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This was our third cruise on the Azamara Journey, from total 39 cruises on 10 different cruise lines. We were looking forward how the refurbishment will change the view to the ship. And they did a good job in dry dock in Freeport/Bahamas. The Check-in was really fast, only 5 minutes and we had to wait for about 1 hour to get onboard at noon. And guess what, we´ve got an upgrade to a verandah stateroom at the aft of deck 8. Okay, sounds good, but this part of the ship is vibrating all the time, when the ship is sailing. If you like to read a book lying on your bed, this will vibrate all the time. If you are sensitive for seasickness, this is not the cabin type for you. Cabin: The new beds are wonderful, the mattresses are really comfortable, and the bedding is very good. Compared to the old beds, which caused us backache for the whole cruise, this is a quantum leap forward in comfort. They mixed old parts in the cabin like the closets and the desk with the new refurbished parts, like the beds, new carpets, new love seat, new huge TV. Bathroom is as small as in an inside cabin and I hate this close contact to the shower curtain every day. But the bathroom is too small for another solution. We like the creamy soaps, shampoos, body lotions, but a lady asked me to write, that the smell is not acceptable for men. I spoke about it to other passengers and they were satisfied as we were, even the men. Towels were soft but some of the small towels had stains and wholes. That is not acceptable for a ship like the Journey and attendants have to sort them out. Hotel director agreed about this fact. Stateroom was cleaned twice a day, bottled water were placed close to the bed every evening. The verandah was deeper than the usual verandahs, but… a lot of soot every day. You could not use the deckchairs without putting a towel on it. They cleaned it every day, but if you wanted to use the table in the afternoon (when ship was sailing) you first had to clean the table by yourself. There is enough space for the table with a comfortable size you can have your breakfast or other meals and two chairs. Journey has two staircases, both with 2 elevators, which came really fast. I liked the refurbished Mosaic Café on deck 5, the new Living Room on deck 10 and we spent a lot of time sitting in both, one for coffee time and writing my German review and the Living Room to meet new friends and have some drinks together and some snacks from the new tapas bar which I can highly recommend. The restaurants: there are several restaurants on the Journey. First of all the main dining room – Discoveries, we preferred for dinner except for two evenings, when we dined with friends in the Patio and we did not like the menus. Good to very good menus, but no highlights. Good to very good service, but not better than on other Cruiselines, sorry. We preferred the Windows Café with the self service for breakfast, ordering eggs we liked, like delicious Eggs Benedict, served to our table after ordering and prepared behind the scenes. I like the Smoothies every morning, different styles and the fresh squeezed orange juice. Coffee and other things could be ordered by friendly waiters and were served at your table. We like it sitting outside in the Sunset Bar and enjoying breakfast with a fresh breeze. We prefer standing up early and have an early breakfast; so we never had problems finding an available table. But later in the morning Windows Café was a bit crowded. For lunch we loved eating outside close to the pool in the sheltered area from the now called Patio with all the fresh prepared dishes from the grill. Many people loved this place for having lunch, so it was a lot of noise and busy all the time. In the past the opposite side was also open for lunch; that was much better, to lunch with some ease and comfort. But they closed the passage to the other side and nobody served there. Getting bar service in this area was also difficult. The waiters were not attentive enough. We had dinner two times in The Patio with some friends and it was also really good. And you had the chance to combine the offers from Patio with the offers from Windows Café. It was empty in the evening, so you had really good and fast service and we all liked it. Every time during the day you could ask for the wine of the day. White and red wine changed daily but the rose was the same for the whole cruise. A Portuguese rose, not the best quality, but drinkable. I know some people did not like the wines and purchased a wine package. Or they bought the Ultimate Beverage package, having a better quality for the drinks and cocktails. We were satisfied with the included drinks, but my husband only drinks a beer and not every day. Entertaining: The cast was not as good as on the other cruises with AZ and shows on other Cruiselines were better.I missed “Voices”, one of the best shows I´ve ever seen on the high seas. We only listened to one guest entertainer, a young violinist and that show was quiet good. Tony Markey´s show was also good; he has an excellent voice and it´s always fun to see him performing. Also in the show they performed during White Night. The Big Band was really good, but the guitarist and pianist were playing the same songs over and over and not really well. The White Night on Deck, with all things decorated in white, even white chairs and tables, many passengers dressed in white, a really good buffet served by the senior officers, a good show and a lot of dancing passengers, including me, was wonderful. The AzAmazingEvening in St. Maarten was nice, with a steel band by young Caribbean musicians and an electrical string quartet and dancers performing at the side of the passengers, sitting close to the stage. A 5 minute firework at the end was a surprise but the evening was not as good as our AzAmazingEvening we had in Liverpool. But typical Caribbean and we liked it. The evening ended in the Living Room with Cherries Jubilees and a show from Marcus, one of the singers from the cast. The ports of call: We started with two days at sea, our first port of call was St. John, the little sister of St. Thomas and we had a nice private tour to explore the island with wonderful beaches. The next day we docked in Antigua and because it was Palm Sunday and there was only one other small cruise ship in port, the island was almost empty and we could enjoy all the beautiful views and English Harbor, as well as a nice beach stop. This was also a private tour; we booked together in advance with a group of 19 CC people. Following port was Nevis, little sister from St. Kitts, but we had an appointment on St. Kitts and had an exhausting time on the ferries to and back from St. Kitts. After arriving back on Nevis we only wanted to tender back to our Journey. Next stop was St. Barts, also a tender port, with a lot of traffic in Gustavia, but we enjoyed walking around, watching all the million dollar yachts in the harbor for a while and avoiding these really expensive shops in the center. Our last port was Virgin Gorda and we had again a pre booked tour with CC members. For about 1,5 hours we enjoyed the views from different sightseeing points of the island and ended with a stop at Spring Beach. A CC friend had done some research about the beaches and we decided not to visit the maybe overcrowded The Bath and all of us loved Spring Beach. We were about 20 people at this beach, with an easier access and a lot of space for everybody. We enjoyed the crystal clear water, and the soft waves, the rock formations, Virgin Gorda is famous for. And everybody said afterwards, that was the best day we had on the cruise. Okay the sunburn was not so nice, but visiting Spring Beach was worth it. Reaching Miami after two more relaxing days at sea, with unfortunately a lot of reserved deckchairs, we were due to technical problems a bit late. But no problem for us, we could stay longer onboard, because we had an afternoon flight. Not so good for passengers with an early flight. Disembarkation and Immigration were really fast. In about 10 minutes we were outside the building but the organization for the airport transfers was not really good. Conclusion: it was a wonderful cruise, on a really good refurbished ship with nice crew, wonderful and often visible officers, a good service, food from good to very good, but no highlights except the Seniors Officers Table, mediocre entertainment and nice contacts to other passengers from many different countries. The itinerary was perfect because we know almost every other Caribbean island from 9 other Caribbean cruises and we visited now these small other islands, big cruise ships cannot go.

