Azamara Journey Cruise Review by nordski
- Sail Date: July 2014
- Destination: Baltic Sea
The embarkation process was as efficient and friendly as ever. It was the earliest our stateroom has been available: 1:30.
For us, the experience on board was as superb as it has always been:
Food: we judged that this was the best set of menus we have had on an ACC ship. My wife has minor dietary issues and, aside from one night, those concerns were handled in the best manner possible.
We enjoyed the MDR (Discoveries) so much we felt no need to reserve nights in the Specialty Restaurants.
Service: Initially food service was a little spotty in the Windows Café but, by 3 days in, those issues disappeared. Because of a lengthy period of "Noro Rules", the time during which self-service in the buffets was allowed proved to be somewhat limited. Despite the extra effort involved, the staff rose to the occasion and maintained their friendly and helpful demeanour. In Discoveries, the main restaurant, we had very attentive staff.
Our room stewards were, perhaps, the best we've have. Several minor issues were dealt with immediately and in an impressive manner.
Entertainment: Never a strong suit of Azamara, we felt this was the best entertainment we'd enjoyed on this line's ships. Consequently, we made an extra effort to attend a number of performances.
Ship's Condition: Although a somewhat older ship the Journey, as usual, was in immaculate condition. Although the staterooms are smaller than many of the newer vessels, we actually admire and appreciate the layout and efficiency of our balcony cabin.
Ambience: Azamara has a policy of encouraging informal and friendly interaction between crew and passengers. This cruise was no exception. Also contributing to that friendly atmosphere were our fellow cruisers, in general a most friendly and sophisticated group.
Itinerary: This itinerary is a bit different for ACC, in that it visits many of the typical ports of a Baltic cruise. However, it does provide 3 days in the remarkable St. Petersburg and the ship berths in a more downtown location than many other larger ships. Also, in our German ports, we also enjoyed special presentations of German music.
Our complimentary Azamazing Evening of ballet at the Mikhailovsky Theater was outstanding. Not to be missed.
Conclusion: We have sailed on 5 different cruise lines, and Azamara is now always our first choice despite the premium we pay in fares. However, if your preference is large staterooms and impressive public areas, as well as many of the diversions offered on newer and grander ships, you might well be disappointed.
It offers a much more intimate experience.
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