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4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We chose this cruise specifically for the 3 full days in St. Petersburg. What we liked: --easy getting on board --smaller ship, easier to get off for excursions (other than first day in StP which is due to customs) and you are ... Read More
We chose this cruise specifically for the 3 full days in St. Petersburg. What we liked: --easy getting on board --smaller ship, easier to get off for excursions (other than first day in StP which is due to customs) and you are stopped as close to the city as possible, this is great --self laundry available at no cost and soap provided --entertainment was good --cabin service good, including room service available 24/7 (no complimentary drink service to rooms in our category, but there will be in 2020) --Azamazing evening was wonderful --White night party was very nice --our favourite meal was at Aqualina, followed by white night buffet and then the first night seafood buffet --the gym is very well equipped What we were less fond of: --food & service in the Discoveries restaurant was just average, we eat well and go out to great restaurants so our expectations may be set higher than for some --complimentary beverage list is very limited, even for us who are not big drinkers. White wine was terrible on a couple of days. At this cost why? I understand charging for truly premium brands and great wine for not the rest of it. --we pre-paid 3 nights at the 2 specialty restaurants, we tried to change our reservation for PrimeC as the white night party moved dates - instead of moving us they cancelled our booking and it was an argument to get a new reservation --wifi was horribly slow, we paid for the unlimited package - not worth the cost IMO --I don't know what the purpose of guest services is, not helpful when I spoke with them --one of our pre-booked shore excursions was cancelled and they only notify you onboard - you're then stuck re-booking in US $ which has an impact --we booked 2 shore excursions with the ship, enjoyed the bike tour but the other was "meh", if you know you don't like group tours then keep this in mind --disembarking was a total gong show, booked ship bus transfer to train station which is a TOTAL rip off and they were totally disorganized and ran much later than communicated to us, taxis were really not available - a handful with many waiting for them, both of our bags were tagged #21 but one was placed with the #12 bags--we were lucky to find it Excursions: --we did a private tour with Alla in StP and it was WELL worth the $$ --Helsinki is easy to visit on your own --Riga, Klaipeda are very small towns and could easily be visited on own, we went to Curonian Spit in Klaipeda and it's beautiful but I couldn't figure out how to get there without the tour --Malbork Castle (Gdansk) is beautiful but leaves little time in Gdansk itself. Gdansk could be done on your own --Ronne not much to see IMO Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We chose this cruise because we hadn’t been in this region before and all the ports were therefore new. We weren’t disappointed. We have travelled on the Azamara line 10 times now and have enjoyed our time on board. We had a window ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we hadn’t been in this region before and all the ports were therefore new. We weren’t disappointed. We have travelled on the Azamara line 10 times now and have enjoyed our time on board. We had a window view on Deck 4, which we found more than acceptable. We are aware of the general criticisms regarding the size and spaciousness of the bathroom and shower but due to our size and stature we don’t experience any problems. We ate mainly in the Discoveries restaurant but did venture up to the Windows café whenever they had the Indian night. The décor and amenities throughout the vessel were good. We didn’t go to the entertainment as it just didn’t strike a chord with us this time, but we did enjoy the onboard pianist. It was nice to relax in the living room and enjoy the ambience. One thing that Azamara should consider whenever they are removing the casino is to enlarge the restroom facilities as I feel they are wholly inadequate (being the closest restrooms to the Cabaret Lounge) All the staff on board were extremely friendly and courteous and always said hello. The cleanliness of the public areas and our stateroom were always pristine. The senior staff were very visible and always approachable We were out most of the time so didn’t take part in any of the on board activities. My wife did enjoy the artist Jean Picton and went to her workshops on the sea days. I enjoyed lectures regarding the Tsars and St Petersburg that helped gen me up on what I would see and experience when we got there. The weather was really good throughout the voyage, the only rain being at Copenhagen and as we were going home it didn’t have the same affect. We are looking forward to our next cruise on the Pursuit. It will be nice to see the transformation the refit (in Belfast) will have had. We live close to Belfast and kept ourselves aware of the progress the ship was making whilst it was there. Ports of call Stockholm Embarkation- A nice sail away past all the islands. St Petersburg We booked a private three day intensive tour of all the