3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Another repeat cruise experience- excellent in 'almost' every way. Capt Johannes Thysse must be the most visible and approachable Capt afloat, as are his main officers. He is a consummate maritime expert and really enjoys his ... Read More
Another repeat cruise experience- excellent in 'almost' every way. Capt Johannes Thysse must be the most visible and approachable Capt afloat, as are his main officers. He is a consummate maritime expert and really enjoys his vocation. Entertainment was less than spectacular due to a change in dancers, which were absent. Nonetheless Eric de Gray is a true star and directing the musicians and singers did a great job and no one complained. Food . A veritable flow of excellent offerings at all times to suit every palate, To avoid repetition, some new dishes should be introduced for longer voyages as this Transatlantic 2 week. Wines included are adequate, unless one is a wine connoisseur. An additional wine list is available, but at ship prices which don't offer good value. Bar alcohol is more than adequate and only top liqueurs Cognacs and Whiskies etc are charged. Cabin Butler service was impeccable. Room service was rapid and perfect. The Hotel Manageress Heike, watching with an Eagle eye ensures the ship is immaculate, and staff care for pax . Indeed all is faultless. Upon boarding Lisbon some new crew joined. Deck restaurant service was at times chaotic for the first few days. Completing a questionnaire to highlight such matters, was responded to within hours by many staff members and of course Heike who ensured more management attention rectified the complaint/observations soon thereafter. They followed up too! NOW A WARNING** Be aware this ship changes dates, port itinerary and times, seven times ..... following booking. So do other Azamara ships. In the event of a complaint to head shore office in Miami, I'm told by other pax that they are always disinterested. A Larry Pimentel problem, common under his management of other ships too. The Azamara company under the management of CEO Pimentel an American, decided; as he did with previous ships he managed, to lower the dress standard. There are NO formal nights, so dont take fancy long dresses nor tuxedos. Dress code is now 'No Jacket Required' which sadly translates into 'American slop scruff order' . Basically whatever you have in a plastic bag will do. No kidding, I noted some pax wore the same few clothes throughout. Many travelling with a carry -on. Few gents wore jackets, and only one a tie. I saw shorts T shirt and flip flops in the dining room, but only once, so guess that was called to order. This critical observation may transmit a scene of ragged vagabonds. You are assured its far from that. Not being snobbish, but perhaps 50% dress shabbily and carelessly. Everyone is extremely pleasant, happy and well behaved. The atmosphere is excellent. It has no style, but as its a small ship, is far far removed from the Carnival ships and other cheap offering,s where heaped plates of some sort of food is virtually thrown on long tables where Tank tops, torn shorts even barefoot is prevalent, so Ive seen on videos. IMPORTANT PLEASE TAKE NOTE ! Cruise lines have added Cuba to their itineraries. Not necessarily because its a wonderful destination, but for its novelty factor. Mainly because they can use this as a major pax rip-off. They conveniently don't advise pre cruise that a VISA is essential, but advise on board a few days prior to arrival Cuba. There is a compulsory charge of $75 per visa PER PORT see below* Additionally to be allowed ashore they insist on buying a tour see below*, minimum $89 claiming this is a US law compliance. see below* * According to the Cuban immigration inspectors, a Cuban Visa is compulsory and pax must be in possession at arrival. Cost is $25 and cannot be purchased in Cuba. One can be purchased at varying prices previous to arrival from a Cuban Embassy $25, Online agents, travel agents and airlines at varying prices. UK online cost is GBP24. American airlines like their cruise counterparts charge an excessive $75; a big money making scheme. Solution is Buy before you go. Visas last 30 days for multiple entries. Compulsory tours. A bigger money spiinning scheme. They are Massively overpriced and I heard almost everyone who was forced to buy one on board expressing extreme discontent both at the excessive price and quality. The same tour guides are available on shore for a few $ (CUC the local currency) . e.g. The daily rate for a driver and car is CUC25 Incl gasoline ! US law prohibits travel to Cuba but permits tourist visits for one of 10 reasons mainly culturally based. This ruling DOES NOT apply to non Americans who can enter freely (with a VISA) . The cruise ships conveniently and wrongly interpret this to mean ALL pax, so beware. Fact is, a non American citizen does NOT need an official Cuban tour to go ashore! If you find the ship prohibits disembarkation; although I would question the legality of such an action. Buying the cheapest tour to use as a sort of pass to get off the ship, then doing your own thing is perhaps the way to play that