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1,601 Azamara Cruise Reviews

We returned at the end of last month after a brilliant two weeks on Azamara Pursuit. We chose this trip as we had always wanted to visit the Chilean Fiords and it was on our favourite cruise line. We found that overall the food was an ... Read More
We returned at the end of last month after a brilliant two weeks on Azamara Pursuit. We chose this trip as we had always wanted to visit the Chilean Fiords and it was on our favourite cruise line. We found that overall the food was an improvement on previous cruises and compliment the chefs. It was always hot and well presented as well as delicious. Sometimes the portions were over generous but we coped. Our cabin was a balcony on deck seven which we prefer and it was kept spotless by Louis and his assistant. They were unobtrusive but there whenever you needed anything. The entertainment was as usual fairly low key but a great improvement on our last Azamara voyage. However you do not choose this line if you want non stop activities. The Azamazing evening in Montevideo was a real highlight and very well organised giving us a flavour of carnival. Unfortunately, due to weather conditions, we were not able to call at the Falklands which was a great disappointment especially to the British many of whom had booked this in order to visit this port. That is life and the Captain took the right decision judging by the storm that hit Buenos Aires a few days later. Other ports were as expected though again weather conditions curtailed some excursions. One issue was the high price of excursions especially at the substituted port of Puerto Madryn. Sea days we a delight -sailing through the Fiords ten the Beagle Channel. Glaciers and volcanos were everywhere. The best thing about Azamara is the staff from the Captain down. We often met Captain Carl around the ship and found him very likeable and efficient. It is hard to single anyone out as the service is really excellent but other staff that deserve a mention are Lee, the assistant Cruise Director and Tony, his boss. They were both lovely people and a credit to the company. We cannot wait to see them in Plymouth next year. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
This five week journey started in Santiago Chile. This capital city has a mixture of old and modern architecture and green open spaces with the Andes in view. We stayed in the vibrant Lastarria area for two nights, the first day driving ... Read More
This five week journey started in Santiago Chile. This capital city has a mixture of old and modern architecture and green open spaces with the Andes in view. We stayed in the vibrant Lastarria area for two nights, the first day driving through historical and residential districts and rode the cable car to get an overall view of the city. The next day we toured the wine country traveling to the coastal cities of Valparaiso and Vina del Mar. Valparaiso topography is similar to San Francisco. Vina del Mar is an affluent resort city and has one of the original moai statues from the original inhabitants of Easter Island. The following day we drive to Port Antonio to board the Azamara Pursuit – our home for the next month. There were a number of sea days to rest between the various ports of call. Sailing along the Chilean coast we first stopped at Puerto Montt with a tour of the Chilean lake district starting at Puerto Varas on the shores of Lake Llanquihue with the snow capped Osorno Volcano in the background. German settlers developed this area. Our next stop was Port Chacabuco – the gateway to the Ansen region of northern Patagonia. We traveled through glacier carved valleys to the inland capital city of Coyhaique. We then sailed through the Chilean fjords where majestic blue ice glaciers meet the ocean. This is an inside passage with many inlets, islands and navigable channels before arriving at Punta Arenas, our last port in Chile. Here we visited a reconstruction of the fort protecting the Strait of Magellan from claims be other countries. We then sailed through the 150 mile Beagle Channel named for Charles Darwin’s HMS Beagle. This channel runs between Chile and Argentina with numerous glaciers. Here we saw global warming in action with a stream of ice melt flowing from under a glacier. You can see the recent decrease in the size of the glaciers by looking at the exposed sides that have not yet formed any vegetation. At the end of the channel, we arrived at Ushuaia – originally a penal colony - located at the southern tip of Tierra del Fuego National Park. This area is known for wind, wind and more wind. Luckily our Captain was able to arrive in the middle of the night before a major wind storm approaching hurricane force. In the morning the wind was so strong that another cruise ship made six attempts to dock before the port was closed and, along with another cruise ship, could not dock until the wind subsided in the afternoon. We were able to see the local attractions in town but missed the train ride to the top of the world. Anticipated high seas caused cancellation of our stop at the Falkland Islands (cruise ships are only able to make it about half the time) but was substituted by an interesting stop at Puerto Madryn. This allowed us to see the Patagonian interior from the Argentinian side which is much dryer than Chilean Patagonia on the west side of the Andes. Bones from some of the largest dinosaurs believed to have roamed the world are located here. Our next stop was Montevideo Uruguay. We toured the city in the morning and a local boutique winery in the afternoon before a traditional “Azamazing Evening” ashore. Our next stop was Punta del Este – a seaside resort on the coast. We drove in the countryside to Piriapolis where tourism began in Uruguay in 1903. Here we were treated to a traditional Uruguayan fiesta. We then docked at beautiful Buenos Aires (the Paris of South America) for two days between the first and second segments of the cruise. The city was laid out in the European style with wide boulevards and numerous parks. Plaza de Mayo is the most significant political square including the Cabildo (colonial government seat), Metropolitan Cathedral (Pope Francis former parish) and the Casa Rosada (the pink house) where Eva Peron (loved by the poor and hated by the rich) preached to the people. The square has been rife with protests over the years – the mothers who lost their sons during the military dictatorship in the late 70’s and early 80’s and more recently the 2001 protests when the currency was devalued. We also visited La Boca the area of Italian immigrants and incubator of the tango which spread from the former slaves and Recoleta cemetery where the famous are buried in elaborate tombs. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
The itinerary was what attracted us to the cruise, but also our previous experience of Azamara. It started with a poor experience of the port, not because of anything Azamara did but the poor process the Chilean authorities had, forcing ... Read More
The itinerary was what attracted us to the cruise, but also our previous experience of Azamara. It started with a poor experience of the port, not because of anything Azamara did but the poor process the Chilean authorities had, forcing us to queue, something we'd not had on any previous cruise with Azamara because of the small size of the ship you don't often see queues. The actual check-in was on the ship and that worked well. But I don't recommend San Antonio as a departure point. Once aboard the Pursuit, it was clear how much work had been carried out, transforming this ship into the newest Azamara vessel. We loved the quality of the new decoration and fittings which we think has been done to an even higher level than on Journey and Quest. I understand that both Quest and Journey are going to have further work carried out on them soon to get then up to this new level. One area of the ship that has been enhanced is the old Casino, that area has been a waste of space for a long time, very few cruisers on Azamara used the facilities, though I realise the few that did will miss it. I always felt sorry for the staff who were sitting at unused roulette and card tables. Now the future cruises and shore excursions people have moved to the location at the end of the room where the casino office was and The Den has been created this is a fabulous meeting and social area, of course with a bar. There are plenty of