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19 Azamara Bali Cruise Reviews

Just back from an excellent cruise around the western and southern coasts of Australia on the beautiful Azamara Journey. Why do we return to Azamara? - the WONDERFUL Azamara crew who look after us so well and with such enthusiasm. The ... Read More
Just back from an excellent cruise around the western and southern coasts of Australia on the beautiful Azamara Journey. Why do we return to Azamara? - the WONDERFUL Azamara crew who look after us so well and with such enthusiasm. The ship is in excellent condition, though there are a few issues (gym equipment , elevator indicators) and new carpets in the hallways, and fortunately no further alterations to interior decoration (though we noticed a couple of pictures had been changed). The resident artwork on this ship is wonderful and we always go around the ship revisiting our favourite pieces (atrium stairway sculpture, Michael Eastman photographic prints, etc. etc. It was such a shame that the green marble counter of the Reception Desk was ripped out and replaced with off-white when the original green was so in keeping with the rest of the decor and still in excellent condition. To our mind this was an expensive and unnecessary expenditure. Our route was from Bali to Sydney with excellent stops along the way. Only Exmouth was cancelled (a town insufficiently equipped to receive a cruise ship) with Bunbury, Kangaroo Island and Melbourne the highlights of our cruise. A similar cruise around the eastern shores of Australia two years ago we found very hot - this cruise was very different with cool temperatures and very strong winds. Most of the entertainment was similar to that we had seen before with visiting acts coming on and leaving (some of it downright awful, though some was entertaining - we always say, though, If you want to see a Broadway show you have to go to New York [or London]). The special interest talks are generally interesting, though unfortunately Dr. Rebecca was a disappointment - her subjects were interesting but there were too many umms, errs, and ‘you knows’ which distracted from her subject. Our favourite entertainers were the specialty dancers - so graceful and delightful to watch. We used to enjoy the harpist but sadly, their services were discontinued. I rather think that Azamara head office misunderstand onboard entertainment. It was so pleasant sitting in the Discoveries Bar enjoying a pre-dinner cocktail with the subtle sounds of the harpist in the background. A guitarist who wants to be heard and so is amplified is NO substitute as the volume discourages conversation. Consequently we usually find somewhere quiet for cocktails - and miss the harpist. A really big problem during this cruise was the internet - if you could log on (and that wasn’t always possible, with the little wheel spinning, and spinning, and spinning. . . ) eMails would sometimes download but then try opening them . . . ! Virtually impossible!! The problem may partially be due to the ‘Free Internet’ package offered to some staterooms and it being free they never log off, whereas if the system were to log them off after a period of inactivity it would free the service up for others. The boys manning The Mosiac coffee station are worked so hard but are always so eager to provide the very best service and always with a smile. I am always shocked when I witness a ship’s passenger treating them as they would a slave with not a work of ‘please’ or ‘thank you’, but they take it in their stride and give immaculate service. Executive Chef Monica Ortiz and her catering staff are to be congratulated on producing an excellent variety of menu selections in all restaurants. The Indian Buffet in Windows Cafe is always one of our favourites. When our cruise Came to an end British Airways carried us to Singapore and after a nights sleep and a day in the city British Airways’ A380 service sped us very comfortably home. Now to plan another cruise . . . Where to this time? Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
We had last sailed on an Azamara ship approximately 6 -7 years ago and due to a combination of circumstances,destinations and dissatisfaction with Azamara we had not booked again until we found this cruise going from Bali and around ... Read More
We had last sailed on an Azamara ship approximately 6 -7 years ago and due to a combination of circumstances,destinations and dissatisfaction with Azamara we had not booked again until we found this cruise going from Bali and around Australia beginning on its west coast. At the outset we were delighted with the incredible changes that have been made to the journey. The refurbishment of the ship was good, but the cabin redo's were excellent. Space was much better utilized, especially in the suites. for the first time we actually had room to spare for our belongings on this longish, 18 day cruise. The bathroom set up was a great improvement, over past years and other comparable accommodations on other cruise lines, having a much larger amount of space for our toiletries. The staff was wonderful, knowledgeable and friendly and all had the Ritz Carlton mentality/mantra of being empowered, or so it seemed, to solve problems, both large and small.Highlights of the trip included a great White Nights evening, a wonderful breakfast for Le Voyage Club, Azamara loyalty program, members and a simply superb rijsttafel dinner one evening, at a small extra charge. Gratuities included as is most alcohol, other than very high end premium brands of liquors and wines. With all of that "booze" it was interesting that we never saw a single passenger the slightest bit tipsy other than when the waves were high. Of course some things were not great. Included in that was the differences in the taste and quality of coffee depending on the venue in which it was served. some of the tours that we attended were fair or less at best including the Azmazing night in port at Freemantle. The singers/musicians and songwriters were good, but the native dancers performed off the stage and on a level with the chairs so that unless one sat up front it was difficult to see them. The food was plentiful and quite good at this event but the venue was overcrowded and very hot. Entertainment on the boat is what one would expect with a smallish ship-not terrific, but in some instances quite passable. The enrichment lectures were quite good. In sum, I would rate them tops for value and would not hesitate to return to Azamara for other cruises in the near future. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
