More
We just came back from Azamara Pursuit from BA to Rio. We previously sailed on Celebrity, Princess, Holland, Cunard, Oceania, Costa, RCI and Carnival. This was our 12th cruise. Our benchmark is Oceania (we sailed on the Riviera last September). Overall Pursuit is a great ship and we had an amazing time. However we liked the Riviera better. Here is why. The service is excellent, comparable to Oceania. But sometimes things seem a bit less organized. For example, some of the excustions were delayed 15-20 minutes. Never happened on Oceania. Also there are some lines when leaving the ship and coming back. Nothing major, not even close to what you see on big ships, but still slightly longer waiting times than Oceania. The dinner in the MDR is great, but not as good as Oceania. The open seating works very well for us, never had to wait for a table. The buffet is disappointing. Good quality, but selection is pretty limited. It is not bad overall, but few levels below Oceania. The buffet area itself is also very small and feels a bit crowded at times. Internet is probably the worst we experienced so far on cruise ships. 300kbps is not what you would expect from a luxury line in 2019. It is also pretty expensive at $20/day. We paid last year $10/day on Princess (and the speed was 20 times faster). And we sailed on older ships with much higher internet speeds. Major disappointment. Spa does not have couple massage. This is the first time on any ship that we were not able to do a couple massage. The massage itself was very good. Cabin on Oceania was small, here it's even smaller. Not a big deal, we don't spend much time in the cabin. Entertainment is mediocre at best. They don't have a real theater like on larger ships, just a big lounge with chairs. No angle, so if you don't sit on few first rows, the view is pretty limited. They cannot really provide a good evening entertainment when there is no real theater. Also not too many daily activities, and the ship feels a bit sleepy at times. The pool area is small and feels a bit crowded. Usually no problem to get a chair, except for sea days. Hot tubs are smaller than usual and not hot enough. Service is fantastic as you can expect from a luxury line. Staff is very friendly. Very limited food options. If you want to have a snack after 9pm, the only option is room service. Dress code is relaxing, no formal nights, which is perfect for us. The azamazing event was very nice and well organized. Great atmosphere. The show itself felt a bit amateur. The pre even buffet was very crowded and poorly organized. White night was nice, but we came late from our tour in Sao Paulo, and no seats available on deck 9. They simply cannot accommodate everyone on the white night because the pool area is not big enough. Why to do white night on port day like Sao Paulo when the ship is at port till 9pm, and not sea day or port with shorter port time? Excursions were another disappointment. While we appreciate smaller groups, some of them were poorly organized, and some guides were not professional. I believe Azamara made a business decision to focus on certain things and ignore other things. Their customers obviously don't care about internet, or certain daily activities like dance classes, zumba, music at the pool etc. Overall great ship, great service, good food, but we prefer Oceania Riviera. Both lines are still better than mainstream ships from Celebrity or Princess which feel much more crowded, with longer lines. But in my opinion, Riviera offers the best of both worlds: still a small ship, which still feels much less crowded, but at the same time, much better food, more activities, and better entertainment. And it actually has a better crew/passengers ratio than Azamara, so service is at least as good if not better. We did appreciate the excellent service, less crowded buffet, smaller groups on shore excursions, no lines etc. compared to the big ships. I guess we just expected better from Azamara. We might sail with Azamara again if the itinerary and the price are right, but all other things equal, we would definitely prefer Oceania. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We wanted to experience South America. With one exception (Paraty) the ports of call did not disappoint. The Azamazing evening was a Carneval show in Montevideo. It was well organized and great entertainment. We bought the indulgence ... Read More
We wanted to experience South America. With one exception (Paraty) the ports of call did not disappoint. The Azamazing evening was a Carneval show in Montevideo. It was well organized and great entertainment. We bought the indulgence package which was well worth the extra money. We also got upgraded to a suite without asking ! That alone should make it five stars but there were some downsides as well. - One of the ‘guest relations’ staff turned out to be anything but. The others were great. - Because we had a lot of OBC, we booked some tours. The ‘gaucho’ tour in Uruguay was disappointing as we went to a dairy and crop farm. Talk about false advertising. - We had butler although he did not really enhance the experience. - The indulgence package included the specialty restaurants. However, it’s not open seating and booking something was very though. The attitude of the person doing the booking did not help. - The app needs work. It’s not updated and does not match the daily program. There is a lot of paper that could be saved...... The food never disappoints and the staff go out of there way to please you. The entertainment was solid and there are plenty of activities. The specialty restaurants are also top notch in food and service as was the Chef’s table. The staff was great in helping us transfer to another room for next cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
