1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2014
This was so much nicer than the mega ships we've sailed on in the past. Everything was top notch. The cabin was not huge but there was plenty of storage for all our stuff and the cabin was kept very neat and spotlessly clean. The food ... Read More
This was so much nicer than the mega ships we've sailed on in the past. Everything was top notch. The cabin was not huge but there was plenty of storage for all our stuff and the cabin was kept very neat and spotlessly clean. The food was good, not gourmet but very good especially in the specialty restaurants. Food presentation was excellent as was the service. The entire staff was friendly and professional. Although we engaged a private guide in St Petersburg the shore excursions offed by the cruise line were well organized and there were several options in each port. Our 3 days in St Petersburg was the highlight but I can't imagine visiting this city with 48 fellow cruisers on a motor coach. We used Alex's Tours & Travel and it was fabulous and easy! There were just 6 of us in a spacious private car with an amazing guide who knew everything about everything. And the cost was no more than the ship's shore excursion. Embarkation and debarkation were very easy and went smoothly and quickly. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2014
Our cruise started in Copenhagen where the embarkation process was very slick as we were on-board within 10 minutes of arriving at the ship at about 1.30pm. After lunch we went to our cabin to find our luggage waiting for us. The cruise ... Read More
Our cruise started in Copenhagen where the embarkation process was very slick as we were on-board within 10 minutes of arriving at the ship at about 1.30pm. After lunch we went to our cabin to find our luggage waiting for us. The cruise called at 8 ports with the highlight being St Petersburg where we moored for 3 whole days. Being a relatively small ship, Journey was given a berth in the heart of the city which meant little time was spent getting anywhere (except Peterhof which is an hour outside the city anyway). We had chosen the Journey's 3 day excursion which covered the major sights, costs $350 per person which proved to be good value as it was three full days (with 2 lunches) and an excellent guide called Tatiana. Not only was her English good, she was very knowledgeable and spoke with tremendous enthusiasm about the city and it's history. These 3 days were exhausting though fascinating. We enjoyed visiting all the other ports - Travemude (which by chance had a sea shanty choir festival), Wismar, Bornholm, Gdansk, Tallinn, Helsinki and Stockholm some of which we would never have otherwise visited. In Gdansk, we attended the AzAmazing Evening which was a Classical Concert at the Poland Baltic Philharmonic hall which was exceptionally good. Gdansk was a complete surprise as it's old town has wonderful historic building's. Service on Journey was generally very good as was the food both of which compare favourably with 6 star cruise ships. The majority of the 600+ passengers were from the USA and Canada plus about 80 from Australia and only about 40 from the UK (where we are from). We had previously been on Journey for a Rio carnival cruise in 2012 when there were many more British passengers. Most passengers were aged 50+.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2014
This was my first time sailing with Azamara and my second time on a smaller ship (my 6th cruise since 2005). My first cruise was on the Paul Gaugin doing French Polynesia back in 2005 - it only had about 350 guests and was considered ... Read More
This was my first time sailing with Azamara and my second time on a smaller ship (my 6th cruise since 2005). My first cruise was on the Paul Gaugin doing French Polynesia back in 2005 - it only had about 350 guests and was considered luxury so I'm not really comparing the two cruises. Anyway, I chose this cruise because of dates and itinerary having to go to a conference in Copenhagen which actually meant we had to leave the cruise a couple of days early. I have to say I have been intrigued by the Norwegian Fjords since I was a kid but have actually travelled a lot in Europe and have been to Sweden. I loved the ship and the itinerary - the captain was outstanding at connecting and making the guests feels like he was giving us a personal tour of his homeland. The food was very good sometimes better than celebrity but not always. I like wine and was very happy with the selections and the flexibility with them. The amazing evening was fun and unique but others who've done more of them found it lacking. On reflection I can understand why. Loved the friendliness of all the people interested in meeting others all throughout the cruise not just the first days. Have to attribute this to a smaller boat and the way the staff enhance the experience. The only negatives was the size of the spa, my only treatment ( a good