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12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
We selected to try Azamara due to the itinerary offered: 2 sea days from/to Miami; St.John USVI; Terre de Haut - Guadeloupe; Roseau - Dominica (2 months prior sail date replaced by Philipsburg - St Maarten); Charlestown - Nevis; Gustavia - ... Read More
We selected to try Azamara due to the itinerary offered: 2 sea days from/to Miami; St.John USVI; Terre de Haut - Guadeloupe; Roseau - Dominica (2 months prior sail date replaced by Philipsburg - St Maarten); Charlestown - Nevis; Gustavia - St Barts; Virgin Gorda - BVI (replaced during cruise due to bad weather & swells by St Croix USVI). We have sailed with Cunard's QM2; Royal Caribbean's Monarch; Holland America Line (Nieuw Amsterdam & Volendam), Oceania's Riviera , some ships repeat stays as we love them. We have booked verandas or even suites before depending on offered routes. We love to interact with other passengers and arrange also own excursions or join happily other initiatives. Embarkation went very quickly in about 45 minutes we were onboard. The Quest ship is in an excellent state, clean, sparkling and well maintained everywhere from tender dock upwards to the top. Staff is cleaning day&night and it shows. Our cabin 8003 is well appointed with fresh fruit & flowers and the cabin again is kept very clean, even the windows with some sea spray during some windy days in January in the Caribbean (!) are cleant the next day. Erwin & colleague cabin attendant work very hard, who even 'own' half of the ship (with keeping clean the Spa suites on floor up) really know your day rithme and work around it perfectly. Many times already mentioned about the small shower & curtain, only I can say is that the lovely thick bath towels can not dry on the rail as you need to double fold them, so we hang them to dry on the clothes cupboard in the cabin, at least we could use them again the next day one more time. Dining is very good: the food is excellent, whether you take the buffet, the little grill for burgers or the main dining room. Standard is very high. We can only say that due to sailing on a smaller ship, some lines in front of the buffet are more difficult as there is less walking space left to manoeuvre holding a plate. Some passengers live in a bubbly and do not see that 3 other passengers are behind them trying to walk-on, but it is impossible to get around the first person. Entertainment & activities: there was a cluster of lectures on the life of former President Reagan which were held on seadays and one late afternoon. Actually very interesting but I guess I wass the youngest attendee being 50 years old :-). Other activities were there as quizzes or morning stretches which I did not participate. Entertainment was excellent: esspecially of the ship's band played 'live' and the singers & dancers and also Russ the Cruise Director sang along. I enjoyed it because they were doing a real 'live' performance and it was done via the heart and you could feel it. The Azamara's White Night supposed to be completely outside but due to some bad weather, the BBQ was outdoors and the concert with dancing was moved last-minute to the Caberet Lounge. The Captain & staff tried so hard to keep it all outside but unfortunately could not stop the rain. It still was a fun-filled event, well done! Allow me to stress that the Cruise Director Russ was sooo nice and professional! We have seen many CDs and many of them only claim the stage to employe there big own ego. Fortunately Russ is quite the opposite and shows amongst his talents that he has class with his entire team of singers/actors and dansers. Azamazing Evening was organized at the dock in Philipsburg and that is why the Roseau - Dominica port was moved, as the latter could not have coped. St Maarten provided a welcome schoolband with dansers and to follow was two piece drum band and than the Caribbean jazz/classical quartet. All very nice and before everyone rejoined the ship, on the dock was a small musical reception with the ship's band again and a glass of champagne. Staff is excellent anywhere and everywhere. The staff is besides serving you, always setting up or breaking down event set ups, such as chocolate midnight buffet; White Night; flambee stations at main dining room; lunch buffets; cooking stations, it is all hard work but they do with a smile. Azamara does make sure that the smaller ships keeps changing the settings and atmosphere so there should be no repeat possible to bore passengers. Also the hostess in charge of seating at the main dining room for dinner, altough under great pressure to try to seat everyone quickly, had always a smile and remained pleasant. Also the chefs behind the buffets, the servers on popular outdoor deck, the waiters in the main dining room, they work fast and also show a bit of their own character which makes them pleasant to be waited by. Nothing is worse in our experience to have only subservant service and staff is not able to be human or can have laugh on your own