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geospyder

Azamara versus Viking Ocean?

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We have our first Azamara booked for early 2021 - a 21 night Capetown to Lisbon up the west coast of Africa.  We just got off a 21 night Viking Ocean up the Amazon.  Coming from Viking to Azamara, what major difference will we expect to see other than excursions not being included?

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On Azamara you can have drinks anytime, including spirits, cocktails etc, nit just at meal times. You can even have a Bucks Fizz (Mimosa) or Bloody Mary or sparkling wine at breakfast.

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1 hour ago, geospyder said:

We have our first Azamara booked for early 2021 - a 21 night Capetown to Lisbon up the west coast of Africa.  We just got off a 21 night Viking Ocean up the Amazon.  Coming from Viking to Azamara, what major difference will we expect to see other than excursions not being included?

A very good question to ask your TA.

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55 minutes ago, wripro said:

A very good question to ask your TA.

Your reply is not exactly in the spirit of Cruise Critic. 

We usually aim to help one another, based on our experiences. 

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I think the biggest difference you will notice will be the style of the ship.  Viking is very open with that lovely Nordic feel.  Azamara does not have the same spa facilities (we loved the big pool hydrotherapy pool) which is available to all.  In addition the main swimming pool does not have a retractible roof on Azamara so deck parties are cancelled in inclement weather.

 

The crew are excellent on both but you will probably see more of the Captain and other Officers on Azamara.  There is a DJ in the Living Room but there is no equivalent to the Torshaven nightclub.

 

In room TV is far superior on Viking with its excellent list of Movies and Music.

 

Atmosphere on Azamara probably friendlier.  Having said that we have met great fellow cruisers on both lines.

Shore Excursions on Azamara are expensive and vary in quality.  

 

Entertainment similar although I believe there is more live music on Viking - but then it is a bigger ship.

 

Cabins and bathrooms better on Viking if you are in a standard Veranda.  

 

We like both with Azamara often offering better and more varied itineraries.  We love the Azamazing evenings.

There has been a lot of information in previous threads.  Would recommend a search.

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Interesting question, but maybe a better way to rephrase it would be why do so many people actually prefer being on 20-year old ships to a line with sparkling new ships with nicer toys on board. I went by word of mouth and found an itinerary that was just great and enjoyed it like you wouldn't believe.  I believe OP answered his or her own question in the first sentence.  "a 21 night Capetown to Lisbon up the west coast of Africa" .  My guess is the reason was the itinerary.

 

My brother, who loves Oceania, tried Viking Ocean and said he'd never go back despite the newer ships.  It could have been his particular cruise, but found the atmosphere a bit stuffy.  

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We have done several Azamara cruises and one Viking.  No doubt Viking wins if considering the ship itself.  We think it was one of the best ships in terms of layout and design.   The shore excursions on Viking Ocean were a huge disappointment, especially in comparison to their River cruise excursions. 
It was hard to put our finger on why we prefer Azamara but we always feel we have come home when we step on the ship.  Everything is easy when sailing with Azamara.  Looking forward to our cruise in May on the Quest!

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20 hours ago, Mrs Miggins said:

 

We like both with Azamara often offering better and more varied itineraries.  We love the Azamazing evenings.

There has been a lot of information in previous threads.  Would recommend a search.

 

These comparisons interest me since we have only cruise with Viking (one river, then two ocean) are are considering booking a cruise with Azamara in May 2020. 

 

How do you search CC? I usually search in Google since I don't get very relevant returns when searching with the CC website. Is there a help file that I have overlooked that would enlighten me about searching on CC?

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When inclement weather they have moved the white night party indoors.

It can be describe better as staying with an old friend rather than visiting relatives you only see at occasions and don’t really enjoy their company.

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On 1/27/2020 at 8:44 AM, geospyder said:

We have our first Azamara booked for early 2021 - a 21 night Capetown to Lisbon up the west coast of Africa.  We just got off a 21 night Viking Ocean up the Amazon.  Coming from Viking to Azamara, what major difference will we expect to see other than excursions not being included?

