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5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Supposed to have a pull out couch instead got a recliner chair. Service is terrible. Staff had horrible attitudes. They charge double for the shore expeditions then if you just walk off the ship. Food is terrible. The meats are super dry. ... Read More
Supposed to have a pull out couch instead got a recliner chair. Service is terrible. Staff had horrible attitudes. They charge double for the shore expeditions then if you just walk off the ship. Food is terrible. The meats are super dry. Some if hardly considered food. Missed a port because of “high seas” their solution is waste another day on the boat. The boat itself is as boring as it gets. No real casino. They have a few games but they are all computer and no dealers. You have to pay $12 for any movies even old ones. The spa services are a total waste. We got massages and they were over 200 bucks. We would have paid them 100 to not touch us. All they do is pour oil over you then sit there and talk and try and sell you spa products. Complete waste of time. Currently am writing to our insurance to seek refund and would not recommend this cruise line to anyone. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
Not 5 star at all. Basically a Manor House on water. Lovely decor but that's about if! Food not upto 5 star quality, drinks are ok but not a very good choice, bar service slow and waiter service hit and miss. Cabins are clean and ... Read More
Not 5 star at all. Basically a Manor House on water. Lovely decor but that's about if! Food not upto 5 star quality, drinks are ok but not a very good choice, bar service slow and waiter service hit and miss. Cabins are clean and newly decorated, balconies scruffy though. And now entertainment, awful! No atmosphere at all! Stupid 'Kiss the Fish' 10 min embarrassment for all by pool for crossing the equator (done a day late too), the cabaret room, went in a few times but acts on we're very poor, some young lad telling everyone has life story inbetween tinkling the ivorys, female violinist, female singer, some poor fellows trying to put on only what one can call a Butlind showcase night, a film one night 'Grease'! Man on guitar and a pianist played for about half hour every is and then in lounge bar. There was Fusvo each night until 2pm but just a voiceless man playing same records over and over again every night, people did venture into it as come 10/11pm everything else was closed. Daytime activities were talks, bingo, board & card games. White night party was best night but that was only because it was by the pool and the only thing laid on for everyone to join in with. I did ask why there was no background music anywhere and the captain said the clientele on this cruise didn't want it, but after that within half hour back ground music (quiet, sift, popular musuc) was played and everyone enjoyed it and remarked how it lifted the atmosphere especially around the pool area but within half an hour it was turned off again, never to be heard again. Never saw the entertainment manager at all except on White party night, oh tell a lie, I did, once in the lift then another occasion in the Buffett, he must have been at the GLBT meetings running every day. Something lacking, an atmosphere I believe on this cruise. The ports of call were rubbish too! Docking st what seemed industrial ports, bus trip to shopping malls unless you paid over $100 each to do a sight seeing tour from the cruise. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
Previously sailed on Azamara, in spite of last year's 'refurbishment' (all very surface) the ship is dated, cabins small, shower tiny, wait staff brusque, food just okay, not a luxury or sub-luxury experience. This ship is ... Read More
Previously sailed on Azamara, in spite of last year's 'refurbishment' (all very surface) the ship is dated, cabins small, shower tiny, wait staff brusque, food just okay, not a luxury or sub-luxury experience. This ship is truly not worth the cost, Viking Ocean and Oceana are light years better in every way. Celebrity and Royal Caribbean are better for much less money. Cruise Director was awful, insulted an entire audience in Bilbao, Spain by stating that their language is Catalan, he is ignorant and was barely coherent that night, can't describe what a jerk he made of himself and what a terrible representative he was of Azamara. On-board entertainment was from hunger. Itinerary had to change due to sea conditions, stuck in Bayonne, France for three days, Azamara did nothing to smooth this over, in essence set up shuttle from the industrial berth where the ship was anchored to center of town and gave us train schedules to get to the ports we could not access by sea (Biarritz and St. Jean du Lux). Azamara handled this situation with less class than one would expect from Carnival. Food was mediocre, paying for specialty restaurants on this price level is a crime. Included wines for the most part were undrinkable. I don't like writing negative reviews but anything positive would not be truthful. Don't waste your money on Azamra. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
Rip Off - Imagine this is a luxury cruise which charges $29.95/day for Internet Additionally, they charge $30 for the Specialty Restaurant PER PERSON We have been on several luxury and non Luxury cruises and none charged for the ... Read More
Rip Off - Imagine this is a luxury cruise which charges $29.95/day for Internet Additionally, they charge $30 for the Specialty Restaurant PER PERSON We have been on several luxury and non Luxury cruises and none charged for the specialty restaurants. We would definitely not recommend Azamara Cruise Lines to anyone. The only reason we chose Azamara Cruise Lines is because of the good itinerary which in reality has nothing to do with the cruise ship. They also charge for premium drinks. The term Luxury surely does not apply to these cruise ship or cruise Line. We hope this review helps others considering using Azamara Cruise Lines. The ship was nice and the wait staff were nice but the accomodations were poor. The view from our veranda was obstructed. We would never recommend this Cruise Line to anyone, so please consider our experience when planning your next cruise. There are plenty of other cruise lines which are far better values. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
It was my first cruise with Azamara, the first of two cruises booked with them. I didn't enjoy any single part of this cruise and feel "ripped off" as I did the last time we travelled with RCI. There were some points that ... Read More
