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8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We have sailed Azamara a number of times and really enjoy the on-board experience. This itinerary attracted us because of the variation in cultures and climate. The embarkation was very smooth and we were quickly processed. . Because ... Read More
We have sailed Azamara a number of times and really enjoy the on-board experience. This itinerary attracted us because of the variation in cultures and climate. The embarkation was very smooth and we were quickly processed. . Because of an upgrade, we were staying in a Club Continent Suite as opposed to our usual Veranda 2. We really enjoyed the extra space, but did not utilize all the perks associated with the Suite. One of the perks was complimentary dining in the Specialty Restaurants, a choice we made for four of the 14 nights. For other dinners, of course, we ate in Discoveries (the main dining room), and on the Patio. Most breakfasts we frequented Windows, the buffet area. We were very pleased with the food in all the venues, especially the attention paid to certain food intolerances that limit some of our choices. One of the attractions for us on Azamara is the friendly and attentive service on board..From the room stewards to the waiting staff in the dining areas, this cruise was no exception. The friendliness is true of most officers as well. Although not noted for entertainment, in this case Azamara provided some of the best we have enjoyed. From The Azamazing Evening to more casual events, we found a lot to enjoy. Hard to pick out a port that was more enjoyable than the others. Because of our travelling through four countries, each port provided some interesting contrasts. As we sailed further North the weather cooled and rain became a sometime occurrence. That added to the variety of experiences on this itinerary. We participated in only two shore excursions. The trip to see Bayeux and its famous tapestry was well worth the cost. The walking tour of Cadiz was good but not amazing. In both cases we were travelling in relatively small groups. Most of the ports were quite accessible for those who wanted to explore on their own, and Azamara provided free shuttles where needed and appropriate. As part of that service, usually there was a guide at the drop-off points with maps and helpful suggestions. After sailing up the Thames the previous day, disembarkation at Greenwich was a little more complicated than at most ports. But the staff on the ships had it well under control, and there was a surplus of attendants on shore to assure that you made your connection with taxis for the airport, for travel home, or for extended stays in London. For the reasons above, out of 18 cruises this was one of our favourites. Although the itinerary is not one of the common ones offered, we think others should give it serious consideration. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Ship is nice with a good itinerary. The idea of spending the night in a few ports was attractive. However, the itinerary changed 3 times after we had booked and we booked only 100 days out. These changes actually took out an entire night ... Read More
Ship is nice with a good itinerary. The idea of spending the night in a few ports was attractive. However, the itinerary changed 3 times after we had booked and we booked only 100 days out. These changes actually took out an entire night in Rouen, France which changed the ability to spend an evening in Paris which was our plan. Azamara's goal is to make this a boutique cruise catering to a smaller group of people. Our ship was to capacity with 690 guests on board. The attempt is a good one and the entertainment is definitely top notch. However, to compare this line to Windstar or Seabourne on anything but entertainment would be a disappointment. The crew is friendly, food is good, not exceptional, staterooms are small and the bathrooms are tiny. The idea of all inclusive beverages is a bit misleading as they up sell 2 different drink packages to include certain mixed drinks and certain brands of liquor. On the included drink package if you want to order say a mojito, you must specifically ask for the basic liquor or they charge you for it. There is a very basic list of drinks that can be ordered on the regular package anything that differs from that list, if you don't specifically ask for the included liquor package, will be charged to your room. It cheapens the experience. On other boutique cruise lines all drinks are included unless you specifically ask for the top shelf liquor, then you are charged for a top shelf liquor. On the positive side, they have a wonderful smoothie bar in the buffet every morning. All food in the buffet is labeled for gluten,dairy,vegan etc. Some of the staff are better than others when it comes to accommodating dietary needs. Gluten free was a trick for many and by the end of the cruise I gave up asking for GF items ie bread as it seemed liked too great a challenge and just ate the items I knew were GF. We had a balcony state rooms which was nice. Smaller than other ships but adequate. The bathroom is a joke. Literally, no room for 2 people to stand in the space. To brush our teeth while the other person was brushing theirs, one of us would have to get in the shower to accommodate for space. (We're not large people). Entertainment was by far much better than other boutique lines. Cruise director Eric is extremely talented and ran a fabulous entertainment department. I would sale on Azamara again but I would consider it a nice cruise line not a luxury boutique line. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We sailed on Azamara Journey from Barcelona 29-Sept-18 to Rome 6-Oct-18. Cabin 7121. This was our first sailing with Azamara, our 15th cruise overall. Anxious to try out the smaller ship we were looking forward to this itinerary and ... Read More
We sailed on Azamara Journey from Barcelona 29-Sept-18 to Rome 6-Oct-18. Cabin 7121. This was our first sailing with Azamara, our 15th cruise overall. Anxious to try out the smaller ship we were looking forward to this itinerary and stopping in some smaller ports the itinerary offered. Embarkation was incredibly easy, only issue was finding the ship location as it differed from the address listed on embarkation documents. We boarded the ship with no lines. Upon boarding the ship we were a bit surprised to see the electronic blackjack and roulette machines in the casino which is located immediately upon embarkation. We immediately booked our specialty restaurants and signed up for the ultimate beverage package. Doing our homework prior to sailing, we knew exactly what we wanted to do. The rooms were ready immediately as promised (1:30 PM) and our luggage was waiting for us. We unpacked and found the room to be adequate for our 7-day journey. We really had no space complaints. The bathroom shower curtain and caulking throughout the bottom of the shower was a little unsettling, but really, this was our only negative review of the room. Everything else was positive. We loved our ports of call. The best part was the Captain making a game-time decision to leave our first port early so that we could safely arrive in Marseille before the wind storm scheduled to arrive the next day. The crew and Captain were wonderful keeping us all informed. Meals were good. We ate at Prime C, Aquafina, Discoveries & Chef Table. Our favorite was Aquafina. We learned upon embarkation that our White Night was in Monte Carlo which was a little disappointing as we had dinner reservations in port that night. We cancelled our dinner reservations to attend White Night party. We arrived a little later as we wanted to spend more time in port only to discover there was no seating and we were rushed to hurry and get some food prior to food stations closing. The staff on the cruise were all very nice. I do say that we miss the evening entertainment of Celebrity martini bar and real dealers in the casino. Its our understanding that the Journey recently replaced dealers with electronic machines. This is too bad and a huge disappointment. The machines even broke down while we were playing them. We hear this isn't the case on the Quest and really hope that Azamara reconsiders the decision to get rid of the live dealers. For the most part we had a great experience on Azamara and plan to return for a 2019 Asian cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2017
Never made Barcelona or our hotel due to BA cancelling our flight ,flight was re-booked for the following morning (BA putting us up in a nearby hotel ) and we made the ship . After this initial hiccup we had a great cruise with a great ... Read More
Never made Barcelona or our hotel due to BA cancelling our flight ,flight was re-booked for the following morning (BA putting us up in a nearby hotel ) and we made the ship . After this initial hiccup we had a great cruise with a great crew and enjoyed the company of some lovely folk. Cabin was nice clean , small as others have stated but fine . Food was good with good choice . Service from the crew was exceptional including the captain and entertainment staff . We had a great time and would travel again . But will never book the transfers or hotels through Azamara as they don't provide any back up at all for this eventuality which I am sure is not unusual . On the day of our flight out I tried 4 numbers to contact Azamara to explain our predicament only to be given another number to try before being transfered / cut off, eventually getting through to inform them to cancel our transfers and hotel in Barcelona. On my return home I contacted Azamara to claim back the parts of my holiday I had paid for but not received and after 4 weeks to be told I am not entitled to a refund not even for the telephone calls which cost about £30 . Poor customer service which I feel lets down not only the customer but the crew of Azamara Journey who work so hard to make our cruise special . Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
We loved this cruise mostly because of the ports of call. The cabin was great as was our cablin attendant, Andre. However the food is only mediocre and the majority of the crew do not seem very happy. They force a greeting but seem put ... Read More
We loved this cruise mostly because of the ports of call. The cabin was great as was our cablin attendant, Andre. However the food is only mediocre and the majority of the crew do not seem very happy. They force a greeting but seem put out when you ask for anything. We had four 18-20 year olds with us and they were treated quite poorly by the crew. Our friend's cabin attendant would knock on the door and immediately open it without waiting for a response multiple times daily just checking in on them until we told him not to do so. Instead of staggering the times that the restaurants are open, they all close at the same time but you can always get room service 24/7 so it's not a real problem but it was kind of a bummer. My daughter ordered chicken parm one night in the dining room and one of the breasts was totally raw. When we told the server, he simply asked if she would like another. I asked to speak to the chef who came out and was kind and blamed one of the chefs. Luckily my daughter did not get sick from it. The next day they sent chocolate strawberries to our room. I would probably not cruise with Azamara. I don't think it was worth the money, nor is it comparable to an Oceania cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
