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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Three ports in Cuba, three days in Havana. . .all were enticing! Our first cruise on Azamara, a little pricey, but we were determined to make the trip. As others have said, we, too, were led to believe that you needed to participate in the ... Read More
Three ports in Cuba, three days in Havana. . .all were enticing! Our first cruise on Azamara, a little pricey, but we were determined to make the trip. As others have said, we, too, were led to believe that you needed to participate in the high-priced Azamara excursions every day in order to comply with both U.S. and Cuban rules for U.S. visitors. Not true. Although we did three tours because we wanted to, on other days we sought to comply with the people-to-people commitment on our own. Basically, the Cubans care about what you bring into Cuba, but generally not what you do while there. U.S. government cares what you are doing while in Cuba, but were really lax when we returned with no one even asking what we had to declare. Go figure. A couple of months before the trip, the number of days in Havana was reduced to 2 days--disappointing--but apparently beyond control of Azamara. Same for need to be tendered, not docked, into Santiago de Cuba. Tendering took 20 minutes from ship to dock, and was well handled by the crew. For us, Labadee, Haiti--the private resort owned by Azamara's owner, Royal Caribbean--was wasted on us. Azamara passengers appear to average age 72, and I cannot imagine they took advantage of all the outdoor activities offered--again at high prices--or even just lie on the beach for a full day. There was even a charge for a nature walk around the resort. Really?! Lunch BBQ was great--avoid the food set out in the sun--but saddened by watching the under-nourished and water-denied dogs wandering about. Come on, Royal Caribbean. . .even if these animals are owned by locals, put out food & water, and perhaps have them spayed. Since this ship is the original, but refurbished, R6 (now-defunct Renaissance Cruises), we felt very comfortable having traveled on the R1. The Club Veranda Stateroom was very nice. A few minor negatives: smallish bathroom, poor quality of TV set image, magnifying bathroom mirror was fine if passenger is over 5'7". Large comfortable bed, ample storage space, a zillion hangers in a lighted closet, incredible steward service, free self-service laundry (on level 7). Public areas were comfortable and always clean. Discoveries dining room (main) is large and can be noisy--come early or late to avoid this. Service is wonderful, and the food is good quality. Because of size, however, the occasional buffet there can get a little chaotic. The more casual dining option, Windows Cafe, is always buffet, but better passenger flow. Food is tasty but some items can be more cafeteria-like. Once we saw the additional cost for the two specialty restaurants, we decided to stick with the dining that was included in fare. We're used to not being charged extra on Oceania and Celebrity. Oh, Internet was also extra--not so on Celebrity, Viking, or Oceania. Having been on small cruise ships, we do not expect Broadway shows or big entertainment events. The few singers were very good, although music selections were a little dated. The Azamara Orchestra is really a 4-man band. . .and they were excellent. The 24-year old leader plays piano and delivers witty repartee. The White Nights was much more to our liking with music and dancing from the 70s. Think most of the 600+ passengers turned out for this on-deck activity. There was one enrichment speaker for the whole trip: four presentations in ten days. He knew the material, but his delivery was deadly. I was not the only one who nodded off to sleep while the professor droned on. We will price Azamara voyages in future, but we might find better value for the same trip on Azamara's sister Celebrity ships. Yes, they are larger, but not one of the "Leviathan of the Seas" class ships! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Recommended by friends. Very disappointed with the wines. I’ve been told how good they were in the past but I know other passengers were disappointed also. I have booked another cruise and giving Azamara another chance to improve ... Read More
Recommended by friends. Very disappointed with the wines. I’ve been told how good they were in the past but I know other passengers were disappointed also. I have booked another cruise and giving Azamara another chance to improve their wines. Good Australian wines are not at all expensive. Apart from that I enjoyed the cruise with Azamara I like more than one day in ports and chose this cruise for that reason as well as the destinations. Eric de Gray is one one of your best assets. Edina in the restaurants was always so friendly and willing to serve us with a smile. Enjoyed Agnes Lee’s Bridge sessions. Our cabin was serviced to our expectations We could dine whenever we liked and sitting with different people in the Discovery Dining was so good. Our Excursion to Hanoi was a big disappointment. Azamazing evening was very good but too much food was offered at the venue. We had eaten on the ship and didn’t know there would be so much food offered. A waste of so much food as we didn’t have any. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
