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3,802 Europe - Eastern Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

The full cruise was an adventure from start to finish. The on board team and crew were enthusiastic, friendly and most helpful when needed. There are so many crew I would like to mention, but some individuals deserve highlighting. Our ... Read More
The full cruise was an adventure from start to finish. The on board team and crew were enthusiastic, friendly and most helpful when needed. There are so many crew I would like to mention, but some individuals deserve highlighting. Our cabin servicer PUTU was great, he was helpful and did his job to the highest standards, he is a credit to the ship and the team on it. The Bar teams were mind readers......they knew exactly what my wife and I drank without us even asking....Ervin and Wilson in the Horizons and Kumar, Sheldon, Kenneth and Sushil in the Hemmingway's Bar were always on hand even at daft O'clock in the morning. The food was very good and the shows were entertaining. The staff in the restaurants were great, they even sang Happy Birthday…..which was a memorable moment when the kitchen team came out front. The cabin had plenty of room in it with plenty of storage space for the belonging we took and the extras my wife always manages to accrue whilst we were away. The holiday was a special celebration for my wife, the extras didn't disappoint. The flowers the cake and the in cabin decorations were well received and appreciated….oh yes and the bubbly and strawberries went down a treat. we are looking already for next years cruise. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
we choose this cruise for many many reasons. here is a few, not in any order of preference. 1. we can fly direct from Belfast International Airport to Palma on a Tui flight. 2 the transfer from the flight to the ship is absolutely ... Read More
we choose this cruise for many many reasons. here is a few, not in any order of preference. 1. we can fly direct from Belfast International Airport to Palma on a Tui flight. 2 the transfer from the flight to the ship is absolutely painless, this is especially helpful as both myself and my wife have severe mobility problems. 3 we knew, from past experiences, the crew and facilities would be perfect for us as a retired couple, absolutley no hassle at all. complete relaxation as soon as we reached our deck 9 cabin (9040) we have no complaints whatsoever about any aspect of the 14 night cruise. The crew were magnificent. Fiendly, down to earth and overflowing with happiness. One guy shone out above the rest. his name is Philip, a young Jamaican. He literally, ran around the ship doing his job as a bar tender. he has this constant set of rhymes. "No card, no charge.......no fear, love is here..........spread the love'. these are accompanied by his hand bell ringing and his cry of "beep. beep" to clear his path. he kept everyone near him in fits of laughter. Every time there was live music on the Sirens pool deck or in the Medusa lounge in the evenings (watch him go at the last night Bandjam)......he gave us a demonstration of an amazing dance routine. It was worth the money just to witness his performance. We say "well done our kid"!! We dined in the evening in the Orion restaurant. We received a really professional, courteous service. The menu was varied but not outstanding. The portions are small but if you include soup/salad as well as a starter you will be fairly well filled. We used both the Lido and the Sirens buffet style restaurants for breakfast and the terrace grill for lunch. No complaints about either although some of hot food in Sirens was not always "piping hot" even the hot water for tea was not boiling hot. The entertainment was excellent. The young show team were brilliant, both as a team but also individuals. Maria, Jake and especially Matt gave us three amazing solo cabaret performances in Tides bar. Muzzic Unlimited were the resident band in the Medusa lounge. We enjoyed their performances particularly Romeo we he sang pieces like "Nessen Dorme and O Sol Mio". However we thought they could have reduced the sound a bit as it was very loud to our ears. We spent our evenings in Tides bar listening to a tremendous duo called "Tointense" or to everyone around, Tom and Maris. We just loved their music and their interaction with each other (the banter) and with the audience. They took time between each set to walk among the guests, chatting to everyone and expressing their appreciation of our presence. They also helped make our cruise the very very best. The amazing evergreen Mr Keith Kerslake shared the time in Tides with Tom and Maris. What more can be said about Keith? He just gets better and better every year. He is such a thoroughly nice guy, an expert pianist who gives his very best performance every time he gets behind the grand piano. He invented the Marella Dream last night "Bandjam". Just a couple of negatives and maybe a word of advice. We were quite shocked and so very disappointed on the crew night (July 19th 2019) to hear the compare (David) make remarks about male genital parts when many children were visibly in the audience. He also thought there was some humour in unhelpful and unnecessary remarks he made, in this age on inclusivity, about private and personal things that happen in a LGBT relationship. He also tried (failed miserably) to make some very antiquated joke about the "Humpty Dumpty" nursery rhyme as well as some other silly thing he picked up second hand from a bygone era. Wisdom and discretion do not seem to be know to him. He is not hard to spot. He eats alone, mostly beside the pool on Sirens deck. The rest of the team seldom are seen in his company except when they share in hosting a game. He is far too old to be involved in this kind of work. He can't sing, he can't dance and his English vocabulary equals a Year 3 primary school child. his two oft repeated expressions....."there you go" and its variant "there you have it". He seems to speak through his nose and has a personality resembling a dead fish including the vacant look on his,now moustached, face.His most outstanding feature is his "beer belly" hanging over his pants. The many ports we visited were full of interest for those who like to explore. They have a few downsides. The ship docks quite far away from the main places of interest and it usually costs around 5 Euros return to make the trip by coach. However these journey are operated and controlled locally and it can be very hard to get a bus/coach back to the ship and can involve a lot of waiting around due to the lack of a reliable timetable. We found the tours to be far too expensive and unsuitable for us due to our limited mobility. We would strongly advise future cruisers on the wonderful "Dream" ship to pack a warmish jacket, cardigan, light sweater for the evenings. The lounges,Tides, Medusa, Explorers and Water's Edge and quite cold with a noticeable cold air conditioning draft prevalent irrespective of where you sit. The bathroom is not large. It has the usual toilet, washbasin and over the bath shower and hair dryer. We found it impossible to get the temperature right with the shower. It either burned or was freezing cold. We asked for it to be fixed but this never happened. In summary. we have been cruising for over 20 years, completing over 40 cruises with Celebrity (the worst ever company...a "never again experience"), P & O. Ocean Village, NCL. Fred Olsen, Star Cruises Etc. Nowadays we don't look anywhere else. We know before we leave, we will not need to pay tips, we will not be paying for refreshments, our account will be in good old United Kingdom Sterling with no "Dollar Inspired add ons" (one of the tricks from the greedy USA owned Cruise companies that seem to have the habit of crashing into things or losing passengers overboard), we will be pampered from the moment we board the plane till we touch down on our return by the fantastice Tui/Marella team. For myself and my wife from July 16th till 30th 2019 we have had the best cruise ever. Well done the Tui/Marella team from our wonderful Karen Crothers and the rest of the staff in our local Tui shop in Newtownards to Captain Alan Macary and his entire crew///abundant thanks....we will return, God willing next year Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
It is definitely Much More than Cruise. Tours and benefits are making your vacation unforgettable, because when you reach to Athens and Islands you are having simple tours and some transportation included to your Cruise rate that giving ... Read More
