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Cruise Ratings
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2017
This was our first ocean cruise and it went well. No problems at all. We were in a stateroom with window midships and had an uninterrupted view. We were just above the door used for most pilot movements but this was not a problem and gave ... Read More
This was our first ocean cruise and it went well. No problems at all. We were in a stateroom with window midships and had an uninterrupted view. We were just above the door used for most pilot movements but this was not a problem and gave us a fair bit of entertainment as we made extensive use of pilots during the trip. The size of the ship and number of passengers was ideal for this type of trip. We could go right into narrow fjords, stop for a time and then turn easily and safely. Boarding was fast with no queue. On our arrival there was a queue at security but it cleared before we went to the screening area. Security was good with screening every time we arrived back on board. Disembarking was also problem free. Ship's a good size with enough areas to relax in. The large space taken up by the casino and associated area could be put to better use as few passengers seemed to use this area. There was often a wait for a table in the main restaurant in the evening but the nearby bar was handy. We tended to go into the Living Room before dinner as it cleared out a bit by 7pm. There they served light tapas style food which went well with a pre dinner drink. The music there was also laid back and very good with a talented solo performer. The main restaurant was generally very good with excellent service. The only criticism being the occasional meal being not hot enough when it arrived at the table. Included wines were very drinkable. One of our favorite places to eat, especially for lunch, was the Patio grill. This was handy after a long morning in the port - the Azamara burger was fabulous with freshly cooked sides of grilled veg and nice salads. Windows Cafe was good for self-serve breakfast. Staff were all excellent. Maybe they are well paid, I do hope so. Ship maintenance during the cruise included carpet replacement at various times when most passenger were onshore. This illustrates the keenness of the ship's staff to have a well presented ship as indeed it was. We didn't spend much time at the Cabaret Lounge but the entertainment looked good and it was always well attended. We preferred to relax in a quieter part of the ship. Our captain came from Norway and he made sure we saw the best of his country in comfort. On crossing the North Sea we had some very bad weather on the first night and into the next day. He managed to take on a pilot so we could enter an inside passage as we approached the Norwegian coast. The sea was getting bigger and he knew we would have had a very bad night before arriving in Bergen. As we entered the passage the calm water was a godsend and for the whole of the next two weeks we had no bad seas. Another cruise boat doing the same journey as us didn't use the inside passage to Bergen and we later heard from one of our fellow passengers who had a friend on the other ship the sea was so bad passangers had to stay in their cabins or something like that. On the way north the captain also took us a fair way out from the coast to view oil platforms and the oil ships he used to work on which was an added bonus. We were given enough time in port to explore and we did what most did and organised our own activities. Prices for ship tours were very expensive. We booked some tours before we left home but generally did our own thing. In all the ports we also had enough time to explore the various townships we docked in. Recommended is the trip up Mt Floyen in Bergen via the funicular and the walk down to the town. The ship organised a wonderful concert in the Bergen Concert Hall that evening. In Flam we walked up the valley towards the waterfall but didn't make it to the end as it was steep and slippery. Some who went on the rail trip said it was packed and they saw little - there we 3 ships arriving that morning! In Geiranger we pre booked a bus trip to Dalsnibba which was outstanding. In Svolvaer we caught the local bus to Henningsvaer, which is a picturesque little town, and were invited into a shed by a worker who was in the middle of stacking dried fish. Lovely views around the Lofoten islands. Tromso is a beautiful small city and the weather was fabulous the day we arrived. We caught the bus to the ski lift and thence to the top of the mountain above the town. The views were fabulous. Then we walked along the ridge a fair distance to the start of the track down and back to the start of the ski lift. The walk down took us from above the tree line, through a beech/birch (not sure) forest and then through what a local we met said was a fern forest. This was one of the most beautiful places to walk. Maybe the beatle that wrote Norwegian Wood had been there. In Honningsvag we had booked a trip to Nordcap and this was wonderful as we visited a small fishing port, a crab farm, saw plenty of reindeer and had enough time to explore Nordcap. As we were about to leave Honningsvag, in time to be at Nordcap at midnight, the graceful ship 'Astoria' arrived. It was built in 1948. At midnight we passed Nordcap but it was too cloudy to see the sun. In Olden we had booked a bus trip to the Birksdalen glacier which was well worth it. In Olden a visit to the old church from 1759 is well worth it. In Stavanger we walked the old town and visited the worker's cottage from 1836 and the Canning museum which is a must visit. There are two museums in easy walking distance. The Ledaal Museum Mansion c1800 which I think is still used by Norwegian royalty from time to time and a wonderful house called Breidablikk c1881. This latter house was last occupied by three sisters who were the daughters of the original owners and things have been left as is. Most worthy of a visit. The Cathedral c1125 is also a must visit. One of us ended up with a cold and sinus infection near the end of the trip (maybe caught from the guide with a cold in Honningsvag!) The doctor was helpful with the needed antibiotics and the total cost didn't seem excessive. It was a memorable trip and we wouldn't hesitate to travel on this ship again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2017
Our cruise from Hamburg to Copenhagen was our second with Azamara and represented superb 'value for money'. We had a suite on the 8th deck which was spacious, clean and very comfortable with friendly Butler service from Croox. ... Read More
Our cruise from Hamburg to Copenhagen was our second with Azamara and represented superb 'value for money'. We had a suite on the 8th deck which was spacious, clean and very comfortable with friendly Butler service from Croox. The food was first class in all restaurants with friendly efficient service from the staff. The 'speciality' restaurants, Prime C & Aqualina (which we were entitled to use without 'supplement' as we were in a suite) were as good as any first class haute cuisine restaurant. We did not use many of the facilities on board - the WiFi (we had a free allowance as occupants of a suite) and the internet was 'patchy' but we were in the Norwegian fjords where reception is difficult. The shows were very good for such a small ship (700) as was the 'Azamazing evening' which was a Grieg concert in Bergen. We went of two of the ships tours (Flam Railway & North Cape - both well worthwhile) but they were very expensive. In a number of places we chose to 'do our own thing' which was much more cost effective. The Captain and the Cruise Director were 'first class' and many passengers would no doubt go on this ship just because of them - their interaction was amusing and the Captain showed excellent leadership by involving himself with his staff and the passengers - even on one occasion seeing people onto the tenders and saying farewell on the gangway at the end of this cruise leg in Copenhagen. All in all we were most pleased with the whole cruise and will undoubtedly travel with Azamara again. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
