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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2014
This was our second time on Azamara having cruised on the Quest in October 2013. We were overwhelmed on our first trip and felt we had been spoilt for other cruise lines hence the reason we booked again. Unfortunately we did not feel the ... Read More
This was our second time on Azamara having cruised on the Quest in October 2013. We were overwhelmed on our first trip and felt we had been spoilt for other cruise lines hence the reason we booked again. Unfortunately we did not feel the same second time around. We noticed the first thing as soon as we stepped on board. Straight away the staff were 'hard selling' drinks packages and meal packages. We found this very off putting. My partner had already decided he was going to purchase the premium beer pack. My main complaint was Azamara's policy on the all inclusive drinks. They need to make a decision one way or the other on the wine policy. Each day there is a wine of the day. I only drink wine, I do not drink cocktails,spirits or beer. I am not a particularly fussy wine drinker but I can only drink dry white wines. On our first cruise this was not a problem. I was told I could request any wine but may have to wait. This was not a problem. Unfortunately this was not the case on Azamara on this trip. I was told on several occasions that I was only able to have the wine of the day. I decided to check this out with the wine manager Aldi. He informed me that this was incorrect that I could request any wine and if I had a problem to mention his name. This made absolutely no difference. I was faced with the same answer and felt it was a battle every time I requested a drink. Mariano in the Casino bar was the only member of staff to go out of his way and get me the wine I requested. On one occasion the barman stated that there was no dry white wine available. When I mentioned Aldi's name he the produced a bottle from the fridge! By this point I was getting really frustrated and it was starting to ruin my holiday. On the second to last night of our holiday we were in the main dining room with 4 friends having our evening meal. As soon as we sat down we were greeted with 'we have no sauvignon blanc ! The following day I realised that the staff had been discussing me! I was talking to a lovely waiter and telling him that it must be frustrating when they have awkward guests only to discover that I had been labelled one! He relayed the conversation in the restaurant the night before obviously not realising it was me. This really did upset me as I am nothing but courteous to staff and I had asked the bar manager what the policy on the wine was. This is seriously something Azamara need to clarify. I have serious doubts as to whether I will travel on Azamara again which is a shame as I sang their praises on the last cruise. Having said that we had an amazing holiday but that was due to the lovely people we met and have stayed in touch with.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2014
On my previous Azamara cruises, I was amazed. Unfortunately, this cruise was not amazing. I booked directly with Azamara in October. At that time I was told that if I booked my excursions on line at least 4 days prior to sailing, I would ... Read More
On my previous Azamara cruises, I was amazed. Unfortunately, this cruise was not amazing. I booked directly with Azamara in October. At that time I was told that if I booked my excursions on line at least 4 days prior to sailing, I would get a 25% discount. After I paid my final payment, I was told that the discount had been withdrawn without notice. I was upset. I wrote and called Azamara expressing my thoughts about the change hoping that somebody at Azamara might realize that changing the terms was an error. That did not happen. On the ship, I met several people who had the same experience. Some folks had been promised a 50% discount which did not happen. Not booking tours from Azamara was actually a good thing. I did a lot of research before sailing. I booked some private tours and found my way independently. I enjoyed the ports and had a great time doing my own thing. We booked our plane tickets from choice air because they were offering a $1000 discount per cabin if we used their service. Even though the fares were a bit higher than booking directly with the airline, the $1000 discount was too good to pass up. Our air arrangements were good. We had no problems with the air. We did meet people on the ship who did have problems. Choice Air emergency people helped them. I would use Choice Air again. We flew into LHR 4 days before the cruise. I booked a transport from Simply Airports which I have used previously to take us into the city. The fare was good compared to a black taxi. I Paid £37. However, their price to get to Southampton at £160 was high. We took the National Express Coach from Victoria Station to Southampton. Fare was £13 for both of us. I took a taxi on both ends because we had luggage. Total cost from hotel in London City to the ship was £37. It was easy. Embarkation was quick. Cabins were available at 1:30 pm. Our cabin was on deck 7 slightly forward. This was the 3rd time on the Journey staying on deck 7. Deck 7 is between 2 decks of cabins. Best place to be to avoid noise. Our cabin was nice and tidy. Furniture, carpeting, etc. has not been changed since my first time on the ship in 2009. It is showing signs of wear and tear. Cabins need a facelift. Bed was hard. Pillows were thin. After the first night, we had our steward put a foam pad on the bed and change the pillows. Our cabin service was excellent. The entertainment was fair. Richard Rubin was a crowd pleaser. His cabaret piano entertainment was good. Nathan the guitar player was awful. The production numbers were very good. We enjoyed the flutist, hypnotist, and magician. The white night party was fun. The Amazing Evening was not amazing. We missed the harpist and music on the pool deck. The enrichment speakers were okay if you were into British history. I would have expected more wine educated speakers on a wine cruise. There was no wine tasting event. The only tasting on the ship was the included wines for lunch and dinner. Some good, many fair, and some were awful. Often the bottles were screw tops. Since this was a wine cruise, I had expected local wines being served. That did happen on the ship. The Amazing Evening did serve local wine from Bordeaux. In general, the cruise needed more entertainment. The food was not nearly as good as our previous cruises. We often sent food back that was undercooked or cold. The MDR service was usually good. The best server was Victoria. We asked every night for a table for 2 by the window. In 14 nights, that never happened. I wanted to enjoy the view. Just one night? No!!!!! On our last afternoon in Lisbon, we ate lunch in the MDR at a window. Mosaic Cafe had Nespresso Coffee for an additional charge. Their regular coffee was okay. The trolley with pastry and small sandwiches was nice. The tea was the same as the regular dining service. No premium teas were offfered. The Windows Cafe was the usual buffet with a variety of choices. It was open for 3 meals a day. Dinner theme changed each evening. Nothing special We often went up there after dinner for dessert and coffee on the outdoor deck. Included drinks were okay. There is a sheet of complimentary beverages. Not sure why or why not some things were on or off the sheet. i tried a few cocktails. I usually stuck to Sprite Zero or bitter lemon with and without gin. Some people had a good time trying everything on the list. The included liquor was not an attraction for me. I prefer ice tea or sprite. Bottled water was provided with no limit. I enjoyed the bottled water and soft drinks in the fridge in the cabin. Once the cabin knew my preferences, he stocked the fridge with them. Laundry for us included 2 free bags as Discover level cruisers. You can stuff a lot into the bag. The clothes are returned ironed on hangers. The self service laundry room was very nice. However, the crowds were there all the time. Most people were good about waiting. I did see a fight between 2 people over a washer. They need more washers and dryers. There were 2 opportunities to fill a bag of wash for $30....decent price if we stuff the bag. With the discontinuation of the complimentary laundry from LCV, there will be more people trying to use the machines. Discontinuing the free laundry perk for Discoverer is not a good thing. Shuttles were used in many ports. They were usually on a 30 minute schedule. They did not run late. The drop off locations were okay. We tendered in Guernsey and St. Jean de Luz. The only convenient dock location was in Bordeaux near the Maritime Bourse( not the stock exchange bourse). Often we docked at industrial locations making you ride to where you wanted to be. What did we do? In Guersey we rode the public round the island bus. Cost is 1£. Fantastic value for a great ride. We also bought some stuff. Great shopping in a lovely town. In Nantes, we visited the Chateaux and Jardin. Both were excellent. The chateaux des Dukes has 2 museums. The jardin was gorgeous. We also saw the small Leger exhibit at the Oratory Chapelle. Bordeaux was my favorite port. Visited the Muse des Beaux arts, the jardins, the monuments, and walked the pedestrian zones. Trams and bus service is great. Took a private tour to St, Emillion and visited wineries. Shopping was very good. Bordeaux is beautiful. Missed St Jean because of high seas. Some people tendered. Some got hurt. After that, they discontinued tender service. Ship moved to Bayonne. Bayonne was a nice small town. Rode the free Navette getting on and off. The Basque Muse was wonderful. Bayonne is not a touristy town. It was a pleasure to visit. Bilbao. Took the ship shuttle which left us off close to the Guggenheim museum. Visiting was better than expected. The exhibits were good. The Richard Serra room is spectacular. The Goerge Braque exhibit was excellent. The Yoko Ono exhibit was strange. Ate a tapas lunch at the museum. 