To judge by the number of B2B travellers from the previous cruise, many of the Azamara family had been eagerly awaiting this first journey to Sydney round the West Australian coast. I for one was certainly not disappointed. A brisk ... Read More
To judge by the number of B2B travellers from the previous cruise, many of the Azamara family had been eagerly awaiting this first journey to Sydney round the West Australian coast. I for one was certainly not disappointed. A brisk headwind greeted our journey south, but as we visited ports where we were given an enthusiastic welcome, the temperature hovered around the mid 20's (70's) which made for comfortable exploration .For a first journey, the ship's excursions, while expensive, were varied and professionally presented but one or two need fine tuning The shuttles provided for individual exploration, worked well. Tenders were needed for only two ports. As a solo, older traveller, I cannot speak too highly of the always pleasant, professional and efficient staff throughout the ship. One never needed to be surrounded by family or fiends to feel included. Open dining in Discovery in the evenings made for many pleasant and interesting dinners. The delayed arrival of a Bridge Director in Perth was welcomed by the card players in Perth as lessons and duplicate sessions began. Some of the entertainment was outstanding, especially two of the solo singers but I think some of the day time lectures might have dealt with Australian history and culture. The films shown on board were disappointing compared to other Azamara cruises. While Casablanca and Sleepless in Seattle are classics more recent offerings would have been welcome. I noted that people with varied dietary needs were well catered for but while the range of food available was broad and more than adequate, the menu in Discovery has changed little over the years and I personally would like to see more authentic dishes in Windows on Asian and Middle Eastern evenings. Overall for me 10 out of 10 Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
In a teeming rain, we left the shelter of our hotel in Bali, wondering if we had made a good decision in booking an 18-day circuit around the barren western & southern coasts of Australia, ending in Sydney. Did we??? Well - you ... Read More
In a teeming rain, we left the shelter of our hotel in Bali, wondering if we had made a good decision in booking an 18-day circuit around the barren western & southern coasts of Australia, ending in Sydney. Did we??? Well - you decide, by reading my story of our travels.... Let us begin at the very beginning...before Bali...as it takes some doing for an American to even get there. One must start from a jumping off place in the USA & that suggests a 14 to 16 hour flight to either Hong Kong or Singapore from America's west coast, with a follow-on flight to Bali. We flew out of San Francisco & on our flight, a family decided only while on board in the airport that their child wasn't feeling well enough to fly. The poor child was slung over a shoulder & taken out...& there followed a 2+ hour search for the family's luggage which resulted in a delay that made us miss our connection to Bali out of Singapore. We waited 6 hours for a follow-on flight, & so, from the time we left our home in Delaware until we checked into our lovely hotel in Bali - it was 46 hours. You can believe that, as I checked it against my watch. Bali must be a lovely island & it is inhabited by lovely warm people, who smile & bow to you in such a gracious manner that you wish you weren't so stupid with jet lag & could actually interact with them. We spent two days holed up like honeymooners in a quite lovely room in the Conrad, in a stupefied state trying to figure out who & what we were. Meanwhile, it being January the rain TEEMED down in a way one can only imagine in movies BUT there were still Asian tourists there determined to enjoy the beaches. This proved to us that there is something for everyone in every holiday.... Embarkation onto Azamara Journey was uneventful and almost easy. My husband argues with me about our choice of cabin on every cruise but he never questions why we get to go onboard in Group 1, & we charged on board & set up housekeeping with a lovely lunch & the typical Azamara welcome. How do these people do it??? The crew work so hard & are so unfailingly welcoming & happy, eventually bringing on board their tired & worn-out who are so very very glad to be on board Azamara again (if they've ever sailed on Az before)... And so began a wonderful cruise. There was a tweaking of the itinerary that gave us an initial 3 at-sea days, followed by wonderful overnights at Perth/Fre-Mantle, & then on to a series of small ports. We were VERY VERY impressed by every single port we visited, & VERY VERY much hope that Azamara will revisit this itinerary. It's not on their itinerary for another year at least, but I am betting that this will be the NEW itinerary for most cruise lines in years to come. Our favorite port city - Perth - what a beautiful city! with such adventures just outside Our favorite destination - Kangaroo Island - some lovely wineries & a brewery, plus a beautiful drive through the countryside Our favorite shore excursion - Adelaide - to their Cleland Wildlife Park - followed by lunch on board watching sailing activity in the port Our favorite memory - sailing into Sydney on a beautifully clear morning! The BEST THING! - The Eagles won the Superbowl, & Azamara had a party for us! As always, Azamara assures us that we are making the right decision in booking cruise after cruise with them. Of course we will do it again!!!! Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
This was our 5th Cruise with Azamara and cruising down the West Coast of Australia is the wrong time of year as it is Cyclone season. Although we didn’t come across one there were a few in area both before and after our sailing down the ... Read More
This was our 5th Cruise with Azamara and cruising down the West Coast of Australia is the wrong time of year as it is Cyclone season. Although we didn’t come across one there were a few in area both before and after our sailing down the coast. Embarkation was a little longer then we have previously experienced as there were torrential rain in Bali and I think everyone wanted just to get onboard and stay dry. It was great to see familiar faces as we boarded handing us a glass of champagne Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
