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4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We chose Azamara for the small ship and also for the best itinerary immersion into the ports of call. Imagine docking right in the center of Bordeaux... closer to the center then the river cruises!! It was quite the experience to get off ... Read More
We chose Azamara for the small ship and also for the best itinerary immersion into the ports of call. Imagine docking right in the center of Bordeaux... closer to the center then the river cruises!! It was quite the experience to get off the ship and walk right up to the Place de la Bourse. The majority of our stops took us to the heart of the cities, otherwise we had a plethora of shuttles taking us right to the center like in Bilbao, dropping us off a couple of streets down from the Guggenheim museum. I was impressed by the quality of service and service excellence from all the crew members. We could interact easily and daily with the Captain and all the officers. The hotel director even ensured I was fine when I felt seasick. Giving me kind advice and finding a quiet table nearest to the center of the ship one evening. He took personal care to ensure we enjoyed ourselves regardless of the waves (the Atlantic can churn a lot, as a first time cruiser, it was though to start with, but sea bands and drugs helped). Our safety was of utmost importance and when a port of call had to be changed because Pasais' port was closed, the process was seamless. The entire crew was ultra busy making all the changes and adjustments in the background, but no one looked stressed or nonplussed about it. Very impressive. I'm not sure if the crew ever says no to anyone. We were spoiled. It was great. The food is plentiful and there is something for everyone from meat lovers to health nuts, to vegan to gluten free. Everything is fresh and there is a made to order station in every outlet. There is food everywhere on the boat, so you can never go hungry. The complimentary alcohol is acceptable (although beer selection is ordinary, they could do much better). We never felt we had to upgrade to any of the wine packages. People we talked too felt the same way too. The staterooms are on the small side (we had a V2) and the bathroom microscopic. Only one person can be in there at the same time. After a couple of days, we got used to it and it did not bother us. The bed... oh so comfortable!!!!! The mattress is firm while the sheets ultra soft. A huge fluffy comforter on top keeps you nice and cozy. Each room is individually temperature controlled, so you can have it the way you like. The embarkation and disembarkation are wonderful giving the small number of guests on board. Even the one tender we took we didn't wait at all. There was always a shuttle running is the other ports where it was needed and we never waited. VIP service all the way. I loved how the crew welcomed us home after the day. It really felt like home and for us, who generally prefer independent travels, we found ourselves looking forward to being back on board. You can also feel the pride the crew has for their ship. Many are long time employees and the company seems to take good care of them, which is very important for us. Happy crew will take care of their customers. The overall experience was very positive and I can't wait to go back in March for a part of their World Journey. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
Previously sailed on Azamara, in spite of last year's 'refurbishment' (all very surface) the ship is dated, cabins small, shower tiny, wait staff brusque, food just okay, not a luxury or sub-luxury experience. This ship is ... Read More
Previously sailed on Azamara, in spite of last year's 'refurbishment' (all very surface) the ship is dated, cabins small, shower tiny, wait staff brusque, food just okay, not a luxury or sub-luxury experience. This ship is truly not worth the cost, Viking Ocean and Oceana are light years better in every way. Celebrity and Royal Caribbean are better for much less money. Cruise Director was awful, insulted an entire audience in Bilbao, Spain by stating that their language is Catalan, he is ignorant and was barely coherent that night, can't describe what a jerk he made of himself and what a terrible representative he was of Azamara. On-board entertainment was from hunger. Itinerary had to change due to sea conditions, stuck in Bayonne, France for three days, Azamara did nothing to smooth this over, in essence set up shuttle from the industrial berth where the ship was anchored to center of town and gave us train schedules to get to the ports we could not access by sea (Biarritz and St. Jean du Lux). Azamara handled this situation with less class than one would expect from Carnival. Food was mediocre, paying for specialty restaurants on this price level is a crime. Included wines for the most part were undrinkable. I don't like writing negative reviews but anything positive would not be truthful. Don't waste your money on Azamra. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2017
We wanted to revisit some old haunts and then stay on in Portugal when we disembarked. The weather caused problems from the first port - Guernsey - where the tender was battered by the waves and getting back on board was hair raising. ... Read More
