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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We did a 16 day cruise around the Caribbean.The weather was amazing and the crew could not have been more helpful. My wife and I paid a premium to go on this ship. All gratuities and drinks were included. We have completed about 11 ... Read More
We did a 16 day cruise around the Caribbean.The weather was amazing and the crew could not have been more helpful. My wife and I paid a premium to go on this ship. All gratuities and drinks were included. We have completed about 11 cruises on different ships. This was the first time on Azamara Journey. We enjoyed every part of the cruise except one thing which we consider very important and ruined the overall cruise. That was the deck chairs. For a luxury 700 passenger ship we expected to be able to sit around the pool on a nice day. Unfortunately, we were not able to secure a deck chair on the pool deck most days. On some days we had to sit in the Living room lounge as there were absolutely no chairs available. What annoyed me more than anything else was that there were always about 30 chairs with personal items on them but no one around. They had been "reserved" early in the day by passengers who wanted a deck chair for the day. Although there were signs up saying not to do this, the crew did nothing about it. I was so annoyed I took several photos of chairs that were reserved with personal items on them and went about 45 minutes later and no one had been sitting on the chairs. When I pay a premium for a cruise I do not expect this sort of thing to happen and I do expect to be able to find a deck chair for my wife and I. If you go on this ship do not expect to be able to sit on a deck chair most nice hot days.. I can understand this on a budget ship but not a ship of this standard Until they sort this out I probably will not be cruising with Azamara again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
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
8 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
8 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
5 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
8 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
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We cruised the Baltic ports at the end of June on Journey. Previously we had sailed on Quest in Feb 2016, both ships being identical helped in navigating our way around. Both ships have been upgraded since and I was slightly disappointed ... Read More
We cruised the Baltic ports at the end of June on Journey. Previously we had sailed on Quest in Feb 2016, both ships being identical helped in navigating our way around. Both ships have been upgraded since and I was slightly disappointed that the BEIGE look in the cabins dominated, the heavy chairs in the dining room were ridiculously heavy and I needed help in getting closer to the table to eat. The Cabin stewards were wonderful and so helpful especially when i fell ill with sea sickness. My cabin steward brought me three cans of ginger ale and was so concerned about my well being. All crew were polite and willing to help. Food in the dining rooms was good, the speciality restaurants had gone up in price from $30 to $40 per person since we last cruised with Azamara. To be honest they were nothing special and I think the meals in Discoveries were far better. As for the entertainment, well, we didn’t bother as there was nothing to inspire us to go see and from the comments of other passengers we were correct in doing so. Surely, when docked in St Petersburg for three nights local Russian dancers could have been brough on to provide entertainment. The same in Tallin as we were in port until 10am. Cruise tours, no matter which line you travel on are always over priced. We booked a three day tour with Alla tours in St Petersburg which was excellent. So sad to say but, I think the luxury has gone out of Azamara and this worries me because we have a Christmas/NY cruise booked at the end on 2018 Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
We choose this cruise based on it's itinerary...Singapore, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Cochin India, Goa India, Mumbai (Bombay) India & Dubai. There were 7 days "at sea". I have been cruising for over 35 years....53 ... Read More
