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194 Azamara Europe - Western Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

Our holiday began with a ten minute taxi ride to London City Airport, the approach to which was lined with dozens of police guarding the airport against Extinction Rebellion climate change protestors, one of whom had climbed on to the top ... Read More
Our holiday began with a ten minute taxi ride to London City Airport, the approach to which was lined with dozens of police guarding the airport against Extinction Rebellion climate change protestors, one of whom had climbed on to the top of a plane the previous day. Once inside the airport all was calm and we enjoyed our flight to Nice. We caught a local train to Monte Carlo and stayed overnight at the Novotel Monte Carlo. This was a reasonably priced, modern and comfortable central hotel, situated within a three minute walk from the train station. In the evening we enjoyed dinner at Polpetta, a nearby Italian restaurant where the food was delicious, the limoncello was freely flowing and the atmosphere became increasingly lively. A great start to our holiday. Next morning we took a taxi to the port and almost immediately boarded Azamara Pursuit. As we approached the ship we could clearly see the old P & O Adonia signage beneath the paintwork but inside the ship is almost identical to Quest and Journey. We were welcomed onboard with coffee/tea and pastries or a glass of sparkling wine. Lunch was being served in the Windows cafe and the spread offered was splendid. By 1.30pm our staterooms were ready. We were situated on Deck 4 in a midship oceanview room, similar to others where we had previously stayed on Quest and Journey. Our thoughts on this stateroom differed from those though, notably the dark grey walls which gave the room a permanently gloomy feel and required us to switch the lights on all the time. The aircon was particularly fierce and couldn't be turned off which resulted in us both suffering from sore, dry throats for the whole of the cruise. The fruit bowl which we had enjoyed in the past and which is still advertised in the 2020 brochure was missing, although when we asked our room steward for oranges these were provided. There are no longer any binoculars to borrow. Otherwise, the room, bedding, towels, toiletries and cleanliness were fine and the room was very quiet. We immediately booked our speciality restaurant dinners – three for $70 – well worth it as the meals were spectacular, especially in Aqualina. Sunday - First port of call was Porto Vecchio, Corsica. A free shuttle bus was provided and we walked around the old citadel, enjoyed the views and experienced local youngsters being confirmed at the church. It was a joyous occasion with the church bells ringing, the cross and the Madonna statue, covered with white carnations, being carried outside the church and all the ceremony surrounding the family celebrations. Monday - Next day we arrived in Olbia, Sardinia. Another free shuttle bus to the tree lined promenade of this pretty town. Sadly, the archaeological museum, which we intended to visit, was closed. However, we enjoyed meandering around the town, visiting the basilica, another church with a brightly tiled roof and stopped for a drink in one of the many tree lined squares. Back on board, we loved the variety of the lunches served at the Patio Grill before relaxing on deck by the pool and in the hot tub. We enjoyed the inclusive beers, wines, cocktails and felt no need to upgrade to a different drinks package. Dinner this evening was in the main restaurant, Discoveries, and couldn't be faulted. As we ate around 8.30pm we missed the main shows in the cabaret lounge but enjoyed listening to Maryfer on the piano in the Den and Riviera Sounds in the Living Room. Tuesday - On we sailed to Mahon, Menorca and really liked the atmosphere of the city. Lots of historical buildings, including an excellent museum, a magnificent cathedral with four organ keyboards and over 3,000 pipes. We were welcomed back on board with a glass of Spanish sangria – lovely touch! This evening an Indian buffet was provided in Windows Cafe and so, for a change, we ate there. Whilst the food was good, the place closed down at 9pm on the dot. Too rushed for us as we had to grab a dessert or miss out! Wednesday - Palma, Majorca was our next port of call and as we had visited here previously decided to join friends from Cruise Critic for a whole day tour. This was one of the highlights of the holiday as there were ten of us in a minibus and we were first taken up the mountainous west coast to Valdemossa. This is the place where Chopin and Georges Sand stayed. The group split and did our own thing. My husband and I visited the Monastery and Palace, heard a Chopin piano recital and still had time to walk around Valdemossa before rejoining our friends. Back on the minibus we headed to the famous Caves of Drach, where we descended far below ground among the stalegmites and stalegtites to take our seats for a short classical concert performed on illuminated boats being rowed on an underground lake – quite surreal. We finished our day tour back in Palma. Fantastic value at around 70 euro each, including the 15 euro fee for the caves, almost half the cost that Azamara Shore Excursions were asking for a trip to the caves only. The White Night party was great fun that evening and the singers were just fantastic with the ship practically bouncing with most people up on the floor dancing and singing. That evening Azamara had thoughtfully provided a specialist Majorcan pastry in our staterooms. It's these touches that make the Azamara difference. Thursday - On to Valencia and what a fabulous place! It's so astoundingly beautiful in all respects. The old and new in perfect harmony. So much to see – parks, markets, old and new shops, museums – magical. My favourite place of the cruise. In the evening all guests who wanted to attend were taken to Hemisferic in the City of Arts and Sciences, incredible feats of modern architecture, beautifully lit, where a breathtaking performance was given by acrobats, flamenco singers and dancers, sand artists and a virtuoso electric violin player/magician. The organisation was flawless – hats off to Azamara. As we were returned to the ship we were welcomed back on board with champagne and the cruise entertainment director, Amanda Poulson, singing hits from Phantom of the Opera from a balcony of the ship. Spine tingling! The only downside was that the time was now 9.50pm and the buffet closed at 10pm sharp. So, for us again it was grab something quickly. I suppose if we ate, like some guests, at 6pm we wouldn't have this problem. Friday - Tarragona was to be our next stop but as there were violent protests occurring in Catalonia we were sensibly advised by the captain that it was not wise to call there. Whilst I was disappointed as I wanted to follow the Roman trail, I'd much rather be safe and we really enjoyed our day at sea when extra activities were organised throughout the ship. In fact, I would have loved a sea day at the beginning of the cruise to settle down and relax before hectic days exploring ports and will look out for a cruise that offers this option in future. Again Azamara came up trumps and credited all guests with on board credit as a gesture due to the missed port, which really wasn't their fault. We sailed to Barcelona and were advised by the captain that again, due to the civil unrest, we shouldn't leave the ship that evening as the protestors were marching towards the port and to debark as early as possible next morning to reach our onward destination before 9am. Saturday – We left the ship at 7am, earlier than originally intended, and took a thankfully uneventful taxi ride to the airport for our short flight back to the UK. Another wonderful cruise with Azamara who always seem to find little ways of surpassing one's expectations. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This was our 5th cruise with Azamara and our first time on Pursuit since she was taken over by Azamara, we had sailed with her previously as P&O Adonia so it was interesting to see the refurbishment. Emarkation was not good; when we ... Read More
This was our 5th cruise with Azamara and our first time on Pursuit since she was taken over by Azamara, we had sailed with her previously as P&O Adonia so it was interesting to see the refurbishment. Emarkation was not good; when we arrived at the port at the Trade Centre in Barcelona we were told we could board immediately however it was clear when we had gone through security we were going to have a wait as we were given numbers and asked to take seat. There were no facilities in the area for tea/coffee etc., and no announcements or information from Azamara staff to let us know why we were delayed boarding so not a good start. After sitting for about an hour our number was called and we were taken to mini buses, it was fairly heavy rain and I think Azamara were waiting on the buses to come and transport us to the ship which was about 100 yards away, however we still weren't given a reason for the delay in boarding. Once onboard we were quickly checked in and our photo taken again, I had uploaded a photo online but this wasn't used, seems a waste of time doing it before hand so wouldn't do it again.There was a table for upgrading to the Ultimate Drinks Package and we had planned to do this anyway as it gave us more options, the selection of wines in the package were good and suited us. The Complimentary Drinks remain the same 2 whites, 2 reds which change daily, rose and a sparkling wine which are the same everyday. The ship has an identical layout to Journey and Quest with the exception of the Casino, which is now accommodating the Future Cruise Desk and The Den, it's actually a better use of the space. The ship was in good order and well looked after, staff were constantly cleaning which is understandable. Food in Discoveries Restaurant was a bit of a hit or miss, sometimes it was good other times bland, the service was also good in the restaurant but if you were on a large table there was a longer wait. The food in Aqualina and Prime C were excellent we had the 3 restaurant