It is definitely Much More than Cruise. Tours and benefits are making your vacation unforgettable, because when you reach to Athens and Islands you are having simple tours and some transportation included to your Cruise rate that giving you tips about areas. And also you can learn something about history with the expression of Vasili. He is also giving you all detail about the public transportation and places you may wish to visit. Music was great, we always had good time with live music was playing during lunch and dinner time. Food in the ship was delicious, Housekeeping employee was great as well, they give us at least two times serves a day. Thank you to Tressa and Tony. Thank you to all service persons and entertainment team. I am definitely recommend Celestyal Crystal to all my friend and family and also who is planing to have Cruise experience. Thanks again to all. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
I’m not even sure my words can accurately describe just how amazing this entire trip was. Our vacation started in the beautiful port of Venice, Italy. Highly recommend flying in at least 2 days before embarkation so you can explore a bit ... Read More
I’m not even sure my words can accurately describe just how amazing this entire trip was. Our vacation started in the beautiful port of Venice, Italy. Highly recommend flying in at least 2 days before embarkation so you can explore a bit in Venice. Stay at the Hilton Molino Stucky if you want beautiful views! We were first time MSC cruisers so unsure exactly what to expect, as we are American and the ship is dominantly Italian folks. Embarkation was a breeze. We were settled on the ship with our luggage within an hour of boarding. We had a balcony on deck 12 towards the back of the boat and loved the sizing and layout of the room! Our bed was a bit shaky, which we blamed on the engines (maybe?) but it was certainly bearable. More than enough room for 2 people in the basic balcony! We had the Fantastica experience, as we did not need any bells and whistles but did want a bit more than the “Bella”. The itinerary was simply phenomenal. Each day we got off the boat more in awe of where we were. We booked excursions in every island that required us to walk and move around a lot. This was not your typical ‘relaxing’ vacation. This itinerary is heavily culturally enriching. You will gain a lot of knowledge of the ports and the history surrounding them. I am not a history gal, but I was mesmerized by the history I learned. It was fascinating to learn from the tour guides who were so proud and excited to share their wealth of knowledge. Our itinerary break down was as followed: -Venice, Italy (visit San Marco) -Bari, Italy (visit Matera) -Katakolon, Greece (you have to see Olympia here) -Santorini, Greece (go visit the famous Oia) -Piraeus, Greece (you have to visit the Acropolis) -Corfu, Greece (must visit paradise beach) -Kotor, Montenegro (do a boat tour of the bay) The food on the Magnifica was SOOO good! We tried to keep our buffet time to breakfast only. Which was perfect for our early docked days. For dinner, we ate at the same table with 6 other folks and LOVED who we sat with. At first, this seems a bit ridiculous to have the same server with the same guests but we genuinely valued this time to unwind and reconnect at the end of a busy day! The entertainment was decent, but certainly have seen better. However, the dancing was great! MSC brought on aerialists that were excellent to watch! They were the highlight of most shows! The cruise staff was the absolute best staff we have ever been around. We have cruised several times but found this staff to be the BEST. So engaging, kind, and genuine. They wanted to really get to know you and help you have the most enjoyable time on board. It really says a lot when out of 2,500 rotating guests, they still remember your name! We were so sad to leave this crew, as they truly helped create many memories. The ONLY downside of our trip were the amount of children aimlessly running around, pushing and shoving. Luckily, we quickly learned how to avoid them and kept our distance. MSC is very family oriented, which is great! Just beware, you will certainly come across kids in mot public areas! Overall, this trip was epic. One of the best, if not, the best trips I have ever taken. Do not hesitate to book this trip. Hurry before it sells. You will love every second of it!!!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We had never cruised previously because we did not like the idea of a floating city, so the smaller tall ship made sense, especially when it had a cruise that included our bucket list of places to see in Greece. We did our research and ... Read More
We had never cruised previously because we did not like the idea of a floating city, so the smaller tall ship made sense, especially when it had a cruise that included our bucket list of places to see in Greece. We did our research and knew what to expect, and the Star Flyer exceeded in most regards, especially the food! If tons of activity and entertainment is your goal, this isn't your best bet. If peaceful evenings on deck with no sounds but the wind thru the sales, and an intimate, yet casual setting for meals is what you like, this is for you. The group on board is small enough that mutual respect wins out over fighting for the best deck chairs or tables at dinner. The majority seemed to be seasoned travelers that know how to act in this setting and very friendly when sharing a table or space at the bar. So nice when the cruise director can address EVERYONE at the same time regarding excursions and ship-board fun. I don't think we'll ever take a trip on a large mega-ship! This setting was too perfect for us Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We chose this cruise based on the itinerary - we had never been to Venice, Split, Athens or Katakolon before. As our last cruise was on the newest & biggest Symphony OTS we were expecting Rhapsody to be rather small and worn out. ... Read More
We chose this cruise based on the itinerary - we had never been to Venice, Split, Athens or Katakolon before. As our last cruise was on the newest & biggest Symphony OTS we were expecting Rhapsody to be rather small and worn out. However we were very positively surprised when we got in! Although some of the designs (e.g. colour schemes on the carpets) were a bit dated, there was no wear & tear visible anywhere! Also even though there are less venues than on Oasis-class, there is more to do onboard than can be done on a one week cruise. I'd say this ship is a great entry point to first time cruisers! Embarkation was very smooth, and right after a quick lunch we got our cabins promptly at 2 PM - evern our luggage was already waiting for us then! The highlight of the ship was the food & beverage! Especially high quality of the food in Main Dining and Windjammer was way above expectations. We did 3 speciality restaurants (Izumi, Giovanni's and Chop's) which all met (but didn't exceed) our expectations. There were never big lines for bars and e.g. in the pool area the waiters were always available. Actually all the service onboard worked pretty much flawlessly with the exception of long waits for service in half-empty Chop's... The musicians and bands onboard were great, hence I was quite surprise the production shows didn't seem to use a live band. Actually the production shows were the part that would most need improvement: there performers were very skilled, but the "plots" and songs selected for shows were a bit confusing and didn't seem to get the audience going. As the ship docks very close to city center in Split we decided to walk around the city on our own - beautiful and very welcoming city! For Athens we took the RCCL Akropolis & Plaka tour, the early wake-up call was worth it because we managed to get to Parthenon just ahead of the big crowds. Also this tour left just the right amount of free time to explore a bit on our own. In Katakolon we took the Ancient Olympos & winery tour. The Olympos part was great, but as we know a lot about winemaking the winery part was a bit of a let down. But if you've never been to a winery then you'll propably enjoy it. Overall I would definately do Rhapsody again if I found an itinerary with now ports-of-call! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We chose this cruise as the dates fitted with our 30th wedding anniversary and also because of the destinations we hadn’t been to before except one. From the start on arrival to the airport , celebrity staff were very organised, not a ... Read More
