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820 Azamara Journey Cruise Reviews

There were 6 of us on this cruise, one couple with 4 other women. We started our trip with 3 days in London. Some of us had been on the Journey before and looked forward to coming back. Those new to it loved the cruise. We choose this ... Read More
There were 6 of us on this cruise, one couple with 4 other women. We started our trip with 3 days in London. Some of us had been on the Journey before and looked forward to coming back. Those new to it loved the cruise. We choose this for the ship and the itinerary. The service was excellent as expected. We loved "welcome home" every-time we returned to the ship. Embarkation was slow because of a technical problem. Our first stop was Bruges. We did it on our own, took a train into town, the station was right at the dock. Lots of walking but a beautiful place. Next Amsterdam. We did a ship excursion to the countryside to see windmills. Lots of rain all day, but we enjoyed the scenery. The amazing evening was at a maritime museum, we enjoyed the music and the canal boat ride. The next day some of us went to the Rijksmuseum on a ship excursion and others enjoyed the city on their own. The next day was the Kiel canal. It was like a sea day, but so interesting to go through the locks. We did a ship excursion to Berlin. It was a long bus ride (3 hours) and our driver forgot to make a comfort stop. Near the end of the drive they announced that there was a bathroom on the bus for emergencies. Glad I saw Berlin, but was not my trip highlight Next was a sea day. Always enjoy these and we had a wonderful brunch in the dining room. Helsinki was the next stop. We did not do a tour, but enjoyed a nice little marketplace at the dock. The next 3 days were in St. Petersburg, the highlight of the trip for me. We did a tour with ALLA tours and loved it. Only 12 people on a small bus and so much to see. Great guide and lunches were included. The white night was in St Petersburg. The food and entertainment was great but the weather was cold so it was not as enjoyable as it could have been. Tallinn was next. We enjoyed a tour from our travel agent of the old town and visited a manor home in the country where we had a wonderful meal. Our last port was Stockholm and we stayed 2 extra days. We visited the Vasa museum and Old Town. Enjoyed Stockholm except for the rain. There were many tourists everywhere since it was August. So glad we did tours or ordered advance tickets to most places. The cabin worked well for us - plenty of storage space. The bathroom is small, but not an issue. Better internet service would be welcomed. I love Azamara cruises. This was my fourth - 3rd on the Journey. It has been a few years and i wasn't sure if it would be the same. The service was still wonderful and it was nice to see some familiar faces. I enjoyed the Living Room area, but it did fill up at times. The food was still excellent and I enjoyed the included wine. We had several amazing buffets during the trip. The Chocolate buffet was unbelievable. We ate mainly in the dining room; did not do any specialty restaurants. Breakfast was either Discovery, Windows or room service - all were good. We had one lunch at the Patio and I really enjoyed an Azamara burger and onion rings. Entertainment was good, but not as good as I remembered. Cruise director Eric was not on this trip and I missed him although Danny and Lee were good. Captain Johannes was always around greeting people and letting us know what was happening. I still love Azamara and in several weeks I will be on the Azamara Journey around Spain. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We sailed in July with Azamara for the second time. Our first cruise with Azamarawas on the Pursuit in the Autumn of last year. The only real difference we could see between the ships was the Casino, when that is removed and the Lounge ... Read More
We sailed in July with Azamara for the second time. Our first cruise with Azamarawas on the Pursuit in the Autumn of last year. The only real difference we could see between the ships was the Casino, when that is removed and the Lounge becomes bigger it is a definite improvement. However The Journey is a lovely ship, we did not notice any shabby areas, she gleamed! Add to the experience the wonderful crew, a Captain who was so personable and who made in scheduled ‘stops’ so the chef could source local Norwegian berries and cheese and you have a recipe for a fun time. We even did an oil rig safari! Not many can say that! The food, service and overall holiday was first class. We are already booking two back to back cruises with Journey in November, can’t wait. Caribbean here we come! Thank you Azamara for Azamazing holidays Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We booked this cruise to get a comparison of our extensive experience with Viking. We’d lost our affinity for Viking due to a nasty situation regarding a cancelled cruise credit due us. So, we felt Azamara might be our next logical ... Read More
We booked this cruise to get a comparison of our extensive experience with Viking. We’d lost our affinity for Viking due to a nasty situation regarding a cancelled cruise credit due us. So, we felt Azamara might be our next logical choice to try. Embarkation: We landed at 7:00 am in London, waited in a crowded seating area for other passengers to board a bus to Southampton. That was okay, but upon arrival at Southampton we were given instructions to sit in a large waiting area. No estimated time of checkin, no information at all. The soon to become oft-vaunted suite passengers were invited to line up for security and checkin. The remaining dross like us were cattle called into a lengthy line for security, the somewhat shorter numbered lines for checkin. Checkin took three hours from arrival in Southampton. Had I known, I would have booked a private transfer after snoozing in the Virgin Revival lounge available to Delta One passengers. We booked the near-lowest cabin class - an Oceanview Stateroom. Much has been said about the tiny bathrooms and it’s all true. What’s hilarious is you have to upgrade to a suite to get an adequate bathroom. I would have been livid to pay a veranda stateroom price for that same shower that cannot comfortably contain a size 8 woman. The finishes were fine and the toiletries on offer were equal to a two star hotel. We