Azamara Cruises are known for their intimate yet luxurious ships, visiting some of the world’s most breath-taking destinations. The cruise line currently has many astounding international itineraries on sale now including the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, Canary Islands, and many more.
Two of our colleagues at SixStarCruises, Laura Higgs, Sales Manager and Emma O’Reilly, Cruise Concierge, were lucky enough to sail on-board Azamara Journey on a five-night Greek Isles sailing which embarked 6th October 2021. Our team provided us with feedback surrounding the boarding process, dining, and entertainment on-board as well as health and safety protocols during their time on this incredible ship!
As a result of cruising gradually reaching normality, there are still certain regulations in place on-board in which each cruise line enforces, therefore we asked our colleagues how the embarkation process went when boarding Azamara Journey.
A completed passenger locator form, proof of complete vaccination status, day 2 COVID test on return to the U.K and face mask usage while flying, (unless eating or drinking), were all necessary requirements for embarkation of this sailing. A negative lateral flow test was also required before boarding Azamara Journey and both colleagues had travel insurance which covered them against potential COVID-19 circumstances, may they arise.
“Upon arrival to the ship, we were asked if we had a unique barcode for the pre-cruise test, but this is something we didn’t receive so we were placed into a separate queue and waited to fill out some personal information from the onsite testing. Once done, we had our test and waited around 15 minutes for the result in the holding area at the port, there were cold towels for guests waiting and the process was so quick and easy. Once your testing number was called, they would place an Azamara sticker on you to show staff you were negative then would walk to the check in area. Again, here they asked a few health questions. We had done our online check in through the Azamara manage my booking app and had the boarding passes saved on our phones which saved so much time as we went straight through security and then onto the ship!”
We then asked what our colleagues first impressions were of Azamara Journey once on-board, Emma said,
“Extremely friendly and happy crew, more than helpful when boarding with baggage and directions of where to go. Beautiful boutique-style 5* hotel. We received a glass of champagne on arrival, and everything ran seamlessly with regards to boarding and doing the muster drill. Warm and friendly impression!”
Whilst Laura added,
“When walking on-board all the staff were waiting for us, welcoming us onto the ship which was a little emotional being that it was the first cruise in almost two years. It was slightly smaller than what I have previously travelled on in terms of size, but you would never have known with how spacious the ship was inside!”
On-board Azamara Journey there are a range of luxurious cabin types, from Club Interior Stateroom to Club World Owner Suites. Our colleagues stayed within one of Azamara Journey’s Club Balcony Cabins and described their accommodation type and general décor on-board!
“The balcony cabin on deck 6 was a really good size for two in our cabin, there was one wardrobe with lots of hangers and plenty of drawers, also two bedside units with more storage facilities and a dressing table. Elegant twin beds located can be adapted to queen if needed, small sofa lounge area, balcony with chairs and table and a clear view.”
It was also highlighted that European and American plug sockets were available in the cabin, alongside a hairdryer. However, it is important to remind passengers to bring adapters on-board for any electrical devices that won’t fit European plug sockets.
There are many dining options to choose from on-board Azamara Journey, from international dining options such as Aqualina providing beautiful Italian dishes to The Patio and Swirl & Top, offering casual “pool grill” by day. Then fine tablecloths and flickering candles set the mood for a sit-down al fresco dining experience by night. We consulted with our cruise concierge and asked them about their dining experiences, Emma said,
“Absolutely amazing! This was by far the main highlight of the ship for me, the food and drink quality was excellent, nothing was too much trouble for the waiters and they were so friendly and attentive, constantly topping water and wine up and asking if you needed anything else, making recommendations and just generally adding to the overall dining experience. The variety of food and drink and dining area options was amazing, and I would highly recommend this cruise line just based on the quality of food and service.”
Whilst Laura highlighted,
“There is a huge variety of options in all restaurants to cater to all dietary requirements. As this is a smaller ship, social distancing was very much in place, therefore you didn’t feel like you were too close to people in the dining rooms as the tables where spread at an appropriate distance. The overall quality was superb!
We didn’t need to reserve the main dining room or the Windows café which was the buffet restaurant used for breakfast and lunch, but the two a la carte restaurants called Prime C, which was a steakhouse, and Aqualina, which is the Italian a la carte, had to be reserved and did seem to get booked up quite quickly.”
Our colleagues informed us about the restaurants they sampled on-board, resulting in them mainly eating in the main dining room, where they tried a variety of dishes and ate in Aqualina. Laura commented saying,
“Aqualina was superb. I ate a squid ink lobster pasta dish which I can honestly say was one of the best meals I have ever eaten with only a $20 cover charge. I couldn’t manage a desert as the portion sizes where quite large but from feedback from others they were to die for!”
Drinks packages on-board Azamara ships you get basic spirits, cocktails, beers and wines included which provides guests with plenty of choice. However, guests can also upgrade to a premium package which will supply a wider selection of alcoholic beverages.
Azamara Journey has a good range of entertainment options on-board so we asked our colleagues to get involved and inform us on what they got up to during their sailing!
“The daytime entertainment options involved things such as quizzes and cooking classes and live music performances. We also went to the opening show which was great as it introduced all performers and they all each did a set which was amazing, we also attended what was called “bright night” where they clear the sun-loungers to put out tables and chairs and create a dance floor on the pool-deck. The entertainers put on an evening show on the main stage, which was fantastic, everyone was up dancing and just had the best evening. You always had evening entertainment in the Living Room, with a band on until 11pm and then the DJ until around 1pm. On the final evening they had karaoke there was which was hilarious, and everyone was getting up and involved.”
Our colleagues did not have to book any entertainment options however the spa and any health treatments must be booked beforehand.
Health and Safety
When diving into health and safety on-board this ship our colleagues both explained that all protocols and requirements were clearly stated by the cruise line prior to boarding via the Azamara app and felt completely at ease whilst on-board. They also expressed that staff were more than helpful and would assist with any questions or queries you may have.
“All of the crew and guests are double vaccinated. Mask wearing is mandatory whilst moving around the ship including both crew and guests. Everywhere was extremely clean and extra sanitation stations and staff constantly cleaning things such as handrails and touch points and hot tubs and swimming pools after people have used them. Hand sanitiser was also provided before entering restaurants and around the ship!”
We asked our colleagues Laura and Emma for their overall review of their sailing on-board Azamara Journey and they answered,
“I had the most amazing trip, I met the most incredible people, and the ports were beautiful, I could not fault it.”
“I loved every minute and would highly recommend it to others! For everything that is included such as food, drinks, tips and entertainment it is absolutely great value for money!”
If you would like to discover Azamara Journey’s itineraries, or are intrigued to find out about the range of Azamara Cruises itineraries available, you can contact our specialist cruise concierge to organise a consultation by calling 0808 278 4192.