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38 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
Azamara Journey – Of Wet bottoms and other Adventures By Glyn May Five minutes after embarkation I'm squeezed into a tight space on the floor of Azamara Journey's stateroom 6052 trying to open the jammed safe which has ... Read More
Azamara Journey – Of Wet bottoms and other Adventures By Glyn May Five minutes after embarkation I'm squeezed into a tight space on the floor of Azamara Journey's stateroom 6052 trying to open the jammed safe which has instructions so small I can’t read them. After five attempts I give up and reach for the adjoining mini bar. I don't need to untangle myself. Inside, there's a lone can of Heineken, but it's warm. I figure the fridge hasn't been turned on. The TV is babbling Spanish, a luggage handler is at the door loudly insisting that a suitcase clearly tagged for two decks below, is mine. The room steward arrives and apologises for being late. A technician in white overalls, summoned to fix a thirsty Australian's potentially catastrophic refrigeration problem, joins the party. He makes a token inspection then, with a big toothy grin, confesses that there are no motors in any of the ship’s mini bars, only cool blowers. He agrees that he wouldn't drink warm beer if he was shipwrecked on a desert island, and kindly offers the use of a " real fridge" in a nearby pantry. The first visit to the bathroom is a culture shock -- a basin, shower and toilet crammed into two square metres. There’s not much room for dancing. Drop the soap in the shower, and I imagine that a wet bottom wrapped in a plastic shower curtain would protrude alarmingly – and I’m only referring to the (increasingly rare) standard variety rear end. Drop a face washer in the shower and you have wall-to-wall carpet. In the afternoon, we are encouraged by Captain Johannes Tysse's announcement over the public address system that the deck 9 evening buffet is …"the best place to eat tonight…..chef tells me he is cooking some of his grandmother's most wonderful recipes ". Captain Tysse didn't show up at dinner which is just as well, as there may have been a gentleman in a big white hat walking the plank next morning. At night, our beds (singles joined together as in most ships) split apart. It doesn’t really matter because a piercing blue light on the air-conditioning control makes sleep impossible. The next day a steward ties the bed together and covers the offending blue light with a piece of scrap paper and lots of sticky tape. The light is hidden, but the control knob is stuck on near freezing. The ship’s advertised “free” liquor (priced into the fare) included rough red wines from Chile, Argentina and California and an appalling O’Doul’s American beer guaranteed to choke a thirsty sheep dog. Welcome to Azamara Journey, trumpeted as “a boutique luxury hotel at sea”, on a 13-night cruise from Hong Kong to Singapore in January/February 2017. In the bright light of our first sea day, we grumble about the size of the balcony and its rusty door track, and note the stained and ripped fabric sun lounges on deck 11. We’re qualified to find fault -- this is our 40th cruise on 10 different ships (our first on Azamara) and we’re paying $1000 a night. However, strolling around the 690-passenger ship, built in 2003 as one of eight world-acclaimed five-star Renaissance ships, we're impressed -- rich wood paneling, fine art work, deep carpets, elegant bars and immaculate public areas. There is a lot to commend the Azamara Journey – world-class entertainers, the multi-talented Cruise Director Eric De Gray (easily the best we have encountered) splendid restaurants (save for pathetic attempts at Asian cooking) a generally friendly crew, and a captain with the salesmanship of Dale Carnegie and eloquence of Bill Clinton. As the days pass and we soak up the ambience and efficiency of a well-run ship, there was reason to ponder why, up there in the ivory towers of Azamara Club Cruises in Miami, they forgot that first impressions count. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
We're experienced cruisers and have taken many trips with Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and others, as well as several smaller ship cruises on other lines, and we prefer cruises that are not all-inclusive. Wanting to explore RC's ... Read More
We're experienced cruisers and have taken many trips with Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and others, as well as several smaller ship cruises on other lines, and we prefer cruises that are not all-inclusive. Wanting to explore RC's luxury experience, we booked with Azamara for the first time. We knew the Journey was old and we were expecting less opportunities for entertainment and dining, so no surprises there. However, RC's top line ship does not measure up to its billing. The public furnishings are clean, but not luxurious. General feeling of ship was outdated. Our suite had several maintenance issues, including heat and a/c not working, toilet not flushing, major rain leak through the sliding doors; so there were maintenance workers in our suite nearly every day. Furniture in our room was stained and dirty in appearance--staff told us the cloth fabric cannot be cleaned, ick! Only one small shelf in bathroom, and no place to put our luggage, as the recent renovations lowered the bed, so luggage stood against a wall in the room. Food in specialty restaurants was for the most part bland, we found no real reason to choose that over main dining room. On the positive side, for dining everywhere, food was always served hot, and the food and atmosphere in the Patio Grill were very nice. The crew were very friendly and wanted to give us a good experience, and our suite experience regarding service was excellent. All in all, we will go back to Celebrity which we feel is really a higher-end experience than Azamara. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2016
We did this cruise as we wanted to travel in a smaller passenger cruise ship as we had previously been on larger ships and then travelled with Silver Sea for 5 voyages and had heard from friends that this was a good line to try. ... Read More
We did this cruise as we wanted to travel in a smaller passenger cruise ship as we had previously been on larger ships and then travelled with Silver Sea for 5 voyages and had heard from friends that this was a good line to try. Overall, we felt the service was excellent and the staff excellent. However we had one hiccup with the account at the end of the cruise and I had paid the account in full as I thought on the last night and when I got home more costs had been added over and above set account and added to my AMEX account. I am still trying to get to the bottom of these extra charges so I think you should ensure account is clear on leaving ship to avoid these hassles. The compare for the entertainment at night was top class and the magician from Australia excellent Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
OVERVIEW We booked this as a fly, tour, cruise package with an Australian travel company. We have cruised more than 30 times, we had not sailed with Azamara previously.. We have cruised with sister lines Royal Carribbean and Celebrity, ... Read More
OVERVIEW We booked this as a fly, tour, cruise package with an Australian travel company. We have cruised more than 30 times, we had not sailed with Azamara previously.. We have cruised with sister lines Royal Carribbean and Celebrity, consequently next logical step, we thought, was the next level up, so we expected, was the Azamara experience. Well were our expectations met or exceeded, not even close, it was very disappointing indeed! Worst ever experience for embarkation, Concierge at the Crowne Plaza in Chennai was aggressive and would not speak to our tour group members to ensure we did not have to wait for the two and a half hours she delayed us while she processed all other non tour group members. End result everyone in our tour group 77 Aussies and 80 Brits were so angry with her behaviour and lack of concern for us most of whom had been awake for over twelve hours prior to entering the hotel. She needs lessons on how to respect passengers and who pays the bills and her wages indirectly. She needs training and demotion to learn how to treat people nicely!! SHIP First impressions of the ship were quite positive. It has old world charm, extensive use of quality timber fittings throughout, it being an ex Renaissance ship having a touch of class was the expectation. Apart for being a bit weathered its appearance is still appealing. We were a little underwhelmed by the lack of atmosphere and activities, and music throughout the day and night, and lack of activities to stop us becoming bored, especially on sea days. The dining room does has atmosphere, is charming, and is a pleasure to dine in! Public areas are few and shops are sparse, there are two only, with limited goods to peruse. There is no bottle shop to purchase duty free goods, nor is there a theatre, just an entertainment lounge. CABIN Cabin was spacious, has been refurbished, pleasant decor, new balcony furniture, average cupboard space to hang clothes, odd bedside tables, ample drawer space. Nice timber finish retained, and enhanced by new decor and artwork. Horrible shower curtain, adequate only storage, rather small overall. Koningsdam, fantastic bathroom, Solstice not far behind, both have glass sliding shower doors and are spacious. Overall cabin on Journey is acceptable, Koningsdam and Solstice are the best cabins we have experienced! DINING and DRINKS Coffee was awful at coffee shop, it was strange as it was good for the first 3 days. Lev 9 Cafe/bistro, each day 3 main meals and roast occasionally, it is 3 star the food was mostly dry and tasteless almost! They need to transform it and make it a 5 star bistro it certainly is not for lunch and dinner. Breakfast the two times we attended was reasonably good, eggs, and omelettes were made to order and taken to your table. Gelato bar was also good at lunch and dinner. The patio outside Windows bistro was good for lunch, very nice burgers, we ate inside however as the flies and heat were