important sites with TJ Travel before we left home. It was a full on experience which we enjoyed immensely and felt that it was great value for money. We would thoroughly recommend this to anyone who wished to understand St Petersburg’s role in Russian history. We certainly had a great time! Helsinki We just stepped off the ship as it was right in the centre. Did the open topped bus and enjoyed the little market at the waterfront. Riga Another port were we docked right by the centre of the old town. We just walked across the road we were there. The architecture was very interesting and the people friendly. We enjoyed our day there. Klaipeda Another port easily accessed from the ship, and a local folk group was there to greet us. A lot of metal pieces of public art to enjoy as well as numerous sculptures scattered throughout a public park. We had our White Night party in Klaipeda and were entertained again by the folk group, this time on the ship – a real coup! Gdansk We got bussed in to the old city. Again very interesting to see the pictures of the city as it was just after the war and how it looks now rebuilt in the same style as before. We had our Azamazing evening here. We were entertained in the Philharmonic Hall to an evening of music by Fyrderyk Chopin played on the piano by Rafael Lewandowski and accompanied on the violin by Karolina Piatkowska- Nowicka. An amazing evening of culture rounded of by a firework display. We certainly won’t forget that evening in a hurry. Ronne The best day for weather on the cruise. The sun shone all day. It was a nice peaceful little town to walk through, the architecture of the old houses being particularly appealing. This was a very pleasant and relaxing way to end our cruise. Copenhagen A very wet day to disembark and not a particularly pleasant dock, but Azamara had advised us earlier regarding the facilities and had suggested that we avail ourselves of transfers something that we had already done as part of our package. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We cruised the Baltic ports at the end of June on Journey. Previously we had sailed on Quest in Feb 2016, both ships being identical helped in navigating our way around. Both ships have been upgraded since and I was slightly disappointed ... Read More
We cruised the Baltic ports at the end of June on Journey. Previously we had sailed on Quest in Feb 2016, both ships being identical helped in navigating our way around. Both ships have been upgraded since and I was slightly disappointed that the BEIGE look in the cabins dominated, the heavy chairs in the dining room were ridiculously heavy and I needed help in getting closer to the table to eat. The Cabin stewards were wonderful and so helpful especially when i fell ill with sea sickness. My cabin steward brought me three cans of ginger ale and was so concerned about my well being. All crew were polite and willing to help. Food in the dining rooms was good, the speciality restaurants had gone up in price from $30 to $40 per person since we last cruised with Azamara. To be honest they were nothing special and I think the meals in Discoveries were far better. As for the entertainment, well, we didn’t bother as there was nothing to inspire us to go see and from the comments of other passengers we were correct in doing so. Surely, when docked in St Petersburg for three nights local Russian dancers could have been brough on to provide entertainment. The same in Tallin as we were in port until 10am. Cruise tours, no matter which line you travel on are always over priced. We booked a three day tour with Alla tours in St Petersburg which was excellent. So sad to say but, I think the luxury has gone out of Azamara and this worries me because we have a Christmas/NY cruise booked at the end on 2018 Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We chose this cruise because we hoped it would be more luxurious, being the highest quality line that Royal Caribbean became but it was not. I would describe this as better than Celebrity (also RC) but not on par with Seaborne or other ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we hoped it would be more luxurious, being the highest quality line that Royal Caribbean became but it was not. I would describe this as better than Celebrity (also RC) but not on par with Seaborne or other similar ships. The food was decent. The speciality restaurants were not worth the money. The best place we ate was the Patio which was outside. A small menu but you can bring out food from the Cafe, which was decent. My main issue is that dinner ends early and you can’t get food after 9:30 other than room service. Many other cruise lines have a later night option. That would have been nice (if not expected). The rooms are small. The bathrooms very small. We had a veranda. Upgrade to the suite. Easy decision (which we did not make and should have). A suite on the ship is equivalent to a normal sized cabin on other cruises. We stayed on 7097. The main issue was that the service door was outside our room and we heard the door opening all of the time. Stay away from the service door for housekeeping. Laundry room has approx 8 machines. We managed to do laundry 3 times during our 12 night cruise. It can be crowded so plan accordingly. Usually best is if you get back from touring before the ship departs. Avoid the sea