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Sail Date: February 2019
Recently back from my second Azamara voyage, both on the Quest. Overall this Sydney to Auckland cruise was excellent with some notable improvements, however there are areas which continue to disappoint. On the positive side, I found ... Read More
Recently back from my second Azamara voyage, both on the Quest. Overall this Sydney to Auckland cruise was excellent with some notable improvements, however there are areas which continue to disappoint. On the positive side, I found the ship to be spotless and the crew genuinely friendly. Most notable was the main restaurant, Discoveries. I was greeted with a friendly smile and often assigned a lovely window table for 2. Yes there can be short waits at peak times, but if you are patient, it is always rewarded. The food & service were just outstanding both in Discoveries and Windows Cafe. The Patio also offered an alternative, and that was excellent as well. Deck areas were well maintained, and the crew worked hard to clear the many rainfalls which left areas saturated. My cabin, an outside window space on deck 4 was cozy and well serviced. I truly did not miss having a balcony especially considering the weather we had. This location is quiet and very convenient to everything. The self service laundry was very popular and difficult to get in. Still great to have when on extended holiday. I won’t go into the ports of call, but suffice it to say they were brilliant. I was truly blown away especially by the New Zealand stops. I spent a few days post cruise in Auckland and loved that city. Where Azamara continues to struggle are all areas I noted during my first voyage, 18 months ago. First, the front office just can’t seem to put out accurate information. As another reviewer noted, our travel documents stated the Quest would be berthed at the Overseas Passenger Terminal (OPT) in Sydney. For several months prior to the trip, the Port of New South Wales website showed her berthing at White Bay. I called Azamara several times and was assured by the CSR (and supervisors) that the ship would be at OPT. For those not familiar with Sydney, these locations are not close to each other, about $40 AUD taxi fare. Finally a few days before departure, another CSR emailed the Quest and confirmed it would be White Bay. An email was finally sent out, but many had already left for their travels and not everyone looks at emails on holiday. I overheard several passengers who followed the directions on their docs only to find the ship wasn’t there. This was not a last minute change of berth due to unforeseen events, the Port always listed White Bay. Needless confusion on a simple matter. As I mentioned my cabin on deck was cozy but the in room entertainment was awful. With 3 very rough sea days crossing the Tasman Sea, all the outside decks were closed due to high winds. A newer movie was $11.99 or you could watch Top Gun (circa 1986) over and over. Maverick and Goose- really? The last area was something I mentioned in several venues last time and received no response. Azamara touts itself as environmentally sensitive with signs reminding pax to reuse their towels. Yet, they continue to hand out hundreds of plastic water bottles and use little plastic bottles for shampoo, etc. There are always bins full of water bottles at the gangway, I have yet to see anyone return with an empty. I’m sure some folks try to dispose of them properly, but I’m guessing many just throw them away. It would be so easy to encourage people to bring a refillable water bottle with them or even better, provide one as a passenger perk instead of another tote bag. Fill stations are everywhere now, especially in Australia and New Zealand. An addition of a shampoo wall dispenser would eliminate the thousands of tiny plastic bottles used each cruise. This suggestion fell on deaf ears last time. Azamara is a good product, and I love the size of the ships, and the laidback atmosphere. I will be back but continue to explore the many options out there. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We sailed for 14 days from Sydney to Auckland. There was a lot of confusion about which port we would depart from Sydney. Was very confusing up until almost the last minute as the original plan seemed to have been the Overseas Cruise ... Read More
We sailed for 14 days from Sydney to Auckland. There was a lot of confusion about which port we would depart from Sydney. Was very confusing up until almost the last minute as the original plan seemed to have been the Overseas Cruise Terminal - located near Circular Quay at the Rocks. Instead we left from White Bay Cruise Terminal. (Apparently they've had alot of confusion as we later learned that Azamara sent a representative to the OCT to redirect guests.) While many chose to be unhappy about it - the silver lining we found was that this allowed us to sail UNDER the Sydney Harbour Bridge - which made for some cool pics and videos. The ship itself seemed to be in good shape. I was surprised to hear that it is scheduled for dry dock in Singapore in a couple of months. Public areas, furniture, and cabins appeared to be in good shape - with nothing standing out as needing updates. We have sailed with Azamara a few times - but always on the Journey. Last time was in 2015. The Quest - as previously reported by others - is the