We choose this cruise based on it's itinerary...Singapore, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Cochin India, Goa India, Mumbai (Bombay) India & Dubai. There were 7 days "at sea". I have been cruising for over 35 years....53 cruises....on many different cruise lines. In my opinion this cruise had the worst entertainment of any voyage that we have been on. Azamara has made the decision to eliminate all "Production Shows" & eliminate all dancers from the entertainment schedules. They chose "Opera" and "54 Below" for the main entertainment. This was a very bad decision. The majority of cruise passengers hate "Opera". The 10% of the passengers that love opera, were very vocal about how much they loved the performances. Well, the show room was not full and half left the theatre before the performances were over. Changes must be made....especially with cruises having 7 or more days at sea. My wife and I really enjoyed the afternoon enrichment lectures...Dr. Connie and Dr. Kumar did an excellent job. The shore excursions that we booked on board the ship were excellent. The chefs are excellent and they have excellent cooking demonstrations. We really enjoyed the "Brunch Buffets". The "inTouch" WiFi was excellent. In the spa....I recommend purchasing the "Sanctum Terrace" package for $160USD....get access to a private sun deck on the bow of the ship and a private hot tub. We spent much of our "sea Day" time on the "Sanctum Terrace". This ship was built in the year 2000 and is starting to show it's age. The ship is small (700 passengers) and easy to navigate about. The room stewards are amazing. We will give Azamara another chance.....we are booked on "Azamara Pursuit" Nov 30 2019 voyage from Rio to Buenos Aires. I expect improvements with the entertainment, Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
We booked this back to back a year before whilst on the Journey. Check in at Singapore was the worst we’d experienced in our long cruising history. Once aboard the customary welcome glass of champagne was not offered although other ... Read More
We booked this back to back a year before whilst on the Journey. Check in at Singapore was the worst we’d experienced in our long cruising history. Once aboard the customary welcome glass of champagne was not offered although other guests were walking around with them. In fairness our balcony cabin was lovely - spotless clean with regular towel/bedding changes. Our biggest disappointment was the very poor inferior entertainment. No singers and dancers but a group of four opera singers who are excellent performers but I felt totally inappropriate for a cruise. Their repertoire was far too ‘high brow’ for a relaxing.cruise holiday. The only outstanding performer was Kim Purling. We’d seen him on another cruise and he is an amazing pianist which put all the other acts to shame. There was a has been singer from Las Vegas, a has been comedienne from Australia and other embarrassing performances. I have never walked out of a show before but couldnt stand to sit through these acts. Cruise director Eric did his best to hold things together with his shows. White night has now passed its sell by date as it is so predictable and not so good without singers and dancers. On the plus side we experienced two brilliant Azamaing Evenings. The crew were as welcoming as ever and the service was good. Food was excellent with steaks being the best at sea!.we won’t be rushing back to Azamara. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
Sydney to Auckland, Feb18. First impressions were excellent, the online check in made things an absolute breeze, we were onboard the ship by 1pm, which gave us plenty of time to become familiar with her. The Journey is a lovely ... Read More
Sydney to Auckland, Feb18. First impressions were excellent, the online check in made things an absolute breeze, we were onboard the ship by 1pm, which gave us plenty of time to become familiar with her. The Journey is a lovely well maintained ship, very clean. Our cabin on Deck 4 was located midship starboard side around 5 cabins down from the Starboard Gangway but was extremely quiet the whole time we were onboard even with the gangway being utilised. Our cabin was extremely clean, the en suite was on the small side and if you're a big guy then you have to turn sideways on to the shower to fit your shoulders in. The plastic shower curtain is USELESS would be so much better if they just had a glass door. Our cruise was 14 days, we had plenty of storage space and for the first time on 5 different cruise lines I was able to put my Extra Large Samsonite Hardcase under the bed (big plus). Our Cabin Attendants Louis and Reynaldo met us, fantastic guys, who delivered excellent service with a smile or joke every time we met them. They kept the cabin absolutely immacuate. As for the food, well the Main Dining Room was good, good choices and well cooked etc etc as you'd expect. The Buffet up at Windows Cafe, even though it had a number of speciality nights, we saw time after time, the same deserts, the same pasteries, the same sushi served up lunch and dinner. The Chefs Top Table was a STUNNER brilliant, great food, great wine and great company. Prime C Steakhouse the food was average but it was brilliant in Aqualina, as was the service. Coffee was out and out DISASTER and NOT WORTH DRINKING. Getting served UHT Milk for coffee whilst the ship was visiting two of the BEST Dairy Nations in the world is simply not on. As for the Coffee, the beans must have been roasted badly because the coffee was full of acid, no balance and very little favour. Onboard Entertainment to these Aussies