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4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
Asia is about as local as it gets to Australia and we enjoy the region so this cruise provided a good option for us. Had travelled on a smaller ship in the past (Silver Whisper) and enjoyed the experience plus like the idea of all ... Read More
Asia is about as local as it gets to Australia and we enjoy the region so this cruise provided a good option for us. Had travelled on a smaller ship in the past (Silver Whisper) and enjoyed the experience plus like the idea of all inclusive. Ship boarding was painless and quick. Disembarkation for shore excursions was well organised and painless, as was final disembarkation. Journey had a recent refit so all areas were very nicely presented and we enjoyed the ship. Weather was not so kind to us, which puts a bit of a strain on facilities when going on deck is not an option, but no real hassle and meant we got to talk to more people than we probably would have - seemed a very nice group of people onboard. Shame the White Night and Opera under the Stars had to be cancelled due weather as I am sure they would have been great, but can't blame the ship for bad weather. Considering it is a small ship the entertainment was excellent. The small song and dance group were very good, better than some seen on larger ships. We were lucky enough to have Briona Daugherty onboard, a very versatile singer and her night at the opera was outstanding. Comedian/magician a bit average, but our experience is these acts tend to be a bit hit or miss. Eric the cruise director is also a talented entertainer in his own right and his shows are not to be missed - Azamara is lucky to have permanent staff like Eric. As you would expect, the gym is small and can get a bit crowded at times. The menus in the main restaurant (Discoveries) were spectacular but the food did not always live up to the promise, although generally good. Buffet was good. Prime C and Aqualina were outstanding and would rate as 5+, well worth the supplement. Chef's Table also provided a very nice experience. Overall rating is a balance of the main and supplemental options. Wine and alcohol are included but with upgrade options available. These can be purchased any time during the cruise. Included are 2 white, 2 red, a bubbly and Rose on offer each day and changed on a daily basis. Wines are from all around the world. We were going to upgrade to a wine package but enjoyed the daily wines well enough and didn't bother. Stewards were always happy to let you try the wine before selecting. The crew were great with the majority coming over as genuinely friendly and helpful. Shore excursions were by far the most expensive we have seen (and the basis of our rating) but well run and we enjoyed them - the bicycle tour in Ho Chi Minh is not for the feint hearted! Shuttles were provided at all ports and were convenient. A big advantage is the ability of the ship to dock 'downtown' in places like Bangkok and Ho Chi Minh. Enjoyed the Hanoi tour but be warned the advertised 3.5 hour transit from Halong Bay is more like 4.5, which reduces time in Hanoi, and the drive back was a bit painful. Hanoi itself was great. I think they would be better having an overnight at Danang, which provides access to Hue and Hoi An, and just a day stop in Halong Bay (where the cave is not to be missed), others might disagree. Azamara seem to sit somewhere between the regular cruise lines and those such as Silver Seas. They are are more expensive than the regular cruise lines but you do have inclusive wine and spirits, no additional charges or tips, the staff were great, the ship seems to attract a nice group of people, and in most ports is conveniently located close to the action. If an attractive itinerary comes up we would travel with them again. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
It was my first cruise with Azamara, the first of two cruises booked with them. I didn't enjoy any single part of this cruise and feel "ripped off" as I did the last time we travelled with RCI. There were some points that ... Read More
It was my first cruise with Azamara, the first of two cruises booked with them. I didn't enjoy any single part of this cruise and feel "ripped off" as I did the last time we travelled with RCI. There were some points that were good, these being a nice cabin, nice ship, good service, good organisation at ports. Now for the bad points: The day time activities were beyond poor; a few trivia quizzes on sea days and two uninteresting lecturers, one talking about the past history of the ports being visited and one discussing whether China was defensive or aggressive. Certainly not topics that most women onboard would want to attend and not interesting to me. The entertainment by the visiting entertainers was reasonably good but the shows put on by Eric, the ships entertainment director and the ships singers and dancers was poor. I was fed up of seeing and listening to the narcissic Eric at every end and turn and the singers overall were far too loud and the words of unknown songs could not be distinguished. Overall, other than the visiting entertainers, the routines were amateurish. The guitar player was too monotonous and the ships pianist whilst good on the one night he played in the theatre but for the rest of the time was mundane. Few people attended the Living Room after 9:30 pm so dancing was none existent. It seemed to me that most people went to bed early. The ship in the evening was dead. However, what really upset me most was the poor quality of the food. My wife, daughter and daughter in law are all excellent cooks and we all enjoy quality food. My grandson is a trained chef and his chef uncle on the other side of the family has cooked not just for me but for Margaret Thatcher, The Queen, the late King Hussain of Jordan and Sir James Goldsmith. I know what represents good food and this didn't come anywhere near the mark. I don't believe the chefs are chefs, they are poor cooks. Breakfast was OK in the Windows restaurant although there was no Finnan Haddock and no Kippers. Lunchtime on sea days in Discoveries restaurant was uninspiring so most meals were taken in Windows Cafe. This was also disappointing as no meals were enjoyable. it was just food. Individual bowls of tomatoe, cucumber, onion, peppers and chicken served one day were in my opinion used the following day by turning them into a special salad using all of the same components. On several nights there was a theme, Indian, Morrocan and British. I decided to try the British night, my home country. Fish and chips were on the menu but I have to say that there isn't one British fish and chip shop who would offer the meagre portion of fish served by the server. There is more fish in a half a fish finger and the server then asked "Do you want one or two pieces". It was clear to me that the ships budget is limited in cost. Pasta and chicken dishes in Windows cafe and Discoveries restaurant predominate the menus. On the day of the barbecue it was held indoors. I asked why and they said it was the likelihood of rain but it was a sunny day and as we were only a few days into a long cruise it could have been postponed to another day but wasn't. There was not one single barbecue item, not a single sausage. Inferior chicken was offered wrapped in breadcrumbs to disguise the bone and gristle. A poor representation of a real barbecue. On another occasion in the cafe lamb hock was offered but since when has a lamb hock had a knee joint? After a few days of poor food I confronted the two Head waiters but it didn't make any difference. The menu in Discoveries restaurant is basically 75% the same every evening. So called specials make up the rest. Yet on one evening there was two chicken dishes and two broiled New York Steaks so limiting the choice further. One night I had the seafood soup. On the following night I had a different seafood soup but it was the same one as the day before: one prawn, one mussel and some clams. On the last night I had a lamb hock. I don't however believe it was lamb as the bones were far too big for a lamb and more likely to have been mutton. This was not five star food, I have been served better food in a works canteen. There was no sirloin steaks, no rump steaks, no steak Diane, no Tounedos Rossini, no cod loin, no chateaubriand. I have had those on other ships along with first class enrichment lectures and entertainment at less than half the price paid to Azamara. Since when has skirt from the bottom of a cow been served as a steak? The coffee in the Mosaic cafe was poor and several other people commented about this. Finally why do professional cocktail makers use measuring cups when dispensing the components of a cocktail when on Azamara the components are dispensed without regard to using the correct measures? Every drink served varies from the last one. All in all a thoroughly unenjoyable cruise. Whilst on the ship I contacted my travel agent and cancelled the second paid in full future cruise on Azamara. I will never travel with Azamara or RCI ever again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2016