deal) was disappointing - felt like the masseuse was novice), and the fact that to use the forward hot tub you had to pay extra or be having a treatment. Gym was fine especially considering size of the ship. Entertainment was very good. My only other negative was that I took a private dance lesson and my instructors were insensitive to having the lesson in a public space that was filling up and watching me. I made clear my feelings and had to end early - I thought they would try and make it up to me (hinting broadly) but they made no efforts to do so. This was the only negative in service I can think of. If you like to play texas holdem - forget about it in this casino. They held two days of tournaments which were fun but pathetic compared to others I've been in on NCL and Celebrity Reflection. All in all would travel on Azamara again if I can find the great kind of unique itinerary and great deal I got on this cruise!   Read Less
Sail Date: June 2014
Another spectacular Azamara Journey from Hamburg to the Norwegian Fjords, the North Cape and back to Copenhagen and points between. This is a spectacularly beautiful trip and great fun with Azamara with its many port calls. Best of all, ... Read More
Another spectacular Azamara Journey from Hamburg to the Norwegian Fjords, the North Cape and back to Copenhagen and points between. This is a spectacularly beautiful trip and great fun with Azamara with its many port calls. Best of all, our Captain was Norwegian and because of the size of the ship, we were able to sail into impossibly narrow fjords and go to a couple towns that others could only visit on shore excursions. The service on Azamara is unbelievably great; this was our second time. LOVED the classical music performances in addition to the fine cabaret style entertainment. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2014
We have been sailing on the r class ships since 1996. The renovation and the updating of the Journey is nothing short of miraculous for such an old ship. The common areas have been well restored with touches of traditional art all around. ... Read More
We have been sailing on the r class ships since 1996. The renovation and the updating of the Journey is nothing short of miraculous for such an old ship. The common areas have been well restored with touches of traditional art all around. The rooms are small! So get over it!!!!!!! Do what I do and take showers in the fitness center after a workout in the well equipped gym. This cruise had nothing to do with how big the rooms were. We started this cruise in Lisbon and traced WW2 from Gurnsey to Paris to London to Amsterdam to Paris. We were honored to have a member of Easy company of the 101st airborne , Henry, and a survivor of the Amsterdam starvation, Johannesburg, with us to give us first heand information of their experiences. Anyone who missed Henry's talk on the last day other cruise missed one of the great experiences I have ever had! Talking to Johanne as we were going through the locks in Amsterdam was riveting and revealing. The series of lectures from Bill about his fathers tank company's fight through Europe was informative and well recited. Of course, the other highlight was the trip to Omaha Beach and the American Cemetary. Walking up St Mere Eglais with Henry was funny and chilling all at once. There were just too many experiences to recall here but this cruise definitely changed the way I will look at this time in history forever. As for the entertainment, it is always limited on a small ship .If you want Las Vegas, go somewhere else! The singers and dancers were very talented and extremely helpful and available...........And then there was Eric! From his Great Getsby wardrobe to his soulful mullet hairdo, this 6 ft 5 inch tower of talent kept us all entertained and informed. The deck show has to be one of the best parties I have ever attended. Kudos also to Larry, Azamaras president, for the organization and execution of the amazing evening in Cherborg. The honoring of Henry's service to the French people by the mayor of Cherborg was genuine, deserved, and executed flawlessly. I guess you can tell I liked this cruise. Sure, the ship was clean, the staff, as usual, was friendly and efficient, the food was good and all the normal mundane things were fine........but that was not the point here! You want to have an experience that opens your eyes and changes your life. This did just that! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2014
This was our first cruise on Azamara and only our second cruise having done a Windstar cruise in the Caribbean a year ago on the Windsurf. My concerns about crowds, lines and impersonal treatment on the much larger Azamara Journey were ... Read More
