Azamara Journey Cruise Review by Bimmer09
- Sail Date: January 2019
- Destination: Cuba
- Cabin Type: Club Deluxe Veranda Stateroom
We sail medium size ships from the Princess and Celebrity lines and of course due to their size they have more variety to offer. Azamara excels in terms of providing an elegant and relaxing environment with less than 700 passengers. Even after 9 days on board we hadn't eaten in all their venues nor spent time in all the rooms on board. We adapted to the leisurely vibe on board and just a couple of days into the experience were already liking what we saw of Azamara. Would we sail with them again? Yes and have already booked a 7 day Rome to Venice in October 2020 which will include a 10 year Azamara anniversary meet up in Koper, Slovenia, with the other two ships in the fleet.
We even booked the same aft cabin again. Cabins are small but well designed (back in the year 2000) and elegantly appointed. Elegant and tasteful are key words to describe the Journey. Soothing on the eye. We sailed with considerate adults who showed respect to each other.
It's the staff that make a ship a home for a week and the staff are keen to be of service and represent the brand well. I had hoped they wouldn't be too formal or stiff and was delighted to find them loose and ready to laugh and smile without forcing. Very personable.
The dining was the best we have enjoyed at sea, without the expense of a Specialty restaurant. Discoveries restaurant produced fine breakfasts lunches and dinners without fail.
Surprises were two brunches, complete with live music and served by Officers. Highlights of the cruise! Even the pool cafe, the Patio, stood high above the deck fare on our other two lines of choice with expansive menus, table service and really well-prepared simple dishes.
A good first impression was made on boarding- a glass of champagne, then relaxing on a pool deck without canned music and with thickly padded loungers with pillows, while waiters made sure your glass would not dry out. Only one announcement from the Captain and CD each day. Officers who greet you as they pass.
Two unique Home Runs, apart from the Azamara trade-mark overnight port stays which first attracted us to the brand are the Azamazing Evening and White Night Party.
Both smoothly executed considering 600 or more guests attended each event. In the case of Havana's Azamazing Evening we were all treated to an incredible performance by the Lizt Alfonso dancers which is one of the most passionate and moving performances we have seen outside of an Opera House or theater in the USA. Kudos Azamara!
White Night, an on deck BBQ buffet with music and dancing was held on a warm evening tied up in Cienfuegos and we all got a chance to applaud the crew who were introduced in a parade.
Azamara was pricy but included gratuities and basic beverages on board. I upgraded to an Ultimate Beverage package and had the choice of anything on the ship and that was a good move given my preferences.
Entertainment is constrained somewhat in the evening shows by the showroom which is on one level so no tiered seating-get there early for the best views-but the artists and CD (Alicia Hill) give it their all. There are plenty of relaxing and cosy areas to sit with friends and enjoy coffee or a beverage aboard the ship , including a real library with books made from paper!
Good first impressions continued day after day and there was no let-down. Just a great crew, steeped in the brand culture. They try to impress and with us succeeded and provided a very memorable experience.
We have now added Azamara to our Princess and Celebrity roster of go-to cruise lines.
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