Azamara Journey goes above and beyond most cruise ships. The staff are so friendly - We love all the question and answer periods with all the officers from the captain down. The food was excellent with lots of variety. There was lots of ... Read More
Azamara Journey goes above and beyond most cruise ships. The staff are so friendly - We love all the question and answer periods with all the officers from the captain down. The food was excellent with lots of variety. There was lots of activities to do onboard if so desired. The ports were interesting especially Perth(Freemantle), Auckland, Melbourne and Sydney. The smaller ports Esperance, Albany, Bunburry had less to do but certainly the Australian people made you very welcome with bands playing when you arrived and lots of info re their port. The weather could have been better but that certainly is no fault of the cruise line. Yes - it rained in Bali but it is the passengers responsibility, not the cruise ships responsibility, to get to the ship at the start of a cruise and once the cruise is over and you have checked out it is your responsibility to have umbrellas etc. not the cruise ships. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
This particular cruise was chosen for the itinerary of exploring Wesreern Australia. We knew we’d never be able to visit all the ports that Azamara Journey called on without going on a cruise. Having visited Queensland and Victoria many ... Read More
This particular cruise was chosen for the itinerary of exploring Wesreern Australia. We knew we’d never be able to visit all the ports that Azamara Journey called on without going on a cruise. Having visited Queensland and Victoria many times, we wanted to explore the west coast. The best was Kangaroo Island and the all day shore excursion to view kangaroos and koalas in the wild. Having experienced three previous cruises on Celebrity, we were interested in trying a smaller vessel. Azamara Journey did not disappoint. We were particularly pleased with the staff and crew in every area, from the cabin attendants to the wait staff to the officers on the ship. Everyone was more than cordial and went out of their way to engage, converse, and make you feel welcome. While the larger ships offer more in the way of entertainment, the smaller vessel offered a chance for everyone to get to know others from around the world. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
Fourth cruise on the Journey, great crew, service and food. We like the relaxed feeling on the ship with only about 700 passengers. Boarded in Benoa, Bali near the airport. There was about an hour checking in due to the limited ... Read More
Fourth cruise on the Journey, great crew, service and food. We like the relaxed feeling on the ship with only about 700 passengers. Boarded in Benoa, Bali near the airport. There was about an hour checking in due to the limited facilities. Having senior club status meant nothing because there was not enough room in the small building for multiple lines. Not Azamara's fault because Bali has no dedicated cruise port. I understand it is planned in the near future. Once on board with a glass of sparkling wine in your hand you soon forget the long check-in line. Lunch in the cafe and off to unpack and get settled. The cabins are adequate in size and the bathroom is tiny but fine once used to it. Entertainment is limited but and mostly after 9:30pm so we did not attend any shows this cruise as we turn in early. The itenerary was good as we had never been to West or South Australia before. This was also the first time I believe for Azamara as well. The area's activities was primarily natural sights such as wildlife on land and sea until you arrived in Adelaide, Melbourne or Sydney. It was a great opportunity to see Kangaroos and Koalas. There are many Dolphin encounters and whale sighting ( only in season ) in the area. Our weather was windy with rough seas for the first week which was expected for the location and time of year but enjoyed the cruise anyway. The true beauty of the Journey is the wonderful crew and genuine friendly atmosphere of the ship. Captain Magnus Davidson is a joy to have leading the cruise. I believe this was our 3rd cruise with him. Always friendly and informative. We are scheduled on the sister ship QUEST in April for another adventure with Azamara. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
With a couple of dozen cruises under our belts, seven of those on Azamara Journey, we had a fair knowledge of "good" and "not so good" staterooms and booked 4030 (low deck, midships in anticipation of the South China ... Read More
With a couple of dozen cruises under our belts, seven of those on Azamara Journey, we had a fair knowledge of "good" and "not so good" staterooms and booked 4030 (low deck, midships in anticipation of the South China Sea) well in advance with a NO UPGRADE instruction to our TA. STATEROOM(S) 4030 booked but "upgraded" to 6067 and subsequently to 7098 The first night we had virtually no sleep due to a poorly adjusted air conditioner that regularly started up with a noise level similar to a large plane taking off!!! This was adjusted well by the wizard engineer, but we were still disturbed by some other mechanical noise. So after a couple of days we were offered another move ... higher up ... to 7098 ... where the A/C again required adjusting. And the vibrations had to be experienced to be believed. Every night my bed vibrated and shuddered and I was lucky to get more than a few hours sleep each night for most of the cruise (overnights in port were a blessing). When we reached cooler climates the stateroom temperature dropped dramatically due to lack of seal around the door to the balcony ... wind whistled in enough to push the closed heavy curtains away from the door and windows!!! Several sea days were spent sitting in the Casino lounge area, as our stateroom was most uncomfortable due to vibrations making it impossible to rest. Apart from temperature, noise & vibration, the stateroom was as expected from previous cruises on the Journey (which does not have the same vibration problem ... was it due to the propeller damage sustained in New Zealand?). DINING Much as expected from experience on the Journey, although I felt there were less choices on the daily menu in Discoveries Restaurant, as the "always available" choices were included where there might have been more daily variation. Unfortunately I am allergic to both shellfish and crustaceans, which