3 tapas and a drink for 9€ was an excellent value. We also walked to the muse des Beaux des Fine Arts which was a block away. The asian exhibit was outstanding. In Porto, we took the red hop on hop off bus. Did the 2 hour ride. Nice trip for 10€. in Lisbon, we had a few hours. Took the shuttle, walked around and went back to the ship. Azamara says that You Will Love Where We Take You. I loved the ports. I got tired having to take shuttles to get to where I really wanted to be. Bordeaux was the only port where we docked at a convenient location. I enjoyed my trip. Mostly because of the places we visited. I was not thrilled with cruise. It was too expensive for what you got. I expected a cruise as good as my previous cruises on the Journey. It fell short on many levels. The worst was the food. I lost weight. I can overlook minor details....a bad water, a poor excursion, a stained tablecloth, etc. i cannot excuse bad food. I will not be sailing on Azamara soon. There are many choices in cruising that offer a better experience. Azamara lost me. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2014
chose choice air w/ azamara so I was delivered smoothly to the ship. the rep was not there to meet me so I had to find info desk and ended up w/ the hk police who tracked down the rep. lots of apologies and I am put in a cab and whisked to ... Read More
chose choice air w/ azamara so I was delivered smoothly to the ship. the rep was not there to meet me so I had to find info desk and ended up w/ the hk police who tracked down the rep. lots of apologies and I am put in a cab and whisked to the ship. boarding ship a breeze. since I cruise annually I have my routine -- ck to see if I can get into cabin. if not, check out the spa and from the moment I entered the spa my cruise went downhill. Holland America(hal) princess, rci,,ncl, oceania all offer an indoor 'sanctuary' in the spa usually for $100-120 per week. I was appalled to see what azamara offered -- an out door Jacuzzi w/ deck chairs. why in anyone's logic would I rent an outdoor Jacuzzi when I can go to the top deck and get one free. all the other lines mentioned offer soothing heated tile beds (except ncl, but they have a thermal pool, Jacuzzi and a lap pool and their lounge chairs overlook the ocean. I became committed to hal when I entered their room tiled in blue and white w/ flowers around the Jacuzzi and the phenomenal turquoise tiled beds headed to perfection. the huge floor length windows let the sun reflect off the ocean creating patterns on the ceiling. there r steam rooms, too. aza says they r a luzury ship - there spa is not only hohum it ls tacky. if u don't care about the spa this won't apply to u, but I go every evening to relax before bed. Disappointed. next the lunch buffet. adequate. nothing spectacular. Luzury ship? not in the spa or the buffet. finally settle into my cabin. I was thrilled to hear - no cutesy towel animals - 2 stewards. hal and oceania give me one steward and that's enuf. these two ran in and out pestering me w/ questions- did I want this, did I want that ,,,,, I finally told then I wanted them to get out from under my feet so I could unpack. 2 stewards created chaos and clutter. another marketing ploy that fell flat. it's only my first day and if I had to sum up my entire trip in one word it would be DISAPPOINTMENT. if u travel solo, like me, aza offers a mingle w/other singles dinner the second night w/ a crew member. very nice. after that u can meet a 6 ea nite and meet singles and join them for dinner at 7. unfortunately, ordering dinner at 7 -- soup/salad arrived at 7;15 and dinner at 7:50. don't plan to see the early theatre performance that starts at 8:15 unless u r a speed-eater and that defeats the purpose of meeting new folk over sustenance. the late show is at 10 or 10:30 -- too late for me .if I wanted to see a show and I only got to two in 2 weeks I had to order room service. good news. u can order from the dining room menu and have it delivered to your cabin, this is also a perk if u have been on a 10 hr. shore excursion and all u want to do is settle into your cabin for the evening. shore excursions marketed as land discoveries r a joke. I piled onto a bus w/ 50 others and drove to the site. disembarked w/many other buses and joined the hoards of tourists from our ship and others all following their tour guide dutifully thru the temple or palace or whatever. trust me renaming a tour does not change it from the hundreds of other tours I've been on w/ other ships. they r all the same. crowded and touristy. nothing special here except they r over priced. an identical tour on hal would cost half as much. I screwed up my courage and asked other tourists from other ships if they had paid what I paid. rip off!!!! not only that if u get a lemon for a guide and demand a refund. I did this twice. I was only given 25% of the overpriced shore excursion refunded. that is aza policy. Disappointed. Food - in the dining room excellent. good service, but slow. and yes, as advertised the maître de will have remembered your name after only one visit, if u care about that sort of thing. more marketing. in the buffet the food is equal to princess, rci and ncl, not hal or orceania. I was in japan and they served frozen tuna. and the seaweed salad came in bulk containers. no fresh food like oceania. food joined the ship when I did. Disappointed. I live in Vancouver and I know where I will get fresh fish and where I will get frozen sushi. Luzury ship? I don't think so. oceania serves fresh food purchased daily like a river cruise. azamazing evenings -- oh so touristy. I felt like I was on a trafalger tour which doesn't pretend to be luxury level. the hi light of the trip for me was pulling into Tokyo at 7 am and being serenaded by taiko drummers sitting on my balcony sipping my morning coffee. again, coming from Vancouver I am well aquainted w/ taiko drumming and thoroughly enjoy it. sooooo when azamazing promised taiko drumming I was thrilled. twice in one day - what a blessing. Disappointed. these drummers were high school students, not professionals. then we had a play again w/ high school students. there was a man who would write your name on a serviette in Japanese letters. oh please. and a man who made candy and distributed it. it was a joke. yakatori was served. it was edible. there was sumo wrestles there, but I am not a fan so I can't review them. I ran to get the first bus out. it was packed, but being petite folk made room for me when I pleaded "pls. don't make me wait here for a half hour." people were kind. i had planned to cruise for another two weeks, but the ship's propeller broke and we were flown to shanghai and home. tks god I had bought choice air. I met folk who were really upset at trying to change reservations on their own to get home 2 weeks early. Now i move out of Disppointment and into Disgust. we were told we would receive a refund for the two days of the tour missed by the ship's staff. a group of yellow-shirted "care" team flew in the next day. I thought they cared about me, but no they cared about their company reputation. that became apparent all too quickly when we were informed - no refund - we had never been promised a refund - we would get 25% off a cruise taken next year if we booked it in 2014. they lied!!!! for those of us booked for 2 more weeks we received a full refund and 75% discount if we cruised in 2015. that was tempting. the insanity continues.. I cruised in feb. I got my 75% off certificate in April. the 25% taxed my ta's patience to the max. it took her a ridiculous number of calls and emails and FINALLY she got an email in OCTOBER for the 25% discount. I had no intention of using it, but it was the principle. I was promised a credit in feb. and I got it after a my t.a. fought for it, in oct. . this is not luxury cruise customer service that they brag about in their marketing. disembarkation was chaotic and insane. letters flew under my door w/ insufficient info or wrong info. the night b4 disembarkation i got 5 letters. the stress caused in the last two days by the 'care team' reduced me to tears. I had to break down before I got any caring. a lovely woman, dianne, and a gentle man, colin listened while I cried out my fear and frustration. I will be forever grateful to them. altho, as I write this I realize aza caused my stress. their hopeless handling made a unfortunate occurance chaotic by their incompetence. we were put up in the shanghai hyatt, a luxury hotel that served a great buffet breakfast and aza covered the hotel and meals. I flew home the next day. in summary, my cabin was a sanctuary for me since I couldn't access the spa. breakfast on the balcony is grand. they had taped british tv series on the tv and I am a big fan of british mysteries. ordering from the dining room menu and curling up w/ a br. mystery was a relaxing experience after a long day of touring. some of the tours were worth while and once I got a tour guide w/ a thorough knowledge of shinto and buddism, the primary religions of japan. I was lucky enough to see a bride donning a traditional Shinto wedding gown. she was lovely. we saw a turn-of the century village in Taiwan and I played w/ some friendly, but frisky monkeys. the ship itself is ho-hum. I will cruise occeania (true luxury) any day and Holland America, altho that is a step down, it's a small step. it's not the broken propeller that ruined my sense of aza. I was disappointed from the first day. it is their false advertising and horrific lack of customer care that solidified my opinion of azamara as dishonest marketers who don't deliver on their promises. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2013