We wanted to revisit some old haunts and then stay on in Portugal when we disembarked. The weather caused problems from the first port - Guernsey - where the tender was battered by the waves and getting back on board was hair raising. Bordeaux was great - good location. Easy for public transport and walking. We took the tram to the end of the line to a small French town and even went through vineyards. St Jean de Luz was impossible to use the tender and so we went to Bayonne. The town was fine although the dock was industrial and the mountain of sulpher beyond the balcony was bright yellow and different. We took a taxi to St Jean and a 2 Euro bus trip back! As we could not get into the next port we stayed in Bayonne. Bilbao was lovely and the Azamazing evening a real treat. Oporto - arrival was delayed by fog but once it lifted we had no problems. We took the shuttle into town and the vintage tram back to near the ship and then a taxi. Lisbon was lovely but busy but as we stayed on for a few days it got busier as 3 or 4 huge ships a day docked. We love Azamara but would appreciate a few more changes in Prime C and Aqualina. Having had 4 or 5 cruises with the present menu a change would be great. We love the friendly service. The passengers seem to be more likely to be travelling in large groups and the passengers don't seem to mix as much as groups tend to spend time together. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2017
Last minute decision based on previous cruise and of course itinerary. We also like being on a smaller ship. Although the crew was wonderful, always helpful we felt the quality of the food has diminished since our first cruise with ... Read More
Last minute decision based on previous cruise and of course itinerary. We also like being on a smaller ship. Although the crew was wonderful, always helpful we felt the quality of the food has diminished since our first cruise with Azamara. The first one was 2 years ago. I am not sure why this happened. We decided to take a cabin on the 4th floor without a balcony. It was the typical cabin small with a tiny bathroom and shower. Whether we ate in dining room or upstairs in buffet food was ample but just OK. Told many of the fish choices were previously frozen, deserts looked good but not very tasty. Wines offered were fine, but mark up on bottles was crazy. I love Azamara itineraries and staying late in port. Do not like that some of ports required extra transports to get into city. Will have to be extra diligent in finding out all the details. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We booked this cruise because of the PerryGolf option. I did a lot of reading about Azamara on Cruise Critic beforehand, and perhaps based on its enthusiasts, my expectations were too high. The service was good, but not what I would ... Read More
We booked this cruise because of the PerryGolf option. I did a lot of reading about Azamara on Cruise Critic beforehand, and perhaps based on its enthusiasts, my expectations were too high. The service was good, but not what I would consider outstanding; it was about the same as we received on other lines. We did not experience the extra interaction or friendliness I read about on the Azamara board. Sometimes service in the dining venues was lacking. Service in the Patio was slow. I always requested lemon for my tea and/or water, and only received it about half the time. My water glass was often empty for 5-10 minutes before being refilled. However, after noting the last two deficiencies on our mid-cruise survey, they were corrected. I appreciate that Azamara takes the surveys to heart and works to correct any issues--I was contacted by staff in both food service and housekeeping after completing my survey. Food was average, and again, based on CC posts, I was expecting better. Discoveries had the best meals, and I enjoyed their fresh fruit selection in the mornings. I had nothing at the Patio that I would ever order again. In general, I found the bread and dessert selections below average compared to other cruise lines. I don't eat seafood so sometimes felt my selections in Discoveries and on the White Nights evening were limited. We made a poor choice in our cabin selection in 4005. We could hear the shows in the evening, and because we are "early to bed" people, it was extremely annoying to have noise from above until 10:45 or so. When docking/tendering, noise and vibration started between 6:15 and 6:30 AM and continued for about half an hour. I would not choose a forward cabin again. In-room selection of entertainment like on-demand movies could be much, much better. I appreciated the port representatives that were onboard at each stop--lots of useful information. The smaller ship was great for leaving and returning to the ship on port days. The complimentary laundry was also very nice, although as one would expect, it can get busy. Included drinks were fine for our needs, although my husband would have liked a nice Scotch in the selections. We liked Azamara well enough that we have booked another PerryGolf cruise, but that was also based on the price of a comparable itinerary on other lines. For the upcoming itinerary, Azamara offered a good price. We paid a premium on this cruise and IMO, did not receive good value for the money. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