A year ago, while sailing on the Azamara Journey, Captain Johannes stopped by my table in the coffee bar and seeing the future cruise brochure laid out on the table, he asked if I had any questions about places of interest. After ... Read More
A year ago, while sailing on the Azamara Journey, Captain Johannes stopped by my table in the coffee bar and seeing the future cruise brochure laid out on the table, he asked if I had any questions about places of interest. After expressing an interest in Scandinavia, he began telling me about his homeland and the unique opportunities available for passengers on the Journey when sailing in his homeland of Norway. Tales of stopping for fresh cheeses in his favorite village, chances for the crew to catch fresh fish in his favorite fishing spot, fresh strawberries from his friend’s farm to be served with waffles on deck, the Troll Fjord that is barely wide enough to allow the ship safe passage and room to turn around and come back out and sailing under a low hanging bridge with only inches to spare. Certainly sounded intriguing and worthy of investigation. I booked the following day and I have to say that everything the Captain had talked about was true and even more wonderful than he had told us. From the moment I arrived in Hamburg even though I was tired after travelling all night from Miami, this trip seemed to be a dream come true. We booked a room at the Hotel Atlantic Kempinski which was the original hotel where cruise passengers stayed before starting their transatlantic voyages in the early part of the century. A very elegant hotel situated on a lake and within easy walking distance of several wonderful restaurants and picturesque walking and shopping areas. It was easy to get around without the need of a cab. On embarkation day, it was a simple cab ride to the pier. As with most Azamara cruises, embarkation was a breeze. The size of the ship and Azamara’s organization make this process easy for all. Even a malfunctioning x-ray machine in the port hardly slowed down the process. Soon we were under way and the Captain made it known that he was proud of his country and provided periodic commentary to all about the areas we were passing by or things of interest that would happen along the way. It was a personal touch that is not found on many cruise ships in this day and age. Cabin 6073 was well appointed and well maintained. The cabin steward and assistant were always available and never failed to greet or inquire if there was something I needed. The cabin was extremely quiet and I never heard a noise from any of my neighbors during the entire cruise. This is important when you are travelling to the land of the midnight sun as sleep patterns get disrupted by the constant sunlight and a noisy cabin would be a drawback. Dining on the Journey as always was superb. We wanted to try a specialty restaurant but every menu in Discoveries Restaurant looked so enticing that I did not want to miss out, but we finally decided to go to Aqualina for dinner. I had the Dover Sole and it was absolutely perfect. Something not to be missed. I ended up going twice to Aqualina and was never disappointed. Most of the ports we visited were small and therefore were not big shopping ports. A few small souvenir shops and looks of picturesque views within easy walking distance of the pier/tender area. If you are looking for major shopping this is not the cruise for you. If you want beautiful scenery, fresh air and friendly interactions with the locals, this is your cruise. Stavanger in particular is a wonderful city with an historic area near the pier that is ideal to walk around and take pictures. I also tried a bike tour in this area as part of Azmara’s new “Bike Local” program which was wonderful. A fairly flat opportunity to get out in the countryside with a guide on bikes that Azamara carries on board. Not your typical excursion on a tour bus and well worth the effort. In Honnigsvag, we tried the King Crab safari which included a fast paced ride on a RIB boat to a fjord to pull up crab pots, take the catch back to a local island where the harvest was cleaned, prepared and cooked over an open fire before we stuffed ourselves with the best tasting crab ever. The tour guides were very entertaining and shared many stories of living in this remote part of the world with reindeer running all over the island. A definite must do. In Olden we did another food adventure where we rode a RIB boat through picturesque waters with a local captain to pull up crayfish (actually small lobster size salt water crayfish) that were cooked and eaten dock side after returning to the pier. Another must do tour. In all ports, the local guides were extremely knowledgeable, friendly and interested in making your visit to Norway a special adventure. All of our tours were booked through Azamara and well worth the price. Entertainment on the ship was excellent. The AZamazing evening was held in Bergen as a recital at Greig Hall and was superb. In past years this event was held on the pier in the evening which in Norway can be quite cold at this time of year so the decision to move the recital inside to the local Opera house was a good choice. The production shows were excellent and while they are not as sensational as some of the shows on the large mega ships, they are well done and entertaining. The local talent that was booked was also wonderful with a fantastic show by Kim Purling, a magician, a comic and several talented musicians and singers. Never missed a show all cruise. The team on the Azamara Journey were all exceptional and lead by Captain Johannes, Cruise Director Eric and Hotel Director Hieke. They made the entire trip more enjoyable and the team spirit at the top filters down throughout the ship. The Chef Iwan was very personable and was often allowed to go into port to purchase local fare to complement the usual offerings on board. This touch made the menus have a local feel and much more personable than most cruise ships today. After this wonderful cruise my traveling companion and I decided that once was not enough, so we rebooked this same voyage, with a few different ports and two extra days, for 2019. I guess that sums up my thoughts on this adventure. In my 31 cruises in my life time on various cruise lines, I have never felt compelled to rebook a cruise for a second try. I simply could not get enough of the experiences available to passengers on the Azamara Journey in the Captain’s homeland. I cannot wait to go back. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Everything was top notch. The service was excellent. The staff remembered your preferences and were eager to please. The quality of the complimentary wine was excellent. The quality of the food in both the full service and buffet ... Read More
Everything was top notch. The service was excellent. The staff remembered your preferences and were eager to please. The quality of the complimentary wine was excellent. The quality of the food in both the full service and buffet restaurant was also excellent. The Cruise Director was an extraordinary entertainer. If he was preforming then you knew to get to the lounge early as he always preformed to a standing room only crowd. I enjoyed the lectures on the history of Norway, and my mother enjoyed the duplicate bridge. The passengers were mostly well educated upper level professionals, who were delightful. The Captain was engaging, entertaining, and always present. Thanks to the Captain, the ship was able to divert to an inside passage when the weather was creating large swells. The ship also diverted to pick up strawberries and goat cheese. The Captain conducted an Oil Rig Safari commenting on many of the oil rigs we passed. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
