Aldrich - Answered a Question by Lewis (11 Oct 07 09:20)

Azamara Joruney is getting some wonderful reviews. Yes, admitedly she had a bit of a rushed rocky start but now seems to be right on track. Here is a recent review from last week's sailing: [formatting doesn't hold] My thoughts on the 9/29 sailing... Beautiful ship...very clean and well-maintained...not as tiny as i thought it would be, easy to navigate..never too far away from where you want to go-it offered as much as possible for a ship that size...great for the bermuda run...personally i would need a larger ship with a few more options for anything longer...especially if the pool deck was not an option due to weather on sea days.. Awesome crew...always had a smile and seemed happy to be there and to see you- we were especially impressed by our assistant cabin steward...always called down the hallway to us to wish us a nice day when he saw us leaving the cabin...the captain and officers were the most accessible of any of the cruises i have been on Both Prime C and Aqualina were fantastic dining experiences- the food was outrageous, the service professional and friendly- as good as any of the upscale restaurants as I have been to onshore Sky Suite 8068 was very large, pretty, comfortable and quiet- plenty of storage, great bathroom, comfy bed, nice sized fridge, beautiful furnishings. Balcony was wonderful and large- reclining chairs would be nice..the frosted glass dividers were pretty but allowed light from neighbors balconies/rooms to intrude on the quiet ocean darkness... Food in main dining room...the appetizers were awesome, main courses were varied and good, desserts were very good, service was great- one kind of frenzied experience but definitely not the norm for us...not a big deal Never felt crowded...except in the tiny smoking areas...there were many of us...standing room only- met some great fellow passengers here! Found it more restrictive than i anticipated...missed having cocktails on the balcony and relaxing there... Good mix of ages of passengers...expected a much older crowd...the ship was a very early to bed one...not much happening at night Casino was a nice size for a small ship...often empty...maybe a correlation between drinking, gambling and smoking? I play video poker slots...did pretty well but found it annoying to have to cash out to go to the ladies room, get a drink, go up 4/5 decks to have a smoke...i like to machines that pay you out with a coupon...just easier... Lots of motion on the way be expected with the rough seas we had...smooth on the way home...could hardly tell you were moving People LOVE to complain and share their opinions about totally subjective matters with anyone who will listen...i cannot tell you how many times i heard things like the filet mignon was terrible/the filet mignon was great...aqualina was ok prime c is c was ok/aqualina was better...for every positive there was someone else who would view it negatively...just go and form your own opinion...facts are one thing...opinions are just that...they’re nice to hear beforehand for sure...but try not to let those things jade your view until you experience it...just my opinion! Open seating worked just fine for us- we ate late...9’ish never a wait...told a couple of times by the waiters that it was a good time because the dining room was crazy earlier... Buffets were great for breakfast, lunch and dinner, plenty of variety...lobster tails were much better and bigger there than the “lobster four ways” in the dining room....we would sometimes go just to snack a little bit before going to a late dinner... The pool grill was a nice option for burgers, dogs, nachos, pretzels if you came back to the ship too late for lunch and needed a little something before dinner..Cova cafe had little finger sandwiches and sweets...until 1am...nothing available after that other than room service....but the ship was pretty much asleep by then anyway...maybe a tray of something near the 24 hour self service coffee/drinks station would be a nice option... Pool was great and really never too crowded to cool off in- we only got to use it the last sea day...way too much to do in bermuda and usually got back too late to hang out there....happy we had a beautiful last day .

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Shaw - Answered a Question by Lewis (11 Oct 07 09:25)