package and it was worth the additional payment, it was a nice atmosphere and a lot quieter. Service was also first class in these restaurants. Windows food was good but never stayed hot for very long, this was something I did raise at the time and it was acknowledged, but there was always a good selection. The Patio had a good choice of food, the baked potatoes and Chilli were excellent, again service from Vishal 1 and Vishal 2 was excellent, very attentive and helpful. Entertainment, Paul Martell an impressionist and Jane Scali singer were in the show lounge and were very good, Signature singers again in the show lounge were good. Vasi Katina a pianist who played in Den was good. White Sand Trio who played in The Living Room were not good, the young lady who was singing was good enough however there were 2 elderly gentlemen, 1 played drums and the other key boards and sang but they were not good, they didn't gel as a trio. We like The Living Room however we only went there once and never went back as this trio were on every night. The White Night was well attended and everyone enjoyed the Signature Singers and Tony Markey the cruise director singing. We didn't attend the Azamazing Evening which was advertised as an opera but I believe it was 3 Sopranos who sang a mixture of song types. We enjoyed pre-dinner drinks in the Prime C cocktail bar, Ruby was in charge and she was very efficient and knowledgeable about the drinks and made a mean French Martini. The included drinks remain the same 2 whites, 2 reds which change daily, rose and a sparkling wine which stay the same. One of the reasons we enjoy Azamara is the smaller ships usually get the good berths which means being close to the town, also the early arrival and late or overnight stays. We enjoyed all the ports, Port Vendres was cancelled due to rough seas and this was substituted by a stop in Sete which was very nice, Marseilles, Monte Carlo and Livorno were the other ports. We didn't book any excursions. The Captain and crew were noticeable around the ship and all the staff we had dealings with were very helpful, friendly and efficient. Overall this was a very good cruise and we met some lovely people, the passengers were mainly from USA, Australia and Canada and some from GB. The reason for the 4 star review was due to poor embarkation and the entertainment, however this would not put us off booking again as we very much enjoyed our time onboard Pursuit. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Several of the destinations were new to us and the overnight in Florence, Italy - we spent the night I the city due to the distance to the port - and ending up in Rome where we last had been in 1996. Weather caused us to miss two of the ... Read More
Several of the destinations were new to us and the overnight in Florence, Italy - we spent the night I the city due to the distance to the port - and ending up in Rome where we last had been in 1996. Weather caused us to miss two of the original ports but the extra day in Marseille was a bonus. We did not take any shore excursions offered by the ship since they were almost all early morning - not our thing. We did engage guides in two ports. Florence did not have a bus to the city which made it difficult to book our own tours - our normal preference. The Pursuit is a welcomed addition to Azamara even though the service had some minor hiccups due to the number of new employees. We were surprised to see the old dressing table in our cabin - would have thought it would have been replaced. The entertainment times and type were a disappointment - we normally take in several shows. The food and overall service was excellent. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
I chose this ship mostly due to the itinery. Having sailed numerous times with Celebrity, Holland America, RC and carnival I decided to upgrade to a luxury cruise. I brought along my husband who isn't crazy about cruising but, but ... Read More
I chose this ship mostly due to the itinery. Having sailed numerous times with Celebrity, Holland America, RC and carnival I decided to upgrade to a luxury cruise. I brought along my husband who isn't crazy about cruising but, but since it was close to our 30th anniversary he did it for me. I also brought along a couple who have never cruised before. So Ill start with the good....Staff was wonderful!! Food was very good (with the exception of my husbands New York Strip in Prime C that wasnt good at all...everyone else loved theirs) Other than that food was good. Buffett could stand to be hotter. Now comes the bad...and there was plenty of it. Starting with the toilets not working on and off ALL WEEK. Its pretty bad when you use the toilet to not be able to flush it and the fan doesn't work work so our cabin smelled bad a lot. Day two they told us they were sorry, but no other cabins available. Day three they told us and our guests to pack our bags, come after our 9pm dinner and they will move us. They move our friends first while we wait patiently...around 12:30 am they tell us they have no other rooms...!?!? Finally one magically appears and we get into our room about 1:30am. Around 3am after listening to a jet engine noise coming out of the ac unit (which did I mention wasn't working anyway and the room was unbearably hot?) we could not sleep..called and they told us to go back to original room... basically we did not sleep that nite which totally ruined our day since we were exhausted. Now we tried to make the best of a bad situation, but the ac never really got cold in our room, in fact the whole ship wasn't very comfortable. BUT there was one day getting ready for a private tour in Italy..my husband had excited the shower I was going to brush my teeth and shower when …..I HAD NO WATER!!! They had decided that 8am was a good time to address a plumbing issue (their words not mine...) on would have thought that maybe noon after everyone left for the day? My friends toilet didn't work more than it did despite changing rooms. I was beyond embarrassed since I talked up Azamara, being the one who arranged all this and this is what I bring them on for a luxury cruise that we spent ALOT on? So I have been told by my husband and my friends husband THEY WILL NEVER CRUISE AGAIN....and I blame that on Azamara. This was supposed to be a trip of a lifetime and it was anything but. And the insult was after telling management the men would never cruise again ...they offered us a $400 future cruse credit!!!! I will leave my reviews all over so all will know to beware the pursuit. We wanted to love it.....wanted to but they made it impossible. Please remember the beginning of my review the staff were awesome and itinery phenomenal BUT it was the problems with the ship. It has plumbing and ac issues and cannot imagine it will resolved between the time I left the ship and the new passengers come onto it hours later. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We thoroughly enjoyed this cruise which we choose on the basis of small ship and ports of call. This turned out to be the correct decision on both counts. We boarded the ship in Civitavecchia (17/7/19) and we were in our cabin within 15 ... Read More
We thoroughly enjoyed this cruise which we choose on the basis of small ship and ports of call. This turned out to be the correct decision on both counts. We boarded the ship in Civitavecchia (17/7/19) and we were in our cabin within 15 minutes and the cases arrived soon after. Our cabin (7007) was adequate for our needs with sufficient storage. As others have highlighted the 'bathroom' is small and if our cat was with us I couldn't have swung him round in it!! Food Generally speaking we enjoyed the food which was of a good standard. We took breakfast in the Windows Café and dinner on occasion. Any buffet offering is going to suffer from how the food is presented and how hot they can keep it. In this area they did pretty well. Included in the fare is wine (or other alcohol) of your choosing. We found the wine to be of good quality and they keep your glass topped up if you so request it. We saw no need to choose any other beverage plan. Windows restaurant does suffer from being Cafeteria offering with at times it felt like a bit of a bun fight with some fellow guests having very sharp elbows. The dress code for Windows is very laid back with shorts and T shirts being perfectly acceptable. We also ate in the Discoveries restaurant which is a whole different experience. Its A La Carte with a reasonable choice with some repeats and a couple different specials each night . People 'dress up' with men in say smart trousers and open neck shirt and the ladies (as they do) going that extra mile with smart dresses etc. All this lends itself to a nice atmosphere where the waiter brings the food (3 courses) and tops up your wine. We also used the Mosaic Café for coffee and tea which was included. We did not eat in the Prime 'C' or Aqualina as we did not wish to pay the extra cost. People we spoke said it was OK without being blown away. Ports of Call Our ports of call were very good with most if not all were within walking distance of where the ship was moored or where the Tender dropped us off. We did not buy any ship excursions as they are ridiculously expensive. Besides you can plan and do your own thing or at the very least jump on the Hop On Hop Off bus which was parked up ready for punters at the point where you left the Ship/Tender. Enrichment Activities We had the AzAmazing evening in Mahon which was Flamenco and very entertaining. There was also the White Night evening where we all dressed in white and danced the evening away to live music and a very good buffet. Tip if you are intending to attend this event do get there early as tables fill up quickly. Facilities The ship was nicely furnished in a traditional manner leaving you to think you were in a 4/5 star hotel. There were a few public areas where you could relax if you didn't want to be outside. Outside in the pool area and on Deck 11 are loads of quality sun loungers for those who wish to take in the sun. Overall We found the staff to be friendly and professional. We thoroughly enjoyed our cruise and we would consider sailing again with Azamara if they address the price of excursions as an example $89 to go on a ships tour is an unbelievable price and also in this day and age WiFi should included. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Ship is nice with a good itinerary. The idea of spending the night in a few ports was attractive. However, the itinerary changed 3 times after we had booked and we booked only 100 days out. These changes actually took out an entire night ... Read More
