1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2014
On my previous Azamara cruises, I was amazed. Unfortunately, this cruise was not amazing. I booked directly with Azamara in October. At that time I was told that if I booked my excursions on line at least 4 days prior to sailing, I would ... Read More
On my previous Azamara cruises, I was amazed. Unfortunately, this cruise was not amazing. I booked directly with Azamara in October. At that time I was told that if I booked my excursions on line at least 4 days prior to sailing, I would get a 25% discount. After I paid my final payment, I was told that the discount had been withdrawn without notice. I was upset. I wrote and called Azamara expressing my thoughts about the change hoping that somebody at Azamara might realize that changing the terms was an error. That did not happen. On the ship, I met several people who had the same experience. Some folks had been promised a 50% discount which did not happen. Not booking tours from Azamara was actually a good thing. I did a lot of research before sailing. I booked some private tours and found my way independently. I enjoyed the ports and had a great time doing my own thing. We booked our plane tickets from choice air because they were offering a $1000 discount per cabin if we used their service. Even though the fares were a bit higher than booking directly with the airline, the $1000 discount was too good to pass up. Our air arrangements were good. We had no problems with the air. We did meet people on the ship who did have problems. Choice Air emergency people helped them. I would use Choice Air again. We flew into LHR 4 days before the cruise. I booked a transport from Simply Airports which I have used previously to take us into the city. The fare was good compared to a black taxi. I Paid £37. However, their price to get to Southampton at £160 was high. We took the National Express Coach from Victoria Station to Southampton. Fare was £13 for both of us. I took a taxi on both ends because we had luggage. Total cost from hotel in London City to the ship was £37. It was easy. Embarkation was quick. Cabins were available at 1:30 pm. Our cabin was on deck 7 slightly forward. This was the 3rd time on the Journey staying on deck 7. Deck 7 is between 2 decks of cabins. Best place to be to avoid noise. Our cabin was nice and tidy. Furniture, carpeting, etc. has not been changed since my first time on the ship in 2009. It is showing signs of wear and tear. Cabins need a facelift. Bed was hard. Pillows were thin. After the first night, we had our steward put a foam pad on the bed and change the pillows. Our cabin service was excellent. The entertainment was fair. Richard Rubin was a crowd pleaser. His cabaret piano entertainment was good. Nathan the guitar player was awful. The production numbers were very good. We enjoyed the flutist, hypnotist, and magician. The white night party was fun. The Amazing Evening was not amazing. We missed the harpist and music on the pool deck. The enrichment speakers were okay if you were into British history. I would have expected more wine educated speakers on a wine cruise. There was no wine tasting event. The only tasting on the ship was the included wines for lunch and dinner. Some good, many fair, and some were awful. Often the bottles were screw tops. Since this was a wine cruise, I had expected local wines being served. That did happen on the ship. The Amazing Evening did serve local wine from Bordeaux. In general, the cruise needed more entertainment. The food was not nearly as good as our previous cruises. We often sent food back that was undercooked or cold. The MDR service was usually good. The best server was Victoria. We asked every night for a table for 2 by the window. In 14 nights, that never happened. I wanted to enjoy the view. Just one night? No!!!!! On our last afternoon in Lisbon, we ate lunch in the MDR at a window. Mosaic Cafe had Nespresso Coffee for an additional charge. Their regular coffee was okay. The trolley with pastry and small sandwiches was nice. The tea was the same as the regular dining service. No premium teas were offfered. The Windows Cafe was the usual buffet with a variety of choices. It was open for 3 meals a day. Dinner theme changed each evening. Nothing special We often went up there after dinner for dessert and coffee on the outdoor deck. Included drinks were okay. There is a sheet of complimentary beverages. Not sure why or why not some things were on or off the sheet. i tried a few cocktails. I usually stuck to Sprite Zero or bitter lemon with and without gin. Some people had a good time trying everything on the list. The included liquor was not an attraction for me. I prefer ice tea or sprite. Bottled water was provided with no limit. I enjoyed the bottled water and soft drinks in the fridge in the cabin. Once the cabin knew my preferences, he stocked the fridge with them. Laundry for us included 2 free bags as Discover level cruisers. You can stuff a lot into the bag. The clothes are returned ironed on hangers. The self service laundry room was very nice. However, the crowds were there all the time. Most