activities and music events here too. Another improvement is a new art gallery which now has its own room. Food has been steadily improving on the ship over the years and this cruise continued the improvement. They also continue to select some reasonable wines for the complimentary selection. When launching this new ship Azamara where smart enough to know that the staff are key to success and they moved about a third of staff from each of the two existing ships to form the core of staff on the new ship. This has worked very well, with the high standards being maintained and many familiar faces around the ship if you've travelled with Azamara before. Despite travelling with Azamara before we had not seen Tony Markey before and loved his humour and singing, especially the duets with his wife. Lee Herrington is also fabulous as his assistant, between them they ensure that there is plenty to do and see on the ship. I can't believe I've got this far into the review without mentioning Captain Carl, there were a few comments about what could possibly go wrong on a ship that came out of Harland and Wolff shipyard, Belfast (where it was transformed into Pursuit), with Captain Smith and a few Icebergs, there again some may miss the Titanic reference. Captain Carl has now been on each of the Azamara ships and is arguably the most experienced of all their Captains, he kept us safe in an area well known for its very changeable weather. His informative and entertaining comments were most welcome and he now runs the third, friendly and well run ship in the fleet at Azamara. Highly recommended. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Recently back from my second Azamara voyage, both on the Quest. Overall this Sydney to Auckland cruise was excellent with some notable improvements, however there are areas which continue to disappoint. On the positive side, I found ... Read More
Recently back from my second Azamara voyage, both on the Quest. Overall this Sydney to Auckland cruise was excellent with some notable improvements, however there are areas which continue to disappoint. On the positive side, I found the ship to be spotless and the crew genuinely friendly. Most notable was the main restaurant, Discoveries. I was greeted with a friendly smile and often assigned a lovely window table for 2. Yes there can be short waits at peak times, but if you are patient, it is always rewarded. The food & service were just outstanding both in Discoveries and Windows Cafe. The Patio also offered an alternative, and that was excellent as well. Deck areas were well maintained, and the crew worked hard to clear the many rainfalls which left areas saturated. My cabin, an outside window space on deck 4 was cozy and well serviced. I truly did not miss having a balcony especially considering the weather we had. This location is quiet and very convenient to everything. The self service laundry was very popular and difficult to get in. Still great to have when on extended holiday. I won’t go into the ports of call, but suffice it to say they were brilliant. I was truly blown away especially by the New Zealand stops. I spent a few days post cruise in Auckland and loved that city. Where Azamara continues to struggle are all areas I noted during my first voyage, 18 months ago. First, the front office just can’t seem to put out accurate information. As another reviewer noted, our travel documents stated the Quest would be berthed at the Overseas Passenger Terminal (OPT) in Sydney. For several months prior to the trip, the Port of New South Wales website showed her berthing at White Bay. I called Azamara several times and was assured by the CSR (and supervisors) that the ship would be at OPT. For those not familiar with Sydney, these locations are not close to each other, about $40 AUD taxi fare. Finally a few days before departure, another CSR emailed the Quest and confirmed it would be White Bay. An email was finally sent out, but many had already left for their travels and not everyone looks at emails on holiday. I overheard several passengers who followed the directions on their docs only to find the ship wasn’t there. This was not a last minute change of berth due to unforeseen events, the Port always listed White Bay. Needless confusion on a simple matter. As I mentioned my cabin on deck was cozy but the in room entertainment was awful. With 3 very rough sea days crossing the Tasman Sea, all the outside decks were closed due to high winds. A newer movie was $11.99 or you could watch Top Gun (circa 1986) over and over. Maverick and Goose- really? The last area was something I mentioned in several venues last time and received no response. Azamara touts itself as environmentally sensitive with signs reminding pax to reuse their towels. Yet, they continue to hand out hundreds of plastic water bottles and use little plastic bottles for shampoo, etc. There are always bins full of water bottles at the gangway, I have yet to see anyone return with an empty. I’m sure some folks try to dispose of them properly, but I’m guessing many just throw them away. It would be so easy to encourage people to bring a refillable water bottle with them or even better, provide one as a passenger perk instead of another tote bag. Fill stations are everywhere now, especially in Australia and New Zealand. An addition of a shampoo wall dispenser would eliminate the thousands of tiny plastic bottles used each cruise. This suggestion fell on deaf ears last time. Azamara is a good product, and I love the size of the ships, and the laidback atmosphere. I will be back but continue to explore the many options out there. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We sailed for 14 days from Sydney to Auckland. There was a lot of confusion about which port we would depart from Sydney. Was very confusing up until almost the last minute as the original plan seemed to have been the Overseas Cruise ... Read More
We sailed for 14 days from Sydney to Auckland. There was a lot of confusion about which port we would depart from Sydney. Was very confusing up until almost the last minute as the original plan seemed to have been the Overseas Cruise Terminal - located near Circular Quay at the Rocks. Instead we left from White Bay Cruise Terminal. (Apparently they've had alot of confusion as we later learned that Azamara sent a representative to the OCT to redirect guests.) While many chose to be unhappy about it - the silver lining we found was that this allowed us to sail UNDER the Sydney Harbour Bridge - which made for some cool pics and videos. The ship itself seemed to be in good shape. I was surprised to hear that it is scheduled for dry dock in Singapore in a couple of months. Public areas, furniture, and cabins appeared to be in good shape - with nothing standing out as needing updates. We have sailed with Azamara a few times - but always on the Journey. Last time was in 2015. The Quest - as previously reported by others - is the same layout. Since our last sailing, they introduced the Living Room concept on deck 10 - replacing the Looking Glass. We really liked it. On bad weather sea days, it was packed. Service was great throughout the cruise. From bars to restaurants to cabin staff - they did a great job as they have in the past. We had one issue that we weren't initially happy with how they handled it - but then they reconsidered (without our asking) and contacted us to resolve in our favor. To make a long story short, we purchased the Ultimate Bundle - which was really worth it. Includes internet, spa credit, excursions credit, drinks package, laundry, etc. We expected that we would get the $40 credit per person for our status that we would have gotten if we bought just the internet package. They said that applied only to purchases of internet packages and not if it was purchased as part of a bundle. Sounds ridiculous and they finally understood why a guest would be confused between a package and a bundle. As I said, they eventually got it and gave us an onboard credit - which was what we requested. Food was good but not great. Discoveries (main dining room) had a pretty good menu with rotating selections. Always love that they consistently offer shrimp cocktail and french onion soup! Windows cafe was good for breakfast and lunch. We only tried it for one night for dinner and it was just ok. We are not buffet people - so we are probably biased anyway! The Living Room had a nice supply of sandwiches, tea (scones & cakes), and tapas throughout the