Being treated like an adult: Azamara Journey Cruise Review by Herb44

Azamara Journey 5
Member Since 2009
178 Forum Posts

Overall Member Rating

Being treated like an adult

Sail Date: August 2011
Destination: Europe - British Isles & Western
Embarkation: Copenhagen
This was our first cruise on Azamara. Now we are spoiled! Yes, it is more expensive upfront, but what you get is unsurpassed. Tips, features wines, soda, specialty coffee and teas, snacks, ice cream, even fresh squeezed juices: all included.

Even with only 640 passengers, there were 3 lecturers on board the ship: a naturalist, a geologist, and an expert in geo-political of Western Europe. The captain was everywhere with the passengers, but when he told us that he was stopping for some fresh fish as we entered the North Sea from Norway, we really didn't believe him -- until the ship stopped and a fisherman pulled up along side.

While we had several sea days, we were so busy learning that we had no time for trivia. Even hearing the cruise director's experience fighting pirates was amazing and interesting.

The physical condition of the ship, although older, was spotless and very well maintained inside and out.

Seating in the cafe was adequate, even at More the busiest times. The dining room was lovely and with true "any time dining" policy that worked well. Even embarkation and disembarkation were smooth and without stress. The entertainment that we liked the best was the incomparable Brooks Aehron on the piano. Whether with the band, with aCD accompanment, or as a soloist, the music was phenomenal. Added to the music were explanations of the composers, the pieces, and the times when the pieces were written.

As much as we enjoyed the food in the dining room, we also enjoyed the food in the cafe (aka 'cafeteria'). Everything was well-prepared to our liking. Service was excellent and flexible. If we wanted to stay and chat with our tablemates, that was fine with the staff. If we were in a hurry, that also was not a problem. All featured wines were included in the price for the cruise. However, if the featured wine was not to your taste, the rest of the wines were very reasonably priced.

At various times, we sat around the pools, even though they were a bit too cold to use in those latitudes. When we were given the towels, we did not need to leave a deposit on our sea pass to insure the return of the towels. Lap robes were also provided, as were robes and slippers in our cabins. Less

Published 10/03/11
1 Helpful Vote

Cabin review: V27065 Club Veranda Stateroom

Great location for both vertical and lengthwise movement on the ship.

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Port and Shore Excursions

Since we had been there before, we went off on our own. Our primary goal was to ride the funicular: what an amazing view! Interestingly, it's also used by commuters as well as tourist. Language is not a barrier in Norway. Be prepared, however, for very high prices. (Food off the ship is particularly expensive.)Nevertheless, the Hanseatic League era shops are definitely worth seeing.

Read 418 Bergen Reviews

after Reykjavik, we stopped in the Faeroe Islands at its capital Torshavn. A lovely community: while we just walked around, it was an opportunity to see and experience this rather isolated outpost of Denmark.

We disembarked in Dublin with a no stress experience: you get off the ship when you want! Central Dublin is easy walking with moderately priced food and stuff. We recommend the green 'hop on/hop off' bus to see the sights of the city. A 12 euro ticket is good for two days, and the buses come about every 10 minutes so they also work well for transportation around the central area.

We stopped to see the Dubliana exhibit, an exhibit about the earliest Viking settlers of the area.

Read 185 Dublin Reviews

Reykjavik was really our fifth port. We also stopped in Gerainger, Norway; Lerwick, Shetland Islands; and Akuryri, Iceland. While we enjoyed all of those stops, Reykjavik was definitely the highlight. We strongly recommend that you take the Golden Circle tour. We saw the tectonic rift, the home of the Alting (Iceland's parliament that was founded along the river 1,000 years ago and has been sitting almost continuously since), water falls, geysirs, volcanoes, glaciers, and a bit of the country-side that are all part of the tour. We also saw the Perl: six large hot water tanks that supply the heating for almost all of the Reykjavik metropolitan area.

One evening, we took the "Ghost walk" in town, a very informal tour that took us a bit more into the local color of the city.

Please note: Iceland is having a financial crisis: everything is very expensive, but the Golden Circle tour is absolutely worth the price.

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Member Since 2009
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