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7 Azamara Journey Cruise Reviews for Luxury Cruises to Europe - Eastern Mediterranean from Rome (Civitavecchia)

We chose this cruise because as first time cruisers we knew what we did and didn't want. Very clear that we didn't want the whole rigmarole of tipping which as far as we could see added a lot to the advertised prices. We ... Read More
We chose this cruise because as first time cruisers we knew what we did and didn't want. Very clear that we didn't want the whole rigmarole of tipping which as far as we could see added a lot to the advertised prices. We didn't want to have to dress up so no evening suits or ball gowns (unless you fancied it). Time was another crieteria, as we'd not cruised before we didn't want to be stuck on a boats for ages. However, as it turned out we loved it. We got a free upgrade as we'd booked it nearly 2 years ahead. Ok so the shower is small but really this ship isn't enormous and if you want big then this isn't really a good choice. The accommodation was very clean and tidy and I think out attendants were in there at least 3 times a day tidying and putting in the programme for the next day, delivering yet more food (chocolates at bedtime). The staff were all very friendly and said 'welcome home 'every time you came back from a shore excursion.On the dock there were cool towels and drinks awaiting and on the way out they gave you water. Entertainers we're good, we thought westend standard.Food - we mainly ate in the self service but had one dinner in the a la carte. We tried to get into one of the pay for restaurants but we were told to 'book on the day' which got a bit lost in translation -so we waited for the day we wanted and it was already fully booked! Forgot that different meanings in USA. Never mind all food fantastic and they made my mum a gluten free cake for her birthday which was really nice. The staff and the photographer put up with our changing our minds about venue and timing in good part! The only thing we thought not good was the on board lecturer, unfortunately there was a lack of knowledge in any depth, went on about a number of things which didn't really link -i.e. The renaissance and Burke and Hare! I think it may have played ok to some of the passengers but all the people we spoke to didn't go back after the first one. Never mind this was such a small detail in what turned out to be our best holiday. Thanks you azumara and the team. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Great itinary and perfect weather. Just the tinge of excitement as to whether we would see pirates. We needed a relaxing cruise after a tough few weeks and this proved the best antidote to all the stress. We had been to the ... Read More
Great itinary and perfect weather. Just the tinge of excitement as to whether we would see pirates. We needed a relaxing cruise after a tough few weeks and this proved the best antidote to all the stress. We had been to the Mediterranean ports before so did our own thing but really enjoyed the new ports such as Aqaba, Oman and Dubai. Especially enjoyed going to Petra and the Azamazing evening in Wadi Rum. We found that the dining experience was greatly improved on previous cruises with better menus and choice. There was no need to use the speciality restaurants at all. Service was superb as usual. We had seen much of the entertainment shows before but still enjoyed them and the speciality acts were good. The guest lecturers were very interesting. This is not a cruise line suitable for children and no provision is made for them so we cannot comment on that aspect. What is particularly good about this line is the friendliness of the crew. It is like going home again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Did my first vacation as a Single/Solo traveler and was very impressed with how everyone aboard made me feel as though I was part of their extended family! The Captain was very visible and friendly, far more than any other Captain on ... Read More
Did my first vacation as a Single/Solo traveler and was very impressed with how everyone aboard made me feel as though I was part of their extended family! The Captain was very visible and friendly, far more than any other Captain on other cruise lines. He was always at the gangway when we were going on shore excursions and kept us up to date on what was happening. The respect that he showed for his crew and guests was excellent and this is what made this the best cruise I have taken to date. I'm sure that I put on a few pounds with the excellent food and the staff were very professional but also joked with our group when appropriate. Bar staff knew what I drank and brought it to me once they saw me arrive. The entire ship was well maintained and clean. Every crew member onboard was friendly and did their jobs beautifully. Will be booking another cruise on Azamara very soon! Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Chosen based upon past history. Entertainment was very good in terms of cruise director and entertainment group. Service and friendliness of staff was excellent. Great relationship between cruise director and captain. Food was ... Read More
