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6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This cruise visited 12 ports around Japan. There was only 1 Sea Day which makes it a very active cruise. We docked at all ports so there was no need to tender. This was our first visit to Japan so we were able to add a pre cruise land ... Read More
This cruise visited 12 ports around Japan. There was only 1 Sea Day which makes it a very active cruise. We docked at all ports so there was no need to tender. This was our first visit to Japan so we were able to add a pre cruise land tour of or own. With the back to back option we were able to go by ship from Japan to Alaska. They return to Japan in late July so that re positioning cruise would be attractive as well. The retrofit of the Quest is great. They removed the Casino and now call the area The Den. The bar is still there and the piano has been moved from the corner to the wall in the middle of the room. There is also and extensive of collection of travel books to all destinations. Great for guests to research destinations for future cruises. There were no children on this cruise. But beware, Azamara does allow children on their cruises. Unlike Viking which allows only children over the age of 18. Most guests were over the age of 55. Very few wheel chairs or those with walking issues. Entertainment by 54 Below at Sea was very good. This is affiliated with Studio 54 in NY which is famous for their small venue entertainment. Azamara's enrichment lectures were fantastic. Charles Richardson spoke about the history of some of the destinations - was not talking about tours available. One topic was Japan: Land of Culture & Tradition. Another was Korea: Two Nations, One Peninsula. Very interesting. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Back to back process : very easy... This was so easy that you feel it’s just like another day of the cruise CABIN: Inside stateroom, 4038 - the room still does the job, practical, enough storage space (for us), tiny shower but you ... Read More
Back to back process : very easy... This was so easy that you feel it’s just like another day of the cruise CABIN: Inside stateroom, 4038 - the room still does the job, practical, enough storage space (for us), tiny shower but you get used to. The room is in the middle of deck 4 next to a service door for restricted access to somewhere. It's a lot in use but didn't disturbed us. We pointed a couple of technical issues with the stateroom to the stateroom attendant and to guest relations and it was fixed in a properly timeframe. Our stateroom attendant, Francisco and his assistant: Julius (or Julian) did a great job keeping our stateroom in order, they were very fast. DINING / drinks / Bars: This week we really enjoyed the food in the buffet with a smaller but better selection of dishes than on the bigger ships. Here you get quality over quantity, something I feel is much better and less food goes to waste ( I think ). Also to get almost 90% new dishes every night is so much better than having a big selection that never change. When it comes to serving wine in the Buffett there is still potential for improvements. This week we also bought the Ultimate Beverage package again and when we order wine by the glass from the wine list usually the problems start. This is based on some nights and some lunches this week and you feel that as soon as you like to order wine that is not the one of the day, you see they get a little “oh, now I have to go and get that bottle” attitude. Some of the times they do not have the wine you ask for and bring you another one that substitutes it and that is ok, but please let us know before you start serving it to us, so we might be able to see if you have another we might prefer. There should also be a system maybe when you have ordered a wine from the wine list they can serve it in another wine glass (they did once) so other waiters know that you are not drinking the wine of the day and can ask what are you having and do you like some more. A couple of nights another waiter pass by and see your half empty glass and starts to pour the wine of the day and then mix it with a different one. It is not so nice to drink your Merlot and then they fill it up with Cabernet Sauvignon so we have to sent it back. This always happens specially if you drink a rose wine or a sparkling wine or Champagne for lunch/dinner from the wine list. However we still have to give them credit for always looking after you and you do never sit long with an empty glass. Azamazing evening Buffett and White Night Outdoor dining were great again as expected ENTERTAINMENT / ENRICHMENT / ART PROGRAM After beeing on board for two weeks, we have seen the shows and you can find it in our other reviews, this cruise Azamara has brought on board “A night at the Opera”... Believe me, this was a hit, incredible Italian talent for just one show... this was like the Azamazing Evening elevated and on board. Talking with Sam, one of the Art experts on board, we learned about the Azamara Art program and to us it sounded great, the approach to work with some emerging artists and some well established names and bringing them onboard to work while traveling and being also available to talk with the guests is a great way to connect. No art auctions but a small Art gallery where they exhibit these pieces and change it during the voyages. The price range is accesible for what I could think is the Azamara client. We had the chance to meet and see Gary Smith during the first two weeks and his work is really great. We also learned about other artists that Azamara has had onboard and the Art channel on the TV is another great way to enrich your art knowledge / curiosity. They also offer some lectures (if times allows it) about different artists. We put our eyes on some pieces and The only reason we did not buy the ones we liked is that we are moving into our new home (apartment) and we still have to figure out the use of the space in the walls we have. The enrichment lectures: For us traveling is not just about monuments or famous places but about culture, people, history, food, Art, etc. Is about learning about the places we visit and understanding the people and it’s cultural expressions. We attended some of the enrichment lectures and we are very happy we did. There is an historian on board for the next voyages, sorry I don’t remember his name or how long will he on board. It’s not the typical lecture that will tell you what to go and see but that will teach you about the history of the places, and this will make you understand the place. I highly recommend you to attend the lectures. SERVICE: In general the service level around the ship is excellent. Kudos to all the senior officers specially, Hotel Director Ryszard; F&B manager Elizabeth for making us feel at home and they are always visible around the ship. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose Azamara because of the itinerary (Italy intensive) and the size of the ship. I had never been on a cruise before but after seeing some of the other huge ships in some of the ports, I was very glad we chose Azamara. The service ... Read More
We chose Azamara because of the itinerary (Italy intensive) and the size of the ship. I had never been on a cruise before but after seeing some of the other huge ships in some of the ports, I was very glad we chose Azamara. The service was first class, the food was very good with lots of variety. We only ate in the main dining room 3 times: once to try it, once because we couldn't find a table at the White Night party and again for the delicious brunch they had. We ate almost every meal in Windows because we could choose the table we wanted (we could sit at a table for four even though we were only two) which usually meant we could get a window seat when there was something to see. Waiters were the best I've ever had. Room service was extremely prompt if you scheduled your breakfast for the next day and really pretty quick if you ordered just coffee and orange juice which we did almost every morning. You won't go hungry on this ship. There is food available most of the time and then room service 24/7. The included spirits were fine with us. The wine was just fine too. The cabin was very clean with comfy beds and linens. Turn down service in the evening also. The only complaint we had was the laundry. Too many people on the ship for just one laundry room. It was pretty crowded and I think maybe Azamara should add one more laundry room for the size of ship. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We are just back from our third Azamara voyage in about 18 months- this time on the Pursuit for an eight day Italy Intensive voyage from Rome to Venice. For background purposes, our earlier travels with Azamara did not give us a good ... Read More
