2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We've traveled throughout much of Europe and a little in South America, but two countries we had not been exposed to were Brazil and Portugal, so when this cruise was announced we jumped at the opportunity. It also helped that the ... Read More
We've traveled throughout much of Europe and a little in South America, but two countries we had not been exposed to were Brazil and Portugal, so when this cruise was announced we jumped at the opportunity. It also helped that the cruise line was offering a double cabin upgrade (veranda for the price of an inside cabin), and the extras offered (gratuities and basic drink package) were not common on ocean crossing cruises. Even with all our travel, we are relative neophytes in the cruising game, having only taken a total of four over the years. The most recent cruises were on Celebrity, which we now use as our standard against which to judge others, and we were anxious to compare this "upscale" cruise line to those. We arrived in the departure city, Rio, a day early and took in the sights, and then the next morning taxied to the port. As the ship is small and only holds about 700 guests, the lines were short in the registration area, and it was only a matter of 15 minutes before we were boarding the ship. The wait to get into our cabins was also short, and luggage arrived quickly. A bit of good news we received once we were on the ship was we were able to use our Celebrity points to get some perks on Azamara (including a free hour of wifi time). Our cabin was small (category V3 on deck 7), but it had plenty of closet space and places to store the luggage. We met our cabin stewards, Dyna and Gouri, right after finding the cabin, and they carefully wrote down our requests for stocking the minibar and other requirements. For the rest of the cruise they tended to our needs perfectly and unobtrusively, always with a smile on their faces. At the muster drill we learned an interesting fact: Apparently Norovirus, the scurge of cruising, manifests itself within 24 hours of embarkation. So the cruise line doesn't allow guests to touch any of the serving utensils in the buffet for the first day. Not sure if other lines have adopted that practice but we didn't hear of any outbreaks during our cruise. For the remainder of the cruise we learned the ins and outs of Azamara cruising. The ratio of guests to crew is less than two to one, and there are always management staff around to ensure every operation runs smoothly. In the buffet they are constantly providing coffee refills, taking away plates, filling up your wine glass or other drinks. In the main dining room it's all open seating, meaning you meet new people each day. After the first couple of meals we were especially pleased with one of the servers, Doma (from India), and so from that point we requested to be seated in her area each night. She and her assistant, Wayan (from Indonesia) took great care of us, remembering our drink preferences and other details, and becoming great friends by the end of the cruise. Other dining options were the small cafe on the pool deck, where you could get hamburgers, salads, chicken wings, etc., as well as frozen yoghurt for dessert, and two specialty restaurants (which we didn't take advantage of). Both my wife and I felt the food quality was excellent, with plenty of choices at all times, and there were always two types of red and white wine each day, which we enjoyed. There were also special occasions, such as buffets outside on the pool deck. One of those was their "White Night" where everyone is encouraged to wear white. Food was plentiful (including zillions of BBQ lobster tails), and live entertainment and dancing lasted late into the night. Since the weather was quite chilly and windy that night, they provided blankets to everyone. Another special offered was the Chocolate Fantasy, with every chocolate concoction you could ask for including two fountains. Entertainment ranged from magicians to singers to comedians, but our favorites were Four on the Floor, their resident singing group. A special event was the crew talent show, where various crew members showed off their singing and dancing skills. It was great fun seeing people we knew on the crew and finding out they had such great talent. For us other reasons Azamara stands out are (1) small ships and easy to get around, (2) free guest laundry with free detergent, (3) free shuttle buses to take guests from the ship to the city center in each port, (4) drink packages and prepaid gratuities even on ocean crossings, and (5) crew members that take pride in ensuring your happiness and satisfaction. Those and everything else about Azamara are the reasons we found we were in a great minority of only cruising once with the line. Nearly everyone we spoke with had cruised with Azamara 5, 10, 15 or 20 times. One couple had been on nearly 50 Azamara cruises! We definitely will cruise with them again. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this cruise because we like the small ship experience with lots of sea days. We wanted to see Rio and Lisbon. Embarkation was a bit off-putting. We already had our bags tagged with our room number and did not need assistance ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we like the small ship experience with lots of sea days. We wanted to see Rio and Lisbon. Embarkation was a bit off-putting. We already had our bags tagged with our room number and did not need assistance getting our bags to the drop-off point. There was no place to drop our bags and we had to stand in line while others that used the porters were taken care of. Our bags were not delivered to our room--one was around the corner at another room and one was at the other end of the hall all by itself. Not a good start. The Pursuit is now only using the Azamara app to provide guest information unlike the TV that we have used on the other two ships. The daily Insights is still delivered everyday. The IT department assumes that all passengers are comfortable using apps and know how to use them. This is not true. There is limited info in the cabins about wi-fi and app usage. A user guide would have been appreciated. The only way to know how many wi-fi minutes have been used is to go to Guest Relations. The log-off app does not always work and minutes quickly are used. We generally liked the food but we ate mostly at The Patio. Half-way through the cruise oatmeal at breakfast in Windows was replaced with congee. Not a good choice. Frequently the food was cold as the warming plates being used did not keep the food hot. The service on The Patio is the best anywhere on the ship. We always got what we ordered and it was hot. We had lunch twice in Discovery and it was not good. The service is intolerably slow, the food selections are limited, and the food served was barely edible. Angelina's was wonderful but one pays for that. The veranda cabin is just like other Azamara ships. However, the fridge is now in a cabinet on the desk and that area gets very hot. There are also rough edges in the cabinet to skin knuckles on. Other cabinet doors are misaligned and easy to get caught on. As always, the room was well-taken care of by the room attendants. The guest lecturer for destinations was not helpful or informative. Silly asides for the first 10 minutes of the lecture are a waste of time. Some of the shore excursions were good and some disasters. One excursion had a major part eliminated because there was a typo in the description that no one had seen until half-way through the cruise. That typo had been there from the first posting of available shore excursions on the Azamara website and was booked because of the part that was dropped. It was great that there was an available excursion on the disembarkation day for those staying in Lisbon longer. The Guest Relations department continues to treat guests inappropriately. Telling me I am the only one on the ship that does not understand the problems with the app was not appreciated. Based on the line for the IT person and comments made by other passengers, I was not the only one. Many just didn't use the app. The officers were rarely seen unlike other Azamara ships. At the recognition breakfast for frequent Azamara guests, the captain and another officer stopped at our table for a minute. No more. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We wanted to experience South America and visit the above two places. The ports of call did not disappoint. We bought the indulgence package which was well worth the extra money. - The app needs work. It’s not updated and does not ... Read More
We wanted to experience South America and visit the above two places. The ports of call did not disappoint. We bought the indulgence package which was well worth the extra money. - The app needs work. It’s not updated and does not match the daily program. There is a lot of paper that could be saved...... The food never disappoints and the staff go out of there way to please you. We never meet so many like minded people up to the last day! The entertainment was solid and there are plenty of activities. The specialty restaurants are also top notch in food and service as well. The bar staff in the Den were brilliant. The crossing was great and the captain diverted the ship for us to see Fernando de Noronha island, 200 miles off the coast of Brazil. On our last leg from Casablanca to Lisbon, the captain did a brilliant job of steering the vessel so that we would feel the least amount of effects of storm heading towards us. He succeed brilliantly. A master class of navigation and meteorology! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
Chose this cruise for itinerary and Azamara name having cruised Azamara seven times before. The Pursuit celebrated its first Azamara anniversary and I’m not sure there will be a second because this ship does not measure up to the ... Read More
