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Guernseycruiser

Oceania v Azamara

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We are seasoned cruisers (Celebrity mainly, but also HAL, RCCL & Princess) and also took our 1st Oceania cruises last year on the Riviera.  We really enjoyed the Riviera, the size of ship, the food and the service.  We have seen an offer on the Azamara Journey as a B2B, 16 night + 9 night, which is significantly cheaper (when including grats etc) than a 10 night + 10 night on the Riviera.  The itineraries are not the same, but we like these on both, also looking at balconies on both ships.

 

My concern about the Azamara Journey is the size of the ship and cabins compared to previous cruises.  25 nights is a long time to spend onboard if you don't like your cabin etc.  There are a number of days at sea, not a port intensive cruise.  Whilst not a foodie, we really enjoyed the food on Oceania, and do not wish to be disappointed on Azamara.  With the saving, we could eat at speciality restaurants if these are considered a step up from the MDR.

 

I will be posting this topic on both boards.  Appreciate feedback from those who have cruised either Riviera or Marina on Oceania and Azamara.

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Hi,  We have sailed the Marina, the Sirena and Azamara.   

 

I would not sail the smaller Sirena or Azamara ships for that long unless I booked a Penthouse.  The bathrooms are miniscule in the regular rooms.  The Marina and Riviera had much nicer space in the rooms. 

 

Azamara is fun with some livelier activites.  The staff is more visible and engages with the passengers in activities if that appeals to you.  

 

We much prefer the food on Oceania.  The specialty restaurants on Azamara in my opinion do not compare well to those on Oceania and are not relaxing.   

 

Hope this helps.  You will hear all different opinions on this.  Good luck.  I am sure that you will enjoy your cruise.  

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it  depends on you & your  needs

We have spent 30+ days on Oceania R Ships a couple of times   in  a B  & C  cabin

The space does not bother us 

it is hard to compare pricing if the itineraries are different 

some UK members mentioned they had PPG with Oceania  & the all inclusive  deal ...that would make things a better value maybe

 

Cannot comment on Azamara  as we have not sailed with them

We do not care for mass dining events

 

In any case  go for the itinerary  you like best

JMO

 

 

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We have done two 14-day Caribbean and one 16-day TA on Oceania O ships. On R ships we have done a 16-day Trans-Canal in a B2 and 22-day around the Horn in a C1.

 

We cruise for the itinerary not cabin size and are only in the cabin for around 30 minutes in the morning - maybe 2 hours in the evening before bed. There are many areas on a ship to mingle or hide but if you spend time in the cabin or bath size is important then a R ship may not work for you.

 

view this thread:

 

Sirena cabin

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There was no place left to sit in the indoor public spaces on our recent Azamara cruise on the one cold and rainy day. The ship felt extremely crowded. 

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We have cruised both Azamara Journey and Marina and personally much prefer Marina as a ship. 

 

Food in the MDR is comparable, food in the specialities on Azamara wasn't to us worth the extra payment and not the same standard as O specialities. 

Azamara included drinks are fine for us but do not include "named" drinks like Aperol/Campari and are non branded spirits

 

Bathrooms on the R class ship are much smaller but if you use it one at a time are adequate no bath in most but we prefer a shower. 

 

Video of Journey if it helps (this was before recent refurb but cabin size is the same)

 

 

 

 

 

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Video of  refurbished ship

 

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Absolutely hate what they have done with her.  All of that white is so sterile.  