Just back from another wonderful cruise aboard Azamara Journey. The crew on this vessel are just incredible - the best crew of any cruise ship on the seven seas, and the ship looks immaculate, as always. The Journey will shortly be ... Read More
Just back from another wonderful cruise aboard Azamara Journey. The crew on this vessel are just incredible - the best crew of any cruise ship on the seven seas, and the ship looks immaculate, as always. The Journey will shortly be undergoing a two-week dry-dock refit and we look forward to experiencing the upgraded staterooms shortly after. We do however, have a few concerns. The new color scheme is grey and silver and with very little color in the staterooms they appear cold overall, but we shall see. Of greater concern is what is planned for the public areas. When last put into dry dock the Discoveries Dining Room and Cocktail Bar were repainted, and whereas before there were colorful paintings in the ceiling recesses and an overall peach-white atmosphere during the refit the ceilings were painted white, the colorful paintings covered over with a silver-grey block pattern, a bordello style skirt lighting scheme fitted to the center and unsuitable piles of twisted scrapmetal were mounted in the smaller ceiling recesses making the room colder in appearance and less atmospheric. Around that time they also reduced the entertainment team from a company of eight singers/dancers to six, and ceased to employ a great couple who sang Country & Western, the pianist Dan Dailey, as well as the harpist (whose harp still sits in the Mosiac Coffee Lounge). The Discoveries Cocktail Lounge is now so devoid of atmosphere that we now take our pre-dinner cocktails up in Looking Glass (where one cocktail frequently becomes two these days) before dinner (most evenings) in Windows Cafe. Looking at the photographs of the mock-ups of what is to be done to the Mosiac Cafe and shop area during this refit it appears that the beautiful mahogany panelling and columns are to be silvered with mirrors scattered around and the signature artworks are to be removed to be replaced with a piece of crazy abstract glassware, with the same being done to the Quest later in 2016. In my opinion this will remove all the atmosphere that was so unique to these ex-Renaissance ships and we won't be able to discern any difference between the two of them. The Journey's signature artwork, 'Untitled (necklace)' by Jean-Michel Othoniel, a unique piece of art is the ship's 'identity', as is the Quest's 'Canon' by Aurora Canero with 'Winning Spiral' by Joe Walters. Remove them and you remove each ship's signature. We love these ex-Renaissance ships and have sailed on most of them. Azamara have a unique product, and they have the edge on the competition because of their brilliant crews. They need to rethink - don't spend money unnecessarily changing a perfect ship into something it isn't - put the money saved into buying a new/additional ship to be able to offer additional routes. They should also rethink Azamazing Evenings - are they value for money (I suggest not - they are so hit and miss)? They should also consider putting back onto the menus the meal choices that have been removed. We are booked back on the Journey next Spring and hope our 'Home from home' will not have been rendered so unfamiliar and not to our taste that we have to return to Oceania. We note with interest (having seen the launch video of the Sirena) that they have retained most (if not all of the Renaissance decoration) and anticipate experiencing a sailing aboard that ship before too long. If the refit of the Azamara ships changes the ship's atmosphere too much, after almost thirty sailings with Azamara we would have to reconsider which line is preferable - the wonderful Azamara crews or the originality of the ex-Renaissance ships sailed by Oceania (although Oceania don't have as good a product as Azamara). Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
Just back from another wonderful cruise aboard Azamara Journey. The crew on this vessel are just incredible - the best crew of any cruise ship on the seven seas, and the ship looks immaculate, as always. The Journey will shortly be ... Read More
Just back from another wonderful cruise aboard Azamara Journey. The crew on this vessel are just incredible - the best crew of any cruise ship on the seven seas, and the ship looks immaculate, as always. The Journey will shortly be undergoing a two-week dry-dock refit and we look forward to experiencing the upgraded staterooms shortly after. We do however, have a few concerns. The new color scheme is grey and silver and with very little color in the staterooms they appear cold overall, but we shall see. Of greater concern is what is planned for the public areas. When last put into dry dock the Discoveries Dining Room and Cocktail Bar were repainted, and whereas before there were colorful paintings in the ceiling recesses and an overall peach-white atmosphere during the refit the ceilings were painted white, the colorful paintings covered over with a silver-grey block pattern, a bordello style skirt lighting scheme fitted to the center and unsuitable piles of twisted scrapmetal were mounted in the smaller ceiling recesses making the room colder in appearance and less atmospheric. Around that time they also reduced the entertainment team from a company of eight singers/dancers to six, and ceased to employ a great couple who sang Country & Western, the pianist Dan Dailey, as well as the harpist (whose harp still sits in the Mosiac Coffee Lounge). The Discoveries Cocktail Lounge is now so devoid of atmosphere that we now take our pre-dinner cocktails up in Looking Glass (where one cocktail frequently becomes two these days) before dinner (most evenings) in Windows Cafe. Looking at the photographs of the mock-ups of what is to be done to the Mosiac Cafe and shop area during this refit it appears that the beautiful mahogany panelling and columns are to be silvered with mirrors scattered around and the signature artworks are to be removed to be replaced with a piece of crazy glassware, with the same being done to the Quest later in 2016. In my opinion this will remove all the atmosphere that was so unique to these ex-Renaissance ships and we won't be able to discern any difference between the two of them. The Journey's signature artwork, 'Untitled (necklace)' by Jean-Michel Othoniel, a unique piece of art is the ship's 'identity', as is the Quest's 'Canon' by Aurora Canero with 'Winning Spiral' by Joe Walters. Remove them and you remove each ship's signature. We love these ex-Renaissance ships and have sailed on most of them. Azamara have a unique product, and they have the edge on the competition because of their brilliant crews. They need to rethink - don't spend money unnecessarily changing a perfect ship into something it isn't - put the money saved into buying a new/additional ship to be able to offer additional routes. They should also rethink Azamazing Evenings - are they value for money (I suggest not - they are so hit and miss)? They should also consider putting back onto the menus the meal choices that have been removed. We are booked back on the Journey next Spring and hope our 'Home from home' will not have been rendered so unfamiliar and not to our taste that we have to return to Oceania. We note with interest (having seen the launch video of the Sirena) that they have retained most (if not all of the Renaissance decoration) and anticipate experiencing a sailing aboard that ship before too long. If the refit of the Azamara ships changes the ship's atmosphere too much, after almost thirty sailings with Azamara we would have to reconsider which line is preferable - the wonderful Azamara crews or the originality of the ex-Renaissance ships sailed by Oceania (although Oceania don't have as good a product as Azamara). Read Less
Sail Date: November 2015
We had a great time on this transatlantic crossing. IMO Azamara (AZ) does a fine job delivering to a special niche market that is neither mass-market nor luxury. As a result, most aspects of the crossing were very good, with a few things ... Read More
We had a great time on this transatlantic crossing. IMO Azamara (AZ) does a fine job delivering to a special niche market that is neither mass-market nor luxury. As a result, most aspects of the crossing were very good, with a few things exceptional and a few areas that need work. One exceptional area is the fact that the Captain, Cruise Director, Hotel Manager, and entertainment staff are out and about, greeting the passengers and responding to their concerns. If this is important to you, you will be pleased with AZ. Another outstanding aspect is the friendly attitude of the passengers. Passengers are very outgoing and open to conversations. Passengers seemed happy and enjoying themselves. There was little of the picky complaining that one sometimes finds on other lines. If you like meeting folks and get your energy from other people, then AZ is for you. But if you want to be alone and are looking for a private or secluded getaway, you will have a problem finding it on this somewhat crowded busy ship. The crossing was fairly smooth in lovely weather with only one day and night of memorable motion caused by high waves. There were only 4 ports in 16 days, so lots of sea days. The Journey is attractively designed like a boutique hotel. It's very clean and in good shape, although there is little about it that will take your breath away. It is due to be redone in early 2016, which will be welcome as there are some tattered pieces of furniture and a few worn areas. We paid for an upgrade to an owner's suite, which I will review below. Embarkation was a breeze, quick and easy. Disembarkation in Miami was problematic due to delays from US customs & immigration. The Cruise Director kept us fully informed of the causes of delay and AZ's strategy to deal with them. Getting on and off the ship in ports was also simple and painless. Since this was a crossing and the ports were not particularly intriguing, the AZ Land Discoveries program offered only a few excursions, all of which were fairly high-priced. One can find lower cost options on line. We took one Land Discoveries excursion to Sevilla that was good, but not exceptional. Opportunities for exercise are very important to me as I struggle to avoid gaining too much weight on a cruise ship. The Journey delivers well in this area as there are a full walking track and a very good fitness center. I was always able to find an available bike in the center during my late afternoon workout. Service was very good with only a few rough edges in Discoveries restaurant and the Windows buffet. Cabin attendants were amazingly cheerful and seemed to actually enjoy their jobs. Most food and beverage staff were equally cheerful, and some got to know us and