Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
Bimmer09

X cruiser sails Azamara to Cuba Jan 15 to 24 2019

Recommended Posts

Excellent Art Deco building photos, absolutely glorious ships in the sunrise, delicious looking breakfast food porn ( I really want the carrot cake waffle I saw on the menu you posted!)! Who could ask for anything more? Unless, of course, it's being there in person! While we are planning to head down to Miami the night before our Symphony Of The Seas cruise, that will in no way give me the chance to see Miami the way I want to see it. We have tried several quick stopovers in Miami in the past, and always leave saying we have to return for a longer stay. Having just seen the pictures from your brief stay, my planning wheels are spinning!  :classic_biggrin:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for doing the review, Norris. I’m a newbie to following you, but it’s so nice to read all the many posts you are receiving from cruisers of many different lines (a real community feel - it’s great to see that over here). You posting on the X board has given me an opportunity to see what Azamara has to offer without venturing to a board I would perhaps not have previously visited, and it’s not just in the ‘suite life’ (something that I think can skew many of the reviews posted here on the X board - just take the recent Edge reviews for example).

 

Anyway, I digress, please continue.....:classic_biggrin:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, villauk said:

Thanks for doing the review, Norris. I’m a newbie to following you, but it’s so nice to read all the many posts you are receiving from cruisers of many different lines (a real community feel - it’s great to see that over here). You posting on the X board has given me an opportunity to see what Azamara has to offer without venturing to a board I would perhaps not have previously visited, and it’s not just in the ‘suite life’ (something that I think can skew many of the reviews posted here on the X board - just take the recent Edge reviews for example).

Anyway, I digress, please continue.....:classic_biggrin:

 

I agree, it’s impressive seeing the multi-line community following Norris’ thread! I’m following with anticipation as well.

It was an honor to have Norris and Caroline sail the Azamara Journey to Cuba with us. 🇨🇺

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Cruise Director, Alicia Hill, came onto the PA system after 1 p.m to say that due to the deep cleaning efforts rooms would be available on a deck by deck basis starting  with deck 8. She stumbled a lot with her words but with a self-deprecating sense of humor she endeared herself to me instantly. Not stiff or formal. She advised us to relax and enjoy the beautiful Miami weather. I took her advice to heart.

 

Deck 8 was called around 2 p.m and our turn came half an hour later. In the meantime I had walked through Windows Cafe which is the buffet where the staff were serving guests on the line. I was impressed by the fact that all the tables were nicely set-up with placemats, silverware, wine and water glasses. Very elegant and inviting. Some folks were out by the Sunset Bar which is more of an outdoor dining area than a lounging bar space as found on X.

I found out that White Night would be held as we were leaving Cienfuegos. Good to know as I had bought a white shirt for the event. It's a pool deck feast with a live band and singers and a lot of dancing. 

 

At 2.30 we took our carry-ons and went down two floors to our home on deck 7, all the way aft which is where we like to dwell.

 

31971847767_5f95f82c6c_b.jpg

 

We liked the little magnet to give us privacy or request a room makeover

39948128783_d05b059105_b.jpg

 

First impressions upon entering- small room but beautifully decorated and designed for comfort and storage. After spending 9 days in it we agreed that the size wasn't an issue for two people. We didn't get in each other's way or have any frustrations.

 

46860793642_680bb0cbf2_b.jpg

 

46912934631_ee034283b3_b.jpg

 

46912941761_242686516e_b.jpg

 

Ample closet space for a warm weather cruise

46860806232_bf05c5f96c_b.jpg

 

Safe and mini-bar with storage for our fluffy bathrobes. There is also a power point here which I used to charge my camera batteries. We had two more at the writing desk. The top shelf of the mini-bar held ginger ale, club soda, coke and tonic water which delighted Carol as those are her go-to drinks.Those were complimentary and replenished daily by our great room stewards Agus and Aaron from Indonesia. Always smiling and beavering away in the hallways.

