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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
From the moment we embark, it's like we 're home. The staff recognize us and it's like reuniting with family after having been away for awhile. Everything luxury is included. There's no out our pocket expenses ... Read More
From the moment we embark, it's like we 're home. The staff recognize us and it's like reuniting with family after having been away for awhile. Everything luxury is included. There's no out our pocket expenses except for shore excurisons or the gift shop.. My husband has a military handcap of being 100% hearing loss, and the shore excurision staff take special care of him. The staff knows us by name and I'd love to have their memory ability. The dining room staff from the casual dining areas to the spediality restaurants watch over us and make sure everything is as we wish. The room stewards are highly trained and again do everything possible to make our voyage memorable. It's great knowing beverages are included as well coffee delights. We love the variety of foods served. As past passengers, we're treated to wonderful special events. We love the captains who mingle among us and share their love of Azamara with us. We look forward to the awesome Azamara special evening gala on each voyage. Truly awesome! Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
Great ports of call and a refurbished ship attracted us to Azamara Journey. Embarkation in Nice was a breeze. The Journey looked great. We had a balcony stateroom, 6082. The room was quite comfortable and the new furnishings gave it a ... Read More
Great ports of call and a refurbished ship attracted us to Azamara Journey. Embarkation in Nice was a breeze. The Journey looked great. We had a balcony stateroom, 6082. The room was quite comfortable and the new furnishings gave it a touch of elegance. The only noticeable shortcoming is the tiny bathroom and unusually tight shower. At least RCCL gives you expanding doors for the shower. This one still has the old shower curtain motif that is claustrophobic if not impractical. Dining was fine in the main dining room. Service was impeccable. Both specialist restaurants were nicely upscale. I preferred Prime over the Italian restaurant; the Italian one was fine except that it had no traditional Italian offerings that one would expect in the US. Service throughout the ship in the bars, main dining room and up top buffet was extraordinary. They truly make you feel a member of a club. The entertainment offerings were varied and top notch. The ports other than Barcelona were new to us. Seville, Gibraltar, Honfleur, Lisbon and Guernsey were all very interesting and we had tours in each. Our enrichment lecturer added all the historical significance that each of these ports merited. His lectures made the visits more meaningful. Additionally, we had a retired British Air pilot give a series of lectures on the Concord which were very informative and professionally prepared and presented. All in all this was a great cruise in all aspects. Azamara is to be commended! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
We chose this as our first ocean cruise because it took us to many places we had not seen before including Croatia. 35 days seemed a long time on boarding but it was so good the time flew. We enjoyed every port, every meal, and every ... Read More
We chose this as our first ocean cruise because it took us to many places we had not seen before including Croatia. 35 days seemed a long time on boarding but it was so good the time flew. We enjoyed every port, every meal, and every moment. The ship is small enough that we never had to line up for anything including meals and disembarking. The crew including the captain are great and they ensure that the ship in kept clean and in good order. We had a suite on the 8th level with a balcony which provided us with plenty of space and was kept immaculate by the cabin staff The port's were all amazing and it was hard to pick a favorite. The entertainment was first class and the cruise director Eric was on top of his game. Thank you and if another suitable itinerary comes up we will be sure to return. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
This was actually a charter so different from anything on the Azamara offerings. 30 ports throughout both the Western and Eastern Mediterranean. 1. Ship cannot be faulted in any way. Recently undergoing a refurb, the public rooms were ... Read More
This was actually a charter so different from anything on the Azamara offerings. 30 ports throughout both the Western and Eastern Mediterranean. 1. Ship cannot be faulted in any way. Recently undergoing a refurb, the public rooms were redone in beautiful subtle and rich tones and textures. Lots of different places to "hang out". 2. Food was plentiful and very varied. There are 2 restaurants where there is a surcharge; however, 3 other places to dine. We actually discovered the Pool Grill which featured beautifully grilled steaks, salads, etc. While covered, it offered wonderful views. 3. In retrospect, I wouldn't do such a "full-on" cruise again (only 2 days at sea); however, everything is so close in the Mediterranean that this is not unusual. Azamara features overnight visits to some ports which is a HUGE bonus. 4. The Captain was amazing .... constant updates, changing of course to avoid storms, and a continuing presence talking with passengers around the ship. Kudos to him! 5. Staff on all levels were extremely professional, friendly, and could not do enough. 6. With only a passenger capacity of about 600, this ship maneuvers where others can't go and you are on and off the ship quickly. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2016
