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Just finished 12-night cruise in the Journey, (March 10), beginning and ending in San Paulo, Brazil. This was our first cruise on a smaller ship and we loved it. We got to know numerous people on board. I enjoyed just resting on deck on the days we did not tour.
In general, the cruise was excellent but the staff and others admit that Azamara is not Oceania yet as is their goal. Since the brand is less than one year old I feel that they are moving in the right direction.
These are brief comments based on our experiences. Others may have different opinion.
Staff: Very friendly. The captain stopped to talk to us several times as did other senior members. Many hellos and friendly greetings.
Butler service: Only minor differences between this and CC service on the Constellation.
Room: Nice bed, sheets, towels. The balcony room itself, 7059 was small but functional. Sitting area as well as flat panel TV. Television stations were minimal.
Dining. Best overall experience. Both specialty restaurants served excellent food with superior presentations. The service was good but not overdone. The main dining room food was the best we had on a ship. The menu was being reviewed during the week and the service took 2-2.5 hrs. to complete. Buffet was very good for this type of food. I generally do not like buffets. Fresh orange juice and smoothies were available each morning.
Room service: On time whenever ordered. They called to follow up that the meal was good and served when ordered.
Pool: Nice lounge chairs. We had less difficulty with chair hogs on this cruise vs. the others that we have been on. We were not hassled constantly by the servers trying to sell the drink of the day. The tub was too hot the first day and so they turned down the heat. It took several phone calls and one day to get it back to the correct temperature.
Tours: The one ship tour we went on in Montevideo was good. Otherwise the selection was minimal. We were quite pleased with the private guides that we hired in Rio and BA. On a smaller ship the tour selection will be less than on a ship carrying 2000 people.
Ports: Some stops such as Parati were a waste. We spent overnight in Itajai that was okay at best. However, since I was there to relax and the cost of the cruise was excellent this issue can be minimized.
Entertainment: We liked the cabaret atmosphere rather than stadium seating. Seats were generally available without having to come ½ hr. early. Several shows were quite good. The house band was good also. Some shows were lame based on what we like. Overall, I was pleased that the entertainment was better than expected.
Medical: One of our party got dehydrated and seasick. The Dr.was good on board. The bill came to over $500. Insurance is recommended for all.
Carry on wine: We brought 2 bottles of wine on board without any difficulty.
Embarkation: Poor. The ship came in late. We waited in Santos several hours before check in. Then we were required to take a bus to where the ship was docked.
Disembarkation: Handled well. Azamara took us to a Marriott near the airport and served lunch. We were then bussed to the airport later in the day. FYI the pool area was nice. There is a free shuttle bus to a mall about 15 minutes away.
Hello...From time to time this subject concerning Azamara and negative reviews comes up. I have yet to read any really negative reviews and the majority of reviews are extremely complementary. I will be cruising on Quest soon and I have no intention to even consider cancelling because as far as I am concerned she is offering exactly what I want and in the manner I expect to get it. I would certainly write a report afterwards if I was disappointed but at the moment cannot conceive that will happen. My view ....go...and enjoy what should be a great new set up and by August any teething problems should be completely resolved. Oh, sorry I don't e-mail folks I don't know....Heathe.
Most negative reviews are made by unhappy people looking to nit-pick.
Their problem is Unrealistic Expectations, a known medical condition among unhappy cruisers looking for Heavenly Perfection somewhere..ANYwhere in their lives.
Relax - you'll love it! You're on AZAMARA fer cryin out loud!! I should be so lucky.
I don't know what reviews you are reading but the last 10 I have read without exception have all raved about how fantastic they are. "Returned home on Saturday from a terrific time on the Quest 14 day Caribbean cruise. We're die-hard Celebrity cruisers and we have never really had any complaints about Celebrity's product. However, I have to say Azamara is a step above Celebrity and certainly worth the extra dollars, in my opinion. Just the small size of the ship and attention to detail made a big difference. To summarize, we absolutely loved it. The ship was lovely, the staff went far out of their way to ensure we had a wonderful experience, and the food was to die for (let's just say my skirts aren't feeling particularly loose these days). " or "Just back from our 1/19 sailing on the Quest and thought I'd post a review. Excellent in almost every regard. Ship is beautiful, service was superb, food and entertainment were generally better than expected with some real highlights in both areas." or "Azamara Quest is getting better all the time and they truly have an attitude of wanting to serve you. Can't ask for more than that, folks".