This was our first cruise on Azamara and only our second cruise having done a Windstar cruise in the Caribbean a year ago on the Windsurf. My concerns about crowds, lines and impersonal treatment on the much larger Azamara Journey were quickly laid to rest by the friendly and efficient Azamara crew. Our stateroom attendant, Wayan, had our names down pat on the first day of the cruise. We never had any problem finding a seat in the restaurants or a place to stretch out and relax on deck. We were traveling in a group of 8. We arrived in Athens a couple of days before our embarkation date in order to have time to do some exploring in Athens. Our hotel, the O&B arranged for our transfers from the Athens Airport to the hotel and from the hotel to Piraeus. This is an excellent small hotel and I would highly recommend it. I have reviewed the hotel on Trip Advisor. The embarkation in Piraeus was handled smoothly and efficiently with only a short wait in line. We got on board early enough to spend some time exploring the ship. Our first stop was in Santorini. We chose to go on the shore excursion to Akrotiri. This was a fascinating site to visit which was made all the better by our well-informed professional tour guide. This was also supplemented by an excellent, on-board lecture given by Dr. Patrick Goodness the following day. We attended all of his lectures which tied in nicely with our shore excursions. It was great to know what the tour guides were talking about. Our next stop was Malta. We chose the Valletta City of the Knights shore excursion. This was primarily a walking tour that visited St. Pauls Co Cathedral and the military museum. Again our tour guide was an expert and well informed on the history of Malta. I personally found the military museum very interesting. The AzAmazing Evening in Malta was a bit of a letdown. The facility that the evening was held in was like a tunnel. It became very crowded and noisy. We ended up standing the entire time as there weren't enough seats to go around. The entertainment was good but it was next to impossible to move through the hall. We found out later from our friends that there had been a sword swallower but they missed seeing the balancing act that we managed to watch. The next stop was Taormina Sicily. We chose the Mt. Etna shore excursion. This was a long bus ride up the side of the mountain but our guide, also very knowledgeable, pointed out things along the way. We did get an opportunity to hike around once we got to the lodge on the side of the mountain. We also sampled some of the local food and drink. The unscheduled evening stop to watch Stromboli erupting was a lot of fun. It was great that the Captain had the flexibility that he could do things like this. Our next stop was Sorrento for two days. My wife and I set out on our own to visit Pompeii. With the help of some other Azamara passengers we were able to figure out the local train system and successfully make the round trip. Pompeii was amazing and too big to see in one day. We may have to come back. It also happened that this was our wedding anniversary. On returning to our stateroom, we found our bed decorated with flower petals and kissing swans done in folded towels. Nice touch Wayan! Our second day in Sorrento was spent wandering around and exploring this beautiful city. Our disembarkation in Rome was handled as smoothly as the Embarkation. We were told that hiring a taxi or a van to take us from the port to our hotel in the Barberini District in Rome would be very expensive and that the availability of taxis at Civitaveccia would be very limited. In fact, this was not the case. We founds many vans for hire and they competed with each other for your business. We hired a van that was able to accommodate our entire group of 8 plus luggage for a price of 20 euros per person. This was about what we were expecting to pay to take the train and right to the front door of our hotel. (Actually a monastery) Overall, my impression of the Azamara Journey was very good. Good food, fun on-board entertainment, and a beautiful ship. We are already working on planning our next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2014
We have cruised frequently, but this was our first with Azamara. The theme for this cruise was WWII and the Normandy landings. That is why we choose this cruise. Our first impression began with the check in. Check in was unorganized with ... Read More
We have cruised frequently, but this was our first with Azamara. The theme for this cruise was WWII and the Normandy landings. That is why we choose this cruise. Our first impression began with the check in. Check in was unorganized with long lines and long waits. Even though we were to have priority boarding we waited inline inside the port office for about a half hour just to make the initial check in. Not organized to process everyone in a timely manner. Then another long and very slow line to go through security. Next was on to a bus to take us to the ship about 100 feet away. This is where it really got ridiculous. A line longer than the full length of the ship standing still. It nearly reached the point where you would board the bus. Many older people with mobility and standing issues were