Ship is nice with a good itinerary. The idea of spending the night in a few ports was attractive. However, the itinerary changed 3 times after we had booked and we booked only 100 days out. These changes actually took out an entire night in Rouen, France which changed the ability to spend an evening in Paris which was our plan. Azamara's goal is to make this a boutique cruise catering to a smaller group of people. Our ship was to capacity with 690 guests on board. The attempt is a good one and the entertainment is definitely top notch. However, to compare this line to Windstar or Seabourne on anything but entertainment would be a disappointment. The crew is friendly, food is good, not exceptional, staterooms are small and the bathrooms are tiny. The idea of all inclusive beverages is a bit misleading as they up sell 2 different drink packages to include certain mixed drinks and certain brands of liquor. On the included drink package if you want to order say a mojito, you must specifically ask for the basic liquor or they charge you for it. There is a very basic list of drinks that can be ordered on the regular package anything that differs from that list, if you don't specifically ask for the included liquor package, will be charged to your room. It cheapens the experience. On other boutique cruise lines all drinks are included unless you specifically ask for the top shelf liquor, then you are charged for a top shelf liquor. On the positive side, they have a wonderful smoothie bar in the buffet every morning. All food in the buffet is labeled for gluten,dairy,vegan etc. Some of the staff are better than others when it comes to accommodating dietary needs. Gluten free was a trick for many and by the end of the cruise I gave up asking for GF items ie bread as it seemed liked too great a challenge and just ate the items I knew were GF. We had a balcony state rooms which was nice. Smaller than other ships but adequate. The bathroom is a joke. Literally, no room for 2 people to stand in the space. To brush our teeth while the other person was brushing theirs, one of us would have to get in the shower to accommodate for space. (We're not large people). Entertainment was by far much better than other boutique lines. Cruise director Eric is extremely talented and ran a fabulous entertainment department. I would sale on Azamara again but I would consider it a nice cruise line not a luxury boutique line. Read Less
Sail Date May 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
We chose this cruise due to ports we were visiting for the first time. It was our first Azamara cruise on a smaller ship. We have cruised with Princess and royal Caribbean on our previous 9 cruises without too many complaints. We Just ... Read More
We chose this cruise due to ports we were visiting for the first time. It was our first Azamara cruise on a smaller ship. We have cruised with Princess and royal Caribbean on our previous 9 cruises without too many complaints. We Just loved the ship size, we agreed that it was such a relaxed feeling for both passengers and crew. The service was great, a big thanks to all the crew for enhancing our vacation experience... thanks to Pitoon in the casino bar for your professional service, cheers mate! As has been described many times the azamazing evening and white night were fantastic events. We will definitely cruise Azamara again in the future thanks to all crew from chefs to cleaners for service with a smile. Surprisingly we found the food to be an equivalent quality to previous cruises, but not as many choices. All in all really good food. We really enjoy eating in the dining room, but was disappointed when themed buffet style food was offered in both the dining room and the buffet at the same time. Why remove the dining room choice? If I wanted buffet food I would go to the buffet? Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Azamara Pursuit - Italy Intensive, second leg of a Back to back to back. Hi there, we are Jorge & Stian (a.K.a the arctic husbands) from Norway, this will be our 21st cruise; third with Azamara. This is the second leg of a B2B2B. ... Read More
Azamara Pursuit - Italy Intensive, second leg of a Back to back to back. Hi there, we are Jorge & Stian (a.K.a the arctic husbands) from Norway, this will be our 21st cruise; third with Azamara. This is the second leg of a B2B2B. This second week we had an Ocean View stateroom in deck 4, cabin 4000 Back to back process : very easy... This was so easy that you feel it’s just like another day of the cruise CABIN: Ocean View stateroom, 4000. Coming from the Continent Suite you feel the space is much less, specially in the bathroom... the room still does the job, practical, enough storage space (for us), tiny shower but you get used to. The room is totally at the front of deck 4 so noise and vibration could be an issue for some people. We are early morning and early sleepers so it doesn’t bother us that much...  Our stateroom attendant, Paulo did a good job keeping our stateroom in order but we noticed this time that it could take longer time for them to make up the stateroom, again for us this was not an issue but understand that for some this could be a “thing”... this time due to space constraints we never ordered breakfast or room service DINING: This week we just have dined in Discoveries and the buffett aka Windows Cafe, quality of food and service has been again really on point, good variation of the menus. Azamazing evening Buffett and White Night Outdoor dining were great again as expected BARS: For this week we decided to just go with the complimentary drinks and wines and it worked well for us this week during the experiment, The included red and white wines change daily (2 whites, 2 reds) but the rose and the sparkling ones do not. Quality of the wines was good but if you have special preferences for the kind of wine you like it may be not in the daily rotation Regarding the drinks and cocktails you can easily go through the week with the complimentary drinks and cocktails but again if you like certain liqueurs, cognacs, whiskeys and/or bourbons and high end brands for vodka and Gin; these are not included in the complimentary menu. After our experiment we can see that for cruises of seven to 10 days the price/ value of the ultimate package is well worthy if you like to have the option to choose the wines you like or to have a couple of cocktails or drinks at night with high end brands, cognacs, etc. ENTERTAINMENT: We still love the intimacy of the cabaret lounge shows and the signature singers are so good... the guest entertainers: White Sand Trio and the pianist are really great for evenings of music in the Den or in the Living room. This week we attended the Amanda’s Show: Epics... I just loved her more. Not just she is an amazing cruise director but an incredible singer; it is just lovely and you get to know about her career but also about her as an artist and a person... with beautiful songs I am not going to spoil but make yourself a favor and go and see this show... Super Amanda. Azamazing Evening in Livorno... just an incredible concert in a beautiful Opera Theater. Standing ovation to the performers White Evening party: This time we stayed longer and enjoyed the Party and the music...All the staff makes a great effort for this event and you should not miss it. SERVICE: In general the service level around the ship is excellent. We had a little issue during this cruise that we complained about and it got quickly addressed by Senior Management (Thanks to the Marketing manager) and this shows that Azamara takes us as guests very seriously and go out of their way to make us feel at home. Kudos to all the senior officers specially, Hotel Director Ryszard; F&B manager Elizabeth for making us feel at home and they are always visible around the ship. More detailed information in the semi live review on the CC boards: https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2656591-azamara-pursuit-semi-live-review-b2b2b-france-and-italy-intensive/ Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
OK pulled up to the port for embarkation and since the ship was in Port of Nice until 10pm that evening there was no line. I mean no one. Walked thru a tent right outside the ship, up and on quickly since we had uploaded our photos on the ... Read More
