Lovely ship, lovely cabin, excellent steward, excellent waiting staff, great food (I have a special diet which was well catered for). However, major criticisms : On arrival we were told to report for lifeboat drill at 4 pm, which we and most others did. We then sat in a very crowded restaurant for 1 hour, listening to repeated messages, ‘Sorry to keep you waiting, just waiting for the last few arrivals’. On every ship I have been on there have been late arrivals, you know this, we know this, so why not schedule the lifeboat drill for when everyone has arrived instead of packing too many people into a too small area for far too long (standing room only at the end), this is not a good start to your holiday. On Monday I had a sudden flare up of my illness and couldn’t go on the excursion. Knowing there was a long waiting list for most of the trips I phoned reception at 6am and told them we couldn’t go as I was ill, thinking they would be able to sell the tickets to someone else. I was told I could not have any money back as you needed 48 hours notice to cancel unless you got the doctor to sign you off as ill. The last time I saw the ship’s doctor I was charged £91 for a consultation for £4.50’s worth of anti-biotics, which was more than I would have got back with a refund so I didn’t bother. I don’t know which part of ‘suddenly taken ill’ you can reconcile with having to give 48 hours notice to cancel. The Golden Circle Excursion, Reykjavik. This is an 8 hour tour and we were told to report to the theatre at 8am for an 8.30am start. We got there at 7.50am to find a queue out of the theatre, all the way back to the Atrium and nearly all the way back again. We eventually got in and were allocated tickets for the 9th of 9 buses. The theatre was packed, every seat filled, and there we sat for an HOUR while crew, staff, officers, tour guides and tour ‘organisers’ (a very loose term) discussed and argued over which staircase, which exit, which gangway and which group to send first. Why on earth are the staff not trained in this procedure BEFORE the paying guests were sitting waiting? Have they never done it before? We eventually got on our bus and left at 9.10am, harassed, irritated and already fed up with the standing, queueing, shuffling and waiting. Being the last bus we spent the day constantly falling further behind schedule, hurried on and off the bus, and missed the tour of the Geo-Thermal Plant as we were so late, getting back to the ship at 6.30, 10 ¾ hours after leaving our cabin, completely and utterly exhausted. Isafjordur. Having to tender off, what a shambles! We had an excursion booked for 12.30 and would have liked to spend the morning having a look round the town. The advice was that 9.30 to 10.30 would be the busiest time so we went to the Meridian restaurant at 10.30 for disembarkation. To our amazement the huge room was full to capacity, with many also standing, waiting to go. After the next boatload had departed we managed to get seats and there we sat, moaning along with everyone else. At 11.30 I went to the desk to complain about the wait and that we had a trip booked for 12.30. The reply was that the trip ticket holders would get ashore with priority, and that they were sorry for the delay and they were doing their best! Well in our opinion their best was definitely not good enough. We were eventually called to a tender at 12.10, then hustled along the quay to our boat which was waiting for us. When we returned to Isafjordur at 4.30 we only had time for a quick walk and it was raining by then so we missed half a port day – NOT BEST PLEASED. Akureyri. Whale watching trip. Perishing cold and 30 mph wind. We were told to gather on the quay at 8.15 to walk round the harbour to the trip boat. We arrived at 8.10 to find a queue already 100 yards long and were then kept waiting in the bitter cold until 8.30. Why could not those already present walk in their own time to the boat? We could see it round the harbour, we weren’t going to get lost, most people are not imbeciles even though you insist on treating them as such. When we got there we again had to stand waiting interminably whilst a ship girl took our excursion ticket, a boat girl gave us another one then up on to the deck painfully slowly where another boat girl tore our ticket in half. It beggars belief that someone should think this acceptable treatment of paying customers. My husband and I are in our 70’s, by no means the oldest present, and I suffer from ill health. Unsurprisingly I was taken ill on returning to the ship and stayed in bed for the next 2 days. This cruise cost us £5500 plus another £1000 for excursions. Not a cheap holiday. On top of that you have to pay the exhorbitant cost of bottled water. Clean drinking water is an essential of life not an optional luxury. Free Wi-Fi is provided by every hotel, B&B and café, nearly every public building, even my GP’s waiting room. Why on earth do you think it is acceptable to charge at all for it let alone so much. We were penned in and herded about like cattle and quite frankly a sheepdog could have done a better job. Far from being a wonderful experience this cruise will remain in our memory as a source of great annoyance. You could and should do much better.

Some good, some very poor

Azura Cruise Review by june west

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
Lovely ship, lovely cabin, excellent steward, excellent waiting staff, great food (I have a special diet which was well catered for).

