Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
StartrainDD

HAL 4 star mariner tries Azamara - reviews / log are published

Recommended Posts

Long story short, we were booked on the Celebrity Xpedition in the Galapagos over Thanksgiving (2019).  Two weeks before our sailing the Xpedition ran aground so our cruise was canceled (we rebooked for 2021).  We had vacation time planned and needed a quick "Plan B."  There were four options (2 HAL, 1 "X", and the Azamara Journey).  We chose the Journey as it went to ports we have not been to before and we wanted to try something different.  We did a B2B, first a nine night Miami - San Juan and then a seven night RT San Juan.  If you are interested in the log/reviews here are the links:

 

11-21 sailing:  https://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=672279&et_cid=3214772&et_rid=268596365&et_referrer

11-30 sailing:  https://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=672280&et_cid=3214772&et_rid=268596365&et_referrer

 

I would be happy to answer any questions.  These reviews are NOT 'comparisons' between HAL and Azamara, although I do mention HAL a few times.  Keep in mind that typically there is quite a difference in the price point between Azamara and HAL.  Although, if you were to book HAL in Europe for 2021 at the "All inclusive" promo they began yesterday, I believe prices are very comparable.

 

Our next cruise is the Rotterdam in April and we are really looking forward to that!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the links, Arie.

 

Very interesting reviews and it sounds like you really enjoyed Azamara giving it 5*’s.

 

Sounds like you are heading on the TA to the Azores and Normandy on the Rotterdam.  That’s a great itinerary.  Hope you enjoy it 😄 

 

I really liked that Azamara had a get together for 1st time Azamara cruisers.  That’s a really nice touch.!

Share this post


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

Also this last evening was the “Infamous Chocolate Buffet.” Very reminiscent of what Holland America used to do on each cruise, there is an incredible abundance of Chocolate of every variety, cakes, gelato, etc. My personal favorite was the dark-chocolate covered marshmallows.

 

 

Yum!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very informative, thank you for your review.

 

I do have a couple of questions. Did Eric give you “new to Azamara folk” any tips or suggestions at his welcome session? Did you receive invitations to this event, or did you find out about it on your own?

 

Did the dining room staff ask your wife to choose her meal a day before, in order to accommodate her allergies?

 

You have a gift for the written word.

Share this post


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

Thanks for the links, Arie.

 

Sounds like you are heading on the TA to the Azores and Normandy on the Rotterdam.  That’s a great itinerary.  Hope you enjoy it 😄 

Yes, sailing the Rotterdam TO Rotterdam - and then four days enjoying the Tulips in the Netherlands!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, cat shepard said:

Very informative, thank you for your review.

 

I do have a couple of questions. Did Eric give you “new to Azamara folk” any tips or suggestions at his welcome session? Did you receive invitations to this event, or did you find out about it on your own?

 

Did the dining room staff ask your wife to choose her meal a day before, in order to accommodate her allergies?

 

You have a gift for the written word.

Yes, Eric and the team were very informative at the welcome session.  With 2/3 of each sailing being "First time on Azamara" cruisers there were a lot of 'newbies' on board.  It was prominently listed in the 'welcome' daily program - I don't recall a separate invitation.  There is also a great thread on the Azamara board for first time cruisers - we learned a lot from this.

 

Yes, the dining room provided the next evening's menu in advance.  When we were going to a specialty restaurant, they provided that one (and in the specialty venue, they provided the main dining room menu for the following evening).

 

I have to say we have celebrated DW's birthday (or our anniversary) on HAL before and they have never made a special cake with ingredients that she could eat like Azamara did.  This left a very big impression on DW!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, StartrainDD said:

Yes, Eric and the team were very informative at the welcome session.  With 2/3 of each sailing being "First time on Azamara" cruisers there were a lot of 'newbies' on board.  It was prominently listed in the 'welcome' daily program - I don't recall a separate invitation.  There is also a great thread on the Azamara board for first time cruisers - we learned a lot from this.

 

Yes, the dining room provided the next evening's menu in advance.  When we were going to a specialty restaurant, they provided that one (and in the specialty venue, they provided the main dining room menu for the following evening).

 

I have to say we have celebrated DW's birthday (or our anniversary) on HAL before and they have never made a special cake with ingredients that she could eat like Azamara did.  This left a very big impression on DW!


