1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Azamara
  4. Azamara Cruise Reviews

1,661 Azamara Cruise Reviews

This was our first Azamara cruise and we were so impressed with everything, we decided that we will be an Azamara Customer for life. The service was fabulous and with a smile. The food in the dining room was fabulous and the menu ... Read More
This was our first Azamara cruise and we were so impressed with everything, we decided that we will be an Azamara Customer for life. The service was fabulous and with a smile. The food in the dining room was fabulous and the menu had many choices. Pool area had some shade with lounge chairs to get out of the sun. The gym was great with a view, plenty of equipment and area for yoga and Pilates classes, spin cycle classes. They offered watercolor painting , jewelry making, and needlepoint classes at no charge. The 3 piece live band played prior to dinner and after dinner. There were a variety of shows with 2 seatings. The Captain Carl and Cruise directorTony were always around smiling and available if you had any questions. The ship was very bright and very clean. If you have never been on an Azamara Cruise, YOU Should Go On One, You will not be Disappointed. We have been on other cruise lines and we were VERY impressed with Azamara!!!! Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
We chose this cruise because we had enjoyed the Pursuit/Captain Carl Smith on our previous cruise to Antarctica in January 2019, We started our 21-day South American cruise 3/1/20. We enjoyed the ports of Punta Del Este Uruguay, ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we had enjoyed the Pursuit/Captain Carl Smith on our previous cruise to Antarctica in January 2019, We started our 21-day South American cruise 3/1/20. We enjoyed the ports of Punta Del Este Uruguay, Montevideo Uruguay, Ushuaia Argentina, and Punta Arenas Chile. Then our cruise got VERY interesting. Our wonderful Capt. Carl Smith--Master of Azamara Pursuit announced to the ship that Countries were closing their ports to foreign travelers and that our cruise had to be suspended. We were assured that we would be taken care of no matter what happened. The cruise company made arrangements to refuel and bring on more food/drink onboard. Then we were notified that because we could not be assured of flights home or safety if we disembarked, they were going to cruise us through the Panama Canal and to Miami! Our cruise was to have ended at Lima Peru on March 23rd. Instead we arrived safely on March 30th in Miami Florida. Let me say that this Cruise was one of the best trips we have ever taken! Everyone on board made the best of the uncertainty and continued to enjoy great food/drink/entertainment (entertainers couldn't get off either!). great enrichment lectures and the good will of the crew. We were safe in our sickness free bubble enjoying all a cruise ship has to offer. We truly became a "family" as we met and talked to each other and the crew. The cruise company arranged our flights (how they did that with flights being canceled I don't know) home and the icing on the cake were boxed lunches given to us to eat as we waited at the airport for our flight! I can not say enough about the Azamara cruise lines that put their guests first through all the uncertainty. They went way beyond in keeping every thing disinfected and safe for us. Azamara has a customer for life in the two of us! Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
Did the immersive African Cape cruise Fe 2020. Booked it for 2 significant life anniversaries Boutique six star so didnt. Mind paying more, WHAT A LET DOWN Tired old ship with worn out carpets and furniture in public areas. ... Read More
Did the immersive African Cape cruise Fe 2020. Booked it for 2 significant life anniversaries Boutique six star so didnt. Mind paying more, WHAT A LET DOWN Tired old ship with worn out carpets and furniture in public areas. Cabins compact not boutique. They said bathrooms were small - too right they were about the same size as an aircraft toilet. You couldn’t bend down in the shower unless you stuck your rear end out of the shower curtain. { no glass cubicle too small ) We’ve been on pads of cruises and had better for less Food was good and on the upside it’s small and not rammed with passengers but on sea days you were struggling for sun bed space which despite a polic6 saying they couldn’t be retained or reserved this was not enforced so lots of books and towels had a good days sunbathing whilst their owners were elsewhere Entertainment not good in fact on sea days we spent most of the time in our cabin due to the aforementioned sun bed issue watching very outdated films or CNN back to back - yippeee ! Wi fi was about 150 dollars for the cruise so we sacked that. Land tours wer3 equally extortionate mostly consisting of long days on safari so we sacked them as well Tge itinary ( cape of Africa Cape Town Richards bay Durban port Elizabeth ) was spoiled by constant warnings about safety and the possibility of getting robbed. Complimentary buses took you to shopping centre. - really immersive. - don’t think so! Goodness knows why folks like Azamara in our view ( and we are both well travelled and well cruised ) its an overpriced mediocre overblown overrated little boat. We’ve been on much better for less not value boutique or six star. Put us off cruising again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
I just want to make a couple of points in comparison of these two lines as many on board have sailed on both lines. As a matter of fact just over one month prior I did a 31 day "Around Australia Circumnavigation with New Guinea, ... Read More
I just want to make a couple of points in comparison of these two lines as many on board have sailed on both lines. As a matter of fact just over one month prior I did a 31 day "Around Australia Circumnavigation with New Guinea, Bali, Komodo Island on the Oceania R-Class 1. I am not loyal cruise ship passenger. My priorities are first the itinerary, then the quality of the ship/ line closely behind. Oceania has had my earlier preferred rating. I have sailed on RCL, Holland, Celebrity, Oceania, Norwegian in the past. I will say my bias is to value, not overall price. I cruise on average on 14-31 day sailings. 2. I am a sophisticated traveller, not a vacationer, I work in/ own/ manage a Real Estate Development company and the other half to a lawyer who travels with me. 3. If you cannot tell the difference between Sea Island Cotton and Egyptian Broadcloth I feel this review is not for you. Important Differences Between Oceania vs Azamara Quest. R- Class ships. 1. Internet - Oceania is Free - Azamara is punitive and expensive by any standards - Not to Oceania. 2. In - Cabin Entertainment: Oceania has over 100+ Free On Demand movies - Azamara again is outrageous Hotel priced PPV movies - Nod to Oceania 3. Specialty Dining: Oceania has two FREE specialty dining per sailing and are exceptional - Azamara charges a Fee - Nod to Oceania 4. Outside Grill: Oceania has a Surf and Turf Lobster with Filet of Beef on a Ciabata Bun everyday, Azamara with Nachos and burgers - Nod to Oceania. 5. Grand Dining Room: Azamara is slightly better here with more choices, quality of the beef product superior to Oceania and the staff on this sailing was exceptional - Nod to Azamara Quest 6. Upstairs Buffet Dining: Well I will say this, I rarely eat in the buffet as I cannot stand the Herd Mentality and getting run over by a 90 year old grandmother behaving worse than a Brazillian at Disney World. However that being said, I did eat there twice on a 26 day cruises. - Oceania has Lobster everyday - Nod to Oceania 7. Ships are Identical and from the prior Renaissance Cruise Line - Push 8. Entertainment was Better on Oceania, not much however and that too is objective 9. Guest Lecturers: Oceania is far superior 10. Alcohol: Well this is where they Separate. Azamara regular brands for me were just fine, however there were a few Amarula's and Drambuie that padded the bill on Azamara. Oceania is an expensive proposition with various packages. - Nod to Azamara Wines: The house paid wine on Oceania is garbage, truly, high in acidity, poor quality and way overpriced for the pour and frankly the experience. Stay away from Oceania House Wines - Wines on Azamara were far superior. South African, Californian, Italian, Chilean, all of very good quality. Nod to Azamara 11. Friendliness of Staff: Overall and not on a individual basis, Azamara was much better than Oceania. 12. Shore Excursions: Slight Nod to Oceania, just more of them. Azamara Excursion staff however was exceptional. 13. Country Club or I call it The Blazer Effect: I can count a level of civility on a cruise by the number of blazers worn by men in the dining room. Likewise for stylish dresses on women. Standards have dropped substantially as more school teachers with puffed up 401K's or I call them the FANG group of senior vacationer. They started cruising at 65 and have 20 cruises under their belt in 5 years. Enough said on that, however I have really begun over the years to discount their reviews as they eat all their meals out at Denny's. Oh the days when cruising was Glamorous. Long Gone. Today's seniors in plaid shirts and women in Legging abound. My final Score and I am sure I know I am missing a few and if able to edit I will do so. A Toss Up - With a slight tilt for to Oceania, because I am not large drinker. However, based on price, destinations I have no problem recommending both lines. You literally need an excel spreadsheet to factor in all the Free stuff on Oceania, vs all the included items such as alcohol on Azamara. Offset that by the outrageous internet pricing on Azamara, I mean really, their pricing is like from the year 2000, and the lack of movies on demand or if they could even place more movies on their own in-house TV channels is simply lazy. Cheers to All Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
This 26 night cruise started in Cape Town and was to end in Dubai. Sadly Corona Virus decided to intervene which resulted in the cruise missing many ports of call and a premature ending in Muscat which was not a planned port of call. Many ... Read More
This 26 night cruise started in Cape Town and was to end in Dubai. Sadly Corona Virus decided to intervene which resulted in the cruise missing many ports of call and a premature ending in Muscat which was not a planned port of call. Many countries refused us entry due to the fear of cruise ships being floating Petri dishes. There was a daily update from the Captain regarding our situation and this also changed daily. Ultimately the only country willing to accept us was Oman so we were forced to disembark there early. This resulted in 700 passengers having to find alternative travel arrangements home and get visas to enter Oman all this while floating at sea in a completely different time zone to many of our homes. The staff of Quest were exceptional during this very stressful time. They set up laptops and sat individually with passengers helping them get their visas. They gave access to phones to contact travel agents and all the while remained patient, helpful and positive. My only disappointment was the lack of assistance once we were delivered to the airport. We arrived at the airport at 5.30am to find our flight had been cancelled by Omani Air. We were not the only ones to experience this and as Azamara had disembarked us in an unscheduled foreign port I would have thought they had a duty of care to ensure we got away safety. The staff of Omani Air were not helpful at all and in fact lied to us. They expected us to stay in Muscat until their next flight to our destination left in 2 days time. In the end we found an agent at the airport and paid another $4000 to get home. This of course was no fault of Azamara’s but we did feel a little dumped. The experience on the ship itself was excellent. Embarkation was swift and efficient. Quest is a little tired but this did not disappoint us. We had a balcony plus cabin at the front of the ship and as we had read the reviews we new the bathroom was small. We were happy with the size of the room and bathroom. Seriously how much time do you spend in the bathroom anyway? The cabin stewards were friendly and kept the cabin clean. It was my birthday on the second day and found our room decorated with a birthday banner and hanging decorations when we arrived back in the afternoon. We dined most nights in the main dining room and found the food excellent. Great selection every night and considering the cruise was 26 nights the variety just kept on coming. I have read some reviews where they complain about the size of the meals. We could not complain at all. Considering there are 4 courses I could not imagine coming away from a meal without feeling full. We rarely ate dessert because we couldn’t fit another mouthful in. The staff in most areas of the MDR were amazing although on a few nights the wait for service was very long and we were not sure whether it was because of staff being overworked or just not up to speed. Whilst we did go to the MDR for breakfast on a couple of occasions (fabulous fillet steak and eggs) we usually went to Windows cafe for breakfast. Freshly made eggs to order were a wonderful start to the day. With a late breakfast most days we only ever had lunch on a couple of occasions but the buffet lunch did seem popular. We didn’t have dinner in the buffet at all so can’t comment. We had room service twice for dinner and found it excellent especially given you could order off the MDR menu if ordering during its operating hours. On the whole we found the included drinks quite adequate. Whilst