Again a nice Journey cruise with a lot of new friends

Azamara Journey Cruise Review by wuppis

8 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: March 2016
  • Destination: Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Club Veranda Stateroom
This was our third cruise on the Azamara Journey, from total 39 cruises on 10 different cruise lines. We were looking forward how the refurbishment will change the view to the ship.

And they did a good job in dry dock in Freeport/Bahamas.

The Check-in was really fast, only 5 minutes and we had to wait for about 1 hour to get onboard at noon. And guess what, we´ve got an upgrade to a verandah stateroom at the aft of deck 8. Okay, sounds good, but this part of the ship is vibrating all the time, when the ship is sailing. If you like to read a book lying on your bed, this will vibrate all the time. If you are sensitive for seasickness, this is not the cabin type for you.

Cabin: The new beds are wonderful, the mattresses are really comfortable, and the bedding is very good.

Compared to the old beds, which caused us backache for the whole cruise, this is a quantum leap forward in comfort.

They mixed old parts in the cabin like the closets and the desk with the new refurbished parts, like the beds, new carpets, new love seat, new huge TV. Bathroom is as small as in an inside cabin and I hate this close contact to the shower curtain every day. But the bathroom is too small for another solution. We like the creamy soaps, shampoos, body lotions, but a lady asked me to write, that the smell is not acceptable for men. I spoke about it to other passengers and they were satisfied as we were, even the men. Towels were soft but some of the small towels had stains and wholes. That is not acceptable for a ship like the Journey and attendants have to sort them out. Hotel director agreed about this fact. Stateroom was cleaned twice a day, bottled water were placed close to the bed every evening.

