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Sail Date: January 2018
Just back from an excellent cruise around the western and southern coasts of Australia on the beautiful Azamara Journey. Why do we return to Azamara? - the WONDERFUL Azamara crew who look after us so well and with such enthusiasm. The ... Read More
Just back from an excellent cruise around the western and southern coasts of Australia on the beautiful Azamara Journey. Why do we return to Azamara? - the WONDERFUL Azamara crew who look after us so well and with such enthusiasm. The ship is in excellent condition, though there are a few issues (gym equipment , elevator indicators) and new carpets in the hallways, and fortunately no further alterations to interior decoration (though we noticed a couple of pictures had been changed). The resident artwork on this ship is wonderful and we always go around the ship revisiting our favourite pieces (atrium stairway sculpture, Michael Eastman photographic prints, etc. etc. It was such a shame that the green marble counter of the Reception Desk was ripped out and replaced with off-white when the original green was so in keeping with the rest of the decor and still in excellent condition. To our mind this was an expensive and unnecessary expenditure. Our route was from Bali to Sydney with excellent stops along the way. Only Exmouth was cancelled (a town insufficiently equipped to receive a cruise ship) with Bunbury, Kangaroo Island and Melbourne the highlights of our cruise. A similar cruise around the eastern shores of Australia two years ago we found very hot - this cruise was very different with cool temperatures and very strong winds. Most of the entertainment was similar to that we had seen before with visiting acts coming on and leaving (some of it downright awful, though some was entertaining - we always say, though, If you want to see a Broadway show you have to go to New York [or London]). The special interest talks are generally interesting, though unfortunately Dr. Rebecca was a disappointment - her subjects were interesting but there were too many umms, errs, and ‘you knows’ which distracted from her subject. Our favourite entertainers were the specialty dancers - so graceful and delightful to watch. We used to enjoy the harpist but sadly, their services were discontinued. I rather think that Azamara head office misunderstand onboard entertainment. It was so pleasant sitting in the Discoveries Bar enjoying a pre-dinner cocktail with the subtle sounds of the harpist in the background. A guitarist who wants to be heard and so is amplified is NO substitute as the volume discourages conversation. Consequently we usually find somewhere quiet for cocktails - and miss the harpist. A really big problem during this cruise was the internet - if you could log on (and that wasn’t always possible, with the little wheel spinning, and spinning, and spinning. . . ) eMails would sometimes download but then try opening them . . . ! Virtually impossible!! The problem may partially be due to the ‘Free Internet’ package offered to some staterooms and it being free they never log off, whereas if the system were to log them off after a period of inactivity it would free the service up for others. The boys manning The Mosiac coffee station are worked so hard but are always so eager to provide the very best service and always with a smile. I am always shocked when I witness a ship’s passenger treating them as they would a slave with not a work of ‘please’ or ‘thank you’, but they take it in their stride and give immaculate service. Executive Chef Monica Ortiz and her catering staff are to be congratulated on producing an excellent variety of menu selections in all restaurants. The Indian Buffet in Windows Cafe is always one of our favourites. When our cruise Came to an end British Airways carried us to Singapore and after a nights sleep and a day in the city British Airways’ A380 service sped us very comfortably home. Now to plan another cruise . . . Where to this time? Read Less
BBMacLaird, CBO - Azamara Club Cruises has responded
Hi Bilgeboy30, thank you for the entertaining cruise review. As for where to go next...how about South America next year on our new Azamara Pursuit? https://www.azamaraclubcruises.com/int/south-america
Sail Date: January 2018
We had last sailed on an Azamara ship approximately 6 -7 years ago and due to a combination of circumstances,destinations and dissatisfaction with Azamara we had not booked again until we found this cruise going from Bali and around ... Read More
We had last sailed on an Azamara ship approximately 6 -7 years ago and due to a combination of circumstances,destinations and dissatisfaction with Azamara we had not booked again until we found this cruise going from Bali and around Australia beginning on its west coast. At the outset we were delighted with the incredible changes that have been made to the journey. The refurbishment of the ship was good, but the cabin redo's were excellent. Space was much better utilized, especially in the suites. for the first time we actually had room to spare for our belongings on this longish, 18 day cruise. The bathroom set up was a great improvement, over past years and other comparable accommodations on other cruise lines, having a much larger amount of space for our toiletries. The staff was wonderful, knowledgeable and friendly and all had the Ritz Carlton mentality/mantra of being empowered, or so it seemed, to solve problems, both large and small.Highlights of the trip included a great White Nights evening, a wonderful breakfast for Le Voyage Club, Azamara loyalty program, members and a simply superb rijsttafel dinner one evening, at a small extra charge. Gratuities included as is most alcohol, other than very high end premium brands of liquors and wines. With all of that "booze" it was interesting that we never saw a single passenger the slightest bit tipsy other than when the waves were high. Of course some things were not great. Included in that was the differences in the taste and quality of coffee depending on the venue in which it was served. some of the tours that we attended were fair or less at best including the Azmazing night in port at Freemantle. The singers/musicians and songwriters were good, but the native dancers performed off the stage and on a level with the chairs so that unless one sat up front it was difficult to see them. The food was plentiful and quite good at this event but the venue was overcrowded and very hot. Entertainment on the boat is what one would expect with a smallish ship-not terrific, but in some instances quite passable. The enrichment lectures were quite good. In sum, I would rate them tops for value and would not hesitate to return to Azamara for other cruises in the near future. Read Less
BBMacLaird, CBO - Azamara Club Cruises has responded
Thank you for the cruise review. I'm glad you like the changes we've made to the ships! We look forward to welcoming you back aboard soon!