We went on this cruise as we had missed calling in Vietnam on an earlier cruise this year, when we were on the Quest. We loved the refurbishment on the Journey and yes the bathrooms are still small etc but you don't spend a lot of ... Read More
We went on this cruise as we had missed calling in Vietnam on an earlier cruise this year, when we were on the Quest. We loved the refurbishment on the Journey and yes the bathrooms are still small etc but you don't spend a lot of time in the bathroom. Embarkation in Hong Kong was very smooth and quick, after a welcome champagne our stateroom was ready and the luggage arrived promptly. Sailing out of Hong Kong harbour at night was a spectacular sight the nightly laser light show was happening as we sailed. We had all our meals in Discoveries restaurant and thought the food was excellent, portion sizes were great and lots of variety each night, drink service was excellent with a choice of 2 red and 2 white wines each day. A couple of highlights for us was the 'White Night' and the Aazmazing Evening in Bangkok, for the Aazmazing evening were bussed from the ship to a beautiful setting in the ancient city. One thing we really like is Azamara's attention to hygiene, each entry to any dining area is staffed at the hand hygiene station and you have to sanitise. Another nice touch is that when you return to the ship, every staff member you meet will give you a warm "welcome home" and it does feel like coming home. All in all a great cruise. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
We chose the Aramara journey because we wanted a luxury holiday to celebrate our 70th birthday and we thought that Azamara would be a luxury trip. The prices are certainly luxury. The first disappointment was the cabin, especially ... Read More
We chose the Aramara journey because we wanted a luxury holiday to celebrate our 70th birthday and we thought that Azamara would be a luxury trip. The prices are certainly luxury. The first disappointment was the cabin, especially the bathroom. My husband couldn't get in the shower and the cabin was very small. As it was a very rough crossing we had to spend a lot of time in the cabin. the engine noise was right outside the our cabin and it was noisy all night and day and prevented us sleeping. I did ask to be moved but was told there was nothing available except the cabin opposite which had the same noise problem. The lack of tea and coffee in the room was inconvenient although you could request this and wait for it to be delivered. As we weren't sleeping this would have helped if it had been in the room. The entertainment was dire. I have never seen such rubbish and we stopped going to any concerts. The entertainments officer Eric was brilliant although his staff left a lot to be desired especially the DJ. The food was faultless although as the trip was very rough a lot of the passengers didn't make it to the dining room. We couldn't use the pool a lot of the time and I think that the ship struggling in the rough weather partly due to its small size. The staff were courteous even when a lot of them were sea sick and we were very impressed with al of them. I would never choose an old ship like this again and it has certainly put me off cruising. What was supposed to be a treat ended up as an ordeal and we were very disappointed. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
We chose this cruise so we could visit India Maldives and Sri Lanka. Going by Azamara was great as we love sailing with this company. Also we figured we would more likely become sick travelling by sea than on land. Mumbai was a great ... Read More
We chose this cruise so we could visit India Maldives and Sri Lanka. Going by Azamara was great as we love sailing with this company. Also we figured we would more likely become sick travelling by sea than on land. Mumbai was a great eye opener for what was to come in India did a ship excursion to the dalla-wallahs ,train ride then onto the laundry dhobi ghats. great place to watch 22 million people. Goa own arranged shore excursion not as busy and more beaches and relaxed. Coochin organised tour with fellow cruise critics excellent sailing on the Backwaters of Alappuzha. Great Azamazing evening with the ship. lots of different activities other than drinking and eating. Had our palms read, a sketch of our faces an hand tattoo which is just starting to fade now.(2 weeks later). Next stop Maldives - What a picturesque spot snorkelled off a back of a catamaran with another couple from cruise critic very in expensive $65 US each for 6 hours sailing and snorkelling with lunch included.Remember to keep on applying sunscreen. Will come back again Sri Lanka - What a wonderful place and private tour with 7 couples from Cruise Critic TUK TUK SAFARI- Is an excellent and well run company with happy and great drivers and tour guide. It was the little things like having cold water, beer, coconut juice (fresh) peanuts cold wash towels, taking us to get fresh mango juice and many more things. We will definitely visit this place again and do a night tour with TUK TUK SAFARI. Chennai was a nightmare to get off the ship but once we sat and waited an hour on the bus and got to our hotel it was easy to adapt to the mad crazy drivers. really enjoyed visiting Manmallapuram - very unique and wonder in stone. A must see. Azamara Journey is an easy to get around but although there is only 600 passengers we found that by the end of 2 weeks we had not seen some passengers until the last day. We love this size ship. Our services onboard was excellent and nothing was too much to ask for from the crew. This was the first trip with Azamara that they allowed Bridge tours and engine room tours which was an eye-opener. Cooking demonstrations was great, dinning in all restaurants were of high quality food and waiters always willing to please you although their gratuities have already been paid for before we get on-board they were just great always smiling. we did a lot of reading and when I had finished my book we visited the ships library and borrowed another 2 from there. the captain and senior officers are always mingling with the passengers and taking questions when needed. The only disappointments is the repeat of shows from previous cruises which we choice sometime to miss. Enjoyed the Indian Buffet on pool deck and always the white night. Brunch is also a pleaser in Discovery. We love the whole Azamara Experience and feel like family oncer onboard. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
Embarkation was speedy but there was no food available and we had missed lunch. The patio area was not open at about 3.30 pm when we boarded despite indicating it was in "Pursuits" Crew were helpful and accommodating. ... Read More
Embarkation was speedy but there was no food available and we had missed lunch. The patio area was not open at about 3.30 pm when we boarded despite indicating it was in "Pursuits" Crew were helpful and accommodating. Service with a smile. Dinner in the dining room was very good in terms of quality and choice. Breakfast and Lunch in Windows cafe was a little repetitive and no sushi offering at lunch. We did not eat in Windows nor use the other 2 restaurants (Aqua and Prime)any evening.. Ports were interesting Entertainment was poor. We don't go to shows preferring music while we have a pre or post dinner drink or coffee. Guitarist and piano player were both poor and repetitive.. Can't comment on the shows as we don't do shows. Wifi is expensive and poor. Azamara need to address this as it could be a deal breaker for us TV entertainment is extremely poor. We were on-board for 17 days and films from 1st week were repeated on the second week. Some cruisers spend time in their cabin and like to relax and watch a film, not so on this ship. Offering was really poor unless you wanted to pay for a film. Some passengers don't want fancy shows but prefer quieter entertainment. Communication in "Pursuits" needs to be a bit more forward thinking e.g. "no bus into port a Salalah" needed to be communicated well ahead of the night before we docked. This resulted in a rush to book a tour for those that wanted to go ashore after 4 nights at sea. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
We sailed in September-October on a four week cruise Montreal-New Orleans on the Azamara Quest, under charter by a consortium of Australian travel agents.. As far as I am aware, there was no advertising of this charter on the Azamara ... Read More
