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6 Copenhagen to Europe - Western Mediterranean Azamara Journey Cruise Reviews

This was a semi repositioning cruise from Copenhagen to Barcelona. Embarkation was a breeze - we were on a very early flight from London and arrived in Copenhagen about 10.00 am - we were on the ship around 11.30! I would endorse heartily ... Read More
This was a semi repositioning cruise from Copenhagen to Barcelona. Embarkation was a breeze - we were on a very early flight from London and arrived in Copenhagen about 10.00 am - we were on the ship around 11.30! I would endorse heartily what Corinium says - excellent food, wine and ports. No complaints at all really, especially not about the staff, who were excellent in every way. Our cabin was familiar as we have been on Oceania a few times and this is an identical ship to theirs. We don't normally take part in many of the activities on board. However, my husband particularly enjoyed the recitals by the Classical Pianist. This was around our 20th cruise and one of the best. We have sailed with a variety of cruise lines from top of the range Seabourn and Silversea as well as a few less illustrious ones and would find Azamara hard to beat. The atmosphere was just right for us and our fellow passengers were delightful. Unlike Corinium, we did eat in Aquilina and Prime C - the latter I think we hit on a bad night but Aquilina was absolutely divine! We thought the choice of the half price wine selection each night was a good touch and used that a few times when the complimentary offer was not quite what we wanted. In fact, we enjoyed the Journey so much we have already booked to go again at the end of November! I only took one ship excursion (to Santiago de Compostella) which was fine - EXCEPT FOR THE RAIN - which was not the fault of the shore excursion staff! Because of the repositioning nature of the cruise, many of the ports are not listed so I have not commented on them individually - we particularly enjoyed Rouen and Bordeaux. Read Less
Sail Date September 2010
We decided to join Azamara Journey 2 days before departure from Copenhagen august 31, 2009. The only cabin not sold was an inside cabin - which we took. The cruise took us from Copenhagen to Barcelona and lasted 14 days. The boarding ... Read More
We decided to join Azamara Journey 2 days before departure from Copenhagen august 31, 2009. The only cabin not sold was an inside cabin - which we took. The cruise took us from Copenhagen to Barcelona and lasted 14 days. The boarding was the fastest we ever experienced, 5 minutes only. This was due to the fact that we printed our boarding pass online. Our cabin was as expected on the 8th floor. It was adequate for sleeping and shower, the only outside view you got was on channel 14 on the flat-screen TV showing the front of AZAMARA. The cabin service was just fantastic 2 guys took very good care of us during the whole cruise, our smallest request was fulfilled at once ( maybe it helped a lot - that I paid them 20 dlrs each within the first minute). I am a computer freak, the Internet on board are the fastest I ever experienced on any cruise. I could sit with my laptop all over the ship and use Skype with an amazing quality. The hotel-director Heike Cramer is a real champion. She is responsible for all the staff on board. Under her supervision and training they all act as "mini-Heike`s". The staff has been told that they are the face of AZAMARA, they all understood this. Always a big smile from everyone - trying all the can to please you in every aspect. If I had a cruise line, I would absolutely buy Heike to lead the staff - even at a costly price. The food on board was more than great, Azamara has two speciality restaurants, Aqualina and Prime C. No surcharge is paid to dine there, except 5 dlrs extra gratuity per person. The menu is out of this world, lobster, sea-bass etc etc. We dined in those restaurants 9 times out of 14 days. If this was in Copenhagen each dinner would have set us back 300 dlrs a head for sure. Being Danes we love real good coffee (not decaf), on 5th floor AZAMARA got the Cova Cafe. You got excellent service from 2 smiling girls. I am astonished to read in a review that a guy complained over paying 3 dlrs for the great coffee there, this guy should have stayed home. You get nice snacks with the coffee (free of charge of course). The passengers came mostly from USA, UK and Australia. I will guess that 80 percent was American - this made conversation very easy. I am a smoker, on AZAMARA you can smoke in the corner on Deck 9 - the pool deck and at deck 10 the Looking glass bar. We will for sure be back many times on AZAMARA Journey Read Less
Sail Date August 2009
