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Sail Date: September 2015
Ship much older than one would think. Interior tries to intimidate the luxury of by gone days. 1). RECEPTION Check in at port excellent and quick. At reception it stated that the ship was full and no cabins were available to be ... Read More
Ship much older than one would think. Interior tries to intimidate the luxury of by gone days. 1). RECEPTION Check in at port excellent and quick. At reception it stated that the ship was full and no cabins were available to be changed. This was totally untrue. Upon reaching our cabin which was to be shared by two ladies we found it to be extremely small and dark and in no way suitable for a 12 day cruise. We returned to reception and as by magic another cabin materialized which obviously we had to pay for single occupancy then. 2). RESTAURANTS Open seating in main dining room which was comfortable also gave you the opportunity to meet other guests. On first night waiter came to table (when eventually full) to offer red or white wine with no knowledge of what was in the bottle. On only one evening did the waiter know or bother to explain what wine was on offer for that meal. The food was extremely poor and very badly presented. Even the menus looked like they had seen better days. Should one want any vegetables with your meal it was necessary to order these separately. Windows self service cafe gave good choices for breakfast. Nevertheless, while in port one day we had an invasion of flies. No preventative equipment to keep the flies of the food was available and the poor staff were left just using tea towels to try and swat them away. Most unhygienic. 3). DAYS OUT Excursions very expensive and tended to run over time. 4). ENTERTAINMENT Resident entertainment team good but visiting acts where at best third rate. 5). CASINO Was like a morgue with no atmosphere and no encouragement to play. 6). SHOP Well stocked and obviously over priced. 7) SHIP'S NIGHT OUT We we invited to a concert on land which was organized by the entertainment staff of the ship, This was short but enjoyable and involved an hour on a coach to spend 30 minutes at the concert. But well done for trying something different. 8). BAR The inclusive drinks package cocktails had no explanation as to what they actually contained and yet if you were to pay for a specialty cocktail then full details of what it contained were listed. 9). DAILY ACTIVITIES These were very limited unless you wished to go on a organised tour. 10). EXTERIOR AND POOL AREA. Plenty of lovely comfortable sun beds but swimming pool far too small for a swim. Merely ideal for a dip to cool off. 11). GYM Well equipped and open nice and early. Although some keep fit classes where offered early morning these were very limited. 10). TYPE OF GUESTS There were a large number of travel agents on board which in my opinion says they are trying hard to promote this ship. Average age 60 plus. 12). My overall view of this ship is that it does not compete well for the modern cruising needs of guests. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2015
We have been on over 15 10-14 day cruises on Celebrity and a few on Prncess- the big and mid size ships and enjoyed them immensely. When we met other cruisers on these cruises they as well as our travel agent raved about Azumara. When we ... Read More
We have been on over 15 10-14 day cruises on Celebrity and a few on Prncess- the big and mid size ships and enjoyed them immensely. When we met other cruisers on these cruises they as well as our travel agent raved about Azumara. When we found a back to back itinerary we liked 18 months ago we booked the Azamara cruises. Due to the number of cruises on Celebrity we were at a high tier in the Captains Club and our first cruise on the Journey took us to the next level. We flew to Athens a few days early so we would not have jet lag on the cruise. We took a taxi to the port and were greeted by an Azamara rep who got a porter to take our bags and escorted us to the check in area. I was surprised to see coffee and snacks available for people who were checking in. The check in process was quick and we boarded the ship and headed to the 9th fl. for a buffet lunch while waiting to get into our cabin. Ship information After putting our things in the cabin we decided to explore the ship before we had to go to the fire drill. We had heard the ship was small but did not realize how small. One can imagine the Celebrity Constellation common areas cut down by 3/4ths. It is easy to go from the dining areas to the common areas as well as to the pool deck. Even though there are two elevators for and aft we never had to wait long for one to go between decks, The entertainment was in the Caberet lounge which was small and intimate- chairs very unconfortable though. the dining room is nice and seems to be a smaller version of the one on the Constellation. We only had one meal here though. Cabin- we had a club suite which was on deck 8. Above us was the pool deck. The nights of events and after were very noisy early am pm as the crew was setting everything up. the cabin was spacious and the only issues we had which will be corrected during the retrofit is no shower and a small tv. Our butler and attendants were great. Dining-- We are used to the fixed seat dining and could adapt to the open seating system but the menu choices were horrible. As the CC reviewer noted 1 fish, 1 meat and 1 vegetarian entree and some exotic appitizers were the menu choices as well as a small regular menu. the Windows buffet offered some great themed meals so we either ate there or at the specialty restaurant. Since there is no formal night we asked our butler to let us know when the surf and turf would be on the dining room menu. that night we went to the dining room and seated quickly. The waiter came and we ordered the flilet