We sailed in September-October on a four week cruise Montreal-New Orleans on the Azamara Quest, under charter by a consortium of Australian travel agents.. As far as I am aware, there was no advertising of this charter on the Azamara website, which was a pity because I am sure many Americans would have appreciated the opportunity to sail down their east coast. The major benefit would have been more rooms sold at full price, instead of the generous last-minute deals, which no doubt necessitated the charter company's cost-cutting. However, if Azamara was prepared to have its brand undermined because of what was clearly a poor relationship between it and the charter company, then that is the product presented to we first-time passengers, and the experience on which I comment. The rooms on the Quest are small and we had to walk sideways between the end of the bed and wall-mounted TV. The upright chair and coffee table were too heavy for regular movement ... but to use one, the other had to be repositioned. The curved sofa was only comfortable for one person to sit; its shape and size did not fit its corner placement, and the best place to watch the TV was from the bed. The designer of these ill-chosen pieces only needed to spend one night to know how unsuitable they are. The bathroom was minute and had no extraction. For a relatively small ship, 700 passengers, I found it impersonal. Middle management was invisible and obviously has no role in engaging with the customer ... except for the marketing people who, in a few ports, invited travel agents into the main guest lounge and spruiked their product. Blinds were lowered, a microphone and AV presentation used. How dismissive of we passengers using the lounge, when two empty restaurants were available to them to conduct business. The cruise director daily produced a long list of activities, most of which were “unhosted”. This was my first cruise where Bridge was not arranged; on ships of only 300 passengers, there can be a hardcore group of 30-40, especially on seas days. In poor or cool weather when the outer decks could not be used, the main dining room and cafeteria were over-crowded and noisy and, over a month, with too few daily changes, the a la carte menus became ordinary. The food was generally okay, but the superior meals were in the two speciality restaurants at an extra $60 a head. Standard alcohol was included, but a number of the wines were not acceptable. To overcome its aging ships, Azamara promotes its Land Discoveries as setting it apart from its competitors. Most of the 20 or so ports and shore excursions on our cruise were tremendous, but attention to detail by the ship’s staff was missing, e.g. presumably to keep down the cost of coaches timeframes were tight, and we were too often moved at a fast pace by guides (who were often half the age of most passengers, but we all kept up); guides unnecessarily cut short some tours; aging coaches; dubious drivers (one who drove with only one fist on the wheel!) who often didn’t know the route; dirty windows which have spoiled photographs. The ship’s New York berth, altered from Manhattan to a remote wharf in New Jersey with a poor shuttle service, was a disaster, and totally spoiled what most would have regarded as the major port of the cruise. Presumably this was cost cutting, and was an absolute disgrace. I have noticed reference in a previous review of Azamara’s “dysfunctional” website, and dirty windows; comments I completely endorse. Having been told Azamara is viewed as a 5-star ship ... I don't think so. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2016
My husband and I liked the idea of cruising to Venice, Croatia, Montenegro and Corfu. We had a wonderful time. We sailed with friends from the UK who we met in Galapagos in 2005. The staff was outstanding and the captain was a very ... Read More
My husband and I liked the idea of cruising to Venice, Croatia, Montenegro and Corfu. We had a wonderful time. We sailed with friends from the UK who we met in Galapagos in 2005. The staff was outstanding and the captain was a very personable guy, always mingling with guests. He actually sat down with us at dinner one evening, very interesting gentleman. The first couple of ports were quite interesting and different, but after that the towns started to run together, started to look alike; the old city with the fortress wall, etc. but the cruise overall was fantastic. The only downfall was the size of the shower. You had to turn around in it in order to get your total body wet. I swear it was 2 feet by 2 feet. And don't try to shave your legs ladies, it won't work. The food was out of this world and our favorite waiter, Mohammed was excellent. Loved those 2 cruises! We did a back to back which was the greatest yet. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
I chose the cruise because it had an amazing solo supplement price on a cruise with ports I had been longing to see again. Good decision!! I had sailed on this ship several years ago. When I stepped on board I just stopped and said ... Read More
I chose the cruise because it had an amazing solo supplement price on a cruise with ports I had been longing to see again. Good decision!! I had sailed on this ship several years ago. When I stepped on board I just stopped and said "wow!" Beautiful ship. Great service. Fun activities like dinner parties on deck with incredible singers. Many options for dinner. Great room service for breakfast before all those tours. I sat on the veranda and watched the sun rise painting every building in gold. Wine was pouring all day. I'm more of a vodka drinker, no problem. I traveled solo but quickly made friends. But please don't offer the escorts to me!!!! That's not what I want and I found it insulting to be asked. I'm suffering from jet lag One European voyage from US. CA. may be enough for a year but I'm clutching the voyage info and I will appear again. Thank you to all the staff I was well taken care of. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
We chose this cruise line because we had sailed with it the year before and had enjoyed it so much. We like the smaller size ship with fewer passengers thereby giving it a more intimate feel. Also gratuities and complimentary drinks ... Read More
We chose this cruise line because we had sailed with it the year before and had enjoyed it so much. We like the smaller size ship with fewer passengers thereby giving it a more intimate feel. Also gratuities and complimentary drinks are included so your know where you are so to speak when you commence the cruise. However, the standard of the complimentary wine list for 2016 was not as good as last year. As an example of this, there were no Australian or New Zealand wines available on any day and many Californian ones. The crew from the Captain downwards were marvellous and we could not fault them - welcoming, friendly and attentive. We feel that this cruise line suits people who want a quieter time enjoying talking and mixing with each rather than attending big variety shows - they did have evening entertainment but not on a large scale. The itinerary of this cruise is quite demanding as 4 of the 10 days involved very early starts and late evenings. The food in all restaurants was good but the MDR could supply more vegetables with dishes rather than having to ask for them every time. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
This was our third cruise with Azamara, chosen mainly for the itinerary. We stayed one night prior to embarkation at the Hilton, Athens. This was part of the package. Arrival in Athens was mid afternoon and about 35°C, so we decided ... Read More
This was our third cruise with Azamara, chosen mainly for the itinerary. We stayed one night prior to embarkation at the Hilton, Athens. This was part of the package. Arrival in Athens was mid afternoon and about 35°C, so we decided against moving away from the pool area! Transfer to the cruise terminal by coach was fine as was embarkation. The ship had very recently received new decor whilst in dry dock, which included carpets, soft furnishings and pool furniture I believe. Signs of wear are already apparent. Our room was very pleasant with comfy bed and new carpet, curtains and bed linen. Bathroom is as before - small ! There is a deep step down and the door barely opens enough to exit without some difficulty. Maintenance was very good. Dining options are varied. After two visits to the main restaurant , where the food was not particularly exciting and other diners next to us had left food too, we chose to eat mainly in The Patio. Much more to our liking and friendlier atmosphere. The White Night produced a very good spread. Minute steaks, which would put the MDR to shame. Prime C was enjoyable, but not really worth the $25 each supplement. The wine choices were okay and starting with the cruise after ours, there would be a sparkling wine offered too. Also sparkling water would be an option to still. Never mind - we missed that! Entertainment was very good or on one occasion very poor. Singers and dancers worked hard and were good. Eric the cruise director, who is 5ft. 18ins, in his words, was always impressive. Very versatile. The Captain and Eric claimed to be brothers, but Captain Johannes was possibly about 5ft. 5ins! This banter cropped up often and was funny. Eric also had a never ending string of funny " Grandad" stories! We generally received friendly service. The crew work very hard. Two in particular excelled and on the other hand two were memorable for their rudeness. We did not take any excursions as we are familiar with all but two of the ports. Not sure we would book with Azamara again, unless it was a suite with a larger bathroom. Debarkation was a muddle as quite a lot of passengers like us had late flights and Venice airport would not allow passengers in more than 3 hours before their flight! This tested Azamara's relevant crew, but in the end they arranged for us to debark later at midday. Our airport transfer was 13.30, so we had to wait at the cruise terminal until then. It was a long day to make a two hour flight back to Heathrow! Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
