1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Azamara Journey
Embarkation in Piraeus was easy. As our taxi pulled up to the cruise terminal in Piraeus, an Azamara rep with a clipboard greeted us and two uniformed attendants relieved us of our luggage. In short order, we handing our passports and paperwork to a cheerful and chatty gate agent. Absent any signs of norovirus or ebola, she photographed us, gave us our key cards, and pointed us toward the ship. We boarded at about 13:00. The cabins were not ready, but there were waiters swarming about with trays of sparkling wine to assuage the impatience of the embarkees. There was also a desk to check our hand luggage, freeing us to go roaming. We went up to the Oceanview café on deck nine for lunch, while Azamara completed fussing over the rooms. It was our first Azamara cruise and, after a couple of stints on Celebrity Solstice ships, the Journey’s smaller size felt comfortable. It was easy to get around. The Journey has 4 elevators, two fore and two aft. This compares with Celebrity’s central bank of 8 elevators, plus four additional elevators forward. And the Celebrity elevators were larger. Yet, on the Journey, we never had long waits for an elevator. One seemed to be there, or arriving soon to do your bidding. I suspect that with the smaller Journey, and fewer decks to traverse, more people took the stairs. We ate well…that is, we did not lose weight during the trip. We visited Prime C and Aqualina several times. The food was good, though, I would rate the Solstice Class’s Merino and Tuscan Grille a notch or two better. Our biggest surprise was how pleasant the Oceanview café was in the evenings. Each night, there was a theme (e.g., Turkish, Italian, Indian). It wasn’t crowded, tables had tablecloths, and waiters were quick with the complementary wines, which were invariably pleasant. Azamara selects a red and white wine each day, and they will serve you those two wines until you are falling-down drunk. There’s a wine list, of course, and you can spend as much money as you would like buying special bottles. We were happy with the free selections. That also freed us to start with one wine with the appetizer, and finish with a different wine for our main course. After experiencing Celebrity’s shows – which varied from OK to painful - our expectations were low for Azamara’s entertainment. But we enjoyed the shows. The first night there were singers and dancers, backed up by a seven-piece band, all executing professionally. My wife got teary, espying an elderly couple in the audience holding hands during a love song. The next day, at lunch, a couple joined us at our table. When my wife began talking about the show, the couple’s wife cut her off at the knees. “Rubbish! All that screeching!” OK, there were differing opinions. On two nights, Beverly Davison, the Diva of Music & Laughter, entertained. She’s a violinist, dressed –neck to toes - in a red glittery dress, and red feather head piece. She fiddled and, between tunes, dished-out off-color patter. After zipping through the Sabre Dance the late summer part of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, she paused and turned to compliment the pianist on his ability to finger around the music’s hairy parts. On her second night, she played more contemporary music, finishing up a foot-stomping rendition of the Orange Blossom Special. The crowd went wild...Well, at least the portion of the crowd under 70. The ship had an on-board lecturer, Dr Sherry Hutt, a former judge and now author and professional tourist. She gave several informative talks, including histories of the Greek islands and the region of Turkey we were visiting. I was impressed by her facile pronunciation of Fethiye, which I never quite got down. Discussing the Santorini eruption, she wove its effects into Moses’ flight from Egypt and most, if not all, of the seven plagues. She was vague on the frog part. We forewent the Azamazing Evening. During our Fethiye stop, two sisters from Austria were to belt out your favorite opera hits somewhere ashore. The logistics of the evening seemed bruising – 500 people eating an early dinner on ship, then lining up to tender ashore, a 15 minute boat ride, followed by a 10 minute bus ride to the venue, a 50-minute performance, bus ride back to the port, finally tendering back to the ship. It all seemed a bit much to hear a couple of yodeling sisters. Instead, we dined quietly on a partially-emptied boat. Internet service was hit-and miss. It seems that there are a limited number of people that can log on at the same time. At 4:00 a.m., it was always a battle to get on. I imagined a large contingent of jet-lagged people – like me - who awakened too early and, with nothing else to do, logged on to the internet. With time, I learned that 5:00 p.m., when people are getting ready for dinner, was best. Logging-on was a snap. Shipboard service was always friendly and fast. Our suite’s butler, Sooria, deserves special mention, He earned a special place in our hearts, making sure that the cabin’s stores of Johnny Walker Red were maintained at a ready-level. Disembarkation was smooth. After arriving back in Piraeus, we took the elevator down to deck 3 at 7:30 a.m., and we were freed. Ashore, our bags are waiting for us. We rolled them out to the airport coaches, and loaded on. An Azamara lady boarded and announced it would take 30 to 40 minutes to reach the airport, depending on traffic. There was traffic. It took nearly an hour.