We are just back from our third Azamara voyage in about 18 months- this time on the Pursuit for an eight day Italy Intensive voyage from Rome to Venice. For background purposes, our earlier travels with Azamara did not give us a good first impression of this line. On our first trip, we had repeatedly difficulties with the online booking engine and the price promotions would not carry over to the actual booking. As I always like to book our travels directly, this caused some frustration and the response that we "need to use a travel agent" was not going to happen. After several phone calls, we did get it straightened out so we decided to proceed with the trip. On our second voyage, the front office repeatedly gave out misinformation as to where the ship was docking for embarkation (in Sydney, Australia) despite the port authority saying otherwise. Even our final documents showed the wrong location. Again, I was ready to give up. This third journey, I have to say, not only went forward without a hitch, but also convinced us that those who always state "it's the Azamara onboard experience that counts" are right. We began our trip in Rome and used Rome Cabs for a same day transfer to our hotel in Civitavecchia, the Hotel San Giorgio. Our driver was prompt, polite, and provided a very safe ride directly to our lodging. Highly recommend Rome Cabs for transfers to/from FCO. The Hotel San Giorgio is in a beautiful location right on the water front and we were warmly greeted after a long day/night of travel. The room was comfortable and quiet and we had dinner at the very good onsite restaurant. The hotel also provided breakfast and a timely transfer to the ship the next day. Embarkation for the Pursuit took literally 5 minutes- absolutely no lines or queing up. I love being greeted by smiling crew members who hand you a glass of sparkling wine and take your carry on bags so you can begin enjoying the ship. The Pursuit immediately had a very positive vibe. As the newest member of the Azamara fleet, there was still that "new car" feel to her, and everything sparkled. We were anxious to check out the new "Den" which replaced the old casino and just loved it. We spent many hours there and it became our go-to place for cocktails and relaxing. We are thrilled that this change is being made on the Quest and Journey as well. Our Club Veranda stateroom on deck 7 was exactly as we expected- small but with loads of storage and a very comfortable bed. Yes, the bathrooms are small too, but they are functional and you work with it. After our last cruise on the Quest, I commented that Azamara had definitely improved significantly in terms of food and service. The Pursuit took this one step farther. In Windows Cafe, the Patio, and Discoveries Restaurant, we found the food and staff to be excellent. We always were able to get a lovely table for two, usually by the window. Just be patient, go a bit later to the dining room, and they will do their best for you. The master of the Pursuit, Captain Antonio Toledo, and his senior staff were highly visible as was our cruise director, Amanda Poulson. The Azamara perks- White Night, AzAmazing Evening, and the Officers' barbecue, all were fantastic- well organized and fun to attend. Italy itself was a spectacular destination. Several of our ports were repeats for us, but with every trip to this country we just grow fonder and fonder of the people, the scenery, and, of course, the food. We won't go into too many port specifics here, but will add that we fell in love with Sorrento, and discovered a new part of Venice on a rainy day (which just added to the atmosphere)! The demographic of our fellow guests was similar to our other Azamara cruises with a few more younger (30-something) couples. It is always interesting chatting with other well-traveled folks who appreciate the smaller ship and less visited ports. There are two areas of Azamara which continue to cause us some discourse- the first being the included beverages vs the upgraded packages. Many passengers (and bar personnel) were confused by what is and isn't included, and the mixers used continue to be awful. No sense drinking a high end gin (like Hendricks) and mixing it with Royal Club tonic. Secondly, and more importantly, is the huge amount of plastic water bottles used each cruise. Whilst it is nice to have unlimited drinking water, seeing the bins filled with disposable water bottles everywhere is heartbreaking. With 8 million metric tons of plastic being thrown into our oceans annually (source: earthday.org), it would be so easy for Azamara to simply stop using them. Install a few refillable water bottle fountains on the ships like those now becoming commonplace in cities around the world. I think guests would appreciate an inexpensive refillable water bottle more than another tote bag. All in all, we really loved our Italy Intensive voyage on the Pursuit and did visit the Cruise Again desk to book a trip in 2020. In a world where everything seems to be getting bigger and bigger with more people, Azamara fills a niche where less is more. We look forward to many more great experiences. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
I just enjoy getting away on my own from time to time and cruising is my favorite way to escape. It is always more fun to have my travel buddies with me but it’s not always possible and cruising is a way to make new friends or hang out ... Read More
I just enjoy getting away on my own from time to time and cruising is my favorite way to escape. It is always more fun to have my travel buddies with me but it’s not always possible and cruising is a way to make new friends or hang out alone, if you prefer. For some reason, “all in the same boat” seems to be the perfect motto for single travelers and the reason to travel that way. Azamara ships are the perfect size for me. Small enough to navigate easily, super friendly staff and management and this last trip, GREAT entertainment! I know you can get bigger shows on bigger ships (with bigger audiences) but this group were out of New York and outstanding! There was a particular young singer/dancer that I believe will be Broadway bound name Michael Bradley. Not only can he perform, he helped Marcio with our iPad classes. Those were so much fun and I learned a LOT! I hope they have them on all their cruises in the future. Of course, the ship is ready for a “face lift” and having been on the Persuit this summer after its rehab, it’s going to be a big improvement. Yes, the showers are still small and will be after the renovation but some big men showered in the spa shower...just a hint. The “White NIght” was, as always, a highlight of any Azamara cruise. Everyone had a grand time and our cruise director who is also outstanding kept everyone on their feet.Eric deGray is one HUGE talent! The Chef’s table dinner with another special evening..additional, naturally. All in all, I believe I got my moneys worth and will certainly be back with Azamara soon! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
We were cruising across the Atlantic between Bermuda and Portugal when we decided to get married. We had thought about it before but didn't make plans to get married at sea. When we talked of our project to Tiago, the concierge, he ... Read More
We were cruising across the Atlantic between Bermuda and Portugal when we decided to get married. We had thought about it before but didn't make plans to get married at sea. When we talked of our project to Tiago, the concierge, he told us that people generally don't get married on cruise ships; they just renew their vows. Furthurmore, people generally make their request and the arrangements before the beginning of the cruise not during. But Tiago said that he would make his best to accomodate us. Not only was Azamara able to arrange everything for our wedding with only a few days notice but it was done in the most amazing way that went beyond our expectations. The ceremony was performed by the captain in a private room, we had flowers that Tiago ordered from a flower shop in the Azores, a pianist, a wonderful cake, champagne and a dinner in one of the specialized restaurants. Our guest, about ten friends that we had made during the cruise, were well looked after. While all of that was done in a very professional way, it was also done very seriously and with great respect in a warm and friendly atmosphere. It couldn't have been any better. We'd also like to thank Eric, the director, who directed the ceremony and made everybody feel, even the groom, relaxed and comfortable, and, of course, Captain Sanguineti who performed the wedding in a way that we'll never forget. Thank you Azamara! Maria Nguyen and Pierre Bujold, Ottawa, Canada Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Azamara Pursuit - Italy Intensive, second leg of a Back to back to back. Hi there, we are Jorge & Stian (a.K.a the arctic husbands) from Norway, this will be our 21st cruise; third with Azamara. This is the second leg of a B2B2B. ... Read More
Azamara Pursuit - Italy Intensive, second leg of a Back to back to back. Hi there, we are Jorge & Stian (a.K.a the arctic husbands) from Norway, this will be our 21st cruise; third with Azamara. This is the second leg of a B2B2B. This second week we had an Ocean View stateroom in deck 4, cabin 4000 Back to back process : very easy... This was so easy that you feel it’s just like another day of the cruise CABIN: Ocean View stateroom, 4000. Coming from the Continent Suite you feel the space is much less, specially in the bathroom... the room still does the job, practical, enough storage space (for us), tiny shower but you get used to. The room is totally at the front of deck 4 so noise and vibration could be an issue for some people. We are early morning and early sleepers so it doesn’t bother us that much...  