It was my first cruise with Azamara, the first of two cruises booked with them. I didn't enjoy any single part of this cruise and feel "ripped off" as I did the last time we travelled with RCI. There were some points that were good, these being a nice cabin, nice ship, good service, good organisation at ports. Now for the bad points: The day time activities were beyond poor; a few trivia quizzes on sea days and two uninteresting lecturers, one talking about the past history of the ports being visited and one discussing whether China was defensive or aggressive. Certainly not topics that most women onboard would want to attend and not interesting to me. The entertainment by the visiting entertainers was reasonably good but the shows put on by Eric, the ships entertainment director and the ships singers and dancers was poor. I was fed up of seeing and listening to the narcissic Eric at every end and turn and the singers overall were far too loud and the words of unknown songs could not be distinguished. Overall, other than the visiting entertainers, the routines were amateurish. The guitar player was too monotonous and the ships pianist whilst good on the one night he played in the theatre but for the rest of the time was mundane. Few people attended the Living Room after 9:30 pm so dancing was none existent. It seemed to me that most people went to bed early. The ship in the evening was dead. However, what really upset me most was the poor quality of the food. My wife, daughter and daughter in law are all excellent cooks and we all enjoy quality food. My grandson is a trained chef and his chef uncle on the other side of the family has cooked not just for me but for Margaret Thatcher, The Queen, the late King Hussain of Jordan and Sir James Goldsmith. I know what represents good food and this didn't come anywhere near the mark. I don't believe the chefs are chefs, they are poor cooks. Breakfast was OK in the Windows restaurant although there was no Finnan Haddock and no Kippers. Lunchtime on sea days in Discoveries restaurant was uninspiring so most meals were taken in Windows Cafe. This was also disappointing as no meals were enjoyable. it was just food. Individual bowls of tomatoe, cucumber, onion, peppers and chicken served one day were in my opinion used the following day by turning them into a special salad using all of the same components. On several nights there was a theme, Indian, Morrocan and British. I decided to try the British night, my home country. Fish and chips were on the menu but I have to say that there isn't one British fish and chip shop who would offer the meagre portion of fish served by the server. There is more fish in a half a fish finger and the server then asked "Do you want one or two pieces". It was clear to me that the ships budget is limited in cost. Pasta and chicken dishes in Windows cafe and Discoveries restaurant predominate the menus. On the day of the barbecue it was held indoors. I asked why and they said it was the likelihood of rain but it was a sunny day and as we were only a few days into a long cruise it could have been postponed to another day but wasn't. There was not one single barbecue item, not a single sausage. Inferior chicken was offered wrapped in breadcrumbs to disguise the bone and gristle. A poor representation of a real barbecue. On another occasion in the cafe lamb hock was offered but since when has a lamb hock had a knee joint? After a few days of poor food I confronted the two Head waiters but it didn't make any difference. The menu in Discoveries restaurant is basically 75% the same every evening. So called specials make up the rest. Yet on one evening there was two chicken dishes and two broiled New York Steaks so limiting the choice further. One night I had the seafood soup. On the following night I had a different seafood soup but it was the same one as the day before: one prawn, one mussel and some clams. On the last night I had a lamb hock. I don't however believe it was lamb as the bones were far too big for a lamb and more likely to have been mutton. This was not five star food, I have been served better food in a works canteen. There was no sirloin steaks, no rump steaks, no steak Diane, no Tounedos Rossini, no cod loin, no chateaubriand. I have had those on other ships along with first class enrichment lectures and entertainment at less than half the price paid to Azamara. Since when has skirt from the bottom of a cow been served as a steak? The coffee in the Mosaic cafe was poor and several other people commented about this. Finally why do professional cocktail makers use measuring cups when dispensing the components of a cocktail when on Azamara the components are dispensed without regard to using the correct measures? Every drink served varies from the last one. All in all a thoroughly unenjoyable cruise. Whilst on the ship I contacted my travel agent and cancelled the second paid in full future cruise on Azamara. I will never travel with Azamara or RCI ever again. Read Less
48 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
Out of 35 previous cruises this was the worst .RCCL should be ashamed . The crew of the Ship tried their hardest but couldn't overcome the fact that this ship was not ready to sail as a luxury cruise . it was just out of drydock and ... Read More
Out of 35 previous cruises this was the worst .RCCL should be ashamed . The crew of the Ship tried their hardest but couldn't overcome the fact that this ship was not ready to sail as a luxury cruise . it was just out of drydock and it wasn't finished . our problem started with the booking . we weren't told about the refurbishment till much later . i was given a specific stateroom and told it was ours for both cruises . However,when i got the air they had changed my room without notifying me and said we would have to change rooms ( packing and unpacking ) tried to rectify several times to no avail . no curtesy .Finally a ship officer got it fixed after boarding . No reason for the stress . E-mail one day earlier said boarding would be 2-4 pm - sailing at 5 . over 600 guests waited 3 hours -the ship wasn't ready on board the disaster ! no towels, no toilet paper no rods in closets the laundry not finished - paint still wet with fumes -windows dirty - pent house suites not finished some rooms with water on floors -painting not finished -hot tubs not working-etc. too many unhappy passengers and the tone of the ship was not joyous- too many guests saying " NEVER AGAIN " complaints everywhere . much more but enough . RCCL , no wonder luxury guests are no longer satisfied . You made a special experience a bad memory and made this cruise a reason to not return for Azamzra Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2015
Before we left port my husband checked the toilet. Not working. He told the attendant. We left port with over half the toilets on the ship inoperative. First they said there were a few, then the whole port side, then the port side and some ... Read More