Chose this cruise for itinerary and Azamara name having cruised Azamara seven times before. The Pursuit celebrated its first Azamara anniversary and I’m not sure there will be a second because this ship does not measure up to the Journey or Quest in quality and service. Know for great dining selections, the Pursuits menue’s were lacking in quality — being over seasoned — and poorly prepared — over or under cooked. On this cruise, I chose the alternate menu over the daily menu several times because it lacked appeal. For the most part, the only vegetables presented were broccoli and cauliflower. Cabins in our area had a sewerage smell in the hallway. Tried to use a computer to print boarding passes in the “living” room but was unable to due to the room being used as a disco with low lighting. When asked to have lights turned on by the computers, a crew member said this request could not be done due to the way the lighting was connected in the room. Azamara’s multi-function rooms just don’t cut it. My suggestion: sacrifice a room or two and have specific card and computer rooms available 24x7. Housekeeping and other service associates were very helpful and efficient. Administrative staff was not as visable as on other Azamara cruises. Entertainment was typical cabaret style entertainment but would have enjoyed listening to the ships singers more than other entertainment. Overall, the Azamara Pursuit is a notch below its sister ships in quality and service. In June, we will be cruising on the Quest and if my review follows this review, we will be done with Azamara cruising and we are just two cruises away from our fiftieth cruise. Bottom line: when we pay for quality, we expect quality and up to now, Azamara met our requirements. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
After reading some of the reviews on this website, we were worried what we were in for! Check in and boarding in Buenos Aires was so smooth and as soon as we were on board an announcement was made that all cabins were ready to occupy. ... Read More
After reading some of the reviews on this website, we were worried what we were in for! Check in and boarding in Buenos Aires was so smooth and as soon as we were on board an announcement was made that all cabins were ready to occupy. When we walked into our Aft Owners Suite we could not help but smile. Yes it is an arm and a leg but soooo worth it. We had a lounge, cloakroom, bedroom, a large bathroom with a walk in shower and plenty of storage. A fabulous balcony wraps itself around outside with two sun loungers and a table with four chairs. We were looked after superbly by our Butler, Padam and our attentive room attendants, Rajesh and Russel who kept our suite spotless and well stocked. This was our first Azamara cruise and it will not be our last. Being in a suite offers up perks such as quality dining in either Prime C or Aqualina each night where the food is excellent. You also get afternoon tea delivered to your suite if you wish. We had a tour of the bridge with the legendary runner that is Captain Carl Smith which was great fun and also a private dinner with about 20 other guests and four senior crew members in a fabulous room with Michelin quality food, what a great night. I sat next to the Cruise Director, Tony, who was excellent company, not to mention an excellent singer, as is his wife. There are plenty of quiet spaces on the ship and you are never too far away from a coffee, a beer or an ice cream, whatever takes your fancy! We found the breakfast in the Windows restaurant to be of excellent quality and there was plenty of it, Having tables outside is a nice option if the weather allows and the service was always with a smile. I have seen people comment that breakfast is the same every day, well of course it is, it is the one meal of the day where there is very little that can be changed, only your personal choice changes daily. You can virtually have anything you want! We did our own thing with regard to shore excursions, preferring to go ashore when we wanted and have a “mooch” about on our own which was great. The trips did seem very expensive and all seem to leave at about 8.30 in the morning - we are not early risers on holiday! All staff on board are very friendly and work hard to ensure your cruise is memorable for the right reasons. We only saw a couple of the shows on board, the tango and the Rio carnival dancers were amazing. It was bad weather for the White Night but it was effortlessly moved into the Living Room and the party was great. We did not use the pool facilities, preferring to use our balcony when the weather was good enough to sit out. I had a delightful manicure and pedicure in the Spa and also invested in a few Elemis products to use up our onboard credit. There are also a couple of high end shops with special offers on each day. The gym is light and airy with everything you need. They also offered health and fitness talks and a few classes. I just used the machines and the free weights which was enough. All together, we were delighted with Azamara. We heard a few grumbles about waiting for a tender to go ashore but it was only a question of waiting 10 minutes or so. What’s the rush, you are on holiday! Nearly everyone we spoke to had been on several Azamara Cruises and the clientele on board were mainly high end, well travelled couples and all spoke highly of the Pursuit. There was one downside to our fantastic suite on deck 8 which was the dragging noise from the chairs on the above deck which was the outside area of the Windows restaurant. Unfortunately, I do not know what the solution is for this, maybe Azamara should investigate some form of disc on the bottom of the chairs, just a thought! Thanks to all in the Pursuit for a fantastic time, we will return and in the meantime, we wish you all safe travels! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
