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19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
This our first Azamara cruise. We have been on similar Oceania R class ships 5 times before. Although in the future we will continue book future cruises based on destination, we would much rather sail with Oceania. There is a much more ... Read More
This our first Azamara cruise. We have been on similar Oceania R class ships 5 times before. Although in the future we will continue book future cruises based on destination, we would much rather sail with Oceania. There is a much more corporate culture on board of providing service. The main dining room's food we felt compared very well to Oceania's. Service and ambiance however left much to be desired. Most tables around the outside are two or four tops, but they all crammed together, so effectively we always sitting with a party of 6 at a rectangular table. You have to make a real effort to ask for a table so you and your spouse, or even another couple can have a private conversation. Waiters are overworked and rarely check back after delivering your meal. Woe is you, if you find the pretty (awful) salt and pepper shakers are missing, empty or clogged. You can mention it after the course is over. Since one free white wine varietal and one red wine varietal is available free everyday, there are no wine stewards around to ask about the wine list. Only 2 sommeliers work the entire ship including the specialty restaurants. While I am on the subject, who in their right mind would pick a Pinotage as a red of the day. A cruel joke. The two specialty restaurants were polar opposites, both with a $25 pp surcharge. Prime C was outstanding. Aqualina was not good. We were warned at the pool that Aqualina by not very good and it lived up (down?) to its reputation. How can an Italian restaurant not know how to make Risotto? Two types of Risotto on 3 dishes were past just being dry. Duck was crisp alright, right to the bone. (the maitre d' even suggested that after sending it back that the dish should be removed from the menu, why would they serve something that is apparently regularly so poor?) A watermelon tomato salad, on 4 different plates had a majority of unripened tomatoes. It was interesting to note that I submitted a mid cruise review on the poor food in Aqualina, and the chef left me a voice mail indicating that he had never heard any complaints before. If the passengers are gossiping negatively about a restaurant, food is being sent back or cleared with food substantially still on the plate, how could a chef not about know it. In our cabin, the TV worked poorly, sound was always breaking up. And as the previous review noted, ship announcements did not work through the TV. The TV is another big difference between Oceania and Azamara. On Oceania all rooms have DVD players and an extensive DVD library. Azamara has pay preview at $12 per movie (Yes adult titles too) and no DVD. Oceania, also has a movie channel with a different movie daily. Azamara plays the same 4 old movies over and over and over on a 12 day cruise, Sleepless in Seattle, Man from Uncle, Crazy Stupid Love and Casablanca. Our cabin steward always had to be asked to provide shampoo or soap when we were running out. Otherwise the cabins are the same as Oceania. Entertainment was overall very good. Probably much better than Oceania, since they rotate acts in and out, and I am guessing intermingling with RC cruises too. Some other irritating events that occurred on this cruise were screwing up dining reservations, and not informing us that they misplaced our credit card information until we were walking off the ship. They took our credit card 3 times; on line at home, at the beginning of the cruise, and the first night when they said they could not find a record of our credit card. Over the next 12 days they never told us that it never made it into their system. At the end of the cruise Disembarkation turned into a disaster. The person at guest services, couldn't figure out how to handle a credit card, didn't tell us that there were two separate bills one for my wife's and I one for me; so we cleared one and then all of sudden we couldn't disembark again because I had a bill. We were already stressed due to issues at home and this put us over the edge. On top of it all, because I said I didn't want to get exciting future cruise offers directly from Azamara, I did not get a cruise review. They will have to read my review here. Unless liquor is your main stress reliever, I would suggest Oceania as a better option. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
This was our second Azamara cruise, last year we were on the Quest. This year we were looking for and booked a relaxing cruise which we picked up in Costa Rica and disembarked in San Pedro. As we live in Southern California, we had a low ... Read More
