Azamara Journey Review

Azamara Journey originally began life with Renaissance Cruises, but Azamara has made this ship a true original. Photo: Azamara Club Cruises
Azamara Journey originally began life with Renaissance Cruises, but Azamara has made this ship a true original. Photo: Azamara Club Cruises

Overview

Azamara Club Cruises’ Azamara Journey began life in 2000, launched as R6 for now-defunct Renaissance Cruises. Following the bankruptcy of Renaissance, she was passed around to two other operators before finally being acquired by Azamara in 2007. Originally slated to enter service for Celebrity Cruises , Royal Caribbean decided to spin Azamara Journey and her sister,  Azamara Quest, off as the launch ships for Azamara. Azamara Journey is the kind of intimate, midsize ship you hardly see anymore in the cruise world, carrying just 694 passengers in a cozy, comfortable setting that manages to straddle that fine line between contemporary amenities and old-world elegance.

To that end, you won’t find any big, flashy waterslides or other theme-park-style attractions here, and that’s really the point: On Azamara Journey, cruises are all about relaxing, socializing, and seeing the world. It’s like spending a week or two at your own little floating country club, where you’re always bound to bump into someone you know.

In 2015, Azamara Journey underwent a substantial refit that extended to nearly every corner of the vessel, adding new decor, a new color palette, and refreshed amenities that will keep this intimate vessel sailing well into her next decade.

See Azamara Journey Refit: In Keeping With Azamara’s ‘Cool,’ Adventurous Image

Public Rooms

Coffee, cake and good people-watching opportunities mean the Mosaic Cafe is a popular hangout by day.
Coffee, cake and good people-watching opportunities mean the Mosaic Cafe is a popular hangout by day.

The ship’s design is very easy to navigate, with public rooms clustered on decks 5, 9, and 10. On Deck 5 midships, on the upper level of the atrium lobby, a warm, inviting cafe makes an ideal meeting place, serving snacks and specialty coffee and tea 18 hours a day and offering quiet music at various times of day.

Forward on the same deck, the Cabaret Lounge is big enough to seat about half the passengers onboard for small-scale floor shows, guest entertainers, late-night movies, bingo, and other activities. There’s also a casino with a big-screen TV in one corner, tuned to a relevant sports game.

Deck 9 forward is taken up with the ship’s spa and gym complex, where you can take a complimentary Pilates, spinning, yoga, or abs class; get a massage or a more esoteric spa treatment like laser hair removal or acupuncture; soak in a thalassotherapy pool; have your hair done at the salon. You can also work out in the gym, which is surprisingly well-equipped for a ship of this size.

Outside, the pool deck has one small pool and a pair of hot tubs surrounded by super-comfortable wooden deck chairs with plenty of sun and shade options thanks to locations near the pool itself, or under the protective shade of one of the deck overhangs that run along either side of the ship. One deck up, there’s the Looking Glass observation lounge for dancing and cocktails, plus the Drawing Room, a clubby little space for piano music, conversation, and maybe a nice scotch on the rocks.

Azamara Journey's spacious Pool Deck is also becoming a rarity in the cruise industry. Photo courtesy of Azamara Club Cruises
Azamara Journey’s spacious Pool Deck is also becoming a rarity in the cruise industry. Photo courtesy of Azamara Club Cruises

Also featured on Azamara Journey is the Sanctum Spa, which underwent a substantial refit during the ship’s latest drydock. Within, the Sanctum Spa offers a host of spa treatments and massages, as well as a gym equipped with the latest in exercise equipment. Exercise classes include yoga, Pilates and a number of cardiovascular based work-outs. Chinese acupuncture is offered, as well as the services of massage therapists. If guests so wish, they can engage the services of a one-on-one personal trainer for a small additional fee.

Dining

Elegant dining in Prime C aboard Azamara Journey. Photo courtesy of Azamara Club Cruises.
Elegant dining in Prime C aboard Azamara Journey. Photo courtesy of Azamara Club Cruises.

The ship has four main dining options. On deck 5, the main Discoveries Restaurant works on an open-seating basis and has a nice, wood-paneled bar just outside its maitre d’ station — a perfect place to meet your friends before dinner.

On deck 9, Windows Cafe offers standard buffet selections and a few nice extras, like a fresh juice bar and a pancakes-and-waffles window. On deck 10, two specialty restaurants sit side-by-side in the stern.

On the port side, Aqualina offers a Mediterranean menu and Mediterranean decor. To starboard, the Prime C steakhouse is done up with classic wood paneling.

Wine with dinner and gratuities are included in the cost of the cruise. In addition, the line also offers free specialty coffees, sodas and bottled water; self-service laundry machines; and shuttles in port towns.

Accommodations

Club Ocean Suite Cat. CO - Suite #7004 offers all the space you could want - and then some. Photo courtesy of Azamara Club Cruises.
Club Ocean Suite Cat. CO – Suite #7004 offers all the space you could want – and then some. Photo courtesy of Azamara Club Cruises.

The majority of Journey’s staterooms are Club Oceanview and Club Veranda cabins. At about 175 square feet, they’re not huge, but are nicely appointed, with wood-tone furnishings, sitting areas, flatscreen TVs, and writing desks. Both the bathrooms and the closet space are on the small side.