Chosen based upon past history. Entertainment was very good in terms of cruise director and entertainment group. Service and friendliness of staff was excellent. Great relationship between cruise director and captain. Food was good but not exceptional, including the specialty restaurants. Staff was friendly and outgoing. No issues at all with embarkation and debarkation. Some of the ship excursions were more expensive than other shore excursion alternatives. Hard to keep all at the same level. Porto Empedocle was a total bust as a stopping point. Unless you wanted to take in ruins, there was not much of interest in this port. Cruise Critic reception was good and well organized - much better than many expected. Lecturer was hit and miss - some people liked the lectures, some found them less than enlightening. Refurbishment of the ship was very much a success - public rooms, staterooms and all other areas were much more open and inviting than before. Lightening up of the colour schemes game a much 'larger' impression of the ship in general. Very successful redo by the Azamara team. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
My travel agent found this for me and it had a great deal on single supplements. The service was phenomenal and the ports were really interesting. I had a wonderful time and would travel with them again for sure. I was celebrating my ... Read More
My travel agent found this for me and it had a great deal on single supplements. The service was phenomenal and the ports were really interesting. I had a wonderful time and would travel with them again for sure. I was celebrating my birthday on the trip and my steward decorated my stateroom with happy birthday stuff on the day of my birthday. The bed was one of the most comfortable beds I've slept on. My balcony was lovely and roomier than I expected. The food was fabulous and the wine selections were great every day. The entertainment was top notch and the spa was wonderful. The cruise directors paid special attention to the singles and solo travelers and made sure that they had someone to sit with at dinner every night of the cruise. I met some wonderful and fun new friends on this trip and it will be one of my most memorable birthdays ever. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Azamara Journey Sept 19 - Oct 3 b2b. We are veteran ( 20+) cruisers with a wide range of lines from NCL to Regent. Our favorite has become Azamara Club Cruises. This was our 4th and 5th week on The Journey and in our opinion they are ... Read More
Azamara Journey Sept 19 - Oct 3 b2b. We are veteran ( 20+) cruisers with a wide range of lines from NCL to Regent. Our favorite has become Azamara Club Cruises. This was our 4th and 5th week on The Journey and in our opinion they are really getting it down. Our pre cruise involved a too lengthy UAL flight from Chicago to Rome. Too lengthy Due to the poor and unfriendly sky service of some flight attendants that either need to Find a happy face or retire. This was true on our return flight from Munich as well. When we arrived in Rome FCO, we discovered we were missing one of our 2 bags. It turned out it never made it on the plane in Chicago even though we had a 4 hour connection there. Our one night pre-cruise hotel was the hotel Borgo Del Mare, it used to be the Bramante in Chivitivechia. The same friendly staff greeted us there as on our previous stay. It's an excellent option for pre cruisers that do not want to tour Rome. I was on the phone with the airline a number of time along with the hotel trying to get our bag delivered before we embarked but to no avail. Alitalia was handling the lost baggage for UAL and they really did not want to admit that our bag was arriving Sunday morning on the next UAL flight. They said I should go to the airport and look for it. NOT!! They also wanted to try to deliver it to Naples and on to Sorrento. Sunday the hotel provided a free shuttle to the pier and embarkation was very quick and easy (still minus our bag) We were welcomed onboard by Monico one of the waiters We remembered from our previous voyages on the Journey. As soon as we boarded, I went to guest services where they told me to see the concierge about our bag. Well she took this job on and got it done. An hour before sailing we received a call saying our bag would be delivered shortly. No more stress so off to Aqualina the first night and Ivo and his fine staff did their usual great job. Dining overall was very good to Excellent with preparation, variety and presentation all top notch. I've read some reviews commenting on crowds in Windows cafe and not liking the themed buffets. Well there were some crowds at peak times but we never had a problem Finding a table and many offered to share. Breakfast had good variety and about the only thing I avoided were their pre made scramble eggs. It was worth a short