having to stand in the sun for over a half hour again. Once on board there was yet another line to get your picture and key card. By then we were getting a little cranky, but were determined to give them the benefit of the doubt and enjoy our trip. We had a penthouse and the room was great. Lots of closet space. The bathroom was a good size with nice toiletries. Housekeeping was attentive and our room was kept clean and neat the entire trip. Our room attendants were awesome. The lectures were pretty good with one in particular wonderful speaker dealing with the D Day landings and some of the events that followed the landings. He was a retired judge that had great material and speaking voice was very informative. The ship was looking a little worn and tired. They only have two ships, so I'm sure it's hard to pull one out of service for refurbishing. They also seemed to be short staffed. The bartender was also the waiter as an example. He was really good however. You just didn't see the number of staff we are accustom to seeing. The cruise director dressed like a beach bum and couldn't decide if he wanted to grow up or not. The food was mediocre. The presentation was nearly nonexistent. The wait staff were very friendly and attentive, but Oceania is far superior in food taste and presentation. For the first few days guests are pushed to buy an alcohol package. We did, but if you wanted a selection of wine you paid extra. You were offered sparkling water, but it was extra. Come on. Then the big annoyance came to our attention. To eat in one of the two speciality restrauants you were charged $25 per person extra unless you were in a penthouse suite or above. Really? We were penthouse so it didn't matter, but that is not classy. Again, Oceania shows better judgement by not making second class passengers. We took several excursions at the port stops. Seemed like there was always something that caused a delay and that made the return late in the day. That shortened the time you had available to clean up, change, meet for a cocktail, and get to a restaurant before they closed and certainly too late to see a show after dining. Speaking of excursions, most of the ones we went on were just fine. Good buses and guides. Priced a bit higher than we have seen on other cruises. The excursion in Dover was good until they dropped us off at a shopping center rather than taking us to a well known historical site. That irritated many of the passengers. Some good things they did was locating a barista on the 5th floor. Nice place to stop and relax. The piano entertainment in the bar was excellent. They put on a great off ship party featuring WWII theam. It was very well done. The ports they choose were good. In summary, I would rate Azamara as a three star out of five. If you have never cruised on another small ship you would like this. If you sailed on Oceania, you would not return to Azamara unless you had a special purpose. For us, it's Oceania. We are already booked! 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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2014
Our recent cruise actually started with a flight from Heathrow to Athens via British Airways. We were offered a couple of flights which were not direct but this was not an option we wanted to take. Fortunately there was an option to go ... Read More
Our recent cruise actually started with a flight from Heathrow to Athens via British Airways. We were offered a couple of flights which were not direct but this was not an option we wanted to take. Fortunately there was an option to go from London Heathrow direct, and at very reasonable times. Although this means that we had to drive down to stay overnight at the Comfort Hotel, (where they offer cruise-parking and have a regular shuttle bus service to the airport) this is preferable to flying to Paris or elsewhere to catch a connection. The hotel also offer to print Boarding Cards for anyone checking in online, but if you take advantage of that you perhaps need to check that the whole of the barcode is printed (ours wasn't, but the very nice Bag Drop man just printed us a new ones, with no charge). It had been a while since we flew with BA, so I wasn't sure what to expect, but we were pleasantly surprised. We had a surprising good complementary meal, with wine to go with it and other drinks were also available. The seats we had were very comfortable, although we did pay the extra cost to select our seats early. Our flight was delayed by almost an hour, but we seemed to make up most of this and we arrived in Athens only a little later than we expected. We were met very efficiently by the Azamara staff, who accompanied us to our waiting coaches and we were soon on our way. We stayed at the Hilton Hotel in Athens and had dinner on the rooftop garden terrace Galaxy Restaurant, which we booked online before we left home. Even though we felt that the food and drinks were expensive, it did set the holiday mood as we ate our meal