our preferences. The beverage service was very good on this all-inclusive crossing. There are lots of places to go for hot and cold drinks, plus waiter service in many areas. We are wine drinkers and found the included wines to be good. Remember that you can request a wine served previously that you enjoyed, as it often continues to be available. Coffee drinks in the Mosaic Cafe and in the restaurants were excellent. Included alcohol met our demands. But note that the included beer selection is thin, and there is a limited variety of sodas on board. Now on to the very few areas that IMO need some improvement. As suite guests we were fortunate to have access to the Specialty Restaurants, which we enjoyed. However the few meals we had in Discoveries Restaurant (the MDR), were disappointing. On previous AZ trips were were wowed by Discoveries, but not this time, as the food quality fit the category of "average cruise ship," in other words nothing special. The menus were dull and the execution mediocre. I would have enjoyed some higher level of activities on board, especially since there were so many sea days. While there is a lot going on, most of it falls into the simple inexpensive category such as trivia (6 contests per day, everyday!) and ping pong tournaments. We went to one destination lecture and saw another on TV, and found them only superficial. AZ could improve the quality of its enrichment program. In the area of entertainment, I admit that we are oddballs, preferring stripped-down performances to the glitzy big shows. AZ's offerings were what one seems to find on all cruise ships, lots of reviews of bits and pieces of pop music. Performers were talented, but the material was often lacking. We most enjoyed the small shows with a single performer and there were a few of those, and they were of fairly good quality. I admit that this is an area where my tastes are probably very different than other AZ customers. Who we are: We are 2 retired gents from Northern California who love the explore the world, mostly in land-based travel. We use ships primarily as a means of transportation, but can be seduced by a good itinerary. This crossing was our 18th cruise taken on 9 different lines. We will be crossing again on the Journey in April as we like AZ very much and the itinerary fits our travel plans. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2015
This was our first cruise with Azamara having cruised around fifteen times with other companies. Embarkation was seamless with no queues at all - we arrived at the ship at 1230 for an 1800 sailing. Disembarkation was slower that seemed to ... Read More
This was our first cruise with Azamara having cruised around fifteen times with other companies. Embarkation was seamless with no queues at all - we arrived at the ship at 1230 for an 1800 sailing. Disembarkation was slower that seemed to be caused by USA immigration procedures. The cruise started in Barcelona with stops in Gibraltar, Huelva (Spain) then St Maarten, Virgin Gorda before reaching Miami. As a stop Huelva is somewhat limited and we decided to take a bus to Seville (journey about 70 mins one way), other stops were fine with lots more local opportunities to visit. I would say that as this was a small ship the facilities were limited for a cruise which included 8 consecutive sea days as well as 3 other sea days. That said and as stated above, overall the cruise exceeded expectations particularly with food and service. However, the entertainment was a great disappointment to us and it seemed that the company relied on the in-house team in the main with limited other 'acts' being provided in support (the ventriloquist was very good as was the male entertainer who played sax/clarinet and tap danced). This may have been sympatamatic of the number of sea days not allowing for a frequent change of performers. Whilst the in-house team were very enthsuiastic the production was far less impressive than all other cruises we have experienced and to a point the ever present and hard working cruise director in my view seemed rather overbearing to the rest of the entertainment team and in my view he was used too often. That said I think that my view will be in the minority given the euphoric reaction the CD received whenever he performed or even walked around the ship, particularly from the older Canadian and American guests. The captain was very approachable as did the remainder of the crew who often mingled with passengers in all areas of the ship. In summary we will definitely do another Azamara cruise but will choose one with not so many sea days which hopefully should allow for more variety with entertainment. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2015
Maybe my expectations were too high. Having cruised Oceania and Regent as well as many other lines, I was under the impression Azamara was 6 star. Embarkation and disembarkation were efficient and painless The staff were lovely, and ... Read More
Maybe my expectations were too high. Having cruised Oceania and Regent as well as many other lines, I was under the impression Azamara was 6 star. Embarkation and disembarkation were efficient and painless The staff were lovely, and very helpful , trying to sort out problems they didnt have the resources to. The entertainment was very limited, a guitarist, a pianist, the evening shows. What there was was good to excellent, though some evenings there was only one show and the theater could not hold everyone who wanted to be there. The food had very limited choice and was unimaginative (although the menu suggested otherwise!) my Gin Fizz Prawn Cocktail was 3 big prawns on lettuce with the usual sauce. when I asked what was gin fizz about it I was told its very light so you cannot taste it!!!! Just one example. Our room -7008- was so noisy with vibration noise and an unidentifiable banging. often in the middle of the night- 3am i was at reception to complain as i couldnt get through on the phone as reception was busy, i wonder why? They eventually said they couldnt solve the problem and we had the time consuming job of changing cabins. 8030 was quiet.The lighting was so poor in both cabins reading was difficult ,you had to angle your book/device to catch the light. Maybe i need a backlit kindle! We will go back to Oceania for good value and excellent food. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2015
First timers on Azamara, have earlier cruised with Celebrity and RCCL and this is the smallest cruise ship we have been on. Embarkation: We arrived at 13:45 to the port. The embarkation was very smooth, no lines and it took just 10 ... Read More
First timers on Azamara, have earlier cruised with Celebrity and RCCL and this is the smallest cruise ship we have been on. Embarkation: We arrived at 13:45 to the port. The embarkation was very smooth, no lines and it took just 10 minutes until we got on board. The state room was ready at 14:00 and the bags arrived soon after that. Ship and cabin: Over all very good maintained, of course there where showing some signs of wear and tear but much better than expected. She is very clean and tidy! The stateroom is of normal standard and showed almost no wear. The table on the veranda was a nice surprise! Much larger than what we have had on other ships. It seems that Journy are having some problems with their plumbing system, two times the toilets didn’t work but it was fixed quite promptly. The size of ship is the smallest we have experienced and on this cruise we had no problems with that. The weather was lovely and with so many port days we could either spend our days on pool deck or exploring the ports. We would not choose this size if it would be fewer port days and/or risk of cold weather. In these circumstances we would go for a larger ship with more to do ”inside”. The tranquil atmosphere on pool deck was really nice! On sea days the guitarist played one hour, very nice and with a sound level that was enjoyable. The sun beds and towels where also of high standard. Sadly to say there where a number of chair hoggers on board, marking the chairs early in the mornings and then returned a couple of hours later. I overheard one of the pool attendants once trying to explain the rules but was met on a very unpleasant manner. I wish someone with higher ranks should be addressing this kind of things, maybe it would be easier to enforce the rules. Personnel: Nice and friendly; no more no less than on other ships we have been on. The state room was kept nice and clean by Rayner and Ismael. I did feel that the guest relations personal was a bit tired of their work, no extra there… I was asking a question and found it quite annoying when the person didn’t bother to listening to the end and instead started to look in the computer for an answer I hadn’t asked. I tried to point out that but instead I had to wait until she had found an answer to a question I hadn’t asked… Cruise director Eric is really talented with a voice much better than the rest of the entertainers. Just loved his Grand Pa stories!! Dining: We did like free seating not having to be in the dining room on a certain time. We always chose to sit together with others and we really enjoyed all the people we met. But - After so many good revives over the food we have to admit that we had higher expectations than on Celebrity and RCCL. Unfortunately, we experienced that the food was quite mediocre without coming up to the standard we have experienced on X and RCCL… No seasoning and the result vas mostly tasteless. I fully understand that it’s difficult to satisfy everybody’s tastes but it is possible to make tasty food without making it (to) hot. A good Chief would have been able to do that. There were of course exceptions to that, some courses was very good but quite rare. One evening, the mint sauce to the lamb was served out of a jar with the label still on. Not really what we had expected on an Azamara dining experience. As we are Elite on X we were invited to a special breakfast in Prime C the same day we arrived to Madeira. Very nice with many officers attending. I’m not a Mimosa lover but the Mimosas they served where the best I ever had! Complimentary drinks: This was good and we didn’t feel any need to buy anything extra. We loved that we didn’t have to show cards and sign slips to get anything to drink! I’m a Campari and orange juice lover but as it isn’t included I just turned over to GT’s instead. The entertainment: Of normal cruise standard. We are not very fond of the Broadway shows, but to see Erik as a very tall drag queen was very entertaining! I - on the other hand is not tall and due to the layout of the Cabaret it was quite difficult to find a seat where I could see anything but heads. Maybe I should have a pillow to sit on. The ”White Night” was one of the two outside buffet nights and took place the second evening in Madeira. A very nice evening with lots to choose from the grill. In La Palma, the second buffet night with a Spanish theme, took place. Also very nice with a local song and dance group that preformed for us. It’s really nice to see the pool deck transform to an outside restaurant. Do admire the work that’s done to do that, removing all sun beds and replacing them with tables and chairs. ”Azamazing evening”. Took place in Malaga and was a horse and bull performance in the bull ring. It was the first time it was arranged and worked quite well. I’m no ”horse person” so this is not what I would have chosen - but I find the idea of arranging a evening like this very ”azamazing”! The arena are made to take thousands of people and with only 600 people, it felt quite empty. Don’t know what they had done if it had been raining…. I wouldn’t like to sit there in pouring rain. When we came back on board we were welcomed with hot chocolate and rum, which was appreciated as the evening was quite cold, just 12 C. Itenerys and tours: We didn’t do any of the Azamara tours, as we felt that they are much overpriced. Instead we strolled around in the ports by ourselves. In Madeira we did a tuk-tuk tour that was very good, with an enthusiastic and knowledgeable driver. Going by tuk-tuk it was possible to access places that wasn’t possible by bus. We also went to the Botanical garden by two cable cars and took the toboggan ride down. Of all itenarys we liked Madeira and Gomera the best. Embarkation: Very easy! In conclusion: It was a lovely cruise with things we really have appreciated and enjoyed, but also with a few things that can be improved. Will we cruise Azamara again? Yes - if we find a good offer and a good itenery. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2015
