Travelled from New York to have an intensive New Zealand cruise and to experience what some would call the 8th wonder of the world in cruising Milford Sound. Instead azamarra decided to save money and not follow the New Zealand regulations which were issued on Oct 2022 -3 months before the sailing date- to get its ship hull properly inspected and cleaned. They knew in advance that their failure would prevent the ship from sailing into certain ports including Milford sound and others. So this advertised New Zealand intensive cruise skipped all ports on western New Zealand , the bay of islands and added sea days.. Passengers received a $100 shipboard credit, which was less than the cost of a bottle of wine. After 34 cruises on various cruise lines, I doubt that I would ever board another azamarra ship again. When the line was owned by celebrity and a port was missed, celebrity made certain that its passengers were fairly treated and compensated. The new investors who own azamarra obviously care more about making instant dollars rather than their reputation. I had travelled on other azamarra cruises when they were owned by celebrity and I was hopeful that the same treatment towards its passengers would remain. Cost cutting to save money on hull cleaning and not informing passengers in advance that their once in a lifetime cruise would amount to a visit to commercial ports was and is unacceptable.
While the itinerary was my main complaint , I must also acknowledge that the entertainment was also sorely lacking. My opinion on the entertainment is supported by the fact that few people attended the shows or the DJ in the living room. On a 17 night cruise , maybe there were 4 professional acts.
The good news on this cruise was the excellent service that I received in my suite as well as the best food and service I have ever had on any cruise. Suggestion to azamarra: make the food and beverage manager run your newly acquired cruise line as he obviously cares about passengers and knows how to treat them
Excellent. Butler and steward were fantastic. Great