OK pulled up to the port for embarkation and since the ship was in Port of Nice until 10pm that evening there was no line. I mean no one. Walked thru a tent right outside the ship, up and on quickly since we had uploaded our photos on the Azamara website. Directed into the Cabaret and received our room keys and went to a nice lunch in the buffet. Easiest embarkation ever experienced! We had the Club World Owners suite on the back of the ship Cabin # 7114. Perfect location as we werent below a restaurant. We have been sailing on NCL in The Haven and decided to try this for the ports of call and were concerned about being on such a small ship. That concern was gone immediately. The cabin was spacious, well stocked and clean. Many towels all over for the balcony, beach, whatever you needed. The first night we decided to eat n the main dining room, which we almost never do on larger ships and the food was excellent! Many options and specials every night. For lunch when we were on board we ate at the buffet but this isnt like any buffet you have seen, Crown Roast one day, many options and same for breakfast. Now to give you an idea of the quality of service, my wife has a food issue, she cant have anything cooked with extra salt or salted. We made this known and from the on no matter where we ate someone was there to make her anything she wanted just without salt. They even went so far as to bake her fresh bread for breakfast and dinner without any salt! There was a dinner for guests in the 10 largest suites called the Best of the Best! WOW! It was served in the library with the Captain, First Officer and other staff. White Glove service with wine paring. A real experience. White Night Party beautiful, with a Buffet and BBQ Lobster Tails, pasta, everything. Azamazing Evening was at an old Opera House in Livorno for a small performance that was extremely enjoyable. We experienced two minor issues. One was that the staff was all new so they werent quite up to speed as to how to go the extra mile yet. They were very good but just didnt go the extra step not because they were rude, they just didnt know. For example we had a butler and the first day asked him to bring coffee and tea every morning at 8am. he said we had to fill out the card and hang it on the door every night. One would think this was something he could have taken care of since he brought it to us every day. Not a big deal but just inexperience. The second was on an excursion. We were in Santa Margarita and wanted to go to Portofino for the day. So we hopped on a cheap tour offered by Azamara just for the ride and we had room credit to spend. Well we waited on the dock for a public ferry for close to an hour, Granted it was Easter Sunday but we expected a company like Azamara to have a private shuttle for their tour, maybe we were expecting too much. However upon our return a staff member asked how the tour was and I said I dont want to complain. They insisted I say something so I explained the situation. Apparently they are offering what they call "sightseeing" inexpensive tours since people have commented that their immersive excursions are expensive. So now they are trying less expensive tours. Anyway they made things right. Since this was an "Immersive" sailing we were in port everyday so by the time we returned each day we ate and walked a little and went to bed so we didnt experience any of the shows. Last night they have a chocolate buffet which is amazing! I loved it because the small personal nature you get to know the staff and the higher ups on board as they are always visible. Also, its an upscale cruise but not stuffy! No jackets required and decent casual comfortable clothes. I dont like to have to wear a jacket when Im on vacation unless I have to Would I go again! Absolutely I already booked Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Hi there, we are Jorge (40) & Stian (42) (a.K.a the arctic husbands) from Norway, this will be our 20th cruise; second with Azamara. This is the first leg of a B2B2B. This first week we had a Club Ocean Suite stateroom. We booked ... Read More
Hi there, we are Jorge (40) & Stian (42) (a.K.a the arctic husbands) from Norway, this will be our 20th cruise; second with Azamara. This is the first leg of a B2B2B. This first week we had a Club Ocean Suite stateroom. We booked these cruises to celebrate our 10th years marriage anniversary and because after meny RCCL and Celebrity we wanted to experience Azamara again and the ports of call in the meditterannean where the big Ships cannot go PRE-CRUISE: Barcelona... One night stay in the Eurostar’s Grand Marina, next to the port where Azamara starts... so the check out, walk to the ship was a decisive factor... we have been several times in Barcelona and sightseeing was not something we needed this time around. The Hotel is OK, nice but dated rooms, a reception staff that smiles but doesn’t do their job, the best of the stay is the small restaurant offering a Gourmet dinner experience and this was a highlight of the trip... the food and the wine pairings were PERFECT... do we recommend this hotel... yes for a stay next to the port. EMBARKATION: very easy... just five minutes and then we were on board. SHIP: Pursuit is a beautiful ship. The newest of their kind... elegant, sophisticated and the color palette makes you feel happy. CABIN: for this first leg of the back to back we upgraded (at last minute) to a Club continental suite, we got 8039, perfect location and the only suite I have ever said OMG WAO when opening the door... the colours, the decoration, the style and the light. No noise problems, at least for us. SUITE CLASS PERKS: Internett: 235 minutes per guest, which is OK but slowly but after all you´re on holiday and IT works for reading emails if you ned it. Butler service: our butler Roy has been outstanding, amazing level of service when we have requested our breakfast in the suite, our tea service in the afternoon. I will post a picture of the letter in the stateroom with all of the suite perks you can get DINING: This week we just have ate dinner in Aqualina or Prime C, given that is included in the suite perks. Once we had dinner in the buffet (before the Azamazing evening) and once with the White party buffet that was AMAZING. Aqualina and Prime C quality of food and service has been really on point. Room service: we had breakfast in the rom almost everyday and it was very very very nice to have the extra space the suite provides and the balcony breakfast when it was not so cold in the early hours. BARS: For this first week we decided to buy the ultimate drinking package and it worked well for us this week. We got to try most of the included wines when having dinner, and some of the premium drinks we enjoy when on a cruise. For the second week, we decided not to buy it so we can compare the experience.... Our favorite place for drinks so far is The Den... it is just a very nice place, with some piano music on the evenings and the best bartenders and waiters. ENTERTAINMENT: This week we attended all the Signature Singers shows (3 shows) and they were good. These guys can sing and dance and keep you entertained for the 45 minutes signing along. We loved the intimacy of the cabaret lounge shows, if you´re expecting but productions shows, this is not the case and it works for Azamara. Azamazing Evening in Marseilles, Palais du Pharo. Was very entertaining, a kind of cabaret show with very french music, dancers and two great vocalists. White Evening party: we are not party people so we didn´t stay long after the White Evening Buffett ended but the party looked nice and people was enjoying themselves. All the staff makes a great effort for this event and you should not miss it. SERVICE: In general the service level around the ship is very good. Of course there are some that are just good and there are some people that just go above and beyond. SHORE EXCURSIONS & Ports of call: * Port Vendres: small, charming village, we just walked around and then found a hiking path that takes you to the other small town Collioure (or something like it). The Wall in the green areas around the Coast line is just very very very nice and easy with some amazing views. Breathtaking * Sanary Sur Mer: Beautiful town, the marina, the restaurants and cafes, it was very beautiful. We just walked around and enjoyed perplekse watching here and there. * Marseille: a vibrant city, we walked around, did some shopping and visited the Cathedral. It was great to be docked just in the center of town (or very very close) * St. Tropez: we took and organized excursion from Azamara and loved every minute; we visited Gassin and Ramatuelle and the Bertaud Bellieu wineyard for wine tasting. The guide we had has to be the most amazing guy we ever had AS a guide. We actually think we got a lecture on wine making, all about the process and the technology and traditional methods. The wine was so good we bought three bottles to take with us to the ship and enjoy in the stateroom. Also the small towns Gassins and Ramatuelle were beautiful and we got to learn about the history of the places. In Ramatuelle we enjoyed some free time that we used eating cheese and hams with a cold bottle of Rose wine from a local wine yard. It was an amazing day. The port of St. Tropez by itself, was not as expected, it was crowded and just a marina with amazing yachts, the best was the local artists selling their paintings around the marina. Beautiful paints and interesting people. * Cannes: we have been in Cannes several times so we decided to go for the Excursion of the ship to Grasse with a perfume factory visit and to St. Paul de Vence. And again we got a great guide, the visit to the perfume factory: Fragonard; this was very enriching and we could resist and bought two new Eau de Colognes with shower gels... Then we visited St. Paul de Vence and OMG this small hilltop village is just amazing, it breathes art from everywhere. The local artist and small galleries in the very narrow streets, the views from the wall of the town, the small restaurants... once again we learned about the local history with our guide and in the free time we just walked around and decided to have a very French lunch, we found a little place where they make sandwiches, so we bought a baguette with local produced cheese and ham, and sat on the wall and had our small French sandwich picnic there... just beautiful. * Monaco: Last minute changes out of Azamara control, The port authorities closed the port in Monaco so we got diverted to Nice... for the last night and day of this first cruise. We will explore a little bit of Nice today. NEXT CRUISE OFFICE: So far they have made a good job and we booked a cruise for 2021, Western Africa sailing from Cape Town to Lisboa. The benefits of booking on board make sense for us coming from the Nordic market. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Having been on over 20 cruises with MSC, NCL, Royal Caribbean, P&O, and Cunard, we were not sure what to expect on this, our first, cruise on Azamara. We have always enjoyed every cruise, sometimes this has of course meant focusing on ... Read More
