4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
This was my 8th overall cruise, and I chose this trip for the amazing immersive itinerary of Cuba. From the moment I stepped on the Journey, I appreciated the calming decor. It was so great to be on a ship of only 600 - you really got to ... Read More
This was my 8th overall cruise, and I chose this trip for the amazing immersive itinerary of Cuba. From the moment I stepped on the Journey, I appreciated the calming decor. It was so great to be on a ship of only 600 - you really got to know your fellow passengers...especially if you're an outgoing guy like me. We ate almost every meal at the discoveries restaurant and were VERY pleased with the quality, presentation, and taste of the food. I've been avoiding red meat recently, and they always had at least two fish choices(other than salmon)! i asked for freshly steamed broccoli and they always delivered on any request that I had. The entertainment wasn't extensive - but we did enjoy both shows by our cruise director...the VERY tall and lovely Eric! Please, please, please...book private tours of cuba! Do not take the cruise's excursions. they tell you that it is difficult when you get to cuba and that you can't get off the ship if you don't have a tour booked...NOT TRUE!!! All three of our private tours were AMAZING...private air-conditioned cars from the 50's. Do your research on TripAdvisor - and book with confidence! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
First of all, the ship is in good condition as well as the rooms, my wife and I booked a cabin with a balcony and it was really what we expected, maybe a little smaller than in the photos but we liked it. - Food and drink well, maybe ... Read More
First of all, the ship is in good condition as well as the rooms, my wife and I booked a cabin with a balcony and it was really what we expected, maybe a little smaller than in the photos but we liked it. - Food and drink well, maybe you could improve but in the same way it was not bad. - We had a lot of fun during the nine nights that took the cruise, dancers, music, it seemed an important event every night. - Excellent service, especially Mario our concierge who was very kind and helped us with everything that was presented, we even needed to make an urgent call to our tour agency and he gave us his phone. - About the shore excursions, very important, do not book with the cruise. For my tours in each port we booked with Viajes Vintage (viajesvintage.com) and we had an excellent experience, I HIGHLY HIGHLY RECOMMEND THEM, our guides were Yunet in Havana, Myldred in Cienfuegos and Lianne in Santiago de Cuba, we had during our excursion our own classic car with air conditioning very well maintained and we paid half of what we would pay with the cruise line. - It was very simple to get off the ship terminal in all ports but in Havana, it toke a while. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
My 7th time on Azamara and 4th time on Journey. This was my 36th cruise so trust my remarks. I have sailed on RCCL, Holland, NCL, Disney, Carnival, Princess and more. I escorted my group of 26 on the Journey for the 9 night ... Read More
My 7th time on Azamara and 4th time on Journey. This was my 36th cruise so trust my remarks. I have sailed on RCCL, Holland, NCL, Disney, Carnival, Princess and more. I escorted my group of 26 on the Journey for the 9 night intensive Cuba. Pre-Cruise hotel: JW Marriott on Brickell, fantastic. Ship Staff: Wonderful as ALWAYS!! From the stewards to Capt Johannes! Ship: Old World Classic Beauty!! My home away from home. Deck 4 Oceanvw, my favorite but I have stayed on every floor in balcony as well. Food: Outstanding as usual!! If you don't love the food on Azamara there is something wrong with you, sorry. Every meal fantastic, we ate at Prime C and Aqualina as well as main dining. Aqualina did not leave an impression on me last few times but a few revisions and it's right on par with Prime C at this point! Chef even prepared Baked Alaska off the menu as 1 in my party really wanted to try it!! Waiter brought out 5 fresh made Alaska's to our table and hands down the BEST I've ever had. And that was in the Main Dining room! White Night: Out did themselves with the lobster tail and shrimp on the BBQ! Never miss a White Night! Azamazing Evening: Ours was in Havana in the renovated theater from 1890 and still had the original wood floors! Incredibly beautiful and wonderful Lintz Cuban Ballet was an emotional experience. I was nearly brought to tears with this performance!! Excursions: Hemingways Havana, loved it! Havana Classic Car ride, loved it! El Nicho Natural Baths and Waterfalls, DO NOT MISS THIS! (Although too difficult for older and or out of shape travellers, you can still enjoy it buy walking upto the falls on the main path, then wait in the shady lovely restaurant while others do the rocky path up!) Tobacco and Rum Santiago, skip it ! This should be renamed and is not a factory as some thought. Not me as I read through the descripton but still not a great tour for me personally. Cuban History and Cultural talks: The best ever! Great insight from the lecturer! Onboard