we did not enjoy all the wines we were able to just try something else. It really is about personal taste and with the change in wines daily you could usually find something to enjoy. We did the specialty restaurant Prime C 3 times as this was included in our package. We could also have done the Italian restaurant but we are steak lovers. Our first visit was fabulous but the next 2 pretty disappointing. The steak was just OK and I guess we expected something more exceptional. Due to not being allowed entry into many ports we had a lot of sea days consecutively. We spent a lot of time reading in the living room and we would have pre dinner drinks with other passengers there each night. The waiters here were the best onboard. When we booked this cruise we thought that as drinks were included they would be slow to serve to try and save money. This was not the case at all. Service was always quick and friendly. You were never left thirsty. You could also get snacks there during the day and pre dinner hors d’oeuvre from 5pm. We always looked forward to the evenings when bacon wrapped prawns were one of the selections. Yum yum. White night was a good distraction from the stress of not knowing when or where we were going to dock. Everyone had a great night. We did not get to have an azamazing evening due to port closures. Whilst we do not join in the onboard activities there seemed to be plenty of things for people to join in with. Bridge was popular with beginners and intermediate classes every sea day. Lots of craft classes and plenty of quizzes and the ever popular trivia. It never ceases to amaze me how competitive people are. Entertainment was as usual aimed at the older folk. We are in our fifties and as we do longer cruises we usually travel with the over seventies/eighties and are used to skipping most of the theatre shows. We did attend a few shows but didn’t last long at most of them. It would be great if there was one location that had music aimed at younger travellers. Even a solo guitarist or piano player. Excursions off the ship were expensive but what ship excursions aren’t? We did Addo Elephant park with Alan’s Tours in Port Elizabeth. That was an amazing day and one we would highly recommend. We saw the Hippos out of Richards Bay with a tour guide we got at the port. In Mauritius we again got a tour guide at the port and had a wonderful day. All other excursions were at cancelled ports. Pre cruise we stayed in Cape Town for 4 days and saw the local area mainly by bus. We then spent 2 days at Aquila Private Game Reserve prior to boarding the ship. We really enjoyed our time there but if you are looking for something like Kruger then don’t go to Aquila. We would definitely cruise with Azamara again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
The ship is kept clean and is very nicely decorated and furnished. I especially like that no more than 700 guests are aboard and the overnight port stays make the itinerary enjoyable. Mosaic Cafe specialty coffees, snacks, tapas, and the ... Read More
The ship is kept clean and is very nicely decorated and furnished. I especially like that no more than 700 guests are aboard and the overnight port stays make the itinerary enjoyable. Mosaic Cafe specialty coffees, snacks, tapas, and the daily availability of several Gelato flavors at the Windows Cafe are real plusses. Stateroom service is the best in the industry. The complimentary Azamazing Evening - An Evening Carnival at the Solis Theatre in Montevideo, Uruguay was the absolute best perk. Not only was the logistics of shuttling over 600 guests from the ship to the theatre run effectively and smoothly, the entertainment was stimulating and pertinent to the itinerary. Local talent appearing in the event were outstanding. Totally fun and an excellent shore excursion which made for great pics, vids, and memories. Negatives observed were in-fighting among bar/service staff and also arguing and a walkout fit concerning lighting from the members of the Riviera Sounds Band. The DJ, Valentino, displayed poor attitude daily with his actions and cold facial expressions concerning several requests which were not played. Additionally, Valentino interrupted a Disco evening by allowing one guest to perform her Karaoke in the middle of the dancing. He does not know how to keep guests dancing and constantly breaks the energy level and dance mood with his own selections. A severe lack of live and/or background music was observed most days around the pool area and during sail-aways; especially the first sail-away. Why have a stage at the pool area if it is only used once during White Night? The show band, Riviera Sounds, and the DJ were all underutilized. They need additional assignments providing music and setting the atmosphere in the pool area and dance floors in the Cabaret and Living Room. The food was hit or miss and mostly "miss" concerning flavor. For example, at the Windows Cafe the lasagna was worst I've ever tasted and totally lacked quality cheese and seasonings. Desserts and pastries, while pleasing to the eye also lacked flavor. The "Best of the Cruise" Dinner Buffet was a misnomer and merely a repeat of most of the flavorless offerings from other days like the lasagna. Where's the cocktail shrimp, lobster tails, and crab claws which should represent the best of the cruise? Dinners at Prime C and Aqualina are slightly better in quality and flavor. Prime C definitely offered the best dinner item selections in terms of quality. Table service is better than at Windows at these specialty restaurants. Most of the food service staff are friendly, efficient, and available throughout all areas of the ship. I was able to enjoy the benefits of my Ultimate Beverage package with waitstaff tending to my needs. I was often alone by the pool or other areas and found waitstaff were good constantly asking me if I needed a drink. I was in shock and disbelief during the White Night dinner when the wait person Romeo, brought me a Pina Colada and lied to me and my party saying it contained Kraken Dark Rum. It was so obvious to all at my table that my drink was too light and definitely not made with the Kraken Dark Rum. I had to take the drink back to the bar where Ivan, the bartender understood the issue and corrected it. I took a photo of both Pina Coladas to prove the difference. Tony, the Cruise Director, and Amanda, the Assistant Cruise Director were seldom if ever observed taking time to walk around guest areas. They should make much more time to greet and spot-check guest feedback along with observing and tending to any immediate issues arising throughout guest areas on the ship. As previously mentioned, I observed in-fighting among entertainment staff, servers, and poor performance from the DJ. Tony was only visible during the Daily Show on TV and during major performances; especially his own. He failed in his Cruise Director duties to guests by not being available. The Cruise Director and Assistant should announce and publish their office locations and telephone numbers at the beginning of the cruise as a courtesy to guests as other cruise lines do. I experienced many issues that needed the Cruise Director's attention but did not have a means for contact. The itinerary for this South American cruise to Rio Carnaval was about perfect save I would highly recommend an overnight at Ilhabela, Brazil. Twelve hours at Ilhabela was not enough time to explore the quaint town's nightlife and all the waterfalls. Sao Paulo (Santos), Brazil seemed to be a lackluster port merely on the itinerary to refuel the ship. SUMMARY: I was very disappointed with the lack of daily visibility of both cruise directors during this cruise. Only saw them at their shows, bingo, or on TV. They need to greatly increase walking guest areas and making individual contact with guests. Musical performances by the band, trio, and DJ need to be increased in frequency. Overall, food is lackluster in flavor. Suggest the chef taste buffet offerings before service. MOST IMPORTANT: Implement served buffet service immediately in light of increasing sanitary concerns aboard cruises. I hate to think of the risk of transmission from other guests who use buffet serving implements without sanitizing hands. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Crew as always is very friendly and available but found our room stewards did not clean up to AZ standards. Our butler was excellent and followed up on the poor cleaning crew as did Philip the hotel director. The room also is looking ... Read More
Crew as always is very friendly and available but found our room stewards did not clean up to AZ standards. Our butler was excellent and followed up on the poor cleaning crew as did Philip the hotel director. The room also is looking worn as some wallpaper is peeling. The food is standard AZ as not bad at all but not gourmet. Service all over ship and friendliness is what sets them apart. On departure day we were leaving as a walk off very very early, we let them know ahead of time all was set and were told they could get and our bags to the terminal and that we were not part of another large group. We were at the gangway area at the specified time and no one could accommodate us as they were were not ready. In the end the port manager had to drive us with our bags. AZ evening was terrific, well planned and enjoyable. White night was wonderful with great fun and food. The entertainment was ok their troop was good with enjoyable recognizable music. We did not use their tours but the port stops were excellent. We travelled as as couple and we love the casual friendly nature of other passengers. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We chose this cruise as it formed part of an Africa experience we wished to undertake by staying in Cape Town area both before and after the cruise. It is an ideal way for first time visitors to South Africa to get the opportunity to visit ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it formed part of an Africa experience we wished to undertake by staying in Cape Town area both before and after the cruise. It is an ideal way for first time visitors to South Africa to get the opportunity to visit places they otherwise would not have bothered with and take the opportunity to see the Big Five close up. We met some great people on board who we will keep in touch with. Embarkation was smooth and we enjoyed a nice lunch. Weather was great during the cruise however, we felt the ports of call left a lot to be desired to be honest ( maybe Knysna, Hermanus should be considered in future, much better than other ports we visited ) but perhaps would have needed tenders to get onshore ? Unless you had booked an excursion aimed at a safari type visit, there was little of interest to see and do where the courtesy shuttle buses dropped you off ( mainly at modern style shopping malls in Richards Bay, East London and Port Elizabeth ) We understand to a certain degree why this was done, mainly for safety reasons, but once you’ve seen one mall, you really have seen them all and more effort could and should have been made we felt for the price of this cruise. Durban was probably the best port of call where it was possible to do your own thing and see what was happening locally, great beach and many reasonably priced ways to visit local places of interest which we certainly took advantage to do so. Azamara really need to review the extortionate prices they charge for excursions ! Most people we spoke with were horrified by the huge cost of trips as opposed to what was available at a fraction of the cost if you had the gumption to organise your own thing or join many trips organised by various individuals and groups as mentioned in the Quest pre cruise roll call, well done to you guys. Having sailed with Azamara previously, we were satisfied with our veranda cabin and our room attendant was excellent, as were all members of staff we encountered during our cruise. We definitely feel the standard of food has dropped significantly - as others also agreed - and Azamara certainly should look at just who they are sourcing their meats from as we had to send steaks and lamb dishes back as the meat was too tough to eat on 3 occasions. A friend of ours also had to send steak back at the speciality Ranch restaurant which is totally unacceptable when paying a surcharge for a decent steak. Portions served in the main restaurant at times were less than generous e.g lamb loin which consisted of 3 miniature slivers of lamb posing as a main dish! Even the maitre D was embarrassed when we called him to the table, however, despite our complaints, no one on board followed up to investigate or offer an opinion, very poor customer service we felt and an easy opt out ! Cruise director was excellent as usual and tried hard to ensure everyone was enjoying the cruise. It has to be said that he really wasn’t helped by the troupe of singers and dancers who whilst trying their best and were friendly throughout, they really weren’t any better than semi pro performers who we can se locally anytime we want. Musicians were good and were enjoyable. I would say the best entertainment was when local acts were brought on board, dancers and singers were excellent and reflected how good local African talent can be and that is what guests wanted to see more of in this part of the world especially. The magician was ok, but we felt he suffered with his not very good sense of humour which certainly let his average act down. The AzAmazing evening was the best thing that was arranged by Azamara and we thoroughly enjoyed a spectacular evening. The White evening was also a success, well done. Based on this cruise, we will be looking to other cruise companies when taking our next trip. We understand lots of passengers were happy with the cruise, but there were also lots who weren’t and therein lies the problem. Sort out food quality, entertainment and vastly reduce the shore excursion costs in order to regain many passengers faith in this company. Sorry to have to write such a negative review, but I feel the points I have mentioned are valid and constructive and trust someone at Azamara reacts accordingly. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We choose this cruise to see South Africa. We have sailed many times before with RCCL and Celebrity. We knew within minutes this would be our first and last Azamara cruise. This did not change as the cruise progressed. Excursions ... Read More