My husband and I have travelled a lot. Approximately 30 cruises. 20 on Princess then decieded to give the other cruise lines a chance. This was our second Azamara cruise and we thouroughly enjoyed it. We ate at the speciality ... Read More
My husband and I have travelled a lot. Approximately 30 cruises. 20 on Princess then decieded to give the other cruise lines a chance. This was our second Azamara cruise and we thouroughly enjoyed it. We ate at the speciality restaurants and signed up for the new Asian dinner as well as the Chef"s Table. Food was delicious. Highly recommend it. We had a great time in the Disco most evenings getting to know the staff and fellow cruisers. We enjoyed the white night the most. Eric and the other performers were fantastic. Loved the music. Never did so much dancing. Relaxing by the pool during the day without many announcments was nice. Very relaxing. We have booked our 3,4 and 5 cruise with Azamara. I quess we are converted. Great staff, I cannot say enough on how the made you feel like family. See you in April 2016. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2015
Journey and arrival Our holiday started at 3am with a journey to Manchester airport for our flight at 7am all went well. The journey to the port very good, practically no wait at the airport. Boarding the ship was excellent as ... Read More
Journey and arrival Our holiday started at 3am with a journey to Manchester airport for our flight at 7am all went well. The journey to the port very good, practically no wait at the airport. Boarding the ship was excellent as there was no wait at all. Cabin upgrade, things were going very well. Food and service We ate most nights in the main dining room, the food was good but not quite as good as previous cruises, the sweet selection and quality had deteriorated. The wines were: one white, one red and one rose, with a different choice every night. Most of the white wine was acceptable but on 1 particular night I did not like the taste and asked the waiter if it was possible to have another choice, he said of course and went away to change it, shortly after he came back with a rose saying they had no other white wine available. My husband asked to speak to the maître d who then sent for the sommelier who eventually came with a bottle of white from the last cruise. We couldn't believe it, unfortunately by this point we had finished our meal so left the dining room. It completely spoilt the whole evening. We were also very close to other tables and did not want to spoil their meals by creating a scene. On our way out the maître d said he would get the dining room manager to ring. Guess what, he didn't! Location The places we visited were all excellent, the tenders were very good as there was no waiting at any point . Journey Home Disembarkation at 8am went like clockwork, but far too early for our flight at mid day which Azamara had arranged. It was an indirect flight with KLM. taking us to Schiphol airport in Holland where we had to wait for a further 3 hours for a flight, on arrival at Manchester airport we discovered they had lost one of our cases. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2015
We recently returned from our fourth Azamara Cruise, the "7 Night Costa Brava to Cinque Terre Voyage" in May, 2015. We departed from Barcelona, Spain, and ports of call included Palamos, Spain; Sete, France; St. Tropez, France; ... Read More
We recently returned from our fourth Azamara Cruise, the "7 Night Costa Brava to Cinque Terre Voyage" in May, 2015. We departed from Barcelona, Spain, and ports of call included Palamos, Spain; Sete, France; St. Tropez, France; Calvi, Corsica (France); Portovenere, Italy; Monte Carlo, Monaco, and Nice, France. This was the shortest cruise we had been on, and definitely one of the busiest. Early registration (11:30 am) enabled our travelling companions to go back on shore for more sightseeing. Although the cabins were not ready that early, the registration process was completed efficiently and there was no mob of passengers. This is a great feature of Azamara. Having spent two days in Barcelona, we were ready to relax aboard the Journey while we waited for our cabin to be readied. We enjoyed our complimentary sparkling wine and signed up for the Dining Package. This is a three dinner package at the two specialty restaurants, Prime C and Aqualina. Being only a 7 night cruise, with an Azamara Evening and White Night on 2 of the 7 nights, this package was very popular, and filled quickly. We were able to book the evenings we wanted, but had to adjust our plans to suit the dining times available. There are two seatings in the specialty restaurants; the first is at 6 pm, and the later one is booked quickly. The next time we go on a 7 night cruise we may not take the dining package. We only ate in the dining room one night, and that was a shame. The first day program was familiar and comfortable. Lunch in the Windows Café, unpack and enjoy the sunshine on the pool deck, with a cool drink. The Emergency Lifeboat Drill was followed by the Spa Raffle Giveaway, then the Cruise Critic social, dinner in the main dining room, and the production show with the Journey Singers & Dancers. Sail away was at 10 pm, right on schedule. I did say it was busy, didn't I? Port departures were on schedule, and quite late. Only one at 7 p.m., two at 9, three at 10 and one at midnight. Azamara promises longer stays, and they deliver. Because the casino and shops are only open when the ship is at sea, shopping and gambling time was at a premium. Not necessarily a bad thing…. Day 2, May 15th was my birthday! We arrived in Palamos, Spain at 8am. We were originally scheduled to tender in Roses, Spain, but wind conditions were not favourable for tendering so Captain Borsheim decided to dock us in Palamos instead. Our prebooked land discoveries excursion to "Medieval Monastery & Modern Cellars" took a little longer than planned, due to the change in port, but there was no problem. The monastery of San Pere de Rodes was very beautiful. There was lots of walking, but our guide, Marcus was exceptional. His knowledge and humour made the day a joy. We could have done without the modern cellars part of the tour. It seemed like the wine and olive oil tasting venue at Espelt was not equipped to handle our large party (about 40 guests). There were not enough servers, the person explaining about the wines could not be heard as he did not have a microphone and the acoustics were not good. The wines might have been okay, but there was no food or water to help cleanse the pallet, and after 3 hours of touring in the sunshine, both would have been appreciated. Back on board the Journey, we found that our cabin had been decorated in our absence. A birthday banner, decorations hung from the ceiling, and a card from the crew on the bed beside an animal made from towels greeted us when we returned. Our cabin steward, Aldo, and his partner Anwar had done the deed. It certainly made us feel at home. Dinner at Prime C was fabulous, as expected. After dinner it was time to have a photo taken with the Captain. I was surprised when he wished me Happy Birthday. Just another example of the crew going that one step further to ensure the passengers have an exceptional cruise. We are guessing that someone showed the Captain photos of those passengers having a birthday, but maybe he was just psychic. This was his first cruise for Azamara, and he is very personable and friendly. Health concerns aboard the Azamara ships are very serious. We received a thorough explanation of how important it is for the company to provide a safe and clean ship for everyone, and how proud they are to do so. Unfortunately I had occasion to make use of the medial facilities. In the middle of the night I called the medical office, and a nurse was at the cabin in a few minutes. Over the next couple of hours she returned and consulted us by phone. Medication was provided and in the morning the doctor visited. We were isolated in the cabin for about 36 hours, until it was deemed safe to let us mingle with the crew and fellow passengers. We have very high praise for the medical team aboard the Journey. It should be noted that while we were isolated, we were able to watch movies for free. Room service was excellent, any time of day or night they brought soup and jello. We can't discuss the Azamazing Evening in Cannes, because we were not there, but our friends said it was very well done. Transfers to and from the ship were timely and the event itself was excellent. Azamara provides complimentary laundry (do it yourself), and the laundry room is always busy. There are 4 or 5 sets of washers and dryers, but one washer was out of service. More machines would be useful. The ironing facilities were also quite busy, especially before White Night. We travelled with friends who had never tried Azamara before, although they have been on several other cruise lines. I suspect the perks on Azamara – complimentary wine and beverages, gratuities included, and complimentary laundry facilities to name a few, will bring them back to Azamara in the future. Azamara has always made us feel welcome and appreciated. Yes, they appreciate our business, and the friendly crew, special services, and well planned excursions make us appreciate Azamara. We are cruising on the Azamara Quest in December and look forward to another wonderful experience. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
We've been on more than 10 cruises and this was our 2nd Azamara cruise (first on the Journey). What impressed us the most was the level of customer service on this cruise! The entire crew - from the Captain to all the workers we ... Read More