was POOR. 54 may have been great for the Americans onboard but to anyone else it was so so. No Presentations on the history of New Zealand etc etc other than the Shore Excursions was pretty poor. That said we had the only Presenter Dr Michael Fopp do outstanding presentations on the Battle of Britain, Early Female Flyers etc etc. The Public Rooms were all excellent and very very comfortable. The ship only has 690 passengers maximum onboard so it was always possible to get a seat except at 6pm for Dinner at the Discoveries Bar or the Sunset Bar on the stern if the ship was sailing. The Itinerary was wonderful with plenty of time in the various ports we visited. Gave us plenty of time to wander around or take up shore excursions. Picton is just gorgeous whilst Napier with its Art Deco buildings was also a highlight. Milford Sound we arrived with grey skies but the sun rose and the sky cleared to show Milford in all its glory. We met a number of the Officers and Crew, all of whom were very nice and would take the time to have a chat with you. Finally the Onboard TV Entertainment was woeful. Documentaries were over 20 years old in some cases, whilst the movie selection was limited and repeated after a couple of days. The first cruise line to introduce a system like the In Flight Entertainment one finds available onboard a flight with Emirates, Singapore or Qantas Airlines will make a killing. No excuse in this day and age of technology for ships not to have such an entertainment system available to its passengers given ships have more space to carry such systems than aircraft. If the airlines can do it, the cruise industry should be doing it as well. Overall, we enjoyed the cruise because of the itinerary and the ships crews. The things listed above if improved would see the Journey really at the top of its game. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
The itinerary was perfect to explore Tasmania, South New Zealand and North New Zealand. The Journey's crew from officers to room attendants are the very best of any line we have traveled on and are the Journey's #1 asset! ... Read More
The itinerary was perfect to explore Tasmania, South New Zealand and North New Zealand. The Journey's crew from officers to room attendants are the very best of any line we have traveled on and are the Journey's #1 asset! The only problem is the ship's age. At 18 years old the Journey's cabins and "bathrooms" are very very small by new ship standards and detracts from the overall experience. Though refurbished a couple of years ago some finishes and furniture are worn. Unless you can afford a suite the accommodation's are very tight! Shore excursions were generally good except too much time spent in "shopping opportunities" that were not advertised. Were pricey when compared to almost identical excursions available on shore. The Journey orchestra, singers, and dancers put on excellent entertaining shows. Security was a problem for me as I must use to cane. When re-entering the ship for the usual securuty scan, security would demand to take my cane without offering a replacement [as TSA does], while my cane went thru the scanner. Had to tell them if I had to stand with my arms our strectched and no cane I would fall over! That's why I use a cane!! Contacted an uninterested security chief officer to no avail. Happened at every port! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
We made the Singapore cruise to Bali last January of this year. It was our 4th cruise on Azamara, and number 12 of all we did. And the experience was not as good as we used to Azamara All protocol, cleaning, food, etc. was ... Read More
We made the Singapore cruise to Bali last January of this year. It was our 4th cruise on Azamara, and number 12 of all we did. And the experience was not as good as we used to Azamara All protocol, cleaning, food, etc. was fulfilled But it lacked the "extra touch" that showed that the company was really interested in passengers. Entertainment was poor, The average age of the passengers must be 55/60 years. And we did not get the disc jockey to put on music that we could dance (with one exception of one night). The food was healthy but extremely boring in the main dining room. The shore excursions are badly organized. They had a central focus, for example, the Borobudur temple in Java, but in a 10-hour trip, we could only spend 1 hour in that wonderful place, the rest of the time in places that were not worth it. The same happened in the excursion in the north of Bali. In both, they should have provided us all with lunch boxes since the food that was included was full of flies !! (my husband and I take that forecast and end up sharing it with other passengers). Very good idea the special night with the music and culture of Bali. But nobody explained the meaning and symbols of the characters, the story, the gestures. And we lost a chance to understand such a different culture. And what ended up as a signal that the concern for the passengers was