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50th on Azamara Part 2

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    50th on Azamara Part 2


    Azamara Onward was commissioned by Renaissance Cruises, along with the other ships in the current Azamara fleet, and started life as R3 in 1999, later becoming Pacific Princess. These ships named R1 – R8 were all built at the shipyard of Chantiers de l'Atlantique in Saint-Nazaire France and were designed, internally and externally, by British Designer John McNeece. Maybe the concept of niche’ boutique size cruise ships was ahead of its time, as the well respected Renaissance went into bankruptcy in 2001. All of the ‘R’ ships 1 – 8 are still in service with cruise lines around the world, Azamara and Oceania owning the majority.

    P1060092 by Wilba Cruise, on Flickr

    P1060051 by Wilba Cruise, on Flickr

    So now we have all been on Azamara Onward for 24 hours, what are our first impressions?

    Apart from the overall ambience of the ship, the first things that becomes obvious is the service and quality of food. We only use the buffet for breakfast, and somewhat lesser for lunch. Firstly, there was no need to ‘hunt the table’ before going for food, more than enough tables for everyone. No queuing for tea, coffee or juice, as the moment you sit at a table, a waiter was there asking for your drinks order. Incidentally, the coffee was excellent, made from those multi choice vending machines, and the orange juice freshly squeezed.

    We had every intention of celebrating our 50th at a Speciality Restaurant, but the menu’s and food choice in the MDR was like eating in a Speciality Restaurant every night. It really was that good.

    At lunch time there was an on deck grill, burger bar to you and I, but the quality and presentation was something else, all served on deck at a white clothed table with a full set of wine glasses. The waiters top up your glasses with such regularity you become scared to take drink!

    At night the buffet becomes a No Charge Al a Carte’ Restaurant with a different theme every night. We didn’t try it so I can’t comment, but you can bet your boots it was good.

    Day 3 Split
    Of all the years of cruising I had never been to the popular Croatian port of Split, so this was first for me. The ship docked at the end of the main street for the short walk into town and turn into an alleyway off the main street to enter the Catacombs of the Diocletian Palace which are now used for market type stalls.

    P1060021 by Wilba Cruise, on Flickr

    P1060022 by Wilba Cruise, on Flickr

    P1060025 by Wilba Cruise, on Flickr

    Split was an interesting port, somewhere I would look forward to visiting again on a future cruise, and had it not been so darned hot, I would have taken a taxi tour of the local area as there appeared to be some worthy places to visit. The temperatures everyday are knocking on the door of 80Deg F, so an air conditioned cabin had far more appeal.


    P1060030 by Wilba Cruise, on Flickr

    Day 4 Kotor
    Yet another seriously hot day as we sailed into what must be the prettiest sail in of the Med. The scenery is very reminiscent of the Fjords, fabulous. Having been here a couple of times before, and done the ‘Walled City’ twice, we opted for a boat tour. We negotiated a trip to Perast, an idyllic little village some miles north of Kotor, then onto Our Lady of the Rocks, a stunning little church, now museum, on its own little island, then onto the WW2 submarine pens blasted from the coastal cliffs.

    P1060077 by Wilba Cruise, on Flickr
    Our high speed launch.

    P1060065 by Wilba Cruise, on Flickr
    Perast

    P1060053 by Wilba Cruise, on Flickr

    P1060057 by Wilba Cruise, on Flickr
    Our Lady of the Rocks

    P1060075 by Wilba Cruise, on Flickr

    P1060074 by Wilba Cruise, on Flickr
    Inside the church, now a museum, the guns were used to fend off the pirates from the wealthy residents of Perast

    P1060078 by Wilba Cruise, on Flickr

    P1060080 by Wilba Cruise, on Flickr

    The submarine pens, the overhanging ‘rocks’ are dummies to fool the airborne attacking enemy.

    Day 5 Dubrovnik
    Dubrovnik was the only port on my ‘Done To Death’ list, and like our last visit here we were tendered directly in to the Walled City. We decided to take a boat to Cavtat (pronounced Sevat) as we did on our last visit. The boats run an hourly service throughout the day for the 40 minute trip @ €20 Return. Cavtat is a charming one street town with restaurants galore along the front, all offering lunch deals at competitive prices. We did what most cruisers do, blokes sit at a bar, women do the shops, then all get together for lunch. For those like me who have tired of Dubrovnik, a trip to Cavtat is worth the effort.

