The Azamara provides a quality experience. The ship is just the right size for us at 680 passengers (not too big, not too small). The food was consistently excellent at all venues. Open seating at dinner is much appreciated. The all-inclusive pricing is truly that and there was no pressure to spend more. The staff could not be friendlier. The captain made himself very visible and bid us a good tour each day and welcomed us back as we return. Cruise Director, Eric De Grey, is a talented entertainer and a friendly, visible person during the cruise. The entertainment staff , especially the 7-piece ship orchestra, is talented and energetic. The special Azamazing Evening on shore is unique and wonderfully planned. Azamara is an overall great cruise line for middle agers (no children-friendly facilities or events).
We greatly enjoyed our Azamara cruise. They went out of their way for it to be a festive time. The service was excellent, the food was good, and the itinerary had enough diversity of shore time and at sea.
Some of the features in the room were showing wear, which is surprising since they just did their major refurb. But, it did not diminish our enjoyment of the cruise.
Probably the favorite parts of the trip was the friendly and helpful staff and the wonderful ports of call. The Christmas evening entertainment was disappointing. There were beautiful voices on board and a program of Christmas carols and popular Christmas songs perhaps with some sing-alongs interspersed would have been more much appropriate than the tacky skit. Cruise Director Erik is very talented but he needs to slow his presentations (particularly intercom announcements) down so the older passengers can comprehend the information he is imparting. Lastly, we questioned the scheduling of the White Night party - why not have it during a night at sea rather than competing with shore excursions during a night in port?
We've been on Azamara before and we like the smaller ship experience. There are no crowds, it's easy to get around the ship, and the food is excellent. The entertainment is more cabaret style than big productions, but equally entertaining. The Journey was recently refurbished so everything looked new and in good condition. The entry level suite far surpasses any mini suite we've had on other cruise lines.
We went to Hong Kong, Viet Nam, Thailand and Singapore. The life styles there are very different than western countries. We visited a lot of Buddhist temples and shrines. The local food is also good to try, as long as you have someone with you that can help you choose wisely. English is also not commonly spoken in Viet Nam and Thailand so having a guide fluent in English can be helpful. Singapore and Hong Kong are large modern cities where English is spoken everywhere and it is easy to get around on your own.
Our reason for choosing the Azamara Journey cruise was ease of access to Middle East countries: Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, and the UAE were our destinations. We learned a lot about the customs and traditions of the area. Since ,most days were spent in port, it was unlike a traditional cruise with lots of onboard activities.
Azamara did a great job selecting the ports on this relocation cruise. From the ports of call in Italy, Crete, sailing through the Suez Canal and the ports in Jordan, Oman and finally Dubai were amazing. The port information provided by the staff and onboard port specialists made touring the towns on our own easy and very interesting.
My only suggestion for the ports would be to spend more time in each port, but that would add many days t o this 17 day adventure. Great Job Azamara!
Loved all the ports and time in each. Ease of getting off and on ship major plus, tenders ran frequently and easily.
Appreciated the reasonable spa deals/specials offered daily. The "Head to Toe" package I purchased was a great value and totally worth it! Samantha did not disappoint either.
All staff was courteous, hard working and always smiling and willing to go the extra mile.
Would mention that Guest Services should be fully staffed and functioning at capacity on sea days and before the cruise is ending.
The cruise was great. Azamara is an amazing cruise line, with little extras added in as the cruise progresses. The cabin stewards are thorough, helpful and friendly, and willing to go out of their way to fill your needs.
The amazing evening was an outing to Ephesus, to experience a local string orchestra play for us at the Odeon, an ancient amphitheater. We sat in the ancient seats and listened to the orchestra play a diverse mixture of music. Truly magical, to be able to experience such an unexpected evening.
Another treat was a cookout with fresh fish that the dining crew procured locally for us. Fresh fish, out of the water that morning, cooked over the open grills on the upper deck. I am spoiled for any supermarket fish ever again.
Another treat was fresh lobster procured locally and grilled for us. These are the extras that Azamara provides that make it a memorable cruise experience.
The self-service laundry is a huge bonus.
Great cruise with stops in great places. The biggest complaint is the shower size. The service is five star on Azamara and not having to pay for the basics ( coke or beer and wine) makes it even better.
We have been on several cruises over the years and when we saw the Azamara Journey advertisements with stops in a number of locations we wanted to visit we were intrigued. We eventually booked the trip after much research and a lot of help from our cruise consultant. We were offered a great deal and decided to go for it. Are we ever glad we did.
The Journey is a small ship by cruise line standards. It only hold about 600 passengers. We didn't know how nice that would be until we got on board. It was especially nice after just a day or so when the staff started having our drinks ready when they saw us walk in. They knew our names and what we liked and didn't like. It was more like being at a private club than being on a cruise ship.
When we booked the trip we didn't realize that all of our alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks would be included. We did't know that the guest laundry was convenient and free. We didn't know that we would be eating fresh fish caught that day or that we would have buffets that included lobster tails and tons of other fresh sea food. We also didn't know that tips were included unless you wanted to contribute to the "crew welfare" account or make a special gift to someone who helped you.
All in all it was billed as a great trip but we just kept finding more and more to love about it. We are looking at going again next year and can't wait to be back on board.
The service on the boat was amazing. I felt that the staff went above and beyond and was consistently friendly. I would highly recommend. The boat itself was very nice and newly renovated.
We love Azamara and as usual everything was excellent,you are made to feel very special the staff are superb.
the itinerary was really interesting as well
dont change just continue to do what you are doing
All of the workers we talked to had prior cruise line experience and they all stated Azamara treated them the best which definitely showed in their work. The Captain was extremely visible and social. We only have 2 areas for improvement. First, they should improve the quality of their in house entertainment. The first production show of the cruise was like a high school musical production quality. We didn't go to any other shows because of that. Their guest musicians were of a high caliber but geared toward a much older crowd (piano and cello recitals). Second, directions to/from the Pireaus port should be included with paperwork. We got directions from hotel staff who said that the port was just across from the Metro station. This is true. But to get to slip 12 from #4 (where Metro station is closest to), it's a one mile walk. And when this walk includes pushing 2 large suitcases and carrying a backpack in hot weather, it's a recipe for disaster.
We really enjoyed the size of the Journey, especially for cruising the Greek Isles and Adriatic, and are probably going to look for similar ships for future cruising. No more large boats for us. However, what really sets Azamara apart in our minds was the staff - from the crew to the wait staff. On this ship, the captain (Johannes Tysse) and the cruise director (Eric De Gray) are in a league of their own and a lot of fun but everyone was super courteous and helpful.
The only thing I would look for next time is for a less port-intensive trip. As nice as the islands were, we both would have enjoyed a day or 2 more at sea just to enjoy the ship's amenities. Also should mention that having access to a laundry room was awesome. It really cut down on the amount of clothing we had to bring.
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