regularly ruled out at least half of the choices. The menu became somewhat boring on the 16 night cruise. Windows Cafe was as expected. We do not patronise the Specialty restaurants. Wait staff in all areas are all very good. EMBARKATION That's where our problems with this, our first cruise on the Quest started. We arrived to check in with our bags properly tagged to find we had been upgraded to if I remember correctly 6067 ... not happy ... and so this cruise from Bali to Osaka developed in many ways to our worst ever cruise experience. Apart from that, the embarkation process was as usual smooth. ENRICHMENT ACTIVITIES I did not attend any lectures on this cruise. Activities ... we formed a team with another couple (and occasional extras) and played regularly. We enjoyed the sessions led by Marcio, Alex, Alina and towards the end of the cruise, Daniel. Our core team also played the progressive trivia on sea days. As has been noted in another review, Lee's very strong Newcastle accent was more difficult to comprehend than the accents of eastern European activities staff. On two very rough sea days requests were made to relocate the progressive trivia from The Looking Glass (deck 10 forward with bow crashes & spray splashes making the windows look like those of a fish shop) to a lower deck. It was not relocated and we played as some left to pick up strategically located "barf bags" and several art works fell in The Looking Glass where they had been placed for an Art Auction (the Auction was cancelled on the second of those days.) We did not participate in other activities, many of which were cancelled due to rough weather. Selected activities attract points scores for attendance and more for a win, which are redeemed for "prizes" on the last day of the cruise. As one might imagine on a 16 night cruise with regular attendance (and a certain number of wins) at various activities a reasonable points tally is achieved. On the Journey the points scored were fully compensated. On this cruise we were informed at the time of prize collection ... only one item per person. No incentive to participate in the unlikely event of a future cruise on this ship! ENTERTAINMENT We have seen the Production Shows on the Journey, so did not go again. We did enjoy Michael Falzon's show, as well as the shows of local entertainment groups brought on board. The music of PapaT and Max was enjoyable throughout (when it could be heard). We would have liked one of the two to be located in The Looking Glass for the pre dinner time slot, rather than the Casino Lounge or Discoveries Lounge, both of which are relatively small spaces where the hubbub of conversation in a crowded area makes it virtually impossible to hear the music unless seated right beside guitar or piano. FITNESS & RECREATION We do not use the Gym, but have our own fitness regimes PUBLIC ROOMS Clean and tidy, although in need of attention in some areas. Staff are prompt to tidy messes left by careless cruisers. SERVICE As expected, very good in most areas, although some staff at Guest Relations seem unable to answer questions "outside their script" ... for example ... is the AzAmazing Evening indoors or outdoors ... I don't know! Hotel Manager Philip and Guest Relations Manager Federico both did what they could (short of reinstating us to 4030) to try and improve our experience. SHORE EXCURSIONS I prefer to "do my own thing" or join a small independent group to tour, rarely taking a ship's excursion, as they are overpriced. On this cruise I attended the less than Azamazing Evening ... the pre show "entertainment" which may have been beyond the control of Azamara staff was way too loud accompanied by flashing strobe lights into the eyes of those unlucky enough to have been on an early bus from the ship. The show itself was at an acceptable volume and was interesting. Refreshments were plentiful on a hot (30+C night). But ... the bus back to the ship was freezing ... resulting in many coughs among cruisers during the remainder of the cruise. VALUE FOR MONEY I have rated as poor on this occasion, as it ended up being the most uncomfortable cruise we have ever taken, as a result of being "upgraded" against our express instruction. Had we been in our booked stateroom my rating would doubtless have been higher. LAST COMMENTS Motion in the ocean Unlike any other ship we have sailed on, where every Captain has (when necessary) in his twice daily address warned of possible "motion in the ocean" and suggested "taking precautions .... there was never any suggestion of "motion in the ocean" or any suggestion that cruisers should "take precautions" from Captain Jose, with the result that many cruisers who would have used patches, bands or medications were unwell on more than one occasion. Vibrations We have never known any ship on which we have sailed to vibrate in virtually all areas, that vibration exacerbated when the speed is increased ....... Disembarkation This was the first time we have walked down a gangplank at the end of a cruise and not had any Officers to farewell us ... port staff directed us to bag collection and Customs ... but then we were left "floundering" and somewhat anxious as there was no crew member to direct us to the bus for Airport Transfer for our 11am flight. (we usually make independent arrangements, but took the transfer this time due to lack of Taxi availability at the early hour) After some time a member of Shore Excursions staff appeared, but she seemed somewhat confused and did not instill confidence. However all was well and we made it to the airport in time. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Long time Princess cruiser...first time on Azamara. The size of the ship (as with sister ships Princess has owned) is great...intimate and able to get into small (read interesting) ports. Food okay...liquor, soda, espresso drinks, and ... Read More
Long time Princess cruiser...first time on Azamara. The size of the ship (as with sister ships Princess has owned) is great...intimate and able to get into small (read interesting) ports. Food okay...liquor, soda, espresso drinks, and tips included...that's nice, but raises the fare for all. TV movies and shows VERY limited...repeated endlessly. The "Quest" needs some cosmetic work, but was due for dry dock after just one more cruise. Staff pleasant. Water was always provided (gratis) as we left for shore excursions, and when we returned. Because of size, boarding and debarking went quickly. While many Azamara itineraries are unique and appealing we are not sure that we want to pay the extra costs. Oh, the wi-fi was quite costly. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We have cruised Azamara many many times, and the rating we normally give is between 5-6* This Xmas cruise we would put at 3* The crew as usual were excellent..... shame the rest of the cruise doesn't fit that description. ... Read More