A Norwegian fjords cruise has been on my list for a long time, and it was a given that I would do it on the Journey with Captain Johannes at the helm, as this is his native land and backyard. He did not disappoint. Narration from the ... Read More
A Norwegian fjords cruise has been on my list for a long time, and it was a given that I would do it on the Journey with Captain Johannes at the helm, as this is his native land and backyard. He did not disappoint. Narration from the bridge on a daily basis, antecdotes about the villages and their people, readjusting the route to maintain the calmest seas and insure the best scenery...all were part of the magical experience he provided us. But for the one rainy day in Bergen, we were blessed with sensational weather, which of course added to the enjoyment. Food was exceptional in all venues; entertainment was outstanding, led of course by the best cruise director around, Eric De Gray. The singers and dancers were great, and all very personable. The White Night party (one of my favorite events onboard) was spectacular..a sumptuous buffet with fresh poached salmon delivered that afternoon, grilled lobster, and enough other entrees, salads, cheeses, sides and desserts to feed a third world country. Add to that more amazing entertainment from Eric and the cast, a conga line around the deck, a beautiful night, and you have the makings for a magical,evening. I won't go into port by port, as the previous poster covered all that beautifully, but rather will share a couple of personal experiences which I think sum up the exceptional experience that I have come to love about Azamara. First: my brand new suitcase was badly damaged by the airline on the overseas flight en route to the ship. There was a gash at least a foot long parallel to, but not in line with the stitching. I mentioned it to Heike Berdos, the hotel director, one night in hopes of getting a strap or something for the trip home. The next day the suitcase was removed from my cabin, whisked to the joiner, and two days later returned in perfect condition. I couldn't even tell on which side the gash had been! No charge, just fixed. Secondly, this was a difficult cruise for me. My husband had passed away unexpectedly in April, and I debated for weeks whether to go on this trip or not. Since it had already been paid for, and I was deep in penalties, I decided to go. Having sailed with Azamara before, I had relationships with many of the staff, so they were aware of my situation. I can truly say that the people of this cruise line become family after being with them once or twice. I was looked after every step of the way by everyone from Captain Johannes to Heike, to Eric to Rob, to Alex, to Jaison, to Lee, and the list goes on. They are all truly wwonderful, caring people, and go way beyond what is necessary to make sure you feel well taken care of. I cannot recommend this line, and particularly this ship, enough. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
This was our second time cruising with Azamara and it was just as wonderful as the first time. The Journey is a beautiful ship and has been well maintained since the dry dock last year. We love the decor with it's serene color ... Read More
This was our second time cruising with Azamara and it was just as wonderful as the first time. The Journey is a beautiful ship and has been well maintained since the dry dock last year. We love the decor with it's serene color palate with comfortable furniture throughout. Many of the repeat guests have expressed missing the old decor and dislike the new design. We think that ship has totally opened up and the light colors make the cabins and public spaces appear larger. Constant care is shown all over the ship with even slightly worn carpet being replaced in certain areas. The Living Room is a beautiful space with a great bar and dance floor. The talented guitarist was a wonderful backdrop for evening cocktail hour. There are different appetizers available each night with a favorite being a gazpacho shot topped with a lobster nugget. We really enjoyed the excellent cocktail service provided by Jacques and Pavlo and the perfect martinis poured by Juliana. Azamara offers inclusive cocktails, specialty coffees, and select beer and wine in the cruise fare. You may choose to upgrade to a package that includes more brand liquor choices for a daily fee but we found that the complimentary choices included were sufficient for our needs. I will say that the wines poured each day were not of the highest quality but they were mostly drinkable. The cabin was just as beautiful as we remembered and the dreamy bed was a delight to fall asleep in each and every night. There is an abundance of storage space with a large closet containing slippers and two wonderfully plush robes. The bathroom may be small but was fine for our needs. Top this off with the excellent cabin service from Alfie and his assistant Jane, who could ask for anything more? Onto the food. Delicious choices in almost every venue with a couple of additional specials offered for dinner in Discoveries every night. This is rare, but If you should have a problem with a dish they will be happy to rectify the problem. We had a package for the specialty restaurants which included 2 dinners in Aqualina and 2 in Prime C which was later altered to 1 dinner in each because we loved the choices in Discoveries so much. The specialty restaurants are great but didn't warrant more than 1 visit to each especially because there was a problem with a filet steak in Prime C and the filet we had in Discoveries was perfect without an extra charge. That said, the appetizers, soups, salads, sides and deserts were excellent in both fee restaurants. The Dover Sole and Limoncello Souffle in Aqualina are divine. The menu in Discoveries is easily accessed on the cabin television so you can arrive at the dining room ready to enjoy the mouth watering food. How could a gnocchi in a gorgonzola cream sauce or a simple spinach and ricotta ravioli be so divine on the high seas? Both tasted home made and were scrumptious. Not every dish was a home run but the hits far outweighed the few misses. The buffet afforded bountiful choices at breakfast, lunch and dinner which every night hosted a different themed buffet like Greek, Indian, Spanish or French. We would try to have a drink at the outside Sunset Bar most nights and share a small plate of various tapas before heading to dinner. Gotta love cruising! The mostly mild weather allowed us to watch a beautiful sunset and enjoy a lovely martini poured by Jason. I must add that the specialty salads served at lunch everyday were varied and outstanding. There are other venues for food like the excellent outside Grill, which cooks food to order, or The Mosaic coffee bar where you can enjoy a specialty beverage and nosh on mini sandwiches and sweets. Room service is available as well. We found the entertainment portion of the cruise to be varied, with productions shows and featured entertainers performing most every night. The standouts in the production shows were Eric the Cruise Director and the two Russian dancers. We really enjoyed the performances of the female flautist and the male tenor, both extremely talented individuals. Unfortunately, we missed the pianist and featured female singer. There were also 2 lecturers that fell flat for us. Both of them mostly read from the slide screen not adding much more information. We did not attend the Le Club Voyage party or the Captains toast but you can't do everything. Also, the Azamazing Evening was a concert held at the Grieg Concert Hall in Bergen. The White Party was the final event to be held on the pool deck the day before the final sea day. The