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Sail Date: January 2014
We are seasoned travellers on Azamara and previously had wonderful experiences, however this cruise was the worst so much so that we have cancelled our next cruise with Azamara. The ship has gone down market since introducing all inclusive ... Read More
We are seasoned travellers on Azamara and previously had wonderful experiences, however this cruise was the worst so much so that we have cancelled our next cruise with Azamara. The ship has gone down market since introducing all inclusive policy. The staff couldn't care less as they know they have their tips. Our steward was hopeless and argued constantly with me. The bedding was appauling, it smelt and the pillows were disgusting and it took 6 days to change them!! The wines were the cheapest and no alternative was available so if you don't like Riesling, then 3 nights of the cruise you will have nothing to drink unless as suggested by the somelier you can buy another wine at your own expense on top of the wines you have already paid for. The food in Aqualina was misrepresented on the menu as the whole Lobster was not a Lobster at all but a small funny looking lobster tail. The Dover Sole was not Dover Sole. When we complained the waiters argued with us saying it was. We are from England and after talking to several people on board an american complained and was informed that it was an error and should have been changed on the menu, however this was not done. Our cabin constantly smelt of sewage, Our shower was broken for the first 5 days and in the end the head of housekeeping appeared and changed the controls, however in the meantime I had to go and shower in the spa. The spa did not have any shower caps and this went on for six days until they suddenly found some, so i got soaked every day. I did take the trouble to write to Larry Pimental who passed the buck to some idiot in Guest relations who instead of acknowledging there was a problem just said he had never encountered this before. Not helpful and I think rude. Anycase do not book this if you are looking for 4 or 5 star treatment. If this had been a hotel we would have walked out on the first day Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2013
We've been on 15 cruises prior to trying the Azamara Cruise Line. The Azamara Journey was recently refurbished, WELL maintained & appears in great condition. It is a smaller ship, which makes it more personal & intimate. ... Read More
We've been on 15 cruises prior to trying the Azamara Cruise Line. The Azamara Journey was recently refurbished, WELL maintained & appears in great condition. It is a smaller ship, which makes it more personal & intimate. There is classy wooden decor throughout the ship. The ship has a very relaxed, but yet classy atmosphere to it. The Captain, lead by example, by being very visible, relaxed, friendly & casually dressed (no tie or jacket, unless during special occasions), yet professional, as reflected by the crew. We really liked the non-formal, but yet causally dressed nights for dining. There is sufficient activities on board for those who want to participate & quiet areas for those who just want to relax. I was a regular user of the gym, which I found to be adequately equipped. The service received from the attentive & courteous room attendants & wait staff was second to none. Little things like, slippers, binoculars, umbrellas and what stood out in my mind, a can of air freshener in your room, shows attention to details & are a welcome plus. Also a nice touch are the complimentary shuttle buses into town, when required. Shore excursions, like on any other cruise lines were expensive. As such, like many others, we made very good use of Cruise Critic, to meet up with others & planned private tours. Another nice touch provided by Azamara, was their complimentary Azamazing evening! A big plus on this cruise was the over nights in Vietnam & Thailand, which gives you more time to see more things! The food in the main dining room was very good & nicely presented. Breakfast & lunch buffet at the Windows Cafe was also very good. The Aqualina specialty restaurant was excellent. Understandably the theater was smaller, but the shows were on par with other cruise lines. Embarkation & disembarkation went smoothly. In summary, a very good experience! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2013
The Good: Our Hotel in Singapore was excellent. Embarkation in Singapore went smoothly and without a hitch. Our Cabin was spotlessly clean and well appointed, with fresh fruit and flowers daily. The bed very comfy. Lyric & Andre ... Read More
The Good: Our Hotel in Singapore was excellent. Embarkation in Singapore went smoothly and without a hitch. Our Cabin was spotlessly clean and well appointed, with fresh fruit and flowers daily. The bed very comfy. Lyric & Andre worked tirelessly to keep things tidy at all times. The Ship as a whole was well maintained and clean. All the Staff, Bar Staff, Waiters etc work extremely hard to make sure our stay on board was a pleasant one. The Captain was very pleasant and was seen every day. The Comedian was good and Terry Dobson Guitarist/Singer was fab & kept everyone entertained in Discoveries Bar & Sunset Bar most days. The Mosaic Café was very good for a Coffee, Cakes & Snacks. We ate in Prime C, which was excellent, from the food to the service. The Grill on deck did some great Burgers. The So So: We ate some of the time in Discoveries which we felt that the food was mediocre and the service on occasions very slow indeed. Windows Café was very average, not much variety of food and on occasions only luke warm. The main entertainment was also very average, we have seen better entertainment on lesser ships. The trips/excursions, were, in our opinion extremely overpriced as were the Photographs at $24.95 Per Photo. Belewan Indonesia Offical Excursions in our opinion were Extortionate, The ship docked in an industrial area, was not a good choice of destination, with No Shuttle Provide we were sent to the Taxi's were very inadequate and dangerous. Day of disembarkation we had to vacate our cabins by 8.30am and off ship by 9.30am ish,, Disembarkation itself was a total mess with a long queue for a long time, to join the buses there was another long queue, which must have taken at least 2hours from leaving the ship to getting on the Shuttles.   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013
We had been on the Quest in 2012 and thought nothing would be able to beat that experience, but we were wrong. The Journey also provided us a wonderful cruising experience and the crew from the Captain down should be commended for making ... Read More
We had been on the Quest in 2012 and thought nothing would be able to beat that experience, but we were wrong. The Journey also provided us a wonderful cruising experience and the crew from the Captain down should be commended for making everyone feel so at home and comfortable on the ship. We flew into Hong Kong via Singapore from Adelaide, Australia arriving late at night and took the wonderful airport train to Kowloon station,then a taxi to our hotel Novotel HK Nathan Road. We had an Executive Club room, the most compact club room we have ever been in with a very difficult to use lighting system. Breakfast next day was excellent in the dining room downstairs. We spent the morning before boarding visiting the HK History Museum a very interesting and spacious musem and a lovely walk from our hotel. We took a Taxi to Ocean Terminal a 5 minute ride and boarded at 1pm and because we were in a Club Continent Suite had priority boarding so were onboard in about 15 minutes. There was a long line for non suites, but lots of checkin in staff to handle this. We were in 8047 starboard side and our Butler, Crooxie, and Room Attendants, Kadek and Esmail looked after our cabin and us wonderfully well throughout our cruise. Our suite came with 2 bottles of house Champagne from the Captain and the Hotel Manager and 4 bottles of included liquor, which we exchanged for 3 bottles of Bombay Sapphire and one of dark Rum, which we found difficult to get through with all the wonderful included cocktails now on offer. We also had a fruit basket and fresh canapes from cheese plates to prawn plates and various other lovely treats throughout our trip each day. We could also have afternoon tea in our suite which was tea/coffee with scones, jam and cream and various cakes and biscuits, but believe me we didnt partake of this too often as it was just too much food. The suite had new carpet and curtains and was well maintained and the bathroom although it had a shower curtain was not clingy as we had a bath as well, which helped with that problem. Life boat drill was at 5.30pm after boarding and we had dinner the first night at Windows Cafe with some of the others from our Roll Call who we were doing private tours with. It was Seafood night and there was a huge array of seafood including bbqd prawns, scallops, and squid and then of course the Light and Sound show and sailaway up on deck made a fitting and lovely end to our day. Next day, a sea day, we had our CC Roll Call get together at 10.30 am provided by Azamara and there was a large number of us,around 50 and we were given tea/coffee and cake/biscuits and welcomed by Captain Johannes Tysse and Cruise Director, Eric de Grey, Hotel Director, Heike Berdos and Future Cruise Director and CC Host Dina Stuehler, (who is about to go to the Quest full time). Eric asked everyone to introduce themselves by name and CC roll name and give information about where we were from and how many times we had been on Azamara we then met up with our fellow private tour members and chatted to several others, before heading to the pool deck where the menu special was a grilled chicken club sandwich which we enjoyed with the best fries at sea and a Pina Colada and Tropical Lemonade, all delicious. You leave your order and they will find you whereever you sit. We then went and booked another cruise with Dina to get the onboard cruise credit and had a look at the World Owners Suite aft, which they were giving to whoever won bingo that afternoon. A rest and then smoked salmon, prawns and other canapes with a G and T and Rum and Coke on our balcony before dinner, which we enjoyed in Prime C. The show that night was the Azamara Singers and Dancers performing numbers from various movies and was excellent. Next day was our overnighter in Halong Bay. We had organised a private boat with 12 other CC members and were picked up by our guide Zoom from Vietnam Package Tours at 8am. This was a wonderful way of seeing Halong Bay, even though it was overcast and misty all day. We disembarked at Surprise Cave (Hang Dau Go) walking up steep steps to access it and then walking through the huge cave complex beautifully lit. Walking back down to the junk we passed many local traders on their boats selling seafod, fish, fuit and vegetables and souvenirs, all very colourful. We then had a seafood lunch on board cooked prawns, stuffed crab, pippies, fish, and squid, breaded pork steamed cabbage and rice. All delicious. We visited Tip Top Island before heading back to the ship. US$89 pp paid by paypal in advance, very easy and good value. That night was Dinner under the Stars which was a real hit as there was an Asian buffet with noodles, fried rice, chicken legs, satay pork, spring rolls and lots more, including a stir fry station and bbq. The entertainment that night was also great. Amanda Poulsen singing Epics under the Stars (Memories, Ive got you under my Skin, Nesan Dorma and some other operatic favourites) Then we had a salute to Michael Buble with Alex Mac who had a great voice and was backed by the Azamara Orchestra and people were up dancing in no time. A great night was had by all. Hoi An was our next port of call. Hoi An is a 45 minute drive south of Danang port where we docked and for this instead of taking Azamaras Do It on Your Own at US$99 pp, we visited the Concierge and arranged a Minibus for 8 with driver for US$450 for 6 hours. Well worth the money and US$60 pp instead. Hoi An was a delightful town and well worth a visit. We were shown around the usual art factory and silk factory but they were all interesting. Then we had a guide from Hoi An take us around the main sights. This ended up at another factory which we declined to visit and spent the rest of our time exploring and then found a lovely local restaurant where we enjoyed the local beer and salad and satay. Discoveries for dinner that night was very enjoyable, with clam chowder and roast lamb cutlet. The show was Sioban Philips, who gave us a fabulous evening of song and comedy, a very funny night. The lecturers on board were both very interesting. Dick Farkas gave insights into all the countries we were visiting in the way of politics and culture and economics, his topics included Hue, Culturally and Geographically half way between HCMC and HANOI:Can Communism survive Entrepreneurs and Dr Chris Whelan whose talks were more economically oriented and extremely interesting. His topics included United Nations on Trial-Mission Impossible;The Euro and the Dollar-A Race for Supremacy. We thought the entertainment was fabulous on this cruise, a real step up from last years on Quest. Our other ports were Saigon where we cruised right up the river and shuttles were provided for our short trip into the town, dropping us off at the Rex Hotel, where we had a wander admiring all the Xmas decorations and then an enjoyable and tasty lunch. Bangkok was our next stop and my big birthday which we celebrated on shore at a beautiful Thai restaurant in the Sukothai Hotel. Fabulous and original Thai food with flavour and heat. The next day we had organised a private tour with a group of 6 others from CC with Bangkok Private Guides and we were taken on a guided walk of old Bangkok including the Golden Buddha, China Town, the flower and silk markets and then a fabulous long tail boat ride along the Chao Phraya river then into the network of Klongs (canals) where we fed Koi fish at a temple with bread provided by the monks and admired the water scenery along the way, returning to the Chao Phraya by a lock after dark. It was a wonderful 6 hour trip and our guide Ms Aom was outstanding. We were picked up next day and taken to the Maeklong Railway Market, a real sight for sore eyes and so interesting, then onto a coconut plantation to admire a beautiful old traditional teak house and try coconut milk and sweets. Then to the Damnern Saduak Flower Market. Ms Aom arranged two boats for the 8 of us so we had lots of room and other than the noise from the very noisy 2 stroke motors on the Long Tail boats, we were well paddled by two delightful "old" ladies, and once away from the main market area, we visited some of the smaller quieter canals, narrow enough for just one boat and where we could really appreciate this water life style and see how the locals lived. It was a wonderful experience. We would thoroughly recommend this tour company as Ms Aom could not do enough for us, buying us treats to eat, drinks, stopping for a light meal the first day as we werent back till late, and on leaving us giving us each a tiny brass elephant for good luck. We were blessed in meeting her as she bought Bangkok alive for us all. We then had a day at sea before arriving into Singapore at Harbour Front terminal. We thought the meals in all the restaurants were very impressive and Windows cafe was also good and although its small, it serves up a good choice of foods. We mostly ate dinner in Aqualina or Prime C as these are included in the fare of a Suite and we met some delightful others to dine with, so had some very sociable nights here. Discoveries Restaurant, the main dining room, was also excellent. We think Azamara deck night Buffets were fantastic. The included wines and cocktails more than met our needs, and we liked the fact you could ask for a previous days offering if you didnt like what was on offer that day. We would LOVE to see a Cava or Prosecco included onto the free list as thats something that is really missing, and everyone we spoke to said the same thing. Come on Azamara!! We thoroughly enjoyed our cruise and had some wonderful experiences with new friends we met on board, and have two more booked for next year. We love the ambience and friendly casual feel of Azamara and think the crew and everyone on board do a remarkable job. Thank you to all the wonderful people we met and the crew who made this cruise for my 60th birthday very special.   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013