We've been on more than 10 cruises and this was our 2nd Azamara cruise (first on the Journey). What impressed us the most was the level of customer service on this cruise! The entire crew - from the Captain to all the workers we encountered - were friendly and professional! I cannot recall ever seeing a ship's Captain as I did on this cruise. Amazing! This level of treatment really makes a difference and affirms my loyalty to Azamara (note: we are doing another Azamara cruise in 2016). Another wonderful part of this cruise was the itinerary. Each day, we traveled to a new port. And we were lucky enough to be in Monte Carlo and Nice during the Formula One and Cannes Film Festival activity. While we tendered in most of the ports, it was a painless operation and much easier than previous cruises where we had to tender. Similarly, embarkation and disembarkation were easy; particularly disembarkation. The food was okay (not great), but we weren't expecting haute cuisine. We did not do any of the specialty restaurants this time. When we called during the cruise to make a reservation, they were totally booked. Next time, we will make our reservations at the beginning of the cruise. The entertainment was okay (spoiler: it's not "our thing"). The couple we were traveling with found the entertainment to be very good. My husband and I preferred the piano player in the lounge. We had a veranda cabin and it was very roomy (for a cruise ship)! We had no trouble finding a place for all our stuff. And it was easy to keep our room tidy since everything was always put away. Two mornings, we had room service at breakfast and that was quite a treat! We ate on the veranda - with a linen tablecloth and real silverware! We had heard from other passengers - during our first Azamara Quest cruise - that the Journey staff was friendlier and more accommodating. If this cruise was typical, they are right. My only "complaint" is about the puny hairdryer in the cabin. Ladies; if having a good hairdryer matters to you, please take yours from home! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2015
Just completed a 7 night Azamara Journey cruise from Barcelona to Nice. The ship is very nice but not yet in that "luxury" category they're aiming for. The cabins were nice, spacious but by no means luxurious. The dining ... Read More
Just completed a 7 night Azamara Journey cruise from Barcelona to Nice. The ship is very nice but not yet in that "luxury" category they're aiming for. The cabins were nice, spacious but by no means luxurious. The dining rooms were lovely but not elegant. The one thing we can't say enough about was the service. It was wonderful, from the Captain on down. Everyone on the ship's staff was attentive, warm, helpful and welcoming. This cruise stopped at a different port every day but if it didn't, I think we would have been at a loss for things to do around the ship. The shopping was sub-par but again, since we were in most ports quite late, there wasn't that much opportunity to shop on board. The disembarkation process at each port was quick and efficient and in those ports where the ship had to anchor out, the tender process was handled very well. We took three ships tours and on two of them the guides were very difficult to understand. They were knowledgeable but their accents made them difficult to understand. One one trip, the wireless microphones were useless. We took a number of privately arranged tours which were much better, less expensive and with much fewer people. The Azamazing evening event at a beautiful abbey in Sete, France wasn't thought out as well as it should have been. It took 40 or so minutes to get there, hors d'ourves and wine was sub-par and the concert by the Cannes Orchestra lasted only 45 minutes. We had no idea what was being played since no one thought to prepare a program. The sound system was just OK and anything spoken over a microphone was almost unintelligible. A soprano came to join the orchestra for a number of songs but she was never introduced. On the day we disembarked, it was raining and all of the luggage taken off the night before was left out in the rain at the dock in Nice. That's something that just shouldn't happen ever. I think being on a smaller ship with only 650 passengers is a good thing but I didn't think the ship itself or the activities planned lived up to a "luxury" label. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2014
Typically we book well ahead on our cruises, however a gap in the diary and a strong desire for some serious r and r brought us back onboard Azamara Journey, for the first time ever in an Oceanview room. We had read less positive reviews ... Read More
Typically we book well ahead on our cruises, however a gap in the diary and a strong desire for some serious r and r brought us back onboard Azamara Journey, for the first time ever in an Oceanview room. We had read less positive reviews in the weeks previously and were also concerned about how we would cope sans balcony - however, within minutes we knew we had made the right decision because Azamara Journey is in great shape as ever and we had a brilliant seven nights. Embarkation This was one of the swiftest embarkations we have ever had and it was lovely that the ship was docked down town at the foot of Las Ramblas and not further out in the larger facility. From leaving our hotel (Crowne Plaza Fira very good) to sitting out the back with our first included glass of wine was 27 minutes, my mathematically precise other half tells me. Room We had never had anything other than a suite on Azamara before and so we had read all about the small bathrooms. We were actually pleasantly surprised how spacious the room and bathroom were, the storage was far better than on a Celebrity ship and the bathroom is larger than the ensuite off our guest bedroom. We had expected something like we had experienced on our first ever cruise (NCL) but this was much better. The location on Deck 4 was perfect, very quiet and our stateroom team were excellent and the room was always immaculate and clean and showed no obvious signs of wear and tear. Again we had read that you see a difference in team when you are in the cheaper rooms - most certainly not so. Dining This is where I have my biggest complaint, or maybe it is with the manufacturers of our washing powder because all my clothes are now too tight and I think the other half has a similar issue. Every meal, be it in Windows Café or the main Discoveries Dining Room was well cooked, extremely tasty and just right. The pastries from Mosaic café were a delight (ok I know why we do not want a room on Deck 4 again, it is far too near that Deck 5 den of cake sin and cookie temptation). Service was always attentive, perceptive and with a smile. It is lovely that although waiters have individual areas of responsibility they work as a team, helping each other out and thinking guest first. For us all the food came at the right temperature and generally wine glasses were promptly topped up. They were a little slower topping up the Club sodas but I think when that happened there were usually surrounding tables who had quite extensive and complex demands on the Assistant Waiter re cocktails. A Jazz Brunch was served on the At Sea day and as ever there was a great range of options to eat at that event with the eating accompanied by the Journey Orchestra playing some great Jazz sets. Entertainment We know Azamara will never compete with big ships and full production stages but we enjoyed what was offered most nights. We were a little less keen on the comedy hypnotist (but that is a personal preference) but this was offset by our delight at hearing Brookes Aehron again after a gap of several years. He has lost none of his sparkle!! There are no longer singing duos around, we liked that poolside as we prefer to read quietly there (or sleep) and it had no impact on us elsewhere. The DJ was less energetic than his predecessor but as he had just come on board, perhaps he was still settling into his style and rhythm. The Cruise Director (Eric) is extremely talented and yet also very modest (except when he is coaching Captain Johannes in navigation skills). Seriously though it is great to see staff working hard and yet having fun and being very comfortable as a team. Ports of call Minorca - a gem and a very easily walkable port but not one you will find lots of tourist shops. It is a genuine place, very welcoming and lots of lovely tiny streets to explore Alcudia Mallorca - we were only the second ship ever to call there. A lovely new terminal building a level 15 minute walk from the main beaches and bus to the old town. Unfortunately the local taxis have not yet worked out there is money to be made here, so the lovely large taxi area was empty all day, we are sure they will quickly learn. Some cruisers travelled to Palma for the day both independently and through organised excursions. Some independents found they had a stressful trip back to the ship as the local bus timetables seem to be "optional" but every one did make it back on time (just) Gibraltar - it was misty and a little windy so the Cable Car was not running for some of the day. We opted for a local taxi tour we picked up at the terminal which is at a standard set rate (£22 per person) and was very good and informative. In Gibraltar we also enjoyed our Azamazing evening which was a wonderful night despite the challenges of moving over 500 guests half way up the rock via narrow roads. The venue was wonderful, plenty seats, the music spine tingling and pleasant interval refreshments (the ship had laid on pre departure and welcome back buffets so no risk of going hungry) Cadiz - a lovely town to explore on its own but we opted to go further afield and took the cruiseline excursion to Seville, selecting the Seville on your own tour which is basically just transport to and from the beautiful Cathedral town. This was a great trip and we hope Azamara provide more of these "on your own" options in future as it gives us the security of reliable transport (and for 2 persons, less than the taxi fare) but combines this with the freedom to explore and see what you want at the other end. Being a Sunday we were very limited re the Cathedral but in a way were glad because we might not otherwise have explored Real Alcazar to the extent we did. Lisbon - we arrived lunchtime the day before disembarkation when we were going to spend some more time in Lisbon, so we opted for another trip, this time to Mediaeval Obidos an absolutely charming town 90 mins drive away. Although we were on a large bus (c35 of us) there were two guides and we used audio guide systems, half the bus on channel 1 and half on 2. We took slightly different routes round the village and it worked very well and did not feel like a large group event. Again a good trip we would recommend. Disembarkation This was very well arranged, we had hoped to opt for a late disembarkation but as the ship was on a tight turnaround, this was not offered so we changed our plans. Independent travellers were given a 2 hour window in which they could disembark when the chose, the luggage tags were only being used to help you find your cases. We like this and it all worked well. Summary This cruise reminded us why we like Azamara. It is everything from the relative compact size of the ship (and there are never elevator issues or lines to do anything) to the wonderful crew (not one person let the side down) to the fellow guests (hard to explain but it has the sorts of interesting people we like to cruise with, people who enjoy exploring places, socialising in the evening, but who do not need hip hop music and bling to make their holiday work for them). It was perfect r and r even if it is now requiring some effort on the exercise front to remove that one unwanted but self inflicted souvenir of a great holiday Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2013