First Time Azamara Cruise

Azamara Journey Cruise Review by TurtleBreath

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
Embarkation in Piraeus was easy. As our taxi pulled up to the cruise terminal in Piraeus, an Azamara rep with a clipboard greeted us and two uniformed attendants relieved us of our luggage. In short order, we handing our passports and paperwork to a cheerful and chatty gate agent. Absent any signs of norovirus or ebola, she photographed us, gave us our key cards, and pointed us toward the ship.

We boarded at about 13:00. The cabins were not ready, but there were waiters swarming about with trays of sparkling wine to assuage the impatience of the embarkees. There was also a desk to check our hand luggage, freeing us to go roaming. We went up to the Oceanview café on deck nine for lunch, while Azamara completed fussing over the rooms.

It was our first Azamara cruise and, after a couple of stints on Celebrity Solstice ships, the Journey’s smaller size felt comfortable. It was easy to get around. The Journey has 4 elevators, two fore and two aft. This compares with Celebrity’s central bank of 8 elevators, plus four additional elevators forward. And the Celebrity elevators were larger. Yet, on the Journey, we never had long waits for an elevator. One seemed to be there, or arriving soon to do your bidding. I suspect that with the smaller Journey, and fewer decks to traverse, more people took the stairs.

We ate well…that is, we did not lose weight during the trip. We visited Prime C and Aqualina several times. The food was good, though, I would rate the Solstice Class’s Merino and Tuscan Grille a notch or two better. Our biggest surprise was how pleasant the Oceanview café was in the evenings. Each night, there was a theme (e.g., Turkish, Italian, Indian). It wasn’t crowded, tables had tablecloths, and waiters were quick with the complementary wines, which were invariably pleasant. Azamara selects a red and white wine each day, and they will serve you those two wines until you are falling-down drunk. There’s a wine list, of course, and you can spend as much money as you would like buying special bottles. We were happy with the free selections. That also freed us to start with one wine with the appetizer, and finish with a different wine for our main course.

After experiencing Celebrity’s shows – which varied from OK to painful - our expectations were low for Azamara’s entertainment. But we enjoyed the shows. The first night there were singers and dancers, backed up by a seven-piece band, all executing professionally. My wife got teary, espying an elderly couple in the audience holding hands during a love song. The next day, at lunch, a couple joined us at our table. When my wife began talking about the show, the couple’s wife cut her off at the knees. “Rubbish! All that screeching!” OK, there were differing opinions.

On two nights, Beverly Davison, the Diva of Music & Laughter, entertained. She’s a violinist, dressed –neck to toes - in a red glittery dress, and red feather head piece. She fiddled and, between tunes, dished-out off-color patter. After zipping through the Sabre Dance the late summer part of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, she paused and turned to compliment the pianist on his ability to finger around the music’s hairy parts. On her second night, she played more contemporary music, finishing up a foot-stomping rendition of the Orange Blossom Special. The crowd went wild...Well, at least the portion of the crowd under 70.

The ship had an on-board lecturer, Dr Sherry Hutt, a former judge and now author and professional tourist. She gave several informative talks, including histories of the Greek islands and the region of Turkey we were visiting. I was impressed by her facile pronunciation of Fethiye, which I never quite got down. Discussing the Santorini eruption, she wove its effects into Moses’ flight from Egypt and most, if not all, of the seven plagues. She was vague on the frog part.

We forewent the Azamazing Evening. During our Fethiye stop, two sisters from Austria were to belt out your favorite opera hits somewhere ashore. The logistics of the evening seemed bruising – 500 people eating an early dinner on ship, then lining up to tender ashore, a 15 minute boat ride, followed by a 10 minute bus ride to the venue, a 50-minute performance, bus ride back to the port, finally tendering back to the ship. It all seemed a bit much to hear a couple of yodeling sisters. Instead, we dined quietly on a partially-emptied boat.