superficial was the landing in Benoa. In January Bali as all of Indonesia is in the rainy season. Being later in Bali we learned that torrential rain occurs basically from 18 pm to 10 am. The rest of the time is hot and humid and may drizzle. We had to disembark at 9 am (probably because other passengers would embark later) in the middle of a torrential rain.And something that is clear on the boat for its equipment is when the intense rain ends The ship did not have any protection (upper tarpaulin) on the stairway, they had not foreseen anything on the surface until they reached the port building, etc.etc. We got very wet, so much that I got sick the rest of the trip. Nothing to do with the treatment we had in 2017 at the Azamara Quest where we could see the capital and the officers permanently touring the ship and taking care of even a change of route to make the trip smoother. Nor the other two trips we made earlier in the Quest. When we get off a cruise, in general, we are already thinking about the next one. I do not know if we will do it again in an Azamara. One more point, I wanted to write this in the online survey they sent us (first it is a shame that a company like Azamara use SurveyMonkey program almost free) and also it closed twice and I could not complete it. Something good: the food and those who treated us in El Patio! I hope this serves to improve, especially that a new ship of the line is being launched. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
The Cruise was good, the ship is tired, the staff were great but they were no better than our experiences on Celebrity. In fact we felt the dining room staff on Celebrity were more attentive. The drinks policey did not really fit in with ... Read More
The Cruise was good, the ship is tired, the staff were great but they were no better than our experiences on Celebrity. In fact we felt the dining room staff on Celebrity were more attentive. The drinks policey did not really fit in with us, the wines were flat bottomed and cheap, we upgraded to the ultimate package but still had to pay $$$ for a port, which to me is ridiculous. The included drinks does not include any decent whiskey or gin. The wine glasses are cheap and small which I believe is because they offer free wine. If you upgraded to a wine package you were given proper wine glasses (Riedel) otherwise you needed to ask ??? The rooms were small as was the shower we knew this beforehand however the balcony will probably be a deal breaker for us. They are not private you can clearly see people on the next balcony. Room service was fantastic and you can always get a bed by the pool. Maybe this was because of the cruise, the other cruisers were very friendly, however all this wow the officers are ever present didn't see. My overall view is that I just don't get this Azamara are the best you will ever get. It was a great cruise but we always have a great cruise on Celebrity and didn't really see any difference in our overall enjoyment. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
Title says it all. It is nowhere near as good as a Vikings Ocean Cruise. The ship is old has outdated decor (early Renaissance?) which is dark and dreary. The rugs are almost warn out. On the 7th floor starboard the hallway rug has a ... Read More
Title says it all. It is nowhere near as good as a Vikings Ocean Cruise. The ship is old has outdated decor (early Renaissance?) which is dark and dreary. The rugs are almost warn out. On the 7th floor starboard the hallway rug has a severe stain running the complete length of it which looks like there had been a sewage overflow on the cabin side of the rug. The intenet package was impossible to use, using Wi-Fi. I could seldom connect to the internet. When I did connect it would literally take many minutes to download material; uploading material was simply impossible. Internet support was very minimal and often unavailable. Had I paid the $239 for unlited service I would have been very angry. The food was good but not very good. The service was excellent though and very prompt. The same dishes were served almost every day with only a few different side dishes. We did eat in Windows,the buffet restaurant most of the time. The first time we ate in the Discovery restaurant it was so noisy that it was hard to have a conversation. We will not sail with Azamara again. That is sad because we had read so many positive reviews. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We booked this cruise because of the PerryGolf option. I did a lot of reading about Azamara on Cruise Critic beforehand, and perhaps based on its enthusiasts, my expectations were too high. The service was good, but not what I would ... Read More