Thank you for responding so quickly. I agree, very impressive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It was nice to read your reviews. We loved Azamara on the 2 cruises we were on.  Anxious to go back.  We loved the Prinsendam but now that it’s gone Azamara will be our top choice.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also enjoyed my first Azamara cruise last year on Journey. Am looking for opportunities to sail with them again! You captured a lot of the things I enjoyed onboard ship.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A question, what are the facilities for walking?  I think these are the same type ships as the original Oceania ship and on my Crystal Symphony Antarctica cruise we played cat and mouse with the Ocean Princess which is now an Oceania ship.  I kept thinking, watching people jog around in circles not much bigger than the swimming pool how much I would hate to be on that ship.

 

My new guilty pleasure post Prinsendam is the Empress of the Seas, roughly the same size as the Prinsendam and with a quarter mile wraparound deck.  Lots to love but no substitute for the Elegant Explorer with a passenger count double the size of the Prinsendam.  No substitute but nice enough so I've booked her for 14 more days.

 

Roy

Share this post


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

 

 

I have to say we have celebrated DW's birthday (or our anniversary) on HAL before and they have never made a special cake with ingredients that she could eat like Azamara did.  This left a very big impression on DW!

 

Last year, one of the people on the HA ship that I was having dinner with had a birthday and the cake was made special, she also had similar dietary restrictions and she always ordered her meals the night before.  The head waiter and even the chef made appearance at the table to be sure she was satisfied.  I do not think this type of service is unique to Azamara. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, rafinmd said:

A question, what are the facilities for walking?  I think these are the same type ships as the original Oceania ship and on my Crystal Symphony Antarctica cruise we played cat and mouse with the Ocean Princess which is now an Oceania ship.  I kept thinking, watching people jog around in circles not much bigger than the swimming pool how much I would hate to be on that ship.

 

My new guilty pleasure post Prinsendam is the Empress of the Seas, roughly the same size as the Prinsendam and with a quarter mile wraparound deck.  Lots to love but no substitute for the Elegant Explorer with a passenger count double the size of the Prinsendam.  No substitute but nice enough so I've booked her for 14 more days.

 

Roy

Hi Roy!!

Was thinking of you! Hope your knee is well from your last cruise. We watched Empress of the seas yesterday leave Miami on the web cam and seriously thinking of doing a cruise on her! Like the 800 passengers! Nice ship! 
Denise😊

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, DeeniEncinitas said:

Hi Roy!!

Was thinking of you! Hope your knee is well from your last cruise. We watched Empress of the seas yesterday leave Miami on the web cam and seriously thinking of doing a cruise on her! Like the 800 passengers! Nice ship! 
Denise😊

No, it's more like 1800 passengers, the one significant drawback to the ship.  I never felt crowded but the cabins are small.  The knee is fully recovered.  I'm doing a Bermuda cruise out of Bayonne with overnights in both Hamilton and St. George, followed by a New England and Canada cruise.

 

Roy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, rafinmd said:

No, it's more like 1800 passengers, the one significant drawback to the ship.  I never felt crowded but the cabins are small.  The knee is fully recovered.  I'm doing a Bermuda cruise out of Bayonne with overnights in both Hamilton and St. George, followed by a New England and Canada cruise.

 

Roy

I meant 1800🙄!

So glad your knee is better👍
Have a great up coming cruise! 
Roy HAVE A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!

BEST WISHES FOR A MARVELOUS 2020 in the new year!

Denise😊

 

Share this post


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

A question, what are the facilities for walking?  I think these are the same type ships as the original Oceania ship and on my Crystal Symphony Antarctica cruise we played cat and mouse with the Ocean Princess which is now an Oceania ship.  I kept thinking, watching people jog around in circles not much bigger than the swimming pool how much I would hate to be on that ship.

 

Roy

 

We walked quite a bit on sea days on the jogging track on the deck above the pool.  No, it wasn’t huge and had to make lots of laps but it worked. No shade,  but Azamara had a big jug of ice water with orange slices in it and cups.  Helped make up for the heat.  

Share this post


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

A question, what are the facilities for walking? 

 

Roy

Hi Roy!

 

Hope to meet you one of these cruises sometime...  Love your reports.

 

No, there are no good walking facilities.  I did note some folks went up to the 'walking / jogging' track early morning or late afternoons, but I think it's 17 laps around to the mile.  During the day it's in the direct sun so at least in warmer climates not a great option.

 

The gym looked pretty nice but at this point I'm not much of a treadmill person.  Like you, I enjoy walking.  Did many 12 - 13,000 step days during port calls.

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
      • Forum Assistance
      • SPECIAL EVENT: Q&A with the Quark Expeditions Team!
      • 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...