This was our third cruise with Azamara and alas it was not to the previous standards. Firstly the advertised boarding time was earlier than advertised and directions at the Singapore Cruise Terminal were confusing. This was a Christmas ... Read More
This was our third cruise with Azamara and alas it was not to the previous standards. Firstly the advertised boarding time was earlier than advertised and directions at the Singapore Cruise Terminal were confusing. This was a Christmas Cruise but compared to previous cruises lacked the atmosphere one would expect and a lot of the Xmas activity timing was too late with nothing to do in between. On board entertainment was average, with the odd exception including an excellent soprano and a Michael Buble show but other shows are just rejigged from previous cruises. On board activities are the same as usual and lack innovation and enthusiasm from the activity staff. However the enrichment lecturers were good and the Art auctions interesting. Room servicing was ok along with in-room dining. Food quality was good in Discoveries Restaurant, as one would expect, but the Windows restaurant dining was marred by food being left on floors and rather slack service at times especially when supervisors weren't present and I did see guests not being asked to sanitize their hands before entering the dining area. The visit to Myanamar (Burma) was a highlight but the basic port is some 90 mins from the city and the roads and traffic are testing to say the least but I guess that's also part of the experience. The organised Azamara Evening event on shore was very good; but the toilet facilities were horrid for the ladies. Other land excursions in Burma were fine but again the commute was a test. Port call at Belawan Indonesia was a complete waste no shuttle services were available and the town was ordinary to say the least. Again at Port Klang Malaysia no shuttle was available and the port is miles from KL which was not publicized beforehand. The average age would be around 65-70 so its not a cruise for hipsters, nor young children although there were a few on board and due to the small size of the ship they tended to be noisy (as kids will be) when most guests wanted quiet. Also the in cabin TV channels are basic and the same videos are playing from 12 months ago! In summary, disappointing overall as Azamara have a good reputation but they need to revamp the product as its becoming rather staid for regular travelers and, for the money, one could well look elsewhere. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013
This was our first cruise so expectations were mixed. The ship was well maintained comfortable with a conservative polished wood type Décor. The service was excellent with high visibility from crew and staff, the cheerful Captain was seen ... Read More
This was our first cruise so expectations were mixed. The ship was well maintained comfortable with a conservative polished wood type Décor. The service was excellent with high visibility from crew and staff, the cheerful Captain was seen at least once a day. The food in all restaurant areas was of high quality with a varied menu. The two specialty restaurants were exceptional. The stateroom was comfortable with adequate storage space. The complementary drinks list was diverse but could have included a champagne. The booking in, movement on and off the ship in port and exiting off were well managed. Entertainment was overall good some of the main features were a little old hat but enjoyable. The side trip were mediocre mostly the morning part of the trip met expectations with the afternoon falling flat. Some of the guide appeared to equate talking with being a good guide rather that the quality of the information. If I were to go again I would organise my own side trips. The only real disappointment I had with the cruise was the port stop in Sumatra, there was not a redeeming feature for this stop which was an industrial port with high level of poverty in the surrounding areas. Those guests that participated is a shore trip were very disappointed. Overall we had a fabulous time and would recommend this cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2013
My brother-in-law found this great 14 day cruise package that included return airfare, 3 Hong Kong room nights and 2 tours of Hong Kong and Macau. This was our first “all inclusive” cruise – open bar (including hard liquors, beers ... Read More
My brother-in-law found this great 14 day cruise package that included return airfare, 3 Hong Kong room nights and 2 tours of Hong Kong and Macau. This was our first “all inclusive” cruise – open bar (including hard liquors, beers and wines), specialty coffees and gratuities. For the pre-cruise we stayed at the Panorama by Rhombus in the Tsim Sha Tsui district close to the ship terminal. A really nice hotel that is close to all the action on Nathan Road. I originally thought about walking from the hotel to Ocean Terminal as the map indicated it was approximately ¾ of a mile. However, in the end, we took a taxi that cost us less than US $10. Please note that there was a charge for each piece of luggage as well as a mileage charge. As far as cruising goes, this was only our 3rd cruise, 4th if you count back-to-back Alaska cruises as 2 separate ones. Embarkation process Based on information received in our Azamara package, we could embark anytime between 1:00 and 5:30 PM. We did not board until 2:45 PM hoping to avoid the 1:00 PM rush. However, once on board I read the Daily Program paper – “Pursuits” and found out the embarkation process started at 11:30 AM resulting in us missing the early festivities and the luncheon. Debarkation process Originally, we decided that we would find our own transportation to get us to the Singapore airport. The night before we decided that we would book the cruise line arranged charter. For whatever reason, we were not on the list when we arrived at the bus pick up point. After a few minutes the issue was resolved. Deck 5 This deck contains the Mosaic Café, bar lounge, Discoveries Restaurant, casino and the cabaret entertainment lounge. We made use of the Mosaic Café quite a bit – specialty coffees and finger foods available in between meals included prawn cocktail, mini-desserts and sandwiches (tuna, chicken, etc.). It was nice to have a drink in the bar lounge before dinner. However, around dinner time, seating was at a premium. Deck 7 The free self-service laundry room is on deck 7 across from cabin 7076 (port / left side) with 4 dryers and 4 washers. One of the washers broke during the latter part of the cruise. Another plus is the fact that the laundry detergent is also free. There is also an iron and ironing board. It can get quite crowded with people waiting to use the washers and dryers. The laundry room shuts down around 10:00 PM. Hint: Do laundry on shore days, first thing in the morning, or around / during dinner time. Deck 9 Deck 9 has the spa, pool, pool bar, outdoor grill, Windows Café, internet and the gym. Note: There is also an outdoor bar at the ship’s aft in Windows Café. We are both fairly active and made use of the gym facilities including the free classes everyday when we weren’t busy. The gym is open from 6:00 AM to 11:00 PM. Here’s a run down on the equipment in the gym: • 8 bicycles – 6 modern exercise bicycles with digital displays and 2 older bicycles without digital displays. • 3 regular stationary bicycles • 3 elliptical machines • 5 treadmills • 8 to10 different types of weight machines • 1 Concept rower • 1 “torture rack” for Pilates • Free weights • Lots of yoga / Pilates mats The free classes included – spin (bicycle), stretch, ab and yoga classes. However, more often than not, it was crowded as the floor space is limited. Get there early! There is free bottled water in the fridge at the gym but sometimes it is not cold because of the demand (high turnover). Deck 10 Deck 10 has the lounge / night club, library, Aqualina and Prime C specialty restaurants. This deck has the jogging track: 13 times = 1 mile. If you are registered with a Roll Call, you will meet with other cruisers in the lounge on deck 10. Deck 11 Deck 11 is the sundeck and has the shuffleboard. If you want to get away to relax, work on your tan or read a book this is the place to go as on the few occasions I was up there it was deserted with only a handful of people and sometimes not any. Hearing Impairment Issue We had requested our cabin to be installed with tactile hearing devices. My original request was made on-line and I also made a phone call with the Azamara agent to confirm they had our request. When we arrived at our cabin 3025, the cabin did not have the tactile devices installed. The system consists of a device near the front door (outside), one attached to the phone and one underneath the pillow. Basically, these devices were activated by sounds or vibrations. I went to the deck 4 concierge / lobby to get the issue rectified. The concierge / lobby did not have a record of my request. It took one of the “hotel” managers / supervisors plus a maintenance employee a few hours over the first and second days to have the devices set up correctly since they did not have any experience installing them! Note: We had the same issue of no tactile hearing devices installed in our cabin with Royal Caribbean. Just a coincidence since Royal Caribbean and Azamara are in the same corporate group? Food Smart casual dress attire at the Discoveries Restaurant has my vote; no suit, dress shirts and ties to pack! Food on a daily basis, was better than average - good. We ate mostly at the Discoveries Restaurant on Deck 5. We also had dinner at Windows Café (deck 9) on a handful of occasions. Sushi was a daily buffet item at the Windows Café. Because Japanese rice used in sushi is quite high in sugar content (carbohydrates), we had requested just the raw fish – salmon and tuna. The sushi chef happily obliged and remembered every time we were at the sushi station. My spouse and I also made use of the smoothie station on the port side entrance to the Windows Café. My spouse, almost on a daily basis, drank a “shot” of the energizer drink with one of the main ingredients being ginger juice / pulp plus a blend of other juices. Hint: ginger and green apples are supposed to alleviate and / or prevent motion sickness. My spouse did not get sick but neither were there any rough seas. The ship had the following ethnic themed food nights: • Italian • Asian outdoor buffet • A taste of India • French • Mexican • Greek • Vietnamese • Thai, etc. Miscellaneous thoughts on the food: • Windows Café has an ice cream station with different ice cream flavours. That was a bonus for dessert. • Custom order cook / stir fry stations on specific theme nights were a treat as you could order what you wanted and how much you wanted. • The Discoveries Restaurant menu on the final night of the cruise was disappointing. • The pool grill on deck 9 has pub style foods made to order including fries, chicken wings, hot dogs and burgers with a self service salad bar and condiments. Great place to have a snack and a drink right next to the pool! • We had a group dinner (10 persons) at the Aqualina restaurant – food was very good. I had the cobb salad, cold seafood appetizer (mussels, scallops, prawns, crab claw), lobster thermidor with risotto and a grand marnier soufflé. I would rate the dinner 4.5 out of 5.5 stars. • We had fresh fruits and / or chocolates in the cabin every day– never ate them because we weren’t really that hungry; believe it or not! • On the second last night of the cruise, the ship put on a Christmas themed buffet brunch hosted and served by the senior personnel. The Discoveries Restaurant was decorated with lots of Christmas decorations and while we were eating there was live music. • Overall, the food we had on a daily basis was better than average; good but not spectacular. The service on the whole was very good. • For dinner at the Discoveries Restaurant, there is a regular daily menu that is always served plus a menu that changes every day. • You can also order specialty coffees at the Windows Café. Birthday Celebration It was my spouse’s birthday and I indicated that on my on-line registration. In addition, my brother-in-law had ordered my spouse some chocolate covered strawberries. Without our knowledge, our cabin attendants decorated the cabin with helium filled balloons and left a birthday card. For dinner at the Discoveries Restaurant, the restaurant staff sang Happy Birthday and after that we had birthday cake for dessert. Another couple that we met on the Ship also had a birthday but for some reason it was missed. As “compensation”, the couple received a complimentary dinner at one of the specialty restaurants. Azamazing Evening at Binh Quoi Village (Ho Chi Minh City) From what I know, these Azamazing evening events were quite new when we cruised. Kudos to the cruise line for organizing something out of the ordinary. In addition, every cabin received a Binh Quoi souvenir plate as a memento; a nice touch! I also heard that the passengers with higher cabin categories and or had travelled with Azamara before took a boat to reach the Village. Binh Quoi Village is a resort style entertainment area that includes open air restaurants / eating areas. When we were there, there were a lot of local residents enjoying themselves at different areas of the Village. We left the ship on one of the last buses to Binh Quoi Village at 5:00 PM. I don’t know if it had anything to do with the fact that we were on deck 3. As a consequence, we were seated at the back of the venue - open grass field with banquet style seating and a stage at the front. There were cold drinks handed out as well as musical entertainment before the dinner. In addition, there were arts and handicrafts stalls that allowed the passengers to take home the artisans’ handicrafts. These included Chinese characters written on scrolls and paper cut-out silhouettes of a person’s profile. During the meal, there was musical entertainment on the stage which we could barely see because we were seated at the back. The menu included the following: Appetizers 1. lotus root salad 2. spring rolls 3. deep fried sticky rice Main courses 4. grilled red tilapia fish in lotus leaves 5. sautéed beef with lotus seed 6. beef soup with lotus in squash bowl 7. steamed rice with lotus leaves Desserts 8. sweet lotus seed 9. fruit, lotus jam 10. tea or coffee There was nothing really memorable about the meal that evening other than the fact it was in a nice setting and it was very humid. The food was just okay but not great. Due to the humidity on this mid-December evening, we left on the first bus before dessert. I would rate the overall Binh Quoi Village experience at 3 out of 5.5 – just okay. Since we were one of the first buses back to the ship, we had Cherries jubilee for dessert