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Azamara Journey Review

Azamara Journey
Azamara Journey
2019 Best for Dining
2019 Best for Fitness & Recreation
2019 Best for Service

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Azamara Journey
4.5 / 5.0 Cruise Critic Editor Rating
to book


Unique programming, friendly service and impressive commitment to destination cruising


Limited entertainment options, including a too-small casino, and hit-or-miss theater offerings

Bottom Line

Great choice for a truly grown-up getaway with more time in port

Dori Saltzman
Cruise Critic Senior Editor

Azamara Journey Overview

For destination-intensive itineraries, excellent food, a comfortable onboard experience that lets you leave your tux and gown at home and service with a genuine smile, you can't go wrong booking a cruise on Azamara Journey.

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A cruise on Azamara Journey feels a little like coming home, whether you've cruised on the ship before or not (and dozens of repeat cruisers are on nearly every sailing). With fewer than 700 passengers onboard and only five decks with public spaces, it only takes a day or two before the ship feels familiar; you've found your favorite spot to sit in the Living Room, you know where to find free cookies at any time of day and you start recognizing faces (crew and fellow cruisers alike).

The ship's size lends itself to an amiable onboard atmosphere as well. The bulk of the tables in both Discoveries Restaurant and the buffet are designed for two people but pushed close enough together that mealtime conversations across tables are a common occurrence. Trivia sessions, which are held three times most days, encourage team building; strangers quickly bond over themes such as nature, the body, sports and music.

Service is also friendly, as well as efficient, especially in the restaurants. If you find wait staff you like and return to them on a regular basis, they'll get to know your favorite drink order, how you like your coffee and, if you're like certain reviewers, which gelato flavor you need to cap off every day.

Unlike dining and bar service, cabin service can be hit or miss, with several cruisers reporting their room stewards never introduced themselves, nor pointed out some of the unique quirks of the rooms (like the USB chargers hidden underneath the reading lights). It also took us three days to get extra hangers despite asking several times. But ice buckets were always filled, towels rehung in the bathroom and the cabin kept clean overall.

Another hallmark of the Azamara Journey experience is its destination focus. One of just two ships in the Azamara Club Cruises fleet, Journey stops in a mix of standard and off-the-beaten path ports, offering longer stays and at least one overnight on each sailing. On a Greece itinerary, for example, the ship not only stopped at the island standards of Mykonos and Santorini, but also visited Skiathos and Hydra, while on a Central America sailing, the ship not only stopped at Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas, but also at Acajutla, El Salvador and Huatulco, Mexico.

The culmination of Azamara's destination focus is the complimentary AzAmazing Evening that's held at least once per voyage. These events are billed as one-of-a-kind and might feature events like a classical music concert among the ruins of Ephesus, a recital by three tenors on a hillside in Tuscany or a ceremonial performance by indigenous people native to Mexico in the foothills of the Sierra Madres. Another special evening that's held every cruise regardless of destination, the White Night Party, is also unabashedly popular, judging by passenger participation.

Fellow Passengers

Because the ship has no set homeport, the passenger makeup changes on every cruise. Expect to see an equal number of Americans and Brits when Journey is in Europe or the Americas, with Australians becoming predominant when the ship moves to Asia.

The average passenger age also varies, depending on the sailing. Shorter cruises of less than two weeks tend to draw mostly older professionals, ages 48 to 65. Longer sailings have more retirees. You'll find lots of couples or friends traveling together; family groups are primarily limited to parents sailing with their adult children. There are few kids younger than age 10.

Azamara Journey Dress Code

Azamara calls its dress code "resort casual"; there are no formal nights. The line does ask passengers to refrain from wearing blue jeans in the main dining room and specialty restaurants after 6 p.m., and tank tops, ball caps, bathing suits and shorts are also not permitted.

In general, most women wear sundresses and capri pants during the day, changing to nicer maxi-dresses or pants in the evening. While you'll see men wearing T-shirts during the day, collared shirts are the rule at night.

Azamara Journey Gratuity

Tips are included in your fare, a factor that makes the line particularly popular with passengers from non-tipping cultures like Europe and Australia. An 18 percent service charge is levied on spa treatments; no additional gratuity is added to the cost of any extra-fee beverages. The U.S. dollar is the onboard currency.

Other onboard items included in the overall fare are nonalcoholic drinks, select standard spirits and beers, house wines (a selection of one red and one white that changes daily) by the glass, DIY laundry and one AzAmazing evening excursion per cruise.

Azamara Journey Awards

Cruisers’ Choice Awards

2019 Best for Dining
2019 Best for Fitness & Recreation
2019 Best for Service
2018 Best Overall
2018 Best for Embarkation
2018 Best for Entertainment
2018 Best for Service
2018 Best for Value
2017 Best Overall
2017 Best for Embarkation
2017 Best for Fitness & Recreation
2017 Best for Public Rooms
2017 Best for Service
2017 Best for Shore Excursions
2017 Best for Value
2016 Best for Entertainment
2016 Best for Fitness & Recreation
2015 Best Overall
2015 Best for Cabins
2015 Best for Dining
2015 Best for Entertainment
2015 Best for Fitness
2015 Best for Public Rooms
2015 Best for Service
2015 Best for Shore Excursions
2015 Best for Value
2014 Best Overall
2014 Best for Cabins
2014 Best for Dining
2014 Best for Entertainment
2014 Best for Fitness
2014 Best for Public Rooms
2014 Best for Service
2014 Best for Shore Excursions
2014 Best for Value
2013 Best Overall
2013 Best for Cabins
2013 Best for Dining
2013 Best for Embarkation
2013 Best for Entertainment
2013 Best for Fitness
2013 Best for Public Rooms
2013 Best for Service
2013 Best for Shore Excursions
2013 Best for Value

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Azamara Journey Member Reviews

Azamara Journey
edna b
Sail Date: Mar 2019
relaxing holiday in the sun. I had previously cruised with Celebrity and when an offer came for Azamara Journey we booked immediately. From start to finish it was brilliant. We loved the outside eating...Read More
Azamara Journey
Sail Date: Mar 2019
Azamara Journey has become our cruise line and ship of choice since our first 7 day trip down the Croatian coast. We made so many friends on that cruise and again on our Norwegian cruise a couple of...Read More
Azamara Journey
Sail Date: Jul 2019
letting us know what was happening. I still love Azamara and in several weeks I will be on the Azamara Journey around Spain....Read More
Azamara Journey
Sail Date: Jan 2019
We recently did a cruise on Azamara Journey, 9 day Cuba Intensive. We were very pleased with Azamara, the service was fabulous, the food very good. We switched off between Prime C and Aqualina every night...Read More

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