Just back off a lovely 2 week cruise to the Baltic on Azura. We booked our Parking with Parking 4 Cruises and this is the first time we have used them. Excellent service their staff were waiting for us on arrival and car was in the short stay car park when we docked and we were on the road home by 8.40 am having chosen to keep our luggage in our cabin the night before our return. Embarkation was swift as we arrived at 3.45 pm so straight on the ship to our room R725 on deck 14. Inside room was fine and kept tidy by the Steward Mary who unfortunately had to go home due to her Father being ill. The location of this room is great for the pool deck at the rear of the ship and access to the Buffet and coffee/tea machines. The food in the Buffet was ok but we did prefer to have our evening meal main restaurants and all the meals were lovely except for the toast but when you have one guy making toast for 700 people it is no wonder it often arrives cold and hard. We ate most nights in the Peninsula restaurant and on 3 occasions in the Oriental. The main shows start at 8.30 and 10.30 but if you want to get a seat in the popular shows you need to be in the main theatre 30 mins before the start or 40 mins before to get a seat in a preferred location. We enjoyed most of the shows particularly Mike Doyle Comedian who was very funny on both occasions as opposed to Kane Brown who was completely un funny how he has got away with this act for 13 years is beyond me, it may be ok for the pub after 10 pints with your mates but taking the mick out of elderly people at the front of the audience who then walked out and left their drinks is cheap and not funny. The Headliners shows were good and the Evolution show was fabulous in my opinion not as keen on Dusty the Dusty Springfield story but we all have our own tastes. The male and female Opera/Musical singers were excellent and again we went to both shows on different nights. The Guest speaker was excellent and particularly enjoyed the talk about Rasputin and Russian History and the gentleman who gave the talk on the Paper Mache wooden boxes and how they were made and painted was very informative. We were extremely lucky with the weather most days were in the low 20s but St Petersberg was overcast and we had a short shower but this did not detract from the enjoyment of seeing this wonderful city. Price of drinks on board. Bottle of coke 330ml £2.95 Bottle of Peroni 330ml £4.20 Guinness can and Doombar 500ml bottle around £4.20 Bottle of Kopperberg alco free cider £3.50 Cocktail £6-£7 Large 1.5 litre bottled water £2.20 Average Bottle of wine £16-£20, Glass of red merlot £4.55 ( they will recork unused wine for next night) You can buy drinks packages but we felt they were way over priced unless you are a alcoholic The ultimate drinks package is £39.95 per person per day and you have to buy it for the full duration of the cruise and for all the adults in the cabin. The childrens package is included in this price Non Alcoholic drinks package is £19.95 per person per day Mocktails Mochas soft drinks and juices and primo sized Costa coffee,Teapigs tea and small bottles of water. Childrens drinks package, £7.95 per person per day. Draught soft drinks and selected juices and hot chocolate. Overall we had a great time, the ship is in need of a refit in parts with holes in the carpets in part of the buffet and discoloured and worn carpets in our room which will be reflected in the 4* rating for this review. Staff were good and efficient not much interaction but that was ok. Ports and places we visited. Waremunde Germany. This was a real bonus as we didn’t really know what to expect and it is a lovely town with a great sandy beach and a lovely harbour to walk around which is very close walk to and from the ship. We chose to go into Rostock and went to the railway station nearby where you will see ticket machines and opposite these you will see a shop. At the side entrance around the corner from the shop you can buy a 1 day rail and tram pass from the office for 6 Euro and the lady will give you a slip of paper that tells you to how to validate the ticket on the platform before getting on train then get off train at Rostock HBF ( 9 stops) yo then need to go down two levels to the tram Platform A Blue tram. Take tram 5 or 6 and get off at stop Neuer Market ( New Market) this is a lovely square with access to shops and nice buildings Trains are every 30 mins and trams every 10 mins. Easy Peasy . Then we came back to Waremunde and had a cocktail on the ship side of the harbour which was less busy. Helsinki, Here we got the courtesy coach to near the centre of Helsinki which if you pay select fare is free but if you are on saver fare it is £4 per person each way. Had to wait nearly 30 mins for return coach in a shower which was not fun. Had a nice walk round the centre of Helsinki then we went to the tourist information office and got details on the trams. We were told if we bought a Ticket 2.8 Euro this would last 80 mins and you can then get the No2 tram which takes you up one side of Helsinki then get