 

33037669368_6ced51653b_b.jpg

 

The bathroom was very compact but again, very functional. No issues with the toilet during our stay onboard. Good shower pressure and temperature controls and no curtain cling for us.

Electric shaver sockets and magnifying mirror. Towels that weren't threadbare. Nice.

 

33037670028_355da6810f_b.jpg

 

45998571225_392b8f4ec0_b.jpg

 

33037671128_6877b3290b_b.jpg

 

Always when we board, deep-cleaning or no, our routine is the same. Carol uses her Clorox wipes on every surface we may touch (never forgetting the phone) and then unpacks while I get out of her way. Her luggage was here but mine didn't show up until after we sailed. I had all I needed in my carry on so no issue there. I went back to the Pool Bar. There are 24 chairs for smokers there and it was never at capacity. Now as people were settling in and unpacking I had it pretty much to myself and had the only tall table where I could later use my computer.

 

I take Alicia's advice and relax

 

39952518693_da1f56c786_b.jpg

 

Norris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, Bimmer09 said:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

33030853148_c04f4be848_b.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

I wonder if the Clevelander and Cavalier are related????

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, BBMacLaird said:

 

I agree, it’s impressive seeing the multi-line community following Norris’ thread! I’m following with anticipation as well.

It was an honor to have Norris and Caroline sail the Azamara Journey to Cuba with us. 🇨🇺

 


Thank you Bonnie! 

Making a good first impression is key for any cruise line. As you can see from what little I have written about the experience on board we are already feeling impressed. How will we feel by day 9? As I am a slave to my own chronology we will see day by day how things go onboard and at the Azamazing evening in Havana where I took a lot of pics and video. Also White Night.

Carol (not Caroline) posts under the name Deck Chair Queen and I am sure she will chime in along the way.

Thanks for following!

Norris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had already set up my camera gear on our balcony before I left to go to the pool bar. I couldn't risk leaving it until after Muster Drill in Discoveries the main dining room.

 

46865230652_70d31287f0_b.jpg

 

The Go-Pro attached to the railing takes video for backup just in case I have an issue with the Sony HD camcorder. I have my main camera (Canon 6D MkII) on a tripod and another DSLR, Canon Eos Rebel T3i for zoom shots with a 70 to 200mm lens. I had 4 Canon lenses with me.

I also had a pocket Canon for shooting from the classic cars but didn't use it as the back seats were so roomy I could use the 24 to 70mm lens that is my "walking around lens". Including my iPhone which took that photo I had 6 cameras and my bag weighed 13 pounds without the tripod.

 

The clock says 3.45  Muster was at 4.00 p.m. Carol's notes don't specify ("You're fired!). 

I just checked "The Insider" which is the daily news sheet which I will post later.

Just reading it now I see there is a message saying while in Miami all purchases will be subject to a Florida state tax of 8%. EEK! So much for my 2% assumption. I'm glad I put off buying the Ultimate Beverage Package until the next day.

 

The pool deck is deserted as Muster is 15 minutes away and people may still be unpacking/eating. The MDR isn't open on Embarkation Day. The buffet and the Patio  grill by the pool stop serving at 3.30.

 

39947129913_677f8bc709_b.jpg

 

46859758412_9ea7252ce3_b.jpg

 

So far I'd have to say this is a beautifully maintained and handsome little ship. There will be many photos and videos to show you just how handsome.

 

Norris

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am off to work soon and am currently editing my sail-away and first Azamara dinner photos.

Tomorrow is a day off so I will show all of those then and include "The Insider".

The wind-chill in Chicago tomorrow is predicted to be minus 60 deg F. I miss Cuba.

Hopefully I can sort out my iMovie issues too as I have so much video to share with you.

 

Until tomorrow...

Norris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I thoroughly enjoy long, detailed reviews with lots of great pictures.  And I do take notes on hotels, restaurants and sites. The "official" reviews are a snooze.  Love your writing style and sense of humor. 

