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8 Azamara Journey Cruise Reviews for Luxury Cruises to Europe - Eastern Mediterranean from Venice

We chose this cruise for the ports: Venice, Sibenik & Dubrovnik Croatia, Kotor Montenegro, Corfu Greece, Taormina Sicily, Sorrento italy, and Rome. Then we looked at reviews for Azamara, which we had never heard of before, and were ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the ports: Venice, Sibenik & Dubrovnik Croatia, Kotor Montenegro, Corfu Greece, Taormina Sicily, Sorrento italy, and Rome. Then we looked at reviews for Azamara, which we had never heard of before, and were impressed with them, so we booked it. This trip certainly lived up to the reviews. We loved the ship, the crew, the passengers, and the ports. I would highly recommend it. Here's a review of the ship and the ports we saw: Ship: Azamara Journey; Checking in was easy and fast. The safety drill was so civilized! They sat us down in the dining room, in sections and explained the drill, but we didn't need to bring our own life jackets. Staff: Wonderful! Captain was pleasant, visible, and approachable. Concierge was amazing. She helped us to plan some logistics, and even found someone on board to fix the strap of our carry-on (which someone broke in Venice). Acupuncturist on board did a lecture and really impressed us and we each booked 3 session package (one each day), and she was amazing!! Entertainment: Not as good as big ships, but not bad. We enjoyed the shows: Main room - Cabaret Lounge:: Tony, the master of ceremonies was really good and an accomplished singer himself. Male comic was sooo funny, we actually came back for the 2nd show. Dancers/singers were good, and we enjoyed the show with them singing Broadway hits. The female violinist/comic was excellent on the violin, but my husband and I were mixed on the comedy part. Other: The DJ and guitarist in other rooms were ok Bingo: We were VERY upset that we paid $50 total to play ONE game each. In normal ships, you get to play the same card for many games. We wouldn't do the bingo again. Felt it was a rip off. The Pool: Was much smaller than other ships, BUT it was very deep at one end, and not a lot of people went in (because cruise was so port-intensive), so we always felt comfortable in it, and never felt really crowded. Chairs were very comfortable, and staff was great in coming round with drinks, etc. Food: Main restaurant and buffet cafe, and patio on deck - were good. Not much variety in main restaurant, but buffet cafe had more choices, and patio on deck had burgers, hot dogs, etc. Officers’ bar-b-que, with officers serving us one night was excellent. White party was nice. Overall, food was pretty good, not great -- and they did have gluten free choices. Other restaurants ($30 pp): Aqualina - food and service were excellent! and Prime - food very good and service ok, but not as good as Aqualina. Drinks: We had the regular free plan and were satisfied with plenty of free water and soft drinks, and house wines for my husband Fellow passengers: Mostly UK and Australians. Then Americans. Then a smattering from other countries. Very friendly. Like that the setup for meals is many tables for two, all close to each other, so easy to meet and talk to others. They always put you next to at least one other table for two, so fun meeting new people all the time. There were not many kids, but apparently more than usual, because they made a special announcement that the ship had more kids than usual, and to please prevent them from running around the deck or splashing in pool, so others could enjoy their cruise. I was kind of shocked by this (but very grateful), because we're used to big ships where they cater to kids. The Ports: NOTE - when returning to ship/tender after every port, they had cold towels and water/lemonade waiting for us. Very nice! Venice: Beautiful! Went a day early, but could have used another full day. Get a hotel on the Grand Canal, because the view is amazing! Do what everyone says and don't bother with a tour. Just walk the streets and get lost like everyone else, do a gondola ride (even though pricey), and just enjoy!! Sibenik Croatia: We just walked along the water at the port. Not much there. Heard Krka National Park (with waterfalls and swim area) is really good, But I was walking with a cane, and it was not recommended for me, so we skipped it. Maybe next time. Dubrovnik Croatia - Loved it! Morning: We pre-booked a private tour (just us in a car) with Dubrovnik Shore Tours (got great reviews from trip advisor). Tour was "Dubrovnik, panorama & Cavtat Bestseller Tour (4-4.5 hours long)" for a total of only 200 Euros, plus tip. We had to give 50 euro deposit and the rest in cash. Our guide was Ivo and he was fantastic. Evening: We did the free AzAmazing Evening from the ship and it was amazing! Saw Concert by famous Croatian Cellist Ana Rucner, in Old Town Dubrovnik. She plays in front of a movie screen, and accompanies herself on the screen. She is passionate and truly amazing. Kotor Montenegro - did ship's 1/2 day tour of boat ride to church and tour of old city. Was very hot and bus was very