game. ...... Cuba is a poverty stricken country where wages are minimal. $20 a MONTH is a good salary, thats a few cents an hour. However they survive very wel and happily off that amount, for everything else is state subsidised. Food is free on coupons. Free health care. Electricity gas etc amounts to less than $2 a month. Havana is changing and improving. They have some paint now, and are able to decorate in small ways. There are serious 5 star hotels in Havana. Beautiful buildings re created from the old special architectural buildings. Kempinsky have re furbished an entire block. Must have cost a hundred million or more. A roof terrace affords fabulous views over old Havana. A Mojito is only 5 CUC. In a back street its 2 CUC. However the room rate is $400+ a night. Spanish hotel chains have also built luxury hotels . Iberostar - Melia- H10 Tourists especially Americans throwing handfuls of $ in tips are poorly viewed. A small tip like $2 is gratefully accepted, a large tip like the ridiculous 20% expected in the US, is viewed with disdain and almost as an insult. I gleaned this from many deep conversations in Spanish I enjoyed with locals. I recommend you book with Azamara you cannot be disappointed, but beware of itinerary changes and especially Cuban schemes. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
After taking the Italian peninsula cruise last year on the Azamara Quest,( from Rome to Venice) we were looking forward to another wonderful vacation. Unfortunately we were very disappointed. The ports of call along the Spanish coast ... Read More
After taking the Italian peninsula cruise last year on the Azamara Quest,( from Rome to Venice) we were looking forward to another wonderful vacation. Unfortunately we were very disappointed. The ports of call along the Spanish coast were not interesting and the ports themselves were more commercial than pleasurable with working cranes, ferry boats and warehouses in full view of the ship. The boat docked so far away from the main points of interests that it was a chore to just get to the sights. The main dining room was more often closed than open for lunch and both the food and wine was sub standard. (Evening meals were better, but not the wine selection There was not enough staff to keep things going smoothly. At Cadiz and Gilbraltar there should have been a shuttle to get passengers within walking distance of the major attractions. The cabins looked a bid worn and twice during the cruise there was rattling within the wall that kept us awake. All and all not u[ to our expectations. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Second Azamara cruise, but many others on the ship were 15+ with Azamara. Very loyal following of the line and certain personalities on each ship. 50+ passengers were on the 102 day world cruise. Not a one I talked with had anything ... Read More
Second Azamara cruise, but many others on the ship were 15+ with Azamara. Very loyal following of the line and certain personalities on each ship. 50+ passengers were on the 102 day world cruise. Not a one I talked with had anything negative to say. The Azamara line uses 2 of the R ships. (A third, the Pursuit, is coming on line in August 2018 and there were hints that a fourth may be added soon) Having been on both they are about the same physically. We chose ocean view cabin. I like the fact that there is a big ledge under the window- allowing for all sorts of things to be placed there without fear of them rolling off. Only real complaint is that the shower is a bit small. Dining was good everywhere. The Chefs table (extra $) is a treat worth trying. Entertainment, as you would expect isn't the glitz of the mega ships but was fun and friendly and of good quality. Service was good in most areas, the one exception was the evening before disembarkation, where guest relations did not understand the procedure for the next morning. We were told we would collect our bags in a makeshift tent and have to drag them down the street to buses. In reality Azamara had it all worked out- never had to touch a bag. :) Port choices were why we choice this voyage and getting together with passengers on Cruise Critic Roll Call was a great way to get Tours with Locals. Having been on 15+ cruises we will probably stick with Azamara now. RCL, Azamaras parent seems to have given more autonomy to the ships captains to make on the fly decisions. On our cruise one of the stops was Guernsey. Apparently one of the ships passengers was from there and told the captain that at noon there was a cannon salute every day and we were due in at 1ish. Captain Johannes arrived early enough for the salute. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
I just took my first cruise on the Azamara Journey and was highly impressed with the ship, crew, food, and friendliness of the passengers. I had received an extremely good deal on an obstructed ocean view cabin and luckily was able to ... Read More