wait at the egg station to get fresh cooked to order. The breads, cheeses, fruit etc were fresh and of high quality. Windows cafe in the evening was a great option always with sushi, stir fry's, Pasta, etc. White tablecloths good included wines, casual with a flair. I'm not sure how they can keep offering such a variety with such fresh ingredients. Discoveries restaurant in the evening was always good, sometimes very good to Excellent depening on what was ordered. Hint listen to the waiters, they know what to recommend. The veal chop there was as good as any I've had. After one night of not so quick service we had a table Philbert's section and after that always requested him. He is so friendly, quick and efficient. Big gold star for him. Specialty dining was just that, very special, Both Ivo and Mario took such good care of us and our group the second week. You cannot get a better meal on any ship at any price. Many gold stars for Azamara Specialty dining areas Aqualina and Prime C. Favorites were of course the sea bass, veal chop, rack of lamb and the filet in Prime C with a double order of foie gras on top. The $15 cover charge was well worth the price!!! Pool grill was a good option for a quick off meal time snack. The burgers were great, The cooks there so friendly and helpful. Poolside BBQ's ... what a fun option with high quality and great variety. Bar service for the most part was very good, we had some favorite bartenders that took very good care of us. Drinks were fairly priced except for a $10 glass of KJ wine. This was poured about 15 minutes before the included wines came out that were far superior. Included beverages, wines mostly good to very good. Cabin service especially the first week was excellent, moved to a different cabin the second week and unfortunately our steward was pretty new and just did not quite get it. Room service was good, items came as ordered and in a reasonable amt of time. We liked the option that after 6 you can order off the dinner menu. Shrimp cocktails came almost every day while we were getting ready for dinner.... Entertainment was much better than our January trip on the Journey. My only negative is the female half of the Diamond Heart Duo appeared to be in pain as she struggled to hold a note. She had a limited number of songs where she was ok, The rest seemed agonizing. Her male counterpart was very good but he needs a new partner. The rest of the entertainment was quite good. The ship's DJ had his own agenda and program and did not like any requests, I'd have booted him off at the next port if I could. Casino staff excellent as always, even had a good run one night at the blackjack table. Ships officers were always accessible and friendly. We were honored to dine with the Captain one night and it was a very class act coordinated by Juliana the future cruise sales specialist. (we even booked a future cruise with her while onboard) Ships condition was very good, even better than I remembered in January. Le Club Voyage perks really kicked things up a notch with free internet minutes, laundry, cocktail parties, wife even had a mini spa treatment comped. Ports of call..... Sorrento with the overnight stay, it gave us time to do a day trip to Capri, while very crowded still a fun day. We just bought ferry tickets near the tender pier. Quick and easy. Kotor, do not miss the sail in our out! What a gem, our second time there and this is one of our all time favorites. We hired a taxi for 6 hours and saw the countryside, visited some pretty upscale areas near the town of Budva. With the extended time in port, (midnight sailing) we went back into town and found a cafe where we had some wine and very fresh and tasty mussels and pasta. Dubrovnik, took the ships shuttle bus to the old town and walked the wall with the other thousands of tourist there for the day. Even though it was crowded it was quite a sight especially looking at all the new roofs on the renovated buildings after the war. Venice, well, its Venice what more can one say. We got off the ship right away and Toured on our own buying a 24 hr vaporetto pass. Venice day 2 when all our new friends from the first week had to leave, we Painlessly move to our different cabin with the assistance of guest services. We then did some more touring and shopping. Koper... We took the ships bike riding tour which was a good thing since others on their Own said not much too do. We were served a lunch of calamari, fresh bread, fries and wine after a 2 ½ hr ride thru the Countryside. Korcula We wandered the old town on our own, the ladies shopped and we had a very poor lunch at a local place where the entire staff appeared to be hungover. Kusadasi, we hired a local taxi for 6 people that cost us only 50 euro per couple for a 6 hour tour to the ruins, then a carpet factory stop (of course), a visit to a Mosque and a trip to the local bazaar for a last minute frenzy of leather shopping before the ship sailed. The taxi was a great value, our driver spoke good English and was very enjoyable. Santorini ... We rode the donkeys up the hill, hired an overpriced taxi, for a short tour, shopped and had one of the best lunches ashore on the entire trip. Try an authentic Greek pizza, WOW. Istanbul... well, you know its Istanbul we over-nighted on the ship then stayed 3 more nights at the White House Hotel in the old town. We really could have had more time there but It was pretty amazing. We hired a local guide for a walking tour of the old town, Took the "touristo" boat tour of the bosphorus hit the bazaars and even tried The Turkish waterpipes... (tobacco only of course). A couple words of caution, when we left the ship the first day we wanted to go to The spice bazaar for a while. A local taxi tried to sell us (6 of us) a mini tour That would drop us off there and then take us to the Grand Bazaar for a little while. He quoted us 120 euro which we refused. We walked down the road a bit flagged down A couple taxis who then charged us 10 Turkish Lira for both to get to the bazaar. This converted to about $7. We avoided the big rip YAY....Until a few hours later When we ventured out again, heard some music and checked out a bar with a Live band. We asked if we could come in for a drink and were warmly welcomed. We ordered a total of 4 Efes light beers, decided to move on and asked for the bill. Well, the waiter told me 160 Turkish Lira which converted to $106.00 for 4 beers. I questioned this and he said it included the cover charge that was never mentioned. He did say any additional beers would only be 15 Lira each. We then always asked!!! 2 weeks on the Journey went way too fast. Message to the the ships staff, you are what makes Azamara so special. Read Less
Sail Date September 2010
Cruise to the Holy Land 2009 "Call me Ishmael. Some years ago - never mind how long precisely- having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the ... Read More
Cruise to the Holy Land 2009 "Call me Ishmael. Some years ago - never mind how long precisely- having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world. It is a way I have of driving off the spleen and regulating the circulation. Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off- then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can." We decided to fly from our home in Greece, via Athens airport, the night before our cruise and stayed at Hotel Bramante. This had been recommended by a range of cruisers, mostly because they offered a taxi transfer from Fiumicino at a better rate than cab and limo companies I'd researched and they also provided free transfers to the ship the next morning. It was a very pleasant hotel indeed and we were thrilled with our choice. The breakfast room the next morning was full of people, mostly Americans, off on various cruises, though only one other couple were travelling on Azamara Journey with us and these two soon became good friends on board. Once at the cruise terminal we were checked in incredibly quickly, however and once on board and provided with champagne we began to relax in the gorgeous surroundings of the Journey. It's a small ship but wonderfully fitted out, with many features reminiscent of a gentlemen's club, with tasteful artworks and trompe l'oeil effects in various places. Inside our stateroom we were very pleased to find a bigger room than some of the reviews had led us to expect, with an excellent balcony. This was wonderful for us, since it had a good sized table at which we enjoyed breakfast most mornings. I was pleased to find room-service breakfast on Azamara is much than on Celebrity (and certainly better than the concierge menu), with lots of well-cooked and innovative 'set' dishes as well as a good choice of individual items. Breakfast always came within the requested time, heralded as usual by a phone call The 'butler' of which Azamara make a great fuss is only a flashy stateroom attendant (the butlers wear tailcoats!), but our man Manish was very good, providing an unobtrusive yet efficient service and keeping our room and bathroom scrupulously clean and ensuring we had plenty of water, ice, fruit and chocolates (the night-time pillow treats on Azamara are hand-made, served on a plate and not on your pillow and include such things as chocolate-dipped strawberries, hand-made chocolates and truffles.) Now, I've eaten in some very good restaurants in Britain and can honestly say that the food on Journey competes with the best of those restaurants. We ate twice in Aqualina and once in Prime C , originally intending to go back for more times (you're entitled to two visits but they'll let you have more if there are spaces) but decided that the main dining room, Discoveries, was extraordinarily good. I like the room itself very much and very much appreciated the way the maitre 'd understood quickly which table we liked best and managed to keep it for us every night, so that we could be served by the lovely and very funny Alex. It was in Discoveries that I had what I think might rank as the best meal of my entire life. The lobster main course was even