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Old June 13th, 2007, 02:51 PM
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Default Talk about this brand new cruise line - part of Celebrity

If you have been on this cruise line, or booked a reservation on it please let us know what you think!
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Old June 16th, 2007, 07:46 AM
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Haven't sailed with them yet but would like to give them a try if their rates drop a little bit for their summer sailings to Bermuda 2007.

Any chance of that happening or am I wasting time wishing and checking current prices often ??
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Old June 16th, 2007, 10:50 AM
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Pricing is ALWAYS subject to change. I see one agency has 7-night bermuda cruises starting at $1399 inside cabin - however this is too high.

The thing is, the company plans to change the itineraries for these ships soon, and start plotting out more extic, non-repeating schedules. Then the prices will seem more in line with what you get.

But while these are "nice" ships, they are not opulent if they still look like the original R-ships. All 8 of those identical ships always focused on function over luxury interiors. And they are small, so there is not all that much to do.

Great for "traveling" itineraries where you are in a different port evetry day. But I agree, they don't seem all that well suited for the Bermuda run.
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Old June 16th, 2007, 12:42 PM
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here is a link to a gallery of the ship
http://picasaweb.google.com/spengle/Journey02
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Old June 16th, 2007, 01:52 PM
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Yeah... just as I suspected, they have not done much to change these ships at all. I do think they expanded the spa area fair amount and added Thelassotherapy pools and such. But that is about it.
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Old June 16th, 2007, 07:27 PM
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They had the pool on the spa deck but did enlarge the spa and the casino
Turned the library to a bar in the evenings and put a coffee bar on deck 5
Looks like the rest is the same
Oh they did remove some smaller cabins on deck 8 and put in a few larger ones
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Old June 18th, 2007, 09:51 PM
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Paul Motter,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
Yeah... just as I suspected, they have not done much to change these ships at all. I do think they expanded the spa area fair amount and added Thelassotherapy pools and such. But that is about it.
Celebrity actually did a major reconfiguration of the aft half of Deck Eight, replacing forty-eight (48) standard balcony cabins with thirty-two (32) Sky Suites. That's why there are gaps in the numbers of the cabins when you get to the full suites on the aft end of the deck.

Norm.
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Old June 22nd, 2007, 01:21 AM
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They still have the front facing balcony cabins: They are now the "SV" Sunset View cabins. At least these won't be overlooking a tarp and a bar like the SV cabins on Century.

I'm looking forward to sailing on Journey. Always loved the R ships.

Take care,
Mike
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Old August 14th, 2007, 04:56 PM
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Default Hoping the inagural goes well...

I'm booked on the 2 nighter out of Miami to CocoCay. Doing this just to get a feel for the 'differences' of Azamara and X. We enjoy and are so used to the more formal feeling of X, we thought we'd do a little appetizer to try out anytime dining and open seating as well as Country Club casual as a dress code. ( this scares me a bit as even X can keep people up to the minumun dress codes standards, so I suspect a lot of plain old Casual ).

Anyway just about 70 days to the first voyage.

Dave
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Old August 14th, 2007, 06:22 PM
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Default Re: Hoping the inagural goes well...

Dave,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
I'm booked on the 2 nighter out of Miami to CocoCay. Doing this just to get a feel for the 'differences' of Azamara and X. We enjoy and are so used to the more formal feeling of X, we thought we'd do a little appetizer to try out anytime dining and open seating as well as Country Club casual as a dress code. ( this scares me a bit as even X can keep people up to the minumun dress codes standards, so I suspect a lot of plain old Casual ).
Traditional social etiquette does not recognize adjectives modifying "casual" and a lot of people still have not mastered the subtleties. In fact, the cruise lines are not using such terminology in a consistent manner. By way of example, Royal Caribbean's explanation of "smart casual" seems to include a jacket whereas Princess's explanation of "smart casual" is exactly the same as its explanation of "casual" evening attire before the change in terminology. Such inconsistency causes more confusion.

So would anybody care to expound on perceived differences between such standards of dress as "resort casual" and "business casual" and "country club casual" and "smart casual" and any other modified "casual" that might be out there?