Hidden Treasures of the Mediterranean cruise with Azamara Journey from Nice to Venice called into ports that we had never been to before, e.g. St Tropez, Cassis, Palamos, Ibiza, Propriano, Trapani, Hydra, Limassol & many more. I had ... Read More
Hidden Treasures of the Mediterranean cruise with Azamara Journey from Nice to Venice called into ports that we had never been to before, e.g. St Tropez, Cassis, Palamos, Ibiza, Propriano, Trapani, Hydra, Limassol & many more. I had looked at this cruise 12 months out from sail date, but decided it was just too expensive & we were unsure about sailing on a smaller ship in comparison to what we were used to. This was a charter cruise by Cruiseco. About 3 or 4 months out from sail date, Cruisco offered the 2nd passenger at half price so we decided to take up the offer. Some passengers were lucky enough to get 2 for 1 pricing!! The cruise was fantastic The Captain, Johannes & staff were fantastic The food left a lot to be desired, except for Aqualina, which was excellent We thought the selection of wines offered which was included in our fares was not very good. Others on board suggested that because it was a charter cruise the quality was not up to scratch. The activities on board were almost non existent - mahjong, cards, bingo, table tennis occasionally. However, the lecturer on board with his history lectures about the various ports & countries we were visiting, was excellent. Never missed one of his talks. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2015
This was our first Azamara cruise having sailed with both higher and lower grade ships. The first few days were dissapointing due to poor service --waiters seemed overwhelmed There was an outbreak of nova virus which did not help either. ... Read More
This was our first Azamara cruise having sailed with both higher and lower grade ships. The first few days were dissapointing due to poor service --waiters seemed overwhelmed There was an outbreak of nova virus which did not help either. Cabins and public areas need refurbishment, shower curtain was scruffy and shower room tiny!! There needs to be far more outside seating as we always had to wait for a table and always share. Food was also very limited choice, slightly better in evening. Prime C was as we would have expected generally fine dining. Entertainnment was very good with a good choice of shows to suit everyone. We spoke to many guests who said service had deteriorated and also the Quest far better. The positives ---the White night and Azamazing evening , also the beautiful stops especialy Kotor. Would we return ? yes but only if they charge prices comparable to other liners they maintain they are superior to? Read Less
Sail Date: May 2015
We booked this cruise mainly as it was stopping at Monaco for the F1 Grand Prix. Check in seemed a bit chaotic, but once we had got that out the way & got our cabin key, everything was great. We had booked an inside cabin but on ... Read More
We booked this cruise mainly as it was stopping at Monaco for the F1 Grand Prix. Check in seemed a bit chaotic, but once we had got that out the way & got our cabin key, everything was great. We had booked an inside cabin but on arrival were upgraded to a window cabin, which was great. We liked the ship & there were plenty of sunbeds available throughout the cruise. We just ate in the inclusive restaurants, but enjoyed the food in both the Windows buffet & the Discoveries restaurant. We usually had breakfast in Windows & evening meal in Discoveries. We had no problem getting a table for two every evening - we are unsociable & like to sit on our own :0) Evening entertainment was ok, but nothing outstanding. The ship anchored offshore at most ports & we were tendered in. This all went smoothly & we had no long waits. With the Monaco F1 looming, the atmosphere on board was great. We purchased hospitality tickets to watch the Grand Prix (which cost nearly as much as the week's cruise!). The general admission tickets that are included with the cruise are for 'La Rocher', which means sitting on a packed hilly grassy area, with not a brilliant view. I think most people would want to purchase seat in one of the stands, or hospitality - so this needs factoring into your costs, as it is not cheap. All in all, great ship & great cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
This was our first cruise and was a 50th birthday present from my wife . The ship was fabulous with a friendly and attentive staff . The rooms were port side state rooms and were well appointed and comfortable . A generous Double bed with ... Read More
