This was our 5th cruise with Azamara and our first time on Pursuit since she was taken over by Azamara, we had sailed with her previously as P&O Adonia so it was interesting to see the refurbishment.
Emarkation was not good; when we arrived at the port at the Trade Centre in Barcelona we were told we could board immediately however it was clear when we had gone through security we were going to have a wait as we were given numbers and asked to take seat. There were no facilities in the area for tea/coffee etc., and no announcements or information from Azamara staff to let us know why we were delayed boarding so not a good start. After sitting for about an hour our number was called and we were taken to mini buses, it was fairly heavy rain and I think Azamara were waiting on the buses to come and transport us to the ship which was about 100 yards away, however we still weren't given a reason for the delay in boarding.
Once onboard we were quickly checked in and our photo taken again, I had uploaded a photo online but this wasn't used, seems a waste of time doing it before hand so wouldn't do it again.There was a table for upgrading to the Ultimate Drinks Package and we had planned to do this anyway as it gave us more options, the selection of wines in the package were good and suited us.
The Complimentary Drinks remain the same 2 whites, 2 reds which change daily, rose and a sparkling wine which are the same everyday.
The ship has an identical layout to Journey and Quest with the exception of the Casino, which is now accommodating the Future Cruise Desk and The Den, it's actually a better use of the space. The ship was in good order and well looked after, staff were constantly cleaning which is understandable.
Food in Discoveries Restaurant was a bit of a hit or miss, sometimes it was good other times bland, the service was also good in the restaurant but if you were on a large table there was a longer wait. The food in Aqualina and Prime C were excellent we had the 3 restaurant package and it was worth the additional payment, it was a nice atmosphere and a lot quieter. Service was also first class in these restaurants.
Windows food was good but never stayed hot for very long, this was something I did raise at the time and it was acknowledged, but there was always a good selection.
The Patio had a good choice of food, the baked potatoes and Chilli were excellent, again service from Vishal 1 and Vishal 2 was excellent, very attentive and helpful.
Entertainment, Paul Martell an impressionist and Jane Scali singer were in the show lounge and were very good,
Signature singers again in the show lounge were good.
Vasi Katina a pianist who played in Den was good.
White Sand Trio who played in The Living Room were not good, the young lady who was singing was good enough however there were 2 elderly gentlemen, 1 played drums and the other key boards and sang but they were not good, they didn't gel as a trio. We like The Living Room however we only went there once and never went back as this trio were on every night.
The White Night was well attended and everyone enjoyed the Signature Singers and Tony Markey the cruise director singing.
We didn't attend the Azamazing Evening which was advertised as an opera but I believe it was 3 Sopranos who sang a mixture of song types.
We enjoyed pre-dinner drinks in the Prime C cocktail bar, Ruby was in charge and she was very efficient and knowledgeable about the drinks and made a mean French Martini.
The included drinks remain the same 2 whites, 2 reds which change daily, rose and a sparkling wine which stay the same.
One of the reasons we enjoy Azamara is the smaller ships usually get the good berths which means being close to the town, also the early arrival and late or overnight stays.
We enjoyed all the ports, Port Vendres was cancelled due to rough seas and this was substituted by a stop in Sete which was very nice, Marseilles, Monte Carlo and Livorno were the other ports. We didn't book any excursions.
The Captain and crew were noticeable around the ship and all the staff we had dealings with were very helpful, friendly and efficient. Overall this was a very good cruise and we met some lovely people, the passengers were mainly from USA, Australia and Canada and some from GB.
The reason for the 4 star review was due to poor embarkation and the entertainment, however this would not put us off booking again as we very much enjoyed our time onboard Pursuit.
This was a guaranteed ocean view cabin and we knew there was a possibility that it could be an obstructed cabin on deck 6, we didn't receive notification until 2 days before sailing that we were in cabin 6049.
Now, it wasn't really obstructed but we were looking down what I would describe as a tunnel but we had a clear view from the window.
This was the smallest cabin we've ever had and I would describe it as an East West layout due to the fact that life craft were situated outside some of the other cabin windows. The bed was right behind the cabin door, floor space was limited however there was sufficient storage and the cases fit easily under the bed.
The bathroom was as expected 'compact' but wasn't a problem for us.
Harry our cabin steward kept the cabin in pristine condition.