Great ports of call and a refurbished ship attracted us to Azamara Journey. Embarkation in Nice was a breeze. The Journey looked great. We had a balcony stateroom, 6082. The room was quite comfortable and the new furnishings gave it a ... Read More
Great ports of call and a refurbished ship attracted us to Azamara Journey. Embarkation in Nice was a breeze. The Journey looked great. We had a balcony stateroom, 6082. The room was quite comfortable and the new furnishings gave it a touch of elegance. The only noticeable shortcoming is the tiny bathroom and unusually tight shower. At least RCCL gives you expanding doors for the shower. This one still has the old shower curtain motif that is claustrophobic if not impractical. Dining was fine in the main dining room. Service was impeccable. Both specialist restaurants were nicely upscale. I preferred Prime over the Italian restaurant; the Italian one was fine except that it had no traditional Italian offerings that one would expect in the US. Service throughout the ship in the bars, main dining room and up top buffet was extraordinary. They truly make you feel a member of a club. The entertainment offerings were varied and top notch. The ports other than Barcelona were new to us. Seville, Gibraltar, Honfleur, Lisbon and Guernsey were all very interesting and we had tours in each. Our enrichment lecturer added all the historical significance that each of these ports merited. His lectures made the visits more meaningful. Additionally, we had a retired British Air pilot give a series of lectures on the Concord which were very informative and professionally prepared and presented. All in all this was a great cruise in all aspects. Azamara is to be commended! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
Loved the service from the staff for which AZAMARA is infamous. They are definitely the best for service by far of any cruise line. The ports of call were brilliant in the Mediterranean, and time in port gave the option to do two ... Read More
Loved the service from the staff for which AZAMARA is infamous. They are definitely the best for service by far of any cruise line. The ports of call were brilliant in the Mediterranean, and time in port gave the option to do two excursions if required. The AZAMAZING EVENINGS were so special in CHANIA and VALLETTA. We did back to back cruises but visited same place twice and managed to see so much more second time around. Loved the concept of The Living Room, improved a mainly unused room to a hive of activity. Tapas and drinks earlier plus tea and coffee brilliant. The favourite meeting place onboard. Loved the whole cruise and will go back to AZAMARA again. The refurbishment was only surface in the cabins. Linen, lovely, bathrooms not so good. Not much changed apart from taking the bathroom cabinet out and installing a shelf over the toilet. Lost a few things to the toilet. Hate the shower curtain with a passion. No clothesline as before and hooks from room wall removed. These were very handy in the past. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2016
Hidden Treasures of the Mediterranean cruise with Azamara Journey from Nice to Venice called into ports that we had never been to before, e.g. St Tropez, Cassis, Palamos, Ibiza, Propriano, Trapani, Hydra, Limassol & many more. I had ... Read More
Hidden Treasures of the Mediterranean cruise with Azamara Journey from Nice to Venice called into ports that we had never been to before, e.g. St Tropez, Cassis, Palamos, Ibiza, Propriano, Trapani, Hydra, Limassol & many more. I had looked at this cruise 12 months out from sail date, but decided it was just too expensive & we were unsure about sailing on a smaller ship in comparison to what we were used to. This was a charter cruise by Cruiseco. About 3 or 4 months out from sail date, Cruisco offered the 2nd passenger at half price so we decided to take up the offer. Some passengers were lucky enough to get 2 for 1 pricing!! The cruise was fantastic The Captain, Johannes & staff were fantastic The food left a lot to be desired, except for Aqualina, which was excellent We thought the selection of wines offered which was included in our fares was not very good. Others on board suggested that because it was a charter cruise the quality was not up to scratch. The activities on board were almost non existent - mahjong, cards, bingo, table tennis occasionally. However, the lecturer on board with his history lectures about the various ports & countries we were visiting, was excellent. Never missed one of his talks. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
We did the TA repositioning cruise for our 25th anniversary and enjoyed it alot. If you like "sea days", then this is the type of cruise for you. We were a bit nauseous with some ocean waves the first day, but got comfortable ... Read More
We did the TA repositioning cruise for our 25th anniversary and enjoyed it alot. If you like "sea days", then this is the type of cruise for you. We were a bit nauseous with some ocean waves the first day, but got comfortable quickly. Very nice cruise company and service was fantastic ... always with a smile and a "Hello, Mr and Mrs A". Food was B+ to A-, so do not expect a 3 star Michelin food, but it was tasty, plentiful and the variety was excellent. Shows were good. Do not expect to beat the house in Bingo or in the Casino, but it is fun to try. Aqualina and Prime C were very good, but we liked the Windows buffet the most. The gym, spa, pool, track and hot tubs were all used and appreciated. Mostly we relaxed, but of course, we ate too much. Port stops were good and I was surprised that we could be back on board only about 30 minutes before departure ... I was thinking it might be 90 minutes. Drinks were good - no complaints. Wines of the day were good and a nice selection of varieties ... my wife and I are wine experts and found the selections to be good. The crowd was "senior", so do not expect alot of raucous partying and craziness. All in all, I would say we felt it was a great cruise for the money and we would recommend Azamara to all our friends. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
First of all, the crew was outstanding and also the entertainment, with the exception of the "amazing evening" which was far below average. The food was good, although on two occasions, when my wife ordered from the menu, she ... Read More
First of all, the crew was outstanding and also the entertainment, with the exception of the "amazing evening" which was far below average. The food was good, although on two occasions, when my wife ordered from the menu, she was told that the item was not available. We did not go on any ship excursions so I cannot comment in this area. They ship itself was well-maintained, the elevators were prompt and there were many restrooms spread around the ship for convenience. I've been on approximately 130 cruises, top to bottom, and I was expecting those "extra touches" that would make Azamara a notch above Celebrity, NCL, etc. Did not find them. To me, it's the little things that make a difference and these were lacking on the Journey. For example, there were no bananas displayed for breakfast or lunch. They were available but you had to ask or go to a special window. The volume on our TV would go no lower than "10" on the volume scale. We play trivia often; but, half of the time, it was in a room too small and passengers had to lug chairs around for the game. I expected after dinner mints. There were none. Dinner service in the main dining room was "hit or miss". On more than one occasion, we waited and waited for our next course. My wife and I enjoy a glass of wine with our meals however the included wine was quite acid. After a day or two, we switched to mixed drinks. We enjoyed trivia and played about twice a day. Half of the time, we could not understand the person conducting the trivia because of language problems. At the end of the cruise, we looked forward to receiving T-shirts, along with about 25 other people. When the T-shirts were brought out, it was announced that only small and medium sizes were available. The larger sizes had been handed out on previous cruises. Not a way to run a ship! Again, these are examples of why Azamara is not "upscale" I'd suggest cruising on a Celebrity ship. A wonderful balance of cost and quality. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