I'm quoting my own post :classic_biggrin:  My question was an honest one in the respect we booked the Azamara cruise strictly based on the itinerary not really knowing what to expect of the ship.  Our latest cruise was a Viking Ocean so that was what I used as a comparison.  We will be coming over as Elite Plus from Celebrity so we'll have a few extra perks.  Everything seems positive so far with one minor thing - shower curtains :classic_sad:  But that is nothing that a magnetic clip can't take care of :classic_laugh:  Thanks everyone for your responses.

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13 minutes ago, geospyder said:

I'm quoting my own post :classic_biggrin:  My question was an honest one in the respect we booked the Azamara cruise strictly based on the itinerary not really knowing what to expect of the ship.  Our latest cruise was a Viking Ocean so that was what I used as a comparison.  We will be coming over as Elite Plus from Celebrity so we'll have a few extra perks.  Everything seems positive so far with one minor thing - shower curtains :classic_sad:  But that is nothing that a magnetic clip can't take care of :classic_laugh:  Thanks everyone for your responses.

 

What type of cabin category on Azamara and which deck? What type of cabin on Viking and which deck? I ask since our only experience is with Viking in their Penthouse Veranda and we might book a smaller type on Azamara to give this line a try.

 

We have a 2021 booked with Viking after deciding to forgo cruising in 2020. We're reconsidering since we love cruise. We have a tight window for embarkations from May 1, 2020 to mid-June 2020. Viking is sold out. We're evaluating a 10 night mid-May cruise on Pursuit in a V2 Club Veranda, which will be much smaller than we prefer, but there is a good price for this cabin category on an itinerary that is appealing to us. I'm a bit off-put by the small showers with curtains.

 

Interestingly, the Azamara cabin class we think we would prefer is the Club Continent Suite, but these are all on Deck 8 (besides the two ADA ones on Deck 7). We prefer to be insulated from the public areas and thus favor Deck 7.

 

Azamara has appeal to us since the Pursuit and Quest don't have casinos and the itineraries are more immersive.  

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I think you will enjoy Azamara.  We liked Viking very much but we are booked on a B2B on Azamara Journey in June.

Lovely Italy and France intensive itineraries.  

You can search CC at the top right of this page.  It will ask you which forum or thread you want to look at. I just typed in Viking and ticked this forum and lots of posts, including all of these, came up.  

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On the Viking Ocean we were in a DV6 on deck three.  On the Azamara Journey we are in V2 on deck seven. We tend to fly coach and book standard verandas.  This works for us in that we can do more cruising.  We can get a notice of a new cruise , talk about it and book it with a couple hours - but - I cannot buy underwear unless it is on sale :classic_laugh:

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We took our first Azamara cruise last year and I did write a review of it.  I detailed items about the ship (in addition to ports).  Since this was our first cruise (we usually sail Regents) many Azamara things were new to us.  One piece of advice on the cruise is to read the daily newsletter carefully, it is very detailed.  We have another cruise with Azamara because of the itinerary and because we did like Azamara.

 

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I’ve been on both, but only 1 Viking Ocean as compared to 4 AZ. I found them to be “neck and neck” in many regards with Viking slightly higher in 1 category and AZ in another. As others have commented, ship to ship Viking wins hands down and it would definitely be my choice for a longer cruise due to the extensive indoor facilities that AZ does not have (indoor pools and spa and glassed in atrium for showing “outdoor” movies which we enjoyed. And we really appreciated reasonable price of the silver spirits beverage package which gives quite a few wine choices as compared to AZ where we are really disappointed in the wines. However, there’s a “feel” to AZ that Viking did not have — friendlier crew, friendlier guests, a relaxed ambience, service a bit more personal and polished. We had basic balcony staterooms on both and Viking definitely has a better bathroom but other than that, there didn’t seem to be that much difference. Would happily cruise Viking Ocean againas well as AZ if they would rectify the very poor wine situation. 