same layout. Since our last sailing, they introduced the Living Room concept on deck 10 - replacing the Looking Glass. We really liked it. On bad weather sea days, it was packed. Service was great throughout the cruise. From bars to restaurants to cabin staff - they did a great job as they have in the past. We had one issue that we weren't initially happy with how they handled it - but then they reconsidered (without our asking) and contacted us to resolve in our favor. To make a long story short, we purchased the Ultimate Bundle - which was really worth it. Includes internet, spa credit, excursions credit, drinks package, laundry, etc. We expected that we would get the $40 credit per person for our status that we would have gotten if we bought just the internet package. They said that applied only to purchases of internet packages and not if it was purchased as part of a bundle. Sounds ridiculous and they finally understood why a guest would be confused between a package and a bundle. As I said, they eventually got it and gave us an onboard credit - which was what we requested. Food was good but not great. Discoveries (main dining room) had a pretty good menu with rotating selections. Always love that they consistently offer shrimp cocktail and french onion soup! Windows cafe was good for breakfast and lunch. We only tried it for one night for dinner and it was just ok. We are not buffet people - so we are probably biased anyway! The Living Room had a nice supply of sandwiches, tea (scones & cakes), and tapas throughout the day. Our bundle included the Ultimate Drink package. They had a nice offering but honestly didn't need it as most of the included wines they poured were acceptable. It's also nice that since our last sailing they have added prosecco to the complimentary list - as it was awkward to not have any bubbles on that list. (Although I should note that I take small offense to them calling it complimentary since we paid for an all inclusive cruise. They should said "included" or something instead." The White Night deck party was alot of fun. Lots of people remembered to pack their whites - so it really turned out to be a nice night. They brought a local band onboard who played fun jazz - followed of course by the ship's entertainers who did a great job leading dances, etc. Our fellow guests were mainly retired folks with a spattering of working age folks (40-60) from all over. Alot of Europeans (especially Scots & Brits), some Americans, and surprisingly alot of Kiwis and Australians (guess its easy to get to or from the ship!). We met lots of folks and enjoyed most. 14 days is a long time with some people - including those who jump in line or ignore that you are next for the bus and take the last 2 seats ahead of you ... Thankfully these folks were the exception and not the rule. Most of our fellow guests were classy and realized that common courtesy was the best way to go. As I frequently remind people who have to be "first" for everything - the cruise lines know what they are doing and never seem to run out of what people want! They take care of everyone! We had a balcony cabin on the eighth deck forward. Even with a few days of high seas, we did ok being forward. Tasman crossings can always be a bit rough they said. They were right! As described as naseum in other reviews, the bathroom (shower in particular) are laughably small. 14 days is a long cruise for us - but we found the size of the cabin to be adequate, including plenty of storage. Ok - now the areas where Azamara could improve ... 1. they seem to have started nickel and diming for some things... charging for movies on the TV ($12 or something) seems a little much ... and charging for a bridge tour or behind the scenes tour .... Seems rather Royal Caribbean, instead of Azamara ... 2. When the Living Room was packed, it sometimes took awhile to get served ... once they saw you needed something, they were helpful. More a matter of not enough servers instead of the staff being lazy 3. Entertainment was the same as on small ships... They could learn from the larger ships and try to make this a bit better 4. Prime C was just ok ... seems like they could improve quality of beef ... (Aqualina was excellent). 5. Excursions were pricey. Disappointed a few were cancelled due to lack of interest. Overall - super happy with this cruise. Kudos to Azamara for having some of the friendliest crew and definitely the most engaging officers at sea. We sail with Seabourn, Oceania, and SilverSea regularly and think Azamara is just as enjoyable and a much better value! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 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
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