Before we left port my husband checked the toilet. Not working. He told the attendant. We left port with over half the toilets on the ship inoperative. First they said there were a few, then the whole port side, then the port side and some starboard. They had one toilet in an unoccupied room that everyone on our floor had to use. There were lines, often the prior person inadvertently locked the door on the way out. They were supposed to post an attendant but did not. The toilets were out for 3 days, and then ours worked intermittently and we were instructed not to use much paper. Later when we complained and tried to get a refund from Azamara they told us the toilets were out for only one day, which was a lie, and that we were the only ones that complained, which was also a lie. Next, traveling through the Gulf of Mexico the waves were up to 25 foot. So they left port with inoperative toilets into bad weather and they knew it. Everyone was sick. The boat is small and old, and basically a bathtub. Every wave was felt. And, it could only travel about 17 knots, which is about 20 miles an hour. So we went through 10-25 foot waves through the Gulf at 20 mph with no toilet in our room. The pool, such as it was (another bathtub) was drained due to it being so rough the water was splashing everywhere and making the deck slippery. The food was fair. There were certain drinks that were included, although at first they only had Budweiser beer. We had to wait two days for Becks's beer. They were out. Those were the only two beer choices. By the time we got to Aruba I was really seasick. The captain had been announcing overhead that injections were available in the clinic for a fee. We were walking out to our shore excursions and walking by the clinic when I told my husband let me stop in and see about the seasickness. I am a PHYSICIAN myself. I went in and introduced myself and said I had been ill, and because I said I had some diarrhea the nurse said I couldn't leave. I had to see the doctor. The doctor came out and said you may be the first case of norovirus, I have to quarantine you to your room. I said I am seasick, I've had my gallbladder out and this is normal for me under stress and this rich food. The CDC is very clear on this. He never examined me. He never took a history. He said if we got off the boat in Aruba they would not let us back on. I said what are my options here. He said you can disembark. We went back to our room where we were supposed to stay with intermittently working toilets and diarrhea and oh yea don't use too much paper. Vomiting is also a sign of norovirus and they did not quarantine people for vomiting, they sold them injections. The whole thing was unbelievable. My husband is a retired Delta captain and I am a physician. An aircraft will not leave the ground with inoperative toilets, and that's only for a few hours, not for a 12 day journey. We went back to our room and considered our choices. We had no idea what was next from these unbelievably incompetent people. We packed up and got off the boat and went straight to the airport. I did not have norovirus. I was seasick. We called Azamara and got absolutely no where with them. They said we were the only ones who complained, even though when my husband went down to the client services desk to get our passports there was a woman at the desk screaming at them that she was sick of her toilet not working and demanded another room. They offered us no refund. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2014
This cruise was billed The Ultimate Monaco Grand Prix Cruise. It is nothing of the sort. As first time cruisers we have nothing to compare the boat with so we assume everything on board was how it should be regarding service, entertainment ... Read More
This cruise was billed The Ultimate Monaco Grand Prix Cruise. It is nothing of the sort. As first time cruisers we have nothing to compare the boat with so we assume everything on board was how it should be regarding service, entertainment and food etc. but we were interested in attending the Monaco grand prix and the organisation around this was shambolic. It had obviously been organised by someone, or someones, who had no experience or knowledge of Grand Prix events. We are lucky to have been to a number of Grand Prix around the world but others on the cruise were going for the first time, many as a lifelong ambition for a special occasion and for a number of these the event was a disappointment. Anyone with the most cursory knowledge of F1 motor racing knows that the qualifying event prior to the race is of great interest to anyone attending the race. Although not expecting to attend the track for qualifying it was clear that no arrangements had been made to screen the event on a big screen TV in any of the public rooms on the boat. After representations from passengers a screening was provided in the Casino bar which proved totally inadequate for the number of people wanting to watch. It was also in German because the boat was not equipped to receive any of the live feeds from English speaking broadcasts. For a cruise marketed as an “Ultimate Grand Prix” event this was pathetic. The other arrangements for the Grand Prix were also shambolic. Whether passengers were able to take food and drink off the boat to the Grand Prix depended on who you asked. We made arrangements but other passengers were told that it was not possible, with one staff member giving the frankly ludicrous advice that it was “illegal”. Those attending the event through the on-board excursion were also subject to problems caused by the sheer inexperience and ignorance of the organisers. We were happy to go to the event independently but those relying on being escorted by the organisers were initially faced with a departure time that would have delivered them to the start of the race but missed all the supporting racing and events that are the build up to the race itself. Again this was only changed following representations from passengers. So this was in no way a “Grand Prix” cruise, merely a marketing ploy designed to add passengers to the itinery that included a day moored off Monte Carlo. If you want a Mediterranean cruise it’s probably fine. If you want a Grand Prix experience these people are bungling amateurs and you will be better off organising it yourself.   Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
We are seasoned travellers on Azamara and previously had wonderful experiences, however this cruise was the worst so much so that we have cancelled our next cruise with Azamara. The ship has gone down market since introducing all inclusive ... Read More
We are seasoned travellers on Azamara and previously had wonderful experiences, however this cruise was the worst so much so that we have cancelled our next cruise with Azamara. The ship has gone down market since introducing all inclusive policy. The staff couldn't care less as they know they have their tips. Our steward was hopeless and argued constantly with me. The bedding was appauling, it smelt and the pillows were disgusting and it took 6 days to change them!! The wines were the cheapest and no alternative was available so if you don't like Riesling, then 3 nights of the cruise you will have nothing to drink unless as suggested by the somelier you can buy another wine at your own expense on top of the wines you have already paid for. The food in Aqualina was misrepresented on the menu as the whole Lobster was not a Lobster at all but a small funny looking lobster tail. The Dover Sole was not Dover Sole. When we complained the waiters argued with us saying it was. We are from England and after talking to several people on board an american complained and was informed that it was an error and should have been changed on the menu, however this was not done. Our cabin constantly smelt of sewage, Our shower was broken for the first 5 days and in the end the head of housekeeping appeared and changed the controls, however in the meantime I had to go and shower in the spa. The spa did not have any shower caps and this went on for six days until they suddenly found some, so i got soaked every day. I did take the trouble to write to Larry Pimental who passed the buck to some idiot in Guest relations who instead of acknowledging there was a problem just said he had never encountered this before. Not helpful and I think rude. Anycase do not book this if you are looking for 4 or 5 star treatment. If this had been a hotel we would have walked out on the first day Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2013
