We are a family of four cruising with Azamara for the first time. In the past, our family has cruised with Celebrity Cruises for over 15 years and has experienced every holiday itinerary that they’ve offered. But, we wanted to try something new and Azamara’s 15 night voyage celebrating New Year’s in Rio de Janeiro attracted our attention. We brought our 17 and 20 years old kids to this cruise. We worried they may not like it because of older crowd. But, our kids actually like it and had a great time. The ship is clean and well maintained, but it does not feel luxury. We really like the white night, BBQ brunch served by the officers, and special breakfast at one of the specialty restaurants that we were invited to. I am pleasantly surprised that people dress very nice during the evenings even if there are no formal nights. Because this is a holiday cruise, there are some younger passengers on the ship. We also like the fact that the hot tub and pool are never too busy. You always can find a chair and a spot in the hot tub, so we ended up spending more time in the hot tub than we would have on other mega ships. We will cruise with Azmara again.
I also want to give our kudos and high praises to Azamara’s ability in helping us avoid a disastrous holiday. One of our family members holds a non-US passport with a US green card. Once aboard, the guest relations manager informed us that this family member would need a Brazilian visa or he would have to leave the ship. After paying tens of thousands of dollars on the cruise fare, flights, and hotels, this horrible news hit us like a ton of bricks. But, luckily, the Guest Relations Manager, Wresly Fernandes, came to our rescue.
Wresly met us and recommended that, when the ship landed in Montevideo, Uruguay, we should try to obtain a Brazilian visa at the Montevideo Brazil Consulate, which gave us a ray of hope. Wresly gathered us in his office and personally helped us fill out the Brazilian online visa application. Throughout the entire process, Wresly was very thorough. For example, he had the photo shop staff take a visa photo and crop it precisely to the size. He was also very knowledgeable about the visa process and its requirement. First, we had to download a bank statement, which Wresly kindly had his staff print out for us. He then arranged the transportation and Amazara’s port agent to meet us the next day at 8:45am to accompany us to the Montevideo Brazilian Consulate. We were very impressed by Wresly’s attention to detail. Not only did he stress to the Azamara port agent to be with us all the time but he also took the port agent’s cell phone number and told us that he would call us every two hours to get a status update.
The cabin is smaller than celebrity but we did not feel uncomfortable.
We booked through cruiseexcursion.com for the city tour. The guide was knowledgeable and worked very hard to tell us all about the city.
We booked with cruise line. The tour was about 4 hours and we visited a few highlighted places of Santos, and went up to the summit to have a great view of the city. It is about 4 hours long which is very nice.
We booked with cruiseline. We went to a beach by jeep and returned to the port by sooner-a boat. The ride to the beach is wild but we got to see beautiful scenery. The beach is nice but got bit by mosquitoes even if all of us had repellent.
The city is beautiful but our private tour company did a poor job so our experience is not very good.