better than the one we had on the Orient Express a few years ago and the dessert involved what I can only describe as a giant Belgian chocolate on my plate, together with a pot made of white and dark chocolate filled with chocolate mousse. What's not to like? Entertainment on Journey is mostly cabaret style, which suited us down to the ground. Musicians around the ship included an excellent harpist, a guitarist and a pianist/singer. Activities staff organised a range of events and both the guest lecturer Jon and excursions manager Jean-Michel gave excellent talks on ports of call. It was good to find that these talks did not include any of the usual 'here are the shops we want you to go to' and concentrated instead on what there was to see and the history and culture behind it. Much of what we liked about Azamara - and what made it a definite cut above Celebrity, is current sister company (though, apparently, Azamara will soon float on its own, though still as part of the RCI family) - were the little 'touches' that were provided at various times. All cabin grades get what amounts to concierge class, but with better extras, such as the two much better quality tote bags. Go for an early morning run round the jogging track and you'll find a table laden with jugs of cold juice and iced water; whilst you wait in the cabaret lounge to go on your excursion there's a table with coffee, tea and pastries, just in case you're still peckish so soon after breakfast. Good quality Elemis 'proper' bottles of toiletries are provided in the stateroom bathroom. Azamara are rightly proud that they don't hound you for every cent they can squeeze out of you like other ships. Like many fellow guests, especially our American, Canadian and Australian friends, we booked this cruise for its itinerary - we had two nights in Israel and two in Egypt, as well as stops in Italy, Greece, Cyprus, and Turkey - and we were not disappointed. The pyramids are awesome, absolutely breathtaking and I have no idea what those who complain about their proximity to the modern city of Cairo are on about. We did some very aggressive haggling with the peddlers at the pyramids and got some great prices on the items we'd set out hearts on buying. Perhaps our greatest coup was achieved by talking to the bloke in both Greek and Italian, neither of which he could speak, resulting in getting a fine table cloth for 2 Euros. 3 t shirts for 10 Euros was another good buy - 14 years previously I'd paid 1 British pound for a t shirt I still have (despite all the warnings from guides not to trust the stuff they sell on the streets) and expected some degree of inflation, but felt 3 for 10E was a good price. We opted to take the ship's tours in Egypt and Israel as we were nervous about booking private tours, perhaps with good reason - on the Egyptian tours there was a fully armed security guard on every bus. There were two passengers who did their own thing in Alexandria and didn't make it back for the sail-away, I'm sorry to say - but I'm glad it wasn't me. On our other stops we mostly did our own thing, having a splendid time on our first day in Sorrento where we bought some good quality Italian wines to bring home (as Greek wine is execrable) and scored some outstanding Xmas shopping bargains. In Rhodes, which we've visited before but never tire of (we were only there in September, in fact, as we have Greek family there) we went back into gorgeous Rhodes town for a wander and a spot of Xmas shopping before re-boarding the ship, which docks right outside the medieval city gates. Chios was a big surprise. It was the last day of the cruise and nobody felt much like doing any sightseeing, so nearly everyone just wandered ashore (the ship docked alongside the waterfront) and walked round the town. It turned out to be lovely - Chios is quite a well-to-do place and has a very lively, untouristy harbour town, which absolutely buzzed on a Saturday morning. We definitely plan to return, hire a car and see what we missed on the island. Disembarkation on Azamara is completely pain-free, civilised and easy; we were off the ship twenty minutes earlier than forecast, in our booked taxi and heading for the Corinth canal by 9.30am, reaching home within two hours. We left the ship at the end of the cruise feeling bereft - we made a lot of new friends aboard - it being a relatively small ship, it's so much easier to meet and get along with fellow cruisers - and greatly enjoyed meeting crew and officers regularly around the ship. We're back on Azamara Journey in a year's time to do the repositioning to Miami, but who knows if we'll hold out that long! Read Less
Sail Date October 2009
Azamara Journey Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 5.0 4.4
Entertainment 4.0 3.8
Public Rooms 5.0 4.5
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.1
Family 1.0 4.1
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.7
Enrichment 4.0 3.8
Service 5.0 4.6
Value For Money 5.0 4.2
Rates 4.0 4.3

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