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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Back to back process : very easy... This was so easy that you feel it’s just like another day of the cruise CABIN: Inside stateroom, 4038 - the room still does the job, practical, enough storage space (for us), tiny shower but you ... Read More
Back to back process : very easy... This was so easy that you feel it’s just like another day of the cruise CABIN: Inside stateroom, 4038 - the room still does the job, practical, enough storage space (for us), tiny shower but you get used to. The room is in the middle of deck 4 next to a service door for restricted access to somewhere. It's a lot in use but didn't disturbed us. We pointed a couple of technical issues with the stateroom to the stateroom attendant and to guest relations and it was fixed in a properly timeframe. Our stateroom attendant, Francisco and his assistant: Julius (or Julian) did a great job keeping our stateroom in order, they were very fast. DINING / drinks / Bars: This week we really enjoyed the food in the buffet with a smaller but better selection of dishes than on the bigger ships. Here you get quality over quantity, something I feel is much better and less food goes to waste ( I think ). Also to get almost 90% new dishes every night is so much better than having a big selection that never change. When it comes to serving wine in the Buffett there is still potential for improvements. This week we also bought the Ultimate Beverage package again and when we order wine by the glass from the wine list usually the problems start. This is based on some nights and some lunches this week and you feel that as soon as you like to order wine that is not the one of the day, you see they get a little “oh, now I have to go and get that bottle” attitude. Some of the times they do not have the wine you ask for and bring you another one that substitutes it and that is ok, but please let us know before you start serving it to us, so we might be able to see if you have another we might prefer. There should also be a system maybe when you have ordered a wine from the wine list they can serve it in another wine glass (they did once) so other waiters know that you are not drinking the wine of the day and can ask what are you having and do you like some more. A couple of nights another waiter pass by and see your half empty glass and starts to pour the wine of the day and then mix it with a different one. It is not so nice to drink your Merlot and then they fill it up with Cabernet Sauvignon so we have to sent it back. This always happens specially if you drink a rose wine or a sparkling wine or Champagne for lunch/dinner from the wine list. However we still have to give them credit for always looking after you and you do never sit long with an empty glass. Azamazing evening Buffett and White Night Outdoor dining were great again as expected ENTERTAINMENT / ENRICHMENT / ART PROGRAM After beeing on board for two weeks, we have seen the shows and you can find it in our other reviews, this cruise Azamara has brought on board “A night at the Opera”... Believe me, this was a hit, incredible Italian talent for just one show... this was like the Azamazing Evening elevated and on board. Talking with Sam, one of the Art experts on board, we learned about the Azamara Art program and to us it sounded great, the approach to work with some emerging artists and some well established names and bringing them onboard to work while traveling and being also available to talk with the guests is a great way to connect. No art auctions but a small Art gallery where they exhibit these pieces and change it during the voyages. The price range is accesible for what I could think is the Azamara client. We had the chance to meet and see Gary Smith during the first two weeks and his work is really great. We also learned about other artists that Azamara has had onboard and the Art channel on the TV is another great way to enrich your art knowledge / curiosity. They also offer some lectures (if times allows it) about different artists. We put our eyes on some pieces and The only reason we did not buy the ones we liked is that we are moving into our new home (apartment) and we still have to figure out the use of the space in the walls we have. The enrichment lectures: For us traveling is not just about monuments or famous places but about culture, people, history, food, Art, etc. Is about learning about the places we visit and understanding the people and it’s cultural expressions. We attended some of the enrichment lectures and we are very happy we did. There is an historian on board for the next voyages, sorry I don’t remember his name or how long will he on board. It’s not the typical lecture that will tell you what to go and see but that will teach you about the history of the places, and this will make you understand the place. I highly recommend you to attend the lectures. SERVICE: In general the service level around the ship is excellent. Kudos to all the senior officers specially, Hotel Director Ryszard; F&B manager Elizabeth for making us feel at home and they are always visible around the ship. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose Azamara because of the itinerary (Italy intensive) and the size of the ship. I had never been on a cruise before but after seeing some of the other huge ships in some of the ports, I was very glad we chose Azamara. The service ... Read More