excessive. The Restaurant was very good, had charm, great fillet mignon, surf and turf, venison, soups, however very poor caserole, very tough, and Turkish meals presented like a take away meal, terrible. Desserts on the whole were picture perfect, and most tasted as good as they looked. Included alcoholic drinks well bottom of the basement in all categories, no brandy, no liquors such as Baileys and Cointreau, beer 3 only 2 from the US and 1 German, 2 reds and 2 whites wines, some were acceptable, bottom level spirits/cocktails, Azamara we paid for a 5 star package, provide a 5 star package please, not a 3 star package. Sunset bar closed at 9 pm most nights and only the Casino bar was open after that, except the bar near the restaurant was open until restaurant finished, which was not late. Pool bar only bar open in the day time. Other bars open after 5 pm. Room service was good, we had breakfast twice and other meals, prompt and nice food, and not cold! ENTERTAINMENT AND ACTIVITIES Entertainment provided was poor. There were 2 solo make artists who interchanged for later afternoon performances between the Living Room at the top front of the ship and the bar near the Casino. No music early afternoon and no duos, trios or string quartets. The make artists were hotel artists only, not good enough! Australian ladysinger and lady comedy act were good. Activities man was good Cruise Director is not enthusiastic ans needs to look for another job. SERVICE Cabin stewards were great, clean rooms serviced usually early on most days, friendly staff and efficient. Bar and wait staff were very good, nothing was too much trouble, we were impressed with most of them. PORTS and EXCURSIONS Chennai was not a great experience over exhuberent Indian officials that checked our passports 4 times on the way to the ship and on the ship was over the top, so they want people to visit their country or do they not! Andaman Island was filthy and disgusting, and what a stink, phew! We took the free bus to the town walked around for 10 minutes, as did most people and went back to the ship, cannot see why they stop there, shocking! Yangon is a city that is growing fast, is clean, safe, historical and we may return one Penang and KL are clean, safe and easy to walk around we thought we would return in future. Celebrity/Solstice is our favourite ship, it has so many activities, real grass on top of the ship, glass blowing, great food, great entertainment, atmosphere is amazing, has it all! Azamara must improve to even be close to Celebrity, it is not a 5 star line, maybe 3.75 star for most of the ship, not the bistro it is 3 star! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
We have sailed with Azamara 4 times and probably this last cruise was a little less value than the others . Overall the cruise was as usual excellent as far as food and service was concerned but it's the little things , the wine ... Read More
We have sailed with Azamara 4 times and probably this last cruise was a little less value than the others . Overall the cruise was as usual excellent as far as food and service was concerned but it's the little things , the wine particularly the white was generally awful several times the whole table at dinner sent it back on enquiry we were told that if we want better we could opt for the wine package this is supposed to be all inclusive, also many of the spirits i.e. Jameson's and Blue Saphire etc etc are no longer included which was a shame . These are small things but it's a 5 star cruise why start to ruin it for the sake of nicer wine and a few bottles of spirits come on Azamara don't spoil it . We are sailing on Celebrity eclipse in February it will be interesting how it compares, we have drink package included and have upgraded that to include the Jameson's and Blue Sapphire and we have 400$ to spend on board which will help with wifi cost . Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
We sailed in September-October on a four week cruise Montreal-New Orleans on the Azamara Quest, under charter by a consortium of Australian travel agents.. As far as I am aware, there was no advertising of this charter on the Azamara ... Read More
We sailed in September-October on a four week cruise Montreal-New Orleans on the Azamara Quest, under charter by a consortium of Australian travel agents.. As far as I am aware, there was no advertising of this charter on the Azamara website, which was a pity because I am sure many Americans would have appreciated the opportunity to sail down their east coast. The major benefit would have been more rooms sold at full price, instead of the generous last-minute deals, which no doubt necessitated the charter company's cost-cutting. However, if Azamara was prepared to have its brand undermined because of what was clearly a poor relationship between it and the charter company, then that is the product presented to we first-time passengers, and the experience on which I comment. The rooms on the Quest are small and we had to walk sideways between the end of the bed and wall-mounted TV. The upright chair and coffee table were too heavy for regular movement ... but to use one, the other had to be repositioned. The curved sofa was only comfortable for one person to sit; its shape and size did not fit its corner placement, and the best place to watch the TV was from the bed. The designer of these ill-chosen pieces only needed to spend one night to know how unsuitable they are. The bathroom was minute and had no extraction. For a relatively small ship, 700 passengers, I found it impersonal. Middle management was invisible and obviously has no role in engaging with the customer ... except for the marketing people who, in a few ports, invited travel agents into the main guest lounge and spruiked their product. Blinds were lowered, a microphone and AV presentation used. How dismissive of we passengers using the lounge, when two empty restaurants were available to them to conduct business. The cruise director daily produced a long list of activities, most of which were “unhosted”. This was my first cruise where Bridge was not arranged; on ships of only 300 passengers, there can be a hardcore group of 30-40, especially on seas days. In poor or cool weather when the outer decks could not be used, the main dining room and cafeteria were over-crowded and noisy and, over a month, with too few daily changes, the a la carte menus became ordinary. The food was generally okay, but the superior meals were in the two speciality restaurants at an extra $60 a head. Standard alcohol was included, but a number of the wines were not acceptable. To overcome its aging ships, Azamara promotes its Land Discoveries as setting it apart from its competitors. Most of the 20 or so ports and shore excursions on our cruise were tremendous, but attention to detail by the ship’s staff was missing, e.g. presumably to keep down the cost of coaches timeframes were tight, and we were too often moved at a fast pace by guides (who were often half the age of most passengers, but we all kept up); guides unnecessarily cut short some tours; aging coaches; dubious drivers (one who drove with only one fist on the wheel!) who often didn’t know the route; dirty windows which have spoiled photographs. The ship’s New York berth, altered from Manhattan to a remote wharf in New Jersey with a poor shuttle service, was a disaster, and totally spoiled what most would have regarded as the major port of the cruise. Presumably this was cost cutting, and was an absolute disgrace. I have noticed reference in a previous review of Azamara’s “dysfunctional” website, and dirty windows; comments I completely endorse. Having been told Azamara is viewed as a 5-star ship ... I don't think so. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
We selected this cruise because of its terrific itinerary. The ship in fact was only at sea for one night out of the eleven. Highlights were the evening at Ephesus arranged by Azamara, sailing into Santorini and Kotor, and the port of ... Read More
We selected this cruise because of its terrific itinerary. The ship in fact was only at sea for one night out of the eleven. Highlights were the evening at Ephesus arranged by Azamara, sailing into Santorini and Kotor, and the port of Dubrovnik. Food during the cruise was generally excellent with the best cuisine in the specialty restaurants. There were certain things that detracted from our enjoyment of the cruise. Although the ship appeared to have been refurbished and had some very nice public spaces, we noticed that the linens in our cabin were never changed. In comparison with Celebrity, its sister line, the ship was not that clean. There were a lot of passengers with colds. Extremely disappointed with the final day of the cruise. We had an evening flight out of Venice and had arranged for an excursion to Padua to cover the long amount of time between final embarkation and the flight. Two days before the end of the cruise the excursion was cancelled by Azamara because only seven of twenty two spaces had been filled for the excursion. At this point we could not change our flight due to the short interval. Sorry, but Azamara should have followed through with the excursion even though it may have lost a little money. We were stuck at the airport for many hours and the airport leaves a lot to be desired. Also thought the final embarkation was a bit chaotic. Cabin attendants harassed us all morning even though we told them we were in the final departure group. The final day left us with a bad overall feeling about the cruise. On the more positive side, the destination lecturer was excellent and personable. We really enjoyed his lectures. The last nights tenor was also a nice touch. Wish the cabins on this ship were a little better. Very small for an alleged upgrade of the Royal Caribbean brands. Bathrooms were tiny and so were the overall cabin spaces. Television reception was erratic and frustrating. Our next cruise will be on Celebrity which has some immaculate ships. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