Norm.
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Old August 15th, 2007, 08:16 AM
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Norm, they way I see it, the cruiseline does not want to be rigid. Within each dress code, there is flexibility and room for interpretation.

They, after all, are trying to appeal to a broad range of people. If the cruiseline exerted too much control on passenger's wardrobe, they would lose many pax!

When we cruise, we do it for ourselves, not for the 2000 fellow pax. We may notice those who look or act differently, but they do not affect our vacation. The big surprise is that when given the opportunity to speak with some of these people, they are not so bad after all!!!!

Our motto is "live and let live".
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Old August 15th, 2007, 09:02 AM
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It seems that Azamara is getting their shipboard operations under control. Reports are coming through that the refrigerators have been installed on the Journey, the butler service is more refined and food quality is more even.

I personally have noticed that their land side operations still are lacking. When you call their Customer Service lines you are still connected to Celebrity and then put on hold for Azamara and then you still end up with a Celebrity representative who hasn't been fully trained. They still have little or no idea about shore excursions, other than what is posted, visa information, or upgrade information. This is from my TA and also from my direct connections.

Hopefully they will work out their issues.

Take care,
Mike
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Old August 19th, 2007, 02:38 PM
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Hi all,
I recently took Journey from Newark to Bermuda and back. Aszmara has lofty goals and is in the process of attaining them. An Azamara VP said that by the fall, journey would be awesome.
A blog of my trip, warts and all, is at www.avidcruiser.com/geoff
Remember, it's a blog so find the beginning at the bottom.
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Old August 27th, 2007, 01:45 PM
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In response to a recent traveler of the Azamara Cruise line. I was in a group of 16 people total that traveled this cruise ship on August 11th thru the 18th to Bermuda.

I have to say that this was a memorable cruise and was very happy with this ship and all of the cruise staff. Each of us were very pleased with this ship. We had our reservations about how this was going to turn out, since we reserved this trip over a year ago and was a little hesitant when we were notified that we were being bumped to the Azamara.

I love to cruise and really loved this ship, it was beautiful and accomodating.
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Old August 31st, 2007, 05:52 AM
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I have a reservation on it - leaving at the end of October on a Repositioning cruise.

It appears to be quite elegant. Very much an 'Adult line' as, after they finish the Bermuda runs, there will be no children's program or day care. Almost totally non-smoking, a big plus for me. Only 700 passengers. Also has open seating, a first for Celebrity. The itineraries are very different, going to islands and countries not previously included in Celebrity's cruises.

nlvc
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Old September 1st, 2007, 03:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nlvc12
I have a reservation on it - leaving at the end of October on a Repositioning cruise.

It appears to be quite elegant. Very much an 'Adult line' as, after they finish the Bermuda runs, there will be no children's program or day care. Almost totally non-smoking, a big plus for me. Only 700 passengers. Also has open seating, a first for Celebrity. The itineraries are very different, going to islands and countries not previously included in Celebrity's cruises.

nlvc
You will love this ship. I was on last part of July and improvements were still happening. An Azamara VP told me that by the repostioning cruise Journey would be "awesome".
See you on board!
www.avidcruiser.com/geoff
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Old September 1st, 2007, 10:55 PM
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nlvc[/quote]
You will love this ship. I was on last part of July and improvements were still happening. An Azamara VP told me that by the repostioning cruise Journey would be "awesome".
See you on board!
www.avidcruiser.com/geoff[/quote]

I can't stand it, Geoff - what is '3 shorts and a long'???!!??
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Old September 2nd, 2007, 03:28 AM
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Quote:
I can't stand it, Geoff - what is '3 shorts and a long'???!!??

Ships when they leave port typically blow the whistle 3 sorts and a long as a way of saying goodbye.
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Old September 2nd, 2007, 11:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovetoleave
Quote:
I can't stand it, Geoff - what is '3 shorts and a long'???!!??

Ships when they leave port typically blow the whistle 3 sorts and a long as a way of saying goodbye.
actually it is a Manoeuvring and Warning Signal under the International Collision regulations act
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Old September 2nd, 2007, 01:31 PM
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lovetoleave wrote:
Quote:
I can't stand it, Geoff - what is '3 shorts and a long'???!!??