We chose Azamara because of the itinerary (Italy intensive) and the size of the ship. I had never been on a cruise before but after seeing some of the other huge ships in some of the ports, I was very glad we chose Azamara. The service was first class, the food was very good with lots of variety. We only ate in the main dining room 3 times: once to try it, once because we couldn't find a table at the White Night party and again for the delicious brunch they had. We ate almost every meal in Windows because we could choose the table we wanted (we could sit at a table for four even though we were only two) which usually meant we could get a window seat when there was something to see. Waiters were the best I've ever had. Room service was extremely prompt if you scheduled your breakfast for the next day and really pretty quick if you ordered just coffee and orange juice which we did almost every morning. You won't go hungry on this ship. There is food available most of the time and then room service 24/7. The included spirits were fine with us. The wine was just fine too. The cabin was very clean with comfy beds and linens. Turn down service in the evening also. The only complaint we had was the laundry. Too many people on the ship for just one laundry room. It was pretty crowded and I think maybe Azamara should add one more laundry room for the size of ship. Read Less
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
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
On the first day of the cruise (October 28), my mother was giving my son a shower and he had found a piece of broken glass on the shower floor, picked it up and gave it to her. My son is 15 months old - if he stepped on the glass or ate ... Read More
On the first day of the cruise (October 28), my mother was giving my son a shower and he had found a piece of broken glass on the shower floor, picked it up and gave it to her. My son is 15 months old - if he stepped on the glass or ate it, my son could have been seriously injured. They moved my mother and son to a different room where the shower did not work and they had life boats in front of the window. On the second day of the cruise (October 29), we were returning from Rome and we were unable to get on the boat because the ropes had snapped due to the weather. I have never heard of something so unsafe happening before. What if someone was boarding when the ropes snapped? How did the cruise not comprehend how much weight the ropes could hold against the current? Anyways, we waited in the terminal for 45 minutes and we were waiting 10 minutes outside until one of the crew members noticed we had a baby and shuttled us to the front of the line. My son had gotten a cold as a result of waiting outside due to the cold and wind. The same evening (October 29), we had all went to dinner and I had requested for a waiter to bring my son a simple order of pasta and meat sauce. When it arrived the food was lukewarm. I did not think anything of it because my son was crying so I gave him some of the pasta. I also had some and so did my husband. That night and for the next two days we were sick. The only person who was not sick was my mother and she did not have any of the pasta. The next day (October 30th) my husband and I were in bed the entire day while my mother looked after my son due to our food poisoning. Around 3:30 I decided to go to the patio to try and have something light. It was quite cold so I went to get a blanket. The staff were taking blankets from the dirty container refolding it and giving it to other patrons to use on deck and also handed me one. I explained my situation to the ship manager, requesting my son and mother be moved to a room closer to my husband and myself so it would be easier for me to go back and forth between rooms because I am sick. He could not accommodate me on that request. Complete lack of empathy. Instead he asked if I had travel insurance for this trip if I did want to leave. Complete lack of responsibility and respect because the issues affecting my trip are directly due to this ship's disorganization and sanitary standards. I was given the understanding and impression that he really doesn't care. One guest overheard my conversation with the manager and later came up to me and said it was very disrespectful with how the manager dealt with the situation. The next day we went to the spa- my mother has diabetes. After she finished her massage she asked the therapist if she could have 5 mins to lie down because she felt dizzy. I am an RN from Canada, immediately I would think hypoglycaemia and get a juice or sugary beverage for the patient. Instead the 'therapist' said 'no please hurry up and get up, I have other patients.' And left. That day the boat was rocking severely and she had to hold the walls to support herself. I am normally easy going person but this is so extreme there is no choice left but to complain. We take a cruise once a year and I understand things happen and based on the expectations I was given by the Azamara, this ship does not deserve the title of luxury cruise line. Nor do I see how it stands out in any way from the food to my experiences on board. This is also a cruise suited for a more senior crowd - no casino, nightclub, or late night entertainment - ship is completely dead around midnight. Spend that little extra and take Regent Seven Cruises, much better experience and ship. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