This was our first cruise and was a 50th birthday present from my wife . The ship was fabulous with a friendly and attentive staff . The rooms were port side state rooms and were well appointed and comfortable . A generous Double bed with TV and fitted wardrobes completed a very smart space . The small but perfectly functional bathroom was clean and well appointed with shower , basin and toilet . Clean towels every day and a make and turn bed down service every day also with fresh fruit daily and chocolates at the end of each day . The entertainment was limited but very well produced with commitment from the entertainment team . The food onboard was exceptional and no matter which of the 4 diners/ restaurants you dined at the food in each was as good as the next . The only down side was we booked a package to include the Monaco Grand Prix , we felt this was miss old as the tickets were for a spot which had no view of the Grand Prix . We feel this is a con and 5000 other people were also conned . This should not be sold as a viewing point . On the other hand the remains part of the cruise was great and the ticket for the GP issue will be dealt with directly. All in all a lovely trip on a very nice friendly ship . Read Less
Sail Date: September 2011
We recently enjoyed a 10-day, western Mediterranean cruise on Azamara's "Journey." I won't reiterate here what has been stated many times before except to add my voice to the chorus of very pleased Azamra guests. ... Read More
We recently enjoyed a 10-day, western Mediterranean cruise on Azamara's "Journey." I won't reiterate here what has been stated many times before except to add my voice to the chorus of very pleased Azamra guests. Nothing in life--including cruises--is perfect. That said, however, our Azamra cruise absolutely lived up to our expectations and in some respects exceeded them. Rather than going through the laundry list of cruise details, let me comment on some specific aspects of the cruise that may be of particular interest to prospective passengers. Also, since we're as idiocyncratic as any other passenger please keep in mind this is completely subjective! Moreover, since we were not traveling with children or with those with mobility issues, we didn't use the casino nor see any of the shows, and we didn't celebrate any milestone events nor make any special requests, I cannot comment on those things. CONDITION OF THE VESSEL: The Journey and the Quest are not new ships, and some have wondered as to their condition after a decade of service. We found the Journey to be in beautiful shape (except for the often-remarked-on condition of the tile in and around the pool--yes, that does need replacing). All ships we've ever sailed on have constant maintenance, especially on port days. Journey crew were busy painting, varnishing, vacuuming with the best of them. No surprises there. However one evening I noticed a tear along the seam of a back cushion on one of the upholstered chairs in the Mosaics Cafe. "Well, there's a sign of an older ship," I thought. I'd seen (what I thought was a reasonable amount of ) wear and tear on some older Holland America and Princess ships: a carpet stain that had been cleaned up not eradicated, a torn and mended lampshade, etc. So I was sorry to see the torn cushion, but not surprised. However, the next morning, when I stumbled down to Mosaics for a morning cup of coffee, the torn cushion was gone. Either it had been repaired overnight, or replaced. During the rest of the cruise, I would see an occasional burnt out light, only to note the next time I passed by, the light had been replaced. There is a fair amount of bric-a-brac in the public areas of the ship. (Think a cross between a Ralph Lauren boutique and one of those PBS crunchy gravel English manor houses.) Some reviewers have speculated that the Azamara ships' decor may have been influenced by the movie "Titanic," which came out about the time the Azamara ships were built. Regardless of the motive, I can verify that all the decorative details are intact, clean, and looking like the day the ship left the builder. Not a broken fillial or scuffed wall sconce in sight. That is the attention to detail in terms of upkeep on this ship. FOOD: Since this is likely the most subjective, and passionate, area of all, it seems pointless to evaulate whether the food aboard Azamara is as good as the "finest restaurants" ashore or not. Is "the finest restaurant" a high end steak house, or is it a temple of micro gastronomy? Do you yearn for a 30 ounce aged steak or a 30 course tasting menu? What I can report is that the provisions served on our cruise were of high quality, well prepared and expertly served. The quality was apparent both in the types of foodstuffs: venison, veal, foie gras, etc; as well as the quality and freshness. In fact for us--and here is the subjective part so feel free to ignore it!--the specialty restaurants and main dining room menus were close enough in quality that we didn't feel an urge to eat in either specialty restaurant more than once, especially since the menus there do not change. I recall out of the seven or so evenings we ate in the main dining room, only one meal was "ordinary" and even at that, it wasn't bad at all. After a few days, we had fallen into a group of new friends (more on that later), and so found ourselves requesting tables for eight. Since Journey and Quest were not built so as to hold the entire ship's passengers at a single time, we did have some waits for an available table. However, we amiably passed the time in the nearby cocktail lounge and didn't mind the delay. From our perspective could Azamara improve the main dining room? Well they cannot rebuild the ships to seat everyone simultaneously (and we sailed on a full ship), and I know some have wished dinner could be served more quickly. However, for us, it would be nice to have a separate soup and salad course, and have the salad served after the main course. I'm not talking about an elaborate salad, just something simple with a