We chose this cruise as the dates fitted with our 30th wedding anniversary and also because of the destinations we hadn’t been to before except one. From the start on arrival to the airport , celebrity staff were very organised, not a long transfer to the ship around 30-40 mins, concierge check in was very quick, smooth all round, we were on the ship before we knew it, lovely drinks welcome on board, the ocean view cafe was open and we didn’t have to wait longer before the staterooms were ready, staterooms were comfortable enough and had toiletries in the bathroom, hairdryer and safe in the room, our stateroom attendant was very good. Our dining room experience was amazing, we had the most amazing friendly staff who couldn’t do enough for you and it’s the first cruise after doing 6 previous cruises that we saw and spoke to our head waiter all the time, just makes the difference, the food was of good quality, some days were excellent, the favourite was the tornado steak, the lamb and lobster night just fabulous. The Ocean View Cafe, was set out around both sides, sometimes you were searching at different ends for certaIn foods, but you got used to the set up, we never struggled to find a table as there is plenty of seating, the staff again are very friendly. The ship itself was lovely, I understand that people say it’s a little older fashioned but nothing at all that you need to worry about, we felt that all the areas, Cafe al Bacio, martini bar, cellars masters bar, were of a good standard, there is fabulous outside film area all with comfy seating showing movies everyday, the toilet areas are very clean and well stocked and the staff again are very friendly. We loved every destination that we went to, Venice was gorgeous, gondola ride is €80 but this can take up to 6 people, so you can share the cost, what a beautiful place. Croatia was gorgeous, we just took the hop on hop off bus for a bus tour and walking tour this was €20 pp, really good way to look around. Kotor was just stunning, you take a tender from the ship and we just had a look around ourselves, for a few hours, wow the sail away was stunning to see. Corfu we wanted a beach day, we missed out on the celebrity beach trip, this sells very quickly we tried to book as soon as we got on board but it was already full, the ship cost for this trip is around $40-$45 pp, so we just got off and looked for own transport, be careful as the taxi trips at the port are charging €110 for 2 which is just a rip off, here we ended up on the red tour bus at €19 pp, we stopped off at the first beach on the tour had 4 hours and then got the bus back and saw the rest of the tour which was great, beach beds to hire, reasonable cost, with bar selling drinks and food at good prices, there are also toilets at this beach, the staff were very friendly and are up and down the beach serving. Naples we did a ship trip here, at $99pp to Pompeii we did the 1.30pm 4 hrs trip as the am one was sold out but this was perfect we had the best guide called Jose, he was very knowledgable and was passionate , he was quite funny also which made the trip brilliant, apparently we totally made the right decision to go in the afternoon as the morning one was so rammed with people it was hard to get around.. Wow this cruise was amazing we loved every minute, we will definitely be cruising with Celebrity again.. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
July 7 - 14, 2019 - Greek Islands. I can't say enough good things about the ship, the staff, cleanliness, activities, etc. Putting some misconceptions to rest. If you don't have a pillow top on your mattress, look ... Read More
July 7 - 14, 2019 - Greek Islands. I can't say enough good things about the ship, the staff, cleanliness, activities, etc. Putting some misconceptions to rest. If you don't have a pillow top on your mattress, look under the bed (that is where ours was stored). Staff went above and beyond, were friendly and helpful. Room was set up as we requested. Food in the main dining room was awesome. Food in the Windjammer (only ate there for breakfast) was good, plentiful and abundant. Snacks in the Solarium was the same each day, but very good. The life boat covers on Deck #7 - were not an issue and didn't hinder our view. We did our own thing for excursions so can't comment. If there was one negative, it would be that the music at the pool could get a bit loud. You had to yell at people when talking to them. Everyone loved the evening shows. We only saw the Tango show and it was excellent. Fellow travellers attended all of the other evening shows and raved about them each night at dinner. We had the key. We were on the ship by 11:00 am and by the pool by 11:15. Signage for the key was everywhere. Had lunch at Chops - excellent.. Tendering in Santorini was easy (and the reason we got the Key). Wifi was good, no issues. We had an early morning transfer to the Rome airport on debarkation day so the Key was not used for debarkation, however luggage pickup was super easy. We also received two fruit baskets on one of the days. We asked why and were told because we had the Key. I had a massage one day and it was excellent. There was no blatant attempt to upsell. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Chose the cruise based on the itinerary and comments from our cruise company that Azamara was really good! It was excellent! Smaller ship with 690 people and very much adult focused which we loved, room was great - bed super comfortable ... Read More
Chose the cruise based on the itinerary and comments from our cruise company that Azamara was really good! It was excellent! Smaller ship with 690 people and very much adult focused which we loved, room was great - bed super comfortable and kept neat and tidy and clean always. Common areas including The Living Riom and Thw Den we’re so inviting and warm. Really enjoyed them. Pool was perfect .never crowded, nor were the hit tubs! Lots of dining options.. Food was outstanding as was the service. Captain Carl was great and his team did some pretty impressive manoeuvres! Tony the cruise director did a great job órgano for many events and entertainment... especially the Azamaxing evening in Koper Slovenia... very impressive! Really liked having a local tourism rep come on at every por and provide some guidance! All round a 10! Will be sailing (soon we hope) with Azamara again! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
I have read a lot of bad reviews about the MSC Musica and was very worried but it was amazing! Embarkation and Disembarkation were not great experiences however apart from that everything was great. The staff are second to none and cannot ... Read More
I have read a lot of bad reviews about the MSC Musica and was very worried but it was amazing! Embarkation and Disembarkation were not great experiences however apart from that everything was great. The staff are second to none and cannot do enough for you. The shows were fabulous and the entertainment staff work non stop to make sure everyone is having fun. The bar staff are so friendly and the cleaners keep the place spotless. Food was great, my son loved the pizza especially. We only used the buffet as have no complaints. The ship never felt overly busy and you could always find a space for yourself. We had a balcony room which was fabulous and had everything we needed. The Itinerary was the reason I booked this cruise and it didn’t disappoint with the highlights being Mykonos, Dubrovnik and Venice. Brindisi was a surprise too such a beautiful little town. This was a first cruise for myself and my son and we loved everything about it from start to finish. I set my expectations low and everything exceeded my expectations! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We choose this cruise due to destinations it sailed to. After reading so many negative reviews I was a little bit worried about going with MSC. But let me be honest. EMBARKING After reading about chaos at embarking, this chaos ... Read More