Our stateroom attendant, Paulo did a good job keeping our stateroom in order but we noticed this time that it could take longer time for them to make up the stateroom, again for us this was not an issue but understand that for some this could be a “thing”... this time due to space constraints we never ordered breakfast or room service DINING: This week we just have dined in Discoveries and the buffett aka Windows Cafe, quality of food and service has been again really on point, good variation of the menus. Azamazing evening Buffett and White Night Outdoor dining were great again as expected BARS: For this week we decided to just go with the complimentary drinks and wines and it worked well for us this week during the experiment, The included red and white wines change daily (2 whites, 2 reds) but the rose and the sparkling ones do not. Quality of the wines was good but if you have special preferences for the kind of wine you like it may be not in the daily rotation Regarding the drinks and cocktails you can easily go through the week with the complimentary drinks and cocktails but again if you like certain liqueurs, cognacs, whiskeys and/or bourbons and high end brands for vodka and Gin; these are not included in the complimentary menu. After our experiment we can see that for cruises of seven to 10 days the price/ value of the ultimate package is well worthy if you like to have the option to choose the wines you like or to have a couple of cocktails or drinks at night with high end brands, cognacs, etc. ENTERTAINMENT: We still love the intimacy of the cabaret lounge shows and the signature singers are so good... the guest entertainers: White Sand Trio and the pianist are really great for evenings of music in the Den or in the Living room. This week we attended the Amanda’s Show: Epics... I just loved her more. Not just she is an amazing cruise director but an incredible singer; it is just lovely and you get to know about her career but also about her as an artist and a person... with beautiful songs I am not going to spoil but make yourself a favor and go and see this show... Super Amanda. Azamazing Evening in Livorno... just an incredible concert in a beautiful Opera Theater. Standing ovation to the performers White Evening party: This time we stayed longer and enjoyed the Party and the music...All the staff makes a great effort for this event and you should not miss it. SERVICE: In general the service level around the ship is excellent. We had a little issue during this cruise that we complained about and it got quickly addressed by Senior Management (Thanks to the Marketing manager) and this shows that Azamara takes us as guests very seriously and go out of their way to make us feel at home. Kudos to all the senior officers specially, Hotel Director Ryszard; F&B manager Elizabeth for making us feel at home and they are always visible around the ship. More detailed information in the semi live review on the CC boards: https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2656591-azamara-pursuit-semi-live-review-b2b2b-france-and-italy-intensive/ Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
OK pulled up to the port for embarkation and since the ship was in Port of Nice until 10pm that evening there was no line. I mean no one. Walked thru a tent right outside the ship, up and on quickly since we had uploaded our photos on the ... Read More
OK pulled up to the port for embarkation and since the ship was in Port of Nice until 10pm that evening there was no line. I mean no one. Walked thru a tent right outside the ship, up and on quickly since we had uploaded our photos on the Azamara website. Directed into the Cabaret and received our room keys and went to a nice lunch in the buffet. Easiest embarkation ever experienced! We had the Club World Owners suite on the back of the ship Cabin # 7114. Perfect location as we werent below a restaurant. We have been sailing on NCL in The Haven and decided to try this for the ports of call and were concerned about being on such a small ship. That concern was gone immediately. The cabin was spacious, well stocked and clean. Many towels all over for the balcony, beach, whatever you needed. The first night we decided to eat n the main dining room, which we almost never do on larger ships and the food was excellent! Many options and specials every night. For lunch when we were on board we ate at the buffet but this isnt like any buffet you have seen, Crown Roast one day, many options and same for breakfast. Now to give you an idea of the quality of service, my wife has a food issue, she cant have anything cooked with extra salt or salted. We made this known and from the on no matter where we ate someone was there to make her anything she wanted just without salt. They even went so far as to bake her fresh bread for breakfast and dinner without any salt! There was a dinner for guests in the 10 largest suites called the Best of the Best! WOW! It was served in the library with the Captain, First Officer and other staff. White Glove service with wine paring. A real experience. White Night Party beautiful, with a Buffet and BBQ Lobster Tails, pasta, everything. Azamazing Evening was at an old Opera House in Livorno for a small performance that was extremely enjoyable. We experienced two minor issues. One was that the staff was all new so they werent quite up to speed as to how to go the extra mile yet. They were very good but just didnt go the extra step not because they were rude, they just didnt know. For example we had a butler and the first day asked him to bring coffee and tea every morning at 8am. he said we had to fill out the card and hang it on the door every night. One would think this was something he could have taken care of since he brought it to us every day. Not a big deal but just inexperience. The second was on an excursion. We were in Santa Margarita and wanted to go to Portofino for the day. So we hopped on a cheap tour offered by Azamara just for the ride and we had room credit to spend. Well we waited on the dock for a public ferry for close to an hour, Granted it was Easter Sunday but we expected a company like Azamara to have a private shuttle for their tour, maybe we were expecting too much. However upon our return a staff member asked how the tour was and I said I dont want to complain. They insisted I say something so I explained the situation. Apparently they are offering what they call "sightseeing" inexpensive tours since people have commented that their immersive excursions are expensive. So now they are trying less expensive tours. Anyway they made things right. Since this was an "Immersive" sailing we were in port everyday so by the time we returned each day we ate and walked a little and went to bed so we didnt experience any of the shows. Last night they have a chocolate buffet which is amazing! I loved it because the small personal nature you get to know the staff and the higher ups on board as they are always visible. Also, its an upscale cruise but not stuffy! No jackets required and decent casual comfortable clothes. I dont like to have to wear a jacket when Im on vacation unless I have to Would I go again! Absolutely I already booked Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Absolutely brilliant time had by all. Cabin great, a lot bigger than I was expecting and we were well looked after by our room attendant, sometimes to the point where it became a little bit irritating as he was ALWAYS there, nonetheless ... Read More
Absolutely brilliant time had by all. Cabin great, a lot bigger than I was expecting and we were well looked after by our room attendant, sometimes to the point where it became a little bit irritating as he was ALWAYS there, nonetheless cannot fault his work and cabin was always clean and tidy each day. Food was amazing, lots of choice and catered to all tastes. If you couldn’t find something you liked then you have a problem - and this is coming from a very fussy eater myself!! Loved the outside areas and abundance of sun loungers available. The only thing that really let this cruise down was the entertainment which was shockingly BAD. The AzAmazing night was a complete waste of an evening, performances were very mediocre at best and did not seem as though the dancers had rehearsed at all. We spent more time getting on and off ship / coaches than anything else so really not worth the hassle. Spoke with several people after thus event and all were of the same opinion!! Other entertainment shows were awful - I have heard better kareoke singers in my local town than anyone actually employed on Pursuit. And as for the so called DJ - an absolutely awful human being, very rude and not at all friendly towards our party on the nights that we did venture into his domain. Said NO to every song request we asked for and was very abrupt- he actually ruined our night!!! The entertainment aspect definitely needs to be looked into and said DJ to be replaced by someone who actually knows how to do a disco and accommodate all people present and be able to converse in a friendly manner with all guests. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Hi there, we are Jorge (40) & Stian (42) (a.K.a the arctic husbands) from Norway, this will be our 20th cruise; second with Azamara. This is the first leg of a B2B2B. This first week we had a Club Ocean Suite stateroom. We booked ... Read More
Hi there, we are Jorge (40) & Stian (42) (a.K.a the arctic husbands) from Norway, this will be our 20th cruise; second with Azamara. This is the first leg of a B2B2B. This first week we had a Club Ocean Suite stateroom. We booked these cruises to celebrate our 10th years marriage anniversary and because after meny RCCL and Celebrity we wanted to experience Azamara again and the ports of call in the meditterannean where the big Ships cannot go PRE-CRUISE: Barcelona... One night stay in the Eurostar’s Grand Marina, next to the port where Azamara starts... so the check out, walk to the ship was a decisive factor... we have been several times in Barcelona and sightseeing was not something we needed this time around. The Hotel is OK, nice but dated rooms, a reception staff that smiles but doesn’t do their job, the best of the stay is the small restaurant offering a Gourmet dinner experience and this was a highlight of the trip... the food and the wine pairings were PERFECT... do we recommend this hotel... yes for a stay next to the port. EMBARKATION: very easy... just five minutes and then we were on board. SHIP: Pursuit is a beautiful ship. The newest of their kind... elegant, sophisticated and the color palette makes you feel happy. CABIN: for this first leg of the back to back we upgraded (at last minute) to a Club continental suite, we got 8039, perfect location and the only suite I have ever said OMG WAO when opening the door... the colours, the decoration, the style and the light. No noise problems, at least for us. SUITE CLASS PERKS: Internett: 235 minutes per guest, which is OK