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The purpose of this seven night cruise, our tenth on Azamara, was for some relaxation. It was a port intensive cruise with only one sea day. Only one port was new to us (Patmos). An upsell offer pre cruise allowed us to splurge and enjoy a beautiful large room at the back of the ship. The passenger mix on this cruise had a good balance between those from the USA, UK and Australia/NZ. Although we did not formally confirm this, we felt the average age was much lower than on previous Azamara cruises. At the conclusion of the cruise we opted for late disembarkation, leaving the ship at 2pm (fee $70 for 2) and from our brief observation of the incoming guests, that longer cruise seemed to have a slightly older passenger mix. Although the ship is due to go in dry dock in January for extensive renovations, we though it was in great shape and we had far fewer maintenance issues in our room than we experienced recently on Celebrity. The public areas are spotless and nothing caught our eye as being old, frayed or worn. We ate in the speciality restaurants and in Windows Cafe and throughout the cruise, everything was beautifully cooked and served. The young Executive Chef is very talented and she is adding feminine twists to her presentations. This lighter style of cooking was very much in line with the kind of meals we like. There are so many option though, you can go light, heavy, be good, be bad, you will not be disappointed. Service is Azamara's undoubted strength and again we were not disappointed. We encountered a very happy team, all working together for the benefits of the guests. Thoughtful touches by the top team set the tone - for example leaving Mykonos (which was windy) 20 minutes late to allow a concert on deck to finish and avoid the guests being caught in the crosswinds. All the officers are friendly, visible and use their time in public places to interact with all guests and not just the cursory supervisor's prowl. This style of leadership and way of managing staff really helps create the onboard experience we so love. Entertainment on board was very good. Being a seven night cruise there was a lot of standard items that had to be fitted in but it all worked. Eric de Grey is a very talented cruise director and he took part in several shows. It was great to enjoy Bruce Parker's singing again and lovely to see Eric and Bruce working with the talented cast to give us one of the best White Night Parties ever. This working and performing together came over as being natural and something all of them enjoyed doing - no prima donnas here! There is not much music around the ship, we heard a guitarist one night but do not recall hearing him again but that may be was us and where we went. Max de Fiaz was as good as ever and this time, because it was port intensive, many late night sail outs, there was no conflict of purpose in the Casino Bar which was a great venue overseen as ever by the best barman ever, Dale. Unlike previous cruises, the Looking Glass lounge had enough guests in it post show to make the after show parties enjoyable and not the painful dozen sitting around we often have experienced - I think this was as much the demographics as the DJ though the DJ played good music except on the last night when I am sure he put on some of the records to try and get us off the floor early! (Can't blame him, other nights were late nights for the staff up there!) Daytime activities were limited because the focus onboard is about the destinations and going ashore. Activities were listed, I have no idea if they were well attended. Plenty space on the various decks, I was not aware of pool chair hogs. There was very little poolside music - I liked that it was more relaxing. Bar staff were very attentive, it was very hot weather, they regularly brought trays of iced water and frozen towels round. We experienced our fourth Azamazing evening which we really enjoyed - a 45 minute classical music concert in the ruins at Ephesus. You really cannot recreate these kind of events yourself and this addition is something we really love. The logistics were great and provided you followed instructions (eg wear flat shoes) it was an easy walk to the most special venue. The sounds of the goats in the background and the stillness of the night added to the delight. One minor thing, we had taken the precaution of liberally applying insect repellant before leaving the ship and we are very glad we did. There was no guest instruction to do this, I know some people did get bitten so we have suggested this is added to the guest guidance for thus night. It maybe only happens in some weather conditions, but a be prepared hint! Because there are only a maximum of 695 guests onboard embarkation, disembarkation and tendering all were a breeze, no lines, no hassle. Thank you Captain Johannes, Hotel Director Ryzsard, Chef Monica and not forgetting little Eric and all the Journey team, it was a great cruise!

Journey hits the right spots again!

Azamara Journey Cruise Review by uktog

Trip Details
The purpose of this seven night cruise, our tenth on Azamara, was for some relaxation. It was a port intensive cruise with only one sea day. Only one port was new to us (Patmos). An upsell offer pre cruise allowed us to splurge and enjoy a beautiful large room at the back of the ship.

The passenger mix on this cruise had a good balance between those from the USA, UK and Australia/NZ. Although we did not formally confirm this, we felt the average age was much lower than on previous Azamara cruises. At the conclusion of the cruise we opted for late disembarkation, leaving the ship at 2pm (fee $70 for 2) and from our brief observation of the incoming guests, that longer cruise seemed to have a slightly older passenger mix.

