Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this short, six-night Azamara cruise for several reasons: First, although we prefer longer cruises, two weeks or more, we faced some time limitations this trip, including work obligations and also meeting family and friends ... Read More
We chose this short, six-night Azamara cruise for several reasons: First, although we prefer longer cruises, two weeks or more, we faced some time limitations this trip, including work obligations and also meeting family and friends afterward for some spring training baseball games; second, we had heard some very good reports on Azamara from friends who really enjoyed the casual, small-ship atmosphere and we figured this would be a way to try it out without a big financial or time commitment; third, and most importantly, we wanted to visit Cuba, and this cruise included two days and an overnight in Havana. Embarkation at the Port of Miami was easy. We drove to Miami from our home in the mountains of North Carolina because we wanted to have a car for the post-cruise spring training. It is a long drive, and next time we probably would fly (though we hate the MIA airport). We stayed at the Hampton Inn & Suites Blue Lagoon International Airport on a stay and cruise package that included parking and a shuttle. That worked out fine compared with parking at the Port and saved us a little money and a good bit of hassle. It took only a few minutes to get through the formalities of paperwork (including the Cuban visa ($75 per person), which Azamara took care of for us. Soon we were sitting in Journey's buffet restaurant enjoying a drink. Drinks are included in the cost of Azamara cruises, but the included package mostly has low-end brands and house wines. My wife decided to upgrade to the Ultimate package because she enjoys fancy craft cocktails -- unfortunately we would learn that, unlike Celebrity and some other lines most bartenders on Azamara are not up to speed on making complex drinks. Before long we went to our Deck 8 Veranda Stateroom. Having read and heard a lot of reports, we were prepared for the stateroom to be on the small size, and the bath and shower to be tiny. The bathroom wasn't quite as small as I had feared, but I have to say that on a so-called premium ship that the shower is as small as it is. I have rheumatoid arthritis and back problems, and I have to say it was not a pleasure to look forward to a shower. Although the Journey is almost a 20-year-old ship (it was built in 2000 as an R-2 class ship for Renaissance Cruises, now defunct, and then sailed under two names for Pullmantur line), it appeared to be in quite good condition. We liked all the mahogany and other woods in some of the public areas and enjoyed going on several open decks as in the "old days" of cruising. Journey has one of the smallest swimming pools I've ever seen on a cruise ship.The fitness room is pretty well equipped, although smallish and with only one recumbant bike. We found Azamara staff, both officers and guest-contact crew, almost uniformly helpful, friendly and hard-working. That was the case although gratuities were included in the fare. (At the end of the cruise we did tip extra for our room steward, who was excellent, and a bartender who had been extra nice to us.) I have to admit that our overall experience may have been shaded by the fact that my wife had a cold that started soon after boarding (after disembarking she went to a doc-in-the-box in West Palm Beach and was diagnosed with acute bronchitis and an eye infection. A couple of days after board I developed a toothache that turned out to be sinus-related. None of this was Azamara's fault (we didn't hear of any noroviruses this trip), and we probably should have checked with the clinic on board. Dining was certainly adequate on board, but not exceptional. We usually ate in the main dining room, Discoveries, for dinner (everyone has open seating, and only once or twice did we have to wait for a table). Some of our favorite dishes, such as the escargot appetizer, seem to be the same as on sister line Celebrity, but others were mediocre. Service was always excellent, however. We did try Prime-C, the steak house (a $30 per-person upcharge), which was fine but not memorable. The Windows buffet, again, was adequate but with a limited menu compared with other ships we've been on. The Patio on the pool deck, which serves burgers and such, was -- I have to say again -- only adequate. We loved our two days in Havana and wish we could have spent the entire cruise at Cuban ports. Why this itinerary included Cozumel I don't know. We have been to Cozumel many times, both on land trips and on cruises and no longer find it of any interest at all. It is a good dive destination that has been ruined by too many cruise ships and too much commercialization (Cozumel, amazingly, is the 3rd busiest cruise port in the world.) We were not that impressed with the ship excursion staff, who pushed the cruise tours pretty hard, and one of our