After cruising with Celebrity and Holland America, we were looking for a more upscale experience.we decided to try the Azamara experience and it is an experience. Never have we had such friendly staff. Every morning a waiter in the buffet ... Read More
After cruising with Celebrity and Holland America, we were looking for a more upscale experience.we decided to try the Azamara experience and it is an experience. Never have we had such friendly staff. Every morning a waiter in the buffet restaurant would serve us a special coffe...one shot of espresso and then followed by Cafe Americano, this was the best coffee served with a smile. The staff on the Azamara are the best at sea. From the room stewards who were unobtrusive to the servers in the restaurants could not do enough for us. Anastasia in the cafe and casino bar was great, after the first evening, she knew exactly what to bring us , before we had a chance to order. The servers in the main dining room were fabulous. Food quality was really great. Much superior to the so called upper premium cruises. The hotel manager, Heike, was brilliant. She even came to say goodbye and gave us a hug during disembarkation.....this has never happened to us on the past 20 or more cruises. Cannot wait to return to this ship in 2017. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
This was our third cruise on the Azamara Journey, from total 39 cruises on 10 different cruise lines. We were looking forward how the refurbishment will change the view to the ship. And they did a good job in dry dock in ... Read More
This was our third cruise on the Azamara Journey, from total 39 cruises on 10 different cruise lines. We were looking forward how the refurbishment will change the view to the ship. And they did a good job in dry dock in Freeport/Bahamas. The Check-in was really fast, only 5 minutes and we had to wait for about 1 hour to get onboard at noon. And guess what, we´ve got an upgrade to a verandah stateroom at the aft of deck 8. Okay, sounds good, but this part of the ship is vibrating all the time, when the ship is sailing. If you like to read a book lying on your bed, this will vibrate all the time. If you are sensitive for seasickness, this is not the cabin type for you. Cabin: The new beds are wonderful, the mattresses are really comfortable, and the bedding is very good. Compared to the old beds, which caused us backache for the whole cruise, this is a quantum leap forward in comfort. They mixed old parts in the cabin like the closets and the desk with the new refurbished parts, like the beds, new carpets, new love seat, new huge TV. Bathroom is as small as in an inside cabin and I hate this close contact to the shower curtain every day. But the bathroom is too small for another solution. We like the creamy soaps, shampoos, body lotions, but a lady asked me to write, that the smell is not acceptable for men. I spoke about it to other passengers and they were satisfied as we were, even the men. Towels were soft but some of the small towels had stains and wholes. That is not acceptable for a ship like the Journey and attendants have to sort them out. Hotel director agreed about this fact. Stateroom was cleaned twice a day, bottled water were placed close to the bed every evening. The verandah was deeper than the usual verandahs, but… a lot of soot every day. You could not use the deckchairs without putting a towel on it. They cleaned it every day, but if you wanted to use the table in the afternoon (when ship was sailing) you first had to clean the table by yourself. There is enough space for the table with a comfortable size you can have your breakfast or other meals and two chairs. Journey has two staircases, both with 2 elevators, which came really fast. I liked the refurbished Mosaic Café on deck 5, the new Living Room on deck 10 and we spent a lot of time sitting in both, one for coffee time and writing my German review and the Living Room to meet new friends and have some drinks together and some snacks from the new tapas bar which I can highly recommend. The restaurants: there are several restaurants on the Journey. First of all the main dining room – Discoveries, we preferred for dinner except for two evenings, when we dined with friends in the Patio and we did not like the menus. Good to very good menus, but no highlights. Good to very good service, but not better than on other Cruiselines, sorry. We preferred the Windows Café with the self service for breakfast, ordering eggs we liked, like delicious Eggs Benedict, served to our table after ordering and prepared behind the scenes. I like the Smoothies every morning, different styles and the fresh squeezed orange juice. Coffee and other things could be ordered by friendly waiters and were served at your table. We like it sitting outside in the Sunset Bar and enjoying breakfast with a fresh breeze. We prefer standing up early and have an early breakfast; so we never had problems finding an available table. But later in the morning Windows Café was a bit crowded. For lunch we loved eating outside close to the pool in the sheltered area from the now called Patio with all the fresh prepared dishes from the grill. Many people loved this place for having lunch, so it was a lot of noise and busy all the time. In the past the opposite side was also open for lunch; that was much better, to lunch with some ease and comfort. But they closed the passage to the other side and nobody served there. Getting bar service in this area was also difficult. The waiters were not attentive enough. We had dinner two times in The Patio with some friends and it was also really good. And you had the chance to combine the offers from Patio with the offers from Windows Café. It was empty in the evening, so you had really good and fast service and we all liked it. Every time during the day you could ask for the wine of the day. White and red wine changed daily but the rose was the same for the whole cruise. A Portuguese rose, not the best quality, but drinkable. I know some people did not like the wines and purchased a wine package. Or they bought the Ultimate Beverage package, having a better quality for the drinks and cocktails. We were satisfied with the included drinks, but my husband only drinks a beer and not every day. Entertaining: The cast was not as good as on the other cruises with AZ and shows on other Cruiselines were better.I missed “Voices”, one of the best shows I´ve ever seen on the high seas. We only listened to one guest entertainer, a young violinist and that show was quiet good. Tony Markey´s show was also good; he has an excellent voice and it´s always fun to see him performing. Also in the show they performed during White Night. The Big Band was really good, but the guitarist and pianist were playing the same songs over and over and not really well. The White Night on Deck, with all things decorated in white, even white chairs and tables, many passengers dressed in white, a really good buffet served by the senior officers, a good show and a lot of dancing passengers, including me, was wonderful. The AzAmazingEvening in St. Maarten was nice, with a steel band by young Caribbean musicians and an electrical string quartet and dancers performing at the side of the passengers, sitting close to the stage. A 5 minute firework at the end was a surprise but the evening was not as good as our AzAmazingEvening we had in Liverpool. But typical Caribbean and we liked it. The evening ended in the Living Room with Cherries Jubilees and a show from Marcus, one of the singers from the cast. The ports of call: We started with two days at sea, our first port of call was St. John, the little sister of St. Thomas and we had a nice private tour to explore the island with wonderful beaches. The next day we docked in Antigua and because it was Palm Sunday and there was only one other small cruise ship in port, the island was almost empty and we could enjoy all the beautiful views and English Harbor, as well as a nice beach stop. This was also a private tour; we booked together in advance with a group of 19 CC people. Following port was Nevis, little sister from St. Kitts, but we had an appointment on St. Kitts and had an exhausting time on the ferries to and back from St. Kitts. After arriving