1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Azamara
  4. Azamara Cruise Reviews

69 Azamara Repositioning Cruise Reviews

In a nutshell: Consistently best food we’ve had on a cruise ship. Special events were well above most other cruise lines. Service was good, but lacked the “sparkle” of other high end (and more expensive) cruise lines that try ... Read More
In a nutshell: Consistently best food we’ve had on a cruise ship. Special events were well above most other cruise lines. Service was good, but lacked the “sparkle” of other high end (and more expensive) cruise lines that try harder to exceed your expectations. We took this cruise because it was my mother-in-law’s 82nd birthday and Tahiti has been on her bucket list since she was a child. We’ve been looking for a good itinerary to visit Tahiti and this cruise through Hawaii fit the bill. ----- Ship Review ----- Embarkation. Standard and quick. The only delay was waiting for a wheelchair for my mother-in-law to board the ship. We waited over 20 minutes and another couple tried to walk in after waiting 30 minutes. It really took much longer than it should have and was not a good first impression of ship services. As we were boarding the ship about 1230 the announcement was made that the cabins were available, so that allowed us to drop luggage in our cabin and go to lunch. There was a table at the entrance to the buffet to buy multi-night packages and make reservations at Prime C or Aqualina. Service. Not quite as impressive as our last cruise on Azamara 12 years ago, it was a bit of a mixed bag this time. Some waiters seemed particularly eager to serve. Others were less enthusiastic. We were surprised by the lack of a “can do” attitude from room service and also surprised (as in woken up from a deep sleep) when they showed up 30 minutes early for breakfast (EVERY TIME). All room service waiters just dropped the trays on our table and ran. No attempt was ever made to set the table or inventory the food. Perhaps they were just extremely busy, but it was a shocking lack of service compared with the apparent standard for this ship. Our room steward was adequate, but not impressive. (As we were packing at the end of the cruise and checking to make sure we didn’t leave anything, we found an old pair of somebody else’s underwear behind the nightstand.) Clientele. 80% have cruised Azamara before. 200 of the almost 686 passengers were continuing on the next leg (apparently a record). Over 90 Cruise Critic members aboard. Azamara prides itself on listening to customer feedback and that breeds high loyalty. The length of this cruise was not well suited for those still working, so the crowd was quite senior. I think we only saw two children onboard. Captain. It is clear that Azamara is hiring captains for their personalities and technical expertise. Most have been with Azamara for years. He went out of his way to be involved with guests and anything important happening on the ship. The two most outstanding captains we’ve ever experienced were both masters of the Azamara Journey. Cruise Director. We started with Eric and he was fantastic—in a league of his own. His show was spectacular and filled the theater to maximum capacity. He’s a hard act to follow, but he left mid-cruise for vacation. Danny took over and while he did a fine job, the cruise just wasn’t quite the same after that. Hotel Director. Heike was very involved, especially with serving during special events. I enjoyed her presentation during a sea day. While I believe she is doing a good job, her enthusiasm isn’t filtering down like it should. The service doesn’t quite have the sparkle I thought it would. Entertainment. The show lounge is quite small, so that limits the entertainment options. However, it was very good for small ship entertainment fare—guest singers, comedians, small production cast, etc. The tango show was outstanding. Food. This is the category where Azamara really excelled this cruise. They said their food budget was higher than anything else in the RCCL fleet and it shows. We were very impressed with the overall food quality. The main dining room has local and chef specials every night that adds variety to the otherwise standard rotation of menu items. We have critiqued many ships for not having local specialties. Azamara is the only line we’ve sailed that has been responsive to that customer request. Our four experiences at the specialty restaurants were excellent, but we had friends who were less impressed with their steaks in Prime C. I have mixed feelings about charging a premium to eat in the restaurants and then providing a bill with a place to add a tip at the end of the meal. Seems like a mixed message to the guests. Here’s a tip I learned the hard way. They will give you a wine list with bottles you can buy for an extra cost, but all the house wines are also available for free if you ask. I still love the panini and smoothie bars at the buffet! The Windows evening buffet changes themes every night which provides a lot of variety. They frequently have specialty buffets with crew officers serving and they were outstanding. The Polynesian dinner buffet and German lunch buffet were especially well done. They also had a late night chocolate buffet in the midship lounge area that was quite impressive and very well attended! Dress code. Every night was “country club casual.” Wear what you would wear to a nice restaurant and you’ll be fine. My wife actually saw the dress code being enforced on a few occasions, which makes it nicer for everybody. You might want to dress up slightly for the specialty restaurants—many people do. Internet. Like most ship-based internet, it was slow and expensive. I usually burned up more than 10 minutes every time I wanted to sync just two email accounts. Unlimited package pricing was outrageous. I had some free minutes because of our status and used cell phone connectivity while at the ports in Hawaii. Here’s another tip. The price of the unlimited package is per day, so wait until the last possible day to sign up. Expend all your free minutes first. With 50% off (due to our status), I got the unlimited package for only $69 for the last 9 days of the cruise. Photographic services. Available, but not in your face—except at the premium restaurants, where they really want to “capture that special moment” for you. I bought a USB with the destination photos and a video of the AzAmazing evening. The photos were not that professional and they never had a chance to produce the White Night video. Ship Décor. We love the classic R-class styling. We’ve been on many R-class ships by now, so this feels like home. It could really use some updating and time in dry dock that it will get this fall. Fitness Center. Pretty good for a small ship. Gift Shop selection. Why does everybody think a ship is the place to buy jewelry? I don’t get it. I’d rather have a much better selection of branded merchandise that can only be purchased aboard to remember my cruise. Special Events. This review would not be complete if I didn’t take time to mention some of the special events that set Azamara above their competition. We saw something like an AzAmazing Evening with Regent, but the 40’s themed night at the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum was much better executed than anything we’ve seen before. Azamara’s signature deck party “white nights” was in Bora Bora. Unfortunately, we missed all but the show because we had reservations in Prime C. The Polynesian cultural show was fantastic and it was a wonderful event until the skies opened up and soaked almost everybody. Crossing the equator celebration was fun and well done. All inclusive? I need to spend a few lines to discuss this issue because it is a source of great confusion among guests. “No tipping?” What were people doing tipping their waiters at dinner last night? Sometimes drinks are included, but the beer at the German buffet was an extra charge. How much? Don’t know. Didn’t see a price posted or on the ticket I signed. There are two levels of wine packages and two levels of spirits packages, but some of both are included, particularly at some events. There is a priced menu of drinks at the shows. Two thirds through the cruise I was told by a friend that there is a back page of the menu that has all the complementary drinks listed. It’s a fairly comprehensive list—I just wish I had known about it sooner. Thank goodness all sodas and sparkling water are included. Well, to be more precise, Costco brand and Mexican sparkling water were included. Perrier and Pellegrino are both extra. While we enjoy wine with dinner, we are not big drinkers. When I heard Azamara made a change to their “all-inclusive” policy to include tips and wine with dinner, I liked the concept. It appeared to match our needs to have wine included with dinner (even if it is a limited selection), while charging for other alcohol, but the implementation seems very schizophrenic. How do you keep track of what is or is not included? Critiques. We got an early cruise feedback form for us to identify any issues we saw so they could be fixed immediately, instead of waiting for the end-of-cruise feedback. About midway through the cruise we filled out the form to identify service issues in the observation lounge. We got a phone call and personal visit about the issues we observed and they were fixed the very next day. Azamara is trying to be resource conscious, so they send a link to an online critique rating form instead of giving you the traditional paper survey. Head’s up. That link expires in one week! When we finally got time to sit down and do the survey after we got home, the link had already expired by a few days. That’s unfortunate because we really wanted to recognize a couple of waiters that were going above and beyond. I completely understand what they are trying to do by keeping everything electronic. Unfortunately, we missed the opportunity to provide our feedback. In summary, we enjoyed this cruise. We always enjoy the ambiance of R-Class ships. Based on our previous experience with Azamara, we had very high expectations. I think the cruise leadership was doing everything they could to meet those expectations and were very responsive to guest input. However, not everyone on the crew was as enthusiastic about their job so we were not as AzAmazed as we expected we would be. ----- Port Calls ----- Azamara prides itself on being port intensive, but that wasn’t exactly true for this cruise because it was more about repositioning toward Australia. We spent 11 of our 18 days at sea crossing the Pacific. I’m not going to try to review the individual ports or offerings. I’ll try to keep my comments more generic. Azamara has two critical things I look for from high end cruise lines during port calls--shuttle busses to downtown areas of interest and local experts onboard in port who provide maps and ideas about what to see if you want to explore on your own. Sometimes you don’t want to spend a fortune on shore excursions to see a port. I like having the low cost option and flexibility to come and go as you please. I also like to see water, juice, and cold towel stations on the dock (tender or port). We may have missed them, but those services were available at some, but not all, port calls. Some of the shore excursions were expensive and others were just outrageous! Arrangements for private vehicles at over a thousand dollars for a few hours just seems absurd to me. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Firstly can I say, I'm baffled by the previous two negative reviews given that we were on the same Mumbai to Cape Town Cruise December 28. I do agree that the on board service was delivered in the usual outstanding way and this ... Read More
