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16 Azamara Senior Cruise Reviews

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
Sail Date February 2019
We chose this cruise based upon advertising and online recommendations. In a nutshell, the Azamara Quest over-promises and under-performs in many areas, all while charging premium dollars for the cruise. First, we have been on well over ... Read More
We chose this cruise based upon advertising and online recommendations. In a nutshell, the Azamara Quest over-promises and under-performs in many areas, all while charging premium dollars for the cruise. First, we have been on well over 100 cruises and my wife and I agree that the crew on the Quest was the best of any of our many voyages.They were consistently "GREAT". Also, the Captain interacted with the passengers daily, something you rarely see in today's cruise world. The food was hit or miss. We did not go to alternative dining. Food in the Discoveries Restaurant was good, but not great. Hit or miss! For example on several nights, I ordered fish, and without exception, it was very dry. Food in the windows café was varied and again, good, but not great. Based on our cruising experience, most of the shore excursions were grossly overpriced. While we were in port most days, and many passengers left the ship, activities on board were almost nonexistent. Those they had, included such things as "table tennis get-together, unhosted", "Enjoy a caprese Panini in windows café", "bridge game get-together, unhosted" and a "Last chance art sale". Entertainment on "The White Night" and the "Amazing Evening" was extraordinary and enjoyed by all. On balance, most of the other entertainment was good. The ship itself showed some signs that it was due to be refurbished; however, it was well-maintained and very clean. There was a daily trivia however unlike most ships, many of the questions were very difficult, to a fault. We have played a lot of trivia and Azamara must learn to ask questions that are age-appropriate for their passengers and challenging, but not impossible, to answer. I did use the fitness center if you times and the equipment was good, but very limited. The ports were fine and very interesting, but for the most part, very crowded, as you might expect in Europe, in the summer. One last thing. We were told not to make flight arrangements before 11 AM on the last day. As it was, passengers were told to disembark beginning at 8 to 9 AM. Had we known this, our plane travel home could have been much more direct and would have allowed us to get home without overnighting in New York City. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
This was our first Cruise with Azamara. Unfortunately our expectations were not met. We knew that the “Quest” was an older ship but did expect that the service, food etc. would compensate for that. The cabin - as for the ship ... Read More
This was our first Cruise with Azamara. Unfortunately our expectations were not met. We knew that the “Quest” was an older ship but did expect that the service, food etc. would compensate for that. The cabin - as for the ship itself - really needs a refurbishment. Especially the bathrooms, carpets etc. The cabin size is on the small side, which we knew though. The bathroom is very small and the including shower very tiny.. The service on embarkation day was really bad. We found our cabin to be without bathrobes, slippers, fresh flowers and some of the ameneties in the bathroom were missing. Dirty mirrows in the cabin and messages regarding on board credits to former cruisers had not been removed from the desk. On top of that we received one of our suitcases broken during the embarkation process.. Not really an issue but when it is said that you are to expect a high service then these things are not good enough. The first night we went to the main dining room where we found the service and the food to be very poor. The staff did it’s utmost but being very few persons to serve many guests that meant that we had to ask for water, wine when we wanted a fill up. We had bought the Ultimate beverage package due to a wider selection of wines and sparkling waters. However we had to sit waiting a long time (more than 10-15 minutes) for i.e. a Perrier as the staff had to go a long way to get hold of it. Furthermore we were told in the main dining room (and later) in Angelina and Prime C that portwine (Fonseca) was not included even though we had it in writing. Not comfortable to have to discuss this. We have never experienced such a bad service on our prior 6 cruises(Celebrity and Norwegian). To summit itnup: GOOD: Very nicely decorated “Windows Cafe” - the most stylish we have seen on the ships we have been cruising on. The food in the windows cafe was delicious although the selection was quite limited. The service and the food from “In room dining” - the best we have ever experienced. Being on a small ship means the possibility to get to places that bigger ships cannot go to. The itinerary was really nice - Menorca, Corsico and Elba being our favorites BAD: The service (compared to what was to be expected on a ship that should be luxury). The need