pre-booked tours was canceled for no reason we could understand. To summarize what we liked and didn't much care for: Liked: Easy embarkation and disembarkation Friendly, helpful staff Lots of "traditional" wood paneling and such The Havana stop -- Havana is amazing, and we only wish we had had more time there So-so: Enrichment offerings (basically one speaker whose knowledge of parts of the Caribbean seemed a little dated -- having written many books on the region I probably knew more than he did) Dining in all venues Entertainment The small-ship atmosphere -- Journey carries fewer than 700 passengers, but we really felt that we had more and better options for places to relax on the Solstice-class Celebrity ships. Didn't like: Cozumel Bartenders' skill -- some bartenders seemed to have no training in making anything but the very basics. The Celebrity ships we have been on had much better bars and craft cocktails; the ship skimped on some ingredients, for example substituting cheap maraschino cherries for Luxardo cherries. I think Azamara should totally rethink its drink policies – just raise the fare a few bucks and make the included drinks cover more options and better brands. Small stateroom, tiny bathroom and ridiculously little shower Bottom line: I guess our expectations were too high. We were hoping to really love Azamara, but at this point I doubt we would go on another Azamara cruise. We prefer its big-ship sister, Celebrity, and hope that Royal Caribbean's purchase of a majority interest in Silversea will result in a true premium line in the cruise family (we have been on Silversea and hope that Royal Caribbean upgrades to new ships). Read Less
Meh
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Went with a big group from my country club development. The pros were that the size of the ship was very manageable and easy to navigate, no lines or waiting for anything. Staff were friendly and helpful and willing to go above and beyond. ... Read More
Went with a big group from my country club development. The pros were that the size of the ship was very manageable and easy to navigate, no lines or waiting for anything. Staff were friendly and helpful and willing to go above and beyond. Had a standard outside stateroom with window that was small but adequate. Best restaurant was Aquilina by a long shot. The spa was decent The cons are a bit plentiful. The ship is very dated looking and in dire need of renovations. Cabin bathroom was ridiculously small. The food was sub par even tho plentiful and certainly nothing special in either taste or presentation ( except in the aforementioned Aquilina) . The entertainment was amateurish and difficult to sit though. The spa did not inform me that I could use the outside sun deck and whirlpool because I purchased a treatment. The destinations itself, key west and Cuba were disappointing. Key west is a place you can walk around for an hour or so, have a great lunch and drink alcoholic beverages in your choice of at least three establishments per block. The stores are typical tourist stores loaded with shell necklaces and tee shirts and crappy sandals. Cuba is a hot mess. It’s depressing it looks like a bomb hit it except in the tourist area where the ships are docked, those buildings are pleasing to the eye. The shopping is limited in scope, most selling the same cigars, Cuban shirts rum and local street art but u can barter price. Tour guides will try and pester you as will shop owners and beggars, it can be daunting. To each his own, this trip was not for me sorry to say Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose this cruise for the itinerary - only Cuba with no unwanted stops at resort-like Caribbean islands. And on that score, we felt that we made the right decision. Cuba was absolutely fascinating, and we haven't stopped talking ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary - only Cuba with no unwanted stops at resort-like Caribbean islands. And on that score, we felt that we made the right decision. Cuba was absolutely fascinating, and we haven't stopped talking about what we learned. As for the ship - we love the small size, the same as the small Oceana ships. The cabin was adequate, although the bathroom was a little small. It did have adequate storage and was kept immaculate by the cabin stewards. Now for the reasons that engendered a 3-star rating. The entertainment was the worst that we have ever seen on a ship. There was a feeling that Azamara was trying to economize - (1) instead of nicely wrapped chocolates on our pillows, there were two little pieces cut from a bar of fudge. Because they were not wrapped, I could not take them with me on my next day's tour. (2) the tablecloths in the main dining room were not ironed. If you won't iron the cloths, use polyester. (3) the daily program was printed on a smaller than usual piece of paper that necessitated the use of small font for the schedule. (4) Other than in Prime, the quality of the meat was only so-so. (5) free drinks were only available in public venues. Liquor from the mini bar carried a charge. Bottom line - I would only go with Azamara again if the itinerary was so compelling. Otherwise we prefer Oceana or Celebrity Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