My husband, twins sons and I took a cruise from India, through the Souez Canal and on to Greece. India has long been a bucket list destination for me and when I saw this itinerary I told my husband "I am going on this. You can come ... Read More
My husband, twins sons and I took a cruise from India, through the Souez Canal and on to Greece. India has long been a bucket list destination for me and when I saw this itinerary I told my husband "I am going on this. You can come too if you want" haha. I had also been very much wanting to try out Azamara -- their casual luxury, personal service schtick was extremely appealing for me. We usually cruise on Celebrity, Princess, or RC but I had long been petitioning to upgrade the budget to a smaller, more intimate environment with less crowding. It was a dreadful experience, one that I will never, ever repeat, and I have spent since then telling everyone what a disappointing, dismal experience Azamara is. Hopefully I can save others from the same terrible experience. I won't detail all the disappointments -- just a few that still stick in my mind, 22 months later. First, embarkation was dreadful -- basically a metal shed (hey, at least not in the sun) and extremely disorganized. After the chaotic checkin we were shuttled by rickety bus to the ship side. I don't mind that the ship is older -- I much enjoy Grand Dame hotels, actually -- but this ship is extremely shabby. The furnishings, the bath fixtures, the dining room, the carpets, the tableware --- everything is faded, chipped, well worn (worn out) and the carpeting smells dirty throughout the ship. The entire ship smells dirty, actually. The public bathrooms smell particularly bad, although this may have just been our trip. Hopefully they aren't usually so "sewer-y" smelling and prone to overflowing. The cabin was very depressing. Our beds were metal cots, literally; they had no bedskirts so it looked like we were sleeping on Army cots. The seating was stained and icky -- I lay towels on top of any surface before sitting on it. When we checked into our suite we found a cache of cigarette butts and ashes next to the bed, which made me wonder if the room had even been at all vacuumed between the lasts guests and us. Both my teenage sons and my husband (and numerous other passengers) got Norovirus the first two days on the cruise. To me that speaks of a dirty ship improperly cleaned between sailings. The dining buffet was, for all intents and purposes, shut down for several days due to Norovirus. In other illness news, a week into the cruise my son and I were served rotten milk in the main dining room. By rotten I mean clotted and thick, chunky, like lumpy yogurt. How the kitchen/wait staff managed to pour not only one glass but two with the milk in that state is beyond me. My son took a huge drink of it without checking first (as only a teenage boy can glug liquids) and immediately began to gag. The wait staff was shooting HIM dirty looks for making a scene when they were the ones who gave him (us) rotten milk. When the clotted milk was shown to the dining room manager he did not apologise, rather just rolled his eyes and walked away. This would be unacceptable in a dive truck stop, much less a dining room in a so-called luxury ship. Turns out that the milk was past-date. I would think they would have checked the inventory more frequently and discard before serving old food, but obviously not. The staff, while mainly trying hard to do their jobs, were clearly unhappy. I had one wait staff tell me he hated his job so much that he was considering suicide (very jolly holiday conversation, that) and I spent the rest of the trip checking in on him and worried for him (In fact I still think of him and hope he lasted through his contract and got to go home with out feeling so trapped he did himself harm). Another server regaled me with a story about how she was so desperate that she tried to cause herself to abort her baby by throwing herself down the stairs while pregnant. Other staff showed the strain by being thoughtless and rude to the passengers. One of my sons visited a particular bar each night for a cup of hot cocoa before bed, mainly because he thought the bartender was interesting. Not so nice--- the bar tender caught me one afternoon and proceeded to tell me that my son ought not drink any more hot cocoa because he is already too fat and doesn't need the sugar, (the boy is 5'10", 165lbs and an athlete-- hardly obese.) Aside from the rotten milk, the food was uniformly pretty bad except the homemade ice cream, which was very good. The specialty restaurants were noting special -- more or less the same quality of food, just had an up charge. I lost 8 lbs on the cruise because I would often skip eating. The dancers were laughably terrible and the guest comic was a very foul mouthed middle-aged woman from NYC who told very crass stories which did not seem to amuse the mainly elderly British crowd (or me, either, and I am far from a prude). The main comedic entertainment was seeing the ridiculous suits the Cruise Director wore each night -- they were so awful and tacky (shiny, gray and greenish snakeskin-patterned high-water, stove pipe legged suit, anyone?) that I feel like he had to be deliberately dressing like that to amuse the guests. One nice thing was the mini-bar drinks being included. Our room steward kept that stocked and it was much appreciated. We did enjoy the ship excursion we took into Abu Dabi that included lunch in a hotel. The food at the hotel was outstanding, and while my family said it was only fantastic compared to the slop on board the ship, I disagree. A couple months later I retuned to Abu Dabi with my husband for an unrelated trip, ate at the same hotel and the food was equally as good. The other nice thing was the one and only nice conversation we had with any ship officers -- they weren't really officers, actually --they were contractors hired to defend us in case we were attacked by pirates. One night we had a cook-out outside on the deck and two of these 20-something young men came over and sat with us and talked to our sons about their jobs, working on the cruise ships, and generally were a delight. Other than seeing the engineering marvel that is the Suez Canal, they were quite the highlight of the trip for my boys. Far, far, FAR more personable than ANY of the ships officers, none of who could be bothered to interact with the passengers. All in all the cruise itself was a total bust and I never, but never will step foot on another Azamara Cruise. Ick. I have repeatedly asked the company to remove me from their mailing list but so far they insist on continuing to send me marketing materials, so I don't think their head office has it together very well, either. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2009