day. Three days in St Petersburg was nice. We used a private company (Alla Tours) for our tour. The ship excursions are not worth the money. Bigger complaint was that we stayed until 10:00 pm in Tallin — a total of waste — but left Amsterdam and Coppenhagen but 5:00 pm. That was absurd. We chose a smaller ship to stay later in port. This was a huge planning mistake. Also in Belgium, the trains were on strike. Azamara knew this but made no efforts to arrange for transportation to Bruge. Many people were stuck waiting for city buses that were far too few. Azamara should have arrange for buses — even if at a discount rate — into Bruge. Many people rightly commented that this was an example of how Azamara missed the opportunity to be a quality line. In the end, the trip was good but not luxurious. Better than a 2,000 passenger ship but there are other options for small ships too, like Wind Star. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
As first-timers on Azamara Cruises, my husband and I chose this ship primarily for its port-intensive itinerary and passenger size of ship (less than 700 guests). Embarkation and check in were a breeze - it probably took us 30 minutes in ... Read More
As first-timers on Azamara Cruises, my husband and I chose this ship primarily for its port-intensive itinerary and passenger size of ship (less than 700 guests). Embarkation and check in were a breeze - it probably took us 30 minutes in total from time of arrival at port to getting to the cabin. The ship itself was beautiful, well-kept and clean. Our room club verandah stateroom was well-maintained and our cabin attendants were wonderful. We were pleased that we spent the extra money to get a room with a balcony, and spent a fair amount of time on it when we were in our room. The bathroom is tiny but well cleaned, and you get used to the size. Fortunately we had quiet neighbors on either side of us which made for an even better experience! There was a sufficient amount of dining options to choose from. We ate mostly in the Windows Cafe for dinner - great selection to choose from, and also tried both specialty restaurants once each, as well as the MDR a couple of times. Quality of the food was fine for the most part, and we really enjoyed the Aqualina restaurant. Windows Cafe is buffet style, so with that comes food that may be lukewarm at times. Because the itinerary was port-intensive, we did not partake in too many on-board activities, and when we did it was mainly the daily afternoon trivia contests. Nighttime entertainment was okay - I believe a few of the acts were new to the ship - so it was a bit hit and miss in terms of quality. I'm sure they will work out the kinks as time goes by. The ports themselves were great, with the exception of Amsterdam, which we found quite grimy (cigarette butts and trash everywhere). The only excursion we signed up for was a three-day one through a local operator in St. Petersburg, which was tiring but fantastic. Otherwise, we prefer to explore on our own and the small size of the ship meant we were able to pull right into the city center of most ports and walk into town. Above all, we found the staff and crew extremely delightful, and always with a smile on their faces and willing to assist however they can. Thank you Wilson and Raymond for keeping our room immaculate! Alicia the Cruise Director was always full of energy, and is also a great singer/entertainer. We would definitely sail on Azamara again if the right itinerary came along. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2017
This was my second cruise, both with Azamara. I'm not sure how I venture to another company to make a comparison as Azamara is just delightful. We spent 4 days in Stockholm before boarding which was excellent, such a beautiful city. ... Read More
This was my second cruise, both with Azamara. I'm not sure how I venture to another company to make a comparison as Azamara is just delightful. We spent 4 days in Stockholm before boarding which was excellent, such a beautiful city. We found our cabin to be very comfortable, clean and well looked after by our lovely room attendants. Dining onboard is very good. Lots of options and the specialty restaurants and Chef's Table experience are well worth indulging in. The ports were all excellent, even the little town of Skagan where the local bands played on the dock as we sailed out. The ship docks so close to the destination cities you literally walk off the ship and you're in town. We only did Azamara shore excursions in St Petersburg and while they are a little pricey we would highly recommend the "meet a local" tour. A small group of us had afternoon tea with a delightful lady in her family home where she happily chatted about life and answered our questions. It was a great insight into the similarity and differences of life. Without a doubt the jewel in the crown for Azamara is their staff. Every single person you encounter from your room attendants to the Captain are open, friendly and totally engaged. The senior staff are very visible and interact freely with guests, always happy to chat and answer questions. I believe it's the human factor that creates a sense of loyalty to Azamara. I look forward to them adding a New York to Montreal route so I can book my next cruise with them. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
