1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Azamara Journey
THE SHIP We picked a 9 port-intensive itinerary for a 9 day cruise: Athens RT, Mykonos, Patmos, Rhodes, & Santorini in Greece, with Bodrum, Kas, Fethiye, and Marmaris along Turkey's Turquoise coast. Because we enjoyed the ship's activities, food, and entertainment so much, I would definitely look for a voyage with some sea days! It is great the ship is almost entirely no smoking, reserving only a small seating section on the pool deck for smokers. And I never saw more than a dozen smokers anytime I passed by this area, even though the ship carries a bit over 650 guests. Given that the ship will be refurbished entirely (and yes the renderings look cool and sophisticated) I was delighted the Journey is still a looker. I found the Mosaic Cafe a great place for complimentary Nespresso coffee & tea with snacks mid-day. And The Drawing Room/Library was a richly appointed room like an old fashioned English club room. An excellent getaway for privacy as it seemed rarely used. I borrowed a book to read but never had the time to do so. The Discoveries Lounge outside of the main dining room also an intimate "living room" setting. For those worried about sea-sickness, on this itinerary we had smooth sailing and motion never was an issue, though a couple of the tender rides proved to be quite choppy on return to our ship. I would definitely choose this size ship for the remarkable friendliness of the crew who become like family, and would love it for a longer cruise as well. Yes, I was hiding tears upon disembarkation....which by the way is just as swift as embarkation...and at the end of the gangway saying goodbye you'll find senior officers. CASINO Never really saw too much action in the casino (except at the bar), and with only 1 roulette table, 1 blackjack table and one 3 card poker table, both DH and myself would find a craps table and a live Texas Hold-em table an enticement not found on other ships; I expect millennial future cruisers would as well. Can't say I saw the one-armed bandits getting much action either...so the space could be made available...hint, hint. PORT CALLS Even though we had long days in ports, most of them were morning departures noting moderate to strenuous walking and steps were the norm. Given the age of these historical cities, I understand you can't change the terrain. But it would have been nice to have an on-shore cooking class or art-class or even a city shopping tour for those who didn't want to board buses or walk thru ruins. I met fellow guests who appeared capable of the tours, but chose not to press their luck based on the stated activity level. For those who liked the quiet of the ship in the morning, afternoon tours would be welcome as well. Didn't know what to expect of "small tours" but it appears to only mean the bus isn't full, but still will have 30+ participants. ACTIVITIES Fitness Center: nice to have a morning stretch class, but if you are departing on an 8:45am tour, it's impossible to attend the 8am class. A small facility but appears to be sized right for the ship size as I only ever saw a few users and I was one of them on 5 mornings. I think the Spa personnel are shyer than most of the crew, and they are noticeably different in terms of friendliness. A length of cruise pass for the Thalassotherapy pool was only $99 (so $10 per day) but it was not available for guest use 4 or 5 nights after 6pm because of private use (Cool Nights in Private Places?) so it didn't make sense for me as my days were full. The hot tubs on the pool deck sufficed. Park West Art Auction: I like a glass of champagne as well as anyone and I love art, but seriously, I'm so tired of seeing these auctions on ships. I'd like to see a replacement revenue source for Azamara so they could remove them and really differentiate from all the other cruise lines who continue auctioning the same artists again and again. Bingo, Lotto, Trivia: small loyal (and competitive!) following...forming trivia teams helped in meeting fellow guests and was fun. Hint: inquire about bridge and galley tours....they won't appear on the daily schedule. Shops are small but lovely, with the normal tempting evening sale pricing. Entertainment: The Cabaret Lounge was the setting for quality Broadway type productions and guest performances both of which drew capacity crowds. Elsewhere a guitarist and pianist draw their own fans. After 10:30pm The Looking Glass becomes the disco and when we were energized enough we enjoyed dancing here. DINING I heard a wide variety of opinions, but generally the word on the ship about food was positive. Personally, my group of friends enjoyed it all: dining at Discoveries, the main dining room, themed dinner buffets at Windows Cafe, lunch at the buffet or at the pool grill. Never a shortage of beautifully prepared and assorted entrees, salads, and desserts. Our gluten-free friend always found foods to meet her needs, and she was delighted with the special attention to be sure the menu suited her tastes. I'm sure all of our waistbands are a bit more snug because there was always something tempting. It was great to walk into the dining room whenever you wanted instead of worrying about rushing to an early seating or getting hungry before a later seating. Since cocktails are included, any minimal wait was always good for an aperitif or glass of wine. When we preferred a previous night's wine with dinner instead of the featured choice (twice), one server promptly found the other wine, while the other did so reluctantly...even suggesting he couldn't serve a previous wine (wrong answer/wrong attitude). YES, I enjoyed Azamara and look forward to another Journey or Quest!

Small Ship, but Not Too Small; Friendly, but Not Obtrusive

Azamara Journey Cruise Review by blingbling

Trip Details
THE SHIP

We picked a 9 port-intensive itinerary for a 9 day cruise: Athens RT, Mykonos, Patmos, Rhodes, & Santorini in Greece, with Bodrum, Kas, Fethiye, and Marmaris along Turkey's Turquoise coast. Because we enjoyed the ship's activities, food, and entertainment so much, I would definitely look for a voyage with some sea days! It is great the ship is almost entirely no smoking, reserving only a small seating section on the pool deck for smokers. And I never saw more than a dozen smokers anytime I passed by this area, even though the ship carries a bit over 650 guests.