We chose this cruise because we were asked to cancel a previous cruise with Oceania which was over-booked! We had a problem finding a cruise at such a late date. We thought that Azamara would be a good bet as it is supposed to be a ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we were asked to cancel a previous cruise with Oceania which was over-booked! We had a problem finding a cruise at such a late date. We thought that Azamara would be a good bet as it is supposed to be a 6-star cruise ship, having previously been on Oceania and Seabourn we had great hopes but unfortunately were were disappointed. The stateroom and especially the bathroom were very small fora 6-star ship and although staff were very pleasant we felt that there was not enough information available regarding port visits. We did not book any excursions as they were extremely overpriced and decided to explore on our own. The food was slightly disappointing and I had to return a meal twice, once because the shellfish was not cooked (dangerous) and secondly, because the lamb was so tough it was inedible. There was no room in the small swimming pool. People were just sitting around the edge chatting (no room to swim!) and loungerAzsamara were always fully occupied and placed so close together it looked like sardines in a tin! Overall, a disappointing holiday.. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
We are a party of 6 and have just spent a week on Azamara Journey from 02/08/2016, sailing from Venice to Rome via Croatia, Montenegro, Corfu and Sicily. The refurbishment of Azamara Journey in January 2016 does not hide the age of the ... Read More
We are a party of 6 and have just spent a week on Azamara Journey from 02/08/2016, sailing from Venice to Rome via Croatia, Montenegro, Corfu and Sicily. The refurbishment of Azamara Journey in January 2016 does not hide the age of the ship, but it does make it a pleasant combination of nostalgic, old ship elegance and contemporary touches and convenience. Save for one issue (see the cabin review below) we had an enjoyable cruise. The crew were fantastic. They could not have been more helpful or concerned for their passengers. Our group ranged in age from 17 to 79 years. The older (50+) members of our group were representative of the majority of passengers and enjoyed the ship. We would counsel against taking children on this ship. Young children are not really tolerated (there were several reminders issued to keep them in check) and our 17 and 19 year olds found the ship too small and very dull. The itinerary suited us on this occasion. We were expertly tendered into 4 out of 6 ports in the lifeboats. The organised excursions seemed typically expensive and there were not that many of them. That said, we were happy with being tendered into most ports and exploring on or own. The on-board shops are small and are not a big feature of the Journey and whilst they did hold the usual "not-to-be-missed blow out stock clearance" sale, the range and quality of the goods on offer were disappointing. The main evening entertainment takes place in a cabaret lounge and is only OK. The public areas are very quiet indeed after about 10.30pm. However, we made our own fun as a group and enjoyed playing cards by electric candlelight when they switched off the other lighting in the card room at 10.30pm! The cost-inclusive arrangements for food and drink were welcome and refreshing. The food was fine, but not fine dining. We dined in all of the eateries on the ship, including both speciality restaurants. We would recommend Prime C, which was a cut above the rest. A hint in relation to "White Night" on the pool deck - if you go to this, go early, as the barbeque is great, but it is chaotic and there is nothing like enough seating available. So, all in all, for passengers who can either make their own entertainment or for passengers who prefer a gentle, restful experience, the Journey is great. However, see our comments on cabins 6057 and 6059. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
We loved this cruise mostly because of the ports of call. The cabin was great as was our cablin attendant, Andre. However the food is only mediocre and the majority of the crew do not seem very happy. They force a greeting but seem put ... Read More
We loved this cruise mostly because of the ports of call. The cabin was great as was our cablin attendant, Andre. However the food is only mediocre and the majority of the crew do not seem very happy. They force a greeting but seem put out when you ask for anything. We had four 18-20 year olds with us and they were treated quite poorly by the crew. Our friend's cabin attendant would knock on the door and immediately open it without waiting for a response multiple times daily just checking in on them until we told him not to do so. Instead of staggering the times that the restaurants are open, they all close at the same time but you can always get room service 24/7 so it's not a real problem but it was kind of a bummer. My daughter ordered chicken parm one night in the dining room and one of the breasts was totally raw. When we told the server, he simply asked if she would like another. I asked to speak to the chef who came out and was kind and blamed one of the chefs. Luckily my daughter did not get sick from it. The next day they sent chocolate strawberries to our room. I would probably not cruise with Azamara. I don't think it was worth the money, nor is it comparable to an Oceania cruise. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
Chose this cruise primarily for the itinerary, and it did not disappoint. Sailed from Rome and stopped at Sorrento, Amalfi, Taormina (Sicily), Mykonos, and Santorini before ending in Athens. So many choices for Sorrento and Amalfi. ... Read More
Chose this cruise primarily for the itinerary, and it did not disappoint. Sailed from Rome and stopped at Sorrento, Amalfi, Taormina (Sicily), Mykonos, and Santorini before ending in Athens. So many choices for Sorrento and Amalfi. We did a small boat tour to Capri, which was excellent at Sorrento. Did not book through Azamara as we did not like any of their choices and they were very over priced. The tour was great, though really was transportation to Capri and a lap around the island. Max 12 passengers, so very comfortable. Would recommend. In Amalfi we wandered through the town and shops. The duomo is a must-see. Then took the bus to Ravello and a visit to Villa Rufolo and the fabulous views. Short stop in Taormina, but was able to get into town and tour the Greco Roman theater there. Highly recommend a trip to Delos during a stop to Mykonos, especially if you enjoy history. Very interesting ruins that are in pretty good shape. Definitely enjoy the ferry trip better than a bus ride. Then we wandered our way through the alleyways of Mykonos Town over to the famed windmills. Talking to the locals, it is either very hot or very windy there in the summer. We got windy, which they indicated was the better of the two. Santorini is simply stunning. Do not miss Oia for the best views. Not much to see in Fira. The Azamara Journey was a bit of a disappointment. This was only our third cruise. First was on a mega ship (never again). Last year we cruised on Windstar's Legend (212 passenger power yacht). In spite of Azamara's continued messaging that we would love their small ship, it did not have a small ship feel. In my opinion, it felt like a small version of a mega ship. Most notable example of big ship processes was in the main dining room where entrees arrived soggy from spending too much time under the "dome" after being plated. Although they seat you at tables for two, meals seemed to be mass produced and brought out in bulk on large trays, just like on the mega ships. Of the seven nights, three dinners in the main dining room and none were excellent. On to the specialty restaurants. After reading Cruise Critic's recommendation of Aqualina, we booked two dinners there and one at Prime C. Big mistake. Aqualina was mediocre at best with a somewhat limited menu. However, Prime C was actually excellent. If sailing Azamara, be sure to book dinner at Prime C as much as possible. It is well worth the extra cost. Be sure to make your reservations during the check in process. We tried to shift our second Aqualina to Prime C, but they were sold out. Their special event dinner on the pool deck was moved inside to Windows Cafe due to high winds. It was actually very good. Probably should have opted for the buffet over the dining room. Overall, Windows Café was good for breakfast and lunch. They could have offered more variety, but duplicated items at opposite ends of the buffet. First day lunch they had a sushi bar, but that disappeared for the rest of the cruise. The cabin was good and we enjoyed a sunset balcony on the back of the ship. Was fun to view the just visited port as we sailed away and on to the next stop. Biggest complaint was the thermostat. It included a rather bright light that brightened when movement was detected - and kept my wife up most nights. Also, since the thermostat seemed to be on a motion sensor, the cabin would get overly warm during the night. This would wake us up, resulting in motion which kicked on the thermostat resulting in the cabin getting too cold. Very difficult to achieve a comfortable cabin temp over night. Service was good, but not fabulous. And much less personalized than on a true small ship. If you want over the top service and a true small-ship experience, don't expect it here. It would help if Royal Caribbean would allow Azamara to set their own operating procedures instead of incorporating larger ship processes. If they want to be a small ship cruise line, they need to operate like one. The late stays in port were nice. And the cruise line made a good decision swapping two port days to avoid huge crowds on the Greek islands. Would have been helpful if they would have provided more of an explanation before the cruise date. I had to cancel two excursions (not booked through Azamara). On the topic of excursions, Azamara disappointed. We ended up taking one through the ship. It turned out to be expensive transportation with some in-transit commentary and not an actual guided tour. Highly recommend avoiding Azamara excursions and either book your own or self-guide. Azamara's are pretty limited given the ship size and very over-priced. Public spaced felt somewhat limited, except where the cruise line could make additional money. On our day at sea all loungers on the pool and sun decks were taken (and most were occupied). There was some space for additional loungers. Fortunately, our cabin balcony was nice so we spent some down time there. Did not have a problem finding loungers on either of our previous cruises. So think they just did not allocate enough space to outdoor decks. One more thing - don't bring children on an Azamara cruise. They will be bored silly. We booked early (August for a June cruise), so secured a good deal. Value was pretty decent. Guess we just got spoiled on our last cruise. If you get a good deal and find an itinerary you love, Azamara can provide a good experience. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