We choose this cruise to see South Africa. We have sailed many times before with RCCL and Celebrity. We knew within minutes this would be our first and last Azamara cruise. This did not change as the cruise progressed. Excursions were expensive and well organised. Staff on this ship were spectacular. Being sold Azamara with drinks included was an absolute joke. The included drink menu was extremely limited..we ended up purchasing the Ultimate Drink Package even though we are not big drinkers. We like to relax and not worry about every drink choice. I asked for a proper iced tea and they only had the hot drink take out cups. No glasses were available to make a decent iced tea. Ship seemed to specialize in the smallest glasses in existence. Food we had was great, but we felt let down by the Main Dining room and the buffet. Theme nights had no choices away from the theme. Biggest disappointment was the White Night dinner. We had been out on a very long day's excursion. No buffet if you weren't doing the White Night. We went to the MDR but hubby was in shorts so not allowed in. One night they could have relaxed the dress code in our opinion. Ended up ordering room service. Cabin..horrible little place. 6010 right over the cabaret. No need to go to the shows zero insulation so we heard everything. Our cabin attendants were fabulous. Again our experience with the staff was always positive. We rarely went to the pool deck to relax, the one day we were looking for shade. Lying under the 10th deck relaxing and the maintenance team decided that would be a great time to start banging away on the railing above us. After 15 minutes of constant banging we left. We understand that work has to be done but a notice that this would be happening would have been nice. I know we are in the minority and most everyone on the ship appeared to be enjoying themselves. Can't stress enough how spectacular the staff and crew were. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Overall, we experienced a very good cruise, and would definitely sail with Azamara again. This was our first voyage with Azamara, and we have previously sailed with Windstar, as well as Carnival, and NCL (never will go back to a large ship ... Read More
Overall, we experienced a very good cruise, and would definitely sail with Azamara again. This was our first voyage with Azamara, and we have previously sailed with Windstar, as well as Carnival, and NCL (never will go back to a large ship like those again! The Club Veranda rooms were small, but very comfortable. We used the balcony often, and it was adequate size. The entertainment for such a small ship was surprisingly excellent, great caliber musicians. The white night was absolutely fantastic - great spread of food, desserts, and entertainment. A fabulous evening, and a great touch. The AzAmazing evening concert with the Cape Town Symphony was also excellent. Upon arrival to the concert hall there was plentiful food and drinks, and it really was a special evening that we thoroughly enjoyed. Azamara also brought on local African tribal musicians and dancers at various points throughout the cruise, I did not expect to enjoy it nearly as much as I did, but they were all fabulous, and truly a great and unique experience you don't want to miss! All staff and servers and room stewards we encountered or dealt with were all excellent, and performed their duties with smiles and with class. Everyone was top notch. My wife and I did the Chef's table. The seas were quite rough the entire day, so many people canceled, so by the time we sat down for the special dinner, it was just us and one other couple. It was an excellent experience, the food was very well done, though a little rich for our American tastes, but we still enjoyed it. The special wine pairings were also excellent. We took advantage of the Experience More / Indulgence package, which I thought was completely worth the $1,499 price for 2 people which included free unlimited wifi, chefs table, ultimate beverage package, $250 spa credit, and $700 OBC. With the unlimited wifi, better drinks, and shore credit, it made it a no brainer for us, and totally worth the cost. My only complaint and only reason I hesitated to give 5/5 stars is the food. I have to say, we had some truly excellent meals, and we only ever ate at the included dining venues other than the 1 chef's night tables. However, it was hit or miss in the main dining room. A few nights, the meals were just not very good. Edible yes, but very bland and sometimes dry. However on other nights in the same main dinng room, the entrees were fabulous, and perfectly flavorful and cooked. Perhaps it was just a few random off nights, who knows. Overall though, we found the food to be very good. We did an Azamara excursion in nearly every port, and though expensive, we enjoyed each one. Port Elizabeth - Pumba Game Drive was excellent Richards Bay - St. Lucia River cruise + Imfolozi Game Drive was amazing, and was our favorite excursion. Durban - Local African Spice/Medicinal Market was really fascinating! Though in a slightly unsafe area of Durban, with the guides we felt totally safe. This was really incredible to see all the local herbs and fascinating African medicinal plants/herbs/animals. Really would recommend this tour, wish it was longer actually, as it felt too short at only 3 hours including the drive time. East London - not sure why Azamara even bothers with this port. Absolutely nothing to do, and they only offered a few shore excursions which were all sold out immediately, so we were willing but unable to join any of the excursions. My recommendation to Azamara : Skip this port, and add an extra day in Durban!! Cape Town - What an incredible city. We did the Paarl and Franschhoek Wine Tour. I know some of the wineries were changed last minute, but we truly enjoyed this all day tour, especially the Paarl winery of Nederburg. Awesome wines, and a beautiful Winery. On the second day in Cape Town we did the Cape Point Natural Wonders tour. This was also excellent, with a beautiful drive along this winding coastal road all the way down to Cape of Good Hope where the two strong currents of the Indian and Atlantic Ocean meet, you can hike up to the lighthouse, and walk around the point area, then go to a beach to see African penguins and an excellent lunch overlooking the ocean. This was a great tour, and would highly recommend it! Sorry for the long review, but I felt it was necessary to write a review for the South Africa Itinerary, as it is a new voyage, and there was limited information. Would absolutely recommend Azamara, and this particular itinerary! Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Overall a very enjoyable cruise. What we like about Azamara ....the friendly crew/ officers, the small ship atmosphere, the food, the Living Room and The Den with good live music....it was all there on this South Africa Intensive ... Read More
Overall a very enjoyable cruise. What we like about Azamara ....the friendly crew/ officers, the small ship atmosphere, the food, the Living Room and The Den with good live music....it was all there on this South Africa Intensive itinerary. The azamazing evening was at the Cape Town City Hall. There were plenty of drinks and dessert canapés to try and a very good performance by the Philharmonic orchestra plus a lot of fun provided by the Cape Minstrels! We also found it quite amusing that once again being in a Deck 6 verandah cabin put us on the last/almost last bus.....? We did notice a significant number of entitled, complaining and not very pleasant people onboard this cruise, a completely different type of passenger than our Azamara cruise in the Med a few months earlier. This also had an impact on the White night with people hogging tables from 5pm, so we watched the crew wave and then ate in Discoveries. The included beverages still disappoint...the choice is very limited...but the complimentary wines on this cruise were a big step up as they had brought onboard a good number of South African wines which were all very drinkable. The mosaic cafe was always busy, although the coffee could be very variable depending on who was making it! The meals in Discoveries were almost all good and the food was of a high standard. Service was good but they did, however, let themselves down spectacularly on the last night. We went down for dinner at 8 pm as usual to find total chaos...they had not anticipated (why?) that after a full day sightseeing in Cape Town followed by the need to pack for the following mornings disembarkation that no one would be ready to dine early. Apparently the dining room was deserted until 7.30 and then was absolutely inundated. Not only did we have to wait until 9.15 for a table, we then were served by the rudest waiter we have ever encountered on over 30 cruises. The food was practically thrown onto the table. Totally unacceptable. One night we celebrated a birthday at Prime C and had a really delicious meal, and we were given a great table too. Cabin 6062. The room was comfortable but the decor is starting to look a little tatty in places and the balcony is in poor condition, especially the flooring. When we first got to our room the balcony had obviously not been cleaned for some considerable time so we had to ask for that to be done. Given the large premium that Azamara are charging for a balcony cabin over the cost of an ocean view, the cleaning of this area should be routine and should not have to be requested. If you are contemplating booking this South Africa itinerary it is essential that you research and book shore excursions..either privately or through the ship. Apart from Cape Town, it is not safe to just walk off the ship at any of the ports and there is honestly nothing to see if you did. There were a lot of disappointed people on board who had not realised this. At Port Elizabeth we prebooked a full day tour to Addo Elephant National Park through Alan’s tours....what an incredible day! At Richards Bay we prebooked a tour to St Lucia wetlands through ecsafaris....it was slightly disorganised but we did see hippos, which was the main reason for taking the trip. At Durban we joined a cruise critic roll call city tour, which was quite poor mainly because of the guide, but we still enjoyed ourselves. At East London we couldn’t find a tour we liked so we just took advantage of the shuttle bus provided to a shopping mall to get us off the ship for a couple of hours. It was extremely hot, the busses were very old with no air con. We should really have stayed on the ship....Not sure why Azamara even stop here! Cape Town is, of course, the highlight of this cruise. We had 3 days in the city prior to embarkation staying at the Portswood Hotel, in addition to the 2 days overnighting at the end of the cruise. We had a spectacular day for going up Table Mountain, visited the beautiful Kirstenbosch Gardens, took a very well organised and great value day tour through Citysightseeing to Cape Point, Cape of Good Hope and the penguins at Boulders Bay. We also took another good day tour through Citysightseeing to Stellenbosch wineries and Franschhoek as well as spending time around the V&A waterfront area. A really great city! We combined this cruise with an extended stay in Cape Town beforehand and a 3 day safari in Madikwe Game Reserve afterwards. It was a bucket list trip and we had an amazing time. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Background: 3 61-67 year olds, well travelled plenty of cruises under our belts with RCL, Celebrity, Azamara (10 years ago) and Oceania. 2 carnivores and 1 vegetarian. Picked the cruise mainly for the ports of call and visiting ... Read More