crowded and uncomfortable. Tour guide talked in a monotone and had no personality, but the church part was ok. Story of Our Lady of the Rock church, and the visit to the church were interesting. By the time we got back to old city and 2nd part of tour was starting (tour of walled city of Kotor), we were too hot and tired to go, and ship was docked right there, so just went back to ship. In hindsight, if we knew the walled city was a 5 minute walk from where we were docked, we wouldn't have done a tour at all. We just would have walked around the city on our own. Corfu and Taormina - Didn't get off the ship. Just relaxed. Next time... Sorrento, Italy - LOVED the Amalfi coast We booked a private tour with: Sorrento First Choice Car Service – Amalfi Coast Land Tour (Positano, Amalfi, Ravello) (8:30AM – 4:30PM) The tour was wonderful, and the ride from Sorrento to Positano and visiting Positano was the highlight for us. Soooo beautiful. We didn't stay long at Amalfi, because we also wanted to spend some time back in Sorrento at the end of the tour, but drove through and it was nice and views were amazing. In Ravella, our guide recommended a lovely restaurant and booked a table for us, outside on the terrace, overlooking the cliffs and shore. We loved it! The views back and forth to Sorrento were magnificent, and we were glad we were in a private Mercedes, rather than a big bus. Back in Sorrento, we walked around the port city a bit (loved the narrow streets and shops), and had some limoncello, and then we asked him to take us back to ship an hour early, cause I was very tired. But I've always wanted to see Amalfi coast. This tour guide was not as informative as Ivo in Dubrovnik, but he was pleasant and a great driver (which you need here), and was accommodating and answered any questions we had. He was laid back and we liked that, and didn't need a lot of history. We just wanted to soak in the amazing scenery and landscape and shore and beauty, and we saw tons of that! The only thing missing was an extra day, so we could have gone to Capri. We also heard from others that Pompeii was amazing, but I knew it was strenuous and would be too difficult for me, and I certainly don't regret what we chose to do, because seeing the coast was my priority. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
I chose this ship as I wanted to be away on these dates and this cruise came up at a very reasonable rate for a solo traveller. I had also heard very good reports is Azamara cruises. The transfer from the airport was not easy. We had to ... Read More
I chose this ship as I wanted to be away on these dates and this cruise came up at a very reasonable rate for a solo traveller. I had also heard very good reports is Azamara cruises. The transfer from the airport was not easy. We had to claim our luggage twice and then had a long walk to the transfer bus in high temperatures. On arrival at the ship we had to claim our luggage again and another walk before a check in. Recommend asking for assistance if walking is not too easy. I was worn out by the time I actually got on Board. My cabin was on deck 4, outside. Very convenient. Excellent large bed. Smaller than some other cabins but ok for me on my own. Bathroom very small with small shower cubicle and shower curtain. Could not be easy for a large person. The main dining room I used every evening. Very good menu with a good choice. Food very well presented and good. Soups excellent. I normally joined the solo group but it worked just as well if you just turned up on your own. Breakfast every day was in the self service restaurant. Would not recommend the fried eggs, rubbery, scrambled eggs the same or the bacon but the other choices were very good. Lunch most days in same restaurant. Good choice of salads every day and same with desserts. Some hot dishes good but not all. Not a lot of room for a large choice. Freshly cooked burghers on pool deck excellent. The service in all was first class and could not be faulted. It seems a happy ship. The amazing evening was superb, visit to a theatre in Monte Carlo with a very good unusual trapeze show. Organisation very good and straightforward. One entertainer comedienne and magician was well worth watching but the rest was mediocre. Not a good choice if you want evening entertainment. Good choice of ports. Excursions expensive. Internet access very expensive. Loved the size of the ship and the friendliness of the staff. Would I go again. Yes if the price was right. It did not live up to my expectations but maybe they were too high. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Wanted to cruise the Adriatic and Croatia.and the Greek Islands on a small capacity luxury ship. Azamara Journey fit the bill. It was wonderful. So now we are picking up the Journey in Aukland New Zealand and cruising for 16 days around ... Read More