We boarded the Azamara Journey in Barcelona. Very easy compared to the large ships that we are used to taking in Florida. Total check-in process took less than 15 minutes. Then on to board the boat. Greeted with champagne at the door. Our ... Read More
We boarded the Azamara Journey in Barcelona. Very easy compared to the large ships that we are used to taking in Florida. Total check-in process took less than 15 minutes. Then on to board the boat. Greeted with champagne at the door. Our cabin was ready (around noon), however our bags had not been delivered. After cruising on 35+ cruises, I would have to say this was our favorite. Small touches like the bartender always knowing your drink before dinner, never a crowd for the dining room, incredible meals, etc. The crew seemed genuinely happy, etc. So nice to not be nickel and dimed to death, like the mainstream lines. Hard to believe that Azamara was even a part of RCL...The buffet even had an upscale feel with table cloths and candles at night. The entertainment was top notch. The dancers were incredible and the cruise director, entertaining. Our first stop on the cruise was to the island of Ibiza. Azamara arranged a 'Hippie Night' where everyone dressed in white or 60's clothing. They bused us to a beach club and served champagne and snacks for a couple of hours. They had a fashion show and played 60's music. It was so much fun. The rest of the cruise we stopped at ports along the French Riviera. Most of them we were able to dock at, however a couple we had to tender in to shore. The only negative to the cruise was the super-small verandah cabins. We had a balcony cabin and there was barely enough room to put away our clothes and walk around the bed. No more than one could be in the bathroom at a time. Very small shower with a curtain. I would guess that the boat was around 50 years old because of the small cabins, however it was very well maintained and clean. We have already booked another Azamara cruise. It was a great experience and well worth paying a little extra for a more intimate cruise.   Read Less
Sail Date: July 2013
Our trip started in a one night stay in Barcelona at a great hotel. Embarkation was very smooth taking less than 15mins. It was a nice touch to be greeted on board with a glass of champagne and a welcome back. Two of the crew given out ... Read More
Our trip started in a one night stay in Barcelona at a great hotel. Embarkation was very smooth taking less than 15mins. It was a nice touch to be greeted on board with a glass of champagne and a welcome back. Two of the crew given out the champagne remembered us from last year. I was traveling with my disabled mother. On this trip we had booked a disabled room for the first time. A very good size balcony and lots of space for the wheelchair. We did encounter a major problem with the door to the cabin. It is meant to open automatically when you entre your key into the door. Most days this did not happen. Throughout the week lots of staff came and went hoping the problem had been solved. The guest relation department were so helpful and tried their best. When they saw me approaching they would hide below the desk. Lot of laughs about the problem but always trying there best to solve the problem. In the end we just got one enjoying the holiday and if the door did not open, someone would come along and let us in. Since returning from the cruise my mother an I have been given a large discount for next years holiday. We will not be using the disabled room again.Food on board was very good. Most evenings we eat in the buffet restaurant. Food was always hot and lovely. My mother has a craving for chips and every evening they would get them for her. On the last evening we were celebrating my mother 85 birthday and all the staff come and gave her a birthday cake and sang Happy Birthday. A lovely touch. Entertainment was not as good as last year. May be is was due to Eric being on leave. Chris as always working hard to keep us entertained. AzAmazing Evening - wonderful venue (over looking Marseilles harbour), good buffet and lots of drinks, BUT the entertainment was so bad. Out of tune violinist. I had to laugh as it was so bad. Lots of people did not return for the second half of the programme. All the crew were friendly and is was so nice to be remembered from last year. Juliana, Future Cruise Manager as friendly and helpful as always. Mother and I had a wonderful holiday and we cant wait for our next Azamara cruise in November. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2011
My son and I sailed the Journey on Jule 18, 2011 out of Barcelona to Ibitza, Granada/Motril, Gibraltar, and Cadiz and ending in Lisbon. Wonderful staff , as Azamara always has. Captain Tyess was always around in his gentle, kind and ... Read More
My son and I sailed the Journey on Jule 18, 2011 out of Barcelona to Ibitza, Granada/Motril, Gibraltar, and Cadiz and ending in Lisbon. Wonderful staff , as Azamara always has. Captain Tyess was always around in his gentle, kind and confident manner. Eric De Gray provided lots of wonderful songs with his great voice and he is rather funny with stories about his grandparents. Helen, the activities director, was warm and funny as well, having been a clown in another life. This line always makes you feel special and tries very hard to make things right. When I initally told them that I had been totally ignored in the buffet area ( could not get a table, then , with cold food in hand, could not get silverware or water either), I was contacted by five separate staff with apologies and better service from then on. The ship is in good shape. Low key activities. Food is very, very good for my taste. Wine served at lunch and dinner was always very good and if you liked the one you had the day before, they would get it for you. Rosalie and Paul , cabin stewards, were execellent,effecient and never intrusive. The ports were good , and we took ship excursions in all, with very good experiences. Oh, and if you like to dance, Marcio , the DJ in the Looking Glass, is great fun in the evening. On this sailing, we were stuck in Cadiz because of a problem with the PA system. Very erie to never hear anything for almost two days. But there was a fun little festival right in the port to occupy our time . And Azamara was more than generous in compensating our wasted time and never getting to see Lisbon. I guess I will need to sail to Lisbon another time! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2011
EmbarkationWe arrived at the port at around 1000 due to our getting an early flight. We were told check-in would commence at 1100 and there was coffee, tea, soft drinks and cookies available in the terminal while we waited. We had a ... Read More
EmbarkationWe arrived at the port at around 1000 due to our getting an early flight. We were told check-in would commence at 1100 and there was coffee, tea, soft drinks and cookies available in the terminal while we waited. We had a quick walk around the terminal area and returned just after 1100 by which time a small queue had formed. We were on the ship with a glass on fizz by 1130. As others have said, you can leave any hand luggage at a desk on arrival for delivery to your room later.The ship was docked at a terminal right near the centre: a five minute walk to the bottom of La Rambla and right underneath the middle tower of the cable car. Great location if you chose to get off to explore the town after embarkation.RoomWe booked an interior guarantee and were lucky enough to be upgraded to an ocean view room on deck 4 right next to Guest Relations. No problems with noise, except when the lifeboats were being lowered for use as tenders - that woke us up. Lovely room, big window, plenty of storage space. As others have said the bathroom is very small and the shower curtain a pain. My tip: there is a drain outside the shower underneath the sink, so place the shower curtain outside the shower and let the excess water drain in there. This stops the shower curtain billowing in and sticking to you. You will see what I mean when you try it!The TV system is not as good as that on the new Celebrity ships we have been on with far fewer interactive services and free videos, but perfectly good nonetheless. And the in-stateroom menu seemed more limited than on Celebrity.We had a look at an interior room before we left. Perfectly nice, but inevitably dark. Do try and get the window if you can, or are lucky enough to be upgraded like us!Kept spotless by our faultless steward team - friendly and did their work without us ever having to ask for anything - perfect.Windows CafeOverall this is excellent, and much better than the Oceanview cafes we had experienced on Celebrity. Inevitably there is a smaller choice than on bigger ships, but we never had any problem finding something we enjoyed for breakfast and lunch (we never got around to going for dinner). At breakfast do try and grab some of the almond croissants before they inevitably go: delicious! The sandwiches, salads and fish were always very good, and the ice-cream became a regular afternoon treat - try the rum and raisin and peanut flavours.At breakfast your waiter will even serve you from the menu - omelettes, eggs, pancakes, waffles etc if you prefer not to queue and will also serve and replenish hot and cold drinks.Having said that waiter service in the cafe, as in the dining room, could be a bit spotty. Sometimes it was excellent, sometimes you could be ignored on sitting down for 10 minutes before finally being able to place a drinks order.We never had a problem finding a table for two or, if none was available, taking a larger table, but never had to share and the serving areas never felt busy either, but this may have been because the ship wasn't full. Overall, the Windows Cafe was a great improvement over the equivalent on Celebrity ships.Discoveries dining roomQuality of food overall very good, and similar to Celebrity. Soups invariably excellent. Good choice every night.Again service was spotty. Some waiters were excellent: Victor (attentive and hyperactive!), Boris and Sudarto stand out. Other waiters were frankly poor. We made this point in the mid-cruise survey and the restaurant manager personally apologised and asked for more info at our next visit to the restaurant. We told him about our good experiences but did not pick out the poorer waiters; but I think he knew who we meant. As most will know, it is entirely select dining on Azamara. I thought we would probably have to sometimes wait for a table for two, rather than sharing a