This was our only Azamara cruise, although we have cruised more than 30 times on many different lines, our favourites being Celebrity and Cunard. We are a married couple aged 55 and 61 and just love to cruise. We chose this one as we were ... Read More
This was our only Azamara cruise, although we have cruised more than 30 times on many different lines, our favourites being Celebrity and Cunard. We are a married couple aged 55 and 61 and just love to cruise. We chose this one as we were told by many many people that Azamara was a step up from Celebrity in service, food and entertainment. Unfortunately we were totally underwhelmed by our Azamara experience and have already booked Celebrity again for our next one. EMBARKATION This was superb. One of the quickest ever. Disembarkation was the same so no complaints there. CABIN We had a veranda cabin on deck 7. Very nicely decorated with enough storage but just too small. The shower is so small we had to leave the curtain open while showering and then got dried in the bedroom. Two people can barely pass each other in the room. Didn't feel like a luxury cruise experience. PUBLIC ROOMS Again very nice but lacking the wow factor for us. ENTERTAINMENT This was a real disappointment. A classical guitarist and a pianist were the only options in the bars. They played in various venues around the ship for short periods but it was the same thing every day. No fun just very boring. We were not impressed at all. No live band for dancing. We renamed The Living Room The Dead Zone! Most evenings after dinner there were only a handful of people there. There was a DJ but never live music. The whole ship was just too quiet. DINING Overall we were fairly satisfied with the food but it was certainly no better than Celebrity. One night in Aqualina my husband found a long hair in his starter. Instead of an apology the Head Waiter insisted that it was a string of cheese. It wasn't. On the last night we had a disaster in the MDR. We arrived at our table at 8.05pm and by 8.50pm had still not received our starter. We left and the Head Waiter followed us out. Not to offer an apology but to suggest Room Service! We grabbed what was left at the buffet as it was closing. DRINKS It was great not to have to swipe our cards for drinks, but unfortunately the included wine was not great. We found the included Chardonnay on sale in a port for 6euro per bottle. We also really missed the lack of choice. Bar service was fairly slow in The Living Room even though it was never full. EXTRAS The Azamazing Evening was well organised and ran smoothly. The White Night was the only night we felt that we had a fun evening, although the food did not live up to all the hype! The layout was strange with everyone herded into such a small area. Overall Azamara just didn't float our boat!! Too quiet and too small. We were quite bored on the ship. Even trivia was cancelled due to lack of interest. So this was our first and last Azamara Journey. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
Caribbean March 16 V1Club Veranda Stateroom on deck 8 This was our 5th Azamara cruise. First was Jan 11 Baja from SanDiego. Overall impression was something was lacking - service was hit or miss - staff seemed cordial but not ... Read More
Caribbean March 16 V1Club Veranda Stateroom on deck 8 This was our 5th Azamara cruise. First was Jan 11 Baja from SanDiego. Overall impression was something was lacking - service was hit or miss - staff seemed cordial but not friendly and always hurried. Think they are understaffed. Had 2 outstanding crew - Jason is Aqualina and then in Mosaic cafe and Michael at the sunset bar. I gave Michael the receipe for a favorite mixed drink - lemon drop - he said he called it a citrus martini and made it for me about 4 times. Cabin was fine, yes bathroom is small. We did in room dining more then usual. Even did one dinner, did not want to deal with Buffet before Amazing Evening and it was fun. Food very nice. Good room service, did out ordering by phone not TV. A white table cloth was put on the veranda each time. We had good experiences in Aqualina and Prime C. My husband's dover sole was one of the best he had experienced. Chef's French table was good - wine steward gave TMI. Service in Discoveries restaurant was extremely slow. I am a very slow eater, however, 2 1/2 hour is a bit long. The noise level is unacceptable. Was told more tables were added to Discoveries in the refit - that may be the problem. No meal was memorable. Patio Grill in evening a nice addition. We are not buffet people so avoid Windows Cafe. However, it was not crowded or pushy (as in other ships) when we did have bkfst or lunch. We asked for sharing table for breakfast in Discoveries, we were not once accommodated. The small ship experience in smaller ports is great. Seldom on any of or 5 cruises were there more then 2 ships in port. This itinerary had 4 in which we were tendered. Only waited at one port, Virgin Gorda, for the tender. Did 2 shore excursions, no complaints. One really big mistake in the refit -the smoking area on Deck 9 is adjacent to the Spa! Smell the smoke as you enter for a treatment. Main show are as good as they can get on the small stage. Was told there are 2 less dancers on this cruise. Other nights were ok. Always got a seat at 930 PM show, even though just on time because of slow service in Discoveries (usually dine around 7PM). The geologic, Caribbean culture lecturer was great. We are bridge players and REALLY appreciated the bridge lessons and play in the afternoons at sea. White Nights was fun - always are. Amazing Evening well organized but entertainment not too great. Most fun was watching the children who played steel drums watching the fireworks. Overall, price has certainly has increased, something is lacking. Not in big hurry to book again. PS This was our 47th cruise. Began cruising in the late 70's . Have booked a Danube river cruise for this July. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
I have sailed on much larger ships and knew that things would be very different on a smaller ship. I wanted a different itinerary and after many discussions with travel advisers and friends who had sailed with Azamara I bit the bullet and ... Read More
I have sailed on much larger ships and knew that things would be very different on a smaller ship. I wanted a different itinerary and after many discussions with travel advisers and friends who had sailed with Azamara I bit the bullet and paid far more than I would of liked to book this cruise. I had been lead to believe that the service, food and more inclusive deals were far superior to other cruise lines I have traveled with. Alas this was not the case. Yes the sunbeds were wonderfully comfortable (the best I have experienced), the food lovely and the staff with a few exceptions very polite but this was nothing better than I have experienced. The service was very slow most nights 2-3 hours for dinner, the staff work obviously overstretched, just not enough of them to give an efficient service. The entertainment was, with a very few exceptions, very poor quality. I was silently berating passengers for leaving the entertainment but I had to walk out on one occasion. Since this was the only evening activity it was a real damper on my evening. There was a disco every evening but most passengers didn't go or left before midnight and no cruise director staff were there to host it and perhaps encourage others to join in. The white party was the best of the evenings it was great to see so many people making an effort, the Amazing evening a disappointment- I had heard great things about it. I was disappointed that particularly on the first evening there was no solo/single hosted evening. Apart from 1 evening there ware no hosted solo travelers events. They may not have been many of us aboard but that makes it more necessary. I had been told that there would be some organised solo events. I went on 2 shore excursions booked through Azamara and enjoyed both of them. The tendering was easy and quick and I loved the islands we visited. I have to say that most of the officers and crew were wonderful. I met some lovely people and it was an experience I will remember. I would say that Azamara is worth a look and that I wont dismiss them when looking for a future cruise, however, I would say that if you are a solo fun seeking cruiser, this is not the cruise for you. Thanks to everyone who made my holiday a lovely experience. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
We had very high expectations for this cruise; perhaps they were too high, as we were quite disappointed. I'll start with the positives: Embarkation was easy and quick. We were on the ship and hooked up with our friends in no ... Read More