I had high hopes of the cruise on the Azamara Journey from Mumbai to Athens, and my overnight British Airways flight from Heathrow, and stay the following night in the Vivanta by Taj President hotel in Mumbai, were excellent. Unfortunately ... Read More
I had high hopes of the cruise on the Azamara Journey from Mumbai to Athens, and my overnight British Airways flight from Heathrow, and stay the following night in the Vivanta by Taj President hotel in Mumbai, were excellent. Unfortunately it went rapidly downhill from there. The boarding at the passenger terminal was shambolic, and when I finally got to my Balcony Stateroom I found a letter from the Captain, Johannes Thysse, informing me that I would be unable to use my balcony or the open decks after sundown for the majority of the cruise. This was part of the security arrangements, and it was clear that Azamara had made these arrangements months previously but had not told any of the passengers before boarding. Since many cruisers, like myself, enjoy being at sea because it gives us a chance to watch the stars, free from the light and noise pollution of cities, I can only conclude that Azamara deliberately did not inform us because they knew we would not book the cruise if they did. I paid a considerable sum for the cruise and I expected full disclosure on the part of the cruise company; there was no disclosure of any kind. The cabin was pleasant, with a decent sized balcony, but the bathroom, and the shower in particular, was very cramped; it was impossible to take a shower without ending up with the shower curtain sticking to me and water all over the floor. There was a ceiling to floor mirror opposite the bed which made the room look rather tacky; it's probably just as well that I didn't know about the 'Swingers Cruise' until I read about it today on Cruise Critic! The first port was Fujairah, and I took the half day excursion up the East Coast to Dibba where three of the Emirates meet; Fujairah itself is the only mountainous part of the region with spectacular ranges of grey black rocks broiling under the sun. Some passengers took the very expensive trip to Dubai but I was uninterested; there are so many cheap holidays available in Dubai nowadays that it's certainly not worth a long coach drive. If I were going to buy an expensive land excursion I would have preferred a day wadi bashing but Azamara did not offer it. There followed the bulk of our sea days, and our claustrophobic sea nights; as we moved up the Red Sea the weather forecast worsened so the once-a-voyage White Night deck party was rescheduled from the Med to before the Canal transit. This was a great success for all the people I spoke to. My primary reason for booking the cruise was the Suez Canal transit; Azamara claims that it gives passengers the opportunity to immerse themselves in the culture of the places it cruises to and through. Unfortunately the information provided about the Suez Canal transit was rather less than could be gleaned from 5 minutes on Wikipedia, and although the 'destination specialist' promised he would be providing detailed commentary from the bridge, this turned out to be intermittent and inaudible. And just as we moved into the Great Bitter Lake he disappeared entirely to give a talk on Santorini, notwithstanding the fact that there was another sea day before we reached the island when he could have done so. It is difficult to see any reason for doing this other than Azamara hoping to sell excursions on the island, whilst failing to provide the service it had promised. It was particularly disappointing for me because I was born at one of the many RAF bases which lined the Suez Canal, in my case Abyad which lay to the west of the Great Bitter Lake near to Mount Shubra. We were left with no information at all about the Great Bitter Lake, nor were we provided with any maps of the Canal until, following my complaints, some were downloaded from the Web and distributed after the transit was completed, along with our Certificates of Transit signed by the Captain. By the time we moved out into the Med the weather had noticeably worsened and by the time we reached Santorini there was even some rain. The excursion I had pre booked with Azamara was cancelled and I was not prepared to pay for the very expensive day tour they were pushing; instead I went in on the tender and took the cable car up to Fira, where I managed to get lost several times in the narrow winding streets looking for the various museums I was interested in. I was rescued each time by fellow passengers, and finally threw in the towel, returned to the ship and spent the rest of the day taking photographs from the ship! The transfer from the Port in Piraeus to Athens airport went well, and my flight back to Heathrow was well timed so I did not have to hang around waiting. In general the crew were exceedingly pleasant and hardworking, though somewhat unsophisticated; for example, the restaurant service was noticeably slower for tables which were mostly women than mostly men. That doesn't happen in central London, where I live. The food was mostly good, but not exceptional; I didn't try either of the special restaurants so I cannot comment on them. I would advise against ordering scrambled eggs or omelets since the chefs didn't know the difference between them. The spa staff who provided massages etc were pleasant and competent, but the prices were more expensive than in central London, which has some of the most expensive real estate prices in the world. The compulsory 18% service charge on spa services was ludicrous, given that the duty free prices were already more expensive than the non-duty free prices in central London. My fellow passengers were a delight; I met some wonderful people from quite a wide variety of backgrounds, which certainly made for interesting conversations. It seems to me that the problem lies with Azamara in that it is trying to position itself in the market without being prepared to do the things which will justify the hype; cultural immersion requires people who both understand and respect the cultures you are interacting with. For example, the monument built by the French commemorating the defence of the Canal during the Great War was simply ignored by the person who was supposed to be informing us of its history, yet without it Britain and it's allies would probably have lost the war. Egypt was defended primarily by Muslims in the Indian Infantry; the Turks had declared Jihad, hoping that both the Indian soldiers and the Muslim Egyptians would join them when they attacked. Instead they were thrown back with great gallantry and the course of history was changed. Instead of cultural immersion we had the ship's officers handing out ice-creams to passengers; not even the undoubted charisma of the cruise director, Eric de Grey, who did a magnificent job of leading from the front, can make up for all the other failures, which included failing to provide an itemised account of my on board spending. I waited for my credit card statement to arrive, and it looks vaguely right. I can't envisage sailing with Azamara again, and I would not recommend it to a friend. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2012
The Azamara cruise from Mumbai India to Chennai India lasting some 13 days was NOT a luxury cruise nor a luxury ship. SHIP. Poorly maintained, worn out, interior and many areas of poor care, no paint, covered rust etc...throughout the ... Read More
The Azamara cruise from Mumbai India to Chennai India lasting some 13 days was NOT a luxury cruise nor a luxury ship. SHIP. Poorly maintained, worn out, interior and many areas of poor care, no paint, covered rust etc...throughout the ship. ROOM. Dirty in many areas including the deck and fixtures inside the cabin. AC works poorly. Broken parts there were fixed. FOOD. Slightly below what is served at Carnival. The 2 areas to eat that cost an extra $25 each per night were nice but not outstanding. SERVICE. What service. The cabin boys were efficient. At each port including the first one in Mumbai there was confusion often bordering on silly. Was there not someone who set up the ports ahead of time? There was NO information aboard the ship about the ports beyond what they were willing to sell as an excursion. This was not a luxury cruise line. Even if the ship was beautiful it appeared everywhere the ship docked was like an adventure for everyone. There was confusion in harbors, broken lines attaching us to the shore, hidden leadership but a lasting impression upon the patrons on board the ship. This is to be avoided. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2010