ITINERARY. However, after the fact I'd suggest 2 days in HAVANA (not 3) and 2 days in SANTIAGO DE CUBA (not 1) Cabin & public areas were as expected since I normally sale on OCEANIA. Staff at all levels thru out the ship ... Read More
ITINERARY. However, after the fact I'd suggest 2 days in HAVANA (not 3) and 2 days in SANTIAGO DE CUBA (not 1) Cabin & public areas were as expected since I normally sale on OCEANIA. Staff at all levels thru out the ship were spotty. Some very good or good, a few were less than adequate. The DJ, who often handledTrivia is not as clever as he thinks he is. Very off putting. By contrast the Cruise director was a joy to be around. Her happiness is infectious. Boarding & departure went very smoothly... perhaps the best I've experienced. Food was also very spotty. Mostly good to very good...but every day or so I'd choose something the was just about inedible of average to poor. The cabin attendant did a very good job of keeping the cabin in perfect shape. As I had no special requests I rarely saw him but when I did I was greeted by name. Couldn't't ask for better service. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
The January 2019 10 Day Cuba cruise was our 46th, and first on Azamara. Since the cruise right before ours experienced an outbreak of Norovirus, our ship was under the strictest controls the entire 10 days. You could not touch anything, no ... Read More
The January 2019 10 Day Cuba cruise was our 46th, and first on Azamara. Since the cruise right before ours experienced an outbreak of Norovirus, our ship was under the strictest controls the entire 10 days. You could not touch anything, no condiments on the tables, etc.. Overall, we were surprised at how many things were just not good on this ship, but grateful for those that worked. Journey is a 20 year ship, one of the former Renaissance ships, and at 30,000 tons it is easy to get around, big enough to hold 660 guests comfortably with enough dining options to avoid crowds. Even with only 4 elevators for the whole ship, there was hardly ever a wait. Our balcony cabin, deck 7 near the mid/rear elevators, needed a face lift, even thought the write-ups said that the ship was fully renovated in 2016? The bathroom is very, very tight and shower ridiculously small. For a premium-priced ship, the cabin was a major disappointment. There was, however, enough storage since the cabin is old style with drawers and two closets. The bedding, pillows are upscale and comfortable with nice duvet comforter, and better quality sheets. While on board our main comparison was to the Oceania cruises we took on Riviera, a 55,000 ton, small ship as well. Just on the basis of food alone, there is no comparison.The food on Oceania was superb, on Journey very mediocre, except for a few evenings when the Chef did a very good job. The food in Journey's Windows Buffet, deck 9 was poor at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Except for breakfast, since on many days there was no other option ... we tried to avoid Windows, as much as possible. Bacon, fatty and greasy, same fruit each day, along with the exact same eggs, and other breakfast offerings.  One day and one day only they had very good blintzes ... never to be repeated. At lunch and dinner there were too many stews. A better alternative to Windows at breakfast or lunch was Discoveries dining room  ... serving breakfast and or luncheon on sea days and The Patio, deck nine for hamburgers, hot dogs, grilled lamb, chicken, nice salads, sides including terrific french fries during an expanded lunch hour. In fact the french fries all over the ship were very good, as well as the breads and rolls. The first several days the dinner meals in Discoveries Dining Room  were poor. Then after the fourth or fifth day, the food seemed to get better. Many guests we talked with complained about the food. Some good choices in Discoveries were the Escargot, Shrimp Cocktail, French Onion Soup, Osso Buco, Veal Schnitzel ( superb), Strip Steak, Caesar Salad. We quickly found that the best desserts on board were the Gelato and terrific Sorbets ( real sorbet, not sherbet). Sorbets became our go to  dessert on board. One night I relented and had the Creme Brulee and it was a bit curdled. During one of the evenings, the ship hosted a "White Night" party with a terrific buffet ( even lobster tails and super jumbo shrimp ), numerous appetizers, main dishes and dancing. It was a great evening. They also hosted a "German" lunch buffet ( in Discoveries) the last sea day on the ship which was superb. Ten different types of sausage, roast pig, veal schnitzel, cheese spaetzle, assorted salads and desserts, all accompanied by an "OOM PAH Band". Also towards the end of the cruise they hosted a "chocolate extravaganza" , deck 5 near the shops. While the spot was clearly the wrong place on the ship to have this event,  ( way too small of an area), it was a wonderful gesture to have desserts, candies made out of chocolate. We bought a three pack of three dinners in the specialty restaurants ( $70 pp which included two nights in Prime C; one night in Aqualina). Best choices in Prime C - Filet Mignon and Chateau Briand for two. Aqualina had a wonderful Dover Sole ( get it with butter and lemon sauce, not the Putanesca sauce). The one positive thing I can say about this ship is that they are willing to make changes in some of the entrees ... leaving out ingredients, or pairing other sides with your entree. The shows/entertainment were  DISMAL. The ship's singers only performed 2-3 times during the 10 days, with the Cruise Director and Assistant Cruise Director being the talent on one night each. The special guitarist, Nestor Santurio was very good. His two night performance of Flaminco, Santana tunes, etc. was very good, but his second night was overshadowed by the choco fest, scheduled during his concerts.  We did enjoy the one speaker who gave 4 talks ( Dr. Reben Peylomal) about Cuban history and politics. This ship needs major help in evening shows/general entertainment.  The one and only pool is about 20' x 15' with cut ins for the two jacuzzis. You really could not swim unless it was in off hours, and no one else was in the pool.The one strong suit of this ship is service.The mostly Indonesian, Phillippino, Indian Staff is very helpful, willing to please and is genuinely more friendly than we have ever experienced on any ship. A special shout out to: GOMER; SULTAN; GODSON, some of our restaurant servers and our cabin attendants AGUS AND AARON. We appreciated their services. This ship gets an "F" in internet services. First for those who do not travel with tablets or laptops there are only 4 computers in the Living Room on Deck 10 front of ship, seated by the most uncomfortable couches. Worse than being the slowest internet on the high seas, YOU CANNOT CONNECT TO YOUR EMAIL IF YOUR CARRIER IS COMCAST.NET.  The Internet Manager admitted that they do not have the bandwidth to reach Comcast.net and in fact no one has ever been successful in connecting with their Comcast.net email account on this ship. I could not reach it directly or indirectly via MAIL2WEB.com. For this reason and this reason alone we would never cruise on Azamara again. We were totally "incommunicato" for  10 days. This is the first time in 46 cruises we could not connect to our email account. Some of the benefits they package into their expensive fare includes a pretty liberal beverage package with modest red and white wines; Beck's, Bud and Newcastle draught beer; Pina Colada's, Strawberry Daiquiri's, Bloody Mary's and yes Mojito's .You have to ask them to make the Mojito with house rum or they will try to charge you an extra $5.95. We thought the beverage package was pretty good. You don't have to present your seapass ... just order the drink you want, including soda, water, juices, etc..The ship also includes all gratuities but charges for specialty restaurants ( which Oceania includes gratis ). CUBA: We booked this cruise over a year ago, because this was the only ship going to the 3 ports ( Havana, Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba) , for what was supposed to be a multi-night, extended period for each port. Havana was supposed to be 3 days, but just a few days  before  we left , Azamara cut it to two days and extended Cienfuegos to two days and Santiago to an overnight and one day. Havana should have been 3 days, Cienfuegos one day and Santiago a full two days. Ship's tours were very long, too long ... some running as long as 7-8 hours and others 5 1/2 hours. Guests were coming back to the ship exhausted, especially since the average age on this cruise was late 60's. As usual they tried to put the fear of God into you about rules and regulations for Americans touring in Cuba. We learned that you could arrange your own private tours with Govn't sanctioned tour companies, see much more and pay about half what the ship charges. $299 for two people to do the American Classic Car tour in an old convertible is at least $100 to $150 more that what the private tour companies charge. Ditto for night tours, to night clubs etc.. The contrast of cities, architectures, stories you hear about Cuban dictators is absolutely heart breaking. Yet the resolve of the people to survive, under the worst of conditions, is heart warming. We took a horse and carriage tour one day and were so saddened to see all the skinny horses doing their best to pull the carriages and then find out when they outlive their usefulness are eaten, as Cubans will eat horse meat. Just as skinny roaming the streets are dogs and chickens don't survive that long because a chicken dinner is only affordable once per month. Fresh eggs are coveted, but hard to obtain. You can't eat the chicken and expect