back on Nevis we only wanted to tender back to our Journey. Next stop was St. Barts, also a tender port, with a lot of traffic in Gustavia, but we enjoyed walking around, watching all the million dollar yachts in the harbor for a while and avoiding these really expensive shops in the center. Our last port was Virgin Gorda and we had again a pre booked tour with CC members. For about 1,5 hours we enjoyed the views from different sightseeing points of the island and ended with a stop at Spring Beach. A CC friend had done some research about the beaches and we decided not to visit the maybe overcrowded The Bath and all of us loved Spring Beach. We were about 20 people at this beach, with an easier access and a lot of space for everybody. We enjoyed the crystal clear water, and the soft waves, the rock formations, Virgin Gorda is famous for. And everybody said afterwards, that was the best day we had on the cruise. Okay the sunburn was not so nice, but visiting Spring Beach was worth it. Reaching Miami after two more relaxing days at sea, with unfortunately a lot of reserved deckchairs, we were due to technical problems a bit late. But no problem for us, we could stay longer onboard, because we had an afternoon flight. Not so good for passengers with an early flight. Disembarkation and Immigration were really fast. In about 10 minutes we were outside the building but the organization for the airport transfers was not really good. Conclusion: it was a wonderful cruise, on a really good refurbished ship with nice crew, wonderful and often visible officers, a good service, food from good to very good, but no highlights except the Seniors Officers Table, mediocre entertainment and nice contacts to other passengers from many different countries. The itinerary was perfect because we know almost every other Caribbean island from 9 other Caribbean cruises and we visited now these small other islands, big cruise ships cannot go. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
Long time cruiser but first with Azamara. The ship was undergoing an annual Coast Guard Inspection so we were delayed embarkation until 12:30. We arrived at that time and our wait was 15 minutes. Check in went smoothly. Our bags, ... Read More
Long time cruiser but first with Azamara. The ship was undergoing an annual Coast Guard Inspection so we were delayed embarkation until 12:30. We arrived at that time and our wait was 15 minutes. Check in went smoothly. Our bags, however, were not delivered until after 4 PM and talking to the crew we found that this was normal performance for them. Other cruise lines bring your bags much sooner. High points of the ship and cruise: Fantastic lunches and buffets. Incredible White Night and Officer's Buffet on deck. The Azamazing Evening in St. Martin was excellent. Overall food quality was very good. Very friendly staff and officers. The ship was just remodeled and looked great. There were rust spots they missed but overall it is excellent. The entertainment was also well above average, excellent musicians and Lecturers. Low points: We booked an Oceanview Guarantee and since were 3 months before cruise time we had hoped for some type of upgrade. No luck at all. We got one of the cabins behind the lifeboats and it is a TINY cabin! The view was pretty good. We travel heavy and there was insufficient room for us, particularly in the miniscule bathroom and not enough countertop space in the main cabin. We were unhappy with our cabin. Although very friendly, the service was spotty, particularly in the Main Dining Room. We had evenings that our dinner took much longer than 2 hours. One night we waited 90 minutes for the main entrée to arrive. The crew was so stressed out that even senior officers were pressed into helping prepare and clean tables. Something was wrong there. We would order coffee upstairs and it took 5 to 10 minutes before they returned. We took two shore excursions on the ship and enjoyed them very much, had a great time. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
This was our third trip through the Panama Canal and we enjoyed it as much as our first two. We had been to many of the ports on this itinerary before, so we picked this cruise for the ship - we love the R Class ships. We sailed many ... Read More
This was our third trip through the Panama Canal and we enjoyed it as much as our first two. We had been to many of the ports on this itinerary before, so we picked this cruise for the ship - we love the R Class ships. We sailed many times on Renaissance - it was our favorite line. We have followed the dispersal of the 8 R Class ships after the line filed for bankruptcy (Oceania has 4, Azamara has 2, Princess has 1 and Fathom has 1, going to Cuba) We are both in our 60s and love sea days. We don't pick cruises for the entertainment or even the ports at this point. We never do the ship's land excursions. This was our first Azamara cruise but it won't be our last. We loved everything about this trip (except for the long lines at embarkation in LA). We tend to keep to ourselves and liked the number of tables for two available in most venues (in Main Dining Room they were extremely close to one another). The ship was extensively updated about 30 days prior to our cruise and the smell of new carpet and paint had faded. The public rooms and staterooms have new carpet and furniture. Overall the the ship is in great shape and the crew was fantastic - friendly and helpful. We originally booked a standard veranda cabin on deck 7 but changed to 7116 - an aft facing veranda with a larger balcony. We loved the view of the ships wake and had breakfast several times on our balcony. The food always arrived hot and to order. Room service even calls a few minutes before delivery - a nice touch. The cabin is small but adequate. The bed was firm and comfortable. The bathroom is tiny, with room for only one person at a time but we have experienced that before with no problems. This cabin's balcony does occasionally have particles of soot land on the table or deck depending on the wind. We also had one night of rough seas with some motion, but overall, no noticeable vibration when underway. TV reception was spotty - thank goodness! But announcements over the ship's PA do not play over the TV, so you have to open your door to hear them. The good thing is there are VERY few announcements and in only one language. Gratuities are included in the fare. Cabin attendants were very efficient and considerate but never introduced themselves. The service in the bars and around the pool was fine - not pushy- but a bit laid back in the Living Room on deck 10. We usually had to chase down a server to get a drink. We splurged a few time and upgraded our liquor choice but we were generally pleased with the included beverages. We did not spend time lying in the sun by the pool, so we cannot comment on the chair saving issues. We did enjoy walking the track on 10 and gym was very well equipped. The Library (now known as the Drawing Room) is a quiet and peaceful place to read and has quite a few books. We ate most of our meals at the buffet (Windows) even dinner where they feature a different country's cuisine each night. The grill on the pool deck has nice lunches. At night it is transformed in a sit down dining venue called the The Patio. We only ate there once but it was a very lovely setting. We ate dinner in the Main Dining Room a few times and found the food and service fine. We really enjoyed the Jazz Brunch on our last sea day headed for Miami. We did a package on the specialty restaurants - 3 nights for $20 per person each venue. We made the reservations as soon as we got on board and there was a short wait but not bad at all. The highlights were the chateaubriand in the Prime C and the lemon soufflé in the Aqualina. My wife enjoyed the bridge on the sea days and I enjoyed the lectures, especially the film critic from Canada, Rich Staehling. Azamara has a strict no smoking policy. Smoking is only permitted on the forward starboard section of the pool deck. We are non smokers and we were never bothered by the smell. Well done, Azamara! Our fellow passengers were about half Americans and the other half the rest of the world. The Azamazing Experience was held in Cabo San Lucas. We did not attend and from what we heard, the experience was not great. They tendered 600 people to buses and drove them into the desert for the show and then had to bring them all back. The last did not arrive back until after midnight. In contrast the White Night was held in Cartagena and it was huge success. The food was wonderful with lots of freshly grilled meats. They even did a wonderful Bananas Foster for dessert. We enjoyed the Columbian dancers and lots of passengers danced under the stars to the band. A really fun evening!! So to sum it up - a great trip on a great ship! We loved the all-inclusive more than we thought we would. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