    P1060100 by Wilba Cruise, on Flickr

    P1060098 by Wilba Cruise, on Flickr

    Well that’s all for today folks, but there’s more to come……………..Wilba










    Wilba

    #2
    Great pictures Wilba, delighted that you are experiencing the highest standards of service. Azamara have removed the casino’s from their ships so more passenger space.

    I suspect that Viking and Azamara are similar, where Viking win is the all balcony format and the bathrooms are much better.

    John

    Comment


      #3
      Another great read and photos thank you , many years ago we went on holiday to the old Yugoslavia , did a week on the mainland then a week on the island of Hvar , had to get the ferry from Split so didnt see much of it but since then have been back a couple of times . and have been impressed , in fact i prefer it to Dubrovnik , just a personal choice ,

      Comment


        #4
        Thanks for the memories Wilba. Great coastline. I must return - albeit it will be by land.

        Happy Anniversary.

        Annie

        Comment


          #5
          Lovely pictures and review Azamara is tempting but only with a good offer!

          Comment


            #6
            This looks fabulous,
            My cruise taking me to Kotor, Split, Dubrovnik etc was cancelled. Maybe one day I'll get there!!
            Thank you for sharing

            Comment


              #7
              Thanks again Wilba for todays instalment and lovely photos. We also enjoyed our first visit to Split, it really is quite unique and very interesting.

              I agree, Dubrovnik is a ‘done to death’ cruise stop and wish it could be replaced by other scenic places on that long coastline. Not been to Kotor or Zadar.


              Comment


                #8
                Thanks for the trip down memory lane W. I love that coastline and enjoyed a cruise on Azamara Journey a few years ago.
                Jill

                Comment


                  #9
                  Morning W
                  Excellent as always and a great reminder of one our cruises that we always said we'd re-visit but haven't up to now.
                  Like you we loved Split and it has a great waterfront that's perfect for beer and people watching.

                  Not sure we'd like Azamara though, but never say never.

                  Garf

                  Edit
                  You're mention of the Arlecchino in part 1 sounded familiarP1000026.jpg ...
                  Last edited by Garfield, Waterlooville; 24th May 2022, 08:36 AM.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Garfield, Waterlooville View Post
                    Morning W
                    Excellent as always and a great reminder of one our cruises that we always said we'd re-visit but haven't up to now.
                    Like you we loved Split and it has a great waterfront that's perfect for beer and people watching.

                    Not sure we'd like Azamara though, but never say never.

                    Garf

                    Edit
                    You're mention of the Arlecchino in part 1 sounded familiarP1000026.jpg ...
                    Yep, that's the very one Garf.

                    We chose it for its shortest walk to and from a taxi.............Wilba
                    Wilba

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Wilba View Post

                      Yep, that's the very one Garf.

                      We chose it for its shortest walk to and from a taxi.............Wilba
                      And us..in fact we seem to think it was you that recommended it as being a short walk from the station and close to the people mover, transport hub etc.


                      Garf

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Garfield, Waterlooville View Post
                        .

                        Not sure we'd like Azamara though, but never say never.

                        Garf


                        ..
                        We did a TA and they were great, this was pre more inclusive and the price rises.

                        Best organisation of sea day program we have had.

                        We liked the single seating for dinner turn up when you want.
                        Great food MDR
                        Pool grill doing decent food some cook to order like the filet steak sandwich.
                        ​​​​
                        ​​Buffet high quality options with query specials each night.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Hi TD
                          It's the size of the ships that doesn't appeal...and the fact they're not easy for embarkation ports.

                          Garf

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Garfield, Waterlooville View Post
                            Hi TD
                            It's the size of the ships that doesn't appeal...and the fact they're not easy for embarkation ports.

                            Garf
                            We find that size works well for some trips it can be nice to have everything close to the cabin
                            The YC/Haven... gets that with the benefits of big ship facilities.

                            Agree ACC do tend to have itinerary that are not logistic friendly also their add on travel packages always seem very expensive.

                            We got lucky with our TA flights hotel and 13n TA cruise a touch over £700pp
                            (Think it was a misprice when they added a free flights promotion and forgot to reprice the TA).

                            There is a decent 12n from Athens just over £1kpp in June.
                            ​​​​​

                            ​​​

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Wonderful photos and review - thanks, Wilba - brought back many happy memories.

                              Comment


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