the No3 tram which comes back down the other side. This number 3 tram changes its number back to number 2 near the centre and you have to stay on one or two stops back to the centre. Cheap way to see Helsinki. St Petersberg, Day 1 we went to Catherine Palace and we were lucky with the weather as it was sunny in the morning. Reasonably quick access into the Palace but we were in a group of 41 so had to wait for the group to regroup after a visit to toilets and cloakroom which you have to put standard size backpacks so leave on coach if possible to save time. Then you are herded through to an area where you have to put on some fabric over shoes to protect the floor. It if then a slow process moving from room to room which were lovely particularly the Amber room where you are not allowed to film or take photos. We had very little time to walk around the garden area due to a shortage of time and were told no time to shop but I saw this little kiosk in the gardens and bought a pack of 30 postcards that had lovely pics of the palace for 250 roubles ( about £3). Tip Here: we were told before leaving the ship we could not take water off the ship. There is a vending machine near the exit door you can use rouble notes or coins. You put the note (or coins) in the machine THEN select the number of the item you want i.e 52 for water it drops out the bottom and gives you change price of water 45 roubles (50Pence) or coke 65 roubles(80 Pence) much cheaper than aboard ship St Petersberg, Day 2 We booked the Picturesque St Petersberg trip and it started with a boat trip which went along the river /canal? Which was lovely and we saw some wonderful buildings then we went under some very low bridges you cannot stand up on the boat under these as you could be seriously injured. Suddenly this guy started appearing on the bridges waving like a tourist but then he would appear at every bridge on the way back then he was at the dock for our return and expected but did not push for a tip. Be careful here though because someone said after that with some of these they act in pairs look where you take the money from and try to pickpocket. We enjoyed this trip and then we were taken to the Church of the spilt blood which is fantastic inside, the mosaics are spectacular and look like paintings. We then were taken to a gift shop for free coffee or vodka. Try the vodka the coffee is cold and horrible due to lukewarm water also no milk. Talinn Estonia, This was our favourite place, you can walk from the ship to the old town centre in about 20 mins about 800m away to the edge of the town but do get your bearings here so you can find your way back. The square in the centre is lovely for a chill out drink and people watching. There was also a stage up with music and performances on the day we were there. Do be aware drinks in the square are pricey no prices listed you have to sit down and get a menu for prices so do this before you order. A 500ml saku beer and a cappuccino coffee will cost around 12 euro, nice beer though. Stockholm Sweden, I got up at 5.30 am to watch the ship head to the port through spectacular scenery, little islands with typical small wooden houses were lovely and the bird habitats on these small islands were nice to see. When we arrived in Stockholm again you needed to use the courtesy buses (£4 per person each way if not on select fare) which were delayed a bit due to roadworks in the town so had to wait 20 to 30 mins on the outward bound journey. Stockholm is spread out a bit so if you have difficulty walking then a pre booked tour may be a better option. Although it was ok walking through the town and seeing the palace we enjoyed walking around the harbour area more and in some ways wish we had booked a harbour tour. Copenhagen Denmark, Here we looked from the portside of the ship and thought we could see The Little Mermaid statue about 400 yds to the left of the ship so we walked in that direction from the ship but the statue was of a couple of Polar Bears, the little mermaid statue however was 200 metres over to the right of this statue just around the harbour. We followed the harbour round from here to what was a lovely church and fountain then onto the area where the tourist boats dock Nyhavn with its lovely coloured buildings. Again here the cafes are busy and expensive Small beer, coffee and a bottle of water 125 Danish Krone (£15). Great for the views and people watching. Then we went onto Christianborg Palace and the Royal Stables then to the Town Hall building with the Astronomical clock. By this time we were tired so we returned to centre to get a courtesy bus back which was most unpleasant as no Aircon and stop start traffic all the way back to the ship lots of people complained about the shuttle bus service here. We missed out Tivoli but if you are planning on going on an organised tour make sure you confirm how long you get there as some people were unhappy for 2 reasons the minibus transport no aircon black windows to see out of and only 30 mins at the gardens when they complained the tour team were not interested.

