My wife and I have been cruising for several year - often 3 cruises per year - but had not yet tried an upscale cruise like Azamara. The first thing that we noticed, not surprisingly, was that the Pursuit was not quite as large as the ... Read More
My wife and I have been cruising for several year - often 3 cruises per year - but had not yet tried an upscale cruise like Azamara. The first thing that we noticed, not surprisingly, was that the Pursuit was not quite as large as the other cruise ships we had taken previously. Next we noticed that the crew seemed to be more friendly than on other, larger ships.
We subsequently determined that this repositioning cruise had about a 5-10% vacancy rate. This meant that there was less than 2 customers to 1 crew member!! This was definitely a positive.
The cabin we had selected was an upgrade from ocean view to a standard balcony stateroom. It was only slightly smaller than the same type of stateroom we have travelled in on other non-Azamara ships. Other than that, there were fresh flowers in the room, lots of closet space for the 17 day voyage. The balcony was more that adequate for the single breakfast that we enjoyed during a sea day.
We usually dined in the main dining room. The food there was among the best we had experienced on any other ship....make that THE best we had experienced to date. Service by the staff was efficient and most professional and friendly. The menu was very extensive. The specialty restaurants were also better than we had experience in any of the previous 15 cruise ships. The chef's table menu - 7 course - was quite extraordinary with our sommelier providing a wine education throughout the entire meal.
The on-board entertainment was no better and no worse than that found on other ships EXCEPT for the Azamara singers who were, without at doubt, the best we had seen and heard anywhere based on individual AND combined talent. Unfortunately for others, the troupe of 4 individuals were completing their contracts on our cruise. I have no doubt that they will be back.....PLEASE!
As this was a repositioning cruise, the ports were not the usual ports visited by ships throughout the regular season. Madeira Island, Canary Islands, Cape Verde, Salvador and Buzios, Brazil were quite beautiful. We particularly enjoyed the town of Funchal on Madeira Island and the magnificent Teide volcano on Tenerife in the Canary Islands. Needless to say, the starting point of the cruise - Lisbon, Portugal - was marvellous and Rio de Janeiro is, well, Rio! We spent a few days after the cruise on the Copacabana beach, checked out the statue of Christ the Redeemer and Sugarloaf mountain. Beautiful!
Would we do this cruise in the future? Yes but not for a few more years. (Still too many other places to visit.) Would we sail with Azamara on other adventures? Definitely. Read Less