and as well there were other snacks available. This was a pre-arranged function for all the passengers after the return from Binh Quoi Village. Entertainment Although the ship is small, the entertainment was okay and included a tribute to Broadway and a Christmas themed show. Eric De Gray – who is the cruise director / MC and is also a multi-talented entertainer, was involved in the evening shows. Even the Captain became involved in some of the shows. Shore Excursions We booked our own tours. I arranged the Vietnam tours and someone else we met on the Roll Call arranged the Bangkok tours. From the date we booked our cruise in August, my brother-in-law and I spent numerous hours each week and 100s of emails with the tour agencies and roll call passengers until mid-November before all the details were confirmed. In the end, we had arranged tours for Halong Bay, Da Nang, Hoi An, 2 days in Ho Chi Minh City. Pros for ship booked tours: • approved tours and guides • guaranteed not to be left behind if tour bus is late • save time as you don’t have to spend it researching • no stress involved as everything is prearranged; just pay your fees and go Cons for booking ship tours: • expensive • more structured itinerary; can’t customize itinerary • more people Your option, if you’re lucky enough, is to find a passenger or passengers on the Cruise Critic Roll Call that have done all the research, arranged their own tours and are looking for people to fill the tours. There a couple of drawbacks. You may not like the itinerary and secondly, the other passengers may not be compatible with your personality. The major negatives are if you tour bus is late getting back you may miss your boat and the tour company / guide may not be good. The positives are, it will be cheaper and there will be smaller numbers in your tour. You can read my port reviews for each attraction in TripAdvisor under my name “Traveller55555_8”. I have reviewed attractions in Hong Kong / Macau, Halong Bay, Da Nang, Hoi An, Hoi Chi Minh City and Bangkok. Vietnam Shore Excursions – Port Charges I get the feeling because tourism is in its infancy in Vietnam, there are a lot of questionable tactics that may cause the tourists grief or at least cause more confusion in the decision making process. An example is port charges in Vietnam. I had read on Cruise Critic forums that each port authority charges a fee in order to allow the tour companies access inside the terminal gates to pick up the passengers for excursions. Furthermore, if the passengers were to walk outside the terminal gate for pick up, the port fees could be waived. The information researched in Cruise Critic was inconsistent to the point where I contacted the Azamara Chief Blogging Officer/ liaison – Bill Leiber regarding the port fees. In fact, I had contacted him regarding dock locations, shuttle bus transfers, port fees etc. Mr. Leiber would not divulge what port fees were charged to Azamara. It’s understandable, but my question was more directed at finding out what the port authority was charging these tour companies. See link here: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1916965, post #11 I tried to pin the exact fee charged to each person for these port fees. No such luck as the fee varied from port to port and even from tour company to tour company. The tour company that we used for Halong Bay and Da Nang refused to negotiate and insisted that we were to be picked up dockside inside the terminal gates. Another well known travel agent with whom I was dealing with refused to reduce the per person quote for pick up outside the cruise ship terminal gate because she did not want to anger the authorities and jeopardize future pick ups inside the terminal. This is what she said from 2 separate emails regarding terminal pickup: “Yes, I heard about that, but I am sorry that I dare not to arrange the guide meeting my clients outside the port. For 6 years now, I never do that. I know some of clients want to save money, and I am glad to do something to help them make the trip possible. however, in serving cruise passengers, if I pick clients up outside the port, if the agent approving the letter happens to know, next time they will not approve the pickup permit for my company, I don't wish to experience any problem.” In Saigon, we docked at Nha Rong (downtown Saigon). I was able to negotiate a reduced rate for pickup outside the terminal gate. The reduction was $15 per person per day and in my opinion $30 is well worth saving to spend on other pleasures. As to whether, the $15 per person per day reduction represents the full port authority charge or just a portion is anyone’s guess because I have heard the port fee charge could be $20 or $25 per person. In summary, the port access fees are shrouded in secret as far as I can tell. Even long time veteran Cruise Critic members which I have talked to in the Vietnam forum do not have a handle on what these fees are and how much. The distance from the Saigon - Nha Rong terminal to the terminal gate was less than 300 meters (approximately 325 yards) which is not a long distance. However, if there are mobility issues for individuals in your tour group, you may wish to have the tour operator pick you at inside the terminal. As for distances between the dock and terminal gate at other ports, the distances may be farther. Do your research! If you have the option of waiving the port fees you should also consider whether it is allowable to walk to terminal gate and the distance from disembarkation to the terminal gate. Again, do your research. For other ports like Halong Bay and Da Nang, walking to the terminal gates may not be advisable. In Da Nang, for example, a group of passengers walked from the dock to outside the terminal gates to catch their tour bus in order to save on the port fees. Unfortunately, they were met by the “police” and they demanded a fee to get past them to the tour bus. In the end, no one was harmed when the tour bus guide intervened. This is a true story since we were heard the story from a passenger that was on that particular tour and corroborated by the organizer of that private Da Nang tour. Here’s the response from “jollyjoyce” on a CruiseCritic forum who actually organized the Da Nang tour and was directly involved in the incident. “…It was agreed to meet the guide outside the gates. He was waiting outside the gates and told me to just keep walking as the bus was a little further along the road. It was as we were walking that the police arrived! It was certainly not what I expected. We refused to pay them and were prepared to go back to the ship. The guide talked to the police and agreed to see them when we got back in the afternoon. I do not know what transpired but that was their problem. …In case you are wondering, I got the name of the guide from a previous review on Tripadvisor...highly rated, and I spoke to him on Skype several times before arrival. I have had emails from him since sincerely apologising and promising it will not happen to visitors again. Personally I think in retrospect I should have agreed to pay the $20 port fees and be collected from the ship....we were dropped off at the ship on return. I did actually report the incident when back onboard and they were going to send a report to their port agents.” See link here: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1913385&page=2 Since you are reading this review, you are familiar with www.CruiseCritic.com. Make sure you join CruiseCritic.com and the Roll Call for your particular itinerary. The reasons are threefold: • Communications with fellow cruisers. For example, if you have a question on excursions and questions and answers posted by others in the forum. • Join a roll call for your particular cruise itinerary to stay informed • Information on potentially joining other cruisers on privately arranged tours Overall, Cruise Critic is a very good resource for information, tips and questions. Miscellaneous Notes • My spouse commented that the ship looked a bit dated • On average, it appeared that the passengers were slightly older • Friendly staff • Captain was highly visible – saw him almost daily • Since the Journey is a small ship, the size allowed it to dock closer to the downtown areas. Docking closer to the downtown area cuts down on the transportation time. • The free tour of the ship’s galley (by invitation) was a nice surprise and was also good. • We were prepared to pay the as advertised Vietnam visa fee ($25?) but were surprised it was only US $10 per person. The ship was responsible for the payment that eventually showed up on our invoice statement; easy, painless and cheap! • There were enrichment seminars but we only attended one on making candy decorations. Others included historical / political seminars on the ports where the ship was docked. Another one I noticed was one on the use of your iPad on deck 5 by the casino. Cabin 3025 The outside cabin is located on the starboard (right) side with a port hole for a window. The cabin size was as expected - small but functional. However, I don’t remember the bathrooms being that small like on other ships’ cabins. The shower stall was at most 30 x 30 inches (2.5 feet x 2.5 feet) – very tight and I’m not a big person! It would be very difficult to have two people standing in the bathroom. There were no electrical outlets in the bathroom. If you wanted to dry your hair or shave you had to do that in the “living room”. There is free bottled water in the room. Make sure you don’t take the premium bottled water or you will be charged. There is also a bar fridge stocked with liquor. This is also not free! Another plus was the bathrobes. In my opinion, the cabin’s location was ideal as it was quiet and close to the deck 4 staircase and the elevator. In addition, the cabin was located near the middle of the ship and on the last deck; ideal location in the event of rough seas as there would be less rocking motion. There are 2 wheelchair accessible cabins next to our cabin; close to the elevator. The port side of deck 3 is the crew quarters. The overall cruise experience was enhanced by the following factors: • Good itinerary but wished we could have stayed extra days in the ports • Great company and also meeting new people • Good privately arranged tours with good tour companies • Above average food and service • No charge for alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, specialty coffees • Inclusion of gratuities • Good weather • Great value for price paid that also included the above, return airfare, 3 day pre-cruise accommodations in Hong Kong and the 14 day cruise The only 3 issues were the installation of the tactile hearing devices, the embarkation and debarkation process. The overall rating for the cruise experience 4.5 out 5.5 stars.   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013
We spent 4 nights in Hong Kong then flew over to Singapore for a two night stay that we booked on our own at the Mandarin Oriental. The service throughout the hotel was outstanding and the location within walking distance of Marina Bay, ... Read More
We spent 4 nights in Hong Kong then flew over to Singapore for a two night stay that we booked on our own at the Mandarin Oriental. The service throughout the hotel was outstanding and the location within walking distance of Marina Bay, Skypark, Gardens by the Bay, and other sites was perfect. We chose this cruise for the itinerary that took us for 3 nights to Yangon, Myanmar, overnight in Phuket, Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. The port that we could have done without is Belawan, Sumatra, Indonesia as the bus ride from the port to Medan was one and a half hours each way with really nothing to see other than piles of garbage. The palace, Great Mosque, museum were nothing special. This was our 3rd cruise on the Journey and our second with Captain Johannes Tysse and his "twin brother", Eric DeGray as Cruise Director both of whom we really enjoy for their sense of humor. Embarkation was real easy with no wait. Disembarkation from the ship was easy with the exception of the long, long, long lines from the ship to Singapore Customs and you can't blame the cruise line for that. Activities on board were adequate and nothing special. Entertainment: I'm very hard on comedians and I don't care for magicians. We did enjoy the production shows. Service throughout the ship was very good with special thanks to Slavko from Serbia and Agnes from China in Discoveries Restaurant for making each meal a dining experience. Dining in Aqualina, in our opinion, was worth the $25 each as the service and food was outstanding. Service in Prime C was outstanding, but the food nothing special. You could always find something for breakfast in the Windows Café even if you could not find a place to sit. The same goes for lunch. The Pool Grill had some great hot dogs and I don't usually eat hot dogs! Our cabin 7036 was clean and comfortable and the complimentary laundry appreciated. The AzAmazing evening in Yangon started well with vendors and finger foods and crafts, but when one moved on to the evening, the food was cold, you couldn't see what you were eating, nor could you see the performance unless you were at the very front. The highlight of this cruise was the overnight excursion to Bagan at $700 pp. I can't say that we've ever seen so many pagodas, temples, and monasteries all in one place with all of the gold leaf, plate or paint. The sites were awesome. The Aureum Palace Hotel was a total surprise and a 5 star experience. www.aureumpalacehotel.com. If you go, bring cash as the hotel does not take credit cards and be sure that your US$'s are crisp and issued after 1997 and has the right size head and bring your swim suit as the pool is beautiful. Overall, we enjoyed the itinerary and the onboard experience did not disappoint.   Read Less
Sail Date: November 2013
This was our second cruise on Azamara Journey, and as I love the little ship so much, I want to share some my experiences on this cruise - both good and bad. Embarkation Luggage drop off was easy, but port side documentation processing ... Read More