it to keep laying eggs. Santiago was the biggest surprise and seemed to have some industry, lush lands for plantings and better housing options. This is where Fidel is buried as well as the hero Marti. Overall we had a good time and were grateful to finally see Cuba which is frozen in time. We truly hope things will improve for this nation of warm people. Unfortunately it will take an investment infusion of $ mega billions to bring it into the 21st century. Who will take on that task? One final comment, one of surprise. About four days into the cruise, guests were provided a survey form. It was a short form and we responded by including comments about the food, and how disappointed we were, so far. We also commented about the poor internet service. A few days later, we were eating in the specialty restaurant, and after our meal the Specialty Restaurant Manager came to our table and asked if we enjoyed the meal, which we did. He thanked us for filling out the survey form and being so candid. We were shocked that he knew about our comments and even more surprised that he chose to approach us about what we said. Apparently our responses were listed on the ship's computer system for restaurant management to read? Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
We tried this for the destination of going to Cuba. We are very loyal to Celebrity, but wanted to give this a chance. Not sure we’ll ever return. The balcony room was OK except for the tiny bathroom. We didn’t have the best ... Read More
We tried this for the destination of going to Cuba. We are very loyal to Celebrity, but wanted to give this a chance. Not sure we’ll ever return. The balcony room was OK except for the tiny bathroom. We didn’t have the best attendants. Never got robes and one day they forgot to leave any washcloths or hand towel. Shore excursion person told us we needed their excursion in order to attend the Azamazing event that night. NOT true and we felt we were forced to buy an excursion we didn’t want. She also said it was impossible to get a tour outside the port. Again, NOT true. We then turned in all the rest of our excursion tickets and did things on our own. We were so frustrated with them! Entertainment was a big disappointment. Fitness center didn’t open on time the first two days. TV’s didn’t work on the recumbent bikes. Not the cruise we had hoped for. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Having not sailed Azamara in close to 8 years, after close to 20 cruises we chose to revisit Azamara based on their unique itinerary. We were able to see Cuba, and the three ABC islands to fill in gaps in our trips through the Caribbean. ... Read More
Having not sailed Azamara in close to 8 years, after close to 20 cruises we chose to revisit Azamara based on their unique itinerary. We were able to see Cuba, and the three ABC islands to fill in gaps in our trips through the Caribbean. After 8 years Azamara is no longer the line it once was. In some ways it’s better than it used to be, and in other ways not as good as it used to be. Let’s all agree most lines have cut corners in recent years. However the cost cutting and lack of attention to details on Azamara’s Journey are showing. I won’t go into all of them as there were many. In the grand scheme of things service was fine, no better or worse than sister line Celebrity. The food was decidedly average, not bad, not great and not luxury level. Where things start to fail Azamara is when it comes to the ship itself and it’s amenities. Despite the ship being a charming size at close to 20 years old and overhauled only 2 years ago, it’s clearly a tired and aged ship. I wonder what the future for Azamara would look like with this trio of aging ships, and no replacements publicly on the horizon. The other points of deficiency are entertainment and shore excursions. Despite cruise director Alicia’s bubbly personality and reassurance that they had greatly improved the nightly show offerings, they were flat at best. On an itinerary based around numerous days in Cuba, parent company Royal Caribbean, clearly has not learned how to handle Cuba, or deal with the complicated nature of doing business with the Cubans. Specifically Azamara’s AzAmazing evening was embarrassing for all involved, for them for offering it, for us for having to sit through a performance of a pianist who wasn’t even playing live, but rather playing poorly and un-miked to a pre recorded over produced cheesy soundtrack. Secondly Azamara sent tour group(s) out on a Hemingway tour revolving around a visit to the Hemingway house which was not possible as the house is closed on Mondays (our tour day). The bus group was not happy, the local tour guide was in a tough place trying to Ad lib and fill in, with a group that had largely covered most other highlights the previous day. Upon returning to the ship many complained to the Shorex desk, many days later they left message saying they were refunding 40% of the tour cost, in their option generously to the whole