entertainment: Very very nice, not as cheeky as in a few past cruises. Great Spanish Guitar performance. Overall Commments and Tips: This is a truly Immersive Trip not a vacation to a caribbean island. A wonderful, educational experience in an oppressed world. Do not forget this folks as this is for those who want to expand thier minds and learn about Cuba and in an incredible way. Be kind to the Cubans as they love Americans but of course they only know Socialism and nothing else politically speaking. Bring little bottles of shampoo and lotions from the ship, hand them out to any local you meet. DO NOT BRING Canadian money! They will exchange it at the port but you cannot use it on the street like American Dollars or Euro's. Bring small bills of $20 and less, like lots of 5's and 10's. It is difficult to make change with local vendors. Even $1.00 bills, bring 50. You will need them for tipping which is HUGE in Cuba for guides, waiters and drivers, cabs etc. And yes bring little tissue packs and hand sanitzers or wipies! Dress lighlty it is hot in CUBA and Humid! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
Chose Azarmara because we did not want to be on a giant cruise ship with thousands of our closest friends. We chose this particular cruise because we wanted to experience Cuba and not just stop one place for a few hours. Service was ... Read More
Chose Azarmara because we did not want to be on a giant cruise ship with thousands of our closest friends. We chose this particular cruise because we wanted to experience Cuba and not just stop one place for a few hours. Service was stellar everywhere we went. After a couple of days in Windows Cafe, the server called me Diet Coke with a smile because it was a small enough ship to get to know people. Themed food night in some of the restaurants were well appreciated. The white night party on the deck was a fun evening. Lots of dancing! There seemed to be ample seating almost always in the pool area and plenty of activities for those who wanted to participate. The ship put up a big screen for the Superbowl and served Superbowl party foods for dinner which was a great touch. Getting on and getting off the boat at ports was a breeze.The ship was small enough to dock at all three ports so we didn't have wait to transfer to start our vacation. We chose to do private shore excursions, but did do the Tropicana & Santiago de Cuba though the boat, which were both well organized and interesting. Highly recommend the El Cobre tour which included an outstanding steel drum band who played music you would never expect from a steel drum. Our private tours were with Blexie - Havana & Caribbean Pearl Tours which were personalized based on our interests. They were both outstanding. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We chose this cruise mainly for the itinerary. We wanted to see Cuba and liked the fact that it only went to Cuba and involved several overnights. We really got a chance to experience several ports in Cuba. We also like cruising on the ... Read More
We chose this cruise mainly for the itinerary. We wanted to see Cuba and liked the fact that it only went to Cuba and involved several overnights. We really got a chance to experience several ports in Cuba. We also like cruising on the smaller ships. The service is more personal and you get to know the other passengers. We had a balcony cabin and it was perfect. There was enough storage space, bed was comfortable, and we made good use of the balcony, having breakfast there twice and using it for the sail-aways. We are glad more cruise ships re offering open dining as the Journey does. The food was excellent, prepared and presented well. The portions were just right for us, but those with bigger appetites can always order more food. The wait staff was very well trained and friendly. If you want fancy shows and lots of entertainment, this is not the ship for you. But we really enjoyed the ambiance and intimacy of this small ship. And there was enough to do and see. Over all, we loved the ship and the accessibility of the Captain. He was often seen walking around, and welcomed questions and conversation. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We chose this cruise line because of its itinerary and the Journey being a small ship: 690 passengers. We have been on small ships before and have thoroughly them. The itinerary was Cuba intensive: 3 full days in Havana, 1 day in ... Read More