Great trip with friends sightseeing parts of the world that we hadn't considered before, especially the Suez Canal and the Red Sea. Although a small sample, the various visits gave a good appreciation of Arab culture and Middle East ... Read More
Great trip with friends sightseeing parts of the world that we hadn't considered before, especially the Suez Canal and the Red Sea. Although a small sample, the various visits gave a good appreciation of Arab culture and Middle East politics. The smaller ship certainly allows for docking without using tenders saving time to visit the wonders of Luxor and Petra, which were incredible. Comparing and contrasting the wonders of the old world(Luxor and Petra) to those of the new world(Dubai) are just one of the reasons to take this cruise. Dining options are varied with upscale Prime and Aqualina restaurants top notch. Crew are well trained and extremely capable and versatile. Entertainment and lectures were very well done especially cruise director Eric de Gray, who not only is an extremely capable director but also an amazing performer. Lecturer John and his passion for the universe drew me to his daily lectures while at sea. Excursions were well organized except for some confusion regarding the hop on hop off bus in Dubai with length(1 day or 2 day), where to embark, outdated maps available on the ship. Otherwise the bus provided a good overview of Dubai. A trip I would definitely recommend. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
We sailed on the Azamara Journey 18 months ago and really enjoyed it so we decided to book this cruise from Athens to Dubai. We arrived after 2:30 pm so embarkation was a breeze. The ship came out of dry dock just prior to our cruise 18 ... Read More
We sailed on the Azamara Journey 18 months ago and really enjoyed it so we decided to book this cruise from Athens to Dubai. We arrived after 2:30 pm so embarkation was a breeze. The ship came out of dry dock just prior to our cruise 18 months ago and the refurb is showing it’s age especially in the staterooms. The bathroom shower is wallpapered and starting to peel and the floor of the bathroom is a vinyl tile. This is not what I would expect from an upper Premium cruise line. The menus in the main dining room have meant less choices that our last cruise, especially the lunch menu. Very few choices and a buffet station every day. I find it difficult to understand why one would choose to go to the main dining room at lunch to stand in line for a stir fry or pasta. Some evenings the food was excellent others very poor. We ordered salmon and seared scallops and they were both raw. Considering that we were under a code 3 for norovirus, I would have expected more care to be taken with food preparation. The buffet restaurant was for the most part good, although they now serve frozen strawberries and blackberries for breakfast. This is the first cruise in 30 plus years that I have encountered frozen berries. We really enjoyed the shows, especially anything with Eric. He is fantastic. We particularly enjoyed the Halloween show. It was great! We did not participate in many activities as we had booked a number of Shore excursions and enjoyed the pool on Sea days. Service was excellent everywhere on board. We are having difficulty deciding whether to return to Azamara. We compare to Oceania and think that O may come out ahead. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
Just back from this cruise, having left early for family reasons. We've done multiple Azamara cruises and this was our third on this itinerary, so we obviously love the line and this itinerary. Halong Bay is a justifiably world ... Read More
Just back from this cruise, having left early for family reasons. We've done multiple Azamara cruises and this was our third on this itinerary, so we obviously love the line and this itinerary. Halong Bay is a justifiably world heritage area; Marble Mountain and Hoi An (from Danang) are wonderful places to visit; Ho Chi Minh City is a unique experience, if only for crossing the roads; and Bangkok always has something new to show us. With the exception of a boat tour of Halong bay, all the other places can be explored privately, aided by taxis, foot and sky train. We cruised Quest in April 16, just after the refit, and now have cruised Journey post re-fit. Several improvements are of note. The Pool Grill is a wonderful night dining addition. The Sunset Bar deck is very popular at night (often difficult to get a seat for a drink or meal) - thanks for listening Azamara. The Living Room (ex Looking Glass) is now a wonderful space, with people gathering together for pre-dinner drinks and chats, with quiet music accompaniment in the background and attentive service staff. Several years ago we enjoyed a cruise in which Eric organised several of the singers to perform solo shows pre-dinner. Didn't happen this time but the cast were on their first cruise. I hope this initiative returns. We did get a Glenn Miller Show from the