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Just back from Azamara. We had previously sailed on Azamara and liked it. However, it had been about 5 years since our previous Azamara cruise. Since then we have sailed in larger cabins and suites. We love Marina and Riviera. We picked the cruise for the dates and ports. We were in a veranda cabin. The cabin was small compared to Oceania O ships.  It is the same as Oceania’s R ships. We wondered if we would be happy in a smaller cabin.  Where would we put all of our stuff?  Not a problem. There was lots of good storage space. Bathroom was small but adequate.  We had a great time. We came home and booked a cruise on Sirena. I would gladly sail on either Azamara or Oceania. There are some differences between the 2 lines that may be important to you. Azamara includes tips and drinks. Azamara crew is very visible and friendly. Coffee bar, cafe Mosaic is open at night, no casino, Patio grill serves fabulous dinner with water service, and Azamazing evenings can be fabulous. Azamara has Eco boutique toiletries now. Azamara has expensive WiFi that is very slow. Talking about replacing Eco with Elemis in wall dispensers.  Oceania has outstanding food, no extra cost for specialty restaurants with the ability to reserve tables before the cruise, does a beautiful tea event daily, and more attentive service. Oceania has Bvlgari toiletries. Oceania has free WiFi, one device per cabin.  Both lines have good live music. Both have overpriced excursions. Both have free laundry rooms. I enjoy both cruise lines.

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We did both and liked Oceania better. The comparison might not be apples to apples since we sailed on Riviera, while the smaller Oceania ships might be more comparable to Azamara. But Azamara is still way better than lines like Celebrity or Princess. We especially like the food better on Oceania, and found the entertainment on Azamara really weak (no real theater for example). Service was excellent on both.

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Thank you to everyone who has provided feedback, which is very interesting and helpful.  I guess with anything, unless you try it for yourself, you are never going to be able to make your own opinion.

 

It is so nice to have the opportunity to decide between both wonderful cruise lines, and either taking 20 or 25 night cruises.  

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7 hours ago, Guernseycruiser said:

Thank you to everyone who has provided feedback, which is very interesting and helpful.  I guess with anything, unless you try it for yourself, you are never going to be able to make your own opinion.

 

It is so nice to have the opportunity to decide between both wonderful cruise lines, and either taking 20 or 25 night cruises.  

And opinions are all you ever really get on these boards. What you like may not be someone else's cup of tea and vice versa.

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On 7/19/2019 at 6:43 AM, LHT28 said:

it  depends on you & your  needs

We have spent 30+ days on Oceania R Ships a couple of times   in  a B  & C  cabin

The space does not bother us 

it is hard to compare pricing if the itineraries are different 

some UK members mentioned they had PPG with Oceania  & the all inclusive  deal ...that would make things a better value maybe

 

Cannot comment on Azamara  as we have not sailed with them

We do not care for mass dining events

 

In any case  go for the itinerary  you like best

JMO

 

 

Mass  dining events... like the galas of HAl where there is some sort of fixed event ?    I did not know this  fill me in

Spent 21 days on an R ship with 75% sea days...  either veranda or inside.   O's insides on deck 8 are in a fantastic location for everything... as good as the PH's

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With regard to Redtravel’s post, as far as I am aware  Azamara still has a Cassini unless you are on the new Pursuit which has a different layout to the older ships.

 

If you are content with the R design ships then I think there are Pros & Cons for both lines, but Riviera and Marina are in a different class, especially on a longer cruise.

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5 hours ago, Hawaiidan said:

Mass  dining events... like the galas of HAl where there is some sort of fixed event ?    I did not know this  fill me in

Spent 21 days on an R ship with 75% sea days...  either veranda or inside.   O's insides on deck 8 are in a fantastic location for everything... as good as the PH's


The only thing that could be considered a "mass dining event" on Azamara is the White Nights party, which is a cookout/buffet on deck, with entertainment later.  However, the main dining room and the specialty restaurants are all open as well, so calling it a "mass dining event" is inaccurate, IMO.

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17 minutes ago, hiccups said:


The only thing that could be considered a "mass dining event" on Azamara is the White Nights party, which is a cookout/buffet on deck, with entertainment later.  However, the main dining room and the specialty restaurants are all open as well, so calling it a "mass dining event" is inaccurate, IMO.

what is  the dinner event they do ashore called ??

That is what I consider a mass dining event

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38 minutes ago, LHT28 said:

what is  the dinner event they do ashore called ??

That is what I consider a mass dining event

Aren't those the Azamazing Evenings?

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Posted (edited)
23 minutes ago, StanandJim said:

Aren't those the Azamazing Evenings?