of the staterooms, bathrooms, carpets i.e. to be refurbishment. The team spirit between the staff did not seem to be the best. We had a waiter in one of the speciality restaurant that - in our opinion - did not match the job. We was really trying but he seemed to be placed wrong. I.e. his comment when we ordered lobster was a “wow” so to say he was too smart for the job and needed som training how to “behave towards guests”. The food in the Main Dining room was poor - cold and lacked in taste. On “White Night” there were no possibilities to dine outside or sit in a bar if you did not want to attend the “White Night”. The intertainment was so bad. Really missed the productions shows on prior Cruises. Value for money - not worth paying the double price compared to Celebrity. In the future we will choose Celebrity Aqua Class instead. It is important to mention that we are not the only ones who were dissapointed. We spoke to various people on board - first timers on Azamara Quest as well as people who have cruised on Quest before. There was in particular one person who had been on Quest earlier this Year in the Carribean and he could not believe that he was on the same ship this time - so different was it. We do believe that the staff did it’s utmost to give us the service that was to be expected BUT even if they do what is in their power they cannot compensate for CUTS in general made from the persons/managements in charge. We think that Azamara should be profiling themselves as a Cruise Company that can go to small places where big ships cannot go and don’t profile them as being a luxury Line. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We booked this back to back a year before whilst on the Journey. Check in at Singapore was the worst we’d experienced in our long cruising history. Once aboard the customary welcome glass of champagne was not offered although other ... Read More
We booked this back to back a year before whilst on the Journey. Check in at Singapore was the worst we’d experienced in our long cruising history. Once aboard the customary welcome glass of champagne was not offered although other guests were walking around with them. In fairness our balcony cabin was lovely - spotless clean with regular towel/bedding changes. Our biggest disappointment was the very poor inferior entertainment. No singers and dancers but a group of four opera singers who are excellent performers but I felt totally inappropriate for a cruise. Their repertoire was far too ‘high brow’ for a relaxing.cruise holiday. The only outstanding performer was Kim Purling. We’d seen him on another cruise and he is an amazing pianist which put all the other acts to shame. There was a has been singer from Las Vegas, a has been comedienne from Australia and other embarrassing performances. I have never walked out of a show before but couldnt stand to sit through these acts. Cruise director Eric did his best to hold things together with his shows. White night has now passed its sell by date as it is so predictable and not so good without singers and dancers. On the plus side we experienced two brilliant Azamaing Evenings. The crew were as welcoming as ever and the service was good. Food was excellent with steaks being the best at sea!.we won’t be rushing back to Azamara. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Sydney to Auckland, Feb18. First impressions were excellent, the online check in made things an absolute breeze, we were onboard the ship by 1pm, which gave us plenty of time to become familiar with her. The Journey is a lovely ... Read More
Sydney to Auckland, Feb18. First impressions were excellent, the online check in made things an absolute breeze, we were onboard the ship by 1pm, which gave us plenty of time to become familiar with her. The Journey is a lovely well maintained ship, very clean. Our cabin on Deck 4 was located midship starboard side around 5 cabins down from the Starboard Gangway but was extremely quiet the whole time we were onboard even with the gangway being utilised. Our cabin was extremely clean, the en suite was on the small side and if you're a big guy then you have to turn sideways on to the shower to fit your shoulders in. The plastic shower curtain is USELESS would be so much better if they just had a glass door. Our cruise was 14 days, we had plenty of storage space and for the first time on 5 different cruise lines I was able to put my Extra Large Samsonite Hardcase under the bed (big plus). Our Cabin Attendants Louis and Reynaldo met us, fantastic guys, who delivered excellent service with a smile or joke every time we met them. They kept the cabin absolutely immacuate. As for the food, well the Main Dining Room was good, good choices and well cooked etc etc as you'd expect. The Buffet up at Windows Cafe, even though it had a number of speciality nights, we saw time after time, the same deserts, the same pasteries, the same sushi served up lunch and dinner. The Chefs Top Table was a STUNNER brilliant, great food, great wine and great company. Prime C Steakhouse the food was average but it was brilliant in Aqualina, as was the service. Coffee was out and out DISASTER and NOT WORTH