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We recently disembarked our first Viking cruise (21 days). We have done 8 Azamara cruises, plus many other cruises with other lines.

There is no doubt the Viking ships are well ahead of the Azamara ships. Many features of the new Viking ships are lovely - nice cabins including lovely bathrooms and lots of different public spaces to spend time in. We enjoyed the ship very much.

We found the Viking food somewhat unexciting - to the extent we even complained about a meal we had in Manfredi's speciality restaurant (we usually go with the flow, and rarely are pushed to complain!). We like the variety of food on Azamara.

The included shore excursions on Viking (which you are in fact paying for, whether you take them or not) are very basic, and several of ours did not match the description which was in place when we booked them. This was particularly noticeable with the timings - such as 2.5 hour tours having the most interesting stop deleted and the tour reduced to 1.5 hours. 

The lectures were very targeted to the American market - too bad if you are some other nationality, as we are. For example lectures about the assassination attempts on Ronald Reagan and the relationship between Reagan and the Pope. We would prefer to learn about the area we are visiting. 

We would certainly sail with Viking again, but the itinerary and timing would have to be right, and at the moment we think the itineraries are very ho-hum compared to the Azamara offerings. We have another 5 Azamara cruises booked. 

We are very itinerary driven, and we are limited as to when we can travel.

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roaming_kiwi58 - I gather you like Azamara - eight down and five to go :classic_biggrin:  We will be heading your way in April.  We'll spend a couple days in Hawaii and then head to New Zealand.  We'll spend a week in Rotorua and then a week in Wanaka.  After that we'll catch the RCCL Ovation of the Seas (a monster ship) from Sydney back to Honolulu.  Currently we have seven cruises booked - one RCCL, one MSC, two Celebrity, one Azamara and two Viking.  Life is good :classic_smile:

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Hi geospyder - yes we do like Azamara! But wish they would get some new ships! We were very taken with the Viking ship we were on recently! We will travel with many different cruise lines if the itinerary and timing is right. But prefer smaller ships. We are lucky to have done so much travel and are continuing to do as much as possible while we have the health and the funds. You never know what is around the corner!

Enjoy your trip down under. Rotorua is a good base to explore quite an area of the North Island  - we just spent a week there in November. Around Wanaka there is some great scenery. Hope the weather behaves for you.🙂

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9 minutes ago, roaming_kiwi58 said:

...Hope the weather behaves for you.

 If it doesn't we'll find a pub nearby, drink beer and eat meat pies :classic_laugh:

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On 1/28/2020 at 9:34 PM, geospyder said:

I'm quoting my own post :classic_biggrin:  My question was an honest one in the respect we booked the Azamara cruise strictly based on the itinerary not really knowing what to expect of the ship.  Our latest cruise was a Viking Ocean so that was what I used as a comparison.  We will be coming over as Elite Plus from Celebrity so we'll have a few extra perks.  Everything seems positive so far with one minor thing - shower curtains :classic_sad:  But that is nothing that a magnetic clip can't take care of :classic_laugh:  Thanks everyone for your responses.


I can give you another plus to the showers on Azamara that you don’t find everywhere:  they have shower heads that can be hand held when you need that.  No gymnastics or wrestling with unpleasant shower caps If you don’t wash your hair every day.  For the ten minutes that I spend in the shower every day, the showers are fine.

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17 hours ago, lisiamc said:


I can give you another plus to the showers on Azamara that you don’t find everywhere:  they have shower heads that can be hand held when you need that.  No gymnastics or wrestling with unpleasant shower caps If you don’t wash your hair every day.  For the ten minutes that I spend in the shower every day, the showers are fine.

No shower caps here - maybe for my wife but not me - I shave my head every morning :classic_laugh:

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22 minutes ago, geospyder said:

No shower caps here - maybe for my wife but not me - I shave my head every morning :classic_laugh:

I can see you won’t have any worries about the hair dryer then, either! 😄

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