Having been on over 20 cruises with MSC, NCL, Royal Caribbean, P&O, and Cunard, we were not sure what to expect on this, our first, cruise on Azamara. We have always enjoyed every cruise, sometimes this has of course meant focusing on the positives, and so we were looking forward to cruising on the Azamara. Our main concern, because we like to socialize and party, was that the demographic would be different and maybe the atmosphere a tad "stuffy". However, we thought the service and food would be excellent, the cabin comfortable, and the itinerary was great - as a student 40 years ago I spent a summer hitch-hiking around Southern France and hadn't been back since to that region. Well the food and the service was indeed excellent and the ship immaculately clean - a credit to all the hard working and friendly staff on board. The cabin was tastefully decorated and the bed extremely comfortable with bed linen of the highest quality. Our cabin attendants worked very hard to ensure the highest of standards too. As expected, the itinerary was also well planned, and particularly for me, fascinating. It was awesome to be able to visit small coastal ports and towns that the bigger ships can't reach. Everything was really well organised. The "Azamazing" experience - I believe there is one on every cruise - was also well planned and I enjoyed the evening's entertainment provided at a venue in Marseille. I heard one or two comments from a few other guests, who had travelled Azamara before, saying it was not as well organised as usual and the show a little short, however we felt it all went smoothly enough (quite a manoeuvre getting 600 or so passengers off a ship on coaches to the venue and back again!) We also thoroughly enjoyed the entertainment put on for us - an excellent experience! The real surprise on this cruise however were our fellow passengers - a great range of ages and characters and not at all "stuffy" as feared. We met lots of friends from the US, Australia, Norway, Germany and the UK, and every night in the Living Room our group got larger and more enveloping as we had fun listening and dancing to the DJ and sharing stories of our travels and other life experiences! Just a few other points - embarkation and disembarkation was easy and efficient, Prime C, one of the speciality restaurants, was excellent and very good value, and the gym well equipped and spacious for a smaller ship. Overall we had an absolute blast - we loved this cruise, the ship, what Azamara provides and we would definitely recommend this ship. We look forward to our next cruise on board an Azamara ship. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
On the first day of the cruise (October 28), my mother was giving my son a shower and he had found a piece of broken glass on the shower floor, picked it up and gave it to her. My son is 15 months old - if he stepped on the glass or ate ... Read More
On the first day of the cruise (October 28), my mother was giving my son a shower and he had found a piece of broken glass on the shower floor, picked it up and gave it to her. My son is 15 months old - if he stepped on the glass or ate it, my son could have been seriously injured. They moved my mother and son to a different room where the shower did not work and they had life boats in front of the window. On the second day of the cruise (October 29), we were returning from Rome and we were unable to get on the boat because the ropes had snapped due to the weather. I have never heard of something so unsafe happening before. What if someone was boarding when the ropes snapped? How did the cruise not comprehend how much weight the ropes could hold against the current? Anyways, we waited in the terminal for 45 minutes and we were waiting 10 minutes outside until one of the crew members noticed we had a baby and shuttled us to the front of the line. My son had gotten a cold as a result of waiting outside due to the cold and wind. The same evening (October 29), we had all went to dinner and I had requested for a waiter to bring my son a simple order of pasta and meat sauce. When it arrived the food was lukewarm. I did not think anything of it because my son was crying so I gave him some of the pasta. I also had some and so did my husband. That night and for the next two days we were sick. The only person who was not sick was my mother and she did not have any of the pasta. The next day (October 30th) my husband and I were in bed the entire day while my mother looked after my son due to our food poisoning. Around 3:30 I decided to go to the patio to try and have something light. It was quite cold so I went to get a blanket. The staff were taking blankets from the dirty container refolding it and giving it to other patrons to use on deck and also handed me one. I explained my situation to the ship manager, requesting my son and mother be moved to a room closer to my husband and myself so it would be easier for me to go back and forth between rooms because I am sick. He could not accommodate me on that request. Complete lack of empathy. Instead he asked if I had travel insurance for this trip if I did want to leave. Complete lack of responsibility and respect because the issues affecting my trip are directly due to this ship's disorganization and sanitary standards. I was given the understanding and impression that he really doesn't care. One guest overheard my conversation with the manager and later came up to me and said it was very disrespectful with how the manager dealt with the situation. The next day we went to the spa- my mother has diabetes. After she finished her massage she asked the therapist if she could have 5 mins to lie down because she felt dizzy. I am an RN from Canada, immediately I would think hypoglycaemia and get a juice or sugary beverage for the patient. Instead the 'therapist' said 'no please hurry up and get up, I have other patients.' And left. That day the boat was rocking severely and she had to hold the walls to support herself. I am normally easy going person but this is so extreme there is no choice left but to complain. We take a cruise once a year and I understand things happen and based on the expectations I was given by the Azamara, this ship does not deserve the title of luxury cruise line. Nor do I see how it stands out in any way from the food to my experiences on board. This is also a cruise suited for a more senior crowd - no casino, nightclub, or late night entertainment - ship is completely dead around midnight. Spend that little extra and take Regent Seven Cruises, much better experience and ship. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
I am not sure we would sail with Azamara again. Let me explain a bit about our experience. Embarkation: As someone in a wheelchair, we chose Azamara because they claimed they were accessible. When we arrived? No ramp, stairs. We were ... Read More
I am not sure we would sail with Azamara again. Let me explain a bit about our experience. Embarkation: As someone in a wheelchair, we chose Azamara because they claimed they were accessible. When we arrived? No ramp, stairs. We were shown to the embarkation point, which was a stairway up to the ship. When I asked where the ramp was, I was told that it was being used to load the luggage. So, 4 small employees -- probably Filipino, since they made up a huge proportion of the staff -- carried me in my wheelchair up the stairs. This is okay in places like India, where I have no expectations around accessibility, but very surprising on an American-owned ship, docked in Europe. Especially since they have a whole section on their website about accesssibility. Cleanliness: Lipstick on the champagne flutes in our suite. Lipstick on the glasses in the lounge they call the Living Room. When our first glass of wine arrived it was covered in lipstick and fingerprints. I went to the bar to get another glass and the surly bartender proceeded to pour my wine from the dirty glass into a cleaner glass. We left. Suite: Was a nice size and the accessible bathroom was pretty good -- could have used more shelves, and the toilet was surprisingly low for a wheelchair-accessible room. Bed was comfy and the balcony was a good size. Service: very mixed. Staff in the living room were not very competent. They never got the orders right and had to be sent back to get the proper beverages. Staff in the main dining room were good. Staff in the 2 specialty restaurants were very good. So a bit surprised at how the service levels varied. Butler for our suite was outstanding. but the stewards were very junior. The overall look of the ship was nice. The ship is too small for rough weather. There were hurricane-force winds which meant our first two ports were cancelled -- we spent two nights in Civitavecchia. Cannot imagine doing a transatlantic crossing on such a small ship. We ended up going to Nice instead of Monte Carlo, which was actually better for us, since Nice is flat. Palma de Mallorca was fantastic, and we loved going back to Valencia. Our two nights in Livorno meant that we could do a nice visit to Lucca, and spend one beautiful sunny day exploring Livorno. The "Azamazing evening" was quite simply, dreadful entertainment. Food and wines: We are foodies and we enjoy good wine. The food in all the restaurants was okay, but we did not like the fact that the menus in the two specialty restaurants never changed -- so it got boring quickly. The wines included in the fare were the cheapest wines they could get. We do not drink a lot of cocktails or mixed drinks, but the drinks menu skewed heavily to liquor and not wine. The wines on the "for purchase" menu were extremely over-priced, and were mostly American. Inexplicable considering we were in Europe. Corkage fees are only $10, so once we got into some ports, we headed straight to a liquor store to buy good wine to take on board. I think the owners have really cheaped out on entertainment. They had an appalling 3-person trio in one of the lounges. They had a decent pianist in another place, and there was a good jazz quartet at the Saturday brunch. They had one person for the "enrichment" lectures who seemed really out of her depth. And they don't appear to invest in staff training. We would rank this number 3 of the cruises we have done. Cunard 1, Oceania 2, and Azamara a distant 3. I realize the staff are fairly new and not all of them are fully trained, but this is a cruise line who seem to want to compete with Oceania, and they do not. The staff in the Living Room seem to hate their jobs and there was a surprising amount of surly Russian staff who seemed to hate the guests and each other. Inexplicable, since it's a nice looking room. When I filled out their online questionnaire, I told them that I could not figure out who their target market was, but it was clearly not us. Did we hear back from them? Crickets... Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