This was our second Azamara cruise, last year we were on the Quest. This year we were looking for and booked a relaxing cruise which we picked up in Costa Rica and disembarked in San Pedro. As we live in Southern California, we had a low hassle commute to and from the ship. I wasn't expecting much in port calls and wasn't disappointed. Embarkation in Caldera was not well organized, but doable. Our veranda stateroom was familiar as we have traveled on Oceania's comparable "R" ships. Dining in the main dining room and our three ventures in the specialty restaurants were good. My wife used the fitness center daily and she found it very satisfactory. I enjoyed the on board hosted bridge and trivial pursue activities. Entertainment was good, but I don't expect much in the way of formal entertainment on ships that are of this small. We were not aboard for the initial leg of the cruise from Miami and therefore didn't experience the "ship wasn't ready to go" comments mentioned by other reviewers. As with our previous Azamara trip, service was excellent and the staff was very friendly. "White Night" and "AzAmazing Evening" were real pluses. We are not wine connoisseurs and therefore enjoyed Azamara's standard spirits being included amenities. I expect that we'll continue to enjoy Azamara offerings. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
After flying in to San Jose, CR we stayed overnight at Apartotel La Sabana (very nice/good value) and toured across CR with a tour that we had arranged with 3 other couples through Odyssey Tours (very nice). Got a great view of Poas ... Read More
After flying in to San Jose, CR we stayed overnight at Apartotel La Sabana (very nice/good value) and toured across CR with a tour that we had arranged with 3 other couples through Odyssey Tours (very nice). Got a great view of Poas volcano, lunch at Freddo Fresas (great place) and stopped at La Paz Gardens (OK). We boarded the Journey in Puerto Caldera. The boarding experience was routine. We very much enjoyed the small ship experience. Some of the ports visited were not the usual popular ones, but were a pleasant change. We took a great private tour from the Porto Quetzel Guatemala stop to Antigua, where we took the Elizabeth Bell Tour. Well worth the ride to get there. The AzAmazing Evening was OK, but really needed some narration or written interpretation of their dance. There was plenty or food/drink, but we were way in the back so could not see very well. The regular evening entertainment on the ship was quite good. We especially enjoyed Erik, the Cruise Director, who also either performed or had a good joke about his "grandfather". The newly refurbished ship still needed some tweaking, but all in all it was fine. The new common spaces were delightful. There was always plenty of comfortable seating available including around the pool. Food choices were good and we never waited for a table our group of 6 or 8. Service was always very pleasant, but could have been a little more efficient at times. Discharge at LA was very quick and efficient. All in all, we would recommend the small ship experience if the premium over, say Celebrity, is not too great. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
We have cruised with Azamara before and were very pleased. This time we noticed a significant denigration with the quality of the food offered. There were always items at each meal that were acceptable. If we were cruising on a mass ... Read More
We have cruised with Azamara before and were very pleased. This time we noticed a significant denigration with the quality of the food offered. There were always items at each meal that were acceptable. If we were cruising on a mass volume RCCL ship the food would have been considered good. However, we were on Royal Caribbean's luxury line, Azamara which competes with Oceania. A few examples included watered down orange juice from concentrate, waffles and pancakes pre-made in the Windows Cafe, New York Strip that was thin and tasteless. The "always" available chicken breast was rubbery, like the ones at the supermarket that have up to 10% solution. The frozen yogurt near the pool was excellent. The fish, other than the farm raised Salmon, had fancy names(Red Snapper, Chilean Sea Bass, Florida Grouper), but did not taste or resemble those varieties. We reserved a guaranteed "Oceanview" stateroom. When we opened the door to the cabin for the first time the room was dark like an "inside" cabin. We soon discovered that on the other side of the big picture window was a large lifeboat that completely blocked the ocean view. When I spoke with the customer service desk they offered an upgrade for $1000 more, explaining that some of their oceanview rooms had an obscured view. No part of the pre-booking description from Azamara for an Oceanview cabin warned that we might receive a room with an obscured view. Eric the cruise director was excellent. The bar staff was excellent. The ship should have spent a lot more time in dry dock. Even weeks after the refurbishment there was missing trim in the cabins and glued fascia panels falling off the desks in the cabin. The new mattresses were excellent. Next time I want a luxury cruise it will be on Oceania or Viking Ocean. Azamara's per diems are eqivalent to those lines but well below the other's quality. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2016
Sailed on Azamara Journey through the Panama Canal , from Caldera, Costa Rica to Miami in early January, 2016. Service was , as usual , excellent. Ship was clean and cared for, the last sailing before the much anticipated dry dock, when ... Read More