table, at peak times, but we never did. Kudos to the restaurant managers for their polite, professional manner and for always being accommodating. There are downsides of select dining - no regular waiter to get to know your preferences. It became too arduous to ask every night for a small gap between courses, and entertainment was not scheduled to coincide with dinner seatings. We prefer to eat between 2030 and 2100 and the main event in the Cabaret Lounge was usually at 2145, so we had to be in the dining room at 2000 to make it. This isn't a criticism of Azamara - how else could they do it? - but just one downside to select dining.We took breakfast in Discoveries twice - both times excellent service, but similar food to upstairs. Good choice for peak times as it was quiet both times. Only served until 0930.Speciality diningPrime C was excellent for steak - a great table and great service. Food very good indeed.Aqualina a bit of a disappointment. Little bland in parts.Overall, our feeling is that the offerings of these restaurants are not distinct enough from those in the main restaurant. Think of Silk Harvest or Qsine on Celebrity. Yes, it's a really nice steak, but I can have steak any day I choose in Discoveries. And the quality was no where near that in Murano on Celebrity. However, $15 is a really reasonable cover charge, so can't complain too vociferously. For us, a more overtly Italian, Chinese, Indian or Thai restaurant would provide some much-needed variety.EntertainmentCD Eric de Gray was very good. Excellent singer, funny, and put on some good shows. We especially enjoyed the broadway show on the last night and the rock n roll party on deck (although, again, waiter service at that event was distinctly poor).The Azamara Orchestra was excellent. We really enjoyed the jazz night in the Mosaic Cafe (but could a better venue be found, I wonder - it was standing room only in the end), and were sorry when a mooted second night of jazz did not materialise. Dan, the orchestra's lead man, also accompanied a few solo gigs for the Azamara singers, including a 'diva' night which was very good.No big flashy shows, but overall the entertainment was pretty good.PortsWe had no sea days on our cruise, so it was very port intensive.Palma - one of our favourite cities. A great place to wander around.Mahon - a new one for us. Lovely small town, great places to walk, markets to visit etc.Sete - a dump. Smelly, crowded and totally dirty. No redeeming features. Give it a miss in future, Azamara!Marseille - wonderful! We loved it. Building in the port meant that getting to town was a bit of an assault course, especially for those with mobility problems. Eric told us that this work was not envisaged so they scrambled to find some coaches for a limited shuttle service on day two there. A great city.Sanary Sur Mer - also wonderful. Nice to have the contrast of such a quaint, small fishing village after Marseille's busyness. Great bars on the front for a beer. We went back ashore before dinner. Could have stayed longer.St Tropez - overrated. The town nowhere near as nice as Sanary. Perhaps a good idea to book excursions to other places next time. Overnight here too. Spent the second day onboard as our manufactured sea day!Portofino - picture perfect and wonderful. Eric and his team led a walking tour to the lighthouse which we did not take part in, but a great thing to offer. Make sure you're up for the walk - it's quite a long and hilly walk. The village was absolutely packed with 4 ships in. Again, we came back ashore before dinner and the place was almost deserted. Had an (expensive) drink by the marina, and it was lovely.Monaco - visiting just before the grand prix probably not the best time. The tender docked way out in the middle of nowhere, but a gallant effort to resolve that problem with detailed and illustrated walking instructions and again a guided walk by Eric et al. Tip - use the buses to get around 1EUR no matter where you go, and information given onboard.A great feature was the hospitality desk by guest relations each day: local representatives to give tourist information, maps etc. This feature was not explained to us (as far as we can remember) so it took a few days before we realised what it was. Stop by for a map at least, but be prepared to queue for any other info.InclusivityThe inclusive nature of the cruise makes a world of difference. House wine flows at lunch and dinner, and how nice to go into the fridge to get a Diet Coke without wondering what the account is looking like, as many espressos as you'd like and no hard sell on any items either. This also, I think, encourages spending on cocktails which one may order sparingly if you had to buy wine with dinner etc. This along with the included shuttle services, complementary laundry facilities etc were really appreciated. There are many aspects to draw one back to Azamara, but this inclusivity is a key one. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2010
Boarded the Journey in Barcelona on 9/12/10. The embarkation process was a breeze. Unfortunately, we arrived early that morning and had nowhere to go but the pier, so we arrived as the last of the passengers from the previous sailing were ... Read More
Boarded the Journey in Barcelona on 9/12/10. The embarkation process was a breeze. Unfortunately, we arrived early that morning and had nowhere to go but the pier, so we arrived as the last of the passengers from the previous sailing were leaving and waited until 11:30 before they let us on the ship. The rooms were not ready yet, but we had our carry-ons with us and just changed into touring clothes in the spacious public restroom off the main entrance lobby and then handed off our luggage to the staff waiting in the lobby for just such a need. When we returned for lunch the cabin was ready and the bags were waiting for us. The staff is everywhere on Azamara and you never have to wait a moment to have any request satisfied. Note, though, for our pre-ordered breakfast room service, the ship specifies a half hour window for delivery. We found that delivery tends to occur at the end of the window, rather than at the beginning, so plan accordingly. We got a call before delivery to make sure, I suppose, that we were awake and ready for delivery. A nice touch. The rooms are fine. We thought the bed was comfortable and piled high with extra pillows during the day. Okay, they're not pillow-top mattresses, but we had no complaints because they felt like pillow-tops and the bed linens were luxurious. Nice sized flat screen television. The cabin bathrooms are quite small and the shower might not be all that friendly to a very large person. Or at least they would be swaddled by the shower curtain, particularly if the ship was rolling. We had no problems and we are average sized Americans. There is a drain in the main bathroom for those who just can't fit in the shower. Of course, if you're that big, maybe you shouldn't be on a cruise ship with such good food. Speaking of food, the main dining room was fine every night. However, we can't say enough about Aqualina, one of the two specialty restaurants. How many cruise ships can you get exquisitely prepared pan seared fois gras? Absolutely lovely. We never tried the specialty steak house because, well, we can get steak at home. And besides, we were having too much fun in the main dining room. We ended up meeting a great group of people the first night and continued to eat with them for the rest of the cruise. Our group would grow and shrink a little every night and the dining room was always accommodative. Unfortunately, we rarely had the same servers more than two nights in a row, which, I suppose, is the price you pay for open seating dining. The dining staff was very knowledgeable about the choices and never steered us wrong. There were one or two items in the dining room that failed (a mango sorbet one night seemed to be infused with cod liver oil), but, by and large, we were happy with both the choices and the quality of food. Lobster was in abundance, for which we were particularly grateful. Let's talk about the wine. Wine at lunch and dinner was a seriously valuable part of our cruise. No cheap plonk wines, either. Some we recognized from our local wine store (@ $14/bottle) and others we didn't, but the quality always seemed to us as in the $20 retail range. So these are wines you'd pay $60/bottle on any other cruise line that doesn't provide complimentary wine with meals. The staff is very good about refilling your glass but when lunch (or dinner) hour is over, the cork is back in. We still spent time in the cocktail lounges despite the wine with meals. There is a lovely martini bar outside the main dining room with an excellent variety at reasonable prices. We sailed from Barcelona to St. Tropez (anchored - excellent tender service), then overnight in Nice. Nice is a great spot to be anchored and it is a fantastic base for touring the Cote d'Azur. Our cruise had no sea days, but the Journey served as an excellent floating hotel for us. We're not sure what a sea day might have been like, but we did spend our second afternoon in Nice out by the pool and can imagine doing that on a full sea day. Shore excursion options were plentiful. We were satisfied with our excursions in Italy (Florence and Pisa at Livorno and the Cinqueterre from Portofino) and pleased that Azamara provides shuttle service to the center or wherever when the dock isn't near someplace we'd want to be. The staff was good about suggestions for doing touring on our own. We have not sailed Oceania, but have sailed Windstar many times, as well as Crystal, HAL, Princess, Celebrity and Cunard. We thought the dining room was as good as Windstar and Aqualina was certainly as good as any of the specialty restaurants on Crystal. Given the choice, we liked the passengers on Azamara better than those on Crystal. Also, getting around on Azamara was a snap because the size of the ship really made a difference. It was like having the best of the coziness of Windstar and the elegance of Crystal. I think this is what the new Azamara Club concept is all about and I think they are well on their way of reaching it. We would probably still opt for Windstar over Azamara given the same itinerary, but lately Windstar has gotten into a rut about where they sail and we're somewhat concerned about the future of the line. Azamara, by contrast, seems to be looking to go to all the nooks and crannies that a ship can get to on the globe, making every cruise a new adventure. As you can tell, our cruise exceeded expectations and we are looking at our calendars for our next sailing with Azamara Club. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2010
This review will be short and sweet. We have sailed on Regent three times, all as guests of a large corporation whose product our company sells. They were Raddison at the time, but I understand that Regent has done a good job in upholding ... Read More