Firstly can I say, I'm baffled by the previous two negative reviews given that we were on the same Mumbai to Cape Town Cruise December 28. I do agree that the on board service was delivered in the usual outstanding way and this included Guest Relations enquiries. We had little or no issue with the unlimited WiFi included in our booking deal. We travelled in a Verandah Plus Cabin on Deck 8 which was a great location. My husband and I, in reflection, agree that this cruise is amongst one of our best as far as itinerary and on board experience was concerned. There was a bit of everything for everyone's enjoyment. Lecturers were terrific. Sure there were a few unavoidable issues, i.e. bad weather for White Night, unacceptable location (chosen by Miami and not visited by them) for AzAmazing Evening and logistic problems with supplies due to port cancellations - due to arrive in Mombasa but air freighted to another port. (I enjoy berries, I asked for them politely and I got them). These issues were clearly explained if the previous reviewers cared to go to the Q & A sessions held on sea days by Hotel Director, Captain Philips etc. Please when you're reviewing do so with all the facts not just the bits you want to support your negative review. We found the food in all venues to be of a higher quality than the already good food our previous 22 Azamara cruises. We had two lots of 'Foodie' friends travelling for the first time on Azamara and they were impressed also. The security issue with Mombasa was explained clearly to us during the Q & A. The previous reviewer failed to add that in addition to the already known terrorist attack in the north and the known movements south of the said Terrorist Group there was a failed terrorist attack on a shared USA/Kenya Airbase on the outskirts of Mombasa just days before our arrival. We were considered too much at risk of attracting the attention of that terrorist group - I was happy with that decision. I believe the right call was made. Food, (the previous poster didn't get the names of the venues correct) in Discoveries, Windows, Patio and both specialty restaurants was 'top notch' and the Chef/s should be congratulated. Food, wine is such a subjective topic, you can make good or not so good choices from the menu for the food, we particularly enjoyed the fish, wine was satisfactory for my taste. Whilst ship's excursions are pricey we managed some wonderful private tours prior and used taxi's with friends, especially when we found out we'd be in the Seychelles on a Sunday, (who wants to shop in the Seychelles anyway when the scenery is so beautiful). We'd didn't rely on ships shuttles (they were provided in most places) as we have learnt from experience you need to get out and about like a local, pay the extra money and invest the time in research. Bit more effort but so worth it. We enjoyed our mix of private and ships tours but unless the prices of the Ship’s excursions are addressed will opt for more private tours. The new cast (joined in the Seychelles) were settling in and had shown improvement by the end of the cruise. Guest entertainers (tough we’d seen them before) were fine. We didn’t take to the ‘Fancy Trio’ but spoke with guest who enjoyed them. Again personal preferences come into play here. I only participated in progressive trivia, not morning or afternoon trivia. I'm Australian and wasn't aware of any cheating going on and am annoyed slightly at the reviews comments but will let it go. I can confirm we did not correct our own answers as they were collected my Ernest and Steven and they corrected them. But hey we played for fun not the contents of the World Bank! We had 'No F in Idea'. Assistant Cruise Directors birthday was discussed on the morning show on the TV with Ernest and Stephen. I thought it was a comical 'trivial' question to ask and it didn't worry me. Trivia is trivia, it doesn't always have to be general knowledge, i.e. how many steps are on the gangway? At the end of the day, you can't keep everyone happy all the time, but we were pleased with our on board experience. We have another 5 booked and can't wait. I’d do Africa again in a heartbeat. Guys if you're reading this on board you're doing a terrific job! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
My wife and I have been cruising for several year - often 3 cruises per year - but had not yet tried an upscale cruise like Azamara. The first thing that we noticed, not surprisingly, was that the Pursuit was not quite as large as the ... Read More
My wife and I have been cruising for several year - often 3 cruises per year - but had not yet tried an upscale cruise like Azamara. The first thing that we noticed, not surprisingly, was that the Pursuit was not quite as large as the other cruise ships we had taken previously. Next we noticed that the crew seemed to be more friendly than on other, larger ships. We subsequently determined that this repositioning cruise had about a 5-10% vacancy rate. This meant that there was less than 2 customers to 1 crew member!! This was definitely a positive. The cabin we had selected was an upgrade from ocean view to a standard balcony stateroom. It was only slightly smaller than the same type of stateroom we have travelled in on other non-Azamara ships. Other than that, there were fresh flowers in the room, lots of closet space for the 17 day voyage. The balcony was more that adequate for the single breakfast that we enjoyed during a sea day. We usually dined in the main dining room. The food there was among the best we had experienced on any other ship....make that THE best we had experienced to date. Service by the staff was efficient and most professional and friendly. The menu was very extensive. The specialty restaurants were also better than we had experience in any of the previous 15 cruise ships. The chef's table menu - 7 course - was quite extraordinary with our sommelier providing a wine education throughout the entire meal. The on-board entertainment was no better and no worse than that found on other ships EXCEPT for the Azamara singers who were, without at doubt, the best we had seen and heard anywhere based on individual AND combined talent. Unfortunately for others, the troupe of 4 individuals were completing their contracts on our cruise. I have no doubt that they will be back.....PLEASE! As this was a repositioning cruise, the ports were not the usual ports visited by ships throughout the regular season. Madeira Island, Canary Islands, Cape Verde, Salvador and Buzios, Brazil were quite beautiful. We particularly enjoyed the town of Funchal on Madeira Island and the magnificent Teide volcano on Tenerife in the Canary Islands. Needless to say, the starting point of the cruise - Lisbon, Portugal - was marvellous and Rio de Janeiro is, well, Rio! We spent a few days after the cruise on the Copacabana beach, checked out the statue of Christ the Redeemer and Sugarloaf mountain. Beautiful! Would we do this cruise in the future? Yes but not for a few more years. (Still too many other places to visit.) Would we sail with Azamara on other adventures? Definitely. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
This our second time on Azamara and it definitely won't be our last. I have never been on a cruise where the staff and crew, from the Captain down to the young man cleaning the stairs, are so friendly. Having the Hotel Manager, the ... Read More
This our second time on Azamara and it definitely won't be our last. I have never been on a cruise where the staff and crew, from the Captain down to the young man cleaning the stairs, are so friendly. Having the Hotel Manager, the Cruise Director and assistant and others waving goodbye as we were disembarking was wonderful. It was as if we were valued friends who they couldn't bear to part with! The ship itself is spotless and understated. The entertainment is not as glitzy as on the bigger ships but it was all of high quality and enjoyable. Activities on board are the usual trivia, lectures, Bridge, card games etc. etc. My only gripe was that the Water colour artist was a woman I had taken classes with before on a different cruise. She may be a talented artist, but she is not a good instructor and the material she asked us to draw and paint was virtually identical to the previous cruise I had taken. But that is insignificant in my enjoyment of this cruise which was full of friendly passengers, divine food, plentiful wine of good quality and attentive staff. There is no casino onboard which is not something I miss and just a small area for smokers which did not bother the non smokers on board (me). My husband enjoyed the gym and the equipment in the Spa and we enjoyed the hot tub at the front of the ship, filled with salt water, so is wonderful on the skin. The speciality restaurants are wonderful, with attentive service and delicious food. The buffet served theme nights most evenings, and the main dining room selections were also of the highest quality. It was difficult to choose where to eat! This is not a cruise for younger people, or children but for my husband and me who are well travelled seniors, it was perfect. Can't wait to be with my Azamara family again! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
This was our 9th cruise with Azamara, but our first ever transatlantic and our first cruise on the Pursuit. We chose it because we love sea days, but it also had 6 ports of call, so a good combination. We had a couple of nights in ... Read More