We choose this cruise due to destinations it sailed to. After reading so many negative reviews I was a little bit worried about going with MSC. But let me be honest. EMBARKING After reading about chaos at embarking, this chaos comes due to witnessing the most impatient people I've ever seen trying to get on ship first. People that don't think they should queue. Your given a number and when it's called you go to security. If you can be patient everything is fine, if being impatient bothers you, you'll ruin your own holiday yourself. Watching people having a paddy cause they want to board on number 5 instead of 6 was actually hilarious. CABINS OK so when we got to enter the cabin it nice, not the best cleaning Ive seen ( a few smudges on a mirror) but at end of day it wasn't going to ruin my holiday and make me complain. The cleaner did nice touches and even left us cakes one night, I acknowledged this with a thank you note back. RESTAURANT we had 2 amazing waiters Michael from South Africa and Juni from Indonesia. We had a laugh with them every night, nothing to much trouble. If I didn't like any starters I had 2 mains instead. If you don't ask you don't get, but the problem seems to be witnessing the manner in which people ask. Talk to them in a rude manner you'll get one back, be polite and they will go above and beyond for you. Portions are small but I never went hungry. MSC are not your royal carribean or princess standard, but we didn't pay those prices to start with so don't compare the two otherwise pay more for your holiday. OVERALL We couldn't really find any faults with the ship at all. After reading so many bad reviews I soon came to realise that some people expect to much. The ships very clean, the staff work extremely hard and have been on the ship many months without a break, they may be at your disposal but treat them like humans and with respect to get the same back. Don't be put off by the hard hotdog cob review (we never found that). Also didn't get my food luke warm, weather that's because we was on first sitting. Our food always came out at a good temperature. Beware of the passengers who act like animals at feeding time in a zoo, racing up and down acting like its all going to go in a flash, this isn't Msc fault, it's your fellow passangers behaving like that, way to avoid is to go at quiter times I.E just before all trips come back to ship. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
This was our 4th cruise with Oceania and we were just on the Riviera in February for a Caribbean cruise. Oceania is our cruiseline of choice because we like the size of the ship and the excellent food and service. Pre-Cruise: We flew ... Read More
This was our 4th cruise with Oceania and we were just on the Riviera in February for a Caribbean cruise. Oceania is our cruiseline of choice because we like the size of the ship and the excellent food and service. Pre-Cruise: We flew into Venice a day early and stayed at a hotel near the Piazza Roma and enjoyed the sights of Venice. We had a private tour of Venice the morning of boarding so we did not get to the ship until mid-afternoon so there was no line for checkin and the Terrace Cafe was empty when we went for a quick lunch. Cabin: We were in a PH2 on deck 10 (#10035) which was right next to the elevators but there was no problem with noise and we really liked the convenience of being close to the elevators. The cabin was big enough for us and had plenty of storage space. I especially like the walkin closet and all the drawers.Our butler was great and whenever we called for extra ice or sparkling water it was delivered quickly. We only did 1 breakfast in the room and it came on time and was hot. Dining: We found the dining and food on the Riviera to be just as good as on previous cruises. We had most of our breakfasts in the main dining room and the staff were always very pleasant and the food was good, We usually had lunches ashore. Dinners were mainly in the specialty restaurants and we were fortunate to get an extra reservation in both Red Ginger and Jacques (our 2 favourites). We enjoyed all the food and the only time we had an issue was when we brought a bottle of wine we had bought onshore to the Terrace Cafe for dinner and they could not locate it. They did eventually find it but then the wine steward was not around very often so we had to ask for service to get our glasses refilled. Service was good in all the other restaurants. Shipboard Activities: This was a port intensive cruise so we did not get to many of the shipboard activities.We did enjoy the pool and spa deck, the string quartet before dinner and afternoon tea. The pool was very busy most days since it was very hot out. The spa deck was really hot so we didn't stay up there for very long. We noticed the demographics were very different on this cruise with a lot more families and children and generally a livelier crowd. The bars were very busy! We didn't go to any of the evening shows but noticed that the musical productions were the same as what we saw in February. Excursions: We did mostly private excursions not through Oceania and they were very good. We did 2 excursions with Oceania. The first was to Murano & Burano and we enjoyed the boat ride to the islands and the tour guides gave a good description of the lagoon and the islands. The glass blowing demonstration in Murano was interesting and there was enough free time to walk around afterwards. In Burano we skipped the lace demonstration and had a nice lunch instead. The second excursion was in Corfu to the Acheillion Palace. This was an OE excursion so it was quite a bit more expensive but with a smaller group(12 people) in a van. However, we went to the same places as the large group so it was just as crowded. The tour guide was good and we had the earpieces so we could hear her, but I did not think it was worth the extra dollars. Ports: We enjoyed all the ports but found them to be very crowded with tourists and it was very hot while we were there. This took away from our enjoyment , especially in Santorini, but this is not a fault of Oceania. We usually found a nice cafe or restaurant near the water and spent a few hours there eating and people watching! Disembarkation: This was the easiest and fastest disembarkation I have ever experienced. They made the announcement, we walked off, got our luggage and were off on our tour of Athens in about 5 minutes. Fantastic! Overall, we enjoyed this cruise and are happy with Oceania and the Riviera. We are looking forward to our two future cruises! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
This was our 4th cruise with Azamara and our first on the Azamara Pursuit. We have previously been on about 35 cruises (Costa, NCL, Cunard, Princess, RCCL. Celebrity, Regent, Crystal). This cruise did not disappoint! From the minute we ... Read More
This was our 4th cruise with Azamara and our first on the Azamara Pursuit. We have previously been on about 35 cruises (Costa, NCL, Cunard, Princess, RCCL. Celebrity, Regent, Crystal). This cruise did not disappoint! From the minute we got on the ship until we got off we loved every minute. Our only complaint is that our 7 day cruise was too short! As usual the crew was wonderful, very friendly and always giving us a friendly greeting. The food in the Discoveries Restaurant was excellent. We did not even bother going to the specialty restaurants. Capt. Antonio Toledo was wonderful. We got to speak to him on several occasions. We love the fact that the senior officers are so visible around the ship and greet you as you get off the ship when it is in port. To our surprise we had Tony as our cruise director. He was our cruise director on our first Azamara cruise. We also had another surprise when we were seated in the Discoveries restaurant with Noel as our waiter. He also was the waiter we had on our first Azamara cruise. Noel is an excellent waiter and we hope to see him on the Azamara Pursuit in the future. Chuck Richardson was our destination lecturer and he did a fantastic job. What we like about Azamara is the personal service and the intimate feel of the ship and no nickel and diming as on the larger cruise ships. We also like the fact that Azamara stays in ports longer. We liked the entertainment especially the Croatian dancers they brought on board in Dubrovnik. The violinist was also excellent. Fernando and Matthew were our future cruise consultants. We always had so many questions for them about future cruises and they always were there to help us. By the end of the cruise we booked 2 more Azamara cruises. We loved the Azamazing Evening but felt the music was way too loud. Azamara please keep up the good work. We hope on traveling the world with Azamara!!! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We chose this ship for its itinerary and the timing of departure. We are experienced cruisers (10+ cruises) and this was our second on Celebrity. We booked a SkySuite (8127 accessible). After reading multiple reviews on this ship I will ... Read More