The only Azamazing evening we did with Azamara had nothing to do with dinner. It was quite special though. We went to Ephesus late after it was closed to the public - not often do you find yourself at Ephesus alone without the crowds. After dark there was a classical concert put on for our group in the small amphitheater by local artists - all in all a pretty special evening. 

One might even call it Azamazing 😁

Edited by Paulchili

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6 hours ago, hillsprint said:

With regard to Redtravel’s post, as far as I am aware  Azamara still has a Cassini unless you are on the new Pursuit which has a different layout to the older ships.

 

If you are content with the R design ships then I think there are Pros & Cons for both lines, but Riviera and Marina are in a different class, especially on a longer cruise.

The only Azamara ship that has a casino at this time is Journey. Quest had its casino removed during a dry dock earlier this year.

Journey is scheduled to have its casino removed as part of a dry dock in October 2020.

 

Most posters on the Azamara board seem to like the new space called The Den which replaced the casino.

My wife & I enjoy visiting the casino after the evening show. That is one of the reasons we decided to book a cruise on Sirena for next April instead of another with Azamara.

 

 

 

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10 minutes ago, StanandJim said:

Aren't those the Azamazing Evenings?

 

AzAmaizing evening event in the Carnval Museum theater in Montevideo while on the Antarctic cruise last January was the highest quality performance comparable to the best dance companies anywhere in the world. And it wasn’t any mass dining associated with that event. I wish Oceania offered similar experience included.

 

After our 10+ Oceania cruises we sailed with Azamara first time. The ship was almost identical to Oceania R-ships which we like, the service pretty much the same good. We still prefer Oceania to Azamara for the food and overall ambience, but there were many things that we liked about Azamara as well. Like as it was mentioned before, the coffee and pastries selection in the Mosaic Cafe were by far superior to Oceania offerings.

 

We’ll continue sailing on Oceania but for the right itinerary will go with Azamara without any concerns. 

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1 hour ago, Paulchili said:

The only Azamazing evening we did with Azamara had nothing to do with dinner. It was quite special though. We went to Ephesus late after it was closed to the public - not often do you find yourself at Ephesus alone without the crowds. After dark there was a classical concert put on for our group in the small amphitheater by local artists - all in all a pretty special evening. 

One might even call it Azamazing 😁

 That would be  a great 

Maybe they have done away with the dinners  at those events  during one of their reinventions

at one time  they did bus loads of people to a place   & set up dinner 

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10 hours ago, LHT28 said:

 That would be  a great 

Maybe they have done away with the dinners  at those events  during one of their reinventions

at one time  they did bus loads of people to a place   & set up dinner 

I have attended quite a few Azamazing evenings from its early days and have never known a dinner as part of the event. At each event nibbles and wine is usually supplied.

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10 hours ago, LHT28 said:

 That would be  a great 

Maybe they have done away with the dinners  at those events  during one of their reinventions

at one time  they did bus loads of people to a place   & set up dinner 

Thanks for the info.... do they charge extra for their specialties.....    I heard they really kicked up their prices and terms.    Again  thank you all for your input.    Me  I am in a rut... self imposed reinforced by status in the O club...    But it is always good to have information..  So they have interesting show stuff   that is interesting.. but I seldom ever attend a show   One exception  on Regent on a trans pacific  Paul Williams was our entertainment, with song and story for 30 days.... and Enrichment was Costeau on  the ocean.... That was pretty interesting

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They do charge something on Az for the specialty restaurants if you're not in a Club Continent (PH) or greater, not a huge amount, but...  I found the food everywhere on the ship quite good.  The specialties were included for us, and they were nice.  Not as good as Regent or probably Oceania, but very good.  I particularly liked a Indian buffet dinner they did one night, very popular and great.

 

No mass dining in sight.

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18 hours ago, LHT28 said:

what is  the dinner event they do ashore called ??

That is what I consider a mass dining event


The Azamazing Evening is not a dining event, it's usually a private concert/show/cultural event.  For example, in Dublin we saw Riverdance, and in Valencia, a performance at the City of Arts and Sciences.

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