Wanted to cruise the Adriatic and Croatia.and the Greek Islands on a small capacity luxury ship. Azamara Journey fit the bill. It was wonderful. So now we are picking up the Journey in Aukland New Zealand and cruising for 16 days around New Zealand and Australia .Can't wait! We booked before we left the ship in Athens. Loved the room service...breakfast served on our Veranda each morning! We ordered the nite before and gave the time we wanted it served. They have a great self service laundry with ironing . Which was so appreciated since we were on an 8 day land tour before boarding the ship. The wonderful blender drinks around the pool.were something we looked forward to each afternoon. The food was teriffic loved the suishi.The White night while anchored in Santorini was magical. Also the special show ashore in Dubrovnik was outstanding and so well organized. The entertainment was wonderful. Our cabin was well appointed and the King bed oh so comfortable.There were no children on board which made for a relaxed atmosphere My husband who did not like cruising is a convert! Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
As first time cruisers we had no idea what to expect or how "you cruise". We deliberately chose the Azamara Journey because of its size. We didn't want to be on one of those larger liners and after seeing a couple in ports, ... Read More
As first time cruisers we had no idea what to expect or how "you cruise". We deliberately chose the Azamara Journey because of its size. We didn't want to be on one of those larger liners and after seeing a couple in ports, we were glad we chose the Azamara. The organization of EVERYTHING was great, the staff were super friendly, the food met our needs and was tasty, the ports we visited were well chosen, the entertainment was a bit cheesy but served its purposes and we met some great people that we had a lot of laughs with. We didn't book any of the shore excursions as we just did our own thing. The complimentary drinks list was more than adequate and we didn't feel the need to up-grade. We also didn't book any nights in either of the special restaurants. We could not fault a single thing, except perhaps a bigger self service laundry is needed. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
This was my fifth time on Azamara and it did not disappoint. My only issue is it is becoming more popular and the good deals are running out. The secret of the wonderful life on Azamara is being let out especially by those that travel ... Read More
This was my fifth time on Azamara and it did not disappoint. My only issue is it is becoming more popular and the good deals are running out. The secret of the wonderful life on Azamara is being let out especially by those that travel without ankle biters. Starting at Venice and cruising out with a wonderful commentary was fantastic. Dubrovnik was a treat and the easy shuttle ride made the site seeing easy. Around the Greek Islands the ship docked in great locations and it was only in Santorini that there was a conflict with the number of ships. The stop Kusadasi gave us plenty of time to take the Effes tour of 6 hours as well as go to the Azamazing evening back at Effes at night. The Captain changed the birth location from Lesvos to Lemnos because of the illegal immigration issues on the Island and that was a good move as far as we were concerned. Finally the sail into Istanbul was magnificent and with full commentary. The staff and food was excellent and there was no health issues at all on board you did not hear one person cough. The shows were good fun but there were so many things to do especially when we visited the many ports that items on the itinerary got left behind. If I could I would do this trip again tomorrow. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
We toughtly enjoyed it!!! Azamara Journey cruise ship is beautiful! Emberkation was brilliant. Disemberkation was good enough. Lounges are very comfortable. The food is excellent vlwith lots of choises. The free drinks ... Read More
We toughtly enjoyed it!!! Azamara Journey cruise ship is beautiful! Emberkation was brilliant. Disemberkation was good enough. Lounges are very comfortable. The food is excellent vlwith lots of choises. The free drinks is more than great. The longer stays on port were nice but in comparison with the private tours offered by local guides in ports Azamara offers a little more expensive. Publik room very comfortable and nice. Staff is super friendly. Staff is very courteous and ready to help at any time. Service is professional. Definitely see you again! Thank u to all! Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Hi to all. My wife and I are both 64, live in West Michigan, and have travelled extensively for both business and pleasure. We went on this cruise with another couple of the same age for Fall trip. This was our sixth cruise - having been ... Read More