We chose this ship for its itinerary and the timing of departure. We are experienced cruisers (10+ cruises) and this was our second on Celebrity. We booked a SkySuite (8127 accessible). After reading multiple reviews on this ship I will admit I was concerned. I thought the ship would feel old and tired, I thought the staff would be lukewarm and the food mediocre. Now I am just wondering what ship the rest of the reviewers were on, because it certainly was not the Infinity that we experienced. We thought the ship was in great shape (yes if you look closely you could see some wear in tear, but whoever is looking that closely better not come to my house because we've lived in it for 16+ years and it also shows some signs of its age). The staff was delightful -- lots of fun and great entertainment. The ship is big enough to have the resources/activities of a large ship, but not so big to feel overwhelming. If you wanted to, you could avoid the crowds (even on sea days). We loved our Suite Class perks! Food in Luminae was among the best we have had on any ship including some luxury lines that are all about the food. And being in a dining room that seats a maximum of 50 at a time meant that we never felt rushed, never had crying babies, etc. to interrupt our dining experience (and we really dined!). Thought the itinerary was strong, although was a bit disappointed in Split, would have preferred Dubrovnik. Shore excursions were fine but not extraordinary - our best excursion we booked privately in Corfu. The only real complaint was the Wifi was spotty. and getting to and from the port in Venice is a pain -- Celebrity should have provided free shuttles - not charged for it. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We were on the intensive Croatia cruise. Previously we have sailed on Royal Caribbean and Princess Cruise. Azamara was a delight in comparison. No constant high pressure sales, small ship, the all inclusive, and mature passengers made ... Read More
We were on the intensive Croatia cruise. Previously we have sailed on Royal Caribbean and Princess Cruise. Azamara was a delight in comparison. No constant high pressure sales, small ship, the all inclusive, and mature passengers made for a relaxing cruise. The staff were exceptional. Our room was quickly seen to every morning and evening and was always clean and everything we needed was always provided. Regarding the Veranda cabin bathroom, it is small, but the shower is ridiculous small. I am 5’8” and 135lbs and it was a tight squeeze for me. We loved the over all decor of the ship. We just wonder how they manage to keep the light carpets and furniture clean! The food was plentiful with many options while not outstanding it was not bad either. The White night and chocolate buffet were a lot of fun and amazing. We were in a port everyday and on the go all day so did not have time or energy for any of the entertainment that was offered. The free laundry was great although extremely crowded on the day we embarked. We found the Azamara excursions to be way over priced so with the exception of two excursion we booked our own. My only complaint was directions on getting to San Basilio and disembarking. We planned on taking a train to Venice and did not want to deal with water transportation to San Basilio. Azamara was of no help with this issue. After researching we found that by taking a train to Mestre we could hire a driver who took us directly by land to the port. On the day of disembarkation we had a driver picking us up at 6:30 am. Again I could not get any information out of Azamara before we boarded regarding what time we could disembark. Once on the ship we had to speak to three different customer staff members to get us on the list to disembark early. A little unnecessary anxiety. All in all we highly recommend Azamara and this Croatian cruise. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Over the years, I have been privileged to sail on forty cruises. These cruises were on Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Disney, Holland America, Cunard, Princess, NCL and some other lines that don’t even exist any longer. Out of all ... Read More
Over the years, I have been privileged to sail on forty cruises. These cruises were on Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Disney, Holland America, Cunard, Princess, NCL and some other lines that don’t even exist any longer. Out of all of those cruises, Azamara was simply the best. I am confused as to the Azamara Pursuit’s low ratings and inconsistent reviews. I concluded that since I am moving up from mass market ships, that maybe a reason why I feel that this cruise was really one of my best. People moving from higher level lines such as Seaborn, Silversea and the like would possibly be disappointed. Azamara is not a true luxury cruise line they live in between premium lines like Celebrity and luxury lines like Seaborn. Azamara, Oceania, Viking Ocean and Windstar are considered deluxe cruise lines in between premium lines (like Celebrity) and luxury lines like (Seaborn). I think if people understand and set their expectations correctly, they will enjoy a cruise on Azamara. What I loved about this cruise was the size of the ship, easy to get around and lines were a minimal. What a pleasure it was to not wait to be seated for dinner or for an elevator. The service was, for the most part excellent. The ports were fantastic and staying late is a nice feature. The particular Azamara cruise I sailed on was a Croatia intensive voyage. If you get a chance to visit this part of the world, take it. The ports were beautiful and historic. The décor on the Pursuit was very stylish and the ship looked brand new even though it has been sailing for many different cruise lines for the past 18 years of her life. I especially enjoyed the Azamazing evening and the White Night Party. All unique and gave the cruise a special touch. Food was also plentiful and mostly of high quality. The included drinks were enough for me as I drink very sparingly. I would have like to have seen more port/historical lectures. We had a gentlemen who presented on each port and he was great. I wish he could have done even more seminars on the history and geography of the region. I think Azamara could do more learning activities such as Cunard. Also, boarding in Venice could have been handled better however I think these issues have to do more with the port of Venice than Azamara. I will definitely be returning back to Azamara soon, it truly was the best cruise I have been on. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Our first Azamara was on the 8-day Croatian Intensive out of Venice. Previously we have cruised Celebrity and quite a few on RC. We were delighted with the experience. No one pushing drinks, spa service or pricey add-ons. Standard beer, ... Read More
Our first Azamara was on the 8-day Croatian Intensive out of Venice. Previously we have cruised Celebrity and quite a few on RC. We were delighted with the experience. No one pushing drinks, spa service or pricey add-ons. Standard beer, wine and cocktails are included. The only option is for a high end drink package. We did not buy that but had excellent wines. We seldom encountered question lines anywhere and the staff was uniformly delightful. The excursions were well done, the Azamazing evening was incredible and White Night was a lot of fun. We enjoyed the more mature group on board, and met fascinating, friendly people. The food was uniformly good at every venue. Captain Tony was visible and accessible, as was CD Tony and the rest of the crew. We read previous staff reviews, but this crew seemed to be jelling nicely. I’m afraid, though, that this was a costly cruise...as we are spoiled now and cannot return to the bustling crowds, belly flop contests and waiting lines of less costly cruises. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We wanted to visit Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro that is why we chose this cruise. We were over the moon with the ship, it is stunning, the entertainment is outstanding, I would have paid to see these shows. The food, every member of ... Read More
We wanted to visit Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro that is why we chose this cruise. We were over the moon with the ship, it is stunning, the entertainment is outstanding, I would have paid to see these shows. The food, every member of staff were simply outstanding. We paid the extra £50.00 to upgrade our all inclusive package and we felt it well worth it. Excellent quality cocktails, top grade spirits and cans of soft drink and bottles of water delivered to our room. We upgraded to a larger cabin on 7th floor but did not have a balcony or window but we did not miss this we used our room to get ready and sleep. There is so much going on around the ship from Morning to very late night I cannot wait to book again. We booked trips in Slovenia - caves and castles our only disappointment was we would have liked an hour or two longer We booked Krka waterfalls trip in Split - just simply breathtaking beauty again I wish we had longer We booked speedboat and beach trip in Montenegro- this was just amazing, the views spectacular. Then we had a walk around the town of kotor, this is also very beautiful and sells the most delicious pizza and ice cream In Venice and Dubrovnik we did our own thing, due to very high temperatures we only stayed in Venice until 1 pm, but we have visited Venice for a holiday. In Dubrovnik we shared a taxi into old town with another cruiser. We chose open side bus tour at €20 each and boat trip at €10 each. This was a great way to see Dubrovnik, due to temperatures of 37 we didn't do the wall walk, but will return to Dubrovnik to do this. Do not miss sail away from Venice Happy to answer any questions Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Having met two couples in June 2018 on the Baltic cruise on the Eclipse we decided to cruise again this year on Constellation for the Dalmatian coast cruise. Having read numerous reviews my expectation was of an older ship and I did ... Read More