people were good about waiting. I did see a fight between 2 people over a washer. They need more washers and dryers. There were 2 opportunities to fill a bag of wash for $30....decent price if we stuff the bag. With the discontinuation of the complimentary laundry from LCV, there will be more people trying to use the machines. Discontinuing the free laundry perk for Discoverer is not a good thing. Shuttles were used in many ports. They were usually on a 30 minute schedule. They did not run late. The drop off locations were okay. We tendered in Guernsey and St. Jean de Luz. The only convenient dock location was in Bordeaux near the Maritime Bourse( not the stock exchange bourse). Often we docked at industrial locations making you ride to where you wanted to be. What did we do? In Guersey we rode the public round the island bus. Cost is 1£. Fantastic value for a great ride. We also bought some stuff. Great shopping in a lovely town. In Nantes, we visited the Chateaux and Jardin. Both were excellent. The chateaux des Dukes has 2 museums. The jardin was gorgeous. We also saw the small Leger exhibit at the Oratory Chapelle. Bordeaux was my favorite port. Visited the Muse des Beaux arts, the jardins, the monuments, and walked the pedestrian zones. Trams and bus service is great. Took a private tour to St, Emillion and visited wineries. Shopping was very good. Bordeaux is beautiful. Missed St Jean because of high seas. Some people tendered. Some got hurt. After that, they discontinued tender service. Ship moved to Bayonne. Bayonne was a nice small town. Rode the free Navette getting on and off. The Basque Muse was wonderful. Bayonne is not a touristy town. It was a pleasure to visit. Bilbao. Took the ship shuttle which left us off close to the Guggenheim museum. Visiting was better than expected. The exhibits were good. The Richard Serra room is spectacular. The Goerge Braque exhibit was excellent. The Yoko Ono exhibit was strange. Ate a tapas lunch at the museum. 3 tapas and a drink for 9€ was an excellent value. We also walked to the muse des Beaux des Fine Arts which was a block away. The asian exhibit was outstanding. In Porto, we took the red hop on hop off bus. Did the 2 hour ride. Nice trip for 10€. in Lisbon, we had a few hours. Took the shuttle, walked around and went back to the ship. Azamara says that You Will Love Where We Take You. I loved the ports. I got tired having to take shuttles to get to where I really wanted to be. Bordeaux was the only port where we docked at a convenient location. I enjoyed my trip. Mostly because of the places we visited. I was not thrilled with cruise. It was too expensive for what you got. I expected a cruise as good as my previous cruises on the Journey. It fell short on many levels. The worst was the food. I lost weight. I can overlook minor details....a bad water, a poor excursion, a stained tablecloth, etc. i cannot excuse bad food. I will not be sailing on Azamara soon. There are many choices in cruising that offer a better experience. Azamara lost me. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2014
This is our 12th cruise. We selected this cruise for the itinerary and we had always wanted to do a smaller “luxury” cruise. When we signed on, the offer was for a two-level upgrade. Basically, we received a veranda room at an inside ... Read More
This is our 12th cruise. We selected this cruise for the itinerary and we had always wanted to do a smaller “luxury” cruise. When we signed on, the offer was for a two-level upgrade. Basically, we received a veranda room at an inside cabin price. Leaving from the Wash. DC area, we added 3 days to the front of the trip in Copenhagen, and 3 days at the end of the trip in London. BOARDING The boarding process was very smooth. We were a little surprised that they kept our passports at check-in, with the comment that they’d be returned later in the trip. Buffet was crowded, but not overly so. The room was smaller than we’re used to at 179sf, but there was more than enough storage space. DAY 1 (sea day) The North Sea weather was very bad with swells from 9’ - 27’. Many of the crew were sick as were many passengers. A fellow cruiser said that in over 25 cruises, this was the worst weather he had experienced. Being a rather small ship at 592’ the ship movement was significant to say the least. I’m told that the larger ships have an easier time with this type of weather. DAY 2 (Edinburgh) We toured Edinburgh with friends who live there. Our tour was quite lovely, going to small villages that tour buses could not travel through. Our evening was capped off with dinner in a small pub. DAY 3 We were due to leave Edinburgh, but the Captain announced that the ship was not leaving port due to the continuing bad weather. Needless to say, we were pleased. CONTINUING: Rather than detail each day, we thought we’d cover some highlights and a few overall issues. LIVERPOOL The Azamazing Evening at the Liverpool Cathedral was spectacular beyond words. From the excellent coordination at the ship for buses to the Cathedral and return, to a wonderful musical performance at the largest Cathedral in Britain, to the entire staff, was