band one sea afternoon and it was very enjoyable - good band; great drummer. The current DJ, Eddie, is great fun, both in the disco and for various quizzes - he has an effusive personality (other cast members would do well to observe and learn; they unfortunately inject no personality in to the quizzes - I know, they're young and inexperienced but could do better than "the next question is..."). With Eddie and Mario, Azamara have two absolute gems. The food quality, service, ambience were as good as always and we met some delightful, happy people, as we always do on Azamara - it really does have its own atmosphere doesn't it. Not to be overlooked, tenders are easy - no queuing for tickets - just go down when it suits; free shuttle buses of quite short distances - none of this 2 hours from the city in Bangkok and HCM); exceptional docking location in Hong Kong harbour. Although we had to leave the day of White Night, I have no doubt this was again the highlight of the cruise. We didn't do Azamazing to the Ancient City, as we've been twice previously and while it's a very good Azamazing night, we thought we'd pass up the 1hr plus bus trip this time. I'm not suggesting they change it - it really is one of the best Azamazing nights we've attended, given that it is in a delightful setting and gives a good cross-section of Thai cultural activities. However, I was surprised to hear there were no fireworks this time. We stayed on board; were 2 of 4 having dinner in Prime C and were amongst the 7 guests who had a few laughs from "Bridget Jones' Baby" on the pool deck. All in all, a reasonably pleasant but weird night, being aboard with so few people. Now for the areas that IMHO need some improvement. We love Voices and the other production shows. For a small cruise ship they are of excellent standard. From LCV cocktail parties in recent years, it is apparent that the number of returning guests continues to grow. It is well past time to commission Voices 2 and one or more other production shows. Return guests would appreciate a change. We were lucky enough to be offered a LCV upgrade from veranda to suite, which we of course accepted. The shower cubicle is great. However, they've removed the DVD players, leaving suite guests to cope with the measly 2 free movies per day, on a 7 day rotation. Given that there are always very few children aboard and the average age must be somewhere between 55 - 68, I feel just insulted by the deplorable movies they show. It was a succession of movies designed for very young children - e.g. Dory, Jungle Book, BFG, etc. The program was absolutely dominated by these ridiculous movies. I don't have a nanna nap in the afternoon but I often sleep badly on a ship and would appreciate only adult oriented movies. Given the money we pay for an Azamara cruise (which has undoubtedly increased since the re-fit; which no longer includes discounted pre-booked shore excursions; which has also seen 14n cruises scaled back to 13n at a higher cost - yes Azamara, we've all noticed), I would have thought they could at least put on a couple of decent free movies. We attend most of the quizzes/trivia sessions put on. There is far too much repetition. We get new cast members and I don't mind that we break them in but we too often get the same old quizzes. Is it really that difficult to find new quizzes - otherwise the more difficult / obscure questions get swallowed up by those returning guests who have heard the answers so many times they are imprinted to their memory cells. Given our need to leave the cruise early, we found the staff we interacted with very understanding and helpful - still we've always experienced a high level of service on Azamara, so we weren't surprised. For the benefit of future cruisers, we experienced quite a swell for a few days out of Hong Kong, so I think this isn't the best time of the year to cruise this region - maybe look at November if that's feasible. It wasn't too bad but we were in jeans until after we left Danang and to that point had reasonably rolling seas. On the other hand, if you prefer cooler weather, then this is your cruise. We had overnight rain but very little during daytime and none while ashore - just the occasional short shower while aboard Read Less
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2014
We are retired in Thailand, in the North Issan in fact, we generally do three or four cruises a year and have done four on Azamara in the last 15 months, we are Discovery members, our last posted review on Azamara was titled “Almost ... Read More
