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5 Azamara Bali Cruise Reviews

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
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
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
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