looking out over Athens and the Acropolis. Our cruise package included the option of a free Athens tour, including a visit to the Acropolis, ending at the ship, but we didn't take advantage of this as it would have been too much of a rush for us. We were scheduled to leave the hotel at 12.00 noon, and the transfers to Piraeus, which took about 35 minutes were very efficient and punctual with plenty of room on the coach. Our luggage had been collected after breakfast and the next time we saw our cases was when they arrived at the cabin. We were notified that they would probably be delivered early evening but they were delivered within an hour of us boarding. We were welcomed on board with champagne and plenty of smiles and informed that lunch was being served in the Windows Cafe. The cabins/staterooms were due to be ready for everyone at 13.30 and just before this time it was announced that they were indeed available. The cabin was plenty big enough with a king-sized bed, a double and single wardrobe, dressing table, corner cupboard containing the safe and fridge as well as shelf space for the ice bucket and glasses, double settee and coffee table. The cases fitted very easily under the bed, and the storage space was perfectly fine. We also had a balcony with a square dining table and two chairs. As has already been mentioned in many other posts, the shower cubicle is quite small, but it is possible to have a shower without being attacked by the dreaded shower curtain. The Emergency Lifeboat drill was carried out at 17.00, but it did not necessitate carrying or wearing our life jackets, although the correct procedure for putting these on was covered. At 18.00 we joined our fellow Cruise Critic 'Meet and Greet' guests, which was hosted by Eric, the Cruise Director and attended also by the Captain, Johannesburg Tysse, and some of his crew. There were drinks and nibbles provided and it was very well attended. At Eric's suggestion, we identified ourselves with our 'handles' and introduced ourselves. This was a very good ice-breaker and after this had been done people mingled much more than we had experienced on other Meet and Greets. What became very noticeable at this time was that there were quite a number of returning guests who had established a great rapport with Eric and this friendly atmosphere continued throughout the week, encompassing new guests along the way. As this is a small ship, there was usually only one show in the evening, but the Entertainment team were very professional, each one an excellent dancer and singer. The first evening was actually a surprise to me, as the entertainment was an evening with the extremely talented Cellist, Andrew Skrimshire, from England. He played music from Bach to the Beatles, but punctuated his fabulous playing with typical British humour -an excellent start to the cruise. Other guest appearances included Soprana, Italia Fiorentino and Tenor, Mario Todisco (another magical evening) and Siobhan Phillips from England, who gave us 'an evening of song, comedy and general frivolity'. The dining alternatives were the Discoveries Main Dining Room, the Windows Cafe which provided the buffet option, the Mosaics Cafe which served speciality coffees and the most delicious Danish Pasties and cakes and the two speciality restaurants, which I can't comment on as we didn't visit either of them. We enjoyed the food in Discoveries in the evening and Windows during the day, including the Pool deck offering of Beefburgers, Hotdogs, Chicken Wings etc, which were delicious. Breakfast in Discoveries was also very special, and I would personally recommend the omelettes cooked with your favourites, as ordered. The Looking Glass Bar, on deck 10, offered a quiet place to chat and look out over the Bow during the day and early evening. However, at about 10.30 on most evenings it became the hub of the ship, with great music and dancing, and a full dance floor and fantastic atmosphere. I don't know if this is usually the case, but on this cruise the passengers certainly seemed ready to enjoy themselves to the full. We took advantage of the basic Inclusive drinks offer and didn't ever feel the necessity to partake from the Premium brands also available, but this is obviously our personal choice. So far I have spoken mostly about the ship itself, so I should perhaps give a summary of the Itinerary. The cruise covered the journey between Athens and Rome, calling in at some of the most beautiful places. The first call after Piraeus was at Santorini, which was a tendered port and the town was accessed mostly via the cable-car, although there are other options as well. Our next call was Malta, one of my favourite ports as it is accessed by entering the beautiful Grand Harbour. While we were here, we took the Hop On, Hop Off bus, which was a journey of about 2 hours 20 minutes. This trip took in Valletta Waterfront, the Blue Grotto, the auberge de Castille, the War Museum and Fort St Elmo in Valletta, as well as the