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This was our sixth cruise with Azamara. We have also cruised with Oceania, NCL, HAL, Windstar, Louis, Katarina and several river cruise operators. This cruise was 16 nights, from Hong Kong to Singapore. Embarkation was smooth. In the early afternoon we got a taxi from our hotel to the Ocean Terminal in Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong. This terminal is very conveniently placed. We were cornered by a lady from the local tourist board wanting us to do a survey, so that delayed our boarding, otherwise it would have been quick! The Journey was looking in pretty good state. We had an ocean view cabin on deck 4, which we have been on before, and this is a position we are quite happy with. Our room stewards did a good job. We enjoy Windows, the buffet restaurant, for dinner. They have a different theme every night and we enjoy the variety and find the food tasty. Some of the wait staff in Windows acted as if they didn’t want to be there, others were always smiling and helpful. We did eat twice in the MDR, Discoveries. Service was a little slow, and we found the menu a little limited and somewhat repetitive. For the first few days of the cruise we had heightened sanitising procedures in place because of some cases of GI at the end of the previous cruise and at the beginning of our cruise. The crew worked hard to maintain this level of precautions and the captain regularly updated us on how many cases of GI had been reported. There were 2 lecturers. We only went to one of them as the other one’s topics were a bit too specialised and not of interest to us. The one that spoke on the ports we were visiting was okay, but not a particularly exciting speaker and we did not learn much from him. As usual we enjoyed the Q&A sessions. There was one with Heike Berdos, the Hotel Manager; it was a pity it was so poorly attended. She gave us a lot of info and it was interesting to hear from her. The one with Eric De Gray, the Cruise Director, turned into a bit of a music lesson, with not too many questions fitted in, but it was still interesting. The last one was with the captain, Johannes Tysse, which repeated many of the questions asked of Heike, but still worth attending. The Azamazing evening was in Ho Chi Minh City. We were bused from the port to the Binh Quoi Village. The village is a tourist village, but tastefully done. When we arrived there were many people at the eating stalls and some local craftsmen & entertainers. At the back of the village we attended a concert of traditional Vietnamese music and dancing. It was well set up, with large TV screens on each side so that people sitting at the back could see the concert. There were drinks and snacks provided. We had eaten dinner before leaving the ship. The White Night Party was on the first night in Bangkok. This was the usual buffet meal served on deck around the pool, with local dancers performing. We actually ate in the MDR, as we find this more relaxing – we have previously been frustrated with the long queues at the buffet on deck. After dinner in the MDR we go out on deck to watch the local concert, followed by the crew parade. The entertainment included concerts by both the onboard and visiting entertainers which we had seen before. As usual we enjoyed many of the concerts, but some were not to our taste. We like the space which is now called “The Living Room”. This is where we sat in our free time. We did 7 Azamara shore excursions, all of which delivered as expected and we enjoyed. The guides were generally good, though we had trouble understanding one of the guides in Bangkok. Disembarkation was easy. We left the Journey about 8am and were through baggage pickup, immigration and customs in about 10 minutes. Singapore is a good start or end port. It was easy to get to our hotel on the MTR. We enjoyed this cruise. Azamara remains our preferred cruise line, indeed we booked another cruise while on board.

Another good cruise with Azamara

Azamara Journey Cruise Review by roaming_kiwi58

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: December 2017
  • Destination: Asia
  • Cabin Type: Club Oceanview Stateroom
This was our sixth cruise with Azamara. We have also cruised with Oceania, NCL, HAL, Windstar, Louis, Katarina and several river cruise operators. This cruise was 16 nights, from Hong Kong to Singapore.

Embarkation was smooth. In the early afternoon we got a taxi from our hotel to the Ocean Terminal in Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong. This terminal is very conveniently placed. We were cornered by a lady from the local tourist board wanting us to do a survey, so that delayed our boarding, otherwise it would have been quick!

The Journey was looking in pretty good state. We had an ocean view cabin on deck 4, which we have been on before, and this is a position we are quite happy with. Our room stewards did a good job.

We enjoy Windows, the buffet restaurant, for dinner. They have a different theme every night and we enjoy the variety and find the food tasty. Some of the wait staff in Windows acted as if they didn’t want to be there, others were always smiling and helpful. We did eat twice in the MDR, Discoveries. Service was a little slow, and we found the menu a little limited and somewhat repetitive.

For the first few days of the cruise we had heightened sanitising procedures in place because of some cases of GI at the end of the previous cruise and at the beginning of our cruise. The crew worked hard to maintain this level of precautions and the captain regularly updated us on how many cases of GI had been reported.

There were 2 lecturers. We only went to one of them as the other one’s topics were a bit too specialised and not of interest to us. The one that spoke on the ports we were visiting was okay, but not a particularly exciting speaker and we did not learn much from him.

As usual we enjoyed the Q&A sessions. There was one with Heike Berdos, the Hotel Manager; it was a pity it was so poorly attended. She gave us a lot of info and it was interesting to hear from her. The one with Eric De Gray, the Cruise Director, turned into a bit of a music lesson, with not too many questions fitted in, but it was still interesting. The last one was with the captain, Johannes Tysse, which repeated many of the questions asked of Heike, but still worth attending.

The Azamazing evening was in Ho Chi Minh City. We were bused from the port to the Binh Quoi Village. The village is a tourist village, but tastefully done. When we arrived there were many people at the eating stalls and some local craftsmen & entertainers. At the back of the village we attended a concert of traditional Vietnamese music and dancing. It was well set up, with large TV screens on each side so that people sitting at the back could see the concert. There were drinks and snacks provided. We had eaten dinner before leaving the ship.