It is inexplicable why Azamara, when they drydocked the new to them Pursuit, did not add a pool heater. Although the pools on all the Old Renaissance ships are small and oddly shaped with their two whirlpools “pinching” the pool in the ... Read More
It is inexplicable why Azamara, when they drydocked the new to them Pursuit, did not add a pool heater. Although the pools on all the Old Renaissance ships are small and oddly shaped with their two whirlpools “pinching” the pool in the middle, Oceania made sure to add pool heaters, Azamara apparently cheaper out leaving the pool only functional for most when it is in the tropics. When we were quite surprised and commented to the in service staff we got shrugs and told that is how all the Azamara ships are. So if swimming is important to you as it is to us, beware you probably should choose a different cruise line Having said this, the staff are generally good, the staff/guest ratio and cabins fine (although like all R class ships on the small side. ,. Although I have heard from others that the food on Oceania ships are better, having been on both, I would rate them about the same with the exception of the smaller specialty restaurants on Oceania are free whereas the specialty restaurants on Azamara cost $30 each.3 for $70. On the other hand they have one free outing on shore which Oceania lacks....so on balance....unless you are a swimmer, or like the more frequent activities scheduled regularly on Oceania cruises or simply want to stretch out in a properly heated pool I would rate the two lines about the same...at least in their R class ships...with an edge to Oceania’s slightly larger Marina/Riviera and an edge to them if you are on a longer voyage as the costs of specialty dining in Azamara would more than offset one night’s activity. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
After 2 cruises last year with Azamara Journey from Sydney to Singapore and with Azamara Pursuit from Athen to Rome we opted on a cruise from Santiago to Buenos Aires with Azamara Pursuit. Overall we had a very good cruise and the route ... Read More
After 2 cruises last year with Azamara Journey from Sydney to Singapore and with Azamara Pursuit from Athen to Rome we opted on a cruise from Santiago to Buenos Aires with Azamara Pursuit. Overall we had a very good cruise and the route from Santiago and its itinearies onto Buenos Aires was filled with exiting experiences. We can sum up as follows: - Ship is newly refurbished and overall quality is good - disembarkment was very smooth while embarkation took some time - Cabin is small but has what you need with good service and daily cleaning - Dining is very good and very pleased with service in all restaurants - our favourite is the main dining restaurant Discovery - did go to Aqualina and Prime C and this time Aqualina was better than Prime C both on food and service - entertainment was over average this time and we loved the trio in the livingroom - overall service is very good as overall ambiance - we did just a few excursions and these were ok - captain and management can be more visible and can learn from captain Johannes on Azamara Journey Overall a great experience despite the fact that there still are rooms for improvement. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
The itinerary was what attracted us to the cruise, but also our previous experience of Azamara. It started with a poor experience of the port, not because of anything Azamara did but the poor process the Chilean authorities had, forcing ... Read More
The itinerary was what attracted us to the cruise, but also our previous experience of Azamara. It started with a poor experience of the port, not because of anything Azamara did but the poor process the Chilean authorities had, forcing us to queue, something we'd not had on any previous cruise with Azamara because of the small size of the ship you don't often see queues. The actual check-in was on the ship and that worked well. But I don't recommend San Antonio as a departure point. Once aboard the Pursuit, it was clear how much work had been carried out, transforming this ship into the newest Azamara vessel. We loved the quality of the new decoration and fittings which we think has been done to an even higher level than on Journey and Quest. I understand that both Quest and Journey are going to have further work carried out on them soon to get then up to this new level. One