Knights Hospital before returning to the Port of Valetta and the ship. Also included in the ticket price of €15 was a second trip which we didn't do, but this also visited Mdina, Rabat and Ta Qali, where the bus stops at the Aviation Museum, the Crafts Village and Mdina Glass. Sicily was our next destination, tendering at Giardini Naxos for Taomini. As we left this port, the Captain decided to give us an extra treat. He took the ship around the Island to the east coast to give us an opportunity to see Mount Etna silhouetted against the night sky and to see how active the volcano was. As we watched, we were treated to some intermittent activity as small eruptions could be seen very clearly - another first for me! And so we carried on, along the beautiful Amalfi coast to Sorrento, where we anchored overnight, giving us two days to spend time in this lovely city. Our final leg was to Civitiveccia, where we left the Journey for our flight home from Rome Airport. This review would not be complete without telling you a little about the Azamazing Evening, which took place in the Mediterranean Conference Centre in Malta. This building, constructed in the late 16th Century was for over two centuries the 'Holy Infirmary of the Order of St. John, but had taken on different guises as circumstances dictated at the time. Just over 600 passengers were coached from the ship to the venue, a journey of about 10-15 minutes only. Each coach arrived at spaced intervals so at the time of arrival there was no crowds outside which meant that everyone had the same experience of being met with trumpets and drummers as they walked indoors on the red carpet. Without going into any more detail about this evening, I can only say that the evening fully lived up to expectations and in some ways exceeded them. Overall, this cruise was probably one of our best - the service we had from all the staff was exceptional, the cabin was extremely comfortable, the food was delicious, the evenings were always entertaining and we would take another cruise with Azamara without hesitation.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2014
Typically we book well ahead on our cruises, however a gap in the diary and a strong desire for some serious r and r brought us back onboard Azamara Journey, for the first time ever in an Oceanview room. We had read less positive reviews ... Read More
Typically we book well ahead on our cruises, however a gap in the diary and a strong desire for some serious r and r brought us back onboard Azamara Journey, for the first time ever in an Oceanview room. We had read less positive reviews in the weeks previously and were also concerned about how we would cope sans balcony - however, within minutes we knew we had made the right decision because Azamara Journey is in great shape as ever and we had a brilliant seven nights. Embarkation This was one of the swiftest embarkations we have ever had and it was lovely that the ship was docked down town at the foot of Las Ramblas and not further out in the larger facility. From leaving our hotel (Crowne Plaza Fira very good) to sitting out the back with our first included glass of wine was 27 minutes, my mathematically precise other half tells me. Room We had never had anything other than a suite on Azamara before and so we had read all about the small bathrooms. We were actually pleasantly surprised how spacious the room and bathroom were, the storage was far better than on a Celebrity ship and the bathroom is larger than the ensuite off our guest bedroom. We had expected something like we had experienced on our first ever cruise (NCL) but this was much better. The location on Deck 4 was perfect, very quiet and our stateroom team were excellent and the room was always immaculate and clean and showed no obvious signs of wear and tear. Again we had read that you see a difference in team when you are in the cheaper rooms - most certainly not so. Dining This is where I have my biggest complaint, or maybe it is with the manufacturers of our washing powder because all my clothes are now too tight and I think the other half has a similar issue. Every meal, be it in Windows Café or the main Discoveries Dining Room was well cooked, extremely tasty and just right. The pastries from Mosaic café were a delight (ok I know why we do not want a room on Deck 4 again, it is far too near that Deck 5 den of cake sin and cookie temptation). Service was always attentive, perceptive and with a smile. It is lovely that although waiters have individual areas of responsibility they work as a team, helping each other out and thinking guest first. For us all the food came at the right temperature and generally wine glasses were promptly topped up. They were a little slower topping up the Club sodas but I think when that happened there were usually surrounding tables who had quite extensive and complex demands on the Assistant Waiter re cocktails. A Jazz Brunch was served on the At Sea day and as ever there was a great