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16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
We booked the Azamara Quest cruise from Sydney to Bali sailing on 13th February 2016 way back in 2014. The itinerary looked fabulous and we had been advised that as cruise virgins we should go high end. This looked to be perfect. ... Read More
We booked the Azamara Quest cruise from Sydney to Bali sailing on 13th February 2016 way back in 2014. The itinerary looked fabulous and we had been advised that as cruise virgins we should go high end. This looked to be perfect. However, we were then told by seriously experienced cruisers that if we wanted to enjoy luxury cruising without the price tag we should try Celebrity, which we did in 2015. Perhaps we shouldn't have done that because it was obvious almost immediately that Celebrity gave us twice as much as Azamara for approximately half the price. My first bug bear is that you cannot call a cruise ship luxury if the shower has a curtain! I hate fighting shower curtains. And I am not particularly large so heaven knows how passengers of a more generous shape coped at all. The staterooms were small but quite well fitted, it was the shower curtain that drove me crazy. Second issue was the farce surrounding the inclusive drinks. The ridiculous offering of one white wine and one red wine per day was lucicrous. The fact that the wines were very poor quality compounded the problem. Very, very disappointing. There are only three "complimentary" (a misnomer if ever there was one - you should see my invoice for this cruise) beers, two of which were from Budweiser, so the choice was very poor indeed. There were no brandies amongst the spirits, so unless we opted to pay, we couldn't enjoy a brandy after dinner. Considering most high end cruise lines include at least a sparkling wine in the range of inclusive drinks I feel Azamara is sadly lacking. The food is incredibly disappointing. The standard isn't as high as I had expected on a "luxury" cruise, in fact most dishes were poorly seasoned and quite bland. There is very little choice, even if you opt for a specialist restaurant - and I must say I was quite disappointed by the food quality in both specialist restaurants. Really disappointing. The staff, with a very few exceptions, are outstanding. They are friendly and go out of their way to speak to each and every passenger, including the captain: a nice touch. The notable exception is the misnamed "Activities Manager". The range of activities is truly appalling and the young man responsible should be challenged on why he isn't doing the job properly - (heaven help anyone trying to understand his response because although English is his first language his version of it is a wild variation on the native tongue) I really do not feel that marzipan modelling or Origami (part 1 and 2) is exactly thrilling. The fact that there is nothing much else to do meant that a lot of people were complaining of boredom. The fact that this young man only deigned to speak to a few of the passengers, literally ignoring others when they spoke to him, was unforgivable and wholly unacceptable. Everyone noticed that he enjoyed all the facilities of the ship as if he were a passenger but he put very little back, he certainly made very little effort to ensure that fare paying guests enjoyed themselves on sea days. The shore excursions were a complete rip off, frequently costing more than double the price of the same excursion when booked ashore. How on earth can they justify this? On the subject of money, it seemed that virtually everything going on during the day involved someone trying to sell something. Whether it was the gym manager, the clinic or the spa. It was noticeable that these people were rarely occupied and at the prices they were charging it was hardly surprising. These people are basically passenger who are paid to be there. If the treatments were slightly less I would certainly have spoilt myself with several but I didn't have a single treatment, I hate being ripped off. It seems illogical that a cruise line keeps paying so many staff to do nothing. It would be so easy to have them occupied, several people I spoke to made the same comment, the prices were off putting. Unsurprisingly, it was very sunny on board, so much so that a vast number of beds by the pool were unusable because of direct sun (the hole in the ozone layer in this part of the world isn't conducive to spending time in direct sunlight). Would a few umbrellas be too much to ask for? The areas are sheltered from wind but even if wind was a problem the umbrellas could be taken down so I am at a loss to understand why these aren't provided. We spoke to a lot of fellow passengers who were trying Azamara after Seabourne and Oceania and all of them said they would be going back to those rather than cruise with Azamara again. I think we will follow suit, although we will cruise with Celebrity as well. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2015
Azamara sells their cruises to "destination" cruisers, yet they have the most incompetent shore excursions desk, worst tours and most expensive. their free shuttle to the city centre usually translates to 'designer ... Read More
Azamara sells their cruises to "destination" cruisers, yet they have the most incompetent shore excursions desk, worst tours and most expensive. their free shuttle to the city centre usually translates to 'designer mall' so if u r not into high end shopping, u need a tour. overpriced, eg Komodo Dragon tour $179 for I hr. of which we spent ten minutes taking pics of lethargic lizards. I suspect they were drugged because I had friends who took a private tour and were shown dragons immediately upon hitting land and the guide pointed out the fat one had just eaten. these lizards scurried into the brush and they stalked down more, our guide told us all about flora as we followed signs pointing to the azamara path to the dragons. after 40 min. all eight groups magically 'found' a group of dragons who lay quietly in a bunch. altho I haven't tried it, princess offers a similar tour for $129. in semerang I chose to visit the oranatangs which were great, however, our guide forced us to go 3 hrs without water while other groups were given lockers to hold their water bottles and stuff. I complained to the shore excursions desk when I returned and nobody ever addressed my concerns, I even wrote my concerns on the form sent to me for the purpose of solving problems before the journey's end. no response. I included the other shore excursion that