Azamara Journey Copenhagen to Barcelona September 2009 The ship The ship is a small R class ship carrying about 650 passengers, the majority of cabins have balconies, and there are some larger suites on deck 8. There are 6 ... Read More
Azamara Journey Copenhagen to Barcelona September 2009 The ship The ship is a small R class ship carrying about 650 passengers, the majority of cabins have balconies, and there are some larger suites on deck 8. There are 6 bars/lounges and one main dining room and 2 alternative restaurants. The very large library is a lovely room with fireplace (non functioning!) and a grand piano. There is one pool with no magradome cover, a gym and spa and a small internet room. There is WiFi coverage throughout the ship including in the cabins. Reception, tours and future cruise desks are all on deck 4 around the atrium, most other public rooms are on deck 5 including the two small shops, the casino and the show lounge. On deck 10 forward is the Looking Glass Bar a crow's nest bar with great views. The self service Windows Cafe is on deck 9 We were welcomed on board with a complimentary glass of champagne which was the first of many small touches like iced water every day in the cabin; coffee tea and juices available all day. The only negative from our viewpoint was the shuttle charge around $20 pp in two of the ports we visited. Cabin 6076 Butler Kusairi and his assistant Ryan. Cabin 6076 is a roomy balcony cabin, there are 2 full length wardrobes and 1 half length with 4 small drawers, a dressing table with 4 drawers and 2 shelves and bedside cupboards with 2 shelves. There is a small 2 seat settee and a coffee table. The shower room is small but adequate, one cabinet and 3 open shelves. Elemis soap, shampoo and conditioner are provided as are 2 Frette bathrobes and complimentary slippers. With our grade of balcony cabin we also got afternoon tea and canapEs if desired, a fruit basket topped up every day and breakfast service in cabin. There is no charge for room service. Electrical sockets 2 European 22o volt & 2 American 110 volt sockets available, high enough to get adaptors in without a trailing adaptor. Dining There is one main dining room with free seating and 2 alternative restaurants with a $5 pp recommended tip. Prime C is a steak House and Aqualina a mainly fish based menu. Everyone can book 2 visits to each alternative venue and members of the Celebrity Captain's Club can book once before the cruise. If there are tables available you can actually go more often. We visited both alternatives and had excellent meals and first class service. However the main dining room food was better than we have encountered to date on cruise ships so we were not tempted to book more than our entitlement. We never found a problem getting a table in the main dining room and after our first night the waiters suggested we ask for one in their area again which we did and this made life easier for them and us as they got to know our likes and dislikes. Mohammed and Anton were very attentive as was the female sommelier (Magdalena?) Breakfasts we had in both the self service Windows cafe and the Cova cafe in the atrium area where they had paid-for coffees and a great range of pastries and sandwiches later in the day. Entertainment We are not show goers so we did not visit the theatre at all. Diane Cousins, a Welsh singer/comedienne was one act we had seen previously, there were a couple of musicians as well as the ship's own theatre group. The other activities were some lectures relating to the itinerary; craft, language, computer and sport classes as well as sports tournaments. What suited us were the number and quality of various quizzes. The Activities director Kelsey and her team were all bright and intelligent and as a result the quiz questions and variety were extremely well done. Most were team events and we got to know a lot of people! For each event you got a stamp for turning up and extra stamps for winning, and at the end of the cruise your cards were redeemed against prizes dependant on the number of stamps collected. The evening trivia quiz was attracting about 100 people on our small ship. The itinerary did lend itself to this as there were sea days almost every other day. Staff The staff were, without exception, pleasant and attentive and seemed to be more plentiful per head of passenger than on our other cruises to date. As an example our first evening aboard we dined at the Prime C with friends who had arrived that day. The waiters, Frederick and Michael, saw a birthday card and gift and when the time came to order sweets they arrived with a birthday cake! This was indicative of the "extra mile " attitude onboard. Azamara arrange a cocktail party with drinks and canapEs for the Cruise Critic forum members (as long as there are more than 25) and some of the officers attended including the cruise