We had very high expectations for this cruise; perhaps they were too high, as we were quite disappointed. I'll start with the positives: Embarkation was easy and quick. We were on the ship and hooked up with our friends in no time. The ship is mostly beautiful. The colors are very natural and soothing, understated elegance. We had an inside room, and it was consistently and tastefully decorated. For some bizarre reason, the decorator chose to put very small curved two-seat sofas in the rooms. If you know anything about design, you know that anything curved takes up much more room. A big mistake, as the rooms are smaller than normal to begin with. The food served for the white night party as well as the lunchtime barbecue served by the ship's officers was very good. The ship's officers -- including the captain -- were very visible and accessible, more so than any other cruise I've been on. Now for the negative, which unfortunately outweighs the positive by quite a bit: Other than the two meals mentioned above, the food was really hit or miss and no better than I've had on Celebrity or Norwegian. We expected much more at this price point. We normally enjoy breakfast in the dining room, but after a pretty lousy meal there the first day, we had breakfast at the buffet the remainder of the cruise. You can get basically whatever you want at the breakfast buffet, such as freshly prepared eggs Benedict, French toast and pancakes, however they don't advertise this. Lunch at the grill wasn't much better. The burgers were probably the best, and they weren't that good. Ask for it cooked medium rare, and it comes out well done. More than once. My husband ordered a sandwich that came out on this huge bun and had two tiny pieces of dried up meat. It was inedible. The blackened fish sandwich was not blackened and was so dried out it almost cut my mouth. The dinners in the dining room were better, but the chefs do not seem to understand spicey. Foods labeled as spicey were anything but. Very bland. I wish we had tried the Patio Grill prior to the last night, as we all agreed this was one of our best meals, with everything cooked (correctly) to order. The food at Prime C was excellent, but the service here was the worst of the worst. The service was probably the most disappointing of all. At best, the servers were cordial but seldom friendly. Not engaging at all. We got the impression they were understaffed most of the time. For a line that is supposed to be known for their service, we were left wondering if these were all new employees -- yes, it was that bad. The worst, as mentioned, was in Prime C. Our server was not at all friendly (do they train these people not to smile?), and she wasn't able to make any recommendations. "It's all good" is not a recommendation. She forgot to bring several side dishes, and we had to request them. A friend ordered her steak medium and it came out somewhere between medium rare and rare, red and a bit bloody. When she questioned our server, she was told it was medium. Um...no. And getting a drink was like pulling teeth. One person would get someone's attention and order a drink, and instead of asking everyone else what they would like, he would walk away. This happened three times! Completely unacceptable. Our best service was received at the Patio Grill on our last night. The asst manager (Surendan?) was on top of things from start to finish. And he was the only one during the entire 10 day cruise to check in after serving our meal to ensure it was to our liking. The only one! I've had better service on both Celebrity and Norwegian and didn't pay nearly as much for the cruise. One evening when my husband tried to take a shower to get ready for dinner, there was no water in our cabin. I called Guest Relations, and they said they would call maintenance. After about 10 minutes we had not heard from anyone, so my husband checked the water again. This time water came out, but it was brown. After running it for five minutes or so, it finally came out clear. No one from maintenance called or knocked on our door. No one from Guest Relations followed up in any way. Again, unacceptable. Of course ther were some bright spots. The casino bartender was friendly and efficient. The server in the Living Room was great. Reagan in the dining room was very friendly. Room stewards Derrick and Winston were efficient. Entertainment. What entertainment? Although the guitar player, Simon, was quite good. The pool was small but seldom too crowded. The two hot tubs were awful. Each one had only four jets that came out of the side of the steps. And we had the misfortune of seeing them when they were being drained. They are filthy. These are probably permanent stains because they are so old. I'm guessing they are original. Based on our experience, it is highly unlikely we will sail with Azamara again. If I could have rated this cruise a 2.5 it would be more accurate. The Azamara ships are the same as the smaller Oceania ships, and we expected an experience similar to what we had with Oceania. Not even close. When you consider that Oceania includes the flights in their pricing, the price points are similar. Oceania is head and shoulders above. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
We had so looked forward to this cruise for a special birthday and left it disappointed. We booked a package with Azamara and the first problem was when we arrived at the airport to find that seats had not been booked although we had ... Read More
We had so looked forward to this cruise for a special birthday and left it disappointed. We booked a package with Azamara and the first problem was when we arrived at the airport to find that seats had not been booked although we had had been given seat numbers over the phone. The overnight hotel was the Hyatt Place at the airport and was fine for 1 night. The transfer to the port was straight forward and no problems. Embarkation was smooth and we were quickly onboard. Having cruised on Quest in 2014 we expected more of the same service on Journey but this did not happen. Our bedding was not changed for 7 days and only then when we asked and there were stains on the bedding from day 1. We were advised by housekeeping that the stains were caused by the detergent that they use. We were on the aft of the ship and had a lovely big balcony which was filled by a large table and 4 chairs, why when the cabin is for 2 people. We asked the stewards on day1 to have the table cleaned as it was badly marked with the soot from the ship, when we left it was still in the same condition. We felt that the balcony space would have been of more use with 2 chairs and a sunbed. The refurbishment was nice but the covering on the front of the wardrobe was peeling off and we had to stick it back up and the metallic paper had already been badly scratched so not sure how this will work long term. The majority of the staff were very hardworking and pleasant but with managers having to run around helping in Windows it seems maybe they are understaffed, which meant tables not being cleared fast enough and food orders not arriving. We only went on 1 ships tour and that was a good day. We were happy with most of the food and visited Aqualina and Chops. Chops was the best of them with excellent food and service. The standard of entertainment was poor and the best night was The Broadway Show with ships own entertainers. The guest pianist was something you'd expect to see in a cheap Vegas hotel. Disembarkation was slightly delayed but went smoothly. We had also included nights in a hotel in Miami. The transfer to hotel saw us on a large bus with lot's of people who were going to the airport whilst we could see our hotel from the port. We spent the first hour of our Miami vacation travelling to the airport and then back again to our hotel. When it was time for us to leave for the airport our transfer didn't turn up and we had to chase it up as we were very late. We know that the Journey's officers are aware of the problems onboard and we hope they sort them out. Would we cruise with Azamara again, possibly but it may not be first choice next time. Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
This our first Azamara cruise. We have been on similar Oceania R class ships 5 times before. Although in the future we will continue book future cruises based on destination, we would much rather sail with Oceania. There is a much more ... Read More
This our first Azamara cruise. We have been on similar Oceania R class ships 5 times before. Although in the future we will continue book future cruises based on destination, we would much rather sail with Oceania. There is a much more corporate culture on board of providing service. The main dining room's food we felt compared very well to Oceania's. Service and ambiance however left much to be desired. Most tables around the outside are two or four tops, but they all crammed together, so effectively we always sitting with a party of 6 at a rectangular table. You have to make a real effort to ask for a table so you and your spouse, or even another couple can have a private conversation. Waiters are overworked and rarely check back after delivering your meal. Woe is you, if you find the pretty (awful) salt and pepper shakers are missing, empty or clogged. You can mention it after the course is over. Since one free white wine varietal and one red wine varietal is available free everyday, there are no wine stewards around to ask about the wine list. Only 2 sommeliers work the entire ship including the specialty restaurants. While I am on the subject, who in their right mind would pick a Pinotage as a red of the day. A cruel joke. The two specialty restaurants were polar opposites, both with a $25 pp surcharge. Prime C was outstanding. Aqualina was not good. We were warned at the pool that Aqualina by not very good and it lived up (down?) to its reputation. How can an Italian restaurant not know how to make Risotto? Two types of Risotto on 3 dishes were past just being dry. Duck was crisp alright, right to the bone. (the maitre d' even suggested that after sending it back that the dish should be removed from the menu, why would they serve something that is apparently regularly so poor?) A watermelon tomato salad, on 4 different plates had a majority of unripened tomatoes. It was interesting to note that I submitted a mid cruise review on the poor food in Aqualina, and the chef left me a voice mail indicating that he had never heard any complaints before. If the passengers are gossiping negatively about a restaurant, food is being sent back or cleared with food substantially still on the plate, how could a chef not about know it. In our cabin, the TV worked poorly, sound was always breaking up. And as the previous review noted, ship announcements did not work through the