Having met two couples in June 2018 on the Baltic cruise on the Eclipse we decided to cruise again this year on Constellation for the Dalmatian coast cruise. Having read numerous reviews my expectation was of an older ship and I did not expect to experience the excellence of our previous cruise. We booked early and chose Aqua class and had rooms on deck 9 I had heard poor reviews as pool deck was above us but can honestly say that other than sun beds being stored in the evening did not notice anything else. The room was spacious well designed and although old was very comfortable and our cabin attendant was superb. The Blu restaurant staff from front of house to the waiters were excellent, the sommelier terrific and the choice of wines could not be faulted and it’s a long time since I had enjoyed Port after dinner. The Spa was good and the gym always had available equipment. We went to a couple of shows and enjoyed the Cabaret night especially the Les Miserables compilation. The Frankie Valli tribute act again were very good. All in all a very good cruise and an enjoyable holiday. Highs and lows below Highs All transfers early and very good vehicles for 6 people Restaurant/ bar and cabin staff could not be faulted The ship exceeded expectation Quality of food was exceptional although restrictive for one vegetarian member. Lows Pre booking seating for flights complicated and given wrong info Check in at Venice why put trainee staff on Aqua class ? Delayed by 10 minutes on priority boarding Hard sell of packages days 1-3 it was endless Drinks packages not added to room card refer to check in Bad experience at Bocia coffee lounge where staff chose to ignore us at the front of the queue and served others resulting in leaving without a drink. We did not do any excursions with Celebrity. Re the ports of call Rijeka and Sicily did not match the rest of the locations. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
First cruise so have nothing to gauge it on but found it wonderful. Nightmare start with over a 5 hour delay but as soon as we got to Corfu airport at 2:30am staff were great getting us on coaches then embarkation just as good even though ... Read More
First cruise so have nothing to gauge it on but found it wonderful. Nightmare start with over a 5 hour delay but as soon as we got to Corfu airport at 2:30am staff were great getting us on coaches then embarkation just as good even though flight had delayed ship we were swiftly put on ship so could sail asap. All the staff were very attentive and Julio our cabin steward was so nice and helpful. Only ate in the buffet restaurant once for breakfast and for lunch after visiting Split but otherwise ate in Gallery 47 for breakfast and the Italian upstairs is lovely. Also ate in Surf and Turf and Kora La as well as the glass House well worth the extra payment for all. We were worried that we would felt a little trapped on the ship but not at all plenty to do and all the excursions we did through TUI were well organised. Cabin number 3568 was great able to unpack everything just and no noise only issue same as others was the shower curtain, but hey if that’s all you can complain about not bad. We did a cruise and stay and the only disappointment was coming off the ship no one telling us where to collect coaches and people setting off and dragging suitcases towards the terminal until stopped. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
I chose this cruise because it was going round the Greek isles & also was all inclusive on the the drinks. The embarkation went smoothly and we where son on the ship. My first surprise was how big the ship was. We where all ushered ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it was going round the Greek isles & also was all inclusive on the the drinks. The embarkation went smoothly and we where son on the ship. My first surprise was how big the ship was. We where all ushered to one of the bars for a welcome drink and the captain came to welcome us on his ship. We then went our room. We chose interior with a window would of liked a balcony but my husband gets confused in the night if going to the bathroom so was worried he would go to the balcony. We where introduced to our butler and told anything we wanted to just ask. The rooms where lovely & spacious beds where very comfortable & I thought there was plenty of hanging space for your clothes. Bathroom was small but no toiletries except in a container on the wall & shower but I always bring my own. There was a note to say they where trying to cut down on plastic to help with the environment which is good. The buffet was on the top floor of the ship. When we first went in we thought it was chaotic it seemed everyone had gone to eat at once. It took a while to find a table but there was plenty of choice of food. In the evening we ate in the restaurant with waiters we where on the first sitting, it was a set menu with 3 choices of each starter main & desert and I thought there was enough for me to eat but could imagine that there may may be not enough for a man, we had wine with our meal & was topped up when nearly empty. Our waiters where lovely. The entertainment was wonderful & we really enjoyed the shows. As we where on first sitting where went to the show later in the evening. The entertainment through the day was fun to watch if you wanted to or you where left alone to enjoy the sun. All the service we received was very good from waiters to cleaners all spoke to you when met up with them. We went on 2 excursions the best was Santorini we bought both excursions through MSC before we went on the cruise on line. We only got off the ship in Corfu & Kotor which we thought was wonderful. I would definitely go with MSC cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
My husband and I went on this cruise to celebrate our 25th anniversary and we brought our kids ages 23,21,and 15. We have been on a Carnival Cruise and one other Celebrity Cruise and we knew we loved Celebrity - it did not disappoint! ... Read More
My husband and I went on this cruise to celebrate our 25th anniversary and we brought our kids ages 23,21,and 15. We have been on a Carnival Cruise and one other Celebrity Cruise and we knew we loved Celebrity - it did not disappoint! Embarkation was so very easy with no long lines and a lovely glass of champagne upon entering the ship. We loved our cabins and our statesman Jeremiah was wonderful! Food was wonderful in both the buffet and the main restaurant. We tried the Sushi restaurant too and it was very good. Did the Select Dining and made the reservations a couple weeks in advance based on what we were doing that day in the port. (Did canoe trip, knew we needed a nap, dined later that night) I would strongly suggest doing this so you get a table. We were actually able to sit in the same spot with the same fabulous waiters (Frances and Paola) every night! We upgraded to premium drink packages and were never disappointed with drinks. Service at every bar - also excellent! Shows, bands, all entertainment, dancing, trivia - all fun and never overcrowded. I do not know how they do it but the ship NEVER feels crowded! The pools even do not get super crowded. But 2 times we did have to circle around a bit to find lounge chairs - no big deal to us. The gym was fantastic with lots of machines and ellipticals and freeweights and a yoga/stretching area. Again, never felt crowded. Did not use spa because we felt it was pretty expensive. Shops onboard were great and I got great service and no pressure when I shopped. Ports were wonderful and we did 3 excursions at 3 ports and all of them were very good and very organized. Again, Celebrity just does this RIGHT! And coming back to the ship and getting a cold drink and cold towel after a hot day feels heavenly! Disembarkation was easy and organized. We took a bus (arranged by Celebrity) to airport and, although we had to wait a few minutes and there seemed to be a little confusion about which line we should be in, we got on and got to the airport in time. Overall, I would recommend Celebrity Infinity to anyone who is not expecting slides and waterplay for kids, skydiving areas or ziplines...all those extra things that some cruiselines are adding that we have no interest in at all. Infinity itself is due for a refurbishment and, while it was clean, there are some areas like cushions and carpet which could use an update. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Our cruising buddies decided to Greece and asked us to go along - it ended up being 4 mature (well maybe not so mature) couples. We all flew into Venice a couple of days early to enjoy this amazing city. We stayed at a little hotel about 1 ... Read More