This was our 9th cruise with Azamara, but our first ever transatlantic and our first cruise on the Pursuit. We chose it because we love sea days, but it also had 6 ports of call, so a good combination. We had a couple of nights in Lisbon before the cruise and were really pleased that we had done so, there’s so much to see and do. We booked the Holiday Inn Express Avenida de Liberdade mainly because it’s very close to the metro. It was a good choice - very comfortable, just refurbished, and with a good breakfast (which included the Portuguese speciality of custard tarts- Yum!). The only snag was that as this was mainly a business area there were few restaurants nearby - you had to walk a little way towards the student area to find them. In the morning we bought a one day public transport ticket at the Marquis de Pompal metro station and used that to get to the old town area where we caught the tram to Belem, which was lovely. We walked to see the magnificent Monument to the Discoverers, and went into the lovely Igreja (Church) de Santa Maria de Belem. We caught the tram back & then caught the famous 28 tram through the uphill winding streets of the old town. We got off at Campo Ourique and caught the 25 tram back, getting off near the Cais de Sordre, then walked along the front to the beautiful Praca de Commercio, before getting the metro back to our hotel. The next morning we asked the hotel to order us a taxi to take us to the Santa Apollonia cruise terminal. We got there at about 11:15 am and were able to board immediately. We had lunch in the Patio, then went to our cabin when allowed to do so (about 1pm). One case arrived fairly quickly, the other took a little time, however we got unpacked and I had time to take a few things to the laundry room to iron them before the muster drill. After the muster drill there was the Cruise Critic Social (Meet & Mingle) in the Cabaret. It was pretty full (86 on the roll call). As always Azamara provided lots to drink and canapés. The Cruise Director Amanda asked us all to introduce ourselves, then there was time for people to have a chat. That night, and most nights, we ate in Discoveries (MDR). We had a drink first in Discoveries bar at about 7:15, then dinner at 7:45ish. We found it very easy to get a sharing table and did this most nights. It’s a great way to meet and get talking to people. Dinner was always very good, with good choices on the menu, and in addition two ‘specials’ each night - one relating to the destination and one the chefs special. We also tried Discoveries for breakfast, but unlike on the Journey in July, there was no buffet food there, other than fruit - it was just the food on the menu and we found service slow, so soon reverted to Windows (buffet) for breakfast. The first few days the weather was not too good - cloudy, cool and windy. The sea was pretty rough too, although luckily this did not affect us, but a few people were affected. Ports of call Madeira There was a free shuttle bus into the middle of town. We took the bus, then walked to the market and fish market, then to the cable car. We took the cable car up to the first station where we got out and went to the Monte Gardens. The gardens are set in a hill side and you walk down through the gardens to the beautiful waterfall, pond and house set at the bottom. We then paid to take a golf cart back up to the top, where we went to watch the ‘toboggan’ run, before catching the cable car back to the town centre and getting the shuttle bus back to the ship. La Palma, Canary Islands We had a booked a ships tour to the Caldera de Taburiente. It was an excellent tour to a beautiful area. The Caldera was caused by a massive landslide and the scenery is stunning. At the Caldera we had time for a reasonable walk, then on the way back we stopped for a drink and a snack at a house that was designed to match the Thai embassy in Paris. A very good tour and not too expensive. Tenerife, Canary Islands The ship docked at Puerto Cruz and a shuttle bus took us out of the docks, as the docks are pretty much in the town centre. We had decided to get the tram to La Laguna, the old capital of the island, which is a UNESCO heritage site. We managed to work out where to get the tram, but when we got there we found the ticket machine only too small value Euro notes. The smallest note we had was a €50, which was no good, so we had to walk back to a shop to get some change (which was tricky as the owner spoke no English). Once we had small notes we managed to buy our tickets and caught the tram, taking it to the end of the line. We found our way into the old town which was quite quaint and busy as it was a Sunday and all the locals were out and about in their a Sunday best, creating a lovely atmosphere. Mindelo, Sao Vicente, Cape Verde We had pre-booked a day tour of the island with Green Line tours, along with about half the roll-call. They met us just at the end of the dock and took us into the town where we had a guided walking tour including the main streets, the main market, the African market and to see the beautiful picture of Cesaria Evora (the barefoot diva) who was from the island. Then the minibuses met us and took us on a tour of the island, including going to the top of Monte Verde. We stopped for the included lunch, which was pretty basic and somewhat spoiled by the numbers of flies around. Overall, though, this was an excellent tour and terrific value at $60 or $100 for two. Salvador de Bahia, Brazil After 6 sea days in a row we were ready to be back on land again. Unfortunately when we woke up that morning it was pouring down, and that continued all day - and when I say pouring, this was continuous tropical rain! Never mind, we really wanted to see the old town area of Pelourinho, so we put our cagoules on and ventured forth. The ship was docked very close to the lift that takes you up to Pelourinho, so it wasn’t far, but we still got pretty wet. This old town area is beautiful, if slightly ‘faded grandeur’ and we had a good walk around, calling in to two beautiful churches, both covered in gold leaf. There were a lot of tourist police around so it felt relatively safe. After a couple of hours we caught the shuttle bus back to the ship. Despite our cagoules we were wet right down to our underclothes - a day we won’t forget in a hurry. Buzios, Brazil We were supposed to be docking at Vitoria, but apparently there was to be a dock strike there, so Buzios was substituted. I don’t know what Vitoria would have been like, but Buzios was lovely. It was like a mixture between Saint Tropez in the old days and a small Caribbean resort. There were some lovely shops, including some very high end ones, and a couple of Havianas shops where the shoes were really cheap. The whole place was buzzing because they had a film festival at the time. We went on a little open sided ‘truck’ tour bus for a tour around the island - a bit bumpy, but interesting - and very cheap. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil We had a day here before disembarkation. We were intending to get a taxi to the Botanical gardens, but didn’t get off as my husband had a chest infection following a cold that just about everyone on the ship had had. We actually disembarked the evening before disembarkation as we had a late night flight back and decided we didn’t much fancy having to tour our suitcases around a Rio for the day. Given my husbands health, this proved to be an excellent decision. The White Night was supposed to be on the day we were in Salvador de Bahia, but having looked at weather forecast the Captain has decided to hold it at sea the night before. It was a beautiful calm night and a good white night. As always the food was lovely - no lobster, but some very nice huge prawns instead. We had three meals in the speciality restaurants - 2 in Aqualina and 1 in Prime C. All three were delicious. Overall this was an excellent cruise. As ever the service was superb - although we did notice some differences between the Pursuit and the other two ships. For example at night the sun beds on Deck 11 were cleared away into piles against the superstructure, whereas on the other ships they are usually left in rows, tied together if it’s expected to be rough. As we had gorgeous weather from Cape Verde to Salvador, Deck 11 was well used and sometimes the chairs were not laid out very early and it became a bit of a ‘bun fight’ to get them. The other unusual thing was the mix of passengers - there were well over 400 english, which is unusual in our experience. We got the impression that the cruise had been heavily promoted in the north of England in the few weeks beforehand. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We booked this crossing as we were headed back to the States after a long holiday in Europe and the departure and arrival ports fit our plans. This was our 35th cruise and our 5th time on Azamara. The best part of the trip were the ... Read More
We booked this crossing as we were headed back to the States after a long holiday in Europe and the departure and arrival ports fit our plans. This was our 35th cruise and our 5th time on Azamara. The best part of the trip were the people we met on board. We had many fun evenings over drinks in the Living Room before dinner and dancing after dinner. We booked a large suite and were very happy there enjoying the vast amount of space and amenities. We had continental breakfast each day in the suite and spend a good part of the day working on our hobbies there. Suite service was impeccable. Staying in the suite gave us unlimited access to the specialty restaurants so we dined in one of the other almost every night. Excellent food there, although we did get a bit tired of the menus. We took advantage of the special Indonesian Rice Table and loved that spicy food. Lunch each day in the buffet or on the Patio was quite good with lots of quality to choose from. Our one time in the Discoveries main dining room was not a success. Good service on board and the staff try very hard. Often there was a problem with a server unable to understand us and a number of requests or orders got mixed up. I think the problem is too many staff have limited English language skills, and this creates problems. There was also too much upsell such as in the spa/salon and in the specialty restaurants where the wine servers tried to talk us out of the wines we bought and tried to sell us a more expensive selection. That was truly annoying. There was a lack of quality activities on board. Just about everything going on was down market or a sales pitch, so after many sea days, I got bored. AZ is not the right line for those who crave high brow activities on sea days; they just don't happen. Most of the entertainment was mediocre cruise ship fare. The exceptions were the White Night (great fun) and a guest comedian who was quite clever. We walked out of many shows and avoided the rock band who were just not very good. I went to the fitness center everyday and it was OK. They need to buy another recumbent bike as the 2 are often in use and I had to wait my turn. My biggest disappointment is the demise of the black jack tables with human dealers. They currently have ugly machines where one can play black jack or roulette,, and these will eventually be removed along with the slot machines. These big machines were so unpopular that they created a negative buzz and as a result the whole casino area was empty day and night. On a long crossing this was deadly dull. Playing black jack is one of my favorite activities on board a ship, so I am not sure I will return to AZ with the demise of the casinos. Overall this was a mass market experience was a few perks like free gratuities and free cheap wine. If we had not met so many nice people and had not had such a comfortable suite, I would have been unhappy. And as I wrote, as the casinos to away, I will probably go away as well. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We did both this cruise and the subsequent leg (Transatlantic in Cabin 4060. Positives --The ship is well laid out and easy to get around. --With the exception of the Officers' BBQ (come early!) and the White Night (come ... Read More