day. Our bundle included the Ultimate Drink package. They had a nice offering but honestly didn't need it as most of the included wines they poured were acceptable. It's also nice that since our last sailing they have added prosecco to the complimentary list - as it was awkward to not have any bubbles on that list. (Although I should note that I take small offense to them calling it complimentary since we paid for an all inclusive cruise. They should said "included" or something instead." The White Night deck party was alot of fun. Lots of people remembered to pack their whites - so it really turned out to be a nice night. They brought a local band onboard who played fun jazz - followed of course by the ship's entertainers who did a great job leading dances, etc. Our fellow guests were mainly retired folks with a spattering of working age folks (40-60) from all over. Alot of Europeans (especially Scots & Brits), some Americans, and surprisingly alot of Kiwis and Australians (guess its easy to get to or from the ship!). We met lots of folks and enjoyed most. 14 days is a long time with some people - including those who jump in line or ignore that you are next for the bus and take the last 2 seats ahead of you ... Thankfully these folks were the exception and not the rule. Most of our fellow guests were classy and realized that common courtesy was the best way to go. As I frequently remind people who have to be "first" for everything - the cruise lines know what they are doing and never seem to run out of what people want! They take care of everyone! We had a balcony cabin on the eighth deck forward. Even with a few days of high seas, we did ok being forward. Tasman crossings can always be a bit rough they said. They were right! As described as naseum in other reviews, the bathroom (shower in particular) are laughably small. 14 days is a long cruise for us - but we found the size of the cabin to be adequate, including plenty of storage. Ok - now the areas where Azamara could improve ... 1. they seem to have started nickel and diming for some things... charging for movies on the TV ($12 or something) seems a little much ... and charging for a bridge tour or behind the scenes tour .... Seems rather Royal Caribbean, instead of Azamara ... 2. When the Living Room was packed, it sometimes took awhile to get served ... once they saw you needed something, they were helpful. More a matter of not enough servers instead of the staff being lazy 3. Entertainment was the same as on small ships... They could learn from the larger ships and try to make this a bit better 4. Prime C was just ok ... seems like they could improve quality of beef ... (Aqualina was excellent). 5. Excursions were pricey. Disappointed a few were cancelled due to lack of interest. Overall - super happy with this cruise. Kudos to Azamara for having some of the friendliest crew and definitely the most engaging officers at sea. We sail with Seabourn, Oceania, and SilverSea regularly and think Azamara is just as enjoyable and a much better value! Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We chose this cruise for the itinerary - only Cuba with no unwanted stops at resort-like Caribbean islands. And on that score, we felt that we made the right decision. Cuba was absolutely fascinating, and we haven't stopped talking ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary - only Cuba with no unwanted stops at resort-like Caribbean islands. And on that score, we felt that we made the right decision. Cuba was absolutely fascinating, and we haven't stopped talking about what we learned. As for the ship - we love the small size, the same as the small Oceana ships. The cabin was adequate, although the bathroom was a little small. It did have adequate storage and was kept immaculate by the cabin stewards. Now for the reasons that engendered a 3-star rating. The entertainment was the worst that we have ever seen on a ship. There was a feeling that Azamara was trying to economize - (1) instead of nicely wrapped chocolates on our pillows, there were two little pieces cut from a bar of fudge. Because they were not wrapped, I could not take them with me on my next day's tour. (2) the tablecloths in the main dining room were not ironed. If you won't iron the cloths, use polyester. (3) the daily program was printed on a smaller than usual piece of paper that necessitated the use of small font for the schedule. (4) Other than in Prime, the quality of the meat was only so-so. (5) free drinks were only available in public venues. Liquor from the mini bar carried a charge. Bottom line - I would only go with Azamara again if the itinerary was so compelling. Otherwise we prefer Oceana or Celebrity Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Chose Azarmara because we did not want to be on a giant cruise ship with thousands of our closest friends. We chose this particular cruise because we wanted to experience Cuba and not just stop one place for a few hours. Service was ... Read More
Chose Azarmara because we did not want to be on a giant cruise ship with thousands of our closest friends. We chose this particular cruise because we wanted to experience Cuba and not just stop one place for a few hours. Service was stellar everywhere we went. After a couple of days in Windows Cafe, the server called me Diet Coke with a smile because it was a small enough ship to get to know people. Themed food night in some of the restaurants were well appreciated. The white night party on the deck was a fun evening. Lots of dancing! There seemed to be ample seating almost always in the pool area and plenty of activities for those who wanted to participate. The ship put up a big screen for the Superbowl and served Superbowl party foods for dinner which was a great touch. Getting on and getting off the boat at ports was a breeze.The ship was small enough to dock at all three ports so we didn't have wait to transfer to start our vacation. We chose to do private shore excursions, but did do the Tropicana & Santiago de Cuba though the boat, which were both well organized and interesting. Highly recommend the El Cobre tour which included an outstanding steel drum band who played music you would never expect from a steel drum. Our private tours were with Blexie - Havana & Caribbean Pearl Tours which were personalized based on our interests. They were both outstanding. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We picked Azamara because of the itinerary: three ports in Cuba. The price was high, but it was billed as a "premium line" so we thought the cost would be worth the experience. We loved Cuba; I had arranged private guides through ... Read More
We picked Azamara because of the itinerary: three ports in Cuba. The price was high, but it was billed as a "premium line" so we thought the cost would be worth the experience. We loved Cuba; I had arranged private guides through FerTours (hats off to Alex!) in Havana and Cienfuegos and through Out of the Box tours in Santiago (Lisandra did an excellent job). In all three cities we traveled in early 1950's cars and the cost was far lower than the bus tours offered on Journey. Our cabin was drab and it was hard to believe the ship had been renovated. The bed was comfortable and the storage was ample. The bathroom was tiny and the shower had been designed for elves. The food on the ship was always available, but the only good meals we had were in the extra cost restaurants. We ate at Prime C twice and Aqualina (delicious Dover sole) once. The service in Discovery, the main dining room, was very slow and the meats (beef and veal) were beyond tough. We discovered that sticking with fish and seafood gave us the best chance for an edible dinner. The food at the White Night buffet was good, but the crowds made getting near your choices very hard. The brunch that was held once was also good. The service on the ship was excellent. Doug Cameron, a fabulous jazz violinist, entertained twice; we could have seen him every night. We will definitely see him if he ever comes to our town. Our trip was successful because we loved seeing Cuba, but we are still wondering why Azamara is a premium line. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
ITINERARY. However, after the fact I'd suggest 2 days in HAVANA (not 3) and 2 days in SANTIAGO DE CUBA (not 1) Cabin & public areas were as expected since I normally sale on OCEANIA. Staff at all levels thru out the ship ... Read More