Hi to all. My wife and I are both 64, live in West Michigan, and have travelled extensively for both business and pleasure. We went on this cruise with another couple of the same age for Fall trip. This was our sixth cruise - having been on Royal Caribbean, Costa, Renaissance, Oceania, and NCL before. None of us are overly picky but all appreciate nice touches and good, not overly attentive, service. Food is important but it's not the end-all/be-all for us. It's more about the variety of ports being visited and doing different things without having to pack and repack or deal with transportation over a week or so. We chose Azamara for three primary reasons - first and foremost was the size and character of the ship. We don't like mega ships, long lines or waiting for about anything. The Journey is the same size and configuration as the Oceania ship and the Renaissance IV(in fact it was a former Renaissance ship) we had sailed on before and enjoyed. Second, and almost as important to us as the ship, was the itinerary. We wanted to see most of the places the Journey was going. Lastly - time considerations. Azamara offered a seven-night cruise that fit well with our schedules. None of us are retired and taking two weeks or more off for vacation just doesn't work for us yet. With the Azamara cruise, we could spend two nights in a hotel in Venice before sailing and a final night in a hotel in Istanbul before returning. Cost was also a factor - albeit not an overriding one. We didn't want to spend the money that a true luxury cruise (SilverSea, OceanDream, Seabourn) requires mainly because we didn't want the amenities that the premium dollar gets you. We really don't need or want a butler - we had one on Oceania (due to a last minute upgrade) - and we really never felt it was needed or even desirable. We booked the cruise directly from Azamara - their quoted prices were a bit higher than ones I found on the Internet but Azamara offered us a shipboard credit that was almost 50% more than the difference in prices. We booked our airfare and hotels separately to be sure that we had flight times that suited our schedules and hotels that we knew we would enjoy (based on past experience or recommendations from others). Transfers were not an issue - although they are quite expensive in Venice, especially if you opt for a door-to-door water taxi from the airport to your hotel (€110) which we did - and it was totally worth it!!!! PRE-CRUISE COMMUNICATION (2 out of 5) Communication with Azamara before the cruise was not very good - there was not much communication and what little there was came only via email. I did have some questions and a call to the call center answered them quickly and efficiently. But, it would have been nice to have a cruise booklet prepared for us with Q&A, port information, etc. There was also some confusion about where to board the ship in Venice. The Port of Venice website clearly said one place but the Azamara people apparently told others (based on threads seen in the Forum) it was to be boarded at the other terminal. There's no excuse for that - the Venice Port people were, of course, right. EMBARKATION & BOARDING (5 out of 5) Boarding was handled very efficiently and smoothly by the cruise line personnel. It was quick, painless and very much appreciated by us. We boarded at about 2:00 PM and our bags had been delivered to our room by 3:00 PM. SERVICE (3 out of 5) Service on the Journey was extremely spotty. The crew was very friendly but they just didn't attend to things as well as they could have - especially in the dining venues on deck 9, i.e., Windows and Breezes. Many times the wait staff would be standing around rather than clearing tables or getting passengers silverware, napkins or placemats. Other times, even when crowded, we had great service. Bar service was almost non-existent while lounging around the pool. Go figure. The materials published and distributed at the end of our cruise showed that the passenger to crew ratio was 2:1. When I asked my wife and friends to guess the ratio, two said 3:1 and one said 4:1. It sure didn't seem like 2:1 to us. THE SHIP ITSELF (4 out of 5) We like the English men's club dEcor that was originally outfitted by Renaissance when the ship was built, but my guess is that we are in the minority. The public areas are nice and very well maintained. The on-board shopping in the 4th deck shops was pretty bad according to my wife - who bought nothing. Same with the 'art' that was for sale. In the Azamara publications I read (at least the ones I read online since I never saw anything in real print), the dress required or requested of passengers was "country club causal." Apparently, lots of the folks on our cruise had never been to a country club because they showed up at Discoveries for dinner wearing jeans, t-shirts, hats, shorts and flip-flops. Although most people did dress appropriately, there were lots of people that looked like they should be eating at the Old County Buffet rather than at a nice restaurant on a supposedly upscale cruise. If Azamara DOES want a country club atmosphere on the ship, it needs to let people know what that phrase means and politely suggest to people who are not dressed appropriately that they might prefer to dine at the buffet restaurant. God, I sound like a snob but a lot of people really looked pretty shabby. The casino was well appointed and well attended! The crews manning the tables were friendly even though they conspired to deal me terrible cards throughout the entire cruise. My wife won enough at the slots to almost cover my losses. The pool deck was very nice and there seemed to always be enough deck loungers when we wanted them - even without resorting to getting up early on an "at-sea" day to stash a towel or book on the better seats. Some thoughtless passengers did this and then didn't return for three to four hours. I did have to use the EConnections Internet service a couple of times. The cost of $0.65 per minute would have been OK but the connection speed the first time was so slow that I spent 13 minutes just to read one email and to send out a reply. Yikes! We never used the spa or any of its features so I cannot comment on that. Same with the entertainment. We did not attend any shows so I can't comment. But, the poolside entertainment, the harpist and the piano player were all really good and we enjoyed hearing them. The Oceania cruise we took in 2008 offered a 2-for-one happy hour each night in the bar located at the front of the boat. On the Journey, that was the Looking Glass bar on deck 10. The first time we went there, we were told it was reserved for a private function but that we could have a drink at the side of the room next to the smoking area. No thanks. The next time we went there, there was no furniture by the windows and no service from the people at the bar. So we left Looking Glass again and had drinks on our balcony. Never went back. But our biggest disappointment was the [lack of] outdoor space at the rear of deck nine - more on that later. OUR STATEROOM (4.5 out of 5) We and our friends had adjacent balcony staterooms on deck seven. Being adjacent allowed us to open the glass door on the balcony when we were in port making the extended balcony a wonderful place for us to have cocktails or to merely relax. Also, having tables on the deck were a nice idea and allowed outdoor dining with room service! The stateroom was very nice and comfortably furnished. Many posters here have complained about the mattresses being unsatisfactory. Maybe they were a little hard but they weren't worth complaining about. We certainly didn't have any trouble sleeping. Linens used on the bed were very nice. The bathroom was small but perfectly suitable for our needs. The furnished toiletries were OK but nothing special. Towels were plentiful, large and very soft. Closet space was ample. The primary TV channels offered were awful. The only news channel was Fox News - no CNN or BBC - and very limited other offerings. There were a couple of generic port information channels but nothing specific about the port that was coming up or what you might want to do there (other than to take an Azamara shore excursion). This could really be improved upon. Our stateroom steward - Rosalie - was the best! Never was our stateroom not clean and made up when we returned from any meal. I don't know how she did it but she was great. She also made sure that we had ice and snacks when we asked for them. PORTS OF CALL (2 out of 5) Venice, Santorini, Kusadasi and Istanbul were all fantastic - albeit overly crowded - but that's not the fault of the cruise line. Great places draw big crowds. Also, the island of Korcula in Croatia was a wonderful surprise. It was a very quaint and interesting port town to visit and was probably a good choice over Dubrovnik - which can get very crowded at this time of year. But now let's talk about Koper, Slovenia. I know that Slovenia is a beautiful country with beautiful mountains. But Koper is not. It is the worst port we have ever visited in our cruising experiences. Sure, there were shore excursions but the only two that were remotely interesting, i.e., Lake Bled and Ljubljana, required two+ hour bus rides each way and cost almost $300 per couple. We had ZERO desire to spend five hours on a bus. Instead, we spent about an hour wandering through the streets of Koper's 'old town.' The old town was that - old. It also very gray and totally devoid of charm, joy or anything of interest other than lots of cats. There was nothing to buy, nothing to see and nothing to do. The most interesting thing we saw was a worker cleaning the town fountain with what smelled like hydrochloric acid. I have no problem with Slovenia wanting to develop tourism through Koper - but this is not yet a developed port for a 'top rate' cruise line to visit unless and until more is developed for passengers to do. I feel I almost deserve 1/7 of our cruise price back from Azamara for making me stop here for some unknown reason. There were other ports that could have been substituted for this one. Bottom line, I would not recommend any cruise that stops at Koper unless the itinerary for what was to be done there was fully explained and organized - a day at sea would have been preferable to our time spent there. OVERALL DINING (4 out of 5) Included Wine and Soft Drinks (5 out of 5) We do like wine and the choices that Azamara provided each day for lunch and dinner were very interesting. The wines ranged from California to South Africa and it was nice to try differing varieties with your meals. Some were really excellent and some were just OK. We sure didn't send any back. We understand that wine preference is a purely personal choice and that others may feel that the included wines were not worth the effort. We thought it was a really nice