director Tony. We also were invited to visit, with about 18 others in our group, the bridge, galley and engine control room. We were asked to keep this quiet as not everyone had been invited. We don't know what criteria were used but they were all enjoyable and we did notice at least one other group doing similar tours. Later in the cruise there was a coffee morning for the CC group attended by Heike the Hotel Manager, Scott the F&B manager, Liesl the Captain's Club Manager and Tony the cruise Director. The purpose was to receive direct feedback about our experiences; all of which were listened to with interest and we certainly got the feeling that the Azamara crew were really anxious to please. Staff we came into contact with regularly all made an effort to greet you by name and took time to talk to you for a minute or two. It seems like a very happy ship to work on. Ports Copenhagen We arrived for a pre cruise stop at the Marriott Copenhagen on the 27th August. We flew out with SAS the flight was fine, everything was on time we landed at 1.05pm and were in the hotel at 1.35pm so no complaints there! The room is fine: super king bed shower and bath, lots of space. After unpacking the few things we need for our stop we went out for a walk round in the sunshine. We are only about 5 minutes walk from Tivoli so we start there and then headed off into town. There is an International Food Market in Nytorv square including some British stalls, everyone seems to be doing good business. We have a nice Italian meal in the square behind the Cathedral and head back for an early night. Friday we head off for the station about 5 minutes walk from the hotel and buy the 24hr 120Kr transport ticket and get the train to Helsingore which takes about 45 minutes along the coast. Turning left out of the station we follow the pedestrian arrows for the 20 minute walk to Kronborg Castle. The castle is quite small and I am sure Hamlet wasn't ever really there, but it is interesting and there is a good view across a very narrow strip of water to Sweden. Helsingore itself has a nice old town centre and we have a wander round and go inside a couple of nicely restored churches then get another train to Hillerod where we get the 701 bus outside the station to Frederiksborg Castle. The castle is in a beautiful setting on a lake and has lovely formal Italianate gardens. It houses a museum about Danish history but we opt to just walk around the grounds. We then walk back to the station and get the train back to Copenhagen. That evening we meet up with old pals from P&O cruising and have a lovely natter and bite to eat in the hotel. Next morning we get the only taxi driver in Copenhagen who didn't know where Rosenborg Castle wss, so we showed him the map of the city centre to refresh his memory and get there in about 10 minutes! It has lovely baroque interiors and is home to the Danish Crown jewels which are very nicely presented. We then walk to Amalienborg Castle, look round the marble church and wait for the Royal Guard who have marched after us from the barracks at Rosenborg to change the guard at noon. We had a coffee in a lovely restaurant called Zeleste just off Nyhavn and then walked down Stroget to the Royal Copenhagen shop whose cafe was recommended for "Smushi" which are small smorgasbord open sandwiches, a very trendy place and hugely expensive, cost us £30 for 4 small sandwiches and 2 soft drinks! We carried on down Stroget and hid from a very brief thunderstorm in Il Condotori del Glace another Copenhagen institution where we were charged £20 for 2 coffees a cake and an ice cream! This is a very expensive city. That night we went to KrebseGaarden restaurant for Albert's birthday meal, this was a superb experience. Only 3 choices of starter, main and dessert, but beautiful cooking very fresh ingredients and excellent staff. We got a glass of Cava on the house to celebrate his birthday and had a super evening. Kiel Canal We started our transit of the canal about 7am so by the time we woke at 7.30am we were already well underway. The canal is surprisingly small and "domestic", it had the feel of a larger version of canals back home that narrow boats travel on. There were mainly fields alongside, although we did pass through some small towns and lots of people stopped to wave as we passed through, as not too many cruise ships go along the canal. We reached the final locks about 4pm and headed off towards Amsterdam. Amsterdam As Azamara is a small ship we berthed at the Passenger Terminal just 5 minutes walk from the Central Station, so we walked ashore and stopped for a coffee on our way to the Anne Frankhuis. We had pre booked tickets for the Anne Frank house online, which were for a one hour time slot and let us avoid the long queue waiting for tickets. The museum was