vinagarette. By the same token, some cheese then dessert would be nice. Put all that together and you would have a four-hour dinner! Also I suspect I could have asked for those things and gotten them. One of the amazing things one gets used to quickly is that it is difficult to get a crew member to say "No" to anything! Lastly, when ordering fish, one gets a proper fish fork and knife! To me, that's always been a sign a restaurant takes preparing and serving fish seriously. DRESS: Of the cruises we have been on, this one was the closest to adhering to the official descriptions. It really was "resort casual." No dinner jackets or long dresses, but no track suits or tee shirts either. These were 692 of the best dressed "casual" fellow passengers we've ever sailed with. Which brings me to the people aboard ship. PEOPLE: What you've read about Azamara and its on-board staff, officers and crew is true. They have the most incredible people afloat. I don't know if it is that their attitude and personality rubs off on the passengers, or Azamara passengers "self select," but we have never enjoyed interacting with the crew and fellow passengers so much as we did on this cruise. After we disembarked in Rome, we both commented that when we were on a Caribbean cruise this past winter we were on a ship more than three times the size of the Journey. Yet on that winter cruise we talked to, and got to know, perhaps a third of the people we met and enjoyed getting to know on this cruise. That's a nine-fold improvement, if my math is correct. The Azamara passenger ethos came home to me when I bit the bullet and went to the self-serve laundry on deck seven. Yes, I know the smart thing to do is to go first thing in the morning and not wait until mid afternoon when everyone is going to try to use the facilities. I also knew full well one never goes on a sea day, especially on a 10-day cruise with only one day at sea. I did both. But not only did I wind up with clean clothes, I had a great afternoon! At one point, I went back to the cabin to retrieve a couple of forgotten polo shirts. When I got to the elevators, I could hear all the laughing and conviviality from the laundry room all the way from the deck below. Our interactions with ship's officers were equally unparalleled. While we did not meet or speak with the Captain (Which was our fault. We are at the Explorer level on Le Club Voyage, but managed to miss each and every event we were invited to!), the Staff Captain (the number two officer) saw us one morning having coffee. He stopped and talked to us for a good 5-10 minutes. We hadn't had that kind of interaction since a Windstar cruise 20 years ago (and that on a ship with only 183 passengers). Would we travel on Azamara again? Absolutely. Azamara is now our favorite cruiseline. We may not be aboard for for a year or two as work makes extended travel a more tricky proposition than it does for our retired friends. We also enjoy renting a house and car, so we typically vacation on land more than we do on the sea. But cruising takes you places and introduces you to people you'd likely never see or know otherwise. So when the ship's whistle sounds and we're once again aboard, our intention is for it to be on the Journey or Quest. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2011
I returned from a 7 night Azamara cruise on Journey on September the 24th and wanted to write a review based upon my experience on the ship and compare it in part to Celebrity with whom I've cruised with a number of times. Just a word ... Read More
I returned from a 7 night Azamara cruise on Journey on September the 24th and wanted to write a review based upon my experience on the ship and compare it in part to Celebrity with whom I've cruised with a number of times. Just a word of warning. If you are reading for port/excursion ideas or views on the entertainment then skip over as this was more walking off the ship in the morning and having a stroll r & r time and I haven't been to a show in years! I booked the cruise direct with Azamara's office in the UK from which I have always had great service. The package included flights and hotel accommodation in Nice the day before and the overall experience including transfers was very good. Nice hotel and seamless transfers to the ship. I've done Celebrity transfers before, but because of fewer passengers this was better. Azamara Journey doesn't perhaps have the "wow" factor of the Celebrity ships, especially the S-Class. Rather they are very smart smaller boutique hotel in style as compared to a larger resort. This was immediately evident when boarding. No atriums. No large deck spaces. No Lawn Club. You could look down the stateroom corridor and see from one end of the ship to the other. What a novelty! I really liked the feel. I had a balcony cabin, 7096. Toward the aft of the ship it was in a very handy spot for the aft staircase and being middle deck it was two flights down to the dining room and two flights up for the Windows Cafe. If you are planning on getting exercise walking off the food (which I'll talk about later) you won't get much on Journey! Everything is very accessible and I liked that very much. The cabin itself was nicely appointed and whilst smaller than an equivalent balcony room on the S-Class or CC cabin on the M-Class it was fine. The shower is smaller because in fitting it in the space it tapers a little, rather than being oblong as it is on Celebrity. It was all very well set