The ship underwent a refurb in 2018 and the results were nice. Very bad weather hit Rome & we spent first 2 days in port near Rome. Ship's captain & crew did great job of insuring our safety and making the best of a bad ... Read More
The ship underwent a refurb in 2018 and the results were nice. Very bad weather hit Rome & we spent first 2 days in port near Rome. Ship's captain & crew did great job of insuring our safety and making the best of a bad situation. Winds of 77 kts in port broke the mooring line & Pursuit broke free from dock. Crew performed like pros to keep us safe. Rough seas throughout much of our cruise. Eating in main dining room (Discovery) was very good. We tried "Prime" which was not worth the 30 euro/person surcharge. Paying to eat same food basically as main dining room. We were invited to the captain's dinner which was excellent.Lot of menu options in the dining areas, great buffet also. Entertainment was about average. Many of the cultural & historical talks were very interesting. The inevitable jewelry store & art gallery were low key, not as much pressure as the giant ships.A bunch of activities to choose from--games, movies, darts, etc. No casino which was a nice change. We did not book any tours but arranged our own. Azamara tours are expensive and we had a great experiences using own arrangements. Weather killed scheduled stops in Corsica & Sardinia. We got stops in Nice, Valencia, Monaco, & Barcelona (morning departure port). Transfers from hotel in Rome to ship &n dock to airport in Barcelona went smoothly. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Positives Friendliness and service from the crew especially Dave at Discoveries for breakfast and Julius in Spirits Bar and other locations. Visibility of the captain and other senior crew members. I am sure the captain was wishing ... Read More
Positives Friendliness and service from the crew especially Dave at Discoveries for breakfast and Julius in Spirits Bar and other locations. Visibility of the captain and other senior crew members. I am sure the captain was wishing passengers a good day as we left the ship at every port we docked at. Food was generally very good, especially the speciality restaurants and the chef’s table, but we had no complaints about the food in Discoveries. Booked the dining package and speciality dining as soon as we boarded with no issues. Entertainment provided by Eric de Gray who was excellent and the other entertainment staff was very good. We attended most late shows and enjoyed them all. The exchanges between Eric and captain Johannes were amusing as were Eric’s grandad stories. AzAmazing Evening with Incanto Quartet in Livorno was excellent and very well organised. Size of the ship was great, nothing felt too far away compared to the other larger ships we have sailed on. Enjoyed the included coffee and snacks available at Mosaic Cafe. Generally bar service was very good and we had no issues with getting cocktails or drinks using the included spirits. We tendered at 3 ports and very rarely had to wait a long time for a tender boat in either direction. Closeness to the city at several ports of call, especially Porto Ferraio and Trapani. Oceanview room was adequate and Paulo our room steward was very friendly and efficient. Embarkation and debarkation were efficient both at start and end of cruise and at ports of call. Friendliness and courtesy of fellow passengers with very few exceptions. Living Room was very nice and the food which was served (especially the tapas) was a nice touch. Negatives Missed not having a balcony (our choice) but it was only one floor up to deck 5. Not being able to walk a full circuit of the ship on deck 5 and it was often closed off in the middle at both sides. Apart from the Windows cafe, unable to get a sea view from the back of the ship which I had enjoyed on other cruises. Other comments We are in our early 50s and whilst not the youngest on the cruise we were definitely at the lower end of the age range. White Night was very busy and queues to get food were quite long and slightly chaotic at times but the local Sorrento Mozzarella and tomatoes was a nice touch. Some of the included white wines were not to our taste, we stuck with included red wines which were generally good. We only had 1 sea day, so it was a very port intensive cruise, not sure how I would have felt if we had more sea days. Regretted missing the Indian night at the buffet because we booked Aqualina on that night because the smell was amazing. For speciality dining only times which seemed to be available for us to book were 18:00, 18:30, 20:00 and 20:30. We only booked private excursions so had no experience of Azamara excursions. I would have no hesitation to sail again on Azamara for the right price and itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We are experienced cruisers. We are not drawn to the large “resort” ships, except with our grandchildren. Increasingly we are selecting our cruises for the itinerary. The Azamara Journey was a 9 day Italy “intensive” itinerary with ... Read More
We are experienced cruisers. We are not drawn to the large “resort” ships, except with our grandchildren. Increasingly we are selecting our cruises for the itinerary. The Azamara Journey was a 9 day Italy “intensive” itinerary with major stops for Florence and Pompeii, and other stops in smaller ports- suitable for a smaller ship. This was a major reason we selected a smaller ship. The on board service was exceptional, delivered with genuine care by the staff. Little things- like a mid cruise comment card (with real follow-thru by ship department heads) made the whole trip enjoyable. The food was notably better than our past experiences. We had no waiting in the open seating main dining room and never had trouble finding an available clean table in the cafe. The 700 passengers were never the cause of undue lines or delays. The ship was clean and in good to excellent repair. My wife and I enjoyed ourselves and will be back. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
My husband and I booked this trip for our 20th anniversary. We did a lot of research so I felt like I knew what to expect. We embarked in Rome after flying in two days earlier to spend a bit of time in the city. Embarkation was an ... Read More
My husband and I booked this trip for our 20th anniversary. We did a lot of research so I felt like I knew what to expect. We embarked in Rome after flying in two days earlier to spend a bit of time in the city. Embarkation was an absolute breeze. We arrived in the middle of the lengthy window for arrival and it took us only minutes to check in and walk aboard. The room was available right away. We had booked a picture window room with a sleeper sofa hoping that the sofa would give us a bit more space. Well, the room was tiny, the sofa was only an armchair that folded out to a single bed. When I went to ask at the front desk about the sofa they said that it does fold out therefore it is a sleeper sofa. I complained that that was misleading because we wanted the sofa to be able to sit together. The cruise was fully booked, there were no other rooms for us to be switched to that actually had a true sofa. They did end up switching out the armchair for something a tinge bigger, more like a small loveseat and that was the best they could do. The room itself was small but very well organized. There were lots of drawers and plenty of hanging space in the closet. We were able to easily unpack two weeks worth of clothes and stuff and slide the suitcases neatly under the bed. I especially appreciated that there were several shelves in the bathroom, three over the toilet, plus countertop, under the counter and in the shower storage spaces. The shower was small but doable for everything except shaving my legs. I ended up turning the showerhead towards the wall, opening the curtain and putting my foot up on the sink in order to shave. After settling in we explored the boat, overall we were impressed. The ship could definitely use a bit of cosmetic maintenance (lightly peeling wallpaper and some uneven paint in our room specifically), but the overall feel is elegant comfort. The size was perfect (about 600 guests), big enough to include several dining spaces, a spa, pool deck, living room and library etc. but small enough to not be packed with people and long lines for everything. We knew we didn't want a megaship with tons of families and massive buffets. We also aren't big nightlife people, no need for discos and a huge casino. While Azamara doesn't forbid children, they also don't encourage them. We have three at home, and we were looking for a grown up get away. We knew that we are a bit younger than their main clientele and we decided that was fine, we were happy doing our own thing. I would say the target audience for this line is empty nester - healthy retiree. There were definitely some older and some younger but we were some of the youngest on board in our mid-late forties. I also wanted to make a note that Azamara welcomes same sex couples, which I think is awesome. My brother is gay and he has told me that he and his husband avoid certain places because of prejudice and even potential violence. There were at least a handful of same sex couples on board and there was a nightly mixer for the LGBT community. The food on board was very good. We generally breakfasted at the buffet, had lunch at the pool deck patio restaurant and had dinner in the main dining room. You could get pretty much any breakfast food you could think of and many that I don't consider breakfast at the buffet. They had a station that did waffles, pancakes and french toast, and a second station that did eggs and omelets made to order. They also had a carving station with daily specials of roast pork, or beef or turkey, etc. There were both hot and cold buffet stations with fruit, yogurt, pastries, cold cuts, sausage, bacon, all kinds of eggs, beans, you name it. One server manned the several toasters serving toast, bagels, muffins etc. There were also several kinds of fancy