expense. Each destination will provide a beach and some have great access via nice shared taxi busses and even offer a snorkel trail like St John. Nevis' beaches are not the greatest but the botanical gardens are a treat. A fellow passenger shared a tip in St Maarten to go kayaking from the French part to Pinel island and St Barts you could have rented beach chairs only for US$100 per bed on Shell Beach! We never book the ship's excursions anywhere as we are not afraid to walk down the pier, finding local transport to bring us exactly where other ships tours will bring other passengers for the third of the price. Of course it is a choice you can make and with a little research (and luck) it goed a long way. Disembarkation was ok, I am just surprised that two on-duty immigration officers handle a 600 passenger ship. There were only two lines open and other officers stood stand-by and replaced the other serving officers. In many other non-USA ports we experience a smoother and more quickly transition, where you would think that Miami knows how to handle this better? Conclusion: we had a great cruise, made specially interesting as we met overall great fellow cruise passengers who all seem to enjoy having friendly talks with everyone and of which some have become now cruise friends for the future. We have heard on-board about comparing Quest with Journey and comparing captains or cruise directors from either ship. We only know Quest but we can say compared to other cruiselines we definately will book Quest again. We could not find any fault (nor that we were looking) and we truly had an excellent time. Due to bad weather the captain and his staff made sure that the ship was sent around the worst bit of weather avoiding wind & heavy (5m.) swells and the captain presented his different route a couple of times during the day. Ensuring all passengers were heard and he even posted weather updates next the Mosaic Cafe and happily personally pointed the new posters to passers-by. I have not experienced this before on any ship and I was glad he selected a route which provided all of us with more comfort. Thank you! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
First, it was a great cruise. Was it outstanding, sorry no. The ship is nice, it´s small but we found everything we needed. Embarkation was good and fast, disembarkation a little chaotic but that was the fault of the passengers that ... Read More
First, it was a great cruise. Was it outstanding, sorry no. The ship is nice, it´s small but we found everything we needed. Embarkation was good and fast, disembarkation a little chaotic but that was the fault of the passengers that couldnt wait for their color. Our cabin was good. We heard a lot of negatives about the front facing cabins but we actually liked it and the view is gorgeous. Only the bathroom is very small. Food was good but nothing special to rave about. The buffet was so so. Due to it´s small size the selection wasn´t very good. And even as a German, I don´t need a german lunch buffet in the caribbean. We would have preferred something local. The ports were ok, too but probably except of Santo Tomas de Castilla nothing you cannot reach with a "normal" cruise ship. Now to explain why I did not rate it excellent or outstanding. Maybe our expectations were too high because of all this raving about Azamara in the forum and about the friendlyness of the crew. Maybe it was an "unusal" cruise for Azamara like somebody told me on board. The crew was friedly but not better than the crews we experienced on Celebrity or HAL before. Actually we had better contact to both officers and crew on previous cruises. Like always some were better and some were not. Some even looked tired and I overheard a waitress talking to somebody else that she wished she was on another ship. Especially the hotel manager Heike Berdos, who was born in Germany seemed to dislike the Germans on board. We had the feeling she actually avoided to talk to us. Again, maybe it was an unusal cruise because of more than 100 Germans on board but we booked independently and paid a premium. This was not what we expected. The ports were nice, we hadn´t been to this part of the caribbean before, but not that special. Cozumel is extremely touristy (yes, I knew that before), most interesting were Belize and Guatemala. But all ports could be reached by bigger ships, too. One of the highlights was the "Azamazing evening". We were glad they made it even to some problematic circumstances. Due to Weather conditions we had to change the port. The concert at the old plantation was just great , it just could have lasted longer, the firework spectacular.Sadly the white night was held inside. We wished they had resceduled it because inside it was bland. There were opportunities later this cruise that would have been perfect. Something positive at last, we met very nice people on board from different countries. We hope to meet some again, on a ship or here at home. So to finish this short review. Was the cuise good? Yes. Was it outstanding? No. Would we cruise with Azamara again? Probably, but we will chose a different itinerary with smaller ports. Next time we might cruise with Celebrity again. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
