Azamara Club Cruises
Having read the recent glowing review of the Azamara Quest (heading Journey), I feel it may be useful to give my experience to balance our repective experiences. As a regular cruiser (9), usually with Celebrity, I was recommended the Azamara Journey (part of the Celebrity/RCI group) by Celebrity's future cruise staff as an upmarket 'club' experience.
Our overall experience was not good. We cruised from the US to the Caribbean, as we usually do in January and although the ship sailed into smaller island ports, we didn't enjoy the cruise experience as much as with Celebrity.
The Journey is an older and smaller ship than we are used to. While the size was useful in getting to different islands, the reduced number of passengers lacked atmosphere and encouraged a much older group of passengers as they didn't have so far to walk around the ship. Amazingly, we had one married couple of over 90 years old. Sadly, another elderly lady had to be airlifted off the ship mid-sea. While it is wonderful to see guests of this age enjoying themselves, we would have preferred to see more people of our age, early 60's, and they were few. 80 seemed to be the average age.
We also much preferred the fixed dining time we have on Celebrity. Queueing outside the dining room to wait for a table (or free dining)is not for us. We also lost count of the number of times we were asked where we were from, by the same elderly people, on adjoining tables. I understand that drinks are now included at meals, we didn't have that benefit, but we still wouldn't return.
The good points are the small islands they visit and, if you like it, the intimate size of the ship. However, be aware that the small ship encourages a large number of very elderly people so if you are not yet ready for that choose a larger ship, such as one of the Celebrity fleet for a better overall experience.