TV. The TV is another big difference between Oceania and Azamara. On Oceania all rooms have DVD players and an extensive DVD library. Azamara has pay preview at $12 per movie (Yes adult titles too) and no DVD. Oceania, also has a movie channel with a different movie daily. Azamara plays the same 4 old movies over and over and over on a 12 day cruise, Sleepless in Seattle, Man from Uncle, Crazy Stupid Love and Casablanca. Our cabin steward always had to be asked to provide shampoo or soap when we were running out. Otherwise the cabins are the same as Oceania. Entertainment was overall very good. Probably much better than Oceania, since they rotate acts in and out, and I am guessing intermingling with RC cruises too. Some other irritating events that occurred on this cruise were screwing up dining reservations, and not informing us that they misplaced our credit card information until we were walking off the ship. They took our credit card 3 times; on line at home, at the beginning of the cruise, and the first night when they said they could not find a record of our credit card. Over the next 12 days they never told us that it never made it into their system. At the end of the cruise Disembarkation turned into a disaster. The person at guest services, couldn't figure out how to handle a credit card, didn't tell us that there were two separate bills one for my wife's and I one for me; so we cleared one and then all of sudden we couldn't disembark again because I had a bill. We were already stressed due to issues at home and this put us over the edge. On top of it all, because I said I didn't want to get exciting future cruise offers directly from Azamara, I did not get a cruise review. They will have to read my review here. Unless liquor is your main stress reliever, I would suggest Oceania as a better option. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
We are seasoned cruisers and have traveled on many lines, but predominately Celebrity. We were interested in trying the Azamara experience and visiting the smaller islands. This ship was in dry dock and only returned to Miami the ... Read More
We are seasoned cruisers and have traveled on many lines, but predominately Celebrity. We were interested in trying the Azamara experience and visiting the smaller islands. This ship was in dry dock and only returned to Miami the morning of the cruise. We feel that it was premature as many items had not been completed and it appears that the company only allowed two weeks to do a major overhaul. We were not told about the dry dock when we booked and didn’t find out until after final payment. They noted that they had weather issues and missing parts/supplies. We received a text and voicemail telling us that we should come to the pier from 2 to 4 o’clock. We needed to check out and the last hotel shuttle to the pier was 12 so we went at that time. Once there we waited and then one of the Azamara executives came around announcing that boarding would not happen until at least 5 to allow them to ‘polish’ everything so that we would be ‘dazzled’. They handed out vouchers for some to go to the cafeteria at HQ and brought on pasta/cookies and water/tea for the rest of us. We boarded after 5 and got to our cabin; no luggage yet. We did the safety drill and then went to dinner. The luggage arrived later. The room looked nice; we were in veranda 7089. There was plenty of closet space and drawers for our belongings. BUT - The smell of new carpet was so strong that it almost made us nauseous. The balcony was dirty, full of paint stains and the chair pads were filthy and stained. The TV did not work for 3 days. Once the TV worked, the volume did not work properly (we could not lower it) and it kept cutting out which made it hard to watch when we wanted. There were days that we could not get into our account and a couple of times it said that we had no OBC. There was no trash basket in the bathroom, however, the attendant said that there was going to be one - it never came. Since this was our first with Azamara, we did not know what was supposed to be in the cabin and what was missing. Every day, something appeared in the room that I guess should have been there initially – flowers on the desk, the umbrella in the closet, the bible and the list goes on. Our balcony was cleaned on day 6. We had a leak under the bathroom sink; reported it and was told the next day that it was fixed. There was still a leak; reported it and was told that it was fixed the following day. At that point, we did not have a leak, but I was going to take a shower and we had no water. Called Guest Relations and no sooner that I hung up, we started getting either paint or varnish fumes through the air conditioning vent. Called again. Two plumbers came and one was an officer. He made a call about the fumes and spoke to someone but said that the person that he wanted was not there. The fumes stopped and after an hour, we had a shower again. The crew took care of most of what could be done and were very helpful. Our stateroom was kept tidy and the vacuumed but the rug kept shedding. The self-service laundry was inoperable for the entire cruise. We packed accordingly so that we could use it every couple of days. It seems that during dry dock, they took out the old machines, put the new ones in and never hooked them up. We complained and were told to send our clothes out and there would not be a charge. Talking to another cruiser at the end of the cruise and the conversation turned to the laundry. They did not complain and were unaware of the free cleaning. They were rinsing things in the bathroom basin every night. There was no general announcement. In the casino, the slot machines did not pay out. Every time we wanted to cash out for any reason, we had to call the attendant over and they paid in cash. The paint fumes were everywhere as the painters were completing what had not been done previously. There were many more problems and although they may sound small, the accumulation of them became tiresome. The meet and mingle was held on the first sea day. At the end we were asked if we would like a final M&M arranged for the last day and the majority said yes. It never happened. We bought the Specialty Restaurant 3 pack and really enjoyed the food and service in Aqualina and Prime C. We found that the menu in the main dining room had more choices than some other lines. The meals were good and the service was super except for two waiters who totally forgot us. The Officers were visible. The cruise director Eric was one of the best that we have seen. The comedian Bruce was really funny. The White Night celebration was such a great time; the Azamazing evening was not. A production company from the island was brought on and they had so many problems. The opera singer’s voice was beautiful but the rest of the show was so disappointing. Another night, we were waiting to see the Newlywed/Not So Newlywed Game and after sitting in the cabaret for a while, an announcement was made that it was cancelled due to non-participation. They could have announced it sooner. The ship offered compensation in a letter that stated 30% off of a future cruise but in reality, when it was applied, it was actually 30% of what you paid for this cruise off of another cruise which could make a big difference. Also, if you booked while on the cruise, you would get an additional 25% off and that was later extended to the week following the end of the cruise. We would have preferred OBC since we most likely will not sail with them again. We booked what we thought was a premium luxury cruise and we did not get what we paid for. There were so many issues and it was not a good value. We can do better on another line. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
Was told to arrive at pier at 12 Noon, pleasant reception staff, efficient, but they had no information about boarding time. Nobody from Azamara made any announcements about the day for about two hours, and told us boarding would be at ... Read More
Was told to arrive at pier at 12 Noon, pleasant reception staff, efficient, but they had no information about boarding time. Nobody from Azamara made any announcements about the day for about two hours, and told us boarding would be at 5PM. They did provide lite refreshments. The crew was exceptional except for the future cruise desk. Because of the many mistakes sill not corrected from the dry dock, including a pole falling off the wall twice in our cabin, Azamara announced they would give an additional 20% discount, next day changed to an additional 30% for any future cruise booked on board.Went to the future cruise desk at the appointed time and nobody was there, they were at a crew party. There were plenty of peop[le waiting, no future appointment slips available and no brochures. An officer stopper by, was crude and rude and told us the reservation was at a party and would return shortly. We waited 30 minutes for her to return. Finicky a person on line the best day spoke to the Captain, who contacted Miami and they extended the offer for one week after we returned. The food in the main dining room was excellent and the two speciality restaurants provided excellent service and food.Shore excursions were of poor quality and extremely expensive. Entertainment except for the two production shows was lacking in quality.If you are going to put a ship into dry dock make sure that the paint is dry, the veranda are clean and you do have to smell paint and varnish. Will probably never cruise with Azamara again and will use Oceania or another line. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
My overall ranking would be good rather than average, but there is no option. They are re-doing the ship as of now. I hope they pay attention to my reviews. I enjoyed the first few days of the cruise. Trip was jan 3=13, journey. Panama ... Read More