We did both this cruise and the subsequent leg (Transatlantic in Cabin 4060. Positives --The ship is well laid out and easy to get around. --With the exception of the Officers' BBQ (come early!) and the White Night (come early!) it was easy enough to get a seat at any dining venue whenever you liked. --The crew was well trained, helpful, and seemed to enjoy their work. --The local entertainment brought in from off the ship was good, especially the Portuguese Tuna Band. Embarkation/disembarkation dead easy. Neither Positive nor Negative (or some of each) --The food was middling. Or rather, sometimes it was pretty good and sometimes it was pretty poor. Overall we would say it met our minimum standard for cruising, but there were mistakes. When I say mistakes, I'm not talking about subjectivity of taste, I'm talking about basics like food temperature and doneness. Gazpacho is supposed to come cool, not warm. Rare steak is supposed to be red inside, not brown. --The Chef's tables were hit and miss as well. The Stateside one was, in out opinion, worth the money. The French one was not. The Italian one was a pinot-grigio drenched crime against food. --The regular entertainment staff ran from great (Amanda Poulson, CD) to competent (most of the musiciands) to High School Musical Reject (three of the four "Signature" singers, who screamed their way though numbers) --There seemed to often be no rhyme nor reason as to whether the gangway was set up on Deck 3 (piece of cake) or deck 4 (treacherous stairs). --The people who liked White Night seemed to like it a lot. We found it pathetic on the first leg, and gave it a miss on the second. Negatives --Air quality in our OV room was bad --A lot of people on the TA leg (pax, crew, officers, Captain, CD) got very sick. Re: above two points: I wish I'd thought to ask to have the air filters changed in our cabin, as I later found out other people did. It might have helped. --Included wines were generally vile (exceptions: rosé [same every day, drinkable]; Portuguese red blend [very good] and cabernet sauvignon from California and Chianti from Italy [drinkable]; viognier [drinkable]). --They kept cancelling ship-sponsored shore-ex for lack of interest. Thank heavens we mostly went private. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We are experienced cruisers going back to the '80's. We prefer crossings and repositioning since most port visits are superficial at best. Substituting tour buses for luxury ship ambiance and tacky-tacky retail stops that seem ... Read More
We are experienced cruisers going back to the '80's. We prefer crossings and repositioning since most port visits are superficial at best. Substituting tour buses for luxury ship ambiance and tacky-tacky retail stops that seem to be about accommodating the local businesses rather than providing the cruiser any real opportunities. Thus the itinerary from Seward to Tokyo with stops in unusual way ports caught our fancy. Our Virtuoso Travel Agent forewarned us that Azamara was not quite up to true top notch all inclusive lines and that we would in particular find the cabin bathrooms small. All in all it sounded worth trying. We took the "unlimited package" which provided top shelf beverages, unlimited internet access (disappointingly slow and erratic). and three alternate dining experiences. Worst aspect of the experience was a feeling of overcrowded spaces. This was particularly so in the buffet area at prime lunch and dinner where seating was difficult to secure and the space between buffet lines was severely clogged. Food quality was better than you now get on mass market lines like HAL but not as good as we have had on Crystal, Windstar, or Seabourne. Really, it was only somewhat better than a recent experience on RCL. Service was slow albeit friendly and professional. My wife adheres to a rigorous low sodium diet and was very disappointed in the ship's efforts to accommodate her despite their continual protestations that they would. The enrichment speaker was a disappointment. She was overly pedantic and long winded. And, incredibly, she had a pronounced stammer. I can't imagine that anyone who took the trouble to be familiar with her speaking ability would hire her for this purpose regardless of her academic credentials. NO excuse for this management oversight. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We have sailed Azamara a number of times and really enjoy the on-board experience. This itinerary attracted us because of the variation in cultures and climate. The embarkation was very smooth and we were quickly processed. . Because ... Read More
We have sailed Azamara a number of times and really enjoy the on-board experience. This itinerary attracted us because of the variation in cultures and climate. The embarkation was very smooth and we were quickly processed. . Because of an upgrade, we were staying in a Club Continent Suite as opposed to our usual Veranda 2. We really enjoyed the extra space, but did not utilize all the perks associated with the Suite. One of the perks was complimentary dining in the Specialty Restaurants, a choice we made for four of the 14 nights. For other dinners, of course, we ate in Discoveries (the main dining room), and on the Patio. Most breakfasts we frequented Windows, the buffet area. We were very pleased with the food in all the venues, especially the attention paid to certain food intolerances that limit some of our choices. One of the attractions for us on Azamara is the friendly and attentive service on board..From the room stewards to the waiting staff in the dining areas, this cruise was no exception. The friendliness is true of most officers as well. Although not noted for entertainment, in this case Azamara provided some of the best we have enjoyed. From The Azamazing Evening to more casual events, we found a lot to enjoy. Hard to pick out a port that was more enjoyable than the others. Because of our travelling through four countries, each port provided some interesting contrasts. As we sailed further North the weather cooled and rain became a sometime occurrence. That added to the variety of experiences on this itinerary. We participated in only two shore excursions. The trip to see Bayeux and its famous tapestry was well worth the cost. The walking tour of Cadiz was good but not amazing. In both cases we were travelling in relatively small groups. Most of the ports were quite accessible for those who wanted to explore on their own, and Azamara provided free shuttles where needed and appropriate. As part of that service, usually there was a guide at the drop-off points with maps and helpful suggestions. After sailing up the Thames the previous day, disembarkation at Greenwich was a little more complicated than at most ports. But the staff on the ships had it well under control, and there was a surplus of attendants on shore to assure that you made your connection with taxis for the airport, for travel home, or for extended stays in London. For the reasons above, out of 18 cruises this was one of our favourites. Although the itinerary is not one of the common ones offered, we think others should give it serious consideration. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
You can see photos from this cruise and our other sailings by following the link on our Cruise Critic profile page: https://boards.cruisecritic.com/profile/35108-jgnova/ I had a “zero birthday” coming up and wanted to do ... Read More
You can see photos from this cruise and our other sailings by following the link on our Cruise Critic profile page: https://boards.cruisecritic.com/profile/35108-jgnova/ I had a “zero birthday” coming up and wanted to do something special to celebrate – which provided a great excuse for another cruise. But it had to be something special – new ports and/or a new ship or, even better, a whole new (to us) cruise line. We also had the additional requirement that, because of health issues, the embarkation and disembarkation ports had to be within five hours travel time from our Northern Virginia home. I put together a list of options, which were mostly sailings from Miami or Fort Lauderdale that included the ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao). One option stood out because it also included two days in Havana, Cuba, and was on Azamara Club Cruises Journey. This was a 16-night repositioning sailing from Miami to Manhattan, with stops in Havana, Aruba, Curaçao, Bonaire, St. Barts, Sint Maarten, and Hamilton, Bermuda. With four new (to us) ports on a new (to us) ship and cruise line, this became the obvious choice. And we are very happy we made that choice. Ship: The ship is lovely and very well maintained, despite its age – they were even refinishing the corridor handrails near our cabin. Like other ships under the RCCL umbrella, Journey was filled with artwork – paintings, prints, and sculptures (many by Salvador Dali) all over. The ship felt very bright all over – even the staircases and elevator lobbies, despite not having windows, felt very bright and open. The only times the ship felt crowded were when everyone tried to be in one venue at the same time – like White Night by the pool or the last two nights’ shows in the cabaret – and the staff brought in chairs for those events so everyone could sit. Cabin: The cabin had plenty of room for all of our stuff – drawers in the desk and in the closet, lots of hangers. There was plenty of light in the cabin, including extra lights by the desk, the bed, and a working balcony light. The cabin thermostat even seemed to work properly! We discovered that the coffee table by the sofa had a lever that raised it from coffee table height to a height that worked for eating our room service breakfast when we couldn’t eat on the balcony. Food: The food selections and quality were outstanding. With the exception of the AzAmazing Evening, when we ate in Windows (buffet restaurant) because of time constraints, we ate all our dinners in Discoveries (main dining room). We usually arrived around 7 PM and never had to wait for a table, which we usually shared with others, allowing us to meet many new people. Besides the menu selections, each night’s choices also included a chef’s selection and something more international, typically linked to the international themed dinner in Windows that evening. We could choose wines (at no extra charge) from each night’s selection of two whites, two reds, and a rosé – and they would pour wines offered on previous nights as well. We ate most breakfasts on the balcony, which was a treat – the server would even spread the tablecloth for us! The food was hot and usually delivered on time. We could even add things to the menu if we wanted (like a smoked-salmon omelet!). I had a few breakfasts in Windows on mornings when we had an early excursion and the selection was excellent. As opposed to other cruises on which we’ve sailed, instead of placing the omelet order and waiting while it was cooked, I just took a table card with a number and the omelet was delivered when it was done. The servers also provided all of the beverages, including fresh-squeezed orange juice. The ship had a few options for lunch. On days when our excursion returned in early afternoon, we went to the Living Room, where they had small sandwiches and desserts available. (That venue also had tapas in the early evening.) Other days, I would grab a burger (delicious) from the Patio or a salad from Windows and eat by the pool. Service: Service on the ship was excellent. The staff and crew would always greet us – our cabin attendants would open our door for us if they were nearby when we were returning. The pool staff were constantly walking around to clear up towels from vacated chairs and to take drink orders and clear up empty glasses. Entertainment: The entertainment was excellent. The ship’s cruise director and assistant cruise director each did a couple of shows and they were great performers. The ship also had an onboard troupe of six performers (four dancers and two singers/dancers) who did three different shows during our sailing. We were also entertained by a violinist, a magician/comic, and a pianist/singer, who joined the ship at different ports during the sailing. The violinist was a special treat for this voyage because of his work with Cuban musicians and students – and because he was joined for one piece by his young son, an incipient