The Journey is a lovely ship and we were pleased with the roominess of our interior stateroom. Our cabin stewards were wonderful and without them keeping us supplied with complimentary sodas and water we probably would have been totally ... Read More
The Journey is a lovely ship and we were pleased with the roominess of our interior stateroom. Our cabin stewards were wonderful and without them keeping us supplied with complimentary sodas and water we probably would have been totally dehydrated. We found it took so long to get drink service in the buffet dining room that we took our own sodas to meals with us and my husband would get our own water. Otherwise we were usually finished eating before we would get a beverage from the servers. We ate mainly in the buffet dining room because we only once saw something on the menu in the main dining room that we wanted to try. We did eat dinner in the main dining room two times. The desserts were beautifully presented and the ones I tried were very good. The vegetables were so overcooked that they were inedible. The food in the buffet was not very appealing and at breakfast was usually cold. We usually resorted to having the stir fry for dinner and omelets for breakfast, but there were problems with the hot plates on both sides where only one seemed to be working properly so it took awhile to get food even there. On the first day at sea we where unable to find a seat either in the dining room or on deck and had to sit on the edge of the pool to eat. There were clearly not enough seats to accommodate everyone on board. This was the first cruise I've been on where I lost weight. The evening entertainment was uninspired and the venue could not accommodate everyone. There is only one show a night. One night's entertainment was a small screen showing of "The Ten Commandments." It's a 3-1/2 hour movie that they started at 8:30 p.m. There were about six people in attendance and no drink service or snacks. The port information was sketchy and not terribly helpful. You should consider yourself to be totally on your own as to what you'll need to do to get around while you are in a particular port. For example, in Sorrento the staff said to have 1.4-1.5 euros to pay the bus driver to get to the train station. In fact you cannot pay a bus driver in Italy, you must purchase a ticket before you ever get on the bus and it was 2.5 euros. I found it interesting that when I asked one of the cruise director's staff a question about transportation in Sorrento she responded that she preferred to sit and have a nice meal and a drink instead of rushing around a port. That gives you an idea of the food on the ship as well as the staffs interest in seeing the world and becoming knowledgeable about their jobs. As far as Azamara's claim that they provide free transportation in port, I never heard anything about it. I only did one excursion through Azamara, the rest I did with private groups. I did the Journey to Lindos tour which was fine, although it was the only tour I did where the guide did not accompany us up the steps to Lindos. Instead she told us about it and sent us up to look around on our own for an hour or so. Bottom line: Azamara has a great itinerary with its Holy Land cruise. If you're looking for transportation and don't want to unpack every few days it's a great opportunity to visit some very historical places. With their current pricing I don't consider Azamara a good value for the money, given the quality of food, entertainment and knowledgeability of the cruise director's staff. I will go back to cruising with Holland America whom I consider to be the gold standard of cruise lines. Ashdod - Very interesting, but if you've been to other Holocaust museums I would skip the one here. There is so much to see in Jerusalem that I wish we had skipped the museum and spent more time in the walled city You will need shekels, they don't take dollars and the credit card machines are frequently broken. ATM's are few and far between and your bank card may not work. Our card was the only one that worked out of three tried; one from the US and one from the UK did not work. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2009
We did a 12 night Baltic Cruise on the Azamara Journey and would like to provide a review. Our travel agent told us she would like us to try Azamara as Celebrity was trying to target the Oceania and Silverseas crowd. She was incorrect on ... Read More
We did a 12 night Baltic Cruise on the Azamara Journey and would like to provide a review. Our travel agent told us she would like us to try Azamara as Celebrity was trying to target the Oceania and Silverseas crowd. She was incorrect on both counts. Azamara is for the crowd who have done Celebrity, Princess, Norwegian, Holland Americian,NCL,and others in that genre. Having said that, if you have done these lines you will probably like or love this line. It has a long way to catch up with Oceania and as for Silverseas there can be no comparison as it is like comparing apples with oranges. Azamara is a "poor man's Oceania." If you can get the same price on Oceania then go with Oceania as you will see the difference in every department e.g. maintenance, service, amenities, food,bedding and so on. One disturbing quality we observed on Azamara was the total absence of cleaning of public places e.g staircase railings, rest rooms, elevator panel and railings. On Oceania this is a constant and reassuring sight. We paid $11,000 US for our Sky Suite and met a lovely young man who paid $900.00 for his cabin. When there is this disparity in pricing the company has not defined its target customer and it shows!! Upon arrival there was no one at the bottom of the gangplank to assist us with our luggage we were expected to haul it up ourselves. When disembarking in ports of call there was a crew member dressed up as a rabbit or other infantile character to greet you as you disembarked. There were no children on the ship, this was the tone set for the cruise. The cruise director and crew spoke down to us and overall treated us in a very infantile way. It became old very quickly! The cruise director and staff constantly told the customers how wonderful the crew were in their capacity to provide outstanding service. They did this either in person, over the public address system or at gatherings. Approximately 2 days before the end of the cruise a questionaire was sent to each cabin to assess the cruise. From that point on we were beaten into submission to complete that questionaire. There were constant reminders over the TV, at any entertainment gathering, at dinner by your waitstaff. They were relentless, and finally offered a raffel of a free dinner at one of the speciality restaurants to get people to complete the form. The butler service was a joke.  He was a cabin attendant dressed up in a tuxedo and we rarely saw him, and when we did ask for afternoon tea he told us we had to fill out a form the morning of or the day before and be physically present in our cabin when it arrived the next day...yes! he was serious! Breakfast in our room was cold so we didn't do it again after the second try.The beds were not exceedingly uncomfortable but by no means would I say luxury bedding or exceedingly comfortable.  The food was good but there was no cuisine in sight. The staff were very friendly and did  what was required for their positions,  but there was no service on this ship.  On our contract (which I had with me) it stated ,"gratuities included". When our final bill arrived, the gratuities had been added, so I spoke to a senior person in the guest relations department.  This is the "service" I received:  I had to make multiple trips to that department and often the person was not there, even though we had made an appointment.  Never once did the person say she would come to our suite! The friendly persona disappeared when they saw my contract, however, they would not honor it and said there "had been a mix-up," but were still charging my credit card. Our departing flight left early and we had booked the ship's transport to the airport.  We were notified a few days before the end of the cruise they could not accomodate us due to our early flight and were cancelling our booking . No apologies, just a message in our suite.  No offer to provide an alternative.  When I did ask if they could order me a taxi when we arrived, they said no, but there would probably be taxi's at the port. There was no offer to assist or organize our luggage upon departure. I saw our "butler" in the hallway and told him to assist me, he did so reluctantly. I hope this review is helpful to you in choosing your cruise line. In a nutshell, if you can afford Oceania go with it as Azamara is not in the same league. If you can't afford Oceania and have cruised with the above stated lines you will probably enjoy this experience. If you have done Silverseas you will be totally dissatisfied with the Azamara experience. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2008