touch. Same with the soft drinks - they were included and they should be. Discoveries - Main Dining Room (4 out of 5) The dEcor and atmosphere of the main dining room, Discoveries, was very nice. We only waited once to get a table for four. Most of the entrees and accompaniments at Discoveries were excellent. The appetizer courses were well done. The soups all were excellent - especially the chilled soups (we actually thought of having the Pear soup again for dessert!). The beef - prime rib and steaks - were better than I expected. However, many of the fish dishes seemed to be bland and without much flavor. Desserts were just OK. Requests for levels of doneness of tuna and beef were usually just as ordered. Acqualina (5 out of 5) This is a great restaurant that really is worth the extra $15 per person. The menu, as well as the service, were wonderful. All of us had lobster in some fashion and it was not at all rubbery as it frequently can be in large scale dining facilities. The soufflEs were also great - especially the chocolate one! We really liked Acqualina - as apparently everyone else did too. We were able to only get one reservation there. Prime C (4.5 out of 5) Prime C was almost as nice an experience as Acqualina but .... The menu was really beef driven and that's what you would expect from a restaurant called Prime C. The portions of beef were really large - too large actually - and could have easily been split. The sauces provided were very good as well. They only served one type of bread that had lots of onion flavoring. I liked it but not everyone may. The service was very nice. But, Acqualina had better service and a better overall menu. Still, Prime C was worth the extra cost and is highly recommended. It just wasn't that special. Breezes poolside cafe (3 out of 5) The problem with the poolside grill was that very long lines tended to form right when you wanted to eat and there were not enough cooks or servers to address the desires of the people waiting in line. Again - spotty service. The burgers, wings and hot dogs were tasty but it took forever to get them. Windows (2 out of 5) Dining at Windows for breakfast was pretty much a disaster every day. Very long lines and slow wait times to get an omelet or a fried egg. Just four stations for 700 passengers. They needed more. We finally gave up and ate at the Discoveries restaurant or had room service for breakfast. Same thing with lunch - Discoveries was overly crowded due to the restaurant's design. The layout of the restaurant makes no sense requiring all diners to converge in a narrow space between two parallel buffet lines. The thing we liked most about our dining on Oceania and NCL was having the ability to eat breakfast and lunch on the rear deck in the open air. On the Journey, the rear deck area was taken up by a huge, and mostly unused, wraparound bar rather than being used as space for dining. On the Oceania ship, the rear deck had three to four rows of tables that are available for outdoor dining. On the Journey, there was one row of about eight tables with umbrellas and the rest were stuffed to the sides under the overhang of deck 10. The eight or so bar stools mounted to the deck were the most uncomfortable stools I have ever sat upon and were rarely used. Every morning, passengers grabbed a cup of coffee and perched like vultures over the few tables that had an outdoor venue hoping that the current users would quickly end their meals so that their table could be snarfed up before another passenger swooped in to claim it for their own. Buffet Nights (????) We didn't do any theme buffets so I can't comment on them. I would note, though, that the ship did depart Santorini, Greece at 8:00 PM. And, on that night, the ship chose to have an Indian themed buffet around the pool area. WHY NOT GREEK FOOD WHEN IN GREECE???? I like Indian food but not when I'm in Greece. Apparently, everybody else thought the same thing because the other dining rooms were overwhelmed by diners that night apparently opting to have their curries another time. Room Service Dining (4 out of 5) We only had breakfast delivered to our room - and then only once. The orders were all correct, delivered right on time and were nice and hot. However, we didn't get any salt or pepper and the orange juice tasted more like Tang than being fresh-squeezed. Oh well. DEBARKATION (5 out of 5) Worked like a charm. We were out of the ship, with our account cleared and gathering our luggage within five minutes of our designated time. OVERALL (3.5 out of 5) We had high hopes for this cruise - some were realized and others were not. First off, Azamara has a ways to go in terms of service and ambiance to match Oceania. It just didn't feel as good as did the Oceania experience. There needs to be more attention to detail to get to the next level - except for our steward, Rosalie, who was the best we have ever had on any cruise line. I'd guess that the average passenger age was about 65. This cruise had more passengers in the 35-45 range that I would have suspected - many of which seemed to be with a corporate group that might have skewed things a bit. Also, the passengers were more internationally diverse than the Oceania cruise that seemed to cater almost exclusively to Americans. There were a lot of Brits, Germans, and other Europeans on the Azamara cruise. Food quality was very good but not quite up to par with Oceania - except for Acqualina and Prime C. Ports of call (with the exception of Koper) were fine and what we wanted to see. Shore excursions were not very well described or marketed - hence we did ours on our own and had a much better experience. Hope that this is helpful to those who read it. Read Less