We have cruised Azamara many many times, and the rating we normally give is between 5-6* This Xmas cruise we would put at 3* The crew as usual were excellent..... shame the rest of the cruise doesn't fit that description. The Food... It was Boring and monotonous, both in Discovery and Windows, Not up to the Azamara usual standard. The Officers dinners they were fantastic, the menu and company was worthy of a 6* Entertainment unfortunatly was really poor, we have seen the same shows each Azamara cruise we have been on, and we sailed a total of 51 days with them in 2015. The Cruise Directors (CD ) Russ on the Quest and Eric on the Journey, are amazing, the shows were never the same, even with the same limited area etc, they had a twist on their shows that kept them fresh, but the ( CD ) on this Xmas cruise and the previous 37 night cruise in May through Europe was Tony, and on both of these cruises he failed to step up to the job...... His very impressive resume, reads as long as your arm, Doctor, Lawyer, Account etc etc, and most comments were they feel he might have been better at one of those positions, but NOT a Cruise Director, and that is what we needed on our cruises, someone capable of organising entertainment, both at night and during sea days... He states that interaction with the passengers is essential Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
My wife and I have just returned home from a Christmas/New Year cruise and I would like to provide you with some feedback about the Azamara Quest. Azamara Quest is classed as being 5.5 star; believe me, it is most certainly nowhere ... Read More
My wife and I have just returned home from a Christmas/New Year cruise and I would like to provide you with some feedback about the Azamara Quest. Azamara Quest is classed as being 5.5 star; believe me, it is most certainly nowhere near that. We have travelled on most cruise lines and we know what’s 3, 4, 5 and 6 star. We had an Ocean View cabin and it was nowhere near adequate. It was way too small. Everything about it was low grade and tired looking. As to the shower, I have a drawer for my handkerchiefs that is bigger. I weigh 150 pounds and I'm 5’5” tall and I’d hate to think how some of my much bigger cruise mates on the same deck were able to shower. Looking out the window, it and the ship generally, looked as if it was held together by umpteen coats of paint. The cabin’s only saving grace was the way it was cleaned and kept by the room stewards. Full marks for that. The meals were an almost total disappointment. One wouldn’t run out of fingers on the one hand counting the number of meals that were up to cruise ship standard during the entire 14 days. Again, the service was top class, but the meals were generally not up to the standard expected from any cruise. This opinion was shared by the many people we befriended, even one staying in the Owner’s Suite. The evening entertainment, except for Christmas Day and New Year's Eve, was generally below average. In short, I would proffer that Cruise Critic advise customers better by suggesting a 3 - 3.5 star for Azamara Quest. Even at the special price available to Australian cruisers, this cruise was way overpriced. Needless to say Azamara is off our list at any price and I wouldn’t recommend it. However, to be fair, I also noted some British cruisers expressed a curious affinity for the ship. Maybe it’s the complimentary (prepaid rather) bar. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
This was our 7th cruise with Azamara, and by far the most disappointing. The ship is tired and well overdue the overall planned refurb within the next few months, but that was what we expected. The ports were very much as we ... Read More
This was our 7th cruise with Azamara, and by far the most disappointing. The ship is tired and well overdue the overall planned refurb within the next few months, but that was what we expected. The ports were very much as we anticipated but Lombok, Thursday Island and Cooktown are really not geared up to visitors. We enjoyed Darwin, with the exception of the Azamazing evening, Port Douglas and Cairns. Standards have definitely fallen. Our first cruise with Azamara was in 2009 and the drop from then is marked. In those days it took 10 minutes to describe the bread selection at dinner. However standards have definitely slipped even from our sailing earl in 2015. The staff are as lovely as ever but seem to be fewer than before, service in general is still good, but food and menu selections also seem to be down. Haven't used the 'classic' side of the menu so much. The big let down was the entertainment, with the exception of the pianist and the singer. Extremely disappointed with the Cruise Director who unlike the previous cruise directors was almost invisible. The entertainment in particular seemed to lack continuity. For example there' were large gaps when there was nothing available. On New Years Eve we left the dining room to attend the party but didn't find it. There was almost no one near the pool, the scheduled venue nor was it decorated. We then went to the Looking Glass to fined even less people and still no decoration or indication of something happening, we later discovered that the only bar open was the small bar outside Discoveries. Even with the ship not being full this was packed. As for Azamazing evening, it bears little similarly to the event shown in the large land discoveries brochure sent to us and in fact took place in a dimly light concrete aquarium. By far the worst one we have attended and no wonder many people left in taxies to get back to the ship.. All in all extremely dissapointing, we enjoyed the cruise but that was largely due to our fellow passengers. Hopefully our next cruise will be better, although with Cruise Director I fear not. This may well be our last Azamara Cruise which is disappointing as we thought we had found our home at sea Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Sail Date: 22 December, 2015 Recently completed the 14 nights Christmas and New Year’s Eve cruise, on the Azamara Quest, from Bali to Cairns. Although my husband and I had a very enjoyable time, our experience of this second cruise ... Read More