but slowly but after all you´re on holiday and IT works for reading emails if you ned it. Butler service: our butler Roy has been outstanding, amazing level of service when we have requested our breakfast in the suite, our tea service in the afternoon. I will post a picture of the letter in the stateroom with all of the suite perks you can get DINING: This week we just have ate dinner in Aqualina or Prime C, given that is included in the suite perks. Once we had dinner in the buffet (before the Azamazing evening) and once with the White party buffet that was AMAZING. Aqualina and Prime C quality of food and service has been really on point. Room service: we had breakfast in the rom almost everyday and it was very very very nice to have the extra space the suite provides and the balcony breakfast when it was not so cold in the early hours. BARS: For this first week we decided to buy the ultimate drinking package and it worked well for us this week. We got to try most of the included wines when having dinner, and some of the premium drinks we enjoy when on a cruise. For the second week, we decided not to buy it so we can compare the experience.... Our favorite place for drinks so far is The Den... it is just a very nice place, with some piano music on the evenings and the best bartenders and waiters. ENTERTAINMENT: This week we attended all the Signature Singers shows (3 shows) and they were good. These guys can sing and dance and keep you entertained for the 45 minutes signing along. We loved the intimacy of the cabaret lounge shows, if you´re expecting but productions shows, this is not the case and it works for Azamara. Azamazing Evening in Marseilles, Palais du Pharo. Was very entertaining, a kind of cabaret show with very french music, dancers and two great vocalists. White Evening party: we are not party people so we didn´t stay long after the White Evening Buffett ended but the party looked nice and people was enjoying themselves. All the staff makes a great effort for this event and you should not miss it. SERVICE: In general the service level around the ship is very good. Of course there are some that are just good and there are some people that just go above and beyond. SHORE EXCURSIONS & Ports of call: * Port Vendres: small, charming village, we just walked around and then found a hiking path that takes you to the other small town Collioure (or something like it). The Wall in the green areas around the Coast line is just very very very nice and easy with some amazing views. Breathtaking * Sanary Sur Mer: Beautiful town, the marina, the restaurants and cafes, it was very beautiful. We just walked around and enjoyed perplekse watching here and there. * Marseille: a vibrant city, we walked around, did some shopping and visited the Cathedral. It was great to be docked just in the center of town (or very very close) * St. Tropez: we took and organized excursion from Azamara and loved every minute; we visited Gassin and Ramatuelle and the Bertaud Bellieu wineyard for wine tasting. The guide we had has to be the most amazing guy we ever had AS a guide. We actually think we got a lecture on wine making, all about the process and the technology and traditional methods. The wine was so good we bought three bottles to take with us to the ship and enjoy in the stateroom. Also the small towns Gassins and Ramatuelle were beautiful and we got to learn about the history of the places. In Ramatuelle we enjoyed some free time that we used eating cheese and hams with a cold bottle of Rose wine from a local wine yard. It was an amazing day. The port of St. Tropez by itself, was not as expected, it was crowded and just a marina with amazing yachts, the best was the local artists selling their paintings around the marina. Beautiful paints and interesting people. * Cannes: we have been in Cannes several times so we decided to go for the Excursion of the ship to Grasse with a perfume factory visit and to St. Paul de Vence. And again we got a great guide, the visit to the perfume factory: Fragonard; this was very enriching and we could resist and bought two new Eau de Colognes with shower gels... Then we visited St. Paul de Vence and OMG this small hilltop village is just amazing, it breathes art from everywhere. The local artist and small galleries in the very narrow streets, the views from the wall of the town, the small restaurants... once again we learned about the local history with our guide and in the free time we just walked around and decided to have a very French lunch, we found a little place where they make sandwiches, so we bought a baguette with local produced cheese and ham, and sat on the wall and had our small French sandwich picnic there... just beautiful. * Monaco: Last minute changes out of Azamara control, The port authorities closed the port in Monaco so we got diverted to Nice... for the last night and day of this first cruise. We will explore a little bit of Nice today. NEXT CRUISE OFFICE: So far they have made a good job and we booked a cruise for 2021, Western Africa sailing from Cape Town to Lisboa. The benefits of booking on board make sense for us coming from the Nordic market. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Having been on over 20 cruises with MSC, NCL, Royal Caribbean, P&O, and Cunard, we were not sure what to expect on this, our first, cruise on Azamara. We have always enjoyed every cruise, sometimes this has of course meant focusing on ... Read More
Having been on over 20 cruises with MSC, NCL, Royal Caribbean, P&O, and Cunard, we were not sure what to expect on this, our first, cruise on Azamara. We have always enjoyed every cruise, sometimes this has of course meant focusing on the positives, and so we were looking forward to cruising on the Azamara. Our main concern, because we like to socialize and party, was that the demographic would be different and maybe the atmosphere a tad "stuffy". However, we thought the service and food would be excellent, the cabin comfortable, and the itinerary was great - as a student 40 years ago I spent a summer hitch-hiking around Southern France and hadn't been back since to that region. Well the food and the service was indeed excellent and the ship immaculately clean - a credit to all the hard working and friendly staff on board. The cabin was tastefully decorated and the bed extremely comfortable with bed linen of the highest quality. Our cabin attendants worked very hard to ensure the highest of standards too. As expected, the itinerary was also well planned, and particularly for me, fascinating. It was awesome to be able to visit small coastal ports and towns that the bigger ships can't reach. Everything was really well organised. The "Azamazing" experience - I believe there is one on every cruise - was also well planned and I enjoyed the evening's entertainment provided at a venue in Marseille. I heard one or two comments from a few other guests, who had travelled Azamara before, saying it was not as well organised as usual and the show a little short, however we felt it all went smoothly enough (quite a manoeuvre getting 600 or so passengers off a ship on coaches to the venue and back again!) We also thoroughly enjoyed the entertainment put on for us - an excellent experience! The real surprise on this cruise however were our fellow passengers - a great range of ages and characters and not at all "stuffy" as feared. We met lots of friends from the US, Australia, Norway, Germany and the UK, and every night in the Living Room our group got larger and more enveloping as we had fun listening and dancing to the DJ and sharing stories of our travels and other life experiences! Just a few other points - embarkation and disembarkation was easy and efficient, Prime C, one of the speciality restaurants, was excellent and very good value, and the gym well equipped and spacious for a smaller ship. Overall we had an absolute blast - we loved this cruise, the ship, what Azamara provides and we would definitely recommend this ship. We look forward to our next cruise on board an Azamara ship. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We wanted to sail again on a small ship. Since this cruise was NY to NY it made sense. This was the best cruise we have been on. Every thing was excellent. The ship, the food, the shows and the service. The Captain was very visible and ... Read More
We wanted to sail again on a small ship. Since this cruise was NY to NY it made sense. This was the best cruise we have been on. Every thing was excellent. The ship, the food, the shows and the service. The Captain was very visible and personable. The Cruise Director Eric was a hoot and very talented. Food in the main dining room and the best with at least a dozen selections every night. Food in the Steak House and Italian rest. was excellent with terrific service. They could not do more for you. the shows were great, Singers and dancers were great. Eric CD had a great voice. The Amazing Night aboard the Yorktown was the tops and something we never experienced before. The White Night in Bermuda was also a one of a kind. Everyone of the Staff and crew were extremely friendly and always said hello and how are you. Even the passengers were great. Having a Bridge Director pushed it over the top. 53% of the passengers were past Azamara guests. We became one as we booked another Amazing Cruise on board. It would be great to see more Azamara cruise out of NY. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Chose the cruise for the port destinations and expected a small ship experience similar to Viking (which I loved). The ship disappointed in numerous ways, with smaller, cramped cabins, an uncomfortable bed, fewer entertainment and ... Read More