This was our second cruise on Azamara Journey, and as I love the little ship so much, I want to share some my experiences on this cruise - both good and bad. Embarkation Luggage drop off was easy, but port side documentation processing was a shambles. I believe that the computer systems were down, so that couldn't have helped matters. That was quickly forgotten though with the warm welcome from the crew and the cold glass of champagne that appeared in my hand as my husband and I stepped onto the ship, The rooms weren't ready until around 1.30, but lunch was being served so we popped up to the Windows Cafe on Deck 9 for a bite to eat. As a precaution against norovirus and other nasty bugs, food in the buffet was served by staff for the first couple of days. This is the first time I have come across this procedure and was impressed by the care taken to avoid any outbreaks of disease. Cabin We occupied a verandah cabin on Deck 7 aft. It was identical to the other balcony cabins with the exception that the balcony was a little larger. We loved watching the sunrises and as my husband put it 'being able to see where the ship had been'. I wouldn't hesitate to book this room again if the scenery warranted it. Service Our cabin attendants Jimmy and Julius couldn't have been more friendly and attendant to our needs. They got to know our quirks very quickly and made sure that we would have a towel to take ashore, or give us advice, from their own experience, on what to do in port. We had similar experiences from the food service and drink staff. I have to compliment Cesar for bringing up bottled water to our ballroom dance class when he saw that we were all beginning to look parched. That is the type of service I haven't experienced on the larger ships. It was good to see Heike, the Hotel Director, around the ship talking to guests, serving up ice cream and generally making herself visible to everyone. She was always happy to take on board suggestions and would pass them on to other crew members where appropriate. Dining The food everywhere on the ship was wonderful. If a wine of the day wasn't to my liking, the staff were happy to find another of the 'included wines' for me to share with meals. And if we missed one of the meals, there was always something to nibble on available at the Mosaic Cafe on level 5. My husband and I, together with friends, dined at each Prime C and Aqualina once. there was not one course that the four of us would not have ordered again. And, you can never go past the Grand Marnier souffle for dessert! Entertainment Our dance teachers Alina and Alex were not only truly professional entertainers, but very patient and caring teachers. Azamara, please always have trained dancers teaching us - it makes the experience so much more meaningful. DJ Marcio was absolutely fantastic. After a couple of nights he had the crowd worked out and played music that seemed to appeal to nearly everyone. Not only that he was up on the floor salsaing or rocking it out with the best of them. He took the Azamara 'inclusive' policy to another level. Speaking of taking things to another level, Eric De Gray as Cruise Director does just that. Like Heike, he was always visible around ship, when he wasn't hosting an event, appearing in one of the fabulous productions with his astounding voice, donning a pair of heels that would take his 5 foot 18 inch height to nearly 7 foot, or giving Captain Johannes a hard time. He is the best of the best. The Master Captain Johannes from the very beginning of the cruise made sure that he was accessible to everyone. You could see him ask to join a table at the Windows Cafe for breakfast, or stop and have a chat to everyone as he passed by on the pool deck. He also took the ribbing of his 'little brother Eric', and gave it back in spades. The atmosphere created could only be described as warm and welcoming for everyone. I couldh't have had a better designated driver. Thank you. Demographic Even though there were some young children on board, this is not really a ship for children as there are no specific facilities set aside for them. I would imagine that teenagers could also become bored with the lack of entertainment directed at their age group. Then again, if you are travelling in a family group the childcentric activities may not be important. I feel that the Azamara is suited to fit (or fitish) people who want to spend a fair amount of time off ship exploring each new destination. The Laundry Maybe I should have put this under Entertainment, as it created the greatest source of amusement to me during the cruise. We would get back from a day out and my husband would head for the laundry while I would rustle up the dirty washing. It became quite a game making sure you got your washing machine/dryer rights! It was a common sight to see someone sitting on the laundry floor, as the few seats were taken, sipping on a glass of sauv. blanc while waiting for a load finish. Lucky most people on the cruise had a sense of humour, or it could have got ugly sometimes. My husband and I made some of our best friends in that tiny room. Oh, the laundry and its facilities are all free! Summary There were very few things I would criticize about the 14 days we spent on board and they were so minor they are not worth mentioning,. If you have been hesitant to try a smaller cruise line, please give my little ship a try. I am sure you won't be disappointed. Oh, and did I mention we will be back on her in 2015? Well, I will be!!! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2013
After a gap of a year, we returned from our "home away from home" the Azamara Journey to make a much looked forward to visit to India and Sri Lanka. This was to be our seventh Azamara cruise and our fifth successive trip on ... Read More
After a gap of a year, we returned from our "home away from home" the Azamara Journey to make a much looked forward to visit to India and Sri Lanka. This was to be our seventh Azamara cruise and our fifth successive trip on Journey. We had chosen this cruise because although those countries were very much on our bucket lists, we had some reservations about doing a land based adventure for our first visits. We always now do our own flights and pre/post cruise bookings. We flew with British Airways who again turned out to be excellent carriers, we regularly transit Heathrow so are very happy using them. Our pre cruise hotel for two nights was the Hilton Jumeirah Beach and post cruise we stayed a further night in Singapore in the Ritz Carlton. We had not been on Journey since its dry dock and we were pleasantly surprised at how much we liked the changes, even though others have expressed concern that they were less than they would have liked to see. Our view is, just like in your home, your wish list is always longer than your budget will allow and we think Azamara made some sound rationing choices, not least of all by looking after their hard working crew. The ship is in very good shape and was spotlessly clean all cruise long. Dining was excellent, we dined both in the speciality restaurants and in Discoveries and were very pleased with the menu choices and every meal was perfectly served. Lunchtime options (buffet, pool bar and some brunches on the at sea days) were all good and there was ample variety of choice. We also had our regular room service burger (always a treat once a cruise) but apart from that, although we had a suite, we tended not to eat in our room. We found breakfast far less frenetic than on previous visits and therefore enjoyed more breakfasts in Ocean View (including its great smoothie bar) than had happened previously. Service throughout the ship is first rate, staff seem to have been well trained to anticipate your every need and are genuinely engaged and happy to go the extra mile. They also work very much as a team as was evident when the White Nights had to be rapidly relocated indoors due to some unexpected monsoon rains. No one stood on ceremony or status, everyone pitched in to help and it was good to see a lot of guys making personal decisions and taking the initiative in how they looked after guests, not only that night but throughout the cruise. The one area that is still work in progress is Land Discoveries - we had booked all our trips through them in advance to take account of the 25% discount. No trips were cancelled but the quality was very variable. Not only does Azamara have to work with their local agents to produce excursions which are differentiated from the run of the mill drive arounds, they also need to work with their onboard team as this is the one area that does not seem to fully grasp the service ethos and is still more of a cookie cutter sell rather than individual customer focused service mentality. Nothing was really bad, but when you compared how they handled feedback compared to how an Assistant waiter did, there was a disconnect. The cruise director Eric de Gray worked tirelessly to entertain and the onboard production team were very talented indeed, with two doing excellent solo slots. The guest entertainers were all very good indeed. Nigel Marvin was a very good enrichment lecturer and it was nice to see how both enrichment speakers positively supported other activities staff and guest entertainers by attending their events - a real camaraderie existed. In our view, although we thought the pianist was perhaps less forthcoming in terms of their personality, we really loved the relocation of the piano to the Casino Bar area and found this a very relaxing and comfortable place to spend time, either before dinner or after the show. We know many do not like this move, but we feel Mosaic now has a clear purpose and with the piano to the side in the Casino Bar, it is not perched in a public transit area as is the case in Mosaic. We were disappointed to see Park West back on board and felt their "wares" seriously cluttered up part of Mosaic and there were far to many bright pictures on the walls in that area of Deck 5 which just did not fit into the look and feel at all. We slept so well in the new comfortable beds and were sorry when time came for us to disembark - as usual Azamara make that a relatively painless experience though beware, there is quite a long walk in Singapore both before you get your luggage and then on to the taxi stand. In summary, we were so fortunate to be able to sail again with Azamara and to see that as ever the leadership skills of Captain Johannes and the attention to guest experience detail of Heike continues to rub off all the way down to the deck cleaners and to everyone we met onboard. It was a great cruise, with a great cruiseline and one we are so glad we were able to complete. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2013
Having travelled with Celebrity several times we looked forward to Azamara as being sold as a better experience. We boarded at Singapore with no problems . There was a downpour of rain with thunder and lightening just after we boarded ... Read More
Having travelled with Celebrity several times we looked forward to Azamara as being sold as a better experience. We boarded at Singapore with no problems . There was a downpour of rain with thunder and lightening just after we boarded resulting in our cases arriving absolutely soaked , magazines in the front pockets were paper mâché and clothes were very wet. Surely some covers should have been used to stop this happening?? Our cabin was well appointed and clean the bed ,was very comfortable. Yes the bathroom is tiny but you can use the showers in the spa which are superb!! TV on board is tedious , very little to watch and films repetitive and at strange times. Music selection poor. Does not compare to excellent entertainment selection on Solstice class. Jimmy and Julius were excellent keeping our cabin clean and well stocked with soft drinks and copious bottles of water . However the fridge was woefully inadequate being warm all the time...why bother.?... The cabin on deck 7 midships is well placed for lifts,laundry etc. but for some reason proved to be quite noisy...I checked and the corridor outside cabins 7088 to 7098 were noiser than others. This could be from the engine ,especially at night, when it was sometimes very invasive - a loud knock,knock, knock and also there were some loud bangs at around midnight on several nights of our 14, so avoid these cabins if you can maybe. The food in restuarant was okay but not as good as celebrity , the steak and shrimp are especially good on all RC ships. Selection in buffet not great, not very varied . Buffet area has nice seating and feels very nice and airy. Service good and staff attentively carry plates and cups for you . Mosaic cafe good for snacks and beverages. Grill on deck serves great burgers and fries. All inclusive drinks are really great, the wines are mainly good . Tip...if you liked a particular wine and it's not the days wine ..ask for the one you like and they usually find you a bottle. Saivignon blanc is really good!! We paid extra to us the spa thalassotherapy pool and it was superb up there, very quiet and well worth the $20 each per day ,we wish we had signed up for the use of this for the whole 14 days which was $175 per person. This area is free for those in suites but seems under used at most there were 8 people there!, Bliss !!! The other deck areas have great sun beds but not enough on sea days. The entertainment was good Eric de Gray is very entertaining as was Mandy Muden. The theatre is a bit cramped and can be cold so get there early and take a sweater or wrap. Lectures were good and we had Nigel Marven on our cruise which was very good Not much else to do day times, lots of quizzes and bingo . Shops small and very expensive . The trips were good but as usual very overpriced, we will take the risk and book when we get there on our next cruise as lots of people we spoke to did and they paid about a quarter of what we did. The ship is good and well appointed but can be quite shaky if you hit bad weather as we did. It is diesel powered which is noiser and has more vibration than the newer ships. We expected more from Azamara but the service is excellent and the staff are very friendly and cannot do enough for you. But there is no wow factor and I wasn't tearful to leave although we were happy enough with our experience. The best thing is the itineries and the fact that you spend a good amount of time in ports. We probably wouldn't cruise with Azmara again as we have decided we like the newer and larger ships. But I would recommend Azamara to my friend and family as a good experience . Next trip is on Queen Mary so watch this space!!   Read Less
Sail Date: November 2013
We booked our first cruise with Azamara due the ports of call in Thailand and Vietnam, the size of The Journey and the extended stays in some ports. Having been in Singapore recently we joined The Journey on our first day after arrival. ... Read More
We booked our first cruise with Azamara due the ports of call in Thailand and Vietnam, the size of The Journey and the extended stays in some ports. Having been in Singapore recently we joined The Journey on our first day after arrival. Although we had a pre-booked time of after 13:00 we had no problems booking in at 11:30 AM. However problems with our cabin number resulted in check-in taking twice as long as it should have and it went downhill from there! We had been switched from our original cabin and needed to go to Guest Relations after boarding for our correct cabin details and key cards. Our luggage arrived OK but we did get one bill for laundry from our original cabin number. This was corrected but we were disappointed this needed to be chased by us after dealing with Guest Relations already! We eventually settled into cabin No 8051 with Earl & his team really looking after us well during our stay. The cabin had plenty of room with a small sofa and lots of wardrobe space. The one downside we found was the typical shower curtain which always finished up sticking to you. The ship itself, being Mid sized, was easy to move around and very inviting. We usually had breakfast in the Windows Cafe where the food was good and the service excellent. Lunch was either in Windows again or the Pool Grill and dinner in the Discoveries Restaurant where we never failed to get a table for two. The service in all the dining areas was excellent and the food good enough for us not to consider the Aqualina or Prime C restaurants. The bars were all comfortable but we usually found ourselves in "Dale's bar and grill" AKA Discoveries Restaurant being entertained by Terry and his guitar. Special mention for Dale and Elijah who were fantastic and really looked after us, running the bar like a well oiled machine. The shows were OK but not always to our taste so we dipped in and out of them but we thought Eric, the Cruise Director, was excellent and a bundle of energy. There were guest speakers and quizes to keep you busy during the day if you weren't exhausted from all the excursions. We booked the excursions we wanted well in advance with Azamara and made some fantastic savings on the brochure price. We enjoyed most that we went on and found all the guides well informed and entertaining. The one exception was the Azamazing Evening which struggled due to transportation problems to the venue during Bangkok's Friday rush hour. Having said that, friends we made on the ship really enjoyed it so, like everything, personal taste differs. On the days we did our own thing we found the FREE shuttle buses plentiful and centrally located for drop off/pickup. I would apologise for the number of "excellent"s and "fantastic"s but every single one and probably more were well deserved. The Azamara Journey will be our default option from now if their itinerary is anywhere near what we are looking for.   Read Less