My overall ranking would be good rather than average, but there is no option. They are re-doing the ship as of now. I hope they pay attention to my reviews. I enjoyed the first few days of the cruise. Trip was jan 3=13, journey. Panama canal, costa rica & other. My cabin was very nice as i was upgraded. (tiny bathroom but ok.) i thanked the desk on the first day. I bought my special meal package as i boarded, and was firmly told....i would be seated alone. Really? The first two night's dinners 6:30 (too early) in main dining, there was an effort to seat solo passengers together. (after that it was hopeless.) i want to clarify solo. Adults married or not, male or female, every generation, color, ethnic, etc. Simply travelling alone or with a friend or whatever and wants to enjoy company at dining, or random activities. The passenger age, early dining, promoted a eat, show, sleep, ship. Awkward situation for anyone under 65 or not with a partner. I sat with some ladies or men several times & most seats at table were empty. Other activities did not encourage meeting others. There were plenty of things to do, (almost too many) which made activities i attended brief and haphazard. The host dashing away. Trivia was a mixed up mess. Teams of 2 to 6ppl, no cash build pot, 30 min random times, different locations. The 6# teams of course always won. No multiple choice trivia either, which had some teams really left out, experts in. Lectures good. Disco totally haphazard. Too much old music...starts late & ends short. No good lighting, or lively atmosphere. Big empty room the times i went, except one night. A couple of shows were good "voices", and a couple of them average. Live music scattered here and there at random times. All the music players looked exhausted to me.(moving around, setting up.) so much seemed muffled down for old folks. Bars did not open till 5:30 (except pool.) standard bar deal is great... But casino bar (at least) should open earlier. Live music at pool was nice, ho hum, same dude, & songs. Stateroom attendants and most staff generally excellent. Dining is very good. Special dining was good food.... But atmosphere for a solo....stifling. Chef''s table very nice. Drawing room (a library) is basically empty day and night. Would make a great piano bar near fine dining area. Could do quiet piano music 6:00 ish to 8:30...ramp it up with lively music and song, entertainment or singalong late. Use the always boring empty bar at prime c. (set up chef's table early, clear it away, or make it a group table by 8:30 ish.) add club tables etc. Configure seating in prime c, further back by 8. Tell diners there is music after 8. (some may love that, others will dine early !) there is a little corner in casino with piano... But wrong location. "ringading all the time & couch type seating. (trying to get gamblers i guess.) club seating would help. No music in bar near main dining. The line to dining cuts the space. The desk should move inside dining area !! Nice music in main dining room at special buffets. The passengers were generally at least 65 or up and casual in general. There were random lively groups of couples. The two special evenings were outstanding !!! Poolside white night party lovely & azamazing night was unforgettable. Bottom line....tweaking and a real effort for mingling & lively music would really change the mood. The general idea of azamara is really on the edge of something special, but.... For me (and my several travelling buddies) they must make it more lively and solo friendly. Love the dine ashore & overnight stay ideas. Love the value !!! The solo upcharge was very fair ! I would not recommend the line for those travelling alone. I have done (over the years) 16 or so cruise segments. (most when married with children.) it is very hard to please everyone. I am not young and also not dead, so i honestly don't want some wild table dancing singles thing going on and not there to pick up some old dude. I just don't want to feel isolated when travelling alone. Solo travel is certainly a growing market. Azamara.....you are soooo close ! You have it right there....but you need some really good ideas and not just words in a brochure, to get there. Right on the edge of something special ! I would go again, but not until/unless i see a tweaking of things. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2015
Been on Azamara several times. The brand is in the luxury market and priced accordingly and, in this light, I think it has slipped from its original standards. The staff are still very good and attentive but the food quality has just lost ... Read More
Been on Azamara several times. The brand is in the luxury market and priced accordingly and, in this light, I think it has slipped from its original standards. The staff are still very good and attentive but the food quality has just lost its edge compared to other lines like Regent and some of the menus used in Discoveries were worn which is not a good look. As well, the major entertainment is virtually the same as previous cruises which is good for first time cruisers on the line but not so for repeat guest. Activities still standard and little things like having staff with poor English conducting trivia just doesn't fit the brand and never saw much of the Activity manager. I noticed a deck lamp remained unfixed for three nights and one would think at least one of the officers would have noticed and had it attended to and again one would expect better on a luxury cruise. The Panama Canal transit was very good and having an ongoing commentary excellent. The Port stop of Aruba was a Sunday so nothing happening really. The Azamara Evening was well coordinated in Columbia and enjoyable as was the deck party for New Year. The port stops in Costa Rica were disappointing but I don't hold the line responsible rather the local authorities who were frustrating to deal with despite the best efforts of the ship management. In summary the Journey is undergoing a refit and hopefully the brand can get back to its previous high standards and reinvent the experience and perhaps the Captain and Cruise Director can get some new lines for their jokes please. So for the price paid I can only say it was an average experience for this market. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
This was our 21st cruise and our second on Azamara. We are both in our 60's and love traveling. We boarded in Monte Carlo after spending a pleasant night at the local Novotel Hotel after a 10 hour train ride from Bayeux, France. ... Read More
This was our 21st cruise and our second on Azamara. We are both in our 60's and love traveling. We boarded in Monte Carlo after spending a pleasant night at the local Novotel Hotel after a 10 hour train ride from Bayeux, France. Boarding was fairly easy and we were in our suite by 1:30 after a leisurely lunch. Service, as on our previous Azamara Cruise was fantastic throughout the cruise. Our suite was very nice and our Butler was helpful but rarely utilized. We had booked a Veranda room but got an upgrade call a few days before leaving for France and jumped on the $398 upgrade fee. Lucky us! We thought the quality and variety of food was no better than less expensive cruise lines we have recently been on. It was also not as good as our previous Azamara cruise three years ago. One night on the dinner menu was Chicken Parmigiana with a side of French fries as an entree. I have been on many cruises and eaten at thousands of restaurants in my life but had never seen that combination. Soups were generally very good. Entrees were hit and miss with a lot of misses. The Lunch buffet on deck was small and decent most days but not really reflective of a supposviely luxury cruise line. The pizza was really bad. The grill on deck by the pool put the hamburgers and hotdogs many days in steamer pots and you served yourself which left a lot to be desired for freshness. We thought the speciality restaurants were very good with great service. The complementary wine flowed freely throughout the cruise and your glass was not empty long, if at all. We did not upgrade the free drink package and were very happy with the complementary drinks. Our group of four likes to have happy hour at 5:30 or so, and many nights our favorite bar the Looking Glass would be closed or having trivia or some film/lecture. Other bars having events at this time were also a problem. Never have had this problem on any other ship. Entertainment was somewhat disappointing except for the cruise director who was very talented. We have found over the years the smaller the ship the weaker the overall entertainment. I guess that is to be expected. Disembarkation was easy. Overall this was a pleasant 9 night cruise along the Southern France coast and Spain with great service. However, I don't think Azamara at this time is worth paying double the prices of Princess, HAL, or Celebrity. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2015
This was my third and last cruise (12 Night Best of the Holy Land) aboard the Journey. The ship is in desperate need of a serious makeover not just refreshing cosmetics. The staff was as friendly as ever. The quality and choices of food ... Read More
This was my third and last cruise (12 Night Best of the Holy Land) aboard the Journey. The ship is in desperate need of a serious makeover not just refreshing cosmetics. The staff was as friendly as ever. The quality and choices of food one expects from a cruise line that aspires to luxury branding was lacking. Even visits to the specialty restaurants fell short. Tour guides did not seem to be adequately vetted so the quality of the excursions was quite variable and expensive. Marathon commentary of excruciating trivia was not uncommon. Wise travelers arranged for private tours, in advance. Others arranged for taxi tours upon arrival at a port. They all seemed more satisfied than many on the ship excursions. The "carrier pidgeon" internet was a disaster. It was so unreliable and time consuming to use, that too often purchased minutes were often wasted trying to logon. Adding insult to injury, guests were often required to buy additional time to replace the wasted minutes. The internet problem has existed on all three of my Journey cruises and the tired excuse that all will be fixed when the ship is overhauled doesn't help. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2015
Ship much older than one would think. Interior tries to intimidate the luxury of by gone days. 1). RECEPTION Check in at port excellent and quick. At reception it stated that the ship was full and no cabins were available to be ... Read More