were in 4002 and had no problems with noise from the Caberet Lounge above. We did have some bow thruster noise, but overall, a quiet cabin. Bed quality was just fine. Our stateroom was everything promised - in distant, low-res pictures. Upon closer examination, the noted “full refurbishment” of 2016 has had a hard life, based on our observations. The furniture in our cabin was nicked and worn. It was also mismatched. The carpet was worn and grimy to the point I wouldn’t walk on it without slipper or shoes. It was interesting to note our nightstands didn’t match. There was no clock available except on the standard def tv. This provided extra fun as I used my phone for an alarm in oft-changing time zones, depending on having an Internet connection to update my phone - no luck there, more later. Storage was adequate, the bed was comfortable, it was easy to control the cabin temp in the cool Baltic weather, and the room cleaning was adequate if not terribly speedy (we’ve seen Viking staterooms cleaned in less than a half hour). Wi-fi service was an expensive rip-off. I spent endless hours simply connecting to the network. I’d log on, move to a new location (once as short a move as two deck chairs) only to be dropped. We never had this issue on Viking except some intermittent issues at sea. All our problems with Azamara’s network took place both in port and at sea. Don’t buy it. Most ports on our cruise worked just fine. We logged onto a giant MS ship in port. Food was generally excellent. Service in the restaurants ranged from ok to terrible. The specialty restaurants were a waste of money. They offered nothing superior to what we could get in the main restaurant and the Italian Aquafina served us the two worst meals we had. Book your own excursions. Azamara’s were expensive and offered poor value. For the most part guides didn’t use the popular headphones/receivers and they had to have us crowd in to hear. One plus was plenty of room to spread out. Azamara’s air booking is fabulous compared to Viking. You get to choose your preferred itinerary and price based on the buying power of Royal Caribbean. Public areas on the Journey were uneven. The furniture in “The Living Room” was grimy and worn. Most windows had eroded finishes and uncared for brasses. Entertainment was okay and varied. I don’t cruise for the floor shows. Once again I think Viking takes this whole category - all finishes are crisp and new looking. The entertainment is geared more toward informational lectures applicable to ports visited. I wish I could take the two lines and pick and choose the best of each to come up with a great value cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Azamara folk are incredibly loyal and proud of their ship, and that’s just the guests! (Well, the staff are loyal and proud too). This was our first Azamara cruise, so I’m barely qualified to write this review, surrounded as we were by ... Read More
Azamara folk are incredibly loyal and proud of their ship, and that’s just the guests! (Well, the staff are loyal and proud too). This was our first Azamara cruise, so I’m barely qualified to write this review, surrounded as we were by guests cruising Azamara for their fifth, tenth, even twentieth time in its ten-year history. The Captain set the tone, sociable, warm, and happy to show us Norway through his eyes. Our two (three?) sets of cruise directors brought enthusiasm and warmth to the trip. Entertainment maybe leaned too heavily on Broadway, but we appreciated the effort and I really liked the house band and the lounge performers. The cultural lectures were pertinent and valuable to appreciating our all-Norway itinerary. The cooking demonstrations were enjoyable and offered a peek at the professionalism and mutual respect that exists among the kitchen crew, which surely is not always the case. The AzAmazing evening featured a brilliant concert in Trondheim’s Nidaros Cathedral, and the White Night gave us an opportunity to cheer for the staff as they paraded through. Shore excursions were hit-and-miss and overpriced as usual, but we followed the pre-cruise Roll Call here on CruiseCritic and had a good mix of internal and external bookings. Well done Azamara! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We have sailed Azamara a number of times and really enjoy the on-board experience. This itinerary attracted us because of the variation in cultures and climate. The embarkation was very smooth and we were quickly processed. . Because ... Read More
We have sailed Azamara a number of times and really enjoy the on-board experience. This itinerary attracted us because of the variation in cultures and climate. The embarkation was very smooth and we were quickly processed. . Because of an upgrade, we were staying in a Club Continent Suite as opposed to our usual Veranda 2. We really enjoyed the extra space, but did not utilize all the perks associated with the Suite. One of the perks was complimentary dining in the Specialty Restaurants, a choice we made for four of the 14 nights. For other dinners, of course, we ate in Discoveries (the main dining room), and on the Patio. Most breakfasts we frequented Windows, the buffet area. We were very pleased with the food in all the venues, especially the attention paid to certain food intolerances that limit some of our choices. One of the attractions for us on Azamara is the friendly and attentive service on board..From the room stewards to the waiting staff in the dining areas, this cruise was no exception. The friendliness is true of most officers as well. Although not noted for entertainment, in this case Azamara provided some of the best we have enjoyed. From The Azamazing Evening to more casual events, we found a lot to enjoy. Hard to pick out a port that was more enjoyable than the others. Because of our travelling through four countries, each port provided some interesting contrasts. As we sailed further North the weather cooled and rain became a sometime occurrence. That added to the variety of experiences on this itinerary. We participated in only two shore excursions. The trip to see Bayeux and its famous tapestry was well worth the cost. The walking tour of Cadiz was good but not amazing. In both cases we were travelling in relatively small groups. Most of the ports were quite accessible for those who wanted to explore on their own, and Azamara provided free shuttles where needed and appropriate. As part of that service, usually there was a guide at the drop-off points with maps and helpful suggestions. After sailing up the Thames the previous day, disembarkation at Greenwich was a little more complicated than at most ports. But the staff on the ships had it well under control, and there was a surplus of attendants on shore to assure that you made your connection with taxis for the airport, for travel home, or for extended stays in London. For the reasons above, out of 18 cruises this was one of our favourites. Although the itinerary is not one of the common ones offered, we think others should give it serious consideration. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Ship is nice with a good itinerary. The idea of spending the night in a few ports was attractive. However, the itinerary changed 3 times after we had booked and we booked only 100 days out. These changes actually took out an entire night ... Read More