beautiful weather guaranteed a great evening for all in attendance. We made an appearance to look at the buffet and say hello to some recently made friends and then headed to Discoveries for an absolutely sumptuous meal. I popped up to the party after dinner and everyone seemed to be enjoying and dancing to the high energy stage performance lead by Eric. Service was wonderful all over the ship! We seem to have a problem with the host in the main restaurant on almost every cruise, but usually they seem to get nicer as the cruise progresses... that was the case yet again. Can't say enough about how much we appreciated our great cabin steward team of Alfie and Jane. They were azamazing! This was a 14 night cruise to the Norwegian fjords starting in Hamburg and ending in Copenhagen. We had a forward facing balcony which was the perfect vantage point for cruising into and out of the fjords. Our itinerary was filled with interesting ports of call. It all began with Bergen, where despite the rain we had a fun day. The day was capped off by an Azamazing evening at the Grieg Concert Hall starting with champagne, followed by a concert for Azamara passengers by members of the Bergen symphony including a pianist, violinist and a soprano, performing works by Norway's most famous and Bergen local composer Edvard Grieg. A wonderful event. Next on the itinerary was our trip to Flam. We took the excursion to the Stegastein outlook above pretty Aurlandsvagen with an incredible view over the Aurlandsfjorden, including a stop for a waffle and coffee. Next stop was our cruise down Geirangerfjord, past the seven sisters and opposing suitor waterfalls, where our captain spent at least a half hour doing two full rotations so that every passenger could get a complete view of the falls for picture taking. After tendering in to Geiranger town, we took the tour to the top of Mt. Dalsnibba, hoping for a clear look down to the fjord and the 3 ships anchored there. But alas a single cloud rolled over and we only caught a brief glimpse of the fjord; better than the last time we went up when we were encased in fog. On this day some were able to get a clear view, others none at all. We will try again another time! Other than that it was a clear sunny day. Next stop was Svolvaer in the Lofoten Islands, above the arctic circle. Although we were scheduled to tender here, our captain Johannes was able to achieve access to the pier in town and we were anchored all day. Very nice! We had a beautiful day here, capped by a race to cruise into the narrow and stunning Trollfjord, ahead of another ship that was in Svolvaer at the same time, but had to tender. Svolvaer was a surprisingly beautiful small town, easy to navigate on foot. Next stop was Tromso, where we had another sparkling clear day. We decided to walk across the bridge to the Arctic cathedral for photos, and then to take the tram to the top of the mountain for the most incredible views. After walking back to town for a closer look we stopped by Mack's brewery and pub for a local beer. A fun way to end a beautiful day, before heading back to the ship. Next stop Honningsvag, the top of Norway and Europe; again a beautiful sunny day greeted us. We took the tour to North Cape which included a stop at a Sammi reindeer farm, and the scenic fishing village of Komyvaer, where we were engaged by a local guy who said you have to be tough to live there. We have no doubt about that; but on this beautiful summer day it is hard to imagine what the winters are like. We were told on many occasions by our guide just how brutal the winters are. Lots of snow, road closures. Anyway, after spending an hour and a half at the north cape and getting a slew of photos we were taken back to town where we stopped by the local King Crab House for a hearty bowl of king crab soup and of course a local beer before heading back to the Azamara Journey. Another remarkable day. Next stop Olden for a ride on Lake Olden and the great views of the glacier edging down the surrounding mountains. The final stop was Stavanger where we docked right in town! We took the excursion down the fjord to pulpit rock. A great ride with spectacular scenery including a stop for a Norwegian waffle and coffee. We got great photos of the pulpit rock and also the waterfall that boat got almost right under! After the excursion we were able to walk through old town and get even more wonderful photos. This trip was memorable for many reasons, but first because the captain kept the ship in the inland waterways as much as possible, meaning the scenery was incredible, and the time in the open sea was minimal. He also stopped at 3 small towns along the way to personally go ashore for fresh ling cod, fresh local goat cheese and fresh sweet Norwegian strawberries which were served dipped in chocolate and left on the bed one night. And also the weather was incredibly good, making for excellent photos everywhere we went. Kudos to the captain Johannes and his crew for an unforgettable cruise. They really went the extra mile to make our cruise interesting and innovative. If you can't tell, we love Azamara! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
This was my 4th sailing with Azamara and by far the best cruise I have ever taken. Azamara does a great job designing unique itineraries, and due to the ship's size, often calls on smaller ports not available to bigger ships. ... Read More
This was my 4th sailing with Azamara and by far the best cruise I have ever taken. Azamara does a great job designing unique itineraries, and due to the ship's size, often calls on smaller ports not available to bigger ships. Cruising the Norwegian Fjords was simply spectacular and add in the special Azamara touches, this made for a fabulous cruise. We were able to enter some very small fjords - one in particular was barely big enough for our ship to turn around. Then we stopped by some unbelievable water falls. (I am still in awe of the spectacular scenery - I have recently cruised to both Alaska and the Chilean Fjords and Norway has much more breath taking views - and Azamara gets you so close you can almost reach out and touch the beauty!). Another time the Captain stopped the ship while cruising and sent crew ashore for fresh strawberries, served the following night at turndown. Another time the Captain sent a lifeboat out to catch fresh fish which was served that night in the specialty restaurants. Then there was the AzAmazing Evening where the entire ship attended a private Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra Recital at Bergen's famed Grieg Hall. We even departed with many photos of the ship in spectacular fjords - some taken by people on shore and emailed to the Captain who then made them available to the passengers - the photos are unique in that the ship was cruising or passing under bridges, a view not normally available when you are on board. This Captain was Johannes Tysse. Along with Cruise Director Eric and Hotel Manager Heike, they all worked together to provide an exceptional (and fun) cruise experience. There service was very good in all areas; the food was good (not excellent, but very enjoyable). The entertainment was excellent. The ship has been well maintained. It seems they continually replace any worn assets. This cruise we noticed many areas of carpeting being replaced after hours. The ship looked great. The cabins are on the small side, but well maintained. Azamara does not nickel and dime you to death so alcoholic beverages, soft drinks, and specialty coffee are all included, even from the cabin mini bar. This cruise had wonderful shore excursions - on the expensive side in Norway but well worth it. And when you do sail with Azamara, be sure to take the Insider Tour - a behind the scene look at the inner workings of the ship. You get to meet many senior officers in their work areas. We got to spend alot of time with the Chief Engineer who was very interesting. The tours ends on the bridge with a glass of champagne. it is well worth the $79 price. Hats off to Azamara for doing what they do so well...providing a unique, fun and entertaining cruise experience. If you are tired of cookie cutter cruising, try Azamara. We were so pleased we booked Azamara's Norway cruise for July 2019 while on board. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2014