Introduction and Background of Newbie Passengers. I am almost retires; we have traveled extensively throughout most of the world (as top elite member of many hotel and airline frequent flyer programs). I would think this is the profile of ... Read More
Introduction and Background of Newbie Passengers. I am almost retires; we have traveled extensively throughout most of the world (as top elite member of many hotel and airline frequent flyer programs). I would think this is the profile of potential cruisers that may be attractive to a cruise company. This was out first significant cruise. We researched many cruise lines and options using Cruise Critic and other web sites. We selected Azamara and Oceania as the best fit of us based on 1) limited onboard smoking policies and 2) not formal dress requirements (and for Oceania only, advertised luxury hotel quality beds). After this research and studying both the positive and negative comments of Both Azamara and Oceania, we decided to book one cruise on each line on our personal journey [pun intended] to make this comparison for ourselves. We were looking to see if either or both cruise lines could meet or exceed our cruise expectations. We will post our own comparison results (your mileage may vary) after completing both cruises. We had cancelled a previously booked Celebrity cuisse. Booked Own Air to BCN. Would book own air in an instant, but I have booked my own international air for many years. AMERICAN Airlines coach (ugh) Las Vegas to JFK, then JFK to Barcelona. The seat gods were with us (with a little help from Seat Guru and AA online. We had an empty middle seat between us on both flights. At $5 and 30,000 AA miles per person total cost one way Las Vegas to Barcelona this was a great deal! Frequent flyer one way awards are available on AA for half the mileage of a round trip award (maybe some day United will catch up). Pre-Cruise BCN Hotel. BCN free shuttle to the Airport Renaissance Hotel. This hotel was fine for one night airport location (both positive and negative comments on CC for this hotel). The 10 Euro per person ship transfers were very convenient and easy (but convenient and easy ended once you get to the pier). As a Marriott Platinum, class greeting and free lounge access for breakfast (typical, OK) and evening tapas (poor). For a one night airport stay, we would return. N Having been to Barcelona many times, we did not need to spend extra days in the city. Ugly 1 - The Smoking Cabin. Azamara does not enforce their advertised policy of not smoking in the cabins! After we boarded in Barcelona and cabins were announced as available, we encountered a smoke filled cabin. After reporting this to three people and after way too much elapsed time, we were moved to another cabin (same category, less desirable location). I have uncounted this situation a few times with hotels around the world, but they usually have us moved within five minutes. As we were waiting for any action by Azamara, we were already planning our immediate cruise cancellation, departure from the ship and our Barcelona hotel before returning home. When a new cabin was finally offered, I asked what if the replacement cabin had also been smoked in on the previous cruise. This question was just brushed aside as they did not understand how this could even be remotely possible. This has also happened to me in a hotel (but again, promptly corrected), so I considered it a very valid question. Way too much time was wastedoffer9ing to deep clean the assigned cabin and convert it back a non-smoking cabin (this was not an acceptable solution to us, Azamara said they had done it before and it would work). In retrospect, housekeeping had to know that the previous occupants were smoking in this cabin. We later ran into another couple on the journey that had encountered the same problem and had also changed cabins. How did this happen? The excuse was that the butler in this area smoked and did not know that the previous occupants were smoking in the cabin. I find this totally unacceptable; Azamara advertises that it does not allow smoking in the cabins. If they choose to not enforce this, then this is false advertising. If they choose to not enforce this, then we choose to cruise elsewhere. Big deal? To us, yes! This incident was handled on board to our satisfaction, but just barely. Ugly 2 - The Aquilina Restaurant; From Great to Ugly on the Third Try. After less than expectation meeting experiences in the MDR and the buffet, we enjoyed a truly great dinner in the Aquilina. Great service, great food and greeted by same (as should be). We enjoyed the experie4nce so much, that we booked a second time (after a negative attempted booking experience with Prime C), and enjoyed another great dinner. On our third (should have quit while we were ahead, but the other choices weren't that good) dining experience in Aquilina, my wife chewed on and swallowed glass that was present in the Raspberry sorbet. We immediately reported this to the table side staff and provided them piece of the glass. The glass actually cut my wife's tongue. My wife reported this to the medical office, but she was promptly brushed aside in a very condescending manner that if she swallowed glass it would pass naturally. We did not return to the Aquilina after this experience. Digression - I left an above minimum suggested tip on all three Aquilina dining occasions. Only a couple of other times on the cruise from specific bar servers was I inclined to do so. Azamara - look as the additional tips by server - these are your stars. This incident was not handled to our satisfaction either on board or after the cruise. Bad 1 - The Barcelona Boarding Process Not Very Friendly. We checked in reasonably early, around 11:30am. We asked for a second holder for the Sea Pass cards, two cards issued, one holder issued. The curt response was that this must be obtained from Guest Relations when onboard. OK, but why? How simple is this? How tacky? We were later informed that additional holders had been supplied to the pier prior to boarding. We were also "required" to present a valid credit card on the pier prior to boarding. This even though we had a $500 on board credit balance. I was not prepared to do this. I think that this is an unreasonable request. Next time (if there is a next time) I will just say I am a cash customer (I wonder how much cash they will then want to collect on the pier). Bad 2 - The MDR First Night. The first night MDR service was not very good; food OK, service OK, order not correct. Bad first impression. Not acceptable for a land restaurant, such that we would have never returned if this were a land restaurant. The French Onion soup had an "off" taste to it - would never order again. The New York Steak did not come with the ordered sauce (it was on the menu). As it