Good ship good staff fabulous Baltic cruise

Azura Cruise Review by technoman

7 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: June 2019
  • Destination: Europe
  • Cabin Type: Inside Stateroom
Just back off a lovely 2 week cruise to the Baltic on Azura. We booked our Parking with Parking 4 Cruises and this is the first time we have used them. Excellent service their staff were waiting for us on arrival and car was in the short stay car park when we docked and we were on the road home by 8.40 am having chosen to keep our luggage in our cabin the night before our return.

Embarkation was swift as we arrived at 3.45 pm so straight on the ship to our room R725 on deck 14. Inside room was fine and kept tidy by the Steward Mary who unfortunately had to go home due to her Father being ill.

The location of this room is great for the pool deck at the rear of the ship and access to the Buffet and coffee/tea machines. The food in the Buffet was ok but we did prefer to have our evening meal main restaurants and all the meals were lovely except for the toast but when you have one guy making toast for 700 people it is no wonder it often arrives cold and hard. We ate most nights in the Peninsula restaurant and on 3 occasions in the Oriental. The main shows start at 8.30 and 10.30 but if you want to get a seat in the popular shows you need to be in the main theatre 30 mins before the start or 40 mins before to get a seat in a preferred location.

We enjoyed most of the shows particularly Mike Doyle Comedian who was very funny on both occasions as opposed to Kane Brown who was completely un funny how he has got away with this act for 13 years is beyond me, it may be ok for the pub after 10 pints with your mates but taking the mick out of elderly people at the front of the audience who then walked out and left their drinks is cheap and not funny. The Headliners shows were good and the Evolution show was fabulous in my opinion not as keen on Dusty the Dusty Springfield story but we all have our own tastes. The male and female Opera/Musical singers were excellent and again we went to both shows on different nights.

The Guest speaker was excellent and particularly enjoyed the talk about Rasputin and Russian History and the gentleman who gave the talk on the Paper Mache wooden boxes and how they were made and painted was very informative.

We were extremely lucky with the weather most days were in the low 20s but St Petersberg was overcast and we had a short shower but this did not detract from the enjoyment of seeing this wonderful city.

Price of drinks on board.

Bottle of coke 330ml £2.95

Bottle of Peroni 330ml £4.20 Guinness can and Doombar 500ml bottle around £4.20

Bottle of Kopperberg alco free cider £3.50

Cocktail £6-£7

Large 1.5 litre bottled water £2.20

Average Bottle of wine £16-£20, Glass of red merlot £4.55 ( they will recork unused wine for next night)

You can buy drinks packages but we felt they were way over priced unless you are a alcoholic

The ultimate drinks package is £39.95 per person per day and you have to buy it for the full duration of the cruise and for all the adults in the cabin. The childrens package is included in this price

Non Alcoholic drinks package is £19.95 per person per day Mocktails Mochas soft drinks and juices and primo sized Costa coffee,Teapigs tea and small bottles of water.

Childrens drinks package, £7.95 per person per day. Draught soft drinks and selected juices and hot chocolate.

Overall we had a great time, the ship is in need of a refit in parts with holes in the carpets in part of the buffet and discoloured and worn carpets in our room which will be reflected in the 4* rating for this review. Staff were good and efficient not much interaction but that was ok.