an exercise in excellence. FOOD QUALITY Definitely a step up from what we are used to on other ships with the lamb needing a special mention. The buffet variety was good, but the crowds a bit overwhelming at times. AQUALINA Disappointing both in the quality of the food and the service. Even though the restaurant was almost empty, the amount of time waiting for a server, waiting for drinks, and waiting in general was unacceptable. DINING ROOM SERVICE The first night was good, but the restaurant was only half full. When the dining room was more than half full, service broke down. Yes, the servers remembered our names, but waiting 15-20 minutes for wine and drinks was not pleasing. There is a small lounge outside the dining room, but that staff also could not handle a crowd. The wait for a table was usually about 15 minutes. TOURS: Best of Dublin and Irish Traditions: The tour of Dublin was not researched very well, if at all, by the Azamara staff. The downtown driving part of the tour was repetitive , seeing the outside of St. Patrick’s three times. We did not stop to see the inside and no explanation was offered. After lunch, we were told that there was shopping nearby alongside a marina. There was no shopping, only restaurants, and the entire group had to wait in the cold and wind for 1 ½ - 2 hours. Back on the bus, the guide said “I didn’t know there was no shopping there.” We complained, as did others, to the Land Discovery desk but did not receive a response. Isles of Scilly: This tour to the island of Tresco was also not researched and there is no excuse for what I’m about to relate. The day before the tour we received information in our room that there were NO FACILITIES on the Isle. I’m fairly certain this info was in capital letters. Because of this, some cruisers canceled the tours that they had scheduled, others dehydrated themselves so that they would not need to use any facilities. We were tendered to the Isle with a short walk to Abbey Gardens and the tour. Not only were there facilities for both men and women, but also there was a nice café and a shaded garden. ENTERTAINMENT Also disappointing. The production numbers were good, the others not so. With so much of the seating at floor level, unless you arrived early you were looking at the back of someone’s head rather than the performers.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2014
This was our 4th Azamara cruise; our first on Journey. The embarkation process was as efficient and friendly as ever. It was the earliest our stateroom has been available: 1:30. For us, the experience on board was as superb as it has ... Read More
This was our 4th Azamara cruise; our first on Journey. The embarkation process was as efficient and friendly as ever. It was the earliest our stateroom has been available: 1:30. For us, the experience on board was as superb as it has always been: Food: we judged that this was the best set of menus we have had on an ACC ship. My wife has minor dietary issues and, aside from one night, those concerns were handled in the best manner possible. We enjoyed the MDR (Discoveries) so much we felt no need to reserve nights in the Specialty Restaurants. Service: Initially food service was a little spotty in the Windows Café but, by 3 days in, those issues disappeared. Because of a lengthy period of "Noro Rules", the time during which self-service in the buffets was allowed proved to be somewhat limited. Despite the extra effort involved, the staff rose to the occasion and maintained their friendly and helpful demeanour. In Discoveries, the main restaurant, we had very attentive staff. Our room stewards were, perhaps, the best we've have. Several minor issues were dealt with immediately and in an impressive manner. Entertainment: Never a strong suit of Azamara, we felt this was the best entertainment we'd enjoyed on this line's ships. Consequently, we made an extra effort to attend a number of performances. Ship's Condition: Although a somewhat older ship the Journey, as usual, was in immaculate condition. Although the staterooms are smaller than many of the newer vessels, we actually admire and appreciate the layout and efficiency of our balcony cabin. Ambience: Azamara has a policy of encouraging informal and friendly interaction between crew and passengers. This cruise was no exception. Also contributing to that friendly atmosphere were our fellow cruisers, in general a most friendly and sophisticated group. Itinerary: This itinerary is a bit different for ACC, in that it visits many of the typical ports of a Baltic cruise. However, it does provide 3 days in the remarkable St. Petersburg and the ship berths in a more downtown location than many other larger ships. Also, in our German ports, we also enjoyed special presentations of German music. Our complimentary Azamazing Evening of ballet at the Mikhailovsky Theater was outstanding. Not to be missed. Conclusion: We have sailed on 5 different cruise lines, and Azamara is now always our first choice despite the premium we pay in fares. However, if your preference is large staterooms and impressive public areas, as well as many of the diversions offered on newer and grander ships, you might well be disappointed. It offers a much more intimate experience.   Read Less