Ships when they leave port typically blow the whistle 3 sorts and a long as a way of saying goodbye.


actually it is a Manoeuvring and Warning Signal under the International Collision regulations act

Wow, thanks, I never knew that..I always thought ir was just a friendly "bye-bye". I can't wait for this subject to come up at my table on my next cruise!
Bye
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Old September 2nd, 2007, 01:38 PM
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Thanks for the explanation. My BF was trying to figure out the letters in Morse code, but that interpretation didn't make sense.

Nancy
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Old September 6th, 2007, 06:52 PM
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lulu48,

Quote:
Originally Posted by With regard to blasts on ship's whistles when leaving a pier, you
actually it is a Manoeuvring and Warning Signal under the International Collision regulations act
More precisely, it's a sequence of two whistle signals required by Rule 34 the International Regulations for Prevention of Collisions at Sea, more commonly known among mariners as the "Rules of the Road," established as a treaty among maritime nations.

>> Rule 34(a): Three "short" blasts = "I am operating astern propulsion."

>> Rule 34(e): One prolonged blast = "I am about to emerge from a location where you might not be able to see me."

Rule 34 also prescribes other whistle signals that you might hear as a ship enters or leaves a harbor and when within sight of other ships on the high seas. Note that a ship that is leaving a pier in the forward direction sounds only the prolonged blast.

For those who care, Rule 32 sets the lengths of the blast and the requirements for the whistle itself.

Norm.
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Old September 6th, 2007, 10:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rev22:17
lulu48,

Quote:
Originally Posted by With regard to blasts on ship's whistles when leaving a pier, you
actually it is a Manoeuvring and Warning Signal under the International Collision regulations act
Rule 34 also prescribes other whistle signals that you might hear as a ship enters or leaves a harbor and when within sight of other ships on the high seas. Note that a ship that is leaving a pier in the forward direction sounds only the prolonged blast.

For those who care, Rule 32 sets the lengths of the blast and the requirements for the whistle itself.

Norm.
Right!!
Now that you are studying up on signals you could get your boating license.
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Old October 18th, 2007, 07:19 PM
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Default Azamara Quest--Panama

Still not a lot of info on this line from those who have been on it. Does it feel too small in rough seas? Being small, is the entertainment poor? Our experience has been that the smaller the ship the poorer the entertainment. Small ship=boredom on at sea days?? Food quality...similar or better than Celebrity? Rooms are also smaller (151 sq ft for inside as opposed to 170 sq ft). Is there adequate closet, drawer space? We're considering this 14 day tour but would like to hear some feedback first. Pricewise right now it is no more, perhaps less than a similar Panama tour on Celebrity.
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Old October 18th, 2007, 10:01 PM
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Default Re: Azamara Quest--Panama

Quote:
Originally Posted by kd
Still not a lot of info on this line from those who have been on it. Does it feel too small in rough seas? Being small, is the entertainment poor? Our experience has been that the smaller the ship the poorer the entertainment. Small ship=boredom on at sea days?? Food quality...similar or better than Celebrity? Rooms are also smaller (151 sq ft for inside as opposed to 170 sq ft). Is there adequate closet, drawer space? We're considering this 14 day tour but would like to hear some feedback first. Pricewise right now it is no more, perhaps less than a similar Panama tour on Celebrity.
we have not been on Aza but on the similar ship with Oceania The cabins are the same pretty much on both lines
I cannot say much about the food etc...on AZA but the cabins are a good size and lots of storage for 2 we did 32 days on the ship and had no problem with storage or space ...we did have a an outside cabin 165sq ft it is well appointed
If you want vegas style show I don't think you will find it on the small ships.
Azamara have only done Burmuda so far so it is not a fair comparison. I believe they start doing the longer cruise this month so I would check over on Cruise critic for reports.
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/forumdisplay.php?f=466
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Old October 18th, 2007, 10:39 PM
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Default Azamara reviews

There seems to be a consensus that the food on Azamara is much better than Celebrity. The most frequent comment is the high degree of service ad friendlinessby the entire crew.