well laid out and very moving. People seemed genuinely touched by what they were seeing. After this we found an Indonesian restaurant for a typical Dutch Rijsafel which is a little like an Asian tapas, small amounts of different dishes with a bowl of rice. We then walked around Amsterdam for about 3 hours before making our way to Pier 10 on the harbourside behind Central Station where we met up with our friends for a pleasant meal. Azamara was in port until midnight, but we slept through all our leave taking! Rouen In Rouen we had booked the ship's tour to Paris on your own. The coach did not leave until 9.30am so it was nearly 11.30 when we were dropped at the foot of the Eiffel Tower. We headed off to the first patisserie we could find (yellow awnings on Avenue de la Bourdonnais) which by luck was excellent, first class coffee and croissants and a sparkling clean toilet! We then walked back and took photos around the Tower and got on the hop on hop off Car Rouge bus tour (24€ pp) which gave a very good overview of the city. After a brief dash downstairs to avoid heavy rain we got off to explore inside Notre Dame. The church seemed to have been recently cleaned and restored on the outside and was a very busy area. We had lunch nearby which was OK but not brilliant and then walked to Sainte Chappelle but there was a long queue to get in so we got back on the bus to complete the tour as time was short. We headed back and got ff at the Trocadero behind the Eiffel Tower with some super views across Paris. The tour bus back set off at 4.30pm so not very long to see the sights but a good taster. La Rochelle There was a $15 dollar shuttle into town, but this seemed to have been organized by the port and they only sent 3 buses so there was quite a long wait for some people to get into town which was a 30 minute drive away. Then one bus broke down in the afternoon, so when we got back to the ship we were pleasantly surprised to have a letter advising that we had a full refund. The tourist information people provided a map and suggested walking tour of the historic town. La Rochelle itself is a beautifully maintained old town, with 4 towers guarding its ports one of which is now a very picturesque yachting marina. There are some excellent seafood restaurants around the old harbour where we had a lunch of fresh mussels and sardines before continuing our walking tour of the town. There were some lovely small shops in the galleried streets so a very pleasant place to while away a day. Bordeaux We were met at the port gate by Marjorie from the Bordeaux Taxi Assoc (contact@bordeaux-excursions.com ) whose services we had booked ahead of time via the Bordeaux Tourist Office. (Tour from 10am to 3.30pm for 4 people €280) She took us along the promenade and out to the St Emilion area, first stopping at the Petrus vineyard to see their grapes, unfortunately only professionals are invited to tastings there! We were booked onto a tour at the Franck Mayne winery, which is a beautifully restored chateau with about 45 hectares of land. Marjorie had told us a lot about the wine making process and this made it a lot easier to follow the tour. We went into the pressing area and into the old caves under the limestone plateau. This was followed by a tasting of two of the chateau's wines. Next we went to St Emilion for an excellent lunch at Chai Pascal where we had meats, pates, salmon and cheeses plus a bottle of excellent wine and 5 coffees for €64! Lunch was followed by a walking tour round the pretty town of St Emilion where we were lucky enough to see a very rare ceremony in the local church inducting two wine Chancelleurs who act as ambassadors for the area's wine growers. The town was very busy when we returned to the ship as it was Sunday and there were a lot of groups and families walking along the river or picnicking on the grass. Bordeaux itself will have to wait for a future visit to be explored. Vigo As we have visited Vigo previously on a number of occasions we merely had a walk around town and along the sea front in the sunshine, sat over a cup of coffee and went back on board for an idle day. Gibraltar Again we had visited many times before so intended only to stretch our legs, however it was Gibraltar's National Day, almost everything was closed and Casemates Square was packed with what seemed like the whole population bedecked in red and white and already very cheerful at mid morning, so we got a taxi straight back to the ship for yet another sea day! Palma We took a ship's tour to Valdemossa to visit the convent where Chopin and George Sands stayed. It was an early start and we reached the town in about 30 minutes so had a walking tour before the Convent opened at 9.30am, Then we had a tour round the cells that had been occupied by Chopin and a set of