This was our 8th cruise with Azamara (both Journey and Quest) dating back to May, 2008 so we are familiar with the ships, many of the crew/staff members and generally know what to expect. Any comments/criticisms are not a reflection on ... Read More
This was our 8th cruise with Azamara (both Journey and Quest) dating back to May, 2008 so we are familiar with the ships, many of the crew/staff members and generally know what to expect. Any comments/criticisms are not a reflection on the many friends who work on the ships that we have been able to get to know and enjoy. They are the sole reason, if any, to consider continuing with Azamara; not the destinations (other cruise lines go to the same places), not the smaller size of the ships (many other cruise lines have similar-sized ships) and certainly not the featured shore excursions which have given us many regrets about our last couple cruises. Any trip can have unexpected problems but it is how they are dealt with (or not) that affects how you feel when you walk away. After our disappointing Australia/New Zealand cruise on the Quest, in 2015-2016, the only reason we booked this Journey cruise was because they offered a chance to see the last day of the British Open golf tournament. Our disappointment in that overall experience and lack of response from cruise staff to complaints (they acknowledged that they had received many complaints from other participants) made us feel like it was a wasted cruise. The event was very expensive and, based on ticket price, Azamara appears to have made a large profit. We arrived after play had started for the day, but even worse, we had to leave early just when Spieth and Kuchar were on the 14th hole and the exciting finish began. We were told "be at the bus on time or we will leave you". Had we been facing a ship departure deadline, it might have been easier to understand but they brought us back two hours before the ship sailed. The shore excursion staff was sympathetic and uncertain why we had to leave before the end of the golf tournament and assured us they would look into the matter and respond in a couple days. That turned into a couple more days and then a week and then they told us on the last day that they couldn't resolve anything (or at east explain why we were forced to leave early) with their Miami office and that we should contact them directly once we returned home. Our overall experience with Azamara shore excursions has been that they are overpriced and often fraught with logistical problems and our Open experience was no different. That department's ineptness continues to be the weak link in the whole Azamara experience. Now, for the rest of the story, the upgrades from the refitting in 2016 improved the cabin we stayed in - more efficient use of floor space, lighter colors for the walls and carpets and more efficient bathroom space. The USB outlet by the bed helps for recharging phones, etc., but there is still no electrical outlet on the bed side. If you need one for a CPAP, etc., remember to bring an extension cord to reach the only outlet on the end of the desk. Access to the balcony is a bit challenging since you have to go around/between the two chairs and a table. Don't lean on the table because it spins (a la lazy Susan) and will flip you. Our biggest complaint was the noise (reason for average rating). We don't hear anything from adjoining rooms but the cleanup staff on deck 9 has a habit of starting early in the morning (often before 6:00 am) and the noise of dragging chairs and tables, deck hoses, etc., carries right into the rooms on deck 8. One thing that did not improve with the refit is the artwork all around the ship. Everyone has different tastes in art but my impression of art is a lot different than that on Azamara and I would prefer something more in line with a sailing/cruising atmosphere. We heard many complaints about the food but found it about average. The menu for the dining room has been changed so that the items available every day are listed along with the daily choices - gives the appearance of more choices but only that. The soups are my favorite and they are all still good. Prime C remains very good but, although the menu has changed again for Aqualina, it is still not what it used to be in the beginning when it had mostly a seafood selection. Both specialty restaurants could use more variety - change menu items mid-cruise for those that want to dine there more often. We used to meet more returning Azamara guests than we do lately - guess they aren't returning. When we first discovered Azamara, we thought it was the only company we would need forever and they encouraged loyalty in returning guests through the Club Voyage but our overall impression is that now they are catering more to newcomers and a collection of special interest groups. It seems like everywhere you go on the ship there are areas closed off for one "Private Function" or another - hardly an "Azamara family" feeling. Not to forget the staff and crew. There are still some really exceptional individuals and they make you feel welcome in every way possible. We look forward to seeing them again each time we cruise. We have noticed, however, that maybe half the staff you pass on the ship acknowledge your presence and say "good morning", etc. The same goes for ship's officers even when they make eye contact and know you are there. We didn't used to be able to go anywhere without everyone offering cheerful greetings. This seems like a small thing but we're not sure what to make of the culture change. Entertainment on the ship remains excellent - particularly for a ship of this size. The Riverdance performance for Azamazing evening event was one of the best ever. The reason for the average rating for embarkation was because of all the computer glitches that hindered passenger boarding. Seems those should be ironed out before people start showing up. Disembarkation went smoothly. This is the first cruise where we have not felt like re-booking another one before we left the ship. Instead of growing together more as "Azamara family members", we sense less of that family atmosphere to draw us back. We have one more trip booked from over a year ago to use up free days and to hope for smoother sailing and then . . . . . Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We took our first Azamara cruise in March of 2016 on Quest, on it's last voyage before going into drydock to be refurbished. Because of inconveniences (!!) and the itinerary having been shortened, the company compensated us and also ... Read More
We took our first Azamara cruise in March of 2016 on Quest, on it's last voyage before going into drydock to be refurbished. Because of inconveniences (!!) and the itinerary having been shortened, the company compensated us and also offered incentives for a future cruise. Thanks offer was hard to resist so we chose this itinerary, which fit our schedule. The Journey's overhaul made huge improvements appearance the worn appearance we'd seen on her sister ship. Still, no amount of new carpet and furniture can make stateroom bathrooms larger or add much-needed storage. We found the meals on Journey better overall than we'd had on Quest. However, an alarming incident in Windows buffet at lunch on the second day ruined my appetite for some of the food their for the rest of the cruise. At the carving station a whole turkey had been sliced open, and it was found to be very red, so it was taken away. The server told people another turkey would be out soon, that he had called his manager. But to my horror the new turkey was placed on the carving board before the old board, covered in the red juices from the raw bird, was removed. The server proceeded to carve and serve as if nothing were wrong. I flagged down the dining g room manager and quietly told him what had happened. He was very concerned and left to see about it. I also had a burned burger in The Patio, topped with what I can only describe as artificial cheese. On the other hand there were excellent soups and delicious steaks. Since I'm not that fond of desserts on ships, I enjoyed the excellent fresh fruit plates. We enjoyed the excursions we took from the ship. Coming and going was a pleasure, as the security staff were always pleasant and professional. I'm not quite sure why Azamara ships so often moor in industrial port areas, far from city centers. We're not sure if we'll continue sailing with this company. I know there are Azamara loyalists as there are with all lines, but we're not there- at least, not yet. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We wanted to have a taste of the British Isles and this itinerary fit the bill. We were in a V2 stateroom, and it was a typical verandah stateroom in size and furnishings. We visited excellent ports that were quite accessible because of ... Read More
We wanted to have a taste of the British Isles and this itinerary fit the bill. We were in a V2 stateroom, and it was a typical verandah stateroom in size and furnishings. We visited excellent ports that were quite accessible because of the ship's size and the often complementary shuttles. Even the departure city, Southampton, although not picturesque provided an excellent access to Stonehenge and Salisbury, both of which are well worth the visit. The remaining ports provided a taste of many cities which are famous for history and culture. The highlights were probably Dublin and Edinburgh, but all were worthy of a visit. We used a few of the ship's tours, all of which were worthwhile, but because of the ship's proximity to the city centres many were easily enjoyed on a DIY basis. The service on board, especially the food and beverage servers and room attendants, was as friendly and efficient as ever, Azamara has built a reputation of making you feel "at home". We think the food on board has improved to the point that there is little need to reserve a meal in the Specialty Restaurants. For those with food allergies, Azamara has really upped their game in providing information and suitable substitutes. We rarely attend the shows provided by the ship's troupe, but the guest entertainers were really enjoyable. Added in to the entertainment is the complementary Azamazing Evening, a superb performance on a Riverdance theme at a Dublin Theatre, and the usual "White Night" and Staff Barbecue on Deck 8. We always enjoy our fellow passengers, who are generally friendly and sophisticated travellers. Although there were 150 golfers on board as part of a package surrounding the British Open, their presence had little to no impact upon our enjoyment of this cruise. As you can tell, we are big fans of the premium small-ship experience on Azamara. And our experience on this cruise affirmed that evaluation. Read Less
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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