DRINKING. Getting served UHT Milk for coffee whilst the ship was visiting two of the BEST Dairy Nations in the world is simply not on. As for the Coffee, the beans must have been roasted badly because the coffee was full of acid, no balance and very little favour. Onboard Entertainment to these Aussies was POOR. 54 may have been great for the Americans onboard but to anyone else it was so so. No Presentations on the history of New Zealand etc etc other than the Shore Excursions was pretty poor. That said we had the only Presenter Dr Michael Fopp do outstanding presentations on the Battle of Britain, Early Female Flyers etc etc. The Public Rooms were all excellent and very very comfortable. The ship only has 690 passengers maximum onboard so it was always possible to get a seat except at 6pm for Dinner at the Discoveries Bar or the Sunset Bar on the stern if the ship was sailing. The Itinerary was wonderful with plenty of time in the various ports we visited. Gave us plenty of time to wander around or take up shore excursions. Picton is just gorgeous whilst Napier with its Art Deco buildings was also a highlight. Milford Sound we arrived with grey skies but the sun rose and the sky cleared to show Milford in all its glory. We met a number of the Officers and Crew, all of whom were very nice and would take the time to have a chat with you. Finally the Onboard TV Entertainment was woeful. Documentaries were over 20 years old in some cases, whilst the movie selection was limited and repeated after a couple of days. The first cruise line to introduce a system like the In Flight Entertainment one finds available onboard a flight with Emirates, Singapore or Qantas Airlines will make a killing. No excuse in this day and age of technology for ships not to have such an entertainment system available to its passengers given ships have more space to carry such systems than aircraft. If the airlines can do it, the cruise industry should be doing it as well. Overall, we enjoyed the cruise because of the itinerary and the ships crews. The things listed above if improved would see the Journey really at the top of its game. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We made the Singapore cruise to Bali last January of this year. It was our 4th cruise on Azamara, and number 12 of all we did. And the experience was not as good as we used to Azamara All protocol, cleaning, food, etc. was ... Read More
We made the Singapore cruise to Bali last January of this year. It was our 4th cruise on Azamara, and number 12 of all we did. And the experience was not as good as we used to Azamara All protocol, cleaning, food, etc. was fulfilled But it lacked the "extra touch" that showed that the company was really interested in passengers. Entertainment was poor, The average age of the passengers must be 55/60 years. And we did not get the disc jockey to put on music that we could dance (with one exception of one night). The food was healthy but extremely boring in the main dining room. The shore excursions are badly organized. They had a central focus, for example, the Borobudur temple in Java, but in a 10-hour trip, we could only spend 1 hour in that wonderful place, the rest of the time in places that were not worth it. The same happened in the excursion in the north of Bali. In both, they should have provided us all with lunch boxes since the food that was included was full of flies !! (my husband and I take that forecast and end up sharing it with other passengers). Very good idea the special night with the music and culture of Bali. But nobody explained the meaning and symbols of the characters, the story, the gestures. And we lost a chance to understand such a different culture. And what ended up as a signal that the concern for the passengers was superficial was the landing in Benoa. In January Bali as all of Indonesia is in the rainy season. Being later in Bali we learned that torrential rain occurs basically from 18 pm to 10 am. The rest of the time is hot and humid and may drizzle. We had to disembark at 9 am (probably because other passengers would embark later) in the middle of a torrential rain.And something that is clear on the boat for its equipment is when the intense rain ends The ship did not have any protection (upper tarpaulin) on the stairway, they had not foreseen anything on the surface until they reached the port building, etc.etc. We got very wet, so much that I got sick the rest of the trip. Nothing to do with the treatment we had in 2017 at the Azamara Quest where we could see the capital and the officers permanently touring the ship and taking care of even a change of route to make the trip smoother. Nor the other two trips we made earlier in the Quest. When we get off a cruise, in general, we are already thinking about the next one. I do not know if we will do it again in an Azamara. One more point, I wanted to write this in the online survey they sent us (first it is a shame that a company like Azamara use SurveyMonkey program almost free) and also it closed twice and I could not complete it. Something good: the food and those who treated us in El Patio! I hope this serves to improve, especially that a new ship of the line is being launched. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