Ship is nice with a good itinerary. The idea of spending the night in a few ports was attractive. However, the itinerary changed 3 times after we had booked and we booked only 100 days out. These changes actually took out an entire night in Rouen, France which changed the ability to spend an evening in Paris which was our plan. Azamara's goal is to make this a boutique cruise catering to a smaller group of people. Our ship was to capacity with 690 guests on board. The attempt is a good one and the entertainment is definitely top notch. However, to compare this line to Windstar or Seabourne on anything but entertainment would be a disappointment. The crew is friendly, food is good, not exceptional, staterooms are small and the bathrooms are tiny. The idea of all inclusive beverages is a bit misleading as they up sell 2 different drink packages to include certain mixed drinks and certain brands of liquor. On the included drink package if you want to order say a mojito, you must specifically ask for the basic liquor or they charge you for it. There is a very basic list of drinks that can be ordered on the regular package anything that differs from that list, if you don't specifically ask for the included liquor package, will be charged to your room. It cheapens the experience. On other boutique cruise lines all drinks are included unless you specifically ask for the top shelf liquor, then you are charged for a top shelf liquor. On the positive side, they have a wonderful smoothie bar in the buffet every morning. All food in the buffet is labeled for gluten,dairy,vegan etc. Some of the staff are better than others when it comes to accommodating dietary needs. Gluten free was a trick for many and by the end of the cruise I gave up asking for GF items ie bread as it seemed liked too great a challenge and just ate the items I knew were GF. We had a balcony state rooms which was nice. Smaller than other ships but adequate. The bathroom is a joke. Literally, no room for 2 people to stand in the space. To brush our teeth while the other person was brushing theirs, one of us would have to get in the shower to accommodate for space. (We're not large people). Entertainment was by far much better than other boutique lines. Cruise director Eric is extremely talented and ran a fabulous entertainment department. I would sale on Azamara again but I would consider it a nice cruise line not a luxury boutique line. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We chose this cruise due to ports we were visiting for the first time. It was our first Azamara cruise on a smaller ship. We have cruised with Princess and royal Caribbean on our previous 9 cruises without too many complaints. We Just ... Read More
We chose this cruise due to ports we were visiting for the first time. It was our first Azamara cruise on a smaller ship. We have cruised with Princess and royal Caribbean on our previous 9 cruises without too many complaints. We Just loved the ship size, we agreed that it was such a relaxed feeling for both passengers and crew. The service was great, a big thanks to all the crew for enhancing our vacation experience... thanks to Pitoon in the casino bar for your professional service, cheers mate! As has been described many times the azamazing evening and white night were fantastic events. We will definitely cruise Azamara again in the future thanks to all crew from chefs to cleaners for service with a smile. Surprisingly we found the food to be an equivalent quality to previous cruises, but not as many choices. All in all really good food. We really enjoy eating in the dining room, but was disappointed when themed buffet style food was offered in both the dining room and the buffet at the same time. Why remove the dining room choice? If I wanted buffet food I would go to the buffet? Read Less
Sail Date May 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
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
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
Sail Date April 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
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
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
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
Sail Date March 2019
We just returned from Azamara Journey Cuba/Cozumel. I thought the ship was meticulously maintained by a wonderful, cheerful staff who could not do enough for you. I think I observed only 1 sourpuss the entire cruise, and that was at ... Read More
We just returned from Azamara Journey Cuba/Cozumel. I thought the ship was meticulously maintained by a wonderful, cheerful staff who could not do enough for you. I think I observed only 1 sourpuss the entire cruise, and that was at breakfast. Maybe she wasn't a morning person...I also liked the ship décor which was very European instead of the new bland, grey millennial style. I understand they are eliminating the casino which was always empty, and is no loss. The cabin had lots of places to store items from the two huge suitcases we brought along (we drove to the pier) and they stored neatly under the bed. Balcony was small--just enough for two chairs and a table. The bathroom was tiny, and the shower so small when I dropped the soap I had to get out to pick it up. My husband couldn't use the toilet, as it's angled and his knees jammed against the wall, so he simply used one of the public marble bathrooms scattered around the ship---which again were spotless. You