Given that the ship will be refurbished entirely (and yes the renderings look cool and sophisticated) I was delighted the Journey is still a looker. I found the Mosaic Cafe a great place for complimentary Nespresso coffee & tea with snacks mid-day. And The Drawing Room/Library was a richly appointed room like an old fashioned English club room. An excellent getaway for privacy as it seemed rarely used. I borrowed a book to read but never had the time to do so. The Discoveries Lounge outside of the main dining room also an intimate "living room" setting.

For those worried about sea-sickness, on this itinerary we had smooth sailing and motion never was an issue, though a couple of the tender rides proved to be quite choppy on return to our ship. I would definitely choose this size ship for the remarkable friendliness of the crew who become like family, and would love it for a longer cruise as well. Yes, I was hiding tears upon disembarkation....which by the way is just as swift as embarkation...and at the end of the gangway saying goodbye you'll find senior officers.

CASINO

Never really saw too much action in the casino (except at the bar), and with only 1 roulette table, 1 blackjack table and one 3 card poker table, both DH and myself would find a craps table and a live Texas Hold-em table an enticement not found on other ships; I expect millennial future cruisers would as well. Can't say I saw the one-armed bandits getting much action either...so the space could be made available...hint, hint.

PORT CALLS

Even though we had long days in ports, most of them were morning departures noting moderate to strenuous walking and steps were the norm. Given the age of these historical cities, I understand you can't change the terrain. But it would have been nice to have an on-shore cooking class or art-class or even a city shopping tour for those who didn't want to board buses or walk thru ruins. I met fellow guests who appeared capable of the tours, but chose not to press their luck based on the stated activity level. For those who liked the quiet of the ship in the morning, afternoon tours would be welcome as well. Didn't know what to expect of "small tours" but it appears to only mean the bus isn't full, but still will have 30+ participants.

ACTIVITIES

Fitness Center: nice to have a morning stretch class, but if you are departing on an 8:45am tour, it's impossible to attend the 8am class. A small facility but appears to be sized right for the ship size as I only ever saw a few users and I was one of them on 5 mornings. I think the Spa personnel are shyer than most of the crew, and they are noticeably different in terms of friendliness. A length of cruise pass for the Thalassotherapy pool was only $99 (so $10 per day) but it was not available for guest use 4 or 5 nights after 6pm because of private use (Cool Nights in Private Places?) so it didn't make sense for me as my days were full. The hot tubs on the pool deck sufficed.

Park West Art Auction: I like a glass of champagne as well as anyone and I love art, but seriously, I'm so tired of seeing these auctions on ships. I'd like to see a replacement revenue source for Azamara so they could remove them and really differentiate from all the other cruise lines who continue auctioning the same artists again and again.

Bingo, Lotto, Trivia: small loyal (and competitive!) following...forming trivia teams helped in meeting fellow guests and was fun.

Hint: inquire about bridge and galley tours....they won't appear on the daily schedule.

Shops are small but lovely, with the normal tempting evening sale pricing.

Entertainment: The Cabaret Lounge was the setting for quality Broadway type productions and guest performances both of which drew capacity crowds. Elsewhere a guitarist and pianist draw their own fans. After 10:30pm The Looking Glass becomes the disco and when we were energized enough we enjoyed dancing here.

DINING

I heard a wide variety of opinions, but generally the word on the ship about food was positive. Personally, my group of friends enjoyed it all: dining at Discoveries, the main dining room, themed dinner buffets at Windows Cafe, lunch at the buffet or at the pool grill. Never a shortage of beautifully prepared and assorted entrees, salads, and desserts. Our gluten-free friend always found foods to meet her needs, and she was delighted with the special attention to be sure the menu suited her tastes. I'm sure all of our waistbands are a bit more snug because there was always something tempting. It was great to walk into the dining room whenever you wanted instead of worrying about rushing to an early seating or getting hungry before a later seating. Since cocktails are included, any minimal wait was always good for an aperitif or glass of wine. When we preferred a previous night's wine with dinner instead of the featured choice (twice), one server promptly found the other wine, while the other did so reluctantly...even suggesting he couldn't serve a previous wine (wrong answer/wrong attitude).

YES, I enjoyed Azamara and look forward to another Journey or Quest!
blingbling’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Azamara Journey price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email
By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Cabin Review

Club Veranda Stateroom
Cabin V3 6080
THE VERANDA CABIN
I found the layout of the cabin to be spacious with lots of nooks and crannies to stow clothing and accessories. The 2 closets and ample dress hangers were more than adequate. With the large vanity mirror & mirror wall across from the bed, the natural light was magnified. At night the vanity lights, over head recessed lights, & bedside table lamps were sufficient for mood or reading light. The bathroom upgrades will give that quality finish, and I hope they retain a corner mirrored medicine chest storage as well as the open glass shelves. The mini-frig was filled with the complimentary beverage of our choice, but we rarely used it as we were either in port, at a shipboard activity, or dining.

The balcony isn't deep, but a large square table takes up 1/3 of the space, allowing for ample room for dining set-up and two chairs. I wonder if a 30" square table wouldn't suffice, allowing for more standing room and space to move the chairs around. A table for 4 isn't needed when you can't fit 4 chairs around it. I loved the veranda cabin, but could be equally as happy with the ocean view (identical in size with picture window) where the itinerary isn't in the calm warm waters of the Med or Caribbean.
Deck 6 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Ano Mera Monastery
    Pleasant guide, lots of driving and pointing out beaches, only stopping at one beach for quick stop, Ano Mera and tavern was nice
    View All 17 Ano Mera Monastery Reviews
  • Oia Wine Tasting
    Drove to Oia, tasting at Santos Wines (highly recommended) then tour finishes at Fira and have funicular ticket to return to ship tender.
    View All 98 Oia Wine Tasting Reviews