Sail Date September 2010
As mentioned in the introduction, we are both seniors and this was our first cruise. We read every cruise review we could find and found the Cruise Critic site to be extremely helpful. Before selecting a cruise, we developed a ... Read More
As mentioned in the introduction, we are both seniors and this was our first cruise. We read every cruise review we could find and found the Cruise Critic site to be extremely helpful. Before selecting a cruise, we developed a "wish list" of expectations. First, we wanted to see as much of Europe as possible. We were interested in a relaxing atmosphere which ruled out children of all ages. (We're not anti-children, but there's a time and a place). We didn't want Las Vegas type glitz, but we also didn't want a strictly "seniors cruise." We wanted to avoid having to mingle with huge gaggles of humanity, and while we preferred to avoid the rigidity of a very formal atmosphere, we did not want to go too far in the direction of "casual" which all-to-frequently degenerates to "grungy." Finally, we hoped for some interesting dining experiences. We are very pleased to say that the Azamara Journey fulfilled all our expectations. The ship's capacity was 700 passengers which was perfect in every way. We never felt crowded, never had to wait to be seated in a restaurant, nor when leaving or returning to the ship. This cruise did not offer babysitting services nor did it have a "game room." Combine that with the time of year, and it was an all-adult passenger list. We experienced 10 ports with one day at sea. Because we were not familiar with any of the ports and did not feel comfortable touring on our own, we availed ourselves of many of the ship excursions. We were not disappointed. We were very pleased with the food preparation and choices as well as the wide selection of beverages. We had a choice of restaurants ranging from a casual buffet and pool-side grill to a main restaurant and two specialty restaurants. We also used room service on occasion. We were amazed at the quick response time for room service. We frequented the main restaurant for dinner. We always asked to be seated in an area served by one head waiter and his assistant. They were a real "dynamic duo" who not only provided excellent service, but entertainment as well. The ship's staff and crew were very friendly and helpful. We had arranged for a room with a balcony which was well worth the additional cost. We used the balcony frequently when we were arriving at or departing from ports, and occasionally we ate breakfast there as well. Since this was our first cruise we were fascinated watching the pilot boat bring the harbor master out to the ship at each port to guide the ship into port. We were able to view this process each morning from our balcony. The ship was maintained beautifully. It was clean, neat, and nicely appointed. The service staff was excellent and made your comfort their priority. The entertainment was good and varied. The variety of excursions offered at each port was more than adequate. They ranged from mild to strenuous, and on two occasions we selected "strenuous" excursions which were still manageble for us. On a scale of 1 to 10, our tour guides ranked between 7 and 10 with a preponderence falling in the range of 9 and 10. We were able to tune to video introductions to each excursion from our rooms each evening so we had some idea of what to expect during the tour. We pre-arranged with private car services for tours of Rome and Sorrento and we were very pleased with our choices. In Rome we used Fabrizio Melaragno's "All Around Italy" car service that can be accessed at allarounditaly.net. Fabrizio was extremely animated, enthusiastic, and knowledgeable. We saw more of Rome than we had ever imagined possible in one day. He also arranged for us a to have a personal guided tour of the Vatican Museum, the Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter's Basilica and Square. In Sorrento we used Renato Cuomo's Limousine Service which can be accessed at www.carsorrento.it. Our driver, Paolo, was wonderful. He knew everyone everywhere we went. We learned a great deal of information about Sorrento, Pompeii, and the Amalfi Coast that he shared with us from his personal knowledgebase. He made us feel very comfortable and welcome. We would strongly recommend both of these car services. We had such a wonderful experience on this cruise that we are already starting to plan our next one. Read Less
Sail Date October 2008
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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