need to book a club category if you want a larger bathroom. For the second time we never used the balcony, and might not book one again in the future, unless it has chaise space. We used the promenade deck chairs on the days at sea. Cable had CNBC, FOX, BBC, Sky News, and a movie channel (extra charge of $11.95), and music channels. There were also two movies shown each day that were not new--and in fact, some rather old. We eat out almost every night at home, and so I have a fair idea of what to expect in a wide variety of restaurant types. We though the breakfast and lunch buffets offered an astounding number of good choices. For dinner. the main dining room was very pretty (sometimes noisy if it was full) and although we ate at both specialty restaurants, I would not bother on a future trip, as the food in the main dining room and the nightly buffets were more than adequate. The specialty dining rooms are small, with a high level of service, by excellent staff. However, the food was nothing truly special. All of the steaks we ate in any of the dining rooms, would be below an Outback standard, and they should change their supplier. Really. Though I don't like fish, I ordered the salmon two nights in the regular dining room, and it was excellent. Cuba is not a destination for everyone. You have to be a sophisticated traveler to appreciate it's history (we watched 8 hours of Cuban history on a DVD before we arrived) and charms. The people are beyond lovely, cheerful, have absolutely no animosity towards Americans. Their food is rationed, so any show of excess by any passenger should be frowned upon. Also, I did not wear any jewelry in port because I did not want to appear a spoiled American. Respect is warranted here. I heard a few older people complaining on the shore excursion.. I wanted to ask they why they booked the trip to begin with. If you want it to be like home----stay home. If you want to shop and eat on the ship---then don't book a tour and then ask the bus to take you back early. Appalling behavior, as was the guy who had to be first in line on every tour--and always on his cell phone wheeling and deal his stocks. Geez.... It was amazing how many people didn't listen to simple instructions, i.e. you cannot change the Cuban CUC (tourist money) back to dollars if you don't use it all. When they tell you the bus is leaving at 12:30PM, it's leaving at 12:30PM and when you are not there---it's beyond damned rude. This applies to any tour, on any trip cruise or not... We like it so much we are considering booking the New Years Cuba cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We chose this short, six-night Azamara cruise for several reasons: First, although we prefer longer cruises, two weeks or more, we faced some time limitations this trip, including work obligations and also meeting family and friends ... Read More
We chose this short, six-night Azamara cruise for several reasons: First, although we prefer longer cruises, two weeks or more, we faced some time limitations this trip, including work obligations and also meeting family and friends afterward for some spring training baseball games; second, we had heard some very good reports on Azamara from friends who really enjoyed the casual, small-ship atmosphere and we figured this would be a way to try it out without a big financial or time commitment; third, and most importantly, we wanted to visit Cuba, and this cruise included two days and an overnight in Havana. Embarkation at the Port of Miami was easy. We drove to Miami from our home in the mountains of North Carolina because we wanted to have a car for the post-cruise spring training. It is a long drive, and next time we probably would fly (though we hate the MIA airport). We stayed at the Hampton Inn & Suites Blue Lagoon International Airport on a stay and cruise package that included parking and a shuttle. That worked out fine compared with parking at the Port and saved us a little money and a good bit of hassle. It took only a few minutes to get through the formalities of paperwork (including the Cuban visa ($75 per person), which Azamara took care of for us. Soon we were sitting in Journey's buffet restaurant enjoying a drink. Drinks are included in the cost of Azamara cruises, but the included package mostly has low-end brands and house wines. My wife decided to upgrade to the Ultimate package because she enjoys fancy craft cocktails -- unfortunately we would learn that, unlike Celebrity and some other lines most bartenders on Azamara are not up to speed on making complex drinks. Before long we went to our Deck 8 Veranda Stateroom. Having read and heard a lot of reports, we were prepared for the stateroom to be on the small size, and the bath and shower to be tiny. The bathroom wasn't quite as small as I had feared, but I have to say that on a so-called premium ship that the shower is as small as it is. I have rheumatoid arthritis and back problems, and I have to say it was not a pleasure to look forward to a shower. Although the Journey is almost a 20-year-old ship (it was built in 2000 as an R-2 class ship for Renaissance Cruises, now defunct, and then sailed under two names for Pullmantur line), it appeared to be in quite good condition. We liked all the mahogany and other woods in some of the public areas and enjoyed going on several open decks as in the "old days" of cruising. Journey has one of the smallest swimming pools I've ever seen on a cruise ship.The fitness room is pretty well equipped, although smallish and with only one recumbant bike. We found Azamara staff, both officers and guest-contact crew, almost uniformly helpful, friendly and hard-working. That was the case although gratuities were included in the fare. (At the end of the cruise we did tip extra for our room steward, who was excellent, and a bartender who had been extra nice to us.) I have to admit that our overall experience may have been shaded by the fact that my wife had a cold that started soon after boarding (after disembarking she went to a doc-in-the-box in West Palm Beach and was diagnosed with acute bronchitis and an eye infection. A couple of days after board I developed a toothache that turned out to be sinus-related. None of this was Azamara's fault (we didn't hear of any noroviruses this trip), and we probably should have checked with the clinic on board. Dining was certainly adequate on board, but not exceptional. We