area of the ship that has been enhanced is the old Casino, that area has been a waste of space for a long time, very few cruisers on Azamara used the facilities, though I realise the few that did will miss it. I always felt sorry for the staff who were sitting at unused roulette and card tables. Now the future cruises and shore excursions people have moved to the location at the end of the room where the casino office was and The Den has been created this is a fabulous meeting and social area, of course with a bar. There are plenty of activities and music events here too. Another improvement is a new art gallery which now has its own room. Food has been steadily improving on the ship over the years and this cruise continued the improvement. They also continue to select some reasonable wines for the complimentary selection. When launching this new ship Azamara where smart enough to know that the staff are key to success and they moved about a third of staff from each of the two existing ships to form the core of staff on the new ship. This has worked very well, with the high standards being maintained and many familiar faces around the ship if you've travelled with Azamara before. Despite travelling with Azamara before we had not seen Tony Markey before and loved his humour and singing, especially the duets with his wife. Lee Herrington is also fabulous as his assistant, between them they ensure that there is plenty to do and see on the ship. I can't believe I've got this far into the review without mentioning Captain Carl, there were a few comments about what could possibly go wrong on a ship that came out of Harland and Wolff shipyard, Belfast (where it was transformed into Pursuit), with Captain Smith and a few Icebergs, there again some may miss the Titanic reference. Captain Carl has now been on each of the Azamara ships and is arguably the most experienced of all their Captains, he kept us safe in an area well known for its very changeable weather. His informative and entertaining comments were most welcome and he now runs the third, friendly and well run ship in the fleet at Azamara. Highly recommended. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We have not done an Ocean cruise for 15 years. We have been taking land tours and River cruises instead. Before we stopped we had been on 8 Ocean cruises. I was very excited to discover this Antarctica Cruise and on a ship we had sailed ... Read More
We have not done an Ocean cruise for 15 years. We have been taking land tours and River cruises instead. Before we stopped we had been on 8 Ocean cruises. I was very excited to discover this Antarctica Cruise and on a ship we had sailed twice before (as the Royal Princess!) and had loved! The ship is a perfect size for those of us who like a smaller number of passengers. I thought the redo of the interior was fine. The "living room" is a very popular spot to hang out during the sea days with the loungers always in demand. Passengers "save" seats so I was not able to try them. The following are my impressions of the cruise: .Cabin 7100---awkward furniture, was always moving the coffee table to get to veranda or loveseat, plastic shower curtain made shower dark and liked to wrap around the body.. Ship shore excursions---too expensive. arranged tours online with private vendors for all ports. .Service--room steward great, staff friendly, buffet staff attentive, Discoveries staff needs more training (multiple use of seating charts, we were "forgotten" about during our meal several times and sat for 20+ minutes waiting to be checked on .Dinning/food---BUFFET food greatly improved, theme of buffet advertised daily in program, DISCOVERIES menu posted outside restaurant only so had to make trip to check its menu before deciding where to eat daily, menu lacking in variety and food was not outstanding, no soufflé/bananas foster/prime cuts of meat/lobster. Main dinning room has suffered from having specialty restaurants as only place to enjoy those foods. AQUALINA specialty (ate X2) no change in menu from one week to the next, soufflé outstanding but majority of food did not stand out. Two brunch meals in Discoveries were outstanding events! Chocolate buffet was crowded due to small venue area. .Activities--daily activities have not changed in 15 years. I spoke to Tony the cruise director two times about this and he was very receptive to my criticism. Enjoyed: ABBA dance night, photo contest/lectures from professional staff photographer, enrichment lectures (including NASA lecturer who hosted eclipse viewing) , movie nights, Polar club. HIGHLIGHTS Azamazing event & White night party! All in all this was an exciting itinerary! Was happy with the change of dress to "country club casual". The ship captain was very interactive with guests and went out of his way to maneuver ship for exceptional scenery viewing. Would recommend this itinerary/ship with the knowledge that dinning in Discoveries is not a highlight. I hope this review helps other cruise lovers pick their next adventure! Read Less
Azamara Pursuit Ratings
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