and 1/2 lobster tail. \our food came and we were shocked how SMALL the portions were- the filet the size of a meatball and the 1/2 lobster tail was more like a crayfish. We ate and then went upstairs to have something else to eat as we were still hungry. Looking around the dining room that night we noticed all the waiters had sad/surly/inexpressive faces while walking around and serving- Is this a result of the open seating or the inclusive tip policy? The waitstaff on the Celebrity ships in dining rooms were always smiling and happy and we enjoyed having a fixed waiter and assistant who got to know us and our tastes. Since we ate so much in the two specialty dining rooms the staff got to know us and provided service with a smile. The menu was good and the food tasty. If these two restaurants were not on the ship I would have had to bring in food every day for dinner. The Windows cafe had the theme night dinners and the food was fine and easy to get a table. the only improvement could be to play music to match the theme and some centerpieces ie Spanish night- Spanish music and a Spanish flag on ea. table. Breakfast in the Windows cafe was good- menu geared towards the British passengers as half the ship's guests were British. [same for dining room- menu favored British food}. The brunch was really good and had a wide selection of food. We really enjoyed this meal. White night included a buffet on deck- average food. Activities- limited but enough to keep one occupied. The guest lecturer was very good and gave a lot of talks. Children's program- none - the staff had to rig one up to occupy the many children on the cruise. Service- all tips were included - all the marketing kept touting this fact as well as the waiters will wait on you to bring drinks and water and food ordered at the counter. We only ate once in the main dining room and I commented on service above so I will address the Windows cafe and the 2 specialty dining rooms. All the staff seems to come from the Phillipines and mostly male. Service was hit and miss depending on the maitre de and the waiter. We were in the Cafe and our area was empty and not a waiter in sight on night. I had to go to maitre de to get a waiter. Otther times we had to get up and order drinks at the bar or find a waiter at breakfast to get our coffee. The so called waiter service again is over emphasized as it is not consistent. I resented to prepaying the tips and high fare to get this poor service. Entertainment- Erik the cruise director and the 5 singers and dancers were great!! Bad part was that they did not perform every night. the piano player was very good and the magician terrible. the last nights show is not to be missed but I would night take the cruise to see this show as great as it was. The White night was the only night where there was music by the pool- no entertainment on the pool deck during the cruise. The guitar player was horrible- playing sad blues music during an event which is supposed to be uplifting. A CD would have bee an GReat improvment. The amazing night and white night were fine but again not worth the extra cost of the cruise. Small tv and very few free movies available as well as limited tv stations. Shore excursions- few offered and since we have been to most of the ports we did not go on any. Disembark- Since we were on a back to back we did not disembark but traded our sea pass cards for new ones. NOTE- B 2 B passengers do not need visas and we noted this on our survey form and still charged the visa fees. We had to make many visits and calls to guest relations to get the charges reversed. Very poor performance considering the few passengers and high staff to passenger ratio. Summary- Not worth the extra cost for the all inclusive feature- ie tips and drinks and water. I am used to getting my own coffee and water and food in the buffet on other cruises but resent having to do it on this ship as this is a perk included in the fare. Only a few waiters/waitresses seemed happy to serve and smiling when seen. Most had a sad/resigned/surly look all the time. The ones in the specialty dining were happier as I think they liked having the opportunity to get tips. The dining room menu as well as the food was nothing to write home about. If one wants small portions of British themed food one will enjoy the dining room. I have never seen so much wine poured so freely [no pun intended]- maybe the guests were so gassed they did not have room for food or could taste the food. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2015
This was our first cruise with Azamara. We wanted the smaller ship experience and have to admit we liked it. We chose this cruise for the itinerary and a special price - double upgrade to a verandah cabin. The ship was nice, clean and ... Read More
This was our first cruise with Azamara. We wanted the smaller ship experience and have to admit we liked it. We chose this cruise for the itinerary and a special price - double upgrade to a verandah cabin. The ship was nice, clean and fortunately well functioning. (We had heard stories of plumbing problems.) The staff was generally friendly and the food was good. The food and service were excellent in the specialty dining restaurants but you pay extra for that. The promo on this line is that the fare includes gratuities and complimentary alcoholic beverages. There is a catch. You are still overwhelmed with opportunites to tip more and the complimentary drinks includes only 3 selections of beer and they limit the wine to just one white and one red each day. You know they have the larger selection available - so why can't you get a Chardonnay when I don't like Reisling? With a smaller ship you have to expect less choices in some things but you know the wine is there - they are just going to limit you, so they can sell you another glass for $10 each. The upcharges and extra fees are obnoxious. I'll go to a real all inclusive resort next time. We do have to say the Azamara rep at the airport was fantastic. He handled a late luggage issue and sent us on to the ship, while he waited for our luggage on the next flight from Paris. Within 4 hours we had our bags in our stateroom - and that was a HUGE relief. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2015
