With only two ships, many cruise travelers haven't had the opportunity to experience this great little cruise line, which is owned by Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. However, on my 12-day Azamara Journey cruise to the eastern Caribbean, most of my fellow travelers seemed to be already planning their next Azamara cruise.
Let's take a tour of the Azamara Journey.
Azamara Journey Overview
The Azamara Club Cruises' motto is "You'll Love Where We Take You", and this destination-oriented cruise line sails much of the world with its two small ships. For example, the Azamara Journey was in the Caribbean for the winter of 2011, will travel to Europe for the summer and fall of 2011, and then reposition to South America for the winter of 2012. Many cruises are unique, and booking back-to-back trips is a good option for those with more time.
The main dining room, named Discoveries, has open seating and features leisurely, multi-course, diverse, delectable meals. Of the two specialty restaurants, Aqualina serves Mediterranean cuisine and Prime C serves classic steakhouse fare. The Azamara Journey's buffet restaurant is named Windows Cafe, and has both indoor and outdoor seating.
The Azamara Journey also has 24-hour room service.
I felt like a millionaire when I stayed in one of the ten Owner's Suites on the Azamara Journey. These large suites are larger than some apartments and have 1.5 baths and a huge balcony. Our butler and cabin staff could not have been more helpful and were always friendly.
If your cruise travel budget can't afford a suite, the veranda cabins are quite nice. Being able to start the day by stepping outside onto your own private balcony in the morning and wondering what each new port of call will bring is one of the joys of cruising.
Azamara Journey travelers can enjoy many of the same onboard activities found on larger ships--lounging on comfortable lounge chairs by the pool, gambling, playing games, taking dance classes, working out in the gym, having a spa treatment, and browsing the shops. The basic cruise experience on this smaller ship is much same as you will find on its sister companies--it's just more subdued and calmer.
Azamara Journey - Summary and Conclusion
Many on our 12-day Caribbean cruise either found the cruise line somewhat accidentally while surfing the Web or first heard about it from a knowledgeable travel agent. I spoke with many seasoned travelers on our cruise, and all but one person loved the ship and hoped to sail again on her one day. (One male guest missed the "excitement and big ship feel of Royal Caribbean".) The cruisers loved the varied itineraries and exotic destinations, but loved the ship's size, included amenities (wine and tips), and terrific service and cuisine even more. If the percentage of cruisers planning to spread the word about Azamara Club Cruises on other voyages is the same as on ours, this cruise line won't be a secret much longer.
As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary cruise accommodation for the purpose of review. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our ethics policy.