This was out fourth cruise on the Journey. Loved the redecorating. The crew was very friendly and accommodating. Thank you for providing us with what we needed to have Sabbath services onboard. The apple tarts were delicious. Would ... Read More
This was out fourth cruise on the Journey. Loved the redecorating. The crew was very friendly and accommodating. Thank you for providing us with what we needed to have Sabbath services onboard. The apple tarts were delicious. Would have liked to have a more private setting for the services. There was a lot of noise from the bar and another reception happening. It was wonderful to meet Lek Waleska. The Azamazing Evening was a real treat. Very well organized. The Cruise Critic reception allowed us to meet other couples right away. The food was excellent and we really appreciated accommodating my husband's food allergies. The wine tasting was very good. The wine steward was very knowledgable and did a great job of explaining things to us. Our cabin steward was very thoughtful and helpful He obtained an extension cord for the CPAP machine. We made some wonderful new friends on board. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
This was our third Azamara cruise and we have loved each one! The ship size is ideal for us. The ship's staff could not have been any friendlier. We dined three times in the specialty restaurants and did two of the chef's tables ... Read More
This was our third Azamara cruise and we have loved each one! The ship size is ideal for us. The ship's staff could not have been any friendlier. We dined three times in the specialty restaurants and did two of the chef's tables with wine. All were very good. Also could find no complaints with the Discoveries Restaurant. Very diverse selections. White Night was exceptional! Also enjoyed the Sunday brunch with the jazz band. Thanks to recommendations from other Cruise Critic roll call members, we booked tours in St Petersburg and Berlin with SPB Tours. Highly recommend! St Petersburg was unbelievable! So glad we had three full days there. Due to the small size of the ship, we were able to pull into the heart of St Petersburg. The weather was exceptional for the most part. Just a brief shower one afternoon. It was nice Azamara provided free shuttles from the ship into Tallin and Skagen. Made a number of new friends on the cruise. Another big benefit of the smaller ships. Nice to have a free laundry on board. Embarkation and disembarkation were both a breeze. Enjoyed so much we booked back to back cruises for next year. Counting the days! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2017
We chose this cruise because we have wanted to visit St Petersburg, and we had sailed before on Azamara and have always been highly satisfied. Because we wanted to see as much as we could with as little hassle as possible, I found out ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we have wanted to visit St Petersburg, and we had sailed before on Azamara and have always been highly satisfied. Because we wanted to see as much as we could with as little hassle as possible, I found out that Azamara has a private tour section. We worked with Zsofia Sarkadi and she provided us with a 3 day tour. It was a fantastic experience. The tour company that Azamara use was first rate. Our guide, Ludmilla Stepanov was as good as they come. She is an English teacher so language was no problem. During the tour, our driver would drop us near the entrance and when we finished that tour, he was always right there. We visited all the places you read about, and a bonus was a canal tour. Again this tour was conducted in English by a young lady that studies English at the University. If you would like to see St Petersburg, I highly recommend this way. It is slightly higher than the larger shore excursions, but so pleasant. The Journey's best feature is their crew. They are very friendly, and after the first day, usually know your name and your preferences. The small ship let us dock right near the town center at most of the stops, so you could just walk off and see the town. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2017
In 2008, we took our 1st Azamara Cruise in the Mediterranean, 10 cruises later, we came back to Azamara and just returned from the 12 Night Baltic Sea to London voyage. This was by far the best cruise we have taken in years. The food was ... Read More
In 2008, we took our 1st Azamara Cruise in the Mediterranean, 10 cruises later, we came back to Azamara and just returned from the 12 Night Baltic Sea to London voyage. This was by far the best cruise we have taken in years. The food was fabulous, not only in the specialty restaurants and main dining room, in the buffet as well. The stateroom and balcony were great. The bathroom a little tight, but plenty of storage. The 3 days in St. Petersburg was perfect. Highlights: Special Azamara night at the Russian Symphony Hall, The White Night Dinner, and long days in Port. Embarkation and Disembarkation was easy without waiting in long lines. The Port Locations were always close to town, except in Stockton. Shuttles were provided, is necessary. We did not attend the entertainment activities, we opted for late dinners, instead. We will return to the Azamara, it was Simply The Best! Read Less
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