Sail Date: July 2014
Our party of two couples booked Azamara Journey for a Baltic cruise because we wanted an upper tier cruise line, and because Journey was scheduled for three days in St. Petersburg which would allow us to do a one day trip to Moscow on the ... Read More
Our party of two couples booked Azamara Journey for a Baltic cruise because we wanted an upper tier cruise line, and because Journey was scheduled for three days in St. Petersburg which would allow us to do a one day trip to Moscow on the middle day. Journey provided us a good, but not great experience and allowed us to take our Moscow excursion, which was great. Consequently, we essentially met our objectives. As a point of reference, our comments on our Azamara experience are in the context of a comparison with Seabourn, where we have previously cruised, and where we are booked again. Our embarkation process was anything but smooth. Even on the morning of embarkation we were on the internet from our hotel (Marriott Courtyard Stockholm, very good) trying to locate the exact berth of Journey. We ultimately determined the Terminal, but not the berth, and set out on a taxi search for the ship. As Club Suite guests we were advised we would have (early) Priority Boarding. We arrived at the embarkation point just before noon and found ourselves at the end of a line of between 50 and 60 passengers standing in the sun. Based on the cabin numbers showing on the luggage tags there was no differentiation between Priority Boarding passengers and any other. The total boarding process took a bit over thirty minutes, proceeding through three or four different stations, all in the sun. Unlike boarding on other lines, there was no effort to separate passengers by alphabet into smaller more manageable groups. The whole process left a great deal to be desired. On boarding we were a bit put off by the aggressive process to sell liquor/beverage packages and photos. While the cruise is advertised as "inclusive", everything from sparkling water to most wines to call brand cocktails was a chargeable upgrade. While that is to be expected with top end beverages, other lines include quality spirits, wine, and Pellegrino in their standard beverage offerings. In fairness, the beverages offered "in suite" were of a higher quality, but limited. The ship and onboard facilities were in good condition, but somewhat dated compared to other lines (probably reflecting the R-Ship heritage). Our Club Suite (N-2 Category) was very nice, but smaller than a Veranda/Balcony cabin on Seabourn Odyssey. Our Club Suite Butler, Angelo, and his assistants Rayner and Dennis, were most attentive and helpful. We avoided the 5th deck main restaurant, but dined in Windows and the two specialty restaurants. The specialty restaurant Maitre de', Alex, and some of the staff (Maria and Roy) were particularly good. We ate in the specialty restaurants fairly often, and on one evening, after they discovered both couples were celebrating 50th anniversaries on this cruise, the staff presented a special cake dessert. We had several lunches at the pool grill, which was also good. The Pool Grill area would have greater seating flexibility if more square 4 person tables were used instead of the large round 6 or 8 person tables now used. Overall the food, while good, was not exceptional. In the specialty restaurants, the "Starters" were often more memorable than the entrees. Positive comments are warranted on two other items. The ship experienced a bit of an outbreak of nurovirius, and immediately took effective measures to control further spread. They did this quite well, and without severely inconveniencing other passengers. Secondly, as a long time Naval Officer, I was greatly impressed with the Captain, his manner of interacting with the passengers, and his ship-handling ability. He was most personable, and did a great job. The Azamara Evening in St. Petersburg turned out to be an outstanding event. We were taken to a local performance hall and presented with an evening of ballet. Even though I am not personally a fan of ballet, the setting and performance were exceptional, and the logistics went off without a hitch. All was good! Overall, our cruise experience was good, but failed to convey the personal attentiveness and amenities offered by Seabourn.   Read Less
Sail Date: July 2014
My husband and I are both 53 and booked this cruise to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. He wanted to see Iceland and I wanted to be pampered! We booked more than a year ahead of the cruise when I found a good deal (buy ... Read More