Sail Date: January 2018
This was our 5th Cruise with Azamara and cruising down the West Coast of Australia is the wrong time of year as it is Cyclone season. Although we didn’t come across one there were a few in area both before and after our sailing down ... Read More
This was our 5th Cruise with Azamara and cruising down the West Coast of Australia is the wrong time of year as it is Cyclone season. Although we didn’t come across one there were a few in area both before and after our sailing down the coast. Embarkation was a little longer then we have previously experienced as there were torrential rain in Bali and I think everyone wanted just to get onboard and stay dry. It was great to see familiar faces as we boarded handing us a glass of champagne Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
Fourth cruise on the Journey, great crew, service and food. We like the relaxed feeling on the ship with only about 700 passengers. Boarded in Benoa, Bali near the airport. There was about an hour checking in due to the limited ... Read More
Fourth cruise on the Journey, great crew, service and food. We like the relaxed feeling on the ship with only about 700 passengers. Boarded in Benoa, Bali near the airport. There was about an hour checking in due to the limited facilities. Having senior club status meant nothing because there was not enough room in the small building for multiple lines. Not Azamara's fault because Bali has no dedicated cruise port. I understand it is planned in the near future. Once on board with a glass of sparkling wine in your hand you soon forget the long check-in line. Lunch in the cafe and off to unpack and get settled. The cabins are adequate in size and the bathroom is tiny but fine once used to it. Entertainment is limited but and mostly after 9:30pm so we did not attend any shows this cruise as we turn in early. The itenerary was good as we had never been to West or South Australia before. This was also the first time I believe for Azamara as well. The area's activities was primarily natural sights such as wildlife on land and sea until you arrived in Adelaide, Melbourne or Sydney. It was a great opportunity to see Kangaroos and Koalas. There are many Dolphin encounters and whale sighting ( only in season ) in the area. Our weather was windy with rough seas for the first week which was expected for the location and time of year but enjoyed the cruise anyway. The true beauty of the Journey is the wonderful crew and genuine friendly atmosphere of the ship. Captain Magnus Davidson is a joy to have leading the cruise. I believe this was our 3rd cruise with him. Always friendly and informative. We are scheduled on the sister ship QUEST in April for another adventure with Azamara. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
i chose this sailing because of a special promotion which made the price reasonable compared to most other azamera cruises and it had an interesting intinerary.. i had always wanted to sail on azamera due to its excellent reputation for ... Read More
i chose this sailing because of a special promotion which made the price reasonable compared to most other azamera cruises and it had an interesting intinerary.. i had always wanted to sail on azamera due to its excellent reputation for food quality, its small size, the free liquor and free gratuities. it lived up to my expectations, the staff is very friendly, the captain down to the housekeeping, food was excellent, white nights is a terrific event, get there early and grab a table with a very high end buffet. tendering was orderly and had minimal waits. the only 2 reasons it is not rated 5 stars was that we had a botched excursion where the vendor swisstours did not do all elements of the excursion in papagayo, azamera did refund us 50 per cent but we really wanted the complete refund. the second issue was the best entertainment on the ship was the singers and dancers and russ the cruise director who is also an excellent singer. azamera for some reason is letting go of all their singers and dancers as of feb 8th for some type of new format. this cruise had 3 nights of a violinist and a piano player/magician. do i really need 3 nights for classical music and no comedians. the inside cabin we had seemed smaller than other ships the same room size. overall though the cruise was excellent and i would definitely go on this cruise line. Read Less
BBMacLaird, CBO - Azamara Club Cruises has responded
Thank you blustig77 for the review. We hope you'll sail with us again soon!
