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12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We chose Azamara, primarily because we wanted to go to Peru in the month of November. We had primarily cruised with Oceania before, and since this ship is from the same previous Renaissance line, we had familiarity with the ship. Sadly, ... Read More
We chose Azamara, primarily because we wanted to go to Peru in the month of November. We had primarily cruised with Oceania before, and since this ship is from the same previous Renaissance line, we had familiarity with the ship. Sadly, that’s where the similarity ended. Before I begin with the reasons we won’t consider Azamara again, let me note that our room attendant Dyna was fabulous, Anika, fitness coordinator is loved, and all personnel in the spa were top notch. Our cruise director, Amanda ... wow, what a voice! White Night was a smashing success. Everyone, with whom I talked, was dazzled by this event; the outstanding food, the music and dancing, the ambiance. Now then, here are the REASONS WE WON’T RETURN to Azamara: 1. Food poisoning (contracted on board, not off ship) 2. Bland, overall disappointing food including swordfish about 1/4 inch thick ... too tough to chew, with a disagreeable sauce used for color; completely tasteless Thanksgiving meal; and desserts which were largely inedible on the buffet. (Sidebar, on Oceania Cruises, I never met a dessert I didn’t like. On Azamara, I rarely found a dessert worth taking more than one bite). We skipped several meals, after a few days on the ship, thinking why bother? 3. Lack of quality wine choices. I rarely drink alcohol, but my fiancé enjoys a good glass of wine. With our “premium” liquor package, he had the choice of only four wines at each meal, which he dubbed “$10 per bottle wines.” Once we realized this, on the very first day of the cruise, he asked to upgrade to “ultimate” package, agreeing to pay the difference. The answer was “no”. Too late. BTW, if there are any sommeliers on ship, they must by in the specialty restaurants, only. Big disappointment from Oceania, where Mark could have a conversation with sommelier, even at the buffet! 4. No clocks in rooms. Requested one at desk, answer was “no.” 5. There is no game/cards room. Where the game room was, on the other Renaissance ships, Azamara Pursuit has turned that room into a suite. Cards/games are among the other activities at 10th floor “Living Room.” This might be okay, but there weren’t enough tables, bridge lessons-lady loud voice interferes with those of us trying to play other board games, and in the evenings, when the live entertainment was in this room, we couldn’t talk, let alone think. Azamara squeezed two extra paying cabins onto their refit of this ship, to the detriment of the rest of us. 6. What was dubbed AzAmazing evening, was totally awful (this is a quote of another shipmate). The female performer was downright rude to her backup band. The round trip bus ride was over two hours. From where we were seated, seeing the stage was a struggle. 7. I’m not a fitness buff. We take the stairs, not the elevators, but when it comes to using the equipment, I don’t. However, the buzz about the ship was that everything in the fitness room was old/needed repair. 8. Frozen yogurt machines (both) were out of service nearly the entire trip. When shipmates tried to get ice cream from the buffet, after 2:30, the answer was “sorry, no, we’re closed.” 9. General lack of communication. We were on the ship several days, before we discovered they actually did have an afternoon tea. 10. Where is the string quartet, or similar entertainment? Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We chose this cruise based upon the itinerary. The price was right and being that we had never cruised on a smaller ship we thought we'd give it a go. No disappointments overall. The ship was indeed reflective of a recent overhaul. ... Read More
We chose this cruise based upon the itinerary. The price was right and being that we had never cruised on a smaller ship we thought we'd give it a go. No disappointments overall. The ship was indeed reflective of a recent overhaul. Interior appointments appeared as-new. However, the staffing appeared new as well. Several volunteered that this cruise was their first on this ship - and as such they couldn't always answer our questions. Alarmingly, this was also the case at the Guest Relations Desk! When embarking, the process went very smoothly and quickly - however, they neglected to put a sticker on our card which indicated we had the upgraded drink package. So naturally, the first issue encountered on our cruise was only a few minutes after boarding when we sat down and ordered our very first drink - and found out that we didn't have the drink package (due to no sticker). The sever let us have upgraded drink after we showed him our invoice. He said we needed to go to Guest Relations to get our sticker ASAP - then he commented that "this happens all the time" - not a good way to make a first impression. We also noticed that in the Windows Café none of the staff behind the counter are wearing gloves, despite their touching the food from time to time - not good. We also noticed that at breakfast time there is a back-up of guests waiting to get toast - it seems like this should be addressed. My wife also got a great looking cup of very fresh berries one morning, however she found a one inch long coarse black hair in it. Lastly, regarding the Windows Café, on a number of occasions we had to go get our own coffee and juice in the morning after waiting for 5 minutes (or slightly more) with no table service; even though there seemed to be enough wait staff in the area. Overall the food quality was good with a reasonable amount of variety in the Windows Café. The main dining room however was flawless - great furnishings - well arranged - and more importantly the food was excellent, as was the wait staff. Absolutely nothing but praise for the main dining room staff - they are definitely "dialed in". We found the pool area to be very comfortable, with excellent deck chairs (firm padding with an attached pillow and plenty of nice towels and blankets). The deck service was excellent. The cabin staff was flawless; A+. They were always friendly, and addressed us by our names. The room was kept spotless, with plenty of clean towels. The cabin itself was nothing extraordinary - other than it did present as new. The mattress was very comfortable - cabin lighting was good. The bathroom was tight but clean and efficiently laid out. Toilets worked perfectly. We never ran out of hot water. The TV was good, with a fairly good selection of channels. The internet speed was adequate at 430kbs - seems slow but email and apps worked fine. The Mosaic Coffee staff was always smiling - friendly and welcoming. The Fitness room was surprisingly equipped given the small size of the ship - and the on-staff trainer was very knowledgeable an professional. Maybe more classes (especially on sea days) would be a nice bonus. Shore Excursions were expensive (no surprise) but they would benefit by eliminating any shopping opportunities - since they were seen as an annoyance to everyone on the tours we were on. No one wants their limited/expensive shore time eaten away at by a forced shopping trip to an emerald store or T-Shirt bazars. On sea days we were treated to two talks by a woman from the World Wildlife Fund and also by talks by a UC professor regarding our various ports of call. They were all very well received. The Livingroom is exceptionally relaxing (they have some nice chaise lounge chairs along the front of the living room) - very cozy and comfortable furniture lending itself to striking up memorable conversations with fellow travelers, reading a good book in a sun-soaked area of the room, or tasting some free hors d'oeuvres with a nice coctail or wine. Live music is available later in the day as well. There is a game area dedicated to scrabble, cards, etc. which was constantly used by guests. In closing my comments, this last example sums up our review. Upon crossing the equator Azamara had a very fun filled ceremony involving the crew dressing up and fullfilling a ceremony involving kissing of a large fish, bowing before King Neptune and then getting smeared with multi-colored goo (while in uniform) and pushed into the swimming pool. Loads of fun. They then followed up with nicely printed individualized certificates which we found in our cabins that evening certifying exactly where we were when we crossed the equator. I noticed upon returing home that the coordinates on this official certificate were incorrect (they had us crossing near Singapore instead of off the coast of Ecuador). So my point is that Azamara has high asprirations - which they generally meet - but they need just a little more attention relative to their execution. As always, the devil is in the details. Read Less
Azamara Pursuit Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.0
Dining 4.0 3.9
Entertainment 3.0 3.3
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.8
Family N/A 3.8

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