My husband and I are both 53 and booked this cruise to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. He wanted to see Iceland and I wanted to be pampered! We booked more than a year ahead of the cruise when I found a good deal (buy inside,upgrade to balcony). We bought a balcony guarantee and were assigned a cabin within days. I was allowed to change the room (within the same balcony category) through my big-box travel agent. We had taken one cruise together before, an Alaskan cruise on Princess. We did not like the large ship with lots of people everywhere and long waits to tender. My mom and I took an Azamara cruise from Istanbul to Athens 3 years ago and loved it. We liked the size, the friendly crew, good food, included wine, and the ability to vacation any way you want. My husband was willing to give Azamara a try. Overall, the trip was a great success! We both loved the flexibility of cruising with Azamara, the much smaller ship, the amazingly friendly and efficient staff, and the ability to relax in every way. We arrived to embark in Copenhagen around 11:30 am and were on board within an hour or so. Very easy and efficient. We purchased the dining package upon embarkation (there was a table right next to the check-in lines) and made our reservations for 2 Prime C/ 2 Aqualina / Italian Chef’s Table. The maitre d’ had menus and the cruise schedule available to assist in making plans. It is a bit odd having to make all of the dinner reservations right away but it actually worked well for us and was one less thing to think about each day. Our balcony room was always clean and tidy. The bed was very comfortable. I had warned my husband about the shower but it was fine; at least the showerhead is adjustable. Plenty of storage and more hangers when we asked. The table on the balcony is much bigger but I liked it - easier to eat a whole meal or have a drink and play cards. The chairs outside are much more comfortable. Our room stewards were very sweet and hardworking. The ship is in good shape and I didn’t really see many signs of wear and tear. The loungers around the pool are super comfortable and no trouble finding one. The MDR looks much better after the dry dock and some of the very ugly public areas rugs were also better. The decor is not really to my taste - a bit too much brass and dark wood, ugly carpeting. Personal taste but….really, what is up with the public art/photos?! Many were modern, some a bit bizarre, most were jarringly out of character for the rest of the ship. I actually liked some of them but they did not fit or add to the decor. And please, get rid of the art auction - it was ugly and unnecessary. Reminded me of cruising on the huge ship and that is not a good thing. The food was good to outstanding. We ate pretty much everywhere. Room service was fine and prompt. The pool grill was just OK for a hamburger one day. The buffet was great - good to great food, fresh, variety, interesting ethnic food (unbelievably good Indian food), and drink service. We ate outside when the weather was nice and enjoyed the view. The MDR was solid - breakfast was not too exciting but hot and good (and they found fresh berries for me everyday!), lunch was variable - sometimes a menu, sometimes a buffet (the greek buffet and the jazz buffet, with fruit cutting station, were excellent), dinner was good with a few outstanding dishes (lamb) and wonderful service. We often ate with others and enjoyed meeting new people - a very friendly, well-traveled, and pleasant group on board. We were seated at the captain’s table for our anniversary (sans captain) and had a lovely dinner with a special dessert and singing with 4 other couples we just happened to be seated with - all of whom had been married much longer than us! The included wines were fine to good and poured generously. With the inclusion of many other drinks (and the list of included wines/beers/spirits is all around the first few days), we only paid for a few drinks - generally just to try something new. The only negatives are the really lousy included beers and tonic water (I didn’t think I would care about tonic water but Royal Crown is awful). There is so much to choose from it was not a problem for us. Try the non-alcoholic drinks/smoothies - yummy. Prime C looks wonderful and we had 2 good dinners there. Great side dishes. Aqualina is decorated a little too fussily for my taste but we had truly great meals there (the sole was the best we have ever had) and wonderful service (thanks, Maria). The Chef’s table was really wonderful and well worth the price. The menu was delicious and well prepared. Pierre, the sommelier, guided us through the interesting Italian wines he had chosen - and he poured some lovely wines. My only food negatives: some of the desserts looked better than they tasted (the gelato was always good) and the bread/pastries, while fresh, were not so delicious and finding interesting whole grain bread was next to impossible. Just as well, even with eating less bread and pastries than I was planning on - the pounds followed me home. My husband has a shellfish allergy and was carefully accommodated everywhere we ate. The entertainment is of little importance to me, my husband liked some of the shows. The dancers were really good. Eric de Gray is very talented, energetic, and funny. Alex, the activity manager, is also a hoot. We didn’t catch much else. The TV was pretty limited. Some movies were also broadcast but very few. I think Azamara should offer more movies (included & pay-per-view), especially on cruises with sea days. We only