was, it took many days for us to again retry the MDR (thank goodness for the buffet). This was our first example of many of lack of attention to detail by the staff throughout the voyage. Bad 3 - The Beds. Very well used mattresses provided little or no support. Fortunately, our butler was able to make this satisfactory with additional foam padding for my wife and a board to make mine firmer. Bad 4 - Bingo. How can you mess up bingo? The bingo buy in included a "free "bingo card to be used at any future bingo game. The only other bingo game was cancelled for lack of cash customers, so there was no opportunity to use the free bingo card. Maybe if the cash buy in was not so high it would attract more players. We were very surprised by the lack of bingo on a trans-Atlantic crossing. Bad 5 - Outrageous Internet Access Prices. Knowing this in advance, I did not bring a laptop. At a more reasonable price, I would have been willing to purchase the service. I choose to not even check email at these prices (and I am a computer guy who lives online). Bad 6 - On Board Future Cruise Sales. A real lost opportunity. A totally non-responsive, non-customer oriented person staffed the future cruise sales desk. I could not believe this. This person was not sales or customer relations oriented. Criminal for a company that wants to sell cruises (my assumption, I may be wrong). A thirty second conservation with this person has cost Azamara the cancellation on one of two future cruises we had already booked before this cruise. She just quoted the Azamara rule book - end of conversation. Before sailing, we had booked two additional Azamara Cruises due to the pending Azamara Club announcement with the knowledge that we could cancel if we were not satisfied with our first Azamara cruise or the new Azamara Club announcement. This person declined the opportunity to offer (or request Miami to offer) us any onboard booking incentives to further confirm or even save these bookings. I was totally taken aback by the total lack of responsiveness. Now after the cruise with Azamara Club pricing announced, Azamara should just eliminate this onboard function. Bad 7 - Clean the Chairs. The tops of the chairs in the buffet were all sticky, probably from various foods. These chair tops need cleaning. Bad - Buffet Organization. No attention to detail here. The pitchers of milk and skim milk are placed in trays with cartons of milk and skim milk. The cartons are easy to read to see which is which, the small labels on top of the pitchers are not - one would think that the pitcher in the tray of skim milk cartons would also be the pitcher of skim milk - not always. Not consistent, you have to get your glasses out to read the small label on top of the pitchers (or just use/waste the more expensive milk cartons). One pass through the toaster oven does not toast an English muffin. After first experience of being offered a one pass toasted English muffin, I had to ask most of the time for a second pass through the toaster. Ask? Bad 9 - Computer Clocks. Have the computers in the lab pick up the current date/time from a time server? How hard is this? Bad 10 - Hosted Cruise Critic Meeting. Thank you for the opportunity to meet some of the Azamara staff. This was in fact how we got invited to the bridge, engine control room and galley tours. At the CC reception, I declined the offered wine/sparkling wine and went to the bar and ordered a drink and presented my Sea Pass. The nearby waitress comped the drink. Later, my wife asked a different waitress for a drink, only to be abruptly told that it would be billable. I was perfectly willing to pay for both drinks; the attitude and inconsistency were not desired and turned me off. Bad 11 - Additional Specialty Restaurant Reservations. Another bas experience here. On boarding, we booked one evening each in Aquilina and Prime C. We had to cancel the Prime C on the day of the reservation due to my wife's illness. When cancelling, I asked for an alternate date - only to be curtly told that only 9pm was available on all the remaining days. There was absolutely no effort made to offer a standby list if others cancelled or any other option. Needless to say, we never went to the Prime C (but our butler had no problem booking us in the Aquilina for another night, I bet he could have even booked the Prime C). Bad 12 - Interactive TV Menus Do Not Match MDR Menus. On two occasions we noticed that the in room interactive TV menus displayed did not match what was actually on the MDR menu and being served that night. The first time was just the type of pasta used in the nightly pasta dish. By the way, never order pasta in the MDR - it was always starchy. A later night (lobster night) the complete wrong menu was posted. So you look at the TV menu during the day and decide if you want to go to the MDR that night, but then you get there and it's not the right menu and no lobsters. So you leave, go to the buffet, and try again another night. No attention to detail. There are people that would love to be employed to update the TV menus - this could be done from an where in the world. OK 1 - Bar Costs. After other CC reviews, we were concerned about the hi9gh cost of drinks on board. From experience, one can of Coke $2. Glass of Wente Sauvignon Blanc $6. Glass of Benedictine $6. Specialty martini $10. All plus 18%. Tom us, this was on the high end of reasonable, but not unreasonable. We were OK with these prices only because we do not drink many soft drinks. OK 2 - Room Numbers. Almost the entire crew referred to cabins or staterooms by room number. I thought on a ship rooms were called cabins or staterooms. Hotels offer rooms. Good 1 - New Friends. We met many passengers and made friends from people from several countries. Most of the passengers we met were not aware of Cruise Critic. Good2 - Calling on Gibraltar on Sunday. On Sunday, the UK high street shops were all closed. This saved me a lot of money! Although I was looking forward to some British shopping. Good 2A - Calling on Funchal on a local holiday when most shops were closed. Again, saved me some more money. Good 3 - Minimal Public Address Announcements. The daily captain update was good. Also better was the absence of PA announcements selling the ships offerings. This was appreciated. Good 4 - Shipboard Medical Service. Unfortunately, both my wife and I has to use this service. We both found the medical care highly professional. Good 5 - Virtual Games. These were fun. Great 1 - Butler Experience. Although we did not know our butler's name for the first three days (due to the stress and trauma of boarding, not his fault), Apostolos and Jose provided outstanding cabin services. I( had very low expectations of this from reading CC, but I can say that this is the only one area that our expectations wet met on the entire cruise. Great 2 - The Ship Size. We loved the size of the ship, and meeting new friends from around the world. Suggestions to Azamara (and other lines) to improve the Cruise Experience. Here is our list from this cruise experience. 1. Add a more extensive list of liqueurs to the bars (Chartreuse si vous plait). 