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
The main reason we selected this cruise because of friends. We found the Quest to be clean, the food and service good, and the entertainment surprising good. The ship carried about 650 passengers, so pretty intimate. People who ... Read More
The main reason we selected this cruise because of friends. We found the Quest to be clean, the food and service good, and the entertainment surprising good. The ship carried about 650 passengers, so pretty intimate. People who expected a "luxury" cruise were disappointed however, nothing really special about it. We were on a Costa Rica cruise ...very little to see and do in several the ports. In Golfito there was hardly a town, let alone things to do. We did see hundreds of dolphins in the bay there, however. Most of the ports pretty much offered the same thing...jungle and monkeys. Many of the beaches were nice. Our biggest complaints had to do with 1. the transfer package and 2. the tender procedure. We spent $800 for transfers; there was no one to meet us at the airport upon arrival, and we ended up having to pay for a cab back to the airport after the cruise. Over priced and under performing. Very poor communication. Most ports we had to tender. Temperatures were in the 90's, humidity in the 90's also. For some reason the crew would make us wait 15-20 minutes while we sweated and broiled aboard the tender before departure back to the ship. Many people complained but never did see improvement. They need to go every 10-15 minutes instead of having 50-60-70 people waiting in the heat. The passengers were primarily a more mature crowd, so no crazy drunks or wild parties. Bottom line, we had a good time, the ship was fine...B+ Read Less
BBMacLaird, CBO - Azamara Club Cruises has responded
Hi Montereyman, While a B+ is not what we shoot for, I'm glad you had a good time. I hope you'll give us another chance to improve our grade!
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
Azamara Quest Review Costa Rica 15-25 Jan 2018 This was our sixth cruise with Azamara and it was every bit as good as the last five. We stayed in Hotel Bougainvillea in Santo Domingo, outside San Jose, for 4 days before embarkation. ... Read More
Azamara Quest Review Costa Rica 15-25 Jan 2018 This was our sixth cruise with Azamara and it was every bit as good as the last five. We stayed in Hotel Bougainvillea in Santo Domingo, outside San Jose, for 4 days before embarkation. The hotel was set in 10 acres of botanical gardens and had a swimming pool. It was great for bird watching. We took a tour from there to La Paz Waterfall Gardens, which was excellent, and went into San Jose by taxi to see the National Theatre (amazing building). The hotel arranged transport for us and another couple to the port. The evening before embarkation we got an email from Azamara saying that due to high winds the port of embarkation had changed from Puerto Caldera to Puntarenas. The hotel was able to rearrange the transport for us, and it ended up costing us $70 a couple in a very comfortable mini-bus. When we got to Puntarenas we found embarkation a little different than usual. We were directed into a terminal building to be given a medical form, then took the shuttle bus along the pier to the ship. Check-in was completed in the Cabaret Lounge. This was all done with very little fuss and little queuing - given the short notice, we felt this was handled very well and efficiently. Our verandah stateroom was very comfortable. Our two attendants did a good job, bringing me lots of extra hangers and making sure our fridge had plenty of tonic waters as we requested. We are most nights in Discoveries (MDR) and found the food to be excellent, with some dishes being outstanding. We like to share tables, but found it quite difficult to do this because we like to dine fairly late and by the time we got there all the large tables had filled up. However we found that even when we had a table for two, we could chat to the couple at the next table. Service was generally very good, although on a couple of occasions we had quite a gap between courses. The included wines were OK and if we didn’t like the day’s offerings, it was usually possible to get some of a previous day’s wine. We booked dinner in Prime C (speciality restaurant - $30 a head extra) one night and, as always, the food and service was superb. We ate breakfast in Windows (buffet), where again the tea & coffee service was excellent. We mostly had lunch in the Patio, though I often went into Windows to get a slice of the roast meat of the day to have with salad. The cruise only had 2 sea-days and we spent these in our favourite spot -deck 11 sun-deck. The Azamazing evening was due to be held in the old part of Panama City, but as the weather was unsettled, the Captain decided to bring it onboard. It was a folk-dancing show and was quite good, but inevitably it lost atmosphere being held in the cabaret lounge. The White Night was excellent. The buffet included lobster, steak, lamb, Frito Misto, Paella and, of course, crepes suzettes served by the Hotel Manager. It was quite an emotional occasion, as it was Captain Carl Smith’s last voyage on the Quest before taking over the new Azamara ship, the Pursuit. The ports we went to were: Panama City - (two days). On the first day we took the Hop On Hop Off bus from Fuerte Amador where the boat docked and got off at the Miraflores lock. We didn’t see any ships going through the lock, but thoroughly enjoyed the exhibition about the canal and how it was built. On the second day we got a taxi into the old town and had a wander around