We booked this cruise because of the PerryGolf option. I did a lot of reading about Azamara on Cruise Critic beforehand, and perhaps based on its enthusiasts, my expectations were too high. The service was good, but not what I would consider outstanding; it was about the same as we received on other lines. We did not experience the extra interaction or friendliness I read about on the Azamara board. Sometimes service in the dining venues was lacking. Service in the Patio was slow. I always requested lemon for my tea and/or water, and only received it about half the time. My water glass was often empty for 5-10 minutes before being refilled. However, after noting the last two deficiencies on our mid-cruise survey, they were corrected. I appreciate that Azamara takes the surveys to heart and works to correct any issues--I was contacted by staff in both food service and housekeeping after completing my survey. Food was average, and again, based on CC posts, I was expecting better. Discoveries had the best meals, and I enjoyed their fresh fruit selection in the mornings. I had nothing at the Patio that I would ever order again. In general, I found the bread and dessert selections below average compared to other cruise lines. I don't eat seafood so sometimes felt my selections in Discoveries and on the White Nights evening were limited. We made a poor choice in our cabin selection in 4005. We could hear the shows in the evening, and because we are "early to bed" people, it was extremely annoying to have noise from above until 10:45 or so. When docking/tendering, noise and vibration started between 6:15 and 6:30 AM and continued for about half an hour. I would not choose a forward cabin again. In-room selection of entertainment like on-demand movies could be much, much better. I appreciated the port representatives that were onboard at each stop--lots of useful information. The smaller ship was great for leaving and returning to the ship on port days. The complimentary laundry was also very nice, although as one would expect, it can get busy. Included drinks were fine for our needs, although my husband would have liked a nice Scotch in the selections. We liked Azamara well enough that we have booked another PerryGolf cruise, but that was also based on the price of a comparable itinerary on other lines. For the upcoming itinerary, Azamara offered a good price. We paid a premium on this cruise and IMO, did not receive good value for the money. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We took our first Azamara cruise in March of 2016 on Quest, on it's last voyage before going into drydock to be refurbished. Because of inconveniences (!!) and the itinerary having been shortened, the company compensated us and also ... Read More
We took our first Azamara cruise in March of 2016 on Quest, on it's last voyage before going into drydock to be refurbished. Because of inconveniences (!!) and the itinerary having been shortened, the company compensated us and also offered incentives for a future cruise. Thanks offer was hard to resist so we chose this itinerary, which fit our schedule. The Journey's overhaul made huge improvements appearance the worn appearance we'd seen on her sister ship. Still, no amount of new carpet and furniture can make stateroom bathrooms larger or add much-needed storage. We found the meals on Journey better overall than we'd had on Quest. However, an alarming incident in Windows buffet at lunch on the second day ruined my appetite for some of the food their for the rest of the cruise. At the carving station a whole turkey had been sliced open, and it was found to be very red, so it was taken away. The server told people another turkey would be out soon, that he had called his manager. But to my horror the new turkey was placed on the carving board before the old board, covered in the red juices from the raw bird, was removed. The server proceeded to carve and serve as if nothing were wrong. I flagged down the dining g room manager and quietly told him what had happened. He was very concerned and left to see about it. I also had a burned burger in The Patio, topped with what I can only describe as artificial cheese. On the other hand there were excellent soups and delicious steaks. Since I'm not that fond of desserts on ships, I enjoyed the excellent fresh fruit plates. We enjoyed the excursions we took from the ship. Coming and going was a pleasure, as the security staff were always pleasant and professional. I'm not quite sure why Azamara ships so often moor in industrial port areas, far from city centers. We're not sure if we'll continue sailing with this company. I know there are Azamara loyalists as there are with all lines, but we're not there- at least, not yet. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
I learned that cruises are not a good way to see places...you only see a glimpse. Azamara was okay. The waiter service was good. Food was okay...never had a great meal. Everything was average. Customer service desk was poor and ... Read More