Internet service was hit-and miss. It seems that there are a limited number of people that can log on at the same time. At 4:00 a.m., it was always a battle to get on. I imagined a large contingent of jet-lagged people – like me - who awakened too early and, with nothing else to do, logged on to the internet. With time, I learned that 5:00 p.m., when people are getting ready for dinner, was best. Logging-on was a snap.

Shipboard service was always friendly and fast. Our suite’s butler, Sooria, deserves special mention, He earned a special place in our hearts, making sure that the cabin’s stores of Johnny Walker Red were maintained at a ready-level.

Disembarkation was smooth. After arriving back in Piraeus, we took the elevator down to deck 3 at 7:30 a.m., and we were freed. Ashore, our bags are waiting for us. We rolled them out to the airport coaches, and loaded on. An Azamara lady boarded and announced it would take 30 to 40 minutes to reach the airport, depending on traffic. There was traffic. It took nearly an hour.
TurtleBreath’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Service
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Azamara Journey price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email

Cabin Review

Club Ocean Suite
Cabin CO 7005
Our cabin, 7005, was perched above the ship’s forward deck, affording a great view of the ship’s progress. If you want to keep your finger on the pulse of the ship when getting to port, this is the place. You are viscerally aware when they drop anchor or fire-off the bow thrusters. It’s as if the entire cabin has a Magic Fingers® machine, and someone’s dropped in a quarter.

The suite has a sitting room, separate sleeping area, a full bathroom and a separate powder room. The cabin is furnished with a small dining table with four chairs, a coffee table surrounded by a sofa and a couple of chairs, and a credenza. The credenza has with a small ice bucket and glasses, a tray with four complimentary bottles of liquor: 375 ml of Johnnie Walker Red, rum, vodka, and a larger bottle of gin.

There’s a small refrigerator in the credenza stocked with sodas and wine. The sodas are free; the wines are not.
Deck 7 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Bodrum
    Bodrum’s cruise port is a few miles distant from the city center, and Azamara arranged a shuttle boat, leaving hourly, to ferry passengers from the port.
    In Bodrum, the ferry left us near the fort, and we headed off for a stroll. A road and promenade circles the harbor. On the left, the harbor is beam-to-beam with large sailboats, seemingly a mixture of private boats and commercial tourist ventures. On the right are restaurants and shops.

    There had been torrential rains the day before, the worst in 23 years, and everything is muddy. The Captain later explained that the ship had dodged a bullet.

    In town, there are a few small, ragged families, carrying printed signs in English saying they are Syrian refugees, needing money. We took a cab back to the boat and, on the drive back, we saw more refugees huddled by buildings, and shops with their water-logged furniture on street, damaged by the floods. One street had partially caved in. It looked like a sewer line had collapsed.
    View All 66 Bodrum Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Bodrum Cruise Port Review
  • Mykonos
    Mykonos is a busy, touristy place. The narrow port road is shared by pedestrians and vehicles – cars, motorcycles, mopeds and noisy four-wheel ATVs that are rented by tourists. I walk for about 20 minutes, circling the harbor, then head back, choosing an inland route through a rabbit warren of narrow, cobblestone walkways and roads. There are many shops peddling high-end goods, sandals, tourist tchotchkes, and such.
    View All 1,028 Mykonos Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Mykonos Cruise Port Review
  • Rhodes
    Rhodes is convenient to the ship. The entrance to the old city is about 100 yards down the road from the port. The old city is a walled fort, of sorts, built in the 1300’s by the Knights of the Ionnites, later known as the Knights of Malta. Inside the walls, the Rhodesians have made themselves at home, with shops and restaurants. We wandered about, strolling into the museum (free on Sundays, otherwise 6 euros).
    View All 464 Rhodes Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Rhodes Cruise Port Review
  • Santorini
    Santorini is much like the other islands - shops, restaurants, etc - but with hills. You will burn more calories getting around.

    Santorini has a reputation for multiple megaships arriving and disgorging thousands of passengers, only to have them wait for hours in the line for the cable car. The cable-car’s alternatives are (1) climbing the 588 steps up or (2) riding ragged donkeys up the steps (also €5 each). For us, with only two small ships in port, there was no line nor waiting to board the cable cars.
    View All 985 Santorini Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Santorini Cruise Port Review