This was my first time sailing with Azamara and my second time on a smaller ship (my 6th cruise since 2005). My first cruise was on the Paul Gaugin doing French Polynesia back in 2005 - it only had about 350 guests and was considered ... Read More
This was my first time sailing with Azamara and my second time on a smaller ship (my 6th cruise since 2005). My first cruise was on the Paul Gaugin doing French Polynesia back in 2005 - it only had about 350 guests and was considered luxury so I'm not really comparing the two cruises. Anyway, I chose this cruise because of dates and itinerary having to go to a conference in Copenhagen which actually meant we had to leave the cruise a couple of days early. I have to say I have been intrigued by the Norwegian Fjords since I was a kid but have actually travelled a lot in Europe and have been to Sweden. I loved the ship and the itinerary - the captain was outstanding at connecting and making the guests feels like he was giving us a personal tour of his homeland. The food was very good sometimes better than celebrity but not always. I like wine and was very happy with the selections and the flexibility with them. The amazing evening was fun and unique but others who've done more of them found it lacking. On reflection I can understand why. Loved the friendliness of all the people interested in meeting others all throughout the cruise not just the first days. Have to attribute this to a smaller boat and the way the staff enhance the experience. The only negatives was the size of the spa, my only treatment ( a good deal) was disappointing - felt like the masseuse was novice), and the fact that to use the forward hot tub you had to pay extra or be having a treatment. Gym was fine especially considering size of the ship. Entertainment was very good. My only other negative was that I took a private dance lesson and my instructors were insensitive to having the lesson in a public space that was filling up and watching me. I made clear my feelings and had to end early - I thought they would try and make it up to me (hinting broadly) but they made no efforts to do so. This was the only negative in service I can think of. If you like to play texas holdem - forget about it in this casino. They held two days of tournaments which were fun but pathetic compared to others I've been in on NCL and Celebrity Reflection. All in all would travel on Azamara again if I can find the great kind of unique itinerary and great deal I got on this cruise!   Read Less
Sail Date: June 2014
Another spectacular Azamara Journey from Hamburg to the Norwegian Fjords, the North Cape and back to Copenhagen and points between. This is a spectacularly beautiful trip and great fun with Azamara with its many port calls. Best of all, ... Read More
Another spectacular Azamara Journey from Hamburg to the Norwegian Fjords, the North Cape and back to Copenhagen and points between. This is a spectacularly beautiful trip and great fun with Azamara with its many port calls. Best of all, our Captain was Norwegian and because of the size of the ship, we were able to sail into impossibly narrow fjords and go to a couple towns that others could only visit on shore excursions. The service on Azamara is unbelievably great; this was our second time. LOVED the classical music performances in addition to the fine cabaret style entertainment. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2013
As a back-to-back cruiser, check-in was a non-event. We got our new key cards the day before this cruise started. People started showing up at 10am for the Noon boarding. That resulted in a self-inflected jam-up when they started boarding ... Read More
As a back-to-back cruiser, check-in was a non-event. We got our new key cards the day before this cruise started. People started showing up at 10am for the Noon boarding. That resulted in a self-inflected jam-up when they started boarding around 11:30am. By 1:30pm you could just walked onto the ship to register. The itinerary was split between 2 large cities and 3 small historic towns. We were supposed to go to another small town (Faaborg, Denmark), but a strike on the Kiel Canal prevented the ship from getting there. We always had Br & Lu in the Buffet on the 9th Deck. It operated like a dining room with waiters to get your tea, coffee, Cappuccino, Energy Drink, Smoothie, etc. You can order omelets from your table, if you wished. We loved the fresh and crispy Waffles. Outside the Buffet they have the menus for Dn in the Dining Rm and Buffet. The Buffet always has a theme Dn like Thai, Moroccan, Scandinavian, French (wonderful Escargot over puff pastry), Greek, German, etc. They have Lobster in the Dining Rm pretty often and it is Awesome! You can special request a dish for the next day. They have complimentary Red & White Wine, some draft & bottle beer, and some mixed drinks at Lu & Dn (actually 24x7). You can get coffee, tea, and small sandwiches from the Coffee Bar on Deck 5 from 7am till late. Coffee & tea are always available at the Buffet on Deck 9. At most Ports the ship took on some fresh provisions. The Broadway highlights show toward the end of the cruise was really good - especially the ending with a hilarious version of "Motion of the Ocean" from Hairspray, with the Cruise Director as the cross-dressing Mama! Voices, a musical using only human sounds for the singing and instruments, was very original and entertaining (and only on Quest for now). The 2 evening concerts by Izabella Zerbrowska, a Polish violinist, were Beautiful! The WiFi worked very slowly on the ship. I could never get Yahoo Mail to let me attach pictures. We used the Sauna, Thalassotherapy Hot Pool, and Rainforest Showers in the Spa on a daily basis. They were never very busy. You can get complimentary Gatorade in the exercise room. The Azamazing Evening was held outside Oslo at the Bygdø Royal Manor (59°54'26.6"N 10°41'11.5"E). The museum showcases how people lived in Norway from 1000AD till 1700AD. There were lots of intricate log houses and dirt roofs. All the old houses were one-room - so they built a separate "house" for each activity like sleeping, cooking, eating, etc. They also had a Stave Church made all of wood. We had traditional Norwegian Lefse Bread (a soft, sweet bread) and modern fish and cheese snacks, followed by folk dancing & singing to traditional fiddle music. The weather was Amazing. We had Sun and mild temps, calm seas, and no rain on Port days. Ports: Hamburg, Germany - we docked at the HafenCity Cruise Center (53°32'19"N 9°59'47"E). The ship provided a free shuttle bus to the City Hall plaza in the center of Hamburg, close to the walk around Binnenalster Lake and the Botanical Garden. Copenhagen, Denmark - we docked in front of St Alban's Church and Citadel Fortress @ (55 41 24.9 12 36 0.5E), near the city center, very close to the famous Little Mermaid statue. Oslo, Norway - we docked in front of the Akershus Fortress @ (59°54'24"N 10°44'6"E) near the city center. Zeebrugge, Belgium - we docked @ the small cruise pier (51 20 40.8N 3 11 45.3E) located deep within a very large commercial port. The ship provided a free shuttle bus to Blankengerge where you could go to the historic town of Bruges by train (14 minute ride), or walk on the beach/sand dunes. Honfleur, France - we docked at a small port (49 25 42.8N 0 14 17.0E) by a massive lumber factory. The ship provided a free shuttle bus into historic Honfleur, that dropped you off close to the Naturospace (49 25 28.1N 0 13 57.1E) oceanside park. St. Peter Port, Channel Islands, Guernsey - the tender port is @ (49 27 26.2N 2 31 49.2E). St Peter's Port was wall-to-wall with large hanging baskets, flower boxes, flowerbeds, and wild flowers - everywhere! The Cliff Walk starts at (49 26 47.8N 2 31 49.8E) and runs to Fermain Beach (49 26 11.7N 2 32 4.7E) - about 2 miles from the tender port. We found some good Beach Glass in town at (49 27 1.7N 2 32 5.9E). South Hampton - we disembarked at the City Cruise Terminal (50 53 57.6N 1 24 51W). We got a tour from International Friends (http://www.londontoolkit.com/travel/southampton_cruise_shuttles.htm) that picked us up at the Port and took us to our hotel (Holiday Inn Express Victoria (51°29'23.3"N 0° 8'13.6"W), 106-110 Belgrave Rd) in London. We enjoyed the transfer/tour, and the hotel was close to Buckingham Palace, Restaurants, and Op Shops. We saw 80 bird species on the 9n cruise, and 19 additional bird species in London at St James Park (mostly ducks and geese).   Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2013