This was our first cruise on Azamara and we were not disappointed. The ship is beautifully appointed in attractive neutral colours. Embarkation was simple and fast. Although the stateroom was small, it had ample storage space, mini fridge, ... Read More
This was our first cruise on Azamara and we were not disappointed. The ship is beautifully appointed in attractive neutral colours. Embarkation was simple and fast. Although the stateroom was small, it had ample storage space, mini fridge, safe, and even included binoculars and umbrellas. The restaurants were excellent. We ate in both the Aqualina and Prime C and were pleased with the quality of food and the service. The staff on the Journey are the best we have ever had. No matter where we went, there was a cup of coffee or a drink almost before we could ask for one. The tables in the Windows buffet were never left dirty. The restaurant managers really work alongside the servers and do not hesitate to assist when required. On the pool deck we were continually offered cold drinks, juices, refreshing shots of cold soups....yummy. On hot days a server came to each passenger and asked if they would like to be spritzed to cool them off. Words cannot express how spoiled we were. The passengers were a very pleasing mix of Americans, English, Germans and Canadians. We all had a great time chatting and sharing experiences. We really enjoyed the Azamazing Evening at the Good Hope Estate in Falmouth and the beach day in Labadd. I can't wait to return to Azamara. I think I have finally found the perfect cruise. Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
Just returned from a 10 day cruise on the Azamara Journey, my 2nd this year on this ship. The ship recently went into drydock and really looks fabulous now. Some big improvements ...added many more 2 and 4 top tables in the main dining ... Read More
Just returned from a 10 day cruise on the Azamara Journey, my 2nd this year on this ship. The ship recently went into drydock and really looks fabulous now. Some big improvements ...added many more 2 and 4 top tables in the main dining room and the buffet up top. This change eliminated almost all waits for tables! The décor throughout was completely refreshed and is very relaxing. The beautiful top level Living Room Lounge was reconfigured and is very comfortable with a view that can't be beat. The spa is very nice as is the fitness center. Overall, the refurb was terrific. The food throughout was excellent. I enjoy dining in the main dining room for breakfast and dinner and the service and food was a solid 10. The buffets at lunch were excellent. I have a gluten allergy and they now label all buffets and menus to assist those of us with special dietary needs...very nice touch. Wine is served complimentary (changes daily) and their choices were very good. The signature Azamara Amazing Evening was outstanding. We went to a Reggae Concert in Jamaica featuring Third World...I saw them on my January Cruise and would see them again in a heartbeat. I also love the Mosaic Coffee bar - they serve complimentary coffee, expresso, etc and feature Nespresso for a small upcharge. Even the internet connection was reasonable fast for a ship. I purchased an unlimited internet package and was very happy. The entertainment was great. Azamara has great Cruise Directors - I saw Eric on my Jan cruise and had Tony this time. Both outstanding, but very different from each other - no cookie cutter cruise directors on Azamara which is nice! Entertainer Marcos French was a wonderful singer/entertainer. The Captains on both cruises were visible and Heiki the Hotel Director was very accommodating. The cabins are nice. The bathrooms, however, are small but manageable. The décor is very soothing. I like Celebrity but have enjoyed my 2 cruises on Azamara so much that I just booked 2 more future Azamara cruises while I was on the ship. I was concerned about having enough to do on a small ship and Azamara proved that not to be a concern - they can visit unique ports and spend more time in each one. Even tendering is a breeze when there are not too many passengers. Azamara definitely focuses on service, and are successful making you feel at home. The best of all worlds for me will be to cruise in both small and large ships. For small ships, I loved Azamara and will sail them again. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
After cruising with Celebrity and Holland America, we were looking for a more upscale experience.we decided to try the Azamara experience and it is an experience. Never have we had such friendly staff. Every morning a waiter in the buffet ... Read More