I just took my first cruise on the Azamara Journey and was highly impressed with the ship, crew, food, and friendliness of the passengers. I had received an extremely good deal on an obstructed ocean view cabin and luckily was able to select cabin 6036, which is between lifeboats and thus not very obstructed. I was pleasantly surprised how well laid out this cabin was and it was totally acceptible for one person with alot of closet space. The bed was extremely comfortable and the pillows were soft and easy to sleep on. I enjoyed the smaller ship experience and how friendly the passengers and crew were. The service was exceptional and the food was much better than other, larger ships I have been on. I liked the way the buffet was arranged at dinner with tablecloths and candles, so you felt like you were in a restaurant rather than a cafeteria setting. The ship tours were more expensive but they were much smaller than other ships, with an average participation of about 12-15 persons per tour. It was simple to get on and off the ship and particularly convenient to be docked closer to the ports. I booked several other cruises on Azamara because I felt the higher cost of the line was definitely worth the enhanced experience. It is especially good for solo travelers as Azamara seems to cater to those traveling alone, and the passengers are so friendly and welcoming to everyone. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We absolutely loved our cruise for many reasons... The staff, the great service, the amazing food prepared by chef Monica The entertainment, free drinks...tips included The staff was so nice, always eager to please,one morning a ... Read More
We absolutely loved our cruise for many reasons... The staff, the great service, the amazing food prepared by chef Monica The entertainment, free drinks...tips included The staff was so nice, always eager to please,one morning a went to get some fruits and got back to my table remembering I forgot a spoon, before I could turn around a member of the team brought one to me? special nights: like a chocolate degustation, Azamazing evening, white nite evening with live music Late snacks.. How clean the ship is and how easy it to 'hop on hop off'' In a word, " Amazing cruise" The 2 specialty restaurant where also outstanding We also had access to a laundry room :washers & dryers and iron and soap no extra fees... All in all we loved our cruise and the crew was perfect, BRAVO !!! I would definitely recommend this cruise to anyone...thank you! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary, which did not disappoint, and the reviews we had read about how great the Journey looked after her face lift. We agree that the ship looked so much better than it did in 2015. The staff was ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary, which did not disappoint, and the reviews we had read about how great the Journey looked after her face lift. We agree that the ship looked so much better than it did in 2015. The staff was still amazing and very attentive to all of our needs. The AzAmazing evening was OK, but many people couldn't see well because of the was the stage was set. If you weren't in the first three rows, it was very difficult to see the performers on the stage. Also the cocktails were minimal, poorly set up and few people knew there was food being passed until it was time to go into the show. The food on board great and every venue showed variety and well prepared choices. The drinks package is OK but Azamara upcharges for certain brands that are included in the basic package for no additional charge on Celebrity. A few more bar and lounge areas would be welcome. The cabins didn't do so well, still on the small size for a veranda cabin and please, those showers are impossible. You cannot turn around, no matter how small you are, without hitting the wall or pulling the curtain in. It shouldn't be necessary to book a suite to get adequate space. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2017
Our previous experiences on Azamara cruises, coupled with Perry Golf's arrangements for golf at several fine Spanish golf courses, made it easy for us to commit to the 9 night Portugal, Spain, & France voyage. We spent 3 days ... Read More
Our previous experiences on Azamara cruises, coupled with Perry Golf's arrangements for golf at several fine Spanish golf courses, made it easy for us to commit to the 9 night Portugal, Spain, & France voyage. We spent 3 days in Lisbon on our own prior to the cruise. The Lisboa Prata Boutique Hotel was comfortable and well-situated for sightseeing--a 5 minute walk to Comercio Square and only a couple of minutes from the pedestrian street. We booked a tour to Sintra and a lengthy city tour through Viator and were quite pleased with both tours. A 10 minute taxi ride got us to the port on Sept 16, where we boarded Azamara Journey very quickly. We were surprised that photos were taken and our sea pass cards generated onboard the ship. The disembarkation process in Barcelona was even easier. This was by far the quickest we've ever experienced in 25+ cruises. Well done! We had not traveled on Azamara since the ships were refurbished, so we examined the ship with a critical eye. We were delighted with the result; everything looked fresh and clean. We appreciated the muted colors and smart changes that have been made, but we were also delighted to see that many