bus, despite the claim that only 5 guests complained. I know in fact many more did. Royal Caribbean should have known, had it done it’s home correctly, that they couldn’t offer that tour when on port on Mondays, instead they did, and took our money and only offered a meagre refund after being badgered by guests. Had most guests known the central feature of the tour would be unavailable, likely they would have chosen a different tour. Over to you Azamara rep who monitors these reviews. In conclusion it seems to me the future of Azamara is cloudy, and clearly seems to be losing ground to its competitors like Viking Ocean, Oceania, and perhaps even its own sister line Celebrity. Nothing short of a spectacular itinerary would inspire us to return to Azamara anytime soon. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
An unusual itinerary and a keen price.. The itinerary from which we booked showed arrival in Greenwich on 9th September at 1.15pm tendered. The ship was late and the tendering procedure using local tenders was appalling. The tender ... Read More
An unusual itinerary and a keen price.. The itinerary from which we booked showed arrival in Greenwich on 9th September at 1.15pm tendered. The ship was late and the tendering procedure using local tenders was appalling. The tender journey was short (approximately 5 minutes)but the one tender provided took 30 or 40 minutes to make a round trip. The result was that a huge line built up and we did not reach the shore until just before 4pm. All the local attractions such as the Cutty Sark, Maritime Museum, Queens House and the Observatory closed at 5pm. As a result we had barely an hour to look at anything. This rendered the day a wholly inadequate visit. We made many complaints to the officers in charge of tendering while we were standing waiting but they did nothing to speed up the process. We even asked the captain to get something done but astonishingly he said he was not responsible for the tendering. Azamara must take responsibility for making the completely ineffective arrangements. There was nobody on shore from Azamara and this omission meant there was no one expediting the turn round of the tender. Since it was a Sunday there were many other people using the Greenwich pier for river trips but Azamara completely failed to get the company they had appointed to provide an acceptable service. The consequence was that the call at Greenwich started by asking us to stand in line for an hour or more and then to be faced with the impossibility of seeing the places we had anticipated visiting because they were on the point of closing. The next day's disembarkation was in total contrast. It went smoothly with many Azamara staff on shore to speed the process. The cruise itself was pleasant but the weather could have been better. We did not like Bremerhaven as all the notices on shore including in the museums were only in German. There was a u boat on display and a railway truck used to transport Jews. Amsterdam was excellent as usual although it was frustrating not to be able to buy museum tickets at the door. The Amazing evening was a classical concert which was excellent if a little short. The dining room chairs in the main dining room looked good but were uncomfortable. The library was furnished badly and used to be much better. We enjoyed the Tapas every evening in the living room (observation lounge). A pity that a third of the front windows were blocked by the bandstand and that some of the sofas faced inwards rather than looking at the view. In contrast the outer ring of sunbeds on the pool deck faced outwards. Apart from the day in Greenwich we enjoyed the cruise. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We chose this cruise specifically for the 3 full days in St. Petersburg. What we liked: --easy getting on board --smaller ship, easier to get off for excursions (other than first day in StP which is due to customs) and you are ... Read More
We chose this cruise specifically for the 3 full days in St. Petersburg. What we liked: --easy getting on board --smaller ship, easier to get off for excursions (other than first day in StP which is due to customs) and you are stopped as close to the city as possible, this is great --self laundry available at no cost and soap provided --entertainment was good --cabin service good, including room service available 24/7 (no complimentary drink service to rooms in our category, but there will be in 2020) --Azamazing evening was wonderful --White night party was very nice --our favourite meal was at Aqualina, followed by white night buffet and then the first night seafood buffet --the gym is very well equipped What we were less fond of: --food & service in the Discoveries restaurant was just average, we eat well and go out to great restaurants so our expectations may be set higher than for some --complimentary beverage list is very limited, even for us who are not big drinkers. White wine was terrible on a couple of days. At this cost why? I