As the previous poster said, the entertainment is on a small scale, but most have said they enjoyed it, and there are no siteline problems.

There has also been feedback that there aren't any significant problems with handling the rough seas.

I haven't been yet - we leave on the first non-Bermuda cruise next Saturday the 27th, a 2 wk repositioning. I've gotten most of my informationfrom the Cruise Critic Boards.

nlvc
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Old November 16th, 2007, 08:27 PM
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Just got home from the 14 night Caribbean/colombia?panama cruise on Journey. It was wonderful...better than I expected and lived up to the Celebrity image. Yes, the shows leave a lot to be desired BUT you go on this ship knowing that they won't have Las Vegas type shows...no room! tyhe food was wonderful....seven pounds wonderful and worth every bit of it. only part I could or would want to change was the shore excursion desk and the lack of either information or correct information. seems as if they just copied from other books and it wasn't right.They are the only bad spot on the ship. The captain is There with you, at breakfast in the buffet, lunch and dinner too. He is everywhere. His goal is a happy ship and that is what you get. The buffet is the hidden jewel on the ship. Dominic is the best food manager we have had since the Meridian and makes the ships dining a true gem of an experience.Quest has a lot of growing to do to come close to Journey...in all aspects. Yes, we loved the small ship atmosphere, the crew, the whole experience well enough to book another cruise.
Don't hesitate to go on this ship. We loved it.
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Old November 16th, 2007, 11:58 PM
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Rather than a Review or Blog, here are some observations I made during my recent Azamara Journey cruise (10/27 – 11/10/07 Repositioning Cruise). They are not organized into any particular order. Sorry for the length. I wanted to address these topics as I had seen little or no mention of them in this forum.

I’ll try to answer any questions you may have regarding these or other topics.

POSITIVE

Discoveries Dining Room seating – There is inconsistency in service and noise level. The best waiter we had, George, was promoted to Prime C. Regarding privacy & noise level, Table 65 was the best table we found. This was the far right corner of the raised platform area. It is a table for 4 but the two of us were seated alone there. Probably any of the 4 corners, or outer perimeter, would provide a similar advantage – there is a fence/decorative barrier that reduces traffic noise/problems, which can be bothersome in other areas. However, if you have a problem with engine noise/vibration, you’ll prefer seating to the left, just inside the entrance to the Dining Room.

Not only are there standard items always available on the Dinner menu, but also at Lunch you may request made-to-order items not listed on the menu, the standards that most restaurants would be able to easily produce. For example, I was able to specify the ingredients for a salad, with chicken on top, as well as a soup that was not listed.

Enrichment lectures – We had Prof. Joe Daley. He spoke on several topics including the Caribbean, Pirates, Bermuda, Christopher Columbus, and the captured ship Pueblo. These lectures were very popular, enjoyable, and informative. I understand that a Naturalist was on board the Quest* – I’m not sure I’d find that as interesting.

David Deeble – Comedic juggler – extremely funny and entertaining

Chilled soups – like melted ice cream, and very interesting flavors (particularly the chilled Pear soup).

Maitre Ds – They are amusing and helpful. It seems like hundreds of people have special requests!

Hot pretzels at the Pool Grill – not sure the Quest* had one.

Jonathan Sargent – classical guitarist & singer; while listed as a classical guitarist, he actually sings about half of his act (w/o the guitar); he is an older gentlemen, and sings familiar ‘foreign’ songs (ones that have been interpreted into English). I’ll admit some people didn’t care for his type of entertainment.

Pizza @ Windows Café, which was also available through Room Service (we didn’t order any Room Service). I managed to come by when a fresh one was just being put out…

When my fiancé was having trouble sleeping, we noticed a depression in the bed. We requested that they change the mattress, which they were able to do. We also later requested they put on Mattress pads.

While they could use many more, there were a few public clocks, specifically in the Lobby and outside at the Pool.

Computer lessons offered at the Computer center – we were offered Internet & MS Word classes. However, they’re limited to the 13 computers available and fill up quickly. She sends the notes via e-mail, so you don’t have to take notes. I’ve used Word for over 10 years and still learned a few tricks.