Azamara Journey features seven categories of suites and staterooms. All suites and staterooms feature these amenities:

  • European bedding with duvet
  • Egyptian-cotton bathrobes and slippers
  • 24-hour room service
  • Welcome fruit basket at embarkation
  • Fresh-cut flowers
  • Tote bag
  • Complimentary use of umbrella and binoculars
  • Complimentary shoe shine-service
  • Two nights guaranteed seating in specialty dining restaurants
  • Turndown treats
  • Daily news bulletin
Club World Owner Suite, 560 square feet with veranda measuring 233 square feet.

Club World Owner’s Suite

  • Separate living room
  • Floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors
  • Master bedroom with two lower beds convertible to queen size
  • Dressing room with vanity
  • Marble master bath with whirlpool tub and shower
  • Guest bathroom
  • Veranda
  • Flat-screen television
  • DVD/CD player
  • Refrigerator with mini-bar
  • Thermostat-controlled air conditioning
  • Direct-dial telephone and voicemail
  • Desk
  • In-room safe
  • Hand-held hair dryer
Club Ocean Suite, 440 to 501 square feet with veranda measuring 233 square feet.

Club Ocean Suite

  • Separate living room
  • Floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors
  • Master bedroom with two lower beds convertible to queen size
  • Convertible Sofa bed
  • Marble master bath with whirlpool tub and shower
  • Guest bathroom
  • Veranda
  • Flat-screen television
  • DVD/CD player
  • Refrigerator with mini-bar
  • Thermostat-controlled air conditioning
  • Direct-dial telephone and voicemail
  • Desk
  • In-room safe
  • Hand-held hair dryer

Club Continent Suite

The cream color scheme runs throughout the cabins and suites; this is a Club Continent suite, one of the smaller suites.
The cream color scheme runs throughout the cabins and suites; this is a Club Continent suite, one of the smaller suites.
Club Continent Suite, 266 square feet with veranda measuring 60 square feet
  • Two lower beds convertible to queen size
  • Floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors
  • Veranda
  • Sitting area with sofa bed
  • Bath tub
  • Flat screen-television
  • CD/DVD player
  • Refrigerator with mini-bar
  • Thermostat-controlled air conditioner
  • Direct-dial telephone and voicemail
  • Desk
  • In-room safe
  • Hand-held hair dryer

All Azamara Club Cruises Suites include.

  • English Butler service
  • Priority check-in and departure
  • Priority luggage delivery at check-in
  • Silk-wrapped hangers
  • Complimentary garment pressing for two items
  • Welcome sparkling wine and fruit basket
  • Daily savories between 4-6 pm
  • Priority tender service in anchor ports
  • Complimentary seating throughout the voyage in specialty dining restaurants
  • Opportunity to book en-suite spa services
  • Private portrait sitting
  • One bottle of Vodka and one bottle of Scotch Whiskey

Club Deluxe Veranda Stateroom

Club Deluxe Veranda Stateroom, 175 square feet with veranda measuring 46-64 square feet
  • Two lower beds convertible to to queen size
  • Floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors
  • Sitting area
  • Veranda
  • Flat-screen television
  • Refrigerator with mini-bar
  • Thermostat-controlled air conditioning
  • Direct-dial telephone and voicemail
  • Desk
  • In-room safe
  • Hand-held hair dryer

Club Veranda Stateroom

Club Veranda Stateroom, 175 square feet with veranda measuring 40 square feet
  • Two lower beds convertible to queen size
  • Floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors
  • Sitting area with sofa bed
  • Veranda
  • Flat-screen television
  • Refrigerator with mini-bar
  • Thermostat-controlled air conditioning
  • Direct-dial telephone and voicemail
  • Desk
  • In-room safe
  • Hand-held hairdryer

Club Oceanview Stateroom

Club Oceanview Stateroom, 170 square feet
  • Two lower beds convertible to queen size
  • Flat-screen television
  • Some with sofa bed
  • Refrigerator with mini-bar
  • Thermostat-controller air conditioner
  • Direct-dial telephone with voice mail
  • Desk
  • In-room safe
  • Hand-held hair dryer

**All category 08 staterooms have an obstructed view. Note that even though Club Oceanview stateroom category 08 have obstructed views, these staterooms represent an excellent value. Each stateroom features a picture window providing natural light.

Interior Stateroom

Interior Stateroom, 158 square feet
  • Two lower beds convertible to queen size
  • Flat-screen television
  • Refrigerator with mini-bar
  • Thermostat-controller air conditioner
  • Direct-dial telephone with voice mail
  • Desk
  • In-room safe
  • Hand-held hair dryer

Azamara Club Cruises Reviews

To read a review of a particular ship, click the link under "Read the Review." If applicable, our Live Voyage Reports offer a day-by-day overview of an actual cruise onboard. In some cases, there may be more than one report, to be sure to see if your favorite destination is represented.
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Azamara Journey ReviewAzamara Journey 2015 Refit
Azamara Quest Review

Avid Cruiser Posts, Photographs and Videos Featuring Azamara Journey.

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