The verandah was deeper than the usual verandahs, but… a lot of soot every day. You could not use the deckchairs without putting a towel on it. They cleaned it every day, but if you wanted to use the table in the afternoon (when ship was sailing) you first had to clean the table by yourself. There is enough space for the table with a comfortable size you can have your breakfast or other meals and two chairs.

Journey has two staircases, both with 2 elevators, which came really fast.

I liked the refurbished Mosaic Café on deck 5, the new Living Room on deck 10 and we spent a lot of time sitting in both, one for coffee time and writing my German review and the Living Room to meet new friends and have some drinks together and some snacks from the new tapas bar which I can highly recommend.

The restaurants: there are several restaurants on the Journey. First of all the main dining room – Discoveries, we preferred for dinner except for two evenings, when we dined with friends in the Patio and we did not like the menus. Good to very good menus, but no highlights. Good to very good service, but not better than on other Cruiselines, sorry. We preferred the Windows Café with the self service for breakfast, ordering eggs we liked, like delicious Eggs Benedict, served to our table after ordering and prepared behind the scenes. I like the Smoothies every morning, different styles and the fresh squeezed orange juice. Coffee and other things could be ordered by friendly waiters and were served at your table. We like it sitting outside in the Sunset Bar and enjoying breakfast with a fresh breeze. We prefer standing up early and have an early breakfast; so we never had problems finding an available table. But later in the morning Windows Café was a bit crowded.

For lunch we loved eating outside close to the pool in the sheltered area from the now called Patio with all the fresh prepared dishes from the grill. Many people loved this place for having lunch, so it was a lot of noise and busy all the time. In the past the opposite side was also open for lunch; that was much better, to lunch with some ease and comfort. But they closed the passage to the other side and nobody served there. Getting bar service in this area was also difficult. The waiters were not attentive enough.

We had dinner two times in The Patio with some friends and it was also really good. And you had the chance to combine the offers from Patio with the offers from Windows Café. It was empty in the evening, so you had really good and fast service and we all liked it.

Every time during the day you could ask for the wine of the day. White and red wine changed daily but the rose was the same for the whole cruise. A Portuguese rose, not the best quality, but drinkable.

I know some people did not like the wines and purchased a wine package. Or they bought the Ultimate Beverage package, having a better quality for the drinks and cocktails.

We were satisfied with the included drinks, but my husband only drinks a beer and not every day.

Entertaining: The cast was not as good as on the other cruises with AZ and shows on other Cruiselines were better.I missed “Voices”, one of the best shows I´ve ever seen on the high seas. We only listened to one guest entertainer, a young violinist and that show was quiet good. Tony Markey´s show was also good; he has an excellent voice and it´s always fun to see him performing. Also in the show they performed during White Night. The Big Band was really good, but the guitarist and pianist were playing the same songs over and over and not really well.

The White Night on Deck, with all things decorated in white, even white chairs and tables, many passengers dressed in white, a really good buffet served by the senior officers, a good show and a lot of dancing passengers, including me, was wonderful.

The AzAmazingEvening in St. Maarten was nice, with a steel band by young Caribbean musicians and an electrical string quartet and dancers performing at the side of the passengers, sitting close to the stage. A 5 minute firework at the end was a surprise but the evening was not as good as our AzAmazingEvening we had in Liverpool. But typical Caribbean and we liked it. The evening ended in the Living Room with Cherries Jubilees and a show from Marcus, one of the singers from the cast.

The ports of call: We started with two days at sea, our first port of call was St. John, the little sister of St. Thomas and we had a nice private tour to explore the island with wonderful beaches. The next day we docked in Antigua and because it was Palm Sunday and there was only one other small cruise ship in port, the island was almost empty and we could enjoy all the beautiful views and English Harbor, as well as a nice beach stop. This was also a private tour; we booked together in advance with a group of 19 CC people. Following port was Nevis, little sister from St. Kitts, but we had an appointment on St. Kitts and had an exhausting time on the ferries to and back from St. Kitts. After arriving back on Nevis we only wanted to tender back to our Journey. Next stop was St. Barts, also a tender port, with a lot of traffic in Gustavia, but we enjoyed walking around, watching all the million dollar yachts in the harbor for a while and avoiding these really expensive shops in the center. Our last port was Virgin Gorda and we had again a pre booked tour with CC members. For about 1,5 hours we enjoyed the views from different sightseeing points of the island and ended with a stop at Spring Beach. A CC friend had done some research about the beaches and we decided not to visit the maybe overcrowded The Bath and all of us loved Spring Beach. We were about 20 people at this beach, with an easier access and a lot of space for everybody. We enjoyed the crystal clear water, and the soft waves, the rock formations, Virgin Gorda is famous for. And everybody said afterwards, that was the best day we had on the cruise. Okay the sunburn was not so nice, but visiting Spring Beach was worth it.