Sail Date: 22 December, 2015 Recently completed the 14 nights Christmas and New Year’s Eve cruise, on the Azamara Quest, from Bali to Cairns. Although my husband and I had a very enjoyable time, our experience of this second cruise was not the excellent experience we had had on our first cruise (Hong Kong to Singapore, Azamara Journey, January 2014.) What was still excellent about the cruise: the crew! One cannot rate too highly the polite and friendly service and the attention to detail provided by the hospitality staff – the wait staff, cabin stewards, the cleaners etc. One also feels nothing but confidence in the Captain, ship’s Officers, and crew and, as the ship had to anchor rather than dock at many locations on our itinerary, the tender service was excellent. The Azamara Quest – both Azamara ships are due for significant renovations in coming months – looked tired in some areas, but the ship was very clean and constantly cleaned. Standards appear to have dropped in some areas, particularly with the dining. The Windows Café which provided a buffet style for all meals presented good variety and reasonable to very good quality in its dishes, particularly on the Themed dinner nights. The main and formal dining room, the Discovery Restaurant, was disappointing. On our previous cruise, we enjoyed many really delicious meals, but, on this cruise, there were only a few “stand out” dishes with most mains being of reasonable quality. We bought a specialty dining package that provided 3 dinners at Prime C and Aqualina, the ship’s specialty restaurants, and the quality of the food was so much better than what was offered at the Discovery Restaurant that the main dining venue suffered in the comparison. Azamara promotes their cruises with “enjoy a host of unmatched inclusive amenities” which includes complimentary wines. The quality of the wines, on offer, appear to be of a lower standard than what we experienced on our previous cruise. Sometimes, the wines were, to us, odd-tasting blends and some of these wines were repeated in the second week of the cruise. (It was disappointing that no Australian wines were on offer.) Although we didn’t go on any of the ship’s excursions – as Australians, we had visited many of these places previously - we considered the excursion prices asked by Azamara to be too high. The worst example of this was the Komodo Island excursion where, in advance of the cruise, Australian passengers paid out A$180.50 for a 2 hour excursion. The cost of this excursion was more and in US dollars if you booked on the ship. In a private excursion, organised through the Cruise Critic Roll Call prior to the cruise, we ended up paying US$60 per person, directly to the Komodo Island rangers. (Another “Thank You” to Kerry for organizing this excursion.) We find Azamara’s costing unsatisfactory and their costing of excursions overall, a disincentive. A comment on the “Azamazing Evening”, the complimentary excursion – an evening at Crocosaurus Cove, in Darwin, to see reptiles including crocodiles. Although the number of people at the excursion made it challenging to view various presentations, we consider that, as a first time excursion - Azamara was on its “maiden” cruise to Australia – Azamara and Crocosaurus Cove did very well to entertain guests. Our experience of the evening was quite positive even though we missed seeing a main event. We did enjoy very good live music, plenty of wine and other drinks, plenty of food, interactive opportunities with reptiles including baby crocodiles, educational videos etc. During the evening, I heard people complain that they should not have been told to have dinner prior to the excursion as there was so much food on offer…in this respect, Azamara just couldn’t “win”! The entertainment offered at the Cabaret Lounge was another disappointing feature of the cruise. Although a small ship, we consider that there should be a consistently high standard of entertainment on offer, but this was not the case. Unless the Azamara “singers and dancers” are talentless, they were very much under-utilised throughout the cruise whilst “the talents” of the Entertainment Director were over-utilised! We did enjoy the one singing performance of Amanda Poulson and the one occasion that we were able to watch the formal dancing couple. Fortunately, my husband and I tended to just enjoy the company of other passengers, after dinner, and therefore did not rely heavily on the Cabaret Lounge for entertainment. Azamara did put on a thoroughly entertaining New Year’s Eve party! About the gym – On both Azamara cruises, I have found the persons in charge of the gym (who conduct the complimentary exercise classes e.g. yoga, pilates), to not appear to understand how to facilitate exercise for passengers of various ages, fitness levels etc. On both cruises, I have started but then stopped attending these classes, because of concern re injury. In conclusion, the Azamara Quest cruise was a “mixed bag” of experiences. There are some real advantages in cruising on a smaller cruise ship, but, after our experience of this last cruise, we will not be rushing to book the next one! We are very disappointed that we can no longer wholeheartedly recommend the Azamara brand. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Just returned for Indonesia / Australia cruise on the Quest. We have been on Azamara several times and have previously been very satisfied. However, it was very noticeable on this cruise that the standards had dropped. The staff ... Read More
Just returned for Indonesia / Australia cruise on the Quest. We have been on Azamara several times and have previously been very satisfied. However, it was very noticeable on this cruise that the standards had dropped. The staff are still absolutely first class but they are being denied the tools to work with. As with other contributors, we noticed that the standard of the food had certainly diminished. Never before have we seen so many repeated dishes. The beverage packages have been trimmed and it was clear that these were being sold without any mention that many items were and would be unavailable. Some of the places visited left a little to be desired but as this was the first trip to Australia, some allowance can be made for this. However, I think that I should mention some of the trips. Komodo Island was just a total rip off. Rumors abounded that you could not do the trip by yourselves and subsequently many passengers paid the totally exorbitant price from the