The White Night Party was on the first night in Bangkok. This was the usual buffet meal served on deck around the pool, with local dancers performing. We actually ate in the MDR, as we find this more relaxing – we have previously been frustrated with the long queues at the buffet on deck. After dinner in the MDR we go out on deck to watch the local concert, followed by the crew parade.

The entertainment included concerts by both the onboard and visiting entertainers which we had seen before. As usual we enjoyed many of the concerts, but some were not to our taste.

We like the space which is now called “The Living Room”. This is where we sat in our free time.

We did 7 Azamara shore excursions, all of which delivered as expected and we enjoyed. The guides were generally good, though we had trouble understanding one of the guides in Bangkok.

Disembarkation was easy. We left the Journey about 8am and were through baggage pickup, immigration and customs in about 10 minutes. Singapore is a good start or end port. It was easy to get to our hotel on the MTR.

We enjoyed this cruise. Azamara remains our preferred cruise line, indeed we booked another cruise while on board.
BBMacLaird, CBO - Azamara Club Cruises has responded
Thank you, roaming kiwi, for the lovely cruise review. And a BIG thank you for booking a future cruise while onboard. We look forward to welcoming you back!
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of The Independent Traveler, Inc.
roaming_kiwi58’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
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Embarkation
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Cabin Review

Club Oceanview Stateroom
Cabin 05 4045
Convenient location, quiet, comfortable. Have booked this area before and will do so again.
Deck 4 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Bangkok (Laem Chabang)
    We arrived early afternoon, and had two overnights, so had two and a half days there. Again we sailed right up the river and berthed at Khlong Toei, near the centre of Bangkok, though due to the size of the city and the traffic it still took a while to get anywhere.
    Bangkok was new territory for us and we did 3 Azamara tours. The first was a half day to Muangboran, also known as the Ancient City. This is a huge site and is full of many relocated buildings, or replica buildings, some at a smaller scale than the original. We were transported by tram around the site to visit a sample of the buildings. We found it very interesting and the couple of hours we had there was not enough to do it justice.
    On our second day in Bangkok we did a tour to the Summer Palace and Ayutthaya, which is about an hour’s drive north of the city. We were warned that the included lunch would be quite late, and therefore offered a snack box, containing fruit and cake. We did not take the snacks, as we didn’t feel in need of the food! At the Summer Palace our guide hired golf carts for us to get around in. We would have preferred to have walked, but of course they were trying to save time. We found the Summer Palace site a bit disappointing, but would have loved more time at Ayutthaya. It is very spread out and we were only able to visit 2 small parts of the archeological park. It reminded us of Bagan in Myanmar and Angkor Wat in Cambodia. After this we had a buffet lunch on a boat as we cruised down the river back into the centre of Bangkok. We always find seeing a city from the river gives a different perspective.

    On our third day in Bangkok we did the Discovery Bangkok tour, which took us to the Golden Buddha at Wat Traimit, Loha Prasart at Wat Ratchanaddaram, the amulet market, and Wat Pho, which is a large site including the huge Reclining Buddha. After these visits we had another buffet lunch on a different boat to the day before, with a much shorter river cruise.
    View All 12,457 Bangkok (Laem Chabang) Cruise Port Reviews
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  • Imperial Hue
    Another overnight stop, and we had two full days. The first day we used the Azamara tour which was just transport to Hoi An. We enjoyed wandering the town on our own and doing some shopping. The town is very touristy, but also photogenic. It is only about an hour’s drive from the port at Da Nang to Hoi An.
    The second day in Da Nang we did the Azamara tour to Hue. This was a long day, as it is about a 2.5 hour drive each way. Worth it though, as Hue has lots of history and it is an interesting city. We saw the citadel, one of the tombs, stopped at a teahouse and had a 6 course lunch at a hotel restaurant.
    Azamara also provided a free shuttle into Da Nang, but we did not have time to use it.
    View All 12 Imperial Hue Reviews
  • Halong Bay
    We anchored in Halong Bay and were tendered to the old ferry dock in Hon Gai. Azamara provided a free shuttle from there into Hon Gai City. It was an overnight stay, giving us one & a half days in the area. Many people went into Hanoi, either for a day, or overnight. We had been to Hanoi and Halong Bay before. We did an Azamara organised tour which took us by bus to the Tuan Chau Marina to join a “junk” ride around the bay and a visit to one cave. This was as expected, and enjoyable. On our second day in Halong Bay we spent some time in Hon Gai City, visiting the temple, local market and walking around the harbour for the views.
    View All 54 Halong Bay Reviews
  • Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)
    We sailed right up the river to dock at Nha Rong Wharf, which is very close to the centre of Ho Chi Minh City. Azamara provided a free shuttle into a stop behind the Opera House. This shuttle only took about 10 to 15 minutes. As we had been to HCMC before and spent quite a bit of time there, we just used the shuttle both days to do some wandering around the centre of the city.
    View All 164 Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) Cruise Port Review
  • Hong Kong
    This was the embarkation port. A good place for a pre cruise stay, with plenty to see and do. The Ocean Terminal which is used by Azamara is a convenient embarkation point.
    View All 313 Hong Kong Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Hong Kong Cruise Port Review
  • Koh Samui
    When we booked this cruise the departure time from Ko Samui was listed as 4pm. By the time we boarded it had been changed to 2pm, so it was quite a short day in port. We did an Azamara excursion which took us around the island stopping at the major sites of Wat Thra Yai, Wat Plai Laem, a lookout over Chaweng, a display of monkey skills when they pick coconuts, and the Namaung Waterfall. The temples are colourful and impressive, the monkeys are clever and the waterfall was a non event! Most of the tours returned to the port about 1.45pm, so there was a long queue for the tenders and we did not sail from Ko Samui until about 2.40pm.
    View All 12,457 Koh Samui Cruise Port Reviews
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