Chose the cruise for the port destinations and expected a small ship experience similar to Viking (which I loved). The ship disappointed in numerous ways, with smaller, cramped cabins, an uncomfortable bed, fewer entertainment and enrichment options, fewer and less appealing public spaces and, most notably, far inferior food service. Menu items did not include relatively costly fare standard on Viking (for example, shrimp cocktail appetizers, and berries at breakfast fruit bar); the lunch menu reminded me of what one might expect to find at a school cafeteria (think meatloaf, frozen pizza and white bread) and nothing was ever sufficiently hot. The food routing from the kitchen to the dining room was most likely to blame, probably because the ship is older. Deserts were not inspired. I did appreciate the ports of call and our cabin attendant, Dyna, was absolutely top notch. The embarkation and disembarkation procedures were speedy and efficient. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This was our 5th Azamara cruise and we were eager to sample the latest acquisition Pursuit. Although we are not fans of the new modern decor, it was ok but a bit Ikea style. Shower over bath was not worth using, easier to run a bath. In ... Read More
This was our 5th Azamara cruise and we were eager to sample the latest acquisition Pursuit. Although we are not fans of the new modern decor, it was ok but a bit Ikea style. Shower over bath was not worth using, easier to run a bath. In the suites the large one person chair, makes it difficult for 2 people to watch tv without one sitting on the bed. Why no sofa ? The food was dreadful this time, very fish based and as I have a fish allergy this meant my choices were few. Used the buffet more because of this but the food was cold there or of poor quality. Entertainment was terrible and Cruise director mostly just made announcements not to usual standard. Dancers did not show up for lessons, very little to do during bad weather and hygiene is normally very high on the list of priorities, hardly ever mentioned and not pushed to use sanitizer. One other thing, there were children on board of officers, running around the public rooms and screaming as iif it was tgeir home. This will be our last. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
We booked this cruise as we really only wanted a short haul flight and enjoy Spain very much. As usual we have a couple of nights beforehand in Lisbon and arranged our own flghts. The flights we booked were GBP150 a person cheaper than ... Read More
We booked this cruise as we really only wanted a short haul flight and enjoy Spain very much. As usual we have a couple of nights beforehand in Lisbon and arranged our own flghts. The flights we booked were GBP150 a person cheaper than using Azamara. We are based in London UK. We have been on the two other Azamara ships and this is identical apart from no casino and lack of interactive TV. I have to say I did miss my slots so might end up back on Celebrity. I downloaded the app before travel but to be honest it was very buggy and like a lot of Azamara IT/back office prettly poor. We had a nice balcony cabin on deck 7 which was clean and tasteful. The shower was tiny and not sure if it was smaller than other ships but really seemed that way. Our cabin steward looked after us very well. The flat screen had a good picture but I really miss not being able to view my account online, order room sevice or book tours. I really feel the app doesn't take the place of this. We had free internet minutes but there was no way to see how many you had left unless you went to the front desk which was very strange. The service was all round very good and we enjoyed our meals. I found the wine to be a very mixed bag with some very mediocre inclusive wines. It's almost like they want to make everyone buy up to to higher drinks package. I also found the all inclusive spirits very strange. I like an odd Amaretto but that isn't free but you can drink a bottle of whisky. It makes no sense to me.I also found the drinks to be full of ice and sometimes just didn't seem to have any oomph. The entertainment was very subdued but that's what Azamara is like. I go to relax so it's not a problem for me. The clientele was mostly elderly Americans as it's not holiday time and there are no kids clubs etc. Mostly very pleasant but i saw some peope talk to the staff like servants which was very uncalled for. I am 49 so did feel very young! We enjoyed out ports of call even if the weather at the begining was poor. Going up the river to Seville was very interesting and a real treat. We also enjoyed Almeria very much. In Valencia we had our Azamazing evening which was not bad. Unfortunately we were right at the back so could not see the full stage which does spoil it somewhat. The venue however was amazing. All in all we had a pleasant time. I think after six cruises with Azamara we will try Regent or Oceania. They seem to offer better value. I feel that Azamara is overpriced unless you book within 3 months and then there are always offers. I also feel their all inclusive drinks package patchy. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
TOTAL DECEPTION !!! We have just experienced our worst cruise for life !!! We are a couple with more than 15 cruises of experience. The AZAMARA QUEST is too old and poorly maintained, they have done renovations and repairs throughout ... Read More
TOTAL DECEPTION !!! We have just experienced our worst cruise for life !!! We are a couple with more than 15 cruises of experience. The AZAMARA QUEST is too old and poorly maintained, they have done renovations and repairs throughout the cruise. And the worst happened: with outside temperatures of 34c, we ran out of air conditioning for 36 hours, because there is only one compressor for the whole boat and it broke. Our outside patio room was dirty as I have never seen any of the last 15 cruises I did, I put on my shoes to walk on (pictures), there was a metal bar on the floor that had to hold the window that separates the patio of our neighbor, the bar was laid 5 days later, after several reminders. The 3 Jacuzzis on the boat had no water and did not work during the first 10 days of the cruise. The 2 shops of the boat were closed and under renovation, they opened after half of the cruise. This is the first and last time I chose Azamara, yet this company has the reputation of being the cruises Mercedes ... it's the utmost disappointment. We had the announcement, after the problem of air conditioning, that we were credited with 50% of the price of the cruise, I confirm that we did not even celebrate the credit of several thousand dollars because this boat is not worth more!! Our last cruise a few weeks before the QUEST was on the Celebrity EDGE, the average daily price was 40% cheaper than on the '' Quest '' and we had a brand new boat with tons of restaurants and shops, and all and all ... I do not understand how Azamara can charge us such exorbitant prices for a comparable service with other extremely inexpensive boats. This is outright abuse !!! Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
My first time on this ship and with this cruise line, we picked this because of its itinerary and its smaller size. It didn't start off smoothly but the cruise line fixed the problem and everyone was compensated very well. We did ... Read More
My first time on this ship and with this cruise line, we picked this because of its itinerary and its smaller size. It didn't start off smoothly but the cruise line fixed the problem and everyone was compensated very well. We did explore the embarkation port which was Singapore stayed 5 days and loved it a most beautiful city with so much history. The Quest ship is still being updated, there was some construction going on during the voyage, not too intrusive. I was in a suite club continental, everything was new and updated huge bathroom, king bed, new carpets, large balcony and many more perks that come with the suite cabin. There are unlimited dining options in the specialty restaurants all included and wonderful we ate in both Aqualina and Prime C excellent service! Also, all international buffets were outstanding. Entertainment was fantastic loved all of the local shows, Ports and excursions were good the only thing, I found it very hard to understand and hear the local guides speak, especially when in a group of 25 or more, they should provide headsets on all the tours. Overall we did enjoy this trip and all the beautiful ports, service by the cruise is outstanding and they really go out of their way to make you feel at home. I would consider another cruise in the future for sure! Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This was our first Azamara cruise and we chose it because of the itinerary. We loved everything, the crew, the service and the food. As a bonus, we met some wonderful people. The included Amazing Evening was just that, a really nice ... Read More
This was our first Azamara cruise and we chose it because of the itinerary. We loved everything, the crew, the service and the food. As a bonus, we met some wonderful people. The included Amazing Evening was just that, a really nice amenity on this cruise line. The ship had been in dry dock for a week prior to our cruise which resulted in a few glitches in the beginning of the cruise. Azamara corrected the issues as quickly as possible and compensated everyone for the issues. Our second Azamara cruise is already on the calendar! Good to know: The cabin bathroom is quite small. Laundry facility is a nice amenity on the 7th deck and it is heavily used. Detergent is provided. The Mosaic Café offers coffee and great snacks throughout the day. The casino has been removed and replaced with a very nice piano bar called The Den. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We did a 16 day cruise around the Caribbean.The weather was amazing and the crew could not have been more helpful. My wife and I paid a premium to go on this ship. All gratuities and drinks were included. We have completed about 11 ... Read More