On Labadee (the private island), there is a tram (like the ones at Disney parks) that will take you from beach to beach – to BBQ and Market. It is one of the prettiest private islands I’ve seen.

Azamara Orchestra was good (though a bit too loud in the smaller venue).

Fitness Center – large, well-furnished, and open 24 hours. Be aware it is not shown on most ship floorplans/maps, nor in the elevator listing. You will find it next to the Aquaspa.

Specialty meats and cheeses, and sushi, in Breeza. If you have an early dinner, you can go up here around 8:30 or 8:45 and get these, or some dessert, if you want a snack. We didn’t happen to do the reverse, getting something from here early and then dining later.

Plenty of storage in the bathroom – Medicine cabinet with 3 shelves, long shelf under sink, and 3 corner shelves. The provided Q-tips are 3 Qtips in a vanity envelope. There is a whole jar of cotton balls.

AquaSpa massages – especially the Hot Stone massage. There are in-port specials offered in addition the standard lower prices available when in port. (For example, there was a 20/20/20 special, allowing you to pick 3 services to receive 20 minutes each from.

NEGATIVE

We didn’t find the food all that impressive. It may be that all the hype Azamara put forth raised our expectations too high. The quality was inconsistent, and the menu selections left something to be desired. (Of course, I expect there are others that feel just the opposite. This is one, well, two persons opinion.)

Some wait staff in Discoveries had inordinately slow service. At first we thought it might be the kitchen, but when other servers were able to move things along faster, we realized it wasn’t the kitchen. I’m talking about meals taking as long as 2 ½ hours!

Occasional sewage smell in hallways – ‘nuff said!

The chairs in the Cabaret are uncomfortable to sit in for an extended period.

Loretta Holloway – I don’t think you’ll have a problem with this entertainer – they put her off the ship at their earliest opportunity! She was so bad most of the audience walked about during the 1st or 2nd song! (I asked many people over the next 10 days what they thought of her, and didn’t find one positive comment!) I ran into the CS Becky and told her she was a bad singer. Unfortunately, this was the first show we saw! She was the only entertainer that didn’t have a 2nd show. Hopefully, Celebrity/Azamara won’t hire her on any other ships.

In the Dining Room, due to storage limitations on this smaller ship, some foods/special requests cannot be fulfilled. For example, my fiancé wanted to have escargot and was told they wouldn’t have any until after we arrived in Hamilton. And it wasn’t available until the 2nd night in Hamilton.

In our stateroom bathroom, we couldn’t get cold, not even cool, water in the sink. I was surely tired of brushing my teeth in warm water by the end of the cruise. (As an aside, someone had posted the position that they had been ill due to the water in the cabin. I believe it was made quite clear by the cruise line that the stateroom tap water was not for drinking purposes.)

For the first time ever, the ship didn’t provide each stateroom with a personal map of the ship. At the end of the 2 weeks, some people still couldn’t get oriented as to what locations were where. The daily newsletter did note general descriptions (e.g. Looking Glass Lounge, Deck 10, Forward). There were lists in the Elevators with locations by Deck, but no signs when exiting the elevator to indicate where things were. There were floorplans of individual decks only near the elevators. There were only one, maybe two, places where all decks were displayed in one map.

I suppose this is a problem many places, but it was frustrating that the newsletter didn’t provide the length of events. A movie may indicate the length, but Arts & Crafts or an Enrichment lecture – you didn’t know if it was a half hour or 90 minutes, making it difficult to plan your daily activities.

The entertainment venues (the Cabaret, Looking Glass lounge, etc) are too small to accommodate all passengers. Due to limited space, sometimes more than one activity would be scheduled in the same area at the same time. (For example, there was a lecture on Gemstones on the right side of the Looking Glass lounge while an Art Auction was being conducted in the main area of the Lounge.)

The Azamara Trio was pretty bad and had a very limited song selection. I think at least one them sang off –key.