ship. Passengers ended up in very large groups having paid anything from $130 upwards each. We decided to see what would happen and went on the same tender. We then paid $35 each and went round in a group of 9 with a terrific guide. I would also make mention of the "Azamazing Evening". Nothing could be further from the truth. This was dreadful. Totally unsuitable, totally unorganized. Obviously someone had not done their homework on this. The only people to benefit from this were the local taxi drivers as passengers left the venue and made their own way back to the ship. Spoke to many fellow passengers and staff and the general opinion seemed to be that Azamara should drop this function altogether. We certainly agree. The entertainment was generally poor and certainly not up to the standard of the Journey. Cruise Director Tony comes over a little over the top and would do well to spend some time with Erik de Gray to see how it should be done. All in all, we still enjoyed the cruise and our time pre cruise in Bali and post cruise in Cairns and Sydney. However, I would agree with previous contributors that there have been some very obvious cutbacks and these are beginning to damage the brand. Come on Azamara, bring back the old standards and don't let your customers and staff down any more. Must add that we were given 2 nights free drinks package upgrade to make up for the non availability of drinks on the menu. Thank you. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
As always with Azamara the staff and crew are faultless, the problem was the destinations visited. Azamara moto is we take you where other cruise lines can't, but if there is nothing of interest at those destinations or no the only ... Read More
As always with Azamara the staff and crew are faultless, the problem was the destinations visited. Azamara moto is we take you where other cruise lines can't, but if there is nothing of interest at those destinations or no the only access is by very pushy island vendors then they are wasted days. Lombok was very dissapointing and spent probably 5 minutes ashore. Azamara usually put on coaches to get you to where you need to be but apparently were not permitted to do this?. The other very dissapointing port was Thursday Island. The island itself was vertually shut for business. With this being a cruise called Bali and Barrier Reef we expected more excursions with the reef as the focus. Port Douglas we were told by many of the Australians on board is the gateway to the reef. No excursions were offered. Only 1 excursion from Cairns went to the ref. We initially booked this but cancelled due to early lack of interest and the threat of it being cancelled with no other option we then did a private half day tour to the reef from Port Douglas. The itineries for this cruise were very poor and very expensive. Come on Azamara please cater for the all of your guests. There are only so many museums and temples a person can veiw. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
This was our 5th cruise on Azamara, and the 3rd on the Quest. First time over the Christmas holiday season. First impressions, the Quest looks a little tired, however, it is slated for refurbishment in early 2016. There seems to be ... Read More
This was our 5th cruise on Azamara, and the 3rd on the Quest. First time over the Christmas holiday season. First impressions, the Quest looks a little tired, however, it is slated for refurbishment in early 2016. There seems to be fewer wait staff than in the past, however the attitude of the staff and crew remains excellent. Food quality remains very high in all restaurants. We made a point of going to Triva each day to meet more people. Lots of fun and highly recommended. Great way to fill the Sea Days. There was a variety of stage shows each evening, everything from musical numbers to a Magician and a Mentalist. This particular cruise was very warm as it was summer season all through the trip, middle 30’s Celsius each day. The Christmas and New Year’s shows were very nice, lots of songs and fun, carol singing in the dining room and many decorations on the ship. The crew made gingerbread houses and displays throughout. Many younger guests added to the Christmas spirit. Land Discoveries prices seem higher than normal. The Azamara two-hour Komodo dragon tour off the ship was priced at $169 vs our identical private tour of $60. The Mataram Highlights Tour in Lombok was extremely disappointing. Several people left our tour half way through and taxied back to the ship. Having visited Bali, Lombok could have been skipped all together. We complained and the Land Discoveries reimbursed us 25%. That said, our next tour, from Thursday Island, Insider Access: Kazu and the Cultured Pearls of Friday Island, was one of the best tours we have been on with Azamara. There was not much to see at our stop in Cooktown Australia. We took a short tour, which brought us to the Botanical Gardens and Nature's Powerhouse before arriving at the James Cook Museum for fascinating insights into the local history, and the discovery of Australia by Captain Cook., then on up to Grassy Hill for its great views of the picturesque coastline. Port Douglas, Australia was a vibrant community noted for its Sunday Market. Fortunately we were here on a Sunday and were able to enjoy this highlight. Internet on the ship remains poor. Access from the cabins is sporadic at best. We had 60 minutes given to us, the majority of which were wasted trying to connect. I would rather pay more for our ticket and have free Internet than get upset when we waste our time trying to connect. One of the most common complaints we are hearing is that there is no WIFI on the ship. Even without connecting to the Internet our devices cannot connect with each other. With the upcoming retrofit we are hoping these problems will be resolved. Azamara has been and still remains our “Go To” cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
This cruise was chosen for the itinerary. DH always had wanted to see Komodo Dragons and I loved the sound of Bali and besides it is hard for us to find a long cruise with all new ports for us. It was a delightful trip. Food was good ... Read More