usually ate in the main dining room, Discoveries, for dinner (everyone has open seating, and only once or twice did we have to wait for a table). Some of our favorite dishes, such as the escargot appetizer, seem to be the same as on sister line Celebrity, but others were mediocre. Service was always excellent, however. We did try Prime-C, the steak house (a $30 per-person upcharge), which was fine but not memorable. The Windows buffet, again, was adequate but with a limited menu compared with other ships we've been on. The Patio on the pool deck, which serves burgers and such, was -- I have to say again -- only adequate. We loved our two days in Havana and wish we could have spent the entire cruise at Cuban ports. Why this itinerary included Cozumel I don't know. We have been to Cozumel many times, both on land trips and on cruises and no longer find it of any interest at all. It is a good dive destination that has been ruined by too many cruise ships and too much commercialization (Cozumel, amazingly, is the 3rd busiest cruise port in the world.) We were not that impressed with the ship excursion staff, who pushed the cruise tours pretty hard, and one of our pre-booked tours was canceled for no reason we could understand. To summarize what we liked and didn't much care for: Liked: Easy embarkation and disembarkation Friendly, helpful staff Lots of "traditional" wood paneling and such The Havana stop -- Havana is amazing, and we only wish we had had more time there So-so: Enrichment offerings (basically one speaker whose knowledge of parts of the Caribbean seemed a little dated -- having written many books on the region I probably knew more than he did) Dining in all venues Entertainment The small-ship atmosphere -- Journey carries fewer than 700 passengers, but we really felt that we had more and better options for places to relax on the Solstice-class Celebrity ships. Didn't like: Cozumel Bartenders' skill -- some bartenders seemed to have no training in making anything but the very basics. The Celebrity ships we have been on had much better bars and craft cocktails; the ship skimped on some ingredients, for example substituting cheap maraschino cherries for Luxardo cherries. I think Azamara should totally rethink its drink policies – just raise the fare a few bucks and make the included drinks cover more options and better brands. Small stateroom, tiny bathroom and ridiculously little shower Bottom line: I guess our expectations were too high. We were hoping to really love Azamara, but at this point I doubt we would go on another Azamara cruise. We prefer its big-ship sister, Celebrity, and hope that Royal Caribbean's purchase of a majority interest in Silversea will result in a true premium line in the cruise family (we have been on Silversea and hope that Royal Caribbean upgrades to new ships). Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Meh
Went with a big group from my country club development. The pros were that the size of the ship was very manageable and easy to navigate, no lines or waiting for anything. Staff were friendly and helpful and willing to go above and beyond. ... Read More
Went with a big group from my country club development. The pros were that the size of the ship was very manageable and easy to navigate, no lines or waiting for anything. Staff were friendly and helpful and willing to go above and beyond. Had a standard outside stateroom with window that was small but adequate. Best restaurant was Aquilina by a long shot. The spa was decent The cons are a bit plentiful. The ship is very dated looking and in dire need of renovations. Cabin bathroom was ridiculously small. The food was sub par even tho plentiful and certainly nothing special in either taste or presentation ( except in the aforementioned Aquilina) . The entertainment was amateurish and difficult to sit though. The spa did not inform me that I could use the outside sun deck and whirlpool because I purchased a treatment. The destinations itself, key west and Cuba were disappointing. Key west is a place you can walk around for an hour or so, have a great lunch and drink alcoholic beverages in your choice of at least three establishments per block. The stores are typical tourist stores loaded with shell necklaces and tee shirts and crappy sandals. Cuba is a hot mess. It’s depressing it looks like a bomb hit it except in the tourist area where the ships are docked, those buildings are pleasing to the eye. The shopping is limited in scope, most selling the same cigars, Cuban shirts rum and local street art but u can barter price. Tour guides will try and pester you as will shop owners and beggars, it can be daunting. To each his own, this trip was not for me sorry to say Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
This was our first non mega ship cruise. We usually go on the new ships the smallest was the Disney Dream .Having sailed around Cuba so many times and seeing the lights in the distance. This was our chance to visit. To compare is not ... Read More
This was our first non mega ship cruise. We usually go on the new ships the smallest was the Disney Dream .Having sailed around Cuba so many times and seeing the lights in the distance. This was our chance to visit. To compare is not easy. I think it’s where you are in life and what your looking for. If you want a nice peaceful cruise with a crew who really is happy to take care of you.If you like tea in the afternoon and cocktails before dinner they have it. Cocktails and a vey good piano player with fellow cruisers is quite nice. They had a show one night and it was really good. They sang and danced their hearts out. The costumes were also notable. The Cabins... We had a balcony room and it was the usual. The bathroom was fine and we are not small people and the shower was not an issue. They are all small, on this ship they are very clean.. When they do you room the bathroom gets sanitized when they do your room AM and PM. I liked that and there were no issues.The rooms have quite bit of storage built ins and a closet. Food. We never ate sit down. We liked the Buffet and liked sitting in the back outside.They still have great service and white table cloths The food was good and lots of choices.Everything is nicely displayed.and they have servers to help you. Once again everything is about keeping things clean and you happy. I hate people who Double dip ect this was not happening. You could have as much as you wanted with your clean plate. ..Poolside eating.. They have a nice menu of the usual plus salad, nachos ect . You order they bring it to you.It’s very good and very nice to be taken care of. They also have Steak ect at night and the tables are all done up. Room Service. Added treat Everything is so good and great portions. They have both Gelato and ice cream machines and non sugared is a plus.The ship is quiet and attracts the older cruiser who appreciates good service, and good food. The crew loves them and the feeling is mutual Some people we spoke to had been on more than 5 cruises. It was nice to relax and just enjoy ourselves To be taken care of in the style that seems to be forgotten Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