Sailed on Azamara Journey through the Panama Canal , from Caldera, Costa Rica to Miami in early January, 2016. Service was , as usual , excellent. Ship was clean and cared for, the last sailing before the much anticipated dry dock, when there will be much upgrading. Had an obstructed oceanview, which was fine, although could not see much out the window due to the lifeboat (Cabin 6044). I think cabin next door may have had a bit more view. We had two men onboard who gave great lectures and presentations daily in the Panama Canal and Caribbean. One many narrated all day from the Looking Glass, where the front windows have a great view of sailing through the Canal. Ports: Quepos, Took the Mangrove Boat tour which was mild and interesting. Monkeys came onto front of the little boat and you had to watch your hat. Lunch included at an open air restaurant; very good typical fish, rice and beans. Antonio Manuel Park was closed that day ( Monday). Golfito is a fairly primitive port for cruises. We pre booked a private tour with Changing Tides and they took us first on a small boat to see many dolphins playing in the bay; then a snorkel and swim off of the boat; then to a small Eco Lodge where the owner took us around the tropical garden and a short hike in the rainforest. A bit wet and slippery due to rain the night before. Another great lunch in their open air restaurant. Cartegna, Columbia: took the ship tour , Taste of Cartegena, which was a short guided walk around the walled town and time alone to explore. Saw the fortress but did not go in and glad we did not as it was very hot and the walk up the fort looked tiring in the heat. Falmouth, Jamaica; took a shared cab to Montego Bay, Doctor's Beach (?). We were the only ship in port and few people wanted a cab and the cab driver did not want to take only 6-8 people so we ended up waiting an hour and finally negotiating with him to get us to the beach. Beach was fine, small with a restaurant there; Admission, chair and umbrella ran $15. Azamara treated us to a wonderful time time in the Azamazing evening event at Great Hope House. Bused us there with security leading the way, torches, great little food tidbits and local wines, beer and mimosas. Third World reggae band played a wonderful set and we all had a great time dancing in the open air dance floor. Fireworks at the end! Food in the main dining room was good. The included wine seemed to of lesser quality that I have had on Azamara in the past, and many people complained about the wine. Although the last night they pulled out a wonderful Chianti. Eric and Capt. Johanness were again a fun team to be sailing with. Sea days there were many things to do and there were always pool loungers available. Looking forward to another Azamara in the future! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
We sailed on the Journey for a Panama Canal transit and it was wonderful! It was our first time on Azamara. I was a little nervous as it was "a luxury line" and we are just two unassuming retired folks. We found our fellow ... Read More
We sailed on the Journey for a Panama Canal transit and it was wonderful! It was our first time on Azamara. I was a little nervous as it was "a luxury line" and we are just two unassuming retired folks. We found our fellow passengers down-to-earth and unpretentious. The cruise was very smooth. I usually have difficulty with my balance when I get off a ship but I haven't experienced that this time. The staff on the Journey all seemed very friendly and helpful. The wait staff in the Main Dining Room and in Windows Cafe were very attentive and even checked when we had special requests from what was on the menu! We enjoyed most of the shows. The Journey Singers and Dancers did a great job! They had also brought in special entertainment in addition to the Journey Singers and Dancers -- there was a comedian and two violinists. They were both very enjoyable. Dima and Sasha's dancing was incredible and we enjoyed our group dance lessons with them. Natalie, Marcos and Daniel were good singers. Eric was a hoot with his banter with the Captain and his drag dressing for Hairspray songs. The Land Discoveries were good. I would have preferred to have an audio unit to hear the guides, as I frequently held back a little to take pics and I missed some of what was being explained. In Costa Rica the visit to the Carara National Park was listed as strenuous but most in our group thought it wasn't all that taxing. We did get to see some monkeys and birds but not many (but we know you can't schedule nature!). We saw many more at the Animal Rescue Center which was a fun tour. The Azamazing evening was well-organized and the music presented was very good. I thought it was a little rushed and didn't allow much time for exploring the venue. The only negatives were that they changed one port of call several times, even as close as the week before (from Haiti to Montego Bay to Falmouth) and changed some of the Land Discoveries without letting folks who had pre-booked them know ahead of time. I had also asked about Church Services and was given incorrect info from the concierge. After walking to the Church, we found out that the service was over before we docked but the priest was happy that we made the effort and conducted a communion service for us before he left for a mission church service. We enjoyed the open seating and shared a table most meals. Our fellow passengers were fun to talk with over meals. We didn't find anyone trying to upsell the drinks or the photos or artwork. And there was never any mention of tipping except for a few of the Land Discoveries, and even then it was just mentioned. Overall, it was an excellent trip! I would travel with Azamara again! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