Background: 3 61-67 year olds, well travelled plenty of cruises under our belts with RCL, Celebrity, Azamara (10 years ago) and Oceania. 2 carnivores and 1 vegetarian. Picked the cruise mainly for the ports of call and visiting Tasmania overnight. Booked flights on Singapore/Air New Zealand, good service, food a mix of good and bad, plenty of leg room. Stayed at the Quest Apartments, Queen Street, very good for getting to buses, walk to Quay, etc, good breakfast incl. Booked through Booking.com. This is a long review ut hope it helps others decide on who to cruise with. Embarkation/ship We were supposed to leave from Princess Quay but due to two larger ships being in port, had to go from temporary marquee on Captain Cook's: when we arrived the marquee was already nearly full and staff were trying to find chairs for people, no water stand was set up (they were doing that just as we were called through security). We checked through security after a 40 minute wait and then had to go directly to Cabaret lounge to register, have photo taken for ID, even though we had done this online, only took about 5 minutes. The table for booking speciality restaurants was nearby and there was also one in Windows Cafe. The person booing ours was very quiet and did not smile. On first appearance Journey looks good from the outside, well kept, inside she needs some TLC chairs in Living room are worn and sunbed covers are stained. Lots of rust on railings when you look from balcony and rest all around edge of balcony floor, the windows on patio doors were filthy! We have been on Azamara Quest and Oceania Regatta so know we enjoy the small ship experience. Made our way to Windows Cafe, one good thing Azamara do is take your hand luggage and store it and deliver it to cabin, saves having to drag it around the ship! First impression of food for me, a vegetarian was not good, yes they had some salad items but only had rice (clogged together and cold) and tasteless Dhal, plenty of choice for meat eaters. Nice ice-cream and various taste less pastries! Our cabin was ready at 1.45 and our bags were outside the door when we arrived. Mostly over 70+'s onboard a few under 50's ut not many. CABIN- Club Continent Suite deck 8- Bottle of bubbly waiting for us, 4 bottles of Spirit Skyy Vodka, Bacardi rum, Johnnie Walker Whiskey and Bombay S gin Ice bucket was full lots of glasses and fridge full of soda. Be careful, the red wine and other spirits in fridge are charged for! Very pleased with the size of room and bathroom. Did not like the deep 'kitchen' style pan drawers for clothes you have to pile everything up and they are floor level so makes it hard to get to things. They also look cheap! Nice touch with light in wardrobe when door opened. Plenty of hangers for 3 people, if you doubled up items hanging on one hanger. Bathroom was very nice, although on rough sea days you can hardly stand in bath, not safe. Toiletries average and not that nice. If you are tall i.e, more than 6ft you would not be able to stand up, so bear that in mind and choose cabin with shower cubicle only. The sofa bed advertised is actually a chair and not very wide, in unfolds. Balcony small, just enough room to walk past table we had three chairs so it was squashed, lots of rust around edges of balcony. We did not use the robes or slippers, had plenty of towels, etc. Our butler and other room steward were very nice and kept everything clean and tidy, we did have a couple of roses in a vase but when they died I had to remove them otherwise they would have been left there. Bathmat was thick with mould, not nice! ENTERTAINMENT AND ACTIVITIES - If you take part in quizzes and some other activities you get points and these can be exchanged for key rings, t-shirts, etc. There were two quizzes in the morning and two later in the day, always one music quiz. They had two speakers on our cruise, we did not attend any lectures, and an art teacher, I did go to one of the classes it is limited to first come first served and only 30 people can take part, unfortunately, not the teachers fault, we only had an hour instead of 3 due to another function taking place in the Aqualina, so everything was very rushed. They also have exercise classes, get togethers, etc. They have lots advertised in the daily insider paper- but many are unhosted, so unless you are very outgoing it is difficult. We would like to have played shuffle board but sunbeds were always tied up across the pitch. The usual talks on spa facilities, etc, we never went to any. Evening entertainment was good, the Smooth Sensations were very good. The resident singers and dancers were loud but good and put a lot of energy into their performances, some of the best we have seen on small ships. We also had Will Martin a singer who was good, Mandy Muden a comic/magician who was very entertaining and two other singers who we did not enjoy at all. The band led by Tina were excellent their big band night was fantastic, shame not more supported them, most of the shows were nearly empty for second sitting at 9.30, service for drinks in cabaret lounge is hit and miss very slow, we had to go and ask someone to take an order one night, they hardly ever come round twice. The drinks were good quality though. The azamazing evening was just that, well done Azamara for the slick organisation and wonderful classical concert with choir in Wellington Cathedral, a perfect evening a buffet was also put on for us on our return. SERVICE - mostly good the staff in Windows do help with plates etc and come around regularly with tea/coffee and juice, some days we were offered wine every few minutes and other days once. We did not use our butler service. Most staff were friendly but I can't say any more so than other ships we have sailed on. We did see the captain and other officers around, but none really stopped to chat, they all smiled and said hello. The security people were the friendliest always said good morning enjoy your day and welcomed you back on board by name. Shuttle buses were very well organised and all drivers good. This was done very well. DINING- this is where it goes downhill!! We have to agree with the review by Captain Povey in January. We did not have high expectations but thought it may have improved in 10 years, not so! The menu may look big but they have some dishes on all the time, they often then have them in Windows Cafe, we found the menu uninspiring, and three nights ate in Windows. The chefs recommend destination Lamb Kofta, had already been served in Windows on a previous day and was on as a special and on the main menu on the same night?? We found the portions small and Azamara, have you heard of vegetables?? Vegetarian food was quite frankly awful either loaded with so much spice it made me choke or tasteless, I have never had such awful food, I was given the wrong info about special meals off veggie/vegan menu, they do not serve them in main or speciality restaurants on first night, you have to book morning before so this service is not available on 1st night. I asked in Aqualina if I could have the Tiramisu for dessert we all had a dessert spoonful as a 'taster' but for some reason I could not have it as dessert? My main meal was dried pasta with pumpkin. The menu for veggie/vegan meals has a few starters, 4 soups and 16 'main' it may seem a lot but on a two week cruise it is not! They often repeated these meals in buffett. The buffet each day was rice & Dhal or curry (pumpkin) and steamed veg nearly always broccoli and cauliflower or salad. . All cold the only hot food I had was the freshly cooked fries in Patio-however they could not, despite having ingredients there, make me a cheese and salad roll, I was told by the manager vegetarians could have the burger or nachos. The burger was a mush of something with raw onion, just disgusting, and I do not consider falafel wrap (with yes...you've guessed pumpkin) or burger or some or the other options fine dining/luxurious, one night I asked for veg with my meal and got two small stems of asparagus. Azamara the service in main dining room is frantic, chaos and not enjoyable, and along with the food, it made for unpleasant evenings. The waiters have far to much to do as they also serve the wine. Most veggie dishes were pumpkin and eggplant or pasta. More fresh fruit in buffett would be nice, the frozen stuff is awful. And can more than a 1/4 strawberry be served. Sorry I could go on, but I would not book this if you are vegetarian or vegan I felt like a second class citizen Oh and two nights may main meal was served way before the other people on table as it had come from downstairs to Prime C- cold potato croquette with a sauce and no veg, this is NOT a main meal, the sides were dreadful 2/4 pieces of broccoli, liquid leeks in a sauce or liquid mash with lumps. This is not luxury or fine dining. My family did have one or two nice meals ,but other than that we often struggled to be inspired. However the pastry i.e. tartlets and quiche were wonderful especially the Canadian butter tart. The coffee and service in Mosaic cafe were very good as was the morning ginger energizer drink. Apart from a special night the cheeses were awful. The wines were drinkable, as was the sparkling wine. I must give praise to Philbert and Joseph waiters in main dining room, Gomer in Aqualina and also Kasih the hostess in Windows and Prime C she was a delight. PORTS AND SHORE EXCURSIONS Auckland, did our own trip bby local bus to Memorial museum, for $50NZD you get entry to museum, which is fantastic and also to the Cultural performance, again lively and well worth seeing. We would around the grounds to the formal gardens and conservatory and then through the grounds down to the main road to get train back to Quay. The ticket for the bus was $3.70 which you could use most of day. Went up the sky tower and generally walked around this very vibrant city. Waitangi - Got shuttle to near the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, walked about 750 yds to centre, very good museum and wonderful guided tour of grounds and cultural show, excellent the views are fantastic. $50NZD booked directly with centre online. Tauranga My husband did a self walking tour and climbed Mount Manganui, which he thoroughly enjoyed. Two if us booked ship excursion to Hobbiton, fantastic scenery on route and Hobbiton was magical, a little rushed and as we had 42 people it was hard to hear what guidee was saying, however it was a brilliant day out. If you cannot walk slops or for more than 2 hours this may not be for you, there is a short cut to meet guides but by doing that you miss 3/4 of the hobbit houses and gardens. We finished the tour at Hobbiton with a scone and a mug of beer. Napier- Got shuttle into town and walked around admiring the art deco lovely gardens and nice shops. Not a lot to see or do but still there for 3 hours. Wellington-ride on cable car to get great views of city, then walked back down through botanical gardens an old cemetery and rose gardens to the city, shuttle bus back to ship Azamazing evening fantastic!! Picton- organised our own tour with Mallborough Wine Tours visited 4 wineries fantstic guide small group, just 9 of us, 5 tastings at each winery, a wonderful day. Christchurch- ship tour to Willow bank nature park, took 40 mins to get there, disappointed that half the kiwi house was being renovated, saw the shadow of a kiwi and some other birds, it is all a it rundown. The cultural show was good fun. Spent far to long driving around Christchurch on way back 1 half hours out of a 4 hour trip. Dunedin-really lovely little town, we were lucky enough to be there on the annual street fair day, with local crafts food stalls and live music. Booed seasider train direct with company-very disappointing, lots of tall trees and shrubs blocked the views, just got a few glimpses of the scenery on way back you have to change seats with people on opposite side of train so they get views-very little to see one side, so not really worth the money, however Station is great, truly lovely building. Unfortunately a cyclone was in the way so could not carry on our advertised route, of course safety comes first and nothing could be done, Azamara did some ringing around and we went back on ourselves to Akaroa, a really lovely town, walked around and viewed the older houses, and went on the hop on hop off bus to giant's house, which was lovely, great way to spend an hour. We then went to Kai- Koura, had a whale watching trip saw two sperm whales and some orca, it was very rough and lots of people were ill, a real shame as it was a lovely day. We then went to New Plymouth got shuttle into town, this was the worse port, just a big town, shopping Mall, etc we only stayed for an hour and went back to ship. Then took three very rough sea days to get to Sydney. A real shame we could not go to Hobart, but the ship docked overnight in Sydney in White Bay terminal it takes about 30 mins to get into city, Azamara provided shuttle buses. While in Sydney on the extra day we went to the wildlife zoo, I am not a great fan of zoo's, but we did get to see 4 of the big 5 of Australia and it was very well done, had a walk around. Back on ship for the evening Debarking was the easiest thing we have ever done, walked off at 8am took taxi to city and stayed at Marriott on Circular Quay, taxi from white bay to city centre is $35NZ. Already booked Bridge climb which my family loved, I waled around the botanical gardens which are simply wonderful and free. Took a sunset cruise in the evening and had a meal on the quay, had an inside opera house tour. Sydney is very vibrant, just loved it. Azamara do some things very well, but due to the poor food quality and the awful vegetarian food, rushed and hectic main dining room in the evenings, do not consider this either luxurious or worth the money and for this reason we will not be booking with them again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
This was our 4th Azamara cruise and our third on the Journey. In the past, we liked Azamara because of the small size of the boat, food and service. With 690 passengers, you never feel like you're being herded around. You will get ... Read More