star. This was in addition to the pianist in the lounge and the ship orchestra and instrumental trio playing at different times throughout the ship. Our only complaint was about the volume – the cabaret shows would have been much nicer several dB lower. Ports: With the exception of Sint Maarten, we used the ship excursions in all of the ports. Cuba: The tour guides both days were very knowledgeable and answered all of our questions. The bus was quite comfortable as well. Cuba is a very interesting place to visit for many obvious reasons. There are very few private cars and most people use buses or shared vans for transportation. The six-lane highway leading to Havana was almost empty and there was little traffic in Havana itself, something unimaginable in most other national capitals. Most of the urban-area buildings are in various stages of disrepair, which is a shame because they looked as if they had been beautiful before the revolution. Houses in the outlying areas looked better-maintained. We did the Jewish Heritage tour our first day in Havana and visited a Jewish Cemetery, two synagogues, and a Jewish-owned boutique hotel. We got to meet with a community leader at one of the synagogues and he answered our questions about the Jewish community’s history and current life. Our second day in Havana, we went to Ernest Hemingway’s house in San Francisco de Paula (about 9 miles from Havana), and were able to see how he lived and the tower next to the house in which he did his writing. We then went to one of his favorite bars in Cojimar, where we saw “his table” and enjoyed a daiquiri made the way he drank them. We then went into Havana to another of his favorite bars (how many did he have?) and braved the crowds to have a mojito. We then had time to walk around the cathedral and other historical sections before returning to the ship. Aruba: As we had never been to Aruba before, we took a ship excursion tour of the island. This tour included a visit to an aloe processing plant, a lighthouse, a natural bridge, and the fascinating Casibari Rock Formations, which I’d like to visit again to see the petroglyphs. The tour guide was very knowledgeable and the bus was fairly new and very comfortable. Curaçao: Again, this was our first visit so we took the ship excursion for an island tour. We got to see a coastal national park to see the cliffs and rock formations along the coast and watch the strong surf. We also visited a lovely beach, the old salt flats in an unrealized hope to see the flamingos, and a former estate house most recently occupied by a famous local artist. As was the case in Aruba, the tour guide was quite knowledgeable and bus very comfortable. After a quick lunch in the Living Room, I hiked from the port into town to see the old synagogue, which we couldn’t tour because it was closed on Sunday. This also gave me an opportunity to walk across the Queen Emma Bridge, a pontoon bridge that floats on the water and swings off to the side to let ships through. I also was able to get a closer view of the Queen Wilhelmina Bridge, the tallest bridge in the world, and two other small lift bridges in Willemstad. Bonaire: Another new island and another ship excursion tour. The tour guide was knowledgeable, but the tour company used a smaller bus that was not as comfortable, especially for those stuck in the seats over the wheels. We got to see Bonaire’s lovely coastline, old salt flats with many flamingos raising their young, an old house showing how the early island residents lived, some slave huts right on the coast by the salt flats, and a modern salt processing operation. The tour guide was very good, but she had to keep telling the driver to slow down so we could take photographs. St. Barts: Although we had been to St. Barts five years earlier, we had seen only the port area in the capital so we took another island tour. This tour was in a mini-van and the tour guide was not very effective at discussing much about the island characteristics. We did get to see several beaches and the beautiful island geography. The company arranging the tours should have done a better job preparing a guide for the driver to use. Sint Maarten: We’ve been there several times and I decided to have a beach day. I had searched the web before the trip and found that two bars with beach chair/umbrella rental facilities had reopened at Orient Beach so I decided to go there for the day. There is a taxi rank right off the pier complex and the people there will assemble groups to various destinations. I was able to share a taxi with few other visitors (from another ship) and paid only $9 for the trip instead of the $25 the trip would have cost for just me. The taxi dropped us off mid-beach near the Bikini Beach bar, which looked nice. However, someone at the port had told me that Kon Tiki, a short walk down the beach, had better food. I paid $15 for an umbrella and comfortable chaise (including a cushion) for the day. There were attendants patrolling the beach to take food and drink orders, and the bar and restaurant looked great and had brand new facilities. So I had a lovely day on the beach watching people windsurfing and doing other watersports. Bermuda: We’ve been to Bermuda twice before, but we were docked at the Royal Dockyards at the far end of the island. We took ferry trips to Hamilton and to St. Georges, but had never seen the Bermuda countryside. This itinerary had us docked right in downtown Hamilton so we were able to walk around to see the shops and restaurants. We also took a ship excursion that drove along the south coast of the island to the Royal Dockyards, giving us a chance to see the lovely beaches for which Bermuda is famous and some historical areas. Embarkation/Disembarkation: Embarkation was fairly smooth with priority processing only for suite guests. While we had completed the forms for the Cuban visas, we forgot to bring copies with us, so we had to take time to write out second copies, which the port people insisted we needed even though we had copies at home. Disembarkation was slower than normal, probably because the immigration people had not planned on the high percentage of non-U.S. citizens, who took longer to process. Once through immigration, we located our luggage and found a porter quickly, who then took us out to the drop-off area. We were picking up a rental car and driving home, so I walked about 2 ½ blocks to the car rental office, picked up the car, drove back to the pier, picked up DW and our luggage, and headed through the Lincoln Tunnel. I think I spent more time in line at the car rental office than it took to get to the office and drive back and get to the tunnel. Overall experience: This itinerary was an excellent balance of port and sea days, with 8 ½ days in port and 6 ½ days at sea. The majority of the passengers were from the United Kingdom, which was a new experience for us, and we got to chat with a lot of people from places we had only read about. With fewer than 700 passengers on a smaller ship, we were more likely to bump into the same people repeatedly and get to know them. Even with open seating at dinner, we wound up having the same tablemates a few times and would greet each other by name when we were walking around the ship or sitting in the cabaret. Another pleasurable aspect of the cruise was that we didn’t feel hassled to spend money. Drinks and wine were included if we didn’t request premium brands, as were coffees. And there was no constant sales pressure to eat in the specialty restaurants, as we’ve experienced on other lines. The senior ship staff were always present and visible – the hotel director would frequently assist seating passengers in Discoveries and we saw the Captain walking around the tables at least once. The captain and hotel director were at the gangplank every morning when we left the ship for our excursions, wishing us a good visit. Captain Johannes and Cruise Director Eric had a constant repartee during the noon announcements, with the captain teasing the CD about his shirt every day and the CD finding something funny to say in response. They obviously have a great relationship and that enhanced the voyage. This was the best cruise we have ever taken, thanks to the ship staff and crew, ship size, passenger friendliness, food quality, and itinerary. We are looking forward to another. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We chose this cruise because we like the small ship experience with lots of sea days. We wanted to see Rio and Lisbon. Embarkation was a bit off-putting. We already had our bags tagged with our room number and did not need assistance ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we like the small ship experience with lots of sea days. We wanted to see Rio and Lisbon. Embarkation was a bit off-putting. We already had our bags tagged with our room number and did not need assistance getting our bags to the drop-off point. There was no place to drop our bags and we had to stand in line while others that used the porters were taken care of. Our bags were not delivered to our room--one was around the corner at another room and one was at the other end of the hall all by itself. Not a good start. The Pursuit is now only using the Azamara app to provide guest information unlike the TV that we have used on the other two ships. The daily Insights is still delivered everyday. The IT department assumes that all passengers are comfortable using apps and know how to use them. This is not true. There is limited info in the cabins about wi-fi and app usage. A user guide would have been appreciated. The only way to know how many wi-fi minutes have been used is to go to Guest Relations. The log-off app does not always work and minutes quickly are used. We generally liked the food but we ate mostly at The Patio. Half-way through the cruise oatmeal at breakfast in Windows was replaced with congee. Not a good choice. Frequently the food was cold as the warming plates being used did not keep the food hot. The service on The Patio is the best anywhere on the ship. We always got what we ordered and it was hot. We had lunch twice in Discovery and it was not good. The service is intolerably slow, the food selections are limited, and the food served was barely edible. Angelina's was wonderful but one pays for that. The veranda cabin is just like other Azamara ships. However, the fridge is now in a cabinet on the desk and that area gets very hot. There are also rough edges in the cabinet to skin knuckles on. Other cabinet doors are misaligned and easy to get caught on. As always, the room was well-taken care of by the room attendants. The guest lecturer for destinations was not helpful or informative. Silly asides for the first 10 minutes of the lecture are a waste of time. Some of the shore excursions were good and some disasters. One excursion had a major part eliminated because there was a typo in the description that no one had seen until half-way through the cruise. That typo had been there from the first posting of available shore excursions on the Azamara website and was booked because of the part that was dropped. It was great that there was an available excursion on the disembarkation day for those staying in Lisbon longer. The Guest Relations department continues to treat guests inappropriately. Telling me I am the only one on the ship that does not understand the problems with the app was not appreciated. Based on the line for the IT person and comments made by other passengers, I was not the only one. Many just didn't use the app. The officers were rarely seen unlike other Azamara ships. At the recognition breakfast for frequent Azamara guests, the captain and another officer stopped at our table for a minute. No more. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We wanted to experience South America and visit the above two places. The ports of call did not disappoint. We bought the indulgence package which was well worth the extra money. - The app needs work. It’s not updated and does not ... Read More