We chose this cruise for the itinerary, plus friends had recommended the Azamara Journey. We loved the lack of formality - no dressing up for dinner or jackets required for the men. The staff were friendly and helpful, service was ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary, plus friends had recommended the Azamara Journey. We loved the lack of formality - no dressing up for dinner or jackets required for the men. The staff were friendly and helpful, service was excellent. The food was good - we really enjoyed Prime C but were disappointed with Aqualina. The house wine was average at best. Unable to comment on the entertainment as we never went to any shows, quite happy to have a late dinner then sit in the Mosaic Lounge with our mint tea and crossword puzzles. The quality and choice of films available via the TV was very poor. The lectures did not appeal, we would have preferred lectures on NZ. We went on shore independently as the cost of the excursions was too high. For instance in Dunedin there was a train ride through the Taieri Gorge that was offered for US$209. We booked it direct for a cost of US$66 per person. The only difference was that the cruise passengers went from the ship; we went via the shuttle to Dunedin. No matter what the extras were, Azamara really ripped off the passengers on this one. We have visited NZ many times and took this cruise as it was a different way to see the country and it allowed us to visit with friends in Dunedin and Napier. The ports of call were a great choice. We especially liked our first visit to Tauranga - Manganui was a delightful place to visit, and the climb up the Mount hard work but fun. We stayed on a further 10 days in Auckland staying with friends and visiting family. So, for us the cruise was great, relaxing, calling in at places we had not visited before. If we had wanted to be ‘entertained’ then it might have disappointed. The fitness room was of a high standard. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
This was our second Azamara cruise (with a third booked). We like the size of the ship (650 passengers), the quality of food and excellent service from staff, the all-inclusive approach (good choice of included wines and drinks) and the ... Read More
This was our second Azamara cruise (with a third booked). We like the size of the ship (650 passengers), the quality of food and excellent service from staff, the all-inclusive approach (good choice of included wines and drinks) and the itineraries - specifically, the overnight stays in several ports (Hobart, Dunedin and Napier) keeps the pace just right (not rushing from port to port). Captain Magnus (Davidson) did an excellent job keeping his passengers updated. He's calm, informative and gets to the point. (For example, he was paying close attention to "Cyclone Gita" and reassured us we wouldn't be in her path - which we appreciated!) The onboard entertainment was a bit uneven, although strong points were dancers Sasha and Dima, vocalist Alicia Hill, and onboard pianist Max. Our stateroom was comfortable and well-appointed, but the shower needed some attention (peeling wallpaper). Tasmania exceeded our expectations, and Milford Sound was spectacular; Dunedin, Picton, Napier and Tauranga were also beautiful and offered a good variety of onshore activities and excursions. However, compared to cruising with Azamara in the Mediterranean, the Tasmanian and New Zealand docking locations were mainly "industrial" (containers and warehouses), but at least we managed to dock at a pier and walk off the ship at all stops but one. Despite a few quibbles, Azamara gets it "right" for the most part and their staff provide an excellent cruise experience for the price charged. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
We were originally planning a driving holiday to New Zealand in February but when this cruise popped up in an email from our travel agent it seemed a great opportunity. We were attracted by the size of the ship and the inclusions. It was a ... Read More
We were originally planning a driving holiday to New Zealand in February but when this cruise popped up in an email from our travel agent it seemed a great opportunity. We were attracted by the size of the ship and the inclusions. It was a bit disappointing that we did not leave from the Overseas Cruise Terminal but instead from White Bay but embarkation was smooth. We thoroughly enjoyed the 14 days. The Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra concert followed by the fireworks was truly 'Azamazing'! The organisation and attention to detail in all areas was impressive. It was no surprise that many people had cruised with Azamara before and I think we will also become repeat guests. We were impressed with the food quality and variety especially in Discoveries Restaurant but not big fans of the times when the only option was a buffet. We ate at Aquilina and Prime C but on the whole found we were just as happy at Discoveries. We also enjoyed the breakfast and lunch offerings at Windows, especially good for fresh fruit and salads. The lectures by Dr Fopp were an unexpected highlight. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
The ship was comfortable, our cabin was kept fresh and clean and had ample storage, we enjoyed diverse excursions and activities (unhosted knitting group was great!), the food was stellar, and the crew never cease to amaze me with friendly ... Read More
The ship was comfortable, our cabin was kept fresh and clean and had ample storage, we enjoyed diverse excursions and activities (unhosted knitting group was great!), the food was stellar, and the crew never cease to amaze me with friendly greetings after not seeing some of them in a couple of years. It was personal and lovely. Azamara is not a child-oriented cruise line. To socialize expect mostly retirees and at the least... Adults. We booked two more Azamara vacations and look forward to those very much. The perks offered when booking ahead while onboard tipped our decision to do so. The officers circulate and make a point of engaging with guests to be sure all is well. They are personable and committed to making Azamara travel a great experience. Recently Azamara entered an arrangement with Feinstein's 54 Below and the performers which came onboard were very good. Also wonderful, in New Zealand, were Maori singers/dancers. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