This was our 4th Azamara cruise and our third on the Journey. In the past, we liked Azamara because of the small size of the boat, food and service. With 690 passengers, you never feel like you're being herded around. You will get to know a lot of our fellow passengers. Most, like us, are in their 60s and 70s and seasoned travelers. But, our tastes have changed. The veranda cabins are too small. This is an old boat. Refurbished, but not to modern standards. What was telling were Captain Johannes' comments in a Q&A on one of the last days. He likes the small boats, but he wishes the company would build new boats to compete with the competition. Frankly, we would be happier with veranda rooms with either Oceania or Regent (on their smaller ships). Johannes is an interesting guy - very personable, a sense of humor, and he is visible a lot. Something you will not find on larger boats. We found the service to be first rate as before. We found the food to be a cut below what we experienced before. We had the standard drink package. Two white wines and two red wines each day. Not enough variety, but that was OK. Beer and liquor was OK. Dining - Waves is the buffet and you can always find something there you will like. The Sunset Bar is next to it on the back of the boat and nice to have drinks and/or dinner there when pulling out of a harbor. - Discoveries is the MDR and it was a mixed bag. Two thirds of our main courses were good, the others not. Only half of the appetizers were good. New Zealand - This is the most beautiful place on earth: great ports, uncrowded, wonderful beaches, great small port towns, friendly people, and great weather. Go there if you can! A Little New Zealand History - Nothing to do with Australia, which is 1500 miles away. It was formed by volcanoes - it's in the Pacific ring of fire. Still lots of active volcanoes, like While Island which blew up recently. Australia was populated by Asians 50,000 years ago. New Zealand was inhabited 800-1000 years ago by Polynesians. Our Cabin - We booked cabin 7000 which is a standard sized veranda room, but right in the front of the boat. We thought it would be cool to see 180o coming into port. It was, especially coming into Sydney. Downside is that you get more ship movement than mid-ships. Don't bother if you get seasick. We don't and use patches and were OK. Enrichment Lectures - We were disappointed. Not enough and not the best quality. We had two special interest groups on the boat. One was a golfing group run by Perry Golf. They got six rounds in. The other was a wine group which had multiple visits to NZ vineyards. Ports Of Call - Supposed to hit about ten stops in NZ, then two nights in Tazmania, and end in Sydney. A cyclone prevented us from going around the fjords at the southern tip and stopping in Tazmania. Nothing you can do about that. Auckland - We came in two days early and toured the city. Lovely harbors with restaurants (try "Soul", and make reservations), marinas, and museums. Be sure to visit the Maritime Museum and the Auckland War Memorial and Museum. Auckland downtown is mass construction - subway and new buildings. Hard to get around. The Skytower is worth a visit. All the towns we stopped at had wonderful parks by the ocean. Clean and beautiful. And, restrooms all over the place. Nice. People are friendly. Hardly a smoker in sight. We never used NZ or AU cash - just credit cards. This idea that the Journey is a small boat and it can literally dock downtown wasn't true for this cruise. We docked in commercial ports, most with security, with a 10-30 minute shuttle to the town center - where there was always an info center with helpful people. Tauranga - We took a six hour van excursion to see a kiwi fruit farm and Te Puia where we saw the Pohutu geyser, the largest in the Southern Hemisphere as part of this geothermal area. Followed by the Maori Maka dance. Worth a trip. Napier - Took the shuttle into town and walked 20 min to the aquarium. A waste of time. But, a nice day. Wellington - Took the shuttle into town and toured the Te Papa museum. Very good. Picton - Walked to town. Nice shops and restaurants. Had lunch at local bar. Found some reasonably priced shirts and tee shirts. There was a ferry arriving when we walked from the ship. Fifty + people took the ferry into Picton and rented cars to take off into the mountains. Christchurch - This town was damaged by two earthquakes ten years ago and you can still see open lots and rubble. We took the shuttle and walked to the botanical gardens - worth the trip. Dunedin - Took the Taieri Gorge train into the mountains to see old mining areas. Also saw large lumber areas. Akora - Headed back north and stopped at Akora. Stayed on the ship. Kaikoura- Took the shuttle into a very nice town. Worth a trip. New Plymouth - Our ship excursion was cancelled after waiting an hour. Took the shuttle to town. Nice museum, but I had seen too many at that point. Town not that interesting. Sea Days - two to Sydney. Weather was rough. We had patches and were OK. BTW, you cannot buy patches in Australia. Sydney - We sailed in around 8am. We had breakfast in the room and a beautiful view of the harbor, the opera house, and the bridge. Docked about 15 minutes from downtown. Immigration came aboard. Took about ten minutes. We disembarked the next day - a piece of cake. The ship had an optional tour of Sydney - saw many neighborhoods, the opera house, and Bondi beach. Were dropped off near our hotel. We stayed four days in Sydney. It's a beautiful city with bays, tourist areas, vibrant downtown, and lots of traffic. Worth seeing are: - Bondi beach - Sydney bridge - you can walk across the arch! - Opera house (get a tour) - Sydney Wildlife Zoo (check the talk schedule) - Maritime museum - Skytower - Darling Harbor Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Food was also above average in both Windows and Discoveries. I was unsure that Aqualina/Prime C was worth the extra money. We did splurge on the Valentine's Dinner in Aqualina, and that was incredible. I loved our waiters ... Read More
Food was also above average in both Windows and Discoveries. I was unsure that Aqualina/Prime C was worth the extra money. We did splurge on the Valentine's Dinner in Aqualina, and that was incredible. I loved our waiters (Philbert and Yolana) in Discoveries. Entertainment was fun. Loved Jessie on the saxophone but sad to hear she was a one sailing fill in. Azamara Evening with the Wellington Symphony and a local indigenous chorus was neat. Added to that is that we all got to sing along with the cruise director Danny in the cavernous cathedral while we waited for the return buses to load. Drinks on the basic plan for me were OK. Mostly gin drinks (they seemed to alternate between Beefeaters and Gordons depending on the bar. The wines in the basic were really inexpensive, but some weren't too bad. The sparkling and rose they had throughout the cruise were solid. Some of the others I could do without out, but some were good. We were in a wine group, so we had plenty of other wine to drink as well. Our stateroom stewards (Carlos and Russel) bent over backward to do everything for us. I did the "Insider's Tour," and that was well worth the $89 or whatever. We got to see the kitchens, environmental, storerooms, laundry, engine control room, and the bridge (where we were served sparkling wine and a snack and allowed to stay as long as we cared to. Captain Johannes was always gracious and even had a get together for other (airplane) pilots one afternoon. Amusingly we ran into him ashore in McLaren Vale about a week after the cruise. Weather and high seas caused us to lose our trip to Milford Sound and Tasmania. But the three additional ports added were neat as well and got to see a few things we wouldn't have seen otherwise like the Giant's House in Akaroa or the opportunity to eat Kuora in Kai Kuora. We also got small refund on our accounts that had something to do with the port changes. Weather also forced the White Night to move into the cabaret. I was less than impressed with the buffet offered for that.use Expedia organized a wine group on it. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Even though US citizens made up only approx 30% of the total passengers, the cruise was primarily aimed at Americans. If you attended a quiz, the questions were invariably geared to American culture, a fact acknowledged by the ... Read More
Even though US citizens made up only approx 30% of the total passengers, the cruise was primarily aimed at Americans. If you attended a quiz, the questions were invariably geared to American culture, a fact acknowledged by the quiz-masters. If you picked up a crossword, very often you could only answer the clues if you were a US citizen. All the photos of sporting stars displayed around the ship, were all of Americans, none of which were known to me. When the Superbowl was held, it was shown live on the big screen, and repeated the following morning together with a party in the Cabaret Lounge. For all the British, Irish, French, Italian passengers, and other from rugby loving nations such as Australia, South Africa and New Zealand, we were not afforded even a TV screen to watch the 6 Nations Rugby tournament. Those wishing to watch the rugby had to do so on our mobile phones. on free to air. If you were American, there was a choice of US beers on the complimentary drinks menu, whereas the only British beer was Newcastle Brown, one of the less popular beers, and even this was not available throughout the whole cruise. If you wanted one of the popular British beers such as Boddingtons, Guinness or Strongbow you would have to pay $5.95 per can. The daily American newspapers contained 8 pages whereas every other country had to make do with 4. The list goes on..... I have been on many American cruise ships in the past and have never experienced so much bias towards US passengers. On the plus side, the staff were exceptional, the ship was well appointed and, unlike other cruise ships where they sell you drinks packages and then hide the waiters, the drinks were free-flowing!! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We are experienced cruisers and have tried a number of different cruise lines over many years. Overall, we enjoyed this cruise despite the disappointment of missing Raratonga due to the poor weather and conditions too dangerous to permit ... Read More
We are experienced cruisers and have tried a number of different cruise lines over many years. Overall, we enjoyed this cruise despite the disappointment of missing Raratonga due to the poor weather and conditions too dangerous to permit safe tendering. But the food was a huge disappointment and on the basis of that alone I do not expect we will ever choose Azamara again. At the outset we should praise all the crew with whom we came into contact for their friendliness, helpfulness and evident wish to please. This almost certainly derives from the lead given by the Captain who was very much in evidence around the ship interacting with passengers and staff. There were no cases this time of averted eyes when one came across maintenance and other “back-room” staff: all confidently said hello, or more, with a smile. The Cruise Director and his assistant - Danny Turner and Emily Love - were both excellent, particularly as we understand they are both relatively new to their roles; and the entertainment overall was good given the size of the ship and its limitations. Cruise lines are as much logistics companies as they are tour operators and by and large they excel at it. But at their best logistics should be invisible to passengers. Rightly or wrongly, on this cruise we got the impression that the demands of logistics at times trumped the good experience of the passengers. One example was the Azamazing Evening which was overall an excellent musical event. The programme we were given was cut short by one significant piece for no good reason other than, we suspect, the need to work rigidly to the timings agreed in advance with the coach company or the theatre. A second example was the White Night Party. This was the best we have experienced, not least because of the enthusiasm engendered by Danny any Emily, but it was abruptly cut off short at 10pm, we suspected because there was an agreement to end it before leaving the port which was timed for 10pm. And now for the very disappointing food. We did not use the speciality restaurants, partly because we resent being expected to pay extra but also because when we tried them on our last Azamara cruise we did not think them sufficiently better than the main dining room. Overall the food on this cruise was marked by poorly devised menus, too much reliance on cheap produce, and poor execution and standard of presentation. This was apparent in both the main dining room and the Windows Café. The main dining room menus appeared to offer more choice than they really did. For example, snails and prawns appeared every day on the supposedly changing list of appetisers meaning there were really only three items to choose from. On more than one occasion we simply could not find a single main course that appealed to us and we are used to enjoying a very wide range of dishes both at home and on cruises. The daily specials were almost always deeply underwhelming and really not any different to the rest of the rotating menu. There was a lot of reliance on cheap ingredients - I had to return a simply inedible dish made of chicken livers. Salmon seemed to appear a lot - surely among the cheapest fish available. The food, when served was not really up to scratch. The soups were lukewarm and two pasta dishes we tried (in desperation at finding something appealing on the menu) were both poor, having clearly spent too long under a heat lamp. There was also a dearth of vegetables with the main course dishes and no side dishes offered. The waiters have so much to do that the whole atmosphere is one of rush and controlled panic - certainly not conducive to a relaxing meal. There appear to be no supervisors or Maître D’ anymore, so nobody is responsible for ensuring overall satisfaction for diners or picking up on mistakes. The Window’s Café was a curate’s egg. By and large breakfasts were good but it beggars belief that there is nobody in Azamara that knows how to cook and serve English bacon or what constitutes an English ‘Banger”. Similarly, there must be an Azamara pastry chef that has experienced a proper French croissant and therefore realises how poor are the ones served on the