2. Add a flexible mirror in the cabin bathrooms. Ladies like top be able to see the back of their hair in a mirror without having to hand hold a mirror (deluxe hotel room configuration 101). 3. Configure all of the computers in the computer lab for guests the same. Only one or two had MS Word, where I was able to compose the original version of this document long ago sent to Azamara. Even an old copy of MS Office. Or even Open Office would be fine. Seems they would be easier to maintain if they were all the same. I have since the cruise purchased a netbook for leisure travel cruising (I have not needed this for leisure travel in hotels as most provide free internet and computer usage to their elite customers). For business travel, I have lugged laptops around the world. 4. Please dump the photographers overboard. He had just enough pressure to be annoying. 5. Please dump the art auction overboard - what a waste of precious ship space. 6. Please dump, Alicante as a port of call (with apologies to those we me that lived there). I suggest Malaga, Valencia, Seville, Palma d Majorca or even Marseille (I know, wrong direction) as better/more interesting/places-we would-like-to-see ports of call. 7. Pleas dump Coco Cay as a port of call. We will NOT sail on another cruise that wastes a day at this "port". A total waste. 8. Have your own mystery shopper dine in the MDR and the buffet and listen to the cruisers conversations about the ship - we heard many. If you really want to get the pulse of the ship, have someone do laundry and listen to the conservations in the laundry room. You get more information (or misinformation) there than from any of the crew. 9. Open the specialty restaurants earlier at 5pm or 5:320pm nightly. This is an early crowd on this ship - evidence by th3e fact that 9pm reservations always seemed to be available. Close earlier. After the Cruise. We have cancelled one of our two future Azamara cruise bookings (at pre-Azamara Club prices). We are looking forward to cruising Oceania and will report here on CC that experience. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2008
Nothing in the last thirty years of cruising could have prepared me for the let down of this 16 night Panama Canal Cruise. Celebrity Cruise line should refund every passenger on this trip, their money, immediately. This trip was organized ... Read More
Nothing in the last thirty years of cruising could have prepared me for the let down of this 16 night Panama Canal Cruise. Celebrity Cruise line should refund every passenger on this trip, their money, immediately. This trip was organized by my friends for my 50th Birthday, and was researched very carefully... what follows will make you think twice about boarding either of the Azamara ships. What you are about to read has not been embellished one iota, and can all be substantiated by other guests. The good news is... the boarding process was seamless. We went directly to our "Sky Suite" to unpack. The press on this ship had stated the Azamara Journey had undergone a major remodel eighteen months previously. There was no indication of this upon entering our suite. Yes, the suite was rather small, and the bathroom miniscule, but it did appear to be clean, although extremely dated. There was no way this room had been fully remodeled eighteen months ago. Immediately the "Butler" (he is nothing more than a housekeeper with a bowtie) showed up introduced himself, and told us that if we needed anything, to just pick up the phone. He had a smile on his face throughout the entire cruise and did a great job keeping our room clean. After unpacking we caught up with our friends and we did a tour of the ship. We were expecting the five- star ship the Celebrity Cruise line was touting. We expected the ship to look just as it did in the advertising photos. Even an untrained eye could see the rust, the cracks, the dirt, the scratches, drapery rods with no draperies, lounge chairs that desperately needed to be varnished, I could go on, but why bother, we have bigger fish to fry. No one could explain why, but we set sail almost an hour and a half late. We missed the sunset and the fanfare that one normally looks forward to when you set sail. We should have known this was the start of a very long "Journey" to say the least. The open seating in the Discovery Dining Room is a great idea, and the fact that you do not have to dress up if you do not want to is an added bonus. However, do not expect dinner to take anything less than two-and- a- half hours in any restaurant on this ship. That is unless you have a desire to eat average cafeteria food, if so you can eat the buffet dinner in the "Windows Cafe". The menus in the Discovery restaurant create such mouth watering expectations that when you taste the food, you are in shock. What happened to the savory food that was described so elegantly in the menu? Why was it taking so long between courses? Why when we specifically told our waiter that one of our guests was deathly allergic to Bell Pepper would he continue to put dishes that contained bell pepper in front of her? The food was so bad in this restaurant that after four days of torture we made contact with the Food and Beverage Manager who kindly and graciously arranged for all of our meals to be upstairs in the two "Specialty Restaurants." More on this later. The first day, we were at sea, and we went to the gym. It was very clean, a great view of the water, and had all the right equipment one would expect. After about fifteen minutes on the treadmill we kept hearing some loud screaming coming from down a hallway and figured there was an aerobic class in progress. The screaming became more piercing and desperate to the point that many of us got off the lifecycle and went towards the door to see what the commotion was, but before we could get to the door a security guard closed the door. We were a bit confused as to what was going on, so we went through the spa and came out the other side of the hallway to an encounter that do not think any of us shall soon forget. It was almost as if we had stepped into a CSI crime scene. A security guard was telling us to "be careful" as we passed. There were bloody handprints and blood splattering on the outside of the first white paneled elevator doors. As we moved further along we could see that four or five other security guards had what sounded like two maniacs trapped in the other open elevator. It was totally surreal. Whoever was trapped in the elevator was screaming inappropriate racial remarks against the security guards who were from varying nations. In all the years we have travelled on ships we have never seen anything like this. We found it all deeply disturbing and went down to our rooms. Later we discovered that it was a father and son who had been drinking, and the son, who supposedly had never had any alcohol before, reacted badly to drinking and temporarily lost his mind. Everyone was expecting these two to be thrown off the ship at the first port, but surprisingly, they remained. And no surprise to any of us, a few ports later the drunken father was screaming at the drunken son outside of the ship, "I don't care if you walk home!" And with that he got on