We enjoyed our first sailing on the Journey. We have sailed six times on the Quest and enjoyed every single cruise. Trip went well from embarkation even with the ship completely booked it never felt crowded. The guest speaker was ... Read More
We enjoyed our first sailing on the Journey. We have sailed six times on the Quest and enjoyed every single cruise. Trip went well from embarkation even with the ship completely booked it never felt crowded. The guest speaker was outstanding but we would have liked to have additional speakers that gave us history on the areas we were visiting. Also, expected info on port visits prior to arriving; not referring to ship hosted tours. Tours seem to be getting more and more expensive. Ship's crew and staff were outstanding!! Many remembered us from previous cruises. Dining was excellent throughout the ship and "over the top" in Prime C. Several buffets were served in Discoveries during lunch and dinner and they were outstanding. Azamara is our first choice for cruising and we are looking forward to sailing on the newest ship in the Azamara family, the Pursuit in December 2018. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
The itinerary was perfect to explore Tasmania, South New Zealand and North New Zealand. The Journey's crew from officers to room attendants are the very best of any line we have traveled on and are the Journey's #1 asset! ... Read More
The itinerary was perfect to explore Tasmania, South New Zealand and North New Zealand. The Journey's crew from officers to room attendants are the very best of any line we have traveled on and are the Journey's #1 asset! The only problem is the ship's age. At 18 years old the Journey's cabins and "bathrooms" are very very small by new ship standards and detracts from the overall experience. Though refurbished a couple of years ago some finishes and furniture are worn. Unless you can afford a suite the accommodation's are very tight! Shore excursions were generally good except too much time spent in "shopping opportunities" that were not advertised. Were pricey when compared to almost identical excursions available on shore. The Journey orchestra, singers, and dancers put on excellent entertaining shows. Security was a problem for me as I must use to cane. When re-entering the ship for the usual securuty scan, security would demand to take my cane without offering a replacement [as TSA does], while my cane went thru the scanner. Had to tell them if I had to stand with my arms our strectched and no cane I would fall over! That's why I use a cane!! Contacted an uninterested security chief officer to no avail. Happened at every port! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
We were excited to go on the Australian east coast from Sydney to Singapore starting March 22,2017. The trip started ok, the staterooms were ok, nothing special, clean, quite small but ok. The staff, mostly from the Phillipines are ... Read More
We were excited to go on the Australian east coast from Sydney to Singapore starting March 22,2017. The trip started ok, the staterooms were ok, nothing special, clean, quite small but ok. The staff, mostly from the Phillipines are good, polite, they offer good service, some have a great sense of humour which is always fabulous. We were not thrilled with the food outside the specialty restaurants, which you pay 30 per head for, the patio grill had good lunch food, delicious burgers and the living room had good tapas. We only ate in the dining room a few times as the food was either too salty or greasy. But there are other places to go so you have choices. Unfortunately two days in we encountered a cyclone which ended up taking our 18 day-nine port trip to five ports with 12 days at sea. Mother Nature happens and the captain kept us safe but a lot of people travelled a long distance to see Australia and Indonesia and this didn't happen, a few of us got off at the third port wanting to see Australia. Not one person from Azamara offered to help get our bags, call us to chat why we were leaving or offered help with airlines or hotels or anything, our ultimate liquor package was voided before we even left the ship, we felt like black sheep. A staff member had the nerve to say to one of the people leaving, " oh you are from that group leaving" like we had committed a crime for wanting to leave. Today a letter was sent out giving everyone a $200 on board credit to use while on the boat and 10 percent off another cruise. I am sorry but that is ridiculous. We were on Princess a few years ago when 11 days into a 15 day cruise the ship had problems and we had to disembark, Princess flew everyone either home or to the last port of the trip, refunded the whole trip, and paid for everyone's hotel until the end of the set voyage and gave everyone a 2000.00 credit on another voyage. That was over and above expectations but the goodwill they created for the brand paid them back 10 fold. YOu can't buy this type of marketing. Azamara will not see myself or I am sure many of the customers on this cruise again, bad public relations, they should be embarrassed. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