understand charging for truly premium brands and great wine for not the rest of it. --we pre-paid 3 nights at the 2 specialty restaurants, we tried to change our reservation for PrimeC as the white night party moved dates - instead of moving us they cancelled our booking and it was an argument to get a new reservation --wifi was horribly slow, we paid for the unlimited package - not worth the cost IMO --I don't know what the purpose of guest services is, not helpful when I spoke with them --one of our pre-booked shore excursions was cancelled and they only notify you onboard - you're then stuck re-booking in US $ which has an impact --we booked 2 shore excursions with the ship, enjoyed the bike tour but the other was "meh", if you know you don't like group tours then keep this in mind --disembarking was a total gong show, booked ship bus transfer to train station which is a TOTAL rip off and they were totally disorganized and ran much later than communicated to us, taxis were really not available - a handful with many waiting for them, both of our bags were tagged #21 but one was placed with the #12 bags--we were lucky to find it Excursions: --we did a private tour with Alla in StP and it was WELL worth the $$ --Helsinki is easy to visit on your own --Riga, Klaipeda are very small towns and could easily be visited on own, we went to Curonian Spit in Klaipeda and it's beautiful but I couldn't figure out how to get there without the tour --Malbork Castle (Gdansk) is beautiful but leaves little time in Gdansk itself. Gdansk could be done on your own --Ronne not much to see IMO Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We chose this cruise for the ports visited, The Cruise ship for the passenger size and a Balcony Stateroom for watching the world go by. Firstly the ports we visited were all great. some were via tender boat and others berthed close to ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the ports visited, The Cruise ship for the passenger size and a Balcony Stateroom for watching the world go by. Firstly the ports we visited were all great. some were via tender boat and others berthed close to town. On this cruise the embarkation process took such a long time with the ports telling us we would commence boarding at 11:30am when in fact it was 12:30pm. The luggage did not arrive to our room until 4:00pm after multiple attempts I was advised it was still in the port enclosure even though it was dropped off early at 9:00am. This was not a good start to what I was hoping would be a great voyage. disembarkation took no more than 10 minutes and luggage was sitting in bays to pick up straight away at Copenhagen. The room was nice (could have had a fitted sheet on the bottom cover of the bed though) and the balcony was great but the bathroom was so small when you sat on the toilet you would have to remove the toilet roll to save cutting your leg on the metal holder cover. The Shower was so small that if you dropped the soap you would have to get out of the shower to pick it up and worst still there was no shower glass door only a fabric (Plastic) shower screen. This is unheard off in a promoted luxury cruise ship. The food at all the restaurants was good and we mostly ate at the windows café except to use up our OBC's we ate at Aquilinas and Prime C on three occasions. These restaurants I believe should be free or certainly 1 of each per cruise offered complementary to ALL cabin clases instead of $30:00 each or 3 for $70:00. The complimentary white wines were terrible as many were tried but did not taste very nice this should be looked into with the cruise promotions. The entertainment was not first class and it was a hit and miss thing with 2 of the stars brought on board doing fantastic shows and the on board entertainers just average for a promoted luxury cruise ship. The activities on board were well received and numerous. The room service team and on board staff in all areas we very friendly and helpful in every way certainly a big plus for Azamara recruiting here. The captain was also present a lot and very approachable for a chat. The free laundry service was well used by me and a big hit with other passengers too. The shore excursions were well over priced in all ports so we only took one (to use up the OBC's) as you could not do the tour at Olden independently as there is a closed shop set up between the cruise ships Shore departments and the operators from what I was told to do a tour along the lake I am yet to understand why when Azamara would book in bulk for tours that they are not offered cheaper than the local operators. The Locals are always a third or half cheaper for the same tour offered by the cruise line. All in all we had a great cruise to many ports we would normally not have visited and would like to thank Azamara. For a promoted luxury cruise line I would give it a 4 Star at the Max until improvements are made. . 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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