Ports and places we visited.

Waremunde Germany.

This was a real bonus as we didn’t really know what to expect and it is a lovely town with a great sandy beach and a lovely harbour to walk around which is very close walk to and from the ship. We chose to go into Rostock and went to the railway station nearby where you will see ticket machines and opposite these you will see a shop. At the side entrance around the corner from the shop you can buy a 1 day rail and tram pass from the office for 6 Euro and the lady will give you a slip of paper that tells you to how to validate the ticket on the platform before getting on train then get off train at Rostock HBF ( 9 stops) yo then need to go down two levels to the tram Platform A Blue tram. Take tram 5 or 6 and get off at stop Neuer Market ( New Market) this is a lovely square with access to shops and nice buildings Trains are every 30 mins and trams every 10 mins. Easy Peasy . Then we came back to Waremunde and had a cocktail on the ship side of the harbour which was less busy.

Helsinki, Here we got the courtesy coach to near the centre of Helsinki which if you pay select fare is free but if you are on saver fare it is £4 per person each way. Had to wait nearly 30 mins for return coach in a shower which was not fun. Had a nice walk round the centre of Helsinki then we went to the tourist information office and got details on the trams. We were told if we bought a Ticket 2.8 Euro this would last 80 mins and you can then get the No2 tram which takes you up one side of Helsinki then get the No3 tram which comes back down the other side. This number 3 tram changes its number back to number 2 near the centre and you have to stay on one or two stops back to the centre. Cheap way to see Helsinki.

St Petersberg, Day 1 we went to Catherine Palace and we were lucky with the weather as it was sunny in the morning. Reasonably quick access into the Palace but we were in a group of 41 so had to wait for the group to regroup after a visit to toilets and cloakroom which you have to put standard size backpacks so leave on coach if possible to save time. Then you are herded through to an area where you have to put on some fabric over shoes to protect the floor. It if then a slow process moving from room to room which were lovely particularly the Amber room where you are not allowed to film or take photos. We had very little time to walk around the garden area due to a shortage of time and were told no time to shop but I saw this little kiosk in the gardens and bought a pack of 30 postcards that had lovely pics of the palace for 250 roubles ( about £3).

Tip Here: we were told before leaving the ship we could not take water off the ship. There is a vending machine near the exit door you can use rouble notes or coins. You put the note (or coins) in the machine THEN select the number of the item you want i.e 52 for water it drops out the bottom and gives you change price of water 45 roubles (50Pence) or coke 65 roubles(80 Pence) much cheaper than aboard ship

St Petersberg, Day 2 We booked the Picturesque St Petersberg trip and it started with a boat trip which went along the river /canal? Which was lovely and we saw some wonderful buildings then we went under some very low bridges you cannot stand up on the boat under these as you could be seriously injured. Suddenly this guy started appearing on the bridges waving like a tourist but then he would appear at every bridge on the way back then he was at the dock for our return and expected but did not push for a tip. Be careful here though because someone said after that with some of these they act in pairs look where you take the money from and try to pickpocket. We enjoyed this trip and then we were taken to the Church of the spilt blood which is fantastic inside, the mosaics are spectacular and look like paintings. We then were taken to a gift shop for free coffee or vodka. Try the vodka the coffee is cold and horrible due to lukewarm water also no milk.

Talinn Estonia, This was our favourite place, you can walk from the ship to the old town centre in about 20 mins about 800m away to the edge of the town but do get your bearings here so you can find your way back. The square in the centre is lovely for a chill out drink and people watching. There was also a stage up with music and performances on the day we were there. Do be aware drinks in the square are pricey no prices listed you have to sit down and get a menu for prices so do this before you order. A 500ml saku beer and a cappuccino coffee will cost around 12 euro, nice beer though.