took one ship’s excursion. We had planned on renting a car in Akureyri, Iceland and driving to the Myvatn Baths but we arrived 3 hours late due to a storm we skirted in the North Sea so we took the ship’s excursion to the baths instead. Good thing we did - the excursion returned to the ship an hour late but, of course, Journey had to wait for us. The excursion was fine, although expensive, and the baths were fantastic but you could easily drive there if you had the time. The AzAmazing Evening was a musical program in Reykjavik at the opera house. The program of 2 Icelandic singers singing traditional songs was interesting but a bit long. Sparkling wine/water and snacks were available. The Harpa Hall is gorgeous and well worth seeing. We walked to the Hall and back to the ship along the waterfront and enjoyed the walk and the views. Everyone else was bused back and forth (in 2 assigned groups, early and late). The event was fine but in no way amazing. Would we cruise again with Azamara? Yes, with the right itinerary and price. The onboard experience IS amazing. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2014
The ship was kept immaculately clean and the onboard crew, staff, and entertainment were excellent. As usual, food started out great and the quality decreased over the course of the cruise. We were upgraded from sea view to veranda without ... Read More
The ship was kept immaculately clean and the onboard crew, staff, and entertainment were excellent. As usual, food started out great and the quality decreased over the course of the cruise. We were upgraded from sea view to veranda without our consent and it was not worth it. Having the veranda took space from the interior of the cabin and it was not really big enough for three. My main complaint was with the excursions-particularly in Iceland. Iceland was to be the highlight of the trip. Instead of the volcanic nature walk the excursion brochure described for Rekjavik we were driven through some scenic areas and then dumped at the blue spa lagoon for a hour and a half. We had the spa bathing experience the day before in Ackeuyri and did not pay for or want a double dose of bathing. The excursions were overpriced and overpromised for what we were actually given. Take the cruise but seek excursion options elsewhere. There are lots of reputable local tour operators, such as DenRus in St. Petersburg, out there. Find them. You will be much better served. There was also a great deal of pressure from some of the staff, ie spa, to pay for expensive treatments on the "at sea" days. I felt kind of like I was being run through a money milking machine on the tour of the ship. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2014
Basically, a wonderful cruise. The positives: Actual embarkation was a breeze (finding the ship was very difficult - some temporary signage would have been helpful). Entertainment for the most part was stellar. Bar service was excellent, ... Read More
Basically, a wonderful cruise. The positives: Actual embarkation was a breeze (finding the ship was very difficult - some temporary signage would have been helpful). Entertainment for the most part was stellar. Bar service was excellent, they were always willing to make a Cosmo with Finlandia vodka so it was a no-charge drink. It was wonderful docking right near all the action in St. Petersburg, Helsinki, Waramunde and Travemunde. Our cabin 6012 was kept beautifully by the team of Luis & Luis, no complaints there. I also appreciated greatly the complementary laundry facilities. We are Discoverer level, so we also had 1 free laundry bag, but it's per cabin, not per person as on Celebrity. It sure would have been nice to have that extra bag as the laundry facilities were quite crowded on our one sea day. And I'm talking at 7 a.m. The negatives: Main dining has slipped a little. This was our 3rd Azamara cruise and we were somewhat disappointed in the food and the service. There apparently was noro or some other virus on board so everything - I mean everything - was served to you by the waiters and that may have contributed to the long waits for service, or maybe they have cut back in staff. Hard to tell. Food was just ok, whereas the 2 prior cruises it was wonderful. We did not go to any specialty restaurants because from talking to people that had gone, they were not impressed. Several wished they'd sent their meals back. Our cabin, 6012, was right over the theatre, some a few nights we could hear some noise, but were so exhausted from touring that it didn't keep us up. We've gone with Celebrity in their Aqua Class and I really feel that's where we'll stay, although the Azamara itineraries are very tempting. They do a fabulous job in that department. Our prior cruises we were impressed by the feeling of comradarie between staff members and did not get that feeling on this trip. Disembarking was easy as we always carry our luggage off and were told we could leave at any time which worked for us.   Read Less
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
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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