Ashore at the iconic destinations visited by Azamara Club Cruises, getting deep into places we may have heard about for a lifetime is done well. Thoughtfully planned itineraries have taken us to castles, distilleries, UNESCO world heritage sites and places with historical and current significance. Onboard Azamara Journey, a high crew-to-passenger ratio enables those who work on board to have the time to do the job right.
Azamara’s two small cruise ships are able to go to places big ships can’t get to and river ships wish they could. Taking over 600 guests to rarely-repeated ports of call around the world, over 400 crew members work hard to please them every step of the way. Its not that they do extra special never-heard-of things for their guests that blow them away. They really don’t. What makes Azamara’s two jewel box ships special is that the crew has time and uses that time to focus on customer service.
Room service is fast, rarely do we have to look for someone to help us with, well, anything. In most cases, thoughtful crewmembers have anticipated our needs and if they have not, the situation is corrected about as close to instantly as can be. Seriously. My interviews with passengers have almost unanimously reflected service with a smile the likes of which we have not seen in decades.
“After the destinations, it’s the people on the ships that keep me coming back,” said one passenger. “My husband loves the destinations that they go to. I like that the crewmembers remember my name when I walk on the ships. That means a lot to me,” said another. Those are common comments from past guests who say so with solid conviction.
Chalk up some of the higher-than-average price point to more crewmembers on board for sure. Complementary wines and other included amenities further support pricing. Overnighting in more ports than any other line limits Azamara’s income from high-profit casino operations too. But they like it like that.
Azamara offers a unique product to cruise travelers, highlighted by off the ship immersion that usually gets all the press. But there is a keen focus on board too, one that they could never pull off without their crew of dedicated, caring people who work hard to please guests in all they do.
As highly-visible Captain Johannes Tysse reflected on our last day aboard Azamara Journey, speaking of the line’s many devoted, loyal guests, “they come for the destinations, they come back for the crew.”
Photo- Chris Owen