 

Like others I'm curious about Azamara and have Cuba on my bucket list. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Norris,

A couple of months ago we had an exchange where you mentioned you would be doing a review of this cruise.  I have been eagerly awaiting it since I am sailing in the very same cabin in a few months.  From your very first post, I realized I was in for a much bigger treat than just cabin photos; I am very much enjoying your travel journal. Having it unfold as you experienced it is lovely -- as is your style and humor. Looking forward to having something fun to read during the next couple of weeks! 😃

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Awesome review, especially the pictures, so far.  I am definitely hanging around for all of this one.  Thank you, Norris!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/28/2019 at 1:32 PM, clutchcurrier said:

Norris,

I am so happy to be reading another one of your fabulous reviews as I sit here watching the snow pile up in Michigan.  Alas, we had to cancel a Princess cruise we were going to take in February (full transit of the Panama Canal starting in San Francisco) due to the declining health of my Mom.  So I will live vicariously through your review.

 

Stay warm in Chicago.

 

Linda 


Linda, I'm sorry to hear about your mom and wish her well.

I'm glad that you enjoy my reviews. I enjoy writing them.

Good news is I am home early, due to the cold temperatures in Chicago- zero degrees currently 

but wind-chills of minus 55 are being talked about.

Other good news is that I have fixed my iMovie problems and have a sail away video ready to go once I edit my photos.

The best news though is that I have just poured a beer- Pilsner Urquell which was also included in my beverage package.

Norris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, mchell810 said:

Norris,

A couple of months ago we had an exchange where you mentioned you would be doing a review of this cruise.  I have been eagerly awaiting it since I am sailing in the very same cabin in a few months.  From your very first post, I realized I was in for a much bigger treat than just cabin photos; I am very much enjoying your travel journal. Having it unfold as you experienced it is lovely -- as is your style and humor. Looking forward to having something fun to read during the next couple of weeks! 😃


Um, "couple of weeks?"-are you leaving a third of the way through?  

On a serious note-if I can be serious (I can't) I do like to unfold the story as it happened which is why I avoid spoilers (the butler did it syndrome). Like a new friendship, a new cruise line has to reveal it's depth day by day. We haven't eaten a morsel since coming aboard. Will the dining be up to par? How about the service all over the ship? Those are two keys to enjoying a cruise and two reasons we enjoyed Celebrity on our first Silhouette sailing.

 

I am not one for racing around the ship on day 1 trying to photograph and experience everything on offer. I am on this ship for 9 days. Thanks for coming along with me!

Norris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/28/2019 at 2:44 PM, hllwdcruiser said:

Hi Norris ~ count me in as another recruit from the Princess Boards. 

I've never missed any of your reviews and have always thought of them as a "treat" and have never felt as if I have had to "wade through" any part. Clearly, this is the sentiment of many of us on these boards. 

Cuba is on our bucket list. Steve has a 57 Chevy Bel Aire in our garage that he has been working on for the last 20 years :classic_rolleyes: He has never shown any interest in Cruise Critic but when I mentioned that you are writing a review on Cuba with lots of pics of cars he, too, is now following along!

Thanks again for all that you do ~ and also thanks to Carol for her patience for allowing you to dedicate so much of your spare time to these boards!


Hi and thanks for the compliments on my GSJournals!

We had 4 rides in classic 1950 American cars. I think I photographed 40 or more and there is likely to be a Bel Air in there somewhere. I will name all of the ones we rode in thanks to my note taker. Seatbelts? Nah. Headrests? Nah. Air bags? Nah. Big engines? Yup. Good brakes? Yup. Good safe drivers? Oh yeah. Eye candy? Sublime.

 

Wait until I show you my video in Havana when we get through security and see a Havana street for the first time....suddenly it is 1959. My heart skipped a beat.

 I was very excited to hit two firsts on this trip-first time Azamara and first time Cuba.

Let me continue and we'll see if my excitement was justified....

Norris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am a Norris newbie as well as an Azamara newbie🤗.  