Sail Date: October 2013
This was our first cruise on Azamara and the best on-board cruise experience ever. The cruise went from Athens to Hong Kong, 6 weeks. We have cruised more than 30 times, mostly on HAL and Princess, but nothing compared to the service and ... Read More
This was our first cruise on Azamara and the best on-board cruise experience ever. The cruise went from Athens to Hong Kong, 6 weeks. We have cruised more than 30 times, mostly on HAL and Princess, but nothing compared to the service and ambiance we experienced on board the Journey. From the Captain down to the room steward, everything was perfect. We expected that on a 6 week cruise that we would eventually notice a "dip" in the experience, but that was absolutely not the case. Quite to the contrary, it kept getting better and better. Frankly, this experience has spoiled us for cruising on any other line. While the menu in the specialty restaurants did not change in the 6 weeks, we learned that they were not opposed to "adjusting" the menu to suit out wishes. The same went for the wine selection: if we wanted another wine, other than the "wine of the day", no problem at all. Nothing was too much. Both the Concierge and the Hotel Desk were friendly and ready to meet any challenge. We can't say too much about how wonderful the total on-board experience was. Admittedly, the price is not inexpensive, but we can say without reservation that you definitely get top value for your money. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2013
We booked this repositioning cruise because we are both due to have knee operations in November, so we wanted a destination-light cruise. We have cruised before on HAL, but never on Azamara. We had a good flight with EasyJet and loved our ... Read More
We booked this repositioning cruise because we are both due to have knee operations in November, so we wanted a destination-light cruise. We have cruised before on HAL, but never on Azamara. We had a good flight with EasyJet and loved our Hotel,The Herodion, which is located just below the Acropolis. Although embarkation was not officially until 1:00, our agent had booked the transfer for 10:30 so we were at Pireus by 11:00. However this proved not to be a problem as embarkation started at 11:30 and by 11:45 we were on-board enjoying our glasses of bubbly. We left one of our cabin bags in the secure area near guest relations and had a wander around the ship, before going for lunch at the Pool Grill. Our first impressions were very favourable. Although there is a lot of wood panelling, the overall look of the interior rooms is much lighter than we had expected from the photos we had seen. Lunch was excellent, with beautifully cooked burgers and brochettes and free flowing wine. At 1:30 the staterooms were ready and we found our cases already there. The cabin was pleasant, with lots of storage space and plenty of hangers. There are two available electric plugs, one European 2/3 round pin and one digital style square pin(NOT UK square pin). There was also a safe and a fridge. The soft drinks in the fridge and the water that was provided every day were included, but the wine, beer and spirits were not. There were fresh flowers and a bowl of fruit that was replenished as required. The bathroom was small, especially the shower, but there was always plenty of hot water, the towels were thick and fluffy and the shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, soap and moisturiser were lovely. The stateroom steward Ahmed and his assistant Erlinda worked hard to keep the stateroom immaculate. Every night there were lovely chocolate based petit-fours left in the cabin at bedtime. We ate breakfast in the Windows buffet restaurant. I especially loved the smoothie bar - particularly the ginger based energiser which was a great start to the day. There is a terrific choice, the usual bacon, sausage, eggs cooked however you like, a roast and cold choices such as smoked salmon, herring, cold meats, cheese. We had a coffee 'to go' from the Mosaic cafe most days. For lunch we mostly ate in the Pool Grill. Our favourite part of the day was having dinner in the Discovery MDR. We shared tables every night, at tables of 4, 6 or 8. We met some great people that way. The food was exceptional - much better than on our previous cruises. We loved the way you can swap courses around, for example asking for a small portion of a main course salad or pasta dish as an appetiser. The service was generally very good, but on one night it was very slow, however a complaint was made to the Maître D which resulted in a glass of vintage port for the whole table as compensation. We also ate in both the speciality restaurants. The food and service in both was terrific, but we really struggled to eat all the food. Although you could pay to upgrade from the basic all inclusive drinks package, we were happy with the choice available in the basic included package. There was a different pair of wines every day, but you could always ask for a previous days wine if you preferred it. The bar staff were very good, especially Dale who ran the pool bar during the day and the Discovery lounge bar in the evening. The evening shows were generally very good. In the past we have spent very little time watching shows, but this time we watched quite a few of the shows all the way through. The Cruise Director, Eric, is amazing. His energy has to be seen to be believed. His voice is good too. We enjoyed all the song and dance shows, especially the Broadway and ABBA show. Kaitlin, who played the Celtic flute, penny whistle and violin and sang beautifully was tremendous too. We spent most days on the sun deck, where the breeze tempered the hot sun. Crew members regularly brought round cooling drinks and cold mist sprays to cool us off. There were only four ports in the whole of the 2 weeks. In Rhodes we had a walk around the old town, which was lovely. We didn't go ashore in Limassol, Cyprus, except for the Azamazing evening, of which more later. In Oman we went on a tour outside Muscat, to a fishing village, a fort, some hot springs and a resort for lunch. We had booked it before we went and found it very good value for money. In Dubai we booked the Big Bus Hop On Hop Off bus through the ship. This was the same price as booking it online and had the advantage that the bus came to the terminal to pick us up. We found it an excellent way to see a lot in a day. We did both routes, but only got off to do the 1hour included Dhow cruise, to see the gold and spice souks and to see the Dubai Mall and Burg Khalifa. The Azamazing evening was in Limassol. It was in Omoodos, a small village in the Troodos mountains, which took about an hour by coach. It was a lovely village with a beautiful monastery church. Lovely snacks,wine and liqueurs were provided and there was a local dancing display. Unfortunately there were far too many of us (500+) for it to work. It was impossible to see the church properly in our guided groups (1 guide per coach). Also being up in the mountains it soon became very cold and as a result the evening was curtailed. On the other hand the White Night,which was whilst we were docked in Muscat, was terrific. The barbecue and buffet was great, the song and dance show was marvellous and there was the biggest conga line I have ever seen - right round the pool and the jogging track. The Suez Canal was not too interesting - mostly just sand, although we did provide entertainment to the Egyptian soldiers on watch along the canal. They seemed to enjoy waving to us and us waving to them. The blackout was no problem at all. We had to remember to close our stateroom curtains at 6 if we had the light on. The whole pool area was in darkness, but you could walk across it and it was great to lie down on a sun-bed and see the stars without any light pollution. So far I've described the physical parts of the cruise, but what makes Azamara so special is the people - crew and passengers alike. The tone is set by the captain and senior staff such as the cruise director, hotel director and food and beverages manager. Nothing is too much trouble for anyone at whatever level. Ask and it is done! The daily announcements by the captain (Johannes) and the cruise director (Eric) were a joy to listen to. They have a terrific relationship and are both very funny. The whole atmosphere on board was just so happy - very different from any ship I have been on before. Would we go on Azamara again - you bet your life we would, tomorrow if we could. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2013
This was our first cruise with Azamara, and just our second overall. We don't consider ourselves to be "cruise people" since we enjoy peace and quiet when we step away from busy lives. And that's what we got. There were ... Read More
This was our first cruise with Azamara, and just our second overall. We don't consider ourselves to be "cruise people" since we enjoy peace and quiet when we step away from busy lives. And that's what we got. There were a bunch of things to do, but if you chose not to, the ship was never crowded or had a hurried feel. Every interaction with the staff reflected a very high standard of service, just so relaxing. We never saw the deck chairs full, never had a problem getting a table at meals, and never felt like we were with 600 other passengers. Lots of nice touches, too; fresh flowers in our room each day as well as a fruit bowl and small treats each night. We came to refer to the cabin attendants as our elves, it seemed every time we left our cabin, even for a short time, they knew and came in to straighten up. Just a feeling of being pampered all the time. We also enjoyed the inclusion of drinks and tips in the fare, another relaxing aspect. Bar brands and wine offered were not bottom of the list either. Food was also superior to our expectation. This was a Greek Isles cruise and for whatever reason, you should be aware that the demographic is pretty senior. That was fine for us, but if you're under 40 you may find yourself with few companions in your age group. That said, there were plenty of party hardy folks aboard, not a boring crowd at all. Azamara does a complimentary event for all passengers on each cruise and ours was a trip to Ephesus where we were serenaded by a string classical concert followed by a fun show of singers and dancers dressed as ancient greeks with a mock fight to the death. The idea of sitting in the Odean, almost 2500 years old, with beautiful music surrounding us was truly awesome. We were all loaded onto buses with no waiting, left at the entrace to ancient Ephasus where we were greated with champagne and mezes served by staff if period costume. As with everything we saw, this event was so beautifully coordinated. I've had some experience with event planning and I'm saying hats off to the group that put this event together, it was a near perfect as it could have been. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2013
We did Athens - Mumbai in 2012 - first time with Azamara and as a result resolved to return. So 2013 saw us cruise Athens to Dubai. A lot of crew remembered us from the year before - How do they do it? Within an hour it was as though we ... Read More
We did Athens - Mumbai in 2012 - first time with Azamara and as a result resolved to return. So 2013 saw us cruise Athens to Dubai. A lot of crew remembered us from the year before - How do they do it? Within an hour it was as though we had never left. Everything you hear about Azamara service is true. I now wouldn't cruise with anyone else. Food remains excellent. Despite the complimentary drinks now available I paid for a liquor package which allowed us to have Pimms, Grolsch & Pilsener Urquell beer, Bombay Sapphire gin [essential; for that pre-dinner martini!] al for about an extra £8/day. The new sunbeds are even more comfy than the old ones! Captain Johannes and Cruise Director Eric - what a team! We'll be sailing with Azamara in 2014 without doubt Read Less
Sail Date: October 2013
Where do I start? How about at the airport where we were met and herded to a hallway location and left for an hour, only to be put on the wrong bus. Azamara topped that entrance with an even greater exit! We got a letter on our bed the day ... Read More
Where do I start? How about at the airport where we were met and herded to a hallway location and left for an hour, only to be put on the wrong bus. Azamara topped that entrance with an even greater exit! We got a letter on our bed the day before the cruise ended notifying us that our tour of Rome was canceled, leaving us stranded at the dock. Were it not for the extraordinary efforts of Guest Relations Director Nikki Denyer, we would still be walking back to Rome from the dock! She got us into Rome next door to our hotel despite Azamara's best efforts. Azamara's CEO traveled with us, and I would suggest that next time he travels on the Journey, he take lessons on how to run a cruise line from Ms. Denyer who understands customer service! When Ms. Denyer found out she was getting us to Rome for my wife's birthday, she had the stewards decorate our room with baloons and a banner, making up for most all the other disappointments we had. The rest of the officers were pretty much MIA the entire cruise. The Journey, though built about a dozen years ago, looks like something out of the 50's or 60's with dated, threadbare decor like an unrestored Motel 6. The rooms are decent size but the bathrooms are so small, you have to exit them to turn around and change your mind. The balcony is small but decent and we enjoyed it, even when a crewman above dumped water on me by accident. At least he apologized, a concept mostly lost on management. Watch out for security. Sheriff Andy and his band of ham handed Barney Fife ninjas make the TSA look like a bunch of do-nothings! Bring a pocket knife or pen knife and they confiscate it, then replace it with a steak knife twice as long. Belt buckles, coins, watches and wine corks drive them nuts, so be prepared to be felt up or wanded. Don't go by what the TSA allows, Azamara security frisks to their own tune. Azamara brags about it's free Azamazing Evening included in the price. What the don't tell you is that if you sign up and don't go, they charge you $150.00 per person for not showing up. Our concert was three tenors. I hope next time these guys meet before they go on stage. It will help the performance. The on board entertainment is at best average. The stewards we had were great. They kept the room clean and were very pleasent. It seems the farther down the chain of command you get, the nicer and more qualifed the staff is. Most of them almost speak English. Internet service was OK, but beware of logging on and off as they will sock you with more charges than a teen age girl with a limited text plan if you don't watch out! The food is at best average. Think creative left overs. The waiters are attentive and well trained. The premium resturants are just a bit better than the buffet, same food, better recipe, and not worth the upcharge. The pool deck resturant has great burgers, etc. We did like the free wine and beer selections and the premium brands are reasonably priced. Room service is great, and breakfast on the balcony (despite the dousing) was very nice. On shore tours are overpriced, when they chose to run them. Azamara runs the boat and everything else for it's own benefit, not the passanger, so don't expect what you paid for to actually happen when you expected, or at all. I do like the fact that they save on fuel by staying in port longer. It give one a chance to really explore. The time off the ship was the best time for us. I will have to agree with their slogan "you will love where we take you," but you might want to look hard into how they get you there. I think we might look elswhere next time.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2013