This cruise was to celebrate our Ruby Anniversary- A very special occasion. Things did not get off to a good start in Sydney. We boarded early but were then told we couldn't go ashore in Sydney due to Custom restrictions. We had ... Read More
This cruise was to celebrate our Ruby Anniversary- A very special occasion. Things did not get off to a good start in Sydney. We boarded early but were then told we couldn't go ashore in Sydney due to Custom restrictions. We had planned a full day in Sydney prior to departure but this was all lost and the restrictions were not made clear on boarding and should have been. By the time we left Sydney, Cyclone Debbie was forming. At this stage it was only a tropical storm but Azamara should have released that a major cruise disruption was inevitable. The ship's progress was slowed to allow the weather conditions to pass which meant that 4 ports of call were lost. Spending three days at sea avoiding a Cyclone maybe a safe option but Azamara hardly acknowledge this with any additional entertainment except extra film channels in the cabin. The food at the best was very average. In the Discoveries restaurant the dishes only arrived tepid at the best and invariable the food was over salted.Despite complaining the food on other evenings still arrived tepid and over salted. In the Windows self service restaurant the food was never that hot but the plates were even if you wanted food from the cold buffet !. The weather disruption meant that 12 out of 18 days were spent at sea and the only gesture made by Azamara was a $100 in house credit for each passenger. We all appreciate that the weather is beyond everyone's control but this gesture was an insult. We enjoyed Brisbane and Cairns and the final day in Singapore was memorable. All waiting and bar staff provided excellent service and our room stewards were some of the best in all our days cruising. The ship needs a makeover and please get rid of the grey. Grey loungers & grey carpets do not give an impression of warmth or luxury. We have cruised with many companies over the past 20 years and this voyage has not left a positive impression. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
This was our first Azamara experience and our first visit to Australia. Fortunately we had hit some of the must do experiences before boarding (barrier reef, kola cuddle, Alice Springs) so our itinerary being significantly rescheduled by ... Read More
This was our first Azamara experience and our first visit to Australia. Fortunately we had hit some of the must do experiences before boarding (barrier reef, kola cuddle, Alice Springs) so our itinerary being significantly rescheduled by cyclone Debbie did not spoil our trip as much as it could have done. Embarkation at Sydney was so simple with about 650 passengers and some on board already doing B2B there was no waiting at all, fill in the forms, get on the ship and take a glass of bubbly, I really appreciated that we could leave our carry on bags once we were aboard and they were taken to our cabin. The size of the ship is perfect - two staircases and decks 3-11 make it so easy to get around, we had a inside cabin which was fine as there is so much space on the public decks, on several occasions we had an entire bar/lounge area to ourselves for a whole afternoon on a sea day. There was always space, in the pool, by the pool, in the buffet, at the shows, at the bar, though loungers in the shade fill up fast there were lovely big squishy chairs under cover which suited us better. There was some really exceptional food, the seafood buffet with oysters and smoked halibut stood out as did the rare lamb steaks from grilled. We eat in both specialty restaurants and Prime C was certainly our favorite. Aqualina everything looked spectacular but failed to quite hit the mark for us. The shows we saw were entertaining with a great band and cast of six talented performers who all worked very hard. If you are seeking west end style shows this is probably not the ship for you but there were some real treats such as Kym Purling a wonderful musician with an astounding life story and the Azamazing James Morrison evening. Personally I would have liked more talks and fewer trivia challenges but just my preference. What made this cruise stand out was the level of service practically every member of staff was exceptional. Drinks were replenished instantly and guest services rearranged my private tour excursions when our ports were changed. On the last evening after 18 days of gourmet overindulgence DH could not find anything in the buffet that leapt onto his plate, one of the waiters seeing he was not taking anything came over and offered to fetch him a steak - I think it says a lot about the service we had during the rest of the voyage that we were not even surprised by this offer. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
The ship and crew are outstanding in every way. Food was excellent but the specialty restaurants don't change their menu and on an 18 night cruise it can get boring. They could do more in the way of providing lectures about ports of ... Read More