features from the original Renaissance ships have been retained. The Patio was a welcome addition to evening dining. Because the cruise was relatively short, we scrambled to try to sample all the dining opportunities. The Chef's Table was wonderful--excellent wines and food from the French menu. We also enjoyed the Prime C specialty restaurant but didn't have time for Aqualina this time. We ate in the main dining room a couple of times and had very good meals both times. However, the golf schedule and several late excursions left us too tired for leisurely dinners a few nights. I generally took ship excursions in the ports, though our 2-night stay in Valencia allowed several of us to take a hop-on hop-off bus on our own for one day. Valencia was also the site for the AzAmazing Evening, which we thoroughly enjoyed at the City of Arts & Sciences venue. I was pleased with all of the excursions, though our excursion to Carcassonne from Port Vendres left late and was just a bit rushed. Though the Azamara cabins are a bit small, they offer good storage and are quite comfortable. We enjoy ships of all sizes, but I have to admit that Azamara's 30,000 ton ships are just about perfect in my eyes. Journey has almost all of the features of much larger ships but on a smaller scale. I love the fact that I can get from one end of the ship to the other in 5 minutes--and that the ship can dock in so many delightful small ports that the big ships have to pass up. From late nights in port to the enrichment and entertainment activities to the friendly officers and crew, Azamara Journey offered us a truly delightful experience. We will definitely go again. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
Prefer smaller ships as much more personal We loved the itinerary and extra time in port Most of the food was great some not as good at least two items tasted tainted and reheated White wines mainly good Loved the sparkling ... Read More
Prefer smaller ships as much more personal We loved the itinerary and extra time in port Most of the food was great some not as good at least two items tasted tainted and reheated White wines mainly good Loved the sparkling We found the reds very disappointing Very friendly team on board did not meet any officers Guest services were very helpful at any time Don't like comedians so did not go to their shoes Enjoyed the guitarist and pianist Loved the white night but some info pre cruise would have been helpful ie it's a deck party and wear something white!! Cabin looking fairly tired wallpaper beginning to peel off some mould in shower Bathroom cupboard broken and door frame quite dirty needs a good scrub Very comfortable bed and loved the bedding Easy to embark and to disembark although pretty early when you have to be off by 9 am and not get into hotels or apartments till afternoon Some tour guides far better than others but enjoyed the places we visited however the ability of guests needs to be looked at more as we were held up by others who struggled to keep up and so missed out on seeing more Maitre D did fabulous job in the dining room as did the staff in Prime particularly the 2 waiters we had Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Not new to Azamara so know what to expect and on the whole it does deliver a great experience. However on this journey I did have some niggles, everything was not perfect but once I spoke to the Rob, Guest Services Manager, things did get ... Read More
Not new to Azamara so know what to expect and on the whole it does deliver a great experience. However on this journey I did have some niggles, everything was not perfect but once I spoke to the Rob, Guest Services Manager, things did get better. However as the scourge of many cruise lines the devil is in the detail and the ball kept being dropped. On arrival we had been twinned on an embarkation bus with a Delta flight so sat waiting for an hour on the bus waiting for their flight to arrive. Cabin Door left open for a few hours after the steward had been in, had me listed as cruise only despite the fact I was on fly cruise and for me the service in the dinning room was not as sharp as it could have been. But once you get past that, and they did put everything right, there was no lasting damage and the Azamara experience is a good one and if you are thinking of going don't let the above put you off you will have a good time. The standard of crew service is generally good and the food excellent even though the complimentary wines are very young and generally unheard of Ultimate test, will I go again.... Yes of course and booked to return in October! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
We just disembarked from the Azamara Journey....Lisbon to Hamburg. We boarded the ship in Lisbon in an organized fashion. Registration took place in what is the Cabaret Lounge...some computer glitches...but it didn't take long at ... Read More