We had never cruised with Azamara before and were encouraged to do so by friends who were frequent travelers on Azamara. We can't thank them enough. Having worked in the airline industry my whole career I understand very well the ... Read More
We had never cruised with Azamara before and were encouraged to do so by friends who were frequent travelers on Azamara. We can't thank them enough. Having worked in the airline industry my whole career I understand very well the importance of a first impression. We were greeted on our arrival at the port by a representative who helped with our luggage and immediately made us feel welcome. We lined up for max 5 minutes to check in, a process that only took a matter of minutes. When we stepped onboard we were offered champagne or juice and greeted very warmly. Just from the initial contact I knew that the staff were very well selected and it was obvious that they liked their job. After a buffet lunch we were in our cabin by 2:00 and settling in. Our balcony cabin was an adequate size, of course we would always like larger but we had everything we needed and it was immaculate. Our cabin stewards arrived to greet us and could not have been more friendly or helpful. We felt at home. We have cruised in the past with Cunard and P&O but never felt as though the staff really wanted to be there and thoroughly enjoyed what they were doing. Everywhere we went on board we were greeted with a genuinely friendly smile and nothing was too much trouble. We ate mostly in the Traditions restaurant, initially with others which enabled us to meet lots of other guests, and later sometimes just at a table for 2. I was surprised to read a previous reviewer said that he was coerced into always eating with others. Any night we said we would like to be at a table for 2 it was no problem. Sometimes we had to wait a bit for one to come free and if so we sat in the bar and they came to find us when it was ready. Every effort possible was made to accommodate anything we wanted. The food was terrific, always. We ate in the specialty restaurants one night each and although the food and service were exceptional we preferred the ambiance of the Traditions Restaurant. By the way, the specialty restaurants are in the stern of the ship, not the bow as was previously stated by a reviewer. We used the gym facility frequently and found everything there that we needed and it was always available. I did not attend any classes but there were often classes in Pilates going on and were very well attended. The entertainment was first class, always. The cruise director, Eric, is an exceptional entertainer with a terrific sense of humour. The shows every night were not to be missed, there was definitely something for everyone. Hours spent in the Looking Glass bar late at night topped off wonderful days with lots of new friends. I cannot say really enough about the Journey and the wonderful time that we had. I struggle to think of one thing that I could criticize. We will definitely be back, many times I hope. We can certainly understand why many we met on board had already traveled with Azamara...you will want to return. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2013
This was my fourth cruise and first on Azamara. After reading reviews for months, finally adding my own. Was a really good trip overall but in many ways I just don't understand the hype that surrounds this brand. Not a complaint just ... Read More
This was my fourth cruise and first on Azamara. After reading reviews for months, finally adding my own. Was a really good trip overall but in many ways I just don't understand the hype that surrounds this brand. Not a complaint just my thoughts. Saved my gripes for the end. Cruise was round trip departing out of Athens from Oct 19 thru Oct 26th: Pre cruise Hilton Athens: Gorgeous wide open bright lobby, lots of glass and marble. Quick check in and I got a room with an Acropolis view. Very cool! Room was large and spotlessly clean. I'd like to have the shower and bathtub in my home! Rooftop bar/restaurant had stunning nighttime views of the Acropolis. Hotel bars and restaurant good but not great food and very pricey. 55 euros for two glasses of wine and a skewer of chicken souvalaki for dinner. Included breakfast was adequate, standard stuff. Transfer to Pier: Letter at check-in at Hilton indicated what time to meet the bus in lobby. Pretty large group of about 75 people went in two buses at 12:00 and 12:30. Azamara rep was on site at the hotel in the morning for questions and directing people to the bus. Call me a privacy freak but I was not really cool with the bulletin board by the Azamara table with everybody's name on it. Saw no need for that at all. Aprox. 30 mins to pier, lot of Azamara people directing where to go inside. Check in was pretty quick, aprox. 15-20 mins in line and I had my cabin card and was on the ship at about 1:30. Greeted with champagne/juice. Able to get in cabins at about 2:00. Luggage showed up within about an hour which was nice (well it was in the hall being lined up ready to be delivered and I took it in my self), poor guy working there was mortified! Ship: Interiors were spotless everywhere. Looks pretty much just like the pictures in the brochure/online. Very elegant, lots of marble/granite, metal scrollwork, lots of cream, green and gold colors with an old world vibe. Good signage everywhere. Bars and pool grill and buffet restaurant were open at time of boarding. Modest effort made to upsell people on the drinks package but nothing annoying on first day. Cabin: Small but fairly standard size with balcony compared to prior cruises. Spotless, nice touches with fresh flowers and a fruit plate and included drinks section in minibar which was replenished throughout the week. Complimentary tote bag in room at check in (pretty nice bag actually). Bathroom, spotless and small. Standard stuff. Cabin attendant very efficient all week. Food/Beverages: Breakfast buffet was pretty average overall. The omelet station was disappointing both times I tried it. Sit down restaurant was "closing" 20 mins before posted hours both times I went so I never got to try that for breakfast. With early starts for most of the excursions I needed to be in and out quickly. Never went hungry but never impressed. Pool Grill/lunch buffet was a bit mixed. Some of the offerings in the buffet were quite good such as the made to order sandwiches and salads. (Nice that only staff vs a couple hundred people with likely grubby hands touching the serving utensils). Buffet is not my favorite to say the least. The bright spot at lunch was really the Pool Grill. They had a menu, it was all cooked to order and they would find you where ever you were seating. Wings, burgers, grilled sausages, 4 or 5 different kinds of kebobs, club sandwiches, ribs, tacos etc. Dinners. Discoveries and Prime C Restaurant Ate in main restaurant Discoveries all but one night when I went the "specialty" restaurant Prime C. Overall my thoughts on dinners were again, mixed. The main dining room was gorgeous in its interior, although stiflingly hot every evening. Discoveries menu had the "always available" section and then the "daily specials". Many nights the two were not that different. Can't complain about the quality but portions were small and in some cases really tiny. Some of their food descriptions left a lot to be desired, for example "cheese and onion soup" was really French onion soup and "rack of lamb" was a tiny lamb chop. Many of the meat portion size descriptors on the meat cuts were way way off in terms of what the menu stated vs what showed up on the plate. Frankly the menu was pretty basic, was hoping for something a bit more. Again, never went hungry but was never wowed either. Prime C was also gorgeous in its interior and looked out over the bow of the ship with floor to ceiling windows. Menu a bit more mixed but in my opinion still pretty basic. I ordered the filet rare and it came to the table medium. I sent it back and the re-fire was perfect like it should have been the first time. Was actually the best dinner I had all week. Overall service in both restaurants Have mixed thoughts on the service. While the service received was always good, it was frequently slow and drawn out. Dinner easily took two+ hours most nights. While tables for 2-6 were frequently empty in the dining room, they definitely pushed you to sit with other people at the large tables which I truly resented. (Luckily I met some really cool people to share with but if I had not I would have had a real issue with that) Bar staff were uniformly great everywhere throughout the ship the entire cruise. All the included alcohol and wines worked well for me. Good to very good quality on the wines. Excursions: With the exception of the ungodly early start times (8:30AM) for most of them, all of the excursions I booked thru the ship were great. Shuttle buses right by the pier, extremely knowledgeable guides and nicely paced. Ultimate Ephesus and Rhodes walking tour in particular were superb. Ports: With the exception of Kos they were all very enjoyable. Not sure what the draw was on Kos. Santorini, Rhodes and Ephesus were all outstanding in very different ways each of them. Mykonos and Marmaris both very pretty and enjoyable as well. My gripes: My poor thoughts on ChoiceAir have been further amplified. Finding a suitable flight home on Sat was made impossible due to the direction of "absolutely no flights before 1:00PM" causing me to have to stay over another night in Athens. Imagine my surprise when the captain announces that "due the volume of early flight departures they will be anchoring at 4:30AM with initial disembarking beginning at 5:30AM". Could have easily made a 12:30 flight that I had found that ChoiceAir refused to book and saved myself a couple hundred bucks! Transfer to post cruise Hilton from ship This falls into the it's never too late to make a bad impression category. There were two buses at the 8:30 disembarkation one for the Hilton and one for the Bretagne Hotel and Hilton hotels. I am sitting on the first Hilton bus when a man and a woman approaches and says "we'll need you to come with us". I asked what was wrong and they just herded me off the bus. They then hustle a couple onto the bus to sit where I was sitting. When I asked what was going on they said as I was alone they wanted to get the couple onto the other bus first. Excuse me but that was a huge WTF moment for me. It was seriously more important for a couple to get on a bus that was going to the same place arriving maybe 15 mins apart?? And the driver had attitude when I insisted they take my luggage off the first bus and put it on the second. He made a snotty comment about "keeping people waiting". What were they going to do with my luggage leave it at the curb?? I really had to restrain myself from saying something. I made it almost a whole trip without experiencing solo discrimination but as I pointed out earlier it is never to late to leave a really bad impression. Post cruise Hilton From prior travel I had a vague memory of Europe ending daylight savings time a week earlier than the USA. (This did not occur to me prior to leaving to check out myself, go figure!) When I asked two different people at the desk they knew nothing about it. Bought a newspaper and didn't see anything either and thought I was mistaken. Next morning sure enough there was a flyer at the desk alerting people to change clocks back, would have been nice to know the day before when you are getting up at 3:30AM the next morning! And no "included breakfast " that early either. Random thoughts: Did I have a great time, absolutely! Did it live up to some of the hype I have read, some ways yes and others sadly no. Loved the size of the ship and the service was really good albeit slow overall. I was impressed by the number of repeat cruisers and the fact that in many cases the crew recognized people. Saw many instances of smiles/handshakes and hugs all around. That transfer experience really left me on a very flat note though. Will I cruise Azamara again, for a great itinerary and pricing absolutely would.   Read Less
Sail Date: September 2013
This is our 2nd cruise ever both on the Azamara Journey. The staff, food, boat is superb. What shocked me is how bad the Azamara evening in Crete was. To my understanding, this was the 2nd time Azamara had help this event in Crete. ... Read More
This is our 2nd cruise ever both on the Azamara Journey. The staff, food, boat is superb. What shocked me is how bad the Azamara evening in Crete was. To my understanding, this was the 2nd time Azamara had help this event in Crete. Logistics were poor as the first group of people were tendered in around 5pm and the last group which I was in was at 6:15pm. The food and show did not start till 6:30ish which meant everybody before use had to sit around on hard plastic chairs for 1.5 hours plus with nothing to do. The food was something that you would find in a cheap cafeteria. The wine was sitting on the table when we got there, and appeared to have been cooking under the sun for 1.5 hours, though one could really not call it wine as it smell more like paint thinner. The entertainers were very skilled dances, but I don't know how many times I can see one group of people go around in a circle on stage. Azamara said that if you confirmed that you were going and didn't show, you would be charged $150 each. I would have rather had $75 each and I could have had a much better time and dinner looking over the seaside. Sorry Azamara, you really need to rethink this one. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2013
AZAMARA JOURNEY REVIEW – OCTOBER 2013 We recently enjoyed 2 back-to-back cruises on “Journey”. The first departed Athens on 10 September cruising through Greek islands, Crete, Montenegro and Croatian coast to Venice. The second ... Read More