My wife and I loved Renaissance Cruise Line ships - 678 passengers, no children under 16, no formal dining, open dining hours, 24 hour full menu access, small out of the way ports and super friendly crew. They traveled the Mediterranean ... Read More
My wife and I loved Renaissance Cruise Line ships - 678 passengers, no children under 16, no formal dining, open dining hours, 24 hour full menu access, small out of the way ports and super friendly crew. They traveled the Mediterranean and, after 9/11 went bankrupt - no one was traveling to that area of the world. They had 7 ships and 2 (the oldest two)were purchased by Celebrity and put into service. We knew the layout of the ship, having sailed on them 4 previous cruises under Renaissance. Since Azamara was a new startup, we used a travel agent to set up the trip. I glad we did, because booking the cruise took some time and some restarts. I booked 7 shore excursions by internet 6 months before the cruise and signed up for a one day post stay in Copenhagen to give us an opportunity to tour the city. I also upgraded to business class since the flight over was a red eye. I purchased trip interruption insurance through the agency in case Azamara didn't make it. Always a good idea. If a cruise line goes bankrupt and you have insurance through them, it is invalid and you are stuck! I requested room 7000 or 7001 which are directly under the bridge (little noise) and over other cabins. They face forward so you can see both sides of the vessel as you cruise! I thought I was set! The company billed my credit card and I looked periodically on the internet to arrange for specialty dining room reservations. Not allowed! But I did find a post that ALL previously confirmed shore excursions were cancelled!!! No reason, no proposed resolution, just CANCELLED! The travel agency could get no information either. No one at Azamara customer service knew ANYTHING about it! This would set a tone for customer service. Weeks later, I received notice that my shore excursions were rebooked with an alternate subcontractor. This proved to be an omen, since, with one exception, the tours were singularly POOR. (on our first tour, we boarded buses that took us exactly 4 blocks and discharged us for 3 hours while we walked the town and then transported us 4 blocks back to the ship! I was sent the typical pre-cruise packet where I filled in multitudes of information and set up a payment method for my onboard account. Now, I thought I was really ready to go! In December, I called the travel agent to get flight information and make sure my wife and I were seated in business class and together. She called Azamara and found that we were business class, but sitting together on only 2 of the 4 flights. Azamara said they could do nothing (customer service). I asked the travel agent to get me the flight numbers and times and confirmations numbers and I called Delta and within 5 minutes had adjacent seating. Apparently Azamara just didn't want to take the time to call! Well May 16th 2008 came and we started our Journey. The flight went well and we were glad we spent the additional money to upgrade to business. The seats folded flat and I actually slept comfortably! Kudos to Delta! We arrived to Barcelona, quickly cleared customs and met the Azamara reps at the airport. We gave them our bags and boarded a bus to the pier where we used our preboarding information to quickly go aboard. We had packed sever bottles of wine in our checkins and, although the ship's policy was to confiscate them, they made it to our room. In every 2 or three ports we would restock some of the local wine. As long as you keep it IN your cabin, there are no repercussions. We recognized the ship from our Renaissance days. Other than a change of artwork and renaming of the bars and restaurants, the ships were the very same, and I mean the very same! The ship looked a lot worn. We had problems with plumbing malfunctions 3 separate days, and our "Butler" service - Danhoo and Jose'- proved much less than qualified or personable. Three evenings, I had to go in search of hand cloths for the shower that were not included in the room cleanup. I want to "customer service" and requested a new set of room attendants and was refused, but was told that their manager would have a "talk with them!" Needless to say, we were persona non grata thereafter. We visited 11 ports in 7 countries including Valencia, Almeria, and Bilbao Spain, Lisbon Portugal, Bordeaux and Sr. Malo France, the Isle of Gurnsey, Amsterdam Holland, London England (A highlight where we moored in the middle of the Thames about 100 yards downstream from the "Tower Bridge"), the Kiel Canal, and Copenhagen Denmark. Our slated stop at La Rochelle France was cancelled due to the threat of a strike (never happened). Only the ship excursion at St Malo France that took us to the extraordinary Saint Mont Michael was worth the trip. All other ports were fully walkable and had tourist information facilities with coupons, maps and approved personal guides at the port. The food in the specialty restaurants were incredible and presentation made them almost too beautiful to eat. Food in the main dining room was just average, offerings at the buffet were to be expected, however, a poolside grill had Kababs, excellent burgers, various wursts fries and baked potatoes. It was open from 11 AM to 6 PM. Ship policy forbid "reservation" of seating anywhere from the theaters to restaurants to pool chairs. This was NEVER enforced and, despite requests from staff to open seats, we were ignored. Therefore I moved the "paperback" on the pool lounge chair that had been there 20 minutes and occupied the seat myself, only to be confronted 40 minutes later by a person who had just finished a leisurely breakfast and came to claim her seat. Many a huff was heard. The customer service counter was undermanned and usually had long lines, especially when going from one country to the next, when currency exchange took place. Be forewarned that, although several countries have large denominations in coin form, and despite the fact there is no signage saying so, the customer service folks will NOT exchange coinage. They have a convenient box on the counter where you can donate to their chosen charity. The Captain made a very poor decision. He had announced that the Kiel canal had one of its two locks down for service and that the trip through may be longer than our itinerary indicated. We were leaving from London at 7 AM for the canal. We could have left during the night. The extra time would have gotten us at the canal hours ahead and allowed us to get in line. NO! We left 1/2 hour early because there was a bus trip to Hamburg that would depart from the entrance to the canal and meet the ship at the end. We were hours behind and the bus trip hit traffic and was late getting to the ship, so the ship slowed down through the canal allowing other ships to pass. We picked up the 32 sightseers at 1:30 AM which made us later still. The next morning, pandemonium took over while the customer service tried to determine who would and who would not miss their flights, while they rebooked people (some two days later) and booked the stranded in hotels. We weren't worried, because we had booked the additional room. We got to the port and the color and number coded bag tags were abandoned. We tried to get a cab to our hotel so we could use the little remainder of the day to do some sightseeing, but we were not permitted off! Finally, I argued with an officer and was permitted to disembark, find my luggage, fight for a cab and get to the Marriott. Yep, the troubles weren't over yet! The hotel had no record of reservations for the 7 couples who had prebooked post cruise rooms. The Azamara local representative had no authority to guarantee the room payment and Celebrity/Azamara customer service in Miami was closed (no 24 hour coverage. I am a Marriott gold member, so at 4:30 PM they gave me a room. We had 3 hours to sightsee on a Sunday evening - Everything closes at 4. When I got home, I called Azamara and said that the reason I booked an extra day was to get an entire day in Copenhagen, The Captain's decision to accommodate the Hamburg bus trip caused the arrival delay. All stranded travelers had their room comped and we 7 who had paid $350 for a room in order to see the city couldn't do so. I then asked for a refund of the room cost but was curtly told that the problem was with Marriott(???) and that I got what I paid for - a room for the night. I love the Renaissance ships and IOceania has 4 of them which they totally upgraded before they put them in service. I'll not get on a Celebrity brand, especially Azamara, soon. Oceania will be my well deserved pick. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2007
We were looking forward to a great cruise experience on the newly created Azamara Line. This was my 20th cruise so I was anxious to experience an upscale cruise. I couldn't quite tell what made the cruise "upscale" our ... Read More