After years of traveling at this time of year on Celebrity, HA, and Royal, we decided to try a different experience with Azamara. We are a couple in our early 50s, and traveled with my parents. Overall - we loved it! The smaller ship ... Read More
After years of traveling at this time of year on Celebrity, HA, and Royal, we decided to try a different experience with Azamara. We are a couple in our early 50s, and traveled with my parents. Overall - we loved it! The smaller ship resulted in excellent service. Staff remembered our names, what we like to order, our cabin number, etc. We met some lovely people, and played trivia with a fun team we met every day. It was nice to bump into friendly faces around the ship. It was great to have a small number of passengers - we never had to wait long for anything. Not many crowds or lines, Embarkation and disembarkation were a breeze. The ship was beautiful, very classic in the décor. The cabin was ample in storage and comfort. We had a standard balcony cabin. The shower was stupid! We'd read the reviews and knew what the expect, but it was hard to navigate the tight space and shower curtain. I made it work, my husband flooded the bathroom. :) We found the Azamara experience really excellent. We loved the food in Discoveries and in buffet. We ate one meal in Aqualina and one meal in Prime C. With a very few missteps, the food was wonderful. The specialty dining was well worth the extra fee. The crew did an amazing job. It was pretty wonderful to see the captain around, and the officers. I've never cruised where they were so visible and a part of the experience. The entertainment was very good. They gave it their all! There's not really room for a big production show. It is an intimate space. I wish there was a bit more leveling for better viewing in the cabaret lounge, but we always enjoyed the shows and entertainers. The Azamazing evening was fantastic! We really didn't know what to expect and the top notch Third World reggae experience was so impressive. We loved it. We didn't do any ship excursions. I did spend time in the fitness center, and took a few spinning classes. I also had a nice massage in the spa. We really loved the extras that Azamara provides. The White Night party was really fun. We chose to eat in Discoveries, verus the buffet, but then hit the deck for music and dancing. The chocolate buffet was also pretty unbelievable! We aren't usually huge eaters, so buffets aren't our thing, but this was so beautiful and such great variety. The brunch was a fun experience, too. Overall, we would definitely do Azamara again. We are still working, so finding the right itinerary and timing may take a while, but we will be back. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
This is the third time we have cruised with Azamara. We have previously cruised with Oceania and Seaborne. The staff were as usual very attentive and well mannered and always eager to help. In particular our butler and room attendants ... Read More
This is the third time we have cruised with Azamara. We have previously cruised with Oceania and Seaborne. The staff were as usual very attentive and well mannered and always eager to help. In particular our butler and room attendants were especially good.We stayed in a Club World Owners suite and it was a good size with a large walk through bathroom and seperate toilet and with a lovely huge wrap around balcony. I feel that the suite could do with an upgrade with regards to decor. Prior to this cruise we sailed with Seaborne and I know people say they don't go cruising for the TV entertainment but this was far superior to Azamara. Azamara showed 2 movies per day on a constant loop and some of the movies were very old, in black and white and dating back to the 50s. Seaborne had a huge selection of up to date movies - free of charge. Also some cruise lines are giving free WiFi. We got complimentary minutes but I fell for the price we paid it should have been unlimited free WiFi. Lastly I feel the standard of food in Windows has deteriorated - we prefer buffets.Sometimes the presentation and choice was a bit lacking. We did not go to the White Night Party and the food that night in Windows was quite frankly shocking. I know that the chefs must have been busy doing the food for the party but I feel that this should not have disadvantaged the guests who chose to use alternative dining facilities.We were very happy with the speciality restaurants and Discoveries. We are using Azamara in the future as we were on the whole very happy. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
To preface our experience, my husband is not a comfortable traveller, and i never considered cruising because of the amount of people on board. This is why I chose Azamara, I felt 680 ppl is a do-able size for me. I also purchased the ... Read More