ITINERARY. However, after the fact I'd suggest 2 days in HAVANA (not 3) and 2 days in SANTIAGO DE CUBA (not 1) Cabin & public areas were as expected since I normally sale on OCEANIA. Staff at all levels thru out the ship were spotty. Some very good or good, a few were less than adequate. The DJ, who often handledTrivia is not as clever as he thinks he is. Very off putting. By contrast the Cruise director was a joy to be around. Her happiness is infectious. Boarding & departure went very smoothly... perhaps the best I've experienced. Food was also very spotty. Mostly good to very good...but every day or so I'd choose something the was just about inedible of average to poor. The cabin attendant did a very good job of keeping the cabin in perfect shape. As I had no special requests I rarely saw him but when I did I was greeted by name. Couldn't't ask for better service. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We recently did a cruise on Azamara Journey, 9 day Cuba Intensive. We were very pleased with Azamara, the service was fabulous, the food very good. We switched off between Prime C and Aqualina every night except for White night, the ... Read More
We recently did a cruise on Azamara Journey, 9 day Cuba Intensive. We were very pleased with Azamara, the service was fabulous, the food very good. We switched off between Prime C and Aqualina every night except for White night, the service was terrific in both and the food was very good. We had room service for breakfast all except 2 days as we had early excursions and they did an amazing job at keeping the food very hot , our butler did a fabulous job setting it up so nicely every morning as well! All the days we had lunch on board we ate at the patio and the food was very good, I ordered kabobs every time and they were excellent . They have a brunch on a sea day which we went to , they had a large variety of food and very good. I wish i had seen a post on this before however i will now post , we went to White Night but did not show up before or the exact start time and there were no seats available so we ate in another restaurant and later joined the party, so if you do care get there on time. The pool area was lovely , they really made a point not to save seets which was nice as there was always seats available. We really enjoyed the living room for drinks before dinner most evenings, the music was not good but it is a loveley space. Azamara did an excellent job with everything, we highly recommend Azamara and everyone we met on board was equally impressed! Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We chose this cruise line because of its itinerary and the Journey being a small ship: 690 passengers. We have been on small ships before and have thoroughly them. The itinerary was Cuba intensive: 3 full days in Havana, 1 day in ... Read More
We chose this cruise line because of its itinerary and the Journey being a small ship: 690 passengers. We have been on small ships before and have thoroughly them. The itinerary was Cuba intensive: 3 full days in Havana, 1 day in Cienfuegos, and overnight in Santiago. The ship was great as was the food and service. Officers and captain were very visible. Highly recommend Azamara. Currency exchange in all 3 ports in Cuba. 10% penalty for US$. No penalty for Euros or Canadian. No problem getting off the ship and doing own thing in Cuba. In fact after the first day in Havana, we didn't even have to go through customs. We didn't do Azamara shore excursions as for many years I have hired private tour guides. In Havana we used Blexie Tours. I highly highly recommend them. We had a private guide, George, and classic cars for 2 of our 3 days in great shape with a/c. The third day we went on our own just soaking up the ambiance of the city. Very friendly people. In Cienfuegos I used Fer Tours. Good tour as well. Not as great as Blexie in Havana but then there is not as much to see in Cienfuegos. Traveled in a classic car in great shape. In Santiago used Out of the Box Tours. Maike (spelling??) was our guide. Highly recommend this tour as well. I could have paid for this tour in US$. Many times you have to pay to use the bathrooms and sometimes no toilet paper. Would recommend having small denominations of coins like 25, 50 cents to use and take toilet paper. You should tip 10% in restaurants. Our guides we tipped considerably more. 25-35% per couple. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
This "immersive" cruise to Cuba was perfect. It stopped in Havana for 3 days, then Cienfuegos and then an overnight in Santiago de Cuba. We were a bit taken back by the age of the ship at first but it was in excellent ... Read More
This "immersive" cruise to Cuba was perfect. It stopped in Havana for 3 days, then Cienfuegos and then an overnight in Santiago de Cuba. We were a bit taken back by the age of the ship at first but it was in excellent condition, the service was exceptional and the small size made it fast and easy to get ashore. Our only criticism was the inability to make reservations in the main dining room and occasionally mediocre food. We had a balcony cabin on Deck 7 that was quite spacious with a loveseat sized couch and coffee table in front of the sliding glass doors. The balcony was larger than most with a dining sized table and chairs. Room service servers routinely brought a white table cloth and we enjoyed meals on the balcony while in port. Though the bathroom was very small, it was perfectly adequate. There were plenty of outlets and USB ports near the beds for recharging. Internet service, though pricey, was the best we ever experienced on a ship. Dining is more limited than on some ships with the primary choices being the main dining room, the buffet or one of two specialty restaurants, one steak house and one Italian. The only dining room option was anytime dining with no reservations possible and on one evening we had a fairly lengthy wait. We appreciated the variety of options and the "theme" nights but the food was unpredictable - sometimes truly excellent (e.g. perfectly cooked steak) and sometimes "send it back" quality. We participated in one Chef's Table that was absolutely superb! Room service menu options, service and quality were extremely good. As expected for such a small ship (750 passengers) the entertainment was limited. A real highlight was that the two cruise directors doubled as entertainers and both were truly excellent. We really enjoyed Alicia Hill in both her entertainment and cruise director capacities. She seemed to know everyone on the ship. The White Night activity at which dinner was served poolside followed by dancing and entertainment proved to be really fun. Service was always fast and friendly and the crew went out of their way to accommodate requests. Standard drinks are included and there is no mandatory tipping. That said, we felt that the crew expected tips. Snacks and drinks were abundant. The crew was attentive, even to the point of remembering us and our preferences from one locale on the ship to another. We like wine and found the Sommeliers and wine list to be exceptional. The drawback to this wonderful ship and crew were the shore excursions in Cuba. We did two excursions when we arrived in Havana and both were dreadful. We don't fault the cruise line for this at all as both excursions were operated by the government with government employed tour directors, in government buses, that took us to government run restaurants and establishments. After day two, we figured out how to use private tours and find private restaurants and the rest of the trip was fantastic. We were very appreciative that we had a "floating hotel" to go home to every night and would recommend a cruise as a first trip to Cuba for anyone. We highly recommend this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
This was our 1st cruise in 14 years, and we have been intrigued by Cuba for even longer. As new empty nesters and not yet retired, costs still are kind of a thing. Some of our choices reflect some effort at economy, which we found is ... Read More