We have sailed on Azamara before, so its clear that they offer a product that we value. 1/ An example of their service: at embarkation in Istanbul it was raining. Evaluating the next day's forecast, Captain Magnus decided, I'm ... Read More
We have sailed on Azamara before, so its clear that they offer a product that we value. 1/ An example of their service: at embarkation in Istanbul it was raining. Evaluating the next day's forecast, Captain Magnus decided, I'm certain with headquarters' approval, to switch the first 2 ports so as to maximize our chance of good weather. This tactic worked perfectly, although I'm positive it entailed extra travel time and thus cost. 2/ In an improvement over previous cruises, there is a focus, both in the MDR and Windows Cafe, on aiding those with food allergies. For example, in Windows dishes without common triggers are labelled to allow better choice. 3/ White Night on board was a terrific experience and reflected the evolution of the concept. 4/ The presence of so many friendly and familiar faces onboard suggests an excellent retention rate of their valued staff. 5/ Azamara prides itself in providing a destination immersion experience (for example longer times in ports). This itinerary was no exception. 6/ Despite the fact the Journey heads to drydock in January, the condition of the ship, and our stateroom, was excellent. 7/ We thought the food superb, but this is truly subjective. Conclusion: Azamara did not disappoint. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2015
Ship much older than one would think. Interior tries to intimidate the luxury of by gone days. 1). RECEPTION Check in at port excellent and quick. At reception it stated that the ship was full and no cabins were available to be ... Read More
Ship much older than one would think. Interior tries to intimidate the luxury of by gone days. 1). RECEPTION Check in at port excellent and quick. At reception it stated that the ship was full and no cabins were available to be changed. This was totally untrue. Upon reaching our cabin which was to be shared by two ladies we found it to be extremely small and dark and in no way suitable for a 12 day cruise. We returned to reception and as by magic another cabin materialized which obviously we had to pay for single occupancy then. 2). RESTAURANTS Open seating in main dining room which was comfortable also gave you the opportunity to meet other guests. On first night waiter came to table (when eventually full) to offer red or white wine with no knowledge of what was in the bottle. On only one evening did the waiter know or bother to explain what wine was on offer for that meal. The food was extremely poor and very badly presented. Even the menus looked like they had seen better days. Should one want any vegetables with your meal it was necessary to order these separately. Windows self service cafe gave good choices for breakfast. Nevertheless, while in port one day we had an invasion of flies. No preventative equipment to keep the flies of the food was available and the poor staff were left just using tea towels to try and swat them away. Most unhygienic. 3). DAYS OUT Excursions very expensive and tended to run over time. 4). ENTERTAINMENT Resident entertainment team good but visiting acts where at best third rate. 5). CASINO Was like a morgue with no atmosphere and no encouragement to play. 6). SHOP Well stocked and obviously over priced. 7) SHIP'S NIGHT OUT We we invited to a concert on land which was organized by the entertainment staff of the ship, This was short but enjoyable and involved an hour on a coach to spend 30 minutes at the concert. But well done for trying something different. 8). BAR The inclusive drinks package cocktails had no explanation as to what they actually contained and yet if you were to pay for a specialty cocktail then full details of what it contained were listed. 9). DAILY ACTIVITIES These were very limited unless you wished to go on a organised tour. 10). EXTERIOR AND POOL AREA. Plenty of lovely comfortable sun beds but swimming pool far too small for a swim. Merely ideal for a dip to cool off. 11). GYM Well equipped and open nice and early. Although some keep fit classes where offered early morning these were very limited. 10). TYPE OF GUESTS There were a large number of travel agents on board which in my opinion says they are trying hard to promote this ship. Average age 60 plus. 12). My overall view of this ship is that it does not compete well for the modern cruising needs of guests. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2015
When our son announced he was getting married in Spain two years ago, we knew we wanted to add something from our "bucket list" to our second trip to Spain. We decided to add a "luxury" cruise to tick off Greece and ... Read More
When our son announced he was getting married in Spain two years ago, we knew we wanted to add something from our "bucket list" to our second trip to Spain. We decided to add a "luxury" cruise to tick off Greece and Turkey from our list. I think I read every single review about the Azamara Journey experience before I booked our cruise. I was nervous when reading that some previous cruisers thought quality on Azamara trips was deteriorating. But, the Azamara was the only cruise that fit our time-line with the wedding and I was holding my breath until we boarded! Thankfully, we did not find the negatives expressed by some! It was an AMAZING experience! As everyone says, the staff is superb! We felt pampered and we genuinely liked everyone on staff that we met. Because the cruise was after the wedding, as soon as we boarded I booked a mani/pedi it was heavenly! I also booked a massage for my husband... We ate in all the specialty restaurants at least once and the food was very good. We also booked the French Chef's Tasting Table. The food at this additional $$ event, was excellent! I can say that because my son's wedding reception was at a two star Michelin Restaurant in Ezcaray, Spain... which is why I want to say Kudos to Chef Monica and the Sommelier, David who both took the time to thoroughly describe the foods and wines served and answer any questions we had! The daily breakfast buffet's were good, I think better than most ... is the way to describe Azamara regular dining cruise food. During our cruise, the heat was almost unbearable, but always waiting at the dock or by the tender dock, after a hot day of touring, was a group of smiling Azamara staff waiting for us under a tent with cold water to drink and ice cold wash cloths to cool before we boarded again.... Did not see that with any other cruise line! I really enjoyed the AzAmazing evening in Ephesus, it was a picture perfect evening with excellent music. I mean picture perfect... I got some great shots! And, the White Party aboard the ship was a blast! Speaking of music and entertainment... for such a small ship it was EXCELLENT... Those kids put their heart and soul into their performances. You can tell they are there because they love to entertain! My favorite Land Discovery Tour was: Kusadasi Port Insider Access ~ Taste Of Turkish Country Life. I attended that while my husband visited the ruins. I so enjoyed a "Turkish" family showing us, first hand, the customs of their culture. I also was lucky to be on the tour with several Azamara Front Office folks so I was able to express a desire for more "family customs & culture" type tours... I really don't recommend Azamara for young "families"... or really the under 50 bunch. While there was excellent entertainment, it really is geared for the "older" set. I can't wait to book my next Azamara experience... I know that the ships are being refurbished so I'm sure I'll be giving it 10 Stars after my next voyage! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2015
We have been on over 15 10-14 day cruises on Celebrity and a few on Prncess- the big and mid size ships and enjoyed them immensely. When we met other cruisers on these cruises they as well as our travel agent raved about Azumara. When we ... Read More