cells occupied previously by Carthusian monks. Our guide Julia was a very direct lady and was at pains to point out that Chopin had only been there for 55 days and that very little of what was displayed was his but it was an interesting experience and Valdemossa is a lovely village. We had a short time to wander round then we got off in Palma town and walked round there for a while, it was very busy being Saturday and the National Day of Mallorca! We took a taxi back to the ship as the shuttle cost $10 pp one way and the taxi was only €8. Barcelona Only too soon and time to to go home. We had opted for a direct flight at 8pm rather than going via Heathrow so we got to the airport at 8.30am collected our bags and took them to the left luggage area and got the bus back to Barcelona where we had an enjoyable lunch at Los Caracoles, a real rabbit warren of rooms that has been a restaurant since 1835 and you go through the kitchen to reach the dining area! A good recommendation from our fishmonger! Photos of the ship http://www.flickr.com/photos/jobloor/sets/72157622251229051/ Photos of the cruise http://www.flickr.com/photos/jobloor/sets/72157622250194275/ Read Less
Sail Date August 2009
I consider myself an experienced cruiser, at the age of 44. This may have been my 12'th cruise or so (it becomes hard to keep count). It was my third cruise of 2009 and my first with Azamara. I have sailed with Celebrity many times ... Read More
I consider myself an experienced cruiser, at the age of 44. This may have been my 12'th cruise or so (it becomes hard to keep count). It was my third cruise of 2009 and my first with Azamara. I have sailed with Celebrity many times including my first two of 2009 on the Infinity and the Solstice, so I knew what the minimum standard would be when I booked with Azamara. I was not disappointed. This was my first cruise on a smaller ship. I'm more used to the flashy behemoths like the Solstice where walking from one end of the ship to the other is like a shore excursion in itself. I wondered, would I be happy on a smaller boat. Would I be happy on what I consider an older refurb? Would there be enough to do? Would there be enough to eat? The answer is yes. My scale confirms that. In a nutshell, the staff really were excellent all around. They do go out of their way for you. Executive chef Lisa...what a dedicated genius. She is clearly an inspiration to her staff and it is reflected in the quality of the cuisine all around the ship....in the main dining room, in the buffet and at Aqualina and Prime C specialty restaurants. Her multiple cooking demonstrations involving her staff who are usually behind the scenes is commendable. I love fine cuisine, and quite frankly I usually lower my expectations on a cruise ship compared to my at home dining experiences. However the food exceeded my expectations. Even the afternoon tasty savories delivered to your stateroom are miles ahead of the non-descript canapes that Celebrity serves to Concierge class and above guests. For 13 out of 14 nights, we had breakfast room service usually on the balcony. Always delivered when requested. My only complaint on food and beverage: as expected, the standard coffee throughout the ship is DREADFUL. It essentially forces you to stop by Cova Cafe to pay for your. Personally as a deluxe cruise company, they really should provide better standard coffee. Our stateroom service was excellent. Never in the way. Always impeccably cleaned. The rooms are well appointed. The beds are comfortable. Showers small and water pressure could be a little better. Fluffy big towels and Frette bathrobes. Good interactive (but small) flat screen TV, with minimal loss of satellite signal on this sailing. The gym had everything I needed (except liposuction treatments). The Azamara crowd tends to be older than us on average so don't expect the youthful craziness of a Carnival cruise. It seems most Azamara guests are frequent cruisers. If you live in North America, I recommend purchasing an Azamara or Celebrity Passages $100 deposit for an unspecified future cruise if you like the brand, while on board. You will get $300 on board credit on a 14 day cruise (less for shorter). Unfortunately previously the deposit was applicable for both Azamara and Celebrity. Now your purchase has to be for Celebrity OR Azamara (or as I did, one for both). In short, it was a terrific cruise vacation and was a great way to spend two weeks in Europe. Other ports of call: Rouen: city itself is rather boring. I did not go to Paris as the drive is not worth it for the few hours there. La Rochelle: Lovely little city but terrible port far from the city. Shuttle service was a disaster getting to town so Azamara politely waived the $15 shuttle fee. Bordeaux: Totally awesome with the ship docking literally on the downtown waterfront. No terminal building. Beautiful city to visit and a drive to St. Emilion must be done. Car rentals are at the train station which is about a half hour walk or a tram ride. They have a beautiful modern tram system there. Read Less