Ship much older than one would think. Interior tries to intimidate the luxury of by gone days. 1). RECEPTION Check in at port excellent and quick. At reception it stated that the ship was full and no cabins were available to be changed. This was totally untrue. Upon reaching our cabin which was to be shared by two ladies we found it to be extremely small and dark and in no way suitable for a 12 day cruise. We returned to reception and as by magic another cabin materialized which obviously we had to pay for single occupancy then. 2). RESTAURANTS Open seating in main dining room which was comfortable also gave you the opportunity to meet other guests. On first night waiter came to table (when eventually full) to offer red or white wine with no knowledge of what was in the bottle. On only one evening did the waiter know or bother to explain what wine was on offer for that meal. The food was extremely poor and very badly presented. Even the menus looked like they had seen better days. Should one want any vegetables with your meal it was necessary to order these separately. Windows self service cafe gave good choices for breakfast. Nevertheless, while in port one day we had an invasion of flies. No preventative equipment to keep the flies of the food was available and the poor staff were left just using tea towels to try and swat them away. Most unhygienic. 3). DAYS OUT Excursions very expensive and tended to run over time. 4). ENTERTAINMENT Resident entertainment team good but visiting acts where at best third rate. 5). CASINO Was like a morgue with no atmosphere and no encouragement to play. 6). SHOP Well stocked and obviously over priced. 7) SHIP'S NIGHT OUT We we invited to a concert on land which was organized by the entertainment staff of the ship, This was short but enjoyable and involved an hour on a coach to spend 30 minutes at the concert. But well done for trying something different. 8). BAR The inclusive drinks package cocktails had no explanation as to what they actually contained and yet if you were to pay for a specialty cocktail then full details of what it contained were listed. 9). DAILY ACTIVITIES These were very limited unless you wished to go on a organised tour. 10). EXTERIOR AND POOL AREA. Plenty of lovely comfortable sun beds but swimming pool far too small for a swim. Merely ideal for a dip to cool off. 11). GYM Well equipped and open nice and early. Although some keep fit classes where offered early morning these were very limited. 10). TYPE OF GUESTS There were a large number of travel agents on board which in my opinion says they are trying hard to promote this ship. Average age 60 plus. 12). My overall view of this ship is that it does not compete well for the modern cruising needs of guests. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2015
We have been on over 15 10-14 day cruises on Celebrity and a few on Prncess- the big and mid size ships and enjoyed them immensely. When we met other cruisers on these cruises they as well as our travel agent raved about Azumara. When we ... Read More
We have been on over 15 10-14 day cruises on Celebrity and a few on Prncess- the big and mid size ships and enjoyed them immensely. When we met other cruisers on these cruises they as well as our travel agent raved about Azumara. When we found a back to back itinerary we liked 18 months ago we booked the Azamara cruises. Due to the number of cruises on Celebrity we were at a high tier in the Captains Club and our first cruise on the Journey took us to the next level. We flew to Athens a few days early so we would not have jet lag on the cruise. We took a taxi to the port and were greeted by an Azamara rep who got a porter to take our bags and escorted us to the check in area. I was surprised to see coffee and snacks available for people who were checking in. The check in process was quick and we boarded the ship and headed to the 9th fl. for a buffet lunch while waiting to get into our cabin. Ship information After putting our things in the cabin we decided to explore the ship before we had to go to the fire drill. We had heard the ship was small but did not realize how small. One can imagine the Celebrity Constellation common areas cut down by 3/4ths. It is easy to go from the dining areas to the common areas as well as to the pool deck. Even though there are two elevators for and aft we never had to wait long for one to go between decks, The entertainment was in the Caberet lounge which was small and intimate- chairs very unconfortable though. the dining room is nice and seems to be a smaller version of the one on the Constellation. We only had one meal here though. Cabin- we had a club suite which was on deck 8. Above us was the pool deck. The nights of events and after were very noisy early am pm as the crew was setting everything up. the cabin was spacious and the only issues we had which will be corrected during the retrofit is no shower and a small tv. Our butler and attendants were great. Dining-- We are used to the fixed seat dining and could adapt to the open seating system but the menu choices were horrible. As the CC reviewer noted 1 fish, 1 meat and 1 vegetarian entree and some exotic appitizers were the menu choices as well as a small regular menu. the Windows buffet offered some great themed meals so we either ate there or at the specialty restaurant. Since there is no formal night we asked our butler to let us know when the surf and turf would be on the dining room menu. that night we went to the dining room and seated quickly. The waiter came and we ordered the flilet and 1/2 lobster tail. \our food came and we were shocked how SMALL the portions were- the filet the size of a meatball and the 1/2 lobster tail was more like a crayfish. We ate and then went upstairs to have something else to eat as we were still hungry. Looking around the dining room that night we noticed all the waiters had sad/surly/inexpressive faces while walking around and serving- Is this a result of the open seating or the inclusive tip policy? The waitstaff on the Celebrity ships in dining rooms were always smiling and happy and we enjoyed having a fixed waiter and assistant who got to know us and our tastes. Since we ate so much in the two specialty dining rooms the staff got to know us and provided service with a smile. The menu was good and the food tasty. If these two restaurants were not on the ship I would have had to bring in food every day for dinner. The Windows cafe had the theme night dinners and the food was fine and easy to get a table. the only improvement could be to play music to match the theme and some centerpieces ie Spanish night- Spanish music and a Spanish flag on ea. table. Breakfast in the Windows cafe was good- menu geared towards the British passengers as half the ship's guests were British. [same for dining room- menu favored British food}. The brunch was really good and had a wide selection of food. We really enjoyed this meal. White night included a buffet on deck- average food. Activities- limited but enough to keep one occupied. The guest lecturer was very good and gave a lot of talks. Children's program- none - the staff had to rig one up to occupy the many children on the cruise. Service- all tips were included - all the marketing kept touting this fact as well as the waiters will wait on you to bring drinks and water and food ordered at the counter. We only ate once in the main dining room and I commented on service above so I will address the Windows cafe and the 2 specialty dining rooms. All the staff seems to come from the Phillipines and mostly male. Service was hit and miss depending on the maitre de and the waiter. We were in the Cafe and our area was empty and not a waiter in sight on night. I had to go to maitre de to get a waiter. Otther times we had to get up and order drinks at the bar or find a waiter at breakfast to get our coffee. The so called waiter service again is over emphasized as it is not consistent. I resented to prepaying the tips and high fare to get this poor service. Entertainment- Erik the cruise director and the 5 singers and dancers were great!! Bad part was that they did not perform every night. the piano player was very good and the magician terrible. the last nights show is not to be missed but I would night take the cruise to see this show as great as it was. The White night was the only night where there was music by the pool- no entertainment on the pool deck during the cruise. The guitar player was horrible- playing sad blues music during an event which is supposed to be uplifting. A CD would have bee an GReat improvment. The amazing night and white night were fine but again not worth the extra cost of the cruise. Small tv and very few free movies available as well as limited tv stations. Shore excursions- few offered and since we have been to most of the ports we did not go on any. Disembark- Since we were on a back to back we did not disembark but traded our sea pass cards for new ones. NOTE- B 2 B passengers do not need visas and we noted this on our survey form and still charged the visa fees. We had to make many visits and calls to guest relations to get the charges reversed. Very poor performance considering the few passengers and high staff to passenger ratio. Summary- Not worth the extra cost for the all inclusive feature- ie tips and drinks and water. I am used to getting my own coffee and water and food in the buffet on other cruises but resent having to do it on this ship as this is a perk included in the fare. Only a few waiters/waitresses seemed happy to serve and smiling when seen. Most had a sad/resigned/surly look all the time. The ones in the specialty dining were happier as I think they liked having the opportunity to get tips. The dining room menu as well as the food was nothing to write home about. If one wants small portions of British themed food one will enjoy the dining room. I have never seen so much wine poured so freely [no pun intended]- maybe the guests were so gassed they did not have room for food or could taste the food. 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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