Journey. Croissants are very fattening and are only worth eating if the pleasure they give outweighs the guilt! More generally, the quality of the bread on offer was variable. We cannot comment on lunch because we only ever had a snack, but we did miss the pasta and pizza stations available on other cruise lines. It would be good if these could be added to the offering in the Patio. The dinner offering in Windows was very poor. The themed evenings were particularly disappointing with a bizarre assortment of dishes, some only distantly related to the theme of the evening, making it very difficult to put together a satisfactory meal. Once again, the emphasis seemed to be on cheap ingredients, cheaply prepared. Too often the food itself was lukewarm or cold, and we never saw anybody check the temperature of the food sitting under the hot lamps. Perversely, whilst the food was lukewarm the serving spoons were often very hot indeed. When we twice pointed this out all that happened was that a member of staff used the spoon to serve us and promptly put it back again for somebody else to burn themselves! And now the cheese. Never before have we experienced such poor cheese as in the Café and main dining room. Both the range and quality were dreadful. The example labelled English Cheddar bore no relationship to anything like proper Cheddar cheese, even being the wrong colour. Edam is not made in California! It was a very poor imitation of the Dutch cheese. The only blue cheese on offer seemed to be Danish Blue, or something like it, which must be the cheapest blue cheese available. The cheese biscuits also lacked variety and quantity. What makes this all the more galling is that at the White Night Party some really excellent local New Zealand cheeses were served, never to be seen again. So, you must know full well that the regular offering is incredibly poor and feel you can get away with it. The free drinks included in the cruise were all of a perfectly acceptable standard and variety; and particular thanks go to Benjamin, the Barman in the Spirits Bar. Overall, a good cruise badly let down by the food. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We chose this cruise because we were interested in seeing the South Pacific and New Zealand and the package deal we got included airfare, unlimited internet and trip insurance (important, as my husband and I are in our mid-60s). We missed ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we were interested in seeing the South Pacific and New Zealand and the package deal we got included airfare, unlimited internet and trip insurance (important, as my husband and I are in our mid-60s). We missed our flight and the ship's sailing from Tahiti, so had to board in Bora Bora, the second port on the itinerary. Checking in was fast and efficient - everything was ready and waiting for us, which we really appreciated. We asked to move from our first cabin on deck 6 because of noise from the band practice in the Cabaret, directly below us. The young lady at the customer service desk, Adina, was so helpful with our request and our second cabin was perfect - no noise at all. The deck 7 balcony cabin was comfortable, had plenty of storage, a small but well designed bathroom (with a shower curtain that was heavy enough it was never clingy) and enough room on the balcony for a table and two chairs. As for dining, we ate at the extra fee Prime C restaurant once, and very much enjoyed the Chateaubriand for two and attentive service; however, we found the service and most of the food equally good to excellent in every dining area. Personally, I found the dining at the Patio outdoor restaurant by the pool, where we had lunch nearly every day, to be really outstanding - their seared tuna wrap and grilled meats, especially the lamb brochettes, were some of the best I've ever tasted. We also very much enjoyed visiting The Living Room on Deck 10 for a glass of wine and selections from their delicious tapas, which were available starting at 5pm every day, and were impressed by the wonderfully authentic German Buffet Lunch, complete with a polka band (I hope this gives you a good idea of how delicious and varied the ship's food offerings were - everyone we talked to enjoyed the food as much as we did.) For such a small ship, The Journey has amazingly spacious public areas including an extensive Library, the previously mentioned Living Room, and the Mosaic Cafe, where you could sit at a small table and enjoy excellent specialty coffees and pastries. As well, a big plus to this cruise were the many people we had great conversations with - the 600 passengers included Americans, Australians, Canadians, New Zealanders and a few Germans and Danes. Most passengers were very friendly and outgoing - even when we thought we would just sit at a table for two and enjoy a quiet meal, we would get to talking to the people at the table next to ours and have a wonderful time. The pool area was very nice and offered plenty of seating, although typically you had to scramble a bit to find shaded seating (there were lovely double wicker seats where we spent lots of time during our 6 sea days). We attended most of the Cabaret shows, which ranged from really entertaining to same-same. The two entertainers brought on board from Rarotonga were both outstanding - a stand up comic, Steven Scott, who was very funny, and a young man who did song and dance routines, Paul Hazel, who was very talented. Highlights of the cruise were the always interesting guest lecturers, talking on subjects ranging from volcanic activity to colonialism in the South Pacific, the White Night event (which was really fun and had some great Maori folk entertainment), and the Azamazing Evening (where we went to the Wellington Opera House to hear the Signature Choir sing selections accompanied by the Wellington Symphony Orchestra - it was just marvelous). We have cruised with similarly upscale Oceania Cruises in the past, but considering how much we enjoyed this cruise, we definitely will be sailing with Azamara again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Embarkation was the best I have seen. Staffed very well. State room seemed smaller than other ships. The shower was tiny. Noticed leaves on floor when we moved a table. The robe in the closet had a empty beer bottle in it. I do not ... Read More
Embarkation was the best I have seen. Staffed very well. State room seemed smaller than other ships. The shower was tiny. Noticed leaves on floor when we moved a table. The robe in the closet had a empty beer bottle in it. I do not think the rooms get a deep cleaning between cruises. The Mini bar in room was very disappointing. Drinks are included on the cruise. If you want the wine or beer from your mini bar, you are charged for it. I can not find any logic to explain this. While waiting for the room to be ready, "hard sells" were all over the ship. Crew in your face selling "premium drink, dinning and WIFI packages" It got annoying fast. I could not find a list of included beverages before sailing. We bought a WIFI and Premium beverage package. It was grossly over priced , and we were terribly disappointed in both. The WIFI worked less than 50% of the time. When it did work, it was painfully slow. Azamara changed what drinks that were on the premium package during the cruise. They took drinks away from the Premium package and moved them to the Ultimate package. I feel this is wrong to take items away from a package mid cruise. Dinning Staff were all excellent. Almost all of the staff were excellent. The only flaws were in the coffee bar and shore excursion desk. Coffee bar staff seemed to like to arrange coaters and napkins while ignoring you standing in front of them. The shore excursion staff were probably tired defending some really bad excursions. Food quality was good. Meals in the main dinning room were hot when served. Portions varied. Most fruit was canned.. That may have been due to the region of the cruise. The dinner buffet had specialty nights. Indian was especially good. Lunch and dinner buffets selection was much less than other ships. Many dishes were bland. I think this was because the average age of the passengers was quite high. Ice cream was very good. other sweets missed the mark. Breakfast was OK. They did a great job with the bacon. Entertainment was limited. the trio only played two 45min sets. they tended to play the same songs in the same order. Was a bit old by day 3. Jazz Band were good, but only seen when not needed in show lounge pit. Lectures were a mixed bag.. One was good, the others not so much. It was nice to be able to watch recordings of the lectures on the TV. TV in the room was poor. Very few options. This was really noticed on rough sea days. Bar staff were friendly. Bar tenders did not know how to make the drinks listed in the drink menu. The drink menu was limited. Shore excursions are a disaster. The description and what happens on the tours are very far apart. Azamara says the tours cost more because of the small groups you are put in. But when 5 busses of small groups are put on the same tour, it is not a small group tour any more. You need to dig in to the small print to make sure you are not dumped someplace you do not want to be. We did have some tours we enjoyed. The cost was high. Problems were not fixed by excursion staff. Many people booked tours themselves. this seemed to be a better way. Only 50% of our tours were enjoyable. We paid over 2400$ for Azamara tours. Disembarking was interesting. The cruse port we were to use was closed due to Weather. Azamara did a great job shifting ports. Overall we though the staff made the cruise. Azamara would not be our first choice for another cruise, but we would cruse on them again if we liked the destination. We would book our own shore excursions. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
In a nutshell: Consistently best food we’ve had on a cruise ship. Special events were well above most other cruise lines. Service was good, but lacked the “sparkle” of other high end (and more expensive) cruise lines that try ... Read More
In a nutshell: Consistently best food we’ve had on a cruise ship. Special events were well above most other cruise lines. Service was good, but lacked the “sparkle” of other high end (and more expensive) cruise lines that try harder to exceed your expectations. We took this cruise because it was my mother-in-law’s 82nd birthday and Tahiti has been on her bucket list since she was a child. We’ve been looking for a good itinerary to visit Tahiti and this cruise through Hawaii fit the bill. ----- Ship Review ----- Embarkation. Standard and quick. The only delay was waiting for a wheelchair for my mother-in-law to board the ship. We waited over 20 minutes and another couple tried to walk in after waiting 30 minutes. It really took much longer than it should have and was not a good first impression of ship services. As we were boarding the ship about 1230 the announcement was made that the cabins were available, so that allowed us to drop luggage in our cabin and go to lunch. There was a table at the entrance to the buffet to buy multi-night packages and make reservations at Prime C or Aqualina. Service. Not quite as impressive as our last cruise on Azamara 12 years ago, it was a bit of a mixed bag this time. Some waiters seemed particularly eager to serve. Others were less enthusiastic. We were surprised by the lack of a “can do” attitude from room service and also surprised (as in woken up from a deep sleep) when they showed up 30 minutes early for breakfast (EVERY TIME). All room service waiters just dropped the trays on our table and ran. No attempt was ever made to set the table or inventory the food. Perhaps they were just extremely busy, but it was a shocking lack of service compared with the apparent standard for this ship. Our room steward was adequate, but not impressive. (As we were packing at the end of the cruise and checking to make sure we didn’t leave anything, we found an old pair of somebody else’s underwear behind the nightstand.) Clientele. 80% have cruised Azamara before. 