the boat leaving his intoxicated son to figure out what to do next. Passengers should not be subjected to this kind of behavior. Ever. There is no excuse for this. What more could I say about the itinerary except that on Christmas the cruise line had us in Costa Rica, and on and New Year's eve had us in Cabo San Lucas. All of the shopping was closed in Costa Rica. Whereas we were in San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua, on December 26th, where there is absolutely nothing to buy, and truly no reason to ever visit. This port should be taken off the itinerary, but is probably much cheaper for the cruise line to land in, because you end up staying there longer than you do when you dock in Acapulco, which is a shame, because in Acapulco you truly could use two days to see the scenery. None of the itinerary makes any sense, except maybe to the corporate office. As the cruise wore on, so did everyone's nerves. People were complaining left and right about the food, the accommodations, and the horrific third rate vaudeville performers. It appeared to everyone on the ship that one hand did not know what the other hand was doing. It was quite confusing, because all in all the staff was wonderful in their attitude. It was not until later in the cruise that we discovered that over fifty percent of the staff had never been on this ship before we sailed out of Miami. Most of them had never been on a cruise ship before. What was the head office of Celebrity thinking? The two high end restaurants "Prime C" and "Aqualina" did deliver better food than the other sources on the ship. However, this quality of food is what should have been delivered in the Dining Room to all of the guests on a daily basis. The high end restaurants on the "Journey" should be providing a higher quality product than what they have presented here. The staff was much more knowledgeable and attentive in these venues. It was a consensus on the ship that the Head Chef should be fired. In the daily activity program that is slipped under your door every night there was an article about the new head chef that had decided to change all of the round plates to square plates, and in doing so, Azamara was happy to announce they were incurring a major extra expense because square covers did not exist! Who is this chef? We have a news flash for you. How about keeping the round plates; and with the money you are saving hire proper chefs and purchase better quality food. In all of the years we have cruised, everyone in our party agreed, none of us could remember having such horrific food. If Azamara is going to advertise the "Journey" and the "Quest" as "Five Star" ships then they should hire someone to walk stern to bow and point out the obvious issues. Why are the coffee machines breaking down? Why are the Juice machines malfunctioning? Why are the water machines not working? Why is there not a menu on the wall at the Pool Side Grill? Why is the staff allowing glass items to be served anywhere around the pool area? Why have you run out of honey? Why have you run out of Butter? Why have you run out of Peanut Butter? Why did you run out of steaks, and why would you purchase them from Panama? Why have you run out of vegetables? Why are running out of desserts? Why would you leave port without all of the obvious provisions necessary? You want to know why? We will tell you what the cruise ship employees told us. The reason we were late leaving Miami was because the provisions were late being boarded and the Captain finally said, "Enough is Enough!" And off we went in the dark without enough provisions. You are kidding us right? This is a joke, right? Sadly it was not. We were asked to fill out response cards at the end of cruise and to drop them personally in the boxes located on the fourth floor @ "Guest Relations" Everyone we spoke to yesterday said they marked their response card saying they would never take another cruise on Azamara, and they would definitely never recommend Azamara to anyone in the future. It will be very interesting to see how many of those response cards end up in corporate hands. I can honestly say our party was never so happy to see land, as it was today when we finished my 50th birthday party cruise! PS... As other reviews have pointed out... This ship is not handicap friendly. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2007
Somewhere between the Marketing Department at Celebrity and the reality of the ship there was the most massive of breakdowns I have ever seen. Advertised as a "Crystal Light" it would be an embarrassment to Carnival so no telling ... Read More
Somewhere between the Marketing Department at Celebrity and the reality of the ship there was the most massive of breakdowns I have ever seen. Advertised as a "Crystal Light" it would be an embarrassment to Carnival so no telling how it being played in Miami headquarters. The good stuff first. Check in was a breeze, the cabin was compact but adequate, the balcony made for two only. The hot water was, and a good shower was to be had 24 hours a day. No trickle when someone at the other end of the ship took a shower too. Why was the cold water warm? Nice and comfortable for bacteria growth? Beds very comfortable. The butler (What was that idea?) is the maid with a bow tie, she was great, her assistant smiled a lot but spoke not a word of English. The special restaurants at an additional charge were superb, exactly what I was expecting in the regular restaurant. Now the bad stuff....where do I start? All the extras were grossly overpriced. Tours worth $70 were $150, no cinema on board but you could buy a movie on the TV for $12.95, regular drinks/wine $9 a glass. Food was OK but not exciting and repeated frequently. The dining room was a 2-3 hour visit which messed up attending the early show. Often the main course was the lesser of items I did not want as against the usual 3-4 on a menu that sounded good. Some waiters were good...some not. The alternative upstairs buffet restaurant had almost exactly the same fare every night, tables were at a premium and a bunch of surly waiters when they bothered to show up at all. I caught one at breakfast making the toast and wiping his nose with that gloved hand!! Yes I did report it !!! The shows were limited by a small theater but the troop did an admirable job. The comedians and magicians were poor the harpist and piano player OK. They are obviously just paying the minimum. The band soldiered on relentlessly. The British enrichment guy was absolutely fantastic and garnered the greatest audiences on the ship. The laundry was installed mid cruise at $2 a load to wash and $2 to dry...free on most other ship's, The coffee specialty area had great savories but the latte was $4, it just seemed they would squeeze you at every opportunity. The cruise is now being offered everywhere for a quarter of what we paid and still we would never set foot on that ship again. I have left a bunch of stuff off as recounting it is making me more and more mad!!! Spend your money somewhere else....they do not deserve it 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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