Title says it all. It is nowhere near as good as a Vikings Ocean Cruise. The ship is old has outdated decor (early Renaissance?) which is dark and dreary. The rugs are almost warn out. On the 7th floor starboard the hallway rug has a ... Read More
Title says it all. It is nowhere near as good as a Vikings Ocean Cruise. The ship is old has outdated decor (early Renaissance?) which is dark and dreary. The rugs are almost warn out. On the 7th floor starboard the hallway rug has a severe stain running the complete length of it which looks like there had been a sewage overflow on the cabin side of the rug. The intenet package was impossible to use, using Wi-Fi. I could seldom connect to the internet. When I did connect it would literally take many minutes to download material; uploading material was simply impossible. Internet support was very minimal and often unavailable. Had I paid the $239 for unlited service I would have been very angry. The food was good but not very good. The service was excellent though and very prompt. The same dishes were served almost every day with only a few different side dishes. We did eat in Windows,the buffet restaurant most of the time. The first time we ate in the Discovery restaurant it was so noisy that it was hard to have a conversation. We will not sail with Azamara again. That is sad because we had read so many positive reviews. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We took our first Azamara cruise in March of 2016 on Quest, on it's last voyage before going into drydock to be refurbished. Because of inconveniences (!!) and the itinerary having been shortened, the company compensated us and also ... Read More
We took our first Azamara cruise in March of 2016 on Quest, on it's last voyage before going into drydock to be refurbished. Because of inconveniences (!!) and the itinerary having been shortened, the company compensated us and also offered incentives for a future cruise. Thanks offer was hard to resist so we chose this itinerary, which fit our schedule. The Journey's overhaul made huge improvements appearance the worn appearance we'd seen on her sister ship. Still, no amount of new carpet and furniture can make stateroom bathrooms larger or add much-needed storage. We found the meals on Journey better overall than we'd had on Quest. However, an alarming incident in Windows buffet at lunch on the second day ruined my appetite for some of the food their for the rest of the cruise. At the carving station a whole turkey had been sliced open, and it was found to be very red, so it was taken away. The server told people another turkey would be out soon, that he had called his manager. But to my horror the new turkey was placed on the carving board before the old board, covered in the red juices from the raw bird, was removed. The server proceeded to carve and serve as if nothing were wrong. I flagged down the dining g room manager and quietly told him what had happened. He was very concerned and left to see about it. I also had a burned burger in The Patio, topped with what I can only describe as artificial cheese. On the other hand there were excellent soups and delicious steaks. Since I'm not that fond of desserts on ships, I enjoyed the excellent fresh fruit plates. We enjoyed the excursions we took from the ship. Coming and going was a pleasure, as the security staff were always pleasant and professional. I'm not quite sure why Azamara ships so often moor in industrial port areas, far from city centers. We're not sure if we'll continue sailing with this company. I know there are Azamara loyalists as there are with all lines, but we're not there- at least, not yet. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We sailed in September-October on a four week cruise Montreal-New Orleans on the Azamara Quest, under charter by a consortium of Australian travel agents.. As far as I am aware, there was no advertising of this charter on the Azamara ... Read More
We sailed in September-October on a four week cruise Montreal-New Orleans on the Azamara Quest, under charter by a consortium of Australian travel agents.. As far as I am aware, there was no advertising of this charter on the Azamara website, which was a pity because I am sure many Americans would have appreciated the opportunity to sail down their east coast. The major benefit would have been more rooms sold at full price, instead of the generous last-minute deals, which no doubt necessitated the charter company's cost-cutting. However, if Azamara was prepared to have its brand undermined because of what was clearly a poor relationship between it and the charter company, then that is the product presented to we first-time passengers, and the experience on which I comment. The rooms on the Quest are small and we had to walk sideways between the end of the bed and wall-mounted TV. The upright chair and coffee table were too heavy for regular movement ... but to use one, the other had to be repositioned. The curved sofa was only comfortable for one person to sit; its shape and size did not fit its corner placement, and the best