it and around the fish market close by. Golfito - a small town right next to the dock. We had booked a private tour along with others on our Roll call. The tour was a boat trip in the Golfe Dulce to see dolphins, which we did -a pod of 340! We were then taken to an animal sanctuary where we saw monkeys, an ocelot, macaws, sloths and a tayra. Lastly we had the opportunity to snorkel over a small reef. Quepos - tendered port - there seemed to be quite a nice little town next to the tender port. Again we had booked a private tour to Manual Antonio National Park. The tour company met us just outside the tender port and took us to the park, where we walked through the park with a guide who had a monocular and who was able to point out various animals, birds and frogs along the way. The path led to the beach where we had time for a swim before setting off back again. Then we were taken for lunch in a local restaurant. Unfortunately it was a Sunday when we were there so the Park was very busy as the trail to the beach was used by them. We had to queue to get into the park, and then queue along the way to be able to see reptiles, birds, animals & frogs along the way. San Juan Del Tour, Nicaragua,- tendered port. This was a nice little town with a nice beach and lots of beach bars and restaurants, all close to the tender port. We had booked a private half day tour of the town, a visit to the statue of Christ Misericordia perched on the cliff over the town( half the size of Christ the Redeemer in Rio), then to an adventure park where we had a bone rattling ride in 4x4s, to a viewpoint where we could see Lake Nicaragua and it’s 2 volcanoes. From there we could do an included short walk or visit an Iguana Sanctuary, or do Zip-lining for an extra $30. I opted for the zip-lining, which was a first for me - I loved it! We ended up at a seaside restaurant for an included drink and to watch an excellent display of folk-dancing. Puntarenas -the ship was docked at the pier of this small seaside town. This time we took the ship’s tour to the Cloud Forest which was fascinating and included butterfly and humming bird gardens. The tour included lunch and the inevitable stop at a souvenir shop. Disembarkation was, as usual, very easy. Read Less
BBMacLaird, CBO - Azamara Club Cruises has responded
Thank you Host Grandma Cruising! I'm glad you enjoyed the Costa Rica cruise...it sounds amazing. And thanks for all your effort and concern. Much appreciated by all!
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
Not 5 star at all. Basically a Manor House on water. Lovely decor but that's about if! Food not upto 5 star quality, drinks are ok but not a very good choice, bar service slow and waiter service hit and miss. Cabins are clean and newly ... Read More
Not 5 star at all. Basically a Manor House on water. Lovely decor but that's about if! Food not upto 5 star quality, drinks are ok but not a very good choice, bar service slow and waiter service hit and miss. Cabins are clean and newly decorated, balconies scruffy though. And now entertainment, awful! No atmosphere at all! Stupid 'Kiss the Fish' 10 min embarrassment for all by pool for crossing the equator (done a day late too), the cabaret room, went in a few times but acts on we're very poor, some young lad telling everyone has life story inbetween tinkling the ivorys, female violinist, female singer, some poor fellows trying to put on only what one can call a Butlind showcase night, a film one night 'Grease'! Man on guitar and a pianist played for about half hour every is and then in lounge bar. There was Fusvo each night until 2pm but just a voiceless man playing same records over and over again every night, people did venture into it as come 10/11pm everything else was closed. Daytime activities were talks, bingo, board & card games. White night party was best night but that was only because it was by the pool and the only thing laid on for everyone to join in with. I did ask why there was no background music anywhere and the captain said the clientele on this cruise didn't want it, but after that within half hour back ground music (quiet, sift, popular musuc) was played and everyone enjoyed it and remarked how it lifted the atmosphere especially around the pool area but within half an hour it was turned off again, never to be heard again. Never saw the entertainment manager at all except on White party night, oh tell a lie, I did, once in the lift then another occasion in the Buffett, he must have been at the GLBT meetings running every day. Something lacking, an atmosphere I believe on this cruise. The ports of call were rubbish too! Docking st what seemed industrial ports, bus trip to shopping malls unless you paid over $100 each to do a sight seeing tour from the cruise. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
This was my first time on the Azamara. If your 50 to 75 years old (Maybe some 40 plus people??) and love being tempted with copious amounts of food and beverage then you are the target consumer. But you may be disappointed too. I ... Read More