This cruise was chosen for the itinerary. DH always had wanted to see Komodo Dragons and I loved the sound of Bali and besides it is hard for us to find a long cruise with all new ports for us. It was a delightful trip. Food was good (except for really bad orange juice) and drinks were freely offered except no diet Sprite in the whole of Asia it seems. We do not drink alcohol but it seemed that the wines were enjoyed and we certainly saw many people who experienced all the drinks on the provided list and none were complaining. Laundry room was helpful but got very crowded at times and that causes some tensions. Loved my room 4 doors from laundry on 7th deck -- I could duck in early or late and not have crowds. We had almost 40 at the meet and greet and that made it hard to put faces and names together because we did not do individual introductions. All senior staff attended the staff and Captain Carl made the party very fun and personal. It took very little time for all the staff to know you and your likes -- small ship cruising does this best. Entertainment was really good with only 6 singers and dancers but they were very entertaining. The entertainment of the local variety was also of high quality. White night was great fun and something different from other cruise lines. AzMazing Evening was a total success according to the others -- I was under the weather and in Dr. Jail for that evening in Manila. I did enjoy the fireworks which I could see from my balcony. This was a perfect cruise for those who like to travel with senior travelers who have been many places and love to talk travel adventures at dinner in the beautiful dining room. There were travelers from Europe, Asia, South, Central and North America and lots of folks from Australia and NZ, All seemed to mix well. A happy cruise as many cruise staff got some time off and got to see their families in Manila. These hard working folks work to make our vacation perfect and it was good to see them so excited. Sailing with Captain Carl is a fun activity in itself -- he does feel at home talking and obviously loves being the master of the ship. I HAD A VERY GOOD TIME. THANKS AZAMARA. Bali we had 3 days pre cruise with Drivers of Distinction (Dean and Freddy). These guys were fantastic drivers (Bali traffic is truly crazy) and gave plenty of suggestions and let us choose. We did rice terraces and temple on the ocean and so much more on the first day to the north of Ubud. 2nd day we went east and saw several temples and snorkeled off the beach at The Diver's Café GREAT.Komodo- Husband more in love with this stop than I was. Very big lizards indeed! My advice take the short route and you will still see what you came for. (ship tour and all others too as regulated by government)Borneo -- Went on ship tour to see the Orang Utans and the Probescius Monkeys. Both places very crowded but were able to see the animals very well. They are wild animals and show up only if they want to and some did show up to eat and then raced on the roof of the viewing stand and was as curious about us as we them. Puerto Princessa Philipines Cleanest city in Asia -- laws like Singapore for littering etc. Ship's tour to the Underground River. The vendor of this expensive tour was over whelmed by crowd. The whole city turned out to welcome us with bands and dancers and gifts. This is generally only an occasional tour for other Asians kind of tour. The problem was very crowded outrigger boats with little motors and where 8 Vietnamese bodies might fit --large American and Australians did not!!! Then you got into a smaller boat that was poled down the river. Great sight but not comfortable and very hot and long without enough bathrooms or food for lunch provided at for our group 4PM. Oh I forgot to mention just like they did that it is a wet landing and you must enter the boat from knee deep water.Manila: Amazing Evening and tour was enjoyed by others in my party but I was not feeling well. Next day went to the Mall of Asia -- pretty much like a Mall in America with an Asian accent but interesting. The traffic is AWFUL. Let me repeat -- You will not get anywhere fast in Manila!Taronko Gourge in Taiwan. Just a beautiful rocky gorge -- pictures are amazing. Loved this out of the way place. Saw baby goats running down the sheer rock areas and a temple lodged way up the gorge. One of the wonderful places you never heard of and well worth the visit. Okinawa: Got in late and only 4 hour stop. Lots of history here but all are replicas since WWII wiped out everything. We went to the Naha castle and then down to shopping area. OK but not the greatest port on this trip.Osaka: Captain Carl parked under the Ferris Wheel and moved when the satellites were blocked!cold and rainy. We had a private guide (Private Tour Kyoto) and Tarki showed us wonderful things but mostly Kyoto and Nara areas. There is a huge aquarium next to the dock and a small shopping area. Also a castle we chose not to go to. Kyoto with Golden Palace, Silver Palace, 1000 Torii gates, and temples and shrines and deer too numerous to count. This really did deserve the 3 days we gave it and probably more. We spent 3 days in Kyoto and 3 days in Tokyo before flying home from Narita airport. In Tokyo, we used the private guide Discover Japan Tours (Yosuke) and were extremely happy with all our guides.   Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
Well I really don't know where to start with this ..but the whole holiday on this ship was quite bad ..The only thing I really enjoyed was the train and sky ride in Cairns ..My friend and I went on the "Journey" the sister ... Read More
Well I really don't know where to start with this ..but the whole holiday on this ship was quite bad ..The only thing I really enjoyed was the train and sky ride in Cairns ..My friend and I went on the "Journey" the sister ship to this one about 6 years ago and we had a great time ..plus the standards where very good then ..Food/staff/ itinerary and the trips where really good ..So this is why we decided to go with this ship for our Xmas cruise ..Well never again !!! The service most of the time was really bad ..Food in the main restaurant was most of the time wasn't well cooked or luke warm or pretty tasteless .. Breakfast ..well I like Soft Poached eggs on toast ..And they couldn't even get that right ..out of all the times I had them I think I had 2 days they where cooked right !!! Some staff where most unfriendly to me and my friend ..and the cabin boys never said good morning ladies or anything !!! Amamara is suppose to be a top cruise ship and the money we paid for a outside cable ..well it just wasn't worth it .. I could go on but I have to say to you all Go with another company if you are paying top dollar for your cruise !! Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
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