I was disappointed because I expected a better standard of cabin, food and entertainment. The cabin was shabby. The bed linen had seen better days and the valance was coming away from the mattress . There were stains on the carpet. The ... Read More
I was disappointed because I expected a better standard of cabin, food and entertainment. The cabin was shabby. The bed linen had seen better days and the valance was coming away from the mattress . There were stains on the carpet. The drawers were not easy to use and the furniture was scuffed. The food was mediocre - very dry chicken on two occasions . Fine dining however was very good. Entertainment. the singers and dancers were excellent and enthusiastic but were limited by the space they had. The band was very good and mainly used for backing music.They should have been used more for dancing. On the one night they did play on deck the event was well attended. Activities were sparse. Lectures on places to visit were good and the commentary going through the canal gave a lot of background information. The captain and crew were excellent and I cannot fault them in any way. THE SHIP NEEDS REFURBISHMENT AND ENTERTAINMENT AND FOOD STANDARDS IMPROVED. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2014
Flight on Turkish Airways was on time and we were served lunch with free drinks. Arrived at Ataturk Airport and all was well until we had to locate our transport. We were told to look for a person holding a card with our name on it. This ... Read More
Flight on Turkish Airways was on time and we were served lunch with free drinks. Arrived at Ataturk Airport and all was well until we had to locate our transport. We were told to look for a person holding a card with our name on it. This was, in reality, a piece of paper attached to fencing, along with 100s of others, as we entered the arrivals area. We then had to wait for nearly half an hour to be told to go, with others, to a minibus. The booking-in system at the ship was quick and efficient. Once on-board we went to the Windows Cafe for lunch whilst our luggage was delivered to our cabin (sorry Veranda Stateroom). Our Stateroom (6083) was roomy, with a lot of storage space, and had a flat screen TV. The bed was large and had the deepest mattress I’ve had on any ship. The bathroom was small and only had a shower (no bath) but this was perfectly acceptable. Bottled water was complimentary and replaced daily. We always ate breakfast and lunch in the Windows Cafe. There was a very large selection at breakfast with the exception of breakfast cereals which there was little choice. Lunch again had a large selection but very little variation in the menu. Even though it was it was supposed to be self-service we were served every day. Infection concerns were given as the reason. The one thing I could not understand was that there were no trays and getting a cold plate for salads was a constant problem. They want to serve salads in a bowl, cold meats/cheese on another plate. Then I wanted a roll and butter but I only have two hands! I had to find a table, put down what I had then go back for what I couldn't carry. Every night we ate in the Discoveries Restaurant. On entering we were asked what table size we required and escorted to a suitable table. This worked very well and we met many friendly people. Different wines were served each night but some were very much house wines. The food was good but not the high standard we expected of this level of ship. Again the menu was not as varied enough each night. One night many of us at the table had venison which looked and tasted like liver! All the staff on the ship were very friendly and attentive. Nothing was too much trouble. The singers and dancers performed to a high standard. However, they had to double up on quizzes etc. which can only be expected on a ship of this size. However, they were clearly not trained to do these additional functions. We did not take any ship organised tours as we thought that they were far too expensive but chose instead to just walk around the towns where we docked. We did not buy anything or had a drink in these ports as each only wanted their own currency and not the Dollars or Euros we bought with us. There were too many different currencies to keep changing small amounts. Nessebar was an old picturesque town with many old churches. However, they had people on the doors to levy a charge on all who wished to enter. I believe that this was only done when a ship was in port. All in all, a pleasant port of call. The same cannot be said for our next port, Constanta. This can best be described as either London or Coventry after the Second World War blitz! I'm surprised that any ship would want to visit here. Many houses, cafes and shops were either boarded up or just a shell. This was a tender port and we were met by local guides who handed out maps of the town. Not a lot of people around. However, the centre town square was a light relief with very attractive buildings surrounding it. After a day at sea we arrived at Batumi which was definitely the highlight of the whole cruise. We docked in the town and walked around this very attractive and clean city. There were many beautiful buildings some old and some very new. This was also the place where we were to experience the AzAmazing Evening. Most of the 700 passengers went to the Batumi State Musical Center for a show entitled “Legends of Dance”. It was so well organised and the show was of an exceptionally high standard. On our