Just back from our 9/29 cruise on the Journey. First, a little background. This was our 26th cruise on our 22nd ship. We have never cruised with Crystal, Silver Seas or Oceania. Our cabin was a category 2A with a veranda. We booked both cruise and air out of Cincinnati, Ohio. We are in our mid 60’s. The flight, transfer and boarding process went extremely smooth. We were welcomed on board at 12:00 PM with a glass of champagne. We were not guided to our cabin but told to go to Windows to get something to eat and drink while our cabin was being made up. While sitting outside at the Windows Café there was an announcement around 1:00 PM that all the cabins were ready. Anxious to see our new home for the next seven days we headed for cabin #6072. The room was beautiful and to our surprise it looked spacious. The shower is definitely small but not any smaller than most of the other ships we have been on. At first glance, storage space looked like it might be a problem. Our luggage arrived between 3:30 and 4:30. One bag just before we left for the lifeboat drill and one soon after. One of our Cruise Critic members had made arrangements for us to meet with one of the cruise ship’s staff to talk about our planned connection party. After meeting with Liesl she graciously volunteered to sponsor an official party hosted by the ship on Sunday morning. Returned to the room to unpack. Found that we had ample storage room for everything we brought. Just a word about there being no formal nights. I didn’t feel like we packed fewer clothes. We just packed different clothes. We had no problem viewing the TV in the room from different angles. The condition and appearance of the ship looked pretty good to me, especially for a ship that has been is service for as many years as the Journey. I know it has been refurbished but age is still age. I didn’t notice any holes in the wall. I did see some furniture in Discoveries that looked scuffed. We had a refrigerator in our cabin that occupied about half the space it was put in. To me it is ideal for people who have a medical need to keep medicine cold. I don’t know if it is adequate to keep all the liquids cold that you require. We didn’t use it or need it so it was adequate for us. On Saturday and Sunday at sea we had extremely rough sailing. Many people were seasick or at the very least a little queasy. On the return trip on Thursday and Friday it was as if we were gliding on ice. The sea was so smooth. BTW, one of our passengers had talked to passengers on the other two larger ships that were in port Monday and they said their big ships were rocking and rolling sailing to Bermuda also. From what I observed the Casino was small and still not crowed on Saturday and Sunday night. On the return trip Thursday and Friday night it looked like more people wanted to spend their left over money and filled the Casino Saturday night they had a guaranteed $500 Bingo game in the “Cabaret”. Not sure what the cost was to play. On all the ships they ask that you stand up when you are within one number of Bingo, this one is no exception. If you play please do stand up! It’s frustrating for players to be standing up and watching each other with anticipation as the numbers are called and out of nowhere someone who was sitting down jumps up and yells BINGO! After the Cabaret show on Saturday night there are free tickets given away for a drawing in the next door Casino room. The drawing is done immediately after the show and you must be present to win. There were quite a few nice smaller prizes given away and I am not talking key chains. The one you want to win is the last one. The big prize worth hanging around for is a Jackpot of $500. Don’t miss it! I am probably not the one to review the dining options. For various reasons we ate dinner in Windows on four different nights. We thought the food selection, quality and taste were very good. Unfortunately, many of the selections were served at room temperature. We ate in Prime C one night and it was excellent. The other two nights we ate in Discoveries. The food was very good each night. The service was excellent on one night and average on the other. Talking to our assistant waiter on the second night, we found out that this was his first ever cruise contract and he had been on the ship for two months. He knew he was still learning. We gave him some constructive criticism and he seemed to be grateful. For what it is worth to readers of this thread here is some advice. If there is anything that you want or feel that your waiter or cabin staff should do for you but hasn’t, don’t fume about it until you are about to explode. Bring it to their attention immediately and they are more than happy to take care of it to please you. I know we feel as if we shouldn’t have to but sometimes they have overlooked something while they were trying to please someone else. Frankly, I thought all the entertainment was good on this ship. However, there were others who felt it was lacking. Personally, I think they were missing the big ship entertainment. I thought it was at least equal to, if not better than, the ships we have been on with passenger numbers ranging from seven hundred to sixteen hundred. I thought the Azamara Trio Band, the pianist Carlos Avalon and “That’s Hollywood” show were excellent. The “Bermuda Roots Gombeys” on Wednesday night is one of those things that some people liked and others hated. Most cruise lines try to expose local cultural entertainment whenever they can. It usually is not as professional as the ship’s production numbers. We did not see every show or all of the entertainment. So others views will probably be out there. You have got to love this cruise staff. They are genuinely interested in what you think and if you are having a good time. We have been on cruises before where the crew has been friendly but these folks go beyond the smile and warm greetings. They like getting to know you and want to know what they are doing right and wrong. They thirst for your ideas of what would make them better. So please, let them know your feelings. This was our first trip to Bermuda so our biggest disappointment was the weather. We had on-again off-again showers Monday through Thursday. The Wednesday night festival in Hamilton was dampened due to showers. At times you got wetter going to and from the beaches than you did at the beach. Don’t get me wrong, there was some sun. Over fifty per cent of the daylight time there was no rain. It just seemed like the pop-up showers always came at a bad time for us. I don’t want to go into detail on everything we did in Bermuda but the highlight for us was the Segway Tour of the Dockyards. That was an awesome experience. In summary, we had a great trip. Loved the Journey and its crew. Met some wonderful people. Yes, we will sail Azamara again sometime in the future.

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Falan and Leanne Down - Answered a Question by Lewis (11 Oct 07 19:53)

There's a great deal there already but just a little more. Celebrity are aiming to go up market with this line and will probably equal or surpass Oceania Cruises and fall just below Silversea and Seabourn. These companies run ships of a an exact same size or very similar and are more sophisticated than the general run of cruise ship. So if you like 5 star plus you'll enjoy this manor house style of holiday. We do Leanne Dow.

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