My overall ranking would be good rather than average, but there is no option. They are re-doing the ship as of now. I hope they pay attention to my reviews. I enjoyed the first few days of the cruise. Trip was jan 3=13, journey. Panama ... Read More
My overall ranking would be good rather than average, but there is no option. They are re-doing the ship as of now. I hope they pay attention to my reviews. I enjoyed the first few days of the cruise. Trip was jan 3=13, journey. Panama canal, costa rica & other. My cabin was very nice as i was upgraded. (tiny bathroom but ok.) i thanked the desk on the first day. I bought my special meal package as i boarded, and was firmly told....i would be seated alone. Really? The first two night's dinners 6:30 (too early) in main dining, there was an effort to seat solo passengers together. (after that it was hopeless.) i want to clarify solo. Adults married or not, male or female, every generation, color, ethnic, etc. Simply travelling alone or with a friend or whatever and wants to enjoy company at dining, or random activities. The passenger age, early dining, promoted a eat, show, sleep, ship. Awkward situation for anyone under 65 or not with a partner. I sat with some ladies or men several times & most seats at table were empty. Other activities did not encourage meeting others. There were plenty of things to do, (almost too many) which made activities i attended brief and haphazard. The host dashing away. Trivia was a mixed up mess. Teams of 2 to 6ppl, no cash build pot, 30 min random times, different locations. The 6# teams of course always won. No multiple choice trivia either, which had some teams really left out, experts in. Lectures good. Disco totally haphazard. Too much old music...starts late & ends short. No good lighting, or lively atmosphere. Big empty room the times i went, except one night. A couple of shows were good "voices", and a couple of them average. Live music scattered here and there at random times. All the music players looked exhausted to me.(moving around, setting up.) so much seemed muffled down for old folks. Bars did not open till 5:30 (except pool.) standard bar deal is great... But casino bar (at least) should open earlier. Live music at pool was nice, ho hum, same dude, & songs. Stateroom attendants and most staff generally excellent. Dining is very good. Special dining was good food.... But atmosphere for a solo....stifling. Chef''s table very nice. Drawing room (a library) is basically empty day and night. Would make a great piano bar near fine dining area. Could do quiet piano music 6:00 ish to 8:30...ramp it up with lively music and song, entertainment or singalong late. Use the always boring empty bar at prime c. (set up chef's table early, clear it away, or make it a group table by 8:30 ish.) add club tables etc. Configure seating in prime c, further back by 8. Tell diners there is music after 8. (some may love that, others will dine early !) there is a little corner in casino with piano... But wrong location. "ringading all the time & couch type seating. (trying to get gamblers i guess.) club seating would help. No music in bar near main dining. The line to dining cuts the space. The desk should move inside dining area !! Nice music in main dining room at special buffets. The passengers were generally at least 65 or up and casual in general. There were random lively groups of couples. The two special evenings were outstanding !!! Poolside white night party lovely & azamazing night was unforgettable. Bottom line....tweaking and a real effort for mingling & lively music would really change the mood. The general idea of azamara is really on the edge of something special, but.... For me (and my several travelling buddies) they must make it more lively and solo friendly. Love the dine ashore & overnight stay ideas. Love the value !!! The solo upcharge was very fair ! I would not recommend the line for those travelling alone. I have done (over the years) 16 or so cruise segments. (most when married with children.) it is very hard to please everyone. I am not young and also not dead, so i honestly don't want some wild table dancing singles thing going on and not there to pick up some old dude. I just don't want to feel isolated when travelling alone. Solo travel is certainly a growing market. Azamara.....you are soooo close ! You have it right there....but you need some really good ideas and not just words in a brochure, to get there. Right on the edge of something special ! I would go again, but not until/unless i see a tweaking of things. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
We sailed from Costa Rica through the Panama Canal and to Miami from Jan. 3, 2016 to January 13, 2016 on the Journey. After I booked the cruise last July, I found out that the ship would go into dry-dock for a multi-million dollar ... Read More