We were looking forward to a great cruise experience on the newly created Azamara Line. This was my 20th cruise so I was anxious to experience an upscale cruise. I couldn't quite tell what made the cruise "upscale" our butler was merely a room steward in a tux. The dining room food was good but not as good as some other ships and comparable to most. The size of the ship was very nice and the open seating dining with no dressup nights was very nice. I had sailed on the Paul Gaugain the previous year and had expected a similar experience. But this did not compare. Cabins are small, the first cabin we were in the bathroom was moldy. I complained and it was cleaned somewhat but the dirty toothbrush was left on the sink. We were moved to a different cabin. The restaurant service was excellent at times and poor at times. The buffet was never crowded and the food was quite good but the concept of no trays was something I did not like. Carrying your coffee cup to the table, then getting your first course, then getting up to refill your coffee, hoping your dishes wouldn't be cleared (which did happen), while you were getting something else was a problem. Toward the end of the cruise carafes of coffee were placed on the table which was a help. The small pool bar which was open during the afternoon would become very crowded and usually only one person manned it, the crowd became very aggressive. The public rooms were lovely and pool area was very nice. Almost never a problem finding a lounge. The entertainment was OK but the seating arrangement made it extremely difficult to see the stage. We had booked a prepackage which included airport transfers. We, as well as many others whom we met outside the airport, were not met and had to arrange our own transfers to the hotel. In our case our luggage did not arrive with us and we really needed the cruise representative to make sure that when they did arrive they would be sent to the ship. The concierge at the hotel tried to contact the local representative for cruise line all day with no one answering. We also originally purchased transfers to the airport from the ship with our original booking. When we were sent the information regarding shore excursions, we booked the one day trip to the Falls and the Full day in Buenos Aries with airport drop off. The Falls trip was cancelled and when I went to Guest services the tell them I had paid for a transfer which I wouldn't be using because the excursion included airport drop off I was told to turn in my voucher and they would reimburse me, but they did not know how much because the price would be less than I paid because they received a group discount. I didn't care, but when I contacted Royal Caribbean after I arrived home I was told that without the voucher they could do nothing. All in all it was nice to get away and had I not had high expectations it would have been a good cruise. One thing that made the cruise unpleasant was the majority of passengers we encountered were very disappointed and were extremely vocal with their complaints. I do feel that by the end of the 12 days the experience was improving. I just felt like I was on a training cruise and they were learning as they went along. But they did listen to complaints. Not sure I would do it again at least at the current prices. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2007
We booked the new Azamara Journey as soon as the announcement was made that Celebrity had acquired one of the "R" ships and was going to invest in a new "Upscale" line. We had just come off the Tahitian Princess where ... Read More
We booked the new Azamara Journey as soon as the announcement was made that Celebrity had acquired one of the "R" ships and was going to invest in a new "Upscale" line. We had just come off the Tahitian Princess where we were pampered to no end in their Owners Suite and were sure that the new Celebrity product was going beat the Princess "re-do" hands down. And of course they did in many ways. The cova cafe,their signature pastry and cappuccino bar, is always a treat. Azamara like Celebrity has the most incredible staff that seems to be able to anticipate your every need and is extremely friendly. The new pool chairs and the buffet area for breakfast and lunch are beautiful. The alternative dining areas are also beautifully redone as is the main dining room and the casino. However, our suite left much to be desired. It looked the same as it did when the ship was built. We walked into our quite expensive suite, and I almost cried. There was a small white dorm refrigerator with its wires sticking out sitting on the floor right in front of the little table that you put your keys on. There were only 2 chairs at the scarred day-one dining table,the deck had two miss-matched white plastic deck chairs that barely fit on it- and no cushions. The furniture was original, torn, and had the original accent pillows, the carpet was original and stained, the curtains I think were new because the were badly hung and dragged on the floor. There was no desk or vanity chair and the "new console" that held the "new" flat screen tv with all its wires sticking out did not fit the wall it was on, so you could not reach the curtain to close the drapes. All they had done to the room basically, was change the bedding! The lamps were old and tipped sideways and one was broken. Then we were informed that there was no formal night, our butler was the butler for the entire floor, he was also the cabin steward, so he was so busy, you didn't dare ask him to serve an in- room meal, something you book a Royal Suite for! Halfway through the cruise the "Hotel Manager" sent out a questionnaire asking guests how they were doing. We had heard many passengers grumbling about the open seating, the expensive drinks, and the lack of a formal night. I wrote all this on my comment card along with my disenchantment with my room...we were invited down for a little conference. It seemed that his main concern was with the water on the carpet that I had mentioned on the questionnaire!(something I almost didn't put down, it had been there as a result of a storm) I asked him who his target customer was. His reply was -the Renaissance customer. Well---If they want that customer, they had better start including wine with dinner and stop adding 18% to all the bar tabs along with the little line under it for an extra tip! They also will need to serve the food that they offer in their Specialty restaurants in their main dining room and they will have to stop gouging their passengers $50.00 per couple to eat a decent meal in the specialty restaurant! In response to the "Hotel Manager-I asked him to take a look at our cruise folio- we had spent quite a considerable amount of money on board- not to mention how much we had spent in the casino- we had paid in full for our cabin, no questions asked, are we not the kind of cruiser he wanted on board? Are our opinions or thoughts not valid? He simply did not care- I wrote a letter to the President of Celebrity, including photos of our cabin, in November-Again, there has been no response. I am worried that the changes we saw on the Azamara are going to spread across the Celebrity line. We are booked on Royal for Spring and Celebrity for Fall. We will See. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2007
We departed on the Oct 20 departure of the Azamara Journey from Bayonne, NJ. The first step after checking in was a short bus ride to ship. After the easy and fast check-in, things went rapidly downhill. Azamara is trying to position ... Read More
We departed on the Oct 20 departure of the Azamara Journey from Bayonne, NJ. The first step after checking in was a short bus ride to ship. After the easy and fast check-in, things went rapidly downhill. Azamara is trying to position itself as an upscale brand with upscale amenities. It doesn't quite measure up. The touted "Butlers" are nothing more than overworked cabin attendants in bow ties. This is deceptive advertising. The ship is old, the doors between inside and outside on all decks are heavy swinging wood. The majority of passengers were elderly and had trouble opening and closing them. In addition, the wheel chair ramps that were put in between doors were very high and I saw several in wheel chairs and their companions struggling to get from inside to out. I would NOT recommend this ship for anyone who is handicapped. As the ship is 10 years old, so is it's technology. We hit some rough seas on the return from Bermuda, and the 10 year old stabilizers didn't perform as well as newer ships. The best thing about Azamara are it's crew and staff. They try to be helpful and are always friendly. Unfortunately, after six months, they still have more than their share of problems and communication among themselves. Meals were good, not great, and certainly not quite as touted. The flowers died and were not replaced during the cruise, the fruit got old and was not replaced. In addition, the cabins are quite small, there were filled holes in the wall, and the bathrooms were miniscule and the showers a joke. While using the commode, one literally must have one foot in the title. Azamara has a long, long way to go to get even close to their Celebrity brand. We are not overly critical, but this was the worst of the 12+ cruises we have taken. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2007