This was our 1st cruise in 14 years, and we have been intrigued by Cuba for even longer. As new empty nesters and not yet retired, costs still are kind of a thing. Some of our choices reflect some effort at economy, which we found is achievable even on Azamara. Our past cruise experience had been on 2,000+ passenger behemoths; part of this review relates to the (first for us) small ship experience. For economy, we flew to Miami early on departure morning (a decision we'd like to have back as we were gambling with winter weather up north). Our Deck 6 midships cabin had an obstructed view through the window. We felt little ship motion, no vibraiton and we were well-insulated from public space noise by other cabins. The obstructed view meant a savings, but we could see well enough for us. We love the (little) R ships and we felt seeing the same staff and passengers lent a sense of collegiality and hominess. Sometimes some passangers might feel the activity selection was insufficient for their tastes - whether this is a legit concern really needs to be weighed in terms of cruise demographics. Our school-year sailing to Cuba meant that the average passenger age was about 66, with a pretty tight standard deviation. In our mid and late 50s, we were decidedly among the youngest on board. Now and then, all of the programmed activities were for an older age group. We were happy enough on our own, but not everyone would be. Azamara pays attention to the details. Embarkation and debarkation were a breeze and the food was outstanding. We did not do the upgraded restaurant or drink options; we are foodies and still do not feel it necessary as the food in the main dining room was great. Here is an interesting and important observation about food during dinners too: portions are modest and gluttons will be disappointed. To us that was fine, but might not be for everyone. There always is the buffet option, with rotating regional specialities each day. All you can eat there, but it lacks the ambience of the main dining room. Along this same vein, there only was a midnight buffet one light with late-ending nighttime shore excursions. Otherwise, no. Fine with us too. Another nice thing about the dining room was this: no assigned seats or times. You come when you want. If you like your waiter and remember his/her name, you can ask for that section but need not. The tables are close enough to strike up conversations with neighbors if you want, but one need not. We have recollections of assigned seats on other cruises with incompatible table-mates; we like Azamara's solution. Room service was included and perfect every time we used it (for coffee in the mornings). Tips are included in your fare; we tipped our room stewards and waiter anyway. Service from absolutely everyone was top-notch. We did the shore excursions sponsored by the cruise line and generally were very satisfied. Mind you, Cuba is new to tourism and Azamara is new to Cuba. Some growing pains were inevitable and showed. Overall, we feel we really learned a lot about the Cuban people and culture, which is why we went. There was one child on the boat, under the age of 20. She was two years old. This is not a cruise for young families or children. The boat simply is not equipped. We knew that and were happy. We definitely would go again on Azamara, on an R-ship (we love the smallness) but might do something a bit more tourism-experienced than Cuba next tme. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We chose this cruise mainly for the itinerary. We wanted to see Cuba and liked the fact that it only went to Cuba and involved several overnights. We really got a chance to experience several ports in Cuba. We also like cruising on the ... Read More
We chose this cruise mainly for the itinerary. We wanted to see Cuba and liked the fact that it only went to Cuba and involved several overnights. We really got a chance to experience several ports in Cuba. We also like cruising on the smaller ships. The service is more personal and you get to know the other passengers. We had a balcony cabin and it was perfect. There was enough storage space, bed was comfortable, and we made good use of the balcony, having breakfast there twice and using it for the sail-aways. We are glad more cruise ships re offering open dining as the Journey does. The food was excellent, prepared and presented well. The portions were just right for us, but those with bigger appetites can always order more food. The wait staff was very well trained and friendly. If you want fancy shows and lots of entertainment, this is not the ship for you. But we really enjoyed the ambiance and intimacy of this small ship. And there was enough to do and see. Over all, we loved the ship and the accessibility of the Captain. He was often seen walking around, and welcomed questions and conversation. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Delighted to see Azamara pick up another one of the "R-ships" and have a newly refurbished sister ship to Journey and Quest. It was great to see some familiar faces from the other ships on Pursuit. Overall, a good job in ... Read More
Delighted to see Azamara pick up another one of the "R-ships" and have a newly refurbished sister ship to Journey and Quest. It was great to see some familiar faces from the other ships on Pursuit. Overall, a good job in renovating the ship. We selected this cruise principally for the itinerary and were very much pleased with the ports of call; the fact that we had mostly great weather helped. The following comments are relative to our prior experiences on other Azamara cruises. Things we liked: The newly revitalized lounge entertainment -- the Three Aces trio in the Living Room and Alberto in the Den were a welcomed change from prior lounge entertainers; they showed up on time, played for the entire allotted time and did not just repeat the same tired sets. The elimination of the Casino; it was great to have some additional common area. The addition of an onboard-artist creating works in real-time. The Cabin Steward and Waiters were great, as usual; delighted to see that that level of service has not changed. And even the Reception staff and Concierge were very helpful, friendly and with a good attitude. Things that need improvement: Food Quality -- this was our biggest disappointment. We actually recognized most of the menus from prior sailings, which is fine; however the quality and taste, in our opinion, has declined dramatically from prior sailings. Beverage Package and consistency of quality of drinks -- another big disappointment. We purchased two premium packages; only to find that not all the brands listed in the bar menus were available. Examples: Sambuca, they "ran out" of it at all the bars. Given all the ports of call, we would have expected the ship to restock missing items promptly -- that did not happen and to add insult, when we went to Aqualina, they had it, yet we could not get it in any of the lounges/bars. Limoncello, the menus indicate that Pallini is the premium brand, again, that was not available and we were getting different (house) brands depending at which lounge we ordered it. Also, when ordering the same drink, the quality/consistency of that drink, depended greatly on who was behind the bar at the time. Not to have all of the brands that are advertised in the packages at each of the venues, especially with all the stops that the ship made is inexcusable. Evening Service at Mosaics Cafe -- the venue is listed as open until 11:30 pm. On multiple occassion, we stopped by after the (later) show to get something, and while tea and coffee were available, the pastry/snack had been removed. The attendant told us that the "food" service stopped at 10 pm. To our knowledge that was not indicated anywhere. Moreover, the attendant was busy cleaning the sink, utensils, etc. We can appreciate that the staff works hard and long shifts, but if a venue is listed as open, all of the items should be available until closing time, and the wait staff should not start cleaning/shutting down the venue until the closing time has passed. Elimination of the bar on the back (outside terrace) of the ship at Windows Cafe; and the constant closing down of the outside area. This is great, sheltered and generally quiet, common area. Especially when food service is not going on, it is a great place to to sit, watch the wake of the ship, have a drink, read, etc. On the other ships, there has always been a bar at this location, on the Pursuit this was not installed. (My guess is that this was done to minimize "noise" since the suites on Deck 8 are right below the terrace. A bad decision -- you are trying to accommodate a small number of people who may not even be in their cabin at the expense of everyone else who are now deprived of a pleasant common area). Pricing of shore excursions. This has now gone beyond obscene to downright unconscionable. We did book a coupe of excursions with the ship, principally because we had shipboard credit to use; we also booked a number of independent excursions which turned out to be almost identical to those the ship offered. Consistently, we paid a fraction of what the ship was charging. One of the principal reasons people book on Azamara is the destination intensive itineraries; does taking people to great locations and then charging absurd mark-ups on the tour really make sense in the long-run? The company may be enhancing profit margin in the short-run, but longer term, everyone is going to go to Viator, ShoreExcursionGroup.com, directly to local operators, etc. for their excursions. And finally, one thing we are wondering about: our trip ended almost two weeks ago, we have not received any communications or survey requests from Azamara (in the past the email would be waiting before we even got back home), hence I am writing this review on Cruise Critic. Cheers. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