AZAMARA JOURNEY REVIEW – OCTOBER 2013 We recently enjoyed 2 back-to-back cruises on “Journey”. The first departed Athens on 10 September cruising through Greek islands, Crete, Montenegro and Croatian coast to Venice. The second cruise took us from Venice, Croatian coast, Montenegro, Greek Islands, Sicily, Sorrento, to Rome (Civitavecchia). Only 2 ports were repeated and we still enjoyed those the second time! Originally we were looking for cruise ship with a maximum of about 300 passengers, and we are pleased that our agent, (Roxi from Cruiseabout), advised us to consider Azamara in spite of having 700 passengers, as they were still just like a small ship – able to get close in to ports but with better amenities than some other ships, and very good value for money. We decided that a single cruise was probably too short, so we linked 2 cruises to have 21 days on board. We are pleased with that decision as we really got to know the ship and staff very much better by doing 2 cruises, and it was great not to pack or unpack for 3 whole weeks. Even when the 21 days were up we still didn’t want to pack and leave the ship. Before booking we read as many Cruise Critic reviews as we could to try and get some information about Azamara and “Journey” in particular, we are pleased with our decision (so much that we have advance booked 2 more back to back cruises in 2015! This time on “Quest”) In writing this review I will try and provide information that will be of use to people like us who may be considering which cruise line and size of ship to take. There were 4 of us travelling, two couples in the 60/70 years young age bracket. We chose to book 2 Club Continent Suites side by side and we were well pleased with the extra room and larger bathroom and deck that these had in comparison to the veranda staterooms. The suites had sufficient space between the bed and dresser so that 2 people could walk past each other (and without a squeeze also!) The hotel style bathroom was small but much better than the very small bathrooms of the other grade rooms. The shower is over the bathtub and there is also a laundry drying line provided. Storage space in both bathroom and the suite itself is absolutely excellent, the wardrobes are big enough for a “his and hers”, while drawers and cupboards take care of the rest. We don’t travel light and as our trip was nearly 7 weeks long in total, it was great to unpack everything and put the empty suitcases under the bed! The bed was extremely comfortable and the linen and towels were excellent. Other advantages of booking a suite compared with lesser graded rooms included an “English” Butler. Our Butler’s name was Sooria and he was simply outstanding, always there just when we needed something but never intrusive, didn’t matter what it was – Sooria attended to it. Suite guests also had priority in boarding and various activities, as well as the right to eat in the specialty restaurants every day with no extra charge, and you guessed it – Sooria made the bookings for us. The room attendant, Kadek, and his helper were also absolutely excellent, doing the rooms and replacing linen in an efficient and always unobtrusive way, (and no naff towel folding on the beds at night, thank goodness.) Breakfast on our balcony was a delight; only a couple of times did the wind threaten to blow the toast and pastries away… We mostly ate evening meals in either Aqualina or Prime C specialty restaurants and I think our party ended up with a split decision as to which was best. There were only a couple of minor hiccups with the meals (I had an overcooked steak that I returned one night, and there was also an overcooked /tough lobster dish) Overall I have to rate the dining experience as excellent, especially given that all the meat and seafood are from frozen supplies. Dover Sole became one of our favorite seafood dishes, as did the Brie in filo pastry towers as a starter and Crème Brulee as a desert – Yum! We do think that there could be a little more variation to the menus with perhaps some local specials adding to the fine dining experience. There were daily specials, but these were not aligned to specific countries/local cuisine. The Maitre’d, Sommelier, and wait staff were fantastic, we got to know almost all by name and found their service excellent, professional but never impersonal or anything but enjoyable. They all really did enjoy their jobs! The supplied wines were alternated ship wide with only a choice of one white and one red each day, we think it would cost the company no more to offer 2 whites and 2 reds. That way you could choose, for example, between a Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc or a Cabernet and Chianti, to suite your pallet and your meal. For lunch we mostly chose to eat in Windows Café. The buffet there was excellent; we just had to exercise restraint for fear of getting off the ship too much overweight! Breakfast in Discovery always seemed a little uncoordinated and rushed, but in fairness we are not early risers hence we were usually there just before closing time. We didn’t try Discovery for lunch, we’ll do that next time, however the Pool Grill was OK for snacks/burgers. Mosaic café was great for morning/afternoon coffee and tea; the little snacks were good as were the cappuccinos, “to go” coffees were always large and very hot. Some reviews considered the décor on the ship somewhat out-dated; we thought it was great, and far preferable to glass and chrome starkness of more modern designs. It was timeless with styles and other décor varied throughout the ship - top marks Azamara! Despite being 13 years old, the ship felt fresh – no doubt due to the extensive refit in 2007 and subsequent recent maintenance work, the dark blue hull colour looks classy, and the vessels probably still have a reasonable service life ahead of them. The ship was generally quiet, we felt rather than heard engine and mechanical noise, thankfully we did not get pounded with endless announcements on the ship’s PA system. The language of the ship was English, and for us that was an advantage as we did not have to endure the same message being repeated again in another language. Cleanliness onboard was excellent. The ship was generally spotless and certainly food hygiene was of prime importance, and it worked, as we are not aware of any food borne/hygiene illness over both cruises. Ship size matters when it comes to personally meeting and interacting with senior staff; we had several discussions with Captains Jason and Johannes (yes we had 2 Captains as they changed at the end of our first cruise) Hotel Director Heike visited our table in the restaurants on several occasions and no matter where you went on the ship there were staff that remembered you and usually had time for a chat. We felt we were treated more like family than guests. To emphasize the care that the ship took of us, when passengers came back on board from the Azamazing evening in Chania, Crete – there was a big swell running and the tender boats were being tossed around against the docking station. Captain Jason personally came on board each tender and supervised the unloading operation to ensure our safety. We had 2 Azamazing evenings, the first in Chania and the second Dubrovnik; we enjoyed both but preferred the Dubrovnik one, as we felt the Chania evening was probably too long. However top marks for Azamara for putting on these evenings as they certainly must take a whole lot of extra effort. A minor criticism of the Chania evening was that the toilet facilities available were inadequate in number and questionable hygienically. Singing and dancing at both shows was interesting and fun, great to have the Mayor of a town welcome us! Anyway, good on you Azamara for putting these evenings on, I am sure they will get even better over time. The entertainment on board was very good given the number of entertainment staff, and the Cabaret evenings were outstanding. Performances (one solo) given by Cruise Director Eric de Gray were simply stunning. We did not use the casino or gym, nor did we purchase any fine art or ships photographs, so I am unable to comment on these. I did purchase a watch from “Indulgences” and I am very pleased with it. The pricing seems about equal to current Hong Kong airport duty free prices, but of course the range available on board is somewhat restricted by comparison. We were surprised that the Journey Shop ran out of some essential consumables, and were told that it is only restocked every 3 months or so. Surely essential items must be able to be restocked each cruise, or the inventory increased to prevent running out. Being suite guests we had free access to the Thalassotherapy pool area. This proved to be one of our favourite quiet spots with great loungers and amazing views out of the wind for port arrivals and departures. I had trouble with my right arm so I went for acupuncture during the first cruise and this has certainly made a great improvement to it – thanks Nathan! Many reviewers have grumbled about the internet connection. We found that it was adequate for what we needed (emails to and from home) and we managed to last on the free minutes that we each received by being Le Club Voyage Adventurer level members. I guess if you attempt to stream video/facebook etc or send lots of photographs from the onboard system, then you will be disappointed with both the performance and cost. Shore excursions tended to be a slight disappointment for us, we prefer to just go ashore and do our own wandering around. We did however privately book a day tour in Sorrento, which was really excellent. The Achilles heel on the ship for us were the Guest Relations staff; we found their performance to be less than satisfactory. On several occasions we found that when they did not know the answer to your question, they just told you anything in order to either not show that they did not know, or because they simply wanted to get rid of you. Other passengers remarked similarly to us also. This is not acceptable; the staff should be trained to carefully listen to requests and if they do not know, or are not sure, undertake the research necessary, and then get back to you. I mentioned earlier that we booked future cruises whilst we were on board; Juliana was extremely helpful and knowledgeable. We were able to book our 2015 cruises a couple of days after the itinerary was released thereby enabling us to secure the cruises we wanted and also choose our suites. Others have unfavorably mentioned the “up sell” on the ship for wine, spirits, and also caviar at the specialty restaurants. However we found after a couple of days, staff understood that we were not interested and desisted from going through the sales spiel. There were a couple of glitches, one night there was hammering on the deck above us (sounded like paint chipping) it was going when we got back to our room after 11:00pm, took 3 or 4 calls to guest relations before it stopped just after midnight. The other was some plumbing work being done whilst we were ashore, resulted in our toilet not working, then after that was fixed our floor carpet becoming flooded and squishy from the room next door’s plumbing (fresh water thankfully), took a bit to get things fixed and at least a day with a blower to dry out our carpet. For us the Azamara ships are perfect, not too big that they are impersonal and not so small that they become stuffy or snobby! Space on the ship was excellent, there always seemed to be room where you wanted it, certainly compared to a previous cruise we did on “Celebrity Galaxy”. Whilst we love our own grandchildren dearly, we were really pleased to be on a ship where there were virtually no children; top marks for not running children’s programs, Azamara. Smaller ships like the Azamara vessels are for us! We think they are pitched just right in the market place and look forward to our next cruises. The phrase “PROFESSIONAL AND INDIVIDUAL” probably best describes our cruise experience on “Azamara Journey”. Our rating is 9.5 out of 10, well done Azamara! Mike and Virginia B from New Zealand   Read Less
Sail Date: September 2013
This was our 10th cruise and we and our friends were very much looking forward to it but sadly Journey could not compare to Oceania's beautiful Riviera in any way ( we together with friends had sailed on Riviera twice in the last 12 ... Read More
This was our 10th cruise and we and our friends were very much looking forward to it but sadly Journey could not compare to Oceania's beautiful Riviera in any way ( we together with friends had sailed on Riviera twice in the last 12 months - read my review) and we also felt that Celebrity's own Solstice class ships were also so much nicer for half the price! We found Azamara Journey to be very drab and in need of a total refurbishment. We had a standard balcony cabin (very comfortable bed) which was only ok but the bathroom was very small with an awful plastic shower curtain that would stick to you - very disappointing. No nice bath gelsor soaps. The food in the main dining room was fine but we didn't find the restaurant that one had to pay extra for any better - which was very unusual as on other ships they are outstanding. The breakfast could be much better - always the same melon and no lovely fresh berries etc. lunch was ok we found the breads were poor as were the pastries. Service was always good - but no better than we have had on any other ship it is not quite fully inclusive as not the best quality alcohol was not included therefore we purchased scotch and better quality cocktails and wine. Found it surprising that every day in the ship information they would promote cocktail of the day for $9 - felt these should just be served not charged!! We usually ate late so did not go to any of the shows. No problem in sea days to get a sun bed (these were very comfortable) Average age was approximately 70 - 80 We are early 50s as were approximately 40 - 50 other people Transportation from and to the airport / hotels were very well organised In Rome - stayed overnight in the Savoy - this is definitely nothing to do with the beautiful hotel in London! It was a very average hotel. Coming back from Athens we stayed at the beautiful Grande Bretagne - a really fabulous hotel. Would we go on Azamara again - sorry no......... but will definitely be going back on Riviera with our friends who we always cruise with.   Read Less
Sail Date: September 2013
Well I resisted the temptation in the title to say Azamazing Journey on Journey so here it is. Hopefully a review of our cruise will help others to enjoy the experience. Flew down from Newcastle and spent some quality time in BA lounge ... Read More