After cruising with Celebrity and Holland America, we were looking for a more upscale experience.we decided to try the Azamara experience and it is an experience. Never have we had such friendly staff. Every morning a waiter in the buffet restaurant would serve us a special coffe...one shot of espresso and then followed by Cafe Americano, this was the best coffee served with a smile. The staff on the Azamara are the best at sea. From the room stewards who were unobtrusive to the servers in the restaurants could not do enough for us. Anastasia in the cafe and casino bar was great, after the first evening, she knew exactly what to bring us , before we had a chance to order. The servers in the main dining room were fabulous. Food quality was really great. Much superior to the so called upper premium cruises. The hotel manager, Heike, was brilliant. She even came to say goodbye and gave us a hug during disembarkation.....this has never happened to us on the past 20 or more cruises. Cannot wait to return to this ship in 2017. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2011
My partner and I are cruise addicts !We have travelled with most of the major cruise lines,this was our 1st sailing with AZAMARA and we cannot wait to revisit ! We have travelled with their parent company, Celebrity, but in our experience, ... Read More
My partner and I are cruise addicts !We have travelled with most of the major cruise lines,this was our 1st sailing with AZAMARA and we cannot wait to revisit ! We have travelled with their parent company, Celebrity, but in our experience, this was world's apart ! It was also our first cruise on a smaller ship, having been a fan of larger ships before. So how did it all compare ? We made our own travel plans from the UK to San Juan , we flew from Gatwick to Tampa, overnighted at the Marriott hotel within the airport ( excellent ) , the following morning ,we took a flight from Tampa to San Juan, on arrival we jumped into a taxi and 15 mins later we were checking in for the cruise . Check in was efficient and friendly, two thing we were surprised at, firstly, as we passed the check in desk , we were approached by a waiter , who told us there was a seafood buffet available that evening, we said we would prefer the main restaurant, we were told , 'this will be very busy sir, you come at 6.30 or 6.45 pm please?' we politely said we would take our chances and dine later ! We went to the main restaurant , Discoveries , at 8pm , and it was almost empty !!!!! The other surprise was, as we boarded the ship......the dreaded ship photo, complete with static background and ship superimposed !!! On the big 'holiday' ships you kind of accept and expect it, we didn't with this style of cruise. It was no big deal though, just we were surprised ! We boarded the AZAMARA JOURNEY, the lobby as you enter strikes you as being very smart, comfortable, and the thing that hit us was, it was so peaceful ! Ordinarily, when you board a ship, its hectic, noisy, people running around, this was the opposite.....wonderful !!! We were advised our staterooms were not available until 1.30pm, our carry on luggage was taken from us and placed directly in the staterooms for us , so we could go and enjoy lunch in the buffet restaurant. We made our way to deck 9 for lunch, the buffet was superb , as it was throughout the cruise. Ordinarily, we avoid buffets like the plague, not because we don't like the food, but because its all so hectic, difficult to find somewhere to sit, having to wait for the waiters to clear the previous occupants remnants etc. This was completely different ! Again , it was calm, plenty of tables, all prepared for you, waiters would offer to carry your plate for you, if you so wished ! The food choice was excellent , plenty of lovely fresh salads, soups, a carvery,hot dishes, wonderful breads, stir frys;s and heavenly desserts and ice creams ! All this , together with copious amounts of wine, a choice of red or white, which changes daily. Following a wonderful lunch, we made our way to our stateroom, Deck 8 , a balcony cabin. The cabin was beautifully appointed, fresh flowers, mini bar stocked with water and soft drinks ( all included) , flat screen TV plenty of drawer and hanging space. It has to be said , the cabin was actually quite alot smaller than others we have experienced, but with the extra space on deck etc, we found we were actually in this cabin alot less than normal ! The cabin was spotless, no dust anywhere, and beds were fantastic. The showeroom was small, and when I say small, I mean small !! You generally had a fight with the shower curtain in the shower, it would wrap round you and generally it won ! Has to be said though, again it was spotless and plenty of hot water day and night, so you could not really complain ! The main restaurant was excellent, we had some truly memorable meals, and no matter where we sat, we had fantastic waiters every meal, this includes the Buffet restaurant too ! Wine flowed freely and was always superb ! Mineral water and soft drinks , as well as speciality coffees ( lattes , espressos etc ) all available. The menu choice was extensive, with a choice of 'always available ' items such as prawn cocktail , caesar salad, steaks etc. The maitre d , made them selves known EVERY meal time, unlike