This review will be short and sweet. We have sailed on Regent three times, all as guests of a large corporation whose product our company sells. They were Raddison at the time, but I understand that Regent has done a good job in upholding the Raddison standards. These lines are unlike Princess or NCL in that they truly are a consideral step above in accomodations, food, service, etc.My wife and I went to book a fourth Regent cruise through our travel agent and she suggested that we may want to consider the Azamara Journey instead. The itinerary was similar and their Sunset Verand catagory was similar in size to the Regent veranda cabin, but almost haf the price. We checked out reviews and saw that almost all were very favorable. The ship was excellent in every way. I said short and sweet so I'll wrap it up here. We booked another cruise on the Journey while on board and will go back again in 2012. We have been on the Norwegian Jade since our Azamara cruise with family and it was fine for the younger kids, but the Journey is the perfect cruise for any mature couple who can spend a little more but doesn't want to go for the super high end luxury costs. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2010
I grew up on boats. I love to travel. However, up till now, I had no desire to go on a cruise ship. Why? Because I hate crowds, lineups, buffets, tours, corny entertainment and seasickness. And I'm not crazy about kids...other ... Read More
I grew up on boats. I love to travel. However, up till now, I had no desire to go on a cruise ship. Why? Because I hate crowds, lineups, buffets, tours, corny entertainment and seasickness. And I'm not crazy about kids...other people's, that is, on a vacation. I have spent my life teaching teenagers and for me, a holiday must be as far away from them as possible or it simply isn't a change of scene. I do love the ocean, however, and if I'm going to be on a ship, I must be able to actually feel like I'm close to the water, not 16 stories up in a floating skyscraper. I spent a couple of years researching my 'first time cruise' and I chose Azamara for the following reasons: 1. I could not afford a balcony on Oceania and didn't want to go for 2 weeks in case I didn't like it 2. The ships are basically the same size and I liked the size and look of the ships a lot 3. The one week itinerary was terrific and at the right time of year for me 4. It seemed it would appeal to people like me, who are comfortable but not necessarily wealthy, have high standards but aren't totally spoiled and can appreciate the opportunity to travel rather than take it all for granted 5. I got an irresistible deal way before the prices jumped and am kicking myself that I didn't book a hundred more cruises before it was too late. As I was constantly told by more experienced cruisers on board The Journey, I hit it lucky my first time. It was generally agreed by everyone I spoke to that this ship was a tremendous value and everything was fantastic. I have no basis of comparison, unless you count a terrible voyage in steerage on a dilapidate ship from the old Epirotiki lines from Brindisi to Athens as a college student when everyone aboard wanted to jump over from the lousy food, overly attentive waiters (I was much younger and prettier back then) and rampant seasickness. I say this so you can decide how many grains of salt to sprinkle on my review. I booked in the fall, way before rumors of the upgrade in services, because I sensed that the Journey would offer what I was looking for at a decent, affordable price. Imagine my shock at our good luck when the re-imaging took place and I found out that there would be more than met my eye....free wine! free coffee! no gratuities!......I'm not much of a drinker...either wine or coffee but the tips were a savings (although I couldn't resist tipping a little anyways, the service was so incredible). I am now suffering from withdrawal because, with my calculations, I can no longer really afford to return for another cruise.....and return I would, if the price wasn't practically double. Unless you drink like a fish, I'm not sure you could justify the difference in price, although, at the rate we paid, I suppose it's doubtful they could stay in business. Sigh. The best things about the cruise and The Journey 1. Embarkation/debarkation was perfect ....smooth, efficient and welcoming 2. Lunch, like all others to follow, was fantastic 3. Our Deck 7 Balcony suite was great....amazing views all along the coasts of Italy and the Balkans (are they still called that?) Blue seas, blue hills, blue skies. Sure, the bathroom is small, but it's on a ship! If you want a huge bathroom, stay home (where, I assume, your facilities are in a house). 4. The ocean was like glass every day. (Told you we were lucky...I never even opened my pack of wristlets or gravol, never felt queasy or anything but relaxed) Thank you weather gods. 5. The people we met were delightful, considerate, friendly and fun. All ages, too. Honeymooners, empty nesters and retirees. And a few oldies but goodies. 6. The staff was incredible....I absolutely endorse whatever positive comments others have written times 100....the teamwork, the professionalism and warmth made it very hard to leave....I actually cried during their good-bye presentation...felt like a cross between the Olympics and summer camp 7. The 'tendering' and tours were excellent, efficient and pretty reasonable, considering 8 The spa was lovely, but the treatments so costly that few people seemed to be there at any time making it easy to enjoy the steam, shower and private deck 9. The food was sensational. Given the number of people and the complexities involved, the service and the catering was first-rate. I am a 'foodie' with a bit of a background in culinary arts and found something wonderful to eat at each meal. Food was fresh, abundant and beautifully presented. The specialty restaurants were fantastic....all I can say is 'chocolate souffle'... 10. The Captain and his crew were approachable, friendly and eager to please. They are really trying to sell this new upgrade concept with a lot of opportunities for feedback 11. They never run out of anything....towels, food, water, hellos... Not so much.... a very short list....again, based on my experience as a newbie 1. Somebody complained that there were a few cruddy tiles around the pool which had escaped my attention 2. There is only 1 laundry room with only 4 washers and dryers which create a kind of feeding frenzy at times.....it's strictly survival of the fittest in this little space....just don't leave your stuff for a minute or someone will remove it and leave it lying around, damp, and avert their eyes when you enter (don't ask me how I know) 3. Sometimes you can't make up your mind which dessert to order so you have to have two! 4. The programming is a little lame....the games are incredibly juvenile and the entertainment is not great, but it didn't really bother me...I am not interested in Las Vegas afloat 5. The onboard stores are so -so....kind of frumpy 5. I am now spoiled for the rest of my life. I am very sad that I probably will not ever be able to justify spending twice as much for the same thing again and so will have to say Bon Voyage to the good ship Journey. My fear, for Azamara, is that they are now joining a pretty fussy class where their efforts may not be appreciated, given the shiny competition. And they are leaving out an entire group of potential cruisers, boomers new to cruising who want a lovely, romantic and adventurous escape from the kids, grandkids and cares. Like me. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2010
My wife and I made our first cruise to Europe and our first Azamara experience on the April 25th Barcelona to Venice sailing. We have previously sailed on a number of Royal Caribbean ships(have grown to hate the Windjammer) and the ... Read More
My wife and I made our first cruise to Europe and our first Azamara experience on the April 25th Barcelona to Venice sailing. We have previously sailed on a number of Royal Caribbean ships(have grown to hate the Windjammer) and the Celebrity Solstice. We can unreservedly say that our experience on the Journey was by far the best yet, and we already have booked for another European cruise next Spring. The small size of the Journey made for a very relaxed vacation without the crowds and stress of the larger ships such as the Freedom, Let me say that my wife and I do not cruise for the glitzy, resort-type activities, i.e. casino, shows, etc., but very much enjoy good food and service. For us sipping a nice cup of coffee at Cafe Cova and enjoying a first-class spa treatment is plenty of excitement. For our needs the Journey was a perfect fit. Our stateroom was plenty large for the two of us, and our cabin steward was first-rate. When we had a problem with our door lock it was promptly attended to. We felt sorry for the first worker who tried to get in by climbing over the balcony in the adjoining cabin. Unfortunately, our sliding glass door was locked. The food was uniformly excellent. We ate at Prime C twice where Marco provided outstanding service. I particularly enjoyed the Kobe beef sliders, while my wife raved about the mini-cinnamon donuts. Aqualina was also good. We were pleasantly surprised with the quality of the food and presentation in the main dining room, which far exceeded our main dining experience on either RC or Celebrity. The complementary wines were certainly a pleasant addition and it was nice not to have to whip out the Seapass card every time we wanted a refill. My wife is a massage therapist and quite picky about spa treatments. She signed up for the massage deal offered at the start of the cruise, and also had a hot oil hair treatment. I had the hot oil and a shave, which is one of my special treats. The service provided by the wonderful Tamron and Teegan greatly contributed to our cruise experience and we certainly hope they are still with the Journey next year. I am a competitive bodybuilder so the gym was important to me. The facility was adequate, though the weights could have been heavier. Likewise it could have used either a smith machine or some more leg equipment. However, I made do and for the bulk of the passengers I am sure it was just fine. Maurice the fitness instructor was quite nice and always greeted me with a smile. We enjoyed all the ports. We flew in to Barcelona a day early, thankfully missing the volcanic ash, and stayed at the Marina Grand Eurostars near the port which was first rate. We spend the day roaming Las Ramblas and, despite all the dire warnings, saw no sign of pickpockets. We did the ships excursion to Pompeii at Sorrento which had an excellent guide. We also did the ships tour of the old city of Taormina which we enjoyed. Taormina with its gorgeous setting overlooking the sea, was probably our favorite port. We also particularly enjoyed walking the walls of the old city in Dubrovnik. We stayed a couple of days post-cruise in Venice which I would highly recommend. Rather than a hotel we stayed at the Al Palazatto bed and breakfast which was quite cozy and centrally located. Once we figured out the water taxis getting around was breeze. All in all, the Journey was perfect for an adult vacation, and we can't wait to next April to board her in Rome next May. 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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