One huge plus of Azamara itineraries is more overnights and late stays in port than any other cruise line. That gave us all day and much of the evening at many of our stops, instead of just a few hours. We could really explore that destination and enjoy the local flavor!
The Azamara Journey, holds 686-guests and has an unstuffy, yet sophisticated country club ambience. Another bonus, the number of tenders per itinerary was minimal because this smaller ship can dock at most ports, saving time and giving more flexibility for getting on and off while in port.
One night during each sailing, a complimentary AzAmazing evening offers passengers an exclusive and truly unique experience. They feature the cultural and culinary aspects of a destination. Ours was to be an after-hours classical concert in the ancient city of Ephesus.
After a quick 25-minute taxi ride from the Royal Olympic Hotel to the pier at Piraeus, check-in was a breeze. And the line was nonexistent–another advantage of a smaller ship! It took about ten minutes from curb to gangplank.
We were one of the last to get on the ship, not realizing that they served lunch on board that day. Upon entering the ship, we were greeted and handed a flute of champagne.
We easily found our balcony suite, 8044, on the 8th deck. The room had everything we needed and more—plush robes, monogrammed slippers, an umbrella in the closet, a pair of binoculars and water and soda in the mini frig.
The bathroom had a tub and plenty of storage space—much larger than my former cruise experiences. Two closets gave us ample room to unpack and move in…lots of drawers for storage in this spacious room. Maybe we should just become permanent residents?
Azamara’s smaller size offers a more personal experience than bigger ships. Included in our cruise were gratuities, red and white boutique wines during lunch and dinner; English Butler service for suite guests and shuttle transportation to city centers in some ports. A few mornings, we ordered room service on the balcony.
Captain Johannes, and his wife, posed informally in the guest services area. One more noticeable difference from the bigger ships, Captain Johannes was seen frequently about the ship. “Because of our size, we have the elbow room and freedom to come up with ideas that are impromptu,” said Captain Johannes. One sailing, we stopped in Iceland and lowered the tender platform. The crew and I caught 60 pounds of cod and haddock that I personally cleaned before our chefs cooked it for dinner that night.”