I learned that cruises are not a good way to see places...you only see a glimpse. Azamara was okay. The waiter service was good. Food was okay...never had a great meal. Everything was average. Customer service desk was poor and unimpressive. Lacking knowledge and unimpressive personalities. Excursions were not especially impressive either. Little knowledge of local sights. I won't go on an Azamara cruise again. I recommend going to Iceland. Rent a car and see the sights. This is an okay cruise. Nothing to write home about. food was just okay. Not great. I recommend saving more money and choosing a different cruise line. I also found the art auction offensive since it interfered with my experience. This cruise line rents out rooms and that limits your personal experience. Frankly, I will not chose Azamara again. I do like smaller ships but this was a poor experience. Too bad. Met some nice people though. Tacky decor, uninformed customer serviceand average food. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
Unfortunately this cruise did not meet my expectations. The food was average....no noteworthy meals. The service was good but the customer service staff and excursion staff was poor and lacking personality. Frankly, I wish I could get my ... Read More
Unfortunately this cruise did not meet my expectations. The food was average....no noteworthy meals. The service was good but the customer service staff and excursion staff was poor and lacking personality. Frankly, I wish I could get my money back and spend more for a better experience. 3 stars. Everything was adequate - neither more or less. For the money, I was hoping for more. I do not plan to travel on this cruise again. Azamara is not for me. Not the best experience. I met some cool people but the food kind of sucked. I really expected it to be much better. Windows buffet was awful. Salad bar was very disappointing and cheese choices was minimal. Entertainment on board was decent but activities were boring. Find another cruise. This one was lame. Never again. I could not wait to get home. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
This cruise was to celebrate our Ruby Anniversary- A very special occasion. Things did not get off to a good start in Sydney. We boarded early but were then told we couldn't go ashore in Sydney due to Custom restrictions. We had ... Read More
This cruise was to celebrate our Ruby Anniversary- A very special occasion. Things did not get off to a good start in Sydney. We boarded early but were then told we couldn't go ashore in Sydney due to Custom restrictions. We had planned a full day in Sydney prior to departure but this was all lost and the restrictions were not made clear on boarding and should have been. By the time we left Sydney, Cyclone Debbie was forming. At this stage it was only a tropical storm but Azamara should have released that a major cruise disruption was inevitable. The ship's progress was slowed to allow the weather conditions to pass which meant that 4 ports of call were lost. Spending three days at sea avoiding a Cyclone maybe a safe option but Azamara hardly acknowledge this with any additional entertainment except extra film channels in the cabin. The food at the best was very average. In the Discoveries restaurant the dishes only arrived tepid at the best and invariable the food was over salted.Despite complaining the food on other evenings still arrived tepid and over salted. In the Windows self service restaurant the food was never that hot but the plates were even if you wanted food from the cold buffet !. The weather disruption meant that 12 out of 18 days were spent at sea and the only gesture made by Azamara was a $100 in house credit for each passenger. We all appreciate that the weather is beyond everyone's control but this gesture was an insult. We enjoyed Brisbane and Cairns and the final day in Singapore was memorable. All waiting and bar staff provided excellent service and our room stewards were some of the best in all our days cruising. The ship needs a makeover and please get rid of the grey. Grey loungers & grey carpets do not give an impression of warmth or luxury. We have cruised with many companies over the past 20 years and this voyage has not left a positive impression. Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
Azamara Journey is lovely (idenitical to The Quest her sister ship) however something was missing and our expectations were not met. We boarded in Sydney for a 31 night (back to back) Sydney to Auckland to Sydney cruise. The first sector ... Read More