Reaching Miami after two more relaxing days at sea, with unfortunately a lot of reserved deckchairs, we were due to technical problems a bit late. But no problem for us, we could stay longer onboard, because we had an afternoon flight. Not so good for passengers with an early flight. Disembarkation and Immigration were really fast. In about 10 minutes we were outside the building but the organization for the airport transfers was not really good.

Conclusion: it was a wonderful cruise, on a really good refurbished ship with nice crew, wonderful and often visible officers, a good service, food from good to very good, but no highlights except the Seniors Officers Table, mediocre entertainment and nice contacts to other passengers from many different countries. The itinerary was perfect because we know almost every other Caribbean island from 9 other Caribbean cruises and we visited now these small other islands, big cruise ships cannot go.
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Cabin Review

Club Veranda Stateroom
Cabin V3 8093
We´ve got an upgrade to a verandah stateroom at the aft of deck 8. Okay, sounds good, but this part of the ship is vibrating all the time, when the ship is sailing. If you like to read a book lying on your bed, this will vibrate all the time. If you are sensitive for seasickness, this is not the cabin type for you.
Cabin: The new beds are wonderful, the mattresses are really comfortable, and the bedding is very good.
Compared to the old beds, which caused us backache for the whole cruise, this is a quantum leap forward in comfort.
They mixed old parts in the cabin like the closets and the desk with the new refurbished parts, like the beds, new carpets, new love seat, new huge TV. Bathroom is as small as in an inside cabin and I hate this close contact to the shower curtain every day. But the bathroom is too small for another solution. We like the creamy soaps, shampoos, body lotions, but a lady asked me to write, that the smell is not acceptable for men. I spoke about it to other passengers and they were satisfied as we were, even the men. Towels were soft but some of the small towels had stains and wholes. That is not acceptable for a ship like the Journey and attendants have to sort them out. Hotel director agreed about this fact. Stateroom was cleaned twice a day, bottled water were placed close to the bed every evening.
The verandah was deeper than the usual verandahs, but… a lot of soot every day. You could not use the deckchairs without putting a towel on it. They cleaned it every day, but if you wanted to use the table in the afternoon (when ship was sailing) you first had to clean the table by yourself. There is enough space for the table with a comfortable size you can have your breakfast or other meals and two chairs.
Deck 7 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Island Tour
    We had a lot of tours during the last 14 years in the Caribbean. But this was definetly the best. The driver/guide/owner of the company gave us so much interesting information about the island and people living there. We had a lot of stops, including a londer stop at English Harbor and who wanted could step out at a beach and the driver came back 2 hours later to bring them back to the pier.
    View All 160 Island Tour Reviews
  • Miami
    We travelled by ourself with public busses to get from Downtown to South Beach and back and that was horrable compared to earlier years. Busses came not as often as the years before, were dirty and overcrowded and sometimes did not stop because were stuffed with people.
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    View Cruise Critic's Miami Cruise Port Review
  • St. Barts
    A totally overcrowded port in Gustavia, lot of traffic on the street, lot of people on the streets. Nice shops, some from exclusive brands, but really expensive. So we only walked around, watched this million dollar yachts in the harbor and tendered back to the ship.
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  • St. John (U.S.V.I.)
    We stopped in one of the Safari busses which you can find at the pier. For $ 25 we had a 2 hour tour around the island with a lot of stops, to get an overview to the wonderful beaches and a beachstop, but for only 15 minutes. It was worth the money.
    View All 141 St. John (U.S.V.I.) Cruise Port Reviews
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  • Island Tours
    We booked this tour online with some other CC people. We started with an island tour with several sightseeing views around the island and stopped at the end for one hour at Spring Beach. We wanted to avoid overcrowded The Bath and had the best beach time ever. Crystal clear water, only about 20 people at this beach, smoothe waves, perfect.
    View All 3 Island Tours Reviews