We chose this cruise line because of its itinerary and the Journey being a small ship: 690 passengers. We have been on small ships before and have thoroughly them. The itinerary was Cuba intensive: 3 full days in Havana, 1 day in Cienfuegos, and overnight in Santiago. The ship was great as was the food and service. Officers and captain were very visible. Highly recommend Azamara. Currency exchange in all 3 ports in Cuba. 10% penalty for US$. No penalty for Euros or Canadian. No problem getting off the ship and doing own thing in Cuba. In fact after the first day in Havana, we didn't even have to go through customs. We didn't do Azamara shore excursions as for many years I have hired private tour guides. In Havana we used Blexie Tours. I highly highly recommend them. We had a private guide, George, and classic cars for 2 of our 3 days in great shape with a/c. The third day we went on our own just soaking up the ambiance of the city. Very friendly people. In Cienfuegos I used Fer Tours. Good tour as well. Not as great as Blexie in Havana but then there is not as much to see in Cienfuegos. Traveled in a classic car in great shape. In Santiago used Out of the Box Tours. Maike (spelling??) was our guide. Highly recommend this tour as well. I could have paid for this tour in US$. Many times you have to pay to use the bathrooms and sometimes no toilet paper. Would recommend having small denominations of coins like 25, 50 cents to use and take toilet paper. You should tip 10% in restaurants. Our guides we tipped considerably more. 25-35% per couple. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
This "immersive" cruise to Cuba was perfect. It stopped in Havana for 3 days, then Cienfuegos and then an overnight in Santiago de Cuba. We were a bit taken back by the age of the ship at first but it was in excellent ... Read More
This "immersive" cruise to Cuba was perfect. It stopped in Havana for 3 days, then Cienfuegos and then an overnight in Santiago de Cuba. We were a bit taken back by the age of the ship at first but it was in excellent condition, the service was exceptional and the small size made it fast and easy to get ashore. Our only criticism was the inability to make reservations in the main dining room and occasionally mediocre food. We had a balcony cabin on Deck 7 that was quite spacious with a loveseat sized couch and coffee table in front of the sliding glass doors. The balcony was larger than most with a dining sized table and chairs. Room service servers routinely brought a white table cloth and we enjoyed meals on the balcony while in port. Though the bathroom was very small, it was perfectly adequate. There were plenty of outlets and USB ports near the beds for recharging. Internet service, though pricey, was the best we ever experienced on a ship. Dining is more limited than on some ships with the primary choices being the main dining room, the buffet or one of two specialty restaurants, one steak house and one Italian. The only dining room option was anytime dining with no reservations possible and on one evening we had a fairly lengthy wait. We appreciated the variety of options and the "theme" nights but the food was unpredictable - sometimes truly excellent (e.g. perfectly cooked steak) and sometimes "send it back" quality. We participated in one Chef's Table that was absolutely superb! Room service menu options, service and quality were extremely good. As expected for such a small ship (750 passengers) the entertainment was limited. A real highlight was that the two cruise directors doubled as entertainers and both were truly excellent. We really enjoyed Alicia Hill in both her entertainment and cruise director capacities. She seemed to know everyone on the ship. The White Night activity at which dinner was served poolside followed by dancing and entertainment proved to be really fun. Service was always fast and friendly and the crew went out of their way to accommodate requests. Standard drinks are included and there is no mandatory tipping. That said, we felt that the crew expected tips. Snacks and drinks were abundant. The crew was attentive, even to the point of remembering us and our preferences from one locale on the ship to another. We like wine and found the Sommeliers and wine list to be exceptional. The drawback to this wonderful ship and crew were the shore excursions in Cuba. We did two excursions when we arrived in Havana and both were dreadful. We don't fault the cruise line for this at all as both excursions were operated by the government with government employed tour directors, in government buses, that took us to government run restaurants and establishments. After day two, we figured out how to use private tours and find private restaurants and the rest of the trip was fantastic. We were very appreciative that we had a "floating hotel" to go home to every night and would recommend a cruise as a first trip to Cuba for anyone. We highly recommend this cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
This was our 1st cruise in 14 years, and we have been intrigued by Cuba for even longer. As new empty nesters and not yet retired, costs still are kind of a thing. Some of our choices reflect some effort at economy, which we found is ... Read More