Stockholm Sweden, I got up at 5.30 am to watch the ship head to the port through spectacular scenery, little islands with typical small wooden houses were lovely and the bird habitats on these small islands were nice to see. When we arrived in Stockholm again you needed to use the courtesy buses (£4 per person each way if not on select fare) which were delayed a bit due to roadworks in the town so had to wait 20 to 30 mins on the outward bound journey. Stockholm is spread out a bit so if you have difficulty walking then a pre booked tour may be a better option. Although it was ok walking through the town and seeing the palace we enjoyed walking around the harbour area more and in some ways wish we had booked a harbour tour.

Copenhagen Denmark,

Here we looked from the portside of the ship and thought we could see The Little Mermaid statue about 400 yds to the left of the ship so we walked in that direction from the ship but the statue was of a couple of Polar Bears, the little mermaid statue however was 200 metres over to the right of this statue just around the harbour. We followed the harbour round from here to what was a lovely church and fountain then onto the area where the tourist boats dock Nyhavn with its lovely coloured buildings. Again here the cafes are busy and expensive Small beer, coffee and a bottle of water 125 Danish Krone (£15). Great for the views and people watching. Then we went onto Christianborg Palace and the Royal Stables then to the Town Hall building with the Astronomical clock. By this time we were tired so we returned to centre to get a courtesy bus back which was most unpleasant as no Aircon and stop start traffic all the way back to the ship lots of people complained about the shuttle bus service here. We missed out Tivoli but if you are planning on going on an organised tour make sure you confirm how long you get there as some people were unhappy for 2 reasons the minibus transport no aircon black windows to see out of and only 30 mins at the gardens when they complained the tour team were not interested.
technoman’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Inside Stateroom
Cabin OF R725
Nice cabin but has bunk beds above the Queen bed that make it awkward to squeeze down the side. Carpets discoloured otherwise a nice room and shower room on deck 14 aft near terrace pool and Buffet.
  Azura Deck Plans