As a 20+ times cruisers, my husband and I had never been on Azamara or to South America and that is precisely why I booked this cruise. A great decision! Azamara went out of their way to make this a cruise to remember and they ... Read More
As a 20+ times cruisers, my husband and I had never been on Azamara or to South America and that is precisely why I booked this cruise. A great decision! Azamara went out of their way to make this a cruise to remember and they defintely succeeded. We had wonderful on-board speakers. The food was incredible. The service was impeccable. The ports were fascinating. The Amazing evening in Montevideo was really amazing! A total surprise performance in an historic theatre by a variety of local singers and dancers explaining the history of Carnival. Revealed the wonderful spirit and sounds of the local peoples. AS if that wasn't good enough, we had beautiful clear weather sailing the Beagle Channel and fjords. On a whim, the captain took us up super close to a glacier so we could all bask in its' magnificence. A true once in a lifetime experience! Last but not least, when I asked the cruise director if they would be showing the Super Bowl on ship, he said they were looking into the possibility. (Remember we were at the southernmost tip of South America by now.) Not only did they show the game but they catered an incredible Super Bowl party complete with an ice sculpture! Who does that? We football fans were bowled over. Literally, super bowled over. During the first quarter I looked at a gentleman next to me consuming a yummy pretzel dog and saw that he was smiling like a kid. I thought, if a cruise line can make someone this happy it's done a great job. So, yes, I would highly recommend the cruise. Any cruise line can take you to the same desinations but Azamara created a total experience. Expect the unexpected from Azamara and have a great time. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We wanted to see as much as possible of New Zealand without having to brave driving on the wrong side of NZ's notoriously twisty - and sometimes hazardous - highways. As this was our second Azamara cruise, we knew we could expect ... Read More
We wanted to see as much as possible of New Zealand without having to brave driving on the wrong side of NZ's notoriously twisty - and sometimes hazardous - highways. As this was our second Azamara cruise, we knew we could expect matchless service, an impeccable ship, a (relatively) spacious cabin and great food. There were no disappointments in any of those areas. However ... 1. While we did get plenty of opportunities to experience the North Island, and the east (Pacific) coast of the South Island, there were no ports of call on the west coast NZ's South Island, and - thus - we never got to see the fabled Southern Alps. Moreover ... 2. For reasons that probably had more to do with Azamara's scheduling than with the desires of the passengers, the final two days of the cruise were occupied exclusively with a transit across to Sydney, Australia. Several of us had already spent time in that (lovely) city and would have preferred more New Zealand-time. But - more importantly - for those who had flown to Auckland round-trip, they were now required to buy a Sydney-Auckland one-way fare in order to pick up their return flight home. Awkward. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Chose this cruise for the destination. Originally booked on Oceania but changed to be able to travel as part of a group that provides educational credits for my husband. In my opinion Oceania is in a higher class but Azamara did not ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the destination. Originally booked on Oceania but changed to be able to travel as part of a group that provides educational credits for my husband. In my opinion Oceania is in a higher class but Azamara did not disappoint. Cabin was a good size with plenty of storage. Bathroom unfortunately was tiny. Turning around in the shower was nearly impossible. Cabin attendant terrific. Good good not great. Definitely not a reason to select the line. DJ was excellent at the White Night Party but entertainment is not their strong suit but my husband and I felt it met our needs. White Party Night was terrific as was the Azamazing evening in Havana. They took us to a very contemporary ballet in the courtyard of a museum. It was terrific. We did not book any excursions with the boat. They are way too expensive. Booked all private in advance. Two of the three we booked were terrific in Havana and Santiago de Cuba. Cienfuegos guide was not great. Don’t let the cruise line convince you that you must book with them. Service everywhere was really good. Book your specialty restaurant as soon as you get on. They fill up fast. Only ate in the Italian restaurant. Very nice. Reasonably priced at $30pp. Having beer, wine and cocktails included and available all day is a bonus. No problem to find seats at pool. Could use a little better activities for days on board. All in all would recommend the line and this itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Cuba was the lure and Azamara offered the most intensive experience with 3 ports, Havana, Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba. I won't talk about Cuba much here as I wrote a photo review on the Celebrity board with 1700 photos. This is ... Read More
Cuba was the lure and Azamara offered the most intensive experience with 3 ports, Havana, Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba. I won't talk about Cuba much here as I wrote a photo review on the Celebrity board with 1700 photos. This is about the ship and the cruise line which was new to us. We sail medium size ships from the Princess and Celebrity lines and of course due to their size they have more variety to offer. Azamara excels in terms of providing an elegant and relaxing environment with less than 700 passengers. Even after 9 days on board we hadn't eaten in all their venues nor spent time in all the rooms on board. We adapted to the leisurely vibe on board and just a couple of days into the experience were already liking what we saw of Azamara. Would we sail with them again? Yes and have already booked a 7 day Rome to Venice in October 2020 which will include a 10 year Azamara anniversary meet up in Koper, Slovenia, with the other two ships in the fleet. We even booked the same aft cabin again. Cabins are small but well designed (back in the year 2000) and elegantly appointed. Elegant and tasteful are key words to describe the Journey. Soothing on the eye. We sailed with considerate adults who showed respect to each other. It's the staff that make a ship a home for a week and the staff are keen to be of service and represent the brand well. I had hoped they wouldn't be too formal or stiff and was delighted to find them loose and ready to laugh and smile without forcing. Very personable. The dining was the best we have enjoyed at sea, without the expense of a Specialty restaurant. Discoveries restaurant produced fine breakfasts lunches and dinners without fail. Surprises were two brunches, complete with live music and served by Officers. Highlights of the cruise! Even the pool cafe, the Patio, stood high above the deck fare on our other two lines of choice with expansive menus, table service and really well-prepared simple dishes. A good first impression was made on boarding- a glass of champagne, then relaxing on a pool deck without canned music and with thickly padded loungers with