out though. Friend Helen's parents had a Sky Suite Cat N1 and that was spacious with a good sized tub. Public areas are nicely furnished. The loungers are more comfortable than they are on Celebrity and are nicely padded with a towel cover fitted over each one. I fell asleep for two hours on the Promenade Deck one afternoon and I have never done that on a Celebrity lounger. There are also some very comfy seats under cover on the pool deck and the wicker chairs outside at the aft cafe area work well too. I did miss the Lawn Club. It is so nice to sit up there overlooking the grass, having a putt or a game of bocce. I also missed the larger Sunset Bar from the M-Class, but more especially the S-Class where there is more cover and sofa seating. On Journey you had to keep your eyes peeled more readily for a seat outside, but we always seemed to manage it going to lunch at 1pm. OK, the food. I wasn't sure what to expect here and went with an open mind. I have to say that I found it quite a step up from Celebrity. The buffet wasn't as extensive in its offerings, but then with the space it couldn't be. It was however none the worse for it and there was always a good variety of delicious food there. The main dining room food was on par with the Specialty Restaurants on Celebrity, but of course with a daily change in menu there was more variety. The waiters had much more time to converse and it wasn't as frenetic as it is on the larger ships. There were some really delicious menu items in the MDR. I went to Aqualina twice and Prime C once. They are the Specialty Restaurants on Azamara and didn't disappoint. We had memorable meals in all of them, particularly Prime C and Aqualina on the second visit. Not a lot better than the Specialty Restaurants on Celebrity, but they had the edge. Service everywhere was excellent and the staff seemed very happy. There are just too many to mention all here, but our waiter Carmo and assistant Gomer who served us a couple of times in the main dining room were outstanding. Monico in Aqualina is a character and very good at his job. Mehmet in the aft bar looked after us very well. Farieda who boasts the longest title on the ship that I can't remember, but includes helping book future cruises and Le Club Voyage Hostess was ever present, friendly and helpful. The officers were also visible, including Scott Daniels, the Hotel Director for this cruise and of course Captain Johannes although I didn't get a chance to speak to him. Tony Markey was the CD. I was fortunate to be invited to dine at the Staff Captain Thomas Roth's table one evening along with Guest Relations Manager Nikki Denyer and six other guests and we were treated very well all had a very enjoyable evening with good conversation. You get the impression that all the officers make an effort to ensure you are having a great time and this filters right the way through all of the crew on the ship. A happy ship and because of that, happy passengers. I am going to put down a few bullet points and comparisons whilst I remember them: - I was concerned the ship not being of the more modern "pod" design would be noisy and vibrate a bit. It was very smooth, even in the cabin I was in which was toward the aft. The ship has bow thrusters, but no stern thrusters. It just uses rudder and propeller at the aft. I didn't feel a thing when we docked. - We hit some rough weather between Nice and Corsica that had us on a changed itinerary and even though the seas were up to 15 feet Journey handled things very well I thought. We pitched, rolled and yawed which felt a bit like a washing machine for a bit, but was never uncomfortable. - I preferred the Looking Glass room to the equivalent observation lounges on Celebrity. They are smaller of course, but more intimate with a single deck ceiling and comfy club style chairs. I always find those spaces on Celebrity are a bit barn like and don't go there much. We went to Looking Glass a few times. - The included wine with lunch and dinner was poured generously. I learned my lesson the hard way one afternoon and took better notice after two paracetamol were required at 5 in the afternoon. - I liked the fact we tendered or docked so close to everything and Portofino, Calvi and Sanary sur Mer are all beautiful places and not spoiled by lots of visitors. I was really quite happy just strolling around off the dock or tender and soaking in the atmosphere. - The music was much mellower on Azamara and quieter too. The harpist in the Martini Bar was a nice touch and harked back to the Specialties on Celebrity when I first started cruising. I loved this cruise much more than I thought I would. The ship is beautiful and the staff and food first class. It can't compete on the variety of activities that there are on the larger ships, but if you are looking for something where you can comfortably sit and read or rest up and entertainment and shows aren't your number one priority then perhaps you should take a look. Then of course it does go to some less accessible places that are interesting to visit and there are only 700 other passengers onboard. As I said this was an r & r trip for me and was perfect. I missed some of the venues from the larger ships and the cabin and balcony weren't as big as I'm used to, but that was really about it. In summary and this might be controversial, but in an attempt to put my finger on it I felt Azamara was trying less hard and achieved more than Celebrity, both in terms of service and food. They have a really great product. It sounds like I am on a downer about Celebrity and I'm not. They are just different. Celebrity offer many things I like. I'll continue to do both, but will look at Azamara in a different light from now on. Onboard I booked Quest for November from Venice down the Adriatic to Athens. That's a pretty good endorsement. I told you Farieda was good at her job. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2011