the big ships, where you generally met the MAITRE d on 'tip night ' ! The deck space on this ship is wonderful, always plenty of lovely squashy sun beds, lovely thick mattresses and towel covers. The pool , although smallish was a perfect temperature , 2 whirl pools available . The gym was superb, plenty of hi tech equipment, and a very personable gym Instructor , a chap from Ireland, who was very friendly and approachable . Entertainment on board, was low key, a couple of shows from the singers and 1 by the cruise director, but the main entertainment for us was the dining experince. The thing that really stands out about Azamara, is the ships staff. EVERY single crew member you encounter , acknowledges you, with a cheery smile and a greeting. This went from Officers down to engineers, every single one was friendly. On this line tips are included, we still tipped a few who really stood out from the rest, this was hard to do, as I say, all the staff were outstanding ! We had a really fantastic experience and I hope AZAMARA is the success it deserves ! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2010
My wife and I made our first cruise to Europe and our first Azamara experience on the April 25th Barcelona to Venice sailing. We have previously sailed on a number of Royal Caribbean ships(have grown to hate the Windjammer) and the ... Read More
My wife and I made our first cruise to Europe and our first Azamara experience on the April 25th Barcelona to Venice sailing. We have previously sailed on a number of Royal Caribbean ships(have grown to hate the Windjammer) and the Celebrity Solstice. We can unreservedly say that our experience on the Journey was by far the best yet, and we already have booked for another European cruise next Spring. The small size of the Journey made for a very relaxed vacation without the crowds and stress of the larger ships such as the Freedom, Let me say that my wife and I do not cruise for the glitzy, resort-type activities, i.e. casino, shows, etc., but very much enjoy good food and service. For us sipping a nice cup of coffee at Cafe Cova and enjoying a first-class spa treatment is plenty of excitement. For our needs the Journey was a perfect fit. Our stateroom was plenty large for the two of us, and our cabin steward was first-rate. When we had a problem with our door lock it was promptly attended to. We felt sorry for the first worker who tried to get in by climbing over the balcony in the adjoining cabin. Unfortunately, our sliding glass door was locked. The food was uniformly excellent. We ate at Prime C twice where Marco provided outstanding service. I particularly enjoyed the Kobe beef sliders, while my wife raved about the mini-cinnamon donuts. Aqualina was also good. We were pleasantly surprised with the quality of the food and presentation in the main dining room, which far exceeded our main dining experience on either RC or Celebrity. The complementary wines were certainly a pleasant addition and it was nice not to have to whip out the Seapass card every time we wanted a refill. My wife is a massage therapist and quite picky about spa treatments. She signed up for the massage deal offered at the start of the cruise, and also had a hot oil hair treatment. I had the hot oil and a shave, which is one of my special treats. The service provided by the wonderful Tamron and Teegan greatly contributed to our cruise experience and we certainly hope they are still with the Journey next year. I am a competitive bodybuilder so the gym was important to me. The facility was adequate, though the weights could have been heavier. Likewise it could have used either a smith machine or some more leg equipment. However, I made do and for the bulk of the passengers I am sure it was just fine. Maurice the fitness instructor was quite nice and always greeted me with a smile. We enjoyed all the ports. We flew in to Barcelona a day early, thankfully missing the volcanic ash, and stayed at the Marina Grand Eurostars near the port which was first rate. We spend the day roaming Las Ramblas and, despite all the dire warnings, saw no sign of pickpockets. We did the ships excursion to Pompeii at Sorrento which had an excellent guide. We also did the ships tour of the old city of Taormina which we enjoyed. Taormina with its gorgeous setting overlooking the sea, was probably our favorite port. We also particularly enjoyed walking the walls of the old city in Dubrovnik. We stayed a couple of days post-cruise in Venice which I would highly recommend. Rather than a hotel we stayed at the Al Palazatto bed and breakfast which was quite cozy and centrally located. Once we figured out the water taxis getting around was breeze. All in all, the Journey was perfect for an adult vacation, and we can't wait to next April to board her in Rome next May. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2010
Although we have travelled extensively, this was our first experience cruising and we were thrilled with the entire trip. Mindful of possible inclement weather we chose to fly into Ft. Lauderdale the day before departure to ensure our ... Read More