We sailed from Costa Rica through the Panama Canal and to Miami from Jan. 3, 2016 to January 13, 2016 on the Journey. After I booked the cruise last July, I found out that the ship would go into dry-dock for a multi-million dollar overhaul at the end of our cruise. I was kind of concerned about what condition we would find the ship to be in when we embarked, but it was clean, beautiful, and did not look in need of any kind of repair except the usual upkeep on a sea going vessel. This was our ninth cruise, but our first on Azamara. We loved it. We were in a veranda cabin which was small, but the storage and the placement of everything was great. There was adequate storage for everything I took and I over-packed. Plenty of hangers, etc. The thing that stood out most of all was the crew and the service that we received. The captain, Johannes Tysse, was the most visible captain of any cruise we've been on. He was everywhere. He was friendly in a very low key way. The entertainment staff did a wonderful job. They were a very talented group led by Eric De Gray. I enjoyed all the shows we went to see. They had to change the show the last night because one of the dancers became ill and on short notice did a great job of revamping the presentation. No one would have known if they had not seen it before. The young man in the internet cafe was kind, helpful, and very patient. Our cabin steward and his assistant, Earl and Wilvorn, were very efficient and totally unobtrusive. I wish I could remember some of the waiters names that went the extra mile to give good service. We ate in the specialty restaurants 3 times and MDR every night except those three. We ate at Windows for breakfast every morning and either the pool grill or Windows for lunch most days. Nearly all the waiters were courteous and very helpful. The food was good. My husband is a meat and potatoes person and not an adventurous eater. He did not like the theme nights in Windows, but I would have loved to have tried some of the dishes they served from around the world. We went to the Azamazing Evening. We enjoyed it even though the music was not the style that we like. People began to leave early and it became kind of chaotic because we were receiving instructions on how to exit and reboard the buses from about 3 sets of people and they were not the same. It was at Good Hope Plantation on Jamaica and the entertainment was Third World band, a reggae group. We enjoyed the food and the ambiance of White Nights. The lecturers on-board to explain the geography, construction, and workings of the Panama Canal and the surrounding areas were very good. They helped tremendously with aiding our understanding of the canal and the places we visited. Embarkation and disembarkation were the easiest we have ever experienced. We did 2 shore excursions from the ship and had two that we arranged ourselves through the internet. We enjoyed all of them. There simply isn't much to see in Golfito and Quepos, Costa Rica. We had been to Costa Rica for vacation a few years ago. We had seen and done lots of the things that tourists do and enjoyed them, but didn't want to repeat them again. Azamara has done an amazing job with customer service. We would travel with them again because of that. The reason the cabin got a 4 instead of a 5 was the bed. It sloped and there was a definite ridge where the twin beds were pushed together. My husband did not like the theme nights in Windows. The bus driver on the Jamaica shore excursion gave us a wild ride back to the ship from the beach we visited. They may all drive that way, but it seemed too fast and he passed another bus a couple of times. It was like they were having a race. All in all, we had a wonderful experience. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
We had previously cruised on Azamara (3 Journey, 1 Quest) when they were seeking their niche. Now, several years later, the cruises are shorter now and much more expensive. However the cruise was worth every penny. The crew was ... Read More
We had previously cruised on Azamara (3 Journey, 1 Quest) when they were seeking their niche. Now, several years later, the cruises are shorter now and much more expensive. However the cruise was worth every penny. The crew was outstanding, the food superb, and the overall management by Hotel Director Heike left nothing to be desired. Every effort was made to satisfy the passengers. We are long term Celebrity cruisers (about 20) and enjoyed this departure from the norm immensely. We look forward to another opportunity to travel on Azamara again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2015
I was disappointed because I expected a better standard of cabin, food and entertainment. The cabin was shabby. The bed linen had seen better days and the valance was coming away from the mattress . There were stains on the carpet. The ... Read More
I was disappointed because I expected a better standard of cabin, food and entertainment. The cabin was shabby. The bed linen had seen better days and the valance was coming away from the mattress . There were stains on the carpet. The drawers were not easy to use and the furniture was scuffed. The food was mediocre - very dry chicken on two occasions . Fine dining however was very good. Entertainment. the singers and dancers were excellent and enthusiastic but were limited by the space they had. The band was very good and mainly used for backing music.They should have been used more for dancing. On the one night they did play on deck the event was well attended. Activities were sparse. Lectures on places to visit were good and the commentary going through the canal gave a lot of background information. The captain and crew were excellent and I cannot fault them in any way. THE SHIP NEEDS REFURBISHMENT AND ENTERTAINMENT AND FOOD STANDARDS IMPROVED. Read Less
Azamara Journey Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 5.0 4.4
Entertainment 4.0 3.8
Public Rooms 5.0 4.5
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.1
Family 1.0 4.1
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.7
Enrichment 4.0 3.8
Service 5.0 4.6
Value For Money 5.0 4.2
Rates 4.0 4.3

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