I am not sure we would sail with Azamara again. Let me explain a bit about our experience. Embarkation: As someone in a wheelchair, we chose Azamara because they claimed they were accessible. When we arrived? No ramp, stairs. We were ... Read More
I am not sure we would sail with Azamara again. Let me explain a bit about our experience. Embarkation: As someone in a wheelchair, we chose Azamara because they claimed they were accessible. When we arrived? No ramp, stairs. We were shown to the embarkation point, which was a stairway up to the ship. When I asked where the ramp was, I was told that it was being used to load the luggage. So, 4 small employees -- probably Filipino, since they made up a huge proportion of the staff -- carried me in my wheelchair up the stairs. This is okay in places like India, where I have no expectations around accessibility, but very surprising on an American-owned ship, docked in Europe. Especially since they have a whole section on their website about accesssibility. Cleanliness: Lipstick on the champagne flutes in our suite. Lipstick on the glasses in the lounge they call the Living Room. When our first glass of wine arrived it was covered in lipstick and fingerprints. I went to the bar to get another glass and the surly bartender proceeded to pour my wine from the dirty glass into a cleaner glass. We left. Suite: Was a nice size and the accessible bathroom was pretty good -- could have used more shelves, and the toilet was surprisingly low for a wheelchair-accessible room. Bed was comfy and the balcony was a good size. Service: very mixed. Staff in the living room were not very competent. They never got the orders right and had to be sent back to get the proper beverages. Staff in the main dining room were good. Staff in the 2 specialty restaurants were very good. So a bit surprised at how the service levels varied. Butler for our suite was outstanding. but the stewards were very junior. The overall look of the ship was nice. The ship is too small for rough weather. There were hurricane-force winds which meant our first two ports were cancelled -- we spent two nights in Civitavecchia. Cannot imagine doing a transatlantic crossing on such a small ship. We ended up going to Nice instead of Monte Carlo, which was actually better for us, since Nice is flat. Palma de Mallorca was fantastic, and we loved going back to Valencia. Our two nights in Livorno meant that we could do a nice visit to Lucca, and spend one beautiful sunny day exploring Livorno. The "Azamazing evening" was quite simply, dreadful entertainment. Food and wines: We are foodies and we enjoy good wine. The food in all the restaurants was okay, but we did not like the fact that the menus in the two specialty restaurants never changed -- so it got boring quickly. The wines included in the fare were the cheapest wines they could get. We do not drink a lot of cocktails or mixed drinks, but the drinks menu skewed heavily to liquor and not wine. The wines on the "for purchase" menu were extremely over-priced, and were mostly American. Inexplicable considering we were in Europe. Corkage fees are only $10, so once we got into some ports, we headed straight to a liquor store to buy good wine to take on board. I think the owners have really cheaped out on entertainment. They had an appalling 3-person trio in one of the lounges. They had a decent pianist in another place, and there was a good jazz quartet at the Saturday brunch. They had one person for the "enrichment" lectures who seemed really out of her depth. And they don't appear to invest in staff training. We would rank this number 3 of the cruises we have done. Cunard 1, Oceania 2, and Azamara a distant 3. I realize the staff are fairly new and not all of them are fully trained, but this is a cruise line who seem to want to compete with Oceania, and they do not. The staff in the Living Room seem to hate their jobs and there was a surprising amount of surly Russian staff who seemed to hate the guests and each other. Inexplicable, since it's a nice looking room. When I filled out their online questionnaire, I told them that I could not figure out who their target market was, but it was clearly not us. Did we hear back from them? Crickets... Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
The ship underwent a refurb in 2018 and the results were nice. Very bad weather hit Rome & we spent first 2 days in port near Rome. Ship's captain & crew did great job of insuring our safety and making the best of a bad ... Read More
The ship underwent a refurb in 2018 and the results were nice. Very bad weather hit Rome & we spent first 2 days in port near Rome. Ship's captain & crew did great job of insuring our safety and making the best of a bad situation. Winds of 77 kts in port broke the mooring line & Pursuit broke free from dock. Crew performed like pros to keep us safe. Rough seas throughout much of our cruise. Eating in main dining room (Discovery) was very good. We tried "Prime" which was not worth the 30 euro/person surcharge. Paying to eat same food basically as main dining room. We were invited to the captain's dinner which was excellent.Lot of menu options in the dining areas, great buffet also. Entertainment was about average. Many of the cultural & historical talks were very interesting. The inevitable jewelry store & art gallery were low key, not as much pressure as the giant ships.A bunch of activities to choose from--games, movies, darts, etc. No casino which was a nice change. We did not book any tours but arranged our own. Azamara tours are expensive and we had a great experiences using own arrangements. Weather killed scheduled stops in Corsica & Sardinia. We got stops in Nice, Valencia, Monaco, & Barcelona (morning departure port). Transfers from hotel in Rome to ship &n dock to airport in Barcelona went smoothly. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Positives Friendliness and service from the crew especially Dave at Discoveries for breakfast and Julius in Spirits Bar and other locations. Visibility of the captain and other senior crew members. I am sure the captain was wishing ... Read More