We are retired in Thailand, in the North Issan in fact, we generally do three or four cruises a year and have done four on Azamara in the last 15 months, we are Discovery members, our last posted review on Azamara was titled “Almost Excellence dated Jan 2014”, I have lost count of my cruises but well in excess of 40 We flew from Khon Kaen to Bangkok then to Singapore and overnighted at the Intercontinental Hotel a very wonderful property Embarkation was unusually slow maybe an hour and a half, and very tiring in the heat, this is in our experience unusual for Azamara, on check in our loyalty status was despite written promises from Miami, for the third time was incorrect, this was corrected on board. It was wonderful to be back on board , we knew 85%of the crew, and there are many old friends some who visit us in Thailand at home, probably the most friendly of any of the over 40 cruises I have been on The dining and food was almost up to previous standards, but we felt had dropped off a little maybe we had been spoilt by having Johnathan as F& B manager for our previous three cruises, I felt the dollar allocation on food had been cut a little, or the new F&B manager was over controlling costs,Johanthan used to say he often ran a little over budget but his primary concern was to do the very best job possible, rather commendable! We enjoy Windstar and Seabourne a lot and consider the quality of food on Azamara to be almost equal. Seabourne include a complimentary sparkling wine very much appreciated by the ladies, not so on Azamara, but generally the selection of complimentary drinks is OK Windows restaurant was stretched with the ship full, and many times through lack of space we transferred to the main restaurant deck 5 always a nice place to find good food and tranquility This was the first time we had sailed with the ship full We very much enjoyed the brunches especially the one for discovery members given upstairs in Prime C, We also very much enjoy the white evening barbeque on the pool deck this should be increased from the present once per cruise to once a week We did not use the two specialty food locations Aquilina and Prime C as when on our earlier cruise we had paid for a suite and they were included at no supplement we used them probably eight times , we only got off the previous cruise in January and felt the food did not justify the extra cost, generally the food in the main restaurant is very good We love mosaic café and its excellent double cappuccinos, there are generally very nice small snacks available there We felt the entertainment had improved substantially maybe due to Erics presence back on board The ports of call were a little disappointing even the Captain and Hotel manager commented they did not know why head office chose these ports;especially Indonesia and on all occasions despite Azamara’s claim, no free shuttles available, because of port disputes and the get out is covered in their small print. In Srilanka, Cochin and Bombay we did our own tours through Trip Adviser leads, and were very happy with them, all saving in excess of 65% each time comparing like with like, there is a risk here but we chose to take it, and remember if on a private tour the ship can leave without you if you fail to turn up on time In Indonesia instead of the free shuttle we were offer a bus at $39 to the city not very acceptable The Amazing Evening was at the Taj Malibar hotel in Cochin a lovely hotel in first class location on the water, the entertainment was very good but could have been run on the pool deck instead of herding every one to two showings and everyone feeling very rushed, it took away from the experience In Bombay we stayed at the Taj Vivante post cruise a lovely lovely hotel with the very best Indian food, its Thai restaurant was however only mediocre, coming from people who live in Thailand Our chosen stateroom this time was ocean view (we have travelled in suites and balconies on previous occasions) with small print obscured view and smaller sq ftge than normal ocean view, we were shocked and horrified when we saw no view except for life boat fully filling the window, we were very upset, it was the cabin number we had booked but we expected obscured view meant maybe we lost 20% of view not ALL of it. Later Heinke the superb hotel manager told us they normally only use these cabins for free upgrades, from inside cabins, she also said Miami were booking the ships so full it gave her little room to maneuver We were extremely distressed in fact so much so we considered getting off the ship, the front desk just stonewalled us when we complained and kept quoting ship full, the captain told us he had no authority to grant a refund and when I requested he call Miami then he said the office was shut, I replied I was sure he had a 24/7 number for Miami, he just smiled, we withdrew and went and wrote to the Captain and Hotel manager gave it to reception, got a receipt, and asked them both to immediately contact Miami. Heinke then appeared five minutes later, bless her, smiling as always and promised to do her best to help and fine that unavailable cabin, with a proper or 80%view. She was the first to say our expectations had not been met and she was very understanding in these circumstances; Just before sailing we were offered an upgrade subject to paying another $100 , I thought it might have been done on a no charge basis as a gesture of goodwill but we did not argue just paid Once ensconced in our new accommodation we were free to relax and enjoy, comparing ocean view to balcony and suite other than price difference there is not so much difference especially as we spend a lot of time out on deck and around, is suite worth the extra money, no I would say having travelled in both within four months The bathroom was tight but the same size as balcony