Our cruising buddies decided to Greece and asked us to go along - it ended up being 4 mature (well maybe not so mature) couples. We all flew into Venice a couple of days early to enjoy this amazing city. We stayed at a little hotel about 1 mile away from San Marcos Square - a nice, quiet place - but it was a little far to walk to meet our friends. Our friends stayed at a hotel right around the corner from the square - which was much better. Had a wonderful time in Venice before and after the cruise and would highly recommend getting there a few days early to enjoy the city. The ship is an older ship but well maintained - we had no issues with anything except my friend complaint about the awful WIFI connections on the ship (she works while away and its important to her to stay in touch) She purchased the regular WIFI package and when she complained to the customer service desk she was told that she should have purchased the upgraded WIFI package - which only the first 100 people receive and she was never told about - she asked them to upgrade her and they would not comply. In fact they never got back to her. Our cabin was fine - we had an Ocean View cabin which we usually get just to have a little light in the room - the other 3 couples had inside cabins and also had no complained. Our cabin stewardess was a sweet girl from China and she made sure our room was clean and made up every day. No towel animals but we did not ask for them and not sure if they still do them. We ate at the Aqua Dining room and never had to wait. My hubby and I had lunch in the other main dining room (which is larger) several time and service was great in both restaurants. One night we decided to try the Chinese Restaurant (no charge) and we all felt that it was not very good - but hey it was free so no loss. We did not use any pay for restaurants on this trip. We did not go to any shows since this was a 7 day cruise and we were in ports every day. Did go to the casino most nights - and did not win - but our friends won some money and enough casino credits to receive another free cruise. (we don't spend enough to qualify) The drink package (which was included in the cost of the cruise )was great - if you wanted a drink that went above the price allowed for the drinks you just paid the difference. I think I had one martini that went over and my charge was $3.00.. so no big deal. We booked 2 shore excursions thru NCL but one was cancelled by NCL - we changed ports and instead of going to Kotor, Montenegro we ended up in Bar Montenegro- could have skipped that port - we got off and walked around - it was hot and miserable. All other ports were great. In Corfu we took the Hop on Hop off bus and just drove around the island - there are some wonderful beaches along the way - highly recommend getting off the bus and having a dip in the ocean. In Santorini we took a ship tour because I had read that it was hard getting off the ship (it was a tender port) with 2300 people all attempting to get off at the same time. The tour took us on a boat to the other side of the Island and so we did not have to stand in line to take the cable car up. A drive around the beautiful Island and an hour stop at Oia - which was very crowded but had amazing views and great waffles for a snack. The Island of Mykonos ended up being our favorite Island - no tours needed - we walked and walked thru this quaint town and stopped and had a lovely lunch at one of the sea side restaurant. Argostoli was next - had never heard of this island but it ended up being second on our list of favorite islands. We walked to see the turtles in the ocean - we rented a peddle boat and went out to see them - what fun. We also ended up having lunch at an amazing Greek restaurant - nothing like fresh Greek Food when in Greece. I know that most people rush back to the ship to eat but we love trying out new food in different countries. So take your time and eat the food and drink the wine - it's an experience in itself. Last stop was Dubrovnik, Croatia. We took the shuttle to the town - got there early so it was not to busy and walked around this amazing town. Our friends went and walked around on the wall and said it was a great experience - we sat and had Croatian dessert and cappuccino.. Back to Venice for one more night and a long flight home. All in all a great cruise, and we would do it again - I think next time Spain is on the list. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Just back from another (yes, another!) Azamara cruise, sailing this time from Venice to Athens. Not one, not two, but THREE new ports (for us). From day one this cruise was really special, from the wonderful greeting welcoming us ... Read More
Just back from another (yes, another!) Azamara cruise, sailing this time from Venice to Athens. Not one, not two, but THREE new ports (for us). From day one this cruise was really special, from the wonderful greeting welcoming us onboard from Elizabeth, the Hotel Director, right through to the last night dining in Prime C with Emerson waiting on us so perfectly. Captain Antonio is such a wonderfully caring Captain making sure all his passengers and crew are happy and he has such a great sense of humour - it was wonderful to sail with him again. The hotel reception desk staff are so friendly and helpful. The Den is such a great place to meet up (as is The Living Room) but unfortunately a recent change has been the introduction of intrusive background music which is either so low it is just indistinguishable background noise or so loud it intrudes upon conversations. There are areas without it, fortunately, but only in the games room/internet area and the Sunset Verandah, The latter of which unfortunately does not have a Sunset Bar (though the waiting staff cope very well). The Journey Den area still has a casino until the next refit, but it does have a wonderful ‘window on the world’ multiscreen wall and I think it would make a great addition to The Den on the Pursuit. The entertainment isn’t what is was - now only four singers performing mostly uninspiring shows. For instance they perform one called ‘Broadway’ but perform songs from many British shows which eventually made it to New York. Also some of the songs seem unsuited to the voices of the singers who perform them (Solo Saxophone from “Miss Saigon” an example, with the singers singing ‘solo sax-I-phone’!) The White Night is a significant exception with the Azamara Pursuit’s revised White Night performance (possibly a full 90-minute long) really Top Notch and the best White Night on any of the Azamara ships. Cruise Director Tony Markey also has a first class show especially when accompanied by his wife Christine. Lee the Assistant Cruise Director, has such great people skills - always around making sure that everyone is having a great time. Fernando is a great LCV Ambassador and Cruise Sales Manager. We enjoyed a number of excursions on this cruise, usually with excellent guides but find (a) some of the excursion descriptions are not accurate, and (b) some excursions are sold to people unable to keep up, thus delaying everyone else. On the last night of this cruise we dined with friends in Prime C when Emerson waited upon us with sheer professionalism making the evening an absolute delight. However there were several people in the restaurant unsuitably attired - a young man in shorts and flip flops and another man wearing a straw hat and rambling pants. May I suggest that a note be included on the restaurant confirmation of booking card reminding diners of the expected standard of dress. This would make it clear and ease the embarrassment of restaurant staff. Why do we keep coming back to Azamara? Firstly, it HAS to be the crew - they are EXCEPTIONAL! They give such caring service and always so willingly and with a smile. At breakfast on the Windows Terrace this morning, Gina welcomed us and smilingly brought us our English breakfast tea. Azamara suggest that “You’ll love where we take you”, and we do. We love where they take us - we love HOW they take us, and we love WITH WHOM they take us (the wonderful crew and frequently other Azamara frequent cruisers). We look forward to sailing with Azamara again. We don’t intend to wait long - we sail again in July! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Hi everyone: INTRODUCTION For those of you considering taking a high end cruise, you may want to read my reviews of our experiences on board Crystal, Oceania, Seabourn, Silverseas, and Regent. I do focus on the food in my reviews, so ... Read More