To preface our experience, my husband is not a comfortable traveller, and i never considered cruising because of the amount of people on board. This is why I chose Azamara, I felt 680 ppl is a do-able size for me. I also purchased the "ultimate experience package" so i would have everything covered with no surprises once on board. What a wonderful experience! Embarkation was a breeze, from start to finish we were eating lunch with a pina colada in hand within a half hour of entering the port terminal. 30 minutes later we were in our rooms and unpacking. We had a balcony room which was lovely! i felt there was plenty of storage for all our needs and yes the shower is small.( I put a small magnet on the bottom of the curtain to keep it from moving). The attendants were very efficient and took great care of our room. We had room service for tea every morning and breakfast twice as well they came promptly at the time specified and everything was hot. For any other first timers, they leave info every night on your door with relevant paperwork, tickets and info. Your tv is set up for room service, spa menu, account balance and all other ship info. That was a helpful tool for us.The laundry service was great. Filled a bag twice during the week and it was back the next day clean and pressed. We attended the Chefs Table Italian night which was really lovely. I would highly recommend this evening. My husband has dietary restrictions (no dairy, no seafood) and the chef adjusted all six courses to accommodate him! I was a little worried but they did an amazing job, considering every course contained dairy and seafood. The sommelier was excellent as well. Discoveries was consistently very good, when put into perspective the sheer number of people that are being served. Service was always excellent. We joined another couple one night because the restaurant was full and that was a lovely way to meet wonderful people. Windows Cafe is a great spot anytime although service was hit or miss. With that view, we got over it quick. Buffet food was very good as well. We also dined in Aqualina one night but i thought Discoveries was just as good. Make your reservations for the specialty restaurants immediately when you get on the ship. Not one spot in either restaurant was open when i checked the first morning, all booked. We had the ultimate drink package which was worth it for us. We like particular brands and we more than made up for the package price. Entertainment was meh. The cabaret shows were way too cheesy for us, i couldn't even sit through them. The Ukrainian trio was okay, but american music in a thick accent became not very good after the first few performances. We did love the dj music and made great friends dancing until midnight. It would have been much better had the dancing not started so late (10:45). It was a much older crowd than i expected. I'd say the average age was 70. Excursions were well managed and we enjoyed them all. It was great that our little ship was the only one in most of the ports. Azamazing evening was fantastic! Great reaggae band in St. Maarten. The staff was great organizing this event. We had a great time. We did not eat at the White Night, not realizing that you really need to get there early to secure a table. Not a seat to be had. We did enjoy the music and danced a bit. Captain Johannes was great! HIs daily speaker announcements made us chuckle. What a great sense of humour. The last night he moved the ship around 360 degrees during dinner so everyone could see the beautiful sunset! The dining room was clapping and cheering. Delightful. Although we have nothing to compare this particular ship to, we would highly recommend it to anyone looking for excellent service, very good food, and a more mature experience. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
As a first time cruiser I was not sure what to expect however with excellent accommodation, excellent food, attentive, competent and friendly staff, there was little that could or did go wrong. Dining...Didn't need to upgrade to ... Read More
As a first time cruiser I was not sure what to expect however with excellent accommodation, excellent food, attentive, competent and friendly staff, there was little that could or did go wrong. Dining...Didn't need to upgrade to any of the packages on offer and ate mostly in the Windows and Patio areas. a delight. Booze....Didn't need to upgrade to any kind of premium package, the wines on offer were excellent as was the rum punch and beer. The Spa...Young lady insisted that I needed a haircut and I did, received and excellent haircut and not overpriced. Entertainment...The house band were excellent, the singers could sing and the dancers could dance. They all came together on the White Night event and were terrific. The set shows however were more high camp and cheesy than anything else, , although 70 this year I was brought up on the Stones and Beatles and Genesis, Pink Floyd etc If anyone plays Sweet Caroline to me again I will probably hit them. We were treated to terrific reggae with Third World and some chap from a West End Show who knew his stuff. In saying all that no one goes on a cruise for the entertainment. Excursions...Didn't go on any of the ships as found them overpriced, It was easy to get a local taxi in most of the Islands to take us round for an hour and cheaper. Everyone worked hard to ensure a good time was had by all. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
My friend and I had both lost our husbands and wanted a relaxing holiday in the sun. I had previously cruised with Celebrity and when an offer came for Azamara Journey we booked immediately. From start to finish it was brilliant. We ... Read More
My friend and I had both lost our husbands and wanted a relaxing holiday in the sun. I had previously cruised with Celebrity and when an offer came for Azamara Journey we booked immediately. From start to finish it was brilliant. We loved the outside eating areas, the friendly service,the food ,the staff (especially our cabin staff of 7022 and bartenders Paul and Jestin) Embarkation was easy. The Captain and the Cruise Director had brilliant repartee. The ship is great. We loved it because it was small. Our cabin was excellent and breakfast on the balcony was a real treat . The food was superb and we felt no need to eat in the specialty restaurants. The all inclusive drinks package gave us all we wanted. We didn’t organise shore excursions by choice and just wandered around the ports where we were docked or tendered. We arranged a shore excursion on the last day to the Everglades before transportation to the airport and that worked well .It was lovely that the Captain wished us a safe journey at the end of the trip . We could find nothing to fault . The reggae concert was an experience as was the white night party . Value for money -what can I say? I don’t know how they made a profit . Would we go again ? Try stopping us!!! Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
The first thing to say is that we had a great cruise and would recommend Azamara Journey. The staff members were all friendly helpful and efficient and it seems a very happy ship. It is worth noting that some staff members had been on ... Read More