In January, 2012, on our Azamara Cruise to Antarctica, we booked back to back cruises on Quest for Summer, 2013; specifically, the July 24th Norway Fjords and August 7th Hamburg to London cruises. We booked these two cruises because we ... Read More
In January, 2012, on our Azamara Cruise to Antarctica, we booked back to back cruises on Quest for Summer, 2013; specifically, the July 24th Norway Fjords and August 7th Hamburg to London cruises. We booked these two cruises because we enjoyed the onboard Azamara experience, interesting itinerary and excellent price point. Also, people we met on the Antarctica cruise highly recommended the Norwegian Fjords cruise and raved about doing it with the Norwegian captain, Johannes Tysse, who we thought did a great job in Antarctica. We love the R ship size and have now sailed about 150 days between Oceania and Azamara cruises. After booking Azamara management implemented several changes, reduced discount on excursions, more inclusive, etc., which caused us to consider cancelling. Pre-Cruise Experience (or the basis for my skepticism) Having booked the cruise, we found almost everything pre-cruise disappointing. First, and most significantly, at booking Azamara promoted its 50% off excursions, if pre-booked. However, in October, 2013, Azamara unilaterally changed that policy. Normally, we are unaffected by shore excursion pricing because we prefer to organize our own excursions or participate with other CC members. In the case of the Norwegian Fjords cruise, most of the ports did not have a significant tourist infrastructure which made planning private or shared private excursions impossible, and we were forced to book ship's excursions. (more about the quality later). While the math is somewhat subjective, I estimate that Azamara's changing an announced policy cost us about $1,200. Second, the more inclusive policy. My wife is a non-drinker and I am a very moderate drinker - maybe a glass or two of wine on occasion (not every day) and/or a beer on a hot day. I disliked the liquor aspect of the new Azamara because I felt a) the complimentary liquor policy would have a negative affect on the overall ambiance, and b) I thought I would be subsidizing heavy drinkers. When the list of complimentary drinks came out, I thought the scotch and beer selections (what I would drink) were poor quality. Finally, we didn't think the Azamazing Evening was a great trade-off for the increased excursion pricing and we were somewhat skeptical that Azamara could effectively pull off an outing involving this many people. Cruise Experience. Boarding & Back to Back Procedures. Excellent. Quick and seamless. We arrived at the ship around noon and were in our room by 1:30PM. The change over to the second cruise couldn't have been handled better. The day before we docked in Hamburg, we had a meeting in the Looking Glass, which Philip, the Hotel Director ran. There were about 39 passengers who were staying for the next cruise. After explaining the process, Philip surprised us by saying we could book a complimentary dinner at the specialty restaurant the first night of the second cruise. A nice way to say thank you considering that everyone had already gotten back to back booking discounts. On the transition day, we had a leisurely breakfast in the Discoveries Restaurant, and left the ship at 9AM for a Hamburg Greeter tour. As we departed, the crew took our picture and gave us new boarding cards. Senior Staff. One of Azamara's big pluses. Both cruises had Captain Stig Neilson, Philip Herbert, Hotel Director, and Russ Grieve, Cruise Director, as senior officers. Philip & Russ seemed omnipresent on both cruises. Both immediately learned our names, which to my wife is a big plus. They were both friendly, helpful and outgoing in a low key way, i.e., not in your face happy all the time. Captain Stig, a Norwegian, in addition to his captain duties, in my opinion acted as host for the Norwegian Fjord Cruise. He greatly enhanced the experience. In addition to constant and informative announcements, he managed to convince the port authorities to allow him to dock the ship in a couple of ports previously listed as tender ports and got us an extra day and a half of scenic cruising by taking the inner passage south rather than the scheduled sea route. At the Arctic Circle, a flotilla of his friends came out to greet us. On the Hamburg to London Cruise, Captain Stig mentioned that he was leaving Azamara and returning to a bigger RCL ship. While he was still a presence, he seemed less engaged and actually blew off the Azamazing Evening to have dinner with a mentor. Presenters. A little background to explain why the presenters are important to us. We don't participate in trivia, bridge, bingo, casinos, etc. Our main reason for traveling is our interest in history, culture and scenic viewing. Therefore, we choose our cruises and travel in general based on itinerary. So, the presenters are an important aspect of our cruise experience. Chuck Richardson did several relevant culture and history presentations which ranged from good to excellent. Nigel Marven, a naturalist and BBC presenter (think the BBC's version of the late Steve Irwin) provided entertaining highlights from his career using film clips. We considered Nigel's presentations one of the highlights of the cruise; however, Nigel does several Azamara cruises and perhaps he could make his presentations even better if he added elements specific to the cruise destinations which would avoid some repetition. Cabin Steward. Our cabin steward, Raymon, and his assistant were friendly, unobtrusive and did an excellent job. We had him clear the refrigerator of items we don't use or want to pay for and he kept it filled with Diet Coke, Club Soda, bottled water and a couple of cans of Ginger Ale (unneeded). Staterooms. This is one of Azamara's negatives. We love the R Ships for their coziness, but the staterooms just don't measure up to the luxury lines or the newer mass market lines. We did think the staterooms themselves made good use of the space available, leaving aside the shower which would make a small child feel cramped. We thought the bedding was fine. Food - Overall very good to excellent. See specific discussion that follows. Discoveries Restaurant (a/k/a the Main Dining Room) - We thought the food was excellent and the service surprisingly good. I am very fussy about food being served hot (not luke warm), but I never sent anything back. We are somewhat fussy -my wife doesn't eat pork and there are a few random items I don't eat - but the waitstaff always accommodated us. Similarly, if I didn't particularly like the day's wine selection, they found a prior day's wine for me. Also, we preferred club soda to water at meals and virtually the entire waitstaff knew that by the second or third day. Overall, we were surprisingly