Sail Date August 2009
Our wonderful cruise began with a short flight from Heathrow to Copenhagen, followed by a very easy and inexpensive 12 minute train journey to Copenhagen Central Station then an expensive taxi ride to Frihaven where the Journey was ... Read More
Our wonderful cruise began with a short flight from Heathrow to Copenhagen, followed by a very easy and inexpensive 12 minute train journey to Copenhagen Central Station then an expensive taxi ride to Frihaven where the Journey was berthed. We arrived around 12noon and although the seemingly local staff were well intentioned, they didn't seem to know what they were doing. They got us to fill in forms about whether we had recently been ill or not and then asked us to sit in groups for a while. Eventually they called us to join a long queue to check in, even though we are Elite CC members and there was a separate check-in, they still directed us to the long queue! Anyway, it still only took about 20 minutes in total and we were soon welcomed on board with a glass of pink fizz. Once on board, we were invited to leave our carry-ons for transporting to our room, before going up to the Windows Cafe for a delicious lunch. Our room was ready at 1.30pm and it was perfect. We had a 2A balcony cabin (room 6017). It was a good size, lots of storage space, a fridge that was actually cold, binoculars and umbrella to use, slippers and tote bag to keep. Everything was good quality - lovely thick bathrobes, constantly changed luxurious towels, great bed linen, comfortable bed. The bathroom is small, but functional, with constant hot water at all times. Shampoo, conditioner, body lotion and soap are all Elemis products. No shower gel is provided. The interactive tv worked very well and it was good to be able to see and check our on-board account growing rapidly day by day! We met our butler, Croox, who was really helpful, and immediately brought me a thin pillow, 40 extra coathangers and two wine glasses. You are permitted to bring on 2 bottles of wine at the beginning of the cruise but no more during it, unless you are happy for it to be confiscated until your departure. This seems a bit unfair as the cruise called at Bordeaux and offered excursions to various vineyards. I know this is a topic that has often been discussed on the boards, and I really think that they should allow one bottle of wine to be brought on board at each port of call. Okay, if you take it to the dining room, you can still pay the 25$ corkage fee. I don't think it would detract from bar sales on board either. We brought on our two bottles on arrival and we would have a glass with our evening canapEs on the balcony, but we still had cocktails before dinner, wine every night with dinner, and drinks in the bars following that. As 6017 is above the Cabaret lounge, we did experience some bass sounds from musicians practicing during the first afternoon on board. We thought we would have to ask to be moved but, fortunately, never experienced any problems after that. During performances we were always at dinner during the early evening show, around 8.15pm, and either enjoying the 10.15pm performance in the Cabaret lounge or would be doing something elsewhere on board. Everything was quiet by 11pm, so we never had to move. The ship is immaculately maintained, the food in all the restaurants is exquisite and the staff is Azamara's biggest asset. Their sole purpose in life on board seems to be to ensure that everything is as perfect as it can be for the guests. Nothing is too much trouble. We sailed on Journey 10 months ago and felt that it was the happiest ship we had ever sailed on and we would still say the same now. It was good to catch staff off-guard, chatting and joking with each other, so I really don't think the good humour was staged for the guests. We were staggered that some members of staff recognized us and even remembered our names from 10 months previously. How on earth do they do that? I'm sure we weren't that memorable, or troublesome! Entertainment and activities on board were very good. The guest artists were excellent, but the resident singers seemed to be somewhat immature, although most of them had fine voices. I understand this particular group was about to leave the ship. The Cruise Director, Tony Markey and Kelsey, the Activities Officer, did a brilliant job. There's plenty going on - something for everyone. No-one cajoles you to join in and there are no embarrassing, cringe-worthy games, but some excellent quizzes, cookery demonstrations, wine tastings and