We wanted to experience South America and visit the above two places. The ports of call did not disappoint. We bought the indulgence package which was well worth the extra money. - The app needs work. It’s not updated and does not match the daily program. There is a lot of paper that could be saved...... The food never disappoints and the staff go out of there way to please you. We never meet so many like minded people up to the last day! The entertainment was solid and there are plenty of activities. The specialty restaurants are also top notch in food and service as well. The bar staff in the Den were brilliant. The crossing was great and the captain diverted the ship for us to see Fernando de Noronha island, 200 miles off the coast of Brazil. On our last leg from Casablanca to Lisbon, the captain did a brilliant job of steering the vessel so that we would feel the least amount of effects of storm heading towards us. He succeed brilliantly. A master class of navigation and meteorology! Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We chose this cruise as our wine shop was sponsoring the trip for customers. We had 46 people in our group. We were in Cabin 8052 which was right next to the elevators and stair well midship. We had our doubts as to the possible noise ... Read More
We chose this cruise as our wine shop was sponsoring the trip for customers. We had 46 people in our group. We were in Cabin 8052 which was right next to the elevators and stair well midship. We had our doubts as to the possible noise level for the location, but it was never a problem, we had no noise at all from the elevator and stairwell traffic. The room itself was very good with lots of storage and plenty of room to move about without any problems. The only issue is if you are not agile the tub presents a problem as it is a high step into the tub. Once in tub area to shower your head is practically touching the ceiling, I am 5'8" and clearance was about 1 inch, so if you are over 6' you will have to scrunch down. Otherwise the bathroom size is good. The Club Continent Suite comes with a stash of free liquor, Bombay Gin, Sotli Vodka, Rum, and Johnny Walker Red. The balcony was a bit tight but not an issue. I suggest that when you board, if you have a Club Continent Suite or higher the specialty dining is free, you book the specialty restaurants for every day you are on board, then cancel the day(s) you do not use on those schedule days, otherwise you are on a wait list the whole trip. The food is not spectacular on board, but very good. The surprise restaurant is the The Patio, poolside. Order a bone in sirloin steak that was as good as the steak house specialty restaurant Prime C. The menu at The Patio is very good. The best food of the entire cruise occurred on White Night when the food is superb everything from lobster, pork, steak, frog legs, calamari, etc. is available. Tons of desserts, too. Entertainment on board is good, nothing to write home about. The singers, magicians, and band are fine, good way to spend an hour relaxing on board. For dancing and drinking the Living Room is the place to be where they have a DJ and combo for entertainment. My favorite location was the Spirits bar in the Den which seems to be the gathering place on the ship most nights, cocktail lounge atmosphere with piano player. The bartenders were exceptional at the Spirits bar, but I learned they are not permanently assigned but rotated through the ship. The bartenders we had were Alex and Vlad, Alex was assigned to work the Mosaic Coffee bar and Vlad the pool bar on the next cruise, too bad as they are truly good at the bar. We booked three tours on board. We were very disappointed with 2 tours and loved the 3rd tour. This is hard to judge for future cruises as they rarely return to the same ports, but keep moving across the Mediterranean Sea and beyond. So it just could have been the locations we chose to see. Look into Viatour or local tour companies in port. Staff was friendly and helpful throughout the cruise. One nice feature is fewer passengers so embarkation and disembarkation at ports is never crowded, easy on and easy off was nice instead of waiting in long lines. The ship is small so navigating decks and going to bow to stern takes no time at all in getting around the ship. Would I do Azamara again, yes, now that I "know my way around and the tricks" The ship does not attract the younger crowd, families with children, or serious partiers so the atmosphere is laid back for people in the 50's and over age croup Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
I just took my first cruise on the Azamara Journey and was highly impressed with the ship, crew, food, and friendliness of the passengers. I had received an extremely good deal on an obstructed ocean view cabin and luckily was able to ... Read More
I just took my first cruise on the Azamara Journey and was highly impressed with the ship, crew, food, and friendliness of the passengers. I had received an extremely good deal on an obstructed ocean view cabin and luckily was able to select cabin 6036, which is between lifeboats and thus not very obstructed. I was pleasantly surprised how well laid out this cabin was and it was totally acceptible for one person with alot of closet space. The bed was extremely comfortable and the pillows were soft and easy to sleep on. I enjoyed the smaller ship experience and how friendly the passengers and crew were. The service was exceptional and the food was much better than other, larger ships I have been on. I liked the way the buffet was arranged at dinner with tablecloths and candles, so you felt like you were in a restaurant rather than a cafeteria setting. The ship tours were more expensive but they were much smaller than other ships, with an average participation of about 12-15 persons per tour. It was simple to get on and off the ship and particularly convenient to be docked closer to the ports. I booked several other cruises on Azamara because I felt the higher cost of the line was definitely worth the enhanced experience. It is especially good for solo travelers as Azamara seems to cater to those traveling alone, and the passengers are so friendly and welcoming to everyone. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Have only ever sailed with Celebrity but wanted to try Azamara while still attaining credits to our Celebrity Captains Club status. Pleasantly surprised, smaller ship but never felt overcrowded, crew were wonderful and met some lovely ... Read More
Have only ever sailed with Celebrity but wanted to try Azamara while still attaining credits to our Celebrity Captains Club status. Pleasantly surprised, smaller ship but never felt overcrowded, crew were wonderful and met some lovely passengers. Our first transatlantic which was leisurely but not tedious despite five and a half days at sea due to an itinerary change because of predicted bad weather at original ports of call. Found the main dining room too noisy and tables too close to each other so used Windows buffet for dinner which had plenty of choice and a more relaxed atmosphere compared to Celebrity.My husband enjoyed the daily talks by the retired Concorde Pilot but we found the evening entertainment limited. Quest has some signs of age but spotlessly clean throughouthe. Embarkation/Disembarkation very well organised. The staff and Officers were the friendliest we have ever encountered on a cruise ship.Very enjoyable and hope to sail Azamara again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Highly recommend Azamara Club Cruises. I can only give a recommendation for the Azamara Quest ship as I have not traveled on the Journey or new Pursuit yet. First time on Azamara and as long as the Quest does not get rid of their live ... Read More
Highly recommend Azamara Club Cruises. I can only give a recommendation for the Azamara Quest ship as I have not traveled on the Journey or new Pursuit yet. First time on Azamara and as long as the Quest does not get rid of their live dealer table games in their casino, it will not be my last. I loved this cruise and line and the service and meals and everything about it. It was nice being on a cruiseline that really takes care of its guests. It was easily 5 star service. There are so many people who I knew and was on a first name basis with throughout the cruise and I'm not talking about the passengers, but the staff who were great and went above and beyond any prior cruise expectation I had had. I booked my cruise through a cruise travel expert, who, in turn booked every aspect through Azamara. From the first meeting in the baggage claim at the Miami airport, to the representative making sure we were all on the bus and on the way to the Lisbon airport, they had every single detail covered. It was like clockwork! The hotel check-ins were smooth and easy and they were well prepared for us. To the buses from the hotel to the pier before the cruise and to the hotel from the pier after the cruise. The ship check-in was the smoothest ever. There was literally no line, we walked right up, handed in our cruise ticket and credit card. Pictures were taken and we were given our ship pass/room key and away we went. Everything was easy! Upon arrival on the ship, champagne was provided, they didn't ask for our room card to charge the drink, it was free. In fact, the back of the bar menu showed all of the free alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. All eating venues (with the exception of the two speciality restaurants) were included and the speciality restaurants weren't terribly expensive for the quality we received. Being docked in town was truly amazing. It was nice being on a small ship that was able to be right in the center of things. Literally off the ship and in the middle of town. Never had that experience on the larger ships that I have cruised on in the past. All communication from the captain was top notch, as well as from the cruise director, Tony. The activities planned from trivia to bingo to blackjack tournaments, guest lecturers, dance lessons, improv classes and the numerous musical events and shows were all unique and interesting to do throughout the cruise. The ship's officers were very visible throughout the cruise. The captain was available to speak to regularly, and many of the passengers were invited to dine with the officers during the cruise. It was truly a wonderful experience sitting with an officer and talking about his experiences and responsibilities. Captain Magnus truly commands a fine ship and wonderful crew. Almost every crew member I encountered really took care of me and other guests. Truly received wonderful service from the following team members: Ernest, Diana, Tony, Julia, Milda, Marina, Nikhil, Leon, Rebecca, Raymon, Ashley, Ernesto, Nikolai, Daniel, Yeldana, Shayla, Alicea, Mariana. I'm sure there are others I'm forgetting as I met so many wonderful crew members who graciously gave of themselves and made the voyage more enjoyable. Much different than the larger ships where you hardly get to know the crew at all, and certainly don't receive the same personal attention as you do on the Azamara Quest. Highly recommend you checking out Azamara Club Cruises, especially if you prefer port intensive trips and if you enjoy many days at sea on a transatlantic cruise. I've come home from my vacation truly relaxed and I have Azamara to thank. Keep up the good work and I can't wait until my next cruise with Azamara. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We love Azamara. Travel is what you make it. We enjoyed bridge lessons tremendously and the individual entertainers were phenomenal. Personnel on board are VERY accommodating and trained well to take care of every possible need we could ... Read More