coffees and fresh squeezed juice and smoothies. My husband found the lunch buffet a bit overwhelming and too tempting to just over-do everything so we usually lunched on the patio. They had a nice selection of burgers, wraps, and skewers along with a small salad bar. Dinner in the main dining room was very nice. While they do have a minimum standard for dress (no shorts, tanks, bathing suits, baseball caps, etc), they don't expect formal wear. Long pants and a collared shirt for my hubby and a sundress or nicer capris for me were no problem. The menu had several standards that were always available and then a rotating menu of daily options. You could tell that they made a point of always having a meat, a poultry, a fish, and a vegetarian option on the menu. While not vegetarian myself, I have several family members that are so I always note when places are vegetarian friendly and Azamara definitely is, even noting when items are vegan. We did not order any of the special drink or dining plans and we were perfectly happy. Azamara considers itself all inclusive and as long as you don't need high end name brand alcohol in your drinks you will be fine. Every day they feature two red and two white wines. You can also get all sorts of mixed drinks, etc. We particularly liked having a pina colada while out by the pool. We looked at the specialty upcharge restaurants and they didn't seem so much better than the main dining room. My one tiny complaint about the main dining room is that I think they try a bit too hard to be "fancy", especially in the naming of their selections. The entertainment on ship was not our priority. We only went to one evening show, the White Night production. Eating out on the pool deck with everyone dressed in all white was fun and the food staff really outdid themselves but the musical part of the show was definitely a bit underwhelming. We didn't take part in any of the planned activities and entertainments other than one lecture during our sea day which we did find very informative. We were mainly here for the ports and wanted nothing more than relaxation while onboard. We did each get a massage at the spa which was heavenly. Probably our only big complaint about the ship itself was that the wifi was awful to non-existent. We had specifically booked a package that included wifi and we didn't get it working until more than halfway through the trip and even then it was slow and spotty. Just as an FYI, the wifi doesn't work well with Windows 10 computers or any microsoft browsers. We needed to download chrome to even be able to log in and this took two different staff members help and a trip to the IT specialist. While researching options for this trip, the itinerary was one of, if not the most important, driver for our decision to book. My husband had never been to Italy and I hadn't been in years so we wanted to see all the highlights. We did a mix of cruise excursions, privately booked excursions, and just going off on our own. In general our first choice was to book privately because the cruise excursions were extremely expensive across the board but we still did do several because we either couldn't find another option or we were worried about timing and logistics for a specific port. We really appreciated having two days in northern italy and two days in the south. Probably the best stop was either Livorno (the gateway for pisa and florence) or Amalfi while the least interesting was Elba. I was pleasantly surprised by Sardinia, we very much enjoyed seeing the neolithic site there, the countryside was very pretty, and the fact that the excursion included a light lunch of local favorites was welcome. Overall, this was a wonderful trip. We felt that we were pampered and well taken care of by the entire staff. Our steward knew our name and always greeted us in passing after only our first meeting. The food service staff did their jobs with a smile. While it seems a bit silly, it was sweet to be greeted with a "welcome home" by the security team at the end of each day's excursion. The captain and other high level crew were very visible and willing to stop and chat. There were a lot of little touches that were really nice like the fact that they provided umbrellas at the docking point on a rainy day or beach towels if you were at a beachy port. There were always cool towels and water and punch at the dock. I had told them we were celebrating our anniversary when I booked and on our actual anniversary the room was decorated with streamers and a sign. I would definitely consider another cruise with Azamara. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We sailed on Azamara Journey from Barcelona 29-Sept-18 to Rome 6-Oct-18. Cabin 7121. This was our first sailing with Azamara, our 15th cruise overall. Anxious to try out the smaller ship we were looking forward to this itinerary and ... Read More
We sailed on Azamara Journey from Barcelona 29-Sept-18 to Rome 6-Oct-18. Cabin 7121. This was our first sailing with Azamara, our 15th cruise overall. Anxious to try out the smaller ship we were looking forward to this itinerary and stopping in some smaller ports the itinerary offered. Embarkation was incredibly easy, only issue was finding the ship location as it differed from the address listed on embarkation documents. We boarded the ship with no lines. Upon boarding the ship we were a bit surprised to see the electronic blackjack and roulette machines in the casino which is located immediately upon embarkation. We immediately booked our specialty restaurants and signed up for the ultimate beverage package. Doing our homework prior to sailing, we knew exactly what we wanted to do. The rooms were ready immediately as promised (1:30 PM) and our luggage was waiting for us. We unpacked and found the room to be adequate for our 7-day journey. We really had no space complaints. The bathroom shower curtain and caulking throughout the bottom of the shower was a little unsettling, but really, this was our only negative review of the room. Everything else was positive. We loved our ports of call. The best part was the Captain making a game-time decision to leave our first port early so that we could safely arrive in Marseille before the wind storm scheduled to arrive the next day. The crew and Captain were wonderful keeping us all informed. Meals were good. We ate at Prime C, Aquafina, Discoveries & Chef Table. Our favorite was Aquafina. We learned upon embarkation that our White Night was in Monte Carlo which was a little disappointing as we had dinner reservations in port that night. We cancelled our dinner reservations to attend White Night party. We arrived a little later as we wanted to spend more time in port only to discover there was no seating and we were rushed to hurry and get some food prior to food stations closing. The staff on the cruise were all very nice. I do say that we miss the evening entertainment of Celebrity martini bar and real dealers in the casino. Its our understanding that the Journey recently replaced dealers with electronic machines. This is too bad and a huge disappointment. The machines even broke down while we were playing them. We hear this isn't the case on the Quest and really hope that Azamara reconsiders the decision to get rid of the live dealers. For the most part we had a great experience on Azamara and plan to return for a 2019 Asian cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We have done 17 cruises in the past 12 years & this was our favourite by far. To set the scene, we are a couple mid 30s, no children. Looking for a destination intensive itinerary with like minded travelers & longer stays in ports. ... Read More
We have done 17 cruises in the past 12 years & this was our favourite by far. To set the scene, we are a couple mid 30s, no children. Looking for a destination intensive itinerary with like minded travelers & longer stays in ports. No wheelchairs, or walkers - just great people enjoying a wonderful European Summer. For starters, and slightly with smugness I loved the fact that the Quest ported everywhere it went, whilst the other luxury boats (Silverseas etc) ported. They also left by 4-5pm, and we were still in port until 10pm, even once overnight which was fantastic!! We got to watch a sunset in every city we visited. Azamazing Event was spectacular and so well organised - I could not fault it. It was in beautiful surroundings and we were all taken very well care of. I also loved the White Night - the fact they do it on every voyage means it runs like clockwork - but it was unique and wonderful watching the staff come out with their 44 flags & the captain was incredibly engaging... In fact, a standout for me was getting off the boat in Livorno at 8.00am to be greeted by the captain, and then when we returned at 4.30pm he was there to welcome us back. I mean, I'm no fool to believe he stood there all day - but incredibly exceptional and certainly something I've never experienced on any other cruise. The entertainment... Well I didn't have any real experience with it. But I did hear a few people say it was a bit average... I guess, if you need grand stage shows to keep entertained then it probably was underwhelming, but for me.. After a long day of exploring I'd much prefer to curl up with a good book or movie then head out on the town. Our cabin 6014 was brilliant. The bed was huge & faced the TV which I really enjoyed cause after a long day of exploring I like to come back and relax with a movie. Not only that, but it was the most comfortable bed I've had at sea fluffy and warm - the shower is substantially smaller than any I've seen before, but it wasn't a great inconvenience. I'd rather have more room space then bathroom anyway. There was ample storage for our luggage. There is a coffee table.. I've noticed it on a few other ships, I'd rather not have that to be honest - - seems a waste of space. Perhaps it is for those that love to eat in their room but I find the dining rooms serve enough food not to warrant eating any more. Speaking of food - - - DELICIOUS!! Everything was fresh and delicious. My husband has dietary requirements and they were a little difficult to navigate. I often find that if you notify your wait staff they remember and allow you to pre-order, however as there is no structured dining on Azamara you don't have the same waiter, they don't remember and every night was slightly awkward and embarrassing having to reiterate his order.. But it didn't affect our voyage. Might just be food for thought, to have something better in place. As we disembarked, I felt very teary.. My husband asked me why and I said I didn't know.. I just felt like this was our most wonderful voyage yet. I cannot wait to go again... I'm hoping to do another port intensive voyage around Africa or somewhere similar. Azamara... you really can't go wrong!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We thoroughly enjoyed our 8 day cruise from Barcelona to Rome on the Quest. This was our 1st cruise on Azamara, and we will definitely consider Azamara again for a future trip. We met several fellow passengers who had been on over 10 ... Read More