mixology sessions were held. We had a sea day between every port day during our 14 day cruise, and it was often difficult trying to fit in everything that we wanted to do and would often find we had missed something. The library on board is one of the best I've ever seen at sea and a beautiful place to chill. The enrichment lectures were really good. Most were loosely based on the ports of call but focused on history, wine, music, the arts etc and for once, not on shopping! In fact, there is no hard sell on anything on the Journey, which is an absolute plus for me. You really are treated as a guest not a cash cow. The ship was just about full and on some days there was a little difficulty in finding a sun bed around the pool /whirlpools but there is always the upper deck, 10. Pool service was good, with the staff constantly removing towels from the beds. Each afternoon they would come round with some little delicacy - sherbet and nuts or fruits, for example. There is no pressure to buy drinks and the pool staff will just as happily bring you a free coffee or juice as they will bring you a beer. Talking about coffee - there are some great self service coffee machines that grind the beans as you wait but others where it is obviously instant stuff - get to know which ones are which and you won't be one of those who complains about the coffee! Room service coffee is just the same - sometimes it was obviously freshly ground and other times instant. Food on board is delectable. Room service food always arrived on time and hot, with a phone call to let you know it was on its way. Discoveries, the main dining room is open for breakfast, lunch on some days, and dinner. We always ate around 8.30pm or later and never waited more than 3-4 minutes for a table, either for two or to share with others, if we chose. The food in Aqualina, one of the two speciality restaurants, is exquisite. The seafood platter is outstanding. It is served on a bed of crushed ice and contained half a lobster, green lipped mussels, snow crab, langoustines, clams etc. There is an excellent wine list too - different lists in different restaurants. You can always choose to have dinner in Breezas, which during the daytime is the Windows cafe. The quality of food is still excellent but the room could be made to look a little more inviting in the evening, perhaps by putting on tablecloths. The only noticeable change was a tea light on the table. One morning we were too late for the whole range of breakfast fare (it being past 10am) and my husband just commented to one of the waiters that we had missed it, but we would be happy with a late continental breakfast (available until 11am). "No problem, what would you like?" he was asked. His cooked breakfast was then promptly delivered to him. Just one example of the brilliant service on board. The afternoon canapEs, delivered to your stateroom, are also on a par - delicious little morsels. Those from our CC Roll Call met after muster drill on the first afternoon and quickly formed friendships. It was a great idea of Gary's to ask us to introduce ourselves and there was some hilarity when we had to give out the stupid names by which we are known on CC! On this 14 day repositioning cruise we sailed from the Baltic, across the North Sea, into the English Channel, out into the Bay of Biscay, around the Atlantic coast, before sailing into the Med. Each port day was followed by a sea day which provided a good opportunity to relax between exploring each new port of call. Our journey on 30 August began in Copenhagen, which was cooler than London but there was no need for anything more than a lightweight jacket. We left Copenhagen and sailed through the Kiel Canal, with people waving all the way. The Captain has one of those huge wavy hands that he responded with. He tooted the ship's hooter as people lining the canal called a welcome over their tannoys. It was great fun. In Amsterdam, the ship berths very close to the town centre and so it is an easy walk into town. We visited Anne Frank's house and had a canal ride, walking for around 5 hours before returning to the ship. We have visited Amsterdam a number of times and can recommend the Botanical Gardens. We have been wanting to visit the Maritime Museum for the past two or three years but restoration is taking much longer than expected. The next stop was in Rouen. It is a very interesting place and, of course, there is much to see in relation to Joan of Arc. As we had previously visited Rouen, this time we went to the Musee de Beaux Arts and Flaubert's House/the Musee de Medicine which also has a lovely physic garden. All my adult life I had wanted to visit La Rochelle and loved this beautiful little port with its ancient towers guarding the harbour. The harbour front was packed with fish restaurants