Loving every minute of your review thus far🙂

My husband and I will be sailing on the Journey starting Saturday.

It is going to be interesting to see what damage the tornado 🌪 that hit on Sunday has done.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Bimmer09 said:

Um, "couple of weeks?"-are you leaving a third of the way through?  

 

Definitely  not!  😃

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
29 minutes ago, Nancy&Frank said:

I am a Norris newbie as well as an Azamara newbie🤗.  

Loving every minute of your review thus far🙂

My husband and I will be sailing on the Journey starting Saturday.

It is going to be interesting to see what damage the tornado 🌪 that hit on Sunday has done.

 


Newbies are most welcome! I have 13 big long reviews on CC. Collect the set!

Re tornado-when Carol told me my response was "can those people not catch a break?"

Bon Voyage! Now keep reading as it is about to get interesting....

Norris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Go to sea, will you? WILL YOU GO TO SEA?!

( paraphrasing from our favorite movie that only Carol will recognise-Baldwin/Spacey/Lemmon/Arkin/Harris/Pacino)

Yes, we WILL go to sea! After a brief, but useful, Muster Drill in Discoveries (hey-nice room!)

we are on our balcony. No champagne like we get on Princess but there we are Elite so instead a Coke. No big whoop!

My cruise really begins when the last mooring line hits the water with a splash and the thrusters do what they are supposed to do. Phone call in the cabin... it's Captain Gianmarco Sanguineti...asks OK to proceed Mr Adair? Hell to the YES pal- does a bear ___ in the woods and all that. Pedal to the metal muchacho! He lets her rip....but slowly

 

46008699395_e636caca50_b.jpg

 

The gulls are excited!

46008685665_498d0c092f_b.jpg

 

46923011321_162112f533_b.jpg

 

I'm forever blowing bubbles...

31981927037_a1108acac3_b.jpg

 

33047644728_47165633a4_b.jpg

 

39958262743_c525834e4d_b.jpg

 

46008702305_0502c20de9_b.jpg

 

31981934667_3c4af5d2e9_b.jpg

 

Norwegian Jade also on the move. I call the Captain. "Bridge". "Hang ten Bro!"

"On it!"  We pick up speed.

33047661698_8e5b0a7651_b.jpg

 

46870882042_4662412ddb_b.jpg

 

More to come....

Norris

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ONE HAPPY CAMPER

Nobody, except me, loves an industrial working port more than Carol.

Cranes are our jam.

39958285673_3b60ddd180_b.jpg

 

46923041731_554e5f8a56_b.jpg

 

31981944857_741710c680_b.jpg

 

Fisher Island Ferry

46008723595_e17112612e_b.jpg

 

Fisher Island

33047670848_1663a7f3e9_b.jpg

 

33047674418_e01005f275_b.jpg

 

31981953307_2015a4b1f3_b.jpg

 

46198199194_0f536e9c21_b.jpg

 

31981957537_c540e0050f_b.jpg

 

Norris-guess what? Yes Sirree Bob-there's more!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Really enjoy your writing style, quality and quantity of photos along the way.  Looking forward to the next several days as you unveil the many aspects of your trip.  Stay warm in the next couple days, and remember.... it's supposed to be in the 40's on Saturday!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

33047684398_dd55e57b4f_b.jpg

 

46870897812_2860ea8f0f_b.jpg

 

46008728925_22d24657a2_b.jpg

 

33047689008_6b7550a68f_b.jpg

 

We are being  followed

33047647548_ffe699e5c8_b.jpg

 

46923021231_d074510350_b.jpg

 

Pilot boat coming for their man

46198165724_b7431408dc_b.jpg

 

]46198166664_c175a02f49_b.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Bimmer09 said:

 

 

 

 

 

 

I'm forever blowing bubbles...

31981927037_a1108acac3_b.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dean Martin sang I'm forever blowing bubbles?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Q&A with the Coral Expeditions Team
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...