We did a 16 day cruise around the Caribbean.The weather was amazing and the crew could not have been more helpful. My wife and I paid a premium to go on this ship. All gratuities and drinks were included. We have completed about 11 cruises on different ships. This was the first time on Azamara Journey. We enjoyed every part of the cruise except one thing which we consider very important and ruined the overall cruise. That was the deck chairs. For a luxury 700 passenger ship we expected to be able to sit around the pool on a nice day. Unfortunately, we were not able to secure a deck chair on the pool deck most days. On some days we had to sit in the Living room lounge as there were absolutely no chairs available. What annoyed me more than anything else was that there were always about 30 chairs with personal items on them but no one around. They had been "reserved" early in the day by passengers who wanted a deck chair for the day. Although there were signs up saying not to do this, the crew did nothing about it. I was so annoyed I took several photos of chairs that were reserved with personal items on them and went about 45 minutes later and no one had been sitting on the chairs. When I pay a premium for a cruise I do not expect this sort of thing to happen and I do expect to be able to find a deck chair for my wife and I. If you go on this ship do not expect to be able to sit on a deck chair most nice hot days.. I can understand this on a budget ship but not a ship of this standard Until they sort this out I probably will not be cruising with Azamara again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
We decided to go on this cruise because I would celebrate my 70th birthday on the ship, I had never been to the Caribbean, after 10 cruises we decided to try out a more luxury ship and finally we wanted to visit New York for the first ... Read More
We decided to go on this cruise because I would celebrate my 70th birthday on the ship, I had never been to the Caribbean, after 10 cruises we decided to try out a more luxury ship and finally we wanted to visit New York for the first time. We had previously sailed on the Tahitian Princess many years ago. It was also an R class ship, identical to the Journey. We loved the ship and the destinations then. Firstly, the negative things: The shower was very small compared to other ships. We could barely turn around in the shower. On the White NIght evening there were no where near enough tables for the passengers. We managed to obtain a table eventually but many passengers told me they had to eat in one of the restaurants and missed out on all the White Night Entertainment. I was very disappointed on my 70th birthday. We decided to eat at the Aqualina Restaurant as it was a special night. We had a Premium Beverage Package where nearly all brands of drinks are included. The waiter offered us a bottle of wine which I thought was included. He did not tell me till after he had opened it that there would be a $40 charge.for the wine on top of the $30 admission. On other cruises on my birthdays the crew had always sang happy birthday to me and given me a cake and a free bottle of wine. Not on this ship!!! The last thing and most important thing that infuriated us was people getting up early and putting personal items on deck chairs to reserve them for the day. Signs up saying not to do this, but the crew were not enforcing it. On a nice day do not expect to find a free deck chair on this ship. Because of this we may not sail on the Journey again. When we pay a premium for a cruise we do not expect to have to sit in the lounge on a nice day!!! On a positive note. we found the crew exceptional and all passengers very friendly, The atmosphere on this was great and we have made some friends which we will keep in touch with. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
You can see photos from this cruise and our other sailings by following the link on our Cruise Critic profile page: https://boards.cruisecritic.com/profile/35108-jgnova/ I had a “zero birthday” coming up and wanted to do ... Read More
You can see photos from this cruise and our other sailings by following the link on our Cruise Critic profile page: https://boards.cruisecritic.com/profile/35108-jgnova/ I had a “zero birthday” coming up and wanted to do something special to celebrate – which provided a great excuse for another cruise. But it had to be something special – new ports and/or a new ship or, even better, a whole new (to us) cruise line. We also had the additional requirement that, because of health issues, the embarkation and disembarkation ports had to be within five hours travel time from our Northern Virginia home. I put together a list of options, which were mostly sailings from Miami or Fort Lauderdale that included the ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao). One option stood out because it also included two days in Havana, Cuba, and was on Azamara Club Cruises Journey. This was a 16-night repositioning sailing from Miami to Manhattan, with stops in Havana, Aruba, Curaçao, Bonaire, St. Barts, Sint Maarten, and Hamilton, Bermuda. With four new (to us) ports on a new (to us) ship and cruise line, this became the obvious choice. And we are very happy we made that choice. Ship: The ship is lovely and very well maintained, despite its age – they were even refinishing the corridor handrails near our cabin. Like other ships under the RCCL umbrella, Journey was filled with artwork – paintings, prints, and sculptures (many by Salvador Dali) all over. The ship felt very bright all over – even the staircases and elevator lobbies, despite not having windows, felt very bright and open. The only times the ship felt crowded were when everyone tried to be in one venue at the same time – like White Night by the pool or the last two nights’ shows in the cabaret – and the staff brought in chairs for those events so everyone could sit. Cabin: The cabin had plenty of room for all of our stuff – drawers in the desk and in the closet, lots of hangers. There was plenty of light in the cabin, including extra lights by the desk, the bed, and a working balcony light. The cabin thermostat even seemed to work properly! We discovered that the coffee table by the sofa had a lever that raised it from coffee table height to a height that worked for eating our room service breakfast when we couldn’t eat on the balcony. Food: The food selections and quality were outstanding. With the exception of the AzAmazing Evening, when we ate in Windows (buffet restaurant) because of time constraints, we ate all our dinners in Discoveries (main dining room). We usually arrived around 7 PM and never had to wait for a table, which we usually shared with others, allowing us to meet many new people. Besides the menu selections, each night’s choices also included a chef’s selection and something more international, typically linked to the international themed dinner in Windows that evening. We could choose wines (at no extra charge) from each night’s selection of two whites, two reds, and a rosé – and they would pour wines offered on previous nights as well. We ate most breakfasts on the balcony, which was a treat – the server would even spread the tablecloth for us! The food was hot and usually delivered on time. We could even add things to the menu if we wanted (like a smoked-salmon omelet!). I had a few breakfasts in Windows on mornings when we had an early excursion and the selection was excellent. As opposed to other cruises on which we’ve sailed, instead of placing the omelet order and waiting while it was cooked, I just took a table card with a number and the omelet was delivered when it was done. The servers also provided all of the beverages, including fresh-squeezed orange juice. The ship had a few options for lunch. On days when our excursion returned in early afternoon, we went to the Living Room, where they had small sandwiches and desserts available. (That venue also had tapas in the early evening.) Other days, I would grab a burger (delicious) from the Patio or a salad from Windows and eat by the pool. Service: Service on the ship was excellent. The staff and crew would always greet us – our cabin attendants would open our door for us if they were nearby when we were returning. The pool staff were constantly walking around to clear up towels from vacated chairs and to take drink orders and clear up empty glasses. Entertainment: The entertainment was excellent. The ship’s cruise director and assistant cruise director each did a couple of shows and they were great performers. The ship also had an onboard troupe of six performers (four dancers and two singers/dancers) who did three different shows during our sailing. We were also entertained by a violinist, a magician/comic, and a pianist/singer, who joined the ship at different ports during the sailing. The violinist was a special treat for this voyage because of his work with Cuban musicians and students – and because he was joined for one piece by his young son, an incipient star. This was in addition to the pianist in the lounge and the ship orchestra and instrumental trio playing at different times throughout the ship. Our only complaint was about the volume – the cabaret shows would have been much nicer several dB lower. Ports: With the exception of Sint Maarten, we used the ship excursions in all of the ports. Cuba: The tour guides both days were very knowledgeable and answered all of our questions. The bus was quite comfortable as well. Cuba is a very interesting place to visit for many obvious reasons. There are very few private cars and most people use buses or shared vans for transportation. The six-lane highway leading to Havana was almost empty and there was little traffic in Havana itself, something unimaginable in most other national capitals. Most of the urban-area buildings are