Having heard so many positive things about Azamara we were anticipating nothing but the best when we embarked for our first cruise. We have never considered a cruise before and have always made our own holidays with flights, ... Read More
Having heard so many positive things about Azamara we were anticipating nothing but the best when we embarked for our first cruise. We have never considered a cruise before and have always made our own holidays with flights, hotels/apartments and rental cars. This year one of our trips were cancelled and suddenly we found our self with 2 weeks of spare time to use at "anything". By pure coincidence we stumbled upon a cruise with Azamara and within a few days everything was arranged thru a TA in Oslo. We were going on our first cruise. We read many reviews before we decided and in line with some recommendations we opted for the interior cabin. It's true what they said. We never spent much time there and the money saved could be used on the beverage package,- among other things. Next time we might go for a balcony, but for the first cruise it was quite OK to just do the interior cabin. We got a great reception embarking in Nice and the Meet and Mingle Party was held later the same evening. A fine opportunity to meet some fellow cruisers that you only had some contact with via cruise critic. First port of call was Saint-Tropez. We had plans for lunch at Plage L'Esquinade and had a great day in port. The Saint-Tropez Sailing Week was in progress and it was fantastic to watch all the yachts and large sail boats passing by the Journey as we were tendered close to the port. Sanary Sur Mer was next port and it was really a quaint little village with a beautiful port. The only negative side to it was that they practice siesta and basically that meant that almost all the shops were closed from 12-3p.m. If you don't have a port excursion in a place like Sanary Sur Mer is a bit too quiet. IMHO they should do a bit more when they get cruise ships,- I rather feel a bit stranded in a beautiful town when everything is closed. If they don't want tourists I can suggest many places that would be better options, Saintes Maries de la Mer for example. Barcelona was fantastic- so were the other ports, not going into details, but the excursions we had was very nicely performed by Azamara and their agents. Very professional and surprisingly efficient. We would recommend excursions if you find them interesting because Azamara really make an effort to give you a supreme product. On board the Azamara Journey everything was pure excellence. The crew, from the maintenance staff to the officers, really seemed to enjoy working for Azamara. That was the first thing that struck me,- these people actually enjoy what they are doing. The restaurants were very good. we dined in all of them and can say that all the options are well worth a visit. The main dining room, Discoveries, was a bit more noisy than the speciality restaurants, but nothing to be bothered with. The food was equally as good, and that is what's important. We found the on board entertainment to be very good. Some very nice performances by artists flown in for a few days only and some performances from the Azamara artists. They all were high level performers and could easily work in the West End or on Broadway. We had a fabulous time on the Azamara Journey and will definately go again. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2011
This was the 27th cruise for my husband and me, but it was our first time with Azamara. It will certainly not be our last. We were on board for four nights, with our ultimate destination being Monte Carlo and the F1 Grand Prix. The ... Read More
This was the 27th cruise for my husband and me, but it was our first time with Azamara. It will certainly not be our last. We were on board for four nights, with our ultimate destination being Monte Carlo and the F1 Grand Prix. The Azamara Journey is just over 30,000 tons and holds 694 passengers, so she is a small and intimate ship, with plenty of space per passenger. In general we prefer the smaller ships because you get to know your fellow travellers much better and the service tends to be superior, with fewer queues. Embarkation at Nice was quick and efficient, and we were met with a complimentary glass of bubbly at reception. We were in an ocean view cabin on Deck 4. The cabin was very spacious with lots of mirrors which made it look very light and airy. There was a king size bed, fresh fruit, complimentary soft drinks and a mini-bar. The bathroom was small, but adequate, and contained a generous selection of Elemis toiletries. Our first impressions of the Journey were how plush she looked, from the ornate main staircase to the immaculate patterned carpets and glowing spotlights. Everywhere was spotlessly clean and tidy and the ship was beautifully decorated. There are a choice of dining options but we chose to dine each night in the Discoveries dining room. Unlike most other cruises we have done, there is no