accommodation, there were problems on the toilets, they said routine maintenance, but I doubt it, on the previous three cruises never routine maintenance and system shut downs, the ship is getting old and these vacuum systems take a lot of maintenance and servicing to keep them in top class condition All the operational hotel staff can without exception be classed as exceptional, The Hotel manager should probably be in overall charge of the ship,(including the Captain) she is seen working all the time moving from place to place in those very excuisite high heeled shoes, she has to be the very best. Eric on entertainment works very hard and produces the goods. The Captain is visibly seen around the ship a lot always smiling but would benefit from a course on handling upset customers and their expectations, he did take the ship off course so all could see the sunset and its green flash. The F&B manager has a tough job following Johnathan our host on the three previous cruises. Our previous butler from when we had a suite, has been promoted and was in overall charge of our cabin, a very nice capable and helpful man My strong impression is the ship and its officers will do anything reasonable to try and look after passengers, but managers in Miami, restrict the ability of the Hotel Manager and the Captain, i.e. they could not agree a refund for a very upset passenger there and then; any five star hotel will refund an unhappy customer immediately and hope maybe that customer returns at least to a different property Overall we rate Azamara quite highly, probably on the way down rather than way up; but our difficult experience on cabins has made us decide to book elsewhere for a while; probably Seabourne and Windstar, especially as they have taken over three of Seabournes ships, we had been planning to book three more Azamara cruises while onboard but changed our minds, due to the misdescription on the lack of view of our first state room and the stress to resolve it The cruise lines all work hard to get repeat customers, but they can destroy that loyalty very quickly and easily, I believe Heinke the hotel manager very much understands but her Captain needs a course or two on managing customers expectations Disembarkation, quick easy and oh so nice to be off the ship Alastair and Supaporn   Read Less
Sail Date: August 2011
This cruise was the first of B2B cruises which took my wife and I from Dublin to Lisbon and then onto Nice. We cruised on the Quest in 2009 (Best of Italy) and last year from Singapore to Athens and then B2B to Rome so it was hard not to ... Read More
This cruise was the first of B2B cruises which took my wife and I from Dublin to Lisbon and then onto Nice. We cruised on the Quest in 2009 (Best of Italy) and last year from Singapore to Athens and then B2B to Rome so it was hard not to draw comparisons. Close your eyes for a minute and you could be either ship but there were differences. The excellent standard of service that we expected of Azamara was there, the shore excursions were outstanding but a couple of aspects I found were disappointing. Let me start with the check-in in Dublin. Why on earth does Azamara promote on line check-in (which I dutifully completed) when the port staff at Dublin have to repeat the process... and made a hash of it. Finally had to sort out the account billing arrangements at Guest Relations in the days after we embarked. My comment about the redundancy of the check-in arrangements were met with furious nods of agreement. Despite having Azamara's President, Larry Pimental and his wife Sandie on board, I found the food was below par. Aqualina was a joy but the one and only time I visited Prime C, I was served a fatty and grisly piece rib eye steak. I could have returned it but wanted to keep pace with my table companions. I know that the menu catering is designed around the North American taste buds but with a number of Brits and Aussies on board I asked the Hotel Director is she could put out English bacon at breakfast in Windows. Bingo!... there it was the next day than after that on just the odd occasion. I dared not ask for Vegemite like I did on the Quest last year. On that occasion, the quite extraordinary Phillip Herbert, the Hotel Director went out his way to meet this request. The cappuccinos dispensed from the Expresso machines in Windows were undrinkable - best described as a strong flavoured sludge. On the other hand the food and coffee served elsewhere on the ship was very good. Mosaic's coffee and snacks were great. Discovery was excellent. The highlight of the cruise was the wine tasting and dinner in Bordeaux hosted by Larry Pimental. The food and entertainment at Chateau Kirwan was memorable although I thought the wines were a little overrated. The experience reinforced my view that value for money, there are many wines around the globe which would give the French wines a run for their money. The only real issue I had with this excursion was the long periods we were confined to buses in 30 deg C heat with little AIRCON while we waited for stragglers to turn up. The real downer for my wife and I came right at the end of the cruise. We were struck down with severe food poisoning