No maps or Port city/country information was distributed. The Shore Excursion talks were only about the Excursions they had for sale, no General information. In some ports, there were maps available at the front desk, but only if you knew enough to ask for it. I think this was inexcusable – not everyone has the ability to research this on his or her own.

The BBQ food on Labadee was pretty bad. The worst aspect of Labadee was the Market. I had looked forward to buying some handcrafts and jewelry here. However, the people were overly aggressive in pursuing you to come look at their goods – literally getting in your face and wouldn’t leave you alone after you declined. Many people walked out quickly as it was very stressful. I felt sorry for them, as I realized they were driven by poverty, but I wasn’t going to be forced to buy something. Unfortunately, these people were their own worst enemies, leading to less sales instead of more.

The Breakfast and Lunch menus in Windows Café were very repetitive – maybe 3 or 4 items/entrees would change from day to day. The Breakfast menu in Discoveries also was duplicative.

The breads at dinner were unexciting and the same every day.

The clothes closet doors in the stateroom seemed to need a lot of strength to open – compounded by the little teensy knobs used on the doors.

The Stateroom doesn’t have enough drawers. There are 4 medium size ones in the closet and 4 small ones (plus a desk drawer) in the Desk. It would have been better if some of the 8-10 shelves (excluding the Bathroom) were drawers instead.

The filter in the Looking Glass lounge isn’t strong enough to divert all cigarette smoke, so you sometimes smelled smoke when on the other side of the lounge. I also smelled smoke in the hallways, indicating that not everyone was complying with the rules. I was appalled when I read elsewhere of a woman who had to put up with smoke coming from the Crews Quarters.

In the Casino, there were not always Dealers available for all table games. In case you have not already noted it, the Texas Hold’Em is a large Video setup, and the use of it is not exactly intuitive. The way that additional funding is set up is very cumbersome.

OTHER COMMENTS

All Restaurants are located Aft.

At Windows Café, beverages only are available 24 hours a day. While usually found just inside the Windows entrance, sometimes the only Beverage station open was on the back, open deck.

The Lemonade is good but a bit tart – I found adding some Splenda made it much more palatable.

Uneven room temperatures – some rooms were warm and others very cold. I recommend bringing a sweater along until you figure it out for yourself. I found the Cabaret particularly cold. By the way, the thermostat in your stateroom will turn past the temperature indicator range. In other words, there are colors indicating raising or lowering the temperature, which covers about half of the circle (from “9 o’clock? to “3 o’clock?. In fact you can turn the dial as far as about “1 o’clock?.

There is ‘No Sugar Added’ Ice cream available in Windows as well as Discoveries. There was never any flavor listed with this entry, but I suspect it was vanilla.

As is common elsewhere, you cannot get ‘rare’ nor even ‘medium’ burgers. They are all well done. I found it very salty as well.

Most entertainers had on show of their own, followed by a 2nd show shared with another entertainer, a few days later.

Lounge chairs were relatively easy to find by the pool, more difficult to find under shade on Deck 5. The seats most difficult to get were at certain slot machines in the Casino. Definitely some seat ‘hogs’ there!

Steel drum Entertainer Robert Symons – It would never occur to me that someone would hire a solo steel drum player – by its nature, this instrument usually is presented, and much more enjoyable, by a group. He’s not bad – he has some songs recorded that he plays along with. We told him several times to lower the volume on the background music, as we couldn’t hear the steel pans.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thank you for your patience in reading all of this. I'll try to answer any questions or feedback. Again, this is just my experience and feelings - others may think differently.

nlvc
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Old November 18th, 2007, 05:34 PM
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Thanks, Sarah and nlvc, for your comments on Journey.... we are booked on the 29/11 sailing out of Santos, Brazil. So far, only 2 cabins (Mike & Betty/ my sister & I) have posted on the MOB for this sailing. I'm wondering how well this itinerary has sold... guess we'll soon find out!

I know Mike has promised a detailed critique... I will post some comments too.... keeping our fingers crossed that they have all their ducks in a row for our sailing!

Jill
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Old February 11th, 2009, 05:27 AM
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My BF was trying to figure out the letters in Morse code, but that interpretation didn't make sense.
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