Both of us are seasoned cruisers-w/myself having just completed a 16 day Hawaiian cruise in Aug. 2007. We wanted a shorter cruise&research lead us to Azamara Journey. Their website touted LUXURY, SERVICE, SPACIOUS Accommodations, ... Read More
Both of us are seasoned cruisers-w/myself having just completed a 16 day Hawaiian cruise in Aug. 2007. We wanted a shorter cruise&research lead us to Azamara Journey. Their website touted LUXURY, SERVICE, SPACIOUS Accommodations, BUTLER SERVICE, ETC. I RESEARCHED iNTERNET AND FOUND NICE PRICE, lower than booking direct w/ cruise line. They did a great job w/ all arrangements, to & from, transfers, etc. No complaints in that regard. Upon arrival @ Newark airport, we were met (not greeted) by cruise rep. Unlike our previous cruise experiences, no effort was made to assist us w/luggage to curbside for transfer bus, but instead, the rep went into lengthy detail about her not wanting to get injured by assisting w/heavy luggage & only provided info when questioned. The bus was so over crowded, both of us had heavy golf bags wedged on and against our legs and feet. The bus driver had picked up 6 "paying" passengers & those of w/prepaid transfers were wedged in like sardines. Terminal check in went pretty smoothly, but it was obvious that staff needed more training, ours had to get assistance 3 times. Bus transfer to ship was ok, but there was no staff to help w/carryon up the steps to the ship, which were rather steep. The security photo station was crowded, small and ship staff just stood around, more in the way than helpful---we received assistance to elevators and stateroom (?) only when requested. When the stateroom room door opened, I was shocked to say the least. SPACIOUS, IF WAS NOT, WELL APPOINTED, IT WAS NOT! iF THE CLOSET DOOR WAS OPEN, NO ENTRY TO BATH OR EXIT THE CABIN. Unpacking was one at a time, we did finally realize that by lifting the foot of the bed, we could stow our empty luggage so we could walk around the cabin--can't call it a Stateroom, anymore. The "BUTLER" introduced himself -ok-. Fruit & flowers in cabin, both either rotted or died, only a couple bananas and grapes were added--on 4th night I put some of the rotten fruit out in the hallway. The thermostat never worked in the cabin---it stayed COLD! tHE FOOD, OVERALL WAS GOOD, ONLY ONE MEAL WAS EXCELLENT, DINING SERVICE IN ALL VENUES was lackluster. There would be 8-10 servers standing around, but if you needed coffee or water refills, you either asked or in Windows got up and got it yourself. The beverage area in Windows was located in the walkway and the floor was always wet, slippery & sticky. On more than one occasion, we picked up dishes in the buffet line that were not properly cleaned, and always had to check our flatware. Sanitation was lacking and not pro-active as I have been accustomed to. The buffet layout was somewhat confusing, but all in all the food choices were good. Removal of dirty dishes was not prompt, even tho' there was more than sufficient staff. Discoveries dining service was poor and if word got around you had complained, it was obvious. We finally gave up and just at in Windows. Lobster night was joke!, By the way, don't put your appetizer fork down, or the appetizer will disappear--we always felt rushed. Don't expect prompt water refills, nor coffee served on time. The mandatory daily gratuity is 20%+ higher than other ships, the cocktail & wine prices much higher +gratuity, wine pours are, if you are lucky 1/2 glass--unless you balk. Activities were lackluster, lacking enthusiasm, except for Becky the director. Boutiques and prices were the worst I have ever experienced! Layout of Cabaret for shows is the worst design for enjoying shows ever, making it difficult for most to even see the performance. The only lounge w/good service was the Looking Glass and Antonio by the smoking area on the pool deck did a great job & was so outgoing. 4th deck disembark area was like a disaster shelter--w/people sitting on stairs & floor. We just waited on 10th deck for 2nd color tag call to let it clear out since we had a 4+hr. flight window. Access at ports was very good, Bermuda great--we did our own execursions with much less confusion. All in all, we would never sail Azamara again--they need to be more accurate about their amenities.. Also, this definitely is not a young couple or family w/children experience---I would also question the comfort for passengers w/ physical limitations being very comfortable, especially in the bathrooms---I'm 5ft. tall & weigh 100 lbs, and the bath was small. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2007
1st I would like to begin by stating that we had originally booked this Bermuda vacation on board Celebrity Zenith. My wife and I had traveled on Celebrity Zenith twice before and absolutely loved the ship. The two of us also loved her ... Read More
1st I would like to begin by stating that we had originally booked this Bermuda vacation on board Celebrity Zenith. My wife and I had traveled on Celebrity Zenith twice before and absolutely loved the ship. The two of us also loved her sister ship the Horizon which we sailed on once before. Celebrity sold the Zenith and purchased this vessel from another cruise line and renamed the ship Journey. We were automatically placed onboard this ship is SUPPOSEDLY the same accommodations.....Below, I will share with you my experiences. Arrival at Terminal : Absolutely splendid. I will tell you that Cape Liberty is an extremely organized and well oiled machine. I pulled into the terminal area, unloaded my luggage, and parked my car within 5 minutes. Everyone was extremely helpful and accommodating. We were then led to the check in area. I had reserved this cruise a year ago to celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary so we booked a Royal Suite. Because we were in a suite we had a separate check in area and were checked in on the shipped in 2 minutes. I looked through the curtains at the other check in area and they had a line of about 10 people maximum at 12 noon.....I was expecting the circus which normally occurs in New York Terminal. At that point we were escorted to a shuttle bus which drove us to the Boat which was a one minute ride up the block. we proceeded up the gangway, presented our seapasses and had our photos taken for security and were on the boat by 12:15pm after pulling in the parking lot at 12 noon. This is where the Celebrity and Azamara begin to separate....We were then told that the rooms were not ready so if we could go have some lunch in the Windows Cafe we would make an announcement around 1pm we spent about 1 1/2 waiting for the rooms to be prepared. At which point, they made an announcement that you can proceed to your rooms.... Celebrity would never have done that. They always walk you to your room upon boarding the vessel. We arrived at our room and saw a beautiful suite overlooking the front of the boat. We had a great view of NY harbor as we were leaving port. We met Jose our "Butler" and he asked if we would like to have afternoon tea service, I told him that we did and we would like to have that along with finger sandwiches in our room at 3pm everyday. I also requested that we would like to organize our in room massages with Aquaspa and were told that there were none on this vessel. Day 1 : Began by us immediately going to guest relations to organize a baby sitter for the late evening hours. We were told that they would "TRY" but that Baby Sitters are limited on board that it was a first come first serve basis. I was instructed by a "lovely" lady Margaret at the front desk that there would be NO baby sitting organized on the first night. I asked my "Butler" to see if he could find us a baby sitter and he did.... We then ventured to meet the Kids Club staff.... Where's the Fun Factory we asked? There is none! In the back of the Looking Glass night club they have designated a small area for the Kid's Club to utilize.....This is an embarrassment. They also only have two counselors working at any point and time for ALL the kids. So you have potentially 20 kids being supervised by two Young Ladies. In some cases there was only one lady supervising all the children during dinner time. They have all the children together and they all do the same thing regardless of age. I have an 8 year old and a 3 year old who have different personalities......They were in the same age categories and did the same things. My kids were deprived the full experience they should have received. No talent show! No Kids Club T-shirts! We also learned that as of September they are doing away with the kids program entirely.....If you have kids, find another cruiseline. We then made reservations at the main dining room.... Supposedly open seating but you can arrange for the same dinner time if you inquire. We arranged to have some reservations at the more upscale restaurants on board and did so with ease. we ate in the main dining room on the first night.... I have to say, their food in the dining rooms are absolutely spectacular. After Dinner I ventured to their Casino..... What a joke of a Casino. 