happy with the Discoveries Restaurant. Prime C & Aqualina. We ate twice at each specialty restaurant. We found Prime C disappointing. We thought the steaks served at Prime C compared poorly to steaks served at chain steakhouses (Morton's, Ruth Christ's, etc.). We thought Aqualina did a good job (not excellent) with food preparation. We enjoyed the Dover Sole. Both restaurants had excellent service and views when cruising. Windows Cafe. My wife hates buffets, I love buffets. Having said that we both thought Azamara did a good job with breakfasts with very good service. My wife enjoyed the oatmeal which I think was worked out to her specifications (think, not watery) and we both liked the freshly made waffles. My only breakfast disappointment was the English Bacon which I thought could have been better. For lunch and dinner, our views diverge. My wife correctly found too many of the buffet entrees cold, I would just get something else. I found the salad portion of the buffet excellent, although it could be improved with a little more variety. Unfortunately for us, we both thought Azamara had really good gelato and other desserts. Unfortunate, because we don't need multiple desserts at lunch and dinner. We had the same view of the 3 or 4 dinners we had at Windows, although to me the stir fry made up for the sometimes luke warm entrees. Pool Grill - Good hamburgers and fries with an efficient ordering process and effectively delivered hot even if we were sitting in Windows Cafe. Mosaic Cafe - A gem - we loved the specialty coffees, treats, and seating arrangements. A small thing but a big plus. Additionally, the Mosaics staff did a great job preparing and delivering drinks. Room service - Not surprisingly, my wife loves room service, while I don't like room service. However, I admit Azamara did a great job serving breakfast on time. Selections were extensive and included hot items which actually arrived hot. Maitre d's - Another plus. They mingled well, unobtrusive, helping out and seemingly interested. Shore Excursions - Typically, we do independent excursions either alone, with another couple or with a small group put together using Cruise Critic's Roll Call. We have learned to avoid ship's excursions because we dislike big groups, crowded buses and despise shopping stops. We find independent excursions have much better content and value. On the Norwegian Fjords cruise, many of the ports had little or no tourist infrastructure so we felt forced to use the ship's excursions. Surprisingly, we thought Azamara did a good job with their shore excursions. Generally, we booked the longer, more extensive excursions. We found the guides knowledgeable, with excellent English. The tours themselves encompassed meaningful sights with little wasted time, i.e., shopping stops. We Liezl and her staff were knowledgeable and tried to be helpful about ports even if we were not booking one of their excursions. For the Norwegian Fjords cruise, Azamara had a local representative on board and generally available for the entire cruise. This meant that before we arrived in a port, for example, Bergen where we had an independent 2 hour tour, we could get detailed and accurate help on how to spend the rest of the day. One criticism - Azamara added two special tours with Nigel Marven which weren't announced until the ship had departed. It would have been nice for planning and the 25% discount, if these were announced beforehand. Azamazing Evenings. Major disappointments. Alesund, Norway. A fiasco. The tour of this picturesque town with local entertainment and demonstration started out ok. Azamara planned the evening to conclude with food, drink and a comedy performance at what it described as a "Theater Factory." Unfortunately, we arrived in one of the last groups and found the venue inadequate. Specifically, the venue did not have enough seats for the number of participants. From what we could tell from the video, the comedy routine seemed childish. Oslo, Norway. This Evening went to an open air museum followed by what Azamara described as "finger food and entertainment." Azamara did a good job busing the passengers both to and from the event. Also, Azamara picked a good sight and we enjoyed the open air museum; however, the guides had no prior briefing and Azamara had not assigned specific routes for each group. As a results, groups were constantly bumping into each other, wasting time sorting through the confusion, waiting etc. Having missed seats at the Alesund evening, we made sure we got seats for the Oslo performance. Again, the venue lacked sufficient seating and required some elderly passengers to climb several uneven, stone steps. Unfortunately, the facility was challenging for some of the passengers, and there were at least two falls. The "finger food" was literally that as many of the servers allowed the guests to hand pick their own food. In conversation the next day, we learned that several people became ill after the event. The entertainment consisted of high school performers, not real local entertainment. Azamara seems to be using the Azamazing Evenings to differentiate its product from its competitors. As I understand it, Azamara did not send an advance person to supervise these events before the ship arrived relying instead on a local contractor. It is surprising that for something with such apparent brand significance, Azamara corporate could not demonstrate even a basic planning competency, leaving its excellent crew to try their best to straighten out the mess created by not having an advance person on site. I recognize that other reviews have found some evenings excellent, but for us these two evenings were not a question of subjective preference. Our two evenings lacked basics with venues too small for the crowds, mediocre entertainment, etc. Le Club Voyage & Representative Perks - For us, Azamara offers excellent perks even though there is no possibility of earning a free cruise like some other programs. When you get to the Discover level - 10 credits, including Celebrity cruises, you get 235 internet minutes each and a free laundry bag. Azamara did an outstanding Discover member brunch. On our cruises, we seemed to have conflicts with some scheduled Le Club Voyage events. Futures Cruises - We thought Dina did an excellent job presenting the future cruises and the Le Club Voyage benefits. Entertainment - Considering the venue (it is a cabaret facility not a Broadway stage), we thought Azamara did a surprisingly good job. As background, Russ Grieve and Kenny Williams had significant roles on Broadway. Russ, for example, played a dad in Mama Mia on Broadway for 7 years. Russ's show is special. Jenna and the other Azamara singers also performed well. Azamara did two things with its entertainment that impressed us. First, they added 4 talented dancers to the ship's cast. This enhanced the singers and dancers performances. Second, both Kenny & Jenna did excellent solo performances in the Looking Glass before dinner. The contracted entertainers were all good and typical of this size cruise ship Sadly, we missed the harpist. Symbolically, tone deaf, Azamara displays a permanently affixed harp in the seating area on Deck 5 adjacent to the Mosaic Cafe and the shops. Conclusion How do you grade an excellent cruise occurring after several pre-cruise, corporate missteps? To me, this is like the restaurant which seats someone with a 7:30PM reservation at 9PM, but then serves an excellent dinner. The cruise would be a 5 on a scale of 1 to 5, except that at least corporate deserves a 1 point ding. Therefore, I grade this cruise as a 4 out of 5. During the Norwegian Fjords cruise, Azamara announced its veranda for inside room sale. We worked with Dina and booked back to back cruises. Los Angeles to Costa Rica and Costa Rica to Miami beginning February 18th. Obviously, we are looking forward to our 2014 cruise experience again on Quest. Bottom line, we dislike the Azamara changes to more inclusive, the Azamazing Evening, etc. However, the price point, resulting from the sale, seemed good and the actual cruise experience proved excellent. Maybe in 2014 Azamara will get its evenings to live up to its billing. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2013