and there was a complete street full of wonderful ice-cream shops. We spent an enjoyable hour or so visiting the Museum of Protestantism. The local brass band was on the harbour side when we arrived, they stayed there singing and playing all day long and only left when the ship did. I think we all knew their songs by the time we left, but it was so lovely and as we pulled away there were many towels, napkins etc to be seen waving to them from those on board. In Bordeaux the ship pulled right up to the quayside in the centre of town. What a beautiful city it is and I see that next year the ship stays in Bordeaux overnight. We went to the Zoo and just walked around, enjoying the parks, waterfalls, chocolatiers etc. The weather was lovely and warm and the sun was shining at last. In Vigo we took a ship's excursion to Santiago de Compostela. This was a great day out visiting the place where the relics of St James and his two disciples are contained. We saw pilgrims walking towards this ancient town and the cathedral was packed solid for the 12 o'clock mass. I think we were slightly shortchanged as our guide kept hurrying us on and telling us that time was short when, in fact, we were back on board an hour before we should have been. Next was Gibraltar. As it was their national day, the whole place was packed solid with tiny tots to great grandparents decked out in red and white. We enjoyed being a part of it all, though some of the young people did begin to look slightly worse for wear by mid afternoon. Our last port of call was Palma, Majorca. It was so hot walking along the waterfront but then we spotted a hop-on-hop-off bus and enjoyed a two hour tour of the city, all around the cathedral, shops, up to the old village, the castle etc, before heading back to the ship for a dip in the pool. Disembarking in Barcelona was so easy. We enjoyed a leisurely breakfast and waited for our 'colour' to be called and we boarded a coach for a tour of the city before being deposited at the airport for our short flight back to the UK. This was our second cruise on Azamara Journey and it was just as great as our first. If you are looking for a wonderful quality cruise where interesting itineraries, fantastic food, great lectures and a guest orientated staff are high priorities, I recommend Azamara. Read Less
Sail Date August 2009
We have cruised with Celebrity and Azamara before. This was our second cruise vacation on the Journey. We recommended the cruise to six friends and we managed to convince them to join us on this 14 day western Med. cruise from Copenhagen ... Read More
We have cruised with Celebrity and Azamara before. This was our second cruise vacation on the Journey. We recommended the cruise to six friends and we managed to convince them to join us on this 14 day western Med. cruise from Copenhagen to Barcelona. They all had a wonderful time (two of them are very experienced cruises, and the other four are "green-beans" to cruising. The Journey really stands out in its Food and Beverages department. Scott and Lisa "Brownie" and their teams are doing an excellent job in delivering an miraculous food experience. The staff on the Journey do not seem to know the word "no". They will always try to accommodate requests, even rather unreasonable ones. We requested Beef Wellington one night, and Lisa prepared it very well, we later on became known as the "Wellingtons". We had Escargot and roasted foie gras about 5 nights... No problems... We cannot compare the standard of the F&B department to what we experienced in May. This is perhaps slight worrying, as Azamara may be struggling with delivering consistency over time. we enjoyed all ports. La Rochelle was a rather interesting port as we were unable to leave the port on your own. This issue was swiftly resolved by the Hotel Manager offering one of the tour operators to take us in their car. There were some challenges with the pay-for shuttle bus service into town, but I understand that no guests were charged for this service in the end as it did not meet Azamara standards. A very professional way to win customer goodwill. The Journey is a perfect size ship. It never feels crowded and most facilities wee never over-used (including the gym). I only wish that they had a fresh-water pool on-board. Entertainment was a little weak for our age group, however, Philippe (the DJ) is excellent, and the bands are good. Read Less
Sail Date August 2009
Azamara Journey Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 5.0 4.4
Entertainment 4.0 3.8
Public Rooms 5.0 4.5
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.1
Family 1.0 4.1
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.7
Enrichment 4.0 3.8
Service 5.0 4.6
Value For Money 5.0 4.2
Rates 4.0 4.3

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