place to watch the TV was from the bed. The designer of these ill-chosen pieces only needed to spend one night to know how unsuitable they are. The bathroom was minute and had no extraction. For a relatively small ship, 700 passengers, I found it impersonal. Middle management was invisible and obviously has no role in engaging with the customer ... except for the marketing people who, in a few ports, invited travel agents into the main guest lounge and spruiked their product. Blinds were lowered, a microphone and AV presentation used. How dismissive of we passengers using the lounge, when two empty restaurants were available to them to conduct business. The cruise director daily produced a long list of activities, most of which were “unhosted”. This was my first cruise where Bridge was not arranged; on ships of only 300 passengers, there can be a hardcore group of 30-40, especially on seas days. In poor or cool weather when the outer decks could not be used, the main dining room and cafeteria were over-crowded and noisy and, over a month, with too few daily changes, the a la carte menus became ordinary. The food was generally okay, but the superior meals were in the two speciality restaurants at an extra $60 a head. Standard alcohol was included, but a number of the wines were not acceptable. To overcome its aging ships, Azamara promotes its Land Discoveries as setting it apart from its competitors. Most of the 20 or so ports and shore excursions on our cruise were tremendous, but attention to detail by the ship’s staff was missing, e.g. presumably to keep down the cost of coaches timeframes were tight, and we were too often moved at a fast pace by guides (who were often half the age of most passengers, but we all kept up); guides unnecessarily cut short some tours; aging coaches; dubious drivers (one who drove with only one fist on the wheel!) who often didn’t know the route; dirty windows which have spoiled photographs. The ship’s New York berth, altered from Manhattan to a remote wharf in New Jersey with a poor shuttle service, was a disaster, and totally spoiled what most would have regarded as the major port of the cruise. Presumably this was cost cutting, and was an absolute disgrace. I have noticed reference in a previous review of Azamara’s “dysfunctional” website, and dirty windows; comments I completely endorse. Having been told Azamara is viewed as a 5-star ship ... I don't think so. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We were so looking forward to this cruise as we had travelled on the Azamara Journey previously and had thoroughly enjoyed the experience. This recent cruise was a different kettle of fish and not high on our list of good experiences. ... Read More
We were so looking forward to this cruise as we had travelled on the Azamara Journey previously and had thoroughly enjoyed the experience. This recent cruise was a different kettle of fish and not high on our list of good experiences. The embarkation was a debacle. It was very hot & humid in Cairns and standing waiting in line for 2 hours was not a good start to the cruise. When we finally boarded we were directed to our cabin. We had booked cabin 8008 but this was changed to a junior suite 8050 - good start! The cabin we were allocated was excellent & Ravin our butler was very helpful in explaining everything. The ship is easy to move around & is setout exactly the same as the Journey. After eating a fairly ordinary meal in the Windows Café we retired for the night. The next morning we both woke with very bad colds & felt very seedy. Unfortunately we never really felt well for the rest of the cruise and spent most of the time in our cabin. We did attend a couple of the lectures - Lectures about Russia & Putin were excellent. Lady who talked about the barrier reef not so good - her aim seemed to be to frighten everyone. Only went to one show - Australian/Vietnamese pianist Kym - excellent! Did not use Dining Room. What little we did eat we ate in our cabin or in Windows Café. Food was OK but definitely not 5 star. Only went ashore briefly at Hamilton Island & Mooloolaba so we could make phone calls to family to check on family member in hospital. Can't comment on any shore excursions as we were not able to participate. Missed Azamazing evening in Newcastle - again because of illness. Debarked in Sydney with no trouble. If only the embarkation had been as quick. We have cruised with various ships over the last few years - twice with Azamara. The first one from Hong Kong to Singapore would have to be the best cruise we have done. This last one from Cairns to Sydney the worst, & not just because we were unwell. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
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
Sail Date September 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
Sail Date July 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
Sail Date April 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 March 2015
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 September 2014
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
Sail Date March 2013
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