Although we have travelled extensively, this was our first experience cruising and we were thrilled with the entire trip. Mindful of possible inclement weather we chose to fly into Ft. Lauderdale the day before departure to ensure our timely arrival to the ship. On the sailing day we took a short tour of Ft. Lauderdale as I has spent many Christmas celebrations there as a child and wanted to see if I would remember any places (which I did!). We arrived at the Port of Miami around noon and were immediately invited onboard our new, temporary home. We had a lunch at the buffet and toured the ship to familiarize ourselves with the different things available to us. Our luggage arrived before 3 p.m. so we unpacked; pleasantly surprised with the number of hangers and drawer space. We went outside to watch our departure and waved adios to Miami. It was suggested that we eat at the earlier seating for the 1st evening...this would be the only evening we would have to make a choice of dining times. The next day was spent at sea and although the weather wasn't the best we enjoyed the relaxation time. While on board we took advantage of the lectures, cooking demonstrations, casino, shows, computers, pool, bars, etc. All of the people involved with the day to day activities were very helpful and always had a smile or nice word to say. The 48 nations represented by the crew on the ship can be proud of their ambassadors; they were excellent. The excursions we chose were informative and very enjoyable. The driver and narrator in Dominica were particularly helpful. We were able to eat in the 2 speciality dining rooms a total of 3 evenings. Each meal was memorable from the amuze de bouche to the coffee and desserts and wines. The meals in the Discovery restaurant were also enjoyable however we were a little disappointed with the seafood. We felt that the fish was frozen and were a little surprised at that. We ate in the Windows Cafe twice for a 'lighter dinner' and loved the shushi and sashimi available, as well as the stir-fry and pasta choices. Finally, the disembarkation was extremely organized and well handled. We had transfers to Ft. Lauderdale and were delivered to the airport in a timely manner. To summarize our cruise experience I think we can say it was a great vacation which we would love to repeat, although to new destinations, and we look forward to planning something soon. PS. We visited 7 ports but the ability to select 7 ports wasn't available. Also, loved the 2 days before ports and 2 days after ports "at sea" and would always want this choice. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2009
As active and lively 80+-year-olds who have been on 4 previous cruises on slightly larger ships, we were pleasantly surprised at how delightful the Azamara Journey with 700 passengers and 400+ crew turned out to be. Food was delicious, in ... Read More
As active and lively 80+-year-olds who have been on 4 previous cruises on slightly larger ships, we were pleasantly surprised at how delightful the Azamara Journey with 700 passengers and 400+ crew turned out to be. Food was delicious, in the care, the main dining room and the two specialty restaurants (no extra charge, just $5 service, but reservations needed). Captain, officers and all crew were from many countries, always greeted us with a smile and were efficient and quick with all services. The Greek captain was often around, kept us up to date on position, problems (we had 3 medical emergencies all handled with dispatch) - he and officers even served BBQ lunch on the last day. Activities crew led trivia games (my favorite) and other good programs. Entertainment included a 7-piece orchestra, some singers, comedians and magician in the small Cabaret lounge not like the spectaculars on big ships, but we preferred these. Even the few tiimes we played black jack, the dealers were very friendly and helpful. The only thing we didn't like - but it didn't really bother us - was the promotion for the art auction and the visiting artists on board - and some guests who we understand were brought on board at low cost or free to bid for paintings. This seemed a big cheesy for this kind of ship. The ship adapted well to cancellation of Guadeloupe and Martinique because of labor problems there, moving to St. Martin and Antigua. We enjoyed relaxing at St. John and Virgin Gorda beaches, taking the St. Kitts scenic rail trip, and just walking around other ports. We did not take any paid excursions but a number of people did. The variety of passengers, about 70% Americans, 20% Canadian, 8% Brits and a few scattered others (my guess at percentages) made it even more interesting. The gym was adequate with good aerobics classes. The pool was small with two hot tubs, and the usual problem with people reserving chaises. All in all, we heartily recommend the Azamara Journey for those who like varied passengers, top-notch food, and casual cruising (no formal nights, no set seating) Read Less
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