Positives Friendliness and service from the crew especially Dave at Discoveries for breakfast and Julius in Spirits Bar and other locations. Visibility of the captain and other senior crew members. I am sure the captain was wishing passengers a good day as we left the ship at every port we docked at. Food was generally very good, especially the speciality restaurants and the chef’s table, but we had no complaints about the food in Discoveries. Booked the dining package and speciality dining as soon as we boarded with no issues. Entertainment provided by Eric de Gray who was excellent and the other entertainment staff was very good. We attended most late shows and enjoyed them all. The exchanges between Eric and captain Johannes were amusing as were Eric’s grandad stories. AzAmazing Evening with Incanto Quartet in Livorno was excellent and very well organised. Size of the ship was great, nothing felt too far away compared to the other larger ships we have sailed on. Enjoyed the included coffee and snacks available at Mosaic Cafe. Generally bar service was very good and we had no issues with getting cocktails or drinks using the included spirits. We tendered at 3 ports and very rarely had to wait a long time for a tender boat in either direction. Closeness to the city at several ports of call, especially Porto Ferraio and Trapani. Oceanview room was adequate and Paulo our room steward was very friendly and efficient. Embarkation and debarkation were efficient both at start and end of cruise and at ports of call. Friendliness and courtesy of fellow passengers with very few exceptions. Living Room was very nice and the food which was served (especially the tapas) was a nice touch. Negatives Missed not having a balcony (our choice) but it was only one floor up to deck 5. Not being able to walk a full circuit of the ship on deck 5 and it was often closed off in the middle at both sides. Apart from the Windows cafe, unable to get a sea view from the back of the ship which I had enjoyed on other cruises. Other comments We are in our early 50s and whilst not the youngest on the cruise we were definitely at the lower end of the age range. White Night was very busy and queues to get food were quite long and slightly chaotic at times but the local Sorrento Mozzarella and tomatoes was a nice touch. Some of the included white wines were not to our taste, we stuck with included red wines which were generally good. We only had 1 sea day, so it was a very port intensive cruise, not sure how I would have felt if we had more sea days. Regretted missing the Indian night at the buffet because we booked Aqualina on that night because the smell was amazing. For speciality dining only times which seemed to be available for us to book were 18:00, 18:30, 20:00 and 20:30. We only booked private excursions so had no experience of Azamara excursions. I would have no hesitation to sail again on Azamara for the right price and itinerary. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We are experienced cruisers. We are not drawn to the large “resort” ships, except with our grandchildren. Increasingly we are selecting our cruises for the itinerary. The Azamara Journey was a 9 day Italy “intensive” itinerary with ... Read More
We are experienced cruisers. We are not drawn to the large “resort” ships, except with our grandchildren. Increasingly we are selecting our cruises for the itinerary. The Azamara Journey was a 9 day Italy “intensive” itinerary with major stops for Florence and Pompeii, and other stops in smaller ports- suitable for a smaller ship. This was a major reason we selected a smaller ship. The on board service was exceptional, delivered with genuine care by the staff. Little things- like a mid cruise comment card (with real follow-thru by ship department heads) made the whole trip enjoyable. The food was notably better than our past experiences. We had no waiting in the open seating main dining room and never had trouble finding an available clean table in the cafe. The 700 passengers were never the cause of undue lines or delays. The ship was clean and in good to excellent repair. My wife and I enjoyed ourselves and will be back. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
My husband and I booked this trip for our 20th anniversary. We did a lot of research so I felt like I knew what to expect. We embarked in Rome after flying in two days earlier to spend a bit of time in the city. Embarkation was an ... Read More