This was our 1st cruise in 14 years, and we have been intrigued by Cuba for even longer. As new empty nesters and not yet retired, costs still are kind of a thing. Some of our choices reflect some effort at economy, which we found is achievable even on Azamara. Our past cruise experience had been on 2,000+ passenger behemoths; part of this review relates to the (first for us) small ship experience. For economy, we flew to Miami early on departure morning (a decision we'd like to have back as we were gambling with winter weather up north). Our Deck 6 midships cabin had an obstructed view through the window. We felt little ship motion, no vibraiton and we were well-insulated from public space noise by other cabins. The obstructed view meant a savings, but we could see well enough for us. We love the (little) R ships and we felt seeing the same staff and passengers lent a sense of collegiality and hominess. Sometimes some passangers might feel the activity selection was insufficient for their tastes - whether this is a legit concern really needs to be weighed in terms of cruise demographics. Our school-year sailing to Cuba meant that the average passenger age was about 66, with a pretty tight standard deviation. In our mid and late 50s, we were decidedly among the youngest on board. Now and then, all of the programmed activities were for an older age group. We were happy enough on our own, but not everyone would be. Azamara pays attention to the details. Embarkation and debarkation were a breeze and the food was outstanding. We did not do the upgraded restaurant or drink options; we are foodies and still do not feel it necessary as the food in the main dining room was great. Here is an interesting and important observation about food during dinners too: portions are modest and gluttons will be disappointed. To us that was fine, but might not be for everyone. There always is the buffet option, with rotating regional specialities each day. All you can eat there, but it lacks the ambience of the main dining room. Along this same vein, there only was a midnight buffet one light with late-ending nighttime shore excursions. Otherwise, no. Fine with us too. Another nice thing about the dining room was this: no assigned seats or times. You come when you want. If you like your waiter and remember his/her name, you can ask for that section but need not. The tables are close enough to strike up conversations with neighbors if you want, but one need not. We have recollections of assigned seats on other cruises with incompatible table-mates; we like Azamara's solution. Room service was included and perfect every time we used it (for coffee in the mornings). Tips are included in your fare; we tipped our room stewards and waiter anyway. Service from absolutely everyone was top-notch. We did the shore excursions sponsored by the cruise line and generally were very satisfied. Mind you, Cuba is new to tourism and Azamara is new to Cuba. Some growing pains were inevitable and showed. Overall, we feel we really learned a lot about the Cuban people and culture, which is why we went. There was one child on the boat, under the age of 20. She was two years old. This is not a cruise for young families or children. The boat simply is not equipped. We knew that and were happy. We definitely would go again on Azamara, on an R-ship (we love the smallness) but might do something a bit more tourism-experienced than Cuba next tme. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Cuba was the lure and Azamara offered the most intensive experience with 3 ports, Havana, Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba. I won't talk about Cuba much here as I wrote a photo review on the Celebrity board with 1700 photos. This is ... Read More
Cuba was the lure and Azamara offered the most intensive experience with 3 ports, Havana, Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba. I won't talk about Cuba much here as I wrote a photo review on the Celebrity board with 1700 photos. This is about the ship and the cruise line which was new to us. We sail medium size ships from the Princess and Celebrity lines and of course due to their size they have more variety to offer. Azamara excels in terms of providing an elegant and relaxing environment with less than 700 passengers. Even after 9 days on board we hadn't eaten in all their venues nor spent time in all the rooms on board. We adapted to the leisurely vibe on board and just a couple of days into the experience were already liking what we saw of Azamara. Would we sail with them again? Yes and have already booked a 7 day Rome to Venice in October 2020 which will include a 10 year Azamara anniversary meet up in Koper, Slovenia, with the other two ships in the fleet. We even booked the same aft cabin again. Cabins are small but well designed (back in the year 2000) and elegantly appointed. Elegant and tasteful are key words to describe the Journey. Soothing on the eye. We sailed with considerate adults who showed respect to each other. It's the staff that make a ship a home for a week and the staff are keen to be of service and represent the brand well. I had hoped they wouldn't be too formal or stiff and was delighted to find them loose and ready to laugh and smile without forcing. Very personable. The dining was the best we have enjoyed at sea, without the expense of a Specialty restaurant. Discoveries restaurant produced fine breakfasts lunches and dinners without fail. Surprises were two brunches, complete with live music and served by Officers. Highlights of the cruise! Even the pool cafe, the Patio, stood high above the deck fare on our other two lines of choice with expansive menus, table service and really well-prepared simple dishes. A good first impression was made on boarding- a glass of champagne, then