early in the morning of our second day in Lisbon. That was the morning that guests were disembarking from the cruise. Because we were travelling B2B there was no compulsion to disembark - only swipe our "old" card out and our new one back in. With the onset of severe gastro, we couldn't even do that... we couldn't move more than a few metres away from the toilet. Our plans to see Lisbon evaporated. The only food we had eaten the day before came from Windows Cafe so we figured that this must have been the source of the food poisoning. A travelling companion who sat at our dinner table at Windows the evening before also suffered severe food poisoning. A common dish consumed by the three of us was the leek and mussel soup although investigations by the Food and Beverage Manager failed to trace the source. It did make me wonder whether any of the hundreds of cruise passengers who disembarked that morning in Lisbon left feeling unwell! As the morning went on and all the passengers disembarked our condition improved but one of the ship's crew urged us to see the ship's doctor. The worst fears on any cruise ship is Novovirus but I contend that this was classic food poisoning and by waiting 24 hours the symptoms would ease... which they did. In retrospect we probably should not have bothered visiting the doctor (in fact we saw the nurse) because we both ended up both being confined to the cabin for the next 24 hours. With the prospect of missing yet another port, I tried to get off the ship and and go sightseeing in Cadiz but merely ended up triggering alarms while trying to exit through security. Ended up having to plead with the ship's nurse to release us and even then when we both tried to leave, the alarms went off. Finally all was resolved and we got to see Cadiz. Throughout this unfortunate epsisode, the ship's crew looked after us well with free paid movies (which we were too ill to watch) while confined, use of the Thalassotherapy Spa to assist our recovery and an offer of compensation by Azamara in the way of credit towards our next Azamara cruise equivalent to the pro-rata the time we were confined. All of this hasn't deterred us from cruising with Azamara and while on board we booked another cruise - this time on the Quest from Hong Kong to Singapore departing 26 March 2012. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2009
The Azamara Journey is a great ship. Beautiful, stately, small. All the things we like. Attentive service from a multi-national crew. Our bar service guys, Jose Jaimes and Alin were the best!!! Our butler, Angela (Alin's wife, I ... Read More
The Azamara Journey is a great ship. Beautiful, stately, small. All the things we like. Attentive service from a multi-national crew. Our bar service guys, Jose Jaimes and Alin were the best!!! Our butler, Angela (Alin's wife, I understand!) and her assistant Jose (whose wife just had twins!!) could not have done any better for us. As it is open seating in the dining rooms, we had many different servers. Roman and Daniel were superb. Hooray to the head Maitre 'de Marius. He kept me from any allergic reactions and his suggestions were spot on! Our hats off to Mags and her aunt Maria for their invaluable wine selection help. Victor and Bernard in the Looking Glass made the best drinks and took great care of us! Ron Hollywood, the DJ, was always open to our suggestions for dance music. Thank you for all the wonderful NEW music!!! Kudos to you all. The sea days intensive itinerary was just what we needed after a hectic holiday season. The pool was always a welcome diversion. We purchased the thalassotherapy pass for the trip ($175 per couple, $99 single), but had to have them refund us around day 10 due to the pool never being warm. It WAS warm once...at 6pm!!!!! Also there was no service there. It's not very relaxing to have to get up and go to the pool bar when you want something. Why there wasn't anyone coming by regularly is beyond me. The spa was nice tho. Steam room, two different showers, lockers, etc. All included and available to every passenger. Didn't use the gym, the stairs did me just fine. Ate all I wanted and didn't gain any weight!!! Might have lost a pound or two actually. Hmmmm. The shows were cheesy, but in a good way. Geared to an older crowd than we. Juggler, ventriloquist, magic show, group show (singers), etc. YES, this ship does tend towards an over 65 crowd. Not a problem for us tho. (I'm 46, my DH is 39) Sue Denning (cruise director)was a joy!!! Such a trouper, and always entertaining. Her "sidekick" Kelsie was a hoot. The orchestra was always great, and the ship's band entertained us many a day and night at the pool and Looking Glass. There was a pianist in Cova most nights that everyone loved, a wonderful harpist at the martini lounge in Discoveries that was just delightful, and a guitarist who was very entertaining. A great cruise on a lovely small ship. Perfect for those who like long voyages with an entertaining mix from the Britain, Ireland, Scotland, Germany, France, and the USA. No children's facilities, and that's just fine by me! 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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