The ship and crew are outstanding in every way. Food was excellent but the specialty restaurants don't change their menu and on an 18 night cruise it can get boring. They could do more in the way of providing lectures about ports of call, countries visited and culture. They had a few good speakers but there were not enough lectures. The staff keeps the ship very clean and orderly and their is a very good emphasis on cleanliness and preventing illness issues. Staff are super friendly and courteous and they appear to be very sincere; they really enjoy working together and on this particular ship. The food venues are all very good. You can satisfy any craving, be it grilled hamburgers or salad. My wife and I had the best filet and rib eye's we've ever had at Prime C. Really superb! We will take another cruise with Azamara, they have a club like atmosphere and seem to care about their customers. Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
Azamara Journey is lovely (idenitical to The Quest her sister ship) however something was missing and our expectations were not met. We boarded in Sydney for a 31 night (back to back) Sydney to Auckland to Sydney cruise. The first sector ... Read More
Azamara Journey is lovely (idenitical to The Quest her sister ship) however something was missing and our expectations were not met. We boarded in Sydney for a 31 night (back to back) Sydney to Auckland to Sydney cruise. The first sector went well but the second sector was disappointing. We had to change cabins - same level just different location and that was a hassle not "smooth and easy" as we were informed onboard. Also the cabin we moved into was extremely noisey with a constant hum from the pump room which was located behind our cabin (directly behind the bedhead!). I think they finally soundproofed it or otherwise we got used to it after 8 days or so. It never went away unless pump was off then it was pure bliss. This cabin should not be given to paying guests but kept for entertainers or other persons who have not paid for their cruise. The cabin in question was 8003. Beware of this cabin. Apart from the noise it was OK but the noise was annoying. Now for the nitty gritty. The food in the buffet (Windows Cafe) was plentiful but quite often dry and overcooked and unappealing. Cold pasta was served to us even though it was cooked in front of us (obviously the sauce was cooked but the pasta just put in and tossed through sauce but not heated through). Same again with Seafood Paella. Cold and uncooked prawns. Unfortunately there was quantity but not quality. No fresh seafood even though we visited Tasmania and New Zealand where fresh seafood abounds. The food in the Discovery Restaurant was OK but nothing outstanding. Many nights I struggled to find something that appealed. The first and last nights meal on each sector were the best but in between lacked. Also on the sea days many times they held brunch (10 to 12.30 pm) or a BBQ inside in the restaurant and if you didn't get there quickly you missed out and had to join the queue at the buffet. Disappointing really. Wine choices weren't the best either. Wine served was cheap and the cocktails - forget about them they were just pre mixed cocktails. No fresh fruit in them! The staff were amazing and friendly athough we did note they couldnt handle full restaurants. Lovely & friendly but need more training. The head waiter or maitre'd for Windows - Milan.... he was UNFRIENDLY. Never looked happy. We were invited to an Officer's table via invitation - what a joke - we sat with the onboard jewellery shop manager! In hindsight we should have not joined the table! If you are paying full fare for this cruise think again. It is only worth less than $200 per day p/person. Any more than that and you are getting ripped off major. One advantage - no formal nights and a friendly and relaxed atmosphere amongst guests but food, drinks (free) and entertainment are below average. Excursions extremely OVER PRICED. Because we did 2 sectors unbelievably we had repeat entertainers. A juggler who was on both sectors as well as a duo and a Comedian/balloon artist also on both sectors. The best entertainment was our Azamazing Evening which we were very lucky to be serenaded by Mark Vincent at an exclusive MONA evening in Hobart. The second Azamazing Evening at TePapa Museum in Wellington wasn't anything special. The Gallipoli display was amazing but the entertainment disappointing. I think because they give you a free Azamazing evening they cut their entertainment budget for the rest of the cruise. Cruise director, Eric was on first sector. He was very amusing and put on a great finale prior to him leaving ship in Auckland. Then we got Tony who you NEVER saw around the ship and did not have any banter or jokes with the captain. He was basically NON EXISTENT! A no show! Well he did do a couple of shows which i refused to go to as had seen him prior on the Quest. Summing it up. It is a lovely ship BUT cabins are small, shower the smallest EVER. Entertainment very poor and repeated on back to back cruise. Food was quantity and not quality. Staff friendliest on any ship I have sailed (22 cruises) except the head waiters and maitre d's who were standoffish! Communication onboard not the best. As the ship was full on the wet sea days you were pushing it to find somewhere to rest your backside. This ship should never be fully booked out! If you can afford it go for Seabourn or Silverseas or Crystal. You would be