Although the ship is due to go in dry dock in January for extensive renovations, we though it was in great shape and we had far fewer maintenance issues in our room than we experienced recently on Celebrity. The public areas are spotless and nothing caught our eye as being old, frayed or worn.

We ate in the speciality restaurants and in Windows Cafe and throughout the cruise, everything was beautifully cooked and served. The young Executive Chef is very talented and she is adding feminine twists to her presentations. This lighter style of cooking was very much in line with the kind of meals we like. There are so many option though, you can go light, heavy, be good, be bad, you will not be disappointed.

Service is Azamara's undoubted strength and again we were not disappointed. We encountered a very happy team, all working together for the benefits of the guests. Thoughtful touches by the top team set the tone - for example leaving Mykonos (which was windy) 20 minutes late to allow a concert on deck to finish and avoid the guests being caught in the crosswinds. All the officers are friendly, visible and use their time in public places to interact with all guests and not just the cursory supervisor's prowl. This style of leadership and way of managing staff really helps create the onboard experience we so love.

Entertainment on board was very good. Being a seven night cruise there was a lot of standard items that had to be fitted in but it all worked. Eric de Grey is a very talented cruise director and he took part in several shows. It was great to enjoy Bruce Parker's singing again and lovely to see Eric and Bruce working with the talented cast to give us one of the best White Night Parties ever. This working and performing together came over as being natural and something all of them enjoyed doing - no prima donnas here!

There is not much music around the ship, we heard a guitarist one night but do not recall hearing him again but that may be was us and where we went. Max de Fiaz was as good as ever and this time, because it was port intensive, many late night sail outs, there was no conflict of purpose in the Casino Bar which was a great venue overseen as ever by the best barman ever, Dale. Unlike previous cruises, the Looking Glass lounge had enough guests in it post show to make the after show parties enjoyable and not the painful dozen sitting around we often have experienced - I think this was as much the demographics as the DJ though the DJ played good music except on the last night when I am sure he put on some of the records to try and get us off the floor early! (Can't blame him, other nights were late nights for the staff up there!)

Daytime activities were limited because the focus onboard is about the destinations and going ashore. Activities were listed, I have no idea if they were well attended. Plenty space on the various decks, I was not aware of pool chair hogs. There was very little poolside music - I liked that it was more relaxing. Bar staff were very attentive, it was very hot weather, they regularly brought trays of iced water and frozen towels round.

We experienced our fourth Azamazing evening which we really enjoyed - a 45 minute classical music concert in the ruins at Ephesus. You really cannot recreate these kind of events yourself and this addition is something we really love. The logistics were great and provided you followed instructions (eg wear flat shoes) it was an easy walk to the most special venue. The sounds of the goats in the background and the stillness of the night added to the delight. One minor thing, we had taken the precaution of liberally applying insect repellant before leaving the ship and we are very glad we did. There was no guest instruction to do this, I know some people did get bitten so we have suggested this is added to the guest guidance for thus night. It maybe only happens in some weather conditions, but a be prepared hint!

Because there are only a maximum of 695 guests onboard embarkation, disembarkation and tendering all were a breeze, no lines, no hassle.

Thank you Captain Johannes, Hotel Director Ryzsard, Chef Monica and not forgetting little Eric and all the Journey team, it was a great cruise!
uktog’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Club World Owners Suite
Cabin CW
A beautiful well maintained room kept spotless by the team. Amazing balcony with loungers and lots of space to eat and relax with great views. You do hear the thrusters when coming into port, it is not that loud and we were always awake already at that point. We had no issues with rocking and rolling even on the windy morning.
Deck 8 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Open top bus
    This cost 90 Turkish lire each (they also appeared to take Euros and credit cards) and were picking up at the port then taking you back to the start point at The Blue Mosque/Hagia Sophia. We have visited Istanbul several times before so wanted an alternative drive around to the ships excursion. To that extent thus really fits the bill but you need to be prepared for surly staff and a sound commentary that is out of sync with where you are driving at some points. If you want to hop off you need to be quick, we noted several stops were announced just as we were about to pass them.
    View All 13,920 Open top bus Reviews
  • Mykonos
    My favourite port to just wander around, go to a bar and see if you can spot Petros the pelican. We did, he seems to enjoy hanging out in bars in Little Venice these days
    View All 1,085 Mykonos Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Mykonos Cruise Port Review
  • Oia Village
    We picked up a round trip tour on the docksid where the tenders drop you boat to the port below Oia, bus up to Oia and bus back to Fira for 20 euros. (You were responsible for getting down by cable car or walking back to the tender point). This was a different way to move around the island, the timekeeping and time estimates of the vendors were a little suspect so if you are on tight timescales be careful, it was not an issue for us though.
    View All 228 Oia Village Reviews