This was my first time on the Azamara. If your 50 to 75 years old (Maybe some 40 plus people??) and love being tempted with copious amounts of food and beverage then you are the target consumer. But you may be disappointed too. I know that some people complain about the limited music tastes available, and, generally, the dubious wine quality and this may well be true, but you can't please them all can you. Particularly on a smaller ship. Given the luxurious things to consume on board (and I am sure you can purchase really good wine if you want to) I find something is missing. Cigars. I don't smoke generally, but, when I spend time on board ships I enjoy a cigar. YOU CAN NOT PURCHASE CIGARS ON BOARD THE AZAMARA SHIPS. I didn't bring any because I was assured you could buy cigars on the "Journey". So for me and, I'm sure, for many others, this precludes the indulgence of an essential item in the luxury department. This is the first ship I have been on where cigars were not available. So what is my assessment of the Azamara Journey? A narrow focus to satisfy well behaved old people. This is what Azamara is about. Younger people, and even many middle aged people, are not catered for very well. But underlying this are more serious problems potentially and those who travel with Azamara should be aware of them before they sign up. I was told by the bar manager that, if those serving behind the bar think that you have drunk too much, even if you have had just one beer, then you can be stopped from having anymore alcohol. This can make quite an impact on your holiday on board where beers are included and you may expect to have more drinks in your day than say four(4) beers but were refused because of a subjective assessment by a staff member. This actually happened to my son on the Azamara "Journey" on our second day at sea. I could see that the barman took a dislike to my son after in incident the day before when my son became inebriated. The upshot was that he was not allowed to drink more then three(3) light beers per day for the remaining days at sea, and only in the company of his parents. My son is thirty four(34). I know there will be those who read this and applaud the zero tolerance decision of the hotel manager on board ship but I know my son had adjusted to the ship and his behaviour and drinking would have been good if he had been given a second chance. There are those who equate mental illness with a potential to be violent and this judgement is discriminatory and wrong. Royal Caribbean should bring these punitive and outmoded views into the 21st century.-But not the Cigar policy, they should acknowledge the value of old fashion rare pleasures. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
I am today off Azamara's 7 day Singapore to Bali cruise, 14-21 January, 2018. Azamara Journey is a fine ship, almost a twin to Oceania's Nautica, with good food and excellent, cheerful, service. Cabin 6042 was fine for me on my own but ... Read More
I am today off Azamara's 7 day Singapore to Bali cruise, 14-21 January, 2018. Azamara Journey is a fine ship, almost a twin to Oceania's Nautica, with good food and excellent, cheerful, service. Cabin 6042 was fine for me on my own but would have been a real squeeze for two (my wife sat this one out as she does not like hot, sticky weather!). The nuts and bolts of the cruise all worked well, starting with an efficient boarding process in Singapore. Service in the main dining room was excellent and I never had to wait to be seated, sharing with others at a table of six. The food was good, taking into account that they are preparing food for hundreds of people. Given the short nature of the itinerary, I did not use either of the two speciality restaurants. If I had to name one food item at which Azamara excel, let it be their cookies; as soft as delicious as Princess but of a smaller, more modest dimension. I made it to Borobudur, which was the overriding reason for choosing this itinerary, and it was magical. However, the manner of our getting there left me perplexed and questioning whether Azamara understands the concept of 'responsible tourism'. I was on an Azamara tour, in a series of buses. We travelled as a flying column, with a police escort fore and aft. The police sirens sounded almost constantly, scattering the locals to the left and right, as we thundered along through town and countryside, ignoring speed limits, red lights and holding up traffic at intersections, just so we could arrive at Borobudur more quickly. I found this behaviour embarrassing, for what right did we have to take precedence over other traffic? I heard it said that this was the only way to get to Borobudur and back in the day but this is piffle, as others made independent arrangements and completed the return trip to Borobudur just fine. I have no idea how many people we inconvenienced, even if only in a minor way, or how many grudges may fester as a result. Yes, many children were waving at us but car and scooter drivers were shaking their fists. I have travelled pretty widely, on business and as a tourist, in groups large and small, in countries with traffic worse than in Indonesia, yet I have never experienced the like. If tourists were allowed to behave like this in the U.K., where I live, there would be a riot. I raised my concerns with a very senior officer on the Azamara Journey and his response was to throw his head back and laugh. Perhaps he was embarrassed or caught unawares but it was an odd reaction. At the end of the day, Azamara are responsible for how their tours are run and, to my mind, such conduct as I experienced was shameful. In short, I am surprised and disappointed that Azamara allowed this to happen. If they wish to convince Indonesians that tourism is a blessing not a blight, they need to change their ways, and rapidly. If they simply p**s people off, then at a certain point some idiot will decide to do something about it. Clearly this is only a personal view, my impressions of an experience, and I would welcome the response of others, who may have made the same journey to Borobudur, on this occasion or previously. Read Less
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