We flew to Hamburg from London on the day of the cruise. We had arranged a Transfer from the airport to the ship by Azamara. The Quest staff was waiting for us at the bottom of the Baggage Claim escalator. They grabbed our bags and off we ... Read More
We flew to Hamburg from London on the day of the cruise. We had arranged a Transfer from the airport to the ship by Azamara. The Quest staff was waiting for us at the bottom of the Baggage Claim escalator. They grabbed our bags and off we went. We got a scenic tour of Hamburg on the way to the Port. Check-in took all of 1-minute and took place on the ship (we had done the registration on the Internet site before the trip). The itinerary focused exclusively on Norway, with 3 stops above the Artic Circle  including a side trip to the Arctic Circle Monument where we had a party. This was our first opportunity to see European pelagic and land birds. We always had Br & Lu in the Buffet on the 9th Deck. It operated like a dining room with waiters to get your tea, coffee, Cappuccino, Energy Drink, Smoothie, etc. You can order omelets from your table, if you wished. We loved the fresh and crispy Waffles. Outside the Buffet they have the menus for Dn in the Dining Rm and Buffet. The Buffet always has a theme Dn like Thai, Moroccan, Scandinavian, French (wonderful Escargot over puff pastry), Greek, German, etc. They have Lobster in the Dining Rm pretty often and it is Awesome! They have complimentary Red & White Wine, and draft & bottle beer at Lu & Dn. In Honningsvag the Captain & Sr Officers when fishing and caught 330 lbs of Cod we later had for Dn. After we left Flan the ship stopped in the Fjord while the Rescue Boat went ashore to get fresh Raspberries from a farmer the Captain knew. At most Ports the Quest took on some fresh provisions. In the beginning of the cruise there was too much going on  like seeing Puffins off the side of the ship  for us to go to the evening shows. The Broadway highlights show toward the end of the cruise was good  especially the ending with a hilarious version of Motion of the Ocean from Hairspray, with the Cruise Director as the cross-dressing Mama! The WiFi worked very slowly on the ship. I could never get Yahoo Mail to let me attach pictures. We used the Sauna, Thalassotherapy Hot Pool, and Rainforest Showers in the Spa on a daily basis. They were never very busy. You can get complimentary Gatorade in the exercise room. You can get coffee, tea, and small sandwiches from the Coffee Bar on Deck 5 from 7am till late. Coffee & tea are always available at the Buffet on Deck 9. We did 2 Land Discoveries  In Honningsvag we did the Bird Safari and saw a million Puffins on the water and Sea Cliffs, plus dozens of White-tailed Eagles sitting & circling, Shags & Cormorants were resting, Black-legged Kittiwakes were nesting in their Cathedral, and Murres & Razorbills (the penguins of the North that can fly) were up-close  we loved it! In Flm we did the RR Trip  it was good once, but if there is a next time, I would hike up the valley from Flm. Bergen, lesund, and Olden have scenic hikes you can do on your own. In Tromso we Docked next to the free Arctic Botanical Gardens  beautiful flowers from the mountainous & cold regions of all the Continents. In Svolvaer we walked to the base of the Goat - an 1849ft granite Pinnacle with 2 Horns just outside town. We saw 11 bird species here including Coal Tits, Eurasian Blue Tits, Fieldfares, & Tree Pipits. We found an Op Shop near the Visitor Center. In Honningsvag we found a cobblestone beach  with Beach Glass. We found 4 ceramic cylinders that the Captain later told us were old-fashioned screw-in fuses of the kind that are not used in Norway any more. We also found an old fish net weight. There are 5000 Reindeer on the island, so sightings are almost guaranteed, as are giant fish drying racks. The Azamazing Evening was held in lesund (on my wifes birthday). The eating part of the event was held in a very large waterfront restaurant that once was a Cod Liver Oil Factory. Everyone from the ship attended. Most people walked the short distance thru town, but Quest had special handicap vans for people that needed them, and the local tourist trams for people who didnt think they should walk the small grades and cobble stone streets. The Azamazing Evening occurred all over the historic part of town. First stop was a church near the Pier for a short pipe organ recital. Next was a series of street events, including: a Birch Bark Horn demo, folk music and dancing, accordion playing, a tour of the Fish Museum to see how Cod Fish used to be dried in salt and cod liver oil made, and finally - Brown Cheese tasting. All the food and drinks at the Restaurant were on the Captain! They had cold Ox roast (very tender), Reindeer sausage, Cod Fish cakes with Aioli, Beautiful large red & juicy Strawberries, dark chocolates with a liquor filling, very large green grapes with hard cheese, and a local dipping chip. They gave everyone a small vile of local Moon Shine that had Cardamom added. I asked the Captain how much input the Captains have into any itinerary. He said he had personally customized this cruise inside the company with extra scenic cruising, many of the events tonight, and the welcoming flotilla from his hometown we would see tomorrow night at the Arctic Circle Monument. This was the first time lesund had hosted an event like this. Everyone loved it!! The weather was Absolutely Amazing. We had Sun (a few times for 24 hrs), warm temps (short sleeve weather every day above the Arctic Circle), calm seas, and no rain on Port days  a feat possibly never to be repeated! Most of the time we thought we were in Key West, except for the Fjords with 5000 ft mountains, prolific waterfalls, and Puffins. Beautiful!!! We saw 63 bird species on the cruise.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2013
We had cruised the Baltic with Azamara two years ago and just finished the Norwegian Fjords and North Cape voyage. It was a very special experience, partly due to our Norwegian Captain who added bonus parts to the cruise. The highlight ... Read More
We had cruised the Baltic with Azamara two years ago and just finished the Norwegian Fjords and North Cape voyage. It was a very special experience, partly due to our Norwegian Captain who added bonus parts to the cruise. The highlight was crossing the Arctic Circle and Capt Stig's friends waited for us holding signs to welcome us as we cruised slowly around the little island with a standing globe which marks the arctic circle. A once in a lifetime event for us. Throughout the cruise we dined on fresh fish and salmon. The food in the dining room and Windows Cafe had improved in quality since our last cruise. Now that Azamara is club inclusive, the staff eagerly waited on us as we ordered alcoholic drinks and soft drinks. Wines were mid range in quality and breakfast had a huge whole ham many mornings. Specialty restaurants were excellent with meal selections. All staff throughout the ship provided excellent and caring service and they won us over for future cruises because of the level of service. Self laundry(free) was great to have with the two week cruise. I did notice internet service, although pricey, was faster than cruises in the past. The Amazing night provided by ship was full of local musicians, food and drink and a very nice organized event in Alesund. Overall, we are looking forward to our next Azamara cruise as we felt like they go out of their way to make it a special journey.   Read Less
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