We love Azamara. Travel is what you make it. We enjoyed bridge lessons tremendously and the individual entertainers were phenomenal. Personnel on board are VERY accommodating and trained well to take care of every possible need we could imagine. Wasn't crazy about some of the ports, but that always happens. Was surprised to see negative ratings about this voyage as everyone we talked to and met were very happy with this cruise. Came down with a bad cold on board and the doctor couldn't have been better. Some accompanying symptoms necessitated us being confined to quarters for a day, but we received free TV movies and any food we wanted from the room service menu or Discoveries Restaurant, only served on paper plates, not real dishes. We understood the necessity of this. Imagine our surprise several days later when we received a letter from the staff saying we would be comped one day on our next cruise to make up for the missed day we spent in quarantine. WOW! That's service! Best of all were the people we met on board and that's really one of the main reasons why we travel, to meet people from around the world and share conversations with them. Places are wonderful but people are even better! Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We had always wanted to try Azamara as they are the upscale product of RCCL and Celebrity, and our loyalty status transfers over equally from Celebrity. The ship is small - 30,277 tons and accomodates up to 694 passengers. Azamara ... Read More
We had always wanted to try Azamara as they are the upscale product of RCCL and Celebrity, and our loyalty status transfers over equally from Celebrity. The ship is small - 30,277 tons and accomodates up to 694 passengers. Azamara caters to an upscale, sophisticated cruising crowd. There were no children on this crossing and a large percentage of the guests were retired. The ship's public areas are nicely furnished and kept clean and tidy. There are two small retail shops with high end merchandise and a small casino which got limited use on this sailing. The Discoveries Dining Room is "open seating" for all meals. Service was inconsistent and slow until we found a great waiter and assistant. Food was generally good, but not what we were expecting. The Windows Cafe and the Patio both served quality food and had a nice variety to suit most guests. We enjoyed the entertainment and the Cruise Director, Tony Markey, was one of the best that we have encountered. There were two guest speakers on board discussing history and forensic science. I can't say enough about the fantastic crew! From the Captain to the dishwasher, everyone tried to please the guests. Azamara's "White Night Party" held in Hamilton, Bermuda, was amazing. Wonderful food and entertainment. The ship's officers even served food in the buffet line. Small ships have positives and negatives. We had about 24 hours of rough seas, which you really feel, but we were able to dock in downtown Hamilton, Bermuda. Small ships also make it easy to meet other interesting passengers and mingle with the entainers and crew. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Great cruise on the Azamara Quest from Barcelona to Miami. Due to the hurricanes in the Caribbean, the itinerary was changed to eliminate St. Maarten and San Juan and spend two nights in Hamilton Bermuda instead. It turned out to be ... Read More
Great cruise on the Azamara Quest from Barcelona to Miami. Due to the hurricanes in the Caribbean, the itinerary was changed to eliminate St. Maarten and San Juan and spend two nights in Hamilton Bermuda instead. It turned out to be great with warm weather in Bermuda and having the ship docked right in Hamilton. The white night was in Hamilton and the weather was perfect for dinner and dancing on the deck. This was our first transatlantic and we were a little concerned about all the sea days, but it was very good with plenty of activities and also time by the pool to relax. The ship stopped in Gibraltar and and Funchal prior to the Atlantic crossing. Both stops were very interesting and we enjoyed the excursions. The staff on the Quest was fantastic and the food was great at the main dining restaurant and the specialty restaurants also. We did the Chef's table that had wine pairings with all five courses. The entertainment was good with a mix of music, comedy, and dancing. The other great thing about a 16 day cruise on a small ship is that you get to meet great people and make friendships that will last well beyond the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
The Quest is a beautiful small ship. This was the second of our b2b. The food everywhere is excellent. The standard drink package is perfectly good for us. The wines were very nice, so we neither needed to order anything special nor a ... Read More
The Quest is a beautiful small ship. This was the second of our b2b. The food everywhere is excellent. The standard drink package is perfectly good for us. The wines were very nice, so we neither needed to order anything special nor a bottle of wine. We had an Ocean Suite all the way forward 6002. Loved the veranda even though it seemed awkwardly laid out. I still have no idea why there is a Butler. Ours, Eyup, was really a very nice man and always asked if we needed anything. He brought tea and set it up for us unless we asked him not to. The suit was nice but was a little worn. The breakfast in discoveries was always wonderful. There were brunches on Sundays, I didn’t really have any feelings about it. The food was excellent no matter which venu. The bartenders were great as well. The Casino was woefully under used. The 2 shops on board didn’t have much variety, and whomever is the vendor should look into that. There were activities going on all the time Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
We chose this cruise because of itinerary. Unfortunately due to hurricanes in the Caribbean 2 scheduled stops were changed but can't blame Azamara for the weather. We sailed from Barcelona having had 5 days in Barcelona prior to ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of itinerary. Unfortunately due to hurricanes in the Caribbean 2 scheduled stops were changed but can't blame Azamara for the weather. We sailed from Barcelona having had 5 days in Barcelona prior to cruise. We stayed at Avenida Palace hotel which was very good and a short walk to all the sites. Embarkation was not as smooth as previous boardings with Azamara. Took a while to line up through customs ( not Azamara fault), but then a lengthy walk to ship and another line up in the Caberet lounge to be issued ship passes etc. this was our first trip on The Quest our other 3 cruises have been on The Journey. We noticed pretty well immediately, as did a lot of other passengers, that the crew did not seem as happy as they should be. For the first 5 or 6 days service from bar areas was slow, tables on the 9 deck area were not cleaned very often. Service in the windows cafe was very slow or non-existant - there was 2 mornings where we were not offered water,tea or coffee! After the first 5 or 6 days though things improved in these areas and staff were very attentive and "on the ball" for the rest of the trip. The food, staff and service in the Main Discoveries dining room and the 2 specialty restaurants were outstanding. Special mention of Afley in Discoveries- he was excellent. Our cabin attendants were wonderful, very friendly and helpful without being intrusive. The trivia games and other activities were fun and well run but sometimes overlapped so you had to miss something. Especially on sea days perhaps more thought could be given to scheduling. We did not do any of the offered shore excursions preferring to go out and about at our own pace. I have given an average score for entertainment- this is only because we have seen all but 1 of the guest acts and crew performances before - that said we did see most of the shows and even though it was 2nd or 3rd time around, we enjoyed the shows and they are certainly professional. Debarkation in Miami was slightly delayed but again no fault of the ship, everyone is at the mercy of USA customs and immigration. When we could debark it was quick. Overall we thoroughly enjoyed our cruise. We love Azamara and look forward to our next trip next year Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Our second Azamara cruise and it did not disappoint. Incredible service, wonderful crew, excellent food. It is an absolutely wonderful cruising environment. It is so nice to be in a small "community" and be able to recognize ... Read More
Our second Azamara cruise and it did not disappoint. Incredible service, wonderful crew, excellent food. It is an absolutely wonderful cruising environment. It is so nice to be in a small "community" and be able to recognize and meet so many of the crew and passengers. Let me state, unequivocally, that this will not be our last Azamara cruise. So....the "but:" The ship is one of the Renaissance R1 ships and it is definitely showing its age. The cabins were renovated in 2016, but are already showing substantial wear and shoddy workmanship. The new wall covering was peeling in several places and the shower stall had walls that were delaminating. In speaking to fellow passengers, our situation was definitely not uncommon. Additionally, some of the public areas are badly in need of some TLC. The tile around the pool was cracked in several places and the grout was missing as well. Given the premium price one pays for Azamara, this is inexcusable. While we are in our mid-60's, we were definitely among the youngest passengers on this sailing, and it is clear that most of the entertainment was aimed at an older demographic. While we didn't sail on Azamara for the entertainment, it was a bit of a disappointment that we did not enjoy most of the cabaret shows. So....all in all, an absolutely wonderful sailing, but not flawless. We can't wait to return to Azamara! Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