in various stages of disrepair, which is a shame because they looked as if they had been beautiful before the revolution. Houses in the outlying areas looked better-maintained. We did the Jewish Heritage tour our first day in Havana and visited a Jewish Cemetery, two synagogues, and a Jewish-owned boutique hotel. We got to meet with a community leader at one of the synagogues and he answered our questions about the Jewish community’s history and current life. Our second day in Havana, we went to Ernest Hemingway’s house in San Francisco de Paula (about 9 miles from Havana), and were able to see how he lived and the tower next to the house in which he did his writing. We then went to one of his favorite bars in Cojimar, where we saw “his table” and enjoyed a daiquiri made the way he drank them. We then went into Havana to another of his favorite bars (how many did he have?) and braved the crowds to have a mojito. We then had time to walk around the cathedral and other historical sections before returning to the ship. Aruba: As we had never been to Aruba before, we took a ship excursion tour of the island. This tour included a visit to an aloe processing plant, a lighthouse, a natural bridge, and the fascinating Casibari Rock Formations, which I’d like to visit again to see the petroglyphs. The tour guide was very knowledgeable and the bus was fairly new and very comfortable. Curaçao: Again, this was our first visit so we took the ship excursion for an island tour. We got to see a coastal national park to see the cliffs and rock formations along the coast and watch the strong surf. We also visited a lovely beach, the old salt flats in an unrealized hope to see the flamingos, and a former estate house most recently occupied by a famous local artist. As was the case in Aruba, the tour guide was quite knowledgeable and bus very comfortable. After a quick lunch in the Living Room, I hiked from the port into town to see the old synagogue, which we couldn’t tour because it was closed on Sunday. This also gave me an opportunity to walk across the Queen Emma Bridge, a pontoon bridge that floats on the water and swings off to the side to let ships through. I also was able to get a closer view of the Queen Wilhelmina Bridge, the tallest bridge in the world, and two other small lift bridges in Willemstad. Bonaire: Another new island and another ship excursion tour. The tour guide was knowledgeable, but the tour company used a smaller bus that was not as comfortable, especially for those stuck in the seats over the wheels. We got to see Bonaire’s lovely coastline, old salt flats with many flamingos raising their young, an old house showing how the early island residents lived, some slave huts right on the coast by the salt flats, and a modern salt processing operation. The tour guide was very good, but she had to keep telling the driver to slow down so we could take photographs. St. Barts: Although we had been to St. Barts five years earlier, we had seen only the port area in the capital so we took another island tour. This tour was in a mini-van and the tour guide was not very effective at discussing much about the island characteristics. We did get to see several beaches and the beautiful island geography. The company arranging the tours should have done a better job preparing a guide for the driver to use. Sint Maarten: We’ve been there several times and I decided to have a beach day. I had searched the web before the trip and found that two bars with beach chair/umbrella rental facilities had reopened at Orient Beach so I decided to go there for the day. There is a taxi rank right off the pier complex and the people there will assemble groups to various destinations. I was able to share a taxi with few other visitors (from another ship) and paid only $9 for the trip instead of the $25 the trip would have cost for just me. The taxi dropped us off mid-beach near the Bikini Beach bar, which looked nice. However, someone at the port had told me that Kon Tiki, a short walk down the beach, had better food. I paid $15 for an umbrella and comfortable chaise (including a cushion) for the day. There were attendants patrolling the beach to take food and drink orders, and the bar and restaurant looked great and had brand new facilities. So I had a lovely day on the beach watching people windsurfing and doing other watersports. Bermuda: We’ve been to Bermuda twice before, but we were docked at the Royal Dockyards at the far end of the island. We took ferry trips to Hamilton and to St. Georges, but had never seen the Bermuda countryside. This itinerary had us docked right in downtown Hamilton so we were able to walk around to see the shops and restaurants. We also took a ship excursion that drove along the south coast of the island to the Royal Dockyards, giving us a chance to see the lovely beaches for which Bermuda is famous and some historical areas. Embarkation/Disembarkation: Embarkation was fairly smooth with priority processing only for suite guests. While we had completed the forms for the Cuban visas, we forgot to bring copies with us, so we had to take time to write out second copies, which the port people insisted we needed even though we had copies at home. Disembarkation was slower than normal, probably because the immigration people had not planned on the high percentage of non-U.S. citizens, who took longer to process. Once through immigration, we located our luggage and found a porter quickly, who then took us out to the drop-off area. We were picking up a rental car and driving home, so I walked about 2 ½ blocks to the car rental office, picked up the car, drove back to the pier, picked up DW and our luggage, and headed through the Lincoln Tunnel. I think I spent more time in line at the car rental office than it took to get to the office and drive back and get to the tunnel. Overall experience: This itinerary was an excellent balance of port and sea days, with 8 ½ days in port and 6 ½ days at sea. The majority of the passengers were from the United Kingdom, which was a new experience for us, and we got to chat with a lot of people from places we had only read about. With fewer than 700 passengers on a smaller ship, we were more likely to bump into the same people repeatedly and get to know them. Even with open seating at dinner, we wound up having the same tablemates a few times and would greet each other by name when we were walking around the ship or sitting in the cabaret. Another pleasurable aspect of the cruise was that we didn’t feel hassled to spend money. Drinks and wine were included if we didn’t request premium brands, as were coffees. And there was no constant sales pressure to eat in the specialty restaurants, as we’ve experienced on other lines. The senior ship staff were always present and visible – the hotel director would frequently assist seating passengers in Discoveries and we saw the Captain walking around the tables at least once. The captain and hotel director were at the gangplank every morning when we left the ship for our excursions, wishing us a good visit. Captain Johannes and Cruise Director Eric had a constant repartee during the noon announcements, with the captain teasing the CD about his shirt every day and the CD finding something funny to say in response. They obviously have a great relationship and that enhanced the voyage. This was the best cruise we have ever taken, thanks to the ship staff and crew, ship size, passenger friendliness, food quality, and itinerary. We are looking forward to another. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Azamara Journey has become our cruise line and ship of choice since our first 7 day trip down the Croatian coast. We made so many friends on that cruise and again on our Norwegian cruise a couple of years later We have just finished ... Read More
Azamara Journey has become our cruise line and ship of choice since our first 7 day trip down the Croatian coast. We made so many friends on that cruise and again on our Norwegian cruise a couple of years later We have just finished our 16 night Miami to New York that went through Havana, Aruba, Curaco , Bonaire, St Martin and Bermuda and this cruise continued to meet and better our expectations The staff are what makes this ship from the wonderful Captain Johhanes ... always available for a chat and prepared to change things up if it makes the customers experience better...all the way down to the staff who clean the toilets The size is also most important and we love the ease on getting on and off this ship Destinations continue to impress and I believe Norway will take some beating for scenery Special mention to Alec and Mario in the dining room who work tirelessly to accomodate guests needs. To our very good friend Roy in the bar... or this trip the coffee station... who is always smiling and going out of his way to make our cruise better, Melchor, Jolly in security who always welcomes us back on board, Aaron and Agust who made up our cabin every day, JR and Elij in the bars, and our dining room waiter most nights, yevgeniy... they and many others continued to provide amazing customer service The entertainment this cruise was the best we have had so hats off to the cruise director Eric This is not the most stylish ship nor the best cabins around but... it is like home and the vibe is relaxed Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Chose this cruise for itinerary and Azamara name having cruised Azamara seven times before. The Pursuit celebrated its first Azamara anniversary and I’m not sure there will be a second because this ship does not measure up to the ... Read More