We just disembarked from the Azamara Journey....Lisbon to Hamburg. We boarded the ship in Lisbon in an organized fashion. Registration took place in what is the Cabaret Lounge...some computer glitches...but it didn't take long at all. CONDITION OF SHIP: My first impression upon seeing the lounge was that the furniture and ship looked worn....which is a turn-off for me. When we finally went down to our cabin, I had the same feeling that I had when I first entered the lounge....UPDATE BADLY NEEDED. The wall paper was buckling off the wall and the carpet was buckling as well...YUCK! Two days after we were on the ship, we received a note requesting that we tell them when they could fix the carpet.....they said they wanted to change it, but what they actually wanted to do was stretch it. While on the ship, they were either stretching or replacing carpet in the hallways as well. The cabin and ship are clean. Bed linens are changed often....I think every other day. I asked for a new plastic shower curtain which they replaced immediately. The common bathrooms around the ship are very clean. FOOD: FANTASTIC AND PLENTIFUL. We had purchased the 3 night dining package and had dinner two nights in the steakhouse. The chateaubriand for two was amazing. The night in the Italian restaurant was O-K. Jason, in the steakhouse, was our waiter both nights and he was fantastic! The service and food in the main dining room is quite good as well. ENTERTAINMENT: As with everything, this is also subjective. The cruise director, Eric DeGray is an extremely talented singer. I wasn't a fan of the "jokes from my grandfather" which he incorporated into his schtick. I've heard most of them before...not too original. The singers and dancers were talented and really worked very hard at their craft. The White Night party out on deck was a very special event with passengers dancing along to the fabulous 7 piece orchestra....while sailing away from Cherbourg. PERFECT NIGHT! The AZAMAZING evening was a drag for me. We went to a church on the outskirts of Amsterdam. Again, a tremendous amount of effort on the part of the staff, but I'm just not a fan of church organ music and soprano singers....painful! Leonardo is new to the ship. He is a sweet young man from Mexico who organizes trivia and kareoake....he was super friendly. CAPTAIN: Captain Johannes Tysse was very visible and friendly. He can be seen around the ship and always has time to chat with the passengers. Soon after we left Lisbon, he informed the passengers that we would be in for rough waters....and the first night was quite frightening...very rough seas. DINING AND HOUSEKEEPING STAFF: There is always "service with a smile".... Whether you request a cup of coffee or extra towels the staff could not be more accommodating. They work under very difficult conditions, trying to keep everyone happy and things running smoothly and some of the passengers can be very difficult to deal with....but they don't take it personally and do their job to the best of their ability. GOING THE EXTRA MILE: We took a trip excursion from Cherbourg to Mont San Michelle. The excursion was 9 1/2 hours. Aside from the tour guide, we had the pleasure of having Heike Berdos, the hotel director, and Alex, the dining manager on our excursion. Although it was their day off, they made sure to be available to the passengers who were in this excursion. What lovely people. EXCURSIONS: The excursions were all very good with the exception of one. The evening canal cruise in Hamburg....a four hour event .... it was awful! After circling the same port and going through some locks in the river.....we got the point! There is only so much one can say about so little. After the first two hours, the canal boat docked and 6 of us said good -by to the guide,grabbed a cab and went back to the ship....we were thrilled to be able to leave this excursion. PASSENGERS: This is not a ship for children. Most of the people on the ship were 70+. I was thinking we would not be doing much socializing on this trip but fortunately we met another couple whose company we enjoyed..and we spent a lot of time together on excursions and dining together. Meeting like-minded people and making friends on vacation is definitely a bonus....but now guarantee that it will happen. Unfortunately, there are always some passengers who leave whatever little kindness and manners they ever had, at home and are demanding and rude to the staff. This is quite bothersome to me to witness. A large number of passengers have sailed on this cruise line numerous times; some even doing back to back trips. They know the staff, the captain and the cruise director and relish the extra attention they are given for being repeat passengers. VALUE: Wine, soda, bottle water are free throughout the day. TIpping is included in price. We felt that this ship offered good value for the money. The food was some of the best I've had anywhere. Writing this review from a hotel in Hamburg as our flight leaves for home tomorrow. Looking forward to that because, "There's no place like home!" Read Less
Azamara Journey Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 5.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 5.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 1.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 4.0 0.0
Service 5.0 0.0
Value For Money 5.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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