pillows, while waiters made sure your glass would not dry out. Only one announcement from the Captain and CD each day. Officers who greet you as they pass. Two unique Home Runs, apart from the Azamara trade-mark overnight port stays which first attracted us to the brand are the Azamazing Evening and White Night Party. Both smoothly executed considering 600 or more guests attended each event. In the case of Havana's Azamazing Evening we were all treated to an incredible performance by the Lizt Alfonso dancers which is one of the most passionate and moving performances we have seen outside of an Opera House or theater in the USA. Kudos Azamara! White Night, an on deck BBQ buffet with music and dancing was held on a warm evening tied up in Cienfuegos and we all got a chance to applaud the crew who were introduced in a parade. Azamara was pricy but included gratuities and basic beverages on board. I upgraded to an Ultimate Beverage package and had the choice of anything on the ship and that was a good move given my preferences. Entertainment is constrained somewhat in the evening shows by the showroom which is on one level so no tiered seating-get there early for the best views-but the artists and CD (Alicia Hill) give it their all. There are plenty of relaxing and cosy areas to sit with friends and enjoy coffee or a beverage aboard the ship , including a real library with books made from paper! Good first impressions continued day after day and there was no let-down. Just a great crew, steeped in the brand culture. They try to impress and with us succeeded and provided a very memorable experience. We have now added Azamara to our Princess and Celebrity roster of go-to cruise lines. Norris Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
After cruising Regent and Seabourn we were looking for a more casual experience coupled with an in-depth itinerary of New Zealand, and Azamara fit the bill. Itinerary included Melbourne,Tasmania and the North and South Islands in New ... Read More
After cruising Regent and Seabourn we were looking for a more casual experience coupled with an in-depth itinerary of New Zealand, and Azamara fit the bill. Itinerary included Melbourne,Tasmania and the North and South Islands in New Zealand. We were lucky enough to have great weather in Milford Sound and Captain Magnus did a great job navigating the ship. We loved the genuinely friendly crew, no formal nights or snootiness, wonderful food and late night/overnight port stays. Passengers ranged from 40s to 70s mainly from Australia, USA and NZ with 60s the average.The ship is immaculate and nicely appointed with modern art, and elevators were never crowded despite a fully booked cruise. Embarkation was fairly smooth although luggage delivery was slow. Our butler Xavier was friendly and helpful throughout. As suite guests we were entitled to dine at Prime C and Aqualina free of charge. We dined at both and they were wonderful, although the food in the main dining room Discoveries was delicious too. However spacing between tables at Windows and Discoveries was extremely tight which felt claustrophobic when fully booked. We really enjoyed the Patio for casual outdoor lunches and dinners as well. Shore excursions were generally very good but Azamara didn't offer everything we wanted to do so we arranged several tours on our own as well. Entertainment was just OK, although the comedian Simon Palomares was an unexpectedly hilarious treat. Azamara brought on a local high school group to perform a spirited haka dance, a highlight of the trip for us. Downsides were relatively minor - slow, spotty and pricey Internet service, a cruise industry problem. Azamara's in-room TV and video offerings are pathetically bad. What good is having 2 large flat screen TVs in the suite if the picture is of poor quality with limited stations and on-demand movies are a whopping $11.99 each? We booked a one night post stay through Azamara at the Pullman Hotel which we don't recommend. They never called our number during debarkation so we ended up running to the taxi at the last minute despite being ready early, a chaotic scenario. We met many repeat clients onboard and can see why. Overall we had a fantastic cruise experience with Azamara and already booked another one. Can't wait! Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We have not done an Ocean cruise for 15 years. We have been taking land tours and River cruises instead. Before we stopped we had been on 8 Ocean cruises. I was very excited to discover this Antarctica Cruise and on a ship we had sailed ... Read More
We have not done an Ocean cruise for 15 years. We have been taking land tours and River cruises instead. Before we stopped we had been on 8 Ocean cruises. I was very excited to discover this Antarctica Cruise and on a ship we had sailed twice before (as the Royal Princess!) and had loved! The ship is a perfect size for those of us who like a smaller number of passengers. I thought the redo of the interior was fine. The "living room" is a very popular spot to hang out during the sea days with the loungers always in demand. Passengers "save" seats so I was not able to try them. The following are my impressions of the cruise: .Cabin 7100---awkward furniture, was always moving the coffee table to get to veranda or loveseat, plastic shower curtain made shower dark and liked to wrap around the body.. Ship shore excursions---too expensive. arranged tours online with private vendors for all ports. .Service--room steward great, staff friendly, buffet staff attentive, Discoveries staff needs more training (multiple use of seating charts, we were "forgotten" about during our meal several times and sat for 20+ minutes waiting to be checked on .Dinning/food---BUFFET food greatly improved, theme of buffet advertised daily in program, DISCOVERIES menu posted outside restaurant only so had to make trip to check its menu before deciding where to eat daily, menu lacking in variety and food was not outstanding, no soufflé/bananas foster/prime cuts of meat/lobster. Main dinning room has suffered from having specialty restaurants as only place to enjoy those foods. AQUALINA specialty (ate X2) no change in menu from one week to the next, soufflé outstanding but majority of food did not stand out. Two brunch meals in Discoveries were outstanding events! Chocolate buffet was crowded due to small venue area. .Activities--daily activities have not changed in 15 years. I spoke to Tony the cruise director two times about this and he was very receptive to my criticism. Enjoyed: ABBA dance night, photo contest/lectures from professional staff photographer, enrichment lectures (including NASA lecturer who hosted eclipse viewing) , movie nights, Polar club. HIGHLIGHTS Azamazing event & White night party! All in all this was an exciting itinerary! Was happy with the change of dress to "country club casual". The ship captain was very interactive with guests and went out of his way to maneuver ship for exceptional scenery viewing. Would recommend this itinerary/ship with the knowledge that dinning in Discoveries is not a highlight. I hope this review helps other cruise lovers pick their next adventure! Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
e have just returned from an Azamara Pursuit cruise to Antartica. The customer serviceon the ship is appalling. We had problems with our hot water going cold over two days. After various attempts to fix it (it would go cold again within ... Read More