Chose this cruise for itinerary and Azamara name having cruised Azamara seven times before. The Pursuit celebrated its first Azamara anniversary and I’m not sure there will be a second because this ship does not measure up to the Journey or Quest in quality and service. Know for great dining selections, the Pursuits menue’s were lacking in quality — being over seasoned — and poorly prepared — over or under cooked. On this cruise, I chose the alternate menu over the daily menu several times because it lacked appeal. For the most part, the only vegetables presented were broccoli and cauliflower. Cabins in our area had a sewerage smell in the hallway. Tried to use a computer to print boarding passes in the “living” room but was unable to due to the room being used as a disco with low lighting. When asked to have lights turned on by the computers, a crew member said this request could not be done due to the way the lighting was connected in the room. Azamara’s multi-function rooms just don’t cut it. My suggestion: sacrifice a room or two and have specific card and computer rooms available 24x7. Housekeeping and other service associates were very helpful and efficient. Administrative staff was not as visable as on other Azamara cruises. Entertainment was typical cabaret style entertainment but would have enjoyed listening to the ships singers more than other entertainment. Overall, the Azamara Pursuit is a notch below its sister ships in quality and service. In June, we will be cruising on the Quest and if my review follows this review, we will be done with Azamara cruising and we are just two cruises away from our fiftieth cruise. Bottom line: when we pay for quality, we expect quality and up to now, Azamara met our requirements. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this cruise because we like the small ship experience with lots of sea days. We wanted to see Rio and Lisbon. Embarkation was a bit off-putting. We already had our bags tagged with our room number and did not need assistance ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we like the small ship experience with lots of sea days. We wanted to see Rio and Lisbon. Embarkation was a bit off-putting. We already had our bags tagged with our room number and did not need assistance getting our bags to the drop-off point. There was no place to drop our bags and we had to stand in line while others that used the porters were taken care of. Our bags were not delivered to our room--one was around the corner at another room and one was at the other end of the hall all by itself. Not a good start. The Pursuit is now only using the Azamara app to provide guest information unlike the TV that we have used on the other two ships. The daily Insights is still delivered everyday. The IT department assumes that all passengers are comfortable using apps and know how to use them. This is not true. There is limited info in the cabins about wi-fi and app usage. A user guide would have been appreciated. The only way to know how many wi-fi minutes have been used is to go to Guest Relations. The log-off app does not always work and minutes quickly are used. We generally liked the food but we ate mostly at The Patio. Half-way through the cruise oatmeal at breakfast in Windows was replaced with congee. Not a good choice. Frequently the food was cold as the warming plates being used did not keep the food hot. The service on The Patio is the best anywhere on the ship. We always got what we ordered and it was hot. We had lunch twice in Discovery and it was not good. The service is intolerably slow, the food selections are limited, and the food served was barely edible. Angelina's was wonderful but one pays for that. The veranda cabin is just like other Azamara ships. However, the fridge is now in a cabinet on the desk and that area gets very hot. There are also rough edges in the cabinet to skin knuckles on. Other cabinet doors are misaligned and easy to get caught on. As always, the room was well-taken care of by the room attendants. The guest lecturer for destinations was not helpful or informative. Silly asides for the first 10 minutes of the lecture are a waste of time. Some of the shore excursions were good and some disasters. One excursion had a major part eliminated because there was a typo in the description that no one had seen until half-way through the cruise. That typo had been there from the first posting of available shore excursions on the Azamara website and was booked because of the part that was dropped. It was great that there was an available excursion on the disembarkation day for those staying in Lisbon longer. The Guest Relations department continues to treat guests inappropriately. Telling me I am the only one on the ship that does not understand the problems with the app was not appreciated. Based on the line for the IT person and comments made by other passengers, I was not the only one. Many just didn't use the app. The officers were rarely seen unlike other Azamara ships. At the recognition breakfast for frequent Azamara guests, the captain and another officer stopped at our table for a minute. No more. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We've traveled throughout much of Europe and a little in South America, but two countries we had not been exposed to were Brazil and Portugal, so when this cruise was announced we jumped at the opportunity. It also helped that the ... Read More
We've traveled throughout much of Europe and a little in South America, but two countries we had not been exposed to were Brazil and Portugal, so when this cruise was announced we jumped at the opportunity. It also helped that the cruise line was offering a double cabin upgrade (veranda for the price of an inside cabin), and the extras offered (gratuities and basic drink package) were not common on ocean crossing cruises. Even with all our travel, we are relative neophytes in the cruising game, having only taken a total of four over the years. The most recent cruises were on Celebrity, which we now use as our standard against which to judge others, and we were anxious to compare this "upscale" cruise line to those. We arrived in the departure city, Rio, a day early and took in the sights, and then the next morning taxied to the port. As the ship is small and only holds about 700 guests, the lines were short in the registration area, and it was only a matter of 15 minutes before we were boarding the ship. The wait to get into our cabins was also short, and luggage arrived quickly. A bit of good news we received once we were on the ship was we were able to use our Celebrity points to get some perks on Azamara (including a free hour of wifi time). Our cabin was small (category V3 on deck 7), but it had plenty of closet space and places to store the luggage. We met our cabin stewards, Dyna and Gouri, right after finding the cabin, and they carefully wrote down our requests for stocking the minibar and other requirements. For the rest of the cruise they tended to our needs perfectly and unobtrusively, always with a smile on their faces. At the muster drill we learned an interesting fact: Apparently Norovirus, the scurge of cruising, manifests itself within 24 hours of embarkation. So the cruise line doesn't allow guests to touch any of the serving utensils in the buffet for the first day. Not sure if other lines have adopted that practice but we didn't hear of any outbreaks during our cruise. For the remainder of the cruise we learned the ins and outs of Azamara cruising. The ratio of guests to crew is less than two to one, and there are always management staff around to ensure every operation runs smoothly. In the buffet they are constantly providing coffee refills, taking away plates, filling up your wine glass or other drinks. In the main dining room it's all open seating, meaning you meet new people each day. After the first couple of meals we were especially pleased with one of the servers, Doma (from India), and so from that point we requested to be seated in her area each night. She and her assistant, Wayan (from Indonesia) took great care of us, remembering our drink preferences and other details, and becoming great friends by the end of the cruise. Other dining options were the small cafe on the pool deck, where you could get hamburgers, salads, chicken wings, etc., as well as frozen yoghurt for dessert, and two specialty restaurants (which we didn't take advantage of). Both my wife and I felt the food quality was excellent, with plenty of choices at all times, and there were always two types of red and white wine each day, which we enjoyed. There were also special occasions, such as buffets outside on the pool deck. One of those was their "White Night" where everyone is encouraged to wear white. Food was plentiful (including zillions of BBQ lobster tails), and live entertainment and dancing lasted late into the night. Since the weather was quite chilly and windy that night, they provided blankets to everyone. Another special offered was the Chocolate Fantasy, with every chocolate concoction you could ask for including two fountains. Entertainment ranged from magicians to singers to comedians, but our favorites were Four on the Floor, their resident singing group. A special event was the crew talent show, where various crew members showed off their singing and dancing skills. It was great fun seeing people we knew on the crew and finding out they had such great talent. For us other reasons Azamara stands out are (1) small ships and easy to get around, (2) free guest laundry with free detergent, (3) free shuttle buses to take guests from the ship to the city center in each port, (4) drink packages and prepaid gratuities even on ocean crossings, and (5) crew members that take pride in ensuring your happiness and satisfaction. Those and everything else about Azamara are the reasons we found we were in a great minority of only cruising once with the line. Nearly everyone we spoke with had cruised with Azamara 5, 10, 15 or 20 times. One couple had been on nearly 50 Azamara cruises! We definitely will cruise with them again. Read Less
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