Well I resisted the temptation in the title to say Azamazing Journey on Journey so here it is. Hopefully a review of our cruise will help others to enjoy the experience. Flew down from Newcastle and spent some quality time in BA lounge at T5. Good to see that the bacon sandwiches are as good as ever as a 6.30am from NCL is not conducive to breakfast before our flights. Good journey to Athens in Club Europe apart from the usual ridiculous sizes of hand baggage. Some were too physically thick to actually go into rthe overhead lockers and plane was delayed whilst some were sent into the hold. It really is time BA started to refuse some of the ridiculoiusly oversized bags. Not a bad chicken meal on board with 3 drinks included.. Arrived at Athens and met by Azamara rep and paparazzi as well. It appeared that a minor politician was on our flight so we had to run gauntlet of photographers on exiting customs, About 20 guests on 50-seater coach to Athens Hilton and on arrival at hotel baggage taken from kerbside to room straight away. Good room with view of Acropolis which was illuminated at night (especially for us!!!??) Good breakfast buffet but no wonder Greece has problems with productivity. On arrival at dining room we were passed from Maitre D to 2 other suited gentleman who passed us on to two waitresses one of whom took us to a table. We had arranged private transfer to port to avoid the inevitable waiting for a bus to fill up. Boarding started at 11.30 and then the holiday really started. Greeted on gangway on boarding by Heike Berdos (hotel director) who provided the customary glasses of sparkling wine. How do they remember /know peoples names or are we so notorious? Buffet was available in Windows cafe so up there to remeet Adel (restaurants manager and Alix Prime C manager) so arranged our speciality dining dates (included in owners suite package). Had a few snacks with a very acceptable Chilean Riesling from their daily wine offering which makes an acceptable spritzer for my wife also. (Tip if you particularly like a daily wine then a quiet word with section manager can usually arrange for it to be provided each day). Down to suite to meet Manish our butler who was as always always available although apart from the odd room service early breakfast we did not need to bother him much. 3 bottles of champagne including one from Miami H Office (perhaps for my constant comments about out of date UK website) as well as the customary 4 bottles of complementary spirits. Went to CC meeting in which I think we were outnumbered by the officers although it was good to meet "Sarasota Cruiser " who became friends (Thanks Mary Beth and Dave) and we dined with them in Prime C as well as Gosport 11 and Bill C who was on his 4 th of 5 B2Bs I will split review into sep sections. Cabin Owners suite 7114 is all it says it is As in planes cars and houses you are paying for space and that you have in abundance. Outside A full 4 seater table on completely private balcony(you could even sunbathe nude with nobody to see but the birds) as well as 2 full length loungers. Inside Second guest bathroom with sink and toilet. Room for another 4/6 seater dining table as well as 2 armchairs and sofa, then into screened off bedroom with second TV with enough space for all my wifes clothes with 6 full-length robes and drawer space. Bathroom with jacuzzi bath with 2 showers one low down and one for standing. The bath was not the easiest to get out of but obviously I managed it. Unfortunately they also provided a set of scales which was my incentive to walk 3 miles a day around the deck. Dining Breakfast We used Windows cafe for breakfast and lunches and as relatively early risers were able to get outdoor table each day although always sharing with others if they requested to join us. We never saw any couples refuse a request to share a 4 top as there are actually no 2 tops outside although you could sit at the bar if you wanted to be together.. It is fabulous to have your own smoothies made with your choice of fruits and to watch the machine actually squeezing your glass of orange juice. Great selection of cereals etc. and your choice of eggs etc. including boiled and poached as well as the fabulous crispy bacon etc. as well as roast meat for Americans who could also get this as room service. There was Marmite and Vegemite for those who love those options. Lunches Windows again and we usually just had a sandwich or something light. I particularly liked the Chicken Brie and Avocado Tortilla which was a special early on in cruise and was able to get that made on request daily together with my Riesling. There was always a daily roast freshly carved for you as well as 5 other choices of mains. Snacks There was a pool grill which seemed to do a roaring trade with usual burgers hot dogs etc. with a speciality sausage like bratwurst each day also. Evening Dining We dined in speciality each night but all the people we talked to had enjoyed either the Windows buffer options of seafood /Indian/ Italian /French/Turkish /Tex Mex etc. which were available from 6.30 pm. or the Discovery dining which is freestyle in that you can turn up at any time and make your choice of table size for companions. We had a fabulous time in both speciality dining with one exception (see below) and if there is anything that you want making specially then Fabio the executive chef will discuss with you and make it for you. There is always a daily special which was usually fish and we had brill /turbot and halibut on occasions all of which were great. The signature courses are Goats cheeses souffle /French cheese and onion soup, rack of lamb and Grand Marnier souffle as well as their fillet steak. We ordered a $58 bottle of Riesling (theme here) a 2005 Hugel but was not available? /sold out but the replacement Gewurztraminer whilst nice was not $58 better than the daily wine. The dining is now really popular with one night more than 152 people dining. This is beginning to spoil the experience as although the food and service are as good as ever it is not fun to see the waiters practically running between diners/kitchens and on one night there were 3 maitre D's having to help to clean tables with a finish after midnight from a 5.30 pm start without a break. They should utilise the old bus boy position to pour water/lay new cutlery /remove old plates etc. rather than have the waiter do this unskilled task. On tackling management about this sadly the answer is cost /profitability although the extra $3800 dollars from that one night would cover a lot of extra staff. Do the bean counters not realise that EMPLOYING extra staff would actually boost productivity by approx.50% by reducing waiters workload as it would enable waiters to actually serve more customers thereby satisfying customers and Azamara H Office. I notice that since our last cruise on Quest in November the cheese trolley has been abolished and you are simply served triangles etc. The final Captains dinner set up in the Library is always an opportunity for Fabio to show his skills to a smaller audience and once again Fabio did us proud with all course and well chosen wines to match. He finished off with a spectacular ice-cream served in a spun sugar base on a 8 prong sugar base. (How that is made I do not know?) but it was a fabulous end to the dinner. Entertainment We did not do all the shows but Tony Markey the entertainment director was around all the time and his "Blues Brothers " and "Hairspray" routines as well as his performance at the White Night were all great This had to be held in the cabaret lounge because of the weather forecast. Although this was a shame it probably made for a better night as the dance floor is bigger and the crowd is more concentrated rather than spread across 2 decks. It even got me up bopping trying to keep up with the few (approx 8) but lively youngsters on board. The comedian Rich Ceissler wax very good and his routine was not too "Americanised" We did not go on Cretan Amazing evening on the sea front as folk dancing and fake Cretan weddings are not our scene but it appeared well organised with plenty of food and drink (as one had been held earlier in the year then any teething problems had obviously been sorted) although some people thought it was a bit too long at 3 hours. Ports No organised excursions taken at any ports as we prefer our own thing. We would have enjoyed Kotor more if it had not rained ALL morning and the sail in was spectacular and a great point to watch from was the sanctuary where you get a clear view rather than through glass. Dubrovnik and Split we would certainly visit again but sadly we were disappointed with both Santorini and Venice as they were just FAR too overcrowded to enjoy pushing through crowds to see anything There were 12 cruise ships in Venice on the days we were there and it was just a pushfest. In addition because of high tide St Marks square was beginning to flood and they had the wading boards reading for use so adding to the overcrowding.. Sadly Carly Simon had it right "We paved over Paradise and made it a parking lot" Guests A great mix of various nationalities with Brits /US /Canadians in majority but a good contingent of Australians /New Zealanders as well as other European nationalities. Age range mostly 50+ but no wheelchairs or Zimmer users that I saw although perhaps the port intensive itinerary may have put off the less mobile. Dress code was as always smart casual although we did see suits/jackets occasionally at fine dining as well as at Captains dinner. Staff This is where Azamara REALLY shine and because of their loyalty to their ship you continue to see the same faces cruise after cruise. Obviously Heike /Tony /Fabio /Adel and Alix lead the teams but there are so many others to name who both remember your name/preferences to mention all but Jose from Prime C ,Ibrahim from Windows as well as Grandpappy Dale the Jamaican bar manager who is retiring this year after 30 years on ships. We will see him again in October and will be wishing him well. Room staff Manish Lyric and helpers almost had the room cleaned before you left and obviously we ensured that all these people were rewarded personally as well as by the inclusive tipping policy. Niggles 1: On night of Cretan evening there was a water cut to decks 6 to 10 i.e. nearly all main facilities. Obviously this was a logical time to have this maintenance as approx 600 of 644 guests would be onshore by then but there was no prior advice of this. A call to Manish confirmed this was a wide scale problem but a room was found on deck 4 for us to shower in and bottled water provide for teeth and emergency toilet flushing. We received a note with daily bulletin that night at 10.00pm advising us of cut from 6.00pm Heike the hotel director was mortified when she heard of this and personally apologised to us. I would not have liked to have been at the meeting to discuss the lack of communication the next morning We heard of one American lady who is trying to claim for cost of cruise due to emotional stress of not being able to shower for 4 hours. Perhaps the tale had improved in the telling although staff had confirmed that they had had "a very difficult passenger" She was lot luckier than a Norwegian trio in an owners suite who had no effective sewage functions for 5 days and who had to traverse one third of ship and go down 2 floors to use toilet facilities at night. We also witnessed poor treatment of a waiter in Aqualina in front of us. 2: Now to my Mr Grouch mode. Why do they take 8 waiters from their duties to sing "Happy Birthday" to somebody they do not know merely to satisfy the ego of some individual . The quicker this ritual is confined to Happy meal celebrations at McDonalds the better. If people wish to celebrate their birthday then by all means get a cake but sing themselves. 3: Finally although this is not strictly Azamara responsibility I believe their communication was poor and to merely have a tourist lady with maps is not the best way to ensure 600+ people get a good and safe start on their visit to Venice.. Most people in Venice will off course wish to visit St Marks Square and of course to go by water boat. To do this honestly you have to buy a ticket at a shop approx. 200 yards from the boat stop and if you were caught without one the fine would be horrendous. It would not be impossible to explain clearly on a A4 page the requirements and logistics as people were running backwards and forwards to this little shop. Equally I do not see why the Authorities could not offer ticket facilities at exit to port. Niggles over. POSSIBLE IMPROVEMENTS On nice nights keep Windows cafe outdoor area and Pool Bar open later as these close at 10.00pm currently. Not suggesting 2.00am close but certainly 11.00pm should be doable Would we do Azamara again. Of course and we are off again in 5 weeks from Athens to Dubai. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2013
We have just finished our first ever cruise on the Azamara Journey and it was truly an amazing experience. Right from the very start where we were met outside the cruise terminal, it didn't take long for us to go through customs and ... Read More
We have just finished our first ever cruise on the Azamara Journey and it was truly an amazing experience. Right from the very start where we were met outside the cruise terminal, it didn't take long for us to go through customs and were on board with a glass of bubbly and lunch waiting. Our balcony cabin was spacious enough and although we didn't use our balcony a lot it was lovely to have. The service on board was outstanding, Raymond and Hilda who looked after our room were fantastic and on my husband birthday they had gone in and put balloons and a Happy Birthday banner up, a nice touch. The food on board was very good, we ate in the Window cafe for breakfast and lunch and the discovery restaurant for dinner where we had excellent food and service. The entertainment that we went to was very enjoyable. There is nothing that I can fault about the cruise and I look forward to doing another one. Thank you Azamara Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2013
This was our first Azamara cruise after several with Cunard and one each with Holland America & Fred Olsen. We booked cruise only and organised our own flights from the UK, hotel and transers. We flew to Rome a couple of days early ... Read More
This was our first Azamara cruise after several with Cunard and one each with Holland America & Fred Olsen. We booked cruise only and organised our own flights from the UK, hotel and transers. We flew to Rome a couple of days early & joined the ship via a shared shuttle service. Embarkation was very quick, cabins were ready and we just had time to finish our glass of welcome champagne before lunch in the Windows cafe. This is a much more pleasant experience than a lot of the self service restaurants we have encountered and it was lovely to sit outside and have our glasses topped up regularly. I was a bit worried about the size of the ship when I booked (my husband's favourite ship is the QM2) but we found no problems. We enjoyed the fact that the Journey visits smaller ports, you very rarely have to wait for anything and it was a very quick trip back to your cabin if you'd forgotten anything. Our balcony cabin was rather compact but had everything we needed. The balcony is also small but it was nice to be able to eat breakfast out there on the dining height table. Room service delivery was always prompt and it was nice to get a warning phone call. We generally ate at around 8.15 in the main dining room and shared a large table for the first few nights and then had a table for 2. Food was good as was the service. We enjoyed the More Inclusive offerings, my husband had chargeable beers a couple of times a day but we still managed to keep our account in credit (just). We were scheduled to call at Capri but when we joined the ship there was a letter in our cabins telling us that Azamara had been unable to resolve a dispute with the Capri boatmen over the use of tenders so we would be spending a second day in Sorrento. Azamara refunded the cost of the ferry across to Capri and the port charges. We really enjoyed our first Azamara experience, I thought I would miss the formality of Cunard but when flying to catch a ship it really does make more sense. Fellow guests were casual without being scruffy. There was a good mix of passengers of all ages and the ship seemed to have plenty of space, despite being small. It was always possible to get a seat in a bar or on one of the very comfortable loungers. For the size of the ship, there seemed to be a reasonable amount of open deck space, although anyone used to the jogging track on QM2 was likely to make themselves dizzy. We went to a couple of shows, the earlier ones were timed at 9.15 so we were still at dinner at that time. We missed the Captain's welcome & farewell parties for the same reason. Although the ship was open dining, it was suggested that on the first night we should dine at 8-8.15pm. That was fine with us but it need mean we missed the crew introductions. We only had 1 sea day on this trip and the activity offerings were a bit uninspiring but it was towards the end of the week and it was pleasant just relaxing on our balcony. We didn't take part in the Azamazing evening but those who did seemed to enjoy it. We made the most of having the ship almost to ourselves. We had dinner outside Windows watching the sun set over the Bay of Naples and then watched Mamma Mia under the stars. We didn't take any Azamara excursions, we prefer to do our own thing and that was very easy on this trip. We had a late afternoon flight out of Athens, I had hoped to be able to arrange a Late Disembarkation. This wasn't possible but the concierge helped me to book a day room in hotel in Athens. We spent a very relaxing few hours around their pool before heading off to the airport. We are looking forward to returning to Azamara soon.   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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