e have just returned from an Azamara Pursuit cruise to Antartica. The customer serviceon the ship is appalling. We had problems with our hot water going cold over two days. After various attempts to fix it (it would go cold again within a couple of hours) and much debate we were offered another stateroom but no apology, upgrade or any comprnsation for the inconvenience.The guest relations manager (Sasha) hid behind his staff and after meeting with us once never got back to us although we left messages for him to contact us. Also the stateroom had the smallest shower and least storage of any that we have ever experienced in 21 cruises with 8 cruise lines. The ship was also compromised in many areas as altough it has been refurbished it is quite old. For the price we paid and the reputation of Azamara (boutique cruise line 4.5 stars) we expected far more but sadly found them worse than 3 star cruise lines such as Princess and Holland America. To say we were disappointed would be an umderstatment and we will never travel on Azamara again. No port information was given out apart from maps from port staff. Food quality was quite variablee, sometimes good, sometimes not. Selection was reasonable except for breakfast with only four cereals on offer. Entertainment was OK. Unfortunately the floor of the theatre didn’t slope so it was difficult to see. The enrichment lectures were great. Embarkation and disimbarkation was well organised and very smooth. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We chose this cruise as we wanted to go to Antarctica but didn't want to pay the prices of the expedition ships. Fortunately the ship was small enough to allow us to navigate some of the small passages and appreciate the wonder of ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we wanted to go to Antarctica but didn't want to pay the prices of the expedition ships. Fortunately the ship was small enough to allow us to navigate some of the small passages and appreciate the wonder of icebergs and penguins. We even entered an active volcano. 17 days on board with only 4 ports was a bit too long, but we knew this when we signed up. What we didn't know was how inadequate the weather proofing was in the staterooms. We were freezing inside, even with the heating bumped up high. Not sure if this is still one of the teething problems with a newly acquired ship. We didn't even have the standard issue binoculars in the stateroom - an abomination for a destination such as Antarctica. Having sailed with Azamara previously, more recently we have become disillusioned by the increasing up-selling. The brand has been cheapened by all the nickel and diming, although base prices have not reduced. The prices of the shore excursions were obscene, and based on general feedback around the vessel, they weren't even good. The promised strenuous 2 hour trek we went on turned out to be a 1km walk + bus ride. They did listen to our feedback and begrudgingly gave us a small refund. Although still settling in as a relatively new team (since August 2018), the service staff were friendly and efficient as we have come to expect from Azamara. Some recognised us from before. We thoroughly enjoyed the talks given by the destination speaker. He was entertaining and knowledgeable and certainly did enrich our time on board. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We chose this cruise mainly to see Antarctica, but also to have a chance to cruise Azamara again on her "new" ship. Embarkation was a little busier than we expected and a shuttle bus must be taken to the ship in Buenos Aires, ... Read More
We chose this cruise mainly to see Antarctica, but also to have a chance to cruise Azamara again on her "new" ship. Embarkation was a little busier than we expected and a shuttle bus must be taken to the ship in Buenos Aires, but there were Azamara people with signs at every stop easily directing you to the next location. All in all, not a bad experience. We thought the ship was lovely and due to the itinerary, spent a lot of time in the Living Room on Deck 10 looking at the scenery. It was tough to get a seat at the front at times, and took some patience, but it was quite an unusual itinerary. We would typically take a seat more toward the middle and move up as they became available. The buffet was fine, though we didn't go there often - for health and quality reasons, we prefer the other restaurants when possible. When looking for drinks, we felt we were either asked 50 times if we wanted a drink, or we couldn't find anyone and ended up serving ourselves. Never sure why that was the case. We felt the food in Discoveries was generally very good and the two Brunch Buffets were outstanding! The music during the buffets, provided by the Pursuit Band was so delightful, we ordered more coffee and tea and lingered to relax and enjoy. It was heavenly! Specialty restaurants were good and the Chef's Table food and wines were excellent - we thoroughly enjoyed this experience and felt it was a good value (we chose a package, chefs table + 2, which was one Chef's table and one dinner and each specialty restaurant.) Unlike others have mentioned on here previously, we felt the complimentary wine offerings were quite good (especially the Cline Cellars Zinfandel) and offered a good chance to try wines from different countries. Others we chatted with on our cruise agreed. Bartenders were willing to make our favorite drinks, Cosmos and Lemon Drops with complimentary alcohol and it was all good. One odd point, I think maybe bartender placement is more by seniority rather than quality, as the best bartenders were not in the best bars.... by far the best bartender on our ship could only be found in Discoveries at night... he had quite a following, but it was strange to not find a bartender of his quality in the Spirits Bar or Living Room...all other cruise lines we've sailed (27 so far) would have placed him in a much busier location. The Azamazing Evening, a carnival celebration at Solis Theater in Montevideo, was surprisingly excellent. It was a pain to be bussed over there, of course, but we were expecting it and the show was very good - we were surprised and impressed! The White Night celebration had some challenges with the weather, so we ended up eating in the dining room, but going up after for dancing - some songs with a few sprinkles of rain mixed in - but it was a very fun time! We attended most of the enrichment lectures. The main lecturer gave good overviews of all of our ports. Unfortunately, the wildlife speaker was not as interesting, and he ended up not giving any after the first few. This is one area I think Azamara could have done better for this itinerary....they missed a chance to bring on an expert on Antarctica in areas such as ice, iceberg types, previous expeditions, geology etc.... This cruise had a different type of clientele, I believe due to the itinerary and we spoke with many people who would have enjoyed a more in-depth enrichment experience. However, they did fly down a NASA expert ambassador for the lunar eclipse - He & Captain Carl made this a once in a lifetime experience! The few days in Antarctica were an indescribable experience - We thoroughly enjoyed everything about it! We would have liked the overnight in Ushuaia, as our original itinerary included in order to see more of Patagonia. This was our second Azamara cruise (27 total on Carnival, Princess, Celebrity & Oceania) and we thoroughly enjoyed it and would go again tomorrow if we could! Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
My wife and I had put off too long a trip to Antarctica and finally took that long awaited itinerary. I wish we had done so earlier!! The entire experience (with one small exception) went off without a hitch and, as usual, we enjoyed the ... Read More
My wife and I had put off too long a trip to Antarctica and finally took that long awaited itinerary. I wish we had done so earlier!! The entire experience (with one small exception) went off without a hitch and, as usual, we enjoyed the family-like Azamara experience. This being our 10th Azamara cruise we had a pretty good idea of what to expect, though The Pursuit is a recent addition to the Quest and Journey. The layouts are identical so it was just like returning home. A number of the crew were familiar transfers from the other ships so it really did feel like family. The ship was renovated before being put into Azamara service with the new Deck 5 layout sans Casino. Honestly, on this size ship, the casino was little more than a nice diversion and the extra space in the newly converted "Den" was put to good use. Though we had a 7 day stretch where we were limited to staying on the ship, it seemed to pass quickly with the interesting "cruise by" itinerary of the Alaskan peninsula. Passing a number of HUGE icebergs was also a favorite of all onboard. Best of all, we were lucky to have pretty calm seas passing through the Drake Passage twice and the horror stories some people told us about never came to pass. Entertainment was varied, though by necessity it is limited to guest entertainers and a small ensemble of singers and band. Still, they were excellent, professional, and interactive. The stops were all interesting and fun, and the AZAMAZING EVENING in Montevideo was a presentation of the Urguayan Carnivale and was one of the top two AZAMAZING EVENINGS we have experienced! Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
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