Azura Cruise Review by richmal123
Travelled as a family to Norway for the first time. Also first time on Azura. We arrived earlier than our embarkation time and did not have to wait long in departures to get on the ship. We chose a balcony cabin on deck C because of the larger balcony and it was brilliant. We found the cabin big enough for a week with a teenager in tow, lots of storage. Our cabin steward was lovely and very efficient - I think she has been named on here in a previous review in a bad way but we did not find this at all, she was lovely. We (adults) did have a problem navigating around the ship I think because we were midship - do we go left or right became a joke, and we had to rely on the teenager to get anywhere. Saying that there are lots of ships maps everywhere and it wasn't really a problem. Other passengers were a mixture of families like ours wishing to explore rather than just sunbathe like you get in the med, and older passengers, many with multi generational family groups. We felt it was a great mix. There were lots of activities, but we only attended quizzes and the Astonishing show as on sea days we chose to sunbathe on the balcony and we played our own card games in the evening. We liked the Blue Bar, and the Planet Bar. We were freedom dining which worked well and we never had to wait. Sometimes we shared, most of the time we sat on our own. We found the food in the main dining room great. If we had to moan I would have liked some kind of salad/pasta option as a main every day in case you don't like meat/fish, but we didn't go hungry! We only used the buffet twice, this was not because of the quality of food but the arrangement of the buffet on Azura. It is too small, and you feel you can't look around before you choose. So we mainly ate breakfast lunch (when on the ship) and dinner in the dining room. We used room service a couple of times which was efficient and good value. We had booked some ship excursions in the smaller ports and felt they were good value, but in the towns we chose to do our own thing (museums etc). Loved every port for different reasons but my favourite thing to do was to open the curtains about 6am and see the view. One thing I could not get over is the silence when you are in the fjords, even if you're on a huge ship. Saying that we didn't feel the ship overcrowded at all and my son who doesn't like crowds felt very comfortable all the time. The sea screen was a bit broken up on the screen but it wasn't as bad as I was expecting reading other reviews. Staff were all very happy and if you are courteous nice people I'm sure you'll get the same treatment.
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Plenty to do and see, wandered around the shops and market - would like to come back and explore more. We were lucky because it was sunny and in the afternoon I was out on the balcony sunbathing - I expected more rain .....
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First glimpse of the fjords, lovely coach ride through stunning scenery (and tunnels) to see Tvinde waterfall which was impressive even in August with little water coming down it, we said we would like to see it in spring maybe. Then onto Gudvangen to the viking village, had a great guide (I think Greg?) who was very informative, chatted to the other 'vikings' whom we found interesting - beautiful setting.
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It's a train - impressive engineering, it goes up and down-lovely views but we'd seen stunning scenery in the morning on our other trip. The most hilarious thing is the waterfall stop, oh and sit on the right hand side as you go up because the views are better. I'm glad I went, but I would not go again - mainly because of the price for what it is.
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