was misleading, the itinerary was ignored by the guide and my group was taken shopping at a mall instead of seeing the church and fort listed in the itinerary. no response from shore excursions desk when I complained and again no response from those who read the form meant to head off problems. when I asked the shore excursion staff about the Osaka castle that listed 220 steps was their an elevator. nobody knew or cared. azamara's shore excursions r not only over priced compared to the same excursion supplied by Holland America and princess, but they do not stand behind their excursions nor offer any way to address buyer dissatisfaction. azamara wants your money, but they do not care about the customer. as I found out from talking to many, many people on board a majority of folk just take the shuttle to the mall, therefore this is not an issue. Spa - if u care about relaxing in a private spa take Holland America where u can buy a week in the spa w/ a Jacuzzi, orange water fountain and hot tile beds. azamara offers a private outdoor Jacuzzi and lawn chairs. why would I spend money on an outdoor Jacuzzi when I can go free to the outdoor Jacuzzi on the same deck? Also they only put spa specials on shore days while, Holland America, princess, oceania, norwegion offer specials on sea days when there's time to pamper oneself in the spa. As I found out from talking to many, many people this is not an issue because they never enter the spa. from what I can tell, the folk who like azamara and sail often spend the majority of their time socializing during the day, over dinner and then go to the evening entertainment. The entertainment: classical cello, classical violin, classical piano, piano player who also does card tricks, hypnotist, glen miller songs, "voices", a musical, was recommended so I attended and i enjoyed it only because they sang songs from the 60-s. 70's & 80's so I could sing-along,.however I tried another show w/ the quest singers and dancers and left half way thru - boring and the singers couldn't sing. TV - there were 2 free movies and lots of pay-per-view. Once a week a movie played in the theatre w/ popcorn provided. One thriller and 3 rom-com;s, I enjoyed the thriller. Lectures by Dr. Greenway who sailed the first 2 weeks were informative and from life experience. another man lectured on planes from WW 1. I never attended so I cannot comment. the travel lecturer from the 2nd segment was dry, factual and tolerable. Azamazing evenings are good if u like fireworks. I found the first one in Thailand 'touristy' so I skipped the one in Manila. when I asked folk how was the evening in manila everyone raved about the fireworks even tho it was listed as music in manila. There were dancers from manila brought on board and they provided dances from the indigenous people. it was a great performance, Japanese entertainers were brought on board and I would have liked to see them, but they were scheduled for 9:30 the last night of the cruise and most of the folk I talked to were finishing packing. why didn't azamara bring them on board the first or second night we were in Osaka - why wait 'til the last night? During the day there was trivia games and in the final 2 wk segment origami classes .Interestingly, since Princess has ships in s.e.asia azamara seems to be trying to be all things to all people. this year they added craft classes(origami) like princess, a $10 sale like princess and that's just weird on a luxury cruise that featured designer handbags starting at $700. Cabin stewart - my first two wks I had jesus who was respectful, helpful, and a great cleaner. I wrote a letter to his supervisor praising him. then I moved to cabin 6012 - I was appalled - the shower curtain was filthy, the mirrors were streaky, and the temperature guage was so dirty it was black, not to mention it didn't work. the supervisor got me a new curtain, cleaned and fixed the temperature gage, but the stewart, just couldn't clean. mirrors still streaky and vanity grungy. Florina, customer service, arranged for me to get jesus again, (wrote to Florina's supervisor commending her outstanding work); she solved problems better than management. If I was on Holland America or princess, altho it has never been necessary, I could remove tip. I can't on azamara and if it wasn't for florina I'd still have substandard stewardship w/ no retribution. Finally, I'm from vancouver who was just voted in the top ten cities for best coffee under Vienna. The Espresso bar serves "nespresso" made w/ dutch Arabica beans. Espresso is a dark roast and no matter how long u roast an Arabica bean it will still be a medium roast coffee. Thank God I never travel without my Italian roast via ready brew from starbucks. Coffee on azamara is for those who don't like coffee. Seems to me, Azamara cruises r for retired seniors (I'm 68 and retired) who take few shore excursions and prefer to shuttle to the mall, like the entertainment I find boring, like to socialize w/ a variety of people all day, don't use the spa, like to socialize w/ the staff, -- its a seabound retirement home. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2012
The Azamara cruise from Mumbai India to Chennai India lasting some 13 days was NOT a luxury cruise nor a luxury ship. SHIP. Poorly maintained, worn out, interior and many areas of poor care, no paint, covered rust etc...throughout the ... Read More
The Azamara cruise from Mumbai India to Chennai India lasting some 13 days was NOT a luxury cruise nor a luxury ship. SHIP. Poorly maintained, worn out, interior and many areas of poor care, no paint, covered rust etc...throughout the ship. ROOM. Dirty in many areas including the deck and fixtures inside the cabin. AC works poorly. Broken parts there were fixed. FOOD. Slightly below what is served at Carnival. The 2 areas to eat that cost an extra $25 each per night were nice but not outstanding. SERVICE. What service. The cabin boys were efficient. At each port including the first one in Mumbai there was confusion often bordering on silly. Was there not someone who set up the ports ahead of time? There was NO information aboard the ship about the ports beyond what they were willing to sell as an excursion. This was not a luxury cruise line. Even if the ship was beautiful it appeared everywhere the ship docked was like an adventure for everyone. There was confusion in harbors, broken lines attaching us to the shore, hidden leadership but a lasting impression upon the patrons on board the ship. This is to be avoided. Read Less
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