crazy to book a suite on Azamara for the price they charge. Better cruises available for that price. The other odd thing RCCL do is send a Review for completion via email but it only lasts for 7 days. We were given free internet for 30 mins onboard to complete the first sector review but on arrival home I haven't recevied a review apart from an email which I think is a review in SPANISH!!!! How does that work? So haven't had chance to do the second review which I planned to tell them what I thought.... that is probably why I got it in Spanish even though we have no connection to Spanish! Honestly! We did our first Azamara cruise on the Quest last Sept/Oct and went with low expectations after the online hassle of checking in (RCL must have the most outdated computer program!) however the ship exceeded our expectations and the food I felt was much better and fresher but than we were sailing in the US and assume they had local suppliers. This time when we booked on the Journey we had high expectations but were disappointed. Would I sail on Azamara again - only if I was offered an extremely good fare. Too much competition around. We didn't book any excursions as we had been to majority of ports many times and their excursions are VERY expensive and not value from what we heard from other passengers. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
Primarily for itinerary (Sydney to Auckland). The itinerary was great -- the ship not so much. I have been on about 35 to 40 cruises and maybe my expectations were too high. Some of the biggest disappointments were food was very ... Read More
Primarily for itinerary (Sydney to Auckland). The itinerary was great -- the ship not so much. I have been on about 35 to 40 cruises and maybe my expectations were too high. Some of the biggest disappointments were food was very inconsistent and main dining room very loud. Our room was only moderately clean -- example, one day the cabin was never made up, mold in the shower area and a rather nasty shower curtain, wash cloth left on the floor for 2 days (I deliberately did not pick it up just to see how long it would take!). The balcony for our cabin on one side was temporarily patched with plastic, masking tape and secured to the rail by plastic ties usually used to secure large garbage bags. Two of the excursions we had signed up for were cancelled, one excursion was about an hour late starting (waiting for the bus), which meant end of the excursion was cut short. On the positive side, Maritza (from South Africa at the Excursion desk) was extremely helpful, apologetic and most accommodating in every way -- in fact, probably the most outstanding employee we encountered on the trip. The entertainment was inconsistent with some of it being very good and other evenings very lackluster. We did thoroughly enjoy the AzAmazing evening -- one of the highlights of the trip. Also, thought the 2 lecturers were excellent and made an effort to attend all of their lectures. Other than that, the on-board options (and there were several sea days) were very limited, not well organized or thought out. I would not plan to go on another Azamara cruise as I think many other cruise lines offer much better "bang for the buck." Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
It was great to be welcomed back onboard by familiar faces from the crew. Our waiters remembered us from 15 months ago and it was great to see there smiling faces. What a great way to see Australia east coast by water. We could see ... Read More
It was great to be welcomed back onboard by familiar faces from the crew. Our waiters remembered us from 15 months ago and it was great to see there smiling faces. What a great way to see Australia east coast by water. We could see land all the way up the coast to the top of Australia. The waters and weather was perfect. The itinerary was great where we made our own excursions in Hamilton Island, Cairns - snorkelling outer reef, Port Douglas 90 minute tour on a bike trike, Outback floatboat tour Darwin - Excellent and worth the money only 8 tourists and no one else around. komoda Island with the dragons and Pink Beach snorkel. Bali having to haggle with the local taxi drivers Azamazing Evening in Cairns was great to show some Australian Indigenous Culture. The food was excellent as usual we found that we enjoyed breakfast in the buffet better than in Discovery more options and the fresh orange juice as well as boost juices made to order. For dinner we spent most of our time in Discoveries Restaurant 1 dinner Aqualina Was ok 2 Dinners Prime C excellent. All the crew were always on hand to make sure you are having a great experience in the restaurants. Had a champagne breakfast in our room on the balcony second last morning. Scrumptious. Went to the cooking classes great entertainment. Something on in the cabaret every night. Did not go to every show as we were quite happy to return to our room and watch movies which we don't do much at home. The only thing which I would say is the dance shows need to be changed as the 2 shows were the same as 15 months ago just different singers. That needs a boost. Arriving and disembarking in Bali. Very easy and had no problems. This was our 3rd trip with Azamara and we are looking forward until our next cruise where ever and when ever that will be with Azamara newly renovated ships. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