200 of the almost 686 passengers were continuing on the next leg (apparently a record). Over 90 Cruise Critic members aboard. Azamara prides itself on listening to customer feedback and that breeds high loyalty. The length of this cruise was not well suited for those still working, so the crowd was quite senior. I think we only saw two children onboard. Captain. It is clear that Azamara is hiring captains for their personalities and technical expertise. Most have been with Azamara for years. He went out of his way to be involved with guests and anything important happening on the ship. The two most outstanding captains we’ve ever experienced were both masters of the Azamara Journey. Cruise Director. We started with Eric and he was fantastic—in a league of his own. His show was spectacular and filled the theater to maximum capacity. He’s a hard act to follow, but he left mid-cruise for vacation. Danny took over and while he did a fine job, the cruise just wasn’t quite the same after that. Hotel Director. Heike was very involved, especially with serving during special events. I enjoyed her presentation during a sea day. While I believe she is doing a good job, her enthusiasm isn’t filtering down like it should. The service doesn’t quite have the sparkle I thought it would. Entertainment. The show lounge is quite small, so that limits the entertainment options. However, it was very good for small ship entertainment fare—guest singers, comedians, small production cast, etc. The tango show was outstanding. Food. This is the category where Azamara really excelled this cruise. They said their food budget was higher than anything else in the RCCL fleet and it shows. We were very impressed with the overall food quality. The main dining room has local and chef specials every night that adds variety to the otherwise standard rotation of menu items. We have critiqued many ships for not having local specialties. Azamara is the only line we’ve sailed that has been responsive to that customer request. Our four experiences at the specialty restaurants were excellent, but we had friends who were less impressed with their steaks in Prime C. I have mixed feelings about charging a premium to eat in the restaurants and then providing a bill with a place to add a tip at the end of the meal. Seems like a mixed message to the guests. Here’s a tip I learned the hard way. They will give you a wine list with bottles you can buy for an extra cost, but all the house wines are also available for free if you ask. I still love the panini and smoothie bars at the buffet! The Windows evening buffet changes themes every night which provides a lot of variety. They frequently have specialty buffets with crew officers serving and they were outstanding. The Polynesian dinner buffet and German lunch buffet were especially well done. They also had a late night chocolate buffet in the midship lounge area that was quite impressive and very well attended! Dress code. Every night was “country club casual.” Wear what you would wear to a nice restaurant and you’ll be fine. My wife actually saw the dress code being enforced on a few occasions, which makes it nicer for everybody. You might want to dress up slightly for the specialty restaurants—many people do. Internet. Like most ship-based internet, it was slow and expensive. I usually burned up more than 10 minutes every time I wanted to sync just two email accounts. Unlimited package pricing was outrageous. I had some free minutes because of our status and used cell phone connectivity while at the ports in Hawaii. Here’s another tip. The price of the unlimited package is per day, so wait until the last possible day to sign up. Expend all your free minutes first. With 50% off (due to our status), I got the unlimited package for only $69 for the last 9 days of the cruise. Photographic services. Available, but not in your face—except at the premium restaurants, where they really want to “capture that special moment” for you. I bought a USB with the destination photos and a video of the AzAmazing evening. The photos were not that professional and they never had a chance to produce the White Night video. Ship Décor. We love the classic R-class styling. We’ve been on many R-class ships by now, so this feels like home. It could really use some updating and time in dry dock that it will get this fall. Fitness Center. Pretty good for a small ship. Gift Shop selection. Why does everybody think a ship is the place to buy jewelry? I don’t get it. I’d rather have a much better selection of branded merchandise that can only be purchased aboard to remember my cruise. Special Events. This review would not be complete if I didn’t take time to mention some of the special events that set Azamara above their competition. We saw something like an AzAmazing Evening with Regent, but the 40’s themed night at the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum was much better executed than anything we’ve seen before. Azamara’s signature deck party “white nights” was in Bora Bora. Unfortunately, we missed all but the show because we had reservations in Prime C. The Polynesian cultural show was fantastic and it was a wonderful event until the skies opened up and soaked almost everybody. Crossing the equator celebration was fun and well done. All inclusive? I need to spend a few lines to discuss this issue because it is a source of great confusion among guests. “No tipping?” What were people doing tipping their waiters at dinner last night? Sometimes drinks are included, but the beer at the German buffet was an extra charge. How much? Don’t know. Didn’t see a price posted or on the ticket I signed. There are two levels of wine packages and two levels of spirits packages, but some of both are included, particularly at some events. There is a priced menu of drinks at the shows. Two thirds through the cruise I was told by a friend that there is a back page of the menu that has all the complementary drinks listed. It’s a fairly comprehensive list—I just wish I had known about it sooner. Thank goodness all sodas and sparkling water are included. Well, to be more precise, Costco brand and Mexican sparkling water were included. Perrier and Pellegrino are both extra. While we enjoy wine with dinner, we are not big drinkers. When I heard Azamara made a change to their “all-inclusive” policy to include tips and wine with dinner, I liked the concept. It appeared to match our needs to have wine included with dinner (even if it is a limited selection), while charging for other alcohol, but the implementation seems very schizophrenic. How do you keep track of what is or is not included? Critiques. We got an early cruise feedback form for us to identify any issues we saw so they could be fixed immediately, instead of waiting for the end-of-cruise feedback. About midway through the cruise we filled out the form to identify service issues in the observation lounge. We got a phone call and personal visit about the issues we observed and they were fixed the very next day. Azamara is trying to be resource conscious, so they send a link to an online critique rating form instead of giving you the traditional paper survey. Head’s up. That link expires in one week! When we finally got time to sit down and do the survey after we got home, the link had already expired by a few days. That’s unfortunate because we really wanted to recognize a couple of waiters that were going above and beyond. I completely understand what they are trying to do by keeping everything electronic. Unfortunately, we missed the opportunity to provide our feedback. In summary, we enjoyed this cruise. We always enjoy the ambiance of R-Class ships. Based on our previous experience with Azamara, we had very high expectations. I think the cruise leadership was doing everything they could to meet those expectations and were very responsive to guest input. However, not everyone on the crew was as enthusiastic about their job so we were not as AzAmazed as we expected we would be. ----- Port Calls ----- Azamara prides itself on being port intensive, but that wasn’t exactly true for this cruise because it was more about repositioning toward Australia. We spent 11 of our 18 days at sea crossing the Pacific. I’m not going to try to review the individual ports or offerings. I’ll try to keep my comments more generic. Azamara has two critical things I look for from high end cruise lines during port calls--shuttle busses to downtown areas of interest and local experts onboard in port who provide maps and ideas about what to see if you want to explore on your own. Sometimes you don’t want to spend a fortune on shore excursions to see a port. I like having the low cost option and flexibility to come and go as you please. I also like to see water, juice, and cold towel stations on the dock (tender or port). We may have missed them, but those services were available at some, but not all, port calls. Some of the shore excursions were expensive and others were just outrageous! Arrangements for private vehicles at over a thousand dollars for a few hours just seems absurd to me. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Hawaii has been on a bucket list for years and having sailed on Azamara Journey before and liked the small friendly ship, this looked like a great trip. It was a lot of sea days, 11 out of the 18 on board. It was rough weather coming out ... Read More
Hawaii has been on a bucket list for years and having sailed on Azamara Journey before and liked the small friendly ship, this looked like a great trip. It was a lot of sea days, 11 out of the 18 on board. It was rough weather coming out of LA, high winds and high seas, but on the whole Journey handled it well, even if sleeping was somewhat like dozing off on a roller coaster. The staff are really friendly, officers stop and chat, waiters go the extra mile and stewards keep the cabins ship shape. Staterooms are on the small size compared to other ships we have been on, especially the shower/WC. Bedding is excellent. There is no theatre so evening entertainment is in the cabaret lounge and therefore very much “up close”. Band was great, singers and dancers - excellent, cruise director and assistant, both of whom performed solo evenings were first class. (Eric left is in Hawaii leaving Danny and Emily to run the show). The guest speaker, Dr. Jay was fantastic, so interesting and making his subjects so accessible. The weather in Hawaii was not kind to us, a lot of rain. A number of sea days were also wet so one had to make the most of the interior spaces which despite this never seemed very crowded. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
No Amazing evening - all cancelled, no white night all abandoned, missed ports and very poor decision making by the Cruise directors. Cuts in included drinks and cuts in quality food, very poor cooking. Good on board orchestra but that s ... Read More
No Amazing evening - all cancelled, no white night all abandoned, missed ports and very poor decision making by the Cruise directors. Cuts in included drinks and cuts in quality food, very poor cooking. Good on board orchestra but that s all. The Guest relations dealt withy the visas very well so that was good. Not memorable and really quiet naive and badly lacking in research as this is AFRICA foe goodness sake - not Miami_ Duh. Exasperated! I suggest that Azamara need to research the destination before sending passengers out into the unknown! We took this cruise in reverse order with Oceania 6 years ago and it was perfect! Well organised and we went to Mombasa without a hitch. To call off this port with a week before boarding is inexcusable as it always been a problem area. All the difficulties were a 1000 miles away. This is poor planning by Azamara so please BEARE before booking!!!! Food quality has definitely gone downhill and cutbacks are obvious. Staff are courteous as always but the chefs are not as good as they used to be. Lack of variety in food was a problem apart from the “special” buffets where choice was more plentiful. Fruit was always the same and the all the berries ran out after a few days at sea. Cabins are small and adequately maintained but nothing better than the mainstream cruises. Lack of attention to the balconies was apparent and need a good clean up. Entertainment as above but unfortunately just no personality whatsoever. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Firstly can I say, I'm baffled by the previous two negative reviews given that we were on the same Mumbai to Cape Town Cruise December 28. I do agree that the on board service was delivered in the usual outstanding way and this ... Read More
Firstly can I say, I'm baffled by the previous two negative reviews given that we were on the same Mumbai to Cape Town Cruise December 28. I do agree that the on board service was delivered in the usual outstanding way and this included Guest Relations enquiries. We had little or no issue with the unlimited WiFi included in our booking deal. We travelled in a Verandah Plus Cabin on Deck 8 which was a great location. My husband and I, in reflection, agree that this cruise is amongst one of our best as far as itinerary and on board experience was concerned. There was a bit of everything for everyone's enjoyment. Lecturers were terrific. Sure there were a few unavoidable issues, i.e. bad weather for White Night, unacceptable location (chosen by Miami and not visited by them) for AzAmazing Evening and logistic problems with supplies due to port cancellations - due to arrive in Mombasa but air freighted to another port. (I enjoy berries, I asked for them politely and I got them). These issues were clearly explained if the previous reviewers cared to go to the Q & A sessions held on sea days by Hotel Director, Captain Philips etc. Please when you're reviewing do so with all the facts not just the bits you want to support your negative review. We found the food in all venues to be of a higher quality than the already good food our previous 22 Azamara cruises. We had two lots of 'Foodie' friends travelling for the first time on Azamara and they were impressed also. The security issue with Mombasa was explained clearly to us during the Q & A. The previous reviewer failed to add that in addition to the already known terrorist attack in the north and the known movements south of the said Terrorist Group there was a failed terrorist attack on a shared USA/Kenya Airbase on the outskirts of Mombasa just days before our arrival. We were considered too much at risk of attracting the attention of that terrorist group - I was happy with that decision. I believe the right call was made. Food, (the previous poster didn't get the names of the venues correct) in Discoveries, Windows, Patio and both specialty restaurants was 'top notch' and the Chef/s should be congratulated. Food, wine is such a subjective topic, you can make good or not so good choices from the menu for the food, we particularly enjoyed the fish, wine was satisfactory for my taste. Whilst ship's excursions are pricey we managed some wonderful private tours prior and used taxi's with friends, especially when we found out we'd be in the Seychelles on a Sunday, (who wants to shop in the Seychelles anyway when the scenery is so beautiful). We'd didn't rely on ships shuttles (they were provided in most places) as we have learnt from experience you need to get out and about like a local, pay the extra money and invest the time in research. Bit more effort but so worth it. We enjoyed our mix of private and ships tours but unless the prices of the Ship’s excursions are addressed will opt for more private tours. The new cast (joined in the Seychelles) were settling in and had shown improvement by the end of the cruise. Guest entertainers (tough we’d seen them before) were fine. We didn’t take to the ‘Fancy Trio’ but spoke with guest who enjoyed them. Again personal preferences come into play here. I only participated in progressive trivia, not morning or afternoon trivia. I'm Australian and wasn't aware of any cheating going on and am annoyed slightly at the reviews comments but will let it go. I can confirm we did not correct our own answers as they were collected my Ernest and Steven and they corrected them. But hey we played for fun not the contents of the World Bank! We had 'No F in Idea'. Assistant Cruise Directors birthday was discussed on the morning show on the TV with Ernest and Stephen. I thought it was a comical 'trivial' question to ask and it didn't worry me. Trivia is trivia, it doesn't always have to be general knowledge, i.e. how many steps are on the gangway? At the end of the day, you can't keep everyone happy all the time, but we were pleased with our on board experience. We have another 5 booked and can't wait. I’d do Africa again in a heartbeat. Guys if you're reading this on board you're doing a terrific job! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We went from Mumbai to Cape Town - 24 nights with 11 sea-days. I will start wit the good bit by saying that the staff were without exception excellent and as good as any ship that i have sailed on. The rest of my comments are critical - ... Read More