range of options to eat at that event with the eating accompanied by the Journey Orchestra playing some great Jazz sets. Entertainment We know Azamara will never compete with big ships and full production stages but we enjoyed what was offered most nights. We were a little less keen on the comedy hypnotist (but that is a personal preference) but this was offset by our delight at hearing Brookes Aehron again after a gap of several years. He has lost none of his sparkle!! There are no longer singing duos around, we liked that poolside as we prefer to read quietly there (or sleep) and it had no impact on us elsewhere. The DJ was less energetic than his predecessor but as he had just come on board, perhaps he was still settling into his style and rhythm. The Cruise Director (Eric) is extremely talented and yet also very modest (except when he is coaching Captain Johannes in navigation skills). Seriously though it is great to see staff working hard and yet having fun and being very comfortable as a team. Ports of call Minorca - a gem and a very easily walkable port but not one you will find lots of tourist shops. It is a genuine place, very welcoming and lots of lovely tiny streets to explore Alcudia Mallorca - we were only the second ship ever to call there. A lovely new terminal building a level 15 minute walk from the main beaches and bus to the old town. Unfortunately the local taxis have not yet worked out there is money to be made here, so the lovely large taxi area was empty all day, we are sure they will quickly learn. Some cruisers travelled to Palma for the day both independently and through organised excursions. Some independents found they had a stressful trip back to the ship as the local bus timetables seem to be "optional" but every one did make it back on time (just) Gibraltar - it was misty and a little windy so the Cable Car was not running for some of the day. We opted for a local taxi tour we picked up at the terminal which is at a standard set rate (£22 per person) and was very good and informative. In Gibraltar we also enjoyed our Azamazing evening which was a wonderful night despite the challenges of moving over 500 guests half way up the rock via narrow roads. The venue was wonderful, plenty seats, the music spine tingling and pleasant interval refreshments (the ship had laid on pre departure and welcome back buffets so no risk of going hungry) Cadiz - a lovely town to explore on its own but we opted to go further afield and took the cruiseline excursion to Seville, selecting the Seville on your own tour which is basically just transport to and from the beautiful Cathedral town. This was a great trip and we hope Azamara provide more of these "on your own" options in future as it gives us the security of reliable transport (and for 2 persons, less than the taxi fare) but combines this with the freedom to explore and see what you want at the other end. Being a Sunday we were very limited re the Cathedral but in a way were glad because we might not otherwise have explored Real Alcazar to the extent we did. Lisbon - we arrived lunchtime the day before disembarkation when we were going to spend some more time in Lisbon, so we opted for another trip, this time to Mediaeval Obidos an absolutely charming town 90 mins drive away. Although we were on a large bus (c35 of us) there were two guides and we used audio guide systems, half the bus on channel 1 and half on 2. We took slightly different routes round the village and it worked very well and did not feel like a large group event. Again a good trip we would recommend. Disembarkation This was very well arranged, we had hoped to opt for a late disembarkation but as the ship was on a tight turnaround, this was not offered so we changed our plans. Independent travellers were given a 2 hour window in which they could disembark when the chose, the luggage tags were only being used to help you find your cases. We like this and it all worked well. Summary This cruise reminded us why we like Azamara. It is everything from the relative compact size of the ship (and there are never elevator issues or lines to do anything) to the wonderful crew (not one person let the side down) to the fellow guests (hard to explain but it has the sorts of interesting people we like to cruise with, people who enjoy exploring places, socialising in the evening, but who do not need hip hop music and bling to make their holiday work for them). It was perfect r and r even if it is now requiring some effort on the exercise front to remove that one unwanted but self inflicted souvenir of a great holiday Read Less
Azamara Journey Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 5.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 5.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 1.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 4.0 0.0
Service 5.0 0.0
Value For Money 5.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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