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Copenhagen
    Here we looked from the portside of the ship and thought we could see The Little Mermaid statue about 400 yds to the left of the ship so we walked in that direction from the ship but the statue was of a couple of Polar Bears, the little mermaid statue however was 200 metres over to the right of this statue just around the harbour. We followed the harbour round from here to what was a lovely church and fountain then onto the area where the tourist boats dock Nyhavn with its lovely coloured buildings. Again here the cafes are busy and expensive Small beer, coffee and a bottle of water 125 Danish Krone (£15). Great for the views and people watching. Then we went onto Christianborg Palace and the Royal Stables then to the Town Hall building with the Astronomical clock. By this time we were tired so we returned to centre to get a courtesy bus back which was most unpleasant as no Aircon and stop start traffic all the way back to the ship lots of people complained about the shuttle bus service here. We missed out Tivoli but if you are planning on going on an organised tour make sure you confirm how long you get there as some people were unhappy for 2 reasons the minibus transport no aircon black windows to see out of and only 30 mins at the gardens when they complained the tour team were not interested.
    View All 1,066 Copenhagen Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Copenhagen Cruise Port Review
  • Helsinki
    Helsinki, Here we got the courtesy coach to near the centre of Helsinki which if you pay select fare is free but if you are on saver fare it is £4 per person each way. Had to wait nearly 30 mins for return coach in a shower which was not fun. Had a nice walk round the centre of Helsinki then we went to the tourist information office and got details on the trams. We were told if we bought a Ticket 2.8 Euro this would last 80 mins and you can then get the No2 tram which takes you up one side of Helsinki then get the No3 tram which comes back down the other side. This number 3 tram changes its number back to number 2 near the centre and you have to stay on one or two stops back to the centre. Cheap way to see Helsinki.
    View All 821 Helsinki Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Helsinki Cruise Port Review
  • Rostock (Warnemunde)
    This was a real bonus as we didn’t really know what to expect and it is a lovely town with a great sandy beach and a lovely harbour to walk around which is very close walk to and from the ship. We chose to go into Rostock and went to the railway station nearby where you will see ticket machines and opposite these you will see a shop. At the side entrance around the corner from the shop you can buy a 1 day rail and tram pass from the office for 6 Euro and the lady will give you a slip of paper that tells you to how to validate the ticket on the platform before getting on train then get off train at Rostock HBF ( 9 stops) yo then need to go down two levels to the tram Platform A Blue tram. Take tram 5 or 6 and get off at stop Neuer Market ( New Market) this is a lovely square with access to shops and nice buildings Trains are every 30 mins and trams every 10 mins. Easy Peasy . Then we came back to Waremunde and had a cocktail on the ship side of the harbour which was less busy.
    View All 356 Rostock (Warnemunde) Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Rostock (Warnemunde) Cruise Port Review
  • Catherine Palace
    St Petersberg, Day 1 we went to Catherine Palace and we were lucky with the weather as it was sunny in the morning. Reasonably quick access into the Palace but we were in a group of 41 so had to wait for the group to regroup after a visit to toilets and cloakroom which you have to put standard size backpacks so leave on coach if possible to save time. Then you are herded through to an area where you have to put on some fabric over shoes to protect the floor. It if then a slow process moving from room to room which were lovely particularly the Amber room where you are not allowed to film or take photos. We had very little time to walk around the garden area due to a shortage of time and were told no time to shop but I saw this little kiosk in the gardens and bought a pack of 30 postcards that had lovely pics of the palace for 250 roubles ( about £3).
    Tip Here: we were told before leaving the ship we could not take water off the ship. There is a vending machine near the exit door you can use rouble notes or coins. You put the note (or coins) in the machine THEN select the number of the item you want i.e 52 for water it drops out the bottom and gives you change price of water 45 roubles (50Pence) or coke 65 roubles(80 Pence) much cheaper than aboard ship
    St Petersberg, Day 2 We booked the Picturesque St Petersberg trip and it started with a boat trip which went along the river /canal? Which was lovely and we saw some wonderful buildings then we went under some very low bridges you cannot stand up on the boat under these as you could be seriously injured. Suddenly this guy started appearing on the bridges waving like a tourist but then he would appear at every bridge on the way back then he was at the dock for our return and expected but did not push for a tip. Be careful here though because someone said after that with some of these they act in pairs look where you take the money from and try to pickpocket. We enjoyed this trip and then we were taken to the Church of the spilt blood which is fantastic inside, the mosaics are spectacular and look like paintings. We then were taken to a gift shop for free coffee or vodka. Try the vodka the coffee is cold and horrible due to lukewarm water also no milk.
    View All 202 Catherine Palace Reviews
  • Stockholm
    Stockholm Sweden, I got up at 5.30 am to watch the ship head to the port through spectacular scenery, little islands with typical small wooden houses were lovely and the bird habitats on these small islands were nice to see. When we arrived in Stockholm again you needed to use the courtesy buses (£4 per person each way if not on select fare) which were delayed a bit due to roadworks in the town so had to wait 20 to 30 mins on the outward bound journey. Stockholm is spread out a bit so if you have difficulty walking then a pre booked tour may be a better option. Although it was ok walking through the town and seeing the palace we enjoyed walking around the harbour area more and in some ways wish we had booked a harbour tour.
    View All 804 Stockholm Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Stockholm Cruise Port Review
  • Tallinn
    Talinn Estonia, This was our favourite place, you can walk from the ship to the old town centre in about 20 mins about 800m away to the edge of the town but do get your bearings here so you can find your way back. The square in the centre is lovely for a chill out drink and people watching. There was also a stage up with music and performances on the day we were there. Do be aware drinks in the square are pricey no prices listed you have to sit down and get a menu for prices so do this before you order. A 500ml saku beer and a cappuccino coffee will cost around 12 euro, nice beer though.
    View All 976 Tallinn Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Tallinn Cruise Port Review