Azamara Journey is lovely (idenitical to The Quest her sister ship) however something was missing and our expectations were not met. We boarded in Sydney for a 31 night (back to back) Sydney to Auckland to Sydney cruise. The first sector went well but the second sector was disappointing. We had to change cabins - same level just different location and that was a hassle not "smooth and easy" as we were informed onboard. Also the cabin we moved into was extremely noisey with a constant hum from the pump room which was located behind our cabin (directly behind the bedhead!). I think they finally soundproofed it or otherwise we got used to it after 8 days or so. It never went away unless pump was off then it was pure bliss. This cabin should not be given to paying guests but kept for entertainers or other persons who have not paid for their cruise. The cabin in question was 8003. Beware of this cabin. Apart from the noise it was OK but the noise was annoying. Now for the nitty gritty. The food in the buffet (Windows Cafe) was plentiful but quite often dry and overcooked and unappealing. Cold pasta was served to us even though it was cooked in front of us (obviously the sauce was cooked but the pasta just put in and tossed through sauce but not heated through). Same again with Seafood Paella. Cold and uncooked prawns. Unfortunately there was quantity but not quality. No fresh seafood even though we visited Tasmania and New Zealand where fresh seafood abounds. The food in the Discovery Restaurant was OK but nothing outstanding. Many nights I struggled to find something that appealed. The first and last nights meal on each sector were the best but in between lacked. Also on the sea days many times they held brunch (10 to 12.30 pm) or a BBQ inside in the restaurant and if you didn't get there quickly you missed out and had to join the queue at the buffet. Disappointing really. Wine choices weren't the best either. Wine served was cheap and the cocktails - forget about them they were just pre mixed cocktails. No fresh fruit in them! The staff were amazing and friendly athough we did note they couldnt handle full restaurants. Lovely & friendly but need more training. The head waiter or maitre'd for Windows - Milan.... he was UNFRIENDLY. Never looked happy. We were invited to an Officer's table via invitation - what a joke - we sat with the onboard jewellery shop manager! In hindsight we should have not joined the table! If you are paying full fare for this cruise think again. It is only worth less than $200 per day p/person. Any more than that and you are getting ripped off major. One advantage - no formal nights and a friendly and relaxed atmosphere amongst guests but food, drinks (free) and entertainment are below average. Excursions extremely OVER PRICED. Because we did 2 sectors unbelievably we had repeat entertainers. A juggler who was on both sectors as well as a duo and a Comedian/balloon artist also on both sectors. The best entertainment was our Azamazing Evening which we were very lucky to be serenaded by Mark Vincent at an exclusive MONA evening in Hobart. The second Azamazing Evening at TePapa Museum in Wellington wasn't anything special. The Gallipoli display was amazing but the entertainment disappointing. I think because they give you a free Azamazing evening they cut their entertainment budget for the rest of the cruise. Cruise director, Eric was on first sector. He was very amusing and put on a great finale prior to him leaving ship in Auckland. Then we got Tony who you NEVER saw around the ship and did not have any banter or jokes with the captain. He was basically NON EXISTENT! A no show! Well he did do a couple of shows which i refused to go to as had seen him prior on the Quest. Summing it up. It is a lovely ship BUT cabins are small, shower the smallest EVER. Entertainment very poor and repeated on back to back cruise. Food was quantity and not quality. Staff friendliest on any ship I have sailed (22 cruises) except the head waiters and maitre d's who were standoffish! Communication onboard not the best. As the ship was full on the wet sea days you were pushing it to find somewhere to rest your backside. This ship should never be fully booked out! If you can afford it go for Seabourn or Silverseas or Crystal. You would be crazy to book a suite on Azamara for the price they charge. Better cruises available for that price. The other odd thing RCCL do is send a Review for completion via email but it only lasts for 7 days. We were given free internet for 30 mins onboard to complete the first sector review but on arrival home I haven't recevied a review apart from an email which I think is a review in SPANISH!!!! How does that work? So haven't had chance to do the second review which I planned to tell them what I thought.... that is probably why I got it in Spanish even though we have no connection to Spanish! Honestly! We did our first Azamara cruise on the Quest last Sept/Oct and went with low expectations after the online hassle of checking in (RCL must have the most outdated computer program!) however the ship exceeded our expectations and the food I felt was much better and fresher but than we were sailing in the US and assume they had local suppliers. This time when we booked on the Journey we had high expectations but were disappointed. Would I sail on Azamara again - only if I was offered an extremely good fare. Too much competition around. We didn't book any excursions as we had been to majority of ports many times and their excursions are VERY expensive and not value from what we heard from other passengers. 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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