However, major criticisms :

On arrival we were told to report for lifeboat drill at 4 pm, which we and most others did. We then sat in a very crowded restaurant for 1 hour, listening to repeated messages, ‘Sorry to keep you waiting, just waiting for the last few arrivals’. On every ship I have been on there have been late arrivals, you know this, we know this, so why not schedule the lifeboat drill for when everyone has arrived instead of packing too many people into a too small area for far too long (standing room only at the end), this is not a good start to your holiday.

On Monday I had a sudden flare up of my illness and couldn’t go on the excursion. Knowing there was a long waiting list for most of the trips I phoned reception at 6am and told them we couldn’t go as I was ill, thinking they would be able to sell the tickets to someone else. I was told I could not have any money back as you needed 48 hours notice to cancel unless you got the doctor to sign you off as ill. The last time I saw the ship’s doctor I was charged £91 for a consultation for £4.50’s worth of anti-biotics, which was more than I would have got back with a refund so I didn’t bother. I don’t know which part of ‘suddenly taken ill’ you can reconcile with having to give 48 hours notice to cancel.

The Golden Circle Excursion, Reykjavik. This is an 8 hour tour and we were told to report to the theatre at 8am for an 8.30am start. We got there at 7.50am to find a queue out of the theatre, all the way back to the Atrium and nearly all the way back again. We eventually got in and were allocated tickets for the 9th of 9 buses. The theatre was packed, every seat filled, and there we sat for an HOUR while crew, staff, officers, tour guides and tour ‘organisers’ (a very loose term) discussed and argued over which staircase, which exit, which gangway and which group to send first. Why on earth are the staff not trained in this procedure BEFORE the paying guests were sitting waiting? Have they never done it before? We eventually got on our bus and left at 9.10am, harassed, irritated and already fed up with the standing, queueing, shuffling and waiting. Being the last bus we spent the day constantly falling further behind schedule, hurried on and off the bus, and missed the tour of the Geo-Thermal Plant as we were so late, getting back to the ship at 6.30, 10 ¾ hours after leaving our cabin, completely and utterly exhausted.

Isafjordur. Having to tender off, what a shambles! We had an excursion booked for 12.30 and would have liked to spend the morning having a look round the town. The advice was that 9.30 to 10.30 would be the busiest time so we went to the Meridian restaurant at 10.30 for disembarkation. To our amazement the huge room was full to capacity, with many also standing, waiting to go. After the next boatload had departed we managed to get seats and there we sat, moaning along with everyone else. At 11.30 I went to the desk to complain about the wait and that we had a trip booked for 12.30. The reply was that the trip ticket holders would get ashore with priority, and that they were sorry for the delay and they were doing their best! Well in our opinion their best was definitely not good enough. We were eventually called to a tender at 12.10, then hustled along the quay to our boat which was waiting for us. When we returned to Isafjordur at 4.30 we only had time for a quick walk and it was raining by then so we missed half a port day – NOT BEST PLEASED.

Akureyri. Whale watching trip. Perishing cold and 30 mph wind. We were told to gather on the quay at 8.15 to walk round the harbour to the trip boat. We arrived at 8.10 to find a queue already 100 yards long and were then kept waiting in the bitter cold until 8.30. Why could not those already present walk in their own time to the boat? We could see it round the harbour, we weren’t going to get lost, most people are not imbeciles even though you insist on treating them as such. When we got there we again had to stand waiting interminably whilst a ship girl took our excursion ticket, a boat girl gave us another one then up on to the deck painfully slowly where another boat girl tore our ticket in half. It beggars belief that someone should think this acceptable treatment of paying customers. My husband and I are in our 70’s, by no means the oldest present, and I suffer from ill health. Unsurprisingly I was taken ill on returning to the ship and stayed in bed for the next 2 days.

This cruise cost us £5500 plus another £1000 for excursions. Not a cheap holiday. On top of that you have to pay the exhorbitant cost of bottled water. Clean drinking water is an essential of life not an optional luxury. Free Wi-Fi is provided by every hotel, B&B and café, nearly every public building, even my GP’s waiting room. Why on earth do you think it is acceptable to charge at all for it let alone so much.

We were penned in and herded about like cattle and quite frankly a sheepdog could have done a better job. Far from being a wonderful experience this cruise will remain in our memory as a source of great annoyance.

You could and should do much better.
june west’s Full Rating Summary
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Superior Deluxe Balcony Stateroom
Cabin CC E721
Very good, excellent steward
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