Hi everyone: INTRODUCTION For those of you considering taking a high end cruise, you may want to read my reviews of our experiences on board Crystal, Oceania, Seabourn, Silverseas, and Regent. I do focus on the food in my reviews, so I apologize in advance if it's not your main criterion. Interestingly, my wife and I had never heard of Azamara before we booked this cruise. We were in Greece for a destination wedding, and had to cruise on a certain day: Azamara's Pursuit was the only high end cruise available: boy what a lucky option it turned out to be! (Azamara is Royal Caribbean's luxury cruise line.) Let me start with a few minor disappointments: the specialty restaurants charge 30$ per person, and there is a charge for the wifi. We weren't really happy about these two things, and therefore things got off to a rough start. I know what you're thinking--and you're completely right: when spending that kind of money for a nine day cruise, why complain about a few small fees? I agree completely, but my wife was a bit upset. The ship was recently refurbished, so everything inside was "like new." They took out the casino, however--just an FYI. Their other two ships do have a casino. While this cruise only had one sea day; and thus I expect that many other passengers were able to use their carrier's data service while in Europe, and not the ship's wifi, their wifi was faster than the complimentary wifi offered on all the other cruise lines I mentioned at the start of this article. I was also given free wifi by my travel agent, so the internet turned out to be great after all. When I say "great" I mean you can check your email, and most web pages that aren't "image intensive" load reasonably quickly. (Don't even think about watching videos though.) You couldn't even do these things on the other ships I have taken. (I still don't understand why these high end cruise lines don't offer high speed wifi for an additional fee, as does Royal Caribbean and other mainstream cruise lines.) CONCLUSION I'll get to the details, but my wife and I enjoyed ourselves more on this ship than on all the other luxury cruises we have taken. Three reasons account for this: 1. The staff is extraordinarily friendly. 2. The food is delicious. 3. There is a great deal to do. DETAILS Staff As we were departing for an excursion, and I swiped my key card with the security guard, I saw on his monitor the words "Enjoy your time downtown." In other words, I get it: even though the staff is told to say these types of things, they do a good job "acting," and it comes across as genuine. You can't pass a crew member without them saying, "Did you go a shore today? How was it?" and so forth. Most of the crew exuded a genuine warmth which was definitely noticed by many other passengers as well. Everybody commented about the friendliness of the crew. Many other cruise lines staff go through the motions, but it doesn't seem as genuine as on the Pursuit. Food While the food was not as "upscale" as on Regent and Oceania, I enjoyed it much more! When I say "upscale" I am referring to expensive foods such as caviar, scallops, tuna, jumbo shrimps, lamb chops, sushi, etc. Honestly, I'm not sure why I enjoyed the food more on the Pursuit than on the other cruises I have taken. They didn't have as much of the aforementioned food items as Oceania and Regent, but they did serve each of the items. Even though there were no separate side dishes available with dinner, I still found more variety at every meal onboard the Pursuit than other ships. Breakfasts are pretty much the same--even on high end cruise ships, and fresh orange juice was always available. Very high quality smoked salmon, too. They also had a smoothie bar open for breakfast. Aside from the smoked salmon and fresh squeezed OJ, my experience has been breakfasts are the same on every cruise line, whether an expensive one or not. There seemed to be more variety for lunch than I have previously experienced. Always a pork dish, a chicken dish, a seafood dish, a pasta dish, a beef, dish a cutting board meat, etc. In addition to a huge variety of salads and vegetables, pizza etc. The mashed potatoes were amazing! I did notice many pork dishes available for lunch and dinner. This is a plus for me, but may not be for you. The desserts were amazing!: bananas foster, many "crumbles," tiramisu, ice cream, puddings. On Regent, it was only cookies in the afternoon. While Oceania has a famous "high tea" with about 8 daily desserts, i still enjoyed those on the Pursuit a bit more. The coffee shop always had a few sweets as well. The only negative I found, I also found on every other cruise: no drip coffee. Just the espresso machines. While I was surprised that there were no "sides" available at dinner--other than what came with your entree, the variety was quite large, and the food extraordinary tasty. Like the competition, they have a few items which are available every night in case you don't like the daily options. The food that was served in the buffet had some common items with the sit down menu; but it also had many dishes that were not available at the main restaurant. This is in contrast to many other ships, where the buffet food is identical (pretty much) to that served in the dining room. And just to be clear, tuna, scallops, steaks, lamb chops and sushi were available on different nights on the Pursuit. Not in the amounts found on Regent or Oceania, but available nonetheless. For the price we paid, this fact did put me off a bit. As much as I love pork, I felt I was "paying for lobster." MISCELLANEOUS I'm not sure if it's fair to compare cruise fares, because there are so many different fares depending upon when and whom you book with. But our feeling was that Azamara was among the more expensive cruise lines. A basic beverage package including alcohol is complimentary, but excursions and air fare are not. In addition, a suite with a balcony was thousands more than just having a window. I don't remember this being the case on the other ships we've taken. On the Pursuit they had a "white night" party where everyone is encouraged to dress in white, there is an outdoor barbecue and live performances by the entertainers--a lovely party. The quantity of food was what you might expect on Royal Caribbean: there must have been ten entrees and twenty salads, plus breads, appetizers, desserts, etc. As for the performances, the singers hit every note! The songs sounded remarkably like the original songs they were "covering." I'm very ignorant about music, but even I could hear that they did an outstanding job of singing. They also had a chocolate night on the last night: I missed it but heard it was very well done. Finally, they offered a complimentary evening in Dubrovnik, to listen to a famous local cello player. They bused us both ways, set up seating in the middle of an outdoor square, and arranged the concert for anyone on the ship who wanted to attend. A lovely touch. I'd say about one half to two thirds of the passengers showed up. There were two hours of trivia available each day. The cruise director hardly made any announcements--and none that went into your stateroom. The captan did make a few and they were well done. And a nice touch was that the disembarkation instructions were not handed out until the very end of the cruise: talk about a buzz kill! Many competitors do it on the second or third day. The spa had someone who did acupuncture (for a fee). I tried it for the first time for my hips and was pleased at the results. Gym is similar to what you might expect. Typical fitness classes were offered. We didn't do any Azamara excursions. A magician performed two shows on one night only and this was a refreshing change to the entertainment, which mostly consists of Broadway songs, and musicals, as is the case with most cruise lines. I can't stress enough that we had fantastic times on all the cruise lines I mentioned at the beginning of this review, but our new favorite is Azamara. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019

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