relaxing on a pool deck without canned music and with thickly padded loungers with pillows, while waiters made sure your glass would not dry out. Only one announcement from the Captain and CD each day. Officers who greet you as they pass. Two unique Home Runs, apart from the Azamara trade-mark overnight port stays which first attracted us to the brand are the Azamazing Evening and White Night Party. Both smoothly executed considering 600 or more guests attended each event. In the case of Havana's Azamazing Evening we were all treated to an incredible performance by the Lizt Alfonso dancers which is one of the most passionate and moving performances we have seen outside of an Opera House or theater in the USA. Kudos Azamara! White Night, an on deck BBQ buffet with music and dancing was held on a warm evening tied up in Cienfuegos and we all got a chance to applaud the crew who were introduced in a parade. Azamara was pricy but included gratuities and basic beverages on board. I upgraded to an Ultimate Beverage package and had the choice of anything on the ship and that was a good move given my preferences. Entertainment is constrained somewhat in the evening shows by the showroom which is on one level so no tiered seating-get there early for the best views-but the artists and CD (Alicia Hill) give it their all. There are plenty of relaxing and cosy areas to sit with friends and enjoy coffee or a beverage aboard the ship , including a real library with books made from paper! Good first impressions continued day after day and there was no let-down. Just a great crew, steeped in the brand culture. They try to impress and with us succeeded and provided a very memorable experience. We have now added Azamara to our Princess and Celebrity roster of go-to cruise lines. Norris Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We picked this ship for 2 reasons: 1 - we like Azamara (this was our 4th cruise on Azamara) and 2 - we liked the itinerary, especially the 3 days in Havana. Unfortunately, the itinerary was changed prior to our sailing and we had only 1 ... Read More
We picked this ship for 2 reasons: 1 - we like Azamara (this was our 4th cruise on Azamara) and 2 - we liked the itinerary, especially the 3 days in Havana. Unfortunately, the itinerary was changed prior to our sailing and we had only 1 1/2 days in Havana and 2 days in Cienfuegos. One day in Cienfuegos would have been enough, and a second day in Santiago de Cuba would have been better. This was not Azamara's "fault" and we did not blame them. In Havana, Cienfuegos and Labadee (Haiti), we were docked; we tendered in Santiago de Cuba. The tenders ran frequently and was not a problem. We took only one Azamara excursion, a Jewish tour. We had very good presentations at the two synagogues we visited and a good appreciation of Jewish life in Cuba. Our tour guide tried, but was not well informed about Judaism, and got "defensive" when we pointed out mistakes in his presentation. The leaders at the synagogues were fantastic. At the other ports, we took private tours (Tours by Locals and Shoretrips). There were 4 of us traveling together and the private tours were the way to go; especially in Cuba! Our tour guides were well informed and deftly maneuvered us around crowded streets. Much to our delight, we were able to visit markets, historic sites and buildings, barber shops, 2 hair salons, a department store, etc. While most of the tour guides were "careful" in what they told us, I left Cuba with a much better sense of what day-to-day life is like for its citizens. Back on the ship, service was excellent. Servers even remembered what we liked to drink! There had been a G-I outbreak on the sailing previous to ours, so there were heightened precautions in effect (e.g. no self-serve at the buffet). The staff all took it in good stride. The Captain gave us a daily briefing on the number of cases reported, as well as a daily reminder to "wash our hands for 20 seconds." Fortunately, there was not a repeat outbreak on our sailing. The only negative about this cruise was the food. The food, even in the Aqualina specialty restaurant, was mediocre (Prime C was very good). In the Discoveries restaurant, I even had to send back a piece of meat that look like it had been run over by a car! Dinner buffets in the Windows Cafe were a disappointment. However, the food during White Night was good. Our last Azamara cruise was 2 years ago, and my recollection is that the food was much better on that sailing. Two months ago, we sailed on Windstar and that food was superior to Azamara's. We did not attend any of the shows. Lounge entertainment was okay. Announcements were kept to a minimum which we appreciated. The cruise director was available, but not a nuisance. We will sail Azamara again. Read Less
Azamara Journey Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 5.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 5.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 1.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 4.0 0.0
Service 5.0 0.0
Value For Money 5.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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