My husband and I booked this trip for our 20th anniversary. We did a lot of research so I felt like I knew what to expect. We embarked in Rome after flying in two days earlier to spend a bit of time in the city. Embarkation was an absolute breeze. We arrived in the middle of the lengthy window for arrival and it took us only minutes to check in and walk aboard. The room was available right away. We had booked a picture window room with a sleeper sofa hoping that the sofa would give us a bit more space. Well, the room was tiny, the sofa was only an armchair that folded out to a single bed. When I went to ask at the front desk about the sofa they said that it does fold out therefore it is a sleeper sofa. I complained that that was misleading because we wanted the sofa to be able to sit together. The cruise was fully booked, there were no other rooms for us to be switched to that actually had a true sofa. They did end up switching out the armchair for something a tinge bigger, more like a small loveseat and that was the best they could do. The room itself was small but very well organized. There were lots of drawers and plenty of hanging space in the closet. We were able to easily unpack two weeks worth of clothes and stuff and slide the suitcases neatly under the bed. I especially appreciated that there were several shelves in the bathroom, three over the toilet, plus countertop, under the counter and in the shower storage spaces. The shower was small but doable for everything except shaving my legs. I ended up turning the showerhead towards the wall, opening the curtain and putting my foot up on the sink in order to shave. After settling in we explored the boat, overall we were impressed. The ship could definitely use a bit of cosmetic maintenance (lightly peeling wallpaper and some uneven paint in our room specifically), but the overall feel is elegant comfort. The size was perfect (about 600 guests), big enough to include several dining spaces, a spa, pool deck, living room and library etc. but small enough to not be packed with people and long lines for everything. We knew we didn't want a megaship with tons of families and massive buffets. We also aren't big nightlife people, no need for discos and a huge casino. While Azamara doesn't forbid children, they also don't encourage them. We have three at home, and we were looking for a grown up get away. We knew that we are a bit younger than their main clientele and we decided that was fine, we were happy doing our own thing. I would say the target audience for this line is empty nester - healthy retiree. There were definitely some older and some younger but we were some of the youngest on board in our mid-late forties. I also wanted to make a note that Azamara welcomes same sex couples, which I think is awesome. My brother is gay and he has told me that he and his husband avoid certain places because of prejudice and even potential violence. There were at least a handful of same sex couples on board and there was a nightly mixer for the LGBT community. The food on board was very good. We generally breakfasted at the buffet, had lunch at the pool deck patio restaurant and had dinner in the main dining room. You could get pretty much any breakfast food you could think of and many that I don't consider breakfast at the buffet. They had a station that did waffles, pancakes and french toast, and a second station that did eggs and omelets made to order. They also had a carving station with daily specials of roast pork, or beef or turkey, etc. There were both hot and cold buffet stations with fruit, yogurt, pastries, cold cuts, sausage, bacon, all kinds of eggs, beans, you name it. One server manned the several toasters serving toast, bagels, muffins etc. There were also several kinds of fancy coffees and fresh squeezed juice and smoothies. My husband found the lunch buffet a bit overwhelming and too tempting to just over-do everything so we usually lunched on the patio. They had a nice selection of burgers, wraps, and skewers along with a small salad bar. Dinner in the main dining room was very nice. While they do have a minimum standard for dress (no shorts, tanks, bathing suits, baseball caps, etc), they don't expect formal wear. Long pants and a collared shirt for my hubby and a sundress or nicer capris for me were no problem. The menu had several standards that were always available and then a rotating menu of daily options. You could tell that they made a point of always having a meat, a poultry, a fish, and a vegetarian option on the menu. While not vegetarian myself, I have several family members that are so I always note when places are vegetarian friendly and Azamara definitely is, even noting when items are vegan. We did not order any of the special drink or dining plans and we were perfectly happy. Azamara considers itself all inclusive and as long as you don't need high end name brand alcohol in your drinks you will be fine. Every day they feature two red and two white wines. You can also get all sorts of mixed drinks, etc. We particularly liked having a pina colada while out by the pool. We looked at the specialty upcharge restaurants and they didn't seem so much better than the main dining room. My one tiny complaint about the main dining room is that I think they try a bit too hard to be "fancy", especially in the naming of their selections. The entertainment on ship was not our priority. We only went to one evening show, the White Night production. Eating out on the pool deck with everyone dressed in all white was fun and the food staff really outdid themselves but the musical part of