We went from Mumbai to Cape Town - 24 nights with 11 sea-days. I will start wit the good bit by saying that the staff were without exception excellent and as good as any ship that i have sailed on. The rest of my comments are critical - Management was another matter! We did not get off to a good start! We were supposed to spend two days in Mombasa, Kenya which was a prime reason for us taking the trip but this was canceled on security grounds. I can wholly accept that but nobody bothered to tell us or our travel agent. We only found out by accident a few days before we left. By and large the food was not good. I just never got on with the Canteen (Azamara calls it "The Cafe"). as the food was invariably only luke warm at best and sometimes colder than that. They kept doing "theme nights" from round the world (e.g. Mexicann, Indian and so on). I ended up wondering what wonderful chefs they must have to cope with all that! Salads were particularly poor but the soup and the ice cream were good. But I never had a good meal there. The menu of the main dining room was pretentious and I often could not understand what was on offer - e. g. what on earth is "panacotta cauliflower"? Often the accompaniment did not seem to fit the main course - e. g. "wilted spinach" with British style battered fish and chips which I thought verged on the unbelievable!.I want to state that I got one evening in this restaurant what I consider to be the worst steak i have ever had in my life. It was not just inedible but I actually could not even cut it with my knife and it got sent straight back. But to be fair, their breakfast was very good and immaculately served. The entertainment was mediocre - except for the magician (brilliant) and a couple of performances from the singers and dancers. We walked out of "The Hits of Broadway" as we had not even heard of the musicals featured, let alone the mediocre songs performed! I think that our cabin was advertised as having an "ocean view" and that was technically correct if you regard an ocean view as viewing the sea from the narrow space between two lifeboats. At any rate, it was very cramped with only one seat meaning the second occupant had to sit on the bed. There was no table of any sort - e.g. for room service.The toilet was microscopic. I never bother with Wi-Fi on a cruise but my wife does. The price of a full package, if my memory serves me well, was $478 for the cruise which was as expensive as the reception was bad. The Wi-Fi service was regarded by most of the people to whom I spoke as appalling and I never passed the customer relations desk without hearing someone complaining about it. Azamara are behind the pack on Wi-Fi as companies with ships of similar size are offering it free of charge - e.g. Viking, Oceania and Regent to quote but three. The cruise did not seem to have been well thought out. For example, why did we not go to the smaller Seychelle island on Sunday and go the capital on the main island on Monday when places and shops would have been open - they weren't on the Sunday! And how come that insufficient reconnaissance had seemly been done on our destination for the so-called "Amazing Evening" in Durban leading to it being cancelled? I know that every cruise line takes advantage of a captive audience and offers excursions at high prices but I felt that Azamara prices were extremely high. i took the brochure home with me so that I could pick out a couple.How about "lunch on the rock in Dar es Salaam" at only$269? Or a game drive, 3 days and 2 nights for only $2799. One person who went on this one should have been accompanied into South Africa by a ship's guide. Unfortunately the girl in question was from the Phillipines and was refused entry without a visa which she had not got. Good forward planning! And, finally "Trivia" or as it is called in the UK "quizzes". We had 11 sea days and Trivia helps to while away the hours. Unfortunately the boat did not seem to have anyone who knew how to run a quiz. After a while I was concerned about the marking of the quizzes and, as an experienced quizzer, I was concerned about the fairness of it We were told to mark (i.e. score) our own sheets - which, of course, is utter nonsense. I approached the Cruise Director and suggested that we all exchanged papers and he agreed. This went on for three quizzes and, would you believe it different people won? Suddenly without anyone bothering to tell me we went back to self-marking. i approached the Cruise Director who told me that "other people" had protested - he was doubtless right but to which team did they belong? No answer. I tried to speak to the Assistant Cruise Director and he couldn''t get away fast enough.Basically, he refused to talk to me. I subsequently told the Cruise Director it was totally unacceptable to refuse to speak to a customer who was polite in approach and had paid several thousand Pounds for the cruise. Answer there came none. Someone (not I) complained that a team was consistently playing with 7 members instead of the maximum of six. This was solved by increasing the team limit of 6 to 8. I am assuming that the team involved had more clout than people like those with whom I associated. And the Progressive Quiz!!!!. The quizmaster told us on the first day that mobile phones were banned but failed to repeat the message. Without even trying I knew of two definite cases of the use of phones. In proper quiz circles this is not far from a hanging offence and is despicable. The quizmaster offered the participants the opportunity to nominate particular subjects which resulted in (for example - there were others!) two questions on the "Brady Bunch", a question on the "beaches of North Sydney" and "girls' doll shops in the USA". What on earth has this got to do with general knowledge? But it got worse! As a general knowledge question we were also asked the date of the birthday of the Assistant Cruise Manager! Words utterly fail me! As a final twist the last quiz on the last evening (The Music Quiz at 10.15pm to be specific) was won by a group of cheating Australians who scored 40 points out of a possible maximum of 36 points I am still trying to work this one out! I have been on 5 Azamara and 5 Celebrity cruises and before this recent cruise i have never had any cause for complaint of any nature. Unfortunately,we have booked (and paid for) a cruise with Azamara at the end of March which is on the same boat. I am not looking forward to it! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We are a family of four cruising with Azamara for the first time. In the past, our family has cruised with Celebrity Cruises for over 15 years and has experienced every holiday itinerary that they’ve offered. But, we wanted to try ... Read More
We are a family of four cruising with Azamara for the first time. In the past, our family has cruised with Celebrity Cruises for over 15 years and has experienced every holiday itinerary that they’ve offered. But, we wanted to try something new and Azamara’s 15 night voyage celebrating New Year’s in Rio de Janeiro attracted our attention. We brought our 17 and 20 years old kids to this cruise. We worried they may not like it because of older crowd. But, our kids actually like it and had a great time. The ship is clean and well maintained, but it does not feel luxury. We really like the white night, BBQ brunch served by the officers, and special breakfast at one of the specialty restaurants that we were invited to. I am pleasantly surprised that people dress very nice during the evenings even if there are no formal nights. Because this is a holiday cruise, there are some younger passengers on the ship. We also like the fact that the hot tub and pool are never too busy. You always can find a chair and a spot in the hot tub, so we ended up spending more time in the hot tub than we would have on other mega ships. We will cruise with Azmara again. I also want to give our kudos and high praises to Azamara’s ability in helping us avoid a disastrous holiday. One of our family members holds a non-US passport with a US green card. Once aboard, the guest relations manager informed us that this family member would need a Brazilian visa or he would have to leave the ship. After paying tens of thousands of dollars on the cruise fare, flights, and hotels, this horrible news hit us like a ton of bricks. But, luckily, the Guest Relations Manager, Wresly Fernandes, came to our rescue. Wresly met us and recommended that, when the ship landed in Montevideo, Uruguay, we should try to obtain a Brazilian visa at the Montevideo Brazil Consulate, which gave us a ray of hope. Wresly gathered us in his office and personally helped us fill out the Brazilian online visa application. Throughout the entire process, Wresly was very thorough. For example, he had the photo shop staff take a visa photo and crop it precisely to the size. He was also very knowledgeable about the visa process and its requirement. First, we had to download a bank statement, which Wresly kindly had his staff print out for us. He then arranged the transportation and Amazara’s port agent to meet us the next day at 8:45am to accompany us to the Montevideo Brazilian Consulate. We were very impressed by Wresly’s attention to detail. Not only did he stress to the Azamara port agent to be with us all the time but he also took the port agent’s cell phone number and told us that he would call us every two hours to get a status update. At the Brazilian Consulate, we had a very smooth process. It was obvious that the Azamara port agent knew everybody at the consulate. We got the visa in 3 hours, which relieved our entire family. Overall, Wresly and his team demonstrated great care, efficiency and hard work in solving the issue for us. We are extremely impressed with Wresly’s calmness, his resolve under pressure, and of course, Azamara’s client first attitude. Thanks to Wresly’s leadership we were assured that his entire team was working collectively to assist us with this visa process. Azamara has done an amazing job. Because of our recent experience with Wresly and his team, we will definitely cruise with Azamara again. We have also shared our story with friends and have encouraged them to try Azamara. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This was a 5 day cruise from San Juan. We wanted to try another 5 ½ star ship. We had to turn in our rental car at 9 so we got to the ship early. It was not docked in old San Juan but at the other port. We were able to carry our ... Read More
This was a 5 day cruise from San Juan. We wanted to try another 5 ½ star ship. We had to turn in our rental car at 9 so we got to the ship early. It was not docked in old San Juan but at the other port. We were able to carry our luggage onto the ship enabling us to board very early. They took our luggage to our cabin freeing us up to eat lunch and explore. This was one of the most beautiful ships I have been on. Lunch was at the buffet and was poor. The roast was tough and very fatty. Another day we ate at the pool side grill and the waiter was very rude, wanting me to get my burger off the steam table rather than having it made fresh. I refused and got a much better burger. The food was ok. We ate at both specialty restaurants. The Prime C was better than the Italian. The entertainment was ok. The male piano /singer at the bar was just bad. The singers were good. The white night after party was fun. We also did Christmas caroling. There was little to do during the day. This ship was nickeling and diming you. In cabin movies were $12.00, alcohol in the cabin was a fee, but at any bar was free. We would just go get a glass of wine and sit on our balcony. They also had a coffee bar that charged extra. You could go to the buffet on 9 and make your own specialty coffee. There were two sea days with little to do. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click