We chose this cruise because of the pricing, OBC, and itinerary. The Azamara Journey crew worked hard to prevent a ship wide outbreak of a GI virus and were successful. Someone(s) foolishly ate some street food. As always the rooms and ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the pricing, OBC, and itinerary. The Azamara Journey crew worked hard to prevent a ship wide outbreak of a GI virus and were successful. Someone(s) foolishly ate some street food. As always the rooms and public areas were clean, the food was delicious, and the land excursions excellent. Every night a different cuisine was served in Windows, the buffet restaurant, giving guests a chance to try different foods. The best place for evening dining is The Patio with table service but one can also visit the buffet line from there. We were able to get to know the different countries we visited. We were delighted to see Eric, the Cruise Director, again. He is so much fun and so entertaining. Standard drinks and tipping are included in the cruise price which means you aren't trying to drink your way through a liquor package and you don't need to worry about tipping too little or too much. They still need to improve their Wi-Fi connection. This was another wonderful cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
This was our fifth cruise with Azamara and our third on the same route. We chose the route twice before as one or other of us had had knee surgery and this repositioning cruise includes many relaxing sea days. The itinerary includes the ... Read More
This was our fifth cruise with Azamara and our third on the same route. We chose the route twice before as one or other of us had had knee surgery and this repositioning cruise includes many relaxing sea days. The itinerary includes the option to visit both Luxor and Petra. On the previous cruises we weren’t fit enough to take these strenuous tours, but this time we intended to, and did, ‘tick off’ both these bucket list destinations. We had stayed in Athens twice before, so decided to look for a hotel in Piraeus and we found a great one. The Phidias Piraeus is a small boutique hotel very well located close to the Zea Marina, which has an interesting range of boats from luxury cruisers to small fishing boats. The road around the Marina has many restaurants and bars, so is an ideal place to find dinner. The hotel itself was great. The receptionist could not have been more helpful. Our room was small but very tastefully decorated in a modern style and the bathroom was nice - everything was very clean. Breakfast was great, too. They took us to the port the next morning at 12 on their free shuttle, along with about 12 other Azamara passengers who were staying there. As usual embarkation was quick and easy and well before 1:00 we were on board sipping a glass of bubbly. We went straight to the speciality restaurants reservation table in Windows(buffet) to buy a 3 meal dining package for the speciality restaurants and make our bookings, then had lunch in the Patio. By 2:00 we were in our verandah stateroom (7021) unpacking. Our steward, Luis, was happy to get us some metal coat hangers to supplement the ones provided. The cabin was very comfortable, with lots of storage space. We had asked for a queen bed configuration, and bed was huge and extremely comfortable. The balcony was small but had a table and two chairs - big enough for us to sit out there. We ate most dinners in Discoveries (MDR) and overall the food was excellent. We had some main courses that were outstanding - lamb chops, surf and turf, filet mignon, lobster with scallops and shrimp risotto. Azamara generally does soups well too - favourites include red pepper soup and Thai seafood soup. There were two or three misses though - garlic soup that tasted of rubber, veal chops that were tough and Thai beef curry that tasted like stewed beef, but these were very much the exception. We usually shared tables at dinner, often with the same group of people who all went to the Discoveries bar at about the same time (7:30) and had many lovely sociable meals. We ate twice in Prime C and once in Aqualina and these were all outstanding meals. We mostly had lunch at the Patio (my husband thinks the Azamara special burger is unbeatable) and breakfast in Windows. Although we were happy with the included drinks, we felt that the quality of the wine was lower than on our last cruise, a year before. After dinner, we often went to the Cabaret Lounge to watch some or all of the show. Mostly these were song and dance shows by the ship’s group of entertainers, including the talented Eric De Gray, the Cruise Director. During our 16 nights aboard there were two guest artists - a comedian and a cellist, but we didn’t see either of them. On a few nights we ended the evening dancing to disco in the Living Room, with the DJ Marcio. On this cruise there was a good crowd up there most nights. The Azamazing Evening was, unusually, a little underwhelming! It was in Wadi Rum, which is a beautiful setting, but the entertainment was folk dancing, which was very repetitive. It was men in white robes (plus a boy) waving swords and dancing. There was wine to drink but the only food was flat bread made by a couple of women sitting at the base of the stage. As we were sitting near the back we didn’t even get to try it! It also became quite cold once the sun set, as the sky was clear. We enjoyed the sea days, as we love sitting on a sun bed on deck 11. That means that I can’t comment on the lectures, art classes or bridge lessons - we didn’t get to any of them. From Aqaba to Muscat the ship was subject to high security - there was a team of security guards onboard and all outdoor areas had to be kept dark between dusk and dawn. We had to close our curtains at dusk and not use our verandah light. Deck 9 was only accessible after dark by ‘smoker’s corner’ - but the added bonus was that the view of the starry sky was wonderful with no light pollution! As always with Azamara the service was generally excellent. Senior Officers were very evident - we spoke to the captain a couple of times, and the Hotel Director, Heike, was everywhere - directing people to buses in port, welcoming us back to the ship. The other thing that always impresses is with Azamara is the general friendliness onboard - crew and passengers alike, and this cruise was no exception. Ports:- Crete - Agios Nikolas - we went on the little blue land train. We took the 70 minute tour for €13, which went up into the hills to a view point over Elounda and Spinalonga as well as back over Agios Nikolas, then had a walk around this pretty little town. Egypt - Safaga - we took a 2 day private tour with Your Egypt Tours which included Karnak Temple, Luxor Temple, a sunset felucca ride on the Nile, an overnight stay at the 5 star Steigenberger Hotel on the banks of the Nile, the Valley of the Kings, Queen Hatshepsut’s Temple and the Colossi of Memnon - all for $160. We also had some optional charged extras - the Light & Sound Show after dark at Karnak Temple and visits to King Tutankhamen’s and King Seti’s tomb. I loved the Light & Sound Show, but my husband found it boring. The two extra tombs were well worth the extra charge, especially Seti’s tomb - the paintings there were amazing, so fresh and vibrant. Jordan - Aqaba - we went on the ship’s excursion to Petra. A very hard day, but also well worth it. We walked for 5/6 miles on uneven ground - not so bad on the way there as it’s downhill, but hard work coming back uphill. You can pay to go in a carriage, but we didn’t fancy it, they went pretty fast and the passengers looked as if they were being thrown around a lot. The walk through the Siq is interesting as the rocks are amazing colours, then you get your first glimpse of the Treasury - the iconic building that you see in every bit of information about Petra. It’s amazing, but there is so much more to Petra - lots more carved buildings and even an amphitheatre. Oman - Salalah - we didn’t get off the ship as it was very hot (88) and the port was 25km from the town. Oman - Muscat - we took the ship’s free shuttle to The Muttrah Souq, which is huge. The main path is where all the souvenir stalls are, but it’s more interesting on the side and outer paths where there are stalls and shops selling goods designed for locals, such as shops selling abayas (Arab black dresses). We spent a couple of hours wandering around the Souq and the surrounding area. UAE - Dubai - took the ship’s free shuttle to the Dubai Mall. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
This was our first cruise with Azamara but we have cruised with the following lines, Celebrity (Elite Status), NCL, HAL & Princess. Azamara advertises as a luxury cruise line but we feel they fall short with making this claim. ... Read More
This was our first cruise with Azamara but we have cruised with the following lines, Celebrity (Elite Status), NCL, HAL & Princess. Azamara advertises as a luxury cruise line but we feel they fall short with making this claim. The good: • Azamara has a reciprocal agreement with Celebrity so we received all of the perks that come with our Celebrity Elite status. • The muster drill started on time and it only took approximately 20 mins. • The cushions on the deck lounge chairs are very comfortable. • Our stateroom attendants (Supriyono & Rovic) were fantastic. • The pool butlers and bar staff provide great service. • The majority of the staff are very friendly and greet the passengers. The not so good: • The internet is very slow and it is often difficult to connect to it. • They have fees for events that take place on seas days. Wine tasting, iPad classes etc and on other cruise lines these are free. I did not attend any but it seemed to me they were nickel and diming the passengers for events that should have been free. • The salt & pepper shakers in the Discovery Restaurant were disgusting. They need to be replaced. • The staff on the patio and veranda are disorganized and it does not appear that they have assigned tables. You either have 3 waiters asking you if you would like something or no one comes to your table. • The ship is not handicapped friendly. The doors on decks 9 & 10 that lead out to the decks are wooden and they are very heavy. If it is windy it is very hard to open them and they do not have any automatic door openers on any of the doors. They also have small ramps on either side of these doorways over the door sill which adds an additional challenge to passengers in wheelchairs. • I realize that food is subjective and we found the food was good and there was a variety but it was noting out of the ordinary. We found that it was about the same as we would expect on Celebrity. This is the first cruise line that we have been on that didn’t offer chocolate cake. • The guest Services Staff did not appear to be happy. I realize they probably have one of the worst jobs on the ship as they deal with every complaint but they didn’t greet anyone with a smile and they waited for the passenger to start the conversation. • If you read the bios of the Senior Staff they all state that they are engaged with the passengers on a daily basis. I don’t know where they were on our cruise but Capt Carl, Hotel Director Phillip & Cruise Director Russ where not up on deck 9. I did not see Chef Monica come in the Discoveries Dining Room on any of our 16 night cruise. Summary: We had a good cruise but we do not see why Azamara considers themselves as a luxury cruise line. The service and food was good but it was not better that we have experienced with Celebrity. We purchased the cruise during one of their sales, we did get a good price and we definitely received our money’s worth on this cruise. If we would have paid full fare then we would have been upset as Azamara is charging the same as other luxury cruise line but it falls short in our opinion. Would we cruise with Azamara again? Yes, but only if the price is right. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click