the show was definitely a bit underwhelming. We didn't take part in any of the planned activities and entertainments other than one lecture during our sea day which we did find very informative. We were mainly here for the ports and wanted nothing more than relaxation while onboard. We did each get a massage at the spa which was heavenly. Probably our only big complaint about the ship itself was that the wifi was awful to non-existent. We had specifically booked a package that included wifi and we didn't get it working until more than halfway through the trip and even then it was slow and spotty. Just as an FYI, the wifi doesn't work well with Windows 10 computers or any microsoft browsers. We needed to download chrome to even be able to log in and this took two different staff members help and a trip to the IT specialist. While researching options for this trip, the itinerary was one of, if not the most important, driver for our decision to book. My husband had never been to Italy and I hadn't been in years so we wanted to see all the highlights. We did a mix of cruise excursions, privately booked excursions, and just going off on our own. In general our first choice was to book privately because the cruise excursions were extremely expensive across the board but we still did do several because we either couldn't find another option or we were worried about timing and logistics for a specific port. We really appreciated having two days in northern italy and two days in the south. Probably the best stop was either Livorno (the gateway for pisa and florence) or Amalfi while the least interesting was Elba. I was pleasantly surprised by Sardinia, we very much enjoyed seeing the neolithic site there, the countryside was very pretty, and the fact that the excursion included a light lunch of local favorites was welcome. Overall, this was a wonderful trip. We felt that we were pampered and well taken care of by the entire staff. Our steward knew our name and always greeted us in passing after only our first meeting. The food service staff did their jobs with a smile. While it seems a bit silly, it was sweet to be greeted with a "welcome home" by the security team at the end of each day's excursion. The captain and other high level crew were very visible and willing to stop and chat. There were a lot of little touches that were really nice like the fact that they provided umbrellas at the docking point on a rainy day or beach towels if you were at a beachy port. There were always cool towels and water and punch at the dock. I had told them we were celebrating our anniversary when I booked and on our actual anniversary the room was decorated with streamers and a sign. I would definitely consider another cruise with Azamara. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
We normally sail with Celebrity but had a tight timeline and wanted to see something new. Azamara was going somewhere we hadn't been and exactly on the day we needed to go, so we paid the much higher fare and expected a higher level ... Read More
We normally sail with Celebrity but had a tight timeline and wanted to see something new. Azamara was going somewhere we hadn't been and exactly on the day we needed to go, so we paid the much higher fare and expected a higher level of service than the normally very good service we have experienced on Celebrity. The best part about Azamara is the smaller ship. Getting closer to the ports is nice and everything onboard is a short walk. Also, no crowds or lines to get into restaurants etc. The bad news about the small ship is the shower is way too small. The below may be an issue with the crew on the Quest as I can't believe a premium line would survive long if our experience was normal. 1) Half our onboard credit was missing, but the problem was really the attitude of Guest Relations. Regarding the OBC, they said it wasn't their problem and would have to be solved by "headquarters." That isn't the type of issue ownership that we see on Celebrity. Also, got wrong information on multiple occasions from Guest Relations that caused us to miss events. They also forgot to give us the requested wake up call on the last day and if I hadn't looked over at the clock, we would have been in trouble. 2) We typically have room service for breakfast as it serves as a wake up call and gives us more time to get ready for the day. 3 of the 7 days we had room service the order was wrong (e.g., hot water instead of coffee, no cream for coffee, no milk for cereal...). 3) Room attendant was below par. One day we left at noon and came back around 6pm and our room hadn't been made up even though we left the "make up room" magnet on the outside of the door. Needed new towels one evening to get ready for dinner and was told they were on break and would be 30 minutes before they could get us new towels. The towels showed up damp, so more likely they hadn't run a load of laundry and gave us towels that hadn't finished in the drier. 4) Dining room wait staff, other than 2, seemed like trainees. Slow service, cold food, missing items. The menu was varied but seemed to just be a rotation of items with different preparations (e.g., several nights of lamb and seabream). As I said in the title, I expected a big jump up from what we experience on Celebrity but didn't get it. At 2-3x the price, we'll be back to Celebrity the next time. Read Less
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