return to the ship we were met with many locals who had come down to the sea front just to see the ship. The ship had laid on a band to greet us and we were served drinks prior to us getting back on-board. The sail away was also impressive as the locals waived us away and many of the building had their own light shows. The last port was Trabzon. After a steep climb up from the harbour we entered a town which was very much like Istanbul in character. Many very busy streets and squares. It was too commercialised but there were no problems with being hassled by the local shops. The ship had advised us of the disembarking procedures a couple of days before. We had been scheduled to depart the ship at 7:45am which I queried as our flight was not until 12:55. It was changed to 8:45am without a problem. However, 9am was the very last disembarking time. It did give many passengers the feeling that, “The cruise is over, get off”! Many passengers were leaving on flight much later than ours. The coach, taking us to the airport, took ages to leave the port and made very slow progress through Istanbul. Once away from the city we made speedy progress to the airport. We had to have our entire luggage scanned on entry. This seemed a bit excessive. Otherwise check-in was speedy and efficient. The airport is vast. We left from gate 221. The flight home, on Turkish Airways, was on time and again a pleasant experience. Would we travel again with Azamara again? Probably not as their normal cruise pricing is way above what we would normally spend. Their food in the main restaurant also is not up to the standard of other cruises we have been on. However, it is a good ship with very friendly staff.   Read Less
Sail Date: March 2013
We wanted to see what a luxury cruise line was and what would be different than the wonderful cruises we have had on Celebrity. Best I can say is that nothing was as great as the experience we have had on Celebrity and it seemed like the ... Read More
We wanted to see what a luxury cruise line was and what would be different than the wonderful cruises we have had on Celebrity. Best I can say is that nothing was as great as the experience we have had on Celebrity and it seemed like the ones who loved it were phobic against large ships and loved the smaller ports these lines go to. On that basis, Azamara is ok but not GREAT. The finesse of Celebrity where everyone seemed to anticipate your needs was missing. On several calls to guest relations, the phone was answered by "I'll call you right back!" and no return call was made. I made an inquiry about terms of my package and was told that "They cannot answer these questions" and offered no desire to find out. On any cruise I was always told, we will get an answer and advise! Azamara is the ONLY cruise lines to flatly reject our desire to extend our stay and no explanation was ever offered. The "package" was set in concrete and there are no variations! We always ask for extension to enjoy the new location. One part of a day is never enough to search out the richness of a city. Crew was exception with the best Captain we have ever had and the entertainment (cruise director staff) were of the highest caliber we have ever enjoyed. Hotel staff and restaurant staff had some bright spots like YAN-YAN the waitress. However that "finesse" was missing-like serving a warm glass of Chardonnay and then - to correct - was about to pour the chilled bottle into the warm contents!In our questionnaire, we said that we would not enter any restaurant that had dirty windows. The windows on this ship were so dirty that when the sun was on the window, you could not see beyond the crud that had accumulated! The excuse was that they could not do this on a transatlantic, but the windows were dirty LONG before we got on board! The worst issue we have is that the cruise line arranged our stay at the Melia Sevilla Hotel. Put us on buses to the hotel, then had NO ROOM to check into until 3 PM! The buses dropped us at the hotel about 9 AM! When we went in with our baggage, the hotel staff said that they were not permitted to help us and that the cruise staff would help! The cruise staff was ONE WOMAN and ONE MAN and there were three bus loads of passengers and the baggage! The woman deferred to the man about everything so we guessed she was a trainee, and the man KNEW NOTHING. He recited the instructions that we are to fill out the registration forms and then leave the bags in the lobby to be delivered to the rooms! The problem was that he had no way of identifying who owned what bags. When my wife asked about this, he looked blankly and them went to the hotel manager who (FOR THE FIRST TIME) told him we needed to put claim checks on the bags. The man gave us 4 of the 8 tags given to him! We were then told to vacate until 3 PM and "go to something!" and did not offer ANY assistance as to what we could do. The Hotel manager simply pointed us to Taxi stand on the other side of the street who all quoted us 10 Euros to the Cathedral! This is much higher that the reviews have shown us since this was only a few blocks away! The anger was very bad as the majority were older people that could not stand for too long, etc. It was like cattle cars dumping us on to the hotel and having no plans to care for any of us until 6 hours later!!! We have no desire to book Azamara again. We saw no value to the expense, no value to the loyalty issue that have us highest level due to the Celebrity status we have. I had the driest Fillet I have ever eaten. No a jucy, tender beef, but a dry beef that would never qualify as such here in Texas! Food was middle of the road. Complimentary wines were ok, but not above the $6-8 a bottle class of wines. In short, this is a small ship middle of the road cruise that I see no value in the higher cost to be justified! Read Less
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