We thoroughly enjoyed our 8 day cruise from Barcelona to Rome on the Quest. This was our 1st cruise on Azamara, and we will definitely consider Azamara again for a future trip. We met several fellow passengers who had been on over 10 Azamara cruises, so this is a good testament. The size of the ship (~700 passengers) and the itinerary were the main reason for choosing this trip along with a reco from our travel agent who has booked many happy clients on Azamara. We never had to wait in line or worry about not getting a seat in the cabaret lounge for any of the shows or a lounge chair by the pool. No children running around also made for a pleasant trip. Everyone on the crew was so nice and accomodating. Our cabin was kept spotless. We were fine with the alcohol and wine selection included in the fare. The food was excellent - great variety with the buffets based on different cuisines each night - seafood, Greek, Italian, etc. each night. The White Night party on the deck overlooking Monaco was amazing. The huge buffet and entertaining evening filled with music and dancing was fantastic. The Ahmazing evening event in Valencia was like a Spanish mini-Cirque du Soleil in a fantastic venue. This event is what differentiates Azamara from other cruise lines in that this event was on shore and so well organized with 16 busloads from the ship, but didn't cost anything extra. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
The ship is very richly decorated and the staff are highly attentive particularly compared to larger ships. The Varandah stateroom was a pleasure to be in and excellently cleaned and tidiesd regularly. in terms of service I particularly ... Read More
The ship is very richly decorated and the staff are highly attentive particularly compared to larger ships. The Varandah stateroom was a pleasure to be in and excellently cleaned and tidiesd regularly. in terms of service I particularly recommend two Ukranians Katerina serving in the cabaret and and Irina in the cafe and a Hungarian, Lazar, in the cafe. The entertainment was superb and the in house Magic City Opera events stand out for me. The locally guided tours were very informative with the personal touch particularly in Thailand but also Vietnam. The historical talks on the area were interesting and well informed. The captain is a extremely funny and gregarious and makes it all come together into the Azamara experience. My only criticism is the US obsession with charging for expensive WiFi packages. This is very stressful particularly for families and it should be integrated in the package forthwith as it is the only element at variance with the Azamara experience. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We hadn't cruised in years and only on larger ships (which we didn't like), when a friend recommended Azamara. We chose this cruise for the itinerary and it didn't disappoint. Embarkation in Venice was incredibly smooth ... Read More
We hadn't cruised in years and only on larger ships (which we didn't like), when a friend recommended Azamara. We chose this cruise for the itinerary and it didn't disappoint. Embarkation in Venice was incredibly smooth (took all of 10 minutes) and we were soon on board and enjoying lunch. We had an aft balcony cabin that was comfortable and had plenty of storage and the bathroom and shower, while snug, was not as bad as I had been let to believe (lol). Our cabin attendants kept it all spotless. We found the food to be very good. We ate most of our breakfasts in the Windows buffet and dinners in the MDR, although we bought a package for the 2 specialty restaurants, Prime C and Aqualina and the Chef's Table. We found the food at Prime C and Aqualina not all that much better than the MDR, but the Chef's Table is really not to be missed. Outstanding! I can't speak too much about the entertainment, as we didn't partake that much. We found the group in the Living Room that played during cocktail hour too loud to promote conversation, though and much preferred the pianist in the Spirits lounge. The Azamazing Evening was the cellist Ana Ruchner in an outdoor venue in Split - a rock version of Yo Yo Ma - not to my taste, but a beautiful venue and very well organized. MY azamazing evening was a couple nights later when they brought an Italian tenor onboard as a surprise for a late night concert on the pool deck. We only booked 1 ship sponsored excursion, but it was a great one - at Dubrovnik, an excursion to the town of Ston, about an hour away for an oyster and mussel tasting, followed by a fabulous seafood lunch. The rest of our excursions we arranged privately with folks we met on our CC Roll Call. Although we loved all of the ports, we feel we could have used an extra sea day. We ended up skipping Florence (to our regret) because we were just so exhausted from Rome the previous day. We were struck by the friendliness of both the passengers and the crew. It was easy to meet people and because of the small size of the ship, one would tend to see the same people frequently. I feel like I have forged some lasting friendships. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We are "destination-focused" travelers, and while we have been to land trips in Europe several times, we chose this 10-nt Venice-Barcelona trip because it was going to give us an opportunity to revisit some of our favorite ... Read More
We are "destination-focused" travelers, and while we have been to land trips in Europe several times, we chose this 10-nt Venice-Barcelona trip because it was going to give us an opportunity to revisit some of our favorite destinations -- Venice, Positano, Florence, the Riviera, and Barcelona. We love the size of Azamara ships -- lots of pretty places in which to relax without the overwhelming atmosphere of an "auditorium" gathering place; excellent cuisine in main dining room every evening plus the over-the-top French Chefs Table, high caliber of entertainment with variety, and well-timed shorter performances of 45 minutes to keep the crowd, and provide us with several venues in the course of an evening. Great, friendly, and unstuffy service. A Captain who is so "guest friendly" we looked forward to his afternoon often humorous and self-effacing factual announcements, which totally spoke to his competence and professionalism. Our cabin was as cozy as we remembered last year, with well appointed storage which was more than sufficient for me, the chronic overpacker bar none. While we had only travelled before last year, that was on Celebrity 12 years ago, we clearly prefer the smaller ship environment and would not consider other lines at this point. Special highlights: Azamazing Evening! White Night Party on deck! Job well done! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We chose this cruise based upon advertising and online recommendations. In a nutshell, the Azamara Quest over-promises and under-performs in many areas, all while charging premium dollars for the cruise. First, we have been on well over ... Read More
We chose this cruise based upon advertising and online recommendations. In a nutshell, the Azamara Quest over-promises and under-performs in many areas, all while charging premium dollars for the cruise. First, we have been on well over 100 cruises and my wife and I agree that the crew on the Quest was the best of any of our many voyages.They were consistently "GREAT". Also, the Captain interacted with the passengers daily, something you rarely see in today's cruise world. The food was hit or miss. We did not go to alternative dining. Food in the Discoveries Restaurant was good, but not great. Hit or miss! For example on several nights, I ordered fish, and without exception, it was very dry. Food in the windows café was varied and again, good, but not great. Based on our cruising experience, most of the shore excursions were grossly overpriced. While we were in port most days, and many passengers left the ship, activities on board were almost nonexistent. Those they had, included such things as "table tennis get-together, unhosted", "Enjoy a caprese Panini in windows café", "bridge game get-together, unhosted" and a "Last chance art sale". Entertainment on "The White Night" and the "Amazing Evening" was extraordinary and enjoyed by all. On balance, most of the other entertainment was good. The ship itself showed some signs that it was due to be refurbished; however, it was well-maintained and very clean. There was a daily trivia however unlike most ships, many of the questions were very difficult, to a fault. We have played a lot of trivia and Azamara must learn to ask questions that are age-appropriate for their passengers and challenging, but not impossible, to answer. I did use the fitness center if you times and the equipment was good, but very limited. The ports were fine and very interesting, but for the most part, very crowded, as you might expect in Europe, in the summer. One last thing. We were told not to make flight arrangements before 11 AM on the last day. As it was, passengers were told to disembark beginning at 8 to 9 AM. Had we known this, our plane travel home could have been much more direct and would have allowed us to get home without overnighting in New York City. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
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