We have been on over 15 10-14 day cruises on Celebrity and a few on Prncess- the big and mid size ships and enjoyed them immensely. When we met other cruisers on these cruises they as well as our travel agent raved about Azumara. When we found a back to back itinerary we liked 18 months ago we booked the Azamara cruises. Due to the number of cruises on Celebrity we were at a high tier in the Captains Club and our first cruise on the Journey took us to the next level. We flew to Athens a few days early so we would not have jet lag on the cruise. We took a taxi to the port and were greeted by an Azamara rep who got a porter to take our bags and escorted us to the check in area. I was surprised to see coffee and snacks available for people who were checking in. The check in process was quick and we boarded the ship and headed to the 9th fl. for a buffet lunch while waiting to get into our cabin. Ship information After putting our things in the cabin we decided to explore the ship before we had to go to the fire drill. We had heard the ship was small but did not realize how small. One can imagine the Celebrity Constellation common areas cut down by 3/4ths. It is easy to go from the dining areas to the common areas as well as to the pool deck. Even though there are two elevators for and aft we never had to wait long for one to go between decks, The entertainment was in the Caberet lounge which was small and intimate- chairs very unconfortable though. the dining room is nice and seems to be a smaller version of the one on the Constellation. We only had one meal here though. Cabin- we had a club suite which was on deck 8. Above us was the pool deck. The nights of events and after were very noisy early am pm as the crew was setting everything up. the cabin was spacious and the only issues we had which will be corrected during the retrofit is no shower and a small tv. Our butler and attendants were great. Dining-- We are used to the fixed seat dining and could adapt to the open seating system but the menu choices were horrible. As the CC reviewer noted 1 fish, 1 meat and 1 vegetarian entree and some exotic appitizers were the menu choices as well as a small regular menu. the Windows buffet offered some great themed meals so we either ate there or at the specialty restaurant. Since there is no formal night we asked our butler to let us know when the surf and turf would be on the dining room menu. that night we went to the dining room and seated quickly. The waiter came and we ordered the flilet and 1/2 lobster tail. \our food came and we were shocked how SMALL the portions were- the filet the size of a meatball and the 1/2 lobster tail was more like a crayfish. We ate and then went upstairs to have something else to eat as we were still hungry. Looking around the dining room that night we noticed all the waiters had sad/surly/inexpressive faces while walking around and serving- Is this a result of the open seating or the inclusive tip policy? The waitstaff on the Celebrity ships in dining rooms were always smiling and happy and we enjoyed having a fixed waiter and assistant who got to know us and our tastes. Since we ate so much in the two specialty dining rooms the staff got to know us and provided service with a smile. The menu was good and the food tasty. If these two restaurants were not on the ship I would have had to bring in food every day for dinner. The Windows cafe had the theme night dinners and the food was fine and easy to get a table. the only improvement could be to play music to match the theme and some centerpieces ie Spanish night- Spanish music and a Spanish flag on ea. table. Breakfast in the Windows cafe was good- menu geared towards the British passengers as half the ship's guests were British. [same for dining room- menu favored British food}. The brunch was really good and had a wide selection of food. We really enjoyed this meal. White night included a buffet on deck- average food. Activities- limited but enough to keep one occupied. The guest lecturer was very good and gave a lot of talks. Children's program- none - the staff had to rig one up to occupy the many children on the cruise. Service- all tips were included - all the marketing kept touting this fact as well as the waiters will wait on you to bring drinks and water and food ordered at the counter. We only ate once in the main dining room and I commented on service above so I will address the Windows cafe and the 2 specialty dining rooms. All the staff seems to come from the Phillipines and mostly male. Service was hit and miss depending on the maitre de and the waiter. We were in the Cafe and our area was empty and not a waiter in sight on night. I had to go to maitre de to get a waiter. Otther times we had to get up and order drinks at the bar or find a waiter at breakfast to get our coffee. The so called waiter service again is over emphasized as it is not consistent. I resented to prepaying the tips and high fare to get this poor service. Entertainment- Erik the cruise director and the 5 singers and dancers were great!! Bad part was that they did not perform every night. the piano player was very good and the magician terrible. the last nights show is not to be missed but I would night take the cruise to see this show as great as it was. The White night was the only night where there was music by the pool- no entertainment on the pool deck during the cruise. The guitar player was horrible- playing sad blues music during an event which is supposed to be uplifting. A CD would have bee an GReat improvment. The amazing night and white night were fine but again not worth the extra cost of the cruise. Small tv and very few free movies available as well as limited tv stations. Shore excursions- few offered and since we have been to most of the ports we did not go on any. Disembark- Since we were on a back to back we did not disembark but traded our sea pass cards for new ones. NOTE- B 2 B passengers do not need visas and we noted this on our survey form and still charged the visa fees. We had to make many visits and calls to guest relations to get the charges reversed. Very poor performance considering the few passengers and high staff to passenger ratio. Summary- Not worth the extra cost for the all inclusive feature- ie tips and drinks and water. I am used to getting my own coffee and water and food in the buffet on other cruises but resent having to do it on this ship as this is a perk included in the fare. Only a few waiters/waitresses seemed happy to serve and smiling when seen. Most had a sad/resigned/surly look all the time. The ones in the specialty dining were happier as I think they liked having the opportunity to get tips. The dining room menu as well as the food was nothing to write home about. If one wants small portions of British themed food one will enjoy the dining room. I have never seen so much wine poured so freely [no pun intended]- maybe the guests were so gassed they did not have room for food or could taste the food. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
We thought this would be a lovely start to an 8 week trip to Europe and help us relax and unwind at the beginning. How wrong can you be. From start to finish this itinerary is full of wonderful ports, sometimes 2 in a day, so you ... Read More
We thought this would be a lovely start to an 8 week trip to Europe and help us relax and unwind at the beginning. How wrong can you be. From start to finish this itinerary is full of wonderful ports, sometimes 2 in a day, so you never get a chance to unwind and relax! This said we loved it but thought if it was spread over 9-10 days it would be much more enjoyable especially in the heat of summer. This was our second cruise on Journey and our third on Azamara but the first in the Med. We were exploring the beautiful Adriatic coast with ports of Zadar, Split, Hvar, Kotor and Dubrovnik with an overnight in Venice on the last night. All ports were fabulous and even though we had visited three before we enjoyed revisiting them. We were in a Club Continent Suite 8056 which is just aft of the aft elevators/stairs midships and on port side. We love the large balcony for breakfasts and drinks at night. We had several meals in the Speciality restaurants and they were all enjoyable and well presented and cooked as was the service. The Azamazing evening with Ana Rucner a wonderful cellist, held in the Mestrovic Gallery in Split, was fabulous. We didnt get to eat at the White Nights deck BBQ this cruise as it was scheduled on the same night as Lobster night in the MDR. Shame, as we usually get to experience both and enjoy both of them, so we were very disappointed with this change and poor planning. Another money saver we guessed. Wine served with meals was terrific in quality and variety and if one was not to our liking you can request the previous days or one we had preferred. Service was exceptional, except for room service breakfast which first morning came cold, so we resorted to cold breakfast after this and our butler was obviously new and untrained and was very disappointing after fabulous butlers we have had before. We thought the entertainment onboard was some of the best we have ever seen on an Azamara ship and Eric and the singers and dancers were outstanding. Also brilliant were Beverley Davison, a combination of violinist and comedienne, very funny, Max di Faz a wonderful singer and an english Magician/Comedian who was excellent. Overall, a wonderful cruise, but we will be giving other lines a try for awhile, as we think a comparism to this size of ship is necessary to gain a real overview. 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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