2 Black Jack tables, a Roulette Table, a 3 Card Poker Table and slot machines.... Lots of slots.... NO CRAPS TABLE!!!! I asked the pit boss why no Craps Table? How can you have a Casino with No Craps Table? I was told that they do not have the accommodations to hold the dealers for a Craps Table....They did have additional Black Jack and Three Card Poker tables with dealers waiting for players but most of the time they had no people at them. I told the Pit Boss, why not use the dealers standing at tables waiting for players to do a craps table.....Anyway, No Craps, but the dealers are wonderful and Azamara probably saved me money by not having a Craps Table.....However, if you like to gamble find another Cruiseline. Day 2: We had Dinner plans at Aqualina, this is there French / Italian restaurant....The Maitre D' Dominique is absolutely unbelievable....Great Guy. Food is outrageous. Wine selection is very nice..... We found out that there are NO MIDNIGHT BUFFETS on this cruise ship. After 12 Midnight no food to be found anywhere except room service. We ordered one night room service to there Cova Cafe and they delivered it there..... Funny stuff. We realized for the kids.... Ice Cream during certain times only..... No Self Serve Ice Cream machine..... Pathetic. Pizza is pretty good and so is the Hamburgers. Day 3: Television service goes out completely in all rooms. When I inquired with the "Butler" he said they were working on it. This is when I started to realize that I was receiving the services of a Stateroom attendant in a Tuxedo..... Not European style Butler Service. If you speak to the Hotel Manager she willadmit to you that Azamara does not offer European Style Butler Service. If you look in their brochures you see that it mentions all rooms have Butler Service.... I was short changed in this regard as well. I inquired with front Desk about the TV's and was told it was a ship wide problem and that they were working on it. Day 4: Ate Dinner at the Prime C Restaurant.....Have the Cowboy Rib eye Bone in..... Its an unbelievable piece of meat. Also, they cook their steaks one temperature higher than you request....If you want Medium rare you need to order Rare. however, food is excellent. Still no TV service, and a joke of a kids club so my kids were freaking out at this point. Thank god the island is absolutely gorgeous.... So we spent most of the time at the beaches. I also could not access my emails beginning this day. The computer Center was down. My office staff had no way of contacting me and almost lost a bid because I had no access to emails. When I asked Margaret at the front desk what was the problem she told me that it was TOO TECHNICAL of an explanation to share with me. I asked her to amuse me and share her info..... She refused and I then asked for her boss who had a similar type of attitude till I asked to speak with the Hotel Manager.... All of a sudden, everyone became very responsive. Amazing. the Hotel manager is Heike.... Make sure you introduce yourself to her as soon as you board. Day 5: Still no TV Service, Nor Computer Center. Day 6: TV Service Resumed and computer Center service but the computers are like you are using some kind of dial up service. I was greeted by 225 emails which took quite sometime to sift through. At this point, I requested to meet with Heike and share my concerns regarding the services they were offering my family. She told me that she would address them. All of a sudden, everyone was jumping through hoops for us... Front desk calling to make sure TV service was functioning correctly. We did get some heavy rains and the veranda doors were leaking into our suite causing the carpeting to get all wet. Day 7: No Grand Finale in the dining rooms.... No Baked Alaska displays..... Nothing special done. Here are some additional items I forgot.... They canceled Bingo on day 4 because not enough players showed up to cover the Pot of $500 so they canceled Bingo..... Azamara can't front a $500 bingo pool? No Cigar Bar.... Very Few Shops....No merchandise onboard with the ship Logo.....Can you believe that? Entertainment???? The best entertainer on board is a ventriloquist and the Harp player..... That should give you an idea of the entertainment on board. No Priority Disembarking for Royal Suite Guests.... We were one of the last groups off the boat. Received our Luggage Last coming on board the vessel. They organize everything from the inside out to the suites. So when you see priority luggage handling and disembarking on the brochure.....Its all fluff. Cape Liberty Terminal is a great experience. Once they let us leave the boat.... we were on the road in 15 mins. If it was not for the Dining Rooms and there staff I would suggest everyone to stay clear of this Vessel. However, do not waste your money on a Royal Suite on this vessel.....They do not service you adequately.....Just get a Ocean view room, you get the same services from your Stateroom attendant in a Tuxedo. Azamara is supposed to be a sister company of Celebrity..... Not in my book.... They better get there act together or this will be a short lived experiment for Azamara. Now I know why Celebrity launched it as a separate brand. Good Luck AZAMARA. You'll never see my family again. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2007
Cape Liberty was a breeze to sail out of and no lines. With promises of celebrity spa like treatment on our cruise, we anxiously boarded the boat. Our rooms were very nice, and our bedding was exceptional. I did receive that promised fruit ... Read More
Cape Liberty was a breeze to sail out of and no lines. With promises of celebrity spa like treatment on our cruise, we anxiously boarded the boat. Our rooms were very nice, and our bedding was exceptional. I did receive that promised fruit on day one but that went south quickly. What treats or canapes got served at 2pm? I never received one. I wandered around the ship looking for activities and lo and behold they were making masquerade masks for an upcoming ball! Are you kidding me? Paper, glitter and unsharpened preschool scissors! What nonsense. The over 90 group seemed to be having a good time. They had a 2 minute scavenger hunt but the little old lady in front of me had all day to get to the host. Old people were in the library laying on the sofa and frankly between the temperature and the age group I felt like i was on a floating morgue. Food was just good. If you didn't grab your lunch from the buffet by 2pm, you were out of luck. They removed bins as your spoon anxiously scraped the bottom for a tidbit. As far as the gourmet restaurants, they were just ok. You could get the same on either side, I suspect they shared a kitchen. The shows were for old people. Some guy singing Frank Sinatra, boring. Some guy playing the piano, boring!! I've taken cruises with Cirque Soleil shows and this was way more expensive. Very disappointed with the sales pitch of this ship. The entire cruise was misrepresented from the very beginning and we were led to believe this was a once in a lifetime cruise...well it was because I think I'll try an all inclusive next time. This was my honeymoon and it was the most boring cruise ever!! I feel bad for the waiters who gave less effort than I'm used to. I never even got offered an ice tea for dinner. Very disappointed! Wont take this cruise line ever again, It is for the older crowd. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2007
Extreme disappointment is how we would describe our "Celebrity turned Azamara Journey cruise". We arrived at Port Liberty to find it was The Azamara" not the Celebrity, classic bait and switch. After day two we dubbed our ... Read More
Extreme disappointment is how we would describe our "Celebrity turned Azamara Journey cruise". We arrived at Port Liberty to find it was The Azamara" not the Celebrity, classic bait and switch. After day two we dubbed our ship" Azamara Surprise". There was no "early or late" seating as stated. We awoke many mornings to the sound of welding going on outside of our room because the ship was still under renovations. And we're not talking the general touch up paint that one may see while cruising. We're talking having to walk around the partitions that were lined up in the hallway that were eventually installed as separations for our "verandas". One morning one of the workers actually walked into our cabin after knocking very lightly on the door, which we didn't even get a chance to answer before he walked right in! He was looking for the workers outside of our cabin! Many of the wait staff was inexperienced. They told us that they were previously busboys on the last cruise ship and had no experience as waiters but were offered this job. The cafeteria style dining was horrible! Often times there were no coffee cups, juice machines w/no juice and the floors in the area constantly were wet! I feared for the older passengers! We often waited in line to be seated in the dining room. You had to ASK for coffee/tea, the salt and peppershakers didn't work and the server's uniforms were in terrible shape! . The complimentary dinner was very good but these were the types of meals we had on previous cruises at no extra cost! Getting food after 10pm was impossible as there were no little stand type eateries. Hot tub and pools often closed. The best entertainment was the few great karaoke passengers! The best part of the cruise was getting OFF the ship to wander beautiful Bermuda! 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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