set dining time and you don't have a set table. The service was excellent, and we found the selection of food, the quality and the portion sizes to be exceptional. Another bonus is that there is free house red or white wine with your lunch and dinner - all part of the service. :-) We were also surprised to find that Azamara does not enforce any dress code other than "resort casual". Personally I always enjoy dressing up on the formal nights, but I realise it's not everyone's cup of tea. We found the evening entertainment to be something of a disappointment, although to be fair we were only on board for four nights which may not have been long enough to give a fair picture. The first night there was a mediocre "impressionist" who sang in various voices but it was difficult to work out who he was supposed to be imitating! The second night was a show by the cruise director and he was excellent. On the third night there was an superb barbecue and deck party with live music, and the free wine flowed. Then, on the final night, there was a very good classical pianist who ended up playing to about a dozen people scattered throughout the room; this is because the ship was in Monte Carlo until 3.00am, so I imagine the majority of passengers would have been ashore. It's a pity she had to play in front of such a tiny audience, as we really enjoyed her show. The four ports of call we visited were Nice, Portofino, Saint Tropez and Monaco - the millionaires' playground. Needless to say all the ports were fairly expensive, but very picturesque and the weather did not let us down. All of the staff and crew were very polite and extremely friendly which added to the overall enjoyment of our time on board. I would certainly cruise with Azamara again and would recommend it without hesitation. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2011
Our party of 4 arrived very early to the port in Nice at about 11am, and to our surprise we were welcomed on board with a glass of bubbly within 30 minutes of arrival at the port by an extremely friendly crew. A great start to our cruise! ... Read More
Our party of 4 arrived very early to the port in Nice at about 11am, and to our surprise we were welcomed on board with a glass of bubbly within 30 minutes of arrival at the port by an extremely friendly crew. A great start to our cruise! We immediately felt very relaxed and decided to have another glass of bubbly at the pool bar in the sunshine. Bliss! We knew from that point on we were going to enjoy ourselves and that we had found a gem of a cruise ship. No stresses followed; lunch at the Windows Cafe was great, cases arrived in extremely good time, cabin perfect, muster was done and dusted, and then to top it all, we sat at an outdoor table at the Windows Cafe as we left Nice, the weather was absolutely perfect and there we stayed!! Dolphins followed us out of Nice, the wine flowed and the staff were 5*. The very next day we arrived in Portofino, breakfast at the Windows Cafe at an outdoor table (again!). Tender to shore was very choppy, but Portofino was beautiful even in the mist & grey cloud. Dinner was at the Windows Cafe, outdoor table (again!) and was a fabulous choice. Believe me, we really did want to eat in the dining room, but when you live in the UK, to be able to sit outside and eat is a real treat! The entertainment that evening was thoroughly enjoyable: Eric is a true star, compelling to watch and must not be missed! St Tropez was the biggest surprise to us, we did not expect such a beautiful, typically French, quaint, harbour side town, and we had a lovely wander around the streets. When we went to the Windows Cafe for dinner, for our usual outdoor table, initially we were disappointed that it was closed for the evening! However.....the evening then turned out to be the most idyllic dining experience, with a BBQ on deck, and our table, which was on the jogging track, had the most amazing view as the sun went down! To top it all off, there was a firework display in St Tropez at around 11pm, which lit up the skies and the waters around the ship! Next day was Monaco! Sooo exciting! At 7am I was aware of the ship turning, and opened the curtains...WOW! What a sight, Monaco bathed in sunshine and the water like a duck pond! Perfect! I didn't think we were ever going to stop as we kept going and finally dropped anchor very close to the harbour. Breakfast was taken at the Windows Cafe (no surprise there!), watching the helicopters buzzing around which added to the excitement of the day! We jumped on the tender quite early in readiness for the Grand Prix, and it just so happened that we passed Mark Webber sitting in a dinghy as we were about to dock!! More excitement!! We had tickets for The Rock, and fortunately for us, arrived early and found ourselves a good vantage point (probably only 100m in from the entrance). This gave us a fantastic view of a screen, views right across the harbour and a view, albeit a small view, of the track. The noise was deafening (remember your ear plugs), remember a hat and remember lots of water, which was free for all, as you left the ship! In the evening, after the most fantastic day, we took dinner at the Windows Cafe at an outdoor table (yet again) and watched the sun go down, the lights of Monaco light up, and we were able to reflect upon a truly special experience on Azamara Journey. 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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