The first thing to say is that we had a great cruise and would recommend Azamara Journey. The staff members were all friendly helpful and efficient and it seems a very happy ship. It is worth noting that some staff members had been on board for many years and seem loyal to the brand. The ship in general, with the exception of the Discoveries Restaurant at Dinner time, did not seem too crowded. Discoveries could be noisy but the food and service remained excellent. The food in general was a high standard in all restaurants but we found that the ambiance of the Specialty Restaurants along with the high quality of gourmet food and service gave us a refuge and a quiet place to dine. Both Prime C and Aqalina had their own menu which remained the same throughout the cruise but were supplemented by Chefs Specials each evening. Suite guests were invited to a special ‘Best of the Best’ dinner which was an exceptional evening The complementary wines were a reasonable standard, particularly the white wines and there was an adequate selection of included drinks at the bars. The internet is well below the standard expected of Azamara in that when and if you can connect it is slow and tends to drop out. The Suites are given 235 minutes but the package otherwise is expensive and difficult to justify. Our impression was that the decor was dull throughout most of the ship, the exception being the Drawing Room/Library which is very colourful & a very pleasant place to sit. The Forward lounge was another excellent space to relax and enjoy friendly waiter service. We booked private tours of Havana, Vinales, Cienfuegos and Trinidad but decided to use the ships shore excursion for Santiago de Cuba as the ship was due to sail at 15.00. Sadly the latter, a Panoramic tour in Santiago was very poor and a huge disappointment. This was one of the worst tours we have ever taken; firstly we could not hear the guide, Lucia above the traffic in town and she did not have a microphone to help her. Secondly we were not aware that the bus would not stop to see the Revolution Square etc - we drove slowly past the places of interest rather than being allowed time to see them close up. If this is the intention then it should be made clear in the tour description. Finally, we signed up for a tour without a lunch stop (who needs lunch when you are fed so well on board ship) but were in any case taken to a poor quality lunch despite protests from most of the group. We felt this was a waste of time that might otherwise have been enjoyed at the monuments. More importantly, it turned out to be a waste of food as most of the group did not eat much and lots of food was returned untouched. When there is a shortage of food in Cuba and the locals endure rationing, this was also embarrassing for us and our companions. A very comfortable way to see Cuba on Azamara Journey. Worth Knowing: Immigration: Be very careful filling out the Cuban visa which costs US$ 75 and is issued as you embark. The check in agent said any mistakes would mean you having to buy another visa as a cost of US$ 75. The Visa is good for all ports in Cuba. The first time ashore in Havana the Immigration line was long & generally slow. On subsequent days off the ship, it was a quick wave through after a very casual look at the passport. Local Currency You need to change your foreign currency at the cruise terminal in Havana or at a bank in the square outside the terminal. The exchange rate is fixed and common to all banks. If you use US $ you are surcharged 10% making a total of 13% commission. We were advised to use GB pounds and were charged the 3% commission only. This is common to Euros and Canadian $ also. The tourist currency is the CUC which is worth 25 Cuban Pesos, the money used by locals. Rest Rooms Cuba has a strong health service which is free to Cubans but the health care does not apparently extend to public health as is obvious in the state of toilets in restaurants and bars. You should also have some small change for the person manning the toilets. Apparently it is not necessary but fully expected and in return you will be given a hand full of toilet paper. Take some tissue with you in any case. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Our 9th cruise and our 4th with Azamara. We were initially disappointed that the itinerary was changed from 3 to 2 days in Havana but we found the day in Key West to be very relaxing and a good start to the cruise. We always enjoy the ... Read More
Our 9th cruise and our 4th with Azamara. We were initially disappointed that the itinerary was changed from 3 to 2 days in Havana but we found the day in Key West to be very relaxing and a good start to the cruise. We always enjoy the ambiance on the smaller Azamara ships and appreciated how close we docked to the city on all our stops whereas the bigger ships had to use tenders to take passengers ashore. The staff were very attentive and friendly. We always enjoyed a refreshing cup of tea in the Mosaic cafe and were amazed how Jeston and Mark remembered our preference for green tea. Our cabin was excellent with ample storage, a good sized bathroom, a very comfortable bed and in a quiet position towards the back of the ship on deck 8. Both the food and entertainment were very good with Eric and the Captain forming a very funny double act. We have always enjoyed the White Night party in the past and we were not disappointed this time. We had 2 full days in Havana and booked a guide and driver with Cuban Trip Compass. We had a wonderful time exploring Havana in an old American Chevy with a very competent driver and a guide who spoke perfect English. We can highly recommend this company. Cienfuegos was very easy to explore on our own with the aid of the Lonely Planet guide and we booked an Azamara trip for Santiago as the ship was departing at 3pm. We arrived home with a greater understanding of the history and people of this fascinating country. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Azamara Journey Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 5.0 4.4
Entertainment 4.0 3.8
Public Rooms 5.0 4.5
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.1
Family 1.0 4.1
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.7
Enrichment 4.0 3.8
Service 5.0 4.6
Value For Money 5.0 4.2
Rates 4.0 4.3

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