Our overall cruise experience was excellent. The Azamara ships, although older and sometimes a little tattered are like a great old cashmere sweater, comfortable and great feeling. The effort of the crew from the captain to our butler, ... Read More
Our overall cruise experience was excellent. The Azamara ships, although older and sometimes a little tattered are like a great old cashmere sweater, comfortable and great feeling. The effort of the crew from the captain to our butler, Eyup, and our steward, Girlie, was first class in every way. What sets Azamara apart is that they TRY harder than everyone else. One of the most impressive things was the immediate response to our mid cruise evaluation. I listed 3 small items that neede attention. They were answered and dealt with within an hour. The food, overall was excellent. All meals at either Prime C or Aqualina were as expected with excellent service. Some of the lunch choices for Windows buffet were interesting but well prepared. The entertainment, for such a small ship, was very good, especially Jackie Scott. White Night, as always was a blast. Russ and the band and Dancers put on a fun show. Shore excursions were good. The execution, except for the tender issue(see below) was flawless. The lectures, especially by Phil Smart, were informative and very well attended. Phil was a hit on the ship. A few very small recommended corrections The coffe a breakfast was terrible. It needs to be changed. Ever hear of Starbucks? There is not enough seating in Windows. I understand that this issue will be addressed with the remodel. The wine packages need adjusting and refining. The tenders in very hot weather were hot and stuffy. They need to be altered with either fans , more Windows or air conditioning or all the above. Again, overall, a great cruise. It's and old small ship that is beautifully cared for. If you want new and shiney and big with a lot of kilts and glamor, this probably isn't for you. If you want to see great places and make lifelong friends in a great atmosphere. Welcome aboard! Read Less
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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2016
We were new to the Azamara brand of cruise ships. We wanted to tour Australia and New Zealand and cruising seems to be a good choice considering some mobility issues my mother had. She is also celiac and had dietary considerations. The ... Read More
We were new to the Azamara brand of cruise ships. We wanted to tour Australia and New Zealand and cruising seems to be a good choice considering some mobility issues my mother had. She is also celiac and had dietary considerations. The staterooms are due to be renovated so out information will soon be out of date. Three of us shared a Club Continent Suite. We had plenty of storage space for all of our clothing. The bathroom size was good. In the future I would want one of the bathrooms with the new walk in shower. None of us used the tub and the edge to climb over was high. The ceiling is very low. There is a small step up into the bathroom. The size of the balcony was nice. We were all able to site out there to have tea or morning coffee. Gluten free food was well labeled at the buffet and the staff was good about helping her to preorder for the specialty restaurants or main dining room. The nights that we hadn't preordered worked out fine too. The bread choice was poor. The same type every day, every meal except for one day when they brought her a GF muffin. The afternoon tea cart always had a GF option. The not GF people were pleased too with the food. The Prime C was a favorite. Nice fresh squeeze juice at breakfast was appreciated. The only low point food service wise was the coffee esp at the buffet. We were ok with it for a couple of days but eventually switched to tea. Staff were uniformly pleasant and helpful. We attended trivia a few times and enjoyed it. My sister attended a jewelry making enrichment and was really turned off by the grabbing of beads and hoarding of them. She left in disgust. Speakers were interesting and well attended. I thought the port information and excursion presentations were well prepared. Weakest point of the cruise were the entertainments. I felt it often bordered on the cheesy. For example there was a classical guitarist one night, clearly talented. The taste level was lowered by having him play with a backing track and cartoon photos of the Godfather cast projected on a screen behind him. The Elvis inspired singer was a wasted evening. Azamazing night at Hobart was good followed by fantastic fireworks. Two Haka groups performed. I enjoyed them both but I think I preferred the high school aged group the most. It was nice to see the next generation learning the songs and dances. For excursions we combined ship and privately arranged trips. We did the Insider Access in Melbourne and enjoyed learning about Aboriginal Art. The Historic countryside tour in Tasmania felt a bit rushed and the wine tasting there was not well run or informative. During our trip the Quest hit some rocks entering some sounds. The ship lurched terribly to one side and then to the other. Passengers were not informed of the ship's condition for another 26 hours. We all new something had happened. I feel we should have been updated sooner. Read Less
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