We just came back from Azamara Pursuit from BA to Rio. We previously sailed on Celebrity, Princess, Holland, Cunard, Oceania, Costa, RCI and Carnival. This was our 12th cruise. Our benchmark is Oceania (we sailed on the Riviera last ... Read More
We just came back from Azamara Pursuit from BA to Rio. We previously sailed on Celebrity, Princess, Holland, Cunard, Oceania, Costa, RCI and Carnival. This was our 12th cruise. Our benchmark is Oceania (we sailed on the Riviera last September). Overall Pursuit is a great ship and we had an amazing time. However we liked the Riviera better. Here is why. The service is excellent, comparable to Oceania. But sometimes things seem a bit less organized. For example, some of the excustions were delayed 15-20 minutes. Never happened on Oceania. Also there are some lines when leaving the ship and coming back. Nothing major, not even close to what you see on big ships, but still slightly longer waiting times than Oceania. The dinner in the MDR is great, but not as good as Oceania. The open seating works very well for us, never had to wait for a table. The buffet is disappointing. Good quality, but selection is pretty limited. It is not bad overall, but few levels below Oceania. The buffet area itself is also very small and feels a bit crowded at times. Internet is probably the worst we experienced so far on cruise ships. 300kbps is not what you would expect from a luxury line in 2019. It is also pretty expensive at $20/day. We paid last year $10/day on Princess (and the speed was 20 times faster). And we sailed on older ships with much higher internet speeds. Major disappointment. Spa does not have couple massage. This is the first time on any ship that we were not able to do a couple massage. The massage itself was very good. Cabin on Oceania was small, here it's even smaller. Not a big deal, we don't spend much time in the cabin. Entertainment is mediocre at best. They don't have a real theater like on larger ships, just a big lounge with chairs. No angle, so if you don't sit on few first rows, the view is pretty limited. They cannot really provide a good evening entertainment when there is no real theater. Also not too many daily activities, and the ship feels a bit sleepy at times. The pool area is small and feels a bit crowded. Usually no problem to get a chair, except for sea days. Hot tubs are smaller than usual and not hot enough. Service is fantastic as you can expect from a luxury line. Staff is very friendly. Very limited food options. If you want to have a snack after 9pm, the only option is room service. Dress code is relaxing, no formal nights, which is perfect for us. The azamazing event was very nice and well organized. Great atmosphere. The show itself felt a bit amateur. The pre even buffet was very crowded and poorly organized. White night was nice, but we came late from our tour in Sao Paulo, and no seats available on deck 9. They simply cannot accommodate everyone on the white night because the pool area is not big enough. Why to do white night on port day like Sao Paulo when the ship is at port till 9pm, and not sea day or port with shorter port time? Excursions were another disappointment. While we appreciate smaller groups, some of them were poorly organized, and some guides were not professional. I believe Azamara made a business decision to focus on certain things and ignore other things. Their customers obviously don't care about internet, or certain daily activities like dance classes, zumba, music at the pool etc. Overall great ship, great service, good food, but we prefer Oceania Riviera. Both lines are still better than mainstream ships from Celebrity or Princess which feel much more crowded, with longer lines. But in my opinion, Riviera offers the best of both worlds: still a small ship, which still feels much less crowded, but at the same time, much better food, more activities, and better entertainment. And it actually has a better crew/passengers ratio than Azamara, so service is at least as good if not better. We did appreciate the excellent service, less crowded buffet, smaller groups on shore excursions, no lines etc. compared to the big ships. I guess we just expected better from Azamara. We might sail with Azamara again if the itinerary and the price are right, but all other things equal, we would definitely prefer Oceania. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
This was our first time on Azamara, we have done 20 cruises in the past usually 2-3 week itineraries. In the last 6 months we have tried several new cruise lines including Crystal, Seabourn and Viking after primarily cruising on the main ... Read More
This was our first time on Azamara, we have done 20 cruises in the past usually 2-3 week itineraries. In the last 6 months we have tried several new cruise lines including Crystal, Seabourn and Viking after primarily cruising on the main lines of NCL, Celebrity and Hal. Originally we only booked the 17 night Transatlantic but managed to find a good last minute deal while in South America and added the 11 night Buenos Aires to Rio preceding leg. Overall we had a wonderful time with the weather being mostly great (except on white nights), the crossing being smooth and the crew and service being excellent. Embarkation in BA was very easy and super quick (in contrast to our X cruise from the same port which was chaotic) due to the small number of passengers who seemed to arrive spread out and the large number off staff in the terminal. On boarding we were greeted with champagne (the same terrible stuff all the cruise lines seem to be using now). It was immediately apparent how friendly the crew is. The ship is new to Azamara and one of the seemingly famous R class ships. They have done a great job with their refurbishment in most areas as the interiors looked lovely and new. The ship is probably the smallest we have been on and has a small boutique hotel feel. The movement was noticeable, especially on the first leg and seemed strange as the sea seemed relatively calm. The captain told me it was because the stabilisers don't work all that well when sailing slowly as we were, it was noticeably better on the crossing. We have been enjoying the small ships but did find this to be a little less spacious then the slightly larger vessels of Crystal and Viking where the extra space more than offsets for the slightly larger amount of passengers. The highlights of the ship were the library space and the crows nest however it was noticeable in bad weather conditions that internal public space can be difficult to find. The less favourable aspects of the ship was the lack of a full promenade for walking but Azamara has cleverly made the top deck above the pool an area exclusively for walking (something that was lacking on Seabourn). The partial promenades are an excellent place for lounging and watching the ocean. Speaking of lounging, the sun loungers are the best we have come across - the cushioning was impressive. There is a lot of comfortable furniture around the ship and it is obvious that Azamara is aimed at those who mostly like to relax. Fellow passengers were very friendly and the vibe is definitely casual and was noticeably more relaxed than some of the other premium lines, this suited us perfectly. It seemed the majority of passengers were either regular Azamara or Celebrity cruisers. It is definitely a social atmosphere and meeting fellow passengers was easy. At first it seemed nightlife was non existent until we discovered the disco was rocking every night on the first leg. On the second leg there was still a lot of activity in the evening but it tended to be more towards the Den around the piano player. Cabins - we had 2 different ocean view cabins. The first was on deck 6 and was an obstructed view. The room was an unusual shape. It was quite small but with some imagination the storage was plentiful. The bed was super comfortable and the linens and towels clearly new but the room had no couch. The shape of the room meant that getting changed was easy and you did not tend to obstruct one another. Liana our attendant was phenomenal. Our second cabin was your more typical layout located on deck 4 with unobstructed view. It was a larger cabin but we had to have the coffee table removed as it blocked 90% of the passage into the room. While this room was preferable it was noticeable that we tended to get more tangled when trying to get ready. One slight annoyance of this location is that the corridor was often blocked when in port which meant long walks to get back to public areas. The major issue with both cabins were the infamous showers. Small would be an understatement and add to this the uncomfortable feeling of shower curtains and it was not a pleasant experience. Often I resorted to having a shower at the gym facilities after having a steam. There is probably little Azamara could do to fix this but it does feel noticeably less luxurious compared to its small ship rivals. Similarly on this negative note was the in room entertainment system, incredibly poor. No on demand offerings at all and even the cruise ship information such as maps and cameras seemed very old technology (how does this happen on a new ship?) Dining - the ship has the MDR, buffet, poolside patio and 2 specialty restaurants. The MDR was a lovely but extremely busy room. The breakfast offered here was the best I have come across with interesting alternatives such as shashuka and asian inspired dishes and the breakfast steak was one of the best I have had. Dinner was generally good with a large menu with plenty of variety. We found that the daily specials tended to be the best along with simple meat dishes. The quality of meat was good relative to other lines, fish was hit or miss and more exotic dishes tended to fail. The buffet was good without being great, the freshly made sandwiches at lunchtime being the highlight and the daily roasts. The outdoor eating area is lovely. We did not eat dinner here but it was a different theme each night. The patio did the usual burgers but had a nice salad bar and at night was a good casual alternative focusing primarily on meat dishes. The specialty restaurants are a steak house and an Italian, $30 for each. The food and service in each was excellent and a noticeably better experience than the mdr which is not always the case. It was noticeable that there is a lack of asian options onboard compared to other small lines. Room service was very good but the inability to see the mdr menu on the tv or app is ridiculous and means you have to leave your room. Bars/drinks - there are plenty of bars for a small ship with the dedicated coffee bar being very popular. The main bars are the Den and Living room which are both great. The restaurants all have small bars as well. Bar service was very good and we rarely waited too long. Quality of drinks was average. Much better than on Seabourn but well short of the standard we experienced on Crystal. Similar to Viking where it depended a little on the bartender. Azamara includes basic drinks which is generally good and helps add to the social atmosphere. For me the major problem was with the drinks packages and it was noticeable this was frustrating for a large number of fellow guests. The premium package purports to offer premium beers and spirits. In the case of beer this is not true it simply adds more of the usual standard brands, there was nothing resembling a craft beer and there was no pilsener or pale ale at all. Again it could be debated whether the additional spirits are premium. The ultimate package adds "premium" wines and water and some more spirits. However, of the 8 wines 3 were missing, of the 6 scotches 3 were missing. There is no dessert wines at all included - I have never seen this, they would not even include a cheap chilean option from the menu. Onboard management complained of supply issues in South America and a lack of authority to adjust what is included. If this is the case Azamara head office should be sued for false advertising, if onboard management cannot adjust what is included then everything must be available. Further to these problems obtaining a glass of the ultimate wines in the restaurant regularly took between 15 and 40 minutes which was unacceptable. As time went on and complaints became more frequent the sommeliers (only 3 on the whole ship) began using alternative brands and stocking the nearby bars but why the wines are not put in the restaurant makes no sense. Viking has the same system and yet was never a problem as they simply stored the wine next to the inclusive options. On a small number of occasions I was poured included wine instead of the premium and twice witnessed standard spirits being used in my cocktails, this is unacceptable when you have paid extra for the better products. This was my major gripe on the cruise and noticeably cheapened the entire cruise experience. It felt like we were constantly having to discuss problems related to premium beverages. Azamara would be wise to change to one premium drinks package and have the products readily at hand especially as it spent considerable time and man power marketing the packages! Activities - trivia, trivia and more trivia - an overload. We love participating but surely a little more variety of activities might be appropriate and more variety of questions for those on b2b's. The first cruise was port intensive so there was little in the way of onboard activities and we found the port lecturer to be rude and uninformative. The second cruise was packed with trivias and lecture, we loved the art classes but could not participate in other activities as they were all scheduled at the same time. Also the timetable never changed day to day which led to a feeling of reliving the same day over and over. There was a number of fitness classes that were enjoyable although the instructor was not inspiring. The ship has table tennis and shuffleboard however due to location both are impractical for use. Entertainment - hit or miss. There was some particularly memorable performances such as the local tango act, the capoeira dance group, Amanda the ACD show and the ballroom dancers. However the production shows were simple (band was good though), the comedian was racist and on a couple of nights there was simply a bad movie. We had one Azamazing evening which was excellent and logistically impressive although we were the last back and only just made dinner time. Both white nights were hit by poor weather, the first simply moved indoors and the party continued on the second however the entertainment did not follow indoors and it fizzled in comparison. We found the CD to not be personable, he often walked around the ship but didn't seem to mingle much with guests. Strangely his wife did a number of performances but apparently was not an employee or contractor - we found this strange and pondered whether there could be an insurance problem in the unlikely event something went wrong. Also seemed strange to give so much time to her when Amanda the ACD was clearly much more talented and enjoyable and we even noticed that on white night the employed singers would have to miss out on a microphone in lieu of her participating. On the first leg the ACD Lee was a lovely guy who was very personable with the guests. The Trio band used in the bars were clearly talented but the set was so old fashioned, you were lucky if you got to hear something from the 60s. While we are in our early 40s and younger than most on the ship the general music of the ship was way too old and it was noticeable that few people danced until a modern song was played. Also the DJ in the disco did not have wifi so it was impossible for him to play requested songs not on his list. The piano player had a great knowledge but seemed to be lacking confidence when it came to singing although he improved markedly on the second leg. Service - the highlight of the ship. Probably the most friendly crew we have encountered (2nd to Crystal on overall performance). I guess service needs to be at a premium to balance the lower quality hardware.but they definitely delivered. Many of the crew remembered our names quickly and our preferences. Officers were more visible on the 2nd leg but often you had to approach them to actually interact. Disembarkation was earlier than other cruise lines. Overall a relaxing cruise and very good value for money compared to main lines. The vibe felt similar to celebrity but obviously much more intimate. Crew friendliness is their main strength. Personally we like a slightly larger ship (900-1000 passengers such as Crystal and Viking) with a greater variety of activities but can see why Azamara has such a loyal following. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
This was our seventh Azamara cruise. Rio was on our bucket list. We chose this cruise because we liked Azamara and we had never been to Brazil. Our last Azamara cruise was to the Baltic last August on the Journey. The Pursuit does not ... Read More
This was our seventh Azamara cruise. Rio was on our bucket list. We chose this cruise because we liked Azamara and we had never been to Brazil. Our last Azamara cruise was to the Baltic last August on the Journey. The Pursuit does not live up to the Azamara brand. The food was, at best, mediocre. Windows Cafe served mostly highly spiced Asian and Mexican food at lunch and dinner. The breakfasts were the same every day. Often, the pancakes and waffles were stuck to the serving pan, so they were dried out and inedible. Breakfasts in the main restaurant were better, but you had to ask for things like eggs over medium or poached eggs. The breakfast menu contained a lot of Asian and Indian items, along with some French items, not normal breakfast fare. Service in both Windows and the main dining room was great. On the second day of the cruise, the cruise ship ran out of diet decaffeinated soda. Didn’t matter what brand, they had none. Just Diet Coke. This is supposed to be an upscale cruise line. Almost every day, the vegetables were broccoli and cauliflower. No green beans, no peas, no carrots, just broccoli and cauliflower. Again, this is supposed to be an upscale cruise line. Except for the four singers and the orchestra, the entertainment was pitiful - a tango show that was more slide show than dancing, a mentalist (two times), and the cruise director and his wife singing old standards off key. The Azamazing evening in Montevideo consisted of a 30 minute bus ride to an old theater, where they handed you a glass of wine as you walked in, then took it away four steps and two minutes later when you entered the theater. Waste of wine, although it wasn’t that good anyway. The show consisted of about 40 performers in very colorful costumes in a Carnival type celebration. There was some singing, but mostly it was very loud drumming. Along with flashing lights. Then back to the ship to wait in line for 20 minutes to reboard. We did get nice Carnival masks as souvenirs. The White Night celebration was held despite a forecast of rain. The food was very good. It started raining about 10 minutes into the show, so everyone left. Some folks went to the bar on Deck 10, many others just left. Many times, the entire ship smelled like sewage. I believe they were having problems with the plumbing system. The smell permeated the ship. Three days in a row, late afternoon, there was very loud banging next to our room, where there was an access panel. It lasted almost an hour each time. We took three shore excursions from Azamara. All three were overpriced, probably double what a similar excursion from a dockside purveyor would have cost. At Paraty, the tender ride was 40 minutes. The town, a UNESCO site has very uneven cobblestone streets, and walking was difficult. Many people went back to the ship after a few minutes trying to negotiate the ship. Several of the ports were tendered. The crew did an excellent job getting passengers on and off the tenders. The Le Club Voyage Representative never even bothered to welcome us on board, although it was our seventh Azamara cruise and we are also Celebrity Elite Plus. Azamara did nothing to recognize brand loyalty. The Guest Relations staff was not very helpful and took their time accommodating passengers. We waited five minutes for two Guest Relations Representatives to help us, because they were trying to align a printout on special paper. Apparently, the printer had more priority than the paying passengers. If the Pursuit represents the future of Azamara, we are finished with the cruise line. Both Royal Caribbean and Celebrity treat their guests better. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We wanted to experience South America. With one exception (Paraty) the ports of call did not disappoint. The Azamazing evening was a Carneval show in Montevideo. It was well organized and great entertainment. We bought the indulgence ... Read More
We wanted to experience South America. With one exception (Paraty) the ports of call did not disappoint. The Azamazing evening was a Carneval show in Montevideo. It was well organized and great entertainment. We bought the indulgence package which was well worth the extra money. We also got upgraded to a suite without asking ! That alone should make it five stars but there were some downsides as well. - One of the ‘guest relations’ staff turned out to be anything but. The others were great. - Because we had a lot of OBC, we booked some tours. The ‘gaucho’ tour in Uruguay was disappointing as we went to a dairy and crop farm. Talk about false advertising. - We had butler although he did not really enhance the experience. - The indulgence package included the specialty restaurants. However, it’s not open seating and booking something was very though. The attitude of the person doing the booking did not help. - The app needs work. It’s not updated and does not match the daily program. There is a lot of paper that could be saved...... The food never disappoints and the staff go out of there way to please you. The entertainment was solid and there are plenty of activities. The specialty restaurants are also top notch in food and service as was the Chef’s table. The staff was great in helping us transfer to another room for next cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
Heading north to Brazil from Buenos Aires on the 2nd leg of our cruise, we made another stop at Montevideo. This allowed us to explore some of the museums such as the Government House in depth with exhibits of Uruguayan history. The ... Read More
Heading north to Brazil from Buenos Aires on the 2nd leg of our cruise, we made another stop at Montevideo. This allowed us to explore some of the museums such as the Government House in depth with exhibits of Uruguayan history. The “Azamazing Evening” tonight was at the Teatro Solis – one of the early opera houses in South America. The show was developed and staged just for Azamara. Our next stop was Santos – the seaport for San Paulo and the largest city in the western hemisphere. We decided not to take the two hour drive to San Paulo and saw the local sights in Santos including the coffee auction house (coffee was the major export here in the past) and the funicular to the former casino atop Monte Serrat. (Gambling was outlawed in the 40's.) We stopped at Ilhabela (“beautiful island”) once a hideout of smugglers and pirates. We stopped at the Agua Branca waterfall that once supplied electricity to the region. Our next stop was Buzios – a beach peninsula not far from Rio originally a shipment point for gold to Portugal and later frequented by Bridget Bardot and her Brazilian boyfriend. It was here that the paparazzi spotted her and put the place on the jet set map. Also saw where South America and Africa split into separate continents hundreds of million years ago We spent three days in Rio de Janeiro during the final days of Carnival. After docking in perhaps the most scenic harbor in the world, in addition to the mandatory sights – Sugar Loaf mountain, Corcovado (Christ the Redeemer), Ipanema and Copacabana beaches – we did tour the center of the city. The highlight was the final night of Carnival at the Sambadrome – a once in a lifetime experience not to be missed. Starting at 9 p.m. and continuing until 7 a.m., seven samba schools compete for the top prize. Each group consisting of up to four or five thousand people have an hour to parade. Each group has several elaborate floats, marching bands and dancers. We then sailed back to Buenos Aires for another day of touring on our own through downtown and stopping at an art museum in Recoleta. As beautiful as Buenos Aires still is, it is sad to see the gradual decline even in the last ten years. Rampant inflation has caused closing of the zoo. Many rich in Recoleta can’t afford to garage their cars so they park them on the streets. A newspaper headline noted that inflation had been 7% in a recent week. We then flew to Iguazu Falls near the border of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay. It consists of about 270 mostly double cataract falls stretching for around a mile. From the Argentinean side, it took all day to see the myriad viewpoints, primarily looking down at the falls. The second day was spent on the Brazilian side looking up at the highlights such as Devils Throat. Compared with Niagara Falls (Canada & US - short) and Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe Africa – too misty to see at high